Wednesday, January 19
Shadow

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A Moment In Time

A Moment In Time

Front page, pets, rants, Uncategorized
What you have here is one of my favorite photos of my three boys, one in which you can definitely see their distinct personalities shining through. It is also one of the few I have of my three babies together, as the kitten was only three and a half months old at the time, he had been with us for a little more than two months, and it had only been a few days prior that I had finally allowed my dogs and cat to hang out together (okay, so maybe it would be more accurate to say that it had only been a week since one day, much to my horror, the kitten snuck past me out of the room in which he was being kept, and didn’t get eaten), and we lost Terri less than two months later. In fact we lost him three months ago today, that’s what drove me to share this picture, and yet I hesitate to do it, kn...
Is This The World We Created?

Is This The World We Created?

Front page, Personal, rants, Tales from Fandom, Tech times
The news that Yahoo groups is shutting down has hit me, and hit me hard, as you can probably tell by the fact that this is my second rambling post in a matter of hours on that particular subject, even if I usually try to update only twice a week. The thing is that knowing that I would soon lose access to this particular resource has sent me rummaging through my fic collection, and that has caused me to rediscover some stories I had all but forgotten. It has also made me realize just how much the world has changed because stories that were deemed to be way ahead of the curve when it came to gay rights less than twenty years ago would now cause their authors to be burned at the stake by the queer community’s speech police (a point that was driven home by the realization that some classics, s...
Yahoo! groups is Shutting Down

Yahoo! groups is Shutting Down

Front page, Personal, rants, Tech times
Yahoo! groups is shutting down. That is not exactly unexpected, in fact I have feared that this day was inevitable for a number of years now, but that doesn’t mean that this development does not represent a sad day for me. Yes, with a couple of exceptions my groups have fallen completely silent, but there are those exceptions, not to mention that to me the groups are a lot more than that. (more…)
Of an Unexpected Encounter, and a Lesson Learned

Of an Unexpected Encounter, and a Lesson Learned

Front page, Personal, pets
This is not the post I set out to write today, in fact this is about something that is likely to be totally irrelevant for anyone but me, but for once I don’t care. This is my blog, and I’ll break my rules if I want to... and yes, this is another post about pets, about what losing Terri did to me, and about a seemingly small incident that left me absolutely devastated a couple of days later, one that, especially in the aftermath of what happened a few hours ago, made me confront some of my own prejudices. This is the story: (more…)
Walking To Heal Body, Mind, and Soul

Walking To Heal Body, Mind, and Soul

A Happy Pessimist, Front page, Personal
I like to walk. That, as pretty much anyone who knows me will tell you, is probably an understatement. In fact I suspect I am one of the very few people on this earth who has doctors telling her to please walk a little less whenever they get half a chance (I wouldn’t go so far as to say that this happens on a regular basis because I refuse to set foot in a doctor’s office often enough for that ever to become an option, but still, you get the general idea). To me walking is not just a means of going from one place to another. In fact most of my walks are back and forth a nearby stretch of beach --very deliberately going nowhere-- with the occasional excursion through a small thicket that is also by my place every now and then, just to mix things up a bit. What can I say, I’d rather spend a...
The Forging of a Soul

The Forging of a Soul

Front page, Personal, pets
On March 29, as I was walking past a vacant lot, I heard a faint meow. In fact I heard three of them. The place was a jumble of weeds and tall grasses, with countless nooks and crannies. Not exactly welcoming, especially not considering that I live in an area that is crawling with venomous snakes... or at least that we have enough of those critters to make it seem like they are crawling all over the place. (more…)
When Words Get in the Way (or how NOT to fail at learning a foreign language)

When Words Get in the Way (or how NOT to fail at learning a foreign language)

Front page, Learning, eLearning, and Unlearning
A huge jumble of bricks does not a house make. That, I believe, is a statement we can all agree on. It is also a good explanation of why is it that most attempts at mastering a foreign language tend to fall short. In a nutshell, we tend to think of words as the building blocks of language, and when trying to master a foreign one our first instinct is to try to gather as many of those blocks as we can. In some instances that is not a bad idea. In others it is a recipe for disaster. The reason is simple enough: different languages are different, but they are not all different in the same way. If the language you are trying to master is close enough to your native one, then that words first approach may work, even if it leaves you with a few unusual linguistic quirks, but the farther afield...
Relaunching witha2ist

Relaunching witha2ist

Front page
No, I’m not dead, though I do realize that, after more than two years of silence, you probably thought I was. That doesn’t mean there haven’t been some rather significant changes in my life --hence the hiatus-- and those changes will almost certainly be reflected here. To begin with I will be reorganizing what little content I had managed to post here. No, my books are not going anywhere, but other than that... well, let’s just say that it’s time for me to do some spring cleaning, not that there’s much to clean, not considering that this site was barely getting started when things went absolutely crazy on me. Going forward my goal is to try to keep a steady stream of posts coming, probably twice a week, though don’t be surprised if today proves to be a bit of an outlier with two --slightl...
What’s in a name?

