Happy Valentine’s Day, my lovelies! I hope your significant other (whether real, or a book boy/girlfriend) kept you warm tonight!
I was sick as a dog for a few days. Since I was bed-ridden and couldn’t do anything involving cogent thought, I took the time to catch up on a bunch of TV shows that I had intended to watch for a while. I’ll give a brief recap of what I thought of each one. I included the IMDB links for each show if you want to check them out or the Amazon links if you want to buy them. They’re also available on Netflix and/or Hulu.
Cancelled before its time. My God, this show was brilliantly funny. My mother and I both did the Vader “Noooooooooooo!” when we checked online to see when Hulu would get the next episode–only to discover there were no more to be had.
Supernatural (Season 1 & [part of] 2)
WHERE HAS THIS SHOW BEEN ALL MY LIFE.
A mild touch of horror with a dash of wry humor and a sprinkle of pop culture. Plus Dean (Jensen Ackles). I think I’m in love.
American Horror Story (Season 1 & 2)
If you are a sick puppy like me, you will love this. Dark, twisted, surreal, psychological horror at its finest. Not to say that it doesn’t have gory moments–but the show excels in making you face the dark side of humanity. Not for the faint of heart or weak of stomach.
The Walking Dead (Season 2 & 3)
The Governor is an asshole. Anyone else watch this and feel the same? Also, while it’s a good show, it didn’t successfully hit me in the feels until…
…Andrea (Laurie Holden) died. I may have shed one or two tears.
So, have you seen any of these shows? What did you think of them?
Back Cover Copy:
Vampires, werewolves, magi and worse–the Others have joined the mortal world, and there’s no turning back now…
As a New York P.I. and Other specialist, Shiarra Waynest has been in plenty of trouble before. But waking up in a windowless room the prisoner of a vampire slave trader is a shock for anyone. Shia has her wits, her bravado, and a couple of used staples, so maybe she can take on a mansion full of serious evil.
But although she’s desperate to escape, Shia needs some answers too. Her friends are in danger. There are betrayers and spies among them. And even if she can figure out what’s going on and somehow get a message out, she’s still a captive of the worst kind…
Pre-Order Your Copy Now!
Don’t wait! Order now to ensure you get your copy as soon as it releases (July 1, 2014):
I have to tell you, I am pleased as punch. After moving across the country, you didn’t hear from me much because I was busy with a second move into our new house. I’m finally settling in and everything is looking great!
Here are some before pics of the inside:
I won’t terrify you with the mess that is the rest of the house right now, but this is how my room is coming along. Don’t mind the boxes and clothes and whatnot. I just moved, cut me some slack.
Of course, I also have to share some pics of the many critters I’ve saved from the pool since I got here:
And that’s just a little of what’s going on in my life at the moment. Hope you enjoyed this little taste of my new abode and Florida’s wacky wildlife!
Yup, today is my birthday. I’m celebrating with Danielle from Consuming Worlds. Want to see what a few of my favorite things are, and maybe win a book? Come swing by!
On a different note, I’m in the process of moving to a bigger house (yes, I am moving again). I’ll be back to a regular blogging schedule after the new year.
Happy Holidays, everybody!
I’ve been having a blast. Here are just a few pics highlighting the crazysauce adventure–my move across the country from Los Angeles, California to the Tampa Bay area in Florida. My mom drove the U-Haul, and I drove my own car with my four crazy birds and a couple of cranky lizards in the back.
I’m hiding the rest of the post behind a break because–hold onto your britches, people–there are a ton of pics in this post.
That’s right, folks. You read that blog post title correctly. This is not a Friday Funny. Call me crazy, but in about a week I’ll be leaving Los Angeles behind for Florida.
This has been in the works for quite a while, but the stars have finally aligned. I love my friends and the life I’ve built here in LA, but I miss my family far more.
If you’ve been trying to reach me lately, there’s a good chance that you haven’t received a reply because I’ve been working my ass off to meet the deadline for book 6, sort a lifetime of accumulated clutter, and pack as much of my stuff as possible before moving day. I am horribly behind, and I am very sorry if anyone has been trying to get in touch with me and/or has wondered why I kept disappearing from Twitter and Facebook and/or felt ignored. It’s not because I don’t love you guys, but it is because I need about ten of me to handle all the stuff on my plate right now.
