Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Book: LIOL: To Be Young, Gifted, Black, American, Muslim, and Woman - Precious Rasheeda Muhammad

'I carry the torch of an Islam predicated upon universal human excellence, to the chagrin of cynics who claim it impossible for the faith itself to do so, let alone someone of my ilk.'

Precious is a third generation Muslim. Her grandmother converted and her mother was raised as a Muslim. Her father came from the Deep South and moved to Boston, eventually joining the Nation of Islam (NOI). This is where he met and married her mother.

Born in 1975, Precious suffered from a chronic skin disease for her entire childhood that sometimes covered eighty percent of her body, including her face and scalp. Her mother would have to shave her head and her clothes would stick to her and have to be peeled off, slowly. Sometimes it hurt her to even move. She says, though, that this affliction taught her from a young age the effect that suffering had on the human spirit. It gave her an acute sense of empathy with others, no matter their pain or status in life.

'I prayed with a brain-dead patient's grieving family, read from the Holy Bible for a male AIDS patient with failing eyesight, and witnessed a premature baby take his last breaths as he was baptized before passing away. None of these people cared it I was a Muslim and I did not care that they were not. I truly believe my own sickness was God's way of preparing me for leadership by humbling me, sensitizing me to injustice and opening my heart to tolerance.'

Growing up, Precious' mother placed a high premium on the education of children. She would haul home crates of books and taught neighborhood classes in her kitchen. Aside from attending regular school, any child was welcomed and encouraged to come to their home and take advantage of the general educational tools she had amassed as well as the Islamic studies tools. Her father was a great believer in investing in the communities where they lived. On Saturday mornings, rather than watch cartoons like most children, they would go out and participate in local projects - cleaning neighborhood parks, for example. 'I was taught that a Muslim should do good works because that is what God put in our nature, not because we expect some reward.'

She was raised in a loving community, surrounded by strong Muslim women who felt empowered. They weren't kept back or barred from this or that because they were women. They were free to be who they needed to be and being Muslim was just a part of their identities, not something that hindered them.

When Precious left home for the first time, she realized that the rest of the Muslim world was not like that. She was suddenly surrounded by 'a sea of women who had been raised differently. In many of these circles it was considered inappropriate for a woman to recite the Qur'an publicly at all, let alone in unison with males, or to sit with male family members during religious celebrations, or to pray in a room that did not have a partition, or to hold positions of leadership in mixed-gender Muslim associations, and the list continued. The women who were teaching me these things were well educated. They approached the understanding of these roles with vigor and firm belief. It was I who felt oppressed, not they. No matter how hard I tried to understand, I could not convert to this way of living. It did not sit right with my soul as a Muslim nor as a descendant of slaves.'

'I had been taught to go directly to the Qur'an, to look at the life of the Prophet Muhammed for myself and use critical reasoning. That is something I could do immediately while continuing to pursue the study of Islam throughout my life. And so I simply refused to wait for Muslims to resolve their standoff between who should or should not speak for Islam while crimes against humanity were being committed in the name of my religion and anti-Islamic sentiments abounded.'

Precious is an historian specializing in the experience of Muslims in America.

'Education is the great equalizer. I believe that when we are knowledgeable about our neighbors as opposed to being afraid of what we do not know, we are more inclined to live together as one humanity, one global community, and to share in the possibilities for our posterity that universal human excellence allows. And so I have poured my heart into educating people about the growth and development of Islam in America, about the Muslim American experience, and I cannot stop now.'

Monday, November 29, 2010

Book: LIOL: How I Met God - Samina Ali

The first essay proper is from a Muslim of Indian descent. Her parents moved to Minnesota from Hyderabad, India in 1970.

She was raised in a fairly small community of other immigrant Muslims and their families. They were all from India or Pakistan and had come together out of loneliness - the desire to be with people who remembered places or things that you spoke of. People who spoke your native tongue.

It was an insular sort of childhood. Even though she went to public school the religious and social constraints kept her apart from most of her classmates. But, she says, growing up she wouldn't have changed places with the other 'normal' children for the world.

She and her friends were raised knowing that they were simply better than all their other classmates. 'Being South Asian, being Muslim, was an honor.' Chief among the concerns her mother raised again and again was that, should she ever have sex, everyone would know. She described daughters as valuable vases - even the faintest crack renders it useless. She enjoined her daughter again and again to not become 'useless'.

At the age of 19 she entered into a marriage arranged by her parents with a man from India. She lived with him and his parents in India until his green card could be approved. Samina quickly discovered that her husband would never be able to have sex with her. He found her body repulsive and whenever he came close to her he would have to rush to the bathroom to vomit. 'He blamed me, saying I was "too Americanized" for him. He wanted someone who was more "pure". Naive and still a virgin, I fervently prayed that Allah would rid me of any impurities I might be housing in my body so that my husband would consummate the marriage.' This, of course, never happened.

Two years later, back in the States after his permanent green card was received he revealed to her that he was gay and he moved to another state to live with a man. He sent her divorce papers from his new home. On top of the pain and anger that she was feeling - betrayed by her husband and betrayed (as she felt) by God, since the marriage had been contracted in the Islamic fashion and only after a series of istakaras which had all come out in favor of the marriage - the Muslim community that she had grown up in blamed her. They believed that she was only *saying* that her husband was gay to cover up her own failings as a wife and a woman.

Eventually she had to leave the place she had grown up in. Samina wound up in the University of Oregon's creative writing master of fine arts program. For the first time in her life, at the age of 24 she was on her own and away from everything that had formed her into who she was. Still feeling betrayed, she ignored religion entirely. During this time she met and fell in love with another student. They eventually married. Her father, in protest of this second marriage didn't speak to her for three years.

Samina's second husband and his family were atheists. At the time of their marriage his mother was dying of cancer. Her death had a huge impact of Samina. It was the night of the funeral and she accepted what her new family had been trying to tell her - that the body is without a soul. That belief in heaven and hell is childish and simple. She buried that old self with her mother-in-law. For a while this life was enough. Samina and her husband did what they wanted to do, when they wanted to do it. But she felt a discontent deep within herself. It grew slowly, but it was there.

Then she got pregnant. It was sitting in her garden, sunning herself and watching the natural life move all around her that she realized - there is a higher order to all this. She turned to Buddhism, but couldn't get behind the idea that people had to give up their egos. Her ego was her 'best friend.' It protected her, so how could she eradicate it?

She stumbled into Sufism by chance. Looking through the bargain bins at a store she found a book in which the author discusses how the ego is given to us by God and therefore should not be judged. The line, 'Allah is waiting for you to widen your eyes and see Him' opened up a well of repressed emotions. It brought her back to a place where she could feel and relate to God.

Later, during delivery of her son, Samina died. Twenty minutes after delivery she suffered a grand mal seizure. A later CAT scan showed two brain hemorrhages and they discovered that she'd had a heart attack as well. Basically, every organ in her body had either failed or was badly damaged. They doctors were essentially waiting for her to die. Samina says that during this period, when she was dead, she met God. Doctors call her recovery 'miraculous'. She is now healthier than when she went in to deliver her son and there is no sign of the traumas that she suffered.

'One cannot meet God and return unchanged. In these past five years, I have continued my studies in religion and have discovered that, at the core, all faiths say the same thing: God is omniscient, God is compassionate and forgiving, God is love, God is right here and everywhere and no where all at once. He accompanies us on this journey through life, this evolution of our souls. He is the breath within our breath, the light brightening our own.'

Sunday, November 28, 2010


Yes, Murdock is saluting me! MEEEEEEEEEEEEEE! *mad cackling*

And now, I shall finish watching the commentary on my Psych dvd and then go to bed. And not look at this fic for a week. :D

Book: LIOL: Intro & Saleemah's Story

This is an anthology of essays and some poetry written by women who are born both Muslim and American. There are no converts in here and no immigrants. Their parents may have been converts or immigrants but these are women who cannot recall a time when they were not both Muslim and American.

'Our education was a colorful mix of home schooling, the local mosque, and Public School #9. We wore Underoos and watched MTV. We know juz 'amna (the final thirtieth of the Qur'an) and Michael Jackson's Thriller by heart. We played Atari and Game Boy and competed in Qur'anic recitation competitions. As we enter our twenties, thirties, and forties we have settled into the American Muslim identity that we've pioneered.'

These are women who believe that there does need to be an American Muslim identity. They have been told, by some, that this is not necessary. That they can simply apply the Qur'an and the sunnah to their lives. But this is simplistic and unrealistic. For example, the editor and author of this introduction, Saleemah Abdul-Ghafur does not observe the rules of mahram and cannot imagine marrying as the contemporaries of Mohammed did - for political and business reasons with no thought to love or affection. In addition, she says, much of the Islam that American Muslim women know has been defined and interpreted abroad in cultures that are foreign to us. That's why Muslim women in different nations dress differently. Each culture has its own interpretation, so why not American Islam?

She believes that Islam is in the midst of a global transformation. That more and more Muslims are acknowledging the problems in their communities and are preparing to step into an egalitarian and humanistic future. This transformation is being led by Muslims in the West because they have access to certain academic freedoms along with the freedom of speech and the freedom of worship. 

The author travelled the country for three years, speaking to American Muslim women and listening to the issues that they face. She's grouped them into seven categories: intersecting identities, hijab, relationships, culture juxtaposed to Islam, sex and sexuality, activism, and spirituality. All of the essays that she included in her book deal with some aspect of these issues, though she says that all of the essays unintentionally dealt with the same two issues no matter what the piece was actually about. The juxtaposition of culture and Islam in general and hijab.

