This is my personal blog and does not necessarily reflect the collective views of Hard Limits Press

Sunday, December 16, 2018

Cerulean Sins Chapter Thirty Five


Yes, I know it has been a million years since I did one of these, but can you really blame me?


We're back to the hired goons following Anita and she has another one of her stunning insights where she tells us it's better to know than not know when you are being followed.


Endless fucking nattering about Asher, and how much she would prefer to believe that the feelings she has for him are manufactured by his evil vampire powers. Once again Anita finds it more comforting to have her consent be disregarded, and yet I have no clue why this grown ass woman would have this opinion. I know I have been complaining about this point for years but I just do not understand what happened to damage her personality to funhouse mirror levels like it is portrayed in these 'novels.'


Anita has a brief flash of self-insight where she talks about how she doesn't know if she's right anymore, and without her sense of righteousness she doesn't know who she is. Funny, because I have no clue who she is either, other than being an absolutely detestable set of highly undesirable traits in a poorly stitched together human suit. She is a thousand cockroaches in a gunny sack, a Fear Factor tank full of greasy bilge rats. The only thing consistent about her is that she is so loathsome I can't read more than one chapter of this drivel at a time.


Well, I'm about to wither away to nothing, then. I feel the need to complain about this some more; Anita talks like a twelve-year-old, except when she's talking like a made for TV movie about the Tudors. Oh, and then other times she says police-y things, whilst being so stupid as to not understand how glass falls when someone breaks a window, or how it looks when a shapeshifter claws something. I mean?


At least JC is consistent.

Sidenote: I googled "bad renfaire" to see if I could find a worthy picture to illustrate Anita's verily thou personality, but seriously all of these people are classier and are also having more fun:




Anita then wonders about the cost of doing business and admits she's killed a good half of her wererat bodyguards (or rather, gotten them killed). Apparently, there is also now a plan wherein they are going to surround the bad guys and try to talk them out of being bad guys. The rats she has left might as well do up the zip on their own body bags at this point.


So I have long believed that from the outside, Anita and her friends are actually the villains of this series. Imagine being a young were-animal and seeing this shit go down. Imagine being a fledgling vampire and watching this unholy grouping of individuals ruin your town on every level.


A bit about how Anita isn't okay with this plan but can't drive aggressively enough to block off a bunch of enemy cars. WAIT hang on, so the plan is to cause a fake accident to make the bad guys stop long enough to be interrogated? Oh my good lord a plan this bad has all the charm and usefulness of an antibiotic-resistant staph infection. Literally, Anita is one of the most recognizable, famous people in all of St. Louis (gag), accompanied by people like Claudia who is like 6'4 and built. And they're going to cause a fake accident. In front of others. I grant you this book is set (I think?) before filming things on your phone was as common, but still.


"What I didn't trust was the bad guys. They were bad guys, so you couldn't trust them to be anything but unpredictable and dangerous."

This attitude is what's dangerous. I do get annoyed when people harp on and on about how your antagonists should have like fifty thousand motivations and believe they are in the right, and have Depth and Goals blah blah blah. I don't always write antagonists that way because some people simply enjoy causing harm and they can't be changed. It does happen. But, the reductive, black and white notion that everyone in opposition to Anita is a Bad Guy is fucked. Notice how dehumanizing this logic is. Suddenly, they have no traits beyond unpredictable and dangerous. Not to be dramatic, but this is literally part of the reason disabled people and people of color are gunned down in the streets whilst going about their business like anyone would.


Anita actually realizes how utterly ridiculous this plan is and wants to put a stop to it, but doesn't because then people would realize she isn't right one thousand percent of the time.


So they get into the staged car accident and it's super confusing, but from what I gather the wererats have blocked off all the escape routes around the Circus. Suddenly everyone has guns in their hands because why not I guess. Anita is all, we formed a circle but not really because then we would shoot each other but it's a good metaphor lolololol. These are the things that make me think LKH turns in her first drafts.

