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.

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

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

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

New Year, More Vampires

It’s 2016. It’s also halfway through January, which means your New Year’s resolutions should be wearing a bit thin by now. Well, I’m here to help those of you who resolved to read more books, and those who wanted to add more vampires to their life.

You all know I’ve given into peer pressure (translation: “Skyla made me do it.”) AND how I feel about self-publishing. However, in response to those wishing to purchase my work, I have agreed to offer my previously-published short stories for sale in a new format. (I justify doing this by telling myself and being assured by others that it’s not really self-publishing because these stories have been previously commercially published, so this is a re-release rather than self-publishing. GO WITH IT. I NEED TO BELIEVE THIS IN ORDER TO LIVE WITH MYSELF/THIS DECISION I FEEL SO DIRTY OH MY GOD.)

Anyway.

Here is the final volume of Legends of the Destrati (formerly published in the Mammoth anthologies and my Light In A Dark World collection, so if you’ve already read those stories, there’s nothing new for you here).

This volume features the last two stories, “Redemption” and “A Hope and a Prayer,” plus a bonus story, “Unmasked.” The shiny cover was done by the lovely tyrant enabler Skyla Dawn Cameron of Indigochick Designs, as was the formatting of all the necessary files. Because she rocks. Go use her for everything you need done digitally. She’s amazing and worth every penny.

That’s all the shiny I currently have planned. The year is young, though, and we all know how much I enjoy getting up to no good. For now, enjoy your 2016 with the beautiful and enigmatic Kyle.

Dina’s Holiday Rant 2015

Cups? Really? People are seriously upset about some imagined slight to their beliefs by a coffee chain’s holiday cups? SERIOUSLY? If you are one of these people, YOU ARE PART OF THE PROBLEM AND THE REASON WE CAN’T HAVE NICE THINGS! Now, sit down! I’m going to beat some sense into you with this little thing I call a clue bat. (Okay, it’s not that little.)

There is no “War on Christmas.” There never has been, but every year people lose their tiny little minds over the holiday season. This year it started early with the stupid red cups. And, right on cue, the “keep Christ in Christmas” and “Jesus is the reason for the season” posts are out in full force (I found out earlier this year that a local bakery I do not, have not, and will not ever patronize keeps a sign to this effect up all year. Please see above about being part of the problem.), so even though it’s way earlier than I usually post this, it’s clearly time for Dina’s Holiday Rant. It wouldn’t be Sithmas if I didn’t rant about the holiday season, now would it?

This was originally written/posted December 5, 2009 on my Livejournal. It’s still applicable so I will 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