brightlotusmoon: (Asha)
I forgot to come back here after the new year. Sorry, journal. I was busy.

Today, and yesterday, and the day before, I've been... I guess it's ill with a cold, or a cold and allergies? It seems to vary. Obviously, a fibromyalgia flare has been set off. I've been dizzy, shaky, sore, with a scratchy throat, itchy eyes, runny or stuffy nose, yada yada. If it keeps going past a few days, I'll call allergies.

At the end of December, Adam and I began talking honestly about my Neuroweird, and he figured I might do well on an ADHD drug or similar, which made me consider SNRIs, which made me recall my first attempt at Cymbalta in 2002 that went wrong, which made me decide, after talks with three doctors and my insurance, to go back on Cymbalta in place of Zoloft, to see if an SNRI would do better at poking away at my Neuroweird. In combination with the personal therapy regime that will be slowly happening for probably ever, it is working. Most of my compulsive episodes have been very controlled. It is hard work, obviously. Everything is hard work. Sometimes we who have multiple intense chronic illnesses forget to mention how hard it is to just... be. Every day, all the time. Or people who don't understand might forget how hard it is. Not having episodes of... All The Issues, it's hard.
Cough.
Anyway.
Maybe I just forget, because it's all happening to me all at once, constantly, in the background, and I'm so used to it that I wave it off and go "Meh, it's just Things, it's always been Things, whatever" even though my entire brain is screaming and full of storms. I don't listen to myself enough; I'm too used to me. That's part of an upcoming therapy session, too.

Very current parts of therapy have been literally watching comedy videos while exercising. The Nostalgia Critic videos on YouTube, for example, and Futurama on Netflix, and Cartoon Network during the day (Woo, Amazing World of Gumball, woo, and also the creator of Uncle Grandpa was in my high school class, heeyy).

I've been sleeping with plush animals again since childhood. It's fabulous. Ty makes lovely plush My Little Pony dolls.
brightlotusmoon: (Asha)
http://www.speculativeliterature.org/Grants/SLFDiversityGrant.php
I had no idea this was a thing until my mom's novelist friend mentioned it. I'm going to apply and then look at other grants.

BTW, FYI, JSYK, etc: I'm happy. Nothing to do with cults of positive energy or what have you; although positive thinking plays a small part in a specific way, as well as negative thinking, which folds up into balanced thinking energy whatsit. Everyone is always saying "Find your happy." And I have. I'm still going to have low, bad, poor, ugly times, because that is life. People are going to criticise me for things and such, because that is life. Right now, the only thing that matters is how I feel. Good, bad, positive, negative. But I'm just happy. That's what matters. *slowly nibbles on a glazed honey bun*

First novel really is close to finished. I am struggling to figure out what's the better way to blow up everything before reforming. Exploding reality is haaard.
Second novel is flitting around my writerbrain. I think this is going to be all nonsequential. I'll assign chapters later.

LOL, my kitty. Callisto has taken over my leather task chair on which I use a Pillow Pet as a cushion. If I'm sitting, she jumps into my lap, walks behind me, curls around me, and suckles on my shirt while kneading.
brightlotusmoon: (Asha)
So, my thoughts have been spinning merrily amidst what could be a spiraling episode of... Oh, fuck, probably everything at once. After I had a chat with three doctors about the consequences of stress-related memory loss, I quietly decided to start a private mindfulness therapy, which I have only been sharing with the psychologist, for advice, while I move forward in my own brain to stop my own brain from destroying my mindstate.

Tomorrow, I see my general physician and have her write a referral for the local hyperbaric oxygen therapy center. Although it's a bit premature, as they have yet to call me back about an initial consultation. While I was filling out their online New Patient form, I started wondering if they would even take someone like me, with two dozen illness. Even though cerebral palsy is the cornerstone. I just feel so excited about it. That's a good thing. I can still most of my emotion things.

What I find beautiful and fascinating about my private therapy protocol is that almost nobody believes me. I have been stuck in something insane since 2010. Why would they believe I would "get better" now, so many years later after therapy and medications and meditative exercises? Then again, none of them have been in long term therapy or medication. It really does take many years to spur a change this massive. Hence the secret protocol, which includes a possible medication update and potential oxygen therapy.

I don't expect anyone to believe me. I don't expect anyone to believe in my desire to change with this therapy protocol. How could they? Why would they? I am the same as I was when symptoms started. But I don't want their belief. I don't really want support if there is no actual active knowledge. How can you say "Hey, I've been there, I get it, fist bump in solidarity" unless you really have gone through a similar structure of treatment repeatedly for a grab bag of illnesses that mindfuck you for no reason?
Actual legitimate question, BTW.
If you're also a parent of someone with interconnected psychiatric and neurological disorders, I would love input, because when I try to explain these things to my mom who only has hereditary ADHD controlled via lifestyle, my emotion-brain starts shutting down so my technical-brain can word at her, and I know she wants less science and more human. I'm trying. I just cannot get past that very protective mental guardian who shields emotion-Joanna from Outside. And oh, as much as I love Serena, she feels it is easier and gentler to let me sleep while she and Koan the calico kitten organize and compartmentalize all the Me. Ananta works hard enough balancing out all the neuroweird that Alicia in my private epileptic Wonderland can't reach. I haven't had much success in psychically merging with Asha. We are working out my dissociative and depersonalization episodes first.

I will do this. It will happen. Steps have been severely taken. Hard to talk. But if you think you get it, I would love a discussion via Private Message. I am willing to reveal bits and pieces of my Rebuild Joanna Brain Project to acquire tips and advice from those who get it.

