My thoughts on ‘Cesar’s Way’ by Cesar Millan

There’s a shiny silver word balloon on the front cover that tells me, “A Million Copies Sold,” so I know I’m a little late on this, but I just read this and now I want to think about it critically for a bit.

Here’s the short and sweet overview:

272 pages long and divided into well thought out segments. The beginning covers his observations in Mexico and how he became the kind of person who can rehabilitate thousands of dogs. The rest reads as a well thought out guide of things to be aware of about dog psychology and different areas of human life that dogs must be socialized to which are often looked over in modern society. If I could take one thing away from this book it’s that if you aren’t walking your dog around for at least an hour every day you’re doing it a major disservice. The Foreword by Jada Pinkett Smith sums up the book nicely. They included a glossary, a list of recommended reading and a section for sourcing many of the things Cesar is talking about.

Rent/Buy: Buy

I can’t underline enough how much I enjoyed this book. I definitely plan to buy it at least two more times for my Grandfather and for my 12 year old brother. After reading this, there are a lot of people I know that I’d like to hand this book to. I plan to read again and use a highlighter. Yeah, yeah, sacrilege, but I say this reads more like a study book anyways. There’s definitely a few sections I’d like to commit to memory because I know I’m weak there. I’ve been bragging about it to some of my friends and now they want to borrow it too.

Additional Notes: I pretty much started using what I learned instantly as we just adopted a new dog. It has certainly helped me work through the frustrating bits when he’s just not getting what I’m trying to communicate. I feel like I can get into his mind easier and figure out what I need to do to evoke the right response. I feel much more comfortable correcting misbehavior. I really did take this thing running and kept going. I’m almost finished with ‘How to Raise the Perfect Puppy’ as well. 🙂

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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.

2013’s 4th of July Resolution.

Celebrate your freedom America, but I hope you’ll think about what I’m about to say for just a moment. I’m making this resolution, starting on July 4th of 2013, to spend at least a few hours a week actively protecting that freedom. Some people bust their ass for our country right now, some in hostile situations far away from home. The very least I can do is keep house while they’re away. This year I will spend a few hours a week assessing the state of my government, but also the state of the people (not issues) it fails. And if next year, if I don’t like what I see…well then I’ll try to change the world. Share this if you feel the same. Maybe next year we can have a big chat, together, with people all across the nation, about how our government can be improved. Things will only get better when we start paying attention to the people promising to make it better and the people who are harmed in the crossfire of political agendas.

What things should be free for every human being?

Snevilly

Let’s thinks about what we can attain as a society. What things should be free and accessible for every citizen, provided by the government or the community?

Free and completely accessible to all humans:

  • Food
  • Healthcare, physical, mental, spiritual, for all ages.
  • Education (For all ages, a free education society for everything from the basics, to politics, to technology.)
  • Legal Representation
  • Social Advocacy
  • Disaster Relief or Support in States of Emergency

Can you add to the list? This may sound silly or strange to you, but I’m trying to think about what a Utopian society would look like. I think Utopia would be a republic and I think that capitalism can work, but there are standards of care for our fellow human beings that we should strive for. If we can identify these things and find a way to fund them, to encourage people to get into these fields and benefit from it in a real way, in the same way that they would be befitting society, I think that would be the first step.

I can’t save the world, but I’d like to think about what I’d believe if I could. What I can work towards. Could we get there? What sorts of things are being researched now that could help out? Its a very exciting conversation and I hope you’ll chip it.

I was voted “Most likely to Save the World” in 8th Grade, but you can help too…

Can we start a Fellowship to Save the World too?

Snevilly was voted “Most likely to Save the World” in 8th Grade.

-I feel like there is no place for someone like me in the real world. It’s easier to see I’m not alone when I’m in the cloud of cyberspace, but when I’m staring into the real world with its noise and its intense messages I feel like there is no place for me to exist, for me to feel safe, or for me to learn and grow as a person. The majority, it seems, would rather do things the way they’ve always been done, push the issue off to someone else, or can’t even be bothered to look and acknowledge.

