Where the Hell is Kelly?

7 06 2014

Here’s a fun game for all of us. It’s like “Where’s Waldo” but with more swearing. Where am I? What am I doing? Why the hell haven’t I updated this blog in forever? Well, in the first place, I’m still alive, working two jobs, and for a three week stretch (23 days, but who’s counting?) I didn’t have a day off; I was working at either one job or the other. During this time I’ve been continuing my work as an editor and trying to do normal human things like “laundry” and “bathing”. Other things, like this blog and most human interaction outside of work, have fallen through the cracks. I’ve had two weeks in a row, though, where I’ve been able to get a day off and the trend looks like it will hopefully continue.

I don’t really have much more to update than this. I haven’t been writing much, editing less of my own work, and I’ve only recently started to catch up on the back log of reading I have waiting for me (though I did finally get through my email). If by some chance you need to contact me, you can leave a note in the comments, email me, or send me a message on twitter. I am going to try to get back to updating at least semi-regularly. Well, we’ll see how that goes.





The Questionable Miracle of a Questionable Paladin

14 04 2014

New to the story? Need to catch up? Check out the other chapters of Our Party here.

Before they headed into potential enemy territory, Ailbhe decided she needed to make an attempt to look more like a paladin. The chainmail and fancy talking wasn’t cutting it in terms of identification. Iain was against the idea; he thought if they were going to rescue Seamus, they should go ahead and do it.

“There are a couple reasons why we shouldn’t just go barging in,” she said as they walked through the ruined market place. “First, if Seamus has somehow fooled them, we don’t want to give him away.”

“You said they’d know,” Iain said, frowning.

She shook her head. “I said they could tell a lie. If he hasn’t lied, there’s still a chance he might be fooling them.”

“Doubt it.”

“Anyway,” Ailbhe stopped to inspect the front of a ruined shop. “If he has been discovered, we don’t want to rush in too soon and arouse suspicion.”

Iain grunted. “Anything else?”

“Yeah, I need armor and you need a little more recovery time,” she said.

The paladin stopped in front of a stall that had once belonged to a leather worker. The sign above the ruined armor read ‘Voted Best Armor in the Tri-Village Area’. The pieces visible weren’t so much on display as they were heaped together in one place. As they stood there, a man came out of the back.

“Go away, I ain’t got nothing left to sell. Was all ruined in the flood.”

“Good sir, I am distressed to hear of your sad misfortune. Might I offer my assistance in expediting your economic recovery?” Ailbhe said.

The leather worker glanced at Iain. “The hell she say?”

Unfortunately, the ‘serk still wasn’t up for translating. He grunted and shrugged.

“Look,” she said, dropping the act. “Your stuff is ruined. I need new armor. If I fix, would you give me a set?”

The man made a face and shook his head. “The armor’s ruined, lady. You can’t fix ruined leather.”

“And if I can?” she asked.

“Then you can have whatever the hell you want,” he said.

Ailbhe grinned. “Great.”

With the leather watching, she laid out the armor.

“What’re you doing?” the ‘serk mumbled next to her.

“Picking what set I want,” she replied. “And laying these out so I can fix them.”

“How are you going too do it?” he asked.

“Magic,” she said.

She took a deep breath and let it out again before holding her hands over the spread of leather. Golden light flowed from her fingertips and over the shrunken hide, filling in the crevices and expanding it. Several pieces oozed dark water as they reshaped themselves back into armor. After several minutes the light faded, leaving behind several well-made sets of armor. Ailbhe sat down with a thud and Iain moved to help her. She waved him off.

“You will have to re-stain the leather,” she said. “But I believe I have saved your armor.”

“Damn, I didn’t think it was possible,” the leather worker said. “Go ahead and pick you out a set.”

The exhausted paladin nodded but made no move to stand. Recognizing her inability to rise under her own power as well as her wish to appear in control, Iain did the only thing he could. He grabbed the closest piece of armor and held it up. Before he could ask her if that was the one she wanted, a woman came out of the back of the stall and shrieked. Iain dropped the armor he was holding and dove for Ailbhe, pulling her to her feet. She stopped him before he could pick her up and run, though.

“Stop, its okay,” she murmured. “Listen to what she’s saying.”

Indeed, though she sounded upset, she was actually yelling that someone had performed impossible magic. Several of the neighboring merchants were watching her carry on with mild curiosity.

“Wife, will you calm yourself?” the leather worker asked. “This paladin restored the armor-“

“Paladin! Then it is a miracle!” The woman launched herself at Ailbhe and would have bowled her over if not for Iain putting out a hand to steady her.

“Listen, lady,” the paladin said, “All I did was cast a healing spell-“

The woman clasped Ailbhe’s hands in her own. “You are too modest, my lady saint. With your intervention, my husband and I will be provided for; you have delivered us from our direst hour of need!”

Ailbhe looked at her, no emotion showing on her face. “I’m a paladin, not a saint.”

