Sewing party at WisCon

Oct. 25th, 2014 04:46 pm
[personal profile] jhameia
Anybody down?

I'm already thinking of getting John to do a hair-braiding workshop because HEL-LO he is practically the most popular person at the Gathering every fucking year I've gone.

But I think it might be fun to have a sewing party where we can bring some knitting, embroidery, crocheting projects, with extra needles and thread/yarn to teach each other how to do it. Like just a party room dedicated to that. Like [personal profile] sparkymonster's Makeup Makeup party a few years ago.

she acts as if it's understood

Oct. 25th, 2014 07:06 pm
[personal profile] musesfool
So I had planned to write today. Ha. Hahahahaha. Well there's still time I guess. I can do it now.

But instead I read some and I figured out what I'm giving as Christmas gifts, which is infused vodka, or properly, berry cordials, but I think my family will be more amenable if I call it fruit-infused vodka. *hands* I did the cranberry and since strawberries(!!) were on sale and they smelled really good, I did strawberry. I figure I will also do raspberry - I have bags of frozen raspberries in the freezer - and maybe blueberry pomegranate, though I am just going to buy pomegranate juice, because I am not brave enough to tackle doing it with the seeds. And then I'll just get cute glass bottles and that is that - everybody gets two kinds (well, if I get the 16 oz. bottles; if I do the 8 oz. bottles, then everyone gets one of each. I think I will decide that in a few weeks, after I've tasted the results.) and hopefully they can use them or they can dump them and use the bottles. It basically costs me ~$18 for each bottle of vodka and whatever the glass bottles cost, because I'd be buying the fruit anyway in some form or another (and I already used the one bottle of vodka I had hanging around that I never drank).

For the cranberry, I used this recipe, though in addition to orange zest, I added a teaspoon of cinnamon and a pinch of ground cloves. I was tempted to try making simple syrup with honey and using that instead of sugar, but I figured I should test the things out the way they're meant to be before I start fiddling too much.

I did this one with the strawberries, and it's probably what I'll do with the raspberries too, though I added a splash of vanilla and a splash of lemon juice to the strawberries (and probably will to the raspberries too). For the blueberry-pom, I will probably experiment with 8 oz of pomegranate juice (or maybe 12 oz?) and a pint of blueberries, plus a splash of lemon. Maybe this is where to try out honey instead of white sugar? If I were going to attempt apple brandy, I might try maple syrup in place of white sugar, or maybe brown sugar. But brandy is more expensive than vodka so that is not going to happen.

Anyway, hopefully this all works out and tastes good enough to give away, or I will have to figure something else out, because ice cream is not feasible in my kitchen. In the past couple of years, I did it all at my parents' house, and they had an extra freezer in the garage. I barely have room in my freezer for my normal stuff as it is. Sigh.

***

tartan

Oct. 25th, 2014 03:56 pm
[personal profile] rilina
1. I am still pondering my options regarding flannel pajamas, but I do have a new Scotch tartan shirt from LL Bean. It's nice when all the details of a piece of clothing are right: the softness of the flannel, the button-down collar, the navy tartan pattern (carefully matched at the pocket), the comfy but not overly generous cut. And it comes in petite, so the sleeve length and shoulder width are correct. I am pretty sure I will be wearing this shirt every weekend until spring comes. Also, today I put on this shirt after coming back from a morning in work clothes, and I don't think it's a coincidence that Mei found an excuse to cuddle on my chest about two minutes later. She knows a good thing when she sees it.

2. It's a gray, drizzly day, but I am toasty warm thanks to the aforementioned shirt and the sleeping cat draped across my chest. If only I could only reach my book without disturbing the cat, it would be just about perfect.

3. I have reached the "hacking cough + phlegm" stage of my current cold. Oh joy. I think more peppermint tea is in order.

Plant Sale, Day 1!

Oct. 25th, 2014 01:59 pm
[personal profile] jhameia
I took out some money just for this day. I'm going back tomorrow for some more, I've got my eye on herbs, but this time, I really wanted some stuff for my patio garden which always looks so sadly barren. This year, I purposefully chose plants that are drought-tolerant. The corner of my garden which I've planted hibiscus in before is dug up for some trench composting, but I also would like a flowering plant there.

I selected a red currant plant. I don't really know it very well, but if it is what I think it is, it should be pretty great in spring! If it flowers, that is. It's also good for butterflies, and hopefully bees and hummingbirds. (I was very tempted by a flowering rosemary that had a bee on it.)

I also bought a very large aloe vera... I think there're three of them in the one pot! And it was going for just three dollars! The last time I bought one it was five dollars, for a very small plant, at Home Depot. I'm still deciding where to put this one.

I also got another air plant, which I hope I will not overwater this time. I'll bring it to my office tomorrow morning and mount it on my cork board again. This time, I'll hang it upside down to prevent the base from rotting like my ionantha last year! Among all of them, apparently this is the one that does best indoors.

For another office plant, because I seem to be spending so much time there, I bought myself a mini-rose! It's a Redwood Empire and I'm hoping it will be okay as an indoor plant. Probably not since roses need a lot of direct sun but we'll see what happens.

ALSO, WILDFLOWER SEEDS:
- Painted Daisy
- Tidy Tips
- Bird's eye gilia
- globe gilia
- Dwarf California poppy
- Baby blue eyes
- Blazing Star
- Mountain phlox
- Golden lupine
- desert marigold

All of them are supposed to be Californian native plants and they all need to be sown at the same time. The plan is to wait an appropriately cold time of the year. The spot I've got planned for them has been dug up a couple of times already for trench composting of dry leaves, so I'll gently rake it out and toss them and leave them to it. They're wildflowers, they can't be that hard. The last time I tried this the seedlings didn't take because .... I don't know whether it was snails or the soil was weird and they couldn't get rooted enough. Anyway, we'll see!
[personal profile] kate_nepveu
So the conference I did the Mary Sue talk at a couple years ago has sent out another call for papers for May 1-2, 2015. It's at Ithaca College in Ithaca, NY, and it will be partnered with ITHACON40, a comic book convention. You can see the full CFP over at Google Drive, which includes some suggestions, but the topic is Women & Gender in Science Fiction, Fantasy, Children’s Literature and Comics. Abstracts are due January 15, 2015.

I'll be halfway through Vol. III of JS&MN by then, I wonder if that's something I could get a topic out of or if my shallow historical knowledge would make it dangerous. There's always the Bujold rant, but I'm not sure if there's any interesting generalizations or insights out of it. Discworld's too big a topic, and I'm not sure if anything there speaks to me more than anything else. Hmmm . . . *wanders off, contemplating procrastination opportunities*

Huh.

