Linda Scribbles











{October 19, 2021}   On the cusp of change

Or hopefully I am, anyway.  (Thirty-three has yet to take me out! Would you look at that!) The recent efforts toward change in my life have made me reflective, the hour a strange kind of nostalgic for the almosts and life events missed. I’m thinking about all the ways I held back or was held back from being everything that I am and could have grown into, the life experiences I can’t go back and share, the people who would have loved me and who I wanted very much to love– someone asked me recently what my goals were. In the context of that space where they were asking, I was fairly certain of the kind of answer they wanted, but my smart ass opted to get cute about it and ask if they meant in life generally orrrrr– but then as I answered, I realized my answer would have been more or less the same; I want experience, I want stories. And I became a bit emotional when my brain finally clicked on how that has always really been all I wanted. It never seemed like a valid answer, because it wasn’t a thing that could obviously be directly translated into a productive and monetizable pursuit, not one that had ever been expressed as worth the time and effort to do so. Stories and storytelling, like most arts, were (are) severely undervalued, and I internalized that way too hard. For all that stories have been my whole heart, my most sacred sanctuary and most beloved vice, and I feel passionately about the power and artistry in storytelling, I’m finding I’m still struggling with the concept that writing could be a viable career option for me. This is one more thing where I’ve allowed myself to hold back. I’m angry about it, if I’m being honest. And then that just cycles me around to being angry and grieving for the parts of me that have languished, the versions of me left behind, snuffed out before I had the chance to explore them, the me and all the stories I would have had if in just a few more instances I’d had the room to take the chance and not let fear from others wear so deep into me. To the baby me who knew no better and chose to be safe, I’m sorry I did that to us and I love you for doing your best to get us here. To the me yet to come (should we make it past thirty-three, lol), I’m sorry it took so long to figure this out properly, so we could do better still. May we be everything we needed that no one else managed for us, and may we shed more and more still the reservations that have not served us. May we be everything we have always felt afraid to be.

That was meant to just be a brief note about– well, I’m not really sure, I suppose. Reflection and regret and resolve? And then about how I’ve somehow not had the motivation to write for All Hallow’s Read, even though I’ve been anxiously muttering for months that I need to write, so as to not be scrambling ONE MORE YEAR AGAIN to bang something out, and now it’s over halfway through October. So here we are again! Here we are again. Why?

This post got away from me. If you’ve stuck it out to the end, hello there. Thank you and I hope you’re hydrated and as well and safe as can be. I won’t say anything about the current state of the world, because it’s exhausting, but wherever you are in it, I love you.



This is a draft I half started at the beginning of December and got too busy to finish. I’m continuing now. Fair warning: this is an absolute mess.

I’m at work desperately trying to keep my brain on task rather than chasing all the thought rabbits there ever were. I’m hard pressed to feel motivated to sort out a situation that got unnecessarily messy, so it’s difficult. So of course I’m vacillating between the eager, cautious hope of what seems such a sure promise, and the wary, ear-twitching fears, hearing the thrashing and snarling of wounded and cornered creatures. (Read as: I’m scrolling through twitter/tumblr nearly obsessively, and unavoidably hearing all the intensely conservative fuss happening around me. Thank every good force in this world for the prevalence of cute animal pictures and the effectiveness of headphones!) The details of November’s bananas happenings are impossible to entirely block out, and as exhausted as I am, I don’t want to be unaware, I don’t want to be caught unawares when action is necessary to look out for each other.

A number of thoughts in no particular order.

I keep remembering a project we did in one of my high school classes (English, I think). I don’t recall the whole of it, but part of it was to create protest posters from the 60’s as we thought they might have looked using slogans that had been documented. Mine was “What if they gave a war and nobody came?” I’d been so intensely drawn to the vague understanding I had of what the whole Flower Power movement had been from hurried history lessons and the music played on repeat on the oldies radio station (which was virtually the only thing played on my little alarm clock radio from about 7-years-old to my teens). I was thrilled. I sharpied the daylights out of my poster, knowing I had the colors down and the lettering, and believing whole-heartedly. But the important thing is that the phrase stuck with me. It was the conclusion I’d circled my whole little life and struggled to put into words. All the books my mother and my teachers had given me, the stories and art and history continually fed to us about people fighting to do the right thing, to survive, to protect each other and others in the face of overwhelming violence– here it was, simply: “What if they gave a war and nobody came?” As I get older, I’m finding I’d been lucky to have the exposure to the people I did. In the midst of all those stories had been discussions about the circumstances, the ways it was talked about by the individual people who carried out orders to hurt people, to kill people, the ones who looked away, the ones who felt powerless to do anything whether in retrospect they’d really been in such a trapped position after all. It was always a choice for each one, but the question was always the cost. I have never been able to fathom anything would be worth the cost of atrocities. I understand the logic from all those discussions, but it hasn’t ever felt reasonable. But I guess that’s what it feels like to live in a space where reason has been denied any place. I guess this is what it is to have lived most of my life never really having to directly face making those choices. And to now bear witness to choices that shouldn’t have ever come up again.

