The Trouble with Trouble, oh yeah, and Syria too

I get a little crazy over politics sometimes. In all honesty, I think I have earned it with the extent to which I have worked in it over the years, but still, I understand not every home has people that yell at the television news.

In my defense, I warned them.

 I don’t work in politics as much as I used to but I have raised amazingly civic-minded children that go and do their own amazing things. I am very proud of that and feel like it’s my duty to teach them why they should care and why they should get involved. Sometimes it’s easy. Sometimes it’s very hard.

This week was one of those weeks.

 It’s not a question of what we should do as a nation in the Ukraine, Syria, etc. Its all the vocal minority of ill informed people is becoming so loud that I can no longer bear the noise.

Sovereignty is the boss of things

 Sovereignty: the authority of a state to govern itself or another state.”national sovereignty”

synonyms: autonomy, independence, self-government, self-rule, home rule, self-determination, freedom “the colony demanded full sovereignty”

a self-governing state.plural noun: sovereignties

 Does anyone understand what it means any longer to be a sovereign nation? Maybe that isn’t high on the priority list in school any more but I feel like I have to mention that. How sad is that? POTUS cannot just direct folks to roll up into Ukraine or Syria because they are sovereign nations. If they ask for and accept assistance within parameters, that’s different but did, we not learn ANY THING in Iraq? By the Bush Administration misrepresenting the facts to the UN?

Just think about Ferguson

 In our own country we have people doing horrible things. Civil rights violations continue and one could argue human rights violation when examining all that happened just in Ferguson this summer. So say Russia or China takes issue with that and decides, lets just roll in there and solve that problem. What would be wrong with that? Some of our largest cities are battling gangs that cause pain, suffering, death and perpetuate crime that cannot be stifled. What would you say to a city that decides they are going to pick this place for random strikes and send in drones to kill all of them? What about the good, innocent people that live there? Why is it not okay in this country but just fine in others?

If just one more person screams BOMB THEM I will loose my mind

 The beheading of journalist in Syria is tragic. No one can argue those points. The follow up statement that we should roll up into Syria because they beheaded two Americans makes no sense at all. With all due respect to your opinions and ideas…

You do not know what the fuck you are asking

 A veteran is someone who, at one point in his life, wrote a blank check made payable to ‘The United States of America  ‘ for an amount of ‘up to and including my life.’ – Unknown

As a caregiver to a combat disabled OEF Veteran, you do not understand what you are asking the men and women of our Armed Forces to do. It doesn’t matter how much you respect members of the military, past and present. The reality is that serving in the military is no longer viewed as a duty and an honor by the majority of population. In fact, less than 1% of our society serves anymore. LESS THAN 1%. That number is just as dismal when you consider the percentage of Congressional members that have served. So when I say you don’t understand what you are asking, I am speaking to the majority of Americans. You cannot fully understand when you haven’t done it yourself. You just can’t.

It is a constant battle

A good day is one where there are no blow-ups, nothing is forgotten, no one cries, no one freaks out, no bad dreams creep in and everyone is smiling the next morning. These days are too few and very far between. Most days living with TBI and PTSD are constantly trying to balance how much you intervene, how often you interrupt or when you take over. You will be yelled at or met with resistance. You will feel angry but most days stuff that down, either on your own or with your favorite vice (mine is usually donuts.) There is often crying and deep sadness. There is a lot of busy work to keep you from thinking such things. This and life has to go on. The kids go to school, the Vet has to get to appointments, animals need to be cared for and did I get the laundry done. BONUS: You forgot the wet laundry and now it’s molded in your washing machine, ruining everything. If you have never taken care of a TBI patient, it can be likened to abuse from time to time because there is no impulse control, there is no moderating the volume where its only on LOUD when they are ANGRY. Then there are those perfect days where everything is right with the world, everyone is happy, and new good memories can be formed.

