Monday, April 29, 2024

Pasifika Reading Challenge Suggestions

So the Pacific Islanders in Publishing group has put together a Pasifika Reading Challenge for May which is somehow this week. 
I have suggestions of course, and yeah, they include me. 
Book to Film/Translated Book:
Chapbook/Short Story: I have a few short stories that would fit into this, including Called to the Water. Melissa Llanes Brownlee writes mico and short fiction, and lists her recent publications here.
Climate Fiction: Weird Fishes by Rae Mariz
Fantasy/Sci-Fi: Nafiza Azad has several fantasies that would work for this. 
LGBTQIA author: Kahaula writes queer and polyamorous romance.
Literary: Megan Kamalei Kakimoto's Every Drop a Man's Nightmare is a great read. 
Melanesion: Nilima Rao has a book called A Disappearance in Fiji.
Memoir/Biography: Okay, this is an older pick, but if you've never read Liliuokalani's memoir, written while she was imprisoned in the palace after the Americans overthrew the Hawaiian government, maybe now's the time. 
Micronesian author: Makiia Lucier has a new YA fantasy called Dragonfruit that looks great.. 
Mythology/Folklore:Malia Maunakea's Lei and the Fire Goddess is a great option for this. 
Mystery/Thriller: Michael Bennett's Better the Blood.
Non-fiction: Emma Espiner has a memoir There's a Cure for This that looks amazing. 
Poetry:UH Press has Indigenous Pacific Islander Eco-Futures, which has a trove of poetry by PI authors. Another option is Jamaica Osorio who has videos of some of her performances on her site linked here.
Polynesian Author: Lehua Parker is a prolific author. 
Romance: Oh hi. So I have many choices that will fit into this, but let's say, Clear as Ice. Also, if you have already read me, consider Azalea Crowley and/or Kahaula.
Middle grade/YA: Juleah del Rosarios has a YA called 500 Words or Less that looks wonderful.

Thursday, April 25, 2024

Three Interesting Things

1. As someone who, since the pandemic, has worried about air quality in indoor concert spaces, I was interested to see this article about the Clean Air Club's work in Chicago.
2. I have been doing a little research for a project that led me to historical markers. So this deep dive into historical markers and their accuracies and viewpoints was of interest to me.
3. And also for research reasons, I have been listening to the "Hadestown" cast album.  (Okay, fine, maybe it's just because I like it.) So this piece about how Anais Mitchell took the West End staging of the musical as a chance to tweak a pivotal song, and then how social media meant that change spread, was fascinating.

Monday, April 22, 2024

The Butt Rule

I was once doing a group exercise where we all passed around papers, there was one for each person in the group, and everyone had to write on each one and then pass it on. So sometimes one would take a little longer, or the person you were passing to would clearly be busy and the person passing to you already had another ready for you. 
We discovered one had gotten stuck along the way and everyone looked, and nope. The person passing to me told me they had given it to me. And I was sure I had passed everything but shifted to look again, and discovered I had tucked the paper under me. So it was found and all was well. 
One person told me, they called it the Look Under Your Butt Rule. That it had started when they had kids in carseats who would call out that something was lost. And often once the car was stopped the search would find it underneath the kid.
These days, I often find in my squishy couch that I have lost track of, and often standing up and looking at where I was sitting helps. Though I can't swear I haven't been sitting on a park bench and suddenly realized I misplaced something I had just a second ago. 
We could get very profound about how things you need are often just right there.  But also we are keeping track of so so much these days.  Juggling all the things.  Sometimes, a thing or two slips underneath your butt.

Friday, April 19, 2024

New Release - Dream Catchers Anthology

Newsletter subscribers got the heads up first, but surprise! 
Something a little different from me. I had the chance to participate in an anthology. We all wrote flash stories around the theme of dreams. I have two stories  in this, one straight contemporary with a smooch (flash, so not much time) and the other is a little more folklore based, though there are relationship shenanigans.

Balloon Dreams is about a woman who, after a weird dream, hops into a hot air balloon to see if a change in perspective helps, and discovers that there's a cute balloon pilot.

Dream God's Assignment is about dream god Pahulu, who is asked to send a dream message to a friend's granddaughter.

The anthology is being made available on Amazon in e and paperback. 
It was such a fun prompt and I enjoyed the chance to go in two very different (and yet still very me) directions with the theme.

If Amazon is not your book purveyor of choice, I do have plans to make the stories, including an extended cut of one, available later this year, so stay tuned for that. 

Thursday, April 18, 2024

Three Interesting Things

1. It has probably been a decade since I went to Salt Lake City for dayjob reasons.  But while we were there, I insisted I needed to see the lake.  And so I and the one co-worker who felt similarly drove out there, and circled past.  It was winter, there was snow, so we didn't get out of the car.  But it was gorgeous.  So, hearing about how climate change and drought have affected it, saddens me.  This article talks about some of the efforts to address that.  
2. In Wellington, one family has some native birds nesting underneath their house.
3. A DC born artist is part of two Broadways shows coming soon. 

