mutantenemy: (steampunk::dress of gears)
I am a gadget girl.

You can take the meaning of that phrase however you wish, but truth be confessed, I love shiny, techie gadgets. Macbook, iPod, Nintendo DS, PSP Lite, and my cell phone all hold a special place in this geek's hearty heart.

Four years ago I underwent a surprise heartbreak and decided Retail Therapy was the way to go. That is when I purchased my white Sanyo Katana flip phone -- sleek and sassy at the time. I wanted white because EVERYONE had black or grey boring cell phones. I understand needing to keep up with the zippy technological pace, but must we all possess the same thing? *shudder*

Last Saturday, after attending a local Pow Wow and getting a much needed message from the PTB (aka Universe, The Big Cheese, UPG, RPG, what have you), I decided to spend the rest of my afternoon biting the bullet and getting me a smartphone.

I've wanted one for over a year since my contract with Sprint ran out. I had options to go to another carrier and snag the ever coveted iPhone, but I have a policy about signing a contract with Satan. Because as we all know AT&T is Satan. Really.

Verizon is Satan's little brother.

T-Mobile is the weird Uncle Earl that hovers on your back porch waiting for free beer. Crappy beer. Pabst Blue Ribbon "beer".

Sprint is not infallible, they have their "issues", but they have treated me damn well for the past 10 years and some change, so they have earned my loyalty. In return I earned some mega discounts and rebates.

Ladies and Gents. Geeks and Freaks. May I introduce you to my new technokid:

Yes, it's the HTC EVO 4G in white.

**giggles maniacally**

Now before some of you get on the "HTC SUX" bandwagon let me just say this --- as there is no such thing as a perfect cell phone provider, there is no such thing as a perfect cell phone. They all have their pros and cons and thanks to a habit I picked up from my dear friend, Queen Bitch, I've learned to do massive research before buying.

No, the size doesn't bother me because I have long fingers and it fits in my palm perfectly. *wink wink nudge nudge say no more squire*

Overall, it has everything I need and then some. I've had it for a week now and already the shiny is still vibrant as I'm learning all the cool shit this phone can do. NOW I get why people are so in hot, sweaty, luv with their smartphones. Just look at it! IT'S FUCKING SEXY!

Certain apps have been downloaded and I'm keeping my EVO trim by not bogging it down with every "Hip Of The Moment" app that comes out. A few essentials (TweetDeck, eBuddy) and a few fun ones (FX Camera, Moon Guide, Kali Mantras).

I am also one who protects her investments. Before my EVO even took a step out of the Sprint store, s/he had a protective shield on. My case arrived from Amazon just the other day. Yes, I am going for a steampunk theme (I have also caught the irony that my white phone is covered in a predominantly black skin, but at least I KNOW it's a white smartphone).

Even my EVO's homepage has a steampunk wallpaper and a cool old style analog clock with gears and cogs. I am still trying to find a name for him/her. We all do it. We all name our gadgets, our cars, our pets, and our computers. My iPod is Mad Madam Mim, my Macbook is Capt. Rio of the RumRaven, my car is Roxy Sassyass, and my cat is Jameson.

Names in the running are: Babbage, Tesla, Aida, Mae West, and Ambrosine Frood.

Until a name can be found, I want to declare that I hearty heart heart my sexy, voluptuous phone.
mutantenemy: (seasonal::stripey baubles)
Two hummingbirds are dog-fighting outside my bedroom window. Chasing. Zipping. Dodging. All for the love of a ruby red, plastic feeder and who can lay proprietary claim. Observing those itty bitty Kamikaze birds made me realize that is pretty much how the past month has been for me.

Doing this. Adding that. Doing that other thing again. Standing on my head while drinking coffee just so the caffeine could percolate my brain cells faster. Pop! Pop! Zang! But as with everything, the crash had to come. And it did. And I still won.

I am not without pride to say I am five for five; five years of participating in National Novel Writing Month and having five WINNER certificates to show for it. This is an awesome accomplishment for me as I pat myself on the back and indulge with a congratulatory bottle of something sparkly and fizzy.

I say this because, well, I am a Procrastinating Fool. If I can put something off to the last micro second, knowing I can get away with it, I will. I am also easily distract.....


......ed. A new creative idea, a new toy, a new project will lure me away with it's seductive shiny from my current goal at hand. Yet, on the ironic side, once I set my intent on something, it gets done, but only after I wade through the tides of "I'll Work On It Tomorrow" and dodge the traps of comfy laziness.

