October 9, 2015
I’ve been home for over a week now, you guys! What am I gonna do with myself?! It’s so weird!
I’m going to actually get some freaking writing done is what. That feels so good.
In the meantime, it turns out I’ve been talking about Babylon 5 so much that a friend of mine just went and got me a set of badges so I’ll go make the damn uniform already:
Geeks are so easy to shop for.
October 7, 2015
The Universal Trouser Constant (UTC): The little-understood physical force existing in superhero stories that ensures that no matter what happens to the person wearing them, their pants will always fit.
(I’ve been re-watching some MCU movies (Age of Ultron out on DVD now!), and it isn’t just the Hulk that this applies to. Seriously, keep an eye on those pants, y’all.)
October 5, 2015
I’m still on the “clean the house and get rid of stuff” kick. Complicated by the fact that my parents and grandparents are doing the same thing and keep dropping off more boxes of stuff. I can’t remember when I started but clearly this is going to take years. On the other hand, I managed to get rid of an entire box of books! Maybe there’s hope!
If I spend a half-hour a day tidying for the next month, I think I can make a dent. Not that my house will actually look cleaner, but I’ll feel better.
I need to knit something right freaking now. I haven’t knitted anything in over a month.
Why haven’t I started knitting something? Because I spent last week making my niece’s Halloween costume:
Emmy and her dad have been reading Zita the Spacegirl, and so that’s who she wants to be this year. I obliged. I’m pretty proud of this one. It’s the first accurate cosplay I’ve attempted for someone else. And it’s TINY. So adorable. I can’t stop giggling.
October 2, 2015
The weather is changing. It’s cloudy. I need to get to yoga class because I haven’t been yet this week. I keep re-doing my to-do list rather than actually, you know, getting things done. The list keeps growing. Especially writing projects. I need to finish something before starting something new. People keep asking me, “What are you going to work on next? What are you excited about?”
ALL OF IT. I’m excited about all of it.
And I also need to clean house and sew Emmy’s Halloween costume and. . .and. . .
Baby steps, grasshopper.
September 30, 2015
I’m having a bit of a to-do list crisis. This is what comes from being gone for about half of September. And now September is over, and maybe I can finally get back to work. Until I get my head back on straight, here’s a post to tide you over. So during all the hullabaloo over various Moon Things over the weekend, a bunch of werewolf-related stuff came up on Facebook, which lead to me writing and posting this:
Kitty and the Full-Super-Bloodmoon Thing
“So what are we expecting to happen?” Ben asked.
“Same as any other full moon. . .but more so,” I said. “I’m kind of hoping we all spontaneously break into a synchronized lip-synch of ‘Day-O.'”
Even Shaun gave me an annoyed look from across the clearing. So I guess that only sounded like fun to me.
We were at our spot in the national forest up in the mountains, all of us in the pack, waiting. The place — a clearing by an outcrop of granite, surrounded by miles of pines, usually felt like home. Any other full moon night the pack would gather, and as dark fell we’d shed our clothes. As the moon rose our skin would sprout fur, our bones break and stretch, our four-legged selves taking control. We’d run, we’d hunt — wolves, summoned by the full moon.
This night, however, we nervously waited and watched the sky.
“Supermoon,” Ben said, arms crossed, squinting through the trees. The moon — full, silver — was just starting to rise. “So we should all get x-ray vision or be able to fly or something.”
“Listen to you,” I said. “Like turning into a wolf every four weeks isn’t enough of a superpower.”
He frowned, clearly dissatisfied. “You’re right. Not enough superpower.”
“Well, next time get bit by a radioactive spider instead of a werewolf.”
He gave me this look like he couldn’t tell if I was joking.
People kept asking me: supermoon. Blood moon. Did anything change? Was it all different? I didn’t know why everyone was worked up. The supermoon happened when the moon’s orbit brought it closest to earth — a pretty regular occurrence. The lunar eclipse happened whenever the Earth came between the sun and moon — another pretty regular occurrence. Even both together happened every thirty years or so. I had to be honest — the philosophical underpinnings of the whole thing weren’t at the forefront of my mind when my fingers were sprouting claws and my mouth stretching to fit a predator’s set of teeth.
Which they were about to do right now. My skin itched. I flexed my fingers. Elsewhere in the clearing, others of the pack were stripping down while their backs arched and a sheen of fur grew down along their skin. Ben and I watched our pack, and a shadow took a crescent bite out of one side of the moon.
“It’s time,” he murmured.
I felt it, too. The animal inside of me pressing at the bars of her cage, waiting to break free.
But there was something else. Something. . .kind of tingly. Weirdly, I felt more relaxed, when this time during a full moon I ought to be feeling more than tense, like my body was ripping apart.
Then I saw Becky in the shape of her sandy-colored wolf charge across the clearing, stumble, and roll over on her back, paws batting at the air, tongue hanging out the corner of her mouth. Shaun’s dusky wolf sat nearby, teeth bared, face pointed upward — almost like he was laughing.
Ben watched, squinting. “Does that look kinda weird to you?” He spoke slowly–his words were almost slurred. I couldn’t really focus on what he was saying. Claws sprouted from my fingers. I was Changing. But the whole thing felt kinda. . .blurry.
I looked at Ben, and both of us starting laughing. The laughs turned into lupine whines.
“I think we’re drunk,” I managed to gasp out.
“So. Less Blood Moon and more ‘nice dry, merlot moon’?” Ben said, and it was the last thing he said, because his body slipped and the Change washed over him. His wolf emerged — teeth bared, laughing.
I was about to follow. And you know what? That was all right.
September 28, 2015
If I may indulge in a little TV literary analysis. I think I mentioned I’m rewatching Babylon 5. I’m about halfway through season 2. I might also have mentioned that one of my favorite TV shows of all time is Captain Power and the Soldiers of the Future, an obscure one-season wonder kids show from the 80’s. I was fourteen when it aired, and the show had a huge impact on me creatively.
I mentioned this because the story editor and head writer of Captain Power was J. Michael Straczynski, creator of Babylon 5. I make an argument that Captain Power was something of a dry run for Babylon 5 — maybe not intentionally or consciously, but you can see Straczynski trying out ideas that would come to fruition in B5: an ongoing science fictional storyline with a plot that builds from episode to episode, an ensemble cast of close-knit characters who all have rich and diverse backstories. An ethos that values peace over war and is continually determined to show the destructive cost of warfare. It’s unusual to be able to track common literary impulses of a single creator across TV shows and/or movies because they’re usually so collaborative, but I think this is one example where it’s possible. (Another is Joss Whedon and his talent for writing stories about broken people coming together into emotionally close-knit teams, and his reliance on impalement as a plot device.)
Then there are moments where the ties between the two shows are a lot more obvious. Like how both shows have ultraviolet clearances, and how CP character Tank comes from a genetic engineering program called Babylon 5.
And then I’m watching B 5 and suddenly think, “Wait a minute, that scene looks really familiar.” Which leads to this:
This is destroyed San Diego from B5 Season 2 Ep. 6, “Spider in the Web:”
This is destroyed San Francisco from Captain Power Ep. 1, “Shattered” (I tweaked the brightness a bit because the original was really dark):
And taking screen caps in order to do a side by side comparison may very well be the third nerdiest thing I’ve ever done.
September 25, 2015
Just a quick announcement: On Monday, Sept. 28, I’ll be at the Fall for the Book festival in Fairfax VA, speaking on a panel about urban fantasy. My third east-coast visit this year! Check this link for all the relevant info.
And then, September will be over and we’ll be on that fourth quarter slide to the end of the year. I keep telling myself I’m going to make all the holiday presents this year. Better get started…
Happy Autumn Everyone!