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Tuesday, May 26, 2015

An Excerpt from Deep of the Sound

Okay-- so in the excitement about Immortal (which I still love!) and the hustle about RT, and then, hello, the frickin' plague, I haven't mentioned this book in a while.

But it's out in less than three weeks…

And it's… uhm…

Well, everybody remember Nascha? And people couldn't figure out what Nascha was doing in Lights, Camera, Cupid, the anthology from Bluewater Bay?

Well this book is the reason that story was in there.

And here we get to see Nascha from the perspective of Cal, his great-nephew, who really loves him.   And he needs that adorkable kid on the cover like he needs his next breath--and another fish like he needs a hole in the head.

Here's an excerpt from The Deep of the Sound:

“You going out today, Calladh?” Uncle Nascha sounded surprised. He’d slept in the battered corduroy recliner the night before, and the corduroy wrinkles obscured his face so much Cal hadn’t seen his eyes were open in the dark of the living room.
Cal had just come in from the boat dock to grab his forgotten lunch, and he didn’t state the obvious: he was wearing his hip-waders and old slicker, and it was five o’clock on a misty, freezing morning in February. There was nowhere to go but out.
“Yeah, Nascha—if I can catch enough freshwater cod, the chef at the Global’ll buy ’em from me.” Nascha knew this. Cal worked two jobs—one was as a busboy at the Global Restaurant and Casino and the other was his own independent fishing business. Between the two of them, he could just barely afford the payments on Nascha’s ramshackle beachfront house, and someone to come look after Nascha and Keir.
“Your brother will miss you when you’re gone.”
Cal closed his eyes. “I know, Nascha. But you need to make him take his pills anyway.”  Keir didn’t listen to Nascha quite like he listened to Cal, but Cal couldn’t help that.  Cal had set the meds out in the little weekly plastic thing, the white for day and the black one for night. God, he hoped he’d got it right. Adderall, risperdone, Cymbalta—ADHD, Aspergers, anxiety, OCD, possible bi-polar—it was a powerful cocktail, and they’d gone through . . . hell, vehicles, teachers, sheriffs, and half the kitchen to get it right. Keir was prone to hitting things with rocks and fire when he was anxious or upset. Nascha used to be able to deal with him, but Nascha had his own drug cocktail now, Exelon ranking high on the list. Nascha didn’t always remember that Keir needed his medicine—morning and evening cocktails—without Cal or a caregiver around. He also didn’t remember to turn off the stove or take the bread out of the toaster or to keep Keir inside the house.
Mostly, he didn’t remember that Keir was no longer a little boy running down the street screaming in a voice that would shatter glass. Keir was twenty now, with a powerful body and a fondness for all of Cal’s fishing knives (which Cal kept locked in the safe out by the boat), and a disturbing habit of tracking the girls in their neighborhood.
“Cherry’s rounding the corner, yellow dress, shows her ass when she bends over. Stop yelling, Cherry. Stop yelling, it leads to hitting.”
Keir’s fixation on girls wasn’t limited to the extremely young, but what was Cal supposed to do? He’d told the doctor who dispensed the meds, but his only response had been to up Keir’s medication.
Cal knew—just knew—that his parents would have been able to deal with Keir. His mother and father had been so capable, had such pure hearts and such practical joy in dealing with their fractious, damaged son. But they’d gone for a drive after heavy rains six years ago, and their battered pickup had been washed off the side of a mountain in a mudslide.
Cal’s dreams of college, of playing sports, of meeting a boy the way his mother had met his father—all of that had gone washing down the mountain too. At barely eighteen, he’d been left in charge of keeping things together, and part of that was making sure Keir had his medication, and Uncle Nascha got his too. And living with that gnawing worry, every day, from dawn until dusk, past dusk until he was just too tired to see anymore
 “I don’t mean go out to work,” Nascha said, snapping Cal back to the present through eyes gritty with lack of sleep. “I mean go out tonight. It’s Valentine’s Day this week, Cal—don’t you have a school dance to go to?”