-But I know that’s not true. I know there are people out there who look around think things are fucked up. I know there are people out there willing to put aside our differences and skepticism, that know it’s possible for groups of people who believe very different things come together. We know that regardless of our beliefs, regardless of our moral ethics, our greatest strength and our truest accomplishment as human beings is our ability to work together and achieve the impossible. The immortal power of the human spirit- as goals and dreams are passed from one generation to the next, from one hero to the next, from one scientist or politician to the next…this is a story that we all know. And the only thing stopping us from becoming that intelligent, compassionate people of a Utopian world is…us. But that’s not really a secret, is it?

-So what is the answer then? We can’t just leave it there. If this thought resonates with some part of you, then I hope you’ll say something. Ask something. Express your solidarity or your criticisms, but be a part of the conversation. Only you can speak up for you right now.

-I want to teach, I want make connections, but most importantly I want to learn. I want to come together with other individuals who want to learn, who want to enlighten and enrich themselves in different ways for different reasons.

-I envision it like a church, but that seems like such a dirty word for some valid reasons, so lets use Fellowship. Let us be hobbits, elves, dwarves and humans that work together to save the world. They didn’t ask each other to change, they were themselves, they grew to understand and love each other despite their differences. One may have gone temporarily insane as the darkness in the world corrupted him, but he wasn’t hated or spited. He wasn’t all evil. He was remembered as a brother.

-I don’t care if we’re the same race or social class or nationality. I don’t care if you think there is no God, or if you believe in many Gods, or if you pray to Joe Pesci. I don’t care if you support Presidents or Royalty. If you believe in people coming together to make the world a better place, in educating each other, in caring for each other, if you believe that the the government and media are probably not going to get it right, then I want to talk to you about how we can make things better.

-The internet is a powerful tool, but I also think its important for people to actually meet and gather in person to experience things. What would both of these Fellowships look like? How could they be supported and what sort of rules would need to be set up so they are safe, inclusive places for all types of people to mingle and learn? How would they be supported? How can we utilize the internet to its maximum ethical potential? What sorts of issues would this Fellowship to Save the World talk about? How the hell would we organize?

-To me, these are 6 things must change in some way before the world can have a more humane and evolved society:

  • Logical Education & Socialization (for people of all ages)
  • The entire Prison System
  • Government Ethics and Transparency
  • Healthcare and how we’re going to address those in society who can not afford it.
  • For Profit Industry and Ethics.
  • Social Advocacy for perfectly normal people, who don’t fit into what we’re lead to believe are perfectly normal boxes.

They’re important things, but it’s still only six things. There are so many, many things. And they’re only going to change if we change them, right?

If you’re not sure what to say, but you’d like to get the conversation going, can you just share this message with the people you know? I’m not asking for monies or likes or internet fame, I just feel like a lot of the problems individuals face, people can overcome.

P.S. I posted this on Reddit first, but I wanted to post it here as well, because just being on Reddit doesn’t guarantee it will be seen and this is too important to not talk about, don’t you think? If you happen to find the Reddit post, please don’t cross post/link. I don’t want to shout out my identity on Reddit to the internet because I talk about my PTSD and sexual assault anonymously there and I don’t want the wrong people cyber stalking me. That’s why I’m not posting a link to my Reddit post.

Also, please help me think of ways to tag this, because I’m not really sure…

**I do not mean to imply that churches are bad things, just that they tend to embody something in practice that they don’t seem to support in theory. My perfect church preaches love first, the freedom and personal choice of faith, and encourages its members to be free and critical thinkers about all manner of subjects. I haven’t been able to find that church yet and I’ve visited a lot, so now I tend to think that my religious beliefs are something that I continually enrich through my experiences loving, helping, and serving all the many different types of people in the world. That includes people who do not believe at all or who believe differently than me. If the Save the World Fellowship were ever really a thing I would love for atheists and and people of other faiths and beliefs to have an equal say as I do in the issues that we face, how we should approach them, and the impact involved. It should be about working together to create a more Utopian place for all people.

