Category Archives: Uncategorized

Ghosts in the Groove: A Long Day’s Journey Into Night and Other Weekend Adventures

All last week I worked on a SECRET PROJECT that I’m sure I’ll be allowed to mention soon (when? WHEN? I dunno. But SOON!). Monday-Thursday. At home, right there in my study. SELF-MOTIVATIONS GALORE!

I really wanted to be done by Thursday evening, when Hernandez would be trundling in from New York, and we got really down to the RAPTUROUS ADVENTURES OF THE WEEKEND.

Which included:

FRIDAY: “It crunched most satisfyingly.” 

An 11:35 AM showing of Beauty and the Beast at the Mystic Luxury Cinema! Julia Rios, joining us. She had already seen it, but she is a nuanced re-watcher, and it was Carlos’s and my first time.

An in-depth discussion ensued–what was impressive, what was missing, how it compared to both the animation and the Broadway musical iteration (both of which I am thoroughly conversant in).

How the moment Belle decides not to leave the Beast to the wolves is also the moment when she is no longer a prisoner, not truly. The shared love of books. The scene with the horse which I believe was lifted straight out of Robin McKinley’s book BEAUTY. The interestingly unhinged Gaston who manages to be just a leeetle too disturbing for a caricature. That moment with the wardrobe, when the youth, now dressed in a gown and cosmetics, instead of screaming and running like the others, smiles beatifically, and she urges him, “Be free!” Oh, and just . . . AUDRA MCDONALD!!! IN GENERAL! Yes, yes, and I’m probably not saying anything everybody else isn’t; I’m just late to the game, as usual.

The Mystic Luxury Cinemas, meanwhile, was beautiful. Small, with an old-fashioned feeling, and yet the seats were STATE OF THE ART.

I got good news in my email–some positive movement on my novel manuscript, nothing Earth-shattering or definitive, but movement AT LAST–while leaving the theatre.

In the general mayhem and dancing that ensued, Julia’s iPhone went FLYING, and then her heel went CRUNCHING, so we ended up piling into the car and driving into New London to drop it off for repair. Then we ate at the Olive Garden to celebrate.

¡ZUPPA TOSCANO, MES AMIS! BREADSTICKS!

Then we scooted back to Westerly for our First Friday open mic. It was, if I may say, just as fulfilling as the LAST ONE! Which had been the best thus far! We had barely five minutes left after all the wonderful readers/reciters to scoot over to the ACGOW and see the newest show, featuring Arlene Piacquadio and Kristie Foss. I LOVE ENCAUSTICS! AND POLYMER AND PORCELAIN!!!

SATURDAY: “The past is the present, isn’t it? It’s the future, too.”

On Saturday, Hernandez and I went back to New London. Doctor Doctorpants was in need of PANTS, and Crystal Mall (we’d heard) was the place to GET THEM. We arrived early, just as the mall was opening, and had such good luck at the first store that we were out by 10 and a bit bewildered over how to wile the next five hours till our show started at three.

Oh, but I will tell you more of the show presently.

First, we went to Muddy Waters Cafe, right in the heart of New London. I knew the coffee would be really good there (for Carlos), and I knew they had sandwiches (for me). We had a delicious time eating and drinking. I read him another chapter of Bujold’s Memory. He’d mistaken his copy of Keramet Reiter’s 23/7: Pelican Bay Prison and the Rise of Long-Term Solitary Confinement, which he is reading for short story research, for The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay, which is he reading to ME. So I said, “Read me a bit of 23/7!” I’ve already read it, because it was my honor to narrate it for Tantor Media last year. So he did, and it was just beautiful. Heartbreaking, but beautiful. That bit about the Soledad Brothers.

Then we stopped in at the Hygienic Art Gallery, just to see what was going on. And then we went to Ocean Beach Park, where we played video games at the Arcade and walked along the boardwalk and nature path. Then we went into the car, and I read him another chapter of Memory. (Yes, we like going on long walks and reading books. We’re like an ad. For something. Low blood-pressure, probably. Except–probably not, for we’re both highly excitable, and me, I have a temper. So it’s probably good I like relaxing things because otherwise my head would pop off.)

We had about 45 minutes left before 3–and our SHOW!!!–which was just five minutes away–so we hopped back over to Dev’s Bean and Bistro for a cuppa. Well, I had a cuppa. Hernandez had a diet coca cola.

