Thanks to my coworkers at the Noble County Sheriff Department and my family at the Albion Fire Department, who had these flowers delivered after Emily and I finally stayed in one place long enough to receive them.
The color's a little off in the photo, due to the burgundy suitcase it's sitting on. Actually, our whole house is a cluttered mess right now; but Emily and I both had to go back to work immediately after returning from Missouri, so we're just too exhausted to care.
I don't remember if I mentioned it, but we'd already scheduled two weeks in September for a vacation before Emily's mom passed away. Turned out to be even worse than last September's vacation, with the totaled car and injuries and everything. Maybe we should try for a different month next year?
I normally try hard not to complain too much. Complaining is like trying to talk about politics: It's pointless and just annoys everyone else. Although I often fail, in recent years I've tried to be either positive, funny, or quiet. I used to have a reputation for turning the things that go wrong in my life into humor columns, but I can't anymore because ... well, I'd getting ahead of myself.
But please indulge me, just this once.
Because it's been a really, really bad month.
Actually, the really bad month started last month, as my fourteen regular readers already know. Just before we left for Missouri to see the total solar eclipse, my wife and I learned that her mother had been diagnosed with cancer. We did indeed get to see the eclipse, but that was, pardon me for saying, eclipsed by our worry over Jean Stroud's medical condition. We spent most of that week taking her to various medical places, and were there when she started chemo.
Then we came back to Indiana so that Emily and I could do our jobs, only to rush back over Labor Day weekend when things took a very rapid, very unexpected turn for the worse. It turns out her cancer had progressed much further than any of us realized, and she passed away while we were driving somewhere through west central Indiana.
Honestly, that's not something I'm ready to talk about yet.
Now, I could probably turn everything else that happened in September into a humor column, because it was all small stuff of the type we're not supposed to sweat. But when you're already in a state of shock, and the stuff just keeps on happening, one after another, it just can't be made funny.
I should consider us lucky we didn't get into an accident, like we did last September. That ended in splints, X-rays, and car shopping. I'd thought it as bad as a vacation could get, until this September. This one turned into the vacation they schedule in Hell, and what follows is just a sample.
But no accident, although we had a close encounter with a coyote. We drove some five thousand miles over the course of four weeks, most of it in the last couple of weeks. And we drove most of it while sick.
Emily got it first. Nothing accompanies settling your mother's affairs like a bad head cold. We made two trips to and from to arrange and hold a memorial, and to take care of a thousand details, most of which had to be done by Emily as the only child. Those trips were done with frequent Kleenex breaks. I did my best to be a supportive spouse, until I was also felled by little warrior germs that set up shop in my sinuses, then invaded my lungs.
All that driving. After it was over, the chiropractor could identify the model and make of our car by the bends in my spine. By the way, I've made that 500 mile trip for a decade, and have seriously never seen as much road construction along the route.
In the middle of it, we had to come back to Indiana because we'd previously signed up for an author appearance and didn't want to be no-shows. That was on a Friday, and Emily took advantage to work her saddle barn job on Saturday and Sunday before we headed back south. Believe me, she made more money there than we did as authors.
In fact, my author aspirations took quite a hit during September. We sold only a few books that Friday (although we handed out some business cards and bookmarks, which often lead to sales). A few days later I got my publisher's first sales report on my newest novel, Radio Red. Between its release in April and the end of June, the sales made me ... cry. It's the worse opening of my nine books.
Oh, and the newspaper that ran my column stopped publishing, so I no longer have a home for "Slightly Off the Mark".
At least that gave us a little time to watch TV. With a planned vacation, we'd set the DVR to record the shows starting up in September, and had hours of unwatched shows already recorded. Emily was at work when that last straw went dark and permanently dead, falling on my last nerve. She missed the horror-movie screaming noises that came from ... someone ... after the good people at Mediacom said they'd speed a technician our way in only a week or so.
All minor stuff, really. TV shows? You can catch up with them online. Poor book sales? My next novel is just around the corner. Illnesses pass, spines recover, and our car gets really good gas mileage. The dog slept for about twelve hours straight after we returned the last time, but now he's good as new.
It's just that stuff builds up, sometimes.
I don't know. Maybe the hardest thing after the memorial was cleaning out Jean's storage unit. Not because of the 90+ degree heat, dust, and spiders, but because you're suddenly going through memories at a time when it's most painful. We had to start three times, and in the end brought some boxes home into the air conditioning to be looked after later.
They say you have to go through bad times to appreciate the good times, and if that's so I'm feeling pretty darned appreciative. So, okay ... rough month. But if you've been watching the news at all, you know that everyone's been having a pretty rough month. Now and then we all need to vent a little.
Spike/Buffy prompt card, Spike/Willow prompt card, Spike/Lindsey prompt card as well as Spike, Xander, Lindsey, Gunn, Giles and Angelus fan art by blondebitz.
Spike/Buffy banner by katleept.
Popculturerollcall podcast talks The Wish.
It also has made me want to re-read my own doctoral thesis for the first time since it was finished. ( Read more... )
2) Speaking of the TWC article, I hadn't seen this news story quoted before but it was an interesting read. I particularly loved the conclusion that these older fans obsessed with the future were pretty unconnected to the actual future of their fandoms.
