Friday, August 18, 2017

Other News


There is a tiny, tiny Wal-Mart on the campus of the Kid's university -- smaller than a convenience store.

The students call it the Small-Mart.

Thursday, August 17, 2017

The Kid Finds Food


Classes don't start until Monday on the kid's campus, so today she's been dealing with problems and exploring.

Here's her first meal in the dining hall:



That's a grapefruit, raw carrots, tater tots and "some kind of meat," to quote the kid.  We were worried she would not be able to find food without corn syrup in the dining hall, but it looks like she can!


The Kid Departs


My kid has gone off to college -- we drove her up yesterday, helped her carry everything into her dorm room, took her to lunch, and then drove away.

It's an odd and somewhat scary feeling, I must say, to leave your child behind. But she's doing very well! She loves being there, and she's dealing with everything: meeting up with her RA, finding out where her classes will meet, buying the trash can we forgot she might need.

Here's a few views of her dorm room:

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Racism in America


Here is one of my earliest memories, one I have never, ever admitted to anyone.

I was four years old. My family had just moved out of New Orleans proper -- in New Orleans, we lived in a trailer park in Gentilly, which was near the interstate overpass, and very close to the Community coffee factory. Every morning I would wake on the lower bunk of the bunkbed I shared with my older brother (my little brother had the crib) smelled roasting coffee. I still remember how wonderful that smell was.

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Links for You


Tomorrow the kid goes off to college. Today we're packing and taking care of last minute details.

Have some links!

Nancy Kress on science and science fiction

Athena Andreadis on left-handness (the science and the social history)

Monday, August 14, 2017

My Review of Sisters of Tomorrow


My review of Lisa Yaszek and Patrick Sharp's Sisters of Tomorrow is live at Strange Horizons.

Why does this erasure matter? For two reasons, as Russ notes. First, when we are denied models, it’s much harder to believe that we can succeed. If it were possible for women to write science fiction, we ask as young writers, wouldn’t there be lots of science fiction written by women? Any writer needs to believe her task is possible if she is to make it through the many years of struggle. Second, if almost all women writers are erased—so that we’re left, for instance, with only a few names (Ursula Le Guin, Octavia Butler, Connie Willis), writers who seem to exist in isolation—then it’s much easier to believe that these very few women succeeded not because women can write science fiction, but because they were some sort of freak. (She wrote it, but she’s not really a woman.)

Sunday, August 13, 2017

And...

...Dreher returns to the same old bullshit.

We can't hold White Nationalists responsible for their acts! It's those evil Leftists! If they didn't demand equal rights and a level playing field, why, those poor young white men wouldn't have to become Nazis!

Saturday, August 12, 2017

What I'm Reading


Despite the piles of work that surround me, I am still reading obsessively. What else can I do, with our blowhard joke of a president threatening nuclear war, and the white supremacist fuckwads who support him marching in Virginia, shouting, "Jews will not replace us!"

Oddly, not a single Trump supporter has denounced this march, which devolved into the white supremacists beating counter-protesters, including members of the clergy, with flaming torches and spraying them with mace and other chemicals. Rather than mentioning this, one conservative asshat we all know and love is still screeching endlessly about the persecution of that dudebro at Google.

Update: Dreher, uncharacteristically, condemns the White Nationalist protesters, though he doesn't seem to grasp that Nazi = White Nationalist. And of course his comment stream is filled with those defending the Nazis.

But anyway! Here's what I'm reading lately:


Anthony Trollope, The Small House at Allington, Can You Forgive Her?

Thursday, August 10, 2017

End of Summer II


I've finished all my grading and entered the grades for my Summer II classes.

Here's my schedule for what is left of the summer:

Friday, Saturday, Sunday: Work on Fault Line edits.

Monday: Start packing with the Kid, noting everything we forget to buy

Tuesday: Packing with the Kid, buy last-minute objects

Wednesday: Drive the Kid to school, help her move into dorm. Buy her books with her.

Thursday: Pre-school conference at my university.

Friday: Ditto

Saturday, Sunday, Monday August 19-21: Work on Fault Line edits. Deal with last minute prep for Fall 2017. Fret about the Kid.

Tuesday, August 22: My first day of classes.

(The picture is the Kid, age 12, at Hanukkah. I share it for nostalgia's sake.)




Wednesday, August 09, 2017

Well, Obviously

...there are DIFFERENT sorts of free speech* -- duh!









*For instance, there is free speech by white rich men. And then there is free speech by black upstarts who don't appreciate everything this country has done for them. When the first group speaks, we must be protected their right to say whatever like they like, at all costs, no matter what damage is done to others. When the second group speaks, we must vilify, condemn, and punish them until they shut up.

Monday, August 07, 2017

Fisking the Dreher


Andrew Johnston is doing a chapter by chapter read of Rod Dreher's pompous tome, The Benedict Option. All Johnston's posts are worth reading, but today's is especially good.

Today's youths are likely to grow up around some openly gay people and many of them have reached the same conclusions as me - queer folk are as boring as anyone else. Gay people aren't predators, they're just people. But let's not stop there - you could apply this to any of Dreher's other signs of sexual breakdown. Once you've known some women on birth control (or better still, once you've taken them yourself), you know that they aren't mindlessly fornicating animals. Once you've known some single mothers or divorcees, you know that they aren't stupid sluts. 

Sunday, August 06, 2017

Links for your Sunday



Summer II is almost over here -- I'm at the stage where all my students are resubmitting their revised drafts, which means I've got heaps of reading and editing to do. Combined with working on the edits for Fault Lines (which is going well!), well, I'm busy!

But! Not too busy to rummage the internets.  Here's some links:


This won't be quite as funny unless you saw the original

Wednesday, August 02, 2017

It's a Streak!


A very short streak, but still.

Last night right before I started getting ready for bed, I checked my email (as I always do) and found I had sold a story to Daily Science Fiction.

