Monday, May 30, 2011
Okay-- I admit. I finished a couple of big projects and have been enjoying some downtime. It's not that I'm not working on a project (I'm ALWAYS working on a project--and if not, there's ALWAYS Quickening) it's more that I'm more invested in playing with the kids or cuddling or folding laundry. This could be because I'm taking a 3-day hiatus as mom, or this could be because I'm letting the dragon grumble in his cave, but either way, I'm not worried. I've had my current story (Clear Water) cooking in my head for a while, and when the dragon wakes, the story is waiting to be written. (My current theory about writer's block is that it's what happens when writers spaz out and bang their head against a brick wall for too long and then their creativity passes out and bleeds for a while. I don't like brick walls myself. They hurt. Sometimes I have to haul my fat ass over them, but I don't generally smash my head against them, because the point is?)
Anyway-- so I've been asked to be in a panel for the ins and outs of e-publishing. I'm like, Uhm? Okay! I mean, seriously--it's a kick they'd ask me and I'm not gonna say NO for heaven's sake! (And I'm going to be on it with one of my editors from Torquere, which is fun!) I just have a whole lot of years of, "Yeah, I get it, I have nothing useful to say so I'll shut the fuck up," to get out of my system. *Slightly feral grin* Actually, that sounds sort of awesome. Forget I said anything. There IS no trepidation, there is only get on a stage and have some fun and kick a little ass! *nods* I DO like this industry-- people are SO very nice!
And I got a new phone. This was interesting-- I had some say in the matter. Mate took me around to the different phones and let me push buttons while he asked relevant questions and then we took our free upgrade and parlayed it into a Windows Phone 7--which does not sound as sexy as, say, an iPhone4 or a Blackberry Anything, but which seemed to suit me just fine, and which will do more than I can possibly be able to use. I look forward to using Twitter on it, as well as Netflix. Oh yeah, and checking my e-mail of course, and I understand that it even does this voice thing where you can actually TALK to another human being on some other part of the planet. I don't know what that's called but it all sounds so very archaic and barbaric to me-- how positively thrilling! (Today's picture, btw, is brought to you by that phone commercial that features the kittens... I can't find it on youtube, but it's adorable. Trust me. Anyway, it's a phone commercial, so I sent you my own downloaded cat cuteness in honor of my new phone. See? My brain IS normal. Really.) But anyway-- new phone. Since, yanno, I'm going to Florida and all:-)
Anyway-- we went to see Furious Five last night-- I will not tell you what all was said as we were WATCHING the movie, with the exception of the fact that at the beginning of every race (and there were a lot of them) I expected one of the male leads (and there were a lot of them) to say "Winner tops, loser bottoms!" and that, given what I do for a living, I got a lot of entertainment from that alone. That, and, as with Season of the Witch, I'm starting to learn that sometimes going to a B movie--or, a C- movie-- is often just as if not more entertaining than going to an A+ movie. The King's Speech--that was awesome and I'll watch it again and it will make me a better person. But Furious Five? That was iNTERACTIVE fun, because if Mate and I weren't snarking while we watched it, we weren't being true to our souls. So, (for me, anyway) it was pretty, it was plotbunny fertilizer, and it was good snarky fun. For Mate, it was good snarky fun.
And that's all for now--Happy Memorial Day. Goddess bless all those who have died defending hearth and home, as well as those left behind.
Friday, May 27, 2011
(I was looking for a picture of Squish when I stumbled on a bunch of Chicken's home-made anigarumi and thought I'd share, because she does such an outstanding job:-)
Squish goes to day care at the gym three days a week. It's not enough. Not that I"M going banana bugshit, per se (although I am!) but because she needs someone else to talk to. How do I know? Because when we get in the car to go home from the gym, she doesn't draw breath until we get home!
"Moommmm! How come I'm cute?"
"I have no idea."
"But Sam's mom thinks I'm cute."
"Sam's mom is a very nice person."
"But she said I'm cute."
"Well, she would know."
"Moommmm! When is our house going to get old and far apart?"
"Five years ago."
"When is that?"
"About the time you were born."
"Why did it start falling down?"
"Because we gave up."
"Gave up on what?"
"Keeping it clean."
"But you still clean it now."
"But not enough."
"Enough for what?"
"Enough for it not to fall down."
"Will it fall down when I'm grown up?"
"I'm sure it will."
"Everything will fall down and stop when I leave, won't it?"
*choking on soda* "What?"
"I want ice cream."
"How about after we pick up your sister and your brother."
"But I want it now."
"But you haven't asked."
"Can I have some ice cream please?"
"How about after we pick up your sister and your brother."
"Okay. Can I have something to drink before that?"
"We need a two-puppy house."
"A two puppy house? We only have one puppy!"
"I know. That's why I need a chihuahua."
" Yes. That will be my puppy. That will be good."
"We still have Chiquita, the farting dog."
"That's another reason. My chihuahua won't fart."
"THAT is an excellent point."
Following this is an unprecedented, peaceful two stoplight period of silence during which I can almost formulate a complete thought if it were not for the idiot driving ten miles below the speed limit in front of me, and then...
"I love you."
*sigh* "Love you too, Squish. Did you say you wanted ice cream?"
Wednesday, May 25, 2011
Okay-- we'll get to Mr. Fluffles in a minute. In other news...
