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Quick Notes

This blog is:

- a personal space used for contemplation and creative writing
- feminist
- sex positive
- philosophical
- pro-sex worker rights
- anti-racist
- LGBTQ-friendly
- pro-choice
- anti-misogynist
- pro-full disclosure, comprehensive sex education
- anti-gender constructs
- pro-equal party/community parenting
- anti-troll

Today I did manage to get up at 5.30am with Alarmy... it's am alarm app which forces you to do a thing in order for you to turn it off. Options include doing math problems. I chose an option where I would have to get up, turn on the light, stumble to my closet, and take a picture of my organizer. And since I'm there, aaaand that's where the underwear is, I might as well keep on going and get dressed.

I have not managed to stay awake despite this exercise, of course. This morning I got as far as washing up and getting dressed, doing some exercise (sets of 10, squats, push-ups from the knee, crunches, Russian crunches; it hurt), getting breakfast and morning drink, while checking the Internet, and afterwards, around 7am, I went back to bed and got up around 8.30. Well... baby steps, I guess. Tomorrow I'll see a friend for the first time in almost five years, so once I have done morning libations, I'll hie to the nearby Starbucks, do some reading, and refill my Pokemon bag, until he gets to Riverside. I also need to get books for the class I'm teaching this quarter?

Which brings me to the productive things I have done in the new year: I have drafted a syllabus that actually looks rather good (I think). It has some holes in it, because I don't actually know what the text I'm supposed to teach is. We're supposed to get a list of books and pick one, and the St. Martin's Guide to Writing, and we get to choose exercises from that book. The essays escalate from 2 - 3 pages to a 6 pager, although I wonder if the final project might be too much (I'm teaching them how to do an annotated bibliography, and I would like at least three items in the Works Cited page).

The class is Intermediate Composition. It is part of a remedial freshman series to equip students with the writing skills needed at university level. The first course, they're apparently still learning how to put sentences together into paragraphs. The third course is critical thinking. This leaves the second course as a bridge between the two, where the students move from personal writing to more public writing "for multicultural contexts" which is kind of a meaningless description. I do know they have to write at least four essays, so I'm teaching them, basically, how to write about media, and how to read and edit. And cite. You can never teach kids how to cite too early. I'm pondering a library visit, but... the class is at 7am. I'm pretty sure the library only opens at 8am.

(The class at 7am is because the Chancellor has decided to aggressively expand the university and up enrollment without considering whether we have the actual capacity for it. We don't. That's why there are now 7am classes. I have a MWF schedule, which I don't mind, but all at 7am. I am not sure why I volunteered to teach at heinous o'clock.)

I'm wondering if I need to email the professor who's supposed to oversee us... apparently we get very little supervision, but IDK.

Today, rather than faff over my syllabus, I decided to submit some stuff. I was originally only going to do one, but in the end I've sent out four submissions.

Sometime this week, while I have brainspace, I'm going to get Interfolio and my Vitae account into order.

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Year in Review

So not a lot happened this year per se but I thought I'd give it a shot:

Jan - Mar: After an embarrassing start writing a first chapter, Tempest pulled together an incredible writing group, with whom I busted out two chapters of my dissertation. I finished the second chapter literally the day it was due (last day of the quarter), while I was at ICFA.

March: OK quite a few things happened this month!

1) I was accepted to Clarion! I wasn't really allowed to tell anybody about it but I told a few people, plus Marianne Kirby and I were in a Hangout together when I got the news so she got to witness, eyebrows raised, my high-pitched noise-making.

2) The SEA Is Ours was published by GerakBudaya, a leftist bookstore in Malaysia, for Southeast Asian distribution! This means it's cheaper for people in the region, and it's hitting the audience it was meant for!

3) Joyce came to ICFA! It was so good to hang out with her outside of Singapore. I arrived Tuesday night (which is to say, Wednesday morning stupid o'clock, and slept in the lobby) and was there to meet Joyce and check her in and it was YAYNESS. It was the first time both of us got to do a reading at ICFA, hopefully not Joyce's last time!!

4) The weekend after ICFA, I was at AnomalyCon, which paid for airfare and hotel and worked me to the goddamn bone with SEVEN panels over the weekend. Like, damn!

April: I was working on my third chapter, and I was interviewed by Uma Ampikaipakan for his BFM radio segment Invisible Cities on steampunk: http://www.bfm.my/invisible-cities-07-southeast-asian-steampunk.html

I also wrote a paper on editing The SEA Is Ours and presented it at UC Berkeley's Center for Southeast Asian Studies Conference "Making Southeast Asian Culture: From Region to World"! I got to roadtrip up to Berkeley with Dr. Mariam Lam and Dr. Henk Maier, which was *really entertaining*.

