matociquala: (bear by san)

It's been a pretty good year for me, productivity-wise. I've published four short stories, a novella, a novelette, a piece of flash fiction, and a novel. And I've written and delivered a whole bunch of stuff that's not coming out until next year...

...and my dance card for 2014 is officially full. That's a pretty nice feeling right there.

If you want to find any of my work from the past year, here's your handy year-end list for doing so.

Shattered Pillars, the second Eternal Sky novel, came out in March. This central-Asian epic fantasy has been pulling in great reviews and reader response. I also made an intemperate blog post about being the first writer of an epic fantasy trilogy in history to deliver the third book on time. And I did it, albeit by the skin of my teeth. Steles of the Sky is scheduled for April of next year, and the ARCs are already in the hands of reviewers.

My other stand-alone book of the year was Book of Iron, a novella from Subterranean Press, the prequel to Bone and Jewel Creatures. These stories are also in the Eternal Sky universe, set about four hundred years later and in a different part of the world. In this one, Bijou and her friends race through poison Erem in order to stop a foreign Wizard from making a very, very bad mistake.

The flash fiction was an untitled piece for Popular Science, published in the July 2013 issue, dealing with interstellar travel and the way space smells.

The novelette was audio-only, in METAtropolis III: Green Space. It's called "Green and Dying," because everything is improved by Dylan Thomas, and it's a caper story about an attempt to liberate some IP from a seastead. Of course, something goes... really, really wrong.

And then there's the short stories!

From Fireside III, "Form and Void," a science fiction story about mean girls and hurt girls and space exploration and Io. I'm awfully proud of this one, and you can read it for free here. (I think this one is technically a 2012 publication, but it happened very late in the year, and you can actually read it online now.) 

From Dark Faerie Tales, "Samarkar's Tale of the Three Genjia," in which one of the Eternal Sky protagonists retells a fairy tale. You can read this one for free as well. Obviously, this too is an Eternal Sky story.

There's a second Eternal Sky story out this year: "The Ghost Makers," in Fearsome Journeys. It's about a Gage and a Dead Man who discover they have an enemy in common, and what they do about with that knowledge.

My last story for 2013 is "The Governess," which was published in Queen Victoria's Book of Spells. It's about an unlikely alliance between two very different women... and some other things.





matociquala: (rengeek superbard! _ strangepowers)

Yesterday was my birthday, and [livejournal.com profile] scott_lynch took me to the Como Zoo and Conservatory to celebrate. There was also pastry beforehand and fried cheese curds afterwards, and all in all it was a totally fabulous day. Here are some photos.

2013-09-22 17.06.09

It's a Minitor in the center of a labyrinth! (The brand name of Scott's fire department pager. I couldn't resist.)

Yes, many Amber jokes were made while we were walking the thing.

Conservatory!

2013-09-22 16.49.43

I need to make up an entire mood theme consisting of this photo of a sloth:

2013-09-22 16.22.17

We all have days like that, honey.

(Cut for flist mercy) )



And that is the day that was, in pictures.

And today, I slept in a little bit and then went for a 13-mile run. Because I meant to run 13 on Saturday, but I fell on a gravel path and skinned hell out of my knee, so I limped home bloody and sad after only 11.

I kind of love that I can handle two runs that long in the same week now.

matociquala: (me at wfc)

I have my first pair of new glasses since 2009. I can see leaves on trees! And freckles on the lovely person who helped fit my glasses!