Much rejoicing followed, and then (about 40 minutes later), I really did start getting ready for bed, and checked my email (it's part of the bedtime ritual) to find I had sold a second story, this one to The Sockdolager.

Two stories in one hour! It is a record for me, beating out my previous record of two stories in one year.

Go me!

Sunday, July 30, 2017

What's Up?


Here, it is just over two weeks before the kid goes off to her first year of college. (Wasn't it just yesterday she was starting her first year of high school? WTAH.) We're occupied with the incidentals of getting her prepped for college -- dealing with financial issues, buying her supplies, thinking about the gear she'll need.

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Trump's America



Here's what Trump tweeted before the election:



Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Linkage


My editor has given me the next set of edits for my new novel, Fault Lines; so expect light posting for the next few months.

Meanwhile! Have some links!

Conservatives are weird

As Louie C.K. notes, the most dangerous person in a woman's life is the man she's in relationship with.

Saturday, July 22, 2017

What I'm Reading Now


I've sent my novel edits off (the first round), but I'm still teaching two sections of comp, with a different prep for each. So I'm busier than usual.

Nevertheless! I'm reading and reading.

These are the books I've finished lately:

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Cooking


I've been living on tabouli for the past few weeks. It's too hot here to actually cook, plus the tomatoes from my little garden are all coming ripe.

Here's the recipe I'm using now: Tabouli.

Also, a recipe for red sauce.

Monday, July 17, 2017

Fault Lines


 From Candlemark & Gleam:

Velocity Wrachant, owner and captain of the merchant starship Susan Calvin, is broke and stranded on a Drift station, when she is offered what seems like a simple job: to escort young Brontë Ikeda into Republic space and help her retrieve several bonded-labor children.

While Velocity is tempted by the fee Brontë offers – which is enough to clear her debts – she also knows that Ikeda House, a powerful Combine, just had a major coup; and both she and her crew suspect the story they’re being told by the Combine child is not the whole story.

Velocity takes the gig, but it takes her into the heart of Combine territory, a place she fled almost twenty years earlier. What is the price she and her shipmates may end up paying for this job?
More here.


Saturday, July 15, 2017

July? Again?


There are only two things I like about July.

(1) Homegrown tomatoes

(2) In less than 12 weeks, it will be fall

Today we have a temperature in the 90's and a humidity in the 60's and all I want to do is drink seltzer and mope.


Thursday, July 13, 2017

What I'm Reading Now


Since I had revisions of my novel and am teaching two classes in Summer II, my reading rate has dropped off just a bit. Also my physician gave me some Valium for my anxiety, which has helped so much.

But! Not much Valium -- just enough to use when the anxiety is the worst. So I'm still self-medicating with excessive novel reading.

Here's what I've read over the past week or so:

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Links


I've started teaching Summer II. One class meets at 8:00 a.m. and the other at 10.20. They're two different comp classes (Comp I and Comp II), which means I'm doing two different preps.

I'm busy, is what I'm saying, and also exhausted, since in order to teach at 8:00 I have to be awake by 6:00. And even though I mean to go to sleep at 10:00 p.m. like a sane person, every single night I look up from what I'm working on (usually writing fiction by then) to find that somehow we have skipped straight from 7:00 p.m. to midnight.

Friday, July 07, 2017

DIY Dryer Repair


Inspired by a post at Nicole & Maggie's blog, I took apart my dryer venting system yesterday, using a vacuum and leaf-blower to clear (what I hope is) all the lint out of both the internal and external venting line.

The W/D hookups in our current house are the worst ever. Originally, this house (built I think in the mid-1960s) had no hookups. At some point, one of the previous owners added a laundry space. But rather than locating it, sensibly, against an exterior wall, they located the laundry room (really a closet) in the middle of the house. Thus, our vent line has to travel about sixteen feet underground -- yes, they dug an underground line, under the house's slab -- to emerge in a dug-out hole exactly where the AC vents its water.

Thursday, July 06, 2017

Here Comes the Dragon


In the kid's comic, Fragile, the dragon has arrived. (The dragon is the best.)





Remember, you can support our young artist on Patreon for as little as a dollar a month!

Wednesday, July 05, 2017

I'm Not Blushing...


I swear I don't know Leslie Gornstein. OTOH, she obviously has excellent taste in short fiction:



Monday, July 03, 2017

Yes, This is the REAL Problem


Trump's EPA administrator is axing rules against dumping toxic chemicals in our environment, Trump's Secretary of Education is bent on destroying public schools, the GOP-dominated Congress is destroying Medicaid, and Trump himself has pulled us out of the Paris Accords -- but this is the real threat to America's children.

Seriously, how much of a wanker do you need to be to write a post like this?







Saturday, July 01, 2017

Saturday Links


Still working on the novel revisions. Have some links!


I like this LJ post on Being Jewish


What it would take to replace the government-backed social safety net with private charity

Friday, June 30, 2017

What I'm Reading Now


I'm working hard on the edits for my new novel (tentatively titled Fault Lines), so I'm getting less reading done than I was in the early months of the Trump Regime.

But still! Here's what I've read lately:


Josephine Tey, Daughter of Time

Organizing our books turned up a number of books I hadn't read in years. This is one of them.

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

The Kid Gets Orientated


We took the kid up to Fayetteville for her orientation session yesterday. Dropped her off at 8:00 a.m., picked her up at 3:00 p.m.

We saw lots of parents who were participating in orientation -- going through the sessions with their kids, in other words. Some kids had both parents with them. I was a little surprised. I don't think the kids at my university take their parents with them.

Also, why would you want to do orientation with your kid? First, your child is now (nominally, at least) an adult. Get your mitts off and let them do this (very simple) thing for themselves.

#2, holy hell, orientation is boring. Why submit yourself seven hours of mind-numbing lectures about technological opportunities on campus and how to find the library if you're not going to need the information? You're not the student! Why do this?

