August 17, 2014

Craigslist Ad: Single Sock Seeks Sole-Mate

I'm a single, white sock who recently lost his mate in a lint fire accident. I'm relatively young (only two years since I was purchased from Target) and in good shape (although I am starting to thin a little in the thread department).

Seeking mate with similar ideals. Must enjoy long walks, cuddling in balls, and Dr. Scholls. Bonus points for those who've performed in puppet shows.

Pattern, fabric, length unimportant so long as you can comfortably accommodate a size 11 foot.

I'm okay with holes, we all have a past, just as long as you've left that drama in the drawer.

I am Athlete's Foot free. You should be too.

Let's meet at the gym for a workout and see where that takes us. If all goes well after a few dates, I will introduce you to my shoes.

I await your response,

A lonely sock.

*
April Aasheim is the author of The Universe is a Very Big Place, a quirky, romantic comedy.








August 12, 2014

Goodbye Professor Keating

Robin Williams passed. Its a sad day. We all look inside ourselves and wonder why its a sad day. He was just a celebrity. Aren't there people dying every day? Why aren't we more concerned with that?


In order for something to have meaning you have to make it personal. Its easy to distance ourselves from the horrors of war until we see the faces of the victims on the news. Its easy to walk by a homeless person without giving them a quarter until someone you know becomes homeless. Robin Williams made it personal.


From the beginning as Mork, he showed us not only his comedic genius but his humility. That's why the show worked. He tried to understand what it was like to be human and he made us wonder too. It wasn't his jokes that I remember from that show, it was the way he slumped his shoulders and asked questions and really marveled at the world.


Perhaps the biggest impact any entertainer had on me is when he played Professor Keating on  Dead Poet's Society. I was a teenager then and battling with my parents about what I wanted to do with my life. They had their ideas. I had mine. I wanted to be a writer, but all I heard was that it was a fool's choice. At the time they didn't believe in me. So I didn't believe in myself.


I went with a friend that night to see Dead Poet's Society. It resonated with me in a way nothing ever had until that moment. For the first time in my life I felt...free.


Parents and world be damned. I could be what I wanted to be. Life was about living and taking advantage of EVERY SINGLE DAY. There wasn't enough time to be complacent.


At the end of the movie a handful of people stood up in their theater chairs. I was one of them. I stood there for a long, long time, even as people filed out of the theater past me and my friend got embarrassed. That one movie put everything in perspective for me.


Thank you Robin Williams for such a splendid performance. You changed my life. And I owe you.


This is a real journal entry from that night after the movie. I can truly say you helped me to become who I needed to become.

August 7, 2014

Safety Dance

   I have a newfound fear. It's called The Water Police.
   According to my husband they patrol the neighborhood just looking for folks like me who have watered the lawn mid-day.
   "You'd be arrested in California," he informs me.
   "First of all," I tell him. "We live in Oregon. Second of all..."
   "Secondly," he corrects me.
   "Second of all...I've only done it once. And thirdly..."I glance at him to see if he is going to correct me. He stops himself. "How do you know so much about California water laws?"
   "I read."
   I consider this. "Well, I've seen you water the lawn in the middle of the day multiple times. You haven't gone to jail yet."
   My husband scratches his chin and says thoughtfully, "True. But I did it in the back yard, where no one can see. I can't get arrested for that.
   My husband, who is not a rules follower by any means, loves to get me to follow whatever rules he deems currently necessary by using my neurosis against me. The other day he informed me that walking with traffic was not safe.
   "Do you know how many people are hit by walking with traffic?" he asks.
   "No, do you?"
   "At any given time thousands of people are hit by cars because they are walking with traffic."
   "I didn't know this. Did you read that on the back of a cereal box?"
   "I just know these things."
   He sites the poster in our kitchen. He has been named a Safety Hero at his job site and there's a photo of him in a hardhat lecturing others on job safety.
   "But I'm not your employee," I remind him.
   "If you were you'd be far more cooperative."

   Maybe his plan is working and if he can't make me do what he wants by telling me to, he can scare me into it. I'm now having nightmares about getting hit by cars while watering my front lawn at noon.

   As if I didn't have enough to worry about.

Mythical Books: Guest Post, Excerpt and Giveaway: The Magick of Da...

Mythical Books: Guest Post, Excerpt and Giveaway: The Magick of Da...: Date of Publication: June 3rd, 2014 Cover Artist: AnneMarie Buhl and Greg Jensen Description: “There are rules that must be fo...

