S.A. Garcia's Mutterings, Whimpers and Rants

S.A. Garcia's Mutterings, Whimpers and Rants. World Domination by 2020. Or 2025. Probably never.

Saturday, October 1, 2016

Resting Murder Face

I forget where I read the term resting murder face, but the expression fits me well. I inherited the look from my father, who, although he was a Marine who saw active duty in the Korean War, was a gentle man. But if something pissed him off, yeah, he looked like a stone-cold killer.

More than once I’ve had people at work walk past me, pause, and claim, “You look like you’re contemplating using a knife or a gun.” I’m like “huh?” They claim I look ready to kill someone when there I sat wondering if I want to start my audit or straighten up the supply cabinet. 

Note: Jeremy Renner claims he has resting murder face—he has nothing on my death gaze. 

Tonight resting murder face made a return. After the much-needed rain that coated our region for the past few days, I stepped onto our small back porch to see how the plants had responded to the rain.

Where was the porch welcome mat? Oh look, the mat had landed on the lone brave caladium I had planted in the shade garden. Six chewed baby carrots littered the porch’s edge.

I felt resting murder face set in. Obviously some critter(s) had messed about on the porch. I bet they had grabbed the baby carrots from our messy neighbors who toss their garbage out in Target bags every night against the fence line. But why had the critters moved the welcome mat?

If the possums were involved, they had probably mated on it. I have seen such behavior before this time. Yuck.

I wish we could move away from this urban mess featuring sex-crazed possums, squeaky raccoons, manic squirrels, relentless groundhogs, and feral cats. Yeah, right.

Arrrrgh, there goes that damned skunk again! I am not glaring at that critter.  No way!

Monday, September 5, 2016

Hail Labor Day

I see Google has changed their logo to praise laborers. That's wonderful.

The thing is I don’t see any writers or artists in the celebratory logo. Do we not labor? Do we not stress our minds?

We do, on a constant basis. Physical laborers leave their job and return home. They complete their task. Of course they might go home and work around the house or work on the side.

The thing is just because a writer isn’t tapping away at their keyboard doesn’t mean they aren’t laboring. Our minds are like hamster wheels, always thinking, seeing, seeking the next twist and turn. A writer’s mind never shuts down. I’m sure I’m like others who write themselves to sleep, working on a block in a story until it breaks apart.

Writers labor. Oh do they, to the point of depression, pain, and sadness—and madness.

On Labor Day, never discount artists and writers. We might not lift heavy physical loads, but damn, we lift heavy mental loads.

Saturday, September 3, 2016

Why I Adore Rafa Nadal

Sept 2, 2016; New York, NY, USA; Rafael Nadal of Spain returning a shot between his legs to Andrey Kuznetsov of Russia (not pictured) on day five of the 2016 U.S. Open tennis tournament at USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center. Mandatory Credit: Robert Deutsch-USA TODAY Sports ORG XMIT: USATSI-326036 ORIG FILE ID: 20160902_ads_usa_154.JPG

Legs of steel and massive arms…this old lesbian does appreciate supremely hot tennis players. Is it a little sexist to regard them as works of breathing art? Apologies. Trust me, I also appreciate their amazing talent.

I adore Rafa Nadal. He’s a warrior, a powerful force of nature, an inspiration. Sadly, just as his fans feared, his muscular playing style is breaking down his strong body. His knee, his shoulder, and lately, his wrist—they have started failing him. Nadal’s 30th birthday did him no favors.

But he comes back and triumphs. Oh does he. Fine, Nadal didn’t medal in the men’s singles at the Rio Olympics, but he scored doubles gold. He played multiple matches each day. He fought, displayed humility, and class every inch of the way, and showed the world he’s not finished.

He’s battled his way into the round of 16 at the US Open, playing tennis like the champion he is, clean and lethal. After this, even if he doesn’t win his next match, he’ll be ranked third in the world.

Nadal will always be number one for me, along with my faves Rafter, Edberg, and the brilliant Bjorn Borg.

It’s the thigh muscles. Be still my fluttering heart. I am a thigh slut.

Saturday, August 27, 2016

Fabion and an Elf for All Centuries

How weird… I just looked at the reviews for An Elf for All Centuries on Goodreads. Why so many reviews from 2015? The novel was out of print by then. Yeah, perhaps people didn’t read it until then. Still, it freaks me out a bit because free copies were supplied on a Goodreads feed I never approved. A reader informed me of the nasty problem.

What I am not surprised is how people hated Fabion and did not finish the book. Hello, can we say character growth? I started out with a character so ridiculous that you had to know he’d change.

Guess Fabion didn’t change fast enough for some readers. That’s fine. Fabion needed to change on his time line. I couldn’t ruin his progress.

Fabion is very dear to me. He’s one of a kind, and I will never write a character of his nature ever again. He broke my mental mode.