Click me to visit Snevilly’s author profile on ff.net!

I’m currently in need of a Beta Reader for several different projects. Yu Yu Hakusho, Naruto, Avengers, Ouran High School Host Club, and more.

 

The curse is something of a mystery. Their archives and family history were lost and the family scattered during the Salem Witch Trials. Sarai wants nothing more than to break the spell she has inherited. She knows one day her curse will activate and she’ll fall in love at first sight and she’ll do anything to keep her freedom. An OC character piece that respects the anime! Hiei/OC
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The memory brought an embarrassed blush up across his nose. In a way it all made sense, Honey was so fond of cute things, but Takashi had never felt more shocked than when his eyes had caught sight of her wearing that rather provocative shirt. He’d been expecting to see an overweight teenage boy and instead he got…Toru. Kyoya’s protĂ©gĂ©e is Haruhi’s “sister,” eventual Mori/OC.

The Sister Type

Chapter One: Host Club Dog

Toru spent most of her free time thinking about Haruhi. There was so much she owed the younger girl, so much she couldn’t repay. The rest of her classmates were chattering animatedly until the next teacher showed up, but Toru sat in the back, strategically remaining out of view. Her clothes were shapeless and unfashionable, seemingly chosen as a perfect mixture of tans, grays, and pink that would blend her into the walls of the school rather than silly notions like if they matched. When one’s eyes did focus on her, there wasn’t much to look at. The front pocket on her hoodie bulged, giving her a misshapen, heavier, androgynous appearance. Toru always wore her hood low so that her face was cast in its shadow. She looked genderless and boring.

There was a squeal from two rows in front of her. Her hazel eyes were drawn toward the yellow clad figure of Chiagi. The brown haired girl was blushing profusely, probably at something Tamaki had done. A chorus of happy sighs whispered through the room as the girls in the elegant yellow uniform gossiped about Prince Tamaki and Kyoya. Toru glanced at the boys, careful to angle herself in such a way that she wouldn’t be seen.

Tamaki was his usual shimmering self. He spouted off prose and poetry, creating a romantic atmosphere. One could practically envision the classroom filled with the provocative scent of roses, the moody light of candles. Each glance gave his willing victims the erotic image of ownership, as if he were theirs and theirs alone for that moment in time. She’d never been privy to that gaze directly, but she’d watched him use it and had learned to avoid it. “We’ve completely redecorated the club room, my lovely,” his amethyst eyes were simmering with feeling. “Its still nothing compared to your beauty, my Goddess.”

Kyoya seemed more pleased than usual. Toru’s lip quirked involuntarily. A pleased Kyoya was at his most predatory. She watched his sharp eyes flicker over the girls around him and outward toward the rest of the room. Toru made sure her face was firmly behind a text book for the next class when the dark boy’s gaze swept over her area of the room. After, she could see the pleased crook of his lips when the sighs of romantic adulation had reached their peak and all the girls in the class watched Tamaki with rapt attention. He was a shark that scented blood in the water. That’s when Kyoya spoke, “Remember Hime-samas, the auction will take place next week, just a day before final bookings for the month,” he gave them that rare, polite smile and another round of sighs started.

Toru shook her head and retreated behind the wall of her book. An auction didn’t sound very helpful to her current problem. She needed to figure out how to get Haruhi to loosen up a little. It was a difficult task, the younger girl spent her time studying or doing mundane household chores. She didn’t see old school friends, she never went on dates and if there had been a single spontaneous moment since Toru had moved in at the end of the last school year, she couldn’t remember it. Haruhi seemed perfectly unmotivated to do anything about it and it was that stubbornness that made Toru’s job difficult. She wanted to do something fun tonight, but if Haruhi got her way, they’d probably just end up staying at school late and studying…again.


