Updates: Fish, Flowers and Fiction including The Martian & Godzilla

Kiryu carrying half a blanched pea.

Kiryu carrying half a blanched pea.

Kiryu carrying half a blanched pea.

War In Flesh is off again and this time I am well pleased with how it’s going. I had to purchase a new computer and between that and working overtime lately I haven’t had any time for writing or blogging. Whilst setting up my new computer I went ahead and cruised the interwebz for some kind of editing software, with an emphasis on affordable (read “cheap” because I had just had to buy a new computer) and found something I kind of like.

I did make time this last weekend to read a novel. The first new fiction I’ve read in quite some time, as it turns out. I’m really glad that the novel I chose was The Martian by Andy Weir. It reminded me of how much I love reading science fiction. I’m also very much looking forward to the movie. In fact I’m going to put the trailer right here:

Casting Matt Damon as Mark Watney is brilliant. For my full review keep an eye out for it at Fangirl Nation

Also, Toho is planning on releasing a new Godzilla movie in 2016. This is in addition to the planned sequel to Gareth Edwards Godzilla due in theaters in 2018. Add Pacific Rim: Maelstrom into the mix for 2017 and we have monster movies coming out once a year for the next three years. Yay! That is, presuming everyone stays on schedule.

Alright, we’ve dealt with fiction, on to fish. Gipsy Danger died. I tried everything to diagnose and cure him but there was just nothing that helped. Looking back I think he came to me with a chronic columnaris infection that finally caught up to him. He had a mark on him that I thought was just a part of him but now, in hindsight I think it was the columnaris infection and I just didn’t know what I was looking at. Anyway I tried everything and nothing worked. Poor Gipsy fought a good fight but it was just too much for him. I did 25% water changes daily. I adjusted his heater, put aquarium salt in the aquarium and in the last days, desperate, I put antibiotics in his water. Nothing helped. 12 hours before he died he was riding the current from his filter like he loved to do. He couldn’t flare at Scunner because the snail climbed up to the top of the mountain decoration and refused to go back into the water after the antibiotics were added. I took him out of the tank and put him in another tank.

Gipsy Danger the crown tailed betta named after a Jaeger

Gipsy Danger the crown tailed betta named after a Jaeger

The hour during which Gipsy died he wanted to be close to me. He swam up to the front of his tank and stayed near my hand. I put my fingers on the glass and he hung there near them. Then he died. We buried him underneath a rose bush. I miss him still.

I evicted all of the other residents, bleached everything with 2% bleach water and got the tank set up again. The next day we went out and got Kiryu. He’s no Gipsy Danger but he did need a good home. I didn’t realize how hungry he was when we bought him. He was starving. He’s been eating hungrily and getting more color every day. He was mostly white when I got him but now he’s mostly blue and red. He’s beautiful and he has also claimed the whole 10 gallons for himself. Also he discovered his reflection the other night and spent a good 20 minutes vigorously defending his territory from himself. It’s almost time to put Scunner back in the tank. We’ll see how Kiryu likes him.

Taboo

Taboo

Finally Flowers. The flowers have been gorgeous this year. I’ve gotten a bouquet of roses every week all summer long from my rose bushes. The lobelia bloomed and is still blooming. The mallow plant bloomed and the flowers lasted for the hummingbirds. There were two nests of hummingbirds this year and they had many chicks. They usually got up early and hopped around the clerodendrum having breakfast from the flowers for an hour before moving on. I loved to see them bounding around and chirruping.

A Productive Superbowl, Writing was done

Gipsy's new tank

Well, gentle reader, despite Seattle throwing away the Superbowl with that last play

Gipsy's new tank

Gipsy’s new tank

call, I got a lot done tonight. I got a chapter of new content written for The Shadow of the Hand of God and I’ve written and pre-scheduled the next four posts for the little blog here. One for each Saturday in February. Three about Magic: The Gathering and one about my Betta and the sadness of a lost snail. So the good news is that there will be blogs and maybe some extra ones as topics suggest themselves to me.

I’m really getting excited about the re-write of The Shadow of the Hand of God. I think it will be better, more accessible and more interesting. As I get closer to having it completed I’ll post some of the new content. K.

