anghara: (New Worldweavers Icon courtesy of Jim Hi)
2009-05-13 11:01 am
Entry tags:

(no subject)

We had ONE...

We had TWO...

...and now The Dragons Heroes and Wizards review blog has weighed in with THREE.

We have liftoff.

Nice to have the entire series reviewed all together like this.Gives a nice overview of the progression of the story from the point of view of the reader.

And, of course, I very much appreciate the "go out and GET these" tone of all three reviews...
anghara: (owl)
2009-05-12 11:32 am
Entry tags:

We can haz a new bird?

One of these fellows




just popped in for a snack of suet. It's a Western Tanager, according to my little Bird Book, and we haven't seen his ilk round here before. He's quite spectacular!
anghara: (New Worldweavers Icon courtesy of Jim Hi)
2009-05-08 08:03 pm
Entry tags:

More reviews...

The Dragons Heroes and Wizards review blog liked "Gift of the Unmage".

Now they're more with the liking, with "Spellspam"

Watch that space for a review of #3 in a few days (it's listed as a "currently-reading").

Happy author.
anghara: (coffee LOLcat from icanhascheeseburger)
2009-05-07 08:44 am

So - waking up this morning -

- just as I'm swimming back to being conscious - my dreams...

...roll credits across my still-closed eyelids.

I couldn't really make them out, it was like trying to read them through someone else's spectacles and anyway I was already more or less awake and the "house lights" were coming up fading the projection on the eyelid-screen, but... REALLY.

*CREDITS*.

I don't know whether to be astonished, amused, afraid, or affronted.

Yes, AFFRONTED. They're my dreams, dammit. If they listed anybody else with producer or director credits, I am going to have WORDS with my backbrain.

Anyway, I wouldn't want others to be so quick to claim the credit for any of this. Tonight's dreamshow included, but was not limited to, a recipe for a cabbage dish with lima beans that came in two varieties, hot and mild,and I was wondering in-dream what kind of beans to substitute for the lima beans because [livejournal.com profile] rdeck, who eats most anything, REALLY dislikes lima beans; searching for some sort of immigrant mafia in the back of an ethnic restaurant (perhaps that's where the cabbage recipe came from - and when I say "immigrant" I mean it was nebulous, the mafia might have been Russian but the restaurant smelled Thai...); and a fabric which came with a warning that it should not be worn in close proximity to anything metallic because of a danger of spontaneous combustion, illustrated by an image of a homely middle-aged bride bursting into flames at the altar while having a wedding ring put on her finger and looking very surprised about that.

Now, honestly. CREDITS.

Have to go now. Time for some errands.

Credits. [Exits, shaking head.]
anghara: (Default)
2009-05-06 11:47 am

So, you think YOU got a bad review...?

...well, spare a thought for THESE poor sods

For the writers on my flist. Enjoy.
anghara: (coffee beans)
2009-05-05 05:06 pm

The "What does it mean?!" Department

So, the other week [livejournal.com profile] rdeck and I were out for a meal and we had coffee (stop snickering in the back there, please, of COURSE we had coffee...) and, well, he takes sugar in his coffee and I don't. So he asks me to pass the sugar, and I grab a pair of sugar packets from the holder on the table. One of them... catches my eye:



Somebody thought that number was significant enough to bother writing down... and then put the thing they wrote it down ON back into the sugar holder thingy on the table in a restaurant and walked away.

So what was it - important, or throwaway? What possible context would there be for such a large number of zeros? Were they talking about the number of stars in the sky? The number of seconds for which they had missed their own true love who was far far away? The national debt...?

What do you think?...
anghara: (Default)
2009-05-04 09:22 pm

Know any gamers who don't think they like reading?

This article from School Library Journal might be useful for when Christmas or those kids' birthdays come round...

And I'm an admittedly biased authority [grin]

Lookit this bit:



ADVENTURE/RPG: for fans of games like Fallout 3, Oblivion, and Fable, look for books that have the following characteristics: Magic/Supernatural, Journey/Quest, Quirky Characters, Fantasy/Science Fiction. Character Development.

