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Hi there.

This is where you should comment if you know me IRL or perhaps have met me via a community here on LJ.
I'm not averse to having new Friends, and you are welcome to add my journal. Usually I will read some of your journal first before deciding whether to add your journal to my filters.

A few posts are public so people can see if they like my writing.

(June 11, 2007)
(Edit October 10, 2009)

The Taiga in Autumn, a story about childhood.

bunny writer
Pavel stamps his feet into the too-large snow boots and wraps the warm muffler tightly around his neck. Even at seven, and small for his age, he knows better than to forget anything that will help conserve body heat out in the deep taiga forest.

Papa is waiting.

Pavel buttons up his coat (also too large) and checks for his mittens and hat in the coat pocket, taking a last deep breath of the warm air in the cabin as he fumbles for the door latch, hands eager and his heart in his throat.

Papa is taking him hunting.

The snow is crisp, crunching beneath his boots, the air sharp in his nose and throat, the light reddish and dim through the thick branches. Pavel is proud to finally be big enough for Papa to bring him here, to the family cabin, to learn what Chekovs for generations have come to the forest to learn.

Papa is huge and dark in the dim light of dawn, the old fashioned projectile rifle held loosely at his elbow, barrel pointed down.

"Always pointed down, my Pavel, always down and away from other people, until it is time to take aim at your target," rumbles Papa's deep voice in Pavel's memories.

Papa this morning is silent, but his white teeth flash bright in the dark bushy beard. Papa always grows his beard out strong and thick to be ready for the long Siberian winters. There is no ice in his beard yet, but it is only October, after all.

Papa tips his head, a glint in his eyes, and Pavel grins. Though Papa cannot see his mouth behind the warm thick muffler, eyes smile as brightly as mouths do.

Ivan and Stefan have hinted that today, words will not be necessary. Today, all day, he and Papa will watch, will walk, will eat in silence.

If the right moment comes, Papa will pass the rifle to Pavel, will help steady his aim, will brace his shoulder against the recoil of the antique weapon.

This is his most important birthday ever. Pavel is eager to do well, to make his Papa proud.

He and his Papa turn and walk toward the sun, into the deep forest. Chekovs together, silent, focused, and determined.

This is my entry for Week 15 of therealljidol. The week's prompt was "Chekov's Gun" and yes, I went there. Sue me. =)
Link to the poll for voting will be HERE, please feel free to explore other entries for the week at the elegant and finely-crafted link HERE.

Two friending friendzies! muahahah

just do it, greatness
It's a birthday FRIENDZY!

also try here:

want more active LJ friends? here's where those people are.

I know isarian was wondering if there were still people actively using LJ (besides me, that is)

Come on over, check it out!
Yesterday was all about the matwork. I went in to see Tal with a knot under my shoulderblade (probably time to engage the chiropractor again) and we spent an hour standing above, alongside, and lying on the exercise mat. My hip is better, my shoulders are tight again (I need to get the weights out and do a few warmups or go back over to the gym for an hour) and more gentle slow movement to liberate my spine today would feel great.

I'm proud of myself for my work. I can feel my abs, there's waist definition underneath my curves. I can feel it with my hands and my movement even if it doesn't show at the surface. I'm stronger.

But I can't deny that I'm crazy privileged to have been able to heal everything I've been working to heal for the last six years... Healed my heart and spirit with therapy and the Waldorf program, healed my body with Physical Therapy, surgery, and now working with a personal trainer.

Time to give more back to the universe.

Confession from the Chair

bunny writer
I've been thinking for the last few years, that attention is the rent we pay for being in relationship, for being in community.

It was never such a privilege to pay attention as it was, many years ago, when I was teaching high school reading and drama classes, and became the advisor for the Improv Comedy Club. Thinking back, I marvel at the quick wit and facility with ideas, language and expression that these teenagers had. How fluent and adaptable they were to performance situations where anything could change (and did) with the drop of a word or addition of a new gesture!