Now, see, I view many people as family beyond my blood family - who shall remain the besy family I would want. Various people in my social circle - friends plus family - have always stood with me. I will always need and want that. But for those who are truly normal and looking at me with confusion, puzzlement, exasperation, fear, anger... and the type of condesencing that means pats on the head, chuckling, and "I love you sweetie. Of course you'll change." "You do nothing. You never help. You are too self absorbed, you don't think, you claim memory loss. It is all right, dear. We are used to hit. Just finish writing." Followed by another hair tousle. I'm used to it. It's routine because I am me.
I am not out to prove them wrong, not entirely. I am out to prove to myself that my neuroplasticity really might eradicate the worst of the annoying symptoms.
Maybe this whole autistic ramble came from my hope and excitement over this slow gentle therapeutic process. If loved ones want me to speed it up, I can turn away for a while to meditate.

All I know is that my own husband has been putting up with me forever, and that says something huge.

Love you, LJ family.
brightlotusmoon: (Asha)
'Reborn' by Laura Sava (anotherwanderer.deviantart.com/)
'Mirabella' by Rachel Anderson (www.silverstars.us/‎)

Two forms of my own story character, Asha Clara Night, my strongest, most individual, most personal fiction character.

These paintings. Completely different images that look almost exactly like incarnations of the same character of my own subconscious creation Women who look almost exactly like the dreamself I am becoming in my dreams and visions.

Laura-sava-Reborn

Rachel Anderson Mirabella


She was in my dreams last night and many nights before. I haven't decided exactly who she is yet, but in my dreams her name is Asha, meaning "desire, hope, hopeful; life; alive; she who lives." Which says so much, so so much.

She is another dreamself, not a spirit guardian, but much closer to my Self than my other characters (Alicia, Serena, Ananta: my spirit guardian coping mechanisms for epilepsy, memory loss, insomnia, sleep problems, [Alicia], chronic pain and fatigue, depression, anxiety, physical disabilities [Serena], neurology, neurodivergence, autism, total mind-body connection [Ananta].

Asha seems to represent many internal things about my emotions, my heart and mind, my rhyme and reason, my logic, my science, my creativeness and creativity, my power, my energy, my beauty. If she were to reveal herself as a guardian, she would be for emotional states, creative thoughts, desires, loves, patterns, ideas.
Asha is definitely powerful in a way I always wanted to be since childhood: Fae and and Elemental Mage and Neurodivergent and Autistic Witch and Quantum Magic Scientist and Story Crafter and Shape Shifter and Magic Librarian and Magic Keeper.

Asha seems to represent my deep, obsessive, compulsive wish and desire to be one of the psionic-mage superhumans in my stories, to take over for be when I feel failure and self-loathing and terror and panic. I think Asha may in fact be an actual entity, one who communicates outside instead of simply speaking into my visions, dreams, pain flare withdrawings, anxiety attacks.

All I know is that Asha was in every dream last night and throughout the past several sleeps, long detailed intense dreams, and she quoted Kosh. She spoke in a soprano version of my voice that could sing. She was always here She is always here. She has always been here.
I think she was with me since I was a baby. In different forms, in different species, with different names, in different imaginary beings, in different fictional characters. She was made of fire. She used to be a phoenix, a unicorn, a dragon, a star, a nebula. I know Asha. I know Asha in the way I hope to know myself.

The thing is, Asha has a fully active voice when I am completely conscious, aware, awake, functional, and stable. She didn't completely create herself, but she grew and evolved over my lifetime in her own way as a character in my subconscious. She took ideas I worked with and wove them into her personality, behavior, and mentality. My disabilities are hers. She stayed and changed and grew with me like a permanent piece of my spirit. Asha also represents my fluid sexuality - I often visit her in the place she calls home and we make love, representing my desires for love and orientation.

She lives with Alicia in the Wonderland cottage, but she freely moves about my brain more often. She shapeshifts into elemental energies, she moves around my hippocampus and amygdala and temporal lobes and cingulate gyrus and thalamus and auditory cortex and somatosensory cortex and parital lobe and the back of my brain.
She has altered the Wonderland cottage to be something else entirely, with three bedrooms, two bathrooms, two office rooms, a large entertainment living room, a large kitchen, a basement. The outside build would contain concrete, cement, hemp and limestone, bamboo, steel. The glass windows are shatterproof. The doors are hemp-lime and timber. That must say something about my mind's inner workings. Especially since the main reason for hemp being illegal is due to its threat to corporate patentable synthetic fibers and wood and paper product industries, while the medicinal drug potential became subject to false claims and fear mongering alarm campaigns until the original industrial potential became buried under the alarmist anti drug campaigns. Part of me probably knows how powerful this is. Medicine from nature itself and the human brain itself is usually denied and seen as worthless.

Asha represents that part of me that firmly supports the controversial balance of traditional pharmaceutical medicine and nontraditional botanical medicine.
Asha is my activism and advocacy. Asha is the fire that moves my belief in the combination of synthetic drugs and organic drugs. Asha is the phoenix in me that rises after every defeat, every failure, every attack, every oppression, every attack and assault on my truths and faiths.

Throughout many names, faces, back stories, lives, personalities, and individual growths... she has always been Asha Clara Night. And this is how she asked me to look so I could see that there is beauty deep and shining.

I must find and thank the artists for these images, since I found myself taking these pieces of artwork and subconsciously turning them into incarnations of my own fictional character.

https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=10151978626835684&l=17dde55bf4

Asha may well be the character in that second novel after all. It won't be this Asha, my Asha; just a version, a more humanized incarnation I can bring out to show the public. This excites me. She could help me write it, just by living in my mind.
brightlotusmoon: (Snow White Ruby Blood Dragon Witch Light)
Sooo... that hard fall I took yesterday outside the medical buildings? It turns out it was a little worse than I thought. This displeases me. Both legs, hips, knees, and the general lower back is stiff, bruised, burning, throbbing, stabby, and eurgh. And somehow, my fingers feel as though they've been slashed from the inside. I don't understand that part. So I've been doing sciatica hamstring stretches, like my favorite butterfly stretch, hot showers yada yada. You know, the personalized modified NotYoga basic poses that might be basic Baby Pilates. I really did not expect it.

