Saturday, May 31, 2014

random ramblings

I had a doctor's appointment earlier in the week.  If the screens both come back looking good, I won't have to go for that purpose again for another five years.  And that...makes me very happy.

The doctor's office's billing assistent got fed up with my health insurance messing her up and deleted it from her system.  I have it, and I have proof of it, but they're not in my network, and I'd rather get the self-pay discount.  I'd also rather keep the doctor's office (and people) that I like and trust--that's very, very important for a childhood abuse survivor.  

So.  We heard from the school, yesterday.  The in.  I don't have to live with a year of guilt from having to put him in public school to satisfy his need to socialize with others his age.  He needs to work on eye contact (I'm not sure if they meant maintaining it, or watching what he's doing), following instructions (does that well enough at home), and writing and drawing (which we've been working on for a month, now).  We've also enrolled him in two kindergarten prep day camps, one basic, one advanced.

Speaking of the imp, this past week we've had a bit of rain every afternoon.  It has soaked into the ground quite well, turning the layers the imp plays in into a muddy mess.  So, every day (except yesterday), I'd send him outside to play before it rained, and every day, he'd come in caked in mud and dirt.  Day before yesterday was particularly bad--brought to mind this:

The boy really was a ball of mud, and wet wipes (what I had been using on him) weren't going to cut it. So, he got dunked through a bath in the middle of the day before being permitted to come out and sit on the couch. 

The pixie is completely back to her normal little bright, fluttery self after her bout with pneumonia.  She was clingy and needy for a few days after her recovery, but she's back to her normal behavior, now. 

So, last week TinCan Assassin was over here, using Odysseus's laptop to look up troubleshooting problems for his laptop (which has stopped working).  He finally got tired of trying to figure out what the problem was, and decided to reload the operating system...and that didn't work, either.  So, he says, "Umm...whiskey tango foxtrot?"

I was in the kitchen, cutting up green bell peppers for freezing, when I heard him, then heard a piping, tiny girl's voice repeat, "Whiskey tango foxtrot?"

I'm just glad I was able to keep my giggles silent.  TinCan Assassin explained to her that those were grownup words that she shouldn't be saying.  And she's fine with that explanation, and I haven't heard that phrase from her since.

Cricket, the black and white cat, has demonstrated her complete lack of cat-like grace at least twice this week.  On Wednesday, I had a terrible headache that started in my right shoulder, went up the back of my neck, and up that side of the back of my head, so I laid down on the couch, kinda half propped up on the back of it.  There were perhaps ten inches of space between me and the edge of the couch.  

She lost her balance, and started to fall.  So, she reaches out with all ten front talons, and tries to grab me.  She missed, and ripped my keyboard cover.  And hit the ground faster, and with a headache to boot.  If that had gotten me, it would have hurt.

Yesterday, the pixie reached up to scratch her cheek as she was standing on the back of the couch.  Cricket leaned into it really hard...and fell off the back and onto the seat.

And no, this cat does not land on her feet.  Sometimes, she doesn't land on her feet even when she's in control of the fall. 

Shadow has been chasing bugs that get in the house, lately.  I'm going to have to figure something out to keep her from getting inside the lamp shades with the bugs.  Nothing I have tried up to this point has worked.  Maybe mosquito netting bunched around the lamp and tied off?  Nah--then, she'd just be throwing herself against the lamp and knocking it over.

The dog...has halved her food intake.  She doesn't eat one of two meals, and spends almost all of her time outside.  I guess she just doesn't need as many calories when it's warm to hot. 

I sincerely wish she was trainable.  It isn't that she isn't smart.  It's that she is, and stubborn, to boot.  She is rude in the house because it gets her what she wants: booted outside.  Which sucks for her, because she adores the kids (and gets overexcited and bounces all over them.  It wouldn't be quite so bad if she wasn't a 20 lb dog, with one kid weighing in at 31 lbs, and the other either just under or just right at 40 lbs.  And, with her being untrainable, I can't get that stopped, and the kids are as afraid of her as they are head over heels with love for her.

It's going to be a busy summer on the writing front.  And on the office hours in the fall front. 

Pendragon Resurgent has, in its first week, sold nine copies (and one person with Amazon Prime borrowed it--for which I still get paid).  I'm hoping that the people who downloaded The Last Pendragon when it was free reads it, and goes looking for the sequel in a couple of weeks. 

As for what else I've accomplished this week, I've finished the first draft of a short story, titled "Gremlins" that may or may not appear on one of the blogs in the next couple of weeks, and I'm working on a second, titled "Quetzl."  If "Quetzl" is within the maximum word limit, I'll probably enter it into this contest I've been told I should enter.  If it's not, I'll work on it until I'm happy with it, and post it for sale as a Kindle short story for $0.99.  I'm really enjoying it.

After that, I've got Fire and Forge outlined, and "Bar Tabs" is with the person who does my cover art.  I've also started the publication process on Lizzy's Tail, and am just waiting on the cover art for that. 

So, yeah: busy.  Hopefully productive.  Because I'd very much like to finish the first draft of Fire and Forge before classes start on August 12.

Friday, May 30, 2014


The imp got into the private school we wanted him to!

FFOT: not a lot

Other than still not knowing anything about whether or not the imp has a place in the private school kindergarten, I don't have a whole lot I can talk about this week. 

Go ahead and sound off in the comments.

Thursday, May 29, 2014

Books are now linked.

You can click on Pendragon Resurgent, and make the decision whether you want the paperback or Kindle version on the same page! 

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

...still no word.

It's been a bit more than a week since the imp's second kindergarten screening at the private school we wanted to get him into.  We have no further word on whether or not he's actually in.

I'm praying really hard that he is.  I really, really am. 

In the meantime, I'm working with him, his father is working with him, and we're going to be sending him to a couple of K-prep summer camps.  And I'm trying to keep hoping for the good results, so that he isn't shunted into public school due to his intense need to socialize with other kids. 

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

And there it is...

Amazon finally has the paper copy to go with the Kindle copy (but it'll take a few more days to link it).

Paperback version:


Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.  1 Corinthians 13: 4-8

I have often wondered at the way people pair up, and why they chose to pair up the way they have.  The really pretty, smart college girl dating the asshole jock.  The wonderful, sweet guy turning himself into a doormat for a raging, rabid feminist shrew.  The two people who barely know each other and barely like each other.  

