The Raven and the Dog – For Bandit

The dog lifted his head up from where he was laying. It was tiring, and everything hurt, but the raven was back. The one no one else seemed to see or smell. He looked at her bobbing along in the house at night, perched on some of the shelves where his humans kept those things they would look through before special lights and sounds flickered on what they called the teevee.

“Are you ready to go with me yet?” the raven said in her soft voice.

The dog laid his head back down. “I can’t. Not yet. They’re trying so hard. I can’t hurt them. I need to stay a little longer.”

“You’re suffering,” she said gently, bobbing her head. “They can see that. They don’t want you to hurt any more than you want them to. You can just come with me now.”

“No,” the dog said again. “You say how it’ll be easy, how the pain goes away. But not for them. They need me. And … I’d miss them.”

The raven hopped down next to him. “And they’re going to miss you. But you can’t stay forever. And the longer you stay, the worse it will feel. My mistress and I only want to help.”

She was right; somewhere he knew it. All the things he’d loved before: running with them, playing games—even with that other little dumb dog they’d brought into the house several seasons ago—all seemed to be impossible now. Even food gave no joy when he simply could not feel its relief, couldn’t even try to eat. It was too hard even to climb up into the soft spaces and just be with them like he always loved to do. First he’d lost the place where they slept, and recently he’d lost the places where they simply sat.

But still they’d been trying so hard. His humans had been trying to give him the joy back. Trying things he couldn’t even understand, but he somehow knew they did out of love for him. How could he throw that away to go with the raven?

“I just…” the dog sighed out a breath. “They need a few more days. That much more.”

The raven hopped into his vision to look at him. “If they had their way, it would be all the years of their long lives. Compared to us at least. But they see. One of them summoned someone. It was hard for them, but they’ve called upon a gentle hand close to my mistress. She helps those like us take this journey.”

The dog contemplated. He couldn’t quite feel sad, but he did for the knowledge they’d be separated. “When?”

“After the sun rises. I will be here with you when you need me,” the raven said. “And they will all be here for you.”

He glanced up one more time to watch the raven fly off through the walls that were a barrier to him and his “brother”—at least that was what the humans called the other dog. His brother didn’t even notice. As always, only he saw the raven.




Night passed. During it, he’d felt the pain once again and hadn’t been able to find the strength to wake anyone to get outside. They never scolded him anymore, but he still felt embarrassed. One of his humans merely cleaned and the dog could smell the tears through the mess as the sun was rising outside.

In the morning, they made him special treats, trying to give him a little piece of whatever they had. There was always one of them petting him, being close to him. He knew what this meant; the raven had told him as much. Still, he did not mind. There had never been enough time anyways to soak up all he could of the feel of someone’s hand through his fur.

The ringing sounded that meant someone was at the door. The smell of his humans’ apprehension was thick in the air, but one of them went to open it while the dog’s brother moved to see who it was. The dog himself did not feel like traveling down the stairs, but from the smell that came in with the woman, he could tell she was a good person. And the raven was with her.

The kind lady did not seem to even see or acknowledge the raven, but there it was again, perched on her shoulder. The raven looked at him while the lady knelt and petted him and talked to his humans. Their sadness was filling the air as they laid a soft covering on the floor. He wished he could make that hurt go away like he had in times before.

“It will be time to go soon,” the raven said.

“They don’t seem ready,” he responded.

She shook her head. “I know. They rarely are. But you need not fear. She will help. They will help each other. Even your brother will help as best he can.”

He almost told her, He’s not my brother, but the simple fact was they were close enough. He’d even grown to like the other dog most of the time, tried to teach him what he could. And his humans were going to need the other dog.

For the first time, the dog began to worry. “Will it hurt more?”

“No,” the raven said. “This is the end of pain for now. This is freedom once you reach it. As I said, she will help.”

The new lady was coming in close now. She was petting him, whispering to him over and over that he was such a good dog, like his own humans told him so often. It made him remember all the good times with them, times they’d made each other happy. He barely even felt the pinch at the back of his neck. And then all the pain inside began to lessen as his body started to relax.

