Thursday, December 8, 2016

Holidays already

My last post was in September. Then life ate me. And the holidays have come round again. As always, Yuletide Youtube is running at

My wishes are few this year:

1) My big wish is fan activity for my work. Fic, art, videos, anything.
I would really love some Eight Thrones or DJ'verse fan art. (inspiration at Pinterest
I have one of Gordon from "Songs for Guitar and French Harp" and one of Edward and Charlie.
DJxBran, Nick/James, James/David, ZaraxThe Gemini are my favorite ships.

2) I will cheerfully give a good home to any knitting needles, crochet hooks or yarn you need to destash.

3) A link to your favorite song.

4) BPAL imps that don't work for you are welcome

5) A binder. I take a 2xl

6) Neckties. I'm a fan of colorful neckties

7) I will also rehome any tarot deck that does not like you or isn't working for you.

8) Donate Blood if you can. There is always a need. Register to be an organ donor or bone marrow donor. (I’m both)

9) Leave comments on social media, not just likes or hearts or kudos. In the same vein, send a fan letter to an author, fanfic or original. It will make their day.

10) Give to the charity of your choice. My favorites include Toys for Tots, Project Linus and the Hunger Site. Many food pantries are more strapped than usual.

Thursday, September 22, 2016

Free Science Fiction

This weekend's free book is Adventuresses

It's SF in the loosest sense, encompassing steampunk, alternate history and space opera.

Ten tales of lesbian adventure take you from the far reaches of the galaxy to the science fiction convention down the road, from a steampunk west to a world where the Confederacy got nukes. Come along and fall in love with a waitress or a pirate or Medusa herself.

The rice and carnitas gone, she pushed away the plate and picked up the tintype. She tried to rise, but a hand landed on her shoulder and held her in her seat. 

“Leaving us already, stranger?” the man asked. “Don't you know it ain't polite to leave without offering to buy a drink for the whole place, at least when you're new in town?”

She tipped her head and gave him a look that made most men back right off. He was either dumber than most or less cautious. He never moved his hand. “Come on, grandma, buy us one.”

Sí, cervaza,” one of the other farmers said.

“Don't make him get ugly, old lady,” added one of the night-doves hanging on her meal-ticket of the evening.

“He already ugly. Muy feo!” tossed out someone on the other side of the room. The men laughed. She had heard that tenor in crowds before. It never boded well. The intruder clamped his hand down harder, trying to hurt her. That would not do.  She returned her attention to her teacup, pretending to ignore the others. 

“Look, you old hag,” he started.

She drew. Not the forward-facing guns on her thighs, but the ones tucked in the back of her belt. Her upper set of arms unfolded itself, flipped her coat back to the elbows and drew on her harasser.

A gasp went up. There were a few oddities around, but most kept their deformities out of sight if they could. Most of the first generation were long dead, with only a few living to adulthood and fewer still having children. The rebels had brought something out of Texas during the War, and her ma had been less than fifty miles from the place where they exploded it. It got into the air, the water and the ground, and spread from the original site.

“Care to let me get my rest now? I flew a long way today.”

“I'm sorry,” the man said, letting go of her shoulder and backing away.

She stood up, her lower arms in position to pull the guns on her thighs. The crowd looked and realized those were in quick-draw holsters, like a gunfighter's.

Thursday, September 15, 2016

Free Audio SF

This weekend's free SF is Somewhere Out There, the audiobook.
Close your eyes and let the theater of the mind transport you on eight erotic journeys between worlds.

Unlike other giveaways, there are only 15 of these.
Leave a message here, and I will email you the download code.

At its best, science fiction presents us not just with a vision of the future, but with more understanding of ourselves and how to get to that future. It presents us with ways to think about relationships and people. And this time, it’s about the shapes of relationships.

In these eight stories, we run the gamut. Whether a shipboard fantasy about a captain that turns into more or the new fiancé meeting the former spouse, people remain people, with loves and confusion.

Sometimes the love lies very close to jealousy and hatred, as in “Bodies!” Sometimes, it grows out of an unpleasant necessity, such as “Similar Species” and “Expectations.” Occasionally, it is the mother of creativity and invention, in “Tether”or just food for a species that feeds on emotions, from “A Very Emotional Scene.” And sometimes, it can leave people wondering if it was real or not, as it does in “Wide Awake.”

Love and sex are two very powerful drives and in these futures, they propel us far beyond our own world.

Excerpt, from Wide Awake:

Planet K478, Year 2345, July 13

“I never loved anybody like I love you. Never knew I could.” K’Aran ducked his head and let the curtain of black shiny hair hide his flushed face, a feat a bit difficult for a seven-foot-tall giant. He never could hide his emotions from me.

“You’re cute.”

He bared his pointy incisors at me in an attempt to look tough, making me laugh. “You’re an idiot, Than.”

“Takes one to know one.”

He stopped trying to impress me with his viciousness and cuddled me to his chest. It was a strange sensation, one I never wanted to get used to or take for granted. I was a tall man, well over six feet myself, but nowhere near his size. Not only was he freakishly huge by human standards, he had the muscles and the strength to go along with his size. My man was massive. In all ways. I smirked and bit on the nearest nipple to my lips, just because I knew how it made him squirm. We were too depleted of energy for anything else. Going at it for three rounds did that to any male, human, drakar or otherwise.

“I don’t want you to leave. We’re better prepared now. Why do you...?”

My poor kadush.

“You know I have to. Arkana is on the right track but it will be years, decades until you are ready for it. And I’ll come back. I promised, didn’t I?”

“I don’t like this, Than. Why does it have to be you? There are others who could...”

I shushed him and kissed his pouty, quivering lips. How he could look cute at his size and with his terrifying appearance, I did not know. But my kadush, my husband and my heart always managed to pull it off when he wanted something. I caressed the soft, leathery bluish-white skin of his cheek and saw my smile reflected back at me in his violet eyes. His black bat wings moved restlessly behind his shoulder blades as they always did when we were together. He had once explained that it was involuntary, similar to the way I shivered when he touched me.

“I’m the best qualified. The best adapted here. It’s just for a short while, and then I’ll be right back here by your side.”

“I know, Than. I just worry, kadush.” He smiled at me and winked roguishly, even now trying to set my mind at ease. “I’m expecting you to take my mind off such nonsense.”