Library Room #1 had been requested for use by the Library club. Library Room #2 was currently being rented out by the Drama club for a Ghost Busters parody. Haruhi and Toru had been mistaken for extras and allowed entrance, but after the third “paranormal” interruption, Haruhi had begun to look really depressed and Toru suggested they try again. Library Room #3 apparently used that time block for tutoring, but unfortunately you had to sign up ahead of time, and there was a two week wait.

By the time the girls reached Library Room #4, they had trekked around the vast campus toting all their books and study supplies. In Toru’s case, that was an extra thirty pounds of books shoved into the pouch of her hoodie. Between her baggy clothes and the junk she carried in her front pocket, she looked fifty pounds heavier. She felt her eyes drooping and knew focusing on school work was going to be a difficult task even with Haruhi there to nag her into submission.

As they pushed the large doors open, the noise of chattering buzzed at them like the drone of a fly swarm. It sounded like they’d entered a cafeteria, but students stood laughing and socializing around the book shelves. Some sat, drinking tea and catching up with their friends. The girls just looked at each other dumbfounded. With an exhausted sigh, they pushed the doors closed again, retreating from yet another failure.

Haruhi started walking and Toru instinctively followed. The younger girl’s mood was contemplative and somber. Toru could tell Haruhi was thinking about her deceased mother and her dream of following her footsteps as a lawyer. She tried to lighten the mood, “You know, given the spirit of fanaticism the girls seem to have here, there were probably at least a hundred copies of Twilight in there.” The taller girl frowned as she spoke, “It’s quite possible I would have exploded from the proximity.”

Haruhi didn’t take the bait, “You know, I’m beginning to think rich kids only go to school to have a good time.” Her voice was soft and somber.

Without missing a beat, Toru smiled, “Maybe you’re onto something.” Pointing forward at the grand staircase before them she skipped ahead, “They’re probably all too lazy to climb all these stairs. We could scout out the top floor.” Toru patted Haruhi’s shoulder when the smaller girl drew even with her. Haruhi’s gaze was still far away as they began their journey upwards.

Once they’d finished their ascent, movement along the wall caught Toru’s eye. A lovely mirror with an intricately beveled edge covered a five foot long section of the wall and reflected Haruhi’s appearance. The tall girl grinned at the resulting mish-mashed effect and stepped forward into the view. Silver filigree decorated the edge of the mirror and ornate marble vase’s decorated low wooden displays. The floral arrangements were probably several hundred dollars each, considering the number of exotic fauna present. The finery clashed with the two plain figures in the reflection.

They were both wearing hideous glasses that covered the features of their faces. Alone with Haruhi, Toru stood at her full height, towering over her friend at almost six feet tall. Haruhi looked like someone who just didn’t give a damn about appearances. Her hair was a mess, her posture stooped, her shirt untucked, and her sweater bunched awkwardly from wear. Haruhi looked completely androgynous. In a crowd of students, Toru could hide along the edges, Haruhi would stick out like a sore thumb and move obliviously through the throng of students. In this deserted hallway of exquisite murals, expertly chiseled sculptures, and lovely marble inlays, the girls seemed just as out of place.

Toru noticed the door before they reached it. The hall reached a T junction, but there was only an alcove to the left before a dead end. A sign above the door declared it to be Music Room #3. “An abandoned music room?” Toru’s voice was hopeful.

Haruhi’s expression was resigned. “I guess this is the only place we’ll be able to study.” When she opened the door, they found the Host club.

“Welcome to the Host club,” a gentle, but intoxicating breeze of swirling rose petals caressed them.

“Host club?” the girls spoke in unison. Toru sounded confused, as if the term were not found in her dictionary. Haruhi sounded appalled, as if the term were found in the wrong sort of dictionary. Toru’s gaze was locked on Haruhi as if awaiting an answer.

