Mar. 12th, 2014
08:19 pm - No More Readings
Last month I saw Ian Rankin at a bookstore. I didn't spy on him; it was an event. Not a reading though—he doesn't do that. He just talked about his book, some other things that have happened to him recently or not so recently, and took some questions. I asked him why afterwards, and he explained that he is a writer, not an actor; that as a crime novelist to read even a few pages deeply into the book could ruin it for listeners; and he doesn't like.
Well, I agree with him. From now on, no more readings. No more than a page anyway. Just banter, which I am okay at. You can hear me banter next week at two events:
Nick Mamatas, Jim Nisbet, Sin Soracco, and Ken Wishnia: PM Press Crime Writers' Short-Fire Reading and Signing, Wednesday, March 19th at 7:00 pm at Borderlands Books.
Thursday, March 20th at 7pm: Radical fiction, mystery, and crime! With Ken Wishnia, Norman Nawrocki, Sin Soracco, Nick Mamatas, Owen Hill, and Summer Brenner. Thursday, March 20, 2014 - 19:00 at Bay Area Public School.
Thorin sits down and starts singing about gold.
> ASK THORIN ABOUT SPANDAU BALLET_
(feel free to share it around)
This entry was originally posted at http://marnanel.dreamwidth.org/292213.ht
Yay! Two new species for my Fifty Species Goal!
Things have been a bit slow since it's been freezing here, but fortunately I added two species this week, so I'm feeling a little more on track. (More imporantly, moths are beginning to congregate around the porch light, and that's usually a bonanza!)
Species #2: Eastern Comma
This butterfly showed up very early this year, before any of the others. I was afraid we'd lose them to the ice storms, but fortunately, they seem to have stuck around. The Eastern Comma is nearly identical to the Question Mark and I can tell the difference only by relative size (Commas are smaller) and our local Question Marks tend to have much darker hindwings. Question Marks are common visitors to the garden, being fond of damp earth/gravel/mulch and (sigh) dog poop. The Comma, however, is new.
Species #2: Saw Greenbriar
This pointy, stabby climbing vine is one of the vast Smilax clan--Smilax bona-nox, to be precise. It is currently infiltrating my tea camellia. I don't know how I feel about that. (Apparently they are super-duper edible with the new shoots and the tubers and all, but foraging is a little outside of my comfort zone.)
Smilax glauca was a known quantity in my garden, but S. bona-nox only showed up last fall, and I only got around to digging in and figuring out what it was today. So that's kinda neat!See also: Species #1: Blue-Headed Vireo
I haven't been writing much here lately, because Eve and I have been hard at work writing our book about polyamory. At 160,000 words, it's well north of the New Testament and a bit north of The Two Towers in size. It turns out polyamory is complicated, and we have a lot to say about it.
However, I'm taking a break from writing about polyamory because I've started seeing this meme pop up all over the Internetverse, and it's reached the point where I have to say something about it. I think it's symptomatic of the problem of privilege.
I get what it's trying to say. Really, I do.
But it's wrong.
Yes, some people are given a bad life or a good life. We do not all start from a neutral place. Take this kid, for example. He would, I'm sure, be quite happy to have been given a life that was neither bad nor good:
This photo, by South African news photographer Kevin Carter, won a Nobel Prize. It documents the effects of famine in Sudan, in which more than 70,000 people died. Carter later committed suicide; in his suicide note, he wrote, "I am haunted by the vivid memories of killings and corpses and anger and pain...of starving or wounded children, of trigger-happy madmen, often police, of killer executioners."
Look at this kid. Then look at wealthy heiress Paris Hilton, out doing what she does best (which is, near as I can tell, "getting photographed partying"):
Then look back at the slave labor camps in North Korea, which are used to punish political dissidents "to the third generation." People are born in these slave camps, grow up, and die (often of torture, beatings, or starvation) here, without ever knowing anything else.
The meme might more accurately say "white middle-class Westerners born into progressive democracies are not given a good life or a bad life." But to be fair, perhaps that's what's meant by "we."
For those who aren't white middle-class Westerners in progressive democracies, there most definitely are good lives and bad. Not all lives have the same opportunity for choice and direction. Not everyone can choose to better their conditions; those born into North Korean Labor Camp 15, which is believed to hold as many as 30,000 slaves, certainly can't.
Like I said, I get the point of the meme. I am a huge believer in empowerment myself; I have written a great deal about how the choices we make affect our lives, for good or ill.
But I also recognize that, to a large extent, this is a privilege--one that should properly belong to everyone, but doesn't. Not everyone can choose to make their lives good or bad. The way we're born matters; Paris Hilton can shrug off bad choices that would destroy many people who are born into a less privileged position, and just keep on keepin' on.
Yes, make choices that make your life better. Yes, move in the direction of greatest courage. But when you do, don't forget to be grateful that you can. It's not your fault that people are born into situations horrifying beyond anything you can imagine, but it's your responsibility to acknowledge that not everyone is in the same position as you are. Some people are given a bad life. If you're not one of them, you're fortunate, but don't forget they exist.