Monday, April 15, 2024

Support the Things You Love

I missed talking about this last week, when it was National Library Week, but as anyone who has ever working in any sort of customer service job, which is a lot of them, people are so quick to tell you what they hate. 
And fair. I am currently trying to get information from a company that I have paid money too, I get it.
So it stands out when people take the time to tell you what they love. I wrote a love letter of sorts to my library this year. I made a point to reference specific things they were doing that I loved, books was obviously a feature. I mentioned branches that I frequented. Access to learning and to COVID tests that I made use of. And ways it had improved my life. 
First, it is so much more fun to write a letter about all the things you love about something. Try it. 
Second, I wanted to mention specific things that I loved, in the hopes that those would continue. 
And third, I wanted to mention how it had helped me. 
We are also in a tight budget season this year in DC, I am going to mention libraries as a thing I love, on the list of things I want more of. It's often easy to get stuck on the newsy bits of the city budget. But libraries, funding for shelters, for youth programs, also are parts of the city budget. And I plan to advocate for them. Your list may be different. 
And of course love letters can also go to grocery stores when a particularly helpful person got something taken care of, or to bus drivers who are fabulous. I think we all get customer surveyed to death these days and it's hard to remember that you can just reach out on your own to whomever or whatever you want to lift up. Like acces to books. 

Thursday, April 11, 2024

Three Interesting Things

1. I am really enjoying NPR's sibling series, and this one about grief with siblings was interesting. 
2. American University's student paper wrote about the shrinking local news coverage in DC.
3. I enjoyed this story of two friends who first met in DC, and have stayed touch throughout the years.

Monday, April 08, 2024

The Things You Get Used To

I've had glasses for a while now. It was distance where it showed up first. The first glasses I bought fit tightly on my nose. I mostly wore them when driving, at sports, plays, things like that. 
I remembered when I realized that there were a group of people who knee me through my sports attendance who only saw me in glasses. And how weird it was that those people thought of me as a glasses person.
This happens in other ways too. I was in one group, where someone once asked me, after I did some new member interviews, if that was the most I had ever talked in a single day. (A friend of mine died laughing when I recounted this.) 
We all contain multitudes, and nit everyone gets to see every facet of us. So it can be weird when things collide or shift. 
Last year, I got progressives. I had started to find my eyes at the end of the day were having issues. And realized that I was working harder to see some smaller print, and maybe I needed to give my eyes some additional support. 
It took months to get used to them. I was in the very lucky position that a lot of my middle distance vision is still very good, so the contrast between the things that are blurry when wearing progressives versus not, was an adjustment. 
But now I'm used to them. (Okay, I may have typed some of this without them, but still, I reach for the glasses every day. Plan how many pairs to bring on trips.)
And recently I looked at my face and felt it looked different, and realized, it was because I wasn't wearing glasses. I have grown used to my face with glasses now. 

Thursday, April 04, 2024

Three Interesting Things

Baltimore is fundraising for the families of the workers who died in the bridge collision.
1. Sibling relationships are fascinating to me, and I find the fact that this story mentions that birth order is less important than some think, while covering a story with very stereotypical birth order, fascinating.
2. The founder of Trans Day of Visibility is thrilled at the success.
3. Jemele Hill wrote about how this baseball gambling story is part of a long line of gambling and sports stories.

Monday, April 01, 2024

Pushing Back Against Cynicism

One of the things that happens, if you have researched bad sports environments, or lived through enough bad managers, or even done too deep a dive into certain advice columns is that you forget how hard the mundane terrible stuff can be. 
Sure, the stories about coworkers who show up at your house to proselytize are clearly very bad. But coworkers who just smirk and say, "I know you have a lot going on at home," can be soul draining. Even though when you try to describe it people will say, oh, she's just trying to be empathetic. 
I thought this as I read the WaPo article about Kim Mulkey, who was so upset that someone wanted to write about her she held a press conference about it. And the article says she's exacting, and unforgiving, and that she was probably meaner to some players, providing punishment unequally. And yet, the article does not seem that bad. Well, you know, unless you had to play for someone who was a my way or the highway perfectionist. Unless you, at a critical point in your physical and emotional growth, were playing for someone who would make fun of your hair, or your love life, in front of all your teammates. 
See, when I say it doesn't seem that bad, I mean, when you include coaches who have strangled their players, sexually abused them, drugged them, and starved them. Coaches who encouraged a gravely injured athlete to keep going, even though it was clear that further movement would likely cause lasting injury. So, when I say not that bad, to be clear, I do not mean this is good. 
It becomes easy to be like well, coaches are often like that. When the correct thing to say, is why do we let coaches be like that? Why are we constantly letting supposed geniuses harm others because sometimes they do great things - be it science, tech, or sports. And it isn't progress that we sometimes let white women be terrible. It's bad. 
I have the sense that this story is probably going to peel off another layer or two in the coming weeks. But even if it does not. People can win sports without making fun of you. People can win sports without being jerks. And if they can't, then they were never really good at sports anyway.