Sunday, October 31, 2021

Saturday, October 30, 2021

October Words of Wisdom

A perfect meal is a perfect confluence of other forces. It's the right smells in the air, it's who your eating with, it's the colors, it's everything. It's the particular needs and feelings that you might have brought to that particular time and place. --Anthony Bourdain

Every day I wake up and make the decision I'm going to be happy. Yes, every day. Some days are harder than others. But that's okay. --Unknown
A cloudy day is no match for a sunny disposition. --William Arthur Ward
Find a place to be where what's wrong is not the topic of conversation. Step away from the haze of negativity and soak up what is good and right and beautiful. --Brooke Hampton 
Once your intention is set for positive change, it is difficult to make choices that go against your highest good. --Collette O'Mahony 
Almost everything will work again if you unplug it for a few minutes, including you. --Anne Lamott
I never had to unscrew another person's light bulb in order for me to shine. --Unknown 

Be brave. Do something. --James O'Keefe

No legacy is so rich as honesty. --William Shakespeare
Truth is not what you want it to be; it is what it is, and you must bend to its power or live a lie. --Miyamoto Musashi

If you do not tell the truth about yourself you cannot tell it about other people. --Virginia Woolf

An apology without changed behavior is just manipulation. --Unknown 

There are few things more dishonorable than misleading the young. --Thomas Sowell
I am no bird, and no net ensnares me. I am a free human being with an independent will. --Charlotte Bronte
I loved being in my own head so much, it was getting harder and harder being with other people. --Marian Keyes
Editing is not a singular process but the Swiss Army knife of creative tools. --Kris Spisak 

Look. I don't belong. It's fine. I was born on the outside looking in. --Sarah Maria
There is nothing I enjoy more than minding my own business, finding new ways to grow, and thriving in silence. You say antisocial, I say at peace. --Unknown 

I'm hitting a new level of not giving a fuck. It's honestly inspiring. --Unknown
Once you master self-control and detachment, nobody can faze you. --Unknown

Anything you lose by being honest, you never really had to begin with. --Jessica Lanyadoo

Give it time. The weak in character always get tired of pretending. Their true Colors will show. --Steve Maraboli
Nothing feels better to a coward than to watch a brave guy fall. --Dave Chappelle
A wise man once said, "Bees don't waste their time explaining to flies that honey is better than shit." --Unknown

When a horse greets you with a nicker and regards you with a large and liquid eye, the question of where you want to be has been answered. --Unknown

The time has come to rein in the federal government, put it on a crash diet, and let the people keep their money and their liberty. --Ron Paul

Most of the horrors of the 20th century - of which there were many - would not have been possible without demagoguery or misleading propaganda. --Thomas Sowell
You cannot screw up a country this bad in seven months unless it's on purpose. --Jordan Rachel 

The most dangerous person is the one who listens, thinks and observes. --Bruce Lee
Tell me what's "diverse" and "inclusive" about having a bunch of people who must have the same beliefs about everything because daring to think different means being cast out. --Kory Yeshua
Our culture has accepted two huge lies. The first is that if you disagree with someone's lifestyle, you must fear or hate them. The second is that to love someone means you agree with everything they believe, say or do. Both are nonsense. You don't have to compromise convictions to be compassionate. --Dave Chappelle
One has a moral responsibility to disobey unjust laws. --Martin Luther King, Jr. 

Stand alone if you must. But you must stand. --Unknown
Clowns can get away with murder. --John Wayne Gacy

Wednesday, October 27, 2021

Here comes NaNoWriMo!!!

I was inspired to do NaNo (National Novel Writing Month) this year after being in a write-in a few weeks ago sponsored by Sisters in Crime, which also started co-sponsoring NaNo a few years ago. I hadn't been planning on doing it, but one of the moderators mentioned that she was using the write-in to do prep for NaNo. That made the decision for me. My writing has been sporadic this year, even after the move back to the beach - lots of ideas and notes, not so much finished product or submissions - so I'm viewing NaNo as a much-needed kick in the rear to get back on track.

I'm also working on a brand new project instead of trying to resurrect old, partially written ideas. Not that I don't have faith in those, but I think that doing something brand new with no history or baggage is a different way for me to approach NaNo, which I've tried in the past but never finished. In fact, I'm making a point of not touching it until November 1 so that it's brand spanking new right out of the gate.

Sisters in Crime is holding a bunch of online events throughout November to support members doing NaNo, and I'm going to try and participate in as many as possible. 

