storyrainthejournal: (Default)
Went to the Pecan Street fest this past weekend with god kids and their 'rents. Here's a pic from our perambulations through the crowds:


I got a hat with ears and the most amazing goat cheese concoction, from this wonderful sounding goat farm: Coon Ridge Organic Goat Farm Dairy

Also, my god daughter has adopted a mod/steampunk style, including top hat. She was pretty adorable.

*
Phantom Drift issue #2, Valuable Estrangements, is now available. Get it here or order it at your local bookstore.

From managing editor David Memmott:
Issue Two presents 166 perfect-bound pages of estrangement wrapped in a gorgeous cover featuring the darkly mysterious art of sculpture-filmmaker John Frame and includes sixteen original stories, twenty-one poems/prose poems, three essays, a review and six letter compositions.

My little "Boneshadow" appears among the original stories. Here's an excerpt:
     It was summer under the eaves of the sky and the city echoed with heat. Sadie ran, on the curved shell of dusk’s descent, through a downtown of worn concrete and brick.
     The city owned many architectures, deep and thick with the dreams, spoils, battles, victories, and longings of its inhabitants, whose lives stained its walls as a smoke accreted as the rooms, ells, and stories of its many buildings accreted, souls coloring an alley or a forgotten room here and there in luminous shades, while everywhere else was gray and aged.
    “Where are you running, Sadie?” “Why are you running, Sadie?”
     The questions hissed and echoed up from grates, around corners, out of the air, in voices sly and insistent and gentle.
     Sadie had seen a thing, a crack in the bone and breath of the world, and it had seen her.

*
 
Also, there's this, the best story ever. "They had gone on a very long trip."


storyrainthejournal: (Default)
Over my long weekend I went to Zilker Botanical Gardens and chased butterflies around trying to get good pictures of them. Only got a few:

000y62e9
000y7zrz

Lily pond action and some obligatory cats (it's been a while) below

the cut... )
storyrainthejournal: (fable)
Loneliness is a thing that happens to most people. For the unpaired, once-abandoned children among us, e.g., me, it's a companion in its own right.

Last night's dreaming contained an element frequent to my dreams, a strong sadness, near desperation, in the search for a place to live in the world where there will be support and comraderie. This has been amped up lately as I've been thinking about how I'd like to move to Portland, Or. Except there's no dayjobs there and I have to have a dayjob, and moving is scary when you're alone.

Austin's been a good place for me. I love my loft. I know a lot of folks. But they're all paired off and many have kids and they're just busy with their own lives, not really very there, in that supportive, community-feeling way. I reach out, invite people to go to dinner, movies, etc., but they just have too much already going on.  

A lot of the time, that's okay; but also quite regularly, it is not so okay.

Enter this Mary Oliver poem, excerpted on Terri Windling's blogpost today (*you know about the amazing auction raising money for the amazing Terri, currently in need, right? Glittering scads of remarkable items and services on offer there.)

Wild Geese

You do not have to be good.
You do not have to walk on your knees
for a hundred miles through the desert, repenting.
You only have to let the soft animal of your body
love what it loves.
Tell me about despair, yours, and I will tell you mine.
Meanwhile the world goes on.
Meanwhile the sun and the clear pebbles of the rain
are moving across the landscapes,
over the prairies and the deep trees,
the mountains and the rivers.
Meanwhile the wild geese, high in the clean blue air,
are heading home again.
Whoever you are, no matter how lonely,
the world offers itself to your imagination,
calls to you like the wild geese, harsh and exciting–
over and over announcing your place
in the family of things.

© Mary Oliver


This is, btw, one of the elements that contributed to my becoming a writer at an early age, the desire to participate in this offering of the world, the vast and inspiring natural world, to my imagination.
storyrainthejournal: (eek)
The giant digi-sign over the downtown entrance to IH35, that usually posts traffic and road advisories, has, for the past few days, flashed only this:

Extreme wildfire danger / Watch for smoke on the road

Here is a summary, with links, from [livejournal.com profile] marthawells, because she sums it up well:

The Bastrop fire is supposed to be at 30% containment but has already destroyed 38,089 acres and destroyed 576 homes. That's the total for one fire, not all of them. There's a photo gallery* here. This museum was burnt to the ground but as someone on Facebook said, it's hard to keep track of all the stuff being destroyed. One report said that all but 50 to 100 acres of the pines covering the 6,000-acre Bastrop State Park are burned, and they don't have high hopes for the endangered species of toad that lives there.

The Red Cross is taking donations, plus if you here in state, various places are taking donations of food, clothes, etc for the 1000s of people who've lost their homes, donations of hay and grain for evacuated livestock, and donations for evacuated pets. KVUE lists places in Austin taking donations.

* eta: some dead animal pictures in these, so fair warning

And here is a photo snagged from [livejournal.com profile] impatientape.



