Recipe: Croutons (+bonus!)

Posted in Uncategorized on September 1, 2010 by Jaym Gates

I never use up a whole loaf of bread without getting creative. So, usually, I just don’t buy it. But, every now and then, I can’t help it.

What to do when scraps start accumulating? Croutons! SO easy, SO good.

Grab a loaf of bread. Go nuts with the knife. Throw it in the oven at 250 until it is hard, no moisture left (usually about an hour, depending on the bread). Voila. Ten times better than store-bought. (If you want to season them, spray the fresh bread lightly with cooking or olive oil spray, and then season.

Last year, I made butternut squash and sage soup and topped it with feta cheese, walnuts and pumpernickel croutons. I made asiago and walnut quick-bread into biscotti for Christmas gifts, to go with homemade roasted red pepper soup.

They also make good snacks, either on their own, or with some dressing.

Today’s versions:

Pumpernickel with chili and cumin and pepper blend
Multi-grain sourdough with smoked paprika and coriander
Multi-grain sourdough with oregano, thyme and onion
Kalamata olive bread with some homemade spice blend

Bonus recipe from last night’s dinner:

1 cubed butternut squash
6 fresh sage leaves, chopped
3 chunks of candied ginger
Glaze of 2 parts extra-virgin olive oil, 2 parts honey and 1 part balsamic vinegar, chili and salt to taste
Toss ingredients in a roasting pan, stick in the oven at 350 for about 30 minutes, or until the squash is tender, stirring occasionally.

Serve over:

Cheater’s Black Risotto

(No measurements here, sorry!)

Black or wild rice (yes, you can use any rice. Black is lovely though.)
Amaranth or Quinoa (extra protein for us vegetarians)
Salt and pepper.

Cook rice according to directions. Add amaranth or quinoa about halfway through cooking time. When just a bit of liquid remains, add a bit of butter and a handful of cheese (I used an Italian blend) and stir until cheese is melted and rice is creamy.

Dish onto plate, add squash, and top with slivered almonds and cacao nibs.

Perfect autumn or holiday dish, but is equally delicious in summer.

The Dust on the Doors and Lintels

Posted in Uncategorized on August 27, 2010 by Jaym Gates

Given my rather un-linear perceptions of time, I suppose it isn’t surprising that my ‘first’ memories are from when I was 2…and when I was 8.

One was watching my aunt die. Or, more accurately, the aftermath of it. I swear there’s a photograph of it, that I’ve held it in my hands. But the photograph is moving.

I was 2 years old.

The second memory is the clearest. No snapshots. It happened at school. There was an archeological dig on the corner of the playing field, leading into the towering hill behind the school. Some of us kids got to go into it. The last thing I saw was several black cats around the entrance.

Inside, thick drifts of dust covered the floor. Bone-white. My tongue was silky with it. Suffocating.

I think I was seven or eight.

One of these is a dream. But I remember the taste, the touch, the smell.

I didn’t get lost in those tunnels, but I couldn’t muster the energy to escape. I couldn’t think. Black cats followed me, and the dust eddied around my ankles.

I’ve had dreams of dying, of all manner of horrible things. My family has a history of dreams that sometimes usurp living memories. Those aren’t always pleasant.

No dream ever scared me half so much as the tunnels.

I realized, last year, that I never left those tunnels. When I woke up from that dream, I could still taste the dust. That dream has haunted me ever since.

Last year, I found myself in those tunnels again. The same dust, drifts of it on the doors and stairs. Oh yes, that’s right. I was in a different part of the tunnels. I wasn’t a child any more, and I wasn’t afraid.

I had a sword. A name. A purpose. I followed a river out, and met an old, blind man by an old tree under the full moon. The moon wasn’t in the sky, but reflected on the water.

I don’t remember what he told me.

But I remember the taste of bone-dust in my mouth.

It’s a taste that you’ll find in nearly every one of my stories.

Two recipes: Greek Yogurt Dressing and Corn/Avocado Salad

Posted in Uncategorized on August 23, 2010 by Jaym Gates

Yeah yeah yeah, haven’t been here for a while.

Anyways, recipes for my diet staples right now.

I love salad, but dislike almost all dressings. Lowfat tastes like crap, and regular…yeuck! The calories and sugar!

This solves all problems, and is quite easy to make. It will separate a bit in the fridge but is good for a week. Can also be used on sandwiches instead of mayo. It is high-protein, and only has good fats.

