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Stuff I've been working on.

Sorry it's been so long since i've posted. Since LJ became a non viable platform I've been mostly producing fanfic and posting that on FFN and AO3. Here's what I'e been working on lately.

 Dragon Mom:
 I'm trying to work this into a coherent story instead of just a series vignettes. Slow going so far but right now it's my only viable idea now that the Red Vixen Adventures has concluded

She didn’t actually have a name. Indeed, she would have been insulted if she’d been told she needed one. “The Dragon of the Green Hills” was a lovely title, and it fit her perfectly. Well, if you wanted to get really technical about she was A Dragon of the Green Hills, but her son would earn his own title in time, assuming he didn’t accidentally spear himself on the end of some poor knight’s lance before he grew old enough for his own cave.


Earth or Bust : My ongoing The Martian fanfiction, covering the trip from Mars back to Earth. Though it's go my usual indulgence in character angst, I'm trying to keep it to a minimum, since Watney is usually cheerful. Still, I've got him dealing with a little trauma, giving all the stress he was under on Mars.

“I know you don’t like the idea, but think about it. This,” Beck tapped the Temazepam bottle in his hand, “isn’t a crutch, and it isn’t a cheat. It doesn’t mean you’re weak if you take it. It just means you have a problem, and you need help. Same as if you had an infection and needed antibiotics, or a band aid for a cut. That’s all."


The Long Recovery of Judy Hopps:
  Judy and Nick spend time on the farm as she recovers from her injuries in the previous stories. Mostly slice of life fluff and a bit of romance.

“Nick, are you okay?” she asked gently.

“Yeah, fine,” he gasped. “Y’know, I was totally prepared kiss my partner and best friend like an idiot without even asking her and torpedoing any potential romantic relationship before it even started never mind terminally screwing up the one we already have,” he said in one breath.

Shant quit my day job.

Amazon KDP (finally) updated their data reports to include historic data, allowing me to see my total royalty profits over time.

Since I've started e-publishing there in September of 2011, I've made US$1952.70 in royalties, averaging $325.45 per year.

So, not "Quit my job" great, but not completely insignificant either. Not bad for a guy who's specialty is Furry themed light romances
LOG ENTRY

MISSION DAY 701

You’d think after a year and a half of talking to myself I’d be ready to shut the fuck up, but nope. Turns out that the shrinks at NASA want me to keep a running log of my “reintegration experiences” now that I’m back on the Ares with honest to God other human beings to talk to. Apparently there were “some concerns” after they had a chance to read through the log entries I’d copied and brought back with me during that looney rollercoaster ride on the MAV up to Ares.

Homeward BoundCollapse )

Today

 At this point there's a calculation going on in every House Republican's mind, as to whether coming to Trump's defense is preferable to "President Pence".

Today in a speech to Coast Guard Academy graduates, Trump took time from celebrating their achievements to whine that he was "No other president in history has been treated so unfairly" Y'know, aside from the last one being accused of not being an American citizen, Bill Clinton being accused of orchestrating murders while governor of Arkansas, Lincoln, Kennedy, Garfield and McKinley being assassinated. Aside from THAT.

Make no mistake, Trump dug this hole he's in himself. He has constantly contradicted his own staff as they tried to work damage control, he started his presidency by insisting that his inauguration was the largest crowd in history when it demonstrably was proven otherwise, he has belittled legitimate news organizations whenever they dared not fawn over the rightness of his decisions, and he's used up any political good will he might have had in Congress by the abrupt firing of Director Comey, by carelessly giving out information to the Russian ambassador, and by apparently attempting to obstruct justice by earlier demanding Comey drop his investigation of Mike Flynn.

I predict, rather than put up with inevitable public disgrace that will come with Mueller laying out all of Trump's actions and lies for the world to see, that Trump will resign as soon as he has assurance from Pence that his actions will be pardoned. I doubt he'll be president by the end of summer. It's quite possible he won't be president by the end of this month.

 

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 Judy looked down at the slice of warm apple pie on her plate, a scoop of ice cream nestled beside it, and worried her incisors against her lower lip. “Maybe I shouldn’t have this,” she said.

 

Nick looked up from his own slice of apple pie, mouth already full with a bite, and mumbled around it, “Y’ gonna inshult t’ chef like ‘at?” He nodded towards Gideon Grey, who was whistling happily as he filled a cherry pie with filling behind the counter of his bakery. Judy was sitting with Nick at one of the small tables set near the front window of the shop, for customers coming in for a quick snack. He swallowed and continued, “Besides, you earned this reward.”

