Today I’m having a bit of a rant HERE. Please feel free to drop by and let me know what gets your goat!
I looked in the mirror and saw a face that wasn’t mine. Bags under the eyes, puffy lids, and wrinkles that have no business being there.
The sun is shining today, and I am glad. Sunglasses. They hide a multitude of things. Hide the windows to my soul, the memories of yesterday, the desolation that clouds the blue.
Tears. Nothing but a release of pressure. The hiss of a newly opened bottle of Pepsi. They come again, later, when the bottle is opened once more, just not so forcefully. And I wonder: Will the hiss that ceases to come, eventually, on that bottle, be the same for me? If enough tears come, will the hiss disappear?
Tears. The silent hiss.
She stood on the street corner, nothing feet tall and attitude written all over her face. She looked at my girl, up and down, up and down, and her expression told me a million things: I’m better than, I’m more than, I’m… The cut of her cloth may have been better. The cut of her hair too. But her face—such disdain there, such…hurtful thoughts expressed—was not better than the smile my girl gave her. Differences. So big. So vast. Even then. Even at such a young age.
I felt dirty. Beneath. Worse than.
Photographs handed over, and I took them, walked home, head bent, gaze on the past. Memories flooded back, of how things used to be, when there was no silent hiss. And I went back there, just for a moment, for the duration of a time suspended in happiness, where nothing else mattered. A tree branch snagged in my hair. Just for that second, I didn’t mind. Not then, when she looked back at me from the paper and I remembered loving her to death and never wanting her to grow up. But she is, she has, and I cannot stop time. Nor go back to the place without the hiss.
Perhaps. Maybe. I think I can go back there, but anger, resentment, and many other negative things have blocked the path. There is so much more good than bad, yet the bad overrides. Obliterates. Devours. It is stronger. For now. And I wish it wasn’t, but the fight has gone. Evil thoughts come, ones that don’t belong to me, much like my face, and I hate that I have thought them.
The wind cuts, messes my hair and dries the silent hiss. And now I’m here, in my sanctuary, my head filled with nonsense. Nonsense on the page.
I could sit for hours and ponder yesterday. And the days, years before that. Head filling with more nonsense. The man of yesterday planned it this way. Sewed some seeds, and now he eagerly waits for them to grow. But I didn’t water them, and I wait for them to die. Wither. Decompose. And while they do, he waits, staring at the ground for the first glimpse of green to push through the earth.
A long wait, then.
In the future, there will be sunny skies. There will be a head filled with no nonsense. There will be a sense of having come through this…this blink of time and being stronger for it. Isn’t that the pattern, though? The same pattern. The same damn pattern.
I prayed yesterday. For guidance. Help. Oh, God, anyone, please help me. And the answer came, as it always does: Wait.
I’ve waited a long time. I will continue to wait, the pressure building, then the silent hiss. Repeat. Repeat. Repeat. But I don’t believe what I need to wait for will ever come. This is just a game, and that same damn pattern will replicate until the day I die.
Positivity is waiting for me around the corner. I’ll meet it soon, as I always do, and this blip will be a lonely memory, never visited or even acknowledged. I have too many little stones in my shoes to enable me to get around that corner without hurt, and I have no energy to take off my shoe and tip the stones out, but I’ll get there, and the sun will shine.
And there will be no sunglasses.
The latest on writing…
1. Loveyoudivine will be selling my series books as one book per series for those who like to have them all on one file.
2. Contradicting review came in. Some good points that I took on board, and will keep those in mind for future books, but it left me thinking: wtf? Amazing how other minds ‘see’ things so differently. One reader gets it, the other doesn’t. I’m thinking I need to write books that are ‘spelled’ out, but this makes me feel as though I think the reader is too dense to understand something the first time I wrote it, or that they don’t have the brains to work things out for themselves. I hate reading books like that, where the information is repeated several times, so why would I want to put others through it? At the same time, if there’s a demand for repeats… Sometimes I don’t know whether I’m coming or going.
