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Jan. 23rd, 2016

citibit

How On Earth Did That Happen?

Twenty years ago, Eastern Standard Time, I had a baby. And now--in Florida, anyway--Becca is 20. It's been simultaneously a long twenty years and no time at all. And despite the ups and downs and occasional moments of whie-knuckled terror, I wouldn't have missed it for anything. She's a really, really smart, compassionate, funny, ambitious, and creative woman, and the world is lucky to have her. I know we are.

Jan. 21st, 2016

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Hartwell

I always feel weird about noting the death of someone I knew but was not close to--as if I were standing in the back of a crowd--in this case, a huge crowd--jumping up and down crying "Me too! Me too!" It's not about me, and I wasn't a close friend of David Hartwell's, and yet I find I'm more upset by his sudden, awful death than our relationship might have warranted.

When we both worked at Tor in the late 80s and early 90s, we were sometimes a source of exasperation, one to the other. I was Tom Doherty's assistant, and sometimes my job was to say No. David was an editor, and a passionate advocate for each of his books, and that sometimes led to clashes with other editors, or to taking up more resources than was strictly appropriate in the situation. (I could give examples, but you'd be bored to death, honest.) It was perhaps a function of our relationship--co-workers but not colleagues, exactly--that we were friendly rather than friends. Still, whenever I ran into him, in New York or more recently at a convention, he'd flash that wide, delighted, slightly manic smile--all the more dazzling when he was in full convention dress in a symphony of plaids, and an indescribable tie--and we'd talk for a few minutes about work, or his kids, or books, the way you do.

But damn, he was a fixed point in the world of SF publishing and fandom. He was a one-word brand: Hartwell. To listen to him talk, in the halls of Tor or on a panel or at a dinner party, was enlightening and entertaining and occasionally exasperating. He came at SF from the vantage point of someone who knew a lot, thought a lot, and relished knowing and thinking and talking about books and writing and fandom and politics and history.

It really does feel as if this is impossible, as if there's a hole much larger than the one David would have physically made, punched in the world.

Jan. 20th, 2016

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Float Like a Butterfly... all the way to Sarasota

Becca has gone back to Florida for the Spring term of her second year in college. She was here, off and on, for a month (she spent a week in Seattle visiting friends) and it was delightful to have her here--exhausting at times, but delightful.

Have a good semester, Bug.

Jan. 14th, 2016

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Five Curtain Calls. Five.

It shoulda been a million. Shoulda been enough to keep him here.

Alan Rickman is gone. I saw him on stage in Dangerous Liaisons back in the 80s (before Die Hard) from a seat so cheap I was practically bumping my head on the ceiling. It didn't matter--his physicality, and his voice, created Valmont indelibly (and sexily). And then there was Die Hard. And Truly, Madly, Deeply. And that insane turn in Robin Hood, Prince of Thieves. And the Metatron in Dogma. And Snape. And his turn with Emma Thompson in Love Actually. And and and...

His Colonel Brandon in Sense and Sensibility, a miracle of gravity and love and generosity and quiet anguish. And that voice ("Give me some occupation, Miss Dashwood, or I shall run mad." He was not a handsome man, but it didn't matter, because he was intelligent and sexy, and deeply talented.

There's a lovely candid photo of Rickman and Daniel Radcliffe in one of the later Harry Potter films (Half Blood Prince, maybe?) with RIckman in his full Snape drag, standing over Radcliffe. They have both cracked up about something, and Rickman's face, despite the makeup and the ropy black wig, is alight with humor and friendship.

I hate mortality.

Dec. 16th, 2015

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Long ago, in a galaxy far, far away...

The first time I saw Star Wars (aka: A New Hope) at the Charles Theatre in Boston, with my boyfriend at the time. Rob had already seen it twice (or three times). In the next year we saw it another twenty times (Rob had a friend who ran the Coolidge Corner Cinema, and got us in to see it).