May: Timmi Duchamp asked me to edit the WisCon Chronicles, Vol. 11!!!!! I have themed it "Trials By Whiteness". (If anybody wants to slip something in last minute, something small like poetry, let me know.)

And I booked it to the East Coast for Diana and Ashley's steampunk wedding! What a wonderful day.

The SEA Is Ours also came out in Czech!

June: I don't remember what else happened but I know I handed in my third chapter. Clarion also began this month! I arranged for a subletter to take my apartment, and Lisa Bolekaja came and got me out to La Jolla, and we stayed in a hotel overnight and she took me around campus.

July: Clarion Clarion Clarion. I wrote a story per week. I also did my first collaboration with S. Qiouyi Lu, who was at Clarion West... while collaborations between classmates have happened, this was also the first inter-Clarion collaboration, so we made a bit of history there! I cooked a lot for my classmates. We got to go to San Diego Comic Con, and I spent most of the day with Indrapramit Das, who is way hotter in real life than he needs to be. Cecilia Tan was in town for the Romance Writers Association Conference and she also came to visit, which was cool! My roommates were Jen Julian and Kathleen Kayembe: we're all queer women, and Jen and I spent several topless days down at Black Beach (which is a "clothing optional" beach... so I learned how to swim in the sea finally! and with no clothes). I didn't get the Octavia Butler Scholarship, but Kathleen did, and I might have shed tears when Lisa gave her her owl. Ellen gave me a chapstick as a "Den Mother award" which lol I guess.

Also, VINTAGE TOMORROWS was released on Netflix, which is a thing that has my mug in it.

August: I went home to Malaysia. I let my mom buy me clothes. I also bought my first ever smartphone, a Xiaomi Redmi Note 3, because Dad started playing Pokemon Go and I just.... didn't want him to be cooler than me in that way. I went to Singapore (and caught some cool stuff there) and hung with Joyce and Christopher Hwang and SEAsteampunk writer Timothy Dimacali. (There is an Ivysaur in my collection called Joyce&Chris.) I went to the Peranakan Museum with [profile] delfinuum! It was a good time.

September: I don't remember what happened this month, honestly. I... turned 32. Uhm, I had a houseguest over who managed to push past many of my boundaries. Eric, Maurisa, and Javier bought me a cake! Maurisa and I went to see Nisi read!

October: Sunil Patel, my Clarion classmate, was outed as an abuser, so I spent a LOT of time doing emotional work with my cohort. I fostered a stray puppy for about a week. I'm still in love with the puppy. I also start sending out job applications. This shit managed to suck a lot of mental energy that I should have saved for my dissertation.

November: I sink into the worst depression I've had in years. Also, the election happened, which, what the actual fuck. The nice thing is I got to go to San Diego with Nalo, to watch a special screening of ARRIVAL. There was a special reception before the screening where I got to hang with some other Clarion folks. I snuck some posters home. I.... should send those out.

December: I went to China! For a conference in utopian and science fiction studies. That was really neat. I got to meet the first SF Studies academic in China, Wu Yan, and Chinese SF author Xia Jia (who is not just talented creatively, but terrifyingly intelligent, AND really hot to boot). I got to go out to the Lama Temple, too. But otherwise I spent most of it sinking into depression and feeling terrible that my dissertation is no further along.

I also got my first rejection for an academic job. Which, well, shit happens.

2017 Goals:
- Establish a morning exercise routine that doesn't depend on a gym
- Ask a doctor for a prescription for depression. Folks have been telling me to go to therapy but I honestly don't feel that's right for me.
- Send out more work.
- Revise more stories.
- Write more, period.
- Write a new goddamn novel, omg. I just realized I have a quartet, a trilogy, and three standalone novels that really want to be written, ARGH, not to mention the novella that wants to be re-written, AND the short story collection that I've got ideas for but no time nor inspiration.
- Try for some visiting assistant professorships. If not, try for some actual jobs. If not, go home, and write.

I hope you all have a blessed 2017 ahead!

This entry was originally posted at http://jhameia.dreamwidth.org/241219.html. Please comment there using OpenID.

Publications of 2016

So I guess this is the time of year that we tally up what we have published over the year. And, despite how rotten the year has been going, I think this is my personal best in terms of what I managed to get published! Now if only that translated into academic publishing, too.

