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Dwelling in Probabilities - C. Lundoff's Journal

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Anne Bonny
Dwelling in Probabilities - C. Lundoff's Journal
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December 31st, 2016

Where I'll be in 2016

Anne Bonny

The list in progress!


·      Arisia, Boston, MA. Jan. 15-18th. I’m moderating a panel on the Founding Mothers of SFF and helping with the Outer Alliance gathering on Sunday. Otherwise, hanging out and enjoying myself.

·      2016 Lesbian Fiction Appreciation Event – Jan. 21. I’ll be doing a post on things I have pondered while serving as an awards judge for various writing awards.


·      DevFest MN 2016February 6th, Minneapolis. I’ll be doing a joint presentation on Accessibility and Aging in IT with Twin Cities Women in Tech founder Valerie Lockhart.

·      Inflagranti Delicto: Writing Good Sex Scenes – Loft Literary Center, Minneapolis. February 13, 1-5PM. Class that I’m offering at the Loft; it will need to have 6 or more registrants to carry.

·      Lavender Ink: Writing and Selling LGBTQ Fiction - Loft Literary Center, Minneapolis. February 27, 1-4PM. Class that I’m offering at the Loft; it will need to have 6 or more registrants to carry.


Women Author's Event - Tretter Collection at the University of MN Libraries (joint event with Quatrefoil Library).March 26, 1-4PM. Featured authors include Jessie Chandler, Judith Katz, Pat Schmatz, MB Panichi, myself and possibly Rachel Gold.


AlterConf Minneapolis - Lead Pages, Minneapolis, April 9, 11PM - 4PM. Tech conference focused on diversity issues in IT and gaming. Valerie Lockhart and I will be focusing on making IT-related workplaces more accessible on multiple levels.



·      Au Contraire! 2016 – Wellington, New Zealand. June 3-5th. No idea if I’ll be on programming but hoping to get on a panel or two. Besides, New Zealand! Whee!

CONvergence 2016 – Minneapolis, MN. June 30th- July 3rd. Panels, perhaps a reading.


·      Diversicon 24 – Minneapolis, MN (new hotel likely). July 29th-31st. Jessica Amanda Salmonson is GOH this year. Panels, perhaps a reading.


·      MidAmericanCon II – Kansas City, MN. August 17th-21st. Worldcon for 2016. No idea what I’ll be doing yet, but will be trying for panels, etc.



·      Gaylaxicon 2016Minneapolis, MN. October 7th-9th. Panels and perhaps a reading.

·      Arcana 46 – St. Paul, MN. October 21st-23rd. Panels.


·      TeslaCon, hopefully. For the sheer joy of it. Madison, WI. November17th-20th


April 28th, 2016

It has been a culturally enriching week so far. Sunday night, I went with friends to see Lasso of Truth, a play about Wonder Woman's origins staged by Walking Shadow Theater Company and the Workhaus Collective. Interesting staging and excellent performances, though some of the scenes went on a bit too long – it switched from Marston’s BDSM ménage a trois relationship with the women in his life who inspired Wonder Woman to a contemporary woman inspired by Wonder Woman to a series of cartoons about Gloria Steinem’s successful efforts to force comics publishers to make Wonder Woman super again in the 1970s. It made for some really interesting, if somewhat overlong, theater, but I’m glad I got to see it.

Insert a couple of and evenings of mad work scramble, plus editing project and a bursitis flare-up and we arrive on Wednesday’s expedition to the Walker Arts Center for a free screening of “Love and Friendship” which is based, not on the actual story written by Jane Austen in her early teens, but on her epistolary novel, Lady Susan, written in her later teens.

