Updates… Oh, right, UPDATES!

All right, I’m little worn from pimping character development mini-stories, so I suppose it’s time for a blog update across all the accounts.

*clears throat* A-hem!

HAPPY THURSDAY! …For those of you into Thursdays.

As of March 21, 2014, the memoir project “Break Me into Pieces” has been completed and posted. It is “novella” length at just under 30k words split into 3 parts. I know it can be shorter, but I couldn’t bring myself to edit that monster too much. The thing being rather emotionally gut-wrenching and all. It is rated a big, fat R. It is not fictional, although it is also not an auto-biography.

Regardless, it is behind me. The entire purpose of that project was to force myself to face the hurt, to process it through, and hopefully at the end of it – allow me to begin my journey of self-healing. If the whole section dripped of too much emotion, that’s because of the mindset I was in.

I’m not always so dramatic, although I can play the role of a drama queen pretty convincingly when the occasion calls for it. Thankfully, not many occasions call for it.

Hence the reason why it was so minimally edited, and I surrendered to posting the work as-is.

Moving on!

Are you okay, Wynter? Heard you were sick.

I’m sure you’ve gathered from the last few posts that I have not been well. This house saw more flu/cold bugs this winter season than any I’ve lived through thus far. Even I, someone who didn’t get sick unless it was bad enough to alert the CDC, succumbed to the power of the cold/flu three times before spring arrived – bad enough to trigger and bring about a new series of asthma attacks that I haven’t experienced in well over a decade.

That was scary because I haven’t had an inhaler in my possession since I was in high school. If an attack was severe enough for me to struggle for air for anytime longer than ten minutes, 9-1-1 would have been needed.

And the people over at Camden County PSAP would probably have a huge care package with ‘GET WELL SOON’ waiting for when the Husband Person swings by. Catch is, I’ll probably not be able to eat a single thing out of the care package… XD

I would like to say we are on the up climb out of this illness streak, but I woke up this morning at around 3am struggling for air a little bit. I believe it has something to do with my husband’s love of big fires in fireplaces that might be triggering this. If so, there are definitely measures we can take to prevent this from happening next year.

Thus is the life of mine… won’t trade it for anything else though, so that’s a good sign, right? 😀

But yes, in answer to the question of my health – we are all well! ❤

So you mentioned something about the mini-stories up above?

I did. Shorts, more like. Closet Soul Chronicles is now the forefront project I’m spending my time on. I have, at the current standing, four major characters I’m working with across two different stories. The first pair involved a Callie Luo and Ash Campbell. Due to the intricacies of Callie Luo’s character, she’s making my head hurt on a whole new level. I put these two on the back seat right now until I get more research under my belt for her character development. She is, in more ways than one, a very personal character to me. That just means she’s got a set of flaws so wide, we can probably pilot a 777er through it.

The second pair of characters I am working on right now is Chase Montgomery and Trent Warwick. The mini-story I’m working on right now focuses on Trent Warwick… or more specifically, his childhood and that one point in his life that turned him towards the path he walks as an adult male. I also mentioned before that Less Than Three Press was doing a call for submissions for Lovely, Dark, and Deep  anthology that had triggered some ideas in my head about Chase and Trent that involves a haunted forest in Japan, of all places. That story is also in the works, but I am uncertain if I want to submit it for consideration or just post it as free fiction. Probably the latter, but we shall see. Deadline for submission is August 31, 2014, and they are calling for 10 to 20 thousand words. Seeing that a short story memoir project turned into a novella, I have a couple months to make up my mind.

For those of you who are wondering about these two characters… Trent Warwick is gay. Chase Montgomery is bisexual. And they are involved with each other. So, if this isn’t your thing, don’t fret too much. Callie and Ash will be along shortly… ish *crosses fingers*.

There are a couple more characters in the works, but they’re not out off the drawing board just yet. Every single one of my characters come with their own section in my folder with their personal information, history, their genealogy, what had happened when, where, and how (narrowed down to specific dates) and this usually then involves me getting on Google to research what happened around that point in time where and how it would affect them, if applicable.

Yes, I even look up weather data. See, I have a muse by the name of Bitworks who I like to bounce ideas off… and he is a major stickler for facts. Like he wants to take anything I write at any one point in time, plug it into Google, and it better MAKE SENSE.

