August, 2008 I have just recovered from a serious failure to get my stuff out on time. Apparently I'm not good at staying on top of my swaps in the summer months. I believe everything has gone out and I'm grateful to all of my generous partners who didn't give me the 3's I so richly deserved.
I'll be keeping my swap list spare so that I don't get into trouble again ... at least until autumn :)
I've created the community 'Dark Hearted' which has been a great success. If you have darker sensibilities, feel free to check us out.
Now, back to your regularly scheduled profile.
Profile Mostly Written November, 2007 (tweaked frequently)
I have a long profile because I love to read detailed biographies of others. When it comes to swapping, the more details I have to work with, the more likely it is I will be happy and excited about what I send out.
If you are in a hurry, skip to the following sections: Sensuism and Likes & Dislikes. If you want a hint about what you might get from me, check out Likes & Dislikes, Hobbies and Swap Status.
Throughout this bio, you may see this: (see link). I have provided these links at the top of my profile, just under 'last login'.
I live on a little parcel of land in Minnesota, USA that could be a functioning hobby farm.
Instead, I run a retirement home for strangely intelligent, old chickens and 3 pampered, neutered cats. (There's a dog, two cockatiels, a rabbit and a gerbil too.) On the side, I annually plan & plant gardens while dreaming of succulent tomatoes and cucumbers and peppers. (Oh my.) So far my efforts have only succeeded in making the local deer and gophers portly.
I am head over heels in love with my husband of 16 years ... most of the time. My 21 year old daughter recently returned to our nest, after a couple of years on her own. I personally teach my 12 year old son, via an online academy.
I am an aspiring writer. I started taking myself seriously a few years ago. In this last year, I've actually started putting my butt in the chair and churning out words.
I am a caring, responsible person with a wide dark-gothic-Victorian-spooky streak. I can be funny, but I don't do cute very well. I appreciate heartfelt gestures in all forms. It's most important to me to feel heard. It's next-most-important to me to feel appreciated. (Not flattered ... just acknowledged for whatever it is that I do well.)
After many years of incessant soul-searching, I've pretty much figured out what is important to me.
My children, my husband, my friends and my community are, of course, central to my world.
I am a spiritual, witchy Catholic. Sometimes I'm a skeptical, Catholic-y witch. Many people think that is a contradiction in terms but I live with it just fine. I adore the ritual and beauty of the Church. I feel closest to God outdoors. I think most religions are both good and bad. I believe in the power of prayer and spellwork.
Please don't try to convert me.
While keeping the needs of my people and my spirituality in mind, I try to build my life around four guiding principles. Each of my priorities tangles with the next, but I try to live a life that revolves around:
~ Sensuism ~ Writerliness ~ Learning ~ Sustainability ~
I have a natural affinity for guilt. I have spent at least 20 years of my life feeling bad about being too dreamy, dramatic, hedonistic, lazy, intellectual ... you name it.
I'm over it.
This is where my witchy-spirituality comes in: An it harm none, do what ye will.
I love cooking, scented oils, daydreaming, writing, cocktails, giving lavish compliments, eating, varied textures, journaling, romance, sleeping, being naked in the moonlight, deeply honest friendships & pleasantly light acquaintanceships, candlelight, bath potions, fire rings ... all that fabulous stuff.
TMI SECTION: I have been blessed and cursed with an early menopause. I'm smack in the middle of my change of life -- complete with hot flashes, mood swings and the rest. Tips and tricks and comfort items would be much appreciated.
Some sensuAL keywords: Bettie Page, Tantric, intricate knots, Smitten Kitten, pinups, honey dust ...
FYI: 'sensuism' is a made-up word based on the following definition --
Main Entry: SENSUOUS
Part of Speech: ADJECTIVE
... Notes: sensuous usually implies gratification of the senses for the sake of aesthetic pleasure; sensuAL usually describes gratification of the senses or physical appetites as an end in itself
Source: Roget's New Millenniumâ„¢ Thesaurus, First Edition (v 1.3.1)
Who knows if I'll ever publish? It could happen. I could become fabulously wealthy and notorious. Or not.
In the meantime, I want to enjoy BEING a writer.
I spend a lot of time building an environment that fosters creativity. (Not only for myself, but for my family as well.)
