Posts tagged with "blog" - Faerye Net 2017-04-16T20:32:53+00:00 Felicity Shoulders I am gone, though I am here: Blog Moving Announcement 2017-04-16T20:32:53+00:00 2017-04-16T20:33:27+00:00 <p>The good news is that I am fitfully beginning to blog once more! The bad news is that it shouldn&#8217;t be here at for the foreseeable future. That doesn&#8217;t mean I&#8217;m abandoning the domain: it means that for technical reasons, I can&#8217;t keep on using this blog as it is. I may someday start fresh with a different content management system, but for now, will be a static archive, and new content will only appear elsewhere.</p> <h1>Where to find me and my writing</h1> <p><a href="" target="links"><strong>Medium:</strong></a> My new blog posts<br /> <a href="" target="links"><strong>Twitter:</strong></a> My random thoughts and political opinions<br /> <a href="" target="links"><strong></strong></a>: My publication news and listings</p> <p>Several of my published stories, such as <a href="" target="fiction">&#8220;Conditional Love&#8221;</a> and <a href="" target="fiction">&#8220;Small Towns&#8221;</a>, are reprinted on my author website. I hope to add more reprints, and audio recordings of them, in the future. These will always be linked from <a href="" target="links">my list of publications</a>, and I&#8217;ll trumpet about additions on social media when they&#8217;re made!</p> <p> was a very important project for me: it helped me find my voice and footing as a writer, and gave me the freedom to play &#8212; just as important as the rigor of &#8216;getting serious&#8217;. I&#8217;m glad it will be here, even as a digital fossil, for the present.</p> Interview about "Small Towns" on the F&SF blog 2012-02-10T15:50:11+00:00 2012-02-10T15:50:35+00:00 <p>I was asked to do an email interview about &#8220;Small Towns&#8221;, my novelette <a href="" target="links">currently available in the January/February <em>Fantasy and Science Fiction</em></a>. Assistant Editor Stephen Mazur has posted the interview over at the <a href="" target="links"><em>F&amp;SF</em> blog</a>.</p> <p>I was really glad to have the opportunity &#8212; writing this one was interesting and unusual, and I hope readers are interested in the extra information.</p> <p><a href="" target="links">Go and see!</a></p> Blog recommendation: MFA in a Box 2011-03-18T10:41:06+00:00 2011-03-18T15:49:50+00:00 <p>My first advisor in <a href="" target="links">graduate school</a> had a huge influence on me. I had several fabulous teachers in the program, but working with <a href="" target="links">John Rember</a> set the foundation of my writing life. He got me to state with confidence &#8220;I&#8217;m a writer&#8221; and taught me that being a writer is a <a href="" target="internal">continuous state of being and seeing</a>, not something you just do when you write. The books I read at his behest and discussed with him in my correspondence semester helped give definition and certainty to things I had felt as instinct and hunch: things about the importance of writing, writing as survival strategy, writing as making meaning.</p> <p>John&#8217;s craft talks at the program were also rich and valuable. They were the sort of lecture where you scribble notes intensely, and you can&#8217;t keep up with all of it that you want to get down, and you also want to be writing your own notes about all the things in your own writing and life that hook into what he&#8217;s saying, all the ideas this gives you. Luckily, many of the rich, layered craft talks that he wrote for the Pacific program are now available to me in a more complete and much more legible format than my own scribbles: printed essays in book.</p> <p><a href='' rel='powells-9780982579428'><img src='' style='border: 0px; margin-right:5px;' align="left" title='More info about this book at (new window)' style='border: 0px; margin-right:5px'></a>John has written a writing book, <em><a href='' title='More info about this book at' rel='powells-9780982579428'><span class="caps">MFA</span> in a Box</a></em>, which I am reading. To be honest, I&#8217;m reading it very slowly. That may sound like an odd endorsement, but it&#8217;s an honest one. I started reading the book on the plane to a convention. Every chapter is an essay, one of those rich interconnected thought-weavings that we got to listen to as Pacific students, with the addition of a top ten list at the end of each &#8212; valuable for focus and review, but also often funny. I found, reading on the plane, that when I was done with the first essay, I didn&#8217;t want to read the second. I wanted to write. So I dug out my carry-on and switched activities. On the plane ride home? Same thing. One essay, and then writing.