It was just a slip and fall onto a grassy sidewalk, I said. I was wearing layers and carrying a cane, I said. It wasn't so awful, I said. What the fuck is this, I now say.

So, right. Last night, I dreamed that I was on a beach being attacked by a creature that slashed me to ribbons before canon characters from "Lost Girl" arrived (I know, facepalm). I was still an airmed Light Fae (pronounced "awr-meed"), my OC, so I healed well enough, but I remember Bo and Dyson holding me tight trying to staunch the blood flow while Trick guided Kenzi through some sort of incantation, I don't know. I just remember falling asleep in Bo's arms. And I woke up in actual life, in my bed, feeling exactly like my dream self. The sciatica in my right leg was so intense that I stretched for hours without leaving the bed. I couldn't move my fingers very well. I don't even know. (Also, Doctor Lauren wasn't there because I dislike Lauren :p)

So right now, neither leg works well and it is really hard to limp with two stiff legs. The remaining Soma, which will not be refilled, will be taken until the bottle is empty, and then the increased Baclofen will take over. I will continue to stretch and apply massage and heat, because fucking sciatica. Also, during the night my back kept spasming so hard that I had to separate "CP spasm" from "complex partial seizure" since those seizures tend to send warning signals to my spine for some reason. It may have been both. Chronic stress, after all. Banging head on wall. All these little things, I swear. I'm clenching my fists. It hurts. I want to scream.

The ridiculous part of this is that it was just a simple trip, slip, and fall on a grassy sidewalk. And yet my entire body has decided that it was a Big Deal. *side-eye*

I have friends battling various cancers, severe diabetes, multiple sclerosis, diseases with a potential death sentence. They're trying to stay low and not pain-brag or talk about their symptoms. I admire their strength. I admire how we all handle our own illnesses in our own way. I just... I cannot stop feeling the need to talk, even if it's just about those little things. Because I know people want to know. I want to tell people I am here, and they are not alone.
brightlotusmoon: (Snow White Ruby Blood Dragon Witch Light)
Because I'm always the fucked up, mentally bizarre, clumsy, twitchy screwy fool who never gets it right, and even when I try to make it better I do such a poor job it needs to be fixed again and again. Some people call it cute and endearing, some people call it stupid self absorbed insanity. I keep trying. I don't even know. I'm tired of people telling me what I should do just because they want me to. Advice and suggestions are awesome. Pushy preachy sanctimony is awful. And even if I don't do it the way people want me to, at least I'm doing it the best ways I know how.

My best beloved cat is ashes in a box because I waited too long; my floors are never clean enough; I watch the same television shows and movies and read the same books over and over for pure comfort and joy; my memory is disintegrating and the only reason I remember anything specific is because I cheat; I want my friends to be okay with each other; I want to talk about things that confuse and fascinate me which include my disabilities; I collect current My Little Pony toys; I just want people to realize that my autism has a name and they can use it without assuming I'm begging for attention, same thing with my aging cerebral palsy and fibromyalgia; I want people to stop insisting I do yoga and to stop insisting I quit eating wheat or dairy when I don't need to, I can't go vegan, I hate tofu and my body can't handle it, I can exercise all on my own;my drugs, supplements, and therapy sessions are working exactly as well as they should be and I twitch when any of them are attacked by people who don't understand; sometimes I actually do physically feel like an old woman and it is absolutely not ever because I am somehow conjuring it or desiring with magical thinking like in that book about law of attraction with pure belief, and if someone really thinks that kind of awful thing about me, then they seriously need to realize that I do not think like them and never will, and they cannot change that.
I am just me, and as I grow and change it will be me, myself, with bits and pieces of suggestions that I will keep and discard as I grow.

I have no fucking clue what made me write this out. Frustration, upset, irritation.
Feel free to pick it apart or ignore it. Just don't trash my medications or doctors, because in that aspect I am doing just fine. Just... this isn't even "vague posting" or "cryptic posting"... I just needed to release something. Social media like this may not be the best place, but by gods, I have so many people on my feed and friend list who understand and are in a similar place. This is for them.
brightlotusmoon: (Snow White Ruby Blood Dragon Witch)
"Sometimes the only way I know how to work through something is by writing..."
Hi.

"Now I know that the number one rule to being cool is to seem unfazed, to never admit that anything scares you or impresses you or excites you. Somebody once told me it's like walking through life like this. You protect yourself from all the unexpected miseries or hurt that might show up. But I try to walk through life like this. And yes, that means catching all of those miseries and hurt, but it also means that when beautiful, amazing things just fall out of the sky, I'm ready to catch them. "

I need this. I've spent my entire life catching all of those hurts, and sometimes those hurts are beautiful and amazing - because they live inside of me. Even the painful parts. Even the Monsters. I don't always declare war on the symptoms, I often imagine myself using psychological coping mechanisms, transporting my quiet self to a Zen garden with cats and sunlight and wildflowers, as the warrior parts of my brain battle those Pain Monsters with spears and war cries. It is a mind over matter dance that does not erode the symptoms, but helps me work with and deal with them. I apply creative writing to cope and to run to other worlds in my mind.