Oh. Okay. So Cal was in high school now. He understood.
“No, Nascha—no dances for Cal. Cal doesn’t go to dances, remember?” Cal doesn’t go to dances because Cal doesn’t really like girls, he thought ironically. Yet one more thing he hadn’t been able to talk to his parents about since their car had gone tumbling down into the river.
“If Cal was on the reservation,” Nascha said, his voice ironic too as they spoke of Cal in the third person, “Cal could dance with the two-spirit children, and nobody would think the less of him.”
Yeah, sure, it always sounded like Mecca when Nascha talked about the reservation, but Nascha had left when he’d been not much older than Cal. Cal understood that Indian Gaming had improved things somewhat on the reservation—but that didn’t mean he was a fan of all the changes it brought about in the non-reservation parts of the state.
“Maybe I just want to be left the fuck alone,” Cal snarled, feeling bad even as he did. Nascha and Keir were his family—his only family. He couldn’t afford to piss them off, because they were all stuck in this tiny house together, and they were all each other had.
Cal would lie in bed awake sometimes, exhausted and aching because he needed more. 
“Maybe you just need to go dance,” Nascha said calmly, not taking offense. Just like when Cal had been a fractious kid, losing patience with Keir because he’d been fixating on the same damned cartoon for weeks, Nascha had never lost his keel.
Cal loved that about him. It was why, in spite of his increasing anxiety over leaving Nascha alone with Keir, he couldn’t bring himself to put Nascha in a home either.
But God, he was exhausted.
“Well, I’ll let you know if a dance opens up for me,” he muttered, swallowing against the tightness in his throat.
“Calladh!” Nascha spoke sharply, and the long ingrained habit of responding to his elders with respect crackled through Cal’s bones, snapping his spine erect and widening his eyes.
“Yes, Great Uncle.” His hip boots were clean, thank God, so he could walk across the worn brown carpet and into the living room. The old television—36”, but pre-flat screen, so it took up about a third of the space in the small room—was set low, but a parade of Viagra commercials and spoiled rich women reflected off Nascha’s face, even as he turned his attention to Cal.
“You listen to me. I know sometimes I forget—sometimes your mother is still alive, and your father, bless their hearts. Sometimes you and Keir are boys and your family is staying with me and I am so happy. But when I remember, I see what time has made of you, and you are old before your time.”
Oh. This was the Uncle Nascha Cal had loved as a child. The Uncle Nascha who had been young at heart, and kind, and who had offered patience and peanut-butter-and-honey sandwiches and native stories about the gods who fought each other while the people watched, leaving behind mountains in their wake. The Uncle Nascha who would wander away when his parents were having money troubles, and come back in a few days, smelling of cigars and whiskey, with more cash than should be legal in this world.
Cal kneeled in front of his great uncle’s chair. “It’s not so bad,” he said roughly, thinking that it wasn’t anything, any sacrifice at all, as long as Nascha could be like this, be the elder and the confidant and the grown-up all the time.
“You should sell this house, Cal,” Nascha said, and his voice warbled, became fractious. “The reservation would pay money for it, set up a casino and a marina—you could make enough money to put me in a home, to take care of your brother. You could go out and live your life.”
Cal took a deep breath, and then another, willing his face to stay stoic, willing his eyes not to burn. “But what is my life without my family?” he asked, trying hard to smile.
Nascha sighed. “Is that what I say to you when I can’t remember?”
Verbatim. “It’s what I know to be true,” Cal said, finding his feet again, remembering who really was the grownup. He bent and kissed his uncle’s forehead, hating himself for the brief moment of hope. “Dottie will be here at eight. She’ll feed you both. I’ll try to get her to remember the medicine.”
