Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Am I good enough?

I've always struggled with thinking I'm good enough. Rather it's over my worth in regards to my husband or knitting--I'm consistently second guessing myself. Last week a blogger I love and obsessively read contacted me about some boot cuffs. I was excited. But a few minutes later after sending the confirmation e-mail--I felt myself start to panic. Clearly my knitting wasn't good enough. She would hate what I sent her, for sure. What did I think I was doing?

I have similar feelings when someone purchases from me on etsy. I get really scared they will laugh at my item and demand a refund.

But you know what? Not one person who has bought from me has asked for their money back. Usually they gush over what I've made and tell me all the compliments they've received. This surprises me every time.

Sure, when I started my Etsy shop way back in 2010 I clearly had no idea what I was doing. But I've grown. And learned from my mistakes

Making mistakes is okay. I've learned not to list something until I'm 120% satisfied with both the product and the pictures. And I've stopped trying to do it all. I only sell knitting in my shop now, no longer any sewn items. This way I'm not trying to focus on more then what I can handle at one time on top of the blog and my YouTube channel. I still love sewing, but I've decided that my needle and thread adventures are for me and not for sale! This took a lot of stress off my shoulders, let me tell you!

I'm happy with my product. I try to have faith in it and not second guess myself anymore. Everyone tells me what I've created is amazing. So why can't I see it that way?

I don't want to be overly critical of my own work anymore. Sure, I want to do the best that I can while verifying what I'm selling works. But I no longer want to be terrified of the mistakes I know I'll make. I want to realize that I'm human, and stop expecting perfection to slide off my crochet hook.

I don't want to panic when someone decides to spend their hard earned money to buy something from me! I desire to see it the way they do: buying a treasure to adorn their person while supporting a local artist. And I'm an local artist, a knitter of over 4 years now who knows a little bit about what she's doing.

I should start acting like it as well! I mean, I know I'm not alone. Do you ever feel not good enough? It's hard when there are thousands of people creating on the internet right along with you. But everyone is different. Everyone creates and experiences the world in different ways. And everyone has a story to tell. My knitting may be one among thousands--but it's the only knitting created by me, and I'm proud of it.

Thank you for being a part of my story.

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

He Shot/She Shot

The amazing Kelly of the Kelly Del Valle Blog came up with this cool thing you can do with your significant other! It's called He Shot/She Shot, and it features photography by her husband and by herself. I like seeing the different perspectives! (Well, I'm sure she didn't invent this idea but I'd never thought if it before.)

She's doing a link up so I thought I'd join in with Mr. Adventure, of course. He took the picture of me and I took the one of him!

I think his turned out better.

A lot of people ask me if my husband takes all the pictures I put on my blog, and the answer is not usually. 9/10 times I take them with a tripod and a camera remote. I think my husband is tired of me asking him to take my picture, since I do it so often.

Hope you guys are having a great day! What do you do for fun with your spouse?

Monday, July 28, 2014

Blaming Obama

Today I'm going to talk about politics. I've been holding on to my anger on this issue for awhile, but not anymore. Something needs to be said. Enough is enough.

What am I talking about? Well, my annoyance over how petty the political system has become lately. For starters, I'm tired of twisted political ads that try to lump all republicans or democrats or women or gays or Christians or __________ into one. Don't know what I'm talking about? Check this out:

What the cookie monster is this? I've been seeing it float around on facebook and pinterest. Every time I see it I loose a little more faith in humanity.

I'm pretty sure both liberals and conservatives want people to think for themselves. Unless they are corrupt, and I've met both corrupt liberals and conservatives. Liberals are not brainwashed zombies--nor are they trying to brainwash you. Now, notice I didn't say politicians aren't trying to brainwash you, because I think some of them do. Hence this ad that is trying to say something that isn't true made by a (probably) republican idiot. I'm so tired of these ad hominem ads.

I'm tired of memes that just play on generalizations. Let's discuss the facts and have open, candid conversations. I'm a conservative and I love thinking. I love discussing. I'm not for dirty air or dirty water and I'm not waging a war on females, gays, or any other minority. I want equal rights for all. I respect president Obama even if I don't agree with a lot of his politics. He was elected by the majority of Americans--he's what America wanted. I'm tired of being told I must be racist if I don't like his political stance.

I can't even...
I'm also aware that everything isn't Obama's fault. I'm so tired of seeing people blame Obama for everything. He may be president, but he can't control this nation! He's one man. Sure, he's not perfect, but the USA runs on more then just the whims of one person. I think a lot of politicians in the white house have forgotten to look out for America and are instead looking out for themselves. They take fancy tax-paid vacations and vote themselves bigger salaries and make themselves exempt from laws they pass on everyone else. Lots of republicans and democrats do this, not just one person.

Are you tired of this? Because I sure am.

I wish I could find a republican group on Facebook that didn't use the term "all democrats do ______" OR a group that didn't make fun of democrats. Or call them stupid. I know Democrat groups do the same thing to Republicans. I hate it when they both say "all Republicans hate women" or "Democrats want to destroy our nation". SO ANNOYING. Can't a group just exist without trying to tear down the other side? I think about it like marriage. My husband is one side and I'm another. I don't spend my time tearing him down. I don't use words that mean "you always do this". I think the democrat and republican parties need to go to marriage counseling.

hahahaha.... no.
If you think about it from a marriage perspective, it really makes sense. Republicans are one spouse, democrats another. In marriage you don't accuse the other. You don't make sweeping generalizations. Instead you try to communicate and bridge your differences because you realize you are all on the same side. Both political parties are fighting for the same thing: a better America. And if one spouse becomes so self-absorbed and starts smearing the other one--that only alienates and furthers the gap. We need to be working together and loving each other for America. Sure, we won't always agree: but we've lost our respect. And because of that we've lost our ground to talk on without sneering at each other. It's like in a marriage before the war starts.