“That’s what I thought I was doing during the last two hours,” I quipped.

“I’m really really worried. You should do it some more.”

Thursday, September 8, 2016

Free Science Fiction in September

Inkstained Succubus is giving away free books for September.

The first is Nikolai Revenant. This dark future will be free from Sept 8 to Sept 12

James Ligatos is a man with an unusual hobby. He turns promising young criminals into world leaders. His latest project is Nicholas Boyd, formerly Nikolai of the Revenant street gang.

But the little killer-turned-file-clerk is much more than Ligatos and his staff bargained for. As Kentucky attempts to secede from the Confederated States of America and rejoin the United States, Nick's skills and the group's training are put to the ultimate test, and the price of failure is death.

The next morning, Nick showered and changed into his regular work clothes of pants, a thin dress shirt and a nondescript tie. With the candelabra safely in his cardboard briefcase, the one covered in peeling vinyl, he waited. Around eleven, he headed out to Highland and Ligatos Pawnshop, where Vlad had first heard of the whole notion.

He bundled up the black raid clothing, still stained with Vlad's blood, and took it with him. On his way to the bus stop, he dropped it, and the well-polished knife, in another dingy motels dumpster. This time, he really was leaving Nikolai behind him for the last time, as he thought he had two years before. With great luck, no one would notice it. The maids would dump their endless wastebaskets on top, and it would go to the landfill. Worst case, they would search this motel and not the one where he'd actually stayed.

He caught the bus to Highland, flashing his GenroTech pass, the bio-diesel fumes choking him as it pulled up to the curb. He watched the Memphis autumn morning turn blue and hot. He glanced at the screen in the front of the bus. Temperatures in the seventies, close to eighty, the television announcer said. He'd heard old people talk about when November was the first sign of actual cold weather with long days of gray rain and sometimes ice storms in the last week. Now, it almost never got below freezing before January. The trees were just starting to turn colors.

He got off and walked the last few blocks to Highland. A couple of juvie gangs jostled for position on the walk ahead of him. He pressed against the building like any other working stiff, not wanting them to know who he was, not wanting them to find the loot in his briefcase.

There were more gangs every year since the last of the public schools had closed eight years ago. The Confederation had no clause for public schooling in its constitution and the group currently in power was very strict about such things. Under the previous and rather more lenient regime, there had been a looser interpretation of general welfare of the populace, and public schooling had been allowed, although only grudgingly. The churches were no help and most didn't bother running private schools, since their usual stance was that man should not lean on his own understanding.

As a result, jobs were hard to get and the few private schools were expensive. Most parents just sent their sons until they could read and do some math. School was illegal for girls and minorities. The church said it made them discontent. Nick wondered at the wisdom of cutting more than half the population out of the ability to earn a living. It seemed like a waste.

Nick had picked up enough in three grades and a series of reformatories to get a real job. Most boys weren't so lucky and ended up throwing boxes at Big Purple or doing service work like his father who still drove the Mount Moriah and Winchester bus route.

There was less and less service work to be done as well, as the economy shrank. He scuffed the leaves. Fifty years ago, he'd have been in college. He heard the United States still had mandatory free public schooling, as high as one could go. Even Heartland provided it through high school. Lone Star had taken the same stand as the Confederation.

He ignored the news screens on the buildings, letting the talking heads chatter at each other in their calm baritones as he looked for the pawn shop. He took in the news strictly by osmosis these days. It was always the same: saber-rattling with the United States, disagreements with Heartland, drought, crop failure, rises in the number of indentures being signed as people abandoned the city and their farms to serve the few wealthy folk. Tobacco raids, bootleg alcohol raids, sex party raids and the breaking-up of a secret synagogue all rounded out the news.

The street-preacher on the corner of Highland was harder to ignore. He towered over the passers-by, black and frightful-looking, his hair a wild mass of dreadlocks, his filthy robe tattered with wear. He proclaimed the end of the world in his great deep voice that carried for blocks.

“Even now,” he intoned, “events rush to their conclusion. The demon that squats atop the world has called his Nikolai to him.” Nick startled a moment at the sound of his taken name and then saw an ancient, battered copy of Nicolae: The Rise of the Anti-Christ in the preacher's hand. It was nothing, just weird coincidence. He had taken the name from the book, though, and something made him uneasy. Nothing had gone quite right on this heist. He continued to the shop.

Nick opened the door of the pawnshop into must and dust and the smell of desperation. Old contraband computers, old televisions, prohibited fiction books, cheap jewelry all piled together with someone’s wheelchair and old forbidden movies in formats no one made players for any more.

Thursday, August 25, 2016

Let's talk about gender

One more time, for the people in the back...

We are born male and female. We become men and women.

Sex and gender are not the same. Sex is determined by the sex chromosomes. Women carry X from their mothers and X from their fathers (who got it from their grandmothers). Men carry X from their mothers and Y from their fathers.

These tiny haploids reside quietly until a pregnancy happens. Then they combine. XX for a girl, XY for a boy are the most usual combinations. XO, XXY, XYY, and other permutations happen, but are not always viable.

Gender is determined by society. And it starts with gender reveal parties from the ultrasound. Pink for a girl, blue for a boy. Flowers and butterflies or trucks and boats on the clothes. Toys, language, and everything condition the child to perform the role their genitalia dictated at birth.

There was a trend to gender neutral childhoods in the 70s and early 90s alike. Both of these were met with strongly gendered backlash and even more emphasis on frilly femininity and macho masculinity.  In  2015, Target quit labeling toys by gender. The outcry was ferocious.

Gender is a performance.
It varies from society to society, from era to era.
What is manly in one place and time

is disparaged by other of the same time. The soldier above was what the soldiers below called "a lady from hell." (the kilted units took it on as a mark of pride)

Yet there is nothing feminine about him or about these men, save the lack of trousers

When Katherine Hepburn wore pants in her films, it was considered racy and daring.  Nowadays, skirts are seldom seen in public because they are impractical for the active lives most women lead.

Gender performance changes over time, over region and over class.

200 years apart, roughly. All of these aristocrats are considered fashionable and very masculine.

Gender and sex are not the same. Gender is the performance. Not everyone's performance will match their assigned sex.

Not everyone has passing privilege, as the three public figures above do. Most transwomen must undergo a great deal of work to alter their features. Some choose not to.