“Look at them,” the raven said. “Look how much they love you. Keep that with you for the journey.” She was close to him now, always right near him or at his ear.

His humans were trying to coax him onto the soft material on the floor. Instead he backed away. He wanted to do what she’d said, wanted to see and smell them all for as long as he could. Vision was already growing hazy, and wherever he went, he wanted to have that sight imbedded of all his humans and the others that loved him.

Everything was blurring, and he could feel his limbs growing tired. When he slipped to his side, he heard one of them sob. He had no way to tell them that he felt less pain now. That everything was relaxing and that he could still see the raven. That she was his friend and guide. Even as everything went dark and he felt their hands moving and stroking him, he could still see the raven.

“Relax and feel this,” she told him calmly. “We’ll go soon, but for now, focus on all that they do and say.”

The dog did as the raven advised. He felt them brushing his fur once more, all of their hands on him at once. Gentle words reminded him of how good he had been and all the fond memories they had with him. It felt wonderful as everything began to fade. It felt so calming as everything slowed, as the pain dwindled down to leave only the petting and the soft words, the raven always close and waiting.

Then, after a moment of complete, sleeping calm, the dog was suddenly up. No, this was not just awakening. This was a feeling of true freedom, beyond even what he’d felt when he was so young. He could move around everything, could smell and see more than he ever could before. All the physical world was there, but so much more.

He turned to all his humans, hunched and huddled around the shape he’d once been. He wished he could cut through their sobs, could somehow tell them about what he smelled and felt and how they all looked in his new vision. And there was the raven, glossy and dark, wings spread and gliding around him.

“They all look so sad,” the dog said, as if he needed to mask his free exuberance.

“It’s true,” the raven said sympathetically. “It’s the nature of separation when we’ve left an imprint on each other. And if you look close, you can see the imprint you’ve left on them.”

And in this new place and state, he could. The sadness that shimmered around all of them was made up of swirls where his body had brushed theirs. A thousand impressions of his nose where he’d bumped one of them to say it was time to play. Paw prints and smears from licks in all those times that he’d jumped up to say hi or thank them or merely be excited they were home. Looking at his own form in the strange in-between, he could see so many hand prints from them, the little scratches where his tail met his body, the swirl of a thousand rubs at his belly when he’d rolled over. Every place where their spirits had touched lingered in this place.

“It’ll be like those other times,” the raven continued. “They would leave for some reason or another and you would have to stay with someone who cared, yet always you wondered when they would return. The joy you felt when they came back through a door will be the same when they finally cross the threshold themselves.”

Even as she talked, the raven was flying through the window into the cloudy sky, and the dog found he could follow with ease, like running over the air. He saw others waiting for them, misty figures resolving into a larger dog, a similar breed to his own, a cat with black and white splotches, a few other different dogs. On each of them, he could see those same handprints that matched his humans.

“These are those that came before you,” the raven said with a flutter, “the ones that knew your humans before you even came into this incarnation. They’re here to welcome you, so you needn’t wait alone. And they can’t wait to hear how the humans are doing and to learn about the new one that hadn’t been attached to his own animal before.”

The dog joined their ranks and felt himself crossing from the world of his body to the existence beyond. His spirit brushed with theirs as the raven guided them all back. She had assured him that his humans would be alright, and as he traveled the gap with the others he was learning that there were many ways to see them again.

Crossing into the next place, the dog felt light, free, and infinitely loved.

Trump Taps Skeletal, Self-Proclaimed “Overlord of Evil” for Security Post

In another surprising cabinet appointment, Donald Trump announces plans to turn over security for the mystical secrets of Castle Grayskull to regional overlord Skeletor. Despite criticism for this choice and others, Trump defended the planned appointment in a recent press conference.

“Mr. Skeletor has had an interest in Grayskull security for a long time. He already has a hand-picked staff and plenty of experience running his own fortress at Snake Mountain, so I think he’s gonna do a good job.”

