Peace Is Not What We Should Pray For

I have almost reached the regrettable conclusion that the Negro’s great stumbling block in his stride toward freedom is not the White Citizen’s Counciler or the Ku Klux Klanner, but the white moderate, who is more devoted to “order” than to justice; who prefers a negative peace which is the absence of tension to a positive peace which is the presence of justice; who constantly says: “I agree with you in the goal you seek, but I cannot agree with your methods of direct action”… Shallow understanding from people of good will is more frustrating than absolute misunderstanding from people of ill will. Lukewarm acceptance is much more bewildering than outright rejection.

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. “Letter from a Birmingham Jail”

“For peace in our nation.”  I paused.  “We pray to the Lord.”

The congregation, slower in its responses here than in my home parish on the other side of the state, mumbled, “Lord, hear our prayer.”

It’s not my job to improvise the intercessions – lectors just read, we don’t write – but at that moment I wished I could add something to the single, well-meaning, inadequate line of that particular prayer.

Because peace alone is not good enough.

Peace is easy for people like me to find.  Peace is what we get because we are white, and heterosexual, and cisgender, and above the poverty line.  Our peace is not truly disturbed by the reports on TV of violence elsewhere, of fear elsewhere, of hate crimes elsewhere, because, if you noticed, it is always elsewhere, not next door.  And even if it is next door, we can draw the blinds.  We can change the channel.  We can shuffle to and from our cars and listen only to radio stations that agree with us and read only the same old books we have always read and we can do this because we are the ones who are represented in those places.  We have the option of shutting ourselves off from those different from us.  And when we cannot ignore what’s happening outside our comfort zones, we can at least use it to reinforce the mentality that allows us to shake our heads gently and think, “At least We are not Like Them.”

Peace is easy for people like me to find.

But it is a “negative peace which is the absence of tension.”  The things that might bring us true peace, a “positive peace which is the presence of justice,” are more complicated.  And it’s not a terribly peaceful process.

Probably the writer of that intercession was hoping for a deeper peace, not just peace of mind or the bliss we speak of that comes from ignorance, but the peace we are promised in the Gospels, the kind “that surpasses all understanding,” which is good because a lot of other things right now surpass understanding.  But we are creatures who need the process spelled out for us, the true meaning defined and articulated point by point.

So this is what I’m praying for.

For peace and protection of marginalized groups and minorities as they face growing violence and aggression on top of the daily struggle of navigating a culture in which they are not the group in power.

For peace and communication between opposing views, that they may allow themselves to be coaxed toward a middle ground in which they can recognize the humanity of the Other standing before them.

For peace and humility in our leaders, that they may recognize their responsibility to those they represent and to the world as a whole.

For peace and true justice as we continue to work toward equality and a more perfect fulfillment of the American vision.

Lord, hear our prayer.

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NerdCon Stories Part 3: Saturday

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I figured if there was anywhere to wear my Augustus Waters t-shirt, this was it.

Saturday morning began bright and early with a John Green Yoga Adventure hosted by YogaQuest MN.  This was basically like MadLibs with yoga poses: one of the instructors read a narrative in which the protagonists of Green’s novels found themselves outside their stories and tried to find where they belonged, while the other instructor led us through poses associated with each character name, certain nouns, and some verbs.  Whenever Hazel from The Fault in Our Stars was mentioned, for instance, we did Warrior II, because she is a strong female lead.

After yoga I ran back to the hotel for breakfast in the Executive Lounge (leftover perks from having to stay on the pullout couch in the Executive Suite!) before heading off to “Centering Women in Fiction: Removing Your Unconscious Bias.”  A panel of amazing women creators talked about internalized and learned biases that even we women have against ourselves, and how we can combat those by supporting (and even demanding) those stories when they do appear.  The girl power in the room was fantastic.  I also ran into Shayna from the feminist publishing panel the day before, so we sat together and chatted a bit.

When that panel let out, I went back to the expo hall because I wanted to try out the Depict-O-Mat.  Essentially, it’s some people in a box who interview you for a few minutes and then produce an impromptu puppet show starring you.  In mine, I was Queen of the Dragons.  Plus I got to keep the puppet!