Lowfat Greek Yogurt Dressing

2 cups 0% or 2% plain greek yogurt
juice of 1 lemon
1 tsp soy sauce (Healthier: substitute Bragg’s amino acid, which tastes like soy, without the downsides, and is gluten-free.)
1/2 tsp rice vinegar (Use the Trader Joe’s stuff, if you can!)
1/2 tsp garlic-infused oil, or olive oil and a pinch of powdered garlic
2 tsp dill, dry or fresh
Pinch of unbleached sugar or drizzle of honey (Trust me. I didn’t put this in the first time, and it nearly scalded my mouth.)
Pepper and chili powder to taste

Mix thoroughly. So good!

The salad is another quick, refreshing summer dish.

1 avocado, chopped
1 cup unsweetened canned corn
salt, pepper, chili powder and cumin to taste.

That’s it! You can also add black beans, chicken and cheese for a 1-dish meal. Green chilies are delicious in it too.

I Am A Fraud

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , on July 28, 2010 by Jaym Gates

This is a joint post with Don Pizarro. His take on feeling like a fraud can be found at (link will be added when he WAKES UP!)

I’m a fraud. I don’t deserve to be here.

Those were the thoughts, on repeat, in my head as I left the bar. It was Friday night, Boston, my first ReaderCon. I’d been drinking with friends, old and new, discussing writing, music, fandom, relationships.

Normal-people stuff.

Apparently, no one guessed that I’d been so afraid to walk into the room that I’d paused outside, literally too sick with fear to move. But the group was filled with genuinely wonderful people, and I at least stopped cuddling my wine so closely.

After a while, Don Pizarro and I, in desperate need of coffee, took our leave of the group to venture into the depths of Cambridge. By this time, my hands were trembling, my voice was trembling, my heart was trembling too.

Silence reigned for a few moments, and then we both let out a deep breath. One of us made a comment about being a fraud. Suddenly, words couldn’t come fast enough. By the time we got back to the hotel, we were both breathing a little better.

This isn’t the first time I’ve been crippled by these fears. I hate it, having lost out on opportunities because of it. I tell myself, other people tell me, that I’m talented, that I deserve to be here.

But, when you’re standing in a room of some of the best writers and editors in ‘the business’, it suddenly crashes down. “I haven’t done all that much.” “I don’t deserve to be here.” “I’m not worth talking to.” “Ooo, I like this corner. No one will trip over me here.”

I have an excuse, in a way. Words are my life, my love, my perspective on life.

If I have a religion, it is a religion of the mind. I worship the weird, the jagged, the extreme and tortured and shocking. Not for the shock value itself, but because of their courage in looking at the fringe.

I’m a synesthete. Reading The Scar was emotional, physical. Words are experience, touch, taste, scent, sound. I am there. I am there because someone went there first, led me by the hand into a world only they could imagine.

So when you are standing in a room of your idols and heroes and role models, it’s hard to keep perspective. I was raised with a keen understanding of my own inadequacy, and the respect and distance awarded to age, experience and talent. Added to that, my personal devotion to their work, and the pedestal has soared perilously close to the ceiling, and I’ve forgotten that they are just like the rest of us, award-winning or not.

We raise them on too high a pedestal. Not that they aren’t that good, not that they aren’t worthy of respect, admiration or perhaps a little awe, but because they are not gods, but humans.

I’ve talked to many authors, many people I respect. From each, I hear a variation on the same tale. Their path was no different from ours. They have struggled, and failed. Picked themselves back up, dusted off, taken another run at the next hurdle. They have collapsed beside the trail and cried, and wailed, and berated their gods for callous indifference.

They have felt like frauds, like failures. They have made stupid mistakes. They have stood up, squared their shoulders, and kept going.

That emphasis is necessary. Too many of us shamble through life, afraid that our incompetence will show, that someone will realize we didn’t come through the same door that everyone else did.

But we did all come through that door. We just couldn’t see it because of all the people blocking our view of the empty door, and the sign over it, saying The Right Way.

It isn’t a matter of success or failure, of genuine talent or hackery. It is a matter of honesty, within as much as without.

You will never succeed because someone else believes in you.


