Category Archives: Rants / Venting


Photograph copyright Rhonda ParrishI chose that image to go with this post because to me it feels cold and rather desolate. I think that’s as good a way as any to visualise disappointment, which is what this is all about.


Disappointment is buying a paperback copy of a gorgeous anthology you believe contains one of your stories, tearing open the package and turning the book over to look at the back cover, where all the contributors names are listed and not finding your own. Disappointment is opening the book and running trembling fingers down the table of contents, scanning for your name, the name of your story and finding nothing. Which is precisely what happened to me a couple weeks ago.

Disappointment sucks. It sucks so much that I decided I needed to take a step back before I blogged about it, because I didn’t want this to turn into a rant or some such thing. I’m not sure what the point of it is, actually, except perhaps catharsis.

A couple years ago one of my stories was accepted for inclusion in the aforementioned anthology. Full disclosure: I never signed a contract. As it was a non-paying market I wasn’t completely surprised by that, lots of small markets (especially ones who don’t pay) don’t seem to have contracts. Anyway, I digress.

I assumed, weirdly enough, that my story, which was accepted to the anthology, was included in the anthology. I blogged about the publication, I added it to my list of Publications on my website and I, eventually, picked up a copy of the book to add it to my ego shelf.

So, not only was my story not included, but I spent money to find that out. Not loads of money, but that’s hardly the point, is it?

Now, to be fair, the story that was accepted isn’t my finest. In fact, if it hadn’t made it into that anthology it would have been trunked, but since it was accepted into the anthology… *sigh*

Anyway. I wouldn’t have been super disappointed if the editors had dropped me an email to say ‘Hey, sorry but we’re not going to include this story after all.’ But they didn’t.

I don’t know if my story being left out was an oversight (the production didn’t seem super organised) or intentional, but either way? It fucking sucks.

All it would have taken was an email, ya know?

Anyway, since it wasn’t actually accepted elsewhere and because I’m feeling particularly… somethingy (defiant, maybe?) today, here’s the story that got unaccepted to an anthology:

Continue reading Unaccepted?

Grrr Rawr Argh!

alcatrazMarcus Romer tweeted this:

The Creative Process

1. This is awesome

2. This is tricky

3. This is shit

4. I am shit

5. This might be ok

6. This is awesome

— Marcus Romer (@MarcusRomer) October 23, 2013

And yeah… that pretty much sums up my freaking creative process. Right now I’m at #3 and sliding pretty quickly toward #4. This is actually happening much earlier into this book than it usually does. I usually hit the ‘This is shit’ point when I’m about halfway done something, and ‘I am shit’ follows behind that. Things turn around into ‘This might be okay’ somewhere around 2/3rds done… usually.

Right now I’m about a third of the way through and already eyeball deep in ‘This is shit’ which freaking sucks. *sigh* I’m still writing, I’m still plugging away though, because if I quit this story never gets told. If I quit I never get to move past ‘This is shit/I am shit’ and I’ll sit there and wallow indefinitely. If I quit I never get to make it back to ‘This is awesome’. And ya know, I’m a pretty big fan of ‘This is awesome’.

So I’m gritting my teeth (so hard I’m halfway scared they might break) and I’m putting one word in front of the other. Even if they are shit. Because I have to. Because it’s what I do.

…but I also had to take a break to vent/whine a little bit.

Because apparently, that is also what I do.


I also share excerpts from this novel on Fridays because I signed up to participate in the NaNo Excerpt Blog Chain. This week’s is pretty short, but I like it…

Alone in the white Varenous forged an object from thought and fear. Summoning all his available power he pushed against the walls of his existence, tearing a small hole in the fabric that separated his reality from Morgan’s.

The hole healed itself almost immediately, but not before he shoved the camera from his world into hers. Then, spent, he waited.

About Art

I bet you’ve seen these pictures already:

A combination of three documents provided by the Centre de Estudios Borjanos on August 22, 2012 shows the original version of the painting Ecce Homo (L) by 19th-century painter Elias Garcia Martinez, the deteriorated version (C) and the restored version by an elderly woman in Spain. AFP PHOTO/ CENTRO DE ESTUDIOS BORJANOS
A combination of three documents provided by the Centre de Estudios Borjanos on August 22, 2012 shows the original version of the painting Ecce Homo (L) by 19th-century painter Elias Garcia Martinez, the deteriorated version (C) and the restored version by an elderly woman in Spain. AFP PHOTO/ CENTRO DE ESTUDIOS BORJANOS
(Text and image from The Toronto Sun)

In case you hadn’t seen them before, this is a painting of Jesus that is over a century old. It became water damaged and some lady decided to restore it. The result of her efforts can be seen in that last picture there — it’s ruined. I’m sure that the woman who wanted to restore the painting had good intentions, that is evidenced by the fact she turned herself in once she realised (far, far too late) that she wasn’t making the painting better, but the fact is it’s ruined.

This painting was created 102 years ago by a man named Elias Garcia Martinez. It is his art. His creation. And now it’s been destroyed. I find that incredibly sad. The lady who attempted to restore Ecce Homo wasn’t working on a reproduction or a copy but on the original painting. The original painting. And it is very likely damaged beyond recovery.

