March 25th, 2009

Hearth

Odin's Day

Administration
Happy birthday to justbeast and Lawrence Ferlinghetti!

Hello to new readers antonyforody, hnmic, sterling_raptor, ladyaraia, ladydrakaina, passionandsoul, and zachariahskylab!

Medical
Okay, yeah, this is the post-trip day I knew was coming. Worn out and achy and sleeping too much. This shall pass.

The Beginner's Guide to Me
Since I've gotten a lot of adds lately, it seems like maybe time for an "Oh hai! This is what to expect!" Because there are certain things that shape me more than others, and come out here a lot...

* I'm a mom. Elayna's 14. We're still fantastically close. Yes, I had her early. And I was functionally a single mom for the first 6 years. I'm tough. :) Elayna writes and draws, sings, plays flute, and acts, has an awesome tribe of friends, and will take over the world someday.

* I'm a writer. You can find links to much of my stuff here, and my on-hiatus web-based urban-fantasy illuminated-manuscript thing here. You can buy a trade paperback of my originally-posted-on-LJ fiction and poetry here. (I have to poke the printer about that.

* I'm epileptic. From my artist's statement for Interfictions 2: "Epileptics live in a very interstitial state, slipping from world to world with little or no warning. Some seizures induce a sort of religious euphoria. Some are stark, terrifying disconnection. In some, one hears music no one else can hear, or one experiences the scent of lilacs as a physical object.

Temporal lobe epilepsy means, at its best, walking between worlds.

In 2003, I became interstitial, and I’ve been trying to make sense of it ever since - of the electrical cascades in my brain that can send me elsewhere, of the battery of medications that often make things worse, and of the pervasive sense of data loss and the odd things the brain does to patch those holes."

* I have fibromyalgia. This means chronic pain and fatigue, and a host of other comorbid conditions.

* I have a husband (Adam/yendi), a boyfriend (feste_sylvain), and a girlfriend (Spooky/elionwyr), and they all kick ass. Adam writes and runs a university intranet, Mark builds lifesaving robots and also writes, and Spooky is a haunter/zookeeper/writer. ...wait. Do I have a type? My type is whipsmart and funny and creative, I suppose. So yes, I'm one of those bipolypagan types; no, I won't date you, but mostly because I am insanely busy. I'm sure you're a wonderful person.

* I'm a rape crisis counselor volunteering with the Boston Area Rape Crisis Center; I speechify as part of the Survivor Speakers Bureau, and work with the community education and prevention branch. This work is important and I get really excited about being able to do the kind of things we do, and starting these conversations.

I think that's all the stuff that I really talk about incessantly. Dear readers, what else ought people to know?

Pic of the Day
sheistheweather couldn't make it to the Great Train Adventure, so she sent her stuffed fox, Brigid:



Link Soup
* "Storyworlds are a new form of computer entertainment developed by Storytron, Inc. Using our free authoring tool, SWAT, creative individuals with a story to tell can script their own sets of Actors, Stages, Props, and a web of potential interactions known as Verbs. Players seeking a unique new form of computer entertainment can play those storyworlds, engage with the Actors, and explore a wide range of choices and behavior in the dramatically rich environment developed by the author of that world. " Worth exploring?
* Regarding bad behavior at cons.
* Hey, writers! Interesting contest. I wish Places You Haunt was closer to completion...
* Self-Rescuing Princess shirt. I want these for my daughter's entire Girl Scout troop.
* Could you change your life in just 37 days?

Daily Science
Could nanotechnology save ancient books from crumbling?

Plans
I absolutely have to read and review an ABN today. Otherwise? Hopefully I'll get to unpack my backpack (got the suitcase done yesterday, at least!) and catch up around the house. Tonight is course selection night at Elayna's future high school! And dude, I'm totally excited about her potential electives. I'm not happy that she'll have to choose between band and chorus, but otherwise, she can take guitar, photography, film & video production, theatre, electronic music... I think it'll be a really great year.
Social Change

Walk for Change!

A reminder - I'm participating in the Boston Area Rape Crisis Center's 5K, the Walk for Change, on April 4!

I'm walking because BARCC is an amazing organization committed to helping survivors of rape and sexual assault and effecting social change to dismantle rape culture.

