Novel November 2

Here is the second installment to Novel November.  If you missed the first part, you can read it here.

Mary Mae, the goat, was tied to the front of the house, chewing on an old scrap of leather.  I was also responsible for her well-being, because without the goat, my sister would have died long ago.  She survived on the rich milk, and was starting to fill out as well.  At first, I had had no idea how to get her to ingest the milk, but had finally discovered that a bit of cloth dipped in the liquid transferred the milk from the bowl to her mouth.

Even before opening the door, I could hear her hoarse cries.  I had come back just in time to feed her.  I picked up a bowl covered with cloth that I had buried in the snow to keep from Smythe, and found an icy layer.  Once inside, finding Smythe absent, Mother sleeping, and my sister red-faced from crying, I put the bowl down near the fire and put another chunk of wood atop the dying flames.

The small wooden cradle was near the fire to keep the infant warm, and when I picked her small body up, I noticed the chill.  Her bottom was damp, and she quieted when I held her against my body.  She whimpered a bit when I lay her down to change her diaper, but her dark eyes showed her trust of me.  After she was changed and wrapped back up, I settled down near the hearth, holding her in one arm, and the rag in the other hand.  The milk was now warm and unfrozen, and I dipped the rag from the bowl to her open mouth.  Her eyes wide, she sucked the rag until it was dry.  I repeated the same process until the bowl was empty, and her belly was round and bulging.  Her dark eyes drooped, and when she stopped resisting sleep, her lashes lay on her plump cheeks.

The room was dark, and I studied her by firelight.  Her skin was milky white, her hair dark and glossy.  Her tiny lips formed a dark pink rosebud and twitched with her dreams.  Her arms were up on her chest, and her tiny fingers curled at her neck.  Her little round knees were bent and pulled up, and her long toes were curled like her fingers.

The day had been long, and the warmth was seeping into my bones, causing a heavy lethargy to come over me.  I reached for the threadbare blanket that I used every night, and the small bundle I rested my head on.  I laid my sister on the bundle, watching a frown wrinkle her forehead for an instant.  I laid three more larger pieces of wood on the fire, and spread my cloak on the hard floor, as close as I dared to get to the hearth.

Picking the baby back up, I lay down on my cloak, covered myself with the blanket and placed my head on the bundle.  I used to share the large bed with Mother, but Smythe had taken my place.  I didn’t expect him to return tonight; he had probably already bedded down with one of the painted women from the tavern.

But the large bed no long tempted me.  It smelled strongly of Mother’s sickness and of Smythe’s dirty body.  I felt the baby squirm nearer to my chest, and pulled her close.  She sighed, a small, soft sound, and my eyes began to feel gritty with sleep.  I closed them to relieve the feeling, and not soon after, drifted to sleep.


A Very Belated Love List

Wow, I’ve been seriously MIA this entire week, but I swear, I had a good reason to be.  I’ve been sicker than a dog for the past week or so, and have been in and out of the doctor’s office (and hospital) to try and figure out what’s wrong with me.  I’m on some medicines now to try and fix me, and I hope that they work and I can get back to being normal again.  A day late, but here’s the love list:

1. The “My Favorite Lip Balm” and “My Favorite Night Balm” duo from Bath and Body Works.  I use the lip balm during the day, and the night balm during the night (obviously), and my lips have never felt softer, or more moisturized.  Both balms have 5% shea butter, and the lip balm has 2% sweet almond oil as well.  They smell amazing, the texture is wonderful (not sticky or thin or goopy), and they really do what they say they do.  My only beef is the size of the night balm.  Where the lip balm is .5oz, the night balm is only .34oz, and for $7.50 a piece, that’s a bit pricey.

2. Wet n Wild blush in “Mellow Wine”.  This was sort of an impulse buy at Ulta a few days back, and because it was $3, I figured if it wasn’t a good blush, I wasn’t out much.  I ended up really loving it.  It’s got really good pigmentation (it is matte), and the color (which is a deeper rosy pink) is perfect for fall.  It gives a really nice, healthy flush to my skin.

3. Swiss Vervaine Melange Herbal Tea from Teavana.  This is such a wonderful tea.  It’s got a hint of sweetness (from orange, apple, and peach pieces, among other fruits), but also a minty taste thanks to peppermint.  I add a bit of sugar to it, and it’s perfect.

Hope everyone has a fantastic rest of the weekend, full of warm cat naps and as much vitamin D as you can get before the snow comes!


Tuesday Questions

1.) Mood:  Not feeling the best, but I’m looking forward to a trip to Ulta  to pick some things up.

2.) When making a sandwich, do you care if one of the bread slices is the end of the loaf?  If both are end pieces, I don’t mind.  But if one is a middle piece and the other is an end, I usually don’t make a sandwich, or make a sandwich with just the middle piece folded over.

3.) What is the weather like today?  It looks pretty sunny, hopefully this Indian summer will last a few more days before chilly, soaking rain comes back.

4.) Current nail polish:  Nothing.

