rushthatspeaks: (Default)
Fox is eight weeks old, or will be in about seven hours.

We are still pursuing co-lactation; for those of you who might be interested in trying it, a useful key phrase for both doctors and Google is "the Newman-Goldfarb protocol". A more detailed entry on this whole saga eventually.

And the rest of this is under a cut, for the sake of those not interested in babies. )

You can comment here or at the Dreamwidth crosspost. There are comment count unavailable comments over there.
rushthatspeaks: (parenting)
Fox is eight weeks old, or will be in about seven hours.

We are still pursuing co-lactation; for those of you who might be interested in trying it, a useful key phrase for both doctors and Google is "the Newman-Goldfarb protocol". A more detailed entry on this whole saga eventually.

And the rest of this is under a cut, for the sake of those not interested in babies. )
rushthatspeaks: (Default)
He is not my President. He will never be my President.

I have to have some kind of dream for the future. At this point, I'm basically like 'let's hope we can get through this and make a progressive future afterwards' because honestly, the world surviving seems so totally fucking unlikely that-- it's like, if every single desire I could have about the future is a pipe dream, I might as well ask for a pony, too, y'know? I have set my sights on the ludicrously good because otherwise I will stop getting out of bed in the morning, which is not, in my circumstances, acceptable.

But somebody I know committed suicide as a direct result of this election, and the descriptions of bigotry and aggression and violence are already pouring in from all over the country.

So, if it ever seems to you that I am coming down too hard on saying 'let's hope we can get through this and make a progressive future afterwards', let me know; I don't want to minimize anyone's very real pain and fear, and I see how talking about hopeful pipe dreams can look that way. Believe me, I know that people are already dying, and that more of them are going to die.

I'm wearing a visible safety pin tomorrow, and from now on, and I will do my damnedest to live up to it as a symbol of solidarity. I'm also going to write to the Republican electors, in the states where their votes aren't automatically invalidated if they vote differently from their party line, and flat-out beg them to at least throw the election to the House so we can have somebody who doesn't consider nuclear war to be on the table. I expect this to do precisely nothing, but it's something to do. And I'm signing the various petitions and whatnot in favor of abolishing the electoral college, which has now produced a winner who did not take the popular vote in two of the last five elections. I also expect this to do precisely nothing, but, again, something to do.

I think I believe right now, on a pretty deep level, that the country is over, and we're all just walking around waiting for reality to catch up.

But what I'm going to act as though I believe is the pipe dream, because fuck it, I'll be more useful to everybody else if that's what I base my actions on, the pretense of hope instead of the certainty of doom.

You can comment here or at the Dreamwidth crosspost. There are comment count unavailable comments over there.
rushthatspeaks: (Default)
He is not my President. He will never be my President.

I have to have some kind of dream for the future. At this point, I'm basically like 'let's hope we can get through this and make a progressive future afterwards' because honestly, the world surviving seems so totally fucking unlikely that-- it's like, if every single desire I could have about the future is a pipe dream, I might as well ask for a pony, too, y'know? I have set my sights on the ludicrously good because otherwise I will stop getting out of bed in the morning, which is not, in my circumstances, acceptable.

But somebody I know committed suicide as a direct result of this election, and the descriptions of bigotry and aggression and violence are already pouring in from all over the country.

So, if it ever seems to you that I am coming down too hard on saying 'let's hope we can get through this and make a progressive future afterwards', let me know; I don't want to minimize anyone's very real pain and fear, and I see how talking about hopeful pipe dreams can look that way. Believe me, I know that people are already dying, and that more of them are going to die.

I'm wearing a visible safety pin tomorrow, and from now on, and I will do my damnedest to live up to it as a symbol of solidarity. I'm also going to write to the Republican electors, in the states where their votes aren't automatically invalidated if they vote differently from their party line, and flat-out beg them to at least throw the election to the House so we can have somebody who doesn't consider nuclear war to be on the table. I expect this to do precisely nothing, but it's something to do. And I'm signing the various petitions and whatnot in favor of abolishing the electoral college, which has now produced a winner who did not take the popular vote in two of the last five elections. I also expect this to do precisely nothing, but, again, something to do.

I think I believe right now, on a pretty deep level, that the country is over, and we're all just walking around waiting for reality to catch up.

But what I'm going to act as though I believe is the pipe dream, because fuck it, I'll be more useful to everybody else if that's what I base my actions on, the pretense of hope instead of the certainty of doom.
rushthatspeaks: (Default)
One of the things I do when I'm emotionally struggling is make mixtapes. This one is an attempt to come to terms with... well, the last few days and the next few years. I've intentionally used some of the songs that radio stations and other playlists are using for the same circumstances, while also intentionally going for some obscurer tracks. Some of these songs would probably be helpful by themselves or in no order, but I was pretty careful about the order.