 

She had actually. Judy had jogged the six miles or so from the farm to the edge of town, huffing and sucking on a water bottle as Nick kept pace with her. It had been her furthest sustained run since she’d come back home four months ago. Better still, she’d finished it feeling exhilarated rather than exhausted like when she’d first begun her rehabilitation.

 

“I know I did,” Judy admitted. “I’m just not sure I want to run back home on a full stomach.”

 

“Walk back, we’re walking back,” Nick corrected with a grin. “Try not to run your old partner into the ground.”

 

“Thirty-two isn’t old,” she teased.

 

“Try telling me that again when you’re thirty-two.” He curled his lips over his fangs, like they were missing, and waved an imaginary cane, muttering feebly, “You gosh durned kids with your fancy computer phones and weird music. Back in my day we had to use CD players to annoy our parents!”

 

“All right, all right!” she said, laughing. “I’ll finish my pie.” She dug in and started chewing, Nick joining in, and conversation was put on hold for a while. You just did not waste time talking when eating one of Gideon’s creations.

 

Her right ear flicked back towards the front door as the bell above the sill chimed. Behind the counter, Gideon wiped his paws on the front of his apron and said, “Hey there, what can I do for… Oh, hello Travis.” She turned her head, to see Gideon looking dismayed as his former weasel friend approached the counter.

 “Hey, Gid,” Travis said, his grin too sharp to be friendly. “Gimme one of those cherry pies I know you’re baking today.”

Escaping your pastCollapse )

Dragon Mom: Sir Simon

I know I said I was going to try to rewrite this in order, but I go distracted when this scene popped into my head. Continuing from Questions of Jurisdiction  


* * *

The argument between the barbarian and the knight seemed to finally reach a conclusion, with the barbarian walking off grumpily, his paperwork balled up in his first. The knight in the white enameled armor nodded in satisfaction, walking up towards the mouth of the cave, halting about halfway up the slope leading to the entrance. He doffed his helm and Miriam saw that he appeared to be an older man, perhaps in his early sixties, with neatly trimmed grey beard framing a round, grandfatherly face.


“Oh, Great Dragon of the Green Hills,” he bellowed in an impressive baritone, one hand resting on the butt of his sword. “I, Sir Simon of the Broken Lands, call you forth to engage me in single combat, for the life of the innocent maiden you hold in your clutches.”


“Is he serious?” Miriam asked the dragon, finishing the last of her popcorn.


“Yes, but don’t worry. He means well,” the dragon reassured her. She stood up from her relaxed sitting position, stepping out of the cave, unfurling her wings and letting loose a roar that rattled Miriam’s teeth and set the baby wailing, before shouting, “You dare come before me, insignificant mortal, to challenge my strength?


Sir Simon winced, covering his ears with his palms as she bellowed her challenge, before answering calmly. “Have a care, dear. You’re going to make me deaf in my old age.”


The dragon smiled, coming down the slope to meet him. “I’m sorry, Simon. It’s been a rough few days, and I haven’t had a chance to be properly shouty in ages.”


“Believe me, I understand,” he started to say, before looking past the dragon to Miriam, “Has she got a baby?”


“Yes, it’s all very complicated,” the dragon said. She turned her head back towards the cave, “Come on down, Miriam. It’s all right.”


Mariam made her way carefully down the slope, the wailing baby clutched tight in one arm as she tried to balance with the other. “Hello, Sir Simon,” she said rather breathlessly as she stopped her half-slide down the rocks.


“Just Simon, dear. The Sir is for when I have to be official.” Simon looked at the still wailing baby in her arms. “And who are you? Was the dragon’s roar too loud?” he cooed, wiggling one gauntleted finger in front of the baby’s face, to be grabbed by two tiny hands. In the same tone he continued. “Don’t be scared, she’s a nice dragon. She truly is. We’ll just finish this up and get you something nummy to eat, would you like that?”


He had to be a grandfather, Miriam quickly realized, as the wailing baby hiccuped, looked surprised for a moment, then giggled happily. “Are you and the dragon going to fight?” she asked.


“Well, I was hired to rescue you,” Simon replied, retrieving his finger from the baby’s grip.


“I”m sorry, ‘hired’?”


“Exactly.” He held out his hand to her. “Sir Simon of the Broken Lands, professional monster duelist. I’ve battled wyverns, outsmarted sphinxes, dealt with occasional bridge troll, and fought dragons. Mostly dragons as a matter of fact. I’m the one they send in when some poor maiden is kidnapped and unransmoed, and no younger, unmarried knight wants the job.”


“I see.” Miriam shook his hand automatically, then blinked, thinking about what he’d just said. “So no one else wants to rescue me? Should I be insulted by that or not?”


