Rainbow Snippets #14

NASA Veil Nebula

I am so late for this (and I apologize!)… but here’s my last minute addition!😦 Please forgive me!

My snippet is from AETERNUM, the next book in the Covenant Series. It’s Christmastime 1993 (two days before Christmas), and David and Jonathan have adjourned to the Wolffs home. They’ve been making candy with their moms and little brothers all afternoon, and David’s just spent a little time with his stepfather in the living room with the tree. Jonah (stepdad) had his car broken into, so he’s replaced David’s Walkman and CD, and David is listening to his reclaimed music when Jonathan happens upon him.

David blushed, ducking his head to hide behind the curtain of gold hair as he grimaced, asking, “Was I singing very loud?”

Jonathan pressed a kiss to his lips, answering, “Not loud enough for me to hear that beautiful voice of yours, no, but loud enough for me to know you were singing Born to Be My Baby, and babe, I gotta say that I really was born to be your man.”

David giggled, blushing as he agreed, “Yeah, I know, and I love that.”

“I could get my guitar and we could sing together—”

“I don’t know…”

Jonathan lifted David’s chin with one finger, his face open and his expressive eyes wide and clear as he pleaded, “Baby, I have wanted to sing with you again since Halloween. Please… my guitar or the machine, you choose, but allow me one song?”

Rainbow Snippets #13

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My snippet today is from Bescreen’d in Night again.:) This time, it’s from the beginning. It’s sweet, and it gives hope… and a sentence-ish over the six.

“Tonight, we tied ourselves together in the oldest way possible.” David’s hands fell to Jonathan’s chest, he leaning in to hold Jonathan’s gaze captive, amber to blue, as he pressed a kiss to Jonathan’s lips. “Tonight, in my mind—”

“I became your husband and you became mine?” Jonathan finished, quirking an amused eyebrow.

Tears of joy sparkled in David’s eyes, his smile shining like a sun as he answered, “Yes!”

“Babe…” I love you so much. “I’m going to marry you someday, I promise you. One day, I will give you Shea.”

Rainbow Snippets #12

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Hey, I’m back… crazy RL work is a bit of a pain in me arse, but yeah. So my snippet today comes from a little short story I’ve been working hard on in-between trying to sleep and trying to pay bills. Please be aware, the story has not seen the eyes of an editor at all. The working title is Bescreen’d in Night, and it’s a short story that rounds up the end Halley’s Comet… and it was meant to be writ, but never happened for whatever reason.

Like Halley’s Comet, it’s written from Jonathan Shea’s POV, and it takes place directly after David goes missing. I kind of bent the rules, considering my poems don’t have any real punctuation. I counted the three sentences before and the three sentences after to make my six.

Pulling the moleskin journal out of his back pocket, Jonathan hiccupped and grabbed the pen from the inside pocket of his coat. Bending over the journal as he opened it, he scribed the song exploding in his head. He knew the Bowie influences would be obvious, but he made a mental note to put it only in his journal.

Night bleeds into day
I am spun out of orbit
Day blazes into night
It’s been so long
Well, it’s been so long

My eyes scan the stars
Cold on earth and broken too
The stars blaze bright for me
It’s been so long
Well, it’s been so long

Forty-two days I waited
Forty-two nights I died
Forty-two days I froze
Forty-two nights I lied

And it’s been so long
You’ve been gone so long
I’m so afraid of losing you

Stuffing the pen in the journal, Jonathan shoved it back into the pocket as he heard someone on the ladder. Scooting over into the corner, he wrapped his arms around his shins and pushed his face into his knees. The tears were so close he wasn’t certain he could keep them back much longer, but the time ticked by relentlessly and still they had no lead on David.

Rainbow Snippets #11

HUBBLE Westerlund 2

 

My Snippet today is from Pale Jewel again, this time from part of the rewritten beginning. Once again, it’s my obsession with Hephaistion Amyntoros raising its head. Hope you like!

“You were there, man! You were there, but you did nothing!” Jensen balled his fist, his jeweled eyes glittering as he raised it, but Hephaistion caught it and spun him about before it could land a blow.

Arms wrapped tight around Jensen, Hephaistion pressed a kiss to the man’s shoulder. “I slept through Alexander’s death, Jen, but I mourned his passing and the pain was so very keen. When I panicked and made you after Ptolemy, the fear of losing you was just as keen as my pain had been with Alexander.” His voice remained calm, though his heart felt as though Jensen’s hand squeezed it without mercy, “And when you need me, I will be around.”

