[sticky entry] Sticky: Kara Lee

Oct. 24th, 2013 09:29 am
sputnikhearts: (Default)
Hi!  I'm Kara Lee. I write SFF stories! You can see them at my bibliography.

This blog has a mixture of writing and personal ramblings. My website/blog is at Windupdreams.

♥ for visiting!

Story sale!

Apr. 7th, 2017 11:46 am
sputnikhearts: laptop (laptop)
I am very happy to announce that A Remedy for Memory, a short SF story about love and memory and the perils of mixing them together, will be in the July 2017 issue of Empyreome Magazine.

I love all my children equally ... said the parent of one child (and this is true, she said, in Peter Sagal's Wait Wait Don't Tell Me voice). But in all earnestness, A Remedy for Memory represents something special to me, not least that I don't know when to quit. I wrote my first version of this story back in 2009, and since then I've lost count of the number of times I revised or completely rewrote the piece. I was going to rewrite it again--I still have the outline in my Google Docs--if there were no takers this year. But I am beyond happy that someone does want it.

As for the story sitting in my revised outline, I still plan to write it, or something like it, one day. Like I said, I don't know when to quit.
sputnikhearts: laptop (laptop)
I bought a membership to Worldcon 2017 when they first became available, but I wasn't sure whether I'd be able to actually go. This is not a blog about finances, but it would misleading not to acknowledge that it imposes choices. I went through a very sudden, very expensive move in October-November 2016, and wasn't sure whether I felt Worldcon was still worth it after the dust (and the books) settled from that.

I was still waffling until last week when a close friend, who is not generally given to Acts of Carpe Diem, announced that he was going to climb freaking Kilimanjaro next month. I've never been one to give in to peer pressure, but that was a challenge I couldn't entirely ignore. Also, I've been feeling a bit in a rut lately, and this was a kick that I needed.

So I made some spreadsheets and then decided to go for it. Aside from the excitement and opportunities of Worldcon, I just want to see Helsinki! I also have very probably unrealistic dreams of doing some light hiking with my DSLR in tow.

I still haven't decided how many days I'll go for--in any case I can't be there the entire time, my employer beckons--but I'm full of excitement and plans. Which is, if you will permit the cheesiness, my absolute favorite state of mind.
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Efficient people: move to Colorado, buy Subaru, bike everywhere.
Me: move to Colorado, try not to wipe out in Camry, live too far to bike to work so drive everywhere, give up. Leave Colorado for Maryland, buy a Subaru, bike everywhere.

And the day after purchasing the car, I ordered some wool socks and merino leggings.

Spousal Unit: What are you going to do, turn on the a/c in the Subaru while wearing them?

Now, because I have a very poor sense of direction, the household joke/diagnosis is that I live in my own personal TARDIS. I usually only get lost in space, but you could argue that in this instance, I've once again* gotten lost in time and I was actually buying all these things two years ago in Colorado, when they would have been much more useful.

* So there was also the incident when we were trying to go to a Moscow museum of classical art and I somehow navigated us to a modern art museum. Artistic satire in the form of a Stalinist-era golden toilet stall is really something, let me tell you.
sputnikhearts: an open book (bookish)
I don't believe in New Year's Resolutions for their own sake. But the convergence of history and religion, at least in the U.S. where I live, has resulted in a nice string of vacation days leading up to the otherwise arbitrary event. And so around every New Year I an given a break from work, resulting in enough time to breathe and take stock of my life.

Usually this results in a few days of wallowing in all my failures of the year, followed by a few days of vowing to do better and scrambling to put systems in place to do so. This year was no exception, and my brain fixated on my fiction writing, which I didn't work on as much as I would have liked in 2016.

The reasons aren't all bad. Some of it was failure and procrastination and laziness. But I also burned the candle at both ends successfully developing my career in writing non-fiction. That job keeps my family fed and sheltered and warm, and I'm also pretty fond of it for its own sake. So I'm happy and proud of what I've accomplished in that arena.

Still, we all only have so many Action Points in a day. If nothing else, 2016 taught me to honor my limits. And I had to admit that I simply didn't have the resources to spend as much time grinding at my fiction tech tree*. And that was okay. Everything builds on everything else, and what I did accomplish is not a waste. It's only a waste if I forget what it's all pointing towards.

So in 2017, my goal is to rekindle that love, commit to finishing more stories whether or not I submit them for publication, and in general rebuild the foundation (of love, and squee, and passions both dark and light) that drive me to tell stories.

*If it wasn't already obvious, I view life as a mostly frustrating RPG.
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So hectic, and on top of all responsibilities got sick from my petri dish of a toddler daughter (I have never coughed up that much crud in my life), but eh I have a beer and 15 minutes to waste in front of a monitor before getting back to packing so hey life isn't all bad. ♥ (But that could be the cough medicine talking.)

Moon Pulls

Dec. 3rd, 2016 10:48 am
sputnikhearts: girl walking in fog. from amelie maybe? (girl in fog)
I had a hectic week and apparently it depleted my resistance to attacks against will (but LBR it's not like my Char or Wis scores are that high to start with ...) because yesterday I tripped and bought the PDF pattern to Moon Pulls, a gorgeous lopapeysa-inspired sweater, along with an online order of Lett-Lopi yarn for knitting it (I didn't buy the cashmere yarn ... yet.)

