gwynnega: (books poisoninjest)
I am hennaing my hair on a warm Los Angeles afternoon. We recently had a brutal heat wave (complete with wildfires), but things have calmed down. Next week it looks like we may even have a spate of early autumn weather, though I'm sure we'll have another blast of heat before Halloween. Meanwhile I am thinking of Hurricane Irma and hoping my friends in Florida weather the storm easily. I can't even get my mind around the devastation the hurricane has already caused.

A few days ago Patti Smith's slim new book Devotion appeared on my tablet. It is half fiction, half memoir / meditation on writing, and I gobbled it up far too quickly.
gwynnega: (Ernest Thesiger)
I am hennaing my hair in the midst of a heat wave. (It was supposed to be 97F today, but it's 101.) On the bright side, I will be at Readercon during next weekend's LA heat wave. Meanwhile, I have air conditioning and cool henna on my head. And tonight is James Whale night on TCM!
gwynnega: (Default)
I am hennaing my hair on a cool, overcast LA afternoon. (Rain is coming tonight. We've been having way more rain this winter than we've had in ages.)

Trump has been our so-called president for just over two weeks, though it feels like a lot longer. I am heartened by the pushback against his agenda, both in the streets and in the courts.

I've been playing this song a lot.
gwynnega: (Default)
It is Henna Day, on the warmest, sunniest day we've had in awhile. (We're supposed to get more rain and cool temps this week.)

Yesterday I saw the long-awaited Hidden Figures at my local movie theater. It made me cry a few times. As Lisa Bolekaja said on Twitter, the film "shows how racism (plus sexism sprinkled in) holds America back. Although a historical drama, it's really talking to 2017." The film seems more necessary than ever just now, with Trump's inauguration (I can barely type the words) less than two weeks away.
gwynnega: (books poisoninjest)
I am hennaing my hair on an autumnal LA afternoon. The political situation continues to evolve in alarming and surreal ways. It's shaping up to be a very strange holiday season.

I finally finished reading the wonderful Shirley Jackson: A Rather Haunted Life, which I began before the election. I'm not sure what I feel like reading next, which is to say I'm not sure what will keep my attention off of politics for more than a few minutes at a time.

I probably should be watching a lot more horror movies.
gwynnega: (books poisoninjest)
The "Animals" issue of Lackington's is out. It includes my story "The Hedgehog and the Pine Cone," with a beautiful illustration by Dotti Price.

We've been having a spate of lovely autumn weather--so of course we're about to have a mini heat wave. Meanwhile, this horrific election season is almost over. I've already voted for Hillary Clinton, and I'm a bundle of pre-election nerves (but it feels like that's been true for months).
gwynnega: (books poisoninjest)
My poem "Una O'Connor unleashes her scream" appears in the new issue of The Cascadia Subduction Zone. The issue also includes poetry by [personal profile] sovay and an essay by L. Timmel Duchamp on Chris Kraus’s I Love Dick.

Also, the April 2016 issue of CSZ is now available as a free PDF; it includes my poem "Poetess Strikes Again."

I'm delighted that my poems "People Change: A Love Story" and "Linda Blair Pantoum" will appear in Postscripts to Darkness. They (like "Una O'Connor") are part of my horror movie poetry project.

It actually rained in Los Angeles last night. I woke up during the night, and it took me a couple of minutes to register what the "water dripping" sound signified. (I guess it's been awhile since we've had any rain.)

Here, have a clip of Una O'Connor unleashing her scream in The Invisible Man.
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)
I am hennaing my hair on a warm Los Angeles afternoon. We had a few lovely fall-esque days. Now another heat wave looms. We'll probably have a few of those before actual autumn sets in.