To get the collection started the editor tells her own story. She was born to Muslim converts in 1974. They named her Saleemah Abdul-Ghafur which translated means peaceful and servant of the most forgiving. She grew up in a middle-class suburb in New Jersey and led a fairly happy but sheltered childhood. Her parents were fiercely overprotective and she wound up being isolated socially. She had a small circle of friends that her parents approved of and, of course, co-ed activities were out of the question. When it came time to go to college she had to stay at home and commute because living on campus was antithetical to the life of a good Muslim woman. Prior to college Saleemah had worn hijab off and on, but her mother declared that the start of college meant that it was time to wear hijab full time. And so she did.

Her mother made all the decisions about her life and her father allowed it. He believed that a mother knew the best way to raise a daughter and so rarely interfered with what his wife decided was best. Saleemah was not a rebellious child and didn't want to displease them so she went along quietly with what they decided. As a result of her upbringing she never learned how to interact with men in a social and platonic way. She 'always felt uncomfortable when a man approached me or spoke to me. I became defensive around men and internalized a general distrust of men.'

The reason her mother gave her for limiting her social sphere was 'Muslims don't do that.' And so she believed that all the limitations were prescribed by Islam and that, as a good Muslim girl, if she complied then her reward would be a picture perfect life. 

After returning from hajj with her parents in 1998 she married an American Muslim convert. She believed that this was all a part of her perfect Muslim life - her reward for being a 'good girl'. Several days into her honeymoon cruise, however, her husband stopped speaking to her. When she finally convinced him to tell her what was wrong he told her that 'I don't want my wife to run the dinner conversation.' Apparently she had offended him by leading a discussion during the evening meal with other diners. They talked it through but nothing was ever resolved.

Upon returning home it became clear that she was not her husbands idea of a proper Muslim wife. Somehow she was always doing something wrong or inappropriate. She even needed a lot of instruction on the 'proper' way to do laundry and cut potatoes. They argued frequently and he told her that she didn't know how to be a woman. He stopped speaking to her for days at a time. He wouldn't touch her at all, even in the most casual of terms. So she would plead with him to speak to her, to talk the problem out with her and occasionally he would respond. But it was always with some reference to the Qur'an or a hadith - never trying to actually work through whatever issue was currently angering him. Once he justified his silence by quoting a hadith saying that a Muslim could be angry with another Muslim for up to three days. The author doesn't include any references to Qur'anic verses or hadith but I'm guessing that this is the hadith her husband likely quoted: '402. Hisham ibn 'Amir al-Ansari, the nephew of Anas ibn Malik whose father was killed in the Battle of Uhud, that he heard the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, say, "It is not lawful for a Muslim to snub another Muslim for more than three nights. As long as they are cut off from each other, they are turning away from the Truth. The first of them to return to a proper state has his expiation for that inasmuch as he was the first to return to a proper state. if they die while they are cut off from each other, neither of them will ever enter the Garden. If one of them greets the other and he refuses to return the greeting or accept his greeting, then an angel returns the greeting to him and Shaytan answers the other.' - according to the site I looked this up on it's from Sahih Bukhari. So her husband wouldn't speak with her for the three days and then would 'make up'. These 'fights' would be followed by periods of harmony.

While most of their friends remained ignorant of the problems they were going through, Saleemah's parents were aware and they did seek marriage counselling from several imams. Finally one imam recommended that they see a professional marriage counsellor. They went, but after a few sessions her husband refused to continue, insisting that she was the one with the problem and therefore the only one that needed counselling.

All through this time their fighting grew worse and worse and he became violent. It started with a push and then slapping the phone from her hand. And finally, one morning after she woke him for prayer he hit her in the face and threw her across the room. Rather than call the police, which she knew she should do, she called her parents. As she waited for them to arrive her husband told her to wash her face and then sat down to watch the morning news. Over the next few days she stayed with her parents and continued to go to work and live her life as normally as she could. She learned that her husband and confessed to an imam what had happened and that the imam was very upset by it. He had been one of the people who had vouched for her husbands character before the wedding and he now felt a degree of responsibility. 

They met with the imam and the imam explained that it is forbidden in Islam to hit someone in the face and made her husband apologize immediately. Her husband did, saying that he hadn't known he couldn't hit someone in the face. I've found a couple different hadith for that one. One that talks about not hitting livestock in the face or branding them there, but I'm pretty sure that's not one that would be extended to people. There's another hadith: 'If you fight your brother, avoid striking the face, for Allah created Adam in his image.' Narrated from Abu Hurayra by Muslim and Bukhari that would seem to apply as well as this one: 'Narrated Mu'awiyah al-Qushayri: Mu'awiyah asked: Apostle of Allah, what is the right of the wife of one of us over him? He replied: That you should give her food when you eat, clothe her when you clothe yourself, do not strike her on the face, do not revile her or separate yourself from her except in the house.' - Abu Dawud.

Oh! And I should point out that I don't understand the whole rating system for hadith, so all I can do is quote what I find. However, I only take the hadith from Muslim sites so I can try and avoid the hadith that people who are anti-Muslim use because those tend to be the ones that Muslims turn around and claim are weak.

Anyway. Saleemah was angry at the clinical nature of the discussion of her abuse and the fact that anyone would need a sacred text to know that physical abuse was unacceptable. But she kept silent, though there was something inside of her that noted how dehumanizing and ridiculous her marriage had become. She returned to their apartment that night - against her parents' wishes and against her own better judgment.

That night her husband apologized again and asked if she would forgive him. She said she would, and cried. He embraced her and the comfort turned to sex. She did not want to have sex with him at that time, but remained silent yet again. 'In the back of my mind ran the hadith that I had heard during many Muslim marriage ceremonies. This hadith stated that if a man approached his wife for sexual intercourse and she denied him, the angels would leave her until she responded to her husband's request.' Which I think is this hadith: "If a husband calls his wife to his bed (i.e. to have sexual relation) and she refuses and causes him to sleep in anger, the angels will curse her till morning." - narrated Abu Huraira (Bukhari)

She remained in her marriage for a year before admitting that it was not a true marriage and divorcing him. Still, even after that she says that a part of her was convinced that it was her fault. That somewhere along the line she had not been the perfect Muslimah and that was why her marriage had failed. She remained depressed and the whispering at the mosque about her and her marriage didn't help. Being relegated to a small, cramped space for prayer, shunted off to one side enforced her feelings of being 'less'. It was at this point that she attended her first thikr (a session chanting remembrances of God). The imam welcomed her to the group and as she introduced herself the imam's wife asked what her name meant. She explained that it meant 'peaceful' and the imam corrected her, saying that it actually meant 'sound, as in without defect'. She says it was as though God spoke to her through the imam, sending a message affirming that she was okay as she was. This early morning was a major turning point of her life. 

Saleemah knew she needed to get herself back. Aside from the thikr she stayed away from mosques and many of the Muslims she knew. The mosques were not helping her get closer to God, they were not helping her find peace within herself. The fire and brimstone sermons  and people disrupting her prayer to correct her dress or actions distracted her and made it impossible for her to begin to heal.

She says that one day, during this period her mother, half joking said to her, 'Whatever your father and I have done to mess you up, let's discuss it and resolve it so you can move forward.' With that her mother gave her permission to acknowledge the issues of her upbringing so that she could move forward. They began to discuss her childhood and the restrictive nature of it. During one of these conversations she discovered that her mother had been assaulted at gun point when she was in her 20's. Due to this she became determined to protect her daughter from any chance that it could happen to her. She internalised this fear to the point where she never even realized that she was using Islam to hide her daughter away from the world. 

Saleemah reevaluated her life and specifically the rituals she performed. She decided to stop wearing hijab because she realized that she had never made the decision, for herself, to wear it in the first place. She put it on because her mother expected it and kept it on because of others. She has developed a profound understanding of taqwa (God-consciousness) and knows that her faith is not contained in her outer appearance. That if something doesn't resonate within her then she doesn't do it. She doesn't need to find proof in a sacred text because she already knows the truth of it within herself. Saleemah has learned that during the time of Mohammed women and men prayed in one common space and that Mohammed allowed women to lead mixed-gender congregational prayer. Her faith has grown stronger as she is 'no longer weakened by outside sources'.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Hello! My Name is Inigo Montoya! You killed my father! Prepare to die!

"Offer me money."


"Power too. Promise me that."

"All that I have and more. Please."

"Offer me anything I ask for."

"Anything you want."

*stab**leans in close*

"I want my father back you son of a bitch."

*flaily hands*

There is no part of this movie that I do not love. How is it so perfect?

Book: The Dark Sacrament

It's about possession. Or demonic oppression in some cases. Heck, there's even one in there where it wasn't a demon at all, but a little ghost. The book has ten cases of the dark and wiggy from Ireland. If you're interested in that sort of thing then it's a good read. Provided that you're not one of those people who reads about this sort of thing and then flips out when your house goes squeak. If you are then you won't be reading this sort of stuff anyway, will you? :)

One of the things that struck me (again) upon reading these stories was the correlation of abuse to later possession. I'd say a good 3/4's of the stories where there was actual malevolent entities involved had some form of parental abuse being perpetuated on the person who later grew to have encounters with the dark side. It's like the evil done by a human being leaves a mark - psychic wounds, if you will. We know and accept that these things leave psychological wounds, so why not spiritual ones?

They can leave the person vulnerable, like a physical weakness can leave you vulnerable to further injury or infection.

