Bleeding your venom out

Sometimes I think about you and more than anything I want to spit all the venom you forced into me back out at the world. I want the world to know the shape of your darkness so they recognize the patterns left behind on me by your teeth.

I want them to know you like I know you.

I want them to see what writhes beneath that smile, that laugh, and easy charm. Those touches, the mischief, that flirty personality.

I want them to know the shape of the welts you left across my thighs and down my back in the name of discipline. To show how I had to count to 40 when I was in preschool as you hit me and how I had to start over because when I was sobbing and gasping for breath I skipped over 17 and you made me start from 1 again. I want them to see that time I looked at you with my anger and clenched my firsts and you charged at me from the other side of the room to slap me into the door frame because I had dared challenge you with an expression.

I want them to look at us and watch the way you raped an 11 year old me while I laid frozen on the bed with my eyes tightly shut. I want them to hear the prayers in my head and acknowledge the exact moment my faith in God and love died. I want them to hear the whispered, “This will make it better for later. Don’t tell anyone. They won’t understand. You don’t want me to go do jail do you?”

I want them to watch as you carved all those pieces off me that once made me whole. I want them to be forced to reconcile what I should have been with what was taken and the hideous fucking scars that were left behind and worn down and ripped open again when you got the urge.

I want them to watch as you still serenade me a love song from my childhood, about how I was your special girl. One Mom says your wrote for her. I want them to watch everyone around us tear up and get swept away in your fatherly nostalgia and I want them to feel the bile rise in my stomach and the shame that weighs down when the others look at me and tell me I’m too hard on you. That you love me. That your temper and your own childhood make it hard for you to love someone. That you still deserve a chance because you’re my daddy and you were once hurt too.

I want the world to watch the way you burned me and got away with it. I want them to see how your family and mine tells me I should forgive and forget because you’re just human.

I want the world to see how I was made to feel that because you penetrated me only once it was somehow just a weak moment on your part and that it really wasn’t that bad. Everyone thinks I’m crazy, but they don’t know the monster in you like I do.

They don’t know you and mom had sex in my room after you raped me. They don’t know how you raised me to massage your body from the time I walked in diapers and that you raped me after I refused to give you one for the very first time. Or that you still made me massage you for hours after that when I was growing up. They don’t know that it’s hard for me to fall asleep and I stay up for days on end sometimes because once I tried to fall asleep beside you and you broke me. They don’t know that you never stopped talking about my body, you never stopped grabbing my ass or brushing your knuckles across the side of my chest when you wanted to make a point.

But mostly, I wish the world could hear the conversation we had about all that when I was 25. The one you made me promise to keep secret and I lied through my teeth to you because I knew the cost of silence around you. I wish they could hear how you still had no problem with the way you touched me. I wish they could hear the way you said I was still your special girl. I wish they could smell the beer on your breath (fresh from the bar where your lady friend stood you up) as you started to talk about how some families are okay with fucking each other and how you think I’d probably be mischievous in bed a few minutes later. I wish they could hear how you denied penetrating me, like that was where you drew the line, but that you didn’t feel like touching me that way you had was bad. That you just loved me so much and I was beautiful and special.

I want them to see how I verbally danced around the dangerous tones of that conversation, how I kept my shit together, how I made sure you didn’t touch me…all while I had a couple of drinks too. I want them to see how I tucked your drunk ass into bed and listened to you beg me to stay for just a little longer. I want them to see how I held your hand even after all of that because you’d raised me to understand the sort of violence that follows refusal with you. That picking my battles meant fighting to the death if I had to, but otherwise be diplomatic.

And I want them to know, on a deep and personal level, how painful it was, how messed up it was, for me to have to do that for you given the circumstances. That I kept my shit together until the end and didn’t fall to pieces until I had moved out of your reach. I grew up feeling like a hunted creature, something I learned only from you. That feeling is something that I struggle with even today. I haven’t seen or heard you in months I still remember what it feels like as if it were something abrasive over my skin rubbing back and forth whenever I breathe. It makes me overwrought and my body doesn’t know if it should panic or shut down when it remembers the feeling.

