I Could Have You All Hanged

“Really, guys? We need four thousand words on Hiro book three and you’re giving me Nemesis bits? I think that qualifies as a mutiny. I could have you all hanged.”

It’s fun the things that come out of your fingers when you’re writing like the wind. Sometimes it’s just babble. This happened on the 25th, a day where I barely managed 750 words:

 We can write laundry lists (what the hell? Why would you list your laundry anyway?) if we have to, in order to get to the finish line. No more losing NaNo. we had our one and only– it is no longer permitted.

And, immortal in the history of NaNo, we have this.

[find something, put it here]

Ahh, NaNo. Permission to write garbage. As I’ve said before, though, that’s not a bad thing. NaNo sets my imagination free. It took a lot longer this month than it usually does because life kept butting in, but it happened. Ideas started showing up. Connections were made. Thoughts were thunk. As I hoped when I began, I found what I needed to eventually write book three, and it will be amazing.

After, you know…I edit book one, rewrite book two, and sit my butt down to really write book three. Toss out all the garbage–what do you mean, I shouldn’t have written that first scene four times in a row? I had to. The first three didn’t work. Toss out the garbage, put in all the stuff I realized very late in the MS needed to go in there…later.

In the meantime, it’s back to the Dream’verse for me. Taro and Rafe are calling. :)

Game On! Week One

Game On! Week One

Warning: please do NOT attempt to visit the Game On! diet website. My anti-virus software performs a smackdown every time I try. For that reason, none of the links below go to the official website.

Last year some of my coworkers started playing the Game On! diet. I looked at it and decided to pass. I’m not particularly competitive–if we get into some sort of challenge and I think it matters to you that you win, I’ll probably let you win. So I figured I’d be better off just cheering from the sidelines instead of caught between letting my teammates down or upsetting friends on the opposite team. (yeah, I had no idea how “friendly competition” worked. Shut up.)

This year I decided something needed to be done. A few years ago I lost a wonderful fifty pounds, but they’ve been creeping back on. SOMETHING had to change. So when the invite went around to get on a team, I jumped in.

We started on Monday. I’ve already lost four pounds.

The rules seem pretty strict, and they are. But there are…loopholes. Didn’t get your water in? Call it a free day. You get one of those a week for each thing. Really really NEED a chocolate hit right now? 100 free calories a day, dude. Just keep your chocolate small and enjoy the hell out of it, and you’re good. Can’t stand the thought of giving up butter for a month? You can have it on your free day AND your free meal.

But the important part for me has been “it’s just four weeks. FFS, I can do ANYTHING for a month, right?” Hopefully I’ll bring some good habits out of this, but even if I don’t, at least I’ve jump-started my weight loss again.

Week One has been difficult, yes. But I brought most of that stress on myself, by not summoning up the energy to prepare last weekend. When I’m standing at the fridge five minutes before I should be at work going “how the hell do I get my healthy fat into that second meal?” it’s pretty clear it’s my problem, not the diet.

I have totally eaten two low-fat cheese sticks, a slice of whole grain bread, and three olives, and called it a meal this week. I’m not proud of that, but I did it to my own damn self. That meal could, completely legitimately, been a baked potato, a small chicken breast, and a big salad with almonds or olives or avocado on it.

And I’m not miserable, and I’ve lost four pounds, and I’m a week down. Only three more to go. :D

Some Straight Talk about Gay Kids

Look, gang. I like when people find my blog because they’re looking for my books. That’s lovely.

Seeking rants on the awesome of Tom Hiddleston? I’m glad to see those hits too.

Checking out Blake Snyder’s Beat Sheet? More power to you. I love it and I think you will too.

But when day after day hits come from someone searching “how young does a child know he’s gay?” and the like?

gay kids search

That’s both wonderful and depressing.

I hope when people find me that way they stay to read, that they are comforted, that they decide to chill the f*** out and not worry about their 5- or 8- or 11yo’s sexuality too much. But it’s more than a little awful that people are so terribly worried about this.

The simple truth is, the sooner we stop making this a big deal, the sooner it stops being a big deal. So your kid might be gay. He might be left-handed too, and you’ll probably have to make more accommodations there than for the other. We got past the idea that left-handed is wrong. We’ll get past the idea gay is wrong too.

We’ll do it sooner if some folks would just chill out.


