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I Write [insert] Not Tragedies

I didn’t want to write this.

I still don’t want to write this.

I am not in a good place with “humanity” or the trappings of our “civilization” right now, so please bear with me.

I would much prefer to write pretty much anything else right now: escape into one of my fantasy worlds… any of them really… but I can’t turn off reality right now and that means you’re stuck with it, too.

I spoke too soon when I said Delta had chosen not to enroll this semester. My team is healthy. My job’s not going anywhere. But what it’s going to look like for the foreseeable future is foggy in its best moments. We have reached the place where mandatory vaccinations have been approved and that policy will impact the Day Job at all sites – hardly unexpected but unwelcome by a loud many. It will be interesting to see how it all plays out.

I told you last time that my friend S.J. McMillian was facing some hard times. What I didn’t tell you was that her husband has been in the hospital for over a month and that he is now facing the need for a double lung transplant. Being America, the price is exorbitant and the family must be able to prove they can pay their portion before the process will even be fully considered by the power$-that-be.

Here’s the GoFundMe link…

If you can donate, please do.
If you can’t (and I get it – I’ve been there far too often), please share.
And as I asked last time (and will continue to ask as my friend walks through this waking nightmare), please ask the Universe to send a little light in the McMillian family’s direction.

And while you’re sending that light, please have the Universe direct some toward the family of Bessie Walker, as well.

Bessie was a local girl – a classmate of Eldest Spawn in their school days – reported missing by her family early this month. She vanished without a trace and, though her family feared she was in danger, the official search didn’t result in any clues. Her family didn’t stop searching and family members found her body this past weekend.

I know the pain of this runs deep (and that the pain I feel is nothing compared to what her family is facing) and fear there will be much more before any sort of healing can begin.

To find out more about the #MMIW and #NoMoreStolenSisters tags, please start with this Women’s Policy Journal op-ed and, for the love of all that’s Holy, read it completely and let it sink in.

Until next time, friends…
If someone is important to you, tell them.
Show them.
Make sure they know and that you know they know.
Don’t miss that chance.

Wow…

So, it took no time at all for me to get a month behind. That’s refreshing. 🙄

The DayJob, as should be expected by now, has been a relentless flurry of madness for the last week. Those of you that know me personally (or have followed my exploits online over the years) know this is a normal thing – it is the first week of the Fall semester and… well… F-A-L-L… that spells crazy.

(Yeah, I know that’s not the line… but it works)

In addition to the normal madness, we have returned to campus. Many classes have returned to campus. Delta has, thankfully, not decided to enroll at this time.

I continue to massage several projects – many of which are beginning to resemble the plans that originally erupted in my brain.

I continue to reluctantly pay attention to the news: particularly regarding the pandemic’s revival, the return of the Calinferno, and the unchecked aggression and unapologetic idiocy that plagues the central valley.

And I continue to hope people will do better.

Be better.

Until next time friends, do what’s right… do what’s decent… and above all, be kind.

One more thing…

My dear friend (and fellow masochist… er… author) S.J. McMillan and her family could use some prayers/positivity/good vibes etc. I’d appreciate it if you’d have the Universe send some her way 💖

Change of Scenery

After working remotely for more than a year, the process of returning to the Day Job’s normal location is underway. With the office having been mostly abandoned since March 2020, the process is far more arduous than one might imagine.

While I have not missed the commute, it will be nice to return to the “normal” routine… one year at home isn’t enough to break the normalcy of nineteen years into the career after all.

Yes, I’ve been at the Day Job for just over 20 years.

It doesn’t seem possible, but here we are.

The commute means a little less me time but it also means that me time won’t be interrupted by the lingering aura of work – so that’s a plus.

Look forward to more… there’s still at least one more release to look forward to this year and who knows what’s on the horizon…

Until next time, friends… look at what’s around you, then look at your place in it. You’re an important part of that picture ❤️

Who Says You Can’t Go Home

It’s been a while but it’s summer and you know what that means…

No, I’m not talking about the fire warnings or the extreme heat or the terrible air quality (although it does mean all those things, here in the Central Valley)…

To accompany all the standard summer craziness, it’s time to add a road trip… a couple hours east of California’s backbone highway, SR 99, on a two-lane to nowhere, the last stop before you branch to either mountains or empty desert is the forgotten little town of Rio Hevrir.

That’s right.

A Darkness in the Desert, the long-awaited 5th book in The Rio Crew Novels series, is available now.

(Someone’s been waiting for it, I’m sure.)

Time to grab your favorite cold beverage, set the AC to a comfortable level, and dust off books 1-4 to refresh your memory and get ready to return to Rio Hevrir and find out what the summer has in store for the Crew…

Until next time, friends…
Life is what we make it… make it something awesome 😎

—–

Bonus: post title earworm banishment

Burning Questions

  1. Am I crazy trying to keep up with multiple projects?
  2. Why is this post late?
  3. What the hell is left to burn in Central California?

