Diana Pharaoh Francis | Diana P. Francis | Diana Francis

Archive for the 'everything else' Category

Thursday, June 21st, 2012
A good cause

A really good cause. If you can’t donate, then please boost the signal.

Monday, May 14th, 2012
of color

Kate Elliot posted an essay today called Decolonizing as an SF Writer by Rochita Loenen-Luiz. The subject is one that’s interesting to me because a lot of my dissertation and research has dealt with colonization/postcolonization/neocolonization. I think colonization is the most shaping force on all societies in the world.

But what it made me think about today was black people. You might ask why. The subject came up with my children. They were talking about the civil war, and then my son says, “I call black people African-Americans.” I said, that makes sense, but you realize that not all black people are African-American, nor do they wish to be called such. Then my daughter pipes up with “Anthony is black.” I said no, he’s Chinese. He’s racially different from white and black. Then my son pipes up with another kid who is black, and I explained no, he’s Mexican.

Now the thing is that this little town I live in is mostly white. Very white. There are a few black kids and Hawai’ian kids at the college, and then a Mexican migrant population and a fair number of Native Americans. But frankly, the day to day experience with people tends to be blindingly white. That skews the perception that all the world looks like this.

Which makes it difficult to start explaining to children about people of color and their cultural histories and the way that white people are implicated in a lot of terrible things in history. The fact is, it’s a complicated subject and I can’t do it all in a day or even a year. But it is something that I have to talk with them about now and throughout their lives. I don’t think that this history is taught in school, but it’s tremendously important. On the other hand, my kids learn a lot about the real Native American history here. The Big Hole Battlefield is not far, and neither is the Little Big Horn. I’ve been to The Big Hole Battlefield and you can feel the spirits still there. It’s an eerie, beautiful place.

You should read Loenen-Luiz’ essay. It’s well worth reading and it digs into the complexity in a very short space. What I really find important is the way she talks about the friendship/betrayal/colonizer element. That there is a real difficulty in negotiating the tangle of emotions involved in being friends with the people who are oppressing you.

When I finish my Crosspointe books, this is part of what I mean to explore, and what I’ve been setting up all along with the Jutras. I have the Crosspointe people seeing them as invaders and a sort of monolithic evil in the first book, and then slowly they learn that the Jutras are human and eventually they begin to learn that the Jutras have good reason for invading. That good and bad is not as simple as it looks.

And yes, I intend to finish them. While Roc has decided not to publish the last books, I’m looking for a publisher who will, and if not, I will do it myself. I love these books and I want to get them done.

Wednesday, May 9th, 2012
Bird Neepery

There is a hawk cam at the University of Wisconsin Madison. You can see the mother (at least I’m supposing it’s the mother) and three babies (are they called eyases?). It is so very cool. Go look.

Two different lookers are coming to check out our house this weekend. Send buy vibes, would you?

The curtains did not fall down last night. I consider this a good thing.

Saturday, April 7th, 2012
web inept

On Monday I start a new class teaching how to build a webzine. Because of issues on campus, I elected to buy a domain and have it hosted off campus. I did that. I am now waiting for that to come through, which could be a couple of days. But now I have some panic issues.

I’ve not played with my own website for some time. I had someone else build it and I can go in and modify, but I really don’t know about setting it up to work right from the get go. Like, say, installing wordpress on it. And then doing the rest of the work. I’ve got myself a WordPress for dummies book, but I could sure use more help. So here I am asking.

Does anyone out there have expertise you’re willing to share? I’m not looking for you to do it, just answer questions for me. I want to learn to do this again, which means actually doing it myself. Plus my students are going to have to do this and I want to help them. It’s going to be learn as you go as far as the tech side.

Thursday, January 26th, 2012
The funnies

Okay, these are flipping funny. Stephen Colbert is interviewing Maurice Sendak in a two part interview. OMG. I was weeping, it was so funny. You must watch. really.

Part the first

Part the second

Friday, December 16th, 2011
The best thing ever

I saw this and it is seriously the coolest thing ever.

Sunday, November 6th, 2011
Check out my post on Magical Words

I’m over at Magical Words today talking about creating flawed characters. Come over and take a look.

Tuesday, November 1st, 2011
Whoohoo!

I have had good news today that I am not allowed to share for another 2 weeks, but I will as soon as I can. In the meantime, I’m over the moon. Whoohoo!

Thursday, October 6th, 2011
Magical Words finding character voices

I’ve a post today up on Magical Words on Finding your Character Voices. Have a read!

Thursday, July 28th, 2011
Worldcon Reno

Worldcon Reno (Renovation) is scheduled for August 16th-21st. I’m going to be there and I’ll be doing a writers workshop on a signing on Saturday at 1:00. If you’re going to be around and want to get together or hang out, let me know.