Oct. 25th, 2014 01:41 pm
[personal profile] malkingrey
Either WordPress has fixed something, or BlogBooker (the same folks who do LJBook) has fixed something, or the actual secret turned out to be using Google Chrome instead of Firefox when I did the Export to XML part of the PDF-creation process . . . but I have now successfully created an archival backup of my editorial blog.

Sunshine

Oct. 25th, 2014 12:42 pm
[personal profile] malkingrey
Rain again tomorrow, or so say the weather people, but sunlight today.

And my mood is much improved thereby.

A difference between Fig and Ibid

Oct. 25th, 2014 11:59 am
[personal profile] james_davis_nicoll
If, when he tires of his food, I pick and place back down Fig's dish, he is aware it's the same food he didn't want 30 seconds ago.

Ibid, not so much.

Spirits on the move

Oct. 25th, 2014 01:13 pm
[personal profile] qian

A few Spirits Abroad-related updates ….

Fixi has sold (most of) the first print run, so the book has gone into a second printing! Really delighted about this. Thanks to everyone who bought a copy.

image

The book’s back in stock on Amazon, so you can order it here if you would like the paperback: Spirits Abroad at Amazon.

(If you want to order the book on Amazon, don’t worry if it looks as though it’s out of stock — the reason for this is that Amazon is conservative and only orders as many copies as it needs to fulfill customer orders, plus a few extra. But Amazon always orders enough to fulfill orders placed by customers, and Fixi has plenty of copies going spare, so if you place an order you’ll definitely get the book — it may just mean you’ll take a little while to receive it.)

And there’s always the ebook version, of course. Most of the Fixi Novo books are now available on Smashwords, if you’re interested in trying out Malaysian pulp: Fixi Novo at Smashwords.

image

Spirits Abroad is kind of the odd duck out, as I’ve now hiked up the price to a princely US$3.99, plus of course the lavish detail of Likhain‘s cover is very different from sleek Fixi Novo house style.

Speaking of which, Likhain’s posted about the process of creating the piece that became the cover: Call it abundance.

I want to say there are voices and stories that cradle our hearts when we’re at our most fragile and closest to breaking, and it’s these voices that we return to time and time again — we can trust them with our pain, our bodies, our selves.

image

She’s sending me the painting! So excited. We have just moved, and I dream of colours on our walls. (Er, leant against the walls rather than affixed to them in any way that would breach the terms of our lease, of course).

Likhain’s also a brilliant writer, and her poem has just appeared in Strange Horizons: Seeds by M Sereno.

Swallow a seed and it will sprout within you,
becoming your veins, invading your bones.
Those poets and conquerors knew this. Knew the mouth is an altar.

It’s about a lot of stuff. Do read it.

Mirrored from Zen Cho.

[personal profile] sovay
My mother's cousin Billy, William A. Henkin, has died. For the last several years he had been living with cancer; for the last year he was dying with it. I saw him last in the fall of 2012, at an Indian restaurant in Lexington that no longer exists; it was my first real contact with him as an adult and it made me sorry we had not had conversations sooner. He was a therapist and a poet; he was queer, kinky, and poly; he wrote one of the first books about The Rocky Horror Picture Show, from which I learned an assortment of late-seventies callbacks as a child. He lived in the Bay Area and I hoped to visit him with Rob. He was someone I needed no time at all to trust. Inside or outside a family, people like that are rare. They should not be the people who become rarer.

His last collection of poetry was The Causes of Our Loves, a copy of which he sent me in September. This is the first poem I read in it.

The Fourth Planet

The fourth planet from the Sun is Earth.
Or no, the third. The fourth is Mars where
there's little water and the nights are colder than ice.
It seems men couldn't live there in peace or at war.

That's all I know about astronomy.
If you need to know more, lie on your back at night
in an open field, and make up constellations.

Grown-up Dilemmas

Oct. 24th, 2014 11:30 pm
[personal profile] jhameia
I decided to curb the cookie-eating in favour of learning how to appreciate wine, but now I'm stuck.

Do I just get a plain tumbler set?

Or these etched stemmed glasses?

Or hang it all, just get some plain glasses and some cool wine charms?

fic snippet: undercover

Oct. 24th, 2014 11:12 pm
[personal profile] cofax7
What it is, is obvious. If you pay attention to various casting decisions...

They weren't going to find a body )

Yeah, so I don't read the comics, and I don't really know the character, but c'mon, you know I had to tell that story.

What

Oct. 25th, 2014 12:36 am

(no subject)

Oct. 24th, 2014 09:24 pm
[personal profile] jhameia
Found it, the curtain call for Takarazuka Revue's "Romeo and Juliet" complete with feathers and Yuzuki Reon (aka Chie) as Romeo.



I have this conundrum in my soul where I want to bone and be Yuzuki Reon; I'm not confused, I just want to occupy both spaces at once because she is so fucking perfect.

- I graded most of today. Big whoop.
[personal profile] sovay
Things at the end of my week.

1.[livejournal.com profile] gaudior sent me this to cheer up with: hundreds of unit war diaries from World War I are now available to read online.

2. [livejournal.com profile] fleurdelis28 sent me a porcupine eating a pumpkin. I had no idea they sounded so much like Muppets in real life.

3. On the subway to and from my dentist's appointment this afternoon, I read E.M. Forster's Pharos and Pharillon: A Novelist's Sketchbook of Alexandria Through the Ages (1923). I have mixed feelings about the success of his characteristic irony when applied outside of Edwardian England; he writes so lightly and wryly of Philo and the Ptolemies, the Patriarchs of Alexandria and Arianism, the cotton trade and the Canopic Way, that it is easy to come away from both halves of the book with the sense that Forster is enthralled by the composite myth of Alexandria, rather less so with the cultures that actually went into it. (I freely admit he also alienated me at the conclusions of each half, Pharos with the statement that "The Copts still believe, with Timothy the Cat, in the single Nature of Christ; the double Nature, upheld by Timothy Whitebonnet, is still maintained by the rest of Christendom and by the reader," Pharillon with the apparently sincere "Alas! The modern city calls for no enthusiastic comment." I'd gathered quite clearly by that point that I was not Forster's assumed reader, but that was a particularly blatant reminder, and I feel there may be a place reserved in whichever hell is thematically appropriate for travel writers who exalt the past and lament the present, because people live in the present, too.) He loves Cavafy unreservedly and without self-consciousness, which I take as a redeeming feature. When he quotes Cavafy's poems, he gives full credit to the translator. Perhaps he should just have written a monograph.