Dottie was in her sixties—which was good because it made her exempt from Keir’s pathological hatred—but she was also apparently from a time when healthy men didn’t rely on pills to keep them tethered to the earth. She was good at keeping them fed, at reminding Uncle Nascha he needed to use the john, at getting him out to walk around the neighborhood, and at not taking Keir’s shit—but she was just as likely to “forget” the meds and pretend they had no use at all. Those were the days Cal came home to find Keir banging his hand against the wall until it bruised and Nascha in tears because he didn’t know who the crazy man in the living room was.
It was really better for all involved if Nascha, when he was bright and alert in the mornings, could remember the medication for both of them.
“Cal!” Nascha called to his retreating back, and Cal couldn’t take it anymore.
What?” he demanded, losing control of his voice and his composure. “But make it quick, old man, because my fish today are buying our groceries, and right now there’s only about enough spaghetti left for lunch.”
Nascha’s look of hurt followed Cal out the garage door and into the dory rocking gently on the waters inside.
Some people kept their cars in a garage—but Cal’s battered blue Ford F-150 was parked in front of the mossy lawn of the house itself. His parents had been driving the same kind of vehicle when they’d fallen down the mountain, but Cal had long since gotten over his fear. The truck had been cheap, and it ran, and it was one of three reliable things in Cal’s life since that rainy April when half the mountain had slid away and carried most of Cal’s hopes with it.
The rest of Cal’s hopes—and his father’s only dream—sat in the little docking bay attached to the house. The covered bay protected much of the twenty-foot dory, and Cal hopped in with the ease of someone who had been steering such a vessel for most of his life.
The back end of the dory was flattened, to make the outboard motor effective and keep it going where Cal pointed it, and Cal handled the craft expertly—and with great wariness.
Even in the quiet waters of the sound, the unexpected could turn deadly. Given that Cal’s parents had been killed by a simple drive through the San Juans, Cal made that truism his mantra.
He navigated the boat steadily through the mist, grateful for his tightly woven wool sweater. It had been his father’s, purchased from one of the reservations in Alaska, and something about the small-gauged knitting of the high-loft wool made the zip-up sweater almost waterproof—and blessedly, blessedly warm.
Cal liked things old school—he wasn’t a fan of the casinos or the tourists or the television show, no matter how good those things were for the town. He really didn’t like all of the strange people mucking about in the pure vistas he’d grown up in. The way he fished reflected that. He didn’t have a fish-finder or sonar—just himself, and his nets and his little boat.
And the fishing territory his father had unerringly staked out, year after year. Just his. Cal knew the landmarks, the distance from his home shore, the line of sight to the Canadian shore, the dimensions of the rugged slopes of Mt. Olympus in the distance—Call knew the relation of all these things to the waters his father fished, and he knew that within these boundaries, there would, hopefully, be  fish.
Cal murmured a prayer to whatever gods his uncle prayed to—Musp the transformer, Bluejay the trickster, and whoever else might be listening—and cast his net. Count, breathe, putter through the black water and the mist until the cinch at the top began to close, and stop, allowing the boat to drift while he stood, minding the way the dory would feel like it was tipping over before it recovered.
Then, using a smaller net, he culled the fish, throwing out the salmon, because it wasn’t their season, and the hake because they were threatened, and hoping for cod or rockfish in the seine net.
His first haul he pulled in a couple of four or five pounders, and these he dumped in the center of the boat, knowing the dory was made to hold nearly a ton, and that odds were good he’d never fill it with that much fish in a day.
Still, he was making a good haul, sorting carefully, his fingers and arms aching with the work. It was good work, a part of him thought. Honest work. Somehow, when he was out on the sound, he never found himself wondering about the scholarships he hadn’t taken or the places he’d never seen. Somehow, on the bay, it was enough.
