truepenny: artist's rendering of Sidneyia inexpectans (ws: hamlet)
No actual content, but the frost on the windows this morning was remarkably beautiful:

frost1

frost2

ETA: combining [livejournal.com profile] pameladean and [livejournal.com profile] sovay's comments, we learn that this is Mirkwood as designed by Louis Comfort Tiffany. Also, as I said to [livejournal.com profile] matociquala, it is what happens when your 107 year old windows are in desperate need of an upgrade.

(Also, happy birthday to the world's most awesome sister-in-law!)
truepenny: artist's rendering of Sidneyia inexpectans (porpentine: pleased)
1. I should mention that OddCon was awesome. I'm no good at con reports (fellow GoH [livejournal.com profile] robin_d_laws is blogging his con experience, though), but I had a wonderful time. Thank you, Odyssey Con!

2. My friend Marissa Lingen ([livejournal.com profile] mrissa) has just made her eightieth short fiction sale. (Yes, that's eightieth--80--not eighth.)

3. Today is Carol Emshwiller's ninetieth birthday. Happy birthday, Carol!

4. Drabblecast is doing [livejournal.com profile] matociquala and my story "Boojum," which--for those of you playing along at home--is set in the same universe as "Mongoose." Drabblecast 202 is Part I.

5. Taronga Zoo in Sydney has a baby red panda.
truepenny: artist's rendering of Sidneyia inexpectans (ws: poets)
I'm reading F. W. Deakin's The Brutal Friendship: Mussolini, Hitler, and the Fall of Italian Fascism (1962), and for some reason a minor exchange Deakin mentions between the King of Italy and one of his marshals insists on being rewritten in iambic pentameter, as if it were a quote from some time-traveling Elizabethan playwright*:

VICTOR EMMANUEL: The old guard . . . ghosts, all of them.
BADOGLIO: Then we, sir, we two are also ghosts.

--The Fall of Mussolini

If anyone wants to do anything with this, you may consider yourself to have my blessing. Because I'm not ABOUT to write a five-act blank verse tragedy about Mussolini--despite the sudden, ridiculous temptation of writing the Hitler scenes.

---
*This is oddly appropriate, since February 26 was the day of Christopher Marlowe's baptism in 1564, and in [livejournal.com profile] matociquala's excellent story, "This Tragic Glass," Marlowe is exactly that: a time-traveling Elizabethan playwright. Happy approximate birthday, Kit, and next time, just pay for the fucking fish, all right?
truepenny: artist's rendering of Sidneyia inexpectans (Default)
1. Happy birthday (yesterday) to [livejournal.com profile] coffeeem and to [livejournal.com profile] matociquala's Giant Ridiculous Dog!

2. My second Ellery Queen post is up at tor-dot-com, here.

3. Yesterday, [livejournal.com profile] heresluck and I braved the winterness of Wisconsin to go bookstore trolling. I picked up [livejournal.com profile] cmpriest's Boneshaker and Dreadnought to give as xmas gifts (having given h.l. our extra copy of Boneshaker--I am flinging the steampunk zombies far and wide this holiday season), and had excellent book-fu on my own account:
  • Cohen, Patricia Cline. The Murder of Helen Jewett: The Life and Death of a Prostitute in Nineteenth-Century New York (I'm hoping this will be more the book I wanted The Mysterious Death of Mary Rogers to be).
  • Godbeer, Richard. The Devil's Dominion: Magic and Religion in Early New England.
  • Kater, Michael H. Hitler Youth.
  • Sigmund, Anna Maria. Women of the Third Reich (not quite as exciting as if I'd found Jill Stephenson's Women in Nazi Germany, but still).

4. There's even more winter over in Minnesota.

5. When I was buying Boneshaker and Dreadnought, the owner of A Room of One's Own did a double-take at my check and said, "Are you Sarah Monette the science fiction writer?" And when I agreed that I was, she said, "Are they going to put your books out again? Because I get a lot of people asking about them." And I told her about the rights and my plan to find a small press, and she mentioned the TOTALLY INSANE prices The Virtu is going for on eBay, and so on.

I've had conversations like that with booksellers before, but they've always been in-genre (Dreamhaven, Larry Smith, etc.). So having the conversation again with someone who sells all kinds of books feels like, in the middle of a lot of discouragement about my career, a kind of encouraging milestone.
truepenny: artist's rendering of Sidneyia inexpectans (Default)
1. Happy birthday, [livejournal.com profile] papersky!

2. I have discovered a delightful series of flash games, from Eyezmaze, called Grow. (The first link takes you to Eyezmaze's site, the second to the jayisgames review of Grow Valley, which is the most recent of the games. The jayisgames page also has (a.) the walkthrough for Grow Valley and (b.) links to the jayisgames reviews (and walkthroughs) of the other Grow games.) Grow Valley charmed my socks off.

3. My package from Fountain Pen Hospital arrived (complete with pen pr0n--thank you, FPH). Once I'd let both the Pelikan and the Squeteague warm up (it's kind of, you know, chilly today in the Upper Midwest), I tried it out, and I have to tell you, I think I'm in love.

The Pelikan Technixx has a kind of retro-pulp sfnal aesthetic that I adore (it's the matte chrome finish and the super smooth lines). It's extremely light-weight, and it writes like a dream. The Pelikan nib has a different feel from any of my other fountain pens; more than the others, it feels to me like what rollerball pens are trying to feel like--only this is like the difference between "peach ice-cream" and peach ice-cream made with real peaches and real cream. It's awesome.

