It’s just perfect. You get a nice blend of sunny and cool. Everything smells wonderful. The world is an explosion of colors. You can wear your nice sweaters and not freeze to death. It’s far less muddy than spring.
Both Thanksgiving and Halloween (favourite holiday, ever) fall within autumn’s purview — at least, if you’re in Canada. If you’re in the US your Christmas Half-Time Show Thanksgiving is in Winter. And, you know, despite not really being a fan of colonialism or celebration thereof, I do love Thanksgiving. I’ve completely disassociated it from the genocide of my ancestors. For me, it’s a secular holiday that’s based around food, family, and giving thanks for what you have.
This may be because I’m Canadian, and our Thanksgiving doesn’t seem to have the same themes and motifs surrounding it as the US one does. Or it may be because for me personally, it never had elements of “And the Indians gave the Pilgrims food, and then the Pilgrims killed them all, and it was GOOD!” until I moved to the States, at which point I was already a teenager, pretty much — even then, it was more about food and family.
Or it may be because I love turkey, mashed potatoes, stuffing, and pumpkin pie. That’s also very likely. Most of my emotions are connected to food in some way.
In general, fall is the best season EVER. Good weather, good smells, good colors, good clothes, good holidays, and good food.
Oh, and the pumpkin spice latte is available at Starbucks. And the pumpkin scone, if you arrive early enough.
I went to bed early last night — 11 pm! This is early considering my average bedtime for the past four nights has been six am. I figured I’d sleep until 9am — early enough so that I’d be tired come this evening, so I could actually get up on time for my SOOPER EARLY OMG WHY DID I SIGN UP FOR THIS doctor’s appointment tomorrow. Assuming it would take me an hour to fall asleep, as it usually does, that’s about nine hours.
After four hours of sleep punctuated with really weird, very vivid dreams involving characters, plots, and settings from Community, Archer, and True Blood, I awoke to pressing bladder concerns and ABBA running through my head.
And I’m still awake, because my brain decided four hours of sleep would be enough.
I think I may be watching too many episodes of the above-named shows.
On the plus side, I will probably be tired enough very early tonight, and will get enough sleep before my doctor’s appointment (which I’m honestly not really looking forward to).
The thing that’s pissing me off is that I’m staying at my mom’s house — I have to, my doctor is in her town — and using her bed while she is traveling in Nicaragua. For the past few nights her pillow has given me a neck ache, so last night I finally grabbed my pillow out of the car (yes I travel with my pillow ok) to fix said neck ache.
Well, I didn’t sleep long enough, so neck ache is still around. Yay!
Anyway, my point here is not to bitch and moan. It’s probably a good thing I’m up so early. I can get two hours of writing done before the coffee store opens. (I think it should be required that when a town’s population gets to be a certain size, there is at least ONE 24-hour coffee shop in town. Seriously. And no, before you say it, fellow Canadians, Tim Horton’s IS NOT COFFEE. It is toxic waste in a massive cup whose rim you sometimes roll up to see if you won something. I honestly do not understand the national obsession with such an incredibly crappy excuse for coffee.)
In other news, I’ve now moved to the mainland from Vancouver Island. If you want to read about the saga of my move, you can check out parts one, two, three, and four. If you want to read about what driving in the Lower Mainland is like, you can read Lost in Coquitlamfield with a drunk GPS.
It has been a weird month or so. Very busy, like a bee, if bees are busy. Haven’t had a chance to do any SFFSat, as much because my laptop, where my WIPs reside, has been acting up, as because I’ve been busy. I’m in the process of backing it up and taking it in for repairs; may not see it till Monday. It shall be a very hard time.
Actually, not really — I’m going camping this weekend! So no SFFSat from me this week either.
So, some quick bits of news today, and then I’ll see you all next week.
Presenting: Kat & Wolff! This is a new site to showcase my mom and me as a mother-daughter novelist-publisher-poet team, and I’ve worked very hard on it this past week. It’s not totally complete yet, because I’m still waiting on some info from mom, who is having her own computer issues at the moment. But it is definitely ready for some perusing, so why not go show it some love?
No real vlog this week; sorry, but with my computer issues I haven’t been able to. I am, however, upgrading my desktop Mac so that I can start to do vlogs on it, too, so I shall have a back up if stuff like this happens again! Or I just may start to do vlogs on my desktop exclusively. Who knows.
Bellica website has been updated! This means the chapters that are up are the actual final chapters now, and the site looks nicer. It’s also better designed with regards to marketing, I think, so maybe I’ll get some more sales.
Literary+ holy gods, and also the Muses have taken over my brain!
More on Literary+
Literary+ is a writer based project brought together and lead by Shen Hart. It brings together passionate, quality self-published writers to help each other promote their work, bringing more readers to every member. It was sparked by the simple fact that there are many top quality self-published authors being over-looked because they do not have the time and resources to efficiently and effectively market and promote themselves. With ambition and passion, Literary+ will take its members to the heights they deserve through a tight-knit community of like-minded writers.