AND THEN! AT LAST! OUR SHOW!

So!

Flock Theatre, presented in cooperation with the Eugene O’Neill Theatre Center, is putting on Eugene O’Neill’s A Long Day’s Journey Into Night–AT MONTE CRISTO COTTAGE, where Eugene O’Neill’s family spent their summers throughout his childhood and early adulthood. It’s the HOUSE where the PLAY actually TAKES PLACE.

Both the original and the extended run SOLD OUT before opening weekend! LUCKILY, I was on top of things, and bought tickets a month ago! Both for Hernandez and me, and later, for Sita and me on the 23rd, so I get to see it TWICE!

Boy, though. After this first time . . .

It was very good, very fine. But as my friend Anne Flammang (who plays Mary Tyrone) said in an email, “The play is too too, if you know what I mean.” (Italics my own.)

But talk about a HAUNTING. I tell you, I am very sad that “haunting” has become such a blurb-y short-cut of a soundbite to describe things, because it’s the perfect word now, and I don’t know how often it is.

Imagine it: the most autobiographical of O’Neill’s plays. Taking place in the actual room where the whole play takes place. In the house where he spent summers. Talk about actors endowing objects with intent? The entire HOUSE is an endowed object! That’s the first “haunting.”

The second “haunting” is the text itself. It’s a play where we see a single day of a family’s life, and we hear, in excruciating detail, and in looped repeat, all the old grievances played and replayed, the cycles of explosive temper, periodic affection, connection, repellent rappelling off one another, careening into darkness. From time to time a revelation. It reminded me of that old Melville Davisson Post quote from Uncle Abner, Master of Mysteries:

“…It is the dead who govern. Look you, man, how they work their will upon us! Who have made the laws? The dead! Who have made the customs that we obey and that form and shape our lives? The dead! And the titles to our lands-have not the dead devised them?…If a surveyor runs a line he begins at some corner that the dead set up; and if one goes to law upon a question the judge looks backward through his books until he finds out how the dead have settled it-and he follows that. And all the writers, when they would give weight and authority to their opinions, quote the dead; and the orators and all those who preach and lecture-are not their mouths filled with words that the dead have spoken? Why, man, our lives follow grooves that the dead have run out with their thumbnails!”

I think I read that quote in a Neil Gaiman book somewhere, but I don’t remember where. American Gods? Anyway. It’s like that–we’re watching ghosts, following their painstaking, painful grooves. And we’re right there in the room with them. They look through us, past us, but they cannot see us. Maybe we’re the ghosts.

The third “haunting” is memory. O’Neill is writing his memories, but the characters themselves are all feeding on and bleeding out memory. You feel the characters, in their present, are so stuck in their pasts that they, in fact, have no future. Mary Tyrone says, at one point, “The past is the present, isn’t it? It’s the future too.” And THAT, as Hernandez noted, “is ghost talk.”

Oh, I am sure DISSERTATIONS UPON DISSERTATIONS have been written about this play, and I’ve not read a one of them. I read it on the page once, and studied it a little, back in high school. I remember coming away with the thought that O’Neill has no subtext. Everything is spoken. At length.

It works better on stage, out loud. I should have known!

It’s more of a symphony than a dramatic structure. The movements. The themes. The leitmotifs. Those moments of furious crescendo, fading to the specter of pianissimo. It was like watching music adapted to a different medium. Music without music.

I liked the fourth act best. It burst out shining and visceral. The wounds were, not old scar and memory, but fresh and raw. I do not think it could exist separate of the bulk and weariness of the first three acts, though. I must gird my loins to see it again.

I think my mother will love it.

Sunday: “Some things just get better and better and better than they’ve already been.”

Yesterday, Sunday, we began our writing retreat in this house by the sea. I can see the waters of Watch Hill from my window.

Yesterday, I gutted the first draft of Desdemona and the Deep. I wrote an outline, and fitted all the newly shattered jigsaw pieces into the order they shall be reappearing. And then I’ll rewrite the whole thing.

Hernandez is busy working on a short story, and line edits for the first third of his novel-in-progress. Last night we went to the Matunuck Oyster Bar in South Kingston, where there was swordfish and jambalaya and scallops ceviche.

We are very happy.

