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14 February 2014 @ 11:35 am

Yesterday for some reason Scalzi was listing his 5 favourite John Cusack teen movies and I volunteered that mine was The Journey of Natty Gann.

Meredith Salenger, the actress who played Natty, responded with an “Awesome!” and I am now totally full of dorktastic fangirl squee. OMG. #dorktastic

Seriously, that movie could be the place my great love of unrequited/impossible love stories comes from. Even now I think Natty and Harry’s story was utterly heartbreaking in the best angstful way possible, and of course in my head I wrote MILLIONS of stories about how they find each other again but no I am absolutely not looking for fanfic of that because if it wasn’t perfectly done I would hate it forever so no. o.o

But I do still love the movie, even a lifetime later, and I’m all dorky and happy now. #beams

(x-posted from The Essential Kit)

07 November 2013 @ 12:16 pm

I wanted to do a quick WFC recap before it gets so far away as to be irrelevant, so here I go. :)

First off, this was the first con I’d been to since about 2006 that I didn’t have professional obligations at. In fact, that’s almost a blanket statement: the first two conventions I went to were the only ones I’ve *not* been at in some professional aspect or another, so it was a bit weird for me in the first place. And I’m sure it’s been said elsewhere, so I won’t harp on it, but usually WFC, which is The Professional Convention, seems to only let none-GoH people be on one panel and perhaps one reading, so that all the pros there can do something. That…didn’t happen this time. And we shall leave it at that.

Also, had I known in advance of buying plane tickets that the banquet would be on Sunday afternoon instead of what-is-my-impression-of-more-commonly Saturday evening, I would have gone out Thursday and come back Sunday. (Possibly failing to know this was my own fault through not paying enough attention.) So those things were kind of odd.

I did, however, get to go to quite a few panels, which I’d practically never done before at a convention. One of our highlights was standing around bantering with an old dude before a panel: he was staring into the very large, very empty panel hall with dismay, saying he didn’t think anybody was going to show up, certainly not enough to fill the place. So he said to me and Ted, “You two go round up fifty people and make them sit at the front, will you?” and we, bemused, went into the panel and discovered this old dude with whom we’d been bantering was William F freaking Nolan, author of LOGAN’S RUN. Holy crap, man! And he felt passionately that even dystopic stories need to deliver hope at the end (he loathes the ending of the LOGAN’S RUN film for that reason), which was an idea I could totally get behind.

The end of the ill-titled/conceived Broads With Swords panel (which went a lot better than it might’ve, all things considered) devolved into something of a “list female epic fantasists we like” thing rather than a Q&A, which is slightly too bad, but it certainly became clear that there are a lot of really awesome female fantasists coming out of Australia. :)

Oh, I went to Mike Shevdon’s reading from his final 61 NAILS book (sorry, can’t remember the series title right now!) and I was deeply and profoundly admiring of how incredibly well he wrote a teenage girl’s point of view. *Superiorly* done. In fact, I asked him when he’d done time as a teenage girl. :)

The “is YA the future of all things written” (or something like that) panel was pretty interesting, with some good discussions about what makes YA work and how YA takes in all genres (and sometimes renames them) and churns them out again as YA which makes them all safe, or something. Interesting discussion.

The utter highlight of the paneling for me was Susan Cooper’s interview, in which she told some wonderful stories, including how she got her first journalism job thanks to Ian Fleming, whom she described as an extraordinarily generous man, and talked a bit about Tolkien being a perfectly terrible lecturer, and other fairly terrific things, most of which are escaping me right now. :)

Someone in the audience asked, in an attemt to settle a debate between herself and her best friend, whether (to paraphrase loosely) whether The Dark Is Rising Sequence has a happy or bittersweet ending. Cooper laughed and said “This isn’t a cop-out, but you’re both right. Once the books are over…that’s my story told. I don’t know any more than you do, so neither of you can be wrong in your interpretation!” The woman allowed as how that was fair, but then admitted she’d really been hoping for a definitive answer so she could go home and say SEE I TOLD YOU I WAS RIGHT! :)

Cooper also said she’d been dining with “Ursula” a few weeks ago and that she, Cooper, had commented on the end of the 5th Earthsea book, where a character says to another, “You haven’t gone into the forest yet,” and the other says, “Not yet,” and Ursula sparkled a little and said “Not yet.” So that made someone else say “You practically opened yourself up for this: is there any chance there will be more books in the Dark Is Rising series?” And she said that while she felt the Drews had to grow up and go their own way she’d always hoped she’d get to write more about Will and Merriman, but the story hadn’t come to her yet. But there’s hope! :)

The only down side to the interview was that the interviewer seemed to be having difficulty remembering who was the person being interviewed. In fact, the woman I was with later said to me that about halfway through she’d begun to wonder if the program did not have it listed as A Susan Cooper Interview but rather A Conversation With Susan Cooper And… which it was not. So that was fairly disappointing, particularly when the interviewer actually answered the final two audience questions without giving Cooper the opportunity to respond at all. I was not charmed or delighted by that in the least.

