Archive for the Personal Life Category

Prayers, Wishes, Vibes

Posted in Personal Life, Uncategorized with tags on November 9, 2009 by Jaym Gates

I would like to ask for all of those for my cousin. He’s a brilliantly smart, thoughtful, active 4yo who is currently in excruciating pain and confined to a walker. He has no strength in one leg, and it hurts him badly. MRI says there’s a blocked nerve. My aunt and uncle are waiting for Shriner’s to get back to them to see if he can be taken in for therapy, surgery, or anything that might solve this.

This boy has been a terror since he learned to crawl. He’s truly my uncle’s son, climbing and falling and moving constantly, so this is pretty hard for him. But he’s been communicating with the doctors and his parents, telling them where it hurts, using his walker faithfully, and has said ‘it’s no use to complain, so I’m not going to.’

Just try and tell me that’s not the most awesome kid!

My aunt and uncle also need the love. My aunt adopted her cousin–a little boy with hydrocephalus, autism and other issues–several years before she met my uncle, and raised him as a single parent. My uncle happily adopted the boy as his own. They’ve been taking him to therapy ever since, and he’s a gentle, happy child who signs, loves music, and is in love with the world. But two kids with special needs and a toddler are hard for them to keep up with, and they don’t have an unlimited budget.

Any prayers, well wishing, or good vibes you can spare for them are greatly appreciated.

Oh Dear

Posted in Personal Life on November 3, 2009 by Jaym Gates

Hey, I can walk this morning! That’s a lovely thing. See, when you’ve gone a month without doing horse-training, it’s not smart to go wrestle with a big, playful, bored stallion. I don’t know what it is about training, but horses manage to find muscles nothing else knows about.

However, I’m having a mild panic attack. I can’t seem to write at the moment, at least not with any skill or focus. Which means I don’t have anything to distract me from what’s coming up.

Apparently, I’m on everyone’s invitation list this year. Kind of odd, since I have a reputation for saying ‘no’ to almost everything. But it seems like I’m going out almost every week right now, and sometimes, multiple times a week. No, it’s not a wild social life…unless you are like me and usually are whining if there’s more than one social event a month.

And in October alone, I think I went to ten or eleven different things. Now I have Thanksgiving in California coming up. We’re heading out on Wednesday–a Wednesday where I will probably be up at 4am, work, and then catch a flight to get to CA late at night–and coming back Sunday night/Monday morning. Yes. A red-eye. I know, right? And then Tuesday, there’s a charity event. Because I worked as the newsletter editor for MAP (Metrolina AIDS Project), I’m on the guest-list for anything like this.

It’s a cocktail party. Do I actually own anything cocktail-party worthy? Um, no…So the vintage pieces will be dragged out. I don’t get to be gothy for this. How sad.

Fortunately, we scrapped plans to go anywhere for Christmas. Wisdom finally prevailed and convinced us that DC is just too cold, and flying into Denver in January is simply idiocy.

However, in the meantime, I’m realizing how close the end of the year is. And how much I have to do. And how soon I’m supposed to be moving. And how much I have to do before I move.

Anyone got some Xanax?

Fortunately, I’ve discovered new music to help me survive. It never fails. Summer is the time of lighter, playful music and classical. The first cool day, and I’m back to Eisbrecher, Rammstein, grunge, industrial, etc. Now I’ve got more Bella Morte, Faith and the Muse, Angelspit, Ego Likeness, Miss Kittin and the Hacker… Lots of goodness.

It might be a truly disturbing measure of sanity however, when listening to Angelspit is relaxing enough to put me to sleep.

Sugar-Addled 6-Year-Old Boys

Posted in Personal Life with tags on November 3, 2009 by Jaym Gates

Some people recently moved out of my coworker’s neighborhood. They took the couch, the bed, the dishes, and presumably, the food.

However, they forgot something. The dog. A big, sweet, 4 year-old German Shepherd. And, if abandoning him wasn’t enough, they left him chained up in their back yard.

What the fucking hell is wrong with people?

Anyways, a neighborhood couple took him in, but can’t keep him. Since I’ve had Shepherds, we’re going to look at taking him in, at least foster him. I don’t know if we’ll keep him at this point, but he’ll at least be safe and happy for now.

