Thursday, December 31, 2015

2016's Gunna ROCK

And now we reach one of my favorite annual rituals. The PLAN *buwahahahahahaha*

Now if you've known me a while, you know I always make a plan, and it is hit and miss on whether I follow through. But I have a history of doing better on even years, and I also seem to do best when I have dropped into a pit and so accept the enormous amount of work that needs doing.

So I am hopeful...

The Writing Plan

I have THREE sorts of books I write. Unfortunately, the one I love VERY most is the hardest to sell—the long epic tale. So while I have three of these slated, I have accepted I need to get either my mystery or my YA solidly going before people recognize my name enough to try those other stories.

This year I WILL get one or the other rolling.


I think this is probably the genre easiest to break into. (and I've got a bit of a track record, even if I am looking at a break between books) BUT... While I have two first drafts in the series I want to sell, neither of them is the “first book” that I think I can hook a publisher with. One is pretty good, the other needs a serious rewrite because I tried something that didn't work (to do with changing PoVs—this is the wrong tone of book for that). So my next TWO books I write will be part of this series... Then in FALL I will try to sell traditionally, but by the end of year I will have FOUR, so if that isn't going well, I may decide to release one a quarter in 2017 on my own.


I have three nearly done YA books (much nearer ready than the mysteries) BUT one doesn't fit style-wise with the other two. Also Appearing will be part of a series, but it is a series that currently only has the one book. Kahlotus Disposal Site and Medium Wrong both have a touch (JUST a touch, but a touch) of paranormal to them. And I have a couple other books I can adapt for this that are WRITTEN (so only need to be rewritten). So my plan is to edit Medium Wrong to “perfect” or thereabouts, and try to sell it in first quarter. Edit Kahlotus while I do that and if MW doesn't sell, try Kahlotus. Between my two mysteries I will both WRITE one more for this series (stand-alones, but of similar genre and style to establish a brand) and adapt another so if neither has been sold by say, August, I will work out a self release plan to start in the fall.

In Sum, that is 3 new first drafts written next year, two BIG rewrites, and several polishing edits.

It is also querying 3 books (1st, 2nd and 4th quarter) and planning a self pub cycle if the first two of those don't work...

I have a calendar, but that is probably less important than the big picture.

And the SUPPLEMENTAL Writing Plan

This is my weakest point... the trouble with my writing success (or lack thereof). I have some mental blocks with marketing... some annoyance with some theoretical ways a person “should” go about it. I don't know how to do this well, but I DO know I have not been doing it, so I intend to make a point of mastering a piece of this each month.

I also plan to work with my newly adopted writing group—cross promotion is part of what we plan and they seem to already be better at this then me, so I will learn from them and work hard not to be the drag on our team.


Fitness, fish slap, whatever

So I say this all the time, right? I always plan to work on this. But I think I've figured out some boosters for the “old thing that worked doesn't work anymore” bit. I have ALWAYS eaten on a Weight Watcher plan and I walk about 25 miles a week. To that I am ADDING:

Keeping the food between 10AM and 6PM
A 15-minute, 3-Day-a-Week Super-interval thing
A supplement I did some research on

That last is something that would historically have made me very sketchy, but it is all natural so shouldn't hurt and the science analysis on it I watched suggested it really may help. I will let you know if it does.

Theoretically I should have some goals related to home or family, but the family rarely conforms and the home stuff makes me tired, so I will say I will try to be PRESENT and call it good.

How abut all of you? 2016 plans?

Monday, December 28, 2015

2015: A Year in Review

Can we just write this one off? Seriously. I had a bad year. I will chalk it up to a big change at work that had ripple effects that keep on giving. And then a couple writing wrecking balls that just compounded matters, shook my confidence and threw me for a loop. I am trying my darndest to adapt and finally making a bit of progress, but here is how things panned out.


ABNA did NOT happen last year. So while I got the book I intended to submit pretty ready (I've not had 2 rounds of feedback and think I can get it there) THAT threw a crimp in my plan... And my agent didn't like What Ales Me and fired me... we parted ways. Whatever. She was amazing to give me the chance she did, but she never really quite got me anyway. And then with the day job stress making the day job suck up all my energy, I just fumbled all year on the writing front. I failed at BuNoWriMo (first WriMo fail ever. (I have 12 wins to my record if I count both NaNo and BuNo), so Summer of Bones is only half done and one of the two mysteries I wrote I am really unhappy with. (the November one is a keeper)--so only one book in 2015 I am willing to call “written” and it is a few iterations from sharable. NO books editing to the point of being happy... In my frustration I also fell into several TV shows, which is fun and all, but bad for productivity...

The Recovery Plan to be shared later this week.


Weight lost in late 2014 gained back and new scale highlighted that the situation was much more dire than I'd even guessed.


The Childings, Christmas Eve

This stuff went okay. No big emergencies. My daughter is working. My son has gotten 3 college acceptance letters (one with a nice scholarship). My house is a disaster, but I've not historically aspired to neatness.


I was going to read a book a month from a writer friend... I think I came close, let's see:

Dragon of the Stars by Alex Cavanaugh
Nasty by Bret Wright
Spilled Blood by Brian Freeman (met through a local book event, not social media)
A Twist of Hate by VR Barkowski
City of Refuge by Diana Wilder
Tower of Bones by Connie Jasperson
Hunted by Elizabeth Heiter (who I met because she is localish, rather than social media)
Ruin Falls by Jenny Milchman
Running from the Past by Alan Orloff
The Boy Who Fell From the Sky by Jule Owen (I don't know her but I won this through one of you, so I believe she is part of this blogosphere)

And am currently reading a Mary Pax Sci Fi western story, so should be done by the start of the year.

So that will be 11 by year end. Plus I discovered a few authors I really really love. Maggie Stiefvater—I read 4 of her books this year and eagerly await another. Andrew Smith—hooked not just myself, but my son, too. And that will be 26 books for the year (of published, as opposed to a couple pre-published I also read... That is a reasonable pace to me. And fails to count the re-reading of the Song of Ice and Fire series I am doing in prep for Winds of Winter.


I did not manage to be interesting. This makes me sad. I used to be so entertaining... When life is heavy it is hard to be light.

Shows the curls AND the fact I need to lose weight
Surprise Positives

I finally figured out what one does with curly hair. I've spent years in midwest humidity with just fuzz... I could see the potential for awesome but it wasn't to be. But in around March I read something and talked to a friend with curly hair and made some changes. I quit completely rinsing out the conditioner. I only run the comb through ONCE, when it is still pretty drippy, then use my fingers for all manipulation after, I use an olive oil product to keep the fuzz down. And I now have ringlets... real curly hair, not Hermione fuzz.

