What?…

Okay, so I have been busy with school. We still have a pandemic going on even though most people are trying to act like life is business as usual. Russia has attacked Ukraine, most likely because Putin is dying of cancer and wants to go out looking like a hero. And now the Republicans are trying to overturn Roe v. Wade.

The world is going to Hell and people are weaving their own handbaskets. Got it.

Let me start with the most pressing matter for us here in the US. The Republican party and the Christian Right are trying to take us even closer to being back in the 40s and 50s. The cars were nice and music was getting interesting but that’s about all it had going for it. While our founding fathers came to this land for the sake of religious freedom, there is a reason the separation of church and state was written into our doctrines. You have the freedom to believe in whatever you want. But your Flying Spaghetti Monster cannot determine political policy and law for the entire nation. That takes away freedom of choice from people who do not want to be a Pastafarian.

What that means is that no governing body can use religion as the basis of writing or upholding/rescinding a law. A lawmaker’s personal beliefs may influence their decisions to a point, but they are required by law to evaluate their decisions based on the better good of the People. That is not what is happening right now. Take a good look at Congress, both houses. We do have more women and people of color than ever before. But the majority of people in those seats are still Old White Men. I am 50 years old and learned a long time ago that Old White Men do not have my best interests in mind, even when they are doctors I go to. That’s why I refuse to see an Old White Man doctor now.

These Old White Men have been in office for way too long. They have lost touch with what the People actually do in their daily lives, what the People actually need, who their constituents are. These Old White Men have been living on our tax dollars and lobbyist dollars for decades. They are comfortable in their big houses with their guaranteed health care and personal security. They do not care about the consequences of their actions. They need to be reminded.

Let’s take a look at some medical issues. Ultrasound can show if a fetus is missing organs, you know, those body parts necessary for survival. Then we have placental abruption, where families have to choose whether to try and save a fetus or the mother while both are bleeding to death. And how about people who are in a position to use fertility treatments of some kind and end up with multiple viable fertilized eggs who then have to reduce them because six is too much strain on the mother’s body. And then we have ectopic pregnancies which can also cause a woman to bleed to death when they rupture because they are not viable pregnancies. Let me say that louder for the idiots in the back. THEY ARE NOT VIABLE PREGNANCIES.

Okay, time for some economics. A vast percentage of people are sharing homes either with family or friends because the income in the US is laughable. People cannot afford a house on their own. How are they supposed to be able to afford kids, or more kids than they already have? If you know you cannot financially support a child after it is born, why have one? The welfare system is over burdened as it is. And if the female is a teenager, guess who ends up taking on that responsibility? Her parents, or grandparents, or the child ends up in foster care. Another system in the US which is flat out broken. Then we have people in broken marriages who are having to support kids without a spouse. They should not end up with the financial burden of another child if they choose not to want one.

And then we have a bigger issue. This relates to those last two in a way. Sexual abuses and rape cause pregnancies, too. Women and teenage girls should not have to carry that burden. It was not theirs to begin with. Being sexually assaulted should not be a life sentence for the victim, which is what happens when they are impregnated by their attacker and are forced to have that child. And this is perpetrated by family members just like it is from complete strangers. Monsters are human. We should not have to be reminded of their lack of control.

Speaking of control, where is the responsibility that should be put on the men who create these children? If women have to have the child, then the men should have to pay up. First of all, any man who commits a sexual assault that results in a pregnancy should have to pay for all expenses to cover the prenatal care, birth, healthcare for the child, all school expenses through college, their first car, car insurance, clothes, dental and vision care, haircuts. Anything, and I mean anything, that child needs should be paid for by the man who created it if the woman is forced to give birth. This is not up for debate.

If men don’t like that deal, then get a vasectomy. It’s cheaper by many thousands of dollars, has fewer risks, and does not require general anesthesia. I think we should start with every Old White Man in congress. Line them up and run them through a tent. Give them all an extra Covid booster while we’re at it. If they refuse, then they forfeit their salary and all lobbyist moneys for at minimum one year. Let them go back to their home states and work a job like their constituents. Let them figure out how to make a living on less than $20 an hour. Quite frankly, any person in congress who is not willing to fight for the People should resign. I don’t care what party affiliation they have. They need to relearn why those offices exist.

You know, something small and far removed from themselves is easy for a politician to shout about. Does anyone notice how many things they are removing that protect children after birth? How they are stripping stuff out of schools? Changing what can be taught? This fight over Roe v. Wade is not about babies. It has never been about babies. If politicians actually cared about babies, they would be voting for better healthcare for women and children, supporting homeless shelters, improving the foster care system and making adoptions easier and less costly. But it’s not about the babies. If politicians actually cared about us, they would fight for us instead of with each other.

