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Annoyed

Om
I woke up annoyed this morning. So annoyed that it's bordering on being pissed off. Why, you might ask? Because of the sanctimonious, holier-than-thou attitude I'm seeing from all corners of the web in regards to people celebrating bin Laden's death.

I absolutely respect that there are some people who refuse to rejoice in the death of somebody no matter how evil and vile that person may have been in life. And most of my friends have stated their reasons for not doing so in a respectful manner. However, I've come across far too many people who are more than willing to berate and scold those of us who are happy that this piece of filth is gone from this world.

I'm not even going to touch the idea that keeps getting bandied around that somehow NATURAL, HEALTHY emotions such as hate, fear, and anger must be purged completely from our beings else we're "barbaric" because that rant will go on forever.

What I AM going to rant about is the fact that most of these people up on their high horses are crying out "Oh my GOD! You're celebrating the death of a fellow human being! How could you? What about the sanctity of human life? You barbarians! (Yes, that word is being used FAR too fucking often lately)" To which I call BULLSHIT. Human life as a whole is no more sacred than the life of the tiniest microorganism or the most obnoxious weed. And the life of a mass murder, one who would gladly kill you, your mother, your father, your children, and your dog for no more reason than because you believe in a different version of God than he does, ranks even lower.

Also, I would bet dollars to donuts that what the people in the streets are REALLY celebrating is not the death of the man himself (even if most of them might think that's their reason), but the death of what that man represented -- fear, terror, pain, death. For nearly ten years we've had it drilled into our heads that Osama bin Laden was coming for us. He was the boogeyman in the closet that politicians pulled out every time they needed to cow the masses and gain votes. Now, with him dead, there is a sense of freedom. Freedom both from Osama himself and the terror-mongerers here at home. And celebrating THAT is a great and wonderful thing.

No, Osama being dead does not end the threat of al-Qaeda. It will not bring our troops home any sooner (though I wish with all my heart that it would). It will not make us any safer. No, in reality, it has simply made us that much more in danger from retaliation. However, I thank the Gods that Obama did the right thing and went after Osama. I thank the Gods that he was killed instead of brought in for trial because that would have been the largest clusterfuck this world has ever seen.

The symbol of terror has been broken. It holds no more power over us. We are finally free and I hope and pray to every single God throughout the Universe that this will signal a beginning of the end to the hysteria-driven mindset that has kept us in its grip and deprived us of our rights for the last ten years.

He's dead, he's gone, and I am fucking happy.

Because I'm bored...

Om
Ganked from kathrynthegr8 

Last Car Ride:
To Staples the other day looking for string labels
Last Kiss: About half an hour ago
Last Good Cry: A couple days ago.
Last Library Book: I haven't rented a book from the library in more than a decade
Last book bought: Crimson Wind by Diana Pharaoh Francis
Last Book Read: The Chick is in the Mail A collection of short stories edited by Esther M. Friesner
Last Movie Seen in Cinema: I have no idea. It's been forever since we've gone to the movies
Last Movie Rented: We don't generally rent movies.
Last Swear Word Uttered: Fuck, probably.
Last Beverage Drank: Pepsi
Last Food Consumed: Pizza and Cheesy Bread from the pizza place down the street
Last (or most recent) Crush: Raven
Last Phone Call: The last person who called me was Joe to tell me he was on his way home this afternoon. The last person I called was the pizza place to order pizza.
Last TV Show Watched: The Colbert Report
Last Time Showered: This morning.
Last Shoes Worn: Joe's slippers
Last Song Played: Something or other by Godsmack. They all start to run together.
Last Item Bought: Sticky labels because Staples doesn't carry string labels.
Last Download: I download so little...
Last Annoyance: Probably something the cats did.
Last Disappointment: So many to choose from lately.
Last Soda Drank: Pepsi
Last Thing Written: This.
Last Key Used: The keys on my keyboard.
Last Words Spoken: "Love you."
Last Sleep: Last night.
Last Ice Cream Eaten: Chocolate and vanilla at my nephew's birthday party.
Last Chair Sat In: My computer chair
Last Webpage Visited: El Jay.
Last Store you went into: Staples

2010

Om
This past year was definitely one of change and almost all of it for the better. Joe and I celebrated our 1 year wedding anniversary in May. We took in my cousin's two young children for almost two weeks while she fought for custody of them. I signed with one of the very best literary agencies in the country. We bought a house. I made some awesome new friends through an online game.