On a social level the convention was brilliant. Friday night I recognized Tobias Buckell from his, like, Twitter picture, and went and introduced myself and hung out with him at dinner, which was awesome. After that I embarrassed myself with Garth Nix. *laughs* I also met my web designer, and one of the war room word warriors, and a lovely woman who had the astonishing good taste to recognize my name as the author of THE QUEEN’S BASTARD, which had never happened before! I got to see Liz Williams and to hang out with Juliet McKenna, and didn’t see Kari Sperring nearly enough but did get to spend enough time with Chaz Brenchley as to finally feel like we’d really gotten some quality time together (and I also got to meet his delightful wife, who is clearly taking really good care of him, as he looks tremendous), and just on and on. I finally met BABA YAGA’S DAUGHTER editor and completely failed to meet/catch up with at least a dozen others upon whom I laid eyes but never spoke to. :) It was a fine weekend, and I hope to go back to Brighton sometime!

(x-posted from The Essential Kit)

21 June 2013 @ 07:41 am

We’ve started watching Defiance. One of my early reactions was “Who *is* that?” about Datak Tarr, who of course turned out to be the utterly wonderful Tony Curran and once I knew that I didn’t know how I couldn’t see it. (I had, in fact, said, “I know who that is but I can’t see it past the makeup.”) Anyway, he’s great and Jaime Murray, who plays his wife, Stahma Tarr, is O.M.G. amazing. OMG. She’s worth watching the show all for herself, although I like other characters as well.

Nice to see Darla’s getting work, for example, and I love that Fionnula Flanagan is in it. Ted said, “Rockne S. O’Bannone’s involved with it,” as we got started, and while it’s no Farscape, I’ll keep watching happily enough. My one complaint is, did they *have* to give her a magic head? Really? I was hoping she’d just be cool and kick-ass and competent and not also, y’know, Special, but no, Special is on the menu. Meh. Oh well.

(Yes, that’s deliberately kept vague. If you know who I’m talking about, you’ll know, and if you don’t you don’t and that’s okay too.)

“That girl,” Ted said at one point, “doesn’t look like she’d grow up to be Julie Benz at all,” and he was right. Of course, as I said to him, the only kids I’ve ever seen cast who consistently look like they’d grow up to be the older versions of themselves are the Winchester brothers and, and as I took a breath, Ted finished, “Superman.” Which is absolutely true. :)

Plains Cree. Huh. Justin Rain, one of the actors on the show, looks particularly like he could be Tlingit or Hai’da or, well, Southeast/Southcentral Native Alaskan to me, but he seems to be of Plains Cree descent. Well, okay. I really like him. And it’s fun to see Graham Greene playing a grumpy old bastard. :)

- paint bedroom & possibly bathrooms
- finish packing RPGs
- pack office
- pack TBR shelf
- call UPC
- call Airtricity
- figure out if there’s another utility thing to call
- get blog posts set up to autopost next week

(x-posted from The Essential Kit)

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20 June 2013 @ 11:22 am

“I could be better. I can make it work better and I’m trying to teach myself more discipline because when you have children and you are an artist, you already have more than fills a day. I would also like to have friends, hobbies, maybe read a book sometime.” From How To Be Prolific, an essay/interview with Joss Whedon.

At the Irish premiere of Much Ado About Nothing, the moderator said to Joss, “So you finished the biggest movie in history and then immediately turned around and filmed another one in twelve days. I think the real question here is, What is wrong with you?

“Workaholism,” Joss said. “There’s no known cure.”

I would like to use all of this to say SEE? IT IS NOT JUST ME. That quote above, Jesus, that could be me. Every word of it could be me.

(x-posted from The Essential Kit)

10 May 2013 @ 09:52 am

One of the people I ran into at the Star Trek party the other night was there with her sister. They were both in costume, and one of them, Susan, mentioned that RTE had interviewed them because RTE was all OOH YEAH SISTERS SO YOU’RE A FAMILY OF TREKKIES RIGHT and stuff.

Next morning, another friend of mine, Carol, said, “Hey, my sisters are the first story on RTE’s coverage of the Star Trek party!”


I had no idea they were related. The moment it was revealed, however, it suddenly became clear why Susan (whom I’d met second) looked so *very* familiar to me. They’re very similar, particularly about the eyes.

So I said to her on Twitter this morning, “You’re Carol’s sister!”