Link expires when it expires; let me know if you have any issues before that. Please, if you like any of these, send along some money to the artists via whatever platform seems reasonable.


We Brought Matches (11/8/2016)

35 songs, 2 hours 24 minutes, some explicit lyrics

In the 99 - Vienna Teng
Hey Ho - Tracy Grammer
Life During Wartime - Talking Heads
Warrior in Woolworths - X-Ray Spex
A Better Son/Daughter - Rilo Kiley
Believe - Run Lola Run Motion Picture Soundtrack
Amy aka Spent Gladiator 1 - Mountain Goats
Weird Friends - P. O. S.
Anthem - Leonard Cohen
The World's Not Falling Apart - Dar Williams
Tubthumping - Chumbawamba
To The Dogs Or Whoever - Josh Ritter
The Body Wins - Sarah Jaffe
That Battle Is Over - Jenny Hval
The River, The Woods - Astronautalis
Shooting Arrows At The Sky - Santigold (Catching Fire Motion Picture Soundtrack)
The Remedy (I Won't Worry) - Jason Mraz
Plea From A Cat Named Virtute - The Weakerthans
Generals - The Mynabirds
New Kicks (Long Version) - Le Tigre
No Surrender - Bruce Springsteen
Not A Crime - Gogol Bordello
First We Take Manhattan - R. E. M. covering Leonard Cohen
Chicago - Sufjan Stevens
Desénchantée - Mylène Farmer
The Future - Michael Franti & Spearhead
Fighter - Christina Aguilera
Brother Stand Beside Me - Heather Dale
Bring On The Wonder - Susan Enan
Formation - Beyoncé
Dance Apocalyptic - Janelle Monáe
Move On - ABBA
By Way Of Sorrow - Cry Cry Cry
Somebody Will - Sassafrass (Live At Vericon)
Matches - Sifu Hotman (Guante x deM atlaS x Rube)

Seriously, let me know if there are problems, I only have one computer capable of handling music files at all so I can't check very well

You can comment here or at the Dreamwidth crosspost. There are comment count unavailable comments over there.
rushthatspeaks: (Default)
One of the things I do when I'm emotionally struggling is make mixtapes. This one is an attempt to come to terms with... well, the last few days and the next few years. I've intentionally used some of the songs that radio stations and other playlists are using for the same circumstances, while also intentionally going for some obscurer tracks. Some of these songs would probably be helpful by themselves or in no order, but I was pretty careful about the order.

Link expires when it expires; let me know if you have any issues before that. Please, if you like any of these, send along some money to the artists via whatever platform seems reasonable.


We Brought Matches (11/8/2016)

35 songs, 2 hours 24 minutes, some explicit lyrics

In the 99 - Vienna Teng
Hey Ho - Tracy Grammer
Life During Wartime - Talking Heads
Warrior in Woolworths - X-Ray Spex
A Better Son/Daughter - Rilo Kiley
Believe - Run Lola Run Motion Picture Soundtrack
Amy aka Spent Gladiator 1 - Mountain Goats
Weird Friends - P. O. S.
Anthem - Leonard Cohen
The World's Not Falling Apart - Dar Williams
Tubthumping - Chumbawamba
To The Dogs Or Whoever - Josh Ritter
The Body Wins - Sarah Jaffe
That Battle Is Over - Jenny Hval
The River, The Woods - Astronautalis
Shooting Arrows At The Sky - Santigold (Catching Fire Motion Picture Soundtrack)
The Remedy (I Won't Worry) - Jason Mraz
Plea From A Cat Named Virtute - The Weakerthans
Generals - The Mynabirds
New Kicks (Long Version) - Le Tigre
No Surrender - Bruce Springsteen
Not A Crime - Gogol Bordello
First We Take Manhattan - R. E. M. covering Leonard Cohen
Chicago - Sufjan Stevens
Desénchantée - Mylène Farmer
The Future - Michael Franti & Spearhead
Fighter - Christina Aguilera
Brother Stand Beside Me - Heather Dale
Bring On The Wonder - Susan Enan
Formation - Beyoncé
Dance Apocalyptic - Janelle Monáe
Move On - ABBA
By Way Of Sorrow - Cry Cry Cry
Somebody Will - Sassafrass (Live At Vericon)
Matches - Sifu Hotman (Guante x deM atlaS x Rube)

Seriously, let me know if there are problems, I only have one computer capable of handling music files at all so I can't check very well
rushthatspeaks: (Default)
welp, Leonard Cohen just died

I expected it soon, given some things he said in the recent New Yorker profile, I knew it was going to be very soon

but why precisely now

all together, in chorus:

FUCK

THIS

YEAR

and if anybody wants me I will be off trying to deal with grief for literally the first songwriter I ever heard whose songs made me think, when I was a small child, and realize that songs could make you feel things

