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Land of the Rainwashed Forgotten

The summer rains this year are spectacular. No one can remember a summer beginning with this much rain ever before, and we probably won't remember this moment the next time it happens either. Not here in America, Land of the Rainwashed Forgotten.


We remember the past the way we need to, not the way it was. That is only natural. Our bodies survive by breathing, drinking, eating, and clinging to whatever materials we need to go on living. Our souls survive in our shelters of mythology. Our memories are creative reconstructions of the past, always. They protect and serve our coping mechanisms. At best, they lay the foundations of our imaginations to help us adapt.


During my break from creative writing, while I wait for beta readers to finish, I've done some really productive things like watch Season 4 of that old show Thirtysomething, the one that was on when I was a kid and my parents were just becoming thirtysomethings. None of us were interested in the show when it aired, and…
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Happy Father's Pride!

Here's to my life partner, DNA smasher, and co-parent Justin, who does more than his fair share in creating and caring for our family and supporting us in all of our educational, vocational, and creative pursuits. Justin is a real man, and by that I mean that he is more than a paycheck robot or a list of defensively guarded gender stereotypes. He is a lover, a friend, a nurturer, a mentor, a role model, and an advocate. He is a strong presence and a vulnerable companion for many people in his life, and especially for the little one he and I brought into the world together. He's magical, he's mythical, and ironically, that is because he fully embraces all of the realities of being a human.


Justin embodies the most "traditional" and heteronormative definitions of fatherhood in our dominant culture--he is in a heterosexual marriage, raising his biological child--and, maybe because of that, and because of his strength of character and confident personality, he feels …

Introducing... MATKA DANU MIKLAGARTH

My novel is in the hands of beta readers. A couple of them have already given me some feedback, which I am gathering up like flowers into a bouquet--Thank you, thank you, readers, for your sharp eyes, honest opinions, and valued suggestions! I am already thinking about how to make some changes as I wait for a few more trusted perspectives.

Meanwhile, I am swallowing all of my awkward feelings at approaching strangers to ask for free expert advice, and I am seeking historians to check my work for historical authenticity and accuracy. I've sought information in maybe hundreds of sources including websites (some poorly translated into English), library books, documentary films, and even a couple of textbooks I purchased. I've tried to double- or triple-check facts across primary sources. I've drawn a little upon my classical studies and travels in the Mediterranean. But I still dread that I've gotten some things (what things, I don't even know) horribly wrong, and tha…

HOW TO STAY by Christina Mitchell

She did it! Christina Mitchell has released her first novel into the wild. Christina is the friend who roped me into doing NaNoWriMo with her years ago and pushed me to write my first complete book. She is still supporting me (and many other authors through her leadership in our local writers' organization) through the process of crafting a really good novel. She's been an avid reader all her life as well as an unstoppable force for sparkles and laughter in the world. She's survived hardships that would have turned most people crusty and aggressive like her debut novel's main character, Adelia, but Christina's tender, compassionate, thoughtful, and loving nature prove more powerful than anything life throws at her. (Sometimes, she may hide these qualities beneath a thin veneer of black lipstick and serial killer jokes, which fail to conceal her inherent cuteness.) For a while there, it looked like Christina might have met her kryptonite in the form of an outsized …

I've Met My Match: "Rammstein's Heavy and Cathartic Camp"

True story: I had the cutest day yesterday. My magical lady coworkers joined me at the office in happy florals and polka dot ruffles in response to the warm and sunny weather. One of them brought in a divine cake for us all (lemon and chocolate with Bailey's, served with fresh fruit) that was a work of art--calling it Pinterest-worthy doesn't do her craft justice. As she suggested, her cakes are more like Buddhist mandalas, all the more beautiful for their imminent mortality. Anyway, you can't take a picture of how good it tasted. Nomnomnom.

When I arrived home from work, I met my daughter out front as she got off the bus, and then we walked back through the yards to pick up a little neighbor friend at her stop so they could play Minecraft and sing silly songs together all afternoon while her mom ran an errand. But while we trekked over to the street behind us, we were chased down by a ferociously happy, trembling, excitable, tiny little puppy that came streaking across tw…

Getting Medieval with Rammstein and MATKA DANU MIKLAGARTH

The seventh Rammstein album comes out today! I'm an old-fashioned lady (and also I promised myself not to buy it until my first draft of Matka Danu Miklagarth was 100% completed), so I will drive on over to a bricks-and-mortar media store after work. It will be fun, just like when I used to go to Tower Records for punk rock album releases. But it will also be embarrassing, because I am a 36-year-old mom. It's that half-giddy, half-ashamed feeling of purchasing a 100-count box of condoms.

Hey-O, speaking of birth control! Have you heard the news? The legislatures of Ohio and a bunch of what our president might call... what-hole states? ...have gone on a bender of writing up bills that sound like the dystopian plot of a Margaret Atwood novel, brutally targeting the nation's most vulnerable children and women.

What a great time to buy a 100-count box of condoms and a really, really heavy metal album.

And to finish my historical novel set in 11th century Eurasia, where (spoil…

Brush Clearing and Beta Reading

It's May! The apple trees are budding. The lilacs are opening. The morels are sneaking up on us. The woodpiles in my backyard are being reclaimed by a seething ecosystem of weeds, insects, birds, and furry critters. I kind of love it (hooray nature!), except I live in a residential neighborhood where many children play, and my state is having a tick problem this year. And the woodchucks are tearing up the land with their burrows, creating building foundation issues and dangerous holes in the lawns. I urgently need to clean up the aftermath of the power company's tree removals underneath the power lines at the back of my property last summer, but I cannot do it myself. I'll need help to cut, move, and re-stack all of that wood.

Photo by Perfecto Capucine from Pexels
At the same time, I have also requested help on getting some perspective on my first (lightly revised) draft of Matka Danu Miklagarth. Although this draft is surely full of creepy crawlies, splinters, extraneous…