Meanwhile, it rains and rains in other parts of the country, and I am wondering how I ended up living here.

storyrainthejournal: (fable)

As it's cloudy out, I took a break from the office to go for a walk down by Waller Creek. What passes for a cool breeze was blowing (rain in the forecast), so it was (what passes for) nice out, this time of year here.

First I found a paperback copy, in good shape, of The Vampire Armand. I put it up on a stone wall and left it.

The water is currently an opaque milky green that I've never seen in Waller before. Despite that, I saw a beautiful long-legged, long necked bird in one of the grassy isles. I think it was a young heron of some kind. Then I saw a slender black water snake, describing smooth curves across the surface of pale green water.

Not bad for a fifteen minute break from the office.
storyrainthejournal: (flying)
Yesterday I went to breakfast with my friend K, who had been in town the last week reading application stories for the Michener MFA program. We went for a good walk on the greenbelt afterwards. Barton Creek was in full spate, and quite lovely, clear green and glassy in places, rushing and musical in others. The light was gorgeous. Only had my phone with me, but I got a few decent-ish pictures.

I love seeing K; she is a good good friend. We were in the Michener program together, too many years ago now to number them here; the first thing that attracted me to her was her writing. I decided early on in workshop that she was really the strongest, most interesting writer among us. We always talk about many things, but we talk writing--writing as art and as craft, and as a completely separate thing from the industry, publishing side of it (though we talk about that, too)--a great deal, in a way that's very deep digging and satisfying to me.

Pictures from the greenbelt...

000rt62y

a few more behind the cut )
storyrainthejournal: (eek)
Best Halloween moment was Friday night; N & I went for dinner at the Chinatown downtown. When the guy dressed as a Tong member walked in, I actually thought, at first, huh, so Chinese gang business goes on here? I mean, he had the hat, the sharp shirt and pants, the big gold ring, but mostly he was just wearing the attitude so well that really was my first thought--until he was joined for dinner by a guy with his white button down shirt ripped and half hanging out and blood-soaked. 

Dio de los Muertos today; I really prefer Day of the Dead to Halloween--at least, I prefer the trappings of it to the commercial ones of Halloween, and the fact that the meaning is still fairly clear and true and undiluted by said commercialism. Or maybe it's just that I don't really like pumpkins.

If I'd known about it sooner, I might be going to http://www.futureartfestival.com/. But I will be hanging with some peeps for the afternoon, and that's really the best.

Bonus writing update: I'm not officially participating in Nanowrimo, but I am determined to finish a draft of Deep Terrain this month, another 40-50k to bring it just over 100k. To that end, had a good writing session this morning, which makes me way happy. Wish me luck in keeping it up.

Bonus Sula update: I built her a fort under the windowsill, for when it's too hot on the windowsill and she seems to like it, but when I had the door open earlier to water the plants, she shot out into the breezeway and didn't want to come back into the loft. That's a first. She's scared of the loft. The vet is kind of stumped, she's (Sula, not the vet) not responding to the meds, but she's not getting any worse, still eating and drinking water and (mostly) managing to use the litter box (which is now in her fort).



storyrainthejournal: (rouseau&cat)

Seen on way into dayjob this morning: men in business clothes, sans jackets in deference to heat, moving in zombie horde clumps toward taco lady's truck. "taaaaacoooosss"

*
Aristotle does not like to have his ears cleaned. He would like a safe word. (his ears are filled with gunky dark wax, so, too bad, furball)

*
I am living in a severe drought zone. Oh woe.

*
Watching the previews at the Harry Potter showing I went to yesterday, I am struck anew by the fact that boys and men are still the default protagonist in any adventure movie, and by extension, imo, still presented as the default for "human" experience. Since I consider adventure a more satisfying paradigm for coming of age stories than, say, sharing a pair of jeans in which every young woman looks fab, it's kind of a bummer, you know?

[livejournal.com profile] janni talks a little about this here, with regard to YA books...
storyrainthejournal: (froggyhashat)

Scenes in Austin during SXSW when one is keeping their distance from same:

young woman in black tanktop, yellow tutu, and black combat boots riding bicycle

turning on radio in car to hear interview with friend about his band; at one point, explaining how he ended up in Austin, the came for college, succumbed to lifestyle story is trotted out (it's so common here) and he says, "It's a soft trap, hard to escape."

three dogs of graduated sizes on lofts green chasing balls as music rolls over all from the club across the street 

***

In other news, my website, storyrain.com, is currently undergoing transfer from under the capable and generous custodianship of the talented, awesome, wonderful  kelly-yoyo into the hands of the much less competent me. Currently if you try to visit (you in the back, stop laughing), you get a placeholder. All fixed, byt the grace of the ever-awesome [livejournal.com profile] kelly_yoyo.

Also, if anyone wanted to read "The Blue Parallel," for which there's a link over to the right, for some reason it's not currently available at The Hub's site. I'm checking into it.
storyrainthejournal: (lantern)
We had a day of sunshine and 70 degree weather yesterday, and Eliz and I had a long walk down by town lake; the water was very clear, reflecting blue or green, and the light was lovely through bare trees. The willows were not bare, but yellow, reflecting on green water. Later we went to N&C's where Eliz's presence had been kept a surprise to the kids (I almost got hugs, but then they saw her behind me--"Look what I found," I said, not very originally--and I was the proverbial chopped liver. Hm, proverbial chopped liver). Dogs and cats and children; it's very cosy at N&C's for the winter holidays. We had Dover sole with asparagus for dinner, then there were fresh made macaroons and toffee bars and hot cocoa during tree trimming and general messing about (the kids). (I, sadly, seem to have picked up my first head cold in years, and drank tea instead of cocoa; early and regular application of Cold-eze, Advil, Honey-Loquat syrup, and tea seems to be taming the blech.)

We'll go back over there in a bit for presents and an antipasto lunch. Later still, Eliz and I are going to the lovely Maureen McHugh's for dinner. If I don't get lost driving in Northwest Austin; it really confusles me up there.

With some snuffling, Happy Merry, shine on everyone.

storyrainthejournal: (bunny)

The novel that predicted Portland
. (except as far as I know Portland hasn't seceded from the U.S. Yet)
*
RevolutionSF will be publishing a story of mine, "An Irdish Tale" sometime in the upcoming months. This is an origination tale for Fuizi, the assassin dog in The Z Radiant, and a story of which I'm quite fond, so I am pleased. The story is also set in the same wider SF universe as my story "Brilliance," a pulpy adventure tale which RevolutionSF published previously, here.
*
Austin: where the weather goes from 27 degrees f one night to 71 two days later. Austin doesn't have its own weather, just whatever's blowing east, west, north, or south.

storyrainthejournal: (dogwantbone)
 [profile] spike21and [personal profile] sdnI'm looking at you:

Austin's new store, Big Top Candy Shop.
storyrainthejournal: (crowndog)

Two things I'd like to do this weekend, both on Saturday:

Stitch 2007, Chronicle article here. It starts at 4pm.

And this:

999 EYES AUTHENTIC TRAVELING FREAKSHOW hearkens back to the circus days of old with a traveling vaudevillian-style show featuring stage acts from magicians, sideshow artists, clowns, and, most importantly, a delightful cast of "living human oddities" that includes the Twenty Seven Inches Small Woman and the three-fingered Lobster Girl. All performances feature live musical accompaniment from local "gypsy jug band" That Damned Band9pm. Ruta Maya, 3601 S. Congress Ste. D-200, 707-9637. $11.(Can't make it to the show? The National Geographic Channel show Taboo features the 999 Eyes crew this Sunday, Nov. 11, 7pm; www.nationalgeographic.com/channel/video)

And tonight there's a free Diwali celebration with food at the main mall on campus. 

storyrainthejournal: (Default)
...or just like good Middle Eastern food with entertainment and fun...(I meant to post this sooner, sorry):
storyrainthejournal: (Default)
Hit Barton Springs late yesterday afternoon with Katherine; lovely. When not swimming or lounging in the water, we chatted on the hillside and watched people...also a turtle (turtles and Barton Springs salamanders share the place with the humans) surfacing and diving among the naked apes.

Then we went to Sazon to meet a bunch of folks; festive and fun. (Mexican martini with extra olives and pollo al carbon with avocado salad, yum).
storyrainthejournal: (crowndog)
Saturday
Breakfast yesterday with Phyllis, in town with her boy, four-month old baby Will, and the boy's delightful daughter Jade. (several of us had strawberry pancakes) After breakfast we went by the little gallery at The Opera House to see Twitter Box, a show of puppets and dioramas and miniature stage sets I'd really wanted to see. It was great fun, the show itself brought together by a DVD of the short films for which the sets, dioramas, and puppets had been made. My favorite one was the most recent, Sprout, for which I can only find these stills, which don't give you much idea of the magic, really. They were all quite engaging; the other standout for me was Les Malaventures de Zut-Alors.

Two batches of lovely rain yesterday, resulting in a beautiful evening, wonderfully cool for the second day of summer in Austin, and rainbowed.

I updated my website, and redid the layout here.

Neighbor B brought me flowers (the rejects from a bouquet for neighbor M, whose birthday it was, but still, how sweet is that?).

Visited briefly with other neighbor-types down at M's birthday party in the pavilion. Neighbor F told me she had read "The Bllue Parallel" in Hub magazine and really liked it. Nice.

Recent home improvement
*Installed cat door panel to balcony. So far, no actual cat use. I tried to give Sula a helping hand through it once. Won't be trying that again.

*There was a flier from a Chinese restaurant stuck in the door when I got home Friday, saying they will deliver. We have achieved Chinese food delivery! (whether it's any good is irrelevant--we have achieved the definition of urban)



storyrainthejournal: (crowndog)
A cool Austin story can be found here in [profile] incandragon's journal. Amy's is really the only place in Austin I'd go for icecream.

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