August 6, 2014

Rainbows and Butterflies

I'm about to have dental surgery today. Not looking forward to it. I'm not afraid of all doctors, just those that stick things in your orifices. You can imagine that a gynecologist is also not high on my list.
They gave me some nifty drugs to take before surgery. I will pop them in an hour. Then I hope its all rainbows and butterflies for the rest of the day.
I did manage to crank out 2000 words on my novel this morning, but didn't get much else done.
Sometimes I dislike being a grownup. Its like there's always something to do and I feel guilty because I haven't done anything today.
Or maybe its just being a woman.
Here's to saving my teeth! And rainbows and butterflies :)

August 5, 2014

Cat Talk

Ooh, I had this crazy dream last night that my cat was talking. Like full sentences. I was fascinated at first but then it started to freak me out! I had to do a séance and an exorcism on my cat.
Maybe theres a story in this!

FAQs (Daughters of Dark Root)

The Magick of Dark Root is featured at Chosen By You (C.B.Y).

In this feature, I've answered some FAQ's about The Daughters of Dark Root series.

Hope you like!

August 4, 2014

A Work in Progress

Im grinding away at a novel that's taken me almost a decade to write. Its the true story of my childhood, living in the Superstition Mountains of Arizona.
Why has it taken me so long? Because its too close. Too personal. I have a hard time speaking the truth. I can fictionalize the hell out of the truth, but the real truth scares me.
So, I think I'm being a brave little toaster for actually sitting my butt down and writing it.
Here is a very short excerpt (its a first draft work in progress).


This was not the first money making idea Daddy had come up with. He was forever trying out new business ventures. None of them had been very successful. Most of them involved child labor. The last scheme centered around Nini and I going door to door selling Roach-Be-Gone, a product guaranteed to get rid of any cockroach problems you might have. Paul Harvey endorsed it on his radio show and said that it worked great.
The problem was that it sold for twenty dollars a can and the people who actually had roaches couldn’t afford it and the people who could afford it didn’t have roaches.
Eventually, Daddy set up a booth at the local flea market. He left it unattended one afternoon to use the bathroom and someone had taken the opportunity to steal all of his product. According to Mama, we lost over a thousand dollars that day. That's when Mama told him he had to hang up his entrepreneurial hat and get a real job.

Are You a Witch?

One question I get asked a lot since I began writing The Daughters of Dark Root series is: Are you a witch?

Find out here, on my first blog tour stop and enter to win one of my books.

August 3, 2014

Tired

Can I say I'm tired?
Yes, I'm a stay at home writer and I'm tired.
I shouldn't be, right? I mean, how taxing is typing all day, except for the mental work.
But I am.
Because when you are a stay at home anything (mom, writer, shadow puppet master, insert career here), people assume you have loads of time. Especially family members.
Why cant you pop in a load (or 12) of laundry into the machine while you're churning away words? You're just sitting at home anyway.
So today I did something I rarely do. I decided to ask for some help. That's what the experts suggest. If you don't ask, the answer will always be no.
So...
Me: Honey, can you unload the dishwasher?
Husband: Sure, babe. One minute.
Me: (an hour later). Honey, can you unload the dishwasher now?
Husband: Well, actually no. It's still really hot from being run. But I'll tell you what I can do..
(husband runs over to dishwasher, opens it and closes it again). There! That will release some of the heat and it will be ready for unloading in an hour.
Me: (an hour later) Honey, can you unload the dishwasher now?
Husband: Sure. Right after this show.

Eventually, I just did it myself. Then I felt resentful. To counter the resentment I tried this.
Me: Honey, can you LOAD the dishwasher. I already unloaded it.
Husband: Sure. But I'm not really sure how you fit everything in there like you do. (Husband comes to the dishwasher and loads in three spoons and a coffee mug then wanders away).
Me: (staring at the sink full of dishes) Sigh

Many moons later he did load that dishwasher. I'm happy, I guess. But he milked one chore the whole day.
I'm sure theres some man meeting somewhere that he must attend that teaches husbands everywhere how to evade chores until just before the moment when the wife cracks. Then, they swoop in, empty a garbage can, and go back to their normally scheduled lives.

I'm thinking of dressing up like a man and attending that meeting. I really need to see that playbook.

