- How a 90-Year-Old Missing Person Became a Hit on Spotify This is of amazing–Connie Converse was a singer-songwriter in the 1950’s, stopped making music in the 1960’s, and then disappeared in 1974. And then Dan Dzula heard one of her songs on the radio.
- This is also amazing: The DIY Scientist, the Olympian, and the Mutated Gene Really, read the whole thing. It’s an incredible testament to how laypeople can sometimes make connections that experts wouldn’t. Really cool stuff here.
- “Women who act as their own hype man are seen as more competent, but they’re also rated less favorably in “hireability” and “social attraction,” because ultimately we don’t want to work around people who make us uncomfortable. And in this world, ambitious men are seen as badasses, while ambitious women are frigid shrews.” Sometime you should look at how men talk about themselves, their accomplishments, and their projects online as compared to women. Especially look at men who are periodically performative about being insecure. Look at how much lifting up they get as opposed to women. It’s fascinating.
- Phil Plait says it isn’t aliens but I hope it’s some sort of Dyson object. That would be awesome.
- Great post on diversifying your social media and then shutting up and listening.
- Hey men! Are you in a relationship with someone who has LADY PARTS? If so, this app may be for you!
- Michael Twitty on the now-pulled children’s book about slaves baking George Washington a cake.
- The strange life of Q-tips, the most bizarre thing people buy.
- Andrea Phillips on how to fake Clarion.
- Ann Leckie says smart things: “I don’t know many writers who aren’t neurotic about their writing in some way, and the rest are probably just hiding it well.”
- Wise words from Jennifer Garam on writing when no one gives a shit.
- “…she said it made her so happy to see an adult trying and failing, and not being afraid.”
- Questions to Ask Yourself Before Giving Up
Lo and behold, here is my schedule for ConFusion later this week! I’m from the Detroit area but this is my first time attending this con–and I get to see family for a few days afterwards. So I am really, really excited. Despite Michigan in January.
Justice for Ancillary Perspectives. 8 pm, Saugatuck. Ann Leckie’s now-complete trilogy of the Radch Empire has been critically and commercially praised for its exceptional blend of high concept space adventure and quiet contemplative look at identity and cultural constructs. Why has Leckie’s work succeeded? (Annalee Flower Horne (M), Jason Sanford, DongWon Song, Jenny Thurman, Natalie Luhrs)
Any Similarity to Real People is Completely Coincidental. 2 pm, Isle Royale. It’s easy to pretend that made up worlds shrug off the bias and stereotypes of our reality. Orcs and Elves, Drow and Ogres, and dozens of other constructs grounded in bigoted world views say different. What can we learn from these mistakes? How do we keep these stereotypes from bleeding through into our made up worlds?(Steve Buchheit, Andrea Phillips, Mark Oshiro (M), Natalie Luhrs, Anna Carey)
The Princess Problem. 3 pm, Petoskey. Are princesses actually the problem? Does shaming the idea of princesses and the femininity they represent push girls out of the narrow marketing confines of the pink aisles, or does it harm them in other ways? What about girls of color who so rarely see themselves represented as princesses, or cis boys who want to be Elsa, or trans girls who want to see themselves, too? How do we combat the confining box that is “princess culture” without shaming kids who enjoy princesses and the positive traits they’ve come to represent? (Jim C. Hines, Merrie Haskell (M), Jen Talley, Natalie Luhrs, Navah Wolfe)
SciFi Disaster Movies. 6 pm, Keweenaw. What are the specific convention of science fiction disaster stories? What kind of stories can we tell with disaster tropes in SF? Does post-apocalyptic/dystopian SF count as disaster SF, and when does disaster SF become straight up horror? (Kentaro Toyama, Natalie Luhrs, Alex Kourvo)
Anyone who knows me even a little bit knows I love office supplies. It’s a little ridiculous. Which is one reason I try really hard to not fall too much down the rabbit hole. I don’t always succeed. This time of year is especially hard because all the pretty planners and goals to organize one’s life once and for all.
I have so many of these scattered around the house it’s not even funny.
Starting with my dad’s discarded Flairs (usually with mashed tips) when I was very small, then a sojourn into Pilot Precise V5s in high school, I discovered Sakura Microns in college in the early 90’s and used them almost exclusively through my college career (alternating with a long discontinued line of Pentel gel pens–depended on how much money I had in the checking account; then, as now, Microns were more expensive than gel pens). For my daily drawing habit, I really like black Pitt Artist Pens, but for my planning, I’ve really been enjoying Copic Multiliner SPs–in part because you can replace the nib and ink reservoir and they feel vaguely less wasteful. I’ve been buying them one-off as I feel the need for different sized nibs–I have the 0.1, 0.2, 0.25, and 0.3–I have a very strong preference for nibs on the finer side.
I’ve also tried Uni Pins, which are a very solid and affordable choice–I have a few of them hanging about on my desk and I use them in my Hobonichi, which I use as an evening journal to write about random things that happened during the day. I’ve also tried the disposable Copics, but didn’t like them as well–I much prefer the feel of the reusable ones. Let’s see…what else? I’ve sets of Staedtler Pigment Liners and Ohto Graphic Liners at work, but I don’t use them much. Not sure why, because I have no objection to them, but they’re not what I reach for when I reach for a pen.
So, yeah. Black fineliners. I love them. (All sorts of pens I haven’t tried yet at that link… so tempting!)
3″ x 5″ Index Cards
I almost always have some of these nearby–they’re great for quick notes or a doodle or wiping extra paint off your brush or testing a color out or… They don’t feel too precious to use (as nicer sorts of paper often can), but I do have a couple of “fancier” kinds as well. Nothing as fancy as the Levenger ones, but I do have a couple stacks of the now-discontinued Frictionless Capture Cards, and a small stack of the extremely nice (especially with fountain pens!) Nock Co. Dot Dash cards. But my mainstay are the ones you can get at any office supply store–I do have a slight preference for Oxford over Mead, and never get the off-brand because those will be too thin and that way lies sadness.
Once you have a huge quantity of pens around, you need something to carry them around with you with. And JetPens has a lovely selection of pencil cases and I want all of them, oh yes I do. I also like the selection at MochiThings–I have this one and it’s great. You can fit a lot of stuff in it. But, funnily enough, my current pencil case is a repurposed makeup case I picked up at Target. It’s small so I can’t over stuff it and it’s easy to fit into my current handbag and it has a pretty pattern (you can see it at the bottom of the picture at the top of this post).
Other office supplies I find enjoyable: blank books, fountain pens, ink, Clairefontaine notebooks, pretty much everything at Goulet Pens, washi tape, cute Japanese stickers, and the occasional trip to this website to drool over this incredible German notebook holder.
I have an essay over at The Bias about Hamilton and the way the show handles women’s narratives and how it is in dialogue with Les Misérables and Jesus Christ Superstar.
Hey, I did some stuff last year that’s Hugo eligible:
- Bad Life Decisions: In Which Natalie Reads a Theodore Beale Book for Charity (Note: there’s an entire category for this series!)
- Ethics in Reviewing in Uncanny Magazine
- The Call of the Sad Whelkfins: The Continued Relevance of How to Suppress Women’s Writing with Annalee Flower Horne in Uncanny Magazine
If I read the rules, correctly, these are all eligible in the Best Related Work category.
The site is eligible under Fanzine and I am eligible in the Fan Writer category.
Thanks for your consideration.