Sex is what is in your pants.
Gender is how you present yourself to the world.
And lately, more and more people are choosing to give no performance at all.

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Fall Death march, now with 30% less death

So the Fall Death March begins

Aug 20-21, 27-28, Memphis Renaissance Faire. Shelby Farms $15 for adults. There's $2 coupon on the website.

The Carpenter's Wyfe has been working hard to get things ready. We're quite excited about this.

Sept 2-4, Mephit Furmeet. This is the penultimate outing for Inkstained Succubus and the last chance for Memphis folks to pick up the books!

Sept 24-25. Kansas City Renaissance Festival. We'll be in the Tradewinds Section.

Oct. 13-16, Festival of Souls. I can't handle this pagan festival, but my staff will be there with the booth.

Nov 11-13: ConTraception, Kansas City. Inkstained Succubus' final outing.

And it's going to roll by fast!

Friday, August 12, 2016

Gondor calls for aid

Kansas City SCA/RenFest folks! Is anyone free the weekend of Sept 24-25? 

The Carpenter's Wyfe will be blowing into the Renaissance Festival on the Tradewinds for a single weekend. However Rhys Belthir may not be able to make it and I am looking for a shop assistant. 

Admission, food and drink, and a motel room if you live too far from Bonner Springs. Also compensation in kind (merchandise). Must have own garb of appropriate period.

Monday, August 1, 2016

Dramatis Personae, or my life has a superb cast, but I can't figure out the plot

Hello! And welcome to the new folks or the old folks who just haven't wanted to ask.

We're talking about who is who in this ongoing soap-opera of a journal (14 years and counting!)

I'm Angel, your host. I am a grouchy old witch-byke with strong liberal feminist leanings. I work for Action link, mostly training Sears employees, and for Michael's crafts, as a cashier (I'm going to be training as a framer) I'm an old school geek-chick, a former trucker, former university library paraprofessional, former writer and former casino worker. I failed out of the nuclear engineering program and took an English degree. I wrote 16 novels 92 short stories, 3 children's books and published with half a dozen houses. I am a crafter. I am a Hellenic pagan in service to Hermes and Hera.

Mudd is my husband, Richard. We've been married for 27 years (as of this coming Friday). He's brilliant. He's got a master's in Physics and a math minor. He teaches high school science and is president of the local PFLAG.

We have 4 kids:
Bun, Victoria, 24, who is a camera model and dancer.
Obi, Christopher, 21, who is closing in on his sergeant promotion in the Army.
Jonner, Jonathan, 18, who is headed off to college as a chem major in 3 weeks
Dollface or Oli or Ollie. Olivia, 16, who starts high school and is doing a double program with the local community college, as a welder.

Here's where it gets interesting. I not only have a family, I have a household. 
I am the dominant alpha female of the pack, and Crone of the grove. I stand like the mountain between my people and trouble.

My peoples:
Gabriel Belthir-Rodgers. My junior husband. We got married accidentally last Festival of Souls by walking the Labyrinth together. This suited us both so we just went with it.

Kevin, Gabriel's legal husband. They got married at Frolicon 2015. I helped officiate. 

Cat. Cat is complicated. She is my on-again/off-again girlfriend. She is the wife of one of the personalities that lives in Angel's head. She is Gabriel and Kevin's ex. She is a people I am responsible for.
Finn. Finn is Gabriel's slave boy. He kind of comes as a package deal with Gabriel.

Gwen and Sarah
. They are Gabriel's schmoops, and I like them a great deal. They mean enough to be included under the "my people" umbrella. Gwen in particular makes me all protective.

Extra kids:
I acquire these in phases, with each of the kids. They always have friends who need an extra mom.

Tabitha and Bradley, friends of my older two. I have taken tearful late night phone calls, given advice, and offered endless comfort to both.

Alex needed a place to stay when booted out.

Brandon just needs an extra mom, the kind who gets him as a gay kid.

Imani needed support and a hand back on his feet.

Cameron needs a place where he can be himself.

Jamie, who dated Victoria and discovered my oldest is a psycho. But she also got us Tribble and stays in touch.

And more I'm sure I missed (I'm tired)

On my extended family:

My Dad is 71, has fought cancer and won and is doing his best to keep going. He's buried two ex-wives and his surviving ex is incarcerated. (tax issues)

Mom lost her battle with leukemia in December 2014. She buried her last husband and two ex-husbands (my dad and Wicked Stepfather) showed for her funeral. The third could not be reached. (not that we tried)

I have two bio sisters:
Jennifer is my half sister on Dad's side. We are very similar, despite being raised apart. She has never married but does the Cool Auntie thing. She has her BA and works for a lumber company.

Brenda is my half sister on Mom's side. We are very different. Her ex is putting her through hell, trying to bankrupt her with endless court proceedings and take away their youngest daughter, who doesn't want to live with him. She has an MBA and works two jobs.

Sherrie is my step sister from Mom's second marriage. She is a real estate agent, and has grandkids. She also has a sister of whom i do not speak.

Hopefully this clears things up a little.

Sunday, June 26, 2016

Let's talk about Xenophobia

So, Brexit.
There are a lot of reasons why people voted to leave. There are going to be a lot of consequences.
But one thing that is showing up is a lot of "Foreigner Go Home" sentiment.

We're seeing it here too.
Understandable. Humans are violent, xenophobic, tribal monkeys. This is a given. Early in our species it was a survival trait. But that time has been over for thousands of years.

Now, here in our current election cycle, Trump talks about deporting all the illegals (meaning anyone with a Hispanic surname), marking and deporting all the Muslims.

There are some in his camp who are for shipping all the blacks to Africa.

Someone forgot to give Trump the Atwater Memo.
 You start out in 1954 by saying, "Nigger, nigger, nigger." By 1968 you can't say "nigger"—that hurts you. Backfires. So you say stuff like forced busing, states' rights and all that stuff.  You're getting so abstract now [that] you're talking about cutting taxes, and all these things you're talking about are totally economic things and a byproduct of them is [that] blacks get hurt worse than whites.

Trump has been saying it. He's been putting out the divisions, without any of the coded economic language. He's not saying "let's cut food stamps." He's saying "Let's send them all home."

