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I’m sorry for the delay in posting this, but it still needs to be said. I’ll no longer be supporting Sam Sykes or Myke Cole. I’ve removed my reviews of their work from my blog and from goodreads, and blocked both of them on Twitter. I’m sincerely sorry for any harm I may have caused my readers by supporting their work in the past few years.

While no author is perfect, the folks that I’ve mentioned in the last couple of posts have shown consistently that they’re unwilling or unable to make changes to their behavior necessary to make other people feel safe around them.

To those who have spoken up against the harassment, I thank you.

Hey y’all. This has been a bit of a rough afternoon. It has been brought to my attention that an author whose work I have promoted on here and on Twitter, and with whom I frequently engaged in conversation via Twitter, is a serial harasser. As such, I have made the decision to delete my review of Paul Krueger’s book from my blog, and I have blocked him on Twitter. I’ll be deleting my review from goodreads as well. The last thing that I want to do is provide promotion for a man who has injured so many people that I care about.

I am sorry for having promoted him, and for boosting his reach. I’m sorry that I didn’t recognize his behavior at the time that I met him. I believe you. I will strive to do better when it comes to boosting authors’ voices.

I have made it to mid-semester.

Seven weeks down, seven to go, with a few glorious days of breathing room in between. I’m going to try to get some early work done for next week, but I’m also going to be reading some stuff for fun.

So far, so good.

Look, it’s late, and I know

That you still have big plans

About everything you’re going

To accomplish tomorrow.

I want you to remember that

I believe in you, and your

Ability to take on life one new

Year and one new day at a

Time. I wish you health and

Happiness, and I wish you

Knowledge and acceptance.

I wish that you might find it

In your heart to see me again

On this night, when we welcome

The spirit of progress.

And then, as always, I’ll wish

You a Happy New Year.

It’s the first day of a new year, and it’s a good time to look back at some of the big positives of 2016, and see how I did as far as achieving my goals for the year.

Per last year, I said I wanted to write more. Well, in 2015, I wrote 12 blog posts, down from 51 in 2014. I know that a part of that was the end of the Trifecta Writing Challenge. So in 2016, I got myself back into writing with a lot more book reviews and non-fiction posts. I got myself back up to 43 posts. My goal for this year is a minimum of 52 posts, one per week. There are some things that are going to facilitate that, and I’m pretty excited.

I mentioned that I’d like to submit more work. I only came close on this one, didn’t really hit it as well as I would’ve liked (I lost track of several deadlines for submissions to magazines, and that’s no one’s fault but mine). Still, I did manage to send a piece to a local counter-culture newspaper for a zine that they were making, which was a fun way to get my work out to a new audience. This year, if more time allows for writing, I’d like to send some new stories out.

Goal #3 from last year was to draw more. To an extent, yes, I got more drawing done. I did some more doodles, but also worked on some new costume designs. I’m not sure when I’ll have the time to start assembling more costumes and cosplays, but I’ve got a pretty good start to the look of several. It’s fun to find more inspiration in things around me and start working on transforming that into a physical bit.

Communicating more was another goal that I set for 2016. I think I did okay there, but you can always tell me differently if you disagree. I got to meet a new nephew and see the other before he went off to Europe, so that was definitely a good thing. Now I’m going to be relying on things like Skype a lot more to keep in touch with my family, but it’s fun to look forward to those moments. It feels more important to me to talk more now that we’re farther away.

Goal #5 was to vote. Been there, done that, and I’m not going to get into politics in this post. I want to continue to increase my political literacy over the coming year, though, because there are a great many challenges that will have to be overcome.

I didn’t manage to hit my sixth goal until almost the end of 2016. It took many tries over the year, but my determination paid off. I start my first full time job with my library tomorrow morning. It’s bittersweet to be leaving my old location, but I’m super excited about having a regular schedule. This is one of the biggest changes in my life in years, and it’s going to make it much easier to accomplish a lot of my other goals. No more dependence on substitute hours to bring in the income I need, and no more moving from location to location, putting in split shifts six or seven days a week.

