talkstowolves: I speak with wolves and other wicked creatures. (talks to wolves)

Carrie Fisher was an amazing woman: complicated and brash, outspoken and compassionate. She spoke out about mental health, mental illness, and normalizing its treatment. She lived out loud and helped others be less afraid. Losing her in the world was a blow – not just because I value her acting, value Princess then General Leia in Star Wars – but for all that she was.

There was such an outpouring of love and grief at her death, and her eulogy was written in thousands of anecdotes and farewells and spreading of her best moments across the Internet – including quotes and arguments against sexism, for mental health, delivered with a barbed and humorous tongue.

From one of her many conversations about bipolar disorder, I came across the following: “Now get out there and show me and you what you can do.” I’d been wanting to honor her with my January design, and there it was – her words which I could render graphical – and honor her and raise awareness for mental health both.

This is that design.

The words are in the color combination of a certain brand name of fluoxetine, warped into a capsule shape. I have made a number of products featuring this design available to you at my Zazzle shop, What Duck?, and my Redbubble shop.

You can pick up this design on the following items:
A large refrigerator magnet.
A standard-sized button.
A really lovely tote bag or a different tote or a drawstring bag.
A profusion of shirt types and a hoodie.
A great throw pillow.
Both mugs and travel mugs.
A selection of notebooks.
A series of wall art.

If you’d like anything else, I take requests – so hit the comments.

P.S. If you were a member of my Patreon, you could have received a Limited Edition Postcard of this design as a perk!

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talkstowolves: I speak with wolves and other wicked creatures. (talks to wolves)

#RPGCat is a great nuisance as well as a great joy: and, well, that’s cats all over. We love the furry little jerks entirely, and wouldn’t have it any other way. So it is with RPG Cat: even as my fellow roleplayers remove their character sheets from under Tiger Jack’s fluffy butt, they keep petting him at the same time.


Did you know that RPG Cat is a notorious rules lawyer? Oh, yes, he’ll cite you the rules and argue their finer points any old time.


We let RPG Cat take a spin behind the GM screen one session, and the power rather went to his head. No one survived that day! Our characters were but prey between his mighty paws.


RPG Cat doesn’t just make his JUMP check, he SPROINGS in a most amusing and amazing manner.

Yes, it rather seems like everything’s coming up Tiger Jack in the realm of RPG Cat. Everyone pays attention to him, he’s the most epic roleplayer, and — wait, what’s this?



To be continued…

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talkstowolves: I speak with wolves and other wicked creatures. (talks to wolves)

Welcome to the Weekly Round-Up! You got one publication this week, with many to come. Let’s jump right in:

Thing that I wrote: 

Why Black Cat Myths Are So Bogus, over at Front Page Meews.

Things that I read: 

Nasty women have much work to do,” by Alexandra Petri and published at The Washington Post. YES.
Tremontaine, Season 2, Episode 1: “Convocation” by Ellen Kushner, published by Serial Box. So good!
So You Want to Make a Deal with the Devil” by Matt Staggs over at Unbound Worlds. Ha!

Thing that looks like me: 

I didn’t draw a new Whiteboard Weirdness this week because I love looking at last week’s Headless Cat and other reasons. So! Have a great illustration drawn by Paige Halsey Warren of me and my husband in the fashion of Star Wars:


Things I’m excited about:







Click the pics if you fancy purchasing any of the above! I get a modest kickback from Amazon if you do.

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talkstowolves: I speak with wolves and other wicked creatures. (talks to wolves)

Welcome to the weekly round-up! Mind your tongues and elbows, Ps and Qs, and whatever other things that might stick out or get you in trouble. Oh yeah, and enjoy all these things what I assembled for you.

Things that I wrote:

Pro Tips for the Great Hairstylist Quest, at ISA Professional’s blog.
Great Cats of History, Part 1, at Front Page Meews.

Things that I read:

Tove Jansson’s Rare Vintage Illustrations for Alice in Wonderland” over at Brain Pickings is full of marvels to behold.
Get in the Ring: Vintage Images of Female Bodybuilders and ‘Strong Women’ Showing Off,” being full of lady badasses to admire.
This GREAT post at Over the Effing Rainbow in honor of #TremonTEAM: “Everyone Loves Turnips!: A Micah Heslop Appreciation Post.”