So that’s L+ in a nutshell. It’s a really amazing initiative (and calling it an initiative makes me feel like I’m one of the Avengers so I’m going to do that from now on) and I’m excited to be part of it. We have weekly ‘assignments’ like flash fiction and photo contests, and we’re doing not only an anthology of short fiction, the proceeds of which will probably be donated to a charity of some sort, but we’re also doing a serial on the site itself, called Smoke and Shadows. My installment is going up on the site on September 3rd, and I think y’all will like it — it involves a Witch and a lycanthrope bartender.
In the meantime, though, you should definitely stay tuned to the site to read everyone else’s contributions to the serial, which will be going up every Monday and Friday from here on out. The setting is urban fantasy, and the idea behind the serial is that each writer will do a short story, and they’ll all connect in weird ways. Currently the first one is up, by T. Pascal — go give it a read, why don’t you?
As well as fiction and photos, we’re doing articles, and I’ve already had one published! It’s about the wild and wacky road I’ve been on while publishing Bellica.
Since the L+ initiative started I’ve felt crazy-inspired, and a tarot reading I had on Saturday confirmed that yes, the Muses really are pumping my brain full of ideas and I should just take whatever happens and run with it. So I have been!
I have so many ideas my head is bursting. I’m hoping to get some real work done on The Jade Star of Athering this weekend, and maybe some short fiction written too. If I do write any shorts, I will be posting some of them online to be read for freeeeee! Because I’m super nice and love you all so much that I want you to have free samples of my writing to read!
Today I’ll be interviewing Wayne Basta, author of Aristeia: Revolutionary Right and Aristeia: A Little Rebellion, which just got released on June 1st. Wayne is on a blog tour in honor of his latest novel release and Gossip Diet is one of his stops. I’m excited about this, and I hope you are too.
Has someone been instrumental in inspiring you as a writer?
Inspiring me as a writer? Aside from the writer of every good book I’ve read not really. There are a lot of people who have instrumental in me becoming a writer. First, my Dad for introducing me to science fiction. And then my wife for backing me in this endeavour despite the loss of one income. There’s also many people on the internet, particularly some webcomics, who took that plunge to pursue their dream careers.
If you could select one book that you could rewrite and add your own unique twist on, which book would that be and why?
None. Any book I’ve liked there’s nothing about them that I would change. They may have some flaws, but everything does. If I were to mess with them, I know I’d ultimately ruin their greatness. There are plenty of books I haven’t liked that could stand to be rewritten, but if I didn’t like a book I tend to forget about it.
Now, there are quite a few movies and tv shows I’d love to redo.
Do you have any special routines or rituals?
Depends on what you mean by special :-). For my writing, I don’t like big outlines, they just don’t work for me. The story needs to be able to evolve naturally. But I do find it helpful to do a daily outline for what I’m going to write during a particular day.
What is something people would be surprised to know about you?
I’ve watched, and enjoyed the entire series of the Sopranos but I’ve never seen the Godfather.
Say your publisher has offered to fly you anywhere in the world to do research on an upcoming book, where would you most likely want to go?
Caribbean. One idea for my next series is a fantasy pirate adventure. So naturally I would need to visit a lot of tropical beaches. For research.
Does your significant other read your stuff?
Sometimes. She read my first novel and critiqued it. But when I was ready for her to read the second one she was 8 months pregnant and a little distracted.
Do you listen to music while writing? If so what?
Depends on my mood and the scene I’m working on. Sometimes I just want some good classic rock or some 80’s/90’s music that I grew up with in the back ground, other times I want a good exciting film score to help move an action scene along. But I often write in silence to help myself stay focused.
What are the most important attributes for remaining sane as a writer?
Accept the fact that you’re going to have to throw a lot of your work away. It can be tough to do, especially if it’s something you’ve put a lot of time and effort in. But if it’s not working, it’s not working and sometimes the only way to fix it is to start from scratch.
About Aristeia: A Little Rebellion
Unlike her brother, Saracasi Ocaitchi has always known that her loyalties belong to the ideals of freedom and democracy, not the government of the Alliance, and that protecting those ideals would require a fight. But now that the rebellion she has dreamed about has finally begun, she must come to terms with what that truly means: for herself, for her brother, and for all of the people who will die in the coming war.
I posted on Google+ the other day (or perhaps it was yesterday) that I’m so stressed this week I’m taking a step back from online life.
This was apparently a lie, because now the stress has snuck into my brain and prevented me from sleeping — the activity I’d slotted into my “online time”.
I am exhausted right now. I would do anything to sleep. It is 4:22 am and I’m supposed to be awake and getting ready for my day in 2 hours.
So, what to do?
Write a blog post complaining about my insomnia, complete with ridiculous picture of myself.
Work on The Jade Star of Athering.
Drink ALL the coffee.
I know that in about two hours my body will go “Oh, hey, time for SLEEP!” and knock me out if I’m not vigilant about it. Any other day — any other summer — I’d let it, but tomorrow/this morning is class. I have to go to class. This is the very last class I need to be in for my degree and I’ll be damned if a little insomnia is going to get in my way now.
I just have to get through the next two days. Wednesday my group presents, and then I can stop stressing.
Here we have the final snippet of Yarrow’s fate on the slopes of Mt. Impri. Read snippet one here and snippet two here.
