Buy the Book.

I sure wish we could make money from fanfic, ’cause if that were the case I’d be sitting on a cool million by this point.  One story alone has generated 180-thousand hits.

Alas, there’s that whole copyright infringement, yada, yada, yada.

Open Water from Bella Books.

But, that said, I do have a book published.

I am teaching my students “persuasion” at this point in the semester and the thing I emphasize most (after ‘ethical appeals’) is for them to not forget the “ask.” What is it you want your audience to think, do, or say at the end of their persuasive speech?

Then, in the shower this morning as I was trying to figure out which to pay: mortgage or hospital bills, it came to me.

I forgot the ask!

So, now I am asking.

If you have not done so, please buy my book, Open Water, available here: Bella Books. If you’ve already purchased a copy, consider buying another to give to a friend. Or two and donating one to either a local library or a local gay/lesbian center.

If you’re uncertain, you can read an excerpt on my web page, here: Open Water excerpt.

If you are at all concerned about the “lesbian-ness” of the book, let me assure you that this book is by no means a “how-to” manual.  Believe me, I was absolutely aware that my younger cousins would be reading this (as would be my multitudes of parents). And one such parent, this one a very conservative (“I live in McCain Country,” Florida) step-mom, said, “Wow, this is quite good! I actually couldn’t put it down!” High praise indeed from a Obama-wasn’t-born-here conservative.

Thus, keeping in mind what I have often told my students on the think/do/say plan, I would like you to think about what you can afford, buy the book, and tell others to do the same.

If you buy the e-version, you can get it “Kindle-graphed,” or you can drop me a note via my Facebook page and I will send you a personalized book plate.

‘Nuf said.

For now.

Thank you.

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And This is a Tale of our Castaways…

And…here we go. A long blog post, made up mostly of photos. I will caption them so you can follow along. I may break this into two blogs as we have a great many adventures to share. Without further ado…we’re off…

Actually, this is really the hard way to do this. I am instead going to share the online album on photobucket. You should be able to click here to see it. Clicking will open a new window and a slide show will begin. You can click through the photos faster if you click on the righthand side of the window that opens.

Since the videos didn’t load into the slide show, I’m putting them here:

Black eating berries. At one point I thought, “Where’s the mama bear?”


Glacier National Park


View from the mountaintop.



Old Faithful.



Peak to peak ride down.


Yellowstone in general.

Enjoy!

Tonight: dinner and book edits.


[Insert Clever Blog Title Here]

Just keepin’ the ol’ blog current, with nothing much to say. Nothing to blog about with the doctoral program and my writing (on all levels) has stalled for the moment.

So…how much is too much when contacting (or recontacting) a publisher who has expressed an interest in your writing? Sent the excerpts as requested, then sent the entire novel as requested, have waited the 90 (now 97) days for a response. Sent one somewhat timid, but friendly, email asking if all hope was lost and…nothing. Zip. Zero. Nada.

I’m thinkin’ that no news is bad news, eh?

Ordered my texts for class for spring. They are:

  • Rossman, G. B., & Rallis, S. F. (2003). Learning in the field: An introduction to qualitative research (2nd ed.). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications.
  • Schwandt, T.A.  (2007).  The Sage dictionary of qualitative inquiry (3rd ed.).  Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications.
  • Harvard Business Review on change, Cambridge, MA: Harvard Business School Press.
  • Kezar, Adriana J. (2001) Understanding and Facilitating Organizational Change in the 21st Century: Recent Research and Conceptualizatoins. V. 28 #4. Ache-ERIC Higher Education Reports.  San Francisco: Jossey-Bass. ISBN 0-7879-5837.
  • Rosenbaum, James E., Deil-Amen, Regina and Person, Ann E. (2006) After Admission: From College Access to College Success. New York: Russell Sage Foundation.  ISBN 10: 087154-707-4.
  • Wheatley, Margaret J. (2006) Leadership and the New Science: Discovering Order in a Chaotic World, 3rd Edition. San Francisco: Berrett-Koehler Publishers, Inc.
  • Hirsh, S.K. & Kummerow, J.M. (1998). Introduction to type in organizations. Palo Alto, CA: Consulting Psychologists Press, Inc. & MBTI Self-Scorable Form M

The syllabi look interesting. I’ve got my own syllabus done for the class I begin teaching on Thursday for the private college. Unfortunately, due to low enrollment, I’ve lost one of the two classes I had. On the plus side I’ve picked up two separate, long-term consulting gigs and those look to provide some steady income.