I also figured out how to make the DVD player play Netflix and Amazon Prime. I know. Small victories. But Netflix is having some awesome originals, so this is nice.

So Wednesday or Thursday I will share my hopes and plans for 2016, but I thoroughly expect it to be a better year...

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Christmas Eve Eve

I love this day. I love it along the lines of Thursday only MORE so... Tomorrow it STARTS, though not until later in the day... and then next day it happens and is over... but TODAY is all about anticipation. So I thought I'd talk about some of the things I am really anticipating in 2016.

There are several book series that I am waiting for the NEXT one... and like with the Harry Potter series... WAITING for the next allows a lot of anticipation, guessing, wondering... it is different than reading a series you can devour all at once. I think you get more invested.

City of Mirrors, the third and final (I believe) in Justin Cronin's trilogy that began with The Passage and gave a scientific experiment version that resulted in something very vampire-like (and nearly extinguished the human race)... The Twelve was second... both these books were very good, though I have some issue with how they did their chronology—it is partially current day and partially about 100 years from now and I wish they'd intentionally gone back and forth. Instead they are first half now, second half later, so you have to RE “get into a new book”... but the premise and characters are great, so I am eager for the third.

The Next in the Raven Boys series... I fell in love with this series this year. Maggie Stiefvader is my new favorite YA author. She nicely combines somewhat quirky characters with just the edges of magic.

Winds of Winter: 6th in the Song of Ice and Fire Series. This is the biggie... the world I have immersed myself in the theorizing for and have dozens of huge guesses as to what happens next... And I really really want the book before the 6th season of the show starts. BAD...

I am also anticipating Downton Abbey's final season. The third season of The 100. The Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them movie... Allegiant (the last Divergent movie) and turning 50...  Good stuff coming!!! And that isn't even counting Star Wars, which I plan on taking my kids to next weekend.

But until then, I wish everyone a WONDERFUL wind-up of 2015. Happy Belated Solstice, Merry Christmas, Happy New Year... I will be back after Christmas with my end of year recaps (how I did, what I plan to do)--nothing like some time off work to get a little blogging in, eh?

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Making a Plan to make a Plan

Or something...

So Friday is my LAST work day until after the new year (and there was much rejoicing). I will not try to fool myself into thinking I will do much besides Christmas prep until... you know... Christmas... but THEN I have a bit of time... Y'all know how I love a plan, right? BUWAHAHAHAHAHAHA!

Unfortunately, you ALSO probably know how my writing plans stalled out this year. I've written about it a dozen times... changes to the job, husband working full time, child challenges... I could whine and moan for days, but since I already have, I won't subject you to it.

You may NOT know I weigh the most I ever have. I don't advertise it. Though I have advertised how much harder it seems to me to lose these days. My last truly successful loss I was still in my 30s. It is time.

You probably ALSO do not know my house has grown steadily fuller of crap and gotten less and less organized in the last decade. Writing has lots of STUFF (especially for those of us delusional enough to have at one time thought our NOTES might some day be of value *rolls eyes*) and sucks up lots of TIME, and then the hubby working full time so HE is helping less...

So on my break I plan to MAKE PLANS to fix part of this stuff. And I am definitely looking forward to it... making a writing and marketing plan, making a fitness plan, setting a schedule for... maybe a cleaning project a month—wouldn't want to go overboard and the laundry and bathroom are hardly going to learn to sort themselves out, so they will stay on my chore list.

And let me just say... I LOVE THIS PART! I adore making plans. Following plans, not so much, though sometimes I give it a pretty good effort... But it is satisfying to put things in doable steps...

What about all of you? Making any plans over the holidays?

Monday, December 7, 2015

Character Lessons from Jessica Jones

First an apology for not managing to blog last week... Not even Insecure first Wednesday... I planned to. And then I lost my mind. So sorry about that...

So I confess I am mid RE-watch on this Netflix original series... and when I say original, I mean Netflix produced the story inspired by the Marvel comic books, which I have not read, but I have been assured from several YouTubers that Jessica Jones a la comics is a bit two-dimensional and definitely a side thought. The series though, is SPECTACULAR.

Now I am NOT GOING TO SPOIL PLOT but I do plan on giving some detail about character, which includes some relationship stuff and a bit of backstory, so I will say minor spoilers if you haven't watched. My focus though, is on a few character lessons.

Your MC Can Be Unpleasant If the Reader/Watcher Understands Why

(this harkens to Katniss Everdeen, too, but Jessica Jones has it in spades). And Jessica has an advantage her to Katniss. Her unpleasant snark is sometimes REALLY FUNNY. But she is isolating herself, cutting off the very few... okay one... person she cares about, pushing people around (sometimes literally) to get them to listen. But as the show reveals why, the watcher really comes to love her. She considers her major weakness to be that sometimes she gives a damn. And we understand that, too.

Relationships are COMPLICATED.

I think it is easy when we plot to think “this relationship is this way and that relationship is that way” but in reality relationships can be fluid changing things. Learning something about somebody can change how you feel. People can have a rift over some real life trauma so it looks like one thing, but the love there runs deeper than is apparent and if that comes out? WOW. Jessica's only real relationship is with her foster sister Trish and it looks at first like this naggy (on Trish's part) call when I need something (on Jessica's part) relationship. But digging down to the gritty details this is the most powerful friendship I think I've seen display in the media.

But in addition, Jessica has a couple of symbiotic relationships—people she doesn't like but needs, people she just feels irritatedly responsible for...

And she is drawn to people she shouldn't be for her own sanity...

A Villain with Charm is Scary as Heck

OHMYGAWD David Tennant. This villain's power is mind control. He says “you want to come with me” and you do. He says “cut out your heart” and you do. And he has NO conscience. He isn't even getting off on being mean—he doesn't care. He is annoyed so those are the commands he gives. But from a viewer perspective, he is vulnerable, charming, funny... and then he does something that drops the jaw. I think this nuanced villain is so much scarier than one that is just all evil. And and interview with David Tennant gave away what I think the key is here: See, he doesn't think he's the villain...

The Villain not in Isolation

In fact there is NOT just one villain. There are good guys who pose obstacles, they can be selfish people trying to take advantage, they can be idiots who think they can outclever someone... This show has all of them. Sometimes they foil the MC. Sometimes they help the villain (inadvertently or intentionally) and sometimes both. This show has all of the above and it's amazing what it does for pace and tension.

