shaken & stirred

welcome to my martini glass


Feeling much better this afternoon, thank you. A day of rest helped immensely and almost de-scratched throat.

We are off to Nashville in about an hour, and upon our return I will report back about the size of Mira Sorvino's head--larger than normal, smaller? It's hard to say without having seen it firsthand.

Started Kalpa Imperial at the laundromat and it is fabulous and wonderful and I don't know why I'm saying this like you don't all know it or expect it to be so, but. It is really lovely and you should start reading it immediately. Unless, of course, you're reading Trampoline. You can finish that first. Or, um, Say... what time is it?

But that's it. After those, you have to read Kalpa Imperial, all right? And if you for some reason, like you live under a rock where good taste doesn't shine, you do not have a copy, then proceed directly to and order one. There.

And now, I think I can steal thirty minutes to work on the YA book, which proceeds apace (I always wanted to say that, proceeds apace). Keep your fingers crossed that these particular Hollywood people are smarter and better able to instantly recognize genius than the rest.

Smooch. Have good weekends.


For an hour or so there this morning, I felt a lot better. Then, I went to work and began to feel steadily worse. Came home. Collapsed in bed. Read Midori Snyder's "Hannah's Garden," then slept coma-like for several hours. Christopher called mid-afternoon to say he felt rotten too.

I picked him up and we proceeded to layabout and feel miserable but not like dying souls on the couch all evening. We watched Breaking Away, which we'd netflixed because it's sort of a classic midwest bicycling movie, if there is such a thing. I was astounded by how good it really is. Seriously, great lines, an interestingly structured plot, a young tangental Dennis Quaid with the kind of body that can pull off short, tight denim cut-offs and some truly quirky stuff. Recommended.

Then I watched enough of Sunset Boulevard to put Christopher to sleep, but he'd never seen it, so I stopped and put on some second season Buffy. Good tv. Now sleep.

And then, tomorrow I'm sure I will still feel crap but will head off to Nashville for the weekend for a screenwriter's conference anyway because that's the kind of girl I am. Plus, last time I went I was able to crash a private concert with Guy Clark and Steve Earle at a llama farm owned by the Browns. (My advice: if a giant cushy tour bus such as rock stars might use ever pulls up to a curb and the doors are open, just get on, think about whether you were allowed to later.)

Good times. Night now.


Hallo. We're home. We had teensy little colds and hoarse throats for a couple of days there, but tonight they've eased off. (Thank you, Kelly and Gavin, who we blame.)

Wiscon was the mostest fun, and that's about all that can be said about a convention where there's no bad drama and the worst thing that happens is you don't have time to talk to everyone at the length you'd want to. There are pictures, mostly of Kessel in tiara, on the digital camera, but those will have to wait at least another day.

Now, just catching up on this's and that's. Today I spent a good thirty minutes at the post office, mailing out contributor copies of Say... to those not at Wiscon, and review and subscriber copies to the four corners of the world. Order soon. We'll be in reprint land before you know it.

More to come, and regular updates will resume once the first draft of The Girl Gang is complete, which I project will be very soon.


Good morning. Of course, it would be a better morning if the hot water was working and I wasn't going to have to go shower at the Y (it's less than a block, anyway). But, the house is clean so it won't be depressingly messy and sad when we get home, and the car is mostly packed up. The magazines should be arriving at Christopher's work soon (fingers crossed, three times over). I've picked out forty of the finest CDs from our collection, taken out two essay-type audio books just in case, and am getting ready to pack up the computers. Because there very likely will be nothing here for a few days (big change from recent history, you are thinking), I'm going to post some links to interesting stuff from yesterday's news.

Probably my biggest laugh of yesterday was from the Washington Post's soft focus profile of Tom Ridge. Just in case you don't make it through the whole thing, from a section talking about his wife and their home safe room (okay, if the Homeland Security Director has a safe room, we're all totally screwed--wouldn't he be WORKING?!):

"Michele thinks of everything," Tom says. "You know, you can use the dental
floss to tie things after you run out of duct tape."

But seriously: "If you get the waxy kind of floss it's real tough," says
Michele. "You can use it to tie things with. You can sew with it if you want
to." (She once used dental floss to remove the umbilical cord from a newborn
puppy, but this is off-message.)

Also in yesterday's Washington Post, a fascinating article on the New Sweden arsenic poisoning. And, this guy is an idiot, and unfortunately also a judge.

And now, off to do the rest of the Things That Must Be Done. Hang a gone fishin' sign on the door when you're done.


So, Ari the Flea is done toasted and going into retirement. It is beautiful to read all the stories detailing the many moments in contest for the antithesis of Good At Your Job. I have to say that the Washington Post needs to stop with the praising. The man is a liar. So what if he had to bend over backwards and crabwalk his way through every press briefing? That's the price you pay, and yes, even crabs can be graceful. But not that one.

I hope Helen Thomas throws one hell of a party, or none at all. But really, it won't feel right until the whole thing changes, not just the spokesperson. But that's politics and it may be after dinner, but my momma told me never to talk about...

Well, actually she didn't.

So, delay at the printer, but we've been assured we will either receive this issue of Say... on Friday morning (latest) or it'll be at the hotel when we get there. The jury's out on which one. They say it looks fabulous though.

And we're going to give away the world's best baklava from the Oasis restaurant to the first 50 folks that buy copies. We bought a big cooler and everything. Yummmmm....

See lots of you soon. Wish I was seeing all of you soon.


Let's turn the lights down low...

Requiem for Buffy

It was good, it was right, it worked. If you don't think so, I'm sorry. For me, it did. I cried, and then kept myself from crying more, though that's generally my anti-policy. (I will cry at just about anything that makes me feel like it, which I think ties into a revelation when I was 13 years old that it really wasn't worth it to care about what "people" larger, generic, thought about me; only the ones that mattered. And yes, I still feel that way. It's a lot easier to cry when you need to if you do.) But it was the right time, and I was so glad that Joss Whedon wrote the final episode and you know what?

I don't feel the least bit silly for weeping in fits and starts. I wouldn't if it were a book, I could name quite a few, and if I'm really going to be honest Buffy has been as profound and an as enjoyed influence on me as just about anything else I could name. And again, I don't feel one bit unbiased. So we're going to be maudlin here tonight. I've done my words for the YA already and I feel like reliving, so here we are.

I missed out on Buffy. I've taken a lot of flack actually, from many different people who I actually probably kept from seeing Buffy early on (oh well; I think I've balanced out with converts by now). You see, me and my friend Lorraine, we were Xena friends. And, most importantly, where I lived we were WB-less. So, it's not like I probably wouldn't have given in and become a Buffy devotee if I'd watched it a few times, because I'm sure I would've. It's that watching it wasn't feasible and so we reacted in a Buffy Versus Xena fashion, as so much was back then. "Xena would kick Buffy's ass," being the reasoning to wave off the show. (Which is a lot better than some critics' reasons for waving it off.) I now, of course, realize that was insane and Buffy would kick Xena and Gabriel and Sam Raimi's little brother's asses without breaking a sweat.

So. I was season four, when I really started to watch. I caught the "tricking Faith into showing her dark side" ep of season three at my folks, but it wasn't until I moved to Lexington and bought a fancy receiver (off that one episode's strength) that would enable me to pick up the local UPN affiliate, which broadcast Buffy, albeit at different times than normal. And I would rush home from my job to catch it at 7 on Wednesdays. As we know, that's not even NEAR the best season, but it was enough.

From there, boxed sets ordered from Britain and converted from PAL to VHS, because tapes of old episodes were woefully unavailable then.

And I've never regretted becoming such a follower of the show, not really. And I'm not embarrassed about it a bit. It was an excellent story, and sometimes it worked and sometimes it spectacularly did not (especially this last season) but it was larger than that. I know if I had to stretch a concept over seven years, I'd misstep some too. But go back, think about your favorites, think about the undeniably best episodes (some of which managed to do things that had never been done on TV). That's why I cried tonight. And that's why I'm not going to pick apart the last episode.

I'm sure I'll think twice about being hopelessly maudlin, but I expect not to take one bit of flack for it. Because on this issue, as I learned in eighth grade, the only thing that matters is how I feel about it.



Today was my nephews' birthday party (no they're not twins, they were sharing), so there was swimming and we timed it just right so we were only there for the very end. Most of the other kids were gone, the pool was empty except for us and them and shark toys and the Batman and Robin toys we'd brought them. (Figuring that everyone else would go Marvel, we went DC, and of course were right.) Very fun.

Then home and a nap to wash away the tired this week brought on. Watched Election because Christopher'd never seen it (and if you haven't, you should). Now I'm getting ready to do my YA pages for today, as I've gotten into the odd habit of writing later in the day, before bedtime. It's strange but it's working, so I'm not going to mess with it until it stops.

Caitlin Cary was great fun; lots of air fiddle and the band seemed to genuinely enjoy playing. Kathleen Edwards was good too, though her band seemed kind of packaged and she was very "bad girl," dissing the folk show that tapes up the street (and which she has been on twice) as she came out with a great oneliner. "Some of you may have seen me at the Fucking Folk Hour at the theater up the street--well, this isn't the Fucking Folk Hour." She then went on to recognize the irony of A Mighty Wind currently screening in the same theater where they tape Woodsongs. Teehee.

(Yes, we go sometimes, but the guy that runs it is so annoyingly "folksy.")

