erynn: Gaelic merman image (red knot)
The Trinity College Library has made a digital version of The Book of Kells available for viewing. Have fun!
erynn: Gaelic merman image (praise manannan)
Today's task was heading over for a visit with [livejournal.com profile] aion131. I'd purchased a piece from him at the EBC, but he was having a show at Gargoyles later that month, so I told him I would pick things up later. I haven't been able to arrange to meet him until this afternoon.

I went over about 3:30 or so and hung out for a couple of hours. R also came home while I was there, and we had a little chicken soup and some great conversation. We talked about writing and upcoming festivals and cons and such, and about his ceramics work. Now that I have the pieces from him, I'll be rearranging the Manannán altar, but that'll take a little planning first.

Tomorrow I'll probably be over at AFK in the evening, seeing if any of the steampunks will be there.

Life. I need to actually do some grocery shopping and stuff. And pay invoices for a couple of book orders. And update one of my pages.
erynn: Gaelic merman image (Breakin' Ur Geasa)
Four photos of the mural depicting Cú Chulainn in the Táin Bó Cualigne from Setanta Center in Dublin.

Dublin: Táin mural 1, From Setanta Center, Dublin

Dublin: Táin mural 2, From Setanta Center, Dublin

Dublin: Táin mural 3, From Setanta Center, Dublin

Dublin: Táin mural 4, Mural from Setanta Center, Dublin
erynn: Gaelic merman image (Breakin' Ur Geasa)
Four photos of the mural depicting Cú Chulainn in the Táin Bó Cualigne from Setanta Center in Dublin.

Dublin: Táin mural 1, From Setanta Center, Dublin

Dublin: Táin mural 2, From Setanta Center, Dublin

Dublin: Táin mural 3, From Setanta Center, Dublin

Dublin: Táin mural 4, Mural from Setanta Center, Dublin
erynn: Gaelic merman image (Mercurius from Harmonia Macrocosmica)
We spent so much time at Prague Castle (the "short" tour of only four of the locations) that we didn't get to the alchemy museum today. It won't happen because we just don't have enough time in town, but I can't in the least even imply that I missed anything by missing it, because I could have spent hours more at the castle. My feet hurt like crazy, but it was so very worth it. I took a ton of photos and hope that some of them come out. The lighting in places was at angles that made it nearly impossible to get a proper shot of some things that I wanted. I do think I got some really good gargoyle photos from the outside of St Vitus's Cathedral.

We bought a ticket for the Old Royal Palace (couldn't take photos inside because we didn't realize we needed to pay another 50 Ckr for the privilege), St George's Bascilica, St Vitus's Cathedral, and Golden Lane (where Kafka once lived). My dear but somewhat jaded sib was pretty impressed by St Vitus's. I was just plain overwhelmed. There was so much there that it would be impossible to actually see everything in less than a week, if one has a sense of art in even one cell in their body.

For a bit it looked like it might rain, but it simply stayed overcast for a while. It was hot and stuffy inside the Old Royal Palace, but there wasn't much ventilation. The other areas were all much more moderate. We came in through the gardens at the Royal Summer Palace, which was being restored, and walked along the garden above the Orangery, entering via the bridge over the moat. This isn't one you can actually see water in - it's a ravine that probably had water in it at one point but now is apparently largely public gardens. The entry led us into a huge courtyard, but we stopped immediately to buy tickets for the short tour. Four of the seven sites you have to pay to enter are on that ticket.

A lot of the buildings were in various states of restoration, both inside and out, but it was all just incredible to see. Everything from the medieval to the modern could be found there. The cathedral has a glass window painted by Mucha amid the huge collection of stained glass. St George's Bascilica feels a lot older and more simple inside (I haven't looked at dates and all), but is still quite impressive in its own way. I'm finding myself at a loss for words to describe all this and only hope that my photos will do it some small justice.

By the time we got out of there, it was about 4:30pm, and we weren't sure of the actual location of the alchemy museum (insufficient research had been done the night before) and figured by the time we found it (assuming we could with minimal information and lack of net access) it would likely be closed anyway. And besides, my feet hurt way too much to walk very much further.

This morning, we got a lovely start. The sib met us here and we had breakfast at the Cukarna Alchymista, a little cafe down the street from [livejournal.com profile] tdancinghands's place. They have the most spiffy tea and coffee cups ever, and I've bought a lovely cup and saucer from them, while the sib got two little espresso cups with their saucers. I'll have photos of the one I got sometime soon. The cafe had its own little central courtyard garden and came equipped with a black cat strolling about; he probably owned the place.

Plans have been made for tomorrow. I'm too tired to really write more right now. Not only did I have an immensely long day on my feet, but I woke up this morning at 4:30am and was completely unable to get back to sleep. I'm hoping I'll sleep okay tonight. Tomorrow we'll be out of here at about 10am for Kutna Hora, a small town outside of Prague famous for its silver mine and its alchemical connections.
erynn: Gaelic merman image (Mercurius from Harmonia Macrocosmica)
We spent so much time at Prague Castle (the "short" tour of only four of the locations) that we didn't get to the alchemy museum today. It won't happen because we just don't have enough time in town, but I can't in the least even imply that I missed anything by missing it, because I could have spent hours more at the castle. My feet hurt like crazy, but it was so very worth it. I took a ton of photos and hope that some of them come out. The lighting in places was at angles that made it nearly impossible to get a proper shot of some things that I wanted. I do think I got some really good gargoyle photos from the outside of St Vitus's Cathedral.