In other news, I am apparently nominated for four separate Locus awards in four separate Locus award categories: Novella, novelette, short story, and collection. All three of the short fiction offerings are available in their entirety, for free, online. You may read them here, if you like:

Novella: "In the House of Aryaman, a Lonely Signal Burns"

Novelette: "Faster Gun"

Short Story: "The Deeps of the Sky"

Congrats to all the other nominees! Here's the complete list:

SCIENCE FICTION NOVEL

  • The Hydrogen Sonata, Iain M. Banks (Orbit US; Orbit UK)
  • Captain Vorpatril’s Alliance, Lois McMaster Bujold (Baen)
  • Caliban’s War, James S.A. Corey (Orbit US; Orbit UK)
  • 2312, Kim Stanley Robinson (Orbit US; Orbit UK)
  • Redshirts, John Scalzi (Tor; Gollancz)

FANTASY NOVEL

  • The Killing Moon, N.K. Jemisin (Orbit US; Orbit UK)
  • The Drowning Girl, Caitlín R. Kiernan (Roc)
  • Glamour in Glass, Mary Robinette Kowal (Tor)
  • Hide Me Among the Graves, Tim Powers (Morrow; Corvus)
  • The Apocalypse Codex, Charles Stross (Ace; Orbit UK)

YOUNG ADULT BOOK

  • The Drowned Cities, Paolo Bacigalupi (Little, Brown; Atom)
  • Pirate Cinema, Cory Doctorow (Tor Teen)
  • Railsea, China Miéville (Del Rey; Macmillan)
  • Dodger, Terry Pratchett (Harper; Doubleday UK)
  • The Girl Who Fell Beneath Fairyland and Led the Revels There, Catherynne M. Valente (Feiwel and Friends; Much-in-Little ’13)

FIRST NOVEL

  • Throne of the Crescent Moon, Saladin Ahmed (DAW; Gollancz ’13)
  • vN, Madeline Ashby (Angry Robot US; Angry Robot UK)
  • Seraphina, Rachel Hartman (Random House; Doubleday UK)
  • The Games, Ted Kosmatka (Del Rey; Titan)
  • Alif the Unseen, G. Willow Wilson (Grove; Corvus)

NOVELLA

  • “In the House of Aryaman, a Lonely Signal Burns”, Elizabeth Bear (Asimov’s 1/12)
  • On a Red Station, Drifting, Aliette de Bodard (Immersion)
  • After the Fall, Before the Fall, During the Fall, Nancy Kress (Tachyon)
  • “The Stars Do Not Lie”, Jay Lake (Asimov’s 10-11/12)
  • The Boolean Gate, Walter Jon Williams (Subterranean)

NOVELETTE

  • “Faster Gun”, Elizabeth Bear (Tor.com 8/12)
  • “The Girl-Thing Who Went Out for Sushi”, Pat Cadigan (Edge of Infinity)
  • “Close Encounters”, Andy Duncan (The Pottawatomie Giant & Other Stories)
  • “Fake Plastic Trees”, Caitlín R. Kiernan (After)
  • “The Lady Astronaut of Mars”, Mary Robinette Kowal (Rip-Off!)

SHORT STORY

  • “The Deeps of the Sky”, Elizabeth Bear (Edge of Infinity)
  • “Immersion”, Aliette de Bodard (Clarkesworld 6/12)
  • “Mantis Wives”, Kij Johnson (Clarkesworld 8/12)
  • “Elementals”, Ursula K. Le Guin (Tin House Fall ’12)
  • “Mono No Aware”, Ken Liu (The Future Is Japanese)

ANTHOLOGY

  • After, Ellen Datlow & Terri Windling, eds. (Hyperion)
  • The Year’s Best Science Fiction: Twenty-ninth Annual Collection, Gardner Dozois, ed. (St. Martin’s Griffin; Robinson as The Mammoth Book of Best New SF 25)
  • The Future Is Japanese, Nick Mamatas & Masumi Washington, eds. (Haikasoru)
  • Edge of Infinity, Jonathan Strahan, ed. (Solaris US; Solaris UK)
  • The Best Science Fiction and Fantasy of the Year: Volume Six, Jonathan Strahan, ed. (Night Shade)

