magentagirl: (Max as Elton John)
In Another Castle

I haven't got the time to figure out what happened. It's too late for that now. I have to do what I can to make her comfortable. I'm not sure she even feels anything right now. She's alive but unresponsive.
I don't know what she did but now we're stuck. I'll have to call an ambulance even though she hates those things. Hates hospitals, too, but I have no choice. Well, I suppose that's not really true. There's always a choice. But I don't think she's ready to leave just yet, so I have to try to get her back. I know she's still in there but she's been getting further and further away.
She's talked to me about how she feels when she gets like this. She's said she feels the urge to be in another castle. Somewhere safer than where we are now. It's not like things are that bad here but apparently to her they are. I don't understand her very well, but I guess it kind of makes sense.
I know she has trouble with things. It's hard to be poor when you've come from money. She definitely sacrificed some basic comforts when we got married. And now that we've got kids it's been even more of a challenge. I know she's not really happy trying to keep them entertained. And I'm not much help when I get home from work.
I could tell she was starting to go when I'd get home and things would be a mess. The baby would be crying and hungry. And sometimes I'd get calls from the school saying no one had come to get Charlie yet, and was everything all right? I'd try to smooth things over with them but I could tell they didn't really believe me. Nothing I would say would get through to her. It didn't do any good to get angry, and I could see she wasn't okay but I'm doing all that I can to keep us afloat and keep the kids sort of okay, and how could I keep her okay too? I didn't think I'd have to worry about that.
I'm going to have to call my sister to see if she can come stay with the kids for a little bit. They love their aunt.
It must be hard on them. At least I'm the one who found her. At least she did it during the night and not while she was at home alone with the baby. At least it was on a Saturday so I don't have to worry about taking off work, not today, anyway.
Our next door neighbor is watching the kids while I ride with her to the hospital, and my sister should get there soon. I hope I'm doing the right thing by trying to save her. I think I am, but I won't know unless she comes back. I guess I have to trust that this is what she wants. She makes it so hard to figure out.
magentagirl: (Max as Elton John)
The Missing Stair

Our back deck is missing a stair leading to the back yard. This missing step is only one of many things the house needs, but it's significant. It's only one stair, but its absence means we all have to jump from the deck to the yard. I'm not a leap of faith kind of person. I don't mind taking chances from time to time, but I like to have more assurance that everything is going to be okay.
The missing stair makes me uneasy. It gives me that feeling that you get when you're almost asleep and you half-dream that you're tripping over a curb, and then you wrench yourself awake, heart pounding. I don't feel quite comfortable in this house. I feel like it's waiting to see what kind of people we are. Maybe it doesn't want us here. I hope it does, as with a little bit of nurturing this house could be our forever home.
Right now the house tests us. It's been mistreated, and perhaps it feels like we're going to be just as bad as the previous inhabitants. So far we're being kind. We've replaced the vandalized HVAC unit and the damaged roof. We've completed some minor plumbing repairs. We're working on turning the house into a home, but currently we have a lot of unpacking to do. I'm encouraged that, despite my unease, sleeping alone in the house was okay. However, we have something of a wasp problem (and that reminds me of the Overlook Hotel), and the roaches just keep showing up.
The missing stair has come to symbolize my inability to venture out into the back yard of my mind. I don't seem to be able to create very much these days. I have the desire but lack the initiative. I don't know what's holding me up. I think perhaps I'm missing that step. I can jump into there but then it takes effort to get back, and I have to be able to get back right away these days. I can't lose myself in projects the way I used to because real-world responsibilities. How have I made it this far without figuring out how to balance these aspects of my life?
None of the other homes I've lived in have had missing stairs. Maybe I've been waiting my whole life to move into this one, so together we can repair the damage we've experienced at the hands of others.
I haven't told anyone how I feel about the stair. I don't really want people to know how it worries me. I don't think it's rational. It doesn't make sense that replacing a step would change everything. But I think it could.
magentagirl: (Max as Elton John)
Jayus
“From Indonesian, meaning a joke so poorly told and so unfunny that one cannot help but laugh.”

