Starting over. . .again

After a horrible 2016, (which included the death of my teenage cousin, a fall that left me with a dislocated kneecap which lead to the discovery that my Lupus had eaten my joint to the point that I needed a knee replacement at 42, being laid off while out on medical leave and about four months of joblessness) I am attempting to get back to writing again.  I have a new job that pays more than my old one did and comes with some really nice perks. I’m in the process of moving back to the city I love. And I’m feeling more settled and more myself than I have in several years.

The thing about starting over for the eleventy millionth time is that it always seems to bring up questions you thought were answered and put to bed for good.

Since my divorce, I haven’t dated. (Well, aside from one date that was spectacular fail. It was going really well, until he decided to spend 20 minutes talking about how the only reason he could come up with for not killing people was that he didn’t want to go to jail. Like, what?? NEXT!) I’ve wanted to and I’ve kinda put a toe out there, but it gets really discouraging when everyone who responds to you turns out to be married and attempting to cheat on their spouse. Really? REALLY? And so….I just stopped trying. Full stop. No go. I’m happy on my own, thank you very much.

But, now that I seem to be putting my life back into the shape it should be, I’m thinking of trying dating again. Which means I’ll likely have to come out again, not to my friends, but at work, to new people. It’s always a tricky balance, deciding who to come out to, how to do it, how safe it is.  I’m pansexual, so if I’m dating a man, I get assumed to be straight. If I date a woman, I get assumed to be lesbian. On one hand, woohoo passing privilege. (That’s my sarcastic voice, btw.) On the other hand, boo homophobia. And if I’m dating someone non-binary?  People have no idea how to react.

The new company is really big on diversity and inclusion, which is nice. First day of orientation, they were really explicit about being accepting of LGBT employees. They provide both spousal and domestic partnership benefits, for those of us who have been so badly burned we’re likely to never remarry, as well as adoption assistance for queer and straight couples alike. They have a specifically LGBT group on their diversity council, which I will be volunteering for as soon as I can. So, it’s nice to feel like I can come out when I want to. (My last company was decidedly Christian-esque and a lot of my coworkers, while otherwise awesome people, were really casually homophobic so I played the pronoun game and let people think I was divorcing a man just because it made my life easier.)

And yet, regardless of the fact that the company is inclusive and accepting, it’s always nerve-wracking to have to Come Out Again <TM>.  Living here in Deep Red Jesusland, it’s always possible I’m going to lose “friends” as soon as they find out. And there are a million little microaggressions that, while not technically rising to the level of discrimination, make life just a little bit harder when you’re openly queer.  (And I’m not even going to get into the fact that my deeply Southern Baptist Family have apparently decided that since I am divorced now, I never actually Came Out to them at all. Oy.)

It weighs on you, in ways you don’t really appreciate unless it’s happening to you, how just being who you are can be used against you. And while I was firmly in the No Dating Zone it was easy to let myself forget about it, to let go of that weight and just be.

 

 

 

The Top 10 Best Book Boyfriends of All Time

So, I found this list of The Top 10 Best Book Boyfriends of All Time and I have thoughts.

I’ve read all but two of these books and I have to say — none of these guys are good boyfriends. (Well, maybe Peeta, but even he’s got some Nice Guy traits that are red flags. In his defense, he’s also only 16, so. . .)

Rochester I really liked, until it turned out he had his wife locked in the attic. And that he was willing to lie to Jane and trick he into “marrying” him when he knew it would not be a legal marriage and thus ruin her in the eyes of society once his secret was known. And they always become known. So, he’s right out. (Although I did like the film version of Jane Eyre w/Fassbender.)

Gatsby? Are you kidding me?? The definition of obsessive stalker. Next!

Darcy. Ok, I’m on the fence about him, since he does evolve through the course of the book. And as a person who often gets read as bitchy or aloof just because I’m an introvert and I don’t open up until I’m comfortable with people, I forgive a lot of his initial weirdness.  So, ok. Darcy can stay on the Boyfriend list.

Rhett Butler? Oh for gods sake. Misogynistic, spouse rapist, arrogant Rhett? Uh, nope.

Not sure who I’d put on my list of Literary Boyfriends. I’ll have to give it some thought, but I’m leaning toward Jamie Fraiser from the Outlander series, Trent Kalamack from the Hallows series and well, pretty much most of the men in the novels I’m writing 😉

Kim Davis and the problem of ‘Christian persecution’

I’ve been thinking a lot lately about Kim Davis and the so-called Christian persecution in this country.

If you don’t know who Kim Davis is, this article will give you a decent overview. Basically, she’s a county clerk in Kentucky who has religious objections to marriage equality and has been refusing to issue licenses to same gender couples, even after the Supreme Court ruled marriage equality was guaranteed by the Constitution. She’s gone to jail for that and has recently been released again.

As wrong as I think she is (and be clear on that — she is very, very wrong), I have a certain amount of sympathy for her. I’ll take her word for it when she says that her religious beliefs forbid her to approve of marriage equality and that, for her, issuing the licenses present a genuine violation of her conscious. Having to choose between doing your job or violating your religious convictions is not a situation I would wish on anyone and so, when she says it is difficult for her, she has my sympathy.