3. No writing so far this week except for about 100 words on a new novel. I was fired up to write it, then someone made an innocent comment that zapped the light and I closed the document, leaving me doubting whether I could pull the book off.
4. Meant to be writing book 4 in the Blinded series. No chance at the moment. My mind isn’t where it’s meant to be for that series.
5. Having the kids home for summer break has stalled the writing too. They’ve been good, but me not getting any time alone hasn’t helped. I also have edits to do. Thank goodness I have 3 weeks to complete them, because my mind is elsewhere. I’ll start them Monday.
6. General bleurgh feeling toward my career at the moment. Had these feelings before and they pass, so I’ll sit here and wait for them to pass again. No enthusiasm.
In town yesterday, it was very clear the British school summer holiday had begun. The main street was full of those small humans called children. Now, don’t get me wrong, I love kids, have five of my own, just don’t much like the stages where they’re ‘into’ everything and ‘getting in the way’. Poor little sods—I realise that’s the way we develop, but when they’re all racing around outside the shops, screeching and screaming, their mothers getting more irate by the minute, I bless the fact that mine are well past that stage. I’ve done all that, been there and got several T-shirts in several different ‘stages’, and wouldn’t want to go through it again. In short, I’ve turned into a grumpy old cow.
In the freezer store, a woman, her husband, and seven kids that I counted, decided to do their shopping in a straight line ACROSS every aisle. So, they blocked the way and had a few frustrated shoppers waiting for them to move, me included. Brits are a polite bunch—most of them anyway—and no one asked them to budge over for ages, until one woman, her child crying in her pushchair because, let’s face it, she was bored shitless, pushed ahead of us all and loudly exclaimed, “Excuse me!”
One person from that family moved, the gap created barely enough for anyone to get through, let alone a shopping trolley/cart. In the end, after several people tsked and barged through, another family member moved out of the way, with, I might add, a look of disgust as though they had every right to hog the damn aisle.
Yeah, I know it’s hardly something to whinge about when there are far more important things going on in the world, but shit, I’ve just whinged anyway.
The visit to town made me want to scream, say stuff like, “Shitfuckwankerandbugger!” and return home as quickly as possible. Except it was hot. Hell, yeah. Let’s moan about the weather now. When it’s cold, that’s wrong, and when it’s hot, that’s wrong too. But it was muggy, the air thick, and by the time I got home I felt the need for a bath.
While I’m at it, I’ll have another moan. Workmen are due at my house again today. Not only does it mean I had to get up early and tidy up (snarl), it means going most of the day (again—they were here before replacing old fires) without electricity while they change the old fuse boxes for new, fix a smoke alarm, seal my bathroom light fixtures because apparently mine aren’t condensation proof, and put a ‘shaver light’ on the bathroom wall.
I don’t do ‘others’ in my house. I feel violated and ‘nosed at’. Uncomfortable in my own space. I used to be the kind of person who had every effer come round, but now? Sod that for a laugh. Like I said, I’m turning into a grumpy old cow.
Moo on ya!
We finished season five of 24—which, in my opinion, is the best so far. You know, the one with the nerve gas that had me thinking of myself as a terrorist as I sprayed those pesky darn flies last week with bug killer—and started season six. Six isn’t so exciting. The vice president is getting in my nellies—hey, seems everything is in this post!—as he did when he starred in Deadwood. The plot has the same pattern—one thing going on until the halfway point, then it switches. And just when I thought we’d got rid of the dreaded Audrey, who also got on my nellies in previous seasons, she comes back. Fucknghellsbellsshebugsme. But, there is hope. I’m loving Maurice, the Brit bald head. His dry sense of humour is cool. Hey, can you believe I actually LIKED something here? Shit. Maybe I’m not such a grumpy cow after all…
Fight, the novel I co-authored with Jaime Samms, is out very soon. I should have a release date coming because the final pdf is good to go. I can’t wait for this one to go live and see how readers take it. Much excitement!
I haven’t written much the past few days. The kids being off for summer has messed with my mojo. I’m used to being alone. I suspect I’ll just get used to them being home then they’ll go back, but that first day of solitude will be heaven. I love my kids, obviously, but all of them in the house at once is…different. Tests my patience.
So, my current novel is only about 2K longer. I last wrote on Saturday, doing my part in a revision on another co-author. The book has been subbed, and we wait, biting our nails, hoping the book is what the publisher wants. I’ve toyed with writing a Quickie but didn’t. Basically just pissed about the past few days online and in the house. I do need to write at some point, because when I don’t I get quiet, lost in my head, which is good sometimes but at others it really isn’t. If you’re a deep thinker, you’ll know what I mean.
Anyway, I’d best be off before the workmen arrive and my Internet goes off along with the electric. Good job my Nat’s coming for the day, or I’d be bored shitless. Last time the workmen were here I sat in the garden all day and wrote in my notebook. Got a big chunk down too. And got cramp in my hand.
Oh my Lord! I’ve done nothing but moan today. Honestly, I need a slap! Feel free to have a moan in comments. It’ll make me feel less alone in my moany state. LOL. Byeee!
Rant ahead. A big fat dollop of WHINGE.
There are a couple of things I want to get off my rather small chest—God, I’ve always wished I had bigger boobs—and then it’s off to the writing cave for me.
Firstly, I’d like to explain a bit about myself and why I no longer chat on groups or via email. I gave myself a goal on New Year’s Eve, and come hell or high water I’m going to achieve it. I told myself to give a big push to my writing career this year, and then if it didn’t work out or get any better, I’d bugger off and do something else with my life. One year to write, to concentrate solely on what I wanted for a change. I rarely speak to anyone these days. Recently I joined a group of like-minded authors but saw that those sparkly emails were veering me off course, so I’ve decided to step away and go back to doing what I’m meant to be doing—writing.
I do get emails and I do respond eventually, though unfortunately they arrive at a time when I’m very busy and I can only manage the barest of replies. I know if I write full-blown responses I would spend all day nattering to my pals, so I say what I have to say then go back into my cave. I’ve heard a few things this year, things said about me, things that aren’t me at all. I could have retaliated, spoken up about it, but if people choose to believe those things then they didn’t know me in the first place. I’ve turned snobby since getting with EC, apparently, but that isn’t the case. I started this cocoon-myself gig a little while before I got into EC; it’s just unfortunate it looks the way it does. I’m selfish in not giving more of myself, explaining what I’m doing and why. Making my decisions without consulting others. Not giving people the ins and outs of the cat’s arsehole. Righty ho. Funny, but I thought this was my life. Christ, who knew I had to consult with others first before doing anything?
I can’t allow these types of things to affect me because I know I’m still the same person, I know why I’m doing what I’m doing, and I explained to close friends what was going to happen. Most have been understanding, leaving me be to write and get through this year, and I really appreciate their support in that. Just because you’re friends, doesn’t mean you have to stay in touch 24/7. I have a pal I haven’t seen for years. She emails maybe once a year, and we pick up right where we left off, no hard feelings. Life gets in the way, life sends us in different directions, but it doesn’t mean we don’t think about one another during the wordless times.
What I’m trying to say is that although some people might find my silence odd, mean, rude, whatever, there is a driving force inside me to do something with my life other than waking up, getting the kids to school, moaning about my existence and pottering about the house until a family member arrives home. I have ambition, a hard-driving, cruel ambition at the moment, but it doesn’t make me a bad person, a different person to who I was, it’s just another side of me coming out, something I’ve always been afraid to embrace due to fear of failure or being told I’ll never make much of myself. If people are offended by the ‘new’ me, that’s a shame, but the driving force is my kids. Without letting too much of my personal life out, let’s just say I want to give them special memories. Yes, at the moment Mum sits at the computer, has done for several years and isn’t giving any special memories at all, and like my middle son said the other weekend: I can’t believe you just sit there all day and write. Doesn’t it get boring?
