Welcome to My Full-Time RV Living LifeStyle Blog!

I suppose I should mention that this is an RV blog. The picture of me standing beside a motorhome in the banner probably tipped you off to that fact already, but you know how it is with blogs, any body can put anything in the header.

Anyways, I was born, raised, and live in Maine, I have 12 cats, and some people would call me homeless. Nope, I have a home, I just don't have what people call a standard house. My house has wheels and her name is Rosebud. My backyard stretches on for thousands and thousands of miles all the way from the Atlantic Ocean to the Pacific Ocean.

Once upon a time I had a "regular home" but a flood came and took it away. Me and my cats spent the next 3 years living under a 8x6 tarp and survived through 3 blizzards and Maine's coldest winter on record when the temps hit -48F. After that me and the cats moved in a Volvo. As hard as it is to live in a tent with 12 cats, it's even harder to live in a Volvo with 12 cats, and a motorhome named No Hurry was the answer. No Hurry: my home, my office, my RV.

I plan to use this blog to share my thoughts, ideas, adventures, and advice on being self-employed, living and working a full-time RV LifeStyle with an army of cats, while boondocking in the wonderful (and sometimes sub-zero) state of Maine.

I hope to write a post a day featuring random thoughts as they pop into my head, and hopefully 2 or 3 posts per week will focus on something helpful to those seeking to live in an RV full time. If you've any thoughts, ideas, or suggestions on what sort of posts you'd like to see me write, please comment and let me know.

I hope you all have as much fun reading this blog as I know I'll have writing it.

~Wendy

Monday, January 30, 2012

Why I Write What I Write



                                                 
Why I Write What I Write


I have to come up with a topic to write about, something about me, something I do, along with all the hows and whys. I have to stop and think and ask myself, well, what do I do? I believe the answer can be brought down to one word, well, two words: I write. Since 1978 I have written 30+ books, 200+ short stories, 2,000+ articles, a couple of comic book scripts, a few dozen short play scripts, 5,000+ blog posts, several dozen sermons, countless political rants on the injustice of (insert current political topic I’m ranting about here), and some 300+ web sites. I write every day. That’s 31 years of writing every day, or 11,315 days of writing on average 7,000 words a day, though during The National Novel Writing Month contest I write on average 15,000 words a day for 30 days a year.

I did not go to school. I started school in Kindergarten at age 5 and was removed from school 3 years later at age 8. That was well, I’m the oldest person in this class. I’m the oldest person in all of my classes. Let’s just round it off and say the last time I was in school was 40 years ago. And so here I am with my first writing assignment, wondering what I should write about. Logic tells me that it should be easy for me to come up with a million and one topics to write about. I’ve already written more than 7,000 items and not many repeat topics, what’s one more topic right? But this is different. Everything else I’ve ever written was just me writing in the heat of the moment, a topic of burning passion. This is an assignment. Writing on spec. Thirty-one years of writing and not once have I ever written on spec before. No deadlines. No pressure. No one telling me: “Here’s what you have to write and here’s when to get it done.” This is new. No longer writing what I choose, now writing what I’m told. Granted an easy assignment, writing what I know, which brings the question: What exactly do I know?

How do I choose a topic to write about? Perhaps the question itself is the answer. How do I choose my topics? My readers ask me this all the time. It’s one of the most asked questions I hear: “You are such a prolific writer, you seem to be able to write about anything. I wish I could write like that, but I never know what to write about. Where do you get your ideas?”

Well, let’s see, where do I get my ideas? Maybe we can answer this question and get this assignment written at the same time, by looking at other questions my readers have sent me:

