Carving Out Sentences One Word At A Time

A young black cat with a white patch loafs on top of a low bookcase, looking slightly to the right of the camera with a mildly suspicious expression. Behind him is a window with a purple tied-back curtain looking out on bare trees.
Bodach has suspicions about the roadwork going on outside the window behind Mom.

Bodach’s feeling a bit better, and since we moved him to the antechamber from the office, I get to not only sleep on a slightly more comfortable couch, but have easy access to the studio. (The antechamber was originally a bedroom, but when a previous owner of the house converted the carport into additional rooms, the room became a weird almost walk-through closet/office to get to the new master bedroom, which is what I use for my studio. The room we use for Himself’s computer room is one of the other bedrooms.) It’s nice to give him more room to move around in, and it lets me work while I’m keeping an eye on him.

Writing is still slow going, but it’s least happening, and so I’m finally getting to claw my way through Rattlesack Jack’s story.

A taste of what’s to come…

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“Up along the New England coast, there is a marsh. Folks who live near it will tell you to stay out of the marsh and to avoid the road that cuts across it like a scar between sunset and sunrise. Most won’t say much more than that it’s dangerous, and leave it at that, but if pressed, there are some who will tell you it’s because of old Rattlesack Jack.

Some say Jack’s a ghost, the spirit of some farmer who died badly out in the marsh. Some say his is a stolen story, reskinned over an older Indigenous tale, or historical recollection twisted out of recognition (not uncommon in New England, sadly). Others say he’s an urban legend told to scare off tourists. Others still say that he’s something someone brought with them from the Old Country that stayed behind when they fled English transportation and hid in the marsh before making their way back home to Ireland.” ~excerpt from the tale of Rattlesack Jack

I’m Too Old For This Shit

I strongly advise against sleeping on cots when one is 46 years with a bad disc.

So, yeah, what should have been a routine neutering procedure for Bodach turned into a nightmare pretty quickly. The procedure itself went perfectly fine, but then the little dipshit failed at Water Drinking 101 at home a few hours later, and aspirated a little bit of water into his lungs, which warranted a trip to the ER. Not sure exactly how he managed it, but the 2 main theories are related to med side effect (the ketamine was causing him to have some sporadic involuntary spasms for a bit) or failure to figure out how to cone of shame. Either way, he’s got some pneumonia going on, on top of everything else, and is in the office. Sadly, he’s both very much a Mama’s Boy and extremely not okay with being alone, so I’m sleeping in the office on a camp cot until we can manage a better solution, or he gets better at being by himself for a couple of hours. My back is deeply unhappy about this.

I would really like my cats to stop this run of medical issues. Tuesday’s vet bills were about as much as my entire monthly income, and I ran out of spoons weeks ago. This was supposed to be the straightforward one, not another life-threatening drama and segregated household situation. It’s a good thing they’re cute.

I would really like to have 5 minutes and a few firing brain cells to use for getting some work writing done. There’s a boggart named Rattlesack Jack that is demanding his story be told, and he’s getting really pushy about it.

Re-enchantment and Resistance

Unattended children will be given pixie sugar and kazoos. Or fed to the corn wolves. It depends on which way the wind is going, really.” ~ October’s Market stall sign

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I was thinking about the phrase “Re-enchantment is Resistance” from Hookland Guide the other day, and the {most recent} rounds of social media fuckery. So much of everything going on lately is linked to social media and tech crap and just…the soul-sucking, mind-numbing, insipid banality of it all. Sadly, it’s not just the big, well-known instances, either. It’s those, yes, but it’s also the way that people have, more and more, been pushed to conform to a kind of sterile homogeneity. Like, your home decor has to be minimalist, done in tasteful shades of grey and cream (with a blue throw pillow for a splash of color!) with matching pets, and if it’s not you have to apologize for being so gauche. It’s awful, but it sure is good training for making sure that you aren’t uncomfortable in your beige and grey cubicle or open concept office space. It’s steady streams of performative outrage about how a website is a terrible place while also posting all the horrible things one can find to share on it, like fucked-up experiments with the Ludovico Technique, or people going onto pages and posts to fights with other people. It’s how, more and more, the creative people are spending our time marketing at people, instead of building communities and actually *gasp* being creative.

It feels like we’ve collectively forgotten how to see magic and embrace the weird, or if not, we’ve grown too afraid of speaking up about it, because we fear the inevitable backlash of daring to not suck on the fire hose of misery at all times.