So how was the movie? A tad uneven. I take my Austen pretty damn seriously (by which we mean that I find her wildly amusing and brilliant and have read all her available work, a lot of the critical analyses, multiple histories of the time period, a bunch of her contemporaries and so forth. Basically, I know more about Austen than most folks who haven’t made a career out of her work). The movie adapts the original epistolary form of the story and keeps some of Austen’s wording, which is a very good idea. Kate Beckinsale, on her third Austen-related film (including  Emma and Cold Comfort Farm, which is also Emma- adjacent), is terrific as Lady Susan, but other cast members range widely in their comfort with their roles. Chloe Sevigny is not terribly good and seems lost, Stephen Fry is wasted, as is Jemma Redgrave in part because it’s a short film so there’s not much to work with and they’re on too briefly. Costumes and settings are quite good. Pacing is a bit off and it dragged at the beginning and in the middle to a greater degree than an hour and a half long movie should have. But overall, the good parts were strong enough that I would give it a 6.5 or 7 on the scale of 10, 10 being outstandingly good (A&E/BBC Pride and Prejudice or Now I Have Found It, the Tamil version of Sense and Sensibility). 1 is the epically awful adaptation, such as PBS’ fairly recent Mansfield Park (known as “Jogging Fanny” in our household because she runs everywhere when not giggling or talking horse racing with Tom) or the Guthrie Theater’s dreadful Pride and Prejudice, in which Lydia frequently broke the fourth wall to explain the terrible complicated humor and plot to the presumably dull elves in attendance. The latter also featured rewritten dialogue by the artistic director and the playwright, because you know, any random dude can write better dialogue than Austen, amiright? Cue scathing sarcasm.

This film does a swell job of contrasting Austen’s dialogue with that of a contemporary writer who thinks he’s every bit as funny as she was, fair warning. This has mixed success.

Which leads me to the part where it was a free screening and we decided to stick around for the chat with the Producer/Writer Whit Stillman, in part to ask about the title. So we get two older dudes sitting around discussing Austen, which in my experience, doesn’t bode well. There are exceptions, but it’s very rare. This was definitely a mixed bag. Stillman is also getting a novel published this fall, that novel being a sequel to Lady Susan from the perspective of a male character who he invented. I mention this because Austen wrote entirely from women’s perspectives and you only see the male characters through their eyes. If it feels like I’m suggesting that one reason having a couple of middle-aged white guys sit around talking Austen unsupervised by more knowledgeable parties is that one generally gets a lot of a. trashing of romance elements, b. missed points and humor and c. a desperate desire to insert themselves or someone like them into the text because it’s not about them, I am, in fact, suggesting this. And that pretty much describes most of the talk.

 It wasn’t  the worst I’d sat through, but Stillman managed to insert several factual errors about Austen’s life and glossed over all the juvenilia…including Love and Freindship (her original spelling). I did ask what he was thinking re: the title change at the Q&A and pointed out that folks familiar with Jane’s work found the title change confusing, which got me a lengthy defensive answer about why the original story was shit and why he hated name titles, but hey, he did find the current title “Austeninian.” Well yes, that would be because it was HER title. At any rate, my friend and I had a good laugh and will probably go see the film again to see if it improves on further acquaintance.  It opens in theaters in a couple of weeks but my advice would be to skip the Q&As or any talks by the producer unless there’s something specific you’d like to rile him up about or have a question only he can reasonably answer.

Tonight’s adventure is a continuation of our annual dine out all day for Dine Out for Life, a national benefit for organizations working with people with HIV/AIDS.  Breakfast was at the Colossal Café in Minneapolis, lunch is elsewhere and dinner tonight will be at The Pourhouse where they are doing a burlesque extravaganza fundraiser. Should finish out the week nicely!

April 22nd, 2016

Acknowledging Earth Day

Anne Bonny
This is an annual post that I try to remember to do in honor of Earth Day. It's an update on whatever changes we've tried to implement in the last year to reduce our ecological footprint. The ones that saved money in the long run are noted as such.