Maybe I'm missing something.

The kid did fine -- she didn't precisely enjoy the experience (because it was boring) but she said it went okay, and she met some other artists when they got divided up to be advised. Also, turns out her ACT score was high enough that she's exempted from having to take Comp I and Comp II. Which is excellent, because boy would she hate those classes.

So she's taking nine hours of studio arts, an honors-level anthropology class, and US History I. No classes on Friday, which she's very happy about.

Meanwhile, Dr. Skull and I talked to the treasurer about the tuition discount I get, and then hung out with Charger, Dr. Skull's BFF who lives in Fayetteville. I worked on my novel edits while they watched a movie. We also drove around visiting bookstores and looking at houses. I'd love to rent a house in FV. Oh, well, one day maybe.





Saturday, June 24, 2017

Excellent News


So today I signed the contract -- Candlemark & Gleam is going to publish my new novel. (Title is still in progress.) This is one set in the same universe as my previous novel, but with different characters -- some of the characters appear in the short story I published with Candlemark & Gleam, "Velocity's Ghost."

It's tentatively scheduled to come out in Spring 2018. Between now and then, I'll probably be posting less, since I'll be working on the edits.

I'm so pleased!


Thursday, June 22, 2017

The Kid at the University


My kid has her orientation session at the university on Monday. She is very much ready to be out of this town and in the university, so this is good news.

Also, though, we got the tuition statement this week. Holy hell, y'all. Four years at this university -- which is a state university -- will run in the neighborhood of ninety thousand dollars.

She's got a scholarship for some of it, and I get a 40% discount on the tuition (due to working in the state university system), but how would anyone who didn't have these things afford a four year degree?

"Loans" seem to be the answer the university itself is pushing. Nearly a hundred thousand dollars in loans for an undergraduate degree? That's the answer?

When I was at university, back in the eighties, my tuition was less than five hundred dollars a semester at a state university.


Sunday, June 18, 2017

Fragile


It's not too late to support our favorite artist on Patreon.





You can get previews and free drawings for as little as $2.00/month!

Saturday, June 17, 2017

Saturday Links


Links for you:

A student on campus speaks about the situation at Evergreen. (Big shocker: The white male professor, one who believes we should do "honest research" into racial issues, is not the saint he portrays himself as; nor is the situation at all as the Far-Right blogs and Fox News have presented it. Once again, white fragility has a tantrum, and people of color get the blame.)

Thursday, June 15, 2017

What I'm Reading Now


It's been interesting (and by interesting I mean entirely predictable) to watch the reaction of the Far-Right to the recent shooting of five members of the Republican party at a DC baseball practice. Somehow they have been able to shrug off all the other mass shootings and killings in our country over the past years. But this one! Oh, this goes too far!

See this thread by Sarah-from-here for more.

Meanwhile, here's what I've been reading:

Kaoru Mori, A Bride's Story 

This is a manga, translated into English (or anyway my version is). Set in various locations along the Silk Road in the 19th Century, it's beautifully drawn and a lot of fun. There are a number of plot lines, including arranged marriages, women who don't perform their gender correctly, family life, women's lives, and a visiting European anthropologist who runs into some trouble.

Interestingly, given the presence of that anthropologist, A Bride's Story is less plot-driven and more of an anthropological look at the lives and traditions of the characters and their families. One of my favorite sequences in Book One in which a carpenter explains his work to a small boy from one of the families. The art in this section is spectacular.

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Pew Research Center Makes My Point


Here's a post from Anna Brown at the Pew Research Center, "5 Key Findings about LGBT Americans" makes exactly the point I made in my post earlier today.

 63% of Americans said in 2016 that homosexuality should be accepted by society, compared with 51% in 2006. LGBT adults recognize the change in attitudes: About nine-in-ten (92%) said in a 2013 Pew Research Center survey of adults identifying as LGBT that society had become more accepting of them in the previous decade.
Perhaps as a result of this growing acceptance, the number of people who identify as LGBT in surveys is also rising. 


Yeah, this isn't rocket science.

The rest of the post is well worth the read.


These Kids Today


Rod Dreher writes yet another ridiculous post. This unhealthy obsession with LGBT people is really damaging his ability to reason.

In "Born That Way," Dreher argues that the rising number of young LGBT people means that those people aren't "really" gay. (Apparently it's a fad, or a lie, or a conspiracy by us powerful SJWs.)

The comment section is even more ludicrous than the post --

Friday, June 09, 2017

Not Really Human


Depsite all the tantrums the Far-Right threw about Clinton mentioning that it was deplorable to be a racist and a bigot, the special snowflakes on the Right have no problem declaring that anyone who isn't just like them -- following their religious creed, believing their political theology -- is "not really human."

Here's Rod Dreher, insisting in another wall of text ranting screed that anyone who isn't Christian-like-him isn't "fully human."


For [LGBT people]. one’s full humanity requires being able to express sexual and psychosexual desires, because these things are part of their identity. For traditional Christians, being fully human (in the sense of fulfilling our nature) requires ordering those desires to the ideal God reveals to us in Scripture and in nature. Understand me clearly: I’m not saying that LGBT people are “less than human,” any more than I would say that someone who cheats on his wife is less than human. Rather, I’m saying that all of us realize our full humanity when we live by certain truths embedded within Creation. In this sense, sin can be seen as a failure to be fully human, i.e., to fulfill God’s will for ourselves.

Thursday, June 08, 2017

Links!


So how about that Comey hearing?

I'm no fan of the knobstick who got Trump elected -- he says he feels sad about what he did, but yeah, buddy, that cuts no ice with me. You're sad, and my country is being destroyed. You did a bad thing and you should feel bad.

But I think it's clear enough: Comey says yes, Trump obstructed justice. Yes, the Russians interfered with the election. Yes, Trump is involved.

Will this cause the GOP to do the right thing? Don't make me laugh.

