Nov 20 2011

Delia Sherman’s Freedom Maze


Hey, the latest novel by Delia Sherman (of the Fabulous Genrettes) is out!

cover by Kathleen Jennings

cover by Kathleen Jennings

The Freedom Maze is a book for Young Adults, and it’s getting rave reviews all over, as well it should. I remember reading it in manuscript, through various iterations, with the writer’s group.

It is lovely and rich, and never takes the easy way out. And it deals with race — which is possibly why finding a welcoming publisher took some time.

Check out the reviews!

From Cory Doctorow at BoingBoing. (Slight spoilers for early parts of the book.)

Or you can go to, everybody’s go-to site for what’s what in SF and Fantasy.
(Also spoilers, but they warn you!)

And here’s the publisher’s own site.

If you have a young reader in your life, or like to read YA books yourself (as I sometimes do), you should pick up this book.

And actually, you can read the first chapter free on Delia’s website.

I am definitely going to buy it.

In fact, wait a sec….

Yep. Just got the Kindle version. Right there. Twenty-first century, see?

Now, you would think that I’d already know all about the book, from when Delia brought it to the Genrettes, over many sessions. But the fact is, it’s gone through some rewrites and editing post-Genrettes, and I’m yearning to know what remains of what I read before, and what has changed. Plus: it was long enough ago that even the material I saw before will feel fresh. And Delia is really such a lovely writer. Can’t wait.

(Just read the acknowledgements at the end, because I had a suspicion, and yep — I’m listed. Aw, that’s nice!)

Oh, and there’s a party.

Here’s the announcement on Facebook.

But if you don’t want to log on to Facebook to read it (for which I don’t blame you, as Facebook is a bully about such things), here’s the info:

When: Tuesday, November 22, 2011, 6:30 to 9:30.

Where: The Center for Fiction, 17 West 47th Street, New York, NY 10017

The party will have music, from both time periods of the book. And punch! And a cake-baking contest (no, you don’t have to bake, if you’re not so inclined).

(I don’t see how I could possibly manage to go, darnit. Unless Evil Dayjob were to magically let me out early. It’d take me a couple of hours to get there from here… I’ll see, I’ll try, but alas, I doubt it…)

Nov 16 2011

Say hello to my little friend…

found on his back on the warehouse floor

found on his back on the warehouse floor.

Oh, where, oh, where shall I deploy him for most satisfying reaction?


Nov 11 2011

“There are times, at least for now, when we must be content to love the questions themselves.” — Neil deGrasse Tyson


That’s such a Steerswomanly thing to say!

Here’s the latest from Symphony of Science, featuring Neil deGrasse Tyson (whom I love), Carolyn Porco (whom I love), and Brian Cox (who is new to me, but I now love).

What a beautiful thing to wake up to, just when you thought the day was going to be especially difficult! Inspiration on tap.

Symphony of Science: Best use of auto-tune ever! Check out the website — they’re all wonderful.

Nov 10 2011



Actually got out of work early, due to a scheduled yearly physical. So, off to the Monkey!

Not as serious as I seem here.

Not as serious as I seem here.

I find there’s a reading by local writers about to commence. Shall I stay? Shall I go? A bit curious, but I actually came her in order to write, not listen to others!

Nov 9 2011

Returning to the Horizon Line


Well, that’s all the scarves.

But I realized that when I showed you the first one, I didn’t give it a name yet, so I thought I’d show it again…

This is actually the one that first brought Darlene’s work to my attention, because it happens, by sheer coincidence, strongly resemble a painting I made when I was 18 years old.

The painting was 1.5 feet wide by about, oh, 8 feet long.

The idea was a slice of sky, starting from the sunset west, arcing up across the zenith, and all the way back over to the moonrise east. As a result, you could view it two ways: sunset at the bottom (putting moonrise upside down on the top), or moon at the bottom (with upside-down trees and lake with sunset then on the top).

I was never a particularly good artist, but I have a good graphic sense, and the painting worked pretty well, being simple of execution.

Plus: hey, cool idea! I used to flip it around according to the season. Fortunately, my parents’ house had an open stairway in the foyer, with a tall wall perfect for the painting.

And that’s what I saw with Darlene’s scarf, a sort of shock of recognition.

The painting could only hang in one place — but if I bought that scarf, I’d have the image with me whenever I wanted it!

Thus began my obsession.

I love the island in background...

I love the island in background...

The date on this scarf is blurred, so I don’t even know when she made it, or for that matter, when I bought it. A while ago. But this is the one that I first noticed.

And I definitely AM inspired by being able to have these images with me when things get rough. And have them be as beautiful as the versions in my mind.

It's like she reads my mind and puts it on a scarf!

It's like she reads my mind and puts it on a scarf!

You should look for Darlene in the dealer’s room at Science Fiction and Fantasy conventions. Best place to see her work; her website doesn’t quite capture the drama.

Oh, and she has paintings, too!

Nov 8 2011

“I have loved the stars too truly to be fearful of the night.” — Sarah Williams


I believe this is the last of the Darlene scarves I have to show you…

The quote from Galileo — he’s my guy!

[UPDATE: The quote is actually from the poetry of Sarah Williams, The Old Astronomer to His Pupil, (Thank you r2 for setting me straight.) Galileo’s still my guy, but now I want to know more about Sarah Williams…]

Though, perhaps for me it’s really: I have loved the night so fondly, how could I not love stars?

I’m happier at night. I operate better at night, in general. I’m actually smarter at night. Don’t know why.

I've definitely needed inspiration today.  Seriously.

I've definitely needed inspiration today. Seriously.

Given that I can’t be a night-dweller, with this DayJob, I try to bring in the night as much as possible. My screen-saver at work cycles through NASA images.

Like the Falling Stars scarf, but not falling; like the Dwellers in the Veil, but with stars.

Like the Falling Stars scarf, but not falling; like the Dwellers in the Veil, but with stars.

Today is truly unpleasant at the DayJob, and more to come with overtime… Plus: weekly confab with my Boss.

Nov 7 2011

Only the stars, only the night — another Darlene scarf


This is one of the oldest by date, and oldest by how long I’ve had it. It’s a bit faded.

just what I need, nothing more

just what I need, nothing more

It reminds me of the covers of old science-fiction books, back before elaborate, representational paintings were used, back when the iconic stars and galaxy were enough to communicate: wonders inside.

signature and date

signature and date

It’s all I need today…

No surrender!

No surrender!

In other news…

The Wind Horse has made its appearance at the DayJob, to everyone’s delight and envy.

Everybody wants one!

Everybody wants one!

Nov 5 2011

Seriously excellent Wind Horse!


I tried to get to the local store that might have a chance of carrying Wind Horse flags… but the whole town was blacked out all week from the storm.

So, Amazon to the rescue.

We hung the big ones outside

Wind Horse

There’s a whole Variety Pack, to cover all your Wind Horse needs.

We hung the big ones outside.

The tiny ones are good for putting in your office.

The tiny ones are good for putting in your office.

Now, let’s review:

Yes, I am an atheist.

No, I do not think that the Wind Horse will magically, mystically help me through my hard times. That would be religion. Which I don’t have.

But, like the people who put up the Wind Horse before climbing Mount Everest, I’m embarking on an extremely difficult task. I need all the determination I can muster.

By flying the Wind Horse, I’m declaring to myself that I intend to prevail. And I’m reminding myself of that commitment.

It is far too easy to allow a bad situation to become the norm, and to simply plod through your days, enduring. It becomes second nature — and then first nature.

I need to prevent that happening, and keep my focus on the goal (Take action to sort out the insane situation at work; continue to be creative even while it’s going on).

And that’s why the Wind Horse. It’s a declaration, and a reminder. It stands out from the white-noise visual background of my surroundings as something new, remarkable, and significant.

And I also have to admit (as a full-grown adult woman who used to be a twelve-year-old girl, just like every other twelve-year-old girl), that a part of me is going:

Did you say, HORSE?
Did you say, wait — WIND horse? As in, horse that FLIES?


Nov 4 2011

The Dwellers in the Veil


This is my favorite nebula:

The Veil Nebula

The Veil Nebula


Now, if you were to live on a planet orbiting a star inside that nebula, what would you see?

Maybe this:

Yeah.  That's it.

Yeah. That's it.

We lack only actual individual stars — but probably the brightness of the Veil would render the stars invisible.

In the heart of a nebula.

In the heart of a nebula.

It’s another “Color test” of Darlene’s, and it’s the only scarf I have that’s satin.

Lovely and mysterious.

Lovely and mysterious.

When I wear this, I’m a Dweller in the Veil. I’m not from here; I observe you with interest…

Strange is good.

Strange is good.

Nov 3 2011

The taiga at equinox: Thursday’s scarf by Darlene


The boreal forest, just before the trees end…

I have this strange impulse to go north. My father had it, too. “I’m going to Labrador,” he used to grouse when he felt particularly miserable in his later years.

The older I get, the more I want to go north.

looks like equinox to me.

looks like equinox to me.

I imagine that the air is clearer there. And the sky is surely bigger.

and distant mountans

and distant mountans

North is still there, even though I’m still here… I think I’ll visit it next year.

This is one of my oldest Darlene scarfs

This is one of my oldest Darlene scarfs

The real thing

The real thing