Coming Out

Mar. 3rd, 2017 08:25 am
lydamorehouse: (gryffindor)
 For years I thought I was a Slytherin.  Look, I'm very ambitious, okay?  I have some very Scorpio tendencies that align themselves with some Slytherin traits.  I knew I wasn't the typical sneaky, back-stabby (mostly) Slytherin, but then neither was Professor Slughorn. I very much felt a certain kinship with Slughorn.  And, I am a Scorpio, okay? I hold grudges. I have occasionally, deliberately, sneakily pulled strings to make bad things happen to my enemies.

But, there were signs that maybe I wasn't like the other Slytherins.  

Every time I took those "Which Hogwarts House are you?" quizzes, I would always end up a Gryffindor.  Mostly, I think, because I refused to lie. (YES, I KNOW THAT WAS PROBABLY A VERY, VERY OBVIOUS SIGN.)  Even so, Pottermore put me in Slytherin, though, and that's supposed to be the Word of God.

HOWEVER.  I can't hide it anymore.  I can't deny my true nature. My real life actions* have shown that I am, in fact, a Gryffindor. 

In other news, Mason had his parent/teacher conferences last night.  For some reason, Washington still does these "student led" conferences, where basically the student is required to self-rate themselves and come up with their own "action plans" to do better at school.  This has always been silly for Mason, since he's pulling almost straight-As. I can't imagine what it's like for the kids on the other end of the spectrum, however.  Hopefully, there's more interceding from the teachers in those cases.  What I hate about it is that we only get to see Mason's foundation teacher (like homeroom), and mostly they just observe and rarely offer commentary about how Mason is actually doing.  Mason is a good student, but he's not forthcoming.  I don't get stories about classroom antics, unless they're especially funny or something Mason decides to share. Worse, Mason's foundation teacher actually left us in the hands of his student teacher, who didn't know anything about the Geography Bee or, I think, from his surprised expression, that Mason was in 10th grade advanced math.  I have NEVER, ever  gotten to connect with the math teachers, despite stalking the halls hoping to run into them. I mean, yes, Mason is doing fine--better than fine, but that's never been the point of parent/teach conferences for us. We like to make a connection. I mean, I really, really would have loved to have met Mason's math teacher just to shake his hand and say, "THANK GOD FOR YOU," because Mason's appreciation for school jumped up miles once he was actually challenged in math. In 5th grade, before we moved to Washington and Mason was instantly advanced, he was starting to show signs of boredom and, had it gone on, I think he could have ended up depressed.  So, it was especially frustrating that first year because I really, really wanted to tell the math teacher how important being in that class was for Mason.  

Grrr.

But, at least it's not critical for us to talk to any of these teachers, you know?  I seriously don't know what people do who have kids who are struggling. I also wish I understood the philosophy behind this. It feels inherently lazy, like the teachers are making the kids do work traditionally done by them.  I know that's unfair to teachers to some extent, but at the same time, aren't they uniquely qualified to talk about individual student's progress?

Anyway, we did run into the principal who shook my hand in a crushing MAN grip and told us how proud Washington is that Mason is representing them for the Geography Bee. I did find out that this is the first time (in a while? ever?) that Washington has sent anyone to state.  The school has always participated in the school-wide bee, but there is a computerized test that qualifies students for the state-wide bee. Mason apparently took the test in 15 minutes, and it normally takes about 45.  His Geography teacher figured Mason had blown it, honestly.  :-)  
I also baffled the principal when I suggested that maybe we'd let Mason go entirely on his own.  Of course, we'd WANT to see him participate. Of course, we're PROUD of him. But, this is not OUR accomplishment or OUR event. It's Mason's.  So, if Mason would feel best going on his own, that's legitimately up to him.  But, one of us may have to go since the school can't exactly rent a bus for one kid, and it's unclear yet if any of the other St. Paul schools are organizing transportation or if everyone is on their own reconnaissance, as it were.  If one of us has to drive, likely both of us will go and attend.

So that's that.



---
* I discovered, in real life, that I am actually willing, without a plan, to intercede in a situation with a stranger just because it looked wrong.  I may tell the details later, but suffice to say that I'm now putting the MN ACLU on my speed dial.
lydamorehouse: (slytherin)
Shawn talks in her sleep. Last night, as I'm coming back up the stairs after being harrassed awake by my annoying black cat Inky who is perpetually convinced he's starving to death, Shawn calls out. She yells, "Your feet are rather heavy on the stairs, Mr. Potter!"