Cast, cull, haul, dump--back breaking and soothing, his day continued, until he thought he had time for two, maybe three more tries. He was just pulling the net tight, the better to cull the purse seine, when he felt it. A force—a terrific, muscular pull, lunging from the side of the boat. The net distorted and the dory leaned dangerously to the port side, and Cal cast about with the culling net, trying to fight off whatever had the seine.
Something huge—gigantic, too big to be in the sound, something that should have been in the open ocean—thrashed underneath his net, knocking it out of his hand. Oh fuck—he floundered, draped half over the side of the dory, trying not to lose a piece of equipment he couldn’t afford to replace.
By luck, the culling net had gotten hung up on the purse seine, and he snagged it, pulling the seine close to him and ignoring the perilous tip of the boat. The waters out here were freezing, deep, and unforgiving. If he went so far as to tip over the dory, the odds of getting it upright with him in it before he froze to death were sad and thin.
He fumbled with the net, trying to open the seine to set free whatever leviathan he’d accidentally caught, and found that it had cinched too tight to open, and the weight on the transom was making the bolts creak with the strain.
Holy fucking hell. He had to catch this fucking fish or it would kill him.
He tossed the culling net aside, grasped the seine net in both hands, braced his feet against the side of the dory, and hauled.
His back, chest, shoulder muscles popped with the strain, and still that thing fought trying desperately to escape, trying desperately to live.
Him or me!
Pant by groan, Cal hauled one hand over the other until most of the net was in the boat and the monster’s struggles echoed against the outside of the dory, banging a hollow, pounding tattoo across the rolling waters of the sound.
It made a sudden, frenzied resurgence, and Cal screamed, grabbing the fishing gaff, bunching his body to spear this fucker, still it, make it just fucking stop!
He wrapped the net around his forearm for stability and leaned over the side of the boat.
Oh holy God. It was huge, ugly, a primal vertebrate, a ridge of bone on either side of its body, and a sharp, pronglike snout—it must have been seven feet long, and oh, fuck.
The matte scales were unmistakably green.
Oh no. Not one of those. I can’t sell that!
He went to drop the gaff so he could grab the knife and cut the thing free, but it gave a seismic convulsion, dragging him up and almost over the side of the boat. For a moment he dangled, watching the fish submerge again, and behind him, he heard a bolt popping as the transom threatened to burst.
It was tearing his fucking boat apart.
Helplessly, he hauled back on the net and hurled the gaff at the thrashing sturgeon, stunning it. The gaff stayed stuck in the creature’s skull, and he was reaching into his pocket for his knife, thinking it was best just to cut his net and cut his losses, when the fish gave another titanic heave.
Cal was forced to grab the net with both hands again. The damned thing could still pull him over, even with a gaff in its head.
For a few moments all he heard was his own tortured breathing and the echoes of the giant green sturgeon pounding against the boat. With a groan, deep from his stomach, clenching every formidable muscle in his body, Cal hauled the fish over the side.
It wasn’t dead yet—in fact it threw itself around some more, the rough scales on the top of its body ripping through Cal’s waders and through a sizeable bit of flesh on his shin as well.
Cal’s scream and kick to the thing’s head had less to do with survival and more to do with anger and pain, but it wouldn’t have mattered. There was no way—not for one man—to free the fish from the net and keep the boat from capsizing. As it was, Cal finally had a chance to reach for the six-inch serrated fishing knife in his pocket. He unfolded the knife and hurled it with deadly accuracy, splitting the fish between the eyes and cleaving its prehistoric brain in two.
It continued to convulse in weakening cycles, and Cal stood over it, panting, until it finally played itself out.
Oh hell. This thing probably outweighed Cal two-to-one. 
Who in the fuck was going to eat this giant fucking illegal fish? 