So if I wrote about a hurricane class storm on <this date> at <this place>… then by golly, there better be such a storm when he pulls it up on Google…

Yes, he understands it is fiction. Should still be based on facts, though, as far as he’s concerned… XD ❤

He makes me sweat more bullets than a presentation address in college (although I never did sweat during public speaking and I thank my father for bestowing/passing that gift along in the genes we share). There are some days where I absolutely despise the Google gods over there in their headquarters… Because…

Who needs an editing floor with these people around? XD

Bitworks: “I am NOT that bad.”

So he says… 😀

Truly, he is awesome <3. He’ll give me rope when I demand it as it is fiction (and does half of my research for me whenever I just give hint of an idea on something and have it all delivered, neatly typed and presented in an unbelievably long email that I would usually find first thing in the morning), but it’s good to have a person who can look at works with such a critical eye. It prevents me from bullshitting my readers.

Yes, I double check his research. Because one never assumes, according to Leroy Jethro Gibbs. I’m a huge fan, can you tell? XD

Well, now, Wynter, this sounds like you get plenty of time for writing now…

Not quite. I have house projects to get to. The last bit of carpet in this house was torn out by yours truly this Monday. Over one hundred staples on just six steps, and I removed every single one of them by hand. Then I took a 120-grit sandpaper to the steps. Unfortunately, the once gorgeous Douglass fir the stairs were made from have been ruined, so I have to think about how to go about restoring the wood before staining it. I got into staining about two years ago while experimenting with arts and crafts…

… and got a little too excited over all the possibilities I can use as we renovate this house by ourselves.

I got doors and door frames to stain, stairs, rooms to paint to my heart’s content. This would be the only reason I look forward to Lady Spring.

😀 😀

All right, I think this post is long enough about basically nothing. Thank you for dropping by and reading. ❤

Take care of yourselves. Spring IS here, but don’t be in too much of a hurry packing up your winter clothes just yet. Lady Winter (Wynter) is still lingering, saying her final goodbyes to those of us who worship and look forward to her visit every year.

And I am one of the one she’s lingering around for, I might add.

❤ ❤ ❤

Yours truly, Lavender Wynter

“Break Me into Pieces” Chapter 3

No, it was a threat. More than that, it was a promise.

Greetings,

This is it, the last intallment of the memoir — “Break Me into Pieces.”

I had not expected this thing to turn into a novella. This section is about 9,000 words, and that brings the whole story together to just under 30,000 words. I feel like I’ve written about ten times that, to be honest, because this journey has been absolutely draining.

But it is finished. And I have to say I’ll probably never venture into this again. I’ll stick with fiction, thanks.

There were more tears being dripped onto my keyboard on this last segment than the second one, believe it or not, because I had to face the questions that had been sealed in desperation.

My most humble thanks and gratitude to those who have helped me on this journey – whether it’s by being there for me, reading what I wrote, sharing it with others, or just a simple email and/or comment that passed on sympathy and love.

So, without further ado, “Break Me into Pieces”.

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Much, much love — Lavender Wynter

Living with Asthma

I woke again slightly past 2am. When I realized I couldn’t open my eyes, there was a slight moment of panic. My exhausted mind had crossed reality with a horror movie where my eyelids have been sewn shut. My hands raced for my lips, thinking those have been sewn shut as well (indicative of a certain horror movie I watched in college with my then-boyfriend who was a little too gung-ho about the genre, much to my annoyance). They were simply dry and a little stuck together. My fingers wandered to my eyes to find them crusty.

That meant only one thing – I have a sinus infection now, and I have neither the time nor the energy to get myself to a doctor. I have to get my daughter through her fight with her sinus infection first (who was put on two types of antibiotics Saturday). Then, and maybe then, I can get myself to a doctor’s office.

If I don’t end up in the emergency room first.

Why, you ask? How could a sinus infection put me in an emergency room?

Well, a sinus infection, if I’m not mistaken, is indicative of a viral upper respiratory infection, aka. a cold. That’s right, just a simple cold. However, when a simple cold is paired with someone who suffers from asthma, emergency rooms are often involved.

Because, in short, I can’t breathe. The ability to intake air (and to exhale it), as I have found out at a very young age, seems to be a rather important requirement to staying alive *laugh*. I also can’t lie down after an asthma attack until all airways have completely opened. I have perfected the art of sleeping upright *chuckles*.

So, in today’s little post – this will be part one of many, I’m going to write about the biggest physical weakness to my being – asthma, and living with it. When it gets long enough, I’ll sort it into a page over in my “Writer’s Corner” tab.

. . .

Asthma (pronounced as “az-ma”), as defined here, “is a chronic (long-term) lung disease that inflames and narrows the airways.” For more information, do follow the link!

