Musings in the Dark: 2013



So for the past few weeks, I have not been able to access my blog for really stupid reasons. It was frustrating because I had some time off and wanted to do a little blogging and storytelling, as well as my NYE wrap-up. But anyway, all that tomfoolery is over.  My new domain is Save it, bookmark it, note it for future reference. 

New Year's Eve Wrap-Up coming soon!!!


This Thing I Hate

Y’all know I take the craft of writing seriously.  It is my default setting, my first job, the thing I’ll do whether I get paid for it or not.  It is not something I fuck around with.  Whenever the muse graces me, I respect and cherish her.  Members of my creative network do likewise with their gifts and their muses.  We do what we have to do to nurture our creative spirits because we’d rather be writing than anything else.

Noob and I had a conversation recently where she described such a situation, and the “author” told FB that “the novel’s done.”  Curious, Noob went to look and discovered that said “novel” was actually a short story, and it was for sale on Amazon for $2 or $3.  And apparently, the topic is one I’d consider to be weighty, but the writer of this…pamphlet…clearly didn’t treat it as such.  Noob cracked up laughing, and when she told me, I was offended…and I do not offend easily.

Note:  Any real writer knows that a novel is at least 50,000 words.


Reading...and Then Some

It’s been forever since I’ve written anything of significance.  Moving abroad is no joke, y’all.  You have to be ready for anything, and I’m blessed to be able to say that I was and am.  Everything moves at a much faster pace than I’m used to, and it is taking me some time to adjust. 

One thing I am trying to do again is read, and I mean for pleasure.  I spent a very long time reading nothing but articles, research, papers, technical books, manuals, and stuff of that nature as it related to my education.  There was little time for pleasure reading, unless it was the latest SK novel.  But in the last few years, I wasn’t even able to do that because I was so consumed with my research.  I brought a box of books with me and of course, my Kindle.  But, as weird as it sounds, it is hard for me to start reading again.  And I used to read a book a day.  But this was before my life got complicated.  So now, it is a struggle to actually sit and read.  Maybe it’s because of my new, fast-paced life, but who knows.


Technical Difficulties

Fans of the Dark...

Lately I have been having technical difficulties with Blogger and living in a place where one needs a VPN in order to surf the web.  The point of the latter half of the above statement is that the VPNs only work when you can stay a step or two ahead of this particular government.  They are constantly locking down and it can be frustrating as hell.

Good news though: The re-release of Tainted is back on schedule.  I thought that, with my sudden major life adjustment, that all of my novel-writing efforts wouldn't resurface until next damn summer. I was lamenting the loss of time because y'all all know that Blade Dancer and Nightingales: CRASH!!! shoulda been published.


Fic Update: Forever, in the Night

"The bar was called A’nesh, and it was run by a Kathogean bartender known for his potent mixmaster skills.  Riddick perched on a stool, nursing a spicy, bubbling purple concoction known as a Mahd Dahsh.  He had already secured accommodations for the night and was on the lookout for someone interesting.  He wanted a good hard fuck before getting some real sleep in a real bed.  Tomorrow, he’d get the hell on.

But he was curious. He couldn’t help it.  Something about the events surrounding the jacking of Rocsi’s ship just didn’t sit well with him.  Perhaps it was the stirrings of the soul Fry’s untimely death had awakened in him.  Perhaps he had a deeper yearning that he didn’t want to recognize, but would be forced to acknowledge.  Either way, seeing Rocsi unconscious with her pretty face bandaged was more than enough to occupy his mind even as a woman occupied the seat next to him.  Riddick checked her out.  She was built in all the right places and had a cute little mouth…and her scent was practically a billboard.  He nodded, acknowledging her.  The second objective would be met, and that right soon."

Read more here...

A/N:  Speak, Muse...speak to me.  Please.


Fic Update: Who's Lovin' You?