We reject a lot of "shoulds". Our house is a little ramshackle, and we mostly like it that way.
We actively pursue fresh thoughts, visions and ideas through reading, making friends, writing and learning. We give equal importance to necessary tasks and creative projects.
By the way, I write supernatural horror -- NOT mystery, splatter-punk, true-crime, vampire-serials or serial-killer books. (My current, primary project is a novel.)
My husband plays harmonica and sings in a cover band. He also writes a little, and messes around with photography. (Meanwhile, he supports us all with his job as a programmer.) My daughter, 21, can sing, draw, write and act. (She is a full-time college student.) My son, 12, plays the flute, studies karate and writes ... sometimes reluctantly. (He's still finding new skills and interests nearly daily.)
FEEL FREE TO SEND AN ITEM TO ONE OF MY FAMILY MEMBERS INSTEAD OF TO ME.
When one stops learning, one starts dying.
I teach my son at home because I believe in a true liberal arts education. Our goal is to provide a 'classical education'. (see link)
THINGS I'D LIKE TO LEARN ABOUT NEXT: Bodhran drumming, Latin, WW II-era pop culture, womens history, bluegrass music, Old Hollywood, singing, Italian, herbology, historical connections, literary relationships, ballroom & swing dancing, art and artistic styles ...
I buy and use as many organic, natural and cruelty-free products as I can. I prefer to shop at natural food stores and local businesses.
Though we can't afford to buy organic versions of everything we need to keep a family of four going, we have agreed to patronize principled providers for our luxurious purchases. (Chocolates, coffee, tea, candles, cosmetics, bath products, yarns, etc. We are also converting our dairy and meat purchases to natural and cruelty-free.)
I have no allergies. I DO -- very much -- prefer to use the most natural version of "stuff" that is available. If you are shopping for me, think natural, cruelty-free, free range, recyclable, fair-trade, non-toxic, biodegradable, "green", etc.
When gathering items for a swap I will accommodate YOUR preferences, as expressed in your profile, while still following my heart. Please remember that organic products can be more expensive than 'normal' stuff. For the price of several Walmart pillar candles, I can buy one good soy candle.
My charity of choice is Heifer International. (see link)
Donate under my name. Donate on behalf of others. Donate in your own name. 'Doesn't matter. If you DO send them money because of my profile, just drop me a note. It will make my day.
Note for vegetarians: Heifer International also provides gifts of honey bees, trees and certain crops.
I have fallen in love with ATCs. I cherish my small but growing collection.
beach glass, soy candles, polished stones, beeswax things, handmade paper items, prayer beads, loose incense, prayer cards, agates, naturally fallen feathers, crystal prisms, parchment, natural yarns, small stoppered bottles, handwritten letters, goddess figurines, folded origami, quilling, carvings, beadwork, sheer ribbons, unusual or beautiful paper, b&w movie-star-type photos, sterling charms, windchimes, stained glass ...
CREEPIES: (In a good way.)
gargoyles, gravestone rubbings, tarot cards & tarot images, thunderstorms, ghost photos, all things Halloween, witchballs, dark fae, St. Elmo's Fire, spiritualism images, hex signs, first-hand accounts of paranormal experiences, monsters, will-o-wisps ...
SCENTS: (see BPAL link for more ideas)
freesia, rose, sandalwood, amber, citrus, herbal, spicy ... NOT lily, gardenia, strong hot-house florals or synthetic scents.
fresh-baked bread, cranberries, dark roast (fair trade) coffee, milk chocolate, Irish cream, licorice, menthol, raspberries, caramel, dark chocolate, toffee, butter rum, honey, tea (black, white & green), blueberries, cream, nectarines, lager, Earl Grey, herbes de provence, good cheeses ...
raptors, cats, chickadees, flying squirrels, crows, chickens, frogs, dragonflies, toads, field mice, deer, wild turkeys, fireflies, red squirrels ...
jewel tones, earth tones, greens, black, mocha, cream, autumn shades of orange, gold & yellow ...
sheers, glass, silks, copper, velvets, stone, chenille, denim, cotton, satin, glazed pottery, soft laces, polished wood, silver, tapestry ...
quotes, old-fashioned typewriter fonts, serious riddles, correspondences (real or imagined), story poems ...