It is seen as Positive Thinking. But I tend to flinch at that term, because it is usually followed up with a sunshine up the ass platitude. I do apply a method of positive thinking to my conditions, disorders, and disabilities. But it is my own personal method, and whenever someone tries to insist that I use a different method, I naturally stand firm and stare them down. This is why I am happy that all of my doctors, specialists, and therapists are extremely willing to help me achieve my own positive thinking, because it is my own, and I know exactly what I want from it.
Unfortunately, it also makes me extremely vulnerable to criticism. I am probably Doing It Wrong. I am probably Wanting To Be Chronically Ill All The Time. I am probably Magically Convincing Myself That I Am Getting Worse. I Obviously Am Not Thinking Positively Enough - because my biggest coping mechanism is to write it down, and to share my newest findings with people I love and with people who understand my situation. At least, those are my assumptions. I made a few poor assumptions and lost a few acquaintances. But I moved on. Now, I am still writing, still speaking out. Now, I am determined to hold on to my personal method of positive thinking no matter who tries to change that method.

That is why I love this message from Sarah Kay. No one else can work inside my mind like I can. Each of us has the power to think positively in a way that works for us and us alone.

The next time somebody tells you that you need to stop doing it This way and start doing it That way, think long and hard about it before you even reply. Some things are just not worth debating. Sometimes all you can do is smile and nod and say "Thank you for the advice" - and move on. It is your mind, after all.

http://dotsub.com/view/e8f7d701-e410-464d-9051-eeae8a1ddd44/viewTranscript/eng

http://www.upworthy.com/watch-the-ted-talk-that-inspired-two-standing-ovations?g=2

I will probably listen to this video enough to memorize or recite most of it, and my poor memory will do its best to hold it close.
brightlotusmoon: (Snow White Ruby Blood Dragon Witch Light)
Hmm. Still heavily outlining the second novel.
Clara no longer has a healing factor; she has quantum phasing - aka phase shift, intangibility ghosting, limited Kitty Pryde power. Amber has a more specific type of telepathy, which connects more with quantum consciousness than actual thoughts - aka soul communication, extreme telempathy, spirit communication, highly limited Rachel Grey power; and Amber's telekinesis is far more developed, including limited healing touch and limited emotional healing on others, which can weaken her without shielding or channeling, but still limited Rachel Grey power.
Clara's hypermobility and joint pain symptoms eases during her phase shifts. Amber's cerebral palsy with its comorbid syndromes eases during any major psychokinetic procedure, but once they're finished, the pain hits them twice as hard, leaving them weakened for at least several hours.
I like that enough to work with it. *nod* But I need advice, opinions, and consultations to make sure I'm Doing It Right. For example, since Clara has mild Asperger's, I have to wonder how her perceptions are affected by her powers.

Also! Thoughts on surnames. Since Clara has full Indian heritage on her father's side, her surname will be probably Atma (and her mother has Siberian and Swedish heritage). Since Amber has full Greek heritage on her father's side, her surname will probably be Spiro ( and her mother has Norwegian and Hungarian heritage). "Soul" and "Spirit" as meanings seem to work for me. I'm not sure if I want them hyphenated or separate.

At the start of the story, they've been legally married for just under one year and are in their late twenties, share a birthday one year apart, and have family members with disabilities and superpowers Amber is on SSDI but is works part-time at Clara's office, which is (for now) Transdimensional Exploration Association Research. Clara and Amber are among the very few paranormals who can open and enter the interdimensional portals without harm. I'm going to be focusing on one or two alternative worlds, perhaps a Fae dimension and an astral plane.

Many thoughts. Many Worlds Theory, indeed.
brightlotusmoon: (Snow White Blood Red Warrior)
I really must post more here.
I've been in a depressive episode, one that now includes a postitctal state.
Feeling truly alive and worthy can be difficult.
Bah.
I'll work through it and past it. I always do.
Everything hurts. Pain is concentrated in my skull, my face, and my neck. It is hard to lie still with my eyes closed.
Luckily I have many different treatments, yay.
Maybe tomorrow I can really start the second novel as more than outlines. I still need a title. The title "Glass Lotus" is still among the top choices. I still need to research paranormal contemporary nontraditional urban fantasy novels featuring LGBTQU characters with disabilities and superpowers. (Good luck, Jo.)
At least I am eating.
brightlotusmoon: (Snow White Blood Red Light Pale)
You guys, I amaze myself. I've been writing helter skelter all over the place: Novel, stories, novellas, blogs, facebook, notebooks with various pens, everywhere... in the middle of a postictal migraine and insanely horrific agonizing chronic pain flare-up following recovery from a panic attack. If I didn't have a computer or paper I might write on the walls. I hurt so badly I have no idea what I'm doing. I feel half fire and half water. Wild and raging, and all I want is a crackling bonfire and a rushing river.
I doctored up a photo of myself and it came out half gold light and half blue light. It looks inhuman. But part of me adores it so much. My face is two different parts. I am two entities in one. When I burn, I am cool. When I am cool, I burn. It is ying yang, dragon phoenix, up and down, left and right, I don't even know. I don't speak out loud except to my cats, I just speak through Story. So much Story inside me.
That rock. That rock that my husband gave me, the rock that he held while standing in Room 217 of the Stanley Hotel, in which Stephen King wrote "The Stand" and used as an inspiration for "The Shining". That rock is still next to my laptop. I am covered in words. I am filled up with Words. I may disappear into Story. I may not even see the world until I have to.
Is this what it is like to live in the land of the Fae and then come back to the land of humans?

jowitchzen2

Maybe it was the super moon. Maybe it is the heat from the sun now. Maybe it is anything.
brightlotusmoon: (Snow White Blood Red Light Pale)
And now my brain is screaming "Oh for Apollo's sake, woman, stop writing, eat something, take your shower, bring the trash can in, and feed the fish."
I inherited it from my father. When he's sculpting stone or painting, my mother has to physically go to him and insist that he stop working and eat. And he'll look up with glazed eyes and say "Huh?" And she'll say, "John, you've been working for six hours. You need to eat." "Oh. Okay!" And immediately after digesting, he might read a book for a bit and then go back to work for another six hours.