After some lunch, it was time for our kaffeeklatsch with Saladin Ahmed.  Twelve attendees got to sit down with a featured guest at kaffeeklatsches (so called because there were coffee and tea available) for an hour and chat about creativity, process, and whatever else we wanted.  Though I didn’t actually talk, it was just nice to hang out and hear others’ thoughts on representation, writing, publishing, and reading recommendations.

From there, I dashed straight to the auditorium to get a good seat for the afternoon variety show.  This is also where I found Shayna again and she joked that I must be stalking her.

2016-10-15-16-55-45The variety show included a Q&A lightning round with a squid, a conversation between Nalo Hopkinson and Daniel Jose Older, a lip sync battle, and a talk by John Green.  All I’ll say about that talk is that 1. he made me cry again and 2. you should go read it.

After the variety show I went down to something called Story Circle, where we all literally sat in a circle and talked about nerdom.  I got to say some things about Arabian Nights and how cool it was to be at NerdCon: Stories in the first place, so that was definitely fun.

My last panel at NerdCon was “Breaking into Publishing,” which is pretty self explanatory.  I got some good notes, some good quotes (my favorite was “How did I break into publishing?  With a black ski mask at night.”), and some good motivation to actually finish my manuscript so I can start querying! (I also saw Shayna.  Again.  Really can’t blame her for thinking I was stalking her.)

And thus, knowing I had a shuttle coming at 5 am the next day, my NerdCon: Stories experience was over.

NerdCon Stories Part 2: Friday

After hanging up with Dad, I walked a few blocks to the light rail and rode it back to the airport to pick up my phone.  Fortunately I had a few hours before the first panel I really wanted to attend, so I wasn’t missing any of the convention as a result of my predicament.

Riding the light rail without my phone was surprisingly serene.  Public transportation in new cities always reminds me of taking the T on my visits to Boston and riding the Tube around London, and without any games to play or people to text, I was left to look out the window at the city around me.

Of course, once I got my phone back, I immediately began documenting the experience via Snapchat, Twitter, and texting.

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The wall of a parking lot right outside my hotel.  I wonder what melody it is.

Back at the hotel, I took one of Minneapolis’s many downtown skyways to the convention center, a convenience that made running back to my hotel room between panels much easier.  Unfortunately, I was too late to attend the Mental Health in YA Literature panel, but I was overjoyed to see that it was filled to capacity because so many people wanted to discuss that topic!  After checking in and getting my preordered t-shirt, I wandered around the expo hall a little and bought some typical convention center fare for lunch.  The tables were huge, so huge that you were almost forced to sit with strangers because it was too ridiculous to have a table for 10 all to yourself.  Thanks to this, I soon discovered one of the perks of NerdCon – social interactions aren’t as awkward because everyone is around the same level of nerdiness.  For instance, a random guy asked to sit at my table, struck up a conversation, and ended up showing me his short story.

2016-10-14-11-18-24After lunch I wound up in a panel on self-promotion, which was entertaining if not particularly enlightening.  All of the panelists claimed not to be good at self-promotion, which seemed like poor planning, but since I wasn’t terribly invested in the topic I just enjoyed the banter between the featured guests.

Then came A Brief Exploration of Feminist Publishing, in which I met several wonderful ladies who are also striving to both find women in writing and create their own content.  We talked about the point at which we first realized the divide between male and female authors, who our favorite women writers are, and the history of feminist publishing.  I loved my little group and our whole discussion was fantastic.

The Writers Panel with Ben Blacker was up next.  I made more new friends as we filled up a ballroom and waited for the interview to begin.  The interviewee?  John Green.2016-10-14-16-24-04

I will admit to quietly flailing in my seat and taking far too many pictures as John came out and introduced himself.  But as their conversation began, I found myself simply needing to listen.  I was so grateful that John was so generous in sharing his writing experiences of the past and present, and that he was willing to delve into mental health and personal balance as well.  One part in particular hit me in a visceral way, because he used a similar word choice to what I tell myself when I talk about my depression.  The interview closed with questions from the audience, which John answered thoughtfully.  (I will update this post with a link to the podcast when it is released.)

My first day at NerdCon: Stories closed with an invitation to dinner with one of my favorite bloggers from SnarkSquad!  Mari and I had connected over Twitter when I realized we would both be at the convention, and she was nice enough to include me in a dinner with a few other internet friends.  After dinner, I went back to my room, watched the end of the second Harry Potter movie on TV, and went to bed (a real bed, having switched rooms earlier in the day!).


