Well, a productive…

Well, a productive morning -- major revisions on "Interruptions" which I think actually improved the piece (while putting tons more of my RL into it; I think this is one of those 'can't publish till your parents are dead' pieces). We'll see what class and Fiction online workshop say.

Theoretically I'm supposed to be revising Dreams from scratch right now, but am feeling unmotivated. I'll tell you about what I'm reading and watching instead, okay? :-) I finally saw the new version of Little Women yesterday -- they did a superlative job, I thought. I actually cried in spots (okay, that's not so hard to get me to do, but I thought this would be schlocky and it totally wasn't). God, Winona Ryder is gorgeous. Paul claims that she's the current incarnation of the dark-haired goddess, and I don't think I can contradict him (Tori Amos is apparently the red-haired goddesss....he isn't sure there is a current blonde incarnation).

I've been rereading the Earthsea trilogy by Le Guin -- I find children's books relaxing when the rest of my life is stressed, and Le Guin's style can only be a good influence on me. I'm partway through The Farthest Shore right now and have just hit one of my favorite lines: "And though I came to forget or regret all I have ever done, yet would I remember that once I saw the dragons aloft on the wind at sunset above the western isles; and I would be content."

Last night Cliff and Thida came over for a late dinner. Made chicken cacciatore from the Fannie Farmer cookbook (convenient because almost all the ingredients are stuff I have around -- we have tomatoes in the backyard, and the rest is onion, garlic, tomato paste, herbs, chicken) with angelhair pasta and breaded portobello mushrooms with a garlic sauce. Ellison, one of my housemates, is a wizard in the kitchen -- I asked him what I should do with the mushrooms and he just rattled off the following:

Dip them in egg white and dredge in seasoned bread crumbs. Set aside until two minutes before serving. Mince a fair bit of garlic, saute in olive oil, cool somewhat, stir in mayonnaise on very low heat. Fry mushrooms briefly in olive oil and serve with garlic mayonnaise. (He even minced the garlic for me)

It was absolutely delicious, even though the mayonnaise separated somewhat, turning it more into a garlicky-oil thing. FF cookbook says one should whisk in a drop of boiling water, over and over, to correct a separated (broken) mayonnaise, which I tried until I got tired, and it worked partway. :-)

Okay, enough procrastinating. I will now ignore the fact that it's a beautiful fall day and get back to work. Really. Maybe if I keep telling myself I love my work, really I do....:-)

--3:10. No, I didn't do any work. Not writing work, anyway. I decided this would be a good time to start throwing together that recipes file I've been meaning to do....definitely still under construction. Did I miss any?

Gosh, it seems like it…

Gosh, it seems like it takes longer a longer each day to just do the minimum of net.stuff to keep on top of my life. Two hours so far today, and I'm just finishing with the journal entry. Ah well -- I mostly enjoy it. Would be nice to have a personal assistant to sort through my junk e-mail though....:-) Keep dreaming, huh?

I was feeling a bit tired and discouraged last night, but am better now. Firstly, because really I'm a very very lucky person -- I am so much closer to doing exactly what I want to do with my life (and with exactly the people I want to do it with) than most people....the last several years have really been wonderful. *grin* If I'm not the happiest girl in the world, I'm probably pretty close. Secondly, talked to Kevin for hours last night, and it turns out he can visit after all (got something of a deal on a ticket from Philly)! Calloo, callay, as Jabberwocky says! I really have been going around all morning feeling like 'chortling with joy'. :-) He can also time it to coincide with a teaching break, which means he gets to come for ten whole days...

Funny thing happened yesterday. I got out of the Renaissance Poetry class sometime around noon, right? Went to the computer room, worked for a while, started feeling tired, checked my watch. 1:15. Felt really tired, so I decided to go home, eat some lunch, try to work from home. Walked home, ate something, looked at my watch again. 1:15. Looked at the kitchen clock, startled. Turned out it was actually after 6. I've heard of getting lost in your work, but this is ridiculous. No wonder I was tired and hungry...

