Category Archives: Just Me

FFS, Stop complaining about The Doctor as a woman

Seriously, though. This complaint is as annoying as it is sexist. And, as far as canon for The Doctor goes, it’s just plain stupid. I’ve seen some rather stupid stuff, just in the little time I’ve spent online since the new Doctor was announced, stupid stuff that damages my hope for humanity a little. Stuff like this dumbass pink telephone box. Like REALLY?!?! That is beyond childish and sexist. Grow the hell up.

Okay, not that I’ve gotten that out of my system, let’s get a little more detailed on why I’m so vehement about this.

“But The Doctor is male. You can’t just change genders like that. Not even Timelords do that.”

First off, wrong. The most obvious pointer for this being wrong is Missy, the current incarnation of The Master currently played by Michelle Gomez. While it is true that The Master has done some crazy-assed shit over his crazy-assed existence, regenerating into a woman was probably the LEAST crazy-assed. And personally, I think Missy is a seriously awesome character and one of the best incarnations of that villain.

But let’s put that aside for a moment. I could see an argument could be made (though pathetically) that because The Master has shown that he can actually possess a human, that this is somewhat reasonable, making Missy the exception to the rule. The fact is, though, that there was another Timelord who had at least one regeneration from male to female: The Corsair.

Two years before Missy sets foot on the Timey-Wimey stage, The Doctor, Amy and Rory are called to a pocket of space outside the known universe in the episode titled The Doctor’s Wife. There, they discover several Hypercubes (or Tesseracts), which act as the last form of communication from a Timelord. One of those Hypercubes is from The Corsair, a friend of The Doctor’s. The Doctor then wistfully recalls a time when The Corsair had regenerated into a woman, clearly marking it as a not unheard of occurrence.

“Yeah, but The Doctor has always been male, shouldn’t he always be male?”

My question for this is “Why?” If it’s already been shown that per canon that a Timelord CAN regenerate into a woman, then why shouldn’t it happen once in awhile? The fact is, for the last twelve regenerations, The Doctor has been a white male. To be honest, it seems just as odd to me that all of his regenerations have been white as they’ve all been male. After all, regeneration is supposed to be a complete rewriting of genetic code.

“But our boys need male role models that don’t solve problems with beating people up.”

Of all the arguments I’ve heard, this is the most thought out. For me, though, it still does not hold water. First off, I go back to the argument that canonically, it can happen. But let’s look at the why in this instance: Because our boys need non-combative role models. What about representation for our girls? I do see this point and I agree that far too many of the “heroes” portrayed in TV and film are fist-first thinkers, that’s not a valid argument against The Doctor as a woman. Just because there is a deficit in one area, in this case smart, well-reasoned male heroes who solve problems without blowing things up, does not mean there has to be a deficit in another, this case being smart, strong well-reasoned female heroes who solve problems without blowing things up.

We have had twelve (thirteen counting the War Doctor) male Doctors who fill this role and zero females. You can’t the issues with how male heroes are portrayed by continuing to not work on the issues of showing female heroes. Yes, you could TRY to make the argument that the showrunners are taking away a good male hero, but then it goes back to the fact that there were already TWELVE versions of that. You want to fix the way male heroes are represented? Great, address those that are problematic but don’t suppress representation of female heroes to do it.

Now, in my opinion, if you have any other argument left, they boil down to just one thing… YOU didn’t get the kind of Doctor YOU wanted, and that makes YOU angry.

You know what I say to that? Tough shit.

Or, as the Sixth Doctor put it…

Cover/Title Reveal & Writing Updates

I’ve been hedging for a while now about revealing the cover and title for the sequel to Scarlet Angel. But, I think it’s about time now. I still don’t have a specific release date, which I’ll explain a bit more on why later. Regardless, I think things have reached a point where I can’t really hold back any longer.

So, without further ado, I present Scarlet Raven:

So… Whatcha think? Pretty smexy, eh?

