Saturday, November 26, 2016

Stick a fork in me...

Fourchette dans le Léman
By Muriel from Lyon, France
(Fourchette dans le Léman), that's not the prelude to a steamy session of kink. (More's the pity.)

I'm done with NaNo. I'm calling it a little early, but call it I must. I managed two chapters but didn't clear even 10K words, much less near 50K.

C'est finis.

I dunno. Something, she ne marche pas bien, in my head. Something's not working.

I'm not raking myself over the coals for it, though. Even though I do have this honking huge fork, which'd likely be great for raking...

I'll figure this out.

In an unrelated story, here's a groovy, though NSFW (and/or children), tune that dropped, as the youths say, a few months ago. Have you heard it? Go on, give it a listen. It's damnably catchy.

Monday, October 17, 2016

Am I Really Doing This?

National Novel Writing Month
November 1-30
The world needs your novel.

I've just signed up for NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month).

I'm out of my damned mind.

If you're doing NaNo, you're basically making a commitment to yourself to write a 50K word novel in the month of November. Easy peasy, lemon squeezy.

No. No, it's not.

It's SO not easy. I did NaNo back in 2008 and I didn't make the 50K word mark. But I did build a little story I want to get back to someday.

This is not that day.

I've been in a major depressive slump and haven't done any writing since last fall. Well, that's bullshit.

A friend of mind at work keeps asking me if I've been writing (she's read my first book and claims to love it, bless her) and I keep telling her no. But now she's holding me accountable, largely because I told her to. Just before a recent business trip, I told her to check in with me when I was back in the office, and to ask me if I'd made a fucking writing plan already.

She did. And I had.

It's NaNo. Because of course it has to be.

I broke out my monthly planner and penned (not penciled!) in when, and for how long, I'll write in November. I'll be working on the story I abandoned last fall, which has two chapters (that need revision, which I'll work on during the rest of October, as well as finishing up my research for the project).

Whether good, bad, or indifferent, I will bloody well finish this draft in November 2016. You know, barring Act of God or hangnail, or whatnot.

Who's with me???

Monday, May 2, 2016

This One Goes Out to All You Mothers...

WARNING: This blog post contains a picture of a real-life, disturbing-looking wound. The squeamish should exercise caution and/or go read another blog, maybe one about unicorns and/or fluffy kittehs and bunnehs, or similar.

Have I mentioned that my Senior-in-college son, Balthazar, plays guitar in a friend's band? He met the fellow up at school, but M (the friend) lives in the tri-state area. Anyway, M's a mover and shaker, and hustles to get them gigs, no matter how humble the venue (think unfinished basement of someone's house). Whatevs, folks gotta start somewhere, and I admire that will-play-for-beer/pot spirit.

They regularly gig during the academic year and on breaks. During the January break, Balthy advised me that the band was heading back up to school on a Thursday afternoon for a show, and then going on to New Haven for another performance that coming Saturday. I noted that a blizzard was expected over the weekend and urged caution, a notion promptly scoffed at by the spawn of my womb.

So I went to work on Wednesday and by the time I got home Balthy was already out with some friends. I knew he'd get back in the wee hours and, as it was a school-night for me, I wouldn't be able to see him till he returned from New Haven the following week. Such is life.

Well, the blizzard did hit, hard, and I nervously checked in with Balthy on Saturday. I was relieved to learn the Connecticut gig had been canceled. The Kid and his friends would be driving back from school on Sunday night. My anxiety level spiked again, as the parkway they'd take is hella curvy, poorly lit, and bound to be a snowy mess.

I spent Sunday in a state of useless hypervigilance, frequently sending up prayers that the kids all made it to their respective homes safely. When Balthazar's key turned in the lock around 7:30pm, I let out a whoosh of relief and thanked God for being so utterly groovy.

Balthazar joined me in my room, plopped on my bed and started chatting. He commented on how good my dinner, which was being kept in the oven so as to stay warm, smelled. In a fit of motherly relief and benevolence, I said he could have it. He thanked me, then gave me his weird, "Boy, are you gonna hate what I'm about to dish up" smile.

Me, on alert: What?

Balthy: I'm gonna show you something that's gonna freak you out. (He stood and his hands went to the waistline of his jeans.)

Me, enthusiastically: Didja get a tattoo?

Balthy, still with the shit-eating grin: Nah... (He pushed down the jeans and showed me the stuff of mothers' nightmares.)

Me, feeling the blood drain from my face: What's that?

Balthy: A dog bite.

Me, through numb lips: From what kind of dog?

Balthy: A big one.

Me: ...when?

Balthy: Wednesday night.

(My eyes shot to his face.) Me: Did you seek medical attention for this?

Balthy, grin widening impossibly: Nah, had to travel with the band the next day, remember? Been puttin' Neosporin on it, covering it with gauze and whatnot. The worst part is that the dog ruined the pair of skinny jeans that I'd just bought that day.

Me, miraculously refraining from throttling him: You're a fucking idiot.

Lest you think I exaggerate the horror that was the semi-healed dog-bite, here's a pic.

Balthy's dog-bite, four days after the event.
Yep, those are puncture wounds. From fangs.

The ruined skinny-jeans.

I made the little blighter eat (my dinner!) while I got dressed and after he finished we slogged our way through the snow-packed streets to the emergency room of the hospital right around the block (thank God for small mercies).