We bought a ticket for the Old Royal Palace (couldn't take photos inside because we didn't realize we needed to pay another 50 Ckr for the privilege), St George's Bascilica, St Vitus's Cathedral, and Golden Lane (where Kafka once lived). My dear but somewhat jaded sib was pretty impressed by St Vitus's. I was just plain overwhelmed. There was so much there that it would be impossible to actually see everything in less than a week, if one has a sense of art in even one cell in their body.

For a bit it looked like it might rain, but it simply stayed overcast for a while. It was hot and stuffy inside the Old Royal Palace, but there wasn't much ventilation. The other areas were all much more moderate. We came in through the gardens at the Royal Summer Palace, which was being restored, and walked along the garden above the Orangery, entering via the bridge over the moat. This isn't one you can actually see water in - it's a ravine that probably had water in it at one point but now is apparently largely public gardens. The entry led us into a huge courtyard, but we stopped immediately to buy tickets for the short tour. Four of the seven sites you have to pay to enter are on that ticket.

A lot of the buildings were in various states of restoration, both inside and out, but it was all just incredible to see. Everything from the medieval to the modern could be found there. The cathedral has a glass window painted by Mucha amid the huge collection of stained glass. St George's Bascilica feels a lot older and more simple inside (I haven't looked at dates and all), but is still quite impressive in its own way. I'm finding myself at a loss for words to describe all this and only hope that my photos will do it some small justice.

By the time we got out of there, it was about 4:30pm, and we weren't sure of the actual location of the alchemy museum (insufficient research had been done the night before) and figured by the time we found it (assuming we could with minimal information and lack of net access) it would likely be closed anyway. And besides, my feet hurt way too much to walk very much further.

This morning, we got a lovely start. The sib met us here and we had breakfast at the Cukarna Alchymista, a little cafe down the street from [livejournal.com profile] tdancinghands's place. They have the most spiffy tea and coffee cups ever, and I've bought a lovely cup and saucer from them, while the sib got two little espresso cups with their saucers. I'll have photos of the one I got sometime soon. The cafe had its own little central courtyard garden and came equipped with a black cat strolling about; he probably owned the place.

Plans have been made for tomorrow. I'm too tired to really write more right now. Not only did I have an immensely long day on my feet, but I woke up this morning at 4:30am and was completely unable to get back to sleep. I'm hoping I'll sleep okay tonight. Tomorrow we'll be out of here at about 10am for Kutna Hora, a small town outside of Prague famous for its silver mine and its alchemical connections.
erynn: Gaelic merman image (ow. Robertson Davies)
It was another gloriously sunny day today, in the high 60s, and I went for a walk around the lake again. I forgot to put the knee brace on first, so I was kind of creaky when I got back (hip as well as knee), but it was a good walk. I stopped for a minute to take a couple of photos of some Canada geese and their goslings on the lake as I was on my way through the park.

Photobucket

When I got back, I wrote up a brief author interview for someone's blog. I'll post a link here if/when he posts it. The interview was about writing and publishing, so a little different than the usual Pagan stuff though, of course, Pagan stuff got mentioned because it's what I write about. He's also interested in disability issues, as he has Spina Bifida and has been in a wheelchair since he was 5, so I also talked a fair bit about the whole geilt and PTSD connection as well, and the challenges of writing with fibromyalgia, chronic pain issues, and migraines.

Today's online Isle of Man trip research netted me a web cafe with wireless access in downtown Douglas, on Victoria Street, open from 9am to 6pm, about 4 miles from the campsite I'll be staying at (and not far at all from the ferry terminal), so I should be able to be online for at least a brief update most days. I've also located Keeil Vreeshey, which is the ruin of a St. Brigid chapel, so I'll be doing my best to get out there while I'm running around. I'm thinking that renting a car for a day or two might be a really good idea so that I can get to some of the more outlying areas easily. My google-fu, let me show you it!

Last night's roast duck is currently being turned into broth for lentil soup for tomorrow. I'll be taking the bones out shortly and stripping the remaining meat from them. I walked down to the Safeway to pick up leeks and some other supplies for the soup and whatnot. I did have some veggies, but not the right sort of thing for lentil soup. I did wear the knee brace for that walk, and it helped a bit, but I had to take it off after I'd been sitting for a while when I got home. I was too tired to do much for dinner, so I made some thick hunks of toast with the kalamata olive bread I have, topped it with some goat cheese, then covered it with gravy I made from last night's roast duck. It was fabulously delicious, and I still have gravy left over, so I can do something like that tomorrow, as well!