STFU, You’re Amazing

STFU, You're Amazing

I was reading this today, and I wanted to stand up and cheer.

I’m talking about how we minimize, despise, excoriate, and abhor ourselves. How we exclude ourselves from consideration. How we martyr ourselves for others. How we call ourselves ugly, awful, incompetent, and stupid.

I don’t know exactly how to describe the sensation I get when I see a beautiful, fiercely intelligent, accomplished and skilled artist and craftswoman twenty years my senior call herself ugly and stupid… but I am realizing that I have that same power now, and it’s up to me to use it wisely. Not to give voice to the anger and self-hatred and self-loathing I feel so fiercely. Not to indulge in the kind of scab-picking hairshirt self-abnegation that we’ve been trained to crave, even though it’s so fucking bad for us and everyone around us. Even though it robs us of our power to be positive in the world, and good for other people. ~Elizabeth Bear

We are taught to do this. I remember my mom doing it. I’ve spent years learning not to do it. Flylady calls it “stinking thinking” and emphasizes kicking it to the curb.

I don’t do this [much] anymore. Friends think I’m so amazingly confident–just because I don’t do this. I never thought of it this way, though. I mostly came to it through defiance–my belief that there are enough people out there ready to put me down. They don’t need my help, and why should they have it? Treating me like crap has never helped me lose weight, get smarter, try harder…as a motivator, it just sucks. And it makes me feel like crap besides.

It was hard. My inner dialogue sounded like “come on, you idiot. You were stupid enough to say you could do this, so you effing well do it. Now. No, you’re not going to bed till you freaking get it done.” Now it’s more “come on, girl. You can do this. You’re smart and awesome, and you can do this.” Guess which works better to get things done?

In February, I turned 42. People told me I was “just a baby.” Others said things like “Happy Birthday! So you’re what, 21?”

Proudly I told them I’m 42. It’s a significant age! As Elizabeth Bear said of herself, I finally feel like a grown-up. I can handle things. After twenty years on my own, I feel like I’ve got this. And it’s a great feeling.

So, friends, you can stop trying to take it away. I appreciate the sentiment, but I am forty-two FANTASTIC years old, and I’m proud of it and me.

And you should be proud of you. You’ve made it this far. You’re clearly a person of taste and discerment (or you wouldn’t be reading my blog, right?) Let up on you. Give yourself the benefit of the doubt, just like you do your closest friends and maybe even strangers.

STFU. You’re amazing. Deal with it.

Turn That Frown Upside Down!

Turn That Frown Upside Down!

I’ve had people say that to me. Yes, I wanted to smack them. It’s not actually what I’m saying here, I just liked it as a title.

Recently a young lady on my Twitter feed decided to tweet some pictures of herself in various outfits. I clicked a few (I was actively avoiding editing, of course), and my first reaction was “oh honey. Don’t.” But then I stopped.

She was not, by Hollywood standards, beautiful. The lighting was bad, and the angles not perfect. But she was a happy young woman in clothes she loved, that looked just fine on her. They were not sexy or meant to be, just pictures. And my first reaction was “don’t send pictures like this to strangers!”

Well, screw that. I tweeted back that her outfit was lovely, and so was her smile. And by the time I tweeted it, I felt that way.

Last night was the Golden Globes, and while I haven’t seen a single picture, I can (or could have, last night) told you what lots of people wore and how people thought they looked in it, just from glancing at my Twitter stream. It was annoying to me then; now it makes me sad. So many people get their information on how to live life from their TV, and with TV it’s all about appearance. It’s all about one narrow set of “this appeals to the most people, everything else must go.”

Apparently they’ve cast a white man to play the lead in Akira. The movies market to white people, and white people won’t see movies about with Asians, apparently. (Jackie Chan’s sheer awesome aside, of course. He’s the exception.) Anyway. That’s the decision. Anime fans around the world are banging their heads into walls.

I don’t mean to say that racial issues are caused by the movie business; I just want to point out that major media companies don’t seem to be fighting on the side of justice, whatever they like to put out through their PR firms. (George Lucas backs me up in this.)