This year's NaNo almost kicked my ass. The long hours at work fried my poor, little brain and when I insisted it pound out 1,000 words before bedtime, it whined. So some coaxing was involved before my brain complied with a grump and a harrumph. Fortunately there were these amazing inventions called "weekends" where I was able to rest up and pour out 1,000's of words so I could catch up. To my surprise, Thanksgiving weekend bore me over 23,000 words and it was that final push, that last gasping sprint which propelled me across the finish line into a 51,230 word story. My tale was done and I performed a celebratory lap to the nearest Red Robin for a Cadillac Margarita.

So. One would think after spending four weeks struggling with words and timetables and self-pressure to achieve a personal goal, that the month of December would be a wonderful, peaceful reprieve. Well, you know what they say, what doesn't kill you makes you stronger.....

Which brings me to my next point.

National Novel Reading Month

By all that is holy and strange, what have I gotten myself into? Again? From December 15, 2010 to January 15, 2011 the goal is to read one novel a week, which depending on the book can average 50-100 pages read a day. Well, one can argue that I am a glutton for punishment or insane, but I honestly want to read more. I enjoy reading, it just gets put on the back, back, far back burner located in BF Egypt. Remember the Shiny Factor? Yeah. I am horribly guilty of starting one book, finding another I wish to read, set aside Book#1 to make time for Book#2, then I find a Book#3. Wash, rinse, repeat cycle. The towering stack of tomes by my bed is damn impressive.

Because of this, it is difficult for me to finish. Earlier this year, I had set a new personal record by reading (AND finishing) five novels within six months: Silver Borne by Patricia Briggs, Boneshaker by Cherie Priest, Demon Hunts by C.E. Murphy, FEED by Mira Grant, and Eat, Pray Love by Elizabeth Gilbert. All of them spectacular in their own right, but if I had to recommend one that truly blew my Malabrigo Yarn socks off, it would be FEED. Gift it. Enable others. I personally love being in a bookstore and then happening upon a lone shopper staring blankly at the Horror section. I simply walk up, take the book off the shelf, hand it to them with a sly smile and say, "Highly recommend it." And before they can utter a response, I walk away like the Ghost of Unknown Awesome Books never to be seen by them again.

Back to the books. For National Novel Reading Month I have made my four selections. It was difficult but I was able to narrow it down by allowing myself one criteria:

Read a novel by an author you have never read before.

Out went the Gaiman, the Briggs, the Murphy, the Harris, the Adams, and the King. In came, in a rather sauntering fashion, these titles:

This is the book that I have picked up off the shelf, put back, picked up again, put back, then finally bought because the time was finally right. Think Harry Potter going to college and add more witt, more scares, and an author's delicious and odd use of the English language. I am one chapter in and hooked.

This one has been sitting on the shelves of my personal library for about two years. I always mean to read it but never got around to it. Now is the time and I will do my best to not allow the musical to taint my expectations of the book as many folks have informed me they are different creatures.

I do not do a lot of Young Adult (Harry Potter notwithstanding), but when I heard from friends, "You love Buffy! This series is amazing and has a very strong heroine." Okay, I'll bite and hence this book was purchased.

I am REALLY excited about reading this book which is one of the reasons why it will be the last one for my monthly challenge. The other is that in standard paperback size it is over 900 pages long. So if I cannot finish it in one week, it won't hinder my timetable with another book. The story is based off an actual historical event but the author spins it to add more of the horror of the Arctic Expedition by writing about the interpersonal fears and an unseen force trying to claw its way into the ship. I really hope I enjoy this author because I already have Drood queued up to be purchased if I do.

So that is what has been going on behind the blogging curtain. The one where you occasionally see a peek of fire tresses or hear a giggle of a mutant. Lots of writing, lots of reading, and perhaps a few knit and purl stitches in between.
mutantenemy: (charmed::fangirl)
March 31, 2010

The time is 4:30pm, two and a half hours before Patricia Briggs, author of the Mercy Thompson Series, arrives at my local Powells Books. I come ready with knitting basket in hand, to knit and purl and ssk the minutes away while I wait. Patiently. Earnestly.

Strolling through the double doors, my eyes immediately fall upon vibrant book covers. Book covers with the titles, "SILVER BORNE" scrawled across them. I practically scream of pure geekdom within the stacks as I grab a copy and hug it like a precious, fluffy kitten. People stare. I blush. I suppose my suave decorum could only last for so long. Hey, I tried.

