(Sidenote: I can't believe Dolezal is what passes for plot twist these days. Thanks, Hollywood.)
(Sidenote: I can't believe Dolezal is what passes for plot twist these days. Thanks, Hollywood.)
I trimmed some brush around the purple-and-white garden.
The pear tree is blooming. Both goji berry bushes survived the freeze earlier and are putting out leaves. Pink buds are appearing on the redbud trees.
Weather today is chilly and wet, intermittently drizzling.
The Question Ever by Wendy Videlock (though I feel the urge to note that 'glove' and 'of' do not rhyme in my accent)
Diss by Makaila Dean
Upon Receiving My Inheritance by William Fargason
What I've read: short fiction
Nevertheless, She Persisted - a collection of 11 flash fiction pieces for International Women's Day
For me, the standouts were:
Heart Stitch by Jose Pablo Iriarte
The Redshirt's Daughter by Evan Dicken
Attending Your Own Funeral: An Etiquette Guide by Erica L. Satifka
Bride by Mistake by Nicole Helm (novella-length romance)
Mira's Last Dance by Lois McMaster Bujold (Penric & Desdemona 4). This just happened to show up when I was checking Hugo-eligibility of the previous two Penric & Desdemona novellas. While the first three had quite long gaps of time between them, this one follows almost straight on from the previous, and leaves more than one plot thread unresolved by the end.
What I've read: long fiction
Broken Homes by Ben Aaronovitch (reread)
Foxglove Summer by Ben Aaronovitch (reread)
The Hanging Tree by Ben Aaronovitch
I had a couple of days where I really was too ill to do anything but doze or read, and inhaled these latest three. The endings all struck me as particularly abrupt on this read through, the general destruction-level is getting ridiculous even with authorial lampshading, and there are really a lot of loose threads in play now. (But I still enjoyed them all very much.)
The Long List Anthology Volume 2 edited by David Steffen - I was surprised just how many of the short stories collected within I'd read - and surprised by a couple I'd not read but really should have. Anyway, the quality level so far is excellent.
Hidden Figures by Margot Lee Shetterly. I am ... not enjoying this as much as I expected. It is feeding my thirst for more information about Dorothy Vaughan (in particular) and the other women from the film and NACA/NASA more generally, but its style is both a bit too chatty and a bit too florid for my liking. Or possibly having two bad colds in three weeks is making me bad-tempered and uncharitable. Listening to the audiobook version doesn't seem to wind me up the same way, so I'm going to try listening the rest of the way through.
Bride by Mistake by Nicole Helm
Mira's Last Dance by Lois McMaster Bujold
Tony bought Digital Divide by K.B. Spangler, which has been on my radar for a while, so I may sneak a read of it. (And/or go back to working through A Girl and Her Fed by same.)
I preordered Provenance by Ann Leckie (out in October) and The Furthest Station by Ben Aaronovitch (out in September).
Jo is pleased that she has her sofa back. The sofa bed was just not a suitable substitute, her legs were always hanging off the edges.
Both the anemones and the horses have been making the most of the sunny weather we've been having recently:
Sunday: Church in the morning (Mothering Sunday, often a difficult one for me and this year no exception), then sang in Lenten reflective concert sort of thing in the afternoon, including the Magnificat from Paul Mealor's Selwyn Service -- under-rehearsed. Most of the music quite beautiful though. In the evening, a wind band/concert band concert at the Beach Ballroom, which seems like quite a good venue for such things.
Monday: sort-of a day off but there was Composers' Forum in the late afternoon/early evening, which was interesting. I don't often get to go. This was four of the Carlaw/Ogston Prize winners presenting about their pieces. Walked back with AW afterward and we had another chat over dinner, which I found very helpful and clarifying; more on that in another post.
Tuesday: not an amazingly productive day. Too much feeling overwhelmed by deadlines, not enough actually doing anything about them. Realised I can't use West Gallery piece I've been sitting on for ages until I have permission to use the text (I have implicit permission but need explicit). Thought about using 'Fall, Leaves, Fall' since I even have a demo recording of that one but I really want to leave it until I've found a choir to premiere it; must poke Dissenters Choir about it. They schedule things really far in advance so that would be maybe 2018. Wondering if I can find anyone to do it sooner than that, and write something else for Dissenters Choir. Set up Hootsuite to do some auto-promotion. Replied to e-mail about forthcoming Kickstarter project, due to launch Real Soon Now. Transcribed West Gallery piece I've been sitting on for ages, but part of the reason I was sitting on it is that my setting of the third verse is weak and needs to be scrapped and re-written. Panicked about deadlines some more. (OK, tha'ts more productive than it felt.)
Today: Some more futzing about with deadlines. Realised I could submit "O sweet and blessed country" for ORTUS and *also* use it for my Patreon piece this month; I mean, it would be better to get a choir to premiere it first, but given that I'm not writing especially fast and I need to get something up by Friday... yeah. I could use 'O Nata Lux' but I made some changes after Friday's workshop and I want time to let them settle, also there's a choir in Ireland interested in performing them and I'd like to give them a premiere. And there's 'Round Me Falls The Night' but that's still away at a competition which I haven't heard back from (and won't until 1st June), which means I can't put it online yet. And 'Winter Stars' is also in a competition and the winners won't be announced until "mid-June, with an official announcement by the end of that month." So, that's a thing. Did an initial draft of an SATB setting of Plowman's Song by Raymond Knister, a Canadian poet. I have in mind to do a setting of The Quiet Snow too. Maybe with another couple of short seasonal poems they could make a set?
Anyway, that's all fine, but I still want to write something for MASNOU and it needs to be at least three minutes long and I ned to finish it by Friday.
I think what's happening, here, is that I'm getting my work performed more, or at least exploring avenues for performance more, and I'm entering more competitions... and between that and sortof preferring (at least for the SATB stuff) to get at least a demo recording before putting new things online, actually releasing music is happening much later now, rather than just when I write stuff. I'm sitting on at least three pieces, four really if I wanted to get 'O Nata Lux' out quickly. Which is fine, but I want to get paid every month. Hmm. The answer, as always, is "write more music".
I'm still enamoured of the idea of finishing one composition or arrangement every week, but I have not really started arranging, and I think it's fair to say that I can't compose one item a week unless a lot of them are hymn tunes.
I also, at some stage, need to look at the next lot of competition deadlines, and make some decisions about which ones to enter; I've seen some interesting ones going past so need to check the usual places. Maybe I'll do that this evening; I want to try for a draft of the MASNOU piece first though, and to do that, I have to settle on a text.
EDIT: I also really need to get a first draft of the Cathedral commission done! arghhhhh etc.
First dibs on places will go to people who came to the first one, but there'll be at least one more space, and maybe more if some people decide they can't make it. If you think it might be your kind of thing, there's a poll about interest and dates here.
What I read
Josh Lanyon, Fair Game (2010) m/m romantic thriller (I guess), following a rec from someone somewhere. It was okay - though I'd fingered one character as at least dodgy and concealing something quite early on - but I'm not inspired particularly to continue reading the series.
Robin Stevens, First Class Murder (2015).
On the go
Simon Brett, The Killing in the CafĂ© (2015).
Charlie Fox, This Young Monster (2017): 'hallucinatory celebration of artists who raise hell, transform their bodies, anger their elders and show their audience dark, disturbing things'. I did that somewhat reprehensible thing where one sees something in an indie bookshop that one should be supporting, and then goes away and gets the ebook a) because it's cheaper and b) because Boox We Are Too Menny and I am trying to cut back, not with entire success, on introducing more actual books into the household, at least until I have undertaken the long deferred purge.
Dunno: I am in that state of mind vis a vis reading in which I have a massive tbr pile that includes things that I definitely want to get to, and yet keep getting distracted by other people's recs, thing I picked up in the charity shop, etc.
Oh yes, and had a thought that one of the reasons I did not get on with that Patricia Craig book was that our tastes do not seem to mesh: she either did not read or disliked some of the canonical works of my childhood, and liked things about which I was meh (I never got on with Just William, one would like to think that I already detected the misogyny, but I think it was the style that turned me off in my youth).
Yet another case in which a bloke who has committed significant violence against a woman, of which there is no possible doubt, walks free (well, suspended sentence) apparently on the basis that it would ruin a promising career if he went to jail. (Which it does turn out he was somewhat less than truthful about.)