So have you guys watched? Any other character lessons you noticed? Any lessons you learned elsewhere you'd like to share?

Monday, November 23, 2015

Xenophobia: The Real Enemy

Sorry for not blogging last week. I was mostly Wri-Moing, but also this...

It was a very draining news week. The sort that put me into a couple totally unexpected arguments with people. I try not to get too political here, though I have very strong views and sometimes can't help myself. Easier to not do it if I am just not here...

But I do have some stuff to say. The world feels truly scary right now. Terrorist attacks, sure. They are horrible. But also this mood of people wanting to close themselves off. The waning trust. The intend for isolation.

Trump wants a Muslim registry (hello, Hitler)
Cruz says we can take in refugees if they are Christian (does he know the US religious history?)
37 governors (in spite of no legal right) say “no refugees here”...

And then I saw this.

Scary-ass white supremacists-home grown

These guys were found by the FBI, intent on blowing up black churches and synagogues. And it got me to thinking a couple things.

1)  The terrorists we grow in the US are significantly more numerous than any risk of someone from outside coming in to hurt us.
2)  These terrorists are the EXTREME of Xenophobia. They are trying to kill people who aren't LIKE them.
3)  This means by US getting all paranoid about Muslims and refugees we are behaving more like these people who are a far bigger threat to us than the Muslims or Refugees in this country will ever be.


The terrorists in France? ALL European nationals. That dropped passport was done intentionally because ISIS wants us to do exactly what we are doing. Panic and refuse the refugees a safe place. Because see... those refugees are running from ISIS. Nice trick, and we are falling for it.


I ran across a conversation on Facebook (a couple actually) about when it was reasonable to “go in and blow them up” and this is what I have to say about that.

Go in WHERE? ISIS is not a place. It is an ideology of people who are scattered throughout the world. Malala says it best:

The cost of “going in and blowing them up” is this—too many innocents and not enough of the actual bad guys, which means we activate a whole bunch of NEW extremists... we GROW them.

The only way to do this is embrace, befriend, support and love the NON-extreme people of the world, regardless of religion or race. Be inclusive. Allow them to be self determining and help them when extreme groups try to force something on them. Nothing has promoted these extreme views as much as our own fear of socialism and interference we have conducted in defense of our capitalist agenda.

So there.

See. I'm not very good at not being political sometimes. That said, try to keep in mind people come by their views sincerely. People are afraid and saying things and wanting things out of a place of fear, not because they are evil. Give your friends a break if they disagree. Talk about it, but do so calmly and with a goal of greater understanding.


I passed 45 K for NaNoWriMo, so that is cool... about ready for the final big action sequence.


I wish all my US friends a very happy Thanksgiving! May the universe grant you much to be thankful for.

Monday, November 9, 2015

That Thing You Do

This is inspired by a little conversation I had recently that got me thinking about what the absolute essential thing is that makes us love a book, and how that has inspired our writing. Is it an MC you fall in love with (whether romantically or otherwise?) Is it beautiful language? Is it the character ARC? Is it a plot that surprises? Is it elegance? Because this stuff is all a matter of taste. Even within these there are taste differences, but I think all of us have one of these elements we care about a lot more than the other. Now there are things about the OTHER elements that can make me put a book down:

No Bella; Yes Forest
A stupid MC (though a character like a Forest Gump who has wisdom even with limited knowledge I can grab a hold of—I mean someone who just doesn't think... doesn't try to. And so does stupid stuff.) I want all the STUPID to have a reason that is not just an idiocy of character. (side characters can be stupid—stupid DOES happen)

Worse than stupid is a BORING MC (think Bella Swann), though I recently read a disappointing Margaret Atwood book (Bodily Harm) with a boring MC, and what distinguished her was she was not ACTING. Stuff was just happening TO HER. Yeah, none of that, thanks.

In terms of language, I love it if it's beautiful, but if too much is too beautiful it pulls me out of the story. Sort of like life, I prefer my beautiful trickled. Otherwise it sticks to the roof of your mouth. But far worse than TOO beautiful is clunky or error-ridden. I just can't ignore poor grammar and am only a little willing to ignore a couple typos.

I like character growth, but depending on the plot, it isn't always necessary. But ME?


I like a plot with some twists and surprises but DO NOT like a plot where the twists come out of left field. I know in life some events do that, but they are the sort of events that precipitate a story. Not the sort that totally change it mid-stream. I LOVE when something happens and it makes me shout “I KNEW IT!” but one page earlier it would not have come to mind... some little seed was planted, but the hints as it grew were elegantly hidden except in the smallest of peeks.


What this means to me is I HAVE to have some sort of timeline. The big events need to me conceived before I get started. I need to be working toward them. In mysteries I actually diagram... who are my suspects, what are their motives, what clues with the MC discover to connect each of them as a potential killer? From there it is more like a puzzle than a magic act. Oh, I still surprise myself, and I let myself add or change. Plans are not set in stone. Even a written story is not set in stone—stuff can be built in later. But I need most of it to at least hit the main plot points I started with.

As to That...

I am at about the halfway mark for NaNoWriMo and it is going well. I have reached the part where it gets harder, but hey, I always know 3rd quarter is my biggest struggle. I am enough ahead that I only NEED to write about 1200 words a day from here on out, though I'd prefer to be closer to the 60K mark at the end of the month. A rewrite is worth 10-15K added in, and I really need to be over 70K when I am done.

How about all of you? What component of a book is the “must” for you? And how has it influenced your writing? And if you are NaNoing, how is it coming?

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

When it Flows...

Hallo, fine friends and WELCOME to the Insecure Writer's Support Group!

You know... I've been in a bit of an identity crisis this year, doubting my abilities and floundering around... While I finished my NaNoWriMo project last year, much of it felt forced. It didn't flow easily and it will need really serious revision to get it where I want it. But FINALLY, I am feeling a story again.

Channels and obstacles, but also beauty and flow
[Did I mention how much I love NaNoWriMo? That excuse for a fresh story thing...]

Do you know how relieved I feel? Part of my fear this last year is somehow I'd “lost it”... not that I believe that is possible, rationally, but I DID lose my groove. And MAN was it rough to find the traction again... In fact I'm not altogether convinced I found it. Maybe it found me.

