31 December 2011 0 comments

Imagine A World Without Labels

[For Oleg.]
Once upon a time there a was a bird.
But the bird was born into a skin that didn't feel right.
Wasn't shaped right.
Didn't look anything like it should, in fact.

Bird spent decades listening to others denigrate the shape and look of the skin that didn't feel right. It was too fat, it was too thin, it was too pale, it didn't have enough shape. Was too many hard planes and solid muscle to fit in over there, missing too many pieces to fit in over here.

21 December 2011 0 comments

Welcome, Winter.

Today is winter solstice, the shortest day of the year. The first day of winter.
It marks the beginning of the worst time of year for me: the sun is hiding, it's cold, and ... yeah, I think that's sufficient.

I've often wished I could have a huge castle, with a great hall and a massive hearth large enough to burn a yule log this time of year. Celebrate the longest night the way it was always intended to be. I'm not much on holidays, but this one isn't about a specific religion or set of beliefs -- solstice is just the rhythms of nature, of the planet, the inevitability of the seasons. A reminder that all things have their time, this too shall pass, and without the bleak death of winter, we'd have little appreciation for the budding new life of spring.

Balance. Change rarely happens swiftly, but instead in small increments over time.

And if I want to escape the snow, I really should start planning to relocate. To Bora Bora, or something.
10 December 2011 0 comments

Snarky & Snarkier

It's Saturday! And I'm editing! So, definitely time for a snark break!
And this week, I've decided to tease you with a sliver of Blacker Than Black, since my brain isn't able to really come up with much else. And, you know, only two weeks to go...

This is what you get when you push two equally snarky individuals into sharing space.

No black and white sides here. I study the vampire. Just Black . . . and blacker. “I get the impression you’re not pleased with this development.”
Garthelle takes a step back. And then another, as if abruptly aware of my proximity. “What leads you to that conclusion?”
I wonder how long I can goad him into retreating. “You seem disturbed.”
“Disturbed by the sudden inability to sense your very existence?” He turns away. “Indeed. I would not put it past my opposition to facilitate such.”
“And you’re unbalanced by the prospect of my death. At hands other than yours, I presume.”
He glances at me, a quick furtive look over his shoulder, prey fleeing unflappable pursuit. “No.”
“Because that, as I recall, was the alternative you initially offered me.” I don’t succeed in keeping the rough edge of resentment out of my voice. “My death. By your own hand.”
And that marks the extent of his retreat. Garthelle turns back and faces me, arms folded loosely across his chest. “Your point being?”
To preorder your very own copy of this lovely snarkfest, click the cover art of Black to the right.
Check out the rest of the Saturday Snark participants by following the links below!

07 December 2011 1 comments

And the Rainbow Award for Best Gay Futuristic/Sci-Fi Goes To...

*clears throat*
Drum roll, please.

In a three-way tie for first place,
Dark Edge of Honor.

My thanks to Aleks Voinov the Best Co-Author Ever (and CONGRATS too, Darth Vader -- you rock), Deb Nemeth the Editor of Awesome,
and all the very professional staff at Carina Press.
Cue the Snoopy Dancing, Streamers, Confetti Parade and Sundry Noisemakers.

03 December 2011 2 comments

That Sounds About Right

Sitting here with the morning winter sun streaming through my living room window, crusted with half-thawed frost.
Trying to get my brain in gear so I can dive back into some writing and editing. Sipping hot coffee, doing the usual internet trolling routine: *stretch, sip*, email, *yawn, fire up the trance mix*, tumblr, *perk*, fresh soldierporn images, *scratch, sip*, goodreads...

Today's Goodreads "quote of the day" caught my attention.

“Only when he no longer knows what he is doing does the painter do good things.” 
― Edgar Degas

Oh, that. Yes. I can say beyond a shadow of a doubt that both DEoH and BTB were created this way. Behold the writer, finally surrendering, throwing up their hands, and admitting, "I have no fucking clue what the hell is going on." It's like opening a release value on a sluice gate.

Shit starts moving, after that. Fast.
Sometimes so fast you can't keep up.

It's another way of saying, get the hell out of your own way.
Because as an artist, you're often your own worst critic, second-guessing your efforts and overthinking every last word or brush stroke. Take a breath, roll your shoulders, and just let it flow.

So for today, that's what I aim to do. Relax my grip on the reins and let the horse set its own pace. We're due for the simplicity of a nice long run, with the wind in our hair and the thunder of hooves on the turf, and nothing else.