Monday, May 25, 2015

Movies

So, I watched a lot of movies this weekend.

So much I needed to do, so much I needed to do, and I was lucky if I could focus on a movie in front of me. If I was really on my game, I could knit and focus on the movie in front of me. Holy bats, crapman, I haven't been that sick in a long time.

This morning, I was determined to feel better. I was going to be a productive citizen, come out, do my job (and I've got a LOT of shit piled up on my old computer) and get shit done.

Mate heard me stumbling out of bed, after having spent part of another night sitting up in the living room chair so I wouldn't cough myself to death, and turned on In & Out. Now yes, as a gay romance writer, I am aware of all they got wrong back in 1997 when that movie was made, but as someone who was so happy to see gay representation in the media back in 1997, I am also aware of how much I adore that frickin' movie.

It was all about being happy with who you were. There was nothing wrong with any of them. They were all okay.

So that movie makes me happy, and the kiss between Tom Selleck and Kevin Kline is still unbelievably hot (it really was!) as was  Tom Selleck's affectionate delivery.

"Oh my God-- you are pure television!"

"Stop it," Tom says modestly, with just a hint of swish. But we can tell he's pleased.

My heart melts.

And in addition to In & Out, this weekend I saw Mad Max: Fury Road, Tomorrowland, The Edge of Tomorrow (a favorite), three episodes of Daredevil, two episodes of Supernatural, and three back episodes of The Flash, Rambo II, War Games, and the final quarter of the playoffs between the Cleveland Cavaliers and Atlanta.  

Ah, television.

I also read three old ghost stories-- one by Oscar Wilde and one by Edith Wharton (from a collection by Edith Wharton) and made some more headway on Rebecca.  

And I even managed to knit.

So yeah-- not the most productive weekend, to tell the truth. But given that my coughing muscles are sort of screaming in agony if I so much as laugh, I'm going to cut my body a break and be grateful.

I am grateful that I feel better, that my Mate helped take care of me, and that my parents took my children somewhere so they didn't have to be closed up in our dusty old house all weekend.  I am also grateful for green goop, because once again my parents tried to cook one of my redheaded children like chicken, and I am forever and eternally grateful for movies.

So is the cooked redhead--that's how she escaped the pain, with the help of the green goop, after she got home.

Sunday, May 24, 2015

Thank you, Ferris Buehler...

If you've been following me on Twitter/FB you probably know I've got con-chitis or con crud or the motherfuckin' plague.  (No, Amy-- tell us how you really feel.)

I've ingested so much cold medicine at this point I've got stomach cramps.  Which means A. I'm getting old, and B. Since I'm using less than the recommended dose of both kinds of medicine, I'm probably really sick.

Mate and I had a rather academic conversation about what drove me over the edge here--was it going to  swim on Wednesday or taking ZB in for his T-Dap and his new Concerta prescription on Thursday. He's rooting for "Mom was doing too much too soon" and I'm rooting for  "A pediatric medical practice makes a hotel in Dallas look like a recently bleached stainless steel sink in terms of germ mutation."  Both of us decided it didn't matter.  What mattered was that if I have another night like last night (wherein I slept sitting up in the living room while coughing so much that band of muscles around my ribs ache whenever breathe deeply, which I still can't do without coughing) I'm going to the doctors, which, if you know me, you know this is like my action of last resort.  Some people are like, "Oh, a hangnail, I'm going to the doctor!"  I'm like, "I can dump bactine on that and I'm not bleeding that badly."  Four years ago, I fell down and probably gave my wrist a hairline fracture, and I just put up with that fucker in the pool for the next six months.  Doctor? I don't need no stinking doctor.

Unless, well, you know.

I can't breathe anymore. Then I might call a doctor.

So anyway, when my mom called to take ZB and Squish out on a healthy jaunt to the lake, I was all for it. All we were going to do was take in a movie, and seriously. They didn't need to see Fury Road anyway.  (I'm glad we didn't take them to see it. They're gonna grow up to be little psychopaths anyway.)  But I needed to see Fury Road because AWESOME.  

On the way to the movie theater, as Mate and I were debating whether I was well enough to go see it (because nobody likes to hack through a movie like a plague dog, right?)  I realized I was having the following conversation in my head:

"I'm sick!"

"You're not sick!"

"I'm dying!"

"You're not dying! You just can't think of anything better to do. Now man up, take an aspirin, and come over here and pick me up!"

