Tales from a Shock Jockey: We See Them Rollin’, and Hatin’…

truck_rollinCoalWhen I first heard about it, I was convinced it had to be a joke.

It had to be.

No, this is a thing.

On Facebook. On Tumblr. On Instagram.

And now, in the air.

As reported by Vocative, a new protest against President Barack Obama and environmentalists has taken to the streetsRollin’ Coal. The Facebook page reads as “for all the diesel lovers out there” but this community has apparently evolved into a statement against green drivers. How Rollin’ Coal works—keeping it to the basics here—is modifying a pick-up truck to intentionally spew thick soot either from massive exhaust pipes or smoke stacks. The Rollin’ Coal folks call this “Prius Repellant” and post both video and memes celebrating their “victories” on the road. The kits and the modifications, Slate reports, are legal (although the EPA disagrees); but as one Wisconsin vendor tells reporters:

“I run into a lot of people that really don’t like Obama at all. If he’s into the environment, if he’s into this or that, we’re not. I hear a lot of that. To get a single stack on my truck—that’s my way of giving them the finger. You want clean air and a tiny carbon footprint? Well, screw you.”

Modifying your truck to protest clean air initiatives? That’s about as smart as staging a protest of “I don’t like khakis, so I’m going to wear my blue jeans and fart in your face because khakis.” Such is this the latest protest against our President and environmentalists.

Okay, setting aside the American Cancer Society’s findings to diesel exhaust attributing to adverse effects to one’s health, let’s look at another possible reason why people choose EVs. Continue reading

You Know I Can Hear You, Right? — Revelations about the Internet and the Lesson of St. Fu

“I think the Internet is a grand arena for poorly thought out words.” — Philippa Ballantine, 2/18/2014, on Facebook

1000px-Train_wreck_at_Montparnasse_1895Presently, The Science Fiction Writers of America are at odds with one another once again, its members still in a brouhaha over the divide between men and women in the business. It’s hard to say when this rift started. I know this debate has raged for a long, long time as I remember people engaging in spirited conversations about this when I first entered the publishing game in 2002. There’s been a lot of back-and-forth about feminism, misogyny, old guard mentality, new blood in SFWA, and the like, especially in the wake of the 200th issue of the SFWA Bulletin which attempted to harken back to nostalgic days of the Red Sonja-esque fantasy covers.

It all boiled to a fever pitch yesterday when John Scalzi posted this quote on his blog:

“The problem is that the ‘vocal minority’ of insects who make up the new generation of writers don’t scramble for the shadows when outside lights shines on them—they bare their pincers and go for the jugular. Maybe it is a good thing that SFWA keeps them locked up. The newer members who Scalzi et al. brought in are an embarrassment to the genre.”

— (name withheld) on SFF.net, during the recent unpleasantness.

 Wow. Just…wow.

I have a lot of opinions about SFWA, about the Bulletin, SFF.net and LiveJournal (where a lot of this discussion has raged), and about women in the business; but that is not what is driving me bananas. What I find to be completely and utterly nuts is this fallback position “professionals” (and when you think comparing your experiences with a celebrated Science Fiction author to “your irrational fear of dogs” is a good analogy I use the term “professional” loosely.) are taking. These defensive crouches range from a First Amendment-“I have the right to freely express my opinion on this…” argument to “I’m calling my lawyer!” which, I bet, the lawyer is thrilled to know you’re pulling them up on speed dial.

I have a piece of free advice for these professionals: Please, for the love of God, shut the fuck up. You’re making asses of yourself on many levels, the highest of these being—and let’s be blunt—that you honestly don’t know how the Internet works. Continue reading

Endless Possibilities 2014 Blog Tour: An Introduction

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Yes, the blog has been quiet, just like the podcast. I hate it when things like that happen, and this time it was for reasons good and bad.

Instead of delving into the bad (which was all the chatter on my Facebook, if you were curious), I want to hold on to the good. Oh now, don’t you worry — I will always have room for a good, old-fashioned rant here, but this blogpost is more about rising to challenges and keeping a hold of what works…

This blogpost is also to welcome those of you new to my side of the blogosphere. S’up?

Yes, I’m on board at the opening of this new year with a blog tour aimed to introduce myself to new reader, be they readers of my blog or readers of my works. And what a day to introduce myself to people — on the ninth anniversary of the MOREVI podcast going live. Where did the time go?

