Made it to WisCon, about three hours behind schedule, which during the uncertainty and running around gave me lots of existential angst about whether it's really worth it to travel on Memorial Day weekend, especially when I can't leave on Thursday, but dinner helped. Now putting my feet up before my 9:00 panel and the parties.
Come buy a Con or Bust T-shirt at the Aqueduct table in the dealer's room tomorrow!
The first two season of MTV's Undressed
are streaming online
Which means you can watch a younger (24, although her character is clearly a bit younger) Christina Hendricks, pre-Firefly
, in an episode
written by Buffy/Angel
writer Stephen DeKnight.
(For people with different genre preferences, the Very Special Plotline from the second season in which Katee Sackhoff learns that she can, indeed, love a man in a wheelchair, is also online.)
Astrid was discharged after her adenotonsillectomy this morning (she was monitored all night, and she and I were both given all the food we wanted because I'm still breastfeeding her) and while she was at home sleeping it off her sister developed tooth or jaw pain and screamed blue murder, so we got her an appointment with the children's dental clinic and she was seen in under an hour and the pain is just molars coming up but there was also a non-urgent filling repair so they did that while they were there. And because she hates the flavour of Bonjela, the dentist gave her a dosing syringe with the banana-flavoured topical anaesthetic they use in the clinic.
Then when we discovered that Calprofen and Nurofen for Children have different doses listed we called the paediatric ward and asked for clarification and were given it.
I love love love the NHS and their crispy clean bedsheets.
I slept enough to dream last night! I have no idea why I dreamed about wandering around an aquarium with an Omni theater and a library in the basement with derspatchel
except that my brain evidently thinks I've been too housebound lately. The Omni theater looked half like the old Hall of Ocean Life in the American Museum of Natural History, full of dioramas and blue light. Rob had some kind of proposal to talk over with someone in the upper seats of the theater, I was doing research. Even in the dream, it struck me that putting a library in the basement of an aquarium is a terrible idea. I was reading a short experimental novel from the '30's, translated from the Czech, about a girl on the moment of death, moving through her memories as if through the streets and squares of the city where she had been born; it was a political allegory, but I didn't know enough about the politics of the time. The library's walls were full glass windows and the waters of the harbor were visible beyond them, faintly gold-sparking with afternoon. It is true that the New England Aquarium is within walking distance of the Fort Point Channel, but not quite the way the dream seemed to think.
- listening to:Amanda Palmer, "Nikola Tesla"
Pope Francis made news again recently when he said that even atheists can obtain salvation. The critical thing, according to the pope, is, "doing good."
I imagine everybody reading this is saying, "Well, duh!" right about now, but I suspect a historically important point is being missed. What I see Pope Francis doing here is taking a head-on stance against Martin Luther's doctrine of Sola Fide
, or Salvation by Faith Alone
. It's been a point of major contention between protestant and catholic interpretations of Christianity for centuries, and Pope Francis is coming down firmly on the side of the traditionally Catholic position. However, he's going to a place where his namesake, St. Francis, went but few others have since. The pope is saying that not only is salvation by faith alone a bogus argument, but that faith doesn't even matter. Atheists who do good will obtain the Great Reward, while those who proclaim belief in Christ but do not do good will not have salvation.
Personally, I think Pope Francis is right about this. It's the way we live our lives that counts. But he's not making any effort to bridge an old difference with the protestant denominations by taking this position. On the other hand, I don't think any mainline protestant leader is going to make a big thing of it.
I drove for eleven hours yesterday (including through some construction-site nightmares in Illinois — Hey, Illinois: your tolls are out of control. You expect me to pay those price to drive such terrible roads?) and finally arrived in Madison, WI, where I’m now hobnobbing with some of the most awesome people on the planet!
Mirrored from Under the Beret.
Fans of my BDSM romance Slow Surrender have been spreading the word to help the book find new readers! Right now SS is only out in ebook but the paperback comes out in August from Hachette (one of the “big six” publishers). I’m not waiting for that, though! I’ll trade a special bonus scene from James’s point of view to any reader who recommends the book to friends/followers/family/fans on the Internet and sends me a screencap of the recommendation. That includes Amazon and Goodreads reviews, tweets about the book, Tumblr or LJ or blog posts about it, Facebook updates/statuses, Yahoo mailing list recs, and so on! Check out some of the recs people have made, including email, starting “buddy reads”, Twitter, Tumblr, etc…!
If you want the scene, email a screencap of your rec to ctan.writer AT gmail DOT com (or photo reply here!) and I’ll email the bonus James scene right back to you!
Check out some of the screencaps below!
( Read the rest of this entry » )
Mirrored from blog.ceciliatan.com.