"But I love him/her!"

Sure.  Chemical reactions are a strong force.  But that fades.  

Case in point: a few years ago, I helped a couple of friends through their divorce.  It was uncontested, not acrimonious at all.  They'd been married for ten years.  Unfortunately, they shared next to no interests, barely talked to each other, and the chemical attraction that led them to marriage within six months faded less than a year after they'd married.  

And that doesn't count the abusive relationships.

One of my aunts was rushed into marriage by her church.  She stayed married to the guy for three years before she went to the judge for a restraining order on my mother's insistence.  The final straw was when she showed up at my mom's for a visit with her eyes dazed, and bruising on both sides of her head.  Her husband had punched her in the side of the head while she was driving him to work, hard enough to knock her head into the window.  Hard enough to give her a concussion and a brief blackout.  While she was driving.

Abuse isn't always physical, either.  Any time a partner tells their significant other that they're worthless, that's emotional abuse.  When a partner tells a significant other that there's no way that they'll succeed at something, that's emotional abuse.  Telling a significant other that they are the cause of all of the problems, when they're trying their best to please the partner is emotional abuse.  It's all about power: who has it, and what they will do to keep it. I've seen this so very many times in the coffee shop in the university library that it makes me ill.

And that doesn't count the horrific articles I've read about acrimonious divorces: the wife filing a restraining order on a husband as a first step to guaranteeing full custody of a much beloved child.  The husband being painted as a ravening, dangerous beast by lawyers and a malicious, emotionally abusive spouse.  This has led directly to suicide, in some cases; in others, it leads to a man busting his ass to support and care for a child he will never be permitted to see again.

What I don't understand is why these people end up in situations like this in the first place.  What the girl dating the asshole jock has isn't love--it's emotional abuse.  What the sweet guy has with the raging feminist isn't love--unless it's based entirely on sado-masochism.  What the couple who gets together with nothing in common has isn't love--it is, at best, a chemical attraction that will fade quickly, leaving two nice people not meant for each other in an awkward place.  

I am in love with my husband.  I am in like with my husband.  My husband and I talk about everything from books to movies to politics to history to religion.  He's going back to college for his accounting degree, and even though it makes things much more difficult with regards to scheduling and spending time with each other, I'm behind him 100%, and I'm working to make things as easy on him as I can.  Because I love him.  

We spent three years during our dating nearly 200 miles apart.  We dated for three and a half years, were engaged for two and a half, and will have been married for ten years this coming July.  

I don't understand why we're in the minority.  I really don't.  I don't understand why people in bad relationships think they're in love, when what they have is so far from what we were told in Corinthians. 

Monday, May 26, 2014

It's out, it's out, it's out!!!

Pendragon Resurgent is ready to be ordered from Amazon in Kindle format.  If you want a paper copy, you'll either need to go to CreateSpace's link and order straight from them, or wait on Amazon to put it up on their site. 

Final tally

People responded--really responded--to the free download of The Last Pendragon.  Final count was 75 copies on Day One, 30 on Day Two, and 18 on Day Three, for a total of 123 copies downloaded.  One hundred three were downloaded in the U.S.  Ten were downloaded in Denmark, 5 in Britain, 4 in Canada, and one in...France?  Huh.  Who'd have thought?

I sincerely hope that everyone who downloaded a copy enjoys it.  I also hope they're not looking for any "great art"--because that's not why I write.

Sunday, May 25, 2014

If you won't walk the walk, then shut the hell up.

I am a Christian.  I try to live my beliefs.  I fail, badly, a lot; however, this is why I don't openly and loudly proclaim my faith.

I have a temper.  I am not particularly kind.  I try to make up for that by being courteous and using my manners--something it seems many have forgotten how to do.

I also try to be the woman described in Proverbs 31 for my husband: supportive, industrious, and financially responsible.

Let's start with supportive: do y'all know how often I've seen women--friends, acquaintances, and strangers--verbally degrade and tear down their husbands/boyfriends?  And it's everything from appearance to habits to study habits to spending habits.  The flip side of that is nagging.

Instead, these women should be encouraging their husbands/boyfriends.  Instead of insulting their men, they should be telling them that they can succeed.  I'm not saying that they should tell their men that they're perfect the way they are, just that they should tell their men that they believe in them.

People tend to live up to--or down to--the expectations of those whose opinions they value.

On to industrious.  This one is where I try, but fail half the time.  I tend to get easily distracted from things I don't like to housework.  Yes, with the FlyLady, I am doing somewhat better; however, my house is still a mess.  I hate putting dishes the dishes don't get put away out of the dishwasher, and dirty ones tend to gather in the sink.  I hate sorting laundry and putting it the clean laundry tends to stay in the hampers, and the dirty laundry piles up.

There's also a direct assertion that a good woman (according to Proverbs) is a prepper, which fits into industry.  I know I feel better if I have a full pantry.  I also know that most of the women I'm around casually--mostly on campus--make fun of preppers.  They're like the grasshopper in the fable.

Last, but not least: financial responsibility.  I do not like spending money.  The kids ask for toys?  The answer is "Save your allowance, and buy it yourself."  I don't waste money on entertainments often.  I don't waste money on theme restaurants, and won't waste money on my kids' birthday parties.  My laptop has been in my possession for two years, and I've replaced the keyboard and power cords as needed.  There's no reason to get the newest and best, and there's no point in trying to keep up with the cool kids.

I cannot tell you how often I've seen people who are in debt doing stupid things like getting a tattoo, or buying a name-brand smartphone (or tablet), or buying a brand new car (on credit).  I cannot tell you how many times I've seen people trying credit card after credit card after credit card, trying to find one that isn't maxed out, to buy stuff they need, when if they managed their money better, they'd have no problems.

And each and every one of these examples have been loudly talking about church, or wearing clothes with bible verses, or wearing religious-themed jewelry.  These people are judging those who aren't doing the same--often at full volume, in a crowded place.

And I've heard the same bunch judging me.

I don't loudly profess my faith because I've read the bible.  I know how far short I fall of what I should be.  I'm not walking the walk as well as I should be, so I don't talk the talk.

And those who aren't walking the walk but are talking the talk have been described in the bible.  Read the parable of the Pharisee and the publican.

