thefalseorange asked: Hi Ash. I've been crazy curious about this lately, what is it that you do for a job, exactly?

Hi darlin’!

I work at a university in the Asian Studies Department.  I help and advise students, build the curriculum, set up classes, perform outreach activities, and generally encourage anyone and everyone to learn about everything from Islamic civilization to Iranian calligraphy to Bollywood cinema, to geisha, to hutongs, to tea culture, to mythology in Thailand and back again.

<3,
Ash

Anonymous asked: Holy shit. Is/was there a news article or something for that murder? What did the police find out?

I’m sure there was an article in the paper or something — lots of people did come talk to us afterward, but mostly they spoke to my parents and I never saw any article about it.  I didn’t look!  I was only 12, remember.  I didn’t read the newspaper. I watched Gargoyles on the Disney channel. 

I do know the police never found the person responsible for the murders or even had any suspects, but the state SBI did ID some of the remains found at the site.

omgkimwtf asked: 1. That ghost story is hella scary. Mostly because 2. the mentions of red dirt make me think it was set in Oklahoma and I live in Oklahoma please tell me that story was false and you just made it up from that one pic.

It happened in North Carolina, dear heart, and I’m afraid it’s not false at all.  It really did happen to me.  That picture is real.  The chimney’s still there, still standing, less than two miles from my parents’ backyard.

bando-fighting-fitblr32 asked: I'm a huge fan of the whole creepypasta genre, and I was kinda wondering what your thoughts/feelings about it are, and if maybe you have ever written something of the creepy or horror nature?

Hi darlin’!

Horror is my favorite genre because it so often goes with other genres I enjoy (adventure!  fantasy!  sci-fi!) and employs tropes I love:  survival, getting past a “big bad,” teamwork, unlikely friendships, STRONG friendships, etc.  I like seeing what people do in terrible situations.  I like monsters!  I like apocalypses and bands of gritty survivors.  I like kids who scrap together hard-edged groups with kindness in the middle and I like seeing them take on the horrors of the world, real or not.

As for my writing, most of the things I write have an undercurrent of implied disorder and impending disaster:  my most recent long fic, Spindle, Spire, was about mutants and weird mushroom zombie centipede-y things.  Even the happier Missing Moments of Sister Claire tinge toward dark if you look at them long enough.

I do also often like creepypasta, and I’ve written one.  Unlike most creepypasta, though, mine’s true.  I have unfortunate luck.  I’ve experienced some things most people only ever see in Stephen King books.  And believe me, it’s not as fun finding human teeth in person as it is safely reading about it on the couch.

the book’s open, ruffle my pages

Hi everyone,

Got any questions for me?  Put ‘em in my askbox and I’ll see what I can do.  =)

Best,
Ash

costume party

For the two conventions I have coming up, which are Animazement and ConnectiCon respectively, I think I’m going to cosplay as Steven Universe some days and as Wreck-It Ralph others.

I’ve never gone anywhere in costume before save a Halloween party, so this should be a fun new experience!  I hope I can do it justice.  I hope I can be convincing.  I hope I can…

…wreck it.

tile by tile

My parents never really let me cook when I lived at home.  I mean, sure, I washed dishes, chopped up vegetables, put away groceries.  I stirred stuff in pots.  I opened cans and measured out ingredients, but despite that I coveted holding the mixer while we made brownies or turning steaks on the grill as the flames licked at the tongs, it was never allowed.  No amount of interest in recipes or cookbooks on my part changed their minds:  the kitchen was adult territory, the stove a sacred shrine, the burners consecrated.  The intricate mysteries of preparing meals were not mine to unravel, not according to my parents.  The closest I ever got to cooking was using the microwave for EasyMac.

Unsurprisingly, my lack of culinary experience has proven problematic later in life again and again.  The very first time I made a meal for myself involving the stove it was a huge pot of Hamburger Helper, and it came out great and I was so proud of it, but I was also ignorant and I didn’t know leftover cooked meat had to be refrigerated, okay?  I left it in the pot on the stove.  For two days I ate the Hamburger Helper, even as it started to taste funny, and on the third day when I opened the pot it looked like a failed human transmutation experiment à la Full Metal Alchemist.  You know that scene where little Edward and Al attempt to resurrect their mother and don’t quite get what they bargained for?  Yeah.  On the third day, the Hamburger Helper left in the pot looked like that.

The first time I made pancakes I set them on fire.  (I still ate them afterward.)  Brownies?  Charred on top, resembled liquid shit everywhere else.  One fateful Saturday night I braved baking chicken breasts and my whole apartment building had to be evacuated for three hours while it was raining outside.  Not drizzling.  Raining hard.  My neighbors applauded when I moved out.

Of course I’ve learned things.  With no parents in my own kitchen to tell me not to and a distinct lack of shame, horrible scalded smells aside, I read how-to sites all the time.  I’ve discovered olive oil and a wok and marinades and steamer baskets.  Pyrex.  Baking mittens.  Garlic cloves.  “You’ve never chopped an onion?” Elena asked, dumbfounded, when she moved in.  No, I hadn’t — but now I can, even if my fingers aren’t as fast as hers. 

I scroll through food blogs between tasks at work.  I bookmark recipe after recipe:  I have an adventurous soul and hungry hands and I want to do different things, I want to make them myself.  This weekend I tried cooking barbecued jackfruit and it turned out terrible, sure, I can admit that, but cans of the stuff are only $2 apiece and who’s to say it won’t be great next time, huh?  The kitchen is adult territory, I get it, but I’m an adult now at least in body and I am conquering the place one tile at a time. 

Once I had to Google how to make a grilled cheese sandwich.  This weekend I had to Google how to hardboil eggs.  Just as my first grilled cheese sandwich was a blackened, bubbly ruin fit only for consumption by the hardiest of goats, the hardboiled eggs are revealed now as a failure.  This morning I brought a couple to work to eat and they’re runny inside.  Go figure.

But give up?  No. 

I never will.

yamino:


"Tell me how she remembers my name, Catharine.  I doubt very much you ever mentioned it to her.  After all, I’m only her imaginary friend.”

Read the final installment of this week’s Missing Moment, written by Ash and illustrated by me. &lt;3

Big things happening this week in Sister Claire!  Give it a read!

yamino:

"Tell me how she remembers my name, Catharine.  I doubt very much you ever mentioned it to her.  After all, I’m only her imaginary friend.”

Read the final installment of this week’s Missing Moment, written by Ash and illustrated by me. <3

Big things happening this week in Sister Claire!  Give it a read!

This is my favorite of the rescued kittens.  I have dubbed him&#8230; Wolverine.
Would anyone local to NC like to give him a home?  He likes short walks down the hallway, vanquishing the Evil Spiderhand (TM), rearing up on his back legs like the world&#8217;s tiniest vampire, and wedging himself firmly between any available chin and shoulder.  He even knows how to use the litterbox!
&lt;3,Ash

This is my favorite of the rescued kittens.  I have dubbed him… Wolverine.

Would anyone local to NC like to give him a home?  He likes short walks down the hallway, vanquishing the Evil Spiderhand (TM), rearing up on his back legs like the world’s tiniest vampire, and wedging himself firmly between any available chin and shoulder.  He even knows how to use the litterbox!

<3,
Ash

Anonymous asked: How are you today Ash?

I’m wonderful!  Though this morning I almost pissed myself in bed out of fear because it suddenly sounded like someone was shaking a creepy maraca right next to my head.  Then I realized it was just several of my dart frogs singing in unison.  At 5AM.  In the dark.

How are you, dear?  I hope it’s a lovely day for you today.