Good afternoon, y'all. I'm back from the agency retreat. Wow, am I ever exhausted. A wonderful time was had. I got to see Barry and Jen and friends (both new and old) and ate some amazing food. The hotel we were in was pretty much an ode to British colonialism. (The computer room was decorated in wall to wall The Queen. No joke.) The fun part was the rooms were themed. Each was name for a famous British author. (Also, you got a bookmark with your room key.) My room-mate and I got Wordsworth. Anyway, fun times were had, relatives visited--I was born in St.Louis, MO. And well, now it's back to work. This week is going to be a busy one.
Alas, I didn't get much in the way of link-curating done because I was mainly off the internet with the exception of Twitter. So, this may be short. :)
Entertainment/Literary: HOW THE MUMMY DID SOFIA BOUTELLA DIRTY. Hot tip: don't screw over your co-star, men. It will come back to bite you later. Twenty Years or More From Stardom.
General: Senator Kamala Harris Has A Strategy To End The Pay Gap For Black Women. Perhaps the oddest thing about that article is the fact that it's plastered in ads for McDonald's food. Yes. McDonald's. That fast-food restaurant that rallied against the idea of raising minimum wage. The restaurant infamous for treating its employees like shit. Bustle, I'm not sure what you're saying there. Alt-right commentator claims Romans weren't ethnically diverse, gets owned by actual historian. That one is pretty amazing.
Trigger Warning: Fired cop who killed 15-year-old Jordan Edwards indicted on murder charge.
It's still Tuesday! I swear! Sorry, I'm heading out of town for my agency retreat which means that this is the last blog entry for the week. I'll be Tweeting because I won't be able to help myself, but mostly I'll be working. That's what the retreat is for, see. :)
Okay, and now for the Feminist Monday-ish links and things.
Today was pretty depressing on the political/healthcare front. To say I'm frustrated with Republicans is an understatement. I seriously don't have any use for them at this moment. Empathy and compassion for other human beings is important--far more important than a tax cut for a group of people who won't even notice the pittance the tax cut equates to. Seriously. And it's not like that money is going to go back into the economy. Trickle down economics is bullshit.
I'm a Queen Latifa fan. She just makes me smile. So, I'll be watching Girls Trip. :)
Sorry, y'all. I'll post it tomorrow. Today is just not happening. Outpatient surgery (aka the actual neck injections designed to evict the head bees for a year part 1 of 2) has managed to slam me on my ass for today. (They didn't just numb the problem nerves in my neck--they burned them. They grow back. Thus, the process lasts a year--hopefully.) I thought I was going to be able to do it, but having just fallen on my backside with a barstool wrapped around my leg...well...I'm thinking this is for the best.
Tomorrow. I promise. In the meantime, I'll be on the sofa--tweeting (even if it's ill-advised,)
reading, and watching tv.
 I never claimed to be the most graceful of women. Also, OUCH! And oh, my, the bruises I'll be having. [sigh] It was silly of me to try to balance myself on one leg today.
There are quite a few great shows cropping up these days. Here are a few that I'm looking forward to. The first is Bright.
And then there's Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets.
And the next one makes me cry every time I see it because I keep thinking of how Wonder Woman made me feel, and I'm thrilled that another minority group gets to have that same feeling. This is why I'm into SF/F y'all. THIS. (And that soundtrack is amazing.)
Last night, one hardback and one paperback copy of Blackthorne arrived on my doorstep. They're all official looking. It still feels unreal to see my name on a book cover like that--let alone four of them all neatly arranged on a shelf. (Oh, imposter syndrome. [sigh]) Oh, I should mention that Cold Iron, the first novel in the series, is on sale for 99 cents (the Kindle version) on Amazon. The paperback is $7.99 and the hardback can be found there too.
On to other things.
Today, I'm going to provide you with a bit more Suvi, Dylan, and Dar.
