Who just finished writing the last book in the Guardian Series? No...seriously, who?
Still have to get it edited, but I thought you guys might want to know about my progress. : )
I went and saw Guardians of the Galaxy this past week. It was a heck of a ride and a lot of fun. If you get a chance, you should check it out. I wrote a really confusing synopsis for you in case you were trying to make up your mind about whether or not to see it. I hope it helps. : )
Thranduil seeks the Arkenstone so that he can Hulk-smash a world of innocent people, because he's cray-cray and that's all the reason he needs, really. The only people brave enough to stop him are a band of thieves led by an Indiana Jones impersonator who - sadly - forget his whip and hat. At his side are an ex-assassin Navi princess, Treebeard, Meeko, and he who is know as Leviathan. Together, they embark on a journey of floating in space, drunken brawls, standing in circles, rousing speeches about how they are all family even though they met, like, twelve hours ago, pod racing and 80's references - oh, and saving the galaxy. I guess.
(Featuring an alien with a Mohawk who whistles people to death and has a southern accent, because, you know, why not?)
I really did like the movie. I just had to make fun of it a little...maybe because it's awesome?
I also wanted to let you Clare fans out there know that the last book in the Guardian Series (ha, see what I did there?) is almost finished. And by that I mean there are, like, three chapters left. I'm so close I have a nosebleed. Once I'm done, I'll post on here to let you know it's in the editing stages. You'll have it soon enough, pinky swear.
As some of you may already know, I am participating in a scavenger hunt this week. The list has gone up, and the challenges are fraught with peril, peanut butter and acts of kindness. Registration for the event helps support a charity that brings happiness around the world. I feel lucky - and slightly queasy - that I get to participate.
I plan on posting updates this week of my journey. I can't post the pictures I plan on putting up exactly for the competition, because then someone might copy my epic-ness, but I will show you some behind the scenes stuff and reveal more once the competition closes. Trust me, the pictures will be awesome.
Any cheering that you can provide will be greatly appreciated. It's gonna be a hell of a week.
Oh, and do you any of you feel like helping me by crashing William Shatner's website on the fourth? Go to williamshatner.com at PRECISELY 9:02 A.M PST. (Noon for you east coasters). Don't have to do anything else, just go there and crash the site. Thanks!
The raging beast that is insomnia has charged out of the forest, claws extended, and hungry for my soul.
That might be dramatic. I do make stuff up for a living, though, so I'm sure you'll forgive me. The point is that I am either thinking very clearly or not at all. Either should be fun, I think.
I wanted to talk to you about drugs. This is your brain...This is your brain on drugs..
No, I'm kidding. I think. My wonderful bout of insomnia sucked me, somehow from glorious pieces on the beauty that is Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman (Yay Sherlock and Hobbit geekdom) to articles about the bullying women are facing at un-Godly proportions on the internet. It is bullying I have avoided for the most part thanks to my incredibly amazing fans. These articles had a consequence. They ever so slowly led me to thoughts about all the types of hate you see on the inter-webs these days.
The thoughts brought out The Incredible Hulk in me. Hulk smash hate.
It's easy to see the mustache-twirlers, finger-temple makers and creepy-cat-stroking villains of the world. They are always easy to spot and, honestly, the least frightening of the villains we face as they look you in the face. They swing down from the rafters bellowing their vitriol with the sort of fervor that makes you want to either get out garlic to ward them off or run very far away and never look back. They are the person one finds most often on the internet. And if you are a person of conscience, you know that running away or tiptoeing around the issue doesn't fix a damn thing or bring about the change this world so desperately needs. At some point in your life, you're going to make a stand against someone who hates you for superficial reasons. It's pure statistics.
Maybe someone you know was raped, sexually assaulted or bullied and you don't find those kinds of comments very funny or tasteful. Maybe you're black, white, olive, or a purple people eater and someone's made a slur about an ethnicity you don't appreciate. Maybe you're witness or victim to racial profiling, fat shaming, slut shaming, skinny shaming, macho shaming, homophobia, threatening of women when they are not strong and independent, religious hate ...The list could - sadly! - go on for a while.
