Friday, September 29, 2017

the list of books I couldn't find

After coming across the controversy here today , wherein I suggest any readers only take in the letters/articles, and don't look at too many of the comments because people are so full of rage and indignation that it practically saturates through the page and reaches out to give you a headache (I now have a headache), I was thinking about how this was still Banned Books Week.

I wondered...are there any lists of books that have never been banned?

I found lots of lists of banned books, with some spectacular recommendations:

I found a few books that people seemed to think weren't too controversial. But I couldn't find a list (and perhaps it only because my google-powers are less than intimidating) of books that have not ever been challenged. It makes me wonder, why are humans so darn intent on keeping others from exploring, from learning to think for themselves? Because it is a means of control, I think is at least one major answer. So, it follows on, that the groups working to do the banning must be given the side-eye of alarm.

Keep thinking for yourself. Keep questioning. Keep researching. Keep on.

May your library card never fail you.

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

a misty snippet set after Pyresnakes

Not too long ago, there was a very misty day here and it made me think I should have written in more scenes of a foggy nature into Pyrensakes. I'm not going back to change that story, but I can press on with a few snippets of follow-on adventures as the whim strikes me! So, indulge me, and I hope you enjoy a moment of Wysta and Ruth having a foggy, misty day of their own.


"Where are we?" Ruth tried to peer out the window but a thick fog banked against the glass. A lichen covered rock jutted up through the dense grayness but the world clouded away beyond that to a space where depth had no meaning.

"You said you wanted a view so I took us to the top of the nearest mountain." Wysta filled the kettle with cold water and set it on the burner. "There should be a lovely vista."

"Stop making tea for one minute and come over here." Ruth moved from the window. She flung open the door. An unsettling mist pervaded the world, cloaking anything more than a few feet away. "We're socked in!"

Wysta joined Ruth at the door. "Do you think it'll burn off later on?"

Ruth waved her hand through the pea-soup air. She could feel the air move, but the blanket of light gray didn't shift at all. "I think this is cloud cover. Without a breeze, this is going to sit here all day."

"Not much of a view." Wysta made a face. "I'll move us again."

Ruth shut the door and turned back to face the kitchen. While the fog pressed gray and gloomy against the window, the kitchen glowed with warmth and comfort. She could hear the beginning pop-pop sound from the bottom of the kettle signaling that the water would boil very soon and she smelled the barest hint of the cream scones baking in the oven. Tea and scones against the press of a shroud of gray-white.

"Maybe later," Ruth said. "Let's have breakfast first. You know, it does give us the perfect excuse to curl up on the sofa with our books. We have been so busy sightseeing that I can't remember the last time we spent a day relaxing."

"Ah," said Wysta with an indulgent smile. "A view of a different sort. Not a bad plan. Let's do it."


Pyresnakes can be found at Dreamspinner Press here:

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

the freedom to read

Celebrate the freedom to read!

It is Banned Books Week.

The week we remember that censorship tries to define what we're allowed to know and think, and what we're not. (All the better to control us, eh?)

But that we will not accept that! Books are knowledge and freedom and opportunity.

Be daring, and read something.


The top ten challenged books by year.

What have you been reading?

Monday, September 25, 2017

Sunday, September 24, 2017

Throwback Thursday about How Sweetly the Whippoorwill Sings

I had a wonderful post go up on Grace R. Duncan's blog where she does a regular feature focusing on stories that have been out for awhile -- it went live last week and I got caught up in the hurly-burly of life and didn't realize I hadn't shared the post with everyone on my blogs -- so here it now, with all the fanfare it deserves!

I discuss my story How Sweetly the Whippoorwill Sings -- which is a romantic get-together of Jake (brother to the bride) and Everett (best man to the groom). It's still September, so the sentiment of weddings in late summer/early autumn apply! Go and check it out!

Friday, September 22, 2017


I have an entry in the Queer SciFi 4th annual Anthology -- tell a story in 300 words or less, on the subject of "Renewal". And I understand there were 207 writers this year who gave it a go, their imaginations all ablaze.