Good morning! I hope your weekend was a good one. Mine was both good and bad. On the upside, we had the announcement that the 13th regeneration of Doctor Who will be a white woman. Like my weekend, this is good and bad. Good: Yay! Female! Bad: Not a WOC. I can be happy and unhappy at the same time, and I am. I'm so pleased that the Doctor won't be yet another white man that I'm actually planning on watching the show for the first time ever. Jody Whittaker is an amazing actress. (Just watch her in Antigone.) At exactly the same time, there is usually an order to these things in the more conservative end of the progressive pool. White women are generally the next in line when it comes to representation. In a lot of ways it's the safest choice, after all. Nonetheless, it didn't abate the shitstorm of misogyny on the internet from grown men who know less about sharing toys than the average five year old child. (Thank the gods none of them were on my feed.) Ultimately, this is pretty wonderful. Like Alex Acks says so well, I grew up having to pretend to be male if I wanted to play pretend as one of my SF/F heroes. To quote from their blog: "And yes, you can pretend as many things as you like, but for all children are intensely imaginative, they’re also weirdly pedantic in certain ways. If you don’t ever see a girl being the Doctor, you come to feel that the Doctor is not something you’re allowed to be. Like when the young son of a friend of mine sadly informed one of his female classmates (this happened before we had Ahsoka and Rey, mind) that she couldn’t play Jedi with him and his friends, because girls aren’t Jedi – his parents corrected him on that one, but he made a perfectly logical conclusion from what he’d observed." This was very much my experience as a kid. Anyway, it's a great read. Ultimately, I have two hopes: the first is that the companion won't be male. Inevitably, there will be pressure for romantic tension between them, and when that happens the balance of power will tip toward the man. It's one of the reasons I hate the "a woman isn't successful unless she has a man" schtick. It reduces every female character as Woman = sex, romantic potential. It's awful. Let's stop. Shall we? The second thing is, if the companion is male I hope he's not a black man because cue in the Driving Miss Daisy association. I want a black man to play a significant role in the series. That would be amazing. Just...context is important, y'all.
And now, links.
I flipped open the latest issue of Vanity Fair this morning and was struck with a sudden thought about the first few pages. I've an art degree, and one of the things you learn as an art student is the power of images as communication. That's obvious, I know, but I wanted to set up my thought process for those who didn't go to art school. Images are their own language. Art galleries spent a great deal of care in setting up the order of images patrons experience for this reason. Professionals are employed for this very purpose.
Now, back to Vanity Fair. The first advertisement I came to was of the cast of Empire.
In case you're not American or you are an American but you've been living under a rock, it's a great television series about the music business, and involves a powerful man who owns a hip-hop music label and is his family. The image above isn't the exact image in the magazine. I just wanted to give you an idea of my experience. Okay. The next image was from Star, another television series about the music industry. I can't find the exact image which is sad because in this case it does matter. It's a two-page ad showing a majority of PoCs (five out of seven) -- one white man and one white woman. Cool. Another success fantasy. I'm down. Flip page.
Imagine emblazoned across the top the words: "Find your gift. Find your power." This is from the new series The Gifted. It's about a normal family with children who have super powers a la the Marvel Universe.
My brain went straight to: people of color fantasy about success = reality-based dreams. White people fantasy about success = gods. I did a double take.
Yeah. That. Just. Wow.
 Just as people will argue that words don't have deeper layers of meaning--an absurd argument from my perspective
 In that the various definitions of individual words are implied even though they aren't directly used. For example the word dilettante. Merriam-Webster's definition is:
or dilettantiplay \-ˈtän-tē, -ˈtan-tē\
Now, look up the word "man" and tell me that it's 100% gender neutral. It isn't. It's impossible to use that word without masculine context. Context matters. And yet, someone will still step up and insist that it isn't the case. [eye roll]
 Oh, and of course the women are blonde which only adds an extra layer of white supremacy.
 Yes. I'm aware that isn't the intent. Nor is it a universal interpretation. But the subconscious message is there.
This jpeg brought to you because of a Twitter rant and a conversation with Monica Valentinelli.
Today will be a full day. I have to finish those blog posts, write 900 words on new novel, get a haircut, run some errands, and get my ass to Nicky Drayden's and Chris Brown's signings over at BookPeople. And damn it, it's noon already. Somewhere in there I have to find time for lunch. But at least the St.Louis adventure is booked. (I think. Glares at Travelocity.) I have something I can wear in a swimming pool at the hotel. And my hair is freshly dyed.
All super fascinating stuff, I'm sure.
May your weekend be fabulous.
It's time for another snippet from Blackthorne. This time from Caius's point of view.
I decided to use this Aliens image because it made me smile this morning. No significance other than that. :) Let's move on into those links, shall we?
Today's link is Black Girl Nerds review Wonder Woman. For the record, I saw WW twice and bawled both times. ;)
is a Science Fiction and Fantasy author living in Texas.