Please talk to your children. *mild trigger warning*

Yesterday Hailey came home terrified because of a letter sent home to all the kids in her elementary school.  It was meant for the parents but of course the kids on the bus read it and talked about it and made it more so much scarier, as children do.  And it is scary.

According to what I’ve read, an unnamed elementary school in our district has been threatened with mass violence by anonymous emails from someone who identified themselves as a serial killer.  It’s most likely a hoax (as most of these things are) and the fact that the emailer claims that it will happen on Thursday might indicate that it’s a student wanting area schools to close so they can have a four-day-weekend.  (Fiesta Friday is a traditional school holiday in our area.)

Still, it’s unsettling.  A few weeks ago I had to pick up Hailey at school because she got sick right after a lock-down drill designed to show children how to hide and be silent in the event of a school attack.  In some schools they teach the children how to barricade doors and what they can throw at an attacker that might slow them down.  I’m glad that they have these drills, but I hate that it’s necessary to have them.

This week the FBI and the police department will continue the investigation.  The schools in Hailey’s district will look more closely at any safety issues and will shore up any weak areas of security and make the schools safer.  And hopefully this will all go away.  But this is why I’m writing about this:  Lots of times when schools get bomb threats or threats of violence it ends up being a student who will brag about it to their friends.  Please talk to your kids today.  Tell them how important it is to let you know if they hear something like this.  So many of us don’t think about asking our kids about this stuff because we just assume they’ll tell us, but so often kids laugh stuff like that off as a silly prank without realizing the trauma involved for everyone else.  There’s a tip line that you can call if you’ve heard anything about this recent threat.  (210) 225-TIPS.

As for me, I haven’t decided whether to keep Hailey home on Thursday.  I’ll see what develops, talk it over with her and make a decision then.

I wish I had a better way to end this.  I wish I didn’t have to write this.  I wish you didn’t have to read it.  I wish a lot of things.

UPDATED:  The police and FBI  haven’t been able to identify who sent the death threats so I talked to Hailey and she said she’d rather stay home on Thursday, which is a bit of a relief because I’d rather she was home too.  As one of my amazing readers pointed out, Thursday also happens to be Take Your Daughter To Work Day and so I’m going to spend the day showing her what it’s like being a real writer, but with less booze.  This means we’ll rewrite the same paragraph all morning, then eventually scream “I CAN’T DO THIS.  NO ONE CAN DO THIS.”  Then we’ll give up and watch Doctor Who and take pictures of the cats to distract us from a looming sense of failure.  Later we’ll wake up at 2am with the perfect idea of how to finish that chapter we’ve been struggling over and will feverishly write until it’s all out of our head and then we’ll fall asleep at our desk and wonder the next day why we’re always so exhausted.  And it will be awesome.  And terrible.  Just like work should be.

You’ll shoot your eye out.

I just saw this on the “Buy-one-get-one-half-off” rack at our local toy store:

Awesome.

Awesome.

I assumed the eye-patch was for after you’d shot your brother’s eye out, but Victor thought that it was perhaps preventative, because if you were pretending to be a pirate while being shot at you’d have one less eye exposed to the crossfire.

Either way, I want to lick whoever put these two things together.

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And in other news, it’s Monday, but I didn’t post the weekly wrap-up yesterday because I knew you were too busy recovering from having to spend time with family, so instead I’m doing the Monday wrap-up so you have a way to ease yourself back into work with a little distraction: Painting courtesy of @fattieart (J Rose)

What you missed in my shop (Named “Eight pounds of uncut cocaine” so that your credit card bill will be more interesting.):

What you missed on the internets:

This week on shit-I-didn’t-come-up-with-but-wish-I-did-because-it’s-kind-of-awesome:

This week’s wrap-up is brought to you by my friend Elle Kennedy (bestselling author) who co-wrote All Fired Up, the first in the Dreammakers trilogy.  Fun, smutty, steamy and costs less than you’d pay for a donut.  Plus, it’s an ebook so no one on the train knows you’re reading a steamy novel instead of War and Peace (which probably has much fewer shirtless men in it).  You should go buy it and also check out her other stuff.  It’s right here.

