Archive for November 2015

Darthmas   Leave a comment

star wars darth vader Santa

His reputation is evil. Bent on destruction, the Dark Lord exists to exterminate those who refuse to submit to his will. He’s been known to randomly snuff out lives for simple misunderstandings and disagreements. Obliterate entire worlds through that diabolical intergalactic weapon-megastructure-spaceship known as the Death Start. Not one to mess around, this guy doesn’t take nothing from nobody, no how.

You know who I mean.

Yeah, it’s the Darthster. Good Ol’ Vader.

So why is it that this fearsome foe has taken on such a cute and cuddly image? I mean, look at the above picture. I know I’d love to have this on my front lawn, except it’d probably get stolen. It doesn’t end there, however. I’ve looked around just to see the vast selection of cute and cuddly Christmas gifts one could slip under the tree. After all, Thanksgiving is next week and we all know what that means: SHOPPING.

Here’s a few ways that everyone’s favorite baddie has been humiliated through mass marketing.


Who better than to greet our guests with a Darth Vader candy dish? If you think about it, his dark reputation isn’t beyond offering unwelcome visitors with a piece of rejected candy, like all the green Starbursts. He’ll just dare you to take a piece. And hey, if you don’t like it, well, then…complain at your own risk…

Darth Clock

What better way to get out of bed in the morning than being strong-armed by Darth? Here he is, marching towards your mattress, ready to hurl you to the floor if you don’t get up already. His chest bears the time, reminding you that if you’re late for your appointment with doom, there’s far worse consequences for you in store.

Darth Sweaters

Brrr…it’s cold out there in galaxies far, far away. What better way to stylishly keep warm and carry our Dark Lord’s message of cheer? This holiday sweater comes in three fashionable colors, and is suitably tacky enough to be seen at the best of Christmas parties.

darth_vader_and_sonSWVaderdaughterGoodnight Darth

Aww…Daddy Darth…doesn’t he just make you smile? Taking little Luke out for ice cream, or playing tea party with Leia, he does his best to be attentive, except after a busy day with the twins, and then he conks out, like any Daddy would.

Darth Onesis KitDarth Onesies

Darth had to start somewhere, even though at his birth he couldn’t possibly know he’d be reborn as a helmeted hellion. I’m not sure what’s more hilarious – a pacifier or the onesies it goes with. Perhaps Luke and Leia wore the second piece?

darth_vader_large USB

Darth’ll protect your latest novel or business spreadsheet from ever getting lost…that is, until you forget to take this stick drive out of your pocket and slip those trousers in the wash. Then you’ll face the consequences of the Dark Side.

Darth Suitcase

The next time you tool around the universe in the Death Star, be sure to be prepared with this stylish spinner suitcase. There’s plenty of room for your light saber and all other accoutrements of waging intergalactic Empire wars.

Darth Chair

Ah, there’s nothing like being able to relax after a hard day of fighting off your sworn enemies. This chillaxin’ chair offers cushiony comfort for even the toughest of badasses.


Who’s gonna mess with your kid when Darth’s on patrol? The eyes seem a little too weird for me, but that ready-to-go light saber tells me he’s at your kid’s side to fight off the ghosties and goblins lurking under the bed.

Darth Ornament

C’mon. You. Want. This.


I’m sure Darth’d rather be spinning in his grave with deep humiliation if he only knew he’d be paired with Yoda in a Santa suit. Darth won’t go that far, but he awkwardly holds a candy cane just to show he can be a good sport about these things.

So there you have it! Your must-have Darthness for Darthmas – a holiday EVERYONE can love. Enjoy!

To Serve You Better   Leave a comment


If you don’t mind, I’d like to ask you about our service…

What is it these days with businesses wanting to know how they’re doing? No matter where you go, who you see, what form you fill in or school you attend, there’s always some nosy person sticking a form or link in your face, begging to ask how things went, what they did right, wrong, fair-to-middling, or other such intrusive questions that you really don’t think hard and long enough to answer.

Take the other day, for instance. I had to go to the doctor. Nothing fancy, just a routine body inspection to make sure the organs weren’t grinding and bits weren’t falling off. Even got my arm stuck with a flu shot. Afterwards, I’m handed a clipboard. “Could you please fill this out?” says the nurse. “They want all of our patients to, nowadays. You know, to rate the service.”

I nod and smile, believing this is my opportunity to explode about my 3:15 appointment actually occurring at 4:10. That’d be admitting failure and besides, they already know they’d be inviting a lot more than negative responses. And it isn’t enough that patients have to fill out a lengthy questionnaire about the myriad of ailments you didn’t have, might have had or just plain had (aren’t they supposed to know this already?). They’d like to drain whatever we’ve got left in our pocket-protected pens and finish off our opinions of what was supposed to be an already lengthy process to begin with (let’s face it: NO ONE goes to the doctor believing they’re going to be in there for any less than two hours).

