Juliette’s Book Club: Last night I dreamt…

“Last night I dreamt I went to Manderly again.”
Daphne Du Maurier, Rebecca

Last night I dreamt I went to a rock concert in an old 1940’s movie theater. I paid for it with a credit card I found at an unknown location, and I took my cat with me. The cat ran off in the theater. Later after the show, which included several costume changes and fireworks I found the cat in a field next to the theater. I couldn’t find my car so we took a raised monorail home through a city that looked like it was right out of the Fritz Lang movie Metropolis. I never did figure out who the band was. Needless to say I do not steal credit cards or  take my cat to concerts. However I will always love the movie Metropolis and the book Rebecca.

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Daphne Du Maurier is one of my favorite authors. Her books are always mysterious, well written, and timeless.

Her villains are horrible. Her characters are vibrant. Her story lines will leave you on the edge of your seat, or glued to your book.

So today, while I write this still in a sleep haze of weird dreams and high winds trying to blow down my house, I recommend you read ANY books plays or stories by the amazing Daphne Du Maurier.

I’ve read that Du Maurier was somewhat cold, often called frosty when it came to other people. She was distant from her children. As an introvert she rarely gave interviews and disliked social gatherings. I would have thought she’d be the life of the party and had many many friends, and been a lovely mother. Go figure. Read the book and don’t worry about the author.

By the way, the move “The Birds”, you know Hitchcock “The Birds, was based on one of her stories.

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My favorites are Jamaica, Rebecca, and My Cousin Rachael.

  • Gerald: A Portrait (1934)
  • The du Mauriers (1937)
  • The Young George du Maurier: a selection of his letters 1860–67 (1951)
  • The Infernal World of Branwell Brontë (1960)
  • Vanishing Cornwall (includes photographs by her son Christian, 1967)
  • Golden Lads: Sir Francis Bacon, Anthony Bacon and their Friends (1975)
  • The Winding Stair: Francis Bacon, His Rise and Fall (1976)
  • Growing Pains – the Shaping of a Writer (a.k.a. Myself When Young – the Shaping of a Writer, 1977)
  • Enchanted Cornwall (1989)

 

I’ll see you next Monday for another Juliette’s Book Club.

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman

Creative Ghosts

Lately I’ve been thinking a lot about creativity. I am an artist and writer. By using both I am a story-teller using both words and pictures – sometimes together and sometimes not.

I am fortunate to know so many other creative beings who are writers, artists and musicians and even actors. Anyway, being one of those kinds of people is never easy. The risks of even admitting one is creative is great. You’re scorned if it is your passion or if try to make a living of it. You are celebrated if you succeed. There seems to be no in-between. And nobody understands, or so it seems. Mentors are few and far between. Paths are unclear and filled with holes.

Then again it can be wonderful and rewarding and magical. When I’m creating I’m happy. When I’m creating and making money that really makes me happy.

This morning I’m working on some drawings and writing, as well as some business…

I’d just fixed coffee in my red French press and looked out the window to see the red shoulder hawk sitting in an oak tree and turkeys walking below (just setting the scene.) Anyway, my brain was starting to go blank and doubt was setting in and my attention span was well, I have no attention span what so ever.

I looked up from my computer to see a pale face surrounded by a mass of shaggy dark hair. It was Nigel, THE GHOST, my ghost, sitting across from me with a fuck-you-Juliette look on his face.

“What are you trying to do today Vampire?” He was in one of his usual fresh out of the grave moods.

“I was just thinking about all of my insanely creative friends.”

“You have friends?”

“Don’t be rude. So tell me Nigel, you were a successful artist. How did you manage it?”

He leaned back in the chair and then loosened his tie.

“Well, Juliette, my dear dear dear Juliette, I learned the business. I was sort of an asshole. I never took no for an answer. I believed in my art. But most of all I had a lot of support. Nobody every expected me to do anything but succeed. Good thing my family didn’t want anything to do with me or I would have never done anything. But my friends and my foster family were my real family. They believed. They made me believe. I probably would have killed myself before I ever made it out of high school if I’d stayed with my biological family. I was my art. My art was me. There was no separation. I worked smart too, learned from my mistakes and… connections were a big thing. I went to the right school. Right away I started to network and find the right people. I’ve never been shy. I was driven. I didn’t listen to anyone who wanted me to be nice or follow the norms or get a real job. Most of all I was good. I was great. People still buy my art. They still love it. Can you imagine if I’d lived? Can you imagine all of the people with real talent who are alive right now but so beaten down by all of the crap that they’ve heard all of their lives about how art doesn’t matter? At least their art doesn’t matter because… It was easy for me because I didn’t have to please anyone but myself and I was damn great at both art and pleasing myself. Everything is easy if you go throughout life as sort of a prick.”

