You Need A Hero Giveaway

“…a land in turmoil cried out for a hero…”

Given recent socio-economic-political circumstances in the United States, there has been much to despair about. Like many others, I have thought a great deal about what I can do about them, and there’s not a whole lot I can.

You see, like Kameron Hurley, I have a chronic illness. I am on the List of Undesirables and while I may not be one of the first casualties of this new authoritarian regime (and make no mistake, people…this is an authoritarian regime on the rise. This is not alarmist speech – this is fact), I will most likely be a casualty at some point.

But it is not this day.

This day, I still draw breath, and if I can do that, I can still fight. All I really have left to do that with are words and yarn, and those are powerful things. They can be the most deadly of weapons, and I am here to arm you.

Together with my enabler handler friend Skyla Dawn Cameron, we bring to you pointy objects of mayhem.

herogiveaway (Shiny graphic made by bitchin’ designer, Skyla Dawn Cameron of Indigo Chick Designs)

Like all implements of destruction, these do not come free, however. These will cost you a donation to someplace that will help shield those in greatest need. Those higher on the list of undesirables than I.

My chosen organizations for your support are The Trevor Project and the Trans Lifeline. For every dollar you donate to these, you get an entry into the giveaway for these shiny things:

Lot 1 – The Hero Package:
Special Edition* copies of both All Wounds and Time Heals
– a copy of my short story collection Legends of the Destrati
– a hand-knit Hero of Canton Cunning Hat (to be knit upon confirmation of win)
– black tea mug (cozy not included unless you’re both really really nice [by which I mean “generous”] and you’re willing to wait for me to make one)
– yummy tea I will personally choose for you

cunning-hero-hat-giveaway
mug-hug

Lot 2 – The Rescue Package:
Special Edition* copies of both All Wounds and Time Heals
– a copy of my short story collection Legends of the Destrati
– hand-knit Cowl of Justice
– black tea mug (see above about the cozy being included)
– yummy tea

cowl-of-justice-giveaway

To enter – after you’ve donated, forward your email receipt from the charity in question to dina at dinajames dot com to be entered. Donations from November 1 onward are eligible for entry, so if you’ve already donated before this went live, pass me your receipt and I’ll enter you.

Donate $20 to Trevor Project? Get twenty entries. Donate $10 to Trans Lifeline and $10 to Trevor Project? Get twenty entries. Donate $5 to Trans Lifeline? Get five entries. The more you give, the more chances you get, but even donating as little as $1 gets you in the running. You have until 11:59PST on November 30 to enter.

It doesn’t stop there: next head over to Skyla Dawn Cameron’s site where donations to Planned Parenthood and/or RAINN will enter you to win yet another amazing hero prize pack as well.

We all need heroes some time in our lives. Be one with your donation.

This giveaway is open to international readers. My giveaway, my postage. Tell your friends.

*These Special Editions were made as prizes for giveaways and at signings. The only way to get one of these is through one of those, and there weren’t many made. They’re super shiny!

And Then There Were Four….

It’s a long story, and one for which I haven’t words nor energy nor coherence to tell. I may also be slightly inebriated, as we held a private little Irish wake tonight for one of our four-legged horde.

bee-mailing-box

You may have heard me refer to the Little Broken Cat on Twitter. Her name was Beebee (as in B.B. for Brokeback – not the mountain; her congenital condition). We called her Bee for short. She was born with kyphosis (“hunchback” in the non-Fancy Medical Speak) as well as some fused vertebrae in her lower spine. What this meant for her is that she was partially paralyzed from the middle of her back. She had trouble controlling her rear legs, and had some unknown (and unknowable without lots of invasive tests and surgeries which were deemed unnecessary) internal damage. She had trouble going to the litter box and issues with her bathrooming, but was otherwise healthy.

She was a shelter kitten, and by law they cannot adopt out an animal they know to have a life-threatening or unstable condition.

Basically, we were her only hope for any kind of life at all. She was deemed “unadoptable” and slated for euthanasia.

The vet called us and asked if we would have a look at her. Now, I wrote something somewhere when we brought her home that I can’t find now despite looking, but I remember saying something about how we didn’t hesitate. It was just after Thanksgiving 2010. We jumped in the car. They brought her in, we took one look at how she moved (very well, thank you, despite her little wobble and stiff-legged gait) and nodded to the tech. We would take her home as soon as she was ready to go. We paid the adoption fee and they kept her for shots and her spay, and I got a little broken kitten for my birthday (December 2). She was about 5 months old.

back-of-chair-kitten

Fast forward six years. For the past several weeks, Bee hadn’t been herself. She began having more bad days than usual, and you could see she was in pain if you knew her well enough. Now, she had medication, but it stopped helping with her pain, and did more harm than good in regard to her other issues. For weeks we went back and forth to the vet, trying to find some way to get ahead of the avalanche heading for our girl.

