Life Gets Busy.

Well, my darlings, I’m back to check in on you! Like I said in my video, I’m really busy right now and it’s only going to get busier.

As I’ve said before, I’m a teacher and a freelance theatrical lighting designer, so I’m in the middle of my busy season right now with the quarter coming to an end and a bunch of shows going on and I. am. exhausted. Hell Week is the four or five days before the first performance where tech can get in and set everything up. It means I get leave work at 8:00 am to get to the theatre at 9:00 am. I’ll work until noon and then go to my teaching job where I’ll work from 12:30-5:00 pm teaching children about theatre and managing rehearsal for our winter comedy named Snappy’s Happy Half-Hour. I have 37 kids in my care who range from 11 years old to 17 years old.

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My Favorite Ladder

After that, I get to have dinner with my parents and brother before going back to the theatre from 6:00 – 11:00 pm and then driving home to wind down, grade, write some DnD stories, and whatever else I may need to do around the house.

I also just signed up for my winter classes, so on top of the teaching and the theatre, I’ll be taking three classes in order to become the teacher my students deserve. While Annie and Snappy’s Happy Half-Hour will be closing soon, another show called “Aways… Patsy Cline” is going to be going into rehearsal and performances. This is a show I’ve done before and this run of performances will put me over 100 viewings of the production.

I’m telling you this because I don’t want you to think I’m quitting. I very much enjoy hearing from the people who contact me on social media, email, or what have you. Hell, I’ve even exchanged books with a reader! I really love giving the universe my two cents and having people appreciate them. It’s really cool!

So, no matter how busy I get, I will always come back and check in with you guys. I also really love being able to keep my writing skills sharpened. There’s nothing worse than losing a skill.

Oh, and don’t feel too badly for me. I get two and a half weeks off in December.

Suckas.

HS!

LH

I Want to Tell You a Scary Story

I would like to start this story by saying that I don’t believe in ghosts or demons or anything like that. I need more evidence in order to believe that something other than decay happens to us when we die. Hell, I’m an astrobiology nerd and believe that aliens are real, but I don’t think they’ve visited Earth. The evidence just isn’t there for me.

So, I believe this is a scary story about sleep paralysis. For those who haven’t experienced this, Sleep Paralysis is when your body shifts between waking and sleep in an irregular way, thus they will be awake, but unable to move. Some people say they hallucinate in these moments.

So, that being said, here’s what happened.

close up photo of blue flowers

A few months ago, I was staying over at my grandparent’s house with my boyfriend. They had us sleep in separate bedrooms, so I took the twin bed so he could have the full. Plus, the twin bed has the misfortune of being right beside my loudly snoring grandma; facing the morning light; fitted with a door that allows a lot of light in; and decorated with two paintings of pale, dead-eyed children.

The biggest issues for me are the morning light and the hall because my room as to be totally dark for me to fall asleep. I also have to leave the door slightly ajar so that my former-foster kitten can get in and sleep with me. The paintings are just creepy as hell, but I’m able to push them out of my mind once Harper, the cat, jumps up with me.

After what felt like a few minutes, my door pushed open. I was facing the wall, so when I looked, I couldn’t see anything other than the tiny blue flowers of the wallpaper. I thought it was my boyfriend, at first, coming in because he couldn’t sleep, just based on how the door had opened so far. I could hear the hinges squeak, so I could hear it had swung wide. Then he didn’t say anything.

Then, I thought, maybe my cat had pushed the door wide open and I braced for the mattress to bounce under her weight. She was a very fat cat and the mattress was small and old. Actually, both were purchased from an insane asylum in Sedro Wolley when it shut down.

