A Bradbury Day

Wicked Endora
It's 70 degrees outside, but the wind is blowing fairly heavily and so there is a bit of crisp October in the air. Earlier I was walking the dog, him bounding like a puppy and turning his big doggy nose into the breeze with his silly retriever smile, me wearing a tank top and basking in the autumn sun. Coming in through the back door, bees were settled happily into each of our many orange and golden marigolds, drinking so deeply and contentedly that they didn't trouble themselves to move when the dog and I brushed past their flowers.

Just now I have been slicing crunchy root vegetables -- parsnips, beets, and carrots -- to pop into the crock pot with a pork roast covered in garlic, berbere, and coconut milk. It will simmer all day until darkness falls, the hint of wood smoke drifts in on the sharp air, and it becomes a cozy fall supper.

Liz is reading Cinderella Skeleton to JuJu, a 3-year-old after my own heart. She wants to read more and more and more books, and loves all things "pooky." She wants to be a vampire for Halloween and she loves my Baron Samedi figurine, which just came out of storage.

Last night I read The Graveyard Book, which I got for my birthday a couple of weeks ago. If you like that one, you should read Death Watch. I think I might re-read that one tonight. 

October is full of ghosts and witches and autumn people, shade and chill and the Other, and it's the month I feel most at home.

Thanks, Unca Ray.
Eyes
TWO more days until we walk!

Toby Froud's doing the whole walk on STILTS. His mother, Wendy, is a gorgeous artist and one of the sweetest ladies I know.

I'm walking for Wendy. I'm walking for tanuki_green, who's a diabetic. I'm walking for MYSELF, even.

And because the world needs more magic, our team, the Blood Sugar Plum Faeries, will be going full Faerieworlds and dressing up for the walk.

The Portland Walk is WAY below fundraising goal. If you can spare a dollar, please sponsor me and my team. Even if you can't, please boost the signal for us.

http://main.diabetes.org/site/TR/StepOut/A2ORG-OregonIdahoArea?team_id=542437&pg=team&fr_id=8417

<3 and fairy sparkles!
Hit it

Hey all you beautiful darlings!

Diabetes sucks. I know, because I have it. So did most of my family. No, really, type I or II, they SUCK.

On September 22nd, I'll be walking in the Portland Step Out: Walk to Stop Diabetes fundraiser. And I've joined a BRILLIANT team.

Ya'll know and love the Frouds, and Toby Froud is the newest member of the family to make magic in the world. (And yes, he was the baby in LABYRINTH. But he's moved on! *g*)

Toby and Sarah Froud have organized the Blood Sugar Plum Faeries to participate in the Portland Walk. We're gonna walk dressed as faeries, because the walk needs some magic. And Toby is doing the entire walk on his STILTS.

We're committed to making magic and making change for diabetics everywhere, and we need help. So if you could boost the signal and spread this far and wide, we'd be most deeply grateful. And if you can afford to donate anything, even a few dollars, to support our team and the American Diabetes Association, please, every dollar counts.

Please visit, and pass our information on far and wide.

Love and fairy dust,

Mia

Goodbye, my friend

Death
I've just learned that my long time LJ friend jackiejj has died. I've known Jackie on LJ for many years, and every time she posted it made my day better. The term "friend" has been diluted on the Internet and often means much less than it should, but Jackie was a truly warm, sweet, loving lady who sent me messages of love and support so very often in my darkest days when I was going through figuring out the worst things. Her posts were full of light and joy and glee and love for her family and friends and her little house.

I never got to meet her in person and of the many many people I know online she's one of the ones that would have been at the very top of my list. But I truly loved her, as did so many who never had the pleasure of her physical company. She made so many worlds brighter. We should all aspire to be half as good in the world as jackiejj.

I love you, Jackie. We will all miss you so much.

AAAAAAAAAAAUGH MY BAD

Oops
So I'm going to do an ordeal recap of how we did this whole thing, basically for reference and to decompress. But as smoothly as we thought it had gone, we did discover yesterday that OF COURSE there was ONE disturbing error.

I lost an auction item in the inbox.

Not only that, I lost an extremely awesome item that would naturally have brought in Tons of Bidders and Big Bucks.

And from Someone I Adore, even.

sdn. Sharyn November offered manuscript critique and books. Can you imagine getting a manuscript critique from SHARYN NOVEMBER HERSELF?