Things that I made:


I finally achieved a day off this week and spent it catching up on Dragon Age: Inquisition, which made drawing a chibi Varric snuggling with Bianca a natural choice for this week’s Whiteboard Weirdness. For some definitions of natural, anyway. My reference illustration was the adorable “Varric Chibi” by RedPawDesigns at DeviantArt.

Things that I’m excited about: 








Click the pics to purchase if you’re likewise excited about any of the featured items above! I get a modest kickback from Amazon if you do.


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talkstowolves: I speak with wolves and other wicked creatures. (talks to wolves)

Being a family of gamers who recently relocated, one of our priorities was in setting up a Game Room in our new space. Luckily, we were able to do just that – a disused dining room makes the perfect venue. Large table? CHECK. Space for at least 6 people around it? CHECK. Shelves to display minis and action figures; bookcases for RPG manuals? DOUBLE CHECK.


So now we have the dedicated space for weekly Dune and Star Wars roleplaying games.


Guess what our giant orange mackerel tabby Tiger Jack thinks of all this?




He thinks it’s ALL FOR HIM. “What?” He seems to say. “I’m a gamer. I play games.”




Tiger Jack is a cat who particularly enjoys attention. Why else would all these people, who clearly want to pet him, be gathered in one place? And why would they be throwing little balls, if not for him to bat at?


Above, he conspires with another player. Below, he is become Tiger Jackhulud, great Sandcat of Dune:




And so now? Now, we have #RPGCat:




The party’s doomed.


(You can see more of #RPGCat over on my Instagram feed; I tend to post there first.)


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talkstowolves: I speak with wolves and other wicked creatures. (talks to wolves)

Chuck Wendig’s Aftermath has come and gon–no, wait, actually it remains for you to purchase at any bookseller you fancy. I mean, probably. Unless the bookseller specializes only in Cheesemaker Biopics Prior to 1900, or Ball Joint Enthusiast tracts. Still, my point stands! Aftermath, the first post-Return of the Jedi novel is out there, and now you can also read my review at Buzzy Mag.

Spoiler: I liked it, but it was a bit of a mess.

Do you know what the most notable aspect of Chuck Wendig’s Star Wars: Aftermath has been? Not that it’s the first post-Return of the Jedi story given to the galaxy. Not that it’s a gripping and fast-paced yarn. Nope. The most notable aspect per the Internet is that it has several gay characters. And space diapers.

I wish I could say I was kidding, but I’m not. I wish I could Jedi mind trick the Internet into being a less bigoted place, but I can’t. What I can do, however, is tell you that Star Wars: Aftermath is a flawed book, but it’s fun, and a worthy addition to the Star Wars we know.

It’s an incredibly busy and diverse galaxy out there, and Wendig’s got that covered in spades. We get a wide view of multitudinous worlds reacting to the news of the Emperor and Vader’s defeat, the exploding of the Death Star, and how the Empire does not shatter. Instead, it crumbles at the edges and the Rebellion victory seeps in as smuggled propaganda, sowing hope with one secretly-watched holomessage at a time.

Read the rest of the review over at Buzzy Mag.

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talkstowolves: I speak with wolves and other wicked creatures. (talks to wolves)

Y’all know I miss The Clone Wars. I make absolutely no bones or Force ghosts about it. Rebels is showing promise, sure, and I’m starved for episodes on this hiatus, but The Clone Wars was where I lived.

Happily for me, an eight-part arc of The Clone Wars – scripted, but never produced – was considered ripe for novelization. Christie Golden took those scripts, and she forged them into one hell of an adventure. Check out my thoughts, fully published at BuzzyMAG:


The story follows Asajj Ventress and fan-favorite Quinlan Vos as they work together to achieve a necessary, yet deplorable goal: the assassination of Count Dooku. The Jedi Council sends Vos on this path, valuing his ability to adapt to deep cover and thus court Ventress’ assistance without her knowing he’s a Jedi. Of course, anyone who spent more than a few minutes considering this plan would realize that even the most serene Jedi might have a little trouble hiding their Force affinity in front of a Nightsister of Dathomir and former Sith acolyte. (Someone as swashbuckling as Quinlan Vos, ever skating along the edges of strict Jedi practice, had no chance.) Also, there’s the little problem that you probably need at least two Force-users working together to take on a Sith Lord of Count Dooku’s caliber.

Honestly. The Jedi Council is often very, very dumb.

(Yeah, yeah, Anakin was but one man. THE CHOSEN ONE, MAN.)

[Click here for the full review at BuzzyMAG!]

