Ten things I’ve learned from Two Marriages and a Decade of being Polyamorous

1 Do not date drama llamas. Do not date people that are prone to drama, just don’t. No one is that pretty, no sex is that good – no drama queens, or kings.

2 Remember that you aren’t perfect either. No one is perfect, don’t expect it, don’t look for it, because if you do, you are doomed to be continually disappointed.

3 Love means different things to different people. Do not assume that because your last girlfriend loved getting flowers, that your current girlfriend doesn’t see them as funeral flowers, and is trying to figure out a way to tell you, “Please, stop buying me dead plant matter.”

4 People have different hierarchies in love: I put great sex near the top of my list, if that’s not present, then I will not even date you, let alone get into a serious relationship, but I know a surprising number of women that put sex fourth, or lower on their “love list”. Some of the things they put higher on their list ; financial security (whatever that means to them), someone who wants to be the breadwinner, wanting children, good father. Not all men put sex at the top of their list either. I’ve run into several that put emotional security, companionship, good mother, wants to stay at home with kids, or doesn’t want to stay at home with kids, higher on their “love list’. Make sure the love of your life has the same priorities in this area, as you do, otherwise it will eventually destroy your happiness together.

5 No one wants to think they are wanted just for sex. I’ve found that even if the relationship begins with sex, even if the man and I negotiate that it’s going to be about hot, monkey sex, eventually he will feel bad if he doesn’t feel appreciated for other fine qualities. Even your friends with benefits, if it’s to continue as a relationship, needs to know that you like them, even if your friendship is mostly about the booty call. Make people feel appreciated, and make sure they know what you need to feel appreciated to.

6 Men are not mind readers – let me repeat that – men are not mind readers. That’s right my fellow women, the men that want to date you, are dating you, are in a relationship with you, married to you, cannot read your minds. So, it’s up to you to tell them what you want, how you want it; what makes you happy, what makes you sad; you must communicate with them. If any of you have ever said, “If you loved me, you’d known why I was mad at you.” You are setting your lover, boyfriend, husband, up to fail, or get so frustrated there’s going to be a serious fight. Talk to the man, or woman, in your life, ladies, please.

7 Men, most women need you to talk to them and tell them what you need, want, and what makes you happy, or sad. Yes men, I’m talking mostly to you, though any women who date women you get #6 and #7. The strong silent type is fine, but not if it leaves your girlfriend, lover, wife, in the dark as to your emotional wants and needs. We can’t make the shared relationship wonderful, if half the couple is a mystery that never talks to us about anything important.

8 Ladies, don’t push too hard on the communication if the man has never been taught, or encouraged to talk about his emotional needs and wants, it’s going to be weird and uncomfortable for him. The men need to try, but we need to encourage their efforts in this area, but not too hard, or too constantly. Baby steps if they’re one of those men that isn’t an emotional sharing sort of person. If you think 7 & 8 contradict each other, not really, it’s a dance between the two of you, to figure out what’s comfortable for both of you, and how much you both need from each other in this area.

9 If a woman asks a man, “What are you thinking?” and the man says, “Nothing.” Just believe him, men have this wonderful ability to actually still their minds and think nothing for minutes at a time. I know, as a woman, it’s hard to believe that everyone’s mind isn’t going a thousand miles a minute, but it’s true of most men, and even some women. If you insist they had to be thinking something, they will be pressed to make something up, or get angry that you didn’t believe the truth.

10 If you’re with a woman that changes her clothes a lot before going out, please, do not get angry about it. Do not grab a shirt, or shoes, and say, “This matches, let’s just go.” Or, “You look good enough, let’s go.” If your lady is the type to do this, then just budget enough time to let her try on a dozen outfits, before she’s ready to go out. You don’t have to understand why she does this, when you think she is beautiful in anything. Honestly, I’ll do it on occasion and it’s like a compulsion, even I don’t understand it. You will not break a woman from doing this, if she does it, so you can fight about it constantly, or just accept it, and deal.

Posted by at 10:37:47 pm on March 8, 2014 in LKH Blog | Tagged , , , , , , , | 33 Comments

Post Book Blues, or I finished my novel, now what?

