V is for Valentine…and Vampire

lovers kiss

Romance is in the air and in the blood!

As many of you know, I’m always finding brittle dried up folded pieces of paper in the dryer. Love poems and notes to the heart that my 17 year old son Garrett scrawls down and shoves in his pockets.

I don’t understand women. I will never understand women. Vampires, Regular Humans, Werewolves. They’re all confusing. They drive me crazy. I love them.

Alright. I guess that is better than finding a frog or a joint in the dryer. All joking aside, I find it sweet. He is my romantic. Then again, he is a Modern Vampire so he can’t help it.

Yes, there are those cold and heartless Vampires, but it is generally a protective ruse to keep their cold hearts from warming up enough to break or beat fast enough to get a pulse. Yes, V is for Valentine and Vampire.

And speaking of Valentines…

This is the place for ROMANCE all February long.

In fact this is the place for romance all year – that is Vampire style romance.

The most popular post on this blog is about how to respond to a love letter. About a third of my blog traffic comes from those romantic souls looking for advice on love and writing the perfect love letter or response to a love letter.

So this month I’m gong to highlight love letters, kisses, romance, romantic reading, relationships and anything that makes the heart go still (or pitter patter depending on what kind of creature you are.)

From fact to fiction it will all be fun. 

And of course, it wouldn’t be a month of romance without my four Vampire brothers, including my brother Valentine.

Wishing you kisses starting NOW. It will soon be time for Cupid to come calling!

xoxoxoxoxoxoxo

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman

What we’re talking about today (with my teens)

“Can I get my belly button pierced?”

“No”

“Why not.”

“Because I said so. Don’t bring it up again.”

OK I have to admit that one came out of the blue.

“Hey mom, look water falling from the sky.”

Wow. It rained. Not much, but it rained.

The weather. Freezing in far off parts of the United States but here in California…the hills are still a dull brownish gray. The only green is where Teddy cleared the fire line behind our house. It has rained once, and only for about an hour, since October. Before that maybe once since May. Everyone is going out to the lake to see the old Gold Rush towns and bridges that have been exposed by the lack of lake. I’m noticing the smaller lake by my house starting to drop and wonder if old settlements and the original river bed will be exposed by spring.

Back in the drought of the late 1970’s my brother Val and I drove across the bed of Folsom Lake. About a year after that it rained again. The lake filled up. Then everyone was talking about 100 year floods. Just last year people were still saying our area could be the next New Orleans (and old levee issue plus the building of homes where homes should have never been built.)

100 years ago downtown the houses are built with the first story being high off the ground due to a history of floods. Everyone used to have a small boat “just in case.” The good old days. You wouldn’t believe the mud.

Then the subject came up of stupid adults who should know better (than to behave as they do.) A friend (a teen my kids go to school with) gets nasty mean text messages from his mother’s boyfriend. He doesn’t live with his mother, but needless to say, the boyfriend feels the need to be an asshole jerk-off and send this good A+ student hate messages. What is wrong with some people.

It reminded me of a story my dad told me about his childhood a million years ago. When my dad was 16 he was sent to help an uncle dig a ditch. The uncle taunted my father without mercy. This was due to the fact that my dad could read and write. He lived in a house with books and ideas. The uncle said “you think you’re better than me city boy.” After some more digging and insults passed the uncle threatened to kill my dad. So my 16 year old father whacked his uncle on the side of the head with a shovel and knocked him out. My dad was never bothered by his uncle again.

Unfortunately kids can’t just clock someone with a shovel these days and not get into serious trouble. Too bad. I figure the jerk-off who is texting our friend is threatened by the fact that his girlfriend has a smart successful child. The boyfriend is also a bully of the first order. I don’t understand women (and men) who put a new lover before their own children. I will never understand that. I also never understood how people who don’t like kids insist on dating people who have children. Assholes.

Then we talked about how some adults will sexually abuse teens – because they think they can get away with it. There was a story in the news about a girl who finally came out on YouTube about her experiences and everything finally hit the fan for the abusive teacher involved.