Yes, I know, it’s VERY similar to Scarlet Angel. In fact, one might think it’s the same at first glance, but I assure you, it’s not. Here are the covers side by side. See?

And now for some other updates. A large part of why I can’t wait anymore to put these out there, is that my beta copies are officially out! Well, most of them. This is exciting for me. I didn’t do a beta reading phase for SA. Not that I didn’t want to, rather I was in such a hurry to get my first book out in time for Phoenix Comicon, that I rushed things. Of course, that resulted in having some issues with the printed manuscript that I regret now. But, that’s why I’m trying my damnedest to NOT rush this. I want Scarlet Raven to be done right the first time.

As for the official release? As I said, I don’t have a specific date. I’m giving about a month and a half for the beta readers. Then, SR heads to the publisher. If they take another month and a half, then I’m looking at sometime in October. That doesn’t work out too bad for me. Maybe I’ll get a chance to participate in Phoenix FanFest, Phoenix Comicon’s little cousin.

I mentioned a few weeks ago that I’ve already started on book 3. Progress on that is going pretty well. I have a good idea what’s going on. My hope is that that book will be done in plenty of time for next year’s Xmas. Maybe even a little sooner if I’m lucky.

Updates: Surprise Scarlet Promo, Scarlet’s Return & Blogging is hard.

Why is it that stories come so easily (relatively), but blog stuff does not?

It’s been a couple weeks since I posted on here, so I figure I gotta put something up. My last post was about taking the plunge into the more traditional publishing world by working with a small publisher. I have a couple updates as far as that goes.

First, Scarlet Angel has completely made the conversion over to being under Creativia’s banner. That goes for print and ebook versions. At first, I was not sure how that would change anything for Scarlet Angel. I was not expecting any promotion for a book that’s been out for two years. However, yesterday I was quite surprised to be tagged on Twitter by @BookSCREAM as they announced a promotion for my book. Even more to my surprise, Scarlet is currently on promotion on Amazon for FREE!

Of course, Free Promotion on Amazon brings with it a whole ‘nother bag of amazing. Currently, Scarlet Angel is #2 in free Technothrillers and #387 in free Kindle books overall. And, it’s not showing for me this morning, but it was #2 in free Cyberpunk last night, too! This is pretty exciting for me. With Scarlet about to return for book 2, getting book one in the hands of a bunch of new readers is pretty amazing.

As far as Scarlet’s comeback goes… I think it’s almost done. I do want to do a round of beta reading before I send it off to the publisher. With that said, I suppose I need some beta readers. I’ll be putting together a short list of people I know who’ve read book 1. If anyone is interested and has read Scarlet Angel, let me know.

I mean… WHAAAAT? This is kind of badass, if I do say so myself.

The next big thing is that I’ve officially started book three. My goal will be to make the release time between books 2 and 3 as short as possible. To be honest, I get frustrated when I get caught up on a book series and I have to wait for the next part of the story. Especially when the one I just finished ends on a bit of a cliffhanger.

That’s pretty much it for my writer-life updates. So, back to my initial question. Why is it that writing blog content is so hard? I mean, it’s not like I really ever have a hard time with words. And it’s not just that I can only write fiction. I’ve written plenty of other content, from social media to academic papers to corporate policy. And, I’ve been writing on my own site for several years (sometimes sporadically, I’ll admit).

No, my problem is usually not the writing itself. Rather, I have a hard time with the topics. I mean, I recently saw Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2. I could write a review, I suppose. But, it’s not like I got to see it opening weekend (which is something that almost never happens). So, by the time I get to see the movie, there are PLENTY of other reviews. Mine just becomes a lost voice in the din. Not to mention, I’m not very good at critiquing movies. I generally like the movie and have very little critique for it. Not that I think every movie is stellar, it’s just that I usually think even crappy movies are pretty good. And, to be honest, that’s kind of a boring read, as far as reviews go.

