Heavy

I feel like my uterus, my body is singing this song to me right now.

That pretty much sums up endo and PCOS. It can literally and figuratively weigh down on you and drain you. It can leave you feeling like you’re drowning in a river. It’s definitely a killer in the crowd, sneaking up on you at random moments and just killing the fuck out of your body’s systems. I know that song’s supposed to be about love but damn, there is some unhealthy love out there in the world. When my uterus is loving me by spitting out blood with which to tie my organs together, when my nerves are misfiring because they’re damaged from all the long-term pain, when I suddenly feel lethargic and depressed because my hormones are not at the correct levels it can seem like the worst kind of marriage ever.

But it’s not all bad. I’ve been writing up a storm and preparing some lovely books to share with you. Er, if you want to read them, that is. With the exception of The Colds, the other books being published this year are much heavier. They deal with darker subject matter and are particularly close to my heart. They contain things about myself that I was never brave enough to share when I was younger. Most of them were written during rather traumatic periods of my life. They were how I made it through.

I should note, though, that simply because they deal with trauma and heavy subjects it doesn’t mean they don’t get as silly, entertaining, or sexy as my other works. These books fill in a lot of background for the rest of the cuilverse. They detail the history for some of its creatures and characters. And they bring together some people you’d never imagine would meet. As well as hint at some pretty messed up shit coming down on the heads of all the creatures of the cuilverse. Such good fun. Maybe I’m having a little too much fun getting all these ready. I’m just so excited about it. The writing styles are different and you’ll even get to see a bit of that flowery language that I’d swear I’d never write.

All in all, as heavy as things in my life seem to be right now, I can honestly say my soul is feeling light.

Mars One Mission Selects Final 100 Candidates to Colonize Mars | IFLScience

Holy crap, it’s happening! I can’t wait. Godspeed to everyone involved with this project. I’m excited to (potentially, barring any random death) have the opportunity to see Mars colonized within my lifetime.

Mars One Mission Selects Final 100 Candidates to Colonize Mars | IFLScience.

Handsome Young Caucasian Male With Red Hair

Cuilverse Layout: Others – Scaroth Vampires

Happy Lover’s and Other’s Day!!!

I have been busting my ass to get all of the books I’d like to publish this year ready to go. I’m quite happy with the way that’s progressing. I love creating. And I love writing about love and relationships. If you need something a little offbeat and hot to read I’m very happy to announce the release of The Colds. It’s available now on Smashwords and will be available on Createspace, Kindle, Kobo, and may other sites soon. Yay!

But let me get back on track. I’m supposed to be writing about the most romantic creatures in the cuilverse: scaroth vampires.

Excerpt from You Don’t Belong: “There exists in the cuilverse a number of different races of vampire. In Stuart’s universe there was only one kind: scaroth. All the other races had died off. The scaroth vampires in The Black Tree series all reside on Jupiter after fleeing the Earth during The Cull (an apocalypse, what else do you really need to know about that). They all had red hair and green eyes, possessed super speed, and had specializations designated by whatever name they were given. Stuarts were stewards, Jeffs were polished and very often served as butlers, and Greggs were Olympic-level sportsmen. Ah, that’s the other thing about vampires in The Black Tree universe: they were all male. Vampirism could only be passed along to males and every child of a vampire was born male unless whatever species they were copulating with had reproductive control over which sex they birthed (which I’m not getting into right now).

Normally, scaroth vampires didn’t need sleep but sometimes they could drift off if they really wanted to or if they had something to help them. Scaroth vampires in other universes were somewhat similar but also markedly different. For instance, scaroth vampire kisses heal in Stuart’s universe. In Allison Dutch’s universe, where Jean came from, only a handful of scaroths could do it. In Jean’s universe, most scaroths could change sex at will, in addition to altering their general features. Some were better at it than others.

All scaroth had a built in romantic-sexual sense that allowed them to know exactly what the other person wanted them to do. Theywere also naturally polyamorous, sometimes notoriously so (there’s an interesting reason why no Jupiter vamp had a last name). The scaroth race had been built for pleasure and so were finely attuned to the physical needs, desires, and fears of others. Most times they could choose who they wanted to use it on (usually someone they wanted to feed off of or have sex with) but once they chose it could be difficult to hold back, no matter how inconvenient the circumstances. Once the pull was initiated a scaroth was compelled to follow through to completion, fulfilling every desire of the chosen one. It made things both easier and harder for relationships. On the one hand they were perfect lovers but on the other hand you’d better learn not to let your mind wander in public.”