I do have to quibble a little bit though. In one story the man who was later to be attacked by someone who was possessed encountered a man while touring in Egypt. This man was drinking at dinner and went nuts, screaming obscenities, etc. And one of the waiters who is assumed to be a Muslim by the person who wrote this tale down says that it's the alcohol - that it's not good to drink so much. And the writer just sort of poopooh's this notion as his 'Islamic sensibilities' being offended. Um, hello? Wherever he may have gotten the idea, I think he was right. This guy, even from the two paragraphs devoted to the encounter clearly had a problem. Hell, the next morning at breakfast they note that he was 'nursing some sort of cocktail'. When the first thing you do in the morning is fix yourself a drink? You've got a problem. No need to imagine outside demonic influences there. You've got your 'demon' right there in your hand. But whatever. It's also true that alcohol and drugs leave a person open to suggestion and invasion by outside controlling influences, which is reason enough not to drink excessively and to avoid drugs if you needed more reasons than just common sense.

Whatever. I enjoyed the book and that's all that matters!

My next book is 'Living Islam Out Loud: American Muslim Women Speak' which I'm pretty sure I've read before. But that's what I pulled out of the hat, so that's what I'm reading. :)

Friday, November 26, 2010

Back in the Saddle

Because I am a super genius, I decided to come back to work today. It was actually a good thing because I got to avert a kind of major disaster in the making, but my voice is still basically shot so that's fun. :)

Today is the last Friday of the month which is usually by bookstore day, but it's also Black Friday and I make it a point to never go to any store on this day. Because I am not a good shopper. I hate it the rest of the year (except for book shopping, of course). I hate the crowds and the people. So Black Friday just makes that all so much worse. Also, my Supernatural magazine doesn't come out until the 30th. So I'm thinking I'll just wait and do the bookstore run next Friday.

And I'm debating whether or not I want to go to the movies this weekend. I still haven't seen the new Harry Potter movie, what with having the plague and all. I think the fact that I'm debating it means that I'm probably still not feeling up to it. I'm tired, basically.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Butcher Is An Evil Genius

I'm reading Grave Peril and I just realized that Leanandsidhe was trying to get ahold of Molly even that early on. Crap. I really am going to have to go back and reread and take freaking *notes* at some point. Agh! He has totally snuck in things as far back as Storm Front! I know it!

Monday, November 22, 2010

I Amuse Myself

'Really, I'm surprised gravity stays constant with you around, Dresden.'

Murphy. I am totally picturing Murphy saying that one.

NCIS - Kate's Death

*sniffle* Feeling the urge to cry watching Kate get killed and then the team reactions to it in the first couple of eps in the next season does not go well with the sore throat, et al.

Pauley Perrette's scenes with Sasha Alexander as Kate's ghost are so *sad*! I just wanna hug Abby!

Back From the Doctor

So, strep. Yay me!

I've got something called a Z pack? Which is apparently some heavy duty antibiotics. Other than that I'm quarantined for three to four days. I got a doctor's note and everything! So I'm not going to work until Friday.

Ah, joys. I rescheduled my eye appointment for late in December and I cancelled my appointments with my trainer for this week. Now I'm going to lay around, watch tv, read and just generally be a bum. Because I haven't got the energy for anything else. Oh, hey, and maybe I should eat something. Not hungry, but it's 1 in the afternoon and I ate a banana when I got up at 6:30, so I should totally eat something about now.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Can't Sleep - Too Much Pain

Seriously, what the hell? I cannot remember the last time I was hurting so badly that I literally could not sleep. It *might* have been when I had to have surgery several years ago. And then I had an open freaking wound the size of a fist gouged out of my lower back. So I think that was understandable. Not so much right now. It *hurts* to swallow. The Robitussin is keeping me from having to cough, which is great, but it's gotten worse so it hurts to swallow and my upper throat is just pretty much a raw ache all the time now. I'm still not congested, really. My nose is a tiny bit stuffy, off and on, but since my throat is swollen I'm half convinced that the stuffiness in my nose is caused by that somehow. I just broke down and decided to take something for the pain, Ibuprofen or whatever, but hey, guess what? I apparently live in the only house around that doesn't have any bloody Asprin or Advil or Aleve or ANYTHING! I did finally find two Aleve in my purse, though who knows how long they've been in there, but I took them because I need *something*. It's 3 in the morning, and I've just finished looking up my symptoms. So I'm now convinced I might have strep throat. Oh, what fresh hell. I'm going to have to call my friends and cancel going to the movies this afternoon. I'm going to have to miss church and the gym. I think I'm going to have to call off work on Monday, call and cancel my yearly eye exam and get my doctor to squeeze me in. Ugh and crap.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

What Fresh Insanity Is This?

My throat hurts. It's hurt for a couple of days, but it's gotten worse. I cough, and it feels pretty much like knives in my throat. Good times, good times.

There's some phlegm, but it's not green or infection colored or anything.

The weird bit is that I'm not congested. Nothing in the nose, nothing in the chest. It's just my throat. WTH? I feel fine, except my voice sounds like crap and the whole coughing and knives thing. I'm taking Robitussin, which helps. It also tastes like butt. Why is that? Why does medicine have to taste like such crap? And what the heck is going on here?

Friday, November 19, 2010

Supernatural S06E09 - Clap Your Hands If You Believe


This is either going to be a funny ep, or an ep that looks funny and then takes a very serious turn. Either way.

Dear teenagers: have you *never* seen a horror movie? Don't make out in the corn fields. And don't split up to investigate that shadowy thing you think you saw out of the corner of your eye.

Hee. UFO! Reminds me of Tall Tales. Trickster! Oh, how I miss you! Of course we all know there's not such thing as aliens in Supernatural world.

HAH! The opening title sequence is X-Files-esque!

'The Truth Is In There' - I assume this is going to mean something.

Oooh...it's the holodoc from Voyager.

'What, flying saucers not insane enough for ya? If you want to add glitter to that glue you're sniffing that's fine. But don't dump your wackadoo all over us. We'd rather not step in it.' - Okay, unSam is funny. I will admit to that.

Dean as anyone's conscience is actually not a good prospect. I love him, but his world view is a little askew.


'I think the fourth kind is a butt thing.'

I love this entire sequence of Dean and Sam and the phone and the 'empathy!' and all that. Funny. And then he gets his beer and checks out the waitresses ass. Oh, unSam, what will we do with you?

lol It's not the same kind of hunting, unSam.

'It's fine. I mean. I've had time to adjust.'

'have you considered the possibility that you suck at hunting ufo's?'

Hee. Hi Dean!

Hah! I'm giggling so hard I think I might hurt something. unSam is kind of growing on me.

'they were grabby incandescent douchebags. good night.'

Maybe it's not fairies either! Maybe it's Loki's kids! *wishful thinking turned very much on*

'our realities collapsing around us and you're trying to pick up our waitress?'

*nods* 'yeah.'

'so you're saying suffering is a good thing.'

'i'm saying it's the only game in town.'

I had to rewind that. He does say 'nipples?' before the tiny fairy starts to kick his ass.

Also, ew.

'it was a little, glowing, *hot*, naked lady. and she hit me.'

'i'm not supposed to laugh, right?'

'D-dean? Did you...service Oberon, King of the Faeries?'

When Dean says 'interact', he means kill.


Ugh. Okay, sanil, you were right. It is annoying that they are now running into people who can suddenly tell that unSam is missing his Sammy bits.

Yeah unSam, why *didn't* you do that earlier? Aren't you supposed to be the smart one?

And now for the serious brother talk.

And yes, yes he is having second thoughts. unSam is a terrible liar.


Hi new Meg! Hands off the angel. Bitch. That was Crowley there towards the end, screaming and all lit up from below with bright light. Hmmm...

Very Important Marcone Thought!

Which I will not be using for my fic. This is an actual, in canon thought.

Marcone is undercover for the US government. He's military and was sent in to help take down the Vargassi's. He went under, and he went all the way under. Something made him realize that his side taking down the Vargassi's wasn't going to be enough. Amanda Beckitt's shooting most likely being the final straw. And he just went ahead and took the hell over.

It would explain why his reach is national. It would explain why the FBI has had multiple investigations into him killed from higher up.

Sure, him being a bad ass criminal would also explain it, but it's like he has too much power in the normal world for a mob boss, no matter how good at his job he is.

I'm Considering Cheating

On my first loves, my books. The good, hard, in your hand, paper and glue and ink kind. I love them. Everything about them. I really, really do. But I'm kind of starting to love the idea of a Kindle too.

There're still authors that I would buy in hardcopy as well. Actually there's one that I'd be buying three times if I did wind up getting a Kindle. Damn you Jim Butcher! Damn you and your genius! I have to have you in hard cover, audio book and *maybe* e-book. Oh, wait, actually Butcher makes it up to four, if we include Kindle, since I'm buying the graphic novels too. Um. Yeah. YAY BUTCHER! *lights another candle to Butcher and studies the Word of Jim*

Obsessed? Who me?

Anyway. I shall ponder this weighty question some more.

Survival Tip for Men #1

It is in your best interests to never, ever ask a woman if she is pregnant. On the one hand, yes, if you're right, she will likely coo and tell you all about it. However, if you're wrong, you now have either a very pissed off woman wanting to know why you think she's pregnant. Are you saying she's fat? or you have a very awkward conversation to extract yourself from. It's fun to watch from the outside of the conversation, but I'm guessing not so much from the inside.

No, this did not happen to me. It was our Editor asking one of the reporters. She's a tiny little thing and she wore a baby doll shirt, which do tend to make women look like they have a little bit of a baby belly going on. He's lucky she has a great sense of humor and is very easy going. But it was a very amusingly awkward conversation to watch him try and get out of.

Green Lantern Trailer


Oh, Ryan Reynolds. Why so pretty?