Our first instincts - according to the internet - are to get in a big, fat fight with the person who made the comment - yelling for all your worth how that person sucks - or slink into the shadows and let their words slowly tear about your soul and mind. Sadly, I've not seen people stand up in real life nearly as often as they do on the inter-webs, save for my husband, who is a superhero and you had damn well not contradict me. : ) While the former might be more cathartic, I don't really see it as helping. Responses toward the bigot in question are generally met with name calling and hate. Not only have you fed the asshole whose mind will probably always remain closed to equality and this brilliant new world of progress and change, you most likely have hated your way into their level of douchebaggery.
I'm not saying you shouldn't defend yourself. Do! Raise your voice. Take a stance. Be brave. Taking abuse is never the healthy thing for anyone. Remove yourself from it if at all possible, report it, make a stand in your own way, even if you don't engage the person directly. What I'm suggesting is that we start approaching the hate in another way. We need to find something to counterbalance the hate instead of adding to it.
The internet has changed things, but some moral principles live on. There are fundamental truths we cannot ignore in this life. Humanity, for all its tricks, doo-dahs, gadgets and thing-a-ma-bobs a plenty, is still linked by, well, humans.
Let me break it down and then try to build it back up.
One of the things that I've noticed first about these types of encounters is that they start with bigots who find their prey in the most innocuous of places. A person posting a video on Youtube. Someone who reports on topics that make them uncomfortable. Twiiter...God, Twitter. Facebook. Tumblr. Instagram. It goes on. They find - rather maliciously - people with strong opinions other than the bigots that frighten them. They poke, prod and harass those people to the point of frustration. Some, yes, are just the trolls who like to stir up attention as they desperately search for attention. They roar and tantrum and stomp their feet, much like any toddler would when deprived of attention for long. You know. You've been there. You've all seen it.
They post or speak a comment that ignites the flame. "You're fat." "Gays are damned to hell." "Women should be in the kitchen where they belong." "I'm going to rape you." "My religion is better than your religion and you're all going to burn for eternity." ad nauseam. (All things I've found on seemingly innocuous sites one should be able to browse in peace, not to mention in the real world.) The thing that bothers me the most (outside of the bigots, of course) is that the first instinct of the people responding, with the best of intentions, I'm sure, is to jump into that same pattern of name calling with which the bigot started the conversation. The bigot wants this. That person wants to fuel the fire so they can validate their own hate in their minds. They want to affirm what they think they know about you. They want to have a very good reason to hate you. They want to be able to point at your comments and the way you return their hate insult for insult. They want you to attack them. Some of them even want to get hurt. (More so in the real world.) You attacking them is proof that you are the evil they have made you out to be. Your actions validate their fear and confirms what their minds have already decided to believe.
And sometimes, people attack the person who made the bigoted remark by attacking another group. One post actually read something like this: "People shouldn't fat shame people. Those guys should pay for what they did with their jobs. At least those larger women aren't starving themselves or making themselves throw up like some skinny bitches."
Trying to defend the point that you shouldn't fat shame by shaming women who are petite? That's not evolution. That's the same level of thinking as the bigot, only it's slightly more accepted because of our current cultural structure and what is considered minority versus majority of the population. It's no different than shaming a woman for being into video games or tech or having a high paying job. Or shaming a man (see this in the south a lot) for not wanting to break his back at a job, have a typical nuclear family or perhaps work in a field that bigots have deemed feminine, for whatever reason.
IT IS NO DIFFERENT! Do you hear me internet? I've used caps, so you outta! Stereotyping another group because they aren't as vulnerable is still ignorance.
What if, instead, we applied our brainpower into changing the way we think of the bigots of the world? What if, instead of dehumanizing them the way they have dehumanized us, we focus on the fact that they are human beings. Instead, we fight them with respect, an open heart and ninja-like grace of character. There is nothing more powerful than example. Preaching to the choir gets you nowhere. But showing the other side that you are willing to treat them like humans, to fight hate with love, takes away their power and gives them fewer reasons to point the finger and dehumanize you. Please do fight to bring equality, harmony and togetherness. Fight to give our future generations a better world. But do so in a way that does not continue the discordance. Wear them down by attrition. And Love. Love. Love. Love.
Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. said it best, "Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that."