I'll never be a silver fox...Okay-- I was never a red-coated fox either but I DID used to have red hair. I say used to, because, well, it did turn brown with age, and then the gray started and now? I'm sitting in my kitchen watching the time stamp so I don't cook my newly trimmed curly locks before they have the chance to turn the color of rancid orange sherbet. The Time Bitch, she is just frickin' evil...
So, to clarify (because stuff has come up) from some of my previous posts...
T is going with a group-- because I am just NOT that comfortable turning him loose in public, especially in a foreign country, where he will be misconstrued as a mugger from sheer size and inability to speak clearly when pressured and yeah- he graduates on the seventh, in downtown (and it promises to be a big pain in the ass in terms of parking, saving seats, whose coming, who's going to get the kids, and, well, EVERYFRICKINGTHING. But we'll deal. Last night we FORCED him (no lie) to go to his senior awards assembly where he got a President's Certificate for academic achievement. He was surprised--not only did he need the GPA, but usually you need test scores for one of those--UNLESS your teachers recommend you, which his did. We were proud. T was bewildered--and also suffering from a complex mixture of unrequited love and envy that I would explain if it wasn't going into too much detail about his personal life (which, now that he's an adult, I try not to do.)
And Zoomboy has picked up a boyshit. At least that's Chicken's opinion--she heard a little boy talking to him, and (like we all do) said "Zoomboy respond!" because he wasn't. And then, UNLIKE what usually happens, he continued to ignore the little boyshit on purpose, and Chicken paid attention and realized that boyshit was making fun of Zoomboy's given name. Chicken said, "Mom, he was a second grader--I totally could have beat the shit out of him. I don't care if it's not cool." *sniffle* Well, two emotions there, right? Damn the whole world for turning out bullies anyway, and I'm glad that Zoomboy is self-contained enough to ignore him and I hope that keeps working for him. Apparently Zoomboy's best friend turned to the kid and said, "Where are YOU going? Because HE'S coming home with ME!" I love that kid-- I mean, I loved that kid before this, but now I REALLY love that kid. It's so damned ironic--because my whole life I've believed that different was good and set out to prove that one by example, and the only time it's bit me in the ass is when I've seen it effect my kids. But Chicken endured this sort of thing and came out stronger for it--I hope Zoomboy can do the same. Oh yeah--the other emotion? Chicken pride. She was TOTALLY going to beat up that little boyshit for picking on her little brother. *wipes tear* That's my baby.
In other Chicken news-- a couple of weeks ago, we were driving past a community garden plot in time to see four young, hot AND hawt young men take off their shirts to start digging. It was the highlight of Chicken's month. She can't pass the community garden plot without looking out eagerly, hoping for lightning to strike twice.
In Squish news--well, mostly she's just talking a lot. I mean, a LOT. And she's fractious and whiny and occasionally (like, say, last night,) brilliant. So, this was the conversation I overheard last night:
Zoomboy: "Bzz Bzz--and this is the outer space electrogun and it's aiming and taking things out and making explosions!"
Squish: "Aww! Mr. Fluffles! You killed my cat!"
ZB: "How did I kill your cat?"
Squish: "You electrocuted him with your gun!"
ZB: "Oh. Poor Mr. Fluffles. I'm sorry. I'll only aim it at aliens from now on."
Uhm... frickin' brilliant--but very scary.
And yes-- I've FINISHED Talker's Graduation. It's sort of an extended epilogue-- we wanted to see the boys happy. Well, happiness from where we left them was a long process--but after book two, it was pretty clear they were going to be there for eachother nmw, right? So they were. I think people will be pleased at how their relationship evolved--and at how much Tate grows in the course of the novella. I know it was hard--every word really WAS goodbye!
And speaking of goodbye, I couldn't tell you exactly why this was floating around my noggin today, but it was, and so I thought I'd share:
Sunday, May 22, 2011
Weird, isn't it? How our days often devolve into a task list of stuff to do. Even if we're doing all of our living largely in our head, playing out fantasies of other people's lives, still, there's that omnipresent list--it's like a list ourobouros of you will: as soon as one task is finished another six add themselves to the bottom. I'm sure some folks out there dream about the list, have nightmares about it, in which they discover that someone added "Dig up earthworms and dump them in laundry" had been added and the person reading the list did it without thinking, and now they have to replace their underwear drawer. (I'm sorry. That analogy totally gave me the squirmies. you're all welcome, put the torches and pitchforks down please!)
Anyway... where was I going with this?
Oh yes. My list:
1. Get hair cut (because my son's graduation is in two weeks and so's a trip to Florida.)
2. Buy hair dye. (Because my son's graduation is in two weeks and so's a trip to Florida.)
3. Buy new bras. (Because the mammaries are not made to fly free, even though I will be flying to Florida.)
4. Buy yoghurt, fruit, lo cal whipped cream, olives and tomatoes. (Because I'm trying to lose weight to be more comfortable on that trip to Florida.)
5. Buy one more skein of that uber expensive yarn to finish that wraparound shawl. (Because I'll probably be in the hotel the whole time and they usually have too much air conditioning anyway, yanno when I'm in Florida.)
6. Work on my assigned blurbs so I can finish Talker's Graduation so it's done and submitted and I can spend next week working on a cute short featuring a naked boy wearing handknit socks. (So I've got nothing pressing when I start my trip to Florida.)
7. Daydream (yes, daydreaming IS on my to-do list--it's a precursor to writing, why do you ask?) about the novella I'm going to work on in my less than copious spare time (shortly before and after that trip to Florida.)