QUESTION: “Why are all your stories set in Old Orchard Beach, Maine?”
Well, that’s an easy one to answer. I was born and raised in Old Orchard Beach, Maine, as was both my parents. My father’s grandfather was the first fire chief, and his many times great-uncle, Thomas Rogers, settled the town in 1548, and I still live on the original piece of land. I know this town. One branch of my family literally built this town. No, I don’t set my stories anywhere else. I write what I know, and this town is the town I know. I know the beach, I know what it’s like to stand on the shore with a 70MPH hurricane whipping all around me, my skin covered in tiny glass cuts caused by the blast of sand. Locals call the “The Sea Witch”. My mental, spiritual, and emotional connection with this beach, is unfathomable. Here is where I meditate, pray, commune with the spirits. I know the tides, the snails, the sand pipers, the gulls, the tourists.  The deafening sound of the fireworks mingled with the crashing waves. The pitch black of night and the thick chocking fog rolling in and blotting out every sight, soaking your clothes wetter than a pouring rain, and filling your nostrils with the pungent smell of uprooted sea weed and dead crab. Once in a while we get the excitement of watching the Coast Guard dredging for dead bodies washed down from the Saco River.

Dead bodies wash up on the beach more often than town officials would like to admit, 5 a year, not uncommon, never less than 3, as many as 10 some years. Not just bodies washing down from the river. People drown in the gully. Parents turn their back on toddlers, letting them swim alone in the gully. Locals don’t go near the gully. They know better. Tourists don’t care. The tourists don’t think about it, I wonder if they even know the danger they are in, should be in the gully, when tide come roaring back in? Do the read the warning signs? Clearly posted, in bright red letters. Swim at your own risk. Dangerous rip tide. No swimming after dark. No one thinks about it. Not even when the bodies wash ashore. 

Neighboring towns don’t care. The papers never say where the body was found, only where it fell in, in some little town no one ever heard of deep in the forests of Northern Maine. The only people who really know this dark side of our beach, are those of us, who live here on it and actually see the Coast Guard pulling up the bodies. The red and white helicopters, big red ships, little red boats, yellow police tapes closing off the beach....”Nothing to see here, folks, nothing to see.” For many years I have sat in my bedroom window watching bodies being pulled out of the gully, wrapped in red body bags, and loaded into Coast Guard helicopters. There’s a reason why no one who lives here on the beach, actually swims in the ocean. We know the danger. We’re right off the delta so, any body that falls in the river from here to Canada, is eventually going to wash up on our beach. People think it’s creepy, my morbid fascination with this little known darker nature of this beach. Every town has it’s secrets. Little skeletons in the closet. The Town of Old Orchard depends on The Old Orchard Beach, and it’s 2million yearly tourists to survive. It’s a ghost town in the dead of winter, businesses boarded up, homes shuttered, barely over 2,000 residents by the time snow falls. This town needs tourists to survive. You think the tourists would come swim on a beach that spits up a few dead bodies each year? So only the locals know our beach’s dark little secret.

I love this beach. Everything about it, the good, the bad, the ugly, the utterly unmentionable horrible. It’s raw, unforgiving, unpredictable, wild, untamed, mesmerizing, beautiful. I write horror. Vampires. Haunted mansions clinging to rocky cliffs threatening to throw themselves into the depths of the foaming waves. Blood thirsty mermen, pulling their victims to cold watery graves. This cold, icy, foggy beach has atmosphere. The atmosphere here is the perfect setting for horror. You can look out over the fog and almost see the ghost ships, the vampires, the fish men from distant galaxies...it’s the perfect setting for the dark, gloomy, bloody Poe-esk stories I tell.

QUESTION #2: “Everything you write is laced with a lot of strange ideas. Weird stuff you never hear people say. Your ideas about sex and food storage and God being an alien living on another planet. Where the heck did you come up with this stuff? And your characters, they act so, I don’t know, Mormon. It’s freaky. One would almost think you were a Mormon.”

Ah, yes, the simple explanation for that would be this: I am a Mormon. Fifth generation. As a Mormon I believe God lives on Planet Kolob, I don’t smoke, or drink, or eat meat, or wear make-up, or cut my hair, or wear pants. Coffee also not allowed. We eat what we grew, we wear what we sew, rare is the occasion we leave the farm and mix with the “people of the world”. I’ve an uncle with 5 wives, an aunt with 8 husbands, an uncle with 15 children by one wife, and 264 first cousins. I grew up as do most Mormon children, being taught, that all non-Mormons were evil gentiles and soldiers in Satan’s army and that only the missionaries were to have contact with the evil sinners of the outside world. Even as a small child, I was never good at being a Mormon. I love people too much to hate them.

