Writing again

the latest in doings

What have I been up to? The obvious answer is, of course, “about 5 foot 4 inches,” but let’s skip the silly stuff & get straight to business.

Dragon Con was a blast, so I am putting “apply to be an attending professional”  back on my list of Things To Do for 2025. I’d crossed it off my list because the last year before pandemic, the environment was just Too Much Muchness. This year? Just the right amount of muchness. The organizers put an attendance cap in place, and it makes all the difference. The plan is to keep attendance capped for the foreseeable, so that’s a big happy.

I doubt it’ll be next year, though. Glasgow World Con is my big dream goal for 2024. Plus we have a cruise with friends planned for the fall. I always want to Do All The Things, but realistically and financially, it just isn’t going to happen.

The other happy element of the Final Summer Trip: Spouseman drove us there & back, which takes twice as long as flying  but isn’t much more expensive even counting in obscenely expensive parking–AND it’s only half as exhausting.  For me, anyway. Since Spouseman says he enjoys driving, that’s a win all around.

Might be more cons in my future if Spouseman decides he’s interested in driving me to them. Especially if we can train the cat to enjoy the travel & come hang with us in the hotel rooms.  (Because leaving the cat at home is the hardest part of traveling.) Pips is very mellow  & he does enjoy his trips to the vet, weird creature that he is. There are plans in place to start training him for car trips. Fingers crossed.

It’s been non-stop busy since getting back, for good reasons & not-so-good, and the autumn’s only going to get busier with several projects all moving from “Want to do it someday” to “Holy Shit, this is actually happening.” 

I really need to start making more lists.

Writing again

Ranty bits of rant

(cross-posed from my patreon)

So, okay. Imma grump a bit about the way AI is being portrayed in media right now.

To be clear: I have nothing against the concept of “Artificial Intelligence,” which isn’t actually a thing that exists. (I hate the way intelligent computers are portrayed in science fiction, but that’s a totally different rant.)

Today what’s getting me BEYOND annoyed is the way so many “explainer” articles slap those same two letters on things that are about as similar as cats and cows.

I admit a general aversion to homophones in general, unless they’re used as diffferent parts of speech in ways that make their meaning less ambiguous. I will not easily confuse “he quailed in fear” with “a quail ran into the bush.” For example.

But when a specific noun is applied to multiple things that don’t look, sound, or act the same way, it GRATES  MY SOUL TO BLOODY SHREDS. The more things a single word is used to label, the worse it pains me. 

Which brings me to my grumpy-old-woman question, “Does anybody even know what “AI” even means these days?”

I mean. The answer is obviously yes, but you’d never know it from all the breathless “Rave about AI’s benefits!” or the “Complain about AI doom!” articles. They both do a sucky job of explaining what they think AI is. Or, even more importantly, what it ISN’T.

 It’s become a meaningless umbrella term  applied to things as unalike as the software driving robotic surgical devices and the digital face-morphing filters in photo apps. And it’s making my really grouchy.

I highly recommend Janelle Shane’s “You Look Like a Thing and I Love You: How Artificial Intelligence Works and Why It’s Making the World a Weirder Place  (link)  It’s an excellent primer on what’s behind the many different coding things being labeled “Artificial Intelligence.”

Offering that recommendation doesn’t make me any less irritated when I read yet another  gushing or pearl-clutching news story about “Where AI is going next?” when AI–in the sense they’re writing about–has been around for decades already…

But I’ll sleep better knowing I’m at least trying to do something positive instead of just growling. 

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Writing again

Stress Week in review

Pips had a great week. His catsitter spoiled him with lots of treats & pets as directed, and we spoiled him with lots of treats & pets when we got home from Dragon Con.

My week? Not as great. Not bad on a personal, immediate level, honestly, but I’m not gonna lie, I’m struggling against a stress high-tide of “what next with distant family?” question.

I don’t put pressure on myself to accomplish things the week after a con, because I’ve learned it’s counterproductive to fight the Inevitable Brain Crash. Usually, that’s accompanied by low energy. But my body processes stress AS energy. So all week I was itching to do things without the mental capacity to plan things.

Hello, cleaning, shopping, weeding, & cooking.

The cleaning was a natural progression from the unpacking/tidying up I need to do to properly inhabit whatever living space I’m occupying during & after travel. Added a bunch of exra laundry, and scrubbed a couple of things until they were shiny. Highly therapeutic, polishing is.

Shopping for comfort foods makes sense because comfort, right? The fact that I do 90% of my impulse shopping in the produce aisle is neither here nor there. It still counted as impulse & comfort.

Yard-wise, I harvested out the pumpkins from their drought-shriveled vines (oops) weeded all the planting beds, and watered all the thirsty perennials. Results: 10 pumpkins, a bowlful of tomatoes, and a bucket of hot Italian peppers.

The weather cooperated with cool, dry days, and chill nights that all but begged for baking to be done. So…I stress-baked a bit on top of all the rest. There’s nothing like feasting on homemade foods in a cozy clean homey space to make life feel just a little more anchored & settled. I even used tomatoes & peppers from the garden.

And tonight, here on the fringes of other drama, I opened up a story draft, settled right into writing, and it felt good.

postscript of pictures because why not?

Writing again

My Dragon Con 2023: Saturday & Sunday

Found my book ribbons, so I am having a blast sharing & swapping ribbons w/other attendees!

A few folk even asked after the books, which is heartening. But honestly? I do ribbons for the smiles.

Result: many happy faces!

Great panels yesterday & today, from The Trouble w/Magic, to Nostalgia vs Creativity, and a whole bunch more fab ones in between.

We’ve done the art show, listened to some music, & admired tons of cosplay.

Next up, another run at the vendor hall. ( I can only handle the overwhelm one floor at a time) I’ve seen more phoenix-based merch this year than any five past years.

Hazardous to the wallet, but a delight to the senses.

Anyway. More later, as always.

Rough Passages

When getting older means gaining superpowers, life gets complicated for everyone.

Heroic grandmothers, courageous Marines, and extraordinary teens: welcome to a reality where every midlife crisis might become a national emergency.

Rough Passages is a contemporary fantasy novel told in eight short stories about five people forever changed by the powers that disrupt their lives.

In bookstores & libraries now.

Amazon (ebook & print) (print)

a selection of non-Amazon ebook vendors

More info here on my website