What I'm Up To, Politics Fatigue, and Links

This is week two of my two week uni spring break. I’ve been working pretty hard and not breaking at all, but it’s nice to do so without teaching at the same time. The only day I’ve taken completely off was yesterday, when I dragged an arm chair in front of the wood stove and sat with a cup of tea, my pets, and my kindle all day. It was so nice.

I got a call from the hospital yesterday (where I work as an ethicist, and am always, more or less, on call). The doctor asked, “Are you here right now?” in a tone I know well,  and I knew I could either say, “No, I’m not” in my apologetic voice, or “No, but I can be there in ten.” I went with option A, and am still feeling a little guilty about it today. But I know there are others who are well-equipped to help him with his issue, and I wasn’t reneging on my “day off” promise to myself.

It’s that time of year in Maine when you’re really ready for spring, but it’s a good month away. It’s sort of gray, the snow is still in dirty piles everywhere, but receding enough so that you can see that you really ought to have protected your dangling and wilted shrubbery a bit better. It’s not quite freezing yet not exactly warm, but you’re so sick of your overcoat that you’d rather freeze without it.  It snows an inch or two every few days just as a reminder that one more big storm may yet happen.  The family’s winter gear is covered in mud and needs a good washing, but you feel winter is almost over, so it can wait.

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There’s a lot going on online. Responding to the latest data on gender bias in books journalism,  Jennifer Weiner wrote about the need for an all girls book network at The Guardian. Then she did some “rom fail” style tweeting E. L. James’s Fifty Shades of Grey, and some tweeps who liked that book responded negatively to her. So Weiner tweeted that she just wasn’t going to say anything negative about other women’s books, which I thought had to be a joke, until I read her blog post, that confirmed it. This is all happening at the same time the romance Fever by Joan Swan is getting a lot of criticism for featuring a racist character who uses racist language in an objectionable way. See the review that started the discussion, Mandi’s at Good Reads (which the author gave her some grief over), and then see Jane’s review at Dear Author.  Over at Something More, Liz has some thoughts on How Mean is Too Mean When We Talk About Books?

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If you are interested in pursuing the fan fic question around Fifty Shades of Grey further, here is a good post and thread by PNR author Jami Gold.

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