The question is, once the Muslims and Mexicans are gone, and the blacks (50 million of them) are being rounded up for transport to Africa, who is next? Who do the followers come for next?

I've had a quote from A Man for All Seasons ringing through my ears as I think about that.

William Roper: So, now you give the Devil the benefit of law!
Sir Thomas More: Yes! What would you do? Cut a great road through the law to get after the Devil?
William Roper: Yes, I'd cut down every law in England to do that!
Sir Thomas More: Oh? And when the last law was down, and the Devil turned 'round on you, where would you hide, Roper, the laws all being flat? This country is planted thick with laws, from coast to coast, Man's laws, not God's! And if you cut them down, and you're just the man to do it, do you really think you could stand upright in the winds that would blow then? Yes, I'd give the Devil benefit of law, for my own safety's sake!

"And when the last civil rights law is down, and the mob turned round on you, where would you hide then, all laws being flat? This country is planted thick with laws, from sea to shining sea, Man's laws not God's! And if Trump cuts them down and his mob are just the ones to do it, do you really think you could stand upright in the winds that blow then?"

Because when all the Muslims and Hispanics and Blacks are gone, they will inevitably come for women. So even you actually think forced transportation and relocation of 50-60 million people  is a net good, remember that it will come around on you.

And this is why Xenophobia, such as we're seeing in the wake of Brexit, such as we're seeing at Trump rallies, is a feminist issue.

Friday, June 17, 2016

My Household or Polyamory while multiple

My mother used to give me static about not using the phrase "family" but rather referring to them as "my people" or "my household."

I never felt like explaining the concept from Supernatural: Family don't end in blood.

I get odd looks when i mention I have two husbands.

I am legally married to Mudd.

27 years ago, this August, we stood up in Rolla Bible Church, said our words and signed our paper.
27 years, good and bad, 4 kids. 6 moves, a near fatal accident and several nervous breakdowns.

Last Samhain, I Accidentally Married Gabriel. (fair warning that goes to TV Tropes)

We had walked the labyrinth, separately. I found him in the middle and took a while to recover. (apparently I was putting out candles just by walking past them) He held my hand and we walked out. In his religion, and that of my ancestors, that is enough to be married.

So, I have a second husband. And I am his Waifu.

The rest of my household includes:
My two younger children.
My girlfriend (our exact relationship is very complicated. I'm her big bad boyfriend, and she's my girl, and sometimes it gets more serious, depending on which personality is out when.)
Gabriel's husband
Their houseboy
A lesbian couple
Three Extra kids who do not live with any of us.

We're a big rambling S-group. And I am adjusting, jealous Scorp that I am.
Relationships vary depending on who is prime at any given time. The hazard of being married to someone with multiiple personalities is that you're always in a poly relationship.

Monday, June 13, 2016

Let's talk about Hate

Yesterday, I awoke to the news that a shooter had killed 50 people and wounded 53 more in a gay nightclub.

Later in the day, I got news about a man who was pulled over for a speeding ticket on his way to LA Pride, and arrested for a car full of rifles and bombs after neighborhood watch reported him for peering in windows. He said he was going to Pride..

The narrative around the men was achingly familiar to anyone who watches news.
The first, being Muslim, was labeled a terrorist. (he did call 911 and claim to be Daesh, but Daesh did not take credit until after the event. It was grandiose self-inflation on his part)
The second, being white, was labeled mentally ill.

They were BOTH garden variety homophobes.
The only difference is they believed their religious rhetoric more than most and decided to act on it.


I asked myself why I was so angry about it, so afraid. It's hundred of miles away. I didn't know anyone. And these days I'm only marginally involved in the community. Not like the early 2000s when I was volunteering at the Center twice a month.

Then I remembered:

Mudd was recently featured in an article in the local GLBT magazine. Photos and all.

Olivia and her friends, and most of the local gay youth group went to a showing of Rocky Horror on Friday.

They will both march in the Pride parade come October, and I will be watching.

My household goes to Perpetual Transition every Monday night.

We are all targets.


I thought too much yesterday.
I figured the Right Wing would be salivating.
They get fifty dead queer PoC, which they would consider an objective good in itself, that they can pretend to care about and Muslim to blame for it.  (The LA event would have been much more problematic for their narrative.) I write political thrillers and that would have been a master stroke of plotting in my opinion.

And Ted Cruz, who has connections to Kevin Swanson, a pastor who called for the death of gays, tweeted about his "thoughts and prayers."  Hence the "pretending to care" part.

There was a lot of anti-immigrant sentiment--even though the shooter was American. There was a lot of anti-Muslim sentiment.

I tend to ask the latter: How can you tell? Or shall we just murder all 3.3 million in the US, plus all the ones who look Middle Eastern but aren't Muslim, in the name of our fears? Because genociding religious groups is not good publicity.

My father opined that they're all crazy and we need to be out of the Middle East entirely. I reminded him of Dr. Jezbi and Dr. Ahmed, both of whom had saved my life and my hearing.


And people ask why I live by the axiom "Straights hate Gays." They think it's sad, that it doesn't give allies enough credit.  Maybe it doesn't. But it means that things like this never surprise me.

And now, I think I need more chocolate. It's the thing after Dementor attacks. And this one has been a lulu.

Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Bits of news

I've been working hard at the day jobs lately, but here's what is going on.

1) Hard Reboot is out as an audiobook
Dark erotic cyberpunk with strong BDSM content. Patrick Blackthorne, our narrator, sounds creepily like Darren in places.

2) We are in for Memphis RenFaire, KC Renaissance Festival

The Fall Death March runs as follows:

Aug 20-21 and 27-28, Memphis RenFaire: The booth will be staffed by a rotating crew to keep us healthy

Sept 2-4 Mephit FurMeet.  Mostly staff. I may be going to my 30 year HS reunion

Sept 24-25 Kansas City Renaissance Festival.

Oct 13-16, Festival of Souls. Staff. I won't be going.

Nov 6-8 ConTraception. This is the final outing for Inkstained Succubus for the foreseeable future.

Dec 10-11, Kris Kinder Market, KC.  This is a tentative SCA event

3) Anthony and Glad Hands are still scheduled for reissue.

And I have to go clean stuff for a yard sale.

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Decisions and going forward.

