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Hello fabulous people who read my occasional ramblings and creative bits. I’m pinning this post to let you know new stuff is coming so please subscribe or keep coming back!

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I disappeared for a good long time. It wasn’t that I was not writing anything, I was. I just wasn’t posting for a variety of reasons. When I have been writing it’s not as much as I’d like. Some of that is because of life stuff, but mostly it is because I have neuropathy in my hands. I really need something like Dragon software so I can dictate my writing. That one seems to be the most popular with writers but I just can’t afford it right now.

Well, I’m just going to grit my teeth and keep trying, just don’t expect a novel anytime soon.

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Censored

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Here is another snippet from the larger piece I am working on which at the moment I am calling, The Misterious. At this point it is not necessary to read these in any sort of order, but if you go to the menu bar at the left and click on stories, you will find a tab that gives you all the posts related to this story. Sometimes deciding what to post is tricky because at some point, things I would rather leave out now will be plugged in later. For one, the place I am writing about, I think I intend to base on a real place, but I want to leave that out now.  Just think of it as a journal of sorts written by a person in a place that may or may not exist as we would know it. Okay. I am explaining too much. Enjoy!

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CENSORED


Despite being physically isolated, we do get physical things from the outside world and communication isn’t completely cut off. It’s just spotty. As I write this, I’m not sure that anyone out there will ever read it. Getting through to someone via the phone or internet is an unpredictable venture and once you do get signals you can’t count on them to go as far as you would like. You can get on the internet but you can’t see everything. Strangely enough, you can almost always get communication within the city itself, just try to reach anywhere outside and success is a toss up. There’s no explanation or even acknowledgement of this. When you try to talk to anyone from out there about the weird things going on in here or if you ask, what the heck is happening where they are, the connection drops or you get interference. I suppose it’s a bit like what people have dealt with for years in countries where the government controls everything. There’s no, “access denied message” or warning. What you are looking for is simply not there.

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It would be nice to find out something tangible. Coming up on two years and I still don’t know who’s in charge out there, why we’re stuck here or whether that weirdness is really anything to be concerned about. After all, it hasn’t made me sick. I think I’m still sane. I haven’t seen zombies or anyone with an arm growing out of their forehead. Then again, I stay the hell away from that part of town! Why take chances?

Today, I talked to Quinn. Quinn was lucky enough to be visiting family down south when the barricades went up. I say, lucky, assuming that things aren’t as screwy out there as they are in here. But I don’t know because every time we try to talk about it; static. This time, he was trying to ask me questions and the line kept cutting in and out. When we discussed more benign topics, however,  we heard each other perfectly.

Quinn has two cats, Beans and Lucy. For all practical purposes, they’re my cats now. Lucy, a small black ball of plushness is ancient. Lately, she seems to be failing and I don’t know whether it’s time to tell him or if I should just avoid giving him something to fret about that he can’t control. Quinn is not generally a worrier, but I am sure this situation tests that enviable trait. I am not even sure we have a veterinarian here anymore to take her to, but I am searching. The city is so empty now. I told Quinn I had loaded up some photos to my web page, but he said that parts of my posts were just blurred out. He didn’t see any photos.  Owl can see them. I can see them. But outside, they are out of focus. Owl says he is working on a way to circumvent this. I’m not tech savvy enough to begin to think about how to do that. I probably shouldn’t mention this. Will they, whoever they are, be watching us now?

tumblr_inline_nm0avoT28s1smxh5i_500It’s strange. It’s frustrating. Still, I take what I can get. It’s good to talk to Quinn. It’s nice to hear his voice. There is comfort in the connection. Even if it is censored, it’s grounding. I suspect the news is edited, but it brings a sense of normalcy. Though I can’t find everything, I’m able to boot up my computer to search the web for information and giggles much the same as before. For now, some things remain hidden. I hope they won’t always be that way. While I generally enjoy a bit of mystery, being left entirely in the dark is wearing thin. I have no idea if my words will find their way out. I just write because it seems someone should be keeping a record of this. Even my trivial words feel weighty, like evidence of my existence. We are here, those of us left behind. We matter.

For now, we live indefinitely in a figurative bubble. Sometimes I like to pretend that I am actually alone, that there is no other human living within the miles of rectangles that dot the landscape. I think about what it must have been like when this place was untouched by humans, primordial and blanketed with trees. I wonder if the trees will someday find a way to reclaim the territory; libraries, houses, schools and supermarkets buried like ancient temples under the roots of the jungle. I tell myself that I am the last human on earth. Sometimes, I even think I would be fine if that were true. It’s a peaceful place to go in my head, but in reality, I’m glad for the connection, any connection. I am here. You still see me. I see you. We are separated but not alone.

