Cucumber Brain and Cats… Doesn’t Make Sense But There It Is.

Good Morning!

Trying to get my life back on track seeing as it’s gone upside down these past couple of months. It’s hard on the head and I’m a bit oversocialized. Which of course screws with my head even more. So off to talk to the doc about readjusting the brain chems et al.

Honestly, I hate using Aspergers as an excuse for stuff but there’s a certain point where I just can’t break through and react typically. I mean I can literally feel that wall. Or membrane. It feels more like a membrane if that makes any sense. Like it gives but not a lot and it hurts to try to push further. Rebound brain gives massive headaches.

Everyone is different on the spectrum. I think that makes it worse because there’s no… Ah-HAH I know how to react to that behaviour. We all have our wired in quirks and it’s a constant education of people around us to adapt. People I love and am close to sometimes forget I have a reason for saying; I can’t deal with that right now. What I’m saying is, the lines have moved and what I could adapt to yesterday is a hard wall for me today. It’s frustrating but the sooner I accept that spectral (hah) limitation, the easier it is for me to de-escalate the frustration. And head off a brain meltdown.

If you do know someone on the spectrum and is good at “passing for human” (Because that’s pretty much our end goal as success, hiding that we’re on the spectrum), and they are comfortable enough to not mask, please understand that some days might be harder than others and truly listen and adapt when they communicate. It could be something as simple as losing the modulation in their voice (which is so awesome to finally not have to force because it feels like taking off a brain-wrapping bra) to perhaps needed the sound lowered on the TV even if it’s a volume that was okay an hour ago. Our “disability” is an invisible one and often one we fight with ourselves. And I can say sometimes it pisses us off too. Trust me on that.

So… wear a mask, eat your veggies, drink a lot of water and most of all, make sure you do one kind thing for yourself today.

Mind The Gap

Sorry for being AWOL but I’ve spent the last two weeks driving up to Oregon to take care of my hanai brother Dave’s remains and packing up the house. While it’s been a long, grieving journey, we were comforted and delighted to find family up in Eugene and were able to provide others with household goods and items they needed as we sifted through what was in the house. It went quickly and yet, too soon. My heartfelt love and thanks go out to the Asam and Lane families who were just freaking awesome and I will carry them in my heart for a very long time.

I have to get settled back into my routine and catch up with all of the stuff I let lay fallow while we all dealt with the things death brings with it. It’ll be okay. Dave was loved, respected, and most of all, treasured. I wish him well on his journey to where he is going next and may the road be sandy and bumpy because that’s the way he rolled.

Ready to Sin? Announcing the Cover Reveal and Upcoming Release of ’Nother Sip of Gin!

So I’ve been planning this for a bit. Just to pull together a bunch of the Sinners short stories as well as writing a few more — four to be precise — as a way to gather up some threads and give a little bit more of the Sinners boys for those who might miss visiting them. The four new stories are scattered throughout the collection which is arranged in chronological order (as close as I could get) to the series.

I’m hope you all enjoy having another few slices of their lives and take care of one another!

Much love!
Rhys Ford

’Nother Sip of Sin by Rhys Ford
Coming 18 August 2020 from Dreamspinner Press

For Crossroads Gin rock stars Miki, Damien, Rafe, and Forest, life is a Möbius strip of music, mayhem, and murder. Through it all, the sweet, hot moments between tours with lovers, friends, and family keep them sane, healthy, and happy. This Sinners collection features short stories spanning the entire series, from before the first note to after the lights go out.

https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/nother-sip-of-gin-by-rhys-ford-11738-b

Featured Author at PRG, Kai 4 Preorder, AND A Bunch of Monthly Deals at Amazon and Other Sites!

Hey! I am the Featured Author for the Paranormal Romance Guild and also a featured author on Amazon for July. Dreamspinner and other third party platforms will be price matching Amazon on for July on the sale books.

