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  • Spar
    Spar
    by Nikko Lee

    A closeted black belt comes to terms with his bisexuality when he takes an openly gay student as his new sparring partner.

  • Wolf Creek
    Wolf Creek
    by Nikko Lee

    Life as a gay omega werewolf is no fairytale.

  • NECRONOMICUM #2 (NECRONOMICUM: The Magazine of Weird Erotica)
    NECRONOMICUM #2 (NECRONOMICUM: The Magazine of Weird Erotica)
    by Gary Budgen, Julian Darius, Richard Greico Jr, Nikko Lee, K. A. Opperman, Alice Renard, Rose Banks, Paul St. John Mackintosh, Michael Seese

    Contains Instabiable by Nikko Lee

  • Zombiefied Reloaded: The Search for More Brains
    Zombiefied Reloaded: The Search for More Brains
    by Carol Hightshoe, Cynthia Ward, Terry M. West, Christie Meierz, Dana Bell, Mary E. Lowd, Patrick J. Hurley, Francis W. Alexander, Liam Hogan

    Brainatarian by Nikko Lee

  • Coming Back
    Coming Back
    by James Arthur Anderson, Brian Barnett, Dave Fragments, Shawna Galvin, Vince Darcangelo, Ken Goldman, Michael Lindquist

    Contains A Mother Knows by Nikko Lee (paperback available at Lulu.com)

  • Wolf Warriors: The National Wolfwatcher Coalition Anthology
    Wolf Warriors: The National Wolfwatcher Coalition Anthology
    by Jonathan W. Thurston

    Contains Great Mother Wolf by Michelle Knowlton

  • People Eating People: A Cannibal Anthology
    People Eating People: A Cannibal Anthology
    by Frank Larnerd, Tony Peak, Geoff Gander, Shenoa Caroll-Bradd, Robert Hart, Nikko Lee, Kyle Yadlosky, Edward Martin III

    Contains Bouillon de Bebe by Nikko Lee

  • Valves & Vixens: Steampunk Erotica
    Valves & Vixens: Steampunk Erotica
    by Nicole Gestalt, Crysta Coburn, J.T Seate, Nikko Lee, V.C., Zak Jane Keir, Blair, Regina Kammer, Jim Lee

    Contains Boson's Mate by Nikko Lee

  • The Big Book of Bizarro
    The Big Book of Bizarro
    by Rich Bottles Jr.

    Contains Honey-Do by Nikko Lee

  • Between Love and Lust
    Between Love and Lust
    by Nikko Lee

    E-book

    Print-on-demand paperback

  • Templar and Other Stories of Suspense and Terror (Vampires 2, Volume 4)
    Templar and Other Stories of Suspense and Terror (Vampires 2, Volume 4)
    by J. Troy Seate, Patricia McCarthy, Nikke Lee, Andrea Saavedra, James Hartley, Edward McKeown, Mike Graves, J.E. Gurley, Zakk Erikson, David Bernstein C.C. Blake

    Contains Pure Delight by Nikko Lee

Wednesday
May242017

Scared to vaccinate? So am I, but there is something I fear more.

Today was my son's six month wellness check. I knew what to expect having gone through the same thing with my daughter two years ago. I booked the day off of work because I know there's a chance he'll get a fever and an almost certainty that he will be uncomfortable, refuse to nap and want to be held.

No parent wants to cause their child pain. Lucas spend two days in the NICU after he was born. I could only hold his hands and sing to him as they made several attempts to set an IV. He doesn't remember those needles, but I do. I've never been fond of needles - who is? Add to that a lingering doubt, what if I'm choosing something that will harm my child and I could have prevented it?

We are luck to live in a country and time when many major childhood illnesses have almost been eradicated. I grew up in a time when everyone was vaccinated because one or two generations ago, children died of these disease or were permanently affected.