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The Moonlight

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I’ve been posting a lot of poems of late and people have been asking for story bits. This is one of my favorite little pieces of writing. I admit, I am ridiculously fond of it. I haven’t decided if it’s a “fragmeant” that I may develop further or if it’s complete as is. “The Moonlight” is only a working title. I’m not quite sure what to call it. Ideas?

A magical thing doesn’t lose its usefulness if it changes its state.

PhotographerThe moonbeams scattered everywhere, fractured light spilling all over the carpet!

“Oh no!” the Sunny Marmalade Cat cried out softly, “You’ve broken them! Every single one!” He tried to sweep them into a pile with his tail but they began to degrade into a shimmering powder, transforming into a dancing puddle of light. Bits of silver stuck to his fur like beads of mercury and scattered as he flicked his tail, vexed.

“Oh Dear!” the Asynchronous Clock ticked nervously.”Oh Dear. Oh Dear. Oh Dear. What shall we do now?” And though she tried to keep her hands from moving, they clicked into place, striking the hour and she began to chime!

This caused the Good Mourning Dove to coo and cluck and leave a little icing on the edge of the window sill.

Everyone froze, poised to flee at the sound of a breath or a step, but all remained still.

The Midnight Velvet Cat hissed for attention and once she had it she pushed at the remains of the moonlight with her paw. “We have to be moving, now! We mustn’t let ourselves be discovered. But we can’t leave this here. They will never understand.”

The Good Mourning Dove pecked at the silvery soot with his beak. It was very cold and left a slightly uncomfortable tingling sensation. He shuffled away mumbling, “Well isn’t it useless now? If they find it, they’ll have no idea what it is. In the daylight it will look less like diamonds and more like dust, won’t it?”

The Midnight Coal Cat fixed her great green eyes on the bird and shook her head gently. “No. That will not do and it wouldn’t be safe. They might not know what it is but they will know that it doesn’t belong here either.

A magical thing doesn’t lose its usefulness if it changes its state. We just don’t know what its new purpose will be! We brought it here and we must take it with us. We have to figure out a way to transport it.”

The dove pecked at the curtains thoughtfully, walked the length of the ledge and back, opened and closed his beak a few times. Suddenly he exclaimed, “I have an idea!” Then he hopped off the ledge and disappeared into the night. When he returned a few moments later, the Hopeful Little Dog, who had been diligently keeping watch appeared next to him.

“How can I help?” she panted eagerly. Then she noticed. “Is that? Oh no! How? Oh nevermind, what are we going too…O-oh, I’ve got it!”

And, in a blink she had gobbled up every last bit of moonlight, licking the floor and even the Sunny Marmalade Cat’s tail just to be certain of her thoroughness.

The Asynchronous Clock could not resist, “Good…. Dog!” she ticked happily.

“So it’s true,” the Sunny Marmalade Cat said wryly, “A dog really will eat anything without checking to see if it’s food first.”

The Midnight Coal Cat batted the orange cat’s pink nose with a cushiony paw. “It’s time for gratitude, not jokes.” she chided and rubbed against the Hopeful Little Dog in appreciation causing the her to wag her curly nub of a tail furiously. She wanted desperately to bark her excitement but she held it back. She was chilled and tingly inside, full of energy yet somewhere deep within was a new calm center. It was a little like the time she had chewed wild peppermint as a pup but without the strong flavor and much, much colder.

The little party made their way over the window sill and back outside, quickly navigating the garden path and the meadow. They made it into the woods without further incident. As they moved farther away from the treeline into the dense forest, it became much harder to see the path. They debated the lost time of waiting for daylight against the possibility of missing a marker, getting lost or hurt in the darkness.

The Hopeful Little dog paced back and forth, her blue eye glimmering faintly, her brown eye virtually invisible in the murkiness, just like the Midnight Velvet Cat. Suddenly, she stopped, looked straight ahead and opened her mouth. Light spilled out illuminating the path.

“Well that settles that.” said the Midnight Coal cat. “Purrfect!”

And they all started down the newly moonlit path, suddenly feeling much more optimistic.

But they were not alone and despite their combined, superior senses they did not seem to register it. Surely they would have perceived fear or predatory focus, but lacking that simply assumed they were hearing and smelling a mere resident of the forest busy with it’s nocturnal habits. Maybe, the magic was working and they did not sense me. All the same, I held back, keeping as much distance as I could without losing them. Walking so slowly and quietly tensed my legs and they started to ache.

