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Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Fear, Aiming Low and Saying Yes

It’s been a long time since I was face to face with so much fear that I started to romance the idea of aiming low just to return to comfort.  It’s a very strange part of my personality.  I don’t fear failure. Failure is easy.  Failure for me is really just not succeeding to the degree that I could.  My version of failure is aiming for the low end of mediocre, just good enough to prove to myself that I could do more but not enough to actually put me in a position where many other people might notice that I could do more.  It’s a constant battle for me.  I’ve gotten better about it over the years as I’ve gotten more consciousness around it.  But I still resist success.  I will tell you why I am not the right person for whatever it is you think I could do (job, design, story, project, etc), I will then tell you who would be right for this thing and then most likely I’ll go get them interested in it for you and set up a meeting for the both of you.  Then I will go back to my life where I am slightly dissatisfied with it all but extremely comfortable.

I really, really want to say no to the opportunities that are presenting themselves to me. 

I am actually hoping to be turned down so I don’t have to deal with change.

I am trying to convince myself that I don’t want or need what these opportunities would bring to me and my family.

But I’m not saying no today. 

Just for right now, I’m trying to remember that when my answer is YES, the Universe will send me down the best path possible for me.

So I am uncomfortable and filled with fear and just doing the next indicated thing...and I’m saying yes.

Posted by Miss Bliss on 09/10 at 11:03 AM
Essay - Non FictionComments closedPermalink

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Excessive Force

Here’s what I know about excessive force.

If a woman gets beaten up by a man and she pulls a gun on him and shoots him six times, regardless of why or which way he was facing or what he was doing at the time...she will go to jail, probably for life.  No, self defense won’t keep her out of jail.  No, self defense won’t make her sentence any shorter.  She will be charged with a degree of murder with a deadly weapon.

That’s what I know about excessive force.

Posted by Miss Bliss on 08/21 at 10:15 AM
Politics - OpinionGeneral OutrageComments closedPermalink

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

LOCKED

If you are interested in reading the Locked Blog (and you are not a family member of mine or a co-worker) you are welcome to email me and request the log in info.

Posted by Miss Bliss on 04/29 at 11:38 AM
LockedComments closedPermalink

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Grand Traditions

As many people have noted over the years grief isn’t a one-time moment.  It isn’t something you only experience in the days and weeks following someone’s death.  So as time passes you have these somewhat unexpected moments where grief washes over you triggered by some memory.  A song, a scent, a location, most anything really.  I haven’t written much about my Dad since he died in December.  Not really sure why but I figured if I had things to say they would come when they did…today seems to be that day. 

I was reading an article in Oprah magazine, like you do on Saturday morning when you’re eating your Cream of Wheat and feeling rather superior to all the people you know are having pancakes.  There was an article by a woman about how she and her Mother developed a shared love of ballet.  In the opening paragraphs she made the comment that her mother didn’t necessarily want a ballet dancing daughter as much as she wanted someone to go to the ballet with her and share her love of it.  Then she went on to say that her Dad, “in the grand tradition of Dad’s” refused to go.  That’s when it hit and my eyes filled with tears. 

See my Dad was the ballet fan in our family.  Well, in truth he loved dance and theatre in general.  But ballet was special for him and for me once he took me to see it.  My Dad was a musician in his younger years and he loved social dancing.  He taught me how to swing dance, a little, nothing like the folks who do it really well these days.  But the way kids did it when they were making it up…kids like my Dad and his cousin Helen in the mid 40’s.  Helen taught Dad how to dance.  Now the real kicker was that after WWII Dad was effectively crippled by a devastating infection in his hip joint which when all was said and done left him with one leg three inches shorter than the other one.  But that never really slowed him down much, even on the dance floor.

Dad thought Fred Astaire and Gene Kelly were absolutely magical people.  I tend to agree but they were magical people who worked harder than a stevedore to appear that magical.  Dad loved musical theatre because he was amazed at the way any one person could act, sing and dance up on stage, right in front of you.  He understood the pressure of live performance and what an amazing experience it was to sit in a red velvet seat while a whole stage full of people performed obvious feats of magic with their faces and voices and bodies.

But the way a ballet company actually seemed to defy both reality and the laws of physics left him absolutely filled with wonder.  He took me to see my first ballet when I was about 8 years old.  It was the American Ballet Theatre doing Giselle.  By this time in my life I was a pretty seasoned theatre goer.  Dad and I arrived early so we could go through the program and he could explain to me how you “got” the story when no one sang or talked.  Any trip to the theatre was thrilling to me and of course a special trip with only me and my Dad was spectacular.  Once the curtain went up I honestly have no idea what his experience was because I was completely transported to another world.  I have no idea who was dancing but it didn’t really matter in that moment.  All that mattered was the magic of the ballet.  I couldn’t stop talking about the ballet all the way home.  Dad knew he’d hooked me and from that point forward, if it was at all possible, whenever ABT came to town we would try to get tickets.  I remember seeing Don Quixote with him.  I remember seeing an evening of divertissements that unexpectedly included Mikhail Baryshnikov instead of the expected Peter Martins.  I remember his stories about watching The Bolshoi do Swan Lake while he was in the Soviet Union in the mid 70’s while working on the joint U.S.-Soviet space flight.  That was my Dad, when in Cold War Soviet Russia he managed to get a ticket to see the Bolshoi. 

So today I’m thinking about the grand tradition of my Dad…which involved a helluva lot of ballet and me.

Posted by Miss Bliss on 04/19 at 11:24 AM
Dad StoriesFamilyEssay - Non FictionComments closedPermalink

Wednesday, March 05, 2014

Whiskey and Self Pity

(From Razor Girl)

The hell of this moment was that she couldn’t stay drunk for more than about thirty minutes at a time and that took a monumental amount of whiskey.  Lucy had been giving it the old college try though ever since Rick had freaked out when he found out about her transformation.  That was right after she rescued a bunch of kids, killed her adopted brother and a good portion of his pack and proved to have some freaky heretofore unknown Were power that scared the shit out of everyone.  That power was thwarting her efforts to get blind drunk.  Sam and Miri had both given up for the time being, letting her drink her way through it.

She heard a car door slam out front and looked up blearily as someone pulled the door of the screened in porch open.  Greg Brice stepped in with an odd look on his face.  Whatever.

“What do you want Brice?”

“A drink.  From all accounts you purchased all the whiskey in the county so your porch is the only place a man can a drink right now.”

“Well alright,” she snarled and reached down for an unopened bottle sitting in the case of booze next to her, “here, take a bottle and get the hell out of here.”

He took the bottle, “Now Lucy you know I can’t very well walk the streets of town with an open container.  I am nothing if not a law abiding citizen.  Besides what would Mama-G say if I was caught drinkin’ in the daytime on the street?”

“Um, the bottle isn’t open.”

His eyebrows shot up in surprise, “Well I’ll be danged, you’re right.” Then he quickly twisted off the top and chugged down a healthy amount of whiskey.  “WHOOOOOOEEEEEE!  Now THAT is some fine gulpin’ whiskey you got there darlin’.  I thank you.  But now the bottle is open and I have started drinkin’ so I’m afraid I’ll have stay here on your porch for a spell.”

Lucy rolled her eyes, “A ‘spell’?  Who the hell are you?  Rhett Butler?”

“Don’t disparage my colorful downhome manner of speaking.  I am a true son of Levy County Florida.  My grandmother has a goofy nickname, I fry mullet in a coffee can on my back porch and I have killed snakes in my yard with a hoe.” Greg sat down in the rocking chair next Lucy and took another hit off the bottle, though a much more conservative one this time.

Lucy almost did a spit take on the mention of yards, hoes and snakes.

“Greg you live with Mama-G and her “yard” is about five acres of perfectly manicured grounds.  If you took a hoe to any part of it, snake or no snake, she would tan your hide.”

“Tan my hide? Tan my hide?  Now who do you think you are? Some escapee from the Ya-Ya Sisterhood?”

Suddenly the little bit of humor that had started to animate Lucy’s face evaporated as she took another hard pull from her bottle, “Naw.  The Ya-Ya’s don’t let murdering monsters join their little afternoon bourbon parties.”

Greg tilted his head to the side and squinted at her without saying anything, just stared until Lucy started to get pissed off.

“WHAT?”

Greg shrugged, “I was trying to see if the self-pity was actually going to seep out of your pores along with the booze.”

Lucy’s eyes filled with tears and she gasped, “Fuck you Brice.”

Greg was on his feet jerking her to her feet with his hands on either side of her head, so close she could smell the whiskey but under that she smelled the scent of his intense fear and worry. 

He glared into her eyes, “I am not having any more of this woman.  I have stood by while you dated assholes, while you dated decent guys I was terrified would take you away, while you battled your enemies both actual and imagined and while you forged yourself into a diamond hard warrior.  But I won’t stand by while you hate yourself.  You will NOT do that to the woman I love.” With that he kissed her, hard and changed everything.

Posted by Miss Bliss on 03/05 at 11:56 AM
Creative WritingComments closedPermalink

Friday, February 21, 2014

Five Years Ago

Five years ago she died.

Five years ago I got a phone call no one should get and God knows no one should have to make.

Five years ago I took a shaking breath and wondered how it was possible that it didn’t happen to me when I was her.

Five years ago I remembered it all, the fear, the anger, the arrogance, the wild abandon, the fear.

Five years ago another teenager slipped through our fingers as her family and friends clutched and grabbed and did everything they could think of to keep her here until the fear, anger, arrogance, wild abandon and fear could pass.

Five years ago the door slammed on all the stories she was gonna write.

Five years ago her mother was handed a child shaped rock of loss that she will carry for the rest of her life.

Five years ago she died and I’m still so fucking sad and mad.

Posted by Miss Bliss on 02/21 at 10:01 AM
YearlyComments closedPermalink

Wednesday, February 05, 2014

Just a little posting test…??

There was a little tinkering under the hood required here at the Bliss Blog...so I’m just taking it for a spin around the block to see if it’s all working.

xoxo

Posted by Miss Bliss on 02/05 at 02:17 PM
General StuffComments closedPermalink

Friday, November 22, 2013

Blogger Write Thine Own Blog

So I clicked over to the blog of a favorite writer this morning and saw, once again, that she had not updated her blog since last August.  I whined quietly to myself.  Then got a little pissy and actually considered sending her a message whining directly to her about her lack of blogging any news for us fans.  Then I thought “Well that just sounds rude Bliss.  You have no idea what is going on in her life and she doesn’t owe you shit. On top of all that you got alotta nerve woman considering you haven’t updated your blog since...since...OCTOBER?  OUTRAGEOUS!!!!”

Yeah, so I’ve been sucking at the blogging and all sorts of other writing responsibilities.  I’ve been making some progress on my WIP as a result of NaNo but there will be no NaNo Winning this year.  Just too many things going on this particular November.

All that to say I have no room to be whining about someone else not blogging really on any day for any reason.  People get to live their lives however they do, including writers I like and want to hear from, so there.

On the writing front for me I’ve decided to change something in my WIP that is making it all come together much easier.  I was trying to force a Voice that wasn’t natural for the piece or for me right now.  My research also turned up some interesting details that added some really awesome richness to the overall plot and added a character that I think is going to have a big part further down the road.  So...there ya go. 

Hope you are all getting ready for whatever you do for Thanksgiving.  We make a bunch of food, don’t get out of our jammies, and relax as much as possible.  I hope yours is as enjoyable as ours usually is...xoxo

Bliss Out.

Posted by Miss Bliss on 11/22 at 08:33 AM
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Thursday, October 17, 2013

AMMC Story Submission - Days End

This is for the AMMC: A Merry Minion Christmas.  You can find the rules here.
You can find links to all the stories here.

Title: Days End
Genre: UF
Author: Mona Bliss
eBook: Yes

He gently lowered his bulky aging body into the beach chair and put his ice cold beer into the chair’s cup holder.  His soft white feet stretched out before him clad in tourist store flip flops.  The sun felt like warm honey all over his body as slowly the nights work eased out of him.  For the last few years this was where he finished up, Australia, on the beach with a beer.  The first year he did it he only stayed for an hour or so, just long enough to drink a beer at the beachside bar.  The next year he just couldn’t resist taking his boots off and getting his tired old feet into the warm scratchy sand. The year after that he bought a whole set of beach clothes, got a chair and some sunglasses and spent hours baking the exhaustion and cold out of his bones.  That was the year he made friends with Ruby the bartender.  She was the only one there who knew who he really was.  She kept his beach stuff for him so he could change when he arrived. 

But even in his disguise people had a hard time leaving him alone.  He glanced to his left and saw a lovely young woman sunbathing on a towel.  She looked over at him and smiled, he nodded pleasantly and then leaned back in his chair and closed his eyes.

“Excuse me, I’m sorry to bother you, but you look just like Santa Claus.  You wouldn’t happen to be him would you?” she asked with a mischievous little smile.

He turned his head in her direction, lifted his sunglasses and squinted at her saying, “Why yes Ginny I am and unless you want to end up on the Naughty List for the next ten years I suggest you stop lying to your Mother about Sunday dinners, stop sneaking off at lunch for quickies with your boss and stop stealing office supplies every time you get mad at him for being married.” Then he closed his eye and started to softly snore.

The startled young woman jumped up, grabbed her stuff and ran off the beach.  Suddenly the old man felt a shadow over him and opened his eyes in irritation only to face Ruby from the bar.  She looked irritated at him.

“WHAT?” he said defensively.

“You did it again didn’t you?” she said as she sat down in the sand next to him handing him his basket of fries.

“Well they shouldn’t ask if they don’t want to know.”

“Ya know Kris, nobody really wants Santa Claus to call them on their shit.  They like you better as an idea than a reality and I have to deal with the fall out every time you do that little trick. So knock it off or your wife is going to hear about your little “delay” getting home and your ass will be ice cold North Pole toast.  You get me?”

Kris completely ignored her as he slowly chewed the delicious fried potatoes, licking salt and grease from his fingers.  Ruby shook her head and got up saying, “Wave when you’re ready for another beer,” and she walked back up the beach.

Posted by Miss Bliss on 10/17 at 09:46 AM
Creative WritingComments closedPermalink

AMMC Story Submission - A Dark Night At Canters

This is for the AMMC: A Merry Minion Christmas.  You can find the rules here.
You can find links to all the stories here.

Title: A Dark Night At Canters
Genre: UF
Author: Mona Bliss
eBook: Yes

Canters was a little bit out of his usual neighborhood but sometimes you just needed a bowl of matzo ball soup with a side of fries.  So that’s why he was sitting just outside the Kibitz Room when the trouble started.  Mike was bathing his matzo ball in broth when the sounds from the Kibitz Room changed in both tone and vibe.  The music slowly morphed into haunting Celtic music.  Mike paused, spoon suspended in the air.  Then he frowned as the scent of evergreen floated out of the bar along with the sound of quiet weeping.

Mike closed his eyes and sighed.  Couldn’t he have just one freakin’ Christmas Eve without some disruptive invasion from the damn North Pole?  Suddenly, Jimmy, the bartender from the Kibitz dropped into a chair next to Mike and put his head down on the table, shoulders shaking with quiet sobs.  Mike heaved another huge sigh, patted Jimmys shoulder saying, “Stay put, I’ll fix this.”

Mike pushed into the bar where he was met with ground zero of total misery.  Everyone in there was a mess of hopelessness.  Two big tattooed guys sitting at the bar stared into their drinks, tears pouring down their faces.  A woman near the jukebox slid out of her chair to the floor, arms wrapped around her knees.

Christmas Eve represents the dark night before the rebirth of the light.  But it all depends on which side you choose to focus, the long dark night or the coming of the light…these characters were leaning dark apparently.  Mike stalked right up to the front of the “stage” and glared at the players with his arms crossed.

They weren’t the usual booking for the Kibitz…being Elves and all, a redheaded girl on the fiddle and a blonde girl on mandolin, a blacked haired guy on bodhran and a red haired guy on concertina.  Their eyes were closed in concentration.

Mike cleared his throat and all eyes popped open in shock.  They looked uncomfortable until the red headed fiddle player said nastily, “What?  This is none of your business Mike.” Mike squinted his eyes and took one step closer to the little red head.

“I’ll tell you what Siobhan, this is the second year in a row that Klan Kringle has disrupted my Christmas Eve.  I’m getting pretty tired of it.  Now I don’t mind a visit from you folks now and then but when you turn a perfectly good bar in a perfectly good Jewish deli into a swamp of despair and misery then it becomes my business.  So here’s what that means, you either turn this around right now or I will send you home.  You won’t like the way I send you home and you know it.”

The blonde leaned down with fear in her deep blue eyes, “Mike, please, you don’t understand.”

“Maybe I don’t Aoife and I’d be happy to sit down with you and find out what’s going on, but not until you stop infecting people with your darkest night despair and that narcotic evergreen stink.” Mike took a step back and glared at all of them, “You have exactly to the count of three to change your tune.  One…Two…” Suddenly the drum, concertina and mandolin changed to an upbeat jig.  The fiddle had to follow or sound like a fool.  The red head pouted but played appropriately.  Mike pointed to his nose and soon the air smelled of crisp fresh snow of all things and the energy in the bar changed radically.

Soon everyone was sitting up straight and soft smiles were forming.  The woman on the floor was helped back to her chair by her friends.  Everyone looked a bit puzzled but mostly just relieved to be feeling better.

The players ended the song saying, “We’re going to take a break now folks.” The crowd actually clapped for them.  Mike rolled his eyes, the Irish Elves have always been able to make humans love them in spite of the misery they bring.  The band followed Mike out to the dining room.  They sat and Mike gave them a hard look.

“So what the hell guys?  This is NOT like you.”

Siobhan was sitting with her arms crossed refusing to look at him and her brother sat next to her staring at the table, obviously embarrassed and miserable. 

But Sean, the dark haired guy spoke up, “Mike they both just left us there.  Kris and Loretta had it out at the beginning of the month.  Screaming and going on about him on the beach in Australia and her causing trouble here in L.A.  They calmed down and talked about it, but didn’t say a word to any of us.  So we got him off for the night and then we realize that Loretta left us a note saying she’s spending the next few weeks in the Bahamas.  She knows what the Lapland Elves do to us when she’s not there.  But she just leaves a freakin’ note?  Ya know…whatever, go ahead and send us back, Merry F’ing Christmas!” He sat back in his chair, bitterness twisting his handsome features as he fought the tears that were filling his eyes.

Just then the waitress walked up with her pad, “Would you folks like to order something?”

After a slight pause Mike smiled at her, “Yes! Yes we would…four bowls of matzo ball soup and four sides of fries and five cokes.  We’ll also need five little bowls of mayonnaise with those fries.”

Siobhan looked up surprised as did her brother and Sean, but Aoife just smiled. 

Then Mike added, “Oh and can you bring some of that really hot horseradish sauce too?”

Siobhan grinned and Mike gave her a wink. 

“Later we’ll be ordering ice cream sundaes.”

Both girls hooted with joy at the mention of ice cream and the guys laughed in obvious relief.  The waitress shook her head at their antics and headed for the kitchen.

When the cokes arrived Mike lifted his in a toast, “To the coming of the light and spending a dark night in a warm Jewish deli on Fairfax with good friends and matzo ball soup.” They bumped their plastic glasses and shouted, “Slainte”.

Posted by Miss Bliss on 10/17 at 09:38 AM
Creative WritingComments closedPermalink

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

AMMC Holiday Story Submission - What’s Good For The Goose…

This is for the AMMC: A Merry Minion Christmas.  You can find the rules here.
You can find links to all the stories here.

Title: What’s Good For The Goose…
By: Mona Bliss
Genre: UF
eBook: Yes

Ruthie skidded to a stop by my table saying, “Mike she’s at it again.  You gotta get her out of the bar.  Everyone is about to start taking their clothes off.  You know how I feel about that hippie shit.” Ruthie is the bartender at the Hi-Brow which is just down the block from the Denny’s where I keep my office hours.  She’s not easily spooked and doesn’t usually need help no matter who walks into her bar…except for one person who only shows up in L.A. on Christmas Eve.  I grabbed my coat and threw some bills on the table. 

“Jilly I’ll be back later.” Jilly, pouring coffee for a customer, waved to me as we ran out the door and down Hollywood Boulevard to the dingy black bar with the neon sign of a martini glass tipping over onto the street.  Ruthie stopped at the door and looked at me, “I’m not going back in there Mike until you get her under control”.  I sighed and pushed through the heavy door into a bar full of mellow Grateful Dead/Phish type mayhem.  Everyone was in varying states of undress and hugging and kissing on each other.  Some seriously dirty dancing was happening out on the dance floor.  One guy was up on the bar doing this very sleepy slow striptease.  I finally spotted her sitting in the booth in the back watching the room with a delighted smile on her jolly face.  I stalked through the crowd, pushing people away as they tried to pull me into their stoned euphoria, straight to her table.  She looked up at me innocently. 

Loretta Claus is a handsome plump woman of later years with beautifully styled snowy white hair, rosy cheeks, sparkling blue eyes and strangely modern glasses perched on her adorable little nose.  Tonight she was dressed in a stunning red suit with a plunging neckline and matching three inch high peep toed heels. 

“MIKE!  How lovely to see you.  Won’t you join me for a drink?  We’re having such a lovely time here tonight.” She held out her hand to me as her eyes twinkled.

I tried to glare at her but it’s hard to glare at someone who smells like baking cookies and candy canes.  “Loretta, I told you the last time you did this that if I caught you doing it again I was gonna tell Kris.”

“Oh pish posh…Kris is busy circling the world bringing joy to all the kiddies.  If he’d come straight home when he was done I wouldn’t be here but as you and I both know he’s in Australia laying on a beach drinking beer.  So what?  I’m supposed to stay in that frozen wasteland while he’s on a BEACH?  Screw that!” She threw back what was left of her drink and looked over at the bar which is when she realized Ruthie wasn’t there.  She eyed me suspiciously, “Ruthie went and got you didn’t she?  Where is that girl?  I swear this time I’m gonna put her on the Naughty List for sure.”

I leaned down putting both hands on the table in front of her getting nose to nose with her, “Lo’ if you want another drink in this town anywhere you better knock this crap off right now.  This place stinks of cinnamon, butter and caramel pheromones.  These people are all high on supernatural sugar and you are about to get 86’d out of the last bar in L.A. that doesn’t just slam the doors shut the second they see you walk up.” She pouted and started to make some excuse but I pushed in a little closer and said very softly, “You know it’s worse if I turn it off for you Loretta.  Just do it.”
Suddenly the air in the bar cleared.  No cookies.  No candy canes.  People slowly came to their senses and depending on what they were doing they either rushed out of the bar or simply kept going.  I stood up, “Now if you’ll behave yourself I’ll buy you a drink and we can catch up the way old friends do.” She tried to continue to be mad at me but the promise of another Appletini won out.

Ruthie came back in as soon as she saw people rushing out of her bar.  She went straight to the register and was about to close the place down. 

I headed to the bar, “Hold on Ruthie, it’s all over and while I know it’s hard to have much sympathy for her when she does this she really doesn’t have anywhere else to go tonight and no one to be with.  So what do ya say we cut her a little slack?  You keep the bar open and I’ll stick around until it’s time to send her home.”

Ruthie closed her eyes and took a deep breath, when she opened her eyes she said, “Mike you OWE me for this one buddy.” Then she reached under the bar and pulled out a bottle of nice champagne, popped the cork and yelled, “MERRY CHRISTMAS CHAMPAGNE FOR EVERYONE ON THE HOUSE!” Everyone cheered and she poured two glasses for me first.  I turned and smiled at the plump older lady who was beaming and fluttering her sparkling blue eyes my way.

Posted by Miss Bliss on 10/16 at 07:17 AM
Creative WritingComments closedPermalink

Monday, August 19, 2013

A-Z Book Survey

Well all the cool writer kids are doing it and I wouldn’t want to miss my chance to give into some literary peer pressure...so here’s my list.

Author(s) You’ve Read the Most Books Of:

Anne McCaffrey, John Steinbeck, Neil Gaiman, Andrew Vachss, Lawrence Block, Mercedes Lackey, William Gibson, Roger Zelazny

Best Sequel Ever:

This one is tough as I read lots of series...but I think Dragonsong is a lovely book by Anne McCaffrey.  Also Count Zero by William Gibson.

Currently Reading:

Kill City Blues by Richard Kadrey and White Trash Zombie Apocalypse by Diana Rowland

Drink of Choice While Reading:

Water, always only water.  Except in the morning when it’s coffee.

E-Reader or Physical Book:

Both, but I’m in LOVE with my Kindle.  I have a teensy little instant gratification issue.

Fictional Character You Probably Would Have Dated in High School:

Random from the Amber books by Roger Zelazny

Glad You Gave This Book a Chance:

East of Eden by John Steinbeck, turned out to be my favorite book of all time.

Hidden Gem Book:

The Silent Gondoliers by S. Morgenstern AKA William Goldman

Important Moment in Your Reading Life:

The first reading of East of Eden by Steinbeck and Synners by Pat Cadigan

Just Finished:

Wrong Ways Down by Stacia Kane

Kind of Books You Won’t Read:

For real terrifying horror...yeah I’m looking at you Joe Hill.

Longest Book You’ve Ever Read:

Well I tried desperately to read Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell but failed because OMG GET ON WITH IT ALREADY.  Maybe Dune...honestly no idea.

Major Book Hangover Because Of:

All the Downside Ghost books by Stacia Kane.

Number of Bookcases You Own:

Seven and holding thanks to e-books.

One Book You’ve Read Multiple Times:

I re-read a lot...but probably Dragonsinger has had the most reads.

Preferred Place to Read:

Everywhere, but I do love my comfy reading chair.

Quote That Inspires You:

Lee’s hand shook as he filled the delicate cups. He drank his down in one gulp. “Don’t you see?” he cried. “The American Standard translation orders men to triumph over sin, and you can call sin ignorance. The King James translation makes a promise in ‘Thou shalt,’ meaning that men will surely triumph over sin. But the Hebrew word, the word timshel—‘Thou mayest’— that gives a choice. It might be the most important word in the world. That says the way is open. That throws it right back on a man. For if ‘Thou mayest’—it is also true that ‘Thou mayest not.’ Don’t you see?” - John Steinbeck

Reading Regret:

Twilight - I read it so I could explain to my 15 year old goddaughter exactly WHY there was better vampire fiction out there...but man it was torture.

Series You Started and Need to Finish:

Too many to list or even remember which is part of the problem.

Three of Your All-Time Favorite Books:

East of Eden by John Steinbeck, A Wrinkle In Time by Madeleine L’Engle, Beach Music by Pat Conroy

Unapologetic Fangirl For:

Cory Doctorow and Neil Gaiman

Very Excited for This Release Over All Others:

The next Downside Ghosts book by Stacia Kane and Kinslayer by Jay Kristoff

Worst Bookish Habit:

Buying books LONG before I can around to reading them and then buying more. 

X Marks the Spot – Stop at the Top Left of Your Shelf & Pick the 27th Book:

Two Plays for Voices by Neil Gaiman (it’s actually a recorded book, the two stories specifically written for spoken word and they are both wonderful)

Your Latest Book Purchase:

Possession: A Greywalker Novel by Kat Richardson

Zzzzzzz…. The Last Book That Kept You Up Way Too Late:

Kill City Blues by Richard Kadrey (just last night, probably will again tonight)

Posted by Miss Bliss on 08/19 at 08:18 PM
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Thursday, July 11, 2013

Mid-Week Blues Buster - Living A Good Life

This is my entry into this week’s Mid-Week Blues Buster Flash Fiction competition.  The song is great...check it out.

Lucy stood outside the fancy restaurant, nervous and a little uncomfortable.  She didn’t dress up much and while she knew she looked good, this whole evening felt completely surreal.  Her date was parking the car. 

Her date.

That was just weird on a level she couldn’t really get her head around.  Then again the last nine months had pretty much been one surreal moment after another.  She turned to check her reflection in the plate glass windows.  The dress was an early 50’s style, fitted in the bodice with a full skirt.  She was actually wearing a crinoline under the skirt because Miri insisted if she didn’t the line of the dress would be ruined.  Lucy was sure she was right but still felt a bit like she was in a costume.  Even the cute peep-toed sling backs felt too…specific?  It just all felt too outfitty and Lucy was starting to doubt the wisdom of this entire evening. 

Then she heard a wolf whistle to her right.  She turned her head to see her date walking towards her with his hands in his suit pants looking like God’s gift to women.  He was a lean man with red-blonde hair and the fair complexion of a red head and muddy blue eyes.  It was his nose that Lucy loved the most about his face.  It had been broken years ago and it took him from looking like a prep-school ass to looking like a man, a man who had been through some shit and was still standing.  Every time he told the story of how that nose got broken it changed, a riding accident, a college football game, a street fighting ring, a pub brawl in Ireland, and so on.  But Lucy knew his Dad had given him that nose when he was 16 years old.  That was when Greg went to live with his Grandmother, Mama G.  For years Greg was just…Greg.  But now, now everything was different.  Now he took her breath away.

“You are the prettiest woman to ever stand in front of this place and that dress should be on a controlled substance list because seeing you in it has my head spinning.”

Lucy grinned, “You’re looking pretty sharp yourself Mr. Brice.”

“Why thank you.  Mama G picked out this suit special for tonight.  She said I had better show up looking my best because I was damn lucky a woman of your caliber was willing to be seen in public with me.”

Lucy laughed, “I always did like Mama G.”

“Shall we?” Greg pulled the door open and they stepped into the cool dark entryway of the most expensive restaurant in Ocala.  The Hostess smiled at Greg, “Hello Mr. Brice, we have your table ready if you’d like to be seated.”

“That would be perfect” Greg said graciously.  He turned to Lucy and put his hand on the small of her back indicating she should precede him through the bar after the Hostess.  Lucy was distracted by the biggest damn aquarium she had ever seen outside of an actual, well, public aquarium where they charged you money to see it.

But Greg saw the dark haired man sitting at the bar.  He caught sight of Lucy as she walked by and his mouth fell open in surprise and shock.  Then he saw Greg.  He saw Greg’s hand on Lucy’s back, slightly possessive, perfectly respectful, clearly claiming.  They moved on to their table with a great view of the aquarium.  Once Lucy was seated with her menu Greg excused himself for a moment. 

He walked back to the bar and up to the dark haired man.  Greg didn’t say anything, he just waited.

“So you’re the reason she won’t take my calls.”

“No, Rick, she won’t take your calls because you’re a narrow minded judgmental ass, you blew it.” Greg turned to look the guy in the face, “I’m the reason she’s smiling and I intend to make damn sure she keeps on smiling.” Rick looked like he’d been punched in the gut.

Then Greg grinned all the way back to the table where Lucy sat in the blue-green glow of the aquarium.

Posted by Miss Bliss on 07/11 at 01:21 PM
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Monday, July 08, 2013

Yep…even when you say shit like that…

If you haven’t heard about Justin Carter then you need to read about him right now.

I’m going to start off by saying this is nothing at all like yelling FIRE in a crowded theatre.  I’ve spent a lot of time in crowded theatres and I know exactly how literal that old saying is and what actually happens...immediate, direct and provable harm is committed.  People have DIED as a direct result of someone screaming FIRE in a crowded theatre...it’s not metaphor...it’s literal.

