Monday, March 16, 2015

Writing-related links

A collection of items that caught my eye recently...


Database of markets. Costs $50 a year; has a pretty handy feature for tracking your submissions.

Every Day Fiction

Like the Daily Science Fiction mailing list we talked about at the last meeting. Except...not sci fi...

I love this essay:
Susan Straight on learning to write without a room of one's own
Some believe they need seclusion and silence to be a 'real writer,' but a gas station, bedroom and parking lot all did the trick for this novelist.

This one, too:

Starting Again 

I do not love this, but it is awfully interesting:

Tuesday, February 03, 2015

If Hillary Wins

For starters, I will cry tears of joy, because it means my daughter will grow up not remembering a world where there had never been a female POTUS.

Second, people will start saying, Hey we have a woman in the White House, so sexism is over! Good job America! Except not. I can't see the future, but I'm guessing that violence against women, gender bias in academia, low rates of women in tech and management, street harassment, and belittling of women's achievements won't magically end when Hillary takes the oath.

Although, racism did totally end when Obama became president, so I could be wrong.

Friday, January 30, 2015

Least great game ever

The MLB network (aka Costasvision) has been running down its Top 20 greatest games of all time (it's actually the greatest games of the last 40 years, but whatever). Whoever made the selections did a pretty good job (Gibson homer, Fisk homer and 2001 WS are all on there) though there could have been more than one regular-season game (Sandberg game, anyone?).

But I have a serious beef with #7. If this list is supposed to showcase incredible skill and exciting play, it fails utterly here. What this showcases is inexcusably unprofessional behavior on the part of the Cubs and appalling mob mentality by the fans. First, Alou has a tantrum worthy of a four-year-old. The excerpt on the web site shows that but doesn't show Prior then falling apart and Gonzalez making an error that let the inning go on longer than it ever should have.

Alou post-tantrum 

Bob Costas is right (as always): Bartman shouldn't be famous; none of us should know his name. It goes without saying that the Chicago Sun Times shouldn't have published his workplace and home address (yes, that actually happened). So, shame on you, MLB, I say. And Bob, dear, I expect better from you.

Monday, January 12, 2015

Manic Monday

The Amy Pohler-Tina Fey monologue really is funny and worth watching. But the main takeaway from the Golden Globes is why am I so interested in Kate Mara and Kevin Spacey??? I hate it when "trending" shows me celeb dating crap.

I'm pretty pissed at the animal rights people right now for making everyone talk about Sarah Palin again.

Aaand, this happened, inspired by this nonsense and this other nonsense.

Wednesday, December 31, 2014

End of year Top 5: Funniest Things our Kids Have Said

5) Seven-year-old: "What happens if one hipster goes into another hipster's territory?"
Dad:"Are you thinking of gangsters?"
"Oh, yeah."

4) Eight-year-old: "I bet when I get a masters degree in plant sciences I'll get a bunch of money."
Me: "Well, it depends on what kind of job you get."
8yo: "Wait, I thought when you graduate from college you get a bunch of money."
Me: "No, you have to get a job."
8yo: "Oh."

3) Eight-year-old : "This magazine is so old it has an ad for the iPhone 4S!”

2) Eight-year-old: "Personally, I think The Wizard of Oz is the worst movie ever. Except for some little kid movies."

1) Mom: “Guys, I need to have some quiet time to work on my writing.”
*90 seconds pass*
7-year-old: “Mom, can you put something about kung fu in your story?

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Sad but important

The first selection for the new MOMS club book group is very entertaining but also has a serious side: one of the main characters is in an abusive marriage. As the story moves along, a couple characters start to sense what's going on. This made me wonder if I could recognize the signs and if I have the tools to support a friend going through this. To that end, here are some tips for friends of abuse victims:

  • Let them know that the abuse is not their fault. Reassure them that they are not alone and that there is help and support out there. 
  • Be non-judgmental; there are many reasons why victims stay in abusive relationships. They may leave and return to the relationship many times.
  • Encourage them to call a hotline like 1-800-799-SAFE.
  • Remember that you can not rescue them; ultimately they have to to decide what they will do.
Learn more from The Hotline.

Reflecting on this reminded me of the time I joined my first moms' club: just before I joined, one of the moms killed herself (or, as they put it, "lost her battle with postpartum depression"). I think some members of the group blamed themselves for not  recognizing the signs or doing more, which isn't helpful, but it did make me think about what I could do. 

Here are some signs of PPD:
  • Hopelessness about the situation getting better
  • Refusal to eat, or binge eating
  • Rage and resentment
  • Lack of bonding to the baby
  • Sense of numbness or disconnectedness
There are lots of resources for PPD sufferers (here's a state-by-state listing of support groups and a link to an online forum). If you think a friend has PPD, the best advice (based on my Internet research) is to physically be there for them, or call if you can't be there. Then encourage them to get help. And ask them what you can do for them. If nothing else, offer to hold the baby so they can take a shower or a nap. Bring them a meal. They probably won't turn either of those down.

Monday, December 22, 2014

Manic Monday

I’m calling Amy Poehler’s memoir a flop. It has its moments, but it’s no Bossypants.

I fear it may soon be time for The Talk with the 7- and 9-year-olds: Why We Don’t Watch the Second Indiana Jones Movie in Our House.

Why comment on a blog post or news story when there are already 200 comments?

Why can’t I reply to a comment on facebook?