Sunday Gratitudes #33

“A thankful heart is not only the greatest virtue, but the parent to all the other virtues.” ~ Cicero

What have you felt grateful for this week?

I know this is a little late, but last week I was grateful for…

✋ – Having a job.

✋ – Enjoying the social media part of my job so much.

✋ – My family.

✋ – My partner’s family.

✋ – Our fabulous new home!

✋ – Writing and finishing a short story!!! 📝📝📝

✋ – How well our open house party went yesterday. So many people came, and it was really fun to show our place off to friends and family.

✋ – My partner.

✋ – Our beautiful baby cats.

 

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Pet Peeve: “Humanity” in Fantasy and Sci-Fi

Screen Shot 2016-08-22 at 7.28.04 PMOne thing that becomes clearer and clearer to me as time passes is that my parents are huge nerds and raised me to watch a lot of very nerdy things, including all the original Star Trek movies. I have seen Star Trek The Motion Picture more times than it deserves because it is, simply put, not good. (My favorite was The Journey Home — neither the best nor the worst, but I liked the whales.)

This is only relevant because bits of these movies sometimes filter back into my everyday life. The quote pictured here is from The Undiscovered Country, when the Americans and Russians… Ahem, I mean the United Federation of Planets and the Klingon Empire try to get together and negotiate an end to the Cold War… Sorry, the whatever the heck it was they called it while the no-mans-space Neutral Zone was still a thing. During an awkward as fuck diplomatic dinner where the crew of the Enterprise visibly judges the Klingon delegates for not knowing how silverware works, there’s one point where Chekov hesitantly attempts to extend an olive branch and the daughter of the Klingon ambassador calls bullshit.

CHEKOV: We do believe all planets have a sovereign claim to inalienable human rights.

AZETBUR: Inalien… If only you could hear yourselves? ‘Human rights.’ Why the very name is racist. The Federation is no more than a ‘homo sapiens’ only club.

The reason I’m writing about this… let’s call it human-normative prejudice is because I’ve caught that human-normativity in other works of sci-fi and even fantasy.

In The Sword of Shannara, when Flick Ohmsford is sneaking around in an enemy camp of gnomes and trolls, at one point I recall a line that went something like, “It was so quiet, without the sound of any human voice.” Well of course there aren’t. Why would there be? He and Allanon the only human for miles!

That book was written in 1978. The Undiscovered Country was released in 1991. I guess in the gap between those, both the sci-fi and fantasy camps began to think a little harder about anthropomorphization — defined by Wikipedia as “attribution of human traits, emotions, and intentions to non-human entities and is considered to be an innate tendency of human psychology.” Because, yeah, we all do it. But as authors and creators, we should be thinking beyond those knee-jerk attributions. At the very least, we need to acknowledge that words and phrases like “humanity” and “human rights,” in a story where other sentient beings are known to exist, is the interspecies version of white-washing.

Then again, what does humanity even mean? An anthropologist might argue that “human” is not the same as Homo sapiens. They might be right, technically, but in layman terms I don’t think that applies. “Humanity” and “what it means to be human” very much bear our stamp of ownership because “human” is what we call ourselves.

What do you think? What examples of human-normativity have you seen?

Daily Writing Progress #27

Tuesday, July 12th through Friday, August 19th

  • Missed this… month. Work has been crazy! The startup cider company life.

Saturday, August 20th

  • Project: It’s Mine
    • Total Word Count: 728
    • New Words: 36
  • Thoughts: Heh, not the first time I have semi-restarted this short story. But this time I kept the opening sequence, and just started over on the second part.

Continue reading “Daily Writing Progress #27”

Monday Musings #14 – Just another Manic Monday

When I started this blog, I wanted to focus on creative writing — my personal experiences as a writer, techniques, fun things to write about, etc. I’ve since discovered that there are a lot of blogs like this. That doesn’t bother me, because everyone’s experience is different and has a unique perspective, so it’s not like the niche is ever going to fill up. It does create a lot of other noise for one blogger’s voice to get lost in, but I didn’t start this blog under any illusions that it would make me Internet Famous.

Mostly, the reason I haven’t been posting much lately is that I just haven’t been writing.

My personal life has been complicated recently by apartment problems. These problems have been half solved, half replaced… by moving and unpacking and trying to get organized again.

Also, there’s work. I have two jobs right now, but the same boss for both and technically I’m still on just one payroll. One of these jobs is a sort of marketing/sales support catch-all for family farmed hard cider. In the past couple months I’ve built a website from scratch on Wix, made fancy-looking brochures, made new social media pages to start building up followers and impressions, and written lots of marketing copy…

Not bad for a creative writing major with no specific schooling in marketing or graphic design. I’m still trying to find my footing and get my work-life balance

But I do miss writing, both for this blog and the stories I haven’t been working on for the past month or two. I want to focus back in on that once the unpacking is all done and I have more free, non feeling-burnt-out time at home. I’m also considering opening up my blog theme a little more to include social media tips or something. What do you think, are there any questions you’d like answered that sound like they would be in my skill set?

Sunday Gratitudes #32

A range of studies show that more gratitude in your life can reduce stress, decrease the number of annoying ailments, like colds, and increase overall energy. Some researchers say increasing positive thoughts leads to steadier emotions and better physical health long term as well.” (x)

 

I’m grateful for…

🍫 – Tea. Caffeine.

🍫 – My car, and lack of car troubles.

🍫 – Getting a traffic ticket paid. That thing was stressing me out so much I was procrastinating on dealing with it, which is silly.

🍫 – Audiobooks.

🍫 – Sticking with The Sword of Shannara all the way to the end of the book. I mean, I do really like the concept, it’s just the writing style that isn’t my favorite. Continue reading “Sunday Gratitudes #32”

Sunday Gratitudes #31

“We are anxious. We worry. We think. We think some more. To stop the cycle, we often need a pattern interrupt. Believing that there is abundance in the world and that there is enough to give and to receive often helps us to get off of the hamster wheel and into the stream of life.” (x)

I’m grateful for…

🍻 – Managing to find wifi access for a Toys For Tots donation station during an event at the local mall. I am a millennial, I can find wifi anywhere!

🍻 – Tickets to the Gravenstein Apple Fair! I’ve never been before.

🍻 – Finally getting everything moved out of the old apartment, the keys turned in… All done.

🍻 – People at or around our old apartment being able to use the furniture and other stuff we couldn’t take with us. At least someone can use it!

🍻 – Being able to get my old mattress from my parents’ house to replace the one we had to toss.

🍻 – My uncle’s willingness to drive twenty minutes late at night to bring us the spare key to the house. Otherwise we would have driven 2+ hours to pick up a mattress we couldn’t go inside to get.

🍻 – My partner’s parents for helping us transport said mattress up to our new place.

🍻 – Finding THE perfect tv table at our favorite antique shop.

🍻 – My partner misreading the back of a t-shirt as “To cat is a necessity. To cat well is an art.” It’s exactly what our older cat would say about our younger cat, aka the book. (It was actually “to eat”. Works either way though.)

🍻 – The voices of reason in our lives.

🍻 – Making plans for a friend to come up and visit next weekend. We don’t get a lot of visitors, so this is really exciting. She gets to see our new place and meet the kittens! (The problem with going to school on the East Coast is that none of our friends live anywhere near California, lol.)


What have you felt grateful for this week?

Sunday Gratitudes #30

“Think of 5 things you have gratitude for today. Inhale the thought, exhale to release. Any negative energy can be recycled back to the earth for purification.” (x)

I’m grateful for…

🚛 – Getting all of our furniture and stuff out of the old apartment and into our new place!!!

🚛 – My partner’s family for helping us with the heavy lifting.

🚛 – All the RSVPs we’ve been getting for our housewarming/open house brunch party at the end of the month.

🚛 – My parents for agreeing to get the bubbly to make mimosas at the party.

🚛 – My cousin and her job/employee discount at The Container Store.

🚛. – Spraining my foot rather than breaking it. (Probably.)

🚛 – Finally having some of our life set back up! We moved most of the big pieces over, and put all the books in the bookshelves before dinner. It’s already amazing how this new place feels so much more like home than our first apartment.

What have you felt grateful for this week?

 

Sunday Gratitude #29

“There is a common misconception that practicing gratitude sits within the realm of spirituality.  But in actual essence, gratitude is simply being thankful for all that you have.  You don’t necessarily need to ‘connect with your inner self’ or meditate to experience gratitude.  But you do need to say (or think) these words… THANK YOU.” (x)

I’m grateful for…

🍎 – The website launch! It’s the first website I’ve ever built. I know this was in my gratitudes list last week but I’m still really happy about it.

🍎 – How nice the new social media pages look and the attention we’re getting from bloggers during a food blogger conference we’re pouring at.

🍎 – Excusing myself for a moment and then coming back with the right thing to say.

🍎 – The college friend I’ve reconnected with our shared love of and professional interest in hard cider.

🍎 – The printer for being understanding instead of angry when I sprung a lot of last-minute printing on him and asked for a really fast turnaround.

🍎 – The recognition I’ve received for whipping up a nice, professional looking brochure quickly… using Pages, haha.

🍎 – My boss letting me have Monday off so I can work on moving stuff.

🍎 – Starbucks!

🍎 – Goat cheese!

🍎 -The really good gluten-free baguettes at Whole Foods Market, Against the Grain. It’s the best we’ve found so far.

🍎 – Meals of bread, cheese, and orange-fig jam, picnic style on the bed while my partner and I watch American Horror Story Hotel. Continue reading “Sunday Gratitude #29”