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Posts by Kate Paulk

Misapprehensions

Back when I was a kid – and dear $DEITY that feels so wrong because while the calendar says I’m over 50 and the body says I’m over 50 what’s inside doesn’t seem anything like that far gone – I thought it had to be good to be an adult. You didn’t have all those restrictions on what you were allowed to do.

Yeah, I can hear the laughing. I guess I was pretty typical kid on that front, not noticing the responsibilities that went along with those extra freedoms. Read more

Of Practical Matters

I’m quite sure everyone here has managed to stumble across an anachronism so horrific it leaves you wondering what kind of idiot would write such tosh. It’s like the Regency lady being divested of her bra and panties (yes, I have seen this. I promptly tried to eliminate the memory via a large quantity of brain bleach).

Frankly, it’s more than a little bit important that any kind of SF or fantasy that’s not using present day as its time period gets the clothes at least partly right. After all, who would want to see Space Pirate Dashing Hero saving the universe while wearing a farthingale? Unless he’s into period crossdressing or some kind of bizarre bet went wrong, of course.

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Love and Marriage

Since this post will go live in the morning of Valentines Day, the so-called day of lovers much beloved by chocolatiers, florists, purveyors of tacky cards, and so forth, I figured it might be interesting to ramble a bit about how matters of love – and, more or less inevitably, marriage – work in SF and Fantasy.

Well, kind of. Because what shows up in fiction of any flavor including our favorite genres is sort of an idealized capsule of how the whole messy deal works. And it is exceedingly messy.

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Building Back

When you haven’t been able to do something for along time, it’s bloody difficult to get back to it – or rather, it’s easy enough to pick up and do a little bit, but building the habit again… not so much.

Writing-wise I’ve been having trouble for a while. I’ll get the occasional break-through that insists on being written now, but then there’s nothing for ages. The nothing for ages is actually worse than that: I’m not at my best if I’m not letting it out, and it means I’m not in the habit of writing so the need to do so goes dim. If I let it go too long I can get myself into a rather unpleasant downward spiral.

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Under the Rosebush

We humans are, as a rule, ridiculously bad at keeping secrets. There’s a reason for sayings like “two people can keep a secret if one of them is dead”. It comes from us being social critters who like to belong to something – and to some extent need to belong to something. Whether that something is a tribe, or a fandom, well, that’s a cultural thing, but all of us have this built-in need to belong to some group of humans.

Which of course means that the secrets of the group, whatever they might be, are shared with its members, and – almost inevitably – leak out sooner or later. Because another big part of the social critter thing is the mix of curiosity and communication that goes along side the social aspect. In other words, we gossip.

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Changing Perspective

Those who scream loud, offended screams at anything that might possibly hint of things like “cultural appropriation” do actually have a point. It’s just that they’ve grasped the pineapple by the wrong end, and buried it under an avalanche of fetid excrement. In short, they’ve got it so bass-ackwards it doesn’t even deserve to be called wrong. It’s more in the line of saying 1 + 1 = pineapple.

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Revisiting Things I Will Never Write

This isn’t quite a blast from the past, more an expansion on the blast from the past.

I’ve written in quite a few genres, and I have a fair idea where my mind goes and what happens when it does. This means there are places I refuse to let my mind go and other places it simply can’t go.

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