Shiuwen from Floating Leaves sent out an email saying that from now until Saturday all the tea is 20% off, as she's clearing the decks for her trip to Taiwan in May to bring home the spring season teas, so I'm going to have to head over there and pick up some of her House Black, if she still has any in stock. I haven't been over in some months and have been out for a while. I've been drinking tea bags of English Breakfast and Irish Breakfast instead of the good stuff. ;)

I talked to Teo Bishop today on Twitter about his blog post and said I was planning on doing a response to it. He was pretty excited by that and was looking forward to seeing what I had to say, and he told me he'd link people over to my post when I have it up over on Searching for Imbas, so that'll be nice.

I did a small crafts/repair project today as well, having nothing at all to do with either the pilgrimage or writing. I have an old eyeglasses case that my glasses came with back in the 90s. It's metal and the little plastic padded case inside started coming loose. The faux leather outside wore off several years back and it has been just some slippery fabric that was rather difficult to open. I'd dealt with that temporarily by putting some duct tape in the places where I'd grasp it to open it. It was not the best solution, but it was what I could do without really thinking about it. Today I took a hot glue gun to the interior so that the part that's come loose is affixed once again, then I took an old, worn out Tibetan prayer flag and glued that to the outside. The fabric is rough enough to offer a good grip, and decorative enough to be pleasant to look at. There are a couple of photos of the finished project behind the cut here.

Two photos ahead! )
erynn: Gaelic merman image (Schroedinger kills you maybe)
Today was my group day at the VA. I left at the usual time and saw on one of the reader boards above I5 that there was a major accident on the highway through downtown Seattle. It advised taking 405 to bypass the area but, sadly, I was in the far left lane, and the reader board is right on top of the 405 exit, so there was no way to actually take its advice. Traffic was okay until we got to the 71st/65th St exit, where it came to a near standstill. Things crawled along for a very very long time and I finally got off the freeway on the left side exit for the 520 bridge, where I could take the one exit before the bridge out to the Montlake Cut. This ran me up over Capitol Hill and I got myself down onto the bypass to I90 and I5 south toward the Columbian Way/West Seattle Bridge exit. It was still snarled and miserable, and I could see that a semi and at least one car had been involved in something very messy right at the I90 ramp. The cops and semi trucks backing up to put them onto the bypass.

It took me 2 hours to make what is usually about a 45 minute trip, and that was taking the roundabout way that should have got me past most of it. I hesitate to think how long it would have taken if I'd stayed on I5. I probably should have just gone up MLK and around the back way entirely, but I was sure the road would have been clear by the time I got to the I90 ramp.

I made it in to my group five minutes before the group ended, but at least I got marked as present, so I'll be compensated for the travel funds next week when I go in.

On the way home tonight, I drove past a car with its engine on fire just north of the 164th exit. There were two other cars stopped to help, so I didn't bother -- I do carry a fire extinguisher in my trunk. It's the first time I've ever actually seen a car on fire outside of a movie. Very weird experience.

Anyway, it was a really awful day for driving. I'm glad I got to Seattle and back safely.

Last week at the queer Pagan meetup, [livejournal.com profile] circularruins gave me a postcard for The Occultural Film Series: Magick in Cinema With Brian Butler. That was this evening at 7pm at the Northwest Film Forum on 12th. I spent a little time at Travelers after I got out of the VA, then wandered up to catch the series with him. The series was sponsored in part by the Esoteric Book Conference. I was rather looking forward to seeing some of this, as I'd seen parts of one of the films this past year at the Conference as part of a documentary on Cameron; the film excerpted was called Wormwood Star. I'd been intrigued enough by the excerpts to want to see the whole thing (10 minutes).

The program was three films by Brian Butler, Death Posture, Night of Pan, and Union of Opposites, Curtis Harrington's previously mentioned Wormwood Star, Mirror Animations by Harry Smith, Kenneth Anger's Brush of Baphomet, and the 1968 The Invasion of the Thunderbolt Pagoda by Ira Cohen.

Of the first three, I thought Night of Pan (7 minutes) was probably the most interesting, though some of it struck me as more unintentionally humorous than anything. There were some interesting visuals, fascinating props, and some really amazing and striking makeup on a couple of the actors, but I was left with the impression that part of the impetus for these three films was boobies. Part of Night of Pan was shot on location at Boleskine House at Loch Ness in Scotland, which had been a residence of Aleister Crowley for a while.

Of the other films, I think Wormwood Star appealed to me the most, giving us a look at Cameron's artwork, almost all of which she burned after its magical purpose had been served. Part of the soundtrack of the film is her reading from her poetry.

Harry Smith's Mirror Animations (10 mins) was interesting but amusing in a rather Terry Gilliam kind of way. Given that it was produced in 1979, I'm not sure this was unintentional. It's entirely possible that Gilliam's work on Monty Python's Flying Circus might have been an influence. It was saturated with qabalistic imagery and hands in different Buddhist mudras. I found it fascinating and relatively enjoyable.

Brush of Baphomet was interesting really only because of its subject being an exhibition of Aleister Crowley's paintings from the Palais de Tokyo in Paris. These paintings had apparently been undiscovered in a private collection until very recently. The focus of the film dwelt on the intense colors and textures of the paintings. The 4 minute film was produced in 2008.

The longest of the films, and the final one of the evening, was The Invasion of the Thunderbolt Pagoda. Some of its imagery was interesting, but a lot of it was wildly experimental and seemed more intended to replicate the effects of a bad acid trip. I found the soundtrack particularly grating, out of an entire series of films with bad soundtracks designed to encourage migraines. Some of the costuming was quite interesting, and apparently parts of the film were done with heavy use of mylar for reflective surfaces. It was very kaleidoscopic, and I was fairly certain that something like mylar was being used, as the reflections were too fluid in motion to be foil. Technically speaking, some of it was really interesting, but mostly it just seemed overly chaotic to me. I don't mind surrealist stuff, but I prefer it not be tracked with loud, screechy noise.

All the films had a fairly surrealist feel to them. Almost all the soundtracks were discordant and irritating to my ears. Brian Butler was, himself, on hand for the screening and did a short Q&A afterwards, where he talked a little about the films, and about the process of making his own. His process seemed rather haphazard, in that he intended things to go in one direction and found himself ending up somewhere entirely else.

The film program descriptions are as follows:

Death Posture (4 mins, 2011) Originally inspired by the Hanged Man card in the Tarot, this film explores the parallels of death and contact with alien intelligence in an abstract manner.

Night of Pan (7 mins, 2009) This film illustrates a specific spiritual experience. A magician encounters the void that separates the human mind from divine consciousness and in turn faces the mad god. Shot on location in Los Angeles and Loch Ness, Scotland.

Union of Opposites (14 mins, 2012) A personal journey through the unconscious. Shot in January 2012 on location in Malibu.

Wormwood Star (Curtis Harrington, 10 mins, 1955) Curtis Harrington's portrait of Cameron, the widow of JPL scientist and magician Jack Parsons. A rare documentation of Cameron's artwork, most of which was later destroyed.

Mirror Animations (Harry Smith, 10 mins, 1979) "You shouldn't be looking at this as a continuity. Film Frames are hieroglyphs, even when they look like actuality. You should think of the individual frame, always, as a glyph, then you'll understand what cinema is about." - Harry Smith

Brush of Baphomet (Kenneth Anger, 4 mins, 2008) A short film documenting the paintings of Aleister Crowley at the Palais de Tokyo exhibition in Paris.

The Invasion of the Thunderbolt Pagoda (Ira Cohen, 22 mins, 1968) Intensely psychedelic film shot in Ira Cohen's famous studio with Mylar walls. "It's like going on an ecstatic journey to another planet, full of magical beings, animals, and plants." - Ira Cohen

After the program, [livejournal.com profile] circularruins and I went over to the Odd Fellows restaurant, situated in an old Odd Fellows Lodge building. The food there is good and the atmosphere loud and bustling but quite convivial. We had a good conversation about divination methods, app development, the films, and the suggested potential for a second series of short films specifically focused on women in magic, brought up by the woman who hosted the program.
erynn: Gaelic merman image (Northwest forest)
This afternoon [livejournal.com profile] gra_is_stor and I walked over to the park and sat in the shade under the trees for a while. It was breezier there than it was along the walk there, but I read a bit in the book I'd picked up on Austin Osman Spare at the Esoteric Book Conference as we hung out. There were frisbee golf players over on the other side of the access road who weren't having a very good time of it, at least in part because of the wind.

I found a passage in the editor's introduction to the two Spare works that describes something of the visionary aspect of being an artist, and I think it applies to really any kind of artistic endeavor, including creative writing and poetry. The introduction was written by Michael Staley (p. 12). He says:

Art is a collaboration between inspiration in the first instance, and the artist's articulation and development of that inspiration. An example here is Spare's process of automatic drawing. At first the line was a spontaneous eruption echoed by pencil upon paper. However, as Spare saw patterns emerging, so he elaborated upon those patterns. The "automatic" aspect was the beginning of the process, driven by inspiration. Thereafter, the current of inspiration was to a greater or lesser extent fashioned by the artist.


I think this is a lot of what happens with the process of poetic incubation. We open ourselves to the touch of something beyond ourselves -- that something being described as imbas in the Irish tradition -- and we take the tangled threads of that inspiration and work with it, crafting it into something expressible through poetry. In seeking vision, we are putting ourselves into a place where we can get the "automatic" image sparked and then refine and purify it into the draft and, finally, the finished body of a poem. I honestly think that all forms of visionary art, whatever their manifestations, work this way to some degree.

Actually, I should sit with this for a bit tomorrow and work it into the Mandragora piece I'm working on, because it's directly on the theme of the essay I'm drafting. I haven't been able to do anything with it in the past couple of days because of a variety of factors, being away from the house being a part of that. This, however, is sparking something; it's also a part of the theme of the joint presentation that [livejournal.com profile] finnchuill has proposed for PCon next February. I should start making notes for my part of that, though I have no way of knowing whether we'll actually be accepted for the schedule at this point.