Good show, good venue. Hilarity provided by the antics of some drunken redneck boy at the table next to us who inappropriate raised his fist for White Trash Power during slow songs and screamed repeatedly things like, "You're the best!", "Wild Child!", "I love youuuuuu!" or just good ole "Whooooo!" He was animated by a spirit of inappropriateness almost indescrible. This is the guy you want at the table next to you for added entertainment value. And I came home at 1 a.m. and did my words like a good little girl. I broke 100 pages--something I have only done on screenplays, which have far less words to a page. It felt weird. I'm about half-way done. That feels weird too.


I wish I could say this was going to be an interesting entry. Loong week of the way-too-much and not-enough-sleep-or-rest-or-thinking variety. Some damn good lamb kabob sandwiches along the way though. Tonight, we go down to the new club, The Dame, and see Caitlin Cary (formerly of Whiskeytown, now sane) and Kathleen Edwards. Should be a great show.

Before we do that I have to clear the cobwebs and shake off this headache so I can do at least a few hundred words on the YA. I plan to really catch up tomorrow and Sunday for the slight slacking that has occurred forcibly this week. Still having fun, eyes not bleeding or anything, which is always good.

I hope you all had good weeks. And see good movies this weekend. We'll be trying to.

And yayayay! did I mention how good the proof of the magazine looks? Yippee!

And some of you will see it next week, exactly, a few hours from this time of day. And that really is cause for celebration.


Barb wins a million dollars, yay! Oh wait, scratch that. I don't have a milliion dollars. Barb will win TBA Jenna-appropriate prizes. Yay!

Big shocker, and y'know, Jenna seemed to get with the program more toward the end, so I can't even really complain. Good show. I love how catty Probst is. And I'm sorry, but I think someone falsified Heidi's I.Q. scores. That or the other players had _really_ low ones, or she's just an evil bitch.

Another Survivor, gone. Now we can all return to our normal lives.

# #

Say is going to look killer awesome.

# #

Personal Velocity is the kind of movie that's not a movie. So, why make it? Plus, it's got that life sucks and is depressing flavor so many indie movies seem to have... Do. Not. Rent.


Today, the tax check came. One of them anyway, yay! Trying to remind myself that this is my own money and not free government money. But that's a pretty fine distinction, perhaps too fine to make when it shows up in the mailbox.

Which was good, because I was feeling a little guilty about having a just generally girly and rewarding day, wherein I had a pedicure. Bright purple toes rock.

Christopher is reading his InDesign (sp?) book behind me and muttering strange terms like "marginal" this or that and then, "Aha!"

Also, read a fascinating if not brilliantly written piece in one of the small local magazines about the most famous madame who ever lived in Lexington, who is actually one of the most famous madames in American history. This is probably mostly because the Madame in Gone With the Wind is based on her (and they even share the same first name). And it turns out Belle Brezing is just as interesting as you'd want her to be. Story ideas dancing in my head. The article is here, and there are lots of cool pictures. So, go read it or something. Who doesn't love a juicy madame story?
Um, amusing typo in that entry. I'm NOW projecting, tentatively oh so tentatively, that the YA book will finish up in the 45,000 word neighborhood. Not not projecting it. Brought to you by the Council of Freudian Slips.
So, yes, I've been extremely lazy about making little entries here, but beyond busy in all other ways.

I am out of the Survivor pool and I'm happy about it. Proof that the buoyancy of fake breasts can not actually float you over the finish line, Heidi has gone. (Kind of sad I didn't do a double pick so someone would have Butch the Wood Nut, as he's suddenly become entertaining; could it be because the Believe banner burned?) And on Sunday night we'll see who wins. I know I said I was going to announce the prizes, but I believe I will wait. The prizes shall be reflective of who wins, which is more fun.

This week really was a Week From Hell, but I managed to stay on track with the YA book, which I'm not tentatively projecting will be in the neighborhood of 45,000 words when it's complete. It's going well, so well I don't want to talk about it or jinx it. The plot's getting ready to become very hairy, but it keeps revealing itself in satisfying ways so that's okay.

Today, we're designing the magazine. And when I say that, I mean that Christopher is designing the magazine with the beautiful ooh lala cover art by Mark Rich and later I will do proofreading. The rest of my day will be spent doing other things. Suitably lazy things (except for today's words). I feel I deserve a mini-break. I have rented Personal Velocity, and also New Waterford Girl which was sadly in need of a rewrite and made me bored and sleepy last night. Maybe I'll finish watching it today, maybe not.

Also catching up on reading I need to do for people, woefully overdue reading. And on and on until you are completely bored. Last night we had more delicious Mediterranean garlic yum food than you can shake a stick at and it was super cheap. We just had more for lunch. New favorite restaurant? Perhaps. All I have to say is the finger baklava is the best I've ever had and it's so dainty and light.

Guess that last paragraph means we have to go to the gym today after all.


Survivor Pool Team Members Unite! Form of: snake! Form of: sneaky monkey!