“You are still too modest. I must go and tell my friends what you have done!” She chirped before flitting off.

“Wait! I’m not a saint!” Ailbhe called after her, but it was too late. The woman was gone.

“Hey look, don’t worry about it,” the leather worker said. “My wife’s not all there sometimes. I have to say, though, that was a pretty neat trick. How did you know a healing spell would work on leather?”

“Leather’s just another form of skin,” she said. “I just assumed it would work the same.”

Iain facepalmed

The leather worker frowned and said. “That’s not – you know what, never mind. It worked so I’m not going to complain.”

“You really should know better,” Ailbhe said. “Anyway, I’d like this set of armor,” she said, motioning to a set that vaguely resembled her old metal armor.

“Of course,” the leather worker said. “Do you want me to package it up for you?”

Ailbhe shook her head. “I’d rather wear it out of here. I feel naked without my armor.”

A few minutes later she was ready to go. It was also more apparent she was a paladin in her gold edged leather armor. Her ‘serky friend offered her an arm to lean on as they headed back to Ethel’s place to regroup.

“How come the gold and dye stayed on this one?” Iain asked. “Didn’t on others.”

“Because this is the set I wanted,” Ailbhe said. “Took a lot more energy to keep it on than it did to let it melt away like it did on the rest of them.”

“Gods, how you still paladin?”





Announcements and Some Other Things

6 04 2014

I suppose since I’ve turned in my forms, it’s time to make an announcement. I will not be going north this year for work, and will therefore not be going to Readercon this year. I’m sorry to everyone I had hoped to see this year, but in the long run the park I will be working for is probably a better career move on my part (yes, I will still be working for the National Park Service). I have not yet decided whether I will be trying to go to any cons in the Washington, DC area, so there is a chance you might yet get to see me (or you could see me if you come to Shenandoah).

Other news, some of you might have noticed a lack of my presence on the net at points this winter. Sorry about that. I can’t say it won’t happen again, because it probably will, but for now I’m back.

If any of you are Facebook friends with me, you probably saw the photos of my trip to Denver. Just one of the things I was doing this winter. I might post some of those pictures here later.

My cat is another reason I’ve been off for a bit. He has a thyroid problem that we think we’ve finally gotten under control, but not before he lost a third of his body weight. He was a small cat to begin with, so that was scary. It also gave the vet a chance to feel the small mass in his abdomen. He’s getting shots for that as its probably cancerous. The only good thing is that he’s acting more like his old self now that we’re treating that and the thyroid.

Randomly, here is another reminder, I am much more active on other social media. I have twitter, tumblr, Facebook, and Pinterest. All of those accounts are way more active than this one. There should be links in the side bar if anyone wants to check me out there.

One more piece of news: be on the look out for a big announcement from Goldfish Grimm’s in the very near future.

I think that’s all for now. I’m going to try and make my next post one of the long neglected chapters of Our Party (I haven’t stopped writing them).





Updates, Announcements and General Mayhem

21 10 2013

I might have been neglecting this blog. Alright, really there’s no maybe about it. I haven’t posted in quite a while and I am sorry about that. I do have some (if not good then possibly adequate) reasons, though.

My first reason is that I am back in Virginia. The Park Service job was a seasonal job, and while it paid more than my job here, it ended sooner. So I’m back in Virginia, working for the concessioner while putting in more applications with the Park Service for winter jobs. It’s now the middle of our busy season, and while we were closed for two weeks for the shut down, October is back with a vengeance.

The second reason I’ve been neglecting the blog is that I am now one of two editors for Goldfish Grimm’s Spicy Fiction Sushi. Michael, my co-editor, and I have been working for a month now to get everything in order and running smoothly. Well the first issue we’ve edited is out now, and looks great! I’m really very excited about all of this. It has, however been taking a lot of my time. I am also still working with Dagan Books, so I’ve been trying to balance my time between the two publications.

My third reason is a lot less exciting than my previous one. While we were laid off my brother and I were prepping a house to be painted. We actually started the painting, but were called back to work before we were able to finish. Thankfully the paint we have can be used in low temperature weather, so we’ll probably finish sometime in November (after the worst has passed at work).

I guess that’s it for now. If you have any questions, feel free to ping me here or on twitter. I’ll see you a little more frequently now, I hope.

PS-For anyone waiting, there will be a new Our Party soon.





How I Named My Brother’s Car “Dammit”

4 08 2013

Because I could use a little levity, I’ll share this story with you.

I think I’ve mentioned before that my younger brother is very ADHD. He is so much so that when he was younger, we made a game based off of it called Free Association. To play, you had to get from one object to an unrelated other object by words of association. I’ll give you an example. Kumquats to Kublia Khan:

Kumquat
Fruit
Orange
Origin of Orange
China
Mongolia
Kublia Khan

That, of course was too easy, so we started adding words you had to go through before you could get to the end. Our favorite was the French Revolution.