I was clear to me that the only proper response was, "Sorry, Professor Snape!"

I thought, actually, she might be awake so when I got back into bed I said, "I'm kind of surprised you're not dreaming of Mordor..." (since we'd watched "Fellowship of the Ring" last night,) but she was SOUND asleep (and snoring, but she'd deny tht last part.) I worried for a few minutes that I might have caused a dreaming mishap, wherein Harry goes to Mordor, but she had no recollection of either the conversation or any Potter/Mordor crossover dreams.
lydamorehouse: (slytherin)
I only just recently found this: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YsYWT5Q_R_w

It's a link to the "How It Should Have Ended" folk's alternate Harry Potter Ending. It's fairly awesome, IMHO. I hope you enjoy it.
lydamorehouse: (slytherin)
I love this summer so far. I managed to miss the 103 degree day, and have been shamelessly enjoying the cool breeze which, for me at least, makes for a good night's sleep. Last night, I opened the window and snuggled under a comforter. It was awesome. Of course, I also dreamed I was Ron Weasley, so that might have contributed to the joy.

I think, btw, that my subconscious is trying to tell me to stop ignoring the truth: I'm probably a Gryffindor, deep in my heart. I'll deny it, you know. Slytherin House needs someone like me. Someone gregarious and likable, heroic, yet deeply ambitious and a little dark. As my astrological chart says of my Mercury in Scorpio, "Your mind is deep, but rarely charitable."

Anyway, today is the day that, hopefully, I finish the revisions on Ana #3 (aka ALMOST EVERYTHING). Once I got over my inital reaction of, "Gah! My editor hates me! She's gutted the book!" (which, I should try to remember, happens to me every time, it's sort of like how I feel every time I get a rejection for a short story,) I discovered that the revisions aren't nearly as major as I feared. Luckily, my family was a bunch of duds last night and went to bed at 8:30 pm, which left me several hours to plow through pages. I got to about 175 or so, which is half way or nearly so. There is going to be more to do the closer I get to "THE END," but I'm hopeful the next several chapters will be as smooth saling as the previous ones.

Speaking of short stories, I've been continuing my podcast kick. I've listened to almost everything Lightspeed currently has on offer that seemed even remotely up my alley, and have moved into Fantasy (though I really prefer SF) as well, as checking out what's on offer over at PodCastle and EscapePod. I think I could listen a story a day for a thousand years, which is kind of nice. That's a bit of an exaggeration, of course, but I *am* seriously pleased how much stuff seems to be out there. Next time you see me at a convention, I'll be full of it. I mean I'll be full of knowledge of the short story field... yeah, that's it. ;-)

Speaking of science fiction, I just tried to Skype my dad. Any of you technically savvy people out there know why it is that my computer isn't transmitting sound?? I can see and hear my dad just great. He can see me, but not hear me. What's really, REALLY weird is that it doesn't seem to matter which computer I use. We have Skype set up on my computer and Shawn's and neither one wants to work, despite the fact that we've used it successfully in the past (I even talked to a friend who is in Korea!) I wonder if it isn't our 4G network. We've had to move it around to try to get a good signal, and maybe it no longer has the juice to connect us... anyway, if any of you folks know what might be up, I'd love a tutorial. It's so much fun to see my dad when I talk. It solves a problem I've always had with the phone, which is I'm not much of a chatter when I don't get visual cues.

Anyway, I should get back to work. I really want to finish up the revisions, because I've been kicking around a short story idea in my head. I've told myself, however, that I can't work on the short story unless I do some novel work first.
lydamorehouse: (Default)
Having just emerged from deadline mania, I'm in that post-book stage where I look around the house and wonder what I've forgotten to do in the meantime.

Shawn is a great list-maker. I swear she has lists that keep track of her lists. I, meanwhile, wing it. Only on very rare ocassion have I actually ever forgotten something entirely, but I also have days like to day where I have to take active stock of everything I need to do.

For instance, a lot of people have sent me books to read for review or a blurb. As cold as today is, this would be an excellent day to sit down with one of them. But, I also need to get a stronger start on ideas/synopses for Ana books #4, #5 and #6 in case my publisher/editor is interested in seeing them. This weekend's wind also knocked a chunk of plastic out of our screen door, and I need to grab a screwdriver from the basement and remove that pane and get it replaced at the hardware store (probably with glass, who even knew that was plastic before it broke? Not me.) Tomorrow, it's supposed to snow (possibly as much as several inches), and I'm, once again, chaperoning Mason's class on a field trip to the Minnesota Zoo. Brrrrr.