I really liked my entry for this year. It was science fiction through and through, with a hint of looking back while looking forward, and still with a contemporary thread to it. I'm very proud of it.

You can find the anthology for sale here:

Thursday, September 21, 2017

pine needle rain

I went for a walk at lunch today in a wooded area. The pine trees are taller than the deciduous trees and there was a gentle breeze blowing. It sounded like rain when the pine needles dropped down onto the lower leaves, but there was nothing but gorgeous filtered sunlight. I was the only one on the trail and it felt a like a mini-symphony just for me.

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

a variety of things

Dreamspinner has a sale going on, 10 books for $10 in their Young Adult fiction:

Shira Anthony had a release for a new book a few days ago:

She's one of those authors I love to read. Her style and form of storytelling make me happy.

And I am thinking I will get to bed early tonight. I've been working on my outline for a contemporary romance that I want to write, and daydreams of writing something outlandish and adventure-ish have been whispering in my ear. The problem right now is staying focused on one task at a time, or else I will have outlines stuffed into every drawer in my desk, but no finished stories!

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

car wash magic

I totally treated my car to a car wash today. I hadn't been in a really long time (I know, that's not good) and it was dry, and I do really like the whole process. The circus-colored foam (yellow, pink, blue!) that gets sprayed on the car, the whirring, rotating rubbery scrubbers that go along each side and over the top. Then, my car comes out squeaky clean, and I've gone through a strange, magical, washing world.

Monday, September 18, 2017

fabulous grain bowl

Did some actual cooking tonight -- made one of those grain bowls that is getting so popular these days. Spaghetti squash, rice, chick peas, avocado, and a tahini-lemon sauce. It was delicious! And it made enough left overs so that I will have lunch tomorrow!

Sunday, September 17, 2017

mt biking

I went out mountain biking today and got pretty muddy -- but it was a great ride and I feel very virtuous for getting out and getting so much exercise. And a shower (and a good washing machine) took care of the mud bath.

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

part of the writing process

I have been writing an outline for my next idea, toying with the structure of the outline a little. It is an interesting way to map out a story. I do find it brings up the blockages more quickly, so now I'm doing all that heavy thinking to come up with ways to make the story more action-y. I've used this process before -- it works well for me with some stories and less well with others. I can do the heavy thinking at all the odd times of day, but I know I'm going to have to clear some time if I want to get actual writing done!

Sunday, September 10, 2017

please go inside

Watching the news up here. I am more than a little perturbed by all the news people who are out in the storm -- standing on balconies, walking up and down streets, etc. I really don't need them to be out in the dangerous conditions reporting live just so I can see this stuff. Please go back inside where it is safe. I've turned off the tv and will check on-line print sources for updates, but really, society does not require this sort of thing for our news. And anyone who does doesn't have their priorities straight.

Thursday, September 7, 2017

tree stand

I saw this nifty tree stand the other day. They're such tall sentinels!

Monday, September 4, 2017

Dreamspinner sale and the last day of summer

Dreamspinner is having a 30% off everything sale! Here's their main page:

And direct links to my page with my stories:

This is a really good sale.

It is the last day of summer and while yesterday was gray and rainy and I did some noodling on the computer and some reading late into the night, today I am all about filling my cup with the last day of summer experiences. It is going to be another year before I feel the sun on my face, taste tomatoes fresh from the garden, pump up my bike tires for a cruise around the neighborhood, etc. (well, honestly, tomorrow is supposed to be rainy, but it isn't like I'll be out of tomatoes that fast, I can't quite eat them all in one day, but you know what I mean). Tomorrow is back to work. Today is relaxing on the deck with an ice tea and wearing my sunglasses.

Sunday, September 3, 2017

rain and loose ends

Rain is moving through the region -- the end of Harvey taking its sorry self away, and good riddance to it -- but it is raining on again and off again, so can't really go outside for any length of time. I'm sipping a cup of tea and checking through social media, and contemplating what my next writing project should be. I've got several competing ideas, but not quite sure which one has enough energy for me to get through to the end. I so dislike when I run out of steam in the middle and don't finish the story. Plus, I would love to write something a little longer than I usually manage.