Though not everyone agrees. Prince Adam has been quoted as saying, “Look, He-Man has been performing this post for years and is a much better choice to continue. Skeletor is clearly just going to abuse the secrets of Castle Grayskull as soon as he’s allowed access. Has no one else been watching his activities for the last few decades?”

Congressional Republicans insist that critics are being unfair just because Skeletor literally has a sinister grinning skull for a head and has attempted to invade or destroy Grayskull numerous times. They continue their message that the people must give these cabinet appointments a chance before passing judgement.

This controversial appointment comes just a few days after the announcement that Cobra Commander would be the new head of the GI Joe project due to his “long history of military leadership and displays of tactical knowledge.”

Helping Men Understand “Locker Room Talk” vs Sexual Assault

Sadly, as we’ve found out just what an absolutely vile person Donald Trump is and as it highlights a larger problem with how men view women, plenty of men still try to defend the idea of bragging about sexual assault as “just locker room talk” or “that’s just how guys are”.

So first things first, if this is truly how all the men in your life talk, you really need a better species of man in your life. Seriously, demand better, regardless of whether you’re another man or a woman who actually thinks there’s nothing better out there. Expect that the males in your life get their knuckles off the goddamn ground and stop trying to ignore a couple centuries of mental and societal evolution.

Because we all want sex. We all see people we desire and might talk among close friends about what we would do if we could, what we fantasize about, maybe even what we’ve done in the past. And regardless of gender, that talk can get lewd and border on objectification in private. That part is true enough and could actually be one of those universal things that united us if we let it.

But what Donald Trump did is not that. To a television interviewer, he admitted that he committed sexual assault by grabbing a woman’s privates that didn’t want him touching her. That’s the defining point. People wouldn’t care as much about Trump talking about particular parts of the body or bragging about what he’s done if it were truly in private and if the women actually consented!

That is the big crux, the issue of actual consent and the fact that the current right wing in general really wants women to feel like they don’t have that basic right to their own bodies. And fellow men, trust me, there’s a way that we would never stand for that consent being broken or violated on our end.

So, for guys still confused about the difference between Trump’s confession of sexual assault and the lewd conversations you might have among friends, I want you to imagine two scenarios as a man.

Scenario 1: You hear a bunch of women checking out guys and talking about what they’d do with them given half a chance. You probably laugh that off right? Even if you’re not attracted to the women in question, there’s little harm in it, and you probably don’t feel threatened the way someone might by a pack of guys. That’s “just talk”.

Scenario 2: A woman (or man even) with power of some kind corners you somewhere and starts all but demanding you go home with her. Even telling her you’re married or simply not attracted, she keeps coming after you and eventually grabs your balls painfully and says you’re supposed to go with her, please her, and she can do whatever she wants because she has contacts, influence, etc. then brags about how she got away with that to friends.

Scenario 2 is what it’s like to be Trump’s victim in the case of the tape or what it’s like to be a woman in far too many cases in this country.

So the next time you want to make excuses for other guys or tell women to “chill out” or anything similar, just ask yourself:

“Would I want my balls treated the same way this woman’s body was treated against my will?”

Odds are (with the exception of a few of you into this sort of thing) the answer would be “no”. And consider that when you claim something is “not a big deal”.

Review: Suicide Squad. Entertaining, Weak Movie

So I went and saw Suicide Squad with my sister this Sunday, and in an effort to have more media review content on this blog, I figured I’d do a quick review of it.

To preface, I am not one of the DC superfans that’s read all of the years of comics. However, I have seen many of the animated adaptations, received synopses of some comic arcs, and generally love the DC characters. I think many of them have the potential for rich complexities and I really love what the CW television shows have managed to do.

So through that lens, I have to give Suicide Squad a solid: meh.

It’s not a terrible movie, and there are a lot of fun moments and scenes in it, but on the whole it’s suffering from some of the similar problems that the recent DC movies have had. I don’t know if writer/director David Ayer can be blamed for these problems or if it comes from being hamstrung by the work of Hack Snyder. I, like most people, have heard about the frantic recut that was done to the film to add more comic relief, but I couldn’t say where those came in and how much they caused. I also haven’t actually seen BvS due to all the utterly dismal reviews and the awful trailers from the get-go. So I’ll try to simply review Suicide Squad on its merits and demerits alone.