You know, I've been moaning a bit about how busy and tired I am -- well, that's true, but I don't want y'all to get the wrong idea. So much of the time I'm just enjoying the peace, the calm in which to work, the lovely campus and the lack of a really rigid schedule. I HATE the 9-to-5 thing -- I hope I never have to do it again.

Well, I need to finish up here and run to class -- today they hack apart my newest story, "Interruptions". Let's hope they like it. :-) Have a good day, everyone.

Well, a fairly…

Well, a fairly productive day today. Finished a new story for my Fiction class, a somewhat disturbing one. It deals a lot more with ethnicity than anything I've worked on before -- we'll see how they like it. I have a feeling it's too currently too personal -- the effectiveness of the story has gotten a little lost in the recounting of factual details...argh, a little hard to explain what I mean. Except that lies are sometimes truer than facts....

Did some formatting work on my stories page, and cleaned up some of the stories as well. Pretty good, but a ways to go. Ah well.

Spent some time looking for appropriate quotes on censorship/pornography/etc. for my book. Found some fun ones -- if Dave Barry lets me use that one of his, I'll be happy. :-)

As it's now October, it seems appropriate to look at that list of stuff from last month and see how I've progresesd. Deep breath. Here goes:


• Revise "Was It Good For You" for the book -- should probably revise the essays too.

• Find out what the status of the magazine is from my lovely editors. Solicit more contributions. (well, sort of done. The mag is on hiatus)

• Call the phone company and have another line put in so I can log in from home. (This one actually shouldn't be too hard to do).

Not Done - Urgent

• Translate at least one, preferably three of my stories to screenplays because several people have shown interest, one with funding, and that's not the sort of thing a wise writer who wants to make money ignores

• Get going on the erotic horror novella for Puritan -- not due for a couple of months, but those things take me a while

Not Done - Not Urgent

• Get the majordomo software up and running to the erotica mailing list.

• Design their web pages.

• Figure out some way to get my computer fixed. The disk drive is broken, which makes it seriously difficult to bring work home (sure, I can cut and paste it to the net, but what a pain. I don't have a car, so I'm not sure how I can get it to a shop -- I don't even know what kind of shop I need. :( And my friends with cars all work during the day, which is presumably when shops are open. Argh.

• Oh, and for some reason I volunteered to design the web pages from Skiffy, my college science fiction club. Not only that, but I want them to be interesting, so it'll probably be a fairly complex design. I'll let y'all poke at it and give me comments once I get going on them.

• Not to mention all the unfinished revisions lying around, the quest I haven't finished on Holomuck, etc. and so on...

Ick. That doesn't look good at all, even though I *have* done a bunch of other stuff....sigh. Well, back to the grindstone.

Okay, so I went back and…

Okay, so I went back and finished the recipe on Sunday's entry -- I'll continue the rest of the entry here...

Saturday -- Well, it took a while cleaning up from the party (still not *quite* finished), and then Cat and I just hung out and talked for several hours. Most pleasant. That evening I went into the city to meet Sherman -- his parents very kindly had invited us to dinner (there's a really good Indian place at Haight and Fillmore -- don't remember the name, but it was the best restaurant Indian I've had in a while) and Gilbert & Sullivan. :-) I haven't seen much G&S (I love Pirates :-), and while this one wasn't supposed to be a very good one (the Sorceror), I still enjoyed it quite a bit. The set design was amazing (I did a bunch of that in college) and the costumes were also spectacular. Well worth seeing, IMHO.

Sunday -- Slow morning then we went into the city (that means S.F., as opposed to Oakland, btw :-) and attended the Folsom Stret Leather Fair. GREAT fun -- I was amazed at what they allowed on the public streets. It started fairly tame, with lots of booths selling queer stuff and such, then a bunch of bdsm gear, then we got into the demos....people were doing some fairly serious stuff on a rack (advertising for Bondage a Go Go, a local club), with cane and cat and even a little knife-play, though they seemed to be trying pretty hard not to break the skin, for which I admit to being grateful (I'm not easily squicked, but blood....oof. Not my thing.) It was really interesting, though. Another group was raising money for an AIDS charity with public spankings -- they managed to raise $100 for one Boy Scout(tm) (adult :-) alone...