It has no cure. While it may taper off with proper diet, exercise, and care, sufferers can still get attacks – even if there hasn’t been one in as many as ten years. Such would be my case.

So, a little bit of history about me and a general breakdown of what it is like to live with asthma.

I was diagnosed with asthma at the age of four, and it has been a bane to my early existence, much like any other illness one could get, really. Asia, as many of you know, is not known for its quality fresh air. The doctors had given the diagnosis that my asthma is triggered by (multitudes of) allergens and anything that could cause mucus build up in my airways. From there, the list is staggeringly long, but here are the top ten on my list. I want to add that this is applicable only to me and is written down for reference. Please do consult your doctor!

  1. Air pollution – I couldn’t even set foot in my own capital city, it was so polluted back then. It may still be now, but I’m just not as affected. I can’t stand China, however, for obvious reasons.
  2. Pet Dander – I’ve never had a pet in my life since I was, and possibly still am, highly allergic to pet dander. Dogs might be an option as an adult since they are more washable than, say, a cat. I can’t be around cats for too long, or I start feeling it in my lungs – the difficulty in drawing breath, the tightening of my chest, among other things. It is recommended that if you have a baby prone to eczema (which both of mine are, unfortunately), don’t have cats around. Seeing that my own children use a nebulizer as needed right now, I am questioning how wise it would be to have the puppy they (mostly my husband though) want so much. It will entail a lot of extra work on my already taxed schedule. (Not to mention the re-hibernation of writing.)
  3. Carpet and Dust Mites – This is, by far, one of the worst things to have in a house paired with pets. Even without pets, carpeting has the perfect breeding ground for just about anything nasty. Being highly sensitive to such allergens, I could run HEPA certified air purifiers and cleaners in every room in a house, and it wouldn’t do a thing as long as carpet is in the space. That is the FIRST thing to go in any house I live in. For that reason alone, staying more than one overnight at any hotel will make my life miserable. And no, steam cleaning (whether by professional or otherwise) doesn’t work.
  4. Smokers – If you’re a smoker, chances are, we would never have been friends back in the day. While that has changed over the years as my health improved (and technology now makes it possible to have friends from afar), I still have to be mindful of the brand of cigarette smoke I’m hanging around. Just because a smoker wasn’t smoking at the moment of me passing by him or her doesn’t mean it wouldn’t affect me. Smoke clings to everything, so just the wiff of it could trigger a wheezing fit. Now, interestingly, I am married to an ex-smoker, and my paternal grandfather (may you rest in peace, yei yei) was a smoker for forty some odd years before he quit cold-turkey. Perhaps his one and only grandchild at the time had something to do with that, huh? If you are a smoker, and you decide to quit, believe me when I say I would be THE PROUDEST PERSON on the planet for your decision and support ALL the way. I understand it is unbelievably difficult, takes a will so strong, it makes most weak-willed men turn and run at the mere suggestion, and requires one hell of a support network (or a very, VERY good friend).
  5. Sulfites / Synthetic preservatives – Imagine that. Back in the 80s and 90s, just as the industrial processes were taking off, and canning foods for a shelf life of a million years made so much sense, it could quite literally kill me before it preserved me. This is why I drink hard liquor when prompted for alcohol preference. Most wines these days contain a considerable amount of sulfites to help it age faster for that smoother taste.
  6. Carbonation – That’s right, no soda, sparkling water, or anything that has the frizzles. Throws most modern day beer right out the window for me. I never developed a taste for the nasty stuff anyhow, although my husband would be quick to point out that “microbrews” are not real beers. *laugh* Irish men.
  7. Sugar – Now think about this for a moment and imagine the type of hell my childhood (and a small part of my teenage years) was. No candy, no soda, no chocolate, ice cream, or anything else that is laced with sugar – because high fructose corn syrup is devastating to my system. Now, my mother’s trial and error showed that I could have small amounts of sweetened things as long as they were made with crystalline sugar, or crystalline fructose, since it is much sweeter than table sugar, less can be used (a plus for me) but it certainly contributes to side effects (when used long-term) such as – hyperlipidemia, fatty liver disease (I have been repeatedly told I have a fatty liver), cirrhosis, coronary arterial disease, and obesity. My fight with my weight is a life-long one, although I doubt this was the sole contributor to the problem. The possibility of having a compromised liver is THE reason why I’m not much of a drinker and will often opt to be the “designated driver” to most events. My liver thanks me for not worsening the abuse.
  8. Fruits – Fruit is typically good for people, just not me – at least, not all of them. I can have the standards like apple (sugar apple included), some pear, grapes, but some tropical fruit like mango, banana, oranges and an assortment of others that I don’t remember since I don’t eat them made growing up rather interesting. While I can have mango, banana, oranges, and most fruits, I have to be careful when symptoms of a cold or flu surfaces as I have to revert back to my “limited diet” menu.
  9. Fast food – McDonald’s, KFC, and whatever bigwig names were operating back in the 80s/90s were banned for me. I couldn’t have fried foods, period. If it wasn’t steamed, boiled, or just pan-seared with a light coating of oil, it’s not an option.
  10. Seafood – I only eat fish on a frequent basis now, thanks to the flash freezing technology. I avoid most things like shrimp/prawns, clams, oysters, and crab because they spoil very easily back in the day (and still do today if they come processed). When my father ever goes to a restaurant with me in-tow, he will only ever order fish steamed (because you cannot steam fish that aren’t fresh, and it prevents the restaurant from using a previously killed or dead fish), and whatever dishes had shrimp as its main course, the poor things were thrown into a portable cooker while still alive to be boiled to death. In short, I am a monster. Seafood that has been dead in the water will trigger hives for me. It makes most people sick, certainly, past expiration, but my hives are triggered well before it makes the typical person sick. I refuse to let me be a reason to be inhumane, for the love of humanity.

