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Showing posts from September, 2017

The Transformation Chase

The transformation chase is my favorite thread that binds ancient myth, folk traditions, and modern fiction. In a transformation chase, hunters and prey alternate changing their identities--not just who they are but what they are--to either connect or protect.

In ancient Greco-Roman myths, many personal transformations were singular, magical, and transhuman. Zeus changed into animals and objects to mate with women, usually by force. Daphne changed into a tree to prevent Apollo from doing the same to her (pictured above). In fairy tales and other folk traditions, characters undergo magical changes to escape imprisonment, rape, death, and cannibalization. Sequences of magical change include the transformation chase, the obstacle chase, and the series of transformations meant to break a hold on the changer's body (as in "Tam Lin" or "East of the Sun and West of the Moon"). In my favorite of these, the transformation chase, the pursuer and the pursued transform al…

Dystopian Dreams for a Suburban Family

The new doomsday prepping is dystopia survival. So-called "doomsday prep" only works if you have a bug-out plan to somewhere that isn't doomed or if the Walmart reopens after a few weeks. To me, "doomsday" doesn't imply a temporary disaster like a hurricane or an avalanche. It means that the status quo is irrevocably lost. Surviving most big and permanent changes requires building social connections and learning new things, not hiding out in a bunker.


Long-term survival requires a permanent adaptation to a new normal. Because no matter how many SpaghettiOs you hoard, stockpiling alone won't give you enough time to adapt if you haven't started long before the first disaster.

Examples: Here is what it's like to survive a natural disaster, if you are one of the richest and "prep"-piest people on Earth. Below is what it's like to survive a two-week winter power outage in record-shattering low temperatures, if you are a basic suburbani…

Love in the Season of Hurricanes

If you are able to contribute time or resources to disaster relief, please see the Red Cross website for ways to help those affected by Hurricane Irma.

The following is a (mostly) lighthearted post about folks who got through the weekend safely.


September continues with a beautiful wedding! One of my besties from all the way back in high school married her handsome Southern sweetheart at a gorgeous campsite in the mountains of North Carolina. It was a beautiful weekend despite some behind-the-scenes disasters, plagues, and a looming hurricane. The bride and groom are both trained in wilderness survival, so there wasn't much that could have stopped them from pulling it off.

We're not all as badass as these two, but we managed to do our parts to hold it together. I gave a reading on the canoe lake dock where the ceremony took place, and I didn't cry or fall in the lake. (Just almost.)

The legendary Esperanzita (who recently added "Ghost video extra" to her resume, f…

Saving September

I'm sure you've heard that America has cracked right in half, with one side flooded and the other on fire. And there's not enough money for relief, because it's all earmarked to persecute the only people who actually want to live here. The news, from local reports all the way to the BBC and Al Jazeera, has been awful.

At the last meeting of the esteemed Pigasus Pen (my noveling group), we agreed that the hilarious romance novels created by half of our team, Meika Usher and Christina Mitchell, are like psychological panic rooms where we can escape the horrors of Real Life for a laugh and a swoon that just might save our whole day--and our will to keep on writing. Pigasister Victoria Solomon needs strength to enter the turbulent, poisoned waters of YA lit's mean girls, and I need a little sugar to fuel my epic journey through a tale of serial killers and child slavery.

SO METAL!


And romance novels alone aren't going to save the day. They are an essential componen…

Staying in the [Construction] Zone

Welcome, September! My street has been under construction ALL SUMMER LONG. I am eager for the project to be finished so that we will have a lovely sidewalk and bike lane and smooth road surface and upgraded sewer and gas lines (all such wonderful things), and also I am eager for an end to this constant and severe level of noise, house-shaking vibration, dust, fumes, and the uncertainty of where we can park our vehicles each day and whether/how we can enter or exit our street at all. It's been so bad that some of the neighbors, including folks with disabilities or advanced ages, have resorted to evacuating their homes.


I always try very hard to make the best of things and roll with the stuff I can't control--like the weather and other issues that have dragged out this construction work past the first day of school. The work has been starting at about 7:00 a.m., seven days a week, prompting me to get up very early to write (before the house starts shaking and rattling hard enoug…