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[sticky post] Welcome to Wonderland

In one way or another, I have kept a journal since age 12. I've kept an online journal called Musings since late 2002. My topics range from things that happen in my daily life to my thoughts on pop culture to my ponderings about everything from dreams to the secret thoughts of pets. In November 2007, I began mirroring it here, although I often included extras to this version, such as memes and quizzes. In February 2010, I stopped updating the original journal on my home page and instead started a writing journal there.

For some insight into who I am, read Intro to Alyce. For a guide to the many nicknames I use in my online journal, check out Who's Who in Musings.

The beautiful, sweet dog in one of my icons is Una, my best friend and nurse dog for nearly 11 years, who passed away on October 22, 2010. She was my inspiration, and she taught me how to be a better friend and mother; a better person. My son, Kung Fu Panda (KFP for short), benefits from all the caregiving skills I learned in those 11 years. My husband, The Gryphon, probably does, as well!

The goals I established when I first begin an online journal remain the same: this is a way to explore the tangential, the seemingly accidental observations many of us overlook but which may, ultimately, be where all life and all mystery hinges.

My 2018 Philcon Schedule

Here is my Philcon schedule for 2018. Hope to see you there!

Fri 7:00 PM in Plaza II (Two) (1 hour)

[Panelists: Brandon Budda (mod), Alyce Wilson, Nicholas
MacDonald-Martell, Eric Hardenbrook, Glenn McDorman]

People differ in how they read (or listen) to a story. They may read
fast or linger over the text. They may search back for “clues”
or just go for the ride. How can the different modes impact your

Sat 12:00 PM in Plaza V (Five) (1 hour)

[Panelists: Hildy Silverman (mod), Alyce Wilson, Joseph Haughey,
Lawrence Kramer, Phil Giunta]

Tips on how to answer moderator questions, audience questions, not
monopolize the panel, get a word in edgewise, combat imposter
syndrome, and other aspects of handling your appearance as a Panel
Presenter at cons

Sat 4:00 PM in Plaza IV (Four) (1 hour)

[Panelists: Jeff Warner (mod), Steve Vertlieb, Alyce Wilson, Brandon
Budda, Daniel Kimmel, Samuel Delany]

"Fifty years ago, Stanley Kubrick and Arthur C. Clarke set out to
make a new kind of sci-fi. How does their future look now that
it’s the past?" This question was asked in a recent article in The
New Yorker, and now we're asking you

Sat 10:00 PM in Crystal Ballroom Two (1 hour)

[Panelists: Tony Finan (mod), Marshall Ryan Maresca, Alyce Wilson,
Hildy Silverman]

Whether it was because of a surprise cancellation that left us with
a massive cliffhanger, or the intentional plotting of a
Machiavellian team of writers, some series ended in ways that- even
years later- make us want to shriek. What finale left you agape

Sun 11:00 AM in Crystal Ballroom Three (1 hour)

[Panelists: D.L. Carter (mod), Gregory Frost, Alyce Wilson, Joshua
Palmatier, Sally Wiener Grotta, Marilyn 'Mattie' Brahen]

Even established long-term professional writers still work to
improve their skills. Authors discuss things they have learned along
the way, and how they have gained new levels of expertise

Voting Underway for Week 1 of LJ Idol

LJ Idol, which is currently running on Dreamwidth, is underway again, and the polling is tight. My son, kfp_rawr, did a really awesome stop-motion animated film you should all check out.


You can login with an LJ account by using the OpenSource ID option.

Bright, Improbable Colors: A Retrospective

This weekend, my sister and I hosted a retrospective art show of our late mother's work. Here's a virtual tour for everyone who couldn't be there:

Bright, Improbable Colors: Vivian Starr's Artwork


Through the Goodnight line, my family is distantly related to the 44th president of the United States, Barack Hussein Obama Jr. We share the common ancestor of Christian Gutknecht (1722-1795), who was the original immigrant from that line to arrive in America. While we were descended from Christian's son John Christopher (1769-1842), the president was descended from another son, Samuel. This makes him the fifth cousin, twice removed, of my father and the fifth cousin, one time removed, for myself and my siblings. My son and my nieces and nephew would be seventh cousins. Confusing as this may be, it simply has to do with the number of generations between each individual and the common ancestor. I used the online Cousin Calculator to figure these results out (Cousin Calculator).

