Shopping moratorium…

I am planning to go on a shopping moratorium until Christmas. No particular reason, just to see what it feels like to not be shopping. I’ve been a bit over-obsessed with getting everything in my home and wardrobe “just right” lately, and I want to see if I can break that so I can focus on other things I want to do.

Exceptions to the no shopping ban:

  • Groceries, household necessities, replacing anything that breaks
  • Previously planned purchases (i.e., intentional shopping to fit a need)
  • Books! (but I will use the library more and try to read through what I have)
  • Experiences — spend my money on doing rather than acquiring

This post is to help keep me honest. I’ll post updates.

Essay of the week: Not thinking about bears…

How Not to Think About Bears by Pamela Druckerman (New York Times), an amusing essay that is not really about bears, a fact that many of the commenters seemed to miss. 

Essay of the week: On Harper Lee…

It seems fitting to highlight this great piece about Harper Lee by Roy Hoffman in the New York Times now that Go Set a Watchman has come out and blown up the Internet.

Essay of the week: I, Racist

When I find it (which is not as often as I’d like), I like to feature thoughtful, thought-provoking writing from the Web. I hope this piece has the same effect on you as it did on me: making me rethink my complicity in racism in America: I, Racist by John Metta — Medium.

New blog: Sci Femme

I’ve resurrected an old idea of mine, which is to read science fiction about women and blog about it. I call the blog Sci Femme, and I hope to use it as a forum for longer-form essays about themes and trends in science fiction written by women. I’ll be looking at both new and classic books. I’ll also post news and other resources there as I discover them. There’s not much there at present, just a few older pieces to seed the garden, so to speak, but I hope you’ll visit and follow. I plan to blog regularly there for at least the next year of reading, perhaps longer if this project takes hold. I’ll also post updates here when I make them.

Essay of the week: Amanda Palmer on radical empathy…

A beautifully written piece by Amanda Palmer: Playing the Hitler Card: “We live in an age of endless, foaming outrage. The only answer is to try to feel empathy for other people, no matter who they are.”

Essay of the week: Are women-only book prizes necessary?

Maybe for a century or more to come, we’ll continue to need cultural spaces in which “women’s writing” is protected and encouraged to flourish as something separate from “men’s.” But that same small part of me fears that the gated-off arena can too easily become a prison. There’s something ironic, and a little depressing, in the fact that the digital archive of a major American university now displays the poems of the boldly gender-­ambiguous, literary-drag-­wearing Currer, Ellis and Acton Bell under the festively decorated but irredeemably patronizing heading “A Celebration of Women Writers.”

via Does an Award Like the Baileys Women’s Prize for Fiction Help or Hurt the Cause of Women Writers? –; quote by Dana Stevens; Zoe Heller also answered the question.