Tuesday, December 30, 2008


Apparently, you can indeed upload videos to YouTube. They just take a really awfully long time. I'll be playing with this new camcorder during the break so I hope it's not just, you know, broken.

Too Much to Do, Too Little Time

Someday, writing will steal my soul!

Monday, December 29, 2008

Quote of the Day

"We are all born ordinary. It is our choices that make us extraordinary."

All I Want For Christmas

Due to the staggering cost of plane flights, I ended up staying in Dayton for the holiday, which wasn't the worst thing that could have happened, but I do miss spending Christmas on the Oregon Coast.

In any case, had a pretty fantastic Christmas this year with J. Too much Chipotle and carmel corn was eaten, also there were gift exchanges and much silliness. Which just sort of seems to happen. The silliness, that is.

J. got me the much-needed printer, which is super awesome and makes me uber gleeful. He also got me copies of Rosetta Stone, French level 2 & 3, which is just about the best thing ever, and kick started me back into my French study. It sure beats playing video games.

My parents sent me a fine electric mixer (it's red!), and David sent over a fine array of gourmet cheeses (always appreciated!) which showed up right on time on Christmas eve. Stephanie gifted me with a fine bonsai and pony ornament, which shall take center stage after I paint it some gaudy but appropriate color. Which I will do with the airbrush paint set that J. also discovered was far more useful for my pony mods than his miniatures.

I spent a little time over the break on some dayjob projects (that'll teach me to check my work email), but they, too, were generous over the holidays, and I arrived back in the office to find that we'd all been gifted with one of these fine toys.

Video blogging here I come! Apparently it creates videos perfectly compatible with YouTube. But man, I don't know if the world can handle a Kameron Hurley channel. Mainly, it will be about blood, bugs, and injustice!

Or something.

As said, I spent much of Christmas in and around bed with J., reading books, watching movies, and eating out and in. There was much cooking, and aforementioned silliness. All in all, a good vacation.

Next year, tho, I want more time off and more cash. I ended up digging out the credit card there at the end and putting about $100 on it. Blast it all.

Still far better than usual, but not ideal.

The best part?

I get Thursday and Friday off this week as well, and will be spending time up in Cincinnati with J. watching Spamalot.

Yeah, yeah, I know:

Too much boyfriend, not enough rollerderby.

Working on that.

Stay tuned.

Sunday, December 28, 2008

You've Been Warned!

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Stuff & Things

I am alive. I am full of stuff and things.


30 PPM.

It prints double-sided.

That is all.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Quote of the Day

"The objection to fairy stories is that they tell children there are dragons. But children have always known there are dragons. Fairy stories tell children that dragons can be killed."

-G.K. Chesterton

Yucky People

My tolerance for yucky people has lessended considerably as I've aged.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Doesn't this stuff make you sick?

I'm having more and more days where I'm really not proud or comfortable with the idea of identifying as "America."

Americans don't do this. Or torture people. Or... well, yeah. Yeah, we do.


I just don't identify with this country anymore.

Things I Do in My Spare Time

Write words.

Merry Christmas from United Healthcare

United Healthcare Member Inquiry/Appeals
PO Box 30432
Salt Lake City, UT 84130-0432

Dear Member Inquiry Representative;

I am writing to request a formal of review of the decision made by United Healthcare to deny my health service claim of 10/01/08 for a service already formally approved. Please see the enclosed EOBs.

My service provider, Degc Enterprises, provides me with an insulin pump delivery system to regulate my blood sugars. In-network rates and approval for this insulin delivery system were given by United Healthcare prior to 7/1/08 when the company billed United Healthcare for the first medical shipment.

Since starting the pump on that date, my A1c has improved from 6.5 to 6.1. I expect to see a further improvement at the end of December when I have my next checkup.

As a Type 1 diabetic, I cannot live without continuous insulin delivery. My condition is a genetic immune disorder, which I fully disclosed to United Healthcare through my employer. As is well known, controlled blood sugars are vital to the avoidance of complications for Type 1 diabetics.

My use of the Omnipod pump, provided by Degc Enterprises, has dramatically transformed my life. Unlike other pump systems, it has no tubing, which results in fewer accidental disconnections that could adversely affect my blood sugars. It’s these higher blood sugars which contribute to the expensive conditions diabetics are prone to – like blindness and amputation.

