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Sunday, December 31, 2017

2018 The Year of Collaboration?

(Cross-posted at Patreon)

For the last month or more my astrology and numerology mavens have been saying that 2018 will be a year of collaboration and cooperative effort. When they started that I snorted. I've always been best off working by myself. I guess to some extent I see art and writing as something you do all alone up in your lonely writers garret. This, to me, is not a bad thing. I spent a great deal of time alone as a child, and that was the only time I had any peace. Human beings, even those who love and support me, grate against my PTSD and cause me stress simply by being present. Even my beloved husband of 27 years can sometimes bug me simply be being alive and "in my space". So, yeah, I laughed at the idea of me collaborating.
But then my sister from another mother approached me the first part of December with big plans to collaborate next year on a project we have talked about for some time. She writes a marvelous series of children's books about Waldorf the Magician Mouse - that's him you see up there in yesterdays digital art. She writes, I draw. In fact, at this point we are not only talking about more books, but maybe even some video games as well.
Another dear friend from years ago also contacted me, and she, too wants to work together on some Kindle books.
Having been around both of this wimmen before, I know both of them encourage me to get things done only in the very best of ways. So I hope that 2018 will be a really productive year, both with my own projects, and working with others.
I consider Patreon to be a cooperative effort as well. Maybe I'll gain a few more patrons. The end of this year has certainly reminded me that we all do better when I allow others to help us.
Back 100 years ago when I was a sexy little titty dancer, my first mentor emphasized that when all the dancers work together, everyone makes more money. I found that to be very true over the 15+ years that I worked in the business. There was always a significant difference in income between the clubs where all the girls got along and worked cooperatively, and the clubs where everyone was "I'm number One" and back stabbing and all sorts of nastiness ruled. In fact, one of the reasons I gave up dancing (besides the fact that at some point no one wants to see you naked any more) was that it seemed like the younger girls coming in were all "me me me me" and you couldn't teach them anything - let alone that we all make more money if we work together.
Do you suppose I'm too old and PTSD and set in my ways to learn how to work together on writing and art? I hope not.
Blessedbe and Happy New Year!

Friday, December 29, 2017

Free Kindle Book - Peritoneal Dialysis for patients, caretakers, and medical professionals

Starting tomorrow, Dec. 30, 2017 my book about our experiences and the things we learned about Peritoneal Dialysis during my husband's six years on it is going to be free on Amazon Kindle.

Peritoneal Dialysis for patients, caretakers, and medical professionals

Hope you are having a great holiday. I was going to take the rest of the year off but the universe had other plans for me. That said, we got a lot accomplished this week - just not online.

Blessedbe

Summer Foovay

Tuesday, December 26, 2017

(1) Any Last Words?

There is a running joke where I original come from about last words.

"Hold my beer. Hey, ya'll watch THIS!"

Followed by some incredibly stupid stunt that gets the speakers head knocked off, or otherwise lands on him "worlds' greatest fails" videos.

I feel a little like  I said something very like that when I signed up to do the 12 Days of Anime blogging.  I was halfway through Nanowrimo and feeling very unmotivated about everything. And that was before I moved up my relocation date from February 2018 to the first of December. Well, actually, it ended up being the 6th of December. And yet, here I am, finishing up all 12 entries - after a late start - on the correct day. Well, a bit late but my rule is it is still the day I woke up on, until I go to sleep. It's the night owls way of dealing with those date/time conventions based on a "normal" biorhythm. (I don't think it's normal so much as it is that of the majority of humans. Bats and owls agree with me)

So in honor of all those famous last words - here's a few I like best.


Thanks for joining me. 

Sunday, December 24, 2017

2-Anime; The Virtual Hug

There are certain anime series that act like a virtual hug. I'm sure all anime fans have a few.The anime you can go back and watch and smile and laugh and get warm fuzzies from no matter what is going on in your life. It doesn't cure anything - but it's a nice vacation and you go back to the grind refreshed and ready to fight another day.

Natsume Youjincho (The Book of Friends) was my first anime hug, and had a lot to do with me becoming an anime fan as a result. Fruits Basket is another one. Polar Bear Cafe, also does it for me. Poyo Poyo.

I can see that March Comes In Like A Lion has a very good chance of joining this elite group as well.

Anime hugs are usually slice of life, or slice of life plus some magic. They are warm and fuzzy. Even if bad things happen, everything turns out okay. Friends are loyal and loving. Family, even adopted family, stays together and supportive. Life isn't perfect, but problems mostly are either amusing, or can be solved in an episode or two. Everybody eats well!

Now that I look at the list and think about it - they almost all have a cat! Polar Bear Cafe doesn't, but then, they have pandas. Having a cat doesn't guarantee you a spot, but it must count for something!

What is your anime hug?

Image result for natsume and the book of friends

(3) Gamers! Isn't What You Think It Is

I really love all those marvelous anime based on LitRPG - and LitRPG that is well written. Sword Art Online and Log Horizon are the most notable examples.

And then there's Gamers! If you started this anime looking for another action packed adventure based in a game type fantasy world with references to the "real world" you are about to be very disappointed.

