Some reading for your cabin fever

It’s been a minute since I last updated, but I’ve had a bunch of things published in the past ::counts backwards:: nine months? Sheesh. Well, no one reads personal blogs anymore, so no great loss. I’ve been channeling that energy into lots of different writing projects lately. Namely:

  • A slew of new installments in the Tor.com Science and the Fantastic column
  • A two-part examination of how science is used in science fiction over at Locus Magazine (from both the theoretical and practical angles)
  • I channeled my current anxiety over the coronavirus epidemic into an essay on con crud and community over at Uncanny.

I’ve got just one more installment in the Tor.com column coming up for next month, another essay I pitched to a new venue due later this month, and some other exciting non-fiction-related stuff in the months to come.

I’m writing this, as I mentioned above, in an anxious time. I’ve been following the coronavirus news so closely that I almost feel like I did way back in 2009 when I was unemployed for six months between grad school and finding a job – obsessively refreshing pages waiting for new information that might make me feel… what, exactly? Better? Like I have a handle on things? Like control over my life is magically back within my grasp?

I wish I weren’t asthmatic (adding one to the infinite pile of times I’ve wished this were true since I was diagnosed when I was five). I wish I didn’t have this autoimmune disease (again, with a +1 to the ever growing pile). I dislike being robbed once and for all of that youthful sense of immortality, which I feel like we can cling to if we can only convince ourselves that the manner of our own death remains nebulous – could be literally anything. But then as you get older, and health problems compound, you spend more time shoring up those crumbling walls between you and your own mortality, certain likelihoods increasing in size become difficult to ignore.

Ah, well. Being mad about it, I learned a long time ago, accomplishes nothing except to increase stress. I accept it, take all my medications, go to all my appointments, get a job that gives me good enough health insurance (which is a kind of fucked thing to have to always have in the back of my mind) to be able to best take care of myself and reduce anxiety levels to a manageable amount so I can continue to have the headspace to do the things that make me feel like I’m living as best I can between obsessively refreshing websites for coronavirus updates.

It’s raining here today, which people always treat like such an anomaly but this is just the other season in San Diego – the wet one – and I am now technically putting myself under enhanced social distancing, so I’m curled up on the couch, work laptop beside me, deadlines coming down the pipeline, a slew of unwatched media and unplayed video games to engage with, and a brand newish pirate banjo to pluck when I want to fill the room with something as lonesome sounding as someone asking, “Why?” in an empty toilet paper aisle at the grocery store.

These are strange times, to be sure, and sometimes I can almost feel the history unspooling beneath our collective feet.

Be good to each other y’all – it’s pretty apparent now, more than ever, that we are all that we have.

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