The Doctors say I have PTSD which helps me feel like maybe I’m not worthless because of the things that are wrong with me. They try to assure me that you really caused actual lasting damage and it explains the things that make me feel crazy. I wish I could truly express the weight of what I feel, of the things I’m contemplating and battling so people stop looking at me strange when I need to leave a room because they started talking too loud and my body reacted to the volume levels like it would have if you were yelling.

Lastly, I want the world to know how goddamn scared of you I still am. More so now than when I was a kid. You told me to my face you didn’t even see anything wrong with the few bits you could acknowledge. I wish I could relay just how badly it hurt and tore at me to find out you didn’t deserve a second chance and that I still had your attention in a sexual way and that I had probably never lost it. I guess I want to world to know how equally fucking painful it was to learn, with the mind of an adult, that you really had meant everything that happened and it hadn’t just been a mistake or something that you didn’t even remember. I know you’ll never touch me again and still you are the thing I have nightmares about.

And just to be perfectly clear I want the world to hear me sometimes…but there is never a time when I want you to see or hear or touch or smell or anything me again.

Not even if you are sorry one day.

I hope when you die it’s with apologies on your lips; that in the end maybe you’ll have gotten enough humanity on you to truly comprehend the horror your life inflicted on us. I don’t want you to suffer….none of this has been to make you suffer. I just want the world to know why it is that I suffer when they ask what it is that’s broken, when they point out what I’m lacking.

It’s not about you. It’s about me. It’s just that sometimes I have to talk about what you did in order to fix what you did/do to me. I just want the world to know everything so that I can stop talking about it and move the fuck on and focus on the things that make me stronger and pull me forward. Things that do not involve you in any way, shape, or form.

So sometimes I think about you and spit venom….but it’s not my own. It was always yours. And while my version of events is brutally hideous in it’s bluntness it’s 100% more fair and truthful than when you cut me off from the rest of the family by telling them ‘her mother brainwashed her when we split.’

Bob’s first day.

Bob

Bob

I chronicled Bob’s first week and planned to write a lovely blog with all my thoughts on the matter, but I didn’t quite have the drive to do all that with the fireworks, whistles, and bells that I imaged. Here are my notes from his first day, June 23rd:

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I went to bed at like 8:30 the night before we picked up Bob. We woke up at 7:00 a.m. or so and started getting ready. We ended up being really early even though we stopped for breakfast on the way. Fortunately Daniele could meet us. She dropped off Bob and we put on his new collar and leash. It took him a bit to settle down in the car on the way home, but he eventually laid down.

We went straight to Font Le Roy. My friend Nemmy met us there. I walked Bob around the park assessing his leash skills while Lou drove home to get Rin and water for us and the dogs.

We walked the dogs around the circular path. I had Rin because I expected her to be more difficult. We followed behind Lou and Bob about fifteen feet away. Then both the dogs got water and we sat down at a picnic area and let them sniff each other. Everything went just fine. Both of the dogs were tuckered out and hot. We watered them and walked some more before letting them play a little. We worked on some of their commands and fed them lots of treats. It was hot as hell and I’m as red as a lobster, but it was really fun to be at the park with the dogs.

Rin rode in the front with me as usual and Bob rode in the back. He’s soooo big and it’s right in the middle of shedding season. I probably brushed him five times today and my clothes are still covered in fur.

When we got home we fed them separately. Bob absolutely horks down his food. He scatters it all over the floor with the force at which he goes at it. I’m assuming that’s because he had a hard time finding food before he was picked up as he’s still a bit underweight. I need to figure out how to address this so that meal time is a calmer, happier experience for him.

After they had napped and been walked separately I wanted to see how they acted off leash. Everyone wanted to meet Bob, but I’d convinced them all to just let me keep him in my room and acclimate him to the house my way, without all the excitement and fuss. I didn’t want them all coming out before I could see the two of them together so just me and Lou went out with the dogs. We took the water bowl, a tennis ball, and a wubba. Both dogs loved to chase the ball and Bob really wanted to play with Rin. Rin was mostly focused on me and the ball. As usual, Rin got a little too over excited with her play and things were in danger of escalating so I corrected her behavior and didn’t let her play again until after she was patiently laying on the ground of her own volition.