Either walk the walk, or shut the hell up.

Better yet, just shut up.

Saturday, May 24, 2014

Well, now.

That was fast.

What was fast?



I have gotten Pendragon Resurgent through the file review and proofing.  Right now, I have it shuffling through the process of getting turned into a Kindle book for Amazon--should take between 12 and 48 hours.  I'll let y'all know, okay?

random ramblings

The imp went to go spend a couple of nights with Grandma and Grandpa this week.  We were supposed to go visit to pick him up today, but we got a call this morning that Grandma hurt her foot on Thursday, and didn't feel up to a visit.  So, Odysseus left to go get the imp--and to help his dad pick out a pay-as-you-go cell phone. 

A while back, I ordered the basic Roku box.  It's tiny--about the size of a deck of cards, if the deck were perfectly square.  And it's purple.  The pixie loves it, partially because of that.  The rest of the reason is that it's let her watch Umizoomi this morning, on Amazon Prime. 

And, since the Viacom channels have been dropped, the kids haven't been able to watch their two favorite shows--Umizoomi, and Wallykazaam.  The worst part is that, even though the cable company dropped the Viacom channels, the replacements haven't been any better, and our rates jumped by ten or fifteen dollars. 

So...with the addition of the Roku box, I'm thinkin' we're going to drop the TV part of our bundle, and only keep the internet and phone. 

In any case, I'm liking the Roku box.  The pixie likes it.  The imp hasn't seen it, yet, and Odysseus is yet to play with it. 

The cats have been...cats.  I've repeatedly had to put Cricket back into the back room and shut the door while the kids are trying to go to sleep.  She gets...squirrelly.  In the evenings, especially.

The dog has been a very happy dog, lately.  The weather has been good enough that she's been an outside dog, for the most part. 

As for the writing...I've submitted Pendragon Resurgent through CreateSpace.  It's currently undergoing file review, and should be ready to publish sometime early next week.  Right now, though, The Last Pendragon is available for free download through midnight tomorrow. 

Friday, May 23, 2014

Long damn day...

Late to bed last night, and the plumber came this morning.  Ten minutes early, and really reasonable prices, so I'm not complaining.  Odysseus wouldn't have been able to clear the problem--it was under the house, and his shoulders are too wide to get through a crawl space designed just after WWII. 

And just after lunch, I babysat for a while.  That wasn't too much of a problem (although, the kid's gonna need to learn to tolerate sweat--this is MO, not AZ where the sweat dries instantly). 

No, the issue is that I'm going to be ready to pull my hair out if the whiny little "Mommy, Mommy, Mommy,...I want a lap" doesn't end soon.  It's been like that every two minutes for the last three days. 

And, in consequence, instead of finishing up the final edit and shifting the document from standard into the CreateSpace interior template (and fixing issues with the formatting that the transfer causes), I still have sixty pages to go. 

Which I plan to finish tonight, regardless.

So, with my lap limpet (and no, she's not sick, just clingy and irritating) now abed, I'm going to finish the edit.  I will finish the edit.

(And don't forget to download your free copy of The Last Pendragon.)


"I drank juice with breakfast, and milk with lunch, and that's all I've had to drink today!"

If that's supposed to mean she's thirsty, she needs to say so, and ask for a drink.  To do otherwise is to engage in manipulation, and that is not permissible in my house. 

FFOT: I got nothin'

Except for the imp blowing off his second kindergarten screening, I've not had a bad week.  And I'll be publishing Pendragon Resurgent next week (and The Last Pendragon is free for download through Sunday). 

So I got nothin'.  What's pissed you off this week?

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Lord, grant me patience...

From a phone conversation:

Me: Hi, Mom.  Whatcha doin'?

Mom: I was just about to climb the ladder again, and trim the tree that beat my antenna to pieces.

Me:...You have someone holding the ladder, right?

Mom:  Your sister is upstairs in her bedroom.  She's mad at me* for some reason, and took off last night.  Haven't seen her since.

Me: What about your sisters?

Mom: They're gone.

Me: Then please get my sister down to come hold the ladder.

Mom: I can't.  She's mad at me.

Me: Then please wait until one of my aunts gets home to hold the ladder.

Mom: I'm not stupid, daughter.  I have it braced.  It's not going to fall.

Me: I would not call trusting a braced ladder with nobody there to help anything but stupid.

Mom: Well, what do you expect me to do?  It needs done, and nobody else is around to do it for me!  And I don't like climbing ladders.  If it wasn't braced, I wouldn't be climbing it.

Me: Fine.  Break your fool neck.

This woman has an unruptured aneurism in her brain, behind her left eye.  The neurologist has told her not to strain herself, and not to fall.  She also has arthritic bone spurs in both hips.  Bad balance due to inner ear issues.  Weakness in her hands and shoulders.

I'd rather she didn't climb anything--even a step stool--but short of being institutionalized and tied to a fucking hospital bed, nobody's going to be able to keep her from doing stupid things.

And it's going to be her killed, yes, but it's going to hurt my kids knowing that their grandmother was killed because she did something so far beyond stupid that it's not even visible from there.

*My sister is mad because my mom brought home a dog that has a tendency to go insane, and is at least part Pitt Bull. /And Mom won't hear a word against the stupid thing.

sample chapter

Here's the sample chapter of Pendragon Resurgent.  I'm almost done with my last edit (last line to first), and I'm planning a release for sometime next week.   The Last Pendragon is set to pop up for free download at 12 a.m. tomorrow morning, just to get you into the series (if you haven't already bought a copy). 

Without further ado...

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

I am shaking my head at my son, right now.

Apparently he's better working on writing practice with Daddy than he is with me.  Good to know. 

Daddy got the imp to do an entire page of capital and lower case C--I can never get him to do more than half a page. 

And then, last night, the imp got paper and crayons out of the coffee table drawer, and drew an A, a C, a lower case B, and Thor's hammer.  And a sailboat. 

Why he won't do this when prompted, I have no clue.

Tuesday, May 20, 2014


The Last Pendragon will be available for free download from Amazon from 12:01 a.m. Friday morning (5/23) through 11:59 p.m. Sunday night (5/25). 