Nick was a wiry, nervous Italian looking kid, earnest and new to the Improv team, often half-a-beat late with his responses, or just this side of awkward, in its own kind of funny. Mariel was a comic genius, with a rounded buxom figure, huge brown eyes and an impressive range of physical expression, and she could also get really LOUD in all the good ways. Tawd was clever, almost effortlessly funny both onstage and off, and a deceptively mellow, slow voice. He's the reason I acquired a nickname among the drama classes, and I remember him fondly for that. Aliza was slim, sly, sarcastic, with a drawling kind of vocal delivery that could quicksilver turn to something manic and panicked if the character called for it. Lucas was tall, with what his friends teased him was "emo kid hair", at that gangly teenage stage where his every gesture seemed floppy, but he sure knew how to use that puppety-ness to his advantage, like a Tim Burton character. Brandon was short and compact. He had a deep voice that belied his small frame, and an onstage poise and speed on the uptake that was nothing short of marvellous. Adam was blond, almost with ringlets, and our tech guy when he wasn't onstage. He was ridiculously silly and ridiculously smart, and I still remember one skit where he was spontaneously, slowly, somersaulting around the stage for no apparent reason.

They were all, every one of them, hilarious, but Parker felt like the ringleader. That kid... well. Damn, that kid was a force to be reckoned with. Sandy sort of dishwater brown hair (and I'm not just saying that because he had a positive TALENT for pissing me off), a nondescript sort of everyman face, and sleepy-looking hooded eyes, he was an absolute fucking chameleon onstage, with a rubber face and a skill at vocal characterization that reminded me of the young Jimmy Stewart. He's the one who I remember (with Mariel and Tawd) as starting the club and teaching the other kids all the improv games. He had a very strong personality, and he pushed hard to get the team members to practice all the different kinds of games and to get them in shape for competitive Improv Comedy events with other schools.

Parker was so funny and occasionally so bizarre... I remember how impressed I was with how much he knew about comedy and improvisation. I was brand new to the drama gig, and I don't mind at all saying that I learned virtually everything I know about improv and theater games from these kids. From Highway Patrol to New Choice, tongue-twisters and physical warmups, their speed and sarcasm and joy and silliness just delighted me. I would watch from the audience space and sometimes grade papers as they worked and played and tried new things, always new things, even with the old games they all knew well.

Building characters and scenes with zero stage props or maybe only hats or scarves or a couple of chairs from the audience is what made me think of them when I saw this week's prompt. These kids? I could imagine them EASILY getting a "confession from the chair." You'd be laughing at the one-sided conversation, imagining the chair's responses, and then cheering as the chair is dragged offstage. Of course, there'd be implications that a well-deserved beat-down will happen once the chair is in lockup.

It was a privilege to pay the rent there, to be on the sidelines watching the worldbuilding these kids could do in the blink of an eye. I got no call to be proud of them, I didn't teach them anything. They did it all themselves, but I'm proud of them nevertheless. It was a pleasure to know them.

I hope they are all still finding joy in words and connection and their own quick minds, making creative and subversive things in the world, and messing with people's heads.

This has been my entry for therealljidol . This week's prompt was, as I mentioned, "Confession from the Chair."

Here is a link to one place you can find short descriptions of improv comedy games, you can also google "theater games" or improv games if you would be interested in learning more. Also I recommend comedysportz san jose as an example of improv comedy as a hell of a lot of fun for an evening's entertainment. (hmmm, I need to get out and see that again sometime soon!)

Wild wooly witchery

bunny writer
You've got to be careful with wishes.

I heard of one witch who said, I wish my husband would shut up... And then there were silent, violent, dark days afterwards...

It's why we're in such demand, witches... Wishes have real power.

You've got to be careful with words as well.

It's through words, after all, that we convince the world to be other than it is.
From sickness we can coax health, from discord, harmony.

But it's easy enough to make the world change in the other direction as well, if we're that-away inclined. Like the silent-husband case I've already mentioned, careless words in the world, in this line of work, can have horrific consequences.

The final element is will. Will-forces are the hardest thing to train up in the apprentices! And will-forces are terrifically important!
You can't expect even the most poetically-worded wish to deliver results if you don't have enough OOMPH to back up your desire and make it happen for real.

"With Wishes, Words, and Will, witches work in the world."