I listened and thought a bit then poured more coffee.

I looked up and Nigel’s handsome almost transparent face was next to mine. “And you want to know what else Juliette? Tenacity. A lot of tenacity. A whole lot of tenacity.”

“It is easy when you’re young to dream,” I said, thinking of the teens I know, and of my own youth.

He gave a laugh, but it wasn’t mean. It was happy. “But when you’re old you have the life experience. You can do anything.”

“It isn’t that easy,” I said.

“Nothing is that easy, especially bringing back that passion but it can be done.”

“Anything else?”

“Don’t be a ghost before you’re dead,” said Nigel and he vanished in a whisp of blue smoke.

I’ve had doors slammed in my face. So I go to a side door or through a window. Or I find a better door. Or I kick the door down. Or I sit outside and yell. But as I go through my own front door, into the home I love knowing that my creativity bought this house I know that nothing can get me down at this point. It can’t. I won’t let it.

As I embark on new creative endeavours, new journeys so to speak, I will try not to bring any old ghosts with me. Well, with one exception. I will bring Nigel along with me, even if he is a pain in the ass sometimes. But when I go it alone I know he’ll be there, along with so many others cheering me on.

And in turn, I will be on the sidelines cheering on my creative friends. Better than that I’ll march in the parade beside them.

Never give up your art. Never give up your creative spirit. Never give up. Never. Like Nigel said – don’t be a ghost before you’re dead.

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman

 

 

 

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Ask Juliette: Odd Dreams, Relationships, Possums, and a Question About the Vampire King.

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Dear Juliette,
It appears that I have had several dreams of being a vampire however in all my dreams I always simply wake up before another dream of being a vampire in a different time era comes to be there is more tendencies that I tend to have but do not disclose almost all of these however have a blood red moon before I wake I don’t know if you have any insight on this but my dreams are not always the same sometimes I’m a vampire other times a Lycan I feel like something inside is trying to reach out to me…

You might just be having random dreams. We all do. On the other hand you might have a Vampire messing with you. We’ll do that you know – give you dreams. Maybe you remind someone of times gone by. Maybe they have a crush on you. An overly romantic vampire can be more than a pain in the neck; they can mess with your sleep as well. I hope you don’t ever become a Werewolf/Lycan. Oh man, they don’t walk and easy path. Stay away from those wolf-folk. Stay away. If you’re watching a lot of vampire movies or reading a lot of vampire fiction it might be time to give it a break for a bit. On the other hand write it all down. You might have a best seller on your hands.  

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Dear Juliette,
How can I tell if my boyfriend is a troll? He stays up all night pounding on the underside of a bridge asking crossing goats how to become a Vampire… wait. Never mind.

You might consider counseling on your choice of romantic partners. I’m pretty sure the guy is a troll, or at least a creep. Seriously there are a lot of great guys out there who are already Vampires (and they’re totally cold and hot.) And stay away from guys who try to pick up on strange goats.

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Dear Juliette,
When is it time to give up on my art?

Never.

 

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Dear Juliette,
I think possums are cute. Am I weird?

People who don’t like possums are weird. You’re just fine.

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Dear Juliette,
I have to ask you about your posts about Vlad of “Vampire Diary” fame. Is he based on Vlad the Impailer? Is he based on Dracula? Why is he living in surburbia if he is the Vampire King? That doesn’t make sense. He should be in LA or New York City living in a penthouse or a lavish mansion ruling this new Vampire kingdom and followers. I understand that he is sexy and dangerous but why add all of the cuteness. He is a cold powerful Vampire not some guy out of a Nicholas Sparks or Nora Roberts novel. Who is that idiot Randolpho he hangs out with? Just asking for a friend.