And on the super-plus side, I’ve been offered three (count ’em, 3!) classes for fall back at that other community college located “up above.” They, in turn, refer to the LA Basin as “down below.” The “up above” college is being slammed with…wait for it…SNOW today!

Yes, the time has come to build the ark. As with all things in southern California, when it rains it, um, well, pours. Hard. Torrentially. We can’t seem to do things in moderation here at all.

Hmm…what else to say? Oh. If you’ve a mind to, please go to Sanctuary for Kids and donate now. They’re sending $10,000 to Haiti and the Canadian government will match it. Please, please, help.

Tonight: sushi and…some fun reading, I guess!


Of Ships, and Gingerbread, and Dreams; No Shoes, No Ceilingwax, and Definitely Not Cabbages and Kings

Well, take one slightly-at-loose-ends doctoral student, some free time, some gingerbread, and a ridiculously deep love of Stargate: SG-1, and you get this. I give you, the USS George Hammond, in gingerbread.

Just for fun I documented the process, so here we go…

First, I found one of the few images of the ship online.

Next, came the gridding process. I numbered the faces of the ship and then, as best as I could, drew them out in 2-D on graph paper.

Then came the gingerbread part. I rolled out the dough as thin as possible, then cut shapes and carefully laid them out on the sheets to bake. It got a bit confusing at times!

Early launch bays, drying after initial frame-in. I went through loads of icing! It was actually pretty good physical therapy for my still-healing hand.

The roughly put-together version.

Adding detail to the launch bays.

The nose of the ship with the two smaller launch bays. I’m assuming those are for the gate-ships, not the X-304’s.

The main body of the Hammond. I’m not a good enough icing piper to spell out the entire name, so I went with the initials. The red/white strips hint at the nifty ship patch they’ve used in the show.

L’ artiste at work!

The completed ship! Left oblique view.

Head-on view, as if flying by in an X-302.

Right oblique view.

A completed project!

Overall, the entire project took about 72 hours, if you add everything up. Lots of fun and very relaxing.  Now, onto other things.

Tonight: Dinner out and Avatar. Yay.


It’s a Ginger Wonderland…

A small little house for my buddy Tony.

My ginger village.

The artist at work. Note that I am *not*
working on my literature review. :::sigh:::

So, it’s that time again. It’s pouring here in LA and I *love it*! Can’t get enough rain, if you ask me, I really do love it. I finally got a leg up on my lit review, the last of my four heavy-duty semester assignments.

My grades are posted, the LR is 1/3 done, so I treated myself to an afternoon of playtime. No Gingergate this year, but made a gingervillage instead.

Merry Christmas/Happy Holidays/Happy Kwanzaa/Happy Hanukkah/Good Solstice/Etc…to all and sundry.

Tonight: writing for fun.


Hallowe’en and Studying

stargate pumpkin2_small

Took a break from studying to day to carve a pumpkin. The front is, as you can quite clearly see, an active puddle within a Stargate. The back (carved in for ventilation purposes) holds the symbol for Earth. As I was taking the picture I realized I was also seeing the reflection of the Earth symbol behind my pumpkin which made for a nifty shot.

The pumpkin was grown in our own garden and has given its life for posterity (and fear-mongering) such as it is. The idea of an active wormhole so close to my house should frighten you just a bit anyway.

I am now 10.5 weeks into the 156-week (3 year) doctoral program, which means I am .07 complete! Woohoo! Can you tell I’m doing quantitative analysis this semester? Yummy. Stats. Gotta love ’em. What’s the p-value of your data? Have you eliminated the null hypothesis? What are your variables? Wheeeeeeee.

Off to read. Tonight: faculty costume party. Maybe I should go as a professor? I am attending with Peter Pan. Yes, the Peter Pan.


More Doctoral Work…and Whining…

So, the doctoral work continues, and thus continues the whining. I know this is the first time this program has been offered and I know we’re in the growing pains stages, but let me tell you…three hours once a week and six hours on a Saturday of listening to “leadership lecture” is enough to make a woman beat her head against a wall.

It is becoming increasingly clear that they are making this up as they go along. I wonder if they (the directors of this program) actually consulted with other programs. Yes, ours is the first to split the K12 cohort from the Community College cohort, but really…can there be such a huge gap in educational leadership that the first three hours of the six we must attend once a week be as mind-numbing as it is? Really? Wow.