Though even your pretty will not make me see that movie where you're buried alive. I got squiggy just watching the previews. So, um, congrats on finding something that still freaks me out. That's harder than it might sound.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Marcone and Dresden Interaction from Fool Moon

His face twitched again, and I could smell him lying. "Of course not, Mr. Dresden. But you don't get where I have in life by being reckless."

"Just by being soulless, right?"

Marcone slammed his palms down on the desktop and stood. I rose with him, enough to stand over him, and to keep my eyes on his. "I am a man of business, Mr. Dresden. Would you prefer anarchy in the streets? Wars between rival crime lords? I bring order to that chaos."

"No. You just make the chaos more efficient and organized," I shot back. "Stick whatever pretty words you want onto it, but that doesn't change the fact that you're a thug, a fucking animal that should be in a cage. Nothing more."

Marcone's normally passionless face went white. His jaw clenched over words of rage.

Okay, okay, I know I have slash goggles permanently attached, but I was reading this scene at lunch and it hit me that Marcone doesn't get really pissed until Harry starts telling him that he's a thug. An animal. Harry, even at this early stage of their relationship has insulted him at pretty much every opportunity. But *this* this is the part that pisses Marcone off. I think he really does see himself as the best option, lesser of two evils, whatever you want to call it. He really does believe that he's the good guy here, as much as anyone can be. And I think, from the Soulgaze, that he *likes* Harry. He's seen Harry's soul, and not flinched. No one else has done that. Whatever he saw in there I think he respects Harry and wants Harry's respect back. Two hard men doing hard things for the greater good. And no, my belief here is not Jossed by the revelations from Even Hand. Marcone is practical and he knows that physically he is playing out of his league when he's dealing with the supernatural world. Harry's powerful, and he just keeps growing more powerful. Having a plan in place to take him out should the need arise is very much in character. Harry and Marcone are enemies who respect each other. And aren't really enemies anymore anyway. Really. Even if they don't want to admit it. And that's even *without* my belief that they are secretly boinking each other. But they *are*.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

The 'Za Lord's Guard - Heraldry

I'm thinking a tommy gun and a wizard's staff on a field of pizza. :)


A Baptist, an Episcopalian and a Roman Catholic/Orthodox sit down and talk about religion and history for ten minutes.

Guess which two agree with each other and which one is the odd man out.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

This Is Not Acceptable!

Somehow I wound up on this site: No Longer Quivering. It's women who have left the Quiverfull movement. Their stories. Interesting stuff. Disturbing much of the time, but interesting.

So I was reading this one story and the woman said that she and her husband were driving away from their wedding and he planted his hand on her breast. And would not remove it. Not even when she asked him to. When she told him that it made her uncomfortable. When she tried to physically *remove* his hand, he just pushed harder. And he told her that it was okay now, that they were married and it wasn't a sin, so he could touch her however and whenever he liked. Because he was the husband and that was his right.

I think you all know that this story doesn't go well for the wife. There was abuse, obviously. And it started right there.

The last man who grabbed a part of my anatomy without permission? Got a broken nose.

I do not care if a man is your husband, your father, your brother, a friend, or a complete stranger. I do not care. If they touch you and you do not want to be touched it is your right to not be touched! And you can do whatever you have to do to make them stop touching you. Whether that is fighting back, or screaming, or telling them to remove their arm before you break it.

Marrying a man does not mean that he owns you. Any belief system that tells you otherwise is wrong.


I need Harry to find out about how smart Hendricks is in my fic. I need this a) because it would be funny as hell and b) so I can use this line: 'It wasn't like finding out your dog could talk. It was finding out that not only could your dog talk, but that he was smarter than you and had just been playing along, waiting for you to catch up.'

Now if I could just figure out how this will happen. In the recovery period, certainly. But the exact circumstances escape me at the moment.

NaNo Update-y thing

I'm in the middle of torturing Harry. And I mean that literally. I'm keeping most of the actual torture off screen, because I think it's actually worse that way. Let the imaginations run wild kind of thing. I wanted to detail the torture at first, but it's not really...it's not the point. This isn't *that* kind of fic.

I already know, with the direction that the fic is taking that I'm going to have to go back and lay down some bits in the rest of the story. Things that will lead up to what's going to save Harry, and get him with Marcone.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Child Rearing From the Peanut Gallery

Based on my *extensive* experience with other peoples children. Okay, really it's all about my Mom's godkids and how I don't like the way their parents are raising them. It's my blog, I'll whine if I want to.

1. If your children cannot be separated from you for any period of time at all, there is something wrong. You are making them clingy.

2. At the ages of five and three, they should be sleeping in their own bloody rooms. Yes, kids will have nightmares or get sick and want to sleep with mommy and daddy. The exceptions are just fine. It's when the exceptions become the rule that you are in trouble. The fact that you've moved their toddler beds into *your* bedroom means that you are encouraging this behavior. This will bite you in the ass. It is already, you just don't realize it.

3. Kids will throw fits. I get that. However, you should have some sort of control. You are the adult. They are the child. Your word is law. It doesn't matter if they think something is fair. They are A CHILD. This is not a democracy, it is a dictatorship. The order of authority goes like this: God -> Parent -> Child. They get to have an opinion when they can express it without yelling and screaming it.

4. Toys are a privilege, not a right.

5. If they don't like what you make, they don't have to eat it. However, you also don't need to make three different things trying to get them to eat. I promise that they will not starve if they miss one meal. And I guarantee you that they will eat when they get hungry enough.

6. Spanking is actually a completely acceptable form of punishment. I'd hold it in reserve for *really bad* behavior, like punching your brother and biting him completely out of the blue while he's watching SpongeBob. Sending them to their rooms, or sitting them in a corner also works. But you have to remember to take away the toys before you do it. See #4 for my feelings on toys.

7. Coddling your children does them no favors. When the five year old boy is playing on a scooter and he takes a little spill (wearing his helmet and everything) it is not the end of the world. You can take the time to walk over there calmly and ask him if he's hurt. He will show you his scrapes and you can either clean them if need be, or kiss them better. Whichever works for the degree of injury. But play them down! A low speed tumble that produces absolutely no blood and a barely visible roughing of the skin should not cause a five year old to start screaming like he's being axe murdered. Know why it does? Because you've *trained* him to react that way. Every bump is a life or death situation. He's not a hemophiliac. He's perfectly healthy except for that allergy to peanuts. He is not going to break.

8. No means no, dammit. See #3. Do not surrender to the crying. I repeat. You are the adult here.

Ahhh....that feels good. :) I was told by someone a long time ago that I was going to be a hardassed mom. It's entirely possible. Like she said, 'Amber's kids will be perfect. Or else.'


OH MY GOD! I just had this moment of sheer fucking panic. I accidentally hit some weird combination of keys that just...froze my entire computer while I was in the middle of saving the DF NaNo fic! And there was this whole, SHIT! MY FIC IS GONE AND I CANNOT RECREATE THIS SHIT AT THIS LATE DATE! WHAT THE FUCK UNIVERSE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

And then I remembered that I was backing up the fic, so it was only the last 2,000 words that would be gone, maybe. Which would be bad enough. And then I restarted the computer and it was only the last two or three sentences, where I hadn't saved yet that were gone.

Lesson of the day: Save as you go, and don't try and type while half asleep.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Attention Sanil!

Hey, so, you remember a little while back when you thought that I'd written Bobby/John fic? And I didn't, but I told you you'd be the first to know if I did?

Well I did. Sort of. It's preslash, and short and unbeta'd.

It's over here at my lj. I'm blaming you entirely for this.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Lo, I Have Had A Thought

So Cristos is mebbe/probably Black Council. I mean, we all suspect he is. And he basically blackmailed his way onto the Senior Council. He took over for LaFortier, who was the representative of the Eastern wizardry. Who feel that they are under represented and resent the Western parts of the Council for this.

No one's heard from the Jade Court vampires for a long time. The stick to themselves, etc. And Mavra is Black Court. I get the impression that they are more Eastern Europe based. Mavra has extensive magical skills. She's a witch of great power.

I think there's a big connection between the Eastern Court vampires and the Black Council. I think the Eastern wizardry, or some of them anyway, are planning a revolution. And that's the Black Council's purpose. And the Eastern vamps are working with them.

on an unrelated note: I just outed myself as a slasher to my little sister. :)

My Parents and Religious Talk

My Mom's godchildren are staying with us this weekend. They're adorable, Andrew is five and his little sister Erin is three. Very cute. Like, we were just outside in the driveway playing. They have sidewalk chalk and their scooter and Playschool bike. They've been waiting for it to get a little warmer so they could go out and play so they're both very happy. Andrew's got his Batman helmet on and Erin's is pink but I can't remember what the pattern is at the moment. She likes penguins though. Girl after my own heart!

So I was thinking about godparents and godchildren and how it's not what it used to be for the most part. It used to be that the godparent was responsible for making sure that the child was educated properly in their faith. If the parent died, or was unable to get the child to church the responsibility fell on the godparent. The ties were considered so close that they were like blood family. A godchild couldn't marry the blood child of their godparent because they were like their brother or sister. Now days it's just...an honor. For the most part. You know, have your best friend or sister, or aunt, or whoever stand as the godparent. But you don't expect them to take on those old responsibilities.

My parents are both technically Mennonites. They left that church several years ago and now attend a non-denominational church, but they haven't officially joined. Her best friend and the mother of these two kids is a Lutheran. I mean they go to a ELCA church, so it's a fairly liberal church. Which, I think, is how the pastor let them have a godparent who isn't a Lutheran at all. We were Lutheran, but my mother converted to Mennonite (though it's a very reformed version thereof) to marry Dad. And I had only been nominally Lutheran (in the sense that I never officially left the church, even though I hadn't believed or set foot in there since I was 14) for more than ten years before I became Roman Catholic. Regardless. Because of the responsibilities of the godparent a really key factor in choosing them used to be that they had to be the same faith as the parent. The faith that the child was to be raised in.