2 Comments

Filed under Uncategorized

Sing the Street of Queens

A fog-swallowed day. He’s carapaced to resist it, whatever’s coming. Full on weather warrior, that one. Don’t ask where he got his old armament, the battered brown kind that deflects acid like raindrops. Bullets or hail, makes no never mind. Might’ve slaughtered for it, might’ve bartered for it. A fistful of blueberries or viscera; he ain’t telling.

Can hear him before you see him. It’s the humming gives him away. Most folks think the Street of Queens can only be survived by slinking by. Head low, shoulders hunched–and for Frig’s, Freyja’s, and Fraggle Rock’s sake don’t make eye contact or your ass is last winter’s dog scat after the first thaw.

But the humming. That’s his secret. How you know it’s him. Another day, another sunny smile. Ready for anything, wary as a broken bottle.  He hums and thrums his way across the street. Makes it to the other side, safe. I watch from the window tucked in his right hand. From a hundred miles away, safe in my tower, nose pressed to my mirror, watching.

Trucks swerve to avoid him. Even the cyclists slow their kamikaze velocities–out of respect, see. That music? That’s old jubjub. La canción. El encantamiento. That’s the secret, he told me once. “You gotta sing your way through this city. Remember that.”

Wasn’t a lesson so much as a reminder. I too lived among cliffdwellers once, in the City of Drowned Glass. Got soft in this tree-lined place, where the rain is just rain, and the trucks don’t have teeth. I admit, I’d rather an ocean than the cicada roar of construction–and when I say cicada, think just popped outta the shell, size of a football field, and yeah, the city’s no place for entomophobes. Like I said. Soft.

But my breath fogs the mirror. The cityscape rolls away into gray as he makes his daily commute via katabasis. Green eyes, a slick stairwell, gone.

I’ll be joining him soon. Some things you just know. The tune in your throat tells you so. Time to polish my old breastplate to bronzelight. Time to open my mouth and sing.

for Carlos Hernandez 

3 Comments

Filed under Uncategorized

then the winds changed

the hillwalk, the riverway

pale gull and daymoon

crack of crocus in a shady grove

yellow, purple, yellow

and the current–

a swift and lapis mercury

sunfolded

4 Comments

Filed under Uncategorized

My New Friend . . . And YOURS.

To start:

Liz Duffy Adams is the WORLD FAMOUS PLAYWRIGHT of Or, and Dog Act . . .

Although the first play I saw by her was A Discourse on the Wonders of the Invisible World, which takes place about ten years after the events of the Salem Witch Trails, and which, by the way, is EVERYTHING I EVER WANTED FROM A PLAY.

She is also in my WRITING GROUP–along with Ellen Kushner (The World of Swordspoint BooksThomas the Rhymer), Delia Sherman (The Freedom Maze, The Evil Wizard Smallbone, Whitehallalso with Liz), Joel Derfner (Swish: My Quest to Become the Gayest Person Ever and What Happened Instead, Tremontaine), and Carlos Hernandez (The Assimilated Cuban’s Guide to Quantum Santeria

More to the POINT, Liz Duffy Adams–playwright and GODDESS–also heard me saying how much I wanted a FURRY HOT WATER BOTTLE, just like they have–or used to have, no longer available now–at RESTORATION HARDWARE–and she made me THIS!

 

She found a FAUX FUR VEST at a thrift store, and had a friend SEW IT UP!

 

AND THEN SHE ADDED A HOT WATER BOTTLE! AND A PRETTY RIBBON!

AND NOW IT IS MY NEW FRIEND AND I LOVE IT AND I USED IT YESTERDAY AND IT CUDDLED TO MY FEET AND IT IS BEST AND LOVE AND BEAUTIFUL AND ALSO IT WAS MADE BY A WORLD FAMOUS PLAYWRIGHT SO THERE!

*pant* *pant*

I am very lucky!!!

And and now YOU ARE LUCKY TOO, because I have told you about Whitehall (for which Liz and Delia were head writers) which is all about WOMEN OF THE RESTORATION HOT DAMN, and it is SWASHBUCKLY and WITTY and SEXY and CHARLIE TWO I LOVE YOU!!!

You’re even DOUBLY lucky, for I also mentioned Tremontaine, which, if you liked Swordspoint and Privilege of the Sword, which of course you did, YOU MUST READ IMMEDIATELY, and now the whole season one is conveniently packaged for your pleasure in a PAPERBACK BOOK published by Saga Press, available in May 2017, thank you NAVAH et al!

And even though I wrote this blog on April 1st, it is NO JOKE! So . . .

YOU’RE WELCOME!

 

 

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Sold a Story! Narrating a Story! Reading a Story! Am Being Read a Story!

1. SOLD A STORY

Well, okay. So this is my latest Facebook status. It was carefully crafted, each ALLCAPS in its very particular place, and really, it oughtn’t to be wasted as ephemera, when it could be in a BLOG:

Ahem.
PEOPLE OF ETERNIA!!!
I am here to end your sweet, sweet torment!

Just in case you were wondering, re: my last, something last, latest, vaguebookery (just the handful of you who care, WHO WITHER AWAY WITH EVERY HOUR I HAVE KEPT YOU IN SUSPENSE), O YE BRAVE SOULIES, YE:

Faint and sigh and pine NO LONGER! FOR THIS IS THE 6:43 PM EST OF TRUTH!

PEOPLE OF ETERNIA! I, EVEN I, SHE-ROID, HAVE SIGNED A CONTRACT WITH UNCANNY MAGAZINE, who have so, so (wisely?) (weirdly?) (well?) SO JUST BOUGHT the BIZARREST story I have ever WRITTEN, bar NONE (even the BIG BAH-HA, and that’s saying something, tho’ I don’t know WHAT!), and their acceptance letter went something like this:

“This might be the weirdest story we’ve ever received, and we f***ing love it.”

Which made me superhappy, so, yeah, thanks, Michael and Lynne, I ALWAYS WANTED TO BE THE WEIRDEST OF SOMETHING!

(Besides my eighth grade class at St. Jerome’s parochial school in Phoenix, Arizona.)

Anyhoo. Watch for the silver sky, pets. And thanks for your ENDURING PATIENCE.

The story’s called “Though She Be But Little,” and, you know. It’ll be out sometime. At a genre magazine near you.

2. NARRATING A STORY!

I’m on Book 2 of Shreffler’s CAT’S EYE CHRONICLES, this one VIPER’S CREED. I just did pickups for the first one on Monday. Book 2 introduces the DRACIANS. Well, Book 1 introduced them, really, only we didn’t know what we were being introduced to, back then.

Oh, sorry. Was that a spoiler? I SHALL SAY NOTHING MORE.

3. READING A STORY

I am reading Fran Wilde’s UPDRAFT, and OMG OMG OMG OMG OMG!

(You know, I refused to write “OMG” in texts or updates for the LONGEST TIME, because I was a snob. Much in the same way I still refuse to write “SQUEE.” But OMG what I was MISSING that WHOLE TIME! Now I am suspicious I’m cutting out my own eyeballs by refusing to *SQUEE*, as it were, but what can you do? WE MUST REMAIN COMPLEX. And surely I am a more faceted and mysterious personality if I refuse to write *SQUEE* every time something SQUEEWORTHY comes up, right? RIGHT??? Anyone??? It’s just me then.)

BUT FRAN WILDE’S UPDRAFT, EVERYONE!!! Bones! Gliders! SKYMOUTHS!

This is all very exciting. I love reading. Well, I love reading UPDRAFT, anyway!  What, am I the last one? WELL, I DON’T MIND!

You know what I’m going to read next??? CODE NAME VERITY! That’s right! In PARTICULAR because Amal and Caitlyn loved it SO MUCH and were AFRAID to tell me too much about it, so instead they just told me it had women friends and it was sad, and then I didn’t want to read it. But Jessica Wick, in her wisdom, sat me down and told me it does not end with the taste of sadness, but rather, of TRIUMPH. And then she explained WHY, and now I MUST READ IT. I won’t tell you, though. You probably don’t like spoilers. Not like me, who LOVES them. THE SPICE OF LIFE, SPOILERS.

But I am also going to read it because I am watching FOYLE’S WAR. I might also reread THE GUERNSEY LITERARY AND POTATO PEEL PIE SOCIETY while I’m at it. And also watch ENIGMA and CHARLOTTE GRAY again. Because. Everyone’s making WWII parallels anyway. I may as well immerse myself in the ART of it.

4. AM BEING READ TO 

And speaking of WWII-era art, and also the best books in the whole wide world, Carlos Hernandez (yes, he, the WORLD FAMOUS AUTHOR of the MOST MAGNIFICENT short story collection EVER) is reading me one of HIS favorites, THE AMAZING ADVENTURES OF KAVALIER AND CLAY.