“I shouldn’t think so,” he said amiably. “Honestly, it’s become quite unfashionable for women to find a husband this way. Though I’ll admit it’s a bit cheaper nowadays as well. Repairing the dings in one’s armor can be quite expensive, never mind the stabling costs for a warhorse.”


“I know,” the dragon said, her tone growing melancholy. “It used to be I’d have a waiting list of princesses wanting to be kidnapped each season. Took me seven years to find this one.”


“I’m not really a princess,” Miriam corrected.


“It says you are here,” Simon said, showing her his paperwork. “I saw the king sign it himself.” He glanced at the glowing runes encircling her neck, eyes narrowing. “Though I’m beginning to believe there’s more to it than that.”


“She’s a wild mage, completely untrained,” the dragon explained. “By the time I found her she was convinced that she was possessed by a demon, and her own family had staked her out hoping I’d just eat her.”


“Ugh, peasants,” Simon declared. Then he frowned deeply. “Wait, if she’s the daughter of peasants, why would the king get himself involved?”


“Because he’s concerned about his people?” Miriam ventured. At the dragon and Simon’s mutually dumbfounded expressions, she added, “No?”


“No,” Simon confirmed. “Well, unlikely at least.”


“It’s a mystery,” the dragon agreed.


Simon looked cheered. “Oh, you know what that means, don’t you?”


“What?” Miriam asked.


“You get to go on a quest,” the dragon and knight both exclaimed.


 The Complete Red Vixen Adventures is now available for pre-order in both Kindle ($5.99) and trade paperback ($19.99) for a June 1st. 2017 release.

Since 2011 readers have enjoyed the adventures of the Darktail family and their entanglements with the vivacious space pirate, the Red Vixen. Now this brand new collection gathers all the major stories in the series Captive of the Red Vixen, Shadow of the Red Vixen, Shadow of Her Sins, Shadow of Doubt, The Red Vixen at Sea and I Fought the Claw and the Claw Won, plus two never before published short stories "Solstice Gifts" and "The Parable of the Glassblower" along with an appendix featuring fun world building notes.
Love on the beach... and the rocks.

Lady Melanie Lovejoy's former life as the vivacious space pirate the Red Vixen is over. Escaping the consequences of her criminal career proves more difficult, as her husband, Rolas, is seeming to reconsider the wisdom of marrying a vixen with such a checkered past. But he proves to have his own secrets, as a lover from his troubled youth returns to the scene.

Trying to reconcile their past lives, Melanie and Rolas leave on a sailing trip to work things out. However, after an unexpected storm strands their boat and leaves Rolas critically injured, Melanie must fight for both their lives. For there is a monster here, and it needs the two shipwrecked foxen for its own plans, in the final exciting entry of the
Red Vixen Adventures!

The Red Vixen at Sea is available for $2.99 exclusively through Amazon.com, and will release on May 26th, 2017.

(sorry about the crap cover art. I'll fix it when the opportunity presents itself.)

Cover Art Blues Redux

So far I've been sitting on the next Red Vixen story and the collected edition for a bit over three months now trying to obtain cover art, dealing with two cover artists, one who bowed out apologetically and the other who has gone dark for almost a month. At this point it seems unlikely to happen unless I can get a thousand bucks through Kickstarter to pay Meg Syverud's going rate for two covers. I'm wondering if I should say to heck with it and just use Amazon's generic cover creator so I can at least get them out the door until I afford to get something more presentable.


So that happened

 Dear President Trump,

On the advice of a person who recused himself from the investigation of your ties to Russia, you fired the guy who was investigating your ties to Russia. On the basis that he had made a mistake investigating Clinton's emails, something that you lavishly praised him for on the campaign trail.

I thought the week had started badly when you violated the laws against witness intimidation by sending threatening tweets about Sally Yates as she testified on Capitol Hill, but that's so routinely outrageous for you it barely registered on the public radar. But now you do this?

Y'know, Nixon was well into his second term before he fired Archibald Cox, the special prosecutor that was investigating him. You're... what? Less than a one hundred and ten days into your first term? And you seriously expected this was going to make everything magically Go Away?

It's entirely possible that your nominee for the next FBI director will be a lapdog who drops the FBI's investigation, and he might get the job, because there are enough senators who are willing to hold their noses and approve his nomination, because they still hold out hope that working with you is at least better than a Democrat.

But that isn't going to make the scandal, or Congress's own investigations go away. And at some point you're going to have to make the decision on whether to resign and look like a "loser", a state which you're violently allergic to, and at least get a pardon from President Pence, or stick it out and risk being the first president to be both impeached and imprisoned for his corruption.

I hate the idea of Pence being president. His own ideas are as reprehensible as yours, and he's actually a competent enough politician that some of them might become law. But at least he won't be as embarrassing.

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