It doesn't bother my parents, or the kids' parents, and it's not really my problem, but it illustrates the difficulty I have here.

I was essentially dragged to the Mennonite church when my parents married. I was an adult, but Dad's parents were living here at the time, and they didn't believe that anyone should not attend church. Hell, I was still a practicing witch at the time. Though they didn't know that, of course. So I *had* to attend the Mennonite church every Sunday. Which I loathed. I had to fight the urge to get up and tell the preacher where he was wrong. He was a very nice man, but I found his theology weak and I didn't even have a horse in the race at that point.

That was when I made the compromise with my parents. I didn't have to go to the Mennonite church but I had to go to one. Which began my rota of the churches in the area.

When I actually got interested, trying to sort out which church was the true church I ran into this terrible block at home. As far as my parents were concerned as long as I didn't join one of those cults like the Mormons or the Seventh Day Adventists then it didn't matter. And I wanted to use them as sounding boards for theological questions. But theology doesn't seem to matter to them. I was astonished to realize that they couldn't tell me what the Mennonite's believed. What they believed. They believe that Christ is God, in the Trinity but that's about all I could get out of them. My mother grew up being taught that the Eucharist consubstantiated into the Real Body and Blood of Christ, but that just didn't matter any more. It didn't give her a pause that the Mennonite's didn't believe that. That they didn't even hold communion every Sunday.

None of that mattered. It still doesn't seem to matter.

I never even bothered telling them that I was considering other faiths. I don't think they would have had a problem with it, really. I just don't think that I would have been able to have a discussion with them about that either. Because there's not substance there for them.

I cannot have a discussion about religion in my household because there is no reciprocated interest. I can talk and talk and talk about the differences between this denomination or that. I can discuss the different views on free will, on heaven, on hell. Angels, demons. Saints, icons, the priesthood. Women in the Church. Headcovering, modest dress. Should women be in the home? Should there be such a clear distinction between 'women's work' and 'men's work'? What are our rights against each other? Consubstantiation, transubstantiation, just a remembrance? How does the Trinity work? How does it relate to us? Prophets? Miracles? Is the Bible literal or figurative in places? Nothing. They don't seem to have opinions or care about any of it.

And I don't get that. I cannot imagine belonging to a faith and apparently knowing nothing about it. Why wouldn't you want to know? Why wouldn't you want to learn? To talk about it.

But they don't. So I stopped talking to them. I mean, they know what I do. They know I've stopped going to the Roman Catholic church. They know that I go to the Orthodox church as often as I can. They know that I've been considering converting but that I'm taking my time with it because I feel like I made the decision to convert to Roman Catholicism too quickly. What they don't get are the reasons why. It makes no sense to them that it matters to me which church I go to. They don't see why it's all important. They believe in God and Christ and they try to live Christian lives and that's all that they need.

This is why I'm grateful to have the internet with it's forums and blogs. Because I can find people who do get it and who are willing to talk about these things.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Supernatural S06E08 - All Dogs Go To Heaven

aka Amber tries to watch Supernatural and comment and write fic at the same time. Let's see how that goes.

Oh hey, flashbacks! Guess what tonights ep is about? Werewolves...


Crowley's Angels edition!

I know this guy is talking about a dog, and it's still weird and a little creepy.

Okay, the giant pig sign amuses me! Three pigs!

Crowley! Yes, go give Bobby a kiss Crowley.

Oh god, Sam's bitch face! Stop trying to emote! It doesn't work without a soul!

I can see how this is going to go. Crowley shows up and my brain goes mushy and all I get is...WHEEEEEEE CROWLEY! SPARKLIES!

You know, how many demons can do that whole pop in, pop out thing? I think Azazel could, and maybe Lilith. Crowley could do it since we first met him. I don't think that's a common demon power. So he was kind of high up on the food chain before, methinks.

No Sam, you're a Sam shaped hole right about now.

Wow. Sam, honey? Really? That's douchey, even for you.

Why does not having a soul make you not sleep?

Hey, writers, smash the whole brothers having issues thing in our face why doncha?

Who wants to bet the girlfriend is there werewolf? Not just the wolf, but the Alpha. Any takers?

mmmmmmmmmmm....I *LOVE* the Impala's engine. *grrrrrrrrumblerumblerumble* Muscle cars....

Huh? Is the German Shepherd the- Yes. Yes he is. Darn. I was hoping it was the girlfriend. Oooh....dog/wolf boy has a crush on mommy...that is both cute and disturbing.

Pretty dog....I love German Shepherds.

The dog is going to eat you two alive!

Sam. Stop it. You're being an ass. And the whole 'I don't have a soul' thing only takes you so far.

So if dog-guy is getting yelled at, not the Alpha. Still creepy, mind. Maybe...kid is the offspring of Alpha and dog boy is supposed to be bodyguarding? Am I making more of this than there needs to be? Probably.

Dear Sam: You cannot outrun that dog. I don't care what actually happens

ACK! NO! Supernatural, I don't care that he's a weredog and that no dog is actually being hurt. I don't like seeing animals get hurt even when it's fake! Cut it out! I had so much trouble with that ep with the girl living in the walls who ate the dog!

Oh, this whole sleeper cell thing disapoints me. I liked my idea better.

Sniper Dean makes me happy!

Okay, no one shoot Lucky!

Boys and girls, there's a doberman and a wolf. They are the badguys.



Yeah. Even the lady sees you're a freak.

Dean saved Lucky. Just saying.

Umm...I want Lucky and the nice lady to date. I know that's not gonna happen, but still. I want it.

AWWWWWWWWWWWWWW*sniffles* Poor doggie....

Yeah. I want realSammy back too.

preview: FIGHT THE FAIRIES! *giggle* This could be a cute ep, or bloody, depending on how they go. The fae are...not fluffy in the traditional stories.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Day 11

Oh good god. Look, boys, as fascinating as the whole discussion thing is, hello! assassins! slightly more important!

And then at the end of the fic we have sex. Wherein Harry has come twice, and Marcone just wants to get in there all ready!

Can we...can we get there, please? Foreplay's all well and good, but there has to be play at some point! Though what they've done does count as sex, don't get me wrong.

The Fandom & Pairing List *in progress*

Okay. I'm not organizing these by importance, etc. I'm going to group them by genre, so comics, tv show, movie, books.

I follow the 'traditional' slash pairing formula, so the 'dominant' partner is listed first, followed by the 'submissive' partner. But even those terms are misleading if people aren't familiar with slash, I guess. I don't mean them in the BDSM sense of the terms. It's just used to denote which partner I personally prefer to read as doing the penetrating, and which the receiving in a sexual situation. Though I guess that doesn't apply in het pairings or femslash. In which case the first person listed is the person I prefer to be the aggressor in sexual situations. The order loses meaning or importance in a fic that doesn't depict sex. In that case it would just be a matter of habit as to which would be listed first. And I do read/write with those characters switched. It's a matter of preference, nothing more. But anyway.

I'll list the title of the show, then 'my' character and then the pairings I like for that show. Some of them may be multiples.

Batman: Tim Drake - Kon-El/Tim, Dick/Tim, Jason/Tim, Bruce/Tim, Lex/Tim, Ra's/Tim and Shiva/Tim (this is a het pairing)
Iron Man: Tony Stark - Steve/Tony
Naruto: Naruto Uzumaki - Sasuke/Naruto, Kakashi/Naruto, Neji/Naruto
Pet Shop of Horrors: Leon - D/Leon
DragonBallZ: Son Gohan - Piccolo/Gohan (*after* he grows up.)
Earthian: Chihaya - Kagetsuya/Chihaya
Yu Yu Hakusho: Kurama - Hiei/Kurama
Inu-Yasha: Inu-Yasha - Miroku/Inu-Yasha, Sesshoumaru/Inu-Yasha
Fushigi Yuugi: Tasuki - Chichiri/Tasuki
Cable & Deadpool - Deadpool - Cable/Deadpool

Dresden Files - John Marcone - Marcone/Harry (though I have read and enjoyed some Thomas/Harry and Michael/Harry. But those are the exceptions. My pairing is Marcone/Harry.)
Anita Blake - Larry Kirkland - Asher/Larry, Jason/Larry, Rafael/Larry, Jean-Claude/Larry, Zane/Larry
The Hollows - Rachel Morgan - Ivy/Rachel, Trent/Rachel
Outlander - Lord John Grey - Jamie/Lord John
Good Omens - Crowley! - Aziraphale/Crowley
Vampire Chronicles - Daniel - Armand/Daniel

From Paris With Love: Reese - Charlie/Reese
A-Team: Face - Hannibal/Face, Mudock/Face, BA/Face and HBAMF (which is all four of the boys in a pile)
Losers: Jensen - Cougar/Jensen, Clay/Jensen
Fast & Furious (franchise): Brian - Dom/Brian
Inception - Arthur - Eames/Arthur, Cobb/Arthur, Saito/Arthur (but my OTP is Eames/Arthur)
Star Wars - Obi-Wan - Qui-Gon/Obi-Wan
LotR - Legolas - Aragorn/Legolas, Gimli/Legola
PotC - Will - Jack/Will
Live Free or Die Hard - Matt - McClane/Matt
Sherlock Holmes - Watson - Sherlock/Watson

