Saturday, November 28, 2009

So, I Wrote a Novel.

The month long craziness finally came to an end, and with 5 days to spare too, on Wednesday November 25, 2009 just moments before the clock stuck midnight, I had successfully written 50,000 words thus becoming a winner of nanowrimo. I can look back on the experience and wipe my brow and tell you it was cake, and sometimes it was, sometimes I was in a zone so fueled with creative inspiration that I would look up and realize I missed my stop and the bus I was on was carrying me farther than where I planned on going, and like this novel I have traveled above and beyond that which I thought I was capable. Yet other times it wasn't so easy, other times I was staring at a blank screen and a blinking cursor cursing myself for undertaking a seemingly impossible feat, but I kept my head down and my fingers typing and I came out on the end side with a novel. It's not a great novel, it's not even a finished one, but it's a start. I'm drained and excited and proud of myself and I guess that's the whole point of nanowrimo, self satisfaction, a frenzy of words and idea, a testament of will, and a great jumping off point to start the second draft. That being said, I need to hang up my writer's cap, take a little break and do the things that I was unable to as I raced to the finish line, like read my book, hang out with people, and most importantly sleep.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Interest in Love.

I can only suspect my father's giddiness at my mother's new found interest because that meant he could indulge and enjoy his own interest without the questioning eye of my mother. Now he was able to share them with her which brings us to Comicon, short for comic convention, a weekend long event held all over the country, actually all over the world, celebrating artist and writers and comic and merchandise and anything and everything in between related to comics, included in the everything was a costume contest which yes if you're thinking it, you are absolutely right, my parents in all their twenty something awesomeness donned costumes the following year, entered a contest and got second place.

Years later my parents would show me a faded colored picture of themselves standing on the stage being presented with their second place sash, my dad looking proud and a little sheepish and my mom beaming with excitement tail in hand, and yes explanation of the tail is coming, but first I want to say that I saved this particular photo and downloaded it into my cranial hard drive for a number of reasons, but mainly because this photo captured in my mother's eyes a change that I would continue to see in pictures from then on; on occasion I have attributed this look to the picture quality or the excitement of the moment or the angle in which the photo was taken, yeah they had to manually take photos and then have then developed, crazy, I know, but no matter what the reason, I keep coming back to my own hypothesis that it was this moment that my mother knew she was going to marry my father or at least be with him for the rest of her life, perhaps it was the fact that they were sharing a very public moment together for the first time and in some ways it reminded my mother of a wedding ceremony but whatever the reason, from then on, there was a glimmer in my mother's eyes that said to anyone who took the time to notice, that she had found the love of her life.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Watch Me.

Eventually my mother came around and lucky for me she did or else I wouldn't be here to tell you this story. Anyways, back to my father, the type of guy who didn't give a damn about about what people thought about him or so he led everyone to believe, that's what my mother thought until she got to know him, see my father didn't give off the air of someone who thought he was better than everyone else and thus didn't care what everyone thought, on the contrary, he was extremely self conscious and what people mistook for aloofness was actually insecurity and self doubt coupled with patience and objectivity.

Thanks piterart!

He was naturally rational and perceived the world around him in a very analytical way, to my father, emotions and feeling a certain way didn't play a significant role in the outcome of a situation, rather logical and reason were the deciding factors.

So it didn't matter that he was a twenty something reading his comic books, or should I say graphic novels on the bus, but if you paid attention every once on awhile you will see a grown up kid at heart pulling out the latest edition of a graphic novel series from his (or her) bag on the bus and assume the position of the child they were many moon ago enjoying the fantasy of a marriage between pictures and words on the way to school. My mother scoffed at my father for wasting all his money on comics until one day she after the steadfast insistence of my father, my mother picked up and read, her very first comic book, The Watchmen.

Thanks mediamolecule!

The Watchmen written by the epic writer Alan Moore, was probably a good pick for my mother to start with because with that particular book she saw how capivating and well written a comic book could be and upon finishing it she wanted more, and just like that my mother the skeptic became a comic book fan.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

First Sight.