Recommended books:

Horns and Wrinkles (Houghton Mifflin, 2006) by Joseph Helgerson

Mortal Engines (HarperTeen, 2003) by Philip Reeve

Percy Jackson series by Rick Riordan

The Septimus Heap series by Annie Sage

The following books have gaming plots or contain a gaming element and are perfect for recommending to gamers:

Brainboy and the Deathmaster (HarperCollins, 2003) by Tor Seidler

Cathy’s Book (2006) and Cathy’s Key (2008, both Running Press Kids) by Sean Stewart and Jordan Wiseman

Discordia: The Eleventh Dimension (Hyperion, 2009) by Dena K. Salmon

Epic (2007) and Saga (2008, both Viking) by Conor Kostick

Heir Apparent (Harcourt, 2002) by Vivian Vande Velde

The Worldweavers series by Alma Alexander



...so. Now you know....
anghara: (Default)
2009-05-04 11:11 am

More Linkery

One on the Writing Life As She Is Lived, from [livejournal.com profile] varkat talking about Stages of Disbelief. Oh boy, have I been here.

The other is [livejournal.com profile] davidbcoe writing about the always-vexed subject of how to avoid infodumping

Go on. GO read. I'm busy. Will be back later.
anghara: (Default)
2009-05-04 10:34 am
Entry tags:

Linkery

A bit more linkery - I did a guest blog for Apex and it's up this week - here's a taste:

You will know my tribe - sometimes it will take a touch of a moon-sharp shadow to reveal us, but you will know us by what we carry, by the burden we bear, by the darkness that lingers in our eye - because we are of the shadow, because we are the tellers of tales, and the shadows are where stories are born.

Read the rest over there. Comments welcome.

Also, the Dragons Heroes and Wizards blog reviews "Gift of the unmage" and likes it a lot - too many nice things to quote, go read it - but here's something just to give you a glimpse of the review:


If I could open a door and step into this world, I believe I could live happily there without too much of an adjustment and never look back. Does worldbuilding get any better then that?

Watch that space for a review of "Spellspam", which is listed as currently being read, very soon... I look forward to it!
anghara: (New Worldweavers Icon courtesy of Jim Hi)
2009-05-01 10:46 pm
Entry tags:

Call me slow - but I only just found a WONDERFUL review of "Cybermage"...

Read the full review here, but here's the money quote:

While these are wonderful adventures, they are also dealing with the issues that many young people have to deal with as they try to figure out where they stand on the major issues that will effect their lives. Where are the lines you won't cross? What are the important values that you're willing to fight for and maybe lose your life for? They may be young, but that doesn't mean they aren't aware of the world and its problems and their roles in society.

The characters have grown over the series and their actions and reactions reflect that. You can read the books out of order and sequence or as stand alones but they become richer when read in order so that you can see the growth and know what leads to their decisions.

Highly recommended.


Happy author.
anghara: (Default)
2009-04-30 03:11 pm

I went to the movies

I"m a Disney Baby. I grew up and cut my teeth on Disney's True Life Adventures - they always started, I remember, with a cartoon paintbrush spreading cartoon paint over a screen that would suddenly and wonderfully morph into reality and show me a prairie, or a jungle, or a sea-bottom, or a desert. It brought all of these things to life, populated with crazy, funny creatures which the voice-over anthropomorphised into something close and familiar, my friends. (If you go to the link above, and click on each individual icon of the four sets of movies, you'll find a link for each one which says DVD CLIP - click on that, and enjoy a brief stroll down memory lane, if you too remember these things...)

Yesterday I went to the movies to see "Earth", Disney's feature-length True Life Adventure released on Earth Day 2009. This "Earth":




It was... fabulous.