TV Shows
Original Trek - Spock - Spock/Kirk
DS9 - Bashir - Garak/Bashir
Voyager - Paris - Chakotay/Paris
dueSouth - Ray K - Fraser/Ray K
The Sentinel - Blair - Jim/Blair
CSI:NY - Danny - Mac/Danny
Merlin - Merlin - Arthur/Merlin
Supernatural - Dean - oh, dear god, where do I start? Sam/Dean, Cas/Dean, Gabriel/Sam, Gabriel/Dean, actually, here: this is easier Sam/Cas/Gabriel/Crowley/Balthazar/Lucifer/Michael/Dean take any of those names and combine them in pretty much any order. That. I will read that. Though my personal favorites are Cas/Dean and Gabriel/Sam.
Smallville - Lex (which explains why my love of this show has deteriorated...) - Lex/Clark (though if you people would give me a Bruce Wayne/Batman character I could do that too!)
CSI:M - Ryan - Horatio/Ryan, Eric/Ryan
Leverage - Eliot - Nate/Eliot, Hardison/Eliot, Hardison/Eliot/Parker
Hercules - Iolaus - Herc/Iolaus
Highlander - Richie - Methos/Richie, Mac/Richie
Xena - Gabrielle - Xena/Gabrielle
Buffy - Willow - take a girl, put her with Willow. There ya be. Though I'm partial to Buffy/Willow more than other pairings.
White Collar - Neal Caffrey - Peter/Neal or Peter/Neal/Elizabeth
Torchwood - Ianto - Jack/Ianto
Pysch - Shawn - Lassiter/Shawn
Warehouse 13 - Pete - Myka/HG Wells
Eureka - Carter - Stark/Carter
Blood Ties - Mike - Henry/Mike
NCIS - Tony - Gibbs/Tony
Stargate - Daniel - Jack/Daniel
Stargate Atlantis - Sheppard - McKay/Sheppard

Fandom - *Our* Character

I think this probably happens to every fangirl/boy. We pick a character, somehow, and they are *ours*. Our favorite, our focus. Our obsession. For those of us who have multiple fandoms, we get at least one in every fandom.

For me, it's the men. I don't know what that says about me from a psychological standing, but I've always preferred the male characters to the female. When I was younger, before I discovered fandom, etc. it was always the boy characters that I 'played' in my head. They were the ones I put myself into and wrote stories around in my mind.

I think there's probably a 'type' there, if I bothered to look for it. 'My' character, my point of view guy is strong, smart, sometimes smaller than the other guys. I won't get into the various pairings and who's with who and who I like topping who. I have my patterns.

Sometimes the pairings are weird. Like, why on earth would you pair them? weird. For instance, my biggest fandom (writing wise) to date is Anita Blake. I write Larry, and I tend to slash him with Asher. The weird factor there is that in the books, in the source material, the two of them have never met on page. Never. In my head, however, they are having a glorious and messy affair.

Most of the time they're just *there*. Sometimes the characters fight on screen/page in the source material, but there's this undercurrent. Like Marcone/Harry. I think they respect each other at the same time they are maybe not quite on the same side. Except they are, mostly. Even if Harry doesn't want to admit it. But that's a whole different problem. With Dresden Files, in spite of the whole, Harry is love thing, which exists, my guy is Marcone. I'm writing from Harry's pov, just because I don't think I could sustain Marcone's mindset for 50,000 words. And I like Marcone's motivations being mysterious until/unless he explains them.

Other times the pairings are not just there, but more along the lines of slapping you in the face. Like Arthur/Eames. Because they are very clearly having wild sex between scenes. They just are. Or Hannibal/Face on the A-Team. Come on! Those two are having crazy Ranger sex and you can't tell me they're not! Or Gibbs and DiNozzo. The headslaps are love!

And don't get me started on Supernatural. That shows basically an orgy in my head, with Dean in the middle.

Umm...sorry. I appear to have digressed. Moving on.

My point (assuming I even have one) is that I think fangirls/boys all latch onto one character and that character is *theirs*. Their pov, their love. And I kind of wonder what out choices say about us. Because if I have types and patterns then I think that everyone else must too.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Day 10

I'm alternating between writing action in the middle of the fic and porn at the end of the fic. So on the one hand someone just tried to kill Harry, and on the other hand Marcone and Harry are having smexy times.

Is it weird that Harry still calls Marcone 'Marcone' in bed?

NaNo Week 2 - NO EDITING!

I have this terrible urge to go back and start editing. I know that there are parts that I'm not particularly happy with. Bits that I'd like to change. Places where I think that Harry might be a bit OOC.

I will resist this urge. Editing is for after NaNo is over. Then I can go back after taking a break from it, read and edit. Tighten it all up. Fix any OOC bits I notice.

And really, it's not OOC for Harry to sacrifice himself for the safety of others. It's just that he's doing it without blood shed this time, and for a far greater number of people. I think it's just bugging me that I want him to be Harry, but he also needs to not smash things into kindling. After all, he and Marcone wind up together in the end. I like to think of this as Harry being a grown-up and 'taking one for the team' a little.


"She could never be a saint, but she thought she could be a martyr if they killed her quick." - Flannery O'Connor

First of all, I am totally using that quote out of context. I know it. In reality the character the quote is referring to is thinking about how she's not ever going to be able to be good enough to be a saint. She talks back to her mother, etc. She's a nine year old girl, and not perfect. So she doesn't believe she'll ever be eligible for sainthood. But she thinks, if 'they' got to her quick enough she might qualify as a martyr. As in, before she got older and lost what goodness she had. 

But when I first heard the quote, before I knew the context of it, I thought it meant that the character thought that she'd be able to hold out against torture and coercion to the death, as long as it didn't go on too long.

I've been reading The Orthodox Church and, as I've said before, the first half of the book is history. Right now I'm finishing up the chapter that covers the Orthodox church under Soviet Russia. One of the aspects it beings up is the massive persecutions. The torture, the murders. Which of course brings to mind martyrdom. And I remembered that many years ago, thinking about people who were martyred for their faiths, I didn't understand it. I didn't get why they wouldn't just lie.

I mean, what good do you do if you're dead? As an example, sure. People may or may not hold you up and rally around that flag. It all depends. But if you're given the option (not all people persecuted and murdered for their faiths are. Some are just killed, which negates this entire argument.), why not lie and then resume fighting the good subversive fight? Wouldn't you do more good that way?

But that's not it, of course. It's that whole right vs. wrong thing. Lying to preserve your life in this case is more than just saying, 'Oh, yeah, sure. You're right.' It's denying Christ. It's turning your back on your faith to a certain degree. You're allowing them to break something inside of you and I don't know if there's any recovering from that. And I'm not looking down on the people who may or may not have done that under torture. I mean, honestly, how many of us would be able to watch our lives being destroyed, friends, family all suffering and mutilated, harmed in horrific ways, and face it ourselves? Pain is pain and the human body can take a whole hell of a lot before it dies. Your mind, your will has to be able to rise above all that to keep on denying your captors what they want. How many of us are really that strong? I don't think it's as many of us as we would like to think. Not if we're being really honest with ourselves. The amazing thing is the numbers of people who did hold out. Who went to awful, painful deaths because something within them gave them the strength to stand on the truth.

I don't even think that's me. I believe, but you can't know for sure how you'll react until you're in a situation. And of course we all pray not to be in that situation. So yeah. For me? I'll never be a saint. But I think I could be a martyr. If they killed me quick.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Day 9


I am strangely tired tonight. Luckily I just finished my word count and some change and will now go collapse into unconsciousness.


Also I'm starting my Dresden Files reread and am tempted to analyse it chapter by chapter. Time consuming, yes. Worth it, maybe also yes.

Or maybe just character sheets?

Why Did I Never Think Of This Before?!?


Shut up. This is important information! I need sparkly fonts for this information! Alas, I don't have sparkly font. So size must make up for it.

No, I did not buy it, because I have A Plan for my audio book buying. Yes, it did hop into my Amazon cart. It's Saved For Later, like all the other audio books I want. I have A Plan.

Dear Writers:

No, really. I admit to having used the wrong term when writing years ago. Before I ever picked up a gun and learned the difference. It *annoys* me that writers - writers who supposedly have police/weapons experts as consultants keep getting it wrong. I can't imagine how much it sets the teeth of gun enthusiasts on edge.

I was watching Sunday's ep of The Walking Dead and the *cop* got it wrong. Now that's just poor research. A 9mm Beretta does not take a clip. It takes a magazine. I even looked it up just to be sure, cause I'd hate to rant and be wrong, and like I said, not a gun enthusiast. I can shoot 'em and not blow my own foot off and hit the target, but that's about it. So I checked. Magazine. Not a clip. M'kay?

Somebody Talk Me Down!

Okay. I found 3 Jim Butcher audio books on sale a while back. One Codex Alera and two Dresden Files. Awesome, right? I've never bought audiobooks before because they are *really* expensive. Like, $40 for one book. I get it, cds, etc. Whatever.

Here's the problem. I *love* the Dresden audio books. I mean, awesome content and then James Marsters is reading them. How much love do I have for these? It's not measurable!

I WANT the rest of the Dresden audio books. They are not on sale. But I WANT them NOW! I know I don't need them. I know that even if I spread it out I really don't need to spend $40 a month on these books. Especially considering that I have the entire series in hard cover.

But I WANT THEM! *twitches* I keep going to Amazon to see if the prices have gone down. And I already made my Christmas list for this year and I really want the two things I asked for so I don't want to substitute!

Why will these things just not magically appear on my shelves?!?

eta: okay, so, some of them I can get through sellers for like...$30 including shipping. That's not bad. It's only the first couple that are $39.99 and the original prices are worse...

oh god. *watches resolve crumble*

eta2: Self control? What the fuck is that?