You can comment here or at the Dreamwidth crosspost. There are comment count unavailable comments over there.
rushthatspeaks: (the unforgiving sun)
welp, Leonard Cohen just died

I expected it soon, given some things he said in the recent New Yorker profile, I knew it was going to be very soon

but why precisely now

all together, in chorus:

FUCK

THIS

YEAR

and if anybody wants me I will be off trying to deal with grief for literally the first songwriter I ever heard whose songs made me think, when I was a small child, and realize that songs could make you feel things
rushthatspeaks: (Default)
The comparison I am seeing to the election of Trump, over and over again, is to the election of Reagan. An actor, a Hollywood personality, with few genuine political chops, who failed ever upward until he reached the White House; as a president, he literally joked about nuking Russia (have you heard the recording?), became a war criminal so many times over, fucked things up impressively in Central and South America, gave us the plague years (the loss of a generation of our best and brightest), and in the end was in such bad shape from dementia that basically anybody could tell him what to do.

Trump will be worse than Reagan. His targets will be different groups. But there is a limit to how much worse he can be without literally bringing on the apocalypse. Assuming that Trump does not bring on the apocalypse, the eighties passed. Reagan passed. And what were the nineties and two-thousands like? If you went to a queer activist in 1988 and said, same-sex marriage will be legal in this nation inside thirty years, that would have been-- not even bitter laughter. Just not conceivable, out of ambit, ludicrous, couldn't happen. Happened.

There will be horrific casualties, there will be crimes we cannot prevent. There will be the equivalent of the plague years, where communities had to bury their dead with their own hands. It is going to suck.

Thirty years from now, let's have the thousand-teens be the equivalent of the eighties to us. Let's have nobody able to believe how much more progressive things are, how much more free, how much more respecting of human rights. This is the eighties. Let's think of this time that way.

Now, what can Trump actually do, and what can we do about it?

-- He can push The Button, and have a nuclear war.
Directly: not much can be done about this.
Indirectly: contribute and volunteer to nuclear disarmament groups, nuclear watchdog groups, groups promoting the cause of the U.S. honoring its treaties, pro-U.N. groups, peace groups, cultural intercommunications groups.
Consoling Thought: Reagan didn't. Trump is known to be sexually violent, but does not to my knowledge have a history of, like, punching people, and there are no serious allegations that he's ever killed anyone or had anyone killed, so he must have a very slight modicum of control over his temper or he'd be dead or in jail by now. Small things to cling to, but.

-- He can attempt a coup d'etat and try to cancel upcoming elections, get illegal orders carried out, become dictator, &c.
Directly: If the rule of democracy and law in this country breaks down entirely, and there's a war, nothing else I say here applies, and we will have to choose our roles according to our skills and consciences.
Consoling Thought: Two hundred years of peaceful transfer of power casts a long shadow, especially among the apparatus of government, a whole bunch of people in everything from the Post Office to the Coast Guard who have sworn oaths to the Constitution and not to any individual President. I am far more worried about people carrying out illegal Trump orders on a small scale than I am on a loss-of-democracy scale. This is not to say that I'm not worried, because I'm pretty worried, but.

-- He can order people to do things.

At this point, I'm going to go into the only bits of law and policy that I know any damn thing about, namely LGBT issues. I would love to know more about the details of what to do about race, immigration, environmental, and general economic issues, but seeing as how I am a white middle-class person I don't know as much about many things as others do, or as I would like to.

So, an LGBT issue: same-sex marriage. What can Trump order people to do against this, and what can we do about his orders?

-- He issues an executive order that says it's illegal now.
Directly: Uh, he can't actually do that. Not one of his powers, because he's executive branch, not judicial. If he tries, we sue. And sue. And sue. And what the law says is pretty clear. And it's listen to the courts or coup d'etat, those are his options. Sue those who carry out illegal orders. Make it expensive, in time and in money. As long as it's clear what the law says-- and it is, right now-- the lower courts will cite Obergefell as precedent and we will win these cases.
Indirectly: Contribute to Lambda Legal Defense Fund and other LGBT organizations.

-- He tries to back a case to overturn the legality of same-sex marriage before the Supreme Court.
Directly: Remember, the Justice he definitely gets to replace is Scalia's seat! Obergefell went through without Scalia; he was in the dissenting minority. Trump needs more than one new Supreme Court Justice to overturn same-sex marriage in this country. I repeat: he needs MORE THAN ONE new Supreme Court Justice to overturn same-sex marriage in this country. Nominating and seating one Justice will take up some significant chunk of 2017, especially if we protest his nominee like hell and the Democrats in Congress filibuster. Then it's 2018, and we MUST, MUST, MUST take back Congress in the midterms (and we must get them FRIGHTENED before the midterms arrive). If that happens, we can stop him from seating a second Justice should an opening arise.
Indirectly: Support your local Democrats. Raise funds for the midterms. Start planning to get out the vote for the midterms. Figure out the local-level rising stars, or become one yourself-- you could run for the school board. You could run for dogcatcher. Pray, if you pray, and otherwise hope strongly for the healths of Ginsberg, Kennedy, and Breyer. Keep supporting those LGBT organizations.