The dogs played without incident after that so we had the kids and Grandpa come out. I always forget to have the talk with them about how they should approach a dog. It’s really, really important and most people have no idea. They came running out, yelling different commands, trying to pet on the dogs. I’ve talked with them enough on how to keep Rin from pouncing on them by their body language and actions so at least I didn’t have to worry about that. I stayed by Gramps just in case either dog tried to jump up on him.

They played for a while before we brought them back inside to cool off. At this point we had fed Bob one meal and tons of treats. He’d been walked several times and still hadn’t poo’d, but it was obvious he needed to go because he kept getting up and walking to the door. We kept taking him out on the leash and walking around the yard, but he just sniffed the air or walked along obediently never doing what I knew he needed to do.

I had just read a passage in Cesar Millan’s book about how sometimes during transition puppies can’t relax enough to go on the leash, so you should try letting them in the yard. So I just suggested it to Louie and then he texted me like three minutes later, “That did the trick.” Good thing we kept at it! I knew he was telling me he wanted to go out.

After they were inside and quite for a bit (with Rin crated) I decided to give them each a toy. I wanted to watch Bob more, I’ve basically been using every interaction to watch him closely and gauge his personality and temperament. I’m keeping him in my room for the first several days to more closely observe him. Since we did just adopt him I didn’t want to give Gramps control of a dog until I was sure that we could trust that dog. He wasn’t really interested in the rope. He liked the frayed end, but he didn’t really want to pull it from me, which I liked because tug isn’t something I’d encourage Grandpa to do with him. I just wanted to try it and see what his reaction was. He was fine.

Later I gave them both bones. Rin was still in the crate and Bob had laid down right in front of her crate. At some point he snapped and lunged at the crate, barking and growing. Rin was in the crate and fine. I reclaimed the bone and banished Bob to the corner of the room where he instantly calmed down. It took him a few minutes to realize that I was not allowing him back into our space, but when he did he just laid down and was perfectly fine.

I know that if I come at a dog nervous or fidgety the dog will pick up on that and react negatively so I didn’t address Bob again until I was sure I was calm and assertive. The whole time he was over there I was standing over the bone. It was mine. I picked it up, called him over, and offered it to him again. Seeing how he reacted to Rin, I definitely needed to see how he reacted to a human. He stilled completely, just staring at me, and refused to relinquish it at all. It took me five minutes of careful prying to get it away from him and that was all the while moving in a way to not provoke a bite response and keeping one hand on his collar as a control. I made him sit and down and held the bone until he was chill on the floor and then I put it up where he couldn’t get it. Rin was behaving perfectly, ignoring us or quietly watching me as I gave commands, so she got to keep her bone and was safe from interference in the crate.

Bob tried to get around this by putting his nose to her crate and staring fixedly at her bone so I corrected this behavior every time until he ignored her and the bone like I wanted him to.

He was otherwise perfectly fine. I will be working diligently with his food manners. I’m not sure how to address the bone thing yet or if this is possibly something caused by the stress of transition and integrating into a new pack. I talked to his foster and she said he’d never showed any signs of aggression and she’s pulled bones out of his mouth and her dog has walked all over him.

He’s very gentle with cuddling and play. He does try to stand, sit, or lay right on top of you, but if you’re paying attention you can nudge him gently in the direction/position you want him and he’ll just lay partially on your lap or wherever. He cuddles and sits quietly in the room. He walks great for me on the leash.

Around 6:30 the dogs started getting antsy so we headed out for their walk by 7:00. We walked up and down the back street and let them rest in the grass or drink water each lap. Lou sprinted with Bob, we took them for one more lap and then headed home. Everyone was hot and quite tired. After the dogs cooled off a bit we fed them and still had to walk them one more time before bed.

I sent Daniele a text after the bone incident and she got back to me. I’m going to work with Bob for a few days, give him time to relax. I’ve got some pretty tight restrictions on how everyone else is allowed to interact until I can make sure it’s safe for everyone else. I want to give him time to be comfortable and time to figure him out, but Gramps is 78 and in the end the dog has to be trustworthy with him.

