A Month of Letters

I do believe I’m sick of Facebook.

This afternoon, I sat down and counted all that was posted my FB  stream until I reached the bottom of the page (in writer’s circles, this can be either considered research or procrastination. I’ll let you decide).

Overall, I counted 154 posts. 54 of those were actual status updates that was personal (though one was a paste and copy meme). The rest broke down to:

63 links to articles, blogs, rants.

6 personal uploaded photos.

31 pictures, which consisted of cartoons, political statements, Venn graphs, memes, pithy sayings, people holding up handwritten notes, and…in one case that got me into this rant thing in the first place, a social media meme that someone printed out and taped to the wall. I mean…really? Why would you go from this?

social media explained

To this?

Copy of social media explained

AND THIS HAS BEEN RESHARED 8 TIMES ON MY WALL ALREADY. WHAT. THE. HELL?

Now, before you say, idiot, if you got a problem go get on Twitter. Or Google Plus–no one’s over there. I like Facebook. I like the sharing of ideas. I like meeting new people and being exposed to new music or shows, or getting inspired or cheered. I like the whole idea of personally connecting with someone across miles or even continents. But lately, I’ve been feeling overloaded. Too much information, but no substance.

Enter the Month of Letters.

LetterMo20121

This is the brainchild of Mary Robinette Kowal, an awesome writer and puppeteer who will be the Guest of Honor at Mo*Con this year. She’s proposing that February be a month where people will dial down and go back to the very first social media: writing letters. The idea is simple:

  1. In the month of February, mail at least one item through the post every day it runs.  Write a postcard, a letter, send a picture, or a cutting from a newspaper, or a fabric swatch.
  2. Write back to everyone who writes to you. This can count as one of your mailed items.

Recently, I’ve started a new short story in a wirebound notebook . I’ve forgotten how nice it is to be able to whip out a pen anywhere, anytime and scratch down a few sentences. A few months back, I was going through some of my old letters from high school and college, and I was amazed at how heartfelt those letters were. Pen and ink can be seductive, comforting, and fun. I can’t believe I’ve forgotten that.

So, I’m going to do it. I’m going to write a letter each day in February. I got several people already I want to write to, but if you also want a letter from me, either send me a message on Facebook or Google Plus, or DM me on Twitter (yes, I know the irony of using social media for this). You can even leave a comment on my blog and we’ll get in touch. And if you are already participating in A Month of Letters and want my address, let me know!

This is going to be fun. Now I’ll have to dig out all that stationary I’ve been saving for no particular reason, and figure out what kind of stamps to buy. Fruit? Black History Month? The Garden of Loooooove?

Review: Still I Rise: A Graphic History of African Americans

Still I Rise: A Graphic History of African Americans
Still I Rise: A Graphic History of African Americans by Roland Laird
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Very interesting to read. Two “elders”, man and woman, tell the history of African Americans from slavery to modern times in graphic novel form. I liked how the elders sometimes bickered with each other as they told the story, and thus illustrating that there are differing opinions on what happened in history. It was also interesting to see that there is no clear-cut absolutes. Wealthy white slaveowners were depicted as greedy pigs, but some were also portrayed sympathetically. Black people were shot at, brutalized, but they’re also shown as disagreeing among themselves as to what to do.

The book also showed that black people had a strong presence in politics, even during slavery times. I liked how that the book didn’t just focus on slavery, but on the conferences (blacks held a Republican conference at one point. That was delightfully ironic), as well as the writers and scientists.

The only thing that turned me off was the drawing style. It felt a little crude to me. But the history telling was so rich, I soon overlooked it.

This is something I would love to have as part of my library. Four freedom trains out of five.

View all my reviews

Looking back on 2011…and ahead for 2012

This morning I woke with a dull headache and a dry mouth, which I’m going to attribute to the small glass of plum wine I had last night. Still more preferable to around this time last year, when I had a throbbing right tooth that got yanked out right before I traveled to St Louis for a staff conference.

Writing wise, I had a huge publishing blitz at the beginning of the year, including a nonfiction article up at Fantasy Magazine and a reprint of Future Perfect podcasted up at Escape Pod. I also had the first ever honor of one of my short stories landing on the storySouth Million Writers Most Notable stories list of 2010.

After April, things went pretty quiet until I was chosen to attend the fifteenth class of Viable Paradise in October, the biggest highlight of the year. To raise funds for that, I wrote 12 short stories and poetry put them into a ebook collection called the Into the Mist-Stained Woods: A Calendar of Tales (more on that will be in a later post). But other than that, since the workshop, I’ve been writing and editing my novel, and that will be the biggest focus for 2012. But that doesn’t mean putting short stories on the back burner. Viable Paradise did teach me was to churn out stories quicker and trust that they’re good enough without spending months of work on them. It’s just the matter of sending them out.

I went to three cons in 2011: Oddcon, Mo*Con, and Wiscon. This year will most likely be the same, but I’m also looking into going to Chicon 7, seeing that it’s in Chicago and all. I hope to make it my first Worldcon attendence.

I also hope to do more blogging this year. Feels like most of my blogs are either about my own work or book reviews. I would like to change that. What would you, my dear reader, like to see more of?