Aug. 2nd, 2012 04:31 pm

Scattered

textualdeviance: (Recommended for the Internet)
After having a privacy scare on FB today, I'm questioning whether living so much of my daily online life there is wise. Obviously, it's where "everyone" is, and there are a lot of people I'd miss out on keeping up with if I wasn't there, but it's also a very mixed environment, and hard to really let go and be myself without risking some pretty icky blowback from time to time.

I think I've plugged the hole for now by unfriending most of the people I don't feel I can be open and honest with, and choosing to make most of my posts friends-only. Still, I think I may well back off of posting/interacting there as much as I have, simply because I dislike the eggshell-tiptoeing dance. Especially when it comes to issues of politics, gender, etc., my personal positions on these are very nuanced, and on the surface, very likely to piss off a lot of people who don't understand why and how I feel the way I feel. I don't think FB is the right venue for that. Though, really, neither are Twitter and Tumblr, and I still spew there, too.

If it were up to me, I'd drag people back here to LJ, because I strongly feel that its format and privacy controls are the most ideal I've seen of any social media out there. But it does seem to be dying, except for a contingent of fanfic-oriented folks, which is sad. So, because social media is supposed to be social, I do most of my "me" stuff on FB, most of my stream-of-consciousness politcs/chit-chatting with celebrities on Twitter, most of my fanthing squee on Tumblr, and most of my formal political/metacultural rambling on my "legit" blog. Because that's where the people I want to share those things with are. Not here, dangit.

Still, this is the one place I have where I feel like I can actually babble and bellyache to my heart's content. I'm not limited by space issues, nor by having an audience that wants me to shut up and post more pics of cute actors, nor by conservative old friends/distant relatives who think I'm going to hell because I'm a queer, atheist, feminist Obama supporter.

Honestly, I hate feeling so compartmentalized and scattered, though. I would love to be able to be all of who I am whereever I go--online or off--and not have to worry about icky potential consequences (or just annoying the crap out of people.) I frankly hate being closeted, which is what a lot of this really is, but I do feel like I don't have much choice. Of course, true friends will accept everything I am, but that doesn't mean that everyone I want to interact with is up for the whole enchilada. I'll always have to hold some things back to keep the peace or make sure I'm employable, or not bore the shit out of fellow fans with my unrelated babble when they'd rather talk fandom. And I always feel I have to hold back some things just to avoid the raging mobs of people who think it's OK to stalk and harass (and worse) people they disagree with. I still bear the scars of Fandom Wank. Not interested in attracting that kind of Mean Girl mob.

If I were braver, I'd just be myself anyway, and if people don't like it, they're entitled to skip the post, unfriend, stop following, move on, blah blah blah. But I'm also aware of context-appropriate behavior and communication. Spamming my RL FB friends with my fanthing squee would probably irritate the daylights out of them. Spamming my fandom friends with my political rants probably irritates them, too. I'd rather not hide who I am and what I think and like to do from certain groups of people, but that doesn't necessarily mean that exercising each aspect to its fullest extent is going to be appropriate in all fora.

But yeah. LJ is definitely the one place that comes damned close to being appropriate for all of this. There are enough personal friends here to warrant my maudlin navel-gazing babble and stupid pics of my cats; enough like-minded political and feminist sorts to feel free to be open about that; and certainly plenty of fandom folks who get my need to squee (and, much to my great delight, there are people here who fall into all three categories.) Just a pity that it's not as populated as it was 10 years ago.
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textualdeviance: (Handrew hats)
Doing my part to help Andrew's lovely film get a shortlist spot in the Virgin Media Shorts competition. Little Larry - Virgin Media Shorts

If you've not yet seen this, do--it's well worth the couple of minutes. :) If you like, please hit the share buttons below the vid. There are 12 shortlist films chosen by the judges, plus a 13th spot that goes to the one that gets the most shares between yesterday and the 19th.

Andrew's a fantastic filmmaker, and he really deserves to get as much attention as possible for this work.
textualdeviance: (Default)
So, in assembling this photo collage for our adoption agency profile, I went looking for pics of the two of us.

A while back, my mom gave me a CD full of pics she'd had stored--old family pics, a bunch of stuff from her camera, etc. I'd not gone through them--my mother takes tons of pics and most of them are pretty repetitive. But I wanted to see if there were any shots she'd gotten of us that I hadn't seen.

I did find some interesting pics--not of us, but of the rest of my family. Some interesting old ancestor pics, and a few of me and my dad. There was a little bit of "huh. These are my people, I spose." Not nostalgia, really, but wondering whether there might be any merit to including them as part of my family now that I'm adding a child of my own.

And then I opened a folder called "great pics." Which was full of all sorts of horrible racist "jokes." Like really, really horrible ones. So horrible I don't even want to describe them.

Oh.

Given that we're still considering a transracial adoption, and may well end up with at least a mixed-race child, I just ... I wanted to throw up, quite frankly. The idea of exposing my kid to people who would think that kind of hateful garbage is funny is nauseating.

The weirdest part is that there's already a PoC kid in my family. One of my cousins on my mom's side has a daughter (now a teen) whose father is half black/half Japanese. She's gorgeous and sweet and a nice kid. And I wonder exactly what the rest of the family says behind her back. I know that my late grandfather, on seeing her first pics, said something to the effect of "that child's going to be black!" in a horrified tone. But beyond that, I'd not heard anything. She's featured in plenty of family pics, etc., so it seem like she's accepted, but who knows what people really think or say when they think they're in like-minded company?

And honestly, if having a POC grand-niece hasn't cured my parents of their racism, will having a PoC grandchild help? I doubt it. I'm guessing my dad probably won't be around much longer--not long enough for my kid to really know him. But my mom may even outlive me, so I'm going to have to find a way around that. If my child and her birthfamily--who will be part of our family--aren't white, how are my parents going to handle that? And what will be the effect on these new family members whom I want to feel loved and welcome, to know that the extended family of the adoptive parents is so awful?

The obvious solution--and the one I've been operating from for quite some time--is to simply keep my family at a distance, so their toxic hate doesn't affect me or the other people I love. I already have PoC friends, and the idea of having my family around where they can say stupid things to them is horrifying to me, so that's just not an option.

But when it comes to my kid, there WILL be questions. She'll have birth grandparents, and with luck, those will be good people, but we won't be able to give her that experience on our side. Trying to explain to her why we don't see our bio families is going to be excruciating even if she is white. She'll have to understand, for instance, that we're not out to M's family because their religion doesn't allow them to accept us the way we are. And that's going to be hard enough to deal with. She'll otherwise be surrounded by all sorts of queer and queer-friendly people, so she'll know that we and the people we choose to have around believe it to be perfectly normal, natural and worthy of support. She'll know that the vast majority of people in our lives believe in voting in a way that supports human rights. But there will still be this one segment of her adoptive family--a big one--that doesn't, and I'm lost for how to explain that to her in a way that won't mess with her head. She'll know about homophobia, of course, but to know that her own family is part of that problem? Depressing, to say the least (just as it is for me.)

