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
Posted by Miss Bliss
on 11/22 at 08:33 AM
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
Author: Mona Bliss
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
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
Author: Mona Bliss
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
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
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
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.
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
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
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
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.
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
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.
Friday, June 21, 2013
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.
Posted by Miss Bliss
on 06/21 at 10:30 AM
Politics - Opinion
Sunday, April 21, 2013
The Plan - DFQWBS
This is for Anna Meade and her fiance, Michael, as a part of the Dark Fairy Queen Writerly Bridal Shower. My hat is off to the lovely organizers of this event Laura, Miranda & Rebekah. I wish Anna and Michael all the best.
By: Mona Bliss
“So what are your colors?”
“Your colors? You know, colors for your bridesmaid dresses, flowers, decorations at the hall…your colors.” She raised her eyebrows at me with her pen poised over her pad in anticipation of her explanation clearing up my confusion.
“Um…colors…right. I don’t really have any colors or bridesmaid dresses or bridesmaids for that matter. I, um...” I glanced over to my soon to be Mother In Law who was starting to frown at my obvious lack of Bride Preparation, “I, um, can I get back to you on that?”
Now the wedding planner was frowning at me too, “Sure. I understand you will be wearing Mrs. Hannigan’s dress. Have you done your fittings yet?”
Oh yay, my turn to frown, “I am?” I turned to my fiancé’s mother, “Nan, did I miss something?”
She smiled one of those dangerous Southern woman smiles at me, the kind where you knew butter wouldn’t melt in her mouth it was so damn cold and insincere, and said, “Well darlin’ I know you and your family are not exactly on speaking terms right now so I just assumed you’d want a family dress for this event knowing how important tradition and family are to Sean. If I’m wrong you just say the word and I’ll have Jodi Spokes bring in her entire collection for you. I just want you and Sean to have the wedding of your dreams.”
She knew the wedding of my dreams involved the county courthouse but according to her that would break Sean’s heart. I gave her an exact replica of her smile, “Oh Nan, you always think of everything. I’d be honored to wear your dress.”
Three hours later I was driving back to the house Sean and I shared with most of his pack. Werewolf packs tended to live together, it was another aspect of life I had to get used to as the Alpha’s mate. I loved Sean Hannigan with every fiber of my being which I had just proved by sitting through hours of detailed discussions about the difference between blush roses and pale pink roses, the atrocities committed using baby’s breath in bridal bouquets and the nightmare of those tacky, tacky theme weddings that were so popular now days.
I knew Sean has spent the morning with his mother doing the same thing. I parked in the driveway noticing that there seemed to be an unusual number of cars on our street. As I reached the front door it was suddenly jerked open and my best friend, Janine, grabbed my arm and yanked me inside, “Jeezelouise it took you long enough. COME ON we gotta get you pulled together.”
I stopped her before she could pull me upstairs, looking around in total confusion and wonder. The giant living room was empty of its normal furniture and there were white folding chairs set up in rows with an aisle down the center, all facing the stone fire place. There were white twinky lights strung everywhere around the room giving it a lovely soft glow and all along the fireplace mantel vases of every size and color held sweet smelling spring flowers.
Before Janine could grab my arm again Sean walked into the room wearing black jeans, a sapphire blue silk shirt that perfectly matched his eyes and a black vest under a fitted coat that went to his knees. His eyes were sparkling with love and laughter.
“Sean, what is going on and holy hell you look fantastic!”
“My mother told me this morning that you had always wanted a big church wedding, I can only imagine what bullshit she’s been feeding you about me.” He grinned as he took my hands in his, “So I thought we’d just get it done tonight. Go get dressed baby. Janine got that green swing dress you’ve been wanting and Jerry wrote up the ceremony this afternoon. Once it’s all said and done we’re gonna dance ‘till the sun comes up.”
My eyes filled with tears of joy and gratitude…and love.
“You know, you’ll never get rid of me now Sean Hannigan.”
“That was my plan all along Nicolette Luchesse.”
Here’s where you can read all the lovely stories for Anna and Michael.
Posted by Miss Bliss
on 04/21 at 09:34 PM
Thursday, April 04, 2013
WHAT COULD POSSIBLY GO WRONG?