Isn't that just the shit? True poetry in every way. True humanism of the highest order. Bring light to the world. Don't serve their purpose by bringing more hate. If you feel compelled to stand up, to speak, do so. Please, please, please, do so, but do it with respect to those you would face. Find a way to make your point that supports the victim first and the bigot never. Contact websites directly if someone is harassing you, let the world know what they are doing, show them that you are leading by glorious example, don't hide, but be smart, be clever, be better about how you fight back than the bigot. Think of King and the way he won the Civil Rights Movement, through peacefulness and a sense of the community to all people, no matter creed, color or sexual orientation.
It's very difficult to hate someone so very determined to love you as a brother or sister.
Setting aside hate is not easy, and I'm no angel myself, but I believe in us as humans. We're clever enough to invent the Spork for God's sake. We're certainly clever enough to figure out a way past the hate. If you have set aside bigotry to see the intrinsic value off all humans, even the ones who disagree with you, then you are definitely smart enough to help me tear down the barriers and bigotry without stooping to hate. You're already mostly there, so let's step over that hurdle together and bring some awesomeness back to the internet. Let's find a way to stop blaming the other guy and leading by example. Let's improve the world and not focus on the people who would keep us stagnate. Human nature is to grow. Let's grow together for the better, shall we?
Can we shake on that?
And for you Clare fans out there...On the homestretch, baby. All I need is one over the fence and I'e got this thing out of the ballpark. Updates to follow when there are updates to share. : )
My eyelids feel like they're punching the crap out of my eyeballs. I'm going to rest them now. Maybe. I hope this made sense. Chances are this came out in a long string of awerouohrbrtbihtulkjbvjnfhibi. But I'm willing to take the risk. To all of you enjoying Comic-con - bastards - hug an Ewok for me, will ya?
This is just a little post to let you guys know about a movie my husband and I are trying to get off the ground. 'Corridors of Darkness' is a horror/action flick that he wrote, I edited and he plans on directing. I'm going to be the assistant director, because I'm cool like that, and because I told him I would hurt him if he didn't let me. (I'm kidding! ... Mostly.) : )
We're really excited about it. It's going to star two female leads, and be a kick-ass adventure. I love the idea of two women protagonists in a horror film. You never see that! And the ladies are epic to the max. Think Clare+Julie+Claudia Donovan from Warehouse 13+Julia Childs.
Okay, I'm not (that) serious about the last one.
The thing is - we need YOUR help to make it possible. Making a movie well is not easy without a budget, so we started a Kickstarter. For five dollars, you can pre-purchase the movie. That's right, we're pre-selling the tickets. So with your donation, you can own the movie. It's not like you're throwing your money away. You get a product for your generosity, and you're helping to make a better movie in the process. One that will knock your socks off. Or, you know, entertain you lots.
Here's the link. Thank you for whatever you can give - and for passing this along to your friends. Thanks for continuing to support my writing. And thanks for bringing a smile to my face with your sweet emails. It means the world. (Did I say thanks enough?) ; )
I hope you're super pumped for the holiday weekend. I know I am. FIREWORKS!! The inner pyro in me is totally looking forward to watching things blow up in the safest way possible.
I want to soap box for a minute. I try to keep from doing that too often, as most soap boxes are pedantic to the max. But, I really believe in this soap box topic, and I promise to make it short.
I was at the grocery store today and I noticed how many people were getting plastic bags for their food-stuff at the checkout. I mean, it was like a billion. Okay, maybe that much, as the store would have exploded, but you get my point.
Plastic bags are awful in every single way humanly possible. It's really hard to give up our cars in America, 'cause public transportation isn't what it should be etc., but it's not hard at all to take your own bags to the store. It's an economical and realistic way to make a difference in the environment. I found bags at my local grocery for 1.99. That's cheaper than toilet paper, and it has far more uses. And, to be honest, I have bags that just sit in the closest collecting dust. I think most of us are in the same boat. Why not put those bags to use? That way, you don't have to spend a thing!