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The quick updates since then-

  • We’ve worked diligently with his food horking and now it doesn’t take much time or effort to get him to calm down before I feed him. I’m actively taking the food bowl away from him and putting my hands in it so he’s more comfortable and less worried about disappearing resources. I can trust Louie, or someone authoritative, to feed him.
  • I’ve been working on his manners in the house. He lacks some very basic communication skills because he was a stray. That means I have to do a lot of physical correction, restraint, or positioning. It’s a much more physical task than I anticipated, lol, which has taught me a valuable lesson (about raising puppies) and gotten me more active.
  • I was told he had some separation anxiety and didn’t like to be crated if he was actually restrained, meaning shut door. I’m a big believer in crate training and so I started experimenting with this one whenever Rin wasn’t around. He crates just fine after a few days of practice and I trust him enough to actually sleep in Grandpas room when crated. (Gramps only lets him out in the mornings and straight to the backyard.)
  • As for the bone thing, no one is allowed to give him toys or bones. I have been letting him have one when I put him in the crate for the night in Gramp’s room. I don’t let him have it until he’s calm and I take it away from him at least once before leaving him with it.
  • Bob. Loves. Mud. He is at his happiest when playing in the water, it’s the only time I watched him sprint around the yard in joy. He splashes in the water and then loves to play in the dirt. 🙂
  • I’ll add pictures (or a video) next time.

So I made a bet with my Grandpa (Part 2)

Bob

Bob

Really, this story starts in February with a very hard truth that I had to accept. I had to accept that even though I had been doing really well I was no longer coping with my PTSD effectively on my own and that I desperately needed help. I was honest with my friend, Gabrielle, who stories I love illustrating, but whose schedule has been affected by my disorder. I got some good advice from her and she pointed me in the directions of a fabulous therapist and the idea of a service dog for PTSD.

My therapist got to know me and my unique issues and I did a lot of research until we did both agree that a service dog would benefit me in a big way. I began to read and watch everything I had access to on the net and I spent a lot of time really looking at my life and trying to decide if this was something I could handle. I’ve gotten so much advice at this point that I’m not sure what to do with it all, as some of it is conflicting.

And conflicting information is really hard for me to deal with. There’s no way I can afford to go through an organization, they can cost anywhere from $20,000-$40,000. It was apparent pretty early on that the only chance I’d have is to train a service dog myself.

But that’s a huge task! And while I know how to teach the basics, I have no idea how to train a dog to snap me out of a panic attack or a flash back or to wake me up during a nightmare. On top of that there’s all kinds of questions like should I buy from a breeder so it’s health is more reliable in the long run or should I adopt a shelter dog because they really are just as good? Should I get an adult or a puppy? All of these have different things to think about.

It was really too much for me to feel comfortable making a decision with no direction. As much information as I can find online, there’s still so many things I need to know about the socialization and training process. I started getting really stressed when trying to think about what the hell I was supposed to be doing and planning for. It’s generally much harder for my to feel confident about making decisions for myself. I had talked to my Gransparents, a very few select friends, and my therapist about this decision, but not really anyone else.

But I digress. How does all this have anything to with the bet I made Grandpa and that adorable dog named Bob?

From reading Part 1, you know Gramps has lots of business ideas and lots of trouble with computers and the internet. He needs lots of help running his blogging business, but I really don’t want to run it for him and he essentially needs someone to do that for him, or to sit there and explain a lot of stuff every day or several times a week.

I’ve been feeling like shit because my own mental health often keeps me from doing anything productive for myself, that doesn’t really leave a lot left over for also helping someone to run a business from home. I’ve been feeling really guilty that I just can’t do a lot for him. I have no money to give him. I can’t do all the things he needs help with, I don’t have the skill or energy. I can’t make him physically less ill.

Well, when I was doing research for my own dog, I found lots of lists with tasks service dogs can be trained for to make their handler’s lives better. It clicked into place really quickly, the idea of how much a service dog would help Gramps around the house. He falls a lot. There have been a lot of times where he’ll lose his balance and spin around and crack his head on something ten feet away.  Sometimes, if there’s not something sturdy nearby he can’t get up by himself. I’ve found him on the floor in a few places where he just couldn’t stand on his own. My paternal grandfather died because he fell in his home and couldn’t get up. He laid there for three days before someone did check on him and he died of pneumonia in the hospital. I do not want this to happen to Grandpa Jim.