Read about my travels to NerdCon: Stories here!  And read about my adventures on the second day of the convention here!

Adulting: Why Not Celebrate Small Victories?

Two friends of mine are getting married next weekend.  Though I’m not in the wedding, they asked me to lector, so I’m driving 3 hours to the rehearsal dinner the day prior to the actual ceremony.  Since I didn’t want to drive another 6 hours round-trip between the rehearsal and the actual wedding, I booked a hotel room.  As soon as I received the confirmation email, I took to Facebook:

Just made my own hotel reservation for the wedding of two friends.  Am I adulting?

Normally I cringe at words like “adulting.”  Innocent nouns should not be pressed into service as verbs unless absolutely necessary.  But the verb form of “adult” is one I will allow for the simple reason that it is the most expressive word for the situation at hand.  “To adult,” according to Urban Dictionary, means “to do grown up things and hold responsibilities such as a 9-5 job, a mortgage/rent, a car payment, or anything else that makes one think of grown ups.”  Frequently appearing as a hashtag on social media, it can be used ironically (“Goldfish crackers and prosecco count as dinner, right? #adulting”) or seriously (“Checkbook balanced, apartment cleaned, laundry done, and dinner in the oven. I’m adulting well today!”).

The term has come under fire for its celebration of everyday chores.  Some who are already proficient at adulting (or like to pretend they are) say that everyone has to do these things.  You’re not special for cooking a real meal or running a vacuum.  A recent Cosmopolitan article argued that emphasizing the basics of grown-up life undermines real accomplishments like career growth, adding that this probably stems from Millennials’ “extended adolescence” because “growing up may feel optional” nowadays.

While many young people do benefit from still living at home and the perks of having their parents do most of the grocery shopping, this actually makes adulthood more scary, not less.

I was fortunate enough to have parents who insisted I learn to cook some basic meals and keep a bathroom sanitary before I went off to college.  They gave me a larger allowance in high school with the understanding that I would use it to purchase my own clothing, coffee, etc. so I could learn to manage income and savings on a small scale.  Though I’m sure I rolled my eyes at these lessons (sorry, Mom and Dad), I’m grateful for them now.  But no parent can teach their kids everything, at least not specifically (“Today I’m going to show you how to call the insurance company for a quote and where to find your policy number on that stupid little card”).

Many of us also grew up hearing that we could do anything, be anything we wanted, follow our dreams, etc.  And those are wonderful things to hear when you’re a kid.  They are also very broad, sweeping encouragements, with little to say concerning the nitty gritty of how to support yourself while chasing those be-anything dreams.  Again, I was lucky; both my parents were happy to help me pursue my love of writing, and at the same time they made sure I would be qualified and capable of holding a day job until that passion could become a sustainable career.

But guess what?  Adulthood is still really freaking scary.  Yes, the big career moves are nerve-wracking, but it’s also the little things that no one tells you about, like having to put towels down when it’s too late in the evening to call maintenance.  Even when you have a potential safety net at home, couldn’t you feel a certain amount of pride when you stop being complacent with letting your parents do everything?  If I lived at home, I would be proud when I made dinner for the family.  And now that I don’t live at home, I still like to send my mom pictures of the flowers I potted or the art I finally hung up on the walls.  These are small accomplishments, yes, but they’re still symbols of independence I am still learning to claim.

Perhaps this is nothing new.  Perhaps every generation up to this point has felt the same way as they’re thrown into the deep end of Grown Up Life.  But we have social media now, and ways to connect internationally with other people who are experiencing the same thing.  The only difference between us and the young adults of the past is that we can be much more public with our anxiety, and we can cheer each other on through the victories, big and small.

So I will keep on adulting, thank you very much.

 

Review: The Transcriptionist

*Note: This is a review of a book I have already finished and therefore contains spoilers.  Proceed with appropriate caution.

Mom sometimes says that when I type, it sounds fake, like someone is just smashing the keys randomly to sound as though they’re doing work.  My speed is mostly due to practice – we took “Computer” every year in elementary school and it was always the same.  When I’d finished all the lessons (my least favorite was alternating between L and the semicolon key over and over), I’d try out the Freetyping section until I found a sentence that seemed to flow for me, then repeat it relentlessly until I could do it fast without mistakes.  I first broke 100 words per minute with 100% accuracy on the bizarre query, “Did you know there is a curious creature called the Platypus?”  (Even as a 6th grader, I doubted the capitalization of the creature’s name was correct.)  After that, I quickly realized that in order to keep up with my own thoughts, typing out my stories was much more effective than trying to scribble them down on paper (though I still take notes and journal by hand).

