All posts by Mary Anne Mohanraj

Wine Bar

Yes, I’m now the mom trying to figure out when the new Target down the street is opening because my son almost couldn’t find pants this morning even though we did laundry all weekend (he ripped through at least three pairs last week). We found clean pants eventually, but I am seriously looking forward to being able to walk over to Target and I just want to know why Targets don’t have wine bars like Mariano’s because I am telling you, it would make it the hot new mom meet-up spot in downtown Oak Park. If they had a little drop-off play place for the littles like IKEA, they would make BANK.
 
On the one hand, I am amused that this is my life now. On the other hand, I was watching Kavi load the dishwasher after eating breakfast this morning, before heading out to the bus, and I thought, this is the happiest I have ever been, happier than book deals, happier than Disneyland. This is my best life.
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Misc

Follow-up with surgical oncologist today. All looks good, and she graduated me to once a year follow-ups. Onwards.

Generally feeling harried this week — thanks to Paul for being flexible and letting me push photoshoot another week to next Wed. Eases my mind, and means that I can write tomorrow morning instead of running around doing stupid stuff like eyebrows and hair and nails. Huge thanks to Malon (he knows why!). Thanks to Christopher for spending most of today doing work that I know is not his favorite (but he did great with it). Thanks to Kevin and Jed for letting me vent at them when I was totally stressing out last night.

Sometimes the little hamster wheel in my mind threatens to spin out of control, but luckily, I am surrounded by kind, competent, and helpful people.

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Tropics

Back deck tropicals — mandevilla, bougainvillea, duranta, plus a Christmas cactus (slightly different category). It’s lovely going out on my tiny back deck and being surrounded by a little taste of the tropics.
 
I’ll be bringing them in for the winter soon, but not quite yet. I have been limited in my love of tropicals by only having one sunny room suitable for overwintering them, although I do have a friend who has kitted out a room in her basement with grow lights, which is giving me IDEAS.
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World Fantasy Program

World Fantasy has asked if I could add another panel, and I said sure. This is my program now (November 3, San Antonio) — hope to see some of you there!

Gender Fluidity in Fantasy
Friday 10 a.m., ExecSalon 2 (Ardath Mayhar) (WR)

Our genre is in a unique position to illuminate rather than conceal the variations in our sense of gender. The Tiptree Award regularly honors stories and novels that explore and expand the idea of gender — an idea that has had a secret history all its own. What does this look like in fantasy? How are today’s authors using, or mis-using, this keystone concept?

Pat Murphy (M), Eugene Fischer, Karen Joy Fowler, Mary Anne Mohanraj

*****

History — Secret, Hidden or Otherwise
Friday 4 p.m., ExecSalon 2 (Ardath Mayhar) (WR)

Secret history is a tale where what actually happened in our world happened for very different reasons. It can also be a hidden history of events that happened in another culture whose import was ignored altogether, covered up, or simply misunderstood in the main historical narratives. Can a secret history bring to light a true aspect of history that wasn’t known or acknowledged before, or might it be a simple retelling of acknowledged aspects of history newly reclaimed and fully fleshed out to see the real truth behind the chapter in a history book? Does this relate to our concept of “The Other,” and how? Our panelists continue to define terms and tropes for discussion during the convention. [This program is part of a series. We know there will be overlap, but please try to stay with the topics outlined here.]

Fran Wilde (M), J. L. Doty, John Crowley, Ian Drury, Mary Anne Mohanraj

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Ties That Bind

I’ve added “Ties That Bind,” to my website, my second Wild Cards story, published a few years back. You could read it as a stand-alone, but I’d strongly recommend reading “Sanctuary” first. You don’t need to have read anything else from Wild Cards to enjoy these (although, of course, I hope that you’ll catch the bug and go read lots of them afterwards…)

This piece finishes with a proper ending, but if you want even more, there will be more of Natya in _Wild Cards: Low Chicago_, coming out July 2018.

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Varied Plans

Plans for today:

– plant three peonies (Moonstone, White Cap, and Koningin Wilhelmina) and four clematises (Josephine, Edda Boulevard, Bee’s Jubilee, Petit Faucon)
– spend at least 20 minutes on treadmill
– finalize last edits to cookbook and send to layout guy, eep.
– chair union communications committee meeting (do *you* want to be on the union communications meeting, UIC faculty member? I bet you do!)
– teach Butler’s _Bloodchild_, workshop paper drafts
– cook a pot roast for family (and eat some)
– finalize hotel / flight plans for my cousin’s wedding
– attend a Holmes school diversity council meet-up (just the first hour of it, 7-8)
– attend a League of Women Voters’ new member wine and cheese (missing the first hour and attending the second, 8-9)

(garden / exercise / writing / community service / teaching / cooking / family logistics / community service / community engagement)

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Shed

You’re in Santa Fe and craving spicy, delicious, homestyle New Mexican food. Go to the Shed, a circa 1692 hacienda, a little earlier than you actually want to eat, because there will be a wait. Give them your name and take a pager; use the hour to wander the tempting plaza shops nearby, considering just how far you can stretch your budget. (There will be a wide array of price points, so for just a few dollars, you can find a nice souvenir of your visit.) When your pager goes off, come back (you’ll have three minutes, so don’t go too far!) and let them lead you through the building to your seat (duck your head as needed to pass through the low doors — though they weren’t a problem for me!) to a cheery, colorful space (or eat outside, if the weather permits).

We tried both stews / soups (I was waffling, and eventually ordered one, but they kindly brought me a sample of the other) — both good, and the Nixtamal corn in the red chili posole is a nice element, but the roasted green chili one (with potato and pork) is truly delectable. The cheese-stuffed poblano will be mild by comparison, but still tasty. Enchiladas and tacos arrive smothered in red sauce, green sauce, or (my recommendation) both. You’ll leave stuffed and happy.

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Copyedits

My plans to triage e-mail were foiled by the Email Game glitching, argh. But I got my copyedits of the cookbook back from Kat, so spent an hour and a half doing a first pass on them, mostly approving her changes.
 
There’s maybe 1-2 hours’ worth of actual work to do still, focused primarily on needing to add some more food notes for unfamiliar-to-Westerners ingredients that were added in the second edition. Also need to add page breaks. But when those are done, it’s off to Matt at Inkspiral, the layout guy.
 
Note for those self-publishing or small press publishing — if you don’t have a publisher taking care of these elements, you need to do all these jobs yourself, or pay someone to do them, if you want a professional-looking book.
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