Hiatus and Great News

I want to apologize to my followers and readers for my recent absence.

My sister died a few years back, and my mother has had custody of my niece and nephew ever since.  My niece came out as bisexual a year ago, and since then my mother and stepfather have been making her life very difficult.

Things came to a head a few months ago when one of my step-siblings threatened to ‘rape the lesbian’ out of my niece.  My mother and stepfather tried to pretend it was a joke, despite the other harassing comments and actions of that individual.  My stepfather has even talked about sending my niece to therapy to ‘fix’ her ‘issues’.

I contacted a lawyer, and have been doing all I can to protect my niece and nephew ever since.  My lawyer has proved to be a good friend and amazing individual, and I think we should do all we can to clone him and spread his wonder throughout the US.

Thanks to him, I just received by mail this very morning the final documents awarding me custody of my niece and nephew.  Monday I will be enrolling them in the local schools and taking them shopping to replace the belongings my mother and stepfather refused to allow them to take with them.

They are safe.  Now I just need to work on figuring out how to be a responsible adult.  I think I’m supposed to wear socks with sandals now?  I don’t know about that.  All I know is I can protect them now.

Today is a good day.


Sad News

My old dog, Rufus, passed away after more than a decade of steadfast companionship.  His death was peaceful.  He curled up in his favorite spot by the heater, and simply never woke up.

Due to being somewhat of a wreck the last few days, I will not be making my proposed writing deadlines.  Please grant me a week or two extension.

*uck Civility

There is this thing I’m sure most people have heard about before.  It’s called ‘The Golden Rule’.  It states that you should treat others the way you would like to be treated.  I try to follow that rule.

Yet there is another side to that rule.  It implies that we should treat people the way we observe them treating other people.  After all, per the golden rule, that must be how they want to be treated, right?

Which means when someone is consistently an asshole to other people, there is nothing wrong with giving them a taste of their own medicine.  If they don’t want to be treated that way, they need to adjust their own behavior.

So if you treat me like I’m less than human, you remove from me any obligation to be civil toward you.  If you vote for people like me to be discriminated against, you remove from me any obligation to treat you ‘nicely’.  You don’t get to treat me like shit and still get invited over for tea.  It doesn’t work that way.

Light it up

You hear it a lot these days.  The whole ‘you stood up for yourself and I didn’t like it and that’s why we have Trump‘ rhetoric.  It is bullshit enough when we hear it from the conservatives, but it’s especially dismaying to hear it from our supposed ‘allies’.  This notion that if we defend ourselves, we are somehow the oppressors.

Martin Luthor King Junior said it well:

“Over the last few years many Negroes have felt that their most troublesome adversary was not the obvious bigot of the Ku Klux Klan or the John Birch Society, but the white liberal who is more devoted to “order” than to justice, who prefers tranquility to equality”

It still holds true for the black population, but it applies as well to LGBT individuals.  White liberals talk, but as soon as standing up for what is right would cause the slightest inconvenience to their lives, they are nowhere to be found.  I see it in my fellow men who claim to be ‘feminists’, but when the ‘locker room talk’ starts they shut up and refuse to call it out, or try to downplay it as something other than what it is.

They pretend people aren’t already dying.  That we aren’t already well past the first stages of genocide.  That somehow, some way, everything is going to be alright and we can just ride it out.  Well, maybe they can.  Maybe their privilege will protect them.  Or maybe it won’t.

In the meantime, a simple truth remains:

It’s still winter

Some of you may have noticed a break in my updates.  In addition to apparently being locked in the permanent icy grip of winter (the featured picture was taken from my front porch yesterday), I had to deal with a windows update sending my computer into blue screen of death mode.

I have done a full reinstall, and have sadly lost some things.  I can’t find my receipt with the license code for Poser 11, so that is gone.  I couldn’t find the one for AeonTimeline either, but their customer service people are awesome and came through for me.  Thus, I haven’t lost access to my notes for quite a few projects.  Scrivener, Word, and Photoshop remain good to go.

I did lose a lot of works in progress on Photoshop.  Nothing serious, just the projects I’ve been using as learning tools for my new drawing tablet.  Everything else was backed up to dropbox, and I am going to shamelessly plug their service for all aspiring writers and artists because one, they work great with Scrivener, and two, without them I would have just lost 10+ years of writing work.

Back up your shit, people, and keep copies of your receipts.  Also, just because you tell Windows now isn’t a good time to update doesn’t mean it is going to listen to you, and for those of you who don’t already know this – Windows 10 does NOT keep system restore points for you.  That’s right, people, if something goes wrong, you just have to bend on over and take it without a chance of lube.  Thank you, Microsoft!

Things that should be obvious

I would have thought that a reasonable human being would know these things.  However, I’ve lately encountered several who purport to be reasonable, rational, even logical.  And yet they somehow fail to grasp these concepts.

