[Most Recent Entries]
Below are the most recent 5 friends' journal entries.
|Thursday, December 12th, 2013|
|NYC: House Concert/Lecture Sunday 12/15 4:00-6:00 p.m.
Sunday 15 December, 4:00 – 6:00 pm
Delia Sherman & I are doing a holiday "house concert/lecture" - just think of it as coming and hanging out with us in a living room on the Upper West side, while we shoot the breeze about the way that fantasy literature and traditional folk music play nicely together and make beautiful children. Come with your own examples of books and stories that do the trick, or get ready to hear us talk - and sing! - about Ellen's World Fantasy Award-winning novel THOMAS THE RHYMER (based on a Scots Border Ballad), and Delia's multiple short stories, like "The Maid on the Shore," plus, of course, her novel THROUGH A BRAZEN MIRROR (from Martin Carthy's rendition of the ballad "The Famous Flower of Serving-Men) . . . and how Ellen stole - er, recycled one of its plotlines.
And, yes, there will be singing.
To find out the Secret Location, call Heather at (212) 957-8386 for reservations and information.
Folk Music & Fantasy
Sunday 15 December, 4:00 – 6:00 pm
Upper West Side
(call for directions: (212) 957-8386)
|Tuesday, December 10th, 2013|
|Though the knights are no more and the dragons are dead....
When a knight won his spurs, in the stories of old,
He was gentle and brave, he was gallant and bold
With a shield on his arm and a lance in his hand,
For [love] and for valour he rode through the land.
No charger have I, and no sword by my side,
Yet still to adventure and battle I ride,
Though back into storyland giants have fled,
And the knights are no more and the dragons are dead.
Let faith be my shield and let joy be my steed
'Gainst the dragons of anger, the ogres of greed;
And let me set free with the sword of my youth,
From the castle of darkness, the power of the truth.
When a Knight Won His Spurs is a children's hymn written by Jan Struther and set to a folk melody (Stowey) and harmonised by Ralph Vaughan Williams.The hymn first appeared in Songs of Praise in 1931.
Hear it beautifully done by my new favorite British folk duo, Josienne Clarke & Ben Walker.
|Sunday, December 8th, 2013|
|Endicott West and Middle Earth
Terri Windling, Delia Sherman & I are selling our beloved Endicott West, the house/arts retreat we all put together in Tucson, Arizona some 13 years ago . . . The letters are flying back and forth across the Atlantic, of course, as we three come to terms with this change in our lives, and say good bye to a past and a vision. In one of them, Terri wrote:
A wise woman I know named Ellen Kushner once said this in an interview in Locus magazine: "Now my generation, we're all hitting late-thirties to late-forties. Our concerns are different. If we stick to fantasy, what are we going to do? Traditionally, there's been the coming-of-age [novel] and the quest which is the finding of self. We're past the early stages of that. I can't wait to see what people do with the issues of middle age in fantasy. Does fantasy demand that you stay in your adolescence forever? I don't think so. Tolkien is not juvenile. It's a book about losing things you loved, which is a very middle–aged concern. Frodo's quest is a middle–aged man's quest, to lose something and to give something up, which is what you start to realize in your thirties is going to happen to you. Part of the rest of your life is learning to give things up."
I don't remember saying all that! But I do recognize both those thoughts as coming from conversations I had with Michael Swanwick
, back when I used to visit him in Philadelphia after Philcon. We'd stay up late talking, and then he'd drive me around the city, showing me local curiosities and dispensing wisdom and pensées - mostly just posing questions, and chewing on them happily together.
I like to quote my sources, so: Thank you, Michael.
Fortunately, Mr. Swanwick wrote up his thoughts on Tolkien in a gorgeous essay for Karen Haber's Meditations on Middle Earth.
I invited him to speak about them on my public radio show, Sound & Spirit
, for one of the last shows I did, The Lord of the Rings
- and, Lo!, someone has transcribed his words and put them up on The One Ring Forum, here
!* (You can also listen to the entire 1-hour radio show - including the Swanwick interview - here
Oddly enough, speaking of the LOTR S&S show, I just got FB Friended by a guy in Poland with the rather elegant name of Ryszard Viajante Derdzinski
who says, "Your broadcasts are famous among the Polish fans of JRR Tolkien. Thanks to you I discovered The Tolkien Ensemble and Varttina."
