gwynnega: (coffee poisoninjest)
It is Henna Day, in the midst of a spate of lovely autumnal LA days. (Another heat wave is scheduled for later this week.) Yesterday I baked pumpkin scones (from a Trader Joe's mix), and they are delicious.

The election is three weeks away, and I'm on edge, though at least the polls are encouraging.

I'm enjoying the new Shirley Jackson biography (Shirley Jackson: A Rather Haunted Life by Ruth Franklin), which is full of amazing information, such as the fact that "Jackson tried to structure a story around a potato kugel recipe."
gwynnega: (coffee poisoninjest)
It is Henna Day, on a gorgeous weekend in Los Angeles. The weather isn't quite autumnal, but at least we're no longer having a heat wave. (For now.) To celebrate the lack of sweltering weather, I've been buying pumpkin products at Trader Joe's. (I love their pumpkin butter.)

I'm nearly done reading Patty Templeton's There Is No Lovely End. It is turning out to be one my favorite books of 2014.

2013

Jan. 1st, 2013 10:08 pm
gwynnega: (books poisoninjest)
I usually have a lazy January 1st, and today has been no exception. I had my customary scrambled eggs with caviar and sour cream for brunch.

(Last night while I drank champagne and ate caviar and brie, I watched The Private Life of Sherlock Holmes for the first time in a long while. Robert Stephens is an excellent Holmes, and Christopher Lee an even better Mycroft.)

I am happy that I gave myself one extra vacation day on January 2nd, so I can ease back into non-holiday mode on Thursday.
gwynnega: (books poisoninjest)
I had a lovely Christmas dinner at my mom's. She made a marvelous beef brisket. Then I had brunch at Say Cheese with Carolyn on Boxing Day. There are a couple more meals with friends coming up in the next few days.

I've been trying to work on a writing project, but my brain says No, we're on vacation! Hopefully I will manage to get some work done in spite of Holiday Brain.

***

The weekly what I'm reading meme:

• What are you currently reading?

Still reading Brit Mandelo's We Wuz Pushed: On Joanna Russ and Radical Truth-telling (it's my book bag book).

I'm back into Michael Gorra's Portrait of a Novel (about Henry James and Portrait of a Lady). I'd put it aside awhile, but it's fantastic.

The Robber Bride by Margaret Atwood. It's gripping and beautifully written, but wow is it slowly paced. I won't know until I'm farther along (I'm about a hundred pages in) whether or not I think the glacial pacing is justified.

Rereading The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes. I swear I haven't read Conan Doyle since I was a Holmes-obsessed pre-teen, but I found I remembered great swaths of "A Scandal in Bohemia."

• What did you recently finish reading?

Love and Romanpunk by Tansy Rayner Roberts. Various folks recommended this, and it really is as delightful as everyone said. Roman history + vampires + assorted other monsters. Good stuff.

• What do you think you’ll read next?

Still planning to read Violence Girl by Alice Bag, among other things.
gwynnega: (coffee poisoninjest)
This evening I went to my mom's for Thanksgiving dinner: turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes, yam souffle, cranberry sauce, green beans with chestnuts, and pumpkin pie.

A happy Thanksgiving to all of you who celebrate.
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: (coffee poisoninjest)
It is Henna Day as well as the first of the year, and the henna is on my head. I'm watching the One Life To Live tribute marathon on SOAPnet (currently an episode from the early nineties). For brunch I had scrambled eggs and caviar. A good start to the new year.

A very happy 2012 to you all.

holidays

Dec. 26th, 2011 10:15 pm
gwynnega: (coffee poisoninjest)
Yesterday I went to my mom's for Christmas dinner. We had turkey, green beans, mashed potatoes, yam souffle, Trader Joe's awesome butternut squash & creamed spinach au gratin, and pumpkin pie (also from Trader Joe's). Then we watched Midnight in Paris, which we both enjoyed a lot.

Then I came home and watched the wonderful Doctor Who Christmas special.

Today I've been puttering around, working on the Jo book, reading, eating leftovers...
gwynnega: (Default)
I had a lovely Thanksgiving with my mom. We had turkey, mashed potatoes, stuffing, an amazing creamed spinach-thinly sliced butternut squash au gratin dish (from Trader Joe's), cranberry sauce, and pumpkin pie.

Now I am contemplating having a slice of pie, and I'm watching the Lucky Spencer marathon on SOAPnet. (Great to see these old episodes, though sad to compare them to the current sorry state of the show--and to realize that if SOAPnet ever runs another such GH marathon, it'll probably be because the show's been cancelled.)

My only foray into Black Friday-dom today was a trip to the used bookshops on Brand Ave. I bought a signed paperback of A Monstrous Regiment of Women at Bookfellows, because I'm a couple of hundred pages into The Beekeeper's Apprentice and will need the next volume soon!

At my mom's house I foraged in the closet and found a bunch of my old Sherlock Holmes books from when I was a kid:

The Sherlock Holmes Scrapbook, ed. Peter Haining, foreword by Peter Cushing
Sherlock Holmes of Baker Street: A Life of the World's First Consulting Detective by William S. Baring-Gould
Sherlock Holmes Detected by Ian McQueen
Baker Street By-Ways by James Edward Holroyd
Basil Rathbone: His Life and His Films by Michael B. Druxman

and, not Holmes-related, but another favorite of mine when I was a kid:

The Count: The Life and Films of Bela "Dracula" Lugosi by Arthur Lennig

...I was a seriously geeky kid.

weekend

Nov. 13th, 2011 08:44 pm
gwynnega: (coffee poisoninjest)
I've been having a nice quiet weekend: working on the Jo book, making pumpkin bread (from Trader Joe's mix), watching The Producers (on TCM) for the first time in ages, reading issue #1 of the new Dark Shadows comic book (really excellent and character-driven), and watching Dexter.

Also doing Jo book research on such matters as: how would a woman best carry a concealed carbine?

Now to go watch The Good Wife...
gwynnega: (David/Greenlee holypotatoes1)
I haven't taken a lot of photos since the Garage Kitty passed away. But today I was in the mood.

Here's today's brunch. It's my favorite egg dish that I make: scrambled eggs with kale, leek, tomato, and green salsa. Plus COFFEE.

kale and eggs


I'd thought the Coffee Table would be open through evening for their final day of business, but when I got there around 4 p.m., they'd already closed the kitchen, so I took some pictures. Strange to see all these tables unoccupied. I also sent an email to the company that owns the building, urging them to renew Coffee Table's lease. Maybe if the neighborhood protests loudly enough, it'll make a difference?

Coffee Table sign

Coffee Table front patio

Coffee Table main room

Coffee Table back patio
gwynnega: (coffee poisoninjest)
I find I have nothing to say about 9/11 that hasn't already been said and said and said. So: today is Henna Day, and the henna is on my head.

Later I will go to my beloved Coffee Table for the last time. (It closes tonight.) I had brunch there yesterday with Carolyn and Dave. Also yesterday I went for the first time to Mixto, the brand-new restaurant around the corner which replaces Burrito King (an old school but not very delicious Mexican place over which I will shed no tears). I had a soft chicken taco, cheese tamale, and Mexican chocolate bread pudding, and it was good.
gwynnega: (books poisoninjest)
I'm back in LA after a whirlwind trip to San Francisco. It was a monumental catch-up session with my friend E., who my friend D. and I hadn't seen in about two decades. (E., D. and I first met as undergrads at UCLA.) We went to the amazing The Steins Collect exhibit at SFMOMA, browsed in bookstores (City Lights--where I discovered there's a new book by Marilyn Hacker!--Green Apple, and Borderlands), ate Italian food and pie and Peruvian rotisserie chicken and other goodies, visited The Church of John Coltrane, and walked a ton. I hadn't been in San Francisco in far too many years. I'd forgotten what a beautiful city it is, and I'm grateful that City Lights is still there.
gwynnega: (books poisoninjest)
Sure enough, I am less jetlagged today, and so, here are a few Readercon highlights (with some links):

I attended the discussion of The Jewel-Hinged Jaw, featuring Chip Delany himself commenting on the book from the audience. But damn, that meant I missed the "Rudyard Kipling, Fantasist and Modernist" panel. Again and again I wished I had a clone or two of myself so I could get to everything I wanted to attend.

I had a marvelous time participating in the panel about Jo Walton's novel Among Others with Suzy Charnas, Greer Gilman, Madeleine Robins, and Gary K. Wolfe. Never in my wildest dreams as a twenty-something reader of Motherlines and The Vampire Tapestry did I ever think I'd wind up sitting next to Suzy McKee Charnas on a panel!

I also participated in the fanfic vs. original fiction panel.

Ellen Klages read from a not-yet-published short story about a little girl's obsession with a Disney witch. I can't wait to read the whole thing.

Andrea Hairston knocked my socks off with her performance/reading from her novel Redwood and Wildfire, with musical accompaniment (and songs based on the book) by Pam Morigan.

Lila Garrott did a marvelous and very funny reading from the one-book-a-day-for-a-year blogging project which I've been enjoying so much on LJ.

Julia Rios interviewed me and Claire Cooney (and Claire Cooney-as-Mary Robinette Kowal--which will make more sense when Julia posts the podcast), and it was a lot of uproarious fun. Later that day Claire performed The Sea King's Second Bride at the Rhysling Award Poetry Slan, and then she promptly and deservedly won the long-form Rhysling Award for said poem. It was great to get to read at the Poetry Slan along with Claire, Sonya Taaffe, Theodora Goss, Shira Lipkin, and many others.