So, I lived in a bubble without the physical bubble. I’m the very definition of a party-pooper because I cannot throw my health to the wind even in the name of adventure, and because natural allergens like pollen and everything else is also a factor, I couldn’t go out much, if at all. Sheltered doesn’t even begin to describe my existence.

*chuckles*

In fact, whenever I get sick with a cold or flu growing up, I usually find myself in the hospital for a week at a time from an attack, sometimes up to 10 days. The staggering amount of hospital bills my parents have had to shoulder aside, most of my childhood seems to be spent inside the white-washed walls of a hospital room (and my poor mother having to accompany me while still running a household and taking care of my younger brother), syringe needles and IV drips being the only constant companion, and the need to be tethered to a nebulizer just about dragged any happy existence away from me. I couldn’t make friends, or keep the ones I did try to reach out to. I was an outcast by haphazard design, almost, and while I loathed it growing up, I also came to realize just how much all that solitude did for me.

I am a born dreamer, and I spent most of my time with my nose in a book and escaping to a world that isn’t this reality. It was about the only thing I could do in a hospital bed, aside from homework. It is from these hospital stays with no one but nurses, doctors, and my mother and brother to be with me did the interest in writing emerge – I was bored the hell out of my mind. However, that only served to drive me deeper into social isolation.

Hence the reason why I’m still a social idiot… *grin*.

Asthma has a nasty habit of being worse when the sun sets and improves when the sun rises. My tendency to be a night owl (and further encroachment into silent solitude) came from the attacks at night that usually starts around 2am and I usually get back to sleep around 5am, and then woken again at 6am. Normally, I just skip going back to sleep at that point and tough it out the rest of the day by power-napping. Rinse and repeat for a few years and it gets carved into one’s psyche and made me a permanent insomniac. Besides, it’s easier to sleep in the day time.

I can gripe about the short-end of the stick life dealt me, but the fact is, because I am conscientious of all that affect me, I can take steps to improve my life. I still enjoy life, even if it meant that most food indulgence is in moderation. It doesn’t mean I can’t have the few pieces of chocolate every month, or love the fruits that used to be forbidden to me, and I do drink soda, albeit at a rate of one-twelve-can-case-in-30-months-with-help, and ice cream now comes in more flavors than I can count with my fingers and toes combined. I like mixed drinks, but I limit myself to its exposure. At most, I indulge once a month on a couple of shots of blended whiskey. Outside of that, I am usually the self-volunteered “designated driver.”

My liver thanks me.

When I was pregnant with my son, my husband – a research guru I like to call “The Professor” for fun – taught me why my body craves certain things (that’s why some women want pickles with ice cream – but not me, oh no.) By looking up what vitamins/minerals/antioxidants are affiliated with what cravings, I learned the art of substitution. Want sugar? Eat a fruit loaded with that – watermelon, strawberries, Korean pears, the list goes on. Want ice-cream? Substitute it with a hot chocolate – Hubby experimented which brands that work well with me so he only had to use a little bit to flavor the milk for the calcium I craved. Also, for a while, I stuck with soy milk as it fulfilled both the calcium and protein needs. I still had my ice cream, but I didn’t go through tubs of that stuff.