I’m thinking about that a lot hearing the strange jumble of voices across the internet and amongst my friends, trying desperately to document their experiences with what’s happening around them wherever they are, the violence they’re witnessing, especially in places that used to feel safe enough, more than ever in places that never felt safe enough, and then angry conservative talk radio and tv (my boss keeps it playing continually) saying how their audience have to be ready for war. Not to be surprised at the violence of the Others. To hear and see the damage of bitter, vicious entitlement and then hear the dissociation in the voices encouraging it– the literal continual screaming juxtaposed with the assertion that they and their listeners are the sensible, peaceful ones. I am baffled. When your every other statement is how this group or that group deserves all kinds of awful things for all kinds of loosely gathered (unfounded), wild reasons, what part of that is peaceful? I’m not even going to touch the claims of Christianity. (I mostly just have a basic understanding based in a Catholic upbringing and I’m not at all well enough studied in theology to say much at all, but I will say I am exceedingly unimpressed and intensely dubious, at best.) What I’m hearing most all around is that no one wants violence. It would be nice if we could all just not choose violence. It’d be nice if we could all recognize words are their own form of violence.

When a lot of things were clearly ramping up years ago, I had coffee with a friend. We talked about being scared of the increasing anger we were hearing around us, the validation prejudiced people seemed to be receiving from what was happening on a national level, and how that seemed to be making them feel comfortable to be louder. We talked about being scared of speaking up when people speaking up were actively being targeted and hurt, of the threats, “If you don’t shut up, we’ll find you, we’ll hurt you, we’ll hurt your families, we’ll destroy your world.” Even after everything I’d read growing up and all the conversations that had me so certain of where I stood ‘if the day ever came,’ I was (am) afraid. My friend said, “If they’re going to come, they’ll come anyway,” and I needed to hear it. I’d started to get so mired in all the scary things, all the heartache of everything, I actually kind of forgot. The angry people angry enough to make threats are looking for a reason to hurt people. They’ll do it anyway. And the things those angry voices are screaming for are liable to hurt everyone. If we let them scream and demand and create the kind of spaces they want where only certain people (an ever narrowing list of people) are allowed, if we leave them that room to behave this way, it’s already proven again and again that eventually they’re still going to come in some way.

I’m struggling to maintain a sense of compassion, to remember the humanity in everyone. I know that a lot of the worst responses come from terrible, fearful beliefs about what the basic truths of the world are. I know a lot of people aren’t out to do harm simply for the sake of it. They’re angry and they’re scared and they’re making really stupid decisions, because that’s what they think they have to do for pride or to protect themselves or the people they love from the people they’re afraid of. But I don’t– It’s– when the people I hear regularly being awful (being racist or some kind of -phobic or making light of covid and bragging about refusing masks / hand washing / not getting close to strangers) get sick or hurt– I don’t want anyone to suffer, but I also have the nasty little thought: you brought this on yourself. But it’s not so simple as that. But it also kind of is. I just don’t want any of the circumstances to be what they are that any of us are liable to suffer, that people doing stupid things raise the odds for all of us to get hurt. I wish I could say, “believe what you want” and go on, but I can’t. Not when there are people who believe I and people like me, that people I love, that people just trying to live their lives and feed their families and love each other, that we’re not human enough (at all) to deserve basic care. That we don’t deserve space or time or resources, no matter what we do. That they have any say in what we do or don’t deserve. That’s not a simple opinion. That’s an assault waiting to happen. That’s the series of assaults, generational violence that’s already happened. I don’t have any interest in discussing the newness, the oldness– isn’t it enough that it’s happening now? Don’t tell me it’s nothing new like that makes it less worrisome. Less dangerous.

Nothing I’m saying is original. Not to this time, or, awfully, in almost any time. Why are we all hurting? Why are we all hurting each other, whether we mean to or not? Why do some people see a strike against their pride / comfort / property as on par with a threat to life and limb?

I’m so tired, you guys.

