Thursday, July 22, 2010

The Key

I love finding lost keys. Doesn't matter what kind. House keys, padlock keys, desk keys, even music box keys, as long as they're lost, they call to me. And, when I find them, they tell me their stories.

All except one.

It all started the day a friend asked me to help him replace some drywall in his house. I could hear the key the moment I walked in the door. It was one of the most insistent callings I'd ever experienced, the drone so loud that I had trouble concentrating on the conversation I was trying to have. Fortunately, my friend was oblivious to both the call and my distraction. He simply handed me a hammer and pointed to a section of wall. To my immense relief, I found this to be where the noise was loudest. I struck at the wall with a ferocity that surprised both of us, but my friend simply left me to it.

Each blow widened the hole and increased the volume of the buzzing until I thought my teeth would vibrate out of my head. Then, I saw it: the faint, golden gleam of the key. I reached in, grabbing it from its hook.

Silence. I breathed a sigh and held the key, waiting for it to reveal its secrets to me, as every other lost key I'd ever found had.

It refused.

"What?" I whispered at it. "All that ruckus and now you've got nothing to say?"


I studied it. It was like no key I'd ever come across. It appeared to be pure gold and the bow was crafted of filigree so fine it seemed it would shatter at the slightest touch. The blade, on the other hand, had teeth so wickedly sharp that it appeared the key had fangs. My curiosity was piqued in a way that was entirely new to me. I squeezed the key until it bit me, but it remained stubbornly quiet. There was nothing to do except pocket it and promise myself I would unravel its mysteries at the first opportunity.

Saturday, July 17, 2010


... haven't posted in awhile. We went to the Oregon Country Fair last weekend with my Mom-in-Law and I was trying to put together something fun about it, but I just couldn't wrestle the thing into submission, which is a shame. There were some really fabulous characters out there. I think I'm okay with that, though. The way to get better at anything is to practice and the way to practice writing is to write (thank you, David Gerrold, for that insight). And sometimes you just need to let yourself write badly. Still, I do believe that the spectacle-and-a-half that is the Oregon Country Fair would make an excellent setting for a story, so I'll let it simmer on the back burner for a bit and see what bubbles up. :)

Friday, July 2, 2010


The movie "The Sword in the Stone" contains my favorite Disney villain, possibly even my favorite villain of all time: Madam Mim. Now, I'm a sucker for green eyes (see Schmendrick the Magician, Harry Potter, Cho Hakkai, my husband...) and what I wouldn't give to have hair that silvery shade of purple, but my love of Mim goes deeper than simply her physical attributes. I've found that most villains brood more than your average goth teenager, have a decidedly monochromatic wardrobe and some of them even seem like they might have been decent people at some point. But not Mim. She appears to have made the choice to be evil long ago and she revels in it. Every act of wrongdoing elicits gleeful chuckling and, while her laughter can be as maniacal as any other's, it has an undercurrent of pure joy most villains lack. Her desire to indulge in the darker arts did not stem from outside circumstances, was not cultivated to further any personal ambition, was not a result of parental love she failed to win. No. She's evil because, dang it, it's FUN! If I was a villain, I would want to be like her: extravagant in her enjoyment of evil. She's my anti-hero. She is the magnificent, marvelous, mad Madam Mim.