Glue Slugs, Teens and the Realities of Modern Vampire Parenting

Most people think Vampire teens live in a Harry Potterish world where the teens live in castle-like Hogwartish schools and earn their first red lined capes. They think every bit is schooling is something kids can sink their teeth into. They think it is all black and dripping blood and castles and dark nights with bats and cobwebs. Think again.

Our kids go to public schools (same public high school that writer Nicholas Sparks and singer Lynn Anderson went to) and live at home with their parents. They go out during the day (with lots of sun screen and protection for their eyes). They don’t wear capes. Black shirts are the same black shirts all the kids get from Hot Topics.

The push for the Modern Vampire movement came around 1800 when the ideals of mankind and the human experience began to change. People were thinking more of freedom, freewill, individualism and personal choice. Tradition was no longer the way of the future. The world was changing and a few free spirited Vampires wanted to change with it.

Vampires were tired of being “in the dark”. Granted we still had to keep secrets but the days of lurking in dark gloomy places were over. No more lurking. We took on a more kinder gentler philosophy of “helping” regular humans rather than harming them. Yes, we still be scary – really really really scary but that is another blog post another day.

The California Gold Rush symbolized a huge change in culture. My parents along with a contingency of Vampires from all over the United States, Canada and Europe came to California to make a new life and a new culture of Modern Vampires. Those in the forefront of the California movement were my parents, Nathaniel Chase, Alphonso and Diana Chase, the Elders Tellias and Eleora and Thomas Kent.

At the same time Vampires in England and Boston were making changes to become more modern and free of the old chains that kept them literally in the dark. Anyway, again, that isn’t what this post is about.

My daughter had to make a model of a habitat for science. I thought in 8th grade they’d be done with models but I was wrong. So at the 11th hour she was trying to glue rocks together to make an octopus cave.

Glue does not attach to rocks – at least not the rocks in our yard. She used white glue and then the glue gun. This was after I said 100 times “don’t get glue on the carpet”.  We ended up with about two dozen glue slugs. Those were the odd creatures that fell off of the rocks we’d tried to glue together. Eventually between the glue gun, the white glue and adding dirt and paper the child figured out how to make it work. It worked quite well.  But that said, I know I’ll be finding glue slugs all over the house for the next year. Stuff like that just seems to migrate.

So needless to say modern Vampire life isn’t like a movie. The only thing that drips much is glue or vases with cracks in them (another story I won’t go into today) or nail polish. Live with a teen girl and there WILL be nail polish spilled.

Spilled milk? Forget that – spilled nail polish always makes me want to cry. At least you can wipe up milk. You can wipe up blood and keep it from staining if you get it early enough. Try wiping up nail polish. Especially black nail polish.  (Simple Green works great on blood and red wine.)

There are bigger things to like visiting colleges in the state and starting to put together dozens of applications. Good grades, leadership and volunteer work are no longer guarantees to getting into anywhere. Living in the state where the public university resides is no longer a guarantee either (then what the HELL have I been paying taxes for all these years?)

In the fall one is starting high school too so there are all those bits and pieces to deal with. Summer is already starting to book up solid with events for school and sports and must-go-to-concerts, and of course books I need to finish (writing not reading.)

To add to this flurry of activity are the Vampire parenting things that other folks don’t have to deal with. We need to teach the teens how to be responsible with their donors and how to hunt. Earlier this year we had seminars in avoiding Vampire Hunters. I’ve covered the whole “Men in Black” issues with them. And there are always Time Travelers, Ghosts, Goblins and a variety of other nasty creatures we have to deal with. No relaxing for the Vampire parents.

They are watching out for their sometimes socially awkward Werewolf friends. Werewolf kids are in the same situation but sometimes their problems are more difficult (the full moon and body hair thing).

So last night after I pulled a glue slug off of my bare foot I was just thinking of stuff. You know, just mom stuff. That’s all.

Have a good weekend everyone. And don’t forget to HUG those teens of yours and TALK with your kids and laugh too. Always laugh.

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman

Night

Last night the cat was looking out the sliding glass door that goes to the back deck with her back all arched. I looked out and saw a muddy water dish and paw prints heading down the stairs.

It was the big raccoon again. He’d already explored my planter boxes and dug up my summer blooming bulbs.

I could hear the frog choir in the background no doubt singing of the bravery of the masked bandit of the night.

