“When Sheets Attack! Part 3: Sleeping Beauty Syndrome”

the silliness continues. Read “When Sheets Attack!” Part 1 and “Part 2: The Cricket Conundrum” first.

I forced my way out of heavy sleep. I felt like I’d been beaten with a bag of nickels. My world was fuzzy around the edges, my body heavy and useless. I’d suffered not the deep restorative sleep of a good night, but the drugged fog of a bad one.

I scrunched my eyes and moaned. “This is not good,” I told Pepper. “Three nights in a row,” I trailed off, thinking. There weren’t any crickets. Where had the crickets gone? They had not been so demonstrative lately, but they still chirped occasionally.

Shrugging, I went about my day, hoping for a better night’s rest soon. Mother phoned that day while I was at lunch, wondering how I’d been. We kept in close touch, but something told her to check on me, she said. “Call it mother’s intuition,” she said.

A friend took me out to supper to celebrate. “It’s not every day one turns thirty, even if today were your birthday,” she said while refusing to allow me to pick up the check. A glass of wine with my food felt heavenly, and I supposed another couldn’t hurt in my quest for a good night’s sleep.

I poured one and searched out the light floral scent wafting through the house. “That scamp!” I exclaimed. “ooh, ow. Not so loud,” I told myself.

Mother certainly had been busy: she’d sprayed lavender and chamomile in my bedroom, changed the bedclothes, and left a little note. She wished me a good sleep and pleasant dreams of fairy tales.

“I think it’d be best to follow Mother’s advice, Pepper.” He gave me a look that clearly said, “feed me, then we’ll snuggle. Do whatever you like as long as you hold still on a comfortable chair.” That is one of his five favorite expressions.

Continuing on with my wine plan, I pulled down some of the lighter of Grimm’s tales. I read and read, sipping occasionally, and continued to scratch Pepper behind the ears as he demanded. When my glass emptied and I felt I could stay awake no longer, it was time to crawl into bed. My head hit the pillow and my eyes drooped. Sleep claimed me in the comforting, cricket-free silence.

I fell and jerked awake. “Ugh. That’s always terrifying, isn’t it, Pepper?”

“Who is Pepper and why are you in my bed?” He shoved me away and rolled over, grasping my shoulders and shaking. “Who are you?”

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New Year, New You!

Make 2015 Your Year!

10 Ways to Stick to Your Resolutions!

it’s just a number, just a date. The numbers click over from 23:59 to 0:00, from 31 December to 1 January. We all wander about for the next few weeks, mumbling that we forgot that the year changed on the calendar, on the dateline for our checks. Everyone is fascinated by numbers, by the hope that the simple change from one number to the next will change our simplest selves from who we are to some perfect person we wish we could be. Every website devoted to making folks feel ashamed about themselves has some form of the above headlines.

Still, we make our lists and then make our excuses. Habits are equally difficult to form and to break, and yet we try each new year, at the turns of the season, on our birthdays to form new habits and break the old. Since last I posted, I turned 30. It didn’t bother me as much as I thought it might, but it did bring about some new habits.

I take care of my skin. I hang upside down in aerial yoga once or twice a week. I struggle with adopting Amy Poehler’s “good for her, not for me” mantra. I journal a few sentences each day. I watch Doctor Who.

vmr #aerial yoga

don’t even get me started on the awesomeness of back-flipping into flying bow pose.

This new 2015 has brought a few more habits, and a few more plans, and for more than just my suddenly appearing biceps. With some determination and a touch of luck, and possibly a few tips on how to make good habits stick, 2015 should be a year of growth.

When Sheets Attack!” hasn’t progressed much on paper {on the keyboard? the screen?}, but it isn’t just for fun anymore. It’s a bedtime story for all those girls and women who want a fairytale reminder that the girls and women they are when they’re alone are the same girls and women they are when they are surrounded by the people and society that pull them in a hundred different directions. It feels like a reminder we all need.

It’s a new year, and if you want to be a new you, go be one. But, if you just want to make a tweak here and there, or are contented with yourself, do it. Be you, and be happy in 2015.


“When Sheets Attack! Part Two: The Cricket Conundrum”

let the silliness continue just in time to celebrate my 30th on the 27th: the second {unedited} installment of “When Sheets Attack!” Enjoy, but don’t forget to read Part One first.

I flipped. I flopped. I yelled. I even tried holding very still, flinging up the switch, and pouncing where I last heard it. All I succeeded in doing was stubbing the third toe of my left foot badly and encouraging Pepper in what I am quite sure is the belief that the human who sleeps in the big bed is batty.

Crickets. Every August as my birthday approaches, crickets celebrate with a chirping chorus. This year, instead of an occasional chirping that sent me on search and destroy missions, they heralded neither the dawn nor twilight, but some typically quiet hour between midnight and four.

Oh, they still chirp here and there throughout the day. I’ll see a tiny baby one hopping in the sink. Pepper thinks the big ones are little guests. Sometimes I see him, lying down on the floor, his head cocked to the side, following the little black hopping creature with his eyes as it dances between his paws.