Ok. On to other things.

The Big Blind Man. It’s been a month or so since I went out to help M. Last time I was there, it was hot and muggy. Now, it’s cool, brisk and the season is changing. Oh yay. PB020507

Yeah…that’s about as still as he stood all evening. See, there’s this thing with autumn weather: it makes horses all prancy. Take the calmest horse out on a wintry morning, and chances are, it’s going to be a workout. And when that horse is a 6 year-old stallion who has lots of energy to begin with… We were trying to figure out whether her very energetic son or the horse had more energy tonight. Came out as…a draw. PB020503

It didn’t help that I can only make it out there about an hour before dark, and, with the recent rain, we were slogging a bit. However, even with his current attention deficit disorder, he stood tied nicely to the trailer…flipping his hope, smacking his head against the trailer, swinging side-to-side. But hey, remember my first post about him? When he wouldn’t even go near the trailer? Heh. PB020505

Our sum total of progress for the day: took him out of the pasture. Ran him in circles until we were both so dizzy we had to switch out so we didn’t fall over. Tied him to the trailer. Fed him apples. Ran him in more circles. Brushed a bit of dirt out. Waved a blanket at him. And watched the handsome boy pose for the camera. PB020504

Yeah, the big, bad, gentle stallion got the full-moon jitters today.

We still love him. PB020509

Halloween 2009

Posted in Personal Life on November 1, 2009 by Jaym Gates

I’ve never actually done anything for Halloween. Nada. Not even dressed up in costume. Perils of growing up uber-Christian.

However, this being the third Halloween since I move out of CA, and the fourth since I moved away from my grandparents (It’s only been 4 years since I moved out of that life. Wow. Suddenly I feel pretty good about myself.), this year was gonna be different, dammit!

Carve a pumpkin: check. Good lord, people do this EVERY YEAR? More than one? This may be my only pumpkin. It’s just…why? Ok, so it was fun. But still. PA290496

Get dressed up and scare little kids: check. I walked into work (yes, I worked on Halloween), and scared a kid right off the bat. And I was getting pointed at all evening, which made me feel like a museum piece. The real icing? Walking out to the parking lot to grab the rest of my costume before I headed up to the club. Four kids (teenagers!) were getting out of their car. I heard “holy crap, what is that?!” and they all went diving back into their car, slammed the doors, and sat watching me walk past. Um, ok. Yes, it’s after dark, but that was just too funny! PA310497

Go to a party: kinda check. Dammit Janet billed itself as a huge thing. The party of the year. I actually decided about five hours before it started that I would go, so I met a friend up there.

Yeah. If you bill something as the party of the year, please make it so. Sure, it was Goth. The music was actually great. Most clubs are ear-splitting, this was loud enough to be felt through the floor, but not flay my ears. And it was lovely techno. But it was very underwhelming otherwise. There was a noticeable lack of energy and excitement. It was a chance for kids to show off how ‘goth’ they are. Plus, we were both tired. So, we didn’t stay long. But it was still fun. However, I’m looking forward to getting back to either Atlanta or the West Coast and digging into the clubs there a bit.

Not checked off: Trick-or-treating. I’ve never done that. So I’m kind of sad. Overall, it was a good day. None of the weird crap that seems to traditional to my Halloweens happened yesterday, it was actually a little boring. I wasn’t suffering from a mass amount of emotional trauma over something-er-other. So this gets chalked up as the best Halloween yet.

A funny moment…

Posted in Personal Life on October 31, 2009 by Jaym Gates

I have a habit of picking up nicknames, right? I’ve got more than I remember. (Oddly, ‘bitch’ figures into a lot of those…hey, I’m just bein’ honest!)

Most of my friends also pick up nicknames pretty easily. So I’m used to the oddities.

That being said, it’s mildly disturbing to realize that ‘Morrigan’ (me) is talking to ‘Ares’ (my friend) about ‘Athena’ (her friend). Some things just don’t mix, and that many war-gods on Samhain eve?

Well now, if the world suddenly suffers a plague of Carebears and My Little Pony in the next few weeks, it isn’t entirely my fault.

