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VALUALBE INFORMATION

pen and paper
Just in case a few of my newly found old friends find this journal via Facebook, I thought I needed a "sticky" post with instructions on how to gain access to my brilliant prose contained within this digital journal.

Anyone who would like to be "friended" and granted an ALL ACCESS pass to Shay, please comment below letting me know who you are. Once upon a time my journal was public, then along came a troll and I had to shut the door, only allowing a select few to enter. (I sound so very exclusive don't I?)

My entries are pretty mundane and are mostly about my family and writing.

*waves at new/old Facebook friendos*

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The Evolution of The Yetis

pen and paper
Nine years ago something beautiful was born.

It began with two strangers in a coffee shop. We were brought together through a common goal, to write fifty thousand words in the month of November. For two years we were alone, cheering each other on. We hoped others in our area would join us and looked every week for more people to influence and inspire.

Two long years we waited.

And then...

In 2007 our prayers were answered. Two lost souls found their way to us, sisters with a love for the written word. We revealed in the delight of finding more like ourselves. We bestowed countless gifts upon the sisters and took numerous photographs to document their existence. They were an answer to an unspoken prayer. The tiny group of two was now four.

The quartet began meeting regularly before November began to hone their writing skills. The sound of our giggles rang through the coffee shop as we created short pieces of fiction inspired by our self-created random prompt generator, affectionately named “Shay's Box of Doom.”

And then...

Two weeks later three more joined our group. We were over the moon ecstatic. We had been alone for two long years, hoping this would happen. Now it had. Two teaching friends found us through the NaNoWriMo forums. They came with one another for support. The other was a traveler from a city almost forty-five minutes away. We embraced them all with open arms and invited them to take part in our “Box of Doom” exercises.

And then...

A token male joined our group of writing women. The sisters brought their mother, a teacher, along. The traveler brought two other writers from her town. What started out as a couple of writers longing for companionship, blossomed into a full blown writer's group. Over the course of a month, two became eleven.

We spent the month of November meeting every Tuesday night at the coffee shop. We encouraged each other to keep writing. It is rare when you get eleven people together and they click as well together as we did. As the end of November neared, we grew sad to think we wouldn't be having write-ins any more. None of us wanted it be over. Our time together felt magical, like it was a unique unicorn in a herd of drab horses. So it was decided we would keep meeting after November ended. We would become a writing group.

The Pimp Yeti Hos were born.

We are still meeting up as much as we can, though we have lost several members over the years, as well as gained a few. We have shared good times and bad. Through it all, we have become more than friends and more than a writing group. We are a family.

My life has been enriched by the Yetis in ways they will never know. I am blessed to have been a part of the greatest writing group that ever was or is.

It all started with two strangers meeting at the coffee shop, and then....

Magic happened.

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Death Match Dance Off

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Dr. Terror, or as his friends knew him, Bob, stood on the outskirts of the party crowd surveying the lay of the land. He was summoned to tonight’s soirée by his foe, Captain Champion. The invitation promised a death match, but from the look of things, it was to be the dreaded dance off.

"Superheroes don't dance," he muttered under his breath, clenching and unclenching his fists as he watched the couples sway on the dance floor.

He had been practicing his dance moves whenever he was able to get a day off from his cover job at Weiner King. Yet, he still felt inadequate and out of place as he watched the scantily clad bodies gyrate to the music through his aqua tinted glasses. He swore to himself to have the dance off removed from the death match listings. He’d rather wrestle a pig in a wet suit than do the Hustle in front of a crowd of scornful youth.

Bob wound his way through the moving bodies, scanning the room for Captain Champion’s trademark red hair. He spotted her by the punch bowl, adopting the role of shy wall flower. Her act didn’t fool him, he could see through her homely veneer to witness the super hero contained within. Captain Champion spotted him at roughly the same time he made her, their eyes meeting across the dance floor. She raised an eyebrow and he shot her a wink, before sliding up next to her.

“I see you dressed in full geek regalia tonight,” she taunted, her voice a sexy purr.