Well, I’m sitting here all day writing to make a better life for us. You don’t get something for nothing, and if hard work is what it takes, if going silent is what it takes, then I’m going to do it. Family comes first, and if that isn’t understood or liked, that’s just a little tough. No one else is living our life, no one else understands what a difference I could make, because they are not in our shoes. Instead of griping about things like I have in the past, I’m doing something about it, and if it doesn’t work, then I know I tried.
The second thing bugging me is being taken the piss out of in most aspects of my life. People just expect me to do things because it’s me, I’ve always done it, always been there. Good old Em, she’ll do it. I’m a kind-hearted person—those who don’t know me well, and those reading this post and seeing the angst could possibly disagree, but shit, even the nicest people have to let off steam every so often. I help out a lot of people. I don’t tell everyone, I don’t shout about what I do because I do these things behind the scenes. If I work for someone I work my arse off. If I tell someone I’ll crit their book, I crit it. If I say I’ll make someone a cover or website, I make it. If I leave a company I work my notice. If I sign a contract stating that if I give and work a month’s notice I’ll be paid, I expect to be paid. It’s just a damn shame the employer has disregarded that contract now I’m of no use to her. That’s how I feel. I’m of no use, have been used, and d’you know what? I’m sick to death of it. When I edited numerous books and created over 75 book covers, I expect to be paid my royalties. From now on, no more Mrs Nice Girl in that regard. No more allowing myself to have people walk all over me. If I don’t want to do something, I won’t. I feel suffocated by responsibilities that aren’t mine. People wanting a piece of me when I have my own shit to deal with. Pushed to do something because it’s expected or no one else will do it. If I offer to do something, though, that’s entirely different, but if I’m asked outright to do this or that and I can’t or just plain don’t want to, I won’t now. I’ve said this before, but this time I mean it. I’m done.
The bottom line is, this is my life. I am doing what I have to in order to survive. If people don’t understand that, that’s just tough. I will not deviate from the course I set myself, and if it means losing friends and acquaintances, then so be it. It will just serve to show me that I don’t have the kind of friendship with some folks where you can go months without talking then pick it up again later. If I’ve explained already what I’m doing and why, I don’t feel the need to keep explaining.
My kids are my priority.
With all that said, I’ll keep blogging when I have time—if any bugger wants to read my posts now after this pissy rant—and I will pop onto Facebook when I have time, but for the most part I’m silent. Off to try my hand at giving my family the life they deserve.
Now, yesterday we went swimming, as usual. I decided to try the front crawl. I hadn’t done it since my youth, so, goggles on—yes, I wore my new goggles, complete with rainbow lenses that make me look like a fly—and off I went. Gosh, it’s rather more exertion than good old breaststroke, isn’t it? By the time I got to the other end, water went down the back of my nose and I choked. Looking like a complete gimp, I coughed and spluttered. A man stared at me as though to ask if I was all right, and I said, “Fuck me!” by way of explanation.
Of course, I didn’t mean it literally, and I doubt very much he’d want to do such a thing to me anyway, and my goodness if he did I’d clout him around the face, but he looked at me like I was a complete weirdo and swam further away. Bless him.
We arrived home, and I decided to clean up a little. Grease from a dirty baking tray had spilled on the floor, and I slipped. Then, when Hubby had left the room, I slipped again … Later, I ran out of dishwashing tablets and decided that squirting a tiny amount of washing-up liquid in the machine wouldn’t be a problem. When I went into the kitchen to remove the cinnamon buns from the oven—which, incidentally, ended up sunken and resembling biscuits—I discovered foam spilling from the dishwasher door and the space between the dishwasher and washing machine crammed with it. I pressed pause to find a washer full of foam, completely hiding my dishes. Lovely. I won’t be doing that again.
As is usual for a Monday morning, the school run never goes as smoothly as other days. By the time I dropped little one off, I heaved a sigh of relief and walked to our local shop to withdraw some cash so I could buy some Diet Coke and dishwashing tablets. The damn ATM was out of service. Hmm, I thought. Do I walk into town or not? Deciding not, I stomped at a fast clip along the path and saw a neighbour.
