August 29, 2003


Er. Um.

Leaving shortly for L.A. Lot of flying very soon.

September will find me in a whole other hemisphere. Not wrapping my head around that very well.

So, anyway, this is zai jian for a little while. I may post from the other side of the world if I get a chance.

Meanwhile, take care of yourselves back in the real world. I'll be on a beach in cannibal country, doing lots of nothin'. My love to you all.


August 28, 2003

Courtesy of Patrick, a joke with a somewhat narrow audience: He recounts that he was driving to DC and listening to Bob Marley, Jackson Browne, Pink Floyd's Dark Side of the Moon, and Tool, and found himself afterwards with an overwhelming urge to roll a fattie and write a 20-minute song in 11/8 time about how magic isn't as good as it was in the old days.


Anyway, it's been a pretty good week. Had a sort of impromptu party last night with Caren and Patrick over, and we all watched the sobering Bowling for Columbine (one of Stacy's birthday presents) and sent out for pizza. I had this idea that I'd be inspired to get some packing done during all this, but it didn't happen. Big surprise.

Tomorrow night I'll be in Los Angeles. Too weird.

Tonight's just getting our affairs in order and getting ready to take off. It's sort of disorienting to realize that I have one more night to sleep in my bed and then be hurtling off to parts unknown for a while. "If I take one more step, it'll be the farthest away from home I've ever been." I hear ya, Sam.

In the meantime, get a load of this wonderful new slack toy: the Zombie Infection Simulation. It's best viewed with the zombies set to green, I find. See how long that last pocket of resistance can hold out! Braaaaaain!

August 25, 2003

First and foremost: Happy birthday, Mrs. L-K! Everyone go give her some loooooove.

Secundus: Got The Tempest mostly cast this weekend. I'm down a couple of people with last-minute conflicts, but so it goes. We have our first meeting as an actual cast on Tuesday. (I had some folks who hadn't quite written down all their conflicts, which I'd more or less expected. I also had some cases of "Oh, I'm waiting to hear from other auditions, can I think about it and get back to you," which I hadn't; the idea of trying out for a production you're not sure you want to be working on is so alien to me that I don't even have a frame of reference for it. And these were big parts, too, not the friggin' Boatswain. On the other hand, there was also a lot of very encouraging enthusiasm from folks accepting roles, including one or two who seemed almost awestruck at being cast, so that's alright. Not that anyone should be surprised at the part they got offered - I was lucky enough to have a whole crew of really fine actors at my auditions, and a lot of tough decisions to make.)

Tertiarily, Patrick's in town this week, and I think we're all going out tonight for a birthday dinner somewhere of my lovely wife's choosing. Hooray! Sweetie, I promise to try not to spend the whole evening talking about prog and Mage: the Ascencion and Alan Moore. It's your birthday, after all.

Lastly, in four days I'm headed for the other side of the effing world. The reality of this has begun to sink in. By Friday, I fully expect to be a complete mess. But looking forward to that good island food all the same.

August 22, 2003

I tossed a whole bunch of my stories into the Gender Genie this morning, and it diagnosed me, across the board, as female. I find this to be a source of great comfort.

Aside from the obvious reasons for this (i.e., as recounted here), I have to wonder what's at work here (assuming you can place any stock at all in an algorithm designed to detect your gender, which you can't). Thinking of the influences on my writing, there are at least as many men as women who I could think of as having a direct impact on my voice and style. The implications of all this I leave to folks more hung up about it than myself.

But it's interesting to consider this in light of an issue Steven Brust brought up in his weblog months ago (no permalinks there, so you'll have to scroll down to the entry for 1/30/03) about role models for women, or whoever, in literature. I think I see his point here - and I couldn't agree more with his statements about the supposed differences between men and women - I also disagree that because you it's possible to identify with a person of the "other" gender that it isn't a good thing to have role models who are like you. Especially for women, especially in light of how narrow the popular consciousness is about what it means to be female and what's allowable within that idea. The sad truth is that, without artists making an effort to challenge those ridiculous notions, nothing will change. I'd love to live in a world where all things were equal and everyone had enough heroes to go around. But that's not how things are.