Here’s a dilemma. We must complete a “signature assignment” for the class, something on the equivalent of SLO’s (Student Learning Objectives) for our cohort. I believe this is to for the program, should they be asked, to be able to hold this up and wave it around saying, “See? We taught ’em good!” Whatever. Below is the criteria for the Signature Assignment for the Leadership course:

Signature Assignment: All colleges are responsible for focusing on student learning outcomes.  This focus cuts across the entire institution and is central to the community college mission.   Drawing from your reflection on the readings by Northouse and Senge, develop a conceptual plan and process for addressing the student learning outcomes requirement at your institution. Your plan and process should demonstrate your understanding of the essential elements of collaborative leadership within the community college context. (Support your process design by citing research and related literature).  Your process should consider what steps are important in institutionalizing a college culture centered around student learning outcomes. Provide evidence that substantiates the criticality of this issue and the need for an institutional response at your college.   Develop the plan by which you as a campus administrator would seek to address this priority.  Whenever appropriate, provide illustrations of your committee structures, their memberships, and reporting relationships.

Questions to consider are:

  • How is this issue (student learning outcomes) related to the mission and success of the community college?
  • Who are the stakeholders in the process?
  • What groups (who) should be involved in the development of the institution’s response to this problem?
  • How would you keep the process moving?
  • What kinds of institutional or program data/research would be needed to formulate a response?
  • What are the procedures you would utilize to gain college administrative support for the process?
  • How would you build trust in the process?
  • How would you evaluate the process?
  • How would the process and its outcomes be communicated and to whom?
  • How would the college sustain the process (institutionalize the process)?
  • What would I do if the outcomes/recommendations of the process do not align with my values or the institution’s values?

Now, there are a few problems inherent to this entire project:

  1. I am one of 24 in my cohort, 10 of whom are not teaching at any institution at all…but hey, that’s their problem.
  2. Speaking on my own behalf, I have been at my “institution” a total of 16 days (that’s two days a week for 8 weeks). Less time if you count on an hourly basis. Let’s do that. 16 days at 8 hours per day (six hours of lecture, two hours of office hours) is a total of 128 hours. I have met the Dean of my department and the Chair (both of whom I interviewed with, and that constitutes my entire relationship with my Dean). I’ve also met one fellow instructor within the department (we were colleagues as grad students and met quite by accident two weeks back near the copier), and six or so other instructors from various other departments, for a span of about three minutes each. I have, of course, gotten to know my department secretary quite well (a very SMART thing to do), and she’s saved my bacon more times than I can count.
  3. Let’s look at: “develop a conceptual plan and process for addressing the student learning outcomes requirement at your institution.” My institution (keeping in mind point 2 above) is just now developing their SLO’s. Scary, but true.
  4. “Your plan and process should demonstrate your understanding of the essential elements of collaborative leadership within the community college context. (Support your process design by citing research and related literature).” I am assuming this part (especially the bolded bits) should have come from the lectures we’ve had in Leadership? Nope. I got nuthin.’
  5. “Your process should consider what steps are important in institutionalizing a college culture centered around student learning outcomes.” Okay, I think I can pull that from some lit reviews. How do I search that? “Institutionalizing college culture?” Hmm. **scratches head**
  6. “Provide evidence that substantiates the criticality of this issue and the need for an institutional response at your college.” Hmmm. Who knew “criticality” is really a word? I didn’t. I just looked it up. Not entirely certain how to go about providing evidence of such, however.
  7. “Develop the plan by which you as a campus administrator would seek to address this priority.” Ooh. A plan. I can do that. Plans are my thing. They don’t call me “the General” for nuthin’ you know! But wait! Um, you do remember that this is the very same school that I had an issue with signing the “loyalty oath,” right? Now I’m supposed to be an administrator implementing change? Yeesh. Here’s a change for ya, kill the freaking loyalty oath!
  8. “Whenever appropriate, provide illustrations of your committee structures, their memberships, and reporting relationships.” Um…we have committee’s? Hell, I’m lucky I can find my mailbox! Again, see point 2 above.

Ugh. Okay. I’ve broken it down and now I’m depressed. Bleh.

Tonight: Stargate Universe and Sanctuary. Cool beans. The rest is gravy.