Category Archives: all about me

The 2nd Year Begins/Terminology “Confluences”

My second year of grad school has begun. I’m taking four classes this semester:

Contemporary Queer Writers of Color
Fiction Workshop
20th & 21st Century Poets of Color
Queer Poetics

So there’s a lot of reading, a lot of literature and a lot of theory. In addition two of my classes require me to blog once a week. So yes my dreams of blogging regularly again seem to be coming true just not the way I thought. All of this is in addition to being co-fiction editor of the literary journal 580 Split and running a school sponsored reading series.

In conclusion I may be insane, the good part is that a lot of my reading are awesome folks I would read anyway if not quite so quickly. I’m also reading a lot more stuff by Women, GLBTQ folks and People of Color – which was one of my goals for this semester.  So for my first week I read Langston Hughes, Barbara Smith & Gloria Anzaldua.

On top of this I’m researching various PhD programs in the Bay Area. So far the most promising ones seem to be Literature @ UC Santa Cruz, Modern Thought & Lit. @ Stanford and Rhetoric @ UC Berkeley.

*Terminology:  Confluences

Last week in my class I was introduced to the word confluences as opposed to intersections and I’m doing my best to replace the terms in my vocabulary. Not that intersectional is now “out” or anything like that it was just the more I thought about the reasoning the professor put forward, the more I agree with it. Intersectionality implies static connections, the the places and situations in which our identities meet and influence each other happens the same way every time in the same way at the same time. The truth of the matter is that our various identities shift and change depending on the situation.

The imagery I’ve been using to thing of confluences is wind currents. A separate current representing each identity, two or three or more may merge into bigger systems depending on the situation, or one current itself can interact on it’s own and even if some of your other identities do not feed directly into the confluence those other winds are still present shifting the focus and perceptions of the larger storm system co-existing.

Haven’t worked out the whole metaphor or interactions yet but overall really liking the terminology of confluences of identity as opposed to intersections of identity a whole lot right now.

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Missing In Action

Yes, know I’ve been MIA for quite a while but first it was finals, then I was traveling through Europe for seven weeks and now I’m moving on Monday and have been spazzing out packing things but I promise I’m not dead and will return to regularly scheduled blogging as soon as I settle into my new place.
Hope everyone’s summer has been good and if not good at least interesting.

On Vacation but still had time for a little quiz…

Currently on my grand tour of Europe, already have hit Dublin & Barcelona I am currently in Paris but there’s always time for a quiz!


Your result for Which fantasy writer are you?…

Mary Gentle (b. 1956)

19 High-Brow, 19 Violent, 21 Experimental and 31 Cynical!

Congratulations! You are High-Brow, Violent, Experimental and Cynical! These concepts are defined below.

Mary Gentle is a UK author whose work has received some acclaim. Her great break-through came with 1984 fantasy novel Golden Witchbreed, which depicts the travels of a UK envoy on a planet, Orthe, where the inhabitants have, by choice, abandoned a high-tech society for a seemingly less advanced way of life. Though nominally science fiction, the novel is generally called fantasy, partly because Orthe has the feel of a fantasy world. Nothing is what it first seems to be on Orthe, however, and the envoy’s journey across the planet gradually reveals a vividly imagined alternate society, where nothing is ever over-simplified or, for that matter, easy. Gentle revisited Orthe in 1987, when the sequel Ancient Light was published.

Since then Gentle has written the White Crow sequence, starting with Rats and Gargoyles (1990), which has received some acclaim, not least from other writers; China Miéville, for example, put it on his list of “50 science fiction and fantasy novels socialists should read”. She has also written Grunts! (1992), a novel set in a Tolkien-like fantasy world, but told from the point of view of the orcs, as well as several other books.

Gentle is not one to shun away from difficult issues in her works and is equally unafraid of discussing and depicting violence. Neither has she settled to writing the same kind of story over and over, and, while being at her best a great entertainer, she has the ability of twisting and bending fantasy environments and themes at her will, making unafraid a key-word of her career as a writer.

 

You are also a lot like Gene Wolfe.

 

If you want something more gentle (no pun intended), try Philip Pullman.

 

If you’d like a challenge, try your exact opposite, J K Rowling.

