Snow Selfie

Feb. 7th, 2019 09:14 am
lydamorehouse: (ichigo irritated)
At some point today, I have to leave this warm, snuggly house and go and get Inky's cremains. They called yesterday and said that he'd come back. 

It's really coming down out there.

Mason has a debate tournament this afternoon that he's judging over in Minneapolis. As a judge, he's a volunteer, so I have to transport him there and back again.  Given how quickly the inches accumulated already this morning, I'm not looking forward to trying to race him across town at 3:00 for a 3:30 meet.  I told him to see if he can't get the cell number of someone at the competition, just in case we run late.

My Broad Universe mentee and I had an interesting conversation last night about iGen, Mason's generation.

She's doing some kind of coursework or other that has her considering the various "personalities" of the generation and she said that iGen is supposed to be go-getters, but her experience showed them to be fairly incapable of things once considered standard, like addressing an envelope or keeping a budget.  She's very likely right about those last things. We've had to work overtime to make sure Mason has gotten skills that I KNOW I was taught in school, like how to write a check and read/write cursive. (I blame standardized testing, not this generation or its teachers, however.) At any rate, I noted that Mason absolutely fits the "stereotype" of a self-starter. I never even heard that he'd signed himself up to be a volunteer debate judge until yesterday when he asked for transportation to the meet.  Mason is required as a gifted an talented student to have volunteer hours and he found some in an area he ADORES. I told her, too, how he found himself a paying job that continues to be a perfect fit and the various times that we've found out, after the fact, that there was a scheduling snafu with his coursework that Mason just took care of--often in fairly brilliant and innovative ways, like how he finagled a TA position in English as ungraded coursework.

Obviously, Mason may be atypical. He certainly does prefer his video games over a lot of other activities--but again, I don't see this as a problem. From what I can tell, Mason has found himself a good community. They are all GLBT+/queer kids and, while I hear some trash talk in his comm, it seems very good-natured and not the kind of toxic stuff parents of gamers have to have CONSTANT VIGILANCE about. He's got himself on a team that plays in an amateur Overwatch league and it 'sparks joy' for him, clearly. So, I mean, sure, kids these days and their E-lect-TRON-ics, but I think we are all better served when we consider how such tools are being used by the generation that owns them.

Whelp, there's the call. They've cancelled afternoon activities for SPPS (Saint Paul Public Schools). I texted Mason to have him double-check that that includes his tournament, but I suspect it will.

Now we just need &!*%ing St. Paul to call a snow emergency so they will plow the &!*%ing streets.

My street is nearly impassable. WEIRDLY, where the rich people live, Summit Avenue appears to have been plowed curb to curb. It's almost like there's a socio-economic division in how the city choses to clear its streets. $10 says Highland Park is plowed, too.

But, so, the whole mentee thing via Broad Universe is going well, I think. We've done a bunch of checking in. She seems pleased with my level of critique (which can be intense and daunting) and as a mentor, I feel like my job is offer routes, but, ultimately, to go where she wants. Speaking of volunteering, it's been an interesting gig so far. 

Huh, apparently I just have to wait long enough... now St. Paul has finally called a snow emergency. Yay!

A friend of mine in Canada and I were trading selfies, and, while I normally don't post selfies, I thought this one perfectly captured my resting MURDER face in response to this weather....

me, looking decidedly murderous, and a snow covered tree behind me

I should probably go out into this mess to make sure we have something for dinner tonight, in fact. 

lydamorehouse: (more renji art)
I have to run off to a quick grocery store run, but I had to post an update about my Loft blog. I found my original blog about the secret handshake (which I postulate is manuscript format.) I reworked it a bit to fit a more general audience. The original was written for SF Novelists, so it assumed a science fiction/fantasy writing reader with a bit of insider information, familiarity with terms, etc. At any rate, the finished product was a little over 700 words, at most.

When I sent it in, I explained that it was a bit focused on business and submitting to markets, so if this was meant to promote my teen class I could think of a different subject. I was informed it was okay, but that, frankly, I was old.

Okay, the blog coordinator didn't say it like that, but the basic message was "YOUR EXPLANATIONS TAKE TOO LONG." I was told that the "most successful" blogs have "scannable" content, preferrably with a list the kids these days can digest as they do six other things at the same time.


I think what I found shocking about this is that THIS IS FOR A BLOG FOR WRITERS. Okay, if I was writing for CRACKED.COM or even io9, I'd expect to be told to cut to the chase. Stick to the re-tweetable quips and clever sound bytes, people! But, no, this is what's supposed to draw naissant writers into a class about writing ALL THE WORDS. I'm not teaching a class on twitter fic. I'm not even teaching a class about flash fiction (which, btw, cuts off around a THOUSAND WORDS, WHICH IS STILL LONGER THAN THIS BLOG.) No, I'm teaching a class about writing short stories and novels. Surely, my target audience has the patience to read all 700 words!

Apparently, not.

Apparently, only old people read blogs like that. So, I now need to come up with a subject that is listable. Something that can be consumed in passing while traveling at the speed of ignorance....

UPDATED TO ADD: After a very honest and interesting back and forth with the blog coordinator at the Loft, we've decided to run with the "handshake" blog for this next Wednesday, or whenever, because of the quickly approaching deadlines. I agreed, however, for the sake of social experiment, to attempt to write a blog that fit the "scannable," bite-sized model for the future. TBF, she did say that there are a number of blogs on the Loft site that are as long (or longer) than the one I offered. She just found them to be "less successful." I can't argue with that. I presume that the folks at the Loft know what gets hits/retweeted/whatever, and honestly, I'm thinking now about trying to find a way to write about writing that talk about this problem. How do you hold someone's attention in the digital age?
lydamorehouse: (Default)
First of all, for those of you following the story so far, I finished the proposal that was giving me keyboard impressions on my face.  I'm actually incredibly happy with it now, having killed my darlings, the enemy, and listened very carefully to what SF grandmistress Eleanor Arnason said when she explained that my story needed to be more "skiffy."

I have the best friends/writers' group.  Ever.

Now, I must relate the sad story of sexism and how it strangely still exists in the year 2012.  Sit back and prepare to be baffled and confused, possibly even shocked and horrified.

Go on, pop the popcorn.  I'll wait.

Okay, so I was at Walgreen's picking up perscriptions and whatnot, and I was being checked out (in the cashier way) by a young, twenty-something young lady.  The guy at the other register picked up the phone and answered it, "Walgreen's, at the Corner of Happy and Healthy!" or some other phrase the corprate office required empolyees to say when they interacted with customers.  I turned to the woman taking care of me and said, "Wow, that's annoying.  It reminds me of when I had to say 'Cheetah Pizza, Special Delivery' when I was delivering pizzas."  She gave me a very shocked look and said, "Women can do that?"  I said, "I'm sorry, what?"  "Oh," she said, "I didn't know women could do that job--delivering pizzas--I thought there was some unwritten rule that it could only be guys."  I blinked at her for a long moment, and I said, "Women can have whatever jobs they want, as long as they're qualified.  To deliver pizza, I only needed a valid driver's license and a car."  She seemed kind of impressed.  "Wow," she said.

I walked away, thinking, "WHAT??!!" 

Okay, if she'de been sixty or seventy, I would have shrugged it off.  This young lady was no more than 20.  I.. okay, maybe it's true that pizza delivery is one of those jobs men tend to drift toward, but it's not like it's particularly physically demanding, like, say, being a long-haul truck driver, a police officer, or a fire-fighter.  AND WOMEN CAN DO ALL THOSE JOBS TOO. 

Stunned.  I've been stunned since that interaction.

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