Yeah.  Ferris Buehler, you're my hero.  You got me out of the house and into the movie theater (where cold medicine B lasted just long enough to keep me from hacking up a lung during the movie!) And you kept me from lying on the bed instead of working, eyes open and glassy like a dead fish, wondering when my lungs were gonna stop working.

Cause nobody needs that, right?

Oh! Watch this space tomorrow-- there's a scavenger hunt that I still need the rules to, and I need to figure out wtf I'm doing.  I may want to wait between cold medicines, because right now, it's pretty baffling.

Hopefully by tomorrow I'll have it figured out.  Right now, I just need some ice and some water and some more Cold Medicine B.

Friday, May 22, 2015

Memes

Okay-- I pronounce it "me-mes" and my family pronounces it "meemzz" but either way you slice it, they're a fun way to communicate.

In the last couple of weeks, I've seen a few, uhm, ME-memes-- fans, supposed friends, that sort of thing, have made some memes for ME. Add to that a contest (that I still need to judge) in which people tried to amuse me with memes, and my own restless internet feed and, well…

I know what I'm doing when I'm sick.

Enjoy the ME-memes.

I know I did.

This first one was made by Rhae, who answered that age old question, "Where do all the mismatched socks go?"



These next were sent to me by my Italian fans-- bless you all. I love how they saw Deacon and Crick, don't you?




I have NO idea where I found this one-- but I adore it so much.  It was on my phone, so if anyone knows the attribution, I'd be happy to post it!


This one was… well, painfully true. And I always loved that witch.


 This one was on the contest that I held on FB yesterday (as was the one above, I think) and I just felt so bad for that little pug. Poor little rotter will never get to ride a broom.


I'd like to thank Rhae, my FB buddy for this one...



This one was just… well, also true!


 Friend sent me this one. Also true.
Thanks, Mary my Mary. Thanks a lot.



And whoever came up with this one? It's like you live in my kitchen. Get out. Get out now. You're not doing any of the cleaning and I suspect you're eating my cookies.


Now I'm taking two Nyquil and going to bed. Actually, I should probably take two NyQuil while IN bed. That's probably safer. Night!



Thursday, May 21, 2015

Thursday

Things that happen on the Thursday after a con--

*  My shit usually arrives via post. Huzzah! The kids get presents!

*  I have to remind my husband--yet again-- that if he forces me into the social whirlwind, I will hate everybody, including him.  Especially him.

*  Yes, Francine, you still have to cook.

*  Because if you don't, your entire family will sit and stare at the television and wonder why no food go, and then cook pizza bites in the microwave at nine at night because that's quick.

*  SOMEBODY inevitably has a doctor's appointment/vet appointment/dentist appointment. Never fuckin' fails.

*  I have a surprise blog post/FB appearance/Twitter takeover scheduled. Surprise!

*  I recognize the need to go grocery shopping when I do not yet have the wherewithal to pick out clean underwear that fits.

*  I forget that I got all ambitious the day before and started laundry.

*  I pray for rain so I don't have to go into aqua tomorrow, and yet I might not feel like a many-hundred-pound banana slug, leaving a trail of slime around the house.

*  I hope that yes, I can jump back into the editing/writing/promoting groove, because I ALWAYS have a deadline.

*  I eat too much.  Don't ask me why.

*  And here's the kicker-- I get sick. Bronchitis, fever, stomach bug-- something. Always hits the Thursday after I get home.

*  Happy Thursday!

*  Now everybody join me and pray for rain!

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Today's Recap

Big Accomplishment: Working out and having five minutes of lunch with Mate

After School Chore: Taking Squish to dance class. For once, getting there early.

Big surprise: I have a head cold, and could literally sit for hours, knit, and catch up to SPN. (Btw, I'm still a few eps behind. Nobody spoil it for me, kk?)

Most grown-up thing I did: Tell Mate I couldn't go to the concert he's presently attending, because thousands of people is too big for me right now.

