The Mutant Gene

That’s what we’re calling it, in my house. Because that’s what it is, and calling it ‘the mutant gene’ makes it seem somewhat less horrific. There’s no way to make it harmless.

Last week, my mother went to the doctor for some to get the results of some of her tests. One of those tests discovered the above: a mutant gene. It’s hereditary, because of course it is, but unfortunately it’s not one of those genes that will permit my children to fly or control the weather or spew fire. It’s one of those genes that will permit my children to die horrifically at basically any point in time, all the time. Yay for the un-fun genes.

Oh? More info? Well. Apparently there’s a mutant gene that causes your body to, for no specific reason what so ever, to just randomly create blood clots. Anywhere in the body, for any reason, at any time. Great, huh? Of all the un-fun genes..

My mother has the activated gene. It’s possible one of my grandparents had or has it activated too, or it’s possible they’re just carriers. My maternal grandfather’s dead, so there is simply no testing on that side, and my maternal grandmother has a lot of things wrong but I don’t think random blood clots is one of them. There’s a fifty fifty shot of myself and my siblings carrying the gene, too, active or otherwise. There’s a test that can be run to check for it, and now that we know it’s a thing, we do need to get tested.

Not that there’s anything we can do to prevent it from happening, of course. Randomly spawning blood clots. What can you do for preventative medicine against that?

But at least we can know. Knowing is something. My mother had been trying for years and years to get someone to even want to help her figure out why her blood work was so wonky. She’d have blood clots, and her blood would be too thick for her to feasibly be alive, and her blood would be too thin for her to be alive, and no one could figure out what the cause was. Nobody really wanted to know, I guess. Nobody was interested except for us.

Now we know. Mom has a mutant gene.

On the level of things that frustrate me, this is a pretty chill one. At least we know. What’s eating me now is there’s nothing we can do about it. At any point in time we could randomly spawn a clot in our brain, or our heart. It’s just one more thing we have to live with, but that doesn’t make it easy. I don’t like having things like this out of my influence, but that’s what it is. Unfortunately gene therapy isn’t a big thing yet, and even if it were, it would probably be only for the coming generation instead of us adults.

…not sure I’d subject my child to gene therapy, either. There’s a certain measure of heebie jeebies that come with the concept. But maybe when my children are old enough to make informed choices, if I do have the gene to pass on, there will be options for them. That’s all anyone can hope for, I suppose.

Mutant genes. Why couldn’t it have been the cool one? I would have taken can make plants grow any day of the week.


Twitter | Tumblr | NaNo Page | Ao3 | Buy Me a Coffee


NaNo Camp July, Friday 14th (2017)


I went to a private school as a girl. It wasn’t a large school, only a couple of students, but it was legalized and I have a copy of the Board of Education’s recognition of it as such.

But despite not being a large school, it had all the trimmings. We had a School Mascot (the Mustang), we had school colors (black, maroon, navy), a school flower (the magnolia). We had regular classes, or what I assume is regular because it was normal for us. We had our subjects and the tests for those, book reports and writing classes, schedules for tutoring, though we didn’t call it tutoring, of course..

We had very few sick days because there were so few of us, so it wasn’t like the flu came in waves or anything. We never had to deal with a lice scare, and we had both inside lessons and outdoor lessons. I learned how to balance a checkbook, how to build an animal pen, how to make a quilt; complex mathematics, base sciences, human history. When we were done with class for the day, we were cut loose and left to our own devices. We had our field trips– one time, we went to an auction in another state. I saw a zebra in real life.

During the summer, the local public school had a type of summer schooling, which any child that lived in the area could attend. I only went one year due to the difficulties caused by it, but it provided me with more than enough social interaction for several lifetimes. Those of my school were outliers  to those of public school; they did not take kindly of us, and we fit in none of their pre-established dynamics.

Our school didn’t have dances. I went to one at the public school, invited by a young ma’am who attended, and I had one dance with a young man who also had no date. I bristled at a lot of people. It was strange. Not really a dance, not really a party, just… a bunch of awkward not-yet-teenagers. Three teachers tried to get me to change schools, further making it more awkward.

When I graduated, I spent the next year or so trying to figure out how to test for the GED. Some businesses counted my diploma as sufficient schooling, but a lot of them called private schools as fake, accepting only diplomas from the local public schools. No college in the area would accept it at all, since my school hadn’t been required to do standardized testing and we didn’t have GPAs. The Adult Education Center gave me the run-around on GED testing, asking “why was my primary schooling not sufficient?”

We never got Letterman jackets (a fact which I hope to rectify, eventually) and we never got high-school rings.

I remember all of these things when I write a character. The character’s history matters. From where they were born to where they went to school to the school colors and school pride they carry. Sometimes it’s just a token, a throw-back to way back when, but the little details are important too. Even if we never use them in story, it’s nice to know a little extra color about your cast.


NaNoGoal: 13,706/30,000

Twitter | Tumblr | NaNo Page | Ao3 | Buy Me a Coffee

News Update 2/4/17

GoFundMe – YouCaring

I’ve updated the fundraiser description(s) to help clarify some things, but since I’ve been quiet on the update front for a while, I’ve decided to come and tell people what’s up.

