Monday, January 25, 2016

My Adventures on Instagram, A Follow-Up

Last month/last year, I did a post about my Instagram account and the #HolidayBookChallenge I was taking part in. If you used that opportunity to follow me, then you already know I gave up that challenge about half way through. It was very different than I expected and not really what I wanted to do with my account.

For one, to be a bookstgrammer, there is a lot more staging than I originally thought. Half way through December, exhausted from Christmas decorating, present shopping/making, and still trying to finish The Horrorphiles, I just got fed up with trying to find books in my collection to fit the overall holiday theme and to pair up with twinkle lights or hot chocolate. I really should have stopped on Day 8 when I couldn't be bother to deshelve my books to spell out "Merry Christmas". Turns out, while I love books and reading, I'm not in to creating book or shelf displays or cowing over book cover art.

What I really wanted to do by revitalizing my Instagram account was find and show beauty in everyday life. I don't live a glamorous life, I don't have a ton of gorgeous props, I don't organize my books by spine color, I don't go to a lot of picturesque places. Nor do I have the time or energy to create the illusion that I might. But I do believe the everyday is beautiful and should be captured and shared. I just want to be honest.

Blizzard #knitting progress in one day and a beautiful blue yarn that photographs drastically differently in various lighting. The Kleenex box keeps the yarn ball from rolling all over the place and collecting dog hair. #knittingneedles #yarn#amknitting #warm #keepingwarm#crafting #blizzard2016 #crafty #crafthack

#blizzard2016 yesterday and today. Nearly 24hrs of snow. #jonas#winterishere #snowedin #snow #wintery

And that's it. That was my weekend: knitting and watching the snow fall, for a grand total of 30 likes.

I'm not in it for the likes though. I'm in it for a fresh perspective, sharing beauty, making a revolution. Won't you join me?

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

NaNoWriMo 2015: Part 27

The Horrorphiles, Part 27
By Stephanie Thompson; Words: 1,874

Chapter 24, continued

“What’s today?”

“Let me get a nurse.”

“What do I need a nurse for?”

Becky reached across to press the call button very near Veronica’s hand. “They want us to get someone every time you wake up. Jordan said you were out for awhile before he left.”


There was no point in arguing since Becky had already pushed the button but also the phrase ‘brain damaged girlfriend’ kept popping into her head. She thought it sounded like a great band name but given the condition of the rest of her, she also figured it somehow pertained to her as well.

When Monica came her voice was friendly and bird like. Her wide face and box auburn face looked familiar like they met before. The first few questions she asked seemed standard and easy but it got tricky when Monica asked where they were.

“I want to say something Memorial hospital but that might be cliche. And someplace up north like. . . New Hampshire? Why the hell would I be in New Hampshire?”

Becky stifled a laugh. Monica gave her a stink eye.

“Let’s not worry about that just now, let’s get through these questions first. Okay? What’s the first thing you remember after the accident?”

She thought back to the accident, driving through the fog, aiming for the headlights that turned into a tunnel, the skeletons, failing at life, then she was just here.

“I don’t know just this? I woke up and Becky was here.” Then it was like some brain cell whirlygigged to life. “But it was a different time. I woke up, Becky was here and so was a nurse. A different nurse. She gave me water and asked a few questions.”

“Ok. Do you know when you were admitted to the hospital?”

Ahw thought a little bit longer about this one. Her mind gave her two answers that both felt right. “December, I think? December something? Or maybe October. MAybe the accident was in October and it’s December now.”
She knew she was saying it wrong because Becky’s bright red mouth was a curled down frown.

“We’ll come back to that. Do you remember your trip to the hospital? How you got here?”

“No but it must have been an ambulance. I’m pretty sure I didn’t walk in.” 
She indicated to her raised up leg in a cast. Becky stifled another laugh in her fist. Even Monica smiled a little. Ronny felt almost normal, the hospital was better than Greyson Manor, any place was.

“Ok, funny girl, What’s the last thing you remember before the accident?”

“I was at an event for an organization I run. I had to leave early but it was very foggy. . .wait no. . .” She stopped talking and closed her eyes. The accident with the fog and the headlights was a different time, she thought. That time in October. This accident was . . .

“No, I was driving on a bridge. There was ice and another car? I don’t really remember it though, I think someone told me.”

“Okay but . . . Let’s not concentrate on the accident so much. What do you remember before that? What were you doing, where you were going, stuff like that or anything you remember.”

“Well, I remember the event I organized, um a haunted weekend at Greyson Manor.”

The frown was back on Becky’s face.

“Is that not right?” Ronny asked.

“Let’s get through this final questions, sweetie, and then I promise I will explain it all. Okay?” She didn’t wait for a response. “Can you tell me what today’s date is?”

Again she thought hard, really tried to concentrate but an answer didn’t become much clearer. “I still want to say December. . . But also maybe October. And 20 something. Like the 21st or 23rd.”

“And the year.”

There was no question there. “2013. October or December 2013.”

“All right, that sounds good, Veronica. Let me just clear up a few things for you. It is December, December 23rd. Your accident was December 6th on an icy bridge, so you’re remembering that right because you have been told. You were brought by ambulance to Good Memorial hospital in Vermont, not New Hampshire.” She laughed again. “And yes, Good Memorial is cliche but that’s where we are. But . . . Ok, serious business now. Veronica, the year is 2015, not 2013. That’s the most important thing to try to remember, okay hon?”

“So I do have brain damage.”

It wasn’t a question just an out loud statement or her realization- she was the brain-damaged girlfriend.