4. The Guardian has been turning up some nice poetry lately. I was particularly struck by Kit Wright's "Lament for Stinie Morrison" and Pascale Petit's "My Father's Wardrobe."

5. I have now seen Captain America: The Winter Soldier (2014). Gaudior came over on Wednesday night and we watched it in between fettuccine alfredo and Boston brown bread pudding. (Baked this time in an actual oven! It took half an hour instead of fifty minutes! I love our oven!) I cannot promise to write any sort of post on it, but will happily discuss in comments if anyone's interested. Ditto Ann Leckie's Ancillary Sword (2014), which delighted me by being a completely functional novel that just happens to be the second in a trilogy.

Tonight appears to be Autolycus' night for leaping onto things he should not. So far, his most notable transgressions include the hutch in the dining room and the topmost shelf of my contributor's copies. Both of those are a solid no. The amount of clawing and kicking he does when removed indicates to me that he simply does not agree.

Hestia, on the other hand, is curled peacefully beneath the lamp on my desk and looks very relaxed and happy.

I am petting her a lot.

soup

Oct. 24th, 2014 08:16 pm
[personal profile] rilina
1. Dinner tonight (and no doubt, on several future nights) was lentil soup with sausage, chard, and garlic. This recipe is great in several ways: the ingredients are relatively inexpensive, the prep and cooking are straightforward, and it produces six hearty servings. I don't always find a bowl of soup satisfying on its own for a meal, and often want some bread or salad on the side, but this was plenty filling.

2. Went for a 4.27 mile run after work. It's interesting how running around the neighborhood has changed how I perceive distances. For example, I always think of my preferred grocery store as being a car ride away, but one of my regular routes takes me about 80% of the way there before I reach my usual turnaround point. So I could totally run/walk there if I wanted to, even though I don't usually think of that as a walkable distance for regular errands.

3. Currently reading Clariel by Garth Nix. I don't love it so far, nor do I expect the second half to change my mind, but it's still good to revisit that familiar world.

4. The new raincoat is pretty great. Also, on sale right now if any of you are in the market for such a thing. Note on fit: I am usually between a petite small and petite medium on things, depending on how things fit over my hips, and the small is perfect in this case.

Glee!

Oct. 24th, 2014 09:10 pm
[personal profile] kass
Just finished A Death at the Dionysus Club by Melissa Scott and Amy Griswold -- the second Lynes/Mathey book, magic and metaphysics and m/m romance -- and it made me SO happy. If I weren't posting via small touchscreen I would be overflowing with gleeful words. I so hope there is Yuletide fic, because omg, so delicious.

we all invent ourselves

Oct. 24th, 2014 09:02 pm
[personal profile] musesfool
As the deadline for yuletide signups approaches, I keep refining my offers, if by refining you mean "dropping things that don't have any letters or fiddling with characters so as not to get assigned to someone asking for something I can't/don't want to write." But I'm interested in a bunch of different requests for things that are still on the list, so I'm sure it will all work out. *deep breaths*

*

This morning, my iPod played "Follow You, Follow Me" and I got a little teary thinking about Steve and Bucky. *sniff* Someone should vid that. (Of course, I also suggested to [tumblr.com profile] angelgazing that someone should vid them to "Stayin' Alive," so I'm not really a source of good ideas.)

*

This made me laugh probably more than it should have: Martha Stewart’s newest party plan is punk as artisanal fuck. I guess she is pretty hardcore. She's been to prison, after all.

*

Ugh, work. Before leaving on her three week vacation, boss1 dropped a large, time-consuming project on me. So much for plans to read and write fic at work the whole time. Sigh.

*

Legend of Korra: The Calling
spoilers )

So it looks like the plot might start ramping up soon. I am excited to see where it goes!

***

Unpopular Opinions

Oct. 24th, 2014 05:36 pm
[personal profile] yhlee
Unpopular Opinions
(or possibly opinions that are actually popular, but no one informed me because I live under a rock, and also this parenthetical statement is too long for its own good)

I've been sick half this week and my concentration is shot, so why not?

1. Story vs. writing. I think there is a useful distinction to be made between story and writing; between the essence of the tale, and the language it is clothed in. I came to this opinion partly because of Joe. Joe is much better at story than I am, in the sense that he comes up with plot mechanisms that I find interesting. (I've mostly seen this in action in an RPG context.) I sort of cobble my stories together. I have a hell of a lot more practice with the language-clothing end of things. (It's as well it's just one of us with this specialty, because this way Joe earns money with physics, and we all eat.)

This is one of the reasons why, although I can tell the difference between good and bad prose (or what I consider good and bad prose, anyway), bad prose doesn't automatically eject me from a story. If a particular piece of fanfic hits my trope kink buttons? I will put up with all sorts of bad prose. If you're writing giant robots and smashy battles and your female characters don't suck? I will put up with your bad prose. Feed me a story I like--hell, not even a story but a bunch of happy trope kink buttons mashed up together--and I'll keep reading.

That being said, when I was reading slush [1], I would, in fact, bounce stories for bad prose. If I'm recommending something to the editor upstairs, I want the story to be good at both.

[1] I am no longer a slush reader, although I miss it and wouldn't mind doing it again someday.


2. I'm still bitter that real-time strategy completely killed turn-based strategy for the PC. But that may just be because I want to play M.A.X. for the rest of my life. And hey, there's Sid Meier's Civilization: Beyond Earth, even if I expect to cause the planet to die horribly. I've played Sid Meier's Alpha Centauri, but not any of the "regular" Civilization games. And even when I played SMAC, I would do it on one of the easier settings. But that's okay because SMC:BE is now on my hard drive, mwahahahaha.


3. I like Tom Godwin's "The Cold Equations." It's manipulative! Tear-jerking! Sexist in that old-timey way, with the helplessness of the young girl! God knows, I highly doubt Godwin would have described a boy of equivalent age with such doelike innocence and tear-jerkitude, or possibly even used the word "boy" at all. And yet every time I read that damn story, I get to that one line and I cry.

You don't have to tell me all the things that are terrible about the story! I agree with you! I found this essay by Paul Kincaid on the story and his follow-up essay to be very illuminating. And yet, I like the story, in that way that I frequently like things that are not objectively good.

God knows, I cannot call it an unsuccessful story either. I knew the entire plot of the story, and its title, and its author, at least five years before I was able to track it down, from reading sf literary criticism essays that I scraped out of my high school library. (Yes, there were some.) I can mention the story to Joe and he will know what I am talking about. I bet I could start a flamewar about it. (Please not here, or anyway, not while I'm still kind of sick.) I am personally indifferent to the idea of an sf literary canon because I am too lazy to read things for homework because, sorry, I dreamt last week that I had to write an exam for IBH World Literature and I am so done with taking lit courses anymore. But is it a story that I would expect to find litcrit discussion of, skiffily, somewhere? Sure.