But I digress. Let me start from the beginning. Introductions? By all means…

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On the Arguments of “Cosplay Is Consent” and “Fake Geek Girls”

So I’m about to leave Facebook to get back to editing when this image from Being a Geek (via Lauren Harris) popped into my feed…

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I now post this for creative ladies like Lauren, Raven, Riddle, JennJean, AlexiaFreddie and cosplayers everywhere.  Some of these incredible creators I know. Some are total strangers to me. All of them are fans through and through, dedicating their time and talent to bring their favorite characters of comics, film, and television to life.

And no, they’re not doing it to get attention, score dates, or lure you into a bed strewn with roses. These ladies—and the guys who also cosplay—do what they do for the love of the genre and for the love of those characters.

They are also writers, gamers, and artists.

If you believe this, stop this sort of sexism when you see it. Whether it is Dragon*Con, Comic Con, or an entirely new convention, this kind of idiocy needs to be called out. After all, that is what the Science Fiction-Fantasy-Horror community is all about — acceptance.

Time we start practicing it.

Untappd: A Social Network for Beer Snobs

I’ve been wanting to do app reviews on Imagine That! Studios alongside my bits of social media advice appearing there, but the first app I wanted to review really seemed more appropriate for my personal blog on account of the subject matter: beer. More to the point — living the lifestyle of a beer snob.

IMG_7501Untappd is a social network for those who love beer. It’s not just for beer snobs like me but for lovers of beer on all levels. Whether you are happy and content with your Budwiser or Miller Lite, or if you are an adventurer in sampling unique brews from across the country and around the world, Untappd connects beer lovers, breweries, and ice cold brewskis. At the core of the app are the reviews. When your first round arrives, you search for your beer in the Search bar across the top. Once you tap your beer, you select “Check-In” and are offered a field where you can type in a brief review (140 characters), add a photo of either what you are drinking (or who you are drinking with), rate your brew (and the slider allows for 1/2-star reviews), and add in your location. If you sync up your Twitter and Facebook feed with Untappd, you can send out your review and photos by tapping the Twitter and Facebook icons. On tapping “Confirm Your Brew” your review is shared online. The more reviews you share, the easier you can connect with friends on your respective social media networks.

UPDATE, 20 April, 2013: Untappd also recognizes cider and mead, so if you are more into those libations, you can find them in Untappd, or create your own custom entry. Continue reading

STEAMPUNK GOES MAINSTREAM…and other things for geeks to panic about. Again.

First off, I’m sorry everybody. It has been far too long. Where in the name of clocks, gears, and cogs have I been?

Let me drop a few quick teasers as to what has been going on in my life:

  • Got a new job. Social Media Coordinator. And the best part, it’s very close to home with telecommuting thrown in as a bonus.
  • After a month, got a promotion at the new job.
  • Then, conducted interviews for the job that I was originally hired to do. (Being on the other end of the interview table? Woah…)
  • Got a new car. I’m driving a Nissan LEAF right now. LOVE IT!
  • Jumped back on to the Medifast train. My weight was out of control again.
  • Christmas.

Some of these things I intend to talk about later on this blog. (Stop laughing. Seriously. I am!) I also have to keep in mind, though, I have a novel to finish. I’m still on board with a steampunk reboot of MOREVI, so Rafe Rafton will be returning to the oceans this year.

It is this very subject — something that, I’ll admit, people are coming to me more and more about for an opinion which feels pretty good — from where this rant finds its core. So let’s turn back the clock to January 15, Tuesday, 10 a.m. At my new day job, a friend sends me a link to AdAge about IBM’s fascination with steampunk. I ran the article on my Facebook page as this truly was the convergence between my day job and my writing career. IBM is tracking “steampunk” in order to find patterns between trends and fads. I also posted it on the Ministry of Peculiar Occurrences Facebook page and between the two, I got a whopping 6 shares. So maybe it wasn’t as cool as I thought.

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A Steampunk Tweetup in Texas!

With only a few days remaining until FenCon, Pip and I are planning furiously for what is promising to be a really fun weekend of panels, podcasting, and steampunk. We owe a special thanks to Matt Bowerman for being our location scout for our own “kickoff celebration.” If you’re in the Dallas/Ft. Worth area on this Friday at 8 p.m., we are hosting a Texas tweetup — steampunk style — at Spring Creek BBQ.

For non-FenCon attendees, it a chance to hang. For FenCon attendees, the restaurant is just five blocks north of the hotel. Pip has made an event page live on Facebook (please RSVP there), but here are a few extra details…

TIME: Friday, September 23, 8:00 p.m.
ADDRESS: 14941 Midway Road, Addison TX
MENU AND INFO: www.springcreekbarbeque.com

We are also planning to wear our steampunk gear for the tweetup! Ladies, strap into your favorite corsets. Gents, wear your best bowlers (or, if you’re doing the Wild, Weird West, your sharpest ten gallon hat)! It’s time to gear up, chow down, and jump into a good time in Texas! Pip and I hope to see you there!

