Fighting The Bear

So, it’s been awhile since I’ve posted anything of real meaning here. (As in March of 2018. I told you, it’s been awhile.)

It’s not that I haven’t had things to say or stuff to talk about, it’s just that blogging hasn’t been a huge priority for me. Then 2020…

Let’s not talk about 2020.

I’m here today to talk about fighting the bear.

Once long ago I was talking to a friend about my annoying bitch of a disorder and how most people (50%) who have had MS as long as I have (15 years this year) develop a secondary type that is relentless. Over the next 10 years, that risk increases to 90%.

Now, we all know I’m evil and a fighter. No, not that kind. A literal fighter. Combat-trained, street brawler, knife fighter. It’s a long story, but I’ve said before my upbringing was unique. My first knife-fighting lesson was at age 6, and I loved it. But I digress.

Before this autoimmune nonsense, I was also a bodybuilder. Not the ripped Cory Everson type, but I spent a lot of time in the gym with weights and drinking protein powder. I still use some of what I learned from the Body-For-LIFE book back in the 90s. (I also have the Women’s version of the book and the cookbook.) I give my training and pre-diagnosis physical condition credit for how well I’m doing right now.

And I am doing well. You have no idea how lucky I am to be in the condition I am for this late in the game. Many, many others are in wheelchairs or are unable to drive or get themselves to the toilet. For all my limitations (and there are several; don’t get me wrong), I can still do those things. I need things like a shower chair and a cane to walk outside, but I can still feed and dress myself and hug my cats.

But one day, that won’t be the case. And when that day comes, that’s the day I fight a bear.

Fighting The Bear Art

Dina vs. The Bear by artist Doruk Golcu

Yes, that is me. My Friends of Awesome commissioned this custom piece of art from the amazingly talented illustrator Doruk Golcu. They gave the artist the gist of the scene (okay, a lot more than the gist; there were some specifics that the brilliant artist didn’t bat an eye over, proving he is One Of Us) and some procured reference pics of Yours Truly, collaborated with Mr. James, and surprised me with it for my birthday. I absolutely adore it. Beyond adore. It’s my desktop wallpaper, my iPad screen, and the framed print they ordered and sent to me will be hanging in my living room.

Here’s the reason I’m fighting a grizzly bear, and what the painting truly means.

As I told my Friends of Awesome, when I am diagnosed with secondary MS and am at the point where my quality of life has deteriorated to an unacceptable level, I will take my Tank Chair (because I’ve been promised, when I need a wheelchair, it will be Tank Chair) out into the wilds of Canada to knife fight a grizzly bear. A male one, at midsummer, just before he gets super fat for the winter but has had enough time from the last hibernation to pack on the pounds so he’s not starving. Now, I will either win the fight and return home dragging a bear carcass behind my chair, or I will lose and they will never find my body because Griz ate the tiny Goth girl who came for him with nothing but a knife.

That piece of art means more to me than you might think. It’s a huge metaphor for my daily outlook. Because every day for me is a bear fight. Seeing that painting on my desktop or my iPad or in the frame reminds me of who I am. I fight bears. There are some days when the bear wins, and some days I win. As time goes on, the bear will win more often, but as I’m fond of saying: today is not that day.


Some days, when just getting out of bed costs more spoons than I have, I remember I still have knives.

If this is your art, please let me know so I can credit you.

If I still have knives, I can fight. Maybe not as hard as I used to be able to, but I can still do damage. (And, in all fairness, my worst day is still better than many people’s best, so there’s that to take comfort in, I suppose.)

So why am I here, right now, blogging about knife fighting a bear? Because I said I’d tell the story behind the art. And that’s the story. It’s a gift from people who care about me that shows how they see me, even on my worst days. It helps me remember (because with MS, sometimes you need a lot of help to remember things, as it’s related to Alzheimer’s disease) that the bear fight is (probably) not this day. It’s been an uncomfortable week for me with my condition, and for awhile there I thought it might be time to find a bear soon. I did some Googling and found out the reason behind my bad week (here’s a hint: when the answer isn’t “you have cancer,” it’s “move your ass” AKA “get some exercise and you’ll feel better”), and I think (hope?) that I’m coming out of the spin I’ve been in.