Fair warning, there may be some light spoilers ahead.

First the good.

When Suicide Squad goes for the fun flash that fits into its premise, it actually has some genuinely enjoyable scenes and moments between its ragtag group of characters. Most of the performances are well done. Margot Robbie gives us a great live-action Harley Quinn for the script she has to work with. I’m even okay with Will Smith’s version of Floyd Lawton/Deadshot, with the fair note that I’m not as familiar with other incarnations such as the original comics. Jay Hernandez as Diablo winds up being an interesting character, and Viola Davis’s Amanda Waller definitely has the right bearing and attitude. This version of Captain Boomerang is kind of mediocre and a bit lame, but not terrible, and some of that might be script and direction. There’s really just one hot mess of a performance in the whole place, and I’ll get to that later.

In general, the action is pretty exciting, with only a few moments of boring “Oh, gee, I’ve seen this type of scene a million times.” Dialogue ranges from mostly acceptable to even clever, with a few dips into banal here and there. I liked the style with which they introduced most of the main characters with a kind of credit rap sheet of their background, even if I would have rather had about 5 really amazing movies in the last few years to introduce them along with the rest of DC instead. Can’t have everything though. And the bits of background given in flashbacks are pretty good too. I was pleased at seeing Harleen Quinzel make bits of the transformation into Harley Quinn. Still, it would have been great to simply see all of that in a kick-ass Batman movie that fit into the overall DC universe, just saying.

Basically, I wasn’t bored watching it for most of the movie, which is generally a good barometer for the couple hours or so spent in the theater. However, that’s just not enough to overcome the problems both as a film and as an adaptation of source material and characters.

So onto the bad.

One of the major problems Suicide Squad suffers from is having to roll itself into the apparent train wreck of BvS. Superman is already dead because Hack Snyder had to try and shove years and years of comics into a rusty, broken blender and churn them all into one mess of a movie. So now it changes the tone of why Amanda Waller is putting together Task Force X in the first place.

Setting that aside though, and again just looking at the movie, Suicide Squad struggles with pacing. Some parts of the movie start to drag as we wonder where it’s going next, and not in a fun, mysterious way. Again, the comic relief dialogue that may have been added in the frantic recut seems to be hit or miss, making it feel like the recut wasn’t as seamlessly done as it could have been.

That also brings us to the feeling that may have come with that editing. It starts to reek at certain points of obviously ham-fistedly borrowing from more successful comic book movies. Like having a group of criminal heroes coming together under a very thematic classic rock soundtrack. Sound familiar to anyone? It’s galactically similar to something. Or suddenly giving a blade-wielding, violent character a plush unicorn for comic relief. That just seems like a Deadpoo—er, dead ringer for another movie that was an audience favorite. And when it feels so obvious and so possibly part of the edits, that detracts from the overall movie along with a few other factors.

Not enough time was really given to fully realize some of the potentially deep characters that are part of this and the DC universe also. It has the feeling of being so rushed and trying to fit so much into one movie and suffering from “Wouldn’t it be cool if…” for half the scenes, rather than focusing each scene on moving the story forward somehow.

And the idea of characters brings me to something I mentioned earlier. I have to just say it, Jared Leto’s Joker is, in my opinion, the worst on-screen Joker we’ve had. And that’s counting Cesar Romero in the cheesy 60’s Batman, who was at least fun. I don’t think it’s entirely Leto’s fault, I don’t think he’s a bad actor. One problem is actually in make-up.

One of the key elements of The Joker is that he has some kind of physical reason that he always looks like he’s smiling way too big. It’s that scary, forced smile that gives him part of his unsettling aesthetic, whether it’s Heath Ledger’s more subtle scars, Nicholson’s back-alley plastic surgery, or the animated indication of a permanent rictus. That’s part of what Joker is, and Suicide Squad completely missed that.

