Thursday, November 29, 2012

I Went Out Looking for the Answers

November is never a very kind month is it?

I've been so busy the last four weeks i can hardly think strait. Outside of the Thanksgiving holiday there's been no end to the crazy. Kitten missed it with my family because she had a nasty bout of the flu. That same week I pulled my back picking up trash in my bathroom and couldn't hardly walk. I was zombie shambling most of the last two weeks. I can sit up now, and walk better, but I'll be damned if it doesn't still hurt. Yule is just around the corner and I have done next to no planning for it. I did get some greenery up in my house and made a couple of wreaths, but that's been the extent of my holiday cheer so far.

I've spent most of this month working on my book. I'm sending it off to a publisher in a couple of weeks, and I have really high hopes for this one. I think I've got a really good chance at publishing now. I'm working diligently. I think I've spent more time at my computer this month than I have in the last year, and that's really saying something. On the up side, getting work done has inspired me and I have at least six more book ideas ready to roll. It looks like I'll be doing a lot of writing in the foreseeable future.

I've also spent a lot of time with Kitten's mom. She's been a really great companion these last two months. Its nice to have such a good relationship with her, especially since I was so intimidated by her when we first met. I feel better about myself when I'm around her now. I feel really lucky that she treats me with respect. Turns out we have a lot of common interests, too. So there's never any lack of something to talk about.

I've been especially happy because she has taken the time to learn about my religion and has asked a lot of really good questions. She knows the members of my coven and she looks at them as part of our family. Its really nice. I feel a lot more grounded than I have in the past and that's such a nice thing.

I haven't got a lot to say today, so I'm going to run off and keep working on the book. With any luck I'll be picked up by this fantastic publisher and I'll be well on my way to career as a writer. I hope everything is as exciting and interesting for all of you.


Saturday, November 17, 2012

You've Been So Kind and Generous

Right, so all of these people are on facebook writing these posts this month about how they are thankful for something each day. Now, I don't normally have a problem with this. I think its good that we're thankful. It does irritate me that they only do it for the month of November, because of Thanksgiving. I'm not saying what they're doing is bad. More that I wish people could say something they are thankful for every day, not just every day in a month. Its something that changes your outlook on life, I think, when you take stock of all the things you've been blessed with.

That said, I figure its about time I did another one of those posts where I talk about all the things I am thankful for, because I am a very lucky woman. I thought I would do thirty, since that's what everyone else seems to be doing, but I thought I would get it all out here at once, rather than updating facebook every day. Seems more efficient, and while I might not seem the type, I am all about efficiency.

1. I am thankful that I am alive. I have made a lot of really stupid decisions in my life which could have changed that, and I am thankful that I survived my own stupidity. I am also thankful that thus far in my life, I have survived all the illnesses I have had. I've not got great health, but I have some health, and a lot of days, that's something to be thankful for.

2. I am thankful for Kitten. There's not been a doubt in my mind since the day four years ago that I ran back into her that I am a lucky woman. She is a very supportive partner. She's very loving and she has a lot of heart. I have never met someone so courageous or committed to doing the right thing. She's incredibly strong and she has taught me to be a stronger and better person.

3. I am thankful for Oscelot. I really think sometimes I don't tell her enough how much she has taught me about myself. Through her I have been able to see how I have grown as a person, and also how much more work I have to do. I am also very lucky to have her as my own personal cheerleader. I've never had a person in my life who was so relentlessly  committed to my success, even when I was feeling like a failure. That's a huge gift.

4. I am thankful for Sakura. He has been the best and truest friend I could have asked for. In the last two years he and I have become so close. I've been very lucky to have him there, helping me along, teaching me. Without his support I would never have been able to learn to control my temper. I wouldn't be able to (actually, really, truly) meditate. I have, with his help, discovered the infinite nature of the universe. He has shown me what courage and love and friendship look like. And he has also shown me what the advice of a true and loyal friend can be like. I've never seen him flinch from telling me the hard things, and even when he is, he's always there to offer a shoulder. He's seen and taken care of me sick almost as many times as the girls. It means a lot to me to have him as a part of my family.