Four bags cover a big trip for two people for a week. So, for around ten dollars, maybe, you can save the environment from the 500 bags you use in a typical year. Think about that for a second - 500 bags that usually get thrown away and collect in landfills. Multiple that by a billion. Holy crap, right? There's really no excuse for not using the more practical reusable bags. I know that some of you might say that you can't remember to take them in. I couldn't either right at first. Then I set up a routine, where the bags are grabbed out of my backseat the moment I stop at the grocery store. It's easy to remember now, and I never have to get those God-awful plastic bags again. Making that small change is no harder than remembering to put on deodorant or brushing your hair in the morning. It becomes routine after a while. And the grocery clerks really don't care if you use the bags. They'll pack things up regardless of the bag you put in front of them. It's no more of a hassle than packing in plastic. Trust me. I've been there, done that.
So this fourth of July, I invite you to spend eight dollars (or less) and help save the environment. It'll be the best, and cheapest, birthday present you can give the country.
Okay. Soap box over. Thanks for reading this. I hope you guys stay safe this fourth of July. Don't drink and drive. Don't put fireworks in your butt. And, above all, have fun! : )
Grey Haven has a new cover!
I think this adds a little bit more 'umph' and tells the story a bit more. What do you guys think? I'm in love. The old cover was serviceable, and Tatiana Vila did the best she could with my idea, but I think this one sums up the creepiness, cool and fun of the first book in The Dreamer Chronicles a lot better. And it's still only .99. A buck. A dollar. Any way you sling it, it's a pretty good deal.
I don't get to talk about Grey Haven as much as Clare's journey. (Not that I'm complaining. I love how much you guys love Clare. I'm her biggest fan, too.) Julie Aim is a different kind of gal, though Clare and her share quite a few traits (moxie, drive, determination, love for her friends, sarcasm). She's harder to write, and so much fun because of it. She doesn't waste time feeling sorry for herself or agonizing over her choices. She's a chick who embraces the present in all its forms. Doesn't mean she doesn't come complete with a lot of baggage, and unraveling her past bit by bit is another fun element to the stories. With every book, I feel like she gets more complicated and more determined to be mysterious and compelling. I also like the fact that she doesn't stand around talking about how she looks, where's she been or if she's made the right choices along the way, unless one of those things is relevant to the situation at hand. She just gets on with fighting nightmares and the monsters of our dreams and enjoying her life. And she's a bit of a supernatural detective, which is very necessary in the complicated, dark, town of Sweetbriar. Maybe she's so good at unraveling the truth because she's so used to being mysterious herself...
I could go on, but I think you get my point. She's got a saga I'd love for you to check out. If any of you are looking for a fun, sassy, scary adventure, this is your story!
And as far as Clare goes, you guys are cool with the book ending up with her naked at Disneyland, right? ; D
I can't begin to tell you how excited I am to bring you Controllers. It was a lot of fun to write, and it genuinely made me giddy to think of all tech and dream up a world that wasn't totally devastated by war, but definitely affected. Okay, maybe not giddy, as I do not often get giddy, but it was a whole heap of fun.
Controllers is available for purchase in the usual places, and I would be tickled to death if you could read, review, and spread the word. And if you don't like that one, I think I have one or two others that might suit your fancy (or twenty). I can't seem to help my love for writing. I guess that's why I keep releasing books. You guys will forgive me for that, though, right? : )
Here are the links for B&N and Amazon
To celebrate the release, I've been re-watching episodes of Star Trek: The Next Generation. What science fiction shows/books/movies really drew you to the genre? What do you like most about science fiction?
My favorite thing is that people are allowed to look beyond the confines of the present and imagine the world as it might be - for better or worse. We can imagine ourselves without prejudice or hate, as Star Trek often tried to do, and make points about the bad things we do in the present. I love the idea of such self-examination. Tell me what you love about your favorite sci-fi in the comments below!
And thanks for reading! : )
As some of you might know, I wrote another starter book for a trilogy I have planned. I have Revelations, about assassins, but I also have a sci-fi book. People seem to want it. The response has been very kind. So, because you want it, and because I like to give people things to read, I'm going to release it ahead of schedule. You can look at it as something to tide you over until the last Guardian book is written.
And, before you ask, I'm still writing the last book. It's coming along, bit by bit, wit by wit, but I have no news about a release date or any of that fun stuff. Patience, my young Padawans. It will be released. It's still going to be released miles ahead of most books, where you have to wait a year to two years for a sequel.