Bob patted his pocket, “Don’t diss the protector woman. Just be glad I left the Plutonium at home this time.”

She rolled her eyes and edged closer to Dr. Terror. “Are you ready to do this?”

“Are you? The fate of the free world depends on your ability to two-step to a disco beat.”

“Bring it on Weiner boy.”

Dr. Terror held out his hand. Captain Champion put hers in his and let him lead her to the dance floor.

“Let the games begin!” she cried as the music changed to a slow dance. Dr. Terror leaned in close, pressing up against Captain Champion as they moved back and forth to the beat. After several minutes she jerked away her eyes filled with disgust.

“Sorry.” Bob blushed, extracting a pen from his pants pocket. “Vibrating pen. It was a gift from my mother.” They resumed their dance, parrying underneath the disco lights using the guise of couple in love.

The song ended and the dance was over. The sworn enemies pulled apart somewhat reluctantly. It was a tie.

"They should remove the dance off from the death match list," Bob said. The smell of Captain Champion's shampoo was intoxicating and Bob fought to stay focused. "I mean superheroes don't dance," he mumbled. The Captain pulled away, a twinkle in her eye.

"Real superheroes do." And with that she was gone. Bob was left standing in the middle of the dance floor alone, but alive to fight another day.

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Carry On

pen and paper
Invisible chronic illnesses are exactly what they sound like, conditions which last a life time and aren't immediately obvious to others. The percentage of people afflicted with these conditions is great enough, likely everyone knows someone affected by an invisible disability to some degree. I am one of those people. I live every day with several chronic debilitating illnesses.

When I first became ill, I wanted to find a "fix," a cure. I was sure a drug or therapy existed to heal me. The search, paired with the pain I endured, took over my life. I was determined to find a "magic" pill I could take to make my illness disappear. Then my rheumatologist at the time told me something I thought was extremely cruel, but have since realized was something that saved my life. He looked me directly in the eye and told me, "You are sick. You are going to be sick for the rest of your life. The sooner you realize this, the better off you will be." He was right. Once I accepted the fact I was chronically ill and always would be, I began learning how to live with my conditions. I stood up and refused to let my sickness kill the beautiful person I am.

The pain I feel every day is a reminder. I am breathing and alive. I would rather be in constant pain and aware of the world around me, than to be numb and oblivious. There are days when I feel like laying down and giving in to the illness. These are the times when I straighten my back and forge on. I refuse to let my sickness become who I am. I will not let it define me.

Oblivious

pen and paper
Trigger warning: contains sexual abuse



Everyone, at some point in their life, faces an ugly truth. Secrets are revealed through self-examination.
Maturity brings a better understanding of the facts. My moment of reckoning happened when I was in my late thirties.

I was sexually molested as a child.
Read more...Collapse )


Avoiding Grandpa's goodnight kiss advances was a part of my childhood. It was something I accepted as normal
and didn't speak about with my parents or siblings. Growing up in the late 70's and early 80's, I was taught
to fear strangers in white vans offering the promises of candy. In my mind, what my grandfather was doing
wasn't abuse. It wasn't until I was an adult with children of my own, that I realized my relationship with
my grandfather wasn't normal. It was abuse.

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Eye of the Beholder

iblog
Laugh in the face of the absurd and painful has been my motto for years. It is not a reflex defense mechanism, but rather a testament to the unique sense of humor gifted to me by my parents. My father can pass gas on command and my mother's aptitude for one line zingers is impressive. The affection I have for bad jokes was inevitable.

I found my favorite when my children were small. It was a hidden gem, tucked into the back of a book of jokes about blended frogs and colorful newspapers. The insanity of the images it provoked tickled my weird funny bone.

"Why do ducks have flat feet?" I asked my children, suppressing the urge to giggle. They asked “why?” in unison.

“From stomping out forest fires,” I responded, no longer able to control my laughter. They stared at me with worried expressions. Regaining my composure, I continued.