"She fell ass over tit in love with him, then grabbed him by the balls and took him with her into the vortex.  There was no talking to her after that.  She did do me the courtesy of not bringing up her illicit affair whenever we spoke, but I knew enough by her demeanor and spirit that their relationship changed for the worse (as far as I’m concerned) after she published her latest Lecterphile fanfic.  “Vows,” I think it was called…but shortly after that hit the communities she was a member of, she and Patrick became intimate.   I had to ask that question because I had to know how it was.  It couldn’t be helped; he was 22 years older than her!"

Read more here...


Fic Update: Who's Lovin' You?

"My husband is 59 years old, and he’s always been a very mild-mannered man.  He doesn’t do rash things.  He doesn’t overreact.   He isn’t passionate about anything except his work, and even that doesn’t send him over the edge.  He doesn’t fly off the handle and doesn’t throw a tantrum when he doesn’t get his way.  I love him for his ability to be steady, to be a port in a storm, to be bedrock in all things.  I didn’t appreciate that ability when we were first married, and was frustrated that my mild-mannered military man lacked the zeal of other paramours.  Being young, I thought that vivid exhibits of exuberance and continuous chants of wonderful words and silky sentences were equivalent to love.  Among my friends, I’ve seen those displays of devotion and heated words of love turn to ash and drift away.  I’ve been a shoulder to many women whose marriages have failed for whatever reason, and I learned to appreciate who Patrick is.

Maybe I took it all for granted.  Maybe because we’d known each other since third grade, there was no need for the peacock feathers.  Maybe because I believed that Patrick was incapable of passion, I never had any reason to worry about him."

Read more here...

A/N:  I certainly hope this burst of creative activity will lend itself to an unfinished fic, or heaven forbid, book 2 of Nightingales or Blade Dancer.  But the muse will do as she pleases, and y'all know I'm gonna obey her.


Fic Update Alert: Who's Lovin' You?

"You plan your life out by degrees, adjusting when change forces you to, but you never expect a cataclysm to occur when you’re close to calling it a career.  That’s what she was: a cyclone, a typhoon, a hurricane, a tsunami…a 10 on the Richter scale, my own personal Atlantis.  Brielle came into my life and within days, I couldn’t imagine how I’d managed to even breathe without her.  It wasn’t physical; it wasn’t even remotely that.  There were others who wanted her, men of appropriate means and station who made plays for her, who were very overt in their romantic overtures, and she was inert to all of it.  I watched her shoot them down repeatedly and I wondered if she even realized she was breaking so many hearts."

Read more here...


New Fic Alert: Who's Lovin' You?

Man, don’t even ask where this came from.

"She said to me, “It’s going to get old.  It’ll become tiresome.”  And I thought she meant that he would get tired of me, of us, and of the constant runaround to keep our affair hidden from the one person who knew about it from the beginning.  But then she said, “Not him.  You.  You’re going to get tired of giving your heart and body to a man who can’t return the favor.  He’s not going to leave me and you’re not going to put up with that for long.  He won’t want to let you go, but you won’t be able to keep it up.  He’s not going to leave me; I’m the mother of his children and we have grandbabies.  I love him and I owe him, so I will wait you out.”"

Read more here…


Whew! and Why???

It’s been a rough few weeks.  School’s been in a month and the grind over here is 180 degrees different from the grind I was used to in the States.  Now I’m in an ideal situation, so I’m not about to complain about any of the “troubles” I’m encountering.  What’s had to change is the way I deal with said issues, because discipline is simply not a problem here.  It isn’t.  The school can well afford to be elitist, but with the good comes the crazy.  For me, crazy is the complete lack of junk food to be found inside this institution.  There are no snack machines, no soda machines, no teacher’s lounge with goodies hidden inside, and not even a whiff of a school store that sells candy bars.  The lunches served consist of real food, good food, in proper portion sizes served on real plates with silverware.  Students drink water, tea, fresh fruit juices or Gatorade.  That’s it.

