Monday, August 30, 2021

The Math of Adjustment

We've been talking the the Write Better Faster group about this Awkward Yeti cartoon:
I had one of those weeks. Or weekends. Essentially, for reasons, I currently cannot use my stove. I became aware of this when I tried to turn it on to make dinner Friday night. I decided this was a sign that I was meant to make the frozen pizza in my toaster oven instead. 
There are cascading things related to this. Building staff needed to enter my apartment Saturday which of course meant looking around and thinking maybe a quick scrub of the kitchen was in order. 
And of course it meant the plans I had made to consume pasta and soup over the next few days got scrapped. 
Now of course these are essentially minor inconveniences. I happened to have a frozen pizza, and other food that could be prepared using the toaster oven and/or microwave. My kettle is also electric. I did have to scan through the fridge and figure out what was not going to wait for the fix and needed to be roasted or consumed or frozen in the next few days. 
But I am fine. My loved ones are fine. This is mostly a logistics problem. 
And yet, life has been a large logistics problem for about a year and a half. Having to think through the logistics of this, revise yet another plan, because of something outside of my control is tiring. 
It's okay to be tired. It's okay to be bummed that I can't make soup right now. And it's okay to be sad about something that is not life threatening. We are all carrying a lot. Being tripped up sucks. Even when you know it will probably work out okay. 

Friday, August 27, 2021

On the Newsletter - My Own Ripped Bodice Summer Bingo Report

Over on the newsletter, I reported which boxes I did (and did not) read this summer.

Thursday, August 26, 2021

Three Interesting Things

1. I really enjoy the 88 Cups of Tea podcast, so I appreciated this interview with Yin Chang where she talked about her return to "Gossip Girl" and what she's learned in her time building both a storyteller community and a food community. 
2. This older post about banking and prudery noted the impact on Patreon, former book purveyor AllRomance and others, which was context I saw missing from many others.  This Slate piece covers some of the more recent developments with OnlyFans. 
3. Given all the things lately, there are two charity auctions with a bookish bent coming up: Romance for Haiti and Romancelandia for Afghan Women

Monday, August 23, 2021

Hope Isn't Silly

I was telling someone I'm in a stint of books about hard things - dystopias, traumas, grief, cross cultural parents.  And they are each useful and good, and are mostly all lined with hope but sometimes it's hard to keep going even with the promise of hope.  
And well, it's hard when the world itself is as it is.  I thought I had kept my expectations realistic, but there are things I thought I could maybe do this fall that are clearly not possible right now.  And that's sad.  
And my worries do not include in person work right now.  I have friends who have already been back to in person work, who are being asked back because someone wants to try, or because there are financial stakes to being there in person.  
The project I'm working on right now I am dealing entirely with people who have lost someone so I am dealing with a lot of people in every phase of grief, including the I think everyone is lying to me and everything is terrible phase.  It is a really great project. It's using a lot of my skills in ways I hadn't flexed in quite this manner in a while.  But it's hard.  
Grief is hard. Trauma is hard.  One of the things I am reading rattled off the stats and between war, assault, intimate partner violence, and addiction, we are a society that is already carrying a lot of trauma and adding a pandemic just means another layer to that.  
Hope can often be placed alongside words like fluffy and sparkly, words that connote sillness and a lack of seriousness.  But hope is incredibly serious business.  Looking around at the cracks and issues in our society and being willing to roll up sleeves and work on making things better is serious stuff. Gathering enough food and cozy blankets to feed and snuggle everyone in your household is also serious stuff.  Survival, as this pandemic has reminded us, is not a given.  Doing the work to keep going requires a complete toolset and hope is an important part of it. 

Thursday, August 19, 2021

Three Interesting Things

1. As someone who used to rely on Snopes quite a bit, this article detailing both plagiarism and false sourcing was fairly disheartening. 
2. I was pointed to this post from last year that spoke of some ways to make sure you are avoiding racist tropes in your fiction. It focuses on SFF, but I think is widely applicable. 
3. Bookstore Romance Day is this weekend, and there's so many panels.  Also, there's Bookshop links on that page if there are no participating stores near you and/or shipped books are preferable to your life right now. 