5.) What ring setting do you keep your cell phone on at night: loud or silent? (Or the phone completely off?)  I usually always have my phone on vibrate for classes and for work, and I forget to change it.

6.) Current outfit:  Grey sweatpants and a grey shirt (I just woke up to do homework and haven’t gotten dressed for the day).

7.) What is your favorite Disney movie?  I think I’ve answered this question before, but The Beauty and the Beast has always been and will always be my favorite movie.  I identify with Belle because of her intelligence, her independence, and her love of books.

8.) Can you whistle using your fingers?  Nope.  I’ve always been jealous of people who can.

9.) When doing laundry, do you separate loads (lights/darks, delicates, etc.) or throw everything together?  I wash my Chipotle shirts (along with my jeans and any other blacks) together because I don’t want my work shirts to get faded, but everything else gets tossed in.  Sheets and towels are washed separately too.

10.) Weekly goals:  Get the managers to allow me to wear kitty makeup for Halloween at work (since I have to work anyways), get caught up on what I’ve missed in classes from being sick, and rest.

Novel November 1

The poll has been closed, and I got enough votes to decide to pursue Novel November.  This is the first two handwritten pages of the story which is so far unnamed.  Hope you enjoy.  Look for Novel November 2 next Monday.

I stared in dismay at the bottom hem of my dress.  The awful mixture of mud, rotted food, and the product of domestic animals was sprayed from my knees down to my worn shoes.  The wool, which had been a gift from Mother, although mismatched, and more than one color of grey, had been lovingly washed, cut, and pieced together by myself.  It had taken days of work to fit the pieces together, and sew them into a dress to fit my slim frame.  In the dead of winter, I needed the warmth of wool, but also in the dead of winter, enough water to wash an entire dress was nearly impossible to get my hands on.  In the cold seasons, clean water was scarce, and needed for cooking, and drinking, not so much washing.  Small amounts of water were used to wash the diapers of my infant sister, but I could not justify cleaning my entire dress.  The stain, not to mention the smell, was there to stay.

I was on my way back from town when a careless man on horseback rushed past, spraying me with muck, and nearly knocking me over with shock.  I clutched the small sack closer to my chest, and hurried on trying to ignore my cold, damp dress.  Before long, I reached the small cottage I shared with my mother, infant sister, and the drunk my mother called her man.

Smythe, which was his family name; I never learned his first name, was a drunk.  He was forever backing me into corners, sliding his grubby hands along my skin, breathing his stale breath into my ear.  Since my sister had been born, Mother was not the same.  Bedridden most days, my mother depended heavily on me, her first-born daughter, to not only care for her, but for the household, my sister, and for Smythe.  The one time I confided in Mother about Smythe grabbing at me, she was angry at my reaction.

“Smythe has taken care of us for over a year!  If I’m not able to take care of him in the way that he needs, it’s up to you to do it.  Don’t think yourself so highborn that you can afford to be picky.  No man will want you; the child of a woman such as myself.”

From then on, I kept Smythe’s indiscretions to myself.  His daughter was, more often than not, my saving grace.  Her cries always came at times that allowed me to escape his advances.  She was a sickly little thing, because Mother had refused to feed her from her body, concerned it would make her look haggard, and  would no longer want her.  I always bit my tongue at this, because I knew Smythe was not picky about the appearance of his women.

Novel November

A few weeks ago, I got really bored in class.  But instead of doodling, I decided to let my mind go and write a story.  I figured this story would end at the end of class; just something to occupy my mind for the whole two hours, but it ended up holding onto me, and I can’t leave it alone.  The characters are begging me to tell their story, and I can’t ignore them.

So, my question to you is, would you be interested in a once weekly post (maybe a page) of my story?  I would still blog regularly the rest of the week (The Love List, Tuesday Questions, would still be there), but just add in on Thursday or something, a bit from my story.

Let me know what you think!

Hope everyone has a fantastic weekend.

Fall Lust List

I’ve been doing quite a bit of online window shopping, trying to hold off on buying anything until I get my next paycheck (because I went a little crazy a few days ago at the mall), and I’ve compiled a list of the things I’m lusting after for Fall/Winter 2011-2012.

The World Traveler Scarf in Magenta/Multi by Forever 21. $10.80.

I love everything about this scarf; the color palette,  the pattern, the fringed ends and the width (27.5 inches).  I can see myself in this scarf, and I love that.

Au Naturel i-Divine Eyeshadow Palette by Sleek Makeup.  $10.50.

It looks like the Naked palette to me, but for a fraction of the price (without the blues and greys).  I’ve heard a lot of good reviews on Sleek eyeshadows, and I’ve seen a few looks done with this palette.  Every color in there (both matte and shimmer) is something that I would use over and over again to create a natural, fall/winter eye look.

Parliment in Tan by Not Rated. $69.00.

I love this pair of boots.  They manage to give a casual, but rocker look, and the tan is so perfect for fall.  The studs are a nice addition, as well.  But I have a hard time finding boots that fit my legs.  They’re always too big around my calves and make me look like I’m wearing rain boots, which isn’t the look I’m going for.