The thing about this is, the second people see an accident they call the police. Often multiple people do. Given that I just can't get over how bad this plan is. Anita orders the wererats to menace the "bad guys" still in the car. This is honestly a terrible idea. I think the most famous example of how this can backfire is the Branch Davidian situation, where the authorities chose to menace them and thereby caused quite a few deaths that likely could have been avoided with a different, less hostile approach.


 Blah blah we are very badass put your hands where we can see them whatever whatever. There's a guy in a hat and a blond dude. Anita goes so far as to have Claudia press her gun to the passenger side window. Claudia asks if she gets to kill him and Anita tells her "we only need one of them to question." 


YOU DON'T KNOW WHICH ONE KNOWS WHAT. Oh my GOD. You have NO IDEA who will be more useful for your purposes! Okay fine maybe she's saying it to intimidate them but it's so ridiculous AAAH I CAN'T.


Anita is all "put your hands up" and this dude just won't do it, which is fucking hilarious considering how Anita thinks she is the biggest sociopath badass that has ever badassed.


Then the most idiotic exchange ever takes place:

Anita: "Bobby Lee, does anyone have our backs?"

Bobby Lee: "You mean backup?"



 BOBBY LEE NO, YOU WERE ONE OF THE GOOD ONES. 

You think it can't get worse? It can!

"The only real danger would be if someone had a rifle and scope. There was really nothing we could do about snipers, and because there was nothing we could do about it, we had to let it go, pretend it couldn't happen, and take care of what was happening." 

WHERE TO BEGIN. 1) there are a lot of things you can do about snipers, LIKE NOT PUTTING YOURSELF IN THE OPEN, TRAPPED BY A CAR ACCIDENT OF YOUR OWN MAKING. 2) This is happening, while we deal with what happened, and other things could happen while this is happening so we have to deal with what could happen." 





There are several paragraphs dedicated to the dudes in the car rolling down their car window. 

I was going to make a really silly joke by just posting an engineering guide to literal riveting, but I decided to be more accessible. I'm hilarious. 


 So the blond guy is German, or at the very least has a German accent. Turns out the white side of Anita's family is German. 


 

Anita is all, you are going to get slowly out of the car and I will kill you if you make a move as you get SLOWLY out of the CAR I only need one of you to question so GET. SLOWLY. OUT. OF. THE. CAR. Can I just re-iterate that they have just CAUSED AN ACCIDENT and yet there are absolutely no sensory details about the unfolding consequences. They might as well be having this conversation in a completely bare room where their conversation is producing the only sound. 






Here come some sirens, at least. What the hell are all the other people on the road doing? I mean, imagine you're just driving to your Starbucks job and all of a sudden there's a six car pile up and people get out brandishing guns. 



The guys in the car are calling Anita's bluff so she pulls out her badge and is all, police? I AM the police! 

You know what? This is bascally police brutality, right? This is the kind of pro-cop propoganda we have all been conditioned to enjoy. Okay I get it, in the Anita-verse you get some really wild powers when you become a federal marshall and to some degree that is justified within the scope of Anita's world. But this? Causing an accident that could have killed bystanders, and probably did hurt at least one or two? All because these guys are just...following her? 







I know the wererats blocked off this road but still, it's just such an awful way to deal with this and if Anita and her guys didn't have +1000000 plot armor so much could have gone wrong. 


Anita placates the cops that show up with her federal marshall badge because it's like free cocaine, a blowjob, and a juicy ham sandwhich all at once in terms of persuasion powers. 





She talks to the car dudes like hey it's a bad idea to follow around a federal marshall, and they're like oh we didn't know you were a marshall. 

What? Anita is the most famous fucking person in St. Louis aside from maybe J.C. and these goons don't know she has magical cop powers?

"Your intel sucks." 

For once, Anita and I agree. 















 
 

Saturday, April 21, 2018

Updates!

My Fanfic Author Profile

Hey everyone! I have been working like crazy on my two stories at the above link. One is Dragon Age, the other is Star Wars. I hope you will come check them out.

