26 June 2017 @ 05:05 pm
It's twenty years today since the first Harry Potter book was published. I didn't read it at the time - I entered around the time Azkaban came out - but it was a book destined to work change in my life and bring me into the world of fandom, from whence came this blog. I'm more irritated with than appreciative of JK Rowling of late, but HP got me through the end of grad school, cemented a variety of awesome friendships, and introduced me to this thing called fanfic.

So, in celebration of all that is good about HP, here's the very first piece of fanfic I ever wrote, a good 12.5 years ago now. Excuse purple prose and such - I was a newbie :D

[Bonfire Night], Remus/Sirius, G, ~1500 words.
Remus has toffee, and it's not the only thing that Sirius wants
26 June 2017 @ 11:33 am
Thank you a thousand times over to everyone who's bought me a cup of coffee. I'm especially touched by the single cup donations - you have no idea. And I'm working on my feelings of guilt and shame around this whole bankruptcy business. I'm turning things around in my mind piece by piece and I will absolutely get there, I promise.

I went to see my psychiatrist this morning. They had me pee in a cup to make sure I wasn't abusing Adderall, which is either a really smart policy choice or kind of invasive - I can't quite figure out how I feel about it. And then I was seen by the nurse, who had just stuck herself with a needle by accident and almost passed out because she hates needles (and yet is a nurse?). She asked me what are, apparently, some standard questions about how patients are doing, one of which asked me to say if I was partially recovered, almost recovered, or cured. "Are you kidding me?" was not an acceptable answer (though she was amused). The whole experience was so odd. Were there more options near me I think I'd be looking for a new one, but my friend G has been to the only other psychiatrist recommended in a 75-mile area, and he refused to prescribe on the first visit. Which again - perhaps a smart policy? But it left her without any ADHD meds and he had no openings on his calendar until the end of July.


Buy Me a Coffee at
25 June 2017 @ 05:00 pm
Sunday has been slow and pleasant. I went for a walk early, before most of the neighborhood was awake, and I did about 3000 steps. Talked to my mom - wow, the judicious editing that went on in that conversation, because I absolutely was not going to tell her about the bankruptcy - and to another friend, and then, bit by bit, tidied my house. I cleaned up the kitchen, did a whole bunch of laundry, and pulled together my clothes for my trip to Boston this week.

It's a lightning trip - the folks organizing my meeting have me arriving late on Wednesday night and leaving again Friday afternoon. Between times I am booked solid. I'm excited to be part of the stuff we'll be working on this week, but I wish I had more time to see the city, and to see friends (several of whom are on here). I'll be so near and yet so far.

I've spent a little time with the numbers from the bankruptcy today and it's going to be mighty close. I'm locked into contracts on my cell phone and cable/wifi. My car insurance is sky high, of course, because of the accident, and my initial looking around suggests I won't get better rates elsewhere with that on my record. The places I can economize most are going to be on utilities (using the a/c units as sparingly as possible), and food. I am lucky in many, many ways - I get to keep the house, I get to keep my stuff, and I can make cooking into a challenge so that I try to find the cheapest ways possible to eat well. (I know there are some great websites out there about this). There are positives here. But I'm also being realistic about the fact that it will be a long, hard slog.

One of the slogs will be getting from today to payday (which is Friday). I will be reimbursed all the expenses related to my trip, but that means I have to outlay them first, and I am broke. So please forgive this, but I'm sticking a little 'buy me a coffee' button on this post. It's through Kofi, which gives a person the ability to literally donate the cost of a coffee to someone else. I don't deserve support - god knows I have done this financial stuff to myself - but if you have a cup of coffee to spare, I would be so grateful.

And now I'm going to go resolutely not think about things and fold laundry.

Buy Me a Coffee at
25 June 2017 @ 07:24 am
Yesterday was a good day - a lovely respite from the week. In the morning I took coffee over to my friends who had been holding a yard sale since 6.30am, and then hung out with them until the yard sale was over. (Another friend bought me a rocking chair at said yard sale - it's the chair in which we all rocked my friend's children when they were babies. Awwww.) Then I took two of the assembled friends' kids to an open art morning at the new local art collective, and I ended up painting something myself. Someone had painted a canvas and didn't like the end result, so I painted over it with all kinds of geometric shapes. Here's what it looked like part-way through:

art I made

I had no idea what I was doing, but it was super calming and fun and the kids had a blast. I got to bring the painting home, so now it's on the wall on my stairs. Yay!