2) Thanks to Paula for sending me a tip on this documentary about the NY Public Library system. Hopefully it will come to Netflix or someplace I can see it.
3) Thanks to the free Starz week through Comcast, I watched all of the White Princess. I don't have much to say about it as I think it was a watered down version of the White Queen, which seemed to do more with costuming and production values, as well as writing, than this one. Two things are particularly odd ( Read more... )
4) I was also able to finish off Black Sails. I think it ended at the right time. ( Read more... )
Honestly, I'm pretty surprised that this series hasn't gotten way more attention or credit.
5) Speaking of Black Sails, a friend has gotten as enthusiastic (perhaps even more so) about it as I have, and I thought of some pirate-style necklaces I could make for her. Here are some, along with a few others I put together recently. ( Read more... )
1. Car accident fic. In this one, Jared and Jensen are fighting and Jensen leaves. It is storming (I think) and he crashes his car like two minutes after he left. Jared hears the crash, goes out and sees its Jensen and tries to save him. I remember Jared getting injuried because of broken glass on the road.
2. Any Non-AU fics told in Jensen POV foccusing on Jared's depression. Like how does he feels about it and how he wants to help/helps Jared. Bonus points if the fic goes deep and aligns to the descriptions of the past few years Jared gave on his chapter in "Family dont end with blood".
3. Break-up and make-up fics. I am looking for ones in which the guys break up and Jensen does serious groveling to get Jared back.
4. Jared helping Jensen get over a bad break and the two of them getting together later on.
5. Possessive! Jealous! Jensen.
6. Fics in which Jensen wants to get it on with Jared but doesnt because he thinks the sex will be super vanilla due to Jared's puppy!dog personality. Later they get together and Jared does surprise him in the kink department.
Based on the short stories of Phillip K. Dick and trying to fill the gap left by 'Black Mirror' which was swallowed up by the Americans waving lots of hard cash at Charlie Brooker. *g*
What did I think of it so far? I think this Guardian article sums it up for me....
"Captivating performances, from Richard Madden from Game of Thrones, and from Holliday Grainger, who’s actually clashing with herself over on BBC1, though she’s hardly recognisable as Robin, the well-groomed, wholesome PA/wannabe PI in Strike. Here she looks more like someone you’d bump into in the stranger fields on the fringes of Glastonbury.
That’s what’s right with Electric Dreams, the first episode, at least. Are there any problems? Two, the seriousness of which I’m not sure. First, it’s not Black Mirror. To which you might say: so what, who says it’s trying to be? But when you have two ambitious sci-fi anthology series about who we are and where we’re going, comparison is inevitable, especially since the new one now occupies the old home of the other. It’s like when you’re going out with someone, and then they leave you (for someone with more money), and you get a new someone, and they’re great, but you can’t help thinking about the old one, missing them…
Actually, it’s not really like that, unless you are Channel 4 I imagine. The rest of us can obviously just spend £5.99 on Netflix to get the old one back. But if you could just have one, then you’d obviously pick the old one. Because while ED may resonate, BM hits an actual nerve, and hurts. Not so much about an imagined future, it’s about now, or no more than five minutes from now. It’s sci-fi for the non-sci-fi fan. And it’s more human, more moving, and wittier. Better, in short. And that brings us to the second – and I think more serious – issue with Electric Dreams. Which has to do with quality and consistency. The Hood Maker is terrific, thoughtful, thought-provoking and compelling. I’ve seen a couple more episodes, though, and without going into detail or giving anything away, they’re simply less engaging."
In short: This is my big epic post-NFA WIP, where Spike, Angel & Illyria go on a big quest to undo the power of W&H. It has PLOT. And lots of character development and stuff. It is part of a 'verse but can easily be read on its own - if you go to the first chapter you can read a swift summary of what has gone before. And I swear, this time I am actually going to finish it! (It really helps that I always had the whole thing planned out properly. This might be the only fic where I have ever known the ending from the start and actually know what I'm doing. *g*)
Also, I now have not just gorgeous icons by ruuger, but also a banner. Isn't it amazing?
First chapter & notes here (on LJ), for DW just follow the tags, and Master post of whole 'verse here (also tagged on DW).
Can also be found on AO3.
Disclaimer: I own nothing.
Rating: Teen. (Same warnings as the show basically.)
Characters: Spike, Angel, Illyria, Buffy, Scoobies + cameos from more or less everyone in the 'verse.
Main Ships: Spike/Buffy, Angel/Nina
Feedback: Is bloody ambrosia! (The secret ingredient is otter...)
Word count (this chapter): 4700 words approx.
Setting and Summary: As before. (Post-NFA epic quest thing.)
Beta: The ever wonderful kathyh
( Chapter 8 )
Thank you very much in advance.
I'm looking for the fic Nature is an Evil Bitch, or How Jared Learned to Stop Worrying and Let His Freak Flag Fly by MaryRoyale.
It looks like it's been deleted. I've looked through the list of deleted fics and haven't found it. Is there a PDF somewhere? I'd love to read it again, if the author isn't against it :)
Thanks for the help!!