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Rhysling nomination [10 Feb 2015|03:36pm]
[ mood | good ]

My poem "It's a Universal Picture" has been nominated for the Rhysling Award. It's a poem that means a lot to me, and I am very pleased.

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henna day post / The Leech Woman [08 Feb 2015|01:07pm]
[ mood | annoyed ]

It is Henna Day, on a warmish Los Angeles afternoon. (But we had a little rain yesterday!) This weekend has included a none-too-smooth Internet upgrade. My Internet now works fine, but my landline intermittently doesn't, because apparently my AT&T telephone is not compatible with AT&T's U-verse service(which they gave me the hard sell to switch to from the DSL that had worked fine).

This has not been a great weekend for technology around here, as yesterday a Windows update threatened to bork my laptop. After about an hour and a half I managed to get it working again.

Last night I watched The Leech Woman (1960). Though half the film is devoted to a cringe-worthy "finding the youth serum in the jungle" storyline (complete with way too much stock footage of elephants, alligators, etc.), the movie also delivers a surprisingly mordant critique of ageism and sexism. The World's Worst Husband (who says things like "All old women give me the creeps") is going to divorce his slightly-older-than-him wife until he decides to experiment on her with the youth serum instead. When the wife realizes what he's up to, she picks him to be killed (because, naturally, human sacrifice is a component of the youth serum). The woman in charge of the youth serum says (speaking for the audience, or, at least, me): "An excellent choice. You will have beauty and revenge at the same time!" Surprisingly, the film does in fact kill off The World's Worst Husband (only halfway through the movie). Things go south from there, as the wife goes on a murderous rampage to maintain her newly youthful appearance. But in spite of its numerous flaws, it's a weirdly interesting film.

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poetry sale! [29 Jan 2015|11:38am]
[ mood | happy ]

My poem "Misogyny" (inspired by The Stepford Wives) will appear in a future issue of Strange Horizons. The poem is part of my ongoing classic film/TV/pop culture poetry project (which I am really enjoying working on). It's my first sale of the year.

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Companion Piece table of contents! [20 Jan 2015|12:22pm]
[ mood | pleased ]

The table of contents has been released for Mad Norwegian's upcoming Doctor Who essay collection, Companion Piece: Women Celebrate the Humans, Aliens and Tin Dogs of Doctor Who! The book includes essays by Seanan McGuire, Amal El-Mohtar, Mary Robinette Kowal, Tansy Rayner Roberts, and many others. It includes my essay "'I Can Do Your Part If You Can Do Mine': Romana II as the Girl Doctor." I'm looking forward to reading the whole collection!

Companion Piece Table of Contents

• The Impossible Girls by Deborah Stanish
• That Nitro-9 You’re Not Carrying: Violence and the Companion by Seanan McGuire
• Scheherazade and Galahad in an Exciting Adventure with the Daleks by Mags L. Halliday
• Steven Taylor, Space Adventurer! by L.M. Myles
• Scintillating, Fascinating, Irritating by Liz Barr
• I Don’t Want Her to Go by Amy Gaertner
• “What a Splendid-Looking Roman You Make!": The Male Companions, from Ian to Rory by Emma Nichols
• A Different Way of Living by Julia duMais
• We, Robots by Erika Ensign
• The Damned Don’t Cry by Sarah Groenewegen
• Stories and Fairytales: Feminism, Agency and Narrative Control with the Pond Family Women by Karen K. Burrows
• The Shakespeare Race Code by Amanda-Rae Prescott
• “I Can Do Your Part If You Can Do Mine”: Romana II as the Girl Doctor by Gwynne Garfinkle
• Mouth on Legs by Tehani Wessely
• From “There’s Nothing Only About Being a Girl” to “The Most Important Woman in the Whole of Creation”: Feminism and the Female Companions by Linnea Dodson
• Where in Eternity... is Josephine Grant Jones? by Joan Frances Turner
• Forever Playing Second Fiddle: How Sarah Jane and the Rest of Us are being Sold Short by Nina Allan
• The Barbara Strain by Lynne M. Thomas
• The Curious Case of Miss Victoria Waterfield by Jennifer Adams Kelley
• “Where Do I Fit In?”: The Tale of Perpugilliam Brown by Stephanie Lai
• My Doctor: Harry Sullivan by Sarah McDermott
• Donna: Noble by Name and Noble by Nature by Karen Miller
• Rewriting History with Sticky Notes: Narrative, Agency and Bernice Summerfield by Emma Ward
• Scientists, Not Office Boys: Zoe and Liz, Science-Heroes by Anna Livingston
• The Uses of Turlough by Anne Goldsmith
• Amy‘s Choice: Doctor Who Companions and the Nightmare of Domesticity by Una McCormack
• The Ones He Leaves Behind by Foz Meadows
• Science Princess FTW by Mary Robinette Kowal
• Origin Story by Aneira Vaughn
• What Has Romana Ever Done For Us? by Phoebe Taylor
• The Heroine of Her Own Story by Britany Harrison and Liz Barr
• Sara Kingdom Dies at the End by Tansy Rayner Roberts
• A Question of Emphasis: The Doctor as Companion by Amal El-Mohtar

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2014 award eligibility [08 Jan 2015|12:13pm]
[ mood | busy ]

The three poems I published in 2014 are eligible for the Rhysling Award (short poem category):

"she's alive, alive" in Apex, Issue 60, May 2014

"It's a Universal Picture" in Mythic Delirium, 1.1, July-Sept. 2014

"Witches of Childhood" (prose poem) in Interfictions, Issue 4, November 2014

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2014 [31 Dec 2014|04:21pm]
[ mood | contemplative ]

So, 2014. I finished revising Can't Find My Way Home (AKA the Jo book) this year (unless someone ends up telling me to revise it again). I resumed reworking Out of Uniform and began making notes for a new novel. I wrote more poetry this year than in several years previous (maybe because I have a specific project I'm working on, the horror film/TV/pop culture poetry chapbook). I didn't finish any short fiction this year, and I'd like to rectify that situation in 2015.

I published three poems in 2014 (all part of my ongoing chapbook project):

"she's alive, alive" in Apex, Issue 60, May 2014

"It's a Universal Picture" in Mythic Delirium, 1.1, July-Sept. 2014

"Witches of Childhood" (prose poem) in Interfictions, Issue 4, November 2014

So far I have three publications forthcoming for next year (a new short story, a story reprint, and an essay).

This was a fairly rough year for me. A lot of good things happened, but an Ongoing Upsetting Situation in the second half of the year threatened to overshadow the good stuff. (Heck, it nearly overshadowed my ongoing chronic pain issues, which is no mean feat.) But some big changes are coming in 2015--positive (scary!) changes! Which I hope will help me to focus on the Non-Upsetting Aspects of my life (and they are considerable). And I hope to get a lot of writing done in 2015.

Happy New Year, everyone!

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henna day post / The Ghost of Frankenstein [14 Dec 2014|02:12pm]
[ mood | busy ]

It is Henna Day, and I am drinking hot cocoa on what passes for a winter day in Los Angeles (high temperature in the low 60s). We had a massive storm the other night, and my power went out for about seven hours--but the power stayed off a lot longer in nearby Los Feliz, so I was lucky. We needed the rain, of course. We're supposed to have more this week, but not in such a dramatic form.

Last night I saw The Ghost of Frankenstein for the first time in about forty years. The first of the not-so-good Universal Frankenstein films, it still has a lot to recommend it, especially Bela Lugosi reprising the role of Igor (by far my favorite role of his). Also, Dwight Frye pops up uncredited in one scene as an Angry Villager and demands that the other Angry Villagers bomb the castle (which they do). Lon Chaney Jr. is not good as the monster, and Cedric Hardwicke is not particularly great as Dr. Frankenstein's other son (i.e., the one who isn't Basil Rathbone). Weirdly, they throw in some clips of Colin Clive and Dwight Frye from the original Frankenstein (1931)--but splice in footage of Lon Chaney as the monster on the table. Then a few scenes later, Cedric Hardwicke plays the titular ghost of Frankenstein, but of course he looks nothing like the already-dead Colin Clive. Towards the end of the film, Igor's brain gets transplanted into the monster's body, so Bela Lugosi can (badly) play the monster in the next movie.

Late last night TCM showed The Beast With Five Fingers, which I'd been wanting to see since [personal profile] sovay wrote it up, so I DVR'd it and will watch it tonight.

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henna day post [16 Nov 2014|01:51pm]
[ mood | tired ]

It is Henna Day, on a pleasant Los Angeles afternoon. We have finally achieved autumn (our version of it, anyway), which makes me happy. Last night I made pumpkin bread. Alas, Trader Joe's is already out of pumpkin waffles and some other pumpkin items I should have hoarded.

I continue to work on poems about horror movies, though I still haven't figured out what do with the Out of Uniform revisions. A new novel idea has been percolating, but I'm not ready to start writing it yet.

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new Interfictions! [04 Nov 2014|12:31pm]
[ mood | excited ]

The new issue of Interfictions is live! It includes my prose poem "Witches of Childhood" (about Bewitched and the Salem witch trials), as well as work by Carmen Machado, Ashon Crawley, Alex Dally MacFarlane, Elizabeth R. McClellan, Matthew Cheney, Kythryne Aisling, M Sereno, and more. I'm really looking forward to reading the whole issue.

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henna day post [19 Oct 2014|02:04pm]
[ mood | busy ]

It is Henna Day, on a pleasant (but not autumnal enough for my liking) Sunday afternoon in LA. We had another heat wave, followed by a dip into autumnal-for-LA temperatures, and now we're somewhere in between, but at least the nights are cooler. Meanwhile I keep eating pumpkin products from Trader Joe's. My favorite new pumpkin item: their mini pumpkin-and-ginger ice cream sandwiches.

I'm working on my book of poems based on horror movies etc. and trying to figure out how to revise my novel Out of Uniform. Last night I watched Fright Night (1985) (after [personal profile] sovay posted about it). What an eighties fest that film is! I watched it mostly because Roddy McDowall's in it, and he's marvelous--but I hadn't made the connection that Chris Sarandon, who plays the vampire, is the guy who played Leon Shermer in Dog Day Afternoon (one of my favorite movies) ten years earlier. So that was an extra treat.

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The Mammoth Book of Dieselpunk / Strange Horizons fund drive [14 Oct 2014|02:44pm]
[ mood | jubilant ]

My short story "In Lieu of a Thank You" (originally published in Strange Horizons), will appear in The Mammoth Book of Dieselpunk. The table of contents is here.

Speaking of Strange Horizons, they're having their yearly fund drive, with bonus content (including poetry by Rose Lemberg and Emily Jiang, and stories by Alex Dally MacFarlane and Ann Leckie) and prizes!

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henna day post [21 Sep 2014|02:31pm]
[ mood | lethargic ]

It is Henna Day, on a gorgeous weekend in Los Angeles. The weather isn't quite autumnal, but at least we're no longer having a heat wave. (For now.) To celebrate the lack of sweltering weather, I've been buying pumpkin products at Trader Joe's. (I love their pumpkin butter.)

I'm nearly done reading Patty Templeton's There Is No Lovely End. It is turning out to be one my favorite books of 2014.

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Jo book, etc. [07 Sep 2014|05:24pm]
[ mood | jubilant ]

I have finished and sent off the revisions to Can't Find My Way Home (AKA the Jo book). This is the fourth draft. It's 360 pages, 101K words.


In other news, it is broiling in Los Angeles, which is normal (though annoying) for early September. Yesterday I finally watched Only Lovers Left Alive and absolutely loved it.

Here is the audio for the Life of Mary Shelley panel I participated in with Theodora Goss and James Morrow at Readercon.

Now I will eat arugula pizza and watch Planet of the Apes movies on TCM to celebrate novel draft completion.

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henna day post [24 Aug 2014|01:30pm]
[ mood | busy ]

Though I hate getting up early during the weekend (or any day, really), I got up early this morning and drove to the salon, where I got a beautiful haircut. (I really should've had my hair cut a month or two ago, before the hot weather set in.) Now I'm home and hennaing my hair, a much easier process now that there's so much less hair to deal with.

I am longing for autumn, though we don't usually get it here until around Halloween. Meanwhile, I am Honestly Very Close To Finishing this draft of the Jo Book.

I enjoyed the new Doctor Who episode, especially...Collapse )

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Mork's Mixed Emotions [19 Aug 2014|01:09pm]
[ mood | nostalgic ]

Last weekend I got sucked into watching a late-night Mork and Mindy marathon on cable. I remembered some of the episodes they showed (notably the one where Mork tries to convince Mindy to marry him with a frenetic song-and-dance routine), but I wasn't clear whether I'd ever seen some of the others. I remember being a huge fan of the show's first season (I was thirteen), but I may have tuned out for awhile and tuned back in for the final season (in which Mork and Mindy get married, and Mork gives birth to Jonathan Winters (!)).

Yesterday I did some poking around the Internet and discovered this episode, which I'm pretty sure is my favorite of the whole series. I was surprised how thoroughly I remembered it, considering it aired in 1979 and I hadn't seen it since. My guess is that I'd taped it on my dad's VCR and watched it a bunch of times. The episode mines the trope of the unemotional space alien and what happens when his suppressed emotions boil to the surface. There couldn't have been a more perfect premise for Robin Williams' improvisatory talents. (The voice of Mork's fear sounds just like Peter Lorre.)

In some ways Mork and Mindy hasn't aged particularly well; it can be dated and corny (and the job of most of the supporting cast was, simply, to keep a straight face). But Williams' performance cuts through all that.

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poem at Mythic Delirium [06 Aug 2014|01:32pm]
[ mood | cheerful ]

My poem "It's a Universal Picture", about my father and thirties horror movies, is part of Mythic Delirium's featured content this month, along with work by Saira Ali, Geoffrey A. Landis, and Valya Dudycz Lupescu. "It's a Universal Picture" is part of my ongoing series of poems dealing with classic films/TV/pop culture.

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henna day post [27 Jul 2014|02:01pm]
[ mood | melancholy ]

Today is Henna Day. We've been having summer heat, but this morning was overcast. It even rained in other parts of town, but not here in Silver Lake, alas.

Yesterday I drove to broiling Glendale for another trip to Brand Bookshop (which is supposed to close in about a month). Their stock is now selling for 70% off, with no tax. I browsed while Clara Schumann and Mozart played on the radio, and bought books by Sylvia Townsend Warner (the Virago edition of Summer Will Show), Madeleine L'Engle and Karen Joy Fowler. I really wish the store weren't closing. Also, I wish it were autumn already.

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Readercon [15 Jul 2014|09:00pm]
[ mood | good ]

I had a beautiful Readercon (in spite of Ye Olde Chronic Pain making it a bit of a struggle at times). I thoroughly enjoyed the programming I was on (and was particularly pleased to be part of the Interfictions group reading), saw many terrific panels/readings/etc., and got to spend time (though not enough!) with old friends and new.

Now, predictably, I am too jetlagged to write a coherent con report, but it was a very good time.

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off to Readercon [09 Jul 2014|08:53pm]
[ mood | pre-travel-ish ]

I'll be heading for Readercon tomorrow morning. Bracing myself to get up at stupid o'clock for my flight. At least it's a direct flight! I look forward to the con and to seeing my friends there.

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henna day post [29 Jun 2014|02:40pm]
[ mood | sad ]

Wow, I'm posting two days in a row. It's Henna Day, on a mild summer LA afternoon. I've been reading Mary Shelley's The Last Man as preparation for a Readercon panel.

Yesterday I had some sad news: Brand Bookshop, one of my favorite bookstores, is closing. An old-school used bookstore located in downtown Glendale, it will be much missed. I've been going there for over twenty years and have spent many happy hours there. It's hard to imagine Los Angeles without it.

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