No bunnies died for this picture

Today is Thursday, which is good because this week I’ve been swamped with a combination of editing on the book and insanely strange emotions I blame on the moon.  But since it’s Thursday I can just throw an old picture up here and it counts as a post because it’s Throwback Thursday.  Yay for laziness!

This is Hailey on her first Easter.  They didn’t have cute etsy hats nine years ago so I had to make my own.  I made it by buying a stuffed animal and scalping it and tying it to her head.  This is what we did in the old days before everyone learned to knit and it became easy to make your kids twee.  WE HAD TO WORK AT IT.

"Where did my stuffed animal go?"

“Where did my stuffed bunny go?  Wait.  What’s on my head?  WHAT HAVE YOU DONE?!”

In related news, is everyone feeling as completely out of control and brittle as I do this week?  Is it that blood moon thing?  Did anyone else wake up naked in the front yard the next morning?  Should we be sacrificing virgins?  Are there any virgins left?  These are the questions that keep me up at night.

I need your help to solve assholism and get my Nobel Prize

me:  Things aren’t going right for me.

Victor:  How do you mean?

me:  I can’t make things with words work.

Victor:  Could you be more vague?

me:  My thing with the words in it isn’t working right.

Victor:  Your…head?

me:  Sort of.  The creative part that makes words fit together properly.  There’s probably a word for it.  I’d probably know what it was if my head wasn’t broken right now.

Victor:  Your head is always broken.

me:  Yes, but most of the time that works in my favor.  Right now everything is cloudy and I’m exhausted and I think I might be depressed but also I think maybe I’m not depressed and that life is just shitty.  But it isn’t shitty so I must be depressed.  I wish someone would invent one of those things they used on Star Trek that you could just run over your body and it would be like, “Hey, you’ve got the flu” or “Your endorphins are all fucked up” or “Your body is fine but your head is all shitty and it’s not your fault so just wait it out and it’ll get better.”  Why don’t you invent that?

Victor:  I’ll get right on that.

me:  And make it an app so I can put it on my phone.  You’ll make millions.

Victor:  So just, invent a machine that detects everything medically wrong with you?

me:  And then put it in my phone.  It doesn’t even have to be completely accurate.  It could just say, “Wow.  How are you even standing right now?  You’re so brave.  You should be in bed.  Show this to your spouse so they know that you’re like some kind of machine for even being alive right now.”

Victor: Huh.

me: Or maybe sometimes it could say, “You’re super healthy but I think a gypsy put a curse on you.  Find another gypsy to take it off.”  That way you don’t have to go to the doctor, and also you’re keeping gypsies in business.

Victor: I don’t know that that’s a business.

me:  It should be.   Although, now that I think about it, I knew gypsies in Houston and they never cursed anyone.  So maybe make it a poltergeist and have the person drink holy water.

Victor: I don’t think you’re supposed to drink holy water.  Aren’t people getting dunked in that stuff all the time?  That seems unsanitary.

me: Then the next diagnosis should be “Back so soon?  You probably got dysentery from that holy water.  You should have boiled it first.  Always boil your holy water.”  This business makes itself.

Victor: I’m going away now.

me: And we could sell pills to people.  Like last week this girl pinned a picture of home-made pills filled with glitter and she was like “Glitter emergency pills. Bad day? Open a pill, throw glitter around” and I was like, “Wait. We’re angrily throwing the glitter in the office of the person who pissed us off, right? Because I could get behind that. Glitter never goes away. It’s like a shiny grudge you leave behind to remind people how much you hate them. Where do I buy these pills?

Victor:  And?

me:  She has not responded to me.

Victor:  Well, she’s smarter than I am.

I need these.  But I need them to be bucket-sized.

I need these. But I need them to be bucket-sized.