“You’ve made a common error,” said she. “Carol is *my* sister.”

Then Carol got in on the action and I decided possessiveness was to be determined by age, satisfying Carol, who is the elder, and offering Susan the opportunity to be beset upon on all sides, as suits a middle sister. :)

(x-posted from The Essential Kit)

09 May 2013 @ 08:33 am

Last night I went to see Baz Luhrmann’s Romeo+Juliet, because I’d never seen it and they’re doing a Luhrmann month at one of the cinemas to lead up to Gatsby. (Picoreview: It was pretty good. Bits felt like a dry run for Moulin Rouge, but it was pretty good.) Upon arriving at the Lighthouse Cinema I discovered there was a Star Trek party scheduled for a midnight premiere. Upon *leaving* R+J, I ran into friends…who had a spare ticket.

I did not go. Somewhat grumpily and bitterly and regretfully, I did not go, because Young Indiana wakes up by 7am no matter when I go to bed, and staying out until 3am is sheer stupidity under those circumstances. I went home feeling that being an adult sucks.

Indy woke up irrevocably at 10 to 6 this morning, so that pretty well justified behaving like a grownup, and assuaged the regret.

Still sucks, though.

OTOH, Ted’s meepful, sorrowful, “Did you see Star Trek?” when I began to relate this story to him made me glad I hadn’t gone anyway, though had he and I not just that evening discussed going together this weekend if possible, I might’ve thrown all caution to the wind and gone anyway. :)

I had to run for the train when I left the cinema. I find I don’t mind running if I have somewhere to go (and, er, don’t have too far to go, either :)). I absolutely cannot interest myself in running for the sake of it, although I’m sure it would be more fun/comfortable/satisfying to run when I *have* to if I was more fit for it.

Between that brief run and going to a yoga class yesterday (I swear I could breathe better after it, even if I’m really humiliatingly out of shape, and also, it seems, in need of more potassium in my diet), I could not help wondering why it is that one can be, at bedtime, thoroughly and enthusiastically committed to the idea of exercising, and by morning have lost all enthusiasm for the venture. Seriously, what’s with brains.

Seems like there was something else I was going to post, but can’t think of what. Ah well.

(x-posted from The Essential Kit)

07 May 2013 @ 09:27 pm

Two things: first, the most awesome car commercial ever made:

Second, and completely unrelated, a friend of mine is running a crowdfund project for a performance piece this summer that my sister and other persons of my acquaintance will be performing in. It’s in dire need of support, with seven days and 75% of the way to go yet. Perhaps you will go support it because I have just shown you the most awesome car commercial ever made (*hopeful*! O.O), or maybe just because you’re awesome, or maybe you can boost the signal even if you can’t support it. <3!

(x-posted from The Essential Kit)

01 May 2013 @ 01:57 pm

Okay, so I came to Doctor Who through New Who and haven’t watched any of the Old Who. I came to it with the following knowledge: The Doctor is a Time Lord who regenerates (thus allowing more than one actor to play the part) and who travels through time and space with (usually) human companions who have been caught up in his wake.

This being the sum total of what I knew about the show, there’s something that’s happen(ed)(ing) with New Who that I get the impression is…not as it was in the past. But because the entire thought could be construed as spoileriffic for the entire New Who series, I’m going to put it behind the cut.

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(x-posted from The Essential Kit)

01 April 2013 @ 07:06 pm

We’re back from EasterCon, which was an excellent mix of meeting up with old friends and making new ones. My most excellent writer friends Kari Sperring and Juliet E. McKenna were instrumental in this year’s EasterCon, so I’m particularly happy that it was this year I finally got to *go*. All the other committee members I met were also wonderful people, and they did an absolutely fantastic job putting together a magnificently diverse and interesting program.

The past few years EasterCon’s had a commitment to gender parity on the panels, and I was actively aware every time I got up on a panel that I wasn’t the only woman on it. As it happens, the Irish conventions, P-Con and Octocon, are very very good about gender parity (not because they had a Plan, but just because of the general participants), so it wasn’t a new sensation, but since EasterCon is a much larger convention, it was wonderful to see that parity being pursued. Well done on that front!

Also, holy beans. As usual, I managed to go to exactly no panels I wasn’t *on*, but the ones I was on were some of the best panels I’ve ever gotten to participate in. Part of that was due to moderators who came prepared and actually did their jobs, on every single panel, making certain that everybody got a chance to talk and nobody completely hogged the spotlight. The rest of it was due to just utterly terrific topics and panelists who were engaged and enthusiastic about what they were there to discuss. Also! Because I am accustomed to tiny Irish conventions, it was noticeably different that the audience didn’t regard the panels quite so much as…conversations in which they were fully expected and indeed entitled to participate in. Which isn’t to say they didn’t participate, because when presented with the opportunity they did: good questions, good comments, good anecdotes. But there was far more sensation of “We’ve come to hear what you experts/professionals/panelists have to say on this topic,” rather than, “But more importantly, here’s what I have to say on it!” So (with no disrespect to the Irish conventions, because I love the informality and the give-and-take of those panels) that was a refreshing change as well.

