Thursday, December 4, 2014

It's That Time Again ...

And not because I'm back ... well, not only because I'm back! After a rather strange, and challenging 2013 only to turn around and chop slice the tip of my finger off earlier this year with this guy, and now fully understand why he's typically sold with his little friend I packed it in, and said "so long" to the Internet for awhile.  I figured it could survive without me. I thought I was made of tougher stuff! Sew through my finger? No problem! But I'm no chef, and completely unaccustomed to chopping off finger tips, and shaving the odd knuckle off here and there so, firmly into hibernation I slipped.

For those of you saying to yourselves right now: Accidents only happen when you're not paying attention. Yeah, I used to be you ... All I can say is you've obviously never used a mandolin slicer!  Apparently, accidents CAN happen when you're focused, and paying attention when it comes to Japanese kitchen utensils.

So, why is this the most wonderful time of the year (aside from having me back, and the buzz of the encroaching holidays in the air, of course)?  The Worldbuilders are at it again with their fundraising efforts in full swing on behalf of Heifer International, which is a charity I find really interesting, and am happy to support when, and how I can.  Its simultaneous massive reach, yet grass roots way the program touches the lives of the people it helps, fascinates me.  Doubly cool, is that Worldbuilders is the brainchild of my English-101-professor-turned-bestselling-fantasy-author, Patrick Rothfuss.  While, to me, he'll always be the scruffy chinned, grad student making my essays bleed red ink, this majestic warlock of the literary world who could be cashing his advance checks, and swimming in a bin of gold coins à la Scrooge McDuck, is trying, and I think, succeeding at doing something far more special (as much as I've always wanted to swim in a bin full of money...).  Every year his assembled team of world-building minions who keep the Rothfuss machine well-oiled and maintained, crack their knuckles and get to work connecting Geeks & Geekerati alike from far and wide for this one major event (including stretch goals to keep us digging into our pockets searching for more dough, see: Neil Gaiman reads Green Eggs and Ham for one such example) to raise money for people in the kind of crippling poverty, and despair most spoiled Americans, like myself, can only begin to imagine. How much money, you ask? Last year brought in 681,000.00 USD, an amount they're looking to beat this year, with eleven days to go and the total already sitting at 492,684.00 USD as I type this, I think this will be another record breaking year. 

How can you join the fundraising mayhem?  Several ways, actually! Between online auctions for donated rarities of the geekiest sort, to buying things straight from Pat's store, The Tinker's Pack, where all proceeds go to charity all year long (every single purchase), or by just straight-up donating on the Worldbuilders page, where each donation of ten dollars gets you an entry into the massive lottery of donated books, games, and delightfully dorky miscellany. Act quickly if you're interested in getting your paws on some swag whilst helping people feed themselves, their families, and rescue their village's economy. Even though sales through Pat's website are constantly put toward charity, this particular event ends December 15, 2014 so, get to clickin' if you don't want to miss out!


P.S. When a website offers the option for the author to scribble whatever you want on the cover page of the book you just ordered, things like this happen:

For Stormy, My favorite English 101 student of all time!
While the sentiment may, or may not be true, I was in his very first 101 class, and I do have it in writing now so, it's his word against mine at this point.

P.P.S. The finger's fine, save for a little scar tissue. I'm clearly a shape-shifter, or at the very least, part starfish. Oh, and thank God my brother wakes up at the crack of dawn, understands my left-handed texts, and is a retired medic (among other things) without whom, I most likely would've bled to death. And thank God, for rubber bands, and that one year I was in Camp Fire.  

Friday, September 12, 2014

My New Obsession

Chasers of the Light: Poems from the Typewriter Series

Typewriter Series #898

I heard you howling
from the depths
of me.
You were the scream
and I
was the still night air,
You whispered from
the simple truth
that there isn't a priest
with a cross big enough 
to exorcise you
from me.
You will haunt
and slam shut,
in the middle of all
my nights,
the doors inside me.
I will count your footsteps
in the cellar of my soul
and beg you
to pass through me
just once more.
Just once.

Saturday, February 15, 2014

Lighten Up, It's Just Fashion!

Which is true, except when it's not. 

With New York's Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week 2014 winding down, and London's just getting underway; air kisses hanging like a thick cloud alongside thrilled gasps of front-row glitterati over how fabulous next year's donation pile is going to be, I'm wondering just how "fabulous" the people of last year's factory collapse in Bangladesh, and other sweatshop workers around the world are feeling.  My guess is, not very.

Don't be fooled by the high price on your designer duds, the people behind the construction are, more typically than not, cutting and sewing in the same human rights violating factories pumping out threads for your local one-stop-shop retailer.

At some point something's gotta give.  Right now our actions are saying that we value a pretty new dress over human life.  It's time to put the champagne down, and get real.
 **Updated 2022**
Originally, there was a video that accompanied this post, and while the information reported was correct, it is from a broadcasting organization I do not wish to promote on this page.  For more information on the topic of the intersection of human rights, and the fashion industry, please take a look at this list of films compiled by Remake (a registered 501c3 non-profit organization that exists to shed light on the human rights violations and climate injustice being caused by the fashion industry):