We've lost all respect for the other side because of their smear campaigns. And they have lost all respect for us because of ours.

It's sad. I hope we can stop pointing fingers and start working on actual issues.

Friday, July 25, 2014

Crochet Peter Pan Collar

I created this cute crochet peter pan collar the other week! I am selling the pattern for $2.50 over on ravelry if you are interested in creating one for yourself! Making one takes under an hour, and the PDF includes four different types of collars!

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Do I have to many clothes?

This is a question I ponder a lot.

Do I own to much? Am I giving into material lust and drowning myself in an overabundance of possessions? Am I believing the lie that owning more means I'm more fashionable, more awesome then my peers? Do I look down on others who don't own x-y-z? Do I look down on people who wear sweatpants to Walmart? Do I think I'm prettier or better then them?

I want to live a good life. By good I mean sustainable. I desire to live within my means, but I also want to enjoy my time on earth. I don't want to use my fashion choices to belittle others or to elevate myself.

I'll be honest, I like owning things. I love going shopping. I have a little thrill meter that goes off every time I decide to go to the mall, or goodwill. And I'm addicted to Modcloth's cute dresses. I don't see anything wrong with this inherently--as long as I don't let it consume my life.

Sometimes I actually dream about what I'm going to wear and how it is going to look on me and how fashionable people will think I am. Sometimes people think I'm not fashionable and it confuses me. (But, duh, not everyone has the same fashion sense).

I'm an American who was raised by a single mother who worked really hard to make sure I wanted for nothing. I never had new designer clothes but I never went cold or hungry. I never had new game systems or electronics, but when Goodwill came out I had my pick of everyone's hand-me-downs. At that time I think everything was $1. My mom and I loved goodwill. I remember being baffled at the things people would give away. Brand new, tags-still-attached tops! Skirts, and jeans, and even jackets.

I'm now an American who is married to a very hardworking husband. We have made the choice to live off of his salary and it is more then enough to pay for all our bills and start a savings. It's a different lifestyle then I'm used to. I'm not living paycheck to paycheck anymore. I don't have to worry about making our ends meet. I don't have to stress about asking my mom for music lessons or worry about what she might have to give up in order to afford them for me like I did when I was a kid.

In this different era of my life I find myself pondering things like: I know I can afford this dress, but should I? I mean, I own more then 20 dresses. Do I need one more? Even if it's 5$ at Goodwill, or 30$ at the mall? I've always longed for a day when I would be financially stable. And while I've definitely arrived, and it's great, I don't want to waste money. I don't want to be a scrooge. I want to be good stewards of our money. I'm always trying to check myself and give all the credit to God.

Everyone is in different walks of life. We are all trying to make ends meet, all trying to grow something. Me, it would be nice to make my blog bigger. I love blogging. I do this for a living now, blogging and Youtube and Etsy. I do it because I love it. I do it for myself, for, oh, a million unnameable reasons. While my husband does pay the bills, it would one day be nice to create a living doing what I love and help support our family. Right now I make no money from blogging and that's okay. I'm not doing this for money (but it would be nice). I blogged for three years before I even met my husband, while juggling multiple full and part time jobs.

My husband likes his job--not all the time--but he mostly enjoys it. I'm happy that he gets to do what he loves. And I'm happy it allows me to do what I love as well. I'm still pursuing my dreams of making blogging and Etsy my job. I would love love love to make money writing and telling my story! I already earn a little selling knitting and patterns, and I've loved the support!

So, do I have to many clothes? I guess it depends on where you are coming from. Do I have more then I need to live? Yes. But I'm always changing and growing and moving and being. My clothes are a reflection of that. Am I giving into material lust and drowning myself in an overabundance of possessions? Some people would probably say yes. Others with bigger houses and larger closets might say no. It's all a matter of perspective, and it's all between me, God, and my husband. I fail a lot, but my desire is to glorify him.

You might ask: but if you are already financially stable, why would you care about earning money through your blog? Well, my husband's job, while amazing, is not stable. He could be fired at any time--but that's besides the point. Even if my husband's job pays our bills and for our food, his job does not pay for this blog. All the money I have made on Etsy or through selling ad space on Kitty-Ears has gone right back into buying materials and supplies to make more things or buy ads to promote myself. We keep personal and business expenses totally separate, as should any business.

Monday, July 21, 2014

Wig Fun

My friend Tori and her sister-in-law Sarah came over and we tried on wigs and had a blast dressing up and posing together and being silly! Oh, friends. It is so nice to have them. They just take the weight off my shoulders and give me wonderful fizzy bubbly feelings! So relaxing. So fun.

I love you both and can't wait for more wonderful adventures!

Friday, July 18, 2014

Underwear Problems

It's about to get reeeallll personal up in here.

I have a problem.

And it's related to underwear.

I guess we should back up. Because this, about a year ago? You may remember my fitness post where I talked about gaining weight and being 170ish pounds. I was wearing a size 14 at the time and this is where the aforementioned underwear problems began.

not actual pictures of my underwear...duh
No matter what pair, no matter what size or shape or polka dots...they all started giving me a perpetual. weggie. all. day. long.