We also may have…well. I think this image sums it up nicely:


It wasn’t entirely our fault, you see. One of the booksellers was doing a 4-for-3 sale, which meant one really had to buy either one book or four, right? And, well, c’mon. Let’s get real. Anyway, so we now have about eleven new books, the vast majority of which we got signed. And Ted got a steampunk pocket watch, and I got a red derby, and there was a piece in the art show that I really loved, and…well, dammit, we hadn’t bought ANY NEW ART since we moved to Ireland! So we bid on it! And we got it. And we’re JUSTIFIED in that! Also it wasn’t really that expensive, but I hadn’t expected to be packing around a sheet of glass on the way home. :)

We met so many splendid people. We were introduced to guest of honor Walter Jon Williams, and actually got to chat with him quite a bit. I was even on a panel with him! We met artist GOH Anne Sudworth, whose landscapes are unbelievably beautiful. We saw our friend Paul Cornell, whom we hadn’t seen in years, and our friends Bellinghman-and-woman picked us up from the airport, then Friday night brought us to a restaurant called Kashmir, which, OMG. The food was excellent but the naan in specific was worth of committing prosecutable crimes for. OMG. That naan. *swoons* Apparently Charles Stross went to school in Bradford and had on a previous occasion told the Bellinghpeople they should go to Kashmir–go downstairs at Kashmir–and after doing so, they have always gone back, ideally with friends. OMG. *swoons more*

Further to our delight, we got to spend quite a lot of time with Mike Shevdon, and we even got to seize Juliet and Kari for a few minutes and talk to them, even though they were utterly frantic with con-running. :)

We met author, actor & magician John Lenahan, who was part of Saturday evening’s entertainment and who was so very, very funny that I had a headache from laughing so hard. :) Mike Shevdon introduced us, and due to tongue-tangling by the time he was done introducing Ted to John it seemed that there was some question as to which of them was Ted and which was John. So everybody else in the circle of conversation introduced themselves as John, too. *laughs* In fact, we got one of his books signed to us as “To Catie, Ted, and John.” :) On Sunday we met up with him in the green room and he and I had a shouting match of an agreement about how painful FRANKENSTEIN was to read, while Walter Jon stood by protesting, “But you have to remember it was the first one. Nobody had ever done anything like it before…” It was great. :)

Saturday night also saw the one event against which nothing was scheduled: the Doctor Who premiere. So we got to watch the new episode with 300 of our closest friends, which was pretty fun stuff. Like going to a midnight showing of a film, because you know everybody who is there is *really* into it. :)

Oh yes. I signed one of Jim Butcher’s books during Saturday’s urban fantasy meet and greet, since I had none of my own to sign. “Jim’s a friend of mine!” I said cheerfully to the guy looking at the book. “Want me to sign that for you?” “Sure!” he said, and so I did: I am not Jim Butcher. :)

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(x-posted from The Essential Kit)

02 March 2013 @ 03:10 pm

Last summer I bought a Spider-Man hoodie. I actually went in for a Captain America one, because I’d seen somebody wearing one and thought it was awesome beyond words, but they were sold out. (Oh look. Think Geek has one. *stares at it covetously*) Ahem. Anyway. But they had the Spidey one, and I’ve had a crush on Spider-Man since I was like three, so I got it.

Yesterday I went to a performance of the musical my sister has written, directed and produced (! how freaking awesome is that? how freaking awesome is SHE? Let me tell you: AMAZINGLY AWESOME! and it was SO GOOD!–but more on that later) and many people commented on the hoodie.

This is not unusual. People comment on it all the time. In fact, I got a FB message from a stranger who saw my profile picture, in which I was wearing the hoodie, and emailed because hey! he’d seen me in the city centre wearing that hoodie! So it kind of stands out. Children *love* it, and I will fairly regularly hear a gasp and a reverent (or shouted), “Mommy, it’s SPIDER-MAN!!!!” I have developed the habit of stopping and ‘throwing webs’ for them. :)

However, after the first three or four days of extreme self-consciousness while wearing it, I became accustomed to it myself, so I’m always slightly surprised when people comment. Yesterday, someone said to me, “I think you’re the only adult I know who could carry off wearing that.”

I suspect it’s more that I’m the only adult she knows who *would* carry off wearing it. :)

(x-posted from The Essential Kit)