So tonight we got to see it with all the Lucas/ILM employees; Lucas had bought out the entire of the Metreon (a 14-theatre movie palace), and used six or seven of the theatres for showings--with free popcorn and soda. That, in and of itself, was really fun--there's a lot of enthusiasm for each other's work, and pretty much everyone there was a fan of the franchise. When "A long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away..." came on the screen there was a huge roar... then everyone waited for the fanfare that begins the Star Wars text crawl, and second roar when the horns blared. And (okay, I've got the sales resistance of a bagel) by the end of the text crawl I was anticipatorily weepy.

I am enjoined against giving details, but I liked it a lot. I laughed. I cried (seriously, I cried). It honored the original three movies while creating new story and new characters. Carrie Fisher and Harrison Ford and Mark Hamill slipped right back into those characters (I kept thinking of that line from another Ford vehicle: "It ain't the years, honey, it's the mileage.") I want to see it again. Maybe not 20 times in one year again, but again.

Dec. 8th, 2015

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Now I am This Many

But I don't have the requisite number of fingers. So take it as written. I had a quiet birthday, preceded by several days of combined Killer Head Cold and Party Prep (two great tastes that do not, under any circumstances, go great together) when I alternately cooked and slept. Now, on the other side of party and birthday, I have to finish the second draft of my first Serial Box episode and then I can turn my attention to Christmas. As one does.

And how are y'all?

Nov. 20th, 2015

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Crazy a Little

The last few days, that is.

Am hoping the weekend will go easier on all concerned. How's by you?

Nov. 8th, 2015

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Tis That Season

It's chilly and damp--there was drizzle last night (theoretically there was snow and rain and stuff in the mountains, where we need it to be) and I'm having a hard time gaining any enthusiasm for getting out of bed for the day. I got up and made coffee, and that was something. But somehow sitting in bed with my laptop is warmer and comfier than anything else to do.

Ten minutes ago it was loud in here because Emily was lying on her bed next our bed, snoring prodigiously. Now, Danny is torturing Emily by pelting her with underwear and pretending to attack me (nothing gets her more indignant than the idea that there's a good attack going on that she's not a part of), and it's loud for other reasons.

Welcome to Sunday. I will get some writing done, really. 

Oct. 16th, 2015

citibit

The Fault, Horatio

Saw the Cumberbatch Hamlet tonight (what nineweaving refers to as The Cumberdane). I thought Cumberbatch was good--very physical, and still thoughtful. Liked Ciaran Hinds as Claudius: meaty and smarmy. Didn't adore Gertrude, but she was okay. I liked the idea of Ophelia starting out on the thin edge, but didn't care for the actress. And Laertes rolled his eyes too much.

Having decided to do modern dress I'm not sure why some of the "modern" dress looked like it was from the 30s and some the 2010s. I rather liked the set: they played with shadows in a way I enjoyed--but what the hell was with the mud explosion at the end of the first half? If that was a metaphor (and I am sure it was) I'm still not sure what--unless it was simply "And this is where the shit hits the fan."

They cut the play and reassembled it in ways that were startling to people familiar with the text; meanwhile,considering that they cut all sorts of things, why give Fortinbras so much importance? (Very often he's cut out entirely, which I don't approve of either, but...). And he was such a stiff! And had trouble believing that Hipster Horatio, with wild hair, plaid shirt and beard, and a backpack he never set down, had more of ancient Rome than Dane.

Still, the more I think about Cumberbatch, the more I like his performance and his handling of the language. At least they didn't decide to "translate" the play into 21st century English.

Oct. 3rd, 2015

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Okay, Then...

I am downtown at my favorite work café (the appropriately named Workshop Café--$2/hour, an Eames chair to lounge in, and they will bring me coffee and food when I require it!). I have the bones of my first episode of the Serial Box project to string together, and as always, more research than Heinz has pickles to do. Onward!

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