Chicago Pride Parade, 2015

2015pride_01Today was my first Pride Parade in nine or ten years, and while I’m a fan of crowds in the same way the Wicked Witch of the West is a fan of Dasani, I’m glad I persuaded myself to go. Knowing that there are LGBTQ supporters out there is one thing, but actually being surrounded by a giant cheering mass of them is something else entirely. The energy of the crowd was fantastic, and seeing so many groups and organizations coming out in support of LGBTQ people was wonderful and actually rather moving. I may have had to blink away tears a few times, primarily because I’m a big ole mushy pile of sentimental mush. <3 Continue reading

Ask Me Anything, #2: Which involves pizza and a great deal of maturity

And now, the second exciting installment of Ask Me Anything, featuring yet more questions and answers! Hooray.

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So, let’s get right down to it with the first question:

Question #1: Do you like Chicago style pizza? If so, where’s the best place you have had it? -Bridget R.

I must confess, Bridget, to an Awful Truth.

Despite having lived in Chicago for nearly seven years, I have never actually had real Chicago-style pizza.

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*SHAME SHAME SHAME SHAME*

As it turns out, my pizza tastes are remarkably simple, and even the tomato-sauce-and-cheese-on-cardboard offerings of Little Caesar’s delight my plebeian tastebuds.

With that said, if anyone out there in Internet Land has any recommendations for good places to get Chicago-style pizza (answers we will not accept: “Chicago! :D”), do enlighten us in the comments so Bridget may have her answer.

I, in the meantime, will go back to slathering pizza sauce on a rock and calling it “crispy crust.”

Question #2: Do you ever get tempted to write something extremely raunchy? -Vanessa

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During the course of my illustrious fanfiction career, I took part in several literary endeavors that involved characters divesting themselves of clothing and conducting in-depth investigations of one another’s nether regions. These investigations were pretty explicit, but even then, I tended to avoid the usage of anatomical words, I guess because such words have always just sounded a bit tacky to me.

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With that said, it’s pretty challenging to write sex scenes without ever mentioning the body parts in question, so I hold no ill will towards those who make use of anatomical terms in order to ensure that the reader can actually tell what’s going on in a scene. For me, though, I prefer to avoid such words as “cock,” “love rod,” and “pulsing member,” as such phrases cause the 12-year-old in me to rise up and burst into pants-wettingly hysterical laughter.

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Maturity is overrated.

Also, my grandmother reads all my books, and while she’s a very open-minded lady who probably knows that sex exists, I’m not sure I’d ever be able to look her in the eye again if she had to read my detailed descriptions of man-parts and spurting fluids.

Is there anything wrong with writing about aforementioned man-parts and spurting fluids? Nothing at all. Just not my cup of tea.

…so to speak. Ewww.

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And that wraps up this very mature edition of Ask Me Anything. If you’ve got a question you’d like me to answer, head over to my Contact page and send it along.  And don’t forget to like me on Facebook for a chance to win a signed, advance reader copy of Chosen, something I haven’t mentioned on this blog for at least 24 hours.

Until next time~~~~!

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In which there are both questions and answers (!)

Welcome, friends, to the first installment of Ask Me Anything, a terribly exciting series in which readers are invited to (wait for it) ask me anything. Whee!

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Without further ado, let’s get to the first question:

Question 1: What are your favorite places to visit in Chicago, and why? -Vicky

Well, Vicky, that’s a fine question, and one I will now do my best to answer. (Because if I don’t, this will be a rather short and disappointing first installment of Ask Me Anything.)

To those who’ve never been, Chicago is a bustling metropolis of ice, snow, and people who for some reason view putting ketchup on a hot dog as one step below killing puppies on The Great List O’ Unforgivable Sins.

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Mm, sin-a-licious.

With that said, however, Chicago does have many places of varying degrees of awesomeness, several of which I’ve had the occasion to visit.

So, which are my favorites?

Well, I’m partial to Millennium Park, which has a lovely garden, lots of places to sit, grass and trees and other naturey things, and free classical concerts in the summertime.

Of course, it also has these nightmare-fueling things:

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*cue screaming*

But if you ignore the giant freaky heads sticking out of the ground (and don’t imagine their eyes slowly opening and shooting lasers at you a’la The Neverending Story), the park is a pretty nice place in which to spend some time.

Other places I enjoy: Teavana in Water Tower Place (for the free tea samples and monkey-picked oolong [those monkeys are some great pickers]), the bridge over the Chicago River at Michigan and Wacker (‘cuz it’s perty), and the Moroccan restaurant near the Irving Park Blue Line Station (because delicious).

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Next question!

Question Two: I would like to know what you would do if Benedict Cumberbatch started talking (in public or to you directly) about how much he loved one of your books. -Jamie L.

What would I do, dear Jamie?

Well, I would give a polite smile, offer my gratitude to him in a most dignified way, and then very calmly

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Hopefully that answers your question. <3

If you’ve got a question you’re dying to have me answer, head over to my Contact page and make your seemingly impossible dream a reality. I’ll just be sitting here, staring at the screen like a hopeful puppy and awaiting the inevitable barrage of questions.

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Because procrastination isn’t just for weekends.

Good morning, friends. I have only a limited time between finishing breakfast and needing to be on my way out the door, so naturally I’ve chosen to use this time to write a blog entry. Is this a good idea?

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Yeah, probably not. Let’s do it anyway.

So, as it happens, I don’t actually have much to say, which I admit may make writing a post somewhat challenging. I’ve never let that stop me before, however, and today shall be no different…!

So. Yeah. Stuff.

1. Still working on the editing and rereading of Chosen. It’s going well, though I do find myself devising a Chosen Drinking Game as I go through it. For example, if Kaine frowns or scowls, take a drink. If Mr. Defrin puts his hand reassuringly on someone’s shoulder, take a drink. If Silas is a little shit, take a drink. Etc. Helps pass the time (and increases bathroom breaks by approximately 500 percent).

2. The weather in Chicago has finally decided to cooperate and have a go at not being awful and depressing, which I’m enjoying.

3. Preparations for my mother’s visit have come to a bit of a standstill, and predictably, I’m leaving most of what needs to be done until the morning before I pick her up at the airport (i.e., tomorrow). Why deal with cleaning and tidying and prepping when Future Me can take care of that in a stress-filled tornado in the wee hours of morning?

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And, on that note, I’d better be off. Time to get ready for another day of teaching folks to speak Amurican. ‘Til next time, y’all.

 

In which Kaine searches for peanut butter.

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As I’ve mentioned before, I’ve been working on the writing of Chosen for approximately all of recorded time – or, more accurately, fifteen or sixteen years, since I was a Dragonlance-obsessed teenager longing desperately to write my own fantasy opus. The story has gone through dozens of different incarnations, though always with Nicholas and Kaine (and their relationship, be it BFF or something more) at the heart of it.

This morning, friends, I came across a version of Chosen that I would very much like to share, as it has given me great amusement on this otherwise irritating morning.

I call it: Kaine Searches For Peanut Butter

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Okay, not really. But that’s the general gist of this two-page start to a story that never got off the ground. Rather than setting the story in an alternate fantasy world, Past Me decided to play around with the idea of Nicholas and Kaine living in the modern world. More specifically, in Chicago.

Here is the result:

Continue reading