And okay, I have been seeing these sorts of cases for a very long time now, and one might even have hoped that this sort of thing would have come to an end -
And we note that it is very, very rare for anyone in the legal system or even in the reporting, to express any concern over the damage done to the woman's potential through injuries, long-term effects of trauma, etc.
So, I was thinking about this, and what came to mind was a famous 'gotcha' argument popular among the anti-abortion forces c. 1970 or so, which was to posit a particular case of mother with several children, family straits, disease, and when anyone remarked that it seemed a clear case for termination would go 'aha! you have terminated Beethoven!' (there may have been other instances: that is the one I remember).
Because women's lives have no value except for the male offspring they bear... (though statistically, very few of those are going to be Beethoven*).
A thought which would have led me to hurl against the wall, except that they were library books, far too many works of sf/fantasy in which a woman underwent various adventures and travails and this was not to fit her for her own role as The Chosen One, it was to get her in place to bear The Chosen One.
*Given all the relative advantages in terms of education and parental investment, relatively few men have ever been Shakespeare/Newton/Beethoven/etc. I will also reiterate here my argument that Great Male Leaders were not necessarily able to outwrestle all the men they lead, it was not about simply physical superiority.
I have a linkback poem, "The Quick Brown Fox" (11 verses, Polychrome Heroics).
If you're interested, mark the date on your calendar, and please hold actual prompts until the "Poetry Fishbowl Open" post next week. (If you're not available that day, or you live in a time zone that makes it hard to reach me, you can leave advance prompts. I am now.) Meanwhile, if you want to help with promotion, please feel free to link back here or repost this on your blog.
( New to the fishbowl? Read all about it! )
Participation was lively, with 20 comments on LiveJournal and 100 on Dreamwidth. There were no new commenters.
Read Some Poetry!
The following poems from the March 7, 2017 Poetry Fishbowl have been posted:
"Balancing on a Cliff"
"A Bridged Right"
"A Dangerous Thing with Style"
"In That Terrible Inbetween"
"Running Away from the Circus"
"Ruts in the Road"
"A Tornado of Thought"
"What Real Courage Is"
"The Whip of His Own Remorse"
"Why Can't We Accept It?"
"Leaves Upon the Water" (December 6, 2016 Poetry Fishbowl)
"Spooked" (Polychrome Heroics, January 3, 2017 Poetry Fishbowl)
Buy some poetry!
If you plan to sponsor some poetry but haven't made up your mind yet, see the unsold poetry list for March 7, 2017. That includes the title, length, price, and the original thumbnail description for the poems still available.
All currently sponsored poems have been posted. Donors this time include: goldbach5, rix_scaedu, janetmiles, technoshaman, Anthony & Shirley Barrette.
The Poetry Fishbowl made its $200 goal, so "Spooked" was the free epic. We also made the $250 goal, so that's three tallies toward a bonus session.
The Poetry Fishbowl project also has a permanent landing page.
- 1 large yellow onion, chopped
- 2 large cloves garlic, minced
- 3 slices ginger, minced
- 1 dried bird's eye chili pepper, crushed
- white pepper to taste
- salt to taste (I used ~2-3 tsp?)
- 1 pinch turmeric
- 1 pinch paprika
- cumin to taste (~2 tsp?)
- sesame oil
- dried shiitake mushrooms
- white fish filets, chopped (~900g, which I only know because mine were frozen/prepackaged)
- dried lentils (~1 cup?)
- 1 tomato
I threw everything except the lentils, fish, tomato, and mushrooms in the bottom of my inner rice pot* and sauteed it until the onions were cooked soft. Then I added the remaining ingredients, put in enough water to cover everything, and cooked it in my rice pot (this took maybe 30-40 minutes?). I'm sure you could also do this in a slow-cooker or on the stove, but if you do it on the stove you may want to simmer everything for a longer time on a lower heat to get more flavor into the fish (assuming you don't pre-marinate it, which I didn't).
*Mine is a Tatung rice pot with removable inner pots, i.e. the kind where cooking time is determined by how much water you put in the outer pot, so I can't be very specific. ^^;