Saturday, August 03, 2013

Little Things

Recently I posted about writing for the wonderful indie publisher Gutter Glitter. I don't own a camera and my computer's webcam is pretty shoddy, so that post did not have the panaché I wanted it too. A friend of mine just did me the favor of taking a couple of pictures I really want to share with the world.

I want this bit here to have a bit of coherence, a bit of consistency, a bit of shape. But really, it is just an excuse for me to feel good and to show off the things that make me feel good. Lately, (in the last two years or so) I've begun to change my life... not all of it, but bits and pieces at a time. Slowly, tentatively, I stretch and touch and reach out and try to see whether the long, dark years are truly over. It may sound a bit trivial, certainly, it may not seem all that important. But these two pictures I have here represent for me all those little things that make life bearable.

This is like an alien sighting. Look, I exist! And so does the book! For realz!

About mid-semester I received a wonderful surprise via snail mail. I received my author's copy of Gutter Glitter's Psychopomp. I've been sending to and considering various web-based magazines, and they all sound great really... yet, yet... There has never been anything quite like receiving and holding a copy of your book, the book where your words are written. There is nothing like looking at the paper, flipping through the illustrations, seeing your work alongside that of others.

Look! It's my name! With Derre's! I swoon! I faint!

And let me tell you, I don't think that I shall ever feel like this again, not even if I get a big commercial publisher deal... because Psychopomp is an intimate, infinite labour of love. When I touched the cover it had a beautiful feel, I could immediately tell that Derrewyn had carefully selected the material. When I looked at the cover, I could feel a fierce, completely misplaced pride in the gorgeous quality of the illustration. For years I have admired and felt inspired by D. I consider her a superb artist, a rising star, a creator of quality up to par with any of my other more famous inspirations. I dreamed of getting her to make me an illustration. I kept trying to write something so good, so moving that she would feel compelled to draw me something for it.

Giddily, I can now say that it gets even better. This year I will be haunting my mailbox for a SECOND copy of my dream come true. A second volume of Psychopomp has just come out and the copies are printed. Soon Bunny Love will join its tamer, fantasy sibling and together they will haunt my bookshelves and whisper evilly to each other, no doubt planning my end.

Cruella de Ville or Aerenys Targaryen? You be the judge.

If you look at the upper right hand corner of your screen, (and at that conspicuous portrait in this very post) you will see that my dark haired self has been hijacked by an unknown blonde. That blonde is me. I repeat: THAT. BLONDE. IS. ME. If you take a look above, you will see the progression, from half a blonde to poodle-puffy blonde, with the occasional misstep such as the roots at the back of my head. This is important. No, really, I'm not kidding. My hair is very, very important.

I've wanted to dye my hair since I was a stupid teenager. When I am on the bus and I see a beautiful girl with beautiful blue/purple/green/anything hair, I make a point of stopping and telling her I love her (okay, maybe not that creepily, but you get the picture). I have longed for an extravagant color and dark roots in my ponytail since always. But I have also thought it impossible. Until now. I had the strange idea that dyed hair is for pretty girls only. Since I don't fulfill the group requirements the idea was out. I also lived at my mother's up until recently. She had a bird when she saw me with the above pictured stripe, had another one when she saw me with a full-head bleach and finally grudgingly accepted there was nothing she could do about it. So I guess it's easy to see why I waited until I had my own place to experiment.

It's been fun. I've done all of it myself. I am still doing it in fact, because the sought after result is white enough hair to allow me to put on as light a pastel as I can. I feel weirdly feminine, weirdly pretentious all the time now. I'm learning how to carry it, how to look less inconspicuous, how to do this without yet identifying as a "pretty girl".

Even kitties love Psychopomp!

What better way to end a post than a picture of kittens? After all, everyone loves kittens.

Currently, there are nine cats living with me. I am the proud owner of about 2.5 of them (I share co-ownership of one of them with my roommate). I've loved cats all my life, but due to different circumstances I was unable to have one of my own for any significant period of time. For the last two years, I've been bringing more and more of these loveable fuzzballs into my life. These three are going to go up for adoption soon. Their mother (Polly) is one of my two cats and she will be spayed after this litter.

Living with them, taking care of them, having to consider them as factors in my life has been wonderful. Having the ability, at last, to make the choice of having them here, is invaluable. I don't know what the future will bring. I may move. I may study abroad. But they've been with me through the last rough changes and I hope I can keep them with me for a long time after.

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