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A long overdue update

a cure
Gee. You neglect LJ for a while and you come back and they've reformatted the thing. And I never saw a change on my friends' LJ pages.

Never mind. It occurred to me I was long overdue to touch base here, so here I am.

I went to the RT Book Reviews convention in New Orleans the weekend before Memorial Day, because they'd invited me to receive not one, but two awards, one for career achievement, and one naming me as a Young Adult Pioneer. This brings me up to 5 awards, which is pretty cool beans!

It also meant spending several days with a number of very cool people. Hang on a sec while I put wax in my ears, because I know the squeeage is about to hit the high decibels. I already knew Sarah Zettel from her adult SF days--now she's the writer of DUST GIRL and the other two books of the American Fairy trilogy, and she's begun the series that starts with PALACE OF SPIES. I was glad to see her again, and delighted to know the third American Fairy book is on its way and to get a chance to read the second PALACE book! Then I got to meet, let's see, Tess Gerritson, Lee Child (both adult thriller writers), Kelley Armstrong, Sarah J. Maas, Melissa Marr, Leigh Bardugo, Mary Robinette Kowal (who gifted all of us with lovely sandalwood fans!), Kristen Callihan, Mur Lafferty (of THE SHAMBLING GUIDE TO LONDON fame), PJ Schnyder, Rachel Caine, David McGinnis Gill, CL Lyons, Stephanie Perkins, Rae Dawn Carson, Morgan Rhodes, Carrie Ryan, Kiera Cass, Colleen Houck, Veronica Rossi (UNDER THE NEVER SKY and sequels), and Melissa Marr. Just a wonderful, witty, funny, exciting group of people, including Michelle Krys, Sarah Rees Brennan, Tessa Gratton, and my beloved Random House editor Mallory at dinner the night I arrived, at a restaurant called Sobu. I also got to meet a lovely group of intelligent, cool young female editors from Tor Books.

I had a wonderful time. The RT Book Reviews people were wonderful and made sure I didn't get very lost; the nice people at Harlequin presented the award winners, including me, with huge bouquets, and we were given tons of free books, three of which I've read already! (I'm a sucker for historical romance!) And from my hotel window I could see the Mississippi curve past the French Quarter and listen to the horns of the ships. It being New Orleans, even the hotel food was good.

Everyone was dressed up to the max, particularly the Southern ladies. Everyone was welcoming, and the weather was just right. You should try it next year!

Something to make your heart soar

partial eclipse
A 13-year-old Kazakh (Mongol) girl hunting with her eagle.

I know this may make the vegitarians and anti-hunters among us squick, but a couple of things: her people have been doing this for centuries, to survive. It's an art today, and a skill that is dwindling.

And look at her. Just . . . look at her. When she sends her eagle into the sky, you can tell she's sending her heart with that glorious bird. That girl is the embodiment of freedom and joy. And look at the end! They snuggle!!!


Style note from North Korea

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The next time a Republican starts complaining about Obama stealing her/his rights, show them this article about the Young Leaders requirements on hairstyles for men.

I swear, the world gets weirder every day.

And on the upside, the original film of the great German silent "The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari" has been restored. Even though a beat-up copy scared the pants off of me in college, I still want to see it: it's a brilliant example of the German expressionist film style, and Cesar the somnambulist is one creepy villain--or monster, I could never decide. I hope it goes public soon!

It's this or bang my head on my desk

partial eclipse
I remember the days when CNN was a reputable news organization. As of this bit of newsiness, I wouldn't believe a CNN report unless it was backed up by five other news organizations, including Disney Adventures magazine.

Here's the pull-quotes from DKos's story if you don't want to follow the link:

CNN anchor Don Lemon and Decoded host Brad Meltzer bandied about the idea Sunday afternoon that something “beyond our understanding” happened to Malaysia Airlines flight MH 370, that “something” being perhaps supernatural maybe?

“Especially today, on a day when we deal with the supernatural,” Lemon said. “We go to church, the supernatural power of God…people are saying to me, why aren’t you talking about the possibility — and I’m just putting it out there — that something odd happened to this plane, something beyond our understanding?”