Okay, so the Survivor Pool breaks down as follows.

Kelly has Matthew, because he'd pick himself. (Good point.)

Susan has Rob.

Christopher (who has no website) has Matthew and Rob at second, but we don't give prizes for second around here, boy.

Barb has Jenna, because she's sneaky enough, deluded enough and gosh darn it, the jury likes her.

Richard has Matthew, because he's crazy enough, naive enough and gosh darn it loves his mom. Plus, insider info from Barb...

And finally, my pick. I feel I must pick someone who hasn't been grabbed before, and since I'm unable to say that anyone who brings a banner that says "Believe in yourself" as a luxury item is a winner, I suppose that means I have to go with Bubble Breasts, Miss "Oh my, of course they're real... Just like my friendship with Jenna is real" Herself, Heidi.

People may join the pool up to Thursday, but after that, it's set in stone. And I'll come up with prizes and announce them by then as well. Yay!


We went for dinner at a local Mexican place which is fab and cheap and used to be a McDonald's long, long ago. They were having an all-out Cinco de Mayo fiesta, and the food was as delicious as usual, with the beer being cheaper than usual. Of course, I will not go into the fact that this dinner completely negates any benefit of our weekly session with Drew the Pleasant Punisher, but, life's short and you have to fiesta every once and a while.

So, we're leaving, and this strange middle-aged guy in a business suit comes in with a sedate and pretty woman of the same approximate age. He's wearing a giant sombrero. He begins overenunciating. It was very strange. The only explanation we could come up with is that he's the insane son of some rich family and the woman is his minder. I also like to think he's only ever allowed out on Cinco de Mayo and so has a heightened sense of the appropriate. I may also add here, that neither of them seemed to be having an especially good time.

Oh, lolligaggers, enter the Survivor Pool. C'mon. The prize is going to at least equal the prizes of the ... Oscar Party of yore--yes, that's right, it will be at least as awesome as the Dirk Benedict autobiography. How can you resist? Do not be ashamed. Entertainment Weekly has verdicted this as the best Survivor ever.

And I will not talk about anything else until at least one more person joins. So there.


Well, almost, nothing else. A weekend of laundry and X-2 (it's good, great set pieces and action sequences) and managing to keep up with the YA dare by the skin of my guilt-ridden teeth at the end of the very-long days. But it's going well.

Traipsing along the woods and not keeling over was nice. (Thank you, Drew the Pleasant Punisher.)

And I believe that the writing soundtrack for the YA has emerged--vintage Lemonheads (and perhaps the new Evan Dando, if I can find it) and the New Pornographers CD, which unfortunately isn't out until Tuesday. (They've been playing lots and lots of it on our local radio station. Good stuff.) So, that's always nice to sort out.

But really, nothing more interesting than this (which is to say, not interesting at all) until someone else enters the Survivor pool.


So, Shaken and Stirred is going to have a little Survivor pool, for the fine readers of this blog who watch the show. (I know who you are, and so do you.) Don't make me call you out.

You call your projected winner in the Shout-Outs to this post.


If the sounds coming from next door are any indication, the verdict seems to be that the best music to renovate to is late '80s rock. Just so you know.

I had two articles to put up here, but now I'm no longer interested enough to post them. Hmmm... News goes stale. Film at 11.

Undercover Brother was fun in a goofy way, and smarter than I expected. In other words, it's not made of moments, but it has a few of them.

White Oleander is exactly what you'd expect, which isn't a barrel of laughs, but some fine acting and writing. Really, it's worth it for the luminous, heartbreaking-at-times performance of Alison Lohman, and for Michelle Pfeiffer doing tough.

It was an odd doublebill to say the least.

And now off to bed to dream of poisonous plants and The Man.


Well, the big news of today is the YA Novel Dare of May has begun. Yay! I find it completely sensible to do this, because I really do have a story I want to tell that I need to get to the telling of, that happens to be a YA novel and also because I usually start a new script immediately after finishing one and then stall out and have to leave it for two months while I sort it out in my head and then go back to it. I'm hoping I can outline the next script while I'm writing the YA. We'll see.

I made my 1,000 word quota today. Greg van Eekhout and Heather Shaw are the other participants, so far, and Greg made a quick topic for us to post our word counts and such in so we shall see what happens. I'm pretty psyched to be back in this headspace, where my story plays out, so it should be fun at the least.

We also went to dinner with Greg Bear who is a lovely and fascinating person to talk to and was an extremely pleasant dinner companion. As were the ever-popular Joe and Melendra and Judy Moffit, a SF writer Joe recently found out lived nearby.

George the Dog would really rather we forgo the dinners and just stay home, but he's just like that.

There's a wonderful piece on dragons in the New York Times (and Quammen is writing a new book, yay!), but I don't have the URL handy. A quick search there for dragons should turn it up.