Smoke Gets in Your Eyes – but please no yoga pants

Odds and Ends – Musings on my state of mind.

This morning as I was leaving the self-serve dog wash with a clean old dog and a fifteen pound bag of dog food under my arm I saw road rage. Yes, right there in the Trader Joe’s parking lot between the organic bakery and the dog wash.

Fresh from getting her Zen and Zang aligned with the universe at her Friday morning yoga class, a woman in an expensive SUV started screaming “BITCH you can’t have my spot.” She was screaming at another woman who was also in an SUV (woman number two was not wearing yoga pants.) It was one of those WTF moments for me. After helping my old dog with the bad leg into my car I could only hope that nobody would scream at me. If they did there might be hell to pay later, much later, but maybe not. It just isn’t worth my time. Karma will get the screamer much more effectively than any Vampire could.

As a rule, aside from swimwear and underwear I never wear anything with an elastic waist band. I do not have road rage. Yes, of course I swear in the my car and curse enough to make the Devil himself blush – I’m a mom. All mom’s swear in the car, just as any child. BUT I do not have road rage.

I’ve been out and about during the day a lot more lately. Things are different in the light of day. At night people are predictable. They are usually tired or drunk or happy to be where they are. During the day the world if full of women who are full of rage. Raging women with well manicured hands and yoga pants. There are also the moms with a baby in one hand and a dog pulling the other with a leash. Yes, it looks good on paper, but in reality the dog and the baby rarely want to go in the right direction. The three I saw today were so cute. I remembered those days except I had two exceptionally large hairy girl dogs (90 and 125 lbs) and babies in tow. Auto pilot time!

When my children were small I always knew a lot of the well-kept raging women with their aligned Zen were blissfully ignorant of their husband’s girlfriends or of their market value going down in the workplace. I was never Zenfully aligned in any way shape or form. The universe has never been an aligned or straight forward place for me. That makes things difficult at times but you know, it just the way things are.

Disclaimer: Not everyone who does yoga is one of those women so don’t get all pissed off.

Then I saw two guys with a lot of hair and backpacks. I don’t know if they were homeless or just traveling through. At the light a Lumbersexual (you know, the long hipster beard, boots and red plaid jacket or shirt) talked to the hairy guys. It was cool.

I saw the old guy with the purple mohawk who rides his bicycle along the streets. I saw the tiny kindergarteners in their cute sun hats all holding on to a rope and walking to the park with their teachers. With a rope no kids can complain of holding hands with blisters or a hand of someone they don’t like or being paired up with a hand squeezer. Ropes rock when it comes to controlling children. And it is sooooooo cute.

As I’m driving home with the now clean dog, I realized that now I smell like dirty dog. When you wash a dog it is just a matter of you transferring the vile smells to your own body. I turned on my music because the dog can’t use the car stereo system like the rest of my family. Nobody was there to change it. I played my own soundtrack for my own movie.

I keep adding songs and pushing some off of the playlist. Some are on the list forever while others only last a week or two. And I am still pissed off at Apple their asshattery when they slapped the U2 album on my iPhone. More mom swearing. But back to my yen and yang…

We all have to find our own soundtracks. We all have to find what route we want to take on any given day. Even when we’re forced to take another road to another place, even if that place is unknown, it isn’t always a bad thing. In fact, it is usually a good thing.

Then there are those rings that are old and new like my fifteen year old and her sixteen year old partner skating to “Smoke Gets in Your Eyes.” In two hours he’ll be listening to Metallica and she’ll be listening to Night Riots or some sort of smooth jazz but for now, they dance like Fred and Ginger on eight wheels. Today it is International (nor organ music like American dance, just orchestral.) They’re really beautiful out there on the floor.

Other things run through my mind like calls from my brothers about getting out blood stains, dealing with females, and dealing with the ends and outs of living in world that is just a little bit different. Not bad, not wrong, not strange to us, just different.

I thought about the time, a long time ago, when my brother Val and I were kids. We were walking along the edge of the river and found a giant dead sturgeon on the beach. We swore it was at least twenty feet long. Looking back I think it was about six feet long – still a large beast. It was just one of those random thoughts that I’ll call him about tonight or maybe tomorrow. I thought about a lot of things today with my only company being the dog.

Rummaging through the dusty files in my brain I pulled out cracked faded folders on old lovers, images of places I can’t remember and things I remember as if it had happened this morning. Closing my mind I could feel the warm summer breeze on my bare skin as I walked along the beach, hoping it would stay warm, if only for another few hours.