Uh hem (that was me clearning my throat.)

No, he is not based on that violent ugly little shit soulless Vlad the Impailer. He is not based on Bram Stoker’s Dracula. He is living in surburbia because it is comfortable and he can have a little peace. He lives in a very nice upper middle class neighborhood with lovely people. He isn’t in LA or New York City because he just wants to be low key for a while. Yes, it would be easy for him to jump right into being Vampire King but he is still trying to navigate living in the 21st Century. Now about the cute thing… Vlad is really cute. He is powerful. He can be quite dangerous and cold. He could be a guy in a Nora Roberts novel but he isn’t. Nicholas Sparks? Maybe not, but hey, Vlad can be a sensitive guy. As for Randolpho…he and Vlad have been friends since childhood. So what if you think he is an idiot. A good friend is a beautiful thing, even if you’re a Vampire. Jeeze, that was weird. Go take a chill pill or something. 

And if you’re reading this and don’t know about Vlad’s Vampire Diary CLICK HERE.

 

Ask Juliette

 

 

 

Ask Juliette (Ask a Vampire) is a somewhat frequent feature on Vampiremaman.com

If you have a question about ANYTHING (Vampires, relationships, parenting, life, weird stuff, etc.) just leave a comment here or email me at juliettevampiremom @ gmail. com

Thanks for dropping by and have fun.

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Short Story Sunday: Dream a Little Dream…

Damn. What a night. Fighting demons and their fucking friends. Max rarely even thought of using four letter words but tonight was a swear night. Even as an alpha Vampire to top all alpha Vampires he was exhausted, and away from home.

The only saving grace was that he’d been not far from his fiancé’s house by the beach. He looked forward to falling asleep in her arms to the sound of the waves.

She wasn’t home. Damn. He let himself in as the sun started to light up the morning sky. 5:00 a.m. Where was she?

Max stripped off his clothing and threw it into the washing machine. Then he fell onto her bed. Damn it felt good. She said she’d gotten new bedding but this was amazing. He never understood Vampires who slept in coffins and crypts.

Falling into a deep sleep the dreams came in waves…

“I’m smarter than everyone in this room. They’re all idiots,” said Archibald Fontaine.

What is that blow hard doing here? Thought Max. He couldn’t stand the pompous ass. Archi was the last Vampire he’d want in his dreams.

Then Archibald Fontaine leaned forward and kissed Max on the mouth.

Max backed off. “It is over Archi.”

Then he was jolted into a dark passageway. Sadness overwhelmed him. He had never felt so alone. A cat started to follow him, then two, then three, then five.

The dream jumped to another location. This time a house. His house. She lay on his bed in silk tap pants and a silk bra, both in pale pink. He kissed her neck and brushed it with his fangs. He wanted to tell her that he loved her but he didn’t. Or did she want to tell him?

He was at a party. It was the 1916. He heard her voice I haven’t thought about him in years. It was a lie. She thought about him all the time. A wolf howled in the distance. It was a Werewolf.

He sat on a chair pulling off the silk stockings he’d worn the night before. Red peep toe shoes were on the floor in front of him along with a flowered dress.

Max had never worn a dress. Not even on Halloween.

Max opened his eyes and looked into his own face next to him in bed. His eyes were brown, then the color turned to hazel, then back to brown. He smiled at himself and pulled himself close in an embrace.

Then he woke in a jolt. This was too weird. What had those demons done?

Mehitabel stood by the bed. “Hey baby.”

“Hey,” said Max.

He reached out his hand and gently pulled to him. She sat on the edge of the bed and gently kissed him.

“The new bedding is nice. Love the pillows. But oh man, I’m having weird dreams.”

She smiled and stroked his hair. “Memory foam,” she said.

“What?”

“Memory foam. You’re sleeping on my pillow silly.”

Then she undressed and got into bed beside him, but not before she gave him his own pillow.

~ end

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Note: Aside from the occasional rerun all “Short Story Sunday” stories are written quickly over coffee on the Sunday morning they are posted. Coffee + pencil/pen/crayon/keyboard + observation + imagination + inspiration + more coffee + a punch line or twist = a story of somewhat questionable origins and more questionable quality. What jump starts your imagination? 