But beyond what’s physically missing, there an attitude of whimsical unpredictability along with the psychosis that is missing from Suicide Squad’s run-of-the-mill tattooed psychopath. Again, this might be more the fault of the script than the actor, but the only thing that distinguishes Leto’s Joker from a random psycho gangster in just about any other action flick is the green hair. He has none of Joker’s actual puckish sense of humor, the crazy monologues to go with his next plan, that sense of not knowing if this is the moment he laughs it off and slaps you on the back or kills you while cackling maniacally. This character is just always going to kill you in the next minute, making him thoroughly uninteresting. And for a character that is a major villain in the DC canon to be introduced this way is, in his own words, “really, really bad!”

Moving away from that, another problem with this movie is a problem other hero/comic movies have had in recent years. The problem of understanding the scope of your characters.

Of course, by the end of Suicide Squad, the whole world is in danger, and it’s up to our group of barely controlled psycho criminals to save it over a notion of honor or … something. Motivations are kind of shifting and a little too meta in times. And this is a problem in my opinion, because the Suicide Squad really are not world-savers.

Once the entire world is in danger from mystical forces, the burgeoning members of what should become the Justice League would show up. This universe already has Batman, Flash, Wonder Woman, a few other actual heroes. Saving the entire world is their gig. That scope just doesn’t fit the Suicide Squad, but there seems a myth that the whole world has to be in peril in a comic book movie by the end of it.

It would have fit much more to have them, especially in their first adventure, save a city at most, or complete a covert mission that kept another evil organization from getting their hands on something really bad that could have threatened the world, or something more in their scale. Even if the plotline was written okay, it’s out of their scope to have them stop Enchantress from wiping out all of humanity their first time out. Let them handle black ops stuff and still beat some kind of threat while the growing Justice League saves the world. Keep their scope appropriate, build them at first, and let them work up to bigger things. That would make a much better Suicide Squad movie.

And before anyone suggests it, I’m not a super-Marvel-fanboy who thinks they can do no wrong. I do admit that objectively Marvel has done a much better job on their movie universe and making it work and be entertaining. DC keeps dropping the ball on their movies.

That’s what frustrates me; I like the DC characters. I know they could be a great set of awesome movies as well, and it’s annoying to keep seeing them miss that potential in the hands of stumbling adaptations. I want an amazing bunch of DC movies that bring all the potential depth and complexity of these interactions to the screen over time and allows me to get to know each character. Wouldn’t that be cool?

So that’s my review/geek rant about Suicide Squad. I was entertained while watching it, but I probably won’t see it again and it really wasn’t up to snuff as an overall movie or adaptation of the characters. As a final grade, I think C-

No, Jill Stein Cannot Build You a Magical Rainbow Castle

Okay, let’s pretend for argument’s sake that there is no Trump. Let’s pretend we live in a world where the progress we’ve made for the last several decades is under no threat of being overturned and our only risk is that some things will stagnate for a few years.

Even in that shining universe where our worst worry is a politician that just wants to stop making any changes for the next term of office and who will appoint completely moderate Supreme Court justices, Jill Stein would still be a terrible vote. Yet I see so many fellow progressives trotting her out like the magical savior of liberal thought. I don’t know how they’ve been so bamboozled, but here’s a few of the core reasons that even if she could get in, Jill Stein would be an awful president.


1. She has no experience.

Yes, Jill Stein has run for office a few times, but she hasn’t actually won those runs and has absolutely no governing experience. President of the United States is kind of a big job in the world stage. It is not an entry-level position in politics. You couldn’t just walk into a major company and submit your résumé for CEO without some form of work experience in that industry or similar industries and be taken seriously. Yet people keep acting like Stein is a serious candidate for the highest office in the land when she has never held any other political office, and that is ludicrous. She has no way of working with the system, no understanding of how politics actually functions with all the other forces around her, and thus, no ability to actually do half the things she claims she wants to do.

