Short Story: Deluge in Salomé

Filed under: Joy's Work — Administrator at 1:41 pm on Friday, July 21, 2017

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I’m so pleased to be part of Salomé’s July issue. My very short story is called Deluge. Here’s the first two lines:

The woman’s personality wouldn’t stay inside her. She vomited it into the corner of the literary gathering, a gush flowing out of her and behind the ship-shaped bar.

Read the rest here.

New Book: Linux Hardening in Hostile Networks by Kyle Rankin

Filed under: Kyle Rankin — Administrator at 1:30 pm on Friday, July 21, 2017

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Kyle has a new book coming out! It’s called Linux Hardening in Hostile Networks: Server Security from TLS to Tor.

It’s about computer security. How do you protect computer networks from hackers and other unwanted snoops?

Kyle knows how. He’s so smart. The book is out on July 28th.

Book Review: The Sorrow of Isadora Duncan

Filed under: Joy's Work — Administrator at 1:21 pm on Friday, July 21, 2017

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I have a book review up on KQED on Isadora by Amelia Gray. It’s about Isadora Duncan. Excerpt:

Fun fact: Isadora Duncan and Jack London were contemporaries. Both were born in San Francisco, in 1877 and 1876, respectively. Both experienced poverty-stricken childhoods in Oakland and went on to make definitive marks on their art forms — London in fiction, Duncan in dance. Both lived dramatic lives full of travel, alcohol, and socialist politics.

And both died young — London in 1916 at age 40, from kidney failure; Duncan in 1927 at age 49, famously in a car accident. The long red scarf she was wearing tangled in the hubcap of a moving car. Her neck was broken.

Read the rest here.

Sequoia National Park

Filed under: Personal — Administrator at 11:37 am on Thursday, May 18, 2017

This has been a busy year so far. I planted a garden, went on many hikes, watched Laura Marling perform, saw a parade, and attended a lobster and rose tasting, where I eavesdropped on rich people arguing about servicing their Audis. I learned that an Audi oil change costs $100, but the service agreement is $700, so if you’re only going to keep the car for three years, it’s better to pay for the oil change out of pocket. However, the other rich people argued, what if your Audi is a lemon? Then you could be out thousands. What then, huh?

I also took several small trips. I went to Monterey, visited the snow in Tahoe, and wrote in a cabin in the redwoods. But the best thing we did was take a spontaneous trip to Sequoia National Park.

I mistakenly thought that sequoias looked like coastal redwoods. Not at all. They are orange, for one thing. Their bark is flat, scratchy, and brittle and spongy at the same time. Imagine a bunch of giant orange trees on top of a huge granite mountain, and that’s Sequoia National Park. Pictures:
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Kyle by sequoias

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Looking up at one of the trees.

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We came upon this cute family holding hands around the tree.

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General Sherman, one of the biggest trees in the world.

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Ranger holding up a pine cone

We also climbed to the top of this:

Morror rock

That’s Morro Rock. There was a staircase going up to the top. It looked like this:

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Here are some views from the top:

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Gideon also climbed the rock. I was proud of him. Here we are as a family, at the top. This was right at the moment Gideon started acting squirrely and scared us by flopping around.

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No one died.

Article: How Beatrix Potter Invented Character Merchandising

Filed under: Joy's Work — Administrator at 10:38 am on Thursday, May 18, 2017

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I have an article in the Smithsonian on how How Beatrix Potter Invented Character Merchandising. Excerpt:

Beatrix Potter is known for her gentle children’s books and beautiful illustrations. But the sweet stories of Peter Rabbit, Jemima Puddle-Duck and others helped hide a savvy mind for business—and an author who was among the first to realize that her readers could help build a business empire.

Read the rest here.

Short Story: Murmur

Filed under: Joy's Work — Administrator at 10:34 am on Thursday, May 18, 2017

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My short story Murmur is up on Every Day Fiction. It’s about a ghost. Excerpt:

She came in with the rain, through an open window. It was the house of a young family. The ghost, whose name had been Amaya, gazed curiously at their cleanliness, their food-in-bar-form, and the bright newness of everything they owned. She watched the mother string grapes onto skewers and then paste chocolate chips on one end with icing, the eyes of a long green snake. When the children came home from school, they ate the snakes as snacks. The mother said the grapes were healthy. Grapes had been so expensive when Amaya was alive that she hadn’t tasted them until she was an adult.

