I am also working on setting up a pre-order for the ebook bundle via another service so people without credit cards can get it, but it’s turning out to be a bit more complicated than I thought. It may, indeed, not happen for this book. Sorry, but I’m really swamped, and apparently not technically savvy enough to figure this particular thing out.
On the plus side, as soon as the release date rolls around (October 4th), you’ll be able to get a copy of the book from Kobo, Amazon, the Kat and Wolff e-junkie store, and Tomely! (And Gumroad, of course, and maybe some other places!)
If you do have a credit card, though, you want to get the pre-order — because I’ll be sending you a little something extra along with the ebook bundle. If you pre-order, you’ll also get a full copy of the story “The Murine Invasions” from Kaimana Wolff‘s How to Keep a Human.
The regular Stranger Skies ebook will have a small teaser for How to Keep a Human at the back, but it won’t be a complete story.
Why am I including a story from Wolff’s book? Because the main character of Stranger Skies is based off a character in Wolff’s book, and both stories take place in the loose universe (the universe of the True Woods). I talked to Kaimana about doing some cross-promotion with our stories and she thought it was a great idea, so if you pre-order you get a copy of “The Murine Invasions”.
(The copy will be sent to all pre-order customers separately from the main file you’ll get from Gumroad, and it’ll happen after book release.)
And now, I am getting back to work on the big publishing order we’re putting out.
Winners of the giveaway, check your emails if you haven’t already!
[content warning: mention of disordered eating and fatphobia]
This past weekend was the BC Day long weekend (I believe the first Monday in August is the long weekend across Canada, with Province-specific holidays; I know it was Alberta Heritage Day as well as BC Day, f’ex), so I got to spend four days at the Ogre’s house instead of just 3. (We’re currently searching for a place to move in to together, but in the meantime it’s week-at-my-house, weekend-at-his.)
His mom had to head down to Washington this weekend to visit a friend. She asked us to come with because she’d not been feeling well all weekend and felt safer having an escort. Also, she said, one of the things she was picking up was my birthday gift — so there was some incentive for me!
First thing we did as soon as we got across the border was find a Jack in the Box. Jack in the Box is by far our favourite fast food place and we will always make time to visit one when we head into the Western States. (It doesn’t exist out east. I don’t even think it exists too far east of the West Coast.) And by “we” I mean “Amoeba Cat and Ogre”. OgreMom has a lot of food sensitivities, so eating at fast food while on a road trip is sort of a really terrible idea (especially when she’d not been feeling well for a few days before).
My normal meal at Jack in the Box is the Ultimate Cheeseburger, which is basically just meat and cheese and bread, but this time they had a new one — with bacon. So it was meat and cheese and bread and meat. I was in heaven. Even if we went at the wrong time of year and couldn’t get specialty shakes. (You know what this means? We need to go on more road trips to Washington, preferably around specialty-shake times.)
Something else new about JitB: they now have calories listed on their menus.
I guess this is something that helps folks, and I suppose some people like knowing their caloric intake upfront. I’m also guessing it’s common across US fast food places (it’s not in Canada), to help combat the “obesity epidemic”. (Because obese people are the enemy, folks. We’re the new communists, donchaknow.)
Personally, I found it incredibly upsetting, and were I in a worse state of mind that evening I probably would have been triggered. When I noticed the calories on the menu, I felt like I was being publicly shamed for choosing a meal that was so high in caloric intake. I felt like everyone was watching me, looking at the thing I was choosing and how BIG that number was beside it and judging me for it. And, as I feel every time I look at the calories on a piece of food, I started to feel the slippery slide into my eating disorders.
I had to force myself to look away and not think about it, though I managed to snap a picture as we were leaving. I repeated a mantra over and over in my head that Ogre loves me and doesn’t judge me for the food I eat. He never tells me to eat less; he doesn’t try to control my food input. Which is quite magical, considering, well, every other guy I’ve dated and lots of other people in my life that I’ve not been romantically involved with. Oh, yeah, and society at large. (Har, a pun.)
Anyway. I’m digressing. I may spend time later to go into this in greater depth on another post, to give it the time and attention it deserves. For now I’m just going to talk some more about my road trip.
Something that made me about as excited as JitB? This:
If you don’t get the reference, I feel sad for you — because you are not watching Bob’s Burgers, and you are missing out on laughing so hard you cry and pee yourself. Get thee to a Netflix and watch. You will not regret it. (If you do regret it…well, it’s safe to say you probably don’t share my sense of humor. Which is sad. I am sad now.)
True story: it’s my heart’s dream that someday the Ogre and I are Bob and Linda and our kids are Louise, Gene, and Tina. Also, I may or may not be obsessed with the show because I basically am a combination of the three kids.
After JitB we pretty much headed straight to the person we were visiting, with a few stops for gas and bathrooms on the way. (Man, gas is cheap in Washington. No, the exchange rate doesn’t make it a “no real difference” sort of deal; Washington is paying around 3.50 a gallon and Vancouver is paying around 5.20 a gallon. 5.20 Canadian is about 4.90 US, not 3.50.)
The visit purpose was two-fold: visit the kittens, and pick up OgreMom’s stuff. Including my birthday present. Which is awesome. You will see this in a minute. First, however: KITTENS.
