storyrainthejournal: (snowy)

Sweet, huh?

There were many other lovely, thoughtful gifts (which I refuse to laundry list on the grounds that it's not interesting for anyone but me) (I am very lucky in my friends and family), two lovely dinners with N&C & the kids (teenagers now), plus xmas day antipasto, and some precious time off to live more at my own pace, doing those things I love most, writing, meditating, reading, hanging with my cats, seeing movies, and going for walks. Back to the dayjob tomorrow, for two days, then another four off. Yay!

The cats all say hello, or zzzzzzzz:

  Scaramouch
  Tinker
Aristotle
storyrainthejournal: (Default)
Am thankful. Here's some cats and a hat and a Happy Thanksgiving.
this way for pictures... )

storyrainthejournal: (froggies)
Camille Alexa's flash story "Where the Best Lilies Grow" is free for the reading over at 10 Flash. Fill some minutes with an intoxicating swallow of haunting liqueur, most properly distilled. Seriously. 

Odette’s maman says she plucked her along with other skinny reeds down by the shallow brackish waters of the Durendal Fen near the water’s tail end where the best mud lilies grow among the beaked sedge and whorl grass.  There the small lilies push up, tiny stars tossed against green and black, blossoming like white prayers to hazy dappled cloudshine, offering themselves like virgins opening legs after wedding vows.

*
Spent a good portion of the fourth floating and swishing about in the Pedernales River, when not lying in the shade of a Texas cypress on a rock in said river. There were iridescent perch and tiny frogs and glittering dragonflies, green riverside vistas and the sound of tree frogs, and goats somewhere up on the bank. And moments of feeling deliciously cool even while outside in the insane heat of this otherwise drought-baked summer.

Later, pics of teeny frogs! Stay tuned.


Write-a-thon update:  writing progress was a little slow over the long weekend, and dayjob is busy today, but we're still moving along. Here's your snipply snip:

“Well how did you make all that,” Mazor gestured broadly, “happen before?”

“I have no idea.” Snow stared down at her hand, the patterns inert. She shook it, then cursed at the pain in her assaulted wrist. “It just did.”

“Maybe you have to be about to die. It looked like you were about to die.” The shaken, angry edge still haunted the sea witch’s voice, his gaze on the unconscious Hiritochi.

“It did seem a possibility.”


 


storyrainthejournal: (snowy)
Michael Kelly has tweaked the guidelines for Shadows and Tall Trees, and reminds folks that issue 2 opens to submissions January 1.

A thoughtful, useful review of charity anthology Breaking Waves, which is available electronically for only $4.99 and definitely worth the minimal investment.

Short, entertaining interview with Camille Alexa, which also features a fun little contest to win her excellent collection, Push of the Sky.

*
I am at the dayjob all this week, by my lonely, and it's a struggle so far. I so want to be home, or out for a walk, or seeing a movie (but mostly, home, with the balcony door cracked to the scent of rain and the cats curled up around me.) Finding it very hard to get my head into the dayjob work of editing policy guides and technical assistance documents... A smidge of fiction has gotten writ, and for that I am glad.

But, arrgh, really, just arrrgh.

*
A beast walked in the forest. Its antlers were vast, tangled with snow and tales, flower vine and song. Long echoes of present moments breathed in its deep whisper and call, shaking trees and dreams as far away as reality, as near at hand as now. The frost and fragrance of its breath curled mists thought the night and lengths of golden light through the day.
storyrainthejournal: (contemplative)
For your pulptastic reading pleasure, the dramatic conclusion of Camille Alexa's "Particular Friends," at The Red Penny Papers.

*
I really don't like Christmas music, except for some traditional carols, classical music interpretations, and some (very few) more modern entries. In fact, scrooge it, the things I like about this season are so not-xmas as to make me a bit of a grinch. If it could just be pretty lights, no religion, no worst shades of red and green together ever, lots of good food and drink and time spent w/loved ones, arts & crafts and thrift-gifting, and no treacly didactic stories, that would be excellent. Season of pretty lights, winter solstice, love & food & making things.

*
Here's a preview of cover detail  for Three-Lobed Burning Eye's Annual, Vol 5, which will include my story "A Feather's Weight." 3LBE promises full cover and order details this Wednesday, Dec 1.

*
December 1 is, btw, the first day of Hannukah this year. Pretty lights! Latkes! mmmm...latkes... I will now retire to contemplate latkes and drool.

Oh, speaking of potatoes, one more link, 60 days eating nothing but potatoes, man lost weight, and his blood sugar, blood pressure, and cholesterol levels went down. Of course, he didn't eat butter or sour cream either...
storyrainthejournal: (tiger)

Happy Year of the Tiger and Happy Valentine's Day

to all you all.

