Back to blogging, maybe

  • Dunham‘s wrapping up and going into production, which means I’m right on track for my July 4 release date.
  • I have the attention span of a gnat, and I’ve always thought/spoken in bullet-point lists. It just got worse since I fell in love with Twitter oh so long ago. 140 characters is just about perfect.
  • I had a midlife crisis recently when I turned 45, realized I might not actually die young like a lot of people in my family do, AND realized I’d done everything I intended to do and that Dunham is the culmination. It’s the book I’ve worked on sporadically since I caught the idea in 1990 and had no idea what to do with it. That may have been a miscalculation.
  • In terms of the publishing world, I’ve said all I had to say. If I were inclined to told-you-so’s, I’d be RTing my ancient blog posts all the freaking time. Welcome to my 5-year-old epiphanies, Publishing. You’re still getting it oh! so wrong, but I’m too tired to yell at you.
  • I’ve always appreciated good craftsmanship, whatever it is. I have occasionally featured artists on my blog before whose work I like because I think it’s important to tell a craftsman when you like his work.
  • Lately I’ve taken to Pinterest and Tumblr just for pretty pictures. I’m trying to find my Zen and it seems that pretty pictures and well-done crafts do that.


  • I need to get my house in order. Declutter. Shred old tax documents. Craigslist the shit out of my house, beginning with paper books and CDs.
  • The things I feel strongly about and would like to rant about here include religion and politics, and you know what? I’m actually not interested in getting on a soapbox on my blog. That’s what my books are for.
  • Romancelandia (which is a nanoscopic part of romance readers) (which I found out at RT), is too fraught with infighting and contrary agendas and politicization and passive-aggressive hostility and cowardice and trolling disguised as activism / education. Not interested in getting into that, either. I like what I like and fuck you if you think I’m privileged / ignorant / stupid / still-under-the-thrall-of-the-patriarchy, and need to be protected from my deplorable taste in literature. And fuck you 60 times over if you don’t think “IT” (whatever “IT” is) should be written and/or read. GTFO of my entertainment. (That’ll land me on a few more badly-behaving-authors lists and garner some grudge-ratings and hate-readings, to which I say, if someone has the time to do that, they are very privileged to have that much time on their hands.) Now I have nothing more to say on that topic.

And so. This blog’s probably going to look like a Tumblr for a little while because a) I like to share things I find beautiful / useful / funny, b) I’m short on words right now, and c) I want to share my Zen as I stumble my way around life post-bucket-list to find it.

Look at me! Look at me!

So this morning around 10:13 a.m., I read a piece in HuffPo about a possible alternative chronology to the New Testament that puts a new spin on things. I thought it was an interesting concept. I RTd the link, though I forgot from whom I lifted it.

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My friend replied:

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Another friend replied:

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We had a nice little chat about that that lasted all of about 1/2 hour. Then I had to go do grownup things like work and take care of the gas leak I had and arrange for a plumber and new water heater.

And then this guy shows up SIX HOURS LATER:

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And that’s where he started the fight without bothering to ask us to define our terms first. (First rule of Twitter when butting into a convo you want to involve yourself in: ask for clarification from the participants first. You’ll probably get a nice response and a welcome to the convo so long as you can keep it civil, even if you disagree.) Regrettably, we engaged for about three tweets each before we figured out he had no home training and blocked him.

But before I did, I did a little preliminary snoopage, as per SOP when strangers with an attitude butt into my convo six hours after said convo has been put to bed. Matthew Reeves is 20. He writes YA. How sweet of him. How…20 years old of him.

I was 20 once. It was a nice year. I had fun. And yeah, I thought I knew everything, too.

So! He’s blocked and I go back to harrassing @mikecane, as per usual, interspersed with some time spent making my son do manual labor, and Matthew Reeves continues to rant at us, but who cares, right? Because we can’t see it and there are soooo many more interesting people on Twitter who really CAN school us on something.

But apparently Matthew Reeves needs to broadcast his point of view to the world, so without further ado, and because I’m occasionally a nice mommy to my own know-it-all son, I’m going to assist him in this endeavor:

Dude, I’m A Historian (but not in the subject being discussed).

Bless his heart, picking a fight with two people he doesn’t know who are old enough to have shot him out of our vaginas, and is now mad because we won’t pay him any mind. Precious. Just precious.

