Putting the blog to use.

Today I took Killian to gymnastics. Wrote a very little. Worked on a basic picture render because I wanted to do something. Played Pandemic with the household. Took a nap, but that goes without saying. And I spent some time looking for a missing case full of games, and failed to find it. Which drained a lot of my energy for anything else. But I wanted to write down what I did today.

Rules of Consent for an Autistic Kid (and anybody else)

[Originally known as Rules of Consent (Complicated Version for Big Boys)]

1.) If you are doing something to somebody else and they say ‘Stop!’ or ‘No’ or ‘Ow’ or ‘I don’t like that’, STOP IMMEDIATELY. Follow up by asking if they’re okay. Don’t start up again unless they invite you to. You can instead suggest something else to do: play a different game, watch something, hang out and talk.

2.) If you have tried to do something with or to multiple people in a short timespan (which might be a few minutes or an hour or a day, depending), and those people say NO, don’t experiment by trying it on new people. For example: if two people don’t like ‘joke hugs’, don’t try it on a new person for at least a day. If three people don’t like it, wait a week before trying a new person, and so on.
3.) Respect a closed door. Never open a closed door unless you’re the one who closed it, or the owner gives you permission. Only knock once on a closed door. Special requests override the knock-once rule. So do life-threatening emergencies.
4.) When you are a guest, wait for an invitation to do things unless it’s a biological issue: you can ask for a drink of water and to use the bathroom, but do not play with toys or explore the house unless they invite you to do so. You can ask questions about things in the house, but not if you can play with those things. (If they want you to play with those things, they will invite you to do so.)
5.) Hands off. Don’t grab people. Don’t restrain them. Don’t hold them down. Explicit exceptions: you’ve both agreed to play some kind of wrestling game. Somebody is in danger of being hurt (running into traffic, falling off a tree, and so on).
6.) Respect personal space. Don’t stand closer than an arm’s length to a stranger, a hand’s length from a friend and you can hug family, but you have to ask first.
7.) Respect personal boundaries. Everybody has different personal boundaries regarding personal space AND personal interests. Rule #1 also applies to topics of conversation. If somebody says, “I don’t want to talk about that,” say, “OK!” and  change the subject. You can always talk about the weather or your pets.
8.) If you have observed that somebody does not like it when a third party does something (they say, “No,” or “Stop,” or “I don’t like that,” or “I don’t want to talk about it,” or “Don’t touch that,”) do not test if that rule also applies to you. Assume it does.
9.) All these rules also apply to other people interacting with YOU.

Fat-shaming and bigotry

Look. It’s been said that fat-shaming is the last socially acceptable form of bigotry.It’s not quite true; I suspect the ‘last’ form will be ‘personality-shaming’ aimed at those with personality ‘disorders’– but fat-shaming IS bigotry. Body-weight is deeply linked with the idea of ‘bad’ in American minds. Look at any discussion of body-positive models and you’ll see not just mockery and derision but outright rage that anybody dare try to to present fat people as healthy, attractive, okay in any way. Being fat isn’t just considered unhealthy for an individual (as well as a sign of laziness, gluttony and poor moral fiber), it’s considered unhealthy for a society. A good portion of you reading this are probably thinking, “Yes, but it IS unhealthy to be fat. They really should do something about it. There’s an obesity epidemic!” Well. There’s an argument to be had there and other people are having it, so I won’t. I’ll just point out that to be fat (perhaps especially a fat woman, but men get this too) is to be _surrounded_ by media that tells me how worthless I am: how little I can expect to accomplish and how my failures are all my own fault for being bad. Even a mildly overweight (by some standard) person being criticized will inevitably have their weight criticized too. And while some people will argue with that, more agree quietly (or vocally) with it. Being fat is wrong. Let’s all lose weight. Every good person can, and will.

I’m bad, I’m worthless, I’m ugly, I’m lazy, I’m a failure and I’m fat. If you care about me, I bet it hurts you to read me saying those things about myself… even “I’m fat.” Think about that. Do you want to say, “Oh, you’re not….” That’s the cultural bigotry at work. I hate calling myself fat. I’ve got the cultural bigotry too. It tells me to hate myself and oh, when it comes to my body, my special body that only rarely gets sick and never gets fevers, I do hate myself. I want to be thin more than I want to be healthy. And every time I see somebody’s weight criticized by strangers, those negative connections are reinforced. For me, and for everybody who reads them.

Fat-shaming is bigotry. “Oh, but it’s different.” “Oh, but it’s their choice.” “Oh, but they’re so bad for society.” “Oh, but it’s a disease and they should be helped.” Really? I feel like I’ve heard all that before.

*

For the last three years, we’ve had “Women Destroy Science Fiction,” “Queers Destroy Science Fiction,” and “People of Color Destroy Science Fiction” run wildly successful Kickstarters. Next year we get “People with Disabilities Destroy Science Fiction.” Do you think in 2018, we’ll get “Fat People Destroy Science Fiction”? I suspect not. Alas. Maybe someday.

(Probably a few years after people stop thinking a ‘low-fat’ diet is the right choice. The govt, recommendations have changed but society has already been poisoned that way…)

Green Wild Pre-Order

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Princess Tiana has discovered the identity of her family’s ancient enemy, but that’s only the beginning. Now she must find three gods scattered across Ceria and convince them to lend her divine power. An already momentous task is complicated by jealous fiends, squabbling siblings, and a demigod who seems more interested in games than salvation. 

Meanwhile, her elder sister Queen Jerya struggles to mobilize the armies of Ceria against the Blight. But politics, shady ambassadors, and assassins stand in the way of the military support and royal leadership her country so desperately needs.

Can Jerya stay alive and regain control over her kingdom? Can Tiana survive the Green Wild?