Next I sent Garrett (who is off at college) about a dozen photos of the dogs and cats playing in the tall winter grass. I also sent him pathetic photos of the dog being washed. Fun stuff. A lot of xoxoxoxo sort of stuff followed and came back. He sent selfies and some included friends. I thought again of the mom with the tiny baby and the dog. She has no idea how much fun she will have or how much love.

So reach into your brain, take out your files and throw them into the air, with all of the brittle paper that might fly into bits along with dust and old love letters and bits of this and that. Holy crap, what a mess that would make.

I’m looking forward to a calm evening for tomorrow… who knows what it will bring but it is always something.

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman

Jasmine

First posted in February 2015

That was the last time I took Jasmine to the dog wash before she passed away. She wasn’t feeling well for a few months, then had a stroke before she crossed the Rainbow Bridge. I still watch people in parking lots and know they live in another universe than I do. And the kids are doing great. I still miss Jasmine. 

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Creative ideas with or without belching

You never know where creative ideas are going to come from. I’m around teens a lot. Teens belch. Write what you know (so I write about teens and Vampires) but sometimes we can be inspired to write something new. Maybe some more Science Fiction. So on the drive home from the post office yesterday I thought of a story and told my 18-year-old daughter and sounding board Clara.

My idea:

There is a planet with two different forms of life. The first form of life belches a lot. They belch out gas that the second form of life need to live.

Clara looked at me and said “Mom that isn’t one of your best efforts.” Then in a deep strong Southern accent she says, “Bob come over here and belch in my face so I can keep living.”

“I was thinking they were more like toads or something.”

“Mom, that is so lame.”

Later I told my husband who respond with “That is really bad.”

So much for being the next Philip K. Dick. Maybe on a good day I might get close to H.G. Wells. That would be a really great day.

On the other hand, I seem to have written about gassy planets and the like before.

Monday morning could have been out of a science fiction story…

Being with the elderly is always interesting. A little bit of time travel, a little bit of wisdom, a little bit of “I’m too old to give a shit about what anyone thinks” attitude. The attitude is what makes being really old so delightful.

I stopped by to see the Elders. They’re ancient Vampires. Nobody is quiet sure how old. They look like they’re around 19 or 20 but they’ve been around since before the birth of Christ. It is my job, now with the help of my brother Val, to look in on them and make sure they’re ok.

When I arrived they fluttered around me, giving kisses and hugs. They sang a song to me Irving Berlin’s “I Love to Have the Boys Around Me.” Yes, they’re pretty random, but also exceptionally sweet.

Eleora had her long reddish-brown curls up in a loose bun and a most interesting outfit. She’d taken one of those old lady track suits. You know the kind I’m talking about – velourish fabric pants and top, always matching, usually in bright colors. Always monochromatic. Eleora rarely wears trousers (what she calls all pants.) But she wanted that track suit. So she made the pants into a skirt. Remember those skirts in the 1970’s made out of jeans? The legs were split and usually patchwork fabric (yes, like a quilt) was a large triangle in the front making a swell skirt. Well, Eleora had done that with her track pants. It was a riot of colors and patterns all in reds. She was so happy dancing around for me.

So maybe I don’t need science fiction to be weird. Sometime I just need my own life, which is always weird and astounding and fantastic and full of astonishing things I could never imagine.

 

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman

 

WPAD SciFi

Finish it… odds and ends… That usually means more odds but, whatever.

Before I do anything I need to let EVERYONE know that my short story collection “Morning at the Vineyard” will be FREE on Amazon (download only) October 27 – 31, 2017. It is a fun collection of stories from this blog. Share with your friends. Read it on Halloween. Have fun. Happy Halloween.

Here is the link: https://www.amazon.com/Morning-Vineyard-Collection-Tangled-Tales-ebook/dp/B00M4V1DGI

I was looking at my blog stats and noticed that someone was looking at random pages of my “Girl in the Woods” online novel. That was supposed to be finished in 2016 but I came to a chapter that needed to be rewritten and I didn’t feel like it, so I ignored it. It didn’t go away. Now it sits there lonely and alone, waiting for that chance reader to come by and read chapter 9 and chapter 19.

Another example is my house. I love my home. It is my dream home. It is a mess. I could clean. I plan on cleaning. So instead I go to the store and buy Twinkies and frosting so I can make Ghosts for a Halloween party this weekend. Actually there are TWO Halloween parties.

