Category Archives: Uncategorized

Moving the Show

In the next few days this blog will be moving over to WordPress. Google’s new privacy policy does not sit well with me and I feel it is in my best interest to mosey on. I’ll post the details and my new link in a bit, and then all of the posts here will go away. Please follow me over to WordPress, where we can pick up where we left off.I’m sorry to do this, and to possibly lose some of you great followers who’ve jumped on board these past several years. But, a girl’s gotta do what a girl’s gotta do.

 Details soon, and then I’ll try and think of a fun new post for my new home.

 Damn, I knew I shouldn’t have played the whale card so soon.



That is all.

Thoughts on Whales

About a week ago I promised Kate Sterling a post on why I’m terrified of whales. I’ve been giving this a lot of thought, of how to approach the topic so I don’t sound like a loon. However, I don’t think it’s possible, so I figured I’d just go whole-loon–with drawings!

Whales are huge.
No, whales are bigger than huge. You look at a bull, an elephant, one of those stretch Hummer limos, and you go, “Wow, that’s huge” (and in one case, tacky). But, a whale is somekindamathpercentagetimes bigger than all of those. In fact, a blue whale could be my house.
Let’s look at this boring drawing of a blue whale compared to a human:
Now, let’s look at my super-scientific drawing of that same whale being my house:
As you can see, the entirety of my downstairs could fit inside a blue whale. If you stacked two blue whales on top of each other, they would be my house. I could install a nice stairway between the two, and it would be exactly like living in my house (except moist and fishy, which I am proud to say my house is not). Whales are THAT big, and they’re just down there, churning through the dark, all big and monster-like. You can’t see what they’re doing, what they’re about to do. They could be hanging around near the bottom one second, and then decide they’re feeling a little vitamin D deficient and barrel to the surface the next. I’m aware (despite my fang depiction) that they’re most likely not the next incarnation of Jaws 3–mindful killing machines with a fixed, personal interest in filtering me to death. What matters is that don’t matter. This size advantage is clearly the whale’s. It is just going to do what it’s trying to do, and if I’m in the way, too damn bad. The whale is not going to see me, and even if it does at the last second, that doesn’t mean it won’t accidentally hurt me. Hell, I step on my cats all the time, just because they’re small and have decided to hang out in a place I didn’t expect them to be.
Not a smart person

You never see a squirrel strolling along suddenly stop, stand slack-jawed and goggle-eyed, and say, “Oooh, Mary, look!  A human!” as you pop out of nowhere in their general vicinity. No. The squirrel collects Mary and hightails it up the nearest telephone pole. He knows to get out of the way because HUMANS ARE BIGGER. And when it looks like the ocean has grown a brand new mountain right in front of you, it’s probably time to get back on land.
So, no. I don’t think whales are going to eat me. I don’t think they’re plotting some sort of Avery-involved hostile takeover down in the deep. I don’t think they’re evil (again, despite the fangs I drew). I just don’t want this to be my last interaction:
And this completes the post on my wholly irrational terror of whales.

A New Year, and an Apocalypse to Look Forward to.

Happy 2012, everyone!

2011 will not be missed by many. It was a rough year, to say the least. But, it was my first full year as a published author, and my first year as a roller derby girl. So, even though the socioeconomic aspect was fairly sucktastic, I still have to chalk it up as one of my best years ever.

I have several writing projects in the works, one of which is super secret and involves branching into other genres–something that is both exciting and intimidating. I have a possible anthology inclusion, and a few collaboration projects hanging on the back burner. Along with the three novel projects that have been slowly coming to fruition–Junket City, Harmony, The Harrower, I unearthed a discarded manuscript and realized it was fairly good.  So, I’m adding, The House of Doors to the lineup. Look for Junket City to make its appearance first. For those of you who didn’t participate in its creation, it is the story of demon hunter EllaNon de Mortens who sells demon nodes to the addicted, yet socially uptight denizens of Junket City, and her struggle to save her beloved city from enslavement by a dimension-traveling impostor.

In roller derby I am again on the travel team. I’ve managed to skate twenty-nine laps in five minutes (I used to sweat doing twenty), and I’m no longer afraid to put on either the jammer or pivot panty. This season we face some new opponents, including Charm City’s Female Trouble, and our travels will even take us to Puerto Rico. All I need for that last one to happen is to man up and get my tail on a plane. Yep, yours truly is not a fan of (the notion of) flying. I have been on a medivac helicopter, but no one asked me if I wanted to do it, and there wasn’t much I could do at the time to stop it. Other than that, I have never been in the air. My reasons for not doing so could encompass an entire post altogether, so I’ll just keep it at that.

Everything seems poised to stream in the right direction for the next twelve months. I just need a little luck, a little more perseverance, and for the apocalypse to hold off for another few years. If all of that can come together, I think 2012 should be pretty damn cool.

One of my “projects” also includes getting back to weekly posts. Maybe next week I’ll tell you why I don’t like flying, and maybe even why whales scare the crap out of me.

