Thursday, September 29, 2011

Indie Ink Challenge: I've Never Been a Fan of the Monster Mash

It's Indie Ink Challenge time!  

I remember the first multimonsterathon, the convention for scary creatures to bond and exchange ideas for best doing their jobs. I had been forced to go, the wife nagging me about the special presentation in my honor and how I couldn't miss it. “Drac, they bought you a blood-stained plaque and everything.”

I’m still not sure who thought up the whole idea and why they weren’t immediately run out of the monster union, but these days anything goes. If they had asked me, I would’ve told them that it wasn’t the best idea.  Surely the man-eating squid wouldn’t get along with Frankenstein, and I could only imagine the nightmare when Godzilla’s cousin found out he had to room with the three-headed dragon. No, it really didn’t seem like the sorta thing that was going to be easy to deal with.

The reality was far worse. Humans make such a big deal about our ability to scare people and plague their lives with ghoulish nightmares, but if they saw us like this…maybe a good mob of townsfolk with pitchforks and fire was just what this crowd needed. Maybe it would’ve reminded the other creatures why we did this job.  We needed to cultivate the best ways to ignite fear deep in the hearts of a generation of people who watched things that made me blanch.  I mean, really, Saw V?  Wasn't it covered in the first movie?  We needed to reinvent the horrors that made each of us famous, bringing such torment into someone's life that the story gets passed on for centuries.  

Instead, the multimonsterathon was like any other convention out there, filled with schmoozing and bragging. A lot of people don’t know this, but there are a lot of egos running amuck in the monster world. One dinner with these creatures and you want to claw your own eyes out before Wolfman ever gets the chance.

“Guess who just landed a commercial?” the mummy said.

Only to be topped by an exclamation from the Creature of the Black Lagoon, “My agent just called me. I’m the villain in an upcoming Hollywood Blockbuster.”

The honorary luncheon was nice – some of the best virgins I’d tasted in decades – but it just served to remind me of the good ‘ole days. Times when a monster could do respectable work and leave humans quaking in their boots. Nowadays, thanks to shows like Buffy and Supernatural, everyone’s a critic.

Someone actually said to me, “Was that supposed to be scary? And what’s with the accent?”

He wasn't so high and mighty when I pounced on him in the cellar.  There was a look of fear on his face right before I drained him dry and left his body out as a reminder why Dracula was number one.

Yes, it seemed that even I wasn't immune to showing off, but there really was something to be said for a well-placed corpse to lend credence to the legend.  

While it was good to see the original Mummy-man again, I'd much rather sneak into the science museum one night than attend another one of those insipid gatherings.  It turns out that despite the hollow loneliness coursing through my veins where blood should be, I hate other creatures of the night.  

This week’s Indie Ink Challenge came from Stefan, who gave me this prompt: write something fictional and exciting. I challenged Jules with the prompt you didn't expect to fall in love. Jules' great response is here.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Reality Game Shows - Oh man, I'm the Paula!

Now that things are settling back down in my life and evil anniversaries and work events are behind me for another year, I decided to get back to my weekly participation in the Indie Ink challenge.  Make sure to check out the new-and-improved website.  It's looking great and a lot of work goes into that and the weekly writing challenge.  This week my prompt came from a fellow Jersey girl, Debbie of Tales from South Jersey, who asked me to write about a reality game show.  Since I watch way too many hours of reality television, this was a prompt that begged to be nonfiction.  Also, I challenged Sherree of Thoughts from the Farm this week and I can't wait to see what she does with the prompt.

As I watched the premiere of X-Factor last night, I realized something horrible about myself.  I am the Paula in life, less the heavy medication and sparkly wardrobe.  As much as I love Simon and how accurate, if not mean, he usually is with his reviews of performances, if I found myself in a position to judge someone, I would totally find myself saying something like, “That was definitely unforgettable!  You might not be an American Idol, but you are a great person!”  After all, I’m that person – the Paula – without a hit reality show.  While I might not be paid to judge people and discover talent, I find myself in situations where I’m judging others in some way or another throughout my day.  It could be a co-worker’s report or the service I received at Starbucks, simple but important in my daily life.  And there are times I want to shout or make a scathing retort, but the Paula in me can’t allow it.  Focus on the positive!  Find the good, even if there is a ton of bad in the mix. 

I’m not good at mean.  It doesn’t sound right coming out of my mouth and even when it does, no one around me takes it seriously.  The problem is – I always want people to feel good about themselves, but sometimes, people shouldn’t feel good about themselves.  And while I don’t condone ripping into people on a daily basis, sometimes there is something to be said for a serious tone and an honest critique. 

