I’m Not Going to Talk Politics

I’m not! Seriously. It’s not my thing, my wheelhouse, or my area of expertise. I don’t take a huge amount of interest in the day-to-day workings of our country (despite having watched a whole lot of The West Wing) and haven’t studied civics since high school. But I can say one thing about the current election season: it is stressing me the heck out. 


I’m not a person that tends to suffer from anxiety symptoms – and I’m lucky, I know that. With very few exceptions, I have lived a life free from rapid breathing, increased heart rate, chest pain, nausea, or a feeling of things being wrong. But, alas, not so for the last few months. Some of this is tied up in my upcoming move, my pending divorce, and all of the uncertainties that go with those, sure. But what really gets to me lately? This election season. My god, it is eating away at me.


And yet, I have insisted on watching all three of the debates! Am I crazy? Maybe. But I felt like it was somehow my duty or responsibility to know what my future president has to say on issue and how they behave under even this kind of pressure. And, honestly, I’m not impressed and I’m stressed out.

Do I have a favorite candidate? Sure. Am I going tell you who? Heck no. That’s my business and I’m not here to preach to anyone about any particular issue. What I am here to do is say this: VOTE. FOR THE LOVE OF GOD, VOTE.


I don’t care if we disagree and are voting for different people. I want you to vote. And remember, this isn’t just a presidential election – plenty of congressional seats are being voted on this year as well. The Congressional majority may change with this election and if that’s important to you in any way – VOTE! It’s a beautiful thing, this right of ours. Take advantage of it, voice your opinions, and engage in your own country. VOTE.

One-Bite Wonders

I’m incredibly lucky to live in an area with a huge variety of restaurants, many focusing on ethnic or regional cuisine that’s not always easy to find. DC and its suburbs are great that way. If I had my druthers (and infinite funding), I’d probably do nothing but go out to eat and try new things.

One of my favorite foods comes in dreamy little one-bite portions and is perfect for sharing with a group of friends. I’m talking, of course, about dim dum.


Not every area seems to have dim sum places, but my area sure does and for that, I am grateful. Dim sum is a sort of umbrella term for a variety of Chinese (often Cantonese) fried or steamed dumplings or one-bite morsels. They usually come in the above steamer baskets, but some show up on plates. Things like seafood dumplings, bbq pork steamed buns, spring rolls, sticky rice wrapped in lotus leaves, sesame buns filled with sweet bean paste, and even sweet egg custard tarts are all par for the course.


I just spent a brunchy afternoon with friends, feasting on dim sum in a DC restaurant. There may have also been bottomless champagne involved, which certainly encouraged more dim sum orders being made than I might have usually eaten. After basically being rolled out of the restaurant (seriously, I ate a lot), we walked back to the metro and said our goodbyes. And me? I spent the ride home dreamily reflecting on the meal.

If a Chinese/Cantonese restaurant near you offers a dim sum menu (especially if it’s served on rolling carts – my fave!), I highly recommend giving it a try. It’s hard to beat these little morsels for price and deliciousness.

Capclave Approaches

It’s almost time for another Capclave literary convention! This year, I’ll be attending as a guest, participating in two panels and leading an interactive workshop on crafting micro fiction. This will be my third Capclave (I think) and my first as an attendee! I’m pretty stinking’ excited if I do say so myself.


My schedule:

  • Saturday 12-2 Micro Fiction Workshop (there’s a limit of 15 participants so if you’re interested, be sure and sign up soon!)
  • Saturday 2-3 The Care and Feeding of Critique Groups
  • Sunday 11-12 Feeding Off of Fairy Tales

I’m pretty excited about being a proper guest at a convention that focuses on something that I really care about. I’ve also had a wonderful time at my past Capclaves and hope to continue to take part in this great, small convention in the future. Here’s to reading and writing and meeting people and talking about books!



Speaking of Stuff

Remember that move I just went through? I know I do. Unfortunately, I’m about to go through ANOTHER ONE in November. I’ll be taking some of the furniture items with me (divorce is no fun and I don’t recommend it) but not all of it, blessedly. All the same, I’ll be moving from Virginia back into Maryland, where I’m happier anyway.

Can we invent the Star Trek transporter technology very, very soon? That would help immensely. It would surely save on movers and packers!


It turns out that trying to “shop” for a new rental/apartment more than three months in advance doesn’t really work. Property management just doesn’t work that far ahead. So I feel like I’m sitting on my hands, knowing that I need to find a place but not quite being able to do anything about it. It’s torture for a To Do List maker like myself; the item “find new place” is just sitting there, mocking me.

