Feb. 4th, 2016

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Alas, we have no blackbird, though there are cedar trees here and there.

Here is a link to an interview with me by Shauna Kosoris, of the Thunder Bay Public Library: http://tinyurl.com/he9ampk. We met at Fourth Street, and did the interview much later by email.

Also, I should mention that I'll be a guest at Vericon (http://www.vericon.org/) in Cambridge, Massachusetts, on March 18-20. This is the weekend before Minicon. I don't think that I have ever in my life been to conventions two weekends in a row. Even when I was young and bouncible, that struck me as excessive. However, the stellar lineup of other guests and the general lauding of Vericon made me decide that I really could not say No. David and Lydy should both be accompanying me, if all goes well.

Not much other news, I guess. David and I are are still working on self-publishing my backlist. [livejournal.com profile] arkuat and I went with [livejournal.com profile] clindau and Tim who is not on LJ to see Ten Thousand Things' production of "Dear World." I had not read The Madwoman of Chaillot nor seen a more conventional production of the musical. The cast was brilliant, but I had a strong feeling that I was missing a considerable amount of what this production was doing because I was unfamiliar with the background. Still, completely worth the time. On the whole I expect to continue to prefer their productions of Shakespeare, but we have a tentative agreement to see their spring production, which is a new play; that will be a different experience altogether and I look forward to it. And it's always lovely to see Cindy and Tim.

The cats are fine except for Naomi, who has early-stage kidney disease and is eating only intermittently, and usually at strange hours. (I fed her at four a.m. this morning when I foolishly thought I had just gotten up to use the bathroom.) She is the best tortie and I would like her to get with the program and stay around a few more years. She is only fifteen, and would be very good at being venerable.

I was given All the Books for Christmas and my following-hard-upon birthday, and am devouring them with such greed that I don't have many sensible reactions. Those generally take me about five years to produce, anyway. However, a list:

Pasi Ilmari Jääskeläinen (translated by Lola Rogers), The Rabbit Back Literature Society. This is a great and very strange book. I was often not sure what was whimsical and funny and what was dark and scary, because I am not Finnish. It is a lovely wintery book full of writers whose behavior rapidly goes right off the rails in ways that seem all too likely to anybody who is or knows a writer. Includes creepy children's book creatures and a seriously terrible yet hilarious answer to the question, "Where do you get your ideas?"

Justine Larbalastier, How to Ditch Your Fairy. When I mentioned on Twitter that I had very much enjoyed the Magic or Madness trilogy but was uncertain what to read next, the author kindly made some suggestions, including this. I really admire Larbalastier's use of first-person narration. Charlie is very unlike Reason, the narrator of the trilogy, but both their voices are persuasive. Fairy is very funny, but the characters and stakes are real and the world, while strange, is also persuasive and multifarious.

Marie Brennan, The Voyage of the Basilisk. The Tropic of Serpents remains my favorite of the books about Lady Isabella Trent thus far, because of the profound and reckless intrepidity of the narrator and the splendid sections in which she lives in the wilderness with people native to it; but she is seriously intrepid in Basilisk as well. There's a bit in Serpents where Isabella says that she assumes the reader would like to hear more about the war and less about her study of dragons, to which I actually said aloud, "NO, Isabella, I would NOT!" There is a satisfying great lot of dragon naturalism in Basilisk, and interesting family and colleague relations as well. Her relationship with the people who live with the dragons is more fraught here and hence more problematic (the author is perfectly well aware of this, the characters not so much).

Yes, fine, give me five years and I might say something intelligent about these books.



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