4. While I'm at it, I enjoyed slush reading.

I may just not have done it long enough to become completely jaded and cynical about it, though.


5. It is okay to spend just two hours writing your 1,000-word Yuletide story (plus a few minutes for tweaks). I've done that. As far as I can tell, no one has ever been able to tell the difference between the fast stories and the ones I slave over forever while gnawing my fingernails ragged (or I would, if I still chewed my nails). In fact, this is true of more than fanfic. Stories are weird. Some of them take more effort than others, and I've never ever been convinced that the reader on the other end can reliably tell the difference without external evidence. If only effort were correlated with quality--but it isn't. Not usefully, in my experience.


6. So I didn't actually think Meyer's Twilight was a good book (I read it because a friend sent it to me as a joke, and in fact it's pretty amiable airplane reading, which is what I used it for). I mock the sparklepires. Rather a lot, if you must know. (Not that a Yoon would mock anything, least of all a Yoon.) But it irritates me tremendously when people diss the people who like Twilight and talk about how people buy bad books and how other books deserve to be bestsellers and cry me a river. People read the books they want to read, people enjoy the books they enjoy, I may think Twilight is kind of terrible but I will defend to the death your right to think it is awesome, or to enjoy it despite thinking it's kind of terrible, or anything in between. This applies generally to romance (for me); romance is not my genre, I will mock individual romance novels (and I don't expect to stop), but we all have different tastes and I do not find romance novels inherently more mockworthy than giant robot novels (Battletech tie-ins) or grimdark (Warhammer 40k tie-ins, Paul Kearney's Monarchies of God) or over-the-top mind-bond space opera (Margaret Weis's Star of the Guardians), all of which are things I've read. I am sure this applies generally all over the place. I am long past the point where I care much about literary merit anymore. De gustibus, cheers.

Mastering Fiction Writing

Oct. 24th, 2014 04:50 pm
[personal profile] yhlee
- recent reading
Kit Reed. Mastering Fiction Writing. This is an excellent book, process-oriented and largely aimed toward the beginner. Parts of it I disagree with violently, mainly because Reed is highly character-oriented and I am highly...not; when she talks about the necessity of getting into characters' skins, I am apt to stare blankly at the page and go, I don't do that. Or at least I usually don't; there are characters whose heads I get into, and then there are all the other characters, and I can tell you that the second category is far larger than the first. When I wrote "Ghostweight" I didn't spend a moment in Lisse's skin. Maybe it shows as a kind of heartlessness; I don't know; that's something for the reader to judge.

Nevertheless, this is a very good writing how-to book, very pragmatic. As a curiosity, I note also that Reed's prose is hell and away better than Damon Knight's, but that's something I knew already from reading examples of their short science fiction. Nevertheless, the quality of prose in a writing how-to book is not an absolute indicator of its usefulness, depending on what, indeed, it is you're looking for help with. I would rather have my throat slit than have to read a novel by Larry Brooks if the prose in his novels is anything like the prose in Story Physics and Story Engineering, strident, gallopingly tin-eared, but on the other hand, I have found those books far more helpful than I ever found John Gardner's The Art of Fiction, no matter how much I admire Grendel.

This book packs a lot into what is under 150 pages. Again, it's aimed mostly toward the novice writer, but it's very good. Recommended.

Breakdown of Reed's chapter topics and my assessments of them: Read more... )




Meanwhile, I have played 40 min. of Civilization: Beyond Earth on the easiest setting and am having fun blundering around the map exploring! I have no idea what I'm doing and I'm sure I will die horrible some turns down the line, but this weekend maybe I can have Joe explain the game to me. :D I'm already enraptured! One...more...turn...
[personal profile] james_davis_nicoll
Not least because they were specifically for Rediscovery reviews.

Current version:

A: You can buy a review for a book for $100 (or by supporting my Patreon: see its page for specific details).

B: Authors may not buy reviews of their own books nor can their family members, publishers or agents. I have the right to decline any book; this is not to be taken as a negative comment on the author or book.

Authors may point out to me that their qualifying books are now out and while I cannot promise to read said, there will not be a charge if I do.

I reserve the right to break my own rules (except for B because, wow, can authors buying reviews go horribly wrong fast).

"The sweetest milk I had ever tasted"

Oct. 24th, 2014 01:13 pm
[personal profile] rosefox
I actually don't remember how long it's been since the last time I had dairy products. As a long-established dairy-defier, I frequently give advice to people who are reducing or eliminating dairy, and I figure it makes sense to have that info all in one place.

Allergen note
Almost all of my preferred creamy/buttery dairy substitutes are nut-based. I've done my best to make non-nut suggestions for those with nut allergies, but I'm not really an expert on that front.

Equipment note
If you're going to go fully dairy-free, I highly recommend investing in two kitchen tools: a high-speed blender and a food processor. Mine are made by Vitamix and Cuisinart respectively, and I don't know what I'd do without them. These tools will let you easily make dairy substitutes that are tastier and usually cheaper than the storebought ones. A less essential but still useful third tool is an ice cream maker, which will let you experiment with sorbets and non-dairy ice creams.

Shopping note
When buying packaged prepared foods, look for the word "parve" or "pareve" under a kosher symbol. Keeping kosher requires separating milk from meat; "parve" means that something contains neither milk nor meat and can therefore be eaten with either. This will save you a lot of time checking ingredient labels for sneaky things like whey in sandwich bread, casein in shredded fake cheese, etc. Note that parve things may still contain eggs, honey, and other non-vegan ingredients.

Essential reading
The Non-Dairy Evolution Cookbook has amazing legume-based recipes for butter, cheese, whipped cream, and other dairy substitutes. Throughout this piece, I'll be referring to NDEC recipes. I've read and used a lot of non-dairy cookbooks, and NDEC is by far the best.

Now, on to the substitutions!

Milk (for drinking, cereal, smoothies, etc.)
This is totally a matter of taste. Try a bunch of different store-bought milks and see what you like. I prefer almond milk for cereal and soy or hazelnut milk for drinking. Hazelnut milk can be used to make amazing Nutella-like hot chocolate! You can also make your own nut milks in a high-speed blender. I use the NDEC recipe for almond milk, which is just almond meal (aka almond flour) and water, and it's intensely almondy and delicious. Coconut milk (the sort intended for drinking, not the sort that comes in a can) is the best non-nut non-soy option, in my opinion, but some people prefer rice milk. I do like making my own horchata, and should really try it again now that I have a Vitamix.