</p> <p>Obviously, this is a rare writing book. I have read quite a few, and I don&#8217;t remember any of them making me want to write <em>that moment</em> like this does. The cover says it&#8217;s &#8220;a <em>Why</em> to Write Book&#8221;, and the evidence says it&#8217;s convincing.</p> <p>So the good news about John&#8217;s splendid craft talks is that you can <a href='' title='More info about this book at' rel='powells-9780982579428'>buy the book</a>, and the bonus good news is that you can <a href="" target="links">read his blog</a> while you&#8217;re waiting for the book to arrive. It&#8217;s a relatively new blog that he&#8217;s started in support of the book (hence the name!) and it is chock-full of the stuff John Rember specializes in as a teacher: thoughtful, mordant, lucid non-fiction about things which are important and hard to tackle.</p> <p>Here are some of his posts:</p> <ul> <li><a href="" target="links">Narcissism and Depth</a>, which may obviate or at least mutate two blog posts I meant to write here</li> <li><a href="" target="links">The Wannabe Writer</a>, about stopping pretending to be a writer and actually being one.</li> <li><a href="">A Writer&#8217;s Meta-Narrative</a>, about the stories everyone lives by, not just storytellers</li> </ul> <p>I don&#8217;t think I&#8217;ve ever written a blog post just to recommend another blog before. Maybe John&#8217;s blog isn&#8217;t the blog for you, if you&#8217;re not a writer or interested in writing, or don&#8217;t like hard questions. But I am so glad it&#8217;s there, that someone with so much experience and so much willingness to examine it honestly is sharing in this way. John as teacher is challenging, wise, and dryly, darkly funny. John as blogger is much the same.</p> A timely reminder: this is what we do 2010-12-03T13:28:18+00:00 2010-12-03T13:29:04+00:00 <p>I love reading James Gurney&#8217;s blog, <a href="" target="links">Gurney Journey</a>. (I think <a href="" target="links">Steve</a> tipped me to it originally? If so, thanks, Steve.) I love Gurney&#8217;s work, and I love learning about art and how it works and has worked. Also, I find a lot of cross-disciplinary pollination in the things he talks about. Sometimes it&#8217;s hard to explain how the stuff he says about painting or drawing seems very apt for writing. Sometimes it&#8217;s not.</p> <p>Here&#8217;s <a href="" target="links">Thursday&#8217;s blog post, &#8220;Mutter and Growl&#8221;</a>, about perennial Shoulders family favorite John Singer Sargent. It&#8217;s about his making a lot of noise as he worked, but here&#8217;s the part that really struck me:</p> <blockquote>Another observer noted that he talked to himself: “This is impossible,” Mr. Sargent muttered. “You can’t do it. Why do you try these things? You know it’s hopeless. It can’t be done.” <br /> <br /> Then: “Yes, it can, yes, it can, it can be done—my God, I’ve done it.”</blockquote> <p>I always feel so grateful when I find that cycle of despondency and triumph in master artists, or hear <a href="" target="links">writers whose work I really admire confess to it</a>. It&#8217;s not schadenfreude, it&#8217;s recognition: oh, this is fundamental.</p> <p>When you&#8217;re in it, you feel like the only one. Whether it&#8217;s a small cycle during one session of painting or a big long-form up-and-down, you feel trapped in the solipsistic agony of it. But you&#8217;re not alone. We&#8217;re all down there, toiling our parallel ways out of our oubliettes to stand heedless and triumphant in the light.</p> What is the purpose of blog comments? 2010-08-24T13:33:41+00:00 2010-08-24T13:35:05+00:00 <p>A while back, Ryan mentioned to me that he may remove the capacity to comment from his blog, <a href="" target="links"></a>. This rocked my world. No comments? But blogs have comments! It&#8217;s a universal constant! Okay, so I exaggerated there. Sure, I&#8217;ve seen comments-disabled posts, often on touchy or personal matters, on otherwise comment-enabled blogs. And I&#8217;ve visited a few blogs with no comment system. It tends to have a more&#8230;austere feeling. Like a museum, rather than a tearoom. Comments invite you to stay a while and have a scone. No comments? You are invited to move along to the next exhibit.</p> <p>Ryan tends to think things through, so he had plenty of arguments against the necessity of comments <em>for his blog</em>. His blog is increasingly about technical matters. I pointed out that people like to discuss these matters, and he pointed out that they are welcome to do so by e-mail or on twitter. If their comment is longer than 140 characters, he pointed out, they&#8217;re welcome to post it on their own blog and send him a link. Obviously, he has a point.</p> <p>Different blog spaces carry different necessities. I read a fair amount of social justice blogs, like <a href="http://racialicious" target="links">Racialicious</a> and <a href="" target="links">Feministe</a>. Part of their purpose is discussion &#8212; lively at times &#8212; and to provide a space dedicated to hashing out issues, often nominally or actually &#8220;safe&#8221; for those participating. Many major blogs of this type even have &#8220;open threads&#8221; from time to time, where the management offers no guidance on what the commentariat should mull. Obviously, these blogs are part forum.</p> <p>But my blog isn&#8217;t like that. I am glad it&#8217;s not. Writing a social justice blog means setting yourself up as an authority and giving yourself a certain responsibility to keep up with and comment on current events. That&#8217;s admirable, but it&#8217;s not the path I&#8217;ve chosen in life. I&#8217;ve chosen to be a fiction writer, which means a certain amount of dreamy detachment is part, parcel, perquisite and peril of my vocation. Some of my blog posts ask for audience participation, but some of them don&#8217;t.</p> <p>I can see some arguments against comments in general. Where the commentariat is largely people one knows, there is a sort of social pressure. If I post good news, do you have to publicly f&ecirc;te me? I like congratulations as much as the next person, but I don&#8217;t want to make anyone feel they <em>must</em> pipe up. (I&#8217;m the sort of person who tends to send off-list congratulations to on-list good news, so obviously I&#8217;m a little weird about the dynamic of clapping people on the back in front of a crowd.) In other cases, I&#8217;ve heard people talk about the social pressure of commenting &#8211; someone you don&#8217;t know or barely know comments on your blog, so you feel you have to comment on theirs.</p> <p>This brings me back to the responsibilities of blogging: I don&#8217;t want to ever be in a position where I <em>have</em> to blog about something. If something dreadful happens in the world &#8211; which happens all too often &#8211; I usually feel that my perspective on it is redundant, if not useless. I may feel stunned and wordless. Political bloggers and social justice bloggers seem to have a socially mandated duty to speak on current events. I never want to be there. Neither do I want to be committed to post everything of a certain sort in my own life &#8212; every time I make a pie, for instance (I guarantee you, while it makes useful filler here and there, that I don&#8217;t post every pie I make!). There&#8217;s too much speaking for speaking&#8217;s sake in the world. That isn&#8217;t a call for seriousness, by any means: anyone who reads this blog regularly knows I am chock-full of nonsense. What I am advocating is sincerity. Don&#8217;t blog if you don&#8217;t feel it. Don&#8217;t comment if you don&#8217;t want to (and if you do want to, don&#8217;t feel constrained!)</p> <p>And if you do want to respond to something, I hope you have the space or make the space. Ryan&#8217;s point that would-be commenters can post on their own blogs is well taken. Even in the forum-like bustle of large social justice sites, people take a step back into their own spaces and respond there. A long comment may not get much attention when it&#8217;s attached to someone else&#8217;s work. On your own blog, it has the chance to breathe, to be read on its own merits and for its own sake. Much of what we want to say in the world is a response: to someone else&#8217;s speech, yes, or to our own lives, our own experiences, to nature or culture. Maybe it would be silly to start a blog just because you wanted to comment on someone&#8217;s post and comments were locked. But maybe it will happen again, and again. Maybe you should have, if not a blog, a text document on your own computer. Even if you don&#8217;t need or want anyone else to hear, hearing yourself is vital and healthy.