Saturday musings of a busy working mom

The gray green leaves

Mixed with orange and brown

Crimson falling in the rain


Not a sound

Except the snoring

Of a calico cat

The ticking of an old clock

And the sound

When I turn the pages

Of a book…

Or maybe just watch out the window

At the gray sky

And close my eyes

Savoring the moment…


But with no success because my mind won’t clear.



~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman



Nothing is that mysterious – not even Shadow People (or go away I need my mom time)

Today I was in my car, in the parking lot at the high school waiting for my daughter Clara.

I was thinking about the time last year when one of the kids in Geography gave a presentation and stated  “Oprah is popular in Italy.” It makes me laugh out loud every single time. Opera. It is opera that is so popular in Italy.

I know that this afternoon and tonight I will hear more amazing stories of school. Yes, every single night is like a stand up comedy routine with my daughter telling her dad and I about school.

School will be out in five minutes so I take a minute to read from “All the Light We Cannot See.” It was a book I didn’t think I’d like because it is written in the present tense but I love it. The words are so beautiful and the characters are so real. If you want to be transported to another time and place, get off of my blog, get off the Internet, find a quiet place and read this book.

So I’m sitting in my car, windows down, a slight warm breeze brushes my cool face and I catch a shape in the corner of my eyes. Damn it. There they are, two guys in suits. I know them. The proverbial men in black or whatever one wants to call these goons from some undisclosed secret agency. The asshole squad (as they’re officially called by Vampires and Werewolves.)

One is wearing the black suit. The other has removed his jacket and has the starched white shirt with the black tie. At least the Vampire Hunters I know don’t stick to the stereotypes like these guys do (at least the professionals who don’t bother my kind.)

Anyway they approach the car. One leans on the door at the open window. Last time they dropped by to see me they wanted to know about Zombies.

“I’m not your reference librarian,” I say to them.

“Who’s your friend?” The one who asks is called Johnson. I think his first name is Tom.

I was in the car alone, so I thought but I looked over and saw Nigel, the ghost sitting in the front passenger seat. He smiled sweetly, looking as solid and physical as can be.

“Nigel Pierce,” said the ghost to the annoying over dressed men.

“Like the artist?” The man asked with a slight sarcastic hint in his voice,

“Just like that.” said Nigel oh so cheerfully. Yes, just like the artist.

The man in the jacket pulled out a photo and showed it to me.


“Do you know this man Juliette?”

Of course I knew him. “What do you need to know?”

“He is a Vampire, like you.”

“And your point is?”

“Shadow people.”

“You’ve got to be fucking kidding?” That was Nigel. The Ghost said that.

I glared at Nigel. One does not show expression or give any information to men in black suits.

“Do you know something?” That was the one called Johnson.

Nigel leaned forward and brushed his dark hair out of his eyes. “Don’t mess with them man. They’re total creepers and psychopaths.”

“Have you communicated with them?”

“Not if I can help it. They’re the trash of the paranormal world.”


“Not even. Ghosts my ass. They’re nothing like Ghosts. Shadow People are… they’re like those weird kids in high school who think they’re really smart and creep around trying to look up girl’s skirts and suck up snot instead of using tissues. They’re sick. They’re straight up from Hell as far as I’m concerned. Nothing but a bunch of assholes.”

“What about the man in the hat?” That was Johnson again. All across the world people see shadows of a man a fedora (look up Coast-to-Coast and Art Bell if you don’t know about shadow people.)

“He’s a nothing but a pretender. Don’t waste your time.” Nigel turned to me. “Sorry Juliette, I didn’t know you’d have company. I gotta go. Hey, one more thing. Did you know I went to high school here. I did. HA. Things haven’t changed much.” And he vanished, as ghosts do in the middle of a Friday afternoon.

The men looked surprised. OK they looked shocked.

I took a deep breath and explained it all. “Nigel is a ghost. Get over it. And no, I’m not going to give you any information about him.”

“Nigel Pierce died in 1986,” said the other guy, his name is Booth. Cameron Booth. He doesn’t know that I know his first name.

“That explains the ghost part,” said Johnson.

Huh. Before today I never knew Nigel’s last name.

“Tell us about the man in the photo and where we can find him,” said Booth.

“I’m here to pick up my daughter. The fact that I’m a Vampire gives you no right to harass me.” At that point I turned my eyes dark and send a cold dark fear right to their bones. Yes, I can do that when I’m really pissed off.

I would have had a nice conversation with them about the Vampire in the photo and Shadow People and Ghosts but I didn’t really feel like it right then. I was off the clock for the weekend. It can’t be Halloween ALL the time. Jeeze.

