Hiya. I just wanted to let you know that I’m no longer updating this blog. I appreciate the blog, as it got me back into writing for myself after a long stint of burnout due to too much freelancing. But I have decided to discontinue updates on it and will be focusing on my creative writing exclusively for the time being. I may re-open it at some point. Everything else on this website is up-to-date; just not the blog. If you want to read new material written by yours truly, check out my Patreon instead.
I was getting out of my car the other day, and I saw a thing in the back seat of another car, and I was like, “Oooooooh, is that a samurai sword??” But it wasn’t, it was a stupid baseball bat or possibly a softball bat. Best case scenario, it was a pickleball bat, but I feel like that’s being overly optimistic, because life is usually pretty disappointing.
But then I got to thinking. I would be much more into sports if more of them featured samurai swords. So maybe I should invent one. Samurai Ball. It’s gonna be a thing. Here’s how you play (starting with rule two, because I already told you rule one above):
2. Yeah, I know in Fight Club the second rule is also not to talk about it, but Samurai Ball is going to be significantly more relaxed than Fight Club and also have better uniforms. The second rule of Samurai Ball is to split into two teams. This will be a complicated process, in which everyone will count to three, and on three will either jump in the air or squat to the ground. The squatters will be one team and the jumpers the other, but if there wasn’t an even number of jumpers and squatters, then you will need volunteers to change teams. These volunteers will close their eyes and spin around until they fall down. They will join whichever team is standing closest to them when they fall over. If the teams are still uneven, repeat this process as many times as necessary.
3. Flip a sword to see who swords first.
4. The team that wins the sword toss will get the ball first. The ball will be made of tumbleweeds. The swording team will appoint a joddlehopper, and then crowd into a huddle, facing outward, with the joddlehopper holding the ball. The other team, the sword defenders, will form a loose circle around them. In between the two teams, there is a circle of samurai swords on stands, with the points facing the swording team.
5. Everyone counts to three, and on three, the swording team begins to pass the ball around the huddle, until someone decides to throw it onto a sword. The defending team can now come into the circle of swords, and tries to prevent the ball from hitting the swords (and also to avoid impaling themselves on the swords).
6. Defenders cannot touch the ball with their hands.
7. Once the ball has hit either a sword or a defender three times, the teams switch, for the top of the swording. There are thirteen swordings in a game.
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My left wrist has been achy and sore and occasionally excruciating for the past couple of weeks. If I’m being totally honest, this just happens sometimes, because I have worked a wide variety of jobs in my life that have worn down my hands and wrists. And then I do some stretching and I have my massage therapist work on it, and it’s fine for a while.
But where the hell has total honesty really gotten anyone? Here’s what really happened:
It was a cold and windy Tuesday afternoon. I sat in a dark corner of a cantina, sipping a locally brewed amber ale and munching on a basket of fried unicorn toes. The door flew open, slamming against the wall, and a huge man strode in, hummingbirds flitting about his head as he stopped just inside. The door flopped shut behind him, as all conversations stopped and everyone in the place stared.
After a moment to catch his breath, the man, who bore a strong resemblance to Hugh Jackman as Wolverine, sauntered over to the bar, ordered a rusty nail, and turned to glare around the room. Almost everyone hastily looked away, focusing back on their tables and companions.
I met his gaze and lifted my glass in a mocking salute. His eyes narrowed. He picked up his drink and came over to my table.
“You got something to say, lady?” he demanded.
“Not a damn thing,” I replied.
“Ooooooooh,” said all the people around us.
“You’re not gonna bully me,” I expanded. “I don’t think you’re as tough as you look, anyway.”
“Ooooooooooooooooh,” said all the people around us.
“That’s it!” he snapped. He sat down and placed his elbow in the middle of the table, in an unmistakable invitation to arm wrestle. I smiled.
“Hold my beer,” I said to one of the hummingbirds. She flitted down to hover next to me and I set the glass on her back. It balanced perfectly. I looked at his hand, and my smile grew wider. He was a lefty – I was going to be Princess Briding this match.
Princess Briding is a term that can refer to several situations: deliberately developing an immunity to a poison, referring to your future spouse by a demeaning pet name based on their occupation, running into a fire swamp because the authorities are chasing you…. But in this case, it refers to using your secondary hand because you’re so good at something that it will be no challenge if you use your dominant.
I put my elbow down and smacked my palm against his. After a few moments of pushing my hand to the right, I began to have doubts. This guy had supernatural strength to match mine! My eyes met his, and I realized with a start that he had the crazed eyes of a werewolf. My heart sank, but I steeled myself for one more push, giving it all I had.
It worked! My hand began to inch forward, moment by moment, and suddenly, with one final burst of strength, I forced my way though the last few inches of air, smashing the back of his hand against the table.
“Oooooooooooooooooooooooooooh!” said the crowd.
The werewolf jumped up, howling, his face contorting as he struggled not to change into his animal form in his rage.
I grabbed my beer from the back of his familiar, chugged it, and hightailed it out of there.
And that, dear readers, is why my wrist hurts. Obviously.
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There’s this wall of clocks in my living room. Let me back up. I’m not sure if I’ve mentioned before that Zeb and I live at his grandmother’s house. We moved in to help take care of her a little over a year ago, and now there are all kinds of other people who live there with us, but they don’t enter into the story today.
All you need to know here is that Zeb’s Gram has a wall of clocks on our living room wall. Exhibit A:
I’ve always liked it, because it feels kind of steampunk to me, and I enjoy steampunk, as a concept (although most examples of the actual literary genre are not great). Of course, it needs some cogs and skeleton keys in there, but overall, it’s pretty bad-ass, in a very specifically nerdy way that I am 100% sure was not the intention behind it at all. Up until a couple of weeks ago, none of the clocks worked, which, to me, just added to its charm.
Then, Zeb’s Gram decided they should all tell the correct time, and she started putting new batteries in them.
And it turns out that ALL OF THEM TICK. They are so loud! Every time I sit in this room now, it’s like a constant grim reminder of mortality and the passage of time. In other words, it has gone from being steampunk to goth. Now, instead of cogs, it needs a pendulum and a shelf with a stuffed raven.
At least the random gold cross among the clocks fits better with the goth theme. And it’s still delightfully nerdy, but in a very different, still specific way, that I am still 100% sure would just confuse her, if anyone pointed it out.
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Do you ever find yourself talking to yourself in your head as though you were talking to someone else? Like, the other day, I was thinking through a minor decision, weighing the options, and I found myself thinking, and I quote, “Well, if I were you-”
And then I stopped short, because I am me, so this was very confusing. And then I thought, “Oh, crap. I’m a crazy person.” And then I started to panic a little, because what if I’m developing multiple personalities, and they’re just sort of starting to talk to each other, and, well, I’m very introverted, and I’m concerned that if there are too many people in my head, none of us will be able to properly recharge, and I’ll just be frazzled and overloaded all the time.
I won’t be able to escape, and it’ll be like I’m at a party all the time, which I realize sounds appealing to a lot of people, but it sounds really awful to me. I hate parties. Parties are the worst – manically trying to make small talk for hours? No, thank you!
Then again, if they’re in my head, maybe I won’t need to make small talk, because they’ll already know me pretty well, so we can discuss deep, meaningful topics instead. Or maybe some of the voices will turn out to belong to animals or plants. I like talking to animals and plants.
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