Story time: Fine

(My BFF gave me a writing prompt, here’s what came from it)

Prompt: You  live in a world where each lie creates a bigger scar on the liar’s body. The bigger the lie, the deeper the mark. One day, you meet someone with the biggest scar you’ve ever seen.

He had met a lot of women in his time. A lot of women. He was at a gala event with yet another woman. She was beautiful, to be sure, she loved dancing, galas, and long dresses. He liked her, he enjoyed spending time with her. But she was still only beautiful.  A plethora of women readily made themselves available to him. Being a billionaire philanthropist was not without its perks. He didn’t ask for any special treatment, but it seemed to always be given to him.

A woman walked in. She had red hair, and a blue, backless, satin gown, a red ruby hung from her throat. As she got closer, she would walk right past him, and he would see it; a scar that started at the top of her shoulder, and extended diagonally across her back, all the way to her hip. It was as jagged as a lightning bolt, and five inches wide at its thickest. He realized as she got closer, that he was gaping at her, and his date may have noticed. He then realized that he wasn’t the only one openly staring at her scar. Most people had small scars, from little white lies we told as children. Criminals had bigger scars, politicians had even more.

But a gorgeous woman like that, at a gala like this… He needed to know her. His date was an old friend. She’d understand, right?

She was at the bar, and he approached. She was showing off that scar, like she was proud of it. He lost his nerve, and backed off. An announcement told him that the art exhibit was now open for the attendees to go through.

“Do you know who that is?” His date asked him

“Who what is?”

“The woman you’ve been ogling at for the past twenty minutes:

“Oh. I-”

“Oh stop it Red,” She said to him.

“Who is she?” He asked

“That is Margaret Farns”

“I dont know who that is”

“Well, clearly” Alice said to him.

Red noticed that MArgaret’s scar looked a little fresh on her shoulder. She must have repeated the lie recently  

“Margaret Farns is not only a twenty-time national best selling author, but her philanthropic work outranks yours tenfold.”

“Oh?” Red replied

“Yes” Alice said, taking his arm, “Would you like me to introduce you?”

“Y-you know her?”

Alice stared at him “Reddington, I’m her editor”

“Yes”

Alice introduced them, and Red managed to keep himself from stuttering in front of her. As Red and Margaret talked, Alice discreetly excused herself.  Red had no idea he had accidentally dated the best wing woman around.

Everyone greeted Margaret. Reddington could barely get a word in without someone saying “Good Evening Margaret, how are you?”

And each time, she would reply

“I’m fine”

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When Prayer is not Enough

I’m not here to argue with you. And I’m not here to change your mind. Well, maybe I am.

I can’t even begin to express my disgust over the massacre in Las Vegas. I can’t even.

I believe in the power of prayer. I absolutely do. I think you should pray, and often. Also, you should take action. Often.

God doesn’t usually call for people to sit around and do nothing in the wake of violence and tragedy. Yes pray. But also, do things. Maybe you’ll have to do something scary, maybe you won’t. But the church has been silent for too long. It’s time to start acting.

This violence should disgust you.

59 people will never go home to their families.

Because of one man.

King Xerxes was going to kill all of the Jews in his empire. He was so going to do it, because of one man who hated them. Esther, the Queen, and also a Jew, risked her life to save them. One man tried to destroy a people. One woman stopped him.

“But someone will say ‘You have faith and I have works.’ Show me your faith apart from your works, and I will show you my faith by my works” James 2:18

“Rise up; this matter is in your hands. We will support you, so take courage and do it” Ezra 10:4

Prayer without action? I don’t think that’s a thing.

Christians are called to action.

We aren’t called to just pray and see what happens. IF the church is the body of Christ, then what is it doing?

It should be reaching for the phone.  To call a representative. To call for action regarding weapons legislation, because it clearly isn’t working, and a revamp of how we treat mental health in this country. It should be giving blood. It should be offering counsel to the victims. It should say we don’t want to only pray for you, how can we help you right now? Do you need someone to do your laundry? How about dinner, we’ll bring you some. Need some wine? It’s ok, Jesus drank it too. To be a Christian, to be like Christ, is to act. Jesus didn’t pray all the time. He acted. He preached. He helped people.

I’ve seen more social media posts OURAGED over some football players kneeling during the national anthem, than I have people outraged about 59 people MURDERED.

Americans are being murdered in their own backyard.

Where is your patriotism now?

Keep praying. Start acting.

WWJD? Well, he probably wouldn’t be sitting on his couch watching Netflix when there are people who need him.

Till next time,

Peace, Love,

-C

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She’s A Wonder

I can honestly say I’ve never seen a movie like Wonder Woman before. Ever. And It’s not just because it was a movie that was, for once, centered on a female superhero. Not only that, it’s the highest grossing film directed by a woman. Ever. In the history of ever.