Pre-pregnancy weight was achieved in 6 weeks after the birth of my son. (There was a chorus of “I hate yous” at a family gathering I attended three months after my son was born from fellow mothers… *chuckle*)

Want chocolate? Well, that’s different… Toblerone, Godiva, Dove, Nutella in extreme moderation. *laugh*

I only crave soda on odd days, and usually not more than once every couple of months (hence the reason it takes me 30 months to finish 8 cans of root beer soda). Carbonation makes my lungs hurt. It is now permanently off grocery lists. Bonus? My children aren’t exposed to junk drinks either.

I actually turn green in the candy aisle now because all I see is sugar, sugar, and more sugar. One of my grandmothers had diabetes. It runs a bit in my family, so it’s in my best interest to just avoid sugar. All candy my children come home with goes straight to the trash. They can have cookies. They can’t have candy though until they’re much older. Believe it or not, I can’t have corn when sick. The fructose in corn is enough to quadruple my problem with mucus and trigger an instant attack in my younger years. While I won’t get an attack now, it makes me cough my lungs (and eventually my brains) out. It worsens my children’s colds/flus as well, so we can’t have corn as a family as long as someone is sick.

I drink juice (apple, cranberry, grape), but it will always be cut with 70% water or higher. Orange juice is the only one I either don’t cut or only add a little bit of water to.

I will never be an alcoholic in my life, or a smoker. That would be deathwish served to me on a silver platter.

Spending the amount of time I did in the hospital around needles ensured that I will never stick one of those in my arm willingly. While I may not run screaming at the sight of one of those long-pointy things designed to go in my flesh, it doesn’t mean I don’t have the urge to bolt. It’s a bit of a fight for me to stay that will, but unless I told you needles bug the shit out of me, you would never know.

So…

Asthma is a scary illness. People can die from it, but it’s not a guaranteed verdict like stage-four cancer. The big thing is the panic. People tend to panic when they can’t breathe (I get it too when I snap awake at night in the middle of an attack), and that only serves to worsen the problem rapidly.

So, first things first, calm down, locate inhaler if you have one, just concentrate on breathing rhythm and inhale through your nose (not your mouth unless you are congested). That’s important. Your nose has a natural filter, so it will help a bit. You have more control over your body with your mind than you think.

Before I go, here are some things I’ve done over the years that I think helped me in the long run:

Breathing exercises – Deep breath in through the nose, then take another (try to get those lungs to expand as much as they can go). Hold for five seconds. Exhale through the mouth. Repeat. As often as you’ll like through the day. I try to do twenty breaths a set, and five sets through the day at various places and times, especially right before bed. Allergens will always be there, but by training the body to deal with it, hopefully that will result in fewer attacks, or no attacks at all. Not recommended for attempting it around smokers or cigarette smoke, however. Avoid busy streets. Carbon monoxide is not your friend.

Sports – Take up swimming. When my parents had company paid golf club memberships, my mother took us swimming every Saturday for two years. I became a powerful swimmer. Twenty laps in an Olympic size swimming pool in an afternoon was my average.

Take up running if you can (I can’t, but I’m working on it still). I am a serial stair runner. Until my pregnancies prevented that activity, I ran up stairs, not walk up stairs, regardless of how many flights. I push until I can’t anymore and walk the rest. Yes, I already realized I’m weird. But, it helps!

Take up sports that focus on building lung capacity and endurance instead of strength. Badminton was my sport (Few Americans know this sport in Texas so it was difficult for me to find a partner to spar with), and I was good at it – good enough to be considered for a national championship tournament in high school. It was a sport that focused on speed, strength, and endurance (and really, really good eye-to-hand coordination). Too bad I turned 18 three weeks before it was scheduled to take place and therefore made me ineligible for the competition. When Mother Nature no longer had the capability to kill me simply by producing pollen alone, I took up hiking.

Food – Organics. Most of us are horribly allergic to synthetic preservatives, chemical pesticides, and a whole slew of other things I’m not qualified to comment on. It is more expensive, but it isn’t more expensive than those hospital bills, believe me.  You don’t have to switch everything over to organics, but things like vegetables and fruit where you option to eat with the skin intact instead of peeling, switch those if possible. Balance it out. Over use of organics might lower your body’s ability to adapt in the long run to non-organics.

Hope this monster of a “little” segment helps. Much love.

