Just saw a take advising folks not to ask friends who are having a bad day "have you taken your meds?"
While that question by itself can be dismissive, it can also be deeply important to have a friend who is willing to check in on your basics: meds, food, water, teeth.
"Have you taken your meds" isn't the last question, it's the first. But it is a question that can help someone who is struggling with their routine, that can help ground someone who isn't sure why they feel suddenly destabilized.
I wish there was an easy way to normalize openness about all kinds of medication and its impact on mental health, so that community support could be in place for those who struggle with a sometimes-crucial dosage schedule.
In an effort to be a quality auntie, I have initiated a pen pal situation with my nieces. I kept my first volley simple: what's your favorite bug, what's your backyard look like, what is the name of the thing that lives under your bed and wants to eat your eyes in the night, etc
The youngest niece (the chaos niece) (just kidding they are both chaos nieces) has WRITTEN BACK. Today I received something in the mail that involves pencil, dark green construction paper, and a lot of instances of the word "number" written vertically
Hey gang, if you enjoyed the Stone Soup series I ran on the Substack throughout spring and summer, can I please direct you to check out the Home Cooking podcast with @CiaoSamin and @HrishiHirway? It's phenomenal and SUCH a balm:
@CiaoSamin@HrishiHirway ICYMI - Stone Soup was a series of recipes I wrote based on ingredients my readers didn't know how to use, aimed at helping people use what they had around to make exciting, nourishing meals. Here's a thread with links to all 37(!!!) recipes:
@CiaoSamin@HrishiHirway Home Cooking is a fabulous podcast aimed at a similar goal - helping people navigate the culinary side of isolation - and it's just completely lovely. My heart is so full of how eager we humans have been to help each other through an impossible time.
I wish that there was stronger cultural messaging around friendships, and how to tend to and care for them. I wish there was more space to talk about how painful it is when they shift, break, die off slowly, die off suddenly.
American culture valorizes the Nuclear Family Unit such that friendships are often categorized as secondary to romantic love, sexual attraction, filial commitment. Losing those relationships hurts in a way that's easy to communicate to those who prioritize them above all else
But prizing community, to me, means loving your close friends as your family. It means treating them with the deep care you show a loved one. Explaining that - and expressing the grief of a lost or injured friendship - to people who don't operate that way is next to impossible
As we're all talking about dangerous, abusive patterns of behavior, there is one that stands out to me as particularly painful, especially in communities that are trying to heal. It's a type of manipulation that can be incredibly difficult to navigate well.
There is a type of person who considers themself a master chess player, a social strategist, and a cunning manipulator of individuals (who they do not see as people, but as tools) and circumstances.
That is, until something goes wrong.
When this type of person encounters a boundary they don't like, or a refusal to do precisely what they want - their narrative turns inside-out. Suddenly, they are an innocent victim being battered by cruel monsters (who they still do not see as people, but as obstacles).
Some things to try to remember, to keep the newest wave of SFF discourse from breaking your brain: two things can be true at the same time, and there don't have to be tidy answers to questions of harm.
An example of two things being true and not feeling particularly satisfying: a person can experience harm at the hands of others while also being a profoundly unsafe and abusive person within their community. The latter doesn't cancel out the former; these facts can coexist.
Another example: a person can explicitly, frequently talk about their intent to manipulate others for access to power.
That same person can also get hurt in the process of artlessly trying their hand at that manipulation.
Okay friends, it's a fucked-up night for a lot of people on here who are seeing conversations about abuse and exploitation so let's check in and make sure we're taking care of ourselves and staying safe. This will not be comprehensive, but it's my best go:
Are you breathing? It's easy to freeze up and hold your breath when you're feeling activated. Try to make a little more space for breath if you can. If you're able, inhale for 3, hold for 4, and exhale for 5.
Where are your shoulders? Are they up around your ears? If you can, try to push them back and down. Gently stretch your neck - let your chin drop toward your chest, then roll your ear toward your shoulder, then go back the other way.
Y'all, on top of everyfuckingthing that's happening right now, I am having a day.
