Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Oh, and Look!

Martin Tuesday on Wednesday this week!

New Blog Has Posts!

Over on FanSci, we're talking about SF Heroines today.

Go read!  You know you wanna!

Hee hee hee!

Just in case you haven't already seen this post...

Better Book Titles.

My favorite is Strunk & White: Correct Your Friends Like A Dick.

Although Margaret Atwood: Sarah Palin's America is also very good.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Working & working & working

I've been hammering away at a revision of Martin's War, lately, getting it ready to go to a couple of places that are having open submissions.  Also working on a short story that is nearly done.  Also there is nothing I want to cook that I am not sick to death of eating. Also working on some reviews with deadlines coming up like in (shit!) two or three days here.  Also teaching and prepping, because (look at this!) the semester done gone started. And it is Chaucer this semester, on top of Fiction Workshop, so you can see where I am.  Also dealing with that child, who has started madolescence early, and will keep having crises.  Argh.  Also having migraines every whipstitch, what with these weather shifts.  Also financial crises, as per usual.  Also the cat, who has decided she is my cat and insists on sitting in my lap when I am trying to work, going brrr-brrr-brr-brr-why-won't-you -PET-me? Also no one but me apparently can do the laundry around this place, or the dishes, or take out the recycling.  Also my new iPad keeps me up every night until two and three a.m.  Also if someone doesn't vacuum soon the cat hair is going to form its own colony and voting parliament.

So you see my issues.

(P.S. I forgot to mention FanSci -- a new issue!  Go read!)

Monday, January 24, 2011

And while I'm Whining...

This, from over at Angry Bear, got me thinking about how thing are being run at my useless university these days.

It used to be, you know, when the leaves fell, when snow fell, when the grass grew, guys with rakes and shovels and blades would deal.

Now? Well! Last Wednesday, during my 1213 class, as I was attempting to explain how to put together an evaluation essay, directly outside my window, a 24-year-old groundskeeper* with leaf-blower was blowing leaves, non-stop, for 35 minutes.

The fuck?

And also? How is that more effecient than raking up the leaves and putting them in bags? It's not like there were even than many leaves on the ground out there. 35 minutes, I kid you fucking not. Wrecked my class** and the classes of everyone else in the building, so he would not have to use a rake.

Same thing with leaf-blowers blowing up cut-grass in the summer, and trash in the summer. Because brooms and rakes are too labor-intensive? Because paying 22 year olds would cost more than the leaf-blowers and those giant machines they use? I'm thinking not, especially with the cost of maintenance and pollution worked in.

/rant off.

*Not his fault, mind you. This work used to be done pre-dawn or on the weekend, but "cost-cutting" measures mean that now it has to be done during the work-week -- or when classes are being held, in other words.

**And yes, we can ask them to stop -- but they just come back 20 or 30 minutes later, in the middle of another class.

Okay, Well...

I said I wouldn't have time to blog today, but...

Yesterday evening the kid approached me warily (she knows my, ah, strong feelings on this issue) and asked, "What would be an okay reason for a woman not to get an abortion?"

Which struck me as an odd way to frame the question, but I answered it as carefully as she had framed it. "Listen, sweetie. The choice is entirely up to the woman. That's what pro-choice means. Whether or not to continue a preganancy, any pregnancy, is up to the woman. That's the end of the question. It's her body, it's her choice."

She gazed at me, obviously not satisfied by this answer.

"If you're asking under what circumstances I would get an abortion," I said, "I would abort a pregnancy if the fetus was so damaged it could not survive, or if its brain was so damaged it was not technically alive, or if my own life were at risk. But that's my--"

"What if she, what if the woman couldn't afford--"

"That's my point," I said. "Every woman has to make these decisions for herself. No one can make the decision for anyone else. Your body, your life, your choice."

She kept staring at me, thinking this over.

"That's how it has to be," I told her.

Well, except for Eric, over at RedState. He thinks he should get to decide, for me and for my kid. And if he doesn't get to decide? He's going to start a Civil War and start shooting people.

Because one massacre in Arizona? That's not enough.

No Posts

...because I am writing hard.

More later.

See y'all!

Thursday, January 20, 2011


It's been snowing since before dawn here, and getting steadily colder and snow, at just before eleven, the university has finally called classes.

Yay!  Snow day!  More coffee and writing for me.

Sadly, however, HDD and I are out of food, having neglected to do the Southern Panic Thing yesterday (when impending snow is announced) of rushing out to buy milk and bread and ice.  We both teach all day on Wednesday & did not have time.

Oh, well.  Who needs anything but coffee anyway?

Monday, January 17, 2011

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Cats in Space!

In case you missed this, over on i09.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Racefail Coda

I'm presenting my paper on racism in the SF world/in SF publishing in April at the PCA, and doing research for that paper in what few spare moments I can find -- anyway, today I came across this essay by Samuel Delany.

