Stop for just a moment…

Children are sensitive souls, even when they are almost grown.

When parents are sorting through their own issues, their teens are stoic for the most part. They turn it all inside. That is when we (parents) need to buck it up and watch and listen.

They need us almost more now than when they were toddlers.

The same goes with marriage. By the time kids are teens life is so crazy and complicated and emotionally turned upside down.

We are all so busy and stressed that it just gets overwhelming.

I always say TALK WITH YOUR KIDS. I still say that. But today I have another chant for you. Talk with your spouse/partner. Talk to the other parent in the house. This is assuming the other parent is in the house. If he or she is make the time for them, as well as for the kids.

I know you know this. We just need reminders.

Yesterday my brother Aaron stopped by. Aaron and I are the only married siblings of my parent’s brood of five. He was happy that his young adult children were home for a few weeks, but they were off in their own world. His wife Verity was either with the children or working on a thousand things that had nothing to do with him.

I thought about my own household where we were all coming and going at 3,000 mph.

Stop. Talk. Hug. Say I love you.

“Maybe we’re meant to be solitary creatures,” said my brother.

“We all need our time alone. Is everything ok?” I asked.

“Sure. I’m around my family but they’re not really there.”

We talked more. They ARE there but everyone just gets so tied up in everything but each other.

Sometimes both Aaron and I feel alone, yet we know we are both part of something extraordinarily special and amazing. We have spouses and children who are there for us no matter what, and we are there for them. In turn, we are siblings who are so different, yet we are always here for each other.

I get lost in my own thoughts and issues and forget everyone around me. I become like a shadow. I become invisible. Sure, we’re Vampires so we should be invisible for the most part, but not when it comes to those we love. Nor should we make anyone feel invisible.

So your assignment for today: Love and show it. Your heart might not be beating but it doesn’t mean you can’t make someone feel they are valued and needed.

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman

red heart

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Driving me crazy (or my brain is full right now)

From time to time I have to tell my husband “I don’t want to talk about my family.”

It is easy for him since he has no family outside of me and our kids and my insane group of siblings and assorted relations.

When you’re a vampire the insanity goes on for centuries but the same rules and feelings apply to everyone. Maybe not so much Werewolves since they’re such pack animals. Anyway…

My brother Valentine called me the other day and said that our brother Andrew was acting “funny.” Nothing new there. Andrew, aside from being somewhat flighty and in his own special universe most of the time, is prone to getting himself into both physical and emotional issues that can’t be dealt with alone.

“What is it now?” I asked wanting to just hang up and not even bother. Actually I was wondering where he’d want me to come pick him up and how long it would take of me to get there.

It ends up he was in Reno and had wrecked his car on an isolated mountain road. My situation was for him to take the train and I’d pick him up at the station closest to my house near Sacramento. Trains are great for Vampires. You can either sleep or eat or meet new people. The scenery is always nice through the mountains. Then we can all tell “remember when” stories about when the railroad was built and our dad took us out to see the construction.

Then Andrew calls me and asks if I can pack up the teenagers and drive up to get him. Three hours in the car with two teenagers is always a good time. With mine it is always a good time, but Andrew, please, don’t do this to me.

“Why can’t Val come get you?”

“I want you to come. You’re it darling.”

This is why I can’t get anything done.

I told him where and when to meet me. Andrew can always find something to keep him busy including getting a room at the best hotel to hang out in. Any woman, any man, anybody. So why am I going up there?

Then Aaron (another brother – the really serious responsible one) calls to say that Andrew called and said he was stranded and feared for his life due to a number of reasons and he was suffering from a broken heart and he’d wrecked his car. The layers keep piling on. Aaron says NO WAY is he driving up to get Andrew.

Then my mom calls and asks if I’m getting Andrew. I want to scream at her and scream bad words but I hold my breath and say “of course I’m getting him. Do you think anyone else is going to volunteer?”

Then she tells me how depressed Andy has been and how sensitive he is. She goes on about how next week he is singing Opera in New York and I need to understand… Oh please, give it a rest.

So I take care of work stuff with a few calls. I get the kids who are complaining loudly about the whole deal and end up only taking the 18 year old with me. The other one (15) is doing stuff with friends.