However, she is a public servant. She took an oath to uphold the law. Laws change and marriage equality is now the law of the land. So she is left with two choices: do the job she was elected to do or resign. No, that’s not an easy place to be in. And no, it likely doesn’t feel very fair to her. Yet, there it is. There may be other options available to her. Perhaps her name can be removed from the licenses. She herself does not have to handle issuing the licenses, so long as someone in her office will. But that’s not what she wants. And that’s where my sympathy ends.

You are NOT being persecuted when you are not allowed to force your religious beliefs on others. You just aren’t. You may be uncomfortable with other people’s choices. You may disapprove of them. But you cannot forbid them, so long as those choices are legal. And if you do obstruct those choices in ways that break the law, you go to jail. Going to jail is not a violation of your religious beliefs either. It is the natural consequence of breaking the law, in this case she’s guilty of malfeasance in office and disobeying a court order. Anyone who committed those offenses would face the same punishment.

Furthermore, Davis could have avoided going to jail. She was offered a deal in which she allowed her deputies to provide the licenses without interference. She refused. Her deputies said they wanted to issue the licenses, but she prevented them from doing so. She  has also said she believes those licenses issued in her absence are invalid. (The state of Kentucky doesn’t think so and neither does the federal government, so her beliefs won’t affect those who have those documents.)

She says she will report to work Monday. Davis was released on the condition that she not interfere with her deputies issuing the documents. I don’t put a lot of faith in her to do that, given she previously had no problem stopping them. So what happens then? A gay couple comes in, a deputy wants to give them the license and she won’t let that happen? Suppose the deputy does it anyway? Does she fire that deputy? Does she discipline that deputy? That’s a lawsuit waiting to happen and it’s one the deputy would win.

There is no Christian persecution in this country. The vast majority of the population identify as Christian. All of our presidents have been Christian. The majority of our politicians are Christian or at least give lip service to the faith. Our culture is saturated with Christian imagery and allusion. What’s happening is that a certain strain of Christianity is no longer being given as much priority as it once was and it’s adherents are not happy about that. At all. But that is NOT persecution. It’s not even close.

Am I dead? Not really

So, I forgot that I had the particular blog. Ergo, the forever since I updated. I know I have maybe two readers, who have likely abandoned me ages ago. Sorry about that. The last two years have been fairly difficult for me:  divorce, illness, ridiculous money problems. And so, I forgot I even had this blog. Until  I tried to comment on a friend’s blog and had to sign into WordPress and hey, I have a blog?? I have a blog. And so, no. I am not dead.

My writing has been lax of late, so I’ve not got anything new to post. I’m working on that. Now that my divorce is over and I’m settling back into myself again, I’m feeling more drawn to writing again. I have a draft of one poem that I’m liking. I’ll have to give it another read over and see if it’s fit for other’s eyes and then I’ll put it up.

I’m also feeling the need to get back into my novel. My characters have been waiting a long time, more patiently than I’d be willing to wait frankly, for  me to get myself together and get back to them. I need to develop a regimen again. I’ve  always been one of those people who works best when I’m supposed to be doing something else. I wrote a lot of my best stuff when I was supposed to be paying attention in lecture or when I was supposed to be working on my thesis or when I was supposed to be writing that article that’s due in two hours. The job I have now requires me to be on the phone all day, so I don’t have a lot of down time to sneak in writing. Which means I’m going to have to do what I hate: schedule time to write. Blerg. I think I do better when I feel like I’m breaking a rule.

So, since November is coming, maybe I’ll try NaNoWriMo again. I always try and, inevitably, SOMETHING happens. Once I got the flu. The next year, my computer was stolen. Then I had a death in the family just before it started and I just couldn’t make myself write. SOMETHING goes wrong.

But this year, I’ve got the house to myself. No one to get in my way or try to distract me. And if I get sick, well, screw it. I’m sick all the time. Take a pill, soldier on. I do need to find a good writing group though. And I’m in a very small town, so that’s not easy to come by. Still, I’ll come up with something.

So anyway, I’m not dead. Think of this blog as a zombie. Just when you thought it was dead, BAM! Oh, and it bit you, so you’re all zombies too now. Oops?

There is something about a Don’t Walk sign

There is something about a Don’t Walk sign
seen through a sliding glass door
stark against a sky I know is cold,
Ignored by pedestrians in a hurry to get
to the bank
or work
or school
or anywhere but here
Unaware that there is
nowhere
but
here.

Winter Flare

A terrible butterfly of pain has descended,
spreading crimson wings across my face,
padded feet upon my waterless eyes.
It flutters on my skin, reaches bone and sinew,
twines about me the hands of some harsh lover whose name
I thought forgotten.
So familiar, so despised, yet sunk so far beneath my breath it has
become my breathing.
I am these wings,
this scarlet mark.
As time creep onward, I remain this beautiful pain,
dwelling in the hollow of fire-scarred bones until
this careless Monarch departs.

Moon in Scorpio

I ache with this
Bones hollow, like birds
Knocked down by gravity,
Feathers spinning before me to
Cushion the impact.

I will crash
(the repeating pattern of my life)
Against the rocky hills of you and
Scramble for purchase.

How often have I done this?
How often grabbed from flight and
Held by hands,
Fingers stroking at my desheveled heart.

I don’t learn.
I love recklessly, over and over.
And it’s always a surprise,
This aching, downward spiral.

Eagles are wiser than this,
But not hummingbirds and
My wings beat faster, wilder,
More frantic than theirs.

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