1 – Yes, I am bisexual.  I am attracted to both men and women.  That does not automatically make me attracted to YOU and does not obligate me to sleep with YOU.

2 – I am a switch.  Currently I am submissive.  The fact that I am submissive does not obligate me to perform any sexual act YOU desire.

3 – I have a master.  The fact that I have a master does not obligate me to obey YOU.

4 – I am kinky and enjoy BDSM.  That doesn’t mean I am without boundaries and it does not give you the right to ignore those boundaries.

5 – I sometimes like to be spanked.  That does not mean you may touch me without permission.

6 – I am currently submissive.  That does not obligate me to clean up after YOU.

7 – There are other people who are allowed to handle my toys.  That does not mean YOU get to handle my toys.

8 – I used to work in mental health care.  That does NOT MAKE ME YOUR THERAPIST OR YOUR DOCTOR.

9 – I like hanging out with my niece and nephew.  That doesn’t mean I like all children nor does it mean I’m obligated to entertain or be responsible for your children.

10 – Yes, that notebook does contain notes for the story I’m working on.  No, you may not help yourself to it and I am not obligated to share it with you.

11 – Yes, I type fast.  No, that does not obligate me to type stuff up for you.

Bats are cute

My cats, of course, disagree, but just look at this little fellow.  Don’t you just want to give him chin scritches?

I feel bad about making him go back outside, but my cats made it clear that they will continue to destroy all of my worldly belongings in their attempts to capture him.


I now have a Patreon account.  I can hear you all asking now, ‘Venavis, why should we pay you?  We know you are a masochist who will keep posting shit whether we pay you or not.’.  And, you are absolutely right.

However, if you do head over to my Patreon and decide to support me, you will get some bonus content.  Sneak previews, the occasional short story that will NOT be posted to my blog, and Pathfinder/Starfinder stat sheets for some of the stuff I create in my stories.

As you can see, I am in the process of building a science fiction universe with multiple inhabited star systems.  If you do decide to support my Patreon page (that sounds a lot better than ‘to patronize me’ doesn’t it?) you can use those worlds in your own gaming.

How to get slapped (in French)

As some of you know, I’ve been taking French lessons and using duolingo to practice.  I am currently sitting at 56% fluency, which to me just means their fluency algorithm really needs to be re-calibrated.  Netflix has a sad lack of titles both dubbed and subtitled in French, so I’ve been watching the Santa Clarita Diet.  As long as France gets invaded by zombies and I need to hide bodies and eat people while I am there, everything will be fine.  France, do not let me down.

Duolingo has this lovely little add-on lesson on how to flirt in French.

Vous me plaisez

Tu me plais

Both mean ‘I like you’, but the top one is the formal and polite way to say it, while the bottom one is how you’d say it to someone you are already friends with.  And if someone you are already friends with doesn’t know you like them, you might be doing it wrong.  Anyway…

It contains your basics, such as:

Vous venez ici souvent?  Do you come here often?

On va chez toi ou chez moi?  Your place or mine?

Je peux vous offrir un verre Can I buy you a drink?

It also has some true gems.

Tu es mannequin?  Are you a model?

Je ne suis pas saoul, je suis juste ivre de vousI’m not drunk, I’m just intoxicated by you.

Tues si chaude, que j’en attrape un coup de solielYou are so hot you are giving me a sunburn

Il fait chaude ici, ou bien c’est vousIs it hot in here, or is it just you?

It is good to know obnoxious pick-up lines know no language barriers.

France, je suis désolé.

Canine Conundrums

My dog was laying in the floor, and the human told him he was a good dog. He immediately started wagging hit tail. His tail whacked him in the face. So, naturally, he decided that tail needed to be taught a lesson and went on the attack.

After a brief and intense chase throughout the house, he lost sight of it. He came back down to lay beside my chair, and there, out of nowhere, that sneaky tail hit him in the face again. But this time, this time he would be clever. Patient. He waited, and waited, until the tail lay down and relaxed, unwary of what was in store. He lunged…

His plan paid off! He caught that tail!. Immediately, he sank his teeth in, intent on destroying his enemy once and for all.

And that horrid, evil, vicious tail responded by biting him in the ass! He yelped and began running, the tail chasing him. It’s wounds showed no signs of slowing it down. It swayed from side to side, splattering drops of blood with every swing. The cats looked on in sympathetic horror….

Finally, the human came in to the rescue, tackling both dog and tail. The dog was assured he was a good boy, and the tail was placed in bandages and restraints. The dog once again lay down next to the human’s chair. The human reached down to pat him. And then that wicked tail whacked him in the face again….