Let’s talk for a second about the movie, we’ll get back to the director thing later.

First off, the story works. For a number of reasons. The movie takes time to introduce Diana as a child, and shows us her growth. It works so well, partially because the young actress playing Diana is fantastic. Her screen presence was spot on.

young diana

My name’s Diana, I can beat you up.

Side note, the diversity in this movie rocked. Not perfect, but definitely better than other movies. Are you listening, Hollywood?

Amazons-WonderWoman

We will literally kill you.

The costuming in the movie was great. It encompassed the warrior aspect, while also acknowledging that the people wearing the costumes were women. Sexy, but not excessive. Showing a woman’s body, a warrior’s body, without exploiting it. It sounds like an easy thing to do, but clearly, as other superhero movies have shown, it isn’t. What I loved about this movie was it demonstrated a woman’s power, without taking off her clothes. The costumer and director were clearly focused on designing costumes that a woman would actually wear to fight. (Except maybe the scene where WW is fighting Nazis without a coat on. but in a separate scene, Chris Pine’s character gives her his coat. Do Amazons get cold?). There’s a moment where the camera pans up Wonder Woman as she’s looking across the battlefield. Instead of demeaning WW by showing off her hot bod (though she does have one, and filmed part of it while she was pregnant, dang girl), it instead depicts a warrior looking at her victory.

Diana semi-quickly falls for Chris Pine’s Steve. I mean, it’s Chris Pine. He’s an above-average specimen ;). There is a scene where it feels like their chemistry is a bit forced, but it turned out just fine. Every time Steve tells Diana no, she does it anyways. The director and writer(s) took the time to show how women were treated in that time period, and took the time to show Steve’s acceptance of Diana as a warrior. Even if he still had trouble getting past wanting to protect her all the time. Also, “No man can cross it”, I see what you did there.  I was a little disappointed that it took *spoiler* for Diana’s powers to come full force. There’s the issue of getting the character to come to a realization, and come into their powers. And using *spoiler* to get them there, well, it’s a bit predictable. The more interesting story line, for me, would have been for WW to be all “Oh, I’m the *spoiler*? Well this changes everything”, and then boom.

wonder-woman-steve-trevor-1000910

Steve: Don’t do that. Diana: I’m going to do it.

Chris Pine’s portrayal of Steve Trevor is great. I have been just exhausted by all of these strong women all of a sudden being at the mercy of their so-called partners. Steve Trevor recognizes that Diana is more powerful than he will ever be. And though he tries to limit her, which I interpret as an accurate depiction of how women were treated in WW2, he doesn’t seem to do it to control her. More so, he worries that he’ll lose her. Wonder Woman’s portrayal of men, is equally as important as it’s portrayal of women. It says very clearly; You can be with a woman more powerful than you without losing your masculinity. If you’re man enough to not be concerned with your masculinity.

This movie told audiences, and showed them, that Wonder Woman is as powerful as Thor. Dare I say, even more powerful? She did what Thor has not. It’s time we stopped creating superhero movies just for boys. Sure Avengers did a good job with Scarlet Witch, and Black Widow, but, that’s it. Two female superheros? Just two? Wonder Woman has set the tone for the future of female superheros. She is poignantly powerful.

This movie was refreshing. And it made a butt-load of money at the box office. I hope that this signals a turning point in the way Hollywood continues to depict women in all genres. And to hire more female directors. Because clearly, they can make movies.

I will leave you with a quote from one of the best super hero movies of all time:

“Leave the saving of the world to the men? I don’t think so” -The Incredibles.

Peace, Love, Elastigirl

-C

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Angelica, remind me what we’re looking for.

Greetings fellow surfers,

Let’s chat for a minute about the women’s march, k? Don’t throw anything at me.

January 21, 2017, something pretty cool happened. Millions, yes millions, of people around the world had peaceful (say it again for the people in the back) protests. The goal was to tell the new administration in the White House (hi Mr. President, like our hats?) that they were concerned. Concerned about comments made by the newly sworn in staff, and to remind them that women are indeed human, and a multitude of other reasons that I don’t have time to write. Which isn’t exactly something new, but it seems that some people still need to be reminded of it.

I’m not a protesting person. It’s really not my scene. I prefer to write sarcastic blog posts. I did speak to some people who did go, and I know a lot of people who went to marches in Lansing MI, Chicago IL, and Washington DC.