*grin* We've got that engraved in a nice signboard and hung up at the entrance of the School. As of this year's enrollment, we've got witch-children from most every religious tradition, and teachers from almost every tradition as well. Our School has a very strong commitment to cross-training and to understanding the philosophical underpinnings of the World-Soul, That Which Moves Us All.

Would you believe, that even now, some of our students come to us thinking that the way they have been taught is the Only True Way, and that all other Paths are invalid? No?

It's the truth. We do have quite the challenge to explain and demonstrate otherwise, but when the children all have to rub elbows with one another in all their classes, it tends to take the rough edges off any sharp belief systems pretty quickly. Added to the impressive experience of our teaching staff, and our Silent Recess policy, the children build tolerance and cooperation faster than in any school system I've experienced before.

I'm sorry, what?

Oh no. The Silent Recess policy is intended to prevent any apprentice-level mistakes out on the playground. Children feel things so intensely, they certainly do not lack for force of will! And a strong force of will is QUITE enough to enact some serious levels of mischief upon one's playmates. All the teachers concur, having all experienced, well, pretty appalling things out on the playgrounds themselves, before the Principles of Magic were studied and understood thoroughly. The voluntary Yard Duty roster is always well staffed, and the children are always well-supervised.

Yes, I know. Our children are lucky. Now that we understand the Principles, we can teach Ethical Magical Behaviors at all levels of school. We can train the children up into the adults we all know they have the capacity to be. They can all be strong, ethical, committed, principled young people that we can be proud to unleash upon the world.

*cough* Oh, unleash? My mistake. I meant, um, well, I meant...

May I offer you some more tea? ah, here we go. *pours*

Yes, well, our graduates find regular and lucrative employment in all walks of life, as a matter of fact one of our recent graduates is now Head Pastry Chef in our kitchen. Oh, yes, the petit-fours are her specialty! Here, DO allow me. And one of the small eclairs? Splendid.

*lengthy pause*

That said, shall I draw up the enrollment documents now? I think you will find the terms most competitive with the other Schools in town.

*sly smile*

Yes, I thought you might.

This has been my entry for therealljidol. This week's was an Open Prompt week.

Avengers Assemble: Pest Control

bunny writer
Steve's deep voice comes through the comm system with a clear note of sarcasm and a touch of Brooklyn: "Well, THIS is gonna be more fun than a barrel full of monkeys..."

The giant gelatinous creatures look like an unholy offspring of banana slugs and squid. Their eye-searingly acidic stench had evacuated civilians without complaint for city blocks in every direction.

Clint shudders, speaking loudly over the sound of the rotors. "Cap, I never understood why townfolk used that figure of speech. Back in the circus, I SEEN a barrel full 'a monkeys, and it NEVER ended well. The screeching. The biting. The scratching, the fur flying, and just let's not talk about the rest of the dirty mess monkeys love to make." He rotates quickly through the arrows in his quiver, selecting the most likely to get this job done fast.

Steve snorts as he flies the helicopter in circles over the park where the creatures have nested. "Nah, Hawkeye, that's just right. Ma said her pa would always say that just before he had to go tackle the nastier chores on the farm. Nest of skunks under the porch. Wild boar gored one of the horses. Mucking out the pigs, or fixing the stock fence that went down in the middle of the worst rainstorm in thirty years."

For a moment, both men watch in fascination as one of the iridescent eggs below bursts open with a flail of acidic tentacles. Birth fluid rains down on the sad, scorched remnants of the park's trees and jungle gym, droplets hissing and smoking wherever they fall.

"Well, thank god for Bruce and Tony and Jane and SCIENCE," Clint muses, pulling the string taut to his left ear, delivery-system arrow nocked and ready. "THESE pigs are going to be a lot easier to muck out once we've neutralized most of the acid they've slimed everywhere."

A few moments later, the creatures below are writhing like slugs doused with salt. The SHIELD science teams in full hazmat gear are laying down even more acid-neutralizing foam as they cautiously approach the egg-pile.

"Hah! Evil scientists, Zero, Avengers and SHIELD science-types, fifty-four? or is it fifty-five, now?" Clint raises an eyebrow, cocking his head at Steve.

Steve chuckles. "And nobody's handing us shovels and pointing us toward the pig-pen, today. I'm just as happy to let the science teams do the rest of the clean up."

