Kittens, Life, and Love

I am terribly sorry that I haven’t blogged lately; between dealing with buying a house, getting married (!), losing two cats and gaining two more… it’s been intense! Tack on a brother who physically assaults you at the workplace and you can imagine the fun. Oh well. That’s Big Brother Fence for you (he’ll appreciate the shout out and has been waiting for this validation, so I give it thus). You know, I always wanted to be mocked and poked and threatened to be thrown in the dumpster.

I am pleased to say we’re nice and settled and I’m starting to focus on writing again! The third and final (or is it?) chapter of Lenna’s arc should be completed within the next few months, along with an Audible audiobook edition of Apprentice, narrated by the wonderful Anisha Dadia! Huzzah!

If you haven’t noticed, my short story, “The Eighth Bible of New Egypt,” was picked up by Spark: A Creative Anthology. It’s one of many entries I intend to explore with that character, so def check it out. Besides my work, there are great authors and poets in the anthology so it’s a gem.

Find it here:

Spark: A Creative Anthology, Vol. VIII
Spark: A Creative Anthology, Vol. VIII

Also, we’re doing a limited sale on my remaining signed hardcovers of¬†Librarian and¬†Apprentice… only 100 each from the first press, so take a look at our Facebook page for details!

2016 & …?

I have not blogged in ages.
I haven’t written in ages.

Poor Lenna!

As I mentioned in my last post, I¬†did scribe the ending to¬†Freewoman, the final book in Lenna Faircloth’s trilogy. Of course, all that did was garner a surfeit of queries as to when¬†the book was coming out…

Well.¬†My urge to kill Lenna is only mild at the moment, so 2016 is still looking ever so rosy. Mainly, though, I’ve been preoccupied with numerous Big To-Dos, like moving, the holidays, and getting the kittens to stop trying to maim each other. (See above: a rare moment of peace.)

I have set aside some “staycation” time so that (1) we can unpack the kitchen and pretend to bake like Mary Berry, and (2) I can stop fretting myself prematurely grey.

TL;DR version:

Freewoman is on its way; I am turning silver; I go to the gym a lot; I do not dance nearly as much as I should; three cats is a bit much for two people.


Tears…!? On Writing an Ending

I’m really rather pleased to be back on my game and exercising my writing muscles. ROAR!!¬†Freewoman¬†— I’ve probably mentioned this in past posts — is completely outlined and several chapters are done (my dad has the only copy of chapter one at the moment, shh!), but I still have a lot of work to do in¬†cranking the rest out.

The ending is something that I’ve had in mind since book one, so what happens isn’t really anything new to me. I just felt like today was the day to write it. What I didn’t expect was for it to feel so personal or so final… after all, I still have a solid chunk of the book to write, so it’s not like I won’t be working on it. Still. Today, I wrote the ending.

To say Lenna doesn’t represent various aspects of my nature would be a lie. Writing anything without connecting on a personal level would, in my opinion, produce nothing but sterile content. But despite having known what was to come, what I was to write,¬†I didn’t expect for me to feel so sad about penning the final paragraph of the arc that Lenna, that crochety librarian-cum-hero, took me journeying along as her companion.

I thought I was in charge the whole time, but looking back and forward, I guess Lenna¬†was in command all along. My writing has developed for ill or naught,¬†my imagination expanded twentyfold¬†and, while there’s still much work to get done before¬†Freewoman is even ready to be edited, it’s somehow rather tough to write¬†goodbye. (Unless we see her again…)

Writing Getaway; Or: Writing, GET AWAY!

The boy had the sudden (whether it was opportune or not is debatable, since we had to wake up at 4:30 this morning) task of traveling for work up to Connecticut, and as I’ve been going a bit stir-crazy of late and may have been on vacation this week anyway, I said, “BAO GOES TOO.” This was very exciting, especially since it came off the back-end of pumpkin picking. Pumpkins are a particular… fascination of mine.

