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Thanksgiving Pardon

23 Nov

I hereby pardon myself for the as-yet-uncommitted crime of doing jack shit for the rest of this week. That’s right, it is that (in)famous American holiday, Thanksgiving. I plan to eat, drink, and watch football unabashedly.

Also, bring shame upon my family.

someecards.com - Your Tofurkey has brought shame to this family

It’s true. I once had another veggie friend come over for Thanksgiving dinner. She brought Tofurkey and we made it. It was pretty terrible — and I love tofu. As in, sometimes I want a midnight snack and I go dig out some baked tofu in weird flavors, pop it out of the package and onto a plate, and… eat it just like that. Thankfully since I’ve been torturing my family in this manner since I was 15, they’re really good at making sure the sides are edible for me.

My family is very kind. Yes. Mostly because I think they don’t want to hear about my upset stomach all day, but still. I hope your family is as kind, if you’re dealing with Thanksgiving this week. And if not, well, I still hope they’re that kind, even though they’re not bound by random social custom.

I will still be very reachable by email if anyone needs me, but all other forms of communication are pretty much cut off til after the weekend. Much love!

Transgender Day of Remembrance

20 Nov

Transgender Day of Remembrance

Please take a moment to remember.

 

Happy Halloween!

31 Oct

So, I’m just going to sum October up like this: blog fail!

I have, however, just read everything in all my rss feeds, commented where something major seemed to happen, and I’m going to be on top of it during Nano, I swear. Just, shit went a bit wild there, didn’t it? S’okay, I’m here. I’m sure you’re relieved. Ahem.

RIGHT! SO, it’s Halloween, yay! We already had our Halloween this weekend, when we went home to Pittsburgh for my best friend’s party. She and her husband were the Mad Hatter and the Queen of Hearts — I’d post a picture but I forgot to ask her. They looked INCREDIBLE. (Wait, I did kinda post a picture of Tara on twitter, but with me. Anyhow.) Two of my high school friends were cowboy/girls and their little boy a cow. Tara’s cousin was a beekeeper and his baby girl a bee. One of her friends was a deer, and her boyfriend a hunter. So much cuteness, I hardly know where to start! B and I did the flapper/gangster thing, because as many of you know, I have a thing for the 20s.

Here’s a terrible picture of me, but I don’t care, cuz B’s spats look AWESOME.

Halloween 2011

He doesn’t always look that cranky — he was just method acting. Wait, here’s one of him pretending to like me:

We actually got one of him threatening me and my beer with a prop gun — so he got to be the prohee officer and I was importing my liquor from Canada, I guess. Fun times . Also, I can call it research for my second Nano novel. Mwahahaha!

So not such a scary Halloween, but a fun Halloween nevertheless.

Good ways to spend the day:

  1. Episode 1 of The Sons of Chaos and the Desert Dead by Aaron Polson @ The Red Penny Papers.
  2. Checking out The Whisper Jar by Carole Lanham — and the awesome guest post she did over at Cat Gardner’s blog.
  3. Adding me to your Nanowrimo buddy list. *Cracks knuckles* I’m ready, vampire boy! Flapper girl, you’re NEXT.

Have a good one, no matter how you spend it.

And don’t forget, fuck the Volstead Act!

Pick-me-up Purple

20 Oct

Thanks for the commiseration on that last post, y’all. It’s sort of my habit not to post negative stuff until I’ve had time to process it, but I do think it’s as important to post that stuff as it is to post the squeeing. I just happen to do a lot more squeeing than anything else. I think that’s why strangers always talk to me on elevators. I just naturally look like I’m about to squee, apparently.

Which is also part of why I fucking hate elevators, and have been known to take the stairs 15 flights instead of getting into a full one. I don’t know you! Don’t talk to me! Holy shit!

Ahem. Anyhow, I’m a little better now. Partly because of what Milo suggested — thinking of the stuff I’m thankful for. Which is a lot. My life is pretty rad, and I don’t ever want to be ungrateful. I have also been doing a lot of stuff. I find that doing stuff makes everything better. “Stuff” has consisted thus far of:

1. An unexpected 3k on a romance novel. This is awesome because I started writing those things to cheer myself up during a rocky patch last year. It’s nice that they continue to work for me.