I’m not going to go into detail here about the last ten days. For one, I don’t want to relive them right now, and for another, they’re not important. All that’s important is we did everything we could, and could not fix the Little Broken Cat this time. After much consulting with many medical authorities, friends, and family, the decision was made. We had to help her in the only way we had left.

This morning, we held her tight as we said goodbye to our special girl. She brought so much joy to our lives and we will miss her very much. There is a very big hole in the James Household right now, and it’s going to take some time to patch up.

Rest well, Bee-girl. We love you.

bee-play

P.S. If you’ve enjoyed anything I’ve written over the past six years, you have Bee to thank for it. She was my constant companion and very special friend, and the comments are closed because it is best to leave me the fuck alone while I sort the damage done to my soul. Leave the tea outside the door and back away slowly.

usual-state-of-affairs

Octoberness

So it’s October. Summer in the northern hemisphere is officially dead and gone, without even a hint of it on the breeze (FINALLY!). Everything now is pumpkins and apples and fleece and flannel.

I kicked off the month over at the Evil League of Evil Writers with a post about playing nicely with others.

I had more, but I’m too busy purring about the fact that it’s October to think more.

evil laugh gif Tom

Oh, I suppose I could say something about how I have a Halloween freebie story I wrote last year up on the site. (It’s the same one as last year, so if you’ve read that one already, there’s nothing new. Just thought I’d throw out the reminder, because hey, Halloween and pumpkins, and that gorgeous cover by Skyla Dawn Cameron of IndigoChick Designs.)

TreatMeRigh-lg

So there you are. Now, back to October.

pumpkin-man

Let Us Be Clear

I do not respond well to threats.

loki-elbows-in-the-face

Threats are the refuge of cowards, just like name-calling, insults, and personal attacks are the default of small minds who know they are wrong and have nothing else to fall back on.

There’s been a lot going on lately in various arenas involving asshats who think they’re big and bad by taking down those they perceive as somehow less than they.

I have strong opinions that I share when asked, and not everyone appreciates that. I call bullshit when I see it. Not everyone appreciates that.

I do not care if you are one of those who don’t appreciate whatever it is about me that offends you. If you find me offensive, go away and play with others who don’t offend you. I will not change who I am for you, or back down, or get off my soapbox, or whatever it is you want from me. I will not accommodate you, when YOU are the problem.

YOU MOVE.

butthead-shut-up

If you are here to do anything but play nicely, leave now. That is all I have to say on the matter.

Midsummer Update

I am alive. I have survived the transition to the new Lair of Doom. It was a harrowing experience and things are still raw and new, but with time everyone will adjust and things will become as normal and routine as they were in the previous lair.

Upheaval takes a lot of effort, and the only way the chaos is going to get sorted is if I work on it every day as I did in preparation for relocation.

I am still living for September. Though the new lair is much quieter, there are still neighbors with shrieklings about, and they have yet to learn their place when it comes to interacting with my household. Apparently the people who lived in this house before us were permissive when it came to certain things (such as the shrieklings showing up at the door whenever they feel like it to “play with your cat/dog” – they have not yet grasped that my animals do not “play” or interact with small humans, and actually prefer to inflict harm, much like their caretaker) and have yet to grasp that We Are Not Them.

They will learn.

im-stabbing-you-in-my-mind

Soon it will be September, and they will all have better things to do than annoy me. I realize they are immature humans and it is summer and They Are Bored and there’s Something New And Shiny for them to investigate, but the sooner they learn that Some Things Are Best Left Alone, the better. (Don’t get me started on Where Is Your Parent? in all of this. It’s a long story with that household that I have gathered from other neighbors and the community in bits and pieces. I still think it’s odd that the Parents don’t seem to care if their child goes to a random stranger’s house and asks to be let in. This is not going to end well someday for those children.) Shriekling Neighbors also let their animals run amok and it drives Pup insane. It’s a process that is slowly improving. The Male Parent has already made attempts to keep his menagerie out of our presence. Soon the Shrieklings will come to understand that Dina’s House is Not A Place To Play. (AKA “Don’t Bother That Lady She’s Mean,” and “You Kids Stay Off My Lawn.”)

Sam SPN Butthurt

It’s been nearly a month now since the Upheaval, and Little Broken Cat is the lone holdout when it comes to exploring the new digs. She is slow and tentative about it, but she’s progressing. I think the New And Big is a bit too much for her, being small and broken. She’ll get there.