I expect I’ll be able to catch up with my backlogs after the Thanksgiving holiday. I plan on taking tons of pictures during my road trip across the country. Expect some hilarity since I’m U-Hauling it up with my mom, my leopard gecko, and four neurotic birds.
Wish me luck. I have the feeling I’m going to need it…
It’s entirely possible that I am the worst friend in the world. I make my friends do the damnedest things, including go to parties at the homes of strangers out in the middle of BF nowhere based on the recommendation of that one guy I talked to that one time at a friend of a friend’s house.
Long ago, I used to play a weekly D&D game at a friend’s house. His roommate would swing by during the games every now and then. Sometimes the game wouldn’t happen for whatever reason, or we’d do a movie night instead, and so the roommate would come hang out with us and chit-chat.
After knowing said roommate from maybe half a dozen brief encounters, he invited me to come to his friend’s house for a Halloween party and to bring along my friends. Since I didn’t have any other plans at the time and he seemed like a nice enough guy, I took him up on the offer. The few emails I exchanged with the party host were warm, thoughtful, and from the sound of things, it looked like it would be a good time.
Never having been to the city where this party was taking place, I didn’t realize until the day of this shindig that it was going to take us at least an hour to drive there. Undeterred, my friends and I sallied forth, braving the godawful traffic.
At first blush, once we arrived, things seemed pretty legit to me. I didn’t know anybody there. The hostess found us milling around awkwardly in the living room wondering to ourselves why that King Tut and Cleopatra were wearing bondage collars with their costumes, and whether that one girl in the black pleather dress considered herself costumed or not. We followed the hostess out to the back where there were chips, drinks, and a few more people milling around–ones who were a little more sociable and didn’t look at us like outcasts for not having bondage gear as part of our costumes.
It might be worth noting at this point that the guy who asked me to come to the party never showed up.
Outside, everyone was super friendly and no one was afraid to come strike up a conversation. I ended up separated from my friends for a while.
That separation was strike two, and segues beautifully into strike three for reasons I’ll get to in a moment.
I ended up in a deep, philosophical discussion mostly centered around fantasy novels with a couple of guys who were fascinating conversational partners. I completely lost track of the time. After a while, one of them mentioned that the building to one side of the yard was a studio where the host sketched fantasy-themed comics, and would I like to see the artwork?
Being a huge fantasy nerd, that sounded awesome to me. I liked cartoons, and occasionally dabbled in reading comics, so it seemed like a great idea at the time. Just before I went in, my friends clutched at me and told me they thought we should go RIGHTNOWPLEASE.
Yeah, I’m not very good at taking hints, even when bonked over the head with all the finesse of a sledgehammer.
I figured they were just uncomfortable with the girl who was eyeing them very suggestively while slapping a little heart-shaped switch against her palm. I figured they could survive a couple more minutes of her company and told them I just wanted to check out the art and we could leave right after. Related: See note above about me RE: being a terrible friend.
So I went inside the studio. I’m just going to throw out there that if you haven’t met someone before, introducing them to your furry porn collection within hours of meeting is a bit of a strain on the social niceties.
I could be totally off base here, but I think a reasonable rule of revealing one’s furry porn collection to one’s guests might go something like this:
- First meeting: It’s safe to talk about mainstream books and movies. Not porn.
- Second meeting: Perhaps discuss the deeper messages in the media you consume for entertainment. Feel free to get enthusiastic about one’s fondness of anthropomorphic animals in cartoons and comics. Note that it is not yet time for porn.
- Third meeting: Gently break the ice that one enjoys dressing up in animal costumes on days other than Halloween and likes to visit conventions with others who feel the same. At that point, or at some point in the future, if the other person has mutual feelings about said costuming, perhaps share some non-porny art with your new friend and/or see if they might like to join you at one of these conventions.
- Once the other person has admitted to pantsfeelings involving said costumes: Bring on the freak, yo.
