Sunday, April 20, 2014

Bunny's Birthday

When I was a kid, my mom was like some kind of holiday fancy fairy. Her artsy-craftsy side blended with her holiday enthusiasm and her I'm-twenty-five-ness to create a sort of superhero when it came to Christmas and Easter. She had special Santa handwriting and wrapping paper that was consistent from year to year. And, every Easter, she bought a real wicker basket, enough ribbon to circle the earth and miniature, wire-stemmed, ribbon roses. She wove all this stuff through the basket, and out of the grooves, and I awoke every year to a masterpiece of chocolate and oranges and little Dollar Tree toys. After I'd eaten my weight in chocolate, I invariably slept all the way to my great-grandmother's house who lived on a high mountain in North Carolina. I'd wake up in time to hunt eggs with my cousins using my fancy basket and then go for a walk with my mom, grandma, and great grandma on the winding paths that led from the house, under black locust trees, around the fallow tobacco fields. On Easter night, my mom would read to me from The Country Bunny and the Little Gold Shoes. It was magic.

When my parents divorced, holidays were suddenly different. We were missing 1/3 of our little family. And, three-hundred miles away from my dad with nearly no communication, I suppose the loss was rather acute. I don't remember ever crying for my dad. I don't remember ever saying I even missed him. But I did feel strange. I did feel the change.

I think I've said before that I've never been lonely and I've never been bored. For the most part, I'm fine on my own. Whenever I met other kids, I had fun until I stopped and then I didn't want to play or hang out anymore. I wanted a companion who balanced me out. After my parents split up, I guess I needed that even more.

Then one night in the Kmart I walked down an aisle of rabbits. They were stark white with pink noses and differently colored, frilly outfits. I fell in love. I don't know what happened really. If my mom saw something pass between me and one of those rabbits. If she, on a whim, grabbed one and took it home with her. If she went back the next day and searched for that special one. Whatever it was, that Easter morning--the first after my parents' split--I found a flop-eared white rabbit in my Easter basket.

Her name was Bunny. We were instantly inseparable.

About five years in and still going strong.
Over the next several years I moved. A lot. I went to three 1st grades, one 2nd, two 3rds, one 4th, moved again over the summer then went to one 5th, three 6ths, three 7ths and two 8ths before I settled down for a high school experience that was, at best, uneven. The whole time, Bunny came with me. I made friends and lost them. I got new step-parents and lost them. I got step-brothers and half-siblings. I moved and moved and moved and the whole time Bunny was with me. I took her everywhere I might be sleeping. Anywhere I might not come back from. I took Bunny to sleepovers and never hid her from anyone visiting my house. She was my best friend. Anyone else who wanted to stick around would have to get used to her. 

You might wonder why I'm writing about my well-worn rabbit on a blog about Star Trek. But, who do you think watched every new episode cuddled beside me wherever I happened to live at the time? Whose fluffy belly did I cry into when Picard was taken to The Borg? Who was there for every episode, every series finale, every re-run?

Anyway, in addition to being there for a lifetime of Trek, Bunny was here for every single episode of every single Star Trek in 2013.
She also photo-bombed almost every single picture.
She was there on the very first night, as I watched the Trek pilot with my dad. She was there all over again for Locutus of Borg. And, as the project ended, I cried into her shoulder all over again.

Today is Bunny's birthday. A friend recently asked how old she was and I replied that a lady never reveals her true age and I don't know what she was up to before we met but that we've been together for 23 years. In those 23 years, Bunny's personality hasn't changed. (A couple of years ago, I did a short-run web-comic based on our experiences together and then quit when I realized I wasn't very good at limited panel comics.) She's sassy and proper and ageless. She's adventurous and mischievous. She's obsessed with BBC period pieces and 80's action movies. She'll hold on tight while you're sick and punch you in the throat if you insult the stuff or people she loves. She's a homebody and a world traveler. She has a stack of Christmas and birthday cards addressed to her from my family, in-laws, and friends. She's brave and full of stitches. She used to have a velvet nose.