I was telling you about my father the quiet genius who I guess now that I look back on it was ultimately responsible for the crazy names that would be the legacy of my family. He made his way into the adult world not giving a care to what anyone thought about him, reading comic books on the bus, picking his nose at his desk, riding his bike in 30 degree weather, well I guess that ones a little crazy but he knew what he liked and indulged his interests because it made him happy. It was the same way with my mother, he knew from day one that he liked her. It wasn't a love at first sight thing, it wasn't even lust at first sight, it was simply like at first sight and my father was the type of person for whom a like could turn into a life long love. I suspect he saw her around briefly, in passing, but the first time he noticed her was a

Thanks Looney 1!

winter day typical of the pacific northwest climate, my mother was sitting cross legged on a twin bed in her friend's dorm room. My mother and her friend Yanni were studying or so they said, later I would found out they were eating Stoffer's lasagna and Tim's jalapeno chips lamenting how school sucks, pining for the weekend, wondering if Paula would have another party, while playing an animated computer game called Booty Call in which the main objective was to get Jake laid, (trust me I had a hard time hearing that this was the kind of activity my mother engaged in). Yanni progressing through the game, occasionally asking if Jake, should go to the jacuzzi or stay in the house and go upstairs, when there was a knock at her door. It was my father looking like the 18 year old punk that he was asking for a cigarette and also if Yanni could introduce him to her friend sitting on the bed. Yanni tossed him a cigarette and told him to get lost. My mother and Yanni were mean to my father back then, not really mean they just held him at arms length not yet sure that he was worthy to be friends with them. It wasn't like they were being elitist and thought people were lucky to be there friend, it was just that they were meeting so many new people that they couldn't be friends with all of them, they couldn't extend themselves to all of them, they had to test drive so to speak these friendships to see it fit.

Thanks PJM!

Yanni and my mother were a package deal in college, you couldn't get one without the other, so I guess it worked in my mothers favor that Yanni also decided my father was cool enough to be friends with them because that was just the first of many attempts my father would make at asking Yanni to help him get my mother to fall in love with him.

Saturday, November 21, 2009


Since then my mother learned how to be pushy without actually touching anyone but rather than it being a quality that was revered, it sometimes has the effect of being off putting and annoying, but at least she wasn't pushing people down hills anymore. So here was a fictional television character that my mother looked up to and thought about dressing up as for Halloween but was unable to pull off, although she did tell me that Starbuck didn't have a distinct enough look to do a costume, yet she showed me a picture of her Internet friend who was successful in mimicking this character. All the way on the other side of the world, a girl in Australia was donning the perfect kick ass Starbuck gear for a costume contest at Comicon. Comicon? you ask, well to tell you about Comicon I need to tell you about my father, he was the one that sparked these scifi show watching, comic book reading interest in my mother. I guess it added to my mothers interest that at around the time my father was planting these seeds in my mothers head, she met someone that would be her friend for the rest of her life and he too liked comic books and Battlestar too. His name was Fernando, Uncle Ferd as I would call him, but his story comes later

Tuesday, November 17, 2009


I would like to say that I dutifully assumed my role as the eldest child and was very responsible and helped my parents out as much as I could and strayed away from devious, experimental, rebellious teenage behavior

Thanks PrAsanGaM

and I tried to impress upon the younger children to do the same and for the most part it worked. Kara and Lee, the twins who were two years younger than me held me in such high regard, they looked up and idolized me even wanting to be me. I'm not trying to flatter myself here, I see all those skeptics rolling their eyes thinking 'yeah, right' but I swear to you it's true. Kara and Lee were also named after characters in Battlestar Galactica, they were fighter pilots in Galactica's fleet and had cool nicknames. Kara also known as Starbuck and Lee was also known as Apollo (thank goodness, the twins didn't end up with those nicknames as real names, my youngest brother, wasn't so luck though, his name is Number Seven, no really it is). Starbuck was a real bad ass and I sometimes think my mother wanted to be her, like have that no nonsense approach to everything and be able to stand up physically and mentally to any man in this world and have the confidence to actually try to take a man down in a fist fight. My mother liked to think she could do what Starbuck did but she wasn't into violence and causing physical harm to others. I think she got that out of her system when she was in the sixth grade and accidentally pushed her friend down a hill and had to go to the principal's office. Her friends thought it was fun to pretend fight with each other and would push each other around and sometimes throw in a slap or grab a fistful of hair and then when things got right to the tipping point where someone could get hurt they would retreat, comb through their hair with their fingers, smooth out their clothes, give each other a sheepish smile and got back to gossiping about boys. But one sunny afternoon, my mother, an awkward, lanky girl of 12 didn't know when enough was enough and when her fighting partner was trying to pull away, my mother kept pushing and pushing and pushing until there was no where else to push and with one final shove, her friend went tumbling down the hill.