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It is a fun and easy project. Get a box of ten Twinkies, a can of white frosting, a tube of black frosting. Spread the white frosting over the Twinkies. Draw faces with the black frosting. Presto – you have a delightful treat. You don’t have to be Martha Stewart. It doesn’t take any time at all. You don’t have to be perfect. Everybody loves these. It will make you laugh. Clara and I made these cuties a few years ago, and we’re doing it again. We don’t eat them (we’d become violently ill) but we have a lot of fun making them.

But back to my house. I wish I had a maid. I’m not a witch so I can’t just snap my finger and make everything clean up itself. To tell the truth most witches can’t do that. I’m not a Disney Princess so I don’t have animal friends who will come do it for me either. With my luck they’d be like my cat and pee all over everything just for spite. He has no reason to feel any spite, but he is a cat. Something was moved, or someone called him an asshole, or the dog looked at him wrong, or the other cat simply exists, so he pees to prove his point. He is a talker too. It isn’t like I’m not listening to him 24/7.

This is the glamorous life of a Vampire. No blood stains to wash out today. No turning into a bat. No cryptic messages from an ancient council of folks who wear robes and chant weird shit. Just a mom, who planted bulbs in the yard today, and who is going to go to the post office in a few minutes, then off to Dave’s Bottle Shop to pick up a few bottles of  Poet’s Blood and a case of Spiced A Positive.

Then we’ll decorate for Halloween.

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman

Marla Todd _ Oscar Gray

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Skipping the drama and skipping town

I’m skipping anything political tonight (pathetic speeches by a long list of D list celebrities with an insufficient number of brain cells, plagiarized passages, and general self congratulations of people who are lower than the worst soulless Shadow Creeping Vampire) and watching Preacher (which I recorded from a few nights ago), and America’s Got Talent. Or we might go out, or take the dog for a walk in the woods under a full moon, or we could do anything, except partake in the spectacle of something which both puzzles and maddens us at the sheer waste of time and stupidity of it all.

We’ll not doubt skip the other convention as well.

We vote, but we are not like them.

Saturday was my husband Teddy’s birthday. Someone suggested I cover my mouth with frosting and ask him to lick it off. As you can imagine, I politely shrugged off that brilliant idea for something a bit more subtle.

I spend the evening among a band of Vampires from France and America. The flow of languages was like music. We talked of outrageous adventures, and plans for more outrageous adventures. All of the teens left to play Pokemon Go in the historic old central street of town.

New friends and old gathered. We were all the same in our common love of my Teddy, but all so different. That is what makes it interesting. That is what makes us adore each other even more. It is that discovery of ideas and stories that makes us make our magic together.

Clara and I are busy packing for another road trip, half way across the country to the USA National Roller Skating Championships in Lincoln, Nebraska. In all of the novels and movies Vampires just sit around in the dark looking for warm necks to suck. All they do is lurk and act creepy. In reality, we’re on the go. Warm necks are everywhere, so that is never a problem. Why lurk around in the shadows where there are places to go, people to meet, obscure sports to be champions in. 

We’ll keep you posted from the road. My husband Teddy and son Garrett are staying at home – holding down the fort and the cats. They’ll get in some male bonding time, you know, beer, blood and belching.

In the meantime I’ve been interviewing my old friend John on what it is like growing up next to Vampires. His family has lived next to my kind for generations. It makes for some interesting viewpoints.

I’m also edition, doing damage control, and figuring out some new projects. I’ve had a lot of suggestions about making some of my series into books. The most often mentioned by my readers are “Vampire Diary” featuring Vlad the Vampire King, and the Austin and Elizabeth stories (The Hunter.) Then there is that science fiction story I need to finish.

I need to finish a lot of things. Don’t we all.

And Nigel the Ghost. There is a lot more to come out of that guy.

So like I said, I’ll be sending blog cards from the road, plus more random thoughts about teens, parenting, Vampires, modern life, and other stuff.

One more thing… Do yourself a favor and turn off the TV news. Radio too. Stick to music you can sing along to and gardening shows.

xoxox

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman

 

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A Low Key Vampire Kind of Day

This morning I was watching the huge and incredibly cute squirrels in my backyard eating plums.  I couldn’t take my eyes off of them. Then I thought I’d blog about it. Then I thought that isn’t exactly the Vampire sort of thing my readers are expecting.

Coyotes have been howling and yipping more than usual. They are the rogue spirits of the night around here. The bats have also been out more and more since the weather has changed and the bug population grows. No, we don’t have blood sucking bats around here, only fruit and insect eaters.