Things done prior to April, 2015 (house is gas for heat and dryer, electrical for everything else):
  • Converted most of the light bulbs to compact flourescents or LEDS as they burned out - some upfront cost but definite electrical savings
  • Had additional insulation blown in the walls in some rooms  - reduced heat bills
  • Had external windows replaced - cost a mint but better in the long run for comfort and heating. Definitely reduced our heating bill.
  • Replaced several appliances with Energy Star versions - washer and dryer most successful for reducing electricity and heat bills - upfront costs, long term gains on water, heat and electric
  • Signed up for Xcel's Windsource program - small upfront cost
  • Started composting yard waste  - small up front cost
  • Installed a water barrel in the warmer months - some water savings on bill, small upfront cost
  • Started working from home a few days out of the month to reduce commuting - small savings on gas
  • Recycle items for citywide recycling as well as donating usable items
  • A minimum of one day a month where we don't drive anywhere. More challenging, given the need to run errands, go to the nursing home, etc., but last year I spent an entire week in Denver without a car, and we both spent 5 days in Chicago on separate occasions carless/using public transportation, plus a few extra days here and there so it balanced out. Last year, I think we managed more than 1 day a month of no driving.
  • One day per week meat free. Gets shaky when we're pressed for time but usually manage a couple of days a week with only one serving of meat. Lots of local fruits and veggies and related products, particularly in the summer - we buy organic from the farmer's markets and co-ops, etc.
  • Ongoing support for green businesses, everything from solar-powered and organic to reused and recycled stuff to green cleaning to bike-delivered tacos.
  • Put Esse Reusable Bags CarryAll Totes in each car. Small upfront cost and vastly reduced plastic bag usage.
After April, 2015 -
  • All of the above still in effect
  • Had a solar fan installed in the attic to even out the house temperature and humidity - upfront cost, too new to know how effective it will be but is supposed to reduce electric and heat bills
  • Signed up for Minneapolis' new compost program - between the no sort recycling and the compost program, we've reduced our trash by at least a third
  • Tried to get in the drawing for MN Solar but didn't get the tax rebate. Planning on insulating and redoing the attic instead. Our gas bills are much higher than our electric (though still below average) so this seems like a better move. Upfront costs but should pay off in the long run.
  • Redid back stairwell in marmoleum for less off gassing - prettier stairwell and sealed off ancient, scary linoleum, so a good thing, but with upfront costs and no direct payoff other than adding to house value
  • Put out a bird bath and new bird feeders in the back yard. Makes us very popular - some upfront cost
  • Had the front yard landscaped - less watering and more bee-friendly plants, cost was substantial but adds to house value, plus other benefits
  • Started doing carbon offsets for trips by donating to MN Tree Trust and The Nature Conservancy. I can't do huge amounts at a time, so this tends to be a series of small donations. I'm building it into our trip budgets to make sure we can keep doing it.
  • Switched most of our grocery shopping to the new co-op near us - less driving, supports fair wages in an area that was a food desert. And, despite our initial concerns, proving less expensive than the main co-op in a more affluent neighborhood.
  • Replaced the coffee maker with a more efficient one that uses less power, water and coffee. Upfront cost: about $100, but will pay for itself.
  • Hired Two Bettys Green Cleaning for once a month house cleaning. Local women-owned company that hires artists, writers and musicians for a fair wage and benefits, uses all organic cleaning options. Upfront cost is pretty reasonable, especially given the payoff for my sanity.
  • Also looking into for this year: Roman shades for insulation, water efficient sink and toilet.
Onward and upward! And open to suggestions, apart from going car-free which is not a possibility at this time.

April 21st, 2016

RIP, Prince Nelson Rogers

Anne Bonny
So this is a hard one. I was bummed about Bowie, but Prince, Prince was a hometown guy from my adoptive hometown, Minneapolis. He shopped at the same record store we did, went to local restaurants, you could run into him on the street, I knew people who went to school with him, he owned First Avenue for awhile. I loved his 1980s and much of his early 1990s work - he did songs about Ronald Reagan and nuclear war, dancing through the apocalypse, dysfunctional family dynamics, consensual sex, the works. Iconic lesbian musicians Wendy and Lisa were in his band, The Revolution, and were a couple and he was cool with that (that didn't last, but it was the 1980s so having it happen at all was a THING). He presented a new vision of masculinity and dated Sheila E. I used to play him on my campus radio show in St. Louis all the time. Hell, he even pops up in the book that inspired us to move here, Emma Bull's War for the Oaks ("Nobody's cuter than Prince!"). For a lot of us, he got to be symbolic of the coolest things about living in Minneapolis, even after he got more conservative and became a Jehovah's Witness. He was still the Great Purple One and many folks here adored him for it.

So be kind to his fans today and spin up a few of his classics. Remember him for his best; he earned it.

Purple Rain, live


Let's Go Crazy

And, of course, since Vanity passed on recently too: The Vanity 6 with the original version of Nasty Girl.

April 13th, 2016

General good news!