It was also a strange temporal jar. One part of me was rooted in the past, remembering and loving the True Life Adventures of my childhood. Another part was sitting in the cinema enthralled by the things I was seeing on the screen. And yet another part of me... was wishing desperately that I could stop seeing this movie, this glimpse into our wonderful enchanted world, as an elegy, as almost a farewell, as an attempt to preserve something of what used to be before it's all gone forever. I was watching animals on their ancient annual migrations - three million (three MILLION!!!) caribou who are utterly dependent on the vast open spaces of the far north; the cranes which migrate from Mongolia to India across the Himalayas; the trek of desert elephants to the seasonal paradise that is the Okavango Delta floods. I was watching a polar bear go too far on the too-soon melting ice... and pay with his life. I was seeing things that had always happened, that generations upon generations of beasts of the field and forest and the sky and the deep know with a visceral instinct - but which is all vanishing away as the human race spreads and spreads and spreads, and vital wetlands which were the stopping ground of bird migrations get dried out and turned into subdivisions or destroyed with subsistence agriculture until they are no more than bowls of dust and ashes, and rainforests get cut down, and the changing climate allows pests and disease which could never flourish before to decimate vulnerable forests and seas, there is always less and less water and open wilderness, less and less room for anything other than US, the ever-hungry, ever-increasing, ever-infiltrating humanity. And the more there are of us, the more mouths need to be fed. The more acres need to be ploughed, or fenced off for cattle. The less room there is for the wild to cling to itsself.

And this movie... I look into the golden predator eyes of a lion, and I see there... a knowing. A sadness. This is not their world any more.

I loved the movie. But it made me sad.

I wish there was more I could do to save and shelter the wild places of this world. We don't think we need them any more, the proud humans who think they are the lords of all creation. But I think that one day we'll all wake up and every last inch of ground will be paved or owned by somebody... and some part of our spirit, quietly and without fuss, will simply fade away.

And we will be the poorer for it.
anghara: (Default)
2009-04-30 09:36 am

For those of you who wanted me to hold forth on writing crowds...

...the new Storytellersunplugged essay is now up - hope that answers a few of the questions you wanted addressed...
anghara: (Dunavska)
2009-04-27 04:31 pm

Roots and roads

Sometimes it so happens that I will pick up a book in a bookstore and crack it open, and the first thing I see inside will do something visceral enough for me to buy the book there and then, on the spot. Something like that happened with a book called Origins: A Memoir, by Lebanese writer and journalist Amin Maalouf. These are the words that caught me, the opening of the book:


“Someone other than I might have used the word ‘roots’. It is not part of my vocabulary. I don’t like the word, and I like even less the image it conveys. Roots burrow into the ground, twist n the mud, and thrive in darkness; they hold trees in captivity from their inception and nourish them at the price of blackmail: Free yourself and you’ll die!

Trees are forced into resignation; they need their roots. Men do not. We breathe light and covet the heavens. When we sink into the ground, we decompose. The sap of our native soil does not flow upwards from our feet to our heads; we use our feet only to walk. What matters to us are roads. Roads convey us from poverty to wealth or back to poverty, from bondage to freedom or to a violent death. Roads hold our promises, bear our weight, urge us on, and then abandon us. And we die, just as we were born, at the edge of a road not of our choosing.”



I fell in love with the rhythm of it all, with the imagery, with the sheer power of languages – and the book came home with me from its display stand in the store.

But the more I thought about it, the more I found myself groping past that initial gorgeous feeling of falling in love, and trying to find a deeper meaning. And the more I did that, the more I found myself disagreeing with those two paragraphs.

At least in the way they are juxtaposed with each other – implying that “roots”, in whatever sense they are understood to apply, will trammel and suffocate and kill a human being – and that a tree does not breathe light and covet the heavens.

I don’t think either of those is true.