Thanks raphael gerber!

My mother never physically pushed anyone after that day when she sat with her head hung low as her father a big physically imposing man standing at six foot four inches walked into the principals office and with his huge pigskin throwing hands took my mother's petite piano playing fingers and led her to the parking lot and drove her home disappointment reeking from his silence.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Balancing Act.

Being their very first pet, the very first thing other then themselves that they had to take care of, my parent's had yet to learn the fine balance of tough love which is like walking a tight rope, lean even just a little to one side and you'll fall and you'll fail and you'll lose whatever upper hand you had and back then neither of my parents had very good "balance" so to speak although it was one skill that my father liked to boast about having, so instead of giving her a firm no when she walked on the kitchen counters they tiptoed around GB and sometimes said no and sometimes said nothing at all and most always ended up with fur in their food. My mother dismissed it saying Gaius Baltar was her little baby and could do no wrong and my dad, well my dad the eternal moderate never wanting to cause conflict, never wanting to confront anything, always wanting to have peace hung out in the gray area and let Gaius Baltar do whatever she wanted.

I have to take a moment to digress and say that that was my parents then raising their first cat, they learned a little more about balancing with they're second cat, Serenity, and a little more with their third, Boomer so by the time they finally had children my mother's real little baby, me, could do lots of wrong but because she loved me so much she wasn't about to tiptoe around me, she would set me straight so I wouldn't turn out as bratty as GB and because of her, I would grow up to have a very clear sense about right and wrong, I would learn later that, like my father, sometimes taking the middle ground is the best way to go.

As for my father, as being a father he continued to keep a level head and didn't say much but when he did, he spoke words of wisdom that would stay with me for life so it became that I had the freedom to do what I wanted but I knew my limits because I didn't want to disappoint my parents, and what more can parents ask for? But more than that my parents deserved well behaved children I mean they were in their sixties after all when they had us and then in their seventies when we were all going through those angst filled teen years. Man that must have been the worst!

Sunday, November 15, 2009

The BSG Legacy.

Now that you know my mother, I'll get back to telling you about my parents, ah my ancient parents and their quirky naming, you gotta love them. I guess if you knew them, which I'm sure almost none of you do, it would make sense. They named their first cat Gaius Baltar, after another character on Battlestar Galactica, Caprica was on that show too, it wasn't a character but the name of a planet. See Battlestar Galactica was set in the future and Caprica was one of the planets which got obliterated by the Cylons.

Thanks ronallan!

Cylons were these robots that humans created to do stuff for them only the Cylons got smart, evolved, began to think like and even look like humans and attacked their creators! Wow! What a storyline! I apologize for the sarcasm but really television and broadcasting so 2050! The idea of sitting in front of a box for about an hour watching a scripted show then waiting a week or more to see the next episode is absurd to me. Who has time for fictional television today when you can live it? And I actually did once, I mean my family was so heavily influenced by this show that I had to see what all the fuss was about, (did I mention that my Uncle Tower, that's right Tower, his story will come, I promise, named a cat that wasn't even his, but he fed occasionally, Cylon and wrote home about it and sent pictures?) so I put on my Dream Fold one night and lived on a Battlestar and piloted fighter jets called Vipers and, meh, so so, I'll tell you more about that later. Anyway, Gaius Baltar, was the first of many scifi named cats my parents had and trust me there were lots of them and you know it was all my mother's doing, my dad never knew he liked cats until he met my mother, in fact, if it wasn't for him, she would probably have ended up as that crazy cat lady living alone with her 50 cats, yelling at neighborhood kids and generally making a nuisance of herself and her cats, but alas, my father's appearance in her life saved her from that end and instead she became the sometimes crazy, always with lots of cats lady, but because she lived with my father it was somehow okay that they had a lot of cats; not 50, but I think at one point they had eight. They named their second cat Serenity after the spaceship in a show called Fire Fly. They thought that the name would somehow ooze into the cat making her calm, see Gaius Baltar, or GB

Thanks @omgconor!

as they sometimes called her was either naturally agitated or her behavior was the result of being spoiled. She was constantly biting people when they tried to pet her completely unprovoked, she would look so calm and peaceful sleeping but try to touch her and claws were digging into your skin and sharp teeth were bearing down on your hand! This isn't an exaggeration, but its not as bad as it sounds either from what I heard about Gaius she was simply overzealous and extremely playful.