Feedback from yesterday

The imp had a second kindergarten screening yesterday...where he proceeded to do better on some of the things he hadn't done, refused to try to draw something that looked too complicated, and then fully refused to do a lot of the things he'd done well on the previous attempt. 

The screeners noted that he hadn't looked at the tasks he was working on, most of the time.  He watched them

And, now that that's been brought to my attention, I've noticed he does the same thing at home.  In putting on his socks and shoes this morning, he looked at us, ignoring several directives to watch what he was doing. 

I don't know what to make of this.  I've done some research, but I'm not finding anything about this anywhere, not through a general search, and not through a search through the campus library databases (which include databases for education, educational difficulties, psychological disorders, and learning disorders). 

Do any of the parents out there have any idea what's going on? 

Monday, May 19, 2014

Here's another one for the Better Dead list.

A woman in Tulsa, OK, woke to one of the worst things in the world: her five year old daughter crying because some fucking creep broke in to rape her. 

Kyle Hancock needs to be put in the general population so that he's not a burden to taxpayers for long.  And he needs to suffer, hard, for the hell he's put the children (yes, plural) he's raped through. 

Sunday, May 18, 2014

Frustration on all parts

So, a few minutes ago, I was trying to work with the imp on his letters.  He did okay up through about I, then he stopped following instructions, stopped trying, and protested that he was trying, and was listening. 

I was getting frustrated and angry, and he was getting frustrated and afraid he was going to get in trouble...and then he yawned great big.  Big, huge yawn.  Like three seconds long, and I could see his tonsils big. 

I mentioned that it seemed like he was getting tired, and that's why he wasn't listening...and then he threw a fit.  A screaming tantrum.  Well, he tried: I slapped a hand over his mouth and told him his sister was sleeping, and if he woke her up throwing a fit, he'd get a spank and a nap.  Shut the fit right down. 

He's down for a nap, now.  He told me he couldn't see the dotted lines very well.  He might have an easier time if they were a contrasting color from the paper and the lines, but...we have a laser printer.  And he's just not seeing how the letters are supposed to look on those worksheets. 

Or so he claims.  He doesn't seem to have any trouble when he's not tired. 

So, one thing fails, put the kid down for a nap and try something different. 

Saturday, May 17, 2014

random ramblings

So, the kids have stopped staying in bed until seven a.m.  This morning, I was awakened by a pixie throwing a tantrum just minutes before.  Screaming.  Tantrum.  In the hall, just outside the master bedroom door.  The kids now get to deal with angry mommy for the morning.

She is, with the exception of continuing to hack and cough (and then need a drink of water or juice) every little bit, over her bout with pneumonia.  The fever is gone, and the lethargy vanished with it.  She isn't seeming as if she's having a hard time breathing at all, now.

And she's starting to agitate to start learning what the imp is.  I'm trying to distract her, because I'm pretty sure the preschool will be doing this with her come fall.  I don't want her bored in class when it's class time.

The imp is doing very well with learning to hold pencils and crayons right.  He seems to do better with letters with curving lines than he does ones with straight lines. Although, yesterday...yesterday, he drew a capital A on a blank piece of scrap paper, then added a few lines and turned it into a house. 

I found a nifty website that's doing wonders with helping him learn to form his letters.  Basically, it's a writing worksheet generator: choose a style, and choose whether it's sentences or paragraphs, and then type what you want the kids to do in a box to the side.  I'm thinking that, regardless of whether or not he's accepted to the private school's kindergarten, I'll keep working with him with these.  Last night, I created a worksheet with the entire alphabet, done in outline, and gave him a crayon.  And he had a lot of fun tracing letters, more or less correctly.

Now to teach him that there's an order in which he's supposed to work: left to right, top to bottom.

The other breakthrough the imp has had is that he's started picking up the pencils and/or crayons with his left hand automatically.  At first, I had to remind him of that every time--everyone else uses their right hands, so this is what he'd do--but now, it's becoming automatic. 

I'm also thinking I'll start him (and the pixie) on the Hooked on Phonics system I got, then gave up on, because it required base knowledge he had no interest in acquiring.

The dog decided to be a destructive little hairball, yesterday.  She somehow managed to get ahold of a plastic fork and a scotch tape dispenser, and demolished them both.  It took several minutes to find all of the plastic shards and pick them up to put them in the trash.

We've had about five days, now, of unseasonably cool weather.  We went from being in the eighties on Tuesday to the fifties on Wednesday, with quite a bit of rain thrown in.  We're still on the cooler side, and shouldn't warm up until Monday.

I tell you that to tell you this: the cats have gone downright batshit insane.  The cooler temps have the cats tearing through the house, tackling each other, and flinging themselves (and each other) into walls and the doors.  Shadow seems to have lost about a pound in constant play.  Cricket has increased her food intake accordingly, and it seems the food bowls are empty every time I turn around.

With everyone being sick to varying degrees (the imp isn't as sick as the pixie was, but he's been pretty miserable with a bad cough, runny/stuffy nose, and sounding like a little frog to boot with the squeaky, hoarse voice--and I'm just a little worse than he was because I've run a low grade fever the whole time, and he hasn't), I haven't gotten much done.  I finished "Bar Tabs," at least in first draft, and started a story for a contest that I'm not sure will fit.  But right now, that's all.  I haven't managed to keep up with housework at all, nor to finish anything else.

I'm still waiting on the cover art for Lizzy's Tale.  Since the cover artist is a friend, I was hoping to have her and her other half over for dinner...but the other half has asthma really bad, and I didn't want to expose him to a nasty respiratory illness that could land him in the hospital.  So, that is coming, but...yeah.  Not sure when that's coming out.  I have everything done except for the cover.

Sometime this week, I'll post a sample chapter of Pendragon Resurgent.  I'll be spending this week going through it from last line to first,* editing it, and then I'll work on formatting it for publication.  I'm hoping to put it out sometime the next, this next weekend (5/23-25), I'll likely put The Last Pendragon up for free download. 

*If you read from first line to last, you're reading what you meant to write, not what you actually wrote.  If you read from last line to first, you're going to find the mistakes--misplaced words, fragmented sentences left from revision, choppy places where you added a scene or changed it without smoothing it out...typos, wrong words, and anything else you may have done.

Friday, May 16, 2014

Somebody's a shoo-in for a NYT writer...

