BVC Announces The Way You Look Tonight by Mindy Klasky

The Way You Look Tonight coverThe Way You Look Tonight
Harmony Springs 3
by Mindy Klasky

A May-December romance fans flames in a small town…

At the ripe old age of twenty-six, Anne Barton is content to live with her mother in her cozy childhood home, surrounded by stuffed animals and girlish dreams. But the owner of the Orchard Diner has a secret: when she was twelve she caused a horrific fire that brutally scarred her best friend. Continue reading

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Art in the (State) Park

Well, maybe not art in the sense of a mural, statue, or even graffiti. But there is so much stray stuff–stones, branches, bits of garbage–scattered around the trails and lakeshore, and sometimes people mess about with it, then leave it … Continue reading

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Nevertheless, She Persisted: Making Love

by Brenda W. Clough

 Have you noticed how very many stories, and how the sweeping majority of movies, star young people? The hero, the heroine — always under forty, often under thirty. Even Spider-Man’s Aunt May has lost sixty years! It is as if people pass over an event horizon when they hit the big four-oh, becoming uninteresting, ignorable, and negligible. This is particularly a problem for women. Actresses complain about this all the time, as the roles dry up and they are demoted to second-string supporting roles: “First you’re another sloe-eyed vamp, then someone’s mother, then you’re camp, then you career from career to career.”

Nevertheless, She PersistedActresses and trophy wives have to put up with this. Writers don’t! So when I wrote Making Love I deliberately made the protagonists retirees. They are every 70-year-old couple you have ever seen, married for half a century, feeling their aches and pains, watching reruns on cable TV. Nevertheless they love, and struggle, and defeat their foes with the tools they have.

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The Reluctant Traveler Returns from Westeros Part 3

The Eyrie, Riverrun, Harrenhal and Dragonstone

The Eyrie, depicted in Game of Thrones, HBO

We visited so many marvelous places in Westeros, but the Eyrie stands out in my mind as the most awe-inspiring of all the locations. Formidable House Arryn built the complex of castles over centuries—it was considered unbreakable, except of course by House Targaryn, whose dragons could easily summit it.

Our small group who had paid for this five-day adventure had been warned about the vigors of the mountain trek, only open to visitors in summer. We brought walking sticks, sturdy hiking boots, warm wind-breaker jackets, and had taken our high-altitude supplements. One of our party, a gentleman who had pooh-poohed the necessity of good walking shoes and wore flip flops, suffered a nasty fall down some steps and ended up with a head wound. He had to be walked back down by the EMTs from Sky, the third waycastle, accompanied by his tight-lipped wife.

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The Rambling Writer’s story “Reset” in the Nevertheless, She Persisted collection

Nevertheless, She PersistedI didn’t think I had a relevant story to submit to the Nevertheless, She Persisted anthology, but then I recalled my reaction when Elizabeth Warren was silenced on the Senate floor.

“Bullshit!” I was angry, and taking it personally. I asked myself why, and realized that it WAS personal—to all women and girls. This is what I grew up hearing:

“Be nice, be ladylike. Don’t talk back.”

“You’re being impudent.”

If I spoke up against unfairness, I was punished, and I learned to silence myself, like so many women around the world. It was a long road for me before I realized that the persistence of the old “power-over” models, perpetuated by patriarchy (our dysfunctional U.S. Congress, anyone?), depends on silencing powerful and thus threatening-to-the-old-order women. Why has my right-wing father hated and excoriated Hillary Clinton since her First Lady days? Continue reading

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Worldcon Oddity: Peeing in Helsinki

Every worldcon I’ve been to in recent years has had its own oddities. In Spokane, it was four days of breathing smoke from wildfires on the US/Canadian border. In London, it was staying an hour from the con on a cramped sailboat that had been misleadingly billed on Airbnb as a houseboat. Also, there was Wardrobe Malfunction Day, when my belt broke and I walked around the convention center holding my pants up with both hands.

In Helsinki, it was peeing in the convention center restrooms. Continue reading

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New Worlds: Curse You!

(This post is part of my Patreon-supported New Worlds series.)

If good-luck charms are one of the most common types of folk magic, I suspect curses are right up there with them.

This time I don’t mean profanity (though there’s a degree of overlap there). I mean actual malevolent attempts to cause someone harm by supernatural means. Sometimes people do this deliberately, out of a desire for power or revenge; other times it’s a subconscious process, the metaphysical consequence of negative emotions like anger, jealousy, or fear. The latter shows up in the Japanese concept of an ikiryō, a “living ghost” that is the projection of a person’s spirit, or in the (I think) Asante concept of witchcraft as a thing people can do without meaning to or realizing that it’s happening.

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Some ideas echo

Some words resonate far more than their user intends. “Nevertheless, she persisted,” did that with me. I live on the other side of the world from the US, but I live in a capital city and I’ve seen those attitudes … Continue reading

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Worldcon 75 Wraps

Worldcon ended on Sunday, and as a way of saying farewell, I thought I would post this picture of my daughter drawing my attention to the welcome sign.

I had a Kaffeeklatch on Sunday that was well attended, and included attendees of various ages from countries all over the world. They had come to drink coffee and ask me questions, so that meant I did a lot of talking. They all seemed to enjoy it, and I know I did. One local fan (I think he said he was Finnish, but it all blurs) did a little video interview with me afterward. I suppose that might end up on youtube someday.

And here’s a picture of one of the highlights for me in terms of programming I watched from the audience. It’s NASA astronaut Kjell Lindgren Continue reading

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Nevertheless She Persisted: Den of Iniquity

Den of Iniquity

My story in this anthology started with this:

There are photos of many similar hearths floating around the internet. Some of them more sinister than this. As cool and imaginative as they are, I’m not certain I’d want one in my house, or even a thematic bed and breakfast. I had to ask myself, where would I encounter such a thing and not be bothered by whatever demon it harbored? Continue reading

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