gwynnega: (books poisoninjest)
My poem "50 Foot," inspired by Attack of the Fifty Foot Woman (1958), will appear in The Cascadia Subduction Zone. (Technical note: the poem is comprised of 50 poetic feet.)

In other news, we are now past the peak of jacaranda season. It was glorious while it lasted--though it will be awhile before the purple flowers are completely gone for the year.
gwynnega: (coffee poisoninjest)
It is Henna Day, which is a good thing, because it's another hot day in LA and the henna feels cool on my head. Autumn is my favorite season, but it usually takes Los Angeles awhile to get the memo, weather-wise. Sometimes it stays hot here until nearly Halloween, though it's supposed to cool off a bit this week. I've been buying pumpkin products at Trader Joe's (pumpkin butter, pumpkin soup), but I won't really feel like eating them until the daytime high dips below 80.

I finally finished reading Code Name Verity. I liked it a lot, though it had some pacing/structural issues. This turned out to be a feature rather than a bug, as I'd suspected, but for me it made the book more enjoyable in retrospect than while actually reading much of it.

Last night's Doctor Who was my favorite of the season so far.

Meanwhile I'm still revising the Jo book. Much of the revision consists of fairly minor tweaks, but one chapter requires new scenes and research, so I'm trying not to bog down on that. Hoping to finish the revisions in the next few weeks.
gwynnega: (books poisoninjest)
The weather has finally cooled down to normal late-summer temps today after two days of record-breaking hellish heat. On Friday afternoon there was a brush fire near my workplace, so they did a voluntary evacuation...just in time for rush hour. It took me two and a half hours to get home. Fortunately there were no injuries or property damage from the fire.

Today I celebrated the lack of hellishness by driving to Skylight Books, where I bought the new Junot Diaz book and a couple of little purple Moleskines, and talked myself out of buying numerous other books.

I've been working on the Jo book revisions, which I hope to be able to complete fairly soon. Most of what needs work is in the early chapters. I've started reading Portrait of a Novel: Henry James and the Making of an American Masterpiece. I'm still reading Code Name Verity, though I'm not as entranced by it as a lot of people seem to be. I can't wait to get started on Gwenda Bond's Blackwood (which I heard her read from at Worldcon) and Seanan McGuire's Ashes of Honor.

Los Angeles tends not to get proper fall weather until nearly Halloween, but I'd be thrilled if it started early this year.
gwynnega: (coffee poisoninjest)
I fell in love with the Alley Cats the first time I heard the opening guitar riff to their song "Too Much Junk" (which appeared on Yes L.A., the 1979 compilation LP that also included tracks by the Germs, X, and the Bags). I saw the Alley Cats every chance I got in 1980-81. Randy Stodola (who looked like a skinny young Martin Sheen) was my favorite guitarist in the whole Los Angeles scene.



The band never really made it outside LA the way X and the Go Go's did, though they did have a song in the film Urgh! A Music War (1982).

I was thrilled to have a chance to see Stodola play with his new band yesterday at Liquid Kitty, on a bill with my friends The Last. The years have clearly been hard on Stodola, who I've heard has been homeless. But the guy can still play. Wow, can he play! When he launched into the old Alley Cats songs, it was magical.

I do wonder what happened to the Alley Cats' bassist/singer Dianne Chai. She was awesome...
gwynnega: (books poisoninjest)
It's International Pixel-Stained Technopeasant Day, and I'd been meaning to post the following poem anyway, what with it being the 20th anniversary of the LA Riots. This little poem first appeared in 1992 in High Performance magazine (a special issue they did called The Verdict and The Violence, edited by Wanda Coleman). I'm pretty sure I scribbled the poem while stuck in freeway gridlock. I remember jotting down the traffic sign.


4/30/92

crawling toward work on 405 freeway
morning after Rodney King decision

refineries to my left belch
white smoke

palm trees to my right
jacarandas blooming

Budweiser & Maui $360
roundtrip billboards

N-110 EXITS CLOS
CENTURY - ML KING
gwynnega: (books poisoninjest)
It is Henna Day, and the cool henna on my hair is pleasant on this warm day. It's been a way too busy weekend, including lots of apartment cleaning--but on Friday I went with my friend E. to Burbank for a One Life To Live prop sale. They had lots of (expensively priced) furniture and framed artwork that had been used on the show--but I picked up a few inexpensive items (including a framed wedding portrait of [Trevor] Todd and Tea, a framed picture of [Roger] Todd and Starr, the journal Brody kept in the mental institution, the journal Marty kept when she had amnesia, and a letter from Patrick Thornheart to his son Cole in prison!).