Why no sir, I didn’t place an ad…

Posted in Personal Life on October 26, 2009 by Jaym Gates

A couple of years ago, I had a really stressful day. My cat was dying, so I went into work late, being in no mood to exude ‘customer service’. And then I got a call.

An unknown number, a male voice, a noisy background. I almost hung up, but I’d been expecting a call (can’t remember WHAT call…) and so I stayed on the line until he went outside where it was quiet. And then he said “I’m calling about your personal ad in (such and such newspaper).”

I’ve never placed a personal ad in my life. And I’d never, EVER post my cell phone number, or my real name, even if I did.

Apparently, it was a rather adult personal ad. When I told him I had not placed any such ad, he told me my name again…and my cell phone number.

I said I still didn’t know anything about it. He went quiet for a moment, and his voice was completely different when he talked again. Very quiet, almost a little bit sympathetic.

“Then somebody really hates you.”

And he hung up.

I don’t think I’ve ever been more shaken up. I don’t post my cell number. I don’t let it out on the internet, I only give it to people I know well. I am very careful who I add on Facebook.

I never did figure out what happened. Sure, it could have been a wrong number. But a wrong number and the right name sounds like a little too much coincidence to me.

One top of that, a friend’s girlfriend received a phone call one evening from a very gravelly voice and an odd phone-number. He made threats. My friend asked me to walk his girlfriend to her car at nights and just keep an eye on her. Nothing more happened.

Another coworker received about a dozen threatening messages from a computer-generated-sounding voice. Death threats. By that point, since all the events were around the same time and the same work-place, we chalked it up to an unfunny practical joke, or a disgruntled ex-employee.

Last night, someone called my work and asked if I was at work. Ok, a coworker maybe, right? They also asked what time we closed. Not a coworker. When asked if he wanted to talk to me, he hung up without a word. A friend? Only one friend meets all the criteria of knowing the nickname I use at work, WHERE I work, and doesn’t know what time we close. He said he never called.

I spent the entire evening looking over my shoulder. We had a robbery at gunpoint, in the middle of a Saturday afternoon, last week. We have people who occasionally lurk around the store. I’ve always been careful, always watch my back.

It wasn’t just phone calls last year. It was a $4000 dollar charge on my credit card that I didn’t make. It was an absolutely nerve-wracking premonition, and little things that didn’t add up. And when my premonition tells me something, I’m learning to listen.

I’ve had stalkers before. I had a 50-ish year old married guy come into my CA store a couple of times a week. He went out of his way to interact with me, to keep asking me out. Two ‘friends’ turned into psychotically possessive people because they wanted something from the relationship that I wouldn’t give. There’s a reason I go by as many as six different names and online handles, and don’t let them interact.

So who called me last night? I don’t know, but I don’t think I’ve ever been as amused to see just how protective my friends are. So far, if this anonymous caller means anything bad, he’s got plenty of people to go through. Navy, Army, Special Forces, my coworkers (and I work with some BIG guys!), a couple of guys who just might be the meanest fighters I’ve come across, and some lovely women who would be happy to destroy first and ask questions later. Plus, hell. Half of my customers love the hell out of me and would be happy to take anyone to task. Most of the above-mentioned people have already asked if I needed them to kick someone’s ass.

Yeah, I feel safe.

It’s good to be loved, and it’s good to keep your name, phone-number, credit card info and address off the internet.

It’s a dangerous world out there kids, and I seem to keep getting reminders of the psychotic jokers in it.

What’s Up, Doc?

Posted in Personal Life on October 25, 2009 by Jaym Gates

Ahhh, the pleasures of sleeping in. Late start to the morning, but hey. I needed it.

Anyways, here’s what I’ve got on my plate coming up. (Judging by my difficulty typing right now, I should probably add “typing classes” to my list.)


Travel. I’m supposed to go to CA for Thanksgiving, and Denver, Colorado, for New Year’s. My grandparents should be coming out here for Christmas, which means I have to find a Christmas tree…and yank all masks, ‘occult’ books, alcohol and reference charts so that their delicate sensibilities aren’t offended. What constitutes ‘occult’? American Indian Myths and Legends, the yin-yang panel I did for my mother’s wall, a symbol of power I created for Shadow and Soul. No. Really. This is also the first time they know about the tattoos. Oh yay.