The really sucky thing is, the movie studios are perpetuating something that’s already there, at least in me. I’m ashamed to admit that when I decided to make Zeke Cayden in Queen’s Man black, I struggled with it. I was raised in a white area (one black kid in my high school graduating class) and I’m not used to seeing black people dating white people. Unless it’s a movie about interracial relationships, it doesn’t happen much onscreen (at least, in the stuff I watch. Which is not exactly intellectual most of the time.)  The only thing I’ve seen that I can think of offhand is Firefly, and even there, it’s the woman who is black. I remember the nasty meme of how black men will steal your women! and I wince.

One of the things (many things!) I love about English TV/movies is that they’ll have biracial couples without making a single mention of how it’s an amazing thing.

So, my problem. Before I could write Zeke, I had to be able to picture him. I had to do therapy. Lots and lots of therapy.

Poor me.

*ahem* So, anyway. There’s a problem. Many of us know there’s a problem. It’s not going to go away easily. I guess I’m just blogging to say–

It’s all in our heads (which is where a lot of the worst stuff lies), but we can change our thoughts. Keep thinking.

Ask Eve: Fighter Strategy

Ask Eve: Fighter Strategy

Eve Marcori is a freighter captain and former Marine offering advice because of Authorial Privilege out of a sincere desire to help. Advice not guaranteed legal in your province/planet of residence. Check with local authorities. This blog takes no responsibility for any criminal charges you may incur by acting on Eve’s advice.

In general an ellipsis [...] indicates Eve had to be prodded by her author was thinking. If you’d like to know her better, Eve Marcori plays a prominent role in Knight Errant, currently available through Turtleduck Press.

Eve, when you’re faced with a bunch of enemy fighters trying to frag your ass and there’s an asteroid belt at hand…do you dive in and play tag in the asteroids? Or just run for it? (And you’re in a small, personal fighter for this one.) ~Jeena

Weird thing is, asteroids don’t give a damn who’s the good guy. Rather not have more shit to dodge. Running’s the better option. Get me some gravity, some negative visibility–something to play with that’s not likely to kill me. Pretty effin’ good at hide and stalk.

Give me my Dream, though, where I got the firepower and shields to sock it out…yeah, my Leopard was sweet, but my Dream kicks ass better.

Ask Eve, Volume the 1st

Ask Eve, Volume the 1st

This is a new series here on Forging Ever Onward, and I’ll probably be tinkering a bit to figure out the best format. Suggestions are welcome!

Also, since Eve tends to be short with words and there’s no way to ask follow-up questions in real time, I’ll be the one prodding her for more in-depth answers. I do hope you appreciate the risks I run to do this.

So! Onward.

Someone who didn’t leave their name (probably wise) asked:

Eve, help me plot! If you were part of a dying-out species that was *massively* outnumbered by an enemy determined to wipe yours out, because someone of *your* species tried to wipe *them* out, what would you do? What *could* you do?

Eve answers†:

Got a gun?

And explosives. Bombs are good.


Look, you got their objective right there. They want to wipe you all out. Don’t let ‘em. That don’t mean just do defense–you’ll all die in a frakkin’ hole. But stash the non-combatants. Hide ‘em as deep and safe as you can, and put good people to guarding them. Then you and your mates go make the galaxy safe.

Use your mates. Use ‘em up if you gotta–you let the slime win and everything’s gone anyway, right?

That don’t mean waste what you’ve got. You use them up too soon and you’re fighting alone. That’ll get you dead. Think sneaky. Think knife strikes. In and out, no damage to you and lots to them. Hitting their supply dumps is good–always fun to shoot a slime with his own gun.

And if that damned fool started everything is still around–wrap him up with a pretty bow and hand him over. You don’t need slime like that. Your species is better off without him.

†Advice not guaranteed legal in your province/planet of residence. Check with local authorities. This blog takes no responsibility for any criminal actions instigated in response to Eve’s advice.

‡At this point, I poked. Send get-well cards and gift-baskets c/o the Pendragon’s Dream.

KD Sarge

KD Obsesses Over Stuff

Tom Hiddleston in a tux

Tom Hiddleston Invites You to Tumblr




KD Reads Stuff

Polar Star
Magic's Pawn
The Mote in God's Eye
Startide Rising
Raymond E. Feist's Magician Master
Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban
How to Teach Physics to Your Dog
A Christmas Carol
The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes
Murder at the Vicarage
The Golden Compass
The Lorax
The Dragonbone Chair
Calvin and Hobbes
The Elvenbane
Wikis For Dummies (For Dummies
Hunting Season