Anne Bonny
  • My tooth is fixed! Four months of sundry procedures, 3 rounds of antibiotics and multiple checkups! Let it be said that when I decide to acquire a dental infection, I do not do it by halves,
  • Last week I got an iffy medical test result, of the variety that results in calls from a hospital and a summons to more testing. Went in this morning, went through a more uncomfortable and intense set of tests and got to sit in the waiting room looking nervous until the tech popped out with a cheery "All clear!" and a high five. So that's a very definite relief.
  • On Friday after the hospital call and some subsequent nonsense from the billing department, I stopped by our local cupcake shop, A Cupcake Social, and ordered my favorite cupcake. One of the owners noticed I looked sad and I said that I'd had a very bad day. He promptly gave me the cupcake to cheer me up. So this week, I ordered some of their lovely cupcakes for a thing by way of saying thanks. :-)
And now back to writing and other stuff. Also, learning Google Analytics in a very cold classroom. One more round to go.

April 11th, 2016

What I've been up to...

Anne Bonny
this last week's version, anyway.
So, beginning last Monday onward, the last week has featured the following:
  • 2000+ words of new short story, due real soon now
  • 500 words of revisions on other stories
  • 1 editing read through on editing project
  • The ordering of new glasses with purty frames (pix to follow after I pick them up)
  • An unlooked for health issue that may well prove to be nothing, but will be anxiety-producing until the next round of tests.
  • Caught the unspeakably horrible and enraging season finale of Sleepy Hollow, which is now dead to me if it gets renewed, and it shouldn't be. The show runners, presumably with network help, destroyed a show with a multicultural cast, complex and strong female characters of color and a fun premise. It took them two seasons to finish destroying what Season 1 created and they did a banner job.
  • Day job, trip planning, etc.
  • AlterConf Minneapolis was Saturday's big adventure and I had a blast. I met some really interesting folks, connected with some friends, attended great presentations on everything from privacy issues to motherhood in tech to how to hack your employer's insurance to make it more trans-inclusive to kid's rights and internet access to being sober in tech and other diversity-related issues. Valerie and I did an excerpted version of our GoogleDev talk on Accessibility and Aging in Tech. And there was good food and ASL interpretation and childcare and an enforced code of conduct and all those things that are supposed to be challenging for conferences to provide. Presenters even got paid. Many, many kudos to Ashe Dryden and her team for organizing these! There's one coming up in San Francisco next so be sure and check it out if you can.
Next up, more writing, more tests, a class on Google Analytics and assorted other fun.

April 10th, 2016

Resources on Accessibility and Aging in Tech




·      Work Without Limits Guide for Accessible Workplaces - http://www.workwithoutlimits.org/employers/ra/workplace

·      Mashable - “9 Simple Tips for Making Your Website Disability-Friendly” (http://mashable.com/2014/04/22/website-disability-friendly/#15wc2cUlhZq0)

·      Model View Culture article archive on accessibility in tech - https://modelviewculture.com/pieces/tag/accessibility

·      WeCo - MN Nonprofit that hires people with disabilities to test websites and work places for accessibility

·      U.S. Department of Labor, Partnership on Employment and Accessible Technology (PEAT) – resources, tools and guides




·     Sloan Center on Aging and Work at Boston College - http://www.bc.edu/research/agingandwork/

·     Information Week, with links to other articles on aging in IT – Nine Job Hunt Tips of Older IT Pros (http://www.informationweek.com/9-job-hunt-tips-for-older-it-pros/d/d-id/1297281?&_mc=pc_prn_ed_IWKTRFFC2014)

·     SCPR News – “Aging workforce finds flexibility but not peace of mind in growing ‘gig’ economy” (http://www.scpr.org/news/2016/02/01/57124/gig-economy-offers-aging-workers-a-flexible-place/)

·     Fortune – “How U.S. Companies Can Fill the Skills Gap” (http://fortune.com/2015/05/12/how-u-s-companies-can-fill-the-skills-gap/)

·     “Aging in IT” by Catherine Lundoff – Model View Culture, 9/15. (https://modelviewculture.com/pieces/aging-in-it)

April 3rd, 2016

It was my birthday last Wednesday so I took the day off and we bopped around town hitting some fun spots: breakfast at the Seward Cafe (a birthday tradition!), the Electric Fetus Records and Gifts, Norway House, Kuul Chocolate, Lady Elegant's Tea Room in St. Paul (recently purchased by an Oromo family of former UN aid workers who make a terrific high tea and yummy soup), Micawber's Books (now located downstairs from Lady Elegant's), then back across the river to Uncle Hugo's and Uncle Edgar's Bookstore in Minneapolis, followed by a stop at Minnesota Maker (shop next to Sisters Sludge Coffee that specializes in MN made products). Then home to feed kitties before heading out to La Ceiba for dinner with a small group of friends. Delightful time all around!