I got a job. I managed to get back in to my place of employment after some time off, and I’m making money again, but it’s not going to be enough to pay it off in time if they decide we have to pay it off by March. I just don’t make that much money, and even with the rest of us pulling it in, it’s not enough. I wish it were.

So I still need your help. Please, if you can donate, please do so. Even five dollars is a huge help, and could keep us from losing our home.


NaNoWriMo, Friday 11th (2016)


Some people say kill your darlings, and some people say don’t. Now, I’m not going to say one way or the other about it. The reason for this is because, one way or the other, I’m going to be a hypocrite.

I kill a lot of my characters. I save a lot of others from the neck of death.

But one thing I’ve noticed is that, when I hit a road-block in my path, an excellent way to jar the story and myself is to kill someone. Or, at the very least, trip over a dead body. Corpses are excellent motivators for characters to find themselves. Even if you decide to rewrite the scene without a death– not erase! Remember, there’s no erasing during NaNoWriMo– it works wonders for getting you moving and ramping up your word count.

Now, you may be asking why. I think I’ve covered that, but if you need another reason, well, consider it a personal challenge inside NaNo.

How could you kill them? Well, I understand that the Traveling Shovel of Death (TM) is a staple of the NaNoWriMo faculty, and many writers I know. Barring that, a good ol’ fashioned murder is always on the card table– and bonus points if it’s on or over a card table. Lots of deaths occur in games of chance.

When? Why not right now? Go ahead, you can do it. If your character is outside, they trip over a body– or witness a murder. If your character is inside, hey, why not? If there’s on one around, maybe they hear about it on the radio, or read about it in the news. Maybe it’s a shock and maybe it’s not. Who knows? Who can say?

Where? Not in real life, please. Do not go out and kill people with a shovel.


But inside the covers of your book, on the pages you and only you know how to craft, by all means. Kill as many people with shovels as you’d like. Make a sentient murder-shovel, watering the ground of graveyards with the blood of its victims. Make a serial axe-murderer, but instead of an axe, give him a shovel. The possibilities are endless.

No shovels in your world? That’s okay. Everybody knows a pointy rock will do in a pinch; after all, we’ve been killing people that way since prehistory.


*Image sourced on Google.

NaNoGoals: 24,132/50,000

Twitter | Tumblr | NaNo Page | Ao3 | Buy Me a Coffee

NaNoWriMo, Friday 4th (2016)


Sometimes NaNoWriMo starts on a Friday… and sometimes it doesn’t. And just like NaNo, some people have started already and some people haven’t. There is nothing wrong with that. Some of us will still be clawing and scraping for our 50k at the end of the month, and some lucky few will rattle it out in the first twenty four hours.

But however we start NaNo, whether we’re lagging behind at the starting line or we’re racing off to our goal and beyond, the most important thing to remember is that it’s never too late. Never to late to get started, never too late to catch up, never too late to pass your goals.

Here’s the thing about NaNoWriMo, and I’m sure I’ve said it before: This is the month when writers around the world, millions of writers across the globe, are writing with you. They share your struggles, just as I do; they share your glories, the troubles on your page, every instance of writer’s block and every time you overcome it, climb over or break through it.

Writing doesn’t happen in a vacuum, and we don’t live in a vacuum. NaNo is one of the wildest roller coasters of my life, and me and so many others are here to share it with you.

Don’t give up. I have faith in you.


NaNoGoal: 8,379/50,000

Twitter | Tumblr | NaNo Page | Ao3 | Buy Me a Coffee

News Update: October 5th

Today, I am twenty five, and tonight I will be twenty six.

Also I think I have a cold. Moving on.

As some of you may have noticed, my posting has slackened a bit. In my defense, winter is coming, and with winter comes a great number of winter holidays, winter jobs, winter sicknesses and the great desire to never see snow again. Also stress. So much stress.

Of course, I do hope to keep my once a week posting going, but I cannot promise it, just like I cannot truly promise that the sun will rise tomorrow. Catastrophe could happen, you know? What I can say is that I am fairly sure the sun will rise tomorrow, and that I think I can do once a week posting. I’m not nearly as prolific at it as some other writers I know, so we’ll see.

In the meantime, it’s the first week of October, which means NaNoWriMo– er, November– is right around the corner.

Now, I don’t know how many of my followers are doing it (I am still in awe that I have followers) or how many are doing other artsy-related things for November like Sketchvember, or how many people are doing things this month, like Plotober or Inktober or the like. I do know that whatever you plan to do, even if it’s just take the month off and relax, I wish you the best in it.

However, I am planning to do NaNoWriMo. I am slowly ticking through the last part of my book, and hope to have it finished when NaNo concludes. Cross my fingers, right? Right.

During NaNo proper, as I did for Camp NaNo, I will post once a week on Fridays with my weekly update slash cheer slash attempt to keep myself and others motivated. But as others who know me are likely aware, I will mostly become a hermit. Yeah, that happens. So if you don’t hear from me much during the winter, it’s because of that.