“Veronica, you were in a very serious car accident. You have a lot of injuries, including head trauma. You comatose for a week and then you were in and out of consciousness for another week. Memory loss is very common with your type of injuries, but you’re getting better everyday, okay?”

“Yeah, I guess,” she said, even if it was’t a real question.

“I’ll have a doctor come in tomorrow morning and he can give you more details about your injuries ad what you can expect. Would that make you feel better?”

“Yeah, it would if I remember,” she said in case it had already happened more than once.

“Okay, well, you two try not to stay up too late. I’ll check in on you a little late but I’ll get out of your hair for now.”

“Thanks, Monica,” Ronny said.

Becky had a strange look on her face. One that Roy wasn’t use to seeing.

“What?” she said.

“It’s just that. . . Jordan made it sound like you were hysterical when he was here, earlier. . . Last time you woke up.”

She shrugged I her mind but decided not to move physically to avoid the pain.

“Maybe I’m getting use to it, even if I don’t remember it.”
She thought maybe she might actually remember talking to Jordan but then that emmory cell (brain?) went out like an broken Christmas bulb.

“Maybe,” she said without conviction.

Whatever the reason was, she didn’t feel hysterical now. She could see the clock and the white board with the date on it and for some reason that was comforting enough. 

“Then again,,” she said. “Maybe your campany’s just more calming”
Becky had no trouble shrugging. “He’s always been a bit of a drama king, hasn’t he?”

They both laughed.

“So, how was the past two years,” she said light-hearted. “How are The Horrorphiles running? Is it a store yet?”

Becky’s expression changed. “The horrorphiles? That thing we did in college?”

“Um, well yeah, and my fan site I’ve been running ever since.”

“I mean . . . You own the domain name and all but I don’t think you’ve updated it in years.”

“Longer than two years?”

“Weel, yeah . . . Probably since college.”

“No way. There’s no way that’s possible. I remember thee meet-ups, the live chats. The first annual halloween haunted weekend.”

“None of those things happened, Ronny.”

“I don’t understand. I remember them happening. I’m there was the time we got thrown out of The Grin on 18th street because you and Dan almost came to blows to Panera on (a place) or when after Jordan broke up with me we went to that Mexican place, slammed margaritas until I was so drunk I kissed Kurt outside the bathrooms. Not to mention the whole haunted weekend I coordinated and ran at Greyson Manor.””

“I don’t know what to tell you but you haven’t done any of that. We haven’t done it. I don’t know who Kurt is, I haven’t with Dan since (some class) in (some year) and I don’t remember a Greyson Manor.”

“Then what have I been doing? What do I do all day? What’s my life like?”
Becky didn’t answer right away. She just looked at her with a furrowed brow like Ronny was suddenly going to say “Just Kidding and lol and everything would be normal again. But she wasn’t kidding. Running Horrorphiles ever wanted to do.was what she remembered doing. It was all she’d ever wanted to do. What else would she do with her life?

“I’m going to speak to the nurse, I think we need to see the doctor now.”
“I don’t need a doctor, he can’t tell me what I do on a day to day basis. He doesn’t know what I’ve been doing or when my memory is right or wrong. Only you know that, Becky.”

She bit her lip like she wasn’t sure what would be best or she was about to tell a lie.

“I will still be brain damaged in the morning. If you think I’ll forget it again, you can even write a note saying I lost all my marbles. I’d just really like to what my life is like here.”

Becky released her lip and shrugged again like she was never worried at all. 

“Well, you’ve got the trust, Ronny. You stay up late, sleep in late, and then do whatever you feel like doing with rest of the day. Sometimes you’ll really get into something like last year you wanted to find the scariest haunted house so you did all this research and travelling in September and October visiting a bunch of places. Only haunted house, mind you, not haunted forests or haunted mazes…just haunted houses.”

Ronny thought for a moment as if Becky’d said something really long and complex like some SAT word problem she was trying to solve.

“So, I do nothing? I don’t do anything. At all?” She’d turned the phrase around as if changing the words would change the reality.

“After the haunted houses you got into actual haunted places. B&B’s, prisons, hospitals, museums. That’s what we’re doing in freakin’ Vermont. Coming up here for another haunted inn tour or ghost walk type of thing.”

“But most of the time I do nothing? In my apartment? Like a hermit?” She still couldn’t get a grasp on it.

Becky shrugged. “It was like after college, you stopped trying. Without Aunt Wanda…” she shrugged yet again. “You had no inspiration.”

It wasn’t that Ronny couldn’t understand. In fact it made  a lot of sense actually. If it weren’t for the horrorphiles, she could very easily see herself being exactly like that. Some kind of rich eccentric recluse. A layabout watching horror movies every hour God sent. What she couldn’t wrap her head around was that she didn’t have the horrorphiles and yet she had complete and total recall of creation and building of it. Clearer than she could remember the date, more than she remembered any part of the last two years. She remembered the meetings, the blog, the posts and movie reviews. She remembered researching and taking classes and seminars on driving blog traffic and designing websites. She remembered every detail of putting together the entire Greyson Manor weekend. Making arrangements for the panel guests, booking the band, making the payments. She remembered every minute of it, so how was she suppose to believe it wasn’t real?

“Are you okay, Ronny? Should I get the nurse?”

“No, I’m fine. Just . .. Just tell me what you’ve been doing all this time…” She didn’t even know what period time she should be asking about but it also didn’t
matter because she had no intention to listen.

Continue to Part 28

Thanks for Reading!