Sunday, July 26, 2015

Coffee and Blogs No. 21

This summer has been stuffed to bursting with events and vacations and play dates that have kept me moving and in the sun and more pleased than I've been in a long time. I visited Florida to celebrate all the pre-wedding festivities for one of my sisters, took in a day in the life of an MFA grad assistant with a dear friend and fellow writer, and have been hitting every pool, pond, and splash park in a 20 minute radius of my home.  But that's not all! My brain is exploding, as well. I've started writing for the site What the Fangirl and am totally restructuring my novel to fit more of my original premise. These are both stretching my creativity in lovely, torturous ways. I haven't been too busy to be on the scan for links to enjoy and enlighten!  Let's see what we have here...

*I had no cable growing up- we were a PBS family. This meeting is probably exactly how Wishbone was conceived.  
We’re getting kids to read here, Janice. Give them just enough to tantalize their literary palates and I guarantee you they’ll devour all these titles, cover-to-cover, and certainly not just use the surface knowledge gleaned from Wishbone to posture before their future professors and Internet dates for the rest of their adult lives.
*Comic books were not something I was particularly interested in until lately, and all of the sudden I find myself rocking back and forth on my heels in the comic aisle of B&N, feeling like I'm finally in the foreign land I wished to visit but it's all in another language.  Enter A Feminist Ranking of Female Superheros by Sam Maggs- this article introduced me to characters I want to meet, but also gave me some terminology so that when I finally do "get into comics" like I've been wanting to, I can brave the aisle (or better yet, my local comic store) with some confidence.

*Roxanne Gay wrote Bad Feminist, a book I want to share for Be Your Own Book Club as soon as possible, but it was her opinion piece for the New York Times that I read this week. The death of Sandra Bland, a black woman who died in police custody ("suicide") earlier this month, is terrifying in it's POINTLESSNESS, and it's a story that's getting uncomfortably familiar. Gay's reactions as a black woman are required reading, especially for those of us who are not black. We have to listen to her, because there is no other way for us to experience this- we've never had to face it, but we do have to listen
Each time I get in my car, I make sure I have my license, registration and insurance cards. I make sure my seatbelt is fastened. I place my cellphone in the handless dock. I check and double check and triple check these details because when (not if) I get pulled over, I want there to be no doubt I am following the letter of the law. I do this knowing it doesn’t really matter if I am following the letter of the law or not. Law enforcement officers see only the color of my skin, and in the color of my skin they see criminality, deviance, a lack of humanity. There is nothing I can do to protect myself, but I am comforted by the illusion of safety.
*I love the round ups of "Tips from Smart Woman" that Kate Baer publishes on her blog. The sex tips were fabulous, and these tips about writing were exciting and depressing and confirming. I love seeing the pictures of these bad ass ladies. I love this series all together. 
No woman gets an orgasm from shining the kitchen floor. -Betty Friedan (that might be my new personal mantra)
*How To Tell if You're in a Goosebumps Book Your town is one of those towns where everyone knows you by name with the exception of that mysterious shopkeeper who’s just opened a spooky curios store around the corner from your house.  

*How To Tell if You're in a Baby-Sitter's Club Book You take great pleasure in listing every article of clothing you’re wearing, as well as every article of clothing each of your six closest friends are wearing. Pretty much yes.

*In the same vein, I like this essay about fictional childhood best friends. I'm gearing up for a reread of Harriet the Spy and the Anastasia books.  Who was in your metaphorical gang when you were a kid?

*Self-care is a concept that I love for it's kindness and selfishness and get grumpy about because the more I learn about it, the more I realize I can't use it as an excuse to eat more cupcakes in the name of love. Anne shared what self-care looks like for her this summer: new pretty underwear, more bike rides, more salads, asking for help, getting messages, going to bed earlier.  Some of that stuff is not "fun." But ugh, necessary. The comments have a gold mine of further ways to take care of yourself.

*More self-care with a witchy point of view. I really like the offerings on an altar- this practice really appeals to me, although I've never tried it. I have a little altar in my office that is lovely, but it could use a little more attention. 

*I've had two articles published by What the Fangirl in July: The Problem with Virgin Vampire Killers: A Review of Eva Darrows' THE AWESOME and I've Never Seen: Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Season Two. It's a really fun site to write for! I'm working on a review of a Holly Black book and my recap of Season Three of Buffy.

*If you follow Be Your Own Book Club, this month we're reading Me Before You by Jojo Moyes. This is a pretty popular book- I follow NPR Books on Facebook, and usually respond their weekly question about what you're currently reading. I rarely ever get a response from other readers, but when I posted about Me Before You, I got tons of positive replies. That being said, I'm not overwhelmed by the plot or characters.  I like them. I hope everyone is happy in the end. But it's not a page turner for me. How are you liking it?

(Image credit. Click through- the image description has a great short story about the saucy lady pictured here)



At November 19, 2018 at 5:46 AM , Blogger ben said...

As always, great reading articles.
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