It is this love of typing that led me to pick up Amy Rowland’s debut novel, The Transcriptionistsince the title implied a theme of words and the channels we use to convey those words.  And I was right, in a way.  The eponymous transcriptionist, Lena, works at a New York newspaper, transcribing articles and interviews on tape and sending the words on their way.  She frequently describes it as being a mere conduit and letting other people’s words run through her.  Even in her conversations outside of work (which, initially, are few and far between), Lena quotes from literature she’s read rather than create her own sentences.  She worries that she is dissolving, drowning in Other People’s Words.

The book is a chronicle of Lena’s reaction to one “story so shocking” that it drives her to begin pricking, then ripping, holes in the bubble of words that suffocates her.  There are other characters who can be divided into two camps: those who do not understand what is so wrong with a comfortable, even easy, job, and those who acknowledge her fear and support her in getting unstuck.

There are animals in Lena’s world, too – a pigeon that never leaves the balconette outside her Recording Room window, and a lion that becomes depressed after eating the woman whose death becomes the shocking story that jolts Lena out of her torpor.  She also frequently dreams of a mountain lion from her youth that terrorized her farming community.  Lena’s relationships with these animals reveal as much about her as her relationships with other humans, yet not in a sappy or heavyhanded way.  The pigeon’s true significance is withheld until the very end, and the two big cats’ effects on Lena are far from straightforward.

I was riveted by the idea of someone’s agency suffocating beneath too many words, seeing as my own relationship with language has been one that allowed me to discover aspects of myself rather than bury them.  The only weakness in Rowland’s prose was her tendency toward verbose dialogue that didn’t seem real – but then again, given Lena’s propensity for letting Other People’s Words slip into her conversation, perhaps it was appropriate to the character, if a bit distracting for the reader.

Lena’s long-ignored fears bubble to the surface and carry the plot swiftly along in a brilliant example of how the struggle to change one simple life can be just as compelling as a sweeping drama.

4/5 stars on Goodreads


Have you read The Transcriptionist?  What did you think of it?  What is your relationship with words like?

Review: The Girl Who Saved the King of Sweden

*Note: This is a review of a book I have already finished and therefore contains spoilers.  Proceed with appropriate caution.

When I was younger, I went through a phase where my storytelling strategy largely consisted of taking a set of ridiculous characters, throwing them together in an absurd situation, and seeing what happened.  (This may have been triggered by my first reading of Douglas Adams’s The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, in which I mostly focused on the Improbability Drive and the falling whale it generated.  Also the depressed robot.) Since this was middle school, the dialogue was primarily one-liners and bad puns, and most of these plots ran out of steam after a few pages.  I was a novice writer who hadn’t yet discovered the process or genres that worked for me, so these bits and pieces of stories just sort of haunt my Documents folder and provide occasional hilarity when I rediscover them.  (My personal favorite is ambitiously entitled, “The Story of a Forwarded Letter, a Post Office Worker, and a Mailbox.”  The mailbox decides to break as many laws of physics as it can.  It’s a gem.)

Though my own attempts at this sort of thing have (mercifully) fallen by the wayside, I still have a special place in my heart for books that truly test the limits of fiction with style and absurdity, like the masterful Hitchhiker’s Guide.  In this vein, Jonas Jonasson’s The Girl Who Saved the King of Sweden is one of the most recent additions to my library, and a phenomenal read.  It’s not quite magical realism or fantasy, because it doesn’t contain anything that couldn’t physically happen in our world, but definitely includes plot points that set it apart from mere contemporary fiction (I mean, how many other books about South Africa’s nuclear arms development include the king of Sweden being kidnapped in the back of a potato truck with a bomb and a twin, neither of which officially exist?).  But I could believe every word of it, because it was the sort of book where I wanted the delightful characters (and even the irritating ones) to be real.

