Migraine.I don't ever get these, but today I did. Left work at 10:30 am and went to bed, spending day with lavender mask over my eyes to block out the light.Yar. Ow.This entry was originally posted at http://pegkerr.dreamwidth.org/1667142.html. There are comments on the post.
As you may already know, O friends, I'm back home in Dublin. I have an amusing anecdote to relate to you all.My grandmother, who is dying slowly, has been living in my younger aunt's house since her diagnosis, going on six months now with occasional hospitalisations. My mum and I have been visiting her there regularly. My aunt stands within the ranks of the comfortably middle class, with two houses (one of them rented out) and regular foreign holidays (i.e. more than one in any given twelve-month period), two resident daughters (both of whom are working), a kitchen filled with working appliances and no shortage in her fridge.In all the time we've been visiting Gran, Aunt has never really offered us food even when eating herself - nor have we asked for it. So it came rather out of the blue on Saturday, just before she left the house, she said to us, "If you're ever hungry while you're here, you know..." she said."If you're ever hungry while you're here, you know, there's a café down the road past [X] supermarket."That is so perfectly my aunt.Do we have a lean and hungry look? I thought to myself. Have we ever asked for food you never offered?It would never occur to her we might be broke: that my mother has been on sick leave for going on a year and my scholarship is not grandly large and has to cover a whole bunch of things, now. "If you're ever hungry while you're here, you know, there's a café!" (Or perhaps I am over-charitable in ascribing to indifference what could as well be malice.)I am still laughing. Hospitality: YOU GIVE IT A BAD NAME. "If you're ever hungry while you're here!" For a moment I thought she might speak as I would, and say something along the lines of there's cold meat and yoghurts in the fridge and bread in the cupboard, help yourselves. But it was definitely not shocking to hear her speak otherwise. Entertaining! For it shall go down in the annals as an example of Hospitality: How Not To Do It. But not shocking.There is a slightly more serious side now, of course. If she ever does offer food in future, we will be obliged to refuse. Having the depth of our unwelcome demonstrated means we must avoid incurring reciprocal obligations: there is no guest-friendship there.But still, two days later, laughing. Is this not amusing?This entry was originally posted at http://hawkwing-lb.dreamwidth.org/566334.html. There are comments there. Comment where you like.
I got up this morning and went for an 11 mile run. It was supposed to be 13, but the sun caught me and I ran out of Gatorade. Sometimes, discretion is the better part of valor--and I decided two more miles was not worth puking. Now I am drinking Vietnamese coffee and sitting on the sofa, like somebody who has used up all her virtupitude for the day.My stepcat was just in the corner suspiciously sniffing an old signing poster of Scott's that's been there for a month. Only now does it become a potentially threatening object. Cats. Or maybe he's just now figured out what Dad does for a living?In other Scott-related news, this.In writer-related news, non-Scott-related, the UK/Australian publication of John Joseph Adams' Wastelands anthology has occurred! And Publishers Weekly has given Book of Iron an absolutely bang-up review. (linky) (text follows) Book of IronElizabeth Bear. Subterranean (www.subterraneanpress.com), $20 (128p) ISBN 978-1-59606-474-4Friends are the family we choose, a maxim that lies at the heart of this short but sharp novella, which ties in to Bear’s Eternal Sky novel series. Bijou the Artificer (first met in 2010’s Bone and Jewel Creatures, here young and eager for adventure) joins the immortal Maledysaunte on a quest to the abandoned city of Ancient Erem to stop Dr. Liebelos, a precisian (wizard of orderliness), from summoning the Iron Book. With them go a crew of allies with mixed motives, including Kaulas the Necromancer, who is Bijou’s lover and rival, and the wizard Salamander, Maledysaunte’s companion and daughter to Dr. Liebelos. Under skies whose moons and suns vary in number, they must confront the threats of legendary beasts and betrayal. Bear injects the fizz of the Roaring ’20s (including travel by roadster, automatic pistols , aeroplanes, and silent movies) into a thoughtful exploration of dealing with loss. Agent: Jennifer Jackson, Donald Maass Agency. (Oct.)Reviewed on: 06/17/2013Release date: 09/01/2013
Cheshire Moon will be performing this weekend in Antioch at Xap's house! It will just be Lizzie and I (Susan is gallivanting around the country this month). We'll be doing a lot of new songs, probably most of the upcoming CD as well as the summer singles. RSVP to email@example.com.The party starts around 4. The grill gets fired up around 5. Bring grillables and something to share. The music starts around 6. Bring a lawn chair. Bring drums as we expect to have a bit of a drum jam after the show. Weather permitting, there will be movies out on the lawn starting around dark. Since it's being planned by Xap and Eric, expect Marx Brothers and Errol Flynn!Please RSVP to firstname.lastname@example.org so we have an idea how many to expect.This was originally posted on Dreamwidth, after which it wandered out to various other sites. Feel free to reply where ever you want. I should still see it.
We wrapped up another good weekend here in Klaskyville, starting with a Thursday night family dinner to celebrate a cousin’s graduation from elementary school (OK – I enjoyed the family get-together, but “graduation from elementary school” feel odd to type, to this non-parent…) On Friday, we saw THE REAL THING at Studio Theatre — a play that is as much about language as it is about the nature of love; the first act was better than the second, which is a consequence of hte writing, not the performance… On Sunday, we saw THE WINTER’S TALE at the Shakespeare Theatre — I have a new candidate for least favorite play evah in that venue, at least the least favorite that wasn’t a farce. The director seemed to do everything she could to make the boring parts boring and the funny parts absurd (and still dull.) *Not* a production I’d ever view again.
But most of my weekend, and the primary topic of this blog post, was spent in Baltimore, teaching a class on the Business Of Writing, at Baltimore Science Fiction Society. The students were great — many of them highly motivated, most of them with some publishing under their belts (short fiction, primarily, although a couple of people had self-published novels.) I did my best to instruct, to encourage, and not to be ***too*** down about the state of modern publishing.
I love teaching. I love sharing the information I’ve gleaned over the years. I love being asked questions, and figuring out answers, and making new connections (both socially and intellectually) that I’ve never made before.
And I find the entire process ***EXHAUSTING***.
At heart, you see, I’m an introvert. When I need to recharge, I need to unplug, enjoy some quiet time around the house, curl up in a chair and read, *maybe* discuss things one-one-one with a single friend or family member.
Being ***ON*** for five-plus hours is like opening up the sluices and watching the energy drain away. I can do it — I’ve got pretty substantial batteries to store my social power. But the experience always leaves me more fatigued — body- and brain-weary — in ways that I don’t expect.
On Saturday, for example, I drove home (making a pit-stop to buy tickets for AFIDocs documentary film festival — another event I’m excited about, but I was annoyed at needing to go to the far end of suburban DC from my home, to buy the tickets…) I parked the car and came inside, settling in the living room at about 5:30. After an hour spent not-watching T.V., I got up to make a sandwich for dinner.
And then I posted toothpicks beneath my eyelids, so that I could stay awake to watch the movie ENIGMA. I was so tired, that I fell into micro-sleep moments, while I was knitting. (A simple pattern, consisting of only knitting, with increases each row, or decreases each row, depending on the half of the diamond I was making…) I stumbled up to bed at 8:30, and I slept until 7:30 the next morning.
Yes, I slept 11 hours.
All because I’d been *on* for a classroom full of eager, receptive students.
Saturday was an extreme reaction for me — usually, I’m not *quite* that drained from pretending to be an extrovert. I wish that I could change things — be a bit more extroverted, conduct things like Saturday’s class without needing to recharge quite so dramatically.
But I truly believe that such behavior is ingrained. I can learn to *present* as an extrovert, but I can’t change my basic settings.
