Cyclone Wars Part III and how Octopus Kitty went to live with Neil Gaiman.

Right, if you have not read the first 2 parts of Cyclone Wars, click HERE for part 1, and HERE for part 2.
For those of you that don’t want to bother with the recap:
Grudge match. We won. It ruled. Overall, it was great derby. Now to drinks.

This blog may get long. If all you’re interested in is how Octopus Kitty went to live with Neil Gaiman, and you have no interest at all in the roller derby after party debauchery, (really???)well.. tough crap. I ramble.

After parties with derby girls always tend to be crazy. After parties with my girls when we’ve just won a bout that was 3 years in the making? Really, really crazy!

Along for the ride was Weird Octopus Kitty (squid, whatever)Thing From Coraline-MINI! I had made a tiny version, with the intent of sending it to Mr. Neil Gaiman. I also decided that it would be good luck to drag him along to the bout… which meant along for the after party as well. So Mr. Neil Gaiman, I’m very sorry. Octopus Kitty Thing saw more than it’s young eye should ever have seen…
Here is how it started:
***and as always, clicking on a picture will make it bigger!!!

Mini Kitty hung with me pre-bout. (Face in tree? What face in the tree)? We got ready, then I entrusted it to Dill and Brownie, since I didn’t want to keep track of it AND my skates, pads, uniforms, etc.
Whenever Dill and Brownie are entrusted to something, one thing tends to happen. WEIRD SHIT.

If you did not go to the bout, or read the recaps, this might make no sense to you. So let me explain. The Kamikaze chicken apparently joined the Dark Side for our Star Wars themed bout. Our brave announcers, who were of course with the Rebel Alliance, battled him fiercely before the start of the first bout.
See? Simple really…

Mini Kitty chills at the announcers booth.

Kit gave Mini Kitty some snuggles from her wheelchair after the win!

Josephine Bone Apart says bye to Mini Kitty.

Mini Kitty promotes drinking. Fair warning.


Mini Kitty and the boys at the after party. Chris, in the middle, had the best sign ever in derby. See Part II

Sin Lizzie lets Mini Kitty hang out on her pimp cane. (wheelchairs, canes, this is how you know there are derby girls in the house)! Her fiance Brian is pretending that he does not know us.

Copping a feel on Nay.

Next, we exposed Mini Kitty to some questionable behavior. Here’s the thing. We have a hitting coach. We’ve nicknamed him Hot Ryan, because when he first came into the practice space, we acted like we always act when a guy comes into the practice space. Like we’re in a freaking women in prison movie. It’s ridiculous! The most demure roller girl turns into a whooping, hollering, butt slapping crazy person when a guy enters our secret lair.
Hot Ryan, after enduring this for several weeks, tried to encourage us to hit harder in bouts, by promising a lap dance to the girls with the best hits.
Oh Hot Ryan, did you not think that we would take you up on this? He got his friends involved, and Mini Kitty was there to witness it all!

Hot Ryan’s friend was REALLY into it! Haha! NRG security guys gone wild!

We finished off the night with a group photo and we all say “Bye” to Mini Kitty!

So now Weird Cyclops Octopus Kitty Thing From Coraline is going to leave for his new home with Neil Gaiman. Along with some Naptown Swag! I had to head over Neil Gaimans website and check out the FAQ to see what goes into sending a package to Neil Gaiman. Little did I know, there is not only a special address, there are special rules, posted by the Fabulous Lorraine, about what not to send your favorite author.

Top Ten Things Never to Send Your Favorite Writer

10. Food
Unless you are a proper Food Company, what you send will not arrive in anything like the condition you sent it out in. Writers, or anyone else for that matter, tend to become rather dubious upon viewing the crumpled remains of what once was no doubt (or a lot of doubt) cookies. Also, somewhere deep in our darkest recess of our past, all of us remember our Mother’s Don’t Take Candy From Strangers , I mean, sure, it’s a million to one odds, that this is the final crazed fan who has coated the little goodies with arsenic, but hey, who wants to take chances?

Right, so I had absolutely no intention, whatsoever, of sending Mr. Neil Gaiman food. I didn’t. But how could I be sure that food wouldn’t make it into the package? Better safe than sorry right? Imagine my embarrassment if those chocolate chip cookies I baked, or those yummy mangoes made it into the box somehow? Stranger things can happen right? Just to be safe, I ate them all.
It was for my favorite authors protection after all…

Send wine. Or scotch. Single Malt. Old Single Malt.

Heh. Liquor does not last in our house. Plus, Dill has spidey-sense when it comes to liquor LEAVING the house. The sound of a bottle being packed in a box will wake that man frome the deadest sleep. So I can’t send booze. Sorry. I will however, take a drink in your honor. I might just grab a bottle and blog. That always leads to good decisions about what to post! Right?