Restless as hell. Don’t want to watch anymore TV, movies, even the great book I’m reading is just irritating. If we have anymore sex we’re both going to have rubby spots. Somewhere around day three after I finish a book, I get so restless I’m almost angry. It just seems to be part of my process of post-book down time. It doesn’t matter where I go, I’ve tried the ocean, heck I’ve gone to Disney World, and still this awful restlessness takes possession of me.
The day I wrote, The End, on the newest Merry Gentry novel, A Shiver of Light, I was on such a writer’s high, it was awesome! When the high left, the tiredness hit like it always does. First full day of not writing the book, was a day of my mood going up, and down – up and down. This mood swing is also just part of the post-book process for me. I know it and I don’t let the sad rain all over everyone. I know what is happening and I just ask my husband, Jon, “Happy, sad, happy, sad; do I always do this?”
Jon says, “Yes.”
The only thing I didn’t do per usual was I didn’t have a whole day of what I call, “The little lost lamb day,” where I wander around the house, or wherever drifting from room to room, or yard, as if I don’t know where I’m going, or what I’m doing, which is pretty accurate. Months, or a year, or more, of concentrating on this one project and suddenly it’s gone. The structure to my day, the thing that consumed me for so long and it’s done, and I’m at loose ends. I think the reason that I didn’t have as much of the “lost lamb” day is that this book was so emotionally draining I was happy to be done, and happy to begin to rest up before edits come back from New York.
Now, I’m tired, but don’t want to sleep, as I said at the beginning I don’t want to do any of the things I was looking forward to catching up on, or I’ve done them for three days and enough is enough.
I’ve tried leaving as soon as I finish a book and going some place warm with an ocean view, but I still go through the same post-book process. I’m just restless and angry staring off at amazing Caribbean blue water and palm trees, instead of St. Louis in the winter. It usually just pisses me off that I’m someplace great and still can’t be happy. But I’ve finally embraced the truth, that all this emotional angst is part of me coming down from writing a novel. I wish I was one of those writers that doesn’t go through all this, but a writer doesn’t choose their creative process, anymore than they choose what ideas come to them. J. K. Rowling says in the Harry Potter books, “The wand chooses the wizard.” Well, the idea chooses the writer.
I think the same is true of how our entire creative process works, from how we gather ourselves to write a novel, to the writing of it, and the celebrating and grieving process after it’s written. Some of us struggle to get enough ideas to write, others of us have more ideas than any one lifetime can allow us to write. Some need silence and solitude to work, others need a busy cafe around them, and still others do solitude with music blasting; we are all as different as our stories.
Now, I’m going to take this restless, cranky mood and get on the treadmill, because until I work some of this energy out I won’t sleep. I almost went to gym today, but was afraid I wouldn’t concentrate well enough for weights. Next time I’ll listen to myself and do gym sooner, but for right now treadmill. Gotta walk some of this off.

Posted by at 11:45:36 pm on February 7, 2014 in LKH Blog | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 44 Comments

George R. R. Martin is a Steely-Eyed Hard Ass, or I’m a Wimp

George R. R. Martin seems to kill characters willy-nilly and seems not to suffer overly much from those deaths, or if he does then he is a masochist of highest order, because I killed a character today, and I feel like shit. I figured out that the death was coming earlier today and knew exactly why my page count had slowed to a crawl, it always does just before I have to lose someone on paper. I walked around in dread for most of the day, and then finally sat down to write. I wrote, then a few tears, and then I finished the scene. I wept, no exaggeration, I freaking sat at my desk and wept, and then I realized it wasn’t done. The death wasn’t enough, there had to be the grief, the reaction of those left behind and that made me cry harder. I wrote in near hysterics, and even now the reaction of everyone isn’t finished, because this death will haunt and effect the rest of the book, and any book that comes after it in the series for that matter.
I found the Kleenex box, and used several, then I printed the pages off for my husband, Jon to read, since he’s the only one that’s read the book besides me, at this point. My dogs decided to be amazingly cute at that moment, because they seemed to know I needed it. They made me laugh, then we all left my office and went to the main part of the house, and then I did something that I’ve never done after writing anything. I got a hard cider from the fridge, opened it, and took a swig. I hardly ever drink, I don’t like the taste of most of it, and don’t need anything to lower my inhibitions, thanks, but today I made an exception. It was the most my husband had ever seen me drink at one time, and I still didn’t finish the bottle. I got to that warm, tingly, rush point and stopped. I wasn’t sure it helped, but it didn’t hurt.
Cupcakes next, because almost everything is better with cupcakes. One a piece for everyone in the household. Got something for dinner I hadn’t had in months, maybe a year – Domino’s pan pizza just cheese. It’s been one of my comfort foods for years. I don’t usually give into food cravings, because it totally kills all the effort at the gym, but tonight I indulged in the pizza. My cupcake remains untouched, the pizza seems to have filled me up. Now watching the musical, 1776, with my family, because it’s been a feel good movie for us for years.
I’m feeling more peaceful, not happy, but calmer. But if I killed off characters the way George does, apparently I’d be an alcoholic, and weigh about three hundred pounds. Good thing I don’t write too many death scenes of major and beloved characters.

Posted by at 9:55:27 pm on January 29, 2014 in LKH Blog | Tagged , , , | 45 Comments