Sunday, April 19, 2015

She's ALIVE!

So let me see... what has happened since Easter?


Well, first of all, we made fabulous ravioli for Easter.  Like, handmade, beautiful ravioli.  Like, check out Treskie's blog to see HOW beautiful this ravioli really was. (And you can enjoy the overall post, anyhoozle.  If you want.  Don't feel pressured or anything.)
Intense Glare




I apparently have a boring life, because I can't recall much of what has happened between then and now.

Well, I take that back.  I had a jury summons, for which I HAD to appear (which, by the way, is one of the few things that can put me into a state of hysterical panic), and then, for 1-1/2 days, I got to sit in court while the judge and attorneys made up their minds who they really wanted as their jurors and alternates.

Just CHOOSE someone! Not me, but SOMEONE!

They didn't even choose jurors the first day.  The first day, all of us potential jurors got to complete a hardship form if we wanted to (Like, if you miss three out of five days of work for five weeks, can you survive on what little pittance of money you WILL be making?).  Then we got to fill out a 30+ page questionnaire of random questions, like WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE TV SHOW?  HOW DO YOU FEEL ABOUT HEALTHCARE?

The second day, by 10:30 a.m., eighteen people were chose for jurors plus six alternates, and I WASN'T ONE OF THEM! Praise God.   But then none of the rest of us could leave, and we had to sit in the courtroom while the attorneys took turns asking jurors "pertinent questions" from their questionnaires, and the judge told us to make sure and pay attention because they would be "winnowing" their jurors and choosing new people to take their place.


We had to adjourn for lunch, and we came back to the courtroom at 1:30, at which point eight people were excused from the jury box and eight more people from the audience were chosen to take their place.  Again, I was not one of them.  Praise God.

After endless questioning, three people were excused and three more chosen (none of them me).

Then SEVEN people were excused and seven more chosen! (Thankfully, again not me.)

Then three more people were excused and three more chosen.  (At this point, I'm still safe.)

Then two were excused and two more chosen. (I'm still not a juror.)

Then two more people were excused, and THIS time my name was called.  At this point, it was 4:00 in the afternoon and I had been in a state of constant panic that my name WOULD be called.

But God had not abandoned me, because over the course of the loooooong day and the questions, questions, questions, I had realized my job as a medical transcriptionist would conflict with some of the rules regarding the case, and when I pointed this out to the attorneys they seemed to agree with me and I was excused from jury duty.


So THAT wasn't the most fun I've ever had, but I survived.

On a happy note, prom for the high school was last night, so this week at the flower shop was busy making corsages and boutonnieres, so I had tons of fun doing those.
I was just about this giddy, too.

Also, I signed up for singing class.  Hollah! I haven't gone to singing class in something like 2-1/2 years, so I'm super excited.  I've missed it so much!

Speaking of the Phantom of the opera, we've also been binging quite a lot on musicals - Phantom of the Opera, Pirates of Penzance,  H.M.S. Pinafore, and sometime in the near future we are going to watch Oklahoma!  We are also listening to a lot of musicals - the best parts of Jekyll and Hyde... the Anthony Warlow version; Phantom (Duh); and we will be listening to Jane Eyre (tolerated because of Mr. Rochester. Amazing voice!); Secret Garden, and Tale of Two Cities.

A lady I know, the Amazing Jan Fields (better known as the Ghost in the Machine and Administrator of the Institute of Children's Literature chat boards, the Writer's Retreat) is having a drawing to win an autographed copy of her two books, The Wellspring of Magic and The Emerald Dragon.  Plus, you can also win a super cute doll who represents a character in the book, and she is holding a bear.  Check it out here.  Isn't that fantastic?

I haz also been drawing a little.

First, I did dis dragon for my brother, who requested it:

Then I did these two character sketches for the two characters in a book I'm actively/passively working on:

Aliry Thyme


And I KNOW there has been other stuff happening, but for the life of me I cannot think of them.  So, until la'ers, I shall leave you with this thought:
There is that.



Friday, April 3, 2015

Good Friday

As I am squeezing in this post between the little time I have and the little time I don't have, I am merely posting a story about Holy Thursday, and a poem about Good Friday.  If the time I have and the time I don't have manage to surprise me with the gift of additional time, I might even get on tomorrow to post something edifying about Holy Saturday and Easter Sunday.  But for now, be content with what I'm giving you.  (Please.  :-)

Here is my Holy Thursday story.  I may have posted it last year.  I cannot remember.  It was a story challenge for a writing group of mine, and while it ended up being more disturbing than I'd anticipated, it also ended up being better than I'd anticipated.

A Dark Tale for Holy Thursday

I sat before the fire, hiding myself amongst the other folk in the courtyard. I swallowed wine in an effort to warm away the coldness in my heart, but it could not be thawed. I weighed the purse in my hands, hefted the silver I’d gained for the price of a kiss. Such a bargain.