[ETA: Forgot to mention that at the prop sale they had giant hilarious David Vickers movie posters: one for Vickerman and one for The Boy With the Chipmunk Tattoo.]

The other day I received my contributor's copy for News Clips and Ego Trips: The Best of Next... Magazine 1994-98. Back in the mid-1990s, Southern California had a thriving live poetry scene, which Next... covered with interviews, reviews, and other features (plus an events calendar). The anthology includes my review of an outdoor Allen Ginsberg reading/concert in Long Beach (1994) and an article I wrote about the pros and cons of poetry workshops. Looking through the anthology is making me nostalgic. Nostalgic for the '90s already? That seems wrong, somehow...
gwynnega: (books poisoninjest)
I've been trying to think of a name for a fictional mid-1970s women's bookstore (for the Jo book). Any suggestions?

The women's bookstore I worked at (in the mid-1980s, when I was an undergrad at UCLA) was called Bread & Roses. In many ways it was my favorite job I ever had, though I practically paid them to work there, what with all the books I bought. I really wish it (and Sisterhood Bookstore, my other local feminist bookstore) still existed.
gwynnega: (Sherlock Holmes jordannamorgan)
A picture I took last weekend at my mom's house. I have happy childhood memories of the ginkgo tree shedding leaves every autumn:

gwynnega: (Default)
As of about an hour and a half ago, my neighborhood finally has power after nearly a day and a half without it. Wednesday night I had a hair-raising drive home from work through high Santa Ana winds. I had to dodge palm fronds, capsized trash cans, a fallen tree in the road, etc. But that was just the beginning. When I got home, the power briefly went out a couple of times. Then, around 1 a.m., it went out and didn't come back on. Hundreds of thousands of people lost power, and LA County (among other local areas) declared a state of emergency.

I stayed home from work yesterday, because the howling wind had kept me awake much of the night. This turned out to be a good move, because traffic was snarled by all the debris from the winds, and lots of traffic lights were still out. (There was also supposed to be more dangerous weather ahead, but that didn't seem to materialize--it was windy, but not horribly so.) Hanging out in my electricity-less apartment got old fast. Fortunately Gelson's had power, so I had coffee. Plus Hard Times Pizza somehow had power, so I had pizza for dinner. But then I huddled in my cold apartment and read A Monstrous Regiment of Women by flashlight.

When I woke up this morning and the power STILL wasn't back on, I was pretty aggravated. But when I went out to get coffee at Gelson's, I saw workmen working on the power lines at my corner, and I took heart--plus the traffic light by the Trader Joe's was finally working again, and TJ's was open again. Sure enough, just as I was walking back home with my coffee, the traffic lights at my corner came back on, and everybody cheered!

Then I went home and had a hot shower. Hooray!
gwynnega: (Default)
As of about an hour and a half ago, my neighborhood finally has power after nearly a day and a half without it. Wednesday night I had a hair-raising drive home from work through high Santa Ana winds. I had to dodge palm fronds, capsized trash cans, a fallen tree in the road, etc. But that was just the beginning. When I got home, the power briefly went out a couple of times. Then, around 1 a.m., it went out and didn't come back on. Hundreds of thousands of people lost power, and LA County (among other local areas) declared a state of emergency.

I stayed home from work yesterday, because the howling wind had kept me awake much of the night. This turned out to be a good move, because traffic was snarled by all the debris from the winds, and lots of traffic lights were still out. (There was also supposed to be more dangerous weather ahead, but that didn't seem to materialize--it was windy, but not horribly so.) Hanging out in my electricity-less apartment got old fast. Fortunately Gelson's had power, so I had coffee. Plus Hard Times Pizza somehow had power, so I had pizza for dinner. But then I huddled in my cold apartment and read A Monstrous Regiment of Women by flashlight.

When I woke up this morning and the power STILL wasn't back on, I was pretty aggravated. But when I went out to get coffee at Gelson's, I saw workmen working on the power lines at my corner, and I took heart--plus the traffic light by the Trader Joe's was finally working again, and TJ's was open again. Sure enough, just as I was walking back home with my coffee, the traffic lights at my corner came back on, and everybody cheered!