Maybe the realization that I'm the Paula isn't horrible.  There are worse things in life than being known as the nice one in a group.   There's nothing wrong with trying to make people feel better about whatever is going on with a smile and kind words.  But sometimes it would be nice to be able to channel Simon and speak the truth without fear of how it will go over.  I guess it’s all about striking a balance – being kind toward others, but not afraid to speak the truth.

And hey, at least I’m not the Randy, dawg.

This week's Indie Ink Challenge came from Debbie with the prompt reality game show.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

letting the good take over...

I just returned from therapy.  Good, if not tough session.  I always feel bad or wrong when my answer to questions is "I don't know."  I'm working on this feeling bad stuff though.  It's time to stop being so hard on myself, but for every little step forward, I end up with two back.  As we talked about today, I think a lot of it involves hope for me.  So much has happened in my life, so many bad things, that I find it hard to believe it can be good and wonderful.  I'm suspicious of it, like I'll get happy and have the ground fall out from underneath me.

The thing is...yeah, it's happened before.  It's happened and I've survived.  I always survive.  So what am I so scared of?

Much to ponder, but for now I shall ponder my wishes for Wishcasting Wednesday.

This week Jamie asks:

courtesy of we heart it

I wish to immerse myself in pursuing the things that make me happy.  I feel like that's a bit huge and open-ended, but it's kind of where I'm at.  I want to spend my time writing and working out and bettering myself because I deserve it.  I do deserve it.  Maybe if I keep saying it, the words will finally click in my head and I'll believe them - I deserve to be happy.  Best way I know to make that happen?  Do things I love.  

So here's to spending all of my free time writing and playing and dancing and enjoying life.  

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

guide me on this journey

Happy Wednesday, everyone!  I have survived a busy time at work and our event today went off (mostly) without a hitch.  I am relieved and glad it's over...and I've already started planning next year.  With this off my plate and 9/11 over, I want to focus on getting back to my writing and reading and wishing.  Speaking of, today it's Wishcasting Wednesday!

Today Jamie asks:

courtesy of we heart it

"I am open to the guidance of synchronicity, and do not let expectations hinder my path." - Dalai Lama

I guess it's fitting that this question arises in the aftermath of Sunday and the memorial and that ten years have passed since Tommy died.  It's funny, in a totally unfunny way, how no matter how much time passes by, in some ways it was just yesterday.  He was laughing and telling really bad, inappropriate jokes with an aww-shucks grin.  I can still almost see it in my head only to have everything come rushing back.  I catch myself looking at the calendar and thinking, "My God, has it really been ten years?  How?" 

Anyway, without going down a long road of maudlin thought that serves no purpose, being there and being overwhelmed with the passing of so much life, it reminded me how precious life is.  Yeah, it's a platitude, but it's one for a reason.  As far as we know, there is only one shot at this thing calling living, and we should be happy and fulfilled and hopefully, if we're lucky, when we're old and wise, we'll be ready (as much as anyone can) for our final curtain call.

Right now, I wish for guidance on making my wishes into reality.  I want to move myself from simply acknowledging and thinking about what I need to do and actually doing it.  Currently, I'm not happy with my career, my finances, or my health.  Two out of three of these things are definitely in my control to an extent, but I keep repeating "someday" when it comes to dealing with it.  Really, Mare?  You better than most people know that there might not be a someday.

Also, I want to find others on the same path to share stories and support and encouragement with as we grow.  I'm finally starting to realize that being closed off and hiding away doesn't work.  I can't do it all on my own...or I can, but it's much better to have people around you to share the highs and lows with.

I will be reading everyone's wishcast posts tomorrow morning.  I'm wiped tonight, but didn't want to miss another week of wishcasting.  But please know, as you wish for yourself, so I truly wish for you also.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Still kicking...

I survived vacation, Hurricane Irene, and my birthday - how the hell am I another year old and none the wiser?  I'm currently fighting off my annual end of summer visit from the sinus infection fairy and have spent a large portion of my free time sleeping or just vegged out in front of the television.  I have watched a lot of NCIS.  A lot.  I'm convinced Tony and Gibbs are talking to me - or that might be the cough medicine.

At some point I hope to make my Thirty Six Things to Accomplish in Year Thirty-Six birthday post of sorts.  And I need to catch up on my Artist's Way progress - I've done most of the stuff, continue to do morning pages, but am still avoiding the whole "reader's deprivation."  I have to pass on the Indie Ink Challenge for one more week as next Wednesday is our big work event that I do most of the planning/organizing for and my head needs to be focused there much of the next couple of days.

Oh life, you like to keep me on my toes.