-- He issues an executive order saying that while of course same-sex marriage remains legal, no clerk or office is required to perform it (on religious liberty grounds, of course), and those which do may mysteriously find their funding cut. (Note: this may also be an illegal order, as Kim Davis went to jail, I believe, but it's less obviously, flagrantly illegal.)
Directly: Track which clerks and offices do and don't perform marriages. Make it clear that public approval is on the side of those who do, and public disdain on the side of those who don't, showily-- in-person protests, advertising, both positive and negative. Donate to support the careers and offices of those who do. Donate to travel funds for LGBT people who need to travel to reach an office that will marry them.
Indirectly: If the government stops funding a service, the community will have to do what we can to fund it ourselves, whatever that ends up looking like.

Now, those are pretty much his three paths of action on any major front: illegal executive order, whereupon we take it to the courts; backing cases to the Supreme Court, at which point there are some things about which we are probably boned (Roe v. Wade, dammit), some things he needs one new Justice for, and some things he needs two, so we must do everything possible to make him getting one hard and two impossible; legal/shady-but-obnoxious executive orders, in which case we must circumvent them, fund the services we need ourselves, and bring public opinion down on our side.

For other things, like possible shitty new immigration laws, we're going to need to fight Congress, which is a somewhat different story and outside the scope of this post.

This is the eighties. Time to make the future change.

You can comment here or at the Dreamwidth crosspost. There are comment count unavailable comments over there.
rushthatspeaks: (signless: be that awesome)
The comparison I am seeing to the election of Trump, over and over again, is to the election of Reagan. An actor, a Hollywood personality, with few genuine political chops, who failed ever upward until he reached the White House; as a president, he literally joked about nuking Russia (have you heard the recording?), became a war criminal so many times over, fucked things up impressively in Central and South America, gave us the plague years (the loss of a generation of our best and brightest), and in the end was in such bad shape from dementia that basically anybody could tell him what to do.

Trump will be worse than Reagan. His targets will be different groups. But there is a limit to how much worse he can be without literally bringing on the apocalypse. Assuming that Trump does not bring on the apocalypse, the eighties passed. Reagan passed. And what were the nineties and two-thousands like? If you went to a queer activist in 1988 and said, same-sex marriage will be legal in this nation inside thirty years, that would have been-- not even bitter laughter. Just not conceivable, out of ambit, ludicrous, couldn't happen. Happened.

There will be horrific casualties, there will be crimes we cannot prevent. There will be the equivalent of the plague years, where communities had to bury their dead with their own hands. It is going to suck.

Thirty years from now, let's have the thousand-teens be the equivalent of the eighties to us. Let's have nobody able to believe how much more progressive things are, how much more free, how much more respecting of human rights. This is the eighties. Let's think of this time that way.

Now, what can Trump actually do, and what can we do about it?

-- He can push The Button, and have a nuclear war.
Directly: not much can be done about this.
Indirectly: contribute and volunteer to nuclear disarmament groups, nuclear watchdog groups, groups promoting the cause of the U.S. honoring its treaties, pro-U.N. groups, peace groups, cultural intercommunications groups.
Consoling Thought: Reagan didn't. Trump is known to be sexually violent, but does not to my knowledge have a history of, like, punching people, and there are no serious allegations that he's ever killed anyone or had anyone killed, so he must have a very slight modicum of control over his temper or he'd be dead or in jail by now. Small things to cling to, but.

-- He can attempt a coup d'etat and try to cancel upcoming elections, get illegal orders carried out, become dictator, &c.
Directly: If the rule of democracy and law in this country breaks down entirely, and there's a war, nothing else I say here applies, and we will have to choose our roles according to our skills and consciences.
Consoling Thought: Two hundred years of peaceful transfer of power casts a long shadow, especially among the apparatus of government, a whole bunch of people in everything from the Post Office to the Coast Guard who have sworn oaths to the Constitution and not to any individual President. I am far more worried about people carrying out illegal Trump orders on a small scale than I am on a loss-of-democracy scale. This is not to say that I'm not worried, because I'm pretty worried, but.

-- He can order people to do things.

At this point, I'm going to go into the only bits of law and policy that I know any damn thing about, namely LGBT issues. I would love to know more about the details of what to do about race, immigration, environmental, and general economic issues, but seeing as how I am a white middle-class person I don't know as much about many things as others do, or as I would like to.