And then to add racism on top of that ... I just. Ugh. We ourselves can be role models to counteract the homophobia. But we don't have the framework around race established well enough to offset that, and I'm terrified of not being able to give my PoC child enough support in that area.

Generally speaking, we already believe in the idea of chosen family, and adoption is just a part of that. We'll be establishing the idea that family is the people who love you, regardless of whether they're legally or biologically related. And, out of necessity, we'll have to explain that sometimes the people we're legally or biologically related to aren't actually family. We'll have to make it clear that just because DNA or a piece of paper says someone is connected to you doesn't mean they love you. Love is demonstrated by actions, not words, and people who have not chosen to act in a loving way aren't qualified as family. But there's SO much cultural framework built up around blood family that undoubtedly this is going to be upsetting for her, and that breaks my heart.

I'm dreading the moment--and there will be one, I know it--when my kid realizes that there are people who don't like her--or even hate her--because of her skin color, or because her parents aren't straight, or because her mom's fat, or because she's adopted, or because we're not religious, etc. And it'll be even worse if it's not just random strangers who dislike her, but people she's legally related to. I will likely choose not to really expose her to those people, so she won't develop a bond with them and thus be hurt even more by their prejudice when she discovers it. If they're effectively strangers, that revelation will sting a lot less.

But it's still going to hurt, and I'm still furious that my kid is inevitably going to suffer just because there are so many ignorant, hateful, small minded people--some of whom I have the misfortune to be related to.
textualdeviance: (trapped)
Dear The World:

Asking you to stop requiring people to be either butch or femme doesn't mean I'm denying those gender identities to others.* It certainly doesn't mean I'm denying gender identity itself. I'm not trying to take away your lipstick. I'm just asking you not to support a cultural paradigm that says I'm a worthless, pathetic creature (or should at least have the decency to identify as butch instead) because I don't wear it.

See also: just because I'm an atheist doesn't mean I'm trying to burn your church down, asexuals aren't anti-sex, blah blah blah.

This isn't like voting, where abstaining can have negative effects on others. It's just a matter of how one goes through the world on a personal level. If you can't enjoy playing a game without coercing everyone else into playing it, too, the problem lies with you. It's possible--really, it is!--for people to be different and yet have equal value in the world.

*Assuming those identities are, in fact, natural or at least freely chosen. If I see someone who's trying to do the femme thing but it's obvious she's not happy with it, and is only doing it because she feels obligated? I'm still going to call her on it.
textualdeviance: (Andrew Whee!)
Hallefreakinlujah: I'm unemployed! Today was my last day--almost exactly three months since I started--and I've decided I'm never, ever going back there again. The people are nice, but the actual work itself has been miserable for me. I need out. And thankfully, I AM.

Have also decided that I'm going to stay unemployed for quite a while, unless we suddenly need the money or MSNBC has a gig I want. As I mentioned a couple of posts back, I've been mommy-tracking my career for years, now. Time to stop doing that, do the mommy thing, and then get started back up on it again once the kid's ready for day care. I've wasted far too many years in jobs in which my education and skills were utterly useless. If I go working again, I want it to be in something where I'm valued and useful and, I hope, can make a positive difference in the world. What I've been doing for the last five years? Not that. I think I burned out on this on my last go. These last three months have been excruciating. Yay that they paid for London, but still. Enough.

Near-term post-job plan is to dive back into the writing, and start pushing hard to get at least one of my novels sold. I'm not certain that'll happen, of course, but I want to at least try. Given that I've also already written a chapter on yet another new book, I think it's time I consider myself a serious writer. I'm always looking to improve, of course, but I think I'm at least as good as many of the published writers in my genre. All that's left, really, is people paying me for the pleasure of reading my stories, which is more a business effort than a creative one--and one I think I can handle.

So, yeah. I'm going to do that for the next several months--however long it takes to get picked by a birthfamily. Then I'll spend a year or so with the sprog while it's tiny and needs constant attention. Once that's all done--two years and change from now, prolly--I'll take a look at circumstances and decide then what to do about getting a proper paycheck again.

As I mentioned on FB, I don't want to go too long without having some sort of resume fodder--I'm far too practical of a person to screw myself over like that--but yes, I am going to take some time off for now. Honestly, we don't need the money. We DO need my sanity, and that was being sucked dry by that horrid job.

---

The only downside, of course, is that it means we have less money for travel. I think I'm good on that front for the time being, though. As I mentioned, London took a lot out of me, and I think my days of hardcore traveling like that are done. Definitely a few other things we want to do--New England, Mexico and of course some regular Hawaii and Florida jaunts--but the long, transoceanic flights to cavernous airports? Not so much. Oz and NZ will have to wait until I have more bandwidth. Which prolly won't happen until the kid is travel-ready, which will be a while. I know I'll get itchy feet again--soon, even--but I think I can keep them satisfied on this continent for now.

---

Speaking of the kid thing ... we're alllllmost done with the first half of the process. We've written the (enormous) check for the pool-entry fee, and tomorrow is the last of our home-study interviews. All that's left after this is getting a photo collage together and getting in a few reference letters, and we're good to go. I'm guessing another couple of weeks, tops, before I can point y'all to our profile page on the agency's waiting-parents site. I'm nervous as all hell, but also really looking forward to being done with this part of things. Idle waiting I can handle. Seven months of paperwork hell? Driving me bonkers.

---

Have to remind myself: with at least a year of no real responsibilities, I don't HAVE to do everything on my to-do list in the next 48 hours. But oh, so tempted. The back yard, for one, has been begging for all sorts of attention. It's gotten some--there's a new batch of birdfeeders and a bunch of container garden stuff--but still needs more spiffing. It's rapidly becoming my favorite place to be on a nice day. It can be a bit noisy at times. There's all the games at the park across the street, a tiny bit of freeway noise from the 405 down the hill, and frequent Cessnas overhead (there's a small airport nearby.) But beyond that, it's actually very peaceful. Everything's green and lush and the birdies absolutely love it. We've had tons of hummingbirds this year so far, and I've counted every single kind of bird we've had back there before, plus a few new ones. Love it!

Also have some gaming to do, some fandom stuff (a few fics and vids) and a LOT of reading and movies/TV to catch up on. Also want to properly cook again. Planning to conduct the writing thing in a professional way--making sure I meet a daily wordcount--but beyond that, I'm squirming about having more freedom.

Honestly, this feels like I'm getting back to my real life--back to me. I think I've more than paid my working-world dues at this point. I want to work on the rest of who I am, now. I'm not getting any younger, and my health means I probably won't have many retirement years to do all this in. I'll be damned if I'm going to let any more of my life slip away in a tiny, flourescent-lit box if I don't absolutely have to.
textualdeviance: (Default)
Avoiding going in to work, even though I have to. Have already put in a request to terminate the contract. Will see how that pans out.

Realized something sad, though: part of the reason my career hasn't taken off like I'd hoped is that I've not been fired up to get a better job. Why? Because for the last five years, I've been thinking I was going to become a parent within a year or so, and I didn't want to commit to anything long-term or intensely involved if I knew I was going to be taking a year+ off to wrangle a little one. Had the attempts at making a tiny human on our own worked out as I wanted them to, the kid would now be in pre-school, and I'd be pursuing something far more rewarding than button-monkey contract work. I chose contract over permanent because it was flexible enough to allow me the time off I was going to need.

And as each year has gone by without that tiny human showing up, I continue to be stuck in limbo, not able to find something better because I have to wait.

If there were any way for me to make the kind of money M does, he'd be happy to take the parental leave instead. It's not like we're married to the idea of splitting parenting duties by gender, after all. But practically speaking, his paycheck is absolutely necessary, and I can't make even half that, even if I did get a better job, so I'm the one who gets to stay home for a while.

For the record, I'm not opposed to people who choose daycare, either because they have to work or want to. I'm also not opposed to people who have nannies or au pairs around to enable them to work as well. I'm not planning to be around my kid 24/7 until she starts school. Hardly. But we can't afford a full-time in-home nanny, and since I don't have a truly fulfilling, well-paying job right now, there's no point in blowing 80% of my paycheck on daycare just to enable me to go to a job I'm not excited about. That and really: I've waited this long to have the experience of being a parent. I may as well actually have that experience, y'know? I want to get to know this new little person, not spend 40 hours a week in an office wondering what she's doing. M's already done the parenting thing with his siblings, so he's not as jazzed about that--though he is looking forward to having his own kid. But yeah. I do want to be more directly involved while my kid's little.

The only thing I worry about is whether I can light a fire under my career when the time comes again. I'm guessing my only option is to do whatever I can to get one or both of my books published, so I at least have that going on to fill the gap, and make certain that I have something more on my CV for that time than changing diapers.

Which leads me to a final thought: Ages ago, someone asked me when I was going to have kids, and I told her, "Oh, not for a while, yet. I want to make some contributions to the world, first." She glanced over at her kids and said, "Those are my contributions to the world." I get that I kind of offended her, but honestly? I think she was full of shit. It is of course a difficult and laudable job to turn a tiny human into a functioning, self-sufficient adult, but if that's the only thing you've ever done, you've not actually made something of yourself. Living your life through another person--partner, child, etc.--isn't making your own mark.

If you have dreams of what your children will be when they grow up, and those visions include something besides parenting, why don't you have those dreams for yourself, too?

Frankly, I've not achieved nearly the amount of things I wanted to before I became a parent, but time's too short now to wait any longer. So for now, I get to put aside the development of me in favor of the development of a tiny human. I'm doing this voluntarily, of course, but it's still kind of sad.
textualdeviance: (Default)
Last post reminded me of all the major stressors I've dealt with in the last 1-2 years:

-Job/career stagnation
-Two pets dying
-Two surgeries (and two more upcoming--part 2 & 3 of the dental surgery)
-Adoption prep and related somewhat-tight finances and partial house re-orging.
-Ongoing health issues of various sorts, including discovering that my hearing is going
-Major disappointment with the chorus thing
-Family drama
-Shitty politics (seriously: seeing how openly racist/sexist/homophobic/ableist/etc. people can be is unbelievably awful)
-Helping M manage his own job ick

There's been good stuff, too, of course: travel (though that has stress of its own), finishing my novels, etc. And I've kept myself together by diving into fandom/gaming stuff. Still ... no wonder I'm so fucking exhausted and burned out. Maybe it makes sense that all I want to do this weekend is hole up in bed and sleep. Maybe read a little. I don't think I've really given myself enough free time to just heal from all this.
textualdeviance: (trapped)
So, there was one slightly odd thing about meeting my lovelies: I wasn't remotely nervous about meeting them, and don't necessarily feel particularly giddy or anything even now. As is most likely obvious to anyone reading here regularly, I've not been terribly stoked for much of anything lately (and quite anti-stoked on a lot of things--the horrid job, the tedious adoption process, stupid health stuff, etc.) Still, I'm kind of surprised that I wasn't more in fansquee mode for this.

Fading )

Not that there's necessarily anything on the horizon. GoT fandom is a horrid cesspool, so I'm staying quite firmly on the fringes of that, and nothing else I'm into inspires any real squee for me right now. That goes for non-fandom stuff, too. The only two things likely to give me any great joy anytime soon are the adoption and getting my novel published. Both of those things are ponderously slow and the payoff for them depends greatly on other people, so true squee is somewhat unlikely anytime soon.

I suspect I might also be in the middle of a depressive slump, too. I've had so much grief/disappointment in the past 12-18 months (job, cats, chorus, health, politics, blah blah blah) that I'm just exhausted. It's not been horrible all the time, just incredibly stressful, and I've not had a lot of outlets for burning that off. The one thing that was keeping me from dwelling on the bad stuff--fansquee--is fading, now, so I'm left with a lot of ick, and nowhere to put it so I can ignore it again. I expect I'll find something eventually--I usually do--but this limbo period is going to be tough. Damn shame I don't/can't drink. It'd be lovely to just remain pickled while I'm waiting for things outside of my control to resolve themselves.

Anyway ... yeah, I'm kind of sad that this wasn't more of a fangasmic experience for me, even though some of that was deliberate limitation on my part. Trying to stay calm to avoid crushing disappointment is sensible, of course, but it also avoids elation, and I could use a bit of that these days.
textualdeviance: (Andrew Whee!)
Finally getting a bit of bandwidth back, though I think I picked up a cold somewhere, so I'm still quite tired and hurty. Meh.

Anyway ... So: the big reason we decided to go back to London is that I wanted to finally meet my lovely Famous People. They really don't do the con thing at all, so when I heard that two of them were doing this one, I had to. I knew my chances of meeting them in the future were otherwise next to nil, so this was pretty much my one shot. (Two of them--Ben and Hannah--are doing a play right now and are thus a bit more accessible, but the third--Andrew--is very elusive, and only signed on to the con at the last minute. Had to grab him!) And yes, we loved London last year and wanted to see more of it. And did--though I wore myself out with excitedly overdoing it the first couple of days. Oops.

