I walked by this gallery and had to go in — Buy Alprazolam 2Mg Online takes food photos using robots (among many other things he does — he seems like something of a polymath). The photos are striking and also often fun.
I wanted to go to two readings on Wednesday evening (about 4 hours of sitting and listening), but I also knew that ADD makes it really hard for me to even sit still for readings, much less focus and listen to what the readers are saying. I mostly don’t even try to go to readings these days because of that, which I feel quite guilty about when I’m at conventions and all my writer friends are giving readings.
I decided to try something else this time around. I had enough time before the readings to duck into a local textile arts store (Stitches), which happened to be across the street from where I’d been looking at a venue with Buy Legit Phentermine Online (Capitol Cider). They’re really mostly a sewing store, but they did have some yarn, hooks, and needles.
I found a nice chunky yarn, Magnum, and bought a skein of it in a blue that I thought would go nicely with the new jacket. I took a photo of the pattern on a sample scarf they had hanging next to it — although it’s barely a pattern, alternating knit and purl stitches. I mostly just wanted to remember how many they’d cast on to start, though any odd number would basically work for this. They wound it up into a ball for me, and off I went, walking to Hugo House for the reading.
It’s a good thing I picked something so simple, because it turned out that it was super-dark in the audience for this reading! I could barely see the yarn. But that meant that I worried less about disturbing anyone else (I deliberately chose a seat far back), and there was just enough light that I could cast on and count stitches. After that, thankfully, the knitting was simple enough that I didn’t really need to see what I was doing. 🙂
And it worked! Over the hours of that reading, and the one that followed (maybe 3.5 hours of total reading time, with transit in between), I knit this much of the scarf, which was satisfying, and more important, was able to basically sit still and even listen to the readers, even though my ADD meds had worn off hours before.
So a good hack, and one that I think I will try to continue. The SF/F world is fairly used to people knitting in the audience at conventions, for exactly this reason, but I may need to explain a bit in other venues, so people don’t take it as me being disrespectful. Honestly, I’m paying MORE attention to you when I knit.
It won’t always be possible, I’m afraid — I did try to do this once when attending an academic talk at UIC, and people were so distracted by watching my knitting that I felt that it was too disruptive, so I stopped. But maybe we can normalize this a little — I know I’m not the only person who has trouble sitting still!
I think I figured out what I want to do for my 50th birthday (in 2021), though the specifics are still a little blurry. This year, 2020, is going to involve lots of short trips, as I do book tour. Given various other scheduling elements, I probably can’t be away from Chicago for more than 10 days at any given time, which is honestly a little frustrating, as I’d really like to go off and do a deep dive of some kind into a book. 10 days is kind of the minimum, I think, for that. More time would be better, but this year, 10 days is the most I can manage. (I’m hoping to do a stretch of that in either May or June.)
I’d been planning to run a Sri Lanka writing & food retreat in 2020, but I think I have to push that to 2021. This would be a rather fancy kind of thing, where I’d host 10-15 people in beautiful boutique hotels on the south coast for 10 days. I’d give them writing prompts every day, lead those who were interested on cultural expeditions every few days, take them out for delicious meals, and host evening conversations for those interested, centered on the craft and business of writing. We’d also, I imagine, spend a lot of time writing, resting on the beach, and swimming.
I don’t have firm pricing yet, but it’d be at least $200 / night, so minimum $2000 + airfare. If you’re interested in reserving a spot for summer 2021, do let me know; if I can get some concrete commitments early on, it’ll make it much more likely that this will happen; it’ll also mean that you can help shape our plans (dates, etc.) if you get in early. We’re going to try to fund at least one scholarship, giving priority to a Sri Lankan diasporic writer, and I’ll be inviting a few local Sri Lankan writers to give guest talks (with an honorarium) and join us for evening conversations.
