Fun this week

Much too much heavy thinking on this blog lately. Mental health break! What’s been fun in my life?

Last Tuesday’s Clarion West reading. Elizabeth Bear boggled my mind when she explained her writing schedule. Four hours of writing a day. Wow.

Friday’s Clarion West party. I got to chat with cool people, eat ridiculously delicious desserts, and drink in a view. Anybody can get invited to these, at least for next year. How did I get invited? By supporting Clarion West financially last year. Support the writeathon this year, and you’ll get invites for next year.

Visit from some family and a gorgeous, though way too long, hike through one of Seattle’s enormous parks.

Lots and lots of Gilmore Girls. My spouse and I usually just watch SF/F shows: Buffy, Angel, Orphan Black, Supergirl, Battlestar Galactica, you name it. (I left off Doctor Who because that’s mostly my obsession.) Then somebody said that Gilmore Girls was this amazing feminist class struggle thing and we started watching it, and for a while we kept expecting vampires to jump out at us, except they didn’t. The show is all about relationships: the single mother and her daughter; the daughter and her mother; the daughter, mother, and wealthy grandparents; boyfriends and fathers; and an entire small town.

Three great books, one of which ends on a cliffhanger. I won’t say which one, but the cliffhanger did not help my mental state one bit! I would ask the author to please, please, please write a follow-up.

Dragonheart by Cecelia Holland. Vivid and primordial story of a castle by a sea, a dragon, and a cursed princess. The quote on the front of the book by Kim Stanley Robinson says the book takes these images and “plunges them right into your unconscious,” and he would not be wrong.

Modern Girls by Jennifer S. Brown. Wow, wow, and wow! When the Jewish “modern girl” in 1935 New York gets accidentally knocked up, what’s she going to do? Especially since her 42-year-old mother is in the same situation. I feel like I got plopped down right in their little apartment and met all their friends and relatives. Everything about mothering felt genuine to me, too–all the ambivalence, the love, and the hard work. Overall, a remarkable read, fun without being candy, deep and thoughtful without being a downer. I want more.

(As a side note, it also had an odd resonance with Gilmore Girls and with all the things I’ve been pondering about shadow work.)

Doctor Who: Borrowed Time by Naomi A. Alderman. The Doctor and his companions Amy and Rory must save people who borrowed time and must pay it back . . . at compounding interest. A sharp and stinging critique of capitalism, also funny and with heart. It’s unfortunate that I skimmed this book before reading it–my son read it first, and I was helping him with his homework by looking for a character who changed in the course of the book. Enjoyable nonetheless!

The Terrible Zodin – Doctor Who fanzine I’ve just barely started to read. Like it!

– Kristin

modern girls cover

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