• Sigrid Ellis

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    Sigrid Ellis is co-editor of the Hugo-nominated Queers Dig Time Lords and Chicks Dig Comics anthologies. She edits the best-selling Pretty Deadly from Image Comics. She is the flash-fiction editor of Queers Destroy Science Fiction, from Lightspeed Press. She edited the Hugo-nominated Apex Magazine for 2014. She lives with her partner, their two homeschooled children, her partner’s boyfriend, and a host of vertebrate and invertebrate pets in Saint Paul, MN.
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    August 2017
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Summer camp

My daughter is off to camp this week. A Spanish-language immersion camp, up north.

She did NOT want to go.

But …

But it’s time.

One’s first experience staying away from home should not be college, in my opinion.

She is starting ninth grade in September. My son is starting eighth grade.

They are fantastic kids, and I love them both.

The world goes on. Kids go to camp, willing or unwilling, and they come home again, older and wiser.

Onwards and upwards.

*

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And, the world didn’t end.

CW: nuclear war and its related terrible things

I’ve talked about this before, I think. About how I grew up knowing — knowing — that the world would end in nuclear armageddon before I could turn thirty. I wasn’t particularly upset about it, it was just the reality of the situation. Nuclear war, nuclear winter, be grateful my family lived in a large city so I would go first. :shrugs:

I … I did not have a plan, really, for adulthood. I had never bothered to figure out what I wanted to do for a career, because I wouldn’t need one. I did not plan for having a spouse or children because, nuclear fire. As a kid I knew I could never rule out suicide as an option, because if by some terrible misfortune I lived through the initial strikes and counterstrikes, suicide before slow death by radiation sickness seemed extremely practical.

That was my adulthood plan. Live in a large city. Enjoy life. Die quickly.

Somewhere in my 20s, though, the world failed to end.

In this new era of nuclear threats and bluster, I am remembering that earlier time. And I am not repeating the mistakes I made when I was younger. Whether the world ends tomorrow or not doesn’t matter — we all still need a plan.

I mean, it makes rational sense to plan for a future of living, of having a family, of leaving a legacy to future generations. If the world *does* end, well, it’s not like you have lost *more*. You can’t lose more than “everything.” And if the world does NOT end, you will need a plan for living.

But I know why past-me did not plan. Because hope hurts. Hope hurts more than fear. Resignation was far easier, far less stressful. To plan for a thing means the possibility of losing the thing, and past-me just did not want to dwell on that. I greeted each new phase of my life with passive surprise. “Oh, we’re moving? Sure, okay. Oh, I’m going to boarding school? Sure, okay. Oh, it’s time for college? Sure, okay.” Not apathy, just … mild shock that we had all gotten this far. It did not stop bad dreams about nuclear war, but it made them all vaguely television-and-movie based rather than grounded in my own life.

It’s harder to keep hoping for a future than it is to resign one’s self to helplessness. But, this time around, I’m going to keep hoping.

Hope changes the future. Shapes it. Hope leads to wanting certain outcomes, to working for those outcomes. Hope gives us strength and courage, and, yes, fear. Hope makes us all try to create the future we want to live in. And doing makes it so.

Everyone handles fear differently. This approach may not work for you, and I merely give you a cordial fistbump as you do what you need to do for your own health and safety. But I am going to resist the fear, anger, and pride that the nuclear-armed world leaders appear to be promoting and keep planning for my life. Keep planning, keep working, keep hoping.

:fistbump:

Solidarity.

Resist.

*

*

Reorder time, to start the work

I have a new piece of art, made for me by Elise Matthesen! (This is her Etsy shop.)

IMG_20170805_085717_541

IMG_20170805_085740_042

IMG_20170805_085922

Thank you, Elise.

*

*

Quail!

Hello, internets!

We got PET QUAIL last week!

FAQ:

They are Coturnix japonica, a small quail native to northeastern Asia (Korea, Japan, Russia) and are thus winter-hardy in Minnesota.

The pen is right outside my office window. J and M made it with help from a friend two weekends ago. It is a wooden frame covered in hardware cloth, to prevent predation, with a small hutch and lots of brush to run through.

We will eat the eggs, but not eat the quail. They are pets.

We have six female quail. They are:

Mumfrey, Hyancinth, and Reaper Quail

Mumfrey, with the white blaze, Hyacinth, the reddish one, and Bellamy, the speckled one;

Altani and Octavia Quail first day home

Altani, the light gold, and Octavia, the white one, and;

Reaper Quail First day home

Reaper.

Mumfrey and Hyacinth are the quail from the Hamster Princess book series, Bellamy and Octavia are named after the characters in the The 100, Altani is a daughter of Genghis Khan, and Reaper is a character from Overwatch.

The quail eat seeds, bugs, and many kitchen scraps. They MUST have eggshells, to provide the calcium they need to continue laying eggs. In very cold weather we will heat their water bowl, or put a tarp over the pen. I can hear them, ruffling around, outside my window! In a week or so they should have settled in and will begin laying.

Quail!

*

*

It can’t be just me …

I have no brains for anything right now.

I think …

I think I”m going to take the weekend off from the news.

*

*

Thank you

Thank you.

Thank all of you. You who called, emailed, faxed. You who marched. Thank you who protested. You who blogged, interviewed, and podcast.

Thank every one of you who made your voice heard in this fight for the ACA.

Thank you.

*

*

I have genuinely lost track

I have genuinely lost track of how many groups of human beings the Trump government has declared to be not human enough for them.

Immigrants
Muslims
Mexicans
Black Americans
Women
Pregnant women
Women who have sex
Unmarried women
Trans people
Gays
Lesbians
Bisexuals
Sikhs (because they might be Muslims?)
Disabled people
Old people
Infants
Children
Sick people
Veterans

… I’ve probably missed a few groups.

It’s a rough, rough week. I find it very hard to remain optimistic. But I’m finding it easy this week to remain angry, and anger is fairly motivating for me.

So I’m going to keep calling and writing and donating money. I’ll show up for events where and when I can.

I won’t tell you, “don’t despair.” These are fairly despairing times, honestly. But I would ask you, after you are done despairing for an hour, a day, a week, six months, after you are done despairing, I would ask you to please go out and do something to help someone.

Contribute to a GoFundMe. Call your members of congress. Give a bag of clothes to a local charity. Teach someone a skill you know. Make a nice dinner for your family or friends. Give a positive review on iTunes. Send a thank you email to a podcaster. Contribute to a local political campaign. Volunteer for a neighborhood clean-up. Dog-sit for a friend. Pay for the person in line behind you at the drive-through. Make a YouTube video.

You are in this world. I see you, out there. We are all in this world. And the world is what we make it. “Look for the helpers,” that Fred Rogers quotation tells us. But that’s *us*. He was talking about *us*. We are the helpers. We make the world.

This is a pretty terrible week in national politics, and it’s only Wednesday. But I’m still here. And so are you. And after I write this blog post and cry a bit in sheer massive frustration, I’m going to get up and do the dishes. Then I’m going to mail this package of knitting research to Exeter, England, to help contribute to an academic study on Medieval knitwear. And then I’m going to call my MoCs, again.

I’ll see you around, right?

:fistbump:

*

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