In the end, Victor did not agree to make me any apps so I need someone who knows how to make one.  Ideally it would diagnose all illnesses immediately, but if that takes more than a few days to build I’m fine with an app that just gives you random diagnoses like “Your hair looks amazing” or “Answer is fuzzy.  Try again later” or “That bitch in the next office is intentionally making you crazy.  She needs some glitter, STAT.”  And then we’ll take all the money we make on the app and invest it into making more glitter pills, which we’ll sell for almost nothing because if there are enough glitter pills out there then people will use them and you’ll be able to tell assholes as first sight because they’ll always have glitter on them.  It’s like a tracking system for assholes.  So, maybe I didn’t cure world disease, but I’m helping people to identify assholes before they get their shittiness all over you, and I’m pretty sure that deserves a Nobel Prize in whatever category “Halting Assholeness” falls under.

Playing in the swamp

If you’ve read here long enough you’ve probably seen Brooke Shaden‘s work because it’s the strange, whimsical and macabre photography that goes so well with some of my darker writing. She’s magic.

what moves us

experiencing space

sleepwalker

And today she’s coming to Texas so she can photograph me in a swamp.  It’s possible I’ll be eaten by alligators, but – in fairness – that’s probably a really fascinating way to die, and knowing Brooke she’ll probably get some awesomely disturbing  photos out of it.  I give you full permission to look at any death photos that might result, unless I look really fat, in which case just keep in mind that I’m retaining water and also that alligator attacks cause swelling.  Probably.

In other (non-alligator) news, earlier this week my sweet baby niece had her appendix explode in her because apparently she wants to be just like her aunt.  I informed her that it was my gallbladder that exploded inside of me but she didn’t care because she’s on a lot of morphine.  She’s recovering and is currently smothered in stuffed animals but if you’d like to send her happy thoughts and prayers, that would be lovely.  Also, if you’d like to send entertaining websites, videos, etc. to my sister who will be stuck in a hospital room for the next week (with significantly less morphine) you can leave links in the comments.  If it made you laugh your ass off or was so fascinating you couldn’t stop reading, please share it.

I’ll start:  Fascinating, hilarious, awesome.

PS. If I do die I formally bequeath my appendix to my niece.  Mine is the (so far) non-exploding kind.  You can never have too many.

PPS.  Just talked to my sister.  Apparently you can have too many.  So instead I leave my niece my appendix, but not to be inserted into her body.  Instead  I’ll just have my dad tan it in his taxidermy shop so she can use it as a little coin purse.  Everyone needs a coin purse.

Not a real post, but still awesome

Hi.  This isn’t a real post but I’m posting it anyway and so I think that makes it a real post.  Unless you’re epileptic, in which case you need to leave now.  It’s for your own good.  Come back tomorrow when I write about something less likely to make you fall down.

Okay, see the video above?  Open it to full screen and stare at the center of the video for the full minute that it plays.  Then immediately look at your hand.  Then bring your friends over to watch it and when it ends say “Never mind the video.  What is wrong with your hand?”  Then back away and tell them that’s exactly what people’s hands look like right before they morph into a werewolf.  

Or not.  Just a suggestion.

Watermelon is the secret code word

Whenever I’m at large events and I’m asked to write my name on those “HELLO, MY NAME IS” stickers I instead write “Watermelon is the secret code word.”  Most people just look at me like I’m off and avoid me.  Some people (usually the ones in large, boisterous groups) loudly yell “Secret code word for what?” and I just say “I have no idea what you’re talking about” and walk away.  But a few people (usually the same people hiding in corners, or drinking so they have something to do with their hands) will hesitantly come up and whisper a single word. “Watermelon.” And then I nod and smile like we know a secret the rest of the world doesn’t and I quietly say, “You’re in.  Welcome aboard.”  Then they usually smile back – happy and slightly confused – and walk off with a little more confidence, knowing that they’re part of something bigger.  Bigger and ridiculous and utterly insane.

Those are the best people.

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And in other news, it’s Sunday, which means it’s time for the weekly wrap-up: Painting courtesy of @fattieart (J Rose)

What you missed in my shop (Named “Eight pounds of uncut cocaine” so that your credit card bill will be more interesting.):

What you missed on the internets:

This week’s wrap-up is brought to you by A Life Less Frantic (which is something I can get behind because if my life was less frantic I’d run out of Xanax much less often.)  If you click right here you can get a totally free pdf copy of her book, Your Best Year Yet.  Free.  Just because she knows that readers here are full of awesome.  You win.  Go check it out here.