gwynnega: (books poisoninjest)
I got home from Madison last night, after an epic day of travel (resulting from my original flight being canceled due to weather). Wiscon was excellent, especially getting to hang out with my friends, including [personal profile] nwhepcat, [personal profile] oracne, [personal profile] cafenowhere and many others. The panel and reading I participated in were both a lot of fun (especially the reading, with [personal profile] cafenowhere, Patty Templeton, and [personal profile] shadesong). N.K. Jemisin's and Hiromi Goto's Guest of Honor speeches were very powerful.

Books I bought at the con:

Women Scientists in Fifties Science Fiction Films by Bonnie Noonan
Ancillary Justice by Ann Leckie
Re-Generating WisCon edited by Rebecca J. Holden
Naomi Mitchison: A Profile of Her Life and Work by Lesley A. Hall

Also I bought a beautiful necklace by [personal profile] elisem entitled "Pink Ladies of the Singularity."

I may have eaten more cheese and drank more alcohol than I usually do at Wiscon. Fried cheese curds plus a giant gin beverage are an ill-advised combination, but I was relatively unscathed.

2013

Dec. 31st, 2013 05:10 pm
gwynnega: (books poisoninjest)
There were some definite highs and lows to my 2013, but overall it was an excellent year.

I had three poems published:

"Ginnie and the Cooking Contest" (a prose poem) in Interfictions Online, Issue 1, May 2013

"take off your horn-rims and fly" in Flying Higher: An Anthology of Superhero Poetry

"a tipping point" in The Cascadia Subduction Zone, Vol. 3, No. 4 (Fall 2013).

I started the year revising Out of Uniform (a novel I hope to get back to in 2014) and writing a sekrit project. Then when I received my agent's notes on Can't Find My Way Home (AKA the Jo book, AKA the book that would not die), I dove back into work on it. I'd hoped to have that done by the end of this year, but I am getting there. I've also been writing more poetry this year, which pleases me.

Healthwise, I'm still in physical therapy for an issue that's been causing me chronic pain. I'm a lot better, though it continues to be a frustrating situation. On the bright side, my physical therapist is a genius, and part of my treatment includes one-on-one yoga instruction, which is awesome. Also on the bright side, I was able to attend WisCon and Readercon (which I also plan to do in 2014).

Scott Miller died this year, and although we were only slight acquaintances, his death had a huge impact on me and others who love his music and his writing.

For me this has been a year rich in friendships--not only continued friendships, but also new ones and renewed ones. I'm so grateful for the many amazing people in my life.

I wish you all a very happy new year.
gwynnega: (coffee poisoninjest)
Merry Christmas to those of you who celebrate. I've been having a lovely holiday break, which began last week with a visit from Sofia Samatar, in town to read from A Stranger in Olondria at Betalevel in Chinatown.

Tonight I'm going to my mom's for lamb dinner. Then I'll come home and watch new Who.

Here, have a Christmas song by my friend Stew.

gwynnega: (coffee poisoninjest)
It is Henna Day, on a pleasantly warm LA December day. I have a neck ache, but the cool henna on my head seems to be helping.

Apparently I haven't posted on LJ since last Henna Day. Last time, Doris Lessing had just died, and now it's Peter O'Toole, who I adored.

Last night I went to a lovely holiday party at Carolyn and Dave's house. Their cat Nora dealt fairly well with her house being full of people.

Here is a link to a gorgeous song about infinity that my friend Steve Gregoropoulos wrote and performed:

Infinity
gwynnega: (coffee poisoninjest)
It is Henna Day, on a wonderfully non-sweltering day in Los Angeles. We're even supposed to have some actual autumnal weather later this week.

Last night I met up with friends at the Story Tavern in Burbank to see the Johnny Come Latelys play Irish music. I ate shepherd's pie and sang along with "The Wild Rover."