Here, have some links:


Linguistic posts are my kink.


Existential Comics meets Mad Max.

Wednesday, June 07, 2017

Working Hard


I'm getting so much done during these weeks when I am off-campus -- I finished my novel; I proofed another novel (not mine, but really good and a lot of fun -- look for Unraveling Timelines, this fall); I have written about two-thirds of what I think is going to be a novella.

I've also planted a garden, made inroads on the dreadful wilderness that has been my yard for the past five or six years, sorted and alphabetized all my books, moved those we plan to donate or sell into storage, and reduced (some of) the chaos in the house.

All this, of course, while the USA fragments and collapses around our ears. (I'm not watching any news, though I now have subscriptions to both the NYTimes and the Washington Post.)

Nicole and Maggie asked, a few weeks ago, how people felt about their jobs -- whether they felt they needed to work in order to have purpose and structure in their lives, or whether (if, for instance, Universal Basic Income ever becomes a reality) they would be just as happy and productive without having to work for a living.

I seem to be much more productive when I don't have daily classes to teach, and papers to grade. I don't know if this is because it's only for these seven weeks; or if the effect would last.

I wouldn't mind finding out, though. (We can dream!)

Monday, June 05, 2017

The Hell?


I'm seriously befuddled by the Religious Right these days -- well, I suppose that means most Conservatives in the USA, since the GOP has been eaten alive by the Evangelicals it coaxed into the party in the hope of winning a few elections.

Friday, June 02, 2017

Friday Links!


All the books are in order. I am (almost) caught up on my laundry. The chimney is fixed (finally). Now all I have to do is vacuum and I'll have nothing to do but write. Is this my beautiful house? Is this my beautiful life?

Have some links!

This essay by Rebecca Solnit on Trump is brilliant. Longish, but well worth the read.

Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Books Done!


I have sorted and shelved all* the books!

Say WAH HOO for me!




*and by "all" I mean all except the books in Dr. Skull's office. Those are his problem.

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

What I'm Reading Now


I'm working on finishing off my novel (it's finished, I'm just doing the final read through) before submitting it, as well as editing another novel (someone else's, I'm just doing the proofreading), and also writing what is turning out to be a novella (why, why, why do I write novellas, why?), so I'm busier than usual with writing these days.

But! I'm still reading heaps.



Justine Larbalestier, My Sister Rosa

This, like all of Larbalestier's novels, is compulsively readable. (Larbalestier wrote Liar, which is one of my favorite werewolf books.) It's YA, from the POV of an older brother, about his younger sister, who he is pretty sure is a sociopath. His parents are high-earning, high-status workaholics who have left him to raise the sister (six years younger than he is), and given him essentially no help in dealing with her psychological issues.

Thursday, May 25, 2017

What's This?


Hey, look! An artist we all know and love has started a Patreon!





For $2.00/ month, you too can support a fledgling artist!

Monday, May 22, 2017

Monday Links



The Worst Student in your class had something to say

Math joke (I think?)

Why this amuses me so much I cannot begin to explain

Interesting cartoon about the division of labor in the heteronormative household

What I'm Reading


I'm still sorting books -- up to the T's now, plus we have sorted and shelved the poetry, the graphic novels and (some of) the reference books.

Meanwhile, here's what I've been reading:


Jo Walton, Farthing, Ha'Penny, Half a Crown

These are three separate books, a trilogy. I found them during the great sorting, and uttered a cry of glee, since I had forgotten all about them. I think these may well be the first Jo Walton books I read, though I'm not sure about that.

They're alternative history novels, set in London (mostly), a London in which England made peace with Hitler in 1941. America never entered the war; Hitler conquers most of the Continent, and in the first novel, Farthing, Germany is still fighting Russia.

Saturday, May 20, 2017

Life at the delagar house


My kid and Dr. Skull went to the Farmer's Market together this morning. They returned with many things, including five enormous sacks of pickling cucumbers. "TF," I said, when I saw these. "What do you plan to do with that many cucumbers?"

"Make pickles," Dr. Skull said, as if twenty gallons of pickles were just what we needed.

My kid's tweet about it:





Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Sorting Books


Still sorting and alphabetizing books. I made it through the J's today.

You would not believe how tiring this is. I mean, most books can't weight more than half a pound, right? And I'm only working at this a few hours a day. But at the end of the day I'm aching like I've been bailing hay or digging ditches.

Also, books are very dusty.

Also, we have so much poetry. You'd think one of us was married to a poet or something.

Monday, May 15, 2017

Monday Linkage


I'm spending these days between semesters taking all the books in the house off the shelves and out of the boxes in the back closet (where they have been stores forever), dusting the shelves and the books, and putting everything in alphabetical order, and order by subject.

So far I'm up to the C's.

I'm also writing a lot, though. Meanwhile, have some links!


Lots of people seemed to be confused by what cultural appropriation is and what we should care. Scalzi writes a post. (But a broad hint, for those who are confused: no, "cultural appropriation" does not meant that white straight people aren't "allowed" to write about people from other cultures.)

Sunday, May 14, 2017

My Kid's Tweet


D'aw, y'all:





Friday, May 12, 2017

Liberal = Not-Christian


This attitude, which I'm not even sure Rod Dreher realizes he ascribes to, is one that my child was exposed to commonly as she grew up in our Red State.

It's not that Rod Dreher is saying, wow, look at how American attitudes toward these specific social questions have changed. No, he is literally saying that if someone is a Liberal they cannot be a Christian.

Quiz for You!


I missed only the one on the Senate, though I was close!




How'd you do?

Thursday, May 11, 2017

Linkage


Yesterday was the kid's very last day of high school. Is she pleased? My, yes.

Although she confessed last night that she was a little sad too. "Do you want to go back to high school?" I asked, curiously.

Her expression grew horrified. "Oh hell no!"

