Last night a storm rolled in and right on cue my brain meats have decided to not be happy. So, today I'm struggling to focus. I hate this. A lot. But hey, more doctors' appointments next week. Hopefully, someone will have some answers. Again, at least this isn't happening every day anymore. So, there's that. And I can write, and OMG, I need to. I've got to go and do that now. Things to do.
Hope you're weekend is going well.
Filed under things that give me hope for humanity: THIS. Even the idea of Kinetic Wave Power Stations gives me the happy-chills. Even better? They can add wind and solar power generation to the stations. And they'll hit the market next year. Just... wow. Denmark, you rule. What with all the news about Climate Change, this makes me one very happy bunny. I've been waiting to see what hat-trick science was going to pull off to save our bacon. (And crossing my fingers that it'd come soon.) I'm relieved to see something being implemented. Still, it's not enough and not fast enough to stop permanent harm. But hey, it seems humanity always waits until the last instant and things have really gotten serious to make changes. [shrug] I fear that's just how we work.
In other news, I watched the first episode of Happy Valley. A friend (Ben) recommended it to me because he likes anything with strong women as leads, and he knows I like dark stuff.
Its title seems to be intended as...ironic. This is a dark series. And it starts off with a layoff-ridden working class town and a young man attempting to set himself on fire. It doesn't get happier from there. I'm not sure how long I can last it, but it's very well written, that's for sure. It had me talking to the screen for a start. (Come on, dude. He's a drug dealer scumbag. You're a white businessman in the UK. All you have to say is, "Police! That dude! Drugs!" and anything the scumbag says about you is pretty much negated--even if it's the truth. You're already a scum-sucking weasel. Don't be a gutless scum-sucking weasel with an empty wallet on top.) Still, I like Catharine Cawood as a character. And hell, she's 47 and the protagonist. How rare is that on television?
 And this is the type of thing that causes people to stare at me with gaping mouths when, during a DnD session my paladin says shit like, "I am not a thief. But if I were, this is how I'd circumvent your problem [in detail] with Crime Lord in the most ruthless way possible that will probably hurt him quite a lot before he dies screaming. Of course, we all know that I am not a thief, and I would not do this thing." [smiles Good Guy Paladin Smile of Shiny] Hey, lawful good doesn't have to mean lawful stupid.
Ever had one of those mornings when your mind is a blank? That's me right now. I'm nearing the home stretch as it were with the novel. So, my brain is busy working on that. (As it should be.) The migraines have slowed to once every week or two. (Thank the gods.) Even better, I feel less foggy. So, hey, Sea monster Sam has decided it's time to chill. That makes me happy. Other than that, there's not a hell of a lot going on around here--which is good. It means all is well. Sure, there's the Hugo Awards thing, but others have said all the things worth saying about that. In actual news, Tennessee has created some even more fucked up anti-QLTBG legislation, and Oklahoma has become a place where it isn't safe to sleep, let alone drink alcohol. Yeah, sorry, y'all. I'm so, not traveling to Oklahoma any time soon. The assholes are done hiding from the look of things. Why do I have the feeling that screaming "States' rights!" and "Religious Freedom!" is just code for "I don't want to be forced to be a decent human being."? Because, you know, it sure as hell looks that way from here. Hey, at least we know who not to hang out with. (Apologies to the cool people I know who sadly live in Oklahoma and Tennessee--you, I would happily hang with.)
In much less important news...Dane got us a copy of Dixit, the card game, and I can't wait to play. The images are beautiful and inspiring, and the game is a lot of fun. We played it in February at a friend's house. Next to Betrayal at House on the Hill, it's my favorite board game.