 

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman

Vote TODAY – Everybody

On Tuesday June 5, 2018, I will be working as a Sacramento County Polling Clerk at one of the new voting centers. I’ll be in Orangevale so if you’re in my neck of the woods you might see me.

We are now in fire season here in Northern California. No big fires yet, but they’ll be here soon enough.

I was going to wax and wane poetically about fires that burn in our hearts with desire for love and freedom and dreams that others would take away. Think about how many times a child says she wants to be an artist or writer or doctor or historian or anything and someone says “that is too hard” or “you’ll fail.” How many times have people come up against all odds and had success. Think about that when you vote tomorrow. And you WILL vote (or I will lose all respect for you if you’re an American citizen.)

Anyway, a lot of people, including ALL women had someone before them fighting for that vote. But I won’t go on. The fires burn for education and knowledge. The fires burn for freedom to love. Vote for the fires that burn for the love of your children. Vote for the environment and water issues. Just vote for common sense.

Today you need to VOTE because all of the above. In other parts of the world (not my part of the world) people risk their lives for the right to vote. They die for it. People died for it here too.  So remember them and VOTE.

Plus remember… if you don’t vote you can’t complain about the results.

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman

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Ask Juliette: Boyfriend vs Kids, Dogs vs Cats, Hairy Palms, and Dreams

Ask Juliette (Ask a Vampire – Advice for Everyone) is a regular feature on Vampiremaman.com

The questions come from vampiremaman.com readers. If you have a questions about parenting, Vampires, relationships, dogs, cats, life in general, or anything, just ask and I will do my best to answer. Send your questions of juliettevampiremom @ gmail.com

Vampire Teen

Dear Juliette,

I’m a widow with two great kids ages twelve and fourteen. I have a job I like, own my own home, and I also have a wonderful boyfriend. My boyfriend is wealthy, good-looking, and likes my children. My boyfriend said he would marry me and pay for my children’s college education if I agree to send the children to a prestigious boarding school. He said we deserve our alone time. The school he can get them into is full of alumni who have attended Ivy League colleges, and has high scores for everything. The problem is that my children don’t want to leave me. The eldest, my daughter, has threatened to run away and live with my sister in another state. What should I do?

Dump the boyfriend. You can’t put a price on your children. No boyfriend, girlfriend, or potential spouse is worth trading for time with your kids.

When you choose to have and raise a child (and it is ALWAYS a choice) you sign an unwritten contract to love, provide for, guide, and be there for that child for eighteen years.

Sure you can sell yourself like a whore for money or the love of a man but at what price? Is it worth the price of the love and respect of your children? Is it worth a piece of ass? Is it worth an expensive diamond? Is it worth a guy who doesn’t respect your role as a parent? Is losing your children worth your “alone time”?

I never understand why some people insist on getting involved with people who either don’t like their kids, or have kids they don’t like. If you don’t want to be around someone’s children then don’t date them. And DON’T for God’s sake marry them.

Sure I’m being harsh and hard lined but these are children we’re talking about. CHILDREN.

Your children are only children for a short time. Treasure that time. You will never have it again. Once they are grown that is it. I’m not saying that you can’t have your own life and interests, but just don’t do it at the expense of the most precious and valuable thing you will ever have – your relationship with your children.

This is Oscar. He is my cat. He is really cute.

This is Oscar. He is my cat. He is really cute.

 

Dear Juliette,

Which do you like better, dogs or cats? What do Vampires like the best.

I’m more of a cat person but I adore them both. I have two cats and a dog. Oh my heart goes flutter when I think of them, even when they are doing bad and annoying things. I love both. I can’t imagine life without them.

As for Vampires…we’re just like regular people in that we each have our own preferences. For the most part Vampires like both dogs and cats. I mean, who wouldn’t? Right?

 

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Dear Juliette,

My boyfriend has hair on the palms of his hands.

Well crap. That isn’t good.

 

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Dear Juliette,

Is it ever too late to follow your dreams?

Absolutely not. Unless you’re following my dreams. But seriously, it is never too late to follow your dreams, get an education, write a book, fall in love, or do anything you think you’ll enjoy or be good at. Don’t take NO for an answer, even if the world tells you NO. Eventually you’ll get a YES, even if it is just from a cranky old opinionated Vampire like me.

 

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman

 

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