August 2, 2014

Excerpt from The Universe is a Very Big Place


1984 
Lanie stepped outside of the motel room, a steaming mug of coffee cupped between her hands. She took a sip, letting the drink sit in her mouth for a moment before swallowing. It was decaf but it was still pretty damned good.
Lanie inhaled deeply, breathing in the crisp, fall air. Autumn was the very best time of year to be a fortune teller. Even atheists and agnostics came around to have their cards read or their palms glanced over, come Halloween. Good thing, too. Her wig was fraying and she’d need a new one. Maybe something long and sleek this time. Something Cher.
"Morning, gorgeous," said Ernie, closing the door behind him. He was wearing jeans with holes in the knees and his knockoff Members Only jacket purchased at the Asian district in St. Paul. "Let’s get some pancakes before the girls wake up. I got something to show you."
Lanie followed leisurely behind her husband as he hustled to the Motel diner: The Blue Moose Café.
"Where we going to anyway?" she said as Ernie opened the door for her. The restaurant inside looked very much like any other restaurant Lanie had seen during her years on the road. Red booths and speckled tables, waitresses in outdated hairstyles, and a jukebox near the entrance that serenaded its guests with Johnny Cash. A few of the roadies whose names Lanie couldn’t remember nodded at them as they made their way towards the rear of the place.
"Flagstaff, Arizona, baby." Ernie said as he scooted into the booth. "Home of the Chipotle tribe. The greatest Indian warriors in all the country. More scalping per square foot there than anywhere else in America."
Lanie narrowed her eyes and leaned across the booth. "Let’s make a deal, Ernie. You save the shit for the customers and so will I."
Ernie grinned and snapped his fingers at a nearby waitress.
"So what do you want to show me?" Lanie asked after ordering her hotcakes with extra syrup and bacon. Ernie raised his eyebrows but kept his mouth shut and Lanie was tempted to kick him under the booth. He never gave up his dramatics, even when they were alone. Finally, he reached into his coat pocket and produced a bloated, white tube sock that clattered and clanged when he threw it on the table.
"Ta da! Once again the World’s Most Virile Man has come through for the woman he loves. Check this out." Ernest picked up the end of the tube sock and dumped the contents. Ten cent pieces scattered across the booth, some rolling into Lanie’s lap.
"You’re pilfering from the dime toss, Ernest?" Lanie couldn’t believe it. Ernie could be called a lot of things, but she had never thought of him as a crook. A crock but not a crook.
"What? It’s not like I’m stealing from the church bowl. These people don’t care what happens to their dimes once they toss them into the plates. The only thing they care about is whether or not they win the giant teddy bear. Why do you have to be so negative?" Ernie scooped up the dimes with his right hand and pushed them into his lap. The waitress returned with their breakfasts and gave Lanie a look that said she knew she was going to be paid in change and it wasn’t making her happy. Lanie returned the look with a helpless shrug.
"But what about Don? He okay with this?" Don was the owner of the show and had already threatened to give Ernie a booth at the far end of the midway––the worst possible place to have a booth––if he didn’t cut out his crap. This was Ernest’s fourth booth in the last six months.
"Pfft. I keep the books. It all balances out." Ernie took a bite and considered. "They expect us to take a cut. We’re carnies, Lanie. That’s what we do."
Lanie straightened up and looked at her husband. She was a gypsy. A witch. A prophetess. She was not a carnie. She finished her breakfast in silence and threw a five dollar bill on the table. "That will pay for mine," she said, rising with the dignity of a queen.
She left her husband staring, and a few of the roadies gossiping.
Lanie walked across the parking lot, weaving in and out of the parked trucks bearing the slogan "The Bob Cat Carnival Show." She waved hello to Maria, the Mexican woman in charge of one of the cotton candy stands who was pregnant with her seventh kid and couldn't find the daddies of the first six. Lanie took out her key and opened the door to room 133, the nicest room in the Blue Moose Motel.
Spring and Chloe were propped up on their elbows, watching The Smurfs on their shared double bed. Lanie huffed, wishing they would take advantage of the free HBO. She worked hard to give them nice things and they never appreciated it. "Time to go," Lanie said, turning off the television. "Take a spitz bath and put on your clothes. We can drive through the McDonald's and pick up Egg McMuffins on the way out of town."
Chloe jumped up and ran to her brown grocery store bag, digging for her favorite jeans. Spring quietly sat there, glaring accusingly at her mother. "But we just got here last night," she said. "I’m not going. I’m tired."
Lanie resisted the urge to roar. She wasn't going to get into this with the girl again. Instead, she grabbed Spring by the elbow and pulled her up onto the floor. "You’d think you’d be excited to see all these new places. Most little girls don’t get to sleep in a different room every night. You two are the luckiest little girls in the entire Universe. Right, Chloe?" Chloe nodded and lay on the bed, wriggling into her jeans. She had been making the rounds through the concession stands lately and Lanie hoped she would not need new pants any time soon. "Now hurry up. We have to hit Flagstaff before the snow."
"I hate the snow,” Spring mumbled. "When I grow up I’m living in a house where I sleep in the same bed every night and there is never, ever any snow."

"Be boring then,” Lanie said. “And see if I care."