So much staring at a laptop. So much typing with two or three fingers, which are now vibrating. Also, I need eye drops. Augh but LOL?
brightlotusmoon: (Snow White Blood Red Light Pale)
A wild anxiety attack. The beginnings of a migraine. Muscles actually feeling loose and relaxed in a fabulous way, which is probably in part due to the baclofen and tramadol, but close enough. A twinge of ulnar nerve entrapment. Some right knee swelling. A bit of hemiparesis. Some eczema and xeroderma itchiness. The beginnings of a mild major depression episode.

I will go snuggle my cats as much as they will allow. Several online acquaintances just dealt with the deaths of their cats (some peacefully in sleep, some hurried to the emergency vet). Sometimes I force myself to imagine what would happen if Jupiter, Luna, or Rose died. Owning a cat is owning a tragedy waiting to happen, as my parents say. But love... love lasts. Loving a cat is beyond anything in the universe.

I'm still reading "The Night Circus" by Erin Morgenstern. It is so beautiful. I still need to finish less heavy books, like "Between" by Kerry Schafer, "Dead Ever After" by Charlaine Harris, "The Darkest Kiss" by Gena Showalter, a new copy of "The Tower And The Hive" by Anne McCaffrey (all my Rowan series books have fallen apart by now), "The Winter Oak" by James Hetley, "Twilight's Dawn" by Anne Bishop. I'll probably get some kind of inspiration for stagnant stories somewhere.

Speaking of stories and characters, I've quickly fallen in love with Amber Kass and Clara Kim even more than with Dana Ryan and Ian Morgan - and Dana and Ian as a couple have been with me since my teen years. Sometimes I see Amber and Clara as Deanna Troi and Will Riker, a version of Imzadi for life, on and off for so many years before finally just saying "fuck it" and getting married and embracing their intense connections. This story takes place years after the wedding but I plan on doing many flashbacks. It will probably just turn into a big novel. That is fine.

Writing. Writing. Breathing. Breathing. Calming. Calming.
brightlotusmoon: (Snow White Blood Red Light Pale)
bluelotusglow