There were some not so great things this year --
Joe's Gram passed away in September. Fixing the house up to meet the loan requirements cost us more than we were expecting. Our furnace broke the very first time we tried using it.

However, despite the stress, headaches, and heartaches of this year, it was a very good year overall. Here's hoping that 2011 brings me just as much joy, love, and happiness as 2010.

OH MY GODS!!!!

Kermit yay
I have an agent!

I am so very excited to announce that yesterday I accepted representation from Cameron McClure of the Donald Maass Literary Agency! She loves the story and the characters and is very excited about it, which makes me ecstatic. She does want me to do another rewrite, but I can handle that.

Oh my gods, oh my gods, oh my gods!!!

*pinches self*

Offering ficlets

Om
With all of the stress about buying the house and revisions and everything else, my writing has suffered. I haven't been doing much of it at all lately.

To that end, I am asking you all for some help. If you comment here with a prompt and tell me what kind of being you want the main character to be, I will write you an urban fantasy ficlet between 1,000 and 2,000 words. I will try to have them all written and sent to you before Christmas.*




*I reserve all rights to these ficlets forever and ever and ever. I will probably not seek to publish them, but I will want to use them as free content on my future website.

First Chapter of Where Demons Fear to Tread

Om
 If anybody wants to read the first chapter of Where Demons Fear to Tread, I've put it up on blogger.

Professional Blog

Om
I've started a professional blog to talk about mostly writing and industry news. If you'd like to follow me, you can find it here.

My first blog post on Blogger!

Om
You can read it here.

An actual blog?

Om
I've been thinking about creating an actual blog. Something dedicated more to my writing career, but as I'm sure most of you know, I'm not exactly the chatty type. I can barely post updates here, let alone something that I would need to update at least every couple of days with actual content.

What would I blog about? Would anybody read it and follow me? Would anybody even care? 

Anybody have any ideas? Suggestions?

Raising $$ for Chile

Om
As with the help_haiti auction, I am offering a 1000 word original urban fantasy fic to the winning bidder. If the bid exceeds $10, I will make it a 5000 word fic. Winner gets to choose prompt/character species/setting. The fic will be delivered before May 1. You can find my comment thread here.

For my own sanity

Om
I'm trying to give myself a bit of perspective here, so maybe if I type out the numbers and percentages it will help...

Of the 34 agents I've queried so far --

1 has left the agenting business without responding

15 haven't responded yet and it's still within a reasonable period of time

4 have a no response equals rejection policy and are being classed as rejections because it is past a reasonable period of time

4 have requested partials

Of those 4, 2 have requested fulls

1 requested a full right away because their query process includes the partial

9 have sent rejections

So, out of 18 responses, 5 have been at least interested enough to ask for more.

That's a 28% request rate. Not too shabby all things considered.

According to agentquery.com, there are still 53 more agents who rep fantasy for me to query. I'm pretty sure there are even more than that, because a few of the agents on my list I had to hunt for and manually enter because they didn't show up when I searched for agents who repped fantasy.

Also, I committed a mortal sin in the agent world -- I asked for further feedback. I don't know whether she will respond, but her rejection of my partial came in at a very bad time and I kind of lost it. I broke down and sobbed for half an hour last night, then I wrote her a polite email explaining that, except for a lone person, everybody who has read my first few chapters has enjoyed it, yet the response I'm getting from agents after reading the first few pages/chapters is lukewarm at best. I asked her if she could at least shed some light on why "these pages just didn't draw me in as much as I had hoped" is pretty much a standard response for me. Is it the style? The content? The voice? 

I don't know if she'll respond. I hope she does because I don't want to continue sending this out if I need to change things.