Excerpt taken from Desired and Proper (obviously it’s from a scaroth vamp’s point of view; I wonder who?): “Scaroth are also physically incapable of committing rape unless they were suffering from a condition known as being bloodless. Most scaroths had a built-in failsafe to prevent us from taking advantage of anyone. It was so effective that for the 70,000 years we’d lived on this planet there had only been eight attempted or completed rapes for our entire race. It all went back to the First Family: Lilith, Sammael, and Seraphim Vitas. They’d wanted us to be better, or at least distinguishable, from humankind. The scaroth, being directly descended from the ragnir (the original vampires, who were a lot like incubi and succubi), maintained the Original Promise more strictly than many of the other monsters. Maybe that’s why we were among the most talented, gorgeous, and powerful. Especially when it came to the sexual arts. You could almost say our race was designed for pleasure. That’s why the honor of Sex God was bestowed upon one lucky scaroth every generation (our average generations were 150 years).

There existed a special dungeon in most scaroth homes specifically for the purpose of containing bloodless vampires. Thankfully it was nearly as rare an occurrence for our race as rape. In fact, that was the only time any of us had been capable of raping someone. If other vampires went too long without consuming blood they merely died. Scaroths were closer to truly immortal-very little could harm us. It took longer for the side effects of blood deprivation to kick in but when it did we became bloodless. Our hair turned white, our teeth grew to full-length, and we lost all higher functions. The only cure was blood; lots of blood. We would feed nearly indiscriminately to restore ourselves. Until we’d have enough our bodies would be subject to constant agony. It was full-on insanity, unlike our milder form of it, a blood rage. We could still control ourselves for the most part but were definitely less than our best. We often stocked up on blood and sealed ourselves away during a rage.”

So remember, whether you’re locking up your lover or letting it all out in the open have safe, sane, and consensual (educated, hopefully) fun. I think I’ll go find me a scaroth right now! And do my best not to piss them off. :)

 

My Miracle

PCOS is a horrible disorder. The body turns on itself, sugars are processed in funky ways, and it pretty much can drive you insane. I’ve been living with it for a very long time and I hate it as much as I hate my endometriosis. One of the symptoms in particular can be taken as either a blessing or a curse. PCOS can cause infertility.

I’m one of those for whom the disease caused subfertility. At first that was fine with me because I never wanted kids in the first place. Coming from the life I’d had, I knew what a huge responsibility children could be and I doubted my ability to shake off my apathy enough to care for and love a child. I didn’t think I had enough love to give a little one. I never thought I’d find someone who wasn’t abhorrent to have a child with. And with all of the minority categories I fall into, I feared any child I did have would be taken away eventually.

I was so used to being poor, to being depressed, to being forced, and to being an outcast that a child just didn’t make sense. So I was a bit relieved when I first realized I couldn’t conceive. But then a number of things happened. The first was that my endometriosis grew worse. One of the treatment options was to undergo fertility treatment. Basically, having a baby helps to keep the endo at bay for a year or two. Being sensitive to most medications in general and being fed up with birth control that still left me with debilitating symptoms, I figured why not try a different path. I took medicine for my blood sugar and progesterone to level out my hormones.

I didn’t really expect to get pregnant. I never really thought it was possible. But in just a few short months I discovered that I was with child. It was a shocking moment for me (and fairly embarrassing. I found out I was pregnant because I’d tried to drink a wine cooler and at the first sip grew horribly nauseous. I’m not much of a drinker because with certain beverages I have seizures but I do enjoy wine every now and then. Anyway, I immediately told my big sis, who I’ll write about later, and she picked me up a pregnancy test that very night). I had a lot of thinking to do.

I thought about my nieces, who gave me such joy. I thought of the way they brightened my sister’s life and how for the first time I saw a family that was not torn and ugly and broken. I thought of how I’d always said I’d try most anything at least one, just to experience and learn from it. I thought of how much I loved my partner and how curious I’d be to to see what we’d be as one person. I thought of how a child would force me to confront my weaknesses and fears and be motivation for me to do better. I thought of how I didn’t want my line to die out, of how I wanted raise a child with the compassion and critical thinking skills that could help change the world, of how I’d told myself if I ever had a kid I wanted it to be a boy.

You see, I was terrified of giving birth to a girl. I was terrified of the life she would live. I feared that she’d be the 1 in 4 that would be abused or raped. I feared that she’d put up with the same horrible treatment I’d grown up with. And I realized that was my biggest fear. All of my other concerns were only mild in comparison. I didn’t want to bring a child into the world because I feared they’d grow up like I did, that the cycle would repeat itself.