But if you can keep an open mind for a few minutes, you just might find yourself literally laughing out loud. I laughed so loud and often my husband was soon over my shoulder asking what in the world was I watching. The romcom is so ridiculous, and yet believable for that age group and social group (gamers) that any real gamer cannot deny the truth of it. And truth telling is what makes humor funny.

I've been a gamer since you bought a box with three magazine sized guides and a single set of strange dice to play D&D. Things have changed a lot since then, but games still attract much the same sort of people for the same reasons. Face it, most of us are to some extent socially awkward. Gaming may allow us to hide in our room and play with people we know only at a distance. But it also gives us a passion, and something in common to talk about. From that point we are able to make social contacts - however awkward they may be. Factor in the inevitable awkwardness that is teen life and it's a wonder any of us ever manage to marry and reproduce.

It's hard to think what else this anime would be titled, but I think one reason it is a sleeper of the season, and often panned in reviews, is that the title sets you up for another anime in the vein of SAO and what you actually get is Ouran Highschool Club Host. Free your mind, and you might be surprised how much you actually enjoy this little gem.

I also liked the sexy pin-up gamer girl bits at the end. It's just a fun little series, don't expect too much of it.

Image result for gamers! anime

Saturday, December 23, 2017

(4) I'll get back to that...

I am by preference, a binge watcher of anime. I find a series I like, and I watch it obsessively until it is done. So when the new season of anime comes out, I dip in and watch a few episodes of anything that looks interesting, and stick them in the que to watch when the season is done.

This year has had it's ups and downs. Right now I cannot watch any anime because we moved from Las Cruces,NM to Las Vegas,NV and the new place (Internet included!) has internet speed that would make your grandmother cringe. So I have a rather extensive list this year of anime I'm going to get back to... I thought it might be interesting to share it. Maybe you can tell me which ones first, or which ones I really may as well skip!

In no particular order then (alphabetical perhaps)



If you've managed to drag yourself through reading my anime blog entries you may have something of a notion of what I like and don't like. Feel free to comment "OH you have to see ____" or "you probably won't actually like ______"

Thanks!

(5) Give Mecha A Chance

When I first started my exploration of anime, I quickly learned that some of the most popular and long running series had absolutely no appeal to me at all. Not on an artistic basis (some of them I actually actively hate the art and couldn't bring myself to finish a single episode) and not on a story basis. (story? what story? let's just kick butt, take names, and make witty - sort of - comments)

If any given episode is over 60% fight scenes, I'm probably not interested. You've got to wrap some story and characterization around those fights and make me care, or, well, I don't care.

So, on that basis, I simply passed over the entire Mecha genre.

Big mistake. Don't follow my lead on that one, okay?

Because I thought the art was beautiful, and the story sounded intriguing, I gave Gargantua of the Verdurous Planet a chance. I liked Midori.

And it turned out to have a very good story, incidentally wrapped around a Mecha pilot.

But you know, any genre of anything is going to have one or two good ones you like even if you don't like the genre. So I went merrily along, skipping all the mecha anime as they came out.

As a latecomer, I actually read a lot about anime, and watch stuff like this.




Since Gargantua - which had become one of my all time favorites, was mentioned in the same breath as Aldnoah Zero - I went off to watch Aldnoah Zero. And then got my hubby to watch both with me - meaning I watched them both twice. This year there was much ado about the new Gundam: Iron-Blooded Orphans. I'm in the process of watching it now for the second time - with my hubby. I plan on going back and watching the entire franchise.

None of these are kiddie shows.

Although if you know a kid who thinks war is cool and fighting is fun - you might run one of these by them before it's too late.

And from now on, I solemnly swear I will at least have a peek at any new Mecha that comes out. And if you have some old ones to recommend - please, do. I have lots of catching up to do.

(6) Learning to Live


Slice of life is one of my favorite genres. It is much maligned by some anime fans and writers, but I never manage to figure out what exactly makes them hate it so much. To me, it is in some ways, the very highest form of story telling.
March Comes In Like A Lion is a deep emotional story of growth. Perhaps it means so much to me because I had a crappy (really crappy) childhood, and I entered adulthood much like Rei Kiriyama, just surviving. Just plugging from one day to the next, knowing surely that there was no one alive in the world who cared about me and so far from feeling any form of love, that the most important form of love in the world - unconditional love  - well, I didn't even believe it was real. 




Image result for March Comes In Like A LionNeither does Rei. He believes that his father only loved him because Rei showed an interest in Shogi - his fathers passion - purely to get his father to acknowledge his existance. On a deep level, Rei knows that isn't love, not real unconditional love, but it's all he's got. When his father dies he is adopted by a man who also is intrigued by Rei's shogi talent, and wishes to encourage him. This isn't love either.

Rei feels driven to excel at Shogi. It is the only thing that has ever brought him the approval and praise that all children crave. As he grows older, he also comes to feel a great burden of guilt for the splintering he feels he caused in his adopted family, and Shogi becomes his way out. His way of being independent at the earliest age possible.

He doesn't love Shogi. He has no real passion for it. It's his job. He does it well. He piles more guilt on himself for being so good at something he cares nothing about, while others around him have such a deep passion and desire to play well because of their love of the game.

Basically, everything he does seeking love and happiness actually contributes to his malaise and isolation.