Not really much to say about the non-fan touristing. 90% of it is evident on Flickr. Details )

Quite tickled that I finally met all three lovelies, and got all three to sign the same pic (and also had the bonus-FP encounter, too.) It kind of feels like I've unlocked a fandom achievement or something--like how it was for me when I finally got all four hobbits' autographs (also on the same photo.) I feel a little guilty for spending so much money on what was more or less a big autograph hunt, but hey, ya only live once. I could certainly spend my money on worse things. :)

Sadly, as mentioned before, this is probably my last shot at London. I might get to go back someday if I can manage the physical/temporal/financial bandwidth somehow, but practically speaking, I'm basically done. I think the UK treated me very well both times I went, so I'm content. Bucket list items checked, and the next big travel we do--if we do anything at all--will probably be on the other end of the world (Oz/NZ.) So, farewell to the Isles, with fond memories.
textualdeviance: (Default)
This piece about unflattering photos feels especially relevant to me today, as I'm sorting through vacay pix to find some I feel comfortable posting.

As is the case with most of our travel pics, I'm behind the camera, and 90% of the photos are of landscapes, buildings, etc., with M in a few of them. The majority of our travel photosets don't have me in them at all. It's almost like I wasn't even there, since there's no telling who was wielding the camera. There are plenty of pics of me on Flickr, but most are carefully edited and chosen shots I did myself. No candids. No photos of me actually doing something or being somewhere. And almost none of them are fully public--friends/family only. I avoid being photographed so much it's like I'm attempting to erase myself from my own life.

When I bought photo shoot tickets for Collectormania, I did so because I wasn't sure whether there would be a proper chance for an autograph or any other one-on-one contact with the folks in question, not because I actually wanted a photo of myself with them. They're so beautiful that it seemed like putting me in the pic with them would be somehow blasphemous. I got the photo anyway, largely because I promised someone I'd do a photo shout-out for her. The pic of me is decent, as that goes, but I still don't want to scan it in, because the contrast of how gorgeous they are with ... well ... me ... is just so stark.

As the person in the link above noted, though: I look like that. Flattering or no, and allowances for the odd physics of 2D stills considered, those images of me are more or less what people see when they see me in person. I've not yet become a complete hermit (though I seem to be aiming that way) so other people do see my physical existence regularly. But that's not really by choice. Who I am as a person is so detached from my concept of what I physically look like that they're entirely incongruous to me. Given the choice, I'd rather present myself in a way that reflects who I am, rather than what I look like.

But, some might argue, aren't those the same thing? Isn't what I look like part of who I am? Well, insomuch as it's influenced how I've developed as a person, yes. But that's not necessarily a good thing. My physical self has earned me so much horrific abuse that all I've built from it is a crapload of internal scar tissue. My desire, therefore, to ignore it as much as possible should be understandable. And when I tell people who try to encourage me to live in my own skin, and be more present physically to fuck the hell off, they need to understand why I say that. Only people who are chronically clueless or have been blessed enough by the genetic fairy that they don't get abused by strangers for how they look would think there's merit in that. You may as well tell someone with terrible allergies that they should get out and smell the flowers in spring.

I'm an odd duck: a vaguely post-modern realist. As I've argued about other things before, I recognize cultural and social constructs for what they are--malleable, changeable and in no way biologically essential--but I also acknowledge that just because a thing is built by humans rather than naturally grown doesn't mean it doesn't exist. A building is entirely a human construction, and just as it has been assembled where it is, so can it be dismantled. Yet it's still a very real thing, it still affects its environment, and it still changes, in ways both large and small, the people who encounter it.

The social constructs we have around gender and physical appearance aren't inherent and unchangeable, no matter how much quack evolutionary psychologists may like to argue otherwise. But that doesn't mean they don't exist, or that they don't have the power to do harm. Much as a well-meaning parent might try to teach a child that beauty is only skin-deep, and looks don't matter, and it's what's inside that counts, the reality of life in a gender-stratified environment in which appearance is commodified means that yes, looks DO matter, especially for girls and women. They shouldn't matter, and children should of course learn not to judge people on things over which they have no control, appearance among them, but they also should learn that other people WILL make those judgments. And that those judgments can, in some cases, do some fairly serious damage. If you want your kid to come out without too much of that damage, you help them learn how to avoid it. It's just like teaching a kid about crime. You teach them not to steal, and that stealing is a bad thing, but you also teach them to lock up their valuables, because other people steal whether they're supposed to or not. No, I don't want my kid living under a cloud of paranoia, and the onus of responsibility for abuse lies with the abuser, but I also have a responsibility to keep my kid safe as much as possible--and that includes teaching them how to avoid becoming a target for the world's awful people.

So, this is why I don't make many pics of myself public. I know my looks don't define who I am, but I also know other people will define me that way, and that most of the people who do will judge me a lesser creature, and someone worthy of torment, because of them. Anyone worth my time, energy and affection won't abuse me that way, of course, but as I can't live life surrounded entirely by only those people, I still have to make adjustments to avoid the jerks who will. I don't personally think that being fat or having an unattractive face makes me a bad person. I think I'm a very good person, in fact. But I'm not stupid. I know other people do think that, and that if they're given enough of an opportunity, they'll do anything they can to make my life miserable. It's a form of closeting, of course, but it's an essential one. Just as I wouldn't be stupid enough to out myself as queer in a rural town full of violence-prone holy rollers, neither am I going to go pasting my picture everywhere that the attack dogs of the intarweebs are going to see it. I've already been the victim of some pretty hardcore bullying, both online and off. Why on earth would I voluntarily open myself up to more of that? If other people want to martyr themselves like that, fair enough. I'm not going to be happy about pressure to do so myself.

So, no. I'm not going to post vacation pics of myself in public spaces, and when someone does post an unflattering pic of me, I'll ask them to untag it or otherwise make it less obvious who the person in the pic is. People who know me already will know my face, and know that's me. Strangers don't need to connect that face with my name, because far too many of them will use that knowledge to hurt me. I've been hurt enough already. Sue me if I'm trying to avoid suffering any more.
textualdeviance: (Default)
Back from London, which was awesome (pics/report later), but good gods, I'm exhausted. Even though this trip was half as long as the first, it was hotter/more humid, and I did a lot more walking, so I'm just wiped. We went to bed at 8:30 last night (got up at 4--ugh) but I feel like I could still sleep for two days. Needless to say, being back at work today is extra miserable. Bleh.

Much as I hate admitting it, I think I'm going to have to cut back on hardcore trips like this. My body's just not up for it anymore. I'm still up for smaller-scale stuff, but I think the big cons, weeks spent at amusement parks, etc. just aren't going to happen. Even ended up cancelling our Comic-Con plans for that reason (also realized that the only few Famous People I still want to meet won't be there, so there’s pretty much no point to braving the heat/crowding/walking.)

This is, of course, depressing. I deal with my physical limitations every day, and I know very well my lifespan isn’t going to be huge, but I've sort of been in denial about exactly how much I'm going to be limited/slowed in this last ~20 years. I have planned for some of it--delaying parenting, for instance, so I could travel while I was still young/healthy enough--but facing the music now still stings. There's just so much more I want to do before I die, and knowing I won't be able to because of my stupid body really sucks. Theoretically, I could skip the parenting and squeeze in more of this stuff, but as parenting is also a huge entry on the bucket list, I'd rather not. It's not ideal, but I can always do some sort of creaky person's round-the-world cruise or something later. Best spend what energy I have left on the high-bandwidth baby-and-toddler stuff.


Will say though: seeing this quote from the recently late Ray Bradbury while I'm feeling like this really hit home:

"Everyone must leave something behind when he dies, my grandfather said. A child or a book or a painting or a house or a wall built or a pair of shoes made. Or a garden planted. Something your hand touched some way so your soul has somewhere to go when you die, and when people look at that tree or that flower you planted, you’re there."

… and this is why I write.

Being keenly aware of the ticking clock now means this is a lot more important to me. I get that some people are content to merely live on through their families, or don't even think about things this way at all, but for me, it's really important to have at least some little bit of myself that will continue on long after my body is dust. When I was younger, I figured that would happen with performing of some sort. Now that that's not really possible, all I have left is the writing. Yes, I'll have a kid who remembers me after I'm gone, but I need something more tangible than someone else's memories. I need something more than just a bunch of blog entries and photos as the residue of my existence. With so little energy for anything more elaborate, writing it is.

But! In order to do that--in order to do what I need to prove that I was here--I need to have the temporal bandwidth. Which in this case means I need to get rid of this horrid job. I have enough experience/resume fodder at this point to get a paycheck later if I really need one, but the huge things I needed to earn money for--travel, house, kid--are basically taken care of, now. It’d be nice to have more gravy, of course, but not at the mental health cost that this gig is charging me.

All that's left, I guess, is trying to figure out how to leave without burning bridges. So I think that's the challenge remaining for me for the rest of the week.

Well, after I've had more sleep. Eesh.
textualdeviance: (Default)
Managed to survive the last few weeks at work (don't get me started) and am waaaay ready for our vacay, now. Fortunately, we fly out for London in just 19 hours. Yay!

Other than work, things are going well enough. Adoption's moving right along as it should. Will prolly officialy be in the family pool not long after we get back. And then: the wait. Which I'm ok with.

More-detailed post later. For now, need to rest up for tomorrow's airport/9-hour flight hell. The end result is worth it, but daym.


Posted via m.livejournal.com.

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textualdeviance: (Default)
Thought experiment:

-Gender (like race, orientation, etc.) is a key part of who someone is, and shouldn't be ignored in an attempt at equality.
-It is, however, a cultural construct. It's not something you're born with, but something you develop over a lifetime of both cultural/social influence and personal choices.
-Therefore, the gender identity one has, and wishes to be recognized by others as a true part of oneself is likely to be different for each person. It's not a given, for instance, that every woman wants to look pretty. That may be a part of a given woman's gender identity, but it's not a hard-coded aspect of gender identity itself. Because there is no such thing.
-Because some gender-coded traits and behaviors are negative, that means that if one chooses to embrace those things, one may well be criticized for them.
-And therein lies the wisdom: recognizing that being criticized for a given negative gender-coded trait/behavior isn't the same thing as bias against one's gender identity in toto, or against the idea of gender or gender identity in general.

Ergo:

Criticizing how someone chooses to express their gender identity isn't a criticism of all people who have that gender identity, nor of the idea of gender identity itself. So yes, I CAN tell a teen girl that spending more time doing her hair than she does on her studies is stupid. Being mindlessly vain isn't a defining characteristic of all teen girls. The ones who choose that as part of their gender identity don't get to hide behind the idea of gender identity itself to avoid criticism for that choice.

(This post brought to you by my being so damned tired of clueless women arguing that it's sexist to call them out on their shitty behavior, just because said shitty behavior is supposedly feminine.)
textualdeviance: (Button Monkey)
So, since I haven't updated about this since my last bellyaching ...

I first sent mail to my teammate, confirming that it wasn't just me--there's really next to no work for us. In the middle of that, I also discovered something else that's a roadblock for the team, with larger-scale potential repercussions. So, I broke down and wrote a long mail to my boss about it all late last week.

Things post-mail are still settling out, so I don't really know what's next. But it does seem like our workload is slowing down to a trickle--and a trickle of stuff I really don't want to do. I already suggested that if this really is just a one-person job, then I'm happy to train my teammate on the stuff she doesn't know, and let her have it. Having my position go away due to budget reasons would be the best course of action, I think. It'd mean I wouldn't lose brownie points with my agency for quitting/breaking contract (and thus can get another one later if I want) but it'd also get me out of this mind-numbingly boring and degrading position I'm in now.

There is still a dilemma, though, and I've come to realize that it's why, despite the adoption process going well, despite the upcoming London trip, despite the great weather and everything else, I'm actually kind of miserable right now.

Downwardly mobile dog )

It's weird to look around and see how much I have and yet still feel so desperate. I'm sure people look at my life and think I have it all, and wonder why I worry so much. But that's just the thing--I don't have it all. M does. This stuff isn't mine. It's his. And if we split up, it'd all go away. I'd keep some of the material goods, and we'd split whatever pittance we could get from selling the house, but that wouldn't last. He'd be perfectly fine--financially, at least--if we split. I'd be fucked. This is not how my life was supposed to go. I did well in school. I went to college. I worked like a dog as soon as I could, stopped only when my stupid body told me I had to, and started again as soon as I was able. This shouldn't be happening to me.

I suppose this is probably why I have so much sympathy for other people who are on various forms of public support. I know very well that but for the grace of my husband's paychecks, I'd be one of them. Not through any fault or laziness of my own, but just because this is how things are sometimes. Where you get in life is only about half what you put into it. The other half is where you start and fate. People who are fucked on that other half shouldn't be assumed to have fucked off on the effort part. Unless you're lucky enough to have 30 years of living expenses set away somewhere, anyone can come to ruin at any moment--even M could, if he lost his job. Sure, we could've lived closer to the edge all this time and saved more rainy-day money, but it wouldn't be enough to make that big of a difference, long-term (and the mental health benefits of travel, the safe, comfortable house, etc., go a long way to making the rest of it possible anyway. I don't regret what we've spent so far--it's been its own investment.)

So, no. It's not weird that I'm so worried about my future survival when my ability to support myself is so fragile.

At the moment, all my hope lies in one thing: being able to sell at least one of my novels, and write/sell more while I'm home with the little one. That doesn't pay a lot, either, but it's at least possibly steady work if I'm able to sell enough of one to get contracts for more. It's also something I could do while doing paycheck-earning work of other kinds until I got better established as a writer. Best of all, it would be something I could take pride in, rather than something that made me feel like a particularly technical worker bee.

But that's hardly a guarantee. And with the current gig having hit the iceberg, just waiting around for that lifeboat to maybe show up so I don't go down with this slowly sinking ship is agonizing.
textualdeviance: (Default)
Am slightly obssessed with this topic in the last few days in the wake of John Scalzi's not-gonna-say-"privilege" post about privilege. (This included two of my own followups on my quasi-legit blog.)

Need to actually do paycheck work today, but thought I'd throw this out as a mental exericse on the topic:

All other factors being equal, who's going to have it harder in life:

An MTF, who had the advantage of male privilege as a child, but the disadvantage of expressing characteristics of the underclass gender

or

an FTM, who had the disadvantage of being female as a child, but the advantage of expressing characteristics of the dominant gender?

Obviously, each person will struggle merely due to being trans, but does the extra shitstorm that comes with being a "girly" boy (as opposed to a tomboy, which is something relatively accepted) erase all other privilege that boy would have had merely for having boy bits and being identified as a boy by others for most of his childhood? Does the fact that FTMs often have male-coded traits/behaviors that enhance power and self-sufficiency (vs female-coded traits/behaviors that enhance dependency and submissiveness) give him a boost?

There are, of course, several living-room pachyderms inherent in this topic--essentialism, for instance--but assuming that femininity/female sex = cultural disadvantage and masculinity/male sex = cultural advantage, does that actually translate to advantages for FTMs before they officially transition? Or would the expressed-gender advantages be rendered moot by the perceived-sex ones?

There are, of course, personal reasons for wondering this. Sometimes I think being a tomboy made my life significantly harder, because my culture violently enforces femininity (though not quite as overtly violently as it enforces masculinity for boys), but it also made my life easier in some ways, because my nature aimed me toward an economic-self-sufficiency-centered life instead of a economic-depdendency-centered one.

Hm. Something to think about.
textualdeviance: (trapped)
Saw this old XKCD linked on FB. And ... it kinda creeped me out. This is kind of exactly how M and I got together.

The full story is complicated, but the gist: Here, let me manipulate you into dating me. )

I do think that part of the reason it took us so long to get so much of the rest of our lives on track (including things like finally getting around to becoming parents) is because our relationship started on such shaky, false foundations. I more or less forgive him now for what he did, because I know he didn't have the skills necessary to simply ask for what he wanted, instead of swindling me to get it, but it took me a very long time after I realized that I'd been swindled for me to fully trust him. Even now, I still wonder on rare occasion whether he truly does love me as a person, or just loves the role I play in his life, and the things I do for him. And, conversely, I also wonder sometimes whether I love him, or am just with him because I had no other choice--and still don't. If there was someone else out there who would treat me as well as he does, and who was also more capable of being emotionally honest than he is, would I leave? It's a moot question--such a person doesn't exist--but sometimes, I don't have the answer for it.

FWIW, I disagree with the underlying premise of that comic--I do think it's not only possible, but a good thing to be friends before you date someone. Otherwise, you're just hooking up because you have the hots for each other, and that's a pretty clear recipe for future relationship disaster. Long-term relationships based primarily on getting a boner for each other when you're 25 and hot never last past that first wrinkle. It's not necessarily dishonest not to be open about your attraction for someone when you're still trying to decide whether there's more to your interest in them than just that. Initial reactions of "I'd hit that" can often fade or change--or get stronger--the more you get to know someone. Hell, I have a very good friend I crushed out on the first year we knew each other, and our friendship didn't get really good until I got over it (and that required me making an idiot of myself by confessing my interest.)

But yes, when one party is counting on the emotional vulnerability of the other to increase dependency, that's not exactly a good recipe for a solid relationship. Hell, it's not a good recipe for a friendship, either. More than anything, people need to be honest with themselves and the people they're with about their motivations for being there. It's never fun to be used, no matter what it is you're being used for, and even less fun to be kept in the dark about that fact.
textualdeviance: (Babies R Us)
(Fair warning that I probably won't respond to comments--not up for a debate. Just need a rant.)

So ... that Time cover, with the breastfeeding toddler? Ugh. Ugh in itself, yes, but also ugh for the shitstorm it launched (as they knew it would--way to up circulation numbers in a declining market, folks!)

This is one of the reasons I'm dreading becoming a parent--especially an adoptive parent who won't be breastfeeding, and who will be working at least part of the time while her kid is still pretty young. The Natural Parenting!!! Brigade is downright viral at this point, and it's virtually impossible to avoid them. Breastfeeding is the most visible of their wars, but they're all over everything related to kids, from conception to birth to grandparenting. According to them, if you're not a biological mother physically attached to your kid from (at least) birth to kindergarten, you're a Bad Person.

Which, of course, is bullshit. Bigoted against fathers, adoptive parents, same-sex parents and mothers who have no choice but to work, yes, but also bullshit, too. Yes, there are some benefits to breastfeeding, baby wearing, etc. ad infinitum, but they have yet to produce any reliable, peer-reviewed studies saying kids who aren't constantly attended like this are suffering.

And in fact, looking at the college-age kids who were raised like this 20 years ago, a lot of them ARE suffering. They're so used to having mom (and occasionally dad) holding their hand 24/7 that they don't know how to do anything on their own. They don't know how to find information on their own, they don't know how to get a job or do their own schoolwork or pay their own bills or do their own taxes. They sometimes don't even know how to travel around their own city. When I did my recent college thing, I was absolutely astonished at the number of kids there who didn't even know how to do basic research, and whose attitude toward education was that it was just a piece of paper so they could get a job outside of the service industry. They're so pampered that they're actually offended by the idea that they should expend any of their own effort to get something they want: they're plagiarists, pirates, etc., and actually get upset when told that no, you have to work for that, and don't get to crib off of someone else's work. (And don't get me started on the ones who think that people who worked hard to get an education don't deserve more respect--including more respect for their opinions. Yes, kiddo, that dude with the geology doctorate DOES know more than you or your high-school dropout Aunt Sadie about carbon dating. STFU.)

I shudder to think that these kids might someday be running the country (or, as is more likely, that my own generation and the one before it are going to be stuck wiping their asses when we should be retired, because they're incapable of taking on the responsibility.)

The entire goal of parenting is to produce a healthy, sane, self-sufficient adult. Yes, that means being there for your infant when she needs you, but it also means teaching your little bird how to fly on her own. If you're not letting her fall sometimes, and learn how to pick herself up and start over again, you're not doing your job. Absolutely, you need to protect her from serious harm, and if you're too busy fucking off on your own whims to notice when your kid really does need you, you're not doing your duty. Parents who ignore their kids or let them come to major harm under the idea that they're "toughening them up" make me want to scream. But if you're playing human hamster ball for your kid, trying to ensure that she never even skins a knee, you're doing her a grave disservice. Your job as a parent is to teach your kid to fish, not just hand her a rod and expect her to know how, and not just give her fish so she never needs to learn.

Some of the problem here, of course, comes down to essentialist feminism. It's one of the few areas in which hardcore religion and hardcore hippies come together: the idea that a woman's natural purpose is birthing and raising children. Women raised to believe this also come to believe that being a mother is the core of their identity, and when they start sensing that their kid doesn't need them as much anymore, they panic, and start getting clingy. Some of them react by having another kid--making sure they have a dependent babe in arms as soon as the older one is walking and talking. Some of them react by trying to keep their kids as dependent as possible for as long as possible.

And no, this is not good for the kids, no matter how they try to spin it. More than anything else, kids need stable, adult role models in their lives. They need to see examples of people who are self-sufficient, fully formed people. If your entire life and identity is centered around them, and you have nothing else, then they're not learning that. (Not to mention that you're also setting yourself up for a serious crisis should you ever lose your source of financial support. If the only thing you know how to do is raise babies, you're completely screwed if your meal ticket goes away.)

One of the other things that irritates me about their justification for this is their citation of the practices of "traditional cultures." OK, 1. Cultural appropriation sucks, and 2. You don't live in that culture. You're not training your kid to hunt and gather. You're supposed to be training your kid to do the modern, urban equivalent of that. Kids in traditional cultures virtually never go far from their families/tribes of origin because they don't need to. Kids in the modern first world aren't going to have their families within reach every time they need something. If you want your kid to eventually have her own job and apartment and to pay her own bills, then she needs to start by learning how to walk and talk and feed herself on her own.

As we've been preparing for the adoption, I've run across some pressure to adopt special needs kids or ones who have other challenges. I've been told that if I'm not willing to raise a kid who needs constant attention for years on end, then I shouldn't be a parent at all. I've even been told that because I eventually want to kick my kid out of the nest in 20 years, that I'm probably not suited to be a parent. And that's just ... mind-boggling. Martyrdom through parenthood is NOT a noble, morally superior thing, and wanting to be a separate person in addition to being a parent doesn't mean there's something wrong with you. On the contrary: it means you're mentally healthy. Living your entire life through your kid? Yeah ... not so much.

Right now, I'm watching my mother-in-law slowly dying because she sacrificed her own health for the sake of getting pregnant 10 times, and raising a bunch of kids. I've watched that family suffer because she had no job skills and didn't work and therefore can't get social security and had no health insurance of her own. I've watched HER suffer because she bought in to her religion's insistence that she submit to her husband's decisions, and therefore didn't know how to cope when he turned into a raging tyrant. I'll be damned if I'd even consider ruining my life--and my KID'S life--by doing that shit.

So, no: I would never have done natural childbirth, because it would've put my health and safety at risk. I won't be breastfeeding (even though it can be induced), because I'd have to go off critical meds to do it. I won't be co-sleeping, because there's a high risk of smothering my kid, and because I want to actually have sex with my husband in that bed. I won't be baby-wearing all the time because my kid needs to have some time on her own to do her own thing--and so do I. I may at some point use the services of a nanny or au pair because I have somewhat limited energy, and it's not fair to my kid to be cared for by a zombie, plus there will likely be times I'm working from home, and need someone to mind her so I can focus. I will be--gasp!--leaving my kid with a sitter sometimes so we can go out to nice restaurants and R-rated movies and other places where squalling little ones don't belong.

Of COURSE I'll be feeding her and loving her and being there for her when she's scared or confused or just needs to cuddle. So will M--hi, she'll have another parent! He counts, too! I'll even be staying at home for the first 6-12 months, when she needs that kind of constant attention. But I won't be living my entire life as if my kid is the only thing in it. I want my kid to eventually have her own life that doesn't center around being a baby machine. I'll be damned if she's going to see her mom do that.
textualdeviance: (Eowyn pen)
So, while I've been waiting for beta reader feedback on Harper (the novel I finished a few months back), I thought I'd get silly and do some fantasy casting for the eventual movie that will be made from it (because of course that'll happen, right? ;) )

Harper was the hardest to find, because he's half-Egyptian, but I think I totally found the right guy. Even better: I know he'd do the role, as he's the guy behind that Straight But Not Narrow thing Gethin did.

Avan Jogia


Tris needed to be someone who, though older than Harper by a few years, nevertheless seems bookish and frankly a little skittish. (He's older than he looks in some of these pics--see Treasure Island for an idea of what he currently looks like.)

Toby Regbo


And for his best bud Mo:

Amrita Acharia


Oliver I could see as Andrew or Gethin, though Gethin has more of the look I had in mind. And I want Eve Myles for the voice of Tanwen, and Alan Cumming for her mate Dilys. (Though they'd prolly be way too expensive.) Phil's essence is pretty much dead-on embodied by Ksenia Solo, but she's about 50 lbs too small, and it'd probably be seen as typecasting her as Kenzi again.

Not sure yet who I want for Lang--Judi Dench in an Amazonian package is a little hard to find! Donald Sumpter might be an interesting against-type cast for Hanover.

Of course, first I need to get this damned thing published. Which means getting it off to agents. Which means pestering my beta readers for feedback so I can do a final edit. ;)
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textualdeviance: (Default)
Job is driving me so far up a wall I'm starting to think I'm Spiderman.

Dilemma:

-What I'm doing is boring and a total waste of my skills and education.
-It also only takes me 3-4 hours/day to do--on a busy day.
-Leaving me stuck at work, trying to look busy, and feeling guilty for stealing the company's money to fuck off on the intarweebs.

What I'd like to do:

-Ask boss if there's something I'm missing about my duties and/or whether I can be useful helping out elsewhere to keep me busy, or whether I can just go part time, work from home, blah blah. Or ...
-Quit entirely, because this isn't what I signed on for.