I’ve never been one for big cities. In some ways, I think of it as an extension of my introversion. Big cities = too many people, too much going on, and I get twitchy just thinking about it.
But I’ve watched my fellow authors do the occasional New York trip to visit with editors and agents, and it’s been strongly advised by a number of folks that I do the same, especially with the relative success of Libriomancer.
So when I received an invitation to moderate the Adult Book Bloggers Panel at Book Expo of America in New York, I was happy to say yes. I’m even happier now that I’ve been chatting with my panelists, including Sarah from Smart Bitches, Trashy Books — the woman responsible for making me do this — along with Mandi from Smexy Books and Rebecca from The Book Lady’s Blog.
My BEA schedule, excluding meetings and such, looks like so:
- 5/29, 11:15 a.m. – 12:05 p.m. — Book Blogging Panel.
- 5/31, 3:30 p.m. – 4 p.m. — Signing at the SFWA table.
- 6/1, 12 p.m. – 12:30 p.m. — “Meet the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America,” with myself, Jeri Smith-Ready, and Leanna Renee Hieber.
I am both excited and a bit intimidated. I’ve been to NYC once in my life, helping a friend move, and that was more than a decade ago. On the other hand, I’ll be spending time with a lot of great people, and attending an event devoted to the awesomeness of books. How can you not love that?
So blogging will be light to nonexistent next week. This will be my first time at BEA, and my second time in NYC (the first was more than a decade ago, helping a friend move, and I didn’t see that much of the city). My plan is to try to have fun, hopefully collect some books, and shamelessly gawk at everything.
Wish me luck, and if you’re going to be at BEA, then I hope to see you there!
Mirrored from Jim C. Hines.
Flights all pushed back and kids all up ridiculously early, but off to airport now. Supposed to get in around 4:00 local. Honestly I have a bad feeling about this but I'm trying not to stress, there's nothing to be done, and even my 9:00 panel tonight would survive without me because I'm not moderating. If only I can grab a catnap on a plane I'll be okay, I think.
... now up on Flickr
Also, Spotify is being sentient ;-) As I went to post this, it started playing Heather Alexander's Sword and Staff
, which starts "Circlet of the Holy Thorn..." (and mentions a Sacred Spring, too, but that's less place-specific.)
The Record Collectors
This is an interview with two avid record collectors, one a man who adopted the title of doctor on the basis of a passing comment and the other a fellow who constructs nightmarish monsters for Christmas parades. Both are fanatical about their hobby, firmly reject impure innovations past the wax cylinder as well as modern singers and generally fail to do anything that would convince people not already part of their folie à deux that records are worth anyone's time.
I know of no persons like the pair in this play.
I got my hair redyed today. I got a new couch delivered today, and promptly started sobbing, because I'm almost entirely incapable of handling change. And I didn't know that I associated the old couch with Funnyface until the new couch arrived. Something like the idea that people aren't completely gone until everyone who remembers them has died, but with furniture and cat hair.
I'm getting closer to actually taking steps to acquire a fourth cat. I think (know) that Light would prefer we stay at 3 cats, and occasionally I harbor thoughts about wanting to get two kittens at the same time, but four is a hard limit for me and it seems the idea of waiting until another one of our cats has to leave us is another thing that will make me burst into tears.
I'm almost done with Mech's wedding cross-stitch, and I've already passed off Media's baby cross-stitch, and now I'm dithering between working on something that is pure amusement or starting holiday santas. I also owe Hips a Fuck Cancer bookmark for a family member of hers, but I forgot to plot and print a pattern at work, so that will have to wait until Tuesday. (there are rare occasions where I want a functional printer at home, but never badly enough to acquire one. I guess I could go to the library and print it)
I'm back to chipping away at my 101 list. Some of them obviously won't happen in the next year, but next up is organizing my books/papers/tshirt collection. (those are three different things). I'm feeling very purge oriented lately, like I want to shed detritus that isn't serving the purpose of making me happier or making me more myself. (which is weird to say, since I don't think of me as liking myself, so why would I want to distill myself?). In this vein, come the end of June, I will be donating all but two shelves the books that I own that I have not read yet, on the premise that if I truly want to read them, I'll get them out of the library, or acquire them in some other way.
I told R I was ready to stop having a crush on Bespoke tonight. It wasn't entirely true. The crush itself is actually still kind of fun and shivery most of the time. I think I'd maybe just like an object of affection both willing and able to return my affection. But maybe I'm not ready, maybe I'll never be ready. I gave myself a small freakout today when Feste mentioned he has a hottub, because on the one hand hot tubs are not things I consider a bathing suit necessary for, on the other hand, I think that by now Light, Hands, Hips and Unexpected have seen my boobs (well, them and everyone who goes to Healthworks at the same time I do.) and it's going to take a lot for me to be able to add another person to that list. (another thing I said to R was that wearing a bathing suit in a hot tub was liking letting the mastectomy win, but that's almost okay because I totally kicked BRCA's ass. or words to that effect.)