And what’s the big deal, if I have to sleep for one long night, after I’m out and about?
I *do* wonder what it would be like to be an extrovert. To be rejuvenated by experiences like Saturday. To feel wan and listless when I was forced to spend time alone.
Perhaps I’ll write a character who is truly extroverted… In the next book
Mirrored from Mindy Klasky, Author.
How do I answer this? I've been corresponding with a fellow Bleach fan on Tumblr, who emailed me to squee over my fic. She doesn't have an AO3 account, but has been following the fic from the beginning and wanted to finally be able to tell me how much she enjoyed it. All good right? Absolutely! The talk, as it does, has strayed to other things and this morning she wanted to know if I was on summer vacation yet or if I, like her, was suffering through finals week......I kind of hate the answer I'm going to have to give, which is, "Girl, I haven't had a finals week since 1989, and that was THE YEAR I GRADUATED FROM COLLEGE." Hello, your mom is on Tumblr. (And writes smutty ByaRen!)Awk-ward!In other news, Shawn and I are settling down over our wedding... a bit, anyway. Thanks to a friend, we have a summer venue. Now we just have to figure out a date. And what to wear. And get the invites out. And...Tilt.But, at least we have a place and that's huge. The rest is... well, cake.It's funny the difference between my folks and Shawn's remaining parent-type relative, her stepmom, who we just visited in Indiana, when it comes to the wedding. My folks are very traditionally excited, with talk about how it might go, what people might wear and all that fun stuff. Her stepmom and stepsister are very reluctant to talk about that stuff, but plenty happy to acknowledge that I need the health insurance and that "it's a good thing" and not a whole lot else. I'm not sure if they're that way because they're aware that it's kind of strange to be making it legal after all these years together, or if it's a political/religious conservatism making it somewhat strained. It's actually not easy to fathom. Shawn's stepmom has a gay son, our stepbrother Mark. So, it's not like the whole idea of queerness is alien and they'll talk about it... just not with enthusiasm. Ah, well. Otherwise, the visit was nice. One of the things we always do is make a visit to Ogden gardens, which is a really nice community garden/park in Valparasio, Indiana, that has, among its many features, a Japanese garden. It's become overgrown in the intervening years, unfortunately, but this year I was really struck by the Japanese maples and the color of the sun through the leaves:Don't be surprised if, at some point, my Byakuya references this particular color in regards to a certain-someone's hair. Also, Odgen is big enough that they have room for several features that include this roofed perogla that looks out onto a man-made koi pond:There's also a "stream" that begins at a waterfall:There are several wood and stone bridges that criss-cross the stream at various places. There's also the classic stuff like a red torii gate and stone lantern features. I didn't take very good pictures of those, however, because, like I said, parts of the garden have become very neglected and overgrown. They really need to have their master back, or whoever designed the garden for them. Or at least pull up the Virginia creeper that's over grown the wooden fencing. Even with all these issues, it's still one of my favorite places in Indiana. That at the Blackbird Cafe, which has coffee AND WIFI, and thus, was a godsend during our trip. Also, the barista I flirted with there TWO YEARS AGO, remembered me and she said she thought of me when she'd heard Minnesota passed the right to marry act. So that was cool. I told Shawn that Valparasio is so white-bread that I shouldn't be surprised to be memorable. I'm probably one of the few butch lesbians they ever see. It'd be better if I were a person of color, because then everyone would remember me (ValPo isn't entirely white, but given its nearness to Chicago and Gary, it's surprisingly white.)That was our trip in a nutshell (and a few pictures.) Now my family is trying to recover. In Mason's case, literally. He picked up some road crud on the way down, and is taking the day off school today because his cough is still so hack-y. Poor boy. Hopefully, a day of rest will be what he needs.