One of CNN's writers has been caught plagiarizing

Heh. Some "ninjas."

Real ninjas...don't get caught.

Way to show some balls, man.

So, the father of a six-year-old girl who's been bullied all year by a five year old boy decides that he's unhappy with the way the school has ignored his complaints, and decides to take out a restraining order on the boy. 

A restraining order.  On a five year old

What kind of man does that, rather than speaking to the bully's parents? or teaching his daughter to kick the bully in the nuts, and then reward her with a family trip when the school suspends her?

This is so far beyond ball-less that I wonder if the little girl is actually his, because I wouldn't think he'd be capable of fathering a child in the first place.

Then again, my kids won't go to public school in the first place.  And if they get suspended from their private school for standing up to bullies, then I'm damn sure going to request a return of what tuition is left, and homeschool them from that point on. 

And I will continue teaching them to stand up to bullying.

FFOT: Oh, for fuck's sake!

This dumb twunt deserves to be sent to lose any child she gives birth to for the rest of her life.  Seriously.  She claimed she didn't have the money to buy formula for her nine month old baby son, but pays a $300+ cable bill

Okay.  Let's say she had other priorities, other places that money had to go.  If that's the case, then why the fuck didn't she just breastfeed the poor mite?  It's not like she actually fucking had a fucking job, the fucking stupid fucking cum-burping gutter slut.

Starving a nine month old baby--a baby that should be fifteen pound or more, and nearly walking--to seven pounds and barely responsive deserves a specially reserved seat in the special hell Shepherd Book speaks of.

And she deserves to have any child she ever has or ever will give birth to immediately removed from her custody, and her right to be a parent permanently terminated. 

Thursday, May 15, 2014

How 'bout an inside-the-cover teaser?

I'm still working on Pendragon Resurgent--basically, I've set it aside for a while so that I can print it and go back with fresh eyes to find typos.  I'm thinking I'll have it ready to go sometime before the end of the month, but I'm going to keep teasing you with little bits of this:

     I flattened myself behind a fallen monolith as I heard voices. 
     “I assure you, my lady,” said a cool, cultured tenor with a hint of a familiar accent, “we are searching for the others.  Two are dead, and the rest fled.  We cannot prove that the Americans were involved.”
     “This isn’t acceptable,” Morgan said flatly.  “I have worked for centuries, slowly and carefully, to destroy the last of Arthur’s court.  I would wake the young ones every few years—all but one at a time, who I would say succumbed to some type of reaction to the magic.  Mordred never suspected, and if your people hadn’t slipped up, my success would be all but assured.”
     “That is…a very long view you have taken, my lady.  It is…interesting to see a Westerner with such a strategic and patient mind.  Our paths yet lie together, my lady, and we will succeed.  I am filled with gratitude for the opportunity to work with you to achieve our mutual goals, and would know what your price is.”
     “A child.”
     “My…capabilities have weakened, through the centuries.  I suspect it is because I had one, single, dragon child, and I would like to be able to boost my capability again,” she said.  “I will have to, if I am to have a chance to defeat the whore my son has taken up with.”
     Silence held for a few seconds.  I risked peering out around the end of the stone block, and watched the Chinese man give her a hard stare for a moment, then nod his head once, almost in a shallow bow.  “Of course, my lady,” he said, gesturing toward the road. 
     I pressed my face back into the dirt, wondering how in the hell I was supposed to tell Mordred about this…and wondering where in the hell he was.

I'll probably be posting the first chapter sometime next week, or the week after. 


The pixie is feeling better.  She's feeling enough better that she's back to being constantly on the go, and I'm finding it impossible (since I've gotten sick) to keep up with her.

The imp is being difficult to handle, too.  I think it's mostly because he's sick enough to be miserable, but not sick enough to feel drained (stuffed up and coughing, but no fever). 

It's naptime, so I should have a break of an hour or two...once I get the imp put down.

Wednesday, May 14, 2014


My pixie has pneumonia.  Other than fever reducers and antibiotics, anybody have any suggestions on how to keep a three year old comfortable?

I'm up, I'm up!

So, about 5:30, the pixie woke me up screaming.  She woke up from a bad dream (probably caused by fever).  I got everything fixed, got her settled, and back to bed.  And I went back to bed.  And tossed.  And turned.  And finally got back to sleep about half an hour later.

And a few minutes ago, she started screaming crying again.  This time, right outside the bedroom door.  She was really, really thirsty, something I'm not very surprised about, and am very encouraging of, since she didn't really drink much yesterday.

But...the kids get up at seven, seven thirty at the latest.  And I'm so very wide awake that I'd get to sleep just as I had to get up with them.  And that just seems beyond futile and frustrating.

So...I'm up.  And waiting on a phone call from the doctor's office to let me know what's going on with my daughter, and what to do about it.

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Yep. Wheels. Off of two corners, now.

So, I've been dealing with a sick pixie today.  I thought, early mid week last week, that she'd gotten into something she was allergic to...and then the imp came down with it on Saturday.  She had a cough that started out sounding dry, and now sounds...goopy.  I can't tell if she's bringing anything up, but it's really made her sore from near constant hacking.  And this morning, she was running a relatively high fever.

So...I called the doctor's office, and set up an appointment for 9:30 am  with the nurse practitioner tomorrow, while Odysseus was helping TinCan Assassin get his truck into the shop.  When he got home, and I let him know what was going on, he told me to call back to get the 2:30 appointment with the doctor for today. 

Long story short, the doc said her lungs sounded congested, and sent us for x-rays.  Doc isn't sure if the pixie has bronchitis or pneumonia. 

And...just as we were walking out the door, we got a call from the private school.  They want to do a second, more detailed assessment with the imp.  I'm going to work on getting him to practice with his pencil some more after supper.  And I'm going to need to drink quite a lot tomorrow, because I'm going to start working on teaching him how to hop on one foot and skip--which, ironically, Odysseus didn't learn until first, and I didn't learn until nearly second grade.  I'm going to need the alcohol because I'm going to be in some pretty severe pain with my joints after we're done.

The person they want to do the assessment works with parents as teachers for the area (an idea doomed to failure, with my son's personality type), and they called me to ask permission to do this, and to give this person my phone number. 