Saying that a tree does not breathe light and covet the heavens might be literally correct – but take just one small step sideways and both things become utterly and completely inevitable. Yes, the tree “breathes” light – photosynthesis is what makes the tree live and grow, and photosynthesis is a function of sunlight on the leaves. Yes, that tree is “breathing” light. Plants taken into dark places and deprived of sunlight die tragic deaths – and that is NOT a consequence of having roots, except inasmuch as the plant, not being a triffid, is unable to pick itself up and stumble out of the darkness of its own accord. But neither is it a creature of darkness, for all the rootness that it has – sure, the roots writhe in mud and keep a tree anchored, but that tree, from the spot at which it is anchored deep into the ground from which it draws sustenance, is “coveting the heavens” and constantly growing higher and higher trying to touch the sky. If you don’t believe that you have never seen a redwood tree. Even in a photograph.

Trees don’t go travelling, and men do. That’s a valid position to take. Men have the roads that the trees have never taken. Men journey, and wear out shoe leather, and change their sky and the language that is spilled and spoken around them, they are capable of changing themselves to suit a new environment by the side of a new road.

But a man without a sense of his roots is a tumbleweed without aim or purpose, being tossed hither and yon by whatever winds are blowing. This is a man without convictions, or ideals, or beliefs, or a faith in anything at all – a man capable of simply squatting on a desert plain and living for nothing but the moment in which he is holding a piece of bread in one hand and a cup of water in the other. Which is another wonderful image, but I find myself recoiling from the human being with no past and therefore no future. Living in the present is all very well – carpe diem and all that – but without a knowledge of where we have come from, we cannot possibly know where we are going.

Man needs his “roots”, just as much as the tree does. Even if we shake the dust of this planet off our feet one day and go roaming in the stars, our roots will still be here, on this particular mudball, in the memory of this particular yellow sun. Even when the sun passes into its inevitable death throes, and grows huge and red and molten, and gobbles up the planet once known as Earth or melts it to a piece of iron slag – even then, if any human souls survive, the place of origin will be remembered, if only in story and in legend. This is where we sank our roots down – hundreds, even thousands, of years ago. This is the mud that nourished the roots from which sprang the odd flower we know as Humanity. Everything else came later – everything else, we picked up from the Road. But the Roots were there first, and the Roots remain.

I mentioned convictions, ideals, beliefs, faith. I am very aware that these very things, when taken to extremes, are what can be so destructive to our species, especially when different convictions or beliefs or faiths clash to the point that blood is spilled in defence of ideas and hatred is planted in the human spirit, hatred of anything that is not-us. But like many things – like fire, for instance – an ability to sincerely believe, an ability to have convictions based on those beliefs, an ability to remember what one’s forebears thought or believed and to revere their ideas, these are good servants, but bad masters. The fact that there may be an altar to somebody’s ancestors in their house, like many Eastern households do, is a testament to the reverence that those peoples hold for the men and women who walked this Earth before them. They are not – or at least should not be – used as incitements to go to war against anybody whose ancestors happen to like a different scent of incense.

I can only speak for myself.

I have known both – roots, and roads.

My first childhood roots were strong, and they are still deep. I can still read about the Pannonian Plain, the rich black earth of the fields I knew when I was young, the bright heads of scarlet poppies in oceans of wheat, the leisurely slow meanders of whirlpool-laden Danube flowing slowly and lazily across the plain that once used to be an ocean bed – about the dandelions by the side of the road, the old gates in the villages, the sound of church bells on winter mornings, the old-fashioned street lamps in the streets whose houses bear centuries in their beams – about the sound of crickets in hot summers, and the buzz of bees, and the honking of irate geese when I rode my bike into the midst of a flock and then pedalled for my life when some ornery gander took it upon himself to chase me up the street, and the cooing of invisible birds somewhere beyond the thick dark shadow of the walnut tree under which I am lying in the grass – the taste of ripe sweet watermelon and yellow peaches with their juices running down my chin, or my grandmother’s chocolate cake, or my beekeeper grandfather’s particular rich-tasting acacia honey, or the taste of milk fresh-milked from the cow, rich and warm and foamy – the texture of viscous riverine mud, or the fine, fine, fine dust from the road before they paved it, the kind of dust that you could pick up in your hand and it would pour out through your fingers like water. These are part of my roots. So are the books that I was handed by my grandfather, and by the library, and by the antiquarian bookstore where we’d often go and where I would lose myself for an hour or more in the stacks full of books that smelled of the past and were bound in ancient cloth and leather and had gilt-edged pages and were sometimes graced with inscriptions dated a hundred years before I was born. So are the things I was taught to live by as I grew – my roots included grace, and beauty, and tolerance, and love, and the obligation to at least try to understand a point of view that was not my own because it was somebody else’s and it was valid to them just as mine was to me. I grew up to believe that there was justice and fairness and generosity, because I had them in my life all my days.