Proportions for almond milk: 3.75 c water to 1 packed cup almond meal/flour or 5 oz. blanched almonds

Proportions for almond cream: 4.5 c water to 1 POUND (one full bag) almond meal or blanched almonds

Butter (spread)
Earth Balance is the standout spreadable butter substitute. There are many varieties, including soy-free. NDEC has a butter recipe but I haven't tried it yet.

Butter (baking)
Melted butter can be replaced 1:1 with canola oil or melted REFINED coconut oil. (Unrefined coconut oil tastes like coconut. Refined tastes like nothing.) For butter sticks, try Earth Balance sticks, but be warned that they are pre-salted; if you use them, you'll probably want to reduce or omit any salt you usually put in your recipes. Fleischmann's unsalted margarine, which is kosher parve, is reportedly very good for baking, but I'm allergic to another ingredient in it so I can't personally vouch for it.

Cream
NDEC has an excellent almond cream recipe that substitutes well for heavy cream, including whipping up into schlag. Coconut cream—the thick stuff at the top of a can of coconut milk, not to be confused with pre-sweetened cream of coconut for cocktails—can also be put in coffee or whipped. There does exist canned non-dairy whipped cream, but it's quite hard to find outside of hippie specialty groceries.

Sour cream and buttermilk
The easy way for making ingredients to use in recipes: add 1 Tbsp cider vinegar per cup of cream to make sour cream; add 1 tsp cider vinegar per cup of milk and let stand 5 minutes to make buttermilk. NDEC also has recipes for sour cream and buttermilk that stand well on their own.

Cream cheese
I never liked it, so I couldn't tell you which substitute is best, but NDEC has a recipe and there are a few packaged vegan cream cheese varieties available.

Yogurt
There are many, many soy and coconut yogurts out there. WholeSoy unflavored unsweetened yogurt is the best for cooking, and can be used as a starter if you want to make your own yogurt. I've never been a fan of eating yogurt qua yogurt, but I expect brands etc. are mostly a matter of taste anyway, so try some and see what you like.

Cheese
Cashew ricotta was one of the first substitute dairy products I ever made, and it was life-changing. Soak raw, unsalted cashews for four hours, pour out the water, put the cashews in your food processor, and drizzle in fresh cold water as you process them until the texture becomes creamy and ricotta-like. Add salt to taste. When I use it for lasagna, I process in fresh basil and nutmeg.

Regal Vegan makes a basil cashew ricotta called Basilicotta that's out of this world. Unfortunately, it goes off very quickly. If you buy it, make sure there's still plenty of time before the expiration date, and use it up as soon as you can.

NDEC has superb recipes for a wide variety of cheeses: some for slicing, some for shredding, some for eating by the fistful. I made NDEC's mozzarella with homemade almond milk and it was incredible; the texture wasn't quite perfect, but it was splendid on pasta and pizza, and yes, it melts! It doesn't get gooey, but next time I might add a bit of xanthan gum to help with that. The cheese melts best in steamy/liquid environments, such as when stirred into a pasta sauce. Under direct heat, it will brown but hold its shape. To get an effect like near-liquid melted mozzarella on pizza or lasagna, I recommend shredding the cheese, melting it in the microwave, and pouring it onto the dish. Then bake until browned and bubbly.

Miyoko Schinner's Artisan Vegan Cheese isn't quite as good a cookbook as NDEC, but I do really like her gruyère recipe; it makes killer fondue and croque monsieur. Schinner's recipes frequently call for rejuvelac, which is made by soaking and fermenting grains. It's very easy to mess up rejuvelac and get a jar full of mold. My usual substitute for 1 cup of rejuvelac is 1 capsule (1/8 tsp.) of vegan probiotic powder in 1 cup filtered water. It's not quite as live-culture-y as rejuvelac but it works well enough.

Cheesemaking does take a bit of time and effort; if you're not up for that, try the many packaged shredded cheese substitutes. Lots of people like tapioca-based Daiya cheeses. My personal favorite packaged vegan mozzarella is Follow Your Heart (the shreds, not the block cheese). But homemade cheese is always the best.

As far as I can tell, there is no such thing as non-nut non-soy vegan cheese. If I were to try to make some, I'd probably make my own rice milk and then try it in a cheese recipe, but I don't know how well it would work without the soy/nut protein.

Frozen pizza
My preferred brands are Daiya and Amy's, not least because their pizzas are gluten-free. Udi's pizza crusts are also GF and DF.

Pre-sliced sandwich bread
Stroehmann Dutch Country whole wheat bread is my preferred brand, but any brand that's kosher parve will do.

Milk powder
If a recipe calls for both milk powder and water, replace the water with your preferred non-dairy milk. I haven't tried powdered non-dairy milk but apparently it exists.

Frozen desserts
I recommend exploring homemade sorbets and granitas before you try tackling homemade non-dairy ice cream. Williams-Sonoma has some good recipes. A Vitamix blender can also be used to turn frozen fruit into frozen desserts; there are instructions for this in the manual.

Once you're ready to make your own ice cream, check out the recipes in Mark Foy's Desserts of Vitality. Almost all of them call for lecithin, an emulsifier that's extremely useful for making smooth, creamy ice cream; you can get liquid or granulated lecithin (and many other useful ingredients, especially for cheesemaking) at Modernist Pantry. Those with soy allergies can look for sunflower lecithin.

For store-bought ice cream, Turtle Mountain brands—Soy Delicious, So Delicious, Purely Delicious, etc.—are consistently excellent. In my experience, all coconut-based vegan ice cream tastes basically like coconut, no matter what else it's supposed to taste like. As a rule I prefer nut-based ice creams over soy-based ice creams, but tastes vary a lot. Try things and see what you like.


What did I miss? Is anything unclear? Ask all the questions you like!

Some shorter reviews

Oct. 24th, 2014 10:02 am
[personal profile] roadrunnertwice
Still chewing through these two years worth of books to review.

Gillian Flynn – Gone Girl

May 26, 2014

This book can be read as a psychological thriller, and that reading is probably why it’s been so popular and is getting a movie. But after considering for a while, I think it’s actually an extremely dark comedy, which not a lot of people are prepared to find funny.

(Among other things, that comedic reading is my theory for why Nick Dunne, stupidest man in the world, is still alive at the start of the book and hasn’t died by walking into an open manhole or trying to fuck a cactus or something.)