Afterwards, got Ethiopian food (Axum Cafe has amazingly good cheap Ethiopian food on Haight) and retired to Sherman's for ice cream and television. John Woo is this apparently famous director (I know nothing about film), a favorite of Sherman's, and he had just remade for American tv a movie of his, "Once a Thief", I think the title was. It was on last night -- Sherman says it was really different from the original, but it was incredibly good. Really a joy to watch -- we were doubled over with laughter at points and silent with awed admiration at others. I *think* it's the pilot for a show -- if so, the show should be well worth watching. And there's a neat love triangle with definite homoerotic tension between the two males (who are nominally contending for the female). All three are sexy as hell.

Monday -- Well, so far today, haven't done much. Saw Cat off to the bus to the airport, and dragged myself in to campus to churn through my mail and do the diary and update some bitsand pieces on the web pages. Got some neat mail from Lynn Flewelling -- she's a new author who sent me a copy of her Luck in the Shadows for inclusion in the Alternative Sexualities in SF/F booklist. I read it on the plane to CA, and in all the chaos then forgot to recommend it to you all -- I really enjoyed it!

3:15 --Just spent 2 hours sending mail to people about dead links to my pages. God, there are so many of them. I did a search on Alta Vista for 'mohanraj', and got something like 700 links. Then I tried 'mud.bsd.uchicago.edu/~maryanne', my old address, and got about the same. Then I tried 'www.iam.com/maryanne/' and got precisely one listing, I presume the one my editor updated. I have no idea how to get them to change all those other listings other than going through one by one-- I got through page 5 of their list. :( I get such pitiful mail from people who have been trying really hard to find my pages (and Yahoo *still* hasn't updated the links, though I sent them mail), and there must be tons who never noted down my e-mail anywhere...is sad.

Good morning…lazy…

Good morning...lazy Sunday here. It's been a pleasantly busy couple of days, though -- let's see...where did I leave off?

Okay, so Friday. Friday was a little insane running around getting things for the party and picking up a friend at the airport (Cat, visiting from the weekend from Texas). All went smoothly, and I cooked too much, as usual (potluck party; I made sushi, deviled eggs, rainbow pasta, and chocolate chip cookies (an odd assortmnet, but all stuff I like to cook :-)). Party was fun, though a bit too delineated (people in their separate small groups), but that's perhaps to be expected at first. At later parties of mine, they WILL mingle, or something drastic will have to be done. :-)

Rainbow Pasta

1/2 c. olive oil
2 boneless chicken breasts, diced
a little flour, salt and pepper
1-2 pounds hot sausage, diced
1 small onion, diced
6 cloves garlic, diced
1 large red pepper, chopped
1 large yellow pepper, chopped
1 c. chopped mushrooms
4-6 plum tomatoes, chopped
1/2 c. white wine
1 t. basil
1 t. sage
2 c. heavy cream

3 c. cooked rainbow rotini

NOTE: This is not a healthy recipe. The original version called for 4 c. of heavy cream.

1. Dredge chicen in flour, salt and pepper
2. Heat olive oil and brown chicken.
Slow connection and bad keyboard driving me nuts. will try to finish later. Sorry.
(cont. on Monday....)
3. Add sausage and veggies. Cook 5 minutes on medium high.
4. Add white wine and spices. Add cream. Simmer, stirring occasionally, until cream is reduced by half and thickened.
5. Toss with pasta and serve.

Okay, now go to Monday's entry, where I'll pick up where I left off.

Can’t believe it’s…

Can't believe it's almost October. Isn't it amazing how time speeds up as you get older?