“You all right?” she asked.
I explained my annoying morning and ended up walking into town with her and another neighbour. Pleasant time spent drinking coffee in a pub—ooerr, and people do drink beer at 10 in the morning!—then into the supermarket to buy what I needed, except I forgot the damn Coke.
“That’s okay, I’ll have tea,” I said to myself once home. And then the aforementioned nose-burning incident occurred.
Now, do I remain in one place all day, keeping away from anything that can do me harm, or do I go about as usual and await any mishaps that may be lurking? I only plan to do laundry and write. Hmm. Let’s just hope I manage that and come out the other side unscathed.
We all cope with life in the best way we know how with the circumstances we’ve been given. There are horrendous things occurring for others, yet, because we are not in that situation, we can’t comprehend what those others are going through. What is a big problem to one person may not be to another. If you take personalities into consideration too, one person may be able to cope with things better than another in one respect, but in another, if the situations are reversed, those people may crumble or, conversely, find strength that wasn’t present before.
I’m the kind of person that copes and copes and copes, until one day, a small event will happen, and I crumble. Can’t take anymore. Everything else that has happened, where I’ve coped and kept a level head, then comes crashing into my mind, making that one small thing that tipped me over the edge insignificant. There are pros and cons to holding it all inside, and one of the cons is the aforementioned, where meltdown occurs and you no longer want to grip the baton or jump over the hurdles a second longer.
With parenthood, there isn’t really the option of saying, “D’you know what? This parenting lark is actually too hard for me, and I don’t want to run that race anymore.” You have to keep going, find new ways to cope with whatever stressful situation the fruit of your loins has thrown at you. So, what happens when, whatever you do, that piece of fruit keeps pushing the boundaries?
Obviously, parenthood doesn’t come with a manual, and if it did, and I’d read it, I’d have seriously wondered why mankind still reproduces. We’re all aware that our wonderful children morph into some alien in their teens and do things we wouldn’t have thought they would. We’ve done it ourselves, thought things about the household rules and wished we lived somewhere else, railed that life isn’t fair, blah-blah-blah, so we have some insight into our children’s minds when we get to this point in theirs. However, we’re on the other side of the coin now, classed as the enemy, and we can’t possibly understand how they feel. Oh, we do understand, but we also understand that as responsible parents, some decisions made or rules laid down are for the good of everyone in the home.
My situation revolves around the Xbox. Marvellous invention as inventions go, but I wonder if Microsoft are aware of the hassles their product causes for many households. If they do, I doubt they even care. And it isn’t just Xboxes. We can lump Play Station and all the others in with it too. With the latest technology of interactive games, headsets, making friends with people across the world, these games console creators have unleashed a demon into the lives of every parent whose child owns one of the damn things.
Let’s list the chaos they can cause:
Children staying up late into the night, hooked not only on the game they’re playing, but speaking with friends in different time zones. When your child is meant to be sleeping, someone else’s child has just woken up and logged on…
Noise levels. With the headsets firmly glued to young ears, they don’t realise how loud they’re speaking. When other family members are trying valiantly to sleep, others are keeping them awake with one-sided conversations that, I’m sure, my next door neighbour doesn’t want to be kept awake hearing either.
Language. Your sweet-mouthed child turns into a foul-mouthed brat, swearing, picking up strange words that don’t even exist, and they use them then in everyday life, which is highly annoying at best and makes them look total dickheads at worst.
Character change. Your child becomes more alien than they would have if they didn’t own an interactive games console. They’re tired from staying up late. Their school work suffers. The rest of the family suffers from bad moods, fatigue, and generally not feeling their usual self.
All because of one child doing what THEY want, regardless of other people’s feelings.
