Monday, August 29, 2016

Salon de Madame Odalys Undiscovered Anthology

Original Logo of Salon de Madame Odalys
After six years, Salon de Madame Odalys opens it’s doors again to our writers, lovers, and friends. We’re looking for your erotic, lustful, or romantic stories featuring a variety of sexual preferences, genders, and behaviors. We invite you to paint wondrous words to the essence of sexeros even for possible publication in the first ever Salon de Madame Odalys Undiscovered Anthology.

All writers across the globe regardless of gender or gender identification are welcome to submit. To make the best anthology possible, we have a couple of guidelines:

  • We only accept submissions via e-mail at sopphey+odalys@gmail.com
  • Submit original works only! Collaborations are encouraged. Previously published stories are welcome, too.
  • Submit three stories maximum.
  • Each submission must be at least 2,000 words and no longer than 5,000 words long! If your piece is shorter than 2,000 words and you really want to submit it, send it along with a persuasive paragraph promoting yourself and your piece. No works longer than 5,000 will be read or considered.
  • Submit all works as attachments.
  • Please include in your e-mail your name or pen name, a short bio no longer than 95 words, and a quick summary of your stories.
  • All characters in the stories must be 18 and over.
  • All sexual acts must be consensual.
  • “Deviant sexual” themes are encouraged. However, we do not allow themes or stories that depict or encourage incest, bestiality, pedophilia, necrophilia, and/or rape.

Deadline for Salon de Madame Odalys Undiscovered Anthology is October 31st.
Salon de Madame Odalys is a publishing project of Sarai Oviedo writing as Sopphey Vance. All writers published in the anthology will retain all rights and receive a one (1) print copy of the anthology.

If you have any questions, e-mail me at sopphey+odalys@gmail.com

Monday, August 22, 2016

Reaching an Understanding

I think I finally understand what it means for some persons to reach the conclusion of suicide. I think it becomes a way to stop the cycle of being so focused on other people and disregarding the advice:

Think of all the people you will affect with your decision.

I believe the decision is reached because the individual is finally thinking of themselves. The conclusion is reached because it really feels like it's the end of the line. That the individual feels like there's no more improvement in their situation and that they'd just rather not stick around for more of the same.

In coming to that understanding, I'm also understanding that it's a permanent solution to whatever seems to be ailing the individual. Whatever it is, for whatever the reason, the problem is too big for one person.

And that's where having a community can help. It takes a village, it really does. I'm concerned that we are focusing very little attention with each other as living people. Yes, we seem to be doing an outstanding job at looking at ourselves as persons. With all our innovations we have developed ways to cater to people's dietary, emotional, spiritual, and existential needs.

But, it will never be enough. If we look at our population as individuals instead of as a people, then we will never be able to raise an understanding of how individuals work in our world setting. If we don't bridge the stance of "being considerate for the well being of others" and "being considered for the well being of one individual" then we will continue to build a dividing world.

A world that supports certain individuals conclusion to suicide. At least that's how it makes sense right now.

Thursday, August 18, 2016

Borrowed Time

It’s been 12 days since I have been able to use my hands to their fullest capacity to crochet, type, knit, and do daily things like cooking and cleaning. The origin of this hand pain is either a mixture of poor work practices or poor self care practices, both being drastic actions against the health and well being of my hands. Since I achieve the majority of my income with the use of my hands, I am undoubtedly dying right now.

I have done everything possible to relieve the pain, ranging from dull and achy to sharp and shooting, except going to the doctor. As, modern healthcare is a for-profit institution and I’m in no condition to take another pill. I’ve come full circle with my vitamin and minerals regimen where I profusely pray that I take them at the right time or suffer the consequence of vomiting them back up. Along with whatever breakfast seemed delicious that morning.

But all these symptoms have an explanation. I’m stressed out. Everything stressed me out, worrying stresses me out. I have this predisposition to always feel like I have to run at warp speed, as opposed to mortal speed, to keep living. It’s hard to explain the urgency to get life going. It feels like I’ve sped so fast through some things that now I’m chasing time bomb to the finish line.

There are things that still need to be done. There are poems I still need to finish. There are books I need to read, to write. People I need to meet and here I am worrying that I can’t be productive enough if I can’t work with my hands.