5. I am thankful for Felix, who has been a great addition to our coven. She's done so much (unwittingly I think) to improve me as a teacher and a mentor. She's a wonderful, beautiful person and a hugely inspired artist. She inspires me every time I speak with her. She's also a great person to just sit and talk with, or sit and write with, and I'm always thankful for her company. She's proved to me that yes, I can be friends with a girl because there are some out there who don't irritate me to death.

6. I am thankful for my improved relationship with my family. Things are never going to be perfect, but I've finally found balance there. As a result, I am at peace with myself and my past for the first time in my life. I have moved past my resentment, and learned to let my cynicism take a break...because of it I find my family is much more willing to give me a break. It works out for all of us.

7. I am thankful for the good health of my friend Bobcat, who has struggled this year with cancer. She's is such a brave and amazing woman. Her life changed, and her dreams changed so much when this happened to her. Through it all she has been incredible- if I can grow to have half the grace and humor that she has I will be a better person indeed.

8. I am thankful for my extended family, the one I have gained through Kitten and Sakura. They're wonderful people and I've never felt more supported and loved in my life.

9. I am thankful for my blogger friends. I never tell them enough, and I should. Aravis, Swiss, Mark, Flash- you guys have seen me at my best and my worst. You have loved me through all of it. You have talked me down when I was afraid, or upset. You have continued to post and tell me about your lives and it has given me the hope and courage and laughter to get through. The strength of heart that you have has been an inspiration to me, and there isn't  day that goes by that I don't think of you and thank deity that I have you in my life. 

10. I am thankful for NaNoWriMo. Now, before you laugh...this program got me started novelling properly. It gave me the courage to send out my first queries. It gave me the laughter and support I needed to realize that yes, I could be a novelist if I wanted to be. That's huge for me. This year it is providing me with an opportunity I will not pass up, and hopefully will have been the means of me finally getting my first novel published. That is huge.

11. I am thankful for the job I quit. I am. I learned a lot about myself and people. I came out of my shell. I have skills I would never have had if I hadn't worked there. It also brought me Spice, Shorty, Flyguy and Adidas, who through everything have been beautiful and wonderful friends.

12. I am thankful that I am now not working. I am now following my ambitions. Not many people have that chance and I am happy to have it.

13. I am thankful for my cats. They're funny, amazing little creatures who remind me every day how life can be an adventure.

14. I am thankful for my talents. I might not have many, but the ones I have give me joy and a sense of peace. Some of them are things I will never be able to use as a career, but they make me happy. Some of them will hopefully enable me to make a better life for myself. Either way, its a blessing to have things that give me joy in my life.

15. I am thankful that my family is able to provide for itself. There are so many people in the world who can't. Knowing that I will go to bed every night with a full stomach with a roof over my head is amazing.

16. I am thankful for cigarettes. Stop being indignant. I like them and though they aren't healthy, they give me pleasure and so I'm glad I have them. One day I'll hopefully stop. In the mean time, I am glad I have access tobacco that tastes good.

17.I am thankful that there are amazing artists in this world. People like Brandi Carlile and Katie Herzig, writers like Laurrel Hamilton and Erin Hunter and Johnathan Franzen remind me why this is a wonderful world to live in. They give me hope that there is more beauty and talent in the world than we thought there was. They give me hope that my generation might just make a mark on humankind that is more than ugliness.

18. I am thankful- despite my ranting- that I live in the US. There's a lot I don't like about my country. But there are many wonderful things about the place I live. I only hope that things can get better. In the mean time, we've got it pretty good whether we realize it or not.

19. I am thankful that I am not the person I wanted to be when I was eighteen. I had a lot of ideas about the world, and a lot of hopes for myself. I would have been an interesting person had I realized those dreams. I would not, however, be who I am now. And I truly believe that I am becoming the best person I can be. I am not yet, but I will slowly get there.

