Random thoughts

True love means harmonizing the songs of separate lives. I do not stop singing my own song simply because my partner sometimes bellows off key. This is a metaphor, by the way. Spouseman has a wonderfully resonant tenor singing voice.

Did anyone else watch Wonder Woman doing WWI battle action and think, “Hey, she’s the team tank?” That was my first thought.   In both the main battle scenes she drew aggro from the boss enemy so her DPS teammates can pick off the mobs/adds. And in another scene her team gets together to specifically launch her at the enemy. Literally.

Games have always shaped culture. It’s just getting more visible.

In case you wonder what I mean when I mention I’m pickling things, this is my basic recipe.

Pickling mixture
1/2 cup distilled white vinegar
2 tablespoons sugar
1-2 tsp salt
1/2 cup hot water

Occasional additional ingredients, depending on what I’m pickling: peppercorns, mustard seeds, dill seed, onion flakes, garlic cloves…sky’s the limit there.

Heard standing in line waiting for a delicious grilled cheese at my local tasty-foods establishment (Dave’s Finer Foods)

Staffer: “It’s for the lady with the blue hair”
Dave (who knows me personally) “She doesn’t have blue hair!”
Staffer: (eyeing my observably blue hair)  “…”
Dave: “It’s blonde! And it’s blue. So it’s blueberry blonde!”

Blueberry blonde. Heh. I like this and may steal it for future use.

Best status I’ve ever scrolled past on Facebook:

“Does anyone know offhand when the llama costume contest is?”

I said random, and I have delivered.



nuts & bolts Whimsy Writing again

Quotes & story ideas & other miscellany

This blog has been languishing a bit. When my time isn’t disappearing down the side roads of  life detours, it gets sucked into wrap-up for the next paperback release (Rough Passages. COMING SOON! Woo!)  and cleanup work on the current WIP.

All the blogging-type energy has gone to writing five-minute  free association word riffs, and those get posted in the Other Things Blog. (Click HERE if you’re feeling brave.)

I can’t stand the idea of letting any creative space sit idle, though, so here:  have some random phrases gleaned from conversations during the Nebula Awards conference weekend. Presented without rhyme or reason and mostly without attribution to protect privacy.

These would make good story titles:

  • Barbie & Ken Doing The Kama Sutra In the Basement
  • A Big Cloud Of Foot Flakes
  • Going To the Aviary To Hug the Owls

And some phrases:

  • “One man’s dirty underwear is another man’s shooting star.”
    from Dr. Kjell Lindgren’s presentation about Life on the International Space Station.
  • “In war there are no winners, only widows.”
    not attributing because spoilers, but is that a great saying or what?
  • Ocean gyres
    that one might also make a good title.
  • “Fairy tales are all bone and no meat.”
    Seanan McGuire, during a panel on fairy tale themes in speculative fiction

More random notes from the conference will appear as time allows and the mood strikes.  Stay tuned, bookmark, follow the blog, whatever.


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Whimsy Writing again

Dreams & other things

A friend on Facebook brought up the topic of weird anxiety dreams a while back. It made me think about how much I enjoy the heck out of my dreams even when they’re full of awful occurrences. Here’s the most recent memorable addition to the collection.

This ramble through the wilds of my subconscious took me to one of my regular locations: a HUGE university campus that grows and changes depending on how recently I’ve visited my alma mater and other factors in my life I haven’t pinned down yet. I’m always new on campus, I’m always clueless about where anything is, and I never know anyone. Signs and maps are ubiquitous though, and I do a lot of research.

In this dream I’m supposed to assist with a medical procedure in one building, but I get trapped by a doctor who doesn’t like me in a classroom building on the other side. So I come up with a clever escape plan involving a cat and a clock (details were vague, but I am *sure* it would work and it does.)

Then I have to thread my way through all the back paths on the campus I don’t know yet to get back to my new dorm to change clothes so I can properly help with the Important procedure (the nature of the medical issue was never made clear/important to me, nor did I ever grasp the specific need for new clothes. I just know I need them. )

And of course I keep getting lost in weird places like a grotto with pine trees and glowing mushrooms. And I steal a bicycle at some point, one with multi-colored glittery streamers on the handlebars. (Important detail)  Also, there was rain, but not on me. All this made perfect sense.

On the advice of the mushrooms I find my way nearly back, but I have to dodge through a food fight in the dining hall to get to the right quad. I get out the door to find that the whole place is unrecognizable because some frat boys have covered all the buildings in big colorful building wraps like bouncy houses designed to look like psychedelic replicas of Roman landmarks.  ( my dream university does not have fraternities or sororities, by the way. Yet there are frat boys.)

And they’re doing it all  for some big unnamed festival so everyone on campus is out and about celebrating and getting in my way.  Given I don’t even know the names of all the buildings or the normal layout, I have no chance of ever finding my dorm in that mess.

Even in my dream I was thinking, “okay, but this is beyond absurd,” and I was persuading one of the frat boys to reveal which building was mine when I woke up.

Objectively I would expect that dream to be jam-packed with dread and worry, but it wasn’t. It was honestly a good bit of fun.

That’s all for now.

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Whimsy Writing again

Quick Cat Update

Before I get to the feline details, I am ecstatic to report good news about my very own superhero Spouseman.  He’s checked off one full year since surgery, and got a thumbs-up on the first checkup test since the radiation regimen. So we’re moving into the “Dealing With All the Side Issues ” phase of recovery after cancer treatment. Building up stamina, testing new physical limits, designing new workouts in the Danger Room…okay, I might be making up that last bit. Or not.

Let’s talk about the cat.

Our grumpy old fur-baby Scootercat has been struggling with “idiopathic digestive issues” for nearly a year. That’s a fancy way of saying  “the poor cat’s insides are wearing out.” It translates to ten months of watching the cat vomit up food, hair, and/o bloody phlegm on a daily basis–sometimes three or more times a day.

We still don’t know what caused the upset or what made it last so long, but we do know he didn’t have any bacterial infections, urinary crystals, tumors, esophageal strictures, or bowel obstructions. He just horked up whatever he ingested and then some.

Ruling out horrible conditions was all well and good, but knowledge didn’t keep food inside the cat or clean up the disastrous results of rejection. And anyone who says animals don’t understand cause and effect has never watched a sick pet contemplate his food dish with equal parts desperation and disgust. Poor Scooter started grumbling at his food while he ate, as if warning it to stay down this time.

I am relieved to report Le Petit Chat Noir is finally feeling better. He still has arthritis and gets anxious when he can’t find us because he’s too deaf to hear us moving and too blind to see us across the room, but he’s eating like a high school athlete and is back to yakking at birds from window sills and chasing his nemesis the iPad reflection along the walls.

What miracle cure did the trick? No idea. Various remedies were applied as suggested by Reliable Veterinary Experts.  After multiple unsuccessful attempts we landed on a boring sensitive-stomach food Scooter could keep down, then added tuna flakes to encourage extra feeding.

Indulging the little monster’s love of being scrubbed with a wire brush after meals seems to help too. I think it distracts him long enough for the food to get from his stomach into his short little carnivore’s gut.

In any case, here be more photos of our happy, elderly feline.


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