I asked Delia to create a piece of art which I could hang in my cubicle at work, based upon the Two Trees poem by William Butler Yeats that means so much to me. The idea would be to have something she could add to her portfolio. This print is what she came up with:This entry was originally posted at http://pegkerr.dreamwidth.org/1666976.html. There are comments on the post.
Monday, 17th of June 2013. This morning my editor in London found these waiting on his desk.
Mirrored from Lynch Industries.
For Father’s Day, we went out to see Man of Steel. I had been seeing mixed reactions over this one, and been (willingly) spoiled for one of the things that happens at the end, so my expectations weren’t tremendous. Memories of Superman Returns probably helped keep my hopes from getting overly high. But going in with that mindset, I mostly enjoyed the movie. I liked Amy Adams as Lois Lane a lot, and thought Henry Cavill made a pretty good Superman. Laurence Fishburne was sadly wasted in his role as Perry White. I liked a lot of what Russell Crowe did as Jor-El, though.
I think Christopher Reeve will always be my Superman, just like David Tennant will always be my Doctor. Reeve brought a bit more fun and heart, and a less angst. But unlike Superman Returned, which tried and failed to duplicate what had been done before, Man of Steel tried to do something new, and I give them points for that.
Storywise, the last thing I’ll say before moving into spoiler territory is when they do Man of Steel II, I’d like More Character Development and Less Destroying ALL THE THINGS, please.
Mirrored from Jim C. Hines.
I've been reading the recent WisCon anthology, Shattering Ableist Narratives, ISBN: 978-1-61976-042-4, edited by JoSelle Vanderhooft. (Full disclosure: Debbie Notkin, who is wild_irises and I have an essay about friendship in the book that grew out of a panel we did last year.) It's got me thinking about a thousand thousand things, as did the previous post that talks about disability and my job. Yeah, I'm nervous talking about this sometimes. If you ask, I'd say I want people to buy my art because the art connects with them somehow. And this is true. But a few people have told me that part of why it connects with them personally is because they're dealing with big health nonsense or with disability stuff, and I've dealt with big health nonsense and disability stuff, and this makes the art even more meaningful to them. Which gives me additional good feelings of being useful. So there's that, too, and I respect that. Art is multi-layered. Life is multi-layered.On good days, I can walk to the post office -- and I do, because it's very good for me to walk when I can. (They tell me that being active is part of reducing the risk of another stroke. It also helps with other stuff.) On so-so days, I take the bus for those six blocks and back. On bad days, going out of the house doesn't happen, and sometimes I can't make it to the workbench. And that's the mobility stuff. With the hearing loss, I need to stay close to the front door if I'm expecting a package, as I can't hear bells or knocks very far. Dealing with people (like at the post office) is stressful for me -- not awful, usually, but lip-reading new or mostly-unfamiliar people in an errand situation where everybody in line behind me is in a hurry is work. As for the medical foolishness (Crohn's disease, fibromyalgia, arthritis, tri-geminal neuralgia) and a few assorted what they call non-neurotypicalities (ADD, I'm looking mostly at you), the former usually hinder my work in most ways, and the latter tremendously helps it in the workbench phase (I have ADD hyperfocus, thank everything, and I use that power for good as much as I can) and hinders it in the paperwork and getting-stuff-organized-to-mail stages. (And leads to sentence structures like the ones in this paragraph. Whether that's good or bad is your call as much as mine.)Eh. Everybody's got something. And usually more than one something, too, when you look. These are my somethings at the moment, and this is a little of how they affect my job. I left out the depression, but that matters too -- and it reminds me of ways my job helps with my various medical foolishness and disabilities. Because it does. I wouldn't even have this job if I hadn't gotten so sick in the mid-nineties and eventually been diagnosed with a bunch of things, and needed to build a life that meant regular meditative-style work time, during which I could do my breathing exercises and posture-and-relaxation exercises that were part of stress management. (And boy howdy do I need to be doing a refresher on all that lately. Talking about it here is part of remembering that, actually. So thanks for listening and being part of my self-care.)