Meanwhile, today is my last day of Spring 2017 -- I'm giving my last exams, I mean. I still have to go to commencement on Saturday. (The kid is not attending her high school commencement, for which I am more grateful than I can say.) And I also have a mountain of grading.

While I am grading? Some links for you:

In Dutch Harbor, Alaska, bald eagles have become so common the local post office has to arm its patrons with helmets to keep them safe as they go in and out of the building. That's just one of the interesting accommodations the locals are making to live with their massive colony of eagles. Remember when bald eagles were endangered?  Me, too.

Sunday, May 07, 2017

What I'm Reading Now


It's the end of the semester, the GOP is more and more brazen about revealing their true motives and natures, and I continue to read obsessively.

Though yesterday we did go to Fayetteville to celebrate the kid's birthday -- she's nineteen, if you can believe that. I cannot. She used to be five. She used to be seven. Once she was thirteen. What is this behavior, turning nineteen? Yet here she is, an adult, earning money with her art, heading off to the university. Kids. Whattaya gonna do.

What I'm reading:


Claire North, End of the Day

I can't decide about this one. It's been getting excellent reviews and good reactions all over the net, and there were some amazing moments in it. Plus the premise is just great -- Charlie gets hired to be the Harbinger of Death. That is, Death (or rather, Death's agent) sends him out to deliver certain gifts to people. Maybe these people are going to die, or maybe not. (The gift can be a warning or a courtesy, Charlie explains.)

Friday, May 05, 2017

A Few Things You Can Do To Fight Back Against TrumpCare


(1) You can donate to those running against the GOP legislators who voted for the vile and cruel bill. Go to this link to learn more: ActBlue

(2) You can take broader actions: Enough is Enough

Trump and his rich friends are in this to loot the country. Don't let it happen.


End of the Semester


My last day of teaching was yesterday. Next week is exams and grading, plus commencement on Saturday.  This semester went well, I'm pleased to say -- all four of my classes were filled with students interested in doing good work.

Thursday, May 04, 2017

TrumpCare


When I was a young graduate student, living on my stipend and what I had saved from my three years working at the library, I looked at the cost of the medical insurance which was available to us as students -- which cost nearly six hundred dollars a year, or a tenth of my stipend, for what was, after all, not very good insurance. Basically, unless you got cancer, it covered nothing at all. And what, after all, were the odds that I would get cancer?

Monday, May 01, 2017

Hey, Look What You Can Buy!


It's the May/June issue of F&SF with my story in it!





Available from Amazon, among other places. Check your local bookstores, also!

Saturday, April 29, 2017

Clockwork!


Your regular reminder that you should be reading my kid's comic, Fragile




This is one of the main characters, Clockwork, who just revealed a plot twist!

Tornadoes!


No actual tornadoes, but our local weather guys keep threatening tornadoes, and the sirens keep going off. It's very exciting.

Last night in the middle of the night, several large storms moved through, and the tornado sirens went off two separate times. The kid and I untethered our laptops and huddled together in the hallway (we have long since stopped going to the tornado shelter, which is a mile away, at the local elementary school). The kid was playing D&D with her D&D group, who offered to stop playing for the tornado emergency, but since she could untether the laptop there was no need.

I was monitoring the movement of the storm cell on my laptop. Luckily we didn't lose power, since if we had we could have lost our wifi. (I did not mention this to the kid, who takes her weekly D&D session very seriously.)

Dr. Skull refused to be alarmed. He just rolled over and kept on sleeping.

More storms on the way, the weather guys say cheerily.  They love tornadoes almost as much as they love blizzards and ice storms.

Friday, April 28, 2017

Links!


One week until the end of the semester. Well, two if we count finals. Two and a half if we count finals and graduation. But then I will have, for the first time in forever, a moderately long break, since I'm not teaching until Summer II.

I'ma spend the entire seven weeks writing and sleeping. Sleeping so hard.

Meanwhile, I've been working hard with my grammar class on Reed-Kellogg diagramming. If you never learned RKD, you might not enjoy this post as much as I did: Antoine Dodson Saves My Class.


Thursday, April 27, 2017

Soda Bread


Here's what you can do when you get enough sleep:




It's delicious!

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

SLEEP


OMFG, I slept twelve hours last night.

Apparently what I need is a solid thunderstorm followed by driving rain. Then I will sleep so hard.

The cats did not appreciate this sleep fest. Jasper especially kept smacking me in the ear. "Hey. Hey! Why you still asleep? Are you dead there? Hey!"


Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Tuesday Links for You


I slept again -- six hours! -- but I'm still worn out. Soon the semester will be done, and I'll be able to sleep late if I want to (and if I can).

Meanwhile, have some links!


This one, the Language of Doggos, hits both my language innovation buttons and my doggo buttons. Non-stop squee!

More on language innovation -- the Language Log posts on Singular They

Monday, April 24, 2017

What I'm Reading


I slept last night, which was pleasant. Not eight entire hours, mind you -- but six and a half. Better than the past five nights! Tonight I'm going for seven.

Meanwhile, what with averaging three and four hours a night (going to bed at five or six in the morning and waking up at ten or so) I've been doing a ton of reading.

Reading all night is a pleasure I had forgotten. It's different from the usual reading I do, which is a couple hours here or there, between prepping for class, or while I'm waiting to pick the kid up from school, or while I'm eating. Reading all night is seven or eight hours of sustained non-stop reading, broken only by forays into the kitchen for more tea or another sliced-up apple, Then it's back to my big comfy chair under the lamp by the open window, where Jasper cat is waiting grumpily to climb back into my lap. (She does not approve of these interruptions to her sleep.) The Fort, at least my part of it, is very quiet at night, not even any noise from the interstate; and the nights have been cool. These long hours of reading have been blissful -- almost worth the exhaustion the next day.