Then when I got home I discovered my friend Lyman Chaffee (Listing Ship) had posted a video of himself singing my friend Carolyn Edwards' beautiful song "Lazy." So here it is.

gwynnega: (coffee poisoninjest)
I've been having a lovely long weekend, in spite of ridiculously hot and humid weather. (I can handle dry heat, but humid heat just does not work in Los Angeles!) The weather makes me feel like staying inside, but I'm planning to drive to Stories Bookstore this afternoon (though episode four of Orange Is the New Black is calling my name).

On Friday night I went to the Echo to see reunion sets by Velouria (dear friends of mine who comprised one of my favorite local bands in the '90s) and Popdefect. In the process I saw a ton of old friends and acquaintances. The club was too hot and too loud, but it was a lot of fun.

gwynnega: (books poisoninjest)
My friend Lara Parker has a new Dark Shadows novel, Wolf Moon Rising. I haven't read it yet, but loved her previous Dark Shadows book, The Salem Branch, which she was writing when we were both MFA students at Antioch. (As some of you know, I became a Dark Shadows freak because I went to Antioch with Lara, who played the witch Angelique on the show.)

She's in the midst of a book tour (dates on her website, linked above), and I was delighted to see that Dodie Bellamy (our teacher from Antioch) posted about her appearance at Borderlands in San Francisco. I especially liked what Dodie had to say about the treatment of genre writing and literary experimentation in MFA programs. (At Antioch I wrote experimental poetry and a vampire novel, so I know what she's talking about!...though fortunately I had teachers who got what I was trying to do.)
gwynnega: (coffee poisoninjest)
It is Henna Day, in the midst of more annoyingly humid summer weather. The henna is cool on my head. I am longing for autumn.

On Friday night I had dinner with Carolyn at Taix and saw '20s/'30s/'40s jazz by the Silver Palm Trio.

Yesterday I took three bags of clothes and shoes to the Goodwill, then went to Skylight Books. I said hi to Franny, the bookstore cat, and bought new editions of Frank O'Hara's Meditations in an Emergency and Poems Retrieved. (I have O'Hara's massive hardcover collected poems, but I've been wanting more portable O'Hara books, and there are no O'Hara ebooks yet.) What with so many of L.A.'s independent bookstores now gone, I'm perpetually grateful that Skylight is thriving.

I've been working on the Jo book and a poem, and sending out submissions. I will do more of all this after I rinse out my hair.
gwynnega: (coffee poisoninjest)
Originally posted by [personal profile] shadesong at Flying Higher: An Anthology of Superhero poetry!


It is HERE! The ridiculous superhero poetry anthology that started with me making people scribble poems on their placemats at dinner at Wiscon HAS ARRIVED.

Behold the wonder and the glory of Flying Higher: An Anthology of Superhero Poetry! Congrats to all the poets, and thank you again for playing with us. <3

Edited by Michael Damian Thomas and Shira Lipkin!

Cover by Rin Venieris.

Table of Contents:

Introduction ~ Shira Lipkin & Michael Damian Thomas
Becoming Wonder Woman ~ Julia Rios
AND THE BRONZE MEDAL GOES TO... ~ M. David Blake
Robin’s Legs ~ Mary Robinette Kowal
If ~ Kip Manley
O CAPTAIN! AMERICA'S CAPTAIN! ~ Alex Bledsoe
Mrs. Freeze ~ Anita Allen
Riveted ~ Lisa Bradley
Untitled Haiku ~ Amy McNally
Untitled ~ A.C. Wise
Supervillanelle ~ Lisa Nohealani Morton
The Tiger is Herself ~ Gillian Daniels
Untitled ~ Eric Burns-White
swimming lesson ~ S. Brackett Robertson
Pantone 032 ~ Torrey Stenmark
Untitled ~ Lynne M. Thomas
Said Gorilla Grodd, to God... ~ Erik Amundsen
Unofficial Love ~ Shawna Jaquez
Riddler’s Clues, a Villanelle ~ John O'Connor
Invisible ~ Emily Wagner
Hawkguy ~ Michael Damian Thomas
Darksein the Diabolic Plots His Comeback from Beyond the Grave ~ Mike Allen
Alias ~ Erika Ensign
Judah Maccabee ~ Benjamin Rosenbaum
The Scarlet Witch at Rest ~ Laura McCullough
APACHE CHIEF ~ Sofia Samatar
Wonder Woman Lassos the C.E.O. ~ Wendy Babiak
Inhumanly King. (a poem by Black Bolt) ~ Adam P. Knave
Poison Ivy ~ Emily Nordling
An Elegy for Evelyn Cream ~ Amal El-Mohtar
The Wolverine ~ Matthew Kuchta
Bat-Mite's Refrain ~ R.B. Wood
Untitled ~ Adam Lipkin
take off your horn-rims and fly ~ Gwynne Garfinkle
Untitled ~ Stefan Krzywicki
Guarded ~ Stephanie M. Clarkson
J'onesing for J'onn J'onnz—A Fanboi's Paen to the Martian Manhunter ~ Kelly McCullough
Rocket’s Red Glare ~ John O’Connor
The Bone Woman ~ Alex Dally MacFarlane
Unmasked ~ Claire A. Miller
knitwear is both harder and softer than suits ~ Wednesday Burns-White
The Fish Aquatic ~ John Klima
You! I Thought You Were Dead!* ~ Steven Marsh
Untitled ~ Fritz Bogott
Untitled ~ Mari Ness
Bless Us, Nellie Bly, Saint of the Secular Upstarts ~ C.S.E. Cooney
The Ballad of Captain America's Disapproving Face ~ Catt Kingsgrave
Untitled ~ Michael McAfee
The Tick ~ Liz Argall
Superheroes ~ Meredith Schwartz
Friendship and Butts ~ Shawna Jaquez
Green in Gold and Silver ~ David D. Levine
Super Sense ~ Talib Hussain
Superhero Haiku Triptych ~ Paul Weimer
Princess of Gemworld ~ Mary Anne Mohanraj
Limbo ~ Shira Lipkin

From the intro:

One lunchtime at Wiscon (the major feminist SF/F convention held in Madison, WI), we were discussing poetry. Like you do. In particular, we were discussing topics that Michael didn't think could make for good poetry under any circumstances. Specifically: Superheroes. Shira and Alex Bledsoe absently agreed... then started generating ideas. "I could do a good Superman poem, I think," Alex said. Shira offered Wonder Woman - no, Amethyst - no, too many choices! - and said, "Actually, we should do an anthology." Since Michael never says no to an anthology challenge, he agreed.


Said idea might have been utterly lost in the mad whirl of Wiscon activity had we not ended up at dinner that night at an Indian restaurant with a dozen wonderful writers, editors, and miscellaneous marvelous people who, when Shira insisted they all write superhero poetry on their placemats, actually did so. The seeds of this collection were collected that night.


And that might've been it - a small collection centered around one fun dinner - but we decided that everybody should have a chance to join the fun and did an open call for submissions. The anthology quickly expanded to what it is today - a collection of over 50 superhero poems from the ridiculous to the sublime, from award-winning poets and writers to total poetry novices and everyone in between. The unifying thread through this collection is a pure love for superheroes, in general and in particular, whether they're the heroes we grew up loving, those we create ourselves, or just the structure and tropes of their worlds.

We just wanted everyone to have fun writing superhero poems. We hope you enjoy them.
gwynnega: (coffee poisoninjest)
As a kid, I was very fond of Jesus Christ Superstar and Godspell (the movie versions). Being Jewish, I found them weirdly fascinating. (I think I also had a comic book about Jesus at roughly the same time.)

Then a few years back I got into the original cast recording of Jesus Christ Superstar, partly because Murray Head (brother of Tony) sang the part of Judas--partly because I discovered it was a pretty nifty hard rock album.

Recently I learned my friend John Ramirez was putting together a one-time performance of the Jesus Christ Superstar songs at the Satellite (the nightclub formerly known as Spaceland, which is about five minutes from my apartment by car--I used to spend a lot of time there, but hadn't been there in years). Last night I went to the performance, and saw a lot of old friends, and danced. And wow, they did a great job with the music. (I wish the YouTube clips had better sound and picture quality.) Petra Haden (daughter of Charlie) = probably the best Mary Magdalene ever.

gwynnega: (coffee poisoninjest)
It is Henna Day, on a pleasantly warm day in L.A. (following a spate of hot weather). I think I'm having my usual post-WisCon slump, and massive allergies aren't helping.

