Fleet On Her Feet; News Recap

Fleet On Her Feet

She was fast. She’d always been fast. She could twist and bend her upper body out of the reach of grasping hands while her legs kept moving.

She was liquid mercury. No one could catch her. She liked to see them try.

And they tried. Oh did they try.

Their scuffed shoes barely seemed to touch the ground, laces near always up in the air as they lunged after her. She would have laughed in their faces if she had the time, but she was goal oriented.

The flag fluttered at her waist, cloth brushing against the back of her thigh as she dodged and sped, arms firm around the canvas wrapped book she clutched in her arms.

She could hear the shouts of the watching crowd. Her teammates were the loudest, calling out their encouragement from the sidelines. She was the last of her team left on the field, but as a flag-carrier she was not a hunter but prey. She needed to wait out the clock.

She dodged and dashed. She forced herself to breathe even when the pounding of feet brought dust into the air. She moved to clearer parts of the field, but she did not slow and she did not rest. She wondered how much time was left on the clock, but could only focus on her legs and the hands reaching for the flag.

She spun on her heel–letting a boy taller than her tumble by her knee–and leapt out of the grasping crowd to land near four feet away. She used that bit of lead to carry her as far from them as she could go while still staying on the playing field. She could see how tiredness had them lag off the mark–they’d been much quicker when they’d first met.

She’d trained hard for her speed. She’d watched her legs form muscle and definition from the baby fat and it had filled her with a fierce satisfaction. She liked the play of muscle under her skin. She liked the sense of strength, of capability, of pure physicality as she told her body what to do and it did it even as her thoughts formed.

She felt like a streak of light. Their fingers couldn’t even brush against her. She was too fast.

She glanced at the crowd long enough to see her best friend jumping up and down, screaming at her in sheer excitement. It pushed her to move faster, jump further, and, just when the referee was bringing his arm up to end the match…

She felt him coming, sensed him more than saw him, and was moving before she caught the blur of motion approaching from her peripheral view. She’d attended four ballet lessons just to learn the “fairy princess spin” she’d craved, and it was with a sense of glee that she used it now, twisting her upper body to the right, then pushing off with the toe of her left foot while spinning her upper body back around.

She twirled in the air to land lightly on her feet. The boy that had nearly gotten her flag hit the ground with an audible thud and a puff of air. From his face, he was frustrated but unhurt.

She barely spared him a glance before her best friend was on her, arms closing around her shoulders from behind while joyous screams filled her ears. “You did it! You did it!”

“We did it!” She grinned and hugged back with one arm, her other still holding the book. She hadn’t noticed the weight while running, but her arms were telling her she would be aching later. She didn’t care. “We all did it. We worked together and we did it.”

“We won!”

/END

NEWS RECAP:

First he’s like “Leave me alone,” then the next thing we know he’s full on cosplaying.

I don’t know why people don’t get in trouble once it’s discovered they’re the ones that started a socially harmful or deadly conspiracy.

Since the season is shot, why not let people use plastic sports ponchos as life-saving protective equipment, said none of us. Sure.

It’s so bad… He used to be a unicorn ;_;

The OP noticed the title in a secondary tab and googled it. From that, they discovered coworker’s fanfiction, which they immediately sent to another coworker friend, who blasted it across the office.

It’s like, why the heck would you have that open on your work laptop, ESPECIALLY when you’re making a presentation? That’s basic. And it doesn’t take away from the fact that OP did a terrible thing and seems largely unapologetic about it.

Boo, I say. Boo.

If she doesn’t go to prison… I’mma be mad. Seriously.

A normal person doing the harm she’s done should go to prison. As an elected figure that receives highly confidential information and who promised to be ethical about it… She’s horrible. And her husband–President of the NY stock exchange?–should be fired for some kind of misconduct if not outright criminal actions.

The assumption has always been that in the event of a national emergency, the federal government would supply money and aid supplies to states. There would be government oversight to assure proper and fair dispersion of supplies, and as necessary would command and pay for necessary equipment.

The fact that our government’s infrastructure has been stripped so thoroughly that there’s nobody left behind that knows the proper protocols?

This administration and everyone involved with it should be impeached and locked up in prison. For the safety of the United States and the world.

I was wondering the other day: Because 45 was impeached by Congress–which people assured was a real and legal impeachment–does that open him up to lawsuits and civil action?

I’m sure people are already planning on suing Eric and the various “officials” that spread falsehood in return for short-term stock returns, but I honestly think it needs to go further. These people have profited off the misery and death they’ve sown, and there was no reason for any of it… unless there truly was some Russian collusion. Otherwise they’re destroying everything just to do it, because there were much easier ways to make a buck.

I need to follow up on this part of the Zoom privacy story.

“So what is it that you do?”

“I’m a garden hermit. Eh. It’s a gig.”

I’m very hopeful that at least some people will realize and recognize that a person should be paid a fair wage for a day’s work. And a corporation is not a person, and should not be treated better than a person.

I honestly feel like reality branched off with that election, and somehow we all ended up in the Mirrorverse.

I’m thinking about growing a little beard.

We need more people to speak up and be honest about what’s going on until so many voices are blasting out the truth that neither liar nor fool can say they weren’t fully informed.