Punkin Time

Fortunately, despite the chilly weather, heated car seats and a Xanax meant I snored through most of the journey, and now I’m wandering about like a lost puppy in this giant resort. (I have had to ask for directions twice and already have been asked if Sunset Shimmer was my good luck charm.)

Good news is! While under normal vacation circumstances I would most likely be drunk or eating the entire time, I’ll be spending most of the week cranking out the first proof of¬†Freewoman and working on two separate serials for my favorite magician, Jacob Orange. Productivity, here we come! (Mostly. Right now I’m having a Cosmopolitan and considering spa treatments.)

…oh, me.

A Rant; Or Rather, an Angry Diatribe about GoT

Okay, as a writer, I understand that there are scenes that move along plot and are sometimes hard to write and can be quite visceral to readers. Sometimes, that is the point of writing those scenes. Hell, I was asked if I’m just killing off gay characters because they’re gay (don’t worry; I’ve knocked off 3 straights in book three already!).

But the Game of Thrones HBO adaption is gratuitous in its violence against women, both adult and young.¬†I’m not even on the finale yet and I’m appalled by this season (compounded with others). Yes, men meet horrible fates too, so you don’t need to berate me about Theon Theon Theon and his lack of a tallywhacker. There is just such an overt sexualization and abuse of women in this series that it leaves me gobsmacked that people aren’t made uncomfortable watching this.

We have a responsibility to recognize, learn, and stop the atrocities that have been afflicted on women historically, but this drama is *NOT* history (though Martin and others claim it’s all¬†inspired by historic events such as the War of the Roses — and subsequently explain away how this level of violence is fine and dandy).

This is a fantasy show with horrific pacing and horrific acts of violence against women just for shock value, and it just gives me pause when I think, “…why are people entertained by this? Is this what we want to see?” Because I can guarantee one thing… it certainly isn’t teaching anyone about equality, history, or the horrors real women all over the world suffer daily. It’s glorifying these awful events as entertainment.

I haven’t watched the finale yet, but I’m already so uncomfortable I had to leave the room. And there is no come back that says, “The finale will make everything better.” Because no. The rape, the abuse, the misogynistic sex — hell’s bells, what on earth are people enjoying about this and what the hell kind of people write this?

Feel free to disagree — I don’t mind and don’t mind anyone who likes GoT. I just can only watch so much rape or murdering of young girls before I get angry. And for the die-hard fans, Arya Stark doing something AMAZING¬†eventually¬†is not going to make up for all of the treacherous treatment of women by this series. Yes, bad stuff happens to all sorts of people in Game of Thrones, but you’d have to be blind not to see that this mostly happens to women. This show sells abuse.

Okay, rant over. Sorry… but not so sorry for saying what every man and woman should be saying. *clicks post because, unlike Theon, I’ve still got and¬†deserve¬†my junk*

Such May-ness

Yikes!¬†It’s been forever. I did not exactly fall off the planet, but I got quite close to the Moon.¬†More on that — and the poems that resulted from it — to be covered another time.

Apprentice¬†(hardcover) went live back in December, though due to a panoply of ponderous circumstances, I didn’t get to promote it much (or at all). Don’t worry: that’ll change very soon, starting with some giveaways that I’ll announce in a few days. ūüôā

On a fanciful note, MasterChef Australia is currently my snuggly lifeline to sanity; even the cat — more on him another time, too — knows not to eat the houseplants during my nightly voyage into the world of Ozzie home cookery.

And while we’re on the topic of food, I just got back from my St Cross reunion in Boston. (It was a complete blast to reunite¬†with Oxford peeps and then faff about Harvard Square in an¬†awesome hat.)

Anyway, because I’m compelled to go to dive bars with scrumptastic reputations, yours truly found himself at a biker bar in Derby, Connecticut eating food (in a completely INAPPROPRIATE HAT) that could drop an elephant at 20 paces.

Behold the gloriousness of the Parmesan Butter Bacon Garlic Burger, courtesy of the Dew Drop Inn:

My Death on a Plate

…this probably explains my lack of appetite for the last few days. Burp. Keep it classy, kids, keep it classy.