Twitter | Tumblr | NaNo Page | Ao3 | Buy Me a Coffee

And Another Writer Tag

Pulling this tag posted by Amanda, because it’s important to ask yourself questions as a writer and give honest answers. You never know how much about yourself you can learn just by trying to figure out how answer someone’s question! So here’s ten of them.

Q: What do you eat or drink while writing?
A: Whatever I can get my hands on, honestly, provided I manage to remember that it’s there. I have this nasty habit of falling into tunnel vision, writing or not writing, and forgetting that the rest of the world is a thing that actually exists, so I won’t do those silly little optional* things like eating, or drinking, or sleeping.

Q: What do you listen to while writing?
A: Break-up or love songs, or something with heavy drums to get my heart beating. I can write almost anything to a love song (I cannot drive to a love song) and heavy drum beats in rapid succession get the heart moving, providing cells with oxygen and therefor the body with energy.

Q: What is your biggest distraction while you’re writing?
A: Other people. Cats. Food, when I remember it exists. Reading.

Q: What is the worst thing that has happened to you while writing?
A: In November 2015, I lost about… two thousand words when my laptop randomly decided it needed to not function. I hadn’t saved them up yet, since I was in the middle of writing them when it happened, and it was an absolute tragedy. I spent the following day getting my computer to function again. The aut0-save feature managed to salvage about two hundred of them, but it still had me out of sorts and paranoid for the following week.

Q: What is the best thing that has ever happened to you while writing?
A: In my first official NaNo back in 2011, I walloped out my a very own (and very bad) novel that may never see the light of day ever. It wasn’t all bad, but I didn’t have enough content to make a solid book out of it, or enough of a plot. But I loved it, and I loved the characters. I’ve since decided to rip it apart and deconstruct it, rebirth the people and the plot-line in another vein, but I had so much fun while working on it, it’s not even funny.

And that’s the best part. I realized how much fun I have while writing. More-over, and perhaps more important, I realized I’m writing for me.

Q: Who do you communicate with while you’re writing?
A: I am very bad at multitasking writing and communication, especially verbally. I’ll be mid-sentence in my work and finish it up while talking with someone, and I’ll look down and find I’ve written every word I have spoken since I started. Oops?

But beyond that, I have a very select group of friends who can prod me while I’m writing that get a valid response, provided it comes in written format so I can stare at it and try to puzzle out what we’re talking about. I do not shift gears easily, alas.

Q: What is your secret to success and your biggest writing flaw?
A: My secret to success is probably that I’m doing what I love, and I’m loving what I do. I like to write, and I write what catches my interest. My biggest flaw is that I’m all over the place. I have at least a dozen books in progress, which does not even go to mention how many fanfictions I’ve got running at any given moment.

Q: What is your inspiration? What makes you productive?
A: Other writers. It took me a long time to figure out other writers were people, but when I did, boy did that ever help. I realized if they could do it, as long as I applied myself– as anyone applies themselves– then I could make something out of all the stories in my head.

Q: What is one thing that you do or that other writers do that is super annoying?
A: I am very, very flighty, and easily distracted. I don’t know why. It frustrates me. As to other people, I’m not sure. Writers are, by their nature, some of the least social and most secretive people on the planet, zealously guarding their work. Some of it’s so secret I imagine that you’d have an easier time getting your hands on the NASA launch protocols than you would figuring out bad writing quirks.

Q: Are you willing to share something you’ve written?
A: I write a ton of things, and I’ve been more or less consistent posting them all on my Ao3— but if you want something I haven’t yet let the rest of the world see, I can absolutely share a small snippit of a WIP.

<Snippit from my Modern Assassin’s Creed AU>

“That’s a nasty bruise.. You’re Mentor William’s son, aren’t you?”

“His name’s Desmond,” Sasson offered from the other side of the room, but Fadila was sitting up, like she meant to get up despite Sasson’s protests.

Bruise? Does he need ice?

Altair hummed. “No.. well, it can’t hurt. This looks really fresh. It’s not even done darkening yet.

It wasn’t there when he got here,” Altair put in at last, prompting the novices to look over at him. He was twelve, and he wouldn’t shrink from their attentions.

Are you sure, Altair?” He nodded, which only made the other look even more troubled. “Sasson–?

I’ll go get the ice.” Sasson was already heading back for the door when Altair looked over at him, trying to figure out what the teenagers were doing. It was just a bruise, they bruised all the time. But somehow Altair was sure it was not just a bruise after all, or he felt it wasn’t. If it was just a training bruise, he wouldn’t have opened his mouth. The novices wouldn’t have sounded concerned about it if it were just a training mark. “Fadila–?

I’ll stay here, go on. Altair can look after me while you’re gone.” Sasson frowned at her, but he opened the door and vanished beyond it anyway.


And there we are. Ten more answers about me. Some of which you knew already from previous questions, and some of which are possibly new. At least one of which contains a ficlet! What joy is this?


*Eating, drinking and sleeping are not actually optional.

Twitter | Tumblr | NaNo Page | Ao3 | Buy Me a Coffee