Archive | November 2013

City of Heroes, one year later

One year ago today I was mourning the impending loss of City of Heroes, an online game I’d played for years. I had a tight knit core of friends who played together nightly, I was well known among our online community and generally well liked.

Then the bad guys in the story decided to close the game, for no reason that has ever made real sense to those of us who loved the game. November 30th was the final day the servers were up.

We gathered online, we played hard. We tried to make sure everyone got their last chance to run a task force or snag a last badge. And then we finished up with most of the population on our small server of Protector in Atlas Park, chatting and waiting for the lights to go out.

I don’t remember exactly when it happened. It was scheduled for midnight PST, and it was just long enough after that for me to feel the first faint stirring of hope that there’d been a last minute reprieve and my beloved game would stay up. Then the servers went down for the last time.

I had a lot of fears about that. My entire social life was online. Playing CoH was something I did every single day. What was I going to do with myself? Who was I going to talk to?

This year, I am spending the evening of November 30th in the company of friends, pushing to finish my novel. It’s going to end up at well over two hundred thousand words, and is the end result of hours of work. I have already self-published an anthology and have had a short story accepted for publication.

Since CoH closed, I have made new “real life” friends, actual people with whom I can share a meal or a movie or a hug if needed.

I will never be happy that my beloved CoH was killed, but I can say some good has come of it. I’m finally working on my dream of writing and I have made wonderful new friends.

I think it says something that one year after I spent an evening sitting at my computer talking to people online, I will be spending my evening in the company of friends working to finish a novel.

Final tally:

51 total characters

26 heroes

14 Vigilantes

8 villains

3 rogues

13 Scrappers

7 Blasters

6 Corruptors

5 Defenders

4 Controllers

4 Masterminds

3 Brutes

2 SoAs

2 Tanks

1 Widow

1 Dom

1 Peacebringer

1 Stalker

1 Warshade

13,207,993,395 influence (which doesn’t count the horde of HOs, IOs, and assorted other spcial treasures horded in my bases.

I miss you, ladies. Rest in peace:

Sooner Spirit – Boomer Sooner! 1403 total badges, 1395 counted badges..

Sooner Magic

Sooner Red

Ebony Rose – I loved masterminds. I had one of every kind except necro, and I loved playing them.

Excruciatrix – Little, cute, deadly

Green Faery – my go to for any rad needs

Ici Cold – this is the blaster that taught me to love blasters. It took me years to find one to stick with, but after Ici, blasters became my second favorite AT

Kadiann – the back up rad


Quinlan – My EYES are up HERE. Fav quote: I’m the tank, I have the star – now follow my blue-clad ass!


Little Bird

Neely – I wanted a Kheldian so bad. I think I had this character created before Sooner Spirit’s DING had completed. She was among the most fun of my chacters.

Phantasii – Dinged 50 on Hamidon.

Schon Krieg

Ange de Sange


Anjali (formerly Keely)

Aoife the Red

Arc Flare

Blade Imp



Chaine D’or









Madchen Krieg

Moon Dancer

Ms. Heckler

Ms. Roentgen



Princess Knockback

Protector Forever


Quick Red Fox


Sable Murphy

Siochan Leat

Soulbound Spirit

Star Wormwood

Stroke o’ Midnight


Vitriolic Rhetoric

Wiskey Tango


Women in combat

They passed the test, let them in!

Pfc. Julia Carroll, Pfc. Christina Fuentes Montenegro and Pfc. Katie Gorz passed the Marine Infantry “Grunt Test,” by hiking 12 miles through the forest carrying a rifle and an 85 pound pack. The men on that that hike who passed will be promptly allowed into infantry units. The three women? Well, maybe there’s a general who needs a cup of coffee.

I have long supported women being allowed in combat, but I’ve never been in favor of lowering the requirements for any position – police, firefighters, or combat troops. If doing that job well requires you to be able to run while dragging a fire hose, then that’s what the job takes no matter who’s doing it. If doing that job requires you to be able to hike 12 miles with a huge pack, then that’s what it takes.

Up until now, no women have passed the “Grunt Test,” and there are still no women who have passed the infantry training course for officers. Until a woman can pass that test, I have no objection to there being no female infantry officers.

But Pfc. Carroll, Pfc. Fuentes Montenegro and Pfc. Gorz passed that test. Let those women in, they earned it.

Flash Fiction is hard

I just won a flash fiction contest with the entry below.

The rules were:

1. 100 words or less (I believe this is 99 words)

2. must contain the words “Kimono” and “Rose”

Side note: Telling a story in 100 words is not easy.

He hung the painting on his wall, the last portrait of a lovely actress who vanished three decades ago. She wore a kimono style robe and delicately sniffed a red rose. That night, as the moonlight touched the image, the rose became more vivid, more real. He touched it and drew back his fingertip to see a droplet of blood. When he looked again the actress gazed back at him. He sniffed the rose in his hand while she walked away. He was never seen again but for a portrait of him in a kimono, sniffing a red rose.

Misleading headlines make my head explode

We all have a few “soapbox issues,” things that you just can’t help but rant about. One of mine is misleading headlines. Why is this a problem? So few people read beyond the headline.

McDDadLet’s look at this. Oh-Em-Gee, we have reached a point in this crumbling society where if you don’t take your kid to MickeyD’s you’re now an unfit parent?! What is wrong with world!

flag pinThis is America! What is wrong with us that you can be FIRED for wearing a flag! What has happened to this country that OUR OWN FLAG is somehow OFFENSIVE.

flying flagWHAT?!?!? One of our own veterans – a man who risked his life for that very flag – is now told he can’t fly it? What kind of country have we become!!!!???

Now, if I give you the links, you promise you’ll read the article? You PROMISE?

Man branded unfit parent – if you read this article, you discover pretty quick how misleading this headline was. Yes, he did refuse to take his son to McDonald’s. That wasn’t the problem. The problem was the lack of supper entirely – though I’ll go on to defend dad and say that he took the kid back home, where, presumably, he’d get fed. He offered to take the kid anywhere BUT McDonald’s. To me, that makes him a very fit parent and a victim of a nasty divorce.

Hotel fires worker for flag pin – Once again, if you read the article, you find there’s more going on here. He was fired for violating uniform policy which states that NO pin can be worn. He wasn’t fired for wearing a flag pin, he was fired for wearing a pin. It’s a difference that matters. He’d have been fired for wearing a smiley face pin, a grumpy cat pin, or pin with a snarky saying. It wasn’t the flag, it was the pin.

Veteran evicted for flying flag – What’s that? It WASN’T the flag that was the problem? It was a rule against hanging ANYTHING on exterior walls? And when the resident asked, the facility placed a flagpole (which, granted, the vet in question found wholly inadequate, but still…). Like the guy with the pin, if you want to argue about the affront to free speech, that’s fine, but you have to recognize that it’s not the flag that’s the problem, it’s the draconian policy against any external decoration.

Ok, rant over. I understand why the headline writers do – it’s to grab clicks. I think I’m angrier at people who then don’t bother to read further. It goes like this “What? THAT can’t be right! I’m going to read this entire article to figure out what’s actually up!”


I don’t know why I didn’t post this here before. Shame on me.
I corralled three of the best writers I know into working on an anthology with me. We each wrote two short stories which have elements of dark fantasy or horror and put them together into a book.



I have an anthology out on Amazon!