"Hey, if they wanna analyze acidic tentacled slug-babies, who am I to stand in their way?" Clint rubs his chin and swiftly stows the rest of his gear in the long narrow pocket behind his seat. "Not my circus, not my monkeys."

Steve slants a wry, sideways glance at Clint from the pilot's seat, as he turns and heads for home. "This ain't a circus? We got acrobats and knife throwers, fireworks and explosions, exotic animals and shiny costumes...?" He raises an eyebrow back at Clint.

Hawkeye slouches back in his seat, scowling. "Okay, FINE, this IS my circus." He gets a thoughtful, mock-serious expression for a moment gazing straight through the windshield. "Does that make us Fury's monkeys?"

Steve's face is perfectly bland when he replies, "That would mean Tony and Thor were Fury's flying monkeys. I don't think it would be productive sharing that image with either of the guys, do you?"

Clint laughs softly. "No. Don't suppose it would." He grins at Steve. The next time Thor and Tony light up the sky, they both know they'll remember this.

Flying monkeys, heh.

This has been my entry for therealljidol, week 12. The prompt was "barrel of monkeys."

I'm enjoying writing within this community very much. If you enjoyed this post, or got something out of it, please consider voting for me so I can continue to write with these amazing and supportive people (sadly this week is a Community Only vote, so if you're inclined, feel free to join the LJ Idol community!). The polls are HERE, and I'm back in Tribe One.

Author's Note: If anyone's unfamiliar with the Marvel Avengers fandom, Steve/Cap is Captain America, Clint/Hawkeye is, well, Hawkeye. (and I hope Hawkeye gets his own movie someday too.)

Crossposted to Archive Of Our Own, here.
i dance
Yesterday was a busy day full of movement!

Started my day with a workout, me, Tal, and tshuma, and it went well, I think. I keep forgetting that I've become, actually, kind of strong. It's fun when a workout that makes me sweat a bit doesn't leave me sore afterwards. Good chat with tshuma and angelkatharine afterwards in the locker room.

Home for a quick lunch with Jeff, we split the leftover pasta-cheese-salami-veggies salad before I headed out to have a chiropractic adjustment done.

Here's how it goes. Larry and I chat for a bit about what's going on physically. He has me lie faced down on the table, which is articulated to do various kinds of adjustments. He puts one wedge under my right hip and another under my left thigh, and a hot pack/hot towel on my back. He does several kinds of myofascial pressure point releases around my hips and glutes. At that point I start to feel kind of stoned, actually, between the heat and the releases. Very relaxing.

Then he does several small adjustments using the table, and my goal is to maintain the relaxation so he can do the work of the adjustments. After the small adjustments he did some more dramatic adjustments at my hip/sacroiliac joint, and after that settled in he checked the mid-back stiffness caused by a friend hugging me and "cracking my back" a lifetime or three ago, and did a bit of adjustment there. The final stage is I roll over onto my back, and he helps me stretch those lower back muscles and glutes with an assisted/resistance stretch. It was a damn good follow up to the workout.

After seeing Larry, I ran an errand then home, did some writing and reading and got some dinner up using leftovers components, and at 7 I went back into town and got cash so I could go to 5 rhythms dance class! and I danced for something like three hours and I basically STOPPED THINKING AT ALL for that whole time. Just moved. That was amazing. I was a little worried about how the adjustment would incorporate with that kind of moving... but I havent been to dance for ... three months at least. Haven't been since before I started with the diabetes meds and blood tests. (!)

Dancing was *great* but I also received several really lovely heartwarming welcome hugs. Gosh.
I knew I needed it but it's one thing to know you need something and something else to have it offered up to you. That was WONDERFUL. People were really glad to see me! (wow, what?)

I am sore today, some from the dancing (ow my feet) and some tenderness probably from all three things I was active in doing yesterday, It's a good thing though. A little discomfort is a lovely reminder that I'm really and for true LIVING in my body and using it.

Time to go make some things! I'll see about posting photos when I am done...

The Difference Between Then And Now

bunny writer
You'd think, with how good my life is now, that it'd be easy to pretend.