For Sale: Two Cats, Cheap

I went outside this morning and watered my garden. In doing so, I got my shoes wet. When I came in, instead of putting my shoes back in the closet I set them near the door so they could dry out, and left the wet socks atop them.
First cat got up and went to do her normal morning judgmental stares at the neighbors walking their dog. She saw items that seemed vaguely familiar to her, but in an unexpected location. After careful consideration, she went and got the other cat for a second opinion on this strange situation. The other cat came over to investigate. Other cat took one look at my shoes, decided they were invading alien monsters, and decided to have a complete mental breakdown that involved climbing up the curtains to hide in an elevated location.
The first cat, being a supportive and loving sister, decided that she wasn’t going to let the other cat go to crazy town alone. Immediately, she decided that the socks must die, and attacked. Her initial attack ripped thread out of the sock. She would have been content with that victory, only the thread tangled around her a little. Thus, when she started to walk away, the sock followed.
Not just followed. The clearly carnivorous sock chased after her with evil intent as she tried in vain to flee. Despite her panic, she knew the only possible thing to do in a situation like this is to start knocking over plants until that human they permit to live in their house saves her.
The curtains have been wounded and were in need of stitches. The sock did not survive. Neither did the newly potted spider plant. They will be mourned.

Medications in Stories

Alright, I know we should all suspend our disbelief and all that, but uh…

If you are going to go out of your way to actually name the drug being used, please do a little research and make sure the drug in question actually does what you claim.    Cocaine?  Not a sedative.  Yes, it was used historically for pain killing and soothing tonics.  It is still not a sedative.

Chloroform?  Very dangerous and doesn’t work at all like it’s advertised on TV.  For starters, the average person can hold their breath for at least thirty seconds, so a chemical that has to be breathed in is not your best choice for knocking someone out fast.  I hate to break this to you, but there is no wonder drug that will knock people out fast that doesn’t have to be very carefully calibrated to an individual.  That’s why anesthesiologists get paid large amounts of money.

Some artistic license can be forgiven.  I’ve done the bash over the head with no long term consequences thing a few times in my stories.  In real life, the amount of force needed to knock somebody out and the amount needed to kill them overlap considerably, to the point its almost random chance that decides which one is going to occur.

Chemical restraints to exist (we’ve all heard of roofies) but they aren’t instant things and they can and will make a person very ill.  They can also kill, particularly if a person is already on medication.  At best, they still take about three minutes to work and can take much longer.  You will also occasionally find people upon whom they don’t work at all or they have a counter effect.   Benadryl is commonly given as a mild sedative, yet on some people it actually works as a stimulant.  That could even make for a good story twist for you – your professional kidnapper/assassin doses someone, only to end up with a hyperactive squirrel rather than a compliant sloth.

On Respect

I remember seeing this tumblr post.  And I remember thinking, yeah, that’s it exactly.  That sums it up.

When I was six years old, the Supreme Court upheld a ruling that being me is against the law.  I was thirteen when the state I was living in at the time passed a law saying otherwise.  I was twenty three when the supreme court reversed their decision, and decided being someone like me is in fact legal in every state in the US.

I was twenty four years old when a cop started hitting me with a nightstick for ‘resisting arrest’ because I dared to cite that Supreme Court  cause when he was writing me a citation for being who I am.  I questioned his ‘authority’.  I didn’t ‘comply’.  I didn’t treat him with ‘respect’.  So I was beaten, thrown into the back of a squad car, and got to spend two days in jail before getting medical attention.  Other things happened in those two days.  Some at the hands of cops.  Some simply due to the actions of those cops.  I was told I was lucky.  That I could have been killed.

And the people who told me that are right.  I was lucky.  I could have been killed.  And the cops would not have suffered any consequences for either killing me or letting me die in their custody.  Because I questioned their authority.  Because I ‘resisted’ being arrested for something that was no longer a crime.

I was left with medical expenses and court fines, plus I lost my job due to not being able to show up for work or call in those two days.  The cops suffered no consequences for those events.  I was told I would suffer consequences if I tried to file a complaint.  I had learned my lesson the first time.  I shut up.  I complied, so I wouldn’t die.

I’ve gone to many protests in my life.  I’ve seen cops seize any perceived disrespect as an excuse to engage in violence.  And when no such opportunity was afforded them, I’ve seen cops arrange the opportunity by pushing and shoving and threatening until finally someone snapped.  And when even that failed to happen, I’ve seen cops call in plain clothes to start the altercations so they had the excuse to swarm in.  Then it’s the same story on the news.  We deserved what happened to us, and we were lucky because it would have been okay to kill us.  We weren’t ‘complying’.  So we deserved to die and we should just be grateful.

I’d like to say there are good cops.  I wish I could say there are good cops.  But as Lieutenant General David Morrison stated: “The standard you walk past is the standard you accept”.