So my Tartish Words of Wisdom, such as they are today, is be patient with yourself. Don't give up writing. But if you go through a period where it feels hard or everything you produce just isn't quite right... it happens. And you will get back to good stuff again. Just trust and keep swimming.

Now go see some other insecure people!!!

Saturday, October 31, 2015

Karen Walker and The Wishing Steps: Happy Book Release!

Happy Release Day!!! 

I just wanted to give a shout out to Karen Walker today and give all of you a heads up.

Three Women and a Single Story That Unites Them Across the Millennia

“Totally engrossing. A must-read for today’s wise woman!”Rev. Kathleen McKern Verigin, minister/priestess

Brighid, Ashleen and Megan: Bound through time by a curious light, a mysterious voice and a call they dare not ignore. Yet in obeying this strange force, the women must face soul-searing trials that call into question everything they know and believe — about themselves and about the world around them.

“Guaranteed to inspire you to a deeper level of spirituality and a new appreciation for Goddess.”Rev. Clara Z. Alexander

Check out Karen's new website at

Friday, October 30, 2015

Apocalybsessed: The Expansion

So Monday's Listy Blog was just my list... but here are my specifics and why...

I am only now realizing it's just me. Well, a few of you had thoughts. But I think we are the exception.

When people announce some new skill on Facebook or post pictures of the cool stuff they canned... I claim them for my apocalypse team. Nobody outside of the writer-verse seems to be thinking about it. So I wondered... are other people secretly amassing supplies but keeping it to themselves so when it happens nobody shows up at their house? Or am I ridiculous because of the entertainment I love?

Because I have plans.

MOST Important (aside from collecting my various loved ones):

GET WEST. The population is WAY too dense here. Supplies of available stuff will go fast and if it's the zombies, there are way too many people to be turned into them, and if it's the flu disease will spread so much faster with this many people. And if it is nuclear war—HELLO, nobody wants to be sitting between Chicago and Detroit.

Something like this oughta do it
HOW will I go west? Well going through Chicago just seems stupid. That twisty gnarl of tollways is going to get clogged in about two minutes flat, and a person has to go clear down to 70 to go SOUTH of Chicago... So North? Well I don't fancy having to count on the Mackinaw Bridge staying open—that bridge is five miles long and if all of Michigan is trying to cross it, I see a problem. Nope, I plan on hitting someplace like Traverse City and taking a BOAT to the Upper Peninsula. I will make my way to Highway 2 to cross the country.

I told you I'd been thinking about this.

Next Step:

WHAT WEAPONS? I've probably been watching Walking Dead too much of late, but I am convinced the sword is for me. Or possibly a hatchet—not a full-sized ax. I don't own any guns anyway, but I've been thinking guns run out of ammo. If it's zombies that is definitely the way to go. People acting all Neanderthal because apocalypses bring out the worst in some people is another matter. Though I happen to think I am better at strategy and stealth than I would be in actual combat. I was the kid that they quit the hide and seek game for because nobody could find me, so I am counting on that. A lot.

And FOOD! Stuff that is light enough to carry but you can make more substantial, like dried beans are PERFECT if you are somewhere you can take two hours to prep, so I'd take them. But you also need portables... Peanut butter... regular nuts. In fact trail mix generally is really darned efficient (thus the name TRAIL mix, duh). Canned stuff SOUNDS nice, and if I was in one place to store it, okay, but it is HEAVY and some portion of that heaviness is just water weight. In fact some freeze dried rations from a camping store would be good. My dad used to have that stuff, though the only stuff I'd touch was the freeze dried ice cream.

Driving across Highway 2 I figure the biggest cities are Duluth Minnesota and Minot North Dakoka, so those aren't a problem. In North Dakota I figure I should dissemble a wind mill to take with us—that way wherever we go will have power... Because I am on my way to my parents' house—my stepdad is VERY handy—an electrician among other things, but he is also sort of like MacGuyver. I figure our team needs him. Plus my kids will need their nana.

So who's with me?

In other news, final edits for story go in today and I will submit for the Insecure Anthology. Shorts are hard, but it is good for me and I am relatively happy with the result.

Monday, October 26, 2015

My Apocalypse Plans: A Listing Blog Hop Entry

Bish Denham is celebrating five years of blogging (Congratulations!) and so is hosting this fabulous blog hop whereby she is asking us all to make a LIST (I love lists). Check out her page for her list of participants!

My OWN List? What I plan to do when the Apocalypse Happens

1) Gather my people (family and friends who are interested)
2) Pack supplies (durable food, sleeping bags, basic tools, protective weapons--what we can carry)
3) Head WEST (population density is a problem)
4) The other side of Lake Michigan steal an all terrain vehicle
5) Seek shelter in old farmhouses (where stocks of home canned goods and practical things abound)
6) Collect people along the way who offer skills (hunting, medical skills, plant knowledge, building skills, mechanical skills)
7) Find someplace easily defensible and with a potential food supply (mix of farming land and fishing or hunting) in Idaho or Montana
8) Build defenses and set up alarm system
9) Just Survive Somehow (some of you may recognize that one)

Anybody else have their apocalypse plans in place? I will be expanding Wednesday if anyone wants more detail.

Now go look at everybody else's lists!!!

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Youthful Frights vs Adult Fears: A Blogfest

So this is part of a blogfest hosted by Denise and Yolanda at Write, Edit, Publish... and I love the topic. Because we all grow up, eh? Most of us anyway. And these differences in what scares us (and whether we like it or not) are enormous.

Erm... and I failed to follow the rules... I was meant to write a piece of fiction here and instead wrote a blog post... ooops...  but it is a bad habit of mine... only reading part of it...


I did this once. Wouldn't now.
Man, I was a kids who LOVED the rush of fear. Maybe it was adrenalin. Going fast, spinning, heights... that all fits in there, too, but I really loved to be frightened. I still enjoy scary movies but there is something about all of these things that has changed... About the time I became a mom (I was 28) anything life endangering (perceptively) got REAL scary, not FUN scary. Part of it was my pregnancy was the first time in my life I'd ever felt physically fragile—off balance, slow to change directions... no more darting across the street like I always had. I could honest-to-god get hit.

But it is more complicated than that. I think it may even be biological. It makes sense to me that people who become more cautious when children are born are more likely to both have children live to adulthood AND be around to raise them.