The rest of the week has been day job and migraines but not as grueling as the previous week, so mostly just uncomfortable. Sekrit Project has moved forward to the extent that I can now say that I'm working on something for an RPG tie-in. Editing project is also moving forward. New Zealand is mostly planned. Queen of Swords still has a minor email problem and I'm just going to have to rebuild the account connections but haven't yet. Valerie and I got our presentation pulled together for AlterConf Minneapolis (coming up on April 9th) so that's pretty cool. Got panel proposals and whatnot out for upcoming cons. And did a bit of writing. Full steam ahead!

Whoops, almost forgot! Queers Destroy Horror made the Tiptree Award Longlist! Which is pretty cool. :-) It will also be available at the Quatrefoil Library soon, seeing as I just gave them a copy.

This week's plug - only three more days to find this fabulous looking animated film about women inventors, pirates and activists!

March 28th, 2016

Personal stuff first. Been a long, grueling couple of weeks, filled with good and bad stuff. The bad stuff's not dire, just a combination of not feeling great, periodic migraines, day job crap and bad tax news. All survivable but sucky, The good stuff has been more exciting - saw several good plays, caught the Alan Cumming show at Orchestra Hall this weekend, off to the Patty Griffith/Anais Mitchell/Sara Watkins show tonight and lot of birthday stuff coming up in the next couple of weeks. My copresenter, Valerie Lockhart, and I did a good solid run at our presentation on "Aging and Accessibility in Tech" for AlterConf Minneapolis, coming up on April 9th and we're both feeling good about it (and got it turned in early for ASL interpretation set up). My reading on Saturday at the Tretter Collection went well (Curator Lisa Vecoli said some particularly nice things about my work, which may have been slightly impacted by the fact that I showed up with an organized box of various anthologies and papers, plus all the associated paperwork, ready for my archive there ;-). The Finding Aid for my currently catalogued stuff is here and the next time I stop by, I'm hoping to drop off papers from my former bookstore, Grassroots Books in Iowa City as well some mementos from my time spent helping found and for a time, run, the Iowa Women's Music Festival and from participating in Queer Nation, various anti-war, feminist, bi and Central American Solidarity activities and so forth. And more writing since I have quite a few more publications to include. I should note that the University of Northern Illinois at Dekalb SFWA Archive also has a substantial amount of my books, papers and related material and that Finding Aid is here.

Apart from that, I'm embarking on a new editing project and have just heard that the Secret Project has gone up to the next level, so I expect that to start soon, if all goes well. I'm trying to get a few stories out the door and dig in on the novel edits, which were moving along but have stalled due to time conflicts. Queen of Swords should have a website update as soon as I fix an email problem and get signed up for MailChimp. Author contract template is almost done too and I plan on getting ISBN numbers next weekend. More bulletins soon.

On the level of things that are not specifically about me:
  • The MN GOP, ever eager to have more trainwrecks of their very own, is attempting to get a transphobic bathroom panic bill through the Legislature. Check the Outfront MN site for your rep's and senator's contacts and let them know how you feel about this b.s. Remember that even if Dayton says he will veto it (and he will certainly try), that these efforts have a horrible effect on queer kids and that the number of suicide attempts  goes up every time one of these monstrosities gets put forward so let's make sure they can see that lots of folks are on their side. 
  • North Carolina. Shit. Where to begin? If you want to help folks there, I recommend Equality North Carolina, the ACLU of North Carolina or Lambda Legal as excellent places to start. If you live there (or have disposable income for donations), I recommend any and all opponents of the elected officials who endorsed this.
And a couple of fundraisers:
  • Author Veronica Harnish (Car Living When There's No Other Choice) wrote a powerful piece for VOX earlier this month on ending up homeless three times and living in her car with her cat due to the crappy job market, no housing and a lousy safety net. She's got a Go Fund Me and what I think is a current Crowd Rise page going and I believe that's she's still facing homelessness, so the Crowd Rise is to help her get a used RV which would be much safer and better for her and her kitty. Or you could buy her book, thus giving her ongoing income. Give it to everyone you know who thinks we don't need a safety net or that it'll never happen to them  or any other person you think needs it.
  • Anita Sarkeesian of Feminist Frequency is working on a new film project on women smashing stereotypes. It looks terrific and there's only 9 more days on the fundraiser here.
More soon!