It's not much secret I'm burned out. The thought of doing another convention makes me want to hide in the bottom of the closet under a pillow fort and refuse to come out until someone guesses the password. The password changes at random intervals.

Most of my publishers have gone under or will be reverting my rights withing a year or so. The thought of editing and self publishing my entire oeuvre makes me want to open my wrists with my teeth. And my dentures are nowhere near sharp enough. I'd have better luck sawing with the edge of my Otter Box.

So I have done some hard thinking and decisions have been decided.

1) I am taking the year off from writing and publishing. I did one short story and that's it. That's what I have. The Word Hoard is mostly empty. There are a few loose pieces of  Was and The and a lone Defenestration rattling around at the bottom.  Since 2004, I have written 17 novels, 3 nonfiction Children's books (and two half done) nearly 100 short stories and a non-trivial number of blog posts.

Nobody is holding their breath for the next Angelia Sparrow. I figured that out 5 years ago. It just took a while to sink in.

2) Inkstained Succubus will close, at least for the foreseeable future, on Dec 31 of this year. All rights will revert on that date. The crew has mutinied. And the Art Department is in the Brig with no drawing privileges until June.

3) I am not doing any shows until August. That gives me 3 months to get the stock up for this next exciting venture. I've had a lifelong dream of being a RenFaire merchant and it really kicks off with the Memphis Ren Faire.

FurMeet, KC RenFest, Festival of Souls and ConTraception are also on the schedule. We'll look into other for next year. Hoping for Estrella and Lilies War.

Thanks to all who helped with the crowdfunding. We're up at Etsy with some things.

4) My social media presence may drop as well. Crochet takes both hands. Do not look for content at Facebook. It is and always has been the repost spot for LJ, Blogger, Tumblr, Pinterest and Twitter (and everyone else's walls too).  Here at Blogger, be warned I prefer LJ.

Thursday, April 21, 2016

One Day left

All contributions will be credited at the next higher perk Level.

Ebooks $1

$25 gets you a paperback, an audiobook, an ebook AND a tarot reading.

Become a character in the Eight Thrones Saga, just $100 instead of $150.

$150 gets you a custom paddle ($80), the character, a box ($25), a hat ($25), the tarot reading ($20), a paperback ($15), an audiobook ($10) and an ebook ($5). A $180 value, for $150, plus, you become a part of the story. Priceless.

Ren Fests, Pagan events and SCA

At first glance these things all look very similar. A bunch of weirdos all dressed up, doing something strange in a wooded area. While an ordinary person might go to a renaissance faire, they would never dream of joining the SCA or becoming pagan.

And there are reasons for this.

Paganism is a lifestyle. It is a religion and something you do every day. It changes your world-view and alters how you act. It brings magic home on a daily basis. There is little room for magic in Joe Ordinary's Life.

The SCA can range from hobby to lifestyle (FIJAGDH or FIAWOL). It can be something fun you do on weekends, a chance to wear pretty dresses, learn a new craft, eat new and exciting food. Or it can devour every non-working hour until you're rushing from Baronial meeting, to guild meeting to fighter practice to event planning session to household craft night with never a chance at any other sort of life. Again, Joe Ordinary, with a job and mortgage and kids, isn't interested in living like that.

But the Ren fest, that's a little bit of magic, one or two or six weekends a year. That requires no great time commitment from Joe, just a day of pleasure. He gets outside. He watches some really bad comedy shows ( While I was on holiday, I shot two enormous grizzly bears! And I had them stuffed./Mounted?/No, just shaking hands), some pretty decent music shows, the belly dancers, and maybe some artisans making things: a blacksmith, a basketweaver. He has a bit of cider from an ancient style press. He eats a turkey leg while watching the jousting and pretends he is lord of all he surveys for the afternoon. And then he goes home to his ordinary life, satisfied he's normal, feeling virtuous for having donated to the arts, either directly to performers or indirectly (the RenFest was, for years, a fundraiser for the KC Art Institute) .

As a merchant, and I have sold to all three, these are HUGE differences.

Pagans may or may not have money. They don't tend to be the most financially prosperous, much like the SF convention community, with whom there is some overlap.

When they buy, they buy something that fits into their whole life. They buy shawls, and scarves and hand-warmers. They buy boxes and jewelry that speaks to them, and wands. Ritual clothing is also a good bet.

In short, they buy things they don't know how to make, and kind of need. Something they will use frequently.


SCA folk seldom have money. It all goes to play the game. If they buy, they are buying something they cannot make. They shop for their persona first and then their ordinary life. And SCA folk are all crafters. Most sew, most do several other things. Wood, leather and armor are the best bets here. And under $20 or over $200 was the rule I heard years ago.

They are buying game upgrades.


Ren Fest shoppers fall into two categories.

The first wants something a little unusual to have after the fest, a reminder of the fun they had, that isn't too intrusive. A tiny bottle with glitter that glows in the dark (a bottled fairy), a flower crown or hat to hang on the side of the mirror and smile when they see, a plaque with a witty saying, or a CD by a musician they enjoyed. These things fit their lives. make them smile and bring them back the next year.

They want souvenirs.

The second kind wants to be a part of the show. They will buy clothing, pouches and other items to fit their idea of themselves. This is the corset, sword and chain-mail bikini crowd. They tend to be teens or college students and often end up in the Faire or in the SCA.

They want, like the SCA folk, game upgrades.

I have opted for the Fest crowd because it goes with my painful lesson: You can't sell things to broke people. People come to the Faire to spend money. People go to pagan events for the rituals and their friends and classes, and to SCA events for the fighting or classes or competition or feast. Shopping is extraneous in these venues.

So, we go where the money is,.

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Three days left

Donate during these last days and I'll boost your perks to the next level. 

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Death again

I am a servant of Hermes Psychopompous, Hermes the Soul Guide. I am the Crone. Death is a part of life and it is the part I am responsible for. That doesn't make things any easier when I am called to work.

Death leaves holes. Holes where people used to be, in physical space, in mental space and in our hearts. Places where they should be. Laughter or words you listen for that never comes. Empty spaces, where someone no longer is.

Those holes aren't neat and cauterized. They're raw and bleeding, and they hurt all the time, and more often if you think about them or poke them.

Some people leave great gaping wounds, whose raw edges seem to fade very little. Some people leave smaller holes, easily healed, like a new piercing. But they all hurt and the holes never go away.

