“She is ball of energy. She is fire. Holding her back will leave your hands burned.” (Fire I.)

There are three aspects of fire: The smoke. The flame. The ash.

And they’re all powerfully magickal.

It’s been a hot minute since I’ve gotten down to taking selfies, and since I usually do a selfie photo-shoot sometime in October with respect to Halloween season, I decided that yesterday was the day. Last night, rather. I took these pics at around 8:30pm, sitting at my desk and doing what I do. Being myself. Over the last year I’ve healed and grown and journeyed my way into my potential, sliding consciously into the reality in my blood, and I discovered that it’s fire… and that it was fire all along. I just needed rekindling. I’m sure that my fiery Aries moon helped a lot. It was a culmination of realizations earlier this month that brought me here.

Speaking of Aries moon, did you see the incredible Aries full moon that rose last week? I still intend to resume writing lunar event posts. I’ll likely get back to it in January. New year, fresh start.

[23 Oct 2021]
[23 Oct 2021]
Selfie-ing for the first time in a while. [23 October 2021]

I’m never going to get better at this. My selfie photo-shoots are time-consuming because I take 5,000 pics in order to give myself a better chance at finding ones that please me, and then I take those and re-size them, and that’s it; after all this time, I still refuse to learn how to do things in photoshop (I don’t even have photoshop), and I don’t use filters. I will, however, sometimes set a lamp in front of my face, as I did in some of these pics. I find that I can’t really alter my expression while I’m taking pics. It is what it is. (Props to Instagram people who know how to do things and do them so well that it becomes their main source of income!)

At some point, I stopped “posing” and just took pics unselfconsciously, freezing still in my casual activity for the second I’d want to snap a pic.

Intentions. [23 Oct 2021]

I pushed away from the desk. I sang a song, as I do.

Raising energy. [23 Oct 2021]
The flame. [23 Oct 2021]
The smoke. [23 Oct 2021]

Blessings to you all, my friends.


Short Horror October will resume with my next post. Apologies for the lack of a horror short this weekend. This will give you a chance to catch up, though, for any of you follow and fell behind.

Selfie-centered post.

For this post, I’m blaming the Facebook “post a pic of you and your spouse every day for seven days and tag two of your friends to do the same” meme. I was tagged for it and thought it would be fun, so I ransacked my flash drives in search of pics of Callaghan and me over the last six years.

(On June 14, we celebrated six years together and five years married, but we didn’t mention it on FB this year… so if we’re FB friends and you’re wondering whether you missed it, no, you did not.)

Among the plethora of pics I found was my first attempt at a selfie taken in the mirror, the most common type of selfie I see and the type I still can’t manage to take.

I remember this first attempt. We were living in this apartment building in Nice where Callaghan was undertaking renovation work for an extended period of time (the pic was taken in one of the apartments); I had this camera that was an actual camera, and I was frustrated to the point of sweating in my effort to get this ridiculous selfie:


August 29, 2012, Nice (France)

August 29, 2012, Nice (France)


My mirror selfie game hasn’t improved one bit since then. Here’s the latest one, taken in March this year:


March 21, 2016, Tempe (Arizona, U.S.)

March 21, 2016, Tempe (Arizona, U.S.)


Other people take awesome, effortless mirror selfies. You can see exactly what they want you to see without the camera being in the way. I have no idea how they do it.

I fished out the remaining four of the six mirror selfies I’ve taken in my life:



July 20, 2014, Tempe (Arizona, U.S.)



May 24, 2015, Tempe (Arizona, U.S.)


June 4, 2015, Tempe (Arizona, U.S.)

June 4, 2015, Tempe (Arizona, U.S.)


October 15, 2015, Tempe (Arizona, U.S.)

October 15, 2015, Tempe (Arizona, U.S.)


See? I looked pissed off in every single one. Or frustrated, at least. The tank top one was sad and frustrated because I was trying to show the Ronnie James in memoriam paw print tattoo I’d just had done on my wrist. It was 10 days after he died.

Honestly, I don’t know how these kinds of selfies work. It’s an art form notably perfected by gym selfie people and Outfit Of The Day people. It’s a genre of contemporary photography that I’m content to admire as an onlooker, because I have no aptitude for capturing my image in the mirror without looking like I’m having a miserable time ranging from “I’m coming for you mo-f*cker” to “WTF am I even doing right now.”


