I think I cycled through every possible variety of anxiety dream last night. Not fun. This included the one where I’m in a house or apartment alone at night and can’t get the outside door to lock, or it keeps breaking, there are complicated locks that don’t work right, etc.

I often have very elaborate house dreams, or dreams about very elaborate houses. Not always expensive or lavish ones, just houses I’ve never seen in a lot of detail. Some of them need renovations. (I know where that part of the dream comes from.) The houses are always places I’ve never seen before, but sometimes I have dream versions of places I’ve been. I have a mental version of the university I went to that I go back to in dreams quite a bit. It’s Escher-like with a side order of The 5000 Fingers of Dr. T, but still recognizably based on the real place.

There were a lot of good suggestions for older children’s books in my post on Friday.


Charity Auction: For SGA fans: Joe Flanigan supports Sarah Geary Last year, our dear friend Sarah was diagnosed with ALS. … Our mission is simple. We want to slow down the progression of Sarah’s disease by providing her with the best quality of care she can receive. But, for this, we need your help.

They’re auctioning off John Sheppard’s skateboard from Stargate: Atlantis and a lunch in LA with Joe Flanigan and David Hewlett.

Escstatic Days: The Apex Book of World SF Volume 2 Table of Contents Stories from Zimbabwe, Nigeria, Cuba, New Zealand, Russia, Israel, Singapore, Mexico and more.

World SF: Apex Magazine to Host Special Arab/Muslim issue in November

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Was reminiscing with a friend the other day about the Scholastic Book Club, and how much we liked Book Order day and Book Arrival day. One of my favorites types was always the ghost story/kid moves to scary old house/farm/castle whatever story. We realized that a lot of those books were probably derivative of The House of Dies Drear by Virginia Hamilton, but we didn’t care, we liked them all.


Link from Judith Tarr: Maureen Johnson Sell the Girls
When I was in college, I remember hearing the story of Dorothy Parker typing out the words, “Please god, let me write like a man.” Even if I didn’t know my own reading bias, I understood at once, instinctively. It was the way to legitimacy. Men wrote of Big Things that Mattered. Sure, some of them were endlessly introspective. Yes, the big things that mattered were often penises. Also, sex. Also sex with penises. Also, girls, and how difficult and incomprehensible and unattainable we are for some sex with penises. It was like the penis was literally the magical eleventh finger that allowed you to write, and if I could just GROW ONE SOMEHOW, or imagine it into being, I would gain the abilities I so desired.

This article is about the recent idea that there is somehow a shortage of YA books for boys, that while girls will read books about boys, boys will not read books about girls.

As a kid, going through the various public libraries, I remember the scarcity of children’s action/adventure stories with girl main characters. It’s not that I didn’t like the action/adventure books with boy main characters — I enjoyed them a lot — but it got tiring when all the girls were always the mommy figure or the passive load or worse, the antagonist who is there to try to prevent the characters from going on the adventure. I think one of the reasons I got drawn down the aisle of the library into SF and fantasy section so early (and read a lot of books that were a little too old for me — I read Dune in middle school, for example) was because it was easier to find adventures with women as main characters or as secondary characters who were an important part of the story. Andre Norton wrote tons of them, and most of them would now probably be re-classified as YA.

Anybody have recs for favorite old-school children’s books? The ones you liked best when you were the target audience?

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I’ve been getting work done but not feeling all that well. It’s allergies and sinus issues from all the storm fronts coming up from the coast which storm and then don’t rain. Anyway, to work!


From sbisson: Star Warred Photos of a Star Wars Art Car

Huffington Post: World Alzheimer’s Day: 10 Tips to Prevent Alzheimer’s My mother had Alzheimer’s for a few years before she died. A good friend from SF/F and media fandom also has it, and I have no idea what’s happened to her, since after a while her family dropped contact with most of her friends. I have one last letter from her where, by the end of it, I was certain she remembered who I was, but after that the letters got very vague and I knew they were written by a family member. In some ways, after seeing what happened with my mother, I don’t want to know any more.

826 National These are the people behind the Echo Park Time Travel Mart and other neat stores.

Houston Chronicle: David Thompson Loved Noir. And a Redhead

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Quick note to Twitter users: There’s a serious problem. If you are on twitter.com and see a tweet covered in black, don’t roll your mouse over it. It’s a virus. They’re recommending you not use the web interface. It doesn’t seem to be affecting Tweetdeck so far.


Has anybody read Les Cites Obscures? (warning, that site has music) It’s a Belgian graphic novel series. In this imaginary world, humans live in independent city-states, each of which has developed a distinct civilization, though all are in some way focused on architecture and architectural styles. There’s another site for it here: Urbicande.

