Sunday, April 2, 2017

GREAT NEWS!!

For anyone who would rather pick up a physical copy of the magazine in store, The Soldiery has sale copies available! They currently have copies of each published issue for sale.

The Soldiery is a gaming store that has been open since 1991 in the Columbus area. They are located at 4256 North High Street in Columbus and are open 10am to 10pm Monday through Wednesday, 10am to midnight on Thursday and Saturday, Friday 10am to 1am and Sunday 10am to 7pm. They feature 12 gaming tables for open play and game demos are always welcome. Call ahead for availability.  They also sell board games, CCGs, miniatures, historical games and artisian goods from entrepreneurs around the state. If you have questions, send an email to mail@thesoldiery.com

Directions to the store:
Behind the Laughing Ogre comic book shop, block and a half south of Henderson Road and High St. on the east side of High St. in Clintonville (suburb of Columbus). 

Bus routes: Multiple bus routes allow for easy access to the store. 
The #2 bus passes right in front of the store, on High St. The #2 is ideal for transportation from the Downtown area or from OSU campus. 
The #95 stops at the corner of Henderson Rd. and High St. just 2 blocks north of the store.

Thursday, March 16, 2017

Products are LIVE!

I actually have an honest to goodness online web store set up for my products!! You can buy my handmade body butter, my glorious pussy hats, some awesome crochet bags, plushies and accessories and do it all from the safety of my website! I process via Square and you'll get a nifty email receipt when you purchase!

This has been a productive use of a sick day from my two day jobs.

Sunday, January 29, 2017

It's been a long time

I don't blog nearly as much as I should. I thought I might owe an explanation to anyone reading the blog about where I've been.

I posted a year ago when my dad passed in June. Surprisingly, the loss of a parent isn't like a steady line from grief to complete. It's more like a child's pencil drawing in color and all over the walls of your hallway. Every time you think you've figured it out and traced the path of the pencil through the jagged twists and turns and gone through every color on the emotion wheel, you take two steps forward and find another scrawl on the wall you didn't realize was there. Or sometimes you see the writing on the wall, as it were, but when you get to it, it's a lot harder than you anticipated.

I am currently in the process of using a Mr Clean magic eraser to take the marks off the wall. Hopefully when I'm done there will be paint left on the wall. If not, it will be time in the future to repaint. Right now it's still to raw to do that.

I haven't written or been published since 2015. It's currently almost a full month into the new year and I still haven't written anything that wasn't for the magazine. Even then I am writing more than half of the articles for the magazine, doing editing myself and doing all the layout work. Which, frankly, sucks. I have two loyal writers who always have content for me. But everyone else has kind of fallen off the excitement train. It's hard to get ideas for anyone to write about and it's hard to make sure I'm keeping up with it. Someday I hope to get back to my fiction work, but with publishers closing down every whip stitch, I'm a little leery. Although I do have an idea for a book that might make it into publication with Circlet. I just need to actually write the damned thing. Easier said than done.

My day jobs have taken a turn. I left the company I worked with for over five years over a stupid incident that shouldn't have ever happened. Because of a lazy, irresponsible coworker who has since been fired, I was docked $50 to pay for a customer complaint that wouldn't have been my fault if she had done her damned job. The long of the short is I refuse to pay for someone else's mistake and because I wasn't given a choice, I resigned. I've moved on to another massage company where I make as much money for less work. I also went full time as a pharmacy technician and got insurance before Herr Drumpf axed private insurance benefits for the rest of the world. So I'm working around 56 hours a week between the two jobs and I have one day off a week. Needless to say, it's a little stressful trying to find time for all my other passions when money is taking a left hand.

My cousin finally talked me into becoming a Younique representative. I got my fancy purple bag full of stuff and it's super exciting. The products they gave me were super awesome and they don't make me break out like other makeups have in the past. Although I previously swore by Bare Minerals, I've moved to Younique. BB Cream, powder, a little contour and boom. Done. And if I want to do my eye makeup, the pigments are dark enough I can do it in just a few minutes. Then I'm out the door.

I have been doing a lot of crochet commissions recently. Mostly making pussy hats for the women's protest and then hats for everyone who didn't know about the march, but have since signed on to the movement. I'm also going to me making some for sale to benefit Colony Cats in Columbus. I'm a glutton for punishment. But I wouldn't know what to do with myself if I didn't do all these things. Idle hands and all that.

