Pakheme: When the Spirit Feels Itself

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I’m doing NaNoWriMo–but you knew that already. What you may not have known is that I’m kicking ass! But all this butt-kicking has my foot tired and I’m lagging behind, as writers are known to do.

Pakheme of the Lifelands

Young Pakheme

Writing gets slow after a while when you do it in a straightforward fashion, so I decided to break the mold a bit with one of my characters. You’ll know Pakheme from another short,  but this time we get to see him reminisce.

While this may or may not find a place in the story by the time it’s complete, this bit of productivity really helped me understand who Pakheme was before he became who he is today. So, without further ado:

When the Spirit Feels Itself

Father wasn’t happy at first, yelling at me to stop running through the crops, but if he wanted to stop me, he would have to catch me. He would have to play.

I loved the feel of the twilight breeze of the wind that rolled down from the hills, cooling me as I ran against it, my little feet making marks between the rows but not once stepping where a seedling would sprout into a gourd, a fruit, or some other green I didn’t know. I turned to watch Father shout angrily as he always had, but he was not where I last left him. A surge of panic crept into my chest, but then I turned and saw him a small distance toward my left, where he ran on his toes trying to catch up to me and bring as little damage to the crops as I. With his big feet like planks of wood, I’m sure he damaged some.

I could see my fat cheeks through the peripherals of my sight, blurring in tears from the slice of the wind or my own joy. And over the wind rushing past my ears I could hear the sound of my own laughter.

That might have been the first time I experienced me. Felt me. Knew me as me. Not recognizing myself as Pakheme when I was called, or seeing myself in Mother’s moonglass when she was away and I went exploring in her room, but truly feeling my spirit with my spirit. Which begs the question I would use in my university acceptance petition a decade later: Can the Spirit Feel Itself? An Inquiry into the Sensational Sensing the Sensational with Sensational Senses.

I must have lost myself, for I only recognized that Father had caught me when he spun me high into the air with his hands beneath my underarms, telling me what a crafty and mischievous child I was. As I remained laughing, he complained about my dirty feet and how the leopards were going to gnaw them off if I went to bed without first having cleaned them. Then I told them I’d gnaw their feet off right back.

As the memory fades, I think I recall Father promising that if the harvest was good, he would get a tutor to teach me foreign letters.

NaNoWriMo Prep

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Fiction / Lifelands


So I’ve been preparing for NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) as though it were Christmas.

Why? Because I’ve decided that if I could bang a legitimate full first draft out of it, I will apply to MFA programs and polish it until it becomes the work I see inside of my head. I will have something to show the program.

Of course, even if I fail to hit the 50,000 word mark by the end of November, I’ll still apply. I’ll just have to finish the draft afterward. C’est la vie.

At any rate, I’m in the planning stages and I’ve just created visuals for a bunch of characters so I could have faces to imagine while I’m writing. I thought I’d share some of what I’ve got. Read More

Paleo Plate: It’s A Non-Commital Thing

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Not sure if I believe in all the Paleo diet stuff, but I am trying to eat less processed foods. So far it seems as though the Paleo “genre” has the simplest recipes.

I guess that should be obvious, given its supposed to imitate “living off the land” as our ancestors (like, in the Walks With Mammoths age) probably didn’t have a Kroger nearby. Meats, fruits, nuts, veggies, tubers—all that pre-agriculture jazz. Also, apparently, pre-cow nipple squeezing.

Turns out cave peoples’ fingers weren’t nimble enough to get the nips. And that they’d rather have just bludgeoned the cow.

once you kill a cow you gotta make a burger

Did our Paleo ancestors teach Gaga to slay so hard, or…?

As I said, I wouldn’t consider myself a Paleo person, so I don’t think I’ll be doing away with everything that came after agriculture. However, I DO want to be in and out of the kitchen ASAP with as little processed food as possible. (Turns out it’s piles and piles sugar that gives processed foods their tastiness. They also give, when consumed at the rate North Americans typically do, a number of illnesses and are linked with the very obesity the nation is supposedly “at war with.”)

I’d prefer a life less sweetened with sugar, and more with love and experiences—even if I have to cut out most of what makes Halloween Halloween.

There’s one meal I’m really looking forward to making:

Ground Beef with Onions and Red Bell Peppers

Ingredients: Ground Beef, Coconut Oil, Onions, Salt, Pepper and Red Bell Pepper.


  1. Slice onions.
  2. Put coconut oil on pan, turn up the heat, then add the onions.
  3. Add the ground beef to the pan.
  4. Add some salt and pepper to taste, then fry until ready.
  5. Consider serving with a sliced red bell pepper.

This recipe, and others, can be found here.

And to close it all up, here’s a list of Paleo folks’ dietary lists. As I said, I couldn’t see myself going full Paleo, but I love the lineup they’ve got going on here. Maybe it’s right for you?

  • Meats: Beef, lamb, chicken, turkey, pork and others.
  • Fish and Seafood: Salmon, trout, haddock, shrimp, shellfish, etc. Choose wild-caught if you can.
  • Eggs: Choose free-range, pastured or Omega-3 enriched eggs.
  • Vegetables: Broccoli, kale, peppers, onions, carrots, tomatoes, etc.
  • Fruits: Apples, bananas, oranges, pears, avocados, strawberries, blueberries and more.
  • Tubers: Potatoes, sweet potatoes, yams, turnips, etc.
  • Nuts and Seeds: Almonds, macadamia nuts, walnuts, hazelnuts, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds and more.
  • Healthy Fats and Oils: Lard, tallow, coconut oil, olive oil, avocado oil and others.
  • Salt and Spices: Sea salt, himalayan salt, garlic, turmeric, rosemary, etc.


Eartha Kitt on Life

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The river is constantly turning and bending and you never know where it’s going to go and where you’ll wind up. Following the bend in the river and staying on your own path means that you are on the right track. Don’t let anyone deter you from that.

Eartha Kitt