I'm going to be working with the imp on stuff up to whenever this person sets the assessment.  I'm going to make damn sure he understands that this is his very...last...chance... to go to school with other kids, and with teachers other than Mommy and Daddy. 

So, yeah. 

On the bright side, the doctor's office didn't try to file with our insurance and gave us the self-pay discount, and the radiologist's office is in our provider network (and praised the pixie's cooperativeness and good behavior to the sky.  And told me to pick out a piece of candy to take back to her).  So today's adventures cost us right around $83, rather than $135 for the doctor's visit alone (what we pay after the insurance has refused to pay them). 

Monday, May 12, 2014


The company Odysseus and TCA work for is run by brainless twunts.  Seriously.  Instead of hiring enough people to cover when one quits (or gets fired for selling alcohol to minors...or gets hospitalized for a suicide attempt), they hire just enough people to cover all shifts in most positions...if absolutely nothing goes wrong. 

And corporate rations cleaning supplies.  Their store has to beg for more from the warehouse, and when they arrive, they call everyone in for a three-hour "meeting," where they put everybody to work cleaning...and have to pay for extra hours of work. 

So, Odysseus's second Monday where he didn't have to get up to go to class, he had to get up an hour earlier, and go clean a store that could be kept clean if corporate were run by people with as much sense as congress.

TinCan Assassin needs help.

His brakes went out on his truck that he uses to deliver pizzas for the same place Odysseus does.  Give the guy a hand?  Please?

Sunday, May 11, 2014

It feels like the wheels are coming off.

Our department head, an excellent teacher and administrator, has decided to step down as department head, and put one of the flightiest twits we have in the department in his place.  On the one hand, that ensures she damages fewer students.  On the  other?  She's close friends with a woman who hates my guts because I'm a better teacher than she is, because I have utterly rejected feminism, and because I have accomplished something she never managed, contrary to her wishes: I have children.

I don't know.  It may blow over completely.  I have created and maintained a habit of keeping my head down; however, given that the new department head is a woman (and nosy), that may not be adequate.

I've already been assigned two sections for fall.  Both sections are full.  I'm not worried about fall.  It's next spring I'm concerned about.  If I'm told I'm no longer needed (as I half expect to happen), there goes almost half the household income.  For now, at least.  Hopefully, it won't happen that way, but...if it does, it may be for the best, considering that will be Odysseus's last semester, and he'll be taking the CPA/CMA exams, and may need as much flexibility as I can grant him.

So, the department is wobbling with the retirement of one of our best this spring, and resignation of our department head effective June 1.

I still don't know if the imp is going to be in kindergarten or not, starting in the fall.  If he's not, I'm not entirely sure what to do, since Odysseus has at least one class at the same time I have one of mine.  And I'll be in, at work, from probably around 8:30-1:00, three days a week.  If he's not, he's going to be homeschooled as far and as fast as I can get him taught.  And we'll have to find somebody to watch him while we're in class.

Again, I don't know.  The kindergarten teachers seemed to really like him, and claimed that they were going to do their best to get him excepted from the cutoff (that they didn't test number skills--his strong point--may help).  So, it may blow over.  I may be borrowing trouble.

And isn't it nice that all of this comes down right before the summer break pay drought--after May's paycheck (last working day), I won't get another check until the last working day of September.

So, yeah.  It feels like everything's falling apart, all at once.  Not a fun feeling.

Happy Mother's Day

To all of the mothers out there who may stumble across my blog: I hope you have a spectacular Mother's Day. 

Saturday, May 10, 2014

random ramblings

The imp wrote a page full of very good X's yesterday.  I had him doing that to practice diagonal straight lines.  Horizontal he's pretty good with.  He still needs to practice vertical lines.  After that...I'll start him on writing letters.  I've promised him a nice, big, outdoor car or truck after he can write his name.

The pixie was her normal, charming, little fluttery self, today, with a head full of snot.  Seems both kids have come down with a cold, and she's still too little for the symptom reliever meds.

Today started, really, last night: my mom called, and invited us over for today, and asked us to pick up a salad.  So, I got up this morning, we went to Walmart, then went to the UPS store to return some Amazon purchases*, then headed up to my mom's...only to find that she'd gotten some steaks for lunch today.  They were really tasty.  Especially with baked potatoes and the salad.  My sister made cinnamon sugar muffins for dessert.

So, last night I made smackinoff.  Went to shred the frozen, leftover roast, and found that there were two 2"x2" chunks of fat, which don't do well added in.  So, I dropped them in the dog's leftover breakfast (she rarely eats her food of a morning when it's warm weather outside.  Maybe a bite or two, but no more).  A couple of minutes later, I hear the food rattle, and hear the imp giggle, "Momma, Shadow's being bad!"

Sure enough, the cat is holding one of the pieces of fat down with one foot in the dish, yanking a bite off the  other corner.

Cricket has been very, very affectionate with the kids, lately.  She walks circles on them, and on the couch, begging (demanding) pets, while purring so loud it makes my bones rattle, five to seven feet away.

The dog had some major disappointment, earlier in the week--rain and thunderstorms.  I will not leave her outside during such, no matter her preferences.  I'm going to really upset the dog again this week: it's time for a bath and a close shave.

Semester is completely over, now.  I haven't received two papers from one of my usually excellent students, but I literally cannot give her any more time.  Finals week ended at eight p.m. yesterday, and I accepted papers through midnight.  Tonight, I'm going to go through, look for things submitted through the course site, grade anything I find, then submit the grades to the system tonight or tomorrow morning.  Then, I'm done until mid-August with teaching comp, and will spend the summer teaching how to write letters.  And start the Hooked on Phonics system that I got for the imp last fall.

So far, I've posted the back cover blurb and the front cover art work for Pendragon Resurgent.  Next week, I plan to post the inside the cover teaser while I edit one last time (hopefully).  The weekend before I publish (soon, I hope), I'll post The Last Pendragon for a free download to (hopefully) drum up some interest in Pendragon Resurgent.  In the meantime, it is only $2.99 to buy, and free to borrow for Amazon Prime members with a Kindle.

I'm about halfway done with "Bar Tabs," and will finish it after I post grades.  After I finish it, and hand it off to my beta readers, I'll post it for sale for Kindle at $0.99, with as much time free as I can swing.