On an entirely unrelated noted, I’ve been thinking a lot, too, about how I’ve always joked that I would die at 33. It came from a funny life expectancy game I found in a museum. In my memory, it’s in the middle of a small play area, which raises questions. The older I get, the more I start to wonder if it was real or if this is the giraffe wings thing all over again (did I ever tell that story?). But it asked a series of questions about your life (the smoking one was odd to me as a kid, but I guess it’s not so weird now knowing what I do), and then the thing spat out an age you were likely to live to. I don’t know what I put in, but I got 33. I’ve had suicidal thoughts literally since before I could see over the counter tops. I’ve always had a certainty that I wouldn’t live long, even if I was very adamant very early that the answer to the suicidal thoughts would always be no. I didn’t even think I’d make it to adulthood all the same, so even 33 was a bit high. Still, it was unnerving to have the brevity of my life ‘confirmed’ by a random digital game in the middle of a museum play area, but also kind of hilarious. So that’s been my private joke for about two decades now.

I’m about halfway through 32.

I’m only just now wondering if the small current of anxiety I’m having about it has more to do with how stories have conditioned me to expect that personal happiness comes at a price. If you see a pair so smitten and well adjusted, if you’re allowed enough information to get attached and to love them, but not enough to see what part they may play next in whatever story, then one or both isn’t likely to make it to the end. Am I happy now? Probably more than I ever expected to be. I mean, considering I didn’t think I’d make it this far. I can’t help wanting to hold onto every moment I have with the people I love, so maybe they won’t hurt too much. Maybe none of us will feel too strongly that we’ve been short changed. I can’t help wanting to make as many things as I can with my own two hands for everyone to have a little piece of me. Useful things with yarn and fabric and tools and words that they can use all the time. I want to beg them all to look out for each other. Please call my partner often and make sure he knows he’s family still. Please always answer the phone for my siblings. Please make sure I get to be a tree that gets well watered and cared for and planted where you can always find me. I know it’s most likely just my brain doing weird brain things, but I can’t help being a little bit suspicious.

Is it weird that I hope someone updates this in the wild event that 33 takes me out? What an absurd end to a strange story I’ve lived that doesn’t even start with me.

I wrote some small happily ended stories, by the way, finally. My first foray into taking part in fanfiction was a twelve day writing event for “Julie and the Phantoms” with a series of prompts to pick from. I don’t know if anyone else took part in the end, but I banged out twelve stories over fourteen days and they’re not so clunky and clumsy as my previous attempts at happy endings have been. It helps that the characters come from a very warm world and are beautifully written, beautifully portrayed, and I had a lot of support from some truly fantastic friends and my wonderful sib who’s also into the show. I’m itching to try to play in my own worlds.

I hope the new year found you as safe as can be, in good health, or at least in good spirits. May it bring solid reasons for hope and kinder days. I’ve never been so grateful for quiet days as I have been this past year, all too aware of how outrageously lucky me and mine have been. May the adventure carry on in a much more light-hearted fashion for us all.



There’s a lot going on again (again, again, again, AGAIN, AGAIN), and it’s making me introspective.  Trying to use that inclination to be productive.  Indulge me a bit, please.

There are so many things I go over and over in my head about, even waaaay long after the fact.  I mean, yes, stupid little things, like responding to “enjoy your meal” with “you, too!” Or thinking if I’d just checked a third time to be sure my work keys were in my backpack–  And stupid things from first grade, conversations with people I hardly even remember–  Going over arguments I never actually even had–  Because that’s useful.

I keep going back to my one and only attempt at a not-horror-murdery-spooky story, where I was dubious from the beginning if I’m even capable of writing something light / romancey (I talked just a little about it in 2013).  There are parts of it I can see I scrabbled for, because I had no idea what this thing was supposed to look like.  I’d read a couple of other Happy Ending type things here and there that I wasn’t enthusiastic about and when I look at that story now, it’s like someone vaguely explained to me what a giraffe looks like and I thought I could make one out of Dumpster scraps that would be just as good as the real thing if I just used enough super glue and force of will.  I took common components I’d found in other stories and out of sheer desperation (and no small amount of low confidence), just– painted them in a rough approximation of what I thought would make it fit in with the other giraffes.  There are bits I don’t even remember writing, but I know what it looks like when I’m trying to force it to work.  It looks like sloppy scenes and cheap-shot troubles.  The further away I get from that time, the more I’m disgusted with it and I want to print several copies just to get the visceral thrill of burning the words physically, and in doing so, burning them from my mind.  (Guess who’s feeling melodramatic!)  I just really wanted to be able to do the thing.  And I did it with such a half-assed approach.  While I’ve never really cared for much that I write, it’s one of the few things I think I’m maybe ACTUALLY ashamed of.  There are bits I know I didn’t really even want to touch and I still used them!  That’s how little I bothered!  I feel like I really owe it to those characters to give them proper lives and to apologize for having them exist purely for my own convenience.  Yes, I’m aware they’re fictional and my own creation, but uuuugh.