Here’s a list of the books that’ll be featured:
Dirty Laundry, Down and Dirty, Dirty Deeds, Dirty Heart,
Rebel, Savior
Whiskey and Wry, Absinthe of Malice, Sinner’s Gin, Sin and Tonic
Fish Stick Fridays, Hanging the Stars

Amazon Author Page: https://www.amazon.com/Rhys-Ford/e/B005UTGKSW/

Link to Featured Author Interview on Paranormal Romance Guild: https://www.paranormalromanceguild.com/featured-author-rhys-ford/

OH! And don’t forget, Silk Dragon Salsa comes out on July 14th! Preorder the ebook and/or paperback on Amazon at: https://www.amazon.com/Silk-Dragon-Salsa-Gracen-Book-ebook/dp/B08BR9QKT9/

Silk Dragon Salsa by Rhys Ford (Kai Gracen, Book 4)
SoCalGov Stalker Kai Gracen always knew Death walked in his shadow. Enough people told him that, including his human mentor, Dempsey. Problem was, the old man never told him what to do when Death eventually caught up.

Where Tanic, his elfin father and the Wild Hunt Master of the Unsidhe Court, brought Kai pain and suffering, Dempsey gave him focus and a will to live… at least until everything unraveled. Now caught in a web of old lies and half-truths, Kai is torn between the human and elfin worlds, unsure of who he is anymore. Left with a hollowness he can’t fill, Kai aches to find solace in the one elfin he trusts—a Sidhe Lord named Ryder—but he has unfinished business with Dempsey’s estranged brother, a man who long ago swore off anything to do with the feral elfin child Dempsey dragged up from the gutter.

Reeling from past betrayals, Kai searches for Dempsey’s brother, hoping to do right by the man who saved him while trying to keep ahead of the death haunting his every step. Kai never thought he’d find love or happiness as a Stalker, but when Death comes knocking at his door, Kai discovers a fierce need to live life to the fullest—even if that means turning his back on the people he calls family.

The Blond Potato… or why does your dog wear a muzzle?

This is a frequently asked question, especially when new people start to follow me on social media so when someone asked me again; why is your dog wearing a muzzle, I thought I’d share what I answered here.

The Blond Potato’s name is Gus Gus. Well that’s what he’s called. He’s also called Gus, Gooseman, Fungus, Goose, The Cairn Terrorist, Gengus Cairn, Pudding and well, Potato.

He joined us when he was six months old and sadly, we only had him a short while when it became evident, something was very much wrong with how he reacted to things.

Angus Missouri Blue was born in Kansas City, Missouri to a pair of cairn terriers named Dorothy and Rooster Cogburn. Sadly, the cairns coming out of Kansas, Missouri and Pennsylvania were getting bred too close to their own bloodlines and a fear aggression gene emerged.

When too much adrenaline is coursing thru their brains, they are so fearful they will attack anything in front of them, including people who have raised them and feed them. It’s like a seizure. They are blind to everything but their fear. When it passes, Gus ends up staggering about and kind of stoned from the adrenaline overload.

He’s had significant behavioural modification training and now lives a happy and normal life with his last out of control aggression event occuring years ago. BUT we do work to descalate those seizures from happening by diversion and minimization of stress. One of the things we are insistent on him going out with is a muzzle which serves two purposes; if he DOES have an event, no one is hurt and he feels safer with it on because he can get a little worked up and has a barrier where someone can calm him back down and he can continue to trot along.

If he gets fearful, having a muzzle on him allows us and well, anyone to approach him and descalate his stress. He doesn’t feel comfortable going outside without one and that puts him in a more fearful mindset to begin with so in a way, it’s his security blanket as well.

All of that being said, a lot of people think we’re insane because he’s a very delightful pupper and loves attention. The vets are happy to see him and love him and are appreciative that he’s presented in such a way that makes him coming into the office a safe one but once he goes into the room, it comes off and he’s able to play and visit with them unhindered.

The last time we were at the vet, there was a lot of construction going on across the street as there’s a building going up and rather than being aggressive, he came to me for cuddling and reassurance as he stared out of the window at the machines.

He goes on walks with his Aunt Jessica twice a week. Now, he’s an old man (cairns’ lifespan is 12-15) so his walks are regulated to give him exercise but not so much that it strains his joints. He’s 12 now and a very happy Potato but walks are SERIOUS business for him and there’s not time to talk and stop and smell the flowers. Once in a while he might roll around in some damp grass because that’s just too much to pass by but there’s no sniffing trees or looking for other dogs’ scents. Walks are for hard trots and his Aunt Jessica often has to slow his roll because there are PLACES TO BE in Gus’s mind, and he’ll keep setting a hard pace if you let him.

