Tuesday, April 30, 2013

But Only One

I had an incredibly slow, lazy day yesterday, and wrote up a deep, meaningful post about how the world would be improved if it could be shared by humans and dinosaurs alike. I'll put that one up later in the day (I forgot to do it yesterday--INCREDIBLY slow and lazy) but for now, enjoy this brief question:

Would you rather see the world, or touch it?

Obviously, these are rather subjective terms. I've got my own answer, which I will also post later on, but for now I've got to scarf some cereal and get to Dayjob.

But what about you? You can only choose one, because this question is a divisive bastard. The world. Would you rather touch it, or see it?

Saturday, April 27, 2013


Whether you choose to pursue it professionally or you keep it close to your chest, you probably have a Favorite Thing. Doing it makes you happy. Or, at the very least, basking in the finished product makes you happy enough to endure the sweaty work that doing it is comprised of. Maybe that sweaty work is actually really, really awful. So awful that you constantly consider shucking the Favorite Thing for realsies. After all, if the Favorite Thing is 99% terrible, awful, miserable, inside-skin-itchy work, and the only part you enjoy is that teensy little sliver of satisfaction between projects, is it really worth it?

You've got other Things to do, too. Maybe a bunch of Things that are comprised of Stuff and Moments and are typically pretty nice. Other Things are not as hard. Other Things have more immediate rewards, or are more easily shared and appreciated with family and friendpals. It is, at times, all too easy to replace Favorite Thing with Things. Sometimes, it feels stupid not to.

Why make yourself miserable, with that thankless, long-haul of a Favorite Thing? Take a break. Try Things. Go to Places. Hang out with People. Stretch your brain-limbs and inhale fresh thought-air and smell whatever kind of flowers are lying around.

You never know: Things may become your new Favorite Thing. You may never touch Favorite Thing again. Assuming you are some sort of mutant with a very differently wired soul than the rest of humanity.

Favorite Thing will not be ignored for long. It will pester. It will haunt. It will growl and groan and waste away, but never die. And the longer you leave it salivating in the corner, the longer it will take to nurse it back to health. And as you are using the exposed ribs of Favorite Thing to play a mad xylophone solo, using guilt as your xylophone sticks, you may very well grow to resent Favorite Thing all over again for being such a dramatic oinker.

But there is a reason it is the Favorite Thing. Perhaps without realizing it, you have already decided that the sliver of good that you receive in exchange for the boulder of effort is more than worth it.


Storytelling is my passion, and writing is the medium I feel best equipped to explore it with. But man...it is verbing hard sometimes. It is brutal. Storytelling is the art, writing is the work. There have been times when I sat staring at that verbing little blinky line on a blank page for hours, determined not to leave until I've managed something worthwhile.

It sucks when the words don't come. It sucks when you look at yesterday's words, and they're stupid. Derp derp derp weak analogy, derpy derp derp. Noun.

But after what seems like three lifetimes of work, I sometimes have a neat story to share. And seeing someone else get as excited as I am about something that was brewed up in my head is worth every wasted hour and every tension migraine.

If I go too long without writing, I get antsy. Moody. Melancholic. It's as if a piece of me turns into a wisp, lost in a fog, and it is maddening. This is not because I LURVE the act of writing. Sometimes, I kind of hate it. But if I allow myself to be lazy, I feel the knives of my internal voice growing dull. And that is not acceptable.

I don't write because I have to. I could allow myself to develop a chubby brain that only showers when it's going out to Walmart or somewhere equally fancy. But I choose not to.

Because writing is my Favorite Thing.

Skeleton Bones

Let's try something different: I'll explore my idea for the day first, and issue absence-apologies after. That way, no one has to slog through the red tape mire to get to the crunchy brain-candy center.

Skeletons. I like 'em.

This only occurred to me as a solid, unavoidable thought in this last year or so. I'm not certain why it took so long for me to identify, but it is a fact. I have been intrigued by skeletons--mainly human ones, but all other sorts, too--since I was a kid. Halloween was one of my favorite holidays NOT because of free, possibly poisoned candy, not even because of the opportunity to dress up as a werewolf, or a Power Ranger, or a werewolf! but because that was when the skeletons came out. Decorations, toys, pictures, movies, it was the only time of year that they would come prancing out and rattle themselves and then sneak back away into the shadows.

I have always--seriously, always--included skeletons in my work. If there's a cartoon I'm drawing, there's usual some sort of fleshless frame hidden nearby. If there's a story I'm writing, you can bet your eye teeth that there is a skeleton involved--and it will probably be animated. Bonus points if it talks.

When I was determined to start up a podcast series, before I realized how much work it was for one person, I titled it Skeleton Key Mysteries. I still love that name, and plan on using it for something, someday. Skellingtons play a major role in Lorelei, Once. I won't say what that role is, but let me tell you, it is rad.

The other day, I went out with my wives and J Larkined myself up in preparation for the conference in July. Wifey showed excellent taste and good luckery in finding of thrift clothes. I look a bit badass, and as hawt as I ever have, because she is amazing at playing dress up. There was a look and an image in my head (vests, wing-tip shoes, sharp but sly) and, despite my ironically terrible descriptions (yes, it is really irony, because writers sort of have to rely on their descriptive skizills to make it in the bizizness) she managed to bring my insides out and deck me with them. On budget.