Yeah, not so much.
So what SCARE did I used to enjoy that now I don't? The PLAUSIBLE stuff. I still LOVE suspense—I prefer the unseen threat—but I hate serial killer movies—totally too scary (except from a detective of cop perspective—then I can do it--but not killer or victim PoV). I never liked the blood and guts ones much, though I can take it in certain circumstances—like the gore of The Walking Dead doesn't bug me because it is zombie gore.

But the things that truly terrify me (that always seems horrifying but never popped to mind first when I was young) are things like losing children (or horrible things happening to them) or losing my personal faculties... I mean I know I wouldn't know, but in the case of something like dementia that comes on slow, I know that would really bother me. I have had a good processor my whole life (though not nearly as great a memory) and I LIKE being smart. I think I may not take it well if that all slipped far enough I was no longer capable of at least mental independence.

So how have your fears changed? Be sure to check out the other blog hop contributors, too—they are posting between today and Friday.

Monday, October 19, 2015

Most Exhausting Vacation Ever

It started two days early, which should be a good thing, right? I was signed up to take Thursday and Friday off—nice four-day weekend halfway between Labor Day's long weekend and Thanksgiving's four days off...

But see, a week ago Saturday my husband woke up with back pain—pretty bad. Bad enough that on Sunday he went to urgent care. They prescribed something, but he is in recovery and after talking to people about it he decided it was a bad idea. And by Monday he seemed to be improving.

Then Tuesday. 5 AM... he woke up needing to get out of bed and couldn't. I had to help. And then I had to stay home because he couldn't stand on his own, so I called in sick. I found an acupuncturist who could see him, figuring that might be relief without medication. It didn't help much.

And Wednesday was worse. In fact we spent it in the ER. Six hours. They FINALLY figured out a mix of medications to address the problem without triggering addiction stuff—prednisone for the swelling, a muscle relaxant... and slowly it started to help...

He was up and down on his own Thursday (my first day of vacation) but not up to driving... so we went to the massage appointment... Friday the same... and we went to acupuncture... Friday though, he managed to make dinner, so that was something...

Oh. Did I tell you about the leaky faucet? Yes, through ALL of this our tub faucet was leaking hot water badly enough that we had to keep shutting off the water centrally except while in use. He guided my son through fixing it. Which worked for about 8 hours. Then again... another eight... then he managed it... for a day... every day we've had to re-fix the bloody faucet.

All the chores on me. All the shopping on me. All but the one meal on me. I am freaking exhausted.

And did I write? Yes. I wrote a paragraph. In five days. One paragraph. Though I did diagram my cozy mystery for NaNaWriMo, so that was good. At this point I can't wait to get back to work to get some rest *sigh*

Ah well...12 days...

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Distraction Season

So for years I hardly watched TV. I had one or two shows I watched if I caught them, but I couldn't typically be bothered to catch more than my absolute favorites. But you know what? On-Demand and Netflix have been really terrible for my viewing habits. Now if I find something I like I can watch and watch and watch... and then I get hooked on these series... and then I have to wait for the new season. Which is now *sigh*

I really got more done before this happened.

Oh well... So What am I Watching?

New Season

Walking Dead (Sci-Fi-Apocalypse-Drama)

I finally decided to give it another chance this summer. I had watched two episodes before and it just hadn't actually done anything for me. I'm not a zombie fan. But the further I got in, the more it was about survival and the different sorts of people who do, and about the relationships. And the REALLY good stuff—how a crisis brings out the best in some and the worst in others so the people are often the real enemy (and how do you tell who is good and who is bad?) So now I'm glad it is back even if that gives me three shows to watch Sunday night at nine... yeah...

Doctor Who (Sci-Fi, Campy but with serious heart)

I love Doctor Who. And I love Peter Capaldi's portrayal of him. I never thought I could love another doctor like David Tennent, but I DO!

How to Get Away with Murder (Thriller-Drama)

Love this show. And it's a different flavor than a lot of my list. Viola Davis is brilliant and I love the kid who was Dean Thomas in the Harry Potter movies.

Arrow (Comic-based, Superhero)

I have loved this as my only comic book show and am slightly worried what will happen as it gets more intertwined with The Flash which does nothing for me. I sort of miss the days when it was just Oliver, Diggle and Felicity. Now everyone is a superhero. That said, this season has a couple promising details, so I will keep watching.

Homeland (Thriller-Political)

I watch this with my neighbors and LOVED the first three seasons. I'm hoping it finds its footing again—there are only so many ways Kari can go crazy or she and Saul can be mad at each other. But I will keep going, as I like the social time and it is usually pretty decent.

Honorable mentions for Castle, Bones, and Once Upon a Time, all of which I watch, but none of them urgently—I will wait until there is a whole in my schedule, possibly even post season

Just Starting

Blindspot (Thriller-Crime)

Billed as a female Jason Bourne... a woman is found naked in a duffel bag in Central Park, totally tattooed and with no memory. Turns out each tattoo is a clue for a crime that is going to be committed... It is heart pounding and I like the characters. A little worried they are going to solve each tattoo puzzle right on time with strains my disbelief but so far it has been great.

Quantico (Thriller)

This one is time jumpy, so we both began the training season with the entering cohort at Quantico AND see 8 months later as one of the women in the class is accused (framed?) for blowing up a building. I suspect as we go through the training with her, we will WITH HER spot the clues she needs about her classmates (one of whom actually did this). It's a nice set-up, actually. A book could be set up this way and work well.

Minority Report (Sci-Fi (2058 is the year, I think)-Crime)

So several years ago three children with the ability to see the future (crimes in the future—they are called Pre-Cogs) are used by the government to stop terrible crimes before they happen (and arrest people before they've done anything wrong). But the kids were prisoners, held in a milk bath because it acted as a conduit to help their visions coordinate. It is eventually learned sometimes their visions DON'T line up—two agree, one doesn't (The Minority Report). It suggests the future is not always set and some of the people may have been imprisoned who didn't need to be... The children are let go to a private place where they can't pick up visions because they are so nearly alone... and for years it's fine. Flash forward a dozen years and one of them, Dash, feels the urge to do something good—to help. So he shares some of what he sees with a cop and a sort of partnership is formed... but not without complications.

Bastard Executioner

This is historical fiction... some minor fantasy-ish elements (a woman called a witch who is a healer but gets some visions and some prophetic dreams). It is set in Wales at the time of William II. The King is weak and allows first a Baron, then an advisor, abuse the Welsh Village. During one of the Baron's raids the MC has most of his village (including his pregnant wife) murdered. The MC though, is healed by the witch and given a scar to disguise him as an executioner for the area. The executioner was cruel so his wife goes along with the story and he begins integrating with the village, befriending the Baroness... It is political intrigue and interpersonal drama... people forcing others to do things they would otherwise not through blackmail... that sort of thing...