Consider sending a postcard to my son. His name is Ricky. (He's 12.) Most of his likes and dislikes mirror mine. He's keen to collect location information cards in particular.
I'm a veteran of hobby / crafting mania. After years of dabbling, I've figured out what I really like to do.
ARTIST TRADING CARDS: I don't do much completely original art. (Drawing, painting, etc.) My ATCs often feature words, passages and silhouettes. I like to work with sheer layers and often create cards that can be manipulated to reveal more detail.
HAUNTED DOLL HOUSE:
Recently, I put together a 43Things list (see link). On a whim I noted a long-held, mostly secret, goal -- to make a haunted doll house. (1" to 1' scale -- the typical doll house scale) Now I've really got the idea stuck in my head.
If anyone has spare antique-style, BROKEN or decrepit-looking miniatures, I would sure love to start collecting them! Tiny, creepy works of art would be wonderful too. Or little aged linens ... or -- you get the idea.
Simple, small projects are best. (Handwarmers, teddy bears, scarves, the occasional blanket, etc.) I love my circular needles. I ADORE beautiful, natural fiber yarns!
Mediterranean, mostly, but Asian too. I want to master bread making. I love indulgent foods and good cooking equipment.
I like to write to new and established authors to give them encouragement or praise. Sometimes they write back. Which is incredibly cool.
BIRDING / NATURE WATCHING / PHENOLOGY:
We keep an active feeding station up year round. Most of my previous volunteering experiences have been animal related.
After stepping away for many months, to establish better fiction writing habits, I've returned to LJ. (see link)
I'D LIKE TO NEXT EXPLORE: BPAL (see link), digital photography, coordinating swaps, making scented bath & beauty potions, beading ...
READING: I own and have read everything by Stephen King. I have too many books in general but I can't seem to give them up.
Some titles I've loved: To Kill A Mockingbird, IT, The Time Traveler's Wife, The Stand, Swan Song, Practical Magic, Heart Shaped Box (Joe Hill)...
MUSIC: Lyrics draw me in more than the music itself, I love 'singers & songwriters' stuff and songs that affect my mood. I create playlists to match what I want to do or how I want to feel. (Fast and pop-y for housecleaning; slow and retro for musing.)
That said, I AM particularly vulnerable to Celtic rhythms, bluegrass harmonies and the melodies of the standards.
Some frequently played artists: Etta James, Meatloaf, Van Morrison, Bill Withers, Billy Joel, Cher, Elton John, Evanescence, Alison Krauss, Jason Mraz, k.d. lang, Sarah Vaughan, Frank Sinatra ...
RECORDINGS OF YOUR MUSICAL PERFORMANCES WOULD BE MUCH APPRECIATED.
TELEVISION: I'm addicted to TV...at least in theory. I am, after all, of the first generation to be raised by PBS :)
SOME of my favorite shows: CSI, Bones, Criminal Minds, Medium, Moonlight, Supernatural Science, Biography, City Confidential, Good Eats, Survivor ...
MOVIES: You can chase me a mile with a stupid comedy. (I hate jokes based on bodily functions. And most romantic comedies make me crabby.) The best comedies are old -- classic films with James Stewart, Katherine Hepburn, Cary Grant or Danny Kaye.
I treasure the few modern comedies that have hit me in the right spot: A Fish Called Wanda, The Ref, The War of the Roses, The Princess Bride, Little Shop of Horrors ...
Oddly, I don't love many horror movies. Most are too gory. Some are creepy enough that I'll tolerate the nastiness though: Halloween, 28 Days, The Others, The Ring, The Sixth Sense ...
... and, of course, I love the classics like Frankenstein, Psycho and Night of the Hunter.
Mostly I love good dramas and quirky pieces:
Chocolat, 12 Angry Men, Dangerous Liaisons, Capote, Bull Durham, most Hitchcock ...
PERSONALIZED MOVIE RECOMMENDATIONS WOULD BE MUCH APPRECIATED!!
I don't generally start working on a swap until I have been assigned partners -- I like to work from profiles.
I often check my email and personal messages from my cell phone. Typing a response on the thing, however, sucks. If you have sent me a message and I haven't responded even though it shows as read, I'm just waiting until I get to a real keyboard.
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