I’m also going to point out something that everyone over the age of Nineteen should know...people OFTEN say the stupidest shit imaginable at that age.  I used to respond to every joking insult with “eat me”.  Eventually if anyone said anything I didn’t like or agree with I would respond with “eat me”.  Not exactly appropriate when talking to your freshman comp professor, even when you’re joking around with her.  She knew Nineteen year olds said stupid shit without really understanding that it was stupid...she pointed it out to me.  I stopped doing that.  I told everyone to “fuck off” on a regular basis and eventually my favorite and constant response to a bad or miserable situation was to describe it as “sucking dead wet baby bears”.  There was a time I was fond to telling people to get “fucked in the neck” and to “eat shit and live”.  The mouth on me was certainly lovely.  It’s not a whole lot better now except I am much better at determining when it’s appropriate and when it’s not.  That would be a result of getting sober and managing to live long enough to gain a little maturity and perspective.

Did this kid say something really offensive and stupid?  Yes he did.  Is it something that his peers and family should have given him shit for saying?  You bet.  Did they have the chance to do that?  Nope.  Because the AUTHORITIES stepped in to declare that his stupidass comment presented an “ imminent and likely threat”, which according to the Supreme Court is the ONLY time free speech can be curtailed by the Government. But I’ve yet to see ANYTHING showing that this comment presented any kind of imminent or likely threat.  The point of Free Speech is that your free to do it...even when you say shit like that...you have a right to say it and type it and offend EVERYONE.  You don’t have a right to do it.  There was absolutely NO INDICATION this kid was going to DO anything.  As a matter of fact he indicated, just like everyone does online, that he was “LOL” Laughing Out Loud and “JK” Just Kidding.  Talking smack but making it clear that was all he was doing.

Hyperbole is a part of language.  It’s REALLY a part of trash talk during video gaming.  Trash talk...not my favorite thing to be defending considering that it’s turned against women gamers with a viciousness that makes me start to feel fairly violent myself.  But the question here is when does language becomes felonious?  When is what a person SAYS or TYPES so dangerous that they must taken off the streets of our cities because they are a danger to our society?  Now we have tolerated some really heinous speech in this country because we have a protected right to freedom of speech.  It’s vital and important.  So when we throw a nineteen year old kid into prison for saying something so clearly stupid and filled with hyperbole I think the State may have missed the mark at the very least.  I also think everyone should start to be very afraid because they are likely to be up next.  That’s how the erosion of rights happen, that’s how the outlawing of speech and thought start.  As Neil Gaiman said “… if you don’t stand up for the stuff you don’t like, when they come for the stuff you do like, you’ve already lost.”

I find the whole thing reeking of yet another effort to appear that something is being done about gun violence when in truth there is just something being done that limits freedom of speech.  Because let’s face it actually doing something about gun violence that involves dealing with access to guns, ammo, mental health care and so on isn’t high on any ones list in this country.  It’s too difficult, it’s too complex and it involves yet another situation that will leave everyone feeling like they didn’t get enough of what they wanted.  So everyone just avoids it all and puts on fucking Criminal Court Theatre like what has happened to Justin Carter and his family.

This young man should have been investigated.  His house searched and his computer searched.  Both of those things should have been done by people who remember what it’s like to be nineteen years old and mouthy and stupid and arrogant.  Both those things should have been done by people who can tell the difference between an idiotic amount of bullshit and a serious threat.  No weapons were found in the house.  As far as I’ve been able to determine there is no history of mental illness in this young man.  He has had no previous run-ins with the law.  Now maybe there is something that isn’t being reported here.  If so I’d like to know it.  Because I don’t think American citizens should have to worry about being incarcerated for being stupid.  I wish there WAS some sort of punishment for that but I don’t think it should be incarceration.  It should be more along the lines of having to attend endless classes in etiquette and ethics and community responsibility and the entire history of human thought and philosophy.  But I digress.

There is only one person in this country that if you threaten to harm that person it is an automatic felony…that is the President.  That is as it should be.  But recently even when someone has been stupid enough to do that online the fact that the guy who did it was stoned and did not have the means to truly kill the President meant that he did no jail time, paid a reasonable fine, got put on probation and while all that was being decided he was let out on a reasonable amount of bail into house detention with a tracking device.  Not quite what Justin Carter is facing right now.

Justin Carter should be let out of prison this instant unless the State can truly prove that he presents an immanent and likely threat to his community.  It’s not acceptable to make speech a crime simply because that’s easier than dealing with the complex issues of gun laws, mental health care and overall violence in our communities. 

Posted by Miss Bliss on 07/08 at 03:27 PM
Politics - OpinionGeneral IrritationEssay - Non FictionGeneral OutrageComments closedPermalink

Friday, June 21, 2013

HATE.IN.MY.HEART.

I don’t even have it in me for the rant today.

Keep your control issues and your government and your fucking religion out of my body and health choices.

And I will continue to support your right to own a gun...but keep in mind, that means I own one too.

HATE.IN.MY.HEART.

Posted by Miss Bliss on 06/21 at 10:30 AM
Politics - OpinionGeneral OutrageComments closedPermalink
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