I told my kids about a friend of mine who was molested years ago by a responsible adult – her orthodontist. She said that when that happens kids feel helpless to do anything. They feel like they aren’t important. They feel worthless. They feel like nobody cares. She told her parents years later and they said nothing. They didn’t show outrage (as she would if it had happened to her own kids.) The just changed the subject. They were more worried about her smoking with her friends (something none of them did) or making out with boys her own age than her being safe around adult predators. She couldn’t go to them back then and even now there was nothing. It was her word against a respected family man with a lot of education and money. My teens are puzzled and angered by this attitude. So am I.

Please let all teens know that even if their parents might not listen or might be uncomfortable subjects that there is always an adult at school who will listen. Or call 911. Put those perverts in a cell where they belong.

This morning we talked about why politicians take bribes, why there are so many shootings, who should go to the skate meet on Superbowl Sunday aside from the person skating, the need for new jeans, college and the dangers of being a journalist in a war zone.

We talked about music. We talked about all of my teen’s friends. They’re fortunate to have so many good friends.

We’ve talked a lot about the upcoming Winter Olympics. The one to watch is Jason Brown (men’s figure skating.) He is a joy to watch.

On the way out the door I noticed we were all wearing the same thing. Black shirt, dark jeans, black shoes, mismatched socks. All three of us. I do love my kids. We all agreed that their dad would never wear mismatched socks. Oh well.

Have a good weekend everyone and remember TALK WITH YOUR KIDS. It is the best thing you will ever do.

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman

Never Shout Never – Absolutely Never

Define and Conquer

I’d picked the kids up last week from the roller skating rink and caught a nice break visiting and singing along with them to fun music from the iPod (Never Shout Never, Coffee and Cigarettes. Always fun and inappropriate), when I pull into my driveway and see that black Mercedes parked in front of my house.

In another life, another time, another moment, my heart would have skipped a beat. Everything in my romantic Vampire soul would have cried “Adventure and Romance are MINE”, followed by “Insanity and Trouble” and the urge to RUN, but at this moment, BUSY MOM, just looked and thought “You’ve got to be kidding?”

My kids are already wondering why my mood is gone.

The last time this person was over my husband gave him the “We’re not going to raise our kids in a Vampire Ghetto” talk. Not “Ghetto Talk” but telling this prominent Vampire that we would not be raising our children in a night-time world of Vampires and darkness. We’re modern Vampires. We don’t lurk around shadows. We don’t lurk. We live in a diverse world. And aside from that, my husband used to be a regular human. But that is another blog post up the road somewhere.

He greeted the kids and they ran upstairs with excuses about tons of homework. I greeted Nathaniel Chase with a kiss on his cold cheek. He took my hands in his and told me how lovely I looked. Teddy had already opened a bottle of wine. I headed to the kitchen to get my own glass of wine, with the intention of joining  the men who were deep in discussion about whatever it is men discuss when my brain is full of kids and work and the 50,000 things the average mom has to do each and every single day rain or shine, dark or light.

I was in no hurry to get my own glass. From the corner of my eye, from the kitchen window, I could see the ghost sitting on my back deck reading a large red book. Nathaniel Chase would be too polite to bring up the ghost. Most Vampires are polite to a fault unless provoked (or with their blood relatives). As I poured the wine I wondered what brought Nathaniel here. It was always something that would turn my world upside down. He always wanted something. What would it be this time. Did he still want to know about Jack the Ripper? Did he want to recruit my son into studying with some old musty Vampire in Europe? Did he want to get information about someone? Or did he just plan on bitching about our lifestyle choices?

I glanced out the window at the ghost. He flipped me off and vanished. I thought about Nathaniel, glossy black hair, slate blue eyes and matching sweater and black jeans with a plaid Cashmere scarf hanging around his neck (you know the kind guys wear now). He could have been the front man of a famous band or a CEO of a Fortune 100 company. He could be whatever you wanted him to be. As a Vampire he was that good. Women’s heads would turn but they wouldn’t know if it was because he was dressed so well or if he was handsome or if he was a creature from another realm. All they were really sure of was that they couldn’t resist him. He could work it on men too (we all can). No regular human could resist Nathaniel Chase.

He’d been around for a long time. I suspect at least 400 years but I never asked. I just knew that it was his job, or he thought it his job, to keep track of what other Vampires were doing. I’m a mom, so had too much to deal with right now without being twisted and turned by Nathaniel Chase. And I could resist Nathaniel Chase. I’d been resisting him my entire life.