9. Paw-paws.
Yes, I know, they are food. Well they might be food, I don’t know. I do know they don’t ship. Even Fed-ex. People have tried. There are reasons we don’t have them in the North. For all I know, they are local to a three mile square field down South somewhere, available only to folk singers and local residents with a 1/2 mile radius of said field. I repeat, they don’t ship.
Now mangoes do ship. Via Fed Ex. If you want something very badly from your favorite writer, a half dozen mangoes to his or her assistant will often move that request right to the top of the list. Trust me.! Curse my over attention to detail! Why did I eat the mangoes??? WHY????

8. Invitations for things happening next month
Now, writers tend to be busy, based on my experience. Unless you are signing yourself HRH Elizabeth R. or including the words “Beach house ” “Maui” and “business class airfare”, next month is probably not going to work. Writers write. It doesn’t matter how great your Convention is, they need to plan for it. In advance. It takes writers a very long time to write a book (no, I don’t know why, it just DOES). If you are reading their Blog and find out they are in town for a signing next week, dinner is also not going to work. Especially if you have never met, nice idea, but sorry. They don’t even want to see their friends when on signing tours. ( Actually the friends know all about writers on tour and tend to flee that weekend.)

Invitations coming in from Brazil are the exception to this. Brazilians only tend to send out invites for next month. Nothing deters them. They will set up an art show based on the writer’s work, have an entire convention based on your writer’s books, a conference and country wide media complete with signings, declare it a national holiday in the town, and get the mayor lined up to present the keys to the city making it permanently “The Poor Writer” Day from here on out AND this will all be scheduled Next Month. In one notable instance, Next Week.

I would never presume to invite Mr. Gaiman to anything. But should he ever be in Indiana with a Naptown bout going on, he is more than invited. Of course… I do believe this win might just put us in the running for regionals in Minnesota…

7. Handwritten Letters.
Ok, we have a little lee-way here. Say it is a simple card saying, in nice, neat readable handwriting, “Darn your last book was great!” this is most likely ok. If you want your writer to read your letter it has to be readable. Yes, I know, one would think this was a no-brainer, but you’d be surprised at how many people take a lot of liberties with the word Legible. Typewritten is so much easier to read. You might even go all out and include your address at the top, along with a SASE.

Which brings us to another little point….

I used to write everything by hand, until I got a laptop. Laptops ruined my penmanship, and my spelling. So no handwritten letter. I’m way too lazy for that now. I won’t even print this blog off and include it in the package, as that would involve a trip to the store for a new ink cartridge. I’ll just email a link. This rule appeals to my lazy nature.

6. Letters more than ten pages long.
Whatever you have to say should not take that long. It might well be important, and if you have to, you have to. But consider keeping it short. Ten pages of your latest novel idea, film idea, dream you had last night, or just a newsy note bringing your writer up to date on your life is more than they want to know and they will not be with you much past page four. (All right, I lied, make that page two.)

Or rather the writer’s assistant will not be with you that long. If your writer is very popular they get a LOT of mail. They can’t read all of it, tho in their defense I must say they do try. You might consider something truly sneaky and start your letter “Hello, Oh great and wonderful Writer’s Assistant, just bought your latest cd ( and ye gads! It is great!” Don’t know why, but those sorts of letters do tend to get more attention paid to them.*

* Assistants are smart. Very smart. Make sure you actually buy the thing.

Hmmm…. This blog may well end up ten pages long…What about if I say.. “Hey there people that read my blog! Go buy the wonderful writers assistants new cd! Right now! Here is linky!” That’s far better than me just purchasing one myself correct? Extra brownie points maybe?

5. Letters written on black paper with a silver pen.
Silver pen on black paper is not nearly as cool as you think it is.

No. No it is not. In fact… borderline emo. Sorry. That is not to say that I did not, at one point, write half a journal with that combination, thinking it was cool. But I also used to think that I had AWESOME fashion sense. I was wrong on both counts, as my high school yearbook can attest.

4. Your latest novel
Writers write. And they read. They have a backlog of reading bigger than most home libraries. They don’t have time to read your novel/short story film idea. They don’t have time to read the things they want to. It is also never a good idea to send them letters saying “Boy, I can’t believe you used my idea I sent you last year in your latest novel/short story/film.” They didn’t. Again, trust me. They didn’t.

Send your stories to agents, editors, magazines , family, and friends. They want them, and in some cases are paid to want them. In some cases they may even pay you for them.

Um… I didn’t write a novel. But I did send a copy of Knockdown Knits. No reading really necessary (but it is funny stuff). However feel free to look at the pretty pictures! Or knit the patterns! You never know when you need a knit sling, or a big bag with a skull on it!

