By Brenda Clough
Oh happy day, the second Hobbit movie is out! Perhaps you, like I, cannot get to the theater this weekend. So to tide you over, here is another LOTR song parody for the occasion, dug out from my files:
(The setting is a clambake, on the beach at sad Lake Nurnen. It is the year 1600 of the Second Age, when as you recall everything’s coming up roses for the Dark Lord.)
SAURON: Rings are bustin’ out all over!
The Noldor made the Nine and Sev’n and Three!
Then I slipped off to Mordor
And diddled Celebrimbor
The master of all Middle Earth I’ll be!
I keep waking up in Baltimore. Not literally, of course. It’s just post-REM sleep confusion: those first moments of daze before you are fully awake in the morning when the heat in your room is turned up too high. You dream/imagine many wonderful scenarios for yourself. For several moments you really do believe you are a Turkish queen, Cuban revolutionary, or newly wed in Monaco. Lately I’ve been waking up as a peasant in Baltimore.
It’s because of the confluence of two great events in my life: I’ve just moved from the country to the city, and for several weeks I’ve been watching back-to-back episodes of The Wire.
BVC’s Vonda N. McIntyre was recently interviewed by a student in a seminar on feminist science fiction at the University of Oregon.
The interview, available here, was conducted by Quintin Kreth, who studied Vonda’s life, correspondence, and work as a class project.
The interview includes snippets about Vonda’s relationship with Joanna Russ, who was one of her teachers at Clarion, as well as about her ongoing friendship with Ursula K. Le Guin.
Vonda gives her opinions on a variety of subjects ranging from the progress of feminism to problems with author’s contracts.
I’m a sucker for personality quizzes, especially when I’m goofing off on Facebook. So the other day I did the “Who In Fiction Are You?” quiz that was apparently put up in honor of Scottish Book Week.
It was impossible to answer the questions without first specifying gender, age, and the number of books you read per week. That made me wonder what difference the gender specification made, so I filled it out first as female and then as male while marking everything else the same.
When I marked female, it concluded I was Scout from To Kill a Mockingbird. When I marked male, I was Dumbledore from the Harry Potter books.
That is, as a woman no longer young, I was identified as a bright kid about 8 years old. As a man of the same age and sensibilities, I was the most powerful wizard of his age.
Major gender “Aha” moment.
A Blue Hound Beagles Blog
(also a Dog Agility Blog Event. Sort of.)
Last week the Dog Agility event went off as scheduled…without me. Life Chaos came to something of a head last week (if one of many), and I regretfully not only didn’t manage the deadline, I didn’t even get started.
But this past weekend, I attended an agility trial that reminded me just how much the mental game matters.
As in, when your mental game is blown away, it changes everything about how you handle the events of a trial. Continue reading
The title phrase of this post is from one of my three most favorite books, Shoeless Joe by W.P. (William Patrick) Kinsella. It is not the signature line from the book or the movie it inspired, Field of Dreams. That would be the oft-quoted “If you build it, he will come.”
The scene that proclaims that “the word is baseball” is from the book Shoeless Joe, which is, itself, based on a short story entitled “Shoeless Joe Comes to Iowa.” In the scene, we are seated beside a young man named Ray Kinsella on the bleachers at a baseball diamond hacked out of a cornfield. This is significant to me because it combines two things I love: baseball diamonds and corn fields. I grew up surrounded by cornfields. There are few things that fill me with a sense of intense well-being like the whispering of corn on a warm August evening. And diamonds? They really are a girl’s best friend. Even Little League baseball diamonds bring tears of joy to my eyes—a Major League diamond like the Giants park in San Francisco? You don’t wanna know.
Posted in Book View Cafe, Book View Cafe publications, Books and Reading, Magic, movies
Tagged cornfields, Field of Dreams, Giants baseball, Iowa, Ray Kinsella, Shoeless Joe, WP Kinsella
By Brenda W. Clough
Last month I posted here about writers and their health insurance. And I mentioned the numerous funds that collect money for writers overwhelmed by medical bills. Oregon writer Jim Fiscus administers the Jo Clayton Memorial Medical Fund. He says:
The Clayton Memorial Medical Fund helps professional science fiction,
fantasy, horror, and mystery writers living in the Pacific Northwest
deal with the financial burden of medical emergencies. Even with
insurance, co-pays can quickly add up to thousands of dollars, and
over the past few years, we have faced a heavy draws on our
money. The Fund is now down to a few thousand dollars.
My birthday is in December, and therefore I was almost always, if not the youngest in my class, very nearly so. When I was little, this was a source of annoyance, occasionally of anguish. There’s nothing a 7 1/2-year-old enjoys more than lording it over a mere 7-year-old (at least, among the 7-year-olds I knew–perhaps you knew a nicer breed of grade-schooler than I did). ”You have to do what I say because I’m older.”
So for a long time I really really wanted to have a July birthday, if not a January one, if only because it would be one less remarkable thing (I had a long, comparatively weird name–this was the early 60s, when names like Tamika and Madison were undreamt of in the philosophies of baby books–and I so wanted a normal name like Susan or Anne). It never occurred to me, as one of my friends did, to declare that the celebration of my birthday was now to be in March or September–and anyway, the School Board and other officialdom didn’t care what I declared.
Somewhere in my teens–probably in my junior or senior year of High School, there was a slight shift. Yes, I got my drivers’ license later than everyone else, and had to cadge rides from my boyfriend who, to his infinite credit, didn’t seem to mind. But there was a slight glamor to the fact that I was going to graduate at 17 rather than 18–through no effort on my part, mind you, but just because of the accident of my birthdate. It made me sound cleverer than perhaps I was. Continue reading
The Immortal Saga, Book 3
by Pati Nagle
The campus killer is back…
…and this time bright, sensitive Steve Harrison finds the mutilated corpse. When he realizes the cops suspect him of the brutal murders, he calls a friend for support and is drawn into a secret world of magic, wonder, and dread.
The latest issue of the Fiction River anthology series, Hex in the City includes the short story “Fox and Hound” by BVC’s Leah Cutter.
This issue includes fourteen stories by a diverse group of authors including Kristine Katherine Rusch, Jay Lake, Dean Wesley Smith, and Seanan McGuire.
Cutter’s story is set in modern day Beijing, following the adventures of Gou, a peddle cab owner. In her words:
“I wrote, and threw out, three other beginnings to this story. The process felt as though I was circling in, getting closer and closer, until I finally had Gou in the train station with his fare beside him. That theme continues throughout the story as well, circling and circling, as Gou tries to corner his prey.”