Well, I have three boys, each with an Xbox. The two oldest bought their own with birthday/Christmas money. I’m well aware that, if I said they could no longer play their games until God-knows-when o’clock, they’d tell me I can’t take their Xboxes away because I didn’t buy them. That, in itself, is rude behaviour, but we won’t even go there. What I CAN do is remove the TV they need to play it on. What I CAN do is remove internet access.
After a year, yes, a year of asking them nicely to be quiet at night, we’d had enough. I made the decision to remove internet access to their consoles on work/school nights and kept it on all of Friday and Saturday nights. My three boys share a bedroom. It isn’t fair for the oldest two to stay awake on their consoles when the youngest lad, who is 12, needs his sleep. I also didn’t feel the middle lad, who is 14, needed to be staying up all night either. His behaviour deteriorated at school. He was being rude, acting up etc. What the nearly eighteen year old does is largely his own business, but NOT when it affects the other children or us. I most certainly do NOT feel it is right that the noise level in their room at night affects my youngest, who is 7, and whose room is beside theirs. I don’t feel my husband should be kept awake all night when he has to get up for work at 5:30. I don’t feel my neighbour, whose bedroom is beside the boys’, should be kept awake either.
With that said, the two oldest boys somehow feel that my turning off the internet access is cruel. They don’t seem to ‘get’ that their game-playing affects so many people. All they care about is playing it. Typical for their age, I know, but when our parental decisions are questioned periodically, when the children had a year of being asked not to be loud, I rather thought even the dumbest of people wouldn’t have to ask, yet again, why they can’t have internet access. It’s simple: YOU’RE TOO DAMN NOISY AND SELFISH TO HAVE THE INTERNET ACCESS BACK! If kids can’t respect others in the house by doing as they’re asked, then parents won’t respect their wishes of wanting the access back. If they then go downstairs and switch the router back on when they THINK everyone is asleep, then really, do they think that is going to make their parents let them have it back, or will the parents go the other way and prevent the kids using the access AT ALL?
Now, most people know what I’m going to say next. Yes, their wireless connection has now been blocked overnight, regardless of whether the router is switched on or off. I will no longer tolerate my parental rules being flouted, or have children continually telling me how things are going to be. And, much as I hate to say this, I am the parent, they are the children, and those are the rules. If they don’t like those rules, tough. That is how it is going to be, and if they’d done as we’d asked over a year ago and just been QUIET and RESPECTFUL, none of this would have happened.
I’m usually soft-hearted. Too soft-hearted, I know that. My children don’t have to do any chores. They basically have a life where they can do what they want without having to help out around the home or do anything at all except behave in a nice manner. It seems that is too difficult. It seems I’m asking too much. Years ago, I never thought I would be a parent that said: If you don’t like the rules—stupidly lax as they are— then you’ll have to find somewhere to live where you DO like them. Now, though, this is slowly becoming something I am more and more likely to say once the kids hit eighteen. I’m sick to death of pandering, walking on egg shells, having children be outright rude and grunting responses, or, even uglier, ignoring us. I’m well aware of going through the phase of not wanting to speak to your parents, but outright rudeness isn’t on. Plus, when this behaviour is going on amid the other things in life that your children aren’t privy to, when you’re trying to keep everything running smoothly when inside you want to cry or scream or whatever, it really does piss me off. But of course, I forgot. It doesn’t matter what is going on. Nothing matters except what the child wants. News for you, kids… On your bloody bike if you think that’s how it is. I have far more important issues to deal with than your whinging.
I read somewhere that the reason children go through their teens and act as they do is so it’s easier for a parent to let them go when they decide to leave home. I can see the logic in that.
I’m tired of repeating myself. Tired of explaining the same thing time and again.
I’ve now been pushed, and pushing me isn’t cool. Okay, I’m soft-hearted, but you’d better be ready when I blow, because when I do, it isn’t pretty.
The bottom line is, and I hate to say this because isn’t this what most parents say? My house. My rules. Like it or lump it, makes no odds to me. But the rules remain, and they will get tighter if this behaviour continues. As in, the TVs will be the next thing to go.
Any other parents out there going through this crap?