Book Review: Felicia Day’s Memoir

Filed under: Joy's Work — joy at 7:50 am on Thursday, August 20, 2015


I reviewed Felicia Day’s memoir You’re Never Weird on the Internet (Almost)for KQED, including thoughts on GamerGate. READ IT HERE.

Swimming In Produce

Filed under: Personal — joy at 7:22 am on Monday, August 17, 2015


I saw this gorgeous garden at a winery. I want my yard to look like that.

I’m regarding 2015 as a difficult gardening year. Sow bugs are devouring the roots of my plants and slowing my yield. I’m not getting a enough green beans or peppers or tomatoes to suit me.

And yet every time I go out to pick, I come back with a basket overflowing with food:


But I’m not happy with my tomatoes this year; I’m really not.

There’s a great metaphor in this story. It’s about the Judean date palm trees, a tree from the ancient world that was once plentiful. It’s even mentioned in the Bible. (“The righteous himself will blossom forth as a palm tree does.” Psalm 92)

The tree has been extinct for thousands of years. Then they discovered some of the tree’s seeds in the 1960s during the excavations of Herod the Great’s palace in Israel. In 2005 they decided to plant some of the seeds. One seed grew into a tree.


That there is a 1,300-year-old plant.

Articles: L. Frank Baum, Horton Hears A Who, And Jack London

Filed under: Writing and Publishing — joy at 7:34 am on Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Here’s a few recent articles:


13 Facts About L. Frank Baum’s ‘Wonderful Wizard of Oz’

L. Frank Baum was a fascinating person. I had no idea. He was a chicken farmer and a traveling salesman and went around the country performing a melodrama that he wrote himself. And he claimed he was going to start a Wizard of Oz theme park on a nonexistent island off the California coast. My new hero.


10 Facts About ‘Horton Hears A Who!’

I was reading this book to Gideon and realized that it was an allegory for World War II. When I looked into it deeper, I realized that Horton Hears A Who was Dr. Seuss’s atonement for his racist actions against the Japanese during the war.


10 Facts About ‘The Call of the Wild’

I gained respect for Jack London while writing this. I was able to confirm that it’s true he was rejected 664 times in the first five years of writing. He had a spindle with a needle on it on which he would impale his rejection letters. Eventually he had a column of rejection slips four feet high. That’s some major grit.

I Need To Organize My Bookshelf

Filed under: Writing and Publishing — joy at 1:44 pm on Monday, August 3, 2015


I have so many books. Organizing them feels like a huge deal. Someone come do it for me.

I Love Manzanita Trees

Filed under: Personal — joy at 7:02 am on Monday, July 27, 2015

Marcia and I went on a hike and I remembered how much I love manzanita trees.

From far away, manzanitas are all scraggly and ancient and gnarled looking.


They look like they belong in a Van Gogh painting.


Up close, the bark is this weird thin tissue paper that’s red and orange and yellow.


It comes away in flakes. …

green wood2

And underneath, the wood is green!

green wood1

Article: Great Expectations in Mental Floss

Filed under: Joy's Work — joy at 7:09 am on Saturday, July 25, 2015

Did you catch my most recent article in Mental Floss? It’s 11 Dickensian Facts About ‘Great Expectations’. Did you know Estella may have been based on Charles Dickens’s mistress?

Also, remember the 1998 movie version with Gwyneth Paltrow and Ethan Hawke? It seemed like it was going to be so good, and then it was so bad.


Why doesn’t her shirt have buttons?

Coast Trip 2015

Filed under: Personal — joy at 7:27 am on Wednesday, July 22, 2015


Last month, we rented a cabin on a bluff overlooking the California coast. It was a great four days. We played banjo and card games and took walks and roasted hot dogs over an open fire. There was even a fire pit. Here’s some pictures:


View of the deck.


There was even a fire pit.


Look at that water.


Lots of fishing boats.


More gorgeous water

more water

And more.


Flowers and beach and water.



I want to go back there. Perfect place for a writing retreat.

Hello and Some Facts

Filed under: Personal — joy at 7:10 am on Monday, July 20, 2015


I’ve decided to make updating this blog more of a priority, for now at least. Old-fashioned-bullet-update-go!

* We took a four-day, much-needed vacation in a cabin on the coast. Pictures soon.

* Kyle is writing a book. I am writing a book. I’m surprised Gideon isn’t writing a book.

* I have tons of zucchini coming in from the garden. I froze 14 bags already. I don’t even know what to do. I guess make zucchini relish?

* Next week, I’m buying tickets to go to Amsterdam and Belgium. It will be my first overseas vacation since having a baby.

* I’m almost scared to post links to all the articles I’ve written in the last few months. Stay tuned for a round-up post.

* Did you know that the dresses the women wear in Gustav Klimt paintings really existed? They were designed by a woman called Emilie Flöge.


Annie Clark On Unplugging And Creativity

Filed under: Writing and Publishing — joy at 7:38 am on Tuesday, April 21, 2015


One thing I kind of learned [about creativity] is that so much of the creative process is just about showing up. There’s some things, some realms of thought and levels of brain waves activity, or whatever, that you’re never going to get to being constantly distracted. And you’re never going to get to unless you’ve been plugging away on something, and it’s hour 7, and you want to quit music. And then something happens. -Annie Clark from St Vincent.

We Printed A Ukelele

Filed under: Personal — Administrator at 3:43 pm on Saturday, April 4, 2015


Check it out, Kyle printed a ukelele on his 3d printer.

Yes, it actually works. It’s a pretty cool little instrument. Sometime I’ll take a video of him playing it and put it up. In the meantime, here’s some pictures.


The ukelele printed out.


We added tuning pegs on the side that we bought from the music store.


Kyle stringing the ukelele.

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