So, in short, I'm going to get back into things, but I'm just swamped at the moment with life things and other obligations. I'm updating my website to reflect the changes I've made and to offer a place for everyone to buy products. My body butter has been a big seller again this year with Valentine's Day rolling in. So now I can be found.

Short of all that, follow me on Twitter and Instagram so you can keep tabs on me. I post there way more than I blog here. :)

Monday, July 4, 2016

July 4th and Cream Tea

Happy 4th of July to all of us snot-nosed American brats who thumbed their nose at Britain and decided to make this beautiful mess we call a country. For as flawed as so many things are, they're still better than the situations other people in my situation have in their home country, so I'm going to celebrate.

I think what I may be doing, however, is sacrilegious.

My friend is absolutely in love with afternoon tea. Most specifically, cream tea. She goes to a local place called Mozarts for tea once in a blue moon and told me their scones with clotted cream are absolutely to die for. As a fundraiser for Marcon, we did a cream tea at The Soldiery. I offered to make two bite scones and clotted cream with strawberry preserves. One of our staffers is an employee at Zen Cha and served four different teas. My favorite was Earl Grey, no surprise there. It paired very well with my dish.

The moment everyone put the first bite of the scones and clotted cream with strawberry preserves, there was a brief pause before a very delighted "Mmmm" passed their lips around the mouthful. I have never seen anyone savour something as much as those tea participants. Two bite scones became eight bite scones. Everyone asked for seconds, but I had only made enough clotted cream for 10 people.

So, to celebrate Independence Day while I silently curse the dark and the fire hazards it brings with it, I will be having a late cream tea. Want the recipe? I'll share.

The first item takes the longest. Not necessarily for active watch time, but for the longest cook and cool time. The recipe I found calls for a quart of clotted cream, but for a group of four of us, a pint is plenty. The clotted cream should be used sparingly as it's incredibly rich with a nice, light nutty flavor.



On a double boiler over medium heat, add the heavy cream. Slowly bring the temperature up to 180-200 degrees. Hold the temperature at 190ish for 45 minutes to an hour. Once it's finished its time, place the pan and all in the fridge overnight.

The next morning you can skim off the yellow skin on the top and layer in a bowl. That's your clotted cream. You can use the remaining cream in cooking recipes. It's now, essentially low fat.



I made my preserves next so they had a chance to cool. The recipe is dead simple.

1 quart strawberries, hulled and quartered
2 cups sugar
The juice from 1 lemon (2-3 T)
The zest from 1 lemon

Add all ingredients to a pot. Mash strawberries with a potato masher until all ingredients are mixed. Bring to a boil, then reduce and simmer until the juice is thickened. Put in a jar. Can be refrigerated or frozen. Also makes awesome ice cream topping. It's pretty tart, so you can leave out a little of the lemon juice and zest if you'd like. At least 2 T of lemon juice and 1 teaspoon of zest is necessary. Feel free to experiment. This is just the recipe my great-great grandmother used.



For the scones, I cheat and use Bisquick baking mix.

3 cups Bisquick
5 Tablespoons sugar
2 T butter (or use coconut oil for a delicious vegan alternative)
2/3 c fat free half and half (or use almond milk for vegan)
1 egg (or use a tablespoon of moist chia seeds for vegan)
1 T half and half (or coconut oil sweetened with honey for vegan)

Using the heavy cream from the clotted cream, you can mix one to one with skim milk to make half and half for the recipe, which is what I did for the non-vegan variety.

Heat oven to 400.
Mix dry ingredients together until moistened. Drop by 1/4 cupfuls onto cookie sheet. Place in freezer 5 minutes.
In a small bowl, beat egg yolk and 1 tablespoon half and half. Brush over scones. Sprinkle with remaining sugar.
Bake 12 minutes until golden. Move to cooling rack. Serve warm.

Cut open the scone, cover with a small amount of clotted cream, then a small amount of preserves. Serve with strong tea.



It's delicious. I promise.

Sunday, June 26, 2016

Publishing Woes

I genuinely believe every author who has ever written a book, even those who have not yet been published, believes their work is complete and utter tripe. We worry that the descriptions aren't descriptive enough. The sex scenes, if any, aren't sexy enough.

