This is a Buda shrine I see pretty regularly on my long walk. It sits inside a circle in front of a house that is now for sale, and I suspect it won't remain there for too much longer. I wanted to snap a picture of it before it vanished. It's kind of wonderful gives the neighborhood a peaceful air. Yesterday, the copy of Seeing Like a State that I ordered came in. That's going to be some interesting reading. I've so much reading to do. I'm behind. I've a whole stack of books on the nurses that served in the Vietnam War that I need to read. I've been putting it off until I finish the Blackthorne edits. But given that I'm having to write more from Suvi and Ilta's PoVs, it might not be a bad plan to go ahead and read those--once I finish with the rest. So. Much. Reading.
As time passes, I think the thing I most wanted a break from (when it came to the Irish novels) was all the stress and insecurity about getting it wrong. Thus, causing more harm than good. In a sense, that never goes away, nor should it when one takes on problematic subjects. There's always someone who will criticize a work unjustly. (Not that there aren't such things as valid criticisms. That's different.) And there are those who will hold grudges no matter what. It's just best not to focus on that crap, or even maintain a connection with it. In all honesty, those sorts of reactions say more about them than it does about the work. And anyway, what is the positive outcome from focusing on that? There isn't one. The tough thing is that being a good writer requires that one be sensitive. Being sensitive means it's easy to get hurt. Moving on and remaining open is difficult. It simply is. But one must. All good lessons. Anyway, that's a convoluted way of saying that I'm glad I took this break. I needed it. Plus, I didn't want to be mashed into a box labeled "the Irish writer" because well...I'm not Irish for a start. Being an expert on Irish History should be for the Irish. You know? For another thing, I do want to write other stories set in other worlds. I want to write more within the Fey and the Fallen, mind you. I simply don't want that to be the whole of what I produce.
And with that...I should get on with the writing. Watching my blood sugar has been helping with the migraines as well as helping with my ability to focus. I'm stunned at how much. So, yay?
Yesterday was filled with goodness. There was also some not so good resulting in today's head bees, but that was entirely my fault for not taking care of myself. (I seriously can't eat like crap anymore. No really.) Mom attended her first Alzheimer's Support Group meeting. I'm so glad she went. Maybe now she can get the help she needs with Dad. After that, we dashed over to the Cushing Memorial Library to see Jeremy Brett--archivist and all around AMAZING PERSON. I keep popping over to Bryan/College Station to visit Mom and Dad, and I keep telling myself I'll see Jeremy next time. This time, on a whim, I just called. I figured he'd be too busy to see us. Nope. Not only did he pull out some boxes of military plane photographs for my father--he worked at McDonnell Douglas as well as NASA--but he took us in to see the SFF Archives--he showed us the Shakespeare folio and Spenser collection. There was an herbal too. That was great. Also? I got to touch the 17th century printing press. (Below is an image of what such a critter looks like--not my photo, btw.)
This helped because I've a rebel printer character in the new novel. She's pregnant and er...it's obvious to me she'll definitely need an assistant or two. See that lever on the far right? That brings the press down to mash the paper against the type. I COULDN'T MUSCLE IT ALL THE WAY DOWN. Not with all my weight. So, yeah. Helpful! Mind you, there are some big differences between a 17th century press and an 18th century press...Okay. I'm a nerd. I know.
Will be spending the day with my father while my mother gets some errands done. So, sadly, there's not much time for blogging this morning. I recommend running over to SFSignal. There's a lot of interesting things going on over there. Also? There was a great story on Autism and the possible connections to genius over at NPR. It was a study conducted by a mother and daughter team of research psychologists. I haven't the time to be thorough in my search for it, but here's a link to one of several stories they've featured on NPR.
Possibly more later. I gotta run.
I've been reading about politics, debt, and the financial sector again. First, I came across this article about Trump supporters. And then I read Your Phone Was Made by Slaves: a Primer on the Secret Economy. I've one problem with that article. It states that Peonage slavery ended in the United States by the end of WWII and no longer exists. That's incorrect. With prison privatization, peonage slavery has, in fact, returned. (Still, read the previous article. It's long but important and makes connections between slavery and climate change I didn't know about before.) I saw a disturbing article about a man being arrested for non-payment of student loans (not 100% true but still a big part of it) as well as having their Social Security funds garnished. I keep thinking about how much evil results when the balance of wealth is as off kilter as it is these days. Oh, Capitalism.
I'd go on for longer but I've run out of time. More later.
This week has been a pretty great one, writing-wise. The work-in-progress is fitting together nicely, and overall it feels solid and strong. I love it when a novel does that. It's reassuring. Every novel is different, and this one has been more different than any other. It happens. Jujitsu class was great. I got to workout with someone I don't see very often. I also got socked in the eye because I didn't block like I should've. No black eye. That's good. Learned a whole new pile of distinctions. Hopefully, some of them will stick. on the health front, I've been watching what I eat and when, and it's obvious that blood sugar wackiness has been a big part of my problem for the past six months or so. It's been hard to focus--what with the on-going migraine issue. As it turns out, when I keep my blood sugar from crashing I'm a hell of a lot more productive on top of feeling a million times better. Funny how that works. This has also removed most of the pain from the migraines but not the optical fireworks. So, I'm still headed for a neurologist, but at least the pain and fuzziness is managed without the heavy duty meds. It's a step in the right direction.
In other news, NPR has a lovely list of music by women for International Women's Day. I'm loving A-WA, Aziza Brahim, Tritha Electric, and Muthoni the Drummer Queen.
I having been sleeping well and everything caught up to me last night. Thus, I didn't wake until almost 11am. :( Yay, I slept like the dead. Boo, I wanted to get a post in before jujitsu class. Not happening. Not really. So, there will be another post after I finish throwing people on the ground. In other news, the writing is going really well. I'm super excited!
Are you ready for that dose of righteous anger? Cool. Here we go. First, today's videos. Yay! Orphan Black is back!
Some other things spied around the neighborhood. I like distressed typography. I can't explain why, I just do. There's just something about seeing language out of context, seeing it decay and fall apart until it becomes mere shapes. It's sad and miraculous all at the same time. As for Jeeves over there...he makes me smile.
In the early '80s the mid 1940s were popular--big shoulder pads, pencil skirts, tailored suits, and so on. (See BladeRunner, Xanadu, and popular print artist Patrick Nagel.) Novels and films set in the '40s were popular too. As a result, I read quite a bit about WWII in my early years. Some of the questions I had were, "How did the Nazis gain power?" and "What would I do if I were in Germany at that time?" Of course, everyone said they wouldn't have allowed the Holocaust. It's unthinkable that anyone with any awareness would be okay with it. However, me being me, I suspected there was more to such things. This is, in part, what motivates me as a Humanist and a Feminist. Mind you, no movement is perfect (see previous posts about humans and mistakes) but from what I've read and experienced, authoritarianism is where things go horribly awry. Which brings me to the article I read yesterday: The Rise of American Authoritarianism. It's long, but I recommend reading it all the way through because it does a mindful job of explaining.
is a Science Fiction and Fantasy author living in Texas.