It’s also highly strange to live in a place for such a short time. There’s really no sense in me investing any time or money into this townhouse since I’ll just be moving out in a few months’ time. I’d like to hang curtains to cut some of the natural light out (thanks, chronic migraine) but it just seems like a pointless exercise. I honestly might just nail a blanket over the windows at this point!

Speaking of migraine, that thing’s been keeping me out of work for over a month now. It’s misery about one-third of my waking hours and then when it’s not world-endingly awful, I just have a terrible headache 24/7. Doctors’ suggestions and treatments aren’t working and I might go insane.

To wrap up: I do not recommend getting divorced (it is expensive) and I do not recommend getting a migraine for something like 55 days now (it is miserable). Just don’t do it. Don’t do the thing.


Wizards in Space

I’ve recently been published! Bloom and Fade, my post-apocalyptic western short story, has found a home among the stars in Wizards in Space volume 01. Please support this fantastic magazine (seriously, issue 01 is full of some incredible talent from all walks of fandom) by buying a copy here.


I’ve absolutely got to give a shout-out to my favorite piece, Like Knights of Old by Eileen Gonzalez. And I’m not a poetry girl but Bodies in the Sky by Evelyn Deshane haunts me in the most beautiful way.

Experiences vs Stuff

As my last post addressed, we just moved to a new place a few weeks ago. And, with moving, comes the realization that you own a lot of stuff. Maybe too much stuff. Me? I’m just on the cusp of too much (I craft and sew and we seamstresses are notorious packrats). I’m not terribly sentimental most of the time, though, so throwing out things that I won’t ever use again isn’t terribly hard for me.


For me, the feeling of owning too much stuff that weighs you down (and speaking of weighing you down, can we talk about how books weigh?) does rub me the wrong way. I used to think of myself as nomadic but, lately, I just keep acquiring things. Lots of things.

There’s a sort of movement going around, with plenty of articles and blog posts to go with it, that experiences are more important than stuff. And while I don’t disagree on principle with the idea that doing can be better and more interesting than owning, I can’t help but feel that the idea of experiences > things is pretty classist (not to mention ableist – but that’s another rant for another day). Some of us simply can’t afford to eat at fancy restaurants, take amazing vacations, or see films and plays.


So don’t let people make you feel bad if you prefer stuff. Or if you prefer experiences. Aren’t they both perfectly fine? And isn’t what makes you happy more important than fighting about the value of doing vs. having?

Moving House

It’s okay. I’m literally moving house. Not, like, blog business or anything. The kind of moving with a truck and boxes and stress and self-loathing and everything.


Friday, July 8th (yes, I know I missed this post by about a week – something went wrong in my queue!) is the big day with the dudes and the truck and the furniture and all of that good stuff. We’re also having a small crew come and help us pack the night before because between my husband’s job, my job, and my chronic pain/fatigue, there just isn’t enough time or energy between us to get the job done in so little time.

Why so little time? Because out landlord gave us verbal notice that we had to be out asap at the beginning of June because she wants to sell the place that we’ve been renting. We don’t want to buy this townhouse, so off we go! Our written notice technically gives us until the end of July but we are trying to be nice tenants and we’re getting out as soon as we’re able – our place wouldn’t be available until the 8th, so the 8th it was.

There’s nothing like packing and moving (which I’ve done now five times in eight years – ugh) to make you realize how much stuff you have. When I first moved down to this area from Philadelphia, I had a pretty minimal amount of possessions. The necessities like clothes and toiletries, plus a crappy laptop and a few kitchen extras like my KitchenAid stand mixer (which is crucial to my happiness) were all I really felt like I needed. But I traveled light at that point!

Sometime around moving in with my then-fiance, I started to just… have more stuff. More clothes for my office job, more fabric for my sewing hobby, more makeup and toiletries – the stuff just slowly crept in. And now, every time we move again, a part of me tries to nest a little more by adding stuff to the hoard: books, fabric, clothing, cookware, etc. It just piles up.

I’ve always felt like a bit of a nomad and all of the moving hasn’t bothered me much until this particular relocation. We’re only moving about fifteen minutes away from our current place, so it’s not a big deal distance-wise. But it’s still too much stuff to just get a friend with a truck and some pizzas and make it work. We’re a little too old and grumpy for that, anyway. Maybe I’m finally at that age in my life where I want to know what’s mine and where I can hang my hat long-term.


I’d like to think we will buy or keep renting this new place as long as there are no glaring problems with it. Buying is a long-term plan that we’re not really dealing with right now, but it might be nice to think of myself as settled down somewhere by the time I’m 40 (so we’ve got about 8 years to get these ducks all in a row).

Don’t we all just want some place that we can call our own?