Wednesday, August 24, 2011

I Felt the Earth Move Under My Feet…

So an earthquake wasn't enough for you, was it? How about this?

And according to the Weather Channel, the sky's going to come tumbling down. An earthquake and a hurricane in the same week? Someone seriously ticked off the karma gods. Dusty's Florida relatives are sending us ideas on how to ride out a hurricane, and we're looking at evacuation if Irene is a Category 2 when it hits us. Tonight we'll probably pack up essentials like our birth certificates, passports, homeowners insurance papers and the latest vet records for our pets. By Friday, we'll know whether or not we're going to try and stick it out or run for the hills (I'm looking at you, Ohio).

This is the first time either one of us has been an earthquake. I'm not certain either one of us is ready for it to be the first time we ride out a hurricane. We have to remember things like the children's medication and making sure each one of us has some form of identification on us. I read somewhere that you should have dogtags made up that state your name, place of residence, allergies emergency responders need to be aware of, and any medication that you're on. I'm thinking of having that done today.

Now I have to admit, I'm hoping none of this is necessary. I'm hoping at worst we'll get high winds and heavy rain. We've dealt with 65 mile an hour winds before, and we will again. But if we're told to evacuate, we are so out of here.

Why did the chicken-shit cross the road? To get away from the god-damn hurricane!

Monday, August 22, 2011

On Soul Mates

Note the word "especially"...

It's been a while since I caught up on Dear Abby (I don't watch soap operas, but I'll read advice columnists; go figure). Someone in one of the articles mentioned having met her "soul mate", but that soul mate wasn't her spouse. What to do?

Abby handed down the usual "don't break up your marriage" advice, along with the definition of a soul mate. Neither definition she posted mentioned love, sex, or anything like it.



Merriam Webster defines a soul mate as:
1: a person who is perfectly suited to another in temperament
2: a person who strongly resembles another in attitudes or beliefs
Dictionary.com has a similar definition:
a person with whom one has a strong affinity.
The Cambridge Online Dictionary does mention romantic partners:
someone, usually your romantic or sexual partner, who you have a special relationship with, and who you know and love very much


Note the key word here: usually. A soul mate doesn't necessarily mean that person will be in your bed and sharing your day-to-day life. For instance, I happen to know someone with two soul mates, one of them his spouse, the other...not.

Dusty approves

Picture this: a man goes to college and meets someone. That someone becomes his best friend, his comrade, the one who completes his sentences and gets his jokes when no one else does. He follows this person a thousand miles to a new city, a new life. They get jobs together, play together, live together. There are very few people on earth he'd rather spend time with, and the other person feels exactly the same way.

Sounds like soul mates, right? Keep reading.

The man meets a woman, and that woman has many of the same characteristics as his soul mate. He marries her, has children with her, builds a happy life with her. The soul mate also meets someone with many of the same characteristics as the man, marries her, has children with her, etc. Their children are taught that they are family in all respects but one: blood.

Our children call Dusty's other soul mate Uncle Bob.

In other words, they're brothers in every way but biological, soul mates even though they were never meant to be together romantically. A lot of people forget that a soul mate isn't always someone you have sex with, and roll their eyes when they hear the words. But for me, a soul mate isn't just some romance trope; it's more than that. It's a connection between two people that can't be denied, sisters and brothers of our hearts, and not always the person we go to sleep next to each night. I'll bet you've met people who are soul mates and just didn't describe them that way because we always tend to think in terms of our soul mates being our romantic partners.

Trust me. Neither Dusty nor Bob want to see the other naked. 

Well. Now that I've got that off my chest I should get back to my day job, hmm?

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Quicky Post: More Authors After Dark Pics!


I did a post over at the DC Area Storytellers with some more pics from the con. If you want to see Stephanie Burke as a geisha or PJ Schnyder looking like Christine in Phantom of the Opera, head on over and take a look.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Totally Steamed


Having left my camera at my mother's, I don't have a picture of Dusty and I at the Steampunk Ball. I know. I has a sad, too. But my friend PJ Schnyder has promised that once she's done at the Evil Day Job she'll send me the picture she took of us. As soon as I get it I'll post it for you.