May you know much love and good fortune.


storyrainthejournal: (love)
Such a flurry of xmas day posts, crowds of wonderful peeps fill my head.

Me, I was away from the computer all day yesterday; E and I went over to N&C's in the late a.m. The kids were very impatient to get to the second round of present opening, ours to them and theirs to us, and found it hard to wait for E&N to make themselves some coffee. Except Teo, who was very involved in his new book on stop motion animation. (He ended up making several figures, setting up a little studio and making two short films by the end of the day, which we watched on the computer; I love that kid, he sooo my godson.)

We had a splendid antipasto lunch which included fresh handpacked tuna from C's brother and then all the usual traditional antipasto suspects. Then E, N, and I headed off to see Sherlock Holmes, which was AWESOME, seriously, AWESOME. Then back to the house, for some lolling about with the kids, dogs, and cats before a dinner of duck with duck sauce, pork loin, asparagus, and mashed potatoes, with a pesto pasta side starter for the kids. Then a magnificent steamed chocolate pudding with fresh whipped cream. Then I read The Lump of Coal by Lemony Snickets aloud and shortly thereafter E & I hied it back home to give my kitties their very late dinner.

So, you know, it was lovely and sweet, and fun and full of laughter and love, as it should be.

Love to all of you! You all rock.
storyrainthejournal: (polarbearlove)
Six days off in a row: finally relaxed and centered again. Here's to staying that way for a while. Highlights: Thanksgiving dinner at Maureen McHugh's; writing; reading; napping; much cat cuddling; seeing The Fantastic Mr. Fox; rainy afternoon seafood under big old trees at Perla's w/neighbor B.

Didn't finish Deep Terrain draft over November, but enough progress that I can see finishing the draft by the end of the year.

Sula, no new updates. She's still living in the bathroom undersink cabinet; otherwise all her behaviors are normal and she continues to get pilled morning and evening. Another follow-up next week.

I'm thinking it's going to be cards and tokens for presents this year, except for the various kids in my life. The credit card bill is sky high for Sula and I have big copays for recent stuff of my own coming up. So, yeah. (But I'm not sorry I put that Perla's meal on my credit card--totally worth the mood-lifting it returned.)

Recent viewing: this 1998 version of Dickens' Our Mutual Friend. Very much enjoyed it. Still making my way through Wire in the Blood, but I've hit the seasons w/out Hermione Norris and I miss her. Also still viewing and enjoying Moribito: Guardian of the Spirit, up to the newest volume out. It's a low-key, rather lovely and evocative anime. I have the first volume in book form, too.

Reading The Ghost Writer by John Harood currently and thoroughly enjoying it--best novel of its kind I've read in a long time--way better than much-touted The Little Stranger, which disappointed me.
---

I may use this icon a lot in the next while; things are really not looking good for polar bears.
storyrainthejournal: (contemplative)
Thankful, indeed I am. For beloved friends and family, A-cat and S-cat, and, currently, a pot of Rishi Golden Yunan tea, a piece of toast w/butter & jam, and some time to write.

Here's what I will be making and bringing as my small contribution to what I have no doubt will be an amazing meal cooked by the wonderful Maureen McHugh later today:

Creamed Carmelized Onions

(all amounts approx--I'll be tripling these amounts)

25 small onions (pearl-type)
1 tbls butter
1/2 cup white wine
1/2 cup chicken broth

the liquids should come to half way up the onions in a large cast iron pan

bay leaf
pinches of thyme and salt

simmer for 25 minutes covered
cover off, boil off most of the liquid (this takes longer than you think it will or should)

1 cup heavy cream

bring to low rolling boil for a few minutes until thick (this, in my experience, actually takes more than a few minutes)
add a little white pepper at the last minute
storyrainthejournal: (bluebutterfly)
Some pics from the First Night parade in Austin. More in the gallery.


















storyrainthejournal: (flower)
Happiness meme, Day 1 -

Sitting in the morning sun with cats and a day before me to do as I will. Bliss.
*

Went to Austin's First Night (the name confounds me, since, technically, it's Last Night) parade downtown yesterday evening, with Pam and Jake and Eliz. So much art and performance and color and light; pretty awesome. Plus, I finally found the night snapshot setting on my camera (yes, me dumb) and got some really nice shots, which I will post later. Also got swag--a Texas Rollergirls coozie and bumper sticker. Didn't do any of the other First Night stuff, though it sounded interesting, because I still have lingering cold stuff and wanted to cozy up at home for the rest of the night. Which I did. And it was good.
storyrainthejournal: (in dreams)

As Alyx says over here, I prefer the lunar new year. This new year is, essentially, the Christian new year.

