The One About Normal White Women

Oh my geez.  Are you kidding me?  Like Texas doesn’t have enough trouble with looking stupid (Thanks, Ted Cruz et al) and racist (I swear we’re not all like that), these women decided to go “slumming” in Oak Cliff and proceed to explain to a guy why OC was the hood.  I can promise you she does not represent me, nor does she represent anyone I’m friends with here in Texas or anywhere else for that matter.  I can also promise you that she has never actually seen any hood – except that of her SUV.

When she reaches out and touches the guy’s dreadlocks, that’s when I realized that he was a better person in that situation that I would have been.

But it’s clear now what the Texas legislature has to do.  Everyone needs to write their representative and call for a ban on fringe boots.  It’s the only way to keep the hood safe.

TL;DR: That woman doesn’t represent me and fringe boots are bad, OK?


The First One About Being a Terrible Blogger

I know I’m supposed to wear the hair shirt, be self-deprecating and make excuses for my total lack of regard for blogging. I do know that. I promise. Can we just skip it though?  Let’s say I did it and you made the appropriate noises back and now all is forgiven.  Deal?

Thanks. I just knew you were the one who really understands me.

Life, man.  It’s out there and it goes on whether I write about it or not. There are strange things afoot at the Circle K: Cousins smacking the snot out of an inflatable baseball in the living room at my mom’s place while playing a game with unspoken rules that only they understand.  Wrecking my closet to find something to wear for an appointment.  Eating cake and pasta and more cake with the people who make me feel welcome and whole at the Tracked party last night. Refreshing the link repeatedly to F&SF’s queue to see if I’ve moved up in position.  (I haven’t.)  Sleeping, talking, driving, listening, overreacting, cussing & fussing, and just living my life.  That’s why I haven’t written.

It doesn’t mean I don’t love you.  You know you’re special.  It just means that I love me too.  And sometimes that has to come first.

TL;DR I’ve been busy and you’ve missed me.  Don’t worry, I still love you the most.

The One About Food Blogs in SciFi

IN my ever widening search for food with the SciFi twist, I’ve discovered a few blogs that I thought I’d share.

Now my interest in food from my fandoms is merely academic.  I am not a venturesome eater.  But let me know if you make any of these recipes.  I’m curious to see what you thought.

The One About Ugly Word Babies

We’re an odd lot, us writers.  We create these stories by putting dollops of our soul in word form and then send them out in the world to be free range word babies.  Word babies.  They are the concepts our brains birth.  And it’s a sad day when you look back at one of these children of yours and realize what an ugly, misshapen lump of paragraphs you’ve created. Especially when you remember that little guy with such fondness.  Oh, the feels.

What’s a writer to do?

Keep going.  Try again.


Try the plastic surgery of revision.


Bury it.  Kick some dirt on that shit and keep pounding away at the keyboard.  You’ve got excellent author genetics and a fertile mind.  It’ll get there.

Oh the things I have to tell myself to get through the day.

The One About Ft. Riley

In the 1990s I spent a couple of years Kansas wondering how a person with my MOS and a stupid amount of years invested in training wound up on an infantry post as a permanent duty station.  That never did get very clear and eventually the whole unit moved overseas – which made more sense to begin with.

Beyond the fact that it was in Kansas, it was home for a few years.  I braved the ice covered streets more than once trying to climb the hill up to HQ in a Mazda Protege with no snow tires or chains.  My sig and I moved from a Manhattan (KS.  Don’t get delusions of my grandeur, now) apartment and into condemned housing that we had to clean before we moved out (and they dozed it) and into brand new housing.  Lots of stories there.

I was there when the FBI sectioned off the post using railroad cars as they searched for answers after the OKC bombing.  It was a violation of home.  Even though they were there doing their jobs, they were in our space.  It gave everything a sense of wrongness to it.

And now we have another home grown terrorist.  One who wanted to join ISIS and blow himself up to commit jihad.  If you can believe what you read on the internet.  Which I think is 98% intentional crap and 1.5% is well meaning but misled crap.  I don’t know the truth.  And neither does anyone else.  That’s the thing about the internet.  Smoke and mirrors.

It’s just that Ft Riley, decades later, still feels like home.  And those that would do my home harm would be my enemy.  But I don’t like the idea of strangers with train cars roaming my streets either.

And that’s about as real as I want to get.

The One About Storytelling for Success

I met this slice of life, Steph,  at a local convention.  She asked me about my publishing creds. I had none.  She asked about my website.  I had no internet presence to speak of.  Not even one business card to my name. Maybe I hadn’t looked into the business side of writing much at all.  Maybe I was lazy.  Maybe both.  And that is when she showed me the error of my ways.

I’m probably preaching to the choir.  If you’re reading blogs then you’ve got a pretty good idea already that you have to throw something interesting out into cyberspace from time to time.  The wild wolves (No dogs or puppies -sad, rabid or otherwise) must be fed.

If you need help in this area, I highly recommend Storytelling for Success.  Steph is our people.  She’s also has fully functioning Social Norms complete with Kung-fu Action Mores and a battery operated Grammar Conventions Detector.  However, she is not a toy.  Don’t get the wrong idea.  She will cut a bitch with some adult sarcasm.  You’ve been warned.

So, all I’m saying is that if branding and promoting and the internet folderol isn’t your bag, baby.  Contact Steph over at the Storytelling for Success and tell her that I sent you

Just don’t be creepy.

TL;DR Contact Storytelling for Success and let Steph help.

Don’t do it alone.  That’s a Rook mistake.

The Other One About Food In SciFi

Luke’s aunt and uncle drank blue milk.  Alex drank his laced with barbiturates.  Warf, Muad’Dib, and Londo all consume some sort of worm or worm byproduct.  I won’t get into the alcohol particulars here.

Future cuisine scares me.  There’s no joy to it.  No flavor.  Where are my tortillas or pad thai? And if I have to eat worms, where the hell is my Sirracha?  It all seems to be created as a bet between some middle school kids as to who will eat what for a dollar.  I’ll pass.

I wonder if writers forgot that it’s a basic part of ourselves to enjoy what we eat.  If they feel that obtaining sustenance is an obstacle to be overcome.   And sometimes it is.  But that would be a far cry into the future from where we are now.  Celebration?  We eat.  Memorial?  We eat.  We even have special foods that we only trot out on certain occasions that aren’t even that fancy.  When’s the last time you had sweet potato casserole without Black Friday sales looming on the horizon? And when people come to visit, we don’t just play a game or watch a movie or even just talk.  We eat.

And we go to restaurants.  We look for new places to eat because we’ve eaten at the last place too many times.  We are food obsessed.  We sweat cheese.

Even soliders in the field get local foods when they can.  No one was ever meant to live off of MREs forever.  Sure, you could survive, but that’s not living.

(Unless you make the field pizza or a cheesecake.  That was some good stuff right there.)

Jason Henniger on NPR had a few things to say too.

Rook Riley: writer, game enthusiast, and all around linguistic bad ass