Finding Veronica

I’m not sure why I came up with the name Veronica for my muse just now but we’ll roll with it. At least until she shows up and decides if she likes it.

Yep, she’s gone AWOL. I haven’t heard from her in a while. Well, I’m not sure that’s completely accurate. The ideas Veronica and I generate are not missing. It’s more like

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Veronica and I are not on speaking terms at the moment. I’m not sure which of us is to blame for that. Or if either of us is to blame for it. Blame is an ugly word. Let’s not us that.

Veronica and I are…socially incompatible at the moment.

…that sounds just as weird. *sigh*

This is November. It’s National Novel Writing Month, NaNoWriMo. I’m supposed to be letting the words fly from my fingertips and writing fifty thousand words or more in 30 days. This is my second blog. Do Facebook posts count? Granted, there was a death in the family last month but I have had no desire to write. Not like I used to. Historically you would find me with no less than two notepads of various sizes and half a dozen pens in multiple colors. People know me for this so well they often gift me with writing paraphernalia.

At the moment, I might have a pen or two in my purse. My phone has a notepad app on it but I’m not sure I have a piece of paper on me other than a tissue. How does this even happen? I have felt distanced from my writing for a while now. For a long time, the writing was an escape for me. I don’t have as many things I need to escape now. I’m not sure how to channel the same energy into the writing now that the emotional need is different. I’ve tried really hard not to let go of the writing. When I look back at some of the things I’ve done, I really like the work I’ve done and think it would be publishable if I keep at it. But then I don’t do anything with it. I don’t write anything else. Veronica does come knocking. I get more ideas and I do write them down so I don’t lose them. But they don’t grow into anything more. It saddens me to see notes scribbled in a notebook between shopping lists waiting for me to shape them into characters and plot.

Sometimes it feels like I don’t know how to get motivated. Which is absurd when you think about it. As many blogs as I’ve written about how to get your ass in gear over everything else, I should be able to figure this one out. Yet I here I sit with Veronica looking over my shoulder wondering why I’m not working on the idea she gave me. Hopefully she won’t get too mad at me.

This is February?

It’s supposed to get close to 80 degrees today. I’m taking my boyfriend to the park. He’s new to the area and hasn’t been there before. It’s going to be a pretty day. But really, 80 degrees in February? Enjoy the sunshine when it comes. Enjoy the rain, too.

Make the most of whatever comes your way. Being happy is not dependent on the weather. It is a choice. I realized this a long time ago. Some people are miserable no matter how good things may be in their lives. Job, home, car, family, friends, food, clothes, kids, pets, vacation. They can have all of these things and still not be happy. While there are people who may not have half that and be happy all the time.

Some people seem to enjoy complaining. They enjoy finding the negative in a situation, in other people, finding something to degrade in other people. I’ve found that it means they are usually unhappy about something with themselves. It’s not something they would ever admit, not even to themselves late at night after a lot of drinks. But I can tell when I look at them. It’s written all over them. They wear it like an old coat that smells of moth balls and mildew.

Make a choice to look for the positive in each situation. Choose to make the best decision for yourself regardless to what others think. Choose to be proactive with your own happiness. Finding happiness can be a lot closer than you think. Yes, this is February. Let’s go dance in the sunshine.

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Winter is here

It is that time of year when the air is crisp. Everyone hurries to get inside and nobody3drq8hc wants to go out. We all want to get stuff done and go home to try to warm up. We try to plan so we can be exposed to the cold as little as possible.

But the Earth needs that cold. We need it to kill off germs and overpopulated bugs and make the spring a little nicer. We need to go through the rough spots. It’s how we learn to appreciate the better times.

I have recently realized how far I’ve come in my decision-making processes. I don’t enjoy those rough spots but I recognize that sometimes they are necessary to get me to the next bright spot. It’s how I grow as a person. It’s called maturity, emotional and spiritual. And that’s important. I gave up on established religion a long time ago, disillusioned with the whole deal. I prefer to find my own path. And it continues to amaze me. That is why this recent growth spurt has been a good one.

I have made some tough decisions that needed made. Yes, I should have made them sooner but I did make them. Timing is always an issue but I’m getting better at that, too. At least I did make the choice to make the first move this time. I didn’t wait. I didn’t hesitate. I got tired of waiting and did something about it. My happiness is in my hands. I get to say what magic happens. And the new decisions are leading to some promising new magic. I’m looking forward to it. So bring on the winter.

It’s almost Yule!

Yes, Christmas is almost here. Traffic is bad. Shoppers are running over people. Kids are out of school. It’s not safe to leave the house. The most wonderful time of year, right?

This year has been rough for a lot of reasons. We have had a turbulent political scene with a hotly contested presidential election as well as many highly contested state elections. There are still several major issues in the news as well. We have also lost many well-known icons of pop culture this year, most recently Zsa Zsa Gabor who passed yesterday. But we still made it this far.