These are my roots. The past I cannot renounce. The memories that tie me to one particular piece of this Earth where I was born and where some small part of me still remains, will always remain.

My roads… took me far from there.

My roads showed me lions, and African sunsets, and tear gas in the streets, and guns, and fear, and exhilaration, and many flights across many skies – I saw thunderstorms below me in the clouds from the window of a plane, with lightning searing through the dark mounds as though I was looking down into the jaws of hell; I also saw the pale full moon hanging low over the bleached shore of the Skeleton Coast of Africa, also from a plane, and I might have been looking at a different world. I have swum with dolphins, and I have loved and lost family members who happened to walk on four feet and have soft fur and cold noses and huge hearts they gave to me whole and who were no less mourned for the fact that they were not “human”. I’ve seen both the Southern Cross rise in the sky, and the Big Dipper. I’ve had my heart broken, and my mind blown, and my spirit filled to overflowing. I have known triumph, and disaster.

I need them both. Roads and roots. Without either, I am only half me.

Where am I headed? I don’t know. It is given to none of us to know this ahead of time. All I know is this – I have to continue to draw sustenance from the depths of the earth, where the bones of my ancestors are buried, while also continuing to covet the heavens, and trying to take my first steps amongst the stars. I don’t know where I am going to – but I do know where I came from. And that, for now, has to be enough.
anghara: (Default)
2009-04-25 02:58 pm
Entry tags:

I KNOW it's spring, but this -

- THIS just needed to be shared.
anghara: (Default)
2009-04-23 10:45 am
Entry tags:

Vamped!

I have known the name of Lucienne Diver for quite a while, as an talented and successful literary agent - but recently, at a convention on the East Coast in March, I had the pleasure of actually meeting her in the flesh for the first time, as it were, when we shared a panel at the con. This was when I also discovered that she was also an author in her own right - and I invited her to visit my blog with a guest appearance to tell us more about that.

Without further ado, I give you... Lucienne Diver.

How does your author hat mesh with your agent hat? Does one help the
other or do you find yourself looking at books and clients
differently?


The hats don’t so much mesh like the crowns of upper and lower Egypt as
trade out, one for the other. I generally write first thing in the morning
before my inner agent wakes up. Once she does, I’m sunk. I’m thinking
about the pitch letters I have to write, the contracts I need to negotiate
or the checks I need to chase. That’s a different mindset all together,
completely separate from the creative impulse, though good writing is good
writing and as useful in writing pitches for my authors as for myself. Being
both a writer and an agent gives me special sympathy for what a writer goes
through with editorial comment, revisions, rejections, the nail-biting
period waiting for feedback. Therefore, I try to be especially good with my
response times and with providing feedback to my clients that not only
pinpoints what can be improved but offers suggestions on how to go about it.
I think that the best kind of agent and editor are those who help an author
fully realize his or her vision.

How did your book(s) come about? (in other words, where do you get
your ideas? )


My books always start with character. One or two people talking in my head.
So far, thankfully, none of the voices have shouted “Kill, kill, kill”
(sorry, channeling Arlo Guthrie’s Alice’s Restaurant there for a minute),
but they absolutely refuse to be silenced until I commit them to paper.