I’m proud to be whatever I am and have raise my children to do the same but that said…I don’t want my children to grow up feeling as if the world is not theirs. I don’t want them to live in an antique world of darkness, reeking with the smells of dried blood and fear. I don’t want them to feel as if they are monsters or outcasts.

Nathaniel Chase was always watching me since  I was a child. Nothing I ever did was right. Of course girlfriends and I got into all sorts of silly problems but we were just girls. On the other hand my brother Val and I got into some serious trouble on more than one occasion over the years, but we learned from our mistakes. We were serious successful adults now – not the crazy reckless youthful Vampires of old.

I downed my wine, poured another glass, straightened my shoulders and joined my husband Teddy and Nathaniel in the formal living room. I was ready to take whatever crap he wanted to throw at me and I was ready to throw it back. Never again would I let Nathaniel Chase get the best of me.

It took everything I had (and the wine helped) to keep my upper lip from getting a twitch in it. My head was light. I hated confrontation. I didn’t need it right now.

“So what brings you here Nathaniel?” I asked as I pushed a cat off of the chair and sat down. The cat jumped up into Nathaniel’s lap. Traitor.

“My wife and I are moving here in a few months. Our daughter is 3 and our son just had his first birthday. I wanted to ask you about the schools. I hear you’re the go-to source for all things to do with parenting” Nathaniel answered. My husband just smiled.

As we grow up, no matter how long it takes, there comes a time when we realize that we’ve come into our own. I believe that most people are respected and liked and loved far more than they can ever imagine. I don’t always feel like that, believe me, but all reason tells me to just stop thinking and give myself a pat on my back for doing a good job.

We talked for another couple of hours about kids, schools and the joys and challenges of parenting. And all was well in my world, as the tune to Coffee and Cigarettes ran through my head.

wings

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman

This was first posted in February 2013

A need you dare not admit. Poetry on a Vampire Mom blog? Why? I’ll tell you.

A need you dare not admit. Poetry on a Vampire Mom blog? Why? I’ll tell you.

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.

Juliette Vampire Maman

Almost two years ago I started writing the blog Vampire Maman (vampiremaman.com) as a parenting blog written by a Modern Vampire. It grew from a few funny stories about parenting, the elderly and ghosts to something much larger and more diverse. A large part of that diversity has been poetry, both mine and the poetry of others.

For me poetry is a way to put down words to express feelings that can’t always be explained otherwise. Just random thoughts and feelings. At least that is what works for me. I’m not a poet. I’m a storyteller.

I use poetry to tell stories. On my blog I talk a lot about 17 year old Garrett, a Vampire teen who is forever in love with one girl after the other – and of course he is always getting his heart broken. To deal with his feelings he writes poetry (which I usually find in the laundry.)

 Looking Back

Looking back,

You’re a pale ghost.

A monster waiting,

To feed upon the Vampire boy.

I feel your unholy energy,

Your thirst for power,

You prey on my heart,

You sucked away my love.

Alone in the dark,

I see your selfish soul,

Your glowing eyes,

That burn into my mind.

Loving a human girl,

Can only bring pain,

They are the monsters,

Bitches who bite deep.

 ___________________________________

Sometimes I’ll write something just to get an idea or feeling across…as in night and darkness…love…and mystery.

 

Musings of Night and Darkness

Night glimmers with light

Life abounds

The music of crickets

The glow of eyes in the night

Of raccoon and possums

Coyotes and cats

Nocturnal parties

Quiet in their celebrations

Stars and moon light the way

Reflecting off of waters

While cool breeze

Fills the night air

Beauty in darkness

No time for dreams

 

_____________________________

 

Vampire Love Poem

I was a spirit

In white silk with pink roses

Bustle in back

You in black tails

Took my breath away

And a century later

When you realized

That I loved you

I could exhale

______________________________

You Wait At My Door

You wait at my door,

Your bite still fresh,

Your cries

Your pleading

Your banging

The scratching

Your love

Astounds me

You will not give up

Fangs set

Love forever

I must let you in

For after all

Despite all

Forever all

I laugh

I smile

I let you in

You are my cat.

Rub my belly

Rub my belly

________________________________________________

And sometimes I write a few words of verse just to start off a story.