Because right now I’m angry. I’m mad at the current administration needlessly killing so many people. I’m mad at those taking advantage of the situation to spread misinformation for their own profit or even just for shits and giggles. And I’m mad that 20-something year olds only had to hear that it’s not as harmful to their age group before they were out on the street partying it up–“If I catch it, I catch it.”

I’m angry that misinformation has been purposefully spread through our school books. I’m angry that our educational system is so flawed that Gen Z doesn’t have a clue where to look for real news, because to them either all news is fake news or they follow the same media lies as their parents.

As a result, people got sick that didn’t need to get sick. People died that wouldn’t otherwise have died.

And tomorrow large masses of people are going to insist that the only way to celebrate Easter is to gather together in a church and everything will be all right. Because how could it not?

This guy. Seriously. This guy.

Anyone ready for that newspeak? Yeah. It’s scary to watch them rewriting history as it happens.

We NEED vote-by-mail.

The fact that they’re trying to force the United States Postal Service to go out of business to keep us from having vote-by-mail pretty much SCREAMS that we desperately need vote-by-mail.

And to save the USPS.

They are essential for not just voting, but for businesses to affordably ship things to consumers. So unless everyone wants to pay a heck of a lot more for everything they order online… We need the USPS.

They are a vital service.

I don’t know why this milk couldn’t have gone to milk and butter.

Couldn’t the dairy farmers have done like the South Korean potato farmers did and sell their milk at rock-bottom prices? Or if they’d had it all turned into butter and cheese, they could have sold blocks to people pretty much at their leisure.

Dumping it out is a giant waste.

Especially in this time when those dependent on SNAP and WIC are having such difficulty finding foods that match their programs. Everyone is stocking up, which means the affordable food is going first. Which means there are people starving right now because a little kindness is too much.

This is criminal. Criminal. Criminal.

States spend their own money buying supplies, only to have the Federal government confiscate it and redistribute it to other states. Then 45 mocks the original states for not having supplies.

The world has gone mad.

https://twitter.com/disco_socialist/status/1245880962971402240?s=20

I’d buy that for a dollar.

Yet he was saying that we were fully supplied.

Which we were, before everything got sold to other countries. Because our leadership knew about the virus and the looming pandemic, yet gambled that it was going to be like the SARS of a few years ago where only a couple of Amerians caught it and nothing bad happened except what could have been an awesome stock opportunity if only someone had known about it.

Turns out COVID-19 is not like the SARS of a couple of years ago. Turns out this is actually a serious health crisis that has only been exacerbated by incompetence and criminal behavior.

Things are growing bleaker, and followers of an imaginary playbook think 45 has some kind of magical Other-ken when really he’s a flopping puppet for other hands and we’re all about to suffer terribly for it.

I look around, and I don’t know what I’m supposed to personally do, but I see what the bad people are doing and it is becoming an untenable situation. It’s not just kids in cages anymore. It’s a lot worse.

The election had best be a blue won, otherwise we’re looking at a dystopian future. Because this is America. The land of the John McClane.

And unless things turn out completely The Hunger Games or The Postman, I don’t think most Americans are going to lay down for the fascists.

Rage is already percolating about the war on women, climate change, human trafficking, slavery, child brides, the Boy Scouts, priests, touchy handsy bosses, and the now much deeper issue of vaccination and pandemics. The volcano was already puffing smoke… What kind of person would throw nitroglycerin into the mix?

Bad news, wake news, fake news… It all boils down to the people of the world needing a reputable source of news and public information.

There’s rage all around. It’s better that it be constructively utilized, rather than being left to seethe in the shadows. We need that energy if we want to make a better world for everyone, but it’s a dangerous energy when allowed to languish.

This is perfect.

I think it would be amazing if she were a DLC character in the Mortal Kombat game.

That would be hilarious.

I think the problem started when politicians began to have followers rather than supporters. Because when people out-source their higher thought processes to people that may not have their best interest in mind… Bad things happen.

This is frightening. Medical personnel have got to be blindly walking into COVID-19 situations and handling infected bodies.

She may be brand new, but she definitely wasn’t born yesterday. She knows a good thing when she gets it.

In all reality, doctors and nurses and the janitorial staff that work with them all deserve hazard pay. Because sure, they took the job. That doesn’t mean anyone ever expects to be on the front lines of a pandemic.

They are going above and beyond their jobs. They’re putting their lives on the line in the name of their patients. That’s amazing.

This is either a very self-sufficient cat or the Dr. Strange from the cat-Earth.

Meet Karen, representative for all Karens.

Ziptie bandage.

This is neat, but I guess it’s very expensive.

Cool idea, though. I can definitely see other applications for the foot pedal design.

I don’t know when it became an apocalypse cult… But it’s looking a bit apocalypse culty..

This is ridiculous.

The United States Postal Service is a vital service. It needs to be funded.

East Africa is about to be hit by a massive wave of hungry locusts. They’ve already got 20 million hungry people. They’re about to be decimated.

What can be done to help them? The danger time is looking to be around June, though it can be a bit earlier or later.

I know the joke is that the government is out to get people, but that’s supposed to be an idea so far from the truth that it’s ludicrous, and therefore hilariously funny. If the government is actually trying to kill citizens from states it deems “the Enemy,” then we’re looking at a serious problem.

Cheap and affordable to build medical equipment may become something that people will assemble from home and donate to those in need.