4. Things with blood on them.
‘Nuff said. I don’t care what they write, they don’t want it.

Okay. Ew. Really? REALLY? People do this? REALLY? Please tell me this was just included in the rules for humor! Ew.

3. Anything you want back.
I am not talking about the odd book here, to be signed and sent back, particularly if you have written the assistant first explaining the situation (remember how we start those letters?) and sent the book with SASE (and mangoes). Most writers are happy to oblige. Even assistants don’t mind, happy to help. I am talking about personal things you want back. Your one of a kind portfolio filled with the only copies of original art. The ten micro-cassettes-with-player you have recorded your dream journal on for the last year. Actually, any journal of any kind. This goes along with the only copy of your latest poems, the master copy of your cd or any family heirlooms.

Writers dread the sort of letter that starts out “I have sent you this, but please send it back when you are done”. For some reason anything of the sort immediately sends the item off into some sort of alternate cosmic 5th dimension, and it will, I guarantee, never be seen again, no matter what good intentions the writer may have.

I do not want any of this back. Especially if the shirts are worn on a really hot day during a sweaty workout, sealed in a ziploc bag for safe keeping, stored at the bottom of a drawer for a few months. Please. Seriously. Keep it.

2. This is more of a Good Idea/ Bad Idea list of things you might send
Some Good Ideas: Small things, trinkets, cool jewelry, tiny statues, small things that squeak (not living), one of a kind toys, weird barbie Dolls dressed as the Endless (Sorry, I don’t know why, but I have always liked those) cool old books, reference books , blank books for writing, cd’s , black socks (don’t care who they are, they’ll need them) mittens (unless they live in Paw-paw country) wind up Sushi, muppet puppets of said writer, Day of the Dead things, fountain pens and perhaps some truly useful items like Sharpie Pens and post it notes . The better the writer the less pens and paper they are going to have around.
Some Bad Ideas: Art larger than 3 x 5 feet (I am being generous here), photo albums with more than 50 photos of one signing , things that squeak (living), anything fragile (it will get broken), live animals of any kind, anything weighing over 50 pounds, pictures of you and the writer blown up to poster size that your friend took at a signing, your ENTIRE collection of his/her work to be signed, anything you recorded while on drugs, open liqueur bottles with hand done labels in a foreign language, and anything you have to preface with “I found this in a graveyard….” (or your freezer).
Ok, I know what you are wondering. Yes, we have. All of them.

Okay, while I will not send any of those bad things (damn, and that random packet of blood I found in the graveyard was just itching to get sent)… that list is badass.

1. Sand
It gets Everywhere. Can I repeat that ? It Gets EVERYWHERE. I cannot tell you the amount of times I have sat sadly in my just-this-day-cleaned office, looking at my sand-covered desk, which now resembles something very like a Zen garden gone bad. This may be a fairly one-writer-specific problem, but if you listen to one thing I have said here, Do not send Sand. Ever. You can’t pack it so it stays in whatever container you have deemed appropriate. Send the container, include a note saying “Fill this with Sand”. I will do it for you, no mangoes, no cd buying, I’ll nip outside and get you some of the best sand going. Just don’t try and send it yourself.

I know what I am talking about here. Trust me.


Alright, for those of you that know me, or read my blog, you know that we have a lot of “special” animals. Sassy Burrito who eats EVERYTHING, and Hillbilly the psychotic soul stealing diabetic cat, in particular.
If I even THOUGHT of bringing sand into my home, to send in this package, Lenore, the cute little kitty, would knock it off the highest perch, Vega the limber kitty would roll in it, Ernie the Super Puppy would chase Vega the limber kitty through the sand, tracking it everywhere, Hillbilly the psychotic soul stealing diabetic cat would then shit in the sand, bite anyone who came near him to clean it up, then Sassy Burrito would eat it. And somehow, someway, Starkey the horse and Flippy the llama would get involved in the shenanigans. I don’t know how, they just would.

So nope, I will not be sending any sand.

Instead, I am sending the miniature version of the Coraline toy,(who has seen way too much for one so young) a girls medium black Naptown Roller Girls shirt, a mens large black Naptown Roller Girls shirt, a Naptown Roller Girls Calender, which, though the year is half over(I procrastinate, just a bit sometimes), has some AMAZING, gorgeous photos,a copy of Knockdown Knits should anyone be interested in knitting, or roller derby, some kitty toys for Lorraine, who does awesome work for some awesome kitties, and a vial of my blood. Okay, sorry, I just can’t get over that one. Ew…
Right, over it. But that is what I’m sending. And a link to this blog entry, so Mr. Neil Gaiman can see what we did to the Weird Octopus Kitty Thing from Coraline before it was sent to him.

Again, sorry.