The eponymous girl, Nombeko, is definitely going on my list of Heroines I Want To Be When I Grow Up.  She reads everything she can get her hands on and actively seeks out knowledge about anything and everything.  This intelligence serves her well, whether it’s letting a bumbling engineer think he’s running things or negotiating a nuclear arms exchange with two agents who want to kill her.  In confrontations, she behaves exactly as I always pretended I would: shrugs and pours the bad guy some tea, thoroughly discomfiting him.  Nombeko is also snarky, compassionate, and hardworking.  She’s not perfect, of course, but her distrust of happiness is not only understandable, it made me relate to her more.  She is unwilling to make plans for the future, no matter how much she and her companions want them, until their current problem (the itty bitty matter of the bomb in the potato truck) is solved; Nombeko does not skip ahead.

Though I obviously took its representation of historical events with a grain of salt, I also enjoyed the way the book expanded my cultural horizons.  Nombeko is born in a slum in South Africa, a country I know almost nothing about.  Her adventures bring her (and the reader) into contact with such people as the prime minister, an ambassador from China, and engineers in charge of building nuclear bombs for South Africa.  The book spans some thirty years, touching on events I’ve heard of but never really learned about, and describing international relationships I had never considered before.  Recently I’ve realized how Eurocentric my reading tends to be (especially given my penchant for old English novels and the depths of academic English literature), which has left me with a disproportionate understanding of world cultures, so fiction like this might be a good way to start learning more.

I gasped, laughed, and mumbled, “Nonononono” – causing the Engineer a little concern.  An excellent book, from style to character development to plot.

5/5 stars on Goodreads


Have you read this?  Share your thoughts!  Or go read it and tell me what you think!

Shell Shock

When my professor called on me, I couldn’t contain an inarticulate growl before proceeding with my response to his question.

“Wow,” he said.  “The rage is strong with you today.”

It was indeed.  We were discussing the two doctors who “treat” Septimus Warren Smith in Virginia Woolf’s Mrs. Dalloway, and which of the two was worse/more destructive in his treatment of PTSD.  If you never read Mrs. Dalloway, Septimus is a character suffering from “shell shock” – hearing voices, seeing his dead friends, believing himself the recipient of a grand message from the universe, and feeling suicidal in the aftermath of serving in WWI.  The first doctor, Holmes, literally pushes Septimus’s wife, and therefore her worries for her husband, aside in order to lecture Septimus about how there is nothing at all the matter with him and how he should just get a hobby and go outside more.  The second, Sir William, agrees that Septimus is ill, but his focus is on normalization – that is, getting Septimus back to being a Contributing Member of Society, Back to Normal, and if he can’t do that, then letting him stay in an asylum rather than burden society any longer.

Grr.

These two delightful characters undoubtedly spring from Woolf’s own experiences with medical professionals while struggling with manic depression.  And even though Mrs. Dalloway was published in 1925, these doctors are still representative of social reactions to mental illness.

Setting my rage aside for moment (difficult as that is), I can understand the outside perspective.  It’s difficult to “believe in” an affliction we can’t see.  It’s not like a broken leg or a bleeding wound – there’s nothing visibly wrong, so a tiny doubt wriggles its way in.  He seemed fine two weeks agoIs she really that sick if she’s still getting all her work done?  He’s always been so reasonable – is he really thinking of suicide?  We base our assumptions on what we’ve seen and known of people up to this point, and sometimes it’s difficult to overcome that desire for them to “prove” that they’re “really sick.”  Similarly, I can see why, once we realize that something really is wrong, we want our friend/family member/classmate to Get Well Soon.  We want them Back to Normal, because isn’t that what they’re supposed to want too?  Our society often views healing as a process with an end point, a time in the future when the sick person will have Gotten Over It, whether It is a cold or the flu or the death of a loved one.  Of course, we are not completely callous.  We know that some things take longer to heal from than others.  But we’re still envisioning an end point rather than the possibility of “living with” the thing.  “Living with” seems to suggest an uneasy compromise, which we don’t like, because there’s the underlying possibility of another upset where the Bad Thing takes over, and of course we don’t want to see this person go through that again.

So I can understand these viewpoints.

But people who hold these views usually cannot understand me.

Both Holmes and Sir William fail to recognize and validate the reality of mental illness.  Yes, it’s difficult to “see” sometimes, but that doesn’t mean the person is making it up.  Visibility does not equal proof.  And, while there are sadly a few individuals who do make things up to get attention, why should that be our default assumption?