If only I could be an owl, I thought. I could glide above them on wings of whisper quiet. I could rest up when I got ahead of them, up in high branches, seeing them perfectly with my spectacular night vision. And I could easily make out every word of their conversation. As long as it served me, I would so like to be an owl!

And I was.

-LM 2015/2016

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Ghost Town

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(At this point it is not necessary to read these in any particular order)

I’ve been on a roll of late posting a lot of things that aren’t stories or even bits of stories. I have been writing fiction, I just haven’t been posting it. I suppose if I ever get in the habit of posting daily or a few times a week with regularity, more will get here.

This is the first thing I’ve posted from a longer work that has been percolating for awhile. I have decided that I need to do some research on things like climate change, natural disasters, geography, politics and economics, among other things before I flesh it out in any serious way, not because I am going to need them all that much in the story, but because I personally want the foundation to build it on. I guess it’s sort of SciFi, maybe more speculative fiction. I’m vacillating between it taken place somewhere that exists now vs somewhere completely imaginary. Oh, it’s a hot mess that wants to come out!

Anyway, the title for working purposes only, is, The Misterious, so that’s what it will be tagged as when I post other fragmeants of it! I’m not entirely happy with this bit, but it wanted out of my head desperately so, here ya go:

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GHOST TOWN

I try to time my late night ramblings so that I will have the lowest chance of running into another soul. If I head out too early in the morning I’ll likely catch maintenence, blowing off the sidewalks, cleaning the glass and storefront trims, watering plants  or hosing off the benches. Sometimes during the day or early in the evening  I’ll see a lone vehicle or run into an actual human being on the street or sweeping their porch. Too early in the late evening and you might run into a PigBot, have to explain yourself or worse. Too late in the late evening and you might run into a wild animal you can’t handle or the Red Eyes. Jimmy likes to call them the Cylons. That makes me laugh.

The perfect time for me is the middle of the night. Lights might still be on in some of the buildings. I make a game of guessing which yellow squares of light are actually occupied and which simply had lights on when the inhabitants left, with no reason to suspect  they wouldn’t return. Building lights are mostly on automatic, but individual apartments and houses are more intriguing puzzles. For weeks, after it happened, my attention was fixed on a large television screen visible through an upper window in a building about a block from my place. It must have been set on a timer as  it came on early every evening and shut off at one every morning. I walked past the apartment building it sat in nearly every day. It’s my habit to scan windows, doors and porches in particular.  One day, I could see it was gone. Presumably, a neighbor finally decided they might as well have it.


There are small clues. Sometimes bulbs will burn out and you know there is no one living there because once they go dark, they stay that way. Keep watching and more lights in the same place will go out and stay out one by one. On the floor below the place with the TV is another apartment that caught my eye.  It has four long curtains, knotted at the bottom which make striking silhouettes at night. I assumed it was unoccupied, especially after one evening seeing the window was dark. I assumed the light had gone out. But the next day I  looked up to  realize someone had merely closed all the drapes. A few days later, I noticed they were knotted up again. Hello neighbor! Were you hiding your new TV?

When I decide to stay somewhere else for a few days or head up to The Bunker, I always set lights and things that make sound on varying timers. Owl showed me how to rig up some techy things that sound like conversation, cooking sounds, a dog. So far, no one has broken into my place, only another neighbor would be a likely burglar anyway and they all know I’m here, but I have gone many places I did not belong. That concept is slippery for me though. I’m not sure it’s breaking and entering or stealing when the likelihood is, no one’s coming back.

In the middle of the night benches look inviting, yet eerie. I find myself wanting to sit on them, but at the last second, I balk, feeling like an intruder.  A presence is there, the heavy presence of nothing.  It’s become a ghost town, except that it isn’t. I think everyone has to leave for a place to become a ghost town; population zero, only ghosts. Our populace has been dramatically reduced, but people still occupy the buildings. They live, but they aren’t really living. How do you get up and go to work when you can’t leave the city or your job in the city no longer exists? Few of us know what to do with ourselves. We shuffle about this place that isn’t  an actual ghost town. The city is a shell, populated by shadows of lives that once vibrantly filled it. We are the ghosts.

It should creep me out walking around my neighborhood in the wee hours thinking about this stuff. But the buildings in daylight are much more disturbing. They all look abandoned so of course, you can just feel someone watching. You squint at the squares of grey and you think you see a shadow staring back. The emptiness is pronounced. The loneliness is oppressive. At night, it’s peaceful, a perfect stillness. All I can hear are the sounds of water, wind and night birds. Sometimes I even hear the occasional car. It’s not that different from the way it was before. I’m lulled by the comfort of warmly lit apartments, the illusion of life. I can almost forget.