Today is her birthday and she wanted (thanks to those BBC period pieces) a Victoria Sandwich. So that's what she got.
Happy Birthday, Bunny.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Bitten By Robin Hood

This morning I got up, made breakfast, sat down with my coffee and turned on the TV. This is what I saw:
"I protest. I am NOT a merry man!"
I'd hoped to get up early and get immediately to work before my LIVE EVENT at Bitten By started but allergies meant that I was tossing and turning all night and got up late. So here I sit, in my pajamas, watching Star Trek: Robin Hood and getting ready for a big stop on my Blog Tour for Awesome Jones.

I'll be replying to comments all day so come by and check it out. You can read an interview, ask a question, and possibly win a dandy Amazon Gift Card!

You can also enter the contest by going to the Entry-Form!
You can check out my Blog Tour stop by heading over to Bitten By Books any time today!

So, this Robin Hood episode (4x20: Qpid). I went back into my archives to retrieve the post I surely must have written about this one. Apparently, I went about watching all of Star Trek in a year and somehow neglected to write about the time Q pulled Picard and his crew into medieval England, dressed them up like Robin Hood and his merry men and set them off to rescue Picard's jilted one-time-Risa-girlfriend, Vash, from the clutches of Guy of Gisborne.

As a kid, I didn't like Vash. As an adult, though, I almost love her. She's sassy, headstrong, interesting and always up for an adventure. Wherever she goes, she shakes things up. And I admire that. If I were just messing around at an Anthropology Symposium and Q showed up and offered to whisk me off to lands unknown, and my one-time-Risa-boyfriend wasn't paying me any attention, I think I'd be off in a jiffy too.

Anyway, this one is full of gems. From Geordi attempting to play the lute to Worf's disgust with the whole situation and Picard's almost-enjoyment of his role as Robin Hood, this one is a classic example of the kinds of fun, ridiculous adventures the TNG crew always seemed to be getting up to. It's a romp. And you know how much I love romps.

Monday, April 14, 2014

Total Eclipse

When I was a kid, not long after my parents' divorce, I lived with my mom in a big apartment complex in North Carolina. I was having a rough time in school. Weird kids always stick out and I was no exception. I was introverted but loud, socially awkward but a perpetual new kid. In the last years of my parents' marriage I'd become an avid Star Trek: TNG fan and in the years following their divorce that didn't change. I was obsessed with space, astronauts, astronaut ice cream and Trek.

And that's why, in the early 90s, when my mom found out about an upcoming lunar eclipse she helped me stay up all night long to watch it. I couldn't hang and kept conking out. But my mom stayed up. Armed with two rolls of slow speed film and a Vietnam-era Fujica, my mom camped out on our balcony documenting the eclipse for her daughter.

Days later, she developed the film and I took it to my class for Show & Tell. I knew at the time that I was doing stuff other kids didn't do--for a previous Show & Tell, I took fossils I'd spent the summer collecting with my dad--but that was ok with me. It still is. I wish I still had those pictures. I'll bet my mom still does.

Anyway, I'll be outside tonight snapping crappy pictures of the eclipse with my iphone.

A Year Ago-ish: A post about my wardrobe

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Interviews, Shakespeare, Etc.

Here's some book news:

#1- I was recently interviewed by Katie Beer Pilkington over at The Nested Blog. You can go check it out and read what I have to say about life, comic books, and writing and enter to win a signed copy of Awesome Jones! Go do it!

#2- On Tuesday, April 15th, I'll be doing a LIVE EVENT to promote Awesome Jones over on Bitten By Books! They're giving away a $35.00 Amazon Gift Card for one lucky winner!!! You can RSVP to the event and doing so will give you 25 extra entries! Go do this also!!!


I've been doing a lot of interviews lately. And, that's been kind of cool. Talking about writing and my process makes me think about writing and my process and that, hopefully, will make me a better writer.

Other things I've been doing? Planning this year's Shakespeare Company show. Every year it seems like things get more hectic and I end up having to do more down-to-the-wire scrambling. Hopefully, this year, everything will work out. Anyway, as I was poking around on the internets for Shakespeare stuff, I ran across Patrick Stewart's fabulous "tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow" speech from Macbeth. It's pretty great. Enjoy!