And then he meets this amazing family. They are close, warm, loving, and tend to bring home strays to nurse back to health. Rei becomes one of their strays. They truly care about him with that rare unconditional love because that's really what this family is all about.

Rei has no clue how to accept this love, or return it. But he is starting to learn. And grow. And feel alive and loved for himself - not just his shogi prowess.

And that's only the main theme, there are subplots and side themes. His stepsister - raised by an unavailable shogi master father, who grows up to attach herself to an unavailable shogi master married man. She has only the slightest awareness that she has chosen her own misery. Will she ever figure out how to chose happiness?

Harunobu has declared himself both Rei's best friend, and his lifelong rival. His passion for Shogi and his competitive fire is so powerful that he will drive himself to the brink of physical destruction. And yet he is not as talented a player as Rei. He never gives up, he keeps driving, and he does it with a goodness of heart that Rei cannot understand - but he's learning.

There's more. March Comes In Like A Lion is a complex, many layered story.

Like real life.

And that is why we tell stories. So we can learn.


Friday, December 22, 2017

(7) Crashing Waves of Testosterone



Wow. Holy Gonads, Batman the newest addition to the Garo franchise, Garo-Vanishing Line, is a tsunami of testosterone.

And I'm loving every minute of it.

Big, bad ass talking motorcycle. This ain't no polite and thoughtful Hermes asking polite questions. This is a Madou Ring gone completely mad, bad, and dangerous to know. 


Image result for garo vanishing line
Sword. It is tempting to spend five minutes watching Sword and conclude his name means he is a walking, talking penis who probably really enjoys boobie sex. And yet...

There are things we as a polite society either pretend we do not see about the Alpha Male, or that we unreasonably demand Alpha Males either pretend aren't true or try to hide. Which is pretty ridiculous in my humble opinion. And Sword is 110% Alpha Male.

So he loves boobs, and women, and sex, and food, and life. And big, bad ass motorcycles. He is a man of vast appetites.

Image result for garo vanishing line

And he has a bone deep need to protect sweet, innocent things from the bad stuff in the world. In fine Alpha Male physically violent "I love to blow things up" style.

He is Alpha Male. Great fun to play with, hang out with, have wild monkey sex with. Don't marry him and don't expect him to even be aware of conventional norms, let alone abide by them.

Just enjoy him for the deep hearted, half crazy, penis brain he is.

The series makes up for Sword - if you really feel it has to - with intelligent, interesting female characters like Gina and Sophie. In fact, in a way, they actually have more of a character arc than Sword does. Which kind of makes the whole story more about them.
Image result for garo vanishing line

Hmmm



Thursday, December 21, 2017

(8) Why Anime Is Better At Science Fiction/Fantasy Than Live Action

File:Amazing Stories, April 1926. Volume 1, Number 1.jpgI am an old school Scifi fan. So old school I remember when it was called “speculative fiction” and published only in little pulp magazines. The whole idea then was to take a current idea, discovery, or theory and extrapolate it to extremes and then speculate on the future it would bring.

Of course, there were always “space cowboys” like Buck Rogers and the Mars and Venus books by Edgar Rice Burroughs. I loved those, too. Star Trek, when it first came out, was an exciting pioneer that has had lasting success because it has melded the space cowboy adventure with speculative thought and had the courage to poke at conventions.

With the advent of ever better special effects, most scifi/fantasy live action series and movies have gone more and more to the adventure, space cowboy end of things. The media overloards who produce most of what we watch in the U.S. have concluded that most Americans are incredibly stupid, ignorant, and never want to think again in their lives. They also seem to think that if the action is fast enough and exciting enough, we will never notice shaky science or massive plot holes.

I like to watch stories that make me think.

Psycho Pass. Darker Than Black. Gargantia of the Verdurous Planet. Kado; The Right Answer. Gundam: Iron Blooded Orphans. Modoka Magica. The Perfect Insider.WorldEnd. Bungo Stray Dogs.

The overlords of anime have no fear of making us think. Of giving us twists and surprises, and questions to speculate on and discuss. Of building a plot through thirteen or more episodes with the courage to know their audience can follow a story for that long – even if there are little side stories along the way.

Anime is not afraid of slowing down the pace and letting us think. Dropping little hints that we learn to notice and capture and examine. Is it a red herring – or something important? Is Kubey really just a cute little sidekick?

Anime, because it is art is ideally suited for science fiction and fantasy because it easily overcomes the barriers to making alien life forms, or planets, or robots, look real. We are not distracted by seeing the man in the Godzilla costume, or wondering how they made something seem to disappear, or admiring the prosthetic make-up of the aliens – or cringing when the effect is too obvious. Art, unlike special effects, gets out of the way of the story even as it enhances the story by setting the mood and giving us visual clues.

So here, in 2017, this old Science Fiction fan thinks the best modern Scifi/fantasy is to be found in Anime.

Image result for kado the right answer 





Wednesday, December 20, 2017

(9)Miss Kobayashi's Dragon Maid Made Me Watch It


When it first joined the anime line-up for simulcasting this year, I read the description of this little moe masterpiece and thought, meh, not for me.

I don't have anything against cute girls doing cute stuff, but it looked SO cutsey it made my teeth ache, and I also suspected there would be a sizeable amount of fan service. I'm a bit iffy with fan service, too. It's okay, but not really my thing. Like Moe.