And now he’s disillusioned.

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Go away, kid. Ya bother me.

Mommy, why don’t you smile anymore?

My son said this to me a couple of months ago and I’ve been guilting over it ever since.

Well, it’s because I’m stressed. My work life kind of exploded some time last summer when I decided to escape the (dying) industry I’d been in for the previous seven years in favor of the formatting work that was falling on top of me. I kept thinking I could do less work for more money and spend time with my kids, but… That’s not the way it worked out.

Is it ever?

In January, my career took a sharp upward turn when I was presented with an offer it’s taken me four months to stop resisting. (Details later, when it’s all finalized.) The deciding factor was time, because, in a totally unrelated twist, I was suddenly presented with a project I won’t be able to resist at all.

On the formatting front, I’ve got a backlog of work and I’m behind. I’m stressed. My house, until two days ago, was a complete wreck (thank you GroupBuy for that cheap house deep-clean). I have to do my taxes. My kids are after me for attention (as is their right), but they’re somehow easier to put off. I was sick most of December and February. Dude’s been sick for the last two months. I have a book coming out on Easter (in case you hadn’t heard). I’m publishing a book for someone else this month. I have another huge project for another client. I’m in charge of producing an important work from Peculiar Pages coming out June 30 and working on edits for the Monsters & Mormons anthology coming out in October. And we come around again to people who come to me for formatting their ebooks.

It’s exciting and nerve-wracking and stress-inducing and I haven’t been able to sleep without some serious medication, which happens to give me a hangover. I like it. I like helping people self-publish. I feel…important. Like I’m accomplishing something with my meager little life. I love it.


“Mommy, why don’t you smile anymore?”

So today I went to get the final item for the Magdalene Easter swag basket (spirit gum, if you must know) and it’s just down the street from Crown Center, across from which is a fountain.

Crown Center Square Fountain

(Well, in Kansas City, you can’t take two steps without falling into a fountain, so that’s not saying anything.) It’s 88F today, but the trees are still bare, which should give you an idea about how bizarre our weather has been.

I decided that, in spite of my backlog of late projects, I’d take the kids to lunch at Crown Center and then let them play in the fountain with about 40 other children. They didn’t have bathing suits on, but who cares? This is an issue of being spawntaneous.

They were happy. I was happy.

And I smiled.

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We’re gonna do stuff like this more often.

Never, never, never, never, never give up

If I hear/see that one more time, I’ll puke in my wastebasket.

What bullshit is this? Who came up with this? Who thought this was a good idea? Oh, Churchill? Right, him. The guy who was leading the charge in World War II before Pearl Harbor was a glimmer in our tears. He gets a pass.

You could come back at me and say:

“Changing your tactic isn’t giving up.” That’s true.

“Retreating now to fight another day isn’t giving up.” That’s true, too.

But maybe, if you are stacking up too many “nevers” to modify your “give up,” you should probably rethink your goal or at least think about it in realistic terms. Without context, platitudes and proverbs mean less than nothing.

Sometimes, giving up is simply breaking out of a jail you built for yourself.

I can’t

For me, “I can’t” is the most freeing phrase in the English language. Because I’m backward like that.

Not a week ago, I despaired of an emergent situation that had a deadline of 3 weeks, and wailed at Dude, “I can’t!” Yet here it is, less than a week from when I said that, and…the crisis is almost resolved. (Dude doesn’t really know this yet. Shhh.)

I got to thinking about how I felt a week ago versus how I feel today, spurred by Mike Cane’s post “The Universe is Made of No” and a following comment by Bob Mayer:

The world is full of no outside of us. If we believe it. The key is if someone internalizes no. Then the NO becomes real. Most no’s start from within. Then we hear it echoed around us. So YES starts from within.

That’s nice. If you’re normal.

I’ve never been able to resist a dare (and I shall not bore you with my more embarrassing successes). To me, “I can’t” is a dare, a catalyst, something my twisted mind takes and uses as fuel.

I have to be feeling pretty desperate to use it. The last psychological stop for me is usually “failure is not an option.” It’s useful, but it’s more to meet a long-term objective. The first time I ever felt desperate enough to use “failure is not an option” I succeeded—wildly and for many years. The second time… Well, I’m still rolling on that wave of success, which continues to grow.

“I can’t” is the last resort—a barrel of gasoline thrown on a spark of will.