Because there are going to be a lot more people in need than there are operable ventilators in hospitals and clinics at this time.

Remember in Pacific Rim where they decommission the jaegers because the massive sea wall was completed and it’s supposed to be the ultimate protection? And then the kaiju goes right through the wall, and it’s only because the ragtag team of Earth defenders have been privately running their own Shatterdome that the kaiju is stopped and the world is eventually saved?

This isn’t an awesome yet admittedly hand-wavy sci-fi movie. This is real life. Why do we have to get rid of the things that work just because we’ve come up with something new? Why can’t we have both?

Because this pandemic is either going to blow over or blow through us. If nothing happens and we’re prepared, it’s an opportunity to laugh and maybe cry in relief. But if it is bad and we’re not prepared, a lot of people are going to die.

And that’s terrible.

Yeah, the virus out of New York originally came out of Europe. I’m making the assumption that someone brought it back from Italy because percentages give me a good chance of being right.

I saw “Delta” and was immediately like “Didn’t I hear some bad stuff about them before?” and then I read the article and wow. Just, wow. They’re evil.

Not only are they putting their employees at risk by not keeping everybody informed, I’m doubtful that they bothered to inform affected passengers. So if you’ve flown Delta since the onset of this whole pandemic… yeah.

I hope they receive money for delivery and tips are just that–the extra thanks someone offers them. Because if they’re living off tips, they’re desperate people being taken advantage of.

And every person that uses the service is an abuser.

That was a good thread. He points out everything clearly and with citations.

https://twitter.com/Amy_Siskind/status/1248964142192607234?s=20

He’s just like “Come on” to the baby ducks, and they waddle waddle right after him. Adorable.

Is this really done on the inside of the bottle? Yep. That would be a bottle fail for me.

Anyways, that was the news recap. I’ll hit you guys up again next week.

Unless there’s a special screaming episode tomorrow night because people insist on gathering for Easter Sunday. I hope people will stay home. But I fear they’re going to be out there putting their children at risk.

Stay home as much as you can. If we all work together, we can flatten the curve.

The 51 people that were seemingly reinfected might prove that we want to bring infection numbers down to 0 rather than riding things out with the hope that the recovered have become immune.

Whatever happens, we’re all going to have to pull together and work together as a larger community. We have to keep our society moving to prevent starvation and death at the hands of the casually cruel.

We have to shine a light on injustice. We have to keep ourselves and others aware and involved with what’s going on.

Because everyone needs to vote in November. Get yourself registered now. Push for vote-by-mail now. Demand reform now.

We have to save democracy. Stop the madness. Vote Blue 2020.

Pax,

~HarperWCK

Timeline of events (mental recap)

So I’mma do a recap of what I remember of recent events. This is something for me, but you can enjoy(1) it too. Don’t expect citations; this is for me.

It’s like the memory game:

So the basics are:

President promises much needed supplies for hospitals + decides companies will magically donate those supplies = doesn’t place order for much needed supplies.

Lacking supplies and protective equipment = nurses and doctors hitting craft stores to make their own face shields = public sewing and donating masks + public 3D printing ventilator parts = big company threatening litigation.

I hope the other planets are holding us in their thoughts. It’s like someone pointed out, life has been terrible ever since Mercury entered retrograde.

Meanwhile…

I wonder what solution he uses.

Remember when that lady wanted to clean that painting of Jesus and it was a practical lesson on leaving certain jobs to the professionals? Yeah. This guy is amazing.

Clear. Concise explanation. Just what we all needed.

That dress is amazing.

I love her. I’m sorry if you don’t. But I love her.

I honestly enjoyed Birds of Prey. You should watch it if you haven’t seen it. (And if you’re interested, somewhere on the Internet someone’s posted the recipe for Harley’s beloved egg, bacon, and cheese sandwich.)

Kojima is a visionary. We should have him pick the lotto numbers.

This is amazing to me.

If some millionaire out there wants to buy me like a ton of these, I promise to put them to good use and I’ll even post pictures. Because these solar panels are amazing. It makes me wanna weep.

In the video I saw from China, they were walking around with big pans of steamed buns and passing them out to their tourist-monkeys.

I haven’t kept up with this story the way I should have. I hope those monkeys are doing well ;_;

This thread makes me want to weep… from RAGE. Some people seriously need to be punished, like ay-ay-ay-ay!

An eye-opening thread. Like WTF.

Definitely a wake-up call.

$11,000 and you get a brand new 3D printed house.

If it becomes popular, this technology could definitely change the face of home-ownership.

Wow. Snakes and stones.

Kanye and Kim are a couple of devils.

Train to Busan” is an amazing movie and you should totally watch it. Even my notorious zombie movie hater brother got sucked in and enjoyed it.

Good soup.

And yeah, the conductor really is a hero. He went above and beyond, especially when dealing with that rich douche guy.

https://twitter.com/NaturismC/status/1241389766144385027?s=20

Yeah, I’m not too keen at the idea of this. Especially since they’re moving the National Guard around like hm.

I’m thinking I might have to watch the first episode of “Vagrant Queen.” I’m a bit curious.

First episode is on YouTube.

There is nothing quite so disturbing as a doctor walking in, handling your parts, and never once washing their hands. And no, I don’t that disinfectant foam really counts for much.