If someone did that to my art, no matter how wonderful their intentions might be, I would be devastated.

My Thoughts…

For the past couple years I have made a very concerted effort to keep my politics and personal beliefs far away from this blog. It hasn’t been easy, I’m a pretty opinionated woman and I don’t excel at biting my tongue, but I’ve done it. I think that was a mistake. I think it was a mistake because maybe it’s people keeping their opinions to themselves (or in my case, off my blog) that allow horrible laws to be passed. Laws like the one that requires women seeking an abortion to “consent” to a transvaginal ultrasound. Are you kidding me? I don’t want to simply re-iterate what wiser people than I have said about this (people like Jim C Hines and John Scalzi’s guest blogger) but I can’t say nothing at all. In my opinion (oh how it hurt me to write those three words) that is rape. Period.

I am pro-choice but I really, truly, do understand the pro-life position. I do. And I respect that people who are pro-life honestly and truly believe that abortion is murder. I can imagine how difficult it must be for them to accept that there are women out there who are chosing to have them, but abortions are legal medical procedures. It is NOT okay to penalise a woman for having one and, as far as I can tell, that is the primary purpose this required ultrasound serves. At best it’s meant as a deterrent to abortion and frankly, it’s not the government’s place to provide that.

I tend to find phrases like ‘War on Women’ to be a bit hyperbolic, but then, when I go from reading about state-sanctioned rape to reading about proposed laws that would make it legal for employers to fire women for using birth control it makes me begin to wonder.

I recently read “The Heretic’s Daughter” and I was talking to Jo about it. I thought it was a wonderful book, but made me tense while I was reading it. Just watching how people could throw logic, common sense and rational thought out the window and be caught up in the whole witch-hunting hysteria was horrifying to me. “Sadly,” Jo said, “we’re not really that far removed from that even now.” Is he right? I don’t know. I am beginning to think maybe he is.

In what reality is it actually okay for a bunch of strangers (mostly male strangers) to mandate whether or not a woman can use birth control, or force her to have something shoved into her vagina? No, really. I want to know.

Nathan Crowder wrote a blog post recently called “Faith: A User’s Guide“. I read it, nodding my head the whole way through. Everyone ought to read it, especially lawmakers. The most important point that Nathan makes is that your personal beliefs are just that, personal.

Until people really and truly get that, we’ll continue to require people like Stacey Newman to keep making the ‘stay out of my uterus’ point. Stacey proposed a new law that would make it illegal for a man to get a vasectomy unless he could prove that it would save him from serious injury or death. Sounds ridiculous, doesn’t it? Well, that’s because it is (which is why she proposed it in the first place). Just like these laws focused on women. The main difference is that the vasectomy law will never come into being. I wonder why?


You’re Killing Me!

I love my raid team. Well, most of them. The thing is, the couple I don’t like? Well, they may actually be killing me.

Let me backup a little bit. I have high blood pressure. Like, pretty freaking high. I’m on medication for it, have a low-sodium diet and I’m working on losing weight and the numbers are coming down. I’m hoping eventually I’ll be able to cut down my dose of medication, but for now, things are, if not ideal, at least stable.

Lately though, I’d noticed that every once in a while I’d get dizzy for no reason. Like, I’d just be sitting on the sofa and suddenly, POOF, dizzy. That’s a pretty strong indication of a blood pressure drop (which may require an adjustment in my medication), but it seemed like everytime I checked my blood pressure it was still high. That seemed weird and ungood (totally a word) so I started tracking my blood pressure on an hourly basis over the course of the day. The results were enlightening.

My blood pressure is not bad for the most part. It falls into the “Prehypertension” category in this Mayo Clinic chart. However, something scary happened on Mondays and Wednesdays between 11 and 2. My blood pressure went up. Way, WAY up. The peek I measured it at was 155/98. That’s high. If you consider that I’m also medicated, that’s crazy-freaking-high.

Guess when my raid time is. Continue reading You’re Killing Me!

The Thing About Facebook

Dear Facebook,

I’m sorry, but this just isn’t working out. I’m sure you’ve noticed that I’ve been spending less and less time with you these days, and the fact is I think we need to break up. I’ve changed, you’ve changed…it’s just not the same.

I used to think it was loads of fun looking up all the people I went to school with, looking at all their pictures, their kids, their cats, and it’s true you helped me locate friends I thought I had forever lost touch with, but that’s not enough anymore. It’s not.

And then Scrabulous got taken away. I think maybe that was the beginning of the end right there. Zombies and vampires are awesome, but Scrabulous beat them all hands down.

My favorite thing to do was to look at all my “friends” (and I have to put that in quotes Facebook because you and I both know that there are friends, and then there are “friends”. C’mon, admit it) statuses and feel like I was kept up to date on what was going on in their lives. I felt a connection, however vague, it was there. You keep changing your appearance and layout so much I can’t do that, and I feel like I need to constantly decipher you.

