Blergh… and Badger

I’ve been lax in posting here. Mostly because we have a new writer cat named Badger who is settling into the house AND I’ve been kind of sour-stomached.

Badger is settling in slowly and making great strides. He was found a few miles away from our house, actually and brought in as a stray. He’d been microchipped and neutered by his previous owner but when the Humane Society reached out to find them, there was no response back so he went into protective custody.

He’d been either in a fight or a dog got him because he has a healing wound on his leg which is a bit purple right now. Not bad considering he was turned in on July 12th so his life’s been kind of a rapid-fire barrage of changes from vet visits to a foster home to the Aquarium at the shelter where he was placed in a room of VERY aggressive young cats.

His hips are a bit tender and his fur is quite patchy and dry. It’ll take some time to get him up to fighting weight and God help us when he does because he’s got HUGE paws and hind legs like a jack rabbit.

Badger’s sketchy about the dog who returns his wariness because well, Gus is afraid of cats and Badger’s already tried to beat him up. So a lot of time is going to be spent reassuring the dog.

Harley Doodle Cat gives no fucks. There was tentative sniffing this morning on Badger’s part but it was too early in the morning for the little girl to deal with him and she gave a small “GTFO” hiss but didn’t do much else.

The dog, however, left the living room immediately.

Dog is NOT stupid.

So there you go. Badger’s in the house. He’s very affectionate but since I’m usually with the dog, he’s giving me a bit of space. He does however come searching me out in the early morning because he’s an attention whore and I’m the only one awake.

Hot and Half Moon Bay

Well, it’s going to be stinking hot here in SoCal this week so I’m very thankful for the AC. Seriously. There’s no need to sit in an oven. Set to dehydrate like I’m a bag of Jeff’s Famous Jerky.

Which is fucking awesome, by the way. I highly recommend it.

Secondly, I’d like to say if you haven’t seen it, the Half Moon Bay short stories are up. https://rhysford.com/half-moon-bay-shorts/

Also…

The Sinners Interviews are up as are the Last Call Tour Pieces:
https://rhysford.com/the-sinners-interviews/
https://rhysford.com/last-call-tour/

AND in case you missed them, 415 Ink: Ink and Threads are also available for reading: https://rhysford.com/ink-and-threads/

Of course there’s always the old chestnut Tatsu: https://rhysford.com/dragons/
This is the story my mother read of mine. Really the only thing she’s read and of course it’s the darkest thing I’ve ever written. *grins* But just in case you were wondering about the Dragons…

Savior Cover Reveal and Exclusive Excerpt. Tomorrow! July 13! Only at The Novel Approach

The Novel Approach is hosting the second 415 Ink novel, Savior on July 13th! There will be a cover reveal, an exclusive excerpt AND a giveaway. I’ll be posting the link tomorrow. See what Mace and the other 415 Ink men are doing, and stick around to see Mace lose his heart and mind to the last person in the world he thought he’d fall in love with.

Words and Stuff.

Someone asked me this morning if I think about how a narrator is going to deal with foreign words and phrases when I write. It’s a good question and I kind of want to deconstruct the question a little bit.

Please understand as I write this, I’m going to just go through what is in my head when I start writing so it’s going to be pretty much a stream of consciousness thing, okay?

I don’t go into a story thinking about anything other than the environment I’m writing in. I chose the words and things I need to build the world I want my characters to live in and simply forge forward. I write from my POV, the world I know and the languages and influences I have. So what does that mean for the reader and narrator?

It means they might encounter things outside of their world view. And that’s okay.

Now, this has been a bit of a contentious wrangling at times during editing because I’ve been told… substitute this unfamiliar-to-editor thing with this very-familiar-to-homogenized-America thing. My answer to that will always be no, they’ll learn. That’s how I learned. Because we want to learn as we read.

That might sound weird to say the truth is, it’s how we learn and stretch. There are languages and cultures I would NEVER have encountered growing up in Hawai’i but I learned of them through books. I embraced the unknown because it was unknown. Did  it pull me out of the story? Yes, sometimes. Not gonna lie. It’s a risk…but once I looked something up, I could go back and read over what I’d already read with a new understanding.

See, I believe in the intelligence of the readers in the genre and beyond. I trust in their acumen and flexibility. I have faith they will return to the text with a new awareness of my world, my POV. I respect the reader’s intellect. I never ever want to dumb down my language or cultural references because I know the audience … the readers… will seek out what they don’t know… IF they don’t know.