 Beyond "No, I don't think authors should withdraw this year as they did last year because that's what the assholes want." and "The more you tighten your grip, the more star systems will slip through your fingers."...I've got zilch to add. Three years in a row, the controversy is not longer a controversy. It's just assholes being assholes. In other words, it's Thursday. :)
As I mentioned before, I'm reading Mary Beard's SPQR, and one of the things that I've been thinking about is the idea that in order for civilization to exist, a majority needs to believe that the system of order (government) is working for them. The moment that percentage dips below a certain number, then the protests start. When the protests are ignored the riots begin. And when the riots become violent and that violence grows into an everyday, ordinary thing...the sweater unravels and the whole mess catches on fire and then falls into the swamp. Everyone is screwed. The thing is, this has been going on since forever, and yet, we're still making the same mistakes. My hope is it's because we're learning different distinctions surrounding a very big, complex problem. I do believe (in spite of being a GenX cynic) that progress is a loop--like a waltz, and that humanity is making headway. We're just doing it while spinning in a pattern that we can't see. The idea of the larger view being a spinning pattern makes me think of fractals. And fractals (thanks to a recent re-read of Jurassic Park) make me think of Chaos Theory. And we'll stop there because we'll spin off course. But it's a fun direction, anyway...
This morning, my agent brought this into my life:
Which is pretty neat, since one of the cool people I've known since '95 has reappeared in my life, Tony Lee. And Tony is a huge Calvin and Hobbs fan. :)
So, yesterday, I discovered that, yes, bad weather is definitely a migraine trigger for me. Can I just say: DO NOT WANT!? [sigh] It's cool. Everyone has some bit of unpleasant they have to deal with. I'm still writing, though, and that's what matters to me. I've just hit the part where the brakes fall off the plot roller-coaster and the characters go careening into the crazy. Heh. This is where it gets really good...well...for me. Maybe not so much for them. ;)
Good morning, y'all! Hope you're having a good Monday. I'm moving a little slower than usual. (It happens.) Ready to get you're blood moving? Let's do this thing! Today's video is an extended take down of Sleepy Hollow. I feel she's spot on. I know my level of interest goes almost exactly with hers. Season One: awesome batshit crazy cool. Season Two: WTF? I'm a white woman, and I'm done with the Misery Witch shit. Can we have more Abby? Season Three: Mmmm. Nah. I'm done. Season Four: Nope. So much nope. Anyway, she goes into what happened and what it means more thoroughly than I've seen before.
The bait and switch routine is so not cool, y'all. I'm with her about the fact that they seem to be more concerned with upholding racism than they are with making money or ratings. For me, I feel we need diversity because not having diversity teaches a lack of empathy. Its time to understand that the more inclusive we are, the more creative and fun a story can be. Personally, I'm putting more effort into making some changes. I'm listening. And I'm getting more confident about tackling my own issues in my writing.
Sorry. I've not much to say today. Been focused on the writing which has been going pretty great. I love it when the words come out with little effort and the whole thing seems to be fitting together just so. One of my favorite things, really... 1,000 words yesterday and 600 so far today. (I slept late.)
Yesterday, I spent time with old friends I hadn't seen in quite a while. It was really nice to do so. Had a great time sipping cider, philosophizing, and watching fireflies with my buddy, Sean. (It'd been far too long.) I got to ride to the store for party supplies in The Precious.™ (Troy's yellow corvette.) Overall, it was really wonderful to see everyone. I'm sad we missed the earlier part of the evening...but that's okay. I'm sloooowly recovering. (It's mostly my neck hurting, and the a...ceremonial forgetting to drink water due to having too much fun yesterday.)
Speaking of old friends...someone I haven't seen since '95 posted this photo on FB.
Holy crap, that was a long time ago. LOL. (Most certainly pre-Dane.) That's me on the far bottom right. My friends Troy (top left), Thad (fourth from the left, back row), Harry (fifth from the left, back row), Tony (standing behind me), Austin (kneeling next to me), and Heather Rose (in the white poet shirt.) And if I'm remembering right...the door behind us is the closet where Troy slept. LOL. (There were six of us staying in a room designed for two.) It was Convergence 1 in Chicago. It was 1995, and the first time goths from all over the world (or at least the US, Canada, and the UK) had gotten together. That was an amazing weekend. It was also pretty tense as I'd been kind of dumped by my boyfriend not long before. (Long story.) Anyway...It's so odd looking at that photo now. It was the first time I'd been to Chicago--or traveled anywhere other than Austin or San Antonio without my family.
Hope you're having a great Saturday even though it's now 56% less fabulous. (Yeah. Yeah. I'm still not over it.) Yesterday was good in spite of the news. I got in 1,000 words in all at once on Blackthorne in spite of the migraines. Always a good thing. I love it when things start clicking in new ways and the characters are cooperating and we're all having a lovely time.