On the way up the mountain my son Garrett and I talk about everything under the stars and moon, then we just listen to music. I think of writing projects I’m working on. I have deadlines.  I can’t come up with plots or endings or twists and turns.

 

The end of the world had come and gone a long time ago. Of course I wouldn’t dare remind Captain Sandy of that extraordinary fact. He stood in the basket of the airship, hands on the control, the tails of his tuxedo jacket blowing in the wind.

When the end of the world came the evil and the damned were gathered up and taken down to Hell. The pure and righteous were led up to Heaven in a golden white light.

That left the artists and writers, along with a lot of musicians, wine makers, computer programmers and antiques dealers. Of course there were others, but nobody that lacked a certain amount of creative or innovative spirit. One must have spirit when the world ends.

It worked for me.

I mean, the world had become way too serious. I adjusted my goggles and facemask as I looked down on the tire fire that had been burning for the past 100 years. Adjusting the leather hood on my cat, I took him out of his basket to take a look. My five year old son Aaron stood on his toes to get a look as I held tight to the back of his jacket. I must have been a sight, boy in one hand, cat in the other.

Life was an adventure to be savored and enjoyed. It was a destroyed world being built up by those with visions of beauty and wonder. Captain Sandy always said this was Heaven. Of course I never told him otherwise. It was Heaven to be in the arms of my husband at night and feel the touch of his skin on mine, that is until I’d run my hand over the deep scars on his back. I called him my fallen angel. He would just laugh and kiss me as only an angel could kiss. Maybe it was Heaven for him since he was now dead, but I will never know unless I die too and find him there.

Once when I was younger my brother and I found some old movies where everyone at the end of the world were driving big trucks and dune buggies as they shot anyone they came across. There were zombies and crazy fucks of all sorts fighting for the last clean water or bits of fuel.

We laughed. That was not our world. Ours was a world to create without hesitation or critical review. Our poets were considered as important as our politicians. Our sense of style always outweighed our sense of practicality.

Captain Sandy asked me what I was thinking that could have me smiling so.

I told him and he just shook his head.

“Life isn’t a theater play like you make it out to be my dear. There are dangerous things out in dark areas of stench and smoke that would enslave us and make us into meals if they could. You’ve been protected in your leather and velvet bustle dresses and fanciful thoughts. It’s a good thing to be ignorant of the world but it is dangerous in ways you can’t imagine.”

“Captain,” I said, “you forget that the shadows took my husband. I take flights of fancy so I won’t fall out of the sky and die of sorrow.”

He turned and gave me a quick smile. Despite the dark pattern of scars on the left side of his face the Captain was still a handsome man with a dazzling smile. All the women were quick to notice him.

 “Why are you alone?”

“I’m not.”

 “No wife or children?”

“I had a wife. She vanished when the world ended. I never knew if she went up or down or just vanished to dust. Who knows. The bitch could still be around somewhere.”

“So you’re alone,” I said.

He stepped closer and took me in his arms, his lips against mine, his body heat searing through my dress right down to my bare skin…

Oh fuck, I’ve written myself into a hole again. I swear I can’t come up with anything anymore. I have to come up with an ending and maybe even a plot. What a novel idea (no pun intended.)

 

Garrett looks over at me. “What’s wrong?”

“Nothing,” I tell him.

“Mom, you look so serious.”

“I was thinking about a story. Just ideas. Sorry.”

He turns up the radio and we start singing out loud together to a song by The Killers then we sing to Blink 182, then we put in the Abby Road CD and sing the entire CD until we arrive to the Nevada Museum of Art where Andrew is waiting for us among the Western landscapes.

He said he has dinner for us in his hotel room. Good. Garrett and I are famished. I won’t go into details. Party friends who never knew when they woke up that they’d spent the afternoon with three hungry Vampires.

On the way home, down the mountain, we talked and laughed and actually had a nice relaxing ride.

Anyway, life isn’t all parties in crypts dressed like vintage Cleevey Stevie Nicks or other nonsense. We take care of each other just like anyone else. We do that even when it isn’t fun.

That said, my brain is still full and as much as I love Andrew, he owes me big time.

Take a deep breath. Remember, you are loved, no matter how busy you are.

Also that you are creative, maybe not this minute, but you’ll get there.

 

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman 

 

One of those days

Ever have one of those days?