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talkstowolves: I speak with wolves and other wicked creatures. (talks to wolves)

You want it, don’t you? My review of Lords of the Sith by Paul S. Kemp? Well, you can have it! It’s up at BuzzyMAG. To prepare yourselves, though, you need to pay homage to Sith Girl.

Take a load off, grab a cup of blue milk or whatever, and give this video a watch:

Ah, good times, kickin' it and deciding to swear allegiance to the Dark Lord. And now you're ready to read my review. Read it now.

Lords of the Sith promised me a rollicking, bloody adventure best thought of as the PALPATINE AND VADER MURDERBUDDIES ROADSHOW. (In my mind. It’s a twisted place.) This is the sort of gleeful, anticipatory state in which I sat down to read the novel.

And, well, I wasn’t given what I expected. It wasn’t the MURDERBUDDIES ROADSHOW of my dreams. In fact, it’s honestly a testament to how well the book worked that I’m not horribly disappointed.

While the novel opens with a brief stint in Vader’s head, all crippled pain and cybernetics and the Dark Side of the Force, the narrative perspective soon shifts to the actual focus of the story: Twi’lek Cham Syndulla and his freedom fighters, smuggling weapons and plotting for the realization of a free Ryloth.

Click here to find the full review at BuzzyMAG.

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talkstowolves: I speak with wolves and other wicked creatures. (talks to wolves)

Look, people, never question how much affection I hold for you. I read Heir to the Jedi. I read the whole damn thing, and I DID IT FOR US.

Don’t you walk away from me! Don’t you leave this thing we have together. If I’m bitter now, you only have yourselves to blame! Yourselves, and Kevin Hearne.

Seriously, though, I did read Kevin Hearne’s Heir to the Jedi, and it was not a very good novel. It’s unfortunate that this was my introduction to Hearne’s work, as many of you have told me of the excellence to be found in his The Iron Druid Chronicles. I promise you I will give them a try, because no one should be judged based on this recent Star Wars novel that reads like nothing so much as a defeated author’s scribblings after being henpecked by a boardroom-based canon council.

Y’all should probably just read the review I wrote for you now, kindly published over at BuzzyMAG:


Heir to the Jedi, by Kevin Hearne, is one of our latest forays into a galaxy far, far away. It promises us mystery revealed, seems poised to take us into the daily life of a certain young Skywalker as he grows from the whiny punk of Star Wars into the more sober, experienced man of The Empire Strikes Back. The foreword promises as much from an evidently keen fan of the franchise. And yet, Heir to the Jedi is the worst of the new canon novels.

From its early pages of reported events to Luke’s frankly crappy reasoning skills, this novel commits the cardinal sin of being boring…

Click this link to read the rest over at BuzzyMAG!

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talkstowolves: I speak with wolves and other wicked creatures. (talks to wolves)

“Gimme those Star Wars… don’t let them end!”

Bill Murray and I may not have much in common, but we’ll always share a croon-worthy desire for more Star Wars.

…oh, that was a bit? Well, there goes THAT fictional friendship.

ANYWAY, I am here with two thumbs and a huge grin to crow about having an ARC of Heir to the Jedi. That’s right, people! I’m getting my Luke on and nobody can stop me! (I’d rather get my Vader on but, you know, Siths will be Siths. And not have any more canon books until Lords of the Sith which, let’s be real, sounds potentially EPICALLY BADASS.)

While I wander off and reconnect with our dubious young Jedi, check out my opinion on the first new-canon installment: the Star Wars Rebels-introducingA New Dawn. You can find a snippet below, and read my full thoughts over onBuzzyMAG.


SW-ANDIf there’s one thing you should know aboutStar Wars: A New Dawn, it’s this: it’s just like The Clone Wars animated series, but with more booze and brawling.

This novel is a straightforward, quick read and serves well as the first salvo in the oncoming cavalcade of new Star Warscanon. We’re introduced to several key characters from the upcoming Rebelsanimated series, which I appreciate – I’m definitely going to be watching the show, and getting some more depth out there on the characters before it starts is good form. I also appreciate the diversity the author (or canon designers) are invested in showing: there were many women of multiple species in positions of import, including a human female POC acting Captain at the helm of a Star Destroyer. She even comes out relatively well in the end – for an Imperial, anyway.

(If you think it’s a spoiler that the Empire does well enough for itself in this novel, have you even seen Star Wars? Come on, now.)


Click to keep reading the review at BuzzyMAG…

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March 2017

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