My last day at Authors After Dark, and I overslept. I managed to drag my butt out of my lovely Murphy bed a full hour after I'd planned to get up, so when Robert Roman, a friend, my brother-in-law and an author, came to pick me up to attend the Blog Fail panel I was barely functional. In a way, he's lucky, because I was just short of butting in on a panel I wasn't sitting on. I kept thinking "Oh, I do that too!", but before I could open my mouth someone else was already saying it. Damn you, lack of caffeine! I could have totally ruled that panel.

Off to the book signing after a quick yet delicious lunch of a mushroom pizza steak (GOD I love Philly food!) I honestly thought I'd give away more Bear Necessities posters than I did, but people took one look at Artistic Vision and wanted Akane! Kudos to Kendra Egert for a beautiful cover; everyone near me had cover envy.



Back to the room for a much needed rest while I wait for Dusty to arrive.  By now I've got a bit of a sore throat from yelling to be heard over three hundred other people who were also yelling to be heard over three hundred people, but it was worth it. I met Jess Haines, who took one look at me and said, "You're the vampire cactus lady! Oh my God, I laughed so hard!" Apparently, she'd really enjoyed Blood of the Maple, and I will forever be the Vampire Cactus Lady in her mind. 

Robert asked to borrow my room to change into his outfit for the Steampunk Ball, and he arrived shortly after Dusty did. (By the way, Dusty took one look at the Murphy bed and declared we were going home right after the ball.) So Bob changes into his kilt-and-mad-scientist outfit (don't ask, you had to be there; it involved a long explanation in a Scottish accent about engineers) and Dusty and I go out to dinner since he's not allowed in the Steampunk Dinner. We enjoyed a nice, leisurely meal at the hotel's bistro/bar, then head back to our room to pack and change.



Off to the ball, where some of the vendors had set up their wares. We grabbed plenty of business cards. A lot of the steampunk jewelry was absolutely gorgeous and we plan on doing some shopping. We wandered, got our picture taken, and had a good time. Then the Olde City Sideshow arrived, and I became really familiar with the brim of my hat.

Eating earthworms? EW! But the sword swallowing act was rather neat.

We were changed, checked out and on our way home by 11:30, thus ending my very first Authors After Dark. Honestly, it was such a mixed bag of good and bad that I'm not sure how I felt about it. On the one hand, none of the problems I encountered were the fault of the event coordinators. Most of the issues had to do with the hotel changing things at the last minute, moving wipe-away boards so the attendees couldn't figure out what had been changed to where, and other pleasant things like that. Add in the horrible room I was in, and I think my memory will be a mixed bag of awesome (the con itself) and angry (Doubletree Hotel).

I don't think I've ever done this before, but I'm doing it now: if you're planning a convention, especially a romance-centric one like AAD, DO NOT book the Doubletree in Philadelphia. I have no idea what bug flew up their butt and started munching, but it was not pretty. And for the record, I in no way blame Authors After Dark for any of it. I blame the venue.

UPDATE: Found my camera! Here are the pics from the Steampunk Ball I asked a friend to take:

Someone said, "Lift her skirt!" So he did.

Me and my cowboy.

They're doing what on the stage?

Oh, no they didn't!

Friday, August 12, 2011

Foxy!

Me, looking foxy in my black wig, ears and tail.

Pardon the short blog post, but I'm really, really tired. It's been a long day, but I promised a picture of me in the black wig and the tail, and I'm delivering.

Today, I was on a panel on the life of the average author. Since Stephanie "Flash" Burke was on it with me, there was nothing average about it. (Bathroom attendant at a strip joint? Really?) This afternoon, Bianca d'Arc, Carolyn Ivey, JC Wilder and I gave away a Nook at the Wine and Cheese party in the Hospitality suite, and then it was time for the Mythos Ball. I was a Kitsune in some really crappy glitter nail polish that looked fabulous in the crappy lighting of the ballroom. The food was surprisingly good (but then again, this is Philly) and then door prizes were given out. I actually won something, a mug and a hoodie from Larissa Ione.