Sunday, August 14, 2016

Finding a Way

I made a massive list of what I’d like to call social commitments. It’s a list of meetings and events that I’d like to commit to because they define who I am as a person at this moment. And it feels a little overwhelming to know that I can be tied up six days out of the week with friends and family. At the same time it’s quite a relief to know that I’m a young individual with various interests. It’s a great feeling to know that I have a community of people who mean the world to me. It’s a blessing to know that those people all have a special place in their heart for me. I’m very thankful.

In the process of creating my list of social commitments I made other lists. Perhaps it’s a monumental list of everything I’d like to have in my life to make myself complete. An attempt to create a plan because there are a lot of unknowns right now. But I’m so excited that they’re there. I never realized that these unknowns answers. That there is a wealth of information out there waiting to be connected.

It’s just a matter of finding a way. Which seems like a no brainer, right? It hasn’t always been that easy. Not that it has always been difficult. But that’s something I’m finding out as well.

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

The Introvert Fire Starter

It is the year 2016 and I have officially ten years of being an introvert fire starter. The kind that is involved in groups, meetings, and creates ideas for groups and meetings. I don’t know how it got to this point as I had never really been a person who liked large groups of people. I’ve never liked the idea of being in charge. In fact, I do believe that I spent the first few decades of my life shying away from people. I was content with hanging out in my room with a book.

That was the life, reading a book every two days. Not caring if I was invited to an event or not. Not having to worry if I invited the right people to an event or not. Not having to worry about RSVPs, or reserving spaces, or being on time to events. Is this it? Is this how the rest of my life is going to be? Am I really going to be pouring over logistics like if it were a critical baking recipe?

Yes. Because as much as it’s a bit overwhelming to spin all over the map, it’s quite fulfilling. I love planning things. I love strategizing the best course of action for an event. I love the frightful 30 minutes in between setting up and having guest arrive. I have come to enjoy the doubt that fills me as guests trickle in on time, on their time, and even late.

By the end of the evening I’m so glad for the whole process. I’m glad for the memories I’ve made and I can’t just wait to do it again. Wait, maybe I can. No, I can’t.

Saturday, August 6, 2016

existential crisis

I can't accept who I am and thus I'm always having an existential crisis. I can't be sure what the origin of my distrust of myself and instincts came about, but it's something that's been around since I was a child.

I've always had to stop and second guess myself before doing something. Is as if I stood at a crossroads every second of my life where one path led to a safe course while the other led to unknowns.

Perhaps that statement could explain this doubtful nature of mine. The world is full of unknowns and that throws me off. Yes, that can mean I'm a control freak, or obnoxious, or paranoid at times. But, when you spend the past 21 years of your life asking yourself:

  • Sopphey, what will be a good idea to pursue?
  • Sopphey, will you be able to roll out of bed and get everyone up for school, for work: for life?
  • Sopphey, you've done all you could do for everyone else today. What will you do for yourself?

As much as I self inspect and dream and think about who I am. I'm still full of unknowns. The answers I'm looking for are not there because they're not who I am. But life is short. Sometimes it's okay to be something else, someone safe, to continue looking for yourself.

Sunday, July 31, 2016

Yarn Journey

Three and a half years ago I picked up a crochet hook and a crochet thread at Michael's, sat in the car, and slip stitched a miniature scarf. Every time I reached the end I dropped a stitch. Sometimes I forgot which direction I was going in and ended up crocheting on the wrong sides. And, as it turns out I did it backwards.

Yarn was a commodity back then. No one I knew really wore handmade knitwear. My grandmother and mother only used crochet thread. But, I tried it one summer day. I picked up some Red Heart, the people's yarn, and attempted my second slip stitched scarf. And my third.

I was fascinated. There's a huge chasm in my timeline between starting to crochet and now as Summer/Fall of 2013 ended up being difficult for me. I began going to church, I began having major complications with my PCOS. I ended up doing something I had never done before in my entire life as living as an atheist.

I asked God what he wanted me to do.

The answer was instant: FLOURISH.

The next weekend I made my first two color ruffle for Pentecost and the cycle of buying yarn, receiving donation yarn, making scarves, making crochet items to sell began. A lot has happened since I began crocheting and I still love it as much as I did that first day. I can't wait to see what I end up crocheting next.