I’m guilty of falling into some of these traps, myself, and I hate it. I’ve been spending so much time having to focus on day to day responsibilities that I’m forgetting how to see the whimsical side of things. My art and writing are effectively built on “pareidolia for fun and profit”, but somewhere along the line I lost the “fun” part.

All the stress of the last months, and having to really dig into how I use the internet for both business and personal reasons to rebuild elsewhere has given me the opportunity to see just how many cracks there are in the foundation now. This place is built on myth and magic, and without it the whole thing crashes down.

“Re-enchantment is Resistance.”

I can’t do a thing about spoiled rich people having tantrums. I can’t get people to stop being awful. I can’t stop Life from being a constant game of “The Floor Is Lava”.

I don’t have to give it my undivided attention and feed it, though. I can remember the reason I decided to live a life in myth, and start writing and blogging from that perspective again. I can remember that, no matter how much the world wants to pigeonhole me into being either a novelist or dedicated painter, I can smile and say “that’s nice, but I’m just a mythic blogger and apocryphal folklorist, and my stories and paintings are only very small”. I’m a storyteller before I’m a painter, but yes, I’m also a painter and jeweler and my mediums shift and change with the wind. I’m a cabinet of curiosities in human form. I know that it’s hard for a world that likes to keep the arts separated in nice, neat little boxes, but that’s the world’s problem, not mine. The world needs more people who don’t fit into little labelled boxes. Half the problems we have is because people keep trying to put people in boxes that they don’t fit in.

Social media and technology are just tools. How we use them is up to each of us.

Me? I’m going to see if the local secondhand shop has gotten any new cursed items in recently. Might go poke a mushroom ring, or see if the department store missionaries are still trying to evangelize people into their cult (because there were some serious Old Gods of Appalachia “Good Mother Ministries” vibes coming off them). If I find anything, it’ll be going up on the internet, because re-enchantment starts with myself, and I intend to resist the hell out of corporate monotony flattening the world out any more than it already has, and I will cheerfully use it’s own tools to do so.

I will resist, and re-enchantment is my tool of choice.

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Triptych and Vagaries

A small black cat is perched on the edge of a folding laundry hamper, looking intently to the left of the camera, poised to leap onto something (his brother is off-camera).  The wall behind him is painted the pale green of verdigris.

After closing the door and trapping us all in the bedroom, Púca turned his attention to the laundry basket to see what further mischief he could get into before breakfast…”

Yup, Púca’s feeling back his usual somewhat manic self.

* * * * * * * * *

The witch stood on the porch, sipping a hot cup of tea, watching the last of the leaves falling as the poppets gathered around the dying tree that had been home and hearth to them for so long. She sighed, sadly. The poppet that sat on her shoulder, the first and oldest of them all, chimed softly, echoing her sorrow. It was always sad to watch something that had sheltered and supported so many wither. She knew that there would be other trees that would grow and give homes to them, but it wouldn’t be the same, and there would be friends that would never be found again.” ~The Poppet Witch

* * * * * * * * * *

Thinking about the demise of Twitter and being sad and maudlin about the fact that there are people that I’ve talked with and been through births, deaths, weddings, divorces, major moves, children’s graduations, and all the other ups and downs of Life with that I will never find again once we move on from the site again. It happens every time a social site goes dark. I hate losing friends and acquaintances like this, and it sucks just a little more every time it happens.

When It Rains…

Púca passed his recheck with flying colors on Tuesday, and was released from the cone of shame and sent back into genpop after what was the most circuitous drive back from the hospital to home. Normally it’s a straightforward trip down 2 highways, and one side road on each end, but because of it being both Rush Hour and Election Day, the traffic was so bad that my GPS ended up having to route us down back roads that even I have never seen, and took over an hour. Fortunately, Púc’s pretty chill in cars, because wow was that a mess. When we got home, we let him out of the carrier, took off the cone, and he proceeded to run around for the next 6 straight hours, barely pausing to eat dinner.

Sadly, we only got a few minutes of respite, because it turns out that he also appears to have brought a cold home from the hospital with him, and now Oisín’s got the runny eyes and sneezing thing going on (and ANOTHER vet appointment scheduled for Monday, unless he either gets worse and we go to the ER or he gets better and I can cancel). Poor baby just wants to curl up on the couch with a blanket, tissues, and a bowl of mousie soup and watch bird videos.

Bodach, who is beginning to show signs of puberty, just had his neutering appointment pushed back another week, and I *really* need that stop. At this point, we’re racing the clock on when he starts spraying, and I do NOT need an indoor, uncut tomcat because other people keep failing to get their scheduling in order, thank you very much.