Ground Control to Major Tom…

Today was special. It was meant to be special, as it’s a day I have had in the works for quite some time, but it’s only been planned for about three weeks. In fact, on the sixteenth of May, I finally set the ball in motion by contacting my friend, Steve Rivas and asking if he was still in Vegas doing tattoos?

The reply I received within the hour was, “Yes, I am and how are you?”

The conversation was easy between us, and soon I had myself booked to get a tattoo on Memorial Day. I’d made a sketch, and I’d given him my references as well:

20160516_013909     Aladdin Bolt     spaceman     moon

I’d decided to finally get the second of what I termed “anti-depressant” tattoos. This piece celebrated many things. For one, it would be my semi-colon tattoo, and in my design, I had created the face mask and shoulder from the semi-colon. I wanted to memorialize David Bowie’s presence in my life, and how much the man and his music had shaped and freed me, so I chose the Aladdin Sane lightning bolt to easily represent him. I chose the spaceman to represent both myself and my depression. I chose the lyric “Living on the breath of a hope” from “We are the Dead” off of Diamond Dogs to remind me to keep fighting, that sometimes, all I had to do was open my eyes in the morning and take that first breath. I chose the lyric “I think my spaceship knows which way to go” from “Space Oddity” off of his 1969 David Bowie album, to represent the vow I made to myself to always keep fighting. I wanted the moon and the night sky to be a part of the piece because of how in love I am with the stars and space, and because when I look up at the stars, I don’t feel so small and insignificant. No, we all share the stars, and to me, they’re a lifeline. We are all made of stardust and when I’m far away from those I love, I look up at the sky and know they’re seeing the same stars, the same moon.

Plans made, we discuss pricing, and then the incredible wait of three weeks commences…!

I know from our conversation Steve’s very much looking forward to working on this with me, and some of the days in-between, it is all I can do to make it through, knowing that this tattoo is coming. Last night, I shoot him a text confirming we’re still on for our appointment and to tell him how excited I am about it!

He replies back with, “Yes, I actually started on it yesterday. Be done with the line drawing later tonight. Send you a pic by 7ish. It’s gonna be a good one.”

It had been a crappy week, so the sketch was well worth it!

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It didn’t have the top or the lyrics, and I didn’t see the semi-colon, but I thought of a place to put it. I reminded him of the words, which lyric went where, and then I was off to the races again with the real life job.

Today, I wake up and look at my bare right arm, and I smile as I get out of bed. Today is the last day it will be bare. Tonight, a spaceman would be born there, and he’d forever reach for the stars. Tonight, my love affair with music would be celebrated. Tonight… tonight, would bring Aladdin and his lightning. Tonight would birth a reminder of LIFE!

Of course, I have to earn the right to wear that badge, or so the real life job claims when the day is rough around the edges. I manage to get through with work and get home, changed, and washed up. I grab my bag and my best bud, and we head over to the Strip, making our way to the Stratosphere. Inside, we manage to find the Ship and Anchor Tattoo and Steve’s working on shrinking down the size a bit. We touch base and he asks me if I’ve eaten yet. When I say no, he tells me that I should, since we’re going to be here awhile!

Nik and I walk around the shopping area while he finishes up, and we decide on McDonald’s at the end. We eat, and when Steve approaches us and shows me the final design, I’m more than ready to go. We finish up, and head over to the shop. I finalize everything with payment and by sevenish, I am in the chair!

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This is the first of many photo texts I send my little brother, Matthew, who I’d kept in the loop about the tattoo, and my friend, Derek. All throughout the process, the man on the bed behind me getting his entire calf tattooed, his girl, and the tattoo artist working on him, the apprentice in the shop, and another artist (called Dobby!) compliment the work Steve does on my art. (He free-handed the semi-colon on the spaceman’s jetpack!) All during the process, I am wishing I could play some Bowie to commemorate the beautiful tattoo. When he gets to the color on the outside of the bolt–the red and blue–Steve looks up at me and says, “Wait a minute… the reference you have doesn’t show the top, which is why I drew it the way I did. Is there red at the top? WAIT! The spaceman and the moon are in the RED bolt, aren’t they? This part’s supposed to be all blue!”

I make a split-second decision and say, “What if we made suggestions of red here at the top, and at the top edges of the middle and bottom shadows?”