“Wait there's more! Why do elephants have flat feet?” By now they were losing interest in my amateur stand up performance.

“From stomping out burning ducks,” I gasped, cackling, falling victim to  my own warped wit. “Get it, the ducks are burning because they can't fight fire. They are ducks!” My kids didn't think it was as funny as I did. That was obvious from the looks they were giving me.

Years later my grandchildren don't get it either. It is possible the appreciation of a ridiculously, bad joke skips several generations.

Or maybe it isn't funny.

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Don't You Know Who I Think I Am

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When I was sixteen, I made an oath to never forget what it felt like to be a teenager. I was going to "hold on sixteen as long as I can." I felt like my parents didn't remember or understand what it was like to be young and I wasn't going to  become like them and forget. Today I feel like a teenager trapped in a middle aged woman's body. At 46, I'm still wondering what it means to be a "grown up."

I've been married twice and raised five children, several have children of their own. Being a grandmother many times over should qualify me for adulthood, yet I don't feel it. My favorite band is Fall Out Boy and I spend my free time playing video games and surfing the internet. I keep waiting for the moment when I will become adult.

Maybe when I turn 50 or publish a novel it will happen. I picture myself dressed in a flowing kaftan, drinking wine and listening to ambient jazz. I will talk knowledgeably about foreign affairs and read War and Peace. I will feel confident and secure.

Till then I shall dance to cheesy songs about never growing up.

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LJ Idol

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I'm signing up for LJ Idol!

Let the fun begin!

Grown Up Blog

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I have a "grown up" blog that I use mostly for writing posts. You can find it at http://shay-writes.blogspot.com/

This is just mostly FYI since I do cross-post my entries there to this journal and my DW journal. I just wanted to give you a heads up in case you wondered where I was outside of LJ.

(this post made more sense when I first thought of it)

Transparent

alive
Two or three years ago, I stopped looking in the mirror. I'm not sure if this was a conscious decision or something that just happened. When I first noticed my avoidance of reflective surfaces, I decided not to rectify the situation.

I rarely wear make-up and have been resorting to wearing my hair pulled back in a ponytail since I stopped dating, so not looking in the mirror was easy to accomplish. I brush my teeth with my back turned or with the medicine cabinet door open. I look down when washing my hands, and have trained myself to stare forward when I pass the mirrors in the wash room at work. It has been easy to stop looking at myself. Though an occasional photo crops up with me in it, causing much distress.

My self esteem has always been low, a culmination of genetics and bullying in school. I have spent my entire life time thinking I am ugly. When I was a teenager, and not avoiding mirrors, I would stare at myself for hours trying to find something redeemable about my image. After much study on the subject, I decided I liked my neck and the color of my eyes when I would cry. I didn't like my freckles, my teeth, my large breasts, my equally large bottom, my fat thighs, or my thick hair. Even today, I don't like these things.

Struggling with my weight has been a life long endeavor. I have inherited a slow metabolism and have to practically starve myself and exercise like an Olympic hopeful to lose weight. Six years ago, I was working on losing the weight I gained when I had my last child in 1996. Then I was sick, it hurt to move and breath, let alone go to the gym everyday. I began searching for answers and trying to find a way to live with the pain. I learned I have degenerative arthritis paired with fibromyalgia. I will be in pain for the rest of my life.

The weight I lost came back when I couldn't exercise every day. Then more weight was added when I became less active. Now I hate the way my body looks. I hear people say, "If you don't like it, change it" or "stop eating so much." Easy for them to say. First, I don't eat enough. I go too many hours without eating anything. I'm not like those people I see on television consuming several burgers and mountains of fries in one sitting. I don't even like french fries and try to eat healthy. My genetics have blessed me with a flawed system.

Maybe not looking at my reflection is my way of disappearing. If I can't see myself, then maybe other people can't see me either. Then I can be whoever I want to be. I can be the person I see in my mind when I think of myself, not too thin, but not obese either. Someone who isn't middle aged, but still in their early thirties. I can be someone who is not me.