( When my son, Sean, was nine years old he told me I had to read him Lord of the Rings because his friend had LOTR read to him and he was only eight years old so Sean was suffering from major loss of prestige. It was a really wonderful experience to travel through Middle-earth with my son. Every night at bedtime, for months, we'd follow the Hobbits through Middle-earth. And it was really a great experience for both of us, but... as we read, I realized that Sean was hearing a very different story from the one that I was reading. The story that he was hearing was the same one I read when I was sixteen. It was the greatest adventure story in the world. He really loved it, but... as a forty one year old man, what I was hearing was the saddest story in the world. Everybody in that book is in the process of losing everything they hold most dear. And there's nothing they can do about that. Galadriel mourns the withering of Lothlorien. The Elves are leaving Middle-earth. Ents are slowly dying away as a race and turning back into trees. The Shire is changing and not for the better. Frodo loses more than anybody. At the end of the three books, Frodo has lost everything. He's saved the entire world but there is no place for him in all of Middle-earth. All that he can do is go to the Grey Havens and die. That was an important book. I probably read it 20 times through. I might even have read it 20 times in a row, straight through. And then, at some point as an adult, I went away from it and I was afraid to come back because I was afraid it would be a children's book. And then, I reread it... it's an adult book. There were depths in it I could not appreciate at 16. Sean couldn't appreciate at 9. And you have to have experienced sorrow and loss to be able to appreciate it. Tolkien knew that, if you want to live in this world, the price you have to pay is, at the end of the ride, you have got to die. But that's okay. That's a small price to pay.Collapse )
Wow. What goes around . . . certainly goes around! And Finnish women's neo-trad singers Värttinä
can't have too many fans.
*Swanwick quote from Sound & Spirit: The Lord of the Rings:
|Monday, December 2nd, 2013|
|Update and Tolkiennnnn
Hi guys, a brief update and some Tolkien ramblings.
I got a job! It's just seasonal, but it's moneyyyyyy. Yay! And it's a friendly environment, probably the most ideal retail environment, really. Also, moneyyy! Black Friday wasn't bad at all, because Target opened at 8 and I was scheduled from midnight to 8:30 and there was basically *no* one from 2 to 6... I spent that time with several others completely re-organizing the one dollar section haha. It needed it badly. Yay re-organizing!
I am graduating in two weeks! I am very excited. Unfortunately my laptop decided to die (the fan to be precise) the weekend before this one, right around finals, making finals a bit more difficult to complete. Woohoo... if I am lucky I'll get it back sometime this week so I can do at least a bit of work this weekend. If I am lucky. Ugh stupid computer. I am at school at the moment typing this up, spending time until telling my professor that I forgot my flash drive. Oops.
When I have my computer back and I am done with the final's crunch, I'll show all my artwork from... well, it's a decent amount. And maybe more photos. But until then.
So anyhow, without my main source of entertainment (alongside my main access to doing my finals), I've been doing a /lot/ more reading at home. As in, I am almost done with my third book and moving quickly to my fourth.
And what better to read than all my obscure Tolkien books that I haven't ever read or haven't touched in years?
Helllll yea. So let's talk about them!( Tolkien Book ramblings!Collapse )
|Sunday, December 1st, 2013|
|How I Foiled A Criminal In The Very Midst Of His Dastardly Crime!
Originally published at hereville.com. Please leave any comments there.
Well, not so much “foiled” as “politely greeted.”
I got home at about 11:50pm tonight; as I was walking in our front door, I ran into a man I didn’t know walking out that same door, wheeling a bike.
This is not especially unusual; my housemates have friends who I don’t know, I often don’t recognize even people I’ve met several times, and Portlanders habitually bring their bikes indoors with them (for security and for dryness) when they visit a house.
I said something like “hi there!” and he – perfectly calm and friendly – said something like “Hi. Just heading out.” I walked in, he walked out, and my housemate Charles walked in from the kitchen at that moment. I asked Charles if he knew who that guy had been, and Charles, glancing over my shoulder, recognized his own bike being wheeled away and gave chase.
I ran out after Charles, and caught up with them on the sidewalk in front of the house; Charles had grabbed one end of the bike and they were having a tug-of-war, and Charles said “no ****ing way, ********.” The guy ran away at that point, and Charles and I brought the bike back indoors. Hanging off the bike’s rack was Sydney’s backpack, and in the backpack was my housemates stuff – Kim’s laptop, Kim’s e-cig, Jakes’s Playstation, and Sydney’s headphones. (All six items – bike, pack, ecig, laptop, playstation, headphones – had been in the TV room).
We also found an open window, leading into our TV room from the alley in back of the house. We called the cops, but the guy got clean away. The police advised us to lock our windows (good idea!), and to get curtains over the windows.
Oy! Second break-in in four months. That doesn’t mean anything, statistically – it’s not especially unlikely for two robberies to occur in the same year just by random chance – but still not a happy thing.
Note to self: Next time I run into someone in my house I don’t recognize, don’t assume that they’re here legitimately.