Poetry:

"Sweetness and Light" was published in the inaugral issue of recompose magazine! It is a poem about a young woman who literally spews forth sweetness and light when she speaks, and her sense of degradation when other people feel entitled to her. It is 50 lines, so eligible for Best Long Poem Rhysling.

Short fiction:

"Anak Sungai" was published in Truancy, a little story about a river meeting various forest animals as she goes out to sea. There is one animal she wants to find but he is a tricky one.

"Crocodile Tears" was published in Lightspeed Magazine, a retelling of two Malaysian folktales: one of Si Tenggang, the faithless son, and the other tale explaining why a river is free of crocodiles. This was my second pro sale!

"Mana Langkah Pelangi Terakhir? (Where is the Rainbow's Last Step?)" was published in Interfictions, thanks to guest editors Sam J. Miller ande Carmen Machado. A journalist following a lede for the miraculous things that happen finds a long-lost local celebrity. This was my third pro sale and I am now SFWA-eligible as a result!

"A Name to Ashes" is in the anthology Hidden Youth: Speculative Fiction from the Margins of History. It draws on the coolie trade in Cuba for inspiration. It was possibly the hardest to research and write, emotionally. If you want to consider this for something, try to buy the anthology! But if you can't for whatever reason, email me and I'll get the story to you.

Non-fiction:

I reviewed Everfair by Nisi Shawl for Strange Horizons! Most of my non-fiction energy has been going towards my academic writing, though.

I presented a paper on feminist utopias at the Inaugral Utopian and Science Fiction Studies Conference organized out of Beijing Normal University.

Editing:

The Sea Is Ours: Tales of Steampunk Southeast Asia is now available in Southeast Asia, courtesy of Gerakbudaya who bought the rights to publish and distribute it in the region! I'm very happy about this. [personal profile] jolantru and I really should try to do something with them in the future.

Ongoing:

Writing-wise, in the first few months of the year, I re-wrote a dissertation chapter and a new chapter in a single quarter, and a third chapter in the spring quarter. I am now currently struggling to write the last chapter, so I can be on schedule to graduate in spring 2017. It is very hard, because it is a departure from the critique I've been making throughout the rest of the dissertation into something optimistic, and I've not really been in the mood for optimism.

I also attended the Clarion Science Fiction and Fantasy Writing Workshop in summer this year, in which I produced six short story drafts. I've already sold one, and have another one I'm fairly happy with. Clarion gave me a chance to be in a writing-intensive space for several weeks, bouncing off ideas from incredible people. It was also my first opportunity in collaboration.

I am editing the WisCon Chronicles Vol. 11. I might have bounced out of my skin when Timmi Duchamp asked me! I've themed it "Trials by Whiteness" and I'm hoping to present a range of pieces that'll provoke conversations about the different viewpoints in the community. (Also, I think I still have space to spare, in case you wanted to get something in suuuuuuper last-minute.)

I'll make a more general post later.

This entry was originally posted at http://jhameia.dreamwidth.org/241036.html. Please comment there using OpenID.
Spent most of today sore and aching from last night's fever, which was pretty rough. I caught it because I was underdressed and walking home after dark. Followed by getting into a heated room. Could feel the heaty-ness rising over the evening, and by 7pm, it was full blown. Around 9pm, I think I went out into the hallway and I was shivering so much from the temp drop.

What followed was a miserable night of consistent waking up because I kept on sweating so much, so I had to wipe my face a lot. I was much better by morning, but still aching a lot.

I feel much better now, my forehead has cooled down significantly, my butt is still sore, but I went out to get cornflakes.

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For whatever reason, LiveJournal loads really easily in China! I have not been able to access any social networks or email. Which is nice on one hand. On the other, the only app on my phone that works is WhatsApp. And considering that I don't remember any of my passwords, using a VPN has not been useful. (Also Gmail rightfully doesn't trust my VPN log-in attempts but it keeps trying to send me a text message to my American number, which I can't access anyway because I don't have roaming.) Plus, trying to tweet through VPN doesn't work. Just, ugh.

I landed at 6.40, about an hour after I should have arrived, and got a shuttle bus (paid twice more than I should have, probably) and got to the hotel like twenty minutes before my panel. YL has been great in introducing me to people. Most of the papers have been in Chinese but the powerpoints are bilingual, so it hasn't been totally lost. Then again, most of what I'm getting is that there is some hella exciting scholarship in Chinese SF which I have zero access to, haha. I did sit through all the panels and meals even though I was really tired, because damn if I wanted to miss the day after missing an entire day yesterday.