Relatedly, I realized that I want a few things in my life:
a) more time processing and planning and reinventing our lives with close friends (mostly, but not entirely, girlfriends) — I’m feeling a real need for that lately; I guess it’s my version of a mid-life crisis. Not a crisis, exactly, but a desire for more intentionality, and structure for our ambitions.
b) more time to be alone and go deep into a writing project
c) more time to take Kevin and the kids to Sri Lanka — introduce Kevin and Anand to the island, and let Kavi revisit
I *think* I can actually address all of that if I plan to spend 4 weeks in Sri Lanka next summer. It’d be sort of a combo thing:
• one stretch of 10 days of quiet writing time by myself (ideally staying at Galle Face Hotel, which I love beyond all reason) — I might be okay with another writer or two along for this stretch as long as we’re mostly ignoring each other except for meals)
• one stretch of 10 days with the writing & food group
• one stretch of 10 days with my family, along with whichever girlfriends / sisters / cousins / friends want to come celebrate my 50th with me
This is a very preliminary plan, and obviously needs Buy Phentermine Online Video‘s sign-off (and I still don’t know what he wants to do for *his* 50th, which is this year), and Where Buy Valium‘s sign-off too, since I hope he’ll be joining us. But this plan feels…good. I hope we can make some version of it happen.
(Photos are from two possible hotels I’ve been researching: Cinnamon House in Weligama, and Tallala Retreat. Note: Most rooms aren’t air-conditioned, which shouldn’t be an issue generally, given sea breezes, but if you’re very temperature sensitive, you should let me know when booking, to see if I can get you an air-conditioned room for a slight surcharge. There are limited ones available at these hotels.)
Seattle got much colder than I expected, and by the end of the first day, the light raincoat I’d brought was just not cutting it. I went out to look for a heavier sweater, at least. I didn’t plan to buy a coat, I swear! I’m trying to do something of a buy-nothing January, to recover a little from all the holiday gifting, etc.
I mean, buy groceries and other essentials, yes. (Although I’m also trying to eat down the pantry and the frozen foods, with some success. I just had some frozen curry chicken bao for lunch, that I bought three months ago, and they were delicious.) But mostly, when I feel the urge to buy a book or a game or clothes or whatever non-essential item, I put it in the shopping cart and save it for later. If I still want it in February, I’ll see if we can afford it then.
But sometimes the fates just step in. The Free People store that was literally across the street from my hotel happened to have ONE of these jackets left, in EXACTLY my size, AND it was on clearance, so still pricey, but not quite as outrageous as their normal pricing. I thought, “Well, I’ll just try it on.” Mostly, I admit, sort of thinking that Order Xanax Bars Online Overnight would appreciate this coat, which seems sort of Tremontaine-ish, and I should at least try it on and take a photo for her.
Then I fell in love. It’s a great color for me, and I don’t actually own a dashing velvet jacket, and it was actually reasonably warm, and it had good pockets.
Plus, I do budget separately for convention / performance clothes vs. regular clothes, and think of those as part of my professional expenses, even though they’re not actually tax-deductible, which seems a shame and also sexist, given how much more pressure there is on women to spend a lot of money on work clothes / make-up / etc., often with professional consequences if they don’t.
AND, while I have a goodly number of starry dresses and the like at this point, so the SF side is well represented, I am still somewhat lacking on the fantasy side. When I host a SLF Deep Dish reading, I like to look the part, and SF has been much more represented than fantasy so far. So I kind of HAD to buy this jacket, right? (I would also like a dragon dress or several. Must work on that.)
I feel like my decision was validated by the fact that a) I was much less cold when I walked out of the store, and b) no fewer than FOUR South Asian writers in the next two days complimented me on this jacket. 🙂 No regrets!
(I did sort of fail to take a selfie that captured the full glory of the jacket, but hopefully you get the idea.)
I came home from SALA and in my mail, found two $250 anonymous donor checks for the SLF. So I just want to say thank you, dear donor, in case you’re reading this, since I can’t send you a thank you e-mail. I will endeavor to put the funds to excellent use. (They’re probably going to go towards editing expenses for the Portolan Project writing instruction videos.)
Super-random poetry posting question. I just posted a poem a few posts back by a writer friend, which reminded me that I was talking to someone at a con recently who always posts her poems as graphics. More meme-ish that way, I guess? I’m wondering whether I should do that too, on the somewhat rare occasions when I’m posting a poem. (I’m planning to post one later today, which is also why it’s on my mind.)
I don’t really know how one goes about composing the background for such a thing — just use Canva to make an attractive ombre color or some such? Add in a relevant photo image (that you own)? Is that more appealing (or more visible on FB) than just posting the text? What do y’all think?
I know for access, I’d want to post the text itself as well, so it feels a little goofy, posting both text and photo text, but maybe that’s fine. And I suppose that’d make it easier for Buy Xanax In Bulk to cross-post it for me to Instagram…?