Most juvenile thing I did today: bought a Starbuck's sugar cookie and ate the whole thing

Best thing I did professionally: Started back on Winter Ball again.

Worst thing I did professionally: Fought the urge to break into an FB conversation. Someone tagged me (which shows up in my mailbox--it's how I know to go to FB and tell people thank you if they've said something nice) while bagging on me as a writer. Bad. Fucking. Form. I bravely ignored her but the fact that I was tempted to reply means I'm not as grownup as I should be.

REALLY the worst thing I did professionally: Mention the FB tagging thing in public at all. I'm a little sick-- forgive me.

Best thing I did as a parent: Remembered to make my son's appointment for his meds.

Worst thing I did as a parent: Forgot I needed to make his TDAP appointment too.

Most unexpected thing: Friend is having a cancer scare-- did not expect that.

Most expected thing: Noodle night! Hurray for not cooking!

Pleasantest surprise: Reading Daphne Du Maurier's Rebecca is reminding me what it was like to read romance as a teenager again. I used to love Mary Stewart and Phyllis A. Whitney-- Rebecca was like their godmother--came first and magically blessed.

Unpleasantest surprise: Just because you dodge out of the way to let an ambulance through does not mean people let you back in. Fuckheads.

Promo I almost forgot:  I'm taking over the Keith Milano Facebook Event tomorrow at 1p.m. PST (or 4 p.m. EST) I'll try to have some giveaways (although swag is sort of thin on the ground right now-- all given away for RT!) and something fun to talk about. (Right now I've got the beauty of Sudafed, which I would like to experience.) Look for me HERE at 1 p.m..

Thing I'd like to do before I fall asleep: Write-- it's supposed to be my principle occupation, you know.




Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Little Things I've learned...

Over the years I've learned little tiny bits about the wide world from reading.  Examples?

A loo is a toilet

Football is soccer

Surgery can be a noun

Theater can be spelled Theatre

Recognize can be spelled Recognise

"Hard put-upon" is an expression.

So is "Hoist with his own petard."

Kerchief = Handkerchief

Exchequer is really a thing!

Water closets aren't just a closet for water.

Loos, water closets, and toilets have been around since Egyptian days.

Cigarettes can come in cases.

Smoking can be a sign of gentility and not just rednecks talking in a garage.

Sometimes underwear has to be rinsed out and hung up and not just thrown in the washing machine.

Sex actually happened before marriage in the old days too.

Tiny expressions and mannerisms can indicate a change of mood.

Culture can inform prose.

Socially ethnic culture can inform prose in colorful ways.

We shouldn't weed out socially ethnic culture from our prose.

Because it's more interesting that way.

-- so, interactive time--

What's your favorite "exotic" spelling or fact that you've picked up from reading?

Monday, May 18, 2015

Let there be dogs!

I'm home! Let there be dogs!




Also-- Buzzfeed and Jezebel had their own take on RT.

Both of them were pretty awesome!

And I napped so hard I dreamed I fell asleep.

Yeah-- not gonna be all that entertaining for the next few days.

Bear with me.

I'll be writing instead. ;-)

Sunday, May 17, 2015

The Rain Song

 So… in the past two days there has been…

* A book signing (*waves*) in which I spoke to one of my idols, but she seemed very shy so I'm gonna sort of keep that private, and a WHOLE LOT of really nice fans!

* The Fantastic Day Party (I may have a headshot from that-- stay tuned!) during which all of my DSP peeps dressed up and looked dreamy and some really tremendous authors all mingled.

* A trip to Ellen's Southern Kitchen for dinner with Rayna, Kate, J.A. Rock,  Wade Kelly, and Joyfully Jay (was yummy!)

* A bar conversation with Eloisa James. (Some of you just swooned, don't lie-- she's splendid in person!)

* A bartime conversation with Sandra Lake-- a new author with more chutzpah than you can pack in a suitcase. If you like het historical fantasy, check her out.

