Reinforcements Needed

If you follow me on Twitter, you probably already know about this because I have awesome, evil, enabling powerful friends.

YouCaringDina

You can click the image link to get the whole story, but the gist is I need help with a vet bill in the thousands. That’s where reinforcements come in.

Uh…you’re the reinforcements. Well, your pennies are. Dimes, too. Quarters if you can spare them. It’s not even a tip jar I’m putting out here, it’s a collection plate.

Help Me I'm Poor

As the graphic above says, though – don’t think this is all for nothing. I’m offering cool stuff in return for your assistance. (And don’t forget I offer a brutal critique service for writers as well!) The fundraising site gives you space to explain what you’re about, so head on over there for the whole story so I don’t repeat myself.

I Need Help Penny

Thanks in advance for your help. If you can’t help out with pennies, a signal boost would be just as appreciated. I have awesome friends, fans, and family, and you all know I hate beyond words asking for help, but this isn’t about me. This is for my animals.

I Solemnly Swear I Am Up To No Good

So…there’s this…thing. It’s not really a SEKRIT thing, it’s just a…work in progress thing. My enabler handler friend Skyla Dawn Cameron has a project coming out soon [Patreon link: PAY UP, BECAUSE SHE IS MADE OF WIN] and has, despite both my better judgment AND willingness to participate in such shenanigans (who am I kidding? I’m always up for shenanigans!), convinced me to join her in its fruition. (She has a knack for doing this – she knows what buttons to push/tribute to offer.)

I can’t say much right now, as it’s still in development, but once the details are hammered out, I will share it with you.

I am up to no good. There will be vampires involved.

Can’t Talk, Resisting

2016 was a hell of a year for many reasons, not the least of which was the United States Presidential election. Now I’m not going to say much here, because I still despise politics [This went on way longer than I thought], but I will say this:

RESIST, MOTHERFUCKERS. Make no mistake – this is what tyranny looks like. This is what fascism looks like. NONE OF THIS IS NORMAL. Bigoted Nazi assholes being appointed left and right with zero Senate confirmation, people being fired because they won’t enforce illegal orders (huh…why does that sound familiar? I guess they should consider themselves lucky that they weren’t hung in the town square on public television, but baby steps, amirite?) on and on and on and on. And we’re only 10 days into this shit.

SPN Not Cool

It’s easy to compare things we don’t like to Nazis. But the current administration (not duly elected, but that’s another issue) is straight up, self-admitted Nazis, and yes, you should be worried.

Hate Nazis

More than that, you should be angry. It doesn’t matter what side of the political spectrum you fall on (unless you, yourself, are an actual Nazi as well, in which case you are the problem being discussed here and need to leave before somethin’ bad happen to you.), this affects you.

Punch Nazi

This bullshit travel ban thing? Yeah. That applies to me, to my overseas friends wanting to visit, to anyone and everyone living here or who wants to leave here.

No, this is not alarmist rhetoric, and no, it will not all work out in the end. As I said in one of my previous posts, I am on the list of undesirables. I am broken, mouthy, and intelligent, and these are all things the current administration wants to be rid of. Next up, they’ll be getting rid of the internet and other social media, because those are tools used to fact-check, scrutinize, call bullshit on, and organize the resistance.

If you think this doesn’t affect you, you are wrong. Even if you live in some remote area, or another country, you are wrong. I could provide you link after link of stories around the world showing how this shit-show is affecting everyone, but I’m not your fucking mother and you can find out this shit for yourself if you bother to look.

If you can bear to look.

SPN Dean hands a tissue

The UK is protesting Orange Fuckwit’s planned visit and petitioning Parliament to refuse him a state visit with the Queen. China is gearing up to nuke us (also, we owe them a shit-ton of money, and they could call in their loans any second and we’d be shit out of luck, because who do you think is going to pay for that?). Canada just had a shooting at one of their mosques by some fucking ignorant white supremacists asshole (IN CANADA! CANADIAN!) who is a supporter of Douchnozzle McTinyhands of the Towers.

alien-chestburster-scene_o_GIFSoup.com_

As I said, I could go on, but you don’t need me telling you which way the wind is blowing. I’m posting this now because there’s a better-than-average chance I won’t be able to before the year is out. These are dark times. This isn’t a game or a joke or one of my stories. This is real life, which is stranger than any fiction.

My household and those of my extended family on both sides runs almost entirely on money from the government. We are military, and former military, and retired military. We are public servants and disabled veterans. Someone you know besides me depends on their Medicare, Social Security, the Affordable Care Act, and other programs put in place to support those in need. Those who have served.