But what do I know. I’m not a doctor.

Batman believes in branding. He went to school with Cobra Commander.

  1. There is no joy here. Only Zuul.

Snopes is a valuable resource.

I’m still curious whether Russia really released lions in their streets to maintain the curfew. I mean, on one hand, idk, and on the other… Idk. Seems legit.

I have a couple of chickenpox scars. I don’t want to get shingles.

The future seems like a dark and dismal place, filled with itching and childhood regret.

It’s terrible to think of mothers and children going hungry because people panic-bought a bunch of food they otherwise wouldn’t have touched with a 10-foot pole. So now people are stocked with food they’re not going to eat–because stores are restocking daily, though everything might not be available–and people that live on those WIC and SNAP approved foods can’t find anything they can buy.

She is great at her job. Seriously. Props to a star.

https://twitter.com/HarperKingsley0/status/1242902513000448000?s=20

I have never read “The Communist Manifesto.” I just really admire how they matched her outfits to every cover. Very cool.

That ending is such a surprise. Maybe a little disturbing. But I think the message is clear… Physical distancing is the thing to do in this time of pandemic.

Everyone is playing “Animal Crossing: New Horizons“, and I’m kind of super jealous, but also kind of not because I really don’t need to get obsessed with a game that has no clear ending. Because I would play and obsess FOREVER and none of us want a repeat of the whole Farmville thing.

Still, if you’re not a weirdo like me, you should try the two games I really want to play but probably shouldn’t: “Animal Crossing: New Horizons” and “Stardew Valley.”

Why do they give an alternate opinion to the truth? I mean, if it’s an alternate opinion to the truth, then it’s complete nonsense and the people spouting it should be told to sit down and educate themselves because they are being the problem.

I am just so tired. Like. Ugh.

“For Obama.”

So like that poem “Home” I wrote a while back? It’s actually the chapter titles of “My Name Is Home.” Just saying.

I tried watching season 1, episode 1 of “Killing Eve” a while ago, but maybe I wanna give it another chance. Idk.

It might be too much for me. But I am the king of the fast-forward button. So, yeah.

Yeah, I don’t really recommend following my Twitter unless you want a bunch of nonsense and news.

I’mma try to post a Twitter recap here every week or so. It seems my speed 🙂

I hope his wife didn’t get offended and that he was able to clearly and kindly explain himself. Though his hours of working seem really grueling, and maybe his boss should give him a more humane 9-5 schedule because geesh.

I need to follow up on this story. Like, what’s going on in the world of unions right now?
I am never going to win this game. It is kicking my ass.

MagiCat on Nintendo Switch is too much for me. This cute little cat just keeps dying and I’m not even past level 2 and I’ve put like 14 hours into this game spread out over months and months, but still, 14 HOURS.

I may be looking at this one as a story prompt. Just saying.
Me watching this, screaming “Stay the fok home!”

You can practically see where idiots decided to keep weekend partying and got infected. So bonkers.

If you’re looking for a way to help during this crisis…

Homeless kids need help at the moment.

Now I wanna watch this episode. We love you Kitty!

I love Kitty from That 70’s Show. Her and Red… they were poifect together. Just poifect.

*sigh*
This whole administration is such a turd sandwich. // Do you remember that they CUT DOWN protected cactuses/cacti to build the ridiculous wall? Like, people are sitting in prison today for accidentally crashing their cars into one, yet these a-holes chopped down so f’ing many. LIke… ugh.

So… He’s got casino interests, so he’s going to stomp on the rights of the Mashpee Wampanoag tribe, and he thinks we’re going to let it happen because he bungled the Covid-19 response? Seriously, what drugs is he on?

You know, if you’re into Captain Picard reading a sonnet.

Is this a moodboard? Is that what this is?

Am I supposed to write a story featuring these four archetypal characters? Is that what you want me to do?

Heavy stuff. I do not feel qualified here at all.

So like, the Internet Archive is trying to circumvent copyrights, which they got called out on previously. I don’t know why they would try this bs right now, but seriously dudes: Cut it out.

The strings they cut now also gives other jerks room to cause trouble nobody needs at the moment. The world is battling a pandemic, and 45 is tryin’ to kill us all for profit.

Stop poking the bear.

Yikes.

Definitely things to think about. People are going to need more help than ever, especially if this administration continues on this path of decimation.

Much love to the first line heroes putting themselves out there with no assurance to their own safety. We love you. Blessing on you and your house.

I really wanna write “Yesterday” fanfic.

It’s definitely inspired me to contemplate a what-if prompt. I mean, months ago I mentioned something about “What if ‘Yesterday’ is the Harry Potter universe, and that’s why the books don’t exist there.” Or “What if ‘Yesterday’ is the Buffy universe in another Wish-fic or fic involving a Wish with a capital ‘W’?”

And the idea that there’s any universe without Coca-Cola, the Beatles, Harry Potter, or Oasis… It’s probably the world without shrimp.

How do we get medical workers the supplies they need?

If someone with knowledge was in charge, we wouldn’t be having these problems. Since everything is pretty much madness at the moment, we need to figure out how things are being done and not let ourselves be cheated out of our health and happiness.

I feel like throwing snake emojis around. Seriously. Madness.

https://twitter.com/HarperKingsley0/status/1244479683699195904?s=20
These were a super hard pass.