20. I am thankful for my grandparents. Without them I would have never made it. My grandmother gave me support and shelter and love when I thought there was none left to be had. My grandfather kept me from starving myself when I couldn't stand to look in the mirror and face what stared back at me. Both of them shaped my ideas about life. Both of them have given me strength when I didn't think I would ever find any. They have, and still are, one of the greatest gifts to my life.

21. I am thankful for friendships I have lost. Don't get me wrong, I am not always glad people leave my life. However, each time they do, I learn something more about myself. This last year I have had several people leave my life. I was sorry for it at the time, and looking back sometimes it still feels wrong. Still, the more I walk the path I have chosen, the more I see things clearly. I am happy with my decisions. Some of them, unwittingly, helped me to make some very hard ones. End the end time will tell whether or not I was right, but as of now, I am a very happy person who is still managing to hold on. And that makes me proud.

22. I am thankful for my religion. I won't preach. You know I don't do that. I will say this, my fully becoming a witch has totally changed my outlook on life. I am a different person now, and a better one.

23. I am thankful for my phone and my computer. Its another thing that seems shallow, but its also something that keeps me connected to the people in my life. That's important to me.

24. I am thankful that I am clean. It took a lot of will to get myself that way, and having people in my life who helped me was huge. I know people still that struggle with addiction every day and I am so proud and happy that it is something that I can move beyond. It wasn't easy, some days it isn't still, but the fact that I have spent over 12 years of my life free from addiction means everything to me, because it means I am in control of who I am.

25. I am thankful for all the silly, shallow, frivolous things in my life that make me happy. My underwear, my clothes, my hairbrush...I am thankful for the paintings and books in my house. I am thankful for nice meals and evenings out. I am thankful for being able to afford both glasses and contacts. I am thankful for warm blankets and candles and lots of cleaning supplies to keep my house nice and trips to places I love. Those are all things that are not necessities that make me happy. But I am thankful for them anyway.

26. I am thankful I have learned to love and respect myself. I used to not. I used to think that I had to make everyone else happy, and do what they told me. I thought I had to be perfect. I thought I had to be everything to everyone without thinking of my own happiness. I have learned that is not true. I have learned that I deserve love and respect too.

27. I am thankful that I have love in my life. There is so much love I can't even believe it. Its wonderful to be someone who knows there are people who think the world wouldn't be as great a place without you in it. That may be ego...but its nice all the same. I like to know I am loved.

28. I am thankful that I have the freedom to make my own choices. I have no one  in my life anymore who doesn't tell me I am able to do that. There is no one who makes me feel bad for wanting things, or having my own ideas or desires. That's not to say I don't have people who aren't willing to tell me how it is. Believe me, I do, but they are also the people in my life who understand my desires and wants and would help me to achieve them. Sometime that means doing it my way and sometimes that means getting their help- but in the end I have people who are supportive of my life path.

29. This is probably going to sound crude...I'm thankful for sex. Seriously. Through it I have learned so much about who I am. I have learned about boundaries. I have learned about what I can do. I have learned about love and loss and fear and trust. I have learned about simple pleasure. I have learned about healing. Sex, to me, is so many things and not all of them (in fact most of them) have very little to do with the act itself.

30. I am thankful for the life I have. All the things above this probably point to that, but it bears being told. I have not always felt that way. Fortunately for me, I wake up every morning and think of all these wonderful things I have listed- and other ones- and I am glad to be me. I know not every person can say that. I am quite a lucky woman. There are people in my life who inspire and encourage me. I have every hope for my future. I have everything I need and a lot of things I never hoped for. I am so blessed. I wake up every morning and know it. And if that's not something to be thankful for, I don't know what is.

I hope your lives are just as blessed as mine is.

Monday, November 12, 2012

We're Zany to the Max!

Alright, its time for another survey. This one is titled "50 questions you've never been asked" and I think its pretty close to accurate. I think I have not seen most of these questions on a survey before. So, here we go.

1. What's your favorite candle scent? I happen to like mullberry a lot. I also like anything that is rich smelling like plum or cranberry. I do not like candles that smell like cookies or something. Those things not only freak me out, they usually smell awful when you burn them.