COLLECTION

  • The Best of Kage Baker, Kage Baker (Subterranean)
  • Shoggoths in Bloom, Elizabeth Bear (Prime)
  • At the Mouth of the River of Bees, Kij Johnson (Small Beer)
  • The Unreal and the Real: Selected Stories Volume One: Where on Earth and Volume Two: Outer Space, Inner Lands, Ursula K. Le Guin (Small Beer)
  • The Dragon Griaule, Lucius Shepard (Subterranean)

MAGAZINE

  • Asimov’s
  • F&SF
  • Tor.com
  • Clarkesworld
  • Subterranean

PUBLISHER

  • Tor
  • Subterranean Press
  • Orbit
  • Baen
  • Angry Robot

EDITOR

  • John Joseph Adams
  • Ellen Datlow
  • Gardner Dozois
  • Jonathan Strahan
  • Ann & Jeff VanderMeer

ARTIST

  • Donato Giancola
  • Stephan Martiniere
  • John Picacio
  • Shaun Tan
  • Michael Whelan

NON-FICTION

  • An Exile on Planet Earth, Brian Aldiss (Bodleian Library)
  • Science Fiction: The 101 Best Novels 1985-2010, Damien Broderick & Paul Di Filippo, eds. (NonStop)
  • Distrust That Particular Flavor, William Gibson (Putnam)
  • The Cambridge Companion to Fantasy Literature, Edward James & Farah Mendlesohn, eds. (Cambridge University Press)
  • Some Remarks, Neal Stephenson (Morrow)

ART BOOK

  • Spectrum 19: The Best in Contemporary Fantastic Art, Cathy Fenner & Arnie Fenner, eds. (Underwood)
  • Trolls, Brian Froud & Wendy Froud (Abrams)
  • Tarzan: The Centennial Celebration, Scott Tracy Griffin (Titan)
  • J.R.R. Tolkien: The Art of The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien, Wayne G. Hammond & Christina Scull, eds. (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt)
  • Steampunk: An Illustrated History, Brian J. Robb (Aurum)

And I'm interviewed at Amazon's Omnivoracious regarding the awards.

Excelsior!

matociquala: (muppetology need bears fozzie & kermit)

It's time for the year-end roundup self-pimpage post, I'm afraid. Okay, a bit late, but I've been busy!

I've recommenced work on Steles of the Sky, which cannot be finished soon enough to suit me at this point, but will probably take another couple of months at least. It's the Only Thing On My To-Do List until it's done. And then I have a metric butt-ton of other work that will have piled up behind it, including a bunch of short stories and Shadow Unit.

So we're not quite at "If I do not finish the book today, I will only have to finish it tomorrow" levels obsession, but I'm working up to it.

So, excelsior. And once more unto the breach, etc.

Today's tea is Upton's delicious Sencha Special Grade Yamato, in a blue Imperal Porcelain teacup from St. Petersburg. Let's hear it for Russian teacups; they believe in capacity.

2013-01-03 13.21.32

Gosh, look at that greeeeeen.

It's also time for the obligatory year-end (year-beginning) roundup of what I published last year!


Novels

  • Range of Ghosts (Tor Books)


Collections

  • Shoggoths in Bloom (Prime)
  • Garrett Investigates (Subterranean)


Novellas

  • "In the House of Aryaman, a Lonely Signal Burns, "Asimov's, January 2012
  • ad eternum, Subterranean Press


Novelettes

  • “The Wreck of the Charles Dexter Ward,” with Sarah Monette, Drabblecast, September 2012
  • “Faster Gun,” Tor.com, August 2012
  • "No Decent Patrimony," Rip-Off, Gardner Dozois ed., Audible, December 2012
  • "The Body of the Nation," Garrett Investigates, 2012

Short Stories

  • “The Death of Terrestrial Radio,” Shoggoths in Bloom, Prime Books, 2012
  • “The Slaughtered Lamb,” The Modern Fae’s Guide to Surviving Humanity, March 2012
  • “The Salt Sea and the Sky,” Brave New Love, March 2012
  • “The Deeps of the Sky,” Edge of Infinity, Jonathan Strahan, ed. 2012
  • "Form and Void," Fireside 3, December 2012


So now you know.