Ursula Murray Husted – The Lions of Valletta

Comics. Sept. 23, 2013

This was cute! A short GN about stray cats, art history, Venice, and metaphysics.

Kate Bornstein – Gender Outlaw

Mar 21, 2014

A bit of remedial gender topics reading! With at least one immediately useful piece of theory, which was nice. This book is old as hell by now, so it’s an odd combination of historical record and things we, as a society, still haven’t gotten a good grip on.

I don’t yet have a good way to summarize the gender-related stuff that’s been on my mind lately, so I’ll just leave that be for now.

I literally found this in a free box on my block right when I was in the mood to read it.

Richard Stark – Butcher’s Moon

July 28, 2014

More Parker! Parker is great. You should read Parker. Especially if you’re in a bad mood and just want to see some assholes get theirs.

I’m reading these all out of order — this is the one that ended series one of the Parker books. I’ll have to re-read it once I’ve seen more from all the side characters that come in for encores. But even without prior context, I loved this.

Ryan North, Shelli Paroline, Braden Lamb – The Midas Flesh

Comics. July… or August? 2014

I was lukewarm on this, and I think it was in large part because everyone except the main villain talked like T-Rex being very excited about something. The stylization of North’s dialogue works very well for something like Adventure Time, and I expect it will work for Squirrel Girl, but this book doesn’t benefit from it.

Plot-wise, it had some interesting ramifications on the central conceit. Art-wise, it was very very attractive! But the moment-to-moment experience of reading it didn’t satisfy. It needed more dramatic and emotional range.

New Doctor Who fic!

Oct. 24th, 2014 10:26 am
[personal profile] kass
At the end of the most recent episode of Doctor Who (S8 x 09, "Flatline"), there was a teaser which showed Danny along with the Doctor and Clara on their next adventure. I wondered how exactly that's going to come to pass. Here's my theory! (Which I post today, knowing that tomorrow it will probably be jossed. :-) Thanks to [personal profile] sanj for reading!


Come Along
1382 words
set immediately after "Flatline"
Clara/Danny; there might be some Eleven/Amy/Rory implied if you squint

"You could try it too," Clara said, impulsively.
Danny looked startled. "What?"
Okay, she probably should have run this by the Doctor before offering it, but there was nothing she could do about that now.



The link above goes to the AO3; coming soon to my website; all feedback adored. ♥

More Rain

Oct. 24th, 2014 09:53 am
[personal profile] malkingrey
This is the ugliest part of the year, up here -- the time when all of the autumn colors are gone and the trees are bare, but the winter blanket of snow hasn't come to cover everything with white. Mud-time has much the same color palette, but not quite; the trees have the blush of sap in them, rather than the dry ink-and-pencil sketchiness of late October and November, and there's a watercolor haze over the wooded hillsides where the first buds are showing. The coming of winter looks different from the coming of spring, no matter the similarities.

I woke up this morning feeling vaguely annoyed with the world for no particular reason. I managed to get the phone bill paid yesterday, and dealt sufficiently with the electric bill that I don't have to worry about it for a couple of weeks, and got the grocery shopping done, and did some editing work, so I should at least be feeling moderately virtuous, rather than cranky.

On the other hand, the weather is chilly and damp and the barometer is falling. Reason enough for crankiness, I suppose.

Fringe <3

Oct. 24th, 2014 07:20 am
[personal profile] kass
Last night in our ongoing slow (re)watch (rewatch for me, first-time watch for [personal profile] kouredios) of Fringe we watched two episodes from S2 which I really love -- "Snakehead" and "Grey Matters."

Spoilers, I guess? for something that aired in 2009? )

In sum: JOHN NOBLE ♥

(no subject)

Oct. 23rd, 2014 10:37 pm
[personal profile] jhameia
- First unit test today! Apparently many students did not know the word "vindication" which my professor thinks should be a university-level word. We also discussed grading parameters for the short answer questions. I still don't have a grading key for the rest of it.

- Skedaddled to a talk by a prospective spousal hire and I am excited by her potentially joining our department!! She's an Africanist, researching Igbo storytelling narratives surrounding the Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade. As far as I can tell this department has never had an Africanist, which is frustrating and ridiculous, and practically no Black people in faculty ranks, which is even more ridiculous. As a result we don't have any Black grads either. I'm hoping this will change.

- Started reading Matt Hill's FAN CULTURES and it begins with a critique of a moralistic dualist approach to studying fan cultures, namely, the "productive" fan versus the "consumer" fan, also "fan-community" vs. "fan-commodity". Hill is trying to trouble this, and also the idea of the "fan vs academic" and the terrible positions academic fans like to take in being a fan but trying to hang onto institutional authority. It has no discussion on how basic gender and race analysis might affect this (although there is a single mention that most of current theories are out there written by white dudes). IDK if I should continue reading this or if I should read the Consumer Culture Reader first.

- I also set out a buncha cue cards listing some things I'd like to talk about in my dissertation. I feel I'm missing out one more thing that I want to talk about, but I don't have a name for it. In order: Gears, Goggles, Corset/Vest, Tea, Mad Science, Adventure, Promenade. None of them touch very deeply on the Maker aspect which is the last thing I want to talk about but I don't have the right word to talk about it.

- I finished stitching my rank braids! Wow, that was really fun and I really want to get back into hand-stitching stuff now. I bought an embroidery hoop a while back so I'm thinking of getting into that. I doodle some stuff while listening to Night Vale:
* Feminist Killjoy (got some dark navy blue fabric and lime green threads for a pinafore, and was planning on stitching this on the front or back)
* some phoenixes
* random pretty flowers (which thus far is my favourite doodle; I haven't decided what colours yet, but I'm going to try some satin stitches)

small victories

Oct. 23rd, 2014 09:06 pm
[personal profile] rilina
1. Got renewed driver's license in the mail, and the new picture is acceptable. I had seen the pic on the black and white temp one I got at the licensing office, but it was hard to judge picture quality from that.

2. I still have Italian wedding soup in the freezer.

3. I entered a GoodReads ARC giveaway for the first time ever, and actually was chosen to receive a copy. So apparently I will be getting a galley of Kelly Link's new collection in the mail in the next few weeks. I am usually one of those people who never wins anything, so go figure!
[personal profile] james_davis_nicoll

Some positioned themselves on risers that flanked doors, ready to attack an assailant.
[...]
“There were 15 flags up at caucus and all but two were taken down,” one MP recalled.

“These guys were up there holding these spears ready to impale anyone who came in,” the source said.

Some Random Thoughts on Supernatural

Oct. 23rd, 2014 11:47 pm
[personal profile] malkingrey
Supernatural is still more fun to watch than most of the television out there, and I'm still a fan of the show.

