taste_is_sweet: (And he will actually kill you)
Hello, my beauties, and Happy Friday! Monday the March Break officially begins and I will be going to Canada with my kid to visit the fam. It should be awesome.

While I readily admit that I, too, can be at times almost as awesome as a trip to Canada to visit the fam, I am, as I'm fairly sure you're aware, human and therefore extremely fallible. Occasionally more fallible than your average bear, so to speak. There have been times, I admit, when the only thing keeping my mouth shut or my fingers still is the fact that I don't like hurting peoples' feelings. I am a big adherent to the rule that if you can't say something nice, don't say anything at all (or just hit the back button). I've also gotten pretty good at keeping things to myself.

All that typed, between you and me there have been many, many times with I've just wished I could, for example, leave a comment on someone's fic or their post that completely represented what I was thinking. Now, I would never actually do that (see above). I'm not generally a mean person and life is too short not to be nice.

But. And I hope I'm not alone in this, but. That hasn't stopped me from compiling a list of things I could say, but have and will not. I've included it here, because I can.

I hope some of you might unleash your baser selves and contribute in the comments, bearing in mind that this is nothing but venting, not aimed at anyone. Just devilish self-indulgence that I won't partake in out loud again.

I just think that we're entitled to what we feel, and allowed to feel things even if they're bad. The point is not to inflict those feelings on anyone else. Which is why they're under a cut.

But if you'd like to join me, there's plenty of room on the dark side. And we have cookies.
Mind the gap. )
Thank you for your forbearance and understanding. Now I'm going to take a shower.
taste_is_sweet: (Aliens Made Me)
Check out my Wattpad version of "Write it on the Skyline"!

The link goes to a handy-dandy explanation of what a Wattpad even is. (It's not an electrified cushion, in case you were wondering. But it is Canadian. Yay, Canada!)

As a special bonus, here is the very small cover for my fanfic that I made tonight, without much wailing or teeth-gnashing, even!

This took more effort than I feel entirely comfortable relating at this juncture.
Write it on the Skyline Wattpad Cover

Yes, it is very small. Wattpad likes small covers. But it's a cool font, right? I like that font.

ETA: I've since taken the fic down from Wattpad. Ultimately the site seemed like far too much effort for too little return. At least for me.

taste_is_sweet: (Black Mask)
I'm back from this year's FanExpo Canada shindig, and it was of the awesome. I had a wonderful time seeing my sister and her family, geeking out huge with like-minded Canadians, and spending shitloads of money enjoying the dealers' offerings and the Artists' Alley.

One of the highlights was getting a professionally-done photograph of my kid and his cousins with Hayley Atwell.

Left to Right: Mini!Peggy; The Beautiful and Charming Hayley Atwell; Rescue!Bucky and Skinny!Steve
Hayley Atwell and the Nascent Geeks

The boys seriously practiced smiling for the entire time we were waiting in line, and then afterwards Javier (Skinny!Steve) expressed his concern at Carter growing old and infirm. He wanted to know if she ever received the Super Soldier serum. I told him that no, unfortunately she didn't, but that he could fix that with fanfiction if he wanted. He didn't want to, alas, but I loved how he was obviously smitten with Ms. Atwell.

I was also able to take pictures of some of the awesome cosplayers:

The way the guys are posing just killed me. So cute! (And badass. ::coff:: Really.)
Cosplayers of Awesome

That's Captain America (Winter Soldier movie version) with Javier the Dragon Slayer. Next is Felicity and a lovely Genderswapped Arrow, then Harley Quinn and Black Widow--who are friends now after beating the shit out of each other (see the blood on their cheeks?). Last is my personal favorite: Daredevil in his black 'how the hell did I survive this long?' uniform.

I also got some gorgeous art, which I'll have to post at some point. Not to mention frame and put on a wall. Urk.

Oh, hey! I have a Tumblr account now! Please follow me, if any of you lovely FListies have Tumblrs! I have two followers and am horribly pathetic.

taste_is_sweet: (Totally Tasty!)
---This is hilarious because it makes perfect sense.