She never jumped up. Nothing huge on its own so I closed my eyes to fall asleep, but then I felt something. Nothing touched me, but it felt like something was hovering inches over my body. I couldn’t move. I couldn’t see. I could just lay there and feel. I don’t know how to explain it other than to speak to your experiences. I feel that most people know when somebody is next to them and can understand what I mean when I say that it felt like somebody was bending over me, very near me. The feeling stayed that way for five minutes

Then I heard what I can only describe as a hoof being slowly dragged on concrete. It happened three times Kkkkkkkkkkkr-click, Kkkkkkkkkkkr-click, Kkkkkkkkkkkr-click. The feeling of somebody over me was still there for a few more moments, and then suddenly disappeared. I could move again and I instantly shot up and towards the door, trying to see anything.

All I saw was the door wide open and the top of the stairs.

Again, I don’t think something was actually there, I 100% think I was imagining everything. But, wow, what an imagination I have! It was able to scare the crap out of me, to the point where I’m still thinking about it. I’m not scared anymore, but it was damn scary in the night.

I ended up going in and sleeping with my boyfriend for the rest of the night.

So, that’s my scary story. Nothing supernatural, but still contains the same, great fright!

Have a great rest of your day, my loves!

HS!

LH

Yesterday was Veterans Day

Hey guys, this was supposed to go up yesterday, but apparently I missed the button so you get it today. So, all this happened yesterday and I don’t want to go back to fix all the tense issues. Cool? Cool.

I went for a walk today. The bitter fall breeze bit my cheeks until they were cherries and Feel Like Making Love rang through my headphones, overpowering the lonely sound of my sneakers crunching through fallen leaves. Through the trees that line the trail, I watched various sea birds bob up and down on the Puget Sound, scuttling past sailboats named Freedom and Seas the Day.

The forest trail gave way to a park dotted with people and their dogs. I watched the shivering owners desperately wrap themselves tighter in their coats and shove their throwing hand frantically back into their jeans pocket after tossing their dog’s slobbery tennis ball. A few held coffee from down the street. One man stood in the center of a large patch of grass, a mirror ball gliding over his fingers in a manner that suggested years of practicing in his room had given him the idea that people would gather around and watch. Nobody had yet.

aerial photography of a mountain

The park morphed into walkways that spanned the small inlets of water that scooped into the earth. A woman wearing a cranberry hijab stopped me and pointed towards deeper water where two black lumps were rolling through the waves. Sea Otters. I watched them for a moment, listening to the woman murmur to her husband about how cute the little creatures were.

As I walked on, my small Sigil of Baphomet necklace tapped rhythmically against my chest. I thought again of the sailboat named Freedom as I passed the small groupings of flags fluttering at half-staff, and I was grateful. I thought of the other places in the world where a woman would never walk alone and I was grateful. The tapping of Baphomet upon my chest reminded me that I am very lucky to live in a world where I am free to be whatever religion I choose, no matter how evil those may assume it is. I thought, naturally, of the military and all they’ve done, since the birth of the nation, to protect my right to be myself, and I was grateful.

Then I thought of the veterans in my life. My great-grandfather was one of the first responders to Pearl Harbor and once told me of seeing the smoke on the horizon, his heart turning the same acrid color. As I began to feel pride, a wave of anger washed through my arms and down into my fingertips. My great-grandpa was not, is not, an honorable man, nor should he be celebrated.

My great-grandpa should not be celebrated. He was cruel to his family and created rifts within the family that won’t be healed for generations. He abused his family. He threw unwanted kittens into rivers rather than fix his cat, first allowing his children to play with them. He was, and still is, a manipulative, horrible man.

I passed a group of runners going the other way. A few of them nodded at me while others stared straight forward, as if I weren’t there. I realized, then, what I was thankful for were the individuals who went into the military. They want to protect what the country stands for, which means fighting for things you may not believe in. I’m thankful for them and I gladly thank them.

What I refuse to do is blindly thank veterans. I’m sure this is where people will start to get irritated with me, but that’s okay. I understand that there are evil people in the military who have still given so much. I, too, understand people in the armed forces have raped and murdered their fellow servicemen. Am I supposed to thank them? I don’t think so and I won’t. A person can be part of a greater good and throw kittens into rivers.