2. What female celebrity do you wish was your sister? Um, I like Ellen DeGeneres a lot. I think I would relate to her. If I had to pick one young enough to actually be my sister, I think I would really like Jennifer Lawrence. She seems like an interesting and creative gal.

3, What male celebrity do you wish was your brother? This is a hard one, since I'm not into a lot of male celebrities. I mean, Elton John would be cool, but he's old enough to be my dad. I suppose I could pick Josh Hutcherson and have a matched Hunger Games pair, right?

4. How old do you think you will be when you get married? I got married when I was 27. I probably would have thought I would get married younger when I was a teenager, but then, what do you know when you're that age???

5. Do you know a hoarder? No, unless you count the fact that I have lots and lots of books.

6. Can you do a split? No. I used to be able to but I am not that flexible anymore.

7. How old were you when you learned to ride a bike? I think I was about seven.

8. How many oceans have you swam in? One. I've swam in the Atlantic.

9. How many countries have you been to? Two- Kuwait and England.

10. Is anyone in your family in the army? Yes. I have had several members of my family serve in the military, although none of them are on active duty now.

11. What would you name your daughter if you had one? Lydia Frances

12. What would you name your son if you had one? Bruce Alan

13. What's the worst grade you got on a test? Uh, an F? I've failed one before. I couldn't tell you the percentage.

14. What was your favorite television show as a child? Animaniacs.

15. What did you dress up as for Halloween when you were eight? I think I went as a witch that year

16. Have you read The Hunger Games, Harry Potter or Twilight? Yes, I have read all three series several times and I liked all of them.

17. Would you rather have an American accent or a British accent? It seems really pretentious for me to want a British one, doesn't it? They're cool and all, but I think I better settle for sounding like I come from where I live.

18. Did your mother go to college? Yes she did.

19. Are your grandparents still married? They were when my grandfather died.

20. Have you ever taken karate lessons? Nope.

21. Do you know who Kermit the Frog is? Of course I do.

22. What's the first amusement park you went to? Uh, I think Silver Dollar City in Branson, Mo. There's pictures to that effect, anyway.

Here's where I gave up on the formatting.  

23. What language, besides your native language, would you like to be fluent in? Um, I'd like to speak French better than I do, and I need to learn Spanish, but I would really love to learn Cantoneese.

 24. Do you spell the color as grey or gray? Grey.  

25. Is your father bald? I don't know.

 26. Do you know triplets? Yes, I do. Or, at least, I know one of them.  

27. Do you prefer Titanic or The Notebook? Both are depressing, but I like watching Titanic just because of Rose's clothes. Shallow of me, isn't it? 

28. Have you ever had Indian food? Yes. I think its decent. I can't cook it to save my life though 

29. What's the name of your favorite restaurant? Um, I have a lot that I like. There's an italian place in my hometown called Avanzare. Its pretty good.  

30. Have you ever been to Olive Garden? Yes. My mother works at one.  

31. Do you belong to any warehouse stores (Costco, BJ's, etc.)? Kitten has a Sam's membership. So yes? 

32. What would your parents have named you if you were the opposite gender? David Wayne. I got off easy I guess. 

33. If you have a nickname, what is it? Panther. Alecya. Those are the one's I'll repeat.  

34. Who's your favorite person in the world? Kitten. No question there. 

35. Would you rather live in a rural area or in the suburbs? Or in a city? I want to live in a city. Portland to be exact. I suppose I could live with the burbs, but I don't want to. 

36. Can you whistle? Yes. Are there still people who can't???

37. Do you sleep with a nightlight? No. I have to have complete dark or I can't sleep. 

38. Do you eat breakfast every morning? Yes, although its not always what Kitten would call a healthy breakfast 

39. Do you take any pills or medication daily? Nope 

40. What medical conditions do you have? I'm hypoglycemic. That sucks. And I have migraines. Sometimes I suffer from a severe lack of common sense. Otherwise, I'm pretty healthy. 