We can still celebrate the simple fact that we made it this far. We have passed the halfway point in the last month of the year! Yay! It’s less than a week until presents and turkey and ham dinners with family. We get to eat too much and watch more parades and football and sappy movies. We can slow down for a few hours and forget about work and deadlines and bills. We can be nice to each other. Maybe it should be Christmas all year long.

Welcome to Fall

The weather in my native North Carolina is finally starting to feel like fall. We routinely have very warm nights in October all the way to Halloween but this year we are already getting low temperatures in the 50’s and 40’s. The leaves are turning and the mountains are even starting to get frost warnings. I love the fall.

I rearranged all of my furniture and stuff a few days ago. It had been over a year. I didn’t realize it had been so long. When we don’t change things up we get stuck in a rut. We may not realize it but we start to stagnate in our own stench. Sounds appetizing, doesn’t it?

Our energy, our chi, flows around us and moves with us. When we don’t let it have some room to breathe it becomes stale. It needs fresh air now and then to re-energize it. That includes our spaces and how we arrange the things around us. Yes, the way you stack the magazines on the coffee table can actually be important. Did you know that the principles of feng shui say not to store anything under your bed? It blocks energy flow at night when you are the weakest. Now, ask me how much stuff I had to relocate from under my bed after a whole year…

Turn off the news. Ignore the politics for awhile. Get outside and enjoy the sunshine and the cooler breeze. Appreciate the leaves turning red, orange, and gold. Decorate your porch with pumpkins and scarecrows and mums. Recharge your energy before winter gets here.

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Guest Blog: Karina Fabian

I’m doing my favorite thing for my birthday. I’m hosting one of my favorite people on my blog. Karina Fabian is a wonderful writer I have been honored to call a friend for several years now. She has several books available through Amazon, her site Fabianspace, and all over the internet. Seriously, Google her.

Her latest release from Full Quiver Press, Discovery, is about nuns on an exploratory mission to investigate a crashed space ship on an asteroid. I asked Karina about how science fiction and our current technology were related. It got her started on why she loves writing science fiction. Check out her response below. Then go over to her site and check out all of her work.

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Why I Love Writing Science Fiction

One of the best things about being a writer of science fiction and fantasy is that sometimes, science fiction comes true. Communicators and replicators of Star Trek are cell phones and three-D printers of today, for example, but there are scores of different technologies that were imagined or popularized by science fiction writers long before they became practical technologies.

There are three reasons for this. The first is that scientists are often science fiction writers. Isaac Asimov, who wrote Foundations, I Robot and other famous science fiction stories, was a biochemist. More recently, we have Michael Crichton and Travis Taylor, both science fiction writers with science degrees.

Second, science fiction authors, even when not scientists themselves, often study science and think about the applications. For my own stories, like Discovery, I had to study VASIMR drives and spacesuit technology. I then pushed that technology about 150 years into the future, imagining what we could do if untried research came to fruition and widespread use. Other writers (and me, in other stories) push the envelope further, taking wild theories and imagining their applications and consequences, and when no theory is available, creating one in a “What if”?

The final reason – and my favorite – is that scientists are inspired by science fiction. It’s no surprise that the communicator of the 1960s Star Trek became the flip phone of the 80s. The inventor was directly inspired by the design. Many other Star Trek technologies, even the outlandish idea of warp drive, are being studied by scientists today. In print, we can point to Jules Verne, whose story, “Five Weeks in a Balloon” inspired Sirkorski to invent the helicopter.

As technology grows, so do writers’ imaginations, and those imaginations spark further growth in science and technology. It’s a wonderful symbiotic relationship that makes me proud to be a science fiction writer.

Review: War God Rising

Tim Marquitz has done it again. His work is always interesting and War God Rising does timagainnot disappoint. War God Rising is funny. We’re talking Mel Brooks funny. Quick asides, tongue-in-cheek, make you spit your soda out your nose funny. Marquitz writes with a quick easy style that makes you want to keep reading long past bedtime. His characters are clear and stand out as individuals that blend together into a symphony of humor. I’ve seen other reviews compare War God Rising to Monty Python. I’ll admit I’m not a huge fan of Monty Python. However, I’m a HUGE fan of Mel Brooks. Marquitz has the same timing and cheeky attitude you would find in any Brooks film.

You get a bonus with this book. Marquitz has a teaser for his novel ZILF tagging along. Even more hilarity for your enjoyment. He also has a new kickstarter for another novel in his Demon Squad series. The man is a machine. If you haven’t read anything by Tim yet, what the hell are you waiting for? You can find the Marquitz madness on his webpage, Amazon, Kickstarter and he has a publishing gig at Ragnarok Publications.