Jayus is a small demon. He wears a large pink ribbon tied in a bow around his neck. He has a severe underbite, rather like a piranha. He is scaly, but may look like a cross between a rabbit and a bulldog. And he has small, leathery wings.
Jayus likes to frequent cocktail parties and first dates. He thrives on feelings of discomfort. He also enjoys bourbon, but only in small quantities.
Jayus has older siblings. His sister is that demon who causes inappropriate laughter at serious events. He has an older brother, Schadenfreude, who is very popular.
Jayus also likes small children, but eventually they outgrow him for the most part.
Small demons like Jayus cause minimal harm. He may irritate momentarily but the laughter he evokes prevents any lasting damage.
Solitary followers of Jayus may eventually experience social ostracism, but those who practice Jayus-worship in a group setting suffer no-ill effects.
magentagirl: (Max as Elton John)
IMG_1488
I'm Carrollee. I'm married and have two sons(6 years and 20 months) and a dog. We live in South Carolina. I grew up here and then left to go to college, and then after that moved to Atlanta and lived there for close to 15 years. Then we moved back here and it's okay. I like being close to my family and I live in my own little progressive bubble and try to ignore the stupidity that is South Carolina politics.
Currently I'm not working. I would like the income that having a job brings, but I like having the time to write and paint and knit and hang out with the kids. I enjoy cooking and baking. I spend too much time on the computer not writing. I love to read. My favorite book is probably East of Eden. My favorite authors are Jane Austen, Rex Stout, Dick Francis, Laurie King, Jim Butcher, and Noel Streatfeild, and I have a lot of books that I read once every 1-3 years or so.
My husband and I moved into a new house (new to us) at the end of last year and are in the process of fixing it up. It has the potential to be our forever home, and that's a good feeling. It was a foreclosure property and needs a lot of work but the most pressing problems have been repaired, and now we're on to more cosmetic type things.
I have a lot of different writing projects that I'm working on, but I tend to do better focusing on one at a time, rather than try to work on several things each day.
One day I'd really like to open a Halloween-themed B&B.
magentagirl: (Max as Elton John)
Okay, I'm signing up for LJ Idol.
magentagirl: (Colorful Fairy)
Smaller Cover Image



Title: Femmes du Chaos
Author: Kristen Duvall
Cover Designer: Cover It! Designs
Released: August 2013
Synopsis:

“They messed with the wrong girl this time...”

From heroes to villains, Femmes du Chaos sets out to show the world what the “fairer sex” is really made of. You’ll meet women of all ages and from many different walks of life... Warriors and schoolgirls, side-by-side in one place. One thing connects them all, and that is their ambition. Whether they use their ambition for good or evil, well that’s for them to decide. Gritty, fantastical and sometimes uncomfortable to read, Femmes du Chaos is a tour de force that holds nothing back. There will be violence and there will be blood. Some will survive and come out stronger in the end... And some will let the darkness consume them. After all, no two girls are ever alike.

Here are a few of the femmes you'll meet in this thrilling collection:

Sylvia: The bounty hunter with a dark past who is hellbent on revenge. When the justice system fails her, she sets out to correct their mistakes.

Layla: The ballerina who wants to be a star who's spent her life being overshadowed and under-appreciated. What happens when she stumbles across magic that makes her sister the star she's longed to be for so long? Let’s just say, you’ve never seen sibling rivalry like this before.

Daphne and Delia: Identical twins who share a painful secret. Confined to a lab and tortured in the name of science for most of their lives, they managed to escape once. But when their past catches up them, can they escape from it again? There may only be one way out and these are girls who are willing to do anything to stop their torment. And I do mean anything.

Mikayla: When a curse falls upon their town and the children end up dying left and right, it appears that Mikayla is next. Except, there’s one thing that no one, not even her family saw coming... Mikayla is too smart for her own good and knows how to make a deal with the devil.

Liz: A servant girl forced to work for the upper class people living in a dystopian future. All she wants is an education and the chance to better herself. In a world where she’s not allowed to read a book without fear of death, she breaks all the rules. Until she comes face to face with the punishment awaiting those who disobey, that is...

Mallory: A young girl who can see the future in her dreams. She’s saved lives in the past, and her dreams are warning her to not return to the world they all left behind. Faced with starvation, no one wants to believe her about the multitude of horrors that wait for them above. After all, monsters don’t exist... Or do they?

Melody: A girl who knows nothing but religious fanaticism. Her father and her sisters are the only people she's ever known. But what happens to the “mothers”, those who are chosen to sacrifice for the greater good of the family? Melody needs to find out and stop it, or else she may just be the next to go.


Please follow the author's website, Facebook page or Twitter for updates.

Author website

Facebook page

Twitter: @kristen_duvall

Many of the stories included were written for [livejournal.com profile] therealljidol but these have been edited, expanded and some are given a whole new life. There will of course be brand new stories from me to read as well.


Giveaway

If you already like any of these pages or have done any of the actions already, you automatically have entries in it to win. You can do as many or as few as you like, you don't have to complete them all. Just the ones that interest you. You can even get entries for hitting "repost" or sharing it via FB or Twitter. Whatever you want to do! (I can't get the actual rafflecopter to show up in this post, so please click the link. Thank you).