Just a thought. Now, to get back to the matter at hand…
Eyes glazed from temporary blindness, I staggered out of the studio, doing my best not to look like I was having a meltdown inside. As these were friends of a friend, I didn’t want to be hollering stuff like, “HOLY SHIT YOU GUYS WOULD NOT BELIEVE WHAT I JUST SAW” and disrupting the whole party. However, it was clear from the unspoken condemnation of my life choices burning in their eyes that my friends knew. Oh, yes.
Not wanting to be the rudest person on the planet despite having just had larger than life pictures of manimal dongs up in my face, I inched an agonizing path around the cheerful furries inviting me to come along to some convention with them while doing my best to avoid spouting out something horrible. I don’t remember exactly what I said but I do know the sounds that I made were civil. Which was goddamn Christmas miracle, if you know me and my mouth.
I’m all for people letting their freak flag fly, but if said flag involves introducing me to dick pics–even sketches of such–on the first date, I’m out.
Eventually, I got out of there, and my friends were almost not my friends anymore. Failing to take the hint was strike three.
And that’s why I’m not allowed to pick the stops on the Halloween party circuit anymore.
Yesterday I went to the local meeting of the LA chapter of the Horror Writers Association.
I’m sold on these guys. If you’re a horror writer (published or not), this is a good group to be a part of. Everyone was super friendly, the conversations we had were fascinating, and they shared a lot of useful information for both published and unpublished writers. They shared information on upcoming horror events, promo that worked, open calls for short stories, etc, plus they allowed everyone a little floor time to introduce themselves and contribute to the conversation. Aside from talking about the professional end of things, we also talked research, movies, etc.
It was great, very relaxed and open, and I really liked what I saw. If you’re in the Los Angeles area, I strongly suggest checking them out. They’ve got a couple of interesting scholarships for members, as well as the Bram Stoker Awards. I’m sure there are other active chapters, too.
If you’re looking to be part of a professional writing organization with an emphasis on horror, whether you write for an adult or YA audience, they might be for you.
One thing I’ve enjoyed about writing the H&W Investigations series is Shiarra’s growth as a person. She’s become so much more than what she was when she started out. In the beginning she was scared of Others, afraid of accepting those who weren’t like her, and too quick to jump to (the wrong) conclusions.
She’s gone through some hard knocks in this latest book. It’s been a challenge to make my frightened little mouse into a strong, brave person who learns to accept others. More than that, learns to accept herself–warts and all.
Much as I love writing it, I also love reading that kind of character growth. Someone who starts out as a very stalwart “there-is-only-black-and-white-no-shades-of-whatever-in-between” growing to learn how to bend and break around those assumptions is among my favorite tropes in fiction. Mostly, I love seeing a character either A) get knocked off their high horse or B) grow the fuck up.
This realization struck me especially hard considering I recently read three books in a row that featured heroines I wanted to throttle. Don’t ask, because I will not be naming and shaming these DNFs.
To me, it’s boring to read about a character who continually makes the same stupid mistakes, doesn’t learn from them, and/or doesn’t go through any kind of emotional hardship. That, or they fail to change as a person when the circumstances they’ve been through demanded it. A character who can solve all of their problems with the snap of a finger or the wave of a hand is not one I want to read about. The ones who yawn off the apocalypse or express feelings because they’re supposed to–not because they’ve done anything to merit feeling that way about the situation or other person–or who go through a checklist of “should act like this because the textbook says so” aren’t my cup of tea. Even worse are the ones who act completely contrary to how you would expect them to react because the author needs them to do something to serve the narrative.
There are times for bravery, but nothing will piss me off faster than when that bravery is a thin veil to cover a stupid action. Not if it’s not acknowledged as such. Sometimes not even then. The risk must be worth the reward, and they better suffer for their stupidity, damn it.
If the only way to reach their goal is to make the character do something uncomfortable for them on an emotional–not physical or magical–scale, I will eat that up with a spoon. There are few things I love more than reading about a character coming out the other side of a hardship, maybe still a bit raw, but tempered into a different shape and viewing the world through new eyes. Better if they come to realize that they were wrong about something and let go of their false assumptions without clinging to them like a limpet for no good reason other than to drag out the conflict a few more pages.
Make me see that new point of view. Make me believe the character has changed or grown or seen who they really are under the mask they show the world, and I’m your fangirl forever.
What do you think? Agree or disagree?