And as I said earlier, I find people's totting up of the year's sales and publishings and such...well, I have to curb my tendency to compare myself unfavorably. However, focusing on the good and the happy, and taking a moment to celebrate it, I had three stories appear this last year, two of them to some nice reception and appreciative reviews, and I placed a couple more which haven't appeared yet. I wrote several new stories and revised several others, wrote and saw published one freelance article, made good progress on the current novel, sent out queries to a metric ton of agents and had many requests for partials, all while doing well enough at my day job as an editor to be awarded bonuses and extra days off. 

This year also saw the serendipitous (for me) formation of my current little writing group, the members of whom have doubled as a Buffy watching group, dinner-eating group, cookie-swapping group, and SF0-tasking group. I have been, and am, very thankful for this development.

I have many friends (some of them family) for whom I am profoundly grateful, two swell cats, a lovely loft to live in, an excellent massage therapist, make enough money to give gifts and donations, and have survived another year of scleroderma in moderate good health.

My writing list for 2009 includes

the following: )

I have only two resolutions:
~I will begin the year with the eight days of happiness meme, because it seems like a good way to begin (no one tagged me and I will tag no one, but feel free--post about something that makes you happy eight days in a row)
~I want to liberate the word "braw" from its Scottish obscurity and bring it into general usage the world over

So, huzzah, and L'Chayyim, to life, y'all. Because it's braw.
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: (flying)

One of the few xmas songs I really like (and don't just barely tolerate), I give you The Pretenders "2000 Miles."


For all my loved ones and everyone snowed in, or far away.
storyrainthejournal: (littleowl)

Seven unsolved medical mysteries. Chimeras and tree men, oh my.

~
I fear I am frightfully droad*
which is not to say I feel like a toad
but rather to impart that
in my heart
I'd rather be a great many other places
than here.

*Jang slang from Tanith Lee's Don't Bite the Sun and Drinking Sapphire Wine
~

Got all what I'm mailing into the mail yesterday; packing and mailing stuff en masse has somehow become a chore I really detest. Almost as bad as taxes. I love sending people things now and then throughout the year, but the mass packing and mailing of the holidays, beh.

I need a manservant to do these things.
storyrainthejournal: (bookgirl)

Jo Walton with an interesting post over at Tor.com on female characters and male rape in C.J. Cherryh's books (specifically the Alliance/Merchanter books). The comment thread is interesting, too.
*
Spent a bunch of money at Book People yesterday on presents...my bid to save the publishing industry. I was struck by how many recent, lauded novels shelved in fiction (read mainstream or lit fiction), as opposed to shelved in SF/F, are very clearly speculative in nature, relying on an element of the fantastic for their very premise.

sigh.
*
To go with books as presents, I am making a freakload of bookmarks, each an original bit of artwork. This is a lot of work.
storyrainthejournal: (lantern)

Just saw Slumdog Millionaire; it's excellent, I recommend it highly.

Some drama here, of a sort, but mostly just enjoying the family peeps.

I still miss my cats.

There've been snow flurries, but no snow accumulation to speak of.

storyrainthejournal: (lantern)
Arrived after a loooong day on planes and trekking across aiports, and was ill, the whole nine yards, headache. shaking, vomming. Oh well. Better this morning. And my aunt and uncle and cousins are all really awesome people.

Thanksgiving will include a visit from our Joycean scholar second cousin (and Canadian), Michael Grodin, some Japanese friends of the family, and my aunt's sister and her partner, who I like a lot.

It was snow showering when I got here, and it seemed lovely, but I was frankly too out of it to fully appreciate.
storyrainthejournal: (flying)
The only thing not to make it through security at the airport? My little single serving container of applesauce (though she turned my package of Thai tofu over in her hands a few times, perhaps considering whether it might be some new sort of explosive...). I wisely didn't mention that I had nitroglycerin patches between my fingers.

I feel so safe.

ahem.

Three planes and two more airports to go before Buffalo. Where it's currently 34 degrees (feels like 23) and snow showering.

I miss my cats.  /pathetique/

Happy Thanksgiving, for those in these United States. Or as [livejournal.com profile] planetalyx says, Happy Yanksgiving.

storyrainthejournal: (Default)
A couple of pics from the First Night parade preparations downtown; it was dark and my little digital has no special powers, so they're, um, arty.  Clicking either one will get you to their gallery, where there's a few more, plus pictures of my mother and step-father units and, of course, my cats.









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