(Not to mention the sheer size of the campus, which forces me to exercise)

(I should also mention that there ain’t a hottie in the joint.  So depressing for soooooooooooooooooooo many reasons)

(There’s also the fact that everybody in the school is freaking married to each other [but don’t have same last names], and with the whole, “We’re all family” theme going on, I can’t help but insert a creepy incestuous subtext here)


Brave New World

I’m not sure how brave this new world is, but it’s definitely new.  Everything is different, as it should be.  I live in a large expatriate community that caters to Western sensibilities.  Stores import Western foods, and as a result, they are expensive.  I don’t care; some things I just have to have.  Doritos made over here do not taste like Doritos back home.  There is a Coca-Cola plant not far from where I live, and the Cokes, while delicious, don’t taste exactly the same as Coke from the States.  I can’t say whether the taste is good or bad; it’s just different.

The people I work with and live with are friendly and accommodating.  Since they’ve become my extended family by default, this is a good thing.  My new home is a small apartment high above the city, and it’s perfect.  I have not set about decorating just yet, as I’m waiting on my first payday.  I’m the sort who decorates room by room, and since we’re not allowed to paint, that sends me in a different direction.  I like bold, vibrant colors, and I am fortunate to have a solarium just off my bedroom.  It will become my reading room and haven.  It looks out over the city and I can’t wait to furnish it.



So I've been in Asia for a week and all I can say is that I'm exhausted.  It's so hot where I am, but I'll adjust.  My new home is adorable and big enough for one person.  All of the appliances are a good 1/3 the size of the appliances Americans are used to.  That'll be an adjustment, as over here, they grocery shop a couple of times per week, and the portions are small (or rather, standard size; us Americans like everything big).  A grocery store is about two blocks from my complex, and I've already hit it about five times.  There is a fruit vendor on the corner and his fruit is sooooo good.  He's got a nice variety: citrus, apples, watermelons, fat grapes, pears, and kiwi fruit.  And it's cheap.  Meat?  Not so much.  But I found the bacon, so I'm good.

Anyway, I'm adjusting very well; even to this ridiculous Satan's living-room-like heat.  Obviously, there will be very little time for fanfic updates and the like.  I expect to hit a rhythm sometime in September, but I'll keep you guys posted.


Tee Minus

At the time of this writing, I have less than 12 hours before I embark on my life-altering journey.  I have no clear sense of what I’m feeling.  There is excitement with a side of exhilaration, sprinkled with just a bit of fear, and a basket of warm pleasant anxiety served alongside a supersized glass of thank you Jesus.  I’m ready for this.  I promise you that I’m ready for this.  There is something amazing awaiting me overseas that I could never have found here (and it ain’t a man, in case you’re wondering).  It’s a genuine opportunity to have a different life; to actually live in a city where I don’t have to drive everywhere.  I hate driving.   Atlanta traffic is some straight-up bullshit and I’m not here for it.  It’s one of many, many reasons why I’ve been a veritable recluse for the past 15 years. The last thing I want to do when I get home from work is to put a bra back on to go drive somewhere interesting.  Chile, I’d rather stay at home and swing low.


Winding Down

So I’ve got less than twenty days before I blow this popsicle stand, and understandably, I’m very excited.  For the past few weeks, time slowed to a veritable crawl, where I was literally passing the time with absolutely nothing to do except watch The X-Files.  For someone who’s always had something to do, not having anything to do nearly drove me batshit.

But that’s no longer the case now.  I’m currently working on inventorying the boxes that I plan to have shipped later.  Customs requires a detailed list of all contents in addition to the airbill, and since I’m shipping a random variety of things, it took some time to get the inventory complete.  Also, I’ve been able to visit with some friends and acquaintances who I might not have the chance to see again before I leave, and that’s been fun.


Fic Update Alert!

Chapter 2 of "Forever, in the Night" is ready for consumption on pinkelegance.