Oddly enough, though, it was a really, really emo bit that I’ve been putting off writing. I was finally feeling dismal enough to get down to it, I guess. So that’s good, I also channeled my funk into poor little Jody. Go me. Or something.

2. Finishing the script/outline for another one. Which is more of a novella, part of a new project I’m working on, but again, glad the romance is there to pick me up.

3. Sorting out a character for one of my Nano horror projects. The one that was a short story.

4. Mainlining Interpol. Which is actually very depressing, if only because Paul Banks sounds like he’s going to cry most of the time. But whatever. (Admittedly, paulbanksdaily has also been a great help. Pretty boy and occasionally the supermodel girl in a bikini. Yes, please.)

5. Avoiding most human contact.

6. A bottle of Black Bush. My husband read my last entry, called me from work, and said, “You’re having a rough week. Go get yourself a bottle.” At first I said no, but he somehow managed to convince me. Because, you know, that was real fuckin hard.

I do not think that I rock, but I never do — I think I’m just about back to myself, though. So thanks. <3

Aaaaand today is Spirit Day, as GLAAD has been reminding me every five minutes via twitter. Okay, wearing purple isn’t going to end bullying. It’s not going to fix the fucked up world. But it’s nice to see people coming together with good intent, and visibility is key to erasing the idea of Otherness. So here we go.

I look silly in purple, what can I say. I only own that one because Tara gave it to me — she didn’t like the way it fit her. Yeah, it’s a Foo Fighters shirt. Whatever, they like the man muffins. (LINK NSFW, contains faux-trucker Grohl ass. In case anyone in the world hasn’t seen it yet.) And openly taunt Westboro Baptist with it. Sooooo it totally counts.

And I love my lavender nail polish. It’s my favorite.

*fist pump*

—————-
Now playing: Interpol – Always Malaise (The Man I Am)
via FoxyTunes

Oh, The Horror(s)

30 Sep

Part 2 of RP friendly postage will come… I dunno, this weekend. Cuz I haven’t talked enough about what a nerd I am. Speaking of, Comic Book Rant over at kateyhawthorne.com. Mostly stuff that’s been said all week/month long, but with links to Hot Art. As in, Dick Grayson posing for the camera ala Starfire. Mmm, gimme.

Oh, also, Hawthorne-me’s RIOT BOY has its blurb up, if you missed it. And I’ve seen the line art for the cover. And guys, it’s gonna rock.

Ugh, that was a bad unintentional pun. Geddit, cuz the one guy is a bass player in a punk band? (Willoughby Spit Rulez!) Sorry >.<

Right, but no more of that today. Today is the first day in a week where I’ve felt at all myself. Yesterday was awesome (FISH ToC ready to go, RPP catchup went well) in spite of a skull-splitter of a headache, but today… oh today, I am giddy with the joy of feeling NORMAL.

Mostly. Enough.

Just in time, too, as I would’ve been right pissed off to miss the Horrors at the Black Cat tonight. It’s a great little venue, kind of like a bar — or two — in a giant room with a little stage at the front. Very intimate, wonderful sound. I like to go and sit at the bar and sip gently on overpriced Jameson (all liquor is overpriced — this is DC) and watch and grin. Hell, I’ll even have company this time, as my dear friend and fellow nerd Hayley has agreed to come with me.

Who are these weirdos? Well, their song “She Is the New Thing” (AWESOME video, btw) served as soundtrack to “The Peacock and the Raven” when I was writing it — god, that was a while ago, wasn’t it? And from their latest, I had “Still Life” on repeat when I did that 25k novella last month. That one’s tentatively called Water right now, just because there’s a whole elemental project I’m working on. But yes. Here, it’s all mellow and cool and very 80s, actually:

And just in time, since it’s been a while since I went to Interpol and we decided to slam Jameson chased by beers through the entire show.

Yes, I am a giant 14 year old, I know. But when I get stupid, I do it responsibly!