Turns out, exercise really DOES help! But it’s a vicious cycle. When I feel like crap, I don’t move, and because I don’t move, I feel like crap. That means the only way to deal is to power through, but when you’re out of power, that can’t happen, so…yeah.


Now it’s late and I’m tired, but I have written a blog post, which is more than I’ve done in months. Not quite ready to fight a bear, but I’m working on it.

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.


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


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!)

Let Us Be Clear

I do not respond well to threats.


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.



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

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

I Come Into The Out Now

For those who don’t get the title, go see this.

IT’S SEPTEMBER! IT IS IT IS IT IS! I have my Scensty warmer going with a gorgeous scent (discontinued one…WHY?!?!) and am kicking back welcoming the start of fall.

It’s been an interesting few weeks. I had a little adventure with appendicitis and that’s over now. I’m fine – all is well. I’m sans appendix now, that’s all. But that’s neither here nor there. I have RANT FODDER to kick off my return to the darkness.

Cut here for length and those who aren’t ready for a Dina!Rant quite yet. Continue reading

Good With Ketchup

We interrupt the de-Gothening posts to bring you a special bulletin….

I want to give a disclaimer/warning here: this post is going to talk about abuse and other graphic things. There will be language and other disturbing imagery, so if you’re sensitive to that kind of thing, this post isn’t for you. Go read a webcomic or watch cute kitten videos on YouTube. This post is also going to talk about self-publishing, so if you have Strong Opinions on the subject, might want to skip it. This is your only warning. Continue reading

De-Gothening Update (Also, Asshats)

No pics, but here’s a quick update on what’s been going on with the Mundane Makeover:

– Utility room is 98% done. It’s been decluttered and cleaned. The only thing left to do in there is clear a high shelf, and that just involves a stepladder and a hand-broom.

– Workshop is at 50%. Decluttering is in progress. Dump runs have been made. So much stuff has been sorted.

– I am so fucking sick of totes and papers I could scream. I thought the beige paint was the worst of this de-Gothening thing. I was wrong. It’s the papers. Apparently our method of dealing with junk mail and anything that needed shredding over the last *mumblemumble* years was to shove it all in a tote or box and put it downstairs where we would “go through it later.” Well, guess what? “Later” is “now,” and I have vowed that THIS WILL NEVER HAPPEN AGAIN. EVER. NEVER. I have put the shredder by the front door (under the entryway desk so the cats don’t play on it, in theory) and am shredding the junk mail AS IT COMES IN. Every time I get one box or tote finished and think that’s the last of it, we come across another one. Talk about demoralizing. That battle rages on. (There’s a tote full of papers waiting for me in the living room as I type. I am cheerfully ignoring it for the moment. It will die soon enough.)

– We decided to paint the stairwell Fucking Beige Navajo Sand. It just makes a nicer transition and covers up this one area that just WOULD NOT take the white paint, despite the sanding and everything we did to prep it. So that’s done.

– The outside trim around the windows is painted, as is the garage door. It needed a couple spots touched up, and we had the paint, and one thing led to another…it looks nicer, now.

– Many runs to the storage unit have been made. I have some pics to share with you later on that.

– The yard sale plans are in full swing. The pile of sale crap is vast. I have price stickers and new fine-point Sharpies to battle it later this week.

Now for the asshats.


Seriously? Why? I mean, I know there’s a great amount of fun for some people in wrecking things other people make (because they’re douchebags and it gives them some sort of jolly to watch people clean up their mess, and these people are THE REASON WE CAN’T HAVE NICE THINGS), but seriously? Dude. Go play in the freeway, or with a blender. The fuck is wrong with you?

And that’s all I have for now.

Of Spammers and Asshats

Last night before heading to bed, I check my email. This arrived, subject line “Hi Dina, how are you today?“, along with the little paperclip icon that indicates an attachment.

Now, normally, I don’t even bother looking at such things. I don’t open emails with attachments, or with idiotic subject lines like that, but something…I don’t know what…compelled me to open it. Go on, laugh. I don’t mind.