"Riddick nodded and took off.  He could still hear Jack calling for him and his leg hurt like a mad bastard.  He didn’t need for the girl to catch up with him, and so he moved as fast as he could, trying to avoid limping.  The Crimson Tide was a large Piston-class cargo ship, and it was a dirty reddish-orange color.  A woman was staring at an electronic pad, checking items off with a stylus.  She was a well-built five-nine, skin the color of warm caramel and she rocked a short crop.  She wore blue fatigues and there was a weapon on her hip.  She saw Riddick before he spoke."

Read more here...


New Fic Alert: Forever, in the Night

Disclaimer: This fic isn't really new, as Pitch Black came out in 2000, and this fic was written not too long afterward.  It's being posted via request.  Enjoy. 

“Tell ‘em Riddick’s dead.  He died somewhere back on that planet.”

It sounded good, great even. Fry’s sacrifice was worth saying those words.  She convinced him to go back for Imam and Jack, and she said that she was willing to risk a nasty, violent death to save them.  What she wasn’t willing to do was risk her life to save him, but ended up doing so anyway.  It happened so fast and so suddenly that Riddick didn’t know how to react, and he was honestly still processing the fact that Fry was gone.  He was obligated to take as many of those insane creatures as recompense for her death, and so frying dozens of those bastards in the afterburners felt great.

Riddick navigated the skiff above the comet remnants, deep in thought.  Fry died saving him.  He remembered the few scant minutes with her in the skiff as she ran diagnostics.  The tension was there, present behind the thinly veiled fear in her eyes.  She was a woman he could have conceivably been with; someone he’d actually connected with…a moment of humanity, and like that…poof!—she was gone. There hadn’t even been time to contemplate what it would have been like to be unrestrained with her.

Read more here...


The Streamlining Process

As my time in the States winds down, I’ve found myself thinking about a whole lot of things.  I’ve been packing for weeks now, narrowing down my necessary items to fit into four suitcases and six boxes.  Now for some people, that’s more than enough.  But for me, it has been a very enlightening experience, and that’s a double entendre for your ass.

I’ve lived in two places: the house I grew up in and the house I purchased.  Being a caregiver meant that I spent a great deal of time at home, and so I built my world around me.  It consisted mostly of books, books, and more books, as well as movies on top of movies.  I’m also a collector of snow globes and dolphins, and ended up with several hundred over the years.  I took up painting four years ago and LEGO building five years ago and added more to my little universe.  Each one of these hobbies is expensive and tangible, and each one is near and dear to my very nature.  I have dealt with my pain, grief, passion and emotional whirlwinds through these media, and so found it extremely difficult to part with them even for a short time. 


To My Friend

I haven’t often come across 100% genuine people in my time; it’s a very rare occurrence, imho.  But this year I had the pleasure of meeting someone who is 100% genuine.  This man went to two different conventions and stood in line to get autographs from Tom Savini and Gillian Anderson all because I am a fan of their work.  I did not ask for them; he did it just because.

Then, when he sent the pictures to me, he sent them with another gift: a strawberry wine candle and a box of divine assorted chocolates from Purdy’s, and all because he wanted to do it.

He does things for his friends just because they’re his friends, and he doesn’t expect anything in return.  99% of the people I’ve encountered are not like this; there is normally a reciprocity component to most relationships.  But he’s not normal by any stretch of the imagination, and I mean normal in the good way.

This week, a group of us are celebrating the wonderful and estimable Triple J’s birthday.  I want to take this time to say Happy Birthday to you, dear friend, and may this year be singularly unlike any other you’ve had in terms of all the fabulous things you’re going to experience.  I’m so glad to have you in my life and I wish nothing but good things for you.

Swing by The Bar and have a drink on me.