And someday, when our hearts are nothing but lace, all holes held together with thread, we go and leave the same holes in another.

Today I got word that a new hole has formed in my life, the third in sixteen months.

An online friend, from the con circuit, opted out of this life, his pain and burdens too large for him.
His family is medically fragile and his name is being held until the family can be told.

We only met once, but we had talked many times online. He was smart, funny and very similar to me in many ways.

We were on a panel and talking about the big drama in any zombie movie, when someone has to put down a zombified loved one.

Everyone blinked when I said it was a very real moment and many of us have to do it in reality. I gave the example of Mom, when we opted to end the minimal treatment she was getting and stop letting her be "alive," so she could move on into death. Millions of people "pull the plug" on their loved ones every day.

My voice cracked as I spoke. And his hand was on my back, steadying me until I could finish my thought.

My friend, may you pass softly.
May you find healing in Mother's Cauldron of Rebirth.
May the burdens you could not carry here vanish in the light of the Summerlands.
May your family and friends be comforted.
May you return to us swiftly, for your work is incomplete.

But dammit. Not a large hole, still a raw one.

Monday, March 28, 2016

Crowdfunding Special: offering a little boost

Today only, Monday the 28th, I will bump the first $100 in donations. 

That means, if you contribute at the $5 level, I will match your donation and bump you to the secret $10 perk. If you contribute $30, I bump you to $50 and make you a hat.

$100 of my own money, 12 hours at Michael's, 10 secret shops. 7.5 hours training Sears associates. That;s on top of the money and time and sweat already in the shop.

The link to the secret $10 perk level.

Monday, March 7, 2016

Crowd funding

We need all the help we can get. Please check out the perks we offer.

We're achieving some of our goals on our own. Don't let this dissuade you. We need more help.

Why mock Donald Trump?

There comes a time in any politician's career when they need their ego punctured.

Trump is appealing to the lowest common denominator, the cuttlefish, Harlan Ellison calls them.
He is doing this, and promising things he cannot deliver, in a parody of fascism that is violating Poe's Law left, right and center. (Poe's Law; It is impossible to parody the religious right because they have already published a serious article that is a step beyond your satire)

Trump is not the next Hitler. He is using the same tactics, but once in place will focus on getting his name gilded across the White House and getting 16 points on the margin for the Eiffel Tower Deal (and possibly throwing in the Washington Monument)  Read Dave Neiwert's piece on this. He's right on the money.

Even his supporters know he's a buffoon and egotist. They like him because he throws raw meat to the slavering beasts that lurk on the underbelly of our psyches.

What he is doing is paving the way for some earnest young man, a nice Christian kid with a deep love of God an country, an Eagle Scout, to step up in 2020 and lead us STRAIGHT into fascism.  We missed the last exit about 12-15 years ago.

And with his decree that he will punish newspapers, it becomes imperative and patriotic to mock him in every possible forum.

Why? Let Spike Jones explain

By showing this man for what he is, we are resisting. By holding his ideas up to ridicule and obloquy, we show how bankrupt they are.

My own resistance: If Trump is elected, I'm wearing nothing but red lipstick. every day.  Hitler hated red lipstick which is why it was so popular in the 40s.

I will write rude books about dubious sexual escapades: Taken by Trump Tower.. The Boss and my Apprenticed Ass. Der Donald mit die Piche. Maybe some badly disguised Gremlins 2 fanfic. No, wait, I actually like that movie.

But I will stand up and say "I am an American and a woman, and I PEE whether you like it or not. And I took an oath when I was eight years old to serve God, My Country and Mankind. I took it over and over for fifteen more years, and I am standing here saying I am for the gods, all the gods, and those who worship them, all worshipers, I am for America. I love her and want to make her better than she is. I see her potential. I feel the anger that she is not what she was for my parents and grandparents I want to harness that anger into something useful, not into a firestorm to burn away all who are not like me. Serving mankind does not discriminate against color or boundary."

I stand against him, and will mock him with virulent satire at every turn. Should he be elected, I will do my best to make him a laughingstock. I am only one person. But don't quarrel with a woman who buys ink by the barrel.

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

So you want to end abortion?

Then let's figure out how.

First you must accept that completely ending abortion is a pipe dream. As long as women get pregnant, as long as pregnancies go bad, it will be a medical necessity.

Second, it is a truism that ending legal abortion doesn't end the practice, it just makes women resort to home methods, including douching with drain cleaner, taking herbs where the effective dose is the same as the lethal and inserting sharp objects into their bodies. Criminalizing abortion only causes dead women.

Third, the abortion rate hit its lowest point ever in 2014, with fewer than 17 pregnancies out of 1000 ending this way.

For the record, the infant mortality rate in Mississippi is 8 per 1000 (which is the same as the rate for white women having abortions nationally)

So, what can be done?

Simply saying "Everyone must stop having non-procreative sex" does not work. We have proven this over ten thousand years of human civilization. Where rules are placed on human behavior, humans work to get around them. Witness places that punished adultery by execution, and people still had affairs.

Abstinence has a 100% user failure rate.

The sane way to approach this is "Why do women have abortions?" A better question is "Why do 40% of women, regardless of religion, class, color or lifestyle find themselves in the position where they need to not be pregnant?'

The answer is not, as some would have you believe "because they are stupid, evil baby-eating ogresses."  Maybe one or two are, but not 40% of the population.

The primary answer is finances. This is borne out by numerous studies.
The second most common is school/job interruption.
(there's a 1% variation in the placement of these reasons in the Guttmacher study)

Abortions decline when the economy improves. Notice the sharp drop in the graph around 1996. (the earliest Baby Boomers hitting 50 may have had something to do with it as well.) It mostly leveled with slight decline and then spiked again in the mid-2000s, during the recession. Since 2008, the decline has been steady. (and the early Baby Busters/GenX started turning 40 about then and hitting menopause)

Improved birth control: IUDs and implants are responsible for some of this. People tend to be more diligent about birth control in harder times, because they can't afford another mouth.

And that's what it comes down to. When I was driving, I came to the conclusion that if I got pregnant, tubal be damned, I would have to end the pregnancy. It would end my career and I carried the insurance on the kids, including two chronically ill ones. And if I did get pregnant, it would likely be an ectopic pregnancy, which would be fatal.

