ellenkushner: (Madame J. (closeup))
I've got them up on Facebook - they don't look bad in lo-res there - but you should see the originals!  I'll find a way.  Meanwhile, because you asked:         
ellenkushner: (WelcBORDERTOWN)
 Arrived in Paris at 8 am local time, 2 am NYC time (which is often when I go to bed - so you can imagine how much we didn't sleep on the plane - but paid extra on Air France for Premium Voyageur, and boy was it worth it!! 1 step down from Business at a fraction the cost - 10 steps up from Steerage! We love Air France).  Staggered onto RER to Gare du Nord & down endless corridor to Metro & finally found our friend's houseI meanapartement where she had croissants and raspberry jam waiting.  Devoured that, went to bed, got up & did what we usually do in the mornings as we come to:  e-mail & internet.  Only it's 6pm here, now - and soon Anne will return to walk us around the neighborhood, to make sure we know which is the good boulangerie (not, apparently, the one 2 doors down that I can see from the window) and take us to dinner.

Delia is sitting at the table with her laptop (WiFi is great here!) researching yarn stores in Paris. There are quite a few.  The hedgies have enjoyed some chocolate croissants. 

And I am here to tell you about the Bordertown Lives! Sweepstakes!

Trust me, you'll be glad I did.  And please help spread the word.
ellenkushner: (Madame J. (closeup))
Headed home today - so one last photo, of the little courtyard that led up to the roof (to the right), and into the sitting/dining/kitchen wing:

Hard to step through these bright doors one last time . . . but glad to have so many photos to reflect on and to share with friends.
ellenkushner: (Madame J. (closeup))
Your comments on my previous post about our Mexican writing retreat (with 8 other people) made me laugh (where appropriate), feel happy, and generally enjoy having you all in my Virtual Salon here.

Here is a wonderful article about the guy here who made my magical rings, David Godinez.  (Backstory:  All my life I've wanted to wear massive rings - the kind that yell "Renaissance Prince!"  The kind that imply "Mess with me and I'll have your house burnt" or simply "Kiss me, you fool."  But every time I've tried them on, they just look overwhelming and ill-placed on my hands.  [Oddly, Delia, who has even more delicate bones than I do, can wear big rings much better than I.  Must have to do with proportion.]  So when I found first one and then the other in Godinez' shop, I was sooo happy!)

Here is that fountain in the courtyard:

Photo 1 )

And here is the view from our house's rooftop - which is, alone, bigger than my apartment:

I hope all these bright colors & sunlight have served to cheer you.  I hear it's pretty gloomy up north, where I will be returning on Monday.  BUT I am glad to say that I have made some progress on the novel.  I'm not at all sure I hate it or that it will be a total disaster, after all.
ellenkushner: (Default)
For the past week, Delia & I have been with friends in a perfect little jewel of a colonial town in Mexico.  We're in a huge glorious palazzo of an 18c house together on a writing retreat, and while I fear I have spent far too much of my time trying to raise funds and attract stations to our Witches of Lublin show for April, I have managed to complete, polish & submit a short story to Jonathan Strahan's YA Witches anthology - a whole 2 days before the deadline, yet!  (Those who know me of old will know what a crazy achievement that is.)  I've also  - after a fair amount of dithering & taking counsel of the assembled colleagues - officially begun a new novel.  Of which more later.  And I've listened to other people's plot points, and read assorted mss., and counseled in my turn.  And eaten lots of amazing Mexican food, and found the massive rings I've always wanted (one rocky opal, one labradorite), and gotten very nearly enough sunlight to banish all mooligrubs . . . and found myself living in a gloriously aesthetic and luxurious space that is the sort of place one usually visits only in dreams.  There is a colonnaded courtyard with a fountain, into which bougainvillea blossoms drop and float.  Here is a photo of Delia working in it:

(There really is a fountain in the middle.  I guess I must be standing behind it.  I will try to post more photos, if I can find a way to do it without being too annoying.)
ellenkushner: (Latvian THOMAS)
Delia & I are reading tonight at NYRSF  at 7pm  (details here).  Continuing last year's tradition of presenting not-yet-published work, this time I'll be giving a sneak preview of "The Duke of Riverside,"* a new story set shortly after my novel Swordspoint. It will be published this summer in NAKED CITY: TALES OF URBAN FANTASY, edited by Ellen Datlow (St Martin's Press, July 2011).  [livejournal.com profile] deliasherman  will read from her forthcoming teen novel THE FREEDOM MAZE (Big Mouth House, 2011): the story of a girl from 1960 who travels back in time to her family's sugar plantation in 1860s Louisiana, and is promptly sent to the slave quarters . . . kind of an E. Nesbit time travel book with teeth!

I seem to have caught a mild cold - or maybe it's just brutal malaise brought on by too much running around - but don't worry; I've given great performances in far worse condition; as soprano Laurie Monahan once replied when I asked her what techniques singers use for delivering the goods with respiratory ailments:  Adrenaline!  Seems to work.  But just in case, I propose to spend the day in bed re-watching the third season of Slings & Arrows, with maybe a little gentle Georgette Heyer, plus, if I feel up to the excitement, the galleys of Nancy Werlin's new novel, Extraordinary, which she was kind enough to send me in return for a sneak peek at "Duke of Riverside."

This will be our first time in the new reading series space, SoHo Gallery for Digital Art -  a thrill because its walls are lined with projection(?) boxes wherein giant images glow.  Even if you can't come, series director Jim Freund has posted tonight's images here (and this seems like a good place to thank him for putting up with my megrims as I fussed & fretted about what should go up, after having claimed on Friday (on the train to Philadelpia, by iPhone) that I didn't care that much!).  Along with book covers & illos, they include a couple of photos from our 2004 wedding in our backyard in Massachusetts, one of us cutting the cake, and the other of the giddy cake toppers (made by our dear Sarah Smith).

*As "The Duke..." weighs in at a hefty 8,000 words, I don't know that I'll be able to fit it all in my 30-minute timeslot. Will rise from my bed of teem at some point & try to figure out how many minutes/page - does anyone know?
ellenkushner: (DREYDL)
The Hedgies' First Chanukah:

 the hedgies' first chanukah 

We got home & candles lit a little late tonight, since my first night of Chanukah present - also my "I had to have 2 fillings and the dentist is right down the street from the highbrow movie theatre" treat - was the 5:00 showing of Undertow.  A wonderful film - part ghost story, all "yes they (the sweetly stunning Peruvian fisherman w/the pregnant wife, and the seriously cute artist) are truly gay for each other" . . . It's really well-constructed (just saw The Squid & the Whale, at last - what a tremendously SAD movie! - but I can't stop thinking about how well it was constructed, too - every minute counts, and means something that will matter by the end) - good-hearted and sexy and also about people in a closed society, which I'm a sucker for.  It plays fair with everyone. It touches on a lot of my favorite themes & templates - including class, disguise/identity, and myth - Oh, heck, you see why I worship Paul Witcover and of course [livejournal.com profile] deliasherman - I can never write coherently about things I really like.  I just don't have the patience.  People are lucky to get 25 words of blurbage out of me when I read mss.  Anyhow it's a lot more restrained than my books, but if you like them you'll probably like Undertow, too.

Anyhow-- the Hedgies.  They are admiring one of our several Chanukah menorahs (which I've been informed are now more correctly called Chanukiot (singular: Chanukiah) - well, excuuuuse me! when I was a kid, it was always the menorah, thank you very much).  Delia loves to buy them.  This one is pewter, and she got it for me the year I wrote my JONAH show for Sound & Spirit.  See, it's shaped like a Big Fish . . . and if you peer hard you can see Jonah all curled up inside. 
ellenkushner: (Default)
We went to Aureole, a crazyfancy midtown restaurant that happens to have a pretty reasonable pre-theatre prix fixe menu.  I told them in advance that it was [livejournal.com profile] deliasherman  's birthday, and suggested they set her dessert on fire - but not only did they bring her regular dessert, they threw in this amazing chocolate trio with her name spelled out!
          We are having Delias b'day dinner at Aureole, where they trea... on Twitpic

Fancypants restau = sometimes, Very Very Good!
(And we did go to the theatre, too - saw The Screwtape Letters.  If she's up to form, she'll write it up for youse.)
ellenkushner: (Bessie McNicol)
 . . . but  Alan and I are both up today  on Terri Windling's blog "The Drawing Board" as part of her "The View from your Window" series!  

Others' views include Karen Shaffer & Charles Vess . . . Bulgarian puppeteer Rossitsa, . . . Ari Berk & Kris McDermott . . . Beth Meacham . . . Wendy Froud . . . . Stu Jenks . . . [livejournal.com profile] deliasherman  . . . . I do have to say it's not fair putting real photographers up against us little writers with iPhones . . . . But the view, overall, is terrific!
ellenkushner: (Madame J.)
First of all, thanks to all the lovely wonderful people, old friends & new, who came to celebrate with us on pub day for The Man with the Knives, my new chapbook from Temporary Culture.   (I'm going to get your names/tags wrongs, so please do "sign in" below so I can thank you personally!.)  Here's everyone partaying at the elegant James Cummins Booksellers on Madison Avenue (full of delectable rare books - yes, that is a first edition of Keats' poems under the glass case) while I slave away signing books:


And here is the Thing Itself - the first copy I held in my hand - note the raised type of the cover, which is real embossing [check the back - see? raised!], and the page with the number count  (only numbered in the hand-bound version - note Henry's red fingerprint [one in every book, even the paperbound]!)


There are still plenty of books left, so click here to find ordering information.  

And if you'd like your book signed and/or inscribed, I'll be happy to do that for you if you let Henry know before Saturday noon (when you order), as that's when I'm seeing him next.  I inscribed about 8 of them today to people who'd pre-ordered - you know who you are - and thanks!  If you don't like the story, you can simply enjoy the Beautiful Object you will soon be holding in your hands.  The weight & surface of the paper . . . the texture of the cover . . . the interior illo's . . . . ahhh!  Bliss in 32 pages.
ellenkushner: (Knives cover)
 Lots more photos of the hand-binding process for The Man With the Knives are up now!  Mr H-- W-- has been a busy fellow.  I particularly like the one of all the biggest, heaviest books he could find, weighting down my slender little volume there at the bottom.

The publication party is tomorrow, Monday, in NYC, 5-7 pm.

 All are invited --  but please RSVP to: henry at jamescumminsbookseller dot (com) for a head-count.   I'll be getting there early to sign books to anyone who's pre-ordered (or "subscribed," as the publisher likes to put it) and asked for same.
ellenkushner: (Default)
No sooner do I walk in the door (late as usual, but not so late that readings have started), before I've even got my coat off, than [livejournal.com profile] ellen_datlow starts sticking a flash camera in my face. No, really. It made me feel absurdly glamorous.

Readers were Lev Grossman & David Anthony Durham, who was persuaded to don his Campbell Award tiara - or "diadem," as he prefered to call it - I thought he was just being scared of girl cooties, but in fact it is not a tiara. I'm not sure if it's a diadem, either -- ?

You may look at them all, as long as we can agree in advance that my nose isn't really that big. And if you've wondered if you should really come to KGB, and whether you would have good time, I hope the photos that show the crowd doing just that will help to convince you to. It really is a most congenial, convivial gang. Many of us (like, 40?) went as usual to Grand Sichuan afterwards, and I proved I was over last week's stomach bug by eating an embarrassing amount of cumin beef, sweet & sour lotus root, and even the last of another's table's tea-smoked duck. Because I'm like that.
ellