Dear 2016, You Can Fuck Right Off

So, this post is meant to be the annual look back at 2016 and a look ahead at goals for 2017.

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I think Helen Mirren said it well. For me, this year has pretty much sucked endless ass–particularly on the professional, cultural, social and political fronts. But for the sake of this post (and my mental health) I’m just going to focus on my own professional issues.

The short version of this post is: I feel like I’ve failed miserably on the professional front and I hate everything.

Here’s how everything shook out.

I’d planned to write 5 books and 36 pieces of flash fiction.

I wrote 36 pieces of flash fiction, 3 short stories, and  1 book–1 book that I dearly love. And then? I was stupid enough to release it four days prior to what may have been the most contentious, awful election in all of U.S. history. Way to think that through, Bron.

I’d planned to write all 76 scheduled blog posts.

I actually did that – plus 35 more for a total of 111 blog posts. So, that was good.

And Jess and I did start our newsletter, finally. So, that’s good, too.

So that ended up being:

Writing: 89,471 words

Blogging: 77,482 words

Client Editing: 1,431,892 words

That’s a far cry from last year, but it’s also not zero, so…

And to be fair, I don’t hate everything. But I do hate the stress, anxiety, depression, and fear that have been my constant companions for the last 12 months. I’m usually a fairly positive person, but worry and grief over world and cultural events (as well as a few personal ones) have made that more than a little difficult.

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But, ultimately, my family and friends are safe and sound and whole and mostly well, and for me, that’s the most important thing.

So, my goals for this coming year are:

Get a handle on the negativity that’s seems to be plaguing me.

Do what I can to affect positive change in the world–even if they’re only small things.

Write day and night like I’m running out of time.

How about you – what are your goals?

Be sure to check out the other bloggers’ goals: Gwen and Jessica.

Flash Fiction #31 – Knight

photopromptKnight

 

This flash fiction piece was inspired by my husband, my sister, DMs I’ve known, Shanna Germain, and…you know…this picture.

What am I even doing here? This was a terrible idea. 

I shifted in the grungy, molded plastic chair and adjusted my messenger bag on my lap while surreptitiously glancing around the room. There were only a few empty seats in the misshapen circle. There had to be at least fifteen or sixteen people here. Way more than I would have figured.

A tall, lanky guy slid into the empty seat next to me as the older dude who was clearly the group’s leader stood up and cleared his throat.

The guy next to me leaned over and offered his hand, whispering, “Hey. I’m Colin.” He paused for a second, then added, “D&D – 5th Edition.”

I shook his hand and murmured, “Daisy. Delta Green.”

His eyebrows shot up slightly, and he grinned. “Nice. I figured you for Star Wars.”

I shrugged and released his hand. “Well, I’d be lying if I said I’m not also an 11th level smuggler.”

His grin widened into a full-fledged smile. “9th level spy.”

I fistbumped him.

The guy up front cleared his throat again. “Welcome to RPGers Anonymous. My name is Gary. We’re coming together tonight to-”

The door flew open and slammed into the wall.  I jumped – but not as much as Gary.

“Are we too late to join in?” a guy carrying a flogger and dressed in a fake, cheap-looking cop uniform skidded into the room followed by what could only be described as a very, very adult Little Red Riding Hood wearing a corset and thigh-high leather boots. She was holding a basket full of  handcuffs and condoms. I was guessing her costume came from the “sexy” section of one of those Halloween stores that pop up every year in the middle of dying strip malls. His, too, probably.

Gary stared at them open-mouthed.

“This is the anonymous group for role playing, right?” the woman asked.

After what seemed like an inordinately long silence, someone finally said, “Not that kind of role playing.”

The man and the woman looked at each other then looked at us. “Oh,” they both said. The guy tucked the flogger behind his back, and moved toward the doorway.

“Sorry to interrupt,” the woman added, pulling the door shut behind them.

Gary cleared his throat again, his face a little flushed and sweaty looking. “As I was saying, my name is Gary, and I’m a role playing game addict.” He gestured to the guy next to him, who, now that I was looking, seemed to resemble Gary quite a bit. “Do you want to introduce yourself?”

The man glared at Gary, then faced the group. “My name is Anastasia Rozailia Katerina Henrietta Annalisa Magdalena Asylume, and I’m an Acolyte of Kelemvor, God of the Dead.”

Gary rolled his eyes. “Your real name, Ted.”