Also there was Julia Rios's brilliant Interstitial Arts Party, and the surreality of seeing Neil Gaiman and Amanda Palmer walking down the hall at the hotel, and discussing my dad's filmic oeuvre with Camille Alexa at Mike Allen's party, and hanging out with Victoria Janssen in the bar and the lobby, and eating at the Korean bbq place, and buying the gorgeous Collected Stories of Carol Emshwiller, volume 1 at the Readercon Bookshop...I could go on, but suffice it to say, it was a very good time.
gwynnega: (books poisoninjest)
Oh my, it's already Saturday night and I haven't con-reported! And I don't even have con crud as an excuse (though I did have some leg soreness for a couple of days due to something I must've done during my day of travel on Tuesday).

So, Wiscon! It was great to hang out with [personal profile] nwhepcat, [personal profile] nickelmountain, [personal profile] skogkatt, [personal profile] general_jinjur, [personal profile] likeadeuce and many others. I read poems at the Broad Universe Rapid-fire Reading and had a lot of fun participating in the Fiction Writing in the Age of Fast Information panel with Theodora Goss, Andrea Hairston, Naomi Kritzer, Ann Leckie, and Fred Schepartz.

Some of the terrific panels I attended included: Princess Boys: Is Male Femininity the Last Wave of Feminism?; Celebrating Diana Wynne Jones (with [personal profile] coffeeandink, Sarah Monette and others) (though I greatly longed to clone myself so I could attend This is What Democracy Looks Like: The Wisconsin Protests, scheduled at the same time!); Whedonistas: Feminists Engage With the Worlds of Joss Whedon; and Being a Resilient Writer (the final panel I attended, and the perfect one to send me back home to my writing).

Also great fun were the vid party, the launch party for Catherynne M. Valente's The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making (featuring a concert by SJ Tucker AND bartending by [personal profile] seanan_mcguire!), and the Space Fairies From Beyond reading at a packed Michelangelo's, featuring Pamela Dean, Seanan McGuire, Sarah Monette, Cat Valente, and David D. Levine.

As always, there was much wonderful food, though the Concourse once again let me down by taking the butterscotch pudding off the menu before the con! (The vanilla bread pudding was awfully good, though.) I'm still fondly remembering the creamed-spinach-and-potato pie I had on Monday at Monty's Blue Plate Diner. And, of course, the Dessert Salon, at which the chocolate decadence cake with raspberry sauce continued to be my favorite.

Con programming was, I think, pretty much complete when Joanna Russ died, and I didn't manage to attend the spontaneous programming on her work, but there were some very moving tributes to Russ by Timmi Duchamp, Geoff Ryman and others before Nisi Shawl's Guest of Honor Speech and the Tiptree Ceremony.

weekend

May. 22nd, 2011 09:11 pm
gwynnega: (coffee poisoninjest)
Today my mom and I had blueberry pancakes for her birthday brunch at Marmalade Cafe. Yesterday I did various pre-WisCon tasks. I'm both looking forward to WisCon and having my usual pre-travel angst.

This weekend I would've liked to re-watch The Rapture (1991), one of my favorite films, but Netflix doesn't have a streaming version. Instead I watched It! (1967), starring Roddy McDowall as a criminally insane museum curator with Norman Bates-esque mother issues who ends up controlling a Golem. I'd thought it was a Hammer film, but it was just a close imitation, with a bravura performance by McDowall.

Now to get back to chapter 13 of the Jo book...

weekend

May. 8th, 2011 09:40 pm
gwynnega: (Default)
Yesterday I had dim sum in Chinatown for a friend's birthday. Then I went to Legacy in Glendale for Free Comic Book Day.

Last night I watched Sidney Lumet's film Daniel, which featured, in supporting roles, Joseph Leon and Tovah Feldshuh (Dave Feldman and Martha McKee from Ryan's Hope) playing father and daughter! (They were both fantastic.)

Also this weekend there was a fair bit of noveling (I'm nearly done with chapter 12 of the Jo book). I also finished a poem, sent off one poetry submission and got another sub ready to put in the (snail)mail. It'll be the first time in ages that I'll have sent out a non-electronic submission.

For dinner I had what's become my customary Sunday-night meal: angel hair pasta with kale and mini heirloom tomatoes.

weekend

Mar. 27th, 2011 08:43 pm
gwynnega: (books poisoninjest)
Yikes, I haven't posted in a week (though I've been tweeting). I haven't been receiving my LJ comment notifications--hope that will change soon.

I was saddened to hear of Diana Wynne Jones's death yesterday. Fire and Hemlock is one of my very favorite books.

This afternoon I went to the Music Center to see Britten's opera of The Turn of the Screw. A marvelous production (the kid who played Miles was particularly good), though we were in the nosebleed seats.

Tonight for dinner I made angel hair pasta with kale, mini heirloom tomatoes, sundried tomato chicken sausage, and parmesan. And it was GOOD.

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