There's a wonderful bit in the last section of Alan Moore: Portrait of an Extraordinary Gentleman where Moore is talking in correspondence with Dave Sim about the purpose of art, and he makes the point that art doesn't reflect the world as it is - it attempts to "imprint" the world and cause reality to reflect it. I'd have to agree (and it's very interesting to read that correspondence in light of the arrogant, moralistic, misogynistic ideas with which Sim approaches his art on the one hand, and Moore's dynamic, magickal, radical philosophy on the other). So I choose to create art for the world the way I hope it would be, and part of that means being responsible about what kind of role models inhabit my fiction. I think the world could use more Jenny Hanivers. Nothing would make me happier than to know my work encouraged one or two to come to the surface.

So there you go: I write like a girl, and proud of it. And I didn't bother correcting the Genie when it thought so too. Just doing my part to ensure the Universe holds on to one or two ambiguities...

August 21, 2003

I noted with some delight that the current issue of Lucifer (the conclusion of the "Naglfar" storyline) is titled "Full Fathom Five." Synchronicity is a lovely thing, though I imagine being on the same wavelength as Mike Carey is sort of a double-edged sword.

Eight days from now, I'll be on a plane to L.A., and thence to Fiji, for my first honest-to-God vacation in too damn long, and my first trip out of the country ever (assuming Canada doesn't count). I think Stacy's feeling more conscious of the countdown than I am, but it's pretty bloody exciting in any case. Sadly, the war club I want is too long for my suitcase... I may have to make do with a nice set of Long Pig forks, or else set myself up as an importer of "works of art." As if I needed something new with which to hurt myself anyway.

Speaking of my lovely wife, her birthday's coming up Monday, which of course means that we have to start celebrating on Friday. (It's in the rules, you know. A birthday adjacent to a weekend requires partying for the entire duration of that weekend. Especially if you have to wait until Monday for the actual event.) So we're doing happy hour at the Brickskeller after work tomorrow, and whatever else seems like fun afterwards. I haven't asked her how old she's going to be this year. I'm kinda hoping it's 29 again, so I can catch up.

Tempest callbacks are tonight. Which means I will have a cast soon, and then all this will be... real. It's nearly too much to contemplate.

August 18, 2003

Holding Tempest auditions tonight, a handful of hours from now. I write at length about this over at Full Fathom Five. Of course, in the meanwhile, I'm more or less useless, but so it goes.

I made my monthly sojourn out to Big Planet Comics on Saturday, and picked up the first volume of Alan Moore's Promethea along with my monthly pulls. Wound up not being able to put it down last night. Wooch. Yeah, it's as good as you've heard. It's the kind of story I want to be telling. Moore continues to inspire and delight.

Also finally got to see Pirates of the Caribbean on Saturday, which may be the perfect pirate flick - a good solid supernatural swashbuckler with Johnny Depp at his flamboyant best. (The only drawback, as Spyder pointed out, is that it makes you want to try and end sentences with "...savvy?" all the time.) And the night before, Stacy and I caught the second Tomb Raider - I liked it at least as much as the first, and maybe a little more, if only 'cause it has Djimon Hounsou doing the big amiable African guy role he's so good at. A fine weekend for movies in the gratuitously pulpy vein, which is pretty much exactly what I needed.

Matt's been hard at work these last few days building his new site, and everyone should go sign up there, or at least go for the link to the updated Swampstock photos. Shiny! It reminds me that I too must do a new site soon. One of these days.

And on Friday, I signed up for a subscription at Suicide Girls, because I'm always bitching and moaning about how bad so much porn is, and this is exactly what's called for as a corrective. So I'm more than happy for my six bucks a month to go to support erotica that's actually empowering, and gives the models creative control, and treats them as real people - because if that sort of thing doesn't get support from folks who believe in it, it'll go away, and I'll have no one but myself to blame. So I took the chance to put my money where my mouth is. Or whatever physionomical region best applies.

Plus, it has HOT HOT GOTH CHICKS. All hail this age, for giving me the opportunity to satisfy my feminist principles and my inner fifteen-year-old simultaneously. "Oh, brave new world..."

