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Clarion West Write-a-thon 2017: Week 5 progress report

The 2017 Clarion West Write-a-thon is happening now! You can sponsor me, or sponsor another writer. A shout-out to all the summer birthday kids, who marked their passage through life on family road trips and dried-out summer days, in suburban isolation or Vacation Bible School. Or, you know, during writing workshops. My birthday, coming as it does in the late middle part of July, is always during Clarion West, probably always during the fifth week. And so it was in 2006 when I attended the workshop. In fact, my birthday was on a Thursday that year too, and I spent…

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So about that “cowboy test” National Review article…

The 2017 Clarion West Write-a-thon is happening now! You can sponsor me, or sponsor another writer. By special request! I declare a snark battle with that dumb National Review essay comparing women to cowboys. But first, I do want to acknowledge something. It must be hard styling yourself as a “serious” or “intellectual” conservative these days. With Trump as standard-bearer of the Republican party, it has to be getting more difficult — exponentially, with each passing day — to continue convincing yourself that Republicans are the Very Serious Party, the party of thoughtfulness and prudence and sensible decision-making, with policies forged in the purest…

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In order to form a more purple union

A few years back — I think it was right after the, shall we say, disappointing results of the 2004 presidential election — I wrote an essay called “In order to form a more purple union” and posted it online, although now I can’t find it, so I’m not sure what platform I used. The point was to riff on the preamble to the Constitution, and also point out that the red state/blue state map is an illusion, and the country as a whole is really varying shades of purple. The electoral college is a funny thing, because you could…

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Clarion West Write-a-thon: Week 3 progress report

The 2017 Clarion West Write-a-thon is happening now! You can sponsor me, or sponsor another writer. Hello everyone! Here we are at the beginning of Week 3, which also means the beginning of July. So if you’re in the workshop, it’s either time for “OMG the workshop is already 1/3 over!” or, alternately, “OMG, we have the ENTIRE MONTH OF JULY to go!” One of my goals this year was to assidulously track my time and get some realistic picture of how to optimize my life around the needs of day job, writing, and life in general. After doing that…

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Jerks-for-Jesus and argument as combat

A week ago last Sunday, I arrived at 4th and Olive in Downtown Seattle for the big Pride Parade, and had just texted a friend to look for me at that intersection. But I shortly realized that a couple of Jerks-for-Jesus dudes with a megaphone were holding that corner. My first thought was to leave. Jerks-for-Jesus make me angry, and loud, distorted, unpleasant sounds make me angry, and I don’t like me when I’m angry. But then the thought of leaving made me even more angry. Why should I be the one to leave? They were the ones bothering everybody…

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Clarion West Write-a-thon 2017 Post 1: Father’s Day, science fiction, skepticism

Hello everyone and welcome to the first day of the 2017 Clarion West Write-a-thon, where you can sponsor me, or sponsor another writer, or sponsor all the writers. Sponsor somebody who isn’t me just to spite me! It’s okay! I realize it’s become one of my traditions to write weekly essays during the Write-a-thon, so if you’re just dying for me to write about something other than politics for a change, you’re in luck! (Fair warning: there might still be politics.) My three topics for this essay: Father’s Day, science fiction, and skepticism. My dad introduced me to science fiction,…

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The Christian case for pride

I’ve talked about how my first major break with the white evangelical mainstream was over gay rights when, as a teenager, in the 1980s, I decided I supported them. I was mostly pretty quiet about this decision. I didn’t have faith in my power to change anyone else’s mind, and wasn’t ready to deal with all the pushback I knew I would get from other people trying to change mine. But the thing I want to talk about right now is this: as a teenager, I concluded not only that I did support gay rights, I concluded that as a…

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Terrible people

Hey, I don’t want to get too out of line or anything here, but doesn’t it seem like maybe today’s conservative movement has become dominated by terrible people? I mean, on the same day that my friend publishes an article about her assault by a bunch of Trump followers in Seattle — Literally shaking after publishing this. But it was time. I Was Mobbed and Assaulted at a Conservative Rally https://t.co/dEDaiCqJV5 pic.twitter.com/G9OF9rRrh7 — Deep State Rosie (@MMASammich) May 24, 2017 A Republican candidate for office assaults a reporter for asking him about “Trumpcare” — @MMASammich I assume you’ve been following…

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Easters I have known

It’s Easter Sunday. [Note: When I started writing this it was Easter Sunday. It is no longer Easter Sunday.] When I was growing up, and well into my adult life, that meant watching my parents sing in the church choir. I would clear my Sunday Norwescon schedule in order to go to see them. Often, it was the only time that whole year I set foot inside a church. I was probably not alone in that distinction. Two Easters in a row, in addition to my parents singing, I got a sermon about something called the “Jesus Institute.” The pastor…

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Julie’s Norwescon Schedule

Thursday Paranoia (Will Destoy Ya) 9:00pm – 10:00pm @ Cascade 5&6   Friday Self Publishing Comics: Online and On Paper 1:00pm – 2:00pm @ Cascade 3&4     Inclusive Voices in Horror 4:00pm – 5:00pm @ Cascade 7&8   The Kids Aren’t All Right 6:00pm – 7:00pm @ Cascade 5&6   Reading:  Julie McGalliard 7:00pm – 7:30pm @ Cascade 2   Saturday Autograph Session 1 2:00pm – 3:00pm @ Grand 2   Wolf in the Fold – Enduring Allure of Shape-changers 3:00pm – 4:00pm @ Cascade 7&8   Why Do Villains Look Like That? 6:00pm – 7:00pm @ Cascade 5&6…

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Everywhere I look, melting snowflakes

One of my working theories about understanding the political right in this country — everybody from Donald Trump to your Mom’s racist brother — is to assume that every insult they lob against the “other side” (that is, us, liberals, Democrats) is projection. Take this “snowflake” business. It’s clear how the right uses it — a derogitory term meaning people on the left are just too precious, too sensitive, too delicate for this world, with feelings that are soooooo easy to bruise, a worldview that is soooooo fragile. Although “snowflake” has been a slang term in other uses before, the…

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Alpha women finding love

When I was younger, I used to assume that ridiculous anti-feminist articles like this one were persuasive pieces aimed at feminist women like me. They were scary stories, cautionary tales, intended to undermine my confidence in my own values. Their message was: ladies, I know you think you’re happy pursuing your career and all that, but YOU WILL PAY THE PRICE SOMEDAY WHEN YOU CAN’T FIND LOVE. I laughed at them. How pathetic, how gullible did they think we were? Then there came a time when I started to assume that they were nothing but clickbait, deliberately incendiary nonsense crafted…

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Pussy-hat Planet

Say, did you know millions of people worldwide marched for women’s rights and against Trumpism last Saturday? (Samantha Bee had a nice summation.) I was among them. My husband was among them. My parents were among them. My mother — who isn’t quite as addicted to online media as her Gen-X daughter — wasn’t sure why the icon of the march was a simple, oddly-shaped hat, with corners that look like cat ears, typically in pink. “Hey, Julie,” she said. “What’s up with that hat?” (Note: my mom doesn’t actually talk like this) “It’s a pussy hat,” I told her. “The cat…

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