ER? No Thanks

Growing up in my parents house, I never saw an Emergency Room past the age of 7–when I spectacularly almost lost the tip of my left middle finger after catching it in a storm door at Brownies. There was a lot of blood and a lot of histrionics on my part (and some amount of laughter on the part of the other Brownies, but that’s for a later day), and I learned a lot, intensively, in the next hour.

It wasn’t for lack of activity that Mom and I didn’t go see the doctor. I’m sure there were visits for strep, bronchitis, Mom’s menopause, that kind of thing. But the simple stuff?

Mom had an utter passion for yardwork. Poor thing, she wanted to recreate her youthful memories of Wisconsin using a backyard in Kansas. She refused to believe it wasn’t possible. With enough trees, anything could be done. So she and I dug holes, lopped branches, worked with all kinds of sharp implements while I was growing up. Clippers, trimmers, cutters, loppers, choppers–I don’t know the names for the tools, but she and I sure used them. The most spectacular injury I can remember was the time when she degloved the second knuckle on either the index or middle finger of her right hand with something. Blood filled the bathroom sink, and I wasn’t allowed to look.

While I was 10-11, we ‘took care” of some American Shetland ponies, half wild animals that we worked at gentling. Later, there were Saddlebreds. I was lucky enough not to get kicked, but it felt as if everything happened me: I was bit, stepped on, ground between irresistible equine side and immovable object (usually a fence), and bucked off. there was probably some barbed wire around. Nails. Splinters. Once I came off a pony and landed on a triangular piece of glassy rock that gouged a hole right in the center of my palm.

Mom was also an accomplished cook, with the corresponding knife stable. Old, old steel knives and a serious antique sharpener. Which, occasionally, would mean a sacrifice to the kitchen spirits.

So when skin was broken and the blood flowing, we followed a set protocol. Wash out the wound with warm water and gentle soap. Douse it all in merthiolate (remember, 30-35 years ago). Salve with A&D ointment. Gauze, and tape–or a bandaid, if the laceration or contusion was small enough. No, we never went and had stitches, or had a doctor look at anything. After two kids with three ER visits between the two of them–which took 7, 5, and 4 hours respectively, I’m very glad they didn’t. I also realize I’m very blessed that we haven’t needed to go more than those times.

I read this, and I think, am I bragging? I dunno–maybe a bit? I’ve been so disillusioned with the ER care that I’ve run into, that my first reaction when hearing someone wonder if they should go to the ER for what seems to me a minor wound is utter puzzlement.

Calling for the Expulsion of Theodore Beale from SFWA

Originally posted on Amal El-Mohtar:

Recently, N. K. Jemisin delivered her Guest of Honour speech at Continuum in Australia. It is an excellent and important speech. In it, she mentions that roughly 10% of the ballots cast in the recent SFWA  Presidential election went to a man who is unabashedly racist, misogynistic, and just generally hateful in an astoundingly relentless sort of way. She does this in order to talk about how important it is to not be an enabler of that kind of hatred through one’s silence.

She doesn’t name him in her speech, and more power to her. He has, however, responded to her on his blog, so I will tell you here that his name is Theodore Beale, also known as Vox Day, whom I only encourage you to google if your day is suffering from a surfeit of happiness and sunshine. Here, however, are some relevant screenshots, posted with warnings for…

View original 649 more words

A Fan Letter to Certain Conservative Politicians

Triggery, and brilliant, and needs to be disseminated (heh, see what I did there) everywhere.

John Scalzi’s A Fan Letter to Certain Conservative Politicians.

Spanish Language Track At 71st World SF Con in San Antonio

In reading about LonestarCon, the 71st Annual World Science Fiction Convention, I see that there’s going to be an entire Spanish language track.

Progress Report 2

Holy shit, this is a big deal.

And now I’ve got questions.  The update on the internet says There will be a Spanish language track, so tell us your favorite Spanish language writer, graphic novels, or SF movies/TV. Help us develop a full and interesting Spanish-language track of programming, as this is a great chance to expose a whole new audience to Spanish science fiction and fantasy.

What about regular tracks that are translated?  What about readings?  What if some of the Spanish language stuff, in order to reach a wider group, wants to be translated into English?  What if some of the English langage stuff vice-versa?  What if you don’t speak Spanish but you want to know more about Spanish-language SF?  What if you don’t speak English?

If I want to do a reading of my English-written story, can I translate it into Spanish and read it?  (And NO, I’m not talking about running it through Babelfish; dios mio santo.)

What do you know about it?  Let’s discuss!

Super fascinating article at foreignpolicy.com about fiction vs. reality with regards to space warfare.  I only wish there was more info on what I should do!

Aircraft Carriers in Space

Cool Blogs

I found Joan Slonczewski‘s blog and I am having a complete fangirl moment.  There is no squee like science squee….

Call For Submissions

I’m boosting the signal from the Vandermeers here:

We are reposting the call for submissions for the reprint feminist speculative fiction anthology we are editing for PM Press. The deadline for submissions has been pushed back to September 7. All other particulars remain the same, but the publication schedule has also been pushed back: to September of 2013. This gives us more time for research. – Ann & Jeff

Read more at Jeff Vandermeer’s blog:  Feminist Spec Fic Anthology–Now Open Through September 7

Encounters Convention in Wichita, KS

There’s an SF/Fantasy/Anime/Steampunk/​Horror/Kitchen Sink convention happening here in Wichita in October. Encounters Convention–its first year. And I have been asked to put together a panel for it.

You know what would be awesome, my writer friends, my editor friends, my agent friends, and other friends in the business? It would be awesome to be able to get in on the ground floor of this midwestern con (and let me tell you, it’s a seriously underserved area) and help turn it into something amazing. It owuld be wonderful to be able to influence a convention and help give it genuine spec fic character.

What do you think you could contribute to a brand new con? What would you do, given the opportunity?

Science Fiction Fear

I was looking at locusmag.com this morning (I’d love to subscribe, but it’s still a bit beyond my reach) and over on the Blinks side bar was a link for a guardian.co.uk interview with M. John Harrison. There was a quote from it: ” “A good ground rule for writing in any genre is: start with a form, then ask what it’s afraid of.”

I can’t get to the article–404–but I’m now wondering–what is science fiction afraid of?

Thoughts on this?

Researching Sex Workers

Doing research on sex work so far is a little tricky.  There is a mountain of prejudice against sex work, so much baggage people have, that objectivity is a little difficult.

When I say objectivity, I’m not talking about a lack of emotional attachment.  I like to see a little emotion in an article.  What I’m talking about is the preconceptions, axes to grind, political stances that most people bring to their studies.  You’re going to have anti-sex crusaders, pro-sex crusaders, those seeking to end child trafficking (I’m not saying these are bad stances, ok?), Men’s Rights Activists, psychologists who take the point that all sex workers have been abused in their childhood, people who believe that sexuality is binary not a spectrum–people who set out to prove a conclusion without letting their data lead them.

I myself have to be careful of this.  If the vision I have for my character is A, J, and W, I can’t let myself get bent out of shape if my research says it’s more likely that while he may be J, it’s unlikely that he’s W, and the chance for an A is right out.  I can’t massage my data.

Onward.

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.