I'm so glad I wifed her.

First Wife got off of work a little later in the day, and met us at her favorite tattoo and piercing joint. I had never, in 25 years, altered my skin. No holes, no ink, just good old fashioned bleedy scars. I've never even dyed my hair. I'm not against any of these things, I was just content with the poetry of passing through the earth the same way I arrived on it.

Then Wifey mentioned that I could get elephant earrings. And then I would have ear elephants.

Puns move me powerfully enough that I will, with gleeful abandon, endure physical mutilation to carry them out ONCE.

So we're at the mutilation joint, Hot Tattoo Artist Man is scanning my ID to be sure my parents don't come scream-raging in later in the day, and Wifey, First Wife and I are examining some of the body enhancers in a glass case, considering what I will prevent Earlobes from healing with for six weeks.

Roses, meh.

Mushrooms, eh.

Kitty face, bleh.


Then we realized that the case was full of belly button piercerings (not sure about that term) and it was all for naught (I love that term), but by then I was small-child-distracted by something else that was randomly in the next case: a human jawbone.

Probably not a real one, but it was more interesting than the cool tentacle earrings and swirly-star things that were scattered around it.

We pop into the mutilation chamber (I asked Hot Tattoo Artist Man if I should tip before or after he stabbed me, and he asked how straight I wanted the stabbing) and the stabbing commences. First Wife and Wifey are recording this from both angles, and were a bit disappointed that I didn't so much as make an "URGH I'M BEING STABBED" face. Yeah, I'm tough. But it was less a matter of me being tough and more a matter of there was a super-cool pink skeleton dangling on the wall, and it had my attention more than the pokey-pain and more than* Hot Tattoo Artist Man.

It was during this mutilation that I had a quiet epiphany about my lightly macabre interest.

Some fascinations simply are. We like what we like, and it's silly to expect every mild stirring to have a deeper meaning. But some fascinations have roots that we do not uncover until we, for whatever reason, understand something more about ourselves--who we are, who we hope to be, who we have been.

I like skeletons because they symbolize a sort of universal honesty. There is no deception at that depth. And yet, despite the fact that we are literally always in the presence of those skeleton bones, they still represent a base fear. They are 'creepy.' They can be 'gross.' We will never, ever see a real skeleton that does not bear the shadow of the great equalizer--that only other constant besides 'taxes.'

And so we have a simple, elegant structure that is borne of that which frightens, excites, and mystifies all living things, which grants importance to the act of living. But skeletons are something beyond the shroud of death--freed from cares, trials, and expectations. No qualms. No airs. They simply are.

And the fact that something so pure, simple and natural can strike even a silly level of fear into the living is strangely delightful to me.

All of that struck me, in a single sweet blow, during the space of a begloved needle-jab. I should get mutilated more often.

*This may be a lie.


Sorry I went AWOL! My computer, Portia, was being a drama queen. Broseph fixed her, and then I was just kind of lazy. But no more. I am back. Daily brain candy sharing time may now recommence.

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Brain Babies

Do you ever wish you could have someone's brain babies?

I am talking about an attraction that goes beyond physical wink-wink's and coy gazes--though both of those may be included. I am talking about sexy thoughts. Minds you wish you could just make out with for DAYS.

There have been, and are in the modern day, people with heads full of images and ideals and analogies that I wish I could just roll around in until I am stained with their brilliance, like genius-brain tye-dye.

Word-craft is my favorite kind of smolder.

Every now and then, I will come across a turned phrase or sly sentence that takes root in my brain until all of my thoughts are misted over and covered in the author's fingerprints.

Broinlaw loaned to me the major works of H.P. Lovecraft the other day, and I am loveins it. A sentence I am currently obsessed with:

"I felt conscious of youth because I remembered so little."

You see that? You see what H.P. did there?! Possibly not, because it makes more sense in context. But the narrator is discussing a life of isolation, in the depths of a great big castle full of damp and dank and books and not even a mirror so that they can recognize their own face. In the midst of wandering, directionless in every meaning of the word, the narrator muses on what little they know of themselves. They don't even know how to speak, or how old they are. Then that line pops up.


Most of the people whose brains I would wed are gone the way of last summer's flowers. But their works are still around. Lying about, just waiting to be studied, to be adored, to be let in through the window of the audience's mind, where they will pollinate the seeds of thoughts and bloom into all new hybrids.

Brain babies.

Friday, April 19, 2013

Dig Those Colors

A few weeks ago, I was conversing with Lady Verbosity. Many things were said and giggled over and it was a very pleasant evening. I don't fully recall what we were discussing, but I said something along the lines of "I think we all have kaleidoscope eyes. Life is about finding people whose colors complement ours."

We were probably discussing the merits of friendship. Also, possibly, The Beatles.

Anyway, it was an incomplete thought, and by no means perfect, but I still rather like it.

After all, we don't need anyone to tell us what we are seeing. But what a wonderful place the world becomes when there are others around to help us see it differently.


Thursday, April 18, 2013

Dat Ass

I know I stated in the previous post that I had more Dino-thoughts, and that they would be relayed tonight. One of those statements was true.

Today, however, I was inspired by a comment made by a friend regarding someone else's comments regarding someone else's video. No links. No notability. I play by my own rules.

Let's head up today's topic with an indisputable fact: J Larkin is a tubby woman.

This is not up for debate. This is not something that can be denied, or argued, or rationalized. I was born and (MAN) I feel like a woman*. I have lady bits and everything. And I'm overweight. Noticeably so. I can buy *people* clothes, but I have to reach into the very back of the pile. I am extra-large. Squishy. Soft.

But shrinking!

Several months ago, I decided to get serious about losing weight. Not because I wanted to impress anyone. Not even because I wanted people to stop looking at me and treating me different than they look at and treat my normal-sized friends. Honestly, it had more to do with wanting to buy t-shirts supporting my favorite musicians than with my looks--check online. Buy a shirt. Most 'babydoll' shirts are absurdly small. Larger female fans are not taken into consideration--or they are left with ill-fitting 'men's' shirts. So it comes down to accepting that you don't fit into your gender, or just not extra-financially supporting your bands/brands.

Also, I just wanted to be healthier. Overall healthier.

I've had a lot of success! I'm still noticeably fatter than my contemporaries, but I have shrunk quite a bit, and intend to continue shrinking. It is hard. I'm counting calories, which is a little like counting hair follicles every time you want to dye your 'do a new color. It is frustrating and annoying, but it's working. I slip back sometimes, and some weeks are better than others, but it is an every-day process, and I feel a little glowy pride when I am successful.

Several years ago, I decided I wanted to be an author. I wanted to tell people stories and have an effect on their lives, the same way countless strangers had effected change in MY life over the years. I wanted to put something into the world. Something good. Something exciting. Something only I could offer.

I started a book, and it fizzled. I was in college at the time, and simply did not have the discipline or the time to devote to it. I started a second book, and after three years, it was finished! I queried agents for months. I collected dozens--dozens!--of rejections. It stung, the way a bear bite stings. Eventually, I retired that book. Someday I will go back and rework it. I will put it through the ringer again.

Then I started writing Lorelei, Once.

It was a rough start. I hated it. I thought it was awful. I thought that my time as an author was done--writing was fine, storytelling was great, but I just didn't have what was needed. I had no future as a writer. I needed to figure out something more mundane. Something less suited to my own needs and wants.

A few friends read the first couple of chapters. They insisted I keep going.

I fell in love. The story, the characters, the world. I delved into it all, and found the spark of passion that had been snuffed out by rejection and time. I wrapped myself in the process of storytelling, and the work of writing, and thought of little else. There was not a moment of any given day that Lorelei was not in my mind. I managed to finish writing the first book in less than a year. And it is not a small book.

Whether it ever finds a publisher, whether or not anyone ever reads it except my selected friends and family, I love Lorelei, Once. Whilst writing it, I slaughtered the depression-beast. It put me through and got me through some of the hardest moments of my life--in ways I will never be able to describe. I forced me to reconcile events in my past, and prepared me for concerns I have regarding the future. It helped me express feels that I didn't even know I was feeling. It helped me grow as a writer. It helped me grow as a person. It convinced me that the 'published author' dream is worth pursuing.

A few weeks ago, an old coworker came into the bakery. She made the rounds, greeting everyone, discussing her current job and what she's been up to. It was nice to see her. When she reached me, our conversation went something like this:

"So, what have you been up to?"

"Oh, same old. I just finished a new book!"

"Oh, that's nice."

"Yeah, I've got a great feeling about this one-"

"That's nice. Hey, have you lost weight?"

"Yeah. It's an ongoing project."

"Oh my gosh! How much?"

"About sixty pounds."




"Thank you."

"THAT'S AMAAAZING!!" Stunned stare. Open-mouthed grin. "OH MY GOSH. AWESOME!!!"


Of all things, I am most concerned and most proud of my brain. What are you most pleased with? What do you notice the most in your friends? Do they know that?

*you have this song in your head now. I am sorry.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

If Dinosaurs Roamed

A question I have recently posed, multiple times, to the growing irritation of my coworkers: What if, rather than animals, modern earth was populated by dinosaurs?

Brontosauruses in place of cows.

Tyrannosaurs in place of horses.

Velocipedes in place of raccoons.

That...smashy-head guy in place of goats!

And I am not talking about that uber-domesticated Dinotopia crap*. I'm talking stomp-stomp, roam-and-graze, stalking-city-buses wild dinos. Sure, some could be trained, the same as some animals can be trained. But wild creatures are always going to go native when they get the chance--dog, cat, pig, human. We all get the munchies and we all have certain instincts and urges that are never going to be deleted for realsies.

There are many, many changes we would see, no doubt.Yard fencing would be a whole new game. Transits would have to be refortified--the morning commute would see an astronomical rise in fatal possibilities. Buildings would have to be constructed to a new superhuman level, too--perhaps even underground. Were there any burrowing dinosaurs? I hope so, because that is an awesome mental image, but I KNOW there were winged, soaring dinos, so taking to the air wouldn't solve much for we little morsels.

Want to visit Grandma for the weekend? Stay the verb out of that river and wear your armor through the woods, because some of the deadliest predators of literally all earthly time are just hanging out, waiting for you to drop your guard. Want to work in the garden? Unless you've got an impossibly powerful greenhouse, with laser defenses and an air-raid siren, that ain't happening. Kids want to play outside? Not unless Mom and Dad have spares.

Which sort of brings me to the meat (hur) and bones of this query: if we lived in a world with infinitely higher mortality rates--one where perils are unavoidable even if you use extreme caution--would it alter our compassion?

Stick with me here (or don't, it's a free internet).

Say the likelihood of surviving into adulthood was...2 out of 5 (I don't speak ratio so well). So, if you want to have two children survive Stegosaur stomps, you need to have five in all, understanding that three of them are probably going to bite it (or get bitten).

The likelihood of surviving into the middle-age-range is 1 in 7 (again, killer commutes). So out of all of the people you have known in your entire life--assuming you are that one--pretty much all of them die.

Again, I'm bad with ratios.

The point is, at a certain age, all but the most insanely lucky of us would have lost someone in our immediate families and closest groups of friends. We would understand that death is an extremely unavoidable, common, and early onset part of life.

Would we then feel great empathy and grief for those who lose someone, or would we be better able to shrug off their--and our own--losses?

I have further thoughts, but I'll continue them in tomorrow's post. Do let me know what you think, though.

Also, let me know if there was a burrowing dinosaur. Primarily that.


*I say 'crap' but I actually love Dinotopia. It's awesome. Even the ranky cheese-fest television adaptation. Luuuurve.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013


I missed a (two?) days. SHAME.

My excuse: vomit.

Not as in 'my excuse has roughly the same commercial value as vomit,' but as in, 'I was busy making-'

-you know what, you see where this is going.

I'm better now, and full of uber pride because I didn't even take a day off of work. I am hardcore like that. Once, I was badly concussed, and I only took ONE DAY off of my dayjob. I don't remember pretty much that whole week, and I only patchily remember the next two or so weeks after that, but still. I showed up, I did my job, and I didn't do anything to get fired, nor did I manage to maim myself.

Hard. Core.

Now I am as healthy as any writer ever is (except maybe Lord Byron--dude must have been the pinnacle of smexy manhealth) and back to daily blogging and angsting about writerly things.

I finished my query letter, and scored some megaluck by means of a free query critique from a real-live author who I've never met. I'm hoping she'll have some epic red-pen notes for me, and the query will achieve perfection long before the conference in July.

I'm still waiting on most of my Betas, and squiggle-worm-dancing on what project to work on. I want to keep my mind in Lorelei mode, so that when the time comes I can dive back into revisions and what have you without hesitation. Like a jungle cat on fire. But it will be, at the very least, half a month before that time comes. And that is just...so...long. To not be fiction-writing. Blogging is not the same.

First World Writer problems...

Friday, April 12, 2013

Abstaining from the Goods

Because it is my blog and I can, it is time to get serious.


Forewarning: this post may contain saucy language.

Among the many other actions taken and partaken of during vaguely adult life, sex is perhaps the most commented on. Not in general conversation, of course. But entertainment and jokedom is rife with it. Rife, I say.

Rife is among the top ten words that needs to be used more often. Jib is number one*.

Sex is all over the place. Advertisements, crime, literature, edibles. The strange gets weird in the modern day. You may have to read that sentence more than once, but you'll get what I'm saying in the long run. Hur hur, long run. Like...never mind.

But that most intimate of exercises has become common place. It is more strange for someone to view sex as sacred and private than it is for someone to fart in public without so much as cracking (ha!) a joke about it. Or aiming it at someone. Which relates to the sex issue as well.

As with most SeRiOUS issues, my views are complicated. I can present them at their most basic with two hypothetical, analogical presentations. I'm super big (HA) into analogies, and so turned on (HEE) by hypothetical situations I should just marry them all and become the world's most sexually inactive polygamist evar right now.

1. How would I discuss this with my younger sisters?

My older sis is married (ew) with two children (EWWWW where did they come from EWWW) and her hubby is as awesome in my brain as my other various brothers (EWWW you're so cool EWWWWW) so I do not so much discuss groin action with her. But my younger sisters? EWWWWWWWWWWWW.

Straight up: my respect for you girls will not change with your bodies. You will develop breasticles. You will begin to look at boys and think AWWWW I'm gonna wreck you! but not do so or maybe do so but hopefully not do so bareback which I really hope you do not know the meaning of. I only learned that term through CSI: NY. Watch more TV. Do not watch naked boys being naked.

But if you do, and if you are all "Hey, look at my breasticles" I will not lose my respect for you. I like to think that you will forever be 7 and traumatized by the intentionally, overly frightening bedtime stories I offered you when I was forced to babysit and really just wanted you to be quiet and punished for existing after I existed. But I understand. I'm 25, my blood flows red, I have the internet, I understand.