---You buy pants and a 'SSR' tee-shirt just so you can dress your kid like this for FanExpo Canada:

(He's trying to 'look weak' as pre-serum Steve Rogers, not actually sulking.)
I wish my mommy was like other parents

Even though the kid is not a MCU fan. (Isn't that why we have kids, though? To dress them up in adorable costumes?)

---You're going to FanExpo Canada, even though you live in Texas.

---You're hoping to get a picture of your kid dressed as Skinny!Steve with Hayley Atwell.

---You spend most of your Sunday making a magnetic shield harness and impulse-buy foam weapons so your kid can also be a 'Dragonslayer' at FanExpo Canada.

That foam shield you can barely see is attached to the re-purposed martial arts belt with magnets. Because I am just that obsessive good.
I did not make the tabbard. Or the necklace. Or the foam weapons. (I did make the child)

As you've probably guessed, I'll be in Canada until September 8, getting my geek on at the FanExpo. I'll try to remember to take pictures.

taste_is_sweet: (Please be Advised)
First off, the official song of the Pan/Parapan Am Games in Toronto! I don't think the majority of Americans even know this is happening, but the Pan Am Games are freaking huge. (Here's some more information.) I don't even think the opening ceremonies will be shown here. I don't get why the U.S. doesn't seem to care about this, I really don't, especially since the U.S. will probably clean up in the medals like always. And yet it's like it doesn't exist down here. Crazy.

But, the song is truly wonderful. (Start at 0.57 seconds if you don't want the preamble, or there's a music-only version here.) I think I've listened to it about 100 times.



If addictive, feel-good music isn't your thing, a few days ago a spontaneous memorial was created for a raccoon when the city of Toronto didn't send anyone to pick up the poor creature's corpse. I'm posting a link because it's such perfect, passive-aggressive Toronto humor (and I laughed and then felt bad, but kept laughing).

No one was disrespectful to the corpse, unless you count anthropomorphism and naming it 'Conrad'.
taste_is_sweet: (Gilded)
I have a thing, it turns out, where I'll buy a CD (or download an album), listen the hell out of it for weeks, then put it away and not look at it again for years. My problem is that I almost never have music on during the day. Unless I'm in the car, where we generally just tune in to the least-crappy of the local radio stations, my day is silent other than the cats and my swearing at the computer. I can't write and listen to music at the same time, and I tend to forget to turn it on when I do chores. Hence the years of abandoned CDs.

So even though I'd copied all the songs from Barenaked Ladies' Gordon album to my phone a good while ago, it was just this week when I actually listened to it again.

Funny how I'd remembered the songs but forgotten how excellent most of them were. This song is one of my absolute favorites:


Not the most awesome video, but Steven Page could sure rock a 90s haircut and frilly shirt.

I bought Gordon (way) back when it came out in 1992, and heard "What a Good Boy", and basically had my personal angst theme-song for the next ten years. Just the lines: I wake up scared; I wake up strange; I wake up wondering if anything in my life is ever going to change encapsulated the gormless anxiety I seemed to carry with me all the time, and singing the song at the top of my lungs offered an aggressive pathos that made me feel both connected to every other miserable twenty-something on the planet and smugly isolated at the same time.

My 90s were kind of terribly awesome.

That decade was an astonishingly long time ago, but I still have the Gordon album, and the songs are still amazing. The others I've been listening the hell out of are "The Flag" (an achingly beautiful song about domestic abuse), and "Wrap Your Arms Around Me" (the line, Do you believe we are all innately good? in that gorgeous harmony gets me every single time).

I really should listen to it more often. And my other CDs as well.

::Eyes Evanescence::

Well, maybe not all of them.
taste_is_sweet: (American Dream)

HAPPY CANADA DAY, FLISTIES!



And I totally did not almost forget about this because I live in Texas. Nope.

Capture

I miss my homeland very, very much. Even if I'm lousy at remembering the holidays. I hope my fellow and sister Canucks are having a fantastic day!
taste_is_sweet: (Bad Decisions)
Hello, my lovelies. I'm off to CANADA next week for March break! It's a total Whoo-Hoo! for me, of course, but it means I most likely won't be posting. I can hear you crying already.

