November 1, 2020

Let’s begin with another update. As I write this, Hallowe’en parties — yes, parties — amid COVID continue in other units in my apartment building. I’m home in Medellín, Colombia, after being out of country for a week to rectify my legal status, and these reckless people are just part of the package, alack. But I’m still ever-so-relieved to be back on this side of the border. I’m now on sabbatical, too: a forced sabbatical, seeing as I cannot so… Read more

October 25, 2020

Let’s begin with an update. This past Tuesday, I had to leave Colombia, to fly to Panamá for a week and test how long I have to be out of the country before I can return and start anew. It could be that I can take a tourist permit as early as tomorrow, when I fly back; it could be that I’ll have to wait for the next calendar year to re-enter. Why is this happening? Well, the government’s last… Read more

October 12, 2020

Let’s begin with an update. I paid off my last financial debt in September, which has had a remarkable impact on my sense of personal agency. I’m mentioning this fact first, because I want to be clear that there is no greater virtue in the choices I’m going to outline in today’s post. There is only greater possibility, afforded to me by a tremendous amount of support, which has given me the means to clear my student loans. If I… Read more

October 5, 2020

Let’s begin with a story. Regular readers know that I strongly believe many Christians are better than their Christ. Many, for instance, would never call a desperate Canaanite woman a “dog” if she came to them begging aid for her sick daughter. Nor would they allow her to accept that she is a “dog” in order to receive said aid. Many of today’s Christians are truly interested in seeking out a globalism that transcends tribal bounds. This, then, is the… Read more

September 27, 2020

Let’s begin with a story. Recently, I’ve been struggling to articulate some of the problems with left-leaning North American rhetoric — a side of the political equation I favour, but with deep caveats about some of its historiography and targets. This week, on my Patreon, I posted a nine-month follow-up to a difficult matter in the world of SF&F: a story involving portrayals of gender that inspired tremendous alarm. (I wrote about it here at the time, and for The Verge.)… Read more

September 20, 2020

Let’s begin with a story. Here in Colombia, my English lessons sometimes fall flat because of unexpected cultural differences — such as a recent class in which I used an article about media-representation issues in North America as our base-text, only to realize that my students didn’t give a hoot about seeing more Colombian representation in films and TV. (They in fact felt rather cosmopolitan from having grown up with exposure to foreign fare.) Now, these moments are a huge… Read more

September 7, 2020

Let’s begin with a story. Regular readers know that I get pretty grumpy when addressing the Christian Bible’s awful morality, so I try to limit how often I focus on this text and the figure of Christ represented within it. I’m strongly of the opinion that fixating on religion’s textual flaws is not a useful way of building a more robustly secular state — and in general, I find the whole theist/atheist divide to be a distraction. The more urgent… Read more

August 31, 2020

Let’s begin with a story. I had a necessary and uncomfortable growth moment this past week. Like many of my fellow authors, I have people in my circles who hold views I regard as wilfully ignorant, narrow-minded, and regional to an extreme. It’s often not even worth engaging with them over the opinions they hold, because everything about how they’ve framed their views on current events reflects a conscious refusal to empathize with other points of view. Thankfully, neither I,… Read more

August 23, 2020

Let’s begin with a story. Colombia has had its fair share in the last month — as has the U.S.; as has the world. (As for me, I’ve been busy coming to terms this past month with the fact that my legal precarity here is going to be a long-term affair, while continuing to work under difficult circumstances. I now have a handle on what life will look like if I never get back on the migrant-visa track, and am… Read more

July 26, 2020

Let’s begin with an update. I’ve had a rocky couple of weeks due to some difficult developments with the visa/undocumented situation here in Colombia, and they’ve taken their toll on my writing output here. However, in hindsight, they also perfectly exemplify a point I’ve been wanting to make for the last few weeks. Specifically, after the Foreign Affairs office (which handles visa applications) denied various second-visa types for contradictory reasons, the visa agency I’ve been using took the case to… Read more

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