gwynnega: (books poisoninjest)
My day began with two excellent things. The first: Charles Payseur's in-depth review of the latest Mithila Review, which includes my poem "family (a form somehow must)."

The second: My finalized WisCon schedule!

This Genre Kills Fascists
Sat, 1:00–2:15 pm
Capitol B
Gwynne Garfinkle (moderator), ANONYMOUS, Alexis Lothian, Victor J. Raymond
Let's dig into the history, the present, and the future of genre fiction as resistance texts. The uses of genre conventions to speak out in ways that would be dangerous if stated baldly in a realist or non-fiction text, the power of imagining a way forward, the issuing of warnings, the rallying cries. The epitaphs and the freedom songs. The voices that endure and the voices that are needed.


Fanfic, Retcon, and Zombies, Oh My!
Sat, 9:00-10:15 pm
University B
Carrie Pruett (moderator), Gwynne Garfinkle, KJ, Victoria Janssen
Let's talk about what happens in the murky territories where fanfic meets original works. Do writings that use original works in the public domain—modern-day Sherlock Holmes characters, zombies in Jane Austen's worlds—count as fanfic? When a series gets unwieldy or unpopular, it can be rebooted or rewritten with different parameters: maybe a character comes back to life, changes gender, or gets a new backstory. Are there differences between retcon and fix-it fic, other than who owns the copyright?


Personal Demons
Sun, 10:00-11:15 am
Conference 4
Carol Anne Douglas, Gwynne Garfinkle, Cath Schaff-Stump , LaShawn M. Wanak
What haunts us, what scares us, what makes us tick. Works that deal with metaphorical and actual demons.


When the Monster Isn't the Monster
Sun, 4:00-5:15 pm
University C
William Paimon (moderator), Gwynne Garfinkle, Leigh Hellmann
Science fiction and horror have always displayed a unique ability to play with allegory and metaphor by making monsters. Sometimes, though, the monster is more than just a flesh and blood (or protoplasm) villain to be defeated. As these genres have had a resurgence over the past few years, high concept genre work has undergone something of a renaissance. From big screen successes like The Babadook, It Follows, and The Witch, to television like Jessica Jones and Mr. Robot, science fiction and horror are finding commercial and critical success by having something to say again. Let's talk about what we loved in works with horrors that are more than meet the eye, note where they fell flat, and share hidden gems we might not have run into yet.
gwynnega: (books poisoninjest)
My poem about Colin Clive, "The Last Word," will appear in a future issue of Kaleidotrope. The poem is part of my ongoing classic film/TV/pop culture poetry project.

Meanwhile, WisCon starts at the end of the week, and I have So Much To Do!
gwynnega: (coffee poisoninjest)
I am hennaing my hair on a cool May day in Los Angeles. WisCon fast approaches, and I have So Much To Do. Fortunately, some of what I have to do involves watching Jane the Virgin for a panel.

Last night I was watching The Incredible Shrinking Man yet again, and I consulted Cinema Cats to find out about the cat that appears in the film. I was pleased to learn that the cat who menaces the Shrinking Man is none other than veteran cat actor Orangey!
gwynnega: (coffee poisoninjest)
WisCon fast approaches! Here is my schedule:

Monsters and Mirrors: a Reading of Speculative Prose and Poetry: Sat 10:00–11:15 am
[Alex Bledsoe, Gwynne Garfinkle, D. Moonfire, LaShawn M. Wanak]

David Bowie's Influence On Science Fiction: Sat 2:30–3:45 pm
In her obituary on io9.com for trailblazing musician David Bowie, Charlie Jane Anders writes that Bowie "had an incalculable impact on pop culture throughout his shape-shifting career. But perhaps more than any other musician, he also had a tremendous impact on science fiction. He changed the way we thought about the alien, the uncanny, and the familiar." This panel will explore the way Bowie's music, films, and shifting persona shaped and inspired speculative writing and pop culture.

Fantasy in Jane the Virgin: Sun 4:00–5:15 pm
Jane the Virgin switches genres as comfortably as languages. How do the fantasy sequences work within the reality of the show? What about the bits that look like fantasy, but aren't, like the shower of petals or artificial snow that just happens to fall when Jane is kissing Rafael or Michael? How do the inanimate objects that speak to Jane compare to the ones that speak to Jaye in Wonderfalls? And what about The Narrator?
gwynnega: (books poisoninjest)
I got back from Wiscon on Tuesday night, but I keep forgetting to post about it due to jetlag. Travel was much smoother than last year, with no flight delays or cancellations (in spite of some fairly bad weather the day I flew out of Madison).

It was great to hang out with [personal profile] nwhepcat, and I really enjoyed the programming I was on (a reading with Patty Templeton, Nicole Kornher-Stace, and Shira Lipkin, and a panel on "What Makes a Character Come Alive?"). I attended some terrific panels and readings, including a panel on Afrofuturist music and a reading featuring Karen Joy Fowler's hilarious memoir about her trip to Italy as a teenager.