bluedarklotus

bluelotus4

***
You lift your head to ask if this is a dream. She presses her finger to your lips and smiles. As she gently places the shining blossom into your outstretched hands, she whispers, "This will be safe inside you. Together, you will understand." You want to ask her everything, but you know you mustn't. She kisses your lips and stands tall. Raising her arms, she fades slowly. The air is filled with the scent of the sacred lotus. You press the flower to your breast and it vanishes, sinking inside you. And you begin to understand.
***
You find her in the swamp itself. This time she is wearing faded denim shorts and a sleeveless top, muscled abdomen and arms well exposed, bronze skin glistening. She is knee deep in muddy water, examining each blossom with careful fingers. She looks up at you with bright green eyes and smiles widely. Her hair is blacker than the darkest muddy water, tied back with satin. She looks so young and so old.
"Are you here for another one?" she asks. "Never mind, of course you are. Hold on. I need to find yours." She moves slowly, dipping her hands in up to the wrists until her skin is masked in mud.
"They're sleepy today," she says. "Here, talk. Ask which one wants you and I'll take it."
"Do I have to come into the mud?" you ask, preparing to remove your shoes.
"No, no, just call out. They'll hear you even far away."
You take a deep breath, focus on the flowers floating all around the woman, and say, "Dear blossom, come to me." You aren't sure if that will work. But then the woman nods. She tilts her head one way and the other. She turns around and walks a foot, then slowly bends at the knees and carefully scoops up a richly pink lotus that looks exactly like all the others. She whispers something, and the flower begins to glow. Grinning, the woman walks out of the swamp and holds out the flower. "Perfect!" she says. "Instant connection. Good job."
You cup your hands and she slides your lotus into your hands. There is a small amount of mud; it feels cool and refreshing, with a slight tingling. The lotus shines so brightly that you need to squint, and it disappears into your hands, under your skin.
You blink at the woman. "So that's it?"
She smiles. "Nope. Never. But you're learning more as you go. I'll see you when you're ready to come back. You'll know where I'll be."
You want to ask something, something important. You have forgotten. You just feel blissful. You reach out, and she hugs you tightly, burying her face in your hair. You rest your chin on her shoulder. She smells like lotus and frankincense and pure joy.
"I'll come home soon," you murmur. She just nods. Nothing else needs to be said.
***
The lotus flowers are in full bloom, all of them. You stand naked and waist deep in the swamp, surrounded. The blossoms and glowing gently, swimming around you. Your guide is nowhere. You cannot call out, or speak, or even whisper. You draw in a breath. A small pink petal floats on the air toward you and presses itself on your tongue. No, you think. I must not speak. You are crowded by flowers. Instinct speaks, and you fall back until the lotus flowers catch you. You are floating on a shining bed of full lotus blossoms. You are covered in tingling mud. You open your mouth and light streams from it. A single whole flower lifts and slowly flies to you and settles gently in your mouth. You breathe in very slowly, and the lotus becomes pure energy that pours down your throat like a refreshing drink. You close your eyes. Everything makes sense. You are everywhere. You begin to laugh, but you do not know if it is in your mind or through your mouth.
"There you go!" says a familiar golden voice. "How do you feel now?" You open your eyes. You cannot stop laughing like a child. The Lotus Woman has eyes that cycle through every shade of green, and you find it fascinating. She reaches for you, and you reach for her. She scoops you up and carries you to a heated rock beyond the swamp. There are clothes waiting for you, folded on another rock. The Lotus Woman helps you sit up. She produces a wood brush and slowly combs your hair, letting the bright, bright sun dry the muddy water away. She carefully rubs you down with a towel that feels like silk and cotton. You look at her, finally, and notice that now she is wearing a red sundress that moves like water, with boots polished like mirrors.
She finishes smoothing you down and helps you into undergarments, blue slacks, a red tee shirt, and boots similar to hers.
"We're going to the healing room," she says, "if you'd like. There will be oil massage and saunas and showers of all kinds. Now that you have your next lotus, I think you'll appreciate the new magic."
You just feel so much bliss, so much joy, so much euphoria, that you only nod and smile widely. She taps her finger on your nose. "Now, don't get excited. That'll fade. We need to make sure it doesn't overwhelm you. It's supposed to become part of you, remember?"
Licking your lips and taking a deep breath, you say, "Yes. I'll remember." Your voice sounds like small bells inside your head.
You hold the Lotus Woman's hand and shield your eyes from the sun with your other hand. She is leading you far from the swamp, but it is all right. You will be back soon, of course.
***
It is the way she looks at you, with that quirky smile and those gleaming dark green eyes.
You hold out your cupped hands, trying not to tremble, trying not to disturb the velvety white lotus nestled against your fingers.
"Is this your gift to me?" she asks.
"Yes," you say. "You have helped me so much... and I know you always have these, but I found this one right where I live, and, I mean, I know they're so rare, but..."
She holds up a hand, smiling so widely. "It's okay, sweetheart. I understand." She very carefully takes the lotus from you, holds it to her lips, and kisses the petals. "Thank you. It's perfect."
"Maybe... maybe tomorrow," you say shakily, "we can go to the swamp and... you know... talk to the other flowers?"
She tilts her head and her eyes fill with compassion. "Oh, darling," she murmurs. "Don't be so nervous. There's no need to be shy. This is your world. We will do anything you wish."
You nod, your throat thick with tears. You have no idea what to say next. You realize you don't need to say a word. You watch as she holds your white lotus gift to her breast, and you watch as the lotus turns into golden light, and you watch as the lotus melts into her bronze skin, and you watch as she draws a deep deep breath, exhaling into the sky. Suddenly, you feel a massive weight lifted, spiraling away from the top of your head. Energy fills you starting at your feet and moving in a rush until it reaches the same top of your head. You feel absolute and complete ecstasy, euphoria, tranquility, and serenity. You draw a deep deep breath, exhaling into the sky. You want to laugh, so you laugh. And she laughs with you.
You feel how deeply the universe lives inside you. You laugh, and you embrace everything you can reach, until you feel yourself glowing. You dance and dance, and she takes your hands and joins you, and the universe dances with you.
***
This time, you are standing ankle-deep in a swamp at midnight. Everything is glowing blue - the sky, the water, the lotus flowers, your skin.
The Lotus Woman is sitting in front of you, cross-legged, surrounded by blue and white lotus blossoms all in full bloom. Her bronze skin, her black hair, her green eyes... everything about her is shining with pale blue light.
You feel comforted and serene in a way you have never known at such a deep level. You carefully sit down in the same position, letting the mud flow against you. You and she are both dressed in shorts and sleeveless tops, no shoes, your hair both unbound. The mud sinks effortlessly into your skin.
Neither of you speak. After a few minutes, one lotus blossom floats into your lap, white and blue and covered in dew drops. You very gently pick it up and it dissolves into your skin with an intense burst of blue and white light.
She grins and laughs, clapping her hands. "Oh, yay! I was hoping you would get that one. It's been waiting for you."
You smile and shrug. "I guess I've been waiting too."
The dozens of flowers float and spin around you both, several touching your skin and her skin, merging with you in tiny light bursts that feel like soft winds. She holds out her hands and you reach out and you grasp them tightly.
You don't know how long you sit and meditate, but it doesn't matter. Forever can fit inside a single moment, after all.
The white and blue lotus blossoms swirl around you, lifting your soul, until the entire world is filled with light, and you feel completely at peace, bursting with serenity.
***
brightlotusmoon: (Snow White Blood Red Dragon Witch)
Hey, [livejournal.com profile] naamah_darling. I couldn't find that old post with Amber's original origin story, so I'm just copying it as a new post. This Amber is kind of the same Amber, and she was supposed to go on to meet Clara and they would save the world, etc. I'm cherry picking right now.
Also, the vampires are not exactly the vampires we think of when we think of vampires. They have sharp teeth because they are predatory, not really because they need blood to survive.

Blood And Soul )
brightlotusmoon: (Snow White Blood Red Dragon Witch)
"Only Glass"

It was shortly after she had woken to the sound of glass breaking that she began to investigate. It was two in the morning on a Sunday – or Saturday night, still, technically. She sat dangling her feet over the side of the bed, stretching and slowly preparing to move more fluidly. She took the metallic blue cane that was always propped against the wall next to her nightstand. She kept canes in various rooms for that sort of reason. Her husband was away on business again. People might say that a young disabled woman home alone should never go out at night. Those people were background static. She had been born like this and it had never stopped her.
Slowly, she dressed fully: socks, panties, jeans, bra, tee shirt. Hiking style pull on boots. Her arms shook a little from the spastic hypertonia. She considered at least bringing a couple of daggers. Of course, if it wasn’t a physical kind of danger, the daggers would be somewhat useless. She grabbed a charoite wand and a black tourmaline wand and put them in her back pocket. Next to the daggers.
The sounds had come from well outside the house, so she turned on the hall light, went casually downstairs, and unlocked the door.
Taking a deep breath, she said out loud and mentally, “I am armed in both manners. I am willing to face you. If you represent a threat, you must understand what I will do to you.”
In the utter silence, the sound of glass breaking came through much louder and much closer.
In her front yard.
She opened the door, hands at her sides, right palm open to the wind while her left hand kept a firm grip on the rubber head of the cane. The glass-breaker seemed to hesitate.
“It doesn’t matter,” she said verbally and mentally. “I don’t need the cane all the time. Now. You woke me up. But you haven’t disturbed my cats yet. So you may just want something. I’m willing to talk.”
The leaves on the maple tree in her yard rustled. The entity made the sound of a wine glass striking a wood table and materialized.
“Ah,” she smiled. “It’s just you again.”
brightlotusmoon: (Snow White Blood Red Dragon Witch)
"That which does not kill us leaves us with scars." -Failure To Fire webcomic

As of 11:58 PM April 6, I will have survived for thirty-four years with all my scars still around. I am constantly asked why I don't have the scars smoothed over or rubbed out. And I have finally realized that I don't want to. They are here for a reason. They are not going anywhere. They cannot go anywhere.