Then I was bored and surfing around one night for something different and I watched the first episode. And the second. And the third. And the fourth. I had to stop because it's really hard to read subtitles when your eyes are slamming shut.

It made me laugh out loud. I fell in love with the goofy dragons. But most of all I love the development of the relationship between Miss Kobayashi and Tohru. Miss Kobayashi goes from "um, this is a little weird" to "don't you mess with my maid" in a believable, gentle arc. I suspect that, as we see at work, Miss Kobayashi is a good person, who works hard and plays hard and receives very little appreciation for all that she does. So at first she is not sure how to handle Tohru's total devotion to her comfort. She regards it with a bit of suspicion even.

I know that feeling. After 25 years of abuse, and now 27 years of marriage to a wonderful, devoted man (who cooks) I still sometimes wonder how I got this lucky - and what is wrong with his brain. It's hard going from living through life alone and unappreciated and resigned to it to this gradual build up of an entire family of friends, and one incredible person who is totally devoted to you.

This is also what I consider the perfect combination for my taste for comfort anime - a dab of fantasy dropped into an otherwise very typical slice of life anime. I fell for this type of anime with Natsume Youjin Chou and it has carried me to many happy places and anime.

And I really want a kotatsu.

Blessedbe

Summer Foovay

Tuesday, December 19, 2017

(10) Eating my way through anime

While watching The Eccentric Family certainly did not give me a desire for tanuki hot pot, there have been other animes that made me hungry.

The fact that Crunchyroll sells an anime cookbook in their shop tells me I am not alone in watching anime food and thinking “wow, that looks good.”.

But I am lucky in that my husband loves to cook. And so he has kindly looked up and learned to cook Omurice from Miss Kobayashi’s Dragon Maid. And it is every bit as delicious as it looks and sounds. His next project is the pork cutlets from Yuri On Ice.

Silver Spoon got me to try raw egg over rice. It is good. In fact, it’s a staple breakfast in our house now, just as it is in the dorms of Ooezo Agricultural High School.

This year Restaurant To Another World added a whole new dimension to eating with anime. I can't even start to watch that one without at least a bowl of popcorn in front of me. I’m afraid to even start watching Food Wars. Actually, I’m saving it until my husband can watch with me. Then I won’t even have to ask before he is saying, “Oh, that looks good. I bet I can make that.”


Maybe he can even discover the secret to Kitsune Oden!


(11) The Eccentric Family - A Fun and Interesting Life


No longer than I've been an anime junkie, I have been around long enough to have some dear favorites. 2017 seemed to be the year of returns - including the return of many of my favorites.

One of these was The Eccentric Family.

I tend to prefer sequels that you can dive into without previous knowledge of everything that went before. The second season of The Eccentric Family is not like that. In fact, I had to go back and rewatch the entire first season before the second season made sense. But then, it was worth it. 

It's odd that the first season left me with a love of tanuki and their sense of fun, and living for the day. Yet when I watched it the second time, I realized how sad the story really is. As I watched the second season, I fell in love again with the tanuki sense of humor and fun, even as I knew the story is sad.

It is common wisdom that everyone falls for the stories in which they identify with one or more of the characters. I don't find that is always true for me, but in this case I think I do identify on a very deep level with this pattern of the story.

I try to always find the best in any situation,and to have a fun and interesting life. Yes, The Eccentric Family had me from the first episode, when Yajiro said he had no worries, because he chose to live an interesting and fun life.

In the first episode of the second season, right off the bat Yasaburo is in trouble with everyone, from his older brother to his former sensei, not to mention the beautiful and formidable Benten who is forever threatening to put him in a hot pot and eat him.

And she might. After all, she ate his father.

Yet as mischievous as he is, Yasaburo is also deeply kind in his fondness for the old tengu, Professor Akadama, and his protective love of his mother and his little brother. Although he is the third son, as the season comes to a close it becomes clear that his family and friends truly depend on him for courage and strength. His meddling both stirs up trouble, and shines light on the hidden truths no one speaks out of the sake of politeness.

The Eccentric Family, for all it's fantasy setting of Tanuki, and Tengu walking among the humans of Kyoto is much like real life. Sad sometimes. But you've got to make the best of it. Find fun when you can, and tweak the nose of authority at every opportunity. It's good for them.

One more thing.The art in this anime is outstanding in it's beauty. Which is a big deal for me. Even the most "ugly" scenery is done with a love of detail, lighting, and touches of beauty. To me, this is a reminder that there is beauty in everything - although sometimes you do have to look hard for it.

Here in the poverty and squalor of Professors Akadama's apartment, where he drinks and wallows in his misery and anger we find this beautiful painting of Mount Fuji on the closet doors, and outside the window touches of green growing things.As Yasaburo says a moment later, "This place airs out better than you would think". And then he plops down like this:

And we are treated to the jarringly funny picture of an "innocent schoolgirl" drinking a beer and smoking a cigarette while sitting in a rather less than modest position.

Comes for the laughs. Stay for the pathos, the beauty of sadness, the hope that springs eternal so long as there is love.

Blessedbe

Summer Foovay

Sunday, December 17, 2017

(12) Better late than never

Way back in November, while plugging through Nanowrimo, I signed myself up for 12 Days of Anime in December. I thought it would be a great way to keep myself motivated and writing.