The Power of Three Stooges

While Twitter, Whrrl, and Facebook are my go-to-tools in online sharing, their limitations can stunt my stream-of-consciousness on a subject. So I’m taking ideas that come from other discussions and networks, bringing them here, and expanding on them.

Also, I too am annoyed when people post a waxing philosophic dissertation as a Facebook status. No, I’m not going to become “that guy” on the Social Networks.

This blogpost was inspired from a Twitter exchange I enjoyed with one of the sweetest ladies of Social Media, Vivid Muse. Viv was easing into her day, and fired off this tweet across my starboard bow:

VividMuse: Also, Three Stooges are even dumber than I remember. It would be interesting to try and classify all men as Larry, Curly or Moe. Possible?

My reply: Continue reading

The Tough Choices (Part II: Concerning Dwarf Detectives and Swashbuckling Pirates)

Last week, you got the behind-the-scenes look at how a lot of work can go into books and how a publisher can change their minds without telling you. We also got a look at how I’ve been making some rookie flub-up’s and probably need to go back and listen to my own podcast on writing and what not to do. This week, Part II of “The Tough Choices” goes into the characters people know me for and the questions people have been asking me since 2005…

The Billibub Baddings Mysteries

“So, are you ever going to podcast Pitcher’s Pendant?”

Two of the best things a writer can ever hear about their work is:

  • I read it again, and it gets better every time.
  • Where’s the next book?

While my podcasting and Twitter books are the bigger financial successes, it is my print and podcast novels that people ask me about the most. In particular, when is the next one coming? I suppose that would make the novels from Dragon Moon Press artistic successes. Continue reading

Tee Morris Cooks Up Erotica ala DARK!

At the end of 2009, I was invited by The Chef to return to the Erotica ala Carte kitchens for another round of saucy, spicy fun. My menu items on this go-round were:

  • Female P.O.V.
  • Time travel
  • Artificial Intelligence
  • Leather and Lace

The end result was “Dagger of the Mind” and my return to podcasting fiction. In light of so much talk and controversy concerning it and coupled with the way my year has been, I have been ready — so very ready — to do this.

But be warned…this story goes dark. WAY dark. Darker than I imagined I could ever go in my writing. This is not safe for work, kids, queasy dispositions, or those new to Pip’s podcast. I’d recommend working up to this one by listening to early episodes, and then having a listen to what the Chef describes as “the darkest we have ever gone…”

Something terrible is in Anna’s mind. Something alien that uses desire as a whip, but is it trying to drive her mad or is something even more nefarious going on?

This is my return to writing, and I can’t thank Pip enough for being my Muse (or Swift-Kick-in-the-Pants, whichever you prefer) in this setting. This story has been receiving a lot of traffic on Twitter, and I’ve been pretty humbled by the reactions. The inspiration behind this stems from one of my favorite movies of all time — Time After Time. (It’s on my AppleTV Wish List.) The film marked the directorial debut of Nicholas Meyer (who went on to direct Star Trek II and VI), and stars a young Malcolm McDowell as H.G. Wells and a young David Warner as Dr. John Leslie Stevenson whom we find out later is Jack the Ripper. I love time travel stories, but this one stands out as a favorite. I also wanted to try something different, something the EalC Kitchens had never seen before. I went into fetishes that haven remained unexplored, and then there was the Horror angle I dedicated in following. I was told in one harsh critique that “Horror and erotica simply do not mix…”

Someone didn’t tell Clive Barker that. Twisted as it is, Hellraiser is an incredibly sensual, erotic work. (And yes, terrifying.)

What has surprised me the most about this short story is that, for the first time as a writer, I’m discovering the possibilities. This world, these characters, and this situation are far from done. I’m thinking I may have my first erotic thriller in the works, and I am thrilled at where my ideas are leading me.

Oh my Muse, you are the dark, delicious, and saucy temptress…

And while people have been talking about it, I should point out that both my Erotica ala Carte dishes are eligible for the 2010 Parsec Awards. So if it hasn’t happened already please consider nominating:

If you shared your thoughts (good or bad) concerning my “Erotica ala Dark” on Twitter, thank you! Feel free to leave comments here, or go to the Erotica ala Carte site and share your review with the Head Chef.

And feel free to share this twisted tale on your own blog….if you dare….