I’m not dead…

I'm not dead yet.

Sorry for the lack of writing. Partly it's that I've been too hot to write. Partly it's that when I *am* writing, I'm doing stuff organizing one or the other magazine. Sheesh -- I'm not sure I even announced the name of the new mag. Gotta go check...hang on...lord -- I didn't! What a goober I am. Here goes -- the new utterly fabulous sf/f magazine will be named:

Strange Horizons

Good, huh? There were some fabulous runners-up, but they each had something slightly wrong about them (or they were just a little too idiosyncratic). My sister says she likes this name because not only is it evocative and easy-to-say, it sounds like a magazine you should have heard of already. Not sure what she means by that, but it sounds good. :-)

There's a lot going on I haven't told you about. My sister's in Malaysia! (This is the middle one). She's doing two months working in clinics there (med student) -- I'm very impressed. Everyone's jetting around to foreign countries these days -- Kevin's been in Israel (though he's back in New York now and will be back here tomorrow), and Roshani's off in Japan visiting *her* sister (who has been working there for a few years). Is this the best thing to do when you're six months pregnant? Guess I'll find out when she gets back...

And speaking of pregnant...no, not me, silly people. Not anytime soon. But Karen, on the other hand, most definitely has a bun in her oven. Huzzah for Karen and Par! Congrats! Big hugs and promises of baby-sitting if I ever make it back to CA... She's about three months along and they don't know yet if it's a boy or a girl, but so far it's healthy, and what more do you need, really?

So to go back to my baby....the new magazine, of course (CS is almost two, so you can't call it a baby anymore...a toddler?) -- we'll have guidelines up by middle of next week, so I'll be pointing you to them and encouraging you to submit. I've got to have at least a few sf/f writers in this audience, right? And even if you don't write fiction/poetry, I bet some of you are readers (or movie watchers, or players of video games) and could dash off a review or two for us? Well, you'll see the guidelines soon, so I guess I'll stop with the encouragement for now.

Oh -- for those of you wanting more about Arches, hang on a day or two, okay? I'm scanning in the photos, but it's a somewhat slow process. Takes a while to scan them in, and I get bored, so I'm doing them about five at a time.

Otherwise, the week's basically been working, hanging out with David (who goes home in about an hour), cleaning up Kevin's place and selling his furniture for him (yes, I'm the bestest girlfriend in the world, I know -- the question is, does he?), and getting well after sickness (pretty much all better now). A good week, actually, if busy.

The next few days are going to be pretty harried, I think -- Kev gets back late tomorrow and then we have two days to finish cleaning and packing and getting rid of excess furniture -- then the plan is to drive to Chicago Wed/Thurs, help him get settled, visit some more with him and Roshani, and then fly back on the 4th. A little frantic for at least the beginning of that, I think, and I'm getting stressed just thinking about it, so I think I'm going to go do some laundry now instead. :-)

Until later, my dears.

10:30 p.m. It's later. After David left, I felt restless. I packed some of Kevin's things for a while, then came home. I re-read Babel-17; I had forgotten so much of it. Tremendous book. And it filled me with the desire to build, to make something. Sometimes I really wish I had a carpentry workshop, and had some skill at it, so I could just build things when the urge was upon me -- things that had weight and substance and heft, that I could take in my hands and know that I had made them, and that the joins were tight, and the beams straight, and the whole was smooth and well-made.

Instead, I write poems. I feel a little better now, but I don't think I'll be quite at ease until this set of poems is done, and I'm not sure how long that will take. I only have the first one there, along with the photos of Arches that inspired it, but I think when it's done -- I hope -- it will be part of something much bigger and rather complicated.

Have I explained what a crown of sonnets is? I think I have, but perhaps some time ago. Imagine please, that you have written a sonnet. You are proud of it, perhaps -- the rhymes were tricky, though you stuck with the Petrarchan style that is easier for you, and you think you have achieved a little more ease than you had before. But it's only fourteen lines, and it only introduces what you want to say. If you take the last line, and start a new sonnet, then you could carry the thread of your idea on to the next part. And at the end of that poem, you do it again, because you still have more to say. And you do it seven times, and that's enough (because there is always more to say, and you have to stop somewhere, after all), and so you close with a last line that is the same as the first line of the first poem. I tried a crown once before, a long time ago, and while I still like some of those poems, I was very lenient with the structure. I am not inclined to be so lenient now.

And have you encountered fugues? Fugue means 'flight'. It is a type of counterpoint, and first I should explain counterpoint. In a chordal structure (what most music is written in these days), the lines of music harmonize vertically. In contrapuntal music (counterpoint), two or more melodic lines are played against one another -- it's a horizontal structure built on competing (yet complementary) melodic lines. It seems a good metaphor to me for...well, for many things.

In a fugue, two or more parts are built or 'layered' on a recurrent subject that is first introduced alone, then followed by an answer, which is the subject at a different pitch. And they repeat, as often as desired. And so the pieces build on each other, rising towards -- towards something. And so, flight.

This is part of what I would like to go into these poems.

"This kind of thing," said Peter, as tenor and alto twined themselves in a last companionable cadence, "is the body and bones of music. Anybody can have the harmony, if they will leave us the counterpoint...."

Sayers knew what she was talking about -- but if only we were all Peters. I am forever feeling like Harriet instead...

"She knew enough, herself, to read the sounds a litttle with her brains, laboriously unwinding the twined chains of melody link by link. Peter, she felt sure, could hear the whole intricate pattern, every part separately and simultaneously, each independent and equal, separate but inseparable, moving over and under and through, ravishing heart and mind together."

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