It's like they conspired together with little whispers and giggles in my underwear drawer the night before because they thought I needed a little more excitement, or something.

So, after I gained all that weight, no matter what I would do I'd have a weggie in minutes after donning said underwear. Minutes.

Talk about craziness.

So I'd, you know, fix it. But a few minutes later I'd have a weggie again.

This kept happening over and over and over again until I finally realized that yes, something was indeed wrong.

I thought it was the size. I was like, wow, I need to loose weight because even my underwear is rebelling against the natural order of things here.

So to temporarily fix the problem I went out and bought a size up in underwear. I was wearing a large (at the time I bought all my derriere covers from Aerie) so I made sure to purchase the extra large this time.

And you know what...I still had the problem. Only it was worse.

So I was like, okay, okay, I need to loose weight, thats all. Then my underwear will fit me again and everything will be happy fun times and no more desperate attempts to pull things from my nether regions while sitting in mixed company will occur and we can all just chill.

As you know, I've lost weight. I'm now the same size as when I married my husband (not my goal weight, but close). I'm fluctuating between a 10-12 pants now. 

And the problems just keep on happening.

What is wrong, internet? What have I done? Have I pissed the universe off? Or is it a rule that the closer one gets to 30 the more your underwear hates you?

More importantly, what do I do now?

I've tried...
  • buying cheep underwear from walmart. A littler better, but still gives me a weggie.
  • buying very expensive underwear from Victoria's Secret. I've learned their underwear sucks. No matter what I try it does not begin to cover my bum (no full coverage to be found in these walls, friend) and always results in a very annoying weggie seconds after donning.
  • gone up sizes
  • gone down sizes
  • screaming
  • crying
  • panicking
  • wearing my husbands underwear (worked, but too bulky, also my husband thought this was really weird.) 
Next I'm just going to go commando. Yes, you heard me. And no, I don't care.

This is a true story. A story about me, and underwear, and how it has ruined my life. Ruined. So. Please, for the love of all that is holy and unwedged--let me know that I'm not alone? And leave advice. As long as it doesn't involve mustard.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

2014 house tour

I want to film a house tour every year to see how my house changes! Last year I did a picture walkthrough of our home, and as you can see this year we have a new couch!

Enjoy my first video house tour below!

Crochet Gauntlets

Last week I made some lovely crochet arm warmers!

They are very warm and 100% wool! If you are interested in creating some, I made a youtube tutorial detailing my process.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014


This is part of my novel, "What Losing You Did to Me". To start at the beginning, click here

It's been a year since that day. That day I lost you. When Mai dropped me off I loaded a few duffel bags and caught a late night bus north. That very night; I just couldn't stay.

Sometimes I feel like I ran away. Other times I know that I probably escaped a very dangerous situation just in the nick of time. I mean, your grandfather knows my truename. I am powerless against him. I'll always be powerless against him.

So, what have I done in the past year? I didn't have enough money to buy a border pass, so I applied to work in a bookstore in one of those little boundary towns while I searched for a research job that would pay for me to cross over. With my credentials and magie it didn't take long. I teamed up with KI Pharmaceuticals, who specializes in identifying and cataloging new plants. I'm on the field team. My job is to find unknown plants and bring them back from the wild for classification. From there they are sent south to the lab where new medicines or other products are made.

It's a wonderful job. For weeks at a time I travel inland, northward. Just me and the world. And Cielen, of course. He's my partner for expeditions.

I'm so glad I came here. Because of my job, I've been able to live our dream. I mean, it's different then what we planned. We both wanted to explore on our own terms, not tethered to some big corporation. Just you and me and the wild. I still dream about that sometimes.

Living up here for the past 10 months is both beautiful and tragic. I desperately wish you were here. I'd love to tell you of the beauty--It's so quiet you can hear the trees sigh in the wind. You can hear a babbling brook or the tread of a bear long before you see it with your natural eyes. But words can't capture the essence of this place.

And the magic is wild, fey, and open.

Kind of like you used to tell me I was.

Cielen's working to save up money for his little sister. She was born with Panloinis disease, an incurable, crippling ailment.  KI is one of two companies right now searching for a cure. I hope he finds it. It's amazing that he is both part of her cure and part of her care.

In the night we talk a lot. I was shy at first, but we've become really good friends. Maybe if things were different, we might have become lovers, too.

He's a good friend. You would have liked him.

That brings me to the point of my letter. I saw in the newspaper on one of my return trips that you are soon to be married. One year of engagement is a long time to me, but Cielen says that it's standard for "the big wigs".

Here I am living with our memories in the north, safe. And you are still trapped down there, about to marry a women you don't love. I left you behind in a cage your grandfather built and fled over the mountains from his wrath. Perhaps I fled a bit from you. I can't imagine looking into your eyes and not seeing your love for me reflected there.

But it's time. I always knew this day would one day come. That's why I'm writing this. Because I've taken a few weeks off work and I'm coming back. I'm coming back to get you. I don't know if we can still be together, I don't know if I can ever help you remember me--but I can't leave you there. I have to try. If I don't it will haunt me for the rest of my life. I'll never be able to move on. I'll never be able to start over.

My plan is to straight up kidnap you. I won't lie. By the time you wake up you'll be on a bus north with me to a safe place. A place we can talk, where I can tell you everything.

A place you can make a choice.