I already loved to research, so I did what I normally do; I researched the hell out of pregnancy and parenting. I talked with my sister. I talked with my partner about what he knew and encouraged him to study up. But all the information in the world would never let me know what that little creature really gave me.

My little person. My little buddy. My creature. My baby. You have to love yourself if you’re going to love them. Seeing him let me see the past and future all at once. Seeing him with his cousins is indescribably lovely. I remember the childhood my sister and I had, I remember how close we siblings were, and I loved that the bond between this next generation wasn’t formed out of necessity and pain but out of joy and delight. I was inspired to dust myself off and keep going.

I think people often miss the amazing things that children do. They don’t see their resilience. They don’t often think of how amazing it is that these tiny people have the courage to face a completely unfamiliar world every single day. I think children are so incredibly brave. They remain open to the world and try again no matter what happens. They’re definitely smarter than most people give them credit for (my boy first said “hi” to me at four months. It creeped me the hell out). Their minds, their brains are literally building working models of the world that they’ll rely on for the rest of their lives. It’s a miraculous thing to see a mind developing.

It’s a miraculous thing to give birth. It’s a beautiful thing that the body can produce nourishment and care for another living being for such a long time. It’s amazing that one could feel so fiercely about such a tiny little thing. He’s my little miracle. The joy of watching him grow and learn reminds me of what I love most about life. He is life, an act of pure creation. He is my miracle. He is my reminder of what is possible. Even though I may never be able to have another I’m glad I was able to have at least one.

I never expected much for my life. Being able to know him is something special and more than I’d thought possible.

Also, knowing that he’s not a scaroth vampire certainly lets my mind rest easy (that’s a terrible joke because scaroths are notoriously incestuous. That will be important in one of my later books. Let’s just say I thoroughly embarrass myself).

In all seriousness, though, I love him more than anything and I miss him so much. This is the longest I’ve ever been away from him and it kills me every day. I never thought I’d be able to miss playing and talking with a child but I do. He and his cousins are all so amazing and wonderful and I can’t wait to see them again. Stay strong, little one. We’ll be reunited soon.

Cuilverse Layout: Others – Lycans

I figured it was about time to begin explaining a bit about the many different types of Others and their roles in the Cuilverse. I’ve given a bit of information before about scaroth and logmin vampires but I’ll write about them and other Others in more detail. Today, let’s talk about lycans.

Excerpt from The Representative Series – “Just as there were different races of vampire there were several different kinds of lycans (other than what forms they took). There were those cursed by witches who usually lived about as long as humans did. They lycan government was headed currently by Alfred Valliant, one such cursed lycan. In his case his curse was familial and so his son Edgar was a lycan as well and would die early. There were lycans that were Marked by other lycans, usually through a blood bite. A blood bite was different from a regular lycan bite. It could only be performed on those with an exactly opposing immune system yet also required a matching blood type. Needless to say it was a damn rare occurrence, especially considering a blood bite could only happen during a full moon. Those bitten split into two different kinds in turn depending on which race had bitten them. They either passed it on or it died with them. Then there existed the snootiest group of lycans: the originals. Their history stretched back to the time of Lilith. They were the spawn of Lilith and the angel Samael. Like scaroth vampires they valued purity of blood. There were a number of dynastic families bickering like royalty. Thank heavens the Lycan Ten were elected with suggestions from current and former members.

In any event, original lycans tended to live longest, nearly as long as some races of vampire. Bitten lycans could live upwards of a few centuries as long as they stayed in shape. Tony and his family were from this group of lycans, known as Arans. The originals referred to themselves rather unoriginally as the Igies. The cursed ones and bitten ones with shorter lifespans were affectionately known as The Pwnd. They used to be called Rathers (as in “I’d rather not”) but had accepted the newer name with glee. Unfortunately, the Arans tended to develop unique illnesses that struck each generation.”

Character and Song #47: Gregory Samson

Hee hee. This is one that tickles me. Greg is part of the industrious and mega-rich Samson family. They work on secret projects for the government and also carry out secret research on containers. Greg doesn’t like his family much due to the fact that the have pretty restrictive rules with potentially fatal consequences for non-compliance. Still, he can push the boundaries a bit because he’s the current heir to the Samson empire. He spends most of his time listening to reggae, spoiling his future bride, and bossing his cousin Craig around. He’s not the most organized person in the world; though he makes many lists he also frequently misplaces them. Craig usually helps keep him on track and helps to keep his nervousness from turning him into a total wreck. Greg is also highly curious, loves studying sexuality, and is very intimidated by the Ashton clan. Oh yes, that means you’ll get to see some of the characters from the Allison Dutch series again and be able to learn more about them in The Representative series (to be published this year).