Why did I feel so dark inside?

“They say he’s to die.”

I looked across the fire toward the speaker, a young girl with features obscured by conflicting shadows of flame and night.

“They say he’s to die. How can they commit such a sin? He is no criminal!”

My fingers curled so tightly that the coins within the purse bit into my skin. I recognized her. I’d seen her long ago when she lay defeated on the sands before accusers, and he had bent down to write her defense into the sand.

Who was she, to speak the words that gnawed into my very soul? I shook away the small voice that reminded me, He that dippeth his hand with me in the dish, he shall betray me, and rubbed away the cramp that stiffened the fingers of that hand.

Her eyes burned in the flames to the murmuring of voices. “He is my lord,” she said, “and he was betrayed.”
She wept, faded into the crowd, and became no more than a formless shape amongst so many other formless shapes of men. I rubbed my fingertips together, the red fury that her words had kindled gradually fading to a black horror. Woe to that man, memory whispered, by whom the son of man shall be betrayed: it were better for him, if that man had not been born. I shook the coins until they rattled in the cloth, trying to blot out his face.

The night was suddenly very cold. Not even the fire could warm me. I rubbed my mouth with my fingers, and my lips burned with the acidity of my traitor’s kiss.

Dost thou betray the son of man with a kiss?

Were the words memory, or did the fire speak them, to mock me?

I rose, wrapped my cloak about me, and left the fire and the courtyard, and the mass of staring men. I lost myself in the night, but I could not lose myself from myself.

“He is no king,” I told the wind. “He is a liar and a blasphemer! He is worthy of death.” But my own heart revealed the lie. I remembered his eyes, those eyes that had looked deep into my own with love and pleading. Dost thou betray the son of man?

I walked faster, the clinking of the coins becoming tin rattles of death within the smothering folds of leather. The gnawing loss in my heart was growing, becoming something worse, something more awful and devouring. It was as though my inner darkness were changing into a monster that opened a flaming mouth to reveal a far-off pit of fire. As the monster grew, so did my horror.

What had I done?

Clink, clink, clink, clink. The coins chattered in my purse. Trai-tor, trai-tor, they whispered as they rattled. Had I betrayed him for this, these thirty pieces of silver?

You are not all clean. Ah, that whispering voice of memory! Would it not leave me be? “He saw the temptation in me!” I shouted to the stars. “I was the treasurer! Money is my desire. How could I not put him aside?” I stopped in the darkness, plunged my hand into my purse and held the silver to the night. “The chief priests did not want him either. They gave me this in exchange for him. He is a blasphemer! Death is his just reward.”

The monster inside me laughed, and the night turned a pitiless eye to me. Friend, dost thou betray the son of man?

I choked, dropped to my knees in the darkness. The silver fell about me, each coin striking off the cobbles with the sound of a sharply-tuned bell. Their thirty separate chimes beat at me, played in countermelody to the laughter of the devil in my soul.

I had betrayed him. Now he was to die. Remorse painted my soul black. I’d known. Of course I’d known! Did I not exchange him for thirty pieces of silver, the price of a dead slave? I knew their hatred of him. I shared that hatred.

But now... now...

On my knees I gathered the coins into my hands and made my way to the hall where I knew the chief priests and the elders would be gathered.

I burst in on them, and I didn’t recognize my voice as I said, “I have sinned in betraying innocent blood.” 

For a moment there was a silence, and then one of the priests said, “What is that to us? You see to it!”

The devil within me chortled louder, and it seemed the flames in his smile rose up and devoured me. There was no thought in my mind, no sense of action. There was only a choking well of guilt as I flung the silver from my hand. The coins rang out again, but colder, as they clashed upon the marble floor.

Then I turned and went out.

There was no point in going on. I had sinned. I had betrayed him, my lord and my God. For love of money, for earthly power, for avarice, greed, and selfishness, I had betrayed him.

There was no way to atone.

Beneath the shadows of a tree, I bound the halter around my neck.

Thirty Pieces of Silver

This is a poem done in the April Poem-a-Day challenge ages and ages ago.  I know I've posted it before, but again, time is mine enemy, so I must make do with reruns.  God bless, and have a blessed Good Friday, Holy Saturday, and Easter Sunday.

 A villanelle for Good Friday

He came to save, He came to die - 
His Sacrifice encompassed all
beneath the shadows of the sky.

Men mock and jeer with jaundiced eye -
their bitter hearts do no recall
He came to save, He came to die.

"Behold Thy Son."  Who will reply?
His blood as coins of payment fall,
beneath the shadows of the sky.

The Magdalene is standing nigh -
His Mother suffers through it all.
He came to save,  He came to die.

In pain He hangs - the wind keens by.
They offer vinegar and gall
beneath the shadows of the sky.

At last the end! He gives a cry!
His blood is spent - He's offered all.
He came to save, He came to die,
beneath the shadows of the sky.
Only One Sacrifice

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