Posted in Uncategorized on July 19, 2010 by Jaym Gates

The camera pans into the scene. Broken buildings. Fires in windows, shattered icons, blood. Sometimes there are looters, sometimes zombies or bugs or aliens. Occasionally, it is simply an empty wastelands. Oddly, it is almost always raining. Oh, wait. This is Hollywood we’re talking about.
It’s a familiar trope, mainstreamed and popularized by films such as Matrix, Blade-Runner and Terminator. Dystopia, post-apocalypse, grunge, zombies, war. The future has been a dark and dirty place recently.
Of course, there is plenty of reason for such a dark depiction. It seems like every new discovery, every bit of progress we make, just turns into one more thing to go wrong. The oil disaster in the Gulf, the garbage patch in the Pacific, the rising ill-health and falling education of our nation. Iowa approves gay marriage, Arizona approves racial harassment.
The future could be a very dark place indeed. But a powerful, often-ignored entity in the direction of our future is the mechanisms of social globalization and the psychological impact of rapid, wide-spread social evolution.

Exiles, refugees, immigrants, emigrants, tourists, business travelers and merchants. People affect people. The only way a society might remain static (Amish, Amazonian tribes, Basque) is if there are no outside influences. Even one person can trigger an avalanche of social change. With the ease of travel, the world can’t really be mapped in solid lines any more, but in an ebbing, flowing, living picture.

Tourists are a particularly under-utilized group. Bleak future or not, tourists are like cockroaches: only the total destruction by fire of their entire species is going to stop them. Philadelphia got eaten by giant scorpions? Have an underground trade of stingers, or have hucksters sell Real (imitation) Scorpion Shell.

Armies. A massive, insular and antagonistic stress on any society. An army leaving a country will open dozens of holes in the economy, familial structure and work-force. An army coming in will create chaos and facilitate the success of drug, sex and entertainment industries.


Missionaries. I really want to see someone writing about post-apocalyptic missionaries. No, really. Anywhere you have religion, you’ll have eager young people burning to share their faith.

The environment. No, not as a living entity. The environment is now hugely affected by people.

Imagine that the Garbage Patch washes/builds up to the edge of a remote beach, somewhere that modern society hasn’t been able to catch up to. Suddenly, all these pieces of an unimagined future inundate their lives. How long until someone starts connecting wires, rearranging elements, and inventing things that wouldn’t even occur to an American scientist? What sort of science-fiction, alien culture could build from such a unique viewpoint?

As these catalysts interact with each other, various forms of societal landscapes begin to form. Ethnic lines, technological landscapes, lines of ideas, finances and media.

No Puppets On Premises

Posted in Uncategorized on July 16, 2010 by Jaym Gates

So, I’m just back from ReaderCon (check out the Apex Books blog for a recap, won’t be putting one up here due to time issues), and the ass-end of a lot of thinking it about to catch up with me.

I drove up to Boston from North Carolina, a 16 hour drive on almost no sleep. I was already tired and a bit stressed, knowing the workload awaiting me when I got back. I was able (had to, really, due to a lack of internet) to put aside most of that while in Boston. It gave me a chance to just enjoy people, thought, all that good stuff. I even took NAPS!

(A quick digression: the people of ReaderCon are amazing. Huge thanks to Christie, John, Eric, Don, Doug, Blake, Amy, Conni, Elizabeth, Marlin, Bart, Athena, Adam and everyone else I ran into or spent time with. Too many good memories there.)

And with the work stuff on hold, I had time to think. Maybe too much time. There are reasons that I stay so busy, and one of those is to avoid thinking about personal stuff. Anyways, I did something that I’d been avoiding for a long time, and came to some decisions about past, present and future.

On top of that, I’ve had half a dozen people comment in the last couple of weeks to some variation of ‘wow, you’ve been so happy lately’.

Obviously, I’m doing something right.

I’ve realized that I *love* writing. I really do. I can’t go without it. But I’m no longer churning out 5000 words a day. Some days, I won’t do more than 200. I *can* do 5000 words a day, but it doesn’t leave me with the love that 200 words can inspire.

Besides that, I’ve got little love for the traditional publishing model. I can’t churn out 3 books a year, not without burning out. I might get 1 done, 1 rewritten. I love small presses though, and love working with them, but I can’t sustain the production necessary to make a living at it.

Finally, I’ve discovered just how much I love being an editor. It started with LD. Rigor Amortis clenched it. Working with the authors, planning promo and researching markets, that’s the stuff I have fun with. I’m not terrified of it, the way I am with writing. I trust myself more.

So, where does that leave me?

I’m planning two more anthologies this year. Rigor Amortis (Ardens), an invitation-only for the people published in the original, and the working-title of Deus ex Machina, which has no planning behind it yet. I’m also applying for a job as an editor. More on that later, I hope.