I’ve seen many conservative women speak out against the protesters. Saying they’ve never experienced any kind of discrimination because of their sex. To the women saying that, I call bull. It’s more likely that you didn’t notice. Because sometimes, it’s not wages, or promotions, it’s quieter things. It’s the person who asks your male coworker a question instead of you, even if you know more about the subject. It’s when someone demands you explain your answer, but not the guy who said the same thing two seconds before. I could not even start to tell you how many times that has happened to me.

I’ll be the first to tell you I’m a feminist. And I still wear a bra (at work at least). To me, being a feminist is believing that women have equal rights as men. And even though women received the right to vote on August 18, 1920, we still aren’t equal. Example: Insurances will cover men’s viagra, vasectomy. But not a woman’s IUD, but they’d totally pay for pregnancy related appointments (My source for this is a woman I work with who had this happen to her, and I’m sure I could find more). There was a job I worked, doing the same thing as a male coworker, let me repeat that, the same thing, and he was paid more than me. It’s 2017 y’all. I don’t necessarily agree with everything the signs were saying at the protests, but I do agree that there are still some things we need to work out.

An artist friend’s sign. One of my favorites.

I don’t like being called whiny because I notice that there are differences between the way men and women are treated where there shouldn’t be.

I’m not interested in arguing with the naysayers. Prove to me that there aren’t differences where there shouldn’t be, and I’ll shut up. But prove it. With real facts.

One more thing. The women in the movie/book Hidden figures, aren’t in our history books. Explain why. Why are important women in history neglected by our history books? When I was learning about the space race, I remember zero women being talked about.

I’m not a nasty woman. I’m an educated, intellectual badass who hangs out with dragons on the weekends.

Peace, Love, Pink,

-C

 

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Anxiety, Dishes,& Run-on sentences

Hi.

Let’s talk about something I don’t want to talk about. That sounds fun, right?

Anxiety.

I come from a long line of anxiety-ers. Anxieters? People deal with Anxiety in different ways. Some people take pills, other people meditate, it all depends on the person. For example, I have less anxiety when I’m exercising on a regular basis. Right now I’m having, well, I guess one could call it a flare-up. I even had an anxiety attack this week.

Let me explain to you what an anxiety attack feels like to me. I mean, I don’t know what else to call it. All last week, I could feel it building and building. I figured it would just go away. I figured wrong. Because sometimes I just start thinking about billsdogsdeathdinnercookinggroceryshoppingstudentloansjobsemploymentinsurancechildrenhousescats. And I couldn’t stop. Anxiety, is a giant, black, misty-looking balrog-type creature that stands up behind me, and slowly brings his hands down onto my shoulders, and starts to pull me apart. The depression I’ve been dealing with stems from my anxiety, but I definitely don’t want to talk about that, that’s a totally different monster.  Anyways, I was doing the dishes. My husband made an innocent (no really, it was)comment and all of a sudden my chest tightened so fast that it hurt to breathe. I just stood there, water running, dirty dish in my hand, taking deep breaths. I put the dish down, made myself some tea, and put some lavender essential oil on and kept breathing. (That’s the key, breathe)

Sometimes, you feel trapped in your own head, with your thoughts spinning around you in incoherent run-on sentences. I’m a writer, I have enough thoughts in my head, thank you very much.  I keep a lot of the incoherent babbling in check by coaching myself. Well, my own kind of coaching. If I start worrying about bills, I remind myself where I was last year, and how much better off I am this year. Also, I say things like “just move forward”, “Stop being a whiny baby and get it done”, “Let this go and move on. Just move. MOVE”, and most importantly “If you’re still breathing, you aren’t done. Get your shit together.” I should really be a life coach.

This week was hard. I’m not going to sugar coat it. I wanted to quit my job, for no reason, other than I felt overwhelmed with my life. Life can be overwhelming. But we do it. There’s a saying in the Christian faith, that I seriously hate: If He brings you to it, He’ll bring you through it. Well, sometimes you get there because you’re an idiot. Sometimes you get there because you thought you didn’t need to listen in the first place. If someone in your life, or your congregation, tells you that they have anxiety, maybe you should pray for them, and also do their laundry. People with anxiety, sometimes just need to know they aren’t alone. Clearly, they are dealing with some things that they probably don’t want to talk about, so don’t make them. Just listen when they need to and shut your trap. (that goes for me also, I can’t ever shut my mouth)

As previously stated, and because I believe I’m one of the cool kids I’m a writer. I take things that bother me and I turn them into stories. I take anxiety and turn it into a defeatable monster. I take my depression and tell it to go straight to the hell it came from.( I also make up my own words. Take that Shakespeare.)

If you are currently dealing with anxiety or depression. Please don’t be a me. Get someone you can talk to.

Some days, a pen is just a pen. Other days, you click it, and a sword comes out.

Whatever tries to kill me, had better run.