The Writerly Glory of Gaming, Part 1

27 Sep

I am miserably ill right now, as anyone subjected to my twitter feed will know. Sorry about that. I generally want to be left the fuck alone when I’m sick, but sometimes you just want to complain. Thanks for tolerating, those of you who didn’t unfollow immediately when I mentioned the stomach flu. I know the impulse must’ve been difficult to strangle.

So I’ve been fairly useless on the writing and editing since Saturday evening, which is vexing. I chase my tail a lot when I’m not working on things. Especially since I have so many things that want working on, this is unpleasant. However, I did plan on taking a few days off to just read very soon, and so I’ll just pretend they came early and get that done right now. I’m in the middle of a book I’ve been wanting to read for months, and that, at least, is glorious. So I’ll stop the complaining right there. Yay!

Today I want to discuss something else that occupies my brain when I’m ill, however: gaming. I spotted this link on twitter some time last week — I’m not sure who put it there, because I know enough awesome people that it might’ve been one of dozens: A Game That Honed the Skill of Writers at the New York Times. It’s about Jim Butcher (and others, but he’s the main focus) and an old school MUSH — the text-based precursor to today’s graphical Massively Multiplayer Online RPGs.

My brother Nick was a big time MUSHer back in the day — I used to sit and watch him play and have him explain what he was doing and how and why, and it was fascinating stuff — and he’s the most incredible DM ever when playing tabletop. I’ve always been more of the single-character player type. Which is why when some of my friends in college started playing this graphical MMORPG called EverQuest, I was in. It was like D&D, but online! With random people! And dragons! And elves!

I’d divide the types of people I met playing EQ into two general groups: hardcore gamers and roleplayers. Hardcore gamers had to have all the latest gear, defeat the biggest monsters, belong to the elite guilds, and otherwise dominate. Roleplayers were there to dick around in the world. Obviously, I was the latter. Yeah, I love smacking crap with swords or poking them with daggers (never been much of a caster class girl — I like hitting things too much, though I will never deny the therapeutic usefulness of blowing shit up with a big old fireball), but mostly I liked exploring and questing and making up stories. My main character was a wood elf rogue. We’d go and hang out in his home tree city (in character) and get our toons drunk (alcohol made the screen go fizzy) and race around it to see who could make it from platform to platform without falling off the high bridges to a Darwin Award death.

We also made up stories. While the hardcore guilds ran around beating up dragons and getting 1337 gear, the roleplaying guilds were creating storylines out of the individual tales we each had for our toons. We did guild-wide ones, we did personal ones with our friends. It was a creative frenzy, the addictiveness of keeping up with brilliant storytellers, of wanting to contribute, the rush when you know the story is more than just you.

Now, that article makes a fair point about the graphical MMOs:

In Amber [the text-based mush] “you couldn’t just jump into the avatar and be the magical flying fairy — you had to describe it,” Mr. Banks said. “We’ve lost a lot of that visual meaning in our heads, because you just see it. There’s no point in imagining it if it’s already on the screen.”

This is true, I confess. In that way, the stories were more character based. Not quite fanfiction, as these were all Original Characters, simply operating in the world given to us — again, just like D&D. And if you’ve ever read a D&D novel, you know that can lead to some good shit. (And some terrible shit, but hey, what doesn’t?)

But what this kind of storytelling showed me was how to know a character inside and out in a way that it’s really, really hard to teach. I’ve seen massive character worksheets that ask you to fill out every single aspect of a character’s eating habits, wardrobe, attitude toward pigeons, etc — and they cannot substitute for a complete and full psychological grasp of a character that was necessary to keep up with this kind of gaming.You have no idea what’s going to happen next, but it’s going to happen NOW, and you’d better know how your toon reacts. Get in the zone, because it is on. Meet your new best friend: method acting.

And killing orcs in character is the only thing more fun than just plain killing orcs, let’s face it.

Er, unless you play World of Warcraft and are Horde, because then you can be an orc, which is also awesome.