I have to say, that was our quickest emergency room visit to date, as we were in and out in under an hour and I missed only about the first ten minutes of Downton Abbey (What? It was the final season!). At that point, there wasn't much to be done: the medical staff gave the wound a cursory inspection but, as it showed no sign of infection, asked if he was up to date with his tetanus booster, prescribed a course of antibiotics, and took down the dog-owner's contact info so the state health department could follow up and obtain proof that the dog (either a Rottweiler or a Pit Bull) was up to date on its shots.

(OK, there was one gratifying moment when the triage nurse asked when the bite happened and, upon learning it'd taken place FOUR DAYS PRIOR, looked up from her paperwork to sharply admonish Balthy, "It's Sunday!")

Anyway, Balthy has survived the bite (so far!) and, I hope, has learned NOT to let something like that go untreated for FOUR FUCKING DAYS. Also, I've learned that I need to go for my tetanus booster. Maybe y'all should consider it too, if it's been over ten years since you've had one.

The reason I dedicated this post to mothers is two-fold:

1. You all have been through this kind of terror-striking-incident with your own kids and, I'm sure, can so totally relate, and;

2. In honor of all us mothers, I'm making the e-Book version of my Greek-myth-based romance novel, THAT FATAL KISS, FREE for Mother's Day weekend 2016! Be sure to Facebook, Tweet, and otherwise share the hell out of this post to all and sundry and, if you'd like to pick up your own FREE copy, click here from Saturday, May 7 through Monday, May 9, 2016***!

***I think the times for Amazon's promotional events are Pacific times, so don't take any chances and snatch up your free copy on Mother's Day itself!***

Wednesday, April 6, 2016

New Specs!

My 2010 Specs
I got some time off around the December holidays and didn't have to report back for the day job till Monday, January 4, 2016. On Sunday I started tensing up and growing anxious about going back to work the next day. By the early evening I had a headache. Around 8 o'clock I noticed lights flashing in my peripheral view, in my right eye. Sort of like a bunch of paparazzi had shrunk themselves into a submarine (which'd been shrunk first, obvi) and were then injected in me, only to wind up behind my eyeball and go to town with their cameras as though Beyoncé, Jay Z, and baby Blue Ivy had just taken residence there.

An old broad wearing her old specs.
This has happened before, over the course of my adulthood (such as it is), but not frequently. I wasn't clear on what caused it, but as I'd been more regular about my eye exams and no doctor had predicted my doom, I reckoned it was no big deal. Now, though, I realized it'd been a few years since my last exam (in point of fact, it'd been OVER FIVE YEARS) (tsk). So I made an appointment with some doc at some joint near my place of employ and brooded over whether these folks'd make me get my eyes dilated (which I hate) or if they had that machine that takes a pic of the inside of your eye and could work from that alone.

The thing is that my eyes are already sensitive to light. With the pupils widened, for HOURS, I'm extremely uncomfortable—disoriented, even. Last time my eyes'd been dilated was YEARS ago, on a blindingly sunny day. Even with sunglasses on, I was miserable. (Well, more miserable than usual.) I found myself walking to the bus stop with super-slow comical caution, lest I wind up stepping into the street and getting run over. Took me forever to get home.

So yeah, they had that piccie-taking machine but, yeah, after the doc heard the main reason that'd brought me to her examination room, she encouraged me to consider getting dilated anyway (the cost of which was already included in the exam and covered by my insurance) and she could then follow-up with piccie-device if I wanted (which I did, though that was not covered). Whatevs—I did both things and was relieved to learn that all was well. Doc diagnosed ocular migraine (which surprised, as I do get headaches with weather changes and whatnot, but I wouldn't say they're bad enough to qualify as migraines). Since my prescription changed from the previous one, she recommended I order anti-glare whatsit for the lenses of my new specs, what with my vampire-like abhorrence of (sun)light and ocular migraines and shit. (I'm paraphrasing.)

I did that and as I headed for the subway to get myself home I patted myself on the back for having scheduled the appointment so late in the day that it was night and so not as hard on me as daylight would've been. Still, I felt a bit weird as I stood on the platform awaiting the 1 train, as even the dim light down there bothered me a little. The train was going to be a bit so I texted My Dear Friend Nikki.

Me: Had an eye exam, had to get pupils dilated. Opium eaters would envy my look right now. Ugh.
Nikki: Aw...I bet you look like those big eyed paintings of little kids.
Me: I DO!!!!!
Nikki: You should take a selfie

So I did.

I looked like a motherfucking vampire, for realz. (Rawr.)

When I got to Grand Central Terminal there were some cops chillin' by the Shuttle exit, doing bag checks. I thought, "Great, this will be the time they pull me aside to check out my shit, all because of my weirdly doped-up pupils." But they didn't. Which, in hindsight (haha, geddit, hindsight?), is a bit of a shame, 'cause that'd improved this story by, like, a zillion percent. I mean, I could make some shit up, but that's not my style.

Anyway, made it home all right and got my new specs about a week later. The attendant at the eye shop cautioned me that it might take some time to adjust to the new Rx, which every attendant has always told me upon delivery of a new pair of glasses, and I'd never had to "adjust." I did this time, though! It was weird to feel eye fatigue for a few hours on the first couple of days I wore them, but adjust I did and I kinda dig 'em. Not sure if the anti-glare stuff's really made much of a difference, though...

Contrasting the old with the new. What a difference 5 years makes!

They feel fine on, but dang, they look HUGE on my face!

Don't they???

Yep, still seem mighty large, to me...

Whadda y'all think?