________________________________________________

“Only those with excellent social standing and those from filthy rich families are lucky enough to spend their time here at the elite private school, Ouran Academy. The Ouran Host club is where the schools handsomest boys, with too much time on their hands, entertain young ladies, who also have way too much time on their hands. Just think of it as Ouran Academy’s elegant playground for the super rich and beautiful,” Tamaki’s voice was unmistakable. Nothing so pompous sounding could have come off as elegant or agreeable from anyone else.

Haruhi seemed shocked to the core. Toru watched her sag against the doors behind them, as if trying to melt through the pretty pink wood. She’d never seen her friend look so disheveled, even when Rankapoppa was at his worst.

“Oh wow, they’re boys,” the twins spoke in unison. Toru’s hooded eyes flashed over to them at the insult. They didn’t look mean or mischievous at the moment, perhaps a bit bored. They were light skinned, had impeccable posture and stood side by side as the perfect reflection to one another. Their red hair was parted based on the position, left and right.

“Hikaru, Kaoru, that visitor is in the same class as you, right?” Kyoya stood next to them, posture rigid, his arms crossed over his chest in their usual barrier position and from the distance, his glasses blocked out whatever information his eyes might have given away. Toru couldn’t tell if he recognized her or not, but given Kyoya’s reputation for knowing everything, she didn’t doubt it.

“Yes, he is, but he isn’t very sociable, so we don’t know him too well,” once again, their speech was perfectly together. Even more amazing, their motions, the way they turned their heads to look at Kyoya and shrug, they were also perfectly in sync. Toru couldn’t help, but feel a little insulted for poor Haruhi at this point. She did look androgynous, but her eyes, really, her petite frame, gave it away, right?

Kyoya smirked and pushed his glasses back into place, “Its impolite to say it like that.” Toru grinned, he did know. The twins shrugged at each other, one the mirror of the others confusion. Kyoya’s muted gaze locked in on the girls.

“Welcome to the Ouran Host club, Fujioka Toru, and Honor Student,” his normally even voice had placed subtle emphasis on Toru’s assumed last name. She froze in place. Did he know? She’d gone through a great deal of effort to keep her family name concealed, for her own protection and Haruhi’s. His gaze was steady, taking in all the little details. She remained confident in the fact that her current outfit concealed any of her usual tells, most importantly, the expression on her face.

“What? Then, this exceptionally rare honor student we’ve heard about, Fujioka Haruhi, is you?!” Tamaki was leaning forward in amazement. He sat on a beautifully carved chair with plush, red cushions looking every bit the part of a royal prince. “I didn’t know Fujioka from our class and Fujioka the honor student were related.”

Haruhi was trying to escape and fumbled with the door handle to no avail. She turned, looking at the blonde with a scandalized expression and interrupted that train of thought, “What? How do you know my name?” Toru was uncomfortable with Haruhi’s panicked fidgeting and moved further into the room.

It was Kyoya who provided an answer, “It’s just that our school tradition makes it difficult for commoners to get in. I’ve been told that unless you possess a rather audacious nerve, you cannot be an honor student here.”

The rather insulted, exasperated, expression on Haruhi’s face was made somewhat humorous by the awkward acceptance of his statement. “Why…thank you…”

“Don’t worry, Haruhi. I’m a fan of audacious,” Toru turned back to her friend and gave her a thumbs up. She was careful and avoided the expensive looking vase on the pedestal. Out of caution she stepped further away from it. As she moved, Tamaki seemed to glide by her and appear beside Haruhi.

“Yes! He’s saying you’re a hero, Fujioka-kun,” Tamaki put a casual hand on Haruhi’s shoulder. “Even though you might be at the head of the class, you’re the poorest person in the whole school. You’re a hero to other poor people!”

Haruhi side stepped away from the boy’s contact and walked away looking for another exit, “I wouldn’t go that far.” Tamaki didn’t seem to notice her rebuff and followed.

“It doesn’t matter, does it? Long live the poor!” He poured on the sparkle. Haruhi was making her way over to Toru when Tamaki became impassioned once again, “Welcome to our world of beauty, poor man!”