We overuse words. We pour through the manuscript until our eyes figuratively bleed looking for every little problem. We spend literal hours fussing over our babies.

Then we send them off to someone else so they can give us their opinion. At best, an acceptance. At worst, rejection. And then there's the "revise and resubmit" which seems like, basically, someone saying "read my mind to give me what I want out of this story". You mange that, you're in. You don't? Rejection.

Rejection sucks. Hard. And without someone giving us feedback and telling us exactly what they want or are looking for or what they found wrong with what we did, we can't hope to improve.

All I can say is thank gods for my crit group. Not only are they there to tell me when something is complete shit, they're also there to give me support and tell me I've got this. I can write the thing. I can do the thing. I'm talented. I just have to work at things X,Y and Z to be better.

I am still writing now that my work life and personal life have settled into a routine. I can find those few precious moments to write and still have time to play the games I love, hook up a video game for awhile and go shopping with the girlfriend. I also have to do grocery shopping, clean the house, make sure we have meals prepared during the week and all that other fun adulting shit.

Today is a me day. I finished the manuscript, made the corrections necessary and now I'm waiting to hear back. I'm honestly nervous because I put so much work into this piece. I changed it so it's not even the same story it was before. Now I just have to wait for someone else's opinion.

Spotify on. Grill is sprayed down so I can clean it. We're grilling out tonight. I'm going to spend time in our little 9 foot pool with water that doesn't even come up to my knees. And I'm going to kick up Persona 4 and fall into that for awhile.

Then it's back to the writing grindstone. I want to write that novel I talked about a year or more ago with my Circlet editor. It's not going to write itself.

Monday, June 13, 2016

Thoughts for Orlando

The last two days have been a roller coaster ride. While I do not believe I have anyone personally involved in the shooting, it gives me pause for many reasons.

Such as:


I do not know what this is like, but I can imagine how hellish it could be. I remember waiting to see friend's names on the roster after Katrina. Some of the people I spoke to online have never come back on but weren't on the list of the dead. I can't even imagine.

I read a post on Facebook about the rescue workers and police who had to go inside the building where the victims still lie and ignore the ringing of the phones of the dead as they went berserk from family and friends trying desperately to contact them. I know what it's like to be one of those people worried about a friend's safety and not being able to reach them. I can't imagine what it would be like if I was calling and they were already gone. Waiting to read a list of victims and praying not to find a name.

I am privileged. I am a white female. I don't have to worry about being killed for being in "the wrong bathroom". I identify as queer but because I am able to present one gender, I am not harassed for it. I'm not hounded. I'm not threatened. I might earn the occasional dyke comment when I dress male for the day, but most people ignore me. I am a lesbian, but I don't really introduce myself that way all the time. I let people believe what makes them comfortable unless they ask me outright. Then I am truthful. If it doesn't come up, I generally don't bring it up.

I also grew up in a small town with people whose minds were permanently closed. If you were a Mexican, you were lazy. If you were black, you were a thug. If you were anything other than a white Christian, you might as well paint a bullseye on your back. I was not open. I was not out. I was not anything as far as anyone knew. I would never have had the courage to come out if I hadn't been presented the opportunity in Columbus.

When I was in high school, the entire football team beat a boy up in the parking lot because he wore eyeliner to prom and that apparently made him gay. I wrote an opinion piece saying it didn't matter that he had because it wasn't hurting anybody. It was never published in the school paper. I printed copies and hung them on the walls. My rights to use the copier were revoked. The copies were removed. I was given three consecutive detentions, making me miss a show choir performance. I had to sit in the classroom listening to someone badmouth my childhood friend because she was walking out of the school with the eyeliner boy and his friend (who was also a friend of mine). We had all gone to school together for five years at this point. They knew those kids. And yet they still treated them shamefully. My attempts to silence the bullying earned me punishment.

I have not, to this day, stopped fighting to make things right. But it seems like a completely horrible losing battle. It seems as though I am never going to make the world a better place. The whole thing is against me and the people I love.

That being said, there is still the grand opportunity for violence like Pulse to happen here. Everyone knew where Wall Street club was before it closed. They know where Axis is, and it's a queer hangout. Anyone with an axe to grind against someone who isn't white, straight and cisgender can go in there and wipe out an entire population of people in one fail swoop.