8. Daydream (still on my to-do list) about what I'm going to say to any poor schmuck who cares to listen to me on the plane (while on that trip to Florida.)
9. Fold clothes (in order to have something to wear on that trip to Florida.)
10. Watch Supernatural because the dumb goobers put it on AFTER a baseball game and we had to tape it as the Season Finale ran FROM 11 pm to 1 am. (And oddly enough, that last one doesn't have a frickin' thing to do with Florida.)
Oh, hey-- did I mention an opportunity to go and help man the Dreamspinner Booth and meet Vincent my buddy at Torquere at the Gay Days convention... you'll never guess where it's being held! (Uhm... Orlando, actually... but you know which state that's in!)
Thursday, May 19, 2011
It's an interesting accusation to a writer, and not the first time I've seen it. Someone was unhappy with a book, and that was what the critic felt was wrong with it. The author was 'writing just to write.'
I'm pretty sure that there's not a writer out there who isn't thinking, "Well YEAH!"
Seriously, is there another reason to do it? Because writing for money isn't a good enough reason. Writing for praise is ephemeral and unpredictable at best. Writing to please other people can be a LOT of fun, (I'll vouch for that--in the case of I Love You, Asshole!, I was writing for a fan, and damn if that didn't feel good!) but in the end, the thing that drives us, the thing that makes it magic, is to watch our characters come alive. We really ARE writing just to write. It's our drug, it's what makes us give up sleep and write until PAST the time we have to pee and put the kids off with frozen pizza so we can get this part JUST right. It doesn't matter if we're making our living with it or doing it as fanfic or just trying to retreat from a job where "Fuck you, bitch!" is our only real marker for fulfilling our duties to the best of our potential.
Writing just to write is the thing that keeps us fresh-- it's what keeps us from cutting and pasting our own love scenes, writing the same story, different characters, or that FORCES us to make sure our characters stay true to who they are. It's what makes us write honestly, and what makes (me, at least) conscious of that one moment--present while working on EVERY book--when I find myself crying in sympathy--even if it's happy sympathy--with the people I've brought to life in my own head. Writing just to write means we don't always write the same thing and we don't always write what's pleasant--or what we think the world wants to see. We write to be true to our craft, to improve upon it, to bring an idea (hopefully a worthy one) into such clarity that the world might share our admiration.
"Writing just to write" means it's our joy. Our joy (hopefully) can be shared. I was VERY pleased to be able to "write just to write" ILUA--and I'm VERY grateful to those of you on Facebook and on e-mail who have told me that this one worked for you. I've loved these boys through four books and nine novellas--I'm SO glad they got their story told! And I look forward to "writing just to write" for quite some time! Thank you to everyone who has encouraged me to "write just to write." You've given me a blessing I've treasured for seven years:-)
And in other oddness-- Big T is going to Europe this summer, it's his high school graduation present. (Don't look at me like that. He's going to community college. My parents are helping him fix up a car. Mate swears he can get a deal on a computer. His sister already got the big trip. OKAY OKAY OKAY... We're not very bright with money, okay?) Anyway, he's getting really excited--and so am I. I love my Big T, but he's eighteen and, well, not very independent. I do realize that he's CH and spent some of his formative years about 3-4 years behind his peers maturity wise, but, well... he's really dependent on Mate and I sometimes. We've finally gotten him to where he can use the bus system, which is great, but I've always wanted my children to go out into the world and do great things. I think he's going to enjoy Europe--I think it's going to give him things that Mate and I alone cannot. I'm really proud of him for being brave enough to go.
Also--Zoomboy has a plethora of ending the year activities. Two good things about this: A. This year I get to volunteer with them, and I'm all giggly. I get to help him with field day and I get to go see their end-of-the-year presentation and WHEEE! And B. Zoomboy's friend's mom, the one who got me all excited about baking bread and who wants my help with her knitting is going to be there doing the same thing! I HAVE A MOM-BUDDY. Think about it, people. The last time I had a mom-buddy, with kids NEAR the age of my kids, was when Chicken was three. She moved to Redding, I haven't heard from her since. This is big. This has just rendered something I was both looking forward to and not looking forward to into something I'm REALLY looking forward to. LET'S HEAR IT FOR MOM-BUDDIES AND FIELD DAYS! YAY!
And yesterday, I dared the CPS gods by giving my two youngest a choice: go outside and play or stay inside and clean their room. They chose (after much whining, crying, and terrible trauma) to clean their room. (There was a BUG outside, oh holy Goddess, hold on to the foundations of the world, a BUG you insane woman! Can you not see that there will be no playing outside as long as there is a BUG outside?) Anyway, they were appalled to find I meant it, and I didn't let them out for an hour. (Okay-- they could go pee, and of course come in and whine at me to leave, but, you know, they weren't SUPPOSED to be out of their room.) Anyway, when I called back to them that their time had been served, the youngest yelled, "Freedom!" with perfect Braveheart inflection and came pounding out of there like a blue-faced soldier with a kilt. *facepalm* Dramatic anyone? No, really...
And Chicken? Well, you know. She's Chicken. There IS no improvement on the terminally hip, right?
And that's what I gots (mostly because I had to stagger out here and write the last paragraph--DARN the short people and their, "Just come lay down with us for a MINUTE!" bullshit and lies!) I'm going to see if I can milk this reprieve from the sandman for a few more words of Talker's Graduation. This one hurts--this one's goodbye, yanno?