Speaking of Little Broken Cat, she’s come into the office just now and is sitting beside my chair as I write this. While not up in my lap like normal*, this is still major progress, people. Now all we have to do is get her to cross the living room and come into the kitchen to eat with everyone else.

How many weeks left until September? Six? THAT’S SO MANY!

Tom Hiddleston Rage Rant

*ETA: We have Little Broken Cat in the lap, confirmed. Repeat, we have Little Broken Cat in the lap.

It’s That Time

You know what time it is. It’s that time. Time for me to hide from the tourists go to ground for the next few months.

SPN You Are Dead

I’m starting earlier than usual this year because I have a lot going on. The DeGothening has proven fruitful and we have taken the first steps toward acquiring a new Lair. This is but the first of many things on the horizon for the James Household, so I will be taking a hiatus from most things virtual for the summer.

I should more-or-less regularly return in September or thereabouts. There might be the odd post here and there during the next few months, but don’t count on me. I will likely give a shout when things are put together at the theoretical new office.

Until then, behave. The bail fund has been redistributed for the time being.

Tom Hiddleston Please Behave

Five Evil Years – NOT APRIL FOOL’S

ELEW_logo

So yes. April 1 is by far the most evil day of the year, but it being the anniversary of the Evil League of Evil Writers was (almost) entirely coincidental. April just happened to be the closest upcoming month back when we were going public with the Evil League of Evil Writers, and what better day to celebrate eviltry than the day of trickery itself?

Loki Oh Yes

I realize this does come with the side effect of our celebratory posts being sometimes taken as April Fool’s pranks, but that’s not our problem. Evil does not care if you believe in it or not.

Having said that, five years of mayhem deserves special recognition, and today we have the honor of hosting a dark lord. No, really. Go and read the interview for yourself. There’s a giveaway included! (Spoiler Alert: It’s JIM BUTCHER! No foolin’!)

Speaking of giveaways, five years is a big deal, and we’re celebrating in style. There are fantastic gift packages with all sorts of shinies in them, including some things that are specific to giveaways. That is, you won’t see them anywhere for sale – the only way to get them is to win them. Books! Gift cards! More books! Click on the pic to see what’s up for grabs and enter!

Giveaway Pic

The Light Returneth

And with it, my hibernation looms.

It’s going to be April here in a few days, you guys. APRIL. DO YOU KNOW WHAT THAT MEANS? It means tourists and light and all kinds of shit I really, really don’t want to deal with.

Tom Hiddleston You Have No Idea What It Does To Me

It means I will go to ground soon and wait for September to return once more. I really need to become a reverse snowbird and go south for the summer like the ski-people do. I need a “summer home” in New Zealand or Chile or somewhere so I can escape the hot season and everything it brings with it. I never want to know a day that’s over 60 degrees. (15.5 for you Celsius people)

Until then, I’ll have to content myself with my dark curtains and air conditioning to get me through the bright days ahead.

I have been convinced to make one public appearance before I withdraw from the evil daystar for the next six months. Special thanks to author K.L. Bone for her kind invitation to join her for booze and books at a local vineyard on April 2.

SPN Sam Books Without Pics

Bethany Vineyards of Ridgefield, Washington, is hosting the second annual Words on the Vine book signing on Saturday April 2nd at 2:00PM, and I’ll be there along with her and a few other authors.

Bethany Vineyards
4115 NE 259th St. Ridgefield, WA

Other attending authors are:
USA Today Bestselling Author Sarah M. Cradit
NY Times Bestselling Author Brandy L. Rivers
Pacific Northwest poet Shane Chase
Special Guest Greg Wilkey
Blythe Ayne

There will be some special shinies available at this event that are exclusive to signings and giveaways. That is, they are not available (nor will they ever be) for retail sale, so I hope to see you there.

Despite what it says on some of the promotional materials, I have respectfully declined to read from my work at this event. It will be a signing only for me, but there will be plenty of excerpts being read by the other authors there if you’re into that kind of thing.

Come join me in bidding farewell to the light!

Crow Pets Cat

Foundations of Stone

I admit it. I took the title of this post from a random song on my Pandora station, because believe it or not, I suck at titles. It’s true. I’m a writer and I suck at titles. We all have our burdens, and that’s one of mine.

It’s not the only one I’ve been chosen to bear, either. More on that in a minute. I’m going to cut here for those who might not want to read this, as it’s personal and highly sensitive in nature. There are things in this post that might be difficult for the more sensitive amongst you to read, so if that’s you and you want to read on, you’ve been warned. Put on your Big Person Underthings and cope. Here we go. Continue reading