I can’t help thinking of Major Lazer’s Come On To Me when picturing Greg’s sexy ass swaggering around. He may be a stuffy rich boy but he can bust a move (oh, my goodness, I am so, so sorry for using that phrase. Now that song is stuck in my head).

Character and Song #46: Sammael

Back to slightly happier topics. I’ve been busting my ass getting these books ready for publication and reviving the defunct website for LEEP since two of our members died. Okay, yes, that’s slightly depressing. But there’s a reason we call our business Focus Forward. I’ll always mourn them and the grief will never go away but I can damn sure make the treasure of their memories count. So check it out if you feel like it.

Anyway, back on topic. Samael, the Angel that became Lilith’s consort. He is the first incarnation of another character but I’m not telling you who it is because I’m mean. So Samael and Lilith give birth to thousands of monsters, weirdos, and other creatures that all fit into the Others category (I’ll write more about Others later). You can learn more about him in The Time of Toba, which unfortunately won’t be out for a while (like the soonest would be next year but that depends on whether I’m in a good mood). Although you can hear mentions of him throughout the Cuil Project. Rumor has it that he’s the one who tempted Adam in the Garden. I suppose we’ll find out if there’s any truth to that when the book finally comes out.

The song that most reminds me of him is Slipknot’s Vermillion Pt. 2.

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5 Bizarre Realities of Being a Man Who Was Raped by a Woman | Cracked.com

I’m very glad Cracked finally did an article on this topic. It reminded me that Mark Blue is one of these men. In the series about his childhood (one of the series I’m publishing this year), we learn about the many abuses he suffered while living with his crazy-ass family. We also learn about how he began to grow into the lovable asshole prankster that managed to steal everyone’s hearts. A lot of my characters deal with abuse, assault, and rape. Their stories are all different, they all survive it in different ways, and they all walk the healing path in their own unique way. If any of my books can make one less person feel invisible or left out then I’ve done my job. That’s why I write after all: other than saving my own life with it, I write for people like me who have been through some messed up stuff and/or never get to see their reflections in the media (or only see negative reflections). My books detail my own healing path and I can only hope it reaches one person it can inspire, motivate, or comfort. I guess we’ll see. To all those out there who’ve been through this or similar things, I see you.

5 Bizarre Realities of Being a Man Who Was Raped by a Woman | Cracked.com.

Character and Song #45: The Thinking Bowl

Like the A Seriesen, the Thinking Bowl is cool enough to get its own entry. This is a special room that exists between the dimensions. Only a few members of the Black Tree crew have access to it. Each wall is a portal to other dimensions and the floor is nice and comfy with pillows galore. Whenever events in the cuilverse become too crazy or sometimes when characters simply need to share a secret they go to the Thinking Bowl. I wrote before about how meditation has helped me and that’s what the Thinking Bowl represents for the BTS crew. The Thinking Bowl also has another fairly cool secret: it was designed by a very talented person. The same person that created the dimensional doors for Production (you’ll learn what that is in Mikassa’s Fall), Mik’s Lab (the real one), and a number of other seemingly physically impossible structures. If you want to find out who the architect is, well, read the books in the Cuil Project to piece the clues together.

Because the Thinking Bowl is so peaceful, Smile by The Crystal Method suits it just fine.

Character and Song #44: Travis

Travis is the fictional incarnation of my real-life partner and companion. I don’t talk about him much but boy could I tell you some stories! We’ve had some adventures together, for sure. Like crazier than the books I write. It’s some cuil shit, let’s leave it at that. Cough.

He shows up in Mark Blue Who to continue to challenge me, to push me, and also to try to convince the me in the story to come out into the real world once more. We’ve been together nearly a decade and have gone through some incredible and traumatic experiences together. When I first met him I told him straight-up what he was getting into and neither of us has settled for less than our best ever since. Though we are different as night day on the surface we share values deep down where it really matters. He’s encouraged me to continue writing the story of my journey and he reminds me of the truth when my health, depression, or anxiety get to me. At first he was jealous of my characters (and with good reason :). You’ll actually get to see him argue with a few of them) but that’s the nature of being involved with a poly writer. Eventually, he realized that my love for my characters and others doesn’t take anything away from the love I have for him. I’m so proud to know him. He’s my best friend first and foremost; everything else is lovely extras. He also gave me my little miracle, which I might write about sometime later.

He fights alongside me and that’s why his song is Til the Casket Drops (he really likes paintball and guns, so it fits the image as well).

 

And, ah, if we ever do get married, this will be our wedding song.