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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.

I had something else that I was writing today, but I just learned that it’s going to have to wait. As Somerset Maugham said, “We do not write because we want to; we write because we have to.” I really wish that this were not something I had to say.

Where to start?

On Tuesday night, I lost one of my oldest friends. Kurtis and I had known each other since preschool. We grew up together, or at least got older together. We were good friends all the way through high school. I can’t say that we were best friends, because it’s simply not true, but we always got along, even when we would agree to disagree. In high school, we were part of the local FCCLA chapter, doing community service work, and traveling across the country. We went to Philadelphia, Chicago, San Diego, and Nashville, and came in as one of the top teams in the nation for the Parliamentary Procedure competition as freshmen and as seniors. Nashville was our last big adventure together, and we didn’t talk a lot after we went off to college. An occasional “Hey, how are you?” or “Happy birthday!” was the closest we really got.

Some time later, I heard that Kurtis had been diagnosed with cancer, but he fought it. With help from his wife, Liz, and his friends and family, he fought. And for a while, he won. On Tuesday night, though, after another long bout, Kurtis knew that it was time for him to say goodbye. I wish that I could be that brave, and that strong. I wish that I’d taken the time to talk to him a little more. Others knew him better, I know, but I am proud to have known him.

Words cannot express my gratitude for John Scalzi’s Convention Harassment Policy. Read it. Embrace it. Co-sign it. Stop harassment.

Whatever

I’ve been asked if I would add a thread for writers/editors/artists/fans/human beings to co-sign my recently-announced convention harassment policy. Well, sure. Here it is. If you’re a writer/editor/artist/fan/human being who wants to adopt my convention harassment policy for your own, put a comment in the thread here. Just a simple “co-sign” will suffice, if that’s all you want to say.

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Sometimes a conversation leads to an unexpected phrase. In this particular case, something came up that I absolutely loved. I was told that it should be my catchphrase. Never thought I’d have one, but here it is. “Hello, sweet chaos.”

As I’ve said before, I’m not usually one for reblogging. However, for something like this, I’m willing to make an exception. This sign is amazing.

It’s May 1st, and I woke up to a beautiful Colorado snowfall.

And one very confused robin

And one very confused robin…

I’m pleased by this, believe it or not, and not just because I like winter. You see, usually a morning like this would make me want to climb back into bed, shut off my phone, and sleep the day away while I was still nice and warm. Today, though, something’s different.

Stay tuned.

Douglas Adams would have been 61 years old today. He passed away on May 11th, 2001, two days before I turned fourteen, and he has been incredible influence on me. I first encountered Douglas Adams when I was browsing my uncle’s science fiction and fantasy book collection, and a seemingly innocuous little book called The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy caught my eye. If I had only known then what I was getting myself into. 

I was instantly enthralled by Adams’ writing style, the seamless blending of standard sci-fi with a healthy does of dry British wit. It was the best kind of escape, and all I needed was to know where my towel was at any given time. I don’t remember how long it took me to read Arthur Dent and Ford Prefect’s first adventure. There was a lot of laughter. There may even have been tears (brought on by too much laughter). Now, many years and several sequels later, I’m still just as much a  fan of a brilliant series. Happy birthday, Mr. Adams. You are greatly missed. 

500 comments! Sure, a lot of them have been my replies to you, dear readers, but thank you.

The Hobbit is coming. I have had my tickets for a month. That is all.

My city is burning. I cannot sleep.

This is the sentiment shared by many of my fellow Colorado Springs residents. I’ll be completely honest, dear readers. I’m scared. I’ve looked disasters square in the face in the past. I used to stand at the front door of my parents house as tornadoes came dangerously close to the little town where I grew up. That never seemed to be as much of a threat as the Waldo Canyon Fire has become. 

Today at work, my coworkers and I gazed out at the mountains west of the city as the flames crested the ridge and came into view. This photo from the Colorado Springs Gazette shows an example of what we’re dealing with. 

Ash is falling. There’s an eerie orange glow on the west side of town, and it’s not a sunset. It’s 2 AM, but we have no reported injuries or fatalities as of this writing. Let’s hope that luck holds. Property can be replaced, folks, but everyone out there fighting this fire has friends and family. This is impacting all of us. If you can, see what you can do to help. Volunteer, donate, anything. Please.