Work and Volunteering. I’ve submitted my paperwork to volunteer with the Charlotte Police Department. Judging from the statements made by the wonderful volunteer coordinator, I see another newsletter in my future. On the upside, working on that means volunteering in the comfort of slippers. Now THAT, I can get behind.

But mostly, I’ll be working with Animal Control. I’ve already asked to be told if they have horses coming in, and otherwise, I’ll probably be doing mostly public events, writing flyers or hand-outs, etc. Anything that builds my writing resume is GREAT.

Work is picking up too, so I fully expect to be back to my 40+ hours a week schedule. Glory be. No more money worries. HA!

Writing. Since hiding Inherent from myself, I’m a little adrift right now. However, Nov/Dec are perfect plotting months, because I can’t actually maintain a writing schedule. I’ve already pulled a possible concept. It will be set a little before Inherent, and farther to the East in that world.

I’ll also be continuing to write the Hell pieces. On Aralu’s Breast is completed, Rattling House is in progress, so I have 11 more to write. That should be my short stories for the winter! But, if anyone knows of a really cool Hell/Underworld, let me know!

For Fantasy Magazine, I have two articles that need to be written, and two that need to be updated/checked on. The big project is writing a piece on genre-specific charities/activism groups. My focus will be on the Kids Need to Read charity and Outer Alliance, an activism group started by Natania Barron. I’ll also be pitching an article on LGBTQ representation/issues in the Fantasy and Science Fiction genres.

Three reviews put together for them though: Guillermo Bosch’s Rain, Rogue Blade Press’s Rage of the Behemoth, and the web-comic Gunnerkrigg Court.

With The Imaginarium of Dr. Parnassus and Sherlock Holmes coming out soon-ish, I will try to do something on them too. Already have some ideas for the Sherlock Holmes stuff, but I have to get those plotted out. I’d also like to find a copy of Besauro to watch and review.

For here, there’s a lot of organizing I need to do. I got lazy about tagging posts, and putting them in categories. I also need to get some serious writing discussions/thoughts up here. I’ve been rambling an AWFUL lot lately…

Forum. Fifthwind Forums will soon be subject to a fit of cleaning. Members who have never posted will be deleted after warnings. I’ll also be updating links, starting new topics, etc. I’ll also try to set up more blogs here that I can just schedule so that I’m more consistent about updating.

Other. Blind Man’s training has been sidelined for a strained back (Monica), a broken-down truck (me), a slipped halter (him), and rain (weather gods, I’m lookin’ at you here…). So, hopefully I can make it out there tomorrow.

Next week is my birthday, and I plan to continue a grand tradition of doing NOTHING. I will, however, do some dressing up for Halloween, since I have to work that night. The birthday treat is a nice trip to the dirt track for World of Outlaws World Finals. 360 Sprints, stock cars, etc.

Hopefully, I’ll also finish the outline of my tattoo this year. Money-dependent for that though… I’m working on painting some wooden panels for my mother’s room, two side-panels with I-Ching and symbols of balance, and a center panel with lotus and chrysanthemum (hey, I spelled that right without checking!). So far, the yin-yang turned out lovely!

And my biggest goal? Not getting sick again. Yes. I’ve had my crud for the year. Actually, given my suffering before Dragon*Con, I’ve had my crud for at least 3 years. Aaaand, there you have it folks. I’m going to be a busy little cookie, aren’t I?

Yes. I like being busy. Yay!

I DID Tell You…

Posted in Personal Life with tags , on October 23, 2009 by Jaym Gates

When I went in for my first chiropractic consultation in May, it was a rather grim sight. I basically had the spine of a bad 60 year old. An angle in my neck that should have been 30 degrees…was 0. A 43 degree angle was NEGATIVE 18 (ish). Chronic, high pain in my back, my neck and shoulders. My knee was swelling and stiffening on a regular basis, and I pretty much had hit sheer physical misery at the age of 21.