The bitter fall breeze halted and my cherry cheeks grew hot as I stepped into my house from the cold. My cats ran up to greet me and I ran my hand along their tails, warming my fingertips on their heads. I knew I was glad for the good men and women who were protecting me, even though they didn’t know me or agree with me. In the end, there is more good than bad. I just wish we could do better.

So, on this Veterans Day, thank you for all you’ve done.

Except my great-grandpa and those like him.

HS!

LH

I Spoke with The Homo Satanist

As I was scrolling through Twitter yesterday, a term caught my eye. “Homo Satanist”. As somebody who is part of the LGBTQ+ community, I began to feel myself prickle, preparing for rage. I was pleasantly surprised that it was actually a title of a book, as well as the title somebody had chosen for themselves. I was curious, so I dove a little deeper.

Fred Andersson is the an author and, while not a member of the Church of Satan, feels very connected to Satanism and the philosophy of Anton LaVey. So, I decided to send over some questions to get to know Fred a little better in this edition of

end of MY rope

Please give a round of applause to our latest victim Fred Andersson

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From Twitter
1) What is your relationship to Satanism and the Church of Satan?
I’m not a member of CoS, but I feel very connected to their philosophy and LaVey is a role model of some sorts, even if I don’t agree with him in everything. But that’s also the great part of CoS and Satanism; we’re all true individuals and respect each other. I’ve always, since I was a kid in a Christian community, had similar ideas and ways of looking at life as CoS, but it took me some time to understand the value in this. When a friend years ago told me I really need to read The Satanic Bible I bought it, read it, found it fun and interesting but it didn’t leave a big mark. Maybe I year later I picked it up and read it again, and some things spoke to me even more. And this happened every year or so until I finally “got it”. LaVey himself I’ve always found interesting and witty and I understand what he was trying – and succeeded – to do.
2) What does being part of the LQBTQA+ community and being a Satanist have in common? 
I found out that may inside the community either sees themselves as Satanists or at least have the same philosophy, and I love this. I believe that Satanism, and maybe more specifically CoS, is the perfect thing or LGBTQ+ people, as we’re embracing ourselves, our sexuality, we breaking free from norms to live the lives WE want to live. Some Christians blame us gays for being egocentric – and I say YES to that, because we dare to do it. We’re not tied down by guilt and Christian moral rules; we live as we want.
3) Where would you take Charlie Chaplin on a date in the year 1994? 
I would probably take him to an old wax museum in Sweden, now bankrupt since many years back, where they had THE worst very wax figure of him ever made. I think he would have appreciated it for some reason.
4) How do you celebrate Halloween?
The thing is, Sweden isn’t much of a Halloween country. The tradition itself have been growing over the years, but it’s not the same as in the United States. I usually try to watch one of the Halloween films, this time it was my hold favorite Halloween III: Season of the Witch. That one sets the mood very well!
5) Tell me the story behind Homo Satanist. How did you come up with the name/title/term? 
It kinda just came to me while thinking about who I am. I usually just introduce myself as Fred, because Fred for me is everything I am – but if I’m not Fred then I’m not a homo sapiens like my fellow humans… and suddenly it struck me; I am Homo Satanist, a man of Satan. That felt so comfortable I decided to build a concept around it, and that’s one of the things that lead to the book.
6) What’s your favorite movie and why?
Difficult to say! In my personal collection of films, physical media, I have over 7000 titles! But If I must chose one I’ll chose Stanley Kubrick’s Eyes Wide Shut, a film which triggers both my fascination for the occult, rituals, sex and individualism. I love it so much I might one day write a book about it – and the novel it’s based upon and the 60’s Austrian TV-movie based on the same source. I always find something new in it and it still, to this day, have some of the best writing I’ve ever seen in a film.
7) Is there a story that you weren’t able to fit into your book that you’d like to tell? 
Oh sure, but most of them deals with what’s legal in Sweden or not – and when some things still are not legalized or accepted it’s a bit difficult to talk about it without being branded a criminal. It’s not that I’m especially active in this area, but the idea of banning certain substances is primitive and goes against my whole idea of individualism.
8) What do you do when you’re bored? or Do you get bored? 
I rarely get bored nowadays, but if that happens I usually watch the most depressing film I have available. It makes me appreciate my own life a lot more and triggers my emotions in very stimulating way. I also have a tendency to shop a lot of expensive books when I’m bored, which is both good and bad.
9) THE ZOMBIES ARE COMING! Quick, what in your house do you grab and why? 
I suppose the cats have already escaped, so that means I’ll grab water and warm clothes. Because I bet I’ll need to hide in the woods for a while until it’s all over!
10) Do you have any other creative projects you’re working on? 
I’m currently finishing the editing of a short story collection, which I hope will be published in two-three months, but it’s written in Sweden. I’m also halfway through something we can call Homo Satanist 2 and one book about chaos magic, or maybe more an inspiration to use magical thinking in everyday life.
The End
I love that in order to get over being bored, you watch a sad movie. That’s wonderful. Thank you, Fred, for taking the time to answer my silly questions and I hope your book does very well!
And thank you all for coming back and reading, I really love doing these interviews and you guys make it worth my time!
I’ll see you all later, my Sweet Satanists!
HS!
LH

