Archive for April, 2010

Shoulder, Shoulder

Posted in Uncategorized on April 27, 2010 by Jaym Gates

Seems like I posted something like this about a year ago. Geez. Well, apparently its the time of year for me to bitch about shoulder pain.

I’ve had relatively minor pain for the last year or so. No really bad days, thankfully. After some of the ones that I’ve had…I’ll take relativity.

When I took a header off a horse about 9 years ago, I landed on the top of my shoulder. Knocked a rib loose, tore the muscles up pretty badly, I guess. It does screw with the rest of my back a bit, but the actual problem areas are pretty black and white.

Today, it feels like someone popped the shoulder apart, bone by bone, and kind of glued it back together. I can feel a difference in the shape of my back. The area is swollen, because the muscles around the shoulder blade are all knotted up. My range of motion isn’t affected, thankfully. It just sits there and burns constantly.

I didn’t do anything to it. I’ve worked myself harder in the past. It just flared up.

Time for a new chiropractor. This one is only treating my spine, and those issues are simply the result of the shoulder. *sigh*

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Bad-Girl Blogfest: Kasiris

Posted in Uncategorized on April 22, 2010 by Jaym Gates

Bad Girl Blogfest

My bad girl is Kema, the Reaper. A powerful shaman, sacrificed by her brother, she overcame Death and took his place. Her plans are bigger than just conquering Death. But first, she has to find the Warrior of God, and take his sword from him.

There are two pieces here, from the same story. Both show vital aspects of her character.

Excerpt: To Write a New Name

“Leave us,” Kema commanded her servants, kicking Kedar away from her, handing his leash to Anfim. “Return when I call, prepared for war.”

White velvet, thin as a shroud, hissed through the air and her discarded cloak settled gently to the throne behind her, stirring not a bit of dust as she stepped away. Venatore stumbled away from her, turning his eyes from the invitation of her body, barely camouflaged by the sheer gown and veil she wore in mockery of modesty.

“I knew you would come to me lover,” she taunted, and her eyes shone in triumph.

“Away you demon!” he said, fumbling for the sword that had been taken from him.

Kema smiled and picked up the gold-chased weapon from beside her throne, ignoring the burning of it in her cold hands. The purity of the blade hurt her, though not beyond bearing, for it had been dimmed, and weakened in its master’s defeat. She did not allow him to grasp it, but unsheathed it a bit, and studied the diamond-bright blade.

“I once feared this, knowing you were coming to bring me to justice,” she said. “But you are just like all the others, weak and foolish and swayed by sin, and so I will be victorious at last.”

“Why did you bring me here?” he cried, sinking to his knees as the import of his folly finally struck him.

The Reaper’s smile caressed him with the ardor of a lover, and he knew he could never have loved the power of that sword as she would. In her hands, Truth would be used against him, against his people, showing them the things they did not acknowledge, their own weaknesses and follies, and in their moment of doubt and fear, justice would claim them. Oh, she would be a grand Slayer, and would only kill those who had brought it on themselves, in her hands, all would deserve it, for all had sinned, and there was no mercy in her.

…………………………

My name is Death, and Vengeance, and Justice. It is written across the skies and in the sand. Let the new era dawn and let evil know that I will not tolerate its presence.

My name is Judgment and Wrath.

Erasing the Monster

Posted in Uncategorized on April 21, 2010 by Jaym Gates

I tend to have pretty coherent, weird, vivid dreams. That’s kind of an understatement, but we’ll go with that.

Last night’s dream, however, was one of the stranger ones that I’ve had. Logically, it made more sense than most of them, and it wasn’t as flamboyantly weird.

The first part is fairly vague. I had a run-in with three men. It seems like they were law-keepers of some kind. I was with friends, and my (nonexistant-in-real-life) girlfriend. The men were hunting us, chasing us down, and my girlfriend got badly injured.

There was a lot more than that, but that’s what I remember about that portion of it.

So, my girlfriend had to have surgery. For some reason, the three men were standing at the bedside. If I recall correctly, they were hunting me in particular, but wouldn’t attack me as long as I watched them. Their aspects were monstrous.

At some point, I went off on them about injuring her when they were after me, and they apologized. Like I said, strange. My girlfriend kept begging me to hold her hand, but I told her that I didn’t dare turn my back on the men.

Finally, I gave in, turned my back on them, and held her hand in both of mine. One of the most vivid images was of pressing her hand to my face, effectively blocking out the rest of the world and making myself completely vulnerable.

Her diagnosis was bad, and it flipped some switch.

The final part of the dream was the strangest. Their faces were outlined in pencil. I grabbed an eraser, told them that I wouldn’t stand for monsters hurting people I cared about, and started erasing their monstrous aspects.

I think that I looked in a mirror then, because my own face was a frightening as theirs, and I started erasing. At that point, it was almost a voice-over, telling me that many things hid behind monstrous faces.

The strangest thing was the absolute coherency and the ending. Almost like I was being incorporated into a movie for a little morality lesson.

But dammit, I forgot to read the cover blurb first. I have no idea why that got shoved into my dreams!

Easy as Quiche

Posted in Food on April 20, 2010 by Jaym Gates

I’ve never made a quiche before last week. Always thought that they were pretty hard. Then work asked me to come up with something that would be easy enough for our food demo program to do, and still understandable and delicious for the public.

I was supposed to find a recipe. Predictably, I forgot, and ended up experimenting. The resulting recipe is nearly foolproof, takes about 10 minutes to throw together, and turns out delicious. This recipe is for a crustless quiche, but you could easily throw it into a crust for something even better!

