One thing that's been bothering me a bit lately is the use of the word "people" when we specifically mean "men." However, when discussing "women" we tend to stick to that distinction and almost never use the more generic "people." Have you noticed this? I have. It's a problem, particularly when you believe women are people.
Ready for some fem-rage to rev up your morning? Okay. Let's do this thing. :) First, today's video. More Wonder Woman. Because Wonder Woman.
Here's one of my favorite reviews of Blackthorne so far:
"I don't think I've ever seen a fictional book address some of these issues (erasure/assimilation, particularly) so well in the text. I love that these issues are presented as conflicts between well-meaning "good guys" - rather than a villain and a paragon of enlightenment and virtue - and that no one is right all the time, and that they respond to criticism by seeking to be better to their allies." (5 stars)
I'm so happy right now. :)
The prospect of another weekend of terrible storms freaks me out a bit---only a little because we're not in the path this time. Still, I'm having some anxiety. A lot of it has to do with the fact that my early years were spent in Kansas City, MO, and one of my earliest memories is of hiding in a basement from a tornado. And not too long after that we moved to Houston which is susceptible to hurricanes. I remember hurricane Alicia rattling the windows of my parents' house so hard I was sure they'd break. (We didn't actually have a room without windows in that house. If they had broken we'd have been cut up badly.) In the end, we weathered it just fine, but the memories stick. Storms of various types (and T-Rex attacks) have heavily featured in my nightmares my whole life for reasons I won't go into. Which is why it's so silly for me to take so long to figure out why I couldn't get work done last weekend due to obsessively checking Harvey's progress through Texas. Storms scare the shit out of me.
And here we are, facing not just one but three storms making landfall (in Irma's case AGAIN) this weekend. It terrifies me that we've had two "storms of the century" this year already. It worries me that Climate Change is still being bandied about as if it were a fiction. (If you've doubts check this: climate.nasa.gov/evidence/) The longer we ignore situation, the worse this is going to get, bats and ghouls. And yet, I know certain sectors of the American population won't change their minds until they're directly impacted and that impact needs to be financially when it comes to business-minded folks.
My thoughts are with those enduring these terrible storms, fires, and earthquakes. My hope is that the impact is minimal upon you and yours. However, I can't help but hope that once Irma lands that it is enough proof via financial cost to foment change. (I understand that Trump has several properties being affected.) All in all, we can't afford to debate any longer. We must act.
We're not even finished cleaning up behind Harvey, and we're facing another historically huge storm: Irma. The thing that frustrates me most about all this is the continued Climate Change denial. I'm aware that the consequences have to hit businesses hard before attitudes are changed on a Federal/State level. I'll bet that if Trump's hotels in Florida are slammed he'll change his tune regarding the legitimacy of Climate Change. That's obvious. Sadly, most of that (stagnant) end of the political pool is self-motivated and will only budge in limited amounts when they understand their self-interest is at stake. (I say "when they understand" because, unfortunately, they can't see beyond the immediate connections. Longer term/enlightened self-interest doesn't seem to be a thing. Right up there with awareness of unconscious white supremacy.) Or, more importantly, when the leaders they look up to change their tunes. (Conservatives are group-followers and group-thinkers. They don't tend to stray from whatever the authority claims is 'right.') I'm not looking forward to the mess that Trump is making of America. At the moment, it's a testament to how great a president Obama was--the fact that we've been running on auto-pilot so well so far. (Anyone who has had a bad manager after a great manager has left the company will know exactly what I'm talking about.) Trump has spent more time golfing than running the country, and will only be able to do that for so long before it all starts catching up with him.
My hope is that he'll be impeached or arrested before it's too late. (Again, we've at least ten months before cynicism kicks in for me. America has seen this shit before--and I'm not even necessarily talking about Nixon. So, don't even go there.)
Hello, everyone. For non-Americans, happy Monday. For Americans, happy long-ass weekend. In either case, I hope your day is a good one. :) Let's start with today's video, something I'll call "Why I was uncomfortable with Big Bang Theory and Stopped Watching Pretty Quickly." AKA "Misogyny is not fucking Adorkable, you assholes."
I used to buy that whole "Male Geeks are more emotionally mature and smarter than Male Jocks" routine. Years of writing SF while female combined with Gamergate sure as hell cured me of that illusion. And now for those links.
Bernie is the author of the memoir Tea in Tripoli (available at Amazon) that was featured on Monday. She's a professional storyteller, writer, and actress who lives and works in Austin. She's already working on the next installment Dinner in Dubai. More about her and her work can be found at: bernadettenason.com. And here's today's story. :)
by Bernadette Nason
Family–Oxford Dictionary definition: "a group consisting of two parents and their children living together as a unit" or "a group of people related by blood or marriage"
When Hurricane Harvey turned up, and I cleaned house, anticipating family evacuating Houston, I was immediately thrown back twelve years. On August 28, 2005, the day before Hurricane Katrina hit the Gulf Coast, I arrived in Houston on a week's business. The La Quinta Inn Humble was already at capacity with Louisiana families escaping the storm, and the lobby itself was full of displaced people with nowhere to go because area hotels were full. The hotel manager allowed them to sleep in the lobby. Everyone gathered before the lobby TV, and I thought, "They look like an extended family, watching a favorite show," except, at this point, they were strangers, awaiting news of their homes.
