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!
gwynnega: (Default)
Today is my virtual Friday, and apparently it is the final day of the heatwave we've been having all week, hooray. I am so ready for the faux-autumn weather we're supposed to get this weekend. Ready for autumn, in general (even though we'll probably get some more blasts of heat between now and Halloween).

The Garage Kitty has mostly handled the hot weather with aplomb. This morning after I fed her breakfast, I found her trotting towards my car.

Gwynnega: But kitty, I need to use that to drive to work!

Garage Kitty: [sitting under car] But you have just fed me, so I am honoring you by choosing your car to sit beneath!

Gwynnega: Sorry, kitty...
[chases her out]

Garage Kitty: [darts back under]
[eventually bounds across garage and sits under other blue Yaris]
You do know all these cars belong to me, and you're just borrowing, right?

This weekend I'm going to work on the Jo book, read, and watch some Dark Shadows. Saturday night Ilene Kristen (see icon) is doing a club gig I'm going to try to attend...
gwynnega: (books poisoninjest)
Los Angeles is finally having summer weather, and I'm not thrilled. After all the June/July gloom, I feel quite disgruntled about actual August weather in August! The Garage Kitty seems to be handling it well, however.

Today I spent some quality time lazing around reading Georgette Heyer (Frederica). Also I watched the Stephen Frears' film of Cheri, which is gorgeous, though it mainly made me want to reread the book. (I've been longing to do a Colette binge reading/rereading.)

Yesterday I finished listening to the text-to-audio files of the Jo book, and this evening I finished writing up notes of What Works and What Really Doesn't. For some reason knowing that I will be hacking large swaths of text from the book fills me with glee. I've also been making notes for the new ending of the book (something else that fills me with glee, because I'd really missed Jo and Martin). Next up: brainstorming/outlining/etc. to figure out some solutions to other issues with the novel.

And tomorrow will be Henna Day!
gwynnega: (coffee poisoninjest)
I'm not sure when I first became aware of the Walking Man, but he's been a presence in my neighborhood for longer than the thirteen years I've lived here. Since I do most of my grocery shopping on foot, I'd often see him trudging along, a wiry, deeply tanned older guy in shorts, hunched over a newspaper. Friends told me he was a doctor. As the years went by and the neighborhood changed, friends moving to other parts of town or further away, it always made me happy to see the Walking Man, still walking along Hyperion or Rowena or Silver Lake Blvd. But I didn't know his name until today, when I read he'd died. He was only fifty-eight. I will miss him.

Some links:

Goodbye Silver Lake Walker

A great audio slideshow about the Walking Man from the LA Times

Silver Lake's "Walking Man" Found Dead
gwynnega: (Default)
Today I went to the Vista Theatre for a special screening of House of Dark Shadows (1970), the kickoff of this weekend's Dark Shadows Festival. I had worried I wouldn't find parking and gave myself lots of extra time for that. I easily found parking on a side street and then had to stand in line for over an hour in the broiling sun, ugh. (My shoulders are very sunburnt.)

Eventually Jonathan Frid arrived and put his handprints in the cement outside the movie theater. Then we finally got to go inside, and I had a great wide-rangingly geeky conversation with a couple from Chicago before the film started.

It was great fun to get to see House of Dark Shadows on a big screen in a movie house full of like-minded Dark Shadows fans, though, as I'd recalled, the film lacks the charm of the TV series. In its attempt to shoehorn a sprawling soap opera into a 90-minute film, the movie feels like a weird short-hand alternate universe of the TV show. It looks beautiful, and it has a polish the TV show lacks--no one stumbles over their lines--but the story moves at light speed, to the expense of the characters. 40 year old spoilers )

Tomorrow I'm off to Burbank for the Dark Shadows Festival!

Meanwhile, in Ryan's Hope-ville: the Writers' Strike of 1981 episodes have begun to reair on Soapnet. Goodbye subtle writing, hello bizarre melodrama!
gwynnega: (books poisoninjest)
Earthquake about half an hour ago--a short jolt followed by an aftershock.

I'm off to Readercon tomorrow morning. I wish I didn't have to get up at 4 a.m., but I'm looking forward to the con!
gwynnega: (coffee poisoninjest)
It's a lovely summer weekend in LA, with the jacaranda trees dropping purple buds everywhere. Today I had a lovely brunch at Coffee Table with [profile] tesserae_--I had huevos rancheros, and later we split a piece of berry pie.

I just made a quick trip to Skylight Books. The parking gods smiled upon me, and I didn't have to waste any time circling around looking for a parking space. I bought Grace Paley's poetry book Fidelity, as I'm on a Paley kick.