Job interruption at that point would have been damaging. And it was when it happened a few years later. We're still recovering 4 years down the road.

Now, multiply that by ending school, or by killing a career at the beginning, when the woman has no resources. That is the why.


So what can be done?

The answers are relatively simple, but very unpalatable for most of the Pro-Life movement.

1) Accurate sex education, with talk of birth control, not just failure rates, beginning at age 11 and up. I know, they're still kids. But they are developing, even at that age. My daughters were making college age men walk into walls and street signs at 12. At 11, middle-aged men were attempting to follow them off elevators.

2) Access to birth control, including long term forms. This means insurance and medicaid need to pay for it and employers need to butt out. Over the counter pills are just one more way for insurance to get out of paying.

3) Education and empowerment. Girls must be taught to say no if they don't want something and everyone must be taught to listen. Educated women are less likely to get pregnant when they don't want to, and have fewer children as a rule.

4) Economic changes. I favor a Guaranteed Minimum Income. Unplanned pregnancies are more likely to be continued in good economic times, when the woman feels secure in her ability to take care of the child. Living wages, good jobs, and day care that doesn't cost as much as an Ivy League education are all part of this.

 It's not a hard concept. It is very hard to change people's minds when they look at that list and see "Teach Immorality, Encourage Immorality, Teach Immorality, Socialism" and not actual ideas that will help real people.

Then again, these are people who think women get third trimester abortions out of carelessness and evil and not out of wanted pregnancies going heartbreakingly wrong.

Can we end abortion? No. Not completely. Not even if we made pregnancy an opt-in decision instead of an opt-out. If everyone was on the IUD or implant, and had to make a conscious effort to get pregnant, not even then. Those wanted planned pregnancies would still go bad.

Can we reduce abortion still further, make actual infant mortality higher? possibly. The above 4 ideas would be a start.

A brief illustration on the opt-in/opt-out: I was in a high school role-playing game and the sex ed class was discussing pregnancy. The kids from space milieus (Star Trek, Star Wars, Farscape, Etc) treated pregnancy as an opt-in event, something one had to make a decision to have happen. The kids from contemporary milieus treated it as opt-out, something to be actively avoided. The kids from fantasy milieus were pretty much agog at the idea of sex without reproduction and wanted to be part of this shiny future.

So, do we want to move into the future, stay where we are, or regress to a place where sex and childbirth are inextricably linked? I know where some groups want to take us. And don't think it can't happen. Bear in mind, we lost indoor plumbing for nearly 1400 years.

Roe is the first target. Griswold is the next. And that has been the game-plan since the 1980s. Strange how the stated goal is directly at odds with the most-effective practices for achieving it.

Monday, January 18, 2016

Writers Write

This is the advice I give in every blog post on writing.

Put your butt in the chair.
Open the word processor.
Turn on some hard driving music
hit keys until you produce a manuscript. If an infinite number of monkeys can do it...

Because Writers Write.

Stephan King, Neil Gaiman, Brian Keene, Elizabeth Donald and Me. We all do the same thing.
But in chair.
Fingers on keyboard.

Or sometimes not.

I've hit massive burnout after sixteen novels and 100+ short stories and two deaths in the space of nine months. Losing Mom last December is still biting me around every corner. Losing Darren... My Constant Reader is gone. I'm tap-dancing for myself again. I'm working two part time jobs and sometimes the juggling act means a 15 hour day.

So I gave myself permission.

I'm actively NOT writing.  Deliberately, mindfully NOT opening my word processor for the month of January.

Instead, I'm coloring. I'm drawing (including taking a class). I'm working the day jobs. I'm knitting, I'm reading and reading and reading some more, and watching movies and TV. I'm editing audiobooks. I'm playing with kittens.

I am, in short, refilling my tank and doing some self-care. And that can be as much of a necessity as the words themselves.

But yes, writers write. Maybe not every day or even every month. But they do put the words on paper.  This is the advice I always give when asked to blog about writing. The advice I will always give.

"Mood? Bah! Mood is a thing for cattle or lovemaking."

In a couple weeks, I'll plug Dragonforce back into the speakers and plunge back into the Roaring 20s with my adventurers and Rock the Casbah. (I have a short due for a rock-and-roll themed pulp anthology)  But for now, no guilt over not writing.

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Let's talk politics

It comes as no surprise to anyone who has read this blog that I am liberal. I am the queer pagan feminist Pat Robertson warned you about. And I don't vote for people who want to harm me.

As I see it, this election is a three way race.

(links provided only in the most egregious cases, rest of this is out there for anyone with Google)

On the Republican side, no matter who gets nominated, he will be a theocrat attempting to run us full tilt bogie into fascism. I don't say that lightly.

They are all "pro-life" because that is their base. Unfortunately some of them missed the memo that abortion is the big fund raiser, because they are seriously trying to roll back Roe, and taking aim at Griswold. They also have no idea that criminalizing abortion kills women. And if they did, they would consider it a feature, not a problem.

They're all for more surveillance.

They're all for school vouchers over public school.

They all support Fracking and drilling for more oil and call other energy sources "pie in the sky."

They're all about breaking down the Federal government and dumping all the burdens on the states.

They're all against the ACA, without fielding an actual plan to replace it.

They are all on record as being against Same-sex marriage

They all voted against re-authorizing the Violence Against Women Act.

Jeb Bush. Who wants to end SNAP and replace it with "state level block grants" He express-laned the Florida electric chair and opposed treatment programs for drug offenders. He support For-Profit colleges and wants to abolish the Department of Education. Has described the Gay, Black and Women's movements as "victim movements" designed to get people thinking of themselves as deserving something. He's mainstream, not scary and might just clinch it, despite the name

Ben Carson: Possibly just a token, but might be a contender. he has said nothing that distinguished him from the pack, except the gaffe about God building the Pyramids as grain storage, which shows he has apparently confused the videogame Civilization with history.

Chris Christie. Knowingly killed much-needed transportation projects to undermine union labor

Ted Cruz. Some question about his citizenship and eligibility.  His father believes he's anointed. And apparently he thinks so too. Here is the happy smiling face of Christian Dominionism, which the Right has been flirting with for years. He flat out told the American Family Association that the only way to save the US is to turn it into a theocracy.
His economic and social policies are outlined here, and basically boil down to "if it helps anyone, we're cutting it."

