New Worlds: Local and Imported Food

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

As with phonology, paying just a little bit of attention to the food your characters eat can go a long way toward making your invented world feel real and lived-in and coherent.

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BVC Eats: Creamy gazpacho

This cold soup goes down well as a first course for hot weather, or with a simple summer meal of cheese, bread, fruit, and wine.

I always use Spanish olive oil because it tastes more like olives. The olive that makes it taste so strong is Manzanilla.
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Learning From Women

Staying with the TroubleA few weeks back, I had the opportunity to attend a program featuring Donna Haraway and Starhawk in conversation put together by Joan Haran at the University of California at Santa Cruz.

It was a wonderful program. Joan asked penetrating questions and both Donna and Starhawk were responsive and challenging in their answers. They provided some good guidance on using speculative fiction (feminism/fabulation) and activism to stay with the trouble, to borrow the title of Donna’s most recent book (Staying with the Trouble.).

But something else about the evening affected me even more than listening to these three fascinating women talk: everyone who spoke, including those who introduced the speakers and the dean of the sponsoring department, was a woman.

I have never before attended a university-sponsored program at which only women spoke. And it got me to thinking: how would my life have been different if I had been exposed to more great women scholars when I went to college? Continue reading

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BVC Founding Member Phyllis Irene Radford is pleased to announce the release of her latest book from DAW Books, A Spoonful of Magic, under her Irene Radford byline.

A Spoonful of Magic is the first book in a new series about a kitchen witch, Daffy, monitoring her children’s burgeoning talents and discovering her ex is not a computer engineer. He’s the sheriff for the International Guild of Master Wizards. And his insane ex has escaped from a magically secure prison. She burst blood vessels in her brain trying to break free of her restraints and blinded herself. Now she wants her son’s eyes to revive her vision, the son that Daffy has raised since since before his first birthday.

As part of celebrating this book, Irene has started a Facebook group, Witch’s Kitchen, an ongoing conversation about food and making the kitchen the heart of the family and the home again. Drop by and join the conversation or share a recipe.

A collection of recipes from the members of the Witch’s Kitchen, including some BVC members, will be released shortly.

Posted in Books and Reading, contemporary, fantasy, Food and Cooking, Hurrah, News | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

The Rambling Writer: Autumn Color in the Mountains

Now that “winter is coooming,” and the gloomy gray rain of the usual Pacific Northwest slog through the dark days is looming, here are a few highlights of my last couple of autumn hikes with Thor and Bear dog, to lighten our ways. (Good thing I’m not trying to make a living as a poet.)  I’ll combine two outings–one of our favorite mountain hikes to Yellow Aster Meadows and one to Twin Lakes, both near Mt. Baker.

A week or so ago, the drive up the Mt. Baker Highway was in prime viewing condition, the mossy large-leaf maples blazing with light: Continue reading

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Within My Teaching Box

My teaching box is wide open at the moment, spilling its secrets. Let me give you a photograph. Not everything is there. This is because of the reason it’s open. I’m teaching a course on writing using your own voice, … Continue reading

Posted in Education, History | 5 Comments

BVC announces Ars Historica by Marie Brennan

Ars Historica by Marie BrennanArs Historica

by Marie Brennan

The past is prologue . . .

Kit Marlowe. Guy Fawkes. Ada Lovelace. Kings and sailors and sainted nuns populate these seven stories of historical fantasy by award-winning author Marie Brennan. They span the ages from the second century B.C.E. to the nineteenth century C.E., from ancient Persia to the London of the Onyx Court. Discover the secret histories, hear the stories that have never been told — until now.

Buy Ars Historica at BVC Ebookstore

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New book!

Hi everyone. I am bouncing around because I have a new book out titled Shades of Memory. It’s not a BVC book, but I’d like to prattle on about it anyhow. It’s the fourth in my ongoing Diamond City Magic series and I think it may be the best book in the series. It’s got mystery, adventure, romance, and lots of twists.

I had a tough time with this book though. I got bogged in the writing of it. A lot of complicated pieces not quite coming together the way I wanted to. With the help of my editor, I started figuring it out. I’m lousy at plotting these days. I tend to write and discover as I go, which is a terrible way to write, if you ask me. Especially when what I’ve got going on is plot intensive. As in, all the twists and developments along with all the character arcs. I hate having to find my way in the dark, so to speak. I end up having to cut a lot and try again, and cut and try until I find my way.I do not like writing this way. I’m working on trying to stop. Continue reading

Posted in fantasy, New Releases, paranormal romance, Urban Fantasy | Tagged , , | 7 Comments

The Reluctant Traveler Goes Through the Looking Glass

Recently, in a story I wrote for my small, long-surviving writers group, I quoted from the following poem:

Twas brillig, and the slithy toves 

      Did gyre and gimble in the wabe:

All mimsy were the borogoves,

      And the mome raths outgrabe.

Beware the Jabberwock, my son!

      The jaws that bite, the claws that catch!

Beware the Jubjub bird, and shun

      The frumious Bandersnatch!”

He took his vorpal sword in hand;

      Long time the manxome foe he sought—

So rested he by the Tumtum tree

      And stood awhile in thought.

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Posted in Books and Reading, Poetry | Tagged , , | 4 Comments

Consideration of Works Past: The Godwhale

First a heads up on happy information.

Recall earlier this year my story, The Sweet Warm Earth, was published in F&SF. It was picked up by The Best American Mystery Stories.

Well, it’s out. Here it is.

Okay, now that shameless self promotion is out of the way, let’s talk about The Godwhale. Continue reading

Posted in Books and Reading, Reviews, Writers on Writing | Tagged | 2 Comments