If things go reasonably well physically (I've been in a great deal of pain lately), we might go to the park near the 128th St exit from I-5 and pick blackberries. It was much warmer today than I'd expected, but the breeze helped keep things comfortable when I did get out into it. We stopped at the Safeway on the way back from the park so that I could get some food for the DoDC+3, and later this evening we also went down to Central Market and got a few fresh organic things (including a Really Fucking Awesome organic peach) so that we could have something nice for dinner.

We watched Time Bandits this afternoon, which [livejournal.com profile] gra_is_stor hadn't seen before. She hadn't seen Buckaroo Banzai either, so I am giving her an education in quirky sf/fantasy movies and other more obscure stuff when she comes over.

There needs to be more reading. And more writing. And I need to ask her how things are coming with her stuff for Circle of Stones so that I can try to get that in to my publisher soon. Also? Review of [livejournal.com profile] brandywilliams's book.

Stuff. I have to do stuff. And things. And stuff and things. That, though, is for tomorrow. Now, taking some pain pills and heading for bed.
erynn: Gaelic merman image (boycott amazon)
I have a lot of creative friends -- artists, musicians, makers -- people who are often looking for that little extra boost to get their latest project off the ground. Many of them are using the crowdsourcing model that Kickstarter supports.

I love the idea. I even sometimes have money I can spare to donate to projects like this. Yet I cannot do it through Kickstarter. This is why:

Kickstarter works through Amazon.

Amazon is still in the middle of an antitrust lawsuit because they are attempting to force small presses to use their in-house print-on-demand publishing press. No Amazon POD, no sales through Amazon. That, at least, was the model they were attempting to force through a couple of years ago. That's the model they want.

Their prices are higher than other POD presses for the same product. Their quality is lower. They pay the presses and the authors less.

What this means is, Amazon wants to put all those small presses that I publish through out of business. No small presses equals no more books and essays from me. If I donate to you through Kickstarter, I am shooting myself as an author.

Don't be mistaken. I love you and would love to give you money. I'll even donate if you have a PayPal button on your site and I happen to have some money available. Yes, I know PayPal has its own set of issues, but it's not trying to put the people who publish me out of business. I can't justify helping you bring your project about by killing the presses who publish me.

Maybe, once the antitrust lawsuit is done, I might be able to use Kickstarter. If Amazon isn't given the legal authority to crush small presses with its policies.

In the meantime, consider offering more than one donation option. Please?
erynn: Gaelic merman image (Cthulhu attacks!)
Oct 7-9 HP Lovecraft at the Seattle Art Museum~

http://www.dieselpunks.org/profiles/blogs/lovecraft-seattle-art-museum

This October, the Seattle Art Museum will be hosting lively discussions, cinematic interpretations, and an art show curated by David Verba in honor of weird fiction author HP Lovecraft.

GUESTS

* S. T. Joshi: THE world authority on Lovecraft and his works is your host (http://www.stjoshi.org)
* Greg Bear: Speculative Fiction author extraordinaire joins the fray with thought-provoking insights (http://www.gregbear.com)
* Wilum Hopfrog Pugmire: Graces all with his Wilde Lovecraftiness (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/W._H._Pugmire)
* Jason V Brock: Filmmaker and Writer with an eye for the macabre (http://www.JaSunni.com)
* Marc Laidlaw: Esteemed writer of Science Fiction (http://marclaidlaw.com/)
* Sean Branney: Director of the acclaimed "The Whisperer in Darkness" (http://www.cthulhulives.org/)
erynn: Gaelic merman image (Default)
I got this lemming from [livejournal.com profile] heuradys:

Go to Wikipedia and hit random. The first random Wikipedia article you get is the name of your band.
Go to quotationspage.com and hit random. The last four or five words of the very last quote of the page is the title of your first album.
Go to flickr and click on explore the last seven days. Third picture, no matter what it is, will be your album cover.
Use photoshop or similar to put it all together. Post it with this text in the caption


silly meme project

Please keep in mind that I have zero graphics talent at all and I had to download a graphics program to do this about fifteen minutes ago. I was very amused that the "band name" is a Sherlock Holmes adventure, and the other was a quote about poetry. Fitting, somehow.

Aside from this, I called the credit union to see if I could fix the fubar at the watch shop last week. They said it would be easiest just to call the shop and have them charge the amount again, so I did. My watch repair is now happily paid for.

Fantastic news on the writy front -- got email from the editor for the disability and world religions project. From the email:

Dear Contributors:

I am delighted to inform you that we have been offered a contract for the book with Palgrave Macmillan! Both Palgrave and Syracuse University Press (SUP) expressed interest in the project, and for a variety of reasons we decided to submit it to Palgrave for review. We submitted the manuscript in late October and received two positive reviews from their outside reviewers. Last week the editor contacted us and offered the contract.

As you might imagine, the manuscript was very long and Palgrave has asked us to divide the manuscript into two volumes. Our contract is for both of the volumes. We have divided the original manuscript into two books. I am attaching a document to this message with the new titles of each book and a table of contents for each volume.

We plan to have full and complete manuscripts submitted to Palgrave by April 1 and the books should be released sometime next October (2011). This publication schedule will allow Palgrave to have the books at the American Academy of Religion and Society of Biblical Literature (AAR/SBL) annual meetings in November.

We are very excited about the books and we are thrilled that Palgrave is publishing them! Thank you all for your contributions. Please let me know if you have any questions. I will keep you posted as we progress through the process. As part of our contract, each of you will receive one complimentary copy of the book in which your chapter(s) appears.


My essay is in the first section of the first volume:

Section One
Religion, Narrative Identity and Disability

Chapter 1 God’s Will? How Two Young Latina Catholic Women Negotiate a Hidden Disability Identity
Aimee Burke Valeras

Chapter 2 Performance of Muslim Daily Prayer by Physically Disabled Practitioners
Arseli Dokumaci

Chapter 3 Whatever the Sacrifice: Illness and Authority in the Baha’i Faith
Priscilla Gilman

Chapter 4 Since Feathers Have Grown on My Body: Madness, Art, and Healing in Celtic Reconstructionist Spirituality
Erynn Rowan Laurie


My eyes ache.

I will probably be at the AFK tomorrow night for whomever shows up for the Everett Air Kraken Hunters Guild. Thursday it's down to Seattle for the queer Pagan meetup and to haul [livejournal.com profile] alfrecht back up to Everett from there.

I need to sit my ass down and crank out the Imbolc ritual and find a crafts shop where I can get supplies for Brigid's crosses. Michael's will probably do, I suspect.

Shintobits

Jan. 16th, 2011 12:11 am
erynn: Gaelic merman image (Shinto shrine)
I was awakened early this afternoon by the postal carrier, bearing a packet from moonvoice in Australia, who had sent along a lovely original piece I'd ordered a while back. I was delighted to receive it though, sadly, I still haven't seen the pen from France as yet.

I spent an hour or so doing beta for a fannish friend's fic this afternoon, which was a pleasant diversion.

Tomorrow is the Shinto ceremony for burning last year's amulets, and I'm planning on going, assuming the brain is functional when the alarm goes off. I should be seeing [livejournal.com profile] alfrecht, [livejournal.com profile] mimerki and [livejournal.com profile] varina8 if all goes well, and perhaps grabbing some lunch with the latter two down in Granite Falls at the Greek place.

In a few minutes I need to trek on down to the Safeway and grab some cash from the money god so that I'll be able to make my donation for the ceremony. Then I'll do some food. I'm hungry. Grr.
erynn: Gaelic merman image (two ravens)
My friend [livejournal.com profile] lupabitch rolled in late last night after a, thankfully, uneventful drive up from Portland. I fed her when she arrived -- goose with stuffing and mushroom gravy, which she greatly enjoyed. We spent some time catching up with each other, as I hadn't seen her in months. There was some discussion about travel, food, spirituality, her studies toward becoming a therapist, life, and art as she settled down from the road.

A little later in the evening, she brought out a couple of gifts for me. [livejournal.com profile] lupabitch makes some really incredible art with animal bones and such. I've bought a number of things from her over the past few years and have always been pleased with them, largely pouches and fur bits, though I also have a very nice antler ogam set from her as well.

She had got hold of some black bear bones that she had used as the hilts for several bone and horn knives -- femur bones of different sizes, in this case. Unfortunately, upon inquiry she found that Oregon law prohibits the sale of bear parts, even if they had been legally acquired in other states, so it turned out that she was unable to sell the knives she had made, even though possession of bear parts is not illegal there. Her gift to me last night was two of those knives. She said that she wanted them to go to people who would give them an appropriate and appreciative home, and I was honored to be the recipient of these gifts. They'll be used as ritual pieces, as they were intended.

I set her up then with my spare netbook so that she could catch up with email and life on the web, whereupon I took myself off to bed. We got up this morning about the same time, and she headed north to see [livejournal.com profile] alfrecht, where she's staying tonight. I've spent most of the day quietly, watching a little Man from UNCLE, and I had some teriyaki from next door, not feeling quite up to cooking tonight. I've been feeling a bit headachy today, and the meds from the VA have not yet arrived, so I'm just biding my time and taking some tylenol.

Tomorrow, she and [livejournal.com profile] alfrecht will be down here at some point, whereupon we'll head out to Seattle for the Abney Park concert. I'm really looking forward to the new years party and hoping that I won't be headachy tomorrow too. Weather forecast promises cold but clear for the next couple of days. The snow may not all melt, but at least we're not due for more of it. I'll have to scrape about an inch of it off Garuda's windows in order to drive anywhere.
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As some of you probably know, I'm fond of silent film. I can't say I'm any kind of expert, but I've seen rather a bit of it and there are some that I absolutely love. Metropolis has always been one of those films. Tonight I had the chance to see a dream realized.

After the initial 153-minute Berlin release of Fritz Lang's Metropolis in 1927, foreign cinemas insisted the film was too long and had it cut in various ways to no more than 90 minutes. From what I understand, after the Berlin release, it was never again seen in its full length version.