And if your response is "lighten up, it's just a Facebook meme!"--perhaps you aren't paying attention.
Last night was no damn fun. For some reason, the cat decided around 3:00 a.m. that we needed to be serenaded with the songs of her people ... at length, intermittently, until dawn. Oh, there's nothing wrong with her; we checked, and checked, and checked. (And her vet says she's fine.) This is just a thing she does, once in awhile - ever since we first brought her home a dozen years ago.
I used to keep a little pyramid of rolled-up sock balls on the nightstand, to chuck at her when she got too mouthy in the middle of the night. Mind you, I am quite thoroughly blind without my glasses and I have never (a). intended to hit her, or (b). actually hit her with my makeshift projectiles. A shot that lands anywhere in her vicinity is usually enough to chase her off and shut her up.
Last night, I had no sock-ball pyramid. I had an empty tissue box, and it was...shall we say...insufficient.
Long story short, we finally fell back asleep - but we weren't out of bed before 10:30, and that was only because the dog let us know he had to pee. So it was a late start all around, dammit, but I still managed to accomplish much grown-up activity.
TO WIT: I made an appointment for the husband and I to get our taxes done; I confirmed the dog's grooming session tomorrow; I got my inbox down to zero; and YES - I sent off Jacaranda to the publisher, as promised! [:: insert flailing Kermit icon here ::]
Now I only have to write two books this year. And...well...three more to send through production, as likely as not, BUT STILL. One thing: checked off the to-do list.
Now I can get back to Chapelwood, which presently sits around 45,000 words. (I'll be more precise tomorrow.) So the way I figure it, I only have another 175,000 words or so to write this year. Progress, my friends - progress!
In other news, I just want the whole world to know that on June 17th THIS SHALL BE A THING and best of all I WILL BE IN IT. Yes, that's right...George R. R. Martin has another kickass cross-genre anthology in the pipeline, and yours truly is in the table of contents - now presenting a whole new story about my giant Tennessean monster hunter, "the Heavy."
And HOLY SHIT would you look at what wonderful company I'm keeping? Seriously, I am nothing short of humbled to be part of the lineup over there.
All right, kids - that's all I've got today. A whole lot of work, a few exclamation points, and some sleep deprivation. I'll try to come back with a word count tomorrow, I promise.
In this revision, I drop the celerity and ambidexterity nodes being comfortable with my mobility, in particular when I run haste. My char's damage output is fine so I choose to go without ambidexterity. In place of those I take the armor hybrid nodes between the marauder and duelist tree, leaving me with two discretionary points. My choices are 30% armor, 18% armor/2% movespeed/10str, and heart of oak (much of which is a waste given that we cannot be stunned when using cyclone). I take heart of oak for the life and regen.
02:32 pm - R <-> Julia dictionary
I welcome improvements and additions to this.
* words in ALLCAPS denote macros
* x denotes arbitrary variables
* a, b denote scalars
* f, g denote functions
* i,j denote indices
* mat denotes matrices
* obj denotes objects
* v, w denote vectors
* z denotes a Boolean truth value
mirror of this post
So my goddaughter Rebecca. Still has brain cancer. Still on chemotherapy. Still sucks.
However, my other goddaughter, Carolyn, is shaving her head to help raise funds for her sister. If you know Carolyn, you know the kid’s a born performer, has been doing song and dance routines at parties practically since she’s been born. She’s in plays every other week, with her long brown hair.
So for a young girl to shave her head to help raise funds and her sister’s spirits is pretty amazing.
The Meyer family has always been a little magical, if you ask me. They’ve been loving and supportive through some amazing things. And I’m really proud of Carolyn for volunteering to do this.
If you want to help Carolyn out, you can donate to St. Baldrick’s to help her team. She’s trying to get to $6,000, and she’s currently at $5,114. As is usual with these sorts of donations, any amount will help (and we’ll take prayers if you have no cash). We love Rebecca, we love Carolyn, and we love all the Meyers in their time of need, and it’s little silly things like this that help cheer us up.
(Rebecca is doing as well as can be expected, by the way. The MRI shows no sign of regrowth as of yet, but the chemotherapy is hard, particularly on a little girl. So given that a large part of her issues are psychological now, donating helps show her that she’s at least doing some good in between all of the chemotherapy poisoning.)
Cross-posted from Ferrett's Real Blog.This entry has also been posted at http://theferrett.dreamwidth.org/386474.h
TONIGHT!I'm performing at Taboo Tabou to celebrate Titty Perkin's birthday!! :)
Friday night! You'll get to see me perform TWICE with the Vaudezilla Studios student showcase!
Saturday night! I'll be supporting my Vaudeys in the audience at our regular Saturday night "Vaudezilla!"
Get tickets to the show here:
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