Also, if I try to rub out the keloids, I suffer blisters that look like third degree burns. That is what happens to tender newborn prematurely born technically still fetus skin where veins and blood vessels and lungs and brain matter and organs collapse and struggle even in life-saving incubators. All that tape to hold in all those IV needles. Scars all over my abdomen, arms, hands, legs, skull, tiny bits of flesh missing and regrown in textures that look like prokaryote cells - scars that look like tiny nibbles from tiny sharp teeth. Skin that stretches and alters as the body grows, scars that grow with body growth in fascinating ways.
Three months early birth, three months stay in hospital, one pound thirteen ounces, mild periventricular leukomalacia, mild cerebral palsy ... I earned those fucking scars. The only one I might want smoothed out is the one on the side of my right breast, where that tube was inserted to inflate my lung. Sometimes it makes it hard to wear a bra properly since the keloid pulls the breast tissue flat and crooked. But the ankle keloids will stay. They hurt constantly. They are highly sensitive. They bleed extremely. But they remind me. I did not die.
brightlotusmoon: (Snow White Blood Red Dragon Witch)
Started on Facebook. Copied to Livejournal because Facebook is not a blog.
Inspired by a painting. Actual recurring dreams. Stream of consciousness, free form.
Will be updated as the dreams continue.



****

You lift your head to ask if this is a dream. She presses her finger to your lips and smiles. As she gently places the shining blossom into your outstretched hands, she whispers, "This will be safe inside you. Together, you will understand." You want to ask her everything, but you know you mustn't. She kisses your lips and stands tall. Raising her arms, she fades slowly. The air is filled with the scent of the sacred lotus. You press the flower to your breast and it vanishes, sinking inside you. And you begin to understand.
*
You find her in the swamp itself. This time she is wearing faded denim shorts and a sleeveless top, muscled abdomen and arms well exposed, bronze skin glistening. She is knee deep in muddy water, examining each blossom with careful fingers. She looks up at you with bright green eyes and smiles widely. Her hair is blacker than the darkest muddy water, tied back with satin. She looks so young and so old.
"Are you here for another one?" she asks. "Never mind, of course you are. Hold on. I need to find yours." She moves slowly, dipping her hands in up to the wrists until her skin is masked in mud.
"They're sleepy today," she says. "Here, talk. Ask which one wants you and I'll take it."
"Do I have to come into the mud?" you ask, preparing to remove your shoes.
"No, no, just call out. They'll hear you even far away."
You take a deep breath, focus on the flowers floating all around the woman, and say, "Dear blossom, come to me." You aren't sure if that will work. But then the woman nods. She tilts her head one way and the other. She turns around and walks a foot, then slowly bends at the knees and carefully scoops up a richly pink lotus that looks exactly like all the others. She whispers something, and the flower begins to glow. Grinning, the woman walks out of the swamp and holds out the flower. "Perfect!" she says. "Instant connection. Good job."
You cup your hands and she slides your lotus into your hands. There is a small amount of mud; it feels cool and refreshing, with a slight tingling. The lotus shines so brightly that you need to squint, and it disappears into your hands, under your skin.
You blink at the woman. "So that's it?"
She smiles. "Nope. Never. But you're learning more as you go. I'll see you when you're ready to come back. You'll know where I'll be."
You want to ask something, something important. You have forgotten. You just feel blissful. You reach out, and she hugs you tightly, burying her face in your hair. You rest your chin on her shoulder. She smells like lotus and frankincense and pure joy.
"I'll come home soon," you murmur. She just nods. Nothing else needs to be said.
*
The lotus flowers are in full bloom, all of them. You stand naked and waist deep in the swamp, surrounded. The blossoms and glowing gently, swimming around you. Your guide is nowhere. You cannot call out, or speak, or even whisper. You draw in a breath. A small pink petal floats on the air toward you and presses itself on your tongue. No, you think. I must not speak. You are crowded by flowers. Instinct speaks, and you fall back until the lotus flowers catch you. You are floating on a shining bed of full lotus blossoms. You are covered in tingling mud. You open your mouth and light streams from it. A single whole flower lifts and slowly flies to you and settles gently in your mouth. You breathe in very slowly, and the lotus becomes pure energy that pours down your throat like a refreshing drink. You close your eyes. Everything makes sense. You are everywhere. You begin to laugh, but you do not know if it is in your mind or through your mouth.
"There you go!" says a familiar golden voice. "How do you feel now?" You open your eyes. You cannot stop laughing like a child. The Lotus Woman has eyes that cycle through every shade of green, and you find it fascinating. She reaches for you, and you reach for her. She scoops you up and carries you to a heated rock beyond the swamp. There are clothes waiting for you, folded on another rock. The Lotus Woman helps you sit up. She produces a wood brush and slowly combs your hair, letting the bright, bright sun dry the muddy water away. She carefully rubs you down with a towel that feels like silk and cotton. You look at her, finally, and notice that now she is wearing a red sundress that moves like water, with boots polished like mirrors.
She finishes smoothing you down and helps you into undergarments, blue slacks, a red tee shirt, and boots similar to hers.
"We're going to the healing room," she says, "if you'd like. There will be oil massage and saunas and showers of all kinds. Now that you have your next lotus, I think you'll appreciate the new magic."
You just feel so much bliss, so much joy, so much euphoria, that you only nod and smile widely. She taps her finger on your nose. "Now, don't get excited. That'll fade. We need to make sure it doesn't overwhelm you. It's supposed to become part of you, remember?"
Licking your lips and taking a deep breath, you say, "Yes. I'll remember." Your voice sounds like small bells inside your head.
You hold the Lotus Woman's hand and shield your eyes from the sun with your other hand. She is leading you far from the swamp, but it is all right. You will be back soon, of course.
*
brightlotusmoon: (Snow White Blood Red Dragon Witch)
So, I found this meme. And I started trying to answer the questions. And then suddenly I froze and started crying. I'm attributing that to the depressive episode borne out of that postictal state. Or something. Maybe the migraine too.
I may try again tomorrow.