As for personal projects, I am working (albeit slowly) on my second Twisted Tree novel. It does seem I lost the digital copy of my other urban fantasy manuscript (Morgandy's book). Luckily I have a paper copy but it will require me re-entering it into the computer. Considering I often have some downtime where I work, maybe I will start bringing the pages with me as something to do when I don't have an active case to handle.

I will have new LKH chapters soon. In fact you can find them on my Patreon  Don't be put off by the price. Everything on my Patreon is eventually accessible for free. The dollar amount is just there if you would like to support me! Thank you.


Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Dragon Age Chapter 24 is up!

Violets

Aislinn and Morrigan discuss Aislinn's fears, and Morrigan suggests hunting down Decadence

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Cerulean Sins Chapter Thirty Four


 Time to open up my copy of Cerulean Sins:



Anita is spying on the dudes that were following her from before. They're at the Circus in the parking lot. These guys have hilariously poor vehicles for people trying to be stealthy, namely a blue Jeep and a gold Impala. That said I am not going to shit on this too much because at least it's some sensory info. These books often have floating head syndrome, where people are yammering at each other but there's not even the barest clue as to their surroundings. Or LKH tries and it turns into the room was green, green, green, curtains, bedding, green.


Basically, Anita finds these people suspicious because they are just sitting in their cars, without reading newspapers or drinking coffee. She feels most people don't sit in their cars doing nothing. I guess Anita has conveniently forgotten all the arguments she gets in, in her car, without drinking coffee or reading the newspaper.


You KNOW this shit is going to get fucky at any moment.

Anita keeps referencing Kasey Krime Stoppers. I assume this is something LKH made up and I have no fucking clue why its never come up before. Anita thinks they might be Renfields, or vampire servants that don't have any vampire marks. She's not sure though because "most Renfields aren't the brightest of people." 

1) Why not?

2) Even someone with a split open watermelon for a head can work out that when following someone, it makes good sense to not, you know, look like you're following someone. Changing your appearance a bit and changing out vehicles is some 101 bullshit.

Bobby Lee drops some truth: "how can you be friends with so many bloodsuckers, and still be so damned disdainful of them?"

THAT IS AN EXCELLENT FUCKING QUESTION. Imagine you have some trait about you that makes you a member of a target group. Now imagine you're friends with someone constantly referring to you with slurs, and acting like you're going to give in to your obviously dangerous nature at any second. Someone who routinely calls you a monster, and only pays attention to you when they want to get some sweet, sweet narcissistic supply from you.


Bobby Lee asks what Anita wants to do about the guys following her. For a split second she thinks he's referring to Asher and J.C. Apparently this is such an egregious lapse that it could get her "killed in a firefight."


Anita has a good sense seizure, where for a moment she realizes that the guys in the car could be dangerous and that she'd better focus so people don't get killed unnecessarily. YOU CAN'T FOOL ME WITH THIS, LKH.


She expresses her concern to Bobby Lee, but before he can say much Claudia turns up. She's wearing makeup. This is weird to Anita. She concludes that perhaps Claudia doesn't need makeup.

Okay. No one needs makeup. Beauty and worth are not determined by whether one uses makeup. I LOVE makeup. I have a huge stash of it. But that doesn't imply that I am so ugly I need to spend an hour on making my face into a beautiful transcendent canvas, or that ergo Claudia is so naturally beautiful she doesn't have to bother with all that feminine nonsense.


Claudia is only wearing a sports bra and jeans. This is apparently because Claudia is such a serious weightlifter that she has trouble finding shirts that fit. But don't worry. Claudia could "never be mistaken for masculine." There are only two genders! I'm not a bigot it's just biology! Women with muscles are disgusting! Make America Great Again!


I am a powerlifter and yes it can be challenging to find shirts and jackets that fit your arms and shoulders, but it is not so impossible that your only recourse is to swan around in your underwear.


Anita asks Claudia how her arm is. Somehow Claudia managed to regenerate it even though she'd been shot with silver bullets.

"One of my favorite things about hanging with the monsters is the healing. Straight humans seemed to get killed on me a lot, monsters survived. Let's hear it for the monsters." 