I was literally up to my elbows in blood. It was all over my shirt. My hands were covered. Everything that could go wrong was.

 

My phone gave a meow (my message sound).

 

Where are you? I need a ride to skate practice.

 

Then another line.

 

Mom? Mom? Mom? Mom?

 

I went to the bathroom and washed my hands. I can’t remember the last time like anything like this happened. That isn’t an expression. I don’t remember the last time I hit a vein wrong and made a mess of things like this.

I called my daughter.

“Where are you?” She sounded more than a little annoyed.

“I’m running late. Have your brother take you.”

“My skates are in the trunk of your car.”

Damn it all.

“OK honey, have Garrett take you the rink and I’ll meet you there.”

“Where are you?”

“Love you baby. See you in about 45 minutes.”

I looked up. The man who had been lying on the antique Turkistan rug was now standing in the doorway of the bathroom. I stood there with the phone in one hand, my bloody shirt in the other.

“Juliette, are you alright?”

“Nosebleed.” I lied of course. What else was I supposed to do? “I’m fine. Really. Just let me clean up and I’ll be right there.”

“What is wrong with your teeth?”

Holy crap, I’d forgotten. I put the towel over my face and pretended to sneeze. “My teeth are fine.” Fangs in. “I’m fine Cameron.”

There is nothing more pathetic than a stressed out Vampire. I should know. I started the day… yes day. It should have been night but I live in the day which is totally and completely wrong on so many levels. Then there was a strange ghost in my backyard I had to chase off. Then after getting two teenagers up and going (no small task) the cats started to fight and hiss at each other. Next I had to deal with my car (sprayed by a skunk), work issues that made my head almost explode and made me want to scream and all I wanted was a little break…

I rinsed out my mouth in the sink. Cameron saw blood. Damn… again. Why was he watching me?

“You ok? Do you need to go to the hospital?”

“I’m fine. Just left from the nosebleed. “

He rolled his shoulders and head.

“Stiff neck?” I asked

“I fell asleep. Sorry.” He pulled me close. “Do I need to worry about you?”

“No.” Closing my eyes as I put my head on his chest I could hear his heart beat. I could still taste his blood. He’d have sweet dreams for a week. I made sure of that, and made sure he wouldn’t have any marks on his neck, or at least not anything anyone would notice.

I told him I had to go and left him with calming memories and tried to remove any trace of nightmares my bad mood might have left him.

We were just a few minutes late to skate practice. I tried to read but ended up watching the skaters and letting my mind drift and muse on the night that was soon to come.

 

 

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman

Retreats, Re-treats and a Vampire’s Thoughts on Writing

traditional vampire

Once upon a time, I kissed a Vampire. I wore a bustle dress but he did not have wings. It was lovely.

victoiran bats

In popular mythology Vampires have bat wings and turn into bats. Nice idea.

in your room

I was never one for creeping into bedrooms either, of course unless… unless it was a bed I wanted to stay in for a while. Hey, you know, even Vampires multi-task.

So do moms like me. So do most modern parents (Vampires or not.)

I usually don’t comment on the blogs of others… I try not to be rude or snarky (HA HA April Fools on that one) but I just read a blog post about “Writer’s Retreats.” There were thoughts and quotes from “experts.” I have no beefs with the author. She was lovely. I do have it with other things about retreats and “experts.”

Today has been one of those days when I read about “Writer’s Retreats,” and I think of myself and my writing friends and I think “WTF?” I’m f___ing busy. I have an independent mind. I need coffee. I’m a bitch. But…

Perhaps when I was younger but I would have just found love the idea of a retreat. I also would have found the cutest guy at the retreat and slept with him. I would have written a bunch of lofty angst filled crap that nobody would ever want to read. Yes that is blunt. It is. Deal with it. Or I would have instantly gotten writer’s block and totally bored, or spent the entire time trying to impress everyone else there, and maybe drained the blood from the cute guy and left in the middle of the night. Maybe not. It just has no appeal to me anymore. I don’t want to be lofty. I don’t want to be deep. I don’t want to be literary.

So anyway…

What would my retreat be?

My retreat is in those hours before the sun comes up with just the company of my cats and my coffee.

My retreat is in those times when the kids are practicing their sports, or I’m waiting for, well, just waiting for someone or something else.