Almost.

My Shoes!

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I’m finishing and loading up a bunch of things today, because I had that marvelous combination of time, internet access and my neuropathy being veddy, veddy quiet. Enjoy!

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“You can’t understand someone until youve walked a mile in their shoes.”

What a ridiculous idea! I wouldn’t want to be in your shoes for two steps and I won’t let you walk a mile in mine. I wouldn’t even let you walk around the block in them.

This is my path. My pain. My difficult road. And sometimes, it’s my easy street. You couldn’t stand to wear my shoes for a minute. Stop looking at them.

This isn’t some kind of challenge. And walking in my shoes won’t make you more empathetic or less judgemental. You’ll just end up pissed off with sore toes and a twisted ankle.

Oh, it’s possible the whole experience would give you some fleeting respect, a little awe for how I’ve managed to traverse such uneven ground in mismatched shoes for all these years. You might marvel at how most of the scars from my falls ended up on my insides instead of on my knees. But your appreciation won’t last because after you’ve taken your pity tour, you’ll be tottering along in your own shoes again, feeling quite superior. While you’re strolling easily or scrambling over debris in YOUR path, you’ll forget all about walking a mile or a minute of mine, although from time to time it may cross your mind that you’re glad you don’t have to.

I’ll let you in on a little secret because I know you won’t remember it next time we meet. I don’t always walk in my shoes either. Sometimes I kick them off and run completely off track for a while plunging my bare feet in sand or wiggling my toes in the grass. Sometimes I stop and lie flat on my back and thrust my feet into the cool night air and laugh at the sensation of lightness.

Sometimes I think subversive thoughts about not putting them back on again or just buying a new pair. But, no, they’re my shoes. Sometimes; a comfortable old friend, sometimes a particularly cruel bully that shadows me home, taking my refuge. Some days they hurt me to my bones, other days they soothes my soles.

I’ll walk in them until they become ghosts. When they fall off in tatters, I’ll walk barefoot until the sun sets.

LM – 2014 / 2016 /2017

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Conversations With Opie

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I used to be smitten with a  pair of cats; Opie and The Mysterious Germoe. After a while a third cat, Funky Ear Tony came to live with them. They lived in a house called, The Fear and Loathing, in Oakland, California. Sadly, their parents distanced themselves from me and I still don’t know why. Ouch. That’s fodder for another, more serious blog, I suppose. It’s water under the bridge now because they all moved to Georgia and they live in a lovely house called, Hope Springs and I only catch up on their adventures through Facebook.

Anyway, Opie, a very floofy ginger, used to get his treats from a little egg that would roll across the floor. (I suppose he still does, it’s just that someone else does it now) They would drop out one by one and it was very exciting for him to chase them. (Exercise) He also has very thick Maine Coonish fur. This is a typical exchange. You will relate if you have cats, if you have cats with thick coats that toss up hairballs or have tried to take photos of your pets only to watch them move as you click the shutter.

ME: Hey Op. Now that you have had your “exercise” chasing the magic egg around the floor and gobbling the treats that fell out of it, how about you let me brush you?

OPIE: More treats!

ME: No Op. You got quite a few this time. I gotta cut you off! No exploding Opie, Ok? How about a good brushing?

OPIE: *Rubs against his Pet Nanny*  Lots of pets?

ME: *gives Sir Fluffalot a good scritch*  Of course, you may have all the pets you like, but you are looking pretty woolly little dude. I’m going to brush you too!

*rubs sturdy brush over Opie’s fluff but not much happens*
*Opie exhibits the cat version of a shrug, sniffs brush. Rubs chin on it.*

OPIE: Oooooh scratchy! *continues to rub the brush.*

ME: Let’s try brushing again

OPIE: *Shrug. Rub. Scratch*

ME: *Tries again to brush Opie thoroughly*  What the heck Op? Your fluff is like armor! My brush is powerless against it. I got like three loose hairs! Where do all those orange hairballs come from if your fuzz doesn’t come loose?

OPIE: *looks nonchalant*

ME: Ok. Well, while I have your attention you photogenic rascal, let me just grab my phone and get a picture for your parents who miss you!

OPIE: Ok.

ME: Cool! Got it! Oh that’s so cute. Let me just get it into focus and *click*

*Opie has walked away*

ME: Cats! *sigh*

LM 2015/2017

Opie

The Inimitable Opie!

 

As Deep As The Sea

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Here’s a short poem I just unearthed that I wrote a few years ago.