Just like I had to figure out what the Amish and Jewish cultures were. And let me tell you… that was very confusing for a hapa kid living on O’ahu.

As for writing with narrators in mind… nah, don’t do that either. Mind you, I’ve got some kickass narrators who are fantastic talents and great guys. But I also don’t ever expect stuff to roll into an audiobook. You can’t write with that hanging over you. You can’t hinder yourself with those boundaries. It’s a performance medium of your work, yes…that is true… but the FIRST representation of your writing is that book. And that’s where the focus should be.

Hope that answers the general question of writing for the audience and narration. Bottom line, write your POV… explain as you can and should but embrace the readers’ intelligence. I’m not saying box the reader into a maze of cultural references without a signpost… explain the culture and social constructs but also understand readers are smart and a hell of a lot more worldly. Explore your own world, bring it into your writing and share it with others.

But most of all, write your book.

More Waiting.

Things are… not great. But I’m in a holding pattern so we’ll see. Really, not much else I can say because I don’t know.

The hardest thing to do is focus on going forward. Life’s been rough. I mean, it feels like I’m trying to bail out a rowboat that’s built like a sieve. Luckily I have friends who I count as family and family who I count as friends. I shall hopefully get through this.

My first instinct at this point in my life is to say… no more. I’m tired. A lot of it has to do with the constant assault on my body and probably the feeling I’m being attacked by my own country. There are so many fights and man, I’ve weighed into a lot of them. I’m tired and kind of bruised.

Writing this week has taken a backseat which is not what I wanted to do. I’m fighting for words because I keep drifting. Not a good thing for me. Especially since I’m so good at keeping on track.

Except now there’s no track. But I need to find one.

I hope all of you are doing well. I’m not the best communicator of self. I know that. But if you’ve time, reach out to someone near you and say hey.  They might need to hear it.

SOOPER SEEKRIT Project Reveal over at The Novel Approach! Devil Take Me Anthology Cover, Blurb and Giveaway!

Today is the Day!

The SOOPER SEEKRIT Project Reveal is happening over at The Novel Approach!  Link to Post Here.

Join us for an Exclusive Cover Reveal and Giveaway for Devil Take Me featuring Rhys Ford, Ginn Hale, Jordan L. Hawk, TA Moore, C.S. Poe and Jordan Castillo Price.

Pre-order Devil Take Me from DSP Publications
This title will also be on a preorder sale for 40% off through Friday, June 22.

The Not-So-Scarlet A

“She had not known the weight until she felt the freedom.”
― Nathaniel Hawthorne, The Scarlet Letter

I’ve started and stopped this post about ten times now. Not because I’m afraid or worried about what people will think or say. Mostly because once I settled into the reality of me, I ceased giving a shit about what people thought about who I was or what I was.

Then something came up very recently and I thought; Well, I should put something out there.

I’m going to be writing this from a purely personal voice. Nothing professional about it. The time is right for me to talk about this because it’s Pride Month and well, a neutral time for me. And it kind of saddens me that I have to lay this out with those factors in mind but it is what it is and people are who they are.

Just like I am who I am.

So, in the spirit of Pride Month and coming out, I would like to tell all of you I am agender.

I know, right? Birds didn’t fall from the sky, the erupting volcano down the street from my mom’s house is still going at it and my dog still eats cat shit out of the litter box.

So let me back this ramen cart up a bit and talk about why I’m sharing this.

A little bit is because I’m irritated (mostly at myself) but I’ll get into that later.

Anger is one of the most stupidest of reasons to be talking about this because honestly, I’ve always known I’m not a girl or a boy. I’ve just never given a shit once I settled there. I’ve always been a mix. And not the social construct of gender identity but rather the sheer lack of identifying with either one. Ask anyone who knows me and they’ll tell you I’m not much of a joiner of things. I’m so much of a non-joiner, I opted out of a gender.

I’ve never felt like a girl or a boy. And I struggled with that. I’ve struggled the fuck out of that. I’ve explored being more femme and trying to see if I wasn’t really a guy. I tried male on. It didn’t fit. Neither did female. There were a lot of identity things that caused a lot of confusion, heartache, rage, loneliness and most of all, disassociation from society and people.

At the end of it all, I realized one very significant thing… it just didn’t fucking matter. Continue reading “The Not-So-Scarlet A”