I never did properly write up Wiscon, but it was so great to spend time with [personal profile] nwhepcat, [personal profile] oracne, [personal profile] skogkatt, [personal profile] cafenowhere and many others. The Open Secrets group reading (Lisa Bradley, Amal El-Mohtar, Gwynne Garfinkle, Nancy Hightower, Kathrin Köhler, Shira Lipkin, Alex Dally MacFarlane, Elizabeth R. McClellan, Julia Rios, S. Brackett Robertson, Sofia Samatar) was one of the best poetry readings of any kind I've ever participated in. And there was the amazing panel discussion on speculative poetry featuring [personal profile] tithenai, [personal profile] shadesong and Sofia Samatar, and the also amazing panel on the new Queers Dig Time Lords book of essays, and [community profile] papersky reading from her two upcoming novels, and far too much more for me to reconstruct at this point...
gwynnega: (Four/Romana book Shada ressie_noldo)
It is Henna Day, on a pleasantly warm day in L.A. (following a spate of hot weather). I think I'm having my usual post-WisCon slump, and massive allergies aren't helping.

I never did properly write up WisCon, but it was so great to spend time with [livejournal.com profile] nwhepcat, [livejournal.com profile] oracne, [livejournal.com profile] skogkatt, [livejournal.com profile] cafenowhere and many others. The Open Secrets group reading (Lisa Bradley, Amal El-Mohtar, Gwynne Garfinkle, Nancy Hightower, Kathrin Köhler, Shira Lipkin, Alex Dally MacFarlane, Elizabeth R. McClellan, Julia Rios, S. Brackett Robertson, Sofia Samatar) was one of the best poetry readings of any kind I've ever participated in. And there was the amazing panel discussion on speculative poetry featuring [livejournal.com profile] tithenai, [livejournal.com profile] shadesong and Sofia Samatar, and the also amazing panel on the new Queers Dig Time Lords book of essays, and [livejournal.com profile] papersky reading from her two upcoming novels, and far too much more for me to reconstruct at this point...
gwynnega: (coffee poisoninjest)
Today is Henna Day, on a pleasant cool afternoon following a spate of broiling weather complete with wildfires. I have a big list of things to do after I rinse out my hair, but I'm moving a bit slowly after an action-packed Saturday: getting my hair cut, going to Secret Headquarters for Free Comic Book Day and to the lovely Story Tavern to see my friends play Irish music.

Oh, and I loved last night's Doctor Who. May have to watch it again tonight.

I'm still rereading Scott Miller's Music: What Happened?, which I can't recommend highly enough. Still nowhere near getting past his death, which seems to be true for many people who, like me, knew him slightly but know his music well.

gwynnega: (Sherlock Holmes jordannamorgan)
It is Henna Day, in the midst of an unusually cold (for LA) spate of weather (highs below 60 for the past few days). The henna feels cold on my head.

On Friday night I went to Taix and saw great sets by my friends Carolyn Edwards and Adam Marsland. This weekend I've been working on OOU (the Old Novel I'm Revising), continuing my Sherlock Holmes reread, etc.

[In a shocking twist, I tried to post this on Dreamwidth, but it wouldn't let me, instead of the usual problems with LJ.]

LJversary

Dec. 6th, 2012 04:23 pm
gwynnega: (Colette)
Today is the 10th anniversary of my first LiveJournal post. I think this Colette icon was my first LJ icon.