So are you sucked into any TV distractions this season?

Wednesday, October 7, 2015


Halo, fine peoples! And welcome to first Wednesday, which is the monthly meeting of the Insecure Writers Support Group.

So I've blogged a lot recently about trying to get my writing mojo back in line. And I am making progress. But there is an elephant in the room... one that knocked me off that pony to begin with. I really suck at promoting myself. Part of it is I hate it, so I have not had the discipline to make myself learn to do it.

But see a couple of my beloved writer friends have invited me into their ranks for some cross-promoting, collective projecting, building platformy, learning, doing quality stuff. But I totally feel out of my league. They a OODLES of books each. I have six and three of them are really part of one big one. I haven't published ANYTHING in 2015 because I got knocked off that pony in January and proceeded to spend the next six months with my arms over my head trying not to get kicked.

These ladies have NETWORKS and SYSTEMS and they talk about stuff that blows me away. I'm like “Wait, whut?” I've never put together a real promotion package. I don't have graphics skills so I don't all the brilliant stuff to go with promoting. I mean I have a couple buddies who've helped but I only feel like I can ask so much for free and since I've made all of about $40 with A Shot in the Light (Actually I've lost money as I paid for editing)

So where to I find the gumption to learn to do this stuff I don't really even want to know how to do but know I need to do? I really really don't want to let these ladies down but right now there is such a large pile to learn that I feel overwhelmed and can't even make myself start...

If it were you, what would you learn first? What is the single best thing you learned how to do in the pool of bizillions of things we are meant to learn?

Thanks in advance if you can help!!!

And don't forget to go visit some other insecure writers today!!!

Monday, October 5, 2015


So a video went around recently of the Portland flame bagpipe player balancing on a ball while he played and it got me to thinking about my childhood. I never managed to walk on a ball because that is like three-dimensional balance, but my dad worked at a hardware store (owned it for a while) and would bring home these spools for cable and rope, and my friends and I would race on them.

Like this, only smaller (usually--I did use one of these sometimes)
We would set up obstacle courses in my basement where we couldn't touch the floor, walking on these from sofa to fireplace mantle to chair.

Outside our driveway was lined with river rock, cemented in to form a jagged spiky barrier between cement and grass, so that too, I would walk, poised on the points—some of them with no reasonable surface, others large enough to stop and make sure my balance was in place. When I reached the fence I'd then traverse that.
One of these--simple design

So I'd climb from rocks to the fence, walking on the lower with the upper between my knees for balance, but in some spots either the upper or lower was gone so I needed to balance across. Some of the planks were pretty wobbly in there...

It's not shocking that by junior high the balance beam came naturally to me. In fact for years I prided myself on superior balance. But as I age and my muscles tighten and my weight shifts it doesn't come nearly so easily as it once did.

How Does that Apply to Writing?

I think the practice practice practice lesson is incredibly applicable. If we want to be balanced and poised and not look like a fool sprawled on the floor then we need to keep in practice. Some of us will have more natural balance than others, but we can all do it if we work at it enough. But I think the tight muscles thing applies, too. If you do the SAME THING all the time it will start to pull you out of alignment. So even if you aren't ever going to PUBLISH in another genre, maybe give yourself some fun exercises once in a while.

With that in mind, I've decided I want to, in my “non-writing months” (when I'm editing, which is usually 9 months of the year) I am going to additionally write a short story in an off genre. I may or may not submit these. Probably depends on how they come out. But I really am in need of some regular stretching. That said, after the entry for the Insecure Speculative Anthology, I saw a submission request for WITCH stories. So I think I will try one of those (I have a couple witch ideas in my idea file). The deadline is November 30 if anyone else is interested.

So back on the spool, my friends!

What do all of you do to stay nimble as writers (or whatever your preferred art)?

Monday, September 28, 2015

Trying a New Genre

So in case you haven't heard, the Insecure Authors Support Group is putting together an anthology... a contest of sorts. There is more than a month to the deadline and if you want to participate, there is still time. Ten stories will be chosen from those submitted and will go in the anthology. The TOP story will get a badge and the priviledge of naming the book...

The thing is... it's speculative fiction. Which I've never written. I've never thought I had quite the imagination for these alternative worlds sorts of stories. But I just finished an edit and had six weeks until NaNoWri Mo so it's not time to take on a BIG project, so I thought... what the heck? I can write a short(ish) story in 6 weeks... (if I ignore the fact I always say I can't write short stories at all)

And you know what? I'm having a ball. I picked my point(s) in history I wanted changed (one theme, but a series of things had to not happen) and what do you know. It lined itself up nicely with my favorite villain(s).

My point of telling you all this is that I think it can be good for us to push out of our comfort zone. Write something you've never written and even if it isn't any good, you've STILL had a good exercise. I'm hoping my story will be good. Even if it doesn't make it into the anthology, I may try it out in another publication. I only have very few short stories out there, so even THAT is new for me.

Do you try new things now and then? What's the next think you're going to try?

Monday, September 21, 2015

Sexy Monday

I know. Not normally the first think you think of, but I have two good friends with book releases today, both of them pretty sexy... all four of them? Both authors and both books? A whole bunch of sexy going on in any case.

These two ladies are family, in that way writers that help each other out a lot are family, and so if you like a sexy read, I hope you'll give em a look.

I will throw out an R-language rating, since I usually stick to PG around here. If you don't want to see it, look at the pictures and read MY words.

Vagabond: On the Road by Jade Jamison
(book 2 of series, best read in order)

All that glitters isn’t gold. Sometimes it’s plastic.

Kyle Summers hits the road with her band the Vagabonds, living the dream. Five young women are tossed into the limelight with little supervision, seemingly left to the wolves. Kyle is driven and headstrong, and—while she enjoys the temptations of sex and drugs on the road—music always comes first. In spite of her friends crumbling under the pressure and lack of support, the Vagabonds become a household name and enjoy success not experienced by people far beyond their years.

But Kyle realizes two things—one is that her relationships are hollow without love, but she and CJ, her main love interest, are only on-again, off-again at best, leaving her feeling unfulfilled. The second is that Kyle quickly grows weary of dealing with egos and prima donnas, and she feels helpless while watching her band fall apart.

Can she save her band—and her relationship with CJ—or will she end up alone and forgotten?