Valentine's Day

love
The amazingly brilliant Cat Valente (catvalente ) has a wonderful post on why bashing Valentine's Day is a stupid thing to do. Go read it!

*headdesk*

Avada Kedavra
When will I learn that reading the comments on PostSecret is never good for my health. And adding my own comments is down-right suicidal.
Om

Pack


Pack


You are a shapeshifter of the Pack. Family is the most important thing to you. You don't trust outsiders and while you're fanatically loyal to your friends, you're courageous and aggressive and emotions tend to occasionally get the better of you. You value loyalty, obedience, restraint, and duty above all.

More about the Pack and other factions: http://kate.ilona-andrews.com/category/factions/


Which Faction do you belong to?


Selkie's Song

Om
I finished the ficlet I auctioned off for the help_haiti auction and sent it to the winner, misslynx last night. She asked for a story about selkies and the dichotomy of their dual natures.

I'm overjoyed to say that she loved it.

With her permission, I'm re-posting it here (and when I finally get around to set one up, it'll be on my website as well).

           

Selkie's SongCollapse )

Selkie's Song

Om
I have finished my ficlet for the help_haiti auction. Anybody interested in giving it a thorough read through for me? It's at just over 1100 words.

Reposting.

Om
I haz no bids!!! Doesn't anybody want an original ficlet from me? *cries*

So many people on my F-List are offering things for help_haiti, so I decided to offer something up as well. 

I will write a 1000 word original fiction ficlet for the winner. If the bid exceeds $100, I will make it a 5000 word ficlet. Winner gets to choose prompt/character species/setting. The fic will be delivered before April 1. You can find my comment thread here.

Bidding ends tomorrow.

Doing Something Good

mindfucks
So many people on my F-List are offering things for help_haiti, so I decided to offer something up as well. 

I will write a 1000 word original fiction ficlet for the winner. If the bid exceeds $100, I will make it a 5000 word ficlet. Winner gets to choose prompt/character species/setting. The fic will be delivered before April 1. You can find my comment thread here.

Jan. 12th, 2010

Avada Kedavra
BlueCross and BlueShield of Massachusetts has got to be the most fucked up company I have ever dealt with.

When I canceled my insurance with them this summer, I sent in the handy little cancel account slip that's on the back of every statement invoice. The next month, I received another bill. When I called them to ask WTF? I was told that the slips are never forwarded on to the correct department and I would have to call them in order to cancel my account.

*headdesk*

The shitter of that is they know it's an issue and are "working on it". What's to work on? Either start forwarding the slips to the correct department, or at least a copy of them, or start sending out invoices that don't have the cancel account information on the back.

That in and of itself is stupidity enough, but it gets better.

A few weeks after my account was finally canceled, they sent me a check for the balance of my premium. Somehow the check got lost, so I called in early November to have them put a stop payment on the check and reissue it. Not a problem, the lady told me. It would take 30 days for it to be reissued, but it should be there for the middle of December.

It is now January 12 and the check still has not arrived. So, I called them once again to find out where my check is. The stop payment/reissue order was never forwarded to the correct department!!!

Yeah, so word of advice, stay away from BlueCross and BlueShield of MA. They are incompetent morons.

52 Books in 52 Weeks Conclusion

reading
This year I participated in the 52 books in 52 weeks challenge over at the Spirits of the Damned.

Here's the list of books I read this year:

1. Tales of Beedle the Bard ~ JK Rowling
2. Unnatural Inquirer ~ Simon R. Green
3. Cast in Courtlight ~ Michelle Sagara
4. Magic Bites ~ Ilona Andrews
5. Magic Burns ~ Ilona Andrews
6. Little Brother ~ Cory Doctorow
7. Poison Study ~ Maria V. Snyder
8. Feast of Fools ~ Rachel Caine
9. Kitty and the Dead Man's Hand ~ Carrie Vaughn
10. Prey ~ Rachel Vincent
11. Cry Wolf ~ Patricia Briggs
12. Howl's Moving Castle ~ Diana Wynne Jones
13. The Blue Girl ~ Charles deLint
14. Castle in the Sky ~ Diana Wynne Jones
15. Firestorm ~ Rachel Caine
16. Ombria in Shadow ~ Patricia McKillip
17. Feast of Souls ~ C.S. Friedman
18. Magic Strikes ~ Ilona Andrews
19. Deathwish ~ Rob Thurman
20. Nightlife ~ Rob Thurman
21. Magic's Pawn ~ Mercedes Lackey
22. Dead Witch Walking ~ Kim Harrison
23. The Good, The Bad, and the Undead ~ Kim Harrison
24. Every Which Way But Dead ~ Kim Harrison
25. Alanna: The First Adventure ~ Tamora Pierce
26. In The Hand of the Goddess ~ Tamora Pierce
27. The Woman Who Rides Like A Man ~ Tamora Pierce
28. Lioness Rampant ~ Tamora Pierce
29. Wild Magic ~ Tamora Pierce
30. Wolf-Speaker ~ Tamora Pierce
31. Emperor Mage ~ Tamora Pierce
32. Moonshine ~ Rob Thurman
33. Kitty and the Midnight Hour ~ Carrie Vaughn
34. Darkness Calls ~ Marjorie M. Liu
35. Street Magic ~ Caitlin Kittredge
36. Kitty Goes to Washington ~ Carrie Vaughn
37. Kitty Takes A Holiday ~ Carrie Vaughn
38. The Summer King ~ O.R. Melling
39. Carpe Corpus ~ Rachel Caine
40. Summer Knight - Jim Butcher
41. The Realms of the Gods - Tamora Pierce
42-46 Harry Potter #1-5
47-54 Sookie Stackhouse #1-8
55. The Devil You Know ~ Jenna Black
56. Break No Bones ~ Kathy Reichs
57. The Light-Bearer's Daughter ~ O.R. Melling
58. Angel's Blood ~ Nalini Singh
59. The Secret Vampire ~ LJ Smith
60. Daughters of Darkness ~ LJ Smith
61. Halfway to the Grave ~ Jeaniene Frost
62. Skinwalker ~ Faith Hunter
63. The Name of the Wind ~ Patrick Rothfuss
64. Dragonflight ~ Anne McCaffrey
65. Dragonquest ~ Anne McCaffrey
66. On the Edge ~ Ilona Andrews
67. Urban Shaman ~ CE Murphy
68. Hunting Ground ~ Patricia Briggs
69. Fragile Eternity ~ Melissa Marr
70 Living With The Dead ~ Kelley Armstrong
71. One Foot in the Grave ~ Jeaniene Frost
72. American Gods ~ Neil Gaiman
73. Good Omens ~ Neil Gaiman

And I'm pretty sure there are more that I forgot to add to the list. I hope I can read more than this next year. :)

Poetry

Om
I was going through a notebook looking for the list of ideas for gifts and came across some old poems that I thought I'd share.

Father
I sing your dance
And dance your song
Beautiful, terrible
Joyful Stag
Leaping through fields
Bounding forests
Crisp and cool
Morning dew


Love of Self
Power and soul
Give of strength
Take of will
Conjure forth
A well of light
Fill it with
Magic and bone
Swim through darkness
Of mind and faith
Find your Self
In fire and pain

Speak the Word
Keep the Faith
Let no one blind your Eyes
To the Truth
Guardians support the Wise Ones
Lady protect the Faithful
Lord shed light on the Truthful

Wild magic
Green fire
Flowing through
Veins and stems
Sap and blood
Hear the call
Of Stag and Wolf

Aye, so do the trees doth sing
Amidst the greening bowers
From whence the wren aloud did cry

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Avada Kedavra
Leaving the mall parking lot this afternoon, I saw a bumper sticker on a car that made me want to find the car's owner and beat them soundly for their stupidity.

The bumper sticker said: "No Wars Have Ever Been Fought In The Name of Wicca"...

NO!!! Really?? Considering that Wicca has been around for less than a century, I'm really not surprised that there haven't been wars fought over it. At least not military wars. But how many "Witch Wars" have been fought between Wiccan groups claiming to know the One True Path?

And don't even get me started on all of the wars the ancient Pagan people fought in the name of their religions.

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