Initial cost of the pump is also less than that of many other brands of pump. Its ability to regulate my blood sugar with greater reliability and efficiency than other pumps also greatly reduces my risk of expensive complications. Since using this pump, I have experienced 75% fewer episodes of low blood sugar, which – if not caught in time - can often result in costly medical claims for your company.

It was for these reasons that my pump was approved and covered at an in-network rate on 7/01/08 (see attached EOB).

Until you have provided Degc Enterprises with the payment you have contracted with them to provide, they will be unable to provide me with the insulin pods which have allowed me achieve this improvement in my overall general health and quality of life. I will be forced to revert back to using vials and syringes as my insulin delivery method. This method will undoubtably result in erratic blood sugars and set me down the road, once again, to extreme – and expensive – diabetic complications.

Repeated contact with your customer service line has shown me that they have little control over the approval/denial of claims process. It is for that reason that if it becomes necessary to escalate this matter, I am fully prepared to lodge a more formal complaint with the Attorney General. If necessary, I will also recommend that my employer drop our UHC account in favor of a company more consistent in its approval process.

I am sure you understand that as a Type 1 diabetic, my life and health depend urgently on the quality of coverage and care I receive. My employer considers me a valuable asset to the company, and knows that my decision – and the decision of many of our employees - to stay on board is greatly influenced by the quality of our healthcare coverage.

Thank you so much for your attention to this matter.


Kameron Hurley

(or maybe, what we really need to improve America's health is a "fat tax". That would be so much easier than universal health coverage that works. I'm sure it would be just as good as real healthcare. After all, we wouldn't know the difference)

A Word Lesson

At what point did it go from a "bailout" to a "rescue"?

Monday, December 15, 2008

Tumbarumba: That Was Wicked Cool

A couple of weeks ago, I installed the firefox addon Tumbarumba. This app randomly embeds fragments of stories into ordinary web pages. When you spot them, you click on them to slowly unravel the rest of the story.

I installed the app and pretty much forgot about it until today, when I was reading a Wikipedia article with an overview of Jorge Luis Borges story, "The Aleph."

I'm reading along and reading along and I hit this total nonsequitor, something about "she being detail oriented" and I'm like, WTF there weren't any women in this story. I went back and re-read the stuff leading up to it twice.

Then I realized what was going on. I clicked on the weird sentence.

And another sentence was revealed.

Another click another sentence, in this fade-in magical webbiny way that gave me that awesome sense of awe you get when you slowly discover/uncover something previously hidden. Isn't there a word for that?

Then another, and another, and then you click on it and there's Greg Van Eekout's story, The Temp, sitting there in a faux Wikipedia skin.

It was like... it was like something weirdly magical. Like uncovering some secret thing. Super web magic.

It was spectacularly cool.

I love this app idea, but I'm shortly going to run out of stories (there's only a handful to get through, really).

It's going to need more stories to really kick butt, and they should be even a bit shorter to cater to internet audiences, but man... wow, that was neat. What a spectacular idea.

Sign up for Tumbarumba! It is full of goodness.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

My Agent Makes the i09 Top 20 Movers and Shakers of SF List

Jennifer Jackson, at #16, the only agent (literary or otherwise) on the list.

Sweet beans.

(BioWare, where my buddy Patrick works, also made the list at #12!).

From the Trenches: $6!

From the Trenches, an anthology of SF war stories that includes my short story, "Wonder Maul Doll," is now on sale for $6 from Carnifex Press.

These are the last of the copies (the publisher is going out of business), so if you want one, snag it now.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Oh, IKEA, Sometimes you Confound Me...

So I've been looking into expanding my work/desk space for some time now. A simple 4ft desk/table can run $50 at the local mix n' stuff shop, but for the same price, I could get this great table/bookshelf combo from Ikea that even matches my current desk.

Just $50! Yay!

Excellent, I thought. $25 in shipping makes for $75, which isn't so bad for what is, basically, a whole new desk that will expand my workspace.

So I clickity clackitied and went to check out and then...

Shipping charges were $140.