Although Amando from Temptation of the Incubus (MLR Press) comes close. Even Sam Devine from Divine Devine’s Love Song (Dreamspinner) is in the same league—although he knows he’s a rogue scoundrel. Still, his heroic nature battles to save the day.

I write my best when I aim for over the top characters. That is not easy. Those characters need to speak to me. Unless they create a connection to me, I can’t find them.

Writing is a battle I live to fight. Come on, words, let’s wrestle. I’ll pull a story and hopefully a few great characters from your squirmy depths.

Monday, August 22, 2016

Accepting My Shortcomings

I read speculative fiction because I admire the writers who do it well. China Melville, CaitlĂ­n R. Kiernan, Elizabeth Hand, Peter Straub, and Laird Barron, who has blossomed into what I am dying to do… hilarious parody horror. Maybe parody is the wrong word, but his latest novella “Xs for Eyes” is damned near perfect. I want to beat and kiss him for writing the bizarre book. Trust me, it is amazing.

Jeff VanderMeer’s Southern Reach trilogy blew my mind. If you haven’t read it yet, go buy it now. The first two books build to a jaw-dropping third book. It is brilliant and twisted. 

I love reading authors who teach me the writing craft. These are the authors who inspire me to keep banging my head against the keyboard. Will I ever reach their brilliance? A defeated part of me claims no, never ever. I don’t have the special creative gene. But that one little stubborn spark keeps kicking my ass to write and rewrite and keep going because perhaps someday I’ll creep over the line and have a following.

I’ll settle for a club or a gang.

As my wise beyond her years niece Denise (who is a doctor) once said to me, “is anyone making you write?”

“Hell no, I write because I need to write.”

“Are you published?”


“Then keep writing and stop worrying.”

Denise is a damned brilliant woman. And I do look up to her. She’s twenty year younger and much wiser and braver than I. She spent two years teaching in a remote South African village.

So yeah, I need to keep writing and stop worrying. I’ll read those who inspire me, and hope my words reach a few readers.

Someday perhaps I’ll reach more than a few readers. One can only hope.

Sunday, August 21, 2016

It's All About Life

Why haven’t I blogged in two years? It’s not like I have nothing to say… I’m always spouting off about something. But somehow a weird blockage happened regarding my blog. The problem is I fuss too hard over blog posts, regarding them as little essays that must be perfect. Part of the problem is I am a lousy typist—typos abound—and I always fret over the word arrangement.

That’s stupid, eh? I want to correct my blog transgressions. Let’s see if I can blog for a solid month. There’s plenty to talk about—tragic flooding in Louisiana, fires in California, illegal shootings, a certain horrific presidential candidate (the one with the little hands and nasty hair), music, art, life…like tonight Prof Sandy and I were honored with a visit from our friend Gail Demi.

Why wait for an event? Talk about life. Without it, we’d be dead. Okay, that silly statement deserves a glass of wine.

Saturday, August 20, 2016

The Miracle of Bowie’s “TVC15”

Image result for david bowie

A long time ago, I owned an indie music pub. B-Side lasted for ten years. We paid writers and photographers—never made a profit, but the powers that be did fund a few amazing vacations for us and others on the staff. I’d say “Hey, we want to put XXX on the cover.” The publicity person would say, “We can send you to XXX to cover XXX for a weekend.”

I worked with the various firms to expand the weekend to a week. I saved them money on the airfare, and we received a few great vacations.

I had a blast interviewing various musicians: Tori Amos, Trent Reznor (Death Valley vacation— how fitting) Peter Murphy, Love and Rockets (California vacation), the Cranberries (great Ireland vacation), Radiohead, Al Jourgensen, and, my apex, David Bowie (another California vacation).

Imagine, my little indie pub scored an interview with David Bowie during press for his “Outside” album. Talking to him was a fangirl’s dream. We talked about art, his wandering in the musical wilderness, his crass commercial phase—it was amazing. I criticized certain musical moves he had made and he agreed with me.

I’ve always been a critical bitch, and talking to Bowie blew my mind. We talked about Giotto, art murder, self-destruction—I will always treasure talking to Bowie. Seriously, I felt like I had met him at a party and realized he was seriously cool. Yeah, he was seriously cool. No ego at all.

Which is why I come here to say Bowie’s “TVC15” is the best pop song ever.


The lyrics? They are fun, but not crucial to the song. It’s the music and the riffs which are killer.  The various builds, the flourishes, the bass lines, the sax lines, the piano riffs… they work behind Bowie’s lyrics to create an astonishing musical tapestry. The build is sheer majesty.

The first time I heard this song back in 1976, I was hooked. Thirty years later, I’m still hooked.

Give it a listen. And raise a toast to the master changeling—our wonderful David Bowie.