The Price of My Soul

Okay, folks, I’ve been promising Jack and Teague this summer, and I just came to the realization that even though I will probably have the final installment done by July, I won’t be able to get the whole thing out until September, at the earliest, and this depresses me. However, since the reasons for this are twofold and unavoidable, I thought I’d explain them to you, and maybe get your forgiveness.

A. We can’t afford it. You’ve heard this before. It’s the truth.

B. Dreamspinner made me an offer I couldn’t refuse. No, no, they’re not offing students for me (I didn’t ask… it seemed in bad taste) but they have offered me a cover to write to (not the Beauty and the Beast one… this one’s sort of a surprise) and, well, I’ve discovered the price of my soul. It’s not riches, or a book contract (I think I’ve proven that), no. In fact, color me surprised because I never would have guessed that the price of my soul is cover art.

Wow. That’s so much cooler than money, fame, or riches, you know? Cover art. It’s almost like the sin is redemption by it’s very nature. So, I’m going to focus on the cover art temptation, and THEN Jack and Teague. And then Quickening. And then Living Promises. (OKay, maybe Living Promises before Quickening… I’m flip-flopping.)

And then… omg, people, the plotbunnies abound…

And in other news…

Okay, I wasn’t going to talk about this much, and then I found myself doing a hysterical emo-dump on a kid who pissed me off in third period, and it occurred to me: emotional stoicism and repression is awesome for Dean Winchester, but I don’t do it well. Never have. So, since many of us blog to work out our emotions, or for therapy, I’m going to give myself a little of that and talk about this. I’ll feel better, I’m pretty sure, but I hope you all have your teddy bears with you–you may need them.

So, yesterday, on Mother’s Day, after I slept in and got my presents (yay!) I had a sort of depressing task to do. Most of you know my real mom does not function as an adult– too much ‘self-medication’ (via street drugs) in the ’70’s, and she can’t hold a driver’s license or a job. She stays in an adult care home, and while she has a good life, and friends, it’s not what you’d call ‘regular.’ She is, in fact, dependent on my aunts and uncle and myself for ties to the outside world. I used to be able to include my grandma and grandpa in this list, but, well… old age (which had missed them completely for a few years, like a kid shooting a squirt gun at a hot air balloon) actually kicked them in the teeth hard these last few years. Grandma is mostly blind, and grandpa is…

Well, he’s dying.

My Auntie (one of my favorite Aunties) called me up on Thursday to tell me that his living situation was now officially a hospice situation, and to suggest I might want to visit. so that’s what I did on Mother’s Day. Mate took the kids to his mom and grandma’s, and then to my dad and stepmom’s, and I made the interminable trip from Citrus Heights to downtown Sac, and back, and then back again. I picked my mom up, took her to visit her mother and then her dying father, and then took her home again. Then I came home, went to the bathroom, and drove up to Loomis to have dinner with my parents.

I was exhausted.

There was no real cure for the exhaustion– too much driving, too much emotional repression, not enough relaxation. I thought I could deal, even though waking up this morning was like swimming up through cement.

And then my third period happened. And the fiftieth time I asked this kid (a terminally charming kid who thinks that’s going to get him out of shit) to be quiet, he said, “Tell us about your Mother’s Day, Ms. Lane.”

And so I did.

And now I’m hella embarrassed about it. Because it is what it is, and I should be beyond the hysterical emo-dump by now.

I guess the thing that really got me, though, was my T-shirt. It says, “I care about this Alot,” and has a kid clutching an ‘Alot’. (An Alot is a mythical beast that occurs when people spell ‘a lot’ as one word.) Anyway, I love my T-shirt–it was a Mother’s Day gift, and I get a big kick out of it, and, well my students didn’t get it.

But my Grandpa, who can barely hear, and who doesn’t remember my last two kids and doesn’t remember how old my oldest two are, and is slowly drowning in his own lung-fluid, saw me walk in the door and his eyes fixed on my T-shirt. This is the man who taught me to play Scrabble. This is the guy who told me I was probably really bright when I was a little kid, and who let me have a little faith in myself, even if it was because I was a creative pain in the ass like my aunts and uncle. This is the guy I’ve worshipped as a war hero and a spy and a photographer and a thousand other things that I’ll probably blog about later (count on it) and he took one look at that T-shirt and split the biggest grin.

Because he totally got it.

I really shouldn’t have worn it today. In fact, I probably should have called in sick, given my classes a movie, and slept in. Live and learn, I guess. I’ll figure out what I’ve learned over the summer.

0 thoughts on “The Price of My Soul”

  1. Mary Calmes says:

    You're a good person. Period. And sometimes when you're brain is mush it helps to watch Twister and eat cookie-dough ice-cream.

  2. Chris says:


    I love that your grandpa got the Alot! How awesome is that?!

    Hmm. How about another happy Cloud Cult song? I saw them in concert a First Avenue (made infamous by the movie Purple Rain) a few years ago and lead singer Craig explained that he used "poop" in the lyrics in homage to his grandmother, for whom that was an expletive. Awww.

  3. Life happens. Alot….

  4. roxie says:

    The years pass and our anchors disappear. They would stay with us if they could. And then the scarey day comes when we discover that we have become anchors for others. I'm so sorry that your grandpa is going. You are so good to have made it possible for your mom to say goodbye. Yes, you need to write it out, and you need a quiet day alone to process. And that will happen shortly after you can snowshoe across Satan's barbecue pit, right?

    And I love the lesson for Mr. terminally charming. Be careful what you ask for. Life isn't a Hallmark card.

  5. NeedleTart says:

    *hugs* Sometimes we have to be human. I hope someone in admin had your back and reamed the kid.
    * verification word: codshand Does this mean we're all in the hands of cod?

  6. Donna Lee says:

    I love that your grandpa got it. How cool is that.

    I wish I could be there to help, to just hold onto you and remind you of how wonderful you are.

    Know that there are good thoughts out here on the east coast just for you.

  7. Galad says:

    Your t-shirt was probably the brightest spot in your grandpa's day. That and your presence were a wonderful gift 🙂

    I'm with Roxie, Mr. Terminally Charming got what he asked for and hopefully learned a lesson in the process.

    Hugs and warm thoughts beaming your way.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *