Wednesday, October 07, 2015

Loss, Acceptance (and the Lack Thereof)

My aunt Camilla died.

She was one of my favorite people on the planet, unfailingly kind and supportive, always cheerful, and just an all-around great human being.

She was ninety-one.

And by the end, she was failing, and it was hard.

But I already miss her so much.

She was such an amazing human being.

And her husband is devastated, as is my mother, her sister.  But being very private people, they are dealing with it privately, and quietly, which is how they want it.

It is sad for me to realize that my parent's entire generation is rapidly passing on, leaving me and mine as the elders who are supposed to have the wisdom.  I'm NOT READY.  Wisdom?  You have got to be kidding me!  What wisdom?

I remember my mother telling me a long time ago that it's weird how you don't feel like you're getting older--you just notice how old the "kids" are getting.  She was SO RIGHT. My body keeps telling me that "Yoo hoo, remember me?  I've been around a while now.  You might not want to try some of that stupid shit you used to do any more.  I'm not willing to put up with it."  I don't really regret having done the stupid shit--but every morning the arthritis in the various joints I've injured pokes and prods me.

And I'm sad.  A lot of the time now is being spent on goodbyes.  And while I truly believe in an afterlife that is better, and in an Almighty who is kinder and considerably more forgiving than most of us (a) believe and (b) deserve, I also miss the friends and family who are gone.

There is a very old joke that a man goes to heaven, gets through the gates, looks around and is STUNNED by who he sees there.  He's speechless.  And St. Pete turns to him and goes, "Yeah, I know.  They didn't expect to see you here either."

I spend much of my life being very driven.  I have so much I want to accomplish.  I have goals, and I strive very hard to meet them.  Some I reach quickly.  Some will take me a lifetime.  But in all the rush and push to go, go, go--I sometimes forget to rest, and enjoy the moment, and treasure the fact that I have wonderful people and animals in my life, people who have taught me about laughter, loyalty, and courage in the face of adversity.

I've had a great life thus far.  People like my Aunt, and my Father can take a lot of the credit for that.  I never once doubted that I am loved.  (Although sometimes I admit I've not been all that lovable).  And knowing that is a bedrock foundation that allows me to be who and what I am.

I have experienced many things (still no wisdom though--but I'm working on it).  And those experiences, good and bad, and the people who took part in them, taught me things about life that make it possible for me to be a writer--to show others shaded, nuanced realities and tell stories about people who aren't just cardboard cutout figures.

I could go on, but, being driven (and looking at the clock), I realize that I only have a few minutes before the day job starts.  So I move on, diving into yet another day, that blurs into weeks, months, and even years.  Seriously, I don't remember the past three years.  They went by that fast.  It's terrifying.  Because if I don't experience the now why am I here?  I need the now.  Yes, the future is important too--but it isn't promised.  The past is gone.  It can only serve as a source of experience if I'm willing to learn the lessons.  Now is it.  I need to remember not to waste it on BS.


Sunday, September 13, 2015

I'm Not Sure

There are so very many things I am not sure about.
But I am sure I love my son, and my family, and friends, and pets.
I'm sure that I do my best, even if it often doesn't seem that the best I've got is enough to get the job done.
I'm sure that I've never been sorry to have done something kind--and am constantly beating myelf up about the unkind things I did that I didn't need to.
I am sure that being kind and good are seriously unfashionable.  But they are very important.
I have noticed that people equate goodness with weakness, but I've found it's MUCH harder and takes more strength to be good in the face of a world that is often harsh and cruel.
I don't know where this post is going.  I'm not sure.
But I will keep going, and doing.
Because that's the point of life.
Until it is over.
And then . . .
Well, we'll see.


Thursday, September 03, 2015

So much stuff . . . .

I am going to have a long weekend this weekend.  This is a VERY good thing.  THERE IS SO MUCH STUFF that needs doing.  Edits.  Writing on the next book.  Finish the class I am taking.  Household painting and repairs that DESPERATELY need doing.  Cleaning.  Paperwork.  I am so incredibly overbooked that it's crazymaking.

But I'm happy.


A.  Because I've got this crazy career that is keeping me so busy, and which I love.  Seriously, they pay me to tell stories and pay with my imaginary friends.  How can that be ANYTHING other than a spectacular win?

B.  I have a home that I can tend to.  So many people don't.  And I love my little house.  I wish it were in Denver.  But the house itself is awesome.  And I actually enjoy painting and doing some of that sort of thing.  I LOVE having a product where you can actually see the difference when you finish.  There's a sense of accomplishment with even the little things like WOOT -- I FIXED THE TOILET.  I SO ROCK.

I know.  A little over the top.  But still, it makes me happy.  And I'm big into doing things that make me happy right now.

Okay, gotta run.


Tuesday, August 11, 2015


Lifetime learning is important.  Reading is important.
Okay, I am about to preach to the choir.  I KNOW that the people who are likely to read this blog post are readers, otherwise they wouldn’t be interested in anything I have to say.  But I am going to say this anyway.

FIRST – Reading teaches empathy. It gives us practice getting into someone else’s head and POV, making us think about things that we might not have considered in our normal life, helping us view situations that we would never have otherwise experienced.

I have never been a black man.  But by reading mysteries with EZ Rawlins and other characters, I’ve had the opportunity to be shown inside the thinking of a black man and to experience the prejudice that was a part of his everyday life.  It gave me understanding that, I hope, made me more considerate than I might otherwise have been.

That’s just one example. 

SECOND – Reading teaches us things.  Okay, that sounds stupid.  But bear with me.

When my son was very little (and I mean VERY, since he was reading before he ever got to kindergarten), we were talking in the car and he said he wanted to know everything.  So I told him.  “READ.  If you learn to read, and read well, you can learn anything.  Because everything we know is written down somewhere.   And even if it is written in another language—someone’s written down how to learn that language.  You want to know everything?  The way to do it is to learn to read.”  He hasn’t stopped since.

I believed it then. I believe it now. 

THIRD – READING IS ENTERTAINMENT, cheap, accessible entertainment that doesn’t even require electricity.  People were reading LONG before we had electric lights.  And I sincerely hope we’ll be reading far, far into the future when the light bulb is just a quaint memory.

Can’t afford cable (or dish, or internet?).  Find your way to the library.  There, at your fingertips, is entertainment on the grand scale, available FREE FOR THE ASKING.

But I worry.

Because reading is becoming tres unfashionable.

Seriously, people are given shit for reading.  Even with the turn of the culture and the rise of the geek, reading hasn’t “caught on.”  I was told by a woman at my job that she was “stunned” people would pay me to write books because “she doesn’t have time to waste reading.”

Seriously?  She has time to shop and cruise the internet.  But reading, feeding the brain, is a waste of time?  WOW.  Just WOW.

We are supposed to take in our information in bits and bytes.  We’re supposed to be VISUAL, soaking in flickering images from a screen.  If we read, we’re to do it electronically.

There are studies that show how many people don’t crack a single book after they graduate high school; or college; or whatever.

It makes me sad.

It also scares the crap out of me.

People need empathy.  Look at any of the news feeds and you can see that.  People also need to get their information from multiple sources.  (Including, my friend, Wikipedia).  They shouldn’t trust a single news source as being unbiased.  They should ask questions and keep learning. 

Because the world doesn’t stop moving forward.  Things change daily.  You need to keep up.  And reading, whether on the page, or on a flickering data screen, is the best and easiest way to do that.

People need to ask questions—not just be led blindly by the most charismatic, handsome guy or gal on the screen. 

Hitler was charismatic.  So was Stalin.

I may not love every bestseller that hits the top of the list.  But it brings me joy that they do.  Because it means that SOMEBODY is reading.  And when something like the Harry Potter phenomenon hits, I crow with absolute delight.  Because an entire generation of people remembered that reading is also, at it’s core FUN, EXCITING, and ENJOYABLE.

End of sermon.  Stop reading this.  Go, pick up a book.


Monday, July 06, 2015

Life can be very good.

Life can be very good.  It can also be a pain in the ass.  Then there are those days, weeks, and even months that are both.

I am grateful for so many things in my life that it's actually hard to count them all.  On the other hand, I get very tired of people blaming me (loudly) for things that truly have nothing to do with me.

But I am making the choice right now to let go of all of that crap, just let it go and concentrate on all of the wonderful things that are just ahead for me.

Seriously, I have so much to be excited about.  I can't tell you yet--but hopefully I can come back to you in 30 days with an update that will knock your socks off.

In the meantime.  Be well.  Be happy.  Read lots of books -- preferably mine!

Friday, June 12, 2015

Still not back on track

Hi Guys!

Okay, I've been home 2 weeks and life still isn't close to back to normal.  It is AMAZING how behind a little travelling can get you.

Still, I had a wonderful time on both trips and am now going to post some pics from the con.  (For more, see my website:



Saturday, May 30, 2015

Welcome to May


Welcome to mid-May.  Life has been wild.  Last weekend was Mother’s Day weekend and I got to spend it with my family, including MY mother and my son.  J  Extreme awesomeness ensued.

Big trip to the Fan Expo Dallas/ComiCon in Dallas May 29-31. 

I am VERY excited.  Look for this banner to find me and other awesome authors.  (Say those last two ten times fast).  I will take pictures and maybe (if I master the new video camera) video.

ALL YOUR WISHES is with the editor.  THE EXILE is doing well.  I am working on THE RESCUE which is the tentative title of the next Fae book and am also working on PATIENCE MY ASS.  Much fun.  Very busy.

SO, that said, I’d best get back to it.  Take care of yourselves. 

Happy reading!


I am having an adventure!

First off.  I want to give my condolences to those who have suffered catastrophic losses in the recent flooding.  It is amazingly horrible what has happened, and appears may continue for a while yet.  What is happening to me is merely awkward, which is why it is simply an adventure to be approached with energy and creativity, not a crisis or disaster to be coped with in horror.

That said:

I am very glad I have good friends who can help me through awkward times when flights are delayed, things are lost, broken, and I wind up in the wrong place at the right time.

I will be at the Convention today, and I will have a wonderful time.  I will use my brand new (as in bought yesterday) selfie and video camera.  I will hopefully see lots of good folks and sign lots of books, laugh long and mightily (as I did at dinner last night with said friends) and have one of the times of my life.

Now the lightening is crackling overhead.  So I am off the computer for the nonce.