Finished? Onward then.

Here’s the email [sic], with specifics redacted, as I don’t want to give any undue attention to this spamming asshat:

Here is a book that you might consider reading and reviewing for me.

I have just published < REDACTED > at 21000+ of mostly dialogue and very descriptive and erotic in nature.

I am working on another 2 series also ..
< conveniently provided links to Amazon and their blog >

Now, this email rubbed me the wrong way for various reasons. Mostly in the “Oh HELL NO YOU DO NOT SPAM ME WITH YOUR SELF-PUBBED BULLSHIT” way, but I’ve learned to let things sit for awhile before writing something in anger. So I let it be for a day, and wrote back today. Here’s my reply (again, particulars redacted):


I think perhaps this email has been misdirected, for surely it was not intended for me. I am a writer, not a book reviewer of any kind.

However, perhaps this email was intended for me. I noticed a few days ago you added me on Google Plus. It often happens that people add me there because they are friends or fans of my work, but it seems you have added me for another reason – because I have “writer” in my profile. With that in mind, let’s assume this email was for me. As such, I will address it line by line in reply. My responses will be in red (ETA: italics for this blog post) for your convenience.

On 4/15/2014 12:26 AM, < SPAMMING ASSHAT > wrote:
> Here is a book that you might consider reading and reviewing for me. Actually, no, I wouldn’t consider reading and reviewing it for you, as you have sent it to me unsolicited. This means “I did not ask you for it.” This is considered extremely rude in the writing community – it’s rude in general, known as the “hard sell” – and only serves to set you apart as an unprofessional salesman and alienate your target audience, which, by the way, I am not. Why would a paranormal writer wish to read and review erotica?

> I have just published < REDACTED > at 21000+ of mostly dialogue and very descriptive and erotic in nature. This sentence is incomplete. You have just published what? I am guessing you mean “book,” but at 21,000+ (I am guessing again here that you mean “words”), it’s actually a novella, which is anywhere from 20,000 to 50,000 words. Also, if all you have to say about this work is that it’s “mostly dialogue and very descriptive and erotic in nature,” you might want to look into how to pitch a novel. There are a hundred websites out there that will help you figure this one out.

> I am working on another 2 series also .. Here you conveniently provide me with links to your work. I cannot begin to describe the absolute rudeness and audacity of this action. Not only have you sent me your work unsoliticted (some refer to this practice as “spamming”), you have also shown me where to purchase your work, with three links to various incarnations of Amazon, and one to your blog, ostensibly so that I may keep up with your progress because I am bound to be so enthralled by your work that I will wish to keep tabs on you. As I said…this is beyond rude.
> < POPULAR BLOGGING PLATFORM LINK REDACTED > Really? And you want me to take you seriously as a professional author? Also, “< REDACTED >” is synonymous with “basic,” which you might want to look to in you’re not of a mind to call the intelligence level of yourself or your audience into question. FYI.

Then, after all of this, you attach a free PDF copy of your work for my reading consideration, in the hopes that I will not only read it, but review it for you as well. < REAL NAME >, I don’t work for Fiverr. I will not be giving you a review of any kind, ever, for anything. You have just guaranteed that with this email. I will, however, remember your name, and know to steer clear of you from here on in. (All links are broken to get around spam filters, because I want to ensure you get this email, so take out the spaces and replace [dot] with a period.) [ETA: link restored for the purpose of this blog post)

With this email, you have just done the complete opposite of what you hoped to accomplish. You have ensured that I will never, under any circumstances, have anything to do with you or your work. Now, maybe this is an innocent error. Maybe you just read on some idiotic self-publishing site or forum that this is the way to do things/get sales/promote yourself. Listen to me very carefully – THIS IS WRONG. This is very, very wrong, and you are only hurting yourself as a writer by doing things this way. This, by the way, amuses me, because you refer to yourself being somehow above other writers in one of your Amazon reviews. My views on self-publishing aside (which you would know, had you actually investigated who I am instead of just mining G+ for writers), your behavior is exactly what gives self-pubbers the reputation they have.

