My 1.2 Kohinoor Rapidograph has been giving me the most awful of times this last week. No matter how much I soaked it, the inner mechanism wouldn’t do the magic click. Jammed with dry ink. It’s the largest line in my collection, and absolutely essential at getting thick, dark lines. My 0.8 and 0.6 were a little stuck, but I eventually managed to get them to make the magic click.

But man, my 1.2 was just breaking my heart. The ink crumbs started coming out yesterday, and I was able to shake the others loose. Huge flakes, small grains, and even thick lines of ink like pencil lead came out in the wash. Then all of a sudden, clickity clickity. Oh, music to my ears.

That’s the lot. I’m ready to start inking again. Don’t get me wrong, I love my Sakura Gelly Roll pens. I’ll be using them on the Holiday Cards to excellent effect over the next few days. But they can’t handle the posterboard or thick sheets of paper I like to use, and they don’t hold the watercolors well at all.

The Incorrigible Witch lent me two of her fabulous artistic creations. I feel like Baba Yaga lent me two of her spellbooks, just for laughs. Who knows what I’ll come away with by studying them. Meditating on context and illuminations right out of the human pit of existence? Who can tell, but I’m excited.

UFO Girl, with her strange ways, tricked me into signing up for one of those privacy-invading, application overloading, social network sites. All of a sudden, life form readings from out of the past start swarming around me. A thousand stories come flooding back to me from the deep, dark depths where I had buried them long ago before I went mad.

Talk about ghosts, and digging up graves to see what’s moldering inside—after all these years. Setting free spirits imprisoned by the past?

My friend Xtine came back into my life from another galaxy, where she had been collecting intergalactic buddha samples for the delight, horror and education of the general public. Her appearance has pried loose stones from a sepulture I’d thought long buried. It’s as if the dead are dancing out of their graves and I’m in my coffin asleep, trapped, lifeless.

I believe she’s another message, another mirror, shouting at my being with the serious credibility of an angelic trumpet. Judgement Day. Awaken. The angel is blowing the horn with the announcement power of a new life, a new calling.

I try to curl over on my side, go back to sleep. But it’s no use. I mean, It’s been written in the script of my name that one day I would be called like this, I knew it. For decades. But I just didn’t get it, and now I’m starting to realize that.

The other people weren’t dead either. I only felt disconnected. The fierce passion and connection to life they’ve made me feel hasn’t gone away. It lay dormant. Now Xtine’s prying loose stones, and the light of the stars and moon are pouring in like gangbusters. I’m fooling myself if I think I can escape.

Not everything about my old friends is what I like. Some of them surprise me with what they’ve been through, the amazing adventures they’ve had. Others are the same as they ever were, maybe a little more grizzled around the edges. It’s all good. What shocks me though, is how much feeling I have for them, it overwhelms me. The light shining behind them is beyond my comprehension.

Then I start mixing in the new friends. My current life, and boy does that stir the pot. I had dreams about this. I have piles of papers with clues about it. But the day comes and you just aren’t prepared. The bodies leaping up out of the graves, the ghosts floating and flying about, that’s me. The reconnection is another message staring me in the face. People are in my life again, reminding me of the parts of me I’d forgotten. I wasn’t dead, but I haven’t exactly been alive either.

My spirit’s been traveling a long labyrinth back to myself, and now there’s a great din and a call to action. I rise up out of my coffin and push aside the stones to look around.

I’m at the haunted house, and everybody’s in the place.