You have lady parts. You're not children anymore (SOB) and you have LADY parts. It is not a sin or a crime or by any means unnatural to consider those parts and not think 'Meh, they'll sit and be patient until I'm married for the first time after my second (or third) oldest sister is contentedly dead.' You will experience wants and what seems to be needs as you grow to be a legal age and get things like driver's licenses and brofriends and internet connections with deletable histories.

I understand. I love you. You have nouns that want of verbs. It is okay. Just don't be stupid about verbs, and protect your nouns like they are the most irreplaceable, non-refundable assets you will ever have. Because they are. Really, truly, they are.

People make decisions. People make mistakes. People have experiences, and heartaches, and wishes, and also sometimes ice cream sundaes. Or sex. Sex is sort of a part of life. Sort of a big part.

Just understand this: I will always love you. I will always have been the sister that told you that there were werewolves that only attacked little girls who wouldn't stay in bed, whether they were asleep or not. I will always wish for the best possible life for you. I will always tell your potential boyfriends that you have herpes. Always. Because of all those other things.

You don't have to tell me all of the groiny things you feel and do. I understand that that is weird. As weird as the word 'weird,' what with its unconventional 'i,' 'e' relationship. But please, please. Not for me. Not for your boy, or girl, or animatronic lover, or any combination of the latter three. Use your brains before your pelvis. Be aware that orgasms are not the only possible repercussion of sex.

"Are we prepared for baby possibilities? No, seriously, are we?"

"Are you diseased? No shame if you are, but are you? Because if you are, I'm not prepared to share a lifetime commitment like that with you."

"Do you love me? No, not do you love me with YOU, do you love me?"

"Do I love you? No, not do I love you with ME, do I love you?"

If he/she/it is not capable/willing to have these AND MORE conversations with you/them/it, he/she/it is not worth your groin sweat.

And if anyone/thing tries to push you past all of those Importants and your own, previously established Rules...please, talk to me. I am not afraid of prison. Seriously. I might actually get that Shakespeare tattoo I've been thinking about. We all win.

I love you. I always will. I only want you to be happy. And healthy. And safe. And comfortable. You can talk to me about anything. I know I haven't always been that way. But I am now. I've grown up some, and I only regret it took as long as it has. Come to me if you need/want to discuss anything. I will keep cringing to a minimum.

I love you.

2. How do I apply this to myself?

The vast majority of all SUUUREEUS issues are power-divided in my head by how I apply them to society and how I apply them to myself. Smarts? FAIL/gain more. Class? NEAT/gain more. Wealth? NO JUDGEMENT/gain more. Sex? NO JUDGEMENT/

Oh, you see where this is going.

/not until marriage


I view sex the same way I view language: it only holds the value you allow it.

Example: the word 'verb.'

I once worked with and lusted after a guy who used the word 'verb' the same way Paula Dean uses the substance 'dairy product.' This dapper man had 'verb' diabeetus. I cannot think of a single sentence he uttered without that specific word. And he dropped it so eloquently, so fluidly...

"There's a verbing mouse in my house...my roommate used its dead body to send a message to its fellows. 'See, verb-face? This is what's verbing coming to you!''

'And she looks at me and I'm all...verb. This is gonna be a verbing cake order.'

'Verbing verb...'

Some of those make more sense in context. I should maybe mention that he had read my man Chandler, which caused little cartoon hearts to float over my head. Also he wrote poetry. Jack Kerouac poetry, but still. Also, he had the finest noun I've ever watched walk away. First Wife and I used to have competitions over who could sneak the most peeks. Pretty sure she was cheating. Still, we both could have gotten fired for sexual harrassment. And that means more than matching tattoos.

Even Shakespeare tattoos.

I forget why I brought him up. Now I'm just thinking about his noun.

RIGHT. WORDS. The value of.

Treat sex like a toy, and that's all it is. Treat sex like a treat, and that's all it is. But if sex is something special--something unique, something reserved, something verbing exclusive--that is what it is.

I may have mentioned: at the time of this writing, I am 25. My blood flows red. I have the internet. I watch Game of Thrones. There is a word that comes to mind that sometimes applies to me. Word as VERB. The kind of word that sometimes drives my generation out to bars or hookah joints or street corners or libraries or internets. While I, nonjudgemental, I swear, stay home. Alone. Wording. On the internet.

Because, someday, I hope to share verbs with a special noun. I want it to be a gift, not an action. I want it to matter, even if it hasn't, in his past, mattered. I won't care about what his scorecard says. What will matter is that he is the first one to make marks on mine.

One could argue that I could expect the same treatment of each/every/figmentary partner. But, for me, sex is not about what is taken or expected. It is about what is given.

And, as I assume this kind of buildup stays with you, there will be a catch. The giving will include a week or so's worth of 'verbing him blind' which I will not be discussing on my blog.

Unless he's into that.

This turned out longer than expected HAHAHAHAHAHA


*this is not open for discussion SHUT UP Jib is number one. As in 'the cut of your, I like'.

Superhero Undies

Superhero Undies. Discuss.

