The Possibilities of Stars

When I most need light, it’s a night sky that comforts me. Look up: see that matrix of stars, the spaces between? Empty or burning, there’s purpose – and therefore possibility. One more candle of hope kindles whenever I look up.

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Links Lundi

Little Girls Are Better At Designing Superheroes Than You is a tumblr project wherein little girls dress up like superheroes and get animated and it’s adorable.

Here’s where to start reading Captain Marvel!

“The first time I did this exercise, I didn’t know that it would turn into a lesson on racism, sexism, and every other kind of -ism. I thought it was just about casting. But now I know that casting is never just about casting, and this day is a real teachable opportunity.”

Speaking of sexism! Because of course there’s something applicable going on. Ubisoft, creator of the “Assassin’s Creed” games, had the gall to say that playable female characters were just too expensive to fit into their new insanely detailed, gorgeously rendered French Revolution adventure, in which, as we all know, no women were involved. There’s a co-op mode, but as far as I can tell, you only get to customize the same white dude for all four players. Never mind that they’ve already had playable female characters in previous games and oh yeah, we’ve been over this issue before. The excuse is crappy, their response is crappy, Ubisoft is crappy.

Thus, #womenaretoohardtoanimate.

(Also, the franchise’s women-led adventure, Liberation, is available on Steam for $19.99. Just sayin’.)

Kate Schell on doubt versus skepticism: “I am done suppressing common sense and conscience to fit people’s expectations, and this is not doubt, but growth. This is owning my skepticism and pursuing alternatives and being a healthier, fuller person.”

If We Were Having Coffee

Jamie at Perpetual Page-Turner posted recently as if she were chatting with someone, in person, face-to-face, at a coffee shop.  I’m just enough of an extrovert to be really really glad we have weekly game nights with our friends, and I know this blog has been, uh, quiet lately, so a faux chat over coffee is just what the doctor ordered.

So hello! Let’s chat.

If we were having coffee, I’d tell you that Friday will be my last day at my job! I have two reasons for moving on, one being my tendonitis.

It is not improving, and this job requires me to be typing and using a mouse all day. Even with an ergonomic keyboard and mouse, by the end of the day, my wrists are swollen and sore. Recently it got so painful that I couldn’t even pet River, and I broke down completely.  Kevin held me until I’d cried out all the frustrations of the last six months (six, that alone makes me want to cry again) of pain and uselessness and finally just said, “Put in your two weeks.”

It was a lightbulb moment.  We had always been planning that someday I would work from home and write – that would be reason #2 – it’s just that “someday” came up a little sooner than we’d planned.

But I honestly don’t think I’d ever heal if I stayed at that job, and I’d be stuck in a cycle of under-productivity and self-loathing for God knows how many more months. Now, I can use my dictation software all day, and I’ll finally be doing what I’ve always wanted to do with my life. I can devote more time to my church job. River won’t be alone all the time. I can finally finish my books!

If we were having coffee, I’d tell you I’m pumped up and optimistic after a writing conference I attended this weekend. It made me feel brave and capable and yeah, naive, because it will never be as easy as I’m imagining it to be, but no matter what, Friday is my last day.  After that, all I’ll have are whatever words come out of me.  So maybe I’m a little nervous, too.  Just a little.

I would also tell you that I have a secret, deeply-rooted terror of never healing. People keep reassuring me that tendonitis takes a while to heal, and I think “of course this can’t last forever,” followed immediately by “oh god what if it does.

But it can’t.  Right?

And someday I’ll get published.  Right?

Right.

(I’ve also been thinking about having faith vs. being in denial of your circumstances but that’s probably not coffee shop conversation.)

If we were having coffee, I’d probably admit that I’ve been devouring “Bone.” I’d read the first few issues back when they were published in Disney Adventure magazine, and now I’m discovering that the story is so much vaster and even more shamelessly fun than I’d imagined. I’m also making my way slowly through “The World Treasury of Science Fiction,” which has stories from the dawn of science fiction in the 30s and from several countries around the world. I’m also reading “Cleopatra: A Life,” which is very interesting so far, especially because it gives cultural context to the Greek/Egyptian/Roman madhouse that was her era. Her family makes the Borgias look tame. How about you, what are you reading?

If we were having coffee, I’d tell you that River is doing great. She knows a few commands now, although she still gets “sit” and “lie down” confused. She even did them when my in-laws visited! We will have had her for one year this coming Sunday and she is scared of approximately 60% fewer things! She’s met other dogs and a puppy and lots of people, stayed with my mom, gone to (and been terrified of) the beach, been dog-sat, and discovered the deliciousness of scrambled eggs.  Do you have pets? How are they doing?

Thanks for chatting! Let’s do this again sometime.

Links Lundi

A love song for Delilah: “The truth is that very few of us know how to truly believe in our own beauty.”  Unique and powerful.

With the PS4’s price set pretty high and the Xbox One basically turning into Skynet, we’re starting to get interested in PC gaming.  This official Doctor Who case mod has pretty much sealed the deal.

Want a peek into Hans Zimmer’s studio? Here you go.

Related: the habits of famous creatives.

I realized that while Amelia Earheart gets a lot of attention from history, I’d never heard of the woman who actually managed to be the first to fly around the world.  Turns out it’s Geraldine Mock, who wore heels during her adventure to meet public approval – but took them off while flying.

Melissa McCarthy responded to a critic calling her “tractor-sized,” a “humongous creep,” and “hippo” in a review: “I felt really bad for someone who is swimming in so much hate.”

Fashion, Feminism, and Christianity: Why My Head Is Always Exploding

Fashion and feminism have been at each others’ throats since possibly forever.  As bad as their arguments can get, the squabble turns into a big nasty rock-paper-scissors battle royale when you get Christianity involved.  (I haven’t read many pieces on where fashion and feminism collide with faith, but this piece from The Fatal Feminist has stuck with me.)

What seems to happen is this: Feminism hates fashion because it thinks fashion is all about materialism and conformity to the patriarchy.  Christianity hates fashion because fashion is self-centered and worldly and immodest.  Feminism and Christianity hate each other because apparently both parties missed the memo about mutual respect and individual value.  Finally, fashion hates both of them because it doesn’t like them telling it what to do.

This is all hugely oversimplified, of course.  There are as many variations and definitions of Christianity as there are languages on Earth, and modern feminism seems to have just as many facets.  Fashion, too, is an umbrella for everything from haute couture to vintage to thrifting to fair trade.

Trouble is, I ascribe to all three.

Many people will see this as complicated at best, and unacceptable or impossible at worst.  I’ve read a few Christian-run fashion blogs that blame feminism for a lot of things – only their definition of “feminist” is one Rush Limbaugh would endorse.  And all you need to do is pop over to Reddit to see how much fun it can be to be a Christian on the Internet.  Given the human tendency to label, take things personally, and defend one’s own choices against attacks both real and percieved, it’s easy to see why people have a hard time identifying with more than one of these groups, or accepting that other people can do so.

So how can you be all three without compromising on, or outright betraying, the values of each?

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