Tuesday, May 17, 2011
Okay-- so Marcus and Phillip start out as relatively minor characters in Vulnerable. We know Adrian is the leader of the vampires, Marcus and Phillip--on-again, off-again lovers--appear to put a face to the the vampire masses, besides Grace, the hill's resident den-mother, of course. (Note to long time fans-- you know this, but I'll say it again: Marcus was supposed to be a school teacher and Phillip was supposed to be a stock broker--in the revised version of Vulnerable, that's how it reads. In the original, however, this is still reversed. However, all of the subsequent stories have that detail corrected:-)
In Wounded, when Cory has been (unknowingly, really) evading her responsibilities as the vampire Queen, it is Marcus and Phillip who show up while she's healing to help her establish a connection with the kiss that was bequeathed to her by Adrian by his last thought. In Bound, as she's becoming more and more involved with the vampires, we see them more up close and personal-- we learn that Phillip can channel Cory's raw power, and that he's enough of an egocentric bastard to love it. We learn that Marcus takes care of him when he's out of it, and that there is a bond between the two men-- and even if they're constantly sleeping with women, they're also constantly sleeping with each other.
In Waiting, we hear Phillip say that he was just surprised, that's all, to hear that the love of his life would have pecs instead of tits.
In Rampant, we see exactly how deep this goes--we see that Phillip isn't the bastard he paints himself as, and we see that Marcus would do anything to protect him, and that Phillip would kill anything that tries to come between them. We also see that Marcus tops--which surprised the hell out of people, and made people absolutely rabid to know more about them.
I Love You, Asshole! I did what seemed almost impossible at first (and I don't deny, I got off on the challenge) and that was to piece together all of these moments into a cohesive love story. The result is sort of a supernatural Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead. Or, in this case, Marcus and Phillip are UNdead, really. Fans of the series will KNOW the major events that this romance plays against. Grace's introduction to the hill, Cory's introduction to the hill, Adrian's death, Cory's absence, Cory's return, Jack and Teague's introduction-- all of these events were in the foreground, all of these stories have been told. But in the background were Marcus and Phillip, the hill's good soldiers, having their own painful, often (I hope) hilarious awakening as they learn to live with the facts of death as they now know it.
Phillip was not a nice guy. Marcus was not the most assertive of people. Together, they have a lot to learn before they can be a couple, and when it comes down to it, they're perfect for each other because they drive everyone else in the hill absolutely batshit apart. That's what drives this story--and whether you've read the other stories in the series or not (hopefully, you have) that's the focus I hope you'll see.
I hope you enjoy it. I hope, if you haven't already, it makes you want to read the other books, but mostly, I just really hope it stands on it's own and entertains you whether or not that's true.
It goes on sale tomorrow morning--or, as most of you know, tonight, if you buy it through DSP. If you do read it, let me know if you enjoy it, okay?
And for those of you who have met Jack and Teague, and who love them, here is the cover for Reaching--I'm still a lot in love with these covers-- you'll have to let me be gleeful:-)
And for those of you who are wondering how Squish and Zoomboy are doing?
The other day, while Chicken, Mate, and myself were all in the living room, watching recorded television episodes, the following was overheard (at top volume) from the bathroom:
"NO I *DON'T* HAVE A PEE PEE! AND *NO* NOBODY CUT IT OFF!"
Chicken and I looked at each other with big eyes, and then our shoulders started to shake and then I said, "Did she really say that?" and Chicken said, "Omigod, she really did!"
Mate (who had been simultaneously watching television and surfing his phone at the same time) looked up and said, "What?" We told him and he grimaced.
"I'm not sure how, but I think this is your family's fault."
And since my Grandpa Harold was the one who used to tell my step-brother that the scissorbird was going to get him if he didn't zip up his fly, I'm pretty sure Mate's right.
Saturday, May 14, 2011
One of the cool things about being on a social media is that you don't have to keep pushing the refresh button or timing out your internet to know when blogger is down-- all of your tweeples will tell you, and you can think two things:
1. Darn--I've actually got scheduled time to post and
2. Good--because I'm totally, ferociously pissed at the state of the world right now, and this way I don't have to get all fucking worked up because the world is made of idiots and they all seem to have a microphone or a political degree.
The fact that I think those things simultaneously pretty much sums up the emotional weirdness that is me on any given day, I guess.
Its just that I've read 1984--many times. And the thing that always strikes me about 1984 is how insidious all of Big Brother's tactics truly are. One of Winston Smith's first acts is to write in his diary 2+2=4--it seems a simple enough thing, but the fact is, his government is constantly asking him to believe that simple, common sense shit is not true. In the book, Winston's job is to go back into historical archives and destroy anything that contradicts what his government is doing now, and the thing that really pisses me off right now is that we don't seem to need anyone to do that for us-- as a country, we're perfectly capable of developing collective amnesia about really important shit like human rights and what we know about the world and, well hell, stuff that our government did yesterday, without even the help of someone to erase our memories for us.
It seems that every where I turn on the news, there is some proof that our world does not recognize some things that I've always taken as fundamental--examples?