What I've been reading:


Hope Jahren, Lab Girl

This is an amazing book. I hardly know how to describe it. The plot is simple -- a young scientist comes of age and builds her career. (The book is based directly on Jahren's own life, to the extent that it's almost more memoir than novel.) The power of the novel lies in the writing and in Jahren's insights about not just trees and plants, but about the humans in her life.

Sunday, April 23, 2017

Insomnia


I'm having one of my periodic bouts of insomnia.

Ever since I can remember, and I'm talking since I was tiny, I've had what I have since learned is called delayed sleep phase disorder -- my body has a dysregulation of its biological clock, basically, such that I'm out of phase with the circadian rhythm of the planet. I need a thirty hour day, and here I am on this 24 hour planet.

I can remember being three years old, back when we were still living in the trailer, wandering around in the deep of night while everyone slept around me. I was too little to read then, and I mostly just climbed on the furniture and looked through the windows, out at the other trailers, ghosty in the moonlight.

Thursday, April 20, 2017

Links for Your Thursday


I finished a draft of my novel, and have been filled with torpor ever since -- I slept until almost noon yesterday, and then also went to bed early. In between I did almost nothing but read, though I did mow the lawn in the evening. That's twice so far this summer. Usually we are in mid-July before I have managed to get around to mowing the lawn twice, so go me!

Links!


A lovely alternative parenting history

An utter pile of Right-Wing Bullshit. I hate this nostalgic everything was better in the old days crap anyway, but Sweet Jesus, this one is talking about 1954. Up your game, losers. That's within living memory of some of the people still around.

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Can This Be Spring?


Usually in Arkansas, we go straight from winter to summer.

I hates me some summer, especially an Arkansas summer, which is blistering hot and thick with humidity, not to mention the bugs, OMF the bugs.

But this year we appear to be having a spring. Cool nights, days that often reach no more that the mid-70s, and even rain.

I'm trying not to get my hopes up -- could this mean a mild summer? Is that possible, in this era of global warming?

We can still hope.

Saturday, April 15, 2017

Saturday Night Linkage!


What a week.

In my personal life, it's all been lovely. A nice week at home, with the kid receiving her award money and getting ever closer to being done with high school; and a good week at the university. Friday we had the Undergraduate Research Day, always a good time, since we cancel classes and spend a day listening to student presentations of what they've been doing. This year was especially good. The kids are all right, y'all.

Sadly, the adults are not. But the less said about Trump the better. Have some links instead:


Math problems for English Majors: This starts with the riddle we all know, but keep reading!

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Destroying Your Credibility


Some time ago, when I was a young pup of a blogger, I read a post by another blogger, AWB, about how important it was to protect your brand. (I might not have the phrasing exactly right here; I can't find that post now. Lost in the mists of the blogosphere.)

The basic thesis: mind what you say, the arguments you make, what you publish, the words you put out in public. These will become your brand. They will become what you are known by. It will be hard to escape that brand.

This was one of those watershed moments for me (thanks, AWB!). Maybe it's hard to believe, but that was something I'd never thought of before. I'd been functioning, up to that moment, as though my life were something like a white board*. I could say things one day, and then erase them, and write something new the next. Who would remember? Certainly not me!

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Why, What's This?


Yesterday, my copies of the May/June 2017 F&SF arrived in the mail. Gotta tell you, it was sweet!




All y'all can pick up your copies starting May 1st. Check your local bookstore!  Also, I'll post a link, never fear!

Sunday, April 09, 2017

Links for You


Sunday Link Post!

My Name is Cow.

Why Trump's supporters don't mind his lies: Blue Lies.

Gender bias riddles

On the topic of stuff you can do very little about, debt is bad for your health.

A first person account of surviving a sarin gas attack.

Flying squirrels and how they fly (very cool)

How to be a writer (for all my writers)

Superbabies don't cry (long read, but excellent)

What Bathroom Bills Do (the comment section on this one is worth reading, especially the comments by Grace)


Friday, April 07, 2017

My Kid's Art


It's true that Trump is wagging the dog, and America is falling for it like the boot-lickers they are.

But! Look what my kid made for me in her craft class:





Is she not the best kid ever?

Saturday, April 01, 2017

What I'm Reading


As always, since the election of the Great Circus Peanut, I am reading enormously, even obsessively. Literature is the opiate of me.

What am I reading? A lot of science fiction, and a dash of older literature, plus a few other works.


Robin Shortt, Wellside

This one won't be released until June -- I read an advanced copy -- but it's leading the list here because it's one of the best SF/F novels I've read in some time. Do you know that feeling you get, five or six or ten pages into a novel, bone-deep, chilling, and wonderful, when you realize that once again, lucky you, you have a truly wonderful book? It's only happened to me twenty or thirty times in my life, but it's a great feeling when it happens. It happened with this book.

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

The Kid Wins an Art Contest


Or, you know, another art contest.




This one earned her money, too. My talented child.

Saturday, March 25, 2017

Your Questions about Trans People Answered


I've seen a number of people ask what may or be good faith questions about trans people, or make claims that they may actually believe about trans people (claims I know to be untrue). Sometimes I have attempted to educate these people; often I have walked away, knowing the attempt to be useless.

Anyway!

Here's an excellent resource, to anyone who is interested in learning.

Seven Troubling Questions About Transgender Theories, Answered


Friday, March 24, 2017

TrumpCare: Burn, Baby


TrumpCare fails at the legislative level.





Trump is reaching out to Democrats now. That's... droll.




Thursday, March 23, 2017

Update


So the site where I had the encounter with the Right-Wing Troll held a brief forum with those who commented there, saying that they had received complaints about the troll, and that they were inclined to begin deleting such abusive emails in the future. They asked for thoughts on this policy.

Comments came out strongly in favor of not just deleting abusive comments, but of banning those who showed a pattern of making such comments. (I was one of those who argued for this policy, using basically the argument I made here.)

The site owner then banned Dick Johnson from the site.