This isn’t about Republicans and Democrats. This is about the humane versus the inhumane.

Now you all know me. I don’t have a lot of respect for humanity as a species, but injustice and bullying and cruelty don’t fly with me. The current administration is nothing but a bunch of outright liars, thieves, con artists and bullies. I will fight them with everything I have, which granted isn’t all that much these days. I’m little and broken and will still fight. And I will win.

Misha SPN Fuck You

Fight with me.

Do not be silent. Do not cower in your homes, hoping the coming storm spares you (hint: it won’t). This is happening. You want it on your feet, or on your fuckin’ knees?

Is it all too much for you? Here. Read this, take a breath, make a cup of tea, watch an episode of your favorite show, get back to the fight. Everyone needs a cookie now and then.

Cats laser pong

But get back to the fight. Here, I wrote something to help you all clarify things.

My personal holy book says the world will end in fire. While I’m not convinced this Tangerine Menace is the Beast, I have to admit the description is fairly accurate. After all, even the experts are breaking with tradition and calling him out on his absolute fuckwittery.

Someone needs to remind this little fascist wannabe dictator that he and his fucking cronies are (TEMPORARY!) public servants and work for us. WE pay their salary, and we will not let our country (OUR PLANET) be stripped of fucking everything so he can live in his gold-plated tower and look down on us like some bad 70s dystopian movie.

So that’s all for now. I’m still alive. However, that may change in the coming few weeks, especially if I can’t get my medication thanks to Douchenozzle’s next idea pulling assistance from veterans. I could (and very likely will, but I hope not) lose my home as well because we won’t be able to make the mortgage if he pulls their pay for whatever fuckwit reason he comes up with to “keep Americans safe.” (WE ARE NOT PAYING FOR YOUR FUCKING WALL, ASSHOLE!)

burning car

RESIST, MOTHERFUCKERS!

P.S. Yes, I’m still writing. It’s amazing, but I am. So there’s that. I will write until I die. You want more stories, it’s in your best interest to fight with me and make sure I stay alive. Just sayin’.

(Comments closed because I don’t want to engage in a debate. There’s nothing to debate. Your arguments are fucking invalid and RUSSIA STOLE OUR ELECTION IN ORDER TO BRING ABOUT THIS NIGHTMARE. FUCK YOU!)

Holiday Season 2016

I didn’t post my usual holiday rant this year for various reasons. Mostly apathy. Seriously. I have run out of fucks to give this year. Not that I have all that many to begin with, mind. So, yeah.

It’s been a hell of year, and I’m done now. We got the Sithmas tree up, but thought it best to decorate with lights and topper only given that Wyrd Cat (the now year-old kitten who joined the household this June who was born without one of her eyes and has only about 20% vision in the existing one) is both a climber and intensely curious about everything, especially shiny things (she can see light and movement, so sparkly things are her favorite).

So far she’s only disturbed the tree a little bit. Next year (if there is a Sithmas next year, given the current political situation…I don’t know…EVERYWHERE), we may put ornaments on it. This year, though? The tree with lights is plenty good enough. That’s honestly all the holiday spirit I could muster, and you all know Sithmas is my favorite holiday. Here, have last year’s as a reminder of what we usually do:

Beige-Sithmas-1

On that note, whatever you celebrate this time of year (or not! No judgment here!) – Christmas (Christian or not), Mawlid al-Nabi (Muslim), Chanukah (Jewish), Yule (pagan), Kwanzaa (African) – have a Happy, Merry, or Blessed.

Here’s hoping 2017 isn’t as much of a shit-filled Twinkie in a dumpster tire fire.

And before anyone asks, yes. I’m still unsafe to be around. SHE WAS MY FRIEND.

You know how there’s these supposed stages of grief? Yeah, those don’t apply to me. I have been viciously wounded, and pain makes me angry. (All right, fine – I realize “anger” is a terribly vague word to use to describe me, because that’s my default setting. This is a little different.) I have…interesting responses to pain. By “interesting” I mean…uh….

Yeah. I’ll come back when I’m able to drink tea with another person again. That might be awhile*.

Anyone who is stupid enough to think (let alone say aloud in my presence) “she was just a cat,” I refer you to John Wick.

bee-eye-color

See you all sometime in 2017. Provided, of course, there is still an Internet. All things considered, we’ll probably be nuked by China sometime in January.

*comments still closed

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 {ETA: 12/2016 – found it.], 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.