That said, SPN-considered-as-a-work-of-art was seasons One through Five, while Kripke was still actively running things and the show was a reflection of his personal vision. Those five seasons had a solid through-line and a consistent, if cracked-out, informing mythology, and they were exploring some of the big, serious themes (free will versus predestination, the nature of good and evil, all that sort of stuff.)

Also, in the first five seasons they still had people working on the show who actually understood and appreciated John Winchester. Since then, we've had the copy-of-a-copy image degradation effect going on, to the point where I don't really regard anything the show says about John as canon any more.

Don't get me wrong . . . like I said, I still enjoy the show. But the difference between the first five seasons and the subsequent ones is the difference between great television and merely entertaining television.

(no subject)

Oct. 23rd, 2014 09:30 pm
[personal profile] yhlee
Poll #16077 Prompted by reading yet another writing how-to book
Open to: Registered Users, detailed results viewable to: All, participants: 43


Second-person narration

View Answers

should only be used in games, CYOA, etc.
3 (7.0%)

is something I personally dislike and avoid
6 (14.0%)

can be well or poorly done, like anything else
38 (88.4%)

is something I actively enjoy as a technique
4 (9.3%)

is something else I will specify in comments
2 (4.7%)

ticky the tickybox is not ticked off
10 (23.3%)



I'm biased; I actively enjoy second person. (It's probably not a coincidence that I also love gamebooks.) But I know that when I write a story in second person ("The Hundredth Question," "Combustion Hour," whatever), I will automatically lose part of my potential audience, and that's a price I decide to pay.
[personal profile] the_shoshanna
[vaguely watching the Doctor Who world tour]

Geoff: You've got to figure there's a Dalek sex toy out there somewhere.

Me: "Nubbed for your pleasure"?

Geoff: EJACULATE! EJACULATE!
[personal profile] yhlee
New best friend: M-Audio SP-2 Sustain Pedal for my keyboard (a Casio Privia). It's wonderful, although I agree with the Amazon reviewer that you should take note of its dimensions if you have your keyboard in a tight spot (which I do not). Anyway, it's a pleasure to have a pedal at all, and especially one so nice after the cheap crappy one that my keyboard originally came with (and which is now AWOL). I have so far tested it out with a bunch of pieces, including the piano piece I composed for Marie Brennan's London historical fantasies, and which I had gotten out of practice on because it sounds wrong without the pedal.

- recent reading
Sam Leith. Words Like Loaded Pistols: Rhetoric from Aristotle to Obama. Beyond the clever cover [Amazon listing], this is a terrifically fun book to read when you're sick. I have no useful background in formal rhetoric or its history, so I can't assess that aspect of the book, but what this has is an overview of the art and its uses as well as a number of case studies. It's clever, funny, well-written, and reminds me that I used to enjoy rolling around in language for its own sake.

For the curious, the case studies are: Satan (mostly through Milton), Marcus Tullius Cicero (it was eerie recognizing translated passages that I had seen in Wheelock exercises--I almost feel bad for Catiline at this point), Abraham Lincoln, Hitler, Churchill, Martin Luther King, Barack Obama, and an interesting section on The Unknown Speechwriter where Leith brings out Peggy Noonan, Reagan's speechwriter, as an example. There are other examples throughout, including one from (!) a South Park movie. Make of that what you will.

- recent viewing
The Good Wife through "Shiny Objects." Read more... )

Oooh, and speaking of World Fantasy

Oct. 23rd, 2014 06:39 pm
[personal profile] mariness
I forgot to mention: yes, I will be attending World Fantasy Convention, November 6 - 9, in Arlington, VA. As far as I know, I have nothing scheduled.

(And yes, that includes the SFWA meeting. I fully understand why it's scheduled at that unreasonable hour, and also that I'm probably the only one who thinks it's unreasonable, but I think it's safe to say I shall be hunting for coffee at that particular moment.)

Which suggests that, as always, probably the best place to find me is either at the coffee or the bar.

Various people suggested that I owe attendees a bit of a warning for this one. No, it's not about the wheelchair, it's about me and DC, namely that generally when I head to DC Bad Things Happen: hurricanes, snipers, people in tractors threatening to blow up the Washington Monument, a fire at a certain party at American University that I thought we were never ever going to mention again (cough) and so on. This does seem a touch unfair, but on the off chance that everyone has a point here, I am mentioning it.

Assuming we have no repeats of any of that, and even then, see you there!

some things

Oct. 23rd, 2014 02:54 pm
[personal profile] thistleingrey
* Now that I spend significant hours per day standing (at a desk, at both home and office), remembering to take muscle-uncramping breaks has been difficult. The obvious answer is music---well, obvious now---though I try to time it for when my officemate isn't in the room. Funny how lying on the cold hard floor for five minutes is unembarrassing and moving with headphones on is bad, perhaps because the former is more clearly dire-straits medical.

* Nevada Territory, and thus presumably the US government, closed the fiscal year on 30 June without fanfare in 1863. How far back does that go? Unimportant to me---idle curiosity---but California maintains it, though the US has shifted since. The same letter indicates that it was deemed suitable for certain affiliates of the Nev. Terr. assembly to request mileage and per diem reimbursements. Mileage. What an odd term retrospectively for what must've covered horse fodder and help from stable hands. OED3 2002 admits "mileage" with that sense from 1724, and the extent/rate sense only by mid-C19. Trust the bureaucrats to have kept that productive Anglo-Norman -age suffix going.

* It is possible to read a short Old English poem with a medium-sized child if one translates it into her strongest language (modern English) every 1.5 lines or so. I chose Finnsburh because it's fragmentary, then remembered that it's about a hall not burning down and people not being killed---yet---then realized that nearly four years and self-consciously no longer small is old enough to understand that people make stories about difficult and unpleasant things. I did introduce the idea that they'd had so much trouble over years that they couldn't listen to each others' words, however, and she knows already that a fire in one part of a building can spread quickly. (No bringing of torches to my bedside the next time you're angry, kiddo.)

She wouldn't have sat for it except that I was leaving for attempt #3 since her birth to attend the local monthly OE reading group, whereupon extra time in my lap and curiosity about what I'd do there dovetailed nicely. It was easier to leave for last year's attempt; this year she was able to explain eloquently why she minded my absence.