Called Kevin last night at 10:00, all stressed about school and such-like. Even across the country he can still calm me down. You know I'm reading Renaissance poetry right now -- I just read a poem of Shakespeare's that sums up exactly how I felt last night:

When in disgrace with fortune and men's eyes
I all alone beweep my outcast state,
And trouble deaf heaven with my bootless cries,
And look upon myself, and curse my fate,
Wishing me like to one more rich in hope,
Featured like him, like him with friends possessed,
Desiring this man's art, and that man's scope,
With what I most enjoy contented least;
Yet in these thoughts myself almost despising,
Haply I think on thee, and then my state,
Like to the lark at break of day arising
From sullen earth, sings hymns at heaven's gate;
For thy sweet love remembered such wealth brings
That then I scorn to change my state with kings.

And then this morning I woke at 6:00, very nervous, knowing I had only till 10:50 to cobble together some sort of thesis statement and chunk of outline (at least I hope that's enough, 'cause that's all I did :-). And I read for an hour, and then wrote for 30 minutes, and by 7:30 had it, and it was fine, it was easy, I still don't know why I was so nervous, gosh what a twit I can be. So I had lots of extra time and used it to stop by the local grammar school and talked them into letting me teach a class (volunteer) on writing and publishing. A project I've been planning on for a while -- I need the teaching experience, and I miss kids. Should be some work, but mostly fun, I hope. We'll see.

Oh, in case you were curious, here's my thesis (rough, so far). If anyone's interested, I'll post the paper as well when I'm finished.

(no title yet)

One of the primary characteristics of Renaissance poetry is that much of it was written with the intent that it be later set to music, occasionally by the poet, but more often by a separate composer entirely. In setting verse to music, varied factors must be taken into account. The poem should not be too complex, for when it is sung, words will not always be clear and may sometimes be missed, so that subtleties of language and clever conceits are dangerous -- if they become blurred, the audience may lose the sense of the poem entirely. Repetition therefore becomes even more important, an effective tool for ensuring that the poet's meaning carries through. It also, in the form of repeated lines such as occurred often in refrains, offered the composer the opportunity to insert variety into the music, without creating too much confusion in the audience. As they had already heard, and presumably had the sense of, the lines, the composer could safely play with the repeated verses to his heart's content, inserting complex phrasings and multiple voices. Poets of the period had to be very aware of the composer's desire to do so, and allow for it, rather than have such complications occur in a less felicitous line, destroying his intent.

Poets and musicians of the time regarded the line as the lyrical unit, so poets would shape their poems appropriately. As the musical cadence fell at the end of a line, so too must the rhyme, and often the sense of the line; enjambment was a rare device. A poet who employed it ran the risk of having a singer lay the weight of the line on its last word, regardless of whether the word in question was an appropriate one on which to stand. Poets had to also consider musical considerations in placing the caesura, to coincide with the cadences. There could be some variation, to avoid monotony, but the caesuras needed to be fairly regular, and indeed, many poets produced extremely regular poetry as a result, often creating lines and stanzas with highly parallel structures.

Crescendoes and decrescendoes must have also be considered in writing Renaissance poetry, as must the singer's tendency to emphasize certain words, the possible insertion by the composer of nonsense syllables as refrain if the poet did not provide something suitable himself, and a host of smaller devices. Poets of the time would have been both consciously and subconsciously aware of the musical form and contemporary conventions of style, and this clearly greatly influenced their work. It is indeed futile to attempt analysis of poetry of the period without taking into account musical influence; music's structure and requirements were constantly in the minds of the poets, even when constructing poems not intended to be set to music, and ignoring that influence risks ignoring much of the poet's intentions.

