“You’ve got a few hairs going on there,” Anthony, my then-fiancee, pointed out while peering at my chin.
“Just a few? Well, that’s better than it could be, then!”
Our son joined in the conversation, asking, “Why does Mommy have hairs?”
“Well, son, when women have babies, their hormones change. So your mom had a baby and she started growing hair where she didn’t have it before . . .”
This statement caused me burst in to laughter then, and my shoulders are shaking again recalling it now.
“You’re so cute,” I told Anthony. “See, ’cause I’ve always had that hair. I just don’t have as much time to take care of it now that I’m a mom.”
This revelation seemed to surprise him, so I added that I’ve always been hairy. Even when I was a teen, my mom used to inspect my face, shaking her head and saying, “All that hair! It looks like you took after your dad’s side of the family.”
Based on my mom’s facial hair reflections, I find it eminently possible some of my forebears were gorillas. We’ve got the hair. We share prominent foreheads and chins. We are nothing if not sturdy.
Yes, my mom’s marital choices have left me with a legacy of hairiness. I’m more or less okay with it, and with people knowing about it, as long as they can’t actually see it with their own eyes. Or much of it, in any case. Read more…
What does a work-at-home parent do all day, anyway? In case you’ve been asked this question and found yourself stumped how to answer, I’ve provided a few related IT job title descriptions to help you boil it down: project manager, support analyst, security analyst.
Please click below to read
My mom was into any and every “science” that could help her understand people: graphology, birth order, body language. She was an enthusiastic student of every such science she could find, and honed her skills on her children.
My mom’s desire to quantify personality traits meant I knew from a tender age that I was an “introvert.” The word was meaningless to me. “Introvert” might as well have meant the same thing as “subatomic particle.” I knew each was a real thing, just as well as I knew neither had any impact whatsoever on my daily life. Silly mom! I just took her tests so she’d stop pestering me to take them, a strategy that worked until she found a new book with new tests. Read more…
My next post involves an honest-to-goodness epiphany. I don’t mean the kind I experienced when I was nineteen, when the comic bubble exclamation mark over my head disappeared almost as quickly as it arrived, but rather the kind that sinks deeper and deeper into me with every step I take away from the moment of insight.
I’ve been trying to fit one particular song into the post, but it refuses to fit. I’m sharing it here because it deserves–no, demands!–to be shared, experienced and lived. Don’t just listen, even if you tend to tune out videos as I usually do. Watch it and let it sink in. Better still, let it inspire you. Read more…
Today I got something remarkable in the mail.
I knew it was coming. I’d commissioned it, after all.
And yet, there is a difference between envisioning something in the abstract and seeing it with my own eyes, which are currently full of tears.
There were few traditions in my household growing up, unless you count my mom’s antiquing and Dumpster diving. One tradition I could count on was periodic weekend walks to the comic book store, where my mom would set my siblings and me free with a dollar apiece. She’d buy the comics that interested her, while we’d rummage through the ten-cent comic bins for our personal favorites. Mine were horror episodics, a la Creepshow, as well as Amethyst, Princess of Gemworld and Superman.
In law school, I got my sister the full set of Amethyst comics as a birthday present. I hadn’t had much cause to think of that, or the comics themselves, until a couple of weeks ago. I’d walked into an antique shop in search of a dresser. There were no dressers available, but I did find excellent conversation with the store’s owner, who reminded me so very much of my mom I felt as if she were standing just behind me, too intent in her own rummaging to chit-chat.
Another prospective customer came in and interrupted our discussion with a question. I examined the jewelry in a nearby case for a moment; when I looked up, my eyes landed directly on comic book magic: Amethyst and Superman in the same comic!
I coughed up $10 and decided that, for that single afternoon, I believed in signs.
I still haven’t read that comic. It’s not important that I read it, just that it exists. It reminds me of my favorite times with my mom, my Thunder Thighs, my forever superhero.
Every time my eyes landed on that magical crossover comic, I thought of another piece of comic art I was waiting for. I’d commissioned extremely talented, conscientious comic artist and friend Sina Grace to draw a piece borne from my blog “Becoming a Superhero.”
Because my mom’s life was so full of strife, I struggled to figure out how to do her memory justice. How could I help other people see her not as just a crazy bird lady but as the source of my own love, hope and wonder, not through accident but through emulation? How could I remember her that way, recalling not only her life’s many tragedies but also its victories?
“Becoming a Superhero” was the turning point for me. It was my answer. As long as I remembered Thunder Thighs, I was remembering my mom–my real mom, not not-Mom, the way she’d want to be remembered.
And as long as I not only remember but live the best parts of her, her love and laughter endure.
At some point I decided I wanted not just words but an image to serve as my reminder to remember my mom and use the remembering well.
I described to Sina what I envisioned, though that envisioning was in blurs and blobs. He asked bunches of questions and set to work, sending me a “blueline” (or very preliminary sketch) a few days ago to make sure he was on the right track. I loved it, and I said so. I was prepared to be enchanted by the final product, but again, I couldn’t really imagine what that enchantment would feel like.
Today I received a snapshot of the final image. I laughed and cried all at once, enveloped in the rush of remembered comic book shop visits, Thunder Thighs adventures, and the imagined forays of Dark Moon and Silver Star. My mom would love the image. I sure do.
The print one will be in my hands in a week or two’s time, but what’s important now is that it’s in my heart. Right there with my mom, my Thunder Thighs, my forever superhero.
The Monster’s Daughter is not paranormal romance.
Until yesterday, I failed to understand why people would buy my first novel expecting romance. After all, nothing in the title, cover, nor description hints at romance. See the description:
Ginny Connors doesn’t believe in vampires. There’s totally a rational reason her dad is a lot more bloodthirsty and a lot less interested in food than he used to be. Still, she hangs a cross on her bedroom door. Just in case.
When Ginny discovers people aren’t the guests but the main course at her father’s New Year party, she wishes she could save the day with garlic pancakes. Instead, she must face the limits of her daydreams, and attempt to stop the monster her father has become.
Vampires: check. Dads: check. Daydreams: check. All present. Romance, though? Romantic love? Smoochie-face? Gaga-eyes? Infatuation? These guys had other places to be. Read more…
Buffy Summers may not slay sickness the way she does vampires, but she and her gang comfort me through sickness in other ways.
Buffy, Xander and Willow on VHS were my most reliable companions through my lonely season in South Korea. They held me through my law school years in Los Angeles, and a later move to Japan. Unlike the friends and family with whom I loved watching Buffy the Vampire Slayer, I could pack them up and ship them with me, a portability I cherished. Being with the latter Scooby gang far away from home made me feel not so far away from home at all.
I’ve mentioned I was a fangirl, and that I worked as an extra on the show several times, but I haven’t really talked much about the specifics of my fandom. Sometimes it’s a little embarrassing to remember how devoted I was to a television show. Most the time, though, I just smile and shake my head at my younger self, all the while remembering to be thankful she led me on such interesting adventures.
This morning, sick and happily lost in Buffy marathon, there’s no embarrassment, just gratitude as I remember one specific fangirl encounter. Read more…
Sometimes it seems there is a huge divide between the silliness of my day to day life and the seriousness of this blog. To help restore a little balance, here is an image of real-me, real-now. I do so love being ridiculous!
Photo courtesy Elsha