Roxanne Bland

Just your everyday fugitive from reality.

All Shot Up

Vaccinated now.

The first shot gave me a nasty headache that didn’t start until I was flying down I-97. You know, those ones that make you squint because you’re light sensitive.

The second shot. Day of, I feel kinda weird when I leave the vax site, but hey, it’ll be ok. Just get home. Flying down I-97, I start feeling weirder and weirder, and finally, I feel like I’m drunk. Or stoned. But not a good drunk or stoned. Sick drunk or stoned. I had to concentrate to stay in my lane to keep from drifting out. Consciously tell myself I had to use my turn signal. Depth perception not quite lost, but I had to change lanes at one point and couldn’t tell how close the car behind me was. So floored it, and hoped they weren’t going faster than me. Then a cop starts tailgating, for no reason I can see. Maybe because I have a black Tahoe. Cops tailed me all the time because Black driver, black SUV = drug dealer. But that was in 1999, when the truck was new. In 2021, it’s a battered, rusting hulk (runs great, though). Anyway, I’m praying he’s just fucking with me. Turns out he was. So, I get home, stumble in the front door, and stumble upstairs to bed.

Next day, Death comes for a nice visit.

He left about 10 this morning. Relief.

Now, of course, the day job rears its ugly head. Have to submit my article… Continue reading

A Note

All the critical reviews of The Moreva of Astoreth are in. All stellar. Those are the ones I care about.

Checked out new reader reviews on Amazon. Some of them make me laugh. One reader said the book is “well done, but unlikeable.” Didn’t like the first person narrative. Well, okay. Thanks for pushing on with it, though. And then, about Tehi: “I really couldn’t stand her.” Um…you weren’t supposed to like her. She’s a bigoted bitch who gets her comeuppance.

That’s the thing I don’t understand. Readers want MCs they can cotton onto right away. A good guy from the start, a good guy throughout, a good guy at the end. Granted, that works in some stories, great stories, but more often than not, it doesn’t. The tales are shallow. A flawed hero has the chance to grow into someone greater than who they were at the beginning. Self-examination throughout. That’s called a character arc. If there’s no character arc, no growth because the MC is always reacting to something external, what’s the point? The MC learns nothing about themselves. There’s no emotional depth. They’re cardboard cutouts, lumbering from scene to scene. Bor-r-ring.

Give me a flawed hero every time.

Ciao.

You Know What’s Scary?

A guy you can’t see with needles and tiny, sharp, scissors messin’ around with your eye.

And your eye is open.

All you can see is the blinding surgical lamp and these dancing metal points.

That’s some Marathon Man shit.

Oh, yeah–and if he tells you “little pinch” just before injecting the anesthetic? HE’S LYING.

Third time I’ve had to go through this. Before that, it was a soldering iron. Once, he didn’t give me enough numb juice, AND I FELT IT. Thankyuhjeebus this time was the last.

Except it ain’t over.

Oh, no. The universe don’t play dat with ol’ Roxy.

Don’t know what’s coming next. Sending me off to another dude. He’d better not tell me “little pinch” ’cause I’mma call his ass out.

Getting old sucks. If I’d known it was going to be like this, I’d have swallowed those damned pills a long time ago.

Ciao.

That Virtual Con

A week or so ago, I mentioned I was participating in a virtual con.

Pros and cons? Mostly cons, but I think it might just be this particular con. If I’m not mistaken, this was the first con the sponsor has run, so of course, there are going to be glitches. One of those glitches–and a very annoying one–was that vendors weren’t on the list to access the site early so we could set up our booth. Our group leader somehow managed to get in because she set everything up by the time the convention started. Although we had a zoom tour of the con like a week or so before, the set-up wasn’t exactly user-friendly. I was mostly confused. But it worked in the end, and we were all in our places with bright, shiny faces on Day One.

The con’s big rule was this is a safe place, and no harassing or trash talking–people, groups of people–whatever. Anybody reported doing these things was going to kicked out of the con, no ifs ands or buts. Okay, fine.

We didn’t have a Day Two. The con was held on a platform (can’t remember the name) that when I signed in, insisted I have my webcam and mic on. Okay, fine. I’m not sure how this worked, but we found out that attendees didn’t have to have their cams and mics on, and if they didn’t, they were invisible. Completely invisible. So a few of us were in the booth,… Continue reading

Shit Never Ends

Sorry I can’t be cheery today.

Like I was yesterday.

Grr.

Fuck.

Grr.

Fuck.

Reality sucks.

Ciao.

The Weight Of The World

Atlas.

That’s who I’m feeling like right now. The only time he got a break was when Hercules offered to take his place so Atlas could go see his daughters. Ol’ Herc was a great guy.