Available March 15, 2016

Get it at Amazon: http://amzn.to/1UmXv5r
NOTE: If you know you want the print version, you can hold out for that and if you get it via Amazon you’ll be able to pick up the ebook version for free. I believe the print version will be available within a few weeks of the ebook version, with a small but not impossible chance of ‘within a few days’.

EPUB/MOBI ebook combo pack: https://gum.co/hLXd

Add it on Goodreads!

DIVINITY CIRCUIT now available for preorder

divinity_promo

OK! DIVINITY CIRCUIT, the 5th book (and 4th novel) in the Senyaza Series is now available for preorder on Amazon.

IMPORTANT NOTE: Amazon is likely the only ordinary book retailer that will be carrying the ebook (although there will be a paperback available as well through normal distribution). IF YOU WANT AN EPUB, the best way to get it is to sign up for my Patreon. I will also be opening a temporary store somewhere like Gumroad the first week of release in order to sell epubs directly. After that you’ll have to talk to me directly.

Go forth! Preorder! Tell your friends. Oh and I will probably be tweaking that blurb before release…

Sasquan (Worldcon 2015) Report (Wednesday)

Today was Wednesday of Sasquan, Worldcon 2015. I got to the airport around 9, spent half an hour going through security, ate breakfast at a Chili Too place, then decided to bravely volunteer to check my suitcase. Then I chatted with random other Worldcon attendees and smiled at a cute, sweet 3 month old on the plane. Whee!

Once I was there, my friend met me at the baggage carousel and her chauffeurs (parents) kindly took both of us to my hotel where I waited in line more and got to check in eventually.

After that we got a tour from another con attendee showing us how to get from my hotel to the main convention center. It was really unpleasantly hot and a little bit hazy then, around 12:45 PM.

At the con Registration, I waited in line for another 45 minutes to get my badge. Then we set out to visit the third con venue and maybe get some lunch. I also decided I needed better shoe inserts so we put a drugstore on our path. Along the way I started feeling pretty woozy– even faint. It was weird. By the time I got my new insoles we managed to realize the place we were heading for food was closed so we trudged back the way we came and decided to check out the Consuite that was opening at 3 PM. So we got back to the con hotel and I was barely mobile or upright. We went to the 15th floor where the consuite was… where we waited in line until 3:30 because the hot dogs weren’t ready or something.

After scarfing down some sandwich meat and bread, we felt better! We were going to explore the panel locations but then we wandered into the dealer’s room where I eventually lived vicariously through my friend trying on half a dozen corsets and skirts Eventually she bought two of each. It was fun! And then it was after six and we needed dinner so we decided to go try out my hotel restaurant and then head to the party venue to check out the Worldcon 2019 bid parties.

So… we went to the shuttle stop (because walking had been such a disaster before for me). On our way there we discovered that the sky was no longer a little ‘hazy’. The sky was orange as if the world had been tinted through sunscreen windows. And the sun itself was crimson like a beating heart. Because the Spokane area is full of fires.

At the shuttle stop we waited for about thirty minutes. It was kind of fun watching con-people wander by. At one point, an older fellow with a twinkle in his eye bent down to where I was sitting beside the stop and pressed a penny into my hand. “Get a job! But don’t change your hair.” The penny was a 2015 one and I’d never seen one side of it before. Coins keep changing, people, it’s weird.

Anyhow, I giggled at this and it kind of made the wait worth the time.

Finally we got the shuttle, went to my hotel and had a dinner of rather odd wraps and excellent fries, for not too much money. And then we took another shuttle to the amazing Historic Davenport hotel where we pretended to belong to furniture like they have in the lobby and then toured the various bid parties, trying food and drinking drinks. I have to say while I sort of loyally favor Helsinki, they had the most crowded and disorganized party and the least appetizing food. The straight-up best organized and presented party was DC. Japan was charming, with weird Japanese snack food and lots of local alcohol and pretty Japanese boys handing it to me (what can I say I’m a pig). And Montreal’s bid party had a really great ambiance and food that looked good (but by then I was done).

At one point I saw a guy wearing a sign that said, “Looking for Interactive Fiction Writers” and I chased him down, recognized his name from Choice of Games and introduced myself to him with, “I wrote part of a game for you once.” And he recognized my name and we chatted a bit before I moved on. Honestly I would have been happy to chat more except I was tired and on a mission so maybe I’ll run into him again.

And now I am back in my boring hotel room soaking my feet. 13600 steps today.

(More) Experiments in Marketing

Lots of book sales and promos. One day I’m going to write up a post on all the services I’ve used. Not quite yet, though.

Meanwhile, partially due to lack of movement outside of Amazon, I’ve put all the Senyaza books up on Kindle Select, to see how access to the Kindle Unlimited audience works out for me. What this means is if you have Kindle Unlimited, you can read them for free.

I know not all of my readers are Kindle readers. Divinity Circuit, the 4th full Senyaza novel, will be available as an epub for at least a limited time (and maybe an unlimited time; it all depends). Preferentially if you’re eager to get the ePub (or PDF) you’ll go back my Patreon for $1 a month. Otherwise I might do a temporary publish on Smashwords, or maybe use something like Gumroad as a distribution method. We shall see. I’m going to aim to have DC out in November, hopefully coinciding with the end of my current Kindle Select term (so I can take all the books out for bundles.)

In tangentially related news, I’ll be attending Worldcon in Spokane next week! It’s terrifying, even though I’ll have friends there. I’ve been a big emotional bundle. Probably this is also related to what I’ve been working on recently, which is a new YA novel written as a gift to my fifteen year old self.

I will try to take some pictures and make a post from the convention. It’s good to have records of first times and this is my first time at any Worldcon. It certainly looks to be a unique one…