My final goal for 2016 was to read more. Per goodreads, I got through 187 books in 2015, and bumped up to 217 last year. Again, my current reading list contains a lot of comic books, but I’m working on a lot of teen fiction for this year. I’ve got a couple of books I’d like to revisit this year too. I’ll be aiming for at least 200 titles this year, so we’ll see how that goes.

I’m looking to learn a couple of new games this year, as I picked up my first Malifaux crew. It’s something that V has been telling me about for a while now, so I’m going to eventually be assembling and painting these: rasputina

There are a lot of other big changes on the horizon, folks. Thanks to all of you for sticking around. I’ll be keeping you updated.

I managed to accomplish quite a bit this summer, and I’m almost sad to see it go. I survived (and thrived!) during an extra-long anniversary season of the Colorado Renaissance Festival. I attended my 10-year high school reunion. I blew past my Goodreads goal (granted most of those were graphic novels, but still…). I reprised my Kimblee cosplay at NDK over the Labor Day weekend. I met Shinichiro Watanabe and Dai Sato, and now I must re-watch all of Cowboy Bebop and Samurai Champloo. I was recognized for five consecutive years of service to my library.

Not too bad, all in all. Here’s hoping for an equally productive autumn.

 

Half my life ago. Eighth grade, Tuesday morning. Mom and Dad were watching the news while my sisters and I were getting ready for school. All eyes were on New York as the planes hit. I remember getting to school and going to the library with the rest of my social studies class, watching the footage as the towers collapsed. Everyone was a mess of fear and confusion and anger and grief.

We shouldn’t forget. It does a disservice to too many to do so. But we should also learn. We need to remember that ignorance and fear and hate help no one. We have to find an understanding, realize that our differences make us stronger.

There are generations to come. Teach them that our divisions can be healed, that we can find common ground and grow to be better than we were. Do not forget how to love.

 

“Visit”

I saw the rows of gold and green
Bursting forth from the brown
Below a sky of white and blue.

I took your hand and led the way
Down paths I’d walked many
Years ago, and saw them all anew.

 

Today is World Cancer Day. It’s a day of spreading awareness. It’s a day about coming together to fight this together, to finally put an end to cancer.

I’ve lost more than my fair share of friends and family to cancer, folks. More than I’d like to count right now, from my preschool teacher to one of my oldest friends.

It’s not just seeing music artists and actors die before we’re ready to part with them, though that hurts too.

For me, it’s deeply personal. Today, I’m remembering all of my friends who fought cancer, and thinking of those who continue to fight. I love you all.

So apparently June was a thing that happened this year. I’m not sure exactly how I missed it, but I want to apologize. I’ve not been writing lately. I’ll make all manner of excuses. Working at the Ren Faire again this year eats my weekends, but I wouldn’t trade it for anything. Faire’s a whole different world, and it gets even better when you get to know the people who make the magic happen. I moved, too. Not far, only about five miles, in fact, and my shortest move from one residence to another in over five years. Now I don’t have the workout room that I was finally utilizing at the apartment, and I don’t have the pool, and so on and so forth, but I have a house that my roommates and I can spread out in. We have space. So much space. SPAAAACE.

I’m closer to my favorite cemetery. I’m closer to work (all three of the various things that I do that people pay me to do). I’m closer to most of my friends (with one notable exception [the one who would go walk in said aforementioned cemetery with me if circumstances would allow]). It’s going to be a good opportunity for me. I’m really very happy about things (except as mentioned above).

My room’s coming together nicely, so there’s that. On the other hand, I’m still more than a little sleep deprived (for all of the best reasons). I’ll post a picture of the new setup once it’s all done. I’m pretty proud of the whole thing.

Anyway, I’m going to get my ass in gear and knuckle down on my writing again. It’s not been fair to you, dear readers, especially after tolerating my poetry for the last few months. New original stories are coming. I’m also hoping to get into some more writing challenges. Stay tuned. This is going to be big.

Thanks.