Raccoons are cute but not kindred spirits to other night creatures, including Vampires and Werewolves.  I have no control over wild animals.

That said I can deal with animals and accept them for what they are.

It is just the things that go on during the day that baffle me. Dealing with regular humans is difficult because they ARE human. Everything human is wonderful and heartbreaking and frustrating.

The ghost appeared leaning on the damp deck rail.

“Why don’t you people live longer?” I asked. “Why are you always getting sick and old and hurt?”

“Why do you care Vampire?”

“You don’t know.” I said that as a statement not an question.

“I don’t make the rules. That is why I’m a freakin ghost.” He spat back the answer with hate in his voice.

I turned to go.

He spoke again. “There aren’t any answers.”

I turned and responded. “That won’t keep me from asking.”

He glared at me. “You’re so weird and creepy that it makes me sick.”

I never thought I’d have my feelings hurt by a ghost or be so angry. “At least I’m not dead because nobody loved me,” I growled back at him.

I didn’t even wait for a response. I could feel a chill at my back and I knew I’d stabbed him through the heart.

I went inside and took a deep breath. I could feel tears well up in my eyes but kept it to myself.  It was my own fault for dealing with a ghost. It wasn’t my fault for caring about the people I love.

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman

Poetry is for Vampires, Parents, Teens and everyone else – World Poetry Day, March 21, 2013

A need you dare not admit…

People won’t admit they read poetry and are moved by it…but late at night they go on the internet and search it out. It is like pornography. I’m dead serious (no pun intended). It is a need that most people will not dare admit to.

It isn’t a good time for me to expound upon the history of poetry or what caused the American population (among others) claim not to like poets. But I would like to remind everyone, especially those of us who can remember the past several centuries that there was a time that poets were the Rock Stars of our culture.

Sometimes I pull out my old volumes of favorites and read in the quiet of the night or on a rain soaked day. In turn, I also look for the new. I marvel at the many voices I see with poetry on the internet.

Part of me believes technology with recorded music, radio, TV etc maybe brought an end to the poet as a popular icon. But in turn the Internet, yes the Internet has brought poetry back to life.

I see in the online communities poets being read, not ignored. I don’t read those words online “I don’t like poetry.” I see people who NEVER would read a poem, forwarding poetry to their friends and loved ones.

Poetry is a gift to the soul. Poetry is for everyone. Everyone needs poetry, like a vampire needs blood, like a hawk needs to fly, like a fish needs to swim. I know that wasn’t very poetic but you get the point – I hope.

Your assignment today is to READ, SAVOR and SHARE poetry with someone you love.

For poetry posted on this blog (Vampiremaman.wordpress.com) click on the links below. Enjoy!

~ Juliette

How to write a response to a love letter (which is more fun if it isn’t addressed to YOU)

Part One: How to Write A Love Letter

How would I write a love letter?

As if I’d tell my teen that. Teens usually know but forget as they grow old and fearful.

I would write it by hand on a yellow legal pad with pencil. I would write it over and over until it was exactly right. Then I’d get a fine piece of stationary and write the perfect letter with perfect script.

There are different kinds of love letters. There are those that say:  Hey, I really like you a lot, lets get together. There are love letters that are heart breaking and say: I’m lost without you. There are those that say: You are the one, the only one, the absolute only one. And there are those that say: After all these years together I love you still and always and forever.

It is simple really.

  • Don’t sound desperate. That will turn someone off like a box full of baby rattlesnakes (I’ve been wanting to say that for a while).
  • Simple is good.
  • Poetic is always good.
  • The truth is good.
  • Don’t talk about YOU. Talk about the one you love.
  • Talk about US.
  • Abstract is good if it isn’t totally cryptic.
  • Using quotes from others is ok too if you are at a loss for words.
  • Write it and wait.
  • A good love letter is like wine; it needs to sit for a bit. Write it and wait. Then after you’ve waited look it again.

But that isn’t really what this is about…

Part Two: How to write a response to a love letter (which is more fun if it isn’t addressed to YOU)

I’m not the kind of person who spies on my spouse or kids. I don’t go through drawers (but I will go through an attic) or personal papers. I won’t even read your email or go through your phone. It just isn’t good to pry.

BUT that said…there are situations where ALL BETS ARE OFF.

