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Dentists, Part Two

March 1st, 2017 by

Part One here

I saw a different dentist today, and the difference was astounding. He was nice, funny, had degrees out the wazoo (it is my understanding that this is a technical term) and had previously worked as a maxilliofacial surgeon. And it was NHS, not private. They DO exist. :) His claims about being able to painlessly remove a tooth without using needles I will take with a grain of salt, however.

And Phil? I didn’t give anyone cancer this time.

Which is a lead-in to a story about yesterday, and a bit about our married life. The dentist yesterday that I had inadvertently managed to offend so badly at one point glared at me (while I was trying to explain how just a bit of sedation would make this so much easier) and said “I just came back to work after having cancer, and I’m only working three days a week, and I’m ONLY DOING NHS WORK.”

Jesus, what do you say to that? Oddly, I felt as though I should apologise…I mean, how do you react to that?

So this morning, rather than show any sympathy which would of course make me feel much worse, my husband said: “Good luck, don’t give anyone cancer today.” And that’s us in a nutshell. :D

Dentists, aka I am not the enemy

February 28th, 2017 by

I’m going to have to vent for a minute, since I still feel shaky and as though I’m going to be sick after just getting back from the dentist. For most people those visits probably aren’t pleasant, but they’re a necessary evil…unless you have a crippling phobia of Evil Bastards, I mean dentists.

Backtracking for history:

When I was a kid we lived in a small town in Northern California, where there was one dentist. On hindsight I think he was either a genuine sadist, completely incompetent, or (more likely) an alcoholic. If he remembered to give you Novocaine he shoved the needle halfway through your jawbone. If he had to drill a cavity, he wandered…into gums, tongues, once his own finger. I shit you not, my friends – this was one sorry excuse for a dental care professional and my sisters and I are all terrified of going to the dentist. I also have a terrible fear of needles which I attribute directly to him.

I learned to deal with it as an adult, mainly because I was then living in Los Angeles and had access to practices where they gave you valium and used sedation. Not fun, but I could do it.

And then I moved to the UK and it all fell apart. Here you’re treated like some whiny baby, a wussie who can’t handle a filling or two without painkillers. Always double-booking appointments, they rush you through everything and barely sterilise the hammers they use to bash you with. I admit to slightly exaggerating there. So, I’ve been going without since we moved here, which seemed like an entirely sensible plan until I was eating toffee and cracked a lower tooth loose from the bone. I’ve been living with said aching, wobbly tooth for what, four years? Not fun, and I need it taken care of now.

So, I explain everything to the dentists’ office near us which supposedly sees private patients as well as no-frills NHS ones. We don’t have much money but I would pay anything to just have a bit of nitrous. I’ve been sick since yesterday when I made the appointment. And I see…not the smiling, gentle dentist that I’d hoped for, but a very brusque lady who has no patience for people who are babies. She didn’t like me.

I asked about the private services that I’d been promised, I said I could do it but I needed something to help. She looked at me as though I had just admitted to voting Tory and being an avid foxhunter. In a flash I’m no longer a semi-redneck from California, but some elitist toff with my pointy nose in the air, sneering at NHS dentistry. Now she really hates me, and she’s starting to look a bit like Laurence Olivier in the movie Marathon Man. I don’t know if it’s safe or not, but I’ll say anything she wants at this point.


This is me

 

And so I left. And that was my day. And dentists suck. :(

Onward Into 2017

January 16th, 2017 by

…like a herd of geriatric turtles, as it happens. :) We were sidelined over the holidays by that horrible flu/chest infection thing that seemed to be sweeping the country, which put a damper on the holidays until well after New Years. Horrible stuff!

I’ve very slowly been getting back into the swing of things with work, much more slowly than I’d anticipated which has meant the schedule backing up a bit. No writing done at all, and very little personal artwork. The image below is one of the more recent ones that I’ve done.

I did chose two authors rather than one for the cover contest, as they were both interesting and diverse. I want to read each of them! Both authors have been contacted, and I hope to be able to start on covers as soon as possible.

Hardly any gaming has been done (between being sick and trying to catch up on work). Some Overwatch, which I love madly and am also frustrated by. I keep thinking about going back to FFXIV, as it’s the only MMO that I can see myself doing instances and raids in, but I’ve been lazy.