Good luck North Carolina. If you manage to get this through I will start a betting pool on how long it takes before Protestants are burning Catholics and Catholics are burning Protestants. Oh I know you’ll start with the Jews and the Muslims...just like at every other time in history...but eventually you’ll get to each other. Have at it guys. WHAT could possibly go wrong?
Posted by Miss Bliss
on 04/04 at 01:27 PM
Politics - Opinion
Wednesday, March 13, 2013
Mid-Week Blues-Buster - Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds
This was written for the Mid-Week Blues Buster over at The Tsuruoka Files. If you’re curious go check it out. Stories are posted in the comments. I went over the word count limit...but oh well, so it goes.
She knew it the second he walked through the door. She and The Bartender turned their heads in complete unison towards the door. He stood there like some character out of myth wearing a long black leather duster coat and a wide brimmed hat pulled low keeping his face in shadow. He wore dark jeans and shirt of deep rich red silk. His hair was black and pulled back into a sleek tail and, though no one could see his eyes, she knew they were an icy pale blue. He was a full 6’2” in his bare feet but with his Tearing Up The World Boots on he topped 6’5”.
She was no petite flower herself standing 5’10” when she got out of bed in the morning, but tonight she stood a solid 6’1” because she had worn her Try And Make Me Boots. Good thing too because that was exactly what he was there to do.
He stepped to the side of the door and leaned against the wall and lit a smoke to wait. The bar emptied out slowly. She caught The Bartenders attention and tapped her glass for another Bushmills. The stranger pushed away from the wall and walked towards her. As the door closed behind the last customer they all heard the sharp click of the door locks. The tall man raised an eyebrow at the sound.
“My bar my rules, until it’s finished no one in and no one out.” The Bartender looked at both of them and shook his head. Then he slammed the back hallway door as he left the room.
The jukebox whirled to life and Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds started singing about a man and his red right hand. She snorted a laugh as he took his hat off and set it on the bar shooting the jukebox a sour look. He turned his gaze to her.
“You cut your hair.”
“And bleached it.”
“I got tired of people mistaking me for you.” He chuckled.
“It suits you.”
“Look can we skip the small talk? I’ve got shit to do.”
“Still pretending you’re fit for this role I see.”
She sighed, “Yeah, yeah you’re Temptation Incarnate and I’m the Tarnished Knight blah blah blah whatfuckingever. Just do it so I can get the hell out of here ok?”
He appeared unaffected by her smartassery which made her need to turn it up to eleven. He moved to stand behind her. She smirked at his oh so serious demeanor reflected in the mirror behind the bar. She tilted her head back towards him baring her neck. He pulled his right hand out of his pocket just as Nick Cave sang “red right hand” and she couldn’t stop the giggles. He frowned and glared down at her.
“You have no respect for the myth you walk in woman.”
“Oh get on with it Stretch, I don’t have all night.”
He placed his hand at the base of her throat spreading his fingers across her upper chest and pulled her gently back into him. Her entire body went rigid and her eyes locked open staring at the ceiling. The bar fell away for her and everything she had ever thought she might want played across her consciousness like a movie. Cars and houses and boots and guns and knives and swords…she knew she was in for a long night when he started with things. It went on for hours without her moving or reacting in anyway until finally just before dawn he offered her the one thing he knew deep down she wanted with every fiber of her being.
She started to shake under his hand and tears slid out of her wide open eyes. She longed for it. She needed it. She knew she deserved it. But in the end she knew it was just another self-indulgence, a luxury available to other people, but not her. She shook hard one last time, and then slumped forward onto the bar eyes closed breathing hard.
He stared at her back. He looked down at his hand and saw it tremble. He started to move towards her again rage filling his eyes but The Bartender slammed through the back hallway door shocking both the woman and the man behind her.
The Bartender glared at the man, “Don’t even think it. You had your chance. You bet it all and lost so you don’t get any more chances at this one. Now get out of my bar.”
The man felt the compulsion. He knew that once The Bartender told you to get out of this bar you had no choice but to leave. So he picked up his hat and without a backwards glance he left.
Posted by Miss Bliss
on 03/13 at 01:12 PM
Wednesday, February 27, 2013
The Department of Justice needs to have its ASS HANDED TO IT over the Aaron Swartz case. But more than that Congress needs to pull its collective head out of their collective asses about computer crime laws. They need to educate themselves better…AND I MEAN NOW MOTHER FUCKERS…because they are doing it all wrong. The CFAA, in my opinion, was bad law when they wrote it but I’ll cut everyone a little slack for not really having a lot of experience in general with computer realities and possibilities in 1984. Since it was written everything that has been done to amend that law has made it worse and worse and stupider and stupider. I will not accept in defense of that law that the “spirit” is good, because the letter of the law is what gets used as a fucking weapon against the public.
Absolutely everyone who does almost anything on the internet these days could be prosecuted under the CFAA as it is currently written. EVERYONE. Now you say to yourself, “Well but the DOJ isn’t going to waste time coming after me because I use a nickname on Facebook. They have other things to do.” You’re right they do. Right up until you become active in some political organization, completely legal, wherein you say things…in public and on the internet…that they don’t like even though speaking in this country is a protected right regardless of what you say, not including certain very specific restrictions usually regarding public safety. Public safety does not include safety from a thought the government doesn’t like or that business doesn’t like.
Bad computer laws need to be stricken from the books and replaced with thoughtful, well educated, intelligent laws written by people who understand the reality of the technology and how people use it. This is not about copyright law, though those laws need some powerful updating too. This is about how much power the Government is allowed to willfully use against its citizens based on a bad law that gives the Government too much power and too little accountability wrapped up in a warm cozy blanket of ignorance decorated with arrogance.
The DOJ has admitted that it aggressively pursued its case against Aaron Swartz due to his contribution to a groups political commentary on copyright law. It is not illegal to discuss civil disobedience in this country. It is not illegal to discuss how to subvert bad law as a way of bringing the truth of the laws badness to light. It is not illegal in this country to TALK ABOUT ANYTHING! But the DOJ is using Aaron’s public discussion, his legal public discussion, to justify their astoundingly aggressive prosecution of him using a law that they could in turn use against any one of us.
But hang on…the DOJ needs to have the discretion to prosecute crimes so as to discourage chaos and anarchy. To protect the public good…that’s what they are supposed to be doing right? Making sure that WE THE PUBLIC are protected from the criminals, the thieves, the irresponsibly greedy…right? Well let’s take a look at their record in recent years shall we?
Aaron Swartz downloaded academic articles that he, in truth, was allowed to download for free but he did circumvent the systems security so he could download more articles faster than the system said you were allowed to download. He broke some rules. He broke them rather spectacularly. He did not ever say or even indicate what he planned to do with those articles. Regardless of what the DOJ THINKS he was going to do with them…he hadn’t said nor had he DONE anything with those articles. He was indicted on four counts, of wire fraud, computer fraud, criminal forfeiture and obtaining information from a protected computer. Add it all up and you are looking at felonies taking him to over 35 years in jail and over 1Mil in fines.
Now let’s see how the DOJ prosecuted some other recent criminal activities. Check out this article about a medical device company that decided it didn’t have to follow the FDA testing rules and just, you know…injected untested shit into humans. Yeah…they died. People DIED. The DOJ went after the executives of that company and got them. Oh yes, people died and the DOJ and the judge threw the book at them and the judge even gave them sentences over and above the Federal guidelines…nine months in jail. The Federal guideline is six months.
Nine months. People died and the fuckers who made the decisions to avoid the proper processes to keep the public safe did nine fucking months in jail.
Some of that has to do with the law used to prosecute them and how it was written and used. Huh…so I guess THAT law is really good for keeping irresponsible executives safe from having to make equitable restitution to the public for KILLING PEOPLE.
Let’s look at another one…this one is easy…HSBC!! Dudes…seriously? Money laundering for the Colombian and Mexican drug cartels? People MUST have gone to jail right? They admitted they did it. But in the end the DOJ decided to NOT prosecute and send anyone to jail or make sure they at last lost their jobs in the banking industry…no they went for a settlement that was equivalent to a little over a month’s income for the bank. Five weeks income for breaking multiple laws and betraying the public trust, this is what HSBC has to pay for the crimes they committed.
Now let’s stack just those two criminal cases, and the prosecutorial choices, against Aaron Swartz downloading too many academic articles and then…you know…not doing anything with them. THIRTY FIVE YEARS IN JAIL AND OVER 1MILLION IN FINES. Oh and he would have to spend the rest of his life as a convicted felon, which is a much bigger deal than you might think. If you are a private citizen you don’t lightly agree to living the rest of your life with a felony conviction on your record.
So now we have the DOJ admitting to being politically motivated in their prosecution of Aaron Swartz which in turn tells me they must also be politically motivated in their lack of prosecution of a large bank that makes large political donations or the use of toothless laws to prosecute executives whose decisions actually killed people, large medical corporations that also make large political donations.
The DOJ did not serve justice or the public in its pursuit of that absolutely ridiculous case against Aaron Swartz. There was no logic or common sense or even decency to how they handled themselves or the case. The fact that they had the CFAA to support them in their actions only proves the truth that the law is bad and makes every single citizen in this country vulnerable to the same abuse of power that was committed against Aaron Swartz.
So yeah…be afraid, be very, very afraid. Or better yet…BE ANGRY AND VOCAL AND DEMAND CHANGE.
Saturday, February 16, 2013
For My Friend
Her father died this week.
I didn’t know him.
I knew of him.
I knew of him as he was reflected through her.
I knew of him by the way she rejected him.
I knew of him by the way she forgave him.
I knew of him by the way she embraced him.
I knew of him by the way she loved music.
I knew of him by the way she carried her responsibilities.
I knew of him by the way she stumbled.
I knew of him by the way she stood tall.
I knew of him by the way she embodied joy.
I knew of him by the way she passionately created art.
I knew of him by the way she held her friends close but with soft hands.
I knew of him by the way she cried and the way she laughed.
I knew of him and will be forever grateful to him.
I knew of him by the amazing gift that is his daughter.
Posted by Miss Bliss
on 02/16 at 08:32 PM
Friday, January 25, 2013
Women In Combat…yes it IS time
So yesterday I posted about the Pentagon eliminating the ban against women in combat units in the Military on Facebook. Basically I said that I approve of this and it’s about time. My Mom then popped on and said that my 86 year old Dad wanted me to read an article in the Wall Street Journal by Ryan Smith titled, “Ryan Smith: The Reality That Awaits Women in Combat”. So, not one to ignore my Dads suggestions, I went and read the article which I have linked to above. Go read it. It’s real and honest and I expect quite accurate in its depiction of life in a modern combat environment.
One of his points is that there is great potential for the disruption of societal norms as a result of gender mixed combat units. First off, I do not want for one single moment to imply here that I don’t accept that as a real issue. It is. Human nature is such that we rely on societal norms to guide us in our interactions with one another. Societal norms make us feel…well normal. That can get pretty important in insane environments such as combat. But societal norms change. They are always changing. This isn’t always an easy thing but it is a reality.
It used to be a societal norm that white men and black men did not serve side by side in our military. It used to be a societal norm that black men were never promoted to officer status in our military. It used to be a societal norm that women did not fly fighter jets in our military. Societal norms change, as they should.
The process of integrating women into combat units will not be without challenges but I am not a fan of banning women from situations because of a perceived societal norm.
Mr. Smith’s other big issue was whether integrating women into the units that will likely encounter these extreme situations and environments including horrible indignities and discomfort and misery will make them more or less effective in combat? Well first off we can look to the other countries in the world that have done this already. There’s a very good article in the New York Times today about how this works in Canada, and how long ago they managed to deal with this issue. The truth is we have to stop letting out dated and, to be honest, religious ideas make these decisions for us. It sort of shines a light on how much of our society still wants to infantilize women and keep them in subservient roles. Because regardless of what you think or believe the motives are for keeping women out of combat, the end result is that commanders cannot choose the best person for a job, they can only choose the best person from the limited pool he is allowed to choose from for the job and it means that women cannot advance their military careers in the same way as their male counterparts.
I think part of what disturbs people about this idea is that adding women officially to combat units would require them to let go of their myths about gender.
Mr. Ryan describes a brutal and miserable and embarrassing month long trip to get back to base from a forward position. He is concerned, not with whether or not women could handle this experience, but that having to live through that experience cheek by jowl with the opposite sex would be more difficult for all involved. It’s hard to read that and not hear, “I don’t want a girl to see me shit in a bag one inch from her face” and “I don’t want to see a girl shit in a bag one inch from my face”. This is not about combat readiness or combat performance, it’s about maturity among adults. It’s about wanting to hang on to juvenile beliefs about men and women. This isn’t new. These same arguments have been made in some form or other every single time our society decides that it’s a time for a change in our societal norm that involves women. Now I could do a whole bunch of research and give you a bunch of examples but ya know what? You know how to use Google…look it up for yourself. Start with women working outside the home or going to college or studying medicine and science or just about any damn thing. Because at some point there has been an argument about how icky it will be for EVERYONE if you let the girls in.
I’m quite certain that Mr. Ryan, along with all the soldiers in that tank would have preferred to NOT be having those experiences. But when you have reached that level of misery and your only goal is to survive, if doesn’t matter if the person shitting into a bag next to you is male or female, it only matters that you are both trying to survive and trying to help each other survive.
Posted by Miss Bliss
on 01/25 at 08:18 AM
Politics - Opinion
Essay - Non Fiction
Friday, January 18, 2013
No…it’s NOT like the Holocaust
Folks I’m just gonna go on record here as saying that no matter how much you disagree with the current Administration you can BANK on the fact that I disagreed with the Bush II Administration WAY more. At no point during those eight years did I accuse that man or his Administration of being like Hitler or that during those eight years, while I felt the American people were lied to and bullied and guilted into taking actions they NEVER would have taken if not for the emotional manipulation of the public as a result of 9/11, did I compare what was happening to the Holocaust.
BECAUSE NOTHING IS LIKE THE HOLOCAUST EXCEPT THE HOLOCAUST!
Just stop it. It’s shameful. You should be embarrassed to participate in anything that makes those sorts of comparisons simply because you are too lazy to actually THINK about what you are saying and what it really means.
You denigrate the memory of the millions of people who were murdered under Hitler’s reign.
You denigrate this Country’s brilliantly designed process for the peaceful transfer of power. Which I doubt that you ever waste one single second thinking about or remembering how unique it is in the history of humankind. No matter what, in four years the current President of this country will no longer be allowed to be the President of this country. Whether you like that person or not. Whether you agree with that person’s Administration or not. We did that on purpose people.
Let me say that again...WE DID THAT ON PURPOSE!!
To avoid the dangers of tyranny. Our process comes with it’s own pitfalls but, for the most part, it’s still worth it. Because we know that power is dangerous and must have lots of checks and balances. We built them into our system.
Our system isn’t perfect. Not by a long shot. But it’s still better than the alternatives in my opinion.
If you’re worried about current legislation...again I say spend a little time thinking about how our process works. Which you should know is a long and involved, and usually quite hampered, process to bring any kind of new law or regulation into existence. Even once it’s passed it often takes a very long time for it to actually get implemented. But none of that is what’s important here...what’s important here is that just because a law is passed doesn’t mean it will necessarily be the law of the land from now until the end of time.
Ya know why?
Because again...we planned in some checks and balances and the ability to question those laws and ways to change them and adjust them as time goes on. Because tyranny relies on total control. So stop comparing legislative processes that have the support of many people but you do not agree with to the Holocaust. Again...it’s insulting and cruel and wrong. Just because you don’t like a proposed law or regulation does not mean that America has suddenly become a fascist state wherein a small group holds all the power and there is no hope of change except with extreme violence. But most importantly stop comparing the American people you don’t agree with, all of whom still have ALL their human and civil rights in place and in effect, to six million people who were forcibly removed from their homes and placed into concentration camps and murdered.
Again, our process is not perfect, but it does still work. You still have a deep responsibility to participate and express your thoughts...YOUR THOUGHTS...on any given issue or proposed legislation. But if you want anyone to give a rats ass about what you think...you had better stop comparing everything you don’t like to Hitler’s Germany and stop denigrating the memory of the Holocaust and all those who died in it.