As Deep As the Sea

It took some searching, but I believe the artist who did this is: Emerald De Leeuw

As Deep As The Sea

Dive into my eyes
As deep as the sea
If I promise not to drown you, will you come play with me?
I’ll teach you the dance
Put your hand ’round my back
I’ll share my pearls, luminous. I will give you the map
To all my hidden treasures
And all my sacred songs
If you want to, dive in, for I may not be here long

-LM 2013

Another Mothers Day Blog

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20170329_173218I don’t have the spoons to write a big Mother’s Day blog this year.

Mother’s Day is one of the rough ones for me. Honestly, ALL of the, “in your face commercialized holidays” are rough when you have painful family issues. It’s probably just as well, I’m still recovering and slept through the whole day. I missed most of the cheery, teary sugar and schmaltz and that’s just fine with me.

 
Some people I know and care about lost moms recently. Some have mothers who had health scares or were in the hospital this year. I want to send extra love to those who are missing their mothers and to those for whom Mother’s Day has extra meaning because they weren’t sure there mother’s would be here this year.
 

As always, I want to acknowledge those for whom Mother’s Day hurts because their relationship with their mother is/was difficult, terrible or absent. I want to acknowledge those mother’s who pulled out all the stops to love and protect their child but lost them anyway through death, drugs, mental illness or just emotional distance. I want to shout out to all the heroic parents who have had to be both Mom and Dad to their kids. And I want to give a big hug to all those Moms whose kids happen to be furry, feathered or scaled. You aren’t less than because you chose to nurture a pet rather than pop out a hooman. You have your reasons. It’s cool. Maternal love doesn’t discriminate.
 
Stand in Mom’s who were that positive support or maternal figure in the lives of many kids (and adults) who were missing what they needed; to you I give enormous respect. YOU are the lifesavers! Jennifer and Jolene‘s mama, JoAnn was this to me. I could not have survived my childhood without her. She fed me, let me tag along on family adventures, she tolerated my weirdness, she let me spend hours and hours away from home. I’m quite sure we drove her crazy sometimes. I practically lived at the Norton house for much of my childhood and it was a sanctuary. As an adult, I’ve been lucky enough to have several friends who also rocked the mom vibe with me because they just ooze compassion and maternal instinct. Cheryl, Jean, Linda and Libby come to mind. *blows big kisses* If you have had a good mother and also, stand in mamas in your life, you are doubly blessed!
 
To the almost parents, I know how difficult this day can be, whether you have gone on to have kids or not. I was an almost parent and oddly, this year, I’m going through a numbness, instead of that twinge of grief. Maybe it’s because I’ve had a little time but maybe it’s because it would have been nearly impossible to raise a kid in my current situation. Losing a child you are pregnant with or one you wanted to adopt are very complicated situations to process. So is losing a child for any reason at any age. There’s no right way or wrong way to do it.
 
To those who desperately want to be parents but haven’t been able to do it for whatever reason, I wish you comfort. I also wish that those of you who are so set on popping a kid out of your own womb with your own genetic material would stop spending so much money and shedding so many tears and just adopt. But if you won’t, I pray that you are really good parents when you finally get your wish.
 
And most of all, I wish that Mothers would not be treasured just because they are Mothers, but that they would all earn these accolades. I don’t want you to be perfect. I want you to live up to what a mother should be as best you can; a person who loves, nurtures, supports, protects and guides their child. A good mother, in my opinion, does not have children and make their existence all about her or try to force them into her idea of the kids she wanted. She realizes that sometimes you can do all those things and still feel like you failed.She realizes that you don’t always get what you expect, you work with what you have and love them anyway. And sometimes that love means letting go in many different ways. 
 
Motherhood is complicated. Our feelings about it are complicated. You can’t serve it breakfast in bed, slap a card on it, give it flowers and platitudes and think you’ve done it justice. It’s also not sacred. Many people are victims of Motherhood, whether it’s the child whose mother had unrealistic expectations, or had a mother who struggled with mental illness, addiction, poverty or simply as dealt more than she could handle or the child whose mother was a monster.
So, lavish the praise on your mother if she’s earned it, but don’t heap guilt on those who had a different experience. And please be gentle with those who are having trouble with this day, whatever their reason.
 
I am so very happy for the friends out there who have benefited from the love of a mother who made them feel supported and cherished! I am so grateful for all those mother figures in my life and to look around and see mothers who are doing right by their kids right now. I stand in awe of all the friends I see being amazing parents every day despite their challenges. I have many of them, which means, many kids who are growing up with a better outlook than I had. I hope all of you enjoy this special day. Even more so, I hope all of you feel appreciated and loved all year round. It’s the days that don’t have a spotlight on them that mean the most.
 
Oh hey, I wrote a blog after all. Oops.