So I was thinking about all that and I’d also been looking around at adoptable dogs. Bob had been on my radar, but I didn’t think much about it because I wasn’t ready to make my decision. At some point I realized Bob was big enough to help Gramps brace if he falls.

So that’s when the idea began. I started talking to his Foster person, asking all sorts of questions about the dog. We talked for a couple of days before I sat up a time to go see her. And then I sat down and had a talk with Grandpa.

I explained my idea. I don’t know if Bob will make it as a service dog, but at the least, he can give us something to do together and more importantly, he can keep an eye on Grandpa around the house. Bob can give Gramps companionship when he’s lonely, depressed, or unable to communicate his feelings with a person.

He told me that he’d actually been thinking about getting a dog to keep him company. I showed him a picture of Bob and told him I sat up a meeting on Tuesday. I told Granny as well and talked to her about it and we all made plans to go together.

Waiting for Tuesday was damn difficult and I only had to get through Sunday night and Monday, but the time did eventually come and we all drove to Killeen to meet Bob.

Everything went fantastically. Bob was adorable and sweet and very friendly. The kids made lots of racket and played with him. I walked him around on the leash to make sure he had manners as Gramp’s would need to be able to handle him.

Once all that was decided, it made more sense to me that our videos would feature this project heavily because with both I don’t know where the hell we’d find the time or energy to accomplish everything.

We’re going to work out the budget and equipment details tomorrow and start making space for the dog and cleaning up the yard. We’ll have the adoption papers signed before the week is over.

This will help assuage my guilt at not being able to help Grandpa. It’ll also give me some structure and something to be responsible for, as Gramps needs to be able to rely on Bob’s good behavior and willingness to obey the commands we teach him. It’ll give us a good project to work on together, and that’s really cool.

And as far as I go, well, I’m still not sure if I’m supposed to buy a puppy from a breeder or adopt a dog from a shelter. If I get one from a breeder, I may have finally picked out a place that looks trustworthy, but damn, German Shepherds are expensive and White American Shepherds more so. (I was looking at the second because someone told me they were healthier dogs, or lived longer or had fewer dysplasia problems or something.)

If I get one from a shelter, than I have to go through this process all over again, except I have to be even more on my shit because here I am needing to pick out a dog that can be trained to sense my anxiety spikes. Either way, it’ll take me about a year to save up to buy one (and if I adopt that money can be put towards training, or paying someone to locate an adult dog with potential.)

So that’s the story behind the bet. I hope you stay to enjoy the show.

So I made a bet with my Grandpa recently…(Part 1)

I could definitely describe my 76 year old Grandfather as obsessed with the internet. He can’t tell you what a URL is or a web page and he doesn’t understand just exactly what a Web Browser is, but he’s still able to search around and find all sorts of neat things.

The first time I remember him getting really into it was with one of those get rich quick things for selling things on eBay. He bought tons and tons of stuff that stayed in the house. (On top of whatever he paid for the eBay course BS.)

After that he got into real-estate. He even bought some “tax” properties, but I don’t think he has sold anything and after working at that and spinning his wheels for a while he found his newest obsession, which is that Empower Network stuff.

He’s really into the idea of blogging now. This is fascinating to me because he has so much trouble with computers. His memory is unreliable with recent things and he has trouble staying with one thought sometimes and it’s really difficult for him to learn new things involving the computer. On top of that, he still “invests” a lot of money in the businesses without really knowing what it is he’s paying for, how it works, and how to avoid being scammed.  (He’s a repeat offender on the getting scammed list.)

I don’t know if Empower Network is a scam or not. I do know that they’ve told him over and over how anyone can blog and make money, no matter what they’re skill level.

That is a lie. I know that’s a lie. There’s more to writing. There’s more to holding a conversation and catching people’s attention. There’s something said about rich content and providing something to offer. You need all that and some kick ass talent for the mechanics of running a blog (or painfully won skill.) If it were as easy as they market it to be everyone would be doing it.

