Writer. Editor. Leximaven. Game Girl. Vorpal Blonde. Midas's Touch. Schrödinger's Brat.

Holiday Gifts for the Writer in Your Life

posted on: December 17, 2014
in: Blog, Uncategorized, Writing Goodies

What do you buy the writer in your life for the holidays?

Books. Next question.

However, in case you’re looking for something more (not better — never better than books!), here is a list of stuff that for me for the favorite writer in your life. But I’d love for you to add your own ideas — what have you always wanted for your writerly self that you’ve never gotten? What was the best writing-focused gift you received or gave?

  • A gift certificate to a local bookstore, paper store, or office supply place. Alternatively, a subscription to Audible.com or Oyster (like a Netflix for books). I read books in Oyster like MAD. It’s like the library just showed up on my iPad. Heck yeah.
  • Aquanotes. Because, hello, writing down my awesome shower ideas without having to drip water all over the floor and call downstairs for a pen and paper? Hell yes.

aqua-notes-home

  • Book or writing jewelry. Etsy’s great for this stuff, like this book pendant, this scripturient pendant … in fact, just search “writer” or “writing” on Etsy, and you could fill multiple jewelry boxes with cool stuff.
  • If you know your writer well enough to know how he or she reads, get them something cool to help with that. A pillow, a booklight, a thing that helps keep their Kindle at the right angle… all this stuff can be ubernice when we settle in for some rare and much-desired reading time.
  • Time. Speaking of time. Time and space might be the best gift ever for writers. Offer to walk my dog a couple of times or make dinner so I can write? I’m yours forever.
  • A subscription or membership to a writing organization, writing magazine, or fiction publication. Or an online writing class by Cat Rambo or Mary Robinette Kowal.
  • Caffeine, baby. Coffee drinkers might like a gift certificate to their local coffee shop or a subscription for coffee at home (Blue Bottle and MistoBox are two good options, but there are lots more).
  • This library stamp t-shirt from Out of Print Clothing, because no matter what anyone anywhere says ever, libraries ARE THE COOLEST. Out of Print Clothing is just chock full of good writing stuff, from shirts and bags to coasters and socks.

L-1090_library-stamp_Womens_Tees_1_large

  • Speaking of libraries, what about a subscription to The Librarians TV show or copies of the original movies, featuring Noah Wyle in his glorious adorableness?
  •  An art print of a famous closing line from one of the world’s best books. Beautiful and inspirational.

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Okay, writers and writer-friends, what great gifts did I miss? Throw them into the comments below!

Shall I at Least Set My Lands in Order?

posted on: October 1, 2014
in: Blog

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My house in not in order. Yes, my literal house: dishes unwashed, clean laundry unfolded, the dog hair unswept from its new home on the floor. But also my mental house. My mental house is messy. I mean, it’s always messy–I’m a creative, impulsive person who changes her mind, her opinions, and her desires from one day to the next (What? I know that on the day we met I said I didn’t like olives, and it’s awesome that you remember that, but I tried them last week and now they’re my favorite food!).

But this is different messy. This is darkly messy and bleeding, like when you dye your hair black and it stains the back of your neck and rubs off on your sweater and sheets and lover for weeks. And you notice the stains everywhere, and you know that if you just washed your hair a couple of times, it would stop bleeding all over, but you’re just … too tired to care.

That last part is the important part in all of this. Knowing that none of your houses are in order, and not being able to find the energy to do more than notice it and feel unsettled by it. But fix it? Why bother? The dishes will be dirty again tomorrow, the dog will shed again, my mental space will derail into the dark.

None of this is new to me. I’m 42 years old, and self-aware, so I recognize this for what it is: a very mild form of depression brought on by repetition, boredom, a sense of sameness. I’m a neophile. I need something new to keep me excited about life. I am easily bored, easily overwhelmed by having to do the same task again and again, easily discouraged by the thought of living a life where I am not constantly growing and learning. I would rather fail wildly at some ridiculous new thing than succeed, exhausted by repetition.

Former partners of mine (and probably some of my friends) have found this part of me to be an overwhelming flaw. “Why do you always have to want more?” “Things are fine, why do you need to change things?” “Why can’t you just be happy/content?”

It’s a fundamental difference, I think, in ways that people see the world. Because I can be stunningly, beautifully, ecstatically happy while still striving for something more and different and better. I am an optimist. I believe I am lucky every day to be alive, to do what I love, to have amazing friends and family, to be who I am, with a healthy body and an inquisitive mind.

It is only when I am stuck, when there is nothing new to explore and entice my senses, that I feel discontent with my current life.

Last night, I saw a program by Jad Abumrad, host of Radio Lab, on “Gut Churn” and the process of uncertainty in creativity. He talked about “going into the German Forest,” this dark scary place that happens to most of us when we’re about to take a big leap, creatively or otherwise. People who want to make their living doing creative things must find a way to walk through the forest, or sit in it, or otherwise deal with it, so that they can come out on the other side. And they must recognize that they will do this again and again, their whole lives, each time that risk appears.

I was listening to him, and nodding, but I was also thinking that I like the German Forest. It is one of my favorite places. Perhaps this is why I am so enamored of fairy tales, why I adore the big bad wolf, why I like the teeth and claws more than the basket of cakes.