If you want to ever be taken as a professional writer of any sort (and there are professional erotic authors out there), you will stop this idiotic spam attachment campaign immediately. Most people will delete this kind of thing without reply. I have taken time out of my evening to answer you, in the hopes that you will educate yourself and stop being such an ignorant douchebag asshat. (Again, if you’d bothered to investigate me at all, as I’ve done with you, you’d know I am an evil bitch who does tolerate bullshit like this from anyone.) Please be advised that I will be writing a blog post using this email (with details redacted, as I won’t be giving you any kind of promo whatsoever) to illustrate what NOT to do as a writer. I thank you in advance for your shining example of douchebaggery. I am also as of this moment blocking you on G+ because of this email.

Here are a few links of my own in return for those you kindly provided me (again broken to get around spam filters):
[ETA: Links restored for the purposes of this blog post – they were originally broken in the mail]

On “the hard sell.” Please read this and pay close attention to it –

On wordcount –

On how to be a professional writer –

How Not To Be A Douchebag Author (bookmark this site and keep an eye on it – it’s full of writing advice weekly, though they are on hiatus this month)-


P.S. It’s spelled “Vader,” not “Vador.” His Lordship would Forcechoke you for your misstep. Though I suppose it’s better than “< OTHER USERNAME REDACTED >.” Are you seeing a pattern here, < REAL NAME >? The Internet is forever, and Google is an amazing tool.

Dina James
Chronicler of the Paranormal

Spamming Asshat didn’t take too kindly to my reply. They wrote me back with various – I can only call them “illiterate,” despite them considering themselves a writer, as they clearly have no reading comprehension whatsoever – threats and comments, culminating in them posting the above email, my address and all, on their own blog. I’m not really sure what that was intended to do. Show I’m a bitch? That’s kind of obvious.

All I did was call them out on their spamming. They did the rest. I won’t repost the threats and other charming responses this individual sent, but thought I’d put this here as an example for other self-published writers of what not to do.

Hear that, writers? DO NOT SEND YOUR STUFF TO RANDOM PEOPLE UNLESS THEY ASK FOR IT. See the links above. (I’ve restored them so they work for this blog post.) DO NOT SEND YOUR STUFF TO PEOPLE YOU HAVE NOT RESEARCHED. They could be someone offended by your work, or an evil bitch like me, or not a fan of self-publishing, or whatever! Research people before you send them anything. This spamming asshat just mined G+ for anyone with “writer” in their profile and sent them their book out of the blue FOR NO REASON OTHER THAN TO GET REVIEWS/GENERATE SALES. This is SPAM. DO NOT DO THIS.

And so, as promised, here is your cautionary tale about spamming people with your shit.

The end.

ETA April 19: Apparently our lovely spammer did indeed follow through with their threat to spam their mailing list (which is looking like it was collected via mining social networks for certain keywords), as I’ve heard from a writer previously unknown to me that they were spammed with my name and reply mail. So there’s that.

It has also come to my attention via a friend that our dear spamming asshat has ragequit the internet. Checking the folder I filtered any of their future spam to, they had indeed sent me the same message this blog post from a book reviewer details wonderfully – So, despite “threatening” to remove me from their “friends list,” they apparently kept me on it. Big shock there. This “threat” *cough*butthurtragequit*cough* was apparently true as well, though. Their webpages and profiles have indeed been deleted, as well as both of their blogs, and the links to their books are no longer working. I guess I wasn’t the only one to tell them to call them on their asshatery.

Dina’s Holiday Rant 2013

I’m starting to (yet again) see posts in various places about “keep Christ in Christmas” and “Jesus is the reason for the season,” so it’s clearly time once again for Dina’s Holiday Rant. It wouldn’t be Sithmas if I didn’t rant about the holiday season, now would it? I’m a little late ranting this year, as I’ve been a little busy with other things. But, better late than never, right?

This was originally written/posted December 5, 2009 on my Livejournal. It’s still applicable, so I decided to dust it off, shamelessly copy and paste, and update it to post again. This is apparently going to be an annual thing, this rant.

Read at your peril. Feel free to repost/forward with credit to me as the author. Continue reading