The planting of the snowdrops

My bulbs arrived from White Flower Farm yesterday, so it’s time to plant. Every year’s ritual, the planting of the snowdrops — they’ll multiply very slowly around here, not fast enough for my desire, so I add some more every fall. I’m just doing the classic galanthus nivalis, though there are some gorgeous doubles and other varieties out there, tempting one to become a snowdrop connoisseur. They’re not tasty to the critters (unlike crocuses, which squirrels love), and the white blooms look lovely both against bare dirt and/or leaf mulch, or in a slowly greening grassy patch.

This year, I’m planning to add snowdrops around the hellebores, to act as a foil for the first perennial blooms. I’ll also plant some mixed in with ‘tommies’ (crocus tommasinus, a small early-blooming squirrel-resistant crocus) under the parkway tree — early ephemeral bulbs are great under trees because the trees haven’t leafed out yet, so they get plenty of sunshine.

I’m going to try something new this year too — hardy cyclamen bulbs, to provide a dramatic low pink accent to all the green and white. And though I stick to a cool color scheme in the front, in the backyard, some yellows sneak in, so I’ll be trying some new yellow aconite there.

Photos googled for inspiration — looking forward to a floriferous March! (Or possibly even February; with climate change, it’s hard to predict.)

Please follow and like us:
error

We’re closing in on actually shipping Feast

We’re closing in on actually shipping Feast — I need to make 4 batches of marshmallows, 3 batches of soap, and at least one more batch of milk toffee. I can do that.  It’ll be a nice break from all the computer work that has had me frantically typing for the last week. And I have to write the recipe cards / order them printed. I think I can write them right now, actually, and place the order today. Eep. Getting there!

I am planning on a packing party at my house on October 30th, 7 p.m.. (Local friends, if you’d like to come help pack and be fed a Sri Lankan dinner in thanks, let me know!) Then Stephanie Bailey will be shipping books out on October 31st. Yes, we’re doing ‘shipping in October’ by the skin of our teeth — thank you for your patience!

I’ve learned a lot in this process, and one big aspect is that publishing a book is sort of like a house renovation — everything takes three times as long as you think it will, and costs three times as much! But the results are beautiful.  No regrets!

Please follow and like us:
error

Meet-up of our local FB Garden Club

Yesterday, Barbara A. Dolan hosted a meet-up of our local FB Garden Club. I was only able to make it for the last hour (due to my daughter’s soccer game), but it was fun chatting with other gardeners, and I came away with some nice clippings (which will hopefully root, fingers crossed) and seeds. 

Please follow and like us:
error

My copy of the graphic novel Mooncakes arrived

Saturday, my pre-ordered copy of the graphic novel _Mooncakes_ arrived, and it’s just lovely.

“One fateful night, teen witch Nova Huang follows reports of a white wolf in the woods and discovers her childhood crush – werewolf Tam Lang, battling a horse-demon. Now, against the background of a slowly rekindling romance, Tam and Nova must investigate the dark supernatural forces eager to claim wolf magic for evil.”

Charming.

Please follow and like us:
error

A beautiful cycle

We’re trying to get better at the Speculative Literature Foundation at actually *telling* people when we do cool things. And then they write about them. It’s a beautiful cycle. Look, it’s our 10th Deep Dish!

(Maybe it’s time we stop calling ourselves Chicago’s ‘new’ SF/F reading series — we can be Chicago’s fabulous SF/F reading series…)

http://file770.com/slf-deep-dish-chicago-reading-october-3…/

The SLF’s October membership drive has started, and we’re almost to our first milestone, of 25 new members! We need 250 new members in October so we can move forward with this project immediately — I think we can get there, with your help. We’re planning to roll out the first stages in January 2020.

We hope you join us in transforming the field, and the future! http://speculativeliterature.org/membership/

Please follow and like us:
error

BIG NEW PROJECT for the SLF!

Here’s the BIG NEW PROJECT for the Speculative Literature Foundation. I spent some time in Dublin at WorldCon talking about the problem of affordable creative writing writing instruction with a host of writers, editors, and fans.

It’s a pipeline problem — if people are barred from participating in classes and workshops due to financial and other barriers (and it’s marginalized populations who are most disproportionately hit by such barriers), then our field is impoverished as a result. So many people don’t get the teaching, the encouragement, the support they need to survive and thrive as writers.

We think we can help with that.

I’d love to announce a fabulous name for this new project — we’re still fine-tuning it. (As all writers know, names are hard.) But in my head, I’m thinking of it as sort of Khan Academy for creative writing, or the SLF’s free creative writing instruction project. I know, that’s not catchy. We’ll get there. But here are the components:

– we build a set of master-class interviews on aspects of craft and put them out as podcasts, on YouTube, and on our website — so far, we’ve recorded George R.R. Martin on epic fantasy, Paolo Bacigalupi on message fiction, Kate Elliott on worldbuilding

– we interview exciting emerging writers from around the globe, to build a better understanding of what it means to be a speculative literature writer today — so far, we’ve interviewed Minal HajratwalaVida Cruz, and Silvia Moreno-Garcia

– we work with professors, editors, agents, publishers, librarians and more to build out a database of resources of use to writers: from an essential reading list of climate fiction, to a collated set of fabulous articles on craft, to a guide to indie publishing your first novel, and more.

– we initiate a mentorship program (we ran a pilot once before which did well), pairing apprentice writers with journeymen in small online groups for three months of mentoring, advice, and mutual support

– we start building out a network of in-person local chapters; we’ve started the Chicago one with the Deep Dish reading series, and are looking to add instructional writing workshops this year (they won’t be free, but as low cost as we can manage, and always with scholarships available), facilitate writer groups for peer workshops, and schedule in-person meet-ups for co-writing and support

Niall Harrison (former editor-in-chief of Strange Horizons) has agreed to come on board at the Speculative Literature Foundation to help us address that. (He’s not nearly as formal as this photo makes him look; we just couldn’t resist the rather ridiculously throne-like chair at our hotel.) He and I will lead this project together. With his help, we’re going to build something fabulous.

Your help too — though we’re primarily volunteers, there will be some costs associated with this, from space rental to publicity to scholarship aid. The SLF’s October membership drive has started, and we’re almost to our first milestone, of 25 new members! We need 250 new members in October so we can move forward with this project immediately — I think we can get there, with your help. We’re planning to roll out the first stages in January 2020.

We hope you join us in transforming the field, and the future! http://speculativeliterature.org/membership/

Please follow and like us:
error