Pretend WHAT? says the acidic voice in the back of my head...
Pretend that you were happy? Pretend that you felt loved? Pretend that you ever felt safe?

"Yeah," I shoot back at the Nasty. "Pretend that I had a 'happy childhood.'"

I'm an optimist now. It feels as though I have always been an optimist, and perhaps I have. I'm not SURE, though.

From a very early age, I remember... melancholy, and a sense of disconnect from the world around me. I remember deep suffering, and an almost equally sharp despair. I remember a fierce yearning to BELONG somewhere, or to someone, as I never did at home. Convinced that would never happen, I still determined I would somehow learn to be happy. I knew that people were happy, somewhere (though not my family, except in brief glimpses.)

Wasn't it Tolstoy who said that unhappy families were all different and happy ones were all the same? I disagree. I've met so many people from unhappy families, and we all have so much in common... It feels like Tolstoy had it backwards. The folks I know who had happy childhoods seem to me like visitors from another planet.

My own childhood feels as though someone else experienced it. It feels like a story I was told long ago that no longer apples to me, so I have mostly forgotten it.

It's no longer relevant to my current life, my childhood, but it's still true. And it's still a part of my story.

Joy staining backwards. That's how Lucy Maud Montgomery defined it... In her book The Blue Castle, the main character has a miserable life under the thumb of her family and the small minded society of the small Canadian town she lives in. Valancy has a brush with death, determines to make a change for herself in the short time she believes remains to her, and finds happiness for the first time in her life. Her joy in her new life with her new husband is so vivid and rich that she finds even her memories of the miserable grey childhood of neglect, control, and verbal abuse, seem happier as she looks back on them. Like looking on the past with rose colored glasses, her past did not change, but her present joy gives her a new perspective on the horrible events and the grim family that were all that she knew for most of her life.

Sometimes, nowadays, it does seem as though my life has only been contented, full of love, happy, and with my needs met. It's because the contrast between then and now, makes THEN seem completely unreal and distant. Now is what's real. This hilltop I live on now, these woods I ramble through with those I love and those who challenge me and make me laugh. I don't delude myself anymore that I was truly happy, back then. I was lonely, miserable, heartsick, and friendless.

But I am none of those things anymore. Even when I am completely solitary, I am none of those things anymore.

I am standing beneath the same moon as my childhood self, and it is a comfort to me... a comfort that I still have a childlike sense of connection to the universe, to the impersonal unending beauty of nature and the cosmos. I have joy, I have courage, I have friends and family and beloved community. I have plans and goals that draw me on to the next chapter, the next goal, the next adventure.

I know that this moment is just a pause to rest and refresh myself. Anticipating the next big adventure, like my heroine in The Blue Castle, doesn't mean I've forgotten my past, or am in denial of what life was like, then.

Now is different. These hiking boots don't come with a rear-view mirror. They do help me carry my permanent sense of wonder, along with all the other tools I now possess. Life is amazing, NOW.

And Now? That's where my focus is.

This has been my entry for therealljidol, week 11. The prompt was "recency bias."

I'm enjoying writing within this community very much. If you enjoyed this post, or got something out of it, please consider voting for me so I can continue to write with these amazing and supportive people. The polls are available HERE , and I'm returning back in Tribe One.

my body, my self?

bunny writer
Is your body YOU?
Is it all of you, part of you?
Does your body carry "you" around?
Is your body different from "you"?

I had a knee injury for fifteen years. As of November, that's 1/3 of my life. I had ACL replacement surgery 2.5 years ago.
And I've now been doing prehab, rehab, and working with a trainer for three years.

When do I get used to THIS body? This body is tons stronger and more flexible. This body can Do Stuff I wasn't able to do before. In this body my feet stay parallel instead of duck-footing to try and keep the knee stable. This body can balance on one leg to put a sock on, and hold a high plank position for almost a full minute, and roll out of bed without effort or pain. So many changes.

I keep getting shocked by this body... In good ways, true, and I know intellectually that I've worked hard to get here. But my gut, my feelings, keep expecting ... Like that this is too good to be true? Like somehow, without warning, I will automagically return to pain, and weakness, and brokenness.

Why can't I believe that my body has become strong? Why is it so hard to use that word to describe myself?

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