Doll House

I had one that I adored. It even amazed my male adult friends. I loved it, but like so many other things, I reached a point where I didn’t have room for it. I miss it. On my Tumblr, I follow a site called lookatthislittlething that posts photos of minis. My heart melted the other day when I saw this

which originally came from here. Follow the link for close-ups of the rooms. Amazing work and beautiful.

Fantasy Subgenres Explained

Look, it’s very simple —

Urban Fantasy: Fantasy set in a city
High Fantasy: Fantasy set in the mountains
Low Fantasy: Fantasy set in the Netherlands
Fantasy of Manners: Fantasy set in manors
Epic Fantasy: Fantasy in the form of a lengthy narrative poem
Fairy Tale Fantasy: Fantasy about fairies with tails
Science Fantasy: Science fiction but there’s an annoying pedant in the seat behind you saying that it’s fantasy because FTL travel isn’t real plus the Force, what about that
Sword and Sorcery: The party must include a magic user, a cleric, a fighter, and a thief
Weird Fiction: Like, the characters know they’re in a book and some of the text is upside down and stuff like that
Steampunk: Everyone has cybernetic enhancements but get this, they’re CLOCKWORK
Dieselpunk: Like Steampunk, but the cybernetic enhancements require diesel fuel
Mythpunk: Like Steampunk, but the cybernetic enhancements have tiny gods in them
Grimdark: When the superheroes change their costumes so that now they’re in dark colors, weird
Magic Realism: Like when your aunt actually believes that if you put the knife under the crystal pyramid, it will totally get sharper
Paranormal Romance: Fantasy with naughty bits
Young Adult Fantasy: One of the above genres marketed to a group that will actually buy it

See? Easy.

Bus Rides

We always sat together for the bus ride home. The two players who bridged the boy-girl gap, but not the only two who practiced together. At that age, I felt it was a measure of myself that a boy found me tough enough to be a real competitor.

You were my friend, too, for that spring. We had English together and sat side-by-side there as well, but it is the bus rides I remember. Ten girls and ten boys on a sketchy school bus, rumbling from the match back to school, back to the school parking lot where I would get in my failing Volvo and you would get in your failing Mercedes. Yuppie mothers’ hand-me-downs. But the bus rides.
Cold evenings, just after sunset, but I never put on my leggings. In the dark, next to each other, our thighs and shoulders touching even though there was room enough for them not to.
I was so sweet, so nervous, so unsure of what or who you wanted. There were two girls who vied for your affection, your attention, but I was the one who had it. For that spring.
So young, so green. Our hands touching, your pinky sliding over mine. Chill bumps on my arm. My heart lurching when your warm palm slid over my hand and gripped it for the first time. I didn’t look at you. I just sat there, touching you – hand, shoulder, thigh. Sometimes we talked. Most times, we sat there and just looked at each other. Every week. I remember the night I played in sleet, and the teams stayed so late that it was full dark and close to my bedtime when we got on the bus. I fell asleep standing in a Taco Bell. When we got back on the bus, you told me to put my head on your shoulder, and I fell asleep against you. When we got back, you woke me. You rubbed my cheek and squeezed our joined hands.

There was never pressure, just affection. We never even kissed. We were friends who cuddled, until one of your girlfriends decided we shouldn’t. After that spring, we didn’t. We didn’t even talk anymore.

Chris

I haven’t talked to her in eight years. What do you say to someone after they tell you they don’t even know you anymore? I think it’s good-bye. We never said good-bye, but we let go.

I see her occasionally. Images only. Her sister and I are Facebook friends, so she shows up in family celebration photos. Untagged. I was looking at one the other day and caught the side of a face, a swatch of her dark hair, a hand holding a camera. I studied the hand. No, not her.

Her fingers would be chewed – the nails, the cuticles. She gnawed them until they bled. I never understood how she could stand to do that to the skin, the very delicate skin on top of the finger, right below the nail. At any given time, at least three of her fingers would be wrapped in bandages. She tried quitting. Tried smoking instead. Didn’t work. Always went back to the fingers.

I’m always excited to catch glimpses of her, to see what she looks like now, what sort of woman she became on the surface. But, I know this photo isn’t of her because I know her, always have.

I wonder if she wonders who I am now. I wonder if she wonders if I still claw my skin. I wonder if she ever noticed that I did.

Not Much To Say

I haven’t written here in a while now. I don’t have any books updates to speak of, as my publishing company was sold and the new owner is trying to sort out a bunch of backlogged books. They deserve their chance at getting published before mine. Besides, I’m still mulling over whether I want to update my contracts.

On the writing front, I’m kind of stuck. I need to create a disaster, but I don’t know what kind. The characters are powerful, so anything that doesn’t outright kill them is going to piss them off royally. This means I need to do some rewriting, but I can do that only after I decide whether to kill some characters.

So, while I try to make up my mind about where the Camellia series will go and how it will end AND try to make up my mind about new contracts, I am playing Sims 4. I’m getting back into DDO a little. I’m still working on perfecting my monk in Diablo 3. And of course, I’m still teaching.

I’ll figure it out some time soon. Hopefully. I especially need to because I have a novel I want to write that I think has great potential. Actually, I have three. Probably more. Okay, time to go scramble some eggs.

Bully’s Eye

I am being bullied at work by a senior professor.

I am not the only one.

I am the only one who is ready to take it to the next level and have a discussion with the dean about stopping it.

This means that I will either become a hero, and the bully will really,truly, and absolutely despise me, or I will be treated like a hysterical, crazy woman to be burned at the stake. Well, I suppose they might just tell me to thicken my skin. They also might tell me to get a lawyer and sue the bully. In any case, I’ll have a huge target on my back (or head), and in any case, I don’t see it ending well.

Still, someone has to do it. Someone has to make it stop because the behavior is prolific and grossly unfair.