41. How many times have you been to the hospital? I couldn't even count.  

42. Have you ever seen Finding Nemo? Yes. Its a good movie and I was mad I missed it in 3d 

43. Where do you buy your jeans? Usually at a thrift store.   

44. What's the last compliment you got? I can't remember? Wait- someone told me yesterday that I always look put together. That was nice, since I think I look like a mess most of the time.  

45. Do you usually remember your dreams in the morning? I try to. I especially try to remember the weird ones or the ones people I know are in, because I figure they're important.  

46. What flavor tea do you enjoy? Regular tea? I like Earl Grey. Kitten makes some pretty good custom blends though. I'll drink almost any tea... 

47. How many pairs of shoes do you currently own? Without going and counting, probably about 18-20 pairs, although I only wear about 6 with any regularity. 

48. What religion will you raise your children to practice? None. I won't have kids. But if I did, I would give them the chance to make their own decision once I thought they were old enough.  

49. How old were you when you found out that Santa wasn't real? I don't even remember. I must have been young, because I don't recall being devastated or anything. 

The last one was why I have a tumblr. Which I don't. So I guess it was 49 questions. Still, some interesting ones, don't you think?

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Ain't That America?

Wow. Election Day is finally over. More than that- Election Night is over. What's the difference? To me, its like night and day. Sort of like yesterday I did community service by coaching a pee-wee football team and last night I watched the Super Bowl.

In my house politics are like sports when it comes to viewing. We're very passionate. I'm fortunate that both Kitten and Oscelot are as nuts as I am (though they have less stamina, I was the only on who made it to President Obama's speech) so we went to vote yesterday afternoon and then settled in for a big night.

As most of you know, I don't own a television. So our election coverage was watched via online stream from NBC News. Bless their hearts. I love them for it. Coverage started at six my time, so we ordered a pizza at about six and we drug our couch out of the living room and into the library. We set up some footstools and then settled in for a long, long night.

It was a long night too. Believe me. There was a good deal of time I was on pins and needles. We didn't get up unless they were going to a scheduled break. We didn't do anything unless we had the chance of getting out of the room (usually to the bathroom) and back again without missing anything. There was one point in the night when Gov. Romney and Pres. Obama were tied, and Kitten missed it so I trucked into the bathroom to tell her immediately. (What? Touchdown Romney? Damnit...)

As the night wore on we became more anxious. I was dying to get results on our local and state elections because we had a nationally recognized senate race. Fortunately they put us out of our misery about that around ten. The rest of the night was us, engrossed, as we listened to political commentary and waited for Chuck Todd to show us the numbers in the swing counties and then for Brian Williams to interrupt so we could watch them call a state and then put it out on the ice.

When they finally -finally- called Ohio for the President, around eleven or so, our house erupted in cheers. (You're not surprised are you?) and we had a victory dance with our cats. Oscelot went to bed, saying she would watch the speeches in the morning. Then the unthinkable happened. Gov. Romney wouldn't concede Ohio. What??? Surely not? So Kitten and I went back to the screen and waited anxiously as the results from every other swing state rolled in. Colorado and Nevada...was that enough? Then we heard that Miami-Dade was not counting any more ballots as of midnight. What???

Finally, finally, Kitten went to bed too, apologizing that she couldn't stay up later. Hell, I don't blame her. Both of them had to work this morning after all. So I cozied up with the cats and waited for Gov. Romney to make the call. And waited.

Finally, the call was made and I listened to Gov. Romney's concession speech. I'll say this. I never would have voted for him. But he was dignified, passionate and caring. You could see in his face that he was heartbroken. You could hear in his voice that he truly cares for America. And that? It made all the difference to me. He is a good man. I don't agree with him. But had I seen that man on stage all year, I would have liked him better.

His speech down, I only waited on my new president. I was anxious and tired- but I would not miss this. His speech, to me, was beautiful. It was not just rhetoric. It was not just victory. It was a call for unity. And that, my friends, is what I learned while I was watching last night.

A lot of pundits say there was no mandate. A lot of them say that the country is more divided than ever. What I saw was Americans giving their elected officials a hard rap of the butt and telling them to get back to work and to get it right this time. Nothing changed, and everything changed.