Monday, August 16, 2021

Thinking Globally

In a couple of different capacities, I work with international teams. I received an email - sent by a USian,  a few weeks back that ended with the closing, "I hope you all are enjoying vaccinated life" and I cringed internally. 
I am vaccinated. I am lucky to live somewhere, and to have had a schedule at the time that meant I could just pick the best times for me and go. I had the ability to spend a day recovering. (My symptoms were neither unusual for me nor outside the usual reported ones. But for me, I was not much good for about 24 hours after.)
I am aware that there are those with conditions who have been advised to wait. That plenty of people live in households with people currently unable to be vaccinated. Oh, and that worldwide the vaccine is only available in abundance in a handful of countries. Such that the worldwide vaccination rates are under 25 percent. 
Someone got a lot of flack on Twitter earlier this year for pointing out that when working in international teams, it's worth considering that not everyone is in the same season. And sure, if someone wishes me a good morning, I don't yell at them to respect time zones. But I do often answer with, oh, good afternoon. 
And one of the easiest things that people with access to vaccination can do, is remember that there are tons, literal tons of people, who still don't have the option yet. 

Thursday, August 12, 2021

Three Interesting Things

1. I was alerted to two posts about Janet Dailey this week.  The first was here - from April. And then this one that delved a little more into it. 
I recognize that the posthumous author angle is clearly the most intriguing, but I feel it worth noting that Janet Dailey was found to have gone through a period of plagiarism mostly because for all the folks that pop up and say the internet is mean for cancelling people, this author's career has outlived both plagiarism and her.  
2. Linda Holmes at NPR dabbled in watching each sport for the Olympics.  
3. This story about the goings on at Scholastic in the wake of the CEO's death is a reminder that these things happen in real life too, and affect real employees. 

Monday, August 09, 2021

7 Things I (Re)Learned From the Olympics

1. Some days, no matter how hard you trained, no matter how many accolades you have already gotten, you cannot get all the things to work the way you want on the day you want. 
2. After you've done a very hard thing, it's normal to collapse in a heap for a bit.
3. Sometimes your very best day aligns with someone else's very best day. Sometimes that means incredible success. And sometimes that means people asking did you mind only getting the bronze even though you were faster than the world record that was on the books. 
4. People who are not you are very sure they know your future (This is probably her last Olympics...). You don't have to listen to them. 
5. There are only three medal winners but between personal bests, country, and continent records, there are lots of ways to measure excellence. 
6. Sometimes finishing really is achievement enough. 
7. Sometimes sharing the win is cooler than duking out who was the tiniest bit better. 

Friday, August 06, 2021

Three Interesting Things

1. I found this article about the various concerns wearing leotards can bring for young women interesting. 
2. This article really nailed the issue for me with food and cultural appropriation
3. And I put together a Bookshop list of native American writers.  I will add to it as I run across more names.

Monday, August 02, 2021

A Tangled Fan

I need to get a new fan. 
Growing up our house had AC, but my mother was very much an open the windows for a cross breeze person, where my dad was a modern technology means never being uncomfortable person which meant the thermostat was set to 78, and got turned off altogether if it was deemed a cool night. 
The building I live in has central air, but I find my individual apartment unit too cold if it runs all the time, so I rely on the main building cooling and a fan for much of the time. 
The current fan I have sits on the floor and tilts up, keeping the air in the apartment circulating. 
I was sitting near the fan knitting. Yes, it is predictable in retrospect that sitting near a fan with yarn would lead to yarn in the fan. Also, yes, I could, in theory, disassemble the fan. In practice the fan does not come apart easily, which is a shame because it is very gorgeous yarn. 
I also spent a good amount of time poking a plastic crochet hook into the unplugged fan, but not being able to get a good angle at the back meant I couldn't tell when I had crossed from unwrapping to rewrapping, so in the end scissors had to be employed. 
And also, now I need a new fan. This time I'm prioritizing ones that come apart easily. For cleaning of course.