Monthly Archives: July 2015

Things I Wish I Had Known… as a New Army Wife

Today is our 8th wedding anniversary. My husband was in the Army for a year before we got married, so I’ve been an Army Wife the whole time I’ve been a wife. My dad was in the Navy for several years when I was growing up, so being a military dependent wasn’t new to me, but there are some things I wish I had known when I’d first gotten married. It would have made those first few years much easier.

1. The Army comes first.

Accept this as soon as possible. He’s going to have to work when it’s important to you. At times he’ll seem closer to the people from work than he is to you. For as long as he’s in, the Army takes priority. Roll with it. It’ll make you stronger, it will make him stronger, and it will make your relationship stronger.

2. There is no ranking system for spouses.

His rank is not your rank–and neither is any other husband’s rank any other wife’s. Experienced wives have insight into being an Army Wife–they can be great resources for you. But they do not outrank you.

3. The FRG is not as useful as it pretends to be.

The FRG exists to help spouses and family members access Army-sponsored resources, but you do not need them. You don’t have to go through your FRG leader or his commander to speak with the chaplain, or apply for scholarships, or access anything else they tell you that you have to see them about. If you need them and can use them, that’s great. But don’t let them make you feel trapped and helpless.

4. Don’t make friends with any spouses you wouldn’t be friends with if it weren’t for the Army.

You’ll be forced into close proximity with people you wouldn’t otherwise associate with. It’s okay to keep it civil but not friendly. You don’t have to be friends with these people, and in fact if you have a solid civilian support system, you don’t need them. It helps to have people around you who know what you’re going through, but good friends can be just as helpful.

5. Explore the resources available to you.

There are tons. Educational resources, mental and physical health resources, volunteer opportunities, even employment opportunities. Explore them, take advantage of them, enjoy them. It’s small compensation for the sacrifices you, too, make.

New Socks

He tugged her covered toes and smiled. She wiggled them, grinning at him.

“These are new,” he said, and skated his fingers up the striped knit of the socks.

“Like them?” She closed her book and set it aside.

He climbed onto the bed, kneeling between her ankles, and he crawled forward as she spread her legs, welcoming him closer.

“Do they keep your toes warm?” He lowered himself to cover her.

She lifted a leg to wrap it around his waist and hooked the other ankle over his calf. “Yes.”

He dipped to kiss her. “Then I love them.”

Five: Authors I Love

Science fiction is my true love. I read and write romance, erotica, and just plain smut, but science fiction is what I love even more than porn.

I read voraciously from childhood through my early teen years. The worst thing about starting college was not having as much time to read, and that’s when my mother introduced me to romance novels–those barely take any time to read, but it’s still reading, and it’s wonderful.

But sci-fi. Oh, sci-fi. The only thing better than science fiction is what I think of as Science Fiction For Girls: sci-fi written by women, featuring women protagonists, and usually even dealing with women’s issues. So here are five authors who, for one book or all of the books, made an impression on me.

1. Elizabeth Moon

I love Elizabeth Moon. I LOVE ELIZABETH MOON. She’s from Texas, which is one of those little things that always makes me like people just a tiny bit more. It was through the Familias Regnant books that I discovered and came to love her work. Heris Serrano and Esmay Suiza are very different women who are both smart, capable, and ceaselessly fascinating. The Heris Serrano books combine horses and space. How neat is that?

2. Greta van der Rol

I have a massive crush on Captain Brett Butcher. I checked out the first Ptorix Empire book because I liked her on Twitter, and then, well. I fell. Hard. She writes these fantastic, tough women and really worthy men and she combines romance and science fiction, which, come on, that’s THE BEST. Plus the worldbuilding is fantastic and THERE IS EVEN ARCHAEOLOGY, okay, I am pretty sure she designed the whole series of books just for me. I also really enjoy her Morgan Selwood stories. Morgan is basically a lady supersoldier and that’s fucking awesome.

3. Tanith Lee

I learned that Tanith Lee died earlier this year and it was quite a bummer. I’ve only read the duology, Don’t Bite the Sun and Drinking Sapphire Wine, but it was so incredibly beautiful. It’s strange and thought-provoking and breathtaking. Maybe it’s because of when I read it, but I appreciated this girl desperately searching for what she wanted most and feeling like she couldn’t get it from what society told her she was supposed to do.

4. Madeleine L’Engle

I read my first Madeleine L’Engle book when I was about ten because there was a dolphin on the cover. After I finished A Ring of Endless Light, I found the rest of her work–and only discovered years later that they were classics, when A Wrinkle in Time was assigned reading. I liked the Time Quintet books the most, I think, even more than the Austin family books. Time travel, Christian mythology, history, space, all of those things wrapped up into an expansive, incredible series. And the older I get, the more I appreciate that they begin with a dark and stormy night.

5. Suzanne Collins

I find the Hunger Games trilogy absolutely horrifying. But I love Katniss Everdeen. I don’t love her in spite of how ruthless, how merciless, how single-minded and messed up she is, I love her because of those things. I love that Katniss is unlikable. Her motivations are very clear, and she doesn’t let anyone or anything stand in the way of getting what she wants. And what she wants is to keep the people who matter to her alive. I love that she’s such a wreck after the first Hunger Games. I think my favorite moment, the most telling, in all of the books is when she overhears Peeta and Gale talking about her, and it’s said that of the two of them she’ll choose the one who can help her survive. It’s true, it’s ugly, and it’s perfect. Katniss is a survivor, and I love that about her.

Sites I Love: The Sistine Chapel Virtual Tour

I love Italian Renaissance art–I love religious art in particular. And the Sistine Chapel is such a classic, breathtaking example of it. The Vatican has put online a high-definition virtual tour of the empty chapel. There’s even music. It’s incredible.