What is the sense in wearing them on the outside? Yes, they stay cleaner, but then the overall leotards have to be super cleaned. They offer some color interruption, so the eye is not blinded up by a solid neon shape as the day is saved, but is that not the point of the chest-logo? And cape? And super-speed?

And then there are costumes that are nothing BUT undies. What's up with that?

Wednesday, April 10, 2013


Brief post today, because I have very little to say and am running off to my Thoughtical Verbosity meeting.

I have been encouraged by Wifey to take a break from my query letter wangst, and am going to try and do some drawing. I want to stick with the theme, so I'll be drawing the characters from Lorelei, Once.

I'm just not sure what I should draw first. Scenes? But that risks spoilers! Character profiles? Maybe. Gag strips? Probably.

As I actually finish pictures, I will post them up here for all to see.

Brief note accomplished!

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Thirteen Steps

As I am awaiting the feedback from my Beta readers and preparing for my conference and working my dayjob and making the most of my Netflix account before it expires on the 20th, I find myself lacking things to do.

My original plan for my year was to write two super-fast, roulette-style novels. Short, to the point, vaguely risky ideas that might take me nowhere. One turned out to be Lorelei, Once, which I fell in love with and spent the year hammering into existence.

The second was a Weird West style novella called Thirteen Steps. It is darker in tone than Lorelei, Once, but has that same fantasy/horror charm that I am beginning to suspect is just my bag. I'd like to tinker with it, but I'm hesitant about leaping into it before Lorelei is totes complete.

Here is the first page, though, for anyone interested.


There’s a noose outside, waiting for me. I can press my face through the rusted bars and stare out at it. Thirteen steps up to the platform, dangling from the scaffold, dancing in the dusty wind that passes through town. Come out, it’s saying. I’ve finally caught up, it’s saying, Come out, come out, and do my dance.

Midday tomorrow is when they’ll lead me out, holding my arms and doing all but moving my legs for me. That part I’ll do on my own. The dust will have been buried deep in the rope by then, and the rope will bury deep in my neck, and then the crowd will holler and that Mister Pollock from the paper will snap his pictures. It ain’t often a woman is hanged. A spectacle, he called it.

Midday, and then the noose won’t have to wait no more. And a long wait it’s been. I’ve led it a long chase since that day in Highwater. 

Seems it was a dusty, windy sort of time then, too. There weren’t no bars involved that time. Just me, and some men, and a tree with what seems to have been that very same noose dangling from it. With my dress all torn to shreds and my face and my hands all bloodied, and the heat rushing around in my limbs, all I could do was shriek and struggle and not that hard at that.

“Now, gents, this ain’t the way, this ain’t the way,” was saying the deputy from his horse. He didn’t stop nobody, though, and the Sheriff was too busy back in his house, mourning.

I got pulled up onto a little stool and I stopped fighting, though I damn near fainted as they lifted my head back to fit that scratchy rope around me. Maybe it weren’t the way, them dragging me out to the tree like that, but even I knew that it was how things would end. Judge, jury and all would send me right back out given the chance. That’s what happens to the guilty. They get punished, and good.

But not that day.

Monday, April 8, 2013


Yesterday, I mentioned that I am a giant poser among Game of Thrones fans because I can't bring myself to finish reading even the first book. I just watch the pretty, pretty pictures, splashing blood and bouncy boobies and am satisfied.

I feel compelled to fess up, now, about all the other ways I am a nerd POSER.

I love books. I talk about books all of the time. Raymond Chandler is my favorite author (but none of my friendpals have read his work! Sob!) and nothing gets me more hot and bothered than a literary discussion. I love fantasy worlds. I love swords, sorcery, and badassery with a medieval twist. LOVE IT.

But I've never read Lord of the Rings. I haven't even got all the way through The Hobbit. Love the movies, though!

I think video games are great. Visual/Audio/Mental entertainment that you CONTROL?! Awesome! In the literal meaning of the word! The modern world has made such things not only possible, but common! Games are super rad! The potential for video games as a storytelling medium is, like, limitless!

I haven't played a 'serious' game through since....crap, I don't even remember. I get too into them, and do nothing but play for days, weeks, a LONG time. I decided to stop playing 'serious' games when I decided to get 'serious' about writing, about five years ago. That was the sacrifice I chose, since I didn't have much by way of a social life.

And that's pretty much it. Perhaps by the time I'm in my 30's, I'll have made up the gap. But I'm not hardcore about any medium. I'm not nerdly enough to keep up with the serious nerds. But I love listening to them nerd out about whatever has caught their attention. And I love it when our interests intersect, and we can rant and rave about the same things.

I actually prefer hanging out with people who are more advanced than me, whether in a technological or just a general life sense, because I love to learn.

What about the rest of you? Are there any embarrassing discrepancies in your personal labels? Do you like being the Alpha in a group, or do you like riding on coattails?

Game of Thrones

I love Game of Thrones. I watched the first two seasons in a span of two days (the last scene of the last episode of season two in the dark with headphones cranked all the way up GAAAAH), and now I am watching the third season every week with my friendpals (First Wife, Wifey, The Boyfriend and Captain).

I love it.