Here’s the thing. I don’t want to crush Grandpa’s dream. I understand why he wants to do this and that drive doesn’t just disappear because the method isn’t working. I understand that he wants money and because of his own physical limitations, the internet seems like a powerful tool. I believe he’s right and what’s more I’ve  seen him be passionate about something he loves.

I’ve seen him sit and learn the same things over and over. I’ve seen him write dozens and dozens of letters to strangers in the name of business. He’s sat on the phone with tech support for hours and hours. My Grandfather was reclusive my entire childhood. But now he looks through one of the three web browsers he uses regularly to see another world and talk to people thousands of miles away. That in itself was a powerful thing. But it wasn’t the only thing.

I showed him how to use Google Docs (although, he’s kinda forgotten and we’ll have to go over that soon) and he started writing blog articles. I told him to write about his life. To share his memories and experiences so our family can read it, but also to share his story with the world because he has a genuinely interesting life.

But I don’t think blogging is perfect for him. He has a hard time writing, although he enjoys it. I think it would be perfect if there was someone who could work with him once a week to edit his recollections. He can read like a pro, I’ve never met anyone who is as voracious a reader as my Grandfather, but his grammar is poor. (Sorry Gramps! Love you!)

Videos would be better with a good mic. We’d still have to do a lot of takes and some editing, but Gramps is pretty charismatic and with a familiar script, I think he’d do fine.

But there’s really only one way to prove it to him and that’s results. I also wanted to help him and to do something with him. I love him a lot and I want to see him accomplish the feat of telling his life story however he can. So I walked into his office and sat down and said, “Gramps, I wanna make you a bet.” I explained that I thought using YouTube for free was better than paying for whatever it was Empower Network was actually accomplishing for him.

The bet is as fair as I can make it. We’ve both spent about two years learning about blogging. Neither of us know shit about recording or editing videos. I also thought that since the purpose of this bet was for Grandpa’s benefit we would be working together in a fashion.

I will be vlogging on YouTube. Gramps will put his videos on his blog. At the end of the year, the person with the most subscribers wins. I told him I would help him some. I plan to shoot and edit videos, but I’m leaving it up to him to do the writing parts because I’ll also have videos to shoot and edit for me.

Now, this story is running a little long and it’s getting late so I’ll have to end it here, but I’ve gone and left out one very important little detail. I haven’t told you what we’re going to be making videos about. Here’s the hint…

It involves a dog named Bob.

Bob

Bob

Go to Part 2.

Blogging with an Old Timer

My grandparents pretty much raised me. My Gramps was born in the 30s and isn’t really known for being too computer savvy. Before he retired he flew plains for the Navy and traveled the world. For as long as I can remember he and Grams have had some of the best stories. I remember many of them from when I was a child.

Recently I’d been thinking about family archives and how there’s so much information we just lose when people die. My youngest brother is only eight years old and I wondered how many of Grandpa’s stories  he would miss out on.

Around the same time, Gramps got into this blogging thing. I don’t really understand all the particulars, but its some blogging business deal that he’s been super excited about and chatting my ear off. I don’t really think he’s going to make millions, but this is the first time I’ve seen him excited and chatting about things with people in a long time. He’s happy.

So if blogging is what makes him happy, sure, I’ll help him blog. He’s hopeless bad at internet stuff though. A windows message will pop up and he thinks his computer has been hacked. He’ll run into the room and shout, “Come quick, my computer’s been hijacked!” It’s not that he isn’t intelligent enough to navigate the digital world, he used to fly air planes and even today he could probably MacGyver together some electrical tools into a bad ass zombie slaying weapon for someone to use. His memory just isn’t what it used to be and his hands aren’t as steady.

I thought this would be a good chance to hit two birds with one stone. He didn’t really know what he wanted to write about and a lot of his stories center on when he was growing up in the orphanage in the 30s or when he was in the Navy. He likes telling those stories and he talks about airplanes and different funny things they did. I set him up on Google Docs so that I can look over all his posts. His education was spotty (because of the whole growing up in a 30s era orphanage thing) so I basically edit them into bullet point style thoughts about his subject. They’re not too long, which is good for both of us. I could find the time to do this a couple time a week for my Gramps, you know? Plus, the stories are pretty cool and I’m learning something new about him all the time.