As long as there is one case in the world, a disease can always make a come back. We are seeing it currently with the drop in vaccination rates. Measles, mumps, whooping cough outbreaks are becoming increasingly common in the USA.

I'm a scientist. I understand there is no link between autism and vaccination. I know that my children do not have an allergy to ovalbumin. I know that the preservative in the vaccines will not harm them. Still there is always that lingering doubt. What if I'm making the wrong choice?

Parental guilt is inescapable. No matter what challenges our children face, we will always ask ourselves 'what could I have done differently'? I've watched the videos of mother's convinced that vaccinations caused or contributed to their child's development of autism. They are sincere in their belief and love their children very much.

There is just no science to back up their beliefs. In fact, there is ample research showing the effectiveness and safety of modern vaccines.

Yet it doesn't stop me from wondering 'what if'? But I know that the risks of a preventable outbreak grow with every year that the vaccination rates fall. And there is a proportion of children who cannot be vaccinated due to illness, immune disorders or allergies

So I vaccinate my children because I believe it is the best way to keep them and the children in our community safe from preventable illnesses.

Tuesday
May092017

Is there a middle ground between normalization and siloing?

Lately I've been confronted with views - political, social, intellectual and personal - from the opposite end of the spectrum of where I normally inhabit. As a scientist and contrarian, I value opposing views as they often force me to look at issues in a different light. In this brave new world of retro-romanticizing and granola glorification, the ideas gaining ground are often ones that I struggle to understand and value.

For the record, I am pro-vaccine, pro-science, pro-evolution, a climate change believer, pro-GMO, pro-choice, in favor of a separation of church and state, pro-public schooling, pro-fluorinating public water supplies and pro-social democracy.

I've generally tried to avoid engaging people with opposing views in their own homes. The old adage of not talking religion or politics in polite company is one that I've tried to integrate into my social media activities. I don't go to my conservative, pro-Trump friend and rail against the current administration just as I don't harangue my anti-vaxxer friend who posts memes about fluoride being added to the water supply to pacify the masses. I keep my views on my own and topic friendly forums.

After the election, I realized that I needed to take a more active role in advocating for the values I believe in. That has meant calling state officials, adding a countering view on news social media sites and not supporting companies and groups that propogate views that I believe to be dangerous to the general public and myself. The last thing I want to do in this current political climat is normalize a growing trend of anti-science, ultra-conservative, difference intolerant, quasi-religious views. I realized that there is really no way to change anyone's mind, especially not online.

But by withdrawing from these circles and conversations I wonder if I'm not guilty of intellectual siloing. Essentially isolating myself among my similarly believing peers.

I've been horrified by the animosity and paranoia spread by the right-leaning media. I've been shocked to see left leaning media engage in exaggerate headlines and fear-mongering.

I might not agree with anti-vaxers, but I know there are children who cannot be vaccinated for medical reasons. I also see the value in forcing the FDA to continue to re-examine the safety of widely administered agents. I've watched the videos of the moms with autistic children grasping at what they believe is the culprit of their child's illness without understanding that coincidence is not causation and that anecdotes are not evidence.

I have no problem with GMOs, but I can understand people wanting to make the choice of what industries to support and knowing what they put in their bodies. Just like the gluten-free labels, which were a real benefit to people with celiac disease, there may be people who are potentially allergic to some newly introduce component in their food. However, just like the gluten-free label, GMO-free has become a trendy marketing term and people rarely understand what it is they are so afraid of.

I fully support ourKatahdin Woods and Waters National Monument in Maine. Listening to an On Pointe discussion of the subject I was astounded by the opponents hyperbolic language that equated supporting the establishment of monuments by the federal government as being akin to supporting feudalism. His language completely undermined the very valid arguments about reducing taxible land bases in states with limited property taxes to support their public school systems.

Opposing views are good in that they force me to re-examine my position and often teach me about consequences I had not anticipated. That is the balance between opposites that established a common middle ground. Unfortunately, we seem to have lost our middle ground. Every outcome seems to be the end of the world for one view or another instead of being a working point for moving forward.