But the real news is about the writing. I’m scaling back. I said about a month ago that something had to go, or step into the background. At the moment, I’m at a stalemate. I have no time to move forward. Writing my own fiction is that tentative victim.

This is practicality, as much as anything. Novels are time-consuming, brutal and annoying. I love writing them, but…yeah. My skill-level is not where I want it to be. Short stories don’t bring in the money anymore. I want to be able to submit to whatever market is out there, paying or non-paying. I want to take my time, and write what *I* want to write, all the weird, surreal, awful stuff that my beta readers hate me for.

So I’m not giving it up. But I want more pieces like Climb and Dark Fire, and no more write-to-someone’s-theme pieces like Salt and Beautiful. I just don’t write that stuff very well. I’ve got all of these ideas, and keep thinking ‘yeah, but really? Who’s going to buy that?’

I feel like I’ve lost my integrity a bit. I’m going to go rediscover that. I’ll write like I used to write, stealing moments when no one is looking, walking sideways to the plot to see what it looks like from different angles. Creating works of art, rather than commercial fiction. Or at least that’s my goal!

So you’ll see less writing from me. I’m going to finish Haven, and see what people think. I’ll rewrite Red Sun and Inherent, and write Clay and Chain, but I won’t be pushing other things aside to work on the novels.

Wish me luck. I know where I want to be by this time next year. I’ll let you know if I’m there, when I get there!


Posted in Uncategorized on June 14, 2010 by Jaym Gates

I made it out to a ‘social’ event on Saturday! Color me proud of myself. Now that I’m getting so many responsibilities outside of the day job, I’ve cut back on social stuff even more.

But, I made it out, by myself at that. Last Sunday, drawing to the end of ConCarolinas, I interviewed DJ Torch, owner of Single Cell. An invite to the next performance was extended, I was able to pull a last-minute switch at work, and off to Communion of the Flesh.

Now, anyone who has been in the South the last couple of weeks knows what the damned weather has been like. I don’t know what it is about the South, probably the humidity, but air conditioning is like make-up: yeah, it makes things better, but there’s got to be something there to work with.

While it was probably 65 in the VIP area (maybe more, I was tired and so got cold too easily), it was apparently about 120 degrees on the stage. When I caught up to Torch at the end of the evening, it looked like someone had dumped a bucket of water over him. Humidity, go to Hell. You’ll be a wonderful addition to the atmosphere.

But the DJ’s were great, the playlists were just enough bands that I was familiar with to give me a bit of a reference point, with plenty of new ones to go look up. It was a great introduction to the Single Cell performances. I’ll be trying to attend these regularly from here on out.

Unfortunately, that wiped out all of Saturday for working. My most urgent deadline was the Science In My Ficiton article that went live this morning. Due to the delicacy of the subject (gender), I just couldn’t get a handle on it. Of course, typically, deadlines are the mother of courage, and I uploaded it at 3am, along with an apology to the editors!

That article can be found here: Three Isn’t Always a Crowd: Gender

One deadline down…three to go.

I have a piece due to Clarkesworld on Friday, another tetchy subject: Taboo and Genre Culture. This is where I’m glad to have interviewed Torch so extensively. His wealth of knowledge and study on taboo is going to make my article both easier and much harder.

My Apex blog is due on Wednesday, a Con Report/interview.

The really worrying one right now is the Port Iris Magazine Con review/interviews. I’m waiting on 2 interviews still. This entire thing has been a lesson in casting the net as widely as possible, because I do have a couple of interviews that I *can* use, thankfully.

Rigor Amortis is chugging right along. Erika is a phenomenal co-editor. I don’t think that I ever want to do an anthology without a co-editor. There are just too many things that need a different view. We also have five artists who are interested in working for Rigor Amortis, and have submitted some beautiful concepts. Galen Smith is working on cover-art ideas for us.

Don’t remind me that I need to start figuring out contracts sometime very soon. I’m hiding in edits for the time being, and art. That should tell you how scared I am: when I *want* to edit!

Little Death isn’t far from being in the crunch stages either. Thankfully, all I have to learn for that is layout, and I’ve got Chris Fletcher, Kay and Bart to lean on for that one.

No time was wasted in throwing me into the grindhouse at Raw Dog Screaming, which is awesome. Always good to get out of the gate quickly, as it seems to set the tone for the rest of the job. So far, I’ve set up the Twitter account, worked on a marketing plan for ReaderCon, and have been getting to know the authors and staff. Next up: rallying the troops and getting the authors to support us the way we support them.