***

What is the working title for your book?

Stormfall.

Where did the idea for the book come from?

During my third year in college (SUNY Purchase), I was at my best friend's house; we were sitting on her bed reading books quietly. Suddenly, very randomly, I fell asleep (I now realize this was an epileptic seizure) and had... a vision. A dream. Something. Crawling naked through the woods away from a burning building. Moving through a cave in a psychic vision. Actually being psychic and doing psychic things. When I woke up, feeling exhausted and funny, I said, "I just had this amazing dream" and my friend looked at me with this very knowing look. Because, you know, she and I had been having psychic dreams and such for a while. I described the dream And I turned it into several scenes in the first chapter. And the rest of the chapter formed around that vision. And suddenly I was writing more chapters, and then I had a novel happening.

What genre does your book fall under?

Future fantasy. Or is it futuristic fantasy now? A sort of science fantasy. It takes place almost two centuries from now, close enough to have streamlined versions of current technologies, far enough to not be anywhere near now. But there is more magic than science, magic in the form of psychic powers, psionics. Lots of it. Very character driven, to the point where I barely have the world around the characters really built.

What is the synopsis or blurb for this book?

Oh gods, I hate trying to do this.
[*deep breath*] In a future world where mild psychic powers have become common, four of the most powerful psychics in the world will test the limits of their powers and the bonds of their love when a fifth powerful psionic seeks to destroy and rebuild reality - but he needs the help of one of the four to do so. When she refuses and he captures her, she finds herself fighting for her life, her friends, and for all existence.

What actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition?

I have no clue. Since it will probably be years and years before a film gets made ... maybe Dana could be played by a red-haired Chloe Moretz or Elle Fanning or Ariana Grande or Tiffany Thornton or Sara Paxton or Alexa Vega or Bella Thorne, with hazel contact lenses? Maybe Kara could be played by Selena Gomez or Victoria Justice or Camilla Belle or Ashley Greene or Elizabeth Gillies or Ariel Winter or Jodelle Ferland, with light blue contact lenses? For Ian and Alex, since they are fraternal twins and have different coloring, perhaps Dave Franco or Jeremy Sumpter or Cody Linley or Drew Roy or Max Theriot or Sean Faris or Johnny Pacar or Nicholas Hoult, with blue-green contact lenses and brown contact lenses? Jeremy could be played by one of those guys, with dark blue contact lenses. *shrug*

Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?

Agency, I hope. If they like me enough.

How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript?

First draft? I finished that after college, then ripped apart the whole thing. The ending has been missing for ten years while I put the rest back together. I mean, I have the ending. It's just not put in yet.

Who or what inspired you to write this book?

I've had such a lifelong love and obsession with psionic/psychic powers and superhumans that I'd been writing such stories since my pre-teens. I suppose that has come out of my being born disabled and wishing I could be more than I was. And also really really loving superhero/superhuman stories. I've loved Marvel's X-Men comics since childhood. Perhaps all the stories I write are allegories for being born with disabilities. Just something you live with. What you choose to do with it is your choice and yours alone. It can boost you and cripple you at the same time.

What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?

Um. Any book where the main characters have really strong psychic powers? I guess? Like, telekinesis and telepathy and all the subcategories thereof?

What else about your book might pique the reader’s interest?

Fuck, I don't know. The superpowers? The future world? The fact that all my characters are pagan, that polytheism is really really common and running neck and neck with monotheism? Psychic abilities of various levels? Character interaction? A villian who isn't truly a villian but a person who feels wronged and wants to make things right in his own way by destroying the world? A main female character who is disabled but it isn't made obvious? Three other main characters who have mental illnesses that are not made obvious?

(Also, I feel bad that I don't have many POC characters (Kara has heritage that is Navajo, Korean, Welsh. Dana's heritage is Russian, Columbian, Gaelic, Greek. Ian and Alex have heritage that is Celtic, Welsh, Greek. Jeremy has heritage that is Italian, Spanish, Scottish, Belgian)... and many POC characters are tertiary. But, you know, the main characters that came into my head were Caucasian. I don't want to alter their races just to appease social justice warrior readers.)
brightlotusmoon: (Snow White Blood Red Witch)
You know, sometimes you write something so bizarre and wild that you need to copy-paste it just to see how people would react...

"...it was like OH NO THE BIKER VELOCIRAPTORS OF THE APOCALYPSE WILL BE UPON ME IN THREE WEEKS AND THE WORLD WILL END UNLESS I FINISH THIS MANUSCRIPT IN THREE WEEKS AND I SEE PEOPLE COVERED IN FISH COMING FOR ME AND I'M SCARED.
But I feel better. It might just be the Klonopin, but I feel better."
And later, "PEOPLE COVERED IN FISH? WHY NOT ZOIDBERG?"

Long story. Long story short, I have a debut book that needs finishing and then editing. Also, I am on painkillers, muscle relaxers, anxiety relievers, and supplements, and also possibly too many cat kisses. I think those in particular can lead to strange behavior.
Good night.

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