Maybe I'll go bang my head anyway.

edited to add:

Oh, yeah. YHWH centrist, much, to accuse that God of kidnapping a flight with a majority of Chinese (mix of faiths) and Malaysian (most likely Muslim) passengers?

My Tumblr Thing

aye aye
pennydrdful asked for my Tumblr in a previous post, so this is it. But I'll still pop in here now and then when I'm not going crazy on Exile. Numair's about to meet an old friend!

You know when you've had enough winter?

aye aye
When you see a story entry on the Interwebs--"Day's Best Temperature: 73 Degrees"--and you think, "Fucker."

Mind, I'm not normally one of those people who complains about winter. I knew what I was doing when I moved to Syracuse. But we got about 18 inches of snow over the last two days (my excavation guy is getting rich off me this winter), with single-digit temperatures at night, and the day temperatures are none too swell, and it's mid-March, and I am feeling downright surly, and I can't even be happy that I am not alone.

Thought I'd share

a cure
I've been working my fingers off on EXILE, with only a few breaks (seriously! I'm now on wireless internet out of my computer, and spend half of the day with the wireless device pulled out of the socket!), and I've been feeling guilty about neglecting everyone while I spend some of my free time on Tumblr and Pinterest. Thus, I thought I'd share this link, that makes me feel a little better about the *&^%#%$@!!! snow coming down outside of my window, about a dolphin with fishing line around its fin and a man with scissors. I used to do this very thing, only with air, and pigeons.

The writers we read

aye aye
Why is it, when I'm reading the interviews of other writers, and they're asked who are their favorite writers, too many of them start unscrolling a list of the Literary Greats (many of them dead)?

Okay, I have two favorites who have passed, Mark Twain and Georgette Heyer, but mostly my favorites aren't even classed as Literary (okay, Margaret Atwood): Maggie Stiefvater, Sarah Beth Durst, Barbara Hambly (who is also Barbara Hamilton), Bruce Coville (long before we became buddies), Robert McCammon, John Connolly, Guy Gavriel Kay, Jodi Picoult, Dennis Lehane, Chuck Logan, Lois McMaster Bujold, Jane Lindskold, Rachel Neumeier, N.K. Jemisin, Carrie Vaughn, Sarah Zettel, Holly Black, Terry Pratchett, Nancy Farmer, Esther Friesner, Susanne Hale .. . If you've seen my lists, you know the writers I go back to time after time.

The writers and books that inspired me as a young writer were swashbucklers (THE PRINCE AND THE PAUPER, A CONNECTICUT YANKEE IN KING ARTHUR'S COURT, Edgar Rice Burroughs, THE THREE MUSKETEERS, TREASURE ISLAND), historical (Dorothy Dunnett's PAWN IN FRANKINCENSE), or fantasy and science fiction (Tolkein, Robert Howard's Conan, Michael Moorcock's Elric, Frank Herbert's DUNE, Robert A. Heinlein, Isaac Asimov).

So I'm begging the question: don't these writers who cite all these great dead literary writers ever read for fun? Don't they ever get inspired by just rollicking fun books? Or do they just feel they have to be inspired by "great literature" to be counted as a real writer?

Pete Seeger has passed

mourning wreath
I don't know how to explain what Pete Seeger meant to my generation, to the Left of the 50s, 60s, 70s, 80s, and 90s, to folk music, to world music, to the resistance to the House Un-American Activities Committee and their witchhunts . . . He was a giant.

I learned his "If I Had a Hammer" and "Good Night, Irene" in 5th grade. I sang along with "Turn! Turn! Turn!" and "Wimowe." I listened to him play with Peter, Paul, and Mary and the Weavers. He had so much passion and joie de vivre when he sang, whether he was thirty or eighty. The only good thing about his passing is that I know he's found his old pal Woody Guthrie in the Summerlands at last, and that they're jamming together right now.

Summer writing workshop--if you DARE

aye aye
Applications are being accepted for the Alpha Writers' Workshop, for writers ages 14-19, this July. Among the presenters will be writers Bruce Coville, Tobias Buckell, Rachel Swirsky, and, well, me, as well as other publishing professionals. Don't waste time in checking the site, because a story will be your application!

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