Steve ran with it. I think I was pretty good until we played with the blue shading! OUCH, I say! Lemme raise that to an OWWWWWIE!:)

Soon, Steve is shading the spaceman and touching up the stars… and every second that passes, I’m sitting there thinking, “How the hell does he interpret my needs in this tattoo so marvelously?” I know I told him at one point I needed to find a new word to use for his work, because amazing didn’t cover it anymore and was becoming repetitive, but ye gods, I wanted him to know how much I appreciated it, his time and him!

And then… we are here!

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I’m so jazzed… so jazzed! Steve cleans off and puts a balm of some sort on my arm, and he tells me to let it dry for a few minutes, and when it’s dry, he wants to take a few pictures. The other artist who’s been working on the calf tattoo behind me, chats me and Nik up for a few minutes, and then Steve returns. When he does, the other artist goes over to the computer controlling the Pandora radio station we’re all listening to… and I hear David’s wonderful voice start to come over the speakers.

Except, the artist has not only pulled up the song… he’s pulled up on YouTube the video for “Space Oddity.”

 

 

I think I lost any attention span I had left… and I was so touched! I kept my eyes on David, somewhat paying attention to Steve and the other artist, the latter of which said, “It’s a great backdrop, man! Make a video of the tat! This song in the background–”

That’s really all I heard as I watched David sing, my heart so full, my night complete. My dream for the tattoo completely realized, the backdrop (and the perfect song!) played without me even having to ask! It was all I could do to not cry for joy.

As an aside… Momma, please don’t be mad it’s bigger than I said it would be!:)

HOP AGAINST HOMOPHOBIA, TRANSPHOBIA, AND BIPHOBIA: BREATH OF A HOPE

Welcome to the International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia! Today kicks off my second round on this Hop, and it’s good to be back! Last year was amazing, and I hope to see many rainbows this week! The Hop runs from May 17-24, and it looks like a great turnout again! Much love and support are to be had!

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Last year, I wrote a piece called Always Keep Fighting, which you can find by clicking on the link. In the last twelve months, much has happened in my life, both good and bad, but one very important thing happened only last month on my birthday.

I came out to my family in Texas.

My plans were to do it over the Christmas 2015 break, on a vacation I wanted to take so badly to see them—I’d not seen my parents in over three years. I wrote a mockup of how it’d go and called it Glittering Soul. I felt like a walking open wound, nerves raw and infected. I worried that all the building I’d done on my relationship with them over the last fifteen years was soon to be swirling down the drain, that I’d be truly alone.

My plans fell through when HR didn’t approve my vacation in time, which began a new wait… ye gods, that was killer for me. I’d already been waiting since October, when I’d made the vow to be honest, to never keep myself a secret ever again. The bout of depression I’d been swimming through prior to the holidays grew worse, and on the morning of the seventh (I think) of January, I found myself losing the battle of the day before the day had really even started. It was a Rise Against and Hozier day, and as I was getting ready for work, all I could see was how bad I was, and for a plethora of reasons. I’m almost forty-one. I’m not one of the beautiful people. I’m not successful. My writing is mediocre at best. I’m hidden (or is it hiding?) in the basement of my best friend’s house.  I’m never going to be more than this. To top it off, I’m all alone. Still. Come out or not, I’ve no-one to share it with and I’ll probably never find her.

Sound familiar?

[Digressing for a moment, on Memorial Day of 2015, I decided that I wanted to make and be my own anti-depressant, so I designed a tattoo based on three things: blood and fire, Winchesters, and Within Temptation. Their translation is below:

20150529_133332(left forearm)

My anti-depressant works quite well. On good days, it makes me smile because I know I’m strong, I know I’m a “fire sign, man, a fire sign!” and so I burn hot, and I know I can keep going… and I know how far I’ve come. On bad days, it pisses me off because why the hell did I put some stupid symbol on my body forever? Why the hell did I choose that one? Stupid logo. You’re such a stupid person, why the hell should I keep fighting? And scars? My scars are ugly and that’s why—why the hell did I put that there?!

Yeah, it works pretty well, I’d say!]

Going back to what I was saying, that day, I was wishing like hell I’d put it somewhere I couldn’t see it. The day was a normal day, but for my mental state. Nothing spectacular or terrible about the shift. I came home, ate my dinner and watched my Winchesters, trying desperately to draw strength from the brothers, and I saw a comment on Facebook from my friend Anna—“Oh, David…”—and what little positivity I had gleaned from my little happy place took a flying leap off a cliff.