I never fit in with the other “good little Mormons”. Too head strong. I had free will, a thing not allowed for females, whom are expected to obey without question, every whim and command of their lords and masters, the patriarchs and elders, the people whom non-Mormons would refer to as “father”, “uncle”, “brother”, “nephew”, or “son”. Man is head of woman, and woman has no rights. She keeps her eyes to the ground and speaks only when she is told. Silent and obedient. The man is in command. For many Mormon women, disobedience to her husband/father/uncle/bishop, means a broken arm, a bloody lip, a black eye... Women are obedient, not out of love or respect, but out of fear, because they are terrified of the consequences of disobedience. Most are married long before age 16, to men 30 years older than them. I was 12. He was 42. You are called an “Old Maid” if you reach 16 unmarried, and bullied, beaten, teased, and belittled, by the other women. Single women in the 20s and 30s are branded as “Whore” and shunned simply because they are “old and undesirable”. A childless woman, is the worse sinners of them all - cast down and abandoned by God, not allowed to get pregnant, by divine orders due to some grave sin they committed in their servitude of Satan in the pre-existence before their birth into the physical plane. I’ve no children, therefore I am the servant of Satan and being punished by God, or so I spent 27 years of my life being told. I don’t believe in Satan. I don’t believe in a lot of things.

I was always considered an outsider; my refusal to wear black, navy blue, dull drab, plain, dresses, along with my refusal to wear the “sacred underwear”, and my rather annoying habit of wearing eye-popping neon colors, silks, velvets, sequins, and than there was my oh so wicked, terrible, evil sin of being a huge fan Liberace, and the even worse sin of my having no issues with his being gay *Oh the horror!* The bishop addresses me as “The Cape Wearing, Gay Loving Loony Tune”. I spent most of my childhood being told I had a demon in me which was making me do these “evil” things, and love this “evil wicked pink sequin wearing gay man” and it (my demon) needed casting out to save my soul. The more I professed my love for Liberace,  the more they prayed for my “lost soul”. (You kind of got to understand the extent of my Liberace, obsession, to understand their worries. I won’t be wearing them to college as they are difficult to maneuver in, but, one look at my every day wardrobe of capes, furs, and glitter, not to mention my record collection, newspaper clippings, autographs, a paper napkin that he crumpled up and threw in the trash....oh yeah...we are talking MAJOR Liberace collection...if he wasn’t gay and dead, I’d marry him in a second...) And I was 31 years old, the first time I actually meet a non-Mormon face to face, and had many radical changes in theology and personal beliefs. I began to question, everything I “knew to be true”, and found that most of it was nothing more than high polluting, bigoted, religious dogmas, created by holier than thou self righteous preachers of pomposity and the repression of women. Today? My church shuns me, some 300+ members of my family shun me, my bishop is threatening to excommunicate me on grounds of “witchcraft and apostasy”, my high priest husband of 24 years has “forgotten” he had a wife, and I am now an ordained minister, started my own ChristoPagan non-religion; and though no longer considered a Mormon by doctrine, I’m still very much a Mormon, by lifestyle. No matter how you look at Mormonism is a huge chunk of my life and it gets into my writing, I guess a lot more than I realize, based on the amount of times readers have asked me, if I was a Mormon. Though I admit the villains in my stories, do always tend to be over bearing men wielding religion like a weapon and treating women like shit on a door mat.

QUESTION: “You’re always talking about gypsies, gypsy magic, gypsy folklore, and you stick faeries and weird Scottish monsters in everything you write. Why do you do that? And what about all those [non-fiction] things you write about faerie abductions? Where do you get this information?”