At least I don't have to get ready for Passover or Easter, since Ostara bunny came and went months ago. I'll probably have that experience I often do around Easter where I wonder why the heck all the stores are closed, and then suddenly remember that it's some kind of holiday. :-)

Speaking of Easter, I won't be at Minicon this year. (I've been getting things for Convergence, but I won't be there THIS year, though I will next.) I will, however, be one of the GoHs at Diversicon (July 29 - 31), don't forget. Please come.

In other news, it was a fairly eventful weekend, although with some false starts. I was, of course, sick as a dog on Thursday (which, btw, does NOT impress the cats.) I felt well enough on Friday that, when we dropped Mason off for his sleepover, Shawn and I bravely attempted a dinner out at Fasika, the local Ethiopian restaurant. It was brave not only for my stomach, but also due to its proximity to University Avenue, which is completely under "destruction" (as Midway Books puts it) for the light rail.

brief rant/
Despite being a general fan of progress, I'm not terribly pleased about the light rail. It's going to significantly change my neighborhood, and I'm not entirely sure for the better. It is NOT intended to serve the local community. It's designed to shuffle business people from downtown Minneapolis to downtown St. Paul, with very limited stops in between. Currently, we're hemorrhaging businesses. Porky's is gone for good. My martial arts studio is leaving (luckily, they're not moving too far away for us). As we walk to the remaining classes there, I've been watching businesses packing up and buildings empty. University Avenue is going to be a ghost town. So, okay, maybe they'll tear it all down and build condos with Starbucks and Subways in their lower levels. Better than Porky's and Ax Man? I'm not sure.
/brief rant

Anyway, Shawn and I had a nice night out, even though I couldn't eat very much. We came home and snuggled up for a movie, which was nice, but I wish I'd felt better generally. On Saturday, Mason had a playdate with [livejournal.com profile] naomikritzer's daughter for Pokemon trade/talk. Shawn and I had planned to make it a fun tea for grown-ups (and kids), so I baked scones and Shawn made her famous cranberry upside-down cake. We had Devonshire clotted cream and marmalade and jam and all that sort of lovely "tea" sort of stuff. I even pulled out the fancy tea cups and our cheery yellow tea pot, in which I brewed jasmine tea in my tea ball, no less.

I'd been planning on taking Eleanor to Kelly McCullough's annual Red Current party, but the weather had turned nasty and Eleanor no longer felt up to it. So, once again, my family snuggled under blankets and watched a movie. On Saturday night it was HARRY POTTER AND THE DEATHLY HALLOWS. I know this is probaby sacrilege, but I'm a bit disappointed in part 1. It's a LONG movie and yet, for someone like Shawn who has NOT read the books, it fails to explain some critical bits of information. For instance it's never explained how the Death Eaters keep finding Harry and crew. Yet, by the time they're camping out, he's calling Voldemort "He Who Must Not Be Named," which is utterly out of character unless you know that they'd had a magical trace on anyone who boldly used Voldemort's name. Also, although they show Voldemort hunting for the Elder Wand and all the various wands exchanging hands, the critical information about wand possession is completely unexplained (ie, that it's not truly yours to command unless you take it by force.)

There were other things, too, but I was surprised by how often either Mason and I had to lean over and explain things to Shawn. I understand that people like Shawn are rare these days, but there are really long stretches of silence in the movie. It would have been nice to fill some of that with information, you know? Especially since the movie ends on such a downer note. (If I were the director, I would have ended on a bit more triumphant moment, ie the Gringotts heist. Also, if I'd directed, I would have had Harry rescue more people at the Ministry, as he does in the book. However, I approve of letting Hedwig go the way she does in the movie, rather than the book, which is so AWFUL. Mason is having us re-read this book, and I have to say I also like the way we get to see Dudley say good-bye too, though I can see why they skimmed over that.)

However, I'm looking forward to Part 2, though as a huge fan of Neville Longbottom, I'm a little worried that they haven't give him the build up he needs for that last awesome moment of his. Also Fred and George's "Freedom Radio" would have been nice to hear from, too, if only to give the audience like Shawn a better sense of what's going on out in the larger world. They could have used that for all sorts of information filler -- like what the Snatchers are doing, who they are, etc. The Snatchers completely BAFFLED Shawn.