Generally, the voices come from some real-world inspiration. Playing Nice,
the romantic comedy I wrote years ago as Kit Daniels, started with an
overheard conversation between two baristas at my local Starbucks. The
scene it sparked doesn’t even exist in the final version, but it provided
the inspiration.

Gina, my fashionista who goes from chic to eek when she wakes up dead with
no reflection (thus no way to do her hair and make-up) started out as the
big-haired girl from high school who tormented my sister. It was fun to
torment “her” in return, dooming her to eternal life without tanning
options, etc., but to give her a novel, I had to come to respect and love
her as well, and so the character mutated into someone who can really roll
with the punches and come up swinging (and more human than when she had an
actual hearbeat).

How many hours in a day do you REALLY need to do everything you do?

You know the novel *The Girl, the Gold Watch and Everything*? If ever I’ve
wanted fantasy to become reality….

What sort of thing do YOU read when you read fiction for pleasure - or
do you? What sort of books would you recommend to your own
audience?


I’m a voracious reader. Unfortunately, I have less time these days to read
books that I’m not representing, but I’m a big fan of Joshilyn Jackson,
Janet Evanovich, Laurell K. Hamilton and Sir Arthur Conan Doyle (including
any pastiches done based on his work). I also love books on forensic
anthropology and psychology.

For books I’d recommend to my own audience: I’m also a huge fan of Rosemary
Clement-Moore’s Maggie Quinn: Girl vs. Evil books and Rachel Caine’s
Morganville Vampires series. I’m also a lover of the classics, *The Witch
of Blackbird Pond *by Elizabeth George Speare, *The Changeover* by Margaret
Mahy, *A Wrinkle in Time* by Madeleine L’Engle…not that I can hope to
compare to any of these writers!
__________



Lucienne Diver is the author of *Vamped *(think Clueless meets Buffy the
Vampire Slayer), a May 2009 trade paperback release from Flux. She’s also a
sixteen year veteran of the publishing business, representing over forty
authors of fantasy, science fiction, mystery, suspense and romance. She’s a
member of the Association of Authors’ Representatives (AAR), RWA, MWA and
SFWA. Further information is available on The Knight Agency website
www.knightagency.net. She also maintains a blog of agenting and authorial
musings: http://varkat.livejournal.com and can also be found via her author
site: http://www.luciennediver.com.




anghara: (coffee LOLcat from icanhascheeseburger)
2009-04-20 03:40 pm
Entry tags:

The Susan Boyle phenomenon, me chiming in on

She's all over the Internet. She apparently has a MILLION FANS on Facebook.

But somehow it's become about US, the rhetorical us, and not about her..

People are focused on the appearance thing. On how the audience at her audition looked sceptical. How she "won them over with the first note". How people on the Internet, in the media, in live audiences, judge her by the "cover" and how apparently astonished everybody is that someone with that "cover" has a voice like that hidden underneath - as though she somehow deliberately set out to disguise her voice by that appearance.. I've seen at least one rather patronizing article on how shallow we all, all are... and how "ugly people", you know, have rights too.

Did I need that pointed out to me?

Did Susan Boyle somehow miss the point of her audition and turn up at a beauty pageant audition by mistake? Because too many commentators on her performance on Britain's Got Talent (as well as other assorted bits and pieces elsewhere - she's sung acapella now for NBC and for Larry King and both clips are naturally on the web...) seem to hinge on something like, "Wow, you'd never have thunk it to look at her". Truth is, the voice that sings her recorded performance of "Cry me a river" sounds like it belongs to a willowy raven-haired and slow-eyed beauty with long legs and a full mouth brought into prominence by glamorous 30s-filmstar scarlet lipstice, singing in a smoky speakeasy where cheap bourbon is being sold in the back and the patrons in the ill-lit bar are wearing fedoras and have half-smoked cigarettes hanging from their mouths illuminating manly cleft chins. Yes, all that - from voice.