Shush

If there’s one thing I’ve always had to keep me somewhat sane, it was music… and David started it, he rescued me when I was twelve with his Heroes and Never Let Me Down albums. Losing him was horrendous for me, and coupled with all my terrible what-if’s… I spiraled for an almost unbearable three months.

The week before I left on vacation, I spoke with one of my friends. Her girlfriend lives with her and they’ve been together for years. I asked them both about coming out, and my friend said hers was nothing. Her girlfriend’s was a different story, one many of us know all too well, one ending with her not speaking with them anymore. I remembered in that moment, my best friend’s advice from way back: “tell them when you know you can exist without them, because you might have to.”

I did what I could to prepare, but the environment Texas is currently in, politically, made things rough. I traveled at night, so the morning would be long. I made it through Easter and the next morning, my mother took me to lunch at my favorite Tex-Mex restaurant in Grapevine. I didn’t plan for the conversation to be right then, but after the server took our drink order, my thoughts drifted to “what if I told her here?” and I guess she picked up on it, because she asked me, “What is it?”

I must’ve blanched. I felt my heart move up into my throat and I think I could hear it. My mouth went dry. I felt my eyes sting. I rambled. “Well, I… I want to talk to you about something. I mean, I need to—I’ve wanted to for a long time—I-I-I—”

My mother’s face broke into an expression of concern. “Just say it. You’ll feel better.”

I knew she knew then. I knew it. Didn’t she? “You do know… don’t you?” is all I could manage. The tears in my eyes blurred my vision as I mentally begged all my gods that I wasn’t about to lose her. Not her. Not my mother.

She furrowed her brow. “That you’re gay?”

I blinked, sniffled, and nodded. “Yeah.”

“I’ve known for a long time. I’ve just been waiting on you to tell me.” She smiled at me. “You know, I’m always going to love you and I’m always going to be proud of you. Do you have a girlfriend?”

(screenshots of the text I sent my best friend just minutes after we left the restaurant)

Over the course of the next three days, I experienced much the same reaction with my grandmother, my little brother, and even my father. None of the hatred I expected to be subjected to, came from any direction when I came out of my Texas closet… and as I was flying home, I realized one very important thing: it shouldn’t be like that.

I shouldn’t have to worry about what I wear—I should be able to wrap myself in a Pride flag and run down the street if I wanna, or wear my NO HATE IN MY STATE Texas shirt, or just one of my AKF shirts. It shouldn’t be an issue of If I wear it, will I get attacked? Secondly, I shouldn’t have to worry that I’m going to lose my family because I love someone. Something my daddy said to me when I spoke to him really sticks out. He said, “The greatest command the Lord gives us is to love one another and the second greatest command is to never judge. How can I follow His commandments and not love you? How can I follow His commandments and shut you out because you love someone? I am not the Judge, He is. I am your father, and I couldn’t live with myself if I hurt you for loving someone.”

I never intended to ramble on this long. I never intended to do anything but assure you that we are here for you. The end should never be your answer. Your fight should continue until you cannot fight anymore and then your cry for help will draw our community to your aid. Love is love, remember?

Another thing to remember? YOU ARE NEVER ALONE! I love you. We all do. One day, homophobia, transphobia, biphobia—I hope those will be a thing of the past. Until then, I stand with you, beside you, and I’m proud of you.

ALWAYS.

You are worth it. Your life… it’s beautiful! Your song… it’s perfect. Live on the breath of a hope… your spaceship knows which way to go. I promise.

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M. LeAnne Phoenix, 17 May 2016

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Rainbow Snippets #10

NASA Cygnus Loop

So for this week, I’m taking from my new WIP Pale Jewel. The scene itself is a memory Phai is thinking of, taking place when he took his lover, Jen, to follow up on a lead. Hope you like!

And… admittedly, I went a few sentences over the six limit, but I couldn’t bring myself to break up the “end” of the scene. Please forgive!

—-

Before them in a cavern of its own, sat the house of marble, the top of which held a frieze depicting the charge of Gaugamela, the painting still very much intact. Hephaistion, wearing a billowing black chlamys, rode alongside Alexander, his chlamys crimson as it snapped in the wind. Swords at the ready, cavalry close behind, Hephaistion remembered that unique charge, and as his upper left arm itched, he remembered the spear that had sliced through it. Hugging his arms, his gaze travelled to the half-open door, to the discoloration on the bottom right hand side.