Vagabonds follows one young woman’s rise to fame past the pitfalls of sex, drugs, and easy money, through fortune and success to heartbreak and betrayal. Five girls build their band the Vagabonds from nothing but a hunger to create and quickly find that they are nothing but pawns in a larger game played by managers, agents, the press, the music industry, and all manner of unscrupulous, greedy people who want to feed on their triumphs. Friendships and lives hang in the balance. Who will survive?

Amazon UK: 

House of Payne: Rude (book 4) by Stacy Gail

(confirmed in spite of being book 4, these can be read out of order and only 99 cents!)

The Last Thing She Wanted…
From the moment Sass Stone overheard her social worker call her “broken,” she’s been hell-bent on proving her wrong. A broken woman doesn't have a posse of kickass friends, a foodie lover’s dream job and a string of pretty boys she enjoys playing with. Sure, she has scars, but they’re buried so far down no one even knows they’re there. Certainly her former foster brother, Rudolfo Panuzzi doesn’t know about them. The man she’d dubbed “Rude” could sniff around all he wanted, but it wasn’t going to get him anywhere. He’d never get inside—her pants, or her heart.

…Was The One Thing She Needed
A dozen years and several combat tours in the Marines has a way of maturing a man, and Rude is no exception. His last mission killed his closest friends and almost killed him, leaving him with wounds on both body and soul. When he looks in the mirror, the haunted eyes staring back remind him far too much of his sexy little foster sister, Sass. That’s when he knows there’s more to her than he ever imagined… and he’s imagined one hell of a lot.

When Want And Need Collide
One by one, Rude destroys the defenses that have kept Sass locked inside herself. But even as she reluctantly allows him to coax her out of her shell, a dark cloud casts its shadow on their world. Is it something from his past… or hers? 

Facebook Author Page:

****Stacy is doing a Release Day Blitz with Give Me Books on the 24th, and I'll have a giveaway that starts then and goes through the 30th.****

GIVEAWAY: Rafflecopter giveaway of a $20 Amazon GC, a $10 Amazon GC and a $5 Amazon GC. From 9/24/15 to 9/30/15.
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Your Daily Digression: Self Help at its Zaniest

Need a little help being sillier? Is life a bunch of stern looks and red tape? Well I have the book for YOU! Or I will, a year from Christmas...

My Digressionista is a giraffe
See, I've had this idea for quite a while... know those calendars with a little inspirational quote every day? Something like THAT, but digressions... thinks or acts to make life a little more random, though not random in the mathematical sense, because all said, in a year of randomness, you are likely to end up with the same thing several times if it were truly random... random including some repetition and all... but I digress! (see how I did that)


ANYWAY... with my other writing and my LIFE interferences (gads, I hate that) I've decided the only way I'm really going to get this written is if I write ONE digression each day. Then I will finish in a year, just in time to format and get it ready for Christmas (which means it needs to be a 2017 calendar, yes?

Giraffe-necked weevil. Not nearly so cute as a giraffe.
BUT... (this is the part where some of you might be able to help me) it's be really cool if there were some art, yes? Photos or drawings or ink blots or some combination of the above? And IS THERE anywhere to produce something like this Indie, or should I start bundling this as a proposal for some publishing company? Who does this sort of thing? (and if I'm going that way, should I be thinking about a 2020 calendar #commentaryonthespeedofpublishing

Anything anybody knows about anything like this would be amazingly helpful.

And the OTHER One.

So I should finish the final (of this round) spit polish of Also Appearing tomorrow...

Here's the pitch at its draftiest:

Leia Clarence feels like an extra in her own life. A bystander. A bit part. An “Also Appearing”. Her friends and older sister have social skills she can barely understand, let alone display. To compound matters, her parents are relegating her to a summer at the lake, away from her friends, with poor internet and cell phone connections and no way to keep track of the social scene back home. It's going to be the worst summer ever.

Until she meets a cute guy who lives at the lake year-round. Trey is mischievous, charming and hot. And the crazy thing is he seems to like her, too. Not her friends. Not her sister. Her. She isn't a shadow, but the focus of his attention and affections. For the first time ever she has a starring role in her own life. At least until something goes wrong.

Back at home she tries to recapture that feeling of mattering, of being somebody, but it seems easier to just numb the fact that she doesn't. Alcohol, drug experimentation, and a different sort of boy all fail. Is there anything Leia can do to grab back that leading role, or better yet, write the script for her own life?

Also Appearing, at 59,000 words, is a contemporary young adult novel about a girl's struggle to break expectations that her friends have and to find an identity that not only fits, but allows her to soar.

I would LOVE LOVE LOVE feedback on this, especially if this is a genre you read or write in. And IFF anyone is honestly interested, I am looking for a couple second round readers.

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

And So It Begins

I normally like beginnings, and historically the start of the school year is one of my favorites, but I am feeling a bit melancholy this time around. Thing 2 is a senior in high school, so it is my LAST start of school for one of my kids... and it is the start of the University school year, too, and my day job is so much busier when the students are present.

But in the spirit of having a better attitude, I am hoping to approach all this like it's a good thing. A chance to start fresh, reset my goals that thus far this year have been sorely missed...

Also Appearing

I think this is the only thing I've actually managed this year. I finished my edit Saturday. I am going to give it ONE MORE read to make sure there aren't any editing scars and then it is ready for my 2nd reader(s).

What That MEANS

It means I have 8 weeks until NaNoWriMo which is time to do TWO things:

1)  Edit one fairly done story
2)  And PLOT my NaNoProject

But What To Edit...

I think I am going to take a stab at Medium Wrong. I could do Kahlotus Disposal Site, but that has a different sort of problem than I feel currently equipped to deal with. Medium Wrong I think I can do... My goal is perhaps a “more or less” one... There is a paranormal element that I tried to keep very light, but I think I need to commit or tamp it down or it ends up deus ex machina. Committing would mean more clues or evidence Amanda has some sort of visions thing that she is capable of, the tamping would give her real ways of knowing stuff... I think the former works better.

As for My NaNo Project, I think I am going with a mystery. I still need to find my niche here. I want SO BADLY to walk the line BETWEEN cozy and actual dark mystery. I don't want humorless or just typical whodunnits. I want dark crime that affects real characters, but I want some of those characters to have tics and snark. I WILL do it!!! But I think I need to flesh out my characters better before I start and then I think I want to diagram the main murder plot. It is what I did for my cozy series and it helps me to not sort of get off pace or give too much away right up front.