 

You are not prey

For I do not kill

Or take without giving

 

I don’t steal your dreams

Or make you scream

In your bed alone

 

I take only what I need

And in return

You are in blissful wonder

 

Don’t fear the ones

With a shadow for a soul

And a vision of night

 

“What are you writing?” That was said in a sarcastic tone right from the mouth of the Ghost who materialized over my shoulder like a puff of stale cigarette smoke. That was the last thing I needed.

I glared at him. “Go away. It isn’t for your eyes.”

He gave me a disgusted look. “It isn’t for any eyes.”

“I was just playing around with the words.”

“You’re such a Vampire. Always trying to make your vile nasty things look so innocent. Why don’t you just say that you creep around at night and scare the shit out of people.”

“That is your job Mr. Ghost.”

“Oh right. But you’re pretty creepy.”

I stood up and faced him. “Really? You think I’m creepy?”

He gave me one of those creepy smiles and raised an eyebrow. “I do.”

“That comes from a disembodied dead person who lurks around and stalks people,” I told him.

“I don’t lurk. And you’re not a people. You’re a Vampire. You’re dead too.”

“ Excuse me Nigel, I am not dead.”

“A twisted technicality. And what about your husband? He wasn’t born into your sick and twisted Vampire world. He was held down by a gang of Vampires while their Vampire slut sucked out all of his blood as well as his very life. Then they filled him with their poisoned blood and breath and gave him a shadow for a soul. He had a funeral. His girlfriend cried over his dead cold body. He now, like you, has to drink blood to survive.”

“At least my husband has a body.”

Nigel smiled again. “A body most guys would envy, but he is still a cold dead Vampire.”

“Are you done here?”

“Sure.” The ghost all but rolled his eyes. “You know when you’re angry your fangs come out.”

“Enough.” I snapped out at him.

Then he had the audacity to put his head back and laugh. “Admit it Vampire. I’m your muse.”

“Go away.”

“Goodnight Juliette.” He faded away but I could still hear him laughing in the distance.

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My favorite poetry on my blog is from other writers. About half the poetry I post isn’t mine. One of my favorites is from my own daughter (written about two years ago). This was an assignment for school but I had to share.

We destroy and help make screaming silence

As wonderful as we are

This world we are destroying

With our safe guns,

Truly false, bitter sweetness

Upside down ways, violently peaceful,

Beautiful flaws we do it’s never been right

Children

Maybe one day the unborn children can make a change

You

Be yourself, fix the bad karma, live your life and fix things as much as you can

Maybe one day it will all be better

Maybe long after you and me

But things can only get worse before they get better

C. S. Kings Age 12 2012

 

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman

 bells

A Vampire’s Guide to Grammar and Other Writing Rules: Part One

Every time you use two spaces after a period a fairy dies.

There is a REASON for that. We no longer type on old typewriters. The computers have lovely typographical features that fix the space according to the font. Don’t screw it up. One space. It is easy to break that old habit. DO IT. Break that bad habit. Stop killing fairies.

I wish we’d had computers back in the 19th century. We didn’t even have typewriters when I started out. Anyway…

I wish we’d had spell check back then. My spelling skills are much better than they used to be. Unfortunately as my readers know I still make a lot of mistakes. That is mainly due to my short attention span and general laziness. Hey, at least I’m honest about it.

Rules Everyone Needs to Know

Your: Your cat is climbing up my leg.

You’re: You’re climbing up my leg. Cut it out.

There: There is a car blocking my driveway. Where? Over there in my driveway.

Their: Their car is blocking my driveway.

They’re: They’re pushing your car over the cliff because it was blocking the driveway.

Two: I have two fangs.

Too: Me too.

To: I’m going to bite you.

To: I’m going to the castle.

Who and Whom

Who did you bite tonight?

I sucked blood from a man whom had once been in love with me.

Whom does have a sort of formal sound to it. A tricky word to use for most folks. It is also tricky to explain.

Who is used as a subjective pronoun. Whom is and objective pronoun. Confused? Me too. Don’t worry. Just move on to the next item.

The “I” and “Me” rule.

Incorrect: Me and the Vlad are going to the party.

Incorrect: Vlad and Me are going to the party.

Correct: Vlad and I are going to the party.”

