Eudaemonia, Aristotle’s Bliss

Eudaemonia is the Aristotelian concept of happiness, not based on hedonism or laughter but on the achievement of a satisfying existence, the idea that living a focused life in the pure pursuit of what fulfills your soul will inevitably lead to happiness.  There’s some scientific support for this, but I prefer to go with anecdotal, the idea that when we’re working on something that fills us with purpose, it also fills us with exhilaration, no matter what the task.  It’s akin to Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi’s idea of flow,  a transformative state of consciousness when the worker becomes one with the work.  I get that from writing and from art, I know many here get it from gardening, I’ve known people who’ve gotten it from the beauty of math problems and the elegance of writing code.  It doesn’t matter what the task is, it’s that melding of avocation and vocation, doing satisfying, valuable, honest work that also in some way serves a greater purpose within us, that creates eudaemonia.

It’s also the name of a butterfly.

So what’s your experience of eudaemonia?

Cherry Saturday, August 11, 2018

August is Romance Awareness Month, so  I read a lot of Georgette Heyer and Anne Stuart.  And then I moved on to romance comics because I’m fascinated by them.  I want to write them.  You know, in my spare time.  Google for “romance comics” and look at the images.  So.  Much.  Fun.  And so much less stressful than real romance.  

But before I start my new career writing romance comics,  I must get back to the romance between the cop and the dead guy, which one of my agents describes as “weird, but great dialogue . . . ”  I don’t think that bodes well.

Speaking of great dialogue . . .


This is a Good Book Thursday, August 9, 2018

I’ve been reading a lot of Georgette Heyer lately.  When she was good–The Grand Sophy, The Talisman Ring, Cotillion–she was phenomenal.  When she was mediocre–Bath Tangle, anyone?–she was still damn readable.  What’s more, she’s re-readable.  I must have read The Grand Sophy a dozen times and I still love it.  I learned a lot from that book, especially what a great supporting cast can do for a great romance.  I still love that bit of dialogue when Charlsbury–kidnapped and shot by Sophy for his own good–says “I am devoted to Sophy . . . but heaven preserve me from marriage with her,” and Vincent says, “If heaven did not, I fancy Rivenhall would.”  It’s such a lovely throwaway line that says that the community already knows what’s coming in the next scene when Charles Rivenhall puts his hands around Sophy’s throat and says, “Will you marry  me, vile and abominable girl?”  and Sophy says, “Yes, but only to save my neck from being wrung.”  Sigh.  That’s my kind of romance.  

What did you read this week?



Argh Author: Kelly Sattler’s We Can Do It: Women in Library Information Technology

Our Kelly S has co-edited a book on women librarians who find stuff for you, a career dear to my heart since The Desk Set.  Of course, We Can Do It: Women in Library Information Technology a lot more than that; check out this description:

“Does gender play a role in library information technology (IT)? For the last several decades, libraries have primarily employed women, whereas IT jobs have been held by men. What happens when the two collide? What is it like for women who are working for IT within the library? Has it changed over time? Through personal narratives, we explore these questions and seek to provide guidance and encouragement for women and men in library IT, those pursuing a career in library IT, and library management. The collection includes themes concerning “Imposter Syndrome,” career trajectory, experiences of sexism and biases. Contributors also offer advice and encouragement to those entering or already in the field. Examples of positions held by the contributors include managers, web developers, system librarians, programmers, and consultants. This collection provides a voice for women in library IT, bringing their experiences from the margins to the center, and encouraging conversation for positive change.”

You can buy Kelly’s book here on Amazon,

or go here to learn more about it and Kelly’s career, which is amazing.

Working Wednesday, August 8, 2018

I fixed a bad scene.  Okay, I didn’t fix it, I trashed it and started over and wrote a good scene instead.  It took me two weeks of thinking to figure it out, but I’m very proud.  (I don’t think I ever showed anybody here that scene, did I?  The one in Rich’s cabin with the baph and Thanatos?  It had everybody in it, which is probably why it was a mess, although I feel that a giant goat from hell improves any scene.)

What did you make this week?

Joy in the Summer Morning

It’s August and in the eastern US, we’re having torrential rains, but though the skies may weep for a night, joy cometh in the morning, fat with drunken bumblebees and rackety birds and dogs who have to examine every clump of grass every day to make sure nothing changed overnight.  August mornings are the best in that last burst before harvest, rampant exhilaration in the sunshine.

How did joy come for you this week?

Cherry Saturday, August 4, 2018

Today is Sisters Day.  I figure that’s both the sisters (and brothers) you were born with and the ones you meet later and realize are soul sisters (and brothers).  You know, like Argh.   The important part is to stick together as you roll down life’s highway. 

Also, it’s August.  How the hell did that happen?

Ava’s Happiness List

I have no idea if Ava Gardner actually said that, but if she did, she was my kind of woman.  In the end, that’s what happiness comes down to, I think: beauty around you in sight and sound, people you love close to you, work and play that fulfills you, and really great food.  Everything else is noise.

What was on your list for happiness this week?