Saturday, November 14, 2009


A marriage of all these factors, the inception of a new political and economic climate, the warm, sunny, unique culture of the Hawaiian Islands, and a name like Steely would shape my mother into the semi adjusted to normalcy person that she turned out to be. Steely Tomskin defied all the the things that tried to define her while she was growing up, so instead of being one of the money hungry, self entitled people that so many of her generation turned out to be, my mother was frugal and conscious of fully deserving the things that she had, expecting if anything to work hard and maybe even suffer a little if it meant that in the end she was be crowned with the fruits of her labor and know that she earned it. And in protest of the welcoming smiles and warmth of the Aloha spirit in which she was raised, Steely was a cold and very standoffish person for which acceptance into her graces were often met with resistance and skepticism but once this barrier was breached, the Steely that only a few were lucky to know, and the one that I desperately wish I knew, was one who exhibited considerable kindest and trust and true and loyal friendship. The one thing that she couldn't shake as a trait handed down through the generations was naming her offspring after something, because just like her parents, she was known for naming children and pets alike uniquely as the individual they grew to be, and what else could you expect from someone named Steely.

Thursday, November 12, 2009


Steely Tomskin was only made aware of this fact, not because she went seeking out it out, but because she a little different and despite her multicultural heritage, her majority Asian and Polynesian backgrounds weren't enough to combat her light green eyes and pale skin and Caucasian last name, so she was always thought of and referred to as haole, meaning foreigner in the Hawaiian language but the definition of the word became convoluted to refer only to people of Caucasian decent, especially those from the mainland or continental united states, and not unusually had derogatory undertones.

Thanks Stephen Poff!

That coupled with a name like Steely, (my mom was named after a jazz rock band, Steely Dan, who's popularity peaked in the late 1970's, right around the time my grandparents were getting high and rocking out to Steely Dan's euphoric and eccentric lyrics declaring to each other that they would promise the band's name to their first child),

Thanks Dimi the Geek!

provided for not the best childhood for my mother and I can only imagine why she sought desperately to leave that place behind, although she would later learn that she had a hard time blending in with Caucasian Americans who lived in the continental united states, because they knew that even though she looked like them, once she opened her mouth they knew she was far from being one of them.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009


The Hawaii that you and I know today, the epitome of relaxation and harmony, the true definition of paradise,

Thanks beautifual cataya!

isn't the same Hawaii my mother knew as a child although at the time, the official tourism website for the Islands thought that Hawaii done the impossible by achieving an almost Utopian state because along with sandy beaches and sunny skies they promoted 'a warmth of hospitality and generosity from everyone you meet' as an example of their culture in which different ethnicities melted together and lived side by side in blissful peace and invited you to share in this unique experience.

Thanks merwing little dear!

But as Steely Tomskin would find out, things were not always as picturesque as they made it seem especially not when you lived there day in and day out because, as my mother would experience first hand, for all the idealistic harmony that Hawaii seemed to offer, there were deep seeded scars from hatred and racism and unfounded biases that were handed down from generation to generation that years and years later, no one knew exactly why they hated or where they hate come from but knew that hate existed and hung onto it and wore it as a badge because it was in their blood and so as it was, Hawaii wasn't so different as any other place in the country, but the State Department of Tourism didn't want to know that, so they swept it under the rug and hoped no one took a peek at the dirty little secret they tried to so desperately hid.