Anyway, back to my weekend... on Sunday, Mason and I dropped Shawn off at Goodwill and he and I went in search of some new fishes. Tragedy struck in the small tank. I lost two of the white cloud mountain minnows over the weekend, I think to old age. One of them, Sunshine, had made a bit of a recovery, but... uh, he'd slowed down enough that the giant goldfish, Bob, who shares his tank, took a bite out of him. He went to the summerland headless, alas. Gucci, gucci Sunshine and Chicory, you were good fish!

We went to the Fish and Reptile store on University (which seems to he hanging on, at least,) and picked up three new fish (which now makes a total of four white clouds). The new ones are: Savannah, Stanley, and Finbird. Named, repectively, by Shawn, me, and Mason. Savannah and Stanley might actually be a slightly different fish, as they're quite a bit more golden in color. The woman who helped me did not actually know what fish I was looking for, which surprised me, because usually the staff is so incredibly knowledgable, you know? (I just looked up white cloud mountain minnow + golden and apparently there is a version called "golden white cloud," which may be a mutation brought on by inbreeding... but they are rather pretty.) But the good news is that everyone schooled up and are zippy enough that Bob could not take a bite of any of them (though he did try at first.)

Whoa, so that was my weekend, with a couple of breaks for rants about lightrail construction and Harry Potter.
lydamorehouse: (Default)
Looks like LJ is back on-line for the moment. I will try to quickly recap everything going on in my life before it crashes again.

First, this commerical interruption:

Tonight I'm going to be one of the guests on KFAI's "Write On Radio" show from 7:00 - 8:00 pm Central. KFAI broadcasts on 90.3 FM Minneapolis/106.7 FM St. Paul, but you can also listen via live streaming at: kfai.org. But, since 7 PM might be a very busy time for you depending on who you are and where you live, you can also check out the archives at http://www.kfai.org/archive tomorrow morning or shortly after the broadcast. I don't know how quickly they have it available.

Also, if you do tune in, be patient. Usually they schedule at least two guests and more often than not, they put me on during the second half hour. (Maybe they like to close with a bang, I don't know.)

/ad

Okay, so last weekend (and yesterday).... hmmm, okay, on Saturday I had my Mensa meeting. No, I'm not a member. I know for a fact that I can't pass their entrance exam. (I had an IQ test as an adult as part of testing for dyslexia and I am resoundingly average.) I was invited to speak about publishing and writing science fiction. And, you know what, before you make any cracks about how you wouldn't want to be in any group that would have you as a member or other such remarks, the Mensa folks were AWESOME and I had a GREAT time. They were super nice to me, and totally respected my experise as a published author. They laughed at all my jokes and generally treated me like a rock star. I would totally join their group if I could. So there.

I was a *little* worried it would be a room full of Sheldons from "Big Bang Theory," but it turns out, not so much. Everyone at Mensa was fairly well socialized, certainly as much as your average SF/F fan. :-)

On Sunday, one of Mason's friends had a Hogwarts themed party. I've posted some of the more adorable picutres on tatehallaway.blogspot.com, but here are a few others:






Going to this made me totally want to have a grown-up version. All I'll say is that plans are in the works!
lydamorehouse: (slytherin)
I don't have a lot of time to put my thoughts down in a terribly coherent way, but I'd love to continue the discussion about Slytherins. [livejournal.com profile] marlowe1 noted that Slytherins get outed for their racism in the later Harry books, but it is interesting to remember that Voldemort himself is a half-blood, who hated his Muggle father. Snape, the head of Slytherin House, is also a half-blood; he is, in point of fact, the Half-Blood Prince of the title of that book. (Harry, of course, is PURE blood. His mom was Muggle born, but she was a witch.)

While mostly pure bloods get sorted to Slytherin it's NOT a requirement. Harry, as we all remember, was nearly sorted into Slytherin (and speaks parseltongue for crying out loud), and comes around to the idea at the end that it would be okay if his own son were sorted there.

So what about Harry would have made him a good Slytherin, besides the ability to speak to snakes, do you think?

He's not terribly ambitious. I mean, I love Harry, but neither he nor Ron show a lot of apptitude for school work (until, perhaps, inspired by the non-Moody.) Even Neville, by the fourth year, has shown promise in herbology. And, of course, Draco is good at potions. What's Harry got? Quidditch. Dude is a JOCK. I would have hated him in high school.

Is it his tendency toward self-pity? His quickness to anger? His inability to follow even the simplest school rules? (As a Slytherin, frankly, I resent the implication of the first and second, but the third shows some promise. He can be pretty sneaky. Give that boy a Maurader's Map and he's good to go -- although that was an entirely Gryffindor product from the beginning.)

Harry is also a cheater. He cheats in potions class. I mean, straight-up. And he has no qualms whatsoever about using the morally ambiguous curses he finds in Snape's potion book on his enemies. He might favor the "Expelliarmus" spell, but is shown willing to use the Unforgivable Curses against Bellatrix afer she's killed Sirius.

What do y'all think?

(I need to take off. I'm supposed to pick up Shawn for her birthday celebration NOW.)
lydamorehouse: (slytherin)
Check out my friend Doug Hulick's Big Idea on Scalzi's Whatever! It's becoming a Wyrdsmiths tradition.

I'm sorry I've been away. I hear the ol' LJ has been acting up in my absence. Well, I'm back now, so y'all need to behave!

Today was my busy day. I didn't entirely finish Tate's #3 as I'd hoped. I ended up doing a lot of running around. I still haven't made it to the grocery store, but I did get Shawn's birthday present so she'll have something to open tomorrow morning. I thought today was the last day that the Milton Avenue location of Amore Coffee would be open, so I planned to stopped by there for a final cafe Vienna. Alas, I seem to have arrived a day (or more) late. They were moving furnature and other equipment out as I pulled in. Since I'd hauled myself there, I stopped in for lunch at Bread & Chocolate. I wrote a bit, and continue to be amazed by the relaxed way in which this book seems to be coming to a close. Usually, there is much rushing and writing and such in the final days, but I wrote a very lesuirely and detailed scene today. Weird. I hope this isn't some kind of bad omen. At any rate, I have a couple more scenes to write and then I will have reached another "the end" milestone.

Mason and I are re-reading HARRY POTTER AND THE GOBLET OF FIRE. We just got to the part where the fourth year Gryffindors have had their first Defense Against the Dark Arts class with Professor Moody. I'm going to assume that I don't need to put the next bit under an lj-cut for spoilers, because the book has been out forever, as has the movie, but if you haven't read GOBLET OF FIRE and don't like spoilers, for God's sake stop reading. Okay, onward -- so we all know that Professor Moody isn't, shall we say, _himself_ at this particular moment. Upon second reading, this struck me as VERY interesting. "Moody" shows a surprising amount of what appears to be sympathy toward both Harry and Neville. He comes off like a good guy, a brilliant instructor, even if he is a bit VIGILANT (and a bit odd, of course. But who at Hogwarts isn't a BIT odd.) If I'm reading this right, it means that Barty Crouch, Jr., is actually, on some profound level actually a decent human being.

Or a _really_ good actor. Because, as we learn in Old Trek's "Mirror, Mirror," it is much easier for the civilized man to pass as a barbarian than it is for a barbarian to pass as civilized.

Regardless, I would posit that Barty Crouch, Jr. is one of the best Defense Against Dark Arts teacher that Hogwarts ever had. Considering how otherwise completely unredeeming a character Barty Jr. is, this is a rather noteworthy observation, IMHO.

I suppose that, once again, I'm arriving rather late to this party with this thought, but as it just ocurred to me, I wanted to share it.

And, since I have to rush off to go pick up Mason from school, I'll leave you with it.
lydamorehouse: (Default)
Unbelievably, we have almost no leftover turkey in the house today. This is made especially amazing by the fact that I roasted a ginormous 24 pounder. To be fair, there is some ground turkey in the freezer awaiting soup, but there's almost no stuffing left, no potatoes, no gravy, no yams, and just a tiny bit of cranberry sauce. How am I supposed to have lunch? I suppose I could have the stuffing and cranberry sauce, but that's just kind of sad, don't you think? Although my stomach just growled at the idea....

We had our usual Thanksgiving guests, the Jacksons, for fud and jigsaw puzzling. My friends, who love me, got us this awesome puzzle, which was entitled "Michael the Archangel Slays the Dragon While Almost No One Pays Attention." Tell me that wasn't tailor made for me?! Plus, it was actually challenging. It took us almost the whole time the Jackson were here to put it together. Luckily, Shawn "the Closer" Rounds helped at the very end when most of the rest of us (except stalwart Michele, of course,) were completely burned out.

Plus, we got to have the occassional discussion that started with Jack saying, "Why does Michael fight the Dragon anyway?" Though I probably never properly explained it, since I had a hard time talking and puzzling.

Also, since the Jackson kids are now old enough to be excellent babysitters, Shawn and I got to have an adult night out with the Jacksons which involved dinner and a movie. We went to see HARRY POTTER AND THE DEATHLY HALLOWS (Part 1). I am now glad that we decided NOT to take Mason to this in the theatre. More under the cut... Read more... ). However, I enjoyed seeing the book come to life as usual. Though I think Mason will like having Part 2 to watch immediately after, since, at least, we know it ends pretty well.

It was still cool to go to the theatre. The last time Shawn and I were out to a movie, it was for Star Trek (the new one.)

The only other news I have is that while I was cut off from the interwebs, Tate's Ana #2 arrived all copyedited, which means I have to review that and get it back to the office by Dec. 6th. No more lying around playing video games for me, boy howdy.
lydamorehouse: (Default)
The day after your birthday is such a rip-off. I mean, yesterday, it was AWESOME that I was turning another year older. Now I'm just old.

But, one of the fun things we did to celebrate yesterday was go to HPB. Shawn and I often argue a bit about my book buying habits. Thing is, I have a tendency to want more books than I read. I know that we all do that to some extent, but, for me, some books that I buy NEVER get read. I've been trying to be better about only buying things that I'll actually read (and trying out books that I might not get into from the library.) But, Shawn will often remind me of this when I have a pile of books in my hand, and I end up very glummly putting them back. (*Especially* glum, because I know she's right.) At any rate, I got to get what I wanted for my birthday. I didn't end up buying any books, though. I bought a bunch of comic books.

In fact, I still had a list of comic books I should try to find in my pocket from a visit with another writers' group several weeks ago, and I managed to find a few. I picked up JMS's Thor (1-8) and Secret Warriors (Hickman) collection, and while I was thumbing through the comic books for other titles I almost lost my lunch because I saw an artist with the last name Braithwaite working for Marvel. I actually had to surrepticiously open up the mylar to see if this Braithwaite was my cousin, Laun. My cousin was the one who first introduced me to his (and his father's) comic book collection and the two of us used to draw and write our own comics ever since we were knee high to a grasshopper. Laun, in point of fact, drew in a more than passable Jack Kirby style and so it wasn't completely impossible that Laun could have gotten a gig as an illustrator/artist. He was also the sort (and probably still is, though we haven't spoken for decades) who could name a comic book's writer, artist, illustrator, and letterer. However, last I'd heard, Laun was busy being a dad and a rock star in LaCrosse. Alas, this Braithwaite was some dude named Doug Braithwaite, a Brit. But, man, what are the odds?

Today my big plans are to go home and take care of all the various animal needs. I have fish tanks to change, gerbils who need fresh bedding, and cats who could stand to have fresh litter (srsly!).

The glamorous life of a published author, I'm telling you!

And, I'm going to try to avoid reading too many Harry Potter Part 1 reviews. I seriously considered dragging my family to a midnight showing last night, but Mason is still awfully young for a film like that. It's a funny thing, but books are different. You can close them. You can take a breath and talk to people about how you feel about the scary or sad stuff as it happens. In a film, everything happens so fast. It looks SO real. It's so BIG. Mason has had trouble with this in the past, when he went to a double feature as part of a school field trip. At any rate, I didn't want to see the film without him, so Shawn and I have decided to wait until it comes out on DVD. I can hardly wait, though. Last night at Wyrdsmiths we talked a lot about our opinions of DEATHLY HALLOW, and... well, now I think I may have some fanfic to read. [livejournal.com profile] naomikritzer said that someone's done Neville Longbottom's year at Hogwarts and I think that might have made a more compelling first part of DEATHLY HALLOWS.

At any rate, I hope you all are well.

Finished!

Aug. 30th, 2010 09:35 am
lydamorehouse: (Default)
By this, I mean that Mason and I finished reading DEATHLY HALLOWS. As predicted (once again by [livejournal.com profile] naomikritzer) Neville Longbottom rocks my world. Though I don't think the image of him pulling the sword of Gryffindor from the Sorting Hat was quite as awesome for me because I was at least partly expecting it, thanks to the Wikipedia Death List which we had to keep close at hand. I can't imagine the shock for those of you who read it as it happened.