Why yes, I did just order the first audiobook. Don't look at me like that. I NEED IT!

Milestone Reached!

-60 lbs

FINALLY! I've been losing in inches, which is all well and good and I know that it's progress. But seeing it in pounds on the scale? That gives a really tangible sense of accomplishment.

So, yeah. I hit 60 lbs last night. I can lift the whole stack of weights on several of the machines, I'm probably going to take my trainers head off with the medicine ball she makes me chuck at her while I'm doing crunches, I can do 30 min on the treadmill at 3.8 which I don't know what that translates into in mph or anything, but it's faster than I used to be able to do and I alternate 5 min flat and 5 min at an incline of 5. Again, I don't know what that incline translates into. But it's good! And I haven't broken anything in quite a while. I'm just not using that bike that has it out for me.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Day 8

Broke the 16,000 word barrier!

Is that a barrier? I don't know. But I'm over 16,000 now and I think that counts for something. A hill of beans, perhaps.

It's 11:30 and I'm going to bed.

Oh! I'm listening to Turn Coat in the car. And I'm near the end and I had a thought. I won't say what caused the thought because despite the spoiler warning on the whole blog I don't want to spoil sanil for this stuff unless I have to! :o)

But here's the thought: Harry is, in some fashion, related to the original Merlin.

Movie: Inside Man

We now bring you a small break from the constant stream of Dresden. :)

I saw this movie when in came out back in 2006 and I loved it. And then I promptly forgot about it. That doesn't usually happen to me, but it did with this one. Well, AMC played it this past weekend, and I dvr'd it. And fell in love all over again. It's just an awesome heist movie. It really, really is.

"My name is Dalton Russell. Pay strict attention to what I say because I choose my words carefully and never repeat myself. I have told you my name, and that's the who. The where can most readily be described as a prison cell. But there's a vast difference between being stuck in a tiny cell and being imprisoned. The what is easy. Recently, I planned and set in motion events to execute the perfect bank robbery. That's also the when. As for the why, beyond the obvious financial motivation, it's exceedingly simple. Because I can. Which leaves us only with the how. And therein, as the Bard would tell us, lies the rub."

Here's what makes it such an awesome movie, at least for me. Dalton Russell, the mastermind? Is really freaking smart. When he thinks that he's the smartest guy in the room? It's because he is. He's clever. He's a great bad guy. No unnecessary slaughter, no megalomaniacal plots, nothing. Just plain, simple, brute force where necessary, stall tactics and planning. He's brilliant and even if his ultimate goal wasn't actually a good one, I would root for him. Because he's just that much more clever than anyone who's working against him.

He and his team take over a bank in the middle of the day. Supposedly to rob it, but really they're there for one specific safety deposit box. One that's not on the banks register. It belongs to the owner of the bank and contains some very nasty secrets. Which, okay. If you've got a skeleton as big as this guy had in your closet and you don't destroy the evidence? You deserve to be caught with your pants around your ankles. Dalton would never be so dumb!

It's a lovely, excellently plotted movie and the fact that it has Clive Owen, Denzel Washington and Jodie Foster in it? Icing on the cake. Because I love all three of them madly. Even the music is great!

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Day 7

Much work done!

Harry's all moved in, and hating it.

I know who my villain will be. I haven't put them on the page, but I know whose doing what to whom.

And I skipped way ahead and got Marcone and Harry to have sex. All is right in the world!

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Days 5 & 6

Supernatural made me start late yesterday, so I wound up 200 words under the goal. But that was okay. I spent plenty of time writing today. :)

Marcone and Dresden got all magically bound together. I keeping joking that they got married. Which they did. They just don't quite realize it yet. I'm going to go read First Lords Fury now.

I've left Marcone and Harry on the front steps of Harry's boarding house. Harry doesn't want to move into Marcone's house. Marcone is making him. G'night.

dum dum da dum, dum dum da dum...

going to the chapel and we're gonna get maaarried. going to the chapel and we're gonna get maaaried.

Well. Sort of. Does it count if neither of them realize that that's how it's going to turn out in the end?

Also, when I bought that book of handfasting rituals a billion years ago? This was not the purpose I had in mind.

Marcone Is a Leader Of the Old School Variety

“You would be surprised to know how many of the great leaders of history started out as thieves and brigands. And many of them continued to be so even after they attained power. The world was not always as civilized and settled as it is today. People used to look for strength in their leaders. The ability and willingness to do whatever was necessary to defend the people they had taken under their protection. Under those requirements Baron Marcone is actually an excellent candidate for the position.”

Actor Spotting

I'm watching Vampire Diaries from Thursday and there's this new female boss type vamp and she looked familiar and then I realized.

It's Bella! Still pretty! And kind of evil I'm guessing. I haven't finished watching the ep yet.

Friday, November 5, 2010

Supernatural S06E07 - Family Matters

We all get that the title works on two levels, right?

Family Matters as in internal family issues. And Family Matters as in family is important.

Thought so. Let it begin!

Ah, the beat down. Still awesome. :D

Hi Cas! You're fuzzy...

Dean is not amused.

Also, a year without sleep? Hell.

Sam has no emotions. But he kind of fakes them badly.

Dude! Did that red lava-crack thing happen to the kid Cas did that to? I don't remember it being like that.

No. As in, there's nothing there. No soul! Where'd he lose it?

'I'm sorry. One more time. Like I'm five.'

How'd whoever it was get the body out without the soul?

No, Sam, sorry. You're totally a psycho. Really.

Huh? Sam is now Houdini? How's about Cas beat him down now! No, not *fix* him. *Hit* him.

A clue! It's like the Scooby gang! Also, I just had a thought. They should never take Cas to the Compound.

Hey! I said no Cas at the Compound!

'You're scrawnier than I pictured.'

'This is a vessel. My true form is approximately the size of your Chrysler building.'

'Yeah yeah. Quit bragging.'

'Angel cavity search.' lol...

So Samuel has a soul. That just makes him a patsy. Or a bastard. Depending on how this all falls out.

'Of course. Your problems always come first.' Umm. Yeah. Dean, that was Cas telling you you're an ass. Take note.

Oh hey! I know where I recognized the black guy from the previews last week. He's the alpha vamp! So...not Raphael.

I dislike the Campbells, generally. They all seem a little nuts. And not in the good Winchester-y way.

oohhh...don't mention Lisa. Especially do not call her a slut. That's the mother of his child you're talking about!

Hey Dean, sweetie? I give you permission to kill Christian. A lot.

Yup. I hate the Campbells.

sneaky sounds in the woods! and damn. for a minute I thought that vamp might have been Christian. Bugger.

Dean does not play well with others who are not Sam. Or Cas.

Yes! zee vision!

Creepy girls are creepy. Little girl vamps anywhere?

What're they doing with these alpha guys?

Liars. Sam, honey, please don't lie to Dean again.

Oh, hey. Looks like we're gonna talk.

I don't like notSam. Yes, you're back to being notSam.

Oh good god the daddy issues on this show.

notSam's finding things out from Samuel. I suspect this. He might even get to graduate back to Sam if this plays out that way. Otherwise, notSam forever!

Nobody puts notSammy in a corner!

Yay! I shall return to calling you Sam. For now.

Waitwaitwait. I just realized. If this ep is gonna be all about Samuel and the alpha dohickies, then we're not gonna find out what the hell is up with Sam the Soulless Boy Wonder!

Christian = too dumb to live. Clearing a room means checking behind the things in the room. Especially those large enough to, oh, I don't know. Hide people.

Where's what?

Huh. You don't seem to be having much of an effect on alphavampdaddy there Samuel. Perhaps Dean should give you some torture pointers.

Dude. The electricity doesn't seem to be working. Maybe you should TRY SOMETHING ELSE.

Monster momma? Please tell me there's not a 'momma' out there giving birth to all the monsters. That's...that's like something.

Samuel's looking for the location of purgatory? What in the hell for?

'Well if the old man's Kermit, whose hands up his ass?'


By the way, I love Dean's gun. It's pretty...

Yay! *claps* Christian's dead!

holyshit! CROWLEY!

HA! Crowley's the one pulling the strings!



'Purgatory is vast, underutilised and hell adjacent. And I want it.'

But how did he resurrect Samuel? Unless Samuel was in hell...or Crowley isn't a demon!

And Crowley has Sam's soul? OMG! CROWLEY!

Hee! I'm not certain you'd get that big a power jump just by being the biggest fish in the pond. I believe there's more to this than what we've been told. But the Crowley stuff pleases me. MOAR CROWLEY! I still don't want him to get killed though.

Dude. Sam. Take a breath. Samuel's screwed all on his own.

'We could stab him in his throat.' Ah, Dean.


preview: CROWLEY! Sniper Dean! Also, hello misplaced voice over promo. A new ep of SPN is not upcoming. It has just ended. But MISHA!voice!

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Day 4 - 5 minutes to midnight

Dear Harry,

Yes, I did just tell you that you're basically getting married off to Marcone.

That is all. Good evening.


Everyone else:

What would be a good title for a wizard advisor? I can't brain at the moment.

When John Met Bob

"Harry, are you-" His voice cut off and there was a suspicious muffled noise for a few seconds. "Are you high?"

I let myself flop backwards to lay across the bed. This put Marcone upside down about a foot away from my head. If I didn't know better I could have sworn he was biting his cheek to keep from bursting out with laughter. It wasn't funny dammit!

"No." Hells bells that came out whiny.

"Then may I ask why you're sitting naked on my bed? With that skull you keep in your workshop?" I turned to look at Bob. How had he gotten in here?