I’ve since tried many, many different games, and never quite equaled that RP experience in EQ, but maybe because I wasn’t looking that hard. I was already getting my fix elsewhere by then. (I play Lord of the Rings Online now — can’t beat the worldbuilding there!) Doesn’t matter though, it did the trick. And not just that, but one of the writers (or rather, a couple) I met there has since become not only a fabulous beta reader, editor, and all around inspiration, but a lifelong friend. And I know I’m not the only one who had this experience. Table top, LARPing, online, whatever, games bring the creative types together and get the juices flowing in a way that’s completely different from what you get as an independent writer. Teaches you lessons you never knew you needed, that’s for damn sure.

Of course, as the article also says, you pick up some bad habits, too. But more on that in Part 2 of Katey’s Epic Geekery.

A Rant-Free Bisexual Post

23 Sep

I just did a huge bisexuality rant last month, so I’ll spare y’all right now. If anyone has any interest in said rants, they are conveniently grouped under the bisexuality tag. But today is Celebrate Bisexuality Day. Yay!

It’s been a weird year for LGBTQ types, I think we can all agree. From the frenzy over Dan Savage being all dismissive to the latest YA “make your characters straight and we’ll talk” nonsense… oh yeah, and the DADT repeal. Holy fuck. (Not to be a killjoy, because it’s awesome, but please let us remember that trans service-folk are still in the shit. This repeal is a step, not the end result.)

Anyhow, there’s a good rundown at the Bi Social Network, so I’ll just link there.

Now to get personal on you.

I kind of get the bi hate. I mean, I don’t get it as in feel it, obviously, but I see where it comes from. The fact is that we can pass sometimes — I pass every day. It’s not something I’m doing intentionally, I’m not trying to hide anything. But I’m walking down the street holding a dude’s hand and no one looks twice at me.

Well, they do, depending on where I am, because dude is brown. But not here in DC, and anyhow, that’s a completely separate issue.

That’s straight privilege on a very simple level, right there. There are so many other ways I feel the privilege, though. No one questions the legality of my tax return, no one argues when I go in the Indian line at customs in Chennai with Balaji, getting his US citizenship sorted was relatively simple — and that’s huge because it pretty much ensures we won’t suffer deportation issues. I didn’t realize what a weight off it would be until he got that passport and I just deflated.

So I get it. I get the bitterness, and I get the urge to take it out on people like me — not just people attracted to men and women (and therefore who supposedly have the choice to “pass” — again, separate issue, because like anyone ever had a choice about who they fall for…). But especially on people who end up in opposite sex relationships. I ain’t saying it’s right, cuz it’s both fucked up and infurating. I’m just saying that, as someone with a temper from hell, I understand the urge.

So this year, I’m going to make it a point to be more visible. My fiction, this blog, all that stuff, it’s totally visible — but I’ve talked all that into the ground. (Again, see the bisexuality tag.) I mean personally. It’s a weird thing for me because it’s deeply dyed in my wool that sex, family, and money are personal matters that ought to be safeguarded. Not just to spare others the discomfort, but because they’re mine, and no one else gets to have them. It’s no one’s goddamn business who I screw, want to screw, or screwed in the past. I’ll always believe that. And hell, nothing makes me more uncomfortable than being watched or looked at. I surround myself with people louder, smarter, and prettier than me just to avoid it.

But it’s not like I have to get into stuff that makes me uncomfortable just to be visible, and I was also raised to believe in Put Up or Shut Up. So bring on the rainbow-colored West Virignia shirt (I’ll do a picture on SCRIPPED release day — it’s the best shirt ever!) and bisexual visibility bracelets. Fuck, I might even buy a flag for the window or — gasp! — a bumper sticker for my truck. (Yeah, I don’t do bumper stickers, it’s true.)

You guys think of anything else I can do without looking like I’m actually going the opposite way (as in trying to get attention), let me know. I’m open to suggestion.

Food for thought: a bunch of biphobic quotes from around the world. Next time you hear someone say something like this, do me a favor and at least give ‘em a dirty look, please.