No, no, seriously:

My order total, with tax was over $200.

From a store that's half an hour away.

Ikea, sometimes you confound me.


There's this scene in the book where the kid goes to kill the mutant "dragon" (who turns out to be less and more of a monster than he suspects), and he ends up tearing and clawing his way into the guts of this creature that won't die, clawing and swimming up through its guts and tearing out its hearts while the creature tears into its own body even as the flesh tries to knit back together, trying to claw the kid out of its own flesh.

And at the end of this scene, I found myself a little stunned at breathless and was like, "Wow."

I still think Bloodtide will turn out to be the better book, but man, I love these books. I need to read more Burgess.

Took a long time for him to come onto my radar, mainly because he's marketed as a "young adult" writer.


Whatever sells the books, I guess.

Highly recommended if you love some post-apocalyptic shenanigans. Mutants and nuclear fallout and fantastical fantasy tropes with SFish rationalizations and kingdoms and family feuds and in-your-face prose oh my!

Friday, December 12, 2008

Note to Self

If you're going to start moving the crap around in your apartment, make sure your internet cable can reach as far as where you want to put your desk now.

I'm just sayin'.

And yes, when the gym membership runs out...

...in May, I'll be signing up for boxing classes again.

Because we can only wait so long...

Cancer Drugs Reverse/Prevent T1 Diabetes

Who'da thunk cancer and diabetes had anything in common?

Mmmm juicy, screwed-up immune systems. I loves them!

I wonder if I'll be a non-diabetic when I'm 50? We can hope.

Cause you gotta have goals

Sometimes I think I spend far too much time thinking about the future. On the one hand, it helps me get shit done. On the other hand, there's only so much you can do.

Swim kick laugh run jump yay!

Back to work.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Tis the Season

Boy, I have a lot of work to do. But all I can think is....

I get 5 days off in a week and change! Ok, two of those are days I would get off as a weekend anyway, but 5 consecutive days off! OMG yeah!

That is all.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

All I Want For Christmas...

Is cheese!

Naw, seriously, I got it. Plus 5 days off around the holidays. Things are mad-busy-insane right now at work, which would prob'ly be more pleasing if I didn't have a bunch of novel projects I'm pursuing here at the homestead.

Still: I just paid $500 for 6 weeks worth of meds yesterday... which I will be getting reimbursed for by my health insurance company. I've nearly hit my deductible limit, too, so soon the reimbursement will turn into straight up, "Here's your drugs, have a nice day" freebies.

You just can't beat health insurance like that.

Also, Nyx has a new look, which pleases me.

Monday, December 08, 2008


Is it a good sign or a bad sign that I haven't actually sat down and figured out which bugs do what and how and whatfor on Umayma until I starting writing book 3?

Ah well. There's a spreadsheet now.

Sunday, December 07, 2008

On Being Frugal: Or, Why I Seem to Be Spending Most of My Life Cooking

While I spent a good many hours of today cooking, I pondered why it was I seem to be spending so damn much time doing it lately. I don't mind cooking. I've gotten used to it, and let's face it, it's nice to be able to prepare food I can actually eat a normal portion of that won't kill me.

But really, the reason I'm spending so much time cooking is because I'm being frugal. I keep wanting to say, "I'm poor," but saying "I'm poor" really isn't true. For a single person, I make OK money. The problem is, I have old credit card and medical debt. The good news is, I've been making inroads on paying this off since January.

Cooking is one of the ways I've done that.

I don't buy prepared foods anymore. I buy one kind of cheese. I started making my own iced tea, which saves me $3.99 a week. That's nearly $12 a month. That's a whole iTunes album. Or lunch out. It's very nearly two hours of bowling.

And it doesn't stop with food.

I keep my heat at 69 degrees during the day. I've recently started experimenting with turning it down to 65 at night. And this, in itself, I know is nothing: I have coworkers who turn the heat down to 50 and just put space heaters in their bedroom and bathroom. This is how people manage to save money to, well, save money for things and pay off debt.

I've had to become conscious of all of this uncomfortable stuff, like how much water I use, do I really need that many lights on, and how can I save on my Verizon bill?

