News

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). πŸ™„

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. πŸ³οΈβ€πŸŒˆ

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. πŸ’–

Memorial Day

Memorial Day flags at cemetery

While I may be grateful for the three-day weekend, I’m one of the last people you’ll hear say “Happy Memorial Day.”

There’s a reason for that.

It is a time for celebration, sure, but that doesn’t necessarily make it happy.

Today isn’t about barbecues and pool-parties, folks – it’s about sacrifice. It’s a day to honor and remember those who gave all they had for you to have what you hold.

Until next time, friends… raise a glass to freedom and to those that made sure it wouldn’t be taken away.

Heroes

I’ve talked a lot about superheroes recently… between working on Urban Wardens 3 and the constant stream of superheroes in the media, that’s just kind of how it works.

As we look forward to the upcoming three-day weekend (and the unofficial start of summer), though, it’s important to remember that not all heroes are invulnerable.

Until next time, friends…

What Is It About Superheroes?

Modern pop culture is full of superheroes.

The MCU, Sony’s Marvel Studios releases, CW’s Arrowverse, Warnor Bros DCEU, Netflix’s Jupiter’s Legacy, Amazon Prime’s The Boys… it seems like everywhere you look, you see superheroes.

But what’s the deal?

Why are they so damned popular?

Without getting into the very long, very serious sociology-in-comics lesson the first draft of this post was turning into, let’s get right down to the bottom line…

Supers are the new Epics… the new Sagas… the larger-than-life figures whose fantastic struggles teach us the simple lessons we didn’t know we needed to learn.

Long-time fans are familiar (and often frustrated) with retcon – changing the past of a character/story/team to create a new reason/attitude in current storylines — but there’s a reason for that, too.

The Iliad, The Odyssey, Beowulf… those all took place in a world that – as far as the people in it were concerned – didn’t change a hell of a lot. But the world’s in a very different place than it was 10 years ago… 20 years ago… 80 years ago… hell – we’re in a very different place now than we were 2 years ago!

For these characters to continue teaching life lessons, their lives have to change with ours. However it happens, the hero’s narrative has to align with the world we live in or their lessons are lost.

Sometimes it’s retcon. Sometimes it’s retirement and passing the torch. Sometimes it’s a personal epiphany. Sometimes it’s coming back from the dead.

Whatever the catalyst, the heroes are moved back to a place where we can identify with them. Where their stories can teach us.

Comic books & superhero media give us… something…
Something to strive for… something to emulate… something to fight against… something to believe in…

…and don’t worry if it’s not all falling into place right now – Superman was with us more than 60 years before we found out the “S” meant hope. (You’ve got time.)

  

Until next time, friends… those struggles you’re facing? You’ve got someone in your corner. It might be a superhero or it might just be me… but you’ve got someone πŸ€—

Jupiter’s Legacy

I normally don’t stop to gush about a TV show… but there are very few that make me actually yell “NO!” at the end of the season knowing I have to wait to find out what comes next.

I took vacation from the Day Job last week.

Took a trip to the zoo. Got quite a bit of writing done. Played some games.

And watched Jupiter’s Legacy.

OH. MY. GOODNESS.!

The acting is good but, honestly, the story is solid enough to carry even the weakest cast members.

I’m not going to go into a lot here because it’s still new and I’m a no spoilers type of gal – but if your a supers fan, give it a watch.

It is dark (not in the DC/WB-can’t-see-the-picture way) and tough to take in some places, but it is phenomenal.

Until next time, friends… embrace your powers.
We’re all heroes to someone 🦸🏽

The Elephant In The Room

Summer’s here. Again. We haven’t been hit with the break-out-the-stillsuits heat (yet) but it will come. It always does. At least, this year, it looks like we might be able to breathe recycled air someplace other than our own homes.

What the world will look like for “summer vacation” and beyond is still anybody’s guess… there are just too many variables.

Regardless of the fact that the Day Job is in the educational sector, I don’t really get a “summer vacation.” It’s okay, though… with so many other folks on summer vacation, I actually tend to get quite a bit done. And it looks like the Day Job will still be remote – at least through the summer – so I have that extra commute time to be home doing not-Day-Job things.

The plan, of course, is to get a decent amount of writing done.

And get in a couple trips to the zoo.

But what about the last year?

I know a lot of folks that participated in NaNoWriMo wrote the pandemic into their novel. I understand the need for catharsis for both writer and reader, and that those stories could offer that.

But my muse doesn’t work that way.

When the RealWorldβ„’ has gone to shit, my muse basically throws it out even more completely than she normally does. You won’t find mention of the pandemic or the shelter-in-place orders in my writing because, frankly, fiction – in general – should be a safe way to escape for both reader and writer.

I know. I can hear it now:
What about Scarred Sun? What about the social issues that creep in around the fantasy? What about that one character?

Think about an escape.

If you’re escaping from a person/place/situation, odds are pretty high that person/place/situation was bad for you. Odds are pretty high that, to some extent, you didn’t want to be there.

And you do escape. You get away. You’re free.

Except for the memories… the residual pain and fear… the trauma… those don’t all go away. Some of it’s not as bad. Some of it you can actually pack up and get rid of. But other stuff stays and the best you can do is learn to cope.

While the pandemic is a staggering thing and is more likely to have a place in the history books than more pressing issues (that’s another rant I don’t feel like ranting right now), it’s not that bad. With just over three million obvious exceptions*, the whole of it can be packed up and stuck on a shelf to be forgotten… but that’s just not true for a lot of other things that defined 2020.

No more grim social commentary today. Maybe tomorrow πŸ˜‰

Until next time, friends… drink some water, stop and smell the roses, pet the dogs (with permission, of course), and soak up the Vitamin D.

You need it.

We all do. 🌞

~+~

*3,128,962 confirmed deaths according to the World Health Organization at time of writing

Shakin Off The Rust

Actively writing.

Actively editing.

Actively formatting.

It’s almost like I might be getting my groove back.

Again. πŸ˜•

I’m trying to push out the irritating voice saying we’ll see how long it lasts, this time and just be content with the fact that it actually is happening.

For as long as it lasts.

2021 is already off to a great start – Urban Wardens: Crash & Burn released the end of February, Blood in the Water drops May 1, and there are two more books (new installments for The Rio Crew and The Heroes of Vadim) making their way to you before this year flips over into the next.

And more projects are in-progress and on track for 2022… but you’ll have to wait a little while to find out more about them.

Until next time, friends… if you can’t dance like no one’s watching, turn on your filter and do it anyway πŸ’