Peace, Love, Chocolate,

-C

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Dear Carrie

Dear Carrie,

You’re dead now. And you won’t read this. But that’s ok. I guess. I had most desperately hoped that I would meet you one day. That we would even laugh about something together. And that maybe, just maybe, I wouldn’t make a complete fool of myself in front of you.  Maybe you’d tell me you liked something I wrote. And then I would be unable to speak for three days. I’ll keep this short.

Thank you.

I don’t remember the first Disney movie I watched. I don’t remember which princess I saw first. What I do remember, is Princess Leia. I remember watching A New Hope for the first time when I was, oh, seven maybe? Leia enters the scene, hood up, blaster drawn. She shoots first, she’s still captured, but she shoots first. Leia didn’t have time for any Imperial garbage. She was going to save the galaxy. Not her town, not her boyfriend, the galaxy.  A princess who doesn’t need saving? A princess who is perfectly capable of kicking ass on her own? That was huge tome.

Growing up, I didn’t exactly fit in with the “in” crowd, because, let’s be real, I totally did not. I read science fiction, I didn’t understand make-up (still don’t), and could quote Star Wars with minimal (or no) prompting. To top it all off, I was in band, choir, FFA and watched Doctor Who (before the reboot). It was like I wanted the popular kids to hate me.  But, it didn’t really bother me that much. I had friends who were/are just as weird as me, and if Leia could save the galaxy, I could get through high school.

Princess Leia was more than just a character to me. She was my idol. My heroine. She was my invisible friend. I carried the great P.L.’s bad-assery wherever I went. I related to your Princess Leia so hard. She was fierce. She was a force. She wasn’t like any other princess I had ever seen. Leia/you influenced me in more ways than I thought possible:

  1. Be the hero(ine).
  2. Sarcasm is key.
  3. Prince Charming is overrated. Scruffy-looking nerf herders on the other hand…
  4. To hell with your stereotypes. To hell with them.
  5. Don’t apologize for who you are or what you love.
  6. Write honestly.
  7. Some days feel like you’re chained at the feet of a giant worm. Maybe you are. You’ll get through it. You’ll kill the worm. Just don’t do cocaine.
  8. You’re gonna make mistakes. Sometimes, you’ll walk into a trap, but don’t stop fighting.
  9. “I don’t want life to imitate art. I want life to be art.”
  10. “Stay afraid, but do it anyways. What’s important is the action. You don’t have to wait to be confident. Just do it and eventually the confidence will follow”

And one more thing:

Be the General. Lead the Rebellion.

Carrie Fisher:

“Drowned in the Moonlight, strangled by her own bra”

 

I’ll look for you at the dog park in Heaven.

 

-C

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Market Musings

Now is the winter of our discontent. Except, it’s 35 degrees out, and doesn’t feel like winter at all. It’s almost spring-like. Winpring? Spinter? Whatever.

It’s sometime around 11:15, and I’m sitting in the Downtown Grand Rapids Market contemplating life. As one does after reading a bit of “Mere Christianity”.

I mostly feel like I’m floating in some weird amoeba of space. Almost as if I’m still waiting for the punch-line of one long, really terrible joke.  As I sit, watching the cars come and go, women with expensive designer handbags, and look at over-priced vegetables; I consider who I am, and what I could become.

Chris Pratt recently posted on Instagram what he had to do to get where he is now. It had a lot to do with hard work, and eating some sardines. He said, never to give up. Easy for him to say, right? He’s already there. But, when people tell you, you can’t have it all, well, why not? I mean really. Why couldn’t I become a best-selling author/farmer/coffee house owner?

If someone tells you that your dreams are too big, maybe theirs are just too small.

I remember when I broke the news to my parents, that I was dropping my secondary Education degree, and going straight English, no chaser. They were supportive, of course, because that’s what parents do. I remember the rest of my family being a bit more skeptical. giving me those funny “Uh, ok” looks afterwards. The only person who wasn’t, was Grandpa Jack.

My Grandpa Jack had been a journalist for the Detroit Free Press, reviewing movies and other pieces, and went on to edit multiple trucking magazines. He was one of the first people in Michigan to see Casablanca (he watched it in a special room in the basement of Detroit’s Fox Theater). And although he lived in Ohio, he was a Detroit Tigers baseball fan. His writing style was unique, his characters colorful, and his prose wonderful.

I’m telling you this because no matter how many people say your dreams are too big, there will always be one person who tells you to be bigger.

 

You don’t have to change the whole world. But you can certainly effect the corner you live in.

You don’t have to be content with the American Dream.

Peace, Love, Tacos,

-C

P.S. Brown dog only dreams of big juicy beef bones.

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