And before someone talks about how, “Yeah, it’s good that she’s an outsider, we have too many career politicians and we need a change!” It’s a fantasy-world thought to believe that having no experience in a task is a good thing. If you’re talking about any other life-altering task, like dentistry, surgery, etc, you definitely look for a combination of education and experience, so why are we so inclined to believe that our top-tier leader should be some fresh-faced newcomer that will “shake things up”? It’s not a My Little Pony episode where you just believe in yourself and conflicts are solved in about 20 minutes. It’s the real world where every position and task is fraught with complexities that require years of learning the system.

I’m inclined to agree that we do have too many career politicians and some terms limits for congress should be in place. But if you want to be the President, you need to have served at least some real time and have some experience somewhere to back up the claims you make that you can do the job. Which brings me to my next point.


2. She has no way of following through on her unrealistic rhetoric.

There was a reason I supported Bernie in the primary. He had a lot of bold claims about his goals in office, but he had years of political experience to back it up. His ideas could be called somewhat realistic even if they were out there and game-changing. I never believed he was going to get us all the way to the glorious Star Trek future in one term, but I did believe that maybe the combination of his political experience and his gung-ho attitude could push us some of the way forward. That even when he understood he had to make concessions—as he’s already shown he knows how to do for the greater good—he would keep propelling progress forward in all his policies. Hell, I totally support his new idea of getting more fully progressive people into local and regional offices.

Jill Stein is no Bernie Sanders.

She has a bunch of statements that she can’t achieve and that are, in some cases, actually dangerous. She claims she’ll somehow manage to chop the military budget in half and close all our overseas bases. Even if she could do that—which she’d never be able to—it’s a fucking stupid statement. I’m not a fan of what Bush’s endless war did to us and to the world. I’m not a fan of war in general, I think it’s a last resort after all other diplomatic options have clearly been exhausted. But I did not go outside today and find a fairy and an elf making love on a rainbow, so I know I still live in the real world of genuine threats, not Jill Stein’s magical fantasy. Her plan to cut the military in half is the liberal equivalent of Trump’s wall that Mexico will magically pay for.

And she’s literally defined her plan for reducing college debt as a “magic trick” and that people don’t need to understand how it works.

No, no, no! The first question we should be asking when someone claims they’ll do amazing things for us is, “How will you do that? How will it actually work?” And when they can’t answer that question and show us the math, the process, the anything in some form of understandable terms, we shouldn’t line up to buy Dr. Terminus’s wondrous elixir guaranteed to cure all your ills.

These are just a few examples of her outlandish claims that don’t actually have a chance, but are merely tailored to fire up the extreme base of our side.

3. A number of her ideas are crackpot notions.

As mentioned, Jill is catering to the extreme end. And because of that, she has some completely crazy ideas that speak to a kind of magical thinking.

If I had any physician that started spouting some of the anti-vaxxer coding that she’s tossed out in her love of pseudoscience, I’d immediately search for a different physician. Even if she’s just trying to court them, doesn’t actually believe it, and is keeping it coded, it’s insane. The anti-vaccine movement—based on junk science that has been largely rebuked by actual research—has led to a resurgence of whooping cough, measles, and other dangerous diseases that have actively harmed individuals. Jill Stein ignores this real danger in return for appealing to the most extreme left viewpoints about how every business is out to get us somehow, when really it’s just that a hell of a lot of them think only of profits and not consequences.

Her energy and foreign policies are also wholly extreme and unrealistic. I’m a huge supporter of solar and wind and the idea of ditching the hazardous, deprecated technology of coal for something actually sustainable. But in her worldview we can almost immediately go completely solar and wind and ditch all nuclear power as well. Unless Tony Stark just flew in with a working arc-reactor, I’m not seeing that as a real-world kind of solution yet.

Her isolationist idea of foreign policy is also archaic and foolhardy. We’ve already tried true isolationism in the past and proved it doesn’t work. More and more we are becoming a global community and what is done in one area has lasting impact everywhere. You can’t deal with that by crawling into your shell and just focusing on your own little world, you have to have an idea on how to work with other countries, keeping both diplomatic and military options available as each individual situation demands. That’s reality, because we can’t simply get rid of problems and evils that arise by throwing a trinket into a volcano.