He’s been doing this blogging thing, studying, watching videos, buying ads and lots of extra stuff he wasn’t ready for. He hadn’t even written any blogs that weren’t about how his “blog had disappeared and he couldn’t find it.” After the post uploaded, it took him to the current post’s page, instead of his home page, and he never knew how to get back. We’re talking months and months and he’d maybe posted five very poorly articulated blogs about how he couldn’t/didn’t know how to blog. He was buying ads for this blog. We’re trying to talk him out of that. I think he’s promised to wait and not get anymore.

He’s grateful for the help, because he wants to attempt this business thing. And I’m happy that I am helping take care of him in my own way, while preserving his life somewhere for our family, friends, and the world to see and appreciate. I want my younger brothers and my nieces and nephews  to be able to read these recollections when they’re old enough. I’ve had almost 26 years with him and there’s still so much I still want to learn.

My Granny is also writing a blog. She’s can write on her own and has a ton of great stories, just like Gramps. I’m really excited that both of my grandparents are doing this and I wish them all the success.

In case you’re new to the show…

My name is Snevilly and I'm a story teller with an Instagram addiction.

My name is Snevilly and I’m a story teller with an Instagram addiction.

Who has 100 novel drafts laying around waiting to be finished, polished up, and shared with the world? Yeah, I really need to get on that. Who has a dozen or so comic scripts just gathering dust with no artwork? Yeah, I really need to get on that too. Who hasn’t checked her e-mail or posted a single comment on Facebook since last June because of a crippling relapse with her PTSD? Yeah….I’m noticing a trend.

No, really, its completely normal to have panic attack over a digital box and its pixel-y contents.

I won’t go into all the weird, life impacting sorts of epiphanies that lead to me completely drop off the face of the internet for the last eight months, but I do think I should cover a few things. This blog is like the home base of my Internet Neighborhood. I’m using it to sort of keep track of all the other projects I’m involved with and show off examples of all the cool things I’m interested in. I have a separate blog for discussing online role play so if that’s you’re kind of nerdyness, then please check it out. For the most part this blog will feature things like:

  • Info on my print work, both litterary and illustrative. 
  • Info on my YouTube projects
  • Cool stuff from Drunk Duck, DeviantArt, and Instagram and Fanfiction.
  • Tutorials and Interviews
  • The adventures and pitfalls of collaborative works.
  • How awesome my friends are.
My fiance showing off our awesome lazer dog!

My fiance showing off our awesome lazer dog!

 Our Goals for this year…

  • I want to start vlogging.
  • I want to create/develop a web show with my friends.
  • I want to start finishing up my written works, posting them online and doing something with them.
  • I want to blog a lot more often because I freaking enjoy it.
  • I want to be much more productive this year.
  • Lou and I want to open up a Game Supply store in Chicagoland, so we’d like to have a plan for that.
  • I want to build a social network. I’m working on a business plan.
I sketched this out in like five minutes. Follow me and I promise to do my best to entertain you! I just want to tell you a story...

I sketched this out in like five minutes. Follow me and I promise to do my best to entertain you! I just want to tell you a story…

I have a lot of really cool ideas planned. I talked with Lou and we’re still working on everything, but I’m going to be releasing a line of stories about some truly bad ass females. I’m calling the line “Unconventional Princess” and it basically stands for totally rad princesses that didn’t exactly get a call back from Disney.

For instance, Riot Girl (above) is comic about a heavy set girl who likes social politics, dubstep, and vigilante style crime fighting in her free time. She’s currently in her underwear because I was working out her figure. There are some other totally rad superheros in her neighborhood and they manage to play well together about half the time. There are also some pretty interesting villains that like to plot on everyone pretty hardcore.

I’m also working on a novel series called The Many Perils of Love. The first story is called At First Sight. These stories explore the romance genre, relationships in all their forms, and a lot of crazy awesome battles against demons, ninjas, and heroic armies. Its a supernatural series about magic, curses, and misconceptions.

Dragon Breath is a comic bout a ditzy druid whose mother was the Steve Irwin of Dragonkin activism. Its a fantasy story about an epic adventure revolving around Lil and her Dragons. It all starts when her mother dies and she inherits a dragon egg. Lil decides that in order to raise the dragon properly she must find a daddy dragon to help her raise it. I actually already have the “prequel” and the first chapter/arc already written up.

