Stephanie Burgis
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A plea, sunshine, and photos
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Because I'm a dork, I completely forgot to post anything about the Strange Horizons fund drive while it was still officially going on (through the month of July). However, I want to say now that they are still open to (tax-deductible) donations, they need donations, and they really, really deserve them. For the past several years, they've been my favorite magazine, online or otherwise - the one venue where I can most reliably find stories I enjoy. (In most print magazines, even my favorites, there'll generally be 1 story I really like, another 1 or 2 that I think are okay but not really my sort of thing, and then the other 5-8...just don't click for me at all. In Strange Horizons, it's rare for me not to like most of the stories published every single month, and even the stories that I don't like are almost invariably well-written.) But the most important point in their fund-raising, at least from my perspective, is this: the entire staff of this professional magazine is made up of volunteers. These people work incredibly hard for no financial reward at all, and readers across the world get to read the magazine for free every single week, and yet: the editors insist on paying their writers professional rates. As someone who's just joined SFWA based on 3 Strange Horizons sales, I am incredibly grateful. So! Rant over. But please, please, if there's anyone who hasn't donated at least 1 dollar, or 5 dollars, to Strange Horizons this year, do follow the link.

Yesterday evening we drove out to buy a month's-worth of dog food for Maya, then ended up stopping at the park with her on the way home. We used to take Nika there a lot, but we haven't with Maya - this was probably only the third time she's been there. (Don't worry, she's not suffering - she usually goes on walks in the beautiful, forested valley by our house, which she likes very much!) She loved it. Patrick took her on the big loop around the park, while I sat on the grass soaking in warm sunshine and watching across the field as Maya met and sniffed with other dogs, tail wagging. When they disappeared into the woods on the other side of the park, I read Susan Cooper's The Dark is Rising. It was about 5:30, and the park was full of families with small children playing ball games, and dogs everywhere, mostly border collies, but also labradors, Yorkshire terriers, and spaniels racing around off-leash, forming doggy groups then scattering, chasing balls and playing with their people. When Patrick and Maya came back to the field, I held out my arms. Patrick unclipped Maya's leash. "Maya!" I called. "Maya!" She came tearing across the field to me, her tail spinning, her glossy black fur shining and her tongue hanging out.

It was a wonderful early evening. And when we got home, we took advantage of the nice light to take photos. Patrick took a couple photos of my new haircut, I took pictures of him, we took pictures of our house surrounded by flowers, and of course we took a picture of Maya. (As if we could resist!) Here's my favorite, of Patrick and Maya together:
Patrick and Maya

You can see some of our other pictures on my Flickr account and Patrick's Flickr account.

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