Archive for July, 2013

Villains In A Fairy Tale

The Duchess of Cambridge is in labor!

Aww! Lookit the baby! Isn’t William handsome? Kate is so lovely, and just beaming.


In 1981, I woke up at 4a.m. to watch Prince Charles and Lady Diana Spencer get married. I heard her stumble over Charles’ list of four names, and in the end, say them out of order. Gods, I remember that so vividly. I was thirteen years old and acting like a giddy little girl, on the floor, laying on my stomach, hands pressed to my cheeks as I stared up at the television and daydreamed of castles and princes. Watching the making of a princess was magical, even if I did question Diana’s taste in that dress.

I was again glued to the television when Diana and Charles carried William out to meet the world, and when they did the same with Harry. I’d like to say their divorce was a shock, but it wasn’t, really. That she kept the title Princess of Wales made me smile. That she was a strong, caring woman was inspiring.

I was in a chat room with no less than a dozen gamers when the news came that Diana was seriously injured in car crash. I’m pretty sure we were all still in that chat room when it was announced that she had passed. I cried, I’m not ashamed to admit.

A world away, I watched her sons grow up through the lenses of cameras. As they got older, I remember wondering what was up with William’s hair.

Fast forward thirty years, William is engaged. Seeing Diana’s ring on that lovely girl’s hand brought a serious tear to my eye. In that moment, my inner child woke up, put back on her plastic, glitter-covered crown, and picked up her fairy wand, convinced she could still grow up to be a princess one day.

I was up early for work on the day that Prince William and Kate Middleton would become the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge. I watched it online, all day, even if I was at work. Come on. I watched his mom marry his dad, I wasn’t going to miss this. Then the baby watch began, and there was a *SQUEE* heard round the world emanating from this girl right here. I lost a bet on the baby’s name.

What’s the difference between Diana’s fairy tale and William’s? The Internet.

And with the internet came the villain in this tale:




No one needs to be called “your highness” in this day and age.

The royal family is a drain on the economy.

Who cares? It’s just another damned silver-spooned baby.

Why is that baby more important than any other?


In that thirty year gap between the birth of first sons–indeed, every single day of that gap–some of the most horrible things that even my twisted mind can’t comprehend have happened around the world: wars, mass murders, reporters were beheaded for simply doing their job, tsunami’s struck, hurricanes changed life as some knew it, the horrors of September 11th… you imagine it, it’s happened. Some of it, we don’t want to imagine. And it was all bad, so bad. It IS bad, and it gets worse every day.

We’ve watched those horrible things happen through the same camera lenses that directed our eyes to a tiny little boy in his father’s arms who gave us his first royal wave without having one blessed clue of what was gong on around him. He had no idea people were talking smack. He’s just a baby; he just wanted a nap.

For a few hours that day, I didn’t think about Hurricane Katrina, or the NSA snooping in my browser history, or LGBT people being beaten and killed in Russia. What I thought about was a girl who walked down a beautiful carpet in a spectacular church to marry a prince, and now her little prince has a little prince of his own. And, godsdammit, she should be here to see it.

“That baby” isn’t more important than any other, but I like holding onto my dreams of knights and damsels in distress. I like “royal watching” because the little girl in me still believes in fairy tales.

So, who the hell are the trolls to criticize my, or anyone’s, brief moment of *squee*?

Am I supposed to not enjoy anything, ever, and walk around self-flagellating every moment of every day, because the bad in the world is so much more important and squeeeing over a prince is ridiculous? Good luck with that.

Message to the trolls:

Life is hard–dream more.

Life will still be hard, but you’ll be happier.



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That evil anthology short? Who knew five-thousand words could be such a pain? This girl right here!

But it’s done and polished to a shine with the help of a friend. She read it, twice, and took the time to explain why she said/did the things she said/did, because she didn’t know how much formal writing instruction I’d had (NONE). So, I got to see what I wrote through her edumakated eyes and learned a few things. Remember this, kiddies:

Friends don’t let friends publish shit.





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It’s really strange to me to be reading stuff about steampunk and yet be listening to Boondocks. I can’t help it, I’m obsessed with the song. But I did cut it off and get back to work.

One of those articles made me look up Abney Park on youtube because you can tell a lot about a genre by the music associated with it. End of Days  wants to pull me in a Loreena Mckennitt, faerie sort of direction. The Secret Life of Dr. Calgori  I found to be a little more germane, but still not satisfying. Vernian Process? Something Wicked This Way Went is… hmm. Okay? If not a little too ‘they’re coming to take me away! ha-ha!’ sounding for my purposes. Still not what I’m looking for. I need that 1800’s-ish, steamy New Orleans vibe.