And it slays me.
Slaughters, garrotes, guts, re-strings and PLAYS me.

3 Comments

Filed under Uncategorized

A Day in the Life of . . .

I came home and started cooking. Not because I was hungry. Because I wanted to stand for a while. Cooking and doing dishes, listening to audiobooks.

(This is probably the third time I’ve listen to Bujold’s Memory this year. I don’t know how many times I’ve listened to it in my life now. Or how many times, in addition to that, I’ve read it.

That trilogy–Memory, Komarr, and A Civil Campaign–is some of my favorite stuff of the Vorkosigan Saga. I usually start with the two novels inside Cordelia’s Honor: Shards of Honor, Barrayar; then the stuff of Young Miles: Warrior’s Apprentice, Mountains of Mourning, The Vor Game; then skip all the way up to the trilogy. Once in a while, if I feel like it, I’ll read or listen to stories before, between, and/or after. But it’s mostly those five.)

Oh, but . . . To stand and be silent, after sitting all day, sitting just so, and talking. Talking, talking, talking. Starting at 9:20, going till 5:05, with a twenty minute lunch break.

All the rest was Voices, and all of them mine. Voices till my face was numb.

It was wholly absorbing. I really like doing secondary world fantasy; it’s my happy place.

First loves, you know.

And all the while, that slight anxiety over the choices I’m making, wanting to serve the writer, the readers, wanting to please EVERYBODY.

Knowing it’s not possible.

But how happy it made me to come home, do some dishes–scrub the burnt black crust in my crockpot from yesterday’s Near Disaster (curried yellow split peas in a tomato base–mmn, diced, with green chilis, and garlic, onion, and lemon)–and settle in to make a coq au vin.

Why? Why, because recipes are soothing! Chopping things up is soothing, and to the sound of this story I know so well, which is so impeccable that I suck the sentences of it, the world-building, the structure, the beloved characters who are, at this moment in their timelines, experiencing profound change in their status quo. Their lives. It’s delicious. Like coq au vin.

Not to mention that, now, I’ll have dinner tomorrow night upon coming home, and no need to go about COOKING it.

2 Comments

Filed under Uncategorized

A Not-So-Typical Friday Night in Westerly

16938860_996897307108522_3484143123534822160_nSo, yeah, last year, I sort of semi-committed (just like I just did to that sentence structure right there) to helping run a literary open mic at Westerly’s own Maize ‘N’ Manna Wholefoods.

It’s owned and operated by Susan Ryan-Champouillon–and just by Googling it, you can see how beloved it is. I mean–YELP loves it, and YELP hardly loves ANYTHING!

It’s vegan and gluten free, you can buy bulk there (non GMO, all organic) INCREDIBLY inexpensively, and it has great ratings on The Happy Cow and Trip Advisor, and even has an article in The Mystic Wave about how it’s a great alternative to your usual coffee date.

I’m saying all this because I love the place, and I love Susan. She shows up to EVERYTHING!!! And she brings people. That’s NOT EASY when you’re a small business owner. She’s incredibly supportive of the arts, and Westerly is an ARTS HAVEN.

When I first moved here, I saw how musician-friendly it was. Music venues like The Knickerbocker, Perks and Corks, and The Malted Barley seemed to have something new every night.

15078580_932886153509638_4015885324554023055_nBut there weren’t a lot of places for . . . the written word.

Which is, as you know, my thing.

Five years later, we now have The Savoy Bookshop and Café–and boy, there’s the written word ALL OVER THE PLACE. They host author events and book debuts.

But an open mic for local writers? For the poets and prose scribblers of our town?

That’s all Susan at Maize ‘N’ Manna.

Having a space for young people to read their prose and poetry is Susan’s special and particular mission. From the beginning she’s declared that what she wants most is for the first hour to be devoted to younger writers, the second to adults. Nothing censored, necessarily. Just . . . available.

Now, we’ve been running this open mic at Maize N Manna for about a year now (well, a year next month), and I’ve maybe made it about half the time.  And in that time, nary a young person in sight! Well, twenty-somethings. Sometimes. But no one under the age of 20.

The open mic’s always on First Fridays. And I always MEAN to be there, but I’ve been traveling a lot this year, and somehow don’t always manage to be in town on those days.

However! We do our best with the time we have, as Gandalf sort of said at one point to Frodo, but not really.