Which means he’ll be sore and aching later for a few days and we don’t want that.

He sleeps at the end of my bed at night and has several dog pillows around the house. There’s hickory smoked pig knees to gnaw on and tonight he got a beef rib bone as a treat. Dinner is a grain-free kibble and some savoury stew wet. There are belly rubs and ear scritches and people come over to visit, especially his Aunt Tamm from Northern Ireland who spoils him rotten. No, he’s not allowed to sit at the door and work himself up into a hunting frenzy because that’ll trigger his aggression and when someone is coming over, we tell them to just come in because to him, this means this person is a friend and someone who loves him.

I want Gus to live in a world where whomever comes through that door is someone who loves him although he does get put into the back of the house with the kiddie gates when plumbers, etc. come over and he gets very excited when they come in and right before they leave, he’s allowed to come say hello.

I’ve worked very hard to give him the life I promised him he would have when we got him at 6 months old. He is very well loved and has a good structure to his day. He gets treats and allergy meds and probably needs a bath right now because he likes being grimy and rolls around in dust puddles like a chinchilla. And if his continued happiness means him wearing a muzzle when he goes out, then that’s how it is. Because it comes off when he comes thru the front door and he knows he’s home and safe. And being safe, happy, and loved is what I want all of my pets to feel when they spend their lives with us.

The Days Are Definitely A Blur

Well… sorta.

I’ve been keeping track of what day of the week it is. Hopefully we’ll go back to Borking Days on Tues and Friday soon. Gus does need to get out and it’s actually really better for him if he has a walker he doesn’t live with so here’s hoping we get that going again this week.

If not, then I’ll take him out.

I’ve been watching Hiro learn how to cook stuff every once in a while. For those who might sorta recognize him, he’s been Kamen Rider and the lead in Black Butler. If you ever wanted to learn how to make tempura, here it is.

I’ve got smoked hamhocks in the Instapot with sauteed onions and garlic. I’ll be adding sausage and collard greens to it once that’s gone through the pressure stage. And of course, make some rice and that’s dinner. They didn’t have 3 lbs of hock but I did have a smoked pork shank in the freezer so that went in this time. We also have to polish off the sweet ginger-cucumber kimchee I made so I can make the next batch. Also, eat the regular kimchee that is in there.

Almost done with this project then rolling into the next. After that, Saint. Because of course I do need to finish up the 415 Ink boys. Working from home doesn’t really give much MORE time for writing but it does mean I don’t have to lose an hour in commute so that’s nice. And well, the dog’s all… I’ll get up when I get up because I sure as fuck don’t need to be awake at 5:30 am. Feel the love from the dog.

Hopefully all of you are staying safe and healthy. Remember to wash your hands and call relatives and friends. Oh, and hug your pets. But not the fish. That would be bad.

Thank you to the service industry people who make Flattening The Curve possible!

One of the most interesting things about being in “isolation mode” has been getting things to make other things because stuff’s in short supply. Some stuff like kimchi is impossible to find in the stores nearby and while I could leave the house and go to Zion or HMart, it would really break that isolation we’ve been in. Since I was hella sick a little bit ago, I don’t want to chance anything.
 
Now, we order thru SHIPT or Instacart and I got a shopper who sent this. I think it’s adorable because she’s like… I HAVE NO IDEA!
 
It’s been kind of fun interacting with our shoppers because one lady was all… WHAT IS THIS? It looks good! I want to try it!
 
I tip well and always make sure they stay safe. Our shopper right now said, they have paper towels, one package left. It’s not on your list but do you need it?
 
I said nope, leave it for someone who does but can I tell you she earned a HUGE tip just for asking. So for everyone out there shopping, driving, delivering and doing all of the things we can’t do because we’re flattening the curve… THANK YOU!

Just some stuff…

I thought I’d take a break from navel gazing and just share some stuff. Because you know, navel gazing can lead to ulcers.

SO close to the end of Kai. Watch for the screaming camel!

And now for some nonsense and just happy stuff…

Like this unicorn.

And this… Stray Staffie With A Fabulous Smile Finds Her Forever Home

Stray Staffie With A Fabulous Smile Finds Her Forever Home

Look at that smile! She’s so adorable. I do love Staffies. They’re such great dogs.