I would really REALLY like the feline medical drama to knock it the fuck off before I have to declare bankruptcy from dealing with vet bills. No, they aren’t insured yet, because they haven’t stopped being at the vet for the required amount of time for eligibility.

Still not thinking about the elections too much. Focusing on the fact that Massachusetts elected not only elected a woman for governor for the first time, but she’s also a lesbian, which is awesome on multiple levels. Still no idea on whether we voted to ramp up pushing for M4A, but we did vote to tax millionaires, so that’s a win.

Maybe, if the cats will quit being a nonstop rolling disaster for a few minutes, I’ll get to do some actual work today. That would be nice.

A Blood Moon For My Birthday

There’s a total lunar eclipse tomorrow morning, shortly before sunrise, and that’s a helluva delightful way to start my birthday off.

Gonna be a busy day, between getting out to vote, and then taking Puca back to the ER for his post-op recheck. Hopefully everything looks good and they’ll be taking off the Cone of Shame and clearing him to reintegrate into the household. Not sure how we’re going to handle things if he’s still on restricted activity, seeing as he plays hard and rough, and convincing him not to immediately launch himself into a knockdown brawl the second he leaves the carrier is going to be Exciting.

Trying not to think about the elections too much. Fascism would be the Worst Birthday Present Ever, and I’d really like to not, thanks.

On the other hand, it looks like some folks got together enough petition signatures to get single-payer universal health care onto a number of districts’ ballots, and ours is one of them (according to the state’s website sample ballot, anyway). It’s not a bill to do it, but it’s a push to get the ball rolling, which is a good start. The wording on the sample is:

“Shall the representative for this district be instructed to vote for legislation to create a single payer system of universal health care that provides all Massachusetts residents with comprehensive health care coverage including the freedom to choose doctors and other health care professionals, facilities, and services, and eliminates the role of insurance companies in health care by creating an insurance trust fund that is publicly administered?”

That’s a “fuck yeah” from me, thanks. UHC and UBI for everyone, dammit!

Got the Wacom set back up (Bodach helped) and a new RedBubble account started. Now to pick a starting point to draw so I can start getting stickers made.

Speaking of Bodach, he’s also hit the end of his tolerance for being separated from his brother, and is being extremely demanding about attention, so I guess I need to stop typing and go snuggle him before he implodes. Plus, it appears to be bedtime, so off I go.

Lost In The Static

Finally got Puca sorted enough to get back to being able to do Literally Anything Else, and now Oisín and Bodach are having separation anxiety meltdowns from the stress (extra worrying, given Oisín’s history with stress-related issues). Trying to navigate them all is practically a full-time job on it’s own.

The Twitter kerfuffle remains ongoing and getting worse by the hour. I’m trying to figure out how to manage that, since it’s my primary source of being found, though, to be honest, I haven’t really invested in trying to curate my Tumblr toward dealing with business things. I just don’t use Tumblr that way. Trying to decide if I should adjust how I use my personal account, or set up a secondary one for mirroring here and general shitposting. Mastodon is so screamingly decentralized and siloed and apparently prone to servers just vanishing overnight and having to start over again that it’s just not worth the time investment at the moment. Instagram is so aggressively bound to the Almighty Algorithm that I’m not sure it’s even remotely viable, especially given that it’s been desperately trying to be TikTok instead of Instagram. Facebook, well, if I was going to set up a FB presence, I would have a long time ago. I’m only there because it’s the only way I can keep in touch with a number of folks in my personal life, and when they move on from there, I will cheerfully delete my account and never look back. Not bothering to raise my blood pressure for that.

No, video platforms are not remotely on my radar. I’m probably going to have to figure that out one of these days, the way things are going, but today is not that day. The stuff I do doesn’t exactly lend itself to videos, so it’s not a good use of my limited physical abilities.

I would, however, very much like things to stop exploding for a few days, so that I can actually get shit done. I’ve only got so many spoons to work with, and they keep being eaten before I can get to my business’s To-Do list. Not particularly helpful.

Regardless, the Twitter Debacle is forcing a rethink of how I do things, so I guess that’s good? Maybe not. I have to redo things so often that it’s getting harder to actually do anything long enough to get anywhere. Maybe I’ll just try and make a patchwork quilt of what I can and hope that works well enough.

Ugh. I would give an arm or a leg for a nice, quiet week in nice little seaside cabin somewhere to get out of freefall and refill this bone dry well. (Not one of mine, but somebody’s, anyway. I need mine.) The inside of my skull feels like tv static, and it’s like scraping through rust and gravel to try and get anything creative done.