In that time, we’ve had tiny open mics, when it was basically Susan and Geno and me.

And then we’ve had slightly larger open mics, with a few friends showing up–sometimes even driving down all the way from Boston, because I have friends in Boston, and they like to come and hang out and support the arts (JULIA RIOS!!!)–or even from as far as Queens, NY (CARLOS HERNANDEZ) for much the same reasons.

BUT LAST FRIDAY! HOLY MOLY! OPEN MIC NIGHT WAS SPILLING OVER EVERYWHERE!!!

It was so exciting!

We had Westerly locals–the nice folks from J Mack Studios, folks from the Savoy, my buddy Marie from Mystic Aquarium, my roommates, more friends of Susan’s. AND we had BOTH Queens and Boston represented! (Thanks again, Julia and Carlos!!!)

16938759_997460483718871_2845432057996800385_n-1WE ALSO HAD YOUNG PEOPLE!!!

FOR THE FIRST TIME, Susan’s DREAM of what her open mic could be came true. There were seven or so 7th or 8th graders, right there, cuddled together, supporting each other, being HILARIOUS, eating Susan’s delicious muffins, and best of all . . . READING THEIR WORK!

One girl stood up and SIGNED while her friend sang a verse from Disney’s “Moana.” Two girls read poetry. Another young man said, “I wrote a book of poetry–but I don’t have it with me,” perhaps implying he MIGHT, another time.

And they ALL sat quietly and were INTENTLY locked on when the other writers read their short stories, chapter excerpts, and poetry.

I think they particularly loved Christa Beauchamp’s short horror piece, which featured two young girls, and Carlos Hernandez’s novel excerpt from his middle-grade WIP Sal and Gabi Break the Universe.

1486905_430603787071213_477990201_nI read “Little Sally and the Bull Fiddle God,” from Goblin Fruit. I prefaced it by asking if they knew about Zeus.

Oh, they did all right.

And they felt EXACTLY LIKE I DID about him. So I think they liked the poem.

Afterward, the kids all rose up and left in a gaggle, taking their bikes back home. Curfew at 8, apparently.

The rest of us moved in a herd over to the Artists’ Cooperative of Westerly.

IMG_6602See, Susan chose First Fridays for our open mic because THAT’S the night of Westerly’s Art Crawl.

Westerly is a pretty hip and happening place on First Fridays. There’s music at several venues, and it’s also the day the gallery shows all new art for the month, with two new featured artists, and a nice wine and cheese spread.

A lot of us went, not only to support the gallery and these featured artists, but because our beloved Betsie Withey (you might remember her: she made my gown for the Nebula Awards ceremony last year) is now a member of ACGOW.

It’s so exciting to see her branch out from her WONDERFUL FAERIE MARKET ETSY STORE to galleries and museum gift shops. Nancy Burns-Fusaro of The Westerly Sun even featured Betsie in her Easy Chair series, here.

So we got to go and drool over the art, and buy ourselves more Betsie flowers.

16508758_10154301292431662_4822693433290309635_nBecause if there’s one thing we ALL need more of, it’s BETSIE FLOWERS!!!

And after that, we took ourselves to The Twisted Vine, where we feasted and ate and drank and laughed, and toasted to the arts, and the artists among us.

1 Comment

Filed under Uncategorized

March Forth!

My friend Jeanine said on Facebook yesterday: “Today is my favorite day! It’s the only day that’s a command: March forth!”

51n0yhusxhl-_sy346_Anyway, I loved that, and it feels apropos to mood of the day. March forth. SALLY FORTH. TALLY HO! &c.

Last week, for Tantor Media, I narrated a book by Susan Kietzman, a local (to me) author whose latest, Every Other Wednesday, will be released in April.

The book’s three protagonists are in their late middle age, somewhat bewildered by (and lost in) their newly emptied nests. They are searching for the next big, best thing–and their quest leads into some dangerously murky waters. The narrative concentrates on the deepening friendship between the three women, and on lessons learned, and on the sudden widening horizons of their lives.

13606393Aaaaaaand . . . TOMORROW AT TANTOR, I get to begin Book 1 of the CAT’S EYE CHRONICLES, by T. L. Shreffler.

The first book is Sora’s Quest, and it is full of assassins and blood-mages and cat-headed swamp people and adventure, plus a really fine mud fight!

