Changing the laws of time and space

That’s right.  This week I’m moving Thursday to Friday (for free fiction, anyway) and claiming that’s my super power.  You know, in honor of The Avengers.  Which I am not excited about seeing.  At all.  (Hubby’s buying tickets today. *g*)

Actually, the slight delay in posting this week’s free story can all be blamed on the day job.  Sometimes working as a litigation paralegal comes complete with overtime.  Lots and lots and lots of overtime.  Since I now see the light at the end of that particular tunnel, I’ll be all set to post this week’s free story tomorrow.

So have a happy Thursday, watch the new Big Bang Theory tonight, and be on the lookout for free fiction tomorrow.  Happy Thursday, everyone!

An interesting end to Worldcon

Okay, this is classic.

Thanks to a mutual friend (Hi, Judith!), I now have this nifty full-size bug costume made by David from Washington State. My daughter and I met up with David tonight and managed to wedge bugzilla into the back seat of my car.

That’s not David’s name for his costume. The slip of paper with David’s full name and the costume’s name is still in the car, along with the bug. I had every intention of bringing in both tonight, but there’s a little problem.

Or not so little problem.

Namely, a five-foot long SNAKE coiled at the base of my driveway. A snake that Does Not Want To Move. Period.

No rattles were involved in the hissing, lunging, and recoiling of my unexpected visitor, but it was dark and I decided the snake could have that part of my driveway for the night. I hope it’s gone in the morning. As it is, bugzilla will be going to work with me tomorrow. I’m going to get some really odd looks from other people in my building’s parking garage when they catch sight of my backseat passenger.

What a way to end a really cool Worldcon. 🙂

Worldcon

I still can’t believe Worldcon is in my home town this year. How very cool!

I’ll be attending starting this afternoon through Sunday. You won’t find me on any panels — I’m way too shy for that — but if you do run into me and say hi, I’ll have a freebie giveaway for you. At least, as the ads say, until supplies run out.

Happy Thanksgiving!

From me and the college kid:

Turkey’s in the roaster, veggie stuffing’s made and in a casserole dish for baking later, and quiche for brunch is in the oven. We’ll have a little dinner at home this afternoon, then take turkey and the works over to the assisted care group home so my father-in-law and his housemates can have a home-cooked turkey day dinner.

I wish you and yours a wonderful holiday!

Ch..ch..ch…changes!

Last weekend I went to World Fantasy Convention in San Jose. A couple of firsts for me, both attending WFC and traveling to San Jose. I enjoyed both immensely.

But what’s that got to do with the subject of this post? Well, let me tell you.

Saturday afternoon, Louisa Swann, her son Brandon, Brenda Cooper and I had a marvelous, informative and eye-opening chat with Mike Stackpole about how writers can utilize the web in these days of rapidly changing content delivery systems. (My, I almost sound like I know what I’m talking about there, don’t I?) What I realized at the end of that chat is 1) I have a bit of learning to do, and 2) this website’s going to need a bit of a redesign.

Now years ago I had an old Tripod website for fun stuff. I created graphics, uploaded files, wrote some simple HTML pages that linked this to that to the other. Somewhere along the way, along with abandoning the site when I moved on from that fun stuff to new fun stuff, I also abandoned my rudimentary webpage skillz for other things that moved front and center to my brain. I’m going to have to excavate all that knowledge and add in a few more skills in redoing this site, but hey – should be fun!

What can you expect to see here in the future? For one, more frequent updates. You’ll also see story excerpts, snippets from things I’m working on, some new free (yes, she said free!) fiction, and if I can figure out how to do it (dusting off those unused skillz), you’ll be able to purchase stories directly off this site. I’ll also have the occasional contest where you can win actual free stuff.

It’s all a work in progress. Most things in life are, and that’s the fun part.

The Cell Phone Snap of Doom

Last night I watched the first four eps of the fourth season of Prison Break with my daughter. We own the first three seasons on DVD, but we quit watching the show mid-way through last year. We decided to Netflix season four and then decide whether to round out the collection.

Watching those four eps reminded me why I quit watching the show in the first place, so I kinda doubt any more Prison Break is in my media shopping future. Too bad. The first two seasons were really good and taught me a lot about cliffhangers and dramatic tension.