Then I went home and had a hot shower. Hooray!

weekend

Oct. 2nd, 2011 08:57 pm
gwynnega: (books poisoninjest)
This weekend has just flown by. Today I went to the West Hollywood Book Fair, which was a lot of fun, though we've been having another blast of summer weather and I got too much sun. My friend Lara Parker did a panel with her fellow Dark Shadows actress Kathryn Leigh Scott, plus Julie Newmar; Dark Delicacies bookstore owner Del Howison moderated. It was great to get a chance to chat with Lara Parker, and I bought a copy of Kathryn Leigh Scott's new vampire novel, Dark Passages.

Also this weekend I worked a lot on the Jo book, and watched the Doctor Who finale (loved it) and the Dexter season opener. Next up, The Good Wife and Dirty Soap. Why is there so much good TV on Sunday nights all of a sudden?

Scott

Sep. 17th, 2011 11:15 pm
gwynnega: (books poisoninjest)
Today I went to Scott Wannberg's memorial at Beyond Baroque in Venice. The place was packed with Scott's friends and family. Scott was loved by so many people. Among those who spoke today were Exene Cervenka, John Doe and Wanda Coleman. People read from Scott's new book of poems, Tomorrow Is Another Song (Perceval Press), which was about to come out when he passed away. Poet S.A. Griffin, one of Scott's closest friends, read a poem from the new book, "The Dancer Steps Forward," about William Carlos Williams. The poem concludes:

There is a music in the American idiom,
he says,
and wipes his face for the last time,
and begins to think about going up to bed.
Tomorrow is another song.
Tomorrow will be other patients and
words to discover and stories behind such words
that illuminate.

The game, after all
is one of discovery.
The day you stop finding out things
is the day
you might as well
turn yourself in for good.

He slowly makes his way upstairs to
his beloved Flossie.
There is a music here.
All you have to do is believe,
and the rest
is just
some history of
song
and love.
gwynnega: (coffee poisoninjest)
This afternoon I went to my beloved Vista Theatre, with its $6.50 bargain matinees and its quasi-Egyptian decor and its ultra-spacious seating, to see Rise of the Planet of the Apes. On one level it's yet another loud, frenetic thriller--but at the same time, it deals with many of the social/political/power issues that the original series did, and it's also a very satisfying character study, thanks to Andy Serkis's affecting, multi-layered portrayal of Caesar. (There are also some other fascinating ape characters in the film, notably an orangutan named Maurice, after Maurice Evans's Dr. Zaius!) As an old school Planet of the Apes fan, I never thought I could care about a new Apes character the way I did about Roddy McDowall's Cornelius and Caesar or Kim Hunter's Zira, but I'm happy to have been proven wrong. Serkis absolutely deserves a best actor nomination--or, for that matter, a supporting actor nomination, though the film would have fallen utterly flat without him. The Academy probably won't bother to acknowledge him, but I don't expect to see a better performance in a movie this year.
gwynnega: (Default)
It's Thursday already? I keep thinking it's only Wednesday (because I took Monday as a sick day).

Head cold: I still have it. It's abating, but it's taking its sweet time. Possibly due in part to...

Weather: About as far from cliched California weather as it gets. The Garage Kitty and I would prefer some nice cliched weather, thanks.

Garage Kitty: Availing herself of every warm car hood and patch of sunlight at her disposal.

Writing: Today I think I figured out how to proceed with the new part 2 of the Jo book. Tomorrow I will get to work on the new chapter 5, and I'm really looking forward to it. Hooray, it's back to 1975! And speaking of which...

Ryan's Hope: SOAPnet is currently airing the 1975 episodes for the last time (since SOAPnet will be kaput in a year or so). I wish everybody was watching (or at least everybody who even vaguely likes serial drama), because it is such damn good, intelligent, juicy storytelling. And watching young Kate Mulgrew and Ilene Kristen is always a delight.

One Life To Live: Tuc Watkins/David Vickers is back, along with his extra-meta hilarity.
gwynnega: (books poisoninjest)
I definitely don't want my year to be spent the way I spent the bulk of January 1st: languishing in a Benadryl haze, nursing a head cold and watching the Doctor Who marathon. (Well, the Doctor Who marathon was good.)

And now it's raining again. We are still having a spate of cold-for-LA weather, and the Garage Kitty and I are tired of it.