So, an LGBT issue: same-sex marriage. What can Trump order people to do against this, and what can we do about his orders?

-- He issues an executive order that says it's illegal now.
Directly: Uh, he can't actually do that. Not one of his powers, because he's executive branch, not judicial. If he tries, we sue. And sue. And sue. And what the law says is pretty clear. And it's listen to the courts or coup d'etat, those are his options. Sue those who carry out illegal orders. Make it expensive, in time and in money. As long as it's clear what the law says-- and it is, right now-- the lower courts will cite Obergefell as precedent and we will win these cases.
Indirectly: Contribute to Lambda Legal Defense Fund and other LGBT organizations.

-- He tries to back a case to overturn the legality of same-sex marriage before the Supreme Court.
Directly: Remember, the Justice he definitely gets to replace is Scalia's seat! Obergefell went through without Scalia; he was in the dissenting minority. Trump needs more than one new Supreme Court Justice to overturn same-sex marriage in this country. I repeat: he needs MORE THAN ONE new Supreme Court Justice to overturn same-sex marriage in this country. Nominating and seating one Justice will take up some significant chunk of 2017, especially if we protest his nominee like hell and the Democrats in Congress filibuster. Then it's 2018, and we MUST, MUST, MUST take back Congress in the midterms (and we must get them FRIGHTENED before the midterms arrive). If that happens, we can stop him from seating a second Justice should an opening arise.
Indirectly: Support your local Democrats. Raise funds for the midterms. Start planning to get out the vote for the midterms. Figure out the local-level rising stars, or become one yourself-- you could run for the school board. You could run for dogcatcher. Pray, if you pray, and otherwise hope strongly for the healths of Ginsberg, Kennedy, and Breyer. Keep supporting those LGBT organizations.

-- He issues an executive order saying that while of course same-sex marriage remains legal, no clerk or office is required to perform it (on religious liberty grounds, of course), and those which do may mysteriously find their funding cut. (Note: this may also be an illegal order, as Kim Davis went to jail, I believe, but it's less obviously, flagrantly illegal.)
Directly: Track which clerks and offices do and don't perform marriages. Make it clear that public approval is on the side of those who do, and public disdain on the side of those who don't, showily-- in-person protests, advertising, both positive and negative. Donate to support the careers and offices of those who do. Donate to travel funds for LGBT people who need to travel to reach an office that will marry them.
Indirectly: If the government stops funding a service, the community will have to do what we can to fund it ourselves, whatever that ends up looking like.

Now, those are pretty much his three paths of action on any major front: illegal executive order, whereupon we take it to the courts; backing cases to the Supreme Court, at which point there are some things about which we are probably boned (Roe v. Wade, dammit), some things he needs one new Justice for, and some things he needs two, so we must do everything possible to make him getting one hard and two impossible; legal/shady-but-obnoxious executive orders, in which case we must circumvent them, fund the services we need ourselves, and bring public opinion down on our side.

For other things, like possible shitty new immigration laws, we're going to need to fight Congress, which is a somewhat different story and outside the scope of this post.

This is the eighties. Time to make the future change.
rushthatspeaks: (Default)
My son is three weeks old, so I cannot give in to despair.

We have donated to the ACLU. We have donated to Planned Parenthood, and to the Standing Rock Sioux. Ruth goes to a Unitarian church, and when the baby is a little older we will coordinate with their social justice committee. About the same time, I will call Planned Parenthood and volunteer. We are looking for an immigrants' rights organization to donate to (suggestions welcome).

It feels like nothing. It feels like holding hair out of my face in the wind. It feels like any safety we ever thought we had in this nation was not just an illusion, but a dangerous illusion.

It can happen here, I was always told in school. It can happen anywhere. The banality of evil, the seductions of demagoguery, the selection of outsiders as scapegoats, the defining of various sets of people as outsiders... it can happen here.

The unspoken corollary was, but it won't. That's why we teach you these things in the schools in the first place. If you know it can happen here, now, to you, you can stop it.

That feels today not just as though it was wrong, but as though it was the worst of well-intentioned lies.

I don't know how to go on from here. I don't know how to help anyone else go on from here. I can barely put one foot in front of the other. I don't know where we will get the strength to fight back, and I don't know how to bear up under the weight that just settled on my shoulders.

But, because my son is three weeks old, and he has to be fed and changed and rocked and told that it is going to be all right, I have to trust that I will find that strength. That I will carry that weight. That we will fight back. That there will be losses, brutal and unnecessary losses, but that the fight will not be wholly in vain. That we will save something from the wreckage. That this will not literally be the end of the world.

One foot in front of the other, until I can figure out how. Until we can come together to do the necessary work.

Breathe. Grieve. Keep on living.

