Showing posts from August, 2016


Note: Contains spoilers, so if you’re an even slower viewer than me, move along. Pop culture has an unfortunate history of killing off both Black characters and lesbians as plot devices. So how did Orange is the New Black manage to violently kill a Black lesbian and make it the complete opposite of gratuitous? Which is to say devastating, and a tragedy in the true Aristotelian sense. I took some mental notes as I was watching/sobbing, and I’m writing them down because I think they’re relevant to anyone who cares about narrative and social justice, and narratives that advocate for social justice without feeling like a Very Special Episode (see: The L Word, Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman ). Here’s what OITNB did right in the episodes leading up to and following the one in which Bayley, a young, gullible white guard, accidentally strangles Poussey while fighting off Suzanne, aka Crazy Eyes: The show doesn’t introduce a character solely for the purpose of killing her. We got t

planting acorns: #parklit hashtag book festival free-write

At this very minute, my innovative writer friend Bronwyn is hosting a "hashtag book festival" about parks. What does this mean? It means that if you go here , you can encounter interesting things to read about parks, and post your own thoughts, writing, pictures and recommendations, all from the comfort of your phone or computer. A genius locale for a book festival in the middle of August. I'm taking this as a call to jot down a few of my own #ParkLit thoughts; I was inspired by a photo Bronwyn posted of Mesa Verde, the national park where she just did a writing residency. I doubt she was housed in an actual cliff dwelling, but that's how I like to picture her: sitting inside an adobe house, laptop on her knees, gazing at the valley below. Great view. Tough commute. My family took one kind of vacation when I was a kid: We visited state and national parks in our 1979 Dodge Four Star motor home. We always left no later than 5:30 am. My sister and I rolled out o

planning, not-planning and recalibrating

I’m doing a few unusual things right now. 1) I am writing (an uncommon enough occurrence in itself) in our home office. This is notable because a) we have a home office—at our old place, half of the office was Dash’s bedroom and the other half was packed too tightly to do much in—and b) I am writing in it. Long before Dash set up his crib where our file cabinets used to be, I was a coffee shop kind of writer. Home was both too quiet and too distracting. Even now, I hear the siren call of a dishwasher that needs unloading. But new house = new habits, so I’m trying to start one today. Don’t worry, I’ll still spend approximately 73 percent of my disposable income on lattes, but I am determined not to let our lovely, light-filled office become a storage room. Right now I’m enjoying a truly idyllic view: front porch, little yard with drought-resistant greenery, quiet street, small teal house belonging to the second neighbor we met, a filmmaker named Diane, who brought us a giant bag