I AM a gypsy. Scottish Traveller Gypsy, to be exact. From two different lines: my mom’s dad, and my dad’s mom. no Romany. Romani are not Gypsies. Gypsies are not Romani. We Gypsies hate being called Romi as much as the Rom hate being called Gypsies! The Rom are of Middle Eastern descent. We are of Norse decent. No, not Celtic. The Irish are Celtic. We are not Irish. Scottish and Irish have no ancestral relationship. Scottish Travellers descended from the Vikings. Irish Travellers descended from the Romans. My grandmother was what non-Gypsies called a witch, full of superstition, folklore, and old wives's tales. Most people call me a witch too. I read cards, I cast spells, I’m a hedgewalker, one who walk the path between the physical world and the Realm of Fae, one would call me a Faerie Channel or a Medium, I practice Hoodoo and Black Magic, I specialize in Wangas, Mojos, Gris-Gris, or what non-Gypsies refer to as “Voodoo Dolls”. I what I know was passed down to me through both of my grandmothers. Every clan has a “holy woman”, what non-Gypsies refer to as “A Gypsy Fortune Teller”, and in my clan, that would be me. It is my culture. I’m a follower in the belief systems of Jaques Vallee and his theories on Magonia. So, yes, Faeries, Gypsies, Magic, they find their way into my stories and my articles, it’s who I am, how could they not end up in what I write?

QUESTION: “Cats. You have a lot to say about cats. Your fiction has talking cats, your non-fiction promotes feral cat rescue. I’ve heard people refer to you as The Crazy Cat Woman of Maine. What is it with you and cats?”

Yes, The Crazy Cat Woman of Maine, that would be me. At the time the title was bestowed upon me, I had 24 cats. I currently have 12. Once upon a time there was 84, but who’s counting? The title originally comes from misunderstanding, confusion of facts, a few wild rumors, bigotry and hate, but, hey, I’m not one to take offence a being called crazy, and technically, I am a “cat woman”. Me and my ever growing army of cats, when you don’t know the facts and you only listen to the rumors, you would I am something different than what I actually am. If you actually did your research, you’d find out that I founded, own, run, and operate a no-kill feral cat rescue shelter here in Maine, and what little of my life that is not devoted to writing endlessly nonstop, is devoted to capturing, taming, spaying & neutering, and finding homes for feral cats. And I don’t get paid for it, don’t get help for it; it’s totally a one-woman operation, all the vet bills come right out of my pocket, and you should see the reaction I get at WalMart when I buy a shopping cart load of cat-food each week. I spend more on cat-food each week, than the average pet-cat owner spends on their cat in the entire year. So yeah, of course cats are going to get mentioned a lot in my writing. I write what I know, and well, I really know cats.

And so where do I get my ideas? Everywhere. I just open my eyes, my ears, my heart...I look around me, I listen, I feel, I smell, I see, I touch, I taste, I empathize, and I write it all down. Every bit of it. I am what I write. I write what I am. Everywhere I go, the beach, the store, the library, here in college, there is something to see, something to hear, something to write. My life is where I get my ideas. That is how I choose my topics. I can write about anything, because the world is full of everything.


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Good morning Starshine! Liked this post? Looking to connect with me online? I love social networks and am on most of them. You can find me on: BloggerEtsyFaceBookGoogle+KeenMySpaceNaNoWriMoProBoardsScript FrenzySpoonflowerSquidooTwitterULC Ministers NetworkWordpress, and Zazzle Feel free to give me a shout any  time. Many blessings to you, may all your silver clouds be lined with rhinestones and sparkle of golden sunshine. Have yourself a great and wonderful glorious day!

~Rev. Wendy C. Allen aka Empress EelKat of Laughing Gnome Hollow



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This post was written by Wendy C Allen aka EelKat, is copyrighted by The Twighlight Manor Press and was posted on Houseless Living @ http://houselessliving.blogspot.com and reposted at EK's Star Log @ http://eelkat.wordpress.com and parts of it may also be seen on http://www.squidoo.com/EelKat and http://laughinggnomehollow.proboards.com  If you are reading this from a different location than those listed above, please contact me Wendy C. Allen aka EelKat @ http://laughinggnomehollow.proboards.com/index.cgi?action=viewprofile and let me know where it is you found this post. Plagiarism is illegal and I DO actively pursue offenders. Unless copying a Blog Meme, you do not have permission to copy anything appearing on this blog, including words, art, or photos. This will be your only warning. Thank you and have a glorious day! ~ EelKat



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