This will be interesting because I am petite (5'3") as well as--not to put too fine a point on it--not a cylinder. So customization is mandatory in all sweater patterns. I had previously sworn up and down I was only going to do top down raglans in the future because it's SO EASY to adjust the most troublesome measurement areas for me. Also because seaming is the worst. So really, what I did last night shows that I had completely taken leave of my senses. XD However, the pattern very thoughtfully provides line drawings with all the measurements for all the sizes, so hopefully I should be able to mix and match? Thank you, Dianna Walla, for being so considerate of non-fit-model figures.
sputnikhearts: (so much love)
Blue baby sweater with toy giraffe, school bus, and block

I don't get a lot of time to knit, so it's always special when I finish something. This weekend I bound off / washed / blocked my Mother of Pearl sweater, which is pretty much the sweetest little thing. (I prefer simple shapes in clothing, and until Bean has the words to tell me what she likes, so does she by proxy. Haha.)

Knitting is by far the biggest competitor for my writing time (the relatively quick gratification is so nice as a writer!), and if good yarn weren't so expensive it would win a lot more often. So you see, Madelinetosh et al's price points are a good thing ...

For any knitters who may be reading this: I made the 1 year old size with a lot of adjustments. The yarn was Dream In Color Classy (worsted) in the blue sulk colorway, which is obviously very different from my photo—I think they changed it though, because my yarn does not look like that at all, even allowing for lighting/monitor differences. Anyway, you can find the details on my Ravelry page.
sputnikhearts: (Default)
Ugh, figure out the reason why. It’s a known thing. I guess just as a warning to anyone else who might use IFTTT ...

IFTTT test

Nov. 23rd, 2016 10:46 am
sputnikhearts: laptop (laptop)
I have a couple of blogs scattered all around, and I decided it's time to consolidate them. For a long time I didn't want to; I preferred to silo all my interests. But you know what ... I don't really mind or care anymore. I am as much writer as knitter as fashion enthusiast as (terrible) photographer as (better) cook, etc etc etc. So from now on, I'm going to ... let it hang out, I suppose?

IFTTT is pretty good for this sort of thing but it doesn't have a Dreamwidth module, and I still want to maintain my DW blog, so it'll have to start from there via RSS feed and post to WordPress. The only irritation is that it doesn't transfer tags, so that's something I will still have to manually update, but it's better than nothing. DW can also automatically crosspost to LJ, which is nice. Anyway, this is the first post testing IFTTT functionality, so pardon my dust, etc. Much to do ahead as I tweak the WordPress.
sputnikhearts: (Default)
From Baidu:

三百千 编辑


(Sorry too tired to translate, but Wikipedia covers similar territory)

In the dynasties following the Song, the Three Character Classic, the Hundred Family Surnames, and 1,000 Character Classic, came to be known as San Bai Qian (Three, Hundred, Thousand), from the first character in their titles. They were the almost universal introductory literacy texts for students, almost exclusively boys, from elite backgrounds and even for a number of ordinary villagers. Each was available in many versions, printed cheaply, and available to all since they did not become superseded. When a student had memorized all three, he could recognize and pronounce, though not necessarily write or understand the meaning of, roughly 2,000 characters (there was some duplication among the texts). Since Chinese did not use an alphabet, this was an effective, though time consuming, way of giving a "crash course" in character recognition before going on to understanding texts and writing characters.

I caved

Aug. 24th, 2016 06:11 pm
sputnikhearts: (Default)
And got a yoga mat -_-

It's just so hard to get any other form of exercise thanks to Bean, not counting the ~1hr a day I get walking her in a stroller + chasing after her.

Resources would be loved--I did Google, so I have a couple of beginner Youtube vids and such called up, but if you have a ~favorite~ I would love to know it! Thank you in advance ♥
sputnikhearts: an open book (bookish)
Ninefox Gambit by Yoon Ha Lee ([personal profile] yhlee) is frickin' amazing.

I am really, really tired and brain dead but I want to write this now so that I don't forget *_*

spoilery squee and ramblings below! )

In short, oh my god the next book, I need it. <3

But in the meantime, I will reread (to catch all the things that I inevitably missed the first time) and then join the threads if they're not over yet ...
sputnikhearts: an open book (bookish)
Me: I've been wanting to read a story about a baby ghost who is calmed with a ghost pacifier! Shouldn't there be 1000 of those stories?

Spouse: I don't know of any.

Me: What? That is so obvious, it should be a cliche.

Spouse: *staring now* I think your mind works ... differently ...


Anyway, all this is to say: if that story exists, someone point me towards it. Please no outright horror, I have an 8 month old! Bittersweet okay, although I would prefer sweet. Please and thank you! Or, if you like this idea, feel free to steal. I would love to read it when complete. <3
sputnikhearts: laptop (laptop)
 I have watched so much Naruto. Chunin Arc over these three days *_____* CHUNIN!ARC!SAKURA eeeeeee Sasuke WTF and also I forgot how easy it was to binge on short anime episodes.

