No more Texas governors for president

“Next time I tell you someone from Texas should not be president of the United States, please pay attention.” - Molly Ivins
Recent Tweets @ebeh

lauren-grodstein:

In the ten or so weeks since the start of 2013, A Friend of the Family, my most recent novel, has racked up - hold on, I’m subtracting - 174 reviews on Amazon.  Just to give you a sense of how many reviews that is, my previous novel, Reproduction is the Flaw of Love, has been out in the world for almost a decade and has garnered a mere 18.

Friend’s newfound popularity is due, in part, to a new e-book promotion from Algonquin, my wonderful publishers, and in part (I hope) to word of mouth.  But while it’s very nice to be reviewed frequently and lovingly, it’s very queasy-making when so many of these new reviews say things like “holy crap this book was boring,” “it was so so so boring,” or “this book was free and still not worth the money.”  Before the e-book promotion, Friend’s reviews were 90% positive.  Now they’re much more mixed.  So one thing I’m curious about is whether e-books attract readers who are looking for different things than hard-copy book readers, and another thing is whether people who read e-books are much more likely to review online.  I’m a creaky old Luddite in just about every possible way, so my favorite books are the ones on paper, stacked up next to my bed.  And I’ve only reviewed four or five books online in my entire life.  Going online to tell the world what I think is just not my natural response to reading.

That said, one great lesson from the Amazon Review Onslaught is that I’ve stopped caring so much what other people think, because once the fifteenth person has told you your book is “so boring” and misspelled both the words “boring” and “so,” you start to realize that not everybody shares your taste or your sensibilities (or your orthography). You also realize that this is fine.  I have different taste than some of the people I trust the most in the world. My husband loves difficult Latin American surrealist fiction.  My son loves Captain Underpants.  I love Lolita, Mr. Bridge and Mrs. Bridge, Everything Ravaged, Everything Burned, Kelly Braffet’s novels, especially her new one coming out, almost anything by Graham Greene, The Remains of the Day, The Stone Diaries, Love in the Time of Cholera, MFK Fisher’s essays about eating, and everything Laurie Colwin ever wrote.

But many people I love don’t love any of these books or writers, which is hard for me to understand, but is true.  And many other people can tolerate these books, but what they really love is speculative science fiction, or futuristic erotica, or difficult Latin American surrealism.  So fine.  Some people don’t like what I’ve written, but I like what I’ve written, for the most part, and know that if I can connect with even a handful of readers then I’ve done what I’ve set out to do, times a handful.

This new and fortunate understanding has affected the way I think about other things too: my teaching, the writing of my new novel.  I’m less outside my head now.  I’ve stopped, for the most part, second-guessing myself or my plans.  And this confidence is, in part, because of all those bad reviews.  Isn’t that strange?   But it turns out that even when I do the best I can do, I can’t make everyone happy.  So I guess I might as well start, as they say, by pleasing myself.

  • I HATE answering the "where are you from" question. I live in America, but I grew up in Canada, and am of Chinese descent. So the conversation usually goes like this:
  • Them: Where are you from?
  • Me: Ottawa, Canada!
  • Them: Oh sorry, I mean where are your parents from?
  • Me: Ottawa, Canada!
  • Them: ...
  • They usually drop it after that, but a few persist, and I usually find it personally more comforting just to lie and say that my ancestors lived in Canada.

murakamistuff:

Erik from Amsterdam submitted this picture of his cat Murakami in her “Dolphin Hotel”. She also has a sister named The Rat which is not around in this picture.

Kitty stamp!

Kitty stamp!

(via kittehkats)

fuckyeahmixedbeauty:

I’m Kalia. I’m 18 and half Filipina, half African American.

I was just featured in the March 2013 issue of Teen Vogue, and in Kohl’s stores nationwide representing! (:

Tumblr: kalialiaa.tumblr.com

Instagram: Kuhleeuh

(via angryasiangirlsunited)

fascinasians:

at National Japanese American Memorial to Patriotism in WWII

deafmuslimpunx:

obitoftheday:

Obit of the Day: Killing Her for Kindness
Parveen Rehman was shot and killed by four unknown gunman in Karachi, Pakistan on March 13, 2013. She was virtually unknown outside of her home nation but within the Islamic republic she was known as a champion for the poor. 
Ms. Rehman joined the Orangi Pilot Project in 1982 to work in local Katchi abadis, “poor people’s housing.”Although these abadis are home to 15 million residents of Pakistan’s capital, Karachi (which has a total population of 21 million), they do not officially exist. The Orangi abadi has one million residents.
The Orangi Pilot Project - which is composed of three separate organizations - worked to bring basic sanitation, clean water, and education to the residents. This was done by encouraging the residents to undertake much of the infrastructure development themselves.
Ms. Rehman personally fought corruption in a very corrupt city. She publicly challenged those who stole the public water supply as well as the those taking abadi land. As Karachi grew it absorbed the land on which abadis stood, then speculators would come in, take the land, throw off the residents and sell it at a profit.
Ms. Rehman, who once called in a group of rival gunman to face off against previous attackers because the police were not reliable, was 56 years old when she was murdered.
Sources: NPR (with a great interview by Steve Inskeep), BBC, Dawn.com, and The Orangi Pilot Project
(Image of Ms. Rehman is from NPR and taken by Tracy Wahl - who corrected me very nicely. Follow her!)
Also take time to read about former Mexican mayor Maria Santos Gorrostieta who was assassinated in 2012.

 Inaa lillaahi WA inaa illayhi raji’oon. Rest in Peace.

deafmuslimpunx:

obitoftheday:

Obit of the Day: Killing Her for Kindness

Parveen Rehman was shot and killed by four unknown gunman in Karachi, Pakistan on March 13, 2013. She was virtually unknown outside of her home nation but within the Islamic republic she was known as a champion for the poor. 

Ms. Rehman joined the Orangi Pilot Project in 1982 to work in local Katchi abadis, “poor people’s housing.”Although these abadis are home to 15 million residents of Pakistan’s capital, Karachi (which has a total population of 21 million), they do not officially exist. The Orangi abadi has one million residents.

The Orangi Pilot Project - which is composed of three separate organizations - worked to bring basic sanitation, clean water, and education to the residents. This was done by encouraging the residents to undertake much of the infrastructure development themselves.

Ms. Rehman personally fought corruption in a very corrupt city. She publicly challenged those who stole the public water supply as well as the those taking abadi land. As Karachi grew it absorbed the land on which abadis stood, then speculators would come in, take the land, throw off the residents and sell it at a profit.

Ms. Rehman, who once called in a group of rival gunman to face off against previous attackers because the police were not reliable, was 56 years old when she was murdered.

Sources: NPR (with a great interview by Steve Inskeep), BBC, Dawn.com, and The Orangi Pilot Project

(Image of Ms. Rehman is from NPR and taken by Tracy Wahl - who corrected me very nicely. Follow her!)

Also take time to read about former Mexican mayor Maria Santos Gorrostieta who was assassinated in 2012.

Inaa lillaahi WA inaa illayhi raji’oon. Rest in Peace.

(via asiansnotstudying)

catsbeaversandducks:

Illustration by ©DoodleCats

(via kittehkats)

angryasiangirlsunited:

navigatethestream:

CLICK HERE TO SIGN THE PETITION AND SEND IT TO YR FRIENDS

I know appropriation fuckery can be exhausting 

its like a never ending wheel of “goddamn it really?!” 

but Urban Outfitters is a filthy rich company that will continue profiting off the cultures of the global POC diaspora if we don’t say anything 

sign the petition

tweet urban outfitters and let them know cultures are not for sale 

Signal boost!

I FUCKING HATE URBAN OUTFITTERS

mrhipp:

ONCE YOU MEET SOMEONE, YOU NEVER REALLY FORGET THEM.

(via comicsalliance)

Girl Playa new web serieswhich follows a group of… waaait for it… feminine women of color (finally!). Breaking the trend of web series leading with masculine of center women’s experiences, viewers can expect to live vicariously through four fab femmes as they navigate their careers, friendship, and love.

Girl Play TV is the brain child of TheFabFemme.com creator, Aryka Randall, who was inspired to create the series after the success of her blog. In a recent interview, she remarked:

“My main goal for the “Girl Play” project is to end common stereotypes about feminine lesbian women and depict young women of color in a positive light. I also want to expose viewers to the LGBT community which thrives in Louisiana. I think people will be surprised to see how many gay people actually live in New Orleans.”

read more about Girl Play

(via angryasiangirlsunited)

bullzara:

Misc / Origami cat on We Heart It - http://weheartit.com/entry/54765753/via/Bullzara Origami cat a través de Brulo Rydables

Origami Bisbee!

bullzara:

Misc / Origami cat on We Heart It - http://weheartit.com/entry/54765753/via/Bullzara
Origami cat a través de Brulo Rydables

Origami Bisbee!

(via kittehkats)

joebidenlookingatstuff:

Joe Biden looking at a mighty fine sandwich while President Obama nom nom noms.

joebidenlookingatstuff:

Joe Biden looking at a mighty fine sandwich while President Obama nom nom noms.

miniyo:

Li Chen, en “Extra Ordinary”, http://www.exocomics.com/

Life with cats. :)

(via kittehkats)

What I’d like to tell some people.

(via kittehkats)