Tonight is the THIRD(!!!!!!!!!!) #zinechat. Special Guest John Klima, editor of Electric Velocipede, will be joining us. (This means that I need to get on this whole invite-the-next-guest thing.)

Still working on the NC Writer’s Network. Need to meet up with MG to talk and plot and brainstorm!

I’ve also wrapped up 4 books in the last 2 weeks, so I can’t yell too loudly. Reviews coming on Kittredge, Andrews and Briggs. If my eReader will cooperate, a review of Shipp’s CURSED will follow.

ReaderCon is coming up quickly, as is DragonCon. My focus is on getting ready for these, which means a *ton* of costuming for DragonCon, and lots of stressing!

I’m storming along on getting back into the short story game. Lords of Heaven and Earth, Pale Fire She Steals From the Sun, Clank-Clank Nanny, It Is Not the Fire…but the Earthquake and Climb No Mountains are all out on submission. Still need to edit the novellas Mother of Serpents, To Write a New Name and The Secrets of Mother-Mountains.

My focus with those three novellas has changed, however. Novella markets are very far between, or closed. So I will be polishing them into a collection, and gluing the three together with flash and a couple of other stories. Because all three are highly mythological, I will also be finishing off some other myth-influenced stories. I am aiming for the resulting compilation to be about 50,000 words.

Haven has drawn the short straw. I’m ready to be done with it and get it sent out! So I’m going to try to get it to beta readers by the end of the month, at least 2/3 of it. I would really like to get the first Red Sun book rewritten this year, and Inherent is also starting to call my name.

Besides that, I’m just trying to keep up with the jewelry and the freelancing stuff. Playing catch-up again today. Yikes. Wish me luck!

Why Dragons?

Posted in Uncategorized on June 10, 2010 by Jaym Gates

One time, at work, a customer handed me cash payment. I hadn’t cared for him from the start, something about him seemed off. But his fingers touched mine when he handed me the money.

It was like someone had poured a bucket of slime over my hand. Lasted for hours. I washed my hands, sanitized them, scrubbed them raw. Still had that feeling.

I get a lot of crap for not letting people touch me. Can you see why I keep my distance? Even the lightest touch on my shoulder or back, if I’m not familiar with the person, will leave weight and cold. It’s almost like a sliver of ghost hanging out on my skin. People who I am familiar with, depending on who they are, may fade within a few minutes. Still, it is seldom pleasant.

Tattoos then, as you can probably imagine, are like someone touching me with a chainsaw. The sensation never goes away. I can always feel the tattoos on my skin, am always aware of them. So when I get something done, it’s kind of like grafting an extra limb onto my body. I’d better hope that I like it.

But, why the dragons?

Growing up, dragons were the symbol of the devil. Babylon, the great beast. Somehow, I never feared the beast. I wondered why it was so inherently evil.

My next experience with dragons must have been myths and folklore.

The first time that they became a real, solid aspect of my view of the world was also the first time I read horror. My grandmother had books I wasn’t supposed to read. Of course, I read them anyways. By 13, I’d read most of Shakespeare, Tennyson, Peretti, Dekker, creation-science books, CS Lewis, DSMIIV, some really weird Christian-cult stuff, and the Lost Books of the Bible. Most of those weren’t supposed to be read.

So when I went sneaking out to my favorite hiding place with Peretti’s THE OATH, I had no idea. I must have been looking over my shoulder for weeks.

People, for a kid who is very aware of how not-saved she is, the Dragon of The Oath is a scary beast. But I didn’t hate him. I wasn’t afraid of him all that much. Hello, mental scarring and emotionally twisted.

Smaug, Glaurung and the other dragons from Middle Earth sealed the deal. I was firmly rooting for the big bads.

That fascination might have stayed mild, except for the dreams. I’ve had four dreams–that I can remember–about a black dragon. All of them were vivid and have remained with me for over 2 years.

I knew that I wanted a black dragon on my shoulders. My artist drew. I have two dragons on my shoulders. Asian and Western. Red and Green.

These dragons as complicated, difficult, expensive, vastly painful. I have a lot of time to think about them, to absorb their meanings and implications. As a result, each has taken a bit of a personal meaning, focus and interpretation.

The red one is what I am. The red-haired war-witch, the Dragon Lady. Wisdom and Courage.

The green one is what I’ve had to be. Strong. Armored. Perseverance, Focus.

I feel them there. Ghostly reminders to never let the past run me down, to keep the future in its place. Reminders that the dreams and nightmares are just that: dreams and nightmares.