Happy Saint Patrick’s Day

It is Saint Patrick’s Day today. My husband is Irish, and the first thing he informed me of a few years ago was that the celebrations in the United States is not how his people celebrates today in Ireland.

It isn’t about the pubs or the alcoholic brews. In fact, it’s a “dry day” on a day like today. Doesn’t mean people didn’t drink. It’s not about the drinking, so very little is done.

St. Patrick’s Day will always find just about everyone in church.

So, it certainly makes listening to 93.3 WMMR’s St. Patrick’s programming this morning a little hilarious.

But they have bagpipes playing life somewhere, and I’m a big fan of bagpipes.

Happy St. Patrick’s Day, everyone. Please, be safe and responsible!

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Much love.

“Break Me into Pieces” Chapter 2

This isn’t about the facts, I reminded myself. It’s about how the facts are interpreted.

Hi Folks,

I am sticking my foot outside my Cave of Everlasting Silence to bring you the second installment (out of three) of the memoir — “Break Me into Pieces.”

I hope all of you didn’t find the first installment too tedious to wade through. This one is longer at over 12,000 words, but the whole story really was about the interaction between DYFS and myself.

We won’t talk about my annoying habit of being overly wordy.

*Ahem*

So, without further ado, “Break Me into Pieces”.

The last installment will hopefully get posted on the 22nd.

*Crosses fingers*

Last, BUT NOT LEAST, I just wanted to thank those of you who have read the story. Some of you even passed it on. Others have emailed with very kind words.

You have my most humble thanks and gratitude for helping me on this journey.

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Much, much love — Lavender Wynter

Speak to Me of Tolerance?

This is a bit of a rant against Michelle Bachmann, and in some respects, religion. You have been warned!

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When I took a hiatus, the world wasn’t a great place, but I certainly didn’t have this showing up on my Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, and WordPress:

“There’s nothing about gays in there. But the gay community decided to make this their measure,” Bachmann said. “I think the thing that is getting a little tiresome, the gay community, they have so bullied the American people, and they’ve so intimidated politicians. The politicians fear them, so that they think they get to dictate the agenda everywhere.”

“I was sorry that she made the decision, and it’s because I believe that tolerance is a two-way street and we need to respect everyone’s rights, including the rights of people who have sincerely held religious beliefs,” Bachmann said. “Right now, there’s a terrible intolerance afoot in the United States, and it’s against people who hold sincerely held religious beliefs.”

From Michele Bachmann, ladies and gentlemen. Barf bags can be found attached to your chair and on the walls on either side of the entrances and exits in this building.

Someone already wrote a very good post to the “bully” part of her speech, so I’m not going to cover it again here. I behoove you to read it because I think the writer did an very good job of distinguishing what “bullying” means and why the Gay (or any member of the LGBTQ) community did no such thing.

I want to talk about the other word Michele Bachmann used:

“Tolerance”

For as long as I can remember, it has been the religious people who are the most intolerant of others. As long as the rules (and if you and Palin had your ways, the laws of this country) catered to your beliefs, all was right with the world. Nowhere does your wants and desire give anyone else the constitutional right to follow whatever it is they wanted.

Now, granted, the LGBTQ community isn’t exactly a religion, but each and every one of them can be said to follow some form of belief – whether it’s in one god, multiple gods, no god, or other. Like everyone else in this country, they pay taxes, they have jobs, and they obey and operate under the same laws as other “politically-correct-straight” Americans and permanent residents. Their hard earned dollars make up your paycheck as much as your supporters’.

When the LGBTQ community gives people like you an inch, you don’t just take a mile; you force yank a hundred out of them. It is your religious beliefs that have an intolerance for others, not the other way around.

Personally, I’m sick and tired of your religious sectors telling the rest of us what to do, and actually expected us to do it. I’m a Buddhist, not a die hard Christian hypocrite like Sarah Palin. My religion preaches tolerance towards others, regardless of who they are or what their orientation may be. It is perfectly all right to disagree, but it is not all right to withhold respect just because one didn’t see eye-to-eye with another.

You preach that tolerance is a two-way street, yet you act like it is a one-way. Everyone should have tolerance for your beliefs, but that same tolerance has never been reciprocated to the other communities out there, and LGBTQ community is only one of many. Where is their constitutional right?

It is printed on the United States currency “In God We Trust” to remind the future generations that the people in this country are here because they were persecuted for their beliefs back in merry-ol’-Europe, and the forefathers did not wish to do that to anyone else regardless of what God(s) the people choose to believe in, or if they believed in one at all.