August 14, 2003

Me Too, Al

A reminder to my loyal readers: if nothing else, you can count on this space to bring you a perspective that's fair and balanced.

Spread the meme, lads and lasses. Spread the meme.

The Long Shadows Fall

And good thoughts go out tonight, of course, to our NYC peeps, and all others making it through the long dark of the night; I've been there, and I know exactly how much fun it is. Careful with those candles, everyone, and let me know when you can that you're okay.

What a sucky way to wrap up the week. Hang in there.

August 11, 2003

"...on the thin ice of a new day"

I was a writing fiend yesterday, to the point of being cranky when I had to stop and eat and stuff. I fussed with a number of small projects, but the crowning achievement was three whole pages of a new draft for The Residents #1, where I finally, finally feel okay working in the medium. It's feeling... natural, at long fucking last. (It helps, mind, that I now sort of know where the story is headed. But anyway.)

And today, there's a whole new post at Full Fathom Five, for the first time in weeks. Just in time for tomorrow's production meeting! Hooray!

August 10, 2003

As I write this, the Marthas are nearly in New York City. They left at about 8:30 this morning after crashing here for the night. (Best move EVAR getting them out of their place yesterday, incidentally - I think there were about a dozen pairs of hands involved there off and on for the couple of hours it took to clean out their former apartment. A sad day, but exciting too.)

I was at my Nobilis session for most of last night, and got home just in time for the pajama party to break up, but I did drag my sorry ass out of bed to see our favorite feelgood lesbian couple on the road. It's a bittersweet sending-off, but as I've said before, having more reasons to go to NYC ain't exactly all bad.

Today's a quiet laundry day in these parts, and hopefully some writing will be done too. I'll let you know.

August 08, 2003

Okay, first things first: Today I became a, er, numbered-something-or-other cousin again, as John Mitchell made his grand entrance to the family. He's a couple weeks ahead of schedule, which sets a kind of new precedent for the Gallucci line. Welcome, Jack! I'm afraid we can't help you be normal, but we can sure show you a good time. Meanwhile, here's hoping your first few hours in the Big Room have been happy ones.

So I not only got to go to my first Jethro Tull concert last night, I got to go, apparently, on Ian Anderson's birthday, for that extra level of fanboy coolness. And I gotta say - it was even better than I'd hoped for. I figured, hey, these guys are all respectable middle-aged gentlemen now, they'll be putting on a nice serene little show that fondly recalls when they were wild rockers... Um, no. Ian is still a crazy skinny demon flautist who stands on one leg and bounces all over the stage and likes to make wee-wee jokes and do that phallic thing with his flute. These guys are all having the time of their lives, and I think seeing them made me really appreciate, even more than when I was a teenager and catching hell from my metalhead friends for grooving to a folk-rock band, what consummate musicians and entertainers they are. So not only do they still give good show, but they played stuff I figured they'd've gotten sick of years since - all of "Aqualung," all of "Locomotive Breath" (in a truly kickass encore) and lots and lots of the early tunes like "Living in the Past" and "Fat Man." And they did one of my personal all-time favorite Tull songs - "Hunting Girl" - which alone would've been worth the concert for me (though it was an odd and amusing moment when I and the serene-looking middle-aged woman sitting beside me cheered for that one at the same time). Interestingly, I sat and read the lyrics to that today over at the excellent site, and I don't think I ever realized before what a really dirty song it is...

In other news, I'm now on the map, and that's pretty cool. (Just hover over the Wheaton station button and you'll see me on the list that pops up, with a link that'll take you right, um, here.) Many thanks to Maureen for including me there, and for putting together a really cool site. (And her blog is also worth checking out.)

And lastly, I finished the stories I was working on the other night, and posted 'em to the List, as some of ye have already seen. I feel pretty good about an opener like this:

The sky was dark overhead, but off the end of the pier, the water was even darker. My hands were tied behind my back with plastic cords. Altmann looked down at me and smiled, thinly.

“Well,” he said. “It comes to this at last, old girl. You and me and the deep cold sea. Ahaha.” His hands were folded in front of him as he said this, slender and pale; the signet ring of his Lodge showed on the left middle finger, heavy and gleaming. He had a dark tailored suit and a little pointed goatee. I think it’s some kind of membership requirement.