In the name of giving these chips a chance, I’m all for their purchase. In terms of taste… Yuck with a double side of yuck.

Ruffles, I love you, but these chips are of questionable taste.

I recommend reading “Brave New World” by Aldous Huxley. And then read the Cyteen series by C.J. Cherryh. (Goes to add link, finds out Cyteen isn’t available on Kindle. Freaks the fok out, because why isn’t it available on Kindle?!? What madness is this? And the price for Brave New World? Yikes.)

I like number 2 because it’s airy and bright, plus the tile floor is nice.

The color of number 4 caught my eye, but it seems too warm for this time of year. Number 1 seemed a bit too cozy for me, though I like the color palette.

Stay safe at home. Green state solidarity! Hope ya’ll in the red are being sensible even if your neighbors are being fools.

We’re all hanging out at home. Just chilling. Wishing TV networks actually showed content anymore.

I hope you’re doing well. I’m doing all right. Trying to keep from clawing the walls down, lol.

I hope things don’t just go back to normal. I hope they’re better.

Stay safe.

-HarperWCK

News of the World

There are currently plans afoot for what I think are some truly awesome things. At the very least, I am enthused.

*

I really have to start taking pictures, though I’ve been holding off a bit so I can practice my different crafty things. I probably shouldn’t be so shy about it, but I am. I’ll have to force myself to get the camera out. (But I’ll try.)

The only thing I’m really scared of is that I’m going to suck. I’ve dreamed my whole life of being one of those arty people that can pick up a pen and make something beautiful. I feel like I’ve found a way to express that desire in a workable way, but it would kill me if I’m not any good at it.

I still remember how awful it was to discover that I can’t paint.

There are kindergartners that can paint better than me. I didn’t realize how bad I was at painting until I bought all kinds of acrylic paints and brushes. I don’t want to go through that nightmare again.

*

Money I’ve spent so far on the current project: $300. There’s so many tools and supplies I still need to get, so I’ve been focusing on the smaller pieces. They’re not turning out quite how I want them to be, so I’m praying I didn’t just throw that money away. I would seriously cry.

*

I’ve also been writing a script for this little thing I’m working on. (I’m not talking about the Ren’Py game; that’s been set aside until mid-March. I still can’t get the Android extension to work, which is a bit of a puzzler.) It’s a video we’re putting together for our YouTube channel. We haven’t gotten to the point of making sets yet, so it’s going to be a while yet, but I’m really getting into this show.

*

Title: Tuesday Night
Author: Harper Kingsley
Genre: superhero sci-fi

EXCERPT:

So right now, examining the scene that was Triangle Park, Seth felt his focus tightening. This could be for all the marbles, and he refused to be the one to fuck things up.

“Good luck,” he breathed.

“You too,” Tony said.

Then they were moving in opposite directions, Seth headed toward the swan-topped fountain, Tony toward the gazebo. If they survived, they were to meet up past the East Gate on the far end of the park. If they didn’t survive… well, then they’d be dining in Valhalla and none of this mattered anyway.

There were drones moving around the big tent. Carrying planks of wood and coils of wire, tromping around in their own little world. Seth was glad not to be noticed.

He stayed to the peripherals, moving amongst the trees. He wanted to use the cover as long as possible before he was forced to expose himself. He felt like he had a target painted on his skin. One drone catching sight of him too soon and everything would be over.

As he walked, he dropped tiny thumbtack charges. Unless they were being shoved into a keyhole to blow the lock on a door, they were mostly a popping firecracker sound and a bit of light. But they could be activated with a simple remote, and he figured a bit of distraction would do him good.

Ghosting amongst the trees, he set the camera on his helm to 360-degrees and hoped it was recording everything. No matter what happened, Overwatch would appreciate the enemy intel. Even if they got it from a satellite transmission after he was already dead.

He knelt down to pile the last of the thumbtack charges on the ground and smoothed a handful of loose dirt on top of them.

He wasn’t looking to start a fire, but the surrounding brush was dry and he could hope a little. It would make the perfect distraction while he made his getaway.

/EXCERPT

I hate that I get caught up in Internet drama

I don’t know what it says about my personality that I allow myself to become so upset about things I read on the Internet. Sure, there might be lots of people on the Internet going around doing whatever it is that they do, but in all honesty the Internet is not the real world. It is a group delusion perpetrated by millions of people all imagining that they’re existing on the same page mentally, when actually every person is alone.

When you’re interacting with people online, you infer a lot from the things things they say or don’t say. A missed emoticon takes the joke out of a statement and turns a person into a creepy psychopath. A dropped connection leaves someone imagining that they are hated or that they have been proven right with their strawman argument. And somewhere out there–like 900 times a day the world over–someone is being an abusive troll because it’s “fun” (not funny, just fun to them).

The world is a strange place filled with many strange people. I know, because I’m a strange person myself. I read non-mainstream things, I write non-mainstream things, I don’t enjoy reality television or most current popular television (I find it asinine, as though the creators are purposely insulting my intelligence), and sometimes–when the moon is high and I’m feeling adventuresome–I visit sites like Cracked, Quartz, or BuzzFeed and gorge myself on their offerings of humor and world news.

