Titles by Kij Johnson are available for purchase online

I don’t see especially well, and much as I’ve always loved space, telescopes therefore have never been that appealing to me. I timed a long walk last night so that it would be dark before I got home, and I figured I would see whatever the near-conjunction looked like (a dot or two), and that would be great. But I walked through the Lied Center parking lot just as the sky got dim enough (voices saying, “There it is! Oh! Both of them!”), and there were several starwatchers with their telescopes — one of them Chris. I wandered over and we talked as he set things up, and when he was done, he let me look — and it was amazing. Cold and very clear, and I saw, oh my god, I saw Jupiter and its five big moons strung like beads on an invisible wire; its bands; and Saturn and even the tiny spark that is Titan. I have never had such luck with a telescope before, and for all this to be in a single frame — the first view, I burst into tears and backed away after only a few seconds, like a child who doesn’t dare believe the puppy is really hers or that this really is Rey in the flesh kneeling down and smiling. I settled down and looked again and again, and through different lenses; but that first glance — I just have no words. I was happy and excited enough, just to see it with my poor eyes as two little lights. This was magic.

And I have been writing. The freelance project got a little bigger and the deadlines got a little later. I am chugging away with the same satisfaction I have had for the last month and change. If only writing could always be this pleasurable! I miss role-playing games, where it mostly always was. All that said, I cannot wait to return to American Tour.

Christmas. This season has been kind to me, and I am so grateful for that. This is the first season of the many I have spent alone (or aloneish) where I was not the only one, where I didn’t feel people were judging me (or I was judging myself) for my solitude, where I could say, this is fine, actually, and people might believe me. I am expecting to open a few presents (some from myself), to dress up, to eat too much, to watch the Muppet Christmas Carol, to drink eggnog and champagne (not at the same moment), to stuff myself on brunch, to stay up too late reading a gift I’ve just opened, to talk to people I care about, to pat the cat as I look at the lit tree in the dark living room, all alone. This is what I would hope to do every year; I am privileged and lucky that I can this year — and I also have worked to be a person who will be happy doing all this alone when that’s how it plays out.

My knee is still not recovered from the accident in February, but I gave up on waiting and now I am strengthening it anyway, uncomfortable as it is. Lots of 24″ step-ups, lots of ordinary steps and even squats. It’s still wobbly and painful, but it gets less wobbly every week. I love gaining mobility and strength again.

There’s a quiche in the oven right now: red peppers, ham, onions, and so much parmesan. Quiche, however, is not one of those things you can sneak a taste of while it’s making….