Thursday, April 24, 2014

Glimpses of Me, Uncensored

Unrestrained and Unapologetic

As an amusing change of pace from my eavesdropping stories, I thought I'd share scenes drawn from my own rather unconventional life. As you may have gleaned, I am an author of (Fun! Different! Exuberant!) erotica novels, three of which have been published and a fourth that I am currently working on. I also am a musician and a jeweler, a wife and a mother. Most recently, I have been creating digital artworks.

It is these digital works and the snippets that accompany them that I share with you today. I may even decide to make a series of this type of post. I hope you enjoy the stories and artwork as much as I have.

Glimpse Number One: Channeling my Ancestors

Channeling my Ancestors - With Yarn
Original digital artwork by Evelyn Arvey

Crocheting: it's for nerds, right? Well, I beg to differ.

I come from a long line of crocheting women. My mother crocheted. My Grandmother did too - even my Great Grandmother crocheted. I remember her coming to visit when I was small. She always had her "work bag" with her, and was always working on several projects.

Great Grandma Norton always had gifts for me, crocheted ponchos and lacy vests made of fluffy red and maroon and blue yarn. I'd model the things she made for me, and admire the fancy stitches.

"You try it," she'd say.

One day, I did. She sat me down and showed me how to hold the hook - it was metal, and slim - in my pudgy little fingers. She taught me a basic chain stitch, she helped me untangle knots. After Grandma Norton left, my mother continued teaching me. I believe my first project was a length of chain stitches that went from one end of the house to the other. My next was a lopsided granny square that I pressed into service as a carpet for my dollhouse.

Later, my mother showed me the tiny crochet hooks and the minute thread Grandma Norton had used to make intricate doilies and lace when she was younger, before her fingers were bent and arthritic. I still have (and treasure) those doilies.

Whenever I pick up a crochet hook and start a new project, I feel as if I am channeling the women who came before me.

Glimpse Number Two: April Fools

April Fools
Original digital artwork by Evelyn Arvey

My birthday falls in April. It's not on April first, but close enough for damage. I've often found myself at the receiving end of April Fools jokes, and the joke that was played on me about ten years ago was one of the best. Or one of the worst. Take your pick.

My husband is a great guy (aside from sneaking up on me at the Starbucks, as described in my last post). The week before my birthday he always takes me out to the See's Chocolates store in the mall so I can pick out two pounds of chocolates. It's enough to make me swoon, standing there at the candy counter, selecting the ones I want. Probably, it's my favorite thing on this earth - aside from eating them - so I take my time about it. I choose two of the nut ones with the dark chocolate ... four of the crunchy ones with the almonds ... three of the thin molasses ones that come in four-packs ... and on ... and on ... until the box is so full that the See's Chocolates lady in her black-and-white uniform can barely contain my bursting box as she wraps it. And then my birthday box is taken home and hidden.

You see, I am not allowed to eat the chocolates until my actual birthday. Everyone knows to stay away from Mom's chocolates. It always goes perfectly... except for once.

My husband, a known sneak, took out my poor box of See's Chocolates the day before my birthday. He oh-so-carefully unwrapped the box. He opened the box. He removed each precious chocolate and placed it in a second box.

And then he put a brick in the See's Chocolate box and re-wrapped it. And presented it to me on my birthday.

I take back what I said earlier. My husband is horrible. Despicable. And he's funnier than hell.

Glimpse Number Three: Crazy Girl

Crazy Girl
Original digital artwork by Evelyn Arvey

I turned fifty last week. Doesn't that explain it all?

Well, if you'd like the whole story, here's the rest. It starts and ends with the ocean. I've always loved the ocean. I set my last novel by the ocean. I always want to go to the ocean. "Where should we make plans for (insert holiday)?" is always answered with: "The ocean! The ocean! THE OCEAN!"

Unfortunately, through a series of events, it had been a long, long time since I'd actually been to the ocean. My husband fixed that. He made surprise reservations at an amazing hotel-with-cabins on the Washington coast, to celebrate my special birthday. "You only turn fifty once," he said, as we explored our delightful cabin - the higher-priced model, the one with the wrap-around ocean view. I fell in love with it. Crazy in love.

The first morning, I woke up early. We'd already talked about my taking a dawn walk along the shore, by myself. I was ready. I piled on layers of sweaters, and jackets, and gloves, and the super-warm Andean knit had I'd bought in Ecuador. (See? We DO go on awesome vacations!) I also packed a bag with a lap blanket, a book, a container of orange juice, a Cliff Bar, and a camera.

Quietly, so quietly, so as not to awaken him, I sneaked out of the cabin.

Oh! The joy of it. The smells, the sights, the eagle in the distance wrangling with a dead salmon on the beach (I swear). I couldn't contain myself, I was so excited. This moment had to be commemorated, so I dug in my bag until I located the camera, and then I took this selfie.

And then, I looked up. Richard was in the cabin window, grinning at me. "Have fun," he said through the window, "you only turn fifty once."

I love that man.

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