But before I go, I wanted to write about something interesting I saw in a TV show last night. And by 'interesting', I of course mean 'jaw-droppingly out-of-character and violent.' I won't name the show because I don't want to spoil anyone, and also because I'm not even sure the particular show matters. Here are the particulars:

1) Character A is very, very badly hurt by Reoccurring Bad Person
2) Reoccurring Bad Person is captured
3) Character B beats captured RBP to within an inch of xir life in retaliation
4) Character C refuses to turn RBP over to The Authorities, apparently only so C can threaten RBP with the 'If xie dies, you die' trope.
5) All of this is supposed to be a) perfectly acceptable, and b) to show how awesome characters B and C are.

Now, because TV Tropes is my new internet boyfriend, after I had my few moments of O.o and assorted exclamations along the lines of, are they really keeping that bad guy just for the if/then murdering? and, If Character A bites the oatmeal, how will killing RBG bring xir back?, I went to the TV Tropes site to see if the "If X dies; you die" trope had an article.

I couldn't find one, alas. But I did find Knight Templar Big Brother/Parent. It's not quite as specific as I hoped for, but it's close enough.

The Knight Templar Big Brother/Parent basically refers to going apeshit on anyone who hurt your sib/kid, and I think the trope fits even if the characters aren't related. Like beating the snot out of the Reoccurring Bad Person who hurt your buddy, for example.

"I'm not going to hurt you now. But I will probably kill you later, depending."
 photo KnightsTemplarcopy.jpg

Okay, sure. Makes sense. I'd be pretty peeved too, if my adorable protege of adorableness was gutted like a prize-winning salmon. And the Character B who did the beat-down is, shall we say, not entirely unknown for such things. But, Character C is definitely not known for the apeshit beat-downs. In fact, C tells B to back off on the curb-kicking, which is somewhat odd considering Character C's intention in doing so is, apparently, to keep RBP alive in order to chuck xir out an airlock if Character A kaks it.

That's not very nice.

It's also not very moral, and considering Characters A, B, and C are all very much supposed to be the GOOD GUYS, the idea of Character C especially refusing to give up RBP while calmly anticipating spacing xir in the near future is not what I signed on for when I started watching the show. I mean, this is basic cable--I like to know which end of the spectrum my heroes are supposed to belong to. And murder for revenge is a little too far in the red for me.

An eye for an eye makes the whole world blind, as they say, and killing someone because they killed someone is way more Judge Dredd than My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic, if you know what I mean. Not that I'm talking about either Judge Dredd or MLP:FIM (though I'm sure Rainbow Dash would go apeshit if Discord killed Fluttershy). But you get the point.

Which is, I want my heroes to be, well, heroic, thank you very much. That doesn't just mean being badass, it means knowing when not to be as well. And sure, fallibility and conflict and drama and all that. But honestly, this show offers plenty of that anyway. If I wanted antiheroes, dark themes and gratuitous violence I'd watch The Walking Dead, which I don't. Because I don't really like antiheroes, dark themes or gratuitous violence. What's the point of escapism if you can't go anywhere?

I might as well watch the news, except for how it's way more depressing.

Picture is from The DVD cover for this Knights Templar movie, available from Amazon.co.uk. Coincidentally, it has Norman Reedus in it. Unfortunately the film seems to be very, very bad.

taste_is_sweet: (Bad Decisions)
I love the interweebs, I do. Oh, I do, with the unbridled passion of a thousand fiery suns. What did I ever do without the internet besides probably being way more productive? I can't even remember; it's just that awesome.

This is also another glimpse into the occasionally bizarre machinations of my brain (though at least not as bizarre as it can occasionally get). Let me show you:

Last night, I read this article on Cracked.Com, which I highly recommend not actually visiting unless you don't mind losing hours of your life. Many, many hours.

This particular time warp in written form was a list (Cracked.com loves lists) of 6 superpowers that would actually suck to have. The most awful was a Wolverine-esque healing factor. The author posited that having a healing factor that would allow you to survive almost any wound wouldn't = 'awesome' so much as 'horrific PTSD'. Which gave me ideas.

Always dangerous.
 photo Ideas.jpg

This will doubtless amaze anyone who knows me, but I kind of have a thing for (fictional! Dear God, fictional!) emotional and physical H/C, something that has served me well in the past. So instead of going to sleep at you're-an-idiot o'clock in the morning I started thinking of a story plot involving some poor schmuck who could heal really fast and how psychologically godawful it was.