There’s always been talk of the way that mental illness and creativity goes hand-in-hand. I don’t buy it as a blanket statement (but then I rarely buy blanket statements), because we’re all so very different. For me, creativity is the thing that keeps the wolf at my door — and I need the wolf. We have a symbiotic relationship. She scares me so that I feel alive. When I feel alive, my house is in order and I create the beautiful bloody things that feed her. And this is how we go round and round.

But sometimes she doesn’t show up, for reasons that I have yet to figure out. And then I don’t get scared and I don’t feel alive. And I don’t make anything, and she doesn’t get fed. It’s a great cycle when it works but when it breaks… like now… I am lost.

I miss the sound of her claws on my door, the scent of her breath in my face, the long slow flick of her tongue over her bloodied teeth. My house is not in order, and maybe, in the end, that is why she doesn’t come.

But here’s the thing I know: by breaking through the walls of my own apathy and depression to write this post, I have cleaned up one small bit of my house. I have created something new. I have cared about something. I have found my way back to the German Forest, and I am going to sit here until I hear the pitter-patter of claws scuttling across the dark earth. And then I am going to feel alive again.

HURRY UP PLEASE ITS TIME

Kiss kiss bang bang, s.

**Title line and last line courtesy of The Wasteland, by T.S. Eliot

**Image is from this artist.

 

Kinky Copyedits

posted on: September 24, 2014
in: As Kinky As You Wanna Be, Blog, Books, Erotica

kinky

I love getting copyedits for books — they’re always such a cool compilation of weird and wonderful words. I just finished the copyedits for As Kinky As You Wanna’ Be, and though I’d share the list with you. Because they’re fun and they give an interesting look at what’s between the covers. (Clearly, you know, don’t read this aloud to your children or your boss or anything. It’s not Goodnight Moon. Although it’s almost as lyrical, in its own way.)

ball gag
bedsheet
ben wa balls
blow job

cum, precum; come, precome

Daddy (in role-play)
dialogue
dom/dominant (in text)

edgeplay

froufrou

oh my god; thank god (but “God” the creator)

handcuffs
hiccupped
hog-tied

kick-ass

lifelong
like-minded

moustache

naïve
nonconsensuality
nonmonogamy
nos (plural of “no”)

pervertables
playroom

role-play (n, v)
rope-work
’round (around)

semiprivate
striptease
strop (tantrum)

turnoff (n)
turn-on (n)
toy box

wracked

Proper Nouns

PayPal
Ping-Pong
Rihanna

My Internet Search History

posted on: September 18, 2014
in: Blog, Writing Process

The very wonderful and funny writer Bronwen Green recently did a blog post sharing her internet search history. It was so much fun to read that I decided to keep track of my own search history yesterday and see what I looked up.

This is a combination of work and play. Right now, my work includes: writing the Numenera Ninth World Guidebook, copyediting As Kinky As You Wanna’ Be, working on the mature topics in gaming questionnaire, and other stuffs.

Life includes: a recently adopted dog, planning a bunch of trips, doing some long overdue house stuff, playing games, etc.

  1. What are the scariest sounding names/words? — for naming scary places, natch
  2. How do plants attract predators – Numenera worldbuilding
  3. Psychedelic properties of mushrooms – see above*
  4. Bioluminescent mushrooms – yeah.
  5. The etymology of the following words: prostitute, crystal, circle, forge, furnace, induce, the letter j, ullage
  6. Teach dog not to pull on leash – we have a rescue. She has some extra energy and a need to hunt squirrels. and birds. and leaves.
  7. Octopus tights – because one must
  8. Lunar power tidal – because I needed to know how, exactly, a device could be lunar powered
  9. How to make chocolate cupcakes with pudding mix – do you really need an explanation on this one?
  10. Scientists create solid light – they did and it is awesome
  11. Destiny grimoire cards how the hell do I use? – i still don’t know exactly
  12. Finger vein technology — making a cypher or something
  13. Lightspeed Women Destroy Fantasy — I have an article in this issue and can’t remember when it comes out
  14. Bathroom decor — wow, there’s some ugly out there
  15. Octopus art prints — for the pretty-making
  16. How to properly capitalize Saran Wrap — for copyediting purposes
  17. Is Saran Wrap trademarked — also above
  18. Kink-friendly medical professionals — making sure my lists in the book are up to date
  19. bSafe — free personal safety app; it’s in the book, so I want to make sure it still exists
  20. Handcuff injuries and prevention — go with leather cuffs, is the right answer
  21. Who plays Henry on Party Down — love him, love that show, can’t remember his name ever
  22. When does Brooklyn 99 start — not soon enough, is the answer
  23. How to print on sheets — I want to make sheets with quotes on them
  24. Can you tell how long a person has been dead by the firmness of their skin? — dear government agencies. I write fiction. Don’t come and get me.
  25. Electrical impulses from our fingers — science vs. magic
  26. How to keep metal from rusting underwater — this is hard, it turns out
  27. World’s largest amphibian — it’s the Chinese salamander
  28. What is fake snow made from and can I make it at home? — seriously. the stupid ideas i get
  29. Treibbal away to me — I’ve been teaching the dog to “come bye”; next is “away to me”
  30. Wired Numenera — I heard a rumor that Numenera was in Wired and had to see for myself.

 

God, my life is insane. How do I get anything done? Also, how did I get anything done before Google?

What did you search for this week?

Kiss kiss bang bang, s.

*did you know that some mushrooms are called smuts?

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