Here's the situation.
My snails love to fuck.
I don't know how, and I don't know why, but somehow I managed to get the two most amorous snails on the face of the earth. They are constantly On Each Other. "I'm not worried!" I (a fool) said to myself. "They can't reproduce in fresh water!"
BUT THEY SURE CAN TRY
so anyway these two assholes unstuck themselves from one another long enough to lay (presumably nonviable) eggs on every surface of the aquarium.
In this moment of Everyone Stocking Up On Everything, an important thing to watch for in your home (and especially your kitchen): Tiny. Brown. Moths.
If you see one of these fuckers in your home, take action immediately. They're pantry moths and they want to make babies in your pandemic stockpile.
Here's how you respond to pantry moths:
1. Seething, incoherent rage 2. Go through your dry goods. All of them. Look for caterpillars, cocoons, and strands of silk. If you see grains seeming to float in midair, they're probably caught on silk.
Dem candidates in a jug band, sorted by instrument:
- Warren plays the banjo & is great at it, &everyone in the audience keeps reminding you how hard the banjo is to play, & you're like "I know!" but then VH1 doesn't include her in the Behind the Jug Band special, like, at all
- Sanders plays two washboards at once & whenever he gets to do a washboard solo it smacks ass, it's like washboard dream theater up there
- Buttigieg plays the jug but it keeps slipping out of his damp little paws and he catches it with a panicked "oh no, my jug!!" expression
People tell you that it is wrong of you to laugh when he drops the jug but you cannot help yourself
Hey Twitter y'all have REALLY been hanging in with this month of bananas self-promotion. Launching two books within a month, during awards-nomination season, is truly a wild ride, and you have all been so kind and supportive, it blows my mind.
To say thank you for all your patience and kindness and signal-boosts and friendsome vibes, I have written y'all
GREAT NEWS! You’re a simple but kindhearted woodcutter who lives in the Big Forest with your wife! You’ve been married for many years & you love each other very much & one day, miraculously, she falls pregnant! WOW
I am a well-documented Halloween Grinch which makes this time of year a little tricky to navigate but yesterday I figured out a LIFE HACK to have a great time at the pumpkin patch in spite of all the Ambient Halloween
I will not explain why I hate Halloween here because I have already said everything I need to say (link below)
anyway yesterday I went on a quest for THE MOST FUCKED-UP PUMPKIN AT THE PUMPKIN PATCH and BOY DID THE PUMPKIN PATCH DELIVER
not to start a controversy on the TL but puffins are fuckin great
Look at this shit. Carrying several fish at a time in their mouth because they've got a fancy hinged beak that makes it so they can. Bringing those fish HOME for EVERYONE to enjoy. That's how a puffin does it babey
This is me if I somehow fuck up the angle when I'm parallel parking
I gotta say: the second you dismiss someone's discussion of their problems and/or trauma as "whining" is the moment when you identify yourself as someone who cannot be relied upon to help in any way. That includes mentorship, advice, and guidance.
If you don't believe that a problem is actually a problem just because it belongs to someone else, or because you can't be bothered to try to understand it, then you will never be part of the process of solving that problem.
This is a huge fucking bummer. I so often see people with real and deep life experiences, people who could be mentors & coaches & comrades & friends, dismissing the trauma of others as invalid on the basis that it doesn't seem *that bad* to them.
Whoever invites me to their wedding next I 100% promise to
(a) wear this dress;
(b) show up during the ceremony LATE and LOUD;
(c) cause an elegant but terrible scene during the reception; and
(d) throw a full glass of red wine on the relative of your choosing during said scene
My dayjob vs FT-writing advice is: don't listen to other people's dayjob vs FT-writing advice
it's wild to me how often people in this industry give advice that requires SO MUCH specific context, like your income, your spouse's income, your healthcare coverage needs, your living situation, your childcare situation, your need for structure, etc
Quit your dayjob if that's the thing you ought to do
Don't quit your dayjob if that's the thing you ought to do
Base this decision on your own life and not The Discourse