I've made so many good friends over the years on LJ. The online world has changed a lot since November 2002, but I'm still glad to be here.
gwynnega: (books poisoninjest)
My contributor's copies of the new issue of Mythic Delirium arrived in the mail today. It's a beautiful issue, including poems by Sonya Taaffe, Rose Lemberg, Ken Liu, Theodora Goss, Shira Lipkin, Alex Dally MacFarlane, S. Brackett Robertson, Alexandra Seidel, and others. It includes my poem "The Pied Piper vs. the Sirens," which was inspired by this song by Jethro Tull (among other things).
gwynnega: (books poisoninjest)
I got home yesterday evening from Chicago after a very smooth Virgin America flight. I'm glad I went to Worldcon, though it was tough going for me--I was pretty unwell a lot of the time, and the cavernous maze of the hotel (which has two towers and multiple levels of convention space, and the bit where you wanted to go wasn't always easily accessible depending on which level of which tower you were in) required a lot more walking than was comfortable for me. But the trip doesn't seem to have set me back healthwise, and tomorrow I go back to physical therapy.

Some highlights of my Chicon:

Readings by Gwenda Bond and Saladin Ahmed and Nnedi Okorafor.

A concert by Seanan McGuire (after which I could not get her creepy song "Dear Gina" out of my head).

Julia Rios's fun Kaffeeklatsche.

Finally getting to try French fries with poutine (and wow it was good!) during lunch at Houlihan's with Julia and Moss.

An uproarious live installment of the SF Squeecast (featuring Lynne M. Thomas, Seanan McGuire, Paul Cornell, Elizabeth Bear, Catherynne M. Valente, and special guest Jay Lake)...and later the same day, the Squeecast won a Hugo Award!

Attending The Hugo Awards for the first time. Congratulations to all the winners!

...Oh, and I read "The Pied Piper vs. the Sirens" (soon to appear in Mythic Delirium) at the Broad Universe Rapid-fire Reading, and my panel (Incorporating the Personal into Speculative Fiction, with Nick Mamatas, Cat Rambo, Bill Shunn, and Inanna Arthen/Vyrdolak) was a lot of fun.


I'm glad to be home, and looking forward to finishing up the Jo book draft (very soon!). And I still haven't seen the new Doctor Who...
gwynnega: (books poisoninjest)
I'm still jetlagged (I swear, I only adjusted to Wisconsin time just when it was time to come home again!), so this will be rambly and partial.

I don't think I went to as much programming this year as at previous Wiscons--partly because I was dealing with bad headaches on a couple of the days. My favorite panel was probably "De-Gaying and Whitewashing: What Publishing Trends Mean for Writers" (with Mary Anne Mohanraj, Liz Gorinsky, Andrea Hairston, Malinda Lo, and Neesha Meminger). I was happy to finally be on a panel with [personal profile] oracne ("Short Stories vs Novels," which was a lot of fun), and also to have Tibetan food with her!

My favorite reading was [profile] rose_lemberg's awesome The Moment of Change feminist SFF poetry open mic at Michelangelo's, featuring Rose, [personal profile] cafenowhere, [personal profile] shadesong, [personal profile] britmandelo and others. (Also, Michelangelo's provided very good brownies.)

Andrea Hairston's Guest of Honor speech/performance was beautiful and inspiring (punctuated by the Star Trek theme song).

Favorite food of the con: probably brunch at Bluephies with [personal profile] nwhepcat. (Runner up: the amazing chocolate cake with raspberry sauce which I get every year at the dessert salon.)

Books/publications I bought at Wiscon (many of 'em from Aqueduct Press):

The Wiscon Chronicles vol. 6: Futures of Feminism and Fandom, ed. Alexis Lothian
The Moment of Change: An Anthology of Feminist Speculative Poetry, ed. Rose Lemberg
Here We Cross: a collection of queer & genderfluid poetry from Stone Telling 1-7, ed. Rose Lemberg
Unruly Islands by Liz Henry
Oracle Gretel (chapbook) by Julia Rios
Impolitic! by Andrea Hairston and Debbie Notkin
We Wuz Pushed: On Joanna Russ and Radical Truth-Telling by Brit Mandelo
and the April 2012 issue of The Cascadia Subduction Zone

Clothes I lost and gained: I lost my purple cardigan on Monday sometime between lunch in the hotel restaurant and going upstairs to my room. I was in a headachy exhaustion haze at that point, so maybe I dropped it somewhere? Anyway, the hotel has my info, should it turn up. But at the Gathering, [profile] ellen_kushner had handed me a pair of black trousers with multicolored vertical stripes and pronounced them mine. I thought, But they're not my size or my style!--but tried them on and discovered they fit me perfectly and looked exactly my style. Also, [personal profile] nwhepcat gave me a beautiful rose-colored tie-dyed scarf. (But I still want my cardigan back!)

