Halloween Baby

A long time ago I wrote a little nonfiction piece called Monkey Alien Turnip Baby.  I am considering editing and posting it on my Patreon in the future, but for now l’ll just tell you it is essentially the story of my sister being born.

For those unaware, I have a sister named Bernadette who is 13 years my junior.  She was a HUGE surprise, mainly because after having me my mother had her tubes tied.  Bernie’s little soul gave not a crap, however, and burst onto the scene on Halloween, 1996.

It is now 2021, which means that in a few short days, my little Monkey Alien Turnip Baby will be turning 25.

To say that I love my sister is an understatement of epic proportion.  I will die for my sister.  I will kill for my sister.  I will serve the prison sentence awarded to me after killing for my sister, and I will do it with a smile on my face, that is how ferocious my love for her is.  She is perfect.  You can sit there and list her flaws all day and I will simply have to remind you that you are wrong and she is the best person in the world and we are lucky to exist in her light.

That’s not to say I haven’t wanted to kill her.  There were many times in her youth where I could have throttled her, and it took a long time for us to move past the sibling rivalry stage.  Some would think, given the age gap, that this could not be something we went through.  They are wrong.  She may have been 4 when I was 17, but that doesn’t mean I was any good at dealing with splitting my life with her, especially after being an only child for thirteen years.  She had ways of getting under my skin, and adults were always yelling at me for arguing with her.  Listen…I don’t care what you think.  I don’t care if I was an adult too…that little girl could be obnoxious.

Alas, she hit about fifteen and was just right as rain.  Things got easier as she got older, and then I moved out, and I missed her more than my mom and dad.

Now, she is out there in the world on her own.  Tomorrow night we are having a party.  My cousin Dom’s band is playing at a local pub, and we are all dressing up and going to his gig to celebrate.  On her 21st birthday, I was in the hospital and missed the festivities.  In fact, I didn’t get to buy her a birthday drink until her 22nd birthday party.  I am EXTREMELY hopeful that I will not get sick and miss this year, and I really don’t think I will (knock on wood, anyway.)  The only down side is that Mark has to work that night and can’t accompany me (we were going as a flapper and a mob boss…now I’m just a lonely jazz girl with no guy.)  Next weekend, however, we are going to a party at Bern’s house, for her and her roommates.  It also happens to fall around K’s birthday, so they will be putting her name on the cake as well, which I thought was sweet. 

I used to hate sharing Bernie’s birthday with a holiday, but now I love it.  There’s almost always a costume party to go to, first of all, and I love that she still dresses up every year. (Funny side story: When Bern was about 5, a girl, whose birthday was in May, invited her to her party.  Bernie was conflicted on which costume to wear, and that was when I explained we only wore costumes on her birthday.)

Anyway, this is obviously just a little Halloween post to say how much I love and appreciate my sister being in my life, even though I spent many Halloweens (particularly the one in ’96,) despising her contributions to the day.  I have grown and so has she, and the relationship we have now is one I wouldn’t trade for anything.  She’s my favorite person in the whole wide world.

You can’t tell me any different.


A Foot in a Door

Recently, I had some good news, but I was reluctant to share without getting my feet wet, first. 

A while back, I answered an ad on Submittable.  For the new reader, Submittable is a website most literary journals use to organize their submissions, so it is where I am often found sending stuff out.  Anyway, the ad was for a social media management intern.  They needed someone to run their socials.  I, with no job and a strong desire to break into publishing in any way necessary, thought I could handle such a thing and wrote them a letter.  I have no real writing resume, and no expertise as a social media manager, so I didn’t hold great hope, so when my application rolled to “in-progress,” I was surprised.

After a while, I got a reply, saying thanks but no thanks on the media manager position.  But then, the second line…would I be interested in being a reader?

Another internship-style position, but a better one, in my opinion.  More hands on.  More into the actual reading and writing and approval of what gets published.  Would I be interested?  Damn straight.

And so, for the past month or so, I have been a fiction and poetry reader for Ember Chasm Review.

I remember sending my first rejection.

I was sad.  It was good poetry.  It just didn’t fit the brand, so it had to be rejected.  And I, as newly crowned queen of the slush pile, had to do it.  I sent a little silent apology to the author.  I’ve received so many rejections, and honestly, I don’t care that much; I’m not the sort that keeps track.  But I know some people out there do, and every time I hit the rejection button, I feel a little sad for them.

Oh, but when I get to set something as “in-progress!”

When I get a well-written, interesting piece that matches the brand, that is exciting!  I cheer for the individual, and hope they make it through the next round, even though I know many do not.  Still, how wonderful it is, I know, to see your submission roll over to “in-progress.”  As I write this, I have several poems in this stage, and five mags looking at my short RBG piece…I know someone is going to want something. 

I know it.

Next up is a Halloween contest held by Button Eye Review, an imprint of Ember Chasm that focuses on horror and the like.  I will be judging it with one of the editors, and I am very excited as I love horror…it was the genre that made me fall in love with reading.

I was waiting to share this lovely news until I was on the website, which I should be in a couple days, but as I needed something to write about today and I have next week’s topics all planned out, I figured I would announce this cool development today.

I am so excited to be involved with this review.  They have awesome things planned, and the issues they have put out so far are great.  I invite you to check out their site HERE.

Now, off to finish some prep work.

3 days until NaNo.

Sweater Weather

It’s October!

Of all the seasons, I am definitely in love with Autumn, and October is my favorite time of all.  As a kid I was totally into Halloween, planning my costumes months in advance and begging my father to take me to the Haunted Catacombs every single night until he finally relented.  On the actual day he would pipe scary music through the house and we would go trick or treating and hand out candy.  Then when I was thirteen my parents had the audacity to have a second child, and she was born smack dab in the middle of my holiday, which made me a tad resentful as a youngster.  Fortunately, I grew to enjoy my sister, so now the fact she was born on Halloween is just an added bonus.

I love pumpkin farms, and apple cider, and changing leaves.  I like boots and sweaters and not having to pull my hair up because I’m sweaty.  With the exception of the “pumpkin spice” craze, a flavor I could live without, I buy in to all things Fall the moment the first leaf hits the ground.

Summer is too hot.  That’s pretty much my main complaint.  Winter is too cold, and the sun is hardly ever out, which causes some seasonal depression to add to an already depressed mind, and Spring only lasts about a week around here, so Autumn is definitely number one in my book.  Right now, I am sitting at my desk with the door open, and nice breeze is coming through.  It smells like rain, because it has been pouring all day, with a sky that’s nearly white-the leaves of the trees make a sharp contrast.  It’s not cold, but it’s not really warm either, and I am comfortable in the new sweater I got yesterday.  It is lovely, and I am hoping for many more afternoons like this.

Of course, this is Buffalo and climate change is real so, who knows, it might snow next week.  Enjoy it while it lasts!