April 15th, 2009


Odin's Day

Happy birthday to jimhines, thegreenyear, swashbucklr, and wirewalking!

Meh, but progressing. Got a good walk in today. Unfortunately, that led to me hitting the emergency inhaler. But. Progress is.

Feeling the Weight of the World
There's... a lot going on. And it's coming at me from a lot of different areas. And much of it is stuff that involves waiting for someone else to make their move (case in point: I am still waiting to hear if Elayna got financial aid for Explo - that's a huge thing, $5K huge, looming over me!), so that involves not just *that* stress, but the stress of keeping multiple balls in the air, which is exacerbated by the fact that my short-term memory issues man that I have to keep repeating the litany of big heavy stuff over and over in my head so I don't miss anything...

So I'm exhausted and jittery. And hyperaware that April is Sexual Assault Month, with all of the BARCC stuff and posts all over the blogosphere, and I love what I do for BARCC, but I can get exhausted.

And last week's seizure shook me up, too. People die like that. All the time. I was fast enough last week, but if I hadn't been?

Newsweek has a big feature on epilepsy this week. It leads with "Up to 50,000 Americans die each year from seizures and related causes, including drownings and other accidents... By some estimates, the mortality rate for people with epilepsy is two to three times higher—and the risk of sudden death is 24 times greater—than that of the general population."

I joke that one of the blessings of epilepsy is that I won't have to deal with all of my friends dying off as I get old; I'll be gone before any of you. See ya, suckers! But... I don't wanna go. I have too much to do here. I cram so much into my life because I have no idea how long I have. Could be a week, could be fifty years. Most of the time, that knowledge is background. It's been foreground this week.

All of this affects my writing. Monumental stressors mean that my brain is in very dark places. I cannot seem to cast my writerbrain out to write fun things. It's all dark places. And I don't want to put you-the-reader through what's in my hindbrain right now. Is why there's a pause button of sorts on Wind Tunnel Dreams.

I find myself being less posty, too, as all I've got going on is that litany. I struggle to find things to say that aren't part of the litany, and I'm not managing. So if I'm not on here much for a little bit, I'm okay, I'm just dealing with that.

Today, I'm dealing with it by cleaning and organizing and just getting off my ass and getting things done, which I'd been unable to do recently. Fighting my way back to my new normal.

Link Soup
* Twitter will murder you in your sleep.
* I love this video. Wow. Lady, you kick ass.
* Hee hee hee teabagging.
* Nearly Free Knitted Stuff by Phoe! I nabbed a gorgeous hat for Elayna. There are cowls and a vest up for grabs.

Daily Science
I'm going to double-dip. Here. Read the whole epilepsy feature, please.

My mad dash cleaning up Miss Kid's room has tired me out. I think I shall curl up with a book and possibly nap. Tonight is blissfully planless, and will likely feature sorting through stories with Adam and catching up on the TiVo stuff. (I love my husband. A++ would marry again.)

WisCon Schedule

Friday, at the Gathering, I'll be manning the Interstitial Arts Foundation's table: Coffee, Tea, and Subversion.

Hrm. This next panel got moved from where it was when I approved it. Does it coincide with the Gathering? I don't remember the Gathering's times from last year...

Friday 4:00-5:15: The Object In the Story, the Story In the Object: Stories are not the only things about story! Many artists contain stories in their work—and many writers have magical objects in their stories. This is a chance for visual artists and writers to meet and see where their crafts cross.

Saturday 1:00-2:29: Kick-Ass Moms: Most female characters, strong or otherwise, don't seem to have children. But from Sarah Connor to Nanny Ogg, characters who balance raising a child and saving the world can be fascinating. Where do you find characters like this? Are they harder to write? Why?

Sunday 1:00-2:29: Reading! with Kater, Catherine Schaff-Stump, and Ellise Heiskell.

Sunday 4:00-5:29: Take Back the Sci-Fi: Sexual assault and rape frequently get used as symbolic plot devices with no consideration about the realities of how these events effect survivors and the people around them and the larger social realities of this epidemic. Sometimes these stories get told well but often they perpetuate social myths and stereotypes that normalize predatory behavior and make survivors complicit. How do authors work to create a culture where stories that perpetuate rape myths are not acceptable? Examples?

Very happy with all three of my panels; I think I'm ideally suited to them. *nod* Also happy that there are only three. (I'm looking at you, Arisia.)

So who's going to WisCon?
Writing - XanaDuMalion

Oh, hey...

...here's the stack of stuff I was supposed to review/pimp ages ago. *headdesk*

The Duke in His Castle, by Vera Nazarian: Nominated for a Nebula! *roots for norilana* A twisty magical mystery, fast in pace and lavish in language; if you like Catherynne Valente's work, you'll like Nazarian's. Some genuine surprises in here, and Nazarian handles disturbing topics very well indeed.

Spiral Hunt, by Margaret Ronald: Urban fantasy set in Boston. Real urban fantasy, not werewolf porn. Ronald's debut novel posits a magical Boston that maps perfectly, with a heroine who isn't gorgeous and omnipotent and screwing a vampire - she's ragged and imperfect and unique, and I can't wait for the next book.

The Long Look, by Richard Parks: Another great debut novel. I love Parks' short fiction, so that's no surprise! The evil wizard Tymon the Black is actually not so evil - he's an unfortunate precognitive who's compelled to arrange events for the best possible outcome for the world. Which makes his actions seem inexplicable, if you're not his loyal companion Seb.... and makes him seem like the bad guy to the rest of the world. Parks has a deft, humorous touch. Very recommended. (Also read his short story collection Worshipping Small Gods!)

Black Thorn, White Rose, edited by Ellen Datlow: No, this isn't new, but I scored an ARC of the Prime Books reprint in exchange for a blog mention. Prime's reissuing the whole series in trade paperback. Beautiful cover, and the same text I fell in love with a decade or so ago.

The Sharing Knife: Passage, by Lois McMaster Bujold: I don't like everything. Not even everything by authors I like. Case in point: I'm sorry, I just can't stand this series. :( Fawn is a wide-eyed weakling, totally dependent on her big strong Native American Lakewalker husband, and - this is the woman who wrote Cordelia Vorkosigan, I know she can do better! In this and the fourth book, you get to see a little of why Fawn exists at all; sadly, it's pretty much just as a foil for the inscrutable Dag. Re-read the Vorkosigan books instead.

And music! "Spirits" by Rogues and Wenches is billed as bawdy Irish and Scottish pub fare, and yep, it sure is. Excellent fun stuff that you'll be singing along with in no time. And y'know what I love? They color-code the track listing so you know which songs to skip if your kid's in the car. Thanks, Rogues and Wenches! That is thoughtful.

So yes, creative-type friends: If you send me your book/CD/whatever, I will post about it! Eventually. It truly took me an embarrassing amount of time to get around to this - sorry, guys! I'm hauling myself back on track.