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Yesterday we had an interesting discussion on facebook about Julie & Julia, the movie about Julie Powell and Julia Child. I come down on the side of wishing the entire movie was about Julia Child and My Life in France, instead of only half of it. And I do agree that Julie Powell in the movie did grow and change, though it’s hard to separate that from the knowledge that not long after the events in the movie, she cheats on her husband and eventually they get divorced.

One of the many things I love about the movie is the contrast between Julia Child’s long, fraught eight-plus years of persistent hard work leading up to Mastering the Art of French Cooking‘s acceptance for publication, and Julie Powell’s one year of cooking a lot and writing a blog. I felt like Julie was someone who wanted fame and success, and writing was just a means to that, as opposed to people who want to write and hope at some point for fame and success.

The wikipedia article had a quote from an interview with editor Judith Jones (the editor of Mastering the Art of French Cooking), that goes into a bit more detail about why Julia didn’t like Julie’s blog: What came through on the blog was somebody who was doing it almost for the sake of a stunt. She would never really describe the end results, how delicious it was, and what she learned. Julia didn’t like what she called ‘the flimsies.’ She didn’t suffer fools, if you know what I mean.


Good article:

New York Times: Message to Muslims: I’m Sorry By NICHOLAS D. KRISTOF
That’s reasonable advice, and as a moderate myself, I’m going to take it. (Throat clearing.) I hereby apologize to Muslims for the wave of bigotry and simple nuttiness that has lately been directed at you. The venom on the airwaves, equating Muslims with terrorists, should embarrass us more than you. Muslims are one of the last minorities in the United States that it is still possible to demean openly, and I apologize for the slurs.

Book rec:

I’ve been reading Barbara Hambly’s new mystery, Dead and Buried, the latest installment in her Benjamin January series. The series is set in 1830s New Orleans, and January is a free black man who trained as a surgeon in Paris and now works as a musician at the balls and brothels of New Orleans. And he fights crime! This book starts with Benjamin, Rose, Hannibal and the other characters at a funeral of a friend, where they discover there’s a different body inside the coffin. I think this is one of the best of the series, and it’s a great place to start.

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It’s a cool morning (so far) and I can hear squirrels thumping around up on the roof. It’s been a slow weekend, though I’m hoping to get some work done today. I’ve been mostly tinkering with a new cleaner design for my web site and experimenting with WordPress.

I’ve been having some odd, somewhat depressing dreams. On Friday I dreamed that I found Spike, (my dog that died of cancer three years ago), running in a field and took him back home. And then I called my mother, who passed away several years ago, to tell her about it. And then yesterday I dreamed I was trying to get back from somewhere, walking in the dark, carrying Harry, my cat who died last month. I’m more than ready for something more cheerful.

Something neat coming up:

If you haven’t seen this already, it’ll be on PBS Masterpiece Mystery in October: Sherlock I absolutely loved it.

Neat stuff to look at:

This was very cool, from WebUrbanist: Star Wars Invades Dubai in Digital Art Series

Old article with some really beautiful photos: Wonders of the Chinese Landscape

Airships and Tentacles art series by Myke Amend.

Publishing links:

From Help! I Need a Publisher!: In Which I Meet a Delusional Wannabe
Just don’t expect anyone to read it if it’s not good enough. And you are not the first or last person to tell me that your book came as a gift from above. To be honest, that’s what it often feels like when an idea hits a writer. It’s called inspiration. It should be followed almost immediately by a lot of perspiration.

From Amanda Craig: Should I Have Heard of You?
The question, “Should I have heard of you?” is one every author dreads. When Hilary Mantel won the Booker Prize last year, she said in her speech that now, at last, she could answer, “Yes”. Few are so fortunate. “Maybe if you read literary fiction”, is one answer; “maybe if you read newspapers,” is another; “maybe if you read at all” is a third.

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There’s an interview with me up now at Absent Willow Review

And there’s also an interview with me, Melissa Scott, and Jo Graham over at The Journal of Transformative Works and Cultures, Vol 5.


Bradley Denton’s SF novel Buddy Holly is Alive and Well on Ganymede is being made into a movie.

Book View Cafe has released: Breaking Waves – An Anthology for Gulf Coast Relief Join writers from all genres in defense of the Gulf Coast with Breaking Waves: An Anthology for Gulf Coast Relief. Edited by Phyllis Irene Radford and Tiffany Trent, Breaking Waves offers up glimpses of maritime splendor, poignancy, and humor through the works of poets, essayists, and Hugo and Nebula-award winning authors like Ursula K. Le Guin, Vonda N. McIntyre, David D. Levine, and more. All proceeds from the sale of this anthology will go to the Gulf Coast Oil Spill Fund of the Greater New Orleans Foundation.

Black Gate Reviews: Imaro – The Naama War by Charles R. Saunders Here we have the long-awaited fourth volume in the “Imaro” series of sword-and-sorcery novels set in a fictional fantasy Africa.

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