I don't just give my survivor speech - though that's powerful in itself! The survivor speech is followed by a Q&A which is often the first time people in the audience have felt able to ask questions of a rape survivor. This can be tremendously valuable not just for the audiences of high school or college kids, but for audiences like police, emergency physicians, nurses, first responders - people who see the survivor in those first raw horrible hours and need to know how best to do their jobs, and have questions that can often only be answered by us. The Survivor Speakers Bureau kicks ass. We are fearsomely brave women who eviscerate ourselves so that others can learn, and can help others.

But I also love love love my work in community education and prevention. I love manning a table at street fairs and getting people to talk about a subject that's so often taboo. I love helping people make their Clothesline Project shirts. I love running workshops on building and maintaining healthy boundaries, and dissecting why high schoolers do and say the things they do, and how *they* can help change our culture. (I love the high school workshops; the kids talk to me with my middle-school height and my Docs and silly t-shirts.)

This is such important work.

You have heard the statistics. Per a Department of Justice survey in 2000, 1 in 6 women and 1 in 33 men reported experiencing an attempted or completed rape at some time in their lives. In Massachusetts alone, 4,418 adolescents and adults are sexually assaulted each year - that’s 12 people each day and one every two hours. BARCC covers the biggest population center of Massachusetts, and its coverage area stretches quite a bit - is why it's the Boston Area Rape Crisis Center.

So 12 people a day. And if they call a rape crisis center - we're who they call.

If you call BARCC after a sexual assault, we will have someone meet you at the hospital and stay with you through your exam, through talking to the police. We will give you up to a dozen sessions of in-person counseling, free of charge. We can get you into group therapy. We can talk you through the night. We are deeply, deeply committed to being there for you, and for your loved ones - because this doesn't occur in a vacuum, and we know it. We have resources for your partner, your roommate, your mom.

We are on the street, helping communities develop their own programs. We're in your schools. We're everywhere. We are ~100 fiercely committed volunteers, working with a staff of dozens to change our world.

These programs, dear reader, cost money. BARCC is fortunate in its volunteers! But all of the materials we give out at those street fairs cost money. It costs money to run the office itself. You know this.

We're doing amazing work. We kick ass.

We need your help.

Please sponsor me. Anything you can do is wonderful - it all adds up.

Help us change the world.
Book Love - by RoseFox

Capsule reviews

"But 'song," you say, "what did you read on your grand adventure?"

I will tell you, as I am a kind and giving 'song. Yes.

* Lamentation, by Ken Scholes. A first novel that doesn't read like one. I've been loving his short fiction, and this doesn't disappoint - a lovely fully-realized world and some excellent intrigue. (Oh, and the reviewer who said there was a dearth of strong female characters? Was on crack, seriously. Some great women, some surprises, and hints that at least one female character will be doing some interesting evolving in book two.) I can haz sequel nao?

* The Caryatids, by Bruce Sterling. I... you guys. I have a problem here. I love Bruce Sterling. His cyberpunk stuff? Rocks my socks? This... no, you guys. This is a bad book. I'm really sorry to say that, but it is. The characters are cardboard cutouts, and the worldbuilding - suffice to say that Sterling cites the bullshit pop psychology of "tend and befriend" as absolute truth and works from there. At which point I was kinda agog and just wandered off to read something that wasn't awful.

* The Memory Palace, by JoSelle Vanderhooft. Now this is what I'm talking about. This is a memoir told as a novella-length poem, which sounds twee in concept but 100% is not. Vanderhooft is fearless here, chronicling the loss of her father, her coming out to herself and to the world, her struggle with depression, all in gorgeous and incisive verse. I salute her. She bares all, and it's beautiful.

* Dangerous Space, by Kelley Eskridge. People wonder why I call myself 'song when I don't play an instrument or sing. Eskridge Gets It. Her character Mars, a sound tech, feels music the way I do, deep down soul-level. She knows what it is to live the music. In Dangerous Space, Mars becomes entwined with an up-and-coming band that also feels the music a bit too deeply as they channel it up from the depths. Enter an intriguing new technology, and... well, I won't spoil it. This novella is up for the Nebula, and deserves it.

* The Little Sleep, by Paul Tremblay. This is a modern homage to noir, featuring a narcoleptic detective. Which could be played for laughs, but isn't very often. I found the exploration of how neurological upfuckery changes your whole life fascinating, and I'm looking forward to discussing this book with hardcore noir fan Adam. The character is fantastic. The case is fun as well, featuring an American Idol Star contestant with a problem only the protagonist can solve.

So what have you been reading lately?