Thursday, October 27, 2011

All Hallows

Find me at the Darker Temptations blog today, talking about the Witches' Holiday.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Interview and Book Giveaway

I am being interviewed today on My Bookish Ways. Have a look, say hello, maybe win a signed book.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Steamcon Recap

Steamcon III is over and done. Much fun was had. Too much money was spent. And every single photo I took on my husband's little point and shoot is orange. All of 'em. I want my camera back. I swear to you, just in time for Halloween, his camera is possessed.

Workshops: I stuck to the science themed workshops - one on the physics of aether as espoused by Victorian science was really fascinating. I'd had no idea that the idea of aether was as difficult to kill as it turns out it was. Apparently, it held on until the 1920s. There was even some speculation that Dark Matter is modern physic's aether. Very fun stuff. The other workshop was on the physics of the ocean - submarines, living, working, and functioning at depth, what the life forms look like at various depths and pressures. Also a good time. Naturally, we talked about the challenges of reaching the bottom of the Mariana Trench - something that has been done only three times and only one of those with a manned craft. That was in 1960 with The Swiss-designed, Italian-built, United States Navy bathyscaphe Trieste. Evidently, it's easier to get people to the moon and back than down to the bottom of the ocean and back.

Let's see. Games, music, afternoon tea, costumes...the DH went to workshops on making props and on modifying found objects, since crafting is one of his interests. We did discover the hard way that his glass flask with the cork stopper leaked. I was okay with that. Diet Mountain Dew carried in a clear glass bottle slung from a belt? It just looked wrong.

We had a great time, but, boy. I'm exhausted. So now I'm sitting here with a purring cat, a cup of tea, and a box of pumpkin spice cookies from the grocery story. I can recommend everything but the cookies. All spice, no pumpkin. Overpowering spice. Too bad. I guess I have to make that maple pumpkin pie afterall.

Friday, October 14, 2011

Where to Find Me

I'm over at the Word Whores (It's not bad, I promise! We just sound naughty.) talking about why I think there's no such thing as a sidekick.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Ode to a Dead Camera

It's a fabulous, sunny (if chilly) day in Seattle, one of those rare mid-October sunshine breaks that lights this area with gold. Yes, okay, it is a bit of poetic licence maybe, but really, from a physics standpoint, at this latitude, it works. Height of sun in the sky - or lack thereof - plus angle of light passing through atmosphere leads to the yellow, orange and red wavelengths getting through and altering the color of the sunshine. The sky turns an amazing, deep blue. But the only way you're going to get warm in this sunshine is if you're in an enclosed greenhouse. Most of the heat gets shunted away with the shorter light wavelengths.

Trees are changing color. Liveaboards at the marina are putting up Halloween decorations. It's all festive and lovely and I can't take a photo. My digital SLR was a casualty of our cruise. It was sitting on the table when we hit some truly crappy sea conditions. We were so busy managing the boat, I didn't have a chance to get that camera tucked away. We hit a wave sequence and wham. The camera bounced from the table to the floor. It won't take pictures at all now. Autofocus *tries* but the lens won't move. Off to find a repair shop. Hoping the camera can be fixed and that it won't cost me more to fix it than it would to replace it. Turns out that after living without it for a little while, I really miss it.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Where the Geeks Are

It's Geek Out weekend for me. I'll be at Steamcon III, the Seattle area steam punk gathering, and while I'm not appearing in any official capacity, I will have copies of books with me if you'd like to say hi. I'll be the one in all't narrow it down much. Okay. The best I can do is my name badge. It really does say Marcella. And there can't be *too* many of those wandering around. It's a nautical theme for Steamcon this year and my costume -- is lame. Does the fact that I actually *was* out at sea for five months by me any costume sympathy?

Regardless, if you're at the con, stop me. Say hello. Mock my costume. It's all good. Give me your take on the best panels of the con.

At the end of the month, I'll be presenting a workshop at the Emerald City Writers Conference, called Acting on the Words. It's an hour long class focused on meshing action and dialog with high emotion. While the workshops are free to Conference attendees, they are limited only to those people who have a paid Conference ticket. The Bookfair, however, is open to everyone. It will be held Saturday, October 29 from 4:30 until 6. Have a look at the list of authors. It's huge. I'll be holding down a portion of a table, too. I will have candy. Stop by. I'd love to see you.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

You Know Your Cat Is Trying to Kill You When

I post this not as a whine - mostly - but as a public service to all you writers working on fight scenes.  You see, my cat tried to kill me this morning. There I was sound asleep. The 13lb girl you see at left here, jumped a very long way, and landed, all four feet in one spot, on my lower belly. I was awake. That everyone else on board wasn't, given my shriek of dismay, surprised me.

Monday, October 10, 2011

A Picture Worth a Thousand Words

This is Karin (say CAR - in) rocking the book tee from Enemy Within and mimicking the front cover pose. If a picture is worth a thousand words, Karin completely makes my word count quota for the day.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

The "You Can't Be Serious" Rant

If you're a migraine sufferer, you know that migraines aren't just headaches. They're neurological events with symptoms that can arise 24 or more hours before the pain hits. Depending on how your symptoms manifest, you may spend a day being unusually clumsy - walking into doorframes, dropping things more than usual, misjudging distances - or as symptoms begin, you may hear ringing in your ears. You may experience visual aura (which is the medical way to say 'can't see') as the blood vessels in your eyes spasm.

The really scary migraines mimic stroke. You can't think of words, or you speak to say 'going to take a bath' and it comes out gibberish. You can *hear* it came out wrong, but no matter how you try, you can't get the correct words out of your mouth.

Have I established a picture for you? Migraine = bad. A person suffering a migraine is neurologically impaired over and above the pain and nausea associated with the killer headache.

Modern medical technology created drugs to stop migraines cold. For those of us who are very, very lucky, those drugs work miracles. Take a pill and within 20 minutes to an hour, the pain and nausea are gone. So, too, are most of the neurological symptoms.

Here's the rant. Miracle drugs for migraine sufferers - life is good, right? Except, how do the geniuses at the drug companies choose to package their medications for people who are in the midst of suffering a *neurological event that may leave them blind and shaking from the pain*? Sealed in itty bitty blister packs. You have to peel backing from the pack in order to punch the pill out. This entails getting a fingernail beneath a tiny sliver of plastic coated aluminum. And you're supposed to do this while you can't see. While you're so sick you wish you could die. While the signal processing between your brain and the rest of your body is returning a 'all circuits are busy, please try your call again later' message.

It's as if the drug companies got together over beers and someone said, "Hey! You know what would be really funny? Put these great migraine meds in packs that no one actually suffering a migraine could possibly get into! Ha ha! Isn't that a riot?"  And they were all drunk enough to agree.

I'm lucky. I live with someone who doesn't suffer migraines and who is more than willing to peel blister packs for me. But let me tell you. When he's not home and a headache hits? Yeah, drug companies. Are your collective ears burning? That's this migraine sufferer. Cursing you.