At first I thought this'd be fanfic, but I decided I couldn't be that horrible to Captain America (or John Sheppard again). Besides, everyone knows that when you hurt Steve Rogers a kitten dies.

Most Marvel Universe fanfiction is known as the Great AO3 Kitten Massacre.
 photo Kitten.jpg

With fanfiction obviously out, I figured I'd write something original that took place during WWII, with my own original superhero. Canadian, of course. Only I couldn't call him 'Captain Canuck' or 'Captain Canada', because that had a) been done and b) was kind of lame. And since our national animal is not only furry and adorable, but also regrettably associated with female anatomy, I couldn't use that, either. So I went to the web to see what other nicknames for Canadians I could use.

And here my adventures began.

As it turns out, 'Canuck' pretty much encompasses the entire gamut of Canadian nicknames. But at least my fruitless Googling turned up Johnny Canuck, a Canadian equivalent of Captain America who kicked Nazi ass during WW II. Even cooler, the Wikipedia article link I found said that a publishing house called Moonstone had started a new series starring Johnny Canuck and a bunch of other Canadian superheros.

Naturally I zapped over to Moonstone, and discovered that they were selling the first three issues ridiculously cheap, so I bought them. Then, wondering if there were any more, I clicked on the link for the artist and discovered that he's Canadian too, and also actually famous.

Sadly, it seems that Northern Guard is no more, probably because almost no one outside Canada had heard of them. Hell, I used to live in Canada and I hadn't heard of most of them, either. But Mr. Templeton did have this really awesome list of famous fictional Canadians that made me feel better.

So all in all, while my research was technically fruitless, I did get some new comic books out of it and more warm fuzzies about my homeland. Which we could use right now in Texas, being as we're at the ass-end of a major ice storm.

Of course, it's still colder in Canada. But they're used to it.

(The photos are 'Thinking Woman Looking Up' by David Castillo Dominici, and 'Sad Kitten' by Tina Phillps, via Free Digital Photos.net.)

taste_is_sweet: (Ride 'Em!)
My dreams: Shattered like a beaver dam hit by a maple syrup truck.
 photo CanadianSoul.jpg

Luckily, only metaphorically on fire! But I just found out on Monday that I'm going to have another publication. And, okay, so it's really small and it's my first publication since January, so maybe I'm just smouldering. But considering I never expected this sale in the first place, it's still pretty darn cool. Or freezing, really, but I'll get to that.

See, back in 2000 when they were still the (piping) hottest books in the Self Help section, I tried to have a story published in the then-upcoming Chicken Soup for the Canadian Soul. I wrote a true story about helping my mom rescue a pair of ducks who'd nearly gotten themselves frozen into the ice of our pond. Apparently the editors liked the story, but it didn't make it past their test audience (yes, CSftS has test audiences, like movies).

Apparently, the test audiences didn't think the story was 'Canadian Enough'. (But it was about ducks! In Ontario! In Winter! How could that not be Canadian?)

It's like mounties and back bacon. Seriously.
 photo NoBrainer.jpg



But it wasn't to be, so I moved on to something else and forgot about the story for nearly 14 years. At some point I even erased it from my hard drive.

And then on my birthday, I was contacted by the same editor. The CSftS people had started putting out books again, and she wanted my permission to submit the duck story--which she'd kept for over a decade--for Chicken Soup for the Soul: O Canada! The Wonders of Winter.

I scraped my jaw off the floor and told her yes, of course, and not quite two months later it made the final cut.

On the same day I got that very pleasant email, I read at The Mary Sue that apparently there will be a 'Chicken Soup for the Soul' movie. Because obviously Battleship wasn't sufficiently heart-warming.

So naturally--naturally!--this made me wonder what a CSftS movie about my duck story would be like. And Photoshop and I came up with some doubtlessly Oscar-worthy possibilities:

The obvious first choice of Sci-Fi/Horror; )



a thriller; )

and of course, the heartwarming, seasonal family movie. )


(And these are totally going in the 'Mutation' square of my [livejournal.com profile] hc_bingo card).

Quack!

taste_is_sweet: (But some of us are looking at the stars)
Anybody out there want to hear a wonderful song co-written by a Canadian astronaut and Ed Robertson of the Barenaked Ladies? Of course you would.

