Thursday, January 29, 2015

New Year, New Ideas

I have news. Good or bad, we're not sure yet, but here it is. My publisher at Staccato Publishing, Heather Savage and I have reached a decision. I won't be publishing my next novel with Staccato. I'm going to look for an agent, and a bigger publisher. That's not to say I wouldn't work with Staccato again...This isn't goodbye. It's more like, "See you later, okay?"

With the loss of my husband's job, I need to make a change. The Independent circuit, while allowing all kinds of awesome freedom, doesn't make me enough money. I have to go big. I have Heather's blessing, and I have that wonderful woman's help and encouragement to do so. Thanks, Heather <3

I hemmed and hawwed, but when I finally developed the guts to tell her, she was nothing but kind and helpful. She told me of 'Hybrid authors', and offered advice. Apparently, I can be any kind of published author I want...Independent, big name, or self-published. Good to know, eh?

When my previous publisher had to dump me, she put me in touch with Heather. (Thanks, Nicola) A great partnership followed. Heather Savage is an excellent writer herself, and publishes not for the market necessarily, but books she just think are a great read. If you need to see for yourself, check out David Fingerman, Jacinta Maree, Jay Mims, or any of her other authors at  I believe in all of them, and in Heather. I just need to try something new.

I will continue to write, as always, but I need to go get a job. Not sure what I'll be doing yet. My trade as a meatcutter is obsolete in the city, with pre-cut meats coming in from Brooks, Alberta and British Columbia, and I'm not sure I want it back anyway. I hate the cold, and now that I have pets, I'm not really sure I want to slice up animals for a living.

I'm worried and scared, but determined. When I get my life back on track, I'll continue to write fiction.  Right now, I'm reworking parts of Chasing Monsters and still writing an Egyptian novella. From there I write a synopsis for Chasing Monsters, and write to an agent. I'll continue to write this blog, and one I just started with my bestie, Melaida Corpuz. It's specifically to help plug her Travel agency with ytb Travel and my Yelp page:   It's in the beginning phase, but it's called 'How to Hang Out' and here's the first entry:

It's a work in progress...

In the meantime, I'll still be here. Wish me luck?

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Dear Universe

If you don't mind, I would like another cat. I am in love with my Freya, Mighty Huntress and perfect little girl. I am forever grateful for my best friend, Spartacus Jones, whose cuddles and loyalty keep me sane. But the Energy has made cats sweet, furry, purry, and addictive. I can't have just two. 

 I'm asking you, whatever powers that be, because had I never even voiced out loud what I wished to anyone when you took my mental list, and delivered Spartacus Jones.

Back then, I wanted another kitty, but he would have to be special. Someone I could not resist. Maybe a stray, starving and possibly injured...the weather would have to be bad. Because at that time I believed there was no reason to bring a stray cat indoors if it wasn't raining or snowing. He would have to be younger than my cats...I decided he would fit in better that way. Having said that, he would have to get along with Sully and Freya.

It was as though the universe said "That's your list? Here you go."

Spartacus Jones followed my husband and friend home. He fit all the criteria. It was raining AND snowing on April 29th, 2013. He came to us with scars and ribs showing. He begged for affection, which I gave until I decided he belonged here. I tried to find his owners, but he'd obviously been out for awhile, and despite the fact that he was a good kitty, fixed and litter trained, no one seemed to be looking for him. I couldn't let him be abandoned twice.
Does this cat tree make me look fat?

You did such a good job, Entity Upstairs, that I'm making a formal request for one more. Here's my list:

1) I'd like another stray or even a willing feral. Not just because they are such grateful kitties, but because they don't have anything.  They have no shelter, and don't know when their next meal may come from. They are unwanted. They suffer so much, and I know I can love them right back to health. They deserve it.

2) I'd like for this cat to fit in with Spartacus Jones AND Freya. In fact, could you let the two of them  choose? When we lost Sully, we lost the natural balance between them. It's hard enough to get Freya and Spartacus to get along now. I can't bring another cat into this family if it will ostracize any of them.
Perfect Little Girl

3) I don't care how old the cat is, what gender it is, or what breed I get. I will accept the responsibility of an injured cat, extra toes, missing legs, it doesn't matter. If you send me the one that can get along with my furchildren, I will give it a home. I will take in any stray sent to me anyway, and get them off the street to someplace warm, even if it's the Humane Society. I promise.

Did I mention I have a birthday coming up?

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Hashtag: Why Isn't Thoeba in Movies?

Cover art from Terra Weston Koster
I went to see the Hobbit in the theater. I wish I could tell you I loved it. SPOILER ALERT: The truth is, Peter Jackson and Hollywood took a classic children's book, added a romance, embellished an epic battle, dragged the ending out to unnecessary proportions and called it a day. It felt like the movie should have ended after Smaug's death, but they gave us over an hour of (admittedly pretty good) battle scenes. The ending was...unending. But that's not my only reason for ranting.

As always there were previews. Guess what? Not only is there another Star Wars movie coming, but there is also another Terminator AND another Mad Max coming out! Really Hollywood? You've got nothing else?