The shape came closer, and she saw six legs – no, wait, now two legs and four arms as it moved to trot upright, large iridescent wings behind it for balance. It was covered in a thick white fur, but that was all she noticed for in the next instant a blur of white and black collided with the creature from the side, knocking it down and rolling away with it, locked in fierce battle.
The screaming stopped abruptly, and Yarrow, suddenly free, collapsed and started rolling down the mountain. She flung out her arms to stop herself but it was too late, and she rolled until she landed in a crevice, her head landing hard on a rock. For a second she struggled to rise, but then darkness consumed her in a wave.
That’s it for this collection of snippets. Yes, I am that evil.
Make sure to check out the other talented participants of SFFSat HERE!
Ages ago I used to play an online game called Kingdom of Loathing. I played several different characters and never could get the hang of it. So I quit and promptly forgot my login information.
Well, someone very special to me currently plays it, and has been hinting for a while that I should too, namely by copy-pasting funny bits from the Wiki or the game in Skype chats. (You may be able to guess that this special person is my boyfriend. If you haven’t, well, now I’ve told you.)
So I decided to pick it up again. Mainly because I thought it would make him happy but also because I was laughing pretty hard at the things he linked me, and I figured my stress levels could use some lowering. Humor is a good way to do that. And KOL is not a time-intensive game: you only have so many adventures per day, so you only spend about 30 minutes to an hour adventuring. Especially if you use the Wiki to help you out.
I play a Seal Clubber, which is a strictly muscle class. Every level you get a new title (see picture below). There are two muscle classes — Seal Clubber and Turtle Tamer — two magic classes — Pastamancer and Sauceror — and two moxie classes — Disco Bandit and Accordion Thief. The first time I played I was a Disco Bandit and then a Pastamancer (two different accounts; I never ascended) — and this was the source of my trouble. I do best with classes that just let me pummel without thinking. So the next time I played I tried Seal Clubber. It’s much better. I can scream HULK SMASH and pummel puny enemies. Once I’m used to the game and ascend, I can choose different classes.
The reason this game is so fun is because it’s based on humor almost entirely. Yes, there’s adventure and meat gathering (meat is the currency of Loathing) and trophies to earn (important to me because I’m a Diamond), but mostly KOL should make you laugh.
This is both a reference to Lord of the Rings and Harold and Kumar go to Whitecastle (though there is an entire quest chain dedicated to referencing H&K: The White Citadel Quest.) You first run into the eXtreme orc frat boys on the White Citadel quest chain, and they show up randomly after that.
This is only a small sample of the fun possible with Kingdom of Loathing. I’m sure you can see why I love the game so much.
Are you a gamer? What’s your favourite game? Have you ever played Kingdom of Loathing? Would you like to?
To read the first part of this snippet click HERE.
The thought was half-formed in her mind when the sound became a high-pitched keening scream. She tried to clamp her hands over her ears but stood paralysed, rooted to the spot.
Out of the darkness came a lumbering white shape, galloping towards her with deadly purpose. It continued to scream and Yarrow felt her blood freeze in her veins as she realised what it was.
She stood, unable to move, desperately trying to draw her sword. Her body wouldn’t obey. Her skin felt tight and hard, all suppleness lost, as if it had turned to stone around her and locked her in place.
Be sure to read the other talented SFFSat authors HERE!
And tune in next week for the conclusion of this snippet-set. 😉
My mom does this thing where she lists the points of her day — ie, every thing she accomplished, no matter the size. Her goal is 24 points a day. She doesn’t give herself negative feedback; only positive. That’s the theory, anyway.
So I’m giving it a whirl. I could use some positive encouragement.
Today I ….
Got up before 8am.
Got out the door before 9 (that’s when my class starts).
Did not cry when faced with the evil parking meter of doom nor my welling up feelings of anger surrounding the ableism in Canada’s redundant bureaucracies.
Managed to read a myth in pursuit of The One to turn into a skit for our class presentation.
In this snippet from Bellica Yarrow is walking back up the mountain after her hunting trip.
True to her pessimistic prediction, the sun had set by the time she reached the treeline, and she laboured up the rocky, snow-sprinkled slope in the dark. Soon the moons rose and cast their silver light, giving an eerie shine to the rust-coloured rock of the rest of the Blood Mountains that stretched away in a long range, far to the north, and the river with the same name that ran through them.
Yarrow stopped to look at the view behind her several times, and wondered what lay further north, beyond the mountain range that spanned the earth from her spot to the horizon. Did anything lie beyond it or was it just mountains and forest forever, as far as the earth went?
Maybe in summer, if Jules and I still live, we’ll journey north. See what there is to be seen.
She turned back and continued her zig-zag hike up, cursing the Moirae and Fortuna with every step. It was windy and cold and miserable again, and all she could think about was the warm bath that she knew awaited her in the mountain.
A sound like a song came over the wind, and Yarrow frowned and looked around. It came again, like a woman singing mournfully. Damn mountain gets creepier every day.
To discover the source of the song, come back next Saturday for the continuation of this scene!
Be sure to check out the other talented SFFSat authors HERE!