I've been home for two days, but I'm still a bit jetlagged. Looking forward to Readercon, fast approaching!
gwynnega: (books poisoninjest)
WisCon is next week! Here is my schedule:

Spindles and Spitfire: A Reading: Sat 1:00-2:15pm
Join us for sinister whimsy, folkloric sensibilities, dark humor, and SNACKS! Gwynne Garfinkle is a red headed hellion who will capture your heart and put it in a jar above her writing desk. Nicole Kornher-Stace will drag you to bridges made of the dead, and you'll thank her for it. Shira Lipkin has returned from the castle beyond the goblin city. She brought you a present. Patty Templeton misses the ghosts that used to keep her up at night.

What Makes a Character Come Alive? Sun 1:00-2:15 pm
[Patty Templeton, Alisa Alering, Charlie Jane Anders, Gwynne Garfinkle, Beth Meacham, Fred Schepartz]
In the end, "Writing" is a collaboration between the author and the reader. Readers can claim to love a character, and see them clearly—but is the person they're seeing real and three-dimensional? Or simply a cardboard cut-out of a recognizable figure (often inspired by the cliches and tropes of television instant-recognition "characterization") which the reader herself paints with vivid colors, or projects herself onto? As writers, how do we create a real and realistic human being on the page? What are the tricks—and what are the concerns? Are we willing to risk making someone unlikeable—even "unrelatable"—in order to fulfill that aim? How much does it matter whether a reader likes a character, as long as they're real to her?


***

Postscripts to Darkness volume 6 is available for order. It contains my story "The Imaginary Friend," as well as work by Silvia Morena-Garcia, Alexandra Seidel, and many others.
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.
gwynnega: (books poisoninjest)
My short story "The Imaginary Friend" has sold to Postscripts to Darkness. It's a story that is close to my heart--and it's my first fiction sale in awhile, so I'm delighted.

Meanwhile, I am in frenetic pre-travel mode as I get ready for WisCon later in the week.
gwynnega: (books poisoninjest)
My poem about Bride of Frankenstein, "she's alive, alive," is in the new issue of Apex Magazine. It's the second poem of mine to refer to Elsa Lanchester; let's see if I can finish the poem I'm working on about Una O'Connor!


Here is my WisCon schedule. It is rather light, which is fine with me. Both my events are on Friday (before the jetlag wears off but before exhaustion sets in?).

Fri, 2:30–3:45 pm: Feminist Utopias Redux
In the 1970s and 80s, Women's Studies classes had courses on "Feminist Utopias," which read Herland and Les Guerilleres, Woman on the Edge of Time and The Female Man, and several others, and speculated about the future of feminism. Some of us remember those classes; others have read the books at some time or other. Let's go back and examine them, and see which ones the "suck fairy" has visited, and which ones are relevant in the 21st century.

Fri, 9:00–10:15 pm: Spindles and Spitfire
Join us for a reading packed full of sinister whimsy, folkloric sensibilities, dark humor, and SNACKS! Lisa Bradley dances with the skeletons in her closet. Gwynne Garfinkle is a red headed hellion who will capture your heart and put it in a jar above her writing desk. Shira Lipkin has returned from the castle beyond the goblin city. She brought you a present. Patty Templeton does not appreciate when ghosts keep her up at night.
gwynnega: (coffee poisoninjest)
It is Henna Day, at the tail end of an annoyingly unseasonable heat wave. Yesterday I went to Skylight Books for California Bookstore Day. Then I headed to Legacy Comics in Glendale for Free Comic Book Day, but there was a line out the door and down the block, and it was broiling out, so I threw in the towel and drove back home. I'm glad so many people showed up for the events, though.

A week ago I managed to crack a tooth on a blueberry pancake. (To be fair, if it hadn't been the pancakes, it probably would've been the next thing I ate.) I've finally more or less adjusted to the ill-fitting (both too short and too wide) temporary cap on my tooth. Hopefully it will stay put until I get the permanent cap in a week and a half.

In other weird health news, apparently they're having cases of mumps in Madison, so I got a blood test for mumps immunity. Depending on the results, I may get a booster shot this week. In happier pre-Wiscon news, I've been rereading The Female Man for a panel. It's been over twenty years since I'd read it, and possibly I just wasn't ready for it the first time, because I'm enjoying it vastly more this time around.

I am getting quite close to the end of the Jo book revisions. Yay!
gwynnega: (books poisoninjest)
What did you just finish reading?
Kathleen Gilles Seidel, Again (1994), which I wanted to read after seeing [personal profile] oracne's write-up. It's a romance novel dealing with the cast and crew of a daytime soap opera (and what's more, it's a soap opera set in the Regency era). I wasn't 100% on board with how the actual romance (between the soap's head writer and one of the actors) played out, but I enjoyed the book thoroughly. I read the bulk of it while traveling to and from Madison, and it was the world's most perfect airplane book (at least for soap fan me).