Carly Fiorina. Failed president of Hewlett-Packard, and like all high level Republican women, a ladder-pulling token.

Mike Huckabee and Rick Santorum have made themselves so odious, neither will get the nomination/

John Kasich. The dark horse, he's kept his mouth shut and avoided any gaffes. This will look attractive

Rand Paul, son of the Tea Party founder. Another who wants to destroy the government if elected to run it

Marco Rubio is for lowering property tax and raising sales tax (regressive taxation) and Grover Norquist likes him. He's here primarily to offset Cruz and appeal to Hispanic voters. He also rates 98.67% from the American Conservative Union.

Donald Trump has proposed American Muslims carry special ID and be included in a special terrorist database. He has had Muslims and blacks thrown out of his rallies. he comes across as over the top and ridiculous, but people who lived through the 30s are scared of him. He has the potential to run on his own and garner enough votes.

Any one of these is going to return us to a recession quagmire with money evaporating out the top. Any one of them is going to impose a Christian version of Sharia Law while railing against trhe Muslim one.

There are two main Democratic choices,.

Hilary Clinton is a Status Quo democrat. She'll continue the Business as Usual  position we've had from Obama, probably with some more window dressing to make us think there is progress happening. But in the end, she is another corporate shill. We've known this since 92. She may have to get us into a war to prove she's tough enough to play in the all-boys' clubhouse. The tiptoeing toward fascism and corporate feudalism will continue. She is being funded by private prisons. She is for raising the minimum wage.Strongly opposed to privatizing Social security.

100% from NARAL, CAF, APHA
96% from NAACP
89% from HRC
85% from AFL-CIO
82% from NEA
60% from ACLU
0% from Christian Coaltion

Bernie Sanders is a progressive democratic socialist. His positions are that the US is a first country and should be acting like it: universal health care, universal higher education. His trade policies are protectionist, in the interest of bringing American manufacturing jobs back. His trade voting record is mixed. I've heard him say it's a bad thing that we aren't innovating. All the innovation is being done in other countries, with better educated populations, the building is being done in countries with slave labor and we're just being end-users of the tech. He's for raising the minimum wage and seems to understand that the dollar is a fiat currency. He's against private prisons. Strongly opposed privatizing Social Security.

100% rating from NARAL, CAF (Council for Alternative Fuel), APHA (American public health Association), AFL-CIO and HRC,
97% from NAACP,
93% from ACLU
83% from the NEA
And 7% from the Christian Coalition. (probably for supporting Israel)

And for those of us who are queer, who have queer kids and have daughters, keeping our rights is important, Not one Republican thinks I have the right to be myself. They want to destroy education, the safety net, and any hope of not living on canned catfood in my Golden Years.  Some of them are using the same language: Don't Sell to Gays, Identify the Muslims, as has always been used when a falling democracy starts looking for scapegoats,

It's a bad time, friends and neighbors and things will be ugly this next 11 months,.

Friday, January 8, 2016

Promo: Huntress by Alexandra Christian

Alexandra Christian is a fine writer, and I am pleased to have her here today,showing off her new work.  Go forth and read. She's always a good bet and this one looks spicy!

Alexandra Christian is an author of paranormal romance, dark fantasy and horror. A self-proclaimed “Southern Belle from Hell,” Lexxx is a native South Carolinian who lives with a ghost hunter and an epileptic wiener dog. She has published several novels, novellas and short stories various publishers including Mocha Memoirs Press, Purple Sword Publications, Seventh Star Press, and Ellora’s Cave. She also wears an editor’s hat as A.C. Thompson.  Recently, she’s been conquering the self-publishing world as one half of Little Red Hen Romance.  Lexxx’s long-term aspirations are to one day be a best-selling authoress and part-time pinup girl. Questions, comments and complaints are most welcome at her website:

Every girl dreams of a fairy tale prince.
Thalia is the Huntress, a dragonslayer from a barbarian tribe. But her dreams are haunted by her prince, a dark shadow who whispers delectable taunts in her ears and smells of crushed roses and ash. When she is captured and sacrificed as a symbolic “bride” to the most fearsome dragon she has ever seen, she wants only to escape into the endless dream of death where she and her dark prince can be together forever. 
But princes aren’t always what they seem. And neither are dragons.


She could smell it before they could see it.  The stench of ash and sulfur like the pits of Hell overwhelmed them. “God, how do they sneak up on anyone? They smell like a pile of burning shit,” Markus complained, pulling his tunic over his nose.  Thalia wasn’t listening.  She was too busy watching the sky.  She wanted to see it when it burst through the trees.

Dragons both frightened and fascinated her.  Everything about them was built for the hunt.  Their massive bodies were covered in impenetrable scales, but they could move with an almost feline precision.  Their talons were razor sharp and grooved so that once the prey was caught, escape would be impossible.  They could lock around even the smallest wriggling creature and hold on.  The beating of their wings could create a gale that would level whole villages. Then there was the fire. 

 Dragons were made of it.  It flowed through their veins like blood, making their flesh steam.  Just touching the hide would scald one’s hand, peeling the blackened skin from the bones. A deep breath was all it took, and the flames would spew forth from the beast, burning everything it its path.

“We must draw it away from the villagers, Markus.  Hurry and get everyone inside!  Out of sight and quiet.”  He ran off into the streams of screaming villagers, running to and fro.  The stench of brimstone and sweat was so overwhelming, it burned Thalia’s eyes.  The thick odor of terror was nothing new.  It was everywhere she went and fueled her fury.  She ran toward the western gate.  Her arms ached with the weight of the heavy crossbow.  Many were surprised that she could wield the rustic weapon with any accuracy, but it was the weapon of her father and his father before him.  

The only real problem was that to deliver a kill shot, one had to be standing in the furnace.  A dragon was only vulnerable when he breathed fire.  For a fragment of a second, he would expose his chest, and if one were clever and cunning, one might be able to deliver an arrow between the soft spaces in the scales and pierce its heart.  Otherwise, there was nothing for it but a lucky blow that distracted the wyrm long enough to let you get away.  Despite the rumors of her might, Thalia had never taken the head of a dragon.  It would take one much stronger than herself to slice through the iron ropes of sinew and tissue, much less penetrate the scales.  

Buy Link: