Jul 18 2016

Winding down, gearing up.

Rosemary

Well, Readercon is over, and my annual hang-out-with-pals-after-Readercon is also over…

Cool things from Readercon:

A reading by Ellen Kushner, from the next season of the serialized multi-author novel, Tremontaine.

Here’s a nifty trailer for the series:

The reading was followed by Ellen’s  Kaffeeklatsch — which included as a treat, a guest appearence by Ada Palmer, singing her famous (in fandom) song, “Somebody Will,” which always makes me cry.

But in a good way.  (Here’s a link to a duet version of the song, with Ada singing with Lauren Schiller.)

Also, I attended a reading by Delia Sherman, from her upcoming YA novel, The Evil Wizard Smallbone.  I’ve heard bits of the book before, and it’s always a delight.  Delia has such a graceful hand with tales of magic.

Comes out in September, but you could pre-order it now. Yes, you could.

Also: a reading by Jo Walton, from her work in progress, Poor Relations, which I enjoyed immensely.  By laughing a lot.  It was that kind of book, and she read it with vim!   (You can’t buy it yet — but the final volume of her Thessaly series, Necessity, is just out this week. )

And finally, a reading by one of Readercon’s guests of honor, Catherynne Valente,  whose writing you know I love.  I can’t recall the title — it was a work in progress, I think —  but it was dark and rich and grim and lovely.  (There’s an excerpt from it in the Readercon program, which I have at home where I am not, and not in my office, where I am.)

Hm.  I seem only to have attended readings by women this time!  Not by intention: Daryl Gregory was listed on the original program, but left off of the updated one.  Apparently he could not attend after all.  Alas.  I do love hearing him read.

The panels…

Well.

I didn’t go to many, but it seemed to me that each one I attended (and the one I was on),  rather quickly turned away from books, and toward TV shows and movies as examples of whatever subject was on hand for discussion.

And I found this disappointing.  The thing about Readercon, the blessed thing about it, is that it has traditionally been focused on books.  There’s no film track, no gaming, the dealer’s room sells nothing but books.  In theory it’s supposed to stand in opposition other conventions, which more and more deal with movies, TV, gaming, and the fandom that surrounds them.  Not that those aren’t wonderful things, and sources of real art — But Readercon has always been the exception to  the trend.   That was its charm, and its attraction.

But this time, not so much.  I don’t know what to make of that.

As well as official convention events, there was plenty of meeting and re-meeting of friends, always a glad thing.  (I’d detail more but… this is running rather long, and getting late.  Perhaps I’ll expand on events in a later post?)

And after Readercon, as is traditional, I spent a few days with fellow authors Ann Tonsor Zeddies (aka Toni Anzetti, but not any more), and Geary Gravel.   A splendid time was had by all, including much deep talk far into the night on the front porch, one reading of a work in progress, the inevitable champagne, many delicious meals, and walks around interesting places.

A denizen of the forest.

A denizen of the forest.

 

The Bridge of Flowers, in Shelburne Falls, MA.

The Bridge of Flowers, in Shelburne Falls, MA.

 

Authors!

Authors!

So.  All that is over, I’m back home and unpacked, and my laundry is done, and I’m tucked into my office.

Next on the agenda: Ack! Worldcon in August.  Preceded by a week in Chicago… Yikes, only two and a half weeks before all that.

Better get back to wrestling with the Muse.  Who is a slippery gal, but I do believe I have a weight advantage, there.

 

IMG_1281


Oct 2 2011

The door is opened.

Rosemary

I mentioned this on Facebook, but completely forgot to put it here —

I wanted to remind people that Ellen Kushner (famous author, and wife of other famous author and Genrette Delia Sherman) wrote a radio program called “The Door is Opened,” which I heard many years ago, before I actually met her.

It’s about Yom Kuppur and Rosh Hashana, and as a non-Jewish person I knew next to nothing about those holidays. People tend to assume I’m Jewish because of the last name, but nope.

(If you’re curious: I’m an atheist. But as a writer and student of human nature, I’m interested in what makes people tick. The cultural content and context of the Jewish traditions interest me much more than any religious aspects.)

The show was gorgeous, deep, and moving. It totally swept me away. It really is worth hearing, and I urge you to do so because (ta-da!) it’s available to listen to online for free. And while you’re there, you can peruse the other episodes of Sound and Spirit. They’re all excellent, and they’re all hosted by and written by Ellen Kushner.

Meanwhile, Delia Sherman‘s Young Adult novel The Freedom Maze is coming out soon, and you can read the first chapters online for free.

Also cool: My pal Ann Tonsor Zeddies has a story appearing in a YA anthology called Speaking Out: LGBTQ Youth Stand Up. I haven’t read the story yet, but shall be laying my money down for a copy of the book real soon.

Other news: I have not fallen off the face of the earth, contrary to appearances. But ever since Labor Day I’ve had not a minute to spare from an avalanche of overtime at the DayJob. Or rather, what minutes I do have to spare are spent either a) writing, b) going to the gym so my body doesn’t disintegrate from the overtime, or c) complaining. These are my main pastimes lately. Hoping for things to ease up soon.

Latest audiobook I’m working out to: Scott Westerfeld‘s Goliath, the third volume of his YA steampunk trilogy. I love Westerfeld, and I love this trilogy, which I’ve “read” completely in audiobook form. There’s nothing like a good YA when you’re feeling blue.


Jul 23 2011

Plus: masks

Rosemary

I’ve successfully accomplished Readercon, or at least my part of it. The panel discussion on the phenomenon of the book size inflation was seriously excellent, with me,the lovely and talented Walter H. Hunt; the always-edifying Tom Easton; the multiply-skilled teacher/writer/reviewer Leigh Grossman; and the ever-remarkable and estimable Howard Waldrop.

Upshot? It’s caused by:

a) the fact that overworked editors rarely have the time to do much real editing these days, and do not always encourage authors to choose the one right word when a paragraph or two will accomplish the same thing
b) the phenomenon of the author who is so successful that whatever they write will sell, so why edit it at all?
c) changes in technology that make it easier and cheaper to print big fat books, so there’s little pressure not to do so
e) other changes in technology that make it easier for the author to get the words on the page quickly and painlessly (I’m talking word processors, here), so there’s more impulse to just keep on writing
f) still other changes in technology (talking E-books here), that make it just as easy to lug around a 1,000 page tome as it is to carry around a magazine,

And my personal favorite:

g) the desire or the reader to immerse in the imagined world, and stay there as long as possible, and return in subsequent volumes as often as possible, because it’s fun there and we like it.

All of these things operating simultaneously, see.

Other highlights:

My signing, where actual persons actually asked for my autograph, with entertaining conversation during the slow times with Alex Jablokov and the perennial Walter H Hunt, who were sharing the autograph table with me.

My Kaffeeklatsch, where two small klatsches were merged into one reasonable sized one, and I ended up sharing space, fans, and quips with some guy named — what was it again? Oh, yeah, Walter Hunt

After Readercon, it was off to my usual post-con gathering with Ann Tonsor Zeddies and Geary Gravel, where we discuss and examine art, life, humanity, technology, science, truth, beauty, fate, love, longing, literature, dogs, two-sided sticky tape, champagne, local restaurants, and the heat death of the universe. Plus: arts and crafts

Usually, we do collages. Like this one:

From last time

From last time

This time Ann had the brilliant idea of doing masks instead! After much struggling with the materials (we now know how to do it so it’ll be better next time) we came up with these:

click to embiggen

click to embiggen

Here they are closer, but not as clear as I hoped they’d come out. The titles (in hovertext) are my own, and if Ann & Geary disagree, they are free to correct me. If They Dare!

Ann’s:

the jewel-eyed moth finds light

and

aztec queen

These are Geary’s:

in demonstration of the quantum nature of consciousness

and

some guys just have great hair

And my two:

the abyss looks back but does not speak

and

birds of the world

It was fun. Messy, but fun — I mean: Messy PLUS fun.

Many thanks to Geary (and Berry) for hosting the event.


Jul 14 2011

Ack!

Rosemary

No time, ZERO! Working overtime at the DayJob so as to pre-catch up for being away all next week. Strained my back a bit, as sometimes happens when I forget to take breaks, so I now move more slowly exactly when I need to be moving faster.

Trying to prepare for a trip that includes: attending a convention where I must dress not like a slob, and be able to speak intelligently on a writerly subject; hanging out with writer pals, where I can wear any ol’ thing, but must read stuff out loud, provide beverages, and prepare to do arts & crafts; and day-hiking in the White Mountains, where I must somehow also appear with at least 3 cakes in hand.

I am NOT baking those cakes. I will buy pre-baked.

I managed to squeeze in some good writing time on Monday, plus the gym — then it was bye-bye to all that, and hello prep-chaos.

Although, on Monday I did drive all the way to the Funky Monkey and only remembered when I got there that it’s closed on Mondays. Had to do Panera’s instead.

Where I wanted to be vs. where I was

Where I wanted to be vs. where I was

Time’s up! Hit the ground running!


Jul 7 2010

For your edification…

Rosemary

Too busy to post much of anything at the moment. Trying to write books, here!

But I include, for your viewing pleasure and possible puzzlement, 3 collages.

When Ann Zeddies, Geary Gravel, and I get together for a weekend, as we did a couple of weeks ago, it is traditional for us to create collages. Usually starting late at night, and proceeding until the wee hours of the morning. Fueled by creative frenzy, coffee, and champagne. In previous years, also chocolate, but we cut that out this year.

Method:

1. grab some magazines
2. rip out any image or phrase that appeals to you, even if you don’t know why. In fact, especially if you don’t know why.
3. Assemble into a single image.

The point is to not begin with any particular design in mind — don’t pick elements in order to make a statement; pick elements you like, and find out what statement is implied. The result can sometimes be lovely, sometimes disturbing, but often illuminating.

Voila!:

Click to embiggen

And they did say it was okay to post these (I asked to make certain), from:

Mr. Gravel:

collage 2010 GG

and Ann:

the other copy of this one had no glare, but was blurry!

Okay, I’ve spent too much time on this post — back to writing!


Jun 25 2010

Creativity has wasted no time in arriving…

Rosemary

I just got here, and look what Ann Zeddies already did:

Ann draws me reading "Chysalis", a story by Geary's son Gabe.

I like this picture. I should use it as my avatar!

Drawn on her iPad. Yes, she has an iPad.

I didn’t want one, until I held it. Now: tech lust!

[added later: if you don’t generally check the hovertext on the images I post here (and you should, you know!), you will have missed that “Chrysalis” is a short story by Gabriel Gill, the son of my pal and fellow author Geary Gravel]