I spent much of this last year finding ways to cut things by as little as $1. Seriously. $1. Just a dollar! You'd be surprised at how quick that adds up.

$1 is an iTunes song. It's 1/40 of the way to buying a food processor. It's a bait pony for my pony mods.

Thing is, even knowing all that, it's fucking hard to stick by a budget. It's a lot of mental energy to spend on stuff like figuring out how to sell books to buy books as Christmas presents. It's putting off buying a car until I get another book check, even though I have a boyfriend in Cincinnati, and it's a fucking killer now - more than ever - to not have a car (and it's fucking winter, which always makes not having a car twice as shitty).

Watching books leave this apartment this last week was surreal and just slightly excrutiating. I've gotten rid of lots of books in lots of moves, and moving a few more books wasn't a big deal, but the *reason* I was doing it was just so much different.

And, again: it's not like I don't make money. I have a ridiculous credit limit. I pay $600 a month toward my CCs (It will go back up to $750 next month when my student loans are deferred again after classes start). This is a staggering amount of money. And yes, I could get away with paying a third of that toward them. And then... and then... I'd be in debt for the rest of my life. I would continue to be one of those people who looks like they're making a lot of money but is, in fact, just one bad medical disaster away from moving back in with friends and family.

I don't want to be that person.

It's going to take another year of this. Of counting dollars and selling books and watching the thermostat.

This is hard for me. I've never done this before. My parents never lived frugally during their adult lives. I never learned how to manage a budget. I never learned how to delay gratification. Everything was right now. Want, want, want.

I see. I want. I take. I was always Faith, never Buffy.

Before I got sick, I was not the best of people. Let's just say that out loud again: I was not a good person. I'm not a great person now, mind you. But I'm less of a screaming teenager. Some of this is just sanity brought on by stable blood sugar, but some of this is growing the fuck up. Counting dollars. Valuing friendships. Relationships. Figuring out what the hell it all means and how it all adds up, and more than that:

Knowing that all of us, if we choose to live paycheck to paycheck, are just a stumble away from losing everything we feel we've worked so hard to build. I lost my whole life in Chicago. Yes, granted, a lot of bad shit happened at once - but if I'd had $200 on my credit card, $5k in savings, and chosen a better health insurance plan from my employer instead of selecting the crappy default... things could have turned out a lot better.

We're never going to be prepared for violence, for death, for those scary things that happen in the blink of an eye, the ones so shocking to your everyday experience that they just leave you stunned and speechless. But you can be *better* prepared. You can make the effort.

I know I could lose everything again. Things are still so tenuous right now. But I'm actively working toward a future. The future I want. You pick somebody you want to be. A life you want to have. And you build it. You do what somebody with that life would do. I've always believed that - before I got sick and even now. Pick your future. Build it.

It's not easy. God, it's not easy on a Sunday night when you're cooking breakfast quiche and chicken dinners for the week and trying to figure out how to juggle the dollars you saved on variable utility bills so you can buy yourself a Christmas food processor or cordless drill. These aren't things I want to spend energy on.

But, you know what? I could be spending my energy on so many really *useless* things, like celebrity magazines and cable tv. This really isn't such a bad place to put some energy.

I loved my roaring 20s. But now I need to clean up the mess of them before I head into my dirty 30s.

Because I do plan to get into a lot of trouble.

Er, I mean, financially responsible trouble. But trouble nonetheless.

Peru for my 30th birthday!

And that'll just be kicking things off.

Friday, December 05, 2008

Today's Song, Stuck on Repeat

Ok, let's be honest, it's the "Who needs love when there's Southern Comfort" line that did it for me...