We make light of it. We say the straight people should stop making gay children. Obviously gay people aren't reproducing. But the straight folks are so afraid of things they don't understand that they resort to violence.

Yes, yes, not all straight people. But even though I'm not attacked physically for being a lesbian, I'm faced with comments that are against gay people all the time in my day to day life. When I speak out, they backpedal. But that doesn't change their mind. They just talk to someone else about how I overreacted to the situation. "It's not like I was saying SHE was that way, just MOST lesbians."

No, the generalizations hurt us all. Every one of us. Just because you know one lesbian who isn't the stereotype doesn't mean that all other lesbians ARE. Just because you have a gay coworker doesn't make you any more accepting of the gay community. If it doesn't bother your friend, that's because they're okay with it. Not everyone will be. What sets one person off will be a joke to another. And that's okay. But when someone tells you they aren't comfortable with it and you do it anyway? That's when there's a problem.

I voiced the opinion that people are terrified of having transgender people in the bathroom with them when this guy was a straight cisgender male. I was then involved in a debate about what qualifies as men.

A transgender person does not have to pass YOUR assertions of their gender to use the fucking bathroom. They don't owe you shit. You have no right to police them.

Wearing a skirt does not make someone a pedophile who is going to rape your 10 year old daughter. Stop lumping transgender people in with pedophiles. They are not pedophiles. They are mentally deranged people. Transgender people are NOT sexual deviants. Period.

It is none of your goddamned business what is in another person's pants or skirt. Period.

And if you're really worried about perverts getting into the bathroom with your children, it's not like you can put up a sign that says "perverts get out" and expect them to listen to it. If a person is going to harm your child, they are going to subvert the laws to do so. No law is going to keep them from doing it. Pedophilia is illegal in most states. Bathroom laws do not exist except in South Carolina. There's no Doctor Scott to sit on his finger and guess your sex. There's no Gandalf standing outside the bathroom yelling "YOU SHALL NOT PASS!"

For fuck's sake. If someone comes in, uses the bathroom and leaves, why the FUCK are you so concerned about it? It's the people that linger in the bathroom that concern me. The people who peer into the stalls or let their kids crawl under the stall doors while I'm using the bathroom that bother me. I like a little bit of privacy while I go, thanks. That's just creepy.

I would stake money that the people who raise these "I don't want 40 year old men in a skirt" arguments don't know a transperson. They probably don't know anyone who is queer. They live in a bubble.

I wish I had a giant pin. But then we get more Pulse shootings.

We wonder why people are suicidal. Why the suicide rates of LGBT youth is so high. Take a look! We are telling them that the way they are is up for society to debate and deliberate. They don't want to be strip searched every time you turn around. They don't want people telling them they're ugly and going to hell. They don't want to be scrutinized. They just want to love and be loved. And why can't we give them that.

But there are people who care. There are a few people who will stand with you. And I am one of them. Find me on Twitter. @deaubreydigest Come talk to me on Discord. I'm Lockefox. I even have my own room. I'm in the Transspeak Discord room. You can PM me from there. Find me on Skype. If you are alone, we are there. We know it sucks. We must stay strong.



You are loved. We are here for you.



We will get through this. I love you all so very much.

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Another State of the Author

It's been a hell of a month. Almost two now. And I'm still reeling a little while all the dust settles. And gets kicked back up again by the pound of feet. I'll do the best I can in recounting everything, but you'll have to excuse me if I leave things out.

TRIGGER WARNING: SUICIDE, PET DEATH

In April, my son told me on his way to school that he had been contemplating suicide. Inside I enter into freaked out parent mode and outside I start asking questions. "Okay, so what made you feel that way?" When his answer came back ambiguous, I asked him to think on it and let me know when things came up. I told him I was glad he came to me and told him we would get him the help he needed. As I dropped him off in front of the school, I went into panic mode. I was sick from work that day, so I was already going to be home. I got home and got on the phone with his pediatrician's office. I told them he told me he'd been contemplating suicide the night before and I sent him to school and I needed to get him in PDQ for an appointment.

The nurse, in the most distainful tone of voice I have ever heard come from a medical "professional", sneered, "You don't  want to take him out of school to take him to the emergency room?"