I had an interesting conversation this morning with Sakura's aunt on facebook. She's a conservative, and she asked if we could have a discussion about gay marriage because she didn't understand why it was such a big deal that it be called marriage. After the long discussion it turns out that we agree. She doesn't think a church should be forced to marry two people if they don't want to, neither do I. But she does agree that all people have the same fundamental rights. We call it a draw, because it all boils down to the semantics of the word. But today, for the first time, I saw someone from the right who was willing to engage in discourse about a controversial topic important to both of us, and saw us walk away with an answer we could both live with.

That is what needs to happen now. I pray, I hope, and I will that there will be this kind of talk in Washington. I hope that there is a clear sense that four years ago we elected a bunch of liberals and it didn't work. We swapped them out for conservatives in the mid-term elections. That didn't work. Now we have a nice mix, similar but different, and we're ready for them to lay aside the bullshit and the party politics and talk. I think last night was America saying maybe we don't always agree. What's best for me might be bad for you, but maybe we can find something that is simply good for all of us. I hope this time we will have the opportunity to compromise and become a more socially minded electorate.

I can hope right?

Oh, and for those keeping tally, because I was-

*First openly gay senator elected.
*First female handicapped war veteran elected
* First openly pansexual elected to congress
*Four states voted to legalize or decriminalize marijuana (I don't like it, but can't we spend money fighting drugs like meth for a change?)
* Three states legalized gay marriage and one voted to repeal a constitutional amendment banning it.

This is huge. HUGE. 

I can't tell you enough how excited I am. Or how exhausted. One of the highlights of the night for me was Sakura calling me at like, eleven thirty to celebrate with me. It was wonderful.

The game is over, let the games begin.

Thank you, thank you, to every person who went and voted yesterday. Today is a new day for all of us.

*NO SENATOR who publicly supported anti-abortion legislation for rape victims was elected.

Monday, November 5, 2012

Then Again It Feels Like Some Sort of Inspirtation To Let The Next Life Off the Hook

Tomorrow is election day. If you live in the United States this probably is not a surprise to you. No doubt even those who live under rocks will be well aware of it- all of the political campaigns will have surely found a way to get a flyer to you somehow. At this point I am relatively certain that however they might lean politically, every single American has got to be sick of the politics. This is the culmination of more than a year's worth of campaigning, mud-slinging, primaries, caucuses, debates, interviews and -don't doubt it- spin.

We, as Americans, are weary. We've seen it all. We've heard it all. If there is a single undecided voter left in this country today, I would be shocked. Seriously. At this point, I think it is more than clear that the country is wildly divided, and when you draw the line, or in most cases, when the line has been drawn for you, its not hard to see which side you fall on. But today, it's not just those elusive, coveted, undecided voters I am concerned about.

It's every voter.

Now, at this point, if you aren't registered to vote I imagine its either because you aren't old enough or you have such a sincere amount of voter apathy that whatever I say will not make a difference to you. You can read on if you like, but feel free to skip out here. Who I want to speak to today is every registered voter who comes across my blog. I want your attention, for just a moment.

I need you to go vote tomorrow.

No- you need you to go vote tomorrow.

This election, in my mind, is hugely important. I see, for the first time in my lifetime, a country that is wildly divided. We are standing at a crossroad. Whatever happens tomorrow, make no mistake- things are changing. Personally, I don't care for divisive politics. I hate that the right has moved further right with the assistance of the Tea Party. I hate that in response, the left has moved further left. I don't like this all or nothing choice we are being forced to make. Unfortunately, the line has been drawn in the sand. We have to choose where we're going to go. And this year, like many other years, there's not as much choice as we would like. But that doesn't mean we have no choice.

I've heard this election referred to as many things. Some see it as a referendum on President Obama. Some see it as a chance to "reclaim America". Some people think this is our chance to protect our moral ideals. Some see it as a way to protect freedom. I've been told that when we step into the voting booth tomorrow we are not choosing who we like, but who we hate less. We are not selecting a leader we feel our country can't live without- we are choosing the leader we can live with. I've even had people who are not voting tell me they aren't because they feel like their is no choice at all, no difference between the two men who are running for our nation's highest office. I couldn't agree less.