Little did I know that we would decide to get up and move 700+ miles across the desert Southwest of the U.S. in the first week of December. Impulsive as it sounds, it was actually the result of a long-standing discussion. All we did was move up the date by about three months.

While still in the process of finding our way around our new home city, looking for a residence and all that jazz, sometimes with little Internet or rather intermittent service, I started seeing the notices in my email for a few blogs I happen to subscribe to and their first 12 days of Anime articles.

Oh shit. And I don’t have time to write anything reasoned and intelligent today. What did I think I would say anyway? What on earth can I bring to the table with these amazing knowledgeable writers and anime experts anyway?

But Appropriant nudged me awake. So, here I am – better late than never.

Which is something I can write about. I came to anime very late in life, and yet I have to admit, I’m hooked. Because I did not grow up watching magic girls or boys in robots and space ships every day, much of what other fans take for granted is new and fresh in my eyes.

How late in life? I was in my fifties before I really began watching anime seriously. I had been introduced by some friends to some of the Ghibli movies, and by my lovely stepdaughter to Fruits Basket some years before. They were interesting, and pretty – I am an artist – but I didn’t really pursue it at the time.

Only years later, surfing around the Internet for something new one night, I stumbled on free anime to watch. So I watched some. And I watched some more. And now I pretty much watch an hour to four or five hours of anime every single night of the week.

Watching a different translation of Natsume Youjin Chou than the one I own I noticed that some lines were translated somewhat differently. I was curious as to why – and now I’ve been studying Japanese for three years. A couple of years ago my Nanowrimo novel was “A Tanuki, a Kitsune, and a Coyote Walk Into A Bar”.  I am forever noticing anime themes showing up in other TV shows and movies and even books. I wonder if the authors even realize it.

I peeked over my husband’s shoulder to see what he was watching earlier tonight, and discovered it was an episode of Firefly – the Sci-Fi series from Josh Whedon. It happened to be one that revolved largely around River and her brother Tam. I thought immediately how common a theme it is in anime – the big brother who is so protective and loving of the little sister, who is so dependent on him. (Maybe I’ll have to write one article about that for the 12 days of Anime).

I think it’s fair to say that anime has come to occupy a very important space in my life and my mental meanderings. So maybe other anime fans will be interested. Maybe I’ll inspire other people my age to have a look at anime rather than dismissing it as something only the younger generations enjoy.

Better late than never. To join the 12 days of Anime. And to join the ranks of those who call themselves anime fans.

I’m in!




Friday, December 1, 2017

December 2017

(Cross posted Patreon, Wattpad)

Wow. Last month of 2017. It seems like this year has gone by so fast.

Looking back, it has been so much better than 2016. In 2016 James was in the hospital EVERY SINGLE MONTH for at least a few days. We had an ER run in January in 2017 which made me feel like we would have more of the same. But he wasn't in again until May, which was to have the ICD installed. Since then he's managed to stay out. We've had a few scares with the fistula but it's finally matured and doing fine.

So, with him stable and doing fairly well, it has made the deficiencies of the medical system in this area really spotlighted. Because any problem we have had this year was CAUSED by poor care, or office staff that can't be bothered and don't care. At best the dialysis clinic can manage a week or so of good treatments, then a week or so of bad ones. It's gotten old. The quality of treatment very much affects his quality of life and how he feels, what he can and cannot do. And the attitude of "who cares" about his constant pain. Well, I do. I listen to the man I love moan and toss all night, or watch this 51 year old man barely able to stand up and get out of a chair. So yes, I feel we are doing the right thing to get out of here now, and find him better care.  I've come to a point where I am afraid with the quality of care here that he will catch pneumonia from someone in the clinic and die in this hospital. And I can't watch him in pain anymore.

So - Viva Las Vegas!

Today is his payday. He ordered the tire and it will arrive Tuesday - so now we have firm dates. Talked to the dialysis travel people on the phone and they are still trying to set him up in Las Vegas DaVita but we made some changes in our reservation request that should expedite things. If we MUST we will go with Fresenius and switch to DaVita after we get there. He spoke to both representatives on the phone today and you could really hear the contrast in the attitude. Company culture - it's a real thing.

Summing up 2017 for myself, I am pleased. I no longer do goals, because that seems to be setting myself up for the Universe to get a good laugh at my expense. I do "themes". 2017 had three themes.

1- Improvement in James' health. As stated earlier, I think he is as healthy as he can get in this environment, and it is a vast improvement from 2016. So, done.
2-For myself I wanted to lose some weight and get fit. I have lost and kept off about 7 pounds. I haven't reached my goal, but at least I'm consistently keeping it off. My problem lately has been I lose 10 pounds over a month, and gain it back in one weekend. Then it takes a month to lose it again. I'm slowly learning what foods cause this and eliminating them. I walk and ride the bike a lot, and do a little workout with some weights most days, and I'm considerably more fit than I was at the first of this year. So, done.

3-Increasing my income. This has been a little bit spotty, but overall as the year comes to a close I've at least doubled what I make in a month, and far more of it is coming from writing now. Most months I have also increased what I make at the Turk as well - but that is the spotty one and that has to do with issues like computers not working, Internet not working, and RL interfering with my writing/work time. I'm really happy and grateful for the increase. I want it to be more!

