I didn’t always live in fear of fireworks. I still think they’re pretty in small doses on very rare occasions as long as I know when they’re going to start and stop. I realize that much structure is anathema to the idea of fireworks, but if you’re a pet owner in a dense part of the city, then you know my pain.
A couple months ago, I gave my one-year-old shepherd-spaniel mix Chiana a new toy to play with. She was, at this time, on probation with regards to getting the run of the house. Though she enjoys destroying things, we figured she couldn’t do much damage with the doors to all the bedrooms closed. What I failed to take into account was that her new toy was flat enough to slip under the living room sofa. As best we can figure it, she attempted to retrieve her toy, and with her sharp little claws tore into the base fabric of one of the 24-year-old pink leather couches – the cushions of which had already been torn by her and Pilot.
I’ve never seen an episode of Oprah in my life, but I understand that periodically she would share whatever tickled her fancy with her audience, and today’s my birthday, so I thought it would be a good time to share the things that have tickled mine. (Metaphorically.) I suppose with Thanksgiving coming up I could also title this post ‘Things I’m Grateful For’ but that enters the dodgy world of ending sentences with prepositions. Mostly, I want to share some neat or useful things I’ve found, and I love any excuse to use bullet points.
The story of The Practical Orphan’s Guide began about nine years ago, when I was a freshwoman at the all-female Mills College in Oakland, California. I was taking a class called ‘Advanced Fiction for Children and Young Adults,’ and was supposed to be working on a story about a group of kids who were the result of a mad scientist’s experiment meeting up in their teens and discovering their special powers. (It was very X-Men.) Whenever I got stuck on that, which was often, I worked on what was then known as Practical Kate, a spoof of sorts on all the fantasy literature about young orphans who have magical adventures. In its very first iteration it was in the third person, but once I switched to first person PoV, the book really took off.
It’s been too long since I’ve blogged, and while I hope to have a new episode of YA Rewind up by tomorrow, it’s already been delayed a week, so I feel like I need to apologize, which is kind of silly, especially since I have no idea how many people even listen to my little podcast. The only person I’m responsible to these days is myself, but the lack of new Hollywood Jane content is starting to weigh on me like a tell-tale heart. Thump-thump. Thump-thump.
There has been a lot of bad blood in the geek world in the last couple of months, particularly around the subject of women in nerdom. Apparently there is some phenomenon (which I’ve never personally experienced) of girls pretending to be geeks to get attention. The thing that gets me is that I believe you can be a geek about anything. Geekery is about passion, not cred. There are music geeks, architecture geeks, fashion geeks, and even sports geeks. Comics and sci-fi/fantasy geeks don’t have ownership of the label, we’re just the public face.
For the first time in years, I’m not going to Comic-Con. I made my decision almost immediately after last year’s Con, and it wasn’t nearly as hard as I thought to resist the pull of the membership presale earlier this year. Once upon a time, I thought that if I prepared, learned the ropes and the tricks, and just went with the flow of the weekend, I was guaranteed a good time. But I didn’t have a good time last year. It had it’s moments, like cons always do, but the stress outweighed the fun, and what’s the point of that?
I was a geek in high school. This should come as a surprise to no one, but in case it does, let me add that I was an ‘under-the-radar’ kind of geek for years by virtue of the fact that I spent a lot of time by myself, so no one got the chance to find out just how deep the geek went. Truthfully, I didn’t even know just how nerdy I was until I surfaced from my solitude a few years later and discovered that most people didn’t get as myopically passionate about niche topics as I did.