In a little over a week my romantically minded, smart, funny and handsome son Garrett will turn 17.  His best buddy Randy is throwing him a bash and they are all going to dress up. Top hats, tails, ball gowns, the works. But it is all vintage. The girls are at the vintage and thrift stores or raiding their mother’s closets. The boys are looking at what their fathers and grandfathers have plus raiding the thrift stores and vintage shops.

Garrett came downstairs in a beautiful long black coat. It came almost to his knees, beautifully cut. He looked so handsome, so much like his father.

“Dad said I could wear this. What do you think?”

“Wow. Perfect.” I remember long ago when my husband Teddy wore that coat. It was long before we married, in another time and place.

“Look what I found in the pocket.” Garrett held out a pale cream-colored envelope.

Inside was a note written in a beautiful script.

March 20, 1889

My Darling,

The sun shines but brings nothing so warm or bright as my memory of your kiss. Last night under the stars of heaven I thought I’d been taken by an angel. Yet, when I opened my eyes it was you with your arms around me. Your kiss took me away from the common world into the world of Venus and Mars.  My heart quickens at the thought of you. The sound of your voice, the touch of your hand, your lips on mine.

My love, my life, my always.

Meet me tomorrow at the gates of the cathedral.

Until then my love,

Always and forever.

Mary

Oh my.

The three of us looked at each other then for no reason we started to laugh.

“So if you have to respond what would you write?” I asked this of my kids knowing they are always up for a creative challenge.

Thirteen-year-old Clara went first.

Dear Mary,

I’m in love with someone else. She is totally clueless to how I feel. She is the only one I want to hunt with. She makes me laugh. She is beautiful. I want her to be the mother of my children. I won’t have the courage to tell her for another 100 years. Sorry. Go find yourself a nice guy.  I might be good looking but I’m a real pain in the butt. Most exceptionally good-looking guys are like that. We all think we’re “all that”. You don’t want a guy who thinks he is “all that”. Give it a few months and you won’t like me anymore.  I bet you’ll hate me. Besides, I hate to break this to you but if you haven’t figured it out already I’m a Vampire.

You ROCK Mary and I know you’ll find someone better than I can ever be.

Theodore

 

Next Garrett read his letter aloud.

Dear Mary,

Your beauty lights up a room,

Both beauty of your body and soul,

Forgive me for being so forward,

To dare say,

You are dear, so dear to me.

But I must protect your heart,

And speak the truth,

I am a man of the shadows,

And would kill your sunshine,

And your glowing light and spirit.

I would never make you happy.

I will always treasure our time together.

You are beauty and light that I would never be able to hold.

Fly free Mary. Fly free and find love where you deserve it.

In the light,

In the sun,

With someone who can love you

The way you deserve to be loved.

 

Always in my heart,

Theodore

By then both of my children were laughing so hard they had slid off the couch and were on the floor.

So I wrote my response.

Darling Mary,

I would run my hands down your bare shoulders then kiss your beautiful neck. I would slowly undress you and gaze upon your beauty in the moonlight knowing that you are mine alone. I will take what I desire, but leave you with more than you could ever imagine. When you gasp your little sighs of pleasure I will sink my fangs into you and drain your blood from your body. I will fill your soul with dark carnal thoughts that will drive you insane and ruin you for any other man. Then I will leave you begging for more, never to see you again. So Mary, forget me, unless you want a life of ruin and insanity.

T

I folded that one up because there is no way I’d read THAT to my children.

I started over.

My dearest Mary,

I have not been honest with you. I have a wife and three children in America. I respect you too much to make you my mistress or even be your close friend.

I am sorry.

~ Theodore

We heard a loud engine and then the loud stereo. Teddy (Theodore) was home.

We didn’t tell him why we were all smiling but he liked way the jacket fit Garrett.

“Who is Mary?” Garrett asked his father. Clara started to giggle.

I put my arm around Teddy’s waist and handed him the letter.

“Mary? Oh right, she was a girl I met at a party in London. Pretty girl and insanely wealthy. She had a crush on your Uncle Maxwell. What, you didn’t think she wrote that letter to me did you? It was for Max.”

“What happened?” I asked in anticipation of a good story.

“Nothing. I never gave it to him. She didn’t know he was a Vampire or anything other than he was a charming man with an air of danger about him.”

“What happened to her?” 13-year-old Clara had to ask.

Teddy smiled. “Mary met the love of her life a few weeks later and lived a long and happy life.”