In other publication-related news, As you can see above, Issue 3 of Fireside and the audio anthology Rip-Off both dropped last month, and are available for your delectation.

As your reward for sitting through all of that, here's a picture of my naked ridiculous dog enjoying a pterodactyl and a heating pad.

2012-12-29 16.27.54
matociquala: (atc)
I've been down with a stomach bug for a couple of days, which is no fun--it's interfering with my attempt to return to climbing twice a week, for one thing. Still, I managed an 11 mile run last week, so it's probably not a bad time for a little enforced rest. I'll be skipping my long run this week.

But I'm making good progress on reading Jane Eyre, so I suppose there's a hidden silver lining.

I've just about talked myself into a half-marathon at the end of March. We'll see how it goes. And [livejournal.com profile] stillsostrange has me almost talked into a Run For Your Lives! next year--either the Boston or Austin one. I have to say, Austin in December seems a lot nicer than Boston in August. 

Nothing like a good bout of gastric distress to really kickstart the weightloss. I do not recommend this tactic, but I can currently confidently report that my dry weight is about 186 pounds. :-P, as the kids say.

Here are some tables of contents for forthcoming anthologies in which I have stories!

Rip-Off (Gardner Dozois, ed:)
This is an audio anthology of all-new stories that share first lines with out-of-copyright masterpieces. My story, "No Decent Patrimony," draws its inspiration from Christopher Marlowe's Edward II

Weird Detectives: Recent Investigations (Paula Guran, ed.)
Reprints my Promethean Age prequel story "Cryptic Coloration," along with stories by such luminaries as Neil Gaiman, Caitlin R. Kiernan, Carrie Vaughn, Simon R. Green, Charlaine Harris, and Sarah Monette.


The Year's Best Science Fiction: Thirtieth Annual Collection (Gardner Dozois, ed.)
Reprints my Asimov's novella "In the House of Aryaman, a Lonely Signal Burns," as well as being the first print publication of the podcast original "The Wreck of the Charles Dexter Ward," which I wrote with Sarah Monette. This premiered on Drabblecast, and I believe it marks the first time a podcast-original story has enjoyed its first print publication in a Year's Best volume.

I'm pleased to say that some of my work has made a few of the annual year's best lists so far. Range of Ghosts made the Kirkus and Tor.com year's best lists, and it's a Romantic Times Reviewer's Choice Award nominee. "In the House of Aryaman, a Lonely Signal Burns" will be reprinted in two different Year's Best anthologies (one ToC has not been released yet) and made Rich Horton's best of the year list.

Meanwhile, Shoggoths in Bloom made Jeff VanderMeer's list of the best collections of 2012. Which also reminded me that I need to get my hands on [livejournal.com profile] kijjohnson's and [livejournal.com profile] esedia's books.

And I am interviewed in the December issue of Locus!. You can read an excerpt here.
matociquala: (criminal minds reid runs like a girl)


NB: This post contains exercise and fitness talk.



I had a heck of a time dragging myself out for a run today (had a hard time falling asleep last night, with a result that, um, I didn't get up at 6:30 as I had planned. Silly Bear. And I woke up moody and sad.) and the first two miles were grim determination and lies. But I got there, and then it got easier (I like jogging at Scott's house: Wisconsin is a hell of a lot flatter than Massachusetts!) and I wound up doing 7.6 miles in 11:30 minute-miles. With enough left at the end to... well, not exactly sprint, but at least run rather than jogging the last 2/10th of a mile, which actually felt really good. I like it on those rare occasions when I can actually run, when the meat cooperates and I feel powerful and swift and springy. My hip was hurting, but I'm kind of used to that; it's been dodgy since I was in high school and I'm used to just kind of working through it.