 

Your score

This is how to interpret your score: Your attitudes have been measured on four different scales, called 1) High-Brow vs. Low-Brow, 2) Violent vs. Peaceful, 3) Experimental vs. Traditional and 4) Cynical vs. Romantic. Imagine that when you were born, you were in a state of innocence, a tabula rasa who would have scored zero on each scale. Since then, a number of circumstances (including genetical, cultural and environmental factors) have pushed you towards either end of these scales. If you’re at 45 or -45 you would be almost entirely cynical, low-brow or whatever. The closer to zero you are, the less extreme your attitude. However, you should always be more of either (eg more romantic than cynical). Please note that even though High-Brow, Violent, Experimental and Cynical have positive numbers (1 through 45) and their opposites negative numbers (-1 through -45), this doesn’t mean that either quality is better. All attitudes have their positive and negative sides, as explained below.

High-Brow vs. Low-Brow

You received 19 points, making you more High-Brow than Low-Brow. Being high-browed in this context refers to being more fascinated with the sort of art that critics and scholars tend to favour, rather than the best-selling kind. At their best, high-brows are cultured, able to appreciate the finer nuances of literature and not content with simplifications. At their worst they are, well, snobs.

Violent vs. Peaceful

You received 19 points, making you more Violent than Peaceful. Please note that violent in this context does not mean that you, personally, are prone to violence. This scale is a measurement of a) if you are tolerant to violence in fiction and b) whether you see violence as a means that can be used to achieve a good end. If you are, and you do, then you are violent as defined here. At their best, violent people are the heroes who don’t hesitate to stop the villain threatening innocents by means of a good kick. At their worst, they are the villains themselves.

Experimental vs Traditional

You received 21 points, making you more Experimental than Traditional. Your position on this scale indicates if you’re more likely to seek out the new and unexpected or if you are more comfortable with the familiar, especially in regards to culture. Note that traditional as defined here does not equal conservative, in the political sense. At their best, experimental people are the ones who show humanity the way forward. At their worst, they provoke for the sake of provocation only.

Cynical vs Romantic

You received 31 points, making you more Cynical than Romantic. Your position on this scale indicates if you are more likely to be wary, suspicious and skeptical to people around you and the world at large, or if you are more likely to believe in grand schemes, happy endings and the basic goodness of humankind. It is by far the most vaguely defined scale, which is why you’ll find the sentence “you are also a lot like x” above. If you feel that your position on this scale is wrong, then you are probably more like author x. At their best, cynical people are able to see through lies and spot crucial flaws in plans and schemes. At their worst, they are overly negative, bringing everybody else down.

 

Author picture by the talented artist “Molosovsky”. Visit http://www.flickr.com/people/25360041@N06/ for more!

 


Take Which fantasy writer are you?
at HelloQuizzy

Two Chances To See Me Read

So if you’re in the Bay Area there are two chances to see me read in the next few weeks. The first is at the Soulful Reading Series on my school’s campus. Here’s the flyer:soulful-revised

 

Not only do I know most of the readers and can guarantee their collective awesomeness and soulfulness but the piece I will be reading features cannibalism. CANNIBALISM! People you should be asking yourselves, how can you not come!

The second chance to hear me read will be on 5/1/2009 at the Center of Sex & Culture in San Francisco as part of SFinX’s Manifesto Night. I will be reading a non-fiction radically extreme political manifesto (or at least part of it) that I’m working on right now. I’ll put the poster and more info up here when I get it.

LOGISTICS CHANGES:
4/28/09 – reading moved to 5:30
5/01/09 – location moved to Modern Times Bookstore

Not…Dead…Yet

Okay I realize it’s been a while since I posted (and that I’ve said that an awful lot since grad school started) but I am now in finals week so there should be more frequent posting starting next week sometime. Stay tuned – same bat time, same bat channel (it had to be said and it’s possible I’m punchy from lack of sleep).

Just Done…

I’m not feeling very charitable towards folks right now so I’m stepping away from the blog for a couple days until I can write something not bitter and pointed.

Article Up @ Fantasy Magazine!

My Essay ‘“The Chosen One” vs. The One Who Chooses‘ is up at Fantasy Magazine! In this essay I dissect the general hero tropes in the Harry Potter Series and Zahrah the Windseeker. A total overhaul of a post I did in Feminist SF! over a year ago it reads completely different and is more general and analytical by far than my original post was. Go check it out and let me know what you think!