Odin says: "Happy First Contact Day!"

Easter, Vulcans, and more!

Odin says: "Happy First Contact Day!"


This turned out to be a packed week for little April with Passover, Purim, First Contact Day, and Easter all slamming into one another at warp speed - it was wonderful. My amazing wife made me a SCAVENGER HUNT for Easter, where I walked all around our home solving riddles to get my egg! She’s also responsible for the Starfleet Badge cookies that we had for First Contact Day. I’m the luckiest man.

This week was mainly focused on my MLIS work, aside from the holidays. There is a HUGE amount of busywork for these entry-level required courses, but I’m so very pleased to be getting it all out of the way. One of the classes has an incredible instructor, too, and that makes it all so much more enjoyable.

Because of some life factors, my writing went a bit slower than I’d have liked this week, but I’m hoping to catch up next week. Same goes for my article writing, though I do have two nice little pieces ready for you today!


Writer’s Corner

I have an upcoming article connected to writing (next week!), but this week I want to draw your attention to a piece that a friend read and shared with me, a short story by David Foster Wallace.

I’ve read a collection of DFWs essays before, and found him compelling enough that I want to return to more of his non-fiction work in the future. But I’d never taken the time to look at his narrative work. And damn.

However, before I send you skipping along merrily to read this little nightmare story, let me preface it with a trigger warning: it’s dark, like, really dark. Wallace actually offers his own trigger warning in the form of the title, so trust that, and avoid if you’re of a light constitituion.

The reason I’m drawing your attention to it is that many of my readers are also writers. This story is a superb little exercise in tension, conservation of detail for maximum effect, and the misdirection for emotional right-hookedness (an offical writer term you learn about in MFA programs).

This is a story I probably wouldn’t hand to students as a mandatory assignment, but would hand to those serious writers who want to learn how to best pull someone’s heart out from between their teeth and fricassee it.

It’s a reminder to me that I should read some more non-genre fiction, too. I’ve been wanting to do so for a while, but never quite getting around to it. With my time so limited, I end up conserving my energy by reading the same sort of things for entertainment that I write: I can get enjoyment and tidbits about how to create interesting science fiction at the same time. But more traditional literary writers, so obsessed with the minutia of life here and now, are really good at brining here and now into a space of deep reality within the reader. That’s something I want to be able to do better, so that’s something that I need to read more of their work to master.

Okay, the next couple of sections are pretty short, but should bring you back to a happy place after that story. <3

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From the World Wide Web

  • Tech advice! If you were looking for a really cool way to escape what Cory Doctorow calls the “enshittification of social media” then this neat app may be of interest to you. "From them: “Having trouble staying connected while friends scatter across multiple networks? Friend networks and social account identities aren't portable, so we feel trapped. Whosum is provided by the non-profit Positive Sum Networks Inc to fix this power imbalance and make the web human-centric again. Here are two steps to take back power. More coming soon!”

I was also pleased to see that a huge Mastodon effort to save the Texas Observer, one of the rare bastions for progressive thought in all of Texas (and much of the US) paid off! The forces of corporatocracy were trying to kill this little gem off, but thanks to a huge Mastodon campaign, it was saved! Score One for the Good Guys.

A red graphic featuring black text and an image of the March/April 2023 issue of our magazine (which depicts a young person dressed as an armed Christian nationalist). Text: This month, our readers saved us from going under. Now we need you to make sure we're here in another 68 years. #TexasNeedsAnObserver

I ran into this absolutely fabulous hit song from the MonaLisa Twins, called I Bought Myself a Politician, which is my new favorite satirical musical. If you like it, you can buy their new album, here.

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Laughter for the soul

May be an image of text

Okay, that’s all for this week! Thanks so much for reading, and I hope that you manage to go easy this week. And, if you can’t go easy, then go as easy as you can.

~Odin H.

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