Answering the Call

I’m a fan of The Read, a podcast featuring Kid Fury and his friend Crissle.  In this week’s episode, “Say No to Fuckboys,” Crissle stepped into the pulpit and preached a sermon dedicated to those sorry-ass men who are quick to criticize sistahs and talk about what we have to do and to be to be wifed.  I’ve touched on this in a previous post, but Crissle put everything out there on Front Street and called out each and every one of those men fuckboys.  If you have not heard it, take a few moments and get your life.  Skip to about 15 minutes from the end; they usually do their reads at the end of the podcast.  Crissle gave me so much life.
Like Crissle and millions of other women, I’m so damn tired of sorry men, especially walking fuckups, quick to tell us women what we have to do to meet their standards.  The key words here are “sorry men.”  Men who can’t keep a job for any number of reasons, men who have seven babies by eight different women, men who don’t have a place or car of their own, men who literally have nothing…these are the fools who feel like they can tell a woman who and what to be in order to be wifed…by them.  Whoo, lawd!

*fans self, rubs temples* Shit, I need a motherfuckin’ moment…


His Name is Prince

I just had to sit down and express the tiniest bit of unnecessary frustration at something that happened last week.  Apparently, at the Billboard Awards (something I don’t watch; in fact, I don’t watch ANY awards shows), some dumbass named Miguel (????) jumped across the stage and DDT’ed one female fan while simultaneously kicking another in the face.  There’s footage on YouTube, which was created just for this purpose.

Seen here:  Epic dumbassery in tight-ass white pants.

I heard about this foolishness on The Read, Kid Fury’s podcast.  Kid and Crissle read that idiot for blood, but then remarked on how Miguel thinks he’s Prince, or is trying to be the next Prince.




I Love My Doctor!

My first foray in writing fanfiction consumed by online masses was in the Hannibal Lecter fandom.   I wrote under a different nom de plume, and at the time, all we had available was Red Dragon, Silence of the Lambs (SoTL; book and film) and Hannibal the novel.  This was just before the movie came out.  We called ourselves Lecterphiles, and we were a naughty bunch that served proudly on the good ship Hannibal/Clarice.  The Good Doctor could do no wrong in our eyes, especially mine.  I was and am still here for this man.  Clarice too, but that’s for another post.

Hannibal Lecter, M.D., b/k/a “Hannibal the Cannibal” is one of the greatest characters in all of fiction.  He’s suave, smooth, brilliant, and refined, with senses keener than a bloodhound and an unmatched culinary cleverness.  He can eviscerate you with his tongue, his scalpel, and his mind.  The Good Doctor was brought to life a second time by none other than the great Sir Anthony Hopkins (the first incarnation was Brian Cox).  Sir Anthony’s performance was so perfect that he garnered an Academy Award despite being onscreen for less than twenty minutes, and the world demanded more…and more…and MORE…!

"and one...more...time...!"


…and That Time is Now.

Last October, I wrote a post lamenting the fact that the plans I made for fall 2012 didn’t pan out.  I was sad and frustrated, because I felt like I deserved to have things work out after waiting for soooooo loooooooooong.  But instead, the job I thought I wanted—a virtual school instructor—fell through, and instead of graduating August of 2012, things got delayed because my major professor pulled a stunt. 

So there I was, jobless and still in school, slaving over data analysis and the completion of my dissertation.  Fortunately, my brother moved in and paid the bills as they related to the house, but it didn’t cover the things I did for myself in terms of pampering.  It was a sacrifice of the highest order, as I’ve worked steadily since age 19.

As an educator, jobs come available at certain times, so fall came and went, as did winter.  I worked on finishing school, as that was all I had to do other than write my novels.  The phone remained silent and I was terrified that I’d be stuck having to take a job at yet another public school.  I will not elaborate on why that terrified me, but y’all ain’t stupid.  Three weeks ago, I successfully defended my dissertation and the very next day, I got an email from the principal of a school in Asia, asking me if we could Skype; he was interested in my educational profile.  Things went extremely well, and two interviews and ten days later, they offered me the job.

So...I’m moving to Asia to teach at a posh private school.