Read the rest here.

Book Review: Hourglass by Dani Shapiro

Filed under: Joy's Work — Administrator at 10:26 am on Thursday, May 18, 2017

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I really enjoyed Hourglass by Dani Shapiro. Check out my review on KQED. Excerpt:

My 15th wedding anniversary is in June. It seems impossible that my husband and I have been together for that long. The first 10 years of our marriage galloped by, or so it seems to me, before we finally had a child. Now my son is turning 5, my parents are elderly, and I’ve been married 15 years. These facts don’t feel real to me, but I guess they are anyway.

Read the rest here.

Article on NPR: Bountiful Beach Buffet: Fresh Seaweed Is Making Waves Among Foragers

Filed under: Joy's Work — Administrator at 4:12 pm on Wednesday, January 18, 2017

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I wrote an article on seaweed foraging for NPR.

Did you know most seaweed is edible? And that it’s a natural thickener? And a source of protein? And MSG? AND that seaweed isn’t even a plant, but algae? Interesting stuff, I tell you.

Check out Bountiful Beach Buffet: Fresh Seaweed Is Making Waves Among Foragers.

Goodbye 2016, Which Wasn’t So Bad For Me

Filed under: Personal — Administrator at 12:37 pm on Tuesday, December 27, 2016

There’s no arguing that 2016 was a terrible year for the nation as a whole, so I feel almost guilty saying that it was a great year for me personally. Almost every month was full of exciting, fun, or interesting events, and the year felt very full and rich for us.

Sorry.

I mean, 2016 was the year I went up in a hot air balloon. How can I think it was all that bad?

Work went well this year. I attended two artist residencies, completed a draft of a new novel, studied with Paul Harding, was a finalist in a novel contest, spoke on the radio in Ireland and Australia, and published some of my best work so far. Here are my favorite publications from 2016:

We traveled a lot this year. We took a 3,000-mile RV trip to Yellowstone, Glacier National Park, and Vancouver. Kyle spoke at a computer security conference in Amsterdam, and I took smaller trips to LA, Humboldt County, and Monterey. I also went to Cuttyhunk Island Writer’s Residency and to Wildacres in North Carolina, which was a wonderful experience.


Blue Ridge Mountains

Is it just me, or are double rainbows becoming more common? I saw at least 10 this year. The best was a full double rainbow that ended in a Montana lake. I’m not sure why this is happening, but I like it.

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I spent a lot of time in nature this year, in the redwoods and the Blue Ridge Mountains, on boats and islands, beside glaciers, in national parks, and near my home in Sonoma County. As such, I had many close encounters with wildlife. I saw a bear, buffalo, elk, big-horned sheep, a bald eagle, two tiny screech owls, a weird spider, deer, chipmunk, and many other creatures.

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Look! A Baby Buffalo!

In 2016, Kyle and I worked at home full time and Gideon attended preschool. He’s starting to read and write. We remodeled our kitchen and added two more chickens to our flock, bringing it to a total of four. I got pretty good at baking bread, but of course my husband one-upped me and made croissants. I went mushroom foraging too, although I’m pretty terrible at it. (Don’t worry, I won’t poison myself.)

As usual, I planted a big garden. I discovered that ground cherries are prolific and delicious and that glass gem corn is disappointing, but makes good popcorn. My mulberry tree continue to be the most delightful plant ever. I killed thousands of box elder bugs—no exaggeration—and they still ate all my nectarines, and a raccoon or fox or skunk ate most of my figs.

Next year, I’m going to be more protective of my fruit.

There you go. A New Year’s resolution.

Happy 2017!

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Merry Christmas 2016

Filed under: Personal — Administrator at 7:32 am on Sunday, December 25, 2016

May Christmas uplift your spirits and bring you peace and love.

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