As for the push to Get Better Soon, while it usually comes from a place of genuine care and concern, it forces the sufferer to “take responsibility” for their illness – a problem that is actually beyond their control.  It may make the person feel as though the longer they take to get Back to Normal, the more irritated or fed up their support system will get.  Believing that the people around you think you should be over something makes you question yourself and begin devaluing the reality of your experience.  Also, prioritizing Back to Normal-ness denies a major fact of mental illness: it doesn’t always go away.  Balance can be achieved.  Strategies can be developed.  But when there is something chemically awry in a person’s brain, it can’t always magically be fixed.  So in that case, “living with” it instead of being crushed by it is actually a victory.

We have progressed significantly since the days of Septimus Warren Smith and his two horrible, horrible doctors.  But there is still room for improvement and understanding.

 

The Many Layers of Lizzie Bennet

Yesterday I received my very own copy of The Secret Diary of Lizzie Bennet. And today I finished reading it. All 377 pages of it.

I have loved the Lizzie Bennet Diaries ever since my freshman year of college (NOTE: If you have not watched them, stop reading right now, go to YouTube, and watch them. All of them. Right now.), and have only grown to love them more as I rewatched them over and over again (occasionally I find myself just binge-watching all 100 episodes plus the related secondary arcs in a matter of 48 hours. Much like reading the book. But I digress). At first I simply enjoyed watching the creativity of updating Jane Austen’s classic novel and translating it into modern media. Then, on the second or third go-round, I started to think about the online community Lizzie was creating. So I started scrolling through the comments section below the videos, reading the conversations people were having, the reactions. I even commented a few times.

I was absurdly proud when my comment became the top one on Episode 18.

Then came the watch-through at the beginning of my junior year of college, right when all the undergrad stuff starts to give way to the “better plan something for after graduation in two years” pressure. Even though Lizzie’s story takes place in grad school, the connection between her fear of departing the Bubble of Academia and mine had strengthened. I was staring down similar questions of what I wanted to do with my life, battling similar tendencies toward prejudice, struggling with a similar workload.

Reading the book has added another layer to my experience of the LBD as a whole. Besides adding new twists to the plotlines and revealing specific details in settings we never saw on camera, the book even better translated Lizzie’s inner turmoil, not only over her sister’s love life, but over what to put online, what content she wanted to generate, what she wanted to contribute to the world.

And damn. As much as she procrastinated some of those decisions, girl got stuff done.

For the past few weeks, I’ve been…stuck.  I might elaborate a bit in future posts, but for now suffice it to say that I was sorely lacking in motivation to even go to class, let alone answer my professors’ questions about whether or not I’m considering grad school or what internships I’m pursuing for this summer.  All I ever wanted to say to them was, “I don’t even have a complete resume right now.  Leave me alone.”

As sappy as it might sound, reading about Lizzie Bennet’s success in pursuing what she loved, both familial and career-wise, helped jolt me at least a few inches back toward reality.  I’m going to make the most of this vicariously earned productivity – and not just by making blog posts.  Hopefully.

Honestly, that’s what amazes me about multimedia storytelling these days.  I adore books; they were the background to my childhood, and will always hold a special place in my heart.  But there’s a big difference between reading something and sitting down a week later around a cheese plate in someone’s family room to talk for a few hours, and being able to contribute to an immediate and growing shared forum. It’s fascinating to watch the communities that spring up around projects like LBD and Vlogbrothers.  Even SnarkSquad, the blog that got me re-interested in blogging and online content, has its own little band of followers.

Membership in such communities around multimedia projects extends well past mere Internet fame; because the narrative originates in a platform that allows immediate sharing of reactions to the content, a viewer also becomes a contributor in real time.  Passivity becomes a choice rather than a fact of the medium.

And discussion of the content is no longer confined to whoever else is in the living room while you control the remote.  Worldwide critical discussions take place every day around every type of narrative possible.  It’s beautiful and intriguing to watch as the swirling conversations on Tumblr connect with the YouTube comments which intertwine with the Facebook and Twitter threads.  We get to watch and read and listen to these amazing creative things – and then we get to join in.

Over here in my own little narratively nerdy corner of the Internet, I’ll be trying not to take that for granted.