So in case anyone was wondering why Sharyn of all people wasn't contributing to the auction for Terri, that was MY FAULT. I LOST HER EMAIL.

I AM SO SORRY SHARYN.

If you know Sharyn, feel free to pass this on, so everyone knows what an idiot I am.

<3 you, Sharyn.

Dec. 15th, 2011

Totoro

$71,327.

$71, 327

$71,327.

o.0

Squee

Since we all started plotting magick4terri a month ago, I think I've spoken or communicated in some way with about 75% of the people whose works are on my bookshelves and on my walls. Since the fundraiser actually started and word started to spread, the names popping up in my inbox have been at times difficult to deal with.

Mostly because it's hard to respond in a professional adult manner when you're trying very hard not to go all babbly fangirl.

I think I've done pretty well in most cases, though a couple of times I've come close to the edge of bouncing golden retriever behavior...

Anyway, the main thing is that I've met so many of the most wonderfully generous and kind people lately, and not just the ones I knew about. I'm meeting new artists and fans with lovely things to offer and people who just want to bid or donate money and generally be helpful, and people have just been endlessly sweet.

Figuring out how to make this run smoothly, at least to the best of our ability, has been a fun kind of challenge. Having a chance to do some Hoodoo Engineering (<3 Emma) has been a blast.

There are a lot of really lovely people out there. Sometimes all the crap going on in the world makes it easy to forget that. But if the world won't take care of us, we have to try to take care of each other. All the messages pouring in from people talking about how Terri has helped and saved them remind me of s00j's lyric -- sometimes you do good that you'll never see. This is one of the wonderful and rare cases where someone gets to see all the good they've done coming back to them. It fills me with joy to be a part of it.

But when this is all over I'm going to sleep for about 36 hours straight.

Manic...er, Magick Monday

Fairy Tale
Well I was going to post this morning and say hey, it's Magick Monday, come to our fundraiser, except for then I opened the thing and unlocked the entries and started posting more of the donations I'd received and whoooosh 14 hours later and I'm dead, D-E-D dead I tell you.

In case you haven't seen it yet, and since it's been reTweeted by such luminaries as @thinkgeek, wow, I'm kind of shocked, we're running a fundraiser to help that most noted of fairy godmothers, Terri Windling. She's having a hard time lately, and as you know, helping is What We Do. Because we're the 99%, yo.

So I've been on the emails for days with Ellen Kushner and Charles de Lint and Charles Vess and George R.R. Martin and o god the list is ginormous, basically saying "please give us stuff and if you don't know how to do LJ I'll post it for you" and OMG does this community rock my socks. Because people are kind and generous and full of love. Just today a box of stuff came from GRRM and I unpacked it and dood.

And I couldn't wait to start it up this morning because it's not just the pro donors, whom I love to bits, but the friend/fan donors who bake cookies and crochet hats and come up with brilliant and creative things to offer in these auctions. I adore being part of that. I adore that people find ways to do good even without tons of money or resources. And I adore that those who do have big things to donate just do it. I promise you, not one person has asked me for a friggin tax receipt.

And it's for Terri Windling, so, yeah. I have a box full of emails all saying the same thing. "She saved my life." "She got me through my childhood."

Well, I'm running this thing for the same damn reason. Terri Windling and her Endicott crew kept me going when all I wanted to do was lay down and die. I would give her a kidney if she asked. Hell, I'd give her DOG a kidney if she asked.

And that's why at the end of 14 hours, between donations and current bid totals, we've got a little over $14,000 for her. And today was only the first day. I've been at the computer for 16 hours a day for the past several days getting ready for this, and tomorrow's gonna be the same, and I'm damned glad to be here. Stoked, I am. Because I can't send a kidney, but I can do this.

Love you all for donating goodies and spreading the word and doing your Christmas and Solstice shopping at our little shop of love on the Internets. Love you Deborah and Liz for working your asses off. Love you, Terri.

http://magick4terri.livejournal.com/

Help a kitty

Not Amused
Originally posted by kylecassidy at post
Via Citykitties (emphasis mine):

A good samaritan found this cat today in a gutter by Clark Park, half dead. He is now at the Cat Doctor with a body temperature of 90 (normal is 102) and blood PCV of 8. The Cat Doctor housecat, Diamond, is currently donating blood to save his life. During the exam, the vet found that this cat has a microchip. When called, his "owners" reported that he was acting sick, so they put him outside. If this makes you as angry as it makes us, please channel your anger in one of two ways: visit our website at www.citykitties.org and make a donation to help us pay for his care, or share this post and encourage others to do so.




