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October 23rd, 2014

I have an increasingly long list of things I’ve been up to lately, that have kept me away from blogging.

I had a book out last month:

[lady felkirk]

I have a book out this month as well. An anthology of Christmas novellas called Wish upon a snowflake that contains my story THE CHRISTMAS DUCHESS

[snowflake]

I finished a book (or almost) called A RING FROM A MARQUESS. It will be out in April of 2015. I am currently rearranging the swear words at the end to be less objectionable. Long story on that. Later, when I have time.

I am also fiddling with a top secret project, which I will fill you in on, once I’ve made a little more progress on it.

I am also between a couple of spectacular personal crises, which I will probably talk about eventually, when I have time.

But beyond that? I recently did one REALLY FUN THING. Because, for God’s sake, the universe owed me a fun thing (see aforementioned, unexplained crises).

I went to GeekGirlCon in Seattle. Cory Lawson talked me into it. Sheena Henderson was there as well. We did a panel called Sex Scenes and the Female Gaze. Which means we read the dirty bits of stories to a packed house. It was a blast.

I also got to share a room with Rocket and Groot

rocket and groot

It has been, approximately forever, since I’ve been able to go to a SF convention and just hang out. And I had plenty of time to do that. I sat at the Geekmom table for Cory. I wandered around and people watched. I bought way too many souvenirs. Games for my husband. Stuff I will not mention since they are Christmas gifts. Nail polish and earrings for myself.

Aside from shopping, I was really digging the fact that it was a fun, feminist, very inclusive con. There were men in dresses. There were women in male drag. There was lots of cosplay (And I went to cons before they called that cosplay, young ‘uns. Because I am old) There were people from all point of any spectrum you could name. And lots of little girls being geeks, meeting geeks, meeting scientists, and doing actual science in the experiment area.

There was also a very nice game area. I could have brought my husband to this con, and left him in gamer daycare, while I was upstairs being feminist. He’d have been a happy camper.

But I did not bring my husband. I traveled alone, by train. Partly because I wanted an adventure and thought I had all the time in the world to get from Wisconsin to Seattle and back (I didn’t. But that is another story).

And partly because I am tired of being patted down in airports. Even going through the full body scanner while wearing nothing more metallic than stud earrings, and being one of the most harmless looking people on the planet, I get a pat down, every damn time.

Because, apparently, fat looks like C-4.

Anyway. I planned an empowering, feminist adventure. And then, things got weird.

When I got to the convention, I had the nerve to tweet that I was there. Seriously. That was all I said. Almost immediately, I got a personal message on twitter from some guy I’d never heard of, sending me a link to a blog in Brazil to mansplain to me that Anita Sarkeesian was ignoring the target audience for gaming, which was men. And also, she was Christian, or something, blah blah feminist conspiracy, blah blah blah.

To the majority of you, this is probably Greek. Since I have gaming sons, it is not so much Greek as German: a language I know enough of to find a train station, a bathroom, and a beer.

Let me translate.

There is a thing going on called GamerGate, which purports to be about journalistic integrity in game reviews but is mostly about the fact that scary women are ruining games for men. Therefore, they need to be doxxed (have their personal info released online) and threatened with rape and murder.

Anita Sarkeesian is a feminist who has spoken out about sexism in video games.

She was at GeekGirlCon.
So was I.
We did not meet or speak. But since we happened to be in the same place at the same time, and possibly since my twitter handle is a gender neutral double_cheese and not Girly_McRomancewriter, someone felt that I would give a tinker’s piss about this issue.

Tinker’s piss is actually the phrase I have to remove from my next book.

Perhaps I was supposed to rise up in outrage and hiss at her like Donald Sutherland at the end of Invasion of the Body Snatchers. It was proof that some people really need to get a life. And if the effort was to make me see the poor, persecuted man’s side of this issue, it was what the young people nowadays call, an epic fail.

The second weird thing, was actually the first weird thing, since it happened on the train to Seattle. I had a roomette on an Amtrak train. In size, this is roughly the equivalent of a coffin. The bathroom and shower are down the hall. But it has a door that locks and is better than sleeping sitting up. And if there was a chance that I could meet Cary Grant in the dining car, or get embroiled in a murder or mysterious disappearance, ala Agatha Christie, I was willing to give it a try.

What I got, instead, was hit on.

Somewhere in Montana, a guy got on and took the compartment opposite mine. He Willie Nelson wannabe with stringy grey hair held back with a bandana. In a loud voice, he announced to the attendant that he was a drug pusher. By that, he meant anesthesiologist. He repeated the story to anyone who would listen, until I was pretty sure he was sampling his own merchandise.

Note to self: don’t get surgery in Montana.

But later, when the attendant came to make up our beds, he looked in my direction and announced in the same loud voice, that since I has so much shit in my compartment, I should come sleep with him. We’d have fun.

I stood in the hallway, screaming silently and making faces at the porter. Then I announced that my husband didn’t allow me to sleep with strange men when I traveled and went back to my roomette and locked the door.

Yeah. I know. I proclaimed myself the property of another man to avoid a creep. Not very feminist of me.

But I’ve been assured multiple times that by the time you pass 50, you are no longer a woman in the eyes of society, and become invisible. This is the second time I’ve gotten hit on this summer, after years of nothing. At RWA in San Antonio, a guy on the street announced that he loved me from the bottom of his heart.

And then, he threatened to kill himself. But let’s gloss over that.

Before that, there was a guy while I was taking #1 son to college orientation. Because mom’s are hot, I guess.

And before that?
We have to go back 20 years to Las Vegas and a guy with a fake Australian accent, trying to convince me that he worked for a real life version of the X Files while I played video poker, and my husband sat on the other side of me, laughing and pretending he didn’t know me.

What is it about my 53 year old milkshake that is suddenly bringing the boys to the yard? Is it the new lipstick?

Cover Girl, Eternal Flame. Put this in your ads.