Sunday, August 21, 2011

My Party of the Year is Coming

I am on a one-convention-per-year schedule. I've attended at least one, faithfully, for more than 2 decades now. When I lived in Oregon, Orycon became my home convention, and I'd hit a Westercon or Norwescon or Relaxacon when the fancy struck.

Now my home convention is Coppercon, in Phoenix, AZ. It's coming Labor Day Weekend, and I am really looking forward to it. It's a weekend of hanging out with people who feel like tribe, and talking about books and movies. There will be costumes and music, conversations in the hall, and new books to discover. I'm looking forward to being on four panels. I like a little structure in my parties!

I'd be glad to see you there. Check out the details, including my schedule, at Come up and say hi. Ask questions about books I've mentioned or present some data that adds a different perspective to what I was saying -- it's all good!

I'm going as an author. To my mind, that makes my job helping the fans have a good time. That works out well, because talking to people about science fiction is what I enjoy, too.

Hope to see you there!


Thursday, June 09, 2011

To a million people

Today's prompt:

What is burning deep inside of you? If you could spread your personal message RIGHT NOW to 1 million people, what would you say?

Live more lightly. Recognize that we and our world are deeply connected. Become alive to how the way you live affects plants, animals, the sea, the air, the soil. Gently take a step to live more kindly in this world.

Wednesday, June 08, 2011

Too Scary to Write About

Today's prompt has not yet arrived in my email. At last I looked it up. The question is What is too scary to write about?

This question falls at an interesting time. I just finished Calculating God by Robert Sawyer, and it did leave me afraid. I am afraid the world is ending. Maybe we have passed the tipping point in the changes we have made to our planet. Maybe the universe is quiet because someone or something removes intelligent life when it notices it. Maybe we are doomed, by our own unconsciousness to what we are doing, or by the malevolence of something out there.

What really scares me is the Drake equation. Those numbers seem to show so plausibly that there should be many worlds with intelligent life out there -- unless the span of civilization is very small. So if it is -- how does it end? What becomes of burgeoning technological civilizations -- why can we not see them? Are we and those like us inherently too much a danger to ourselves to last? Are we doomed? Is the sky empty of those who can look out and be conscious of its beauty? Or did some civilization make it beyond their own shores and now jealously guards against another civilization expanding?

In a short time, I will go back to doing what I can do, moment by moment. The fear does not help me do anything useful.

There it is, though. That is what scares me.

Tuesday, June 07, 2011

5 Years Either Way

Yesterday's prompt seemed repetitive and not terribly applicable to me. I skipped it! I'm free.

Today's prompt asks what I would say to myself of five years ago, and what I would say to the person I'll be in five years. Cool.

Five years ago, I had just moved to Las Cruces. I'd tell myself that that comes out ok. I'm really pretty happy with the choices I made between then and now. I kept feeling my way along to creating a business and finding good projects to work on.

One thing I could say is not to take an unpleasant person I ended up working with too seriously. Another is to treasure the really great people who have been the largest majority of the people I have worked with since then.

I might also recommend I save a little more money. The recession was still to come. Having a little more in savings would have made my transit through it a little easier. It's no big deal, though. We've been getting along.

To my future self -- remember how excited I was about my idea for a thesis? How did that come out? If I'm still working on the systems that might let the results of that research spread, I bet I could use a reminder of why I started the process. This could help a lot of people. If not -- if the research didn't turn out, or I couldn't find a way to apply it -- I'd like to remind myself of how passionate I felt about that project now. Is there some other way to accomplish those ends? If I have grown tired, can I reconnect with what excited me?

And I'd like to send ahead some fond memories of Las Cruces. I am truly enjoying living here. I have good friends and good support, and good local food, and a good house. I enjoy the weather and the vistas and the ease of life here. If my life, for some reason, ends up taking me somewhere else, remember -- this was a good place and a good time.

Sunday, June 05, 2011

Living or Preparing to Live?

Today's prompt asked in what areas of my life I was preparing to live, and how I could start living instead.

That's probably more relevant for 20-somethings than for me. This is my life, already.

Each day, I spend time with someone I love: my top ally, the fabulous Doug Weathers. 25 years of marriage have only given us a richer shared language and more appreciation for each other.

I do work I love. I tend my home and family, and practice daily self-care, and have learned to enjoy it. I sing and create jewelry and write, making beauty in several ways.

I continue to learn -- my life has forward motion as well as the enjoyment of what I am doing now. I revel in new ideas and new techniques, and I increase my skills. All of that, too, is part of living.

I have a very good life.

Saturday, June 04, 2011


Yesterday's writing prompt was for delayed action. The question is up on a Post-it. I'm thinking about it.

Today's prompt is about where I'd most like to travel, and what I am doing to get there.

I would most like to go to Vietnam. I've always been attracted to what we used to call the Orient. I like how different it is -- civilized and yet holding different mindsets. I like the art, the look of the people, what I've heard about the lifestyle and the philosophy.

Vietnam in particular began to capture my attention when I found my first Vietnamese restaurant in Portland, Oregon. Vietnamese swiftly became my favorite cuisine: fresh, full of vegetables, wonderfully seasoned. I enjoyed getting to know the waitress there, stumbled a little over cultural differences, and still felt she regarded me kindly.

My interest in travelling there increased when a friend went to Vietnam to adopt a little girl. She came home with child and photos and stories, all of which I found beautiful and intriguing.

Then there is the tender place that comes from our country's trials and failure there. Vietnam tested us as a nation. How now do we become friends? Can they forgive us? Can we forgive ourselves? We have learned, I think, to honor the sacrifices of the soldiers who went there, even as we question the worth of the war. Vietnam is a ground of learning to us.

I want to see the markets and hear the cities and feel how people live in that very different climate. I want to walk along the roads, and give my respect to the temples and gardens, and taste the food and spirit. I want to listen to the country we defoliated.

As to what I'm doing to get there? I haven't done much recently. I've been engaged in other projects, building a new business, supporting Doug in a major career change. My thought has been that we will go through these years of transition, and have stable schedules and income again, and then we will travel again.

That does put my travel off for some time.

Thursday, June 02, 2011

Strong Belief

Today's Trust 30 prompt asks about a strong belief that you _don't_ share with your closest friends and family. I'm going to ignore that last bit. I share all my strongest beliefs with Doug.

I believe that we can build a future worth living in. I believe that humans can continue to explore, build, learn, and play, indefinitely, while keeping our world healthy.

I write and coach in support of this belief. What else is there to do?

Wednesday, June 01, 2011


Today's writing prompt is to describe today in one sentence. Here it is:

Today I faced the future and took one step.

May it be that this will describe all of my days!


Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Yes, I'll play!

I'm intrigued and excited by the Trust 30 challenge -- 30 days of writing, starting from daily writing prompts. I'm not entirely sure what's going to happen here. I look forward to the exploration.

Interested in learning more? Check this out:

Day 1 prompt for today: You have 15 minutes to live. Set a timer for 15 minutes and tell the story that needs to be told.

Starting Fanurio. 15 minutes, check. Here I go!

The most important thing I have to tell anyone is that you are more than you believe. That's literal -- those things that you believe about yourself are self-created limits. Believe you aren't creative? You've just built a fence between yourself and creativity. Believe you can't find love? You've just built a wall around your heart.

Right now, our world is in crisis. It is a slow crisis, and only some of us see it. That's ok. Your neighbors are doing the best they can. I've recently had the realization that the reason the dominant mode of literature is depressed is that so many of us sense the world going off track, without finding the words to explain it or the courage to face it. I mean, what can we as individuals do about global warming? How can our bodies, so greatly optimized for wandering outside and finding food, maintain themselves in perfect health with hour after hour of sitting? How can our hearts, meant to be in connection, manage as we vastly revise the social structures our ancestors lived in?

I believe we can find answers to all of this. It's something individuals can do, one small step at a time. Start by taking off your blinders. Believe in can instead of can't. Where you feel melancholic, begin searching for the reasons. What is wrong? What now hurts your soul? What can you do about it? Take heart that even small steps make a difference. Scared about global warming? See if you can trim 10% off your driving. Or off your home energy use. It's ok to do what you feel you can.

Or maybe such a small challenge as 10% conservation bores you. Then make a big one! Take on placing windmills in every backyard in your county or solar panels on every rooftop. Look for the projects that excite you. The sweet spot for living as a human is to take on the challenges that are big enough to excite you without being so big they overwhelm you. Take time to listen to yourself every day and find your sweet spot. Live in it. Luxuriate in it! We are capable of so much.

Right now, you may be consuming much that gives temporary relief and yet doesn't touch that underlying melancholy. This is a huge clue that you have been sold. To take again and again what distracts and momentarily calms -- whether that is sex, gambling, new shoes, alcohol, overeating, conspicuous consumption, other drugs, entertainment, even travel, exercise, health care, deodorant and more, many things that are useful in small quantities or with the right attitude becoming wrong when overdone or done compulsively -- to medicate oneself with anything that is not touching the real cause of discontent, that is addiction. We are societally addicted to so many things. Reach inside for the true recognition of the true problem. Solve that, and these things will fall away, step by step.

We need you. We need your truth and your freedom and your health and your happiness.

Best wishes,
Anna Paradox.

Yes, that was 15 minutes.