 But then there is reality

There is no one thanking me for my service and there are a ton of caregivers that just can’t take it. They leave. I get that. I can’t judge them. I judge the VA system that is woefully inadequate, the advances they will not fund nor explore because it’s too expensive. My Vet needs a name brand medicine recommended by two doctors and they will not authorize it. Why? It costs too much for the VA. There are millions of Veterans in the system that go through the same hassles.

So don’t call me a traitor

It doesn’t mean I am un-American because I am not a Republican. It doesn’t mean I am a traitor because I think they are wrong on every point. I am tired of Republicans perpetuating the myth that soldiers are Republicans and Republicans take care of them. That is all bullshit. You would be ashamed if you knew how many service members told me they had to lie and pretend to be Republicans when they went to the board for promotion. The number that was looked down on when they had to apply for food stamps to feed their families is staggering. Yes, and just don’t get me started on how little soldiers are paid. It doesn’t make me a bad person because I don’t think full-scale military intervention is the answer for everything.

I serve my country every day

When I get through the day and everyone is taken care of and I can breathe, I understand the importance of what I am doing. My Veteran has important skills and mentoring still left to impart upon anyone that needs it. He has stories and memories that were not affected that should be told. Let us serve as a reminder of the reason that we can’t just go do what we have done in the past. This country already cannot afford it. This country doesn’t understand what it is doing to military families.

That’s the trouble with trouble

There are times when we must act. It is part of the joint human experience. Advances in technology and weaponry that allow us to be more focused in our show of force. But that’s the trouble with trouble, when you choose a side, you also choose your enemy. It is a never-ending cycle in our lives. Unless you support compulsory military service and a draft, stop saying our military needs to roll up in some country or drop bombs and nuke them back to the Stone Age.

When you use the words “we need to kill them all” I don’t think you understand the word “we.”

That word doesn’t mean what you think it means.

From your couch or in front of a computer.

What are you giving up to fight the good fight?

Are you even registered to VOTE?

What?

I can’t hear you…

Farewell to Robin Williams…

qoftu:

Well said…

Originally posted on Dante Basco: My take on life...:

Today Robin Williams past away and it’s been so surreal, it felt like it came out of nowhere… A text message from a friend made me aware of the news and frantically I jumped online to see if it was true. Sadly, I found out it was and even more sad, I read of the circumstances. I couldn’t keep reading the stories online for it’s too sad.

At times like this, I get very reflective and being a writer, I guess it’s best to write and what better place but my blog. It’s surreal because I haven’t seen Robin for many years yet in he’s so connected to me due to his close involvement in the biggest role of my career in “Hook” where he played Peter Pan and I played the punk kid who took over as leader of the Lost Boys when he left Neverland… Rufio.

Although working…

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What makes a book a classic?

Towards the end of every year I work on my list on intentions.  I do this no matter what and I work on those lists all year because, well, I just don’t want to be the kind of person with a larger list of regrets than accomplishments. classics

I know that over the next year, one of the things I was going to put on my list was “read all the classics.”  The more that I thought about that though, the more difficult it became to figure out WHAT DOES THAT EVEN MEAN?  What makes something a classic?  Is it the time that has passed in direct ratio to it being considered influential?  You can break it up into time periods: Pre-Civil War, Industrial Age, Antiquities, Vintage, Contemporary, Romantic, Greek, and on and on and on.  Is it if it became popular?  Or banned?  What about great YA or Sci-Fi?

See what I mean?  OVERWHELMING.

If you over think it, you can even be genre specific.  For example, a classic horror novel would be The Shining or Carrie, wouldn’t you agree?  Actually, you could do an entire list on Stephen King! the shining

What would be on your list of classic books?

There is a great Tumblr called Teaching Literacy and if you aren’t following it you should be.  They had great suggestions and a link to a starter list that you should check out.

King novels

 

But what if you are a book person?

My biggest issue is most of what people would recommend, I have already read.  I was lucky to have teachers for grandparents so a love of books was instilled early.  Growing up overseas, I got to visit so many inspirational places that many writers frequented all over Europe.  There is nothing like going to Stratford-Upon-Avon to study Shakespeare or reading The Prince before visiting Florence, Italy.