Ultimately, though, I don’t think I want to try to rework that one and I keep thinking maybe I really should take it down.

THEN AGAIN MAYBE IT SHOULD STAND AS A TESTAMENT TO MY DISGRACE.  THIS WRITER IS A WORK IN PROGRESS.  LET IT BE KNOWN THAT SHE RELIED ON THE CHEAPEST, EASIEST TO GRAB PARTS INSTEAD OF TAKING THE TIME AND CARE NECESSARY TO BUILD A GOOD WORLD AND STRONG CHARACTERS.

Either way, I don’t want to rework it.  If I’m going to delve into unfamiliar territory, I need to do my goddamn research and actually bother to think about how human interaction works.  It’s not like I don’t know there’s no mold to good story telling.  It’s certainly not how I approach the spooky or silly things I write, so why the heck did I even think that might be okay to write anything else?  Goooosh.  I need to just do something new.  Maybe scavenge a bit from that disaster, but probably not much at all.

Right, enough scolding myself.  Just need to do the thing.  I need to write happy things.  I’m tired.  It really needs to be happy things.

I love you all.



{January 3, 2014}   A pulse! Evidence of life!

I’m not!  I’m not ignoring my blog again!  Not for another year!  Things have simply been a bit unorganized with my husband and me taking turns to be sick and then holidays and so on.  I have a bit more of Beasts, but I don’t have it quite to a point where I feel alright hitting pause to put at least something up.  The end is only in sight in that I know it exists.  It will happen.

Ah, so I have a New Year’s resolution for the first time in years!  To finish things.  That’s it.  I’m starting with “Beasts”.  I’m not picking a second thing to finish ’til I’m finished with that.  And then I’ll pick something else.  One thing at a time, so I don’t overwhelm myself.

This post was actually going to be a video blog!  But after starting and stopping and starting and deleting and arranging a space in which to record repeatedly, then rearranging the space, I came to the conclusion that, no–  yes, I really am still shy.  I have a sock puppet I had seriously considered using in place of– myself.  Me.  The sock puppet was going to be me.  Anyone who has met me in the last six or seven years would look at me funny were I to describe myself as shy.  I’ve mostly managed to find ways around it.  (I’m still very proud of myself that I can order at fast food places all by myself now without the urge to dive under the nearest table to pretend I don’t exist!).  I thought maybe I was done being shy, then; that I’d grown out of it.  Nope.  I then think about you handful of folks out there who follow this blog, my twitter, my tumblr– you’re all out there.  Actual people.  You’re all probably terribly interesting and wonderful.  I’d rather you not know I’m out here, too.  It’s not the anonymity thing.  Obviously you know my name, you’ve seen my face (I think I posted a pic here once without thinking), you’ve read some of my stuff, and yet a video blog feels like meeting new people somehow.  It’s a strange mix of being intimidated and afraid you won’t actually like me after all and excited that maybe we’ll be friends, which then makes me anxious for no definable reason except– people.  In reality (that place my mind refuses to believe exists), you’ll probably watch the video, or not bother, and then go on and do other things.  You might just say, “Huh, it speaks,” and then watch a video of dogs with boxes on their heads or check your email.  That’s cool.  I’m absolutely alright with that.  In the end, I’m ridiculous.  I’ll do a video blog.  Okay, I have resolution number two.  

#1:  Finish “Beasts”.

#2:  Video.

So there.  There’s that.  Carry on with your lives, citizens.  Hope the New Year is treating you all well thus far.  We’re only three days in, you know.  Good luck!  Much love!  Happy adventuring!

Oh!  Ah!  Okay, so my grandmother died some time back.  I had this tape she’d given me of her practicing guitar and singing (she played at church).  I’d been trying for a really long time to sit down and get it recorded off the tape into mp3’s for the family, but it just– I couldn’t bring myself to finish it.  I finally did thanks to my wonderful husband keeping me company.  He’s a good man.  Best of all, he’s good at hugs.  It really helped that I could share my grandmother with him the way I remember her best, one of the ways I miss her most.  Anyway, it’s on soundcloud.  I put it up there for easy access for my relatives, but if you’re into Spanish sung church music, there’s that for you.



et cetera
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