Even the last mile wasn't too bad. The sun was warmer than I like, but the air was beautiful and cool, and for bits of it I actually had a good wind at my back. I may have found myself, um, enjoying those bits. Well, it's only taken five years to stop hating the whole thing...

Then, of course, I promptly had an asthma attack, but that's why God made Ventalin. :-P

I'm doing more weight circuits and hiking here, and (alas) no climbing (I have fingernails! It's so weird!) but I'm trying to do a distance run at least once a week, preferably twice, so I don't lose my hard-earned wind--and I've been exceptionally good about my yoga. Tree pose with my foot actually on my thigh! And when Rodney says "Knee to nose" I can actually do it, now! This makes me think my belly and thighs are shrinking, though my clothes don't seem any looser and the scale's not budging--I think I look different in the mirror around the ribcage, however, and my bras seem to fit more smoothly through the band. And there are great and terrible abdominal muscles in there. I can feel them!

Possibly I'm trading fat for muscle. That'd be nice, considering how hard I've been working out since Worldcon... I feel like I've earned some muscle mass.

matociquala: (me and a troll)
The Giant Ridiculous Dog is the only boy in [livejournal.com profile] seanan_mcguire's Wicked Girls comic. Which I love with all the love in the world. And not just because she draws my hair the same way [livejournal.com profile] scott_lynch does.

In other news, Kirkus lists Range of Ghosts as one of its ten must-read fiction books for spring!
matociquala: (bear by san)
Bonus photos:

Bear with Lovecraftian horrors on her head!

2004, NoreasCon: Bear with a Shoggoth on her head:



(photo: [livejournal.com profile] stillsostrange)

2006, Eastercon: Bear with [livejournal.com profile] fluffcthulhu on her head:


(photo: [livejournal.com profile] feorag)

2012, ConFusion: Bear with Loud Cthulhu on her head:



(photo, [livejournal.com profile] cjtremlett)
matociquala: (masturbation)
It was noted today after climbing that I was doing a pretty good impression of the Platonic ideal of the climber bum, writer subdivision.

Note hoodie, yoga pants, fuzzy slippers, pigtails, chalk-stained Odyssey instructor's shirt, casually stowed afghan for keeping my knees warm while I work, and massive slouching to-read piles.

2011 09 19 Climber bum bear 003

This is where I spend my working life, for the next couple of months anyway, until the Great Relocation.
matociquala: (evile overbear)
La Datlow has posted her pictures from the KGB reading I did with the redoubtable Felix Gilman, including a couple of me.


Elizabeth Bear 3

A reasonably cute Bear, if you ignore the beer I spilled on my shirt and the soaking-wet hair. ("It was raining in New York City yesterday, Mr Watson, I deduce.") :-P (It was not a good day for keeping food off my shirt.)

And this is why I sometimes worry people:

Elizabeth Bear 2
matociquala: (rengeek kit & tilda lucifer/gabriel)
2011 04 07 Daily Commute

Tea today: Upton's Egyptian chamomile
Teacup today: Dragonflies

According to my doctor's office, I'm 1 1/8th inches taller than I thought. (They measured me today.)

So, everybody who told me all these years that I couldn't possibly be 5'7"... you were right. Apparently I'm one of those freaks who grew some in her twenties.

Today is sort of a Rest Day by courtesy, as I will be reading rather than writing. It's work reading, though... and there will either be rock climbing or archery this evening.
matociquala: (superhuman)
I've done a First Book Friday post for [livejournal.com profile] jimhines, and you can read it here. It's all about Jenny Casey...

Also, naps are plentiful, naps are cheap. This makes them the opposite of guineas. Unfortunately, they are not so useful as guineas.
matociquala: (writing leri loki)

Man, I do not have the stamina I used to. I just kind of looked at the next scene I have to write here and decided I could bloody well do it tomorrow. So maybe it's more a relay race than a marathon.