One thing I noticed, since I tend to focus on odd little details when the story doesn’t hold my attention, was the characters’ liberal use of the Cell Phone Snap of Doom. You know, that moment when a character dramatically snaps his flip top cell phone shut, emphasizing through sight and sound that he really, really means what he just said, no back talk allowed.

The Cell Phone Snap of Doom isn’t new. Kirk did the same thing with his communicator back in the days when the idea of cell phones was still science fiction. Geeky me bought my own snap shuttable cell phone when my carrier offered them. Beam me up, Scotty, indeed.

Only now I have an iPhone. It doesn’t snap shut. It has a button on top that makes a little click when I turn it off. I can use my iPhone to check my email, my Twitter, my Facebook, the New York Times and Daily Variety, not to mention bounce a cartoon sheep into space or pet the koi in my virtual fish pond, but the iPhone Click of Doom just doesn’t have the same dramatic impact.

Of course, characters can still use flip top cell phones, but won’t that make them look one step behind, technology wise? If the good guys are using touch screen phones and Blackberries but the villain’s still snapping his cell phone shut to emphasize his bad-assedness, can we take him seriously?

The new television season starts soon. I’ll have new Castle and Fringe and NCIS and CSI (the original) and Big Bang Theory on my DVR to keep me company when I’m not writing. Along the way, I’ll be watching to see what new dramatic beat replaces the Cell Phone Snap of Doom.

Stay tuned.

it never fails

We put out the deck furniture, put the canvas cover on the gazebo, get ready for a little outdoor living, and… it’s the Attack of Mother Nature.

Usually, given that this is Nevada and the seasons go from winter to summer with maybe a couple of days, here and there, of something vaguely resembling spring, we get the outdoor furniture out, and next thing we know, we have the first heat wave of the season. This year? Not so much.

Rain.

Thunderstorms.

Wind.

Cool weather.

Even more rain.

You get the picture.

Enter yours truly, bound and determined to enjoy her deck. Armed with a good book, my iPod, a diet Pepsi (caffeine free), and a coat, I braved the cloudy, breezy, thunderstormy late afternoon to enjoy my favorite deck chair and the newly installed fountain.

An hour later, I fortified myself with a blanket.

When I couldn’t feel my nose, I finally gave up and came inside. Still, it was a good afternoon. I enjoyed the heck out of my book, the music, the rumbling clouds and the tumbling water.

What I’m reading: Murder on a Girls’ Night Out by Anne George, a new to me author introduced to me by Chris York.

weather geek

I admit it, I’m a weather geek. I have the Weather Channel Desktop on the computer at my day job and at home, and I love looking at the interactive maps.

In the last few days there’s been a lot to look at. We’re getting some pretty impressive thunderstorms for our area, rain-wise. Usually, the springtime thunderstorms in the valley are all rumble and lightning and very little actual moisture on the ground. Not good for either drought-busting or wildfires.

This week? Oh my, has the rain poured down. And hail.

On Sunday, hubby and I tried to beat a mid-morning storm and get our Costco shopping done before the deluge hit. No such luck. In fact, it rained/hailed so hard while we were in Costco, it sounded like truckloads of ball bearings bouncing on a tin roof. Luckily, we waited out the storm in the food court. When we finally made it outside, we were amazed at the amount of hail still on the ground. One of the nearby hills looked like it had been dusted with snow.

Yesterday, I wasn’t so lucky. I had to deliver something downtown in the middle of a total downpour, the kind that windshield wipers on high can’t even handle. I got ridiculously wet just from the half-block walk between my car to the courthouse, and this wearing a raincoat. Of course, I also had to cross a street that looked more like a swift-moving stream.

I now have tremendous empathy for actors who have to stand drenched in an artificial rainfall, take after take, while water drips off their hair and their eyelashes and their nose. You guys earn your money. While I don’t mind getting wet – it is just rain, after all – I’d rather not be stuck in wet clothes at work.

And I’m not even going to talk about what all that wet did to my hair. *g* I did, however, bring a spare blowdryer and styling brush to work today.

Just in case.