Click to donate.

Thank you, reviewer!

Cup of Sun
So often reviewers look at magazines for the fiction and possibly the poetry while rarely mentioning the regular columns. I am one of the writers for the Artist's Gallery column in Realms of Fantasy, and our August issue contained a piece on Women in Fantasy Art that I worked VERY hard on and was quite proud of.

So it was extremely nice to see this review at SFFWorld.com today. Thanks, Joey O'Donnell!

Only?

Not Amused
So I'm putting the final touches on housecleaning in preparation for the return of my vacationing boopiemuffins, and I have the TV on in the background for company, and Cops comes on.

I hear an officer ask a suspect "Have you been arrested before?"

The guy says "Only for domestic assault."

0.o

Think about that. I'll wait....

ONLY.

OK, I'll take "only for smoking pot." Or "only for unpaid parking tickets." I will even, depending on the circumstance, possibly accept an "only for shoplifting."

But there is no ONLY for DOMESTIC VIOLENCE, sir. You do not get an ONLY for assaulting your spouse, children, or family members, sir. No sir, that makes you a GIANT DOUCHETRUCK.

ONLY.

Bite me.

Quitting smoking can kill you...

Fairy Tale
In April Liz and I quit smoking. I quit cold turkeyish -- was very sick and couldn't smoke, and just didn't start again when I could breathe.

It was surprisingly easy. Weirdly so, which should have been a hint that something was wrong.

See, my meds have been nicely balanced and my brain chemicals have been nicely evened out and I've been dealing with the PTSD and the bipolar both very well. I was in an extremely balanced and good place.

And I neglected to account for the fact that nicotine is a brain altering chemical and was also one of my mood altering substances. It's not a healthy one, and it's not a desireable one to use, but the fact remains that it's a self medication. Mental health professionals will tell you that most people who are bipolar smoke at some point before they are diagnosed, as an instinctual attempt to self medicate. And it works, too.

Anywho, a couple of weeks after I quit, I tipped over into depression. I mean, serious, wanting to sleep all the time, sitting on the couch all day, going to bed at night thinking about razor blades and pills, de-press-ion.

Of course I didn't connect it with quitting. I didn't crave cigarettes. I was very pleased that I'd quit. I was also trying to work on my blood sugar in company with the Tanuki and my weight in company with Liz. I was trying very hard to be healthy, even though it was incredibly difficult to muster the energy to care about doing so because I was so miserable.

So after a couple of months of wanting to just curl up and die, and getting tired of trying to pretend I was OK, I finally figured out that maybe I needed a med adjustment and went and saw my psychiatrist. Who of course said "you should have called me and gotten a prescription to help you quit" and promptly added another medication to the mix.

I didn't think it was doing much for the first few weeks, but now I'm feeling sooooooooo much better that I think it is, and it just needed time to build up in my system. I'm feeling a bit more like doing creative things again -- I finally held my pendant sale, which I hadn't been able to face doing -- and I'm actually excited about being in better physical health. In fact, I am actually enjoying the Pilates-like things I have to do for my physical therapy (even though they hurt for a while), and I kind of have a hard time sitting still, so I've been exercising more and more. On purpose. Which is bizarre. But there ya go.

So yeah. If you've got a mental illness and cigarettes are part of your self medication, quit smoking. Quitting smoking is GOOD. Just don't do it without checking in with your brain doctor first, because it can get ugly.

I almost forgot to mention...

Squee
For months I've been conspiring with Ellen Kushner, Terri Windling, and Holly Black. They graciously allowed me an ARC of Welcome to Bordertown. It's amazing, y'all. Cory Doctorow, Cat Valente, Charles de Lint, Nalo Hopkinson...yowza.

I'm sure many of you are fans of Bordertown -- I mean, it is one of the first urban fantasy series, and with Charles de Lint and Emma Bull and Terri Windling and Ellen Kushner and and and ZOMG!!!

SO when I saw they had the new antho coming out I was so happy I squee'd all over. And then I emailed Ellen.

And then I made Bordertown pendants. I have two more batches to put up, so please let any fellow B-town fans know. :)

Bordertown Lives!