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magentagirl: (Default)

Well I am at the doctor's and Nick is very skinny. I hate this! He has totally fallen off his growth curve and is off the chart on weight. He will be starting food this month so I guess we can try to fatten him up that way but I am so frustrated. He doesn't look at all skinny or unhealthy.

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magentagirl: (Default)

Well Max appears to be one of those kids who gets along much better with adults than with kids, although he did play with a little boy at school today. After school he was at my mom's and her friend came over and apparently she was completely charmed by Max.
Here is a picture of nick taking after his older brother (note hands over ears)


Posted via LiveJournal app for iPhone.

magentagirl: (Default)

Well I guess that roach was dying because Dave found it and said it was dying. So at least I am back to being able to pretend the nursery is safe. Then when I went back in there I was standing up and felt something dripping on my foot and got worried we had some leak in the ceiling but it was just my boob.
I am hoping to get to target today to get some nursing tanks because I can only find one of mine and two bras and that is not enough for my rate of doing laundry these days.

Posted via LiveJournal app for iPhone.

magentagirl: (Default)

Wtf is going on in the nursery? This morning around 7:30 I woke up to a roach crawling on my arm! I would have killed it but it was on the futon and then crawled down the wall. My saying I would have killed it is a huge deal because I am so afraid of these things it is really ridiculous. Even dead ones or photos of them freak me out. But this one was near Nick so I guess mama instincts trump roach phobia. But what good is a nursery I am afraid to go in because of roaches? And why are they coming in? I am pretty sure it is the cleanest room in the house. I'm so upset by this!!!

Posted via LiveJournal app for iPhone.

magentagirl: (Default)

Nick always wants me to hold him. I get so upset when he cries if I put him down, but I do have other things I need to do besides hold him, especially since max doesn't really want him in the same room. Then tonight I remembered that I could swaddle him (which I do at bedtime anyway) and he has been happy as a clam and so much calmer! Well, he's been asleep or dozy for most of the time but that's okay.
It was a bad day for things. I washed diapers and the washer fucked up and gave me some weird error message so I had to run the cycle again. Then I tried to put the crib together and first tried with the wrong hardware and then found out two of the screws are missing so that isn't done. Then I tried to fix the coffee grinder and nick made that well nigh impossible thanks to the aforementioned constant holding thing. I did manage to fix the grinder but I wouldn't have had to take it all apart if I'd realized the issue in the first place which was that no one has been cleaning the chute the grounds come out of so it was clogged with oily coffee grounds. I ran some rice through it and it's working nicely now. Although I did have some random piece fall out which seems to serve no purpose whatsoever and I couldn't put it back in.
I think I will go to bed early, after I have some chocolate ice cream and pretzels. Nick decided 4:30 would be a brilliant stay awake time last night. This was after waking at 1:45 (feeding at midnight), and at 4:30 he was up for over an hour and then we got up at 8 and I got not much of a nap.

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magentagirl: (Default)

I am feeling bored and boring. I have finished reading all the Sujata Massey books that I own. I'm now reading Bringing Up Bebe which is pretty good so far but I want something else to read and I'm not sure what. I'd also like to be working on a writing project and something crafty as well but once again, not sure what.
I have a lot of cooking to do in the next couple of days but need a bit more sleep I think. I hope Nick is a little cooperative. Sometimes he is and sometimes he isn't. Right now he seems to be cluster feeding so maybe he's prepping for a long sleep stretch. We shall see...

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magentagirl: (Default)

Ugh. I hate money. I wish I could get motivated and actually figure out how to earn some through one of the many artsy and crafty things I'm good at.
Nick seems to be doing well. I am not 100% thrilled with his awake times but it's still a lot easier to deal with when he is close at hand. He is definitely a cluster feeder.
Max doesn't want anything to do with nick at all. He is not hostile but he is so worried about him crying we can't all be in the same room.

Posted via LiveJournal app for iPhone.

magentagirl: (Default)

Baby Nick's levels dropped to 11.3 even after being off the bed since 5 yesterday. So no more bilibed! Last night was soooo much easier even though he woke up at 4:30 and didn't want to go back to sleep...until it was time for us to get up and go to the doctor's so I am exhausted. But not unhappy! I love the doctor who saw him today. He was great, and wasn't even concerned about Nick's further weight loss. He said if I was worried I could come in early next week for a weight check but otherwise they'd see me Friday. That will be the regular doctor who is also great.