However, there are some views for which there is no middle ground.

Find a way of engaging people in calm rational discussions seems to be harder and harder. But avoid conflicting view points risks narrowing our knowledge. So I keep searching for a middle ground to stand on and simply have a conversation.

 

 

Wednesday
Apr052017

Immigrant among US

I was in high school when I became obsessed with genealogy. While writing a paper about the Salem witch trials, I came across a witness who shared my surname. I knew little about my paternal family history other than we were descended from loyalist.

I am Canadian. Half French-Canadian. Half American-loyalist. There is little to mark me as an immigrant. I am Caucasian. I speak English (and a heavily-accented French). I was raised half-Catholic, half-Protestant. And even though my ancestors first settled in Ipswich, Massachusetts, in the late 1600's, I am a foreigner in my country of residence.

A few weeks ago, I started the process of naturalization to become a US citizen. I first came to the USA as a dependent on my mother's visa. As a nurse, she and so many thousands of other nurses trained abroad obtained visas under NAFTA to work in the USA stemming a shortage of nurses. I attended high school in the USA but returned to Canada for my post-secondary education.

My post-doctoral research years were spent in the Ekker lab at the University of Minnesota under another NAFTA-generated visa. My first job was obtained using an H1B visa and later sponsored me for my green card application.

While I have watched the political process with interest, I had not felt the need to participate until this last year. However, green card holders cannot vote.

Even though I pass for an American, I am keenly aware that I am not - yet. I married an American and have two American-born children. Not having permanent status in the USA makes me a little nervous. Although I wouldn't mind returning to Canada, I have made my life in Maine and want to stay here. I also want a say in who runs the city, state and country.

So when someone asks what good NAFTA and H1B programs serve, I tell them my story. I am an immigrant.

Wednesday
Mar292017

What are you reading?

I've had precious little time to even think about writing, let alone put words to paper. I long for some energy and space to write. It will come. Right now my babies are my focus while I let my imagination percolate.

So I am trying to read. My stack includes:

-Finishing One Day As A Tiger by John Porter which I started two years ago about the evolution of speed mountaineering.

-The Precipice (Mike Bowditch, #6) by Paul Doiron (I'm about 2 pages into it)

-Widowmaker (Mike Bowditch, #7) by Paul Doiron

-The Chosen (Black Dagger Brotherhood, #15) by J.R. Ward (pre-ordered... I've missed severa; books in this series but this one looks promising)

What are you reading?

Friday
Feb242017

Writing in my spare time

Although I dream of one day making more than the odd dinner bill from my writings, I am one of those authors who writes in their spare time. This week I returned to work after 6 weeks of maternity leave plus 6 weeks of working from home part-time. My commute is an hour in each direction. I have a two year old and a 13 week old. So when do I find time to write?

I'd like to say that I stay up late to write, but my little nurseling gets me up several times a night so I need as much asleep as I can squeeze in between the time I turn off the lights and the alarm clock goes off. I'd like to say I wake up even earlier than my normal 4:45AM wake-up (usually after a 4AM feeding), but that's not going to happen. So do I write on weekends? Neither. My weekends are filled with chores and spending time with my children who I normally only see awake for 2-3 hours a day during the work week.

Don't get me wrong, I do have free time. After the kids are in bed and I've washed all the bottles and my pumping equipment, I have about 1 hour before bed time. During that time I can make calls to my members of congress because the current political system is just too FUBAR'ed to not say something. I plan to start throwing in some exercise during that time once I'm getting enough sleep to be coordinated. Eventually I may write again once I get enough mental and physical capacity to do anything other than crash on the couch beside my husband who pretty much runs the same schedule as me.

Right now, there just isn't any spare time to be had. Someone asked me when I will write again. It might take me a few months or even years, but I will write again.