The point of this story isn’t about Shadow People or Ghosts or Men from mysterious agencies. It is about being a mom. Friday afternoon is time I spend with my daughter. It is OUR TIME. The time I wait in the car for my daughter is MY TIME. I don’t want to be bothered. I don’t want to be questioned about things I don’t even like. I don’t want to have to make decisions. I’ve earned my few moments alone. I’ve earned my time with my child. I’ve earned the right not to be treated like a freak because I’m not like everybody else.

When Clara and I got home there were a dozen turkeys in our front yard. Did I question their existence? Did I wonder why their motivation was? Did I bother them? No. Of course not. I get it. Three Turkey Mamans out with their brood of nine skinny necked adolescent turkey babies. They don’t want to be bothered either.

Don’t bother me when I’m with my child… or with my Ghost.

Have a good weekend everyone. Make sure you take time to relax, unwind and get some me-time in for yourself. You’ll thank me for it later.

I sent Johnson a text on his personal phone and told him to have fun at his daughter’s play. She was going to be Amy in “Charlie’s Aunt” at her High School. Of course he had no idea I had his number. He has no idea about a lot of things but even the men of mystery have to get real. We all need to get real.

Right now I’m at my usual Friday spot in a dark table in a roller rink while Clara practices team dance with her partner. It is my time. Tomorrow I’ll be booked with other people, but now it is just me, my laptop and you.

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman

The place between the night and the day

First Morning LightYesterday a call came in. A small whispery voice, like old tissue paper that had once wrapped up lace and flower petals said, “We can’t find Ginger.”

The conversation continued, or I attempted to continue it. I asked where they’d seen Ginger last and if they’ll looked everywhere. But I got the same answer. “YOU have to come. We can’t find Ginger.”

Ginger is an old dog. She is some sort of medium sized Lab and Golden mix with a few other breeds in there. One day 15 years ago she showed up starving and dirty on the Elder’s farm. She was grown even then and seemed middle aged. Like her owners, Ginger is ancient and confused.

The elders are Tellias and Eleora, two ancient Vampires who aren’t even sure how old they are. He met her when he went to Britian with the Roman Army. That was a while back. Theirs was a story of sweeping epic romance, but now, they were calling me to find their old dog.

I brought the kids with me, 17 year old Garrett and 14 year old Clara. When we arrived, they, the Elders were along. The early morning air was filled with smoke from forest fires in the hills. Eleora was afraid of smoke, so she was out of sorts even more than usual. Back in the days of burning rice fields she’d leave town for the coast.

When we arrived Tellias came out to greet us in an old black tux with no shirt underneath the jacket and bare feet. His blonde hair was covered by an old pith helmet. Eleora wore a halter style sundress out of some ugly brown and yellow batik fabric and red cowboy boots. She carried a large butterfly net and a green glass bowl of dog biscuits. Despite their age and frailties they look as though they can’t be much older than 20.

And it is my job to take care of them and make sure they’re safe and have what they need. It is my job to make sure they don’t do stupid things.

My children and I were showered with hugs and kisses. They usually sang songs to us when we arrived, but this time is was all about finding Ginger.

We searched high and low for Ginger. We called. But no answer.

“We’ve looked everywhere,” said Tellias.

“Everywhere,” said Eleora.

“Everywhere,” whispered Tellias.

So we all searched and called more. After taking a break from dog searching, cleaning up, fixing a few things, and throwing in some laundry that had piled up, we sat down for a few moments. There was a click click click on the floor and we turned to see Ginger looking at us with big brown eyes.

We have no idea where she’d been, but we were glad that she was back. She is covered in hugs and kisses. All is well.

It had been a long week with my work, the kids starting school, my husband’s activities and looking after the Elders. Some say don’t sweat the small stuff but it all seems the same. There is no small stuff or big stuff – just stuff. But it is my stuff. It is my choice to be the one who manages all the stuff and take care of stuff and deal with stuff.

It isn’t that I love the stuff, I love the people who bring the stuff to me.

And in the early mornings between the night and the dawn I am left alone to my own stuff, or what I can clear out of my head and heart. I walk the trails near my house under the oaks, on the edge of the bluffs over the water. I can hear the first birds of the morning and see the last bats of the night. The deer, coyote and bobcats walk at a distance and sometimes let me see them in their own world. The squirrels jump through the trees like crazed acrobats.

I think of everything and nothing. I think of things that I don’t have time to think about when I’m looking for old dogs, lost socks, and lost souls.

My mind wanders the hills far beyond where my feet take me. Sometimes I see ghosts, but even they know not to bother me in my Vampire reveries.

At that place between the night and the day.

