On Social Media

This post is inspired by Krystal Jane Ruin's blog post: Should Anti-Social People Use Facebook?

I ended up writing a book in her comments and concluded that I should write my own post.

My first social medium was Facebook, which was brand-new and everyone at my college was joining it back in 2004. I've been on it ever since, with a personal page and with an author page. And I think about deleting my author page every other week or so because a) I'm not really creative writing anything imminent at the moment, so the page is all meme quotes and blog posts and b) I don't get a lot of engagement on it and c) more than once, I've had follower numbers go up but I can't tell where those followers are from, which is disconcerting.

I think we've all become aware of the bad ish social networks are up to--gathering massive amounts of data and then not protecting it, selling that data, not regulating their platforms enough to avoid nasty people using it, the spread of m…

Problematic Past Characters

Around about two years to a year and a half ago, I was struggling to write a Regency historical romance between a fairly major character in Pearl and a character I'd written in an earlier incarnation of Pearl and then cut when I rewrote the story.

At the time, I thought the story wasn't working because there was no chemistry between these two characters. I thought I'd burnt myself out on Regency times in a way, having kind of immersed myself in the Georgian era for this fictional family I'd created, and maybe it was just time to move on to something else. Plus, although I love reading romances, they're exceedingly hard to write because they're essentially two plots--the external and the internal--and they each have their own beats that must be hit.

All of that is true, but I also had this pervasive sense that I was trying to write--and had written, in Pearl--something problematic. So, Miles Keegan was created because I needed a white English guy of decent birth…

Crown Jewels

Ever since I learned a bit more about the Koh-i-Noor Diamond, Duleep Singh, and his daughter Sophia, I've been like low-key (and by low-key, I mean I think about it from time to time but not a lot) interested in the idea of a British Crown Jewel tied into other royal families and what the symbolism of Crown Jewels are--and what it means to those whose jewels were destroyed or stolen by colonizers or revolutionaries or whomever...

As a refresher: the Koh-i-Noor Diamond has a long, convoluted history, but it ended up in the Punjab as part of the Maharaja Ranjit Singh's collection. His son, Duleep Singh, was the last emperor of the Punjab and when the British imposed a treaty on the Sikh Empire, part of the deal involved the Koh-i-Noor being given to Queen Victoria.

I feel jewels and jewelry get used a lot as symbolism in stories. The Lord of the Rings hinges on a bunch of powerful rings. A Countess Below Stairs by Eva Ibbotson involves a Russian aristocratic family's jewels …

So far in library school...

Well, I finished one midterm (two essays, two pages each, one day to write both!) and I've survived another midterm and I have a group project in the other class going. And I have two longer-term assignments for two of my classes and reading to do and oh, another group project to do and...

I never want to hear that local city colleges are not rigorous ever again. Y'all, I'm taking fewer classes in library school than in my last grad degree but the workload is at least twice as much.

I will say that there are some advantages in having gone back to school older. For one thing, I never want to work in retail ever again, so I am highly motivated in earning this degree and keeping an eye on career paths. I am much better at time management than when I was younger, which helps. I am a bit stressed, but it's not a long snaking line of people on Black Friday, so whatevs. I'll get the work done, one way or another.

I am very good at taking notes--I was horrible at it in col…

The Romanovs Part 6: After Life

There is a truck driving around the woods outside of Yekaterinburg, carrying the sheet-wrapped bodies of eleven brutally murdered victims. The truck is heading toward the Koptyaki woods, where Yurovsky had earlier identified disused mineshafts that might work as a gravesite. But the truck breaks down.

Another gang of men wait in the woods for them. Turns out there's only one shovel amongst them.
Yurovsky dismissed the majority of the men. The victims were stripped--this is when the jewels sewn into underwear, corsets, hats and other items were discovered--disfigured, dumped into the mineshaft, and doused with sulphuric acid. Their clothing was burned.
But Yurovsky realized the mineshaft wasn't deep enough. The men tried to grenade the mineshaft into collapsing, but it still wasn't good enough.
The murder of the Romanov family and their loyal retainers is so messy that yeah, you could almost believe that one of the children, wounded and injured but still breathing, could ha…