He was gorgeous and it had hilarious little effect on Haruhi. The smaller girl turned and headed calmly towards the door. “Goodbye. Toru, lets go.”

A tiny blonde and blue blur whisked by Toru and grabbed Haruhi by the arm, dragging her even with her tall friend. It was a short, fair haired boy that looked like he belonged in the green of an elementary uniform rather than the blue of a high schooler’s. “Ne Haru-chan!” Even his voice was cute, “Haru-chan, you’re a hero? Amazing!” His bubbly praise was infectious and you could practically see little pink flowers dancing about his aura.

Haruhi looked disheveled to say the least. She had just been hauled across the room by someone half her size. “I’m not a hero, I’m an honor student,” she said it almost like a mantra. And then she snapped. “AND WHO ARE YOU CALLING HARU-CHAN?!” her angry snarl had an immediate effect on the boy. He squealed uncomfortably and tears rushed out of his eyes.

The little blonde sobbed as he ran towards the tallest figure in the room. He was darker skinned and more athletic looking than the other boys, he was also the only person who’d been silent from the beginning of this strange encounter. He was bent over wiggling a stuffed pink bunny back and forth in front of the little blonde who’d sought him out for comfort, it was almost comical.

Toru wasn’t amused though, because she was too irritated. She flashed Haruhi a clearly annoyed look. Normally the petite girl didn’t react so…cruelly, at least not to children. She vaguely registered Tamaki speaking again as she moved over to the little blonde and knelt behind him. Toru was just the right height for him to see her face without anyone else doing the same. She adopted his speech pattern and spoke in a soothing, quiet voice, “Ne, don’t mind Haruhi,” she apologized for her friend’s rudeness. “We all get a little cranky when we miss nappy-time, yeah?” She bit her lip and dug around in the pocket of her hoodie before offering the little one a chocolate bunny sucker wrapped in pink cellophane, “Here, cutie pies shouldn’t cry.” She tilted her head to the side and smiled at him.

He wiped his tears and beamed at her. His little frame practically bounced on her in an enthusiastic hug, which she returned, before he took the offered lolly. What an adorable child, she thought.

Tamaki’s voice snapped her out of her musings. “Having our first openly gay member is interesting! Tell me what type of boy you would like.”

Toru watched, in shock, as Tamaki gestured towards the tallest boy. “The wild type.” His eyes were almost as dark as his hair and there was a subtly displeased tilt in his mouth. There wasn’t anything particularly “wild” about his appearance. “The boy lolita type,” the little blonde looked up and beamed happily as he munched on his bunny sucker. The cute, pink bunny was cradled in his other arm. “The little devil type,” the twins turned in unison, leaning against each other’s back. Their name seemed more appropriate, the smirk on their face dripped mischievousness. “The cool type,” Kyoya didn’t gesture at or acknowledge Tamaki’s introduction, but Toru could think of no better Ice Prince than Kyoya.

Toru suddenly wondered just what type of place this really was. She moved away from the boys and found herself heading back towards the door.

“Its not like that! We were just looking for a quiet place to study!” Haruhi’s voice was strained.

Tamaki’s tone was practically sultry as he ignored her statement. “Or maybe you’d like to try me? How about it?” Toru looked over her shoulder in time to see Tamaki run his fingers up Haruhi’s jawline.

That’s when the petite brunette really lost it, she cried out a bit and lurched backwards, slamming into Toru and launching them both into the podium. Toru was too busy keeping her face from being smashed to worry about the ornate looking vase they knocked off, but Haruhi made a grab for it. The impact was hard and the tinkling sound of expensive china shattering seemed to echo through the room.

At this point, Toru was slumped over the pedestal with Haruhi draped over her back. When the twins seemed to press in as well, Toru began to feel a little claustrophobic as Haruhi’s panic set in and she began to fidget.