Literature and the arts are a support system for human life--we are human, therefore we create. A civilization is marked by it's books, poetry, and art, and NOT BY it's copious production of bullshit laws and political rhetoric. The people who teach us to interpret literature, or how to decipher information or how to understand what has gone on in the past are teaching us to understand our own basic humanity and we CAN NOT afford to abuse these people to the point where they can no longer do their jobs. The people who create art--and to me, art is something that resonates deeply, not something that can be picked up as a soundbite and interpreted out of context for years to come--have the right to defend themselves and to create. The people who understand art are NECESSARY to teach the rest of us.
It seems really simple, doesn't it? Really really basic. We are human, therefore we need to believe in literature.
But we're so stupid. The first things to hit the fires in any fascist regime are books of poetry--every fucking time--and no one ever seems to notice that we're slitting our collective spiritual wrists when we do it.
What am I angry at?
I'm angry at Librarians being grilled IN A COURT OF LAW to defend their jobs. I'm angry at looking at my son's school newspaper and seeing, front page, a job about teacher layoffs, and knowing that it's happening all over the state--and all over the fucking country. I'm angry that a rapper who, for the most part, stands for peace and dreams, is used as a political focal point for people who don't seem to understand how to interpret poetry at all, much less why it's important that we honor it.
I'm angry at the news, in general--and trust me people, I am so generally clueless about the state of the world on any given day that if any sort of trend catches MY attention, it's got to be some sort of pop cultural planetoid, just buzzing around the earth smacking people off the face of it.
It seems so simple, so very basic. Literature and art define us. Writers and artists and scientists survive. The people who persecute them are never more than dust. Everyone remembers Ovid-- no one remembers the name of the guy who banished him for perversion (and because, rumor has it, Ovid slept with the guy's wife.)
It seems so simple, so very basic. Learning to understand things like literature, art, and history allows a civilization to realize the best of itself. Suppressing this knowledge allows stupid, greedy people to stay in power. And, unfortunately, if stupid, greedy people hold any sort of power whatsoever, the first thing they're going to go after is the literature, the art, and the history.
It's basic mathematics--it's the reason we pour billions upon billions into savings and loan bailouts, tax breaks for bazillionaires, and weapons that can destroy our planet many, many times over without a way under heaven to defend ourselves, but Librarians have to answer to a city prosecutor for why their job is important to their communities and teachers who have been teaching at the same school for years NEVER know if they'll be back the next year, and any singer, songwriter, or poet who voices dissent is automatically labeled 'a subversive element' and disgraced.
And it all happens so subtly. In our case, it started ten years ago, with people in fear. People in fear (as Hitler, FDR, and Rasputin all knew,) will follow nearly any orders to feel safer. Capitalizing on people in fear is as easy as pretending fear does not exist. And that's how it started, this complete disregard for free speech, for education, for any way to lead us out of ignorance. At the beginning, when we saw the first signs (*cough* homeland security *cough*) it was no more than simply being respectful of the government--we were afraid and the government was trying to protect people. It was easy to overlook the fact that we couldn't say certain things or couldn't THINK certain things or couldn't express compassion for certain people or that we were letting ignorance and prejudice rule our decisions. (For those of you who know 1984--Ignorance is Strength= OUR ignorance is the government's strength. Just sayin'.) And we never ever thought that this culture of paranoia would come to this.
It's like my house--I keep cleaning my living room but I also keep accumulating crap. The longer I live, the more kids I have, the more crap we have, and even though the living room gets 'cleaned', every day, my idea of what 'clean' is changes, and my living room grows smaller and smaller and smaller, until the kids move out, we have a fire sale, and everything must go. So we keep wanted to clean up our country, but we've accumulated so very many problems, and so very many things we are afraid of losing-- jobs, material possessions, privacy, freedom, citizenship, that we can hardly move for fear of what our fellow citizens may do to us for not supporting some of the actions of a rabid few.
Zomg. It really is 1984. (Which is a shame-- I always thought if the world was going to become a soulless void I'd prefer Brave New World--at least people in that book were getting laid, right?) And just like in 1984, when the hope relied on the proles--the ignorant 85% of the population who was actually being oppressed--the proles were easily distracted with shiny baubles. The PROLES got to have porn and alcohol and pop culture--and political buzzwords were waved in front of their faces where they would allow kneejerk emotional reactions to drag them anywhere the government wanted them to go. Uhm, can anyone say cuts to Planned Parenthood and Gay Marriage? Because I certainly see how these subjects are used on a daily basis to distract us from $20,000,000,000 in cuts to education in the last three years. (Yes--THAT many zeroes. I had to look at that number twice to be certain.) See-- the top 1% of the top 5% are good at their job. You can bet your ass that the people in charge of blocking reproduction rights and civil rights are getting a twofold benefit here-- the first one is that, hey! They have more absolute power--over women's bodies, over people's hearts--and don't tell me that doesn't give them a fucking charge or they wouldn't be doing what they're doing. The other one is that people are so busy discussing whether or not to dick with the rights of terrified seventeen year olds or puzzled lovers trying to make a commitment, they don't see other things like the fact that these same people are absolutely ensuring that our children are wallowing in ignorance and this segment of the government LIKES it that way.