Thats just three of the ideas I’ve been playing around with. I have a few more really important ones to announce soon, but I have to wait until I can coordinate with the some of the other people involved. (Hint: Kick ass web show in development.)

But first: I have not finished the “Fairy Tale” project yet. I still have a ton of work that I owe and I intend to do a kick ass, super awesome, stellar job because she’s had to wait so long. I wish I could post photos with that, but I don’t own the images and I don’t have permission to. When/if she does use them, I will link to them so you can all go see. They’re really my best work ever. Not only do I want to finish this project because I owe (and super love) my boss, but also because I really need to update my gallery with art that actually represents my current skill level.

So no matter what else, you can at least look forward to some kick ass art. 😀

A Long Month…

Its been, I think, 30 days since my last post! Definitely not my intention to slack off about a New Year’s resolution, but some of my plans were top secret until now!

When I last wrote, we had been planning to head back from our vacation in Texas when a blizzard hit and we decided to wait it out. Some stuff happened with my Mom, she’s losing her house and moving in with my Grandparents. We decided that it would be a good move for us to move down now and have my brother come stay. (He wouldn’t have space after Mom moves in with our younger brother’s.)

So I spent two weeks looking for a house that would be big enough for me, Lou, Mike and probably our friend Shane. We found a few that were okay, but we hit the jackpot when we drove by 13th & Marrow.

We’d just had a house rented out from under us and I was kind of disappointed. My Grams told me about this big house that had been for rent a long time. My Mom told me about it too, later. I didn’t pay attention at first because I figured it would be too expensive, but we drove by and saw how huge it was and decided to make a call just to see. It’s like a 10 bed room house! And it was only $50 more than we had budgeted for a two or three bedroom.

So we signed the lease on like the 25th and we got ready to move in by the 1st. The landlord is a remodeling company. There were a few things in the house that needed to be fixed up, the whole place needed to be cleared out. It was filled with stuff from the last people who lived there. It also needs a really good scrubbing. The place is filthy. But it seems worth it, all of our friends could come living with us and help pay the rent. They said it would all be fixed and cleaned up before the 1st.

Something came up here that we had to take care of so our trip back to Chicago, to get our stuff, was delayed a little. We started the trip back on the 24th last month. We had just enough time to get there, get our stuff and make it back. The near back to back 20 hour drive plus the two 12 hour days of hard labor in between was brutal. Things would have been better if we could have taken our time, but we needed to be back the 1st to make sure our friends Stephen and Sherrie had a place to stay. (That’s a long story for another time.)

We made it back and started moving in on the 1st. We found out that the house hadn’t been completely cleaned our yet and that none of the things we knew were wrong with it had been fixed. We also found out we couldn’t turn on the water because they had open pipes where they were waiting to install a hot water heater.

😦  It took several days of cleaning and moving to get everyone moved in. All the while, the plumbing is still having problems and we can’t turn the water on, which makes it really hard to clean. (This place is filthy. You know how you see a girl sometimes and you think. “Gross, I wouldn’t put my dick in that,” Yeah…well its that gross.)

All said and done, today makes a full week of mine and Lou’s first home together. (At least that we’re responsible for.) The major plumbing problems are hopefully fixed. There’s a lot the handymen will be stopping by for weeks to come I’m sure. It’s been nice being so close to Stephen, Adrian and Sherrie though. Mike’s been there and Shane and Laythem have stayed a few times.

The neighborhood is kinda scary some times. We’ve seen drug deals and prostitution for sure. One night, around two or three, some kids drove by and started doing doughnuts in someone’s yard. They kept driving away and coming back. It was funny until we started worrying someone was going to get shot. We watched it all from out screened in Sunroof on the second floor, so I felt fairly safe. We’d turned all the lights off so no one could see us standing in there.

Actually, the street has been kinda hilarious, so I was thinking about starting a blog for it, lol.

My plan for tomorrow is to hopefully update/revise my goal list for this change of plans. 🙂 If the net is up I’ll be able to post it.