Skip to content

Planned Obsolescence

This post appeared at Bookview Cafe in 2014. A billion years ago (actually 24) I worked as a ghost-writer for a psychiatrist whose specialties were 1) working with women with serious psychiatric disorders (schizophrenia, bipolar depression, etc.) who were the mothers of infants, and 2) infant depression (you will be unsurprised to know that they are frequently linked). About the time my older daughter was six months old, I quit–having my nose that deep into psychiatric dysfunction in infancy meant that every time my daughter hiccuped I was afraid she might be going into a… Read more Planned Obsolescence

Death and Fantasy

This post was originally published at Bookview Cafe in 2014. There’s been a ripple of dismay in the fantasy and SF corner of the fiction-verse over an interview with Russell Banks in The New York Times Book Review from last Sunday.  The whole piece is interesting (a person who cannot read in bed, or on trains, planes, or buses without falling “instantly to sleep” is so directly opposite to me and my reading habits as to be intriguing) but the subhead on the piece explains the kerfuffle: The author, most recently,… Read more Death and Fantasy

Today Flows from Yesterday, Without Labels

This post was originally published on the Bookview Cafe blog in 2013. We humans love our boundaries.  Between nations, between states, between property.  So important to know where you end and I begin, not? But in history, maybe not so useful.  When I was taking history classes, there was a tendency to teach historical periods and eras, as if the Plantagenets filed out in an orderly fashion one day, the Tudors clocked in, and everything–clothes, art, technology, politics–changed right then.  But history isn’t a single timeline, there are huge overlaps,… Read more Today Flows from Yesterday, Without Labels

Xeno’s Ending

So there I was, working on a short story that took over my brain, right when I ought to be working on the book that took over my brain when I was supposed to be working on the new Sarah Tolerance book.  (For those following along at home: 1) Sarah Tolerance Book < 2) Urban Fantasy Thing < 3) Short Story.  This is why Madeleine cannot have nice things.) So I want to finish this story. When its finished I can go back to #2, so I can return to… Read more Xeno’s Ending

The Things I Know, The Things You Know

Many writers (I won’t say all writers, because I don’t know them all, but at this point I think I have a pretty decent random sample) know a bunch of different weird things.  Many writers (see above caveat) were probably the sorts of kids who stored up random factoids, or had deep pools of info about odd things, or could list all the kings of England from Edward the Confessor onward (that used to be one of my parlor tricks, along with reciting the Prologue of the Canterbury Tales).  Many… Read more The Things I Know, The Things You Know

“How Feminism Killed Cooking”

I read an article on Salon a few years ago: “Is Michael Pollan a Sexist Pig?” by a writer named Emily Matchar.  The title is, of course, very tongue in cheek; the article is about the omnivore/ locavore/ femivore movements, and about the myths we make up about the past.  In this case, the past in question is the good ol’ days of cookery from the writers’ childhoods, and how much better everything was in the days before feminism led us to processed food. Now, all things being equal I like to… Read more “How Feminism Killed Cooking”