The plan today was to grade all day but I managed to meet some folks at breakfast who were interested in taking a walk out to the Lama Temple nearby, so I got to go sightseeing a bit. Folks have been really nice to me and talking to me as much as they can in English, which makes me feel bad because there's no way for me to do the favour and try to speak in Chinese in any limited fashion, either, since my vocabulary is so nonexistent.

But now I'm back in the hotel, with no internet, so I might as well try to do as much grading as possible. Maybe even a bit of writing.
- I have an interview this morning with the University Writing Program, since I don't have a TAship for next quarter.

- Went to Los Angeles yesterday. Took the Lyft for the first time to the Metrolink, which was good, and again to the Consulate's visa office. I expected a long line but nope, I was first in line. I can go get back my passport on Friday but since I won't have time, I'll just go again next Tuesday.

I found the Metro train just a block away and went back to Union Station, after fretting about getting bus money which led to the purchase of some baked goods. So when I went to the temple in Chinatown, I left the baked goods at the last altar (it's a shabby altar for forgotten souls). I burned some paper money. I sat and meditated for a while. People were still visiting it as tourists, like any other normal day.

Then I went to Homegirl Cafe where I bought a baked good for myself, went to lunch at Union Station, played some Pokemon Go, caught the train home. Decided that if the #16 bus came to the Metrolink first, I'd go to campus and do my GSA office hours. If not, I'll go home and nap. The #16 came.

I graded on the train and the rest of the day. The first batch of 30 papers will be done by this afternoon. They're pretty terrible papers (a lot of students trying to coast by on not having read the Iliad) so it's a bit easy to grade since I don't have to parse what's wrong and what's accurate.

- Besides the interview today, I have two more meetings.

- Yesterday, I called the Mayor's office to ask about whether the International Student Friendly Taskforce is going to issue a statement on the election. The person in charge of it isn't in town so I'll call back next week, but the official DID tell me that it's usually not the Mayor's habit to comment on national issues. To which I said, "oh, hm," because I was really just experimenting on how easy it is to call the Mayor's office.

- I spent the weekend crying a lot.

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Nov. 9th, 2016

Well, as one might say, there goes the neighbourhood.

I hope you guys are okay.

Open thread if anybody wants to talk.

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Nov. 7th, 2016

- I join the ranks of WisCon Chronicle editors who have to chase down submissions! If you want to submit to the WisCon Chronicles but needed more time, let me know! Or if you have an interesting post or essay you wrote a long time ago that you think would work for the theme (Trials by Whiteness) then feel free to forward that to me, too. I'm hoping to have essays, poetry, fiction about conditional whiteness, the change in atmosphere at WisCon, and the use of the safer spaces (of which we now have THREE!!!).

- I submitted two job apps, and just heard back from one... they want more materials. AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA. I'm also working on another job application for another creative writing position. I am a lot less qualified for that one, but it's in Oregon!

- I'm writing a postdoc app right now and it's due today and I have no idea what I'm doing but oh well.

- I'm strangely stymied for this last chapter. There's a lot I want to say! But what order and how to best make my argument coherent? Argh!

- My department doesn't have enough TAships to offer me one, so I'm out of a job for next quarter. Put myself into the interdisciplinary and University Writing Program pools, and we'll see what happens.

- The new movie based on Ted Chiang's novella, ARRIVAL, is playing tonight at UC San Diego. I have, of course, idiotically double-booked myself. Oh well. I'm still going but I'll have to do some legwork for the other event I organized tonight. Bah!

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Foster pup

I have been fostering a puppy! My friend Xio found him in her yard, scared and skittish but still tame enough to lure into her apartment. She was too frazzled to keep him around, so I offered to take him in, since I have some limited experience with handling dogs. Also because he is so dreadfully adorable. I bathed him the first night I got him, he pooped on my carpet. He's had a couple of accidents peeing in the house since but not in the last couple of days! Not only that but he's gone from being super scared of all the things to being relatively calm, and he's even a little playful now. He really just needed a stable place with regular food and walks.

The first morning after I took him in he snuck past me out the door and his idea of playing was goading someone to catch him, which is annoying because this also freaks him out!!! I had to follow him a bit and we went around and around a laundry room. He wouldn't let me get close and I couldn't tell how close he would let me get until too late. Finally I went around the other way and he saw me coming from the direction he was NOT expecting so he froze and let me pick him up. Since then I've been more careful about him being near the door. He is otherwise really good about being left home, as long as I've given him a really long walk beforehand.