I'm sorry. I'm bitter--I freely admit it. But there's a reason I don't watch the news. There's a reason I don't get political often. I frequently say that my emotional immaturity keeps me young, and I'm starting to realize that the unhappy teenager screaming "That's not fair!" is frequently at the forefront of my psyche. It's just that, having dealt with a couple of those, I know that I've made it a practice to explain why these things exist--I always hated adults who just said, "Life's not fair, live with it!" And I'm finding that having the top 1% of the 5% gloating over the fact that life's not fair except to THEM is NOT working as the all purpose panacea that maybe they think it should. One of the things that I've realized from the ADHD research we've done in our household is that my brain actually strangled it's own authority figure when I was born--I'm obviously not going to be all excited about the 1% of the 5% telling me what to do or how to think or that ignorance really does equal strength or freedom is slavery or don't even get me started on war is peace.
So I don't know how to wrap this up, and maybe that's the problem. I know that pretty much anyone reading this is the choir and probably tuned out the person preaching to them about five paragraphs ago. We do what we can--we vote, we live as free and enlightened a life within the proscription of our society as we possibly can, and we continue to push ourselves to look beyond what is obvious and try to see what is true. The people reading this blog believe in the arts and human expression and education--and we do everything we can to espouse that. I guess the problem is, while you all seem to be my world, it just feels like outside my world there is ignorance and chaos and people who think that shouting in your face is an exercise in political science and not bullying. And maybe that word right there is my problem.
Bullies. Somehow, the world has allowed itself to be bullied into this shameful state of affairs. We've all seen the movies--the only way to deal with bullies is to punch them in the nose, right? But it's going to take a whole lot of us punching that bully in the nose--and remember, the guy punching the bully in the nose always risks breaking his wrist. To many of us are carrying too many burdens to lose that good right (or left) hand.
But that doesn't mean we're ever going to acknowledge that what's happening to the world is right. We still haven't lost the fundamental right to shout to the heavens that 2 + 2 does NOT EQUAL 5 MOTHERFUCKERS! Let's make sure we still keep that one, okay? Otherwise we're going to have to break more than our wrists to fix the state of the world.
Tuesday, May 10, 2011
Okay-- I do recognize this post is two days late--there's a reason for that. Or two or three.
Reason #1--we got home from my Mother's Day gift--a trip to the Ren Faire in Grass Valley (Up near where Cory and Green live, or where Mikhail's horsey friends live, depending on which series you follow)--and everyone was too tired to move. It was COLD, and although we had fun, no one was dressed for the cold--it makes getting home at five o'clock sort of a recipe for eating and falling asleep nearly at a rational hour!
Reason #2--The teenagers both blew five years of perfect attendance yesterday when the stomach bug woke them up at asscrack a.m. --so, yanno, when I say 'blew', I mean BLEW. They lay around the house like sausages, wrapped in their favorite blankies for the rest of the day, but, well, to say it put a crimp in my usual schedule is something of an understatement. (They're both feeling fine this morning, thank Goddess! Seriously-- who wants to be sick in the LAST four weeks of school? Especially Big T, who is graduating, and who is having all the fun shit right now. I felt bad for both of them!) Anyway, no blogging for mom--children to tend, dishes to wash, and a variety of shit to deal with!
Reason #3--I really wanted the pictures. they were hella cute. So I had to have Mate send them to me. Mate's priorities are not always responsive to the the world of blog--he sent them this morning, and so this morning I shall post!
So first off, the surprise was blown--but in a good way. It was sort of funny, actually. Mate still wasn't spilling about where we were going, and I went to take a shower, and while I was getting out, I could HEAR the chaos in the house around me.
They were getting 'dressed'. Not dressed, throw on some jeans and a T-shirt and go--they were getting DRESSED--as in, "We haven't put on these clothes in a year and a half, where the fuck did we put them?" dressed. It was SO much fun-- total excitement. You forget sometimes that getting dressed is half the fun!
Anyway, we got everyone dressed (except Dad, who couldn't find the shirt to go under his huntsman and didn't like his old breeches) and away we went. We forgot jackets.
That's important. It's MAY people--it should be UNCOMFORTABLY hot. If you're putting on clothes during Renaissance season, you should DREAD the feel of them against your skin because it's so uncomfortable. Not on Sunday. On Sunday, we were freezing our asses off.
It was funny though-- the whole day was one long shift of spare jackets to little kids and back and spare shirts to little kids and back--it was musical layers. Zoomboy spent his day wearing Chicken's undershirt under HIS long sleeved shirt, and his brother's sweater dwarfing his skinny widdo body. Squish walked around holding my sweater around her shoulders like a shawl. That cowl you see on Chicken's shoulders was bought at the fair--as was Dad's new outfit (they were on sale!) and basically, the day was a lot of fun, except for that eternal struggle to stay warm.
(What was REALLY frustrating was how close I was to having the big alpaca thing finished--Sunday could very well be the ONLY place/time that thing would be appropriate to wear, and I'd JUST finished the third medallion cable on it. I probably could have sold it for a downpayment on a car, if I'd worn it, too--the woman who sold Mate his new outfit tucked her business card inside my knitting bag in case I wanted to start a new franchise on fingerless mitts. I shit you not!)