I am very, very lucky.

But I know there are things I have missed.  While I have only finished sections of it, one of my first to finish this month is The Art of War.  There are a number of political theory books I want to revisit and Shakespeare plays I want to go through. I am thinking of going back through Rice’s Lestat series and then move on to more traditional things I may have missed.  When you have read most Steinbeck by the age of 13, it’s hard to find things to put on the list.  No matter how hard I try, most of what has ever been on Oprah’s lists, I just don’t care for.  Same for the Nobel Prizes…just didn’t love The Goldfinch the way I hoped I would.

 

leather bound

So tell me, what is on your list?  What is a book you continue to recommend to people?  Has it changed, as you have gotten older?  My tastes have always been crazy eclectic.  If you like horror, I again and again recommend The Historian.  I devoured that book.

In case you are interested, here are a couple of lists I found.  Enjoy!

Cult Classics

25 American Classic Books to Read

100 novels everyone should read

30 Books you should read before you’re 30

23 Books You Didn’t Read in High School But Actually Should

The 30 Comic Books You Should Have Read

Three Muses Wonder Woman Costume in Good Housekeeping Magazine

qoftu:

Yeah for Candy & Three Muses!

I need one of these costumes for Christmas..:)

Originally posted on A Mused Life:

It’s always exciting when a magazine contacts me to borrow a costume, but it almost always involves some crazy rush. Good Housekeeping Magazine was no exception- they needed a Wonder Woman costume to shoot asap so I had to scramble to get it ready and overnighted in less than two days. It was during One Spark so I was out of the store for five days and working the festival morning till late night. I was in luck though- my grandmother had already sewn some extra bottoms ahead of time and I always have extra accessories ready, so all I needed to do was get the corset ready.

The corset is the piece that takes the longest!  First the design is drawn on with chalk and then the outline done in gold dimensional paint. I don’t use any patterns and draw every corset freehand. The outline takes 24 hours to…

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The Godzilla Anti-Review You Need

Godzilla-1024x539

 

Here we are again, talking about how much I love monsters.  I hope you stick around rather than rolling your eyes, but either way, I have something important to say.

 

Stop reading movie reviews.

 

I will have to say that I have been thinking that for a very long time.  It makes me sad for the people that DO read them, BELIEVE them and choose to make movie-going decisions based on them.  Sad mostly because they are rarely right.  Most times I disagree with them but the “critics” that I have seen reviewing Godzilla have taken the hate to an entirely new level.

 

How do I see a completely different movie?

 

My calendar has been marked as long as the release day was available.  My plans to see the movie set and tickets purchased in advance, much as I do with any movie that I REALLY want to see in the theater.  Nothing that “film critics” and “movie reviewers” were saying would change that but I couldn’t help feel like what they were saying was shaping up to sound a lot like what was said about the OTHER Kaiju movie I liked so much.

 

You know, because, the Internet.

 

I grew up during a time when there was still black and white movies shown on TV regularly.  I had to get up and turn the knob to change the channel and giggle the rabbit ears so the picture was a little clearer.  During those pre-remote, pre-digital times, monsters battling and smashing things was a high form of entertainment.  I didn’t see those old movies with the eyes of a millennial thinking that the effects were cheesy and the plots not cerebral enough.

 

Who cares when there are monsters?

 

Most reviews I have read of Godzilla recently have missed the point of the movie or outright misrepresented things in or not in the movie, presumably after reading someone else’s review.  Come on, when some of you post virtually the same sentences as other reviewers, aren’t you possibly COPYING someone else’s opinion rather than distilling your own?

 

Here is what I know about Godzilla

 

mothra

 

Godzilla 2014 is a beautifully executed homage to the Godzilla vs. Mothra type movie of my childhood.  I wish I had a bowl of Fruit Loops when I was leaning forward watching these beasts fight.  The story of the Brody family was both heart breaking and enduring as the next generation picks up the pieces post-Kaiju devastated San Francisco.  Hands down the best character to emerge from the movie is that of Dr. Ichiro Serizawa (Ken Watanabe.)  Serizawa is our bridge to the past.  He articulates all those things that Godzilla movies traditionally echo.  We are out of balance, Godzilla sets that right again.  His love and respect of this creature is palpable and I found myself rooting for Godzilla right along with him.