If you're doing NaNo, I wish you all the best of luck. The goal is 50k words in the month of November. That works out to about 1,667 words per day, every day. Monday's the big day! See you there!

Tuesday, October 26, 2021

LOL Dadz

Found this on Amazon while looking for something else. I would have LOVED to have given this to my Dad as a gift. Eh, Dad? 😂

Monday, October 25, 2021

Recent reading: "Verity"

Verity by Colleen Hoover

This was on a list of recommended books that popped up on my social media a few weeks back and boy, am I glad it did. Verity is a mind-bending story of a struggling writer who has what appears to be a sweet deal fall into her lap when she is asked to continue a best-selling series of books whose author has been left permanently disabled.
Lowen Ashleigh is offered a most unusual book deal. A car accident has left best-selling author Verity Crawford in a vegetative state, but her publisher would like the final three books of her lucrative series ghost-written and despite some misgivings there's no way the cash-strapped author can reject the massive payday.

While going through Verity's office Lowen stumbles across a manuscript that turns out to be not her next novel, but a secret autobiography. And it is dreadful - Verity is a psycho obsessed with her husband Jeremy to the point where she resents their children, who she sees as interfering with their relationship. The Crawford's had been haunted by bad luck - even before Verity's car accident, their twin daughters had died in separate incidents. As Lowen works her way through the the manuscript, she's shocked by Verity's bizarre distaste of motherhood and the terrible things she's willing to do to her children. In addition, Lowen begins to suspect that Verity isn't as disabled as everyone thinks, a belief that increases as Lowen and Jeremy act on their attraction to each other.

I have a fascination with people who are manipulators and reading Verity's horrifying tale is like being able to observe a master manipulator in action from the safety of it being a work of fiction. On top of that there's a devastating twist ending that will leave you wondering if Verity was really the monster portrayed in her autobiography.

Hoover is a multiple New York Times bestselling author and I'm looking forward to reading more of her books. This one is highly recommended.

Tuesday, October 19, 2021

If only it was an actual option

 Start packing.

Sunday, October 17, 2021

More on Captain Kirk in space

Honestly, I thought this thing would be a little more meme-worthy. So far I've only found three:

Gotta say, I'm disappointed that I haven't seen one incorporating redshirts. You know, these guys:

Saturday, October 16, 2021

Words of Wisdom from a couple of old guys, and dumb words from another old guy

A couple of things...
First off, here's a great article from Airplane! co-creator David Zucker on the sad state of the entertainment industry kowtowing to a small minority of shrill, humorless keyboard warriors: 'Airplane' creator slams joy-killing threat: 'Twitter 9 percent'. Also, does he sound like a cool dad or what?
Julie Hagerty has the greatest hair ever in this film.
So jealous.
There's also a link to an article about HBO Max putting a "warning" in front of their airings of the classic comedy Blazing Saddles. I couldn't bring myself to waste brain cells reading that one since I know it's going to be painfully lame and probably annoyingly hectoring as well. Just hearing about the "warning" made me flash back to the condescending warnings on the Looney Tunes DVDs. You mean ethnic and racial stereotypes are bad? Gee, thanks for the enlightenment, Warner Bros.! I had no idea. Seriously, if you have to be told that, much less lectured, maybe you shouldn't be trying to operate a DVD player. Also, I'm never a fan of being talked down to, especially as a consumer, so there's that as well.
Like many fans who grew up on Looney Tunes, I know the difference between cartoons and real life, I understand that society has changed over the years and decades and I understand that works of art created in different era will reflect the values and attitudes of those eras. It's not rocket science.
Speaking of rockets, William Shatner, Captain James Tiberius Kirk himself, blasted off into space earlier this week and by all accounts had, well, a blast. From the linked article:
The actor grew emotional and was occasionally at a loss for words describing the flight to the man who made it possible.
"It was so moving to me," Shatner said. "This experience is something unbelievable."
He said that he was overwhelmed, and that Bezos has given him the most profound experience he can imagine. "I'm so filled with emotion about what just's extraordinary," he told Bezos.
"I hope I never recover from this. I hope that I can maintain what I feel now," he said. "I don't want to lose it."
Do read the whole article and play the video of Shatner reacting to the flight. It's priceless how blown away he was by the experience. I thought he did a pretty good idea of articulating his thoughts, given the mind-boggling circumstances.
When his Star Trek costar George Takei was asked for comment, for some dumbass reason known only to him, he felt the need to piss on Shatner's parade, making these comments (bold mine):
"He's boldly going where other people have gone before," snarked Takei, 84, to Page Six when asked about Shatner making history as the oldest person to ever go to space.
"He's a guinea pig, 90 years old and it's import to find out what happens," Takei added while at the opening of "Thoughts of a Colored Man" on Wednesday night.
"So 90 years old is going to show a great deal more on the wear and tear on the human body, so he'll be a good specimen to study. Although he's not the fittest specimen of 90 years old, so he'll be a specimen that's unfit!
Imagine that. A 90-year-old guy who isn't "the fittest specimen". The 84-year-old Takei on the other hand sounds like a petty teenage girl snarking on the popular girl and thinking she's oh-so-clever but actually sounds like an idiot. Sure, Shatner may be a little on the beefy side but at least he's not a jealous, petty little bitch. Whatever, Sulu.

