Category Archives: school


so no posts since December.

Bad blogger!

Bad blogger!

On the plus side the reason I’ve been so sporadic the past two years is finally done. As of this past Saturday I have officially completed grad school! I may now be addressed as Master Naamen or simply Master whichever you prefer. So this means I’ll have more time to blog and to read things that aren’t assigned by someone else. Woo!

Wanna Read Along?

So I am doing an independent study next semester called “Female Protagonists of Colors in Speculative Fiction” and have decided to do most of my reading over this break between semesters to lessen the load in the Spring. A few friends mentioned that they would like to read along with me during this time. So here is the book list:

Required Texts:
James Alan Gardener – Expendable
SM Stirling – Island in the Sea of Time
Octavia Butler – Wild Seed
Nalo Hopkinson – Midnight Robber
Hiromi Goto – The Kappa Child
Larissa Lai – Salt Fish Girl
Leslie Marmon Silko – Almanac of the Dead
Eva Swan – The Bone Whistle
Daina Chaviano – The Island of Eternal Love
Angelica Gorodischer – Kalpa Imperial
Samuel R. Delany – Neveryona
Lizzie Borden’s Born In Flames (film)
Miyazaki’s Nausicca of the Valley of the Winds (graphic novel)

Additional Texts:
David Heath Justice – Kynship
Frank Miller – Give Me Liberty (graphic novel)
Children of Men (film)
Nnedi Okorafor-Mbachu – The Shadow Speaker
F.M. Busby – Zelde M’tana

Some are hard to find, like Larissa Lai if you’re in the U.S. because it was Canadian only distribution so feel free to drop some from the list if you guys choose to read along. I’ll be posting about each books as I finish either way. BUT I forgot to post about this until I’d already started so I’ve already (re)read Midnight Robber and will be posting about it later this week.

Just started: Wild Seed

Next Book: Island in the Sea of Time

Probably won’t switch to Island until about January 1st because I’m in thesis crunch time and am trying to finish it before the end of this month by writing about 80 pages. We’ll see if it happens!

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.

2nd Submission for January

So I’ve gone ahead and submitted a second thing for the month of January, after all my resolution was only at least one publication a month not only one.  High on my first fiction publication promise I submitted my story “Ode to an Idea on a Winter’s Night, When the Sun is Low and the World is Fading” to Strange Horizons today. Keep your fingers crossed!

Also somehow I missed the fact that my second semester of grad school starts in less than a week. Somebody save me.


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).

Academic Level Up!

So I had a presentation yesterday worth 30% of my grade in my Shakespeare class. I chose to do it on Rome as the female body and Tamora and Lavinia as separate but also almost identical representations of Rome within the play Titus Andronicus. I was nervous and nauseous all day but after my presentation my professor said I should think about submitting it to a conference.  Awesomesauce! So yes I finally feel like I’m getting in the swing of things in regards to grad school – hence the title of this post.

Hopefully that’ll mean some new posts. Part of the problem is I no longer have time to read blogs and so often I ping off what other people have written and go in a completely different direction and that’s how my blog posts come about. Or alternately I see some bullshit on the web and post about that.

*Sigh* Gonna make a quick skim through my saved drafts and see if there’s anything there for me to expand on for today or tomorrow.

Currently Reading: The Outlaw Demon Wails by Kim Harrison & The Sound and the Fury by Faulkner

General Life Update

I realize I haven’t done a general update on me in quite a while, so here it go:

-I’ve got a pretty good job right now, just general office work, answering phones etc. but I like the hours, most of the people and the environment so it’s going down as a very good thing. Plus it’s in an industry that I might be interested in getting involved in the next few years.

-I will be attending Mills College in the fall to get my MFA in Fiction, they’ve offered me enough aid (Loans and Scholarships) to cover the tuition at least, so this goes down as a very good thing as well.

-Doing more writing lately, but not on the novels that haunt my brain, more on shorter pieces. I’ve set myself a goal of 1,000 words a day and was doing pretty well there for a while but then fell off the wagon. I’m gonna try to hop back on the horse today (I mixed metaphors there but language is fluid and I like it, I’m gonna keep it)

-I’m reading/listening to about 5 books at the current moment and I need to finish at least one of those before I start another.

-29 days before I fly out for WisCon and I’m so excited not only for the panels but to see all the people I connected with last year.

These are the things forefront in my life/mind right now. Now to get back to writing.


I got an acceptance letter from my first grad school today. I have been granted access to the hallowed halls of the Fiction MFA program of Mills College!

I would say more but really all I can do is bounce around while IGotInIGotInIGotInIGotInIGotInIGotInIGotInIGotInIGotInIGotInIGotInIGotInIGotInIGotInIGotInIGotInIGotInIGotIn
runs in a loop in my head. It’s like it hasn’t sunk in, like I can’t believe it. I keep pulling out the letter to read it over and make sure I wasn’t delusional and it actually says Congratulations. More tomorrow if I’m more coherent for right now it’s junk food and bad TV to celebrate.

As of now…

All of my grad school applications are in as well as my applications to the Clarion West Writers Workshop & the Intergenerational Writers Lab. Within the next week I’ll be sending off my application to the UCSD Clarion Workshop. Now one would think that this would be a relief but instead I’m completely stressed because now there’s really nothing to distract me or procrastinate on and I have to start really looking for a job. I’m applying for a lot of freelance work even though I’ve never really done it before so we’ll see how that goes.

Le Sigh, anyone want to pay me for just being me? I’m very good at it.

As for the writing it progresses at a snails pace but at least it progresses.

Returned From Holiday Trips!

I am back in my own room relaxing which is very very good. I enjoyed my holidays a lot aside from a few glitches but it’s nice to be in your own space. But now that I am home I find myself unable/unwilling to write. I think a lot of this has to do with the lingering effects of finishing up my B.A. less than a month ago. I’m a little burned out on writing for now but it’s slowly coming back. Other than that I’m going to spend today actually working on a post for the FemSF blog which I love and have not posted on for months and try to get some of my grad school apps mostly done.

Happy 2008 to all! Hope the New Year treats you better than the last.