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magentagirl: (Default)
My book is up! http://www.amazon.com/dp/B007WU4Q24

It will be free for 5 days starting tomorrow. If you're an Amazon Prime member, I'd love it if you'd borrow it via the Kindle Lending Library. Eventually I do plan to have a hard copy of this book but right now I'm just doing the Kindle because it's on the short side and I have plans to revise it in a few months.

bupkis

Dec. 8th, 2011 07:53 pm
magentagirl: (Default)
"Shivering shit balls! What have you done to this place?" He looked around the room in wonder. I didn't think he was particularly impressed.

"I don't believe I've heard that expression before. I take it you don't like the new decor?"

"That would be an understatement. Didn't I mention before that turn-of-the-century brothel isn't really my style?"

"You may have, but I think it's kind of expected of you. You do have an image to uphold, and as much as you may dislike it, brothel is quite popular amongst the blood groupie crowd."

He snorted. "I still think it could be a bit more tasteful."

"Possibly, but you have to imagine what it will look like at night, when the lights are low. I think it'll make quite an impression."

"I won't argue with you, but it's not the impression I was hoping for, I fear. I wish you'd listened to what I said I wanted."

"That isn't my job. My job is to create the image of you that is going to be the most lucrative for the shareholders. And right now, this is it. Give it a few years and we'll change it up. Maybe by then people will appreciate Scandinavian minimalism."

He bared his fangs at me. I rolled my eyes. What was he going to do, eat me? These vampires, thinking that you could create something out of nothing. Which was essentially what they were.





http://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/bupkis
Usage notes
Often translated as meaning small round fecal pellets, referring to the shape of goat droppings. A colorful usage, though more emphatic expression (in Yiddish more so than in English) is "Bupkis mit Kuduchas" (באָבקעס מיט קודוצ׳ה), translating roughly to "shivering shit balls" - kuduchas referring to the condition of generalized shaking palsy.
magentagirl: (Default)
I love food. I read cookbooks for fun, look up restaurant menus online, and take great pleasure in preparing food for my family. I remember discontinued products, like Kellogg's Concentrate, with a wistfulness that I'm not sure is normal after the 30+ years since I last ate them. I look forward to my next trip to Paris because of ice cream from Berthillon, hot chocolate from Angelina, and that artisan baguette from a little boulangerie on Ile St. Louis that I read about in the Paris Access guide and only managed to buy one of six or so years ago.

I also have bad food memories. These are less common, but I have three in particular that have stuck with me from childhood. My family believed in membership of the Clean Plate Club, at least at my dad's house. My stepmother is an exceptional cook, and I was never a picky eater. Some foods were exempt from the Clean Plate Club, usually if my dad deemed them inedible.

Throughout my childhood, my dad relied on the Consumer Reports cereal review to determine acceptable breakfast foods. However, on one occasion, I somehow convinced him that Lucky Charms would be an excellent addition to my mornings. After one bite, the slimy marshmallows convinced me otherwise. Daddy was annoyed that I was so unhappy with my new cereal, but for some reason decided I didn't have to finish the bowl. I think that happened because he took a bite of the cereal and was just as appalled as I was. Now, my dad is a man famous in our family for never letting food go to waste, but I'm pretty sure that box of Lucky Charms ended up in the trash.

The next Clean Plate Club exception was Shrimp Diablo. I remember the recipe sounded inoffensive enough, but my stepmother fixed it and it was terrible. It was so bad that Daddy insisted that it be a repeat recipe because Barb MUST have made a mistake the first time she fixed it. No, it was just as bad the second time. I remember Daddy adding all sorts of things to the offending dish in an attempt to make it palatable, from Texas Pete to sugar. No more Shrimp Diablo.

My dad always made me try things, but if I really really didn't like them, I didn't have to eat them. Sometimes he would get mad and make me try things again, like mushrooms, but if I still didn't like them I didn't have to eat them. The one exception to this was Clam Pie. I don't know why I had to eat that, but I remember sitting for hours at the dinner table, looking at the horrible greenish gray blob that was Clam Pie. I rather liked clams, and I think the pie crust was good, but the only other two ingredients I recall in the pie were onions and sour cream. I do not like sour cream. The pie sat on my plate, a large wedge about four inches high, waiting for me to consume it.

I don't even remember who won the Battle of Clam Pie, but years later when we moved into our new house, I named the formal living room "Clam Pie", as the walls were that familiar greenish gray, and the off white trim looked like sour cream. The butter yellow of the carpet with its garish green and gray roses added to the nightmare of Clam Pie. I was relieved when my stepmother finally got around to redecorating that room, especially since I had to walk through it to get to my bedroom. I think at this point Clam Pie has taken on Lovecraftian proportions in my memory, the Cthulu of the food world.