I am REALLY looking forward to narrating this one! Plenty of characters growling, sneering, spitting, and defying ALL OVER THE PLACE! Not to mention smoldering, because . . . Well. Sexy assassins!

Also! The author was kind enough to provide a pronunciation guide–which was so thoughtful, and which will come in handy!

Later on this month, I start the second book, Viper’s Creed! I am so looking forward to that next prep script! (In fact, I was so excited about the first one that I downloaded it onto my Kindle before Tantor sent me the prep script. Secondary world fantasy, you know–right up my alley!)

b3dndIn the meantime, I have FINALLY finished the first draft of Desdemona and the Deep, third and last of the Dark Breakers novellas, after The Breaker Queen and The Two Paupers.

It is, of course, SUPREMELY DRAFTY, and different than I thought it would be. It needs a new beginning, and a better middle. BUT I REALLY LIKE THE END! (Hint: Phossy Jaw Girls GET THEIR OWN!)

And I like that it’s full of goblins, and fashion, and shenanigans, parasite titans and robber knights, pissed-off unions, Gentry Sovereigns, strange forests, transformation, REALLY COOL MAGIC HATS, and bargains: for lives traded away, for lives wasted in excess, for whatever comes next.

16463089_1484018574962516_7639575509475070300_oMarch is a kind of big deal month, even setting narrations aside.

This coming Thursday, March 9th, The Savoy Bookshop and Café is hosting Caitlin R. Kiernan! She’ll be doing a reading from her new book Agents of Dreamlandand then I get to be the “Q” of a “Q and A” with her.

Right now, even as I type, I have, like, 7 tabs open about Kiernan–website, Wikipedia entry, LJ, that recent Tor.com review of her book. (Her BOOK! Which I read! And which was delicious, and sick, and beautiful!!! Yum. It’d make a fine wine pairing with Jeff VanderMeer’s Southern Reach trilogy.)

Anyway, I’m excited. CAN YOU TELL??? Here’s the Facebook Event Page for the Kiernan reading/conversation!

THEN! Just after I do pickups for Every Other Wednesday on the following Thursday, I get to go and pick up PATTY TEMPLETON from the AIRPORT!

That’s right, the DREAD Patty Templeton of THERE IS NO LOVELY END FAME is coming to visit ME!

there-is-no-lovely-end-switchbladeTempleton’s been busy all fall and winter moving from Chicago to Durango, CO and becoming a JOURNALIST for DGO Magazine, where she gets to interview rockstars and dinosaur hunters and dance on stage with JIM BELUSHI!

(And, by the way, she did this FANTASTIC piece on the importance of public radio HERE!)

But now she is MINE! ALL MINE, I TELL YOU!

She’ll be joining me, Carlos Hernandez (author of the AMAZING AND INCREDIBLE Assimilated Cuban’s Guide to Quantum Santeria), and a bunch of local authors/musicians/poets (Jessica Wick, Christa Beauchamp, Ali Lucas, Faye Ringel, Amber Langanke) on March 17th for “Ghosts, Saints, Faeries: Uncanny Stories, Poems and Songs.”

It’ll be held at the Artists’ Cooperative of Westerly! The Facebook Event Page is HERE.

Gosh, I wanted to write all about this last weekend, but I’ll save that for the next blog! COMING SOON!

4 Comments

Filed under Uncategorized

Final Boskone Schedule

FRIDAY, February 17th
Reading:

Friday 6-6:30 PM, Griffin (Westin)

Panel: Name That Magical Creature
Friday 7:00 – 8:00 PM, Burroughs (Westin)

Creatures from all the known worlds and myriad planes of existence are gathered here to be displayed for the entertainment and edification of the public. Our expert zoologists will attempt to identify the various species of wild magical beasts, gathered from dozens of shadowy realms, competing for the ultimate prize. Audience participation is encouraged: bring your favorite creatures to be identified by our panel of virtuoso beast masters.

SATURDAY, February 18th
Panel: Overcoming Stage Fright and Reading Aloud in Public
Saturday 10:00 – 11:00 AM, Griffin (Westin)

Public speaking is often a difficult thing for many people. Authors may find it especially challenging to read their work aloud. Join us for a discussion on how our panelists prepare when having to give talks or readings, and how they’ve worked to overcome stage fright. As time allows, audience members will be invited to come to the front of the room to read a paragraph of their own work, and receive constructive feedback from our panelists.