 

Thank you Gareth Edwards.

 

I so profoundly appreciate you getting this movie right.  I watched Godzilla thinking, “Wow, he gets it, he really, really gets it.”  As a long time military brat, I sincerely appreciated the accuracy you tried to add to military interactions and scenarios.  Having recently finished a novel in which I wrote a HALO scene, I particularly enjoyed you showed what its like for the soldiers waiting to jump.  Each of them locked in their own private ritual was an important, accurate, depiction for someone like me who notices such details.  Speaking of which, I also really enjoyed the precise attention to detail in which military planes, air craft carriers, etc. were depicted geographically where they would most likely operate, i.e. your use of the Edwards AFB on the tail of planes flying in northern California and Nevada area.  Well done!

I hope there are more Kaijus to come from you and I have the opportunity to make you take my money again.

 

BRAVO!

Web Round Up

loki laundry

 

There is entirely too much going on and I have not had enough time to put any blog up as I intended.  I was sidetracked on Easter by a big Twitter jerk from doing the “what the hell is wrong with people” blog so that didn’t happen.  I might get back to that as soon as I get past spring which seems to be the time of year that is the busiest.

Or I won’t.

Maybe.  Maybe not.

I honestly have had very little time since moving across the country WHILE finishing graduate school to do much of anything because awesome stuff keeps happening.  I was lucky enough to get invited to Alaska and then before I knew it, I was off to do other things in other places.  It hasn’t stopped.  It would be maddening if it weren’t preferable to doing nothing.

I finished a book.

Truthfully I always do that, and if you are here even semi-regularly you know that about me.  I am a really big advocate for NaNoWriMo and I participate every year since 2008-ish even if I don’t finish.  I have finished a total of two novels in the process and one novella and as much as it stresses other people out, the type of writing it requires seems to suit me.  Very well.  So this year, I am taking it up a notch.

Enter stage right.

I decided partially through November’s effort last year that this one would go a step further.  Post-editing and query letter phase, I am going to turn this story into a screenplay.  It’s not that I haven’t thought of doing that before but there was something about this particular story that made me think I need to try that.  It is different from what I have done before and likely it is different from what I will do in the future and there is something to be said for that.  I am freaking out a little but trying to make sure that I am learning the CORRECT way to screenplay the shit out of a story in hopes that it leads to another awesome adventure.

Ridiculous and Awesome.

Its been an insanely long time since I have done a web round up so while I am taking a break, I figured this was as good a time as any to do one because I like talking about random stuff.  So here we go:

Nerd Freakout – I completely lost my mind when I saw this.  I mean “lost my mind” in a good way here.  I am a huge Wonder Woman fan and any time something comes up that adds to that universe in general, it makes me happy for DAYS.  This announcement sent me to YouTube where I watched Shazam, Isis and Wonder Woman videos all morning.  Yes, I am busy, but this is RESEARCH. It is research for something right?  Whatever.

Hogwarts Online – Equally had a freakout over this.  (Yes, I do that a lot.)  This wasn’t a “lost my mind” one as much as text everyone I know that would care about it, sign up for a log in and seriously debate the reason I need to take charms and potions.  I mean, I haven’t DONE anything with it but its totally okay for adult to do that for RESEARCH.

Rorzen – This made me laugh a lot and then made me kinda sad.  I am a Doctor Who nerd from way back.  I mean WAY back.  Further than David Tennant.  Further than McCoy.  Okay, move on.  It has to be hard for these guys to end up in something amazing but never being able to shake it off.  I wish fans were better about articulating stuff like that to people they look up to.  I think sometimes they are making them feel awful, not flattered.

Villain Awesomeness – I literally have no idea who I would put on a fictional preferred list for this role.  I have a strong suspicion whomever it is will not necessarily seem like who you would expect.