Kiva updatery

Be Excellent
So far, my (our, you guys!) pay-it-forward loans at Kiva are chugging along nicely.

There have been enough repayments for me to make 4 more loans, so from the original 11 there are now 15. All but 1 of the original 11 are in repayment, and the 11th isn't scheduled to begin repaying yet.

Closest to repaid is borrower in Rwanda, who is 93% repaid on his loan to purchase flowers to sell, with his future goal being buying land to buy flowers to export.

Today I added a women's collective in the DRC buying fruit for their market business, a tailor in Mongolia buying parts for her husband's delivery and transportation van, and a businesswoman in Tajikistan buying seasonal children's clothing for her clothing resale business.

Kiva is pretty nifty. If you've got $25 to spare, it's a great place to put it.

New Ink!

Fairy Tale
tanuki_green came down today to get his birthday present tattoo, a few months late.

I got one I've been planning for a while now. It's on my upper left arm.

Pendant and phrase by me (as Chimera Fancies.)
Song and CD by seanan_mcguire
Bad Wendy cartoon by Amy Mebberson
Tattoo design and execution by Amy Cole of TigerLily Tattoo

Oh to be a fly on the...phone line

Totoro
So Snoop Dogg wrote a song about Prince William's last days as a bachelor, and Prince William wanted him to perform at the stag party.

By tradition, when a performer is asked to appear at any royal wedding function, Her Majesty herself extends the invitation personally.

Which would mean that after her secretary got Snoop's secretary on the phone, and the two of them were connected, a conversation ensued which began something like "Good morning, Mr...er...Dogg, is it? I believe that my grandson William would enjoy it if you were to attend his party and...let me see, he has it written down here..."bust some rhymes," he says. I'm not sure what that entails, but..."

I love the Queen, and I love Snoop, and I'm sure that in real life the arrangements were completely mundane, but in my fantasy brain it was an epic conversation.
Judged on Love
So, Rebecca Black. If you're not familiar, go ahead and Google her.

I wasn't. Then, a week or so ago, I started seeing commentary showing up on FB and on the news. Video posted of James Urbaniak and Stephen Colbert (both of whom I really like) mocking a song. Commentary about how this woman had "the worst song ever performed" on video. Comments about how she should kill herself rather than ever sing again.

So finally I sez to Liz, "who is this? Do you know who she is?" And she didn't. So we Googled her, and watched her vid on YouTube, and read about her.

And sure the song is horrible and run through AutoTune and has ridiculous lyrics...

But dude. She isn't a woman, she's a 13-year-old girl.

A thirteen year old little girl, y'all. A silly adorable little teenybopper girl who wanted to sing a song and whose parents paid for her to go to a mall vanity producer and make a little video. And she picked a silly dippy song because the other choice was a love song and she is a little girl and said she wasn't comfortable singing a romantic song because she doesn't know anything about romance.

Can I say it enough times? Rebecca Black is a CHILD. A little girl. Many of my friends have little girls and boys her age.

This little girl and her silly little song have gone viral, and people have gone apeshit mocking her.

And I would not have noticed if a bunch of kids were mocking another kid, if the news hadn't picked it up and ADULT celebrities weren't getting in on the action. Comedians and talk show hosts, people. Grown ass men and women for whom a teenybopper song should not even be on the radar -- short of them making sure that their own teens aren't listening to age-inappropriate lyrics -- are devoting their time and effort to mocking a LITTLE GIRL.

So for months last year we were all "it gets better" and posting our own school bullying stories and discussing the trauma of teen bullying and now a few months later a little girl is on blast for singing a silly little song and adults, grown adults, are mocking her publicly. Wow.

And before anyone says "well she put herself out there," so what? In the first place, she's an enthusiastic little girl who wanted to perform, and when that happens and the child is good we are ALL over the "oh how cute." In the second place, "well they brought it on themselves by doing or being X" is exactly what every bully anywhere says. So, no.

And by the way, I think a whole lot of us should be on our knees thanking our deity of choice that YouTube wasn't around when we were 13 and reading our dark teen-angsty poetry or playing in our sure-to-be-the-next-big-thing garage bands. Just sayin'.

Rebecca Black has streams of commentary suggesting that she kill herself, or become anorexic so she looks better when she sings -- not all of that is coming from other teens. And I think that every adult celebrity who mocks her encourages that. So does passing around their videos trashing her, because it's all focusing more negative attention on her. Bullying by proxy.