Fortunately, I was not alone. Huddled with the comfy chairs were other fans, some of whom I had seen last week for the Cherie Priest signing, and they were waving me over. We chatted, we knitted, and I kept my eagerness to dive into the new novel at bay. "When I get home, I'll start reading it," I promised myself.

At 6PM, Powells employees were setting the stage and unfolding the chairs. Because of our preparedness (or overzelousness, which ever you prefer), the early birds were able to snag the front row. Minutes ticked away as I counted the rows in my shawl pattern and searched in my bag for my measuring tape. I was curious as to how many people would show up. Every reading I've been to, the numbers have always been unpredictable. Twenty? Fifty? Five hundred? I also find it humbling and cool to peer upon the guest author's face as they survey the crowd, jaw a bit slacken, and say in awe, "Wow. There are so many of you here." Not once are they grumpy because not enough readers showed up, they are always surprised people actually like their books.

Patricia Briggs was no different. )

End of a Decade

Friday, 2 April 2010 02:21 pm
mutantenemy: (craft::firelady)
The first birthday card of the year arrived in the mail four days early. My first guess as I reached into the cavernous mail box, fingers searching for the small envelope was, "Ah, must be Mom."

I was mistaken. Ripping it open right there in the driveway, I was pleasantly surprised to be gifted with a lovely homemade card with beaded accents. Within was "HAPPY BIRTHDAY" stamped in a calming teal ink. Hand-written was, "Best Wishes From The Audubon Society."

How very, very cool. I've only been an official member for less than a month and the kind birding fanatics remembered my birthday. Even before my own mother. *chuckles*

It occurred to me this morning, as I poured my very dark, very rich, and very caffeinated coffee into my Cedars mug, that today is the last day of my 30's. Not simply the last day of a year, but the final day of a decade.


My pre-java-jolted brain wheeled from the significance of just how much time has past. Ten years of learning, stumbling, growing, hurting, loving, and coming into one's own. I started my 30th year in pure Wonder Woman fashion -- literally. Red, blue, white, and yellow streamers decorated my old apartment as Seasons 1 and 2 of the TV show played in the background. One friend brought a specially made WW cake, while another brought his muchly coveted Bennie Berry Juice. The party was filled with friends from all aspects of my life: childhood, dance club, wiccan, and other. I loved introducing them to each other and sitting back to watch the freaky geek sparks fly. The evening eventually ended up at the EMBERS where my dancing friends partied with me until I was the last one standing.

Thirty feels like so long ago. My third decade was when I became an ordained Priestess, loved three men, and watched my father die of prostate cancer. I nourished fledgling friendships and had two of them crash and burn before the decade was out. I made tons of mistakes, but was also gifted with just as many revelations. I wrote first drafts of four novels. I ballroom danced. I got corporately laid off three times and fired once. Now I am curious where my new career will take hold. I learned it was okay to be honest and to say "No". I learned who my real friends are. I learned that all the rebirths I've done from the ashes is not a punishment but what I am meant to do to be who I am. I gained weight and lost it and gained a little of it back. I grew hips on this once stick-straight body and grew my hair long. I reveled in being a redhead and embraced my inner geek. My sass has grown sharper and my heart stronger. I've learned I can be tough when the need calls for it, and be compassionate when others won't. I've learned what I am and what I'm not and have accepted both. All of this in just my third decade of life.

Forty will be awesome. There will be burning, there will be flames, there will be a Firebird spreading her wings; soaring over her old shell as she shines vibrantly in all that she is. And there may even be a margarita or three. Whatever this decade brings, I will not shy from it, I will not cower. I will look it proudly in the eyes and say, "Let's rock."
mutantenemy: (misc::steampunk watch)
Last Thursday I finally finagled my energy to pick up "Boneshaker" and finish it. I had been reading it for the past few months, until something expected happened. I got a case of The Shinies. Something glorious and new and sparkly caught my attention which caused "Boneshaker" to sit upon my nightstand, collecting dust. I cannot remember what was so amazing to put a steampunk zombie novel on hold as it was very engaging and chock-full of adventure.

Was it a knitting project?

Perhaps a quick short story idea which needed to get written STAT before I forgot?

Or did I succumb to the hypnotic, thrumming purrs of Jameson to where I slipped into a pleasant coma?

I suppose it's not important. What is important is I finally finished the novel! And Friday morning I learned the author, Cherie Priest, was going to be at our local Powell's to do a signing! How synchronicitous! And, wow, Spell Check does not recognize "synchronicitous" as a legit word. Scary.

