some things I am afraid of

October 7, 2016

I’m not talking about fears like paying the bills or what will happen if Trump wins the election (no no no no no no no no no). I’m talking irrational, gut-roiling, never-leave-you fears.  Stupid primal lizard fears.  Here are some of mine.

Falling.  This only started a few years ago, and it’s really sporadic. I have no problems with natural drops, ladders, driving on mountain roads — anything where I’m in control.  But give me a sharp edge and a long drop, and I get really uncomfortable. Like the interior balconies at various DragonCon hotels.  I think, “I could just go over the edge. I could just do it.”  And then I kind of want to.  No no no no.  I stay away from sharp edges and long drops.

Accidental guillotining.  Strangely enough, I’ve encountered this in a couple of movies/TV shows now, Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries, and The Adventures of Adele Blanc Sec.  And I can’t get it out of my head.  How awful.  How truly horrible.  I mean, how does that even happen?  And that sound. The swish and thunk. Just no. I will be staying away from guillotines forever.

Mount Everest.  Ah.  This one.  This really is Death Mountain.  The Everest movie that came out last year was on TV a couple weeks ago and I tried watching it, and there’s a long expository lump where the cute doctor tells everyone all the horrible physiological things that can happen to them, against a backdrop of climbers hacking up gouts of blood because of pulmonary edema, and I had to turn it off.  I just didn’t want to see that.  Frozen bodies used as landmarks, extremities lost to skin-blackening frostbite, avalanches, horrorshow all around.  The thing is, there’s really no reason for people to be there, putting themselves through that, but ambition and hubris.  Seriously, no reason at all to be hacking up gouts of blood.  But there you go.  Hundreds of people do it every year.

Of all my irrational fears, this is the one I’m drawn to rather than repelled by. I keep reading about Everest. I watch shows about it. The horror of it — climbers at the edge of death making satellite phone calls to loved ones because they know they’re not going to make it, yikes — is fascinating.  And you know what else?  I kind of want to go.  Not to climb the mountain, god no, I’m not a mountain climber and I would so so die.  But I kind of want to go to Base Camp.  Just to see.  Just to encounter up close some of that crazy death-facing energy.

I could do it. Plenty of trekking expeditions go to Base Camp and no further.  It would still be rough — Base Camp is at 17,000 ft elevation.  But Colorado is an ideal location for training. I’m functional and comfortable at 10,000 ft (my average mountain trip around here).  I have hiking opportunities at 12,000 feet, and can get to 14,000 feet with preparation and planning.  Spend a year doing that, get my red blood cell count up, my stamina up.

I could do it.  I kind of want to.  Just to see that mountain for myself.


that feeling when…

October 5, 2016

…you keep trying to get back to normal and realize there is no such thing.  I’m still recovering from all the travel, putting out fires and tying off loose ends and still feeling like things aren’t quite under control.  I need a nap, I think.

But I have a WHOLE MONTH UNTIL the next thing, which is Mile Hi Con.  I’m hoping to get stabilized and then get rolling on new projects and such by then.

Oh, and the Longmont Theater Company is doing Bat Boy: the Musical, which I have wanted to see since forever so I’m going to make that happen.

A couple more things:

The Museum of Science Fiction is running a Kickstarter for the first of their take-away exhibits and anthologies.  They’ll be reprinting a story of mine if they make their goal.  Check it out!

Beneath Ceaseless Skies is giving away a signed copy of Amaryllis and Other Stories. Giveaway ends Thursday!


some new TV

October 3, 2016

A new TV season is starting.  Time to sort through it and pick what I’m going to follow for the next few months. I’m already behind.

Luke Cage:  I’ve still got a couple of episodes to watch on this. For the most part, I think it’s great.  Brilliant, even. One of the most visually well put together TV shows I’ve seen in a long time, and the music is to die for. It all comes together to convey a powerful sense of place and mood. Lots of great women characters as well.  But I’m finding it has the same problem as Jessica Jones:  the muddy middle.  About episodes 7 – 11 feel like they’re spinning wheels and treading in circles, and the characters have to be a little bit dumb to make it work. I’m sure the last couple of episodes will pick up, but there’s a bit of a slog to get there.  Hey Netflix, maybe these things ought to be 8 episodes long instead of 13?

Westworld:  A series “reimagining” of the 1973 movie, which inexplicably I don’t think I’ve seen. Only one episode so far, and it too is very stylish and visually intriguing. And so many horses, which is always a plus in my book, but I know terrible things are about to happen to them, because this is very, very violent.  They’re just robots so we can shoot as many of them as we want, right?!  The show reminded me a lot of Ex Machina in the themes it’s presenting:  what does machine intelligence look like, when does a robot become sentient and can you tell, and if a robot appears human enough, is it reasonable to continue to treat it differently than a human being?  Good science fiction so far, but I’ll be interested to see if they can maintain this, and if they have a story that’s actually going to go somewhere.


what my bad moods look like

September 30, 2016

It turns out I was in a pretty bad mood for part of this week, so I left the house and went out to get some air and burn off some energy.

This is what I came home with.  And I looked at the haul and went, “Holy cow, that really was a bad mood.”

But I started catching up on season 2 of Mr. Robot and I feel much better now.  How about that best actor Emmy win for Rami Malek?! So good!


always catching up

September 28, 2016

This has been an entire summer of running around having adventures and then trying to catch up between adventures. Not quite finished yet. I’m doing a round of clean-up revisions on Bannerless, plus making my niece’s Halloween costume, plus getting ready for winter, and so on and so on.  I have a dive trip scheduled for November, so maybe that will be when I finally let go of this low-grade worry I’m carrying around right now.  We’ll see.

In the meantime, I dipped into some reality TV and discovered that TLC found a way to make Toddlers and Tiaras even more awful than it already was:  break the kids into teams and pit them against each other.  Actually, it’s more like the mothers getting pitted against each other, resulting in a show primarily about grown women acting like 12 year old mean girls.  I kept asking myself:  Do these women realize that the whole point of this show is to make them look like horrible, horrible people?  Do they care?  Or do they genuinely think this is a path to fame and riches?  Because that path has worked out so well for so many other people, I guess?

A favorite saying among authors:  if I put this in a book, no one would believe it.


I’m back from Oregon and the premier of my very first play, “Simulation.”  Now there’s an experience to check off the list!  I had a great time, and only had a slight nervous breakdown a couple of hours before opening night.  “But will people like it!” I kept whining.  Then, during the performance, people laughed right when they were supposed to, at a joke I was afraid that only I thought was funny, and everything was okay from then on.

I got to see a dress rehearsal and all three performances, and took part in talk-back sessions after each performance. I’m so glad I was able to be there. The actors and director did a great job taking my work, interpreting it and making it their own, which is exactly what I hoped would happen.

So, all in all, this was a great experience and I’m grateful to the Linfield College Theater Department, Ty, Brenda, Janet, Rob, the actors, and director Chris Forrar, for making it happen.

Rob and I are already talking about what we can do next…


happy autumn!

September 23, 2016

First full day of autumn. The leaves are turning. The heater is coming on at night.

I’m not sure I’m ready for this.