Speaking of Outfit Of The Day, I have a story for you about how I found Callaghan on the back patio in his underwear the other day, but I’ll save that for another time.

The adventures of a pug (nightshirt).

Last week was eventful in my little world.

I have this nightshirt that I love. It’s a loose white t-shirt, thin, soft, and comfortably cool in hot weather. Functionally, it’s great for summer, but it’s designed around a Christmas theme, which doesn’t make sense in the northern hemisphere.

Callaghan hates the nightshirt… not because of its Christmas theme, but because of its overall unfortunate look. I can see where he’s coming from. The shirt features the face of a pug. The masterminds behind the nightshirt made the pug look unsightly with a “so ugly it’s cute” kind of intention. The pug is wearing a festive red Santa hat, which is how you know it’s a Christmas nightshirt (for someone in Australia, that is, since it’s thin, cool, and ideal in hot weather). There are gold Christmas lights in the background, and below the pug’s portrait, it says #SELFIE in glittery gold paint. The pug is grimacing, presumably because he’s smiling for his picture.

Hilarious, right? Pugs are adorable. A pug in a Santa hat taking a selfie at Christmas is adorable. Pugs were in vogue when I bought the nightshirt, and the word “selfie” had probably just been invented, and it was December, so all three of those things on a summery nightshirt had to be a triple win.

Callaghan maintains that it’s the ugliest and most ridiculous nightshirt in the history of nightshirts.

Really, I can’t blame him. I don’t know how much I’d appreciate getting into bed with a lover wearing that shirt, either. Its pug portrait fails to make sense. It attempts to convey a message, but the message doesn’t match the picture. It strives for an aesthetic, but it doesn’t achieve it. It’s trying to be hip, but the pug isn’t holding a PBR. Overreaching for novelty, the nightshirt’s very ambitions, however admirable, are its downfall. The nightshirt is having an identity crisis caught in a gold-glittered tangle of WTF. The nightshirt might even work as birth control.

Despite its failings, I loved that nightshirt. Then I lost it. It just vanished one day, going into the laundry, but not coming out, like so many socks. It wasn’t the first beloved article of clothing I’d lost, but the disappearance of this particular one made me suspicious.

“You took it,” I accused Callaghan. “You think it’s ugly and you hate it so you stole it.”

“What are you talking about.”

“My pug. You hate when I wear it to bed, so you took it!”


“What did you do with it? Are you sure you didn’t accidentally… misplace it?”

“Mais non!”

When the conversation goes from English to French, it’s getting serious.

I have to believe him, because marriage is about trust and giving your partner the benefit of the doubt, I told myself.

Going with the assumption that Callaghan didn’t take the pug, I tried to fathom what might have become of it. Of course, I imagined the worst. The pug fell into the hands of Russian mobsters. The pug got eaten by a shark (in Kansas). The pug is being held hostage in a joystick sweatshop in Bangladesh. The pug is smoking weed in the desert. I wondered if I was going to start receiving photographs of the pug in random far-off places, wearing hats other than the Santa hat.

It turned out that the pug had gotten separated from the laundry as it was being dumped into the washing machine. It had been wedged between the washer and the wall all this time.

I found it last week when I was frantically trying to rescue a large, beautiful squirrel who’d been chased into the laundry room by an outdoor cat (who adopted us, but we’re not supposed to admit to that, so she’s ours, but only unofficially, and we named her “Cita” as in Mamacita, but you didn’t hear any of this from me). I’ve lived in the Valley for 25 years and I didn’t even know that there were squirrels here until I found this one burrowing into the folds of my pug nightshirt.

I was elated to have found the pug, but looking at it through fresh eyes that hadn’t seen it in months, I couldn’t remember why I’d been so enamored with it. Its charm had been replaced by actuality. The whole picture of the pug was something nonsensical that confused me. The chaos of it canceled out its comfort value. In fact, it wasn’t even as comfortable as it used to be… it had pilled, and the pilling made the thin fabric more textured than soft. (Making things more disconcerting was the fact that I love actual pugs and find all of them to be adorable.)


Looking possessed in the pug nightshirt, and still trying to figure out how people take mirror selfies.

Looking possessed in the pug nightshirt, and still trying to figure out how people take mirror selfies.


So I don’t wear the pug nightshirt anymore. It’s not as comfortable as it used to be, and Callaghan still hates it. I’ve given it up. I’ve tucked it into a drawer and walked away from it. I just threaten to wear it at opportune times.