May 12 2017

Brain-fried, but in a good way.

Rosemary

I’ve just spent the last week or so prepping stuff to present to my writers’ group, the Fabulous Genrettes.

I’m up next!  On Sunday!  And our last meeting was just on April 30th, so that’s less than two weeks between sessions.  But Delia Sherman will be heading off to Paris quite soon, there to live for a year.  Just because.

(Ellen, of course, will be going as well.  They have an apartment!   That’s what you do, if you are famous, cultured and erudite:  a year in Paris.   I, on the other hand, am merely a slightly famous, nerdy autodidact.   There’s lots of us, actually.  We should form a national association!  No, wait, we’re all introverts. )

Anyway, I had not much time to organize the stuff I have on hand into something both readable and critique-able.   Had to pull out all the stops (which is a lovely metaphor from pipe-organ terminology, she pointed out  nerdishly).

Actually, I quite enjoyed it… I did a lot of late-night writing, and managed to remind myself that I really do prefer writing late at night and into the wee hours.   And often enough, into  the slightly larger hours.   I really ought to just embrace that.

I’m smarter at night.   I just am.

Although, parts of the tale that I thought would be easy, turned out to involve more heavy lifting than I expected.    And of course, much needs to be discussed with Delia and Laurie J. Marks.   I might have to print out a map for us to confer over, as the story involves a whole lot of movement across great swathes of  landscape.

I did manage to take a break from the push, on Saturday, when I attended a concert.   My friend Rob is a member of the Mendelssohn Choir, and they had a joint concert with the Civic Orchestra of New Haven.   The first half was just the orchestra, doing Tchaikovsky’s Symphony Number 4, which I’ve heard possibly one other time in my life, and was a treat.   The second half was John Rutter’s Requiem, totally new to me, which had text in both English and Latin.  Alas, the printed text in the program used a very small font, which made it hard to read in the dimmed auditorium, and the acoustics did not allow the English portion to be entirely understandable, so I had to pretty much guess what was being said, and check the program later when the concert was over.  Oddly, it turned out that I recognized the Latin more easily than the English.

The concert was at Yale University’s Woolsey Hall, which is was built in 1901, in a Beaux Arts style, which I found rather fun.  A lot of Yale looks pretty grim, but this place was festooned with carven wreaths and cameos of the nine Muses plus Athena on the ceiling.

Muses plus Athena.

And a bit of trompe l’oeil sky on the ceiling.  I’m a sucker for trompe l’oeil skies.

In other news:  My planned trip to Helsinki for Worldcon looks less and less likely.   It’s just a very expensive proposition, and at this particular point I don’t have a lot of financial leeway.  Just one of those timing things.

I am, however, still slated for Readercon.

Arg.  Very tired after this big push.  I’m going to practice some guitar, and call it a night.

They also had a Calder stabile/mobile in the courtyard.

 

 


May 16 2016

Not a time warp.

Rosemary

But it feels like one.

I'm not still here. I'm just back here.

I’m not still here. I’m just back here.

I lost a lot of time this week to various household responsibilities, and preparations for this and that.  I feel like I got little done, when in fact I got plenty done — just with a lesser proportion of writing in the mix.   So, I rather feel like I’m back where I started… I’ll make up for the lack of prose this week; if possible I’m going to do all my larger non-writing tasks on Monday, giving me the rest of the week for the real work.

Meanwhile, in the grand tradition of “Let’s put the band back together!”, my writer’s group, The Fabulous Genrettes, is reactivating!  It’s been, what — four years?   We agreed that we missed us and wanted us back.   Happy days!   I volunteered to be first in the hot seat, and I have to decide what is presentable enough to be presented for feedback.

I did manage to get my walks and/or gym time in this week.  The gym is much more strenuous, and gives me a better overall workout — but I absolutely cannot work on anything creative while exercising.  It’s largely the environment: noisy, busy, filled with other human beings, dozens of screens with different moving images, and idiotic repetitive music piped in at high volume.  I can read a book on the treadmill or stationary bike, but not for very long before the surroundings overwhelm me, and earbuds can’t sufficiently block the music.   I can do an audiobook, but that doesn’t help with the visual chaos.

What works, alas, is TV on my iPad.

Yep.  A couple of TV shows, and I’m  an hour, sometimes two hours, working up a sweat.   I get all grumpy when the gym’s wifi is on the fritz, as it sometimes is.    And when I use the machines, I switch to an audiobook  (currently finishing up Aurora by Kim Stanley Robinson, which I’m enjoying a lot).

However, when I’m just walking in the woods, I can think about the story — or stories in general, or other artistic ideas.  So,  I’m going to put more woods into the mix.

Mysterious ruins in the forest...

Mysterious ruins in the forest…

In other news: live music!  Sabine and I went to a performance by the Mendelssohn Choir of Connecticut, one member of which is a pal of ours.   The program included two excerpts from James Whitbourn’s Luminosity: “Lux in tenebris” and “Silence”.  It was a bit of a departure for this choir,  but I’m so glad they did it.   They introduced me to a new work, and a new composer.

Thanks to YouTube, you can hear it, too (performed by a different choir, that is).   (If you don’t have great speakers, use headphones for this.)  I haven’t yet listened to Luminosity in its entirety yet, but I will, soon —  and I love “Lux in tenebris” and “Silence.”

And lastly: Too Like the Lightning, Ada Palmer’s debut novel, is out and on my Kindle.  I won’t go into detail, as I haven’t finished it yet, but I will say that so far, it’s definitely living up to its advance press.   It is remarkable.  I really think you should read it.

In fact, there are free excerpts on Tor.com.   There you go.  Take it out for a test drive.  First four chapters, no commitments.

But here’s the Amazon link, because I think you’ll want it.