Friday afternoon I camped out at Powell's with two knitting projects in tow and waited. I met up with Tanuki and MartianMoonCrab and before long, a petite pixie with vibrant blue hair appeared. It was none other than Cherie Priest herself.

All I can say about the author, well I cannot simply say ONE thing, so I shall just rattle off what is impressive about her:

1. Cherie Priest's bubbly attitude is infectious. Perhaps being a former goth, she might take a slight comedic offense to the word "bubbly", but she had every right to be bouncing all over the place. She just received an email from George R.R. Martin (yes, THAT one) regarding a project they're working on together. He had written how much he LOVED her storyline ideas and Cherie was simply beside herself. She was practically giggling out of her skin. "I am so holding back the urge to bounce around this store yelling, 'G.R.R. Martin doesn't think I'm a moron!'"

2. The author has seriously done her research. Seriously. The world she created for "Bonshaker", called The Clockwork Century, is so wonderfully detailed and has so many branches, I was in awe. She knows her Civil War history and she shows no remorse in pushing up the Klondike Gold Rush if it allows her to have 50,000 zombies in 1880 Seattle, rather than 5,000.

3. Digressing is her most polished skill, as she so cheerfully admitted. There was no such thing as a "Yes" or "No" answer.

4. The author can totally pull off blue and aqua green hair.

This photo was taken with my ancient camera phone, and with her permission, so I apologize for the lack of quality. Regardless, Cherie Priest was very charming, very personable, and very inspiring as she joyfully signed everyone's books. Upon my turn, I had mentioned I found her through Kyle Cassidy's LiveJournal. She laughed and started regaling stories of her cat and how he would try, without much luck, to take a photo of her.

As I left the book signing, I was reminded how success can be quite the tease for some authors. One can get it right out of the shoot on the first try. Cherie, on the other hand, this was her seventh book and, like a perfect storm, it happened to hit pop culture at just the right time we needed some steampunk. To date "Boneshaker" is what truly put her on the map.

I felt encouraged, not dismayed, by this thought. Cherie finally found what she loved to write. It took her seven novels (a few Southern Gothic) to find it, but she did. And I will too.

My signed copy of "Boneshaker" now sits upon the inspirational shelf of my library. Right next to signed copies by David Sedaris and C.E. Murphy. Tomorrow night, Patricia Briggs will be added to my growing collection of authorial motivation.
mutantenemy: (nanowrimo::tick tock clock)
MWA-HA-HAHAHAHAHAAAAAAAAA!! Official word count tally is 52,834. *w00tage!
Another plus is I actually finished my story this year.
I am beyond thrilled. I am actually on the verge of tears. When I saw my certificate, I even started welling up. *sniff*

This makes it four years in a row and counting.


mutantenemy: (humour::bunny ear flop)
Yesterday was a hardcore writing day for me. I was a bit behind the Word Count Eight Ball, but I managed to keep my focus together enough to where I pulled over 6,000 in an afternoon. I am officially over the 40,000 word hump!

YES! Much w00tage!

The remaining 10,000 will not be as laborious or straining because I am getting to the juicy-filled adventure part of the story. Once I venture into that tasty tid bit, my fingers will be a blur upon this keyboard.
mutantenemy: (Default)
Earlier this week I was finally able to reveal the "Sekrit Project" I was working on with 22 other photographers. The news had been making its rounds on Mr. Kyle's journal and participants' blogs for a day. Yesterday we all receive an email from Kyle giving us the most amazing news EVAR:

There is a gallery in Cleveland, Mississippi who want to give "In The Hive" its OWN SHOW in the fall where all 83 photos will be on display.


*rubs eyes*

My first quirky step out into the Photography Community to see what I could do and my photos get a showing along with other cool photographers?

I am stunned. Amazed. And really FREAKING happy!!

Money will have to be scrimped and saved so I can attend because plane tickets, rental car, and hotel room do not come cheap. If to attend my first showing I have to sacrifice a pirate festival or a fall knitting retreat, than so be it. This is a Once-In-A-Lifetime (TM) opportunity and I will not miss it!

Naked with David

Thursday, 11 June 2009 12:47 pm
mutantenemy: (humour:: elephant trampoline)
Breast milk. Kidney stones. Communion wafers. Barak Obama.

What do all of these have in common? A splendid and slightly muggy evening with the very entertaining David Sedaris. )