Spousal Unit returns from his trip of creating evil overlords tomorrow. Can't wait. It was not as bad as I thought, but it was only three days.

(... and you know the saying about not counting chickens before they hatch? Chez moi we are busy staking out some velociraptor eggs in case they hatch.)
sputnikhearts: an open book (bookish)
I spent all morning laughing aloud at work at this: Laws Concerning Food and Drink; Household Principles; Lamentations of the Father

(I can't wait until The Bean is old enough to start demonstrating some of these ... while I'm holding a phone to film the incidents. My God, my God, I am so glad that I was a child in an era where film was prohibitively expensive. And all most of the evidence of my online idiocy died with Geocities.)

Bite not, lest you be cast into quiet time. Neither drink of your own bath water, nor of bath water of any kind; nor rub your feet on bread, even if it be in the package; nor rub yourself against cars, nor against any building; nor eat sand.

Leave the cat alone, for what has the cat done, that you should so afflict it with tape? And hum not that humming in your nose as I read, nor stand between the light and the book. Indeed, you will drive me to madness. Nor forget what I said about the tape.

Day 1 was actually good. Super anxious that some calamity will happen tomorrow. But I do not know the day or the hour, right? So, more whiskey until I pass out asleep. =_=
sputnikhearts: an open book (bookish)
Saw this reading list/meme? at chez [personal profile] issenllo and because I've had an ... interesting ... day, I will decompress with it.

100 SFF books by female authors )
sputnikhearts: an open book (bookish)
Because I have no time. Ever. My life is a series of half-assed efforts made in a blur of exhaustion. It's a miracle any of them work out.

I have got to give ginkgo a try.

But who cares, because The Traitor Baru Cormorant is so, so interesting. Why haven't, like, The Economist and Planet Money (and their ilk) covered this book yet? Rhey're exactly the experts who understand best that "a sensible monetary policy" is a basic tool of conquest and empire, and could probably tell you all the stories in history where this happened, and then some rando politician swooped in afterwards to collect the credit ... or the blame. I feel like they should be doing a jig over this book existing.

(This is emphatically not a rec, more of a nascent book report. XD)

I'm not sure whether I like this story because it harps on topics that I'm interested in, or because I like it for itself. Baru would probably snort and say it doesn't matter. So that's that.


Apr. 25th, 2016 02:45 pm
sputnikhearts: suu from clover (suu)
Have started using Martha Stewart recipes. I know, so corporate. But in this world where everyone is an expert, self included, sometimes I just want a simple recipe--in this case, poached chicken breasts, not exactly the epitome of edginess--with some freaking Professional Quality Control. See also: why the NPR podcast empire is so pervasive among my demographic. I could spend hours slogging through various badly produced variations on Yet Another Podcast About Quirky Ephemera, or I could ... queue up Surprisingly Awesome.

(I bounced super-hard off Memory Palace though.)

P.S. That one-pot pasta really is all it's cracked up to be. My mods, because I can never resist: more garlic, more tomatoes, more basil. Bouillon cubes. Add other veggies at will. It's not haute cuisine but it's ridiculously easy.


Made some progress on writing and related professional development last week (?!) I don't know how it happened (?!), given that pretty much every day consists of me stumbling around frantically trying to finish projects in a blur of exhaustion. But I guess everyone else in the world is doing the same while feeling the same way, right? The human condition according to me.


I may finally cave and go to Lush this weekend to get some more bath bombs. The one and only I have ever tried (I believe it was the now-discontinued precursor to the Rose Bombshell) left a gigantic mess of various flower petals in my tub, which rather cancelled out my enjoyment of the immediately prior bath, because I also had to scrub the wet tub while eight months pregnant. XD But the Sakura looks safe ... and I have my normal center of gravity back. Mostly.
sputnikhearts: an open book (bookish)
So the Spousal Unit wandered by my comment in [personal profile] yhlee's post about how I Photoshop fake book covers for myself, and he complained, "If you're gonna say that, you have to give examples. Pics or it didn't happen!"

Well, it feels a bit narcissistic for me personally to upload fake book covers of my stories in public so I'm not going to post those. (But if you actually want to see a couple, PM me. I'm always happy to show off ... in private.)


A few years ago a friend of both myself and Spousal Unit came up to us and said, hey you read a lot of SF, there's this book that I can't remember. Here's the plot, do you know it?

And my friends, it was an AMAZING PLOT. More amazing than anything I have ever conceived.

"it's in the southern us, and people are searching for a great general robert lee (but it turns out to be a chinese robert lee) w/ a chicken against central planners controlling an entrepreneurial computer personality that founded a rebellious transport company."
So this was inevitable. And yes, I did the "shitty gold bezel letters" on purpose. I sent it off to him with a note about how this was a scanned cover of the book from a helpful librarian. (He took it well XD)

cut for an enormous cover image )

We never did find the book and are convinced that it's something he dreamed up. But hey, you never know, so drop me a line if we're wrong XD


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Kara Lee


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