Time was I would have just kept writing until the book was done. But this one isn't getting all rolly-downhill. Instead, it's grinding and grinding and grinding.

And I will keep grinding away at it until it is gone.

But man, this is work.

My thrilling news for the day is that Spectra is not picking up my option, which means they are not currently interested in publishing another Elizabeth Bear book, so Grail will be the last one under that name for that imprint. This does not preclude the possibility of publishing under another name, of course, and Tor will still be publishing my fantasy as Elizabeth Bear for at least the duration of the Eternal Sky trilogy.

So I may be developing a split personality, or something else entirely may be about to happen. Stay tuned!

(I considered for a couple of hours whether I should blog this or not, but since the entire purpose of this blog is window-into-the-life-of-a-working-writer*, I figured it was disingenuous not to mention it. I'm not in need of condolences, really: rejection is part of the writerly life, and this is hardly a career-killer. It's more a rite of passage, like getting remaindered or killing your first magazine.

I guess I need to get back to writing that breakout novel now.)


*Hmmm. Maybe I should have focused more on self-promotion. But that's so odious....**

**Of course, it wouldn't hurt if everybody who reads this runs out and buys four or five books...***

***kidding. Well, no, not exactly kidding. Because of course it would help. But I do not actually EXPECT it.

matociquala: (criminal minds jj hit what she aimed at)
Well, I guess my tenure as the Hot New Thing is officially over now. Just let me get settled in over here at the intersection of Old and Broken. Or maybe I can get a nice flat around the corner at Tool of the Man.

And then we can have cake and drinks.

Ooo. Cake. And drinks.
matociquala: (criminal minds diana reid crazy)
So as those of you who have been around a while are aware, I have some somewhat nonstandard brain wiring and chemistry going on. *****

I'm out about it, because I'm what passes for a public figure on a really bad news day, and who the hell knows--there's so much scare out there about bipolar that maybe it will help somebody to see somebody else with a fairly fucking acute case, who is nevertheless functional, creative, realistic, moderately successful, and not yet dead.****

Normally, I don't blog about it too much, because it's boring, but what's going on right now is actually interesting.

Short form: I'm bipolar I, ultra-rapid cycling**, and I have had that diagnosis since it was manic depression and the treatment was lithium until you killed yourself. (Things are better now.) I'm one of the lucky ones that can control it fairly well through diet, exercise, and supplements, and I got a buttload of cognitive therapy and coping mechanisms from about age 6, so I'm not medicated, and I'm also not prone to hallucinations, delusions, or *paranoia.

Well, anyway, as I write this, I have not slept in forty hours.

I'm not tired. I'm extremely productive. I am mellow and cheerful as a hippie stereotype, and every synapse in my brain is being bathed in massive quantities of sweet, sweet serotonin. Life is good, everything is awesome, I'm not tired, this is fun, and wouldn't you like to go for a walk?

It's basically like E, without the pacifiers.

Since Tuesday morning, I have run four miles, practiced yoga, had a fairly stiff rock-climbing session (which I only quit because my climbing partner had had enough), read a book for review, started another one, written over 8000 words (a personal best in wordcount), completed a novel revision, brushed the dog, driven up to my mom's place to split the farm share with her, gone through a massage therapy session (these hurt, and usually leave me pretty wasted afterwards), watched three episodes of Flashpoint (it r0xx0rs, rent it), played two hours of Bookworm, talked myself out of another run because I knew I was fucking tanked to the gills on Nature's uppers--

...I wish I could maintain this for the rest of my life. I could write three novels a year and have plenty of time for everything else I love doing. I would never get tired or bored or sad. I would be one of Nancy Kress's Sleepless, and I would fucking rule.

The problem, of course, is that life is not fiction.