Wait… Oh, yes. I thousand times, yes.  Stuff like this, because I just can’t do any genre without it having darkness. Guess I’ll never write chick-lit, huh?

Really, much of this steampunk music reminds me of The Changelings, the original line-up–I clarify that because back then I knew the keyboard player. My favorite song by them is Awakening, which I unfortunately cannot find on youtube, but I did find here. And, whaddaya know, they have a song called Clockwork there, too.

Now I know I can listen to The Changelings and plot steampunk while I drive, because I have The Changelings on my iPod already. That’ll be novel, because just like the fact that I don’t own my favorite movies, I don’t have ninety-nine percent of my writing soundtrack music on my iPod. And I’m apparently too lazy to rectify either situation.

Yeah. So. That’s the skinny version of today’s steampunk research. I’m about to go piss myself off by purchasing a new release in hardback. I’ll inevitably kick and scream and maybe even throw the damned book across the room, then bitch about how much I paid for it. I do it to myself every time. Yet I must have that book in hardback. It’s just one of my things. No, I will not say who the author is. You know my chosen genre, and if you’re a writer, you may know who got released last Tuesday.

I hope one day I have readers who are so passionate about my universe that they sometimes want to snatch a knot in my ass.

To quote King Arthur, it is a dream I have.

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4800 and change is the final word count on the antho short before it goes to editing. Six-hundred-plus words and a bit of back-track editing in three hours today. I’m stunned, and grateful. I’d gotten so used to sitting at the computer frowning and just staring at the screen, or pretending I was piddling when I really wasn’t (there were a few exceptions), that I didn’t think I had it in me anymore to actually produce the work itself.

Wanna know a secret? I thought about quitting. And it wasn’t one of those fleeting thoughts–this was serious. How do I know I was serious? I didn’t tell a soul.

I was tired of screaming, and told you as much.

Then… I stopped screaming.


And it was a good, productive day, wasn’t it?

Why yesterday? *shrug* I have a few ideas (modern chemistry is a wonderful thing), but as I sat up in bed late-laaate last night–finishing a book so I could start reading some steampunk tonight–I realized that someone hadn’t been standing behind me all day. Who? This guy.


The Asshat.

See, I thought I needed that guy with the gun. I thought I needed a muse that kicked my ass until I did the work. I used to change all my profile pics on everything online to “that guy” while I was in the process of writing whatever project. I even printed the picture out and stuck it on my wall over my desk. That way I could see him and remember I was supposed to be writing instead of doing whatever the hell it was I was doing. Every time I’d see it, I’d feel pushed back to work. And after a while….

What’s the best way to make me not do something? Push me. *snort* I know one person who reads this blog who can personally attest to that.

My real muse is a poof, as a friend of mine would say: a gay, six-foot drag queen who fluffs his boa at your nose and frequents the gutters of Bourbon Street on a regular basis. He finds it amusing as hell (was that a pun?) that I want to leave the Quarter and dive into the mountains of North Carolina for the next book. But he’s willing to go, don’t get me wrong, because he also knows those characters just as well as he does the ones who live on Royal Street, so he’s good.

He just… didn’t like that asshat standing behind me and trying to share his space.

I don’t blame him.

I don’t need that guy. I really don’t.

My muse kicked his ass with his sparkly high-heeled boot and tore that picture off the wall.

We’re good now.

Can anyone recommend any good steampunk?


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Happy 4th!

Man. Yanno when you have those days where you’ve been so damned productive that you think you can conquer the world? Yeah, that. Today.

I have:

Produced over two-thousand words today, finishing the first draft of my charity antho sub–that now needs to marinate before I go add more words because I’ve taxed my brain for the day where that’s concerned. This was a feat because I had convinced myself I should back out because of reasons and now BOOYAH. Screw it. I did it. My world, my rules.


Piddled–that’s a technical term for ‘thought about a lot and even made a few notes’, yo–with some uber cool, super sekrit steampunk stuff that makes me all warm and fuzzy. That’s right. Me. Warm and fuzzy.

Now, I have the luxury of getting back to piddling with research for the new MS, at leisure, with no one rushing me off to do anything I don’t want to do. The house is empty, save me–obviously, and will be again tomorrow. Don’t get me wrong, I love my family, but I needed me time, and I managed to get a four day weekend over July 4th for the first time in a decade. I’m hunkered down and lovin it.

And not once all day have I had the desire to scream.

It’s a great day. I hope you guys have a great one, too.

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