Until then, have a happy New Year’s Day.

Locking Wheels

It’s amazing how fast you can go on wheels.  Just a few sweeping pushes with the legs and you’re off, spinning around the track at breakneck speed.  Not many things come easily to me, but being on skates is one of them.  That’s not to say I don’t work at it.  I do.  Very hard.  But, it feels natural.  Safe, even.  I know that sounds ridiculous when I am on the track for the sole purpose of bashing into people, but there it is.  I feel safe on skates.

It’s the same with writing.  Even when I had barely mastered the basics of reading, when I was just learning the foundation elements of what comprised a story, I found I could not only immerse myself in a world created by another, but forge one of my own.  My stories were simple, of course, but they came to me easily.  I have since learned that there is also a hell of a lot to learn about storytelling, and have had to hone my skills a hundred times over, but still the basics, the “what if” comes with little effort.

In skating I allow myself to hit walls.  Not literally, of course; that would hurt. I’m talking about physical limitations.  I know I am still learning after ten months, that I can’t possibly jump on a pair of skates and know everything about derby in one, two, five years.  It takes time, and it takes time for my muscles to accept the fact I’m now expecting them to do more than just help me sit at a desk.  I can accept my failures, set goals to improve from those pitfalls, and understand with complete objectivity that the whole thing will take time.  So, my question really is:

Why the hell can’t I do that with my writing?

When I write, I want it perfect from sentence one.  I want the whole story laid out before me, shining and whole, no plot tangles, no ugly surprises somewhere around page one-fifty.  To have a day, week, or month with little output is so unacceptable that I would rather not do anything than face the fact that I might fall short of my own stupid expectations.  Like a fresh meat skater terrified of picking up her feet, I am barely rolling along, locking wheels with myself, hindering my own growth, and almost guaranteeing I’m going nowhere except onto my face.

I know where the problem lies.  Adventure.  I don’t have a sense of it when writing. I’m so bogged down with my need to have order that I’ve forgotten (so soon after Junket City, even) how to be spontaneous in storytelling.  To be organic.

I’m trying it today.  No outline, no starting from page one.  Just jumping into a random scene and writing until I’m done.  I’m unlocking my wheels and picking up my feet.  Let’s see how fast I can go.

Another Delay

Once again, I’m delaying the next installment of my story.  The Architect (whom I have not seen more than twenty minutes of in the past two weeks) wants to spend time with me today.  And I don’t say no to him–not even for you guys.  And next week I might be headed out to help some family with a home improvement project.  I’d like to get that part over with before Memorial Day weekend, because Memorial Day + Chesapeake Bay Bridge + beachgoers = hours long traffic jams.  But, that part still isn’t concrete, so if next week ends up clear, I’ll post.  If not, well, I’ll get back to work as soon as possible.

Sorry again to be putting things off.  One of these days I’ll join the new century, get a laptop, and make my entire work existence as portable as the rest of me.

Voting Closed–Urm, a Few Hours Ago

Whoops!  Forgot the official “Voting’s Closed” announcement.

But, it is.

See you Friday.

"Mid-Installment Mini-Vote" Voting will Close Tomorrow

For those interested, voting for the the question: “Do the doors open?” will close tomorrow at noon.  I’m not sure which way the vote is leaning right now; the Architect has worked around 150 hours since last week on a project due tomorrow, so I’ve been busy running errands for him and making sure he’s not going to collapse and die, and haven’t had a chance to tally the current vote count, yet.  So, it’ll be a big surprise for all of us.

Be sure to check in on Friday for Part two of Installment Six, “Through the Frost.”

Thanks for reading.  Thanks for playing.

See you Friday.

Six Years

Sorry about the posting fail on Friday.  Because of (insert “blah, blah, blah,” here) I’ve had to postpone the next installment until this coming Friday.

Having made my excuses, I can’t pass up the day without mentioning a person who was instrumental in my development as both a person and a writer, my grandmother, who departed this life six years ago today.  Not only did she tolerate me being up her ass twenty-four-seven during the summers (a feat unto itself); she bought me books whenever we were together, and suffered through my childhood attempts at playwriting with a fortitude not easily mustered. She was one of my first audiences, and her patient encouragement helped me gain the courage to seek out others.  And it was in dealing with her death that I finally took my novel writing desire seriously.

So, if you dig what I do, then honor her by taking a swig of diet coke and scarfing down some Entemann’s breakfast confections.

She’ll get a kick out of that.

Bad-Lib Fantasy–Tuesday??

I’m going to have to delay the next installment of Bad-Lib Fantasy Friday until early next week.  I’ve got some family stuff to do and I’ve lost a lot of time this week–time that should have been spent writing this next installment.   But, I will be back and at the top of my game next week.  So, stick around and start dreaming of the wondrous ways in which you will torture me, while I think of all the new means by which you can go about doing that. 

Thanks for understanding.

Do you like how I presume you’re cool with this?