Regardless of your politics, tomorrow you are making a choice. You are choosing the course of human rights in this country. You are making a decision about a woman's right to choose. You are deciding how you think the finances of this country should be handled. You are making choices about how your brothers, sisters and children and grandchildren will be educated. You are deciding who makes the choice with regards to a person's healthcare. You are the one who is casting the vote to decide what support, if any, our grandparents, parents and even ourselves will receive in the years to come. You are making the decision that says exactly how much a person's religion should effect their government. You are deciding what foreign policy we will take with India, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Israel, Russia, China and the UN.

Tomorrow, when you step in to vote you are deciding what taxes you and I pay. You are deciding whether or not you and I will have access to healthcare. You are deciding whether or not my grandmother will be able to afford the medication she needs. You are deciding where and what your children will learn. You are making decisions, not just for yourself, but for every person who is able to vote, unable to vote, or too young to vote. You are making a decision that will effect every single person in the state and country you live in. You are not just voting for you, but for every person you know. The choice you make tomorrow will effect all of us for the rest of our lives. Tomorrow you are voting for the greater good.

That's a lot of responsibility.  Fortunately, there is only one way you can fail, and that is by not voting.

There will be many people tomorrow who don't vote because they can't, and I think that is a travesty. There will be people who have no access to cars, or who can't afford the ID required by their state to vote. There will be some who can't get off work. There will be some who wanted to vote but didn't register on time. There will be thousands of people tomorrow who will want to vote, and who can't. You must go vote for them.

There is no doubt in my mind that this election, more than ever, your vote counts. If you don't believe that, you haven't been paying attention. There are at least three states that will have possible recalls because the margin of votes between the two candidates is less than a half a percent. A half a percent! In some cases that is somewhere in the neighborhood of 100,000 voters. Of all the people in those states, in this country, that is a drop in the bucket of votes. Yet tomorrow, every single voice in every single one of those states will mean something. Every person is Ohio, Florida, and Colorado will walk into a voting booth knowing they might be casting the deciding vote of the election- not just for their state but for the whole United States.

In many states, including the three I just mentioned, there have been election officials that have tried to stop or decrease hours of early voting. They have tried to purge their voter rolls. They have made it harder, in come cases for lower and middle class Americans, nearly impossible to vote. I am heartened to see that in every case there have been people who were willing to make a sacrifice and stand in line for four, five and in some cases in Florida up to nine hours to cast their vote. That is amazing to me, that these people see that their voice, that every voice, counts. It should never be an act of heroism to vote in the US. This year it is. I admire those people. Unfortunately, for every person who is able to take the day off, get a sitter for the kids, or has the good health required to stand in line outside for eight hours to vote, there is a person who can't. Those people are victims to an agenda that is neither mine nor yours, friend. You must go vote for them.

For my friends who don't have the privilege to live in a "battleground state" I urge you to go vote anyway. Every state is a battleground. Every one of them. I live in a Red State. I am a democrat. You better bet that every election for me is a battle. It is a chance for me to tell my conservative representatives that I am still here, and that they are still accountable to me and every other liberal that is not a part of their voter base. Because they are still making choices for me. If every single liberal I know who has given up the fight would rally and head to the polls, things could change. We could make our voices heard. We could become a "battleground" state. It is the fear and complacency of my generation that causes me the most pain.

I am tired of being told that my voice doesn't matter. I don't want to hear that the voice of my friends and family don't matter. I don't want to be told that I cannot possibly make a difference on my own. Let me tell you something- tomorrow I get one vote. Tomorrow Mitt Romney and President Obama get one vote. The richest man in America gets one vote. The poorest Hispanic mother gets one vote. We all get one. No more. My vote is equally precious as the vote of a person of greater or lesser standing than my. My vote is my chance to say that despite the odds, despite the opinions of others, my voice has just as much a right to be heard as anyone else's. I refuse to fall victim to the popular ideology that one vote and one person cannot make a difference. I refuse to fall into someone else's agenda by not following my own. 