As some of you may have noticed, Dick almost at once began posting abusive and stalker-type comments here. He'll be banned and deleted here as well, no fear, and for the same reasons he's banned and deleted there.

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Here's a Must-Watch


If you watch nothing else this week, watch this:




A little over eight minutes, but vital to our country.

Lays out the evidence that Trump and his regime are treasonous.

The NYTimes article on this.



Monday, March 20, 2017

The Kid's Comic


Your reminder that you should be reading it:



Find more here: Fragile at Taptastic.

Sunday, March 19, 2017

Further Thoughts on Trump Supporters and the Limits of Free Speech


Nicole and Maggie point out in the comments to my last post that appeasement isn't a tactic, historically, that has much of a success rate.

This is true.

I think one mistake I made in the beginning with Dick Johnson is one we often make when dealing with bullies. Slightly amused at his mistake (ha ha, he thinks I'm a guy, isn't that fun), I ignored the stupid insults he threw my way.

This was when he thought I was just a guy, not a gay guy.

A Curious Encounter


So from time to time -- as many of you do -- I comment elsewhere in the blogosphere.

When I do so, I comment under my blogosphere name: as delagar, in other words. This is a name with no apparent gender. Often enough, out in the 'sphere, people assume I am male. (Go figure!)

Saturday, March 18, 2017

A Very Late Valentine


...which I'm stealing from the kid's Tumblr, because I love it so much:




Apparently this blog is become all pics, all the time.

Thursday, March 16, 2017

Special Edition: Cat Picture


Here, to cheer us up while Trump destroys our country, a cat picture




My Junti cat, being a sexy cat. She'll be here all week, y'all!

Spring Break: Here at Last


Everyone else in the country has already had their Spring Breaks, I believe. But ours is next week -- well, really it starts tomorrow for the kid, since the public schools get Friday off for a teacher training thing.

As the kid is in her last six weeks of high school and literally counting the minutes until she never has to go back to high school again, this extra Friday is all that stood between her and doom.

Only messing a little here. It's never been so hard to get this child off to school as it has been this past month. "Here's an idea," she tells me, frequently. "What if I drop out of school, right now?"

"That sounds like a fine idea," I say. "Then you can get a job at Wal-Mart. Wal-Mart is always hiring."

"But you are missing the point. Then I would never have to go back to high school, ever again."

Our plans for Spring Break: sleep a lot. Write a lot. (Do a lot of art, on the kid's part.) Go hiking at Devil's Den. Go up to Crystal Bridges at least once, to see the new exhibit, even if it is Roy Lichtenstein, who is the kid's mortal enemy. Take the dog to the dog park. Sleep some more.

The weather has been cold as balls here, but next week looks lovely.

Trump, meanwhile... sweet Jesus.





Saturday, March 04, 2017


A perfect illustration of the American South. This was posted on my FB feed. A local store has this display up for the Easter Season, and many, many people were thanking Jesus for the store and its "bravery" in witnessing for Christ.


The fact that this is a marketing plot -- and a fairly heretical one -- has not entered their minds. This is because no one in the South, and very few people in America, are willing to admit that the real religion of America is not Christianity, but Capitalism.

Once you realize that, of course, this display makes perfect sense.

Buy more soda, affirm your witness to the one true God.


Friday, March 03, 2017

This is the Future Liberals Want


My cat climbs into my lap and butts her head against my shoulder (her signal that I should carry her to her food dish and give her food).

I ignore her, since I'm in the middle of working.

She butts a little harder, and then claws me gently on the ear.

Me: Hey! Not acceptable!

Cat: (Claws a little harder.)

Me: (Capturing cat and looking at her eye to eye): That is not appropriate behavior. Do I claw you when I want something?

Cat: (Sullenly) Mwar.

Me: No, I don't. So you don't claw me.

Apparently I am trying to teach a cat ethics.   #LiberalBehaviorGoesTooFar



(The meme referenced in the title, in case you have been on Mars and missed it: This is the Future Liberals Want.)

Sunday, February 26, 2017

What I've Been Reading (and Seeing) Lately


I'm still reading so much. It's better for me than Xanax and Vicodin, which if either of those were available, believe me, I'd be gulping them down in pints. Probably both at once.

The kid and I also went to see Lysistrata at the university theater last night. It was a production in modern dress, which made me a little uneasy at first, but turned out to work really well. All student actors, and almost all of them wonderful. Great comic timing, good actors, and did an excellent job bringing the hilarity of the play across the centuries. Walking back to my car, the kid said to me, "Why are the Greeks so modern? That was great!"

(She also loves Euripides, who she's only read.)

What I'm reading:


Jane Steele, by Lyndsay Faye

I'm extremely fond of Jane Eyre now, though I hated it as a child and an adolescent (I was forced to read it in the 10th grade, just as my child was forced to read it last month, in AP English). And I love books that are written in response or as fan fiction, more or less, about books I love, as long-time readers of this blog might have noticed. So no surprise I gave a small squee of glee when I saw a review for this book on NPR.

Also! My library had a copy. Oh boy! I didn't even have to buy it. I put in a request and had it the next day. Then I stayed up all night reading it. (Luckily it was a Friday night.) It's great. I love it at least as much as Jane Eyre, though Jane Steele is not much like Jane Eyre.

The two Janes do live at about the same time, and the rough outlines of their lives -- their general plot, as it were -- are the same. They both have mean-spirited aunts, they both go off to boarding school at nine, that boarding school is run by a vicious headmaster. They both end up as tutors to a small foreign girl, and they both end up in love with her guardian -- Mr. Rochester in Jane Eyre's case, Mr. Thornfield, in Jane Steele's case.

Thursday, February 23, 2017

Because I Know You Need to Waste Time


...just as much as I do, here's a lovely way to waste time.


The Edges2cats is especially fun.

My cats:



Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Important Post


Nicole and Maggie are doing stellar work with the resistance.

Read their post today -- go here.


Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Nice Comment


Over at Tor.com, I read a comment by a fella named Dylan Tullos, who I don't know at all -- and clicking on his profile gives me no more information than his name -- which I like a great deal, and which I think deserves to be read further:

Allowing the government to create hoops that citizens have to jump through in order to vote strikes me as an impressively bad idea.  Instead of having citizens who choose their government, the system allows the government to choose its citizens.  The government gets to decide what tasks make people “worthy” of citizenship, but the first duty of every good citizen is to not let the state tell you what good citizenship is.


It's part of a larger comment, which you may find here.

(If anyone knows anything more about Dylan Tullos, I'd be glad to learn more!)

Exciting News on Valentine's Day


Or, well, exciting for me.

Y'all remember that in August 2016 I sold a story to F&SF -- well, today I got the proofs for that story, and C.C. Finley tells me it should appear in the May/June 2017 issue.

The story, The History of the Invasion Told in Five Dogs, is one of my favorites; and of course I've been trying to sell a story to F&SF for, oh, I don't know, 30 years now? So yeah, I'm pleased.

Look for it at your local bookstore and news stand; or you can order it online. I'll post links!





Monday, February 13, 2017

What I'm Reading Now

Even though we're in the thick of the semester now, bearing down on midterm, I am still swallowing books whole. I think this is my way of dealing with the horrors of the Trump regime. Literary Xanax.

Anyway! Here's some of what I've gobbled over the past month:


Laurie Frankel, This Is How It Always Is

I forget how I found this book -- maybe the NYTimes recommended list? However I found it, the rec was right. This one's excellent. Told from the point of view of the mother of five children who is also a doctor of emergency medicine when we first meet her, the writing here is great, and the characters, including of all five children, AND their friends, so well developed they all become real to us. Wonderful use of setting, also -- we move from Wisconsin to San Francisco to Thailand in the course of the novel, and Frankel gives us each place perfectly.

What's it about? Yeah, that's another reason to love it. Rosie and Penn have five sons -- except their youngest son, Claude, begins telling them when he's three that he's a girl. (Penn is a stay-at-home dad and a writer, by the way, though he's not the one writing this book.) The novel deals with their struggle to understand what to do -- and not like that, they always try to do the right thing -- and to deal with the fallout of their decisions. This is a great book, and not just about having a trans kid. It's a great book about being human.

Saturday, February 11, 2017

Words That Will Make Me Stop Taking You And Your Argument Seriously


This is a fact. When I hear these words* come from your mouth, or when I see them in your paper, or in your comment, or in your post, I immediately know you are arguing in bad faith, or you are incapable of honest and careful thought.

I stop taking you seriously at that point -- well, in fact, I stop listening to you at all in that point. Life is too short to listen to liars and fools**.

Here's the list!

  • SJW
  • feminazi
  • politically correct/PC
  • virtue signalling

Thursday, February 09, 2017

Update on My Belly


So y'all remember that they cut on me awhile back.

I'm pleased to relate that I had my follow up with my surgeon (this was almost a month ago) and he "released" me, meaning unless something changes, I am cured.

Saturday, February 04, 2017

An Important Message for These Dark Times


Also a link.

The message first:



As usual, Hank is well worth the 3 and a half minutes it takes to watch this. About halfway through, he'll tell you about some posters you can buy -- proceeds to go to various immigrant groups. Here's a link to the site: DFTBA Buy posters here

Also, this, which I saw at Nicole & Maggie's site.


Don't despair, y'all. Take action. When we fight, we win.

Wednesday, February 01, 2017

A Fun Survey for These Dark Times!


Why not take a break from political negativity and learn about each other? 😊

1. Who are you named after? There is literally a fascist administration in office in the United States.

2. Last time you cried?
Resist it, unerringly, with all your strength.

3. Soda or water?
One woman, refused entry at the airport, seeking needed medical treatment in the US has died. Another woman, scheduled to be deported, reportedly attempted suicide in the airport. The youngest child detain by our government was eleven months old. Sean Spicer, Trump’s Director of Communications, defended the detention and arrest of tiny children by claiming even five-year-olds could be dangerous.

Sunday, January 29, 2017

Other Things You Can Do to Resist


Nicole and Maggie have a list

See also here

ETA: See N&M's update in comments!

Well, That Was a Week


I knew the Trump Regime would be awful, but who could have guessed it would be this astoundingly awful? Not even me, and I had fascist dystopia for 300, Alex.

Just a reminder: donate to the ACLU. Donate to CAIR. Donate to the local food banks. Write and phone your reps. Volunteer when and where you can.

Resist. Tear this vile fascist down.

And don't be afraid to take a break. It's all right to take care of yourself, to breathe, to exercise, to make your art. This will be a long fight. Be kind to yourself as well as others.

And now a word from the Doctor:






Friday, January 27, 2017

How Can I Still Be Sick?


I think the stress of living in Trump's America is wrecking my immune system.

I've been sick with what Web MD insists is nothing but a cold since just after Christmas. That's over a month now. I'm sleeping ten and fourteen hours a day, broken, unrestful sleep, since I spend a lot of it coughing violently. I coughed so splendidly and thoroughly at work the other day that a colleague came down the hall to offer me emergency cough drops.

I suppose I should consult my doctor. I hate doctors.

Meanwhile, teaching is going excellently. I'm teaching that Popular Literature class on Zombies, Vampires, and the Apocalypse. (The perfect time in America to be teaching such a class, as we drive off the cliff into the apocalypse.) We started with Train to Busan, a Korean movie. If you haven't seen this one, and you don't mind terrifying zombie movies, it's very much worth watching. You can rent it on Amazon streaming video.




Now we're reading World War Z, a different sort of Zombie tale. On to Naomi Kritzer's "Zombies in Winter" after that. The class itself is lively and engaged. It's just delightful to have students who not only have read the work, but have avidly read the work and can't wait to talk about it.