I was going to mention some of the jerks that have done crappy things the past week or so but screw them.  I am not about to give their negative crap.  If there is negativity to dish out it will be all mine.

More to come.

So new town, new adventures, busy, busy, busy, geek out, busy, busy…you get the picture.  I am looking forward to some interesting things coming up and for sure, you will hear it from me first.  :)

Peace and Chicken Grease!

 

 

 

 

Please talk to your children. *mild trigger warning*

qoftu:

Well said and please, talk to your children. This stuff has gotten out of hand.

Originally posted on The Bloggess:

Yesterday Hailey came home terrified because of a letter sent home to all the kids in her elementary school.  It was meant for the parents but of course the kids on the bus read it and talked about it and made it more so much scarier, as children do.  And it is scary.

According to what I’ve read, an unnamed elementary school in our district has been threatened with mass violence by anonymous emails from someone who identified themselves as a serial killer.  It’s most likely a hoax (as most of these things are) and the fact that the emailer claims that it will happen on Thursday might indicate that it’s a student wanting area schools to close so they can have a four-day-weekend.  (Fiesta Friday is a traditional school holiday in our area.)

Still, it’s unsettling.  A few weeks ago I had to pick up Hailey at school because she got sick right after a…

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Work In Progress

I envy writers that stick to the same genre for their entire career.  I don’t know how they do it but it must get annoying after a while trying to only be that one thing.  I am not good at that. Some days I am a super nerd, others I am a political activist.  Once in a while my family really pisses me off or my kid makes me super proud.

If you follow me on Twitter, this is no surprise to you.

I get nasty messages and drop followers pretty regularly as a result.  I wish I had a way of imparting instantly on any one that comes across me on the web (or IRL for that matter) how cool I am but it’s just not possible.  Some days, depending on how I wake up, it makes me feel terrible.  Most days, I just don’t care.  I have had a crazy life and if there is one thing that I know for sure is that I can’t try to be everything to everyone.  There will always be someone who doesn’t like me.

Really, it’s their loss.

This week I started my next novel.  Although I have several things in the works, none of them are the same genre and this current project is a memoir.  ::collective gasp::  While it seems a little weird, it’s not really if you hang around me long enough.

It started with one NaNoWriMo.

My first NaNo I didn’t finish.  My second one I did and that is the one that really sent my mind into overdrive.  I have written since the fourth grade, poetry mostly, and often felt I could never tell a LONG story, much less write a novel.  I mean WHO DOES THAT?  But once I finished my first novel (it is chick lit) suddenly there where a million stories I wanted to tell swimming around in my head.

Next it was short erotic tales that found a publisher and a loyal fan base. I don’t even remember how they found me or I found them but one became seven or eight.   And I made MONEY!  Later came short stories for kids because I wanted to do something for my littlest monkey that I posted to Amazon. And I made MORE MONEY!  The next NaNo effort resulted in a Young Adult Sci-Fi book that I didn’t finish but still intend to get back to after a while.  After that, one of the characters from my erotica stories became another finished NaNo project because she just wouldn’t stop talking to me. Then this past year, my newest novel is a dramatic military-veteran-returns-for-one-last-mission ball of awesome. It is with my long time editor now and I already have a couple of competitions where it will be headed after that.

Now a memoir.  Is that weird?  Probably.

I am doing it not really because I am important to other people.  I mean, I KNOW I am important to some people but for the most part, I don’t seem special.  It’s mostly because I happen to be blessed with one of those really messed up lives.  I have never read a book that shows what my kind of messed up can be or how it can shape a person.  Sometimes there is a chapter or two that I can identify with but not a whole book that says, “all the bad things are bad but you can be better.”

That’s mostly what it’s about.  You can be better no matter what.

Everything I have written was the story that came to me at the time.  Its unconventional but 100% me.  (We covered that already, remember?)  I am totally okay with it too.

So tell me…

What about you?  Do you pursue multiple creative adventures or do you stay in one lane?