I took him with me to the bank on Friday afternoon, and he just walked and walked and walked, even though it was incredibly hot out. This dog has got some kinda stamina. I'm tempted to walk him some 5km just to see how long he'll go. He was avoiding grass for a time, preferring pavement, but now he's enjoying being on the grass and gambols a little, even. I'm very pleased with the progress he's made in the couple short days I've had him. He finds himself a little place to sleep whenever I'm in the room (a shelf of mine, usually, or a crowded corner) but when I get up to leave the room he has to follow to investigate. Even so, he won't come when called, and he doesn't really bond well. He doesn't mind being cuddled but he hasn't instigated it.

He's also not great with big crowds of people--we came across one today while walking on campus and he froze on the middle of the pavement and wouldn't walk some more. I had to nudge him to the side before he was comfortable walking past them. But he is much better than before with strangers. We've also had encounters with other dogs and he at least shows some requisite curiousity about them instead of just running away!

A professor Xio knows is interested in taking him, so we're waiting to hear back from her to see if her family's into the adoption. Xio's also put up Craigslist ads looking for the original owner. Our theories are that the pup either ran away or was abandoned. I'm leaning towards abandoned, considering that Xio found him in her yard and she lives in a house right by the foothills around here which have COYOTES. I'm pretty impressed by how he's survived. But we do think he was owned before: he's good with a leash on, and he's really tame, and he knows how to climb staircases. He's also been relatively easy to housetrain, and I suspect it's because he HAS been housetrained before, once upon a time.

And he is, all told, really adorable! He's really small, with wiry hair on his back. I think he's part dachshund, at the very least. I'm super tempted to adopt him myself, but as long as my schedule is such a see-saw, I don't really have the wherewithal to take on a puppy as young as he is (he's supposed to be about 7 months) and train him the way he ought to be trained. So if there's someone who wants him and has experience with difficult dogs, he should go with them! I'm just glad I got to foster him and help him settle down and come out of his shell a little. The professor was very impressed by him. Fingers crossed puppy gets a home soon! She'll let us know by tomorrow night what the verdict is, and if so, she'll get him on Thursday.

(Xio has been calling him Simon... I just call him "pup pup." I'm very creative.)

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blergh

SIGH, forgot to pay rent and got an ALARMING notice that was all "PERFORM YOUR COVENANT OR PAY" and I'm liks t????? what is this legalese for? So I checked my checkbook and found I forgot to pay October rent, and rather than just, idk, give me a call, they left me a note with big words. I've been on campus from 9am to usually 9pm every day for the last few days, I'm not gonna process this and I probably would have come home sooner and paid rent immediately in the afternoon!!! If I had just been called!!! WTF. I've never had this with a landlord before--in everywhere I've lived previously, even property managers have called me to check in and reminded me about rent rather than just roll a note on my door (not even sticking it on! Just rolled up by the door knob. UGH).

So, I'm never fucking baking cookies for the ladies of the office again, because fuck this culture where one can put in all this emotional labour and still get treated like a disposable client after all these years. (Since 2012!!! They know me by name and face! They know my unit number and everything! Fuck this, and fuck California.)

Anyway for the last few days I've either been working on my Utopian Studies paper, or revising my job applications. One's due in like a week?? And another two on Nov 1. So I'd like to get them all out of my hair ASAP so I can focus on my dissertation chapter. And I've been having concentration problems which doesn't really help.

On the bright side I've been socializing quite a bit. Exec council stuff, and I went to the open house of International Affairs. I feel this might be my most effective year yet, if I can keep it together.

I've also dedicated a little bit of time, usually every other evening, to letting myself play Pokemon Go across campus. Lots of stops, and quite a few gyms. I'll find a place where I can sit down and pick a fight for a while. A Pokemon Go buddy, My, from Environmental Toxicology, has been coming along and sometimes we take down gyms together. We have a plan to wake up early one weekend morning and try to cruise campus when no one's around to claim all the gyms.

I'm also pretty sure I can ID a player as I pass. I saw a dude today who I'm sure was training the gym I wanted to pick a fight with, so I tried to look for a place to be comfy (he was standing by the staircase, and I think he lives there). Finally settled down to a fight and took down all 4 levels of the gym. It's pretty satisfying to do that, especially with higher-level opponents. There's a church behind me that has a gym and a Valor crew there pretty much all the time, and the lowest Defender is around 1600 CP. You don't get to knock off prestige points if you beat only like, a few at a time, so I've had to leave it alone. But someday I shall find someone to work with me and we'll take it down!!!

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