The point is, that's MY VISION OF IT. Susan Boyle owns the voice - she does not owe me the vision. And honestly, the vivid, wisecracking dame on that audition stage, sassing Simon for all she's worth, is the real deal. I've seen the clips of her on NBC, on Larry King, and omigod somebody - possibly even Susan Boyle herself - have tried to "prettify" her. She has this odd hairstyle that looks like it was sprayed on with two cans of hair lacquer, curling out in unlikely directions; she's wearing chunky jewellery, and she has this owl-eyed stare that speaks to me of unaccustomed make-up. They tried to make her "pop" on television and - as far as I am concerned - they just made her into an uncomfortable painted doll, a caricature, because dear lord she has to be beautiful in order to sing on TV we can't have anything other than that...

The truth is, Susan Boyle is not "ugly" - but she has committed the cardinal sin of being "ordinary". And they don't do ordinary in front of cameras. It's too weird for the rest of us, it might give the rest of us ideas of our own, it might seem possible to, you know, have a TALENT and not the looks that appear to be required as an accessory to it. Yes, it affects even those of us a little bit more behind the scenes, too, because these days authors stand a much better chance of success if they're photogenic and if they can show a good set of white choppers to a TV camera. We're all being turned into anchorpeople for the late-night TV news, ferchrissakes. Ordinary isn't bad. Ordinary is what we all are. Even the most extraordinary of us don't look extraordinary all the time - you might find, here and there, an Iman whose natural perfection leaves the rest of us in the dust - but by and large the perfect people we see in pictures or on camera are that way because they have just spent a couple of hours GETTING that way. And to be painfully honest... it shouldn't matter just what kind of package that voice which came out of Susan Boyle actually arrives in. She might have sung from behind a screen, we might never have seen her, we might have never had the opportunity to go, oh, wow, listen to that voice, who'd have thunk it that it came out of that dumpy little Scotswoman whose eyebrows I've seen compared multiple times to a pair of caterpillars in internet articles about her.

She might never get cast as Fantine in a production of Les Miz on stage, where, let's face it, you have to be able to reasonably LOOK the part as well as sing it. And no amount of primping and transformation is going to MAKE her into a candidate to be cast as Fantine in such a production. It is neither lookism nor ageism to try and cast an actor in a role for which they are suited or not cast them in that role if they are not - and the way the musical is put together it calls for a still reasonably young and attractive woman to play Fantine to the tragic hilt (but Susan Boyle appears to have a talent for being perky and comic on stage - she's perfect for those old English pantomimes - if we go back to Les Miz, she'd make a fabulous Mme Thenardier on stage, actually...)

I'm not quite sure what brought this particular little rant on - but it was, perhaps, just one too many of the fawning "who'd have thunk it to look at her" articles that crossed my screen. I would like to seen Susan get honoured for what and who she is - for the life experience she has ammassed - for being so fiercely ordinary and one of us in a world of so much that is fake and false - for the gift of that amazing voice. But please, for the love of God, give the woman her dignity. On American TV she looked depressingly like the way ET looked when the young Drew Barrymore dressed him up in finery which ill-suited him.

Susan Boyle may SOUND like a dark-haired speakeasy siren - but no amount of physical faffing in this world will transform her into one for the benefit of the TV cameras. I hope she wins the competition. I hope she wins because she can sing like an angel. Not because they desperately trued to glue wax-and-feather wings on her to make her LOOK like one.

There. Film at 11. Now I really have other rather important chores to do.
anghara: (Dunavska)
2009-04-19 10:49 am

Christ is Risen...

...for those of us of the Orthodox faith.

There is a church where God lives, the Cathedral of St George in Novi Sad, with its quiet sanctity and its candles made of tallow and its scent of candle and incense and childhood memories, and the echoes of services sung over so many years.

I give you Our Father in Heaven, like you've never hear it prayed, like it should be prayed.

I give you the beauty of all of our churches and ancient monasteries, which come to us from the mists of time, from ancient Byzantium.



Happy Easter.