Arisia 2017

Arisia 2017

I’ll be attending Arisia in at the Westin Boston Waterfront hotel from January 13-16. I’m waiting to see what Friday the 13th at a con has to produce. I expect costumes, people; Friday the 13th costumes. NB: trying to get back into blogging in 2017. We all know how New Year’s resolutions tend to go, but hey – Gonna try! While there, I’ll be presenting, trying to nab some audio, and generally trying to catch up with people. Here is my schedule. Drop me a note if you’d like to be part of this schedule! Friday, 5:30pm, Burroughs room What are the New Questions Science Fiction/Fantasy Should be Asking (mod) Speculative fiction needs to speculate, as changes in the world pile up thick and fast. News of these new developments –...

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Abuse

Abuse

I have PTSD. It’s from events that occurred when I was young; events forced me to learn first hand that sometimes when you go to authorities and ask for help they respond by breaking your soul. Some of you out there know what I’m talking about, and I love you for going through too many things none of us should have ever experienced. I survived as a person and not just as an empty shell because of the people who lifted me up when I needed it. It took me years to get past what happened. I won’t say I’m over it; just that it is now glaring at my back instead of standing in front of me and stopping me from moving on. I’m not going to go into any more detail than that. Don’t ask. I don’t need to relive it, and you don’t...

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Struggling for Work-Life Balance

Struggling for Work-Life Balance

Of all the questions people can ask, I never expected, “How do you get it all done?” to be the most common. I never thought I’d be the person anyone referred to when they said, “If you need something done, give it to a busy person.” I often feel like I’m struggling against a hurricane rain of tasks, and periodically a wind hurled cow will land on my productivity. Still, I’m somehow keeping things moving, and I have to admit it’s largely because I give myself permission to say, “I’m sorry, I can’t.” I suck at the whole work-life balance thing. I’ve trained people to know I work random hours that sometimes add up to all hours. Colleagues have no qualms looking at my calendar and adding a...

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Dreaming of success in an age of diminished possibility

Dreaming of success in an age of diminished possibility

It’s taken me me longer to get to this essay than I had intended. While I might offer valid excuses related to work and travel, that wouldn’t be the whole truth. The fundamental reason for this delay is I want to offer you hope, and I don’t know how. My first essay led to several people wishing out loud that part 2 would offer implementable solutions, and I just don’t have many (any?) to articulate. All I have is some really ugly truths and a personal hope that by laying bare our reality maybe wiser minds than mine can find an answer. In part 1, I detailed the three front employment battle that post-Apollo astronomers (and those in many other fields) are facing as the baby boomer generation continues to not retire, as the production rate...

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Temp

Temp

I was born in December 1973, 1 year and a few days after the United States’ last crewed mission to the moon. I have been engaged in research astronomy since I was 17, and have spent the entirety of my career being one of the youngest in the room. I’m still called “young lady” in professional meetings, and teased for not remembering Carter (or Johnson or Nixon). While the millennials are coming up behind me, fighting to define new paths, my generation is still getting lost in the shadows of our light hogging senior peers. At some point, I keep expecting things to change as my generation becomes “senior”, but that change seems to be on hold – maybe permanently – for many (most?) of us. The reasons are complex and are...

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Living in the Shadows of the Apollo Generation

Living in the Shadows of the Apollo Generation

I was born in December 1973, 1 year and a few days after the United States’ last crewed mission to the moon. I have been engaged in research astronomy since I was 17, and have spent the entirety of my career being one of the youngest in the room. I’m still called “young lady” in professional meetings, and teased for not remembering Carter (or Johnson or Nixon). While the millennials are coming up behind me, fighting to define new paths, my generation is still getting lost in the shadows of our light hogging senior peers. At some point, I keep expecting things to change as my generation becomes “senior”, but that change seems to be on hold – maybe permanently – for many (most?) of us. The reasons are complex and are...

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Imagineering a new reality without abuse

Imagineering a new reality without abuse

Friday was one of those days that started out entirely normal and ended in a total paradigm shift. It was the day Geoff Marcy’s wrong doing woke us all up, and it was the day Chris Ford helped me see what “right doing” can look like. As I am so often, I was traveling. In this case, I’d flown to San Fransisco for a board meeting of the Astronomical Society of the Pacific. This is a board I sit on with many astronomers and astronomy supporters who I deeply respect and who are in their different ways working to promote engagement in science by diverse audiences. Like also happens so very often, Friday was a day when my social media stream was exploding with news of a prominent scientist who had done a thing (or in this case, many things, see...

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