A year ago, I didn’t think I was capable of a sustained 5-minute run. Today, I ran my second uninterrupted 5km. This september, I’ll run my first 5 mile meet. A few years ago, I felt a sense of accomplishment if I managed to write a mere two short stories in any given year. Last…

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Last night, I unfriended and blocked a guy on Facebook over vaccination.* He wasn’t even too rabidly fundamentalist about the topic. Nevertheless, his way of arguing an anti-vaxx point of view had all the hallmarks of the widespread anti-vaxx disinformation strategy. Which is why I refuse to engage in this debate any longer. And why…

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British headmaster Graeme Whiting has gone on record claiming that fantasy books cause mental illness. Odd, that. I thought that mental illness causes fantasy books. But seriously: one of the greatest gifts parents and educators can give a child is the gift of an open mind. And imaginative stories–fantasy literature and fairy tales, but also…

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Is it even possible to be good at art? Last year, I spent a very enjoyable week in a hotel on the beach, attending Bureau Zuidema‘s Personal Influence Program course. To balance out the emotionally harrowing, self-confronting content of the course as a whole, the final day contained the Flatter Yourself exercize. This exercize, intended…

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Has it been a decade* already? The calendar says it has. The 19th of August, 2005, in the Science Fiction Museum in Seattle, Washington, I had the honor of receiving the Writers of the Future Award from none other than Frederick Pohl and Jerry Pournelle. Since most of the good things that happened in my…

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An evil dictator has taken over the realm of writing critique. She has held sway for years now, if not decennia, and has cowed writers both green and experienced into near-blind obedience. Her dogma has become the staple of writing feedback, to such an extent that reviewers fear to leave out her central tenet: Show,…

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Much too much has been said recenty about the need, or even the obligation, on the part of Muslims to condemn and distance them­selves from the Charlie Hebdo murders. The most seductive reasoning I’ve heard for this is admirably pragmatic: however regrettable, it is a given that the actions of a few (be they racist…

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EDITED TO ADD (with a huge facepalm): Oh, and I won the SF Comet contest! Another year over A new one just begun It may be corny to the point of maudlinity* to quote this particular song by Mr Lennon, but I can’t help getting a bit reflective upon the new year. Big changes occurred in…

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A long, rambling mission statement in which I admit I that need your help WARNING: This post contains writerly soul-baring and navel-staring. Never surrender When it comes to writing, I am my own worst enemy. I found a discussion thread on the forum page of my online writers group Codex yesterday, posing the question most writers…

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