A New Short Story: Invited and Minor Update on War In Flesh

So I wrote a little short horror story based upon some heavy fictionalization of time I spent in a fundamentalist church. It’s called Invited. Of course all of the characters are fictional and any resemblance to persons living or dead is completely coincidental. I’m really enjoying the short story format. It is as follows:

Invited
By K. L. Zolnoski

Things had been going well, very well. The host had been growing ever more paranoid, fearful and best of all, hateful as Shpofuge slid his narrow, peg-like fingers deeper into her brain. Shpofuge was a demon of the shadows. No one in this world could see him. If they could they would see his ghostly form hunched over her like a miasma, his incorporeal arms curved around and his long, fingers sliding easily through her head into her brain.
Shpofuge fed on malignant emotions. Her fear was fine wine to him but her hate, which grew out of that fear, was ambrosia. Invariably self-righteousness, hypocrisy and pride followed and such were his hors d’oeuvres.
Lies were the best though and did Shelly ever lie. Her whole life was a lie. She was so afraid of getting hurt, thanks to a father who abandoned her and a mother who, as a result, had to work two jobs to provide for her that she had closed herself off from everyone.
Over the years, through Shpofuge’s careful manipulation, she had carried these hurts and held them close to her. She never forgave and never forgot. This gave Shpofuge a permanent pathway into her psyche. No matter how she tried to shake him off or escape his vile influence, he could always count on resentment and bitterness from these injustices to provide access back into the deepest parts of her soul.
Every Sunday Shelly went to church. She dressed modestly and behaved properly. Shpofuge loved the church. Shpofuge especially loved it when the preacher shouted about how all of their works of righteousness were as filthy rags to the most holy. This would throw Shelly into a feedback loop of self-flagellation and self-loathing that fed Shpofuge very well. He would run his long peg fingers over her brain, delicately sensing for the darkest knots of her self-hatred and grow fat.
Shpofuge often silently applauded the preacher, especially when he expounded the evils of questioning, of thinking, of seeking. Those things most reliably led to people escaping the clutches of their demons. That was the last thing Shpofuge wanted.
There was danger though, for Shelly’s husband had died just the day before. Family was gathering for the funeral. That meant the Mystic was coming. Shpofuge would have to be careful lest the Mystic discover him.
Shpofuge spent the night filling Shelly’s dreams with fear. Fear that the Mystic would talk about the abuse she suffered at the hands of Shelly’s husband. It was a dirty secret that Shelly had groomed the Mystic to keep when she was a young child. It was something Shelly felt guilty about and Shpofuge feasted on her guilt and the fear that her secret would be told.
Shpofuge also filled Shelly’s mind with dread that the Mystic, whom Shelly knew saw her for who she truly was, would tell everyone that her whole life was an empty lie. Appearances were everything to Shelly. Appearances always had been everything to Shelly. From the time her father had abandoned her, through her abusive marriage she had sacrificed everything to maintain the appearance of a normal life.
The emptiness of a life built entirely on appearances had consumed Shelly utterly. The emptiness gave Shpofuge plenty of room to hide.
The family came from all corners of the country to support Shelly. Normally the outpouring of love would make Shpofuge leave but this family was different. Many had demons of their own. Some were so filled with hate that Shpofuge could feed on it too, not that he needed to.

Then the Mystic entered the room. To those assembled the Mystic appeared short and a little dumpy. The other demons pounced on the thoughts of, “fat,” and “lazy,” that flickered through their host’s minds. They amplified and fed on the sense of superiority that accompanied them.
To Shpofuge the Mystic shone like the morning sun, the force of her undampened personality causing him to flinch back. Reacting, Shpofuge had Shelly make the first move. A classic manipulative opening gambit, “You can’t play the victim card and expect people to think you are strong.”
This would shut down any potential revelations of the abuse the Mystic suffered. She looked over at Shelly, puzzled. As if she honestly didn’t know why Shelly would say such a thing.
Congratulating himself on catching her off guard, Shpofuge shifted his fingers in Shelly’s brain and pressed the attack. If he could get the Mystic to say something resentful, something accusing, anything that would threaten Shelly’s already destroyed sense of self, he would win.
Instead the Mystic said, “It’s ok. It will be alright.”
Shpofuge hissed. It was as if the Mystic had spoken to the deeper issue, completely ignoring Shelly’s words. Then Shpofuge froze.
The Mystic looked at Shelly, canting her head to one side as if confused. Then understanding telegraphed itself over her expressive face.
The Mystic stepped up to Shelly, barely as tall, and breathed right into her third eye, “Begone.”
Shpofuge shrieked, for one terrible moment his shadowy, disfigured form became visible to all. They would forget, but now they recoiled in horror.
How? How was it possible? Shpofuge had used Shelly’s lies to torment the Mystic for her whole life. The constant gas lighting had nearly driven her insane before she vanished for several years. How could she love Shelly so openly and fearlessly?
It was that love that had driven Shpofuge out. Helpless he watched as the Mystic held out her hand in welcome, offering unconditional love, offering no recriminations, only acceptance. Making herself vulnerable. This would be the end, Shpofuge’s ultimate failure.
Then it happened. Shelly looked full in the face of love and turned to reach out a hand to Shpofuge. He had been invited in of Shelly’s own free will. She was more afraid of being vulnerable to hurt, than his possession. No power would ever be able to banish him. Shpofuge pounced, nearly punching his incorporeal fingers through her in his indecent haste.