I enjoy Cracked the most because the articles are humorous and edutaining–I’ve learned a surprising amount from Cracked articles, and that’s no lie. Quartz is a new site on my radar, mostly centered on world news in the form of interesting articles, and they’ve given me some information I otherwise wouldn’t have come across. And then there’s BuzzFeed.

Ah, BuzzFeed. By turns interesting, horrifying, and straight up garbage (seriously, a single picture and a 30-word caption does not an article make). BuzzFeed is what is politely termed a time suck. You follow the click-bait–a list of recipes, a DIY article, pics of a celebrity baby, whatever–and nine hours later you realize you desperately need the bathroom and your kid hasn’t been fed. It’s never a good idea to visit BuzzFeed on a day when you have to get things done, because there’s a real chance you’re going to wake up from your fugue state to discover it’s nighttime.

Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy going on BuzzFeed–there’s not a lot of reading, there’s plenty of pictures, and everything’s in an easy to follow list format. But there are some times when the related articles and what-have-yous all lead to articles designed to raise my blood pressure. I understand how the Internet can spawn so many social justice samurai–as though a “I hate this, and I hate you because you’re stoopid” comment will change the world. There are times when I’m tempted to get out my own sword, until I realize the article that’s making me so outraged is ten months old and I’m forced to skulk back into my cave of despair.

Lately it seems as though everyday brings a new drama to my mental doorstep. I get sucked into the problems of the world, and even though I try to make my heart a stone, I find my emotions getting exploited against my will.

Sometimes I wish that I could just stop caring. I’d be a much happier person.

* * *
(NOTE: If you follow the centuries old adage of “Leave your drama to your mama,” then you’re probably not going to want to read much further. That beginning part was pretty much the meat and potatoes of my meandering babble. The rest of this… It’s the reason why I’ve seriously contemplated quitting the Internet and joining a monastery ala Fortunato from the Wild Cards series.)

The Internet drama that’s ruined my mood lately:

So this happened => ‘Am I being catfished?’ An author confronts her number one online critic <= (goes through Do Not Link to prevent rewarding of bad behavior) and the Internets exploded, and quite rightly. Seriously, the article should better be titled “‘Am I a frightening and possibly dangerous stalker?’ An author breaks every rule of common decency and displays threatening behavior toward a reader.”

On the importance of pseudonymous activity” — Dear Author talks about it. Includes a breakdown of everything that happened with a more honest timeline than the author presented (seriously, she was all “I was victimized and lied to, and I’m a fierce warrior that regained my strength through hunting a person across the Internet” when really it was more like “People should be afraid I’m out on the street because I see myself as a victim and I have no problem using my fiance and his family to do whatever the heck I want”).

Victim or Perpetrator?” — Author Jim C Hines gives his view on the article. Which includes the advice to authors: Don’t do any of this.

Author Stalks Anonymous Blogger Who Gave Her a 1-Star Review” — “filed to:SHITSTORMS” is about right. Jezebel covers the story.

Poisoning the Well” — Dear Author’s Letters of Opinion points out why being a creepy author isn’t a good idea and the effect it has on the book community at large. Basically, everyone is terrified that an “author behaving badly” moment is going to turn into a “reader/reviewer gets attacked by a deranged author” news story. No one wants to see that happen, and the fact that publishing companies aren’t doing anything to protect their customers or to denounce author bad behavior is spawning some sour feelings all around.

The Choices of Kathleen Hale” — Smart Bitches, Trashy Books takes on the topic.

EDITED TO ADD: “Hale vs Harris, and the Breach of Online Ethics” — a great breakdown of events. This ones a good post if you’re following the drama.

TL;DR, in a very me-centered essay published by The Guardian (who should know better), author Kathleen Hale recounts her adventures in stalking a reviewer online, whereby she follows it up by SHOWING UP AT THE WOMAN’S HOUSE. Seriously, she was wandering around the reviewer’s yard, peeking in through her car windows, and lurking around the front door. I think that the only reason she didn’t break a window and go in was because there was a silhouette of a person at an upstairs window watching her (probably wondering WTF she was doing) and a dog barking inside. Otherwise she would have probably been in there trying on some clothes and drawing a big red smiley face on a bedroom wall in her victim’s blood.

This whole story gives me a cold chill. Not just because people actually defended her actions while lambasting the reviewer on her word alone, but because she’s out there roaming the streets right now. There comes a point when friends and family need to step in and deal with a person’s mental health, and this scenario? It’s a big red flag, especially in conjunction with her previous experience of going after another person.

I don’t read a lot of YA books, but this is one author that’s going on my permanent Do Not Want list. If I had a teenaged kid in my life, I’d tell them to stay away too, just in case she got a little too interested and showed up on my doorstep. Because this is someone that doesn’t just stalk people and display dangerous amounts of obsessive behavior, this is someone that then precedes to doxx her victim in a national newspaper (which doesn’t have the best reputation, but still!) in an attempt to drum up sympathy for her own crimes. As though stalking someone online or in real life is ever going to be okay.

In conclusion: Ugh.

Thursday, March 6th: Locks of Love; exercise; Arunachalam Muruganantham

Locks of Love

It’s that time of year again. My hair is getting long and once I have 12-inches I will be chopping 10-inches off and sending it away to Locks of Love.

What is Locks of Love?