I am also a huge poser of a nerd, because I have continuously failed to read the books. First, it was because they were recommended to me, and as has been mentioned before, I am a huge book snob. I don't NEED recommendations. I can pick my OWN awesome books, thank you very much. Snobby snob hobnob. Then, after getting hooked on the show, I found myself unable to really relish the first book because the show followed it so closely, reading it was redundant.

I still think I should read them, because George RR Martin is a remarkable writer and I do so love his words. But for now, I'm content just to watch the show and enjoy the rantings and ravings of my friends who HAVE read the books.

That's all I have to say. It's probably exactly what thousands of other people are thinking. In fact, a nearly identical blog is probably being written dozens of times over, elsewhere on the internet. But you stuck it out to read mine.

Thank you.


Saturday, April 6, 2013

Brief Thoughts

I am hella distracted at the moment. Trying to perfect my query letter for Lorelei, Once has proven a bit argklgnsdkljke.

I believe the issue is linked to 'seen too much of thisitis.' A common disease amongst the creative branch of humanity. It leaves the sufferer feeling as if they have been repeatedly assaulted with the creative branch of humanity.

Anyhow, yesterday I worked all day and then went to the home of Verbosity, where Mr. and Mrs. Verbosity and I stayed up until stupid o'clock having some of the best conversationings evar. Over two hours of Beatles trivia, a few hours of hijink flashbacks, a bowl of amazerazering spaghetti and also they gave me candy. I do not know why such sparkling, smoky-grinned wits enjoy having me over, but they certainly do know how to get me to come over. I think I'm going to marry them both. And adopt all of their children.

Verbosities, I do so love thee.

This morning, First Wife wrangled me out of self-induced jerkassery by pointing out that I am a stupid child who forgets to feed itself. Except she said it all funny and sweet and then bought me food. Then my brain stopped being overheated and turned back into a wordy factory of nonsense. I much prefer myself that way, and am very glad that she loves me either way, because I suppose someone has to, and she may be the sole reason I never end up in prison.

Life has been a bit of a lovefest for me lately, in that I continuously find myself surrounded by people I want to make proud with gobs of success, but who dote on me regardless. I am incredibly fortunate in that regard! I don't know how I stumbled into this situation, but I'm going to bask in it.

The query will wait until tomorrow.


Thursday, April 4, 2013


What I want at least third-most in the world is to travel.

I want to see all of the things! I want to go places one wouldn't normally go. Just because they're there. I want to meet people I will, otherwise, never meet. Or even just see them. I want to experience rusty, dusty roads and feel the echoes of the people who traveled them before me.

As I live in the most Northerly, Westerly place I can get by car, I plan to start South. Then, East. Then North again. Until I hit the roof of North America. Then I'll dilly-dally in whatever place sang loudest to me. Then I'll hit up some other country--preferably Europe (specifically the UK).

But, in order to do it the way I want, I first have to accomplish the other two things I want even MORE.

I have to make money as an author--or a writer. But preferably an author.

I have to quit the dayjob scene.

My ultimate goal is to be an almost full-time nomad. Who writes. And mystery-visits various friends and family--with presents. And stories.

But I haven't earned it yet. Not on my terms.

That doesn't lessen the brain-itch.

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

'Tis Banquo's

I have a lot of nothing to say today. I keep sitting here, trying to think of something cool or deep or in any other way resembling a York Mint Patty. But I have nothing. So I'll share the adventure I had this morning.

On my way into work, a line from Macbeth popped into my head:

MACBETH: There's blood on thy cheek.

SASSASSIN: Then 'tis----

That was all I could remember. For those of you not in the know (or not stupid into Shakespeare) these two fellows are discussing the successful assassination of Macbeth's best friend (it's complicated ((it's Shakespeare))). But for the life of me, I could not remember the final word in this exchange--the name of Macbeth's friend.

Translated, the exchange reads like this:

MACBETH: You've got blood on your face. Like, right there. *poke*

SASSASSIN: It's cool. It didn't come out of MY body. It came out of the body of that dude. You know--the one you hired me to kill in the face. The guy whose name is--


I tried repeating this exchange 108 times in my head, but could not get that final word to appear in my mental word processor. I tried shifting around to other parts in the play--in the very beginning, when the witches hail MACBETH, future king, and ------, father of kings.

The closest I could get was B-----. I thought it was 'Ben' something. I began to bastardize other Shakespearean names to try and figure it out. Benvolio? Bercutio? Everything came out vaguely Italiany, because the last Shakespeare I read was Twelfth Night, and durrrrrr I just could not crank that name out of my subconscious and into my mouth.

I asked my workmates. Even the nerdy ones (Wifey, Buhlamon and Shamalambs) had nothing for me. Most had either never read Macbeth (HOW) or hadn't read it since 8th grade, which was strangely time-distant for some of us. Buhlamon is a delightful man who spent a considerable time as an actor, and was hilariously, dramatically wincey when we said the name MACBETH.

It wasn't 'Ben' anything. Ba---- or Bo---. Definitely. And full of syllables.

I started asking random coworkers outside of the bakery (the grocery store is a bit like a flat globe, full of other, distant lands with strange ways and unique languages) but it was all more of the same. Even though I have a miniature computer phone made for miracles, I couldn't bring myself to internet cheat. I don't know why. It was just one of those things I decided for myself.

