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A New Year!

More time than I was planning on has passed since my last Newsflash. Alas, a pandemic, the holidays, and a turbulent election season will do that to you! But here I am, and I can safely say that we survived 2020! Let me write that again, and I encourage you to read it aloud: we survived 2020! There, didn't that feel good?! Whoever you are, whatever your situation, you should be proud of yourself!

Of course, things aren't going to get magically better just because it's 2021. We still have a long way to go in getting this pandemic under control, not to mention the political and racial divide that has wracked America, and the ongoing climate crisis. But I firmly believe that this dark chapter in our history is good for us, in the sense that it's showing us the extent of our troubles. We're being forced to see how broken our healthcare and education systems are, how severe the environmental crisis is growing, and how deep racial injustice has infiltrated society. The last few months have been crazy, like really crazy, but they say knowing is half the battle. We obviously should have known earlier, but the fact is we're here now.

So how will we proceed?

I say one step at a time. One conversation, one choice, one act of kindness at a time. You can help bridge the gap, foster understanding, stand up for the oppressed. Not with violence or riots, but with a desire to care for others and to grow beyond what you think you know. 2021 can be a magical year after all, but we have to be the ones working the magic. Don't think for a moment that you're insignificant, because no one is. Don't you dare think you're not powerful, because you are. The trick is to find where your power lies. For some, it's music. For others, it's art, or YouTubing, or using your scientific background, or organizing people for a campaign, just to name a few.

Me? Well, I'm an educator and a writer. I work to inspire students to be their best, and when I'm not in the classroom, I use my words to help bridge the divide. Or, at the very least to take people away from their troubles for a little while. Science fiction is a unifier. Whether you're conservative or liberal or something else, who doesn't want to read about starships and dinosaurs?

Speaking of science fiction, I've got new work to share with you all!

  • First, the online edition of Scifaikuest February 2021 is now live! I've got a few scifaiku and a sci-fi tanka tucked in these digital pages. And, to my utter surprise, my scifaiku "hungry dinosaur" was chosen as the editor's favorite poem of the issue! I'm humbled by this honor! You can read them all for free HERE.

  • Second, the print issue of Scifaikuest February 2021 (which has an entirely different assortment of poetry from the online version!) will be out in the near future. I'll announce it when it hits the presses!

  • Third, Star*Line Winter 2021 has been released, and you can find my scifaiku scattered about the pages! You can order a copy HERE.

  • Lastly, I am so excited to announce that I've published an article for the Australian Marine Conservation Society! The article, "Not Too Much: Rethinking Sustainable Fisheries" aims to explain the realities of sustainable fishing without using too much technical jargon. The AMCS is planning to release it on several of their platforms, but for now you can read the first version on their website GoodFish, Australia's sustainable seafood guide! It's been a real privilege to be working remotely with AMCS staff, and I'm excited to say this is only the beginning!

That's all for now. I'll keep more in touch from now on. Stay safe, and have a great February!


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