Fitzgasm

20 Sep

Yeah, that’s right. Fitzgasm. My new favorite word, coined by my husband’s best friend — for whose wedding we traveled into the Great White North last week. See, we had to fly into St. Paul first. Didn’t get any time at all there, so I’ll be arranging another trip very soon to visit more, but we did have a brief evening. During which our wonderful friends took me on the F. Scott Fitzgerald walking tour — but driving, since it was about a half an hour before sunset.

Yes, I saw the house in which HE was born. Also, the house in which he wrote THIS SIDE OF PARADISE after failing to get the girl he loved to marry him and spending a year or so stupidly drunk in NYC. Have I mentioned yet how that book helped me finish off LIAM? That 13 draft vampire fucker? Yeah. YEAH.

And so, a Fitzgerald quote from TSoP on my current delight (in spite of still not much caring for my traditional team due to our *cough*daterapist*cough* quarterback) from that very book!

… and Amory at quarter-back, exhorting in wild despair, making impossible tackles, calling signals in a voice that had diminished to a hoarse, furious whisper, yet found time to revel in the blood-stained bandage around his head, and the straining, glorious heroism of plunging, crashing bodies and aching limbs. For those moments courage flowed like wine out of the November dusk…

… okay now that I see that out of context, it’s even more homoerotic than the tension between Jay Gatsby and Nick Carraway all through TGG. Ah well. It was the 20s. There was a lot of gin involved.

Oh and then we had dinner what would’ve been his neighborhood soda shop, now a posh restaurant. B’s pal was making fun, saying, “Katey’s not really with us right now. She’s having a Fitzgasm.”

New favorite word, like I say.

But we left almost immediately for a very small, very beautiful (very lacking in internet connection and 3g service) town on Lake Superior for a brilliant weekend-long wedding/vacation thing. I didn’t get to enjoy the twin cities, but like I said. Again. Soon. Very soon. Yay for the Midwest!

Yay for football season!

Normal service now resumes <3

Nobody’s Home

13 Sep

At least, nobody’s home here. I’m off for a week or so — an adventure into a state I’ve never before seen. Wisconsin! But first I have to wrangle the cat into her carrier and get her to the vet for boarding, so I’d better make this snappy.

Have a marvelous week, don’t do anything I wouldn’t do, and I’ll miss you. If you get bored, you can always try and win a copy of one of those romance novels I’m always talking about.

See you after the weekend! <3

Apologies and Good News

8 Sep

So, as I mentioned before, I had a hack on the site. There was a big hack, actually, as someone found an exploit in a lot of WordPress themes all at once, which was a thing my own theme uses. I fixed it by updating the theme and getting rid of the nasty malware (which was, in fact, a redirect that infected zero people) immediately — like, sometime last week. But there were crap files left on my server space that needed cleaned, and I didn’t know how where to begin trying to find them. An issue, since I, like so many other writers, am my own webmaster.

But it’s alllllll good now. I spent the first part of the Week After Labor Day looking at malware and badware pwning sites. Found this service, who for a very reasonable fee — and, I might add, with zero access to my server, site, etc — told me how to find where the bad stuff was and inform google that I’m not a bad guy. So… for real this time, it seems to be sorted out. I really apologize for all the warnings, but rest assured, nothing actually bad came of this. I’m kind of baffled as to why they even bothered, really, as it doesn’t seem like anyone is terribly fooled by their attempts to redirect us to Russian Viagra ads from inane websites, but hey. What do I know. Maybe they’re just in it for the chaos.

I feel the same sometimes, so whatever, man. Just keep out of my, uh, back door. Yeah.

They did cost me a few bucks, but just a few. And it was worth it not to have to scrap this entire site, which I’ve finally got to behave just how I want. That woulda been a shame.

So yeah, apologies, but it’s okay now. Really. Even my own strict antivirus and google are letting me see my site again, so I feel it’s safe to post and to go and reply to other posts, now. Score.

Oh, and the good news is that SCRIPPED is sorted for the end of the month. Which officially means that this week doesn’t have to end as crap as it began. Fuck yeah! <3 <3 <#

(That last heart up there, see, it exploded. Cuz it’s so happy. See!)