* It is possible to teach adults for years in a humanities field and not have heard of theory of mind. I was surprised---it's a prof aged late forties (and thus well within my guessing range of likely casual exposures) who researches encyclopedic knowledge historically. Without benefit of cognition or post-classical philosophy, I guess!
[personal profile] kass
I wore my knee-high shiny black patent Doc Martens today for the first time this fall. Today has been gloomy and rainy, but the boots totally helped me weather the weather, as it were.

Mr. Kid is having a surprise sleepover tonight, which means I get to go out to dinner. Which I suppose in theory I could do any time, but hiring a babysitter seems both expensive and a lot of work, so it pretty much never happens. Beer and burgers, here I come!

I scanned some photos from our honeymoon today and am deriving great pleasure from that fact. Both from the photos themselves, and from the fact that I am digitizing them.

The laptop on which I spilled half a cup of kiddush wine last Friday night seems, thankfully, to be surviving. (Granted, it could still go kablooie, but so far, so good.) The keyboard's action is all screwed up, and I have to work a lot harder to type, which is annoying, but hey: computer still working, against all odds, so I'm calling it a win.

I'm fooling around with a bit of what is basically gen fic (Doctor Who, set after the most recent episode), which is rather unlike me, but I'm having fun.

How are y'all?
[personal profile] lightreads
Natural Childbirth the Bradley WayNatural Childbirth the Bradley Way by Susan McCutcheon-Rosegg

My rating: 3 of 5 stars


I usually don't fuss much about ratings. I do it by feel, generally as an afterthought, throwing in both my emotional reaction to something and a more analytical assessment of quality. This time I had to think hard about it, and I ended up averaging my 1 star and 5 star impulses.

The five stars is for being one of the first books I found to talk directly and candidly about unmedicated childbirth and how to think about it. I had an instinctive negative reaction to all the hypnobirthing stuff that got thrown at me early on – it's popular right now – and this book squarely confirmed my feeling that no, what I wanted was to engage squarely with labor, to use my brain every step of the way. This book talks about how to do that, and the discussion of particular emotional signposts was incredibly useful to me. I didn't even know what information I was craving – that no other source was talking about – until it was presented to me in this book. My labor didn't go sideways to crazytown until I hit 7 cm – until then I labored unmedicated, and it was this book I thought about while I swayed and breathed and thought my way through each contraction. (Well, it's worth adding that by unmedicated I mean no analgesia – I did have increasing amounts of Pitocin. And let me just say, doing augmented labor unmedicated is a different animal than this book contemplates). After 7 cm – well, that's a TLDR story for another time, but let me just say: 10 hours in transition. Enough said. At that point, this book became rather irrelevant.

Anyway. Enough about me. The one star stuff is everything else. The scare tactics about interventions, the manipulative and downright deceptive use of study results, the moralism and smugness, the sexism. This book hits every checkbox for what is fucked up about the natural childbirth movement. I am really glad I stuck with this book to get to the parts about actual labor, because like I said, they were absolutely invaluable. But man oh man, the opening and closing chapters are dire, guys.




View all my reviews

now I'm just a forgotten name

Oct. 23rd, 2014 04:43 pm
[personal profile] musesfool
Ugh work! Stop being busy!

I've sort of been off tumblr this week because of being brainfried, but I was glad I checked in last night because the Avengers: Age of Ultron trailer was leaked/released. spoilers for the trailer )

So I guess we'll see how that turns out.

Meanwhile, over on Arrow, spoilers )

So I enjoyed that tremendously.

Almost time to go home. One more day and then Boss1 is heading out of the country on vacation and my days will hopefully get less hectic.

***

Nameless (1998 - 2014)

Oct. 23rd, 2014 01:14 pm
[personal profile] james_davis_nicoll
Cancer. I had her euthanized around noon.

She came from the exgf's parents back yard from the same mother as Hagia, Zeus and Groucho. Like them, she had very particular views on life and who she would associate with. Unlike every other feral I have dealt with, she became habituated but never tame. Instead she had her sleeping place in the hall closet, and a blind in my office where she could stare at me suspiciously from cover. I was allowed to feed her.

This is her, trying to set me on fire with her mind:

Nameless

Dear Yuletide Author

Oct. 23rd, 2014 12:53 pm
[personal profile] kouredios
Hello, and welcome to my Yuletide letter! First, as always, let me thank you, dear author, for being willing to write something for me. If I am a fan of anything, I am a fan of Yuletide. Thank you for participating.

Archer, Clash of Clans, and Dirty Rotten Scoundrels )

Nameless

Oct. 23rd, 2014 10:59 am
[personal profile] james_davis_nicoll
Does not look like she will around much longer. Waiting to see if vet can see her.
[personal profile] mariness
Poet and friend Mike Allen just posted this description of an upcoming World Fantasy Panel:
Poetry in Fantasy: Yesterday and Today
Time: 11am-12pm, Nov. 7, Regency F
Panelists:Mike Allen (M), Maria Alexander, Rain Graves, David Lunde, Laurel Winter

Description: Including poetry in fantasy, both by the author and quoted from other sources, used to be more common, such as Alice in Wonderland, The Lord of the Rings, and The Worm Ouroboros. Why is poetry not as prevalent now as in the past? Are certain types of poetry, such as non-formal or non-rhyming verse, under-used in fantasy?
Why is poetry not as prevalent now as in the past?

After blinking at this for a bit, I went to YouTube, and typed in "Rains of Castamere," a poem that first appeared in a fantasy book published in 2000. YouTube currently lists 165,000 videos of this song, including versions sung by cats. YouTube also lists 26,000 versions of "The Bear and the Maiden Fair," a poem that originally appeared in the same series.

One of last year's most popular fantasy movies was Frozen, which had, as I recall, quite a few songs/poems. Charles de Lint, Neil Gaiman, Sofia Samatar, Theodora Goss, L.E. Modesitt and multiple others have included poems in their prose work. And this isn't even considering the multiple, successful online zines publishing or focusing on poetry today, fantastic or otherwise. I'd argue that poetry, and in particular speculative poetry, is far more prevalent and visible than it's ever been.

But...for some reason, this prevalence doesn't get recognized in the field. Granted, part of this is that poetry collections (as opposed to poems that appear in prose works, HBO shows, or Disney cartoons) in general don't sell well, whatever their theme. But I don't think that quite justifies ignoring the fact that yesterday afternoon, the next door neighbor kids were shrieking "LIBRE SOY! LIBRE SOY!" (the Spanish version of "Let it Go,") for TWENTY SOLID MINUTES. Poetry's popular. It's out there. Let's celebrate it.

October 2014

S M T W T F S
   1 234
567 891011
12 13 141516 1718
1920 21 222324 25
262728293031 

Expand Cut Tags

No cut tags

Page Summary

Tags