I'm still waiting for the cover art for Lizzy's Tail.  As soon as I get it, that will be going up.  And I've had interest expressed (thanks, Harry!) in a children's book from a ferret's point of view.  I'll need to do some research about ferret needs,** but I'm thinking of having the ferret "save" his house and family from various a bat ("How did you end up on the ceiling fan?"). 

I've got Fire and Forge outlined, and ready to go.  If I can write one of the story chapters per day, I should be able to get it written in a bit over thirty days from go, more or less.  If I can't, I'll probably miss my self-imposed deadline on that one, too.

*I have to special order bras.  These were made as if they were created to fit some weirdly shaped aliens with breast implants, rather than a real woman's breast shape.  

**And yes, Harry, I will be adding a disclaimer that due to stupid pricks in the government, ferrets sold in the US will be more likely to be unhealthy and prone to disease, and are not for everybody to choose as a pet.  

Friday, May 9, 2014

Front cover

Here's the pic I found from this awesome royalty-free photo site,  I'm going to use it for the front cover of Pendragon Resurgent.

What do y'all think?  Suitable place for dragons to build a home?

Probably a contributing factor to yesterday's performance

My son is left handed, and not very good at holding the pencil without his Grotto grip.  None of the pencils had grips.  And I don't know which hand he was using, and often won't use his left hand without being prompted because he sees everyone around him using their right hand. 

FFOT: me

I can fuck off for letting the imp get away with deciding he didn't want me teaching him anything.  By so doing, I have failed him badly.

Thursday, May 8, 2014

More consequences

We're working with the imp on fine motor control.  I've let him get away with the whole not wanting to let Mommy teach him things up to now, but...yeah, the school wasn't pleased with his lack of it. 

So, we're drawing lines.  Vertical lines only, because he's prone to drawing circles if he tries to draw any shape at all.  So...lines.  He's showed me he can do them.  And he's also showed me that he won't.  Won't do it right, won't do it consistently.  Not can't, won't.

So.  Consequences. 

He gets warnings.  And then he gets sent to his room by himself.  Called out, and put back to it.  And he'll do one.  Maybe two.  And then he'll start farting around again.  And faces the consequences.

I have clearly explained that, if he doesn't do what I know he can do, and do it right (which I also know he can do), he will get sent to his room.  And if he does do it, and do it right, he gets to do something he's been begging to do for days, but hasn't been permitted to do:  he can play with his InnoTab. 

He has to learn to follow instructions.  He has to learn to put in effort to do what needs done, whether he wants to do it or not.  He has to learn that it doesn't matter if something is boring, he has to do it anyway.

Because the consequences of not learning to do that will prevent him from doing anything he really wants to do in life. 

I can't fail him like that. 

Thank you, Captain Obvious.

Imp: Mommy, there's a storm outside!

No shit.

"A fear of weapons is a sign of retarded sexual and emotional maturity."--Sigmund Freud

That says a lot about the anti-gun lobby, doesn't it?


I got so busy trying to help Odysseus study for his last final yesterday* and working on "Bar Tabs" that I simply couldn't think of anything to write for y'all.  And there was nothing in the news that sparked any ideas, so there went that. 

I'll try to do better today.  After I finish my coffee. 

*Odysseus studied all day until time to work on Saturday, and all day Sunday, and he pulled an A on the final and in the class as a whole.  I couldn't be prouder of him.  I rode herd on the kids and kept him supplied with something to drink yesterday.  I'll probably do the same today, until it's time for the imp's Kindergarten assessment. 

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

One more draft done.

I just finished rewriting some scenes in Pendragon Resurgent, as recommended by the most awesome DaddyBear.  I'm gonna set it aside for TCA and his wife to finish.

In the meantime...back to writing "Bar Tabs"--the short story that tells the who's who of the gods, for the benefit of a new assistant bartender, who may get a fatwa called down on my head.

And after that?  I've got a few things to work on...


I've already received several revisions (one which did nothing, so doesn't get a better grade).  I've been grading and posting as I get them, and the last time I'm willing to accept new work is midnight Friday. 

Because semester is over, even if I did decide to give my students a bit longer to revise.  And I will be turning my grades in by Sunday. 

Monday, May 5, 2014

...and that's a wrap.

Until and unless I get revisions, I am done grading.

Here's another one...

...for the better dead list: a man tried pimping his four year old son out for sex

Someone needs to be put in general population when he goes to prison, and it needs to be let leak what he's in for. 


Backed up grading on one class done.  I decided to give them until Friday to get revisions to me, since this week is finals week, and Odysseus has this weekend off to grade revisions and turn in final grades.

Sunday, May 4, 2014


We did some household shopping, today, right before Odysseus really buckled down and started studying.  One of the things I've been keeping an eye out for, for the pixie, is a new swim suit.  We started at Sam's Club with the household shopping (and damn it, I forgot the kids' vitamins!), and I spotted children's swimsuits.  For $10-12 each.  Sizes 4-14. 

So, I pull out the size 4, and look at it: the legs are butt-cheek-baringly high-cut.  For a four year old. 

I put it back.  The pixie sorta liked it, but was more like 'meh, don't care.' 

And then we hit Walmart for a couple of things.  Initially, it was going to be one thing, but the pixie decided she was hungry and wanted popcorn chicken.  So, we all went in.  And I decided to look for suits there. 

And I despaired: all of the one piece suits had the high cut legs that would wedgie in to show off the entire butt.  It's one thing to have this type of an option for adult women, but for little girls???  And that wasn't even the worst

A bikini.  An honest-to-god bikini. It comes in zebra print, too. 

Okay, people: What. The.  Fuck

What kind of sick fuck puts their two year old in a bikini?

And then wonders why we have so many more pedophiles becoming bolder and bolder?

Any case...I did what I could to find something that I deemed appropriate: a tankini with boy-shorts.  Found one in pink camo up top, and hot pink on the bottom.  She already likes it more than anything else I spotted, and I think it'll be cute without trying to sexualize a tiny girl. 

But still, my mind boggles...a bikini.  For toddlers.  

Saturday, May 3, 2014

These are the reasons my family will always be hard-up.

My aunt--the only one who works--recently retired from a decently good job.  She retired because she hated it, because she "could," and because she has no ability to predict the consequences of her actions. 