Panel: Poetry and Performance
Saturday 11:00 AM – 12:00 PM, Lewis (Westin)

Reading a story aloud and reading a poem aloud take different skills. Or do they? Our panel of poets proffers tips and advice on performing poetry. They will also share some of their own poetry for your listening pleasure.

Panel: How Audiobooks Differ From Books and Why That Matters
Saturday 2:00 – 3:00 PM, Marina 1 (Westin)

Audiobooks are often considered simply ways you can experience books with less effort, or while doing something else (like driving). But must audiobooks be merely epiphenomena of their written forms? How could the genre of audiobooks evolve if the connection with books in print were broken? With text-to-speech software, would they be much different from radio plays?

Autographing:
C.S.E. Cooney, Jeremy Flagg, James Patrick Kelly, Jo Walton
Saturday 3:00 – 4:00 PM, Galleria – Autographing (Westin)

Open Mic: Villains!
Saturday 8:00 – 9:30 PM, Galleria – Stage (Westin)

Live from Boskone … enjoy the unsavory stylings of our program participants and audience members. They share their open mic skills in the second annual Boskone Open Mic, which this year features our favorite fictitious villains! Each person gives his/her best 5-minute villainous performance — story, poem, song, skit, interpretive dance, or whatever! OPTIONAL: For extra-appalling appeal, feel free to come dressed as your favorite fictitious villain!

The Rules:
Boskone members are invited to join our participants in the open mic by signing up for one of the six open slots at the door to the event, which opens for sign-ups at 7:30 p.m. Each performer is given a firm 5-minute time limit (max), including setup time. So a quick transition between acts is key.

SUNDAY, February 19th
Brimstone Rhine Concert”
Sunday 11:30 – 12:00, Lewis (Westin)

Poet and author C. S. E. Cooney performs under her songwriting name, Brimstone Rhine.

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Medusa Mia: NOW ON YOUTUBE!

MEDUSA MIA!
a mythtacular night of story and song

December 2016.
Artists from 6 states & 2 countries.
Classical texts.
Contemporary Mythic Poets.
Original Music.
Over $600 to a local charity.


ACT 1
CLASSICS

OVID’S “MEDUSA”/ Song: Cootchie Cootchie, Medusa Baby
(Text for “Cootchie Cootchie” at BR’s Alecto! Alecto!)

PURCELL’S’ “WHEN I AM LAID IN EARTH”/ Song: Dido in Effigy
(Text for “Dido in Effigy” at BR’s Alecto! Alecto!)

EURIPIDES’ “MEDEA”/ Song: Medea’s Dragon
(Text for “Medea’s Dragon” at BR’s Alecto! Alecto!)

HOMER’S “CIRCE” / Song: Circe embedded
(Text for “Circe” at BR’s Alecto! Alecto!)

CARROLL’S “THE JABBERWOCKY”/ Song: The Jub Jub

ACT 2:
CONTEMPORARY

Song: Gentle Caliban

LIZ DUFFY ADAMS’ “BECALMED: A 10-MINUTE PLAY”

Song: Black Widow’s Waltz
Text for “Black Widow’s Waltz at BR’s Headless Bride)

JESSICA WICK’S “GOOD NEIGHBORS”
(Text for “Good Neighbors” found at Uncanny Magazine)

Song: Foxgirl Song Cycle 1
(Text for “Foxgirl” at Uncanny Magazine)

JULIA RIOS’S “YET I BREATHE”/AMAL EL-MOHTAR’S “PIECES”
(Text for “Pieces” at Stone Telling)

Song: Lady Knight / Pale Lady

CARLOS HERNANDEZ’S “IN LIEU OF THE STORIES MY SANTERA ABUELA SHOULD HAVE TOLD ME HERSELF, THIS POEM”
(Text for “Abuela” at Uncanny Magazine)

Song: Maggot the Banshee / SHVETA THAKRAR’S “NAGINI’S NIGHT SONG”  / Song: Barrow Brine embedded
(Text for “Nagini’s Night Song” at Mythic Delirium)
(Text for “Barrow Brine” at BR’s Headless Bride)

ARISTOPHANES’ “LYSISTRATA”/Song: Lysistrata, Strut Your Stuff
(Text for “Lysistrata Strut” at BR’s Alecto! Alecto!)

1 Comment

Filed under Uncategorized