#WeekendCoffeeShare: It’s Moving!

If we were having coffee, I’d advise you to sit a little bit away so as not to catch any of my flu germs–because yes, unfortunately, the flu has finally made its way to our house. I’m a bit of a sneezy, coughy, runny-nosed mess right now, so perhaps it’s best that we’re sharing our coffee virtually.

I would also tell you, over our virtual coffee, that you’re about to see some major changes where the weekend coffee share is concerned, because it’s getting a new home. Starting next week, the weekend coffee share will be hosted at Nerd in the Brain, and Emily will be taking over the week-to-week operations of the link-up.

It’s taken me a long time to make this decision and to commit to it. I’ve hung onto the link-up for a while now, though writing each week has taken a great deal of energy. The community is a vibrant and close-knit one, with far more readers and commenters than I imagined would be a part of this when I started the link-up in 2014. So part of me really wanted to hang on to this part of my little corner of the internet, this thing that I’ve built. But another part of me knows that it’s time to make a shift. My posts have become less compelling conversation than chatter about my week, and over the past few months I’ve become more and more lax about doing the things that keep the coffee share community close–answering comments and reading, commenting on, and sharing everyone else’s posts. In large part, this is because when I didn’t calculate how the coffee share would fit in with the content I wanted to run when I switched my blog over, and in large part, this is also because I’ve done this each week for a little more than 2 years now, and the routine has become overwhelming.

Of course, moving the weekend coffee share link up doesn’t mean that I won’t ever be writing coffee share posts anymore…It just means that I’m taking a bit of a backseat and becoming a participant rather than the sole person in charge of making and running the link-up. Emily has agreed to do that, and I think that she will do a fantastic job. Emily currently runs Three Things Thursday, another weekly link-up, and she also runs hosts challenges and give-aways at Nerd in the Brain so the link-up is in safe hands.  And I’ll be popping in and out, adding my own posts to the list on the weeks that I write one and blissfully free to read and share posts that you guys write.

The content here, at Part-Time Monster, is going to get louder and more political. In the face of DT’s presidency and the massive sociocultural and sociopolitical problems that we are facing, I can’t stay silent. Feminist Fridays will resume this week. You’ll also see me talking more about mental health, focusing on my ongoing problems with anxiety and depression. And you’ll also see me talking about books, films, and comics–because not only does art tell us things about our society, but art is good for us in times like these. Art is not just frivolity, though it certainly can be frivolous.

And so…This is goodbye but not goodbye. I’ll be here, talking about all sorts of stuff, and I’ll sometimes jump into the coffee share as a participant, but this is my last week hosting the coffee share. Starting 2/18, look for the weekend coffee share on Nerd in the Brain!  🙂

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#WeekendCoffeeShare: In Which I am Cold, and I Talk about Feminism

If we were having coffee, we would be curled up on the big purple couch today. I’m wearing my Hufflepuff bathrobe backwards and whining about just how cold it is today. Of course, to some of you 47 degrees is not cold at all, so you’ll probably be chuckling. But for here in New Orleans, that’s cold as cold can be. Our houses are mostly not equipped to deal with the cold weather because they’re built to stay cool in the ridiculous summers, so the high ceilings and big windows work against us during the winter. We’ve also moved into a place without central heating–we have a few of the small space heaters around the house, but since there are no doors in the kitchen/living room area, the heaters have to work pretty hard. Anyway, it’s cold. I’m cold.

So while I’m on cup number two of coffee and bitching about being cold, I would tell you that this has been a good week, a week of finishing up the semester and moving forward. At the beginning of the week, Mon/Tues, I had lots of final essays to grade and final grades to input. Then on Wednesday, I got to be a part of something really, really incredible. I wanted to chat about it last week, but I wasn’t sure just how much to say before it all happened. Toward the end of last week, I was contacted to read on-camera for a feminist documentary project called Yours in Sisterhood–the goal of the project is to record people giving readings of letters sent to Ms. magazine in the 1970s in the places where those letters were written and to allow a space to respond to the tone and content of the letters. The project is spear-headed by director Irene Lustzig, who contacted me about reading a letter sent from a mother of an infant son in New Orleans. I readily agreed, of course, and the experience was a profound and moving one. I was surprised at not just the cognitive dissonance between myself and the writer of this letter, but also at our similarities–things we both wanted or things we both worried about. We filmed along the levy of the MS River here, and though it was loud and we had to do several takes, it seemed like just the right spot. Not sure when things will be available, because there are more readings to be recorded and lots to be done, but the project will end up both as an interactive online archive and a feature-length film. Their Facebook page is probably a good place to keep up with them!

After we finished up with filming for the documentary on Wednesday, it was time to say goodbye to Irene and her wonderful assistant Anisa, and then I had to scoot across the river to the community college and hand-in my end-of-the-semester requirements–gradebook and such–and then there was a trip to the library and to pick up Little Jedi from school. And there was also, finally my new phone waiting for me at home. We ordered them at the end of last week, and Sam’s was here Monday, but of course since I chose a rose gold colored phone instead of the traditional grey, it took mine longer to get here! We had to have new phones because our old Blackberrys weren’t working well anymore, and apparently the problem was that they were not compatible with some of the new networks and such. I caved and gave into the iPhone craze, and also into the Instagram (@parttimemonster) and PokemonGo crazes. Oh, and Prisma. Basically, I spent all of Thursday reading and playing on my new phone, because Wednesday was such a good but long day. The most productivity I managed on Thursday was making the bed, and that’s about the most productivity I managed yesterday, too.  But on the bright side, I caught a lot of Pokemon and am almost finished with The Girls, a really fascinating novel about a teenage girl in the late 1960s who is caught up in a Manson-esque murderous cult.