</p> <p>Maybe I&#8217;ll close down comments on a post here and there. I experimented with this on the most recent <a href="" target="links">update</a> on my upcoming story. Just the facts, ma&#8217;am, and no meaty topic for discussion. But upon reflection, I&#8217;ll be keeping comments open on most posts here. I like the idea of putting out tea and biscuits for all comers.</p> <p>This blog&#8217;s purpose has shifted over the years. When I began, I hoped to share a few silly anecdotes, but mostly give myself room to write and hear myself. I needed a place for words and creativity in a life that didn&#8217;t otherwise hold that space. Now my life fully inhabits those spaces, and the blog serves to share &#8212; my news, my nonsense, things that make me laugh, delight me, or make me think. It&#8217;s my blog, but I need to believe you&#8217;re a part of it. I&#8217;ll definitely be keeping comments, but I&#8217;m glad to have considered the question. Rethinking and questioning keeps blogs, as well as people, healthy.</p> For your informedness 2009-04-16T10:26:49+00:00 2009-04-24T11:44:14+00:00 <p>I won&#8217;t be blogging much for the next week or so &#8212; I&#8217;m on a writing retreat in Vermont and have self-limited (and actually limited) access to the internet. Photos of cute Vermont buildings will be forthcoming at some later date.</p> Language and gender 2009-04-08T15:21:18+00:00 2009-04-08T15:23:27+00:00 <p>I don&#8217;t usually just post links to other blogs, but the study <a href="" target="links">Zuska</a> is <a href="" target="links">talking about here</a> is fascinating:<br /> <blockquote>Would you describe a bridge as fragile, elegant, beautiful, peaceful, slender, pretty? Or as strong, dangerous, long, sturdy, big, towering? Lera Boroditsky, an assistant psychology professor at Stanford University, found that it depends &#8211; for native German and Spanish speakers, on whether your native tongue assigns a feminine or masculine gender to the noun bridge.</blockquote></p> <p>I&#8217;ve long been interested in the intricacies and contradictions of gendered language, both in the study of French and Latin and in the <a href="" target="links">more</a> <a href="" target="links">subtle</a> ways English is gendered. I&#8217;m glad this sort of rigorous research is going on, and I hope that this kind of work can inspire at least a few people to consider how deeply their firm ideas of gender are shaped by culture. We love to believe we are free agents, that the choices we make and beliefs we hold are our own. But we are rooted, growing out of a place, a culture, a family, even a religion. The more we acknowledge and analyze the things that shape us, the more we can grow beyond them. Our culture gives us meaning and common ground, but it can also be poisonous and stunting. Only by facing that can we fight it, and work to become truly free.</p> Positive 2009-01-12T11:38:53+00:00 2009-01-12T11:39:58+00:00 <p><a href="" target="links">Ryan</a> whipped up the &#8216;Top Tags&#8217; <a href="" target="links">Thoth</a> plugin for me, to replace &#8216;Categories&#8217; in my sidebar. Yup, little to the right, little bit down&#8230;that&#8217;s it. Top Tags. I hastened to taggify many of my articles, so that the Top Tags would be fairly representative. I had a hard time figuring out, at first, which tags I would reuse a lot, but soon I discovered, poring over my archives, that many of my articles were, well, <span class="caps">WHINY</span>. Perhaps not so much whiny as <span class="caps">KVETCHY</span>. I started tagging these complaints &#8216;<a href="" target="links">grouse</a>&#8217;, and was horrified to discover that &#8216;grouse&#8217; quickly hit my Top Tags.