What’s in a name?

Front page, Personal, pet-peeves, rants
  A few days ago I tried to join Quora. It sounded like a good idea at the time, but instead I came across yet another unpleasant reminder of one of the most ridiculous aspects of my life. In a nutshell, the site insists on real names. I fact they are pretty adamant about it (facebook at least allows you to use the name you go by in your everyday life). That doesn't sound so bad, and considering its nature as a Q&A site it sort of makes sense, as it can help keep things honest. The problem is that I am one of those people for whom the very concept of a 'real name' is somewhat problematic. Why? Well, because I had the misfortune of being born in one of those countries with stupid laws that restrict the names parents can give to their children, and the name my parents had chosen ...
My adventures in language learning

My adventures in language learning

From the archives
Okay so I figured I might just as well write a short post to introduce what I hope will become one of the main features of this site: a section dedicated to language learning, which is one of my hobbies... and yes, I do realize that, as far as hobbies go, that one really needs to get a hobby. (more…)
On the (service) doggie wars

On the (service) doggie wars

From the archives
A few days ago I was fooling around in Buzzfeed when something caught my eye. It was one of those silly 'can you make it through this post without spending $50.00' listicles that link to a bunch of pointless things that look cute on screen but only add to the clutter out in the real world. I usually don't even bother with those, but this time around the picture was that of a dog wearing a service dog vest, and yes, among the items they were promoting was a fake 'service dog' vest. That gave rise to a rather lively comments section that was far more interesting than the so-called article, and that comments section in turn got me thinking, especially because when I came across that debate I was already looking into the impact of the changes in the role animals play in people's lives over the...
Esperanto

Esperanto

From the archives
Okay, so what could possibly have driven me to try to learn Esperanto out of all things? The short answer is that I'm not actually trying to learn the blasted thing, it's just that in order to check out duolingo (more on that in a future post), I did two things: first I took their placement quiz to see how it would grade me in a language in which I am fully fluent already, and then I signed up for a language I had never studied before. Seeing how Esperanto was conceived to be easy to learn, and hasn't had millions humans mucking  up its precious regularity by doing something as unnatural as actually speaking it on a daily basis, it felt like the safest bet. So how's that little experiment going? (more…)
Pencils 101

Pencils 101

From the archives
As some of you may know, a couple of years ago I got into a fight with my cover artist, one that not only caused me to lose one of my dearest friends, but also left me in something of a bind, as at the time I had two books that were ready to go to print, but no covers to go with them. This year, in an attempt to avoid a repeat performance, I decided to try to learn to draw. (more…)
Of Shards and Shadows (science fiction)

Of Shards and Shadows (science fiction)

Front page, My Books, Science fiction
Announcing a new addition to the family! Title: Of Shards and Shadows Author: Clea Saal Born: October 15, 2016 Genre: Science Fiction Format: Paperback Page count: 206 pages ISBN:978-1539499770 Price: $12.95 Note: This volume combines a fully revised version of the book originally released under the title of The Shadow Walker and its sequel, The Shard (and that, in case you were wondering, is the reason The Shadow Walker is missing from the list). (more…)
Talking to myself for fear of talking to anyone else

Talking to myself for fear of talking to anyone else

From the archives
Okay, this is getting ridiculous. I've been working on this website for a month, tinkering with countless little details, but dreading the day when I would have to tell others it actually exists. I don't know why am I so worried. I guess it's just that this is a big change. My old site was comfortable, familiar, and now I feel like I've just moved into this new house that looks nice, but where I'm not sure I know where anything is. Did I mention the fact that I hate moving? Well, I do, but it is something that I've had to do often enough. This is a different kind of move, so I'm writing a bunch of tiny posts that get deleted without ever seeing the light of day, but enough of that. The time has come for me to stop procrastinating, so tomorrow I'll let the world (or rather the three people ...