fingerpaint the sky

till everything shines

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General update!
[misc] dreamers
genarti
1) Work continues busy. This is part of the cyclical nature of working for a university. The end of the academic year is ridiculously busy for just about everyone. On the bright side, it means I get to feel very productive (if occasionally harried), and soon it'll be summer vacation when I can wear jeans and sneakers into the office as much as I want. I have been spending a lot more time than usual coming home to flop on the couch and knit in front of back episodes of Cosmos, though. But hey, it means I'm most of the way through a shawl!

May promises to be a fairly social month, but not booked solid, which is a nice balance. I need time to hide upstairs in my room, or wander off to a park to sit under trees and ignore the existence of other humans. But I also very much enjoy spending time with congenial other humans, so!

2) Last year when the three of us moved into our current (rental) house, we discovered that the backyard was full of a particularly stubborn and vivacious weed. We chopped it down, we mowed it over, and every time it sprang joyfully back up. Turns out it's Japanese knotweed, which unsurprisingly is extremely invasive and hard to kill. So [personal profile] thewickedlady and I spent a good portion of Sunday cutting down young shoots and attacking their roots with shovel and mattock. It was extremely satisfying! The next step is going to be covering that area over with tarp and laying mulch on top of it, and doing container gardening for a year or two while the remaining roots wither away.

Apparently knotweed is edible, much like rhubarb. Part of me wants to test this, but most of me would prefer to not see another knotweed stalk for a good while.

3) Back in college, I took... uh, a bunch of languages, to various extents, and I have forgotten most of what I learned of all of them. But French was one of them, and the one with the greatest intersection between "easy for English speakers" and "interesting to me personally." (I'm not saying French is easy, but it's a whole lot easier for a native English speaker than Arabic and Japanese, which are the other two I took multiple semesters of.) I've gotten extremely rusty in the intervening, uh, ten years. But I've decided to take a French course this summer, and see if I can't brush up on it a bit!

Since I promptly discovered that my old French textbooks are at my parents' place, I've given Duolingo a try. I don't think it'd be much use for me for actually LEARNING a language, but it's proving pretty useful for relearning things I only had dim recollections of! I'm mostly trying to get back closer to where I was so that I don't thoroughly embarrass myself the first week. We'll see how successful this endeavor is.

4) And this one's outside the cut: the Table of Contents for Women Destroy Science Fiction! is live! You guys, I'm so excited every time I look at this, and so excited to read the other stories. Mine's one of the ebook-only stories -- usually they put up all the stories in a given issue online, but this is an extra-huge special edition -- so, you know, fyi. Here's the list:

FROM THE EDITORS

Editorial, June 2014: Women Destroy Science Fiction!

ORIGINAL SHORT STORIES — edited by Christie Yant

Each to Each by Seanan McGuire
A Word Shaped Like Bones by Kris Millering
Cuts Both Ways by Heather Clitheroe
Walking Awake by N.K. Jemisin
The Case of the Passionless Bees by Rhonda Eikamp
In the Image of Man by Gabriella Stalker
The Unfathomable Sisterhood of Ick by Charlie Jane Anders
Dim Sun by Maria Dahvana Headley
The Lonely Sea in the Sky by Amal El-Mohtar
A Burglary, Addressed By a Young Lady by Elizabeth Porter Birdsall
Canth by K.C. Norton

REPRINTS — selected by Rachel Swirsky

Like Daughter by Tananarive Due
Love is the Plan the Plan is Death by James Tiptree, Jr. (Alice Sheldon)
The Great Loneliness by Maria Romasco Moore
Knapsack Poems by Eleanor Arnason
The Cost to Be Wise by Maureen F. McHugh (novella)

ORIGINAL FLASH FICTION — edited by Robyn Lupo

Salvage by Carrie Vaughn
A Guide to Grief by Emily Fox
See DANGEROUS EARTH-POSSIBLES! by Tina Connolly
A Debt Repaid by Marina J. Lostetter
The Sewell Home for the Temporally Displaced by Sarah Pinsker
#TrainFightTuesday by Vanessa Torline
The Hymn of Ordeal, No. 23 by Rhiannon Rasmussen
Emoticon by Anaid Perez
The Mouths by Ellen Denham
M1A by Kim Winternheimer
Standard Deviant by Holly Schofield
Getting on in Years by Cathy Humble
Ro-Sham-Bot by Effie Seiberg
Everything That Has Already Been Said by Samantha Murray
The Lies We Tell Our Children by Katherine Crighton

NONFICTION — edited by Wendy N. Wagner

Artists Spotlight by Galen Dara
Illusion, Expectation, and World Domination Through Bake Sales by Pat Murphy
Women Remember by Mary Robinette Kowal
Interview: Kelly Sue DeConnick by Jennifer Willis
How to Engineer a Self-Rescuing Princess by Stina Leicht
The Status Quo Cannot Hold by Tracie Welser
Screaming Together: Making Women’s Voices Heard by Nisi Shawl

PERSONAL ESSAYS — edited by Wendy N. Wagner

We are the Fifty Percent by Rachel Swirsky
Science Fiction: You’re Doin’ It Wrong by Maya Kaathryn Bohnhoff
Join Us in the Future Marissa Lingen
Are We There Yet? by Sheila Finch
Not a Spaceship, Robot, or Zombie in Sight by Anne Charnock
Writing Among the Beginning of Women by Amy Sterling Casil
Toward a Better Future by Nancy Jane Moore
We Are the Army of Women Destroying SF by Sandra Wickham
Read SF and You’ve Got a Posse by Gail Marsella
Stomp All Over That by O. J. Cade
For the Trailblazers by Kristi Charish
Women are the Future of Science Fiction by Juliette Wade
We Have Always Fought by Kameron Hurley
Writing Stories, Wrinkling Time by Kat Howard
Where Are My SF Books? by DeAnna Knippling
Reading the Library Alphabetically by Liz Argall
Stepping Through a Portal by Bonnie Jo Stufflebeam
The Wendybird by Stina Leicht
I Wanted to be the First Woman on the Moon by Sylvia Spruck Wrigley
Never Think of Yourself as Less by Helena Bell
An ABC of Kickass by Jude Griffin
Stocking Stuffers by Anaea Lay
Breaching the Gap by Brooke Bolander
Women Who Are More Than Strong by Georgina Kamsika
A Science-Fictional Woman by Cheryl Morgan
Your Future is Out of Date, Pat Murphy
Stray Outside the Lines by E. Catherine Tobler
My Love Can Destroy by Seanan McGuire

AUTHOR SPOTLIGHTS — edited by Jude Griffin

Seanan McGuire
Kris Millering
Heather Clitheroe
N.K. Jemisin
Rhonda Eikamp
Tananarive Due
Gabriella Stalker
Charlie Jane Anders
Maria Dahvana Headley
Amal El-Mohtar
Elizabeth Porter Birdsall
K.C. Norton
Eleanor Arnason
Maria Romasco Moore
Maureen McHugh

ILLUSTRATORS — art direction by Galen Dara

Li Grabbenstetter (“A Word Shaped Like Bones,” “Each to Each,” and “Love is the Plan the Plan is Death”)
Elizabeth Leggett (“Cuts Both Ways,” “Salvage,” and “Like Daughter”)
Hillary Pearlman (“Walking Awake”)
Christine Mitzuk (“The Case of the Passionless Bees”)
Galen Dara (cover artist)

PODCASTS — produced by Gabrielle de Cuir

Each to Each by Seanan McGuire
A Word Shaped Like Bones by Kris Millering
Cuts Both Ways by Heather Clitheroe
Walking Awake by N.K. Jemisin
The Case of the Passionless Bees by Rhonda Eikamp
Salvage by Carrie Vaughn
Like Daughter by Tananarive Due
Love is the Plan the Plan is Death by James Tiptree, Jr. (Alice Sheldon)

This entry is also posted at http://genarti.dreamwidth.org/162755.html. You can comment on LJ or DW, whichever you like. comment count unavailable comments at DW.

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Wild Plants of Seattle, by the inestimable Arthur Lee Jacobson, gives quite a ringing endorsement to the edibility of knotweed.

Next spring, the young shoots, about a foot high, can be picked and eaten raw. They are crunchy, dripping with juice, and sour. Cooked, they can become sickeningly squishy and sweetish. Pies can be made.

Intriguing! That does sound a lot like rhubarb. Well, in the (probably inevitable) case that it sends out runners to send up shoots beyond the tarp, maybe I'll give eating it a vengeful try.

Knotweed is a nightmare. :/ If it comes back, consider trying roundup as much as I despise herbicides and am a 100% organic gardener. The damn stuff can regenerate from runners that it sends four feet below the surface.

CONGRATS ON THE PUBLICATION!!!! :) How awesome is that?!!!? :) So exciting!

It is so nice that spring is actually here. :)

Yeah, I hate herbicides too, but we did get a little bottle of roundup for targeted use on any stubborn new shoots it tries to send up. We got an excellent view of the runners while we were trying to yank them up! And got a lot of them, but definitely not everything.

I'M SO EXCITED. It's not my first story publication, but it's definitely the biggest deal so far. I keep looking at the other names and story titles on that list and bouncing in my chair -- I want to read everything!

And YES, oh man. I do like winter, but I was sick of it by the end of February, and then of course it continued for another couple of months. I'm so happy about spring. I'm thinking that today I might head into the city after work just to sit around reading in the Botanical Garden in a fit of glee for the sunshine.

I had the same thought about Duolingo - I don't feel like it actually teaches you anything, but it's very good for practice/refresher.

Yeah, as I did the exercises I kept looking at them and wondering how on earth I'd keep track of all this if I were actually a beginner who hadn't learned this before. But as someone who had learned it before, I noticed a very distinct upswing in my ability to track the spoken exercises and remember how to use grammar in just the few hours I spent on it last night.

I'd never heard of Duolingo, but now I am going to check it out! I've taken French on and off since high school, and every time I go to a new class I wish there were an easy way to refresh my memory (especially of the subjunctive, which I cannot manage to master).

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