But cold or not--it was a blast. There weren't that many people there, so we got to hit three shows (Daredevil Chicken was a pleasant, hilarious surprise, the Parrot Man was still a favorite!) and we ate (really good sausage!) and we shopped. EVERYONE got something--but not TOO much (except Mate, which still cracks me up!) T got a leather pouch for his i-Pod, Zoomboy got that wooden sword Chicken is wielding, I got a Claddach Ring (even though I found my wedding ring months ago) and Squish? Squish got a crown. I shit you not. It's lovely wire filligree with a little gemstone that falls between her eyes. Since we've been through around five million plastic tiaras in the last three years, it's damned near cost effective--and she's never felt more like a princess. (As you can see, she got to see the Queen:-)
It was lovely-- the trip was lovely, the thought was lovely, my family was lovely We stopped by Mate's mother's on the way home, and she fed us root beer floats. We dropped off a plant at my stepmom's after that (no one was home) and we came home and vegged. (And snuggled under blankets! COLD!) Mate got food for dinner (SMDM!) and generally?
It really WAS my day:-)
Saturday, May 7, 2011
Of course, you all knew that the last post was a prelude to this one, right?
I Love You, Asshole! is out on May 18th--and I'm really excited. For a moment there, I was sort of embarrassed, really. Oh, geez--another Little Goddess book, and the people who jump into this one cold are going to be really lost and pummel me on goodreads and whooooooooaaaaa is little old misunderstood me...
Goddess I'm a wimp sometimes.
So thank you, all of you who've been with me since Bound (zomg-- five years ago. Seriously-- Five years ago, Bound came out, and Squish was iddy-biddy, and I started just rambling into the 'verse with desperate hopes to make a name for myself as a writer. Who knew?) Anyway, thank you, for reminding me that there are people who are gonna LOVE Marcus and Phillip, and that my Little Goddess verse is well loved. I AM excited about this-- Marcus and Phillip are funny, fierce, and friction-y. (It's a word because I say it is, right?) They are a prime example of why even the best of men need to be smacked upside the head sometimes to improve their emotional stability and mental health--just as a general exercise, like a run around the block or something. These two guys needed to be thrown through a wall--fortunately, Green was there to make sure they landed unharmed.
And other than that, tomorrow is Mother's Day. I'm doing something. No, don't really know what--am told I might want walking shoes and a dress. Am not told what exactly I'll be doing in my ratty tennishoes and a summer dress. Chicken knows, I do not, and I'm SERIOUSLY dying here. Am I the ONLY one in my family who can't keep a secret for shit? Apparently so.
I love them for that. I really do--a surprise, for me? Awesome.
And part of the best bit of the surprise is that it's MY day. I did Mother's day with my bio-mom and grandma today--which means tomorrow, my step-mom will appreciate a card or a drive-by with flowers muchly, and I DON'T have to do a 100 mile round trip on MY day. It really IS my day--I can sleep in, and ignore the work at my desk (increasingly hard to do, I'm telling ya!) and essentially, you know, have a day to celebrate squishing four wriggly red things out my cooter--and then not killing them as they aged. That they turned into outstanding human beings is not my fault--but I'll take credit for it if that's what's being offered.
Happy Mother's day to all of you mothers out there,or even just the maternal at heart. Allow yourself to be celebrated--we do good work:-)
Wednesday, May 4, 2011
I've gotten this e-mail from several people--and I feel bad. I wish I could just schwack a stickum or a post-it note or something and put it on every copy of every Little Goddess story I've put out so far, because, yeah. I know. It's confusing. Because they're coming from THREE different publishers, I can't even list the different stories on the flyleafs of the novellas coming out. So when someone commented that the characters in "Guarding the Vampire's Ghost" were "too much like the Little Goddess stories" I had no way of telling this reader that this was because they WERE THE SAME PEOPLE. I just wanted to tell a small part of the story from the point of view of someone that Adrian had helped. (Since Adrian made it a point of helping people as a vampire, it was only fitting that he kept it up in the afterlife, right?)
My overall concept for the Green's Hill and Little Goddess stories is that Adrian, Green, Cory, and Bracken are the main players--in Wounded I described their actions like Guenevere, Arthur, and Lancelot. Their actions impact the kingdom, their mental and emotional health is the kingdom's health, EVERYONE has a vested interest in seeing them happy.
But that doesn't mean they're the ONLY thing doin' in the kingdom, right? Like I told one reader, think of it like a really big apartment building. Yeah--we're interested in the really popular kids who own the place, but that doesn't mean the shy people in 5B (like, say, Whim) don't have really fascinating stories of their own.
So, since I have the pencils of "I Love You, Asshole" and will VERY SOON have the colored cover (and *EEEEEEEEEE* it's going to be purty) I thought now was a good time to "unwrap" the timeline and the basic sense of main players in each series going down.
Let's start with the basic timeline.
I Love You Asshole starts before Vulnerable and wraps up during Waiting
Litha's Constant Whim starts before Vulnerable and wraps up during Rampant.
Guarding the Vampire's Ghost starts after Vulnerable and wraps up after Rampant.
Yearning, Waiting, Reaching, Changing, Becoming
Vulnerable, Wounded, Bound, and Rampant are the main Little Goddess books--they tell the story of Cory, Adrian, Green, and Bracken. The first three books are the first full length novels I've ever written--and they are self-published. The typos are annoying--I do have a re-edited version of Vulnerable but it is not yet published. I am working (SLOWLY) on the fifth Little Goddess book. Since these books in their entirety do not have a publisher, and since they're pretty long for the publishing venues I'm working right now, this one is all me, and it's all indie. I'm getting used to it that way:-)
I Love You, Asshole!, Guarding the Vampire's Ghost, and Litha's Constant Whim are the Dreamspinner Press novellas. "Ghost" deals with Adrian in the afterlife, "Whim" deals with Bracken's little 'brother', and "Asshole" deals with Cory's two second in command vampires (inherited from Adrian), Marcus and Phillip. The ending scene of "Asshole" is also a different take on a scene from Waiting, which leaves us to the Green's Hill Werewolf novellas, my newest endeavor from Torquere Press.