I wasn't prepared for Neville coming out of the portrait at the Hog's Head and his tale of the continued resistance of Dumbeldore's Army, which made me deeply, deeply happy. And absolutely everything about his grandmother from the letter she wrote on the run (and the fact that she herself sent a Deatheater to St. Mungo's) telling him to keep fighting and the fact that her response when she shows up at the battle of Hogwarts when told Neville is in the thick of the fight, "Naturally."

Though the two things that I wasn't expecting that made me choke up? Professor McGonagall transfiguring the desks into a make-shift army and the sound of her broken voice when she thought Harry was dead.

Awesome book.
lydamorehouse: (Default)
This morning I came in to an email from the fine folks that included me (or, rather, Tate,) in the anthology MANY BLOODY RETURNS. They were passin on the image of the cover art for the British edition of the book. It's not really much to look at, but it got me thinking. I haven't gone looking for my German editions of Tate's second, third, and fourth Garnet books. Well, I found them, and they're right cute. Check 'em out:



This one is what Dead Sexy became. I can't remember how it translates any more, but if you want a German edition of it, you can order it on Amazon's German site here. It came out in May of this year. Romancing the Dead, meanwhile, became Vampir Sein Ist Alles, which just came out (August):




...if you'd like to get that one, you can order it here: http://www.amazon.de/Vampir-sein-alles-Tate-Hallaway/dp/3802582861/

And, for the final German cover, here's Biss in Alle Ewigkeit aka Dead If I Do...



Again, if you're my folks (or anyone else who might like to obsessively collect my German editions), you can pre-order that one here: http://www.amazon.de/Biss-alle-Ewigkeit-Tate-Hallaway/dp/380258287X/. It comes out in November 2010.

In other news, I've been busy. I just answered a set of interview questions for a nonfiction book about vampire writers, and talked to a young student in Poland who is doing her masters (?) thesis on Archangel Protocol and, it seems, Marxism. Actually, I think the thesis has more to do with religion, but I did get asked a bit about how I felt about Marx's bit about religion as the "opiate of the masses." Also, I sent back a contract/agreement for the anthology MAKING WAVES which will include a reprint of my short story "Indigo Bunting." All proceeds for MAKING WAVES will go to a charity to aid victims (animal and human) of the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill. Also, I got the cover art for NORTHERN LIGHTS another anthology a story of mine will appear in. NORTHERN LIGHTS is a collection of Minnesota authors, and my original short story "Bright, Bright City Lights" will appear in that. "Bright, Bright City Lights" was my attempt to deal with the death of senator Wellstone through fiction... and magic. It's a very weird story for me because the bad guy is actually Bobby Sands, hero of the struggle for Irish freedom.

Meanwhile, Mason and I are trucking along through DEATHLY HALLOWS. We're on chapter 30, "The Sacking of Severus Snape." I cried like a fool when Dobby died, and I actually found him kind of annoying in the story. I have to give Ms. Rowlings credit. That woman can write grief (and particularly funerals.) Even Shawn, who has really only been following along in snippets and through the movies, shed big tears.

I find whenever we're reading a lot of Harry Potter, I devote a large part of my subconscious to the stories. Last night, once again, I dreamed I was Harry. This time I was chasing Voledmort through the London underground. There was one particularly memorable scene where Hermione and I were on one platform and Voledmort on the other (in my dreams, he was trying to dress as a Muggle, which, of course, the Dark Lord would never do. The image was particularly funny, too, because he still had red eyes and a snake-slit nose, and he'd just put on a stocking cap, ala Spock trying to hide his ears in some Old Trek episode.) Anyway, we were casting spells at each other across the trains. It was very weird, but kind of cool. I had three wands, and I kept trying to find a good one that would work against the Elder Wand. I woke up dodging the Avada Kedavra curse.

In an hour or so, I'm off to pick up Eleanor for our weekly writing get-together. I'm hoping to work on the synopsis for the 3rd vampire princess book, which I'm sad to say, I'm behind on... as in missed a deadline, which I almost never do. But I was hoping to hear from my editor about what she thought of #2, in case the ending needed to change. But I think, at this point, I should just go ahead.....
lydamorehouse: (Default)
Wow, the week disappeared again. What's up with that? It's summer vacation I blame. After all, most of the time Mason and I are far away from the internets and whatnot... so I'm effectively off the grid. Then it's suddenly Wednesday.