Now that Nanowrimo is over, I will be devoting more time to winter projects. And, of course, there's this big relocation thing going on! But this post is getting awful long, and I've got dumb stuff I gotta do.

Thanks for hanging in with me and may December be great for all of us!

Thursday, November 30, 2017

Nanowrimo 2017 Summary/What's next for us

(cross posted from Patreon)
As of today I have 30,966 words. I am not unhappy with that, although I would have liked to win. As usual, I'm looking at 30K and saying "but I'm not even halfway through the story". 
All in all I am not going to dog myself about it. This month has included several unnecessary doctors appointments, the usual wrangling, bad dialysis treatments and bullshit. 
This desktop works some days and does not work some days. There is possibly something loose inside on the on/off switch. We can't just leave it on because it moves twice a day from the desk by the window (where James sits) to the dining table (where I sit) then back to the desk (the table makes into the bed and I sit by the window after James goes to sleep). James cannot fix it because the case does not open - this is an all in one. We did a "backup" to Google Drive and it used all my drive space. We found there were thousands of duplicate files and weird shit like the Pinterest button was there about 100 times. I ended up having to strip the Google Drive to empty and then going through each file here. I'm through the Documents folder and it is, at least, nicely organized and all backed up. Luckily there aren't that many pictures, and most of them are here four or five times. There is something running that backs up the photos that my Kindle sends to Amazon and it downloads ALL the photos and videos on my Kindle EVERY SINGLE TIME I take a new photo or video... So today's big task is sorting out all the duplicates, finding the photos worth keeping, and backing them up to Google drive since I can't figure out how the hell to put them onto Google photos. And probably on my Flickr account, too. So - this has been a big ongoing issue/project this month that takes a certain amount of priority. My big plan for today is to finish, or at least make inroads on finishing back ups. They are more important right now than finishing a novel.
Last, and of course, hardly least - we are getting ready to relocate to Las Vegas. This entails, of course, telling the dialysis clinic we are going - and then the "oh, we love for you to travel, it's no problem, just give us a call" turns into "OH MY GOD YOU'RE GOING TO TRAVEL??????WHO THE FUCK DO YOU THINK YOU ARE????? WELL, WE MIGHT - MAYBE - CALL US IN A MONTH - WHAT - YOU'RE GOING WHEN - YOU SHOULD HAVE TOLD US TWO YEARS AGO YOU MIGHT TRAVEL THIS CENTURY. YOU HAVE TO HAVE A CURRENT TB TEST YOU HAVE TO HAVE A CURRENT HEP B TEST YOU HAVE TO...OH NO THE CLINIC HAS TO TALK TO THE CLINIC-WHAT YOU THINK YOU ARE GOING TO CHANGE COMPANIES????????
I have a sneaking suspicion I'm going to end up taking him to Las Vegas and checking him into a hospital for dialysis and THEN getting a chair (time slot). 
Sigh.
And, of course, because we are still in Las Cruces - the heater died in the middle of the night ten days before the end of the month. The Kindle money came in yesterday and is enough to replace it, but James got it working again somehow (pure intimidation I think) so we are going to wait until we are in Las Vegas to do that, maybe. If we can. 
See what I mean about lurching from crises to crises? 
This is just not us. The events are not of our making, and not in our control. In fact, we are constantly told by the people who are constantly fucking up that we don't know how to do things, we should let these fuck ups do it all for us poor, stupid, ignorant patients.
Deep cleansing breath. 
So we are pretty well set at this time on leaving Monday, and thus having all weekend to get things done like a fluids inspection and top off for Firefly. Packing up the few yard things we are keeping. Finishing the backup on this desktop as I don't expect jouncing around in back for two days is going to improve the situation on it. Figuring out what accounts will transfer and what has to be cancelled. Since we are telling some people we are "vacationing" and others the truth that we don't plan on coming back there are complications :P but since people here will fuck you over we have to be just as dishonest in some cases. Things I will not miss...
I guess this might sound like a list of excuses but it isn't really. I'm actually happy with that word count. That is the equivalent of about six sex stories - you know, the books that make money. It's about half a novel for me, and I'm happy with how it is coming along. I intend to finish it. 
When I finish it - I'll be living in a state where wild horses actually do run free... I might even get to see them before the BLM kills them all. 
That will be cool :D
Summer Foovay

Tuesday, November 28, 2017

A Decision Had To Be Made

"Nano Nano"
"You're okay by me."

Sorry, momentary lapse into Rocky Horror Picture Show.

A few days ago during my morning meditation the words popped into my head, "What are you waiting for?" and the answer is - well, I've got a dozen of them. None of which are legitimate reasons when you look at our past, and the various versions of our possible future here in Las Cruces, NM. None of which I like the looks of.

So - he gets paid December 1st. We order one more (spare) tire for the Firefly, and when it gets in and is on, off we go. Las Vegas, NV Baby!