**The End**

Also I’ve gotten back to work on War In Flesh and I’m pleased with the direction it is going.

Updates And Forward

Hubble Image of Magellanic Stream courtesy of NASA

Hubble Image of Magellanic Stream courtesy of NASA

Hubble Image of Magellanic Stream courtesy of NASA

As you well know, gentle reader, I took a short break from blogging. What happened is that I started a new job and it’s been tough getting used to the new schedule. It takes a surprising amount of time and energy to craft quality blog posts and I’ve been just mentally and physically exhausted for the past 6 weeks. The shorter blog posts you have noticed have been my attempt to post something that might be of interest. I thank you for your patience and I will be blogging once again.

For a brief update on my plans going forward: I intend to keep up with the Golden Age of Science Fiction Authors series as well as reviewing an assortment of movies. When it comes to movies, do keep in mind that I am a fan not a critic. Astronomy is a subject I adore and will be keeping up on.

As for my writing, I’m still working on the sequel to In The Flesh but I’m going to set that aside for a bit. What I want to do is start outlining my NaNoWriMo project for this year and it’s going to be the space opera I promised myself I could write. I’ve got a lot of ideas and I’m trying to narrow them down to the ones I really think will work best.

I have tickets to the Rose City Comic Con and next years Emerald City Comic Con so look for those updates too. It’s going to be a fun and exciting next few months. K.

Your Weekly War In Flesh Update

In The Flesh Cover Art

In The Flesh Cover Art

In The Flesh Cover Art

I worked on War In Flesh again this weekend. I was surprised that some of Ziya’s history came out. I was surprised by what her past is. That girl plays her cards close to her fictitious chest. I’ve been hoping to get to Dayyan and Evadne and Ziya and Meshaal keep getting in the way. Those two really want to be written about. All in all I had fun and got some interesting and good writing done. Next weekend I hope to keep up the momentum. K.

War In Flesh Update

In The Flesh Cover Art

In The Flesh Cover Art

In The Flesh Cover Art

It’s been three days since my last post and for that I do apologize, gentle reader. Today I will be working on some ideas I’ve had for War In Flesh. I have a lot for Dayyan and Evadne to do and I’m trying to get Prince Antal either into or out of trouble, I cannot decide which. The Persi brothers and Makis are about to go off on their own–for those who have read In The Flesh, just let that percolate through your grey matter for a bit; those three off together, unsupervised.

I’ve completely changed who the main antagonist will be for War In Flesh and I think the story is far stronger for it. I’ve also changed where they will go for the final encounter. I’m looking forward to getting some serious work done on War In Flesh today. K.

My Life List, Such As It Is

Earthgrazer: Above is a colorful example of a Perseid meteor (from the Perseid meteor shower of 1993). This type of meteor is known as an "Earthgrazer." Earthgrazers enter the sky from below the horizon, skim the atmosphere horizontally and leave a colorful and long trail. Earthgrazer meteors are seen in the early night, just after 9 p.m. Even though the colors in this image have been enhanced, they are representative of the colors seen when the meteor streaked across the sky. 