I quite enjoy light chirping, outside my window. It serves as an excellent reminder of the stark boring nature of our cold, dead winters. Summer means I only close my window when it rains. Summer means lush greens and filled branches. And, louder, and louder, and louder, incessantly, this summer means crickets.

For why it never occurs to me to kill them or spray some sort of insect poison, I blame my mother. She had a hundred little superstitions. “Its bad luck to kill a spider in the house.” “Don’t put new shoes on the table.” “You spilled salt. Throw some over your left shoulder with your right hand.”

We all rolled our eyes, me especially skilled at doing so even at four, but did her bidding. Not only was it easier, but I soon absorbed a number of those little rules. Never ever did I open an umbrella inside. I handled mirrors with extreme care.

I tried to pounce. There! I could just see the tiny movement. “I’ll catch you, my pretties,” I thought with a feigned evil chuckle. Too little sleep rendered me sillier than usual. The cricket got away. I heaved myself back into my bed, choosing to ignore the sheets’ warnings from weeks ago that his annoyance stemmed from my bruising assault on his stretched out form.

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“When Sheets Attack! – a ridiculous short story

brand spanking new, and unedited “When Sheets Attack!” was supposed to be a horror story and turned into a fairy tale, and I heard it in my head in a British accent.

I struggled to consciousness while fighting a slithering presence. “Not again,” I grumbled. The fitted sheet had unhooked from opposite corners of my glorious new mattress. I sat up, looking for a way out of the tangle, but fell back. As I slept, the elastic had crept over my forehead and locked me into place.

I batted the mess away and looked to Pepper. He, too, had crawled over me from his own bed as I slept. “Some guard dog you are, mister.” He cracked a single eye and burrowed back into the extra pillows, ignoring me and my silliness until I woke him with the rare scent of cooking bacon. Twice in the past week I’d woken this way, and it seemed like the invisible attacker was moving up my body.

First, it was the extra blanket tucked against my feet. I thought nothing of the comforting presence. Next, the fitted sheet wormed its way around my calves and knees, making movement impossible. Today, the fitted sheet joined the party with that fashionable headband.

“I’ve got to make my bed better. That’s all there is to it, eh, puppy?” My mother always warned me as a little girl that if I didn’t make my bed each morning, making sure to keep the bedclothes neat and happy, one day they’d retaliate. Pepper refused to get out from under the covers, and gave me a glare when I chivvied him along to start sorting out the sheets.

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ages and ages: getting back on the horse

yes, well, summer in the store has caught up with me. I tried to edit the book too early, crashed and burned, and then there was the cutest addition to my gathered little family {I’m an auntie now}

July is nearly over, and I’ve less than a month {one day less than} to get my affairs in order before I turn thirty. Last night, I left all the dishes in the sink to finally watch the end of season {series} two of “Endeavour,” then to assuage my annoyance at the cliffhanger ending I fell into Elmore Leonard’s “Killshot.” The novel, not the movie.

But first, I’d like to take up a grievance with our former colonial oppressors: what is with the three or four episode seasons {series}, then a two year wait for the next? I’m looking at you, “Sherlock,” and you, “Endeavour,” and all the other shows I’ve fallen for then had my hopes dashed as you run away to hide and allow your actors time for other fantastic artistic work between times.

In any case, I’m ready to get back to work on the novel and reading more than spreadsheets of what clothing options we have in the back to bring out to sell. Bring it, English language publishing. {Spanish is coming, but slowly}

I apologize for the delay and look forward to bringing better and updated work to this space.

fantastical friday

fantastical Friday: May 16, 2014

my worlds collide: while shopping for fancy foods to feed friends for a night of snacks and cocktails while we watch the newest version of “Much Ado About Nothing,” I learned about the 45 hours of training I’ll need to volunteer at a local domestic violence shelter. It hadn’t properly sunk in until I realized I had to ring a doorbell just to be allowed into the facility. I’m quite seriously considering UNICEF or Peace Corps volunteer work. This seems a valid start.

girls & education. it should be our core message and focus, the world over.

“Learning is more effective if a lesson or experience is deliberately coupled with time spent thinking about what was just presented, a new study shows.”

groups are working with young men, and grown men, to help them better become the first line against sexist and violent behavior.

fantastical friday

fantastical Friday: May 9, 2014

Blue sky, yellow sun, green grass: spring has sprung. Time to do more, be more, and help others.

outbreaks of polio in Syria, Cameroon, and Pakistan have caused an international public health emergency, according to the World Health Organization. The lack, due to civil war and campaigns against vaccination, of the most basic of vaccination medicine “could result in failure to eradicate globally one of the world’s most serious vaccine preventable diseases.”

Progress has been made, with Boko Haram leader Abubakar Shekau admitting his group’s involvement in the abduction of hundreds of schoolgirls from their school in Chibok, Nigeria. Unfortunately, the group then kidnapped eight more girls, and is threatening to sell them into slavery or marriages as well.#bringbackourgirls.

Fascinated by the technology helping prosecutors in new Nazi concentration camp cases in Germany. “Using digital technology, he created a three-dimensional model of Auschwitz-Birkenau, with the help of officials in Baden-Württemberg and Bavaria, that allows for a 360-degree view of the camp. It can be programmed to show what an individual guard could have seen from a specific vantage point.”