Yearning, Waiting, Reaching, Changing, Becoming, and Being are the Green's Hill Werewolf stories--they follow Jack, Teague, & Katy (who also show up in Rampant) as they are introduced into the hill and Teague becomes important to Lady Cory. The main hero in these stories is Teague--Teague is, in his own, tortured way, similar to Adrian (not TOO similar--but the way the things in his past have damaged him almost beyond repair is VERY haunting) and Green, Cory, and Bracken take it upon themselves to mentor Teague into the leader he could be. They lost Adrian because he came into his self-hood too late--they want to see a trio (like Green, Adrian, and Cory had been) live and thrive. It will heal something in them to know that this is possible.
I tried--and this is ALWAYS difficult, for any author out there who writes on a large scale-- to give enough backstory so that the novellas could stand on their own. The Werewolf stories are dependent on EACH OTHER, but the reason I thought they could sell and do well independently, is because when they were posted on my website, MANY people wrote to tell me that the Werewolf stories were their introduction to Green's Hill--and that they haven't regretted it once.
"I Love You, Asshole" is coming out--and I love it very much a lot. I worry-- Marcus and Phillip were big players in the big novels, and much of their romance happened "behind the scenes"--and reading it independently of The Little Goddess series is a lot like reading "Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead" without having read Hamlet--or at least the Cliff's Notes version. Now, fortunately, "Ghost" and "Whim" and even the Green's Hill Werewolf novellas are sort of like the Cliff's Notes version--so I hope that helps. Either way, this world means a lot to me--and I'm grateful for every fan, every reader, every soul who has written me to tell me that they've been moved by it.
Now I just need to move my ass and get a little more done on Quickening, the fifth novel--we all deserve to see what happens next.
Monday, May 2, 2011
Mate took this picture last night of Chiquita, our ancient dog (or, as the vet called her, our 'bumpy, lumpy old gal') and Steve, our once-brash, cocky kitten who is now fat and psychotic and SO puzzled when her ginormous cat ass no longer hops as lightly on the bed as it did two months ago. (Newsflash--and it's taken me 43 years to figure this out in regards to my own body, Steve: IT'S BECAUSE YOU ATE ALL THE FUCKING FOOD IN THE HOUSE. Seriously, baby--we haven't forgotten to feed you yet. It's not going away.)
Anyway--have had precious little time to the computer without an irregular one-five minute interruption cycle, and so, no blogpost yesterday. (I'm serious. The thing is, when I sit down to the computer, I have a two minute 'surf' to sort of get myself into the 'this is what I need to do' frame of mind. Every time that 'surf' is interrupted, I have to START IT ALL OVER AGAIN. It's SOOOO frustrating. It's like, PUUULLLLLLEEEEEZZZZEE people, can't I just have ten lousy minutes IN MY OWN FREAKIN' HEAD? And it gets in the way of everything-- writing, blogging, blurbs... (Okay. Writing blurbs is like a fun brain puzzle--but it's also a tremendous attention suck. You're reading, comprehending, summarizing, teasing, commenting on, and word-crafting, all in about a total of 8-10 sentences. Seriously--it's GREAT brain magic--but it's surprisingly time consuming.) I'm excited today-- Squish actually goes to day care for four hours-- I'm like HUZZAH! I can actually STRING TWO THOUGHTS TOGETHER. Seriously-- with that much brain power, we may very well conquer the world right there. I'm sayin'.
(ETA-- and I must be desperate because her DCP called to tell me that there were camel races at her house today-- a meeting with a doula and painters and all sorts of shit, and I was like, "OKay. If you still want her, I'll bring her over." I know that's very non-understanding of me, but I've reached absolute n'th level of trying to get work done when Squish is at her clingy worst. I've actually got deadlines, darnitall!)
Zoomboy came and gave me a hug today, and I realized how improbable his little skinny body is--long, thin arms, big hands, big head, skinny torso and belly, and big flipper like feet. It was like folding a featherless bird into my embrace, and he just seemed so fragile. It was an odd moment--mama's odd little duck, I'm so protective. Of course, immediately after, I realized we were running low on his ADHD meds-- he's got five pills left after today, we don't give him any on the weekend, and it will take eleven days to get his refil. By my calculation, we're going to owe his teacher four days worth of letters of apology, and probably some knitted socks, because next week promises to be a doozy.
(The picture is from Squish's birthday party, but I think the angle gives you an idea of what I was talking about w/Zoomboy:-)
The kids went to a birthday party at 'Funderland' on Saturday--it was bright and windy, and I sneezed and coughed my way through it--just like Zoomboy angsted his way through it, because Squish was the actual one invited to the b-day party, and Zoomboy was crushed that she didn't want to go on the tetchy little rides with him. It was sad--but the people holding the birthday party were NEAT. I'm sorry-- I don't meet many hippies my age--it was very very fun. (Forty year old people saying things like 'rad', 'trippin' and 'hella'--I adored them all and was proud to be among them, if only for the span of a birthday party:-)
And as for the title? Does anybody remember that line from Ghostbusters? "Dogs and cats, living together..."
AS Bill Murray Spaketh, so mote it be:-)