Noodler's Squeteague is an extremely dark blue-green color, emphasis on the green. It's almost black when wet, but becomes more visibly green as it dries, leaning just far enough into blue to not be a straight dark green. I may, after further use, consider adulterating it with Couleur Royale to get it just a little bluer, but it's awfully nice as is.

I'm washing out the nib of the JMFMP so I can try the Old Dutch Sepia in it tomorrow. I will, of course, report back.

4. Let me mention Whedonistas again (link to the Facebook page).

5. [livejournal.com profile] maryrobinette made it home safely on Sunday, after a comedy of errors and malfunctions that was starting to reach Odyssean levels. Mary, out of curiosity, have you ever tried to go to Ithaca?
truepenny: artist's rendering of Sidneyia inexpectans (Default)
1. As today is my birthday, I observe that the true and valuable purpose of Facebook is birthday greetings. I'm not being sarcastic. I'm very grateful and very touched at how many people are wishing me a happy birthday, and I'm very grateful that Facebook makes it so easy for them.

2. Amazing photographs (1): Astronaut Douglas H. Wheelock's pictures from the ISS. My particular favorite is No. 17. (Link via [livejournal.com profile] papersky.)

3. Amazing photographs (2): This picture of an ornithopter is going to turn into a story someday. The rest of the ornithopter pictures (just keep scrolling down until you run out of ornithopters) are also fantastic. (Link via [livejournal.com profile] jaylake.)

4. [livejournal.com profile] mirrorthaw is playing weird covers for me again. Ska "Crazy Train," bossanova "November Rain," the weirdest-assed weird-ass cover of "King of the Road" I have EVER heard.

5. Tobias Buckell has a smart post about the American Thanksgiving, and how its origins and cultural mythology are kind of problematic and off-putting, but the idea, of taking a day to think about the things you're grateful for, is a good one. And, yeah. What he said.

This is probably a good place to mention, btw, that Pat Rothfuss is doing his Worldbuilders fundraiser for Heifer International again this year. I don't even know what awesome stuff Pat has in his hat this year. But Thanksgiving seems like a good day to think about giving to others.

Our plans for today involve staying in and not doing much, except for the food. (Love is the plan, the plan is food.) Given how exciting/hellish things have been for us recently, this feels like the right thing to do. I'm grateful we can do this, and I'm grateful my life has put me here to do it.

I hope all of you Americans have a very happy Thanksgiving with people you love. And I hope all you non-Americans have a very good November 25th. Which, you know, is a perfectly cromulent day to have a good one of.
truepenny: artist's rendering of Sidneyia inexpectans (muppets: kermit-sgreer)
Happy birthday to the fabulous [livejournal.com profile] hanneblank!
truepenny: artist's rendering of Sidneyia inexpectans (Default)
1. Happy birthday, [livejournal.com profile] pameladean!
2. Congratulations, [livejournal.com profile] yuki_onna!
3. It is both sunny and snowing today, which is always just weird.
4. Today's APOD is both gorgeous and amazing, as APODs always are, and a picture of somewhere I've been.
5. Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.: I wish he were alive for this celebration of his birthday. He would be 81.

Finally, with a big thank you to Dave at Steve's Tattoo, here's what I did with my weekend:
tattoo )

And now, these goblins and I have a book to finish in the next two weeks. I'll be under this hippopotamus if anybody needs me.
truepenny: artist's rendering of Sidneyia inexpectans (muppets: kermit-sgreer)
Happy birthday to the fabulous [livejournal.com profile] coffeeem!

(Also, happy birthday to [livejournal.com profile] matociquala's Giant Ridiculous Dog, whom I love.)

5 things

Nov. 27th, 2009 04:38 pm
truepenny: artist's rendering of Sidneyia inexpectans (Default)
1. Thank you, everyone, for the birthday wishes on Wednesday. So far, thirty-five is going pretty well.

2. One of my birthday presents was a ring made by Sara Jayne Cole. I think I've linked to her work before, but I gotta say, it's worth linking to again. (Disclaimer: she is a friend of my mother's.)

3. My birthday present to myself--and [livejournal.com profile] mirrorthaw--was buying a new bed with the advance from the goblin book. Since the bed we were sleeping on was the one I bought when I moved to Madison in 1996, you may rightfully say that this birthday present is neither self-indulgent nor, indeed, a moment too soon. Also, for the first time in our adult lives, we have an honest-to-god bed frame.

4. The bed frame has taught me that I do actually have a (rather dim and rudimentary) sense of spatial relations. I walked into it in the dark yesterday because I knew exactly where the bed was. Or, you know, used to be. I'm developing a lovely bruise on my thigh.

5. I have reached 65,000 words in the goblin book. 45,000 to go. Which will be easier once I figure out what the captain of the palace guard wants to talk to the emperor about.
truepenny: artist's rendering of Sidneyia inexpectans (muppets: kermit-sgreer)
Very happy 80th birthday wishes to Ursula K. Le Guin, whom I desperately want to be when I grow up. (Still not king.) Her books were a deeply formative influence (science fiction! AND feminism! AND non-white protagonists! AND philosophical rigor! AND lovely careful thinking about what it means to be a human being! AND breathtaking prose! AND!, in other words, instead of OR.), and her nonfiction essays were one of the first places where I saw that it was okay to be serious about science fiction. In other words, for someone whom I've "met" exactly once (I'm not sure book signings count as meetings, really), she means an awful lot to me. I feel the world is a richer, more thoughtful, and happier place with her in it, and I hope this eightieth birthday is a very happy one.
truepenny: artist's rendering of Sidneyia inexpectans (muppets: kermit-sgreer)
I admit, I love fireworks to the depths of my unregenerate twelve-year-old soul.

Happy birthday, America!

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