Anyway, the top admin just sent out an admonition that all cookies must be a) made by an adult and b) not burnt.
Someone really had to remind grown folks not to bring burned cookies to swap with coworkers. I'm impressed, really, at the low low expectations implicit in that message.
I had planned to bake Christmas cookies to give to friends on Saturday afternoon, but barring finding a time travel device, it looks like I'm going to also try to squeeze in some cookie baking tonight. What are you fastest, easiest, "seasonally appropriate" cookie recipes? Bonus points for fast easy recipes for seasonal holidays that are not Christmas.
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Delia Sherman & I are doing a holiday "house concert/lecture" - just think of it as coming and hanging out with us in a living room on the Upper West side, while we shoot the breeze about the way that fantasy literature and traditional folk music play nicely together and make beautiful children. Come with your own examples of books and stories that do the trick, or get ready to hear us talk - and sing! - about Ellen's World Fantasy Award-winning novel THOMAS THE RHYMER (based on a Scots Border Ballad), and Delia's multiple short stories, like "The Maid on the Shore," plus, of course, her novel THROUGH A BRAZEN MIRROR (from Martin Carthy's rendition of the ballad "The Famous Flower of Serving-Men) . . . and how Ellen stole - er, recycled one of its plotlines.
Presented by the Folk Music Society of NY
Mirrored from the latest entry in Daron's Guitar Chronicles.
Once I thought about it I realized that I heard things all the time about television series being cancelled. You hear more about the ones that are on the air and then get cut off. I was vaguely aware that there were those that never made it to air in the first place, but I had not given it much thought. It was just one of those things, like tornadoes or famine, that you hear about in the news but which had never affected me directly before.( Read the rest of this entry »Collapse )
Now that sign-language interpreter claims to have been hallucinating angels while he was on the podium with World Leaders. Okay. You wouldn't believe this shit if I wrote it into a novel.
Missed Trends in Urban Fantasy
Lucy A. Snyder, Christian Klaver, Mike Underwood, Courtney Moulton, J. C. Daniels
9am Saturday - ErieSometimes an idea fails to find an audience, or zeitgeist just zigs when a story zags. For whatever reason, there are a number of unexplored areas of Urban Fantasy that we might want to revisit.
If I Knew Then What I Know Now (Session One)
Lucy A. Snyder, Ron Collins, Jacqueline Carey, Tobias Buckell, C. C. Finlay, Ian Tregillis
10am Saturday - Michigan Room
Lucy A. Snyder, John Klima, Sandra Tayler, Howard Tayler, Tobias Buckell
1pm Saturday - SouthfieldSelf-publishing is here to stay. Traditional publishing is still going strong. What do the people who who do both have to share about their experiences?
How do I find the right fit when looking for an Agent?
Amy Sundberg, Peter Orullian, Lucy A. Snyder, Aimee Carter
7pm Saturday - Ontario
What do you look for? Should you ever consider changing agents or is there a situation where one should find more than one? What are some warning signs or things to avoid?
Reading with Lucy A. Snyder and Ferrett Steinmetz12pm Sunday - Erie
- Wed, 13:36: Follow me on Kickstarter! http://t.co/NbNzV2NLBP
- Wed, 13:40: Two signed LE copies of my SPARKS AND SHADOWS avail. as backer rewards in the STEAMPUNK WORLD Kickstarter: http://t.co/jxEpjG0Jmr
- Wed, 13:49: Via Klout and @ricolausa, I got a sample in the mail; am way too amused by the electronic "Riiicolaaaa!" call when box is opened #swissherbs
Yesterday I became aware of Patreon, being hailed by many as “the new Kickstarter,” which is interesting in and of itself, since Kickstarter was founded all of four years ago, and we’re still discovering the ways in which the platform can be used and abused, to say nothing of the many ways in which we’re still absorbing its impact on people’s interactions with creative endeavour.
“Interesting” covers most of my feeling towards Patreon, and I mean this genuinely: it’s an interesting and laudable idea that brings a different structural framework to supporting the arts; it recognizes the fact that careers in the arts can’t always be tied to a single successful project; and it shifts the focus from Kickstarter’s “incentive” rewards for pledges to the creative work itself.
I’m excited to see where it goes and who flourishes from it. I think it will be of tremendous benefit to webcomics and podcasts, who already have audiences for their serialized content, and for whom the internet has already bent into a certain supportive shape. I expect that high profile bloggers will also benefit from it, though I think the muddling of social and material capital there — the support of a personality rather than a project — will make for interesting fall-out.
But I am most interested by my own response to it as a writer. Looking at filling out a Patreon profile, I’m struck with a sense of shyness and unease. There’s an enormous emphasis on visual style: the site’s video tutorials encourage vlogging and images, a focus on brand and specificity of content, with all the examples being music, videos, and music videos. What is it that I want people to support me for? What version of myself am I to present? What serialised endeavour do I want to associate with my name?
The upshot is that I find myself thinking of projects to tailor to Patreon.
Ages ago on the internet there was an era of handles, pseudonyms, names that one chose for their significance to oneself as well as for their capacity to represent an identity to strangers. Choosing such a name always felt ponderous to me: who would I be on this site, with these as-yet-unknown people? What facet of myself would I show them? How would the choice of that facet affect my communications?
Patreon makes me feel that ponderousness a dozen times over, because this is also about marketing, about sharing one’s work, about commodity.
I don’t know yet what I’ll do with it, if anything. But I’m fascinated by it.
- Current Location:Glasgow
- Current Mood: curious
- Current Music:Poe, "Angry Johnny"
I finished As Always, Julia: The Letters of Julia Child and Avis DeVoto, which has to rank as one of the best abandoned book finds I ever made. Interestingly enough, I found myself skimming the cooking details, and focusing on the lives of the two women and how they interacted with one another. The letters run from 1952 to 1958, and both women were deeply political. In the United States, DeVoto and her husband were actively fighting McCarthy and HUAC, and also were early champions of what we would now call environmentalism. (Mostly) in Europe, Child's husband was in the diplomatic service, and was at one point called back to the U.S. for investigations into his political affiliations. That material was fascinating to me, and so was the publishing saga of the complicated, almost unmanageable project that became Mastering the Art of French Cooking, a book which might never have been published without DeVoto's championship and wise advice. But best of all was just watching the friendship develop, finding out what they talked about, and what mattered to them. There are race, class, and sexual orientation comments that will bother the 2013 reader, and yet they are both open-minded and at least aware the issues exist. (There is one delightful moment, talking about May Sarton, when DeVoto is being rather, if not homophobic, homo-pitying, and Child very neatly and politely turns it around to sympathy for having to live with homophobia.) This is either your sort of book or it's not, but if it is, don't hesitate.
I also finished The Fault in Our Stars, by John Green. My 21-year-old niece Emma told me in October how much this book affected her. It's a novel of teenage cancer, and Emma had Hodgkins' lymphoma when she was 17; she is fine now. What Emma said about the book was that most books like this feel like they were written by someone who knew someone with cancer, but this one felt real to her, and triggered a lot of difficult memories of when she was sick. I can't speak to any of that, but I can say that I found the book affecting, and the characters feel very real to me. The things that were supposed to surprise me succeeded (which isn't all that common), and the ending wasn't what I expected. Nothing is prettified or whitewashed, but even better, nothing is skewed to the inspirational. One of the book's repeating phrases is "The universe is not a wish-granting factory," which is ironic since the protagonists take a Make-a-Wish foundation trip. Again, not for everyone, but if it is your kind of book, you won't regret it.
In progress, Eclipse 4, edited by Jonathan Strahan, whom I consider one of the best SF anthologists ever. The Eclipse books (now defunct, and replaced by the occasional short story published on line) scratch my Terry Carr itch, which is a compliment indeed. I'm also (finally) almost done with Philip Pullman's translation of Fairy Tales from the Brothers Grimm.
Next up: quien sabe? Watch this space.
- Current Mood: productive
Anyways, tonight I finished Terry Pratchett's newest Discworld novel, Raising Steam. There are shiny new steam engines! And cameos by just about everybody who's ever been in a Discworld book. And it features Moist von Lipwig, who remains one of my favorite of Pratchett's characters. So, lots of fun reading this one.