Our best dialysis clinic here is 3 star. Their worst is 3 star, the rest are better and there are over ten to choose from instead of 4 owned by two companies. We have one doctor who handles this damn defibrulator that comes up once a week for a day or so, Las Vegas has TEN doctors working with Boston Scientific. A search for alternative health practices turns up over 1000 results. Maybe I can find a doctor or two that doesn't either laugh, or scream, when I use the dirty words, "nutrition", "supplement", or "vitamin". Marijuana is legal - maybe he can finally have some real pain relief and sleep. What did the "Pain Management" people offer us here? OPIOIDS.

We have been discussing leaving Las Cruces for nearly a year due to the often wretched care at the dialysis clinic here. I wanted to have some work done on Firefly. I wanted some money saved. But every single month something breaks, wears out, is stolen, or comes up. EVERY month. This is not our life - we don't have that kind of life that is simply lurching from crises to crises. Except here, we do.

We will never get anything saved. We will never have the Firefly perfect. And I'm tired of watching him toss and turn and moan in pain all night long. Days he feels great because he got a good dialysis treatment. Days he feels crappy because he got a crappy treatment. Not anything we are doing - just depends on who is taking care of him at the clinic and whether they felt like doing their job.
I'm afraid he will catch something there this year and end up back in the hospital - and I'm afraid these hospitaler doctors will KILL HIM.

So, we're bugging out. It's got to be better - it could hardly be much worse. He is as good a health as can be expected given the level of care here. He feels good enough to be angry and frustrated at the care he is receiving. We need a spare for the Firefly and we're out of here.

Viva Las Vegas!

Send good thoughts.

Blessedbe,

Summer Foovay

P.S. Oh yeah, I'm still working on my Nanowrimo 2017. I might even win! If you want to watch, you'll have to come join me on Patreon. Otherwise, you'll be waiting until I finish and edit and publish on Kindle. If you join in time, I'll send your donations in December on to a Mustang refuge. 

Monday, November 13, 2017

FREE on Kindle

Did you know, almost every one of my four children's books for ages 10 and up have five star reviews on Amazon? They also have ZERO sales for 2017. Which just shows you what not having a promotions budget can do for you - LOL.

So for the next week, you can get Mr. Odon Ata and The Blue Dragonfly on Kindle for free. Maybe I'll get one or two sales and a few more five star reviews and then it will once again sink into the oblivion.

U.S. link: Mr. Odon Ata and The Blue Dragonfly
U. K. link: Mr. Odon Ata and The Blue Dragonfly
Canada link: Mr. Odon Ata and The Blue Dragonfly
Australia link: Mr. Odon Ata and The Blue Dragonfly

Meanwhile, I am plugging away on the Nanowrimo 2017 novel about wild horses. If you'd like to follow the progress - and in the process donate to a wild horse refuge in the U. S., you can sign up to donate to my Patreon account.

Blessedbe

Summer Foovay

Wednesday, November 8, 2017

Thank you

The first part of November is always crazy busy. Among other things, the Kindle money has come in, as well as the money for your blog subscriptions. This month, the Patreon money even came in without me having to scream bloody murder to get it!

So I want to thank you all for your support. For reading my blogs, buying and reading my books on Kindle, and your kind and open ended support at Patreon.

It means a great deal to me, not only from a financial standpoint but also from a heart felt appreciation. I spent the first half of my life around people who were never satisfied with anything I did, no matter how hard I tried. If I reached the goal, they moved it! It means more to me than you will ever know that people enjoy my work enough to actually pay some of their hard earned money for it. Knowing that there are people out there who believe in me enough to send money to help me continue to create gives me a warm, fuzzy feeling like no other.

Bless you and thank you.

Summer Foovay

Wednesday, November 1, 2017

Nanowrimo 2017 - Hope springs eternal


I had a big crash depression episode last night.

For several weeks I have known what I was writing for Nanowrimo 2017 - because I was pissed and afraid and pretty sure I was right. The BLM intends to zero out ALL wild mustangs on public land. They got permission to sell them for slaughter in this fucking budget and it passed. Then they got permission to shoot them from helicopters instead of rounding them up (who didn't see that coming). And last night the BLM abruptly without warning ended a volunteer manned, non-taxpayer, cooperative program with citizens of Nevada that was using PZP as a humane range management. Yeah. They intend to kill every last one of them, regardless of what the public wants.

It's part of this administrations policy to sell all public land to the highest bidder whether they want to mine, frack, drill, chop down trees, or graze cattle. Mustangs and the people who come to see and photograph them will only be in the way. So the horses have got to go.

Growing up I read "Smokey" by Will James, about a cowboy who captures and gentles a wild mustang. In time they become trusting, loving partners. I read "Mustang" by Marguerite Henry - and then all of her books. I have gone through my entire life knowing that there would come a day when I had the time, and the facilities and resources, to adopt and gentle my own Mustang. Always. It was one steadfast dream.

Then came the TIP program and I thought what a wonderful way to contribute. I could gentle my Mustang, and others. Making them more adoptable for people who don't happen to have "taming wild horses" in their skill set. I fully intended for that day to come for me.

I spent some time living near the Caballo Mountains and for some reason, don't ask me why, they're my favorite mountains ever. Yes, they are named the Horse Mountains - because of the wild horses that used to live there. I have this dream vision of wild horses running free there again because I own a big hunk of land on the mountains and adopt a whole band to run free.