What are you currently reading?
ed. Sigrid Ellis and Michael D. Thomas, Queers Dig Time Lords. I'm pretty sure I went directly from the Wiscon panel discussion on the book to the dealers' room to buy a copy.

Lesley Wheeler, The Receptionist and Other Tales...and I bought this because Lesley Wheeler moderated the Wiscon panel on speculative poetry. The title poem is a speculative narrative poem in terza rima set in academia.

What will you read next?
I want to start Sofia Samatar's A Stranger in Olondria very soon!
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)
I had a truly lovely Wiscon. Will write more about it when I am less jetlagged.

While I was there, the inaugural issue of Interfictions Online went live. It includes my prose poem Ginnie and the Cooking Contest!

And, because it's Reading Wednesday...

Books purchased at Wiscon:

Queers Dig Time Lords edited by Sigrid Ellis and Michael D. Thomas
The Receptionist and Other Tales by Lesley Wheeler
The Helix and the Hard Road by Joan Slonczewski and Jo Walton
The WisCon Chronicles vol. 7 (Shattering Ableist Narratives) edited by JoSelle Vanderhooft
gwynnega: (books poisoninjest)
I'm mostly packed for Wiscon, though it looks like the weather's gonna be a bit colder than it usually is when I'm in Madison. I hope I'm bringing enough layers. I have to get up at the ungodly time of 3:30 a.m. (my first flight takes off at 7 a.m.).

My schedule is here.
gwynnega: (books poisoninjest)
I've been tackling my pre-Wiscon to-do list. I'll have to get up at Stupid O'Clock on Thursday morning--it's almost not worth going to bed Wednesday night. Today I went to my mom's and we celebrated her birthday a bit early (since on the actual day I'll be packing for Wiscon) with pizza and a pear tart.

***

Re: last night's Doctor Who: spoiler )

***

I saw a couple of movies on TCM this weekend--one a somewhat silly but fun one from 1944 (Passport to Destiny) in which Elsa Lanchester decides to go to Germany to kill Hitler. Luckily for her, everyone in Germany speaks fluent English. Even the signs on the doors are in English!

The other film was something of a revelation: Autumn Leaves (1956). The capsule description said something about Joan Crawford marrying a psychopath (Cliff Robertson), and I figured I knew what I'd be getting...sort of a '50s version of one of those Lifetime movies, in which a charming cad woos Joan, then turns into Bluebeard or some such. That's what I kept expecting as I watched charming young Burt (Robertson) pursue cautious, older typist Millie (Crawford). After the wedding, when the ex-wife Burt never mentioned and the father he said was dead show up, I was sure I knew exactly where this was heading--and then the movie flipped the script. By the time Burt spectacularly cracks up, it's pretty clear why he's so broken, and no matter how terrifying he gets, he's no villain. The film's portrayal of mental illness is dated, but Robertson's performance is so nuanced, it transcends those limitations. If I'd known, I would've DVR'd the thing...I ended up buying the DVD the next day. (The film's on YouTube too.)

***

I finally finished (re)reading Scott Miller's Music: What Happened?. I was in no hurry to finish. For a taste of the book, here's Scott reading from it about William Shatner (!) and Ken Stringfellow, followed by his rendition of Stringfellow's gorgeous "Death of a City" (which has been earworming me for days).

gwynnega: (books poisoninjest)
The Art & Activism Panel
Sat, 1:00–2:15 pm
Room 623
Susan Simensky Bietila, Gyan Davies, Gwynne Garfinkle, Lauren Jankowski, Eddie Schneider

How do we as creators tell stories that make a point without becoming didactic or preachy? What works, what doesn't? Where does our art intersect with our political realities? Is art a lullaby or wake up call? Can it be both? We'll ponder these questions and more on this panel.

Open Secrets: a Speculative Poetry Reading
Sat, 2:30–3:45 pm
Senate B
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

Members of the Secret Poetry Cabal (a speculative poetry group) will read their work.

Revisiting How To Suppress Women's Writing
Sun, 1:00–2:15 pm
Capitol B
Nancy Jane Moore, Gwynne Garfinkle, Eileen Gunn, Sheree Renée Thomas, Batya Susan Weinbaum

In 1983, Joanna Russ published How To Suppress Women's Writing, an essential guide to the rhetoric and strategies of dismissal and oppression. Thirty years later, let's reconsider this important work. Have things changed, for the better or worse? Is Russ's analysis still helpful? Who else has contributed to our understanding of the barriers to women's publishing? What new tools have we developed to support women's writing?


***

I'm especially looking forward to the poetry reading!
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.

home

May. 29th, 2012 08:56 pm
gwynnega: (Default)
I'm home from Wiscon, after a long (but smooth) day of travel. It was so great to see everyone! I'm far too fried to post cogently at the moment, but I will in the next day or two.

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