Also, what’s with the mood swings? You seem to randomly decide what you’ll show me on my feed and what you won’t — no matter what settings I change or what I tell you to show or hide. I don’t get it, this game you’re playing, and I am not willing to be a part of it. If you want to play your little powergames, you can do it alone.

That’s right, Facebook, I’m going to set another page as my home page. I know, I know, but you had to have seen this coming, surely?

I’ll still come back once a day, Danica likes it when I play Pet Society with her, and I still sort of like the ‘Slots’ and ‘Pull Tabs’ apps, but that’s all. You are no longer going to be a place I spend much time, and I won’t try to count on you to keep up with my friend’s lives.

I have twitter now, my blog, and as always my faithful live journal. Plus, there’s email and *gasp* face-to-face meetings too. So I’m leaving you Facebook, I just need to make sure I tell all my friends there, so they’ll know where to find me.

I hope you find someone else, Facebook, and can be happy. I really do.



And “They Found the Dog First” Makes Four…

I really want a tee shirt from the Giant Squid at Poor Mojo’s Almanac(k) and to get one I need to have five pieces accepted by them. I’m getting closer to my goal — They Found the Dog First makes the fourth story I’ve had published at PMjA.

Unfortunately, They Found the Dog First is a true story, which certainly taints any joy I may have at its publication and prevents me from saying I hope you ‘enjoy’ it. I do, however, hope you read it.

Rant Published @ Poor Mojo’s Almanac(k)

My rant, “How To Save The World” was published at Poor Mojo’s today — that squid sure doesn’t waste any time 🙂  Once I get two more pieces accepted there I get a shirt — which I’m really looking forward to, even more than the occasional cheque that comes my way for mainstream writing.  I think it feeds the same part of my brain that loves collecting badges on Pogo or finishing quests on World of Warcraft 🙂

How To Save The World

What Can You Do?
By Rhonda Parrish

The ice caps are melting, oil companies are destroying pristine land, children are starving, genocides continue unabated, oceans are being over fished, forests pillaged and human rights are being trampled everywhere you look. What can you do? Everywhere you turn there are wrongs that need to be righted, things that need to be changed — but you’re just one person! What can you do?

Well, you can sit around feeling bad and thinking about how much better the world would be if people listened to you, you could talk to your like-minded friends about why the world is going to hell and why the human race deserves destruction or you could do something about it.

So you’re only one person, so what? What starts with one person can grow to be more — and if you’re just going to give up rather than TRY to do something to make things better what makes you better than all the people whose actions you despise? I hate to say something as trite as ‘if you’re not part of the solution you’re part of the problem’ but to some extent it’s right. Sure, you can’t save the world all by yourself, but you can make a difference — if you try.

What are you doing to prevent global warming? To protect the environment, stop over fishing and over farming? What are you doing to stand up against the oil companies you rage against? Oil companies, the fishing industry and the lumber industry all spend millions, probably billions of dollars to protect their interests; they advertise, they lobby, they put their money where their mouth is — do you? Have you written a letter to your mayor? Your premier? Your senator? Prime Minister? President? Have you donated time or money to the causes you DO support? Do you refuse to buy products with too much packaging? Recycle? Compost?

Children all over the world are starving, living in poverty without clean water to drink, food to eat or schools to go to. What are you doing to help? “The governments of those countries are so corrupt,” you say, “that when we give them money only a fraction of it makes it to the people who need it.” So? So what? In a world where $100 can make a huge difference in a child’s life, isn’t it worth spending $400 to get that $100 to where it needs to be? So what if most of the money doesn’t get where it belongs –do you think not sending any is the answer? It’s only money. How much is a child’s smile worth? The feeling of a full belly? A mosquito net to prevent malaria? Clean water? How about supporting impoverished children in your home country? Are the food banks too corrupt to deserve your donation?

Genocides occur — still. Despite all the protestations of ‘never again’ they go on. What are you doing? Have you marched against them? Written letters? Sent money to support those who are there dealing with displaced persons and war orphans? Have you educated yourself about what’s going on in your world, or have you just covered your eyes and ears and waited for it all to go away?

Don’t say you can’t afford to do anything — many things that you can do won’t cost you anything — hell, lots of stuff will save you money. Have a yard? Grow your own vegetables. Walk to work instead of driving or take the bus if that’s not plausible. Write your government officials — let them know how you feel. Refuse to support companies whose practices you don’t approve of. Educate yourself and other people about issues going on in the world. And yes, put your money where your mouth is. It’s ridiculous to say that you can’t afford to donate anything to the causes you believe in when you sit in front of a big screen television every night, eat good food and have a roof over your head. Donate something — anything. Give $10 to the food bank, or to feed hungry children in other countries, or buy mosquito nets. Adopt a child in a developing country through Foster Parents Plan or a similar organization. Give money to Amnesty International or environmental groups.

Do something! Anything is better than nothing — the only thing that doing nothing accomplishes is ensuring the status quo. While one person may not be able to save the world all by themselves, they can make a difference. And who knows if people see what you’re doing they may just decide to follow your example and then you just might save the world after all.