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Month: August 2011

New story up: Diatomaceous Earth

Ever since I moved to Texas, there has been one neighbor I haven’t cared for much… the gigantic cockroaches that live in the trees behind our apartment. It’s rained once since I moved here, for about 45 seconds, and the whole city is in the middle of level 2 water restrictions, so the cockroaches have been coming inside to look for water since they’re not getting it outside.

We’ve tried a lot of methods, both of us being pacifists who would rather throw the bugs back outside than squash them, but we’ve only just now found a system that seems to work at keeping them outside, where they belong. Still, it got me thinking about the cockroaches, and how it must be hard for them to face the danger of scavenging in peoples’ homes (although cockroaches in the lab have been known to go 3 months without food), so I wrote a story about it. Then again, maybe they just really don’t give a shit, like the honey badger.

Check it out, and tell me what you think.

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Vote for me! (If you want.)

I’ve hinted at this before, but some time ago I took a freelance writing side job working on other people’s online dating profiles. The job and I have had our ups and downs, but the bottom line of it is that I’ve learned a lot about this crazy world that is online dating, enough in fact that I thought it might be a good topic for SXSW Interactive 2012. If you think so too, give it a thumbs up. The SXSW world needs more stuff like this and less “how to reach your target market.” Although, I suppose this is kind of like that…

FYI – public voting counts for about 30% of whether or not a panel gets selected, so I promise not to hate you forever if you don’t vote for me.

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Weird Austin Writers Meetup!

I recently relocated to Austin, TX, and working from home and not going out much isn’t doing much for my social life. I’ve also resolved to start getting some traction on The Redheaded Stepchild, so I decided to kill two birds with one stone and join a writer’s workshop meetup group. We had our first meeting last week (I remember because it was not Shark Week, and because it was the only day last week I bothered to put on a bra), and I’ve assessed the following tech writer-y pros and cons list:


  • It’s free. I like free. It’s much better than not free.
  • It’s a good way to get some eyes on my stuff – some eyes of people who have a clue what they’re doing.
  • It’s a good way to meet some like-minded people.
  • It’s a good way to see some new parts of the city (we were right on the water at our last meetup).
  • There’s a writing prompt exercise at every meetup.


  • The meetup organizer is less than organized.
  • They don’t exchange manuscripts before the meeting, so everyone just brings their stuff and we read it right there.
  • Only 3 people came to the first meetup.

I’ll give it a few meetups before I decide if it’s a bust, but in the meantime, if you’re interested in the material I write from the prompts, I’ll put em up.

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