Details on President Obama's family and my own.Collapse )

Farewell, Furry Knight

Our Knight in Furry Armor has ridden out on his last quest. He has protected us from ninjas (disguised as mice and squirrels). He has decorated all our plastic bags with artistic teeth holes. He has served as my fitness trainer, making sure I held my position -- be it plank or downward dog -- by walking underneath me. On Friday, while I did full rest in yoga, he sat atop my chest to make sure I was breathing deeply.

For days he has stared out the window, answering the call of far-off voices. On Saturday, for the first time ever, he tried to run out our apartment door to follow them. He tried to let us know this weekend that he would be leaving us, staring in our faces and mewing significantly; demanding lots of petting. This morning at 3:30 a.m., with me petting him gently, his spirit finally rode off. He was still purring after he took his final breath.

I like to think that his dog mama, Una, met him on the other side of the Rainbow Bridge. She is licking his face, and he is rubbing against her, as he recounts his amazing adventures of life as our fiercely sweet feline protector.

Luke at Christmastime

More pictures of LukeCollapse )


Almost There: Help Us Make It!

KFP has now joined his Daddy's videogame streaming marathon, playing "Plants Versus Zombies" right now. They are trying to raise money to help the Animal Coalition of Delaware County, a no-kill shelter that helped us find our kitty 12 years ago.

They are getting close: 65 percent of the way there! Only a few donations will help them make their goal.

Please check it out, donate to help homeless pets, and listen to KFP getting silly with his daddy!


We're doing this to thank the organization that does so much for animals, especially now that we are close to losing our fierce Knight in Furry Armor to lymphoma. Share the love!

Support Pets Who Need Homes

Join my husband, Toanstation, in supporting the Animal Coalition of Delaware County's pet rescue efforts. Watch live gameplay, or even join him, and give to help ACDC find forever homes for animals on Feb. 3rd & 4th.


For those who aren't on the Book of Face, our kitty, Luke, is suffering from Lymphoma. ACDC was the animal organization that helped us find him more than 12 years ago. We have him on steroids, and he's been doing much better lately. We know our time with him is limited, and we want to give back to the organization that gave us our tough little Ninja kitty.


My Husband, The Pilgrim

My husband is in the kitchen cooking our Thanksgiving dinner, an arrangement that makes both of us happy. He enjoys cooking, and I don't mind doing the food shopping or cleaning up afterwards. In fact, I wish we could divide up the tasks like this every night.

This year, for the first time, my husband also has some confirmation of his family lore, that he is descended from religious pilgrims who came to Massachusetts on the Mayflower. Through my genealogical research, I've determined he is, in fact, descended from at least six. Given how interconnected families became in the early days of Massachusetts, it's possible he's descended from even more.

Details on how The Gryphon is descended from six Mayflower passengers.Collapse )

My Philcon 2017 Schedule

I got my panel requests in late this year, so I'm not sure they'll be on the official schedule. Here they are:

Fri 7:00PM in Plaza V (Five) - Learning to be an Effective Panel Moderator

Moderating a panel is more than just showing up and asking people to quiet down if a discussion gets out of hand. Learn what the best mods do to prepare for and handle the panels they are responsible for managing.

Sat 2:00PM in Plaza V (Five) - SciFi from the Parents' Eye

How to shepherd our children through the modern age of SF.

Sat 3:00 PM in Plaza II (Two)—If Christianity Had Never Come Along

Imagine what the 21st century would be like without Christianity in history. Would we be worshipping a different god or gods? Or would society have developed in a different direction? What fiction is already exploring this idea?

Hope to see you there!


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