Tomorrow is the booksigning from 2-4 (or 2-4:30, depending on who you talk to), and afterwards is the Steampunk ball. Have I mentioned I'll be on the arm of a really hot cowboy named Dusty?

Thursday, August 11, 2011

The Good, The Bad, and The You're F'ing Kidding Me



Today was my first day at Authors After Dark. Hell, it was my first for a LOT of things. First time sitting on a panel. (I had my first two panels today, starting at 11 a.m. Dakota Cassidy was on both of them!) So that was the good.

The bad? You need a freaking map to figure out where anything is, and half the time the hotel has changed it on the poor event holders at the last minute. so not even they know what's accurate and what's not. Finding out that something you thought was at six got moved to seven then they shut the doors so you thought it was cancelled when it wasn't? Absolutely stupid. I feel kind of sorry for PJ Schnyder and Stella Price, because they're trying damn hard to put on a first rate con and the hotel is trying damn hard to fuck it up. So far every event I've gotten to has been fun, but that's more on PJ and Stella than Doubletree.

At least the french toast was good.

The you're f'ing kidding me? First time staying at the Doubletree in Philly. Last time I will ever stay at the Doubletree in Philly. I requested a handicapped room, and, in the spirit of the law, I got one. The fact that I paid for two queen beds and got a single Murphy bed does not negate the fact that the bathroom has the correct handlebars. It's not their fault that they gave me a room that's essentially a crooked shoebox / ex-storage room, right? One I can barely fit my scooter into?

Oi.

So, anyway. Hotel sucks big hairy moose balls. Con? So far, so fun. Looking forward to tomorrow and the Mythos Masquerade, where I'll be wearing a long black wig, black fox ears and a black and white tail. Yup, I'll be the only Kitsune in a scooter on the planet. Wish you were here yet?

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Rest In Peace



It is with profound sadness that I announce that Leslie Esdaile Banks, our Queen literary passed this morning. I will share details of funeral arrangements as soon as they become available.

Adrienne King
President
Leslie Esdaile Banks FanClub
https://www.facebook.com/note.php?note_id=10150254114711440

Favorite Quotes

"I had the right to remain silent, but I didn't have the ability." Ron White

"So let me get this straight. You want me to kill the little guys, kill the big guys, crowd control those I can't, buff the team, debuff the boss, keep myself alive, AND keep you alive, all while waving a stick and dressed in a towel?" - Anonymous Role Playing Gamer

"I think that statue over there is a statement on modern life. The statement is, "Well, shit." - Varric, Dragon Age II

"Why is it all claws and guns? Can't we piss off a fuzzy planet? Still dangerous, but hey. Bunnies." - Joker, Mass Effect

"Last night, I lay in bed looking up at the stars in the sky and thought to myself, "Where the heck is the ceiling?" - Dilbert


"Aim at the high mark and you will hit it. No, not the first time, not the second time and maybe not the third. But keep on aiming and keep on shooting for only practice will make you perfect. Finally you'll hit the bull's-eye of success." - Annie Oakley

"It is only when you fall that you learn whether you can fly." - Flemeth, aka The Witch of the Wilds, Dragon Age 2

"The very existence of flamethrowers proves that sometime, somewhere, someone said to themselves, 'You know, I want to set those people over there on fire, but I’m just not close enough to get the job done.'” - George Carlin

"I hear there's a wild bridge tournament down the street. And you know Bridge. It's a lot like sex. If you don't have a great partner, you'd better have a good hand." Barry Weiss, Storage Wars

"You know, I used to think it was awful that life was so unfair. Then I thought, wouldn't it be much worse if life were fair, and all the terrible things that happen to us come because we actually deserve them? So, now I take great comfort in the general hostility and unfairness of the universe." - Marcus Cole, Babylon 5, "A Late Delivery From Avalon"

"I aim to misbehave." - Capt. Malcolm Reynolds

"Everybody is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid." - Albert Einstein

“If you think you can or think you cannot, you are correct.” - Henry Ford