I Celebrate Little Victories

When people think of Washington State, they think of mountains, evergreen trees, and rain. While all of these things are true, Washington has a dark side. We are the state with the highest rates of suicide and depression. Rates of diagnosis for depression are on the rise, here, too. Most of these come from Seasonal Affective Disorder or SAD, which is another name for Seasonal Depression, and describes a time every year that depression arises.

close up photography of wet leaves

I love living in Washington State. It’s full of color and beauty in ways you’ll never see in other states. We have desert, rainforest, plains, mountains, and pretty much every biome of which you can think. Last summer, I had breakfast by a river; lunch by a glacier lake; and a sunset dinner on the beach with my toes in the sand. It’s an amazing places to live, but can be trying.

My family is riddled with Clinical Depression, also known as Major Depression. It’s different from Seasonal Depression because it is constant and, while we have good days, it isn’t something that goes away for the majority of the year. Winter and fall do make clinical depression worse for us, though, so there are elements of SAD in that I can handle it most of the year. Then the sun goes away. That’s the biggest issue is that the sun goes away, so I try to take vitamin D3 and eat better (besides the holidays), but it still happens.

There are days where I can function perfectly, but all I can think about is hanging myself. Don’t freak, don’t panic. I don’t need sympathy, I’m just trying to put what I’m trying to say in perspective. I want you to know where my mind is.

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The days when I can function perfectly normally an still think about suicide on repeat are considered good days. Bad days are very bad. Bad days may mean I don’t feed myself because a small part of my mind hopes I’ll just starve. It may mean I won’t talk to anybody for weeks, if I can. My anxiety makes it worse, too, by causing me to throw up when I’m stressed so I wake up to a really bad day and I begin to lose weight.

So I have Little Victories. Small things I can do each day to make myself feel less like a failure. Posting here can be a little victory sometimes. Sometimes they’re even smaller, like getting out of bed, doing my makeup, taking a damn shower. Now, I don’t text my mom each time like, “MAMA I AATE TODAY!”. No. But it helps ME get up and actually accomplish the shit I need to get out and do.

I hope that makes sense. Little, personal victories to keep you going are very healthy if you have a mental illness. As somebody with Depression, anxiety, and PTSD, my victories are sometimes very small. I’m not trying to whine or get attention or anything, I just want somebody, anybody, to feel a little better and that they’re not alone.

I hope you all keep yourself well this upcoming rainy season.

HS!

LH