Wednesday, May 30, 2007
  Home again, Home again
jiggety jig.

Fortunately, my drive home was far less eventful than my drive to WisCon.

As usual, WisCon was a tremendous experience. The writers' workshop alone was worth the trip, as my pro, Laurie Marks, sparked an epiphany about what was wrong with the first chapter of my sequel, which I had been struggling with for some time. Her questions were the perfect goad for me to realize that the focus of the opening scene was really off, which, of course, is why it felt so wrong. Funny how I couldn't see that on my own.

I take a bit of pride in being able to spot what other manuscripts need to make them sing; it's humbling when I'm fumbling about with my own manuscript and need others to do the very same thing for me. It is always good to remember that we all can benefit from the eye of an editor or an intelligent critiquer.

Other than that, it was a blessing to sit and talk with friends who I've known long enough that I might dare call them old friends, even though I only see them once a year. It's interesting how a community like that, where most of us only see each other once a year, can come to feel like home.

The panels this year were exceptionally good. WisCon always offers up a banquet table of food for thought, but this time around there was not only tons of stuff to think about, but with very few exceptions the panels were well organized; the speakers stayed on topic; the moderators had interesting questions to pose; very few commentators rambled about with their own (boring) opinions. All in all, you might call it a miraculous set of panels.

I can only hope that the Muslims for Progressive Values conference in a couple weeks goes as well.
That's how I am with almost everything -- it's so much easier to evaluate from a distance. At the very least, I need time away from something to be able to achieve any honesty with myself.
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Location: Cincinnati, Ohio, United States

Progressive Muslim, feminist, mom, writer, mystic, lover of the universe and Doug Schmidt, cellist, theologian and imam.

What I'm reading now

Cane River
An interesting exploration of the gradual whiting of a family through slavery to modern days.

To see an archive of all the books I've read (well the ones I've read and review since I started the blog) with comments, please click here

Causes Worth Supporting

This is just a short list -- a few of my favorites.

English Language Islamic Fiction. We need more of it. Lots more.
Pay a Teacher's Salary in Afghanistan. The Hunger site actually has a lot of worthwhile programs. You can find them all here .
Muslims for Progressive Values. My organization. We can always use donations, of time or money!
Human Rights Campaign for the glbt community
National Religious Campaign Against Torture
The ACLU I'm a card carrying member. Hope you'll become one too. The organization that has done the most, as far as I can tell, to pull the countries progressive side together.
Network of Spiritual Progressives. Working to reclaim religion and morality for the religious left.

Blogs Worth Reading

Wanda Campbell also known as Nochipa A very gifted poet and a gentle, compassionate soul. Nochipa and I are on the same page on sooooo many things
Writeous Sister Aminah Hernandez, she's got some excellent latino pieces and always has good writing info on her blog.
Sister Scorpion aka Leila Montour - Leila is a fount of energy, quirky humor, and bad attitude. She's also a talented poet.
Muhajabah Very interesting commentary here. I don't always agree with her, but her pieces are always thought-provoking.
Georgie Dowdell Georgie is a great writer and a good friend.
Louise Marley Another great writer. I think Louise is one of the best sf writers exploring faith themes.
Ink in My Coffee Devon Ellington (who has numerous aliases) who is also the editor of Circadian Poems. A truly inspiring woman with a seemingly endless supply of energy.
Ethnically Incorrect With a name like that, isn't a given I'm going to enjoy this writer?
Freedom from the Mundane Colin Galbraith, another excellent writer, from Scotland.
The Scruffy Dog Review This is a new e-zine with an ecclectic mix of fiction, poetry, and non-fic, some really enjoyable pieces here.
Ramblings of a Suburban Soccer Mom Lara, another gentle soul, very thoughtful.
Circadian Poems A journal of poetry, new stuff up all the time.
Ye Olde Inkwell Michelle writes romance and is one of my writing buddies.
Muhammad Michael Knight The original punk Muslim writer. Like him or love him, Mike is always coming up with the unexpected.

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