The cosplay projects sit half-completed, and my front room workroom is a disaster of scraps of fabric and leather, hot glue guns, rivets and lost pins (knock on wood, we haven’t stepped on any yet…but it’s going to happen).

So, I suppose that’s it for the first two weeks of the new year…just trying to kick myself into gear.

 

Please Somebody Do This, I Beg Of You

December 7th, 2016 by

Today on Facebook I saw a friend indicate interest in the Night Market in Nottingham. Immediately my mind was filled with extremely cool images and possibilities about a market similar to the Floating Market in Neverwhere, or the Goblin Market in Hellboy 2. How incredibly cool would that be?

The Nottingham Night Market, while sounding perfectly fine in terms of shopping and food booths and undoubtedly lots of fun in its own right, is nothing like my wild flights of fancy. I know because I looked it up.

So I have to beg you, someone infinitely cooler and more creative than I am (by which I mean more social than I am), pleasepleaseplease set this in motion. Something wild and a bit shifty, a bit underground and artsy. Something like the people at the Labyrinth of Jareth masquerade would run in the off season. Costumes, booths selling arcane goods and art, wildfolk in costume. Dancing, music, drink. Food booths selling everything from candied quail to tiny, perfect marzipan banquets. I want a goblin market and a tiny slice of Bordertown.

I want to be Fae for one night. Sigh…

Holiday 2016: Free Book Cover Art

December 2nd, 2016 by

Book Cover Art
Click for model credit – not available for cover

As per my last post, I’m offering one free cover for a book, already published or not. This is my small way of saying thank you to the community of authors and fans that I so very much love being a part of, and it’s a very small way of making this horrible year suck just a little less horribly. This cover can be redeemed anytime in 2017 (after the first few months as I am completely booked!) and includes a POD cover as well as ebook cover. Examples of previous work can be found here.

I’m looking for a story which features a diverse main character, by which I mean someone who is not white, straight, male, cis, whatever. Those stories exist by the millions and that’s fine…but there are other stories out there that deserve an audience.

We all need heroes. As kids we need to see ourselves reflected in some sense in the media that we love, and those heroes can’t always be straight white males because that isn’t the world as it is. I was a girl in a small town, just about as wonderbread as they come, but I yearned for kickass stories about girls who had adventures, girls who were looking for Ms. Right rather than Mr. Right, girls who approached life like a goddamn boss. Sure, I had Podkayne…but there were few examples of female military heroes, older female starship captains and so on. I wanted an example of what the world might hold for someone past the Adventure Girl phase that didn’t involve falling in love and being a part of someone else’s story.

Anyway, back to the actual point. :D Contact me and let me know about your story your main character, and what type of cover that you’re looking for, bonus points for throwing in a chapter or so. And Happy Holidays to you all.

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A Small Holiday Gift

November 30th, 2016 by

It’s no secret that 2016 has been a rough year for us all: in so very many ways the world got a bit worse. There are lines from a poem (What They Did Yesterday Afternoon) by the extremely wonderful poet Warshan Shire which describes this year perfectly:

later that night
i held an atlas in my lap
ran my fingers across the whole world
and whispered
where does it hurt?

it answered
everywhere
everywhere
everywhere.

Powerful stuff.

Anyway, I think the only sane response to all this is to try to make the world a better place, each in our own small or larger ways, as we are able. Not in a hippy-dippy buying-the-world-a-coke kind of way, but in small acts that bring a little brightness back into the world. Feed some people. Spend some time talking to an older person who is lonely. Carry a sign. Donate a few bucks to an organisation who does good in the world.* Since I’m an artist, I can offer my art.

Dreams are important. Positive role models are important. Being able to read a book or watch a movie and see a main character like yourself represented is important. Experiencing a story that draws you into someone’s world who may be very different from yourself is important because once you connect with them it is much harder to see them as “other,” as someone to be feared. Diverse characters are important.

So what I’d like to do is offer a free book cover for one person with a story featuring a diverse main character. Yeah, full-on SJW stuff on my part…and why not? I’ve never seen being a social justice warrior as a bad thing. Goddamn right I’ll stand up for women, or people of colour, or LGBTQ folk because I’m a decent human being and not an asshat. Maybe I’m more of a social justice mage or priest, but whatevs…

I’ll do a post tomorrow with the details. :)

 

*A couple of organisations doing good things that I care about are Medecins Sans Frontieres and the ACLU.

 

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