* Brunch with Jen, a fan, who apparently talks to strangers even more than I do!  I adored her-- ADORED her. She presented me with some Texas Bluebonnet colored Madeleine Tosh-- I was TICKLED. Honestly, Jen reminded me of why I write, why I write people that I think I'd admire, and why I don't take the easy way out sometimes. Sometimes, we need to read about the hard way out-- even adorable happy tremendous fantastic people who bring me yarn need to read that.  So Jen, remember that Cory and Quickening are coming.

* And after brunch with Jen we came back to the hotel and I said goodbye to my con buddies-- Rayna Vauss, Tere Michaels, Damon Suede and Kate MacMurray (if you don't think I'm name dropping, you need to go to amazon and see for yourself!)  Also caught Christopher Rice and got to say goodbye to him-- it's been a good con for people!  (I missed saying goodbye to Andrew Grey though-- :-/)

*  In the middle of goodbyes, Elizabeth called me and asked me if I wanted to go shopping and out to dinner with my favorite peoples--Connie, Ariel, Nicki, and Elizabeth herself.

*  We had a stunning time.  Elizabeth, Ariel, and I got lost at The Yarn Fairy, and when we found ourselves, we all had the same yarn (in different colors) for a lovely stole, simply made.  One of my memories, to be treasured always (and I regret I didn't catch it in a picture) is of Elizabeth and Ariel sitting on the floor of the yarn store, too eager to cast on to their new projects to even wait for a chair.

*  When we were done we went to the Skecher's store, where I replaced my completely worn Stretchies (which did me proud this week!) with a lovely pair of flip-flops with memory foam.  Ah, feet that breathe.

*  When we were done with that, we went to Korean BBQ… Which was awesome.  However, do you sense the exhaustion here?

Yeah…

Remember that scene at the end of The Avengers, where they're all eating Schwarma?

That.

We're all done.  Not a one of us doesn't want to be home.  Goodbye, Dallas-- it's been swell, but I want to get home and start knitting some of this.

After I hug my family, of course.  For about a week or twelve.

So I'm going to leave you with two things-- the first is this scene from Almost Famous.



And the second is this classic Led Zeppelin Riff…

Cause I think you'll get the idea.











Friday, May 15, 2015

The picture post...

I am having a good day here--

Dreamspinner did it's Apples-to-Apples game-- went well!  Damon Suede, Tere Michaels, Kate McMurray, Rayna Vauss and a lot of other people awesome people all did the Wheel of Romance-- also, went very well.  But after that and lunch, we were a little tired (except Damon, who is probably still dancing) and we wanted to unwind.

So we had a drink or two, and some dinner and another drink, and we bullshitted and had a really good time.  It was sort of cool-- I think they filmed the Amazing Race in Dallas this week, and today they rappelled down the tower next to the hotel.  They were having that party in the bar too-- so fun times!

In general, after a lot of running around (much of which I haven't even hinted here because it will make you tired) there was camaraderie and general good will.

Huzzah!

And on the other side of the world, Mate was making Russian tea cakes and pirogi for Zoomboy's Russia presentation and report, to sell for the annual PTA fundraiser.

I have pictures, but I missed being there in person-- a lot.

And I didn't even know how much, right? Because we're all so busy.

But today, I was packing my swag up from the swag room, and I got to the bottom of the box that arrived today.  Mate had to send me some swag and my banner, and it was a big hairy deal, and I was so grateful that he could do that for me.   Anyway, so I made sure there weren't any pins in the bottom of the box, and then I found my mouse.

See-- when I packed up my computer, I remembered the mouse receiver  that goes in the port, but I forgot the mouse.  My touchpad occasionally goes on the fritz, so the mouse was just the better way to go.

And I saw the mouse, and was reminded again at my husband's thoughtfulness, and that he had the kids today at Open House, and that I wasn't going to be there.

And I cried.

And that's when I suggested we go for a drink afterwards.

Which was probably a good call.  Because geez, I'm so sorry I missed this.