A noise jerked him out of thought and he licked his lips as he turned to find Jensen knelt beside him, tears streaming down his face. Hephaistion pocketed Jensen’s phone and took the torch from him to lodge it upright in the soft earth next to them. Hitting his knees before his man, Hephaistion wrapped around Jensen and pulled Jensen’s wet face to his shoulder. “It was a long time ago—”

“The handprint—it comes from inside—” Jensen broke off, pushing his face into Hephaistion’s neck as his arms tightened around Hephaistion. “I mean—I believed you, you know I did—I’ve seen you come back to me.”

Rainbow Snippets #9

Rainbow Heart

 

Okay! Here’s my snippet this week! In honor of moms, I’ve chosen a snippet from my short story that never quite made it to the anthology I wished to submit to, but hopefully, I’ll find a home for it… here’s Through Her Sunken Dream, written to help bring awareness to mental illness, in specific for me, severe depression. Hope you like!

—-

“Are you ready?”

Tara lifted her gaze to the door, seeing her mother standing there in a pretty blue dress bearing a floral pattern in lavender and pink. Her airy white sweater matched the handbag she carried in her left hand. Tara nodded, pushing her red hair over her shoulders, whispering, “Mom?”

Rebecca Webster crossed the room to cup Tara’s chin, her words quiet, “You are beautiful. You are a wonderful woman, you are my daughter, and I am so proud of you. Nothing will ever change that, Tara Diane; your dad and I couldn’t be prouder of you.”

Rainbow Snippets #8

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I totally missed last week’s Snippet! Bad me! So… here for you today, another snippet from Sunken Dream. Hope you like! This one is a memory of one of the many great things that happened the day Tara met Mina.

—-

A light knock came at the door.

Tara focused on the girl in the mirror, her face crumpling as she gasped, “I don’t think my spaceship knows which way to go!”

“Tara, baby, let me in!”

Whirling on her heel in a split second, she opened the door, pushing the blades into Mina’s hands. “Mina, I’m broken! My spaceship doesn’t know which way to go anymore!”

O, Wilt Thou Leave Me So Unsatisfied?

Today, I’m posting a mere day ahead of time because I’ve so many things to attribute to my beloved Bard.

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First, a few stories to tell…

The first memories I have to centre on old Bill Shakespeare are from grade school when my parents acquired some cassette tapes of classical piano music. I fell in love with this version…

… and then, in seventh grade, I got to see the film version, starring Olivia Hussey and Leonard Whiting. I was hooked completely. My English teacher couldn’t teach me enough about this wonderful playwright who had ensnared my imagination!

In seventh grade, we covered Romeo & Juliet, Merchant of Venice, Hamlet, and a bit of the Scottish play. I tried to wrap my brain around some of the others in my free time, but my 12-13 year old self wasn’t ready for it.

In tenth grade, we took almost a semester out to study the Bard, and during this time, we were able to watch multiple film versions of multiple plays AND my English teacher–Mrs. Mary Clarke–took us to the Richland High School production of Macbeth! They did a fabulous job with it, and to this day, when I read the beginning lines with the Three Witches, I get chills as I remember the first line coming from right behind me (I had an aisle seat) and the three working the crowd as they made their way to the stage. Also, in those few months, I would work with a friend of mine named Jennifer and we’d plan this crazy modern rendition of the Macduff/Macbeth fight scene and we’d practice it and take the whole class to the cafeteria to perform it… and I’d lose my nerve and remember all my lines, but chicken out on the footwork with the toy tommy gun. *blush*

It went better when we were studying Romeo & Juliet and our teacher asked that we pair up with a partner and do a scene from the play. My best friend and I did the scene while Romeo was hanging out with Mercutio and Benvolio, waiting on the Nurse to bring word. The banter was amazing, and our rehearsals on the phone leading up to our performance, was nothing short of involved. When I hear the word “pink,” I still mentally riposte, “Pink for flower,” and then hit back with, “Why then, my pump is well-flowered!”😀

My senior year of high school, I decided I wanted to be an actress, and I auditioned for a Dallas acting studio, utilizing the monologue Lady Macbeth gives in Act I Scene V, lines 37-58.

”                                          Give him tending;
He brings great news.
The raven himself is hoarse
That croaks the fatal entrance of Duncan
Under my battlements.  Come, you spirits
That tend on mortal thoughts, unsex me here
And fill me from the crown to the toe top-full
Of direst cruelty!  Make thick my blood;
Stop up th’ access and passage to remorse,
That no compunctious visitings of nature
Shake my fell purpose, nor keep peace between
Th’ effect and it!  Come to my woman’s breasts
And take my milk for gall, you murdering ministers,
Wherever in your sightless substances
You wait on nature’s mischief!  Come, thick night,
And pall thee in the dunnest smoke of hell,
That my keen knife see not the wound it makes,
Nor heaven peep through the blanket of the dark
To cry “Hold, hold!”