Locks of Love is a public non-profit organization that provides hairpieces to financially disadvantaged children in the United States and Canada under age 21 suffering from long-term medical hair loss from any diagnosis. We meet a unique need for children by using donated hair to create the highest quality hair prosthetics. Most of the children helped by Locks of Love have lost their hair due to a medical condition called alopecia areata, which has no known cause or cure. The prostheses we provide help to restore their self-esteem and their confidence, enabling them to face the world and their peers.

How to donate:

  • 10 inches measured tip to tip is the minimum length needed for a hairpiece.
  • Hair must be in a ponytail or braid before it is cut.
  • Hair must be clean and completely dry before it is mailed in.
  • Place the ponytail or braid inside of a plastic bag, and then inside of a padded envelope.
  • If you wish to receive an acknowledgment for your hair donation, please fill out the hair donation form, or write your name and e-mail address or mailing address on a full size separate sheet of paper and include inside the envelope. We cannot acknowledge donors who do not send their name and address according to these instructions.
  • All hair donations must be mailed to Locks of Love at:
    234 Southern Blvd.
    West Palm Beach, FL 33405-2701
  • **IMPORTANT** When mailing your donation, please make sure that you are sending it with adequate postage. The U.S. Postal Service has notified Locks of Love that many donations are being sent without enough postage, and these packages will be returned to sender! To ensure adequate postage, please take your donation to your local post office.

Go check out Locks of Love: http://www.locksoflove.org.

It’s a great organization that helps kids, and if you’re giving a hair donation it doesn’t cost anything more than postage. So why not help someone out?


Exercise

I spend a lot of time on my computer, and as everyone knows, that’s a good way to become flabby around the middle and thighs. Type, type, typing for hours at a time doesn’t exactly build the muscles and get your heart pumping.

I run around the yard with my dog and I walk a lot, which goes well with my calorie counting to keep my weight in check. It’s unfortunate, but while my sister was gifted with the body of a sylph, I got a healthy dose of my grandmothers’ genes — both sides of my family had a tendency for heavyset ladies — so I know I have to keep an eye on myself or I could be looking at diabetes and heart problems in the future.

Exercise is something I need to fit into my schedule, but I’m lazy. All the walking and running are great for the legs, but I want to tone my arm muscles. So whenever I make tea I’ve started doing jumping jacks until the water boils, then I do push-ups against the kitchen counter while my tea steeps.

I can see the benefits in my arms already, which are losing the hanging flab, and I’m very pleased with my decision to start working out a little. Not too much (as I’m still very lazy) but enough that I can known I’m doing something beneficial for my health above cutting back on sweets and eating more veggies.

* For jumping jacks I alternate between the regular slap my hands over my head kind, and the kind where my arms go straight out, up, straight out, and back to my sides while my feet go out, back together, out, and back together in four jumps.

* For push-ups I do table presses against the kitchen counter, as I don’t relish my dog jumping on my back when he gets too excited. A table push-up involves pushing away from a table or chair that’s secure against the floor.


Arunachalam Muruganantham

This guy is an amazing man. Seriously. I heard about him from Dear Author, who gave this link to the BBC article.

A school dropout from a poor family in southern India has revolutionised menstrual health for rural women in developing countries by inventing a simple machine they can use to make cheap sanitary pads.

and …

There are still many taboos around menstruation in India. Women can’t visit temples or public places, they’re not allowed to cook or touch the water supply – essentially they are considered untouchable.

TL;DR, this man loved his wife so much that he wanted to make her life better once he discovered how terrible conditions are for ladies on the rag in India. They’re not allowed in a lot of places and a lot of women have died due to the unhygienic way they have to deal with their periods since sanitary napkins are so expensive.

Being a cool guy, he came up with a framework machine that is being used in over 1300 villages in 23 different states. And instead of using his machines to make a bunch of money for himself, he teaches women how to use the machine and make their own sanitary napkins — which has led to them creating their own businesses and brands.

He keeps to a humble life and doesn’t believe in being wealthy, while at the same time he makes the lives of others better.

This man is a hero. Go read the article: http://www.bbc.com/news/magazine-26260978

Muruganantham seemed set for fame and fortune, but he was not interested in profit. “Imagine, I got patent rights to the only machine in the world to make low-cost sanitary napkins – a hot-cake product,” he says. “Anyone with an MBA would immediately accumulate the maximum money. But I did not want to. Why? Because from childhood I know no human being died because of poverty – everything happens because of ignorance.”

He believes that big business is parasitic, like a mosquito, whereas he prefers the lighter touch, like that of a butterfly. “A butterfly can suck honey from the flower without damaging it,” he says.

I wish more people dreamed of being butterflies, versus settling on being mosquitoes.

Saturday stuff: happenings; hop; new stove; Harvey Birdman

Okay. Hopefully I’ve managed to wrangle all the commenters and everything. A couple of people didn’t give me their preferred format, so I’m going to have to hunt them down (full on safari style).

Other than that, this hop has been going great. Thank you to everyone that has entered. I love you!

Btw, I found out I could export my feedback for various posts as a .csv file, which has been extremely helpful.

* * *

Cool shizz: my dad bought me a brand new electric cook stove with a glass range top and a self-cleaning, coil-free oven. It’s so beautiful that I want to marry it and have its stovey babies.

I may have cried a bit when I saw it. Wonderful gift.