Which goes to show that sometimes the best love letters are those that are never sent.

And, proves once again that being kissed by a Vampire isn’t a bad thing. (Click here for a story about that)

And more on writing love letters for those of you who are REALLY IN LOVE. The art of writing love letters is alive and well (click here for beautiful examples.)

 

 ~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman

loveletter

Vampire Maman’s Tips On Writing

How to write

  • Write like you talk.
  • If people don’t like listening to you then find someone you like to listen to and write like they talk.
  • Or imagine how your character talks.
  • Close your eyes and let your story transport you.
  • Don’t be afraid.
  • Be fearless.
  • Let your fingers fly.
  • REMEMBER it is YOUR story, blog, book, poem, love letter.
  • It is your voice.
  • Think about your ideas all the time…in the car, while cooking, at night, in bed, everywhere. Never stop thinking about it.
  • Don’t pressure yourself.
  • Have fun. Most of all have fun. This is THE most important thing.
  • If you read a writing article and it makes you jittery or unsure don’t read it. STOP.
  • If anyone gives you any bit of grief don’t tell them about your writing. Keep them in the dark. Send them to the Vampires and Werewolves so you may write as you wish free of negativity.
  • Don’t listen to others. Listen to your own heart and soul.
  • Share with those who support you.
  • And to Hell with anyone who tries to put you down.
  • It is yours and only yours. If you wish to share that is your choice.
  • Writing isn’t about money or fame or pleasing someone else. It is about you and what makes you happy. Those are your words. YOURS ALONE.
  • The same rules apply to art and music.
  • If you like your writing and it makes you happy that is all that matters.
  • If it heals you that is all that matters.
  • If it helps you that is all that matters.
  • And if it makes someone laugh or think or ponder or sign or feel inspired…well, of course THAT is the big reward for me.

 

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman

What we talked about on the way to school with my teens…sad events, road trips and helping others.

What we talked about on the way to school with my teens…sad events, road trips and helping others.

On the way to school/work we always have the news on the radio in the mornings (my choice but if the story is boring or pisses me of I tell them to change to music).

Hawthorne Nevada. The explosion that killed so many Marines was tragic. I didn’t go into it, the young lives, the what if factors. It was too sad to start off the morning with. It is still too sad. My heart goes out to all of the families of those who died and to those injured.

We did discuss where Hawthorne is. We’ve driven though Hawthorne. We’ve stopped for gas. We’ve discussed the high school. What WOULD it be like to go to a high school in such an isolated place? Is it that isolated or does it just seem that way from the highway or Googlemaps?  And yes, that is relatively close to where mom got the ticket for not stopping at the stop sign after driving for 150 miles and only seeing one other car. Mom DID stop but since she had a California plate on her car she was fresh meat to the two law enforcement thugs who ticked me about a mile after the stop. Yes, the kids remember her stopping and talking about where the next highway would lead and we all laughed about the most isolated road in America and how next time we’ll think twice about blindly following directions from Googlemaps. We were all shocked to see those blue lights. Yes, I was in the right but I paid the $76 in blood money.

Had it been a B horror movie I could have gone into full Vampire mode but I had kids with me and I was tired and just wanted to get to Las Vegas before the sun came up.

I avoid going into full Vampire mode – ever. You know, just like out of a B movie. It isn’t pretty or classy. But if you are going to go into full mode the desert is a good place to do it. Don’t tell my kids I said that.

Today the Middle School students (7-8th graders) are going to volunteer at one of the larger food/clothing closets in town. Clara took 2 bags stuffed with old clothes.  Old to her but barely worn and cute and fashionable. She said that the clothes she’d help sort out the year before were ugly. She wanted the girls who came there for help to look good and feel good about themselves.

That made me think about getting girls together (boys too) and giving their old almost new or just slightly used clothing to teens who are in need. All kids need to look good. To teens fitting in means looking good and feeling good. Something to think about.  There are so many foster kids, homeless kids, and in this economy kids who live in homes where things are tight. My kids have 54,000 shirts between them (or so it seems that way) – so do their friends.  Maybe every time they buy a shirt they have to get one for someone who REALLY needs a shirt. Think about it.

I told them that I loved them, they blew me kisses. Everyone got off to school ok.

Don’t forget to talk with your kids. Make the effort and it will be the best investment you’ll ever make.

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman

 

Click here for previous “what we talked about” post.

night drive