This was the kitty we were going to look at, so OgreMom could take pictures of him to send to a friend who’s a vet to get a bit of a consult. The kitty has some sort of hip problem, so his legs just sort of spread-eagle no matter what. He wasn’t in much, if any, pain, and he was cool with being held and cuddled. His legs just splay like crazy, but it really doesn’t stop him from crawling all over the place and dragging them behind him. Because of this I think he should be named Troy, but no one appreciates my constant references to Community. (And yes, I realize y’all can’t exactly tell by the picture, but the kitten is fine with being held like that and it was only long enough for me to snap a picture, anyway. Don’t worry, Ogre may look big and scary but he actually knows how to handle cats. His mom only fostered a million kittens while he was growing up.)
So, anyway, here are some more pictures of kittens:
After kitten-cuddle-time we took a look at OgreMom’s packages, including…(drumroll please)…my birthday present!
You see, a few months ago I shared a t-shirt on Facebook that I desperately wanted and couldn’t buy, along with my size and a note to my friends that if they wanted to get it for me I would love them for a very long time. I didn’t actually think anyone would get it for me, as the sale was short-lived and times are tough, but…
Now, if you don’t get the reference, I actually kind of wonder where you’ve been for the past three decades. Reading Rainbow ran for 23 years on PBS. It encouraged children to read and exercise their imaginations, and — this is the best part — it was produced and hosted by LeVar Burton.
As far as TV shows go, I was raised on Star Trek: The Next Generation and Reading Rainbow. At first, I wondered why Geordi was without his visor, but then the concept of actors vs. characters was explained to me, and I adjusted.
The show helped foster a love of literature in me. Despite my eventual voraciousness regarding books and my high levels of reading comprehension, for a while mom was afraid I wouldn’t actually learn to read, period. It never came easy to me, and even now I am an extremely slow reader. I have to be awake and alert if I want to read books and comprehend them, and it takes me a while.
For someone with those difficulties, fostering a love of the literary world could be difficult. But on the TV, I had Geordi — Geordi, my friend from Star Trek, one of my favourite characters from that show, the guy who seemed safe to me. And here he was, showing me that reading could take me anywhere, and help me be anything. I could go twice as high.
So you can see why I’m overjoyed with this shirt. It proclaims my love for Reading Rainbow without being billboardesque, and its appeal to the imagination harkens back to the theme of the show. Definitely up there among some of the best birthday gifts ever.
After our visit, we headed home — and to a Wal-Mart. Whenever Ogre is in the States he picks up underwear from Wal-Mart (or wherever else has the same-priced underwear, but often it’s Wal-Mart because of the odd hours he keeps — they’ve usually got a 24hr-open store). Canada doesn’t have the underwear he likes in his size, so we must go to the States and buy underwear made in the face of the looming problem of fatties within the nation’s borders. Oh no! Hide the children!
I mean, I find it sort of fucking ridiculous that he can’t find underwear that fits him up here. You would think that regardless the moral panic surrounding the very existence of fatties in whatever country they would at least supply us some fucking underwear. I mean, seeing as it’s such a problem when we show the slightest amount of skin.
I, too, have trouble finding underwear that a) fits, b) is the style I like, c) is comfortable, d) well-made, and e) in my budget. By “I have trouble,” I mean “I usually wear underwear until it just disintegrates so I don’t have to go through the horror of shopping for more for as long as possible.”
I digress again. Apparently the Amoeba Cat is grumpy today.
So, we went in search of some underwear, as all his current pairs are approaching sainthood. (‘Cause they’re holey…get it?) While we were there we decided to see if there was any junk food that we couldn’t easily get in Canada. Also, I took a picture of some booze I saw that I wanted to remember at a later time — as it was 2:30 am when we were shopping and my brain was unlikely to remember the details without some help.
Kinky Liqueur isn’t something I’ve seen up here in Canada, though that doesn’t mean it’s not around. I don’t actually go booze shopping very often. At any rate, whenever I get a chance I’m going to pick some up and see if I like it.
I really wanted these pants, but alas. So instead we found junk food to help me keep said amazing ass. (This was Ogre’s comment. I laughed.)
There wasn’t much in the junk food section that we couldn’t get at home (where it would be better, too; sorry, USians, but your Oreos taste like crap), but we did find two really cool things: pop made in Mexico, meaning it was made with actual freaking sugar and not HFCS, and one of those Nutella snack things they sell in Europe, sans the chocolate milk portion.
The Mexican-made pop (no pictures, sorry) came in a 24-bottle case. In glass bottles, no less. 12 Cokes, 6 Sprite, 6 Orange Fanta. Out of the three of them the Fanta has the worst ingredients, but still — no HFCS.
And they all taste so much better than Canadian- or US-made pop.
Overall, a really fun and productive trip (I got an hour of work done, if you can believe it). We stumbled back into our home at 3:30am; Ogre and I didn’t fall asleep till 7:30 or so.
Next time we road trip to the States we will hopefully have more notice before leaving and the trip itself will be a bit longer. I’d really like to make trips to Washington a more regular part of my life again, even if it’s considerably harder to do so now; my trips to Seattle with Mom are some of my fondest childhood memories.
And on that note, I’m signing off. I’ve been up for far too long because my sleep schedule is all screwy again, so I’m in need of some slumber.