A choice to return, or a choice to flee.

I'm leaving this letter with Cielen. I don't want to forget, should something go wrong. He's to mail it to me if I'm not back in a month.

I've packed a bag. Readied my spells. Bought my bus tickets under a pseudonym.

But even if outward I'm ready--inward I'm not. I'm scared. I don't know what to say to you. I don't know what I'll see when I get there.

But I'm still coming.

See you soon.

Love, Merienge

This the end of my novella, "What Losing You Did to Me". There will be a second part, written from both Aainn's point of view and Merienge's...sometime.

All my writing can be viewed here.

Monday, July 14, 2014

Infertility Update

Hey guys! About two months ago I went to the doctor...and a few weeks ago I finally got my test results back. I'm glad I forced myself to go (was really hard). It all came down to me really wanting to find out what may be behind the three miscarriages I've had... So, I had two ultrasounds, one internal and one external, and a battery of blood tests (thyroid test, day 3 FSH...and others that I can't remember)

All the tests came back inconclusive. I appear to be fine. I'm both relieved and disappointed, as you can imagine. On one hand it's nice to have a list of things that it's not. On the other hand they still don't know what it is... I just wish I had more to report!

For now about the only thing I can do is wait until I become pregnant again and then call right away. I'll basically have a high risk pregnancy (as in, I'll get seen right away, get an ultrasound and extra blood work, yay). So waiting on that.

I'm glad I went. But I'm still anxious.

It has also been one year since my first miscarriage with my husband. I made a video about it, sort of an open letter for my baby.

Saturday, July 12, 2014


This is part of my novel, "What Losing You Did to Me". To start at the beginning, click here. Right now a new section of my book posts every Tuesday and Saturday.

I will say that I pondered the unthinkable. I knew I could turn and walk right back out on that balcony to face the setting sun. I could drop my guise and scream your name to the wind, scream it with all my heart and mind and soul. And every guest would see me. Silence would fall, glasses would be lowered, their faces would turn upward, one by one, drawn to the windy women standing on the balcony, 5 stories up.

Perhaps your grandfather would try and pull you away. Perhaps people would start to run. I wouldn't know, because my eyes would only be on you. My gaze would never leave your face until I hit the ground.

Until death took me.

Shortly after the fall, after I died--you would remember. And I knew you would weep then.

But my death would also claim the life of your grandfather. Because right now our all magic was entangled, as your life sustained him. When I died, all the magic would seep out of you because we are bonded. It would seep out of you and then the black bond would be useless. And your grandfather would probably die, as his main ley line was drained by my death. Your father was now old--there was no way just his ame could support Rein.

And you would be left with your memories to live a life without me and without magic.

I don't know if that would be better or worse.

The balcony was just beyond my reach. My thoughts made my heart race, the sound of it drowning out whatever it was your sister was saying, whatever meaningless words she was mouthing in her attempt to make sense of the situation.

In the end I couldn't do it. You must know that, since I'm writing all this down. I still thought that maybe we could be together. Maybe there was some way to break your grandfather's spell without killing myself.

I knew there wasn't much time. Probably before the night ended our bond would dissipate, blown away in the wind like it never was. Our kisses on the beach, gone. Our whole life unraveled before your very eyes. No house. No late night snakes at the diner across from our complex. No after dinner movies. Everything. Gone.

And now the paper is all wet. I know it will dry before you ever read this, but right now its sopping and I can't see.

There, in your sister's room where I was thinking such thoughts, reality, like a sudden downpour of torrential rain came rushing back. The guests continued to murmur outside the window. The band played on. The sun also had gone down, slipping away like the last fragments of our life. Your sister was pacing, muttering to herself. And I was still alone.

We both jumped when her phone rang, breaking our individual silence. It was Carri. The deed was done. The henchmen had let loose the bottled spell around our house. They had removed Aainn's belongings.

Mai passed the phone to me.

"The implanted memories put you here doing three semesters of tutoring." She said, her voice strangely clear on the line. "I tried to read everything in the spell before it slipped away, but I couldn't see it all."

So, she'd lost most of the information. And the spell hadn't worked on her. And the henchman hadn't even spoken to her. Yet I did have questions. Questions I couldn't voice right now.

Like, how would he deal with the people who had seen Aainn and I out and about? Pass it off as a fling? I realized suddenly that I hadn't talked much about my situation to any of the students I was tutoring. Had I ever told any of them I was paired? No...thinking back now I realized I hadn't. 

And Aainn and I hardly ever went anywhere together, due to all his grandfather's restrictions. I shopped while he was teaching. He went to all these parties by himself--none of his family knew of me, besides his Mom, Dad and Sister. And because we were trying to save every penny, we had rarely even been out to eat on the free weekends we'd had together.

Another thought: Did his mother and father give Rien Durithean their blessing to strip their son's mind of me?

These questions are irrelevant. Whatever he had done, and however he had done it--it was done and I needed to undo it.

Or die trying. My thoughts racing, I absentmindedly handed the phone back to Mai.

I couldn't change what I didn't know. But, what did I know? What could I do? I could leave. I could go back to my house and pack my things and get out. Out before they found I still remembered.

Or I could stay and live in our house with our memories without you.

Neither of these two options were appealing to me. However, staying would probably be fatal. Not to my life, I knew Rein couldn't touch that for fear of his own. But once he found out I still remembered--and he would find out if I stayed--there were worse things then death. Above all I must protect our memories, or all hope of ever being together would be lost.

"What are you going to do?" Asked Mai, pocketing her phone.

"I don't know." I said. My voice sounded wane and thin. How odd.

"I..." What could I do? Where could I go? Back to my old college with it's familiar halls? No, I knew that place. And when I had known it I had been with you.

I couldn't go back.

"Come with me." I asked Maieldryn.

"What?" She said, eyebrows raised, her foot poised to back away like I would strike her.

"Come with me. Leave this place and the mind games and come with me. Help me figure out a way to free Aainn." I stood, my legs finally free of the bed, and walked towards her. 

She paused like she was considering it.

"No, I couldn't." She said. Only a few seconds had passed.

"Why not?" I felt like a dangerous thing at that moment, as if a feral part of me had awoken--no--clawed it's way to the surface.

"Because I know how to play the game." Mai said simply. "I know not to tell who my pair is."

I realized then she had probably considered running away many times. Her voice lowers. "I got into college. In the south. But unlike Aainn I have my parents and grandfather's blessing to attend."

She definitely didn't have a black bond if her grandfather would let her leave. If he was even her grandfather. "I am getting away, but I'm going to do it with my parent's money." She finished, eyes adverted.

I let my hands fall to my sides.

"Take me home." I said.

On the drive back I asked if your parents were paired. Of course they aren't. If they had been your mother would see the horror of what her husband was chained to.

Mai told me that in your family the firstborn are not allowed to pair. The heir must look after the college, and therefore he would need to retain his magic if his wife died. Firstborns among the Durithean family do not ever share their truename. They mate in body only.

I shudder. A lie to hide your grandfathers black deeds.

Marriage, Mai says, in her family is not really about love, but more about political alliances.

"My parents, besides appearing a social functions, don't spend that much time together." She says softly. I can hear the pain in her voice. "I remember when I was little that my dad used to lock my mom up in her room. We wouldn't be allowed to see her for days."

I don't know what to say to that. The silence that fills the car is both strained and calm. I want to break it, but yet something holds me back.

We arrive at my house to soon. My guise as Cari was long ago discarded, and I am limp and pale.

"You can still come with me, Mai." I say, at least.

"You know I can't." Mai said. "And you also know we can't be seen together again."

I know, and I feel relief. Mai is only a reminder of something I no longer have. 

"Thank you for helping me."

"I was only trying to undermine my grandfather." She says. "I learned early that the best way to counter him is to work indirectly and in secrecy. I relish any small revenge against him, because everything we love he turns against us in the end."

Bitter words. And truth, at last.

This is part of my novel, "What losing you did to me". I post a new section every Tuesday and Saturday. Click here for the next part.

All my writing can be viewed here.

Friday, July 11, 2014

Calming Waters

So after being a little stressed last week, I needed a calming knitting project. At the moment I was dreaming of being by a lake, or relaxing near the sea. I decided to try and make a scarfette that would resemble the swirls and eddies of the ocean.

I came up with this. I didn't write down what I did. It was just me and some anime and knitting. When I finished I felt better and more focused and ready to start the next project!

Do you ever have days like this? What do you do?

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Finding Out Why

This is part of my novel, "What Losing You Did to Me". To start at the beginning, click here. Right now a new section of my book posts every Tuesday and Saturday.

It's Aainn. In a suit. With a tie and a champagne glass in his hand. My magie vision brings him into sharp focus, his handsome face making my heart race.

The first thing I notice is that the ties that have paired us are almost gone. Only wisps of connections remain, and those are fading fast. Under my breath I whisper Aainn's truename. His voice falters for a second, and he scans the crowd--but he doesn't see me, so high up above.

Awareness suddenly floods through me. If Rien Durithean has broken into his mind--then he would have seen Aainn's memories. If he had seen Aainn's memories, he would have seen me whispering my truename to Aainn the night of his graduation. No wonder he felt confident sending three henchmen to lose a spell on me. With my truename attached to it, I'd have no way of keeping my barriers in place.

I would have forgotten Aainn.

It was then I saw it.

A black line running from you to your grandfather. The black magie line they taught me about in my advanced magie class. I knew what it was, and I knew why Rien Durithean wanted to keep you near him. I knew why he needed you to marry a certain girl. And I knew what was keeping him alive.

You are.

It all makes sense, suddenly, as I'm leaning haphazardly over Mai's railing, my real hair blowing in the breeze while my fake glimmerspelled braid sticks flat on my back like a wet toad on a rock.

I know why your grandfather was leery of killing me now. Because he didn't know if erasing Aainn's memories of me would destroy our bond. And their was no way he could know--other people cannot see the bond of a pair. And if he killed me then Aainn would feel it and it would drain his magie, and also drain his grandfather's magie because he was attached to Aainn who was attached to me...bringing back Aainn's memories while effectively terminating their magie abilities.

He could never really know if our pairing was really gone, squashed out like a bug after Aainn's memories were removed. Sure, he could try to stiff out my sent in Aainn's magic. But if Aainn's magic was tainted with Rien's...then he could never be sure. He'd never risk it. I would have to live.

But he knew, oh he knew that while he couldn't see our pairing--I could see his. That was why Rien Durithean had declined to see us together. I would have seen the black rope that was at this very moment sucking life from Aainn's very heart, the rope he would have had to attach to Aainn the moment he was born.

I'm shaking and gripping the railing and Mai is trying to pull me back inside and I'm sobbing and she's asking me what's wrong.

"The black bond." I finally get out, through clinched teeth. "Aainn has a black bond on him."

She's silent. 

They told us how to recognize the black bond in school. No one knew how to cast such a spell anymore, but we had to know how to recognize it. Because a person with a black bond is a puppet, a lifeline to the giver. He keeps the giver alive, sucking his soul bit by bit to stave off old age. From my studies, I know this bond can only be formed the moment a person is born. While they are in the womb, they are protected by their mother's barriers. And seconds after birth, their own barrier snaps into place. But in those few, those tiny precious moments-- a line can weave itself in, a spell can be sung in words that most men no longer know, chaining a magie user to a child's life essence, allowing the caster to sap them like energy. 

It can only be done on kin. The closer to the caster, the better. 

That must be why Rien needs Aainn to marry this Wveina. She's probably a cousin or close family member.

Maybe even a half-sister. Or a whole sister, switched at birth.

I sneak a look a Mai. She looks nothing like Aainn.

I shudder suddenly, overcome with the evilness of such a man. I wonder if he has a line also to Aainn's father.

"Mai," I ask suddenly, "Is your father often tired? Does his magic powers wax and wane?" 

Her eyes widen. "They used to," she says. "Before Aainn was born. My mom talks about how Aainn must have given him back all that energy he'd lost."

It wasn't childbirth that gave Aainn's father back his energy. It was adding of another black line, another tether to kin to help lighten the draw.

This is part of my novel, "What losing you did to me". I post a new section every Tuesday and Saturday. Click here for the next part.

All my writing can be viewed here.

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

I can't be your rape awarness poster child

Awhile ago I read this post about a rape victim at Bob Jones University whose professor told her she was guilty for what happened. I left a comment on this article about a situation at Liberty University, another christian college, where something very similar happened to me.

Since then I've received a few e-mails asking for me to tell my story. To "pull the wool off" of people's eyes about Liberty and reveal "what they did to me".

But I can't be your rape awareness poster child.

You see, I actually enjoyed Liberty University. When I think of my time there I remember the years of marching band and wind ensemble, the good friends I made and the amazing things I learned.

I don't think about trying to report what happened to me and being told by campus police that I was lying. I don't think about them calling the guy who assaulted me and leaving us together in a room. Alone. I don't think about saying anything, anything they wanted me to say or sign just so they would let me leave. I don't think about the shame. Or after, when I asked them why, they said, oh, we were right outside watching you on video. You were safe. But they didn't tell me that. They just left me there, alone.

I didn't feel safe.

But that was one moment, one moment in four years, and I don't want it to destroy the good memories. Not everyone at Liberty thought I was to blame--but I didn't tell any other adults for a long, long time about what happened because I was terrified. I was terrified of being told, again, that it was my fault. Terrified of someone saying "well, what were you wearing? Did you kiss him? Were you alone?" Because when you confess things like this, that is what many people say.

So I can't be your rape awareness poster child, because I don't want to open my life up again to those types of questions. I don't want to fear getting hate mail about how much of a slut I was. Or comments saying I'm a liar. I don't want to travel that road again. I guess I am a little afraid.

You know, I don't have nightmares about what happened to me. I have nightmares about what people said. "Are you sure that happened? Why would you lie about _____, you know he wouldn't do that. What did you do? Why were you alone?" It's hard to think about how many friends I lost, because they chose to believe one friend over another. And how many names I was called. I don't really blame them, but it still hurts.

I just want to heal. Yes, the way those campus cops at Liberty reacted to me was wrong. They caused some scars, they caused me to doubt myself and live in fear for a long time. But calling them out won't change anything. It won't save me from being hurt. And it does not help me heal.

I'm not here to further your political agenda or bring down another christian university with screwed up values. I'm here to heal, and most of all protect myself.

Anyway, please don't think I'm saying its wrong to share your story--because I have. I had the opportunity to share a little bit of mine on a blog almost a year ago. And I feel strongly that this was the right thing to do, and helped me a lot, and I hope it helps others as well. However, I didn't feel bullied into it. When I guest posted with my friend she was very respectful and also her website is a very safe place. I felt safe sharing my story there, and that was really important to me. Unlike many other sites who I feel just want to jump on the "viral" and "edgy" bandwagon and are just searching for a story that will up their view count, even if it comes at the cost of another persons trauma.

But that's just my two cents. So yeah.

I guess what I'm saying is no one has a right to my story. I don't have a duty or obligation to anyone to share my story. And we need more safe places for people to contribute to, discreetly and with intentional love.

If you are confused about this post, it is in reference to being sexually assaulted in college by someone I considered a good friend. While I have guest posted about it, I have not discussed this on my blog yet. Maybe one day I will.

Monday, July 7, 2014

Forest Mitts

I created these lovely forest mitts out of organic undyed baby alpaca and organic undyed wool. They are so, so soft. I love them! Of course I wrote up a free knitting pattern for download on my Ravelry if you are interested in making a pair yourself!

Saturday, July 5, 2014


This is part of my novel, "What Losing You Did to Me". To start at the beginning, click here. Right now a new section of my book posts every Tuesday and Saturday.

I think Maieldryn saw in my face that I'd finally noticed something was very, very wrong. She grabbed my hand.

"Come on, Carri. You're so slow!" She said brightly, pulling me by wrist."Walk." She hissed, her eyes narrowed. I somehow made my feet work.

She pulled me inside the door, brushing aside a butler and two maids, and propelled me into a small elevator, where she pressed the 5 with an artfully sculpted nail. Or what looked like an artfully sculpted nail under a heavy glimmer-spell. I stared at her hands until my vision blurred.

The doors whooshed open, to reveal a large room with a canopy bed and several wardrobes. A walk in closet the size of my kitchen was displayed to my right, and to the left several doors lead out to what appeared to be a veranda. The music was louder here, the mingling of guests a few floors down, just beyond that door. 

"Where's Aainn?" I asked, surprised to hear my own voice waver. I wandered over to her bed and sat down, absentmindedly feeling the softness of her satin purple sheets.

Mai turned, her back to the veranda, her dress sparking in the evening light.
"My brother is a fool." Mai said. "He thought because he was the favored firstborn he could just run off and do what he wanted and pair with who he wanted and bring her home and parade her around right under grandfather's nose."

I remained frozen on her bed.

"He was was a fool." She finished, softly. "And Grandfather mind-wiped him." 


"I walked in on him earlier. I heard everything. He broke Aainn's mind-barrier and pulled out all his memories and..."

I was surprised to see tears in her eyes.

"He saw everything."


"I think grandfather is a dark magie."Mai said, but I wasn't listening anymore.

It's almost physically impossible to overthrow a human's protection barrier without their permission. The required energy would be like the sum of 300 human lives. That's why using magie is relatively safe—because you need permission to cast on an individual. If a person does not lower their protective barrier, the magie just sloughs off their shield, harmless as rainwater.

300 people, somewhere, died that day to tear you and I apart, Aainn. Somehow, your grandfather used up all their life energy all at once. Somehow he was able to do that. 

And I will kill him for it.

A few seconds later, or minutes, or even hours, Mai is standing over me, holding a bag of smelling salts.

"Are you okay?" She asked, as I opened my eyes.

"Take me to him." I said. "Now."

"I was going to do that." She said, "but now I think its not a good idea. You'd give yourself away, and then grandfather would have to kill you."

"Why didn't he already kill me?" I asked, as the room spun. I closed my eyes.

"I don't know." Mai said. She sounded sad. Lost. "I do know he sent three men to your house to wipe you. That's why I left Carri there, wearing your skin. They will wipe all traces of Aainn from her memory, and implant false ones."

"But won't they know she's not me? I mean, if they see her memories?" I asked slowly. The dim lights in Mai's room made pretty spots on the inside of my eyelids.

"No." Mai said. "We fixed that. I implanted fake memories into her on the way over here. I've seen these guys work. They probably won't even enter the house. Their job is just to set off the spell."

"But how will they know the spell worked?" I asked again. And how do they plan on getting past my barrier?

"What kind of college did you go to..." Mai sounded ticked. "They'll just make sure to talk to you, of course. Or make sure your bus to the north leaves with you on it. Or a number of things. I don't know...I really wasn't paying attention. At the time I was watching Aainn. And I couldn't...I couldn't save him."

Then suddenly I heard Aainn's voice. It sounded different, coming from outside himself, wafting up through the air to reach Maieldryn's open window. He had a microphone.

"Thank you all for attending..."

I rushed towards the balcony. 

This is part of my novel, "What losing you did to me". I post a new section every Tuesday and Saturday. Click here for the next part.

Image from here. All my writing can be viewed here.

Friday, July 4, 2014

The Most Awesome Dress Story

You know the feeling. I was slightly bored, restless, and suddenly I found myself downtown. One of those "I must escape my house but where do I go" type of days. Why downtown? Who knows, but oh, my favorite coffee spot is here and a bookstore...

So I wander around and soak in the local life and enjoy brick streets and old signs. And then I found this dress.

In a tiny little adorable store. But perhaps I should backtrack even further. Because, you see, I have really wanted this dress for the longest time. I'd seen this exact item  on Modcloth, but the price tag had made me cry. Literally cry. But this store was having a 15% off sale. And the dress was about half the price that Modcloth listed--before I even calculated what I would save from the sale.

But. But, the only one they had in stock was a medium. I wear a large on a good day. An extra large usually. Could I perhaps, somehow, magically squeeze into it? Well, obviously it fit, since I'm writing this post today! I bought it.

And now I own a pineapple dress, and my life is complete.

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Recent Creations

I've been crocheting a lot while watching anime or just sitting around here or there. Last week I finished this adorable crochet bracelet using bulky yarn. I made it up as I was going a long, and didn't think to write down what I did. So, no pattern.

I'm sure if you've crochet before it would be easy to figure out.

I also made this lovely wool scarf using half double crochet.

I can't wait until fall to start enjoying these new items! Have you made anything lately?

Tuesday, July 1, 2014


This is part five of my novel, "What Losing You Did to Me". To start at the beginning, click here. Right now a new section of my book posts every Tuesday and Saturday.

The first year seemed to fly by. You taught three days a week and I tutored. You went to family dinners and college events and came home smelling like expensive wine and aged cheese. I started a knitting club and made lots and lots of hats.

And we kept saving money.

I began to notice that you were tired a lot. Teaching must be more stressful then I'd imagined. I'd let you nap in the evening, watching the rise and fall of your chest, listening to the beat of your heart tick in perfect time to mine.

I found your first gray hair. Gray hair, at 20 years? Frantically I checked my own brown mane. No gray. And I was a year older then you. But, some men age faster...

I think we were naive.

And I think the walls were bugged. With magic. Or microphones.