“Ahh! The Renaissance vase for the auction!” One of the red head’s started. “Now you’ve done it. We were going to start the bidding at eight million yen for that!” The other finished.

“Eight million yen!” Haruhi was mortified. Toru twisted enough to lift Haruhi up and set her on the ground, she was clearly running numbers worriedly. The petite brunette looked up at the twins and spoke, “Um, can I pay you back?”

Toru righted herself and sat calmly on the pedestal as the twins spoke again, “Could you?” Two pairs of amber eyes gave them a once over, “You can’t even afford the uniform. What’s with those awful clothes, anyway?”

Haruhi was practically trembling. Toru’s attention flashed to Kyoya who’d moved close to her side and knelt before the shattered remains of the Renaissance vase. He carefully picked up a shard and examined it in the light, “What will it be, Tamaki?”

“Have you ever heard of this saying? When in Rome, do as the Romans do!” The prince was sitting in his throne, legs crossed. His chin rested elegantly on the knuckles of his right hand as his left gestured with dramatic flair. It was his words and air that were affected by a sudden change in attitude. “If you have no money, then pay with your body. Starting today, the both of you are Host club dogs.”

Shock must have reset Haruhi’s brain. She stood stock still with the goofiest expression on her face. Toru watched as the boy’s gathered around them. Tamaki waved his hands in front of Haruhi’s unresponsive face. The twin’s leaned in close. Kyoya looked like his normal observant, yet uninterested self. The tall one had a confused quirk to his right eyebrow, but the rest of his face was blank. The little blond stood in front of Toru and nudged Haruhi with his fingers, even narrating his action in a cute voice, “Poke, poke.”

The tall girl watched her friend fall sideways and land hard on the ground. She nudged Haruhi with the toe of her shoe, “Oy, I’m not carrying your scrawny ass home…”

  • This is an Ouran High School Host Club fanfiction. I hope you enjoyed the first chapter. The rest can be found here. 
  • I’d really love to hear your comments or suggestions, so leave a comment! 😀

The Many Perils of Love at First Sight

Recently I got the idea for a supernatural story that explores the social constructs of “love” and “love at first sight” and that’s not a pretty thing. I’ve also been working on this cursed clan idea for a couple of years and then when I wrote this fanfiction and decided to play around and develop it outside of its usual parameters.

Wonderful things happened with the magic. I was able to develop a the magical theory and style I wanted to go with. I also expanded on the idea of the curse and what I wanted it to stand for. I never wrote this clan seriously before because the nature the curse is so controversial and I didn’t have a way to create a truly strong female character when they’re so overtly subjugated. And then in November the Title came to me, The Many Perils of Love at First Sight.

The curse itself is something of a debate. Their archives and family history were lost and the family scattered during the Salem Witch Trials. All we know about the curse is what the main character knows…and she’s gotten her ideas from on love and the curse from the some pretty unreliable sources. From the media, from her family, from some not so good influences, and from painful experiences.

The Curse is the social construct and in the beginning its viewed bitterly, through the eyes of someone who raised by a very narrow set of standards. I want to tell a story about the perils and adventures of love at first sight, while providing good examples of loving relationships.

The main character is Sarai. She has a dark and sort of youthful attitude. She’s a 26 year old woman who comes from a clan of people who don’t view a woman as an adult until their curse has been activated. She is, of course, an adult, and an incredibly analytic and self reflective one at that, but she is used to being treated and viewed as someone who hasn’t yet reached their peak.

I sort of like how she waffles between jaded and hopeful as a byproduct of the curse. I also thought it mirrored something we can empathize over the mixed messages of relationships and romantic love. We’re force fed all this fairy tale stuff and views on love from a young age and it shapes us. Some of us have this existential crises over it. This is the story of a girl who lives in a world that shouts “YOUR LOVE WILL LOOK LIKE THIS!” and she just rolls her eyes, points at divorce statistics and knows, with her entire soul, that she is going to  be forced into an unhappy, sick cycle unless she proactively takes things into her own hands and avoids it.