I don't care what your views are. Maybe we have similar ideas. Maybe they are wildly different. Either way, tomorrow, your voice is important to me too. It should be important to you. Your vote, no matter who you cast it for, is an act of patriotism. It is an act of pride. It is an act of defiance. Tomorrow, you choosing to vote is your way of saying that you will not quietly let others make decisions for you. You are demanding to be heard. You are telling the world that you still believe that you live in a country where every person matters, where every thought deserves to be considered, where reason and rationality and the good of mankind can still be thought of. You are voting to tell others that greed and scandal and spin do not matter as much as the ideas and opinions you have. The parties in the US determine their platforms based on what they think you want to hear. Go out tomorrow and tell them exactly what you want from your country. The more we speak, the more they must listen.

I ask you, I charge you, to go do your duty tomorrow. The course of my life, the course of your life and the course of the life of every single American depends on it. Please don't let me down.


Sunday, November 4, 2012

Time is on my side

Wow. Time keeps slipping away from me!

I'm sure most of you have noticed its November, which means it is National Novel Writing Month. I love NaNo and have done it for years. I have done some of my best work and met some of my best friends through NaNo and I couldn't encourage budding writers enough to try it out. But this also means that despite the fact I will be at the computer for nearly all of the month, writing until I am certain my fingers will fall off, that I will probably be really lazy about updating here. Not that I am really regular here, or anything, but it seems like I am worse during November.

Samhain went really well. My coven and I had a great time. We went to Kitten's mom's house for the ritual. We were house sitting for her because she was at a conference, and she suggested we might like to have ritual at ehr place since there is a massive back yard surrounded by trees and its really private. Not to mention her house is a bit larger than ours. So we took her up on the offer.

I'm not going to lie, hauling all of the ritual stuff over there was a bit of a challenge, but we had a nice time in the end. We even had a sleepover, so some of our coven members stayed at the house all night. We ended the evening after ritual with a nice dinner and a chat in front of the fireplace. It was a good time. We also got to eat my very first attempt at a made from scratch cake. I am a notoriously bad baker, I can ruin slice and bake cookies...but the cake was good! I am not suprised that as usual, the stuff that is harder to do is much simpler for me.

We did a really nice ancestor meditation too, and I felt very comforted to see many of my passed family members and several of my spirit guides waiting for me. It meant a lot to me. I always feel so close to them this time of year. They had been making regular appearances in me dreams, so it was nice to see them when I went to seek them, not just when they came to find me. That may seem odd, but I really do feel like the deep relationship I have with my personal spiritual guardians is an important one, and it gave me the grace and the strength to see where I am in my life and where I need to go next.

We also discovered, quite by accident, that I have a new allergy. I am allergic to pumpkin. Or at the very least highly intolerant. See, I never eat pumpkin except for in pie during the holidays. I thought that it was the stress of being with my family that was causing me to be so sick. We carved pumpkins a couple of days before Samhain and wouldn't you know, I got a rash that looked rather like the chicken pox on my arms and a raging headache. Huh. I would have never thought. Oh, well, as much as I enjoy the seasonal rule of our pumpkin spice overlords, I rarely indulge. I am looking at this as an opportunity to try new flavors of the season. That's always best, isn't it?

I'm working hard on my new novel. I think I've got a lovely plot idea and it seems to be coming at a rather fast clip. I have no illusions. Week two is looming, and I know how difficult it is to stay motivated. But I have a really great group of writing buddies, and they are all on the same train of love, support and a little bit of verbal abuse that keeps my Type A personality writing.

Alright. I might be able to sneak on later in the week. If you live in the US, be sure to go vote. Oh- and a reminder- if you vote a strait party ticket- vote for the president first, before you hit the "select all one party" button. The presidential race is separate. It would suck if you forgot to vote for our commander in chief by technicality. Especially if you are anticipating on waiting in the same long lines I am. I waited 3 hours to vote for our last election. This year I imagine it will be just as bad, especially since we have one of the big national senate races. Do your duty by your country friends. I'll be proud of you.

Lots of love,