I also want to share the link to the latest Baumgartner Fine Art Restoration video. I haven’t watched it yet which is a crime because I usually watch them immediately but between travel and trying to hammer out the rest of this book, I’ve held off this video as a reward. It’s gonna be my chocolate twinkie! Which I still haven’t eaten but let’s face it, that’ll be there forever.

 

 

Let’s talk… writing

I’ve been asked a bunch of questions lately and I decided to just answer them all here because I thought some of them would make a good blog post because they’re pretty much all about writing and how I write or rather why I write and all of that nonsense. Or Stuff.

Whichever word you like.

I have the questions all stashed in a document and are arranged in no particular order so… here goes.

Does Dreamspinner tell you what to write? Is that why you wrote Back in Black?
This was a two parter so I’ll answer in segments.
1) Nope. That’s not how it works. I have a bunch of series and whatever storylines hit me, I write that book. My writing is independent of DSP. When I’m done, I offer them the book for publication. If they choose not to pub it, I’d probably self pub. Dreamspinner doesn’t dictate anything to me. I don’t work for DSP. I’m an author who writes books and wants them published. I’m not contracted to write on demand like I think some romance houses have a pool of writers for “pulp” monthly releases. I write what I like.

2) I wrote Back in Black because I have said from the VERY beginning that I would be bringing Cole back in a series of mysteries. It was time and the Cole “voice” hasn’t changed but they’re no longer romances. This was always my intent. Once the romantic suspense of him getting together with Jae was done, I wanted to transition his character into a more traditional first-person mystery series. And it was time. *grins* I like writing Cole and I’ve missed him.

When is the next Hellsinger coming out?
I don’t know. I do have a plot. It’s different from the one I wanted to write but I think it suits Wolf and Tristan more. Cin and Harker are going to have to deal with the psychotic clowns.

Why are your books so violent?
I am a violent person. No seriously, I don’t find them very violent. So perhaps my viewpoint is skewed. And honestly, I’m never going to shame someone for not being exposed to that kind of world. That’s a really good thing and they should cherish it.

When is Rook and Dante’s next book coming out?
Also, I don’t know. But soon. I probably should have answered that under the Hellsinger one. Like I said, these aren’t in order. When I last left Rook and Dante they were dealing with the arrival of his mother. I wrote a good 35K of a book with them and it felt flat. So I have to back up and take a good look at the plot and kick it into submission.

Do you throw a lot of words away? Because it seems like you’re always restarting things.
Oh that’s a good one to answer after the Murder question. Yes. I do throw words away. And sometimes I don’t. Mostly I don’t but sometimes you write and write and it feels like you’re writing out of a hole instead of knitting a story so… that’s when you know to toss the whole thing.

Why don’t you just write one series at a time?
Several reasons. I get bored and hate the characters once I’m done writing 80,000 words of their lives and I want them to die in a horrible fire. Going right back into them would make me want to kill them and that’s not a good way to run a series. Also, I really prefer to be a bit diverse in what I write and this gives me the chance to play with voice and world-building. So that’s why.

I think that’s it for now. I’ve got to head back into it and kill a few people. Wish me luck and I hope you all have a great week! Much love!

 

Shrimpy Things and Words

There’s a few chapters left in the Kai book so I’m getting that taken care of. Yesterday was Bork Bork day for Gus as it was time for walkies. As many of you know, he has a dog walker named Jessica who takes him out for a HARD trot.

We’ve had to keep him from getting to enthusiastic about his walks. He DOES love them a lot but the problem is, he’s an old man. Or at least should be. Yet, he insists on doing a full power walk… a hard trot. He doesn’t pull per se but he wants to go about his business and demands a healthy pace. Most of the time, she can slow his roll. Yesterday he was having none of it and apparently told her, You’re young, Auntie Jessica, and own two German Shepherds with really long legs. Let’s go. I am a fast walking potato.

He came home very tired but happy. Gus doesn’t stop and smell the roses or where other dogs have peed. None of that. Walks are SERIOUS business and must be attended to. Stopping is done rarely and usually because there is wet grass to be rolled in. But even then, a bit of cavorting and then we are OFF!

He’s a strange little potato.

I’ve never had these. I’m very curious as to how they taste. Turn on subtitles for English words on the bottom *grins*