She has a 401(k) with a few thousand in it.  Only a few thousand.  She's using that money to pay off her debts.  She plans to live on Social Security.  She has no idea what she's gotten herself in for. 

I tried telling her that she wasn't in any kind of shape not to retire, but what do I know?  She was, after all, one of the ones that changed my diapers and taught me to read.  Therefore, she knows more than me, and will always know better than me. 

She's going to lose the family place within five years, and thank goodness.  That place has been nothing but a curse for as long as I can remember.

My mother has about four dozen vinyl records, and no working record player.  She wants me to take her records to the university library, and turn the music on them into MP3s.  I came up with an idea with my sister, that we would buy a USB turntable for Mom for Mother's Day, and help her put everything on her computer as MP3s, burn CDs, and maybe do the same for the rest of the family.

She decided she wants to get her hair done, instead. 

I did say something--I don't waste much money on things that will only last a month or two*--but she shrugged, and said, "A perm will last me for almost a year." 

Yes, but...the turntable will last longer, and be a hell of a lot more useful. 

And she still wants the perm. 

I am fucking tired of trying to reason with my family.  And I will not ever be giving any more than a $5-15 Walmart gift card for a gift again.  No going in with my sister to pay for something useful and nice, since the money will just be wasted for stupid shit that isn't worth it. 

I certainly will not be enabling this kind of stupid behavior from my family again.

*I haven't been to get a haircut in three years.  Getting dead ends taken off isn't worth $15.  I have never gotten my hair dyed professionally--spending $8 and doing it myself is more sensible.  My kids have never and will never get to have a birthday party for all of their friends at a laser tag park or at Chucky Cheeze--it's a waste of money. 

Random ramblings

So, the imp decided to be a knucklehead last night, and dance around like an idjit right next to the open toilet while I was giving him his dose of Zyrtec.  Guess what happened?  Yep.  He stumbled, tripped, and fell backwards right into the toilet.  He'd just put on his pajamas, too--a pair of gray sweats and a gray tee shirt with Captain America's shield on it.  He cried, more about being startled and having to change out of his tee shirt than anything else.  Poor kid.

He played outside for a good long time yesterday.  The day before, too.  Wednesday was in the low fifties, and spitting rain every little bit.  The imp is a much, much happier boy when he can go out and play in the dirt.  Wish I saw others letting their boys get dirty--I don't know what this obsession with "You must stay clean!" is; they're kids, they wash up just fine.

Although, when he was ready to come in, I did make him change his clothes.  Remember Pigpen from Charlie Brown?  The kid that walked around in a cloud of dust?  That's the imp after he's been outside.

And yesterday, our strategy paid off, and we were able to bring home a new couch (which was why I made the imp change his clothes when he came in).  Our old one, which we got (at least) second hand for $40, and had had for two years plus, had one end broken, and had become infested with rodents.   The skirt was also coming loose, exposing staples, making it unsafe around the kids.  We've been setting Odysseus's tips from delivering pizza aside in a separate account, and pretending that we didn't have them to spend.  We actually accumulated more than we needed to buy the couch, so the next goal is to get the deck either fixed, or torn down and replaced.

The pixie has had a rough week.  She's got allergies, too, but hers manifest as twitchiness, an inability to sleep, and irritability.  She's also unable to follow rules and behave.  Zyrtec helps her, too, but I can't always get her to take it.  So far, I've had to move the shampoo away from the bathtub (next to her potty chair) to keep her from putting shampoo in her hair while she's on the potty chair, had to spank her for doing things that could seriously hurt her, despite repeated warnings, and she emptied her clean clothes basket into her bed and hid them under her covers.  I am...less than happy with her, at present.

She didn't like the new couch at first, yesterday: "I don't like it.  It's too high."

Cricket, our rather dumb black and white cat, has decided that she loves the new couch: it's pillowed on the back, and Cricket slept sprawled on the back all afternoon.  Every so often, she'd take a deep breath and release that single deep breath in a loud purr  All in her sleep.

Shadow is okay with it, but is very disappointed that her mouse dispenser is gone.  She only likes the couch if there's someone to snuggle with sitting on it.

The dog doesn't really give a damn one way or the other.  She's not allowed on the furniture, so it's more of a "Huh, new smells," response.

I have blogs to grade and a revision.  As soon as I get that done, I'm done for the semester.  Well, I will be once I've turned grades in, and turned in a copy of my grade book. After that, I'm done until August 12.

I've been given a link to a short story contest for fantasy fiction by one of my friends.  I've got some ideas that I'm thinking I'll try to write.  If they don't come out, then I'm gonna have to give it a miss this year, because I still need to get Pendragon Resurgent finished and published.  Well, that, Lizzy's Tail, and "Bar Tabs."  I also have Fire and Forge to get written this summer.

Yes, I know I don't have deadlines, as such.  I know I'm not making any real money off of this, and it's not my real career.  However, that said, I am treating it like one so that I'm in the mindset already if it ever manages to replace my current income to the point where it can become my career.  And, as such, I do set myself goals and deadlines (even if I completely fell flat in getting Pendragon Resurgent out by my deadline). 

Any case...Survivors is still on the free download list today and tomorrow.  If you have it and have read it, feel free to download it and send it to a friend that you think would like it, or should read it.

Friday, May 2, 2014

FFOT: nursemaid's elbow

So, my daughter's been the one acting out this week.  She put shampoo in her hair Tuesday night, and then again on Wednesday night.  Tuesday night, I told her not to do it again; Wednesday night, I sent her to her room for the night (banned her from watching television).  She decided to dangle off of her doorknob, and popped her elbow out of joint.  Again. 

This makes the sixth time.

And the fourth time I've put it back myself. 

Nursmaid's elbow can fuck the fucking fuck off, especially after the kids are big enough to beg you not to hurt them while you're putting their elbow back into place.

Overheard in the living room

The Pixie [sitting on Daddy's lap]: Shadow says, 'Where did all the mouses go, Uncle [TinCan Assassin]?

(We're getting a new couch.  The old one, which had turned into a mouse dispenser in the cats' point of view, is now sitting on the curb.)

Want a free book?

Survivors is free to download for today, tomorrow, and Sunday.  DaddyBear has reviewed it here, if you want to see what you'll be getting before you get it.