To that dude in the parking lot…

….sorry I didn’t return the Vulcan salute you were giving me.

By the time my brain registered the gesture, I had to keep both hands on the wheel.

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Oh woops

I forgot to mention I’m back in school.

I’ll try and catch up. Apologies in advance if there’s a sudden spam of likes and comments at some point in the near future when I remember how to breathe again ahah

I hope everyone has a great weekend!

A Snippet

A surprise snippet (sort of) from a story I’m working on called Giant Slayer. Originally started off as a way to deal with anxiety brought on by reading about climate change. It would appear my brain’s response was to take me to one of my fictional worlds. (I didn’t do much of a read over or edit.)

She woke up, a familiar scratching in her throat. Just something to get used to, Ursula thought idly to herself and rolled over.

It was the next day and she awoke to her brother shaking her shoulder.

“The village leaders are having an important meeting with each other,” Walter said, his brown eyes wide.

Ursula sat up and groaned. “I thought those weren’t until noon.”

He shook his head. “It’s getting too hot for those.” Walter stood up and threw her dress at her. “C’mon. Get dressed.”

Ursula changed out of her sleeping clothes and put on the patchwork dress. She didn’t bother with her shoes.

Walter was waiting for her, bouncing on the balls of his feet, his knobby knees shaking.

She gave her brother an odd look and followed him.

They village leaders were standing around one of their wells.

“The wells are drying up,” said a mustachioed leader. He twisted the thick, black thing on his face, barely taking notice of Ursula and Walter. “And it’s getting hotter again.”

Another man, one with a beard, nodded his head and adjusted his straw hat. “This is like in the old texts about the Before World.” He said. “I’ve spoken with leaders from nearby villages, who’ve spoken to leaders of their nearby villages and so on. Even the cities have reached out. They’re afraid it’s happening again.”

The village leader with bushy sideburns shook his head. “That’s just fools talk. We don’t do half of what the Before folk did.”

The bearded man shrugged. “Either way, our water supply is in trouble.”

Walter edged closer to Ursula.

It was then the two were noticed.

“What’re you doing here?” Asked their leader with the mustache.

Ursula looked down at her feet, avoiding eye contact like a proper soon-to-be lady. She elbowed Walter to make him speak up/

“I saw you meeting a lot earlier,” Walter said. “So I figured it was important and, if it’s my job to take care of Ursula now, I thought I should find out what it was.” He gave as stern of a nod as a twelve-year-old could manage.

The men huffed.

“Smart words for an idiot idea,” said the ones with sideburns.

“If I have to go out and get more water, I won’t leave Ursula behind.” Walter declared. “So she should know why—”

The bearded one spat. “You don’t have to tell her anything. Just give her an order and she’ll obey if she’s proper and smart.” He gave a nod. “But if you’re volunteering to get water,” the man stroked his beard. “We’ll accept the offer.”

Ursula, keeping her eyes hidden behind her bangs, was able to look at her brother. Or his feet for that matter. His toes were curling into the dry dirt. He was scared. It would appear their chance to escape had arrived much earlier than expected.

Review – Hyperspace Radio: Collected Short Stories of James Beach

Hello, hello all!

This is a VERY long-awaited review that I should have done…two weeks ago. Since I was able to finish the book by then. Also this is my first review. I hope it’s helpful and not overly lengthy. (I’m also always worried that I’ll misunderstand a book…)

Anyway! What book? Well, the one in the title, of course! Here’s a link to its Amazon page.

Just for some quick transparency stuff: I got this book at a discount because I promised a review (I was at BayCon this year).

Onward with the review!

In short: I really enjoyed this book!

In long: I was surprised at how much I enjoyed this book because it is not the genre I typically read. Ever. What is it’s genre? Comedy (with some political commentary thrown in). I rarely, rarely read funny stories, and if I do, it’s usually because I had no idea it would be funny, the only exception being Good Omens.  I also avoid political comedy because I am really, really bad at picking up when I’m supposed to laugh or not (or I laugh and find out it was mocking whatever political group I associate with). It’s that or it is appealing to the group I’m part of and I just then feel like I’m engaging in an extremely guilty pleasure.

The good news is is that Hyperspace Radio did not make me feel that way at all! Political jabs that did occur were quick and well done, I felt, and did not feel forced. I’m also pretty sure I laughed at the parts I was supposed to. Especially the short stories where the purpose of the story was to help deliver a punchline (and those I enjoyed most). I really liked those, and I don’t want to spoil the stories where that was the case, but I’m sure you’ll figure them out when you read them!

So the book itself starts off with a clutch of very short stories and then shifts gear into some very lengthy ones, wrapping up with some shorter ones. I think this was a good decision since it makes the book more accessible but also provides an interesting flow. Well, I liked that at least. I felt like I was able to ease into reading again and when the stories did get lengthy, I was annoyed that I had to put the book down for something.

In terms of what I think this author does right and well in would be dialog. It also flows well and doesn’t feel unnatural. The people speak in ways I find believable. One story in particular, Lessons Learned, I appreciated because the story involves middle schoolers and they all acted like middle schoolers would in a book about middle schoolers rather than…I dunno, some kind of TV show about middle schoolers.

There were a couple things that did stand out in a not-so good way to me. One is super nitpicky and purely technical and something I’m guilty of (and this is self-published, so this actually gets a slight pass and is more of a “I noticed but it didn’t detract): Typos. They were there. I know the pain they cause when they are spotted by another person.

The other, less pass-giving one, was a bit of how female characters were handled in Ghost Magnet and Hell is Where the Heart Is. Now, I enjoyed both stories immensely…save for the endings when the female characters felt more like objects than characters.

As implied, this is only an issue that annoyed me in those stories. The female characters in most of the other Hyperspace Radio stories were fine and felt like characters.

Overall, I quite enjoyed this book! The stories were fun, engaging, and I found it quite creative with how problems were presented and solved (especially Wishful Thinking).

So to sum up before I let this review get way too long:

8/10 – Like I said, I usually avoid this genre but decided to try something new and it kept my attention

Would I recommend it: Yes

Apologies for the Absence

Title says it all!

Well not really.

I do apologize for the disappearance from both posting and commenting. Things got kind of…interesting in the non-Internet realm. Axed some friendships, uncertain if new ones are being made, and other obligations that require a bit more attention than WP does 😦

I’ll be back on track soon enough.

Hope everyone’s having a wonderful day/night!