Incidentally, any money she makes now that she has the attention is going to Japan relief. This little girl is handling all of this shite with a lot more grace than many of us would. Personally, I hope something good comes out of it for her, after the ridiculous amount of crap she's been handed for what basically boils down to being an enthusiastic, hopeful little girl who wanted to perform.
Quiz
So if you aren't familiar with the ugly homophobia charges in the debacle over the YA anthology Wicked Pretty Things, cleolinda has been doing an excellent job of recapping the situation. A fairly current state of things is here.

It started when an author, already accepted to the antho, was asked to change her teenage boy/boy romance to a boy/girl romance. It goes on from there. NOTE: "No gay stories" was NOT in the submission guidelines, so there was no reason for any author to believe that they should go hetero only on their dark faerie romance stories.

So she requested that her story be removed. After this went public, 5 other authors in the antho also requested that they be removed, due to not wishing to work with the editor and be associated with this sort of thing.

Editor made flippant, silly non-apology and an explanation equating "alternative" sexuality with violence and swearing as something they didn't want too much of. To be fair, she followed that up later with a much better carefully worded apology, but unfortunately, whether that was sincere or not, an apology that comes after a shitstorm of bad publicity rarely seems terribly sincere. First impressions, yanno?

My good friend Seanan McGuire is one of the authors who pulled out, and I'm very proud of her. I have to say, I'd have done it myself in this situation. I don't think I could work with this editor, either.

But there are authors still in who have said nothing. There's an author who was picked up the day the original author pulled her story, clearly a replacement, and she has so far not acknowledged direct questions on her blog as to what she thinks now that the reason for the vacancy in the antho has been made public.

So far, it looks like the antho is still going forward with publication, which would have to mean picking up replacement stories for those pulled.

So, how is that going to reflect on the authors who are ultimately included if it does go forward?

Perhaps they disagree with the original decision, but are ok with the second apology. Perhaps they have a history with the editor and don't believe her to be truly a homophobe. Certainly the publisher seems to have a history of publishing LBGT materials, so perhaps they are not concerned with this one incident.

But certainly many will perceive them as agreeing with the original decision, and being fine with the anti-gay. Especially those who joined after, rather than simply choosing not to pull their stories. Will there be a backlash against them if the book ultimately goes forward?

I'm honestly not sure where my head is on this. I know I'm proud of the authors who have taken a stand. And I know I'm not going to buy the anthology now -- I've removed it from my preorders. But I'm a little afraid of who I might see on the TOC, if it goes forward.

What do you think?

Look out, Reno...

Come Away
Well, I guess it's official...I'm going to Renovation!

I've got an extra bed if anyone is interested in sharing a room. I'm fairly quiet, generally tidy, occasionally insomniac, slightly noncommunicative until application of morning caffeine, and have been known to snore. But hey, it's a room at half price. :)

magnificent dot maleficent at gmail if you're interested.

Just A Ride

Judged on Love

Last night Liz and I were watching old Bill Hicks shows, and I realized how much I'd loved him and how we lost him way too early. He'd have had so much to say about the past 10 years in politics. You were great, Bill.

He always closed his show with Just a Ride:

"The world is like a ride in an amusement park. And when you choose to go on it, you think it's real because that's how powerful our minds are. And the ride goes up and down and round and round. It has thrills and chills and it's very brightly coloured and it's very loud and it's fun, for a while. Some people have been on the ride for a long time and they begin to question, is this real, or is this just a ride? And other people have remembered, and they come back to us, they say, "Hey - don't worry, don't be afraid, ever, because, this is just a ride..." And we... kill those people.

"We have a lot invested in this ride. Shut him up. Look at my furrows of worry. Look at my big bank account and my family. This just has to be real." Just a ride. But we always kill those good guys who try and tell us that, you ever notice that? And let the demons run amok. But it doesn't matter because: It's just a ride. And we can change it anytime we want. It's only a choice. No effort, no work, no job, no savings and money. A choice, right now, between fear and love. The eyes of fear want you to put bigger locks on your doors, buy guns, close yourself off. The eyes of love, instead, see all of us as one. Here's what we can do to change the world, right now, to a better ride. Take all that money that we spend on weapons and defences each year and instead spend it feeding and clothing and educating the poor of the world, which it would many times over, not one human being excluded, and we could explore space, together, both inner and outer, forever, in peace."

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