You can comment here or at the Dreamwidth crosspost. There are comment count unavailable comments over there.
rushthatspeaks: (our lady of the sorrows)
My son is three weeks old, so I cannot give in to despair.

We have donated to the ACLU. We have donated to Planned Parenthood, and to the Standing Rock Sioux. Ruth goes to a Unitarian church, and when the baby is a little older we will coordinate with their social justice committee. About the same time, I will call Planned Parenthood and volunteer. We are looking for an immigrants' rights organization to donate to (suggestions welcome).

It feels like nothing. It feels like holding hair out of my face in the wind. It feels like any safety we ever thought we had in this nation was not just an illusion, but a dangerous illusion.

It can happen here, I was always told in school. It can happen anywhere. The banality of evil, the seductions of demagoguery, the selection of outsiders as scapegoats, the defining of various sets of people as outsiders... it can happen here.

The unspoken corollary was, but it won't. That's why we teach you these things in the schools in the first place. If you know it can happen here, now, to you, you can stop it.

That feels today not just as though it was wrong, but as though it was the worst of well-intentioned lies.

I don't know how to go on from here. I don't know how to help anyone else go on from here. I can barely put one foot in front of the other. I don't know where we will get the strength to fight back, and I don't know how to bear up under the weight that just settled on my shoulders.

But, because my son is three weeks old, and he has to be fed and changed and rocked and told that it is going to be all right, I have to trust that I will find that strength. That I will carry that weight. That we will fight back. That there will be losses, brutal and unnecessary losses, but that the fight will not be wholly in vain. That we will save something from the wreckage. That this will not literally be the end of the world.

One foot in front of the other, until I can figure out how. Until we can come together to do the necessary work.

Breathe. Grieve. Keep on living.
rushthatspeaks: ([         ]  is a badass)
So I'll be referring to the baby on the internet as Fox, which comes from one of his names. We also sometimes call him the cub, which we have done since long before his birth. I know foxes have kits, not cubs, but my friend [personal profile] rosefox has a Kit already, and there's no reason to be confusing.

Pronoun-wise, I tend to use 'he' as a placeholder, but 'they' is also accepted by all parents, and I'm sure we'll be informed of the correct pronoun at some point later on.

I figure I'm going to maintain a baby-news filter and put anything I want to talk about that's delicate or complicated or boring-to-those-who-aren't-me about the baby in that; if you were on the pregnancy-update filter and do not wish to be on the ongoing baby filter, please let me know. Alternately, if you weren't on the pregnancy filter and want to be on the baby filter, also please let me know.

I'll probably talk about general baby stuff unlocked but under a cut.

Like this. )

You can comment here or at the Dreamwidth crosspost. There are comment count unavailable comments over there.
rushthatspeaks: (parenting)
So I'll be referring to the baby on the internet as Fox, which comes from one of his names. We also sometimes call him the cub, which we have done since long before his birth. I know foxes have kits, not cubs, but my friend [personal profile] rosefox has a Kit already, and there's no reason to be confusing.

Pronoun-wise, I tend to use 'he' as a placeholder, but 'they' is also accepted by all parents, and I'm sure we'll be informed of the correct pronoun at some point later on.

I figure I'm going to maintain a baby-news filter and put anything I want to talk about that's delicate or complicated or boring-to-those-who-aren't-me about the baby in that; if you were on the pregnancy-update filter and do not wish to be on the ongoing baby filter, please let me know. Alternately, if you weren't on the pregnancy filter and want to be on the baby filter, also please let me know.

I'll probably talk about general baby stuff unlocked but under a cut.

Like this. )

baby!

Oct. 19th, 2016 05:20 pm
rushthatspeaks: (Default)
Ruth, Rax, and I welcome Sebastian Reynard, 9:14 AM, Sunday, October 16th.

Forty-one weeks six days, so, unsurprisingly, a large child. Nearly ten pounds, thirty-seven centimeters head circumference (no, I don't know why we were given measurements in pounds and centimeters). Unassisted and unmedicated non-C-section delivery, which was not fun for anybody, but there were no complications and Ruth is recovering just fine.

Sebastian has some medical stuff ongoing, which is why we haven't gotten to social media much yet before this. We're not terribly worried, but it is taking energy and time and there is some worry.

He has, at the moment, blondish hair the color of his mother's, bluish-hazelish eyes the color of his mother's, and his mother's nose, though of course no idea if any of that will change. When he was put on Ruth's chest initially, and they leaned down and said 'Hiiiiiii!', he vocalized (totally accidentally, but adorably) 'Hiiiiii' right back. He is an interactive baby who wants people around and likes cuddling.

All three of his parents are delighted. I have decided on my Halloween costume this year: I can just wander across a room and call myself "The Walking Dad".