Milari in Marron by BORN. $210.00.

It was love at first sight for these boots, and the only thing that I hate about them is the price.  They’re utterly gorgeous, but even if I had the $200 to spend on them, there’s no guarantee that they would fit me, and that would be upsetting.  Damn these small calves!

Hooded Wool Peacoat in Scarlet or Med. Charcoal by Mackintosh New England.  $67.99.

I love the idea of having a red coat, but it may be a little hard to work with (accessories and such), but because deep reds are so in, I’m leaning towards the Scarlet.  I don’t have an in-between coat; I have light jackets that keep me warm in the chilly springs, and then a super heavy coat that keeps me warm in the frigid, windy winters.  But the big coat is too much, and the light jackets are too little for this current weather (which is going to last a bit).  I love the rolled sleeves, and the hood (because it’s essential to keep your head dry when it’s pouring buckets), which is an unexpected touch.

250 Thread Count Twin-Size Down Blanket in Sage by Royal Velvet.  $35.69.

If you know me (or my family), you’ll know that blankets are a huge thing for our family.  We have blankets EVERYWHERE (which makes sense when we set the heat to 68 F to save money), and I grew up with a love of cuddling in an oversized blanket.  Here in college, I don’t have a bunch of space for a lot of blankets, and I’m at a loss when I sit down to watch a movie, because I don’t have a blanket ready to wrap up in (because they’re all on my bed).  I love green, and the dusty color of this down blanket is so pretty.  I would love to wrap up in this blanket (or have it on my bed).

Liquid Metal in Phenomena by Illamasqua. $27.57.

Illamasqua makes gorgeous makeup, and I love how pretty this cream eyeshadow is.  I don’t think I would be able to spend that much on just one eye color though.

Minimus 10 in Gray with Coral by New Balance.  $99.99.

I’ve been lusting after these shoes ever since they came out.  I’ve been looking at them, hoping to catch them when the price comes down, but it’s stayed pretty steady at $100.  I love everything about these shoes.  They’re tiny, weigh almost nothing, and there’s no bulk to them.  I have a hard time with running shoes because I have such small ankles, and thin feet.  Most running shoes are far too bulky and tend to trip me up when I run.  They also make me feel self-conscious, and no one wants to feel like they look weird (which has kept me from running here).

That pretty much concludes my list for now, and I’m hoping to pick up a few of these things with my next check (and hoping to get others for my birthday).  The Sleek Palette and the scarf are probably going to be the first things I pick up, just because I’ve been eye-ing the palette for so long, and because the scarf will be much used with the windy weather.  What’s something on your lust list for the upcoming, and current, season?

Project Product: Playing Catch-Up

I’ve done good while on Project Product, but I have picked up a few makeup things, which I didn’t mention in the original post, so I’m free to get them.  I’ve finally used up five things (well, six actually), and I’m ready to give a short review of them.

Mary Kay Loofah Body Wash in “Red Tea and Fig”: Travel Size.  I really, really loved the smell of this stuff.  It was a slightly sweet, very clean smell.  It lingered on my skin for hours after I showered, and even with perfume or body spray, I could still press my nose to my skin and get a good whiff of the stuff.  I wasn’t really all that fond of the bits of exfoliating seeds, but they did make my skin softer.  I would buy this again, if there was a non-loofah version.

Mary Kay Loofah Body Wash in “Lotus and Bamboo”: Travel Size.  This has boy approval.  He liked the smell of the first on me, but he loved how clean and fresh this one smelled.  I wasn’t a huge fan of the smell (or of the exfoliation), but it wasn’t too bad.  This might make a good gift for a boyfriend with dry skin, because besides the exfoliating seeds, the formula is really moisturizing.

Dove deodorant in “Original Clean”.  I’ve been using this stuff for years now.  I love the scent, how well it wears, and the bursts of fragrance throughout the day.

Olay Complete all day UV moisturizer in “Normal”.  I’ve been using this stuff since I moved to college (I think I’ve blogged about it before), and I love it.  It’s not greasy or too heavy, but just right.  It also helps that it has SPF 15 in it, for protection all year long.

Head and Shoulders “Classic Clean” shampoo.  I’m plagued by a dry scalp when the seasons change, and I always fall back on this classic.  It’s what we used back home, and it’s the only thing that will clean my hair, clear my itchy scalp, and leave my hair with a soft feeling, and light smell.  No matter what other shampoos I use, I always come back to this.  (It also clears body acne, which I have on the back of my neck because of my long hair.)

Glam Eyes Lash Flirt Mascara in “Kohl Black”.  Like some of the other things on this list, I’ve been using this mascara for quite awhile.  It’s been tried and true many a time, and although I try out other mascaras, I come back to this one.  It lengthens and volumizes my lashes, and doesn’t leave me with the raccoon look (unless I sleep with it on).

I’m getting there guys, wish me luck on the rest of the list!