cafenowhere: coffee cup with sugar packets that read WTF (morena baccarin)
I missed an installment of Friday Faves because I was at the Sirens convention in Denver, too nervous about my presentation, then too relieved when it was over, to focus on blogging. Thus it seems logical to devote a FF to the happiest bits of my first Sirens experience.*

One-on-one whiskey-fueled chat with [livejournal.com profile] blairmacg. Although we'd met in passing at a previous WisCon and had some exchanges online, this was my first opportunity to sit down and talk at length with Blair. I'd tell you what we talked about, but then I'd have to kill you. And, thanks to Blair, I know how! Oops. I've said too much.

A slightly rebellious walk with [livejournal.com profile] asakiyume. In what may be our tradition, after two ReaderCons and now Sirens, Francesca and I had a walk-n-talk. And when the path didn't go where we wanted it to, we scuttled down an embankment and infiltrated a golf course. Given that the theme of this year's Sirens was "rebels and revolutionaries", it seemed the natural course of action.

An audience for my presentation. Seriously, I was braced for the possibility that no one would show for a paper on an obscure Mexican poet. To see more than a handful of folks take their seats and look to me expectantly was a HUGE relief. I think the presentation went well--I may have read too quickly, but my timekeeper never gave me the signal to slow down, and I was a little awkward deploying the Prezi, but I didn't feel like I fumbled my words too often or lost the emotional thread of the talk. I plan to submit my paper to the Sirens compendium. I'm also looking into Hispanic Lit journals, to see if I can get it published without much revision.

Rae Carson talking about Elisa, her fat heroine, getting skinny. After Carson's keynote speech, an audience member asked if Carson had experienced backlash for presenting a fat heroine in The Girl of Fire and Thorns. Now, one of the very few complaints I saw in reviews of Carson's first book was that the thrill of seeing a fat heroine in its opening pages was vanquished when said heroine lost weight and became conventionally attractive to the more-shallow characters, something I call the weight-loss "redemption" arc. Carson explained that in her original vision, the rapid weight loss was very much Not a Good Thing and Elisa gained back the weight. In very diplomatic terms, Carson noted that publishing was in a different place just four years ago, pre-Dumplin'. I was very relieved to hear her explanation, and I admired how she refrained from casting blame or aspersions.

The wedding singer. A totally sappy moment for me. The hotel's main restaurant is beside a banquet hall where wedding receptions and other special events are held. One night I slipped away from a rousing, writerly dinner party to use the bathroom and I heard the John Legend song "All of Me" being sung next door for a wedding party. Is that not the most perfect song for a first dance? I instantly teared up, so I didn't stick around for the whole performance, lest I return to my table and have to explain my cryface.


*I missed another installment because I got so damn sick at Sirens. This seems to be my MO: Look forward to an outing for months, then get so sick before during or after that I swear I'll never travel again. Having a hard time figuring out how to organize a Friday Faves post based on that.
cafenowhere: coffee cup with sugar packets that read WTF (Yummy!)
Settled in for the long haul of novel revisions, I know what *I'm* doing for the next few months. So I want to hear what everyone else is doing!

Artists, writers, editors, musicians, creatives of all kinds: What are you working on now? What's going well, what's giving you conniptions? What are your short-term goals?

Pics, snippets, links all welcome in the comments!

Book Purge

Mar. 20th, 2014 03:13 pm
cafenowhere: coffee cup with sugar packets that read WTF (book)
I sorted through some of my bookshelves (haven't really touched the nonfic yet) and I'm giving books away. I will send them to you for free.

If you're interested in any of the books listed below, leave a comment or contact me via email: cafenowhere at gmail. Many I bought secondhand or picked up at library sales, but they should be in good shape. All are paperback unless otherwise noted. Anything left over will be donated to a good cause. If it seems worthwhile, I'll make another post when I've culled my nonfiction shelves.

UPDATE: WOW! You guys have made a good-sized dent in my To-Go pile. Thanks very much. I have edited the post so it's easier to see what's left.

SFF

Jago by Kim Newman, hardcover library discard
Memnoch the Devil by Anne Rice, hardcover
Jennifer Government by Max Barry
Ender's Game by OSC
City of the Beast, or Warriors of Mars (DAW 1975) by Michael Moorcock

General Fiction

The Girl Who Fell From the Sky by Heidi Durrow, hardcover library discard
Bee Season by Myla Goldberg
From the Corner of his Eye by Dean Koontz
Anagrams by Lorrie Moore
Sula by Toni Morrison
Dombey and Son by Charles Dickens
Daughter of Troy by Sarah Franklin, library discard
Anabasis by Ellen Gilchrist, hardcover library discard

Other

Don't Leave Your Friends Behind: Concrete Ways to Support Families in Social Justice Movements and Communities, ed Victoria Law & China Martens
Acts of Contortion (poetry collection) by Anna George Meek

Feel free to spread the word.
cafenowhere: coffee cup with sugar packets that read WTF (coffee addicted)
I had a good weekend, despite the headache that finally caught up with me on Sunday afternoon/evening. On Friday night, J and I made up a recipe for baked acorn squash with chorizo and apple stuffing. The stuffing was good enough that I enjoyed it again last night for dinner.

On Saturday, we ran errands, which made me feel accomplished. Unfortunately, while we were in Target, our car got hit in the parking lot, marking the third time this vehicle has gotten rear-ended. I tell you, her butt is just too bodacious. Later that afternoon, one of my poems was accepted for publication. And that evening, JJ and Tweetie attended a wedding reception with an elaborate Indian dinner and Bollywood-style dancing. I opted out, not feeling up to socializing. When they got back and Tweetie was in bed, J and I watched Cloud Atlas, which was okay in the moment but has been pissing me off ever since.

Sunday we visited friends for lunch, and I finally got to see their beautiful new home. But like I said, the headache that had been threatening since Thursday(?) caught up with me after that. Luckily it wasn't a migraine, but it still knocked me out for most of the evening. I did rouse myself enough to watch episode 2 of Sleepy Hollow. Ridiculously good fun.

Today I would like to:

--send out a poetry sub
--ready some outgoing mail
--make applesauce
--read more of the Deleuze/Guatarri essay [livejournal.com profile] asakiyume turned me on to
--get flu shots for me and Tweetie
--continue research for the Mexican Lovecraftian novel

And you? How was your weekend? What do you want to accomplish today?
cafenowhere: coffee cup with sugar packets that read WTF (domestic)
Friday night, JJ took Tweetie to the school carnival. This is a tradition of theirs, since I don't enjoy being around all those people and being "on." Later that night, J and I watched Life of Pi. It was okay. A bit too much spoonfeeding for this viewer.

On Saturday, I did some housecleaning and we took a bunch of stuff to the consignment shop and a charity shop. I am loving the less clutter-more space look of the house. Tweetie had a friend visit, and JJ was "on call" for them while I read in my room and then took a nap.

Later that night, we made a delicious white stew. It had baby potatoes, cauliflower, parsnips, leeks, carrots, and Quorn. I worked on my puzzle of Munch's The Scream while it simmered. Tweetie rediscovered the raccoon tale JJ made for one Halloween, and then she remembered her gray cat tail and put that on to sing and dance around the house. She ended up wearing the cat tail for the rest of the weekend.

Saturday night, I dreamt that [livejournal.com profile] asakiyume was telling me about job opportunities. JJ woke me up when he entered the bedroom and closed the door behind him. I looked at the clock and tried to understand what time it was, and who this person coming into my bedroom was. I realized it was JJ but I thought I'd only been napping and he'd come home unexpectedly during a workday. I asked him, "What are you doing here?" And he, to his credit, did not say, "I live here" or "This is my bed." He came to bed and re-oriented me, and then I laughed at myself for my earlier question, which still makes me laugh when I remember it now.

Sunday morning we took care of our recycling, and in the afternoon, we visited SarahP and picked two sacks of apples from her overflowing tree whose branches are breaking from their bounty. We also met her goats and admired Sarah's garden and the pond. Tweetie loved playing with the dogs, and Fin bolstered her arguments for why we should have a dog by sitting at her feet and being the sweetest boy despite the fact that he's big enough to eat her.

Sunday evening I worked in the yard, trimming back the rose bushes, cutting down the maples that are trying to grow in our front lawn and collecting sticks. Later, J and I made stuffed roasted eggplant and it was divine, especially with the garlic yogurt on the side. Sooo tender, and very filling. We'd make it again, though we'd probably continue to substitute a quinoa-rice medley as we did this time.

Tonight, we'll bake some of the Prineii apples.

Updatery

Jul. 10th, 2013 10:09 am
cafenowhere: coffee cup with sugar packets that read WTF (hola)
1. Changing my medication schedule has worked out just fine. I am feeling better all around. :)

2. The typo on my birth certificate has been fixed. I have secured a new state ID card. I am clear to fly. :D

3. From Thursday evening to Sunday afternoon, I'll be at Readercon. :D :D :D I'll read something short at the Mythic Poetry reading (Saturday 3pm), but otherwise I'll probably be following around [livejournal.com profile] asakiyume. And [livejournal.com profile] rose_lemberg, who is on all the panels I want to see. Wonder how that happened... ;)

4. Soon after I return, I celebrate my birthday and my wedding anniversary!

5. I should be packing! 
cafenowhere: coffee cup with sugar packets that read WTF (I need coffee)
We got back from Wisconsin last night. I will reply to business correspondence tomorrow. What exciting, amusing, wretched, ridiculous, or run-of-the-mill stuff has happened to you since Wednesday?
cafenowhere: coffee cup with sugar packets that read WTF (lennon cat)
There's a crow conference being held down my street. Some crows are doing that clicking purr in their throat, sounding disdainful or disappointed. Maybe just tsking that the meeting is starting late. Other crows are cawing, as if to drive off curious onlookers. At least one has learned to honk. I like the crows, but I try not to stare. They are like the mafia of the avian world, and they have long memories.

I may have found a way to keep the kitchen table clean and uncluttered: Bribery. Tweetie loves to eat by candlelight, even if we have the overhead fixture on as well. So I've told her if she helps me keep the table clear, we can have candlelight more often. So far, so good.

I had been doing LetterMo, then I got really sick and gave up, but now that I'm mostly recovered, I've realized I'm not that far off track. Granted, I haven't gotten to the mailbox every day, but I've sent multiples at a time, so number-wise, I'm close. And I have received some really fabulous mail.

Our family started watching Teen Wolf on Netflix. I think it's hilarious--really, the "dramatic" shots of Derek suddenly looming in the moonlight, then gone in the blink of an eye? It helps that he looks like every broody dude on the cover of a paranormal romance. And I LOVE Stiles. I just want to rub his fuzzy head and clap a hand over his motormouth. 
cafenowhere: coffee cup with sugar packets that read WTF (hangover)
Still recovering from my women's weekend. My abs ache from laughing, my arms and one leg are sore from a tumble I took, and my head is full of wondrous sights. I feel sorry for anyone who refers to the Midwest as "flyover" country (while reserving the right to punch them in their ignorant face). Most of our travel time was along the Mississippi River, and we stayed at a home with incredible views of the bluffs. At night, I had the best stargazing OF. MY. LIFE. We saw so many shooting stars, we didn't even have to share wishes--not that I could think of anything to wish for, being so relaxed and content. During the day, we saw hummingbirds and vultures and dragonflies, herons and cranes, more birds than I can even name. On one walk, we found a (literal) stone fox beneath a tree in a clearing. I didn't have my camera, so I have no picture. It is better, I think, to have no proof, so we have to re-find it every time we re-visit. I did, however, get a pic of the nightlight (night-lamp?) in my bathroom. Clearly a tale of good and evil.

good eagle bad fish
cafenowhere: coffee cup with sugar packets that read WTF (IDK)
I have a lot going on lately, so this will, perforce, be scattered.

Ollie Cat is perturbed that I sent our child off with "strangers" this morning. For the record, they are not strangers, and they're going to Country Camp, where Tweetie loves to chase the chickens. I pity those poor chickens.

I am in the middle of a big poem. I don't think it's epic length, but it's pretty ka-POW! Like, if I read it in a publication and I hadn't written it myself, I'd think "Yikes!" and worry about the author's well-being.

I have two poems in the current issue of Niteblade magazine: "Castle Lanes," which is about Hispanic vampires in a Midwestern bowling alley, and "Red Eye," which is a Maggie poem from my Cafe Nowhere 'verse. The issue also features a voluptuous offering from [livejournal.com profile] art_ungulate(Currently, the full magazine is only available if one pays for it, but once the zine meets its fundraising goal, the complete contents will go online.)
 
I have a poetry reprint in the works for later this month, and I'm pretty excited about it. I'll let you know when it's available.

I am preparing for my women's retreat on the bluffs of the mighty Mississippi. This year's retreat may be more emotionally fraught than previous ones. It's been a tough year for some of us, and we all need TLC. May I have the patience and good grace to help my friends.

I am looking for online communities of WoC or PoC involved in speculative fiction and poetry. A lot of the ones I've looked into don't seem to be all that active, and I wonder if this is sort of like the Secret Poetry Cabal, where people are mostly having conversations in non-public forums. Any suggestions? 

And, you, my LJ friends? What are you up to lately? Coming or going?

cafenowhere: coffee cup with sugar packets that read WTF (lennon cat)

2 contributor copies of (because I had two poems in) The Moment of Change, edited by [livejournal.com profile] rose_lemberg which includes my meta-horror poem "The Haunted Girl" and my sexbot poem "In Defiance of Sleek-Armed Androids." 

1 contributor copy of Here, We Cross, edited by [livejournal.com profile] rose_lemberg, which includes my epic genderfluid dark fantasy poem, "we come together we fall apart"

The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms by N.K. Jemisin (thanks to Isabel Schechter, who told me to march over to the ChiCon table and "tell them Isabel said to give you a copy." Of course, I goofed and told them she'd said to "demand" a copy. :P Luckily, I still got the book!)

In the House of the Seven Librarians by Ellen Klages

Shotgun Lullabies by Sheree Renee Thomas

Revolutionary Women, A Book of Stencils, edited by Queen of the Neighbourhood

Sometimes the Spoon Runs Away with Another Spoon, a coloring book, by Jacinta Bunnel and Nathaniel Kusinitz

A Stranger in Olondria (preview chapbook for the novel) by Sofia Samatar


cafenowhere: coffee cup with sugar packets that read WTF (drink me)
I've been waiting to make this announcement!

My dear [livejournal.com profile] asakiyume's story "Tilia Songbird" is now live at GigaNotoSaurus. By sheer kismet masquerading as mere coincidence, I got to read an earlier version of this fantasy not knowing who had written it. I loved it from page one. When I found out who the author was, my heart nearly burst with joy, just like when you read a story and the ending is both perfect and completely unexpected.

“I wanted you to know me,” the girl said, tracing the door jamb with the feather. “Now you know who I am.” Then she was gone.

It is such a pleasure to know Tilia. Read her story as soon as you can!

 
cafenowhere: coffee cup with sugar packets that read WTF (xmas)
What a fine day it's been. Actually, two very fine days in a row.

I got my fairy tale Thanksgiving, with jazz and big band and international music playing and matching plates and coordinating linens and most of my chosen tribe and delicious food: bok choy & romaine salad, wild rice and fruit salad, garlic bread, vegetarian lasagna, peach cobbler, chocolate-raspberry cake, plus wine and cider and so many snacky goodies. (We got the lasagna and bread from a local restaurant, so there was a lot more relaxation than usual.) Tweetie and I watched the parade and then some of the dog show. I teared up during a Chevy commercial, and J was disgusted: "You're only crying because it was a car, a Chevy Impala." The weather was nice enough I could go out without a coat and stroll through the neighborhood while sipping from my mug of spiked mulled cider. We played Apples to Apples and Uno and talked about movies (I'd just rewatched The Shining the night before) and of course we laughed a lot.

And today, the gloomy weather has been perfect for snuggling and sleeping in and eating leftovers and watching old, feel-good movies. I watched Never Been Kissed and maybe half of Ten Inch Hero before the innuendo was eclipsed by nudity and I had to turn it off for Tweetie's sake. (Oh but Jensen Ackles looks good with neck tats and eyeliner and a green mohawk and kilt!) Then I watched People Will Talk, one of my all-time favorite black-and-white films. I teared up again, and this time J was considerate. (I suspect he got misty-eyed the first time we watched it, too. Hee!)

I've been very happy, and grateful for every moment of it. I hope all my LJ friends are doin' good, too. :)


cafenowhere: coffee cup with sugar packets that read WTF (skull gloves)
 
We had a very busy weekend. On Saturday we hosted a brunch and had a pretty full house. As always, our brunch became a day-long event. Some people left, others stayed, then we reconvened, with a slightly different cast, for dinner at our favorite Mexican restaurant. On Sunday we dropped Tweetie off at a party, then met up with most of the same friends for nomming at a downtown pub and then browsing the Arts Fest.

One of my girlfriends had visited the artists' booths before I did, and she's a vivacious artist herself, so she knew the life stories of some of these people. "So and so's been doing this for 18 years; This lady learned to sew from her mother, and she has a piece that was the first project they did together; This man's already sold half his inventory and his sculptures have evolved so much since just last year, he credits his veganism..."

J and I watched Scott Pilgrim vs the World last night, and it was an unusual treat for me: I didn't give a flying fuck about the main character or his love interest; it was the ensemble cast that I enjoyed. I'd watch more movies about them. They were the kind of folks you make up head canon for.

I found this Tumblr link that seems to fit this theme of "cast and crew": Awesome people hanging out together. I especially liked the ones of Boy George and Freddie Mercury, and Frida Kahlo and Josephine Baker.

Who was in your cast this weekend? ;)

~

cafenowhere: coffee cup with sugar packets that read WTF (abby)
Just because I get very frustrated when someone vents their misery on me but doesn't tell me when they're feeling better, because I keep worrying about them...

I am feeling better, in no small part because I reached out to my LJ friends and family, and y'all reached back. Thank you most sincerely. Sometimes it takes a village to keep this girl sane.

~
cafenowhere: coffee cup with sugar packets that read WTF (happy pug tongue)
Childhood Poems

This is a hand-clapping game song we used to sing in grade school. I sing it to my daughter now, who likes it for one obvious reason.


CeCe my playmate
come out and play with me
and bring your dollies three
we'll have cakes and tea
Slide down my rainbow
in through my cellar door
and we'll be jolly friends
forever more more more


I think I liked the novelty of the images as a child. I never played teaparty--it never occurred to me and I didn't have adults who'd suggest it--and we didn't know anyone with a cellar, and I *knew* the word "jolly" but never had a chance to use it in casual conversation. (To this day, I'm told I use words and phrases that people say they've only ever seen in books.) As an adult, I like the creepiness: Come into the cellar? Forever? Cue the twins from The Shining.

the Grady Twins from the movie The Shining
 
Google reveals several different versions of the song. Here are some from Beeker's Words. (http://www.beekerswords.com/handclapping-fun)
 
Ce Ce my playmate.
Come out and play with me,
and bring dollies three.
Climb up my apple tree.
Slide down my rainbow,
into my cellar door, and
we’ll be jolly friends,
forever more, more, more

Say, say oh playmate,
Come out and play with me,
And bring your dollies three,
Climb up my apple tree.

Slide down my rain barrel,
Into my cellar door,
And we’ll be jolly friends...FOREVER, Mwa-haha-haaaa!

Okay, just kidding with that last part. Did you sing a version of this song as a child? What other clapping or jumping songs do you remember?

#
 

cafenowhere: coffee cup with sugar packets that read WTF (coffee addicted)
As always, feel free to share your own happy-making things in comments!

1. I have awesome friends who call me on my shit but never hurt my feelings, who encourage me to keep on truckin' without making me feel like I've been slackin'.

2. Supernatural's "hellatus" is almost over! Oh Show, bring back Soulful Sam and at least a facsimile of sense-making senseness.

3. My long-suffering hubby watched a ridiculous number of movies with me this weekend. The good: The Secret of Kells and Legend of the Guardians. The Bad: Angel-A and  Journey to the Center of the Earth. The Ugly: 28 Weeks Later. Also, he is not jealous of my tv/movie boyfriends, as evidenced by his impulse to buy Men's Journal for me because Jason Statham is on the cover.

4. This weekend I learned my brother was a sleepwalker...or, a sleep circler. He'd get up, walk in a circle, and go right back to bed. Like a dog. Do you know the blackmail potential of this?

5. Apparently my body is a wonderland, but someone sneaks in after dark: I have a scratch on my bum I can't explain, and while showering this morning, I discovered purple tinsel in my belly button. O_o


cafenowhere: coffee cup with sugar packets that read WTF (love)

Meow Anything.



Day Six: Five people who mean a lot (in no order whatsoever)
(and with a small cheat)

1. JJ
2. Tweetie
3. Mom
4. My three best girlfriends
5. Old Me

cafenowhere: coffee cup with sugar packets that read WTF (chevy)


~

Three hundred miles and
innumerable lectures later
you still won't let me touch the stereo.
When you crowed, "Road trip!"
I imagined neon nights and greasy diners
not flow charts for punk, rock, and reggae,
not pop quizzes from an iPod hog.
Iggy Pop help you, my friend,
if you ever let go of the oh-shit handle
'cause I will reach over,
pop the passenger side door and shove
your snobby ass to the side of the road.
Then I'll rev off with "Highway to Hell"
cranked as loud as it will go.


~

A scenelet from the next novel. Clearly the iPod hog never watched Supernatural: "Driver picks the music; shotgun shuts his cakehole."

cafenowhere: coffee cup with sugar packets that read WTF (bruised)
~

An avalanche of thunder
echoes off the bluff
ricochets 'round the river bend
and, window rattling, wakes me
beaches me on the shore somewhere between
dreams and omens
Quilt-curled, I join him on the couch
and we watch the world's layers
obliterated by rain
first the rubbed-charcoal horizon
then the liquid-iron undulation of the river
next the coastline and, before long,
the shaggy backyard
As if inspired, he begins shedding secrets
I don't want to hear
and I wonder how long I will listen
unwilling, like a cat caught in his lap,
just because he held my hand once
in the ER, and in three years of friendship
he's never yelled at me
Outside, the day lilies shiver,
oblivion encroaching,
and I would do anything to join them
but I can't even ask him to stop.

~

title from Marcel Proust

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