“And your squad of goons, of course.” I gave him my sweetest smile. With my hair falling in my eyes and plastered to my face, I doubt it had quite the effect I would’ve liked, but you work with what’s at hand.

Rest assured it goes on to show Jenny at her wiseass and resourceful best...

August 07, 2003

Aah! AAAAAH! There's a microphone in my eye!

Click on the "Main" button of the same page to see more.

(Thanks to Matt for putting these up, and for weeding out the really incriminating ones.)

August 05, 2003

And as if there weren't enough reasons to hate Texas already, now we have this.

Which is exactly why I'm a member, and you should be, too.
Spent last night writing, polishing up "Him" (the working title of the story I mentioned a couple days ago) and starting right into a new one, for the momentous occasion of the 250th topic on Fantasybits. I think I'm about halfway through it, and it's great fun so far. If all goes well, I shall post it tonight.

Readers may note that progress on "The Pagurus Game" pretty much dropped off as of May - it's been a thorn in my side, but I continue to pick at it, slowly, slowly. Hopefully, soon I will have better things to say on that front; a nice dialogue scene got done on Friday night, and I'm starting to feel like I can move ahead with it. We shall see.

Back in the mundane world, Spyder got back from her upstate vacation last night, and was pretty bouncy on IM. I think the unicorns are a bit warier around her than they were two weeks ago; I'm still waiting on the full story there, but it promises to be properly juicy. Ah, nineteen. I'd miss that age if it hadn't been such an embarassing time for me.

"Another Teatime, Another Day Older"

And speaking of my misspent youth, I'm going Thursday night to see Jethro Tull at Wolftrap, which I can safely say is something I've been waiting fifteen years to do. This was a surprise present from my wife, in one of those I-knew-you-loved-me-but-I-didn't-know-you-loved-me-that-much moments. I don't even care that they do "Aqualung" and "Locomotive Breath" and all the old faves in a big medley these days - this is Ian fucking Anderson, hero of my teenage years, wild pagan god of prog.

And the Marthas are making the big move to NYC this weekend. They'll be missed in these parts, for certain, but you can only complain so much about having more people to go visit in New York. Make waves, sweetie darlings, make waves, and know that the city's fairer for your being there.

August 03, 2003

Two weeks from tomorrow, I hold auditions for The Tempest. That is just... unbelievable.

A pretty low-key weekend around here - Stacy is still under the weather, and has been watching bad movies for something like four days straight, which has about the effect you'd imagine. I've been on the recover (not 100%, but I can see it without a telescope) and got out of the house briefly yesterday and today. And Matt's staying with us while he finds a new place to live, making him the most fun person in the household at the moment. Under other circumstances, we'd've been kicking back rounds of Coronas all weekend in that spontaneous-new-roommate-party spirit, but the flesh has already filed an objection. So - feh.

I note that Vishal, newly returned from monsoon country, has linked me on his blog page, so props to him. Everything that helps me on the way to international acclaim is more than welcome. (And if I get there first, V, you can count on a big thumbs-up cover blurb for that erotic novel, just on principle.)

Speaking of acclaim, the July issue of Locus (the graphic novels issue, with Alan Moore looking his usual spooky self on the cover) has an article co-authored by Spyder's boss, which is pretty cool. It's still on newsstands, I think, and worth having anyway; check it out, and goo over the Sandman: Endless Nights preview art like I did.

And if you're an ilyAIMY fan, as you should be, there's some interesting news from them - they're going on the road come September, on an impromptu musical odyssey-cum-pilgrimage. Anyone who knows about good spots to play grungy, ferocious folk music in various parts of the country should go to their site and send 'em an email. It's a wonderful, brave thing Rob and Heather are doing, and any support they can get would be much appreciated, I'm sure.

Nothing so exciting from me, but I did manage to finish a Jenny Haniver story this weekend that I've been picking at for like a year, and I'm now polishing it up for submission to the FB list. Hooray!

And so closes the weekend. Can't say I'm ready for the week to start, but that's how it goes. More as it comes up.