The other night I watched Tomorrow, the World! (1944) on TCM. I joked that it's "The Bad Seed, Hitler Youth edition," but the two films have some striking parallels. Both are based on Broadway shows; both feature electrifying performances by child actors recreating their Broadway roles; both center around "bad" kids. Unlike Patty McCormack's Rhoda, Skip Homeier's Emil wasn't "born bad"; a German war orphan whose father died opposing the Nazis, Emil has been thoroughly steeped in Nazi ideology (including a giant helping of misogyny). He comes to live with his American uncle, a university professor (played in the film by Fredric March; Ralph Bellamy played him in the Broadway production). When Emil learns his uncle's fiancée is Jewish, he remarks, "That is...regrettable," and things go downhill from there, as he wreaks havoc at home, school, and in the neighborhood. Emil is clever and calculating, both mature beyond his years and an insufferable brat; his repudiation of his father masks a grief he's stuffed so far down, it seems nearly irretrievable. The film hinges upon Homeier's performance, and it's a remarkable one. (It doesn't look like the film is available on DVD, but it's showing on TCM On Demand through September 23.)
gwynnega: (books poisoninjest)
It is Henna Day, and we are currently not having a heat wave, though I wish it were cooler.

I am very happy with the results of the 2016 Hugo Awards (The Fifth Season!, Binti!, Uncanny!, etc., etc.), aside from the ways the Puppy shenanigans impinged on the ballot. I hope the Puppies give it a rest next year, though I said that last year.

I'm reading Shirley Jackson's The Lottery and Other Stories. Also I'm rereading Chris Kraus's I Love Dick, which I last read when it came out in 1997. Friday night I watched Jill Soloway's Amazon pilot loosely based on the book and disliked it rather a lot, though everyone else is praising it. I immediately reached for my copy of the book, which made me dislike the TV version even more. (Since it's such a loose adaptation, I might have been able to appreciate it on its own terms more if Soloway had gone whole hog and changed the title of the show and the characters' names.)
gwynnega: (coffee poisoninjest)
It is Henna Day, and we're having another heat wave. Tomorrow I'm going to see Planet of the Apes (1968) on a big screen. I've never seen any of the original series of films in a theater, and I would love to see the whole series that way (except perhaps Beneath the Planet of the Apes, which I have a grudge on because it features a different actor than Roddy McDowall as Cornelius).

I'm trying not to be entirely consumed by politics, but it isn't easy these days.
gwynnega: (books poisoninjest)
It is Henna Day, on a fairly hot day in Los Angeles. But 91 degrees F doesn't feel like much compared to last weekend, when it was around 112 degrees in my neighborhood. I hope we don't have any more extreme heatwaves this summer.

I have watched season four of Orange Is the New Black. Until the last couple of episodes, I might have said it was my favorite season, but I had issues with the storytelling decisions towards the end of the season. I wasn't spoiled, but I was prepared for Something Extremely Upsetting by nonspoilery reactions on Twitter. I'm not sure whether the storytelling decisions were warranted or merely gratuitous and ill-advised, but I'm leaning towards the latter.

I'm reading and loving the final volume of Elena Ferrante's Neapolitan series. I've tried to space the books out so I wouldn't finish the series too quickly. I suppose eventually I can try Ferrante's earlier work.
gwynnega: (books poisoninjest)
I am hennaing my hair on a hot Los Angeles afternoon. We've had cold (for LA) weather, along with some rain, but now it's hot and bone-dry. Yesterday I finally got a long-overdue haircut, which I'm especially pleased about now that the weather has veered into summer.

I mentioned in a previous post that I have a poem in the latest issue of The Cascadia Subduction Zone, but when my paper copy arrived the other day, I read Julie Phillips' essay "'I Begin to Meet You at Last': On the Tiptree-Russ-Le Guin Correspondence," and it's fantastic. (It looks like you can watch Phillips read the essay here; there's also a link on the page to video of Ursula Le Guin reading the letter she wrote to Alice Sheldon after she "came out" as Tiptree.)
gwynnega: (coffee poisoninjest)
I am hennaing my hair a day early, as tomorrow we're supposed to have a storm (after a few weeks of bone-dry, unseasonably warm weather). Since the last time we had a big storm, my power went out, I figured it would be best to get Henna Day over with ahead of time, just in case. I hope the power stays on this time.

Later I will get back to reading Elena Ferrante's The Story of a New Name, which I am loving.