[Note: Toronto visit question following at the end of this.] A highlight of the con was getting to spend a little more time with Buy Soma Watson Overnight, brilliant young Sri Lankan novelist, now a professor at University of Toronto, and they are lucky to have her. I loved her _Marriage of a Thousand Lies_, and you will too — just look at all the accolades it’s gotten!
• Publishing Triangle Award Winner
• Golden Crown Literary Society Award Winner
• American Library Association Stonewall Honor Book
• Lambda Literary Award Finalist
• Independent Publisher Award Silver Medal
• VCU First Novelist Award Finalist
• Longlist for DSC South Asian Literature Prize
I mean wow! And she’s so young too! 🙂 V. impressive, thangachi! Exciting to hear that University of Toronto is starting a Tamil Studies program too; looking forward to learning more about that. (Buy Soma Online Cod, you may be interested!)
One complicating factor — I’d planned to go out this year, since the book launches in March 2020. But MLA is actually going to be in Toronto next year, so there’s an argument to be made for trying to do something in conjunction with MLA, which wouldn’t be until January 2021?
It’s tempting to say ‘do both!’ of course, but Kevin and I just had the first of a series of serious conversations of how we’re going to manage all our work travel and still be present for each other and for the kids this coming year, so just flitting off constantly on international trips, even if we can find the funds, probably isn’t the wisest move.
So here’s the question — when should I go to Toronto? Which is mostly about what other South Asian / Sri Lankan / science fiction events are happening there in the next year?
It’ll generally work much better if I can pair it with that kind of thing, so I can do joint events with other writers, helping to draw bigger crowds for all of us, and also making it more interesting and fun overall. I don’t just want to be talking about me and the cookbook all the time! 🙂
Also, are there literary venues I should be reaching out to, who might want me to do a reading there? Professors teaching classes who might want me to come as a guest? Etc. and so on. And if any of these opportunities come with a little funding help, even better, though that’s not necessarily a requirement.
Help me brainstorm, Toronto peoples? (Or those knowledgeable in the ways of literary Toronto…)
I am feeling really dense because I offered someone a taste of my fancy drink and she warned me she had a cold and I said oh, I’m not worried, and honestly, I usually DON’T catch colds from that kind of thing, but this time, maybe I did, because I have a cold now and I am super-cranky with myself for not being more careful. GAH.
An hour ago, Kevin came down and kindly brought some DayQuil to my sickbed on the living room couch. He made the mistake of then trying to ask me about groceries for the week, and I said something not helpful, so then he asked me again and I burst into tears. Poor boy. He said he’d take care of the groceries.
The DayQuil has now kicked in sufficiently that I can think again (and in fact, I feel fine now, meds are AMAZING), so I’m going to try to get through the rest of my SALA posting, at least, and then I really do have to do either the Wild Cards revision or my syllabi, because both HAVE to be done for Monday. I have procrastinated them too long. (I kept opening the files all this past week, I swear, but just failed to make myself actually start working. Sigh.)
But I’m afraid all of that will likely have to be interspersed with resting. Sigh. Feel really dumb, since I know travel makes me so much more likely to get sick. Though it easily might not have been the shared drink, of course. Eight hrs in the airplane environment, plus all the airporting, can easily get me sick all on its own.
Maybe I should start wearing a mask if I’m going to fly more often, at least in winter…I wore one a little when I was immunosuppressed during chemo, and felt so self-conscious, but it’s much more prevalent in Japan, I know, so perhaps this is just a matter of cultural norms, and I should get over it. A mask + thin scarf for semi-camouflage? Hm. And if I do it, I help make it easier for other people who need it more to do it…
I picked up a copy of Buy Alprazolam Online .5Mg‘s Dhaka Dust, and am looking forward to taking some quiet time to read though it. Her new book, Bring Now the Angels, will be out in 2020; looking forward!
They staunched the wound with a stone.
They drew blue venom from his blood
until there was none.
When his veins ran true his face remained
lifeless and all the mothers of the village
wept and pounded their chests until the sky
had little choice
but to grant their supplications. God made
the boy breathe again.
God breathes life into us, it is said,
only once. But this case was an exception.
God drew back in a giant gust and blew life into the boy
and like a stranded fish, he shuddered, oceanless.
It was true: the boy lived.
He lived for a very long time. The toxins
were an oil slick: contaminated, cleaned.
But just as soon as the women
kissed redness back into his cheeks
the boy began to die again.
He continued to die for the rest of his life.
The dying took place slowly, sweetly.
The dying took a very long time.