If You Love Somebody’s Art – Go Tell Them

“Thank you so much for creating a wonderful universe.”

This is a message I received about my Arizal Wars series. Now that I’ve stopped ugly-sobbing over it, I can write coherently about how you should never give up on your dreams because *amazing* things like this happen. (And yes, this is freaking amazing. Can I get an amen from all my authors out there?)

The message comes from an original and loyal fan—one Batman found back when he did his stint teaching (for the record, he is brilliant, and can teach kids super hard math and history, but the common core system is beyond eye-rolling, and he could only take so much bullshit). Anyway, during his limited teaching years, he “pimped” my series (not in a threatening kind of way. More like, ‘oh you like to read? My girlfriend writes books’ kind of way) because, why not? It’s YA/NA, and students are the richest resource there is. And one magical student bit, and since then, she has asked about the series through every drought it’s embraced. She reached out when I was writing BTT, and a year before when I decided to take a break. I’ve probably even posted about not giving up because of one of her messages asking when the next book will be out.

This is what we need. It’s not reassurance—it’s a reminder.

If you love somebody’s art—GO TELL THEM.

I would *love* to tell Betty Smith how freaking awesome A Tree Grows in Brooklyn is. Every time I finish it, I flip it over, stare at the jacket, stare at her name, and wonder how I can somehow summon her from the dead just so I can fangirl over all the feels her book gives me every time I read it. Seeing as that’s sadly impossible, I’ve considered contacting her family. This is a legit idea I’ve tossed around and may one day pursue, but do they care if I like their mother’s/aunt’s/grandmother’s book? Not unless it comes with royalties, so why bother? I just want to shout at someone from that family how that book has affected me—but it won’t mean a thing to them. The only one who would understand is Betty Smith, which is why I need to summon her. Grr.

Maybe I’ll meet her in the afterlife—wherever that is—and I can fangirl over her there. In the meantime, I have to give a shout out to Sarah! Thank you for believing in (and continually asking about) this series. It truly makes a difference 😊

This Could’ve Been Bad

So, I don’t wear makeup. It’s not my thing and it never has been, and I am completely fine with that. I used to think I just hadn’t reached that “magic age” when I’d suddenly look at the stuff and it would all make sense, but it never came (and I feel like it should’ve by now). I’ve come to the conclusion that it’s just not meant for me, and again I utter: I am completely fine with that.

But then come the makeup trials.

I didn’t plan for two. In fact, I only wanted one. Just one lady who would do it perfectly on the first attempt because she could read my mind and pull out what I couldn’t articulate, and it’d be magical and I’d sign the contract and we’d be best friends forever. But this didn’t happen. None of this. What did happen was unwanted fake eyelashes and disappearing cheeks bones and Batman actually RECOILING when he saw me. Like, for real, guys. He jumped back. And he sees me first thing every morning.

Now, I’m not bashing on this artist. She did her thing, and maybe for another client, it would’ve been perfect. It just didn’t work for me. She drew on a completely new face, and even though I’m not winning super model of the year, I think my face is decent enough to keep. I just wanted some enhancements and I got a new set of eyes and no cheekbones. Call me crazy for wanting to look like myself in my wedding day.

I wanted to like it. I really did. I wanted to spin around and see the doves and hear the harp and just know this is what I was going to look like when I married Batman. But again, none of that happened. She spun me and I think I might’ve winced because who the hell was that? It… did not look amazing. It also didn’t look like me. At all. It looked like some version of myself that took a wrong turn somewhere, like a Caitlin who maybe had a tougher time in life. I wanted it to be perfect, but I ended up wondering how much people would truly look me in my face on my wedding day because I hoped they wouldn’t. That’s when I knew it wasn’t a go.

I took Batman with me on the second trial because I figure if he’s going to recoil, I should know sooner rather than later. Thankfully, he didn’t. He loved it, and that’s probably because the lady paid attention to what I wanted (a natural look) and how I wanted to feel (like I wasn’t wearing makeup). It only took two trials, but this could’ve been bad. It was the thing I was putting off to last because I knew I would have issues.  But I’m glad it’s over.

And yes, even though Batman saw my day-of makeup, it’s still OKAY. He has no idea what the whole thing is going to look like and honestly, neither do I, but I’m hoping it will all come together nicely. 😊

How many makeup trials did you have? Do you wear a lot of makeup, or prefer to go natural like me? What are your thoughts on your partner’s makeup?

And Then I Lost My Ring

(I’ll preface this with we have it. We found it. Well, Batman did, and I love him even more now. Plucked the thing right out of the grass, all proud at his Sherlock skills for spotting the ring amidst the random bricks and plastic water bottles where it hid. But yes, the ring—THE RING—is secure again on my finger (sort of) where it belongs, and not lost somewhere in the gross exterior of our house that we are most definitely planning on cleaning up. Probably.)

This all started because I wanted to water Artemis. Simple desire. Keep my avocado plant alive, which I’ve done now for half a year  with just a little watering every day, and twice when I can remember. Batman and I were about to head out when I realized I hadn’t watered her yet. My overpriced fancy blue watering can sat in the corner where I’d left it the night before. I reached for it, poured out the remnants, and then turned on the faucet.

And then a lot of things happened at once.

As I turned the knob, I felt something move over my foot. Remember, I live in Florida, so even with it being winter, I’m still sporting sandals ninety percent of the time, meaning my skin is exposed. So, when I felt this thing moving on me, I felt it moving on my actual body, on my actual skin receptors.

And it was a SNAKE.

**INTERNAL VOMIT**

**STILL VOMITING**

It slithered over my foot and disappeared beneath a pile of bricks and I just…reacted. I screamed out my utter terror and disgust that it TOUCHED me, and in my insane bout of flailing, I snapped my hand back just right, and my ring—THE RING—went sailing from my finger and out into the abyss of the untamed, unmowed lawn, complete with mysterious disappearing, snakes.

Not good.

Not fucking good at all.

Batman walked out, unaware of the struggle. Of the panic attack I was having over everything. All I wanted to do was water Artemis—who still hasn’t been watered—and I was petrified of a snake I could no longer see, and an engagement ring I no longer possessed. Goodbye groceries and errands and all normal life. All that exited was combing through every inch of my lawn until I found my important shiny tiny piece of jewelry.

AND THE SNAKE.

A huge concern, seeing as I never really got a good look at where it slithered off to, but my ring was missing. That was the main horror. I’m getting married in nine months and I had no engagement ring. I couldn’t believe it. I couldn’t believe it the entire ten minutes Batman and I picked through the lawn where I thought I saw it go flying, and with the snake slithering secretly nearby, it felt more like an eternity. Then, just when I knew I’d have to start the new trend of brides not wearing their engagement rings, Batman reached right down and plucked something shiny from the ground.

So pretty. So not lost.

A thousand waves of relief washed over me. If anything, that day was a win. Not because I did my taxes successfully (I think!) or because I adulted by doing laundry and groceries, but because I DID NOT LOSE MY ENGAGEMENT RING. Even though it flew off my finger in a moment of terror, I still have it. The day was still a success. And yes, I know I need to have it re-sized. I’m getting to it. I’ll only put it off one or two more scares like this one before I get it fitted smaller.

How about you? Any scares? With losing jewelry, spotting a snake, or both?

P.S. Also just now realized this was supposed to be  a IWSG post…so those looking for that post, see you in March!