This is like that obnoxious white uncle who likes to assure you he has tons of black friends and therefore can't possibly be racist, whilst peppering his speech with liberal use of the N-word over Christmas dinner.


Anita babbles on about how the Circus has a hidden loft and an exposed catwalk and some lookouts or some shit I guess.

Bobby Lee references some plan that I am not entirely sure has been mentioned or discussed before now. It involves driving a car and Claudia is going to do it. Anita points out that Claudia doesn't look "normal" and tries to save her own ass by adding "no offense." Protip: no offense always actually means full offense.


Bobby Lee doubles down on the gender bullshit by assuring Anita all will be well with the following line: "she'll throw a shirt over the muscles, take out the ponytail, and look like a girl." 

Okay first off you fuckwagon, she IS a girl. She identifies female. Secondly, so she can get shirts after all? I know that's a minor detail but come on. In what world do people just walk around in the underwear?

Bobby Lee gets the lobotomized walking penis treatment: Anita, trying to point out that Claudia isn't harmless no matter what she wears, says in effect if she had to arm wrestle one of them she'd have better chances against him than against Claudia. Bobby Lee can't comprehend the meaning of this glaringly obvious statement, because his skull is just a bowl of custard slowly turning in the sun.


LKH is trying to do some female solidarity shit here but because she's a homunculus poorly shaped by the hands of a senile wizard holed up in a dank basement somewhere, she can't grasp what sexism actually is. It's not a man being so stupid he can't possibly comprehend female strength. It's not a man being this fucking dumb just because he's "spent most of his life being muscle." 


Finally, Bobby Lee understands when Anita asks if he really thinks Claudia, who is six six and built like a brick shithouse, is less intimidating than some random male wererat they could have drive the car instead. He says that most men are sexist enough that they would always find a woman less intimidating, no matter how big and ripped she is. I think I agree and disagree at the same time. Yes, men are constantly shitting on female strength. Sometimes I feel like every time a woman gets an amazing powerlifting or weightlifting record, the reaction to it goes something like this:

1) Accusations of doping, because the only way a woman could possibly leave men in the dust strengthwise is if they are on gear and,

2) Discussions of whether such a strong woman is still fuckable, as if anyone asked their opinions in the first fucking place


But, I also think a powerfully built, tall woman like Claudia could inspire more intimidation because she's daring to tread on poor fragile male toes by reminding them that they're not the end all and be all of strength.

Anita makes some comment about having breasts. I don't even know. Claudia says,

"give it up Anita...just give it up. They're men. They can't help it." 


They absolutely, completely, and totally CAN help it, and the pervasive notion that they can't is responsible for so many atrocities it makes my guts churn.

"I had to admit even I was less physically afraid of another woman, but it seemed wrong somehow."

SOMEHOW???

Also wtf is this attempt at dissecting internalized misogyny? Anita lives in a world where women can be werewolves, vampires, and so on, all of whom have super strength and senses. Werewolves can literally cannibalize each other if they're pissed off enough.


Claudia takes her hair down and both Anita and Bobby Lee are mesmerized. Anita says some bullshit about how spectacular Claudia could look if she put any effort into looking like "a traditional girl." Even though she is also transfixed by the sight before her the fact that Bobby Lee also is makes her dislike him, thinking that she had assumed he was "better than that." 


Anita natters on internally about how no matter how exceptional a woman is, she's still just a girl to most men. Yes, fair enough. From Anita though? Really?


Some tortured bullshit about different gender friendships blah blah fucking kill me. Claudia will be underestimated because she's a girl. Sigh.

Thursday, January 5, 2017

The Soultaker Entitlement

this is a write up I did for Onyx Path Publishing. since they passed on it I am going to go ahead and post it in case anyone wants to use it in their game!

The Soultaker Entitlement

Enjoy!

Monday, August 8, 2016

Cerulean Sins Chapter Thirty Three



Let's do this thing.

Here comes Nathaniel. I think Nathaniel could be a great character but instead he exists merely to absorb Anita's awfulness. And that's what he's doing here, trying to comfort her even though she is completely and totally in the wrong.