I keep contemplating writing a detailed post of last year's writing stats, what I want to do in 2011, etc., but my brain's still too cold-addled. But I do want to finish the Jo book revision in 2011 and move the hell on (much as I love the Jo book). Would like to work on at least one other novel project this year. I wrote a few poems last year, and I'd like to continue writing poems. I started a few stories last year but didn't finish any; I'd like to finish some stories this year. (There was also a secret project that I worked on last year but that didn't come to fruition--I'd like to give that another try this year.)

I'm not a fast writer. That's partly because so much time and energy go into my dayjob. But even with the dayjob, I can write a first draft quickly--but it takes time for my brain to figure stuff out when it comes to revision. Still, I think I need to reevaluate my schedule and see if I can work in some more writing time.

Okay, that's all the contemplation my head cold brain can manage at the moment!
gwynnega: (Jack/Siobhan bar)
Today was a ridiculously beautiful day in LA. Everyone was walking around in dazed pleasure at the sunshine and the lack of water falling from the sky. I know the Garage Kitty was thrilled as well. I went for a long walk in the neighborhood, and thought to go sit on the patio at Coffee Table, but they were closed early for the holiday.

Tonight I will have leftover Thai food and maybe watch a Christmas movie on TCM. Tomorrow night my mom and I will have Christmas dinner.

Happy holidays, everyone.

yikes

Nov. 16th, 2010 01:23 pm
gwynnega: (coffee poisoninjest)
This morning I was irked that the police had blocked off the street I take to the office, making me late to work.

Then I got to work and found out why. Yikes!

Hollywood publicist Ronni Chasen fatally shot in Beverly Hills attack

That really puts things in perspective...
gwynnega: (Default)
Today I went to Theatre 68, a small theater in a rather dicey part of Hollywood (Sunset & Western) to see a production of The Busy World Is Hushed featuring three actors from General Hospital: the fabulous Carolyn Hennesy (who also appears on Cougar Town), Jason Thompson and Nathan Parsons. The show is closing this weekend, and several other GH actors attended. I was right behind Bradford Anderson and Sonya Eddy at the box office, and I told Bradford, "I know I'm in the right place--the coworkers are here!" A bit later Brandon Barash and Lisa LoCicero showed up. I ended up sitting next to Lillian Lehman, who played Dr. Meadows on GH for years, and we had a great chat during intermission.

The play was excellent. At first I thought Jason Thompson (who, unlike Carolyn Hennesy and Nathan Parsons, is a theater newby) would be the weak link, but he ended up giving perhaps the most affecting performance. On a shallowly slashy note, I enjoyed seeing Jason Thompson and Nathan Parsons play lovers. Their (very heterosexual) GH characters Patrick and Ethan don't share much screentime, but now I wish I could see a Patrick/Ethan affair...

weekend

Oct. 10th, 2010 04:29 pm
gwynnega: (books poisoninjest)
I had fun yesterday at the Clark Library with [profile] tesserae_. (How did I manage to live in LA pretty much my entire life and never go to the Clark Library until yesterday?) They were hosting a symposium, From Bohemia to Conceptual Writing: Literary Publishing in California From Early to Late 20th Century. There were a lot of interesting talks, including Paul Vangelisti on Poetry & Small Press Publishing in the 1970s and Susan King on the Women's Building and the feminist printing scene in '70s LA, and other lectures on the history of California printing. Plus [profile] tesserae_ and I had time during breaks and lunch to chat about writing, Supernatural etc.!

Today I've been noveling, doing laundry, etc. It is summer again in LA, which is really rather silly, though not unexpected.
gwynnega: (books poisoninjest)
The weather in LA has been deeply odd lately. Last Monday we had a high downtown of 113 degrees--and today we have a high of 66, and it's raining. I am so happy to be wearing boots and long sleeves. The autumn weather is supposed to continue for a few days at least, to my delight.

Yesterday at Mystery and Imagination Bookstore, we celebrated the 10th anniversary of Strange Horizons with a reading and tea party. I read In Lieu of a Thank You. Samantha Henderson read her story "The Red Bride" and, with Kendall Evans, their Rhysling Award-winning poem "In the Astronaut Asylum." Deborah Kolodji and Kaolin Fire also read their work. It was a fun afternoon--plus there were cookies from Porto's Bakery!

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