To brush off the slime of other people. To override a thousand other, smaller touches. My skin is clean, where they are. Only that quiet echo of needles and thought.

That’s why the dragons.


Posted in Uncategorized with tags , on June 10, 2010 by Jaym Gates

“Sugar sugar SUGAR!” tiny shrilling verses don’t work well as an alarm clock, really they don’t. “Sugar Sugar SUGAR!!!”

Last I checked, alarm clocks didn’t actually sit and poke people with their claws.

“SHUT UP!” My legs are half asleep, no doubt from the hell-hound that’s sitting innocently on my feet and panting hopefully. Goddamned fey-critter dormitory this’s become.

“SUG—GACK!” The little fey glared at me reproachfully. “Sugar?”

I gently placed the fairy back in the swarm and sat up gingerly. “One more word about sugar, you’re all my breakfast toast,” I muttered.

Snorty the hell-hound panted happily and slurped at my hand. “Ouch!” Snorty’s tongue was a little warm. He doubled well as squirrel-chaser and footwarmer. Bloody hot in other words.

“Good Snorty,” I said, and stumbled into the kitchen, where the sugar stash was held under lock and key. A quick check out the window, yup, the Kelpy was grazing happily.

“Sugar?” Tick-tock the Brownie stuck his nose out of the cupboard. One look at me, and he tucked back into the cupboard in a right hurry.

See, what they don’t tell you about the fey creatures and their kin is how needy they are. Sugar to be specific. Have you ever heard a swarm of fairies yelling for sugar? No? Be glad.

ConCarolinas: The Aftermath

Posted in Uncategorized on June 8, 2010 by Jaym Gates

Bits and pieces that won’t be included in the Apex blog because they are too personal for most people to care about!

Well, it is telling that I started the weekend waiting for a crucial email and desperately desiring sleep. I got up Thursday morning at about 10am, and didn’t go back to sleep until 4am Saturday morning. I mean, even when I went to bed Friday night, so tired that I might as well have been drunk, so tired I literally hurt, even then, I couldn’t go to sleep. I lay there, annoyed as hell with myself and plotted my own demise.

It was hot. And humid. ConCarolinas organizers: please move your event to February. I’ll like you a lot more.

I got to learn the fine art of waltzing up to someone, giving them my most charming smile, and asking to steal some of their time for an interview. So I’ve approached: Brian Holloway, DJ Torch, Davey Beauchamp, Ed Schubert, John Ringo, Jerry Pournelle, AJ Hartley, Talley Johnson, and random exhibitors and attendees. If you’ve known me for more than a couple of years, you’ll know how excruciatingly hard it can be for me to approach people. Even if I know that I’m supposed to be approaching them. I always feel the need to apologize. And, dammit, I was so nervous each time I headed up there that I thought I might throw up!

Sucking it up and getting over the shyness did lead to an awesome weekend, however. I met John Ringo and Jerry Pournelle! They debated computers, history, submarines and Apple vs. Microsoft! John waved at me every time he saw me at the con! (No, I don’t have any illusions about being the only one he waves at. Shush. It’s still ridiculously awesome.)

I also had my costume (a simple, last-minute affair thrown together from what I could find in my closet) complimented by award-winning costumer Brian Holloway. I discussed tattoos with DJ Torch. I absorbed the wisdom of Intergalactic Medicine Show’s editor Ed. Schubert.

The panels were kind of mixed, and I’ll go over those more in the Apex blog. But there were a couple of great ones that I dropped in on.

I got to tow my own, personal, blond-wigged, costumed, sword-adorned…something…around all weekend and listen to the ladies drool over him. I wanted to put him up for auction, but was told that selling humans–even for a night–isn’t acceptable. Rats.

One of the best parts was proving that there is a significant interest and market for Rigor Amortis. I mentioned it at the Taboo panel, and was immediately cornered by two people who wanted to contribute. The entire room had…15 people?

Oh, that’s the other thing: being the only woman in a room of hard-core fetish, horror and taboo fans/producers is hilarious. The sideways looks were more than payment enough. I do feel mildly bad for making my mother come join me for that one…but not too bad. She *does* read my writing, after all.

Repo: The Genetic Opera is my new favorite movie. Just the right gore, dark mood, screwed up relationships and grungy beauty. Will now buy.

Unfortunately, I ended the weekend with a migraine. And did a faceplant in front of the Hilton on Saturday. Oh well, so is life.