Anita randomly remembers Musette is around. Good lord how long has it been since the plot wormed its way in? Anita is also "head blind" thanks to all the magical woo woo so she can't use her powers.

Anita loves wearing a lot of different hats. One second she's a hardbitten bitch ready to throw down. Sometimes she's a dandy aping ornamental language. Other times she fancies herself an expert on literature, going so far as to randomly quote Shakespeare. In another book this would be a cohesive character. Here? Well let's take a look at Anita's latest hat, one labeled angsty emo teenager:

"Right that second it felt like the world should open up at my feet and swallow me down the great black hole that was eating through my heart." 


Anita, you brought this on yourself. Generally people don't like being accused of sexual assault after you expressly consented. You even said yourself that it wasn't fair, but that insight isn't enough to make you less callous. I find that very disturbing. She knows she's wrong, she knows it's unfair, she knows she's feeding Asher especially a sandwich full of shit. And yet it doesn't inspire her to change because she is a malignant narcissist and thinks everything revolves around her whether or not she's right or morally correct.


Nathaniel tells Anita that the men who were following them have caught up. Anita whines about how guns are her bestest friends you guys, seriously. Guns don't judge you! I mean, she could get a dog but then she might have to clean up its poop (no that's actually in the text). God forbid Anita care for anything, even a pet!


Anita talks about how she has to holster her gun so it doesn't rub against her breasts. She goes on a rant about how Amazons used to cut away their breasts to better draw their bows, but Anita doesn't believe that because girl power. SHUT UP. Oh my god, no. This is like when you tell someone you have abusive parents and then when that person visits your parents are on their best behavior in order to confuse and separate you from your ally. I know you to well to get dragged in to this, Anita. PLUS LET ME JUST SAY you CAN'T turn that bullshit with Asher in to a women's rights issue. You. consented. to. it. You may not enjoy it after the fact but turning on Asher and essentially calling him a rapist is unacceptable. YOU CAN'T FOOL ME, ANITA. As if you care about women in the first place!



Anita doesn't want Nate to get caught in a firefight so she tells him to stay behind. He looks as if he's going to argue so Anita says a bunch of disgusting things like: "I wanted him more independent, but mot stubborn. He was about the only person in my life that did what I asked, when I asked."



People like Nathaniel exist, with all of his attachment issues and everything. But this is not how you handle a relationship with someone like him. They've never once truly discussed this bond and its parameters. Anita isn't honest enough for that. So neither of them know what's going on or what they are, and Nate attaches to her in a supremely unhealthy way. But does Anita notice or care? No, that would require empathy and compassion. Instead she takes advantage of him constantly and feels not a single pang of guilt.



I think Nathaniel would be happiest in a total power exchange relationship. This is essentially a lifestyle wherein Nate would have a very subservient position relative to, in this case, Anita. Anita would make most if not all of his decisions. This type of BDSM dynamic requires immense work, maturity, and emotional intelligence if it's going to work. So Nate is essentially doomed, because Anita doesn't actually invest in anyone she claims to love.



Anita is so shaken up she wonders if she makes Nate unhappy.



She doesn't ask and calls herself a coward for not doing so. Well Anita, you're not wrong.


Wait hold on I'm sorry....but what the fuck is this?

"I went to find Bobby Lee. Him, I trusted to be in the line of fire. But it was more than that; I wasn't sleeping with Bobby Lee. I didn't love him. Sometimes love makes you selfish. Sometimes it makes you stupid. Sometimes it reminds you why you love your gun."

Did you know that a large number of firearms in the U.S. are used to threaten people in domestic violence situations? There's a creepy vibe to this paragraph that makes it seem like if things go wrong in her relationships, she defaults to brandishing a weapon. This is something that has come up in other chapters and I don't think it's an accident. Knowing what I do about how she's a serial rapist, I suppose this shouldn't surprise me. What LKH doesn't seem to understand is that she's made Anita the villain of the story when she's supposed to be the heroine.