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman


Musings on Reading in the Dark and Audio Fantasies

I’m compiling my Spring/Summer reading lists – this included books (paper and otherwise), indie authors, big name authors, blogs, poets and anything in words that you might want to read on a quiet evening with a book, Nook, Kindle, or Laptop or better yet, have someone with a really good voice read it out loud to you.

I’ve been thinking about creating some audio stories (and you can hear my real voice). I’ve also had discussions with my kids about who I’d get to read my stories. There is a guy who goes by the name of William Control who has a great voice that would be awesome for my more Gothic themes. Who would you have read your stories? No, really. Let’s share our audio reading fantasies. Audio books and Radio are two great loves of mine.

The sound of  a voice is a powerful thing. Some voices transport us.

Then there are the others. You know the type. Politicians who drone on and on (who votes for them?). The grown woman with the high sing-song child like voice that just makes me want to smack her (my Vampire shortness comes out). The list goes on, but you know, there are great voice coaches out there for those who are “voice challenged.”

One of the best things that ever happened to me was when my brother Andrew (the one I haven’t written much about) told me to take my high 11-year-old voice down a octave.

“Nobody will ever take your seriously. You sound like a baby.” He told me this with a smirk and a scowl on his 20-year-old face. He never had much patience with his younger siblings but he always made a good point to pass on his judgmental wisdom. The thing is, as a child I found him intimidating, but now I thank him for his watchful ear and eye.

Out of five children in my parent’s brood of young Victorian Vampires my brother Andrew was he most serious and mysterious, but then again, he makes a fine Vampire. And he has a great voice. His voice can make politicians bow to their knees, corsets come untied and make babies stop crying for weeks.

So I lowered my voice. Not that I can make anybody do anything, but I can read aloud like the most accomplished of actors or radio announcers. Then suddenly the sound of Wolfman Jack comes to mind…OMG…every time his name is mentioned my husband HAS to tell everyone about the movie Motel Hell (the worst movie ever made – ok, it ties with Roller Boogie as the worst movie ever made.)

My American kids tell me that everything sounds better with an English accent. We have a long list of relatives with wonderful musical Southern accents (the Louisiana Vampires – almost another subspecies). Accents make things interesting as long as it is real. There is nothing worse than someone trying to do one of those fake “rich folk” accents or a bad accent of any kind.

So back to stories…I’m writing stories (along with my random blog posts) and finishing up books and telling stories and reading.

The nights are dry and the wind has died down so I can sit on my deck at night with the cats and read. I might look out beyond the deck and spy the glowing eyes of a raccoon or a bobcat. I might see a bat or hear something stir in the tree tops. I might be visited by a ghost but I don’t even want to think of that right now (he is still on my shit list.)

I’m compiling my list for warm weather reading. “THE” by Nathan Tackett is first on the list. My copy should arrive in the mail soon. The rest of the list will come shortly.

Let me know what you’ll be reading or listening to this summer. Oh I forgot – great audio books for car trips! I have to start thinking about that as well.

So anyway, happy Friday to all and I hope all of your reading is good!

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman

reading at night




Rain and Frogs

It is dark as dark. Pitch dark.

The rain is coming down. The wind is howling through the trees.

And the frogs in the seasonal ponds are singing up a chorus to rival the Mormon Tabernacle or even Chanticleer! One of my goals in the next year or two is to see Chanticleer the amazing orchestra of voices from San Francisco. In the meantime I have the songs of the frogs – the calming soothing frogs of night. The frogs that Vampires, who seek the dark and quiet, love to hear.

Oh frogs we love thee, water born angels, sprites of the night.

In most parts of the world frogs hibernate when it turns cold. Here they thrive. The big ones are under our front porch. The little ones are in the ponds and creeks.

In the summer when it is dry they are quiet. The ponds are gone. The creeks are more or less dry. They could go down to the lake and ponds at the bottom of the bluffs. I imagine them walking in single file down to the lake, a half mile, single file on the dusty dirt paths. Tiny brown frogs, quietly determined to make it down to the lake, to the water where they’ll live until the first rainfall of Autumn comes again.

We like our frogs indeed.

We like the dark.

We like the trails when it is dry because of the mountain bike guys who ride at night. They stop and visit. Their ride always makes them tired. We never tell them that it is because they just spent a half hour with a couple of Vampires and their children. But it is all good. Everybody gets what they want – and the riders don’t know it. They’re unaware of who we are – they only know how good they feel after we leave them and how happy they are to hear the music of the frogs. They only feel the joy of riding with their lights under the night sky, on the dirt paths, down to the lake where the frogs spend their summers.

There are so many stresses in life for all sorts of creatures. It is a wonderful thing when we can spend time just enjoying the diversity of life and the songs of each other.


Juliette aka Vampire Maman

Rain and Frogs