They said it would probably take years to make any progress. I told them I could be almost normal in a year. And it’s true. I heal alarmingly fast. It’s kind of annoying, because something batters me up, and I don’t even get a chance to whine about it before it’s gone. Knock on wood, I’ve never broken a bone, my pain tolerance is through the roof, and I have a pretty good mix of healthful diet, exercise and generally strong constitution. (Which is why I went in the first place. By the point my body is rebelling that badly? Yeah, I’m in sad shape.)

I had a second set of x-rays taken last week. The first set taken since May. The chiropractor said she’d be happy with a couple of degrees of change.

Mhm. I love it when professionals are speechless.

The ‘atlas’ bone in my neck has corrected from a 0 degree out of 30 degrees…to a 16 out of 30. In 4 months.

The curve of my neck has gone from a negative 18, to a negative 8. That’s where I’ve got a lot of work to do still!

My knee hasn’t swelled up in a couple of months. I’m more flexible, more clear-headed, and my back doesn’t constantly hurt. And, this was on a ‘soft’ adjustment plan. They did one adjustment that literally left me thinking that my neck had been badly sprained, using some piece of Inquisition-era gadgetry. That was supposed to be a common procedure for me, and wasn’t. Yeah, I heal fast. I’m going to be fascinated to see what happens in the next 4 months.

The bad part about this? I’m still getting nerve pains. I had bad ones in my left leg and ankle for a few weeks, bad enough that I had to stay off the treadmill and be careful walking. There’s still a deep, subtle ache in my shoulder, and my fingers are still ice-cold on a regular basis while the rest of me is warm. It’s starting to look like the damage in my shoulder will be permanent, and severe enough to worry about down the road.

But for now, I’ll savor the looks on their faces at the fact that my mother and I both heal that fast. Hey, at the rate I hurt myself? I need that healing!


Posted in Personal Life with tags , on October 15, 2009 by Jaym Gates

Six hours, a considerably lighter wallet, one massive case of food-deprivation, some sore muscles, and no work later:


Oh yes. I like. I like a LOT. Lil’ Tommy McCarter at Ace Custom Tattoo delivers every time! A really awesome thing that can’t be seen here is that the arms and claws move with me. So when I raise or move my arms, it looks like the dragon is flexing and moving.

It did hurt more than last time though. The others were done in one sitting, color and shading too. Apparently, my back really is that sensitive!


Posted in articles, novels, Personal Life, QWIPS, work, writing on October 3, 2009 by Jaym Gates

Top search leading to my blog? “Jaym Gates”. Wow. People are actually searching for ME? Nice. I’ll bask in the glow of my ego for a moment. Ok, done now.

Actually, that’s all balanced out by me being an idiot and a pained one at that. My nervous system seems to occasionally just up and rebel, and this last week has been one of those rebellions. Whether it’s the cold weather, not having gotten back to normal from Dragon*Con and being sick before that, I don’t know. But the last week has been a haze of excruciating, random nerve pain. Pain to the point that my ankle will just fold under me.

Of course, this happens about the time it’s cool enough for me to resume the work-outs. Treadmill is on hold till this is over. I had to leave work earlier than planned last night, came home and crashed straight into bed. This is not pleasing to me whatsoever.

The idiot part? I’ve let Inherent sit with almost no attention for over a month now. At best, it’s been token attention. Now that my goal is to have the edits done by Nov. 1, I’m back to being in a time-crunch. It also means I’ll be submitting queries at the same time as the NaNoWriMo crowd. Not good. I need to adjust my novel-writing schedule somehow though, so that I submit in Sept/Oct. rather and Nov/Dec.

On the short-story front… No news. No rejections, no acceptances, just radio silence. However, Prometheus is coming along nicely. Title will most likely be revised to something like Lord of Heaven and Earth though. Currently it sits at 6400 words and about halfway through the first edit.

I have two articles at Fantasy Magazine, waiting for me to format them so they can be published. Both are on forum-based gaming.

Oh! And Tuesday, I go back in to talk to my tattoo artist. Little Tommy of Ace Custom Tattoo is the flat-out most awesome artist ever. I’m really hoping to have new pictures for you by the end of the month.

Monday is horse day again, so probably no blog.

And, that is all. Enjoy your weekend!