So anyway…

I got a call this morning from my friend Jack.

“Juliette, I want your teeth in my neck.”

Ah, music to my ears. Jack is indeed my all time favorite lunch date.

So that was fun. I’m home now and was working on some illustrations. Well, that and writing my blog.

Sometimes even Vampires have low key days. You know, it isn’t all about being obsessively Gothic or morose. It isn’t always being on the hunt and ready to scare everyone you meet shitless.

School will be out soon. I’m thinking about end of year posts. It was a good year for everyone. I’m looking forward to a busy summer.

I called my brother Andrew how was recovering both mentally and physically from a nasty bout with a Vampire Hunter. I haven’t written much about that except just in passing. It was scary. More so for the ones who attacked him. He called me for the best way to get blood stains out of an antique rug. I told him to take it to a professional.

For those who have followed our summer sillies here – AGT has started and I’m going to start to post on it. Yes, America’s Got Talent and Cocktails will return either tonight or tomorrow. I had notes for last week but didn’t get around to it. For the VM Newbies: We discuss the show, give unedited rude comments from the Vampire Peanut Gallery and my husband Teddy makes cocktails. 

 

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So summer is here. Chill. Enjoy. Relax. Spend time with those you like and can relate to. And just for kicks and grins maybe have a little bit of adventure. I know I will.

 

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman

 

And if you’re redecorating or need a new super cool shirt, check out my merch page. It is in the right side bar.

 

 

 

The True Nature of Things

A small dead bird appeared outside of my backdoor about ten minutes after I let the calico cat out this morning. She usually eats what she kills but this time she just left it. For me? It is a sad and unwanted gift. Is a teeny tiny bird soul flying away right now? At the same time I realize that cats are hunters. It is what they do.

At one time we all think about what our true nature is. OK maybe not, but it sounds sort of lofty and like blog post fodder so I’m going to run with it. Plus we were sort of talking about the subject last night.

My brother Andy decided to bring up politics. We were talking about those who have decided to run for President and those who insist on saying stupid things. “Politicians say things they know are wrong to placate the ignorant masses that might vote for them. They sell their souls to the gods of ignorance and lies. They’ll say evolution is wrong, and rape is acceptable as long as it doesn’t result in an abortion. They’re obsessed with the sex lives of others. They fear beliefs that are not their own. They fear everything they don’t understand. They close their eyes, ears and hearts. Only their mouths keep going, shouting and eating every lie and every soul they can find. They’ll line the road to Hell with bibles, lies and dead brain cells. Men sell their souls for power with the very souls of those they wish to control. It is in their nature to follow even though they pretend to lead. They’re vile creatures who lower themselves to the basest levels of humanity as the grasp for the tarnished idol of power. Antum religio potuit suadere malorum.”

Alright Andy. That was heavy, but more or less true. Val gave me an amused and knowing glance. We stopped the discussion on the stupidity of politicians who embrace ignorance before our heads exploded.

This is one of the reasons Vampires stay hidden in the shadows (along with Werewolves and a few others I won’t mention right now.)

As Vampires, I know some of you would tend to believe that our true nature is to be blood thirsty and rip throats out while the stuff runs down our chins. Stop right there. You all know I’ve written before, many times before, about blood stains and the high cost of dry-cleaning. Plus who wants stuff running down her chin. Come on, are we not adults here?

“Are you still working on the Dracula illustrations?” Val had to ask.

“Getting back to it,” I told him. “I’ve done some sketches but haven’t found the right face for the Count.”

“Don’t make any of them look like us,” said Andy. Of course Val and I know that Andy would love for me to base the likeness of one of the characters on him. I take that back after running the list through my head. No real Vampire would want to be like Dracula, at least not any in our circle. It just isn’t in our nature.

We like people. I have to admit that sometimes I have a love/hate relationship with humanity.

It is in my nature to think of amazing things and visualize them then get distracted. It is in Val’s nature to undistract me. It is in Andy’s nature to be both intense and distracted. As long as we understand our short comings and our strengths we do fine.

Luckily none of us are politicians.

Did I mention I get distracted? I don’t even remember the point of this post. I stepped away for a bit and, well, that is in my nature.

But no matter what my brothers are darling – as darling as they were as teens, a long time ago.

I’ll have more soon. I have art to do.

Have a good evening everyone (or just say it like Dracula in your best fake Vampire accent.)

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman

 

 

 

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