Leeds United - Amanda Palmer

we watch you your expert double exes
it’s just like you to paint those whiter fences

it’s so polite it’s so polite it’s offensive it’s offensive
it’s so unright it’s so unright it’s a technical accept it

but who needs love when there’s law & order
and who needs love when there’s southern comfort
and who needs love at all

we stalk you your expert double exes
we oxidize you in your sleep there’s no exit there’s no exit

you’re on a roll you’re on a roll no one gets it no one gets it
your honor no your honor can’t you protect us, protect us

but who needs love when there’s law & order
and who needs love when there’s southern comfort
and who needs love
when the sandwiches are wicked and they know you at the mac store

uh uh uh uh oh oh oh oh oh uh oh - i’m so excited
uh uh uh uh oh oh oh oh oh uh oh - the blacks and beat kids
uh uh uh uh oh oh oh oh oh uh oh - i’m getting frightened
uh uh uh uh uh uh uh uh - someday someday leeds united

bugsy malone came to carry you home and they’re taking you all to the doctor
burberry vices all sugary spices it’s nice but it’s not what i’m after
sure, i admire you
sure, you inspire me but you’ve been not getting back so
i’ll wait at the sainbury’s countin’ my change making BANK on the upcoming roster

and we’ll stop you your expert double exes
oh yeah, a big stock holder extra cold with 2 X’s
that never talking thing you do is effective it’s effective
your shoulder’s icy colder-oh than a death wish than a death wish

but who needs love when there’s law & order
and who needs love when there’s dukes of hazard
and who needs love
when the sandwiches are wicked and they know you at the mac store

uh uh uh uh oh oh oh oh oh uh oh - i’m so excited
uh uh uh uh oh oh oh oh oh uh oh - the blacks and beat kids
uh uh uh uh oh oh oh oh oh uh oh - they’re so excited
uh uh uh uh oh oh oh oh oh uh oh - when i think about leeds uniting
uh uh uh uh oh oh oh oh oh uh oh - i’m getting frightened
uh uh uh uh oh oh oh oh oh uh oh - the blacks, the blacks, the blacks, and beat kids
uh uh uh uh oh oh oh oh oh uh oh - it’s so exciting
uh uh uh uh oh oh oh oh oh uh oh - someday, someday, someday, someday, someday, someday

(brought to my attention by this hilarity; I'm pleased it turned out to be such a catchy little tune)

Thursday, December 04, 2008

Don't Get Sucked Under!

Everything will be all right.

Planned Parenthood Gift Cards

Tis the season for giving healthcare.

This country could be so much better.


Really am.

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Urban Fantasy Book Covers Parade

Yes, they really all do look the same. I haven't been making this up.

And if you think my book cover will look any different... ha ha. Just you wait!

Blame Kushiel!

P.S. I would like to note, however, that I'm far happier knowing I'll probably be getting a cover like this than a cover like this. Or this. It's not a bad time for a book cover.

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Oh, I Give Up

Oh, OK, I'll go in and get my earache looked at. I kept hoping it would just go away (it's not horrible, just occasionally twingy and largley annoying), but when health care doesn't cost you a kidney anymore, you really should go in and have shit looked at when it comes up.

Tra la.

P.S. For the record, I'll be getting a dog. I won't be taping bacon to it. Maybe spam. SPAM.

That is all.


Man, I always forget how much I love worldbuilding.

I want to post bunches of excerpts from Babylon, but I realize the whole book is going to be full of spoilers for the other two books. That's kind of the trouble with the slow grind of the publishing world. By the time the first book comes out, you're already finishing up the third one (knock on wood).

Anyway, for God's War prequel (non-spoilery even!) madness, you can always visit Nyx here.

Also, because folks keep asking: God's War will be out next fall, sometime around September-October-November.

Yes, that's next year (it's publishing, OK?).

And it gives me a lot more time to get the other books right. Which I appreciate.

Things I Really Want to Do this Year

Buy myself a bunch of presents, wrap them, and put them under my tree. Isn't that funny?

I want an excuse to not care about my credit card bill for once (since January) and just buy stuff. For myself.

Oh, sure, I've budgeted money to buy stuff for other folks, but not for myself. I realize it is Christmas and that's not how it works, but the chances of me getting the things I'm in dire need of this holiday season are decidedly slim, since everyone else is just as poor (if not more so) than I am.

Honestly, you know what I got for Christmas this year?

A job and health insurance.

And that's pretty much the best Christmas present ever, let me tell you.

Maybe I'll just buy some extra nice red ribbons for the tree. And bake cookies. Cookies are festive.

Monday, December 01, 2008

Fav Line of the Day

From Babylon, now officially in progress:

"There were all sorts of things you asked yourself when somebody broke things off. Was she bored? Was there a boy? Was she actually an assassin?"