I have a 115-minute restored VHS version from 1997, which is essentially just a cleaned up long version of the overseas release. I had seen the 2001 restoration at 124 minutes, with footage recovered from four different archives, that helped make slightly more sense of the missing pieces. More was known about the film at that time and a few stills were interwoven to represent lost scenes.

What was lost when the film left Germany were two characters and their subplots that were actually important linchpins for the entire film's overarching theme. These losses left the film somewhat disjointed and, in a few places, almost nonsensical. These characters - Josephat, a highly-placed clerk, and the Thin Man, one of Joh Fredersen's servants - made very small appearances in the internationally released versions, but the restoration of their scenes knit the film together into a genuine whole for the first time in over 80 years. A third character, Georgy 11811, makes a lengthier appearance, and his later self-sacrifice on Freder's behalf makes much more sense in this version.

The current restoration runs 149 minutes (about five minutes and a couple of scenes remain too damaged to view), and it is well worth seeing. Most of the restored footage -- nearly half an hour -- was found in the archives of the Museo del Cine in Buenos Aires, Argentina. Their 16mm print contained the whole of the film, but about 5 minutes were too damaged to include. This footage was intercut with the larger format restored film and the whole was released early this year. The result is of uneven quality, but the fact that this footage exists at all is a cinematic wonder akin to the finding of the long lost 1928 silent film by Carl Dreyer, The Passion of Joan of Arc, in a janitor's closet in an Oslo insane asylum.

Metropolis is one of the most iconic films, not just of the silent era, but of the entire 20th century. This restoration returns an immense amount of plot to a classic. Yet it wasn't just the physical restoration of the film that excited me tonight. SIFF Cinema presented the restoration with live music by the Alloy Orchestra, a trio from Cambridge, MA. Their score was fantastic. Tense, dynamic, and driving, it brought this silent film to life. They will be accompanying the film again on October 22nd and October 23rd down at the Seattle Center, so if you have a chance to see them, I highly recommend you do so. The house was sold out tonight, so get your tickets online if you're able.

We gave them a standing ovation, and they were more than worth it. They were just amazing. There was very little down time during the 149-minute performance, and they played for the introductory material and the end, as well as the body of the film. I've done percussion performance that stretched for more than two hours on a few occasions, and I know how much work that is. These guys are remarkable.

This was genuinely one of the best cinematic experiences I've ever had. Five immense stars with spangles and a drum section.
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Now that was a fabulous night.

I got into the show early, when it was just opening for the evening, so I got to get up close and personal with most of the art. There were some utterly fantastic things there; photography, kinetic art (a magnificent piece called Leda Breathes the Swan), sculpture, paintings. Ambient art included several different types of performance art, including tango in bondage, which was pretty cool.

I ran into quite a few friends there and had an absolutely wonderful time, but the burlesque cabaret was utterly amazing. I was standing right down near the front of the stage, which was about eye-height for me, and got a really good view of almost everything.

There were dancers. There were aerialists. There were really freaky amazing puppets. There was drag and burlesque strippers and mermaids and I should have known I was in the splash zone, because it was a burlesque cabaret at an erotic arts festival for the gods' sake.

I got well and truly glittered. I got puppet spooge in my hair. I laughed uproariously.

And afterwards, I went out to The Night Kitchen with a friend and had some macs & chz.

It was a great time, and I'm thrilled that SJ comped me in. So, so worth the trip down to the Seattle Center. They're running all weekend. If you have a chance to go, do it!
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Thanks to a dear friend, I'm getting a comp ticket to the Seattle Erotic Arts Festival for this evening. I'm really looking forward to this, as it's been several years since I attended one. There will, no doubt, be lots of juicy artwork as well as a lot of the local kink and sex positive community showing up to take in the scene.

Sunday we'll be doing the CR schmooze Bealtinne ritual down at Carkeek Park and over at [livejournal.com profile] anthea7 and [livejournal.com profile] mintofthewater's place in Greenwood. I just got a chance to look over the ritual script and it looks very nice, being both short and to the point.

I've been slowly working on answering an interview for the Patheos site. I also need to get started on the first of my milpagan blog entries. Things are getting closer to startup there. I also need to take the DoDC+3 in to the vet for updates on all his vaccinations.

Life continues apace.
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Shrinkage today went well. I showed Tracy the new book and she was very impressed. "Even the paper feels good," she said. We talked about the academic anthology and some of the issues the whole thing brings up for me; there's rather a lot to unpack there about self-worth and feelings of validity. We also talked a bit about War and the Soul and, like me, she wasn't entirely impressed with the whole thing. We both think there's far too much emphasis on combat vets in dealing with PTSD in these sorts of things. I'm still intending to do a review of the book, though I have to scrape together some brainpower to do that.

After the VA, I popped down to Travelers, where I had some chai and talked for a while with Lance, who will be moving to Portland sometime between now and August. He's been busy but is eager to go south; he has a sweetie he's joining down there.