  • Detailed expansion of different influences of music on poetry, with examples.
  • A. Analysis of poem(s) without taking into account music
  • B. Analysis of same with.
  • Conclusion

Works Consulted

Pattison, Bruce, Music and Poetry of the English Renaissance
Ratcliffe, Stephen, Campion: On Song
Welsford, Enid, The Court Masque: A Study in the Relationship Between Poetry and the Revels

G’afternoon, everyone. A…

G'afternoon, everyone. A somewhat frustrating morning -- I have multiple accounts, and Kevin is trying to help me move everything to my main Mills account, but we can't get emacs to work properly -- I can't even get pico to work from home. Weird and complicated, and I don't really know enough UNIX to help him properly, though I know more than I think I do, I think.

Got Tracy's portfolio yesterday and selected my favorites for inclusion in the book. Must do revision of "Was It Good For You" today -- no more procrastinating! Looks like Tracy will be including an essay as well -- neat. :-)

I've started reading news again, now that I have access from home (though gods, I still use that terrible keyboard, so I have to contend with erratic w's and pasted-in u's and doubling o's...argh. Yet another thing to buy -- I need more money. I really have to finish that novella for Puritan and get them to send me some cash. But anyway, I've started reading news again, and ran across a poetry challenge in alt.callahans. Was great fun -- here's my response (the rules for the challenge follow).

Fractured Haiku

Raindrops on roses,
fluttering wings against wind --
song-dances of souls.

Song-dances of souls;
only imagined whispers
in the moondark hours?

In the moondark hours
lights the far spaces.

Lights -- the far spaces
of the city weep crystal;
ambulances scream.

Ambulances scream;
my cat scratches in the night --
her presence comforts.

Her presence comforts.
Sleek thighs between my own, and
a handful of breast.

A handful of breast
smaller than mine. After love
we watch walls, silent.

We watch walls, silent.
She questions absent colors --
"They're for my mother."

"They're for my mother --
'Whatever can go wrong, will.'
Her philosophy."

Her philosophy;
no room for abundant breasts.
Love sinks, whimpering.

Love sinks, whimpering,
shivering, rocking. She says
"Let's just get pizza."

Let's just get pizza.
She says she will hold me tight.
Hold the anchovies.

September 25, 1996

The challenge: Build a series of haiku in which the last line becomes the first of the next. Start with 'raindrops on roses' and finish with 'hold the anchovies'. Bonus points for using 'radio-astonomy', 'my cat scratches in the night', 'they're for my mother', 'whatever can go wrong, will'. (Note: I imposed an additional challenge on myself -- to do it in 15 minutes or less).

If any of you would like to attempt it, I'd love to see 'em, and if you agree, will happily post them up here...

--6:30. I'm really tired. Fiction class today was good, but a LOT of work needs to be done on my novel. I'm having real trouble with it....it feels very cardboard. I'm losing sense of my characters...argh.

On the bright side, I actually did finish the revisions on "Was It Good For You" and managed to go through half of my backlog of mail. Down from 90 flagged messages to 46. Getting there...though I had to be ruthless about it, and deleted a bunch of stuff I probably should have responded to. Oof. Tired tired tired. That would be okay, except tonight/tomorrow morning I have to deal with something I really am scared of -- the rough draft (well, a good chunk of it anyway) of my 15-20 page paper for my Renaissance Poetry class. I really enjoy the class and the poetry, but it's been three years since I wrote an expository paper, and I'm frankly scared. Irrational fear -- I used to be able to do them in my sleep, and now I'm just feeling very nervous about even attempting one. I do have a brain, really I do.

I have to reassure myself of that sometimes -- silly, huh? I mean, the book is done, I have a publisher, I even know that I write pretty well -- but y'know, I set my standards HIGH. It's my parents' fault -- they really indoctrinated me with this 'you can do anything you set your mind to' idea. :-) And then when I got rejected from all those grad schools, year after year (18 schools total, I think?), it was this pounding blow to my self-confidence. And even now that I'm at Mills, which has a good MFA in Writing program, a respected one, and I really am very impressed with my teachers and their work....there's still this little nagging voice that whispers 'It's not Berkeley. It's not Iowa. It's not Hopkins. And it's not as if you could even get into a real English PhD program...' Which is damn silly, since I'm pretty sure I don't even want to do a PhD.....oh well. Ghosts and goblins and creatures in the night. These particular insecurities are, I hope, a recurring symptom of your 20's....with any luck, I'll have completely new and exciting insecurities by the time I hit 30. :-)

Reading back, this entry has been slightly more honest/open than is my general wont. I guess exhaustion will do that to you. S'okay -- if you've trudged through the journal this far, you probably deserve an occasional unguarded peek into the soul.