But enough of that, here’s an excerpt from Chapter 5. In this scene two individuals are being forced to fight in the darkness while the other’s watch on. Its supposed to test ones psychic awareness. Sarai is uniquely suited to this exercise  because she doesn’t see with her eyes in the first place. Unfortunately, she’s not really a fighter: (Oh yeah, Daisuke is a creepy fuck. Just thought I’d throw that warning out there…)

“Well, well, that is no trinket, little girl. A relic like that has enough power to eat you alive,” he caressed his words strangely with his tongue, as if the leer in his eyes has taken a new form and he sought to touch her with his voice. Excitement sparkled and fizzled through his energy, a coinciding rumble of warning lit down the woman’s spine. Her calm, polite facade didn’t waver in her silence.

It seemed a few seconds of her empty smile was enough to prod him onward  “The gems alone are worth a fortune, but I bet its the knowledge inside that’s priceless.” The longing and greed in his voice couldn’t be restrained.

Sarai could feel a thrum of threat and indignation from her connection with Takara. “Something tells me that you wouldn’t make that cut. She’s rather picky about what touches her.” The woman walked slowly into the darkness, not really wanting to let him draw out the conversation, but also not wanting to provoke the impatience she could see setting into Genkai’s eyes.

“How about a wager,” he walked into the darkness as well, but at a different angle so there would be about thirty feet of space between them. “You lose, I get that very interesting book and your bag of tricks. I lose, and you get my own toys…”

Takara’s angry buzz crackled within Sarai’s mind. She was not a toy. The woman’s answer was easy and still polite. “Sorry, but I doubt you have anything of comparable value.” It was a baited response, one she hoped would provoke him into giving his secrets so that she could plan better.

“Haha, clever. If you wanted a test drive, all you had to do was ask sweetheart…” With that, Daisuke whipped open his trench coat and reached into one of the inner pockets.

Sarai used that single moment of inattention to mask her energy and completely disappear. When he looked back up, she could sense him searching around with his useless eyes. She very quietly grabbed the pocket knife from her backpack and tucked it into her sock. The bag and the rest of it’s contents were tossed about twenty feet away, colliding with a pillar and making a bit of a clatter.

“You didn’t answer little girl…” his voice echoed off the walls, but Daisuke’s attention was focused in the direction she’d thrown her bag. There was a coiled length of rope in his hands that gave off dangerous vibrations, pulling at the ambient energy of the room and devouring it.

In her partial fugue state Sarai felt echos of intense emotion coming from it. It was similar to the tang a spirit would leave in the atmosphere. Something that tasted of fear and torture and unholy things. She couldn’t suppress the instinctive shudder that rolled through her and raised goosebumps on her skin.

“Well then, I suppose I can take the book from your cold dead body,” he chuckled, and then his tone turned soft and dark, for her alone, “But not before I have some fun.” He started walking slowly towards the pillar, uncoiling the rope.

  • The character’s you read about were original, but the story it sits in is a Yu Yu Hakusho fanfiction. If you want to read more, I’m currently accepting reviewers/beta readers so send me a message. I’d love to hear from you. You don’t really need to be familiar with the series to enjoy the show. Hope you found it to be entertaining. :3

Rocking the face off of my “To Do” list…

Got around to creating an about page for my stories. =^.^=

I finally made a page for my currently available work and a “sneak peek” area for a handful of the stories I’ve just got laying around in various stages of development. I had to polish up a few sections and pick out which ones I’m most likely to work on when I have the time. I feel pretty accomplished because this was a big, time consuming task I’ve been putting off for a while.

I also planned a kick ass birthday for my fiance. I did some pretty neat stuff with some colorful tissue paper for gift wrap. It was random, completely off the top of my head and turned out beautifully. I took pictures so I could write up a DIY blog about it. This is one of the results:

Click on the image to see more of the pics I took.

Click on the image to see more of the pics I took.