I'm reading Whores on the Hill by Colleen Curran. This morning I finished reading Dodie Bellamy's essay pamphlet Barf Manifesto, which is marvelous and is a lot like talking to Dodie: "Professor X teaches a structural approach to writing a short story, with lots of shoulds and should nots. [I realize only now the deep subliminal connection my mind must be making with those 'knots,' the knots of mistake, that Bridget Riley told us about, encouraged us to put in our rugs, as it were--and here's that other word, the 'should nots,' of Professor X.] Students who'd worked with X turned in formulaic, dead stories--it's like they'd memorized a series of steps but were stomping around all rigid, like the zombie dancers at the beginning of Michael Jackson's 'Thriller' video. I'd come in and try to get them to tune in to the beat, to flounce around and sway their hips, and not worry so much about what their feet were doing--to get some kind of visceral connection going with their writing. So I said to Kevin, cattily, that Professor X destroyed students' souls..."
gwynnega: (books poisoninjest)
I spent a lovely afternoon at the LA Times Festival of Books. I'd been feeling exhausted this morning (partly due to being out late last night at Carolyn's gig at Taix), but walking around UCLA (my alma mater) looking at zillions of books in the beautiful spring weather perked me up.

The festival was as crowded as ever. I didn't see many authors read--I caught the end of Pam Grier's talk, and the first half of Victoria Rowell's, at which point I went over to the poetry tent to see Annie Finch read, only to find she wasn't there and some other woman was reading Finch's work rather uninspiredly.

I managed to buy only two books: Books: a Memoir by Larry McMurtry (at the Vroman's booth) and the latest edition of A Cafe in Space: The Anais Nin Literary Journal (at the Nin booth--the first time there's been a Nin booth at the festival). At the LA Opera booth I got a free CD of Jack/Siobhan's theme music La Traviata!


Apr. 4th, 2010 05:16 pm
gwynnega: (David/Greenlee holypotatoes1)
I didn't feel the earthquake, though I appear to be the only one. I think I was outside at the time, which tends to disguise the earthquakiness unless it's massive. But when I walked home from Gelson's, the Garage Kitty looked at me like, "What the hell was THAT?!"

I have pulled out some of my books on the suffragettes for research for my vampire suffragette short story. Discovered that I seem to have lost my book about Emily Wilding Davison and promptly ordered a used copy.

Now I'm heating up Trader Joe's rolled chicken tacos, which I will eat while watching more Dark Shadows. (OMG Maggie's GONE! Where could she BE?)
gwynnega: (Default)
I went to see the Runaways movie yesterday (in one of the tiny little screening rooms at the Los Feliz 3 that a friend of mine calls a "shoeplex"). It was WAY better than I'd expected. more )

Now I just wish someone would make a movie about Fanny, the all-female rock'n'roll band who blazed that trail BEFORE the Runaways...
gwynnega: (Barry Ryan)
So far today has involved a semi heading straight at my car (I honked like mad, and then the driver bothered to notice I was there in time not to collide with me, and had the nerve to grin at me as he drove away!) and a bug in my food (which I fortunately noticed before I started eating, and the cafeteria gave me new food). Plus I'm fairly sleepy, due to staying up last night watching the 1949 version of Little Women on TCM (it was a lot better and more faithful to the book than I remembered, though casting an Italian as Professor Bhaer was a bit...odd).

I worked on chapter 25 during lunch. It's close to done, and I wish I could just continue working on it this afternoon. Maybe I can muster some energy for it this evening.

The weather continues to be insanely beautiful, to the delight of me and the Garage Kitty (and, probably, everyone else in LA).
gwynnega: (books poisoninjest)
I keep meaning to post, but all I really have to say is: I'm revising chapter 25. And thinking about chapter 25. And thinking about chapters 26 and 27 (the final chapters of the Jo book).

Also, Jo and Martin have breakfast at a deli in chapter 25, and it's been making me crave deli food something fierce. I do have lox and cream cheese and onion bagels in my fridge, though.

Meanwhile, it is raining again. But it's only supposed to last a day or so.

Alert for my New York friends: Stew + Heidi's multi-media concert presentation, Making It, will be performed at St. Ann's Warehouse February 17th–22nd, 2010. I sure wish I could be there...
gwynnega: (books poisoninjest)
This afternoon Patti Smith read from her memoir Just Kids at Skylight Books. I knew it would be a crowded event and feared I wouldn't be able to find parking. I found parking easily, but when I got to the bookshop nearly an hour before the reading, the place was already packed solid up to the door. They were directing people to the Skylight Annex two doors down, where they had a big screen set up for a simulcast, so that's where I went. I was a bit disappointed, but 1) I've seen Patti Smith perform several times before, mostly in fairly intimate venues and 2) I didn't really feel like being sardined in a crowd for hours, and the Annex, though crowded, was fairly comfortable. Anyway, Patti did a wonderful reading of various passages from the marvelous Just Kids (which she sprinkled with comments and a hilarious rendition of a bit of the Vanilla Fudge's version of "You Keep Me Hangin' On"), plus sang one song ("Grateful") and answered questions from the audience. A lovely event.