Morning, everyone. Gosh,…

Morning, everyone. Gosh, it's nice being able to wake up and log right in (an addict? who, me?). There wasn't actually much mail (some RSVP's for my housewarming party this Friday), but it's still nice. :-) Just finished reading a book my friend Sherman pressed on me, Tim Powers' The Anubis Gates. I'd read his Last Call, which is a book all poker players should read -- this one is very different, but also quite good. To quote some cover quotes that I agree with utterly, "Powers uses historical characters, events and places with absolute verismo and then weaves them into totally wacko situations, somehow keeping the conviction factor afloat" and "Humorous without being a comedy, dramatic without being tragic, moving without being sappy..." A very impressive time travel tale -- they're so hard to do well.

Next on my reading list is some schoolwork, I'm afraid -- I'll let you know how it goes. And since I need to read it before my 10:50 class, I'd best go do it now. Have a good day, everyone!

--2:50 - just taking a break to let you know I'm in the middle of hopefully finishing the 'How to Set Up Your Own Web Page' pages. Wanna look? Advice appreciated.

--3:55 - finished! whew! I also include a poem I wrote yesterday...not very good, I'm afraid, but heartfelt. I stopped by alt.callahans newsgroup only to find that an old friend/acquaintance had recently died. Not anyone I knew well enough to grieve for...which is part of what sparked the poem.

I have not said enough fond goodbyes

So it goes. Friendships chance made drift and
part across the miles and ether. We are accustomed,
even welcome, at times, the easy excuses -- "it's
always hard to keep track across the net." Perhaps
keep a fond memory or two, with good intentions, until one
evening, your path crosses one which should have been his. And
regret clenches your gut, that once again the warm words were left
too late.

September 23, 1996
(for Carl Lydick)

Hiya! Hope y’all had a…

Hiya! Hope y'all had a good weekend -- I certainly did. Spent it visiting friends in San Francisco -- my cat was mad at me when I got home, but it was very pleasant and relaxing. Saturday several of us went to the local Renaissance Faire (fun, but I doubt I'll go again anytime soon -- it's *so* overpriced and commercial that it really started to get to me...) then my friend Owen made a fancy dinner. I'd tell you what it was, but I don't remember the name. :-) Saturday met some friends for brunch and then went shopping with them -- it's fun buying things with other people's money. :-) I need to buy myself some more furniture soon -- I desperately need a filing cabinet...

Not much else to report, except that I finally have net access set up from home, so I probably won't get much else work done this year...:-)

Hey, everyone! Gosh,…

Hey, everyone! Gosh, it's nice to be doing this regularly again...

So, today I added a little funny link about female masturbation, and have spent a bunch of time cleaning up files. Very exciting. :-) Ensemble class went well (did I mention I'm playing flute in an early music instrumental ensemble class?) and I think I'm going to pick up a recorder -- one of my classmates offered to sell me one of his spares, and it would be a fun instrument to learn.

Bunch more things I want to add to the web pages, and then I think I'll have lunch and then come back and work on those revisions -- that's the plan, anyway.

I'm going to the local Renaissance Faire tomorrow, and since I don't have access at home yet (complicated reasons), I may not check back in with y'all till Monday (or possibly even Tuesday, since I don't have classes Monday, but I doubt I can stay away from the computer that long). :-)

Have a good weekend, everyone...

--1:45 - Added The Newbie's Song, a poem by Kate Rushin, a Celestial Review, and finally, Ships in the Night.