Take Your Power Seriously. Keep Each Other Safe. Be Indomitable.

“Take your power seriously. Keep each other safe. Be indomitable.”

Above is the ten-word signature line used by a character I write for, a young woman who was put into an impossible predicament and tasked to claw her way out, eventually turning her situation fully to her advantage. She was inspired by many women I’ve known in my life including those who folks knew not to cross: matriarchs who understood how and when to use their power.

I recently advocated online that women should not only be willing to use their power but, in situations where knuckleheads aren’t taking subtle hints, they should damn well assert it. It cannot be 100% on the guy to figure out that “let’s go slow” is code for “back off creep” when that reply sounds in any way coy or negotiable, even under the guise of safety. If the advance continues in spite of light protest, the lady needs to be taken seriously with a firm, practiced, and irrefutable “no.”

I was told to burn in Hell for that assertion.

In social media circles, I’m told I’m fearless for speaking my mind with a sharp knack for articulating it. The topic of discussion was that “celebrity” and the article written by his unidentified date, sparking an overdue debate on whether it was just a bad night or sexual misconduct… but also who was to blame. In what should be a clear learning opportunity, a number of folks are saying that the celebrity bears 100% of the responsibility for how the date failed.

Sorry not sorry, but that’s wrong, and there’s a reason I spoke up against it.
Continue reading “Take Your Power Seriously. Keep Each Other Safe. Be Indomitable.”

After Knocking On Death’s Door, I Redecorated His Office

Am I the only one who sees the irony in being a Grim Reaper cosplayer before and after almost becoming his most recent acquisition? No wait; don’t answer… there’s more! There’s nothing quite like a near-life experience to remind you of priorities and those I’ll-get-to-them-eventually plans. I came quite close to death a year ago, so now I’m getting closer to Death as a way to celebrate my extension.

I joined a gym, healed up, and have kept it going; youthful energy is a good thing. I’ve earned my way up to a better day job, rebuilt my workshop as well as upgraded my crypt for you-know-who, and pushed forward in all the things I want to accomplish. I need to get four books out the door before Christmas 2017 — my fourth Matriarch book, two new Spooky books and a novel-sized Spooky anthology — plus launch a few other ideas I’ve had… including (fingers crossed) a regular web show featuring Grim D. about movies and general pop culture with a Halloween twist.

For today, however, I’ll continue to catch up on my reading… including this book Grim left for me as a gift.

Local Color and Vampire Inspiration: The Big Easy

I’ve talked previously about the inspirations for my vampire novel series, The Matriarch Vampires. The central West Virginia locations, Glenville State College, and the character nods. After shelving the original first drafts of the book two decades earlier, why did I feel it was time to dust them off and finally finish the story?

One of those reasons was certainly Jonathan Weiss.

neworleansjacksonsquarenight2010My wife and I enjoy walking through old cemeteries and taking local ghost tours. There are many haunted places around the U.S., often in old cities like Birmingham, Alabama, Savannah, Georgia, and St. Augustine, Florida. Back in 2010, we traveled to New Orleans and took such a tour, and our guide to the city at night was none other than Jonathan. He looked the way I imagine a time traveler might, combining a classic appearance with a modern sensibility, a person whom has long since reconciled the old and new ways with a natural ease, elegance, and an eagerness to share his experience.

Not having given much serious thought about fiction writing for twenty odd years, Mr. Weiss captured my attention and filled my imagination with stories and embellishments as we toured the French Quarter and Bourbon Street, recounting local legends with intriguing details and playing to the crowd… and yes, much was said about vampires. He and other occupants felt like a necessary part of the city, a piece of its soul that would be lost forever if abruptly cut out.

Yet, as I understand it, that’s exactly what some are trying to do.
Continue reading “Local Color and Vampire Inspiration: The Big Easy”

The Street and the Stray

Pat and Shannon are best friends — like their parents before them.

Whenever their parents visited, Pat would play in Shannon’s front yard where they both could be seen. There were two rules: always stay in the yard and don’t approach strange animals from the neighborhood. If anyone asked, Shannon’s parents explained strays had a history of snapping at children even after appearing friendly, and they were fearful of someone getting bit.

Whenever a stray came into the yard, Shannon shooed it away but Pat ran toward it, sometimes following it into the street between two parked vehicles. From the yard, Shannon could see any cars coming, often having to call out to keep Pat from being hit.

Shannon loved having a playmate but didn’t like constantly being the protector. Pat had never been bitten by a dog or hit by a car and didn’t like being yelled at. Pat tried to convince Shannon that the risks were known; Shannon tried to convince Pat that the rules kept them safe.

Should Shannon allow Pat to get hurt? Should Pat stay safe in the yard?

Can you see the point-of-view of a friend? Will you remain friends if you can’t?

Are you Shannon or Pat?

Copyright © 2017 Kevin A. Ranson. All Rights Reserved.

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It felt like a parable kind of day today.

streetandthestray