In other news, I've been watching Netflix's House of Cards, finally. I don't know what it is about me and stories about politics run by a nest of spiders, but I absolutely love it. Always have.
I'm now in the middle of season 2, after having taken a break. By far, my favorite thing is the portrayal of Claire and Francis's marriage. They're both powerful, despicable, and beyond manipulative. And yet, they absolutely have one another's backs. It's fascinating to watch because most often in a story like that the wife is a weak doormat. In this case, Claire is every bit his equal--if not his superior. She brutally pushes Francis when she senses he needs pushing, and cares for him when he needs care. And it's demonstrated even though she never says "I love you." in the first season. (For example: she buys him a rowing machine and orders him to use it.) Thus, at first, you're lulled into thinking it's a loveless partnership. It's not that at all as becomes brutally obvious later.
Today, the world is three times less fabulous than it was before. I can't even. Prince was only fifty-seven, FFS!!! [sigh] Come on, 2016. Stop screwing with my heroes. I mean it. I've a number of great memories with a Prince soundtrack. Like when I drove my very first Miata (Red) with top down to the tune of Little Red Corvette. I stopped at a light and was laughing my ass off and enjoying the sunshine and the world and my part in it when a gentleman pulled up next to me in a Lexus. He grinned and said something sweet that let me know he was in on the joke. It was the second song I played in that car as I drove it off the lot. (The first was, of course, Cyndi Lauper's Girls Wanna Have Fun. Because hells to the yes--why the fuck wouldn't you? Gods, I loved that car. His name was Pyewacket.) Prince wrote practically every song I danced my ass off to in the '80s. Reading about his last days, it seems like he knew what was on it's way. In a way, I'm glad of that. Having had a brush with death myself...there's this thing that happens sometimes, if you're lucky. You see the world and the people in it for the gorgeous, amazing-ness that they all are. You see how much of a gift the people you love are. Even strangers are incredible. You see how special everything is and (I believe) you get to take that bright and shining love with you into the dark. He deserved that.
I wasn't planning on going on that long about someone I didn't even know. But there you are.
 Prince, David Bowie, and Terry Pratchett?! Grrrrr.
 Of course I named him after Kim Novak's familiar in Bell, Book, and Candle. Just like I named my '67 Mustang, Lasher. ;)
It's raining again, and I'm happy about that. I love rain, and even more I love trees. No rain? Sad, sad trees. Mind you, Texas is no longer draught-ridden. And I hope like hell it stays that way. This Spring has been cool and wet, overall. That's been nice. Wonderful writing weather.
Speaking of writing...this morning I came upon a useful article on Chuck Wendig's site written by Elsa S. Henry titled So, You Wanna Write a Blind Character? Good stuff and timely too, given that I've a blind character in Blackthorne. Originally, the character in question was merely a gentleman in his 50s from Acrasia, but two things happened that caused me to change my mind--well, three really. First, I know Sarah Chorn. We met when she reviewed Of Blood and Honey and wanted to talk about Liam Kelly's dyslexia. I've been thinking about how to add characters with disabilities ever since. Second, I wanted to underline a distinction between Eledore (a country which has medical magic) and Acrasia (which doesn't.) I've been using 'medical magic' as an analog for modern medicine. Largely, I've seen too many Epic Fantasies that don't show what life is without working medical care. Everyone is too perfect. Countries go to war, and there are no missing limbs in evidence--no scars, no blindness, no permanent damage of any kind. It's not right. Such details make or break a fictional world. Anyway, the third and final reason is...well...Cold Iron was recorded for a library for the blind. The fact that there was enough interest in my work that it made that happen? Well...I had to include a blind character as a tip of the hat. I just did. So, enter Councilor James Slate, refugee, ex-university professor, artist, statesman, spy master, and well...cataracts sufferer. I'm still doing research on the subject, but one of the best things I found was 33 Worst Mistakes Writers Make About Blind Characters. It's an eBook, and it's cheap. (At least, I think so. I've spent a lot more than $9 on books about Northern Ireland, that's for sure.) Anyway, it's great to find more resources. Thanks, Elsa S. Henry.
 I say this because I've totally made mistakes like this. :)
is a Science Fiction and Fantasy author living in Texas.