March 25th, 2016

March 26 @ 1:00 pm - 4:00 pm

The Quatrefoil Library in conjunction with The Jean-Nickolaus Tretter Collection is happy to announce our annual March Women’s Author Event. For ten years, this event has been one the Quatrefoil Library’s most popular and well attended.

This event will take place at:
Elmer L. Andersen Library
222 21st Avenue South, Minneapolis, MN 55455

All authors will read and a question and answer session will follow.


Jessie Chandler—Award-winning author Jessie Chandler lives in Minneapolis, MN with her wife and two mutts, Fozzy Bear and Ollie. In the fall and winter, Jessie writes, and spends her summers selling T-shirts and other assorted trinkets to unsuspecting conference and festival goers. She has written books such as Bingo Barge Murder, Hide and Snake Murder, Pickle In The Middle Murder, Chip Off The Ice Murder  She co-edited in Lesbians on the Loose, Crime Writer on the Lam with Lori L. Lake. Learn more at www.jessiechandler.com

Rachel Gold is the award-winning author of Just Girls (Bella Books 2014) and Being Emily (Bella Books 2012), the first young adult novel to the story of a trans girl from her perspective. She has an MFA in Writing from Hamline University and has spent the last 14 years working in marketing and publicity–but if that makes her sound too corporate and stuffy, you should know that Rachael is an all around geek and avid gamer. For more information visit: www.rachelgold.com


Catherine Lundoff is an award-winning author, editor and publisher from Minneapolis, where she lives with her fabulous wife and cats.  She toils in IT by and day and writes all the things by night, including a series for SF Signal on the history of LGBT science fiction and fantasy and lots of tales about things going bump in the night.  Her recent stories have or will appear in Tales Of the Unanticipated, The Mammoth Book of Jack The Ripper Tales and the Mammoth Book of the Adventures of Morriarty.  Her novel Medusa’s Touch (written as Emily L. Byrne) is forthcoming from Queen Of Swords Press.  Additional information can be found at www.catherinelundoff.com

Judith Katz—she is the author of two published novels, Running Fiercely Toward A High Thin Sound and The Escape Artist. She is currently working on sequels to both novels.

Ellen Lansky was born in Minneapolis and grew up in Overland Park, Kansas. Her fiction has appeared in local, regional, and national publications, including Evergreen Chronicles, and her first novel, Golden Jeep, was published in 2011. She lives in Minneapolis and teaches literature, composition, and creative writing at Inver Hills Community College.

Pat Schmatz—She is the author of five books for teens, including the award-winning Bluefish.  Pat’s most recent young adult novel, Lizard Radio (2015) received starred reviews from Kirkus Reviews and School Library JournalKirkus calls Lizard Radio “Sophisticated, character-driven science fiction, as notable for its genderqueer protagonist as for its intricate, suspenseful plot.” Books she has written include: Mrs. Estronsky and the UFO (2001), Circle the Truth (2007), Mousetraps (2008), Bluefish (2011) and Lizard Radio (2015)


MB Panichi—is an author for Bella Books, and has two published novels, Saving Morgan, which won a Goldie Award For Science Fiction and Running Toward Home.  Both novels are science fiction/adventure/romances. MB hails from MN and lives there with her wife of 19 years and their two shitzhu fur babies.  MB’s obsessions, other than her writing, are reading, drumming, heavy metal music and Star Wars.  She supports these obsessions with a day job as a software Quality Assurance Analyst and occasional developer.

There might even be a surprise, with additional authors added to this event.

This event is free and open to the public.

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