I don’t have daughters.

It’s good and bad. The good part is I can now honestly say The Moreva of Astoreth has been critically acclaimed. Six out of 7 critical reviews, all stellar. I’ve entered it into can’t remember how many contests in the past month. Doesn’t matter. I’m not keeping track of anything. If I win something, they’ll let me know. Audio book still underway. I’ll be getting a solid chunk of change in the next month or so stemming from the bankruptcy–a company I had an outstanding loan with continued to debit my bank account after the petition was filed last April. All that money, almost a year’s worth, is coming back to me. What it means is that I’ll be able to afford the audio book’s sticker price as well as get some damned much needed stuff fixed around my house. Like the plumbing. Especially the plumbing.

Now the hard stuff. Ageing parents. Being locked out of family communications. The latest is that I learned my mother has mild dementia through an offhand comment my father made about the lawyer who’s setting up the trust. I knew there was an issue–nobody goes to see a neurologist for fun. But that was over a year ago, and when I asked about it,… Continue reading

Rewarding

The Moreva of Astoreth has won a book award.

Love it when that happens. Because it means I don’t suck.

I’m entering it in every contest I can–at least the ones that aren’t a scam. You’d be amazed how many there are. Maybe you wouldn’t. No matter what’s going on, there’s always going to be someone who’s going to try and get over, to part you from your wallet. I’ve learned a lot about that on this author’s journey. More than I ever cared to know.

So I’m trying something new. A virtual con dealer’s table. I’ll be selling beside 3 or 4 other authors, sharing a booth. I don’t have enough inventory to justify a booth of my own, so we do it as a group and split the cost. Since the lockdowns began, I’ve gotten fairly good at the tech stuff. Well, sorta fairly good. Good enough, is probably a better way to put it.

I miss in-person cons. Yeah, I know–I’m not a people person. But there’s something about being at a con… I don’t do people because in a crowd, I can feel my energy being sucked out. I get home, and I’m just so tired. Yet cons are the opposite. Maybe it’s because you’re with thousands of like-minded people who, like you, are weird and excited to be there. It just kind of buoys you along. Something else I’ve noticed over the years, too. I’m not depressed at cons. It’s like all that good energy… Continue reading

They’re Comin’

The reader reviews are coming in for The Moreva of Astoreth.

Of course, there aren’t many. Too soon–after all, the book was released on the 5th. And most of my ARC readers didn’t come through. I’d asked that they post on release day. Maybe they’ll come later. Now, though, I understand why it’s said that ideally, your team of ARC reviewers should be at least 30. And the more, the merrier. In my case, out of 15 ARCers, only 4 have posted as of today.

Overall, the reviews are good so far–the holy grail of 5 stars dominate. A couple of 4s. With my books, the 4s usually end up dominating. Not that a 4 star rating is a bad thing. It’s that if a reader actually leaves a real review–other than “I liked it,” or “I didn’t like it,”–the first sentence is usually “I didn’t like the Moreva at first, but later I was rooting for her,” or something similar. When I see those, I can’t help but smile. I think, “you weren’t supposed to like her.” At the story’s start, Moreva Tehi is a small-minded, bigoted bitch. As it progresses, she dramatically transforms into a completely different person. If I’d drawn her as a sweetheart at the beginning, there’d be no story. Or, if I’d made it into a story anyway, there would have been no impact. It would have been just a nice little romance. Like a Hallmark christmas movie.

I think I get the wide… Continue reading

CHECK IT OUT!!!

As part of my marketing efforts, I had this video of my books created. More books will be added as they are published.

I’m deliriously happy with it.

Now, if only the conventions would start again…

Ciao.

And I love the music.

Going For The Gold

The pre-publication reviews are coming in for The Moreva of Astoreth.

One editorial reviewer wrote, “Bland may very well be the Alice Walker of science fiction.”

Other reviews so far have been just as praiseworthy.

Fuck it. I’m going for the Nebula in 2022. The Nebula Awards are sponsored by the Science Fiction Writers of America. This is no pissant group–you can’t be a member unless you’ve sold a minimum of $5K worth of books. That’s a hella lot of books. Nebulas and Hugos (sponsored by another organization) are THE top awards for speculative fiction. Like winning an Oscar. So you know competition is fierce.

I’m going for the 2022 Hugo, too. With enough support, an author can win both for a single work.

If I win one or the other or both, my black ass will be on the freakin’ MAP. Authors who’ve won in the past have seen their book sales skyrocket internationally, and Hollywood, Netflix, HBO and others have come a-knockin’.

Got a lot of work ahead of me, getting the book in front of the right people.

I’m pumped.

Ciao.