Even now, the memory of Clam Pie is making me nauseated, so I believe I need to cleanse my palate with some mint chocolate chip ice cream, or perhaps a perusal of the menu from the restaurant I'll be dining at tomorrow evening.
magentagirl: (Default)
I looked around for an attractive blood donor. So many of the blood groupies looked so cheap. If you had to drink from them, it might as well be pleasurable in all ways, not just the taste of the blood. I finally decided on a leggy blonde. She seemed a bit nervous, like maybe this was her first time. I wasn’t a big fan of breaking them in, but all the others were so blase.
“You’ve not done this before?” I inquired.
She shook her head.
“Well, don’t be scared. It won’t hurt.” I took her and and flipped it over so the underside of her wrist was exposed. “It’s probably better not to start with the neck,” I told her. “This is a lot less personal.”
“Okay,” she whispered.
I kind of wondered why she was here, when it was clear that she was scared out of her wits. I didn’t care enough to ask her, though. She’d tell me when she was ready. They always do.
She gasped a little when I sank my teeth in, but I knew it didn’t hurt her. She gazed at me when I’d finished feeding.
Oh great, an imprinter. Just what I needed. I didn’t want to have to deal with her following me around, watching me with puppy dog eyes for the next millennium. Not that she’d be living that long. I certainly wasn’t going to change her.
I tried to be gracious. “Stick around if you want. I have some stuff to do but I’ll be back later.”
“Okay,” she breathed. I pointed her in the direction of the bar before I left. “You’ll need plenty to eat and drink. Mark will get you what you need.”
I was so relieved to get out of there. Such a meat market. I still wasn’t used to having people throw themselves at our kind. Like we’d deign to change them. I had really strict criteria. I didn’t think Blondie was going to make the cut. Of course, someone else might think otherwise. I hoped she’d get over me quickly. You could never tell who was going to be hit that way. Otherwise I’d never have picked her. Some vamps got a rush from the imprinters. It was so easy to take advantage of them after that, treat them like shit and have them crawling back for more. But I wasn’t that sadistic. I hated a groveling human.
I knew that the next time she came in she’d be dressed like all the rest of them, looking like a girl from an 80s heavy metal video—teased up hair, fishnets, black leather, stilettos. Not my type at all, and a far cry from the Oklahoma farm girl sitting there today. It seems like all the blood groupies think they have to dress rocker chick or Victorian. If they'd ever bother to ask they'd know that isn't the case, and they'd probably manage to please me for longer. And wasn't that their ultimate goal, to make me happy?

Coprolite

Nov. 7th, 2011 07:22 am
magentagirl: (Default)
"You piece of coprolite!" Now where had that come from? I hadn't said that for ages. I don't recall just when I'd come across that term, but I vividly remember the snickers my friends and I had shared following our discovery via the Wikipedia entry that an earlier name for coprolite was a bezoar stone, so a memorable lesson from Harry Potter ended up being that eating shit was an antidote for most poisons. "You piece of coprolite" had been our favorite insult for several months, at least among each other. Now we'd drifted apart, as is wont to happen in that transition between middle school and high school, particularly when you end up at different schools. I was the bitch who ditched everyone to be the smart cheerleader, hiding most of my intellect beneath my ridiculous ponytails.
"What did you call me?" Tommy was cute, but not the most intelligent specimen I'd ever encountered. Not that I expected most people to know what coprolite was, but even "fossilized dinosaur shit" might have passed over his head.
I tossed those ridiculous ponytails of mine. "Just forget it!" I stomped away. This popularity thing was getting to be kind of a drag. It had been fun in ninth grade, a bit less fun last year, but now it was so much effort. If I was going to be totally honest with myself, I'd be forced to admit that I'd picked that stupid fight with Tommy because I was bored. It wasn't that I didn't like my new friends, at least most of the time, but I missed those nights spent with Janie and Eleanor, those nights when we'd be rolling around on the floor with laughter over some crazy thing one of us had said. Whitney and Sarah, my new best friends, were too refined for that sort of thing, although not too refined to roll around on the floor with whoever was the latest flavor of the month.
I was sure word would get back to them about what I'd said and I'd get some flack about it, but I didn't really care at this point. And Whitney would probably be glad because I knew she was kind of interested in Tommy. Well, she could have him. I was tired of being stood up so he could go out drinking with his friends. Not that I totally minded staying at home, since I preferred reading to those interminable parties, but it was the principle of the thing. Maybe I would just make my own plans tonight. And they wouldn't involve coprolite of any type.


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