The amazing Ekaterina Sedia is a well-known science fiction author and an early supporter of Sabbatical Beauty! Her book The Alchemy of Stone was featured as the Book of the Quarter in our Summer 2016: SPLASH line! We are super fangirls.
Tell us about you!
I am an academic and a Russian transplant. I teach plant biology and ecology courses at Stockton University, where I also run a graduate program in Environmental Studies. I work in the campus apiary a lot. I also write fiction - I’ve been fortunate to have five of my novels published, as well as a short story collection and a bunch of anthologies I edited. I have a husband and two cats. I co-wrote a script for a puppet movie, YAMASONG: MARCH OF THE HOLLOWS, which was a really fun project. The movie will be coming out soon. I am a decent cook, and a fashion aficionado, interested in intersection of fashion with garment industry, and all the attending labor, justice, and environmental issues. I like supporting small independent designers, especially women of color. I have a fashiony blog at fishmonkey.blogspot.com
I love good skincare, good textiles, nice shoes, and all other small luxuries in life. I am also really into fitness, I don’t like spending a day without some exercise. Basically, I am keenly interested in pretty much everything.
What makes you angry?
Plenty of things! Lately however I’ve been mostly angry with people who refuse to acknowledge facts. You know all those (usually white, mostly male) folks who’ve been so quick to dismiss experiences of discrimination as “subjective” and demanded that POCs and women prove that their lived experiences actually happen? Well, now with the advance of smartphones and social media, we have ample documentation of black people being shot by the police in broad daylight, of women assaulted in subways… and they still dismiss it! When people ignore good hard evidence and yet try to claim objectivity, that pisses me right off. That they can see the concerted attacks on Leslie Jones and Gabby Douglas and still say it’s not about race and gender. Yes, I am getting angry now :)
What makes you happy?
Thankfully more things than make me angry. Apart from the large things, like friends and family and travel, every little thing makes me thrilled: a really good salad, the weather outside that is starting to feel a bit like fall (at least at 5 am when I usually take my walks), my cats being squishy and good, my husband making a really good joke, nice textiles, fashion books, a perfect sweater in just the right shade of grey…. I can go on forever. It is fortunate really, because I don’t think I would’ve survived past two years otherwise. It’s all about extracting as much joy as possible from every day.
If you were an SB product, which product would you be, and why?
Oh but I am! You so very kindly named Ekaterina Luxury Cream after me. And I think it’s a good product for me to identify with, because gold and caviar sort of embody the Russian gestalt. As an immigrant I find my national and cultural identity transformed by my experiences, rendered into something new and hybridized, and yet retaining its essential properties… and I think it is a nice analogy for how something solid like gold can be transformed into a cream and yet still remain itself. It learns to do new and beautiful things but these things are predicated on what it started out as. And unless you stretch and transform, how will you find out what you are capable of?
What’s your desert island SB product, and why?
What, just one? I am cheating and dumping my Dorian Gray bottle into a jar of Sake Kasu Mask, and spreading it on my face every night. Both really improve the texture of my skin, keeping it even and bright.
What is your favorite thing about your skin?
It may seem a bit strange but I like how responsive it is - it’s my barometer. If I get stressed, I might get a breakout; if I don’t get enough sleep, it turns dull. It shows dehydration and not wearing sunscreen, and it basically prompts me into doing the right things for myself. I think I would be less likely to live such a healthy lifestyle if it didn’t show on my face! So when my skin looks good, I know I’m doing right by it.