In the afternoon I went for a walk around the local lake with another friend. It was a gorgeous day - 74F and breezy, which made walking an absolute joy. We had lemonade afterwards at the coffeeshop, then we picked up her husband from the train station and I dropped them both back at home. I joined my yard-sale friend and her kids for dinner, and then finished out the day with some Tiny House Nation (the best!) and an early night.

As I lay in bed I found myself trying to do an accounting of where I hadn't been at my best that day - where I was thoughtless or short-tempered or . . . you get the idea. And I realized - this is a hold over from the merciless church I was raised within, which taught us that we had to mentally list our sins every night and pray for forgiveness or we'd go to hell if we died in our sleep. (And you couldn't review what you had done that was good, because that would lead to the sin of pride, ergo . . . )


What a soul-sucking habit! I've been doing this review of the day in my head for years, but only just realized where it's rooted. So I set my mind on a different course with love, and marveled again that I am as functional as I am given the particular circumstances of my childhood. Yikes.

I don't know what today brings, save a hope to go outside a bunch since it's again a beautiful day. Have lovely Sundays, everyone (or Monday if you're already there!)
23 June 2017 @ 03:00 pm
The deed is done. I filed for bankruptcy, and my court hearing is on August 4 at 9am.
22 June 2017 @ 11:13 am
This has been a tough week. There were the brain shennanigans that colored the early part of the week. Then yesterday I had to do bankruptcy counseling online, a process that asked me to painstakingly enter all my credit card debt, loans, and expenses (which took 45 minutes), and then go over it all again with a credit counselor in online chat (an hour). (This is the . . . third time I've provided this information to someone? Ugh.) This produced a certificate which I sent to my lawyer and allows him to file, so tomorrow I drive an hour to his office to sign off on everything. I don't know what this means in practical terms and it's making me anxious - and that's on top of the regular anxiety I feel around money at all times. Wow, am I tired.

Then, this morning, my company announced a position that I would be really good at, and which would be a promotion, and I'm trying to figure out whether I apply or not. The biggest downside would be the lack of flexibility I would have with my hours if I got it, and I'm not sure that's negotiable. I think that's contributing to my overall state of mind - it's a great opportunity, but I'm really not sure that I can do it and have PTSD at the same time. (I feel like Josh Lyman. Where's my Leo McGarry?)

It's also hot, and my house doesn't have central air, which makes doing the tidying, cleaning, and laundry that would make my house feel like a refuge very hard to accomplish. Yikes-a-mighty, I need a brain transplant. Or lacking that, the equivalent of a caffeine jolt to the brain - something that makes it feel energized and sharp. Right now it's very sluggish. Poor brain. Needs a vacation.
21 June 2017 @ 11:52 am
Compassion on the Inside  
After feeling jetlagged all weekend, I went to work on Monday, did a ferocious amount of cleaning out my inbox, and decided it was time to adult and make appointments for all the medical stuff I needed to get checked. So I made appointments with my therapist, psychiatrist, dentist, dermatologist, primary care physician, and eye doctor. And promptly crashed into depression right afterwards.

I went to therapy yesterday and said, this is so weird – I know the moment it hit, but I can’t figure out why it would hit like this. What’s this about? So we did EMDR because on the surface none of it was adding up.

Here’s what I figured out.Read more... )
19 June 2017 @ 07:57 am
This song has been on my mind all morning: the stirring answer to the question "do you know who you are?"; the support of the ancestors who have gone before us; the idea of being part of a chorus of voices, even if we cannot see everyone else who surrounds us. Take a few moments to watch and listen, maybe.

17 June 2017 @ 02:07 pm
Justice on the inside.  
Yesterday, I attended a workshop led by [Dr. Shakti Butler] a social justice educator and filmmaker who is absolutely luminous. She’s one of those people who is so spiritually grounded that you want to just stand around and drink in their presence, as if you’re perpetually thirsty (and I think I am, on some level). I learned so much from her, and considering Trump and Cosby and the verdict in the Philando Castile case, I wanted to share some of what she said.

”More.” )
10 June 2017 @ 07:32 am
This morning I am savoring the open windows around my house - the bird song and the far away drone of someone cutting grass. I've been waking up very early recently because the sun shines directly through my front bedroom window and onto my face at about 5.45am, so I get these magical hours first thing when the world is still cool and quiet and I can sit and just be. So precious.

This has been a good week. I had a lovely sit down with my boss's boss where I felt deeply valued, and we made a date for another meeting to talk about better disability support at my place of work. I wrote a grant application, and research and wrote a conference presentation, made handouts, met with some junior colleagues, and tided up my office (omg the dust). And I've been able to come home early every day and do whatever pleases me - sometimes some more work, sometimes some reading, sometime some hanging out online.

I'm going to a week-long conference tomorrow with one of my best friends. It's going to be one of those conferences where you learn so much and are challenged so deeply that by 5pm you're ready to drop, but it's also going to be so, so good to be there. And I'm ready. I've been ready since Thursday, bag all packed save for toiletries. It's been a while since I've been out of town and I can't wait. Absence truly does make the heart grow fonder, and I'm looking forward to new vistas and new restaurants and new places to walk.

Today - some yoga, a final planning meeting with my friend, and maybe a touch of fic writing. I have an idea for a moment between Antiope and her girlfriend, and who doesn't want to spend their time thinking about Amazons?

Saw the trailer for Black Panther and omg I am so ready. I cannot wait to see this movie. I was annoyed by the mere presence of white people in the teaser, but since it seems like they're gearing up to tell a whole story about imperialism and resistance, and the white folks are likely to be on the wrong side of that, I can handle watching every white person get their asses handed to them by the Dora Milaje. (Future me is already anticipating owning Wonder Woman and Black Panther at some point and switching happily back and forth between these depictions of warrior women. Happy sigh.) Just please, god, no white superheroes. No Bucky, no Steve, no Tony, no one. I just want it to be about Wakanda.

Watched Hidden Figures last night and enjoyed it immensely. I loved seeing the women with so much agency, so vital, so uncompromising. And it blew my mind all over again to think we were sending men into space when we were still using mechanical typewriters and landlines. Or when computers took up whole rooms to do calculations I'm pretty sure my laptop can do now. It even made me want to learn more math. What? (My high school math teacher surely just passed out.)

If you're interested in women and the early years of the space race, check out The Mercury 13 about the women who were also trained for space flight.

Happy weekend all. Lin-Manuel Miranda is headed back to the US as I type, proving it's going to be a wonderful day. :)
07 June 2017 @ 04:30 pm
Most perfect icon ever?  
Yes, yes, I think it is.
05 June 2017 @ 03:53 pm
Wonder Woman  
I went to see Wonder Woman this afternoon with my friend and my niece, and we had a fantastic time drinking it all in.

Spoilery things under the cut! )
28 May 2017 @ 10:36 am
Yesterday I experienced the first real "transition" day from the unending busyness of the last few weeks at work to the more unstructured time I'll get for the next three months. I'll have plenty to do this summer, but the rhythm will be different - more long periods to do things, less short, sharp pivots to tend to 17 things one after each other. I'm looking forward to that so much!

But I do struggle with the transition. Yesterday I kept having to ask myself "what should I do now?" and answers did not come easily. But I took a walk, and I did a little yoga practice, and I read the beginning of a book by Archbishop Desmond Tutu and the Dalai Lama about joy. I also spent a lot of time on the internet spinning between facebook, twitter, and tumblr, and I'm hoping not to do that so much today. But every time, this time of year, I have to relearn what it is to do something because of internal impulse instead of external pressure. It takes practice. So today I think I'll be practicing by cleaning up my back porch and yard. This is especially important since people are coming over to enjoy both this week.

Last night I went out to a friend's farm and enjoyed dinner with her, her husband, and another friend of ours. It was such a lovely night - the food was excellent, the company was irreverent, and the farm is really gorgeous. My friend's husband and I bonded over having learned to drive a tractor before a car, and I thrilled to get up close and personal with all the farm equipment, which was all so impossibly large that I felt like a Lilliputian. I got to hang out with their dog, and drive home under a beautiful clear sky, and it was just a wonderful moment out of time. Yay!

I hope Sunday brings you joy!
27 May 2017 @ 07:11 am
Yesterday, somewhere out there in the vastness that is the internet, I published something about my experience with sexual assault. (I'm not linking because the piece contains some references that could make it fairly easy to identify 'real' me, and I don't want to cross the streams.)

The comments. Oh my god, the comments - the victim-blaming, responsibility-shirking, rape-culturey comments.

