Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Tuesday, March 8, 2011
Waxing Moon
Saturn Retrograde
Sunny and cold
International Women’s Day

Yup, here we have it, International Women’s Day. I wish I’d been able to put together a project this year like I did the year my friend Avonne and I set the creation atmosphere for MOON TRIBE TALES. I say “set the creation atmosphere” because the actresses who spent months developing material for the piece are equally a part of it. It was a wonderful experience for both those participating and those who attended, and I wish I’d been set up to seek funding for it to be an ongoing project. When I look back at the script, little has changed in the intervening years. If anything, women’s rights and progress are regressing.

Actress Allison Scagliotti, whose work I throughly enjoy in WAREHOUSE 13, has a great piece up here about looking for role models in her industry. It’s difficult to find strong, complex female characters in media right now, although I think there are more of them on television than in film. Too often, they simply behave like men would, but they’re played by women. While to a point, a strong person is a strong person no matter what the gender, since biology influences a lot of how we deal with things, I’d love to see a wider range of representations in film and television.

I think women are making inroads behind the scenes — although probably not enough. You look at writers like Jane Espenson and directors like Kate Woods, and there’s progress.

I think the rise of urban fantasy in literature has created some great female characters. Look at Diana Bishop in A DISCOVERY OF WITCHES — she doesn’t fit any mold but her own and is fascinating and complex. Look at Camille, Delilah, and Menolly in the Otherworld Series — along with most of the female characters Yasmine Galenorn writes. They don’t fall into cliche, they’re certainly not perfect, but they’re strong, intelligent, and interesting. Or the characters like Ann Aguirre’s Corinne Solomon. These women are all very much women, not girls acting the way men might act in this situation, and they are very resourceful and approach the world with unique viewpoints.

To me, that’s part of what a feminist is — a woman who is strong, intelligent, and interesting, and who won’t keep anyone — male, female, Republican or alien — from allowing her to fulfill her potential to its fullest. Can a man be a feminist? Yes, if he’s willing to support the choices of the women around him to be the best and most they can be, even if it’s inconvenient to him personally! 😉

Got out the write up for Confidential Job #1 and that’s off, and got out my column. Got word this morning that they’ve already sent the next assignment. Caught up on commenting on the student work — some of the comments have been helpful, and they are diving back into the material with fresh enthusiasm, which is what I’d hoped.

MA Dept. of Revenue emailed me my quarterly vouchers, the little dears. Considering the NY State Tax Dept. could never be bothered to provide correct paperwork, nor have they ever posted a payment correctly in the years I lived there, and they generally feel they can remove any money they want from anyone because they don’t have to answer to anyone, the MA attitude is quite refreshing.

Responded to student work. They have a deadline today, so there will be a lot of work on which to comment. Also received materials from a partner for the tele-seminar, so I need to go over that. A big stack of errands to run today, but then they will be done, and I don’t have to worry about them later in the week.

Had a good morning’s work on the play — I’m having fun with it. It wants to have more characters than I’m allowed, so some of the actors may have to double. Or, I just have to keep it lean and cut them in the rewrite. I’ve written for a finite amount of characters before — I know I can do it. Want to do some more work on the play before I switch back to everything else that demands attention. Fortunately, the company wants a piece with high verbal dexterity, and those are the kinds of characters I enjoy writing.

Devon

Monday, May 24, 2010

Monday, May 24, 2010
Waxing Moon
Pluto Retrograde
Rainy, foggy, cooler

I feel like I’ve done nothing but sleep this weekend. Well, I’ve read and cooked,too,but that’s about it.

Saturday morning, I went to Reading Terminal Market, which far exceeded my expectations. The food stalls are wonderful, fresh, and reasonably priced. I found both Herbiary and Spice Market and stocked up on herbs and spices I used to get at Aphrodesia, but can’t because they went out of business. I think I’ve got enough to get me through until my next trip down in July. I’ll keep a running list and re-stock then. I got a few things I don’t really need, but want to play with in recipes, too. I got some lovely baked goods at one of the organic baking stalls and an iced coffee for the walk home at Old City Coffee — which was really, really good. Philadelphia has lots of small, independent coffee brands, and most of them are very good.

I finished THE QUEEN IN WINTER — Sharon Monette’s novella “A Gift of Wings” was lovely and I definitely want to read more of her work.

I wandered over to Barnes & Noble on Rittenhouse Square in the afternoon, picking up Ann Aguirre’s HELL FIRE and the anthology WINTER MOON, which has novellas by Mercedes Lackey, Tanith Lee, and CE Murphy. The Ann Aguirre book was supposed to be my treat for finishing the next assignment for Confidential Job #1, but really, who am I kidding? I read most of it on Saturday afternoon and evening, and finished it Sunday morning. It’s the second Corinne Solomon book, and they’re both just fantastic. I’m really looking forward to the third next year.

Pizza for dinner, more reading and some yoga in the evening. To bed fairly early, and slept in on Sunday.

I don’t understand how Comcast can get away with sucking as badly as they do. I couldn’t get online at all on Sunday morning. I finally managed a bit in the afternoon.

Wandered to Borders to use my “bucks” that were only good this weekend — and that I didn’t find out about until AFTER I got back from B&N! Had a hard time finding something I wanted, but finally settled on DANCE OF DEATH by Douglas Preston and Lawrence Child. Started it — instead of the assignment for Confidential Job #1. The multiple (and I mean MULTIPLE) POVs get tiring sometimes, especially when it’s a character in whose POV we only are for a single chapter. There’s a LOT of plot — supposedly, it’s a stand alone, but I get the feeling it would make more sense if I read the earlier books.

It got me thinking, though, that I’ve been submitting/pitching TRACKING MEDUSA in the wrong genre — in spite of the many trappings, ultimately, it’s a mystery, not a weird hybrid I’ve been trying to slot.

Okay, LOST. (SPOILER ALERT). My big response was, “Really?”

The ending was what I expected, although how they got there wasn’t. As usual, I enjoyed individual scenes and the actors, and whole didn’t add up for me. If I’d remained emotionally invested for the whole six years, I would have been angry. Fine, so the whole thing is Jack’s death fantasy/search for redemption in his final moment of life after the crash so he goes “into the light” instead of elsewhere. Okay, fine, it’s not like we hadn’t figured that was the probability years ago. But the way they got there basically negated the season. They spent so much time with Jacob & his brother, going on and on about good and evil butting against each other, and,the whole series, they played with the idea that both are slightly ambiguous, and we need both in order to survive. Too much evil OR too much good and the balance is lost (no pun intended) and it’s all over. And then they just dropped it. Jack anoints Hurley — without the incantation? Really? The whole Dharma Initiative subplot is simply dropped. And, while I’m glad the characters “found” each other and “remembered” in the sideways line, it got a little treacly for me. I spent a lot of time eye-rolling. The whole ending in the church filling with light, frankly, I found offensive. They spent so much time debating the power of Nature and end it in an effing church. They pretended to be philosophical and open-thinking and alternative and then descended back into the same old claptrap. Negated so much of what was unique and wonderful about the show. Looked like the church scene out of HAIR.

Several years ago, the creators promised it wouldn’t be like the really bad season of DALLAS, that turned out to be a dream. This may not have been, technically, a dream, but it was close enough to prove they lied and jerked us around yet again.

I’m glad the dog was there with Jack for the last moment, though. A lot of people have criticized that, but I liked it.

I think, for the actors, it was satisfying, and I’m glad, because they poured a lot into this. And it was the creators’ vision, not mine,so, oh, well. They broke my trust in the 3rd season and never won my trust back. I watched, piecemeal, since, and watched this season, and fine, it’s over, let’s move on, and I hope the actors and creators find many fulfilling projects down the line. This will always be special to all of them, and they’ll be earning residuals for the rest of their lives.

BITCH had an interesting essay on how the writers failed the character of Kate, which I think is very well done. i hadn’t entirely thought of it from that perspective, but it articulates a lot of my frustrations. Of course, now that we know it was all Jack’s perspective on Kate, not Kate herself, it makes more sense. And Gawker has a very funny rant.

Anyway, I’ve got laundry to do, packing to finish, and, hopefully, some writing to work on. I leave in the early afternoon and will be home tonight. I don’t know whether to laugh or sigh at the fact that it takes longer to get from Penn Station to my apartment than from Philadelphia to NY.

Devon