You can comment here or at the Dreamwidth crosspost. There are comment count unavailable comments over there.

baby!

Oct. 19th, 2016 05:20 pm
rushthatspeaks: (Default)
Ruth, Rax, and I welcome Sebastian Reynard, 9:14 AM, Sunday, October 16th.

Forty-one weeks six days, so, unsurprisingly, a large child. Nearly ten pounds, thirty-seven centimeters head circumference (no, I don't know why we were given measurements in pounds and centimeters). Unassisted and unmedicated non-C-section delivery, which was not fun for anybody, but there were no complications and Ruth is recovering just fine.

Sebastian has some medical stuff ongoing, which is why we haven't gotten to social media much yet before this. We're not terribly worried, but it is taking energy and time and there is some worry.

He has, at the moment, blondish hair the color of his mother's, bluish-hazelish eyes the color of his mother's, and his mother's nose, though of course no idea if any of that will change. When he was put on Ruth's chest initially, and they leaned down and said 'Hiiiiiii!', he vocalized (totally accidentally, but adorably) 'Hiiiiii' right back. He is an interactive baby who wants people around and likes cuddling.

All three of his parents are delighted. I have decided on my Halloween costume this year: I can just wander across a room and call myself "The Walking Dad".
rushthatspeaks: (platypus)
A very happy birthday to [personal profile] sovay! You are an amazing partner and lover and cousin and friend. I hope today was good, and that it leads to a year filled with other things as nifty as your new apartment and your little black cats, with interesting movies and food and work and poetry and maybe some newly discovered classical manuscripts. And definitely the ocean.

B. also says happy birthday, as do Ruth and the cats.

Love.

You can comment here or at the Dreamwidth crosspost. There are comment count unavailable comments over there.
rushthatspeaks: (platypus)
A very happy birthday to [personal profile] sovay! You are an amazing partner and lover and cousin and friend. I hope today was good, and that it leads to a year filled with other things as nifty as your new apartment and your little black cats, with interesting movies and food and work and poetry and maybe some newly discovered classical manuscripts. And definitely the ocean.

B. also says happy birthday, as do Ruth and the cats.

Love.
rushthatspeaks: (sparklepony only wants to read)
Wow, I've been doing the editor thing for some time now, and I continue to love it. I get to work with amazing people, both as magazine staff and as authors. Kelly Link won the Sturgeon Award for "The Game of Smash and Recovery" and that was delightful. (Basically I did nothing to that story except figure out how to get it into our site's HTML, because it came in as an incredibly clean and polished manuscript; the HTML was actually non-trivial, but I think it came out okay.)

Anyway, I've noticed that as I read slush, the things that I tell people when I'm writing encouraging rejection slips-- you know, the kind of rejection slip where you're like 'I liked x, I liked y, z was prohibitive, send me more of your work', as opposed to sending the form letter-- these things do, in fact, boil down to a few suggestions that I would like to tell writers* in general because maybe it would help. I'd like to get them out of my head, because maybe they will help, and maybe it will be less frustrating that I do not have time to write a full critique letter to every single slush author. There are several, but I'm going to go over them one at a time, because if I try to write them all up at once I'll never manage.

The really major one is length.

My magazine theoretically accepts anything up to 10,000 words. We buy longer lengths rarely, because anything longer than about 6K is going to be run split over two consecutive weeks, and therefore must not only be amazing enough to take up the space, but also have a splitting point where we can break it for serialization. But we do take up to 10K.

You will notice there is no limit on how short a piece can be. This is intentional.

Over the last year-and-change, I have lost track of how many times I have said 'That needs to be shorter'. I have lost track of how many times I have said 'This would be great if it lost 2K words'. I lost track of that within three or four months of starting as an editor.

Over the same amount of time, I have said 'This needs to be longer'-- not 'There's one element that needs to be expanded and others diminished', not 'This doesn't include the scene that would really interest me', not 'You stopped before the ramifications of the plot played out', all of which can and should be fixable without changing a piece's length, but 'You wrote this too efficiently and it flat-out just needs to be longer'-- once. ONCE. I was shocked to discover myself saying it at all.

What I'm talking about here isn't specifically actual length, as an objective thing, so much as it is a pacing issue. From what I've seen, the amount of content (plot, characterization, setting, backstory, etcetera) that new and newish writers tend to put into their short stories tends to be spread out too much over too long a length. Generally, the longer a piece is, the more drastic a length cut it could sustain. When we get a 10K piece, it could often be 5K and have exactly the same content in every way. If it comes in at 6K, I'd like to see it at 4K, or at 3.5. If it comes in at 4, I'd like to see it at 3.