So that is the rest of 2015 for me...

As for NON-Writing Goals for the rest of the year...

Um... wait, what? I really should have some fitness goals. I know I should... I think what I can commit to is some strength training and stretching stuff (I already walk a ton). And I should make some eating attempts, but I'm not convinced I will do a lot... Life is too full...

What about you? Do you have things you are trying to wind up in the four months left in 2015?

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

12 Steps for Writers

This is an Insecure Post

[This post is ALSO meant to be lighthearted and fun and in no way diminish the important role the AA 12 Steps play in the lives of many. I have loved ones alive because of them, so no disrespect intended]

1.  We admit we are powerless over the publishing industry. That it was making our lives unmanageable. 
2.  We came to believe a calling greater than publishing could restore us to sanity. 
3.  We made a decision to be true to our inner writer and turn our lives over to the writer we could be. 
4.  We made a fearless searching inventory of the mistakes we were making in both writing and publishing. 
5.   We admitted to our inner writer and our blog rolls the exact nature of our wrongs. 
6.  We were entirely ready to turn our inner writer over to a writing improvement process. 
7.  We humbly asked peers and beta readers to give us honest feedback and where we fell deficient committed to workshops and exercises to improve. 
8.  We made a list of all the idiot things we'd done in futile attempts at publishing and became willing to learn from them. 
9.  We erased evidence from the internet wherever possible and outed ourselves where it wasn't so we could at least claim to know better now. 
10.  We continued to take personal inventory and when we made mistakes, admitted and fixed them. 
11.  We sought through writing words and sentences and stories to improve our inner writer, making a conscious effort to be our best writer self, each day better than the day before. 
12.Having a writerly awakening because of these steps we carried them forth to other writers.

Don't worry about the publishing. Worry about the writing. The rest will come.

So there... a little goofy, but it occurred to me last night that what has been very hardest on my love of writing and has dampened my drive and my work ethic about it is my pursuit of publishing. I mean I want to publish. But I want to love writing more, and I think I write better when I let go a bit of what I think will sell, because apparently I know nothing.

Now go visit some OTHER insecure writers!!!

Monday, August 31, 2015

The Crack of Writing

And I don't mean butt crack.

I woke up yesterday... sort of... I actually lay in bed about 90 minute half asleep half awake with various ideas infusing my consciousness... I finished the season's True Detective the night before, so there was that... and I've been watching the Walking Dead, so there was a bit of that... a lot of escaping bizarre things, but I had enough awakeness to stop the action and go back and revise if something looked to dire. Lucid dreams... though I can't do that in a full sleep—only in a half-one. But I woke up with a truly great series idea... I'm very excited.

Now if you've been around, you know me and ideas... I have to let them stew a good long time before they are ready to expose to the light, but I tried to write down enough that I won't lose it all... enough to add to as things wind together. I am calling it the Armageddon Games. That is all I will say on the matter.

What I can say though, is that THIS is my favorite thing about writing. These shiny new ideas and the work of planning out a book from them. The actual writing I love, but I have lost some confidence on that part, so it feels harder than it used to. Editing too. But man the ideas are sure fun. I have a fairly large Excel file of ideas. I will never manage to write them all, but if I've lost steam, this is like a jump start. Actually got back to the editing I've been meaning to be working on all month last night.

Now if I could just have someone volunteer to shop and cook, and someone else to clean... then I'd be back on track.

In Other News:

Driver's license day
Samories, Volume 1

(Sam Memories, that is) My son begins his LAST week of summer vacation as a high school student this week. Last week he registered and yesterday I made him fill out a lot of silly long-shot scholarship forms (they are mostly lottery things, but somebody has to win, right?). I have tried to reinforce that college applications THIS week will be easier than they will after school starts.

He is applying to five schools—three in Michigan, my alma mater (Oregon) and our long shot (Stanford). The latter two would require incredible scholarships, but you never know unless you try, eh? His ACT scores were really strong.

I start to worry here, too. He is sometimes wise, sometimes impulsive, but a year from now, leaving for college, he will not be an adult as most of his peers are. He is sixteen right now. I'm not sure what that means except I think every year at that age is HUGE for maturing a bit more, so he will be 6-12 months behind most of his peers. He's only had his driver's license a few weeks.

At the same time, college was my very favorite time, so I am excited for him to have it on the horizon.

Friday, August 28, 2015

There's No Accounting For Taste. Thank Goodness.


Well first, let me give you a little background.

See, I am watching Season 2 of True Detective and a lot of people I've talked to (or read reviews from) really didn't like it. Know what? I LOVE it. I think it's fantastic TV. It's a little subtler than Season 1. And there are a lot more characters to keep track of and some people don't like that. I'm not sure if it is because it complicates it and some people LIKE complicated (*raises hand*) and some don't. Or if it is that the real estate fraud is harder to wrap the mind around than serial killer? Whatever the case. I think it's fantastic.

Know what else I've been doing? Obsessing about Song of Ice and Fire/Game of Thrones... and the more I discuss this with many people, the more I see how SOME people love this character, and SOME people love THAT character. But more than that, SOME characters are loved by some and hated by others (and I'm not just referring to the sickos who love Ramsay Snow (because there are some). I mean legitimate normal people... Take Daenarys... My neighbor HATES her. She is my daughter's very favorite character. Me? I'm capable of more subtlety than that and can like her and still see her flaws.

Remember Harry Potter? Did you ever get in enormous debates about Snape? I was involved in truly passionate conversations where people deeply held beliefs about him, all based on the exact same material.

What This MEANS to me...

Every reader, watcher, player, consumer brings their whole self to their experience and so what they see or read or hear is filtered through that and every last once of us has a different experience. It can cause some people to like absolute drivel like The Bachelor (yes, I'm judging). And it can cause others (sometimes reasonably, in the case of people who can't tolerate violence) to hate a masterpiece like Game of Thrones. My buddy Joris isn't interested because he likes his favorite characters to live and it's a fair point.

I think this is all FABULOUS. Why?

Because it is incredible, as a writer, to think I might be part of something so interactive like that. That I can feed one side of the equations and a thousand people can turn it into a thousand things but I was part of ALL of those things...

And ALSO because we ALL create different stuff, and the fact we all bring something different means we all have different preferences, which means there is a market for just about anything. (if we can find them, anyway)

So there.

Do you have any favorites you feel unfairly get the shaft? Any truly popular books or shows that you can't seem to get into?