4 eggs
1 cup milk (2% for lowfat quiche, whole otherwise)
1 cup shredded cheese
Salt
Pepper or seasoning blend
Additions of your choice

Whisk eggs, add milk, salt and seasoning. Stir in cheese and additions. Pour into greased casserole dish. Bake at 350 until set and golden on top.

That’s it!

Suggestions for additions: Asparagus, goat cheese or swiss and ham. Spinach, feta, sun-dried tomatoes, olives. Green chilies, cheddar or pepper-jack, cilantro, tomatoes. Mushrooms and swiss. Broccoli and cheddar. Anything you want!

Language

Posted in Uncategorized on April 19, 2010 by Jaym Gates

Language takes as many forms as there are cultures. Pictures, tone, sounds, gestures and symbols combine to shape our communication. We all see each element of language a little differently.

I’m working on Hero and Three Unexpected Encounters right now, a weird novella. In it, the history of the world is carved on the gigantic teeth of a woman-mountain, and my hero has to read it to find her next goal.

She’s never learned to read, and expresses this frustration to the librarian. His response is that she doesn’t need to read. The histories are visual.

I’m basing this on a sort of cultural synesthesia, where music manifests as a sort of internal, visual pictograph. Looking at the first tooth, Hero can see that same sort of pictograph on the tooth, and realizes that the histories are composed of thousands of individual songs, each representing an aspect of the whole.

In a way, it is similar to the ‘tapestry’ concept, where each person is represented by a thread in the whole, or a collage of images forming a super-image. However, this is far more complex, as each song is the complete life-story of each individual on the face of the earth. Not just people. Animals. Gods. Rocks. Air.

It is huge, and intended to be so. Originally, I’d had Hero interacting directly with the Mother-Mountains themselves, before scale introduced itself to my logic. Hero’s a giant, but the Mother-Mountains are the size of Mt. Hood, in their own way.

I love the idea of music as image as language. But, my question is, will non-synesthesia people understand it?

Curiosities

Posted in Uncategorized on April 16, 2010 by Jaym Gates

One blink, and a snort, the beast reared its neck skyward and coughed a gout of flame high into the air, showers of sparks and steaming rain falling around her, and for a moment the clouds flared with lurid orange light. Finder stared, then scrambled away, running for her life, tripping and flailing in the mud.

A hiss, the head snaked forward and she ran into the steaming snout. With a crackle of thunder, wings flared from the creature’s body, sticky as a newborn. Blood dripped from them, and membranous viscera.

“W-what are you?” cried Finder, sucking her fingers into her mouth. They had burned on the heat of the scales. “Why are you here? Why me?”

“You woke me,” the creature answered.

I wasn’t expecting to trunk a story. Especially not a story that is so intrinsically…me. My motto is rewrite, rewrite, rewrite.

But I’m trunking my most beloved story tonight. Pale Fire She Snatches From the Sun will not be sent on submission again. Unless some strange circumstances come to pass, it won’t see the light of day for a very long time.

I wrote Fire last year, right at the start of my short-story binge. It was the first time I’d gotten serious about the shorts, about my voice and letting the weird elements flow. One scene of it was inspired by one of the most beautiful, chilling dreams that I’ve ever had. From there, it just flowed.

I finished that story in a week…easily. I got good feedback on it, so I started submitting it.

Six markets later, it hasn’t found a home.

No big deal, right? For any other story, no. For this one, yeah.

See, I wrote the Aether Age stories on a prompt, to someone else’s world. Yes, they are my voice and all that, but they aren’t entirely mine.

Fire, Climb and my newest project, Gifts, are entirely mine. And, of all of them, Fire is the most mine.

Of course, the latest rejection comes after a frustrating, stressful, even frightening day. The last few weeks have kicked the crap out of me. With the issues at work, the ex, fights with people who mean more to me than they really know, being under the weather, and every single bloody simple thing turning into some huge ordeal, I’m not at my best right now.

So, I deleted the paragraph that was originally here, and I’m going offline for the night. I need time out. Even from writing, for now. Hopefully, by tomorrow, I’ll be able to go back to Nightmare. I’m leaving Gifts alone for a while, too.

I suppose that normalcy is still the way to go. Wish me luck on that one, eh?

Pretty Things

Posted in Uncategorized on April 14, 2010 by Jaym Gates

I’ve been avoiding this for…months. *sigh*

I make jewelry. For fun. Lots and lots of jewelry. I’ve sold a decent amount, for as much as $50 on commission. I’ve been getting requests to photograph and post pictures of the stuff for a while now.

I finally bit the bullet. I’m going to try to remember to take a picture tomorrow of the mounds of jewelry on my dining room table.

Anyways, the first half is here: http://www.flickr.com/photos/49087931@N02/

I’ve used up my space limit for the month however, so the rest will go up somewhere else, or just later.

Here’s the deal: Everything I make is one-of-a-kind. I use beads, rocks, charms, bits and pieces that I’ve found all over the United States, Ebay and the web. So there is a lot of variety, a lot of different styles and moods.

A lot of the pieces are not for sale. However, if you see something that you really like, I will work with you to make something that is just for you. Earrings range from $15 for 3 sets to $15 apiece. Necklaces range from $15 to $60, depending on the pieces used.

Ideally, I’d like to create pieces for an individual. If you give me the colors you want, and shapes that appeal to you, I can make something that is unique to your style. A photograph is even better, as I take a lot of cues off of a person’s shape and skin-tone.

Let me know if you want something made!