Nerd masochism?

This went on for hours. Finally, at lunch time, I was able to text First Wife.


I should mention that First Wife has the mark of the theatre on her. Permanent ink on her forearm. It's pretty badass.

She floundered for about three seconds before she started getting really close guesses. I was mid-text-whine when it hit me, the combination of hours of gray-matter-scouring and her lobs of 'Banqi, no, Banqo, wait'



"There's blood on thy face."

"Then, 'tis Banquo's."

Why was this such a big deal? Shrug. Probably the same reason Shakespeare is a big deal. It's just worth knowing.

And that's all I've got.

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Fine Days

I have staggered up from the tangled top of my bed to write this post. I am not sick, but this is the last day of my 'weekend' (nonconformist dayjob schedules do terrible things to basic ideas like 'weekdays' and 'weekends') and I have to return to a normal sleep schedule to prepare for the work week. I realized in the middle of a dream--one of those strange scenes that feels less like switching from one state of consciousness to the next, and more like slipping into another room during play rehearsal--that I hadn't posted yet. There will probably come a day when I fail to do a daily blog, but I am determined to make it at least a solid seven days before that occurs.

Blah blah blah, on to the topic at hand.

The weekend was grand. I walked a lot. I listened to oodles of music (Beatles, Lumineers, Alela Diane, Led Zep). I started to draw something--a gift for a friend--and sort of gave up on it because my computer is turning into a hacking old woman who can't handle too much excitement. iTunes no longer works for this very reason. Insta-shut-down, every time.

But the weather was too lovely to spend my two days off in front of a screen, anyway. Today, outside of laundry and sandwich preparation, I did nothing but something I haven't done in far too long: I settled on my bed, next to the wide-open windows that were positively bursting with sunlight, and I read a book*.

It is a simple activity, one that negates all outside matters. Delving into someone else's world, allowing them to take you by the arm and lead you through matters completely beyond your control. Losing sense of where you are, until it seems you have been drawn out of your physical form entirely, all of the bits that make you *you* spilling out into the pages at hand.

I'm embarrassed to say it's been over a year since I last enjoyed a book** so much. I could argue that I've been busy working on my own, and I don't particularly like to read other works when I'm writing, because it messes with my character's voices, and the way they appear on the page. But I think it's more than that. Partly, I turned myself into an insufferable book snob. I spoiled myself, reading only THE BEST writers and THE BEST works they had to offer. I shifted my reading brain into an overly critical beast that curled its lip at every silly little flaw, with a whisper of, 'This could be so much better.'

Which is, on several levels, incredibly stupid. I've always loved reading. I've always loved adventure stories. I want to offer the joy I've felt in reading others' works to new readers, by sharing some of my own stories. Turning any part of that into a chore--turning reading into research--will do as much to advance my writing career as if I simply stopped writing.

So, as well as doing this daily blogamajig, I'm going to make a concerted effort to read more. A book a week, at the very least. My library is big enough and full enough of unread material that I should be able to keep going for a while. I've canceled my Netflix account to help me along. It will be an exciting day when I can say I've actually read all of the books in my library!

Now, I'm going back to bed. I hope you'll forgive me for any word wibble-wobbles. I'm still pretty nodded-off.

Take care!


*Ransom Riggs, Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children

**Veronica Roth, Divergent

Monday, April 1, 2013

The Loneliest Number

What is loneliness?

This may seem an odd question, coming from someone who lives alone. But still, I cannot help but offer that most base, unphraseable query: what is loneliness?

Is it the empty, hollow feeling of one who finds themselves inconsequential?

Is it the echo we feel when we see what others have, when we see the way they communicate with their loved ones without offering a single word?

Is it the alienation we feel when lost in a crowd that seems to be comprised entirely of a massive group we cannot find our place in?

All these and more, no doubt. Loneliness is envy. It is strife. It is bitter. It is the most vile spy, capable of slipping in through hordes and stacked walls, blending in with secret nods and invisible codes. The miserable creature that is 'Alone' is able to end the bleakest streak of non-comraderie and join the Lost together with an invisible chain.

We never recognize those that feel lonely until they speak up, shining a spotlight onto their seemingly solitary existence. The very act of admitting the lightest of personal flaws eliminates it.

Why, then, do so many choose to travel on with the gray cloak of singular solidarity? Stubbornness? Pride? Embarrassment? Tongue cut out during the last Inquisition?

Isolation is a common theme throughout literature and humanity. The very first conscious being was alone until they pleaded for a companion. The worst and most effective state of any fictional hero is when they find themselves sans assistance.

Though I am, as previously noted, young and imperfect, I would argue that the best and worst times occur during loneliness. It is far easier to be brave, selfless, and generous when others are looking. It strikes me that the only black and white moments we face exist when the only judge available lives silent in our mental mirror.

Even so, I would admonish anyone within hearing distance to seek out the lonely. Fill their black-and-white existences with gray spectrums. Know that loneliness is the path to wisdom--not the path to happiness.

That's all I have for today. Talk to you tomorrow!