And so the main piece of advice I have for new short story writers, based on editorial experience, is to get a submission draft ready, the best one you can, and then sit down and remove half the wordcount while changing absolutely none of the content. It will be difficult. It may well physically hurt. You may feel as though you are hair-splitting by rejuggling entire paragraphs to get rid of only two or three words. You will believe that it cannot be done, or that if you manage it the thing will proceed to suck. Think of it as a hard boundary, the way 10K is a hard boundary for our magazine, a boundary where we throw everything out unread that goes over it, and persevere.

After a while, you will find that you are able to pry fewer and fewer words out of your drafts, because you won't be putting the extraneous ones there in the first place. This is how you internalize the kind of word multitasking, the way that every scene and every sentence does more than one thing to help the story move, that makes a professional. This is how you get the kind of density that really sucks your readers in and makes the piece come to life in their heads.

And this is how I get to write fewer 'I love it, but it's three thousand words too long' rejection letters. Seriously. Halve your wordcount, keep your content.

Best advice I have.




* If you're selling short stories reliably, you probably are not my audience for this, although it's always worth checking to see whether this advice happens to apply. But it probably doesn't, because you learned how to do this already.

You can comment here or at the Dreamwidth crosspost. There are comment count unavailable comments over there.
rushthatspeaks: (sparklepony only wants to read)
Wow, I've been doing the editor thing for some time now, and I continue to love it. I get to work with amazing people, both as magazine staff and as authors. Kelly Link won the Sturgeon Award for "The Game of Smash and Recovery" and that was delightful. (Basically I did nothing to that story except figure out how to get it into our site's HTML, because it came in as an incredibly clean and polished manuscript; the HTML was actually non-trivial, but I think it came out okay.)

Anyway, I've noticed that as I read slush, the things that I tell people when I'm writing encouraging rejection slips-- you know, the kind of rejection slip where you're like 'I liked x, I liked y, z was prohibitive, send me more of your work', as opposed to sending the form letter-- these things do, in fact, boil down to a few suggestions that I would like to tell writers* in general because maybe it would help. I'd like to get them out of my head, because maybe they will help, and maybe it will be less frustrating that I do not have time to write a full critique letter to every single slush author. There are several, but I'm going to go over them one at a time, because if I try to write them all up at once I'll never manage.

The really major one is length.

My magazine theoretically accepts anything up to 10,000 words. We buy longer lengths rarely, because anything longer than about 6K is going to be run split over two consecutive weeks, and therefore must not only be amazing enough to take up the space, but also have a splitting point where we can break it for serialization. But we do take up to 10K.

You will notice there is no limit on how short a piece can be. This is intentional.

Over the last year-and-change, I have lost track of how many times I have said 'That needs to be shorter'. I have lost track of how many times I have said 'This would be great if it lost 2K words'. I lost track of that within three or four months of starting as an editor.

Over the same amount of time, I have said 'This needs to be longer'-- not 'There's one element that needs to be expanded and others diminished', not 'This doesn't include the scene that would really interest me', not 'You stopped before the ramifications of the plot played out', all of which can and should be fixable without changing a piece's length, but 'You wrote this too efficiently and it flat-out just needs to be longer'-- once. ONCE. I was shocked to discover myself saying it at all.

What I'm talking about here isn't specifically actual length, as an objective thing, so much as it is a pacing issue. From what I've seen, the amount of content (plot, characterization, setting, backstory, etcetera) that new and newish writers tend to put into their short stories tends to be spread out too much over too long a length. Generally, the longer a piece is, the more drastic a length cut it could sustain. When we get a 10K piece, it could often be 5K and have exactly the same content in every way. If it comes in at 6K, I'd like to see it at 4K, or at 3.5. If it comes in at 4, I'd like to see it at 3.

And so the main piece of advice I have for new short story writers, based on editorial experience, is to get a submission draft ready, the best one you can, and then sit down and remove half the wordcount while changing absolutely none of the content. It will be difficult. It may well physically hurt. You may feel as though you are hair-splitting by rejuggling entire paragraphs to get rid of only two or three words. You will believe that it cannot be done, or that if you manage it the thing will proceed to suck. Think of it as a hard boundary, the way 10K is a hard boundary for our magazine, a boundary where we throw everything out unread that goes over it, and persevere.

After a while, you will find that you are able to pry fewer and fewer words out of your drafts, because you won't be putting the extraneous ones there in the first place. This is how you internalize the kind of word multitasking, the way that every scene and every sentence does more than one thing to help the story move, that makes a professional. This is how you get the kind of density that really sucks your readers in and makes the piece come to life in their heads.

And this is how I get to write fewer 'I love it, but it's three thousand words too long' rejection letters. Seriously. Halve your wordcount, keep your content.

Best advice I have.




* If you're selling short stories reliably, you probably are not my audience for this, although it's always worth checking to see whether this advice happens to apply. But it probably doesn't, because you learned how to do this already.

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