So summing up, Jill Stein will not ride down a rainbow on a unicorn into the capitol to save us all. She will not magically create a world where every child always gets three full meals and their choice of a pony or a puppy. She’s someone with no experience and no real achievable policy who panders the most extreme rhetoric to fire up the extreme base of one side of the political spectrum. Doesn’t that remind you of anyone? Isn’t it the exact type of behavior we’ve criticized in the last few right wing candidates?

You know, if I wanted to be king of the geeks, I could talk about the amazing house on a hill we’d have. How it would be a gothic-style manor as big as a castle, with all sorts of secret passages, several gaming dens, two home theaters, the best wired set up for Internet. Wouldn’t that be awesome? Doesn’t it sound great? Make me king of the geeks and it’ll happen!

Of course, a short while later, you’ll realize that I have no idea on the practicalities of setting a foundation, no masonry skill whatsoever, not enough contacts and backing to get people to actually work on it, no mechanical knowledge of how to actually make the secret passages functional or structurally sound, only the barest hint of carpentry, and so on. But I can talk all day about how cool that house would be.

And that’s what Jill Stein is, an empty promise of liberal fantasies.

Now when we move back into the very real world of the threat of a Trump presidency and that bully deciding the next few Supreme Court appointments, she’s an empty promise that is actually dangerous. Because if just enough people buy into her fantasies, we could easily wind up splitting the progressive side and letting Trump in.

So please, progressives and liberals, ditch the magical thinking. Living in the real world means making compromises to avoid disaster. Otherwise, it’s just living in fiction at a time when we can’t afford to do so.

The Horror of Politics

So this entry is just a brief update. I haven’t used this blog a whole lot lately due to factors of my partners and me purchasing a house, finding that it was unexpectedly some-assembly-required, trying to move out/in, and a host of other factors. Hell, I’m not sure if anyone is even seeing this blog yet due to the lack of content.

In any case, my goal is to use it a lot more often in the coming months and start really posting. Now normally, I want this blog to focus primarily on the horror genre and what works I can manage to complete in it. But as an LGBT progressive, I do feel there are a lot of important things going on this year in the various elections and other political parts of life that have too great an impact on many of our personal lives to be ignored. So for the next little bit, there’s likely to be plenty of political talk on here with some things that I feel need to be said.

It won’t always be pretty, so if you happen to be following this, strap in and know that politics won’t always be the topic of conversation here. In just a few months, we’ll either be breathing a sigh of relief or constantly at the ready to try and sell our new house and escape to Canada before the TP shock troops arrive. Here’s hoping for the former.

An Improbable Truth Available for Pre-Order

Excited to share the pre-order link for An Improbable Truth: The Paranormal Adventures of Sherlock Holmes. This anthology from Mocha Memoirs Press features 14 stories from modern authors that test the famously skeptical detective against genuinely otherworldly cases. I’m happy to have a reprint of my lycanthropic tale “The Adventure of the Missing Trophy” included in that number.

The story concerns what happens when Holmes is summoned to the case of a woman that has somehow been mauled in a locked room on an upper floor. Watson observes the seemingly impossible circumstances while, as usual, Holmes seems to know much more about the case than he’s letting on.

Editor A.C. Thompson has done a wonderful job gathering together these 14 takes on how London’s famous consulting detective might react to threats of the supernatural, and each author has put their own entertaining spin while staying true to the spirit of Doyle’s character. I’ll write more on that later.

An Improbable Truth releases on October 27, 2015. Follow the anthology on Facebook and preorder from Amazon to support everyone who worked hard on this collection. 🙂

The Blog Begins

I’m finally doing what I should have done years ago and actually starting an official blog. Better late than never as they say. My goal with this blog is to put more updates out there. I also intend to start actually using my Twitter more and getting truly involved with the horror and writing community more than I have been lately. So wish me luck on upping my productivity through here!