The big thing looming on my horizon is that we're planning a staycation at a local waterpark/hotel. Should be a blast.

The thing I need to work on today just came up. I came in to an email to my alter ego asking if I'd be interested in a feature spot in the on-line Romantic Times for ALMOST. Um, are there a lot of people out there who turn this kind of publicity down? Even though it requires me to write 800+ words about some of the themes in ALMOST which I dread -- (not the themes, but, as I posted on Facebook, I _hate_ writing nonfiction. I'm terrible at it) -- I can't imagine saying NO.

In other news, Mason and I finished reading HALF-BLOOD PRINCE yesterday, and then we watched the movie as a family. I cried like a dog when Dumbledore died. Actually, the moment I started weeping (in the book) was actually the funeral... oh, and when Harry straightens Dumbledore's glasses. In the movie, like cried the moment everyone lit their wands and the light obscured the Dark Mark. Talk about a lovely image that reflected Dumbledore's beliefs to the core.

Dutifully, we started DEATHLY HALLOWS, but I'm reluctant to go on, honestly. I know the book is a bloodbath, having printed out the death list from Wikipedia for Mason when he started the book. He may be an advanced reader, but he's still very young, and we've learned that forearmed with knowledge can make the startling horror and grief of fictionalized death easier for him to bear.

But for me, frankly, I don't think I can cope with the death of Hedwig. I know, of all of them. Listen, having only read the synopsis, her death seems the most "casuality of war" to me, and I can't cope with fictionalized death that has no meaning. If she got to pluck Voledmort's eyes from his skull before she died, that'd be one thing. But to take a hit meant for someone else... nope. Too heartbreaking. Too much like real life.

We're going to continue, of course, if for no other reason than I want to know Snape's story first hand. But I'm just not in a big hurry.
lydamorehouse: (Default)
One of my favorite scenes in Beatrix Potter is where Peter Rabbit has gotten his brass buttons caught on netting in the farmer's garden. He gives in to dispair and "shed big tears." But a flock of sparrows "flew to him in great excitment and implored him to exert himself."

This is the long way of saying that Mason is still in dance class. The solution was, in point of fact, snack. We have also consistantly showed up about ten minutes early so he can see us waiting as class is finishing up. So there are no more tears; in fact, yesterday, the community education volunteer told us that Mason had some good news to share about the "sassy walk." Apparently, they have a "sassy walk" contest, and Mason won.

Tomorrow he'll have his big performance. I can't wait to see it. Mason's dancing style is... erm, enthusiastic. But, he loves the idea of what he calls "cool moves" and he's been a huge fan of Rudolph Nerelyev ever since seeing him dance on the "Muppet Show."

Tomorrow Shawn and I will also be sitting down with the gifted specialist to talk to him about Mason's tendency towards underachievement. Mason is just not that into school. I wouldn't consider this too big a deal, but he confessed to us the other night that he spends time plotting how to get out of doing busy work at school -- by finding opportune times to go to the bathroom, etc. Having done similar things like this when I was young, I'm not freaked, but it just seems like something to touch base with the gifted specialist about. We're also including the homeroom teacher because Crossroads is a looping school, and she'll be his instructor next year as well.

In other news, I finally broke down and watched "Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's/Philosopher's Stone" Every time I read the book I bounced off it. I could tell you why, but then an army of Harry Potter fans would rise up and kill me. Mason, however, LOVES these books. He's been nomming through them like buttered popcorn. I want to be able to talk to him about them, but I just couldn't get into the first book. [livejournal.com profile] naomikritzer suggested renting the first movie and then picking up the second book. Well, we watched #1 last night.

Mason was sooooooooooooo cute. Because it follows the book so faithfully, he was nearly giddy at each new scene. "Oh, what is this, do you suppose?" he kept prompting us. Of course, Shawn and I had NO IDEA what was coming next, so we had a grand time as well.

Writing is going pretty well. As I think I've said, I've really been enjoying writing the second book in the teen vampire series. I've been letting myself revel in my few happy memories of high school, which involve theatre. The deadline still hangs over my head like the sword of Damocles, but, for the most part, I've been making my word count easily. (Knocking on wood, unjinxing anything I've just done by suggesting all is well!!)

I also picked up a bunch of comics at HalfPrice Books again, so perhaps on Monday I'll have gathered my thoughts on them. I finally decided to try a few "House of M" issues -- Alas I left my list at home, so I'll have to post that later.

Take care.

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