Answer 1:

Yes. I must be. I mean… right?

In the active queue: Heroes of Vadim 4, another monster hunter, an on-again-off-again space pirate, and a snippet of a high-magic steampunk idea.

Answer 2:

Multiple reasons.
First, the Day Job vacation didn’t start as planned – meetings were rescheduled and priority things popped up even though I was supposed to not be there. So, today’s really the first day… and it threw me off.
Next, being that it’s California and summer, we have another fire. This one popped up yesterday about 8 miles from us and, as one would expect, exploded to a 400 acre monster overnight. It is, however, burning away from us and toward the still-devastated area destroyed by last year’s Creek Fire.
Also, the temperature is still reaching triple-digits. I had to go get my granddog some ice blocks.

Answer 3:

Apparently more than you’d expect. In just the last week, we’ve had 2 major burns in the Fresnosprawl proper and multiple fires of various sizes in the foothills and mountains surrounding.

And yet… I write. Not just for you, but for me.

Until next time, friends…
Stay hydrated.
Stay cool.
Stay safe.

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Post Not Found

Sorry, friends – the Day Job has been kicking my butt and there’s been no time to even think about what to write here… let alone get it all ready for you.

Until next time…
Remember rule #32: Enjoy the little things 😊

Summertime, summertime, sum… sum… summertime…

Here in California’s Central Valley, summer has well and truly arrived.

I know the first day of summer isn’t technically until Sunday, but the thermometer says otherwise. We’re forecasted to be 110+ (43.3+ c, for those more familiar with that format) all most of the weekend… but hey, there’s a cooling trend coming Sunday.

It’ll only be 108 (42c). 🙄

My plan is to hide.

Stay inside under the air.
Feed the dogs (and me) ice.
Pray to Anyone that will listen to keep the power on and the wildfires off.
(Oddly enough, just as this was posting, we lost power for three hours due to a nearby fire. All is well, but damn… really?!)
Read some more of the book I keep having to put down because of the need for silly things like driving, doing the DayJob, and sleeping.
…and write

Like I said… that’s the plan. I think we talked about plans a little while ago, though.

Until next time, friends… drink your water, hug your loved ones, smell the roses, and pet a dog.

Pride

Yes, I’m going to talk about Pride.
If you know me in the slightest (even if all our interactions are “virtual”), this really shouldn’t surprise you.

June is Pride Month – a month-long celebration of learning, teaching, seeing, and being.

Why June?
June was when the Stonewall Riots occurred: when the LGBTQIA+ community said no more and fought back against senseless and unprovoked abuse.

Why a rainbow?
Because different types of people can blend together to make something beautiful without losing any of themselves along the way. (Here’s an article if you want it)

Why am I posting this?
Because “if your family doesn’t support you, I’m your mom now” is not a t-shirt logo: it’s a fact of my life that has given me more children than I’ve birthed and I love them all.
Because my sibling is an amazing human and I love them with all my heart.
Because no one should be made to hate themselves for something over which they have no control.
Because my cousin and her fiance are both beautiful, intelligent, talented women who deserve every moment of happiness the universe will give them.
Because the world is a richer place with technicolor.
Because as a cis-woman in a “traditional” marriage, my bisexuality has become invisible and – in case you were unaware – invisible’s not really my color. I didn’t choose my husband for the way our bodies fit together – I chose him for the way our souls fit together. That doesn’t change who I am.

What does this mean as far as you, the reader, are concerned?
Not much, really. There might be a little more deliberate representation, but my genres aren’t changing… established characters aren’t changing…

You know why?

Simple.

It’s not a phase.
It’s not a decision.
It’s not a choice.
It just is.

Kind of like love.

And respect.

I’ve lived 41 years in a place where Metallica’s “Eye of the Beholder” is an uncomfortably accurate description of life. June 4, 2021 was the first time I’ve ever seen a local government official reverse their decision based on the humanity of the issue and regardless of the potential political backlash.

I am hesitant to believe this is a sign of better times ahead but it’s a sign of things being better today… which is better than it was yesterday and hopefully not as good as tomorrow.

Until next time, friends…
Someone in your world is part of the LGBTQIA+ community…
Maybe someone you love…
…and they need you. 🏳️‍🌈

The Return

The world is collectively trying to adjust to whatever the new normal will be as we move forward in this timeline.

California has seen significant improvement and is poised to stick its governmental fingers in all our ears and la la la like COVID never happened (at least, that’s how the latest “beyond the blueprint” thing reads to me).

This means, of course, that my commute-free days will soon be coming to an end. Other than a little more road fatigue, I doubt much will change for me but one never knows.

The normal you can depend on: monsters, games, more monsters, and superheroes.

That’s right.

No matter what happens next or how the new normal finally manifests in its fullness, you need stories and I’m happy to provide.

Until next time, friends… be safe.
I want to see you all on the other side of this thing. 💖