Read the whole thing, as they say, but here's a key paragraph:

Since I began to publish in 1962, I have often been asked, by people of all colors, what my experience of racial prejudice in the science fiction field has been. Has it been nonexistent? By no means: It was definitely there. A child of the political protests of the ’50s and ’60s, I’ve frequently said to people who asked that question: As long as there are only one, two, or a handful of us, however, I presume in a field such as science fiction, where many of its writers come out of the liberal-Jewish tradition, prejudice will most likely remain a slight force—until, say, black writers start to number thirteen, fifteen, twenty percent of the total. At that point, where the competition might be perceived as having some economic heft, chances are we will have as much racism and prejudice here as in any other field.

Friday, January 14, 2011

New Blog!

Hey look over there!

What's that?

It's a new blog!  FanSci!  Go see!

(Why, yes, I am one the bloggers!  Also Marilou Goodwin and Barbara Ann Wright, fellow writers and travelers.  Enjoy!)

I Know You've Been Waiting...

Martin Tuesday was delayed to Martin Friday this week, but here it is!

More Broken Slate!

I also have a book review of Liz Williams' latest novels up at Strange Horizons today, in case you can't get enough of me.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Spring 2011

I am, after snow delays and ice delays, back in the saddle for Spring 2011.

(Can you believe that year, btw? No jet packs or air cars, but we do have robot maids -- sort of --- and you will pry my iPad out of my cold dead hand.)

Teaching Chaucer, two sections of comp, and a fiction workshop this semester. I'm busy thinking of prompts for the first writing assignment for that last. Most of the students I had last semester so they know all my old tricks -- write a story of less than 1000 words from a POV you would never assume about something you would never write about; write a story about a crucial event in your life, but change one radical thing; write the story you will get in serious trouble for telling. I have to think up new tricks now. Anyone got any ideas?

Meanwhile, I am revising Martin's War to submit to new publishers, and trying to fix an ugly plot knot in the middle. It is keep me up nights.

But it is 2011! We are living in the future! A new decade! Surely we can still hope!

(I am trying this new approach, optimism. I'll let you know how it works out.)

(Update: Killing my attempts to be all cheery in the new decade -- Sarah Palin? Blood libel? I know she's ignorant as dirt, but really?)

(See also this, for a reading of Palin I'll admit I did not consider. So much for optimism.)

Sunday, January 09, 2011


Oh, a bit of good news for once!

Snow, snow, snow here has caused the university to cancel classes tomorrow.

An extra day of winter break for me, me, me!  I can spend all day tomorrow writing instead of greeting freshmen!  Yay, yay, yay!

The kid is not as happy as I am, since she was hoping to visit her BFF, who lives near the university.  But I made her some brownie batter, which she is eating raw with a spoon (yes, at nearly midnight, I am an APPALLING mother) which has cheered her up.  A tiny bit.

Yay snow!

Thursday, January 06, 2011

That Was Fast

Since Hanukkah arrived well before Christmas this year, I got my iPad in early December, as some of you may recall.  And from that point on, it went everywhere with me, since we could not bear to be apart.  (I loves my iPad!)

Everywhere I went, waiting room of the clinic, or hanging out in my office or over at the student union, people remarked upon it.  "Is that one of them Kindles?" was the comment I most often got, although, "Hey!  That's one of those electric books, ain't it?" was also a common question.

I would say yes, sort of, and sometimes, if they were actually interested, give them a tiny iPad commercial.

But now?  Post-Christmas?  No one notices and no one cares.  This is because, everywhere I go, everyone has their own Kindle, their own Nook, their own iPad.  I was at the orthodonist with the kid this morning, every parent there had one or the other.  (Though I was disappointed to find the waiting room didn't have free wifi.  I settled for reading Tom Franklin's Crooked Letter Crooked Letter, which I had downloaded last night.)

We're living in the future.

Wednesday, January 05, 2011

Put a Sad Face Here

Another rejection.

A nice one, at least.  She asked me to send her something else.  It's something.

Tuesday, January 04, 2011

Look! A Review!

A review of Crossed Genres, Y2, has been posted.  A nice one, too.

Also!  The anthology itself is on sale right now.

And!  A new issue of Crossed Genres, Opposites, is now available.  

Monday, January 03, 2011

General Observation

It's harder to write when the kitten has decided your lap is its best place to nap and your elbow is its favorite pillow.

The purring, of course, is just bait.

Saturday, January 01, 2011

Rise Reviews

Awhile back, Bart Lieb, who you may remember as the endless bundle of energy who helps run CG, came up with another idea -- a site to review all the many works of in the SF/F which slid past, unnoticed, because most sites only review those titles which receive pro-rates (mostly, that is, a nickel a word or higher).

Skipping all the middle of this story -- ta-da!  Rise Reviews debuts today!  January 1, 2011.

Both Herr Dr. Delagar and I are among the many excellent folk writing reviews; but you should go on over and have a look, not at our reviews per se, but at the works being reviewed.  A lot of the best writing in SF these days is coming from this, literally, marginalized work.