"I'm *not* high." It seemed like a very important point to get across to him. I couldn't actually answer the question as to why I was on his bed or even how I'd gotten there since I didn't really recall much after the acrid smoke had filled up the lab. "Bob'll vouch for me. Go on, tell 'im!" The hell? Did that really just come out of my mouth?

I started to speak again, to stop Bob before he revealed himself but it was too late. Bob didn't get out much and he seized any opportunity for conversation with vigor.

"He's completely high. Off his rocker, toked up and feeling goooooddddd." Orange lights filled the sockets of Bob's skull and he whirled himself around, rucking up the coverlet beneath him in the process. "We had a little mishap with this potion for speed and invisibility he's been trying out. It's a new combination and Harry's got a little ADD going on in the first place. Patience is not his strong suit, you know? I think he added too much powdered dragonfly wing. I told him to go easy, but does he listen? Nope."

Marcone wasn't trying not to laugh anymore. His face registered surprise and if he'd been anyone else I think his mouth would have literally been hanging open.

"So you're the mafia boss, huh? Nice ta meetcha."

I Like Stuff That Isn't Precisely Nailed Down, Is That Really So Weird?

I'm good at math. I hate it because it bores me, but I'm good at it. I just don't do it unless I have to. It's boring because it's all there in black and white. You do a, it produces c. Boring. Booooooooorrrrrrrrrinnnnnnnngggggggg.

I like things where there's plenty of room for argument and speculation. Sure, it means this. But it could also mean this, this and this. There's an infinite number of avenues one could tread down when talking of philosophy, morals, ethics, theology or metaphysics. It's fabulous. I can talk about it for hours if I've got a good partner. I love 'what ifs'.

But on a more tangible level I love to read about the same stuff. It's fascinating to try and understand how other people understand the tangible world through their own limited comprehension and experience and to adapt that to my limited comprehension and experience. I like history because history is never boring. Even though it's all already happened and is therefore somewhat set in stone there's still the understanding of the cause and effect of everything to think about.

I'm finding that that's not typical. At least not for the people that I know IRL. They find it bizarre that I read books on theology or history or any of that for fun. They're always asking what class the book is for and give me a confused look when I tell them it's not for any class. It's just for me.

NaNo - it's not gonna be perfect the first time around

You will write drivel. Or as it's more commonly known, crap. It will be mixed in with the good stuff. 50,000 words in 30 days is a lot. Don't kid yourself that it's not. You're essentially just spewing stuff at the page sometimes with little to no regard for style, detail, super secret messages, all that. You're just treading water trying to keep your head up. That's what the editing process is for later. Once you've written the bloody thing and taken a break from it you get to go back and edit. Then you send it to a beta. Then you get to make corrections and maybe edit some more. And back to the beta. Add, subtract, rework. Your final finished and polished product might even wind up being under the 50,000 word mark. That's not the point. The point for NaNo is getting those original 50,000 words down. You can clean it up later. Get the ideas out there.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

This Was the Runner Up Choice for My New Header & Day 3

Naked Harry or zombie T-Rex.

Decisions, decisions.

Sue won. Because she's a freaking ZOMBIE TYRANNOSAURUS REX! How do you compete with that?!

eta: Done for the day! And it's only quarter to midnight. Whatever. I got my words in.

Also, Hi Marcone! Nice of you to finally join the party. I need to go look up a description of you to make sure I got it all right, but I'm gonna leave that for tomorrow.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Day 2

Eight minutes to midnight. I'm going to bed any second now, I swear.

The goal of NaNo is to write 50,000 words. Of course you're going to go back once you're done and edit, etc. before the thing gets released to the world.

One of my problems is that I'm used to somewhat terse writing when left to my own devices. I'm not one of those authors that can spend three paragraphs lovingly describing the brocade on a freaking pillow. It's too much. But I think I sometimes err on the side of being not quite descriptive enough. I want to give the reader enough of a foundation to see the big strokes of the room or whatever but leave them space to fill in the details themselves where I don't need to do it.

So a bonus to NaNo and it being a word goal?

DESCRIPTIONS! It basically forces me to take more time than I would naturally to describe things. I'm still not going overboard. See above example in re: brocade and the number of paragraphs devoted to it. But I'm being more descriptive than I normally would be.

Control Freakishness and the Month of November

I realized (as I said) the other day that I'm something of a control freak. I like things the way I like them and once something is under my influence/control I don't like to let other people have a say. Or even touch it.

My things are where they are and heaven help you if you move them even a little bit. Years ago I was out for a day or so at work. I came back and the very nice young intern that we had at the time had cleaned up my desk. Neatend, you know? I was LIVID! He didn't throw anything away or do anything 'bad' like that. He just dusted and straightened some stuff up. And I wanted to yell at him for touching all my things! I didn't, but I wanted to.

I used to joke around that I was OCD. I'm not, of course, but that was the level of my need to have everything in it's place according to *my* ordering of the universe. I've gotten better though. I no longer desire to hit people who touch my things. :)

Anyway. The control freak thing. I don't like to be out of control. I don't like to have things happen that I am not in charge of, where they affect me emotionally. Physical stuff, sure. I'm less worried about that. Stuff happens. But my mind, my emotions? That I don't like to think of being manipulated. It's part of why I've never gone to by hypnotized or seen a shrink or anything. I don't want people playing with my head. It's part of why I never got into drugs. That whole out of control thing.

I was thinking about religion and why I can't quite seem to make up my mind. I mean...I know. I really do. I know what I believe and where that is taught and which Church I believe to be the original, true Church established by Christ. So why haven't I done anything? Why am I still just laying there going, 'uhhuh. that's all true and shiny and nice.' and staying right where I am.

I think it's a conflict of personality and unrealistic expectation.

I want to have one of those bolt out of the blue religious experiences. You know, 'WHAM', drop to your knees, weeping, whatever, knowing. Transcendent. And that's never happened. And a part of me, the part that thinks that that's what happens to people (based on the conversion stories in all sorts of faiths that I love to read because I like to read about other peoples emotions being messed with apparently...) figures that until that happens I must not be looking at the right thing. That's a terrible, annoying and irrational part but I haven't figured out how to cut it out of myself yet.

Because even if it *did* happen, once the smoke cleared I wouldn't trust it. Why? Because my emotions were out of control. They were clearly being manipulated by some outside stimulus and therefore the entire experience wouldn't be trustworthy. So I'd reject the experience even if I had it!

*throws hands up in the air*

On a completely unrelated note: I may be more absent than usual from the blogs this month. I'm participating in NaNoWriMo this year and it takes up a lot of free time. For anyone who doesn't know, NaNoWriMo is National Novel Writing Month. Every November anyone who signs up for this writes a 50,000 word novel in 30 days. Or makes a damn good try at it anyway. :) Just so no one thinks I'm ignoring them or anything I figured I'd better mention it.

and this one.

'Shut up. I'm busy judging you.' I hated to be wrong. And to be this wrong?

I pried open one eye and turned my head. Marcone was still sitting on the floor, his back leaning against the side of the bed. Plaster drifted through the air and he sighed, coughing a little on the dust. The arrogant bastard was smiling at me. I was going to kill him. It was either that or admit that he was right and possibly not a complete waste of humanity. Killing him was bound to be easier and not nearly as damaging to my ego.

i like it but i'm not sure where it'd fit...

'Better the devil you know' is a stupid cliche. Look, it's still a devil, right? Knowing him just means that he knows where to hit.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Day 1

Oh, holy crap. I forgot how *hard* this is. Not the writing, but sticking to a schedule. I'm a lazy writer. I really am. I just sort of roll with it. When it comes, it comes. That does not work with NaNoWriMo! 50,000 words in 30 days.

I'm calling it quits for the day. According to my count I have 1,709 words written. Not bad. Not spectacular, but not bad. I think I'll get into the groove as it goes. I had a hard time getting the story started. I knew the first line, but after that...how do you get into the story? I had a few paragraphs written and they just didn't work. I had to delete all the way back down to the first line and start over. Much better now. :)

And I also rediscovered the fact that snippets of dialogue or scenes will come to me at horribly inappropriate times at work. And I have to get them down or I'll forget them! And they come out of order of course. But I jot them down and I'll get to those scenes eventually. Or not. Sometimes they don't quite happen the way I think they will and I have to rewrite or junk some stuff. But we'll see. It's early days.

Also I keep checking facts in my books. I probably shouldn't but I just hate writing down something and then having to remember to check it later. What if I miss something?

Also, new header! I found a cap of the scene with the machete and awesomehotDean! Don't mind me...

Oh, good lord, shut up brain! save it for later!

I choked on my drink. The size of Marcone's ego would have been funny if I didn't actually have to deal with the man.

"You think you're not corrupt? That somehow you're better than the scum you killed to get here? Or the ones that work for you?"

"Of course not. I told you - the system is always corrupt. There are no exceptions to that rule. The difference is I know it's corrupt. I know I'm corrupt. But I am better than the men I replaced. I control the anarchy and destruction that I cause. There are fewer overdoses because I demand quality control. When was the last time there was a gang war on the streets of Chicago? At least a decade, Dresden. Ten years of relative peace. I have rules and I am willing to enforce them with the only tools that people like myself understand. That's a hell of a lot more than you can say for most scum."

Marcone(?) line at work? Maybe. Whatever. Have to get back to *work* now, kthx.

Injustice exists. It doesn't matter which side of the law you're on, the system is always corrupt. It allows for wicked people to take advantage of those who are weaker than they are and give nothing back. That's the lesson I learned on the streets. That's why I took it over. That's why I do all of this. Not for the money, or for the power. Though I won't deny that the luxuries are well worth it all.

I do this - all of this - so that I can protect people.
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