Apparently Shatner was going to let it go, but was encouraged to respond, so he took to Twitter (as one does these days) and this is what he had to say about that:

There were some great reactions to his statement:

And that's enough entertainment news for today, I hope.

Saturday, October 9, 2021

Recent reading: "Avenging Angelenos"

Edited by Sarah M. Chen, Wrona Gall and Pamela Samuels Young)

This is my most recent publication, containing the story "Christine Thirteen".

Avenging Angelenos is a really strong collection of tales of vengeance in the City of Angels. Props to my fellow authors. It's always fascinating how different writers are given the same set of instructions and can come up with such different stories. There's no way I could pick just one as a favorite, but "The Ink Well" (historical), "Avenging Superheroes" (real-life superheroes!) and "Funeral Games" (dark humor) are pretty much my top three. "The Ink Well" and "Manny's Angel" had good twist endings that I did not see coming at all. 

There's also a really nice introduction by Frankie Y. Bailey that was of particular interest to me because it's the first time that I've been published where the intro discussed each story. In the other three anthologies I've been published in, the intro focused on overall theme and didn't address the individual stories. There's also an epilogue with the editors discussing their experience selecting the stories and going through the editing process with the writers. 

I have to say I'm really pleased to have a story included in this anthology, and I'm looking forward to the call for submissions for the next SinC/LA volume.


Friday, October 8, 2021

Happy 81st, Dad

Today would have been my Dad's 81st birthday. Scenes from a life:


Thursday, October 7, 2021

Wednesday, October 6, 2021

"Your papers please, Miss Betzler..."

Every time I see another news story about a vaccine "passport" being required for admittance, I hear Sam Rockwell's German-accented voice saying that line from JoJo Rabbit. Which is why I found this amusing in a warped sort of way:

Yeah, I don't recognize this country anymore either. 

Speaking of Nazis, even Hitler couldn't turn his people into compliant sheep in only a year and a half. Kristallnacht, viewed as a prelude to the Holocaust, occurred in 1938, with the Holocaust itself not beginning until 1941. Looks like congratulations are in order for our political overlords. They herded us up and crushed our will in record time. Well played, you evil bastards. History will judge you and all that.


Tuesday, October 5, 2021

Scenes from a storm from my balcony

So Southern California got a little weather yesterday evening.
At first I thought I was hearing my upstairs neighbors opening and closing their sliding glass door repeatedly, because it makes a loud, rumbling sound. But after it went on a while I started wondering why they were doing it so much, and then I discovered I was hearing thunder. Then I noticed a quick flash and realized we were in the midst of a storm. 
And what a storm. I haven't seen one like this one and that went on for so long here in years. It was kind of fun, actually.

After the storm passed over us, the skies were beautiful!

Later that night, there was still lightning off to the west, over the ocean. Sophie and I went back out and hung out awhile.

Monday, October 4, 2021

RIP to a ray

Strolling by the channel this morning and something caught my eye:

 I looked closer and...

You can barely see it in the picture but I could see the mouth, so there was no doubt what I was looking at - a dead ray. Stingray? Manta ray? I have no idea. I didn't even know we had them around here. This is the first one I've seen.
A few boats went by and I thought the wake might dislodge him from the rocks, but I guess the waves weren't strong enough.

Rest in peace, little critter.

Saturday, October 2, 2021

I'm listening to the new "Dexter" podcast as I blog this

The first episode of the new Dexter podcast is up, and yesterday Showtime released key art for the new season. Long time no spree!!!

November 7, people.