I dropped by Edge of the Circle as well, and chatted with Robert and [livejournal.com profile] golanv1 for a bit and showed off the book there too. That done, I zipped through the U District to drop off a book at the Suzzallo and have some pho at Than Bros on the Ave. By the time all that was done, it was time for me to head home.

For the gamelan concert Saturday, [livejournal.com profile] tedgill was exceedingly kind and has got me a comp ticket, and I was also offered a comp ticket for SEAF for Friday night, I believe the 30th. I need to find out where the venue is, as I hadn't been paying attention. I wasn't expecting to go this year. I'll be quite tickled to see what's going on and am hoping to see some of my friends there.

At any rate, tired Erynn is tired and I don't have anything going tomorrow except poking at my epic fic. I may crash early.

Holy OMG

Apr. 8th, 2010 11:42 pm
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The show was amazing. Of course, I was expecting this with taiko drums, martial arts, and influences of butoh, but wow. It ranged from silent motion to full-on dozen or more drums going at once, with about 15 performers, taiko of various sizes, drums, cymbals, and a conch. There were vocals of Tibetan Buddhist chants (I could see at least one Tibetan monk in the audience, down in the first balcony) and what I suspect were some Chinese texts as well.

U Theatre is one of the national performance ensembles of Taiwan, and there were several Taiwanese dignitaries present, as well as a bunch of folks from Portland's Chinese and Taiwanese communities. There were folks in suits and college aged folks in dreds and elderly opera-going types, so it was quite an interesting and eclectic mix in the audience.

I have a confession to make. I mean, yeah, everyone who knows me knows I love percussion, but my taiko lust is right up there with timpani lust, and it's not just because of a visceral response but one that's actually pretty intensely erotic. Drums like that totally undo me. The brain comes apart at the seams, the body tingles all over, and Erynn is one Very Happy Erynn.

This was an excellent performance. There were a few bits where someone was a fraction of a second off the beat (unintentional - a couple of points the stuff was supposed to be unison but somebody didn't spin quite fast enough), but holy mama was it a blazing fantastic performance. I was in the first row on the upper balcony, and it was close enough that I didn't actually need the binocs I brought; I wasn't sure of the size of the theatre, and it's somewhat smaller and more intimate than I had initially guessed. The only thing that put me off about the performance was a gaggle of folks a few rows behind me talking in Chinese at a couple of points. I really wanted to focus (and for the most part I very much did), and that felt a little rude, imo.

This was definitely worth the drive down from Seattle. Apparently U Theatre is doing a Northwest (or was it North American?) tour, so they'll be appearing in a number of other places. If you get a chance to see them, and you're into any of this stuff, by all means grab a ticket if you're able! I was thoroughly delighted and am exceedingly glad I came.

After the performance, I zipped over the 10-ish blocks to Powell's and spent about 90 minutes there, browsing around. I biffed on back to [livejournal.com profile] martianmooncrab's after that. She's not back yet; she had gone to the Beaverton Powell's for a book signing and should be home soonish, I'd guess. I have scarfed down my leftover calzone from lunch and am contemplating more foods because I'm still a bit peckish.

Oh ye ghods and little fishes, what a fantastic performance.
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The Pagan Newswire Collective
http://www.pagannewswirecollective.com

The Pagan Newswire Collective, an open collective of Pagan journalists, newsmakers, media liaisons, and writers, is seeking participants for two new topic-focused group blog projects. Just as the PNC's new Pagan+Politics site aims to give a Pagan voice to our political discourse, so too will these new projects help provide a vital Pagan perspective in their respective subject areas.

Pagans in the Military Group-Blog Project:

The PNC is looking for 7-10 Pagans interested in joining a group blog concerning Pagans in the military. We are hoping to encompass a wide range of news, opinions, and perspectives, and we want to not only include active-duty military personnel and military veterans, but military spouses and activists involved in working to advance the equal treatment of Pagans in the armed forces. All political perspectives welcome.

Requirements: We prefer all participants be able to contribute at least one post per week. However, we are willing to make exceptions for active-duty military personnel who are stationed overseas. Writing and journalism experience is a plus, but we are also willing to take on dedicated beginners who can demonstrate they know their way around a sentence.

Pagan Pop-Culture/Arts Group-Blog Project:

The PNC is looking for 7-10 Pagans interested in joining a group blog concerning Pagan opinions on pop-culture and the arts, both mainstream and Pagan-created. Movies, books, comics, art, games, music, theater, and dance, we want to cover it all!

Requirements: Participants should be able to contribute at least one post per week (more is even better). A history of writing arts-oriented reviews is a big plus, as is demonstrating a breadth of knowledge about pop-culture and the arts. Having a specialty is fine, and even encouraged! Remember we are looking for specifically Pagan reactions to, and analysis of, these creative fields.

To Apply:

Send your name, contact information, location, and which blog project you are applying for to:

projects@pagannewswirecollective.com

Please include links to writing samples, or attach one or two samples if you have nothing posted on the Internet. We'll try to get back to you as soon as we can.

Yours in solidarity,

Jason Pitzl-Waters
Projects Coordinator
The Pagan Newswire Collective

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