It is when I walk the dog and let my mind fill with ideas.

My retreat is looking at pictures and art and music. Filling my senses completely full.

My writing retreat is when I lay next to my husband, our arms around each other. I close my eyes and drift off to a place where everything is perfect and as it should be.

Sure I’d like the luxury of spending a lot of money and time off in a cabin in the woods (but not like that silly movie of the same title) with like minds… but then I think not. I’d rather spend the time with like minds that I already know or who live in my circles. I’d rather be with other bloggers and short story writers, those I know and those I don’t know yet, who live in a rushed world with so much variety and activity that they can hardly think, much less escape from it. They’re the ones who inspire me.

My writing friends and my quick messages to them and their feedback is my retreat.

Reading the works of others, no matter what the content, point of view or genre is my retreat.

The joy of learning the craft of writing (the stuff you don’t see here) is my retreat.

I guess I’m just not a follower. There are those who inspire me but I’m sort of old and I have teenagers and life is extremely serious and at the same time so whimsical and funny and amazing that… that if I went off by myself to write I wouldn’t have anything to write about.

I like my alone time. That said, as a writer and an artist, it has to be MY time. My place. My thoughts that rattle around in my brain for hours and days before anything goes down on paper, even if those hours and days are only a split second.

You might not agree with me. I wouldn’t go on a marriage retreat either. I wouldn’t go on a Vampire retreat. I don’t do retreats. I despise the very idea of self-help retreats. Spiritual retreats make me think of cults totally creep me out. But if you like that sort of thing… well go ahead but don’t ask me along. I’ll just smile and say “have a nice time.”

I have to say that my husband feels the same way about these sorts of things. We came into this relationship with this view already. And don’t even get me started on most parenting books, experts, seminars and retreats. My fangs will come out when that subject comes up.

My husband always says “Everything annoys you.”

I respond with, “Why yes it does.”

I’m not going to pretend I’m perfect or my views and life are perfect (like some people in the news) but it is my life and I’m feeling a little snarky right now. My regular readers know I’m usually pretty sweet and sensitive. I am. Really. Most of the time. OK I try.

But I do like TREATS and I like sharing so I guess that could be a nice Re-Treat. A nice bottle of wine, some cheese, some tea or whatever you like… I could go for that. We’d talk about our writing then maybe we wouldn’t. We’ll just end up talking about our dogs or roller skating or books we’ve read or those day-to-day things that make up the contents of good writing (fact or fiction or those odd bits that live in both worlds.) Or you could send me a link to something cool online or a story you’re writing or I could read your book and then you could read mine. THAT is the perfect retreat – to share treats – the treat of our thoughts and creativity.

And to think this was going to be an essay on being a Modern Vampire… oh well.

Have a good week everyone and don’t listen to me if you don’t want to, but I’ll be here if you need me.

And on a serious and thoughtful note… I hope all of you have your own small retreats, those places either mentally or physically that are yours and yours alone.

 

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman

 

 

clarke dark

To steal a moment

I run my fingers across your forearm

Ever so lightly

Your cool skin is mine

Then you smile

Your lips are on my shoulder

Then my neck

And on my lips.

 

 

We talk forever

Share our thoughts

We laugh

We never run out

Of things to say

 

 

Now years later

We’re too busy to linger

In the luxury of nights

Because we’re parents

And we’re tired

Preoccupied

Serious

 

 

But still

A chance will come

To steal a moment

A touch of the hand

A brush of the lips

My hands through your hair

An afternoon phone call

To say

I love you.

 

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman

 linger

http://dailypost.wordpress.com/2014/03/17/daily-prompt-linger/

Make love to me…

vm_on the water

I imagine myself on a beach. I smell the salt air and feel the wind on my face. The foam laps at my feet. The waves crash. Sea birds cry out. Coming towards me is a man. He is buffed and beautiful and bare. His long wet hair is around his shoulders. Green eyes burn a bright seductive fire just for me. A selkie who has shed his seal skin to be come a beautiful man and he smiles right at me and whispers “make love to me.”

Then I tell him “I can’t do this. I have to pick the kids up then I’m meeting with a client. Maybe another time. Cancel that one. I’m married. Sorry. Oh well.”

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman

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By the way…this is my 700th post here on Vampire Maman. Feel free to explore the archives!