ALWAYS treat the person you are bringing to the party as your guest. That means that they get to go first.

Here is a trick I use. Remove Vlad and go to the party alone. So what would you say?

Me is going to the party.

or

I am going to the party.

See where I’m going on this?

From Mandy White:

One part of the I/me rule that a lot of people get mixed up on is when it appears at the end of the sentence.

Example: 
“The party was for Vlad and I.” (incorrect) As you said, the guest goes first, but when you remove Vlad, it no longer makes sense.

The correct way would be: “The party was for Vlad and me.”

Now, this may not look right to a lot of people. I remember my mother constantly correcting me; that it was always supposed to be, ‘I’. “Vlad and I’ seems to sound better to me. But, when you eliminate Vlad from the sentence, it no longer makes sense.

_________________________

There is a good reason I’m not an English teacher. I have to look up the rules all the time. It is also a good thing I have friends who know the answers to these important questions.

Hey, thanks Mandy White for ALL of your reminders.

Write well, not good.

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman

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A walk in the woods and other night music…

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Musings on the California Drought, Frogs, Family Time and the Grammy Awards (and of course being a Vampire)

My brother Val stopped by at twilight for a stroll by the lake. We got the kids to put on their shoes and leave their crypts, excuse me, their bedrooms (as all teens, as you well know, have crypt like bedrooms) and come with us.

We walked along the dry path missing the tall green grass of last winter. The drought has reduced the ground to a gray brown clumps of dead grass. The grasses should be bright green and knee deep. The frogs should be calling out in their winter seasonal ponds. The only sounds are birds and cars. Nothing from the ground where the frogs live. I wonder where they are. Maybe dried up waiting like Vampires for the liquid of life to release them and bring them back from their ghastly dried up slumbers. Will they miss a generation of tadpoles because there is no pond to romance each other in and leave their eggs?

Anyway, it is easy to muse on frogs when their usual deafening night music is absent.

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My teens walk ahead, talking about their friends and school and of course music. The Grammys are going to be on. Only a few of their favorites have been nominated but they want to see it anyway.

Val and I walk behind shoulder to shoulder with private jokes that go back for years.

“Hey, I just discovered that if right after you take a donor, if you chase it with a shot of Jefferson’s Presidential Reserve Bourbon, oh my God, it is a bit of heaven mixed with the best sex you’ve ever had.”

“Who were you with?” I HAD to ask.

He laughed. I knew him too well. It always comes down to a woman (many many women.) He always chases his blood with shots of expensive booze. I mean we all do it, but he feeds more at night than I do. I do it when the kids are in school, meet with donors (as I like to call it) not take shots. Hey, like I’ve said before, we’re Modern Vampires, we don’t lurk around and steal into the bedrooms of strangers and do creepy stuff like that. We’re more civilized and have more fun when we hunt. Why brood when you can have fun or at least…whatever. There is no reason to ever brood.

We got back to the house just in time for the Grammy Awards to start. It was a lot of fun. Something for everyone. One thing that we liked was the fact that one or two artists didn’t win all of the awards (ok 3 or 4 did but still it is better than some previous years.) And this year the performances were good – even the bands/performers we usually don’t listen to. Pink was too much fun. All the old guys were out too. Carol King is not an old guy though – she is a force – an amazing talent. Just about everyone was good and it was fun. There were several bands we all thought should have been nominated. Maybe next year.

So that was my take on the Grammys. Teddy came in towards the end and had to let us all know what crap it all was (except Metallica.) He always has strong opinions on music. I have to admit Madonna was sort of scary and creepy (and a bit sad) in her cowgirl outfit and looking much older than any 55 year old women I know. Yoko was really scary too. If a Vampire thinks something is scary then it is scary.

We all thought the music teacher award was super cool! Go Music Teachers! We know who we’re going to nominate for next year!

Earlier Teddy was at the Kings game with old friends earlier in the evening. They lost (the Kings not the friends.) But the night wasn’t a total loss. Chased with beer rather than Bourbon. And of course friends. That is never a loss.

So a new week starts. I can only hope it will bring more fun and adventures.

Wishing you all a good week.

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman

Lake Natoma as twilight (from the Vampire's little magic phone box)

Lake Natoma as twilight (from the Vampire’s little magic phone box)