Then there’s the oil change I had the other day. What’s so mind blowing about a routine procedure for your car? Apparently, the place where I took it wants to know what they could do better. I really have no idea – change the little reminder sticker to a “Hello, Kitty” stick-on that blankly stares at you to take your Chevy in at 48,000? That questionnaire came in the form of a request. “If you don’t mind, could you take five minutes and go to our website and rate our service? It’ll take less than five minutes.” Having other things to do, I simply didn’t get around to it. Today, I received a phone call on both my land line and cell reminding me to do fill in that questionnaire so they can serve me better. To really get me in trouble, they called my husband’s cell, too. I guess they think a woman isn’t capable of knowing harassment when she sees it.

Amazon’s great for relentless pressure to rate your product, too. Sure, it’s terrific for books and larger items, like washer-dryers. But do I really need to review the rubber wristband for my kid’s watch? He’s going to break it anyway in about two days, and I only ordered it because I got a few CDs and it was convenient. Yeah, I get them too from every single online order I get – shows up in my mailbox that’s devoted exclusively to receiving quasi-necessary but easily forgotten emails.

Gas stations, chain restaurants, clothes stores, the babysitter…all of them need to know what I think about them. Is self-esteem in that short of supply these days? Do we really need to be patted on the back or smacked in the face? Why?

Of course, we all know the answer: Leave. Me. Alone. 

The truth is, if someone’s doing a good job, they should be told about it. Praised, even. Same goes for bad work – boy, they ought to hear about it. Voluntarily. But why go asking and asking and asking? Yeah, sure, they’re going to tell you it’s all about providing you with better service. But does it really? I haven’t noticed anyone rushing to get my doctor to see me any faster. My oil change predictably gets changed every 3000 miles and the car still runs just fine. My life hasn’t been altered because of any basic, essential or throwaway service I’ve received anywhere, and that’s including the places where I actually did fill in the survey.

Tell you what. I’d love to write a short story on the person who’s filled out one too many surveys. Imagine a corporate hack processing all of these forms. He gets that one-off where the questionee provides blunt, tasteless answers. The hack checks out the person and winds up in some kind of cyber netherworld wherein he desperately tries to fulfill requests and never, ever gets it straight. Or the woman who answers a request with snarky comments. She trips down a portal and every snippety comment she makes comes back to bite her. What kind of world would those people inhabit? Or take the classic stoning scene from Shirley Jackson’s “The Lottery.” Instead of stones, the woman has thousands of anonymous hands shoving questionnaires in her face. Her inability to gauge billions of satisfying or unsettling performances, accompanied by a pen with a very short supply of ink, causes her hand to tremor, leading to an exploding brain and quite messy demise.

Now imagine you. There you are, paying the tab at Blammo Burger, when the chipper, youthful customer service assistant asks you if that cheese-onion-sausage-kale-acai-pilchard beef burger met your definition of yummy. How you gonna respond?

Thought so.

How’m I Doin’?   Leave a comment

Astronaut Female

Man, I’ve had it.

Been a tough few weeks since I posted. And again, nothing horrible happened. Just me trying to reach the finish line.

After my, oh, sixth rewrite of my book, I finished it! I’m gasping and panting, sort of looking back at the experience, gazing upon it with bleary eyes, hoping I got it right this time.

Perhaps one of the most exciting, excruciating and frustrating things about putting a work of your own creation together is taking that rough assemblage of unruly words and whipping them into a recognizable form. I put off all forms of recreation and relaxation in order to finish, once and for all, this wonderful story I’ve drummed up in my head. My agent liked it very much, but said it needed work on the dialogue. My sister, the published author, liked the story but told me I gave out too many details when it wasn’t necessary.

Not wanting to rush through it, I read the whole thing through without doing one single edit. I wanted to absorb it, then take the suggestions of both my agent and sister and see how to fix it. I learned long ago not to take criticism personally. You can’t, not when you’re editing. Sure, it helps to have beta readers, and I did, but in the end your story’s going to have to win over the hearts of editors and publishers. There’s no room for taking criticism personally. I couldn’t.

Sure, my sister and I argued over plot points and she tossed my pages back at me when I didn’t quite understand what she was trying to tell me. You might say I have a different way of interpreting her lessons. But she didn’t write the book, I did, and if she can’t figure out what I’m saying, then how will the reader? And yes, once I read out loud my dialogue, my agent was right on the money – people don’t talk like that! Too stodgy, too boring, too…ugh…

So I fixed it all, wrote, rewrote and rewrote some more, even entire pages, until my eyes went numb. Fingers, too. And even after I rewrite the thing for the fifth time, I still wasn’t happy. I gave the whole kit-and-kaboodle one more look-over. Found those last few troublesome spots, as well as some missing commas, periods and other missing punctuation points.

And, for now, I’m done.

Boy, I showed those words a thing or two. So now, I’ll be making regular entries again. I missed my blog. A lot. But I’m doing a lot better now, having whipped my book into the best shape it’s ever been.

Alien Spanking

Posted November 5, 2015 by seleneymoon in Sci-Fi, science fiction, Writing

Tagged with ,

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