I hung up. I didn't even bother dignifying that with a response. I called my doctor's office, hoping they could help. They, in a much kinder tone, told me they couldn't help me, but I could take him to Nationwide Children's hospital and they would be able to care for him. I hung up the phone, texted his dad, then started pouring over all the places I might be able to call for him.

I dialed his school counselor. She called him into the office to chat with him. Then I started calling all the pediatricians in the area and leaving voicemails.

Two hours later I get a call back from the school. She said she didn't think he was suicidal now, but he had been, and if he threatened again, to take him to Nationwide right away. They sent him home. This was right before Easter.

I scheduled my son an appointment. They put him on medication to help with his mood. We began treatment over spring break. I think, yay! Crisis over as long as I get the meds into him.

This is when he started having panic attacks every morning before school. Every morning. I forced him to go every few days and he was able to make it work, but the next day the anxiety was worse. So I got up every morning, geared to fight to make him go to school. He missed a total of 8 days at the beginning of the year because of a stomach infection. His stomach hurt. He was nauseated. He was vomiting. So was he this time around.

The school started calling me about truancy. Not sure how I'm supposed to force a child who is having a panic attack to get into the car and go to school. How as a mother I'm supposed to listen to him cry and plead and beg me not to make him go to school. How as someone with anxiety I'm supposed to turn a callous ear to his cries for help.

This goes on for a month. Finally the school serves me truancy hearing papers despite me being in constant contact with them about his issues. Despite asking his doctor for a note to excuse his absences and being denied. Despite speaking with his counselor and the dean of students.

That's when my son loses his shit. Monday morning, he tells me he was suicidal again and he needs to go to the hospital. This time we take him in. He is committed. He has been there, at this point, for three days.

The visits go well. He seems perkier until we go to leave. He says he's homesick and wants to come home. He's fine now, he says, and wants to talk to his friends and be home with us. If they don't release him tonight, I might stay at the hospital with him overnight.

On top of all this, while my son was going through his issues, my cat developed a lump on the side of her face. Just a bump. Felt like swelling. She had a bad tooth. So we call the vet, get her in for bloodwork, set up a dental.

The vet is convinced, despite not having any evidence in bloodwork, that the cat has cancer and washes his hands of the whole situation. I bring her home. She isn't eating. She's getting thin. We start syringe feeding her baby food because my girlfriend is a vet tech. The vet's office gave me absolutely no care instructions for her post surgery other than "offer food and water".

I take her to Medvet because the lump is getting bigger and it's putting pressure on her throat. She can't swallow. When she drinks, a third of it drools back out into the bowl. She's having a slight difficulty breathing. Medvet does a bloodwork panel, checks her over. Determines she's anemic. We do a blood transfusion and bring her home.

She comes to work with me Friday morning after the hospital so we can keep an eye on her.

She's cold. She's not keeping heat. She's having trouble staying awake, having a harder time breathing. She's turning blue around her paws.

My kitty is dying. And now I have to let her go. We took her in Friday afternoon and had her euthanized. I got to hold her while she went. She was so peaceful. No more pain. No more suffering. No more struggling to breathe.

We had a convention over the weekend. I took Anthony with me on Friday and I was a scatterbrained idiot. But I was there and I met my obligations. Met some fun people. Got to hang out and chat with Matt McFarland and Matt McElroy, who are both pretty fun guys to talk to. I'll post more on that later, though, so people who are triggered by the rest of this post can read about fun convention stories.

It's  been a hell of a month. I lost my kitty May 6th, lost my dad a year ago June 8th, almost lost my son May 9th. And I came home from the psych ward last night and my girlfriend was all rageface. She was emotionally invested in the cat, she hadn't been in a clinic or had a euthanasia since her pup we put down a few years ago. And she's worried about my son, too. So she's got a lot on her plate and she can handle less piled on bullshit than I can, so I'm not surprised. I'm just incredibly short on patience with everything going on and I got bitchy with her. I know, really mature of me. I ended up leaving for awhile so I could clear my head. I was much less stupid when I got back home an hour and a half later. It's amazing how far you can drive in the city of Columbus and still not be out of your home quadrant.

So state of the author is "barely keeping afloat, but still bobbing", I think.