I haven't slept for forty hours and I have no urge at all to sleep now. And even though I feel calm and alert (and with-it enough to remember that even though I feel great, my reflexes are probably not all that, and there are fatigue poisons coursing through my body even if I'm too stoned on happy chemicals to feel them) I know intellectually that there is a price to pay for this happy, happy serotonin bath.

There's a crash, you see. Or worse, there's a manic phase (which I have been trying to head off with lots of fish and running), and my manic phases are not a happy place.

So at this juncture, I will be applying beer and benedryl until I pass the fuck out. Because I can tell already, the alternative is another post like this at 10 pm tomorrow, and the Netflix queueueueueueue doesn't need reducing that much.

Self-medicating. It's okay, as long as you are nice and know better....



*mostly. I do get the occasional fugue state of everbody hates me and I'm a terrible person and I should fall under a truck, but mostly I can correct for those. Except the one that was apparently provoked by some unregulated herbal supplement in my multivitamins, Nov 2007-Apr 2008. That? Fucking sucked.

**I don't get the good mania. I get the fits-of-destructive-rage mania. You wouldn't like me when I'm manic. Fortunately, at this age, I have interrupts installed, mostly.

***Gram Rabbit always reminds me of how much I miss Life. That was some good TV.

****I said moderately.

*****So you've noticed that these end notes are out of order, have you? They are, however, in the order in which I wrote the post--and the end notes.
matociquala: (writing leri loki)
So I've got this friend who intimidates the hell out of me.

Okay, that's not exactly fair. I have a lot of friends who intimidate the hell out of me.

But there's this one particular friend who is older than I am, who has a formidable intellect, a prodigious recall, an encyclopedic knowledge of the most esoteric things, and is particularly opinionated and articulate about them.

Sometimes, in fact, he scares me spitless. I can feel so inadequate to his company that I hesitate to call him friend (not because, mind you, he has ever treated me in an unfriendly fashion) but because I feel that I don't measure up. I'm more like Bill the Pony than a Fellow of the Ring, if you know what I mean, and I get that way a lot in the company of many of the people I know. 

Well anyway, last night he said something in email that lit my head up inside. In a particularly sticky conversation about a subject of mutual high feelings, he made himself vulnerable.

And it caused me to undergo a bit of an epiphany.

The funny thing about epiphanies is that they're not the same in real life as in fiction. In fiction, you get your epiphany, and then stuff changes. In real life, you have to keep having the same epiphany over and over again.

And somehow it always happens that I have to be reminded over and over again that everybody else is fragile and human too. Like this person, one of the more impressive and erudite people I know, who looks ten feet tall and bulletproof to me. But who gets scared just like everybody else.

And that reminds me that it's nothing to be ashamed of.

The funny thing is, I can manage to remember this in fiction. Nikki Lau, and her bulletproof facade, and the insecurities it hides--she's a very easy person for me to identify with, because of that tension between strength and uncertainty.

But in the real world, I forget that. And I forget to be gentle with people, and compassionate, and realize that 90% of the time any pain they're causing me is because they are fronting as hard as they can, seeking acceptance, looking for a place to go where they can be accepted, trying to look strong so the wolves won't single out them. Possibly even running with the wolves, on the theory that it's safer to be a predator. Or just because it's good to be part of a pack.

It doesn't mean that I have to leave myself defenseless. Because there are wolves, after all. And you can't afford to forget that.

It comes down to the same skill set as dealing with criticism. Most of the time when somebody does something hurtful, it's not about me, and taking it personally just results in boring melodrama.

And on that note, it's time for a grilled cheese sandwich, and then back to the word mines again.
matociquala: (criminal minds prentiss reid hold my gun)
(Oh, and happy birthday to [livejournal.com profile] peake, [livejournal.com profile] snurri, Frodo, Bilbo, Joan Jett, Nick Cave, Fay Weldon, Criminal Minds, The Man from UNCLE, National Geographic, the Church of Latter Day Saints, and me.)

(Thank you everyone for the birthday wishes.)

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