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Sep. 14th, 2016


Covering the Books

I never seem to get the smooth, finished look of the fondant that I imagine. Still, they're supposed to be old books, and they look like old books, so...

Tonight: gilding and embossing.

Sep. 12th, 2016


I Did Say There Would Be Photos

Three cakes (small - spice) (medium - chocolate) (big - yellow) have been made and rough-shaped and crumb-coated.

Tomorrow night: the coloring, rolling out, and application of fondant.

Wednesday evening: decoration.

In the beginning there was batter.

Post baking, cooling, thinking upon its fate.

Three tiers, three books.

Must see if there's a way to create "marbled" edges. Hmmm.

Sep. 10th, 2016


Caking Books

This week we're celebrating the Bookbinder's Museum's first year in our beautiful space as part of Third Thursday (the Yerba Buena/SOMA cultural celebration that happens--you guessed it--on the third Thursday of every month).

So I'm making a cake.

As a stack of books. Old books (16th century, give or take) and new (19th century).

There will probably be process photos, because you know I do that.

You have been warned.

Aug. 31st, 2016


The Queen's Last Hurrah

For those of you who have been following along, today is the last episode of Whitehall. Will there be another season? Dunno. Would enjoy it, but I have no idea. But it has been a wonderful experience being involved with this one. If you like historical fiction, may I humbly suggest you check it out? Episode 1 is free...

Still Team Catherine, FWIW.

Aug. 24th, 2016


Whitehall Today

Did you know that Whitehall palace flooded often? And do you think that, having learned that fact, I, being an infrastructure wonk, could resist using it?

Today the penultimate episode of Whitehall comes out. It's also the last of the episodes written by me. And I'm kind of pleased with it. Just so you know.

Aug. 4th, 2016


Note to My Daughter, Which She Will Never Read

It isn't that your opinions on politics are either more or less valid just because you and your generation are young. It's that coming to those opinions is a new (to you), and exciting sensation. As it should be. Those opinions are therefore shinier than any of the old shopworn opinions of an aged parent. A thing to consider some time when you have absolutely nothing else to do? AP's opinions started out just as shiny and exciting, at a time as roiling in its own way as this one. And at that point AP's generation was going to fix it all, too (for the record, we fixed some stuff. Just not all of it. And none of it via ideological stubbornness).

Brought to you by hearing my family debating vociferously BEFORE I HAVE EVEN HAD COFFEE.

Jun. 19th, 2016


2016 Clarion Write-a-Thon Starts Today

Once again I am plying my mighty words to help raise money for scholarships to the Clarion SF Writers Workshop*. I've pledged to write 20,000 words over six weeks (should be a snap, right? Except for that pesky day job...), and more than that, I'm going to do my damnedest to write every day (hear that, day job? Words every day), which should put me much closer to finishing Sarah Tolerance #4 (currently titled The Fate of Women, but that is likely to change).

It's not just me, either. There are a bundle of excellent writers participating, too many to list here. If my work is not your cup of tea, there are many other writers to encourage. And of course, the money all goes to support scholarships for the next wave of SF, Fantasy, Horror, and cross-genre genius writers out there. Think of it as ensuring you'll have good things to read in your old age.

*I'm participating in a Write-a-Thon for the original Clarion, now in San Diego, as opposed to the Clarion West Workshop--they're doing a Write-a-Thon too, and they too are worthy. But I went to Clarion at MIchigan State, so...

Jun. 7th, 2016


Two Things

1) I cannot tell you how glad I am that the primary election has finally arrived in California. In a few minutes, after I've pulled on my pants and put on shoes, I will go do my bit for Life in the Republic. Please, if you're in one of the primary states today, go do likewise.

2) My first episode of Whitehall goes live tomorrow. If you're reading along, I'd love to hear whether you enjoyed it.

That's all.

May. 17th, 2016


Whitehall Tomorrow

Not quite a year ago I was approached (doesn't that sound mysterious?) about becoming part of the writing team for a serialized historical story called Whitehall, focusing on Charles II, his wife Catherine of Braganza, and his mistress, Barbara Castlemaine. Not a period I know well, and I was a little reluctant to take on something I'd never done before... and then I heard about the people who'd be on the team with me: series creator Liz Duffy Adams; Delia Sherman; Mary Robinette Kowal; and Barbara Samuel (and Sarah Smith coming in as guest writer on #11). In which group, in my own mind, anyway, I  was decidedly a Junior Partner.

But I said Yes anyway. And dived into research and reading and plotting, in the most unsual sort of collaborative process I've ever participated in. Once I got over the first flush of "wait, you--what? but I was writing that scene" push and pull of the thing, I began to realize how generous, and inventive, and fun all these people were.

And the characters! You've got Charles, finally on the throne, enough of a king to realize that he cannot enact vengeance on the nation that killed his father and sent him on a decade-long flight through Europe. The original laughing on the outside/sorrowing on the inside guy--restless, thoughtful, deeply intelligent, taking the stewardship of his nation very seriously. And Catherine, with the weight of her nation on her shoulders, who--against all self-interest--falls in love with her new husband. And Barbara Castlemaine, who loves her king, but realizes as well that her standing at court depends on maintaining ascendancy over the new queen. And a cast of secondary characters who scheme and want and worry.

So tomorrow, Whitehall debuts from Serialbox: one episode a week for 13 weeks, available as e-book or audio-book. With five different voices telling one story, each of us with our own take on the time, the place, and the people. For what it's worth, me, I'm Team Catherine all the way. At least one of my fellow writers is team Barbara. Where do you come down on this one?

May. 8th, 2016


Barbara Ann George Robins

Beautiful, difficult, loving, hilariously funny, generous, smart.

May 21, 1924 - June 11, 1986

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