(Also, I am still obsessed with Hamilton.)
gwynnega: (coffee poisoninjest)
It is the first Henna Day of 2016, and since we've in the midst of LA winter (i.e., a high temperature of 60 degrees today), I'm a bit cold with the henna on my hair. We had massive rain last week, which we really needed. Fortunately my windows stayed dry.

Yesterday Mythic Delirium Volume Two showed up in the mail, featuring my poem "It's a Universal Picture" and work by Sonya Taaffe, Virginia M. Mohlere, Rose Lemberg, Dominik Parisien, Shveta Thakrar, and many other terrific writers. Plus the cover art is gorgeous.

I've been reading The Jane Austen Book Club by Karen Joy Fowler. We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves was one of the books I most enjoyed last year; this one is utterly delightful and makes it clear I need to read all of Karen Joy Fowler.

Last night I watched Phase IV (1974) on TCM. It's a movie about ants plotting to take over the world, directed by Saul Bass. It's visually stunning (though the plethora of ant closeups wigged me out) and deeply weird. It was also weird to see Michael Murphy (who I knew best from movies like Manhattan and The Front) playing an ant-battling mathematician. I think I might need to see it again.
gwynnega: (coffee poisoninjest)
It is Henna Day, on a cool Los Angeles afternoon. We might even get some rain. The henna on my head is a bit chilly, rather than refreshing. I am glad we've been having some actual autumn weather.

My car battery has been less thrilled by the cool weather--i.e., it died yesterday. But at least I was at home when that happened, and now I have a zippy new car battery.

Last night I watched Abar, the First Black Superman (1977) on TCM. It's a blaxploitation film about a black scientist who moves with his family into a white, ultraracist neighborhood in Los Angeles and ends up creating a wonder drug which gives a neighborhood activist super powers. The film apparently had a beleaguered production history. I was particularly taken with the 1970s LA location shots, especially the fight scene filmed at Watts Towers.
gwynnega: (books poisoninjest)
My poem "Champagne Ivy" has been accepted by Mythic Delirium. The poem was inspired by the 1931 film of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, directed by Rouben Mamoulian.

We finally have achieved autumn in Los Angeles. It pleases me no end that it's only supposed to get to 65 degrees F today (and temperatures are supposed to stay below 80 in the extended forecast). I may make pumpkin bread to celebrate.
gwynnega: (coffee poisoninjest)
It is Henna Day, and we're having another mini heat wave (typical of Los Angeles in September). My kitchen is stocked with Trader Joe's pumpkin products, but it doesn't feel quite right to consume them in 99 degree weather. (However, I have made a pot of pumpkin spice coffee and eaten some pumpkin-ginger ice cream cookies.)

Fortunately I got my hair cut yesterday, which is helping me cope with the heat.

I am currently reading several books, including the new Shirley Jackson collection Let Me Tell You, Dodie Bellamy's new book of essays When the Sick Rule the World, and C.S.E. Cooney's Bone Swans. I'm planning to read a bunch of ghost stories in October.
gwynnega: (books poisoninjest)
It is Henna Day, and I am bracing for the heat wave we're supposed to have this week. I am heartily tired of heat waves, and if I could make autumn happen in LA before late October, I would.

I'm relieved that the Puppies were shut out of the Hugo Awards, but frustrated that so many good authors were shut out as a result of their shenanigans (especially the authors in their second year of Campbell eligibility). I was pleased to see a novel in translation winning for Best Novel.

I really hope the Puppy shenanigans don't happen again next year.
gwynnega: (coffee poisoninjest)
I am hennaing my hair on a rare Saturday Henna Day. (On Sunday I'm going to read a couple of poems and listen to a lot of great music at a friend's birthday bash.) It is a far too summery summer day. As usual at this time of year, I am longing for autumn weather, but we probably won't get it until around Halloween.

Later today I will watch The Vanishing (George Sluizer, 1988) for the first time in a number of years. Cable keeps taunting me by showing the crappy American remake from 1993 (made by the same director, but pretty much a textbook example of how Hollywood wrecks brilliant foreign films), so I ordered a Netflix DVD of the proper version.

ETA: My new favorite website: The Horror Cats: A Celebration of Felines in Horror Movies and Television.

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