When I went to Texas for the convention, a writer stood in front of the assembled group and declared, "There are no original ideas." I almost walked out, especially when I heard her latest book idea. If that weren't bad enough, she's got an agent and a contract for a big name publisher.

Sour grapes, you ask? You bet! I work hard to try and come up with original ideas. Nothing bores me more than to read a new book and know exactly how it ends, to know I've seen it somewhere else before.

I can't help but ask: WHY ISN'T THOEBA A MOVIE?

No really...Have you read it? I have sex, death, romance, humor and violence. I also have a decently original plot. Thanks to the evil that is slowly encompassing the world, the Energy (God)  has lost Its power. It is up to one angel to tip the scales back to the side of good. Too bad she has to ally herself with humans, because she isn't very fond of them. I take the concept of life after death and turn it upside down.

I write angels, demons, reincarnation and pepper it with mythology, and I'm proud of what I've created. I can say the same for 'Aphrodite's War' and 'Chasing Monsters'.  What do you get when a paranormal investigator meets a demon with a soul? You'll find out when 'Chasing Monsters' gets published.

What do I have to do to get some attention in this market? Do I constantly have to ask...


Thursday, January 8, 2015

Becoming Fahrenheit 451

Happy New Year! I hope you had a great holiday and that your Christmas was filled with happiness and personal blessings.

MY personal blessing included two 60th Anniversary editions of Fahrenheit 451 from my husband and sister. I'm soooo pleased! You see, it's my favorite book in the whole world, but I never seem to have a copy. I buy every one I see, and brag it up to friends, telling them it's the most interesting, insightful book. Then they ask to borrow it, and I never see it again.  Here's where you can get your own: :

And since I HAVE two now, I'm itching to take a highlighter after one, because there's so many glittering wisdoms, uncanny insightful predictions, and descriptions of jealousy inducing, shocking grace that I want to memorize it all. Maybe I will...Maybe I will become The Book of Fahrenheit 451. Maybe I should learn how to spell 'Fahrenheit' without a spellchecker first.

I read this book from Ray Bradbury in the 12th grade English class. It had a profound effect on me, and my views on censorship. Censorship of anything is a crime against freedom. I remember well the day my English teacher showed us a movie of it, which was made in the sixties. I remember how he smirked when  he asked what I thought of it.

The first thing I asked was "Did they READ the fucking book when they did this?!" Then he ducked his head and tried to hide his chuckles as I continued to rant about how his was exactly the kind of crap Ray Bradbury was warning about. How society and Hollywood whitewash truth and omit concepts to placate the masses and tell people what they think they should see and hear. I had a A+ in that class. Mr. Fred and I got along well despite his love of Shakespeare and my love of metal music.

Fahrenheit 451 is a novel about a fireman named Guy Montag, whose job it is to burn books. He burns them because conflicting ideas and introspective prose make people 'unhappy'. His boss tells him it's a bad idea to let people think for themselves.

But his bosses words no longer have meaning, because he's already met Clarisse. She's weird and makes him question things. She talks funny and puts new thoughts in his head, until he breaks down and reads some books. Which is dangerous to his well being. I don't want to tell you more. I want you to read it for yourself.

I have strong opinions about religion, politics and the state of the world, but I chose to censor myself. I tried not to get into arguments on-line. Sometimes it's because I don't have enough information, or because I don't have time to get into arguments with strangers who won't be dissuaded anyway. Besides everyone is entitled to an opinion. But honestly, sometimes I didn't say anything because I worried how it will affect my book sales. I recognize myself in the cowardly Professor Faber who Montag befriends. And I'm done hiding what I really think. My New Years Resolution is to speak my mind, express myself, and damned what anyone else thinks.

No doubt you've heard of Ray Bradbury's predictions? His 'Family' who Montag's spaced out wife is so obsessed with could mirror wide screen TV's, with American Idol screaming at you to vote for your favorite.  The violence of The Walking Dead numbs us and entertains us. (Yes, I am one of the guilty) The media inundates us with the Kardashians, Beyonce and Justin Bieber while Ukraine riots and children go missing in Nigeria. Montag's wife wore 'Seaschells' in her ears rather than talking to anyone. (I am the guiltiest person I know for this. I used to LIVE in my headphones, and I still do when I want to shut out the world.) Did I mention DARPA has been working on mechanical hounds for years?


Worse than our own government trying to shut us up is extremists using religion and death to voice their disagreement. I had this blog written last week, but two days ago terrorists stormed the offices of Charlie Hedbo in France and killed 12 people because they were offended by this:
"100 whip lashes if you don't die of laughter."
Sometimes I don't know why I read this book over again. Then I check my Facebook, and do you know what's trending right now? How Jimmy Fallon missed Nicole Kidman's come-on ten years ago and they had an awkward moment on his show. THAT'S what's important to the world right now.

Good thing I have two copies of Fahrenheit 451. I might have to start memorizing. If you read Fahrenheit 451, you'll understand why.