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...I just wanna see Beyonce with kitties.

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"Write what you know" doesn't mean you can't write well about things you haven't personally experienced. That's ridiculous, and all of fiction (let alone all of science-fiction and fantasy) puts the lie to it; research, imagination, and empathy can take you where you want to go. Work at it hard enough, and there's not much out there you can't write well.

No, it's "write what you know" because you are the only one who knows it. No-one else has had precisely your experiences and your life, no-one else is in the position to realize the things about it that you are. No-one else has exactly your perspective on the human condition, so no-one else can report back on what you see from there. It might seem too pedestrian to you to be interesting, but for someone else it'll be a foreign country, a distant time, a worldview upside-down from their own.

Write what you know because no-one else can.

--R

Reading: Santa Olivia, Jacqueline Carey.
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So, some time ago, I attended a Continuing Education lecture for therapists about the impact of "technology" (i.e., cell-phones and the internet) on therapeutic practice. The most useful thing I got out of it was the concept of "digital immigrants" (people who grew up before use of computers etc. was widespread) and "digital natives" (people who grew up using computers etc.) (As coined by Marc Prensky in his 2001 article Digital Natives, Digital Immigrants). The most interesting thing after that was to watch the roomful of therapists, where all the digital immigrants were saying "OMG TECHNOLOGY IS DESTROYING EVERYTHING HOW CAN WE STOP THIS MENACE?!?!?!?" and all the digital natives were saying, "so, what's the best way to deal with this dilemma that's come up due to my clients texting me?"

I enjoyed the lecture and discussion, but I also spent most of it lost in thought. So, I thought, technology is affecting us. We should bloody well update our theories to describe it, shouldn't we?

And what formed was, I think, a description of the stages of one common path of how senses of self, other, and identity develop online. What do you all think?

Phase 1. Wide-open.Collapse )


Phase 2. Oh shit, it's Mom!Collapse )

Phase 3. Lock-downCollapse )

Phase 4. IntegrationCollapse )

--R
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Pr96lematics It's a conversation between Kankri and the Signless, and gods damn, but Kankri is fun to write.

Now: my fucking novel. I'm going to fucking well finish revising it, and if I try to write anything else, somebody please lash me to the keyboard!

--R
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Available October 1st. This is a studio apartment in Porter Square, just enough off of Mass Ave and up a residential street to be quiet and green, but less than five minutes' walk to the T stop, several bus stops, a supermarket, a hardware store, a bookstore, several good restaurants, etc. Pets are welcome! Parking is available in a parking lot behind the apartment, which can be rented from the building. This is a ground-floor/basement apartment, but it has three large windows which let in plenty of sun. All appliances were replaced in 2004, and should be in good condition. There is pay-laundry available on the premises.

We're asking $1400/month for it, and there's no limit on number of occupants.

Anyone interested?

--R

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Long have I owed a Balticon update, and here it is.

Balticon went really very well. I don't think I did a thing the whole time that wasn't in some way related to being a guest (mostly ran the Dealer's Room table, was on a few panels, rehearsed, and, of course, concerted), but those things went quite smoothly. I mean, we had a terrible dress rehearsal Sunday morning, which I found relieving, as a sign of a good concert to come. And the concert went, in my opinion, so well.

But you don't have to take my word for it. There's a video made by the excellent Brian Chin from footage he took of the concert-- not what the film crew will use to make the DVD (which we vaguely hope to have by July), but definitely enough to give you a sense of the costuming and the sound and how it all came together. It was fun while we were doing it, and I remember when concerts used to be so full of nerves that I didn't have a chance to notice what was happening until it was over. But this was different-- there, on the stage, looking out at the audience, watching them react to what we were doing, and it was great. Especially when we finished, and got called back for an encore, and it was all of us onstage, and I stood next to seishonagon, and looked at her on the line "I'll teach the student..." and that was a very good way to go.

So we were enthused. And want to do it again. And... well, we've gotten invitations from other cons around the country to do it again elsewhere, and we'd like to, but dear gods, it's expensive. We're really, really hoping that even though our Kickstarter is fully funded now, people will keep donating, because we estimated that it would take about $8000 to get us all to the next con we'd like to go to to perform it. That amount is only about $2700 away from where we are now, but the Kickstarter ends in ten days. So... if you haven't donated, and like what you hear, this would be a great time to do so!

Because yay Sassafrass. It's a lot of hard work and aggravation, but that was awesome.

--R

Reading: American Savage, Dan Savage.
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Sassafrass is delighted to announce the launch of our Kickstarter! Our Balticon concert is coming up soon (next Sunday, the 26th, dude), and we're very much hoping to raise money for all the awesome things we intend to do with it: produce and release the CD we've been working on all year, make a DVD of the concert (which, for those just joining our show, will be a two-hour, fully-staged, fully-costumed opera which brings together all fourteen current members of Sassafrass from all across the country, and tells the Norse myth cycle of the creation of the universe, the death of Baldur, and the coming of Ragnarok), pay for the costumes, props, transportation, hotel fees and so forth without staying utterly in debt, and so forth!

This is something we've been working towards... well, in some ways, since last year when Balticon asked us to be their Musical Guests of Honor and Featured Filkers. But in other ways, we've been working towards this since 2008 when Ada first started writing Sundown. It's been a long trip, and anything you can do to get us to this goal would be wonderfully helpful. Any little bit helps-- our lowest level is just $1, for which you get to be Ratatosk the squirrel that runs up and down the World Tree, and we'll thank you on our website.

We are very excited! And I am therefore begging shamelessly! Please please please please please help us do this awesome thing!

--R

Reading: Babel Tower, A.S. Byatt
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So, I want to signal-boost for this indiegogo project. The Brothers of the Emerson College Phi-Alpha-Tau fraternity are trying to raise money for their new transgender brother, whose insurance company denied his claim for top surgery.

I love the fact that these are, clearly, frat boys. He is such a frat boy. And they care about him, and want him to be able to get the care he needs. How awesome is that?

(Also, if you pledge $75, the brothers will sing you a thank you song. I do not have $75 for them, but squee.)

--R

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I've been watching the reactions to the Sandy Hook massacre, and finding them distressing. Not as distressing as the massacre itself, which was simply sad-- but there's nothing I can do for its victims, beyond send thoughts and warm wishes to the survivors. (And appreciative texts to the teachers I know.) Which I do.

But the reactions-- well, there have been some I've found helpful and enlightening. echoboots has a comprehensive, thoughtful, and very readable three-part series on "Unpacking Mental Health and the Sandy Hook Tragedy." nightengalesknd has a thoughtful post about how people are talking about the tragedy and autism. Both of them make the excellent point that I wish I saw more places: it's more complicated than that.

I guess what really got me was the First Parish Unitarian Universalist service on Sunday. They're a place I usually go and find wisdom, companionship, inspiration. So I was disappointed that they just didn't have much useful to say about it. We mourned together, which was a relief after a few days of me going, "oh, godsdammit, not again."

But then there was a somewhat incoherent attempt to link it to the issues of poverty (okay, I sympathize that my minister had clearly worked very hard on a sermon about classism in UU, and didn't want to completely scrap it, or maybe didn't have time to completely rewrite it, but), and there were a few mentions of the need for better gun control, and better mental health care, and a call for less "glorifying of violence" in our culture through such media as action movies and first-person shooter video games. But these are not the answers I wanted.

Possibly because I HAVE some answers, and they're not those.Collapse )
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