Image Credit and Copyright: S. Kohle & B. Koch (Astron. I., U. Bonn)

Earthgrazer: Above is a colorful example of a Perseid meteor (from the Perseid meteor shower of 1993). This type of meteor is known as an "Earthgrazer." Earthgrazers enter the sky from below the horizon, skim the atmosphere horizontally and leave a colorful and long trail. Earthgrazer meteors are seen in the early night, just after 9 p.m. Even though the colors in this image have been enhanced, they are representative of the colors seen when the meteor streaked across the sky.  Image Credit and Copyright: S. Kohle & B. Koch (Astron. I., U. Bonn)

Earthgrazer: Above is a colorful example of a Perseid meteor (from the Perseid meteor shower of 1993). This type of meteor is known as an “Earthgrazer.” Earthgrazers enter the sky from below the horizon, skim the atmosphere horizontally and leave a colorful and long trail. Earthgrazer meteors are seen in the early night, just after 9 p.m. Even though the colors in this image have been enhanced, they are representative of the colors seen when the meteor streaked across the sky.
Image Credit and Copyright: S. Kohle & B. Koch (Astron. I., U. Bonn)

I told you, gentle reader, that I would post about my life list when I wrote about getting to see Cirque du Soleil “O” in Las Vegas. There are many topics I want to blog about and I have very limited time right now. Rest assured I have not forgotten about the Golden Age of Science Fiction series I’m doing.

As for my Life List, it is brief really, because I haven’t really sat down and thought about things I want to do while I have the time to do them. There are a few things I’ve wanted to do though and I would like to share them with you so that you might get an idea that life lists are intensely personal, there is no wrong way to do a life list (well unless it includes things that are illegal, harmful to others or cause pain to those around you).

First up: When I was young I read a story about a little girl who got to see the Leonids with her grandmother. Ever since I read that story the idea captured my imagination to see a meteor shower. I’m happy to say that I did. In fact I’ve seen the Peseids several times now.

In the same vein, I saw a comet too. Comet Hyakutake passed very near the Earth in 1996 and was visible to the naked eye. We drove up to the International Rose Test Garden and watched it from there. Which reminds me: Comet ISON is supposed to be visible starting in December of this year and I hope to get a glimpse of that one too.

I would like to see the Northern Lights. Someday I hope to. There have been a couple of times this past year when they’ve been bright enough to be visible quite a ways south but not in my area, or not bright enough to cut though the surrounding light pollution, or it was overcast. One of these days though I hope to see them.

Cirque du Soleil was spectacular and I loved it. You can read my review here.

US National Figure Skating Championships: 2005. I love figure skating and I’ve been to many events but this one was a week of amazement.

Disney Land: It really is the happiest place on Earth.

The Circus: I had never been as a child and I loved going. It was fun.

Write a book: Yes. In The Flesh is one of my books. I’m currently working on the sequel.

I would like to get to Hawaii or some Island in the Caribbean at some point.

Concerts: Erasure, yes. Pink Floyd, yes. Owl City, Yes. David Crowder Band, yes. Newsboys, yes. Sean Cassidy (it was a long time ago, ok?) yes.

I would like to get to Comic Con, World Con and G-Fest at some point. That’s about all I’ve got for now. I hope you’ve enjoyed seeing my list and I’d love to hear some of your ideas for your own. K.

In The Flesh, Hummingbirds In My Garden and The Geek Girl Project

In The Flesh Cover Art

In The Flesh Cover Art

In The Flesh Cover Art

Since we’re getting a lot of new traffic and I’d like to keep people updated. I wrote a science fiction novel called In The Flesh. No zombies I’m afraid but I think you’ll find that the title is appropriate nevertheless. It’s available on Amazon, Kobo for the Droid, and Barnes and Noble for the Nook as well as on iTunes (my apologies but for the life of me I cannot figure out how to link the iTunes page to this blog).

Here’s the blurb from the back cover:

Mankind’s ancient curse has ravaged the world and even crept to the very doorstep of The Temple of The Three Waterfalls. Generations-old treaties have spared the temple and those who call it home. Evadne, only daughter of the Holy Sybil, is content to remain hidden away in the remote mountain temple and study her craft.
But things are changing in the outside world. The emissary of a foreign prince has been sent to take Evadne away. Whispers of strange prophecies are heard from behind thick stone walls and the rumor of a powerful oracle to the east has the temple soothsayers involved. Change is on the wind.

