Something a Bit Different!

The cover reveal of my upcoming novel!

Today is a big day in a journey I have been on for a few years. The cover of the novel I have been working on, Cassandra’s Daughter, is finished!

When I was only a year old, my mother had electric shock therapy. It was the 1960s. She blurted this news out to me when I was assigned to read One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest in high school English class. The information was delivered matter-of-factly, with no detail or further explanation. And it was never brought up again. I certainly didn’t feel comfortable asking any questions.

But as my mother came near the end of her life, I thought about what that experience must have been like for her. This was also a time that I was doing a lot of writing, mostly essays, op-eds, and narrative nonfiction articles for newspapers and magazines. Between articles, I challenged myself with writing exercises. I wrote about my experience getting a filling while at the dentist, doing my best to capture the sterile environment and the horror that all my senses were going through. I detailed a ride I took on a city bus, describing the indiosyncrasies surrounding me. And I thought it might be a good exercise to try to climb into my mother’s skin and “feel” what it was like for her in a hospital room in 1963. Twenty-five pages later, I was horrified at what I imagined she had gone through.

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Thoughts on Losing Control

Photo by Jakob Rosen on Unsplash

I have never been so out of control, yet at the same time in complete control. I didn’t even know that was possible.

“Uh oh. That doesn’t feel right.”

How can I be so in tune with my car? I have owned it for seven years and am about as comfortable as you can get when I am driving it. But it is hard for me to believe just how sensitive my feel is when it comes to what is happening with my little two-door Honda Civic. And for a split second, something doesn’t feel right. My back tires suddenly don’t feel connected to the pavement of the freeway. How can I know that?

But a moment later, it is clear that I am absolutely right. I am hydroplaning. 

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Thoughts on Consensus

Photo by Andrea Lightfoot on Unsplash

I was watching a Youtube video posted by Peter Boghossian. For those who don’t know him, he grabbed my attention and gained my admiration back in 2017 and 2018 when he and two colleagues, James Lindsay and Helen Pluckrose, exposed the fraud at the heart of academic journals, particularly in critical studies departments. The three submitted multiple “academic” articles to multiple “academic” journals (that were actually published) on ridiculous topics such as rape culture among dogs in dog parks and the need for straight men to use sex toys on themselves anally to overcome their homophobia and transphobia.

More recently, he has toured college campuses to conduct an exercise he calls Reverse Q&A. The idea is that rather than lecture and have students ask him questions, he asks students to state their opinion on a topic, which ranges from strongly agree to strongly disagree. They stand on a line that indicates their level of agreement, and he asks them questions. Then in real time and based on what they are hearing, they may move to a different place along the scale as their opinions shift.

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