I'm sleeping on the couch tonight (Light's throat is sore and neither one of us want to be sick for the Totally Awesome Long Weekend we have planned) and all the windows are thrown open and I'm hoping there's a thunderstorm at some point, but for now I'm listening to Noisy sing to one of her toys and the train roll by and Moppet snore and there might be a lot of things I want, but there are also a lot of things I already have.
I keep forgetting-- this has existed for a while now, but I never did post it! And yes, it will be on the new album...
by Vixy & Tony
You made a sensation
With your mad invitation
And a grin that I thought was meant for me
It shouldn't have shocked me
The way you unlocked me
Too late to run when I gave you the key
But I can't go on racin'
Just to keep the same place and
Your glass shows you things I'll never be
So the cat's got your tongue now
You're up for some fun now
You still think that you can have your tea and more
You remember you know me
You forget what you owe me
Still hiding behind your garden wall
I face my reflection
My body's defection
I still want to come when I hear your call
Ah, but that way's been taken
I've eaten my cake and
Already been broken by that fall
I'm done and I'm walking
But you, you're still talking
You think that I haven't heard it all before
Never know the time that I wasted
On treats I should never have tasted
You're sweeter than jam tomorrow
Oh, but you're never here today
I struggled to master
Every teacup disaster
There was always another storm to brew
How I followed you down, dear
Now you come back around, dear
And there's no path that leads away from you
Don't think I can't hear you
When you talk through the mirror
And the twisting that you believe is true
But you know your part now
I've played my last heart now
Just one sip and I'm right back through your door
I just read about tweetle beetles for the poetree community. If you remember Fox in Socks fondly, you should too, it's fun and takes literally only a minute or two! You don't need the book either, jjhunter has the excerpt.
(Actually the formative Seuss tongue-twister book of my childhood is the other one, Oh Say Can You Say?, the one with the bread/bed spreader and the shinbone pins, but SteelyKid loved Fox in Socks for a while and the tweetle beetles were my favorite part, so I could not resist. And now, WisCon packing.)
Mirrored from the latest entry in Daron's Guitar Chronicles.
Colin and I eventually got out of bed. There were some post-tour things to take care of here and there, equipment and stuff, but nothing urgent. Laundry. I couldn’t quite motivate myself to sort and wash when I had clean clothes at home. Then Chris told me he had used the last of the detergent, so I had a legitimate excuse for leaving my bags packed for a while. I did go through all the guitar cases and empty out the random things that had collected in them. I hung Christmas Cat Elvis in my window. I wondered if I should buy curtains. I made sure Courtney had a towel and knew what was what in the kitchen. That was about the extent of what I accomplished.
A day or two later I got an answering machine message from Digger. He’d called while I was out buying detergent.
( Read the rest of this entry » )
I am looking at pictures on the Internet. Simone is sitting in my lap.
Simone: That's a constellation.
Me: Yes, it is, you're right. Good words.
Simone: Which constellation?
Me: Taurus. The Bull.
Simone: I'm a constellation.
Me: You are?
Me: Which constellation are you?
Simone: The one that looks like a pot.
Me: You're the Big Dipper?
Me: Good choice.
The books she reads are small
And do not hold much stock in
Realism or continuity.
This makes them feel,
When she holds them,
As of she is holding on to
Or bit of ephemera from a bygone age.
They should not exist, and yet they do:
Hardbound collections of words strung together in an order so peculiar that they simultaneously make perfect sense and no sense at all.
Like fish with wings.
On trains in London you are told to mind the gap
And the gap is a gap between people
They do not talk or make eye contact
The solitude is protocol
But at 1 in the morning
If an elderly piss-stinking drunkard gets on
Dribbling, jabbering gibberish
The people will laugh
And smile at each other
They are in this together now
We need the drunkards
And in later life
It is a service
I am happy
That one got me right in the gut, and I don't think it's just because I'm biased. I'm kind of in awe of what he's writing at just 20, and I find myself wondering what he might be doing by the time he's my age. Meanwhile, there's more, and darker, in Dog Tired Eyes
, available at Lulu
I went to Toys R Us on Monday to buy a stuffed animal as a gift for a friend, and on my way to the register, I passed the Strawberry Shortcake dolls.
Now, when I was little, Strawberry Shortcake was my life
. My mother made me a costume. I probably talked Berry Talk a bunch. I must have had a dozen dolls. We couldn't afford the fancy accessories, so my mother sewed little sleeping bags for all of them and gave me an old makeup case for them to live in.
I still remember that there was one doll I wanted desperately: Orange Blossom.