All of this is relevant to the story.

Changing topics, my brother recently bought his first car. Our family has a tradition of naming our cars based on the model. My brother, being different, named his Bob. A few weeks later he decided he didn’t like that name after all, so he decided to change it. After some deliberation, he decided on ‘Cody’. Unfortunately, my mother is somewhat hard of hearing, and she thought he said ‘Colby’. When she told me, she confided that all she could think of was cheese. I said in that case a better name would be Jack, as in Monterrey Jack, and well, it went from there. Here is our free association to Dammit:

Colby
Cheese
Brie
French Cheese
France
The French Revolution
Wars in France
WWII
Normandy
Cheese from Normandy
Camembert
Cheese
Monterrey Jack
Monterrey, California
California
Aunt Janet (a relative that lives in CA)
Dammit, Janet (Rocky Horror)
Dammit

And that is how it happened. Incidentally, my brother doesn’t like is calling his car Dammit. I wonder why.





Shut Up is Not Censorship

6 07 2013

Warning, language.

I have been reading the comments again and I noticed something. Some people seem to be confused of late as to what censorship is exactly. Since nothing irks me more (in a literary sense) than people who, through either ignorance or subterfuge, contort the meaning of a word, I thought I might take a moment to explain to everyone that telling someone to shut the fuck up is not censorship.

Here’s a quick definition from the internet:

Censorship: (Noun) The practice of officially examining books, movies, etc., and suppressing unacceptable parts.

I would add that the suppression is by force. Let me give you some examples. Censorship is burning books. Censorship is banning books from a library. Censorship is making an alternative opinion impossible to find through the use of fear and other tactics.

Censorship is NOT examining a book, opinion, etc and saying it’s unacceptable. Censorship is not telling other people that you do not want to hear their opinion. And censorship is not a private organization deciding that they do not want to be associated with certain ideas and opinions.

There’s a big difference between book burning and a negative review.

When I tell you to shut the fuck up, there’s nothing saying you actually have to. I can’t force you to shut up. You can go on with whatever it is you’ve been saying and act like you didn’t hear me. That said, you should know that as with everything else in life, there are consequences to your actions.

Just as you have every right to be a racist, bigoted asshole, the rest of us have every right disagree with your opinion and judge you accordingly. And if a private organization no longer wants to be associated with you because of your actions? That is well within their rights. Consequences. You should have learned about them when you were five.

Here are some more examples taken from recent news items that have found their way into my twitter feed.

Mike Resnick and Barry Malzberg can say sexist things about women in the SFWA. Women (and other people) can tell them to shut up. That’s free speech. Our collective judgement of them is the consequence of their actions.

Paula Deen has the right to use the N-word. I have the right to say she’s a bigoted asshole. Both are free speech. Random House had the right to “release” the contract on her five book deal. That’s consequences.

Theodore Beale has the right to say vile, disgusting things. I have the right to say shut the fuck up. That’s free speech. John Scalzi has the right to moderate his comments (it’s a private blog, folks). The SFWA has the right to expel Beale. That’s consequences.

None of that is censorship.

Let me just say this one more time. None of that is censorship.

You can say hateful, vile, disgusting things. I can tell you to shut the fuck up. I am not censoring you.

Also please remember, somewhere down the line there will be consequences.





An Update. Rare, I know.

22 06 2013

I’m very sorry that I haven’t been updating like I should. I have been adjusting to my new job (!) as well as my normal writing, editing, and slushing. I’m currently living with my grandparents in New Jeresy. They were kind enough to take me in for the summer while I work for the National Park Service (though I have been helping around the house, doing things like cleaning the gutters, carrying heavy objects, and opening stubbornly closed objects). I very much like both the job and the people I work with, so it has all been a very positive change (though I’m not sure I’ll ever get used to going to bed at 9pm).

If I had been thinking, I would have started posting the letters I’ve been writing home (they’re some of my funnier experiences while working in New Jersey). Maybe I’ll start with the next one I write. I have so many funny stories to tell.

Here's a picture of me in my uniform. The pants are huge on me.

Here’s a picture of me in my uniform. The pants are huge on me.

Other good news is the sale of a story! I sold a piece of flash fiction to Fireside Magazine. It will appear in an upcoming issue. I don’t know much more than that at this point. I’ll give more details as I get them/am able to tell them.

Speaking of Fireside, some of you might remember they ran a fundraiser not too long ago. I promised two journals (and a pony) to Fireside. Well the journals are finished and mailed, so I will show them to you! The third journal was commissioned by a writer I know.

Aren't they beautiful?

Aren’t they beautiful?

That’s a pretty good summery about what’s been going on since the last time I checked in. I promise I’ll post again soon.

And because everyone needs roses (especially Robin McKinley) here are some courtesy of my grandmother’s garden.

Rose

rose2

Rose3








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