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 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.

Hey, everyone! Just had…

Hey, everyone! Just had a really great class -- I'm taking social dance for fun on campus, and the dance teacher had to go out of town this week, so had people substitute. Tuesday two people taught a dance they'd invented, and today I taught them two dances: Gay Gordon (20th century Scottish circle dance) and Hole in the Wall (English country line dance). They really liked Gay Gordon -- had a bit of trouble with Hole in the Wall (partly 'cause there were only 8 of them, and it really works much better with at least 12, preferably at least 16). I had half an hour/dance, and I think I'd need to allow more like 45 minutes for Hole in the Wall. Still, a lot of fun, and I think I did a pretty good job.

Otherwise, things are progressing rapidly. Yesterday was very productive -- as you can see, getting the web pages up was very exciting, as well as announcing the release of my BOOK! :-) Also got my roommate Ellison to meet my friend Cliff who may be moving in with us in a month or two (our other housemate, Gwen, got a job in Stanford, which is a rather nasty commute from Oakland). Cliff and I somehow started singing afterwards and ended up staying up till 12:30 (very late for me :-). I planned to go directly to sleep, but as I lay in bed an idea for a story smashed its way into my head and demanded to be written -- I resisted for fifteen or twenty minutes, but sometime around 1:00 dragged myself out of bed, made some tea, and sat down at the computer. Finished a rough at 2:30 and fell back into bed. Gods, I wish inspiration would wait till morningto strike. It took me another half hour to fall asleep 'cause my brain was still whizzing at full speed -- had some cool ideas for the cover design of my book -- sent 'em off to the publisher today and he likes 'em. :-) Yeah!

I've still got a few quick things to revise before my part of the book making process is basically done (though I'm gonna have a lot of signing to do once it's out. :-) Just cleaning up my introduction and the first story. Hopefully will have it finished by this weekend -- that's the plan, anyway.

Hmmm...that's all for now, I think. Tell all your friends about my book, y'all -- if you can't afford to buy it yourselves, you can always encourage someone else to drop dough. :-) Or maybe your local bookstore or library would like to carry it? Heck, why not your local grammar school...:-)

Finally, the page is…

Finally, the page is back up. Haven't quite figured out how to edit things yet. Soon, my pretties. :-)

Am currently way behind on my critiques for class that are due in an hour, so gotta run...

--5:45: Hooray, hoorah! It's up, it's up, and all is well. Are you pleased, my dears? Didja miss me? :-) I guess some of you know what happened and some of you don't, depending on whether you checked my old site or read, so the quick scoop:

1. A couple of weeks ago, the Ireland site went down. Just my pages. Rather distressing. I sent mail to the guy who gave me the free site. Days without a response. Sent mail to techsupport. Still no response. Getting very worried, as I (stupidly) kept no copy of the files with me.

2. I contacted my old site, thinking they'd have backups somewhere. Terrifyingly, they didn't back up that computer, apparently. Meep.

3. My publisher got into the act (yes, I have a publisher! Wanna buy my book, Torn Shapes of Desire?). He sent rather scarier mail (mine was more on the pathetic panicked side) to the Ireland people (tech support, postmaster, etc.). He got a much faster reponse. They said they were having technical problems. They did have the files, though.

4. We slowly badgered them into giving them to us (they wouldn't host the site anymore without money :( and they are now set up on the new site, space donated by the publisher. I'd give you the address, but you've obviously found it already. :-)

And that's it. Caused me an appalling amount of stress and not a few white hairs (well, silver), but all's well that ends well. Somehow I also agreed today to take on designing the web page for the Mills literary magazine, the Walrus. Should be interesting. Can we say 'overcommitted', boys and girls? I thought we could...

Otherwise, I'm settling in to California fine, although I think this weather is unnatural. I haven't seen rain since I arrived (actually, it did rain one morning, but I was in bed and didn't see it; everyone else went around with looks of bewilderment and fear on their faces -- 'It rained! In September! It's not supposed to rain till after December!!!') and it's been impossibly lovely. Cool in the mornings and evenings, warm during the day. I knew there was a reason I hauled up roots and dragged all my stuff across the country...though I kinda miss rain. Kevin tells me (he's from the area) that they don't really get thunderstorms here, which is really too bad, 'cause I adore summer thunderstorms. I guess I'll just have to visit them (I already have to visit New England in the autumn for the leaves and somewhere with snow for Christmas...oh well. :-)

Gosh, listen to me ramble. I missed you guys. :-) Thanks again to all of you who were so nice and sent me files and tried to keep up my spirits during the Great Web Confusion!

It looks like we’ll be…

It looks like we'll be back in business soon -- hooray! I'm running behind right now, so I'll just leave you with two poems I wrote recently. My Renaissance Poetry class is definitely leaving its mark.


Have you noticed that a poet takes up pen
Most often when it seems his heart is breaking?
Anguished lines from poor, tormented men
Poured forth in a midnight's fevered making
On tear-stained sheets, unedited, and then
Read to each friend in voices rough and shaking.
"Woe and despair!" they cry, then write again
'Til you long to shake them, force their waking
From such fevered dreams. I will not use you so;
He loves me still! My house is filled with mirth
And gaiety; and even if I know
That he grows restless (soon I think he'll go),
The world is rich in men of higher worth.
I shall move on, and sing no songs of woe.


What can I do to shape myself the kind
Of man you want, the kind for whom you'd stay?
Shall I turn sullen, brooding, darkly fey --
The type that had you left would have pined
Away to nothingness? You might then find
You liked me somewhat brighter. Speak, love, say
Whom you desire. I could be shining, gay
With dazzling wit -- wouldst love me for my mind
Alone? Silent still. Your silence speaks --
Pained eyes averted from this wretched blight;
These sunken depths. I have become a sham,
Disgust myself. This weakness in me reeks;
Yet still I vow, "I could have shone so bright
If only you had loved me as I was."

Hey, everyone. Was too…

Hey, everyone. Was too depressed about the web page to write for a while, but yesterday I got mail from the Ireland people promising that the files are safe! Hooray! They haven't gotten them to us yet, but soon...

So, back to the diary -- it doesn't feel quite so futile anymore. Had a really good time at my sister's dance graduation performance -- I wonder how long it'll be before I can easily just plug in the video of her performance here so you can all enjoy it with ease? :-) Also managed to squeeze in a day with Kevin in Philly before heading back to CA -- lots of travelling, but worth it. It was his birthday Sunday, which worked out nicely. :-)