Now I must get back to revising chapter 24...
gwynnega: (Default)
Last night when I was driving home from work listening to the Monday Night Opera on KXLU (which was playing Tchaikovsky's Mazeppa), I got an Idea. Possibly for a short story, but, knowing me, probably for a novel, because it's very rare that I get ideas for short stories and this seems more novel-y. (No, it had nothing to do with Tchaikovsky or operas.) I grabbed a pen and paper and scribbled some notes at a stoplight.

It's too new to talk about, but it's a wonderful feeling to suddenly have a new novel idea. I already have a backlog of projects to work on when I finish this draft of the Jo book, and it'll be quite awhile before I'd want to get started on this one aside from mulling it over, but there's just something awesome about a new novel idea--about how one moment it doesn't exist and the next minute, there it is. It's so mysterious.

Meanwhile I am at the scribbling-all-over-the-printout stage of chapter 24 revisions, which is an enjoyable stage.

Meanwhile it's Raining Again, but apparently just for today, so I don't mind much.
gwynnega: (Default)
Today I made good progress on chapter 24 of the Jo book. I wrote about 850+ words, plus revised a lot of already existent words. Also, Jo and Martin made me cry a few times, which rarely happens to me during noveling. Now I can have tiramisu, and I can loll around reading for the rest of the evening.

So glad we had sunny skies today, though it was still fairly chilly by LA standards.

There's another great review of Shimmer's Clockwork Jungle Book issue. Of my story "The Clockwork Cat's Escape," the review says: "The shortest tale in the bunch, but most definitely one of the most heartfelt about knowing when to let go of something you love."
gwynnega: (Default)
Weather: So there's a tornado warning on for south Los Angeles. That's not where I work or live or anywhere in between, but still! Weather: what a concept. A little while ago we had simultaneous sun and rain. I just hope it's not bucketing down when I attempt to drive home later.

Writing: Today at lunch I wrote 375 words of chapter 24 of the Jo book, plus incorporated some words from the crappy first draft into the chapter. Yay.

Books recently read:
Steven Brust--The Sun, the Moon & the Stars
Edmund White--City Boy: My Life in New York During the 1960s and '70s

Books I'm currently reading:
Amanda Cross--Sweet Death, Kind Death
Francine Prose--Anne Frank: The Book, The Life, The Afterlife
Henry James--The Portrait of a Lady (via

Ryan's Hope: (you didn't think I'd leave that out, did you?) Yesterday deemed Ilene Kristen one of the 50 greatest soap actresses of all time, and I heartily concur.


Oct. 11th, 2009 04:49 pm
gwynnega: (books poisoninjest)
So I went to Skylight Books, where I bought the new Edmund White memoir about New York in the 1960s and 70s (novel research, and I can hardly wait to crack the covers) and Francine Prose's new book on Anne Frank. I always feel good buying books at Skylight, one of the few great independent bookstores left in LA.

Then I came home, and the Garage Kitty ran up and sang an aria to her great and tragic hunger, and I fed her salmon.
gwynnega: (Default)
1. The weather! How I love this weather, cool and crisp and sunny. We're meant to have warmer weather this weekend, but for now I want to pretend that it will be like this all autumn long.

2. Today's outfit: knee-length burgundy print skirt, black Henley t-shirt, burgundy sweater-coat, black stockings, black knee-high boots. Finally I can wear my knee-high boots again, hooray!

3. Chapter 18, which I am enjoying working on.

4. The Garage Kitty.

5. Ryan's Hope!

6. One Life To Live, especially the hilarious Dorian/David Vickers banter on yesterday's show:


Oct. 4th, 2009 09:02 pm
gwynnega: (Jack/Siobhan balcony)
I am so happy that it finally feels like autumn in LA. In honor of which, I am baking Trader Joe's apple spice bread, and my apartment smells like cider.

However, I think the Garage Kitty is a little discombobulated by the change of weather. Hopefully the turkey Fancy Feast is making up for that.

Chapter 18 is, naturally, more complicated than I'd thought it would be. So, back to noveling until it's time to take the apple spice bread out of the oven and watch Mad Men.
gwynnega: (Jack/Siobhan sister-in-law)
Today's my virtual Friday, hooray!

Noveling: Chapter 17 is getting close to done.

Weather: Hellish, but we're supposed to have some autumn next week.

Garage Kitty: Well-fed, and, I hope, managing to keep cool somehow.

Ryan's Hope: Run, Siobhan! Run away! Awesome.

One Life To Live: Also awesome.

General Hospital: About 50% good, which is the nicest thing I've been able to say about it in ages.

Books: Still reading Edna O'Brien, Seanan McGuire, Henry James, Anne Bronte, and Stephen King's book on writing. I find that the more deeply into noveling I am, the less reading I manage to do, even though I long to dive into a book not written by me!

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