As always for me, the best part of Wiscon was the people--getting to see old and new friends, sharing fun and inspiration.
gwynnega: (Joanna Russ Pharaoh Katt)
I'm still jetlagged (I swear, I only adjusted to Wisconsin time just when it was time to come home again!), so this will be rambly and partial.

I don't think I went to as much programming this year as at previous Wiscons--partly because I was dealing with bad headaches on a couple of the days. My favorite panel was probably "De-Gaying and Whitewashing: What Publishing Trends Mean for Writers" (with Mary Anne Mohanraj, Liz Gorinsky, Andrea Hairston, Malinda Lo, and Neesha Meminger). I was happy to finally be on a panel with [livejournal.com profile] oracne ("Short Stories vs Novels," which was a lot of fun), and also to have Tibetan food with her!

My favorite reading was [livejournal.com profile] rose_lemberg's awesome The Moment of Change feminist SFF poetry open mic at Michelangelo's, featuring Rose, [livejournal.com profile] cafenowhere, [livejournal.com profile] shadesong, [livejournal.com profile] britmandelo and others. (Also, Michelangelo's provided very good brownies.)

Andrea Hairston's Guest of Honor speech/performance was beautiful and inspiring (punctuated by the Star Trek theme song).

Favorite food of the con: probably brunch at Bluephies with [livejournal.com profile] nwhepcat. (Runner up: the amazing chocolate cake with raspberry sauce which I get every year at the dessert salon.)

Books/publications I bought at Wiscon (many of 'em from Aqueduct Press):

The Wiscon Chronicles vol. 6: Futures of Feminism and Fandom, ed. Alexis Lothian
The Moment of Change: An Anthology of Feminist Speculative Poetry, ed. Rose Lemberg
Here We Cross: a collection of queer & genderfluid poetry from Stone Telling 1-7, ed. Rose Lemberg
Unruly Islands by Liz Henry
Oracle Gretel (chapbook) by Julia Rios
Impolitic! by Andrea Hairston and Debbie Notkin
We Wuz Pushed: On Joanna Russ and Radical Truth-Telling by Brit Mandelo
and the April 2012 issue of The Cascadia Subduction Zone

Clothes I lost and gained: I lost my purple cardigan on Monday sometime between lunch in the hotel restaurant and going upstairs to my room. I was in a headachy exhaustion haze at that point, so maybe I dropped it somewhere? Anyway, the hotel has my info, should it turn up. But at the Gathering, [livejournal.com profile] ellen_kushner had handed me a pair of black trousers with multicolored vertical stripes and pronounced them mine. I thought, But they're not my size or my style!--but tried them on and discovered they fit me perfectly and looked exactly my style. Also, [livejournal.com profile] nwhepcat gave me a beautiful rose-colored tie-dyed scarf. (But I still want my cardigan back!)

As always for me, the best part of Wiscon was the people--getting to see old and new friends, sharing fun and inspiration.
gwynnega: (books poisoninjest)
It is Monday afternoon, and I need more caffeine. (I don't think I had enough coffee this morning, but now I want more Darjeeling.)

Yesterday my friend Lara Parker and Kathryn Leigh Scott did a book signing at Dark Delicacies. Lara Parker was signing the gorgeous new editions of her Dark Shadows novels (which Tor has reissued to tie in with the new film), Angelique's Descent and The Salem Branch (the book she was writing when I met her at Antioch). Kathryn Leigh Scott was signing her new nonfiction book, Dark Shadows: Return to Collinwood. It was a fun event.

After which, I tried to race to the nearest movie theater that was playing The Avengers, but I didn't give myself enough time. So...I still haven't seen it. Maybe I'll get a chance before WisCon?

In any case, I am so looking forward to WisCon.

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