Far away from the temple two brothers have discovered a lost continent. The promise of long lost technologies and treasures has the prince racing to stake his claim. They are not unopposed, for there are those who fear this discovery will bring about the end of the world.

Hummingbird in my garden.

Hummingbird in my garden.

On to Gardening! I seem to have a nesting pair of hummingbirds in or very near my garden. How exciting is that? I love watching them dart around and drink from the flowers. I could watch them all day long. They’re so beautiful and tiny.

The weeds are making a strong come-back and I have to get to weeding to keep them from taking over again. If I do that I will have space for a few more plants. I think, what I’d like to do is get a few more hummingbird friendly plants for my little garden. I was watering the flowers the hummingbirds seem to really like, the crocosmia Lucifer and one little humming bird was feeding right next to me and I didn’t even realize it. She was so close to me! Then I turned to water another section, all unaware she was so near, and startled her. I saw two of them hiding in one of the evergreens though so I think they’re a nesting pair. I’ve heard that hummingbirds are pretty territorial and these two weren’t chasing one another or scolding each other, so that is why I think they’re mates.

Finally, as many of you may know, I also write for a wonderful blog called The Geek Girl Project. Well this Saturday they are running a special, and unique, review of Pacific Rim that I submitted to them. It explains how I came to be such a fan of Kaiju and Godzilla in particular and why I’ve been so excited about Pacific Rim as well.

I’m going to try to get an update about Godzilla 2014 together for you later on today or tomorrow. Keep an eye on the Godzilla Encounter site. The SDCC is about to get into full swing and there are supposed to be some exciting reveals there. K.

War In Flesh Update & Huey Lewis and The News

The sequel to In The Flesh, War In Flesh has been on a bit of a writing hiatus while I try to figure out how things go together. A lot of thought and a little bit of inspiration have gotten two major plot points figured out in a way that I am very very pleased with. I was having some real trouble getting things to work out that didn’t seem contrived or forced but finally I figured it out. Two chapters came to me and they contained answers and also another mystery that isn’t revealing itself to me yet. I’m as anxious to find out what’s going on as you will be. Also In The Flesh is available on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, iTunes and Kobo.

Also I saw Huey Lewis and The News at the Zoo. They were awesome, the crowd was great. They did their whole Sports album, seeing how it was the 30th anniversary tour of the Sports album. They also performed some new song and a lot of old favorites. The weather was perfect and the sunset was gorgeous.

I’ll be posting an update about my garden soon. Also I already have tickets for Pacific Rim and will be reviewing it here on M31 Publishing and at The Geek Girl Project. I’m so excited about that movie. Everything I’m seeing from advance reviews says it’ll live up to the hype. Also, good news! I scored an advance readers copy of the novelization of Pacific Rim and I will be reviewing that for The Geek Girl Project and M31. K.

News for M31 Publishing and War In Flesh

In The Flesh Cover Art

In The Flesh Cover Art

In The Flesh Cover Art

As you may have noticed I’m trying to expand M31 Publishing into a real, and interesting, Blog. I love science fiction, comic books, games of all kinds and a lot of things. I already have my tickets for Pacific Rim–the wait is KILLING me! Tomorrow I’m likely to drink some amazing beer and see The Lone Ranger (I know I shouldn’t want to see it but I kind of do). Thanks to my ties to The Geek Girl Project I’ve got an in with Titan Comics and thanks to Bob Eggleton I’ve discovered In Saturn’s Rings which I will keep track of and update you on. So check out www.M31Publishing.com for updates on all of this and War in Flesh as well as Second Chances and other books I’m working on.

What I’m finding is that people love to read about my garden. That works out well for me because I love to write about it.

I’m still publishing movie reviews on The Geek Girl Project. I’m reviewing the old Godzilla movies as well as doing a monthly series of movies called K.’s Guilty Pleasures. For all those old (and new) budget movies or just blockbusters that didn’t bust the block.

War In Flesh is coming along slowly but very well. I feel the stuff I’ve written since I rebooted it is very good. I’m hoping to get some time this weekend to really get some serious work done on it. I’m having more ideas for Second Chances too and I’m torn between working on War In Flesh and Second Chances. I’m sure I’ll figure it out. In The Flesh is available for your kindle on Amazon. K.