* * *

I’ve broken out my old Harvey Birdman DVDs and I’ve been enjoying rewatching them. They really are very good. Especially since Harvey Birdman is voiced by Gary Cole (not Gary Coleman, but the guy from Brady Bunch and Office Space) and the other man star is Stephen Colbert. That’s right. The man hisself 😛

* * *

Title: Faizel 02
Author: Harper Kingsley
World: Deacon
Genre: mm paranormal romance

EXCERPT

He could feel dawn approaching, an encroaching unease across his every nerve, and wrapped himself closer against Faizel, never wanting to let go. He had never loved another as much as he did Faizel.

He fretted that someone would discover his secret and Faizel would be taken from him. To be used and abused, or worse, killed as an Abomination.

For once Charlemagne wished that he was stronger. He finally had something worth protecting, and he was weak. It had never bothered him that he was the meat of stronger Masters until now. Until Faizel had given to him his love.

“I will protect you,” he whispered. He let his hands make promises against Faizel’s bare skin.

“Or perhaps I will protect you.”

Once again Charlemagne swallowed back his instinctive fear. Faizel did not understand how dangerous and subversive their enemies could be. Charlemagne had protected him from the world outside, had watered down the horrors that existed outside of the apartment’s safety.

“I think that you would try and that frightens me,” Charlemagne said. “I could not bear to see you hurt for my sake.”

Faizel propped himself up on his elbows so he was above Charlemagne looking down. “And I don’t like you being hurt at all. I don’t like how Isadore or the others treat you. I don’t like that you let them abuse you and you don’t even imagine a world where things could be better.” He leaned close, his nose almost touching Charlemagne’s, his eyes fervent. “You are beautiful and gentle, yes, but you are also stronger than you dare to show.”

Charlemagne was humbled. “You have such faith in me.”

“Because you have none in yourself. You don’t see what I see when I look at you: the strength, the spirit, the fact that you could be so much more than you allow yourself to be. If you would only fight for what should be yours, you could be great.”

Charlemagne felt hypnotized by the fire in Faizel’s eyes, the pure conviction. He had never had so much faith focused on him, raw belief that he could be greater if he only wanted it enough.”

“I look at you and I don’t see a lesser master Made to serve others,” Faizel said. “I see an uncrowned king.”

Charlemagne gasped and flipped them over on the bed, pressing the fingers of one hand against Faizel’s lips to silence him. “Do not say such a thing. If anyone were to hear …”

Faizel pushed his hand away. “You are the only one here to listen and I hope that you do. Take my words to heart: you are so much more than you’ve let yourself be. you have greatness in you if you would only accept it.”

“You think too much of me.”

“And you don’t think about yourself enough,” Faizel said. “It makes me sad.”

Charlemagne wanted to tell Faizel that he was being foolish. He prepared himself to destroy the illusions Faizel had about his strength. But dawn was no longer approaching.

“It’s here,” Charlemagne whispered.

He slumped against the bed, shifting himself so he lay alongside Faizel as his body turned to dead-weight.

Dimly he felt a kiss pressed against his forehead and a brush of fingers through his hair. “I wish that you could see what I see when I look at you. If only you could believe in yourself a little bit.”

Charlemagne hated that hint of despair in Faizel’s voice. Hated that he had disappointed his only love by not being the well of strength he desired.

Then he knew nothing at all.

/EXCERPT

Shorts and Squares: Jagged Blade

Shorts and Squares: Jagged Blade – Shorts and Squares: Jagged Blade was supposed to be out on the 14th, but I went back to fiddling with it and screwed it up. There’s a reason I don’t give hard self-pub release days. I’m terrible at being able to let it go.

The Jagged Blade mix so far:

  1. Heroes & Villains: Black Friday [square]
  2. I Saw An Execution Once [short]
  3. Forgot the Can Opener [short]
  4. Clyde [short]
  5. Inquisitor Jang: The Wilding [square]
  6. Bird of Paradise [square]
  7. Slipping Through the Cracks: Normal Again [square]
  8. Patient of Interest [short]
  9. A Cuckoo In the Nest [square]
  10. Altredes: One [serial novel]

I’ve taken out a couple of stories, added one, and yet I still feel as if there’s something missing. Some key element that will tie things together.

I’d rather hold off a few days or weeks and make something I love versus rushing. (I’ve already got a few that I’m reworking. I don’t want this to be another one.)

– I have been building up my universe. I’ve been writing notes on all the different events taking place to make the Worlds develop as they do. I’ve written brief outlines for a bunch of stories already.

Of Blood => The aliens attacking are the Hex. They are led by a rebel MaretHex (Lord) that fled exile to take over a primitive world. He has his thousands of followers and their ships. They conquer Earth.

The human resistance keeps fighting against the occupiers even while society moves on. Vampires and Others decide that to save their world they’ll have to reveal themselves to the humans. They join the war to reclaim Earth.

The battle commences and it is bloody and violent.

Where did Heroes & Villains go?

In case anyone has been wondering where my novel “Heroes & Villains” has gone — it’s off Amazon and everywhere else — it’s very simple:  I’ve signed a contract with Less Than Three Press and they will be re-issuing “Heroes & Villains” in the coming months.

I’ll let you all know when it’s available again. I’m very excited and I know LT3 will make my book baby beautiful.