“Who are we, when no one is looking? Who are we, without what once both held us back and held us up? Whom do we wish to be?” - Alex Marzano-Lesnevich, from her essay “Defining Gender When No One Is Looking”

Congrats to GPT-3, OpenAI's Language AI, for being named one of MIT's 10 Breakthrough Technologies of 2021!

"We found that for a subset of women, 'going flat' is a desired and intentional option, which should be supported by the treatment team and should not imply that women who forgo reconstruction are not concerned with their post-operative appearance." - Dr. Deanna Attai, assistant clinical professor of surgery at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA and senior author of a new study about going flat after a mastectomy

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New England Review's new issue is out - I have a story in there!

"The night invaded them once more; they were wet and numbed and maundering on towards a furious autumnal midnight, among cracking mountains, lost in a world of black water; they were sitting crazily behind two lamps that showed nothing but a streaming track, the flashing of the rain, and the gulf beyond." - Benighted, J.B. Priestley. How I do love the old dark house stories!

“Hell hath no fury like a stationer scorned.” - Lisa Krowinski, Sapling Press

"Traditionally, bird song has been viewed as primarily a male trait and female song has been thought of as rare and anomalous. Research shows, however, that female song occurs in many songbird species. Also, it likely existed in the ancestors of all modern songbirds. So, female songbirds have been singing for millions of years. It’s time we start listening!" - The Female Bird Song Project

iNaturalist is so cool! There is nature EVERYWHERE! I have hammered shield lichen in my backyard! And it is beautiful, especially when viewed with a Belomo 10x loupe

"A sound as of the beating of distant drums—a murmur of swarming voices, a sharp, far cry signing all to silence, and Halpin Frayser dreamed that he was dead." From Ambrose Bierce, "The Death of Halpin Frayser," 1891, from American Supernatural Tales. A confusing gem of a story. Even after two reads I am still unclear who or what exactly killed Halpin, but I have my theories...

"Earnshaw wasn’t an ocean and she wasn’t a tower. She was a ruin – inert and broken, the pieces of her mind lying in overlapping layers that hardly seemed to move or change. The trail that Jess and Alex had followed tasted of fury and violence and belligerence, but the ruin had none of those things. Emotionally, it was empty. Burned out." - from Fellside, in which M.R. Carey creates a physical alternate night world made of people's dreams, abstract emotions and mental states - amazing.

Define "lucky." - Anne Panning in a lovely BRCA1+ essay!

"Each moment is brilliant and charged with shadow. Everything that appears in my eyes is too bright and too clear. I felt not that I was watching the landscape but that I was being watched by it. Seen by each of the daffodils, dandelions, the butterbur flowers, the spring starflowers—" Tokyo Ueno Station, Yu Miri. I am in love with this book.

"Their story made me sad--but I also had this overwhelming urge to meet them before they were gone. If humanity was going to destroy a whole category of being, I figured the least we could do was understand what we were destroying." - Sam Anderson on writing "The Last Two Northern White Rhinos On Earth; What will we lose when Najin and Fatu die?"

A list of YA books WITHOUT ROMANCE!!!!

From Mary Ruefle's lovely essay on menopause: "If you are young and you are reading this, perhaps you will understand the gleam in the eye of any woman who is sixty, seventy, eight, or ninety: they cannot take you seriously (sorry) for you are just a girl to them, despite your babies and shoes and lovemaking and all of that. You are just a girl playing at life."

The new Best American Experimental Writing 2020 (containing one of my stories!) is out! The whole anthology is great and inspiring.

One of my most vibrant reading memories from grade school is reading Ray Bradbury for the first time ("All Summer In A Day" - so heartbreaking!- and "The Veldt") in the Junior Great Books anthology...so I'm really, really excited that my speculative story "You" has been included in the Junior Great Books grade 8 curriculum. I'm in there right along with Katherine Mansfield and John Steinbeck (!!).

#WeWantMoreHistory -- go historians!

"Humans must keep doing what they have been doing, hating and fighting each other. I will sit in the background, and let them do their thing." - essay written by Open AI's GPT-3