Monday, November 9, 2009


My mother was born during a turning point in American History. The country had just elected Ronald Regan as their president and unbeknownst to the people, this collective decision would lead to deficits in not only the national debt but in the moral capacity of people as the seeds of greed and capitalism were planted and nurtured and thus

Thanks Lillou_Merlin!

ingrained into a society that would continue to perpetuate this philosophy until they would suffer the consequences of their excessive ways 27 years later, some years after President Regan was laid to rest. Yet the unrest that he initiated during his presidency would continue to disrupt and perturb the lives of the American people for a considerably longer time. But during his inaugural, Regan boasted that in light of the "present crisis, government is not the solution to our problems; government is the problem," and from the height of his seat on his white horse, he rode into the White House to save the day. His solution to government was to turn the governing branches into a well greased cog in the the machine of a well run business and as the CEO of this company he took a tough stand on unions which resulted in increased productivity but meant wages for blue collar working people remained stagnant which greatly increased the gap between the haves and the have not's

Thanks Nugmeg 66!

and this would continue through his presidency so the rich got obscenely rich and everyone else worked twice as hard and wondered what it was all worth because at the end of the day, they barely had anything to show for their work. And in this hard working class is where my mother, Steely Tomskin, found herself growing up on an island in the Pacific Ocean, you may have heard of it, called Oahu, Hawaii.

Friday, November 6, 2009

Pick One.

Anyways, like I was saying my mother was always late because she could never make a decision and so she waited until the last possible second to make a choice before her time was up. This probably had something to do with her strong belief that we make our own destinies because she never wanted to make the wrong decision for fear of living with the consequences. I am like my mother in a lot of ways but I've also learned how to not be like her too, because when given a choice I don't drag my feet or ho and hum, I weigh my options, make a list, (list making something else I got from my mother) and pick the best option in a reasonable time frame, reason-ability that I got from my father, but I'll tell you his story later.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009


This was typical of my mother now that I think about it, she was always late to do everything, she was late to start her career, late to get married which by the way, was one of the things she vowed never to do, along with having children and may I add I have three younger brothers! She was late to start college, late to pick an extra curricular activity in high school, which is not to say she wasn't involved, because she was, it just wasn't doing things she wanted to do (but that's a whole another story which I'll tell you later). She was even late getting her period, don't ask me how I know that, it's just another example of how lateness was inherent in my mother, which isn't to say that my mother didn't have a say in what happened to her and used her perpetual lateness as an excuse because she was the type of person to accept full responsibility for the outcome of her life. And I wouldn't expect anything less from my mother because of her, I am a very firm believer in free will and personal responsibility, don't give me any of that destiny, things happen for a reason crap! We make things happen. Period. Sorry, where was I?! You'll have to get used to those tangential outburst, I get minorly passionate about things sometimes and I just have to say something.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009


And so the novel begins...

They named me Caprica, and no my name is not influence by Greek mythology although I wish it was because that would have been a lot better than what I was actually name after: a television sequel to Battlestar Galactica, a sci-fi show that was popular among a subset of the population in the late 2000's, which was actually a remake of a less successful version of the show that aired almost 20 years before, ancient right? I know, I know, but these are my parents we're talking about so what do you expect? And if you know me, which I'm sure some of you do, you will know that my parents were close to ancient when they had me. I guess you could say that in that way I am lucky to be alive and my parents were equally as lucky to be living during the advent of modern medicine, and I say advent because if they knew what medicine is capable of today, how it shames cloning and stem cells and all the Mickey Mouse stuff they did back then, they would know that in vitro fertilization and having a healthy baby at 65 wasn't so amazing at all. But like I said this was a long time ago and back then 65 was the new 45 and everyone waited til they were 45 to have babies, so instead of being a fantasy in my mother's late to start ticking biological day dreams, I became a real live human being!

The Madness Begins.

I'm doing something crazy this month. I'm trying to write a novel, a 50,000 word novel by November 30th. Maybe some of you heard of it NaNoWriMo?? I'm doing this completely blind, I have no outline, no character sketches, no planned story lines, no plot ideas, I'm basically making it up as I go along and doing most of it on my iPhone during my commute. Thus far, it's a pretty interesting experience and it's only day three!

To my loyal readers, I thank you, as always, for reading my blog because I know it takes time to get invested in a story, and once again, who's inceptions was the brain child of the Fabulous Margarita aka FabBrunette during a 20sb blog swap we did back in July, (who may I add, is also taking on the NaNoWriMo challenge) will once again be put on hold as I attempt the (im)possible of writing a novel in a month.

I will post my story here if anyone is interested. Thanks for reading.