Saturday, February 10, 2007

I'm in love

Mom called to tell me she was trying to find a movie, One Night With the King, a new film version of the story of Esther.

As a child, I loved to watch the Bible-based movies on Channel 10 on Sunday mornings. I loved the splendor and the color and the stories, like fairy tales. Esther was one of my favorites, as was Ruth. Women who had a place in history and changed history in some way always excited me, just like the story of the Queen Hatshepsut who was Pharaoh of Upper and Lower Egypt who wore a false beard and ruled as king. Empress Theodora and Eleanor of Aquitaine and Queen Elizabeth of England and Catherine the Great of Russian were all women of power who ruled wisely and well, women who were strong and wise and left an indelible mark in a man's world. But in their hearts they were all women with a woman's desire for a mate who would cherish, love and respect them. Most of them found what they desired most, although not always in a royal bed.

As much as we cry against being led by our hearts and desire for a mate, one who cherishes and loves and respects us, we are also swayed by a pretty--or in my case, a handsome--face. One look at the current film screen Esther's king and I also fell for a handsome face, the face of Luke Goss. His voice, his manner, his strong body and his gorgeous blue eyes in that handsome face, what more could a woman desire?

As for the movie, it is more realistic and less Hollywood than the story of Queen Esther I saw on Sunday mornings as a child. Hollywood is evident in the opulent sets and the dramatic moments, but there is also humor and drama and love to be had in the movie. There is chemistry between Esther and King Xerxes and I doubt any woman would fail to fall in love with the king if he was anything like Luke Goss.

Monday, February 05, 2007

Gifts & Surprises

I have been catching up on all the free reviews I have backed up but the rest will have to be put aside because I got a big surprise today. A big box o' books from Author Link with nine new books, some of which are uncorrected proofs and not due to be published until June or July. I love surprises. I also got a box of books from Amazon, but I was expecting those. There is nothing better in the world than a box of books, except maybe mind blowing, earth moving, cascade failure sex, but that's another topic. Of course it also means I have to give up the books I took out of the library, but the good thing about that is I can always go get them again. The real surprise is two books from recent Bram Stoker winners and authors I have reviewed before who asked that I review their latest books.

Just when I feel like the world is imploding with me at the center, something wonderful happens. I get books. You'd think it was my birthday or something. And I know a certain east coast friend who is going to get a few more horror books to add to his reading list--if he can keep Steel quiet enough long enough to read. I may have to call and talk to the little sweetie again.

That is all. Disperse.

Sunday, February 04, 2007


Ever find yourself busy and for no reason suddenly look up to an awe inspiring sight? I just did and I keep doing it all the time.

I was reading my email and finding yet one more thing I'm supposed to do as editor of the ham club newsletter. These things are listed in the bylaws, like being thrown off the board for missing two meetings in a row or publishing the club membership roster twice a year, which suddenly became (from another board member) periodically. The bylaws aren't listed on the web site and I have yet to see a copy despite being on the board and newsletter editor for a year. Sometimes all this secondhand news and information after the fact is like being betrayed over and over. I keep feeling like volunteering to help out wasn't such a good idea after all. Only one or two members helped me out at all and I'm still learning things I should have been told in the beginning. I used to wonder why no one wanted to step up to the plate and take over as editor when the past editor had begged for years to be relieved. I don't wonder any more. Betrayal seems to be a way of life with these people, and I don't just mean the feuds with other groups that still bring tears to certain members' eyes.

Betrayal is a theme lately, but not so much for me. I have suffered my betrayals over the years and thought I'd pretty much put them behind me until someone who wanted to get close to me told me I was as prickly as a porcupine. I thought I was funny, a little sardonic and still very open, but he didn't see it that way. And he wasn't alone. Some underlying sense of self preservation had kicked in to make me wary of strangers bearing gifts proclaiming they had only my best interests at heart. How could they know what my best interests were when they didn't even know me?

It looked like all the betrayals over the years by friends and lovers and even family had made me very cautious and unwilling to trust people who really did want to help and be friends. I could no longer tell the difference even though I maintained a pleasant demeanor while I kept my emotions behind a not so invisible wall. What I thought of as caution looked more like a barbed wire fence hooked up to a generator that would have fried a rhino had it gotten too close. I could no longer tell friend from foe and that fact became very apparent when a new friend--someone I finally let get inside the fence and wall--asked me why someone had been my friend in the first place. "Doesn't sound like they were much of a friend. Why were you friends?" he asked. I didn't have a good answer. I tend to be blind to the faults and outright nastiness from people I care about until it's too late and I am asking myself why I didn't see it all sooner.

One very dear friend has been wrestling with betrayal for a long time and is unable to allow himself to be happy. He knows what would make him happy but inside his wall and behind his silence where he wrestles with the demons of his past and his present he has become unable to know friend from foe. He struggles with honor and dreams of happiness, but he's afraid to reach out and take hold of it because betrayal is always close to him like an evil imp whispering in his ear and warning him off. I've heard that imp, as the comments about porcupine behavior will tell. I am no stranger to the dark whispers that kept me from reaching out to people who offered an open hand with no other reason than that they cared.

It took me a while to see friend from foe and I'm better for their patience and generosity because they have all made this porcupine a whole lot less isolated. I still have my prickly moments and I'm a little wary of people who seem too good to be true. It's like looking up and seeing something awe inspiring when I've been focused on mundane tasks and more bad news. Tonight I saw the sky over the deep purple of the mountains outside the windows full of fiery color and blazing light after a gray and featureless day.

The colors have faded into charcoal hazy clouds in a dusky sky behind the black tangled silhouettes of the trees. A little patience and Venus will rise and wink through the tangled skeletal limbs with her bright and cheery face.

Betrayal is something we all have to live with as long as we are involved in the human race and not every open hand is ready to cause pain. Sometimes an open hand is attached to a patient and loving person offering nothing more than hope and friendship willing to wait until we turn off the generator and open a way through the fence and the wall.