So, Controllers is the name of the book I want to give to you guys. It's about a seventeen-year-old girl named Bree. She's lived the past nine years in a camp outside of the rebuilt city of Washington, D.C. The government is full of people looking to control everyone and everything, but the shield around camp keeps her home hidden and her people safe. Her life changes when she witnesses a fight between rebels and the government. The rebels they rescue aren't all what they seem to be, and Bree and her brother Max are put on a collision course with the government that will not only change them but the city forever.
I wrote the book in five days. I'm not kidding. It just poured out of me. (Doesn't happen often). It was very easy to see Bree and her world. I loved dreaming up new tech and seeing if it would logically work. Sci-Fi is a lot of fun for that reason. It's my first attempt at the genre. I hope you like it.
The release date is June 23rd. For those of you who have already read it, I think you'll understand why I picked that date above all others! : ) Kindle, Smashwords and B&N will be up before the others. Just the way it has to be because of the short time period. Sorry.
Here's the cover by the ever-lovely Tatiana Vila.
Hi, everybody! I hope your mid-week is treating you well.
This post isn't about my books or anything fun like that. It's just a gal writing in her blog. I hope you'll forgive me if it's not interesting and tune in later when I have something to say about Clare and Daniel.
The news lately has been kind of awful. We have people going on killing sprees and the war and children killing children...among other things. I know that such darkness can't be fixed with a blog, but I wanted to take a moment and be encouraging, in case some of you are feeling as bummed as I have been about the way we humans are treating one another.
I firmly believe that people do the best they can. The majority of us just want to live peaceful, loving lives and not be affected by the evil that crops up from time to time. I also think that the news loves to sensationalize the bad to scare us into watching more news. (Not a healthy cycle of truth in my humble opinion).
I also think that this element of fear makes people afraid to do anything about it. They feel like there's no point. I'm not talking about policing the streets or karate chopping bad guys. Let's leave that to the professionals...and Clare. What I'm talking about is doing what we can in our communities, in our cities, in our nations, and in our world.
I think people get confused about what 'doing something' means. They think they have to wade into the deep end and be involved in things 24-7 to make a difference - that it's really difficult to do anything that will make a dent in the bad the news is so happy to report on. I've heard people complain about it enough. They have work and children and grandchildren, and there's never enough time in the day to volunteer or be part of the community in a meaningful way. The news helps to create an aura of distrust and anger, so we recede into our houses and hide behind our locked doors and never see our neighbors or become part of the community. The fear just keeps growing and our world ends up worse for it.
I think it feels a little overwhelming to be faced with such negativity and awfulness. My husband and I have talked about it often. You feel like a tiny bucket trying to scoop out the entire sea. But I can't see the world that way. There's more good than bad, and stepping out into our communities and towns is definitely worth the risk. We can't stop everything; and we shouldn't be held responsible for the ill people who decide to end lives so barbarically, but we can stop pretending like we don't matter in the course of things.
We do matter. A lot.
Sharing the love and kindness can be the simplest of things, and I honestly believe it's what most of us want to do. Beginning is as simple as smiling at your neighbor, giving a friendly wave, and noticing the people around you and taking a firm interest in colleagues, the people who work at your favorite shops, the man on the corner with no shoes...etc. Instead of seeing the bad, I try to think of what I can do to make a difference. And this aura of fear I've noticed in people lately is just not healthy. We can do better. We can have more faith in each other.
I know you guys, and I know you're wonderful, so let's be part of the solution. Do little things: help the environment so future generations can live, help your neighbors in whatever way they need help (looking out for one another is a good start), pass along an act of kindness and not because you need a reward or any of that nonsense, share a smile or a hug with someone sick to let them know they're loved, treat strangers the way you'd treat a friend or sibling, and when someone looks you in the eyes, smile. They may need that smile more than you know. There are plenty of things we can do. So please, help me start doing it. The world has enough bad in it not to add our indifference to the mix. There's an old saying, and it holds a lot of merit to this situation: If you want something done right, do it yourself.
Let's go do something together.
Here's a leaping off point. There are plenty of other ideas out there for you to try. Also, a video of strangers being kind.