I shouldn't have read them (first rule of the internet!) but I did, and I am aghast by them.

Which made me come here to thank all of you. Because in this corner of the web you have been such a profoundly supportive, wonderful set of people. You have never blamed me for anything, nor suggested I'm "doing it wrong," and I hadn't - before today - really considered how amazing that is. I know I couldn't have made it through these last few years without the opportunity to tell my story on my blog, and to rejoice in things with you, answer questions you've posed, listen to the wisdom you've offered, and bear witness to our collective struggles. You are incredible. Thank you from the bottom of my heart.
24 May 2017 @ 07:16 am
For anyone who needs it today  
You do not have to be good.
You do not have to walk on your knees
For a hundred miles through the desert, repenting.
You only have to let the soft animal of your body
love what it loves.
Tell me about your despair, yours, and I will tell you mine.
Meanwhile the world goes on.
Meanwhile the sun and the clear pebbles of the rain
are moving across the landscapes,
over the prairies and the deep trees,
the mountains and the rivers.
Meanwhile the wild geese, high in the clean blue air,
are heading home again.
Whoever you are, no matter how lonely,
the world offers itself to your imagination,
calls to you like the wild geese, harsh and exciting --
over and over announcing your place
in the family of things.

~ Mary Oliver
23 May 2017 @ 07:20 am
I wrote a little ficlet on Sunday, a Poe/Finn story about them getting together (because that never gets old). I wrote Poe as asexual - mostly because there is a pervasive stereotype of him in fandom as some kind of "Latin lover" which I wanted to undermine. And I wrote Finn as someone figuring out what this new world is in the Resistance and what he likes and doesn't like and wants to try.

I got a comment on the story yesterday from someone who didn't like the story and who said "This just seemed like a way of expressing your wish for Poe to be asexual in some angsty way." Which is fascinating. There is no angst in the story - Poe's not apologetic about being asexual, and Finn doesn't press him to be. They just figure things out.

But doesn't it say volumes that the mere presence of asexuality in a story makes someone talk about angst? As if being asexual means you are automatically tortured about it?

Let me say I am a very happy asexual person :D. Like Poe, I don't feel I have anything to apologize for, nor do I feel I'm missing out on anything. I'm so content. And it's a shame that people can't wrap their heads around such a thing.
21 May 2017 @ 01:24 pm
A ficlet  
A wee ficlet!

Pretty Simple at AO3. Poe/Finn. ~600 words.
20 May 2017 @ 07:10 pm
Daaaaaang. It's me. (I mean, not literally, lest anyone think I have a cool gig as a writer on the side. But she nails it.)
20 May 2017 @ 08:01 am
I've been doing this on my RL FB page and it's been lovely, so I'm going to try it here:

What's something fabulous that happened this week?

It can be large or small! For example, I had a latte yesterday that was flat-out perfect. It was so delicious and brought me joy. What about you?
19 May 2017 @ 08:33 am
I had a mammogram yesterday, and I fought with myself all day about going. I really didn't want to do it, just wanted to cancel and be done, but that's playing fast and loose with my health, so I went. It wasn't my first mammogram, and the tech was lovely and kind, but the whole thing still, I'm realizing, set me on edge. I feel gross today, sort of messed up, and it's not hard to see the connection between a total stranger handling me intimately with how I feel.


It's been a pretty good week here. We got incredibly hot weather at the beginning of the week which made everyone miserable - we need a few more days in the 70s to ease us into dealing with high 80s - but today it is raining and the high will be 55 and I can wear jeans and it will be glorious. Work has been fine - I've cleared my desk of everything but responding to reports, which means I have cleared out a serious backlog of everything else I could possibly do that isn't a report. I've been working on a couple of really fun projects, and had a lot of meaningful conversations with people this week, so I've felt good about what I do for a living. And there are only two more weeks of crunch time this season before I get a much more flexible schedule for the summer, and that is fabulous.

I'm going to be traveling a lot for business this summer. I'm headed to Syracuse for a conference in mid June, and a lightning fast trip to Boston at the end of that month. Minneapolis in July, Virginia in August, Minneapolis in August. I am such a homebody, so the fact that I even agreed to all this travel is a sign that the things on the other of the plane rides are awesome. Hopefully they'll all turn out to be fun!

The rain is so soothing this morning. My gosh, it'd be a great day to spend in bed with tea and a book. Alas . . .