</p> <p>I don&#8217;t think of Faerye Net as a negative place! I was mortified at the idea that instead of &#8216;anecdotes, opinions and occasional fiction&#8217;, I might be providing complaints, whinges and occasional fiction. I invented the antonymic tag &#8216;<a href="" target="links">huzzah</a>&#8217;, and hastened to apply it. It did not rise into the top tags. I tagged more of the archives. Nothing rose to topple &#8216;grouse&#8217; off the list. So I resolved to be more positive, to post fewer articles that required the description &#8216;grouse&#8217; in future.</p> <p>As of December 28, with <a href="" target="links">this post</a>, I geek over language more often than I complain. <a href="" target="links">Vocabulary</a> is in the top five. My tagging is by no means complete &#8211; lots of the archive languish unfolksonomified (and, since the switch to tags also switched us to Textile word-formatting markup, unchecked for formatting blips) and I still think I need to come up with a tag to distinguish posts about writing from posts which contain my writing (like <a href="" target="links">the Grey City chronicles</a>.) But at least I can rest secure knowing that I&#8217;ve made Faerye Net a less whingey place. One small step for a kvetch.</p> <p>P.S. As of this post, &#8216;huzzah&#8217; ties &#8216;grouse&#8217; at 30 posts. Ha!</p> Blogrolinage 2008-08-08T13:18:09+00:00 2008-08-08T13:18:09+00:00 <p>So I finally created a <a href="" target="links">blogroll</a>. I didn&#8217;t do this for a long time because when I first started blogging, it seemed more than likely that people who were reading my blog already knew each other&#8217;s blogs. But now, after my <span class="caps">MFA</span> program, I know a lot more bloggers, so I thought I&#8217;d link them here.</p> <p>This blogroll will eventually be linked in the sidebar under Oddments, as &#8220;Friends&#8221;. I have used real names for bloggers who do so, leaving off last names or using handles by the same criterion. If you&#8217;re a bloggin&#8217; friend of mine and you are not on the list, it may be because I thought you weren&#8217;t updating any more, or because I didn&#8217;t know if linking to you would break your desired level of anonymity. These are not all the blogs I read. That list would be long, fluctuate a great deal, and involve scads of people I don&#8217;t know, let alone call &#8216;friend&#8217;. There are a few blogs I read whose authors I&#8217;ve met only in passing, but don&#8217;t really know, so those aren&#8217;t listed.</p> Taggers may learn highly instructive things 2008-08-07T11:45:01+00:00 2008-08-07T11:45:01+00:00 <p>I love tags. They&#8217;re intuitive, individual, flexible and informative. They appeal to the part of my mind that <a href="" target="links">color-codes obsessively</a> and also to the slapdash right-now portion (or portions). So one of the chief advantages to <a href="" target="links">upgrading</a> to a newer <a href="" target="links">blog engine</a> was the tags, the glorious tags.</p> <p>I haven&#8217;t finished tagging the archives yet, but after Ryan wrote the Top Tags plugin, I was surprised to see certain trends emerging. For one, I hadn&#8217;t thought I blogged about &#8216;real life&#8217; <em>all</em> that much. For another, I was disturbed to see &#8216;grouse&#8217;, my chosen tag for negativity and ranting, in the top 5. Am I really that negative? I wondered, and considered how many fewer items could be tagged with &#8216;huzzah&#8217;, grouse&#8217;s opposite number.</p> <p>So I&#8217;ve been trying to be more positive. Oh yes, if something is a grouse (like yesterday&#8217;s <a href="" target="links">Zyrtec-D</a> rant) I dutifully and truthfully tag it that way. But I&#8217;m trying not to write as many, to think of more blog items that celebrate or interest rather than excoriate. Tagging is self-revelatory. C&#8217;mon, be honest, you&#8217;ve looked at your tag cloud on some site or other. It&#8217;s interesting to see in aggregate the choices and distinctions we make in individual places, and to compare them to the aggregate choices of other users and the site as a whole. And the thing about any sort of self-revelation is that sometimes it shows you things you didn&#8217;t really want to see. It gives you a chance to change.</p> <p>So I&#8217;ve already managed to push grouse down to number five on the Top Five Tags list&#8230;let&#8217;s see if I can&#8217;t push it off altogether!</p>