All those horses are gone now. So far as I know, there are no wild horses running free anywhere in New Mexico. Although...I was told that there are a few. That the ranchers whose land/lease they live on keep their mouth shut about them - so they will not be rounded up and killed by the BLM. Because some cowboys actually LIKE horses - even and maybe even especially the wild ones.

So for years I've had this idea rattling around in my head to write a story about a wild mustang stallion and his band, and the old rancher who hides and protects them as they live wild and free on his ranch. That was going to be my Nanowrimo 2017 novel - so I could rant about the extermination while I was at it. Only the extreme, end days things I had planned to fictionalize in the book, have actually come true in the last few weeks.

Last night I felt all those dreams shatter like the china horse figurines I used to collect. And my crazy mind took over and said, if they'll do this, what's next? End Medicare/medicaid and SSD? They'll kill horses outright. They've already figured out how many people they can kill and how much they can save in one of their health plans. Why not introduce the anti-Medicare expansion bill - the end Medicare bill. They have two more votes than the Dems. They can do it. Kill all these "useless" people.

Like my husband.

I'm pretty sure the only reason it hasn't been done already is because the big medical companies like Fresenius and DaVita don't want that to happen. They make billions off Medicare keeping people like my husband alive. The Congress we have now - they seem quite willing to cut off their nose to spite their face. To lose those corporate sponsors just to spit on the liberals and socialized health care.

And...I spiraled into paralysis. Nothing got written. I thought maybe I'd do something different but everything I could think of came back to the horrors of this current administration and the destruction of what I thought was the country I lived in. And I know I'd start strong and rant and get too depressed and agonized and have to quit. Because I've done that. What to do?

Watch four hours of anime and fall into bed was my eventual solution.

I got up this morning to discover my hubby was going to join us in Nanowrimo!  Then he brought in from the mail a photography magazine he had subscribed us to. On the back was a photo of wild horses. Inside was an ad for photo taking tours of wild horses. I got online and went down the rabbit hole and came up with a prize. Several refuges for Mustangs - on owned land without any BLM involvement. (Some working with BLM but I'm sure that will end soon). The very thing I believed would save our Mustangs. The same thing that saved our buffalo. Private people who chose to make a difference, to save an endangered animal, to devote their own lives to the cause.

There is hope.

Before you ask, no, I haven't considered doing a crowdfunding and trying to start my own refuge in the Caballos. No, that's wrong. I have considered it - and discarded it. Too cynical. Too experienced, in my mind. I can't believe in people, so it would never work. My husband is the center of my universe and his care and feeding takes up too much of my time and mental space for me to have enough left over to tackle this project. In this case, I cannot be the change I want to see in the world.

But I can help fund it.

And on that note, here is my plan.  I will post my Nanowrimo novel, as it is written, on my Patreon account as Patron only posts. If you join during the month of November to read this as it goes, whatever your pledge is, when it shows up in my account December 1st, I will gather them up and send them to one of the Mustang refuges I mentioned.  After that, hell, quit for all I care. I know it isn't for me, it's for the horses.

If/when the book is published, 50% or more of the profits from it will go to Mustang refuges continuously as long as I and Mustangs are around.

Because writing - I can do that.

And maybe, just maybe, you can spend one dollar to be part of it.

Blessedbe

Summer Foovay

Photo info & credit: Given no shade or shelter, a yearling Mustang languishes in the sweltering heat of a BLM holding facility.
Image from YEA (Youth's Equine Alliance)


Saturday, October 28, 2017

Book reviews

I'm doing some Kindle housekeeping today and one of the things I really wanted to do was to be sure I reviewed a couple of books I really enjoyed over the last month or so.

So let's see how well the Goodread's "embed" coding works...

The Easter Make BelieversThe Easter Make Believers by Finn Bell
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Finn Bell just keeps getting better. For real life, down and dirty, bleak noir that always leaves you with a spark of hope there are none better. If thinking makes your head hurt, don't read his books. They are deep. You will think. You will put it down and remember and think about it some more. A quote for instance: "At some point, under the sheer weight of experience, you accept the simple fact that you can't change the past. It's only ever going to be exactly how it is. But it stays with you, all that stuff, just sits inside you." Wisdom tucked into a thrilling and suspenseful story. I cannot recommend his books highly enough. I've read every one of them, and I will continue to read every single one he is generous enough to share with us. And oh yeah, it is set in New Zealand, which is beginning to sound like heaven.


View all my reviews

Oh! lovely! Okay - no affiliation with Amazon any more - simply want to make sure some terrific authors get their due - here's links to all three reviews on Amazon:

The Easter Make Believers by Finn Bell

Samhain Witchcraft by Arziana Everdark

Dragonfriend by Marc Secchia

Because I have thousands of books listed as being on my Kindle, I am trying to actually have five or ten ON my Kindle, and as I get those read sort them out. If they are awful I don't make myself finish things anymore - but I'm making sure I delete them from my cloud collection as well as the Kindle. Otherwise Amazon kindly sends them to my Kindle when they update, and are always trying to sell me more by the same author. I have a bad memory for names and titles, so I start them again and then go, "Ugh. this." Trying to save myself some trouble and find the hidden gems. Again.

These three - well worth it. I'd buy more from each of these authors. In fact, I plan to.

Best of luck to them in all their endeavors!

Summer Foovay