That’s my opinion as to why it didn’t say “In My God We All Must Follow.”

Thank goodness the forefathers had a good bit of sense.

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So, Michele Bachmann, why don’t you start walkin’ the walk instead of just talkin’ the talk? Are you afraid of the LGBTQ community? You should be. I honestly believe they’ve got what it takes to move this country forward, do the right thing, and actually grant people true equality because they’ve walked the road of persecution for far too long.

Tolerance, indeed. Maybe we should all give you a spoonful of your own medicine to see how you like it.

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Lavender Wynter, Out.

*mutters*

Edit @ 6:22pm – Before I get flamed for grouping all “religious people” into the same category, I’m not. I’m tired of the ones trying to shove something down my throat. I have quite a few religious friends who respect my opinion as much as I respect their choices in life. Thanks.

The Person I Cannot Live Without

A few days ago, I came by a “365 days of writing prompts” on WordPress. There are a lot of people already doing this, and have already accomplished an entire year’s worth of writing just based off each day’s special prompt.

It is difficult for me to put aside that much time in my life at the current moment to do such a thing, but there are some topics on there that I thought would make for good blog content.

Additionally, my husband reads this along with my other blogs, so I can say that 90% of the things on here are written specifically for him. I hope he feels special knowing that I want to share about him.

So today, I’m going answer the prompt “Who is the most important person in your life – and how would your day-to-day existence be different without them?”

The answer to that is very simple – MY HUSBAND.

While I am a hopeless romantic on the inside in my own way, this isn’t just some simple question prompt for me because on September 11, 2001, my husband could have been one of the victims of the attack on the World Trade Center…

… and Lavender Wynter would not be here today.

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Not in this capacity, anyway. I wouldn’t be here in southern New Jersey, a (over-worked) mother to two children, and aspiring to be a good (possibly published one day) writer.

My depression would have taken a severe turn for the worse instead of better. I would probably still be in China, working at jobs that were slowly killing me inside, and I would have given up permanently on writing because I didn’t have support for it at home.

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My husband was (still is) my best friend. I was a college student in Houston, Texas with no friends or family around, and the shy and super introverted me suffering from extreme homesickness reached out on IRC one day after ghosting for weeks, and my husband was one of many who answered.

And we connected from moment one as friends. He had been in the Air Force, and was out-processing when I met him online, so he has seen a vast part of the world. While I have lived in three countries by that point, I hadn’t seen as much as he has. He spent most of his time bouncing through Europe and the uglier parts of Middle East and some parts of Asia while I stayed pretty much only in Asia (all the comfy sides) but had the opportunity to see many different countries. We had stories to share, lessons to learn from one another, and above all else…

He found a way into my inner sanctum despite how hard I fought against him at the very beginning and showed me the beautiful places in the world (read internet) with people who would accept me for who I am. That’s how I come to be in the company of an awesome array of geeks ranging from abstract & non-abstract digital artists to computer programmers, security network guru(s), and some people who even have a direct role to play in how the internet became what it is today.

Got a computer question or problem… I knew where to go and who to ask. *laugh*

He inspired critical thinking to a whole new level for me. He didn’t just challenge me inside the box, he challenged me to move outside the boundaries. He dared me to achieve, to climb upwards, aim for the stars, to walk forwards, and never look back if there was nothing to be accomplished by doing so.

I have to honestly say that the ridiculously expensive education my parents paid for me served next to no purpose in my life in comparison. My now-husband-then-best-friend was the wind under my wings, and he was the reason I went from being academically suspended from college for having a low GPA to graduating cum laude with two degrees.

That took a mega-ton of work, I might add, which was one of the frequent components of my depression – I constantly felt like I was being overwhelmed and drowning.

They say laughter is good for the soul (and one of the best medicines), and he could make me laugh for hours at a stretch until everything hurt and tears were streaming down my face… and he refused to have mercy.

*laugh* Ah, the memories.

He was the most powerful anti-depressant pill I can have, and as wonderful as that is, I knew it wasn’t a permanent solution. It’s unrealistic to expect him to be there whenever my world ups and flips itself upside down. It’s unrealistic and wrong to have someone play that kind of role in that kind of capacity permanently. I must stand on my own feet. We all do.

He taught me that if and when he couldn’t be there to pick up my SOS call, I needed to learn how to fend for myself. He stuck by me as I trial-and-error three years worth of things that will help me when I’m in a depressed funk and how to get myself out of it.