They had to have heard our plans to leave. Or, your grandfather planned from the beginning to tear us apart. I was so excited to get out of this stifling place, this place of oppression and anger, to get off this roller coaster of parental emotions, that I wasn't looking for traps. I was only concentrating on you, and on our ever-approaching plans. I didn't know I needed to be on the defense, as well.

Oh, if only I could change that day. That fateful day, halfway through our second year, when you kissed me goodbye and left to attend another family banquet, telling me not to wait up for you. So normal, something that happened almost every weekend. I missed you as soon as you'd left, of course. The house just wasn't the same without you here.

A few hours later, I'd made a pie, and it was cooling on the counter when the doorbell rang. It was your sister, and she looked rushed and panicked, her hair a mess and her lipstick smeared. I cracked the door, keeping one hand on the lock, my foot lodged against the frame in case she tried to rush me. 

"Hey, hi. I mean. You have to leave. You have to come right now."

She pushed at the door, grabbing for my hand.

"What? Whats going on? Is Aainn okay?" I said, making sure the door didn't open.  

"No, I mean, yes. Sort of." She looked at me, her lips trembling. "They are coming. You have to get out."

"I don't understand." I said. "I'm not going anywhere without Aainn." Something was clearly wrong, but all I could think about in that moment is that I needed to put away the pie, so it would be fresh for you when you returned.

I still cry about that damn pie.

"He doesn't know you anymore."


"He won't recognize you anymore."

"What do you mean he won't recognize me anymore?"  I suppressed my laughter. You would never forget me. That was like saying the sky would fall, or the moon would start going backwards. I mean, I barely knew your sister, and I was sure at that point that she hated me just like the rest of your family--but right then I thought she'd lost her marbles. All of them.

"I'll explain in the car." She must have seen my expression. "come on! I can't leave you here. I don't want to hurt you. Just come. Now."

I stepped out of our house, my mind churning. I'd finally heard the thinly veiled terror in her voice, a fear she was masking brightly, but falsely. Her face was edgy, clouded. And, anyway, she could take me to you, and clear all this mess up. Then I would figure out what happened and we would fix it and then we could leave tonight. Screw the money and screw your family. I resolved to make you leave, tonight, now, the moment I next saw you.

I wasn't expecting to run into another girl. There was a blond girl in Maieldryn's car sitting in the front seat, her legs drawn up and her head bobbing to your still-running stereo. She was slight, with light blond hair and cute dimples. I frowned at her.

"You own me, Mai." She said, blowing a bubble with her pink chewing gum, before I could say anything. It popped on her face in a spray of pink, and she immediately begin blowing another one.

Mai nodded to her. "Who is she?" I asked, pointing. 

"Nothing. Nobody. You." Maieldryn said, her breath all rushed. "We don't have time now." The girl wavered for a moment, and then I found myself staring into my own eyes. 

"You know what to do." Blondie, who now had dark brown hair like me, nodded and trotted off to my house. 

"Hey!" I yelled after her, "what do you think you are doing?" But Mai had my arm, and she was shaking it. "Not now. Come on. Aainn needs you."

I decided to go with Mai. I knew a mere glimmerspell would never fool Aainn, anyway. He wouldn't think for two seconds that she was me, without our link and our mind-speak.

But I didn't know you had already been broken. 

Mai zoomed out of our driveway, her tires squealing. 

"You remember Carri? The blond girl? Glimmer-spell yourself, now." I hesitated, then did what she asked. As soon as I was shrouded in her figure, Maieldryn visibly relaxed.

"I need to show you something." She said. "Whatever you do, stick close to me and don't do anything."

"But whats going on?" I asked. Real unease gripped my heart. This was no prank. Something was really wrong.

She hesitated. "I think it's better to show you. Just don't drop Carri's guise, okay?"

In less then five minutes we were pulling up your grandfather's long drive, the full summer trees flashing by under Mai's lead foot. She was frantically fixing her hair with one hand, before giving up, cursing, and uttering a short spell. Her hair magically sprung into a perfect updo, complete with little pearls nestled throughout the ensemble. Then her dress changed, becoming a rich shade of purple--it looked silk and even rustled as she moved. I would have admired her artistry and talent if I wasn't so scared.

"Make your dress like mine."

I made mine green, with a simple A-line skirt, and put Carri's blond hair into an inverted waterfall braid. You always liked it when I wore green.

Mai waved to the security guards, and circled the house, passing the main parking lot that was loaded with fancy cars. It looked like a party was going on. There were balloons everywhere, and as Mai eased her car into the grass near the rear of the house, I could hear the tinkling of music and the hushed murmuring of guests.

"Carri is shy. Remember that. She doesn't talk much. Well, not here. She talks to me." Marieldryn said, all in a rush. She looked me over. "This is the entrance to my suet of rooms. We'll go up here and then down to the party. Stay close to me, Carri's been here several times and she knows the place. You don't, and it would be obvious if you got lost."

I nodded, and we both got out of the car and headed into the house.

"What's the party for?" I ask.

"It's Aainn's engagement party." Mai said, slowly. "To Wveina."

It's then I noticed that something was wrong. If Aainn is here, just a few rooms away, I should be able to feel him. I should be able to speak to him. But I can't tell the difference between his heart and the door in front of me.  

This is part of my novel, "What Losing you did to me". I post a new section every Tuesday and Saturday. Click here for part six.

Picture is from here. All my writing can be viewed here.