Then the levees broke and New Orleans was submerged. No one could enter or exit the city. Every room at the La Quinta now housed at least one family; the lobby remained full. As I came and went during my week's work, and news reports grew steadily worse, the lobby family established itself. Long tables appeared, and local communities provided water, sodas, snacks, books, toys, bathroom supplies, underwear, clothes, shoes. A board listed events being provided by churches, schools, and private homes: free meals, sports, bowling, skittles, quizzes, bingo, and children's play activities. The list went through the weekend. No one thought they'd still be there then, but who knew when these people would be allowed to return home, or if they had homes to return to?
Meanwhile, new friends chatted across hotel hallways, discussing Katrina, sharing lives, while their children played together. Because life goes in the midst of catastrophe. It has to. An idea played in my head: New families are forming, right here, right now.
So, Liz Argall wanted me to post the first sketch she made of me as a friendly sea monster. You know, to show her process. And here it is in all its glory. I kind of love it.
In other news, as part of my homework for the Feminist SF novel I'm working on I'm reading A Crack in Creation: Gene Editing and the Unthinkable Power to Control Evolution by Jennifer Doudna. It's fascinating reading. Largely due to SF, genetics is a topic of interest for me. It started with cloning which was a hot topic back when I was younger. (The whole Nature vs Nurture argument is intriguing.) I could go on and on with examples of great stories told using genetics, but one of my favorites is GATTACA.
I'll be honest, I don't often read memoirs. I don't like them for reasons I won't go into here. (It would distract.) So, understand what it means when I say I love Tea in Tripoli by Bernadette Nason. My husband and I attended the live theater version a couple of years ago, and it was funny and enjoyable--Bernie is a friend, and she's hilarious--but at the time the staged version lacked a certain depth. Her stories were amusing, even amazing, but I couldn't help feeling that she was holding back. Her memoir reveals just how much. Tea in Tripoli is emotionally raw, brutally honest, moving, and downright harrowing at times. At the same time, it retains Bernie's characteristic self-effacing humor--one of the things I love so much about her. The humor is in just the right amount to get you through the tough stuff without trivializing the danger she faced. And it was danger. She was an English woman working for an Italian firm in Libya during a time when diplomatic ties between Libya and the UK were severed. The tale is a dramatic and fascinating one, and I highly recommend it. If you've ever wondered how women in abusive situations experience, gather strength, process, and heal, this is for you. It also explains the various behaviors (good and bad) that women employ to protect themselves--such as remaining in groups while in public spaces. I highly recommend it. (Trigger warning for sexual harassment.) Don't trust me on this? Here's another review from a source less personally connected. :)
Now, on to the links.
So, like a huge dork I focused on making sure I remembered to be on the podcast that I missed last week and then promptly forgot what day it was in all the mad rushing around pre-storm. (I had to have some medical tests done.) Anyway, I promised a friend that they could have a guest post today. So...this is really late. This is all on me. I swear, I'd forget my head if it wasn't attached these days.
So, Liz is a wonderful webcomic art, writer, and an all around excellent friend. Today, she's here to promote her Patreon. Go forth and support her work. She writes about Things Without Arms and Legs (creatures who are kind.) And because she's awesome in every way, she made me into a sea monster. I gotta say, I make a rather fetching sea monster. Those teeth are all me. Isn't it fun? :)
How to turn Stina Into a Sea Monster
aka the effort in simplicity
Liz: What kind of mythical beast are you?
Stina: Unicorn badger? Selkie? Friendly seamonster?
Liz creates a concept board from images of sea monsters, merfolk, selkies, seals, Queen Victoria and Queen Elizabeth II (for the regal seating while dealing with masses of fabric, a train is like a tail, right?), paper crowns, flower crowns, enormous tiaras, seaweed, Stina, and dogfish.
Spends about 4 hours doing concept sketches fleshes out a regal Stina sitting on her underwater throne. Explores half a dozen ways of representing Stina’s face. Think about art deco. Get frustrated with how static the sketches feel. This sea monster is elaborate, with massive wings and a serpent tail, a spikey crown as long as her chest and claws the length of her forearms. She also has a sweet and charming face with one little fang poking out. The monster has a bunch of stuff going on, but it’s kinda dull. It has stuff going on rather than being about the stuff it is. Have stylus physically wear out so that you can no longer write with it and have to use your finger.
Go to bed dispirited.
Think, hang on, yes I can do realistic, but that is not the thingness of Things! This should be a character, not a painting!
Draw doodles in bed while thinking Stina monster and of all the marine biology you studied in school (especially dogfish, porpoises, sharks and killer whales. Thanks, Lesley, Bron and Barry!) and what it felt like to pat a wild Port Jackson shark.
Fall in love with a doodle.
Spend the next day inking and coloring it.
Send to other folks to look at (possibly the hardest part).
Stina the Friendly Sea Monster
Liz Argall creates the webcomic http://thingswithout.com
Her most famous comic is a sad http://www.thingswithout.com/comic/311-a-sad/
She has a brand new Patreon (where everyday folks can be patrons of the arts and support their favorite creators for as little as $1 a month) https://www.patreon.com/lizargall
I've been in a writing groove lately which is a good thing. The 1,000 words a day thing has been happening with very little struggle. These moments are not necessarily rare, but they are precious. So, knowing I've errands and appointments all day doesn't fill me with glee. At least none are medical related. :P I'm also re-pinkening my hair. My mom's 75th birthday is this Saturday (happy birthday mom!), and well...I didn't want my roots showing in the photos. Vain, I know. Am doing it myself because it's part of the fun of having weird hair--at least it is for me. It's also Dane's birthday today. So, Happy Birthday to my favorite Dane on the planet.
The hair has being pinkenated. Now, for birthday cookies.
May your Wednesday be a happy one!
is a Science Fiction and Fantasy author living in Texas.