Archives: 2014

2014 Year in Review

For our household, the year 2014 was overshadowed by Stephanie’s mother passing away in mid-May from cancer. She didn’t want an obituary, funeral or memorial service, but I’m unable to let go of the year without acknowledging the kind of person she was. This song makes me think of her. Stephanie’s mom was well-read and

Read on »

Annual “Best of” Lists for 2014

A small selection of “best of” lists from 2014. The Man Booker Prize – 2014 Finalists — awarded to The Narrow Road to the Deep North: A novel by Richard Flanagan Pulitzer Prize – The 2014 Winners Fiction Finalists — Awarded to The Goldfinch: A Novel by Donna Tartt Newberry Medal Award 2014 Finalists —

Read on »

NaNoWriMo 2014 Winner

This is my fourth consecutive win. It sort of feels a little less-satisfying that the others. For one thing, I’m writing something that’s intensely personal, so I kind of felt pretty drained by it. Also, there was a lot of research involved because it’s historical fiction, so even when I wasn’t writing, the topic was

Read on »

The Naming of Cats

by T. S. Eliot The Naming of Cats is a difficult matter, It isn’t just one of your holiday games; You may think at first I’m as mad as a hatter When I tell you, a cat must have THREE DIFFERENT NAMES. First of all, there’s the name that the family use daily, Such as

Read on »

Transgender Day of Remembrance 2014

Transgender Day of Remembrance is observed to memorialize people killed by prejudice against transgender and gender-variant people. It also raises public awareness of hate crimes committed against transgender people – an action the media doesn’t do well, as we saw during the reporting of Indianapolis resident Ashley Sherman’s death. Day of Remembrance publicly identifies (where

Read on »

NaNoWriMo 2014 Book Cover and Current Word Count

The working cover I made for my 2014 NaNoWriMo novel. (Spoiler alert: some words might not actually be true.) Also, a handy graphic that updates with my word count so you can see what I’ve got going. I’m at 8670 words, above word count for day 4, and I have a pretty good idea what’s

Read on »

Publisher’s Weekly: The Top 10 Essays Since 1950

From Publisher’s Weekly: The Top 10 Essays Since 1950. Robert Atwan, the founder of The Best American Essays series, picks the 10 best essays of the postwar period. Links to the essays are provided when available. Fortunately, when I worked with Joyce Carol Oates on The Best American Essays of the Century (that’s the last

Read on »

100 novels everyone should read – Telegraph

Another “books you should read” list, this time from the telegraph. The one’s I’ve read are crossed off. This is actually a pretty good list – mostly classics, and not a single Ayn Rand title on it. Source: Telegraph “100 novels everyone should read” The best novels of all time from Tolkien to Proust and

Read on »

East of the Sun and West of the Moon

Wikipedia: “East of the Sun and West of the Moon” is a Norwegian folk tale. The White Bear approaches a poor peasant and asks if he will give him his youngest daughter; in return, he will make the man rich. The girl is reluctant, so the peasant asks the bear to return, and persuades her

Read on »

Same-sex marriage is legal in Indiana

Yesterday, a federal court judge threw out Indiana’s ban on same-sex marriage, ruling that the Gay marriage ban violates Equal Protection Clause and Due Process Clause. See the the summary judgement here [pdf]. Because there was no stay on the ruling, Indiana couples could begin marrying immediately, and the Marion County Clerk’s office was prepared

Read on »

Read 26 Indy Reading Challenge for 2014

Early in January of 2014, Indy Star Reporter Michael Anthony Adams issued a challenge to Indiana residents for the new year: New Year’s resolutions are rarely acted on. I’m guilty of it, and you’re guilty of it. The trick is to have support, which is exactly what #Read26Indy is. But instead of having a few

Read on »

2014-06-06 Jamaica Playlist

Feeling Good / Nina Simone / 2:53 / Soundtrack One Love / Bob Marley / 2:48 / Reggae Soolaimon / Brother Love’s Travelling Salvation Show (Live) / Neil Diamond / 9:34 / Pop Love Is The Seventh Wave / Sting / 3:32 / Alternative I Choose You / Sara Bareilles / 3:39 / Pop I

Read on »

Jamaican Sun

We are headed to Jamaica tomorrow for my youngest brother Gary’s wedding. This is incredibly exciting because we’ve had a lot of traumatic stuff going on lately, including Stephanie’s mom’s long illness and death from liver cancer on May 19th of this year. We really need a vacation, we need relaxation and fun and frivolity

Read on »

2015-06-02 Recently Read

NY Times: Storme DeLarverie, Early Leader in the Gay Rights Movement, Dies at 93 “Nobody knows who threw the first punch, but it’s rumored that she did, and she said she did,” said Ms. Cannistraci, an owner of the Village lesbian bar Henrietta Hudson. “She told me she did.” Ms. DeLarverie was a member of

Read on »

A Brave and Startling Truth – Maya Angelou

NY Times: Maya Angelou, Lyrical Witness of the Jim Crow South, Dies at 86 We, this people, on a small and lonely planet Traveling through casual space Past aloof stars, across the way of indifferent suns To a destination where all signs tell us It is possible and imperative that we learn A brave and

Read on »

Powerful Essay on the World Trade Center Attacks

By Steve Kandell on Buzzfeed [The Worst Day Of My Life Is Now New York’s Hottest Tourist Attraction]: The fact that everyone else here has VIP status grimly similar to mine is the lone saving grace; the prospect of experiencing this stroll down waking nightmare lane with tuned-out schoolkids or spectacle-seekers would be too much.