Why I can't:

-Teammate's job is more or less the same as mine, just on a different section. And unless I'm unaware of something else she's doing, she actually has less to do every day than I do.
-Which means Teammate is ALSO being paid to fuck off all day. Or she's a total idiot who actually needs the time to do something so simple.
-Therefore, speaking up about not having enough to do would call out that she's been fucking off and/or an idiot for the last 6 months.
-Which would likely put her job in jeopardy. Ack.
-I could quit entirely without giving that reason, but then they'd just hire someone else in my place who'd ALSO get paid to fuck off all day. Which wouldn't be fair to them.
-Quitting without a Damned Good Reason would fuck my reputation with this team and my agency.

So ... there it is. My options are to suck it up and drown in boredom and guilt every day, or speak up, and risk fucking someone else out of a job she needs. Meh. Double meh.
textualdeviance: (Default)
Way too many maudlin, self-pity-riddled navel-gazing posts here lately. Keep meaning to get back to this as a proper, far-more-diversified blog space instead of the endless whinefest it seems to be turning into, but I keep getting distracted by other stuff. Just don't have the daily bandwidth for anything other than burst-spewing on Twitter (and occasionally FB) so it's only the long-form bellyaching that ends up here.

So! To try to remedy that, here are some actual recent highlights of the Marvelous Life of the Texty:

---

Started the new job: About five weeks into it, now. It's boring. Rather more so than I expected. I'm also doing a lot more of the same button-monkey stuff I did before. Kind of feel like there's been a bait-and-switch, in that I expected more content generation and editorial decision-making than has actually been happening.

That said, what I'm doing is just different enough, and my duties are just interesting and few enough, that I think I can tolerate it, at least for the short term. It's a 12-month contract, and I'm not 100% sure I can finish that out (or at least go until I'm on family leave) but I think I can at least stick with it through the summer. Which will be useful in terms of money. Which, really, is the reason I took the job in the first place (that and plugging a growing CV gap.)

The money, of course is going to help with three big things ...

---

Random health stuff: Got my hearing aids this past week, and have been adjusting to them over the last few days. I can't say as I actually like them just yet, since they're a really abnormal feeling to wear, but I am seeing an improvement. Actually asked M to turn down the TV today. Whoa.

Have a bunch of other little stuff that needs taking care of soon, though. New glasses. Dermatologist. Some other bits and bobs. Need to go back to the periodontist soon to get my bone graft done. By the time I get the actual implant (about a year from now) I'll probably be completely used to the giant space where that molar used to be.

The bone graft is going to cost us about $3k, and I'm sort of wondering how long I can put it off, because I'd much rather spend that money on ...

---

Travel: Hooray for my paychecks, because it means we're being naughty and going back to London at the end of May. Holy carp. Have been wanting to go back since the moment we left, and when it turned out that a couple of my lovelies are doing a fan event (plus the play) ... well. I kinda had to. Yes, it's not the most responsible thing I've ever done, but dammit, I want to, and I can (if barely) so I'm gonna. Yes, yes, I should sock all this money away in retirement or college funds or something, but life's pretty damn short (and my available time/energy for travel even shorter) so I may as well.

It's a much shorter trip this time--nine days as opposed to three weeks--but it'll be 90% London, with perhaps a side trip or two to Brighton and/or Cardiff (and the con, which is in a small town about an hour-ish to the north.) Very, very much looking forward to being back, and getting a little more in-depth to the things we'd only skimmed over before.

Also hitting Comic-Con this year, though Dragon*Con isn't happening, due to my missing the hotel reservation thing, plus remembering how miserable I was last year in the cloying Atlanta heat. It just completely drains me, and I end up not having any fun at all. At least with San Diego, there are some nice ocean breezes. That, and I expect Game of Thrones people to be at SDCC, and I'm dying to meet those folks.

We might do more travel after that. Not sure, yet. If we do, it'll be domestic--something where we can hop right on a plane and head back at a moment's notice if we need to. Which could, theoretically, happen, due to ...

---

Adoption Stuff: Hooray! We're officially on to the next phase! We have our first home study visit scheduled for mid-May. This will be the in-home thing where the social worker gets to know us better, checks off the "safe for kids" list for the house, and generally gets more of a picture of who we are, so we can start building the family profile that gets handed out to the birthfamilies. After that first meeting, there are individual meetings with each of us, then one more in-home followup. After that, assuming all the paperwork and such is in, then we finally get to enter the waiting pool!

Then starts the interminable wait. Last we talked to our counselor, she said the average wait was actually getting just a little longer, too: about a year for most, and 14+ months for same-sex couples (I assume we'll be on the far end of that, what with the openly queer thing.) Eep. Still, I'm guessing we'll be in the pool by the end of June at the latest, and might well be in adoption planning a year from now. Really, it all comes down to whether we look interesting enough to a birthmom. It's kind of like matchmaking: never know if you're going to be sitting around forever because no-one wants to dance, or whether that one, perfect mate is going to show up right off the bat.

Still, knowing that we're qualified, and just waiting to be picked--which will happen eventually--will be very nice. And I can certainly keep myself busy in the meantime, what with the job--if I can tolerate it that long--mucking around in the back yard, and maybe more ...

---

Writing: Still waiting to get feedback from some beta readers for the novel, though M and D both loved it. Once I hear back from more folks, I'm going to work in whatever suggestions they give me, and then get it polished up for agent shopping.

I'd been considering shopping the first one around, but the more I think about it, the more I like this one better. Have more ideas for sequels, too. Also like its publishing chances better. No clue, of course, whether it'll get picked up, but I hope so. I'd rather have the resources of a proper editor and publisher than to try to self-publish and market it on my own. Self-publishing is easy, but rarely lucrative, because it's so hard to get your book noticed when it doesn't have the resources of a proper marketing team.

Have also been writing quite a lot more on my quasi-legit blog, including a piece on online socialization, and a bunch of yammering on about TV shows and social responsibility. Do similar stuff over on my Tumblr these days, but with more shameless fanthing drooling over picspams and other general flailing about ...

---

Fandom life: Pretty darn busy right now, actually. In addition to my barely-coherent glee now that Game of Thrones is back on, I've been watching Eureka, The Borgias, Grimm, Fringe, Lost Girl and Criminal Minds. The big portion of my fanthing time, though, is going toward all the news and such for the Primeval spinoff that's filming in Vancouver right now. Got a chance to go up there for a con last weekend and see a panel with the new cast. They all seem like really nice folks, and I'm hopeful that the end product for this will be worth it for us fans of the original show. I think it's in good hands, at least.

---

... and that's about it, really. Sleeping, working, writing, cooking, tending to the critters and the house, watching dorky TV shows, reading ... The usual. It's been pleasantly calm this month as opposed to the giant shitstorm from the end of last month. Hoping May is equally bland-but-satisfying.

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