I know plenty of other authors write about themselves. This is definitely something I’m not good at. I’ve come to realize I may have a degree in business marketing, but I suck at marketing myself. Part of that, I think, is I’m not a good salesperson. I’m not even sure I could sell an electric blanket to an Inuit. Or an air conditioner to a Phoenician.

There’s flash fiction. I’ve done a few of those. I’ve had the thought of doing a Patreon page, where there’s flash fiction for subscribers. So I kind of thought maybe I should hold off on publishing a bunch of those, and maybe just do one once in awhile. Then again, getting off my tokhas to actually do it is the challenge there.

I used to write about science stuff and how it kind of relates to science fiction, but there are also plenty of sites that do that too. Whether it’s reviews or science, I end of thinking that there’s a ton of other people’s content. And writing about me is just a plain snoozefest, trust me.

So, what do I write about? Hell, I have no ideas. I was hoping putting these words down would help me come up with something. No dice.

Don’t worry, though. I’ll figure something out. I always do.

Well, mostly.

Taking The Plunge or My Shift in Publishing

It’s official, I am taking the plunge. I am moving out of the self-publishing game and under the umbrella of a small publisher.

Yes, it’s true. Just a few years ago I was very hyped and excited about the self-publishing trend. While I didn’t necessarily believe that the big print publishing industry was doomed, I believed that it was definitely in decline and would shrink to a more manageable size.

I realize now I was looking at the world through the rose-colored glasses of ignorance. I had just barely published my own first book and, with a bit of marketing knowledge, believed I could make things happen. I was jazzed.

And I was naive.

Now don’t get me wrong. I certainly don’t think self-publishing is a waste or that you’re crap if you’re not picked up by one of the big five mega-publishers. Far from it. There are a whole lot of indie writers who are fantastic with or without a big (or even small) publisher. For me, though, two years of self-reflection have helped me to see things on a much broader and much grayer scale.

I’ve had some shitty things happen over the last couple years. From working a job I was very unhappy at to being unemployed, these events have made me really stop and think about what I want. At one point I thought it would be great to help other writers get a leg up and establish themselves. I flirted with the idea of starting my own small press. Of course, I know NOTHING about doing that. Fortunately, before I got too well into it, I had a realization. I asked myself the cliche question often asked in job interviews, “Where do you see yourself in 5 years? What about 10?”

The only answer I came up with was that it wasn’t running a publishing company. It was writing. And while, sure, I didn’t necessarily have to keep doing it that long, I felt like if I established relationships with writers that I would feel like I was abandoning them by leaving at some point in the future. In my opinion, if you are attaching your name to a publisher, you should be able to expect that they intend to be around for the long haul.

Another thing I’ve realized is that I’m not an overly outgoing person. I mean, I obviously knew that. Rather, I realized that in order for me to succeed at being a self-published author I would have to be very outgoing. I would have to sell myself. And while I may be pretty good at talking and “selling” I cannot sell myself. It’s just not in my nature.

So, when a friend announced that he was picked up by the small publisher Creativia, I started to seriously take a look.

I’ve known Patrick Hodges for a little while now from our writing critique group. He’s a pretty good writer and a genuinely nice guy. It took some time before I felt comfortable, but eventually, I asked him a few questions about how Creativia was working out. Patrick’s science fantasy novel Pawns hadn’t even come out yet, but the company had decided to represent his two previous middle-grade fiction books as well.

My biggest issue was what they did for him, I wanted to make sure that if I’m giving up a huge part of my royalties, that I’m getting something for it. While we did not get into specific numbers or details, our discussion served to further my curiosity and interest. I ended up having an email conversation with Miika Hannila that encouraged me a little more.

To be honest, my biggest fear was that I knew very little about the company and did not want to have the banner of a vanity press on my writing resume. It did not take me long to discover that Creativia is not a vanity press. This boosted my interest even more.

But I was worried about giving up my “self-publisher” freedom and royalty rights. Eventually, I came to the realization that I wasn’t really selling any books. So a percent of zero is still zero. If Creativia can help me sell a few books, then that’s more than I would have sold before.

The more important part of working with a small publisher like Creativia, is it will free up more time for me to actually write. I won’t have to do quite as much marketing on my own. Not that I won’t have to do any, no publisher does it ALL for you—the days of writers just writing are really, actually dead and gone.

Creativia and I ended up partnering together for the entire Scarlet series. All three books. What worked out well for me was the fact that in getting ready for the sequel to Scarlet Angel, I getting ready to release a new cover for that first book in my trilogy. (That’s my new cover right there above. Smexy, ain’t it?)

So, as of just a few days ago, my new cover for Scarlet Angel was released under the Creativia banner. Even better, I’m—hopefully—just a few days away from sending them my draft of the sequel. Even better, I’ve just finished my first plot-run at the final book in the series.

I still believe in self-publishing. Now, I just also believe in small publishing, and maybe even a little in the big publishing.

The idea of being a professional, living-living-off-my-writing author feels a little different now. I feel a little bit of a weight off my shoulders like I’ve got a little bit of help in this journey. And that feels nice.

 

You can find Scarlet Angel on Amazon here.

 

I am the Sneezasaurus Rex, coo coo Ahh-CHOO

Screw allergies.

When I go to the doctor and they ask “Do you have any allergies?”, I have to clamp my mouth shut. In my head, I scream, “YOU’RE GODDAMN RIGHT I HAVE ALLERGIES, I SNEEZE MY GODDAMNED HEAD OFF BECAUSE OF DUST AND OLIVE TREE POLLEN!”

But I don’t say that because they’re not asking about the kind of those allergies.  Those are, however, the allergies that I do have and the allergies I’m talking about today.

For most people, allergies are an annoyance, they hit a person with some sinus congestion and a sprinkling of sneezes throughout the day. Stuffy with a chance of sneezy. Not for me. For me, when the allergy-storm hits bad I am literally incapacitated for at least 24 hours. I recently posted an amusing gif of Chris Pratt’s character from TV Show Parks & Recreation sneezing repeatedly with the comment “Me, literally.” And I meant literally.

See, when my allergies hit, they come on like a motherfucking Katrina-level hurricane. I’ve had days where I went through multiple boxes of tissues and/or multiple rolls of toilet paper. Blood vessels burst. Skin is chafed well beyond raw. My nose bleeds from inside and from out. And the next day, when the sneezing is 80% done? My nose begins to heal like a sensitive, scab-covered sore.  

That’s when the pressure starts. Sometimes, I sneeze so much during an active attack that I don’t have time for real pressure to build up. But when the sneezing is done? It’s eye-throbbing, spike-in-the-skull-with-a-hammer, give-me-the-electric-drill kind of irritating pain that Motrin, Tylenol and Aleve COMBINED can’t even scratch.

Sure, I can take allergy medicine, and I do. But sometimes the Claritin, Flonase and Sudafed cocktail is completely useless. Or, at least, it feels useless. Drugged up like that and still having triple-sneezing fits every two minutes feels useless.

While I’m SOOOO not an anti-drug person, I’m pretty damn sure taking all that shit at once is not good for me, but what choice do I have? I take it all in an effort to stay productive, so I can walk out the door and drive to work without worrying if I’m going to have a massive sneezing fit that makes me wreck my car.

On one hand, it feels a little silly ranting about sneezing allergies. It feels a little silly worrying that a sneeze could make me have an accident with my car. But I’ve had sneezing fits that last for multiple minutes, and I’m not exaggerating, Sneezing fits with my eyes closed and my head uncontrollably bobbing up and down like a fast-repeating automatic shotgun.

I know this post has nothing to do with SF or Fantasy or anything else. It’s just a rant. It’s just my way of letting out a bit of frustration without shoving a red-hot poker into my sinuses in the hopes of searing them into silence.  

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