Three years because there’s no way of knowing if something will work unless one’s done it repeatedly for an extended period with the same results – it either worked more times than it didn’t, or it didn’t work at all.

I learned I loved the outdoors – anything trail related, as long as it had plant life and water and not a soul to be found in proximity (a part of me permanently craves solitude). Sometimes, it was extremely difficult to find the motivation – depression drains me of all energy, so that’s one of the hardest hurdles. Some days, it took him an hour (sometimes more) of constantly pushing and shoving to get me out the door – using nothing but a telephone, no less, as we were separated by 3000 miles.

By threat of withholding night time chat if I don’t do it… *chuckles*.

Writing became my favorite and most inspirational past time. I started writing stories starring myself as the original character with him in it, and we would tag-team via email on grand adventures filled with crazy antics, wit, and humor that was sometimes stupidly funny, and other times wanting to figure out a way to smack the other person with over 3000 miles between us. We crafted worlds and dealt with real life annoying people with fictional ones with cruel and unusual methods as the theme (it was rather therapeutic, I admit). We taunted one another, role played knights (in slightly tarnished armor, he described) and elves (I was a huge elven fan).

He taught me how to eat well – what foods helped my moods, and what foods didn’t. He taught me how to work with ankle and body weights and helped me drop from 150+lbs to 130 over the course of six months with enough muscle tone to make me a formidable foe in a game of wrestling. I gave up elevators for good and used stairs as long as my knees allowed it. He helped me build my self-image. He showed me a place I could feel good about myself so that I knew how I could get there.

Yes, I did, indeed, make him sweat and work for the win. *GRIN*

He pushed me to the top of the world all the while sliding to the bottom of his as his life fell apart on him and disintegrated in an unveiled web of half-truths and sordid lies. That, however, is not my story to tell.

I did the only thing I could do – caught my best friend on his way down and stood behind him to help the same way he helped me through all those years. And he drove to Houston, Texas from Mobile, Alabama one Fall day, intent on seeing me again – and giving me a surprise.

We saw each other for the second time in over four years, and he gave me a titanium ring to signify the foundation and strength of our friendship, to hold in remembrance that I was one of the few who didn’t stab him in the back.

The first time we met, I flew into New Jersey to attend an impromptu social gathering hosted by him (the harebrained idea suggested by me for shits-and-giggles one crazy night on an IRC channel where his agreement caught me by surprise hard enough I literally fell out of my chair… and then proceeded to squeal in glee for about thirty minutes after that) at his place over the course of one March week – my spring break. The people in attendance that week were a friend from Toronto, Canada, a fellow geek from New Jersey whom my husband knew, a fellow geek who lived in Washington D.C. who I had a crush on for a couple of weeks at the age of 19, and yours truly flying in from Houston, TX.

We have stayed close friends all these years (13 and counting).

I know, many of you are probably cringing and saying just how dangerous I played it, and if it was 2010 and onwards, I would agree. The world was different back then. Technology wasn’t what it is today, and so it did take brains to be online and active in the capacity we were (not saying that online stalkers and tricksters are stupid people, but technology has made it easier for people to use the internet instead of harder. GUI interfaces truly are a bane). This was a public gathering known by many people. Phone numbers and addresses were made known for safety reasons (we actually had a discussion on how to call 911 over state and international borders). International by both chance and design, we watched each other’s backs online. Extending that to offline and “in real life” was the standard back then, not the exception.

Shows just how far we’ve fallen as a society.

So, if my husband hadn’t decided he wanted to fix the North World Trade Center Tower satellite on the night of September 10, 2001 instead of the morning of September 11, 2001, my world would have been very different, and he knows that as well as I do. Maybe one day I’ll share that story of his, huh?

So one night, through the hurt and the tears, he asked if I was willing to wait for him so he could meet me at higher (better) ground than where he was.

I told him I’ll wait for him, but there was no way in hell I was going to stand on the side and watch him climb all by himself. I got in. We waded out of the muck together.

After all, he did that for me first for so many years.

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He proposed. I moved to New Jersey, put my “Green Card” application through the system and got myself adjusted to the status of a Permanent Resident before we got married a couple of years later.

Wait, what? Three words – Green Card Lottery. I’ll save that for another post, hm?

And here we are.

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I still have bad (depression) days. Those are unavoidable with the challenges I now face as a mother, but there are still more good days than bad, until the incident with DYFS last year in March which I’m taking steps to heal from.

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Dear Husband, I love you.

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So, who’s the most important person in your life? And why? Have you told him/her?

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Yours Truly, Lavender Wynter