Great Glamis!  Worthy Cawdor!
Greater than both by the all-hail hereafter!
Thy letters have transported me beyond
The future in the instant.”

My second year of college, my irritating Creative Writing teacher, Ms. Cuyler Etheredge, was leading us through poetry… and of course, no-one does poetry like old Bill! While covering iambic pentameter, she had us write what she called responsive poetry. Still amazed by the above monologue, I wrote the following:

O!  Thy cloak of midnight slides in curls down thy
Small back as the evil curls upon thy lips;
The rails of thy arms raise gracefully to thy sister the
Moon!  Yea, Diana is thy mother, and the Furies thou
Hast called upon to eat at thy soul, to take the very
Contents of thine own soul; they art thy servants
And having arrived to darken to pitch that
Which thou callest thy heart, thou hast called them also
To sup on that which thou callest thine own kindnesses,
To get drunk on thy breasts stale wine!
My lady!  O, my queen!
Darest not this horrible deed!  Staineth not thy
Sweet hand; staineth not the soul of thy husband!
Thou doth plan for thine own purposes and care not
A wit for the king . . . care not for thy husband that shall
Be thy king; yea, even now thou knowest the darkness
Of the deed thou wouldst perform.
Sweet lady!
Hurry not to thy chambers; bescreenest thyself not from the
Very heavens that thou callest not upon.
Plan not this deed; I beg of thee.
Lady of Glamis thou art!  Lady of Cawdor
Thou shalt be!  Happier with these thou wilt be
Than toppling to thy death on thy flagstone steps, dear lady.

Part of the above poem appears as one of David Blackthorn’s in The Covenant. I’ve always been proud of that piece of artistry. I attribute my love of poetry and my use of poetry as a tool to suck out the bad emotions and record the really good times, to old Bill.

That same year, I fell in love with another author called James O’Barr, who wrote another tragedy centred around love: The Crow. Eric Draven’s love of Shelly Webster seemed so close to Romeo & Juliet, but it was so much darker… and so much madder that I fell head over feet for it. I immersed myself in the music of The Crow (O’Barr was a big fan of Joy Division and The Cure) and in Edgar Allan Poe, and of course, old Bill’s tragedies.

Enter 1996… and Baz Luhrmann… and Leo and Claire.

Romeo + Juliet

Ye gods, I loved that adaptation. It was flashy and perfect and somehow, it made Bill’s words seem normal-speak. I saw it in theatres so many times. I bought the soundtrack and the score– both of them! Of course, after seeing this in theatres, I went on a binge of film adaptations. I watch a ton of Branagh in those days.

Over and over, Bill haunts my words. As I wrote my own stories then and even now, references to Shakespeare seep into my writing. Characters who love him, obsess over him like I do.

The second novel I ever published, Butterflies are Free, was a nod to Romeo and Juliet in that my guys are star-crossed, and while they do say the three words, they also say, “R & J, my love,” to signify the depth of emotion they feel. Of course, The Covenant gives us David, who tells Jonathan that he ranks over The Bard.

Then, of course, there’s a famous long-running sci-fi show, aired on BBC since 1967, that when renewed in the early 2000’s did a show to include old Bill… and J.K. Rowling.:) It was awesome. I loved it entirely.

And then… enter this wonderful idea to celebrate good old Bill, my Phai and Jen, and a story I tried to write a few years ago… and all of a sudden, I’m writing about Macbeth and A Midsummer Night’s Dream. Nothing has ever felt this good… nor this right. Truly, no-one has ever been able to sum up life in all its light and dark, quite the way he always has. Not for me.

To tie this up, especially since I have a big habit of running on at the mouth, I will end with one of his most iconic lines. Taken from Macbeth, Act V Scene V, lines 19-28:

“Tomorrow, and tomorrow, and tomorrow,
Creeps in this petty pace from day to day
To the last syllable of recorded time,
And all our yesterdays have lighted fools
The way to dusty death. Out, out, brief candle!
Life’s but a walking shadow, a poor player
That struts and frets his hour upon the stage
And then is heard no more. It is a tale
Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury,
Signifying nothing.”

Happy birthday, Bill. I’m so glad to have known you all these years.