Orange Blossom was probably my first introduction to the idea of tokenism: the sole black character on the TV show and among the dolls.
She also had hair like mine.
In the early 80s, before the advent of Barbie and the Rockers, it was not particularly common to find a doll with curly hair-- especially any kind of curls that looked like natural curls, as opposed to neatly-coiffed ringlets that looked like they'd been made with curlers. There were other Strawberry Shortcakes dolls with curly hair-- quite a lot of them, in fact-- but Orange Blossom had the same short curls I had when I was four years old.
My father brought her back for me from a trip to Georgia. I still remember that I was riding on his shoulders when he gave her to me, and I called him a softie.
Anyway, in the current SSC reboot, the Orange Blossom doll, along with all the other dolls, has long, straight, silky hair. (Her skin is a lighter shade of brown, too).
I've never really had any interest in buying one of the new Strawberry Shortcake dolls, but then I saw this special edition Orange Blossom:
And now I have a doll.
I just realized that it was my intention to be a 100% stay-at-home parent for the first 2 1/2 years of the kids' life, and then go back to work somewhere.
I completely got my money's worth of enjoyment out of this series. By the time I was approaching book nine, I didn't want it to end. But the ending was very satisfying.
There was one event in particular which was completely surprising, yet meticulously set up over ten books. There was another, also surprising yet completely set up, which caused me to email Buymeaclue a message whose non-spoilery text consisted of "OH MY GOD!!!!! Also, just opened the part where it shifts POVs and OH MY GOD I KNOW WHERE HE IS."
Now I want to read the whole thing over from the beginning. Due to the unusual structure, it will probably feel like an entirely new experience.
You can buy the whole shebang on e-book at a discount ($30 for the equivalent of four books), or in paper. However, the paper editions are in four volumes, and only two are out. You will probably end up with a mutant half-paper, half-e-book set if you attempt the latter. http://www.blindeyebooks.com/rifter/
I mentioned before that the series reminded me of P. C. Hodgell. By the end, it also reminded me of the Fullmetal Alchemist anime (first series.) In both, nearly all the seemingly unrelated side stories and apparently unimportant minor characters turn out to be integral to the story as a whole. Also the unusual mix of a dark world with a magic system involving some major body horror, with funny moments and a lot of very likable and even idealistic characters who don’t (necessarily) get crushed under the author’s boot. ( Read more... )
These books just kept getting better and better, from an intrigueing but somewhat rough start. I’m sure they will reward re-reading.
Saturn's moon Titan might be in for some wild weather as it heads into its spring and summer, if two new models are correct. Scientists think that as the seasons change in Titan's northern hemisphere, waves could ripple across the moon's hydrocarbon seas, and hurricanes could begin to swirl over these areas, too. The model predicting waves tries to explain data from the moon obtained so far by NASA's Cassini spacecraft. Both models help mission team members plan when and where to look for unusual atmospheric disturbances as Titan summer approaches.
I am learning a whole lot about Sam Cooke, the recording and music touring industries in the 1950s, and the various personalities on the r&b scene in that same decade. And it wasn't like I was an ignoramus up to this point, but wow. Extra kudos to author Peter Guralnick for making things like songwriting licensing disputes not only comprehensible but interesting, without resorting to melodramatics. Also, I want to learn more about Clyde McPhatter now.
This week I also read a brand spanking new copy of Henry and Glenn Forever and Ever
. Yes, I am obsessed. I don't care.
Matthue Roth's My First Kafka
arrived in the mail earlier this week and it is gorgeous. The illustrations by Rohan Daniel Eason are simply outstanding. (Find it here
.) Here's the cover so you can see what I mean:
The text is charming, too. No I won't be reading it to my children...yet.
I had the most epic dreams last night I have had since I was pregnant. (No worries, G.)
A large portion of them involved tasting a mutant melon that had giant seeds encapsulated in juice.
As reported at the Planetary Society Blog:
A couple of articles on India's Mars Orbiter Mission were published on the news website The Week yesterday, and they're much more in-depth and insightful than the norm.
Mars is an oddly difficult target, with about two-thirds of Mars probes failing before planned mission end, some before observations began. Break a leg, India.
Re Duffypocalpse and the Cheque of Doom
In the House of Commons yesterday, Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird, temporarily reverting to his former role as partisan fire extinguisher, said no, Harper knew nothing about the deal until, like other appalled Conservatives, he saw it on the evening news.
Strangely, Harper himself did not say that in his speech to his caucus, at least the portion of it that was public. Nor did Nigel Wright on Sunday, in his resignation letter. Nor did the PMO last week. In his remarks Harper ignored the payment entirely. In the other two cases the language was ever so carefully crafted to allow for some knowledge on his part, though not of “the means” or “the details.”