No, you’re not seeing things. I’m reposting this because it was supposed to have comments re-enabled…yeah, it helps a lot if you hit the “save” button. *sigh*
Alternative titles: “Yeah, My Muertos are Just that Good” or “Wow, I’m THAT psychic?”
Yeah, I know. I’ve been gone awhile. I’ve got an excuse this time, and a damned good one I might add.
First, let me say that I reopened comments. They’re all going to have to be approved first…and I have no problem deleting those that I feel need to be. New year, new outlook…
Anyway…what’s been distracting me lately? Well, it’s sort of a bizarre story actually…
You’ll remember that I’m writing a book. I’ve talked a bit about it, and the characters I’ve created for it. Essentially, there are two main female protagonists…one older, one younger. Essentially, the two are facets of myself. One a younger, more innocent and less jaded me…and the other a more callous, world-weary me. Not entirely, of course, because it’s fiction…but there is an awful lot of me in both of them.
However, the younger character came to my mind because of a family member I’ve never even met.
I haven’t seen my cousin in 20 years. In fact, the last time I saw her it was an accident. We’d driven to my mother’s hometown to visit my grandparents. Now, my mother has…emotional issues…with my dad’s side of the family, so we were avoiding them pretty much at all costs. My uncle had a habit of abducting my dad or at the very least talking at him on the phone for hours at a time, and we were only there for the weekend, so he was not supposed to know we were in town.
We had driven out in two cars, and were staying at a local hotel. We were going to go out for breakfast at a little diner downtown, but we lost my parents car and had no idea where we were going. So my brothers, myself and my then-boyfriend ended up driving down the interstate a piece where we found a restaurant something like a Denny’s so we decided to just have breakfast there and then meet them back at the hotel.
Wouldn’t you know my cousin was one of the waitresses? So after the initial shock…I had already not seen her for eight years at that point…I got her phone number and was able to call her from the hotel room that night to catch up a bit. Unfortunately, time didn’t allow me to see her again.
She called me a couple of times over the years, when she thought her husband was going to be in my neighborhood on business, but again, it never worked out. So it was at least ten years since I’d even talked to her on the phone. At my family’s Christmas gathering, my youngest brother warned me she’d “found” him on Facebook. Warned me. Well, he never really knew her. He’s five years younger than me…and I’m sure he wasn’t sure what my reaction would be. Like I said, my mom has problems with that side of the family, and I think that’s worn off onto my brothers over the years.
In fact, everything I knew about her came from my mom. My dad would talk to his brother on the phone for hours, complain about things to my mom, and she’d tell me. There’s some weird unwritten rule that my dad doesn’t bring his side of the family up in front of me, but it’s apparently ok for my mom to vent about them. Whatever…
So although I deleted my Facebook page for this persona, I kept the FB page for my real life persona because it was now my only real connection to my cousin.
This is where art and life run into each other…
See, what I’d heard about her from my mom is that she and her older sister married brothers (made Christmas a bit easier, I’ll wager…only one set of gifts to buy and one holiday to celebrate!). These brothers were involved with a church…that bordered on cult. They weren’t allowed to watch TV or listen to music. They could have computers, but had to remove all non-business software. They were not encouraged to socialize with people outside of the church, to the extent that my uncle was attending services there just so that he could still be in his daughters and grandchildren’s lives. I believed what my mom said just enough, and had proof to an extent because on that fateful day when I ran into my cousin, the first introductory words out of her mouth that supposedly filled in the most important details I didn’t know about were…”I’m married, but no kids yet. We’re trying.” I was 23, she would have been 24.
She did finally have a daughter. My second cousin is now 19, and graduated high school this past summer.
At any rate, this was what I based Hope’s background on. I thought to myself…what if my cousin’s daughter was like me? What if she were Wiccan…in a fundamentalist Christian household? And so I used that background…that town, that high school, that premise to begin Hope’s story. Without ever having spoken to or met my second cousin.
In fact, Hope’s story begins the day of the rehearsal for her high school graduation where she ditches the rehearsal and rides off to take a train to visit, and hopefully move in with her aunt. Not cousin, aunt, but still…
Flash back to reality here. So I’m on Facebook, and the majority that I do with it (because it’s all but useless except for keeping in touch with people I otherwise wouldn’t) is forward memes. Most of which have to do with British Television and movies…Doctor Who, Monty Python, that sort of thing. Turns out my cousin (who obviously wasn’t in that church anymore if she’s on Facebook, right?) is divorced and not as much of a redneck hick as I thought. Yeah, I know, I stereotyped her. Bad Camylleon. At least I acknowledged I was wrong…
And it turns out my second cousin is into these things as much as she is. So based on what she was seeing from her mom’s page, she “friended” me. Which was fantastic. Naturally, when I was able to, I began to snoop about her “about” page. Under religion, she’d listed “New Age.” So I sent her a message asking her what “flavor” of New Age she was. Hinduy? Buddhisty? Christiany? Pagany? Wiccany?
The response? Yeah, she’s Wiccan.
She’s a very young Wiccan, and hasn’t really practiced much on her own yet (as with her fictional counterpart, I might add). She is, however, moving in with her fiancée in the next month or so, and looking forward to putting her studies into action. And I’m proud of her because she really *is* studying. She’s asking me questions, even…and seems to be intrigued by all sorts of different paths. In short, I *like* her.
THERE’S ANOTHER WITCH IN MY FAMILY!!!
Which is something she and I immediately grokked. We were both excited and extremely happy not to be alone in the family. Quite a few jokes about the recessive gene in our family have been flying between us.
I was looking for community. In fact, my latest reading from my only trusted advisor had said I’d be finding it soon. I doubted it. After all, I’d given up on the subject, sure that no healthy pagan community would exist for at least another 50 years or so. (I have a theory on that…) Sure, it’s a community of two, and she’s three-and-a-half hours away from me…
But she’s there.
And weirder yet, in a way she is Hope.
Maybe I always knew she was there…