Updatery and such

It still continues to be busy. In some ways, it’s busier than it was. In other ways, it’s a bit more quiet. I like that I get to have alone time when I can do whatever I like but the house has its demands and there are things that need to be done.

This past month, I finished working on an essay I’d promised Maurice Broaddus. I think of the encouragement that comes to me in emails, in publications (Magnifica Angelica Superable was published on Lightspeed this month), and in conversations had with beloved ones. It may sound strange but I feel like I am coming back from a long way away.

I think of Laura telling me how deaths of those close to us change us. I think of one of our friends telling me that when his father died, the world narrowed down and became somehow sharper. Different.

I think of what it’s like to fall in-between cracks and how there is that moment between losing someone and being alive when it feels like the left behind are hovering somewhere in a place like indefinite limbo while the world goes on.

It feels just right that I am reading a Terry Pratchett’s The Amazing Maurice and His Intelligent Rodents with my youngest son. Youngest son can read the book all by himself, but we borrowed this book expressly to read together. A bedtime ritual where he listens and imagines while I try to make the story feel as real as possible with the reading of it.

There is death in this book. In the past two nights, two of the intelligent rodents have died. Pratchett doesn’t turn away from those deaths. Rather he lays it on the page, factual and clear. It happened. A rat died. We stand still for a moment, thinking on that death and then Pratchett moves us onward–the story continues. It’s not that the death doesn’t matter. It does, but life goes on and characters move forward and think about what happens next.

On some days, it’s a dilemma. How to make it so that a child doesn’t sink into the quagmire of sorrow and despair.

Tearing a book out of Pratchett’s page, I acknowledge my child’s sorrow. It’s sad and it’s a terrible thing, but tomorrow is a promise. Let’s think about what we want to do tomorrow. Where do you want to go? What do you want to see? What about next week? What about next month? What about next year?

I understand very well that grief doesn’t ever go away. That grief is not a neat and orderly process but it comes in waves and flags and sometimes at the most inconvenient and untidy of moments. It is as it is. There is no changing the reality. But we go on. We hang together. And then, I find myself thankful and glad that I can still be here for my children.

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The work-in-progress, Eightsquaredcon and blogs I read

It’s been ten days since I last updated here. I’ve been engrossed in the work-in-progress which is coming along quite well. When I wrote the first draft of this novella, I was very concerned about the war and how it would go and how it would end.  As I was working on the rewrite, I realized that revolutions aren’t just about the war and the road to freedom is more complex than winning a battle. Extensive rewrites are taking place and I’ve added another dimension to the WIP that wasn’t there in the first draft. I’m really hoping I finish this soon. But as with most of what I do, it’s going to be a lot more than just getting from point A to point B.

I’ve been catching up quite a bit online and I thought I’d share some blogs that I visit from time to time:

Decolonization:Indigeneity, Education & Society has lots of thoughtful and thought-provoking stuff. Go read.

For critical Dutch readers, I can’t stop recommending Roet in Het Eten.

And Tiger Beatdown always has thought-provoking stuff.

I’m also trying to catch up on my TBR as part of my preparation for Eightsquaredcon. I’ve offered to moderate a panel on non-western SFF and will be participating in several other panels.

There are regular updates at the Eightsquaredcon blog.

Reading and Interview on Radio Redmond

It was wonderful to meet the brilliant and talented crew of Radio Redmond and Roet in Het Eten. I read from Dancing in the Shadow of the Once from the Bloodchildren Anthology. Here’s a link to the reading and the interview. The reading starts a little bit after 18 minutes. The rest of the broadcast is in Dutch. In short, we talk about the Octavia Butler Scholarship Fund, the need for diversity in the field of SFF and the themes that appear not only in Dancing in the Shadow of the Once but also in my other work.

After that first hour, another guest came on the show. Coring de Los Reyes. We discussed the state of undocumented migrant workers in the Netherlands and why it’s important for the Dutch government to ratify ILO Convention-189. Ratifying the convention will grant protection to the undocumented migrant workers and ensure protection for them.

Considering how progressive Dutch government and society claim to be, it will be interesting to see whether they live up to their reputation of being forward-thinking and humanitarian. I say, the Dutch government should recognize the contribution of these migrant workers and offer them the protection and the recognition they deserve.

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(From L-R: Hodan Warsame, Rochita Loenen-Ruiz and Coring de Los Reyes. Photo via @roetinheteten )

(Also posted on http://rcloenen-ruiz.livejournal.com)