And today, in addition to writing this coffee post, I’m making some behind-the-scenes changes and working on some new ideas for this little blog. For one thing, I’ve decided to bring Feminist Fridays to the blog. A while back, some other bloggers and I ran a series of Feminist Friday discussions on a regular basis, and that was a productive time for me insofar as my own activism and writing. In the wake of working on Yours in Sisterhood this week, I’ve realized I need more of that conversation, and my blog is a good place to start it. So, beginning in January, each Friday will be devoted to a piece of writing about feminism. Sometimes that will mean I share a personal story, and sometimes those posts will be more global. I’ll also have some guest posters here, and if you have an idea I encourage you to chat with me about it by emailing me at ptmonsterblog@gmail.com.

And for now, with this long, long coffee date, I will bid you adieu, and I will see you next week for a coffee-on-a-go-go as we travel to my parents’ house to celebrate Christmas with them. Until then, link up your coffee posts below, and I promise I’ll be answering comments and getting the WCS Twitter going again!

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#WeekendCoffeeShare: In Which There’s a Party!

If we were having coffee, we’d be sitting on my big purple couch for the first time in a while today–or perhaps if it’s not too warm (though if I’m honest, it probably is), we’ll sit out on the back deck. It’s a bit quiet around here for a change, and that feels nice. Little Jedi is gone to visit his dad this weekend, and Sam is out most of the day working on finishing the rough cut of Rolling with Kings and scripting the first issue of The Chronicles of Count Carlos. Meanwhile I’m here, hosting the coffee share—and I’m also doing a few other things too, like co-hosting the Princess Bride Linkup Party with the fabulous women of WriteOnSisters and working on the posting line-up for October.

princess-bride-linkup-partyI’d tell you that I hope you’ll join us for the linkup party at WriteOnSisters and share a post about The Princes Bride, of course! It’s quite possible that you’re here while I’m actually watching the movie, which is definitely on today’s agenda. PB is a movie that I watched growing up, a favorite that I chose again and again on the weekends when we rented movies from our local video store. And it’s one of the few movies that has really stood the test of time for me, only getting better as I grew old enough to understand the nuances of the story. And old enough to read (and to enjoy) the novel, too. Tomorrow I’ll be sharing a post I wrote about it a few years ago that focuses on the book-to-movie comparison, and all weekend long I’ll be sharing and commenting on posts that are linking up. (Pssstt–If you participate, be sure to use #PrincessBrideParty to share your posts on Twitter and Facebook so we can find each other and share!)

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A Greenland shark faces off against a diver named Jonathan in Little Jedi’s shadow puppet play

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that this has been another busy week, and it has also been a rather long one. It hasn’t all been bad, though. The highlight of the week was being able to pay all of the bills on time and then have enough cash left to do something fun for Little Jedi. His school was closed on Wednesday for a teacher workday, and of course Sam and I both had to work. We were going to have him stay with a friend, but the kids’ art center down the street had a day camp going to make a shadow puppet theater and shadow puppets. When I picked him up that afternoon, he and his classmates performed their short plays. Since there were only 4 of them, it seems as though they had a really good day together. This was a pretty big thing, too, because Little Jedi was nervous that he mightn’t be good at making voices for the characters or cutting out things–but what he discovered was that everyone else needed a little help too, and he enjoyed it so much that he wants to go back there again. It’s just down the street from us, and in addition to day camps when the kiddos are out of school, they also have some open studio hours each week and some summer camps. They even did a claymation camp this past summer. Lots of cool stuff happening there.

Anyway, other than that the week was mostly unremarkable–class was much smoother this week, and I don’t have grading to do this weekend, which is nice, as I’ll definitely have some to do next weekend. I had a bit of a difficult Monday, and I felt like a big ol’ mess at the end of it, but mostly that was PMS combined with some work stress, and a wonderful group of friends reminded me that we all fall down, and we get back up again. And I did. The end of the week was still busy, but at least it came to a close peacefully for me…And I know that there were those who weren’t so lucky. The news of another black citizen killed by police, of riots and unrest, are haunting.

I’ve been escaping into fiction a bit this week, finishing up The Red Queen and starting the 2nd book in the series, Glass Sword. And I picked up The Map of Bones at the library, only to realize that it’s the 2nd in a series, so I had to put The Fire Sermon on reserve at the library and go and pick it up–because you guys know how I am about reading things in sequence! Anyway, I picked up the other book, too, and I managed to pick up the last collection of Runaways. I even played a bit on Pottermore, discovering that my patronus is a Siberian cat, my wand is fir wood with a phoenix feather core, 10″ and hard flexibility, and of course I’m still a Hufflepuffin. Ahhh, distraction.

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If we were having coffee, I would say thank you—thank you so much for listening, for showing up to say hi, and to share your own coffee. It’s delightful, this little community. And I’d bid you adieu, for now, with a reminder that next week’s coffee share will be the kick off for a re-launch of this new space, starting with an October full of monstrosities, including the return of Monster Monday and some horror-themed guest posts!

Link up your coffee posts below! Just please follow our few little rules:
1. Posts should be framed as a chat over coffee or some other beverage.
2. Posts should be current (written within the week).
3. Links go on the link-up, not in the comments section.
4. Comment and share each others’ posts using #weekendcoffeeshare on Facebook and Twitter!