“Fine. I’m Ted. And I think this whole thing is bullshit. I don’t have an addiction.”

“You do,” Gary insisted.

“I’m not the one who lost my job because I couldn’t be arsed to go to work because I was too busy creating a Shadowrun campaign.”

Several people got up and refilled their coffee cups as the argument continued to rage, and Colin offered me a granola bar from his backpack.

Opening it, I asked, “Is this…how it usually goes?”

Colin nodded. “Pretty much. Mostly, I show up for the entertainment.” He nodded toward Gary and Ted who were still arguing. “And to meet potential new party members. So, tell me about your Delta Green character.”

I turned toward him. “Okay, so picture Helen Mirren as a nun–wearing a 1920’s style Sisters of Mercy habit.”

“Hot.” He nodded appreciatively.

“Right?! Anyway, so my name is Sister Mary Clotilde. Code name: Mother Superior. I’m based in Brooklyn, and I’m in charge of a small group of specialized…miscreants.”

He leaned forward. “I like it. What about your skills?”

“I’m fluent in Latin. And academically fluent in Greek, Gaelic, and Aramaic. I also bootleg church wine to speakeasies  – prohibition and all. Though…that’s not really a skill. But I have a hell of an informant network.”

He laughed, and I decided I liked the sound.

“What about weapons?”

“You know those fifteen-decade chaplet rosaries that nuns wear around the waist?”

“I think so.” He nodded.

“There’s a poison-tipped blade hidden in the crucifix.”

Sweet.”

I grinned. “And the beads themselves double as a garrote.”

“Even better.” His brow furrowed for a moment. “You seem way too into this character,” he glanced back at Gary who looked like he was about to start throwing punches, “and way too sane to be coming to a 12 step program for gaming…”

Glancing around, I leaned closer. “You caught me. We lost a party member. She got transferred out of state, so I’m looking for a replacement.”

Colin reached into his bag and pulled out a dice pouch and shook it. All heads whipped in our direction like velociraptors scenting fresh meat at the siren song of clicking die. “You got the books?”

I patted my messenger bag. “And blank character sheets.”

“There’s a diner with great pie right around the corner.”

Grinning, I nodded. “Let’s go.”

He grabbed my hand and his backpack, and I followed him out the door.

 

Kris wrote a story for this picture, too. Be sure to check it out by clicking her name.

A Few of My Favorite Things: Actors and Actresses

Welcome to my new blog. I was getting annoyed with Blogger for myriad reasons, so here I am.  And huge thanks to Jessica Jarman for helping me figure out how this all works and helping me set it up. And by helping me set it up, I clearly mean doing it for me because I’m incompetent.

This week we’re talking about our favorite actors and actresses. Weirdly, mine seems to be fixated on the U.K. and Ireland. Go fig. But I’m just gonna roll with it and list them in alphabetical order…because I could use a little less chaos in my life at the moment.

 

FA - Benedict CumberbatchBenedict Cumberbatch…I don’t care that Jenny Trout says he looks like a lizard in a man suit. I love him anyway.

FA - Hugh DancyHugh Dancy. I love him as Will Graham – love that poor, tortured soul.

FA - Idris ElbaIdris Elba could read me the ingredients on a bottle of sunscreen and I’d be happy. *le sigh*

FA - Anthony HeadAnthony Stewart Head will always be Giles to me. And I’ll always love him for it.

FA - Tom HiddlestonTom Hiddleston and…delayed gratification. *full body shudder*FA - Bradley JamesOh Bradley James, you made me cry so much during Merlin, you bastard.

FA - Katie McGrathKatie McGrath – I adore her. My crush on her is monstrously huge.

FA - Helen MirrenHelen Mirren – my crush on her is equally out of control.

FA - Colin MorganColin Morgan – I can’t wait to see him in The Fall.

FA - Alan RickmanAlan Rickman, I will love you ’til the end of time.

FA - Maggie SmithMaggie Smith is just amazing.

FA - Patrick StewartPatrick Stewart – I’ve loved him since I was twelve and first saw Excalibur.

David TennantOh David Tennant, you delightful Scot.

FA - Kate WinsletKate Winslet  – her performances always stick with me – particularly Clementine from Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind.

There are a ton more, but these are the ones who immediately hopped into my head. Thanks for that, BBC.

Click the names below to check out the other bloggers’ favorite actors and actresses.

Jess

Kris

Gwen

Kellie