Read on »

What Girls Wear in Summer Time

From Role Reboot: A Message To Teenage Girls About Summer Dress Codes By Chelsea Cristene The other day while driving home from work, I saw a shirtless man who looked about my age—mid 20′s—mowing his lawn. I did not roll down my window and cat call, or yell to him that I’d like a piece

Read on »

children’s treasure hunt book with clues in pig latin

I bought this framed page of a children’s book several years ago, and I’ve been trying to track down the book it came from without much luck. If you happen to recognize it, please let me know. I’d be really grateful. UPDATE: The fine folks on Goodreads helped me track down the source – it’s

Read on »

Things I’ve been doing lately (instead of blogging)

Things I’ve been doing instead of blogging: Taking a scene writing class from the Indiana Writer’s Center (I also took a world building class at IWC taught by Maurice Broaddus). I don’t know yet if this is helping me write better, but it is helping me procrastinate. Taking a sewing class from Crimson Tate our

Read on »

The Art Assignment #3: Intimate, Indispensable GIF

In which The Art Assignment visits New York-based artist Toyin Odutola and receives the challenge to create a GIF! But not just any GIF–it must articulate something intimate that is indispensable to you. My Entry: My (current) favorite words EPISODE 03 INSTRUCTIONS: 1. Think of something intimate that is indispensable to you. (It doesn’t have

Read on »

Essential Follow-up Reading on HJR-3

Indy Star — The intrigue behind the curtain cloaking the HJR-3 debate “When the Indiana Senate cast its vote Monday on the proposed same-sex marriage ban, it all seemed pretty straightforward, even predictable. The vast majority of Republicans voted for the measure and it passed 32-17. But outside public view, another story was playing out.

Read on »

Excerpt: Untitled Short Story

I would not mind your thoughts on this, the beginning of a short story I’m working on (that is due Sunday! but we’ll just gloss over that for now). I’m hoping this will be a series of related short stories. It is in a particular genre, but I’d rather get further before I disclose that.

Read on »

Zombie HJR-3: Out-of-state groups want to force HJR-3 onto 2014 ballot

According to RTV-6 News – Group may force HJR-3 on 2014 ballot: Posted: 02/19/2014 Rafael Sanchez INDIANAPOLIS – A national pro-marriage group is considering whether to take legal action to force HJR-3 on the Indiana ballot in November 2014. The measure came to a halt on Monday, when the Senate did not return the bill

Read on »

The End of HJR-3 for 2014 (with some thoughts on HB-1153)

Because in the past, I’ve been terrible about writing down the follow-up of the Indiana Marriage Discrimination Amendment, here’s a wrap-up post in case this comes up again in two years – HJR-3 passed through the state legislature, but we essentially “won” because we succeeded in keeping it off the ballot in 2014. After my

Read on »

Volkswagen Microbus 2014 and Concepts of the Past

Volkswagen has a long history of threatening to bring back the classic Volkswagen Microbus, with lots of concept cars produced, but no versions that are actually available in the United States. I’ve gotten excited about every potential version and blogged about it repeatedly, but we never actually see anything interesting come out of it. I

Read on »

Goodness, gender roles and how to fix a broken gender system

Stemming from a facebook conversation with a friend, about this sentence: “To be a good man, one must surround himself with good women.” – Steve Lund I want to capture here on my blog what I wrote in response to this on Facebook, because there are themes in what I wrote that run through the

Read on »

A Brief History of Indiana’s Marriage Discrimination Amendment

I try to follow and post about the Indiana’s Marriage Discrimination Amendment every time it’s come up in the Indiana State Legislature, and here is a short history that I’ve been able to cobble together from past posts. This is mainly a testimony to my sketchy blogging more than anything else, as I seem to

Read on »

How Marriage Equality Opponents’ Three National Strategies All Contradict Each Other

From Think Progress: How Marriage Equality Opponents’ Three National Strategies All Contradict Each Other. At the federal level, opponents currently have three proposed strategies for rolling back some of the recognition that same-sex couples now have. Particularly in the wake of the Utah and Oklahoma decisions, groups like the National Organization for Marriage (NOM) and

Read on »

HJR-3 to be heard in the Indiana House Monday at 1:30 p.m.

After some committee shenanigans, (in which Brian Bosma moved the bill from House Judiciary committee to the Elections and Apportionment committee when it became clear that it wouldn’t pass the first one) HJR-3 passed out of committee on Wednesday, and will be heard on the floor of the Indiana House on Monday at 1:30 p.m.

Read on »

Writing off Jennifer Weiner

I don’t know how it’s possible, but after reading this New Yorker profile “Written Off” by Rebecca Mead, I love Jennifer Weiner more than I did before reading it, although it’s widely being described as “a take-down” piece. The profile starts out fine, but about half-way through, the paragraph that starts “Weiner has also taken

Read on »

Hoppin’ John

There are many versions of Hoppin’ John, but this is mine. 4 cups of chicken broth 1/2 cups of brown rice 4 pork chops thawed & uncooked, cut in square chunks 1 can of black-eyed peas 1 can of seasoned black beans 1/2 of a large onion, diced 2 cloves of garlic, crushed 3 tablespoons

Read on »