Commander Chris Hadfield: 52, prize-winning military test pilot, driver of the Canadarm, veteran Astronaut and very soon to be commander of the International Space Station. He was also born on a farm in rural Ontario, plays guitar and sings in two all-astronaut rock bands, and has had Twitter conversations with Starfleet. From space.
Not to mention that he totally rocks that mustache
 photo ChrisHadfield.jpg

You might notice that his mission crest is in the shape of a guitar pick because, awesome (as well as the mission's emphasis on science and art).

Obviously it would be harder for this guy to get much cooler, and yet he manages it, with the help of the Barenaked Ladies, a school choir and the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation. How? By preforming with them from the International Space Station, singing a song he co-wrote with Ed Robertson.

Yes, O best-beloveds, Commander Chris Hadfield also writes his own music. When he's not commanding a space mission, driving the Canadarm or tweeting. From space.

The song is called I.S.S. (Is Somebody Singing?), and premiered February 8 on the CBC. It's a sweetly geeky mashup of science and art like the mission itself, with lines like If you could see our nation; from the International Space Station; You'd know why I want to get back soon, which is perfect in it's typically quiet Canadian patriotism. (If you Commonwealthers out there are wondering why Hatfield uses Imperial instead of Metric measurements in the song, I'm fairly sure it comes down to his having likely been in high school when Canada changed to the Metric system, as well as his years working with Americans.)

It's also a beautiful piece of music in its own right, which makes me tear up every time I listen to it. Because I'm Canadian and we're all giant saps when it comes to our homeland.

Here's the song on YouTube, and a link to the music and lyrics.

This song makes me especially happy because I'm getting home as soon as Friday, visiting my family over the March break. And you can bet I'll get teary-eyed every time I hear it, doubtless to my dear sister's great amusement.

taste_is_sweet: (Boom Baby!)
Cover for BHT

Recently, I was invited to do a blog hop by Sara Madison (my post about the blog hop is here). Now it's my turn to answer some questions about my most recent work, which happens to be the novel up there with the beautiful cover by Reese Dante (artist's link is NSFW)..

I am incredibly excited to finally have a published novel. :D The book will be available in January and should be up on Dreamspinner Press's Upcoming Books Page soon.

(Here's my Dreamspinner Author's Page.)

What is the title of your book? Black Hawk Tattoo

What genre does your book fall under? Contemporary M/M Romance

What is the synopsis of your book? This is the official synopsis from Dreamspinner:

Toronto artist Gabriel Navarro splits his time between slinging ink and working on his master's degree. He's sure of his beliefs and his artistic integrity and naïve enough to think he'll never compromise—until Iraq war veteran Jake MacLean shows up in his tattoo parlor.

Overcome with anger and survivor's guilt, Jake is locked in a struggle to atone for sins he's sure will never be forgiven. Desperate to get his life back on track and with nowhere else to go, he moves in with his sister in Toronto. He doesn't expect to fall for Gabe.


Black Hawk Medevac resize

Though Jake's refusal to talk about what happened in Iraq frustrates Gabe, accepting Jake's claims that he's "fine" is easier than dealing with the truth. But pretty soon it's clear Jake can't control his panic attacks, and his condition is worsening. If Gabe can't help him face his demons, Jake is headed for a crash—and there's every chance he'll take Gabriel down with him.

More questions under here! )

Thank you for reading. :) Now the Next Big Thing hop goes to [livejournal.com profile] dungeonwriter who is writing a spec television script, my good friend the playwright and mystery novelist [livejournal.com profile] wpadmirer, and [livejournal.com profile] laylalawlor, who will be talking about her latest comic. They'll be posting on December 5. Please go check them out. :) And please make sure you check out Sara Madison's blog if you haven't already, because not only did she let me know about this in the first place, she also happens to be working on something pretty nifty and has been published more often than I have. And she's a great person, too. (I've also borrowed the idea of using pictures from her, because that was cool.)
taste_is_sweet: (American Dream)
Naturally it also highlights one of the many, many ways that Canada rocks, though to be fair the article title should have been: "Five Places Where You're Not Required By Your Job To Work Yourself to Death", rather than, "5 Countries Where You Don't Have to Work Yourself to Death to Make Ends Meet". As a Canuck living in the US, I know for a fact that there are many places in Canada where it can be very, very hard to make ends meet without two salaries (though if you have two you can still live well, if not extravagantly). What sucks here isn't necessarily the money-earning part (where I live now we can actually live more extravagantly on one salary than my sister can with two; but she's in a big city and I'm in a small one), but how bad the money can be if you don't have a highly specialized job. The lack of a federally-mandated minimum wage is terrible, but the lack of mandated maternity leaves and vacation is even worse. In Canada you get a full year off with 60 percent of your salary, and the time can be divided between each parent as they like. And I think that the government was thinking about making it two years, if only to save themselves the financial hassle of having to create federally-funded daycare.

But I will say that at least here in Texas (and maybe that's just here, here in Texas), we have better after-school care available than what my sister does in Toronto. We have "Kid's Klub", which has an awful name but is safe, fun and remarkably inexpensive, and is an after-school care that happens right in each school in this board.

Anyway, the article is here, if you're still interested. :)

5 Countries Where You Don't Have to Work Yourself to Death to Make Ends Meet | Alternet
taste_is_sweet: (Game On!)
'Law-Enforcement Crushes' Quarterfinals Begin: Castle's Castle vs. Hawaii Five-0's McGarrett! - TVLine

It's a poll, but what I really love about this is how Nathan Fillion is Canadian and Alex O'Loughlin's from Australia. It's the Battle of the Commonwealth Cuties! ::Cue theme music::

Looks-wise, I'll be completely shallow and say O'Loughlin wins (I mean seriously, he looks genetically-engineered). But since the 'contest' is about the characters, I'm totally going for Castle. And only slightly because he's played by a Canadian. :D
taste_is_sweet: (Target Acquired!)
1) Ninjas!

2) Hilarity!

3) Torontonians being hilarious ninjas!

4) I love Canada!

5) I love Toronto!

6) Once again, it's from the great Mary Sue dot com.

NINJAS ATTAAAAAAAAACK!



Improv In Toronto Ninja Video | The Mary Sue
taste_is_sweet: (American Dream)
Yep. I'll be gone with the kid to visit the fam from June 14 to 22. So if I'm not responding with my usual months-long gaps between email responses alacrity, it's because I'm basking in the warmth of my family rather than baking in Texas's summer humidity, and am not on the computer as much as usual.

See y'alls later, all y'all!

EDITED TO ADD: I'm baaaaaack! And I want to thank everyone who left me well-wishes for the trip. :D I did have a wonderful (and cooler! Thank God) time in Toronto with my family. I appreciated it very much, everyone! ♥ ♥ ♥
taste_is_sweet: (Nom You)
Every year since 2003, Toronto has had a Zombie Walk in October.

I did not know about this, probably because I've been in Texas since 2001, where Zombies would rot much more quickly due to the humidity and high temperatures. I actually found out about the Toronto Zombie Walk because of this article at The Mary Sue, which is a website devoted to female geeks.

In case anyone not American out there is wondering, CDC stands for the (American) Centers for Disease Control (and Prevention). Not Canadian Disease Control, as I once thought.

Ah, internet serendipity, reminding me of the total coolness that is my homeland. And hey, anybody been? Was it cool? Shambly? Lurching?
taste_is_sweet: (American Dream)
Yes indeed! It's that time of year again, when I more-or-less abandon the internet in favour of visiting my homeland, hanging with the fam and adding U to a happy plethora of words.

Not that I am terribly communicative anyway, but if you are wondering where I've gotten to, it's Canada! I haven't forgotten that I owe some people comments or email. I will reply as soon as I can.

Things will be back to whatever passes for normal around here a little after September 10. I hope you all have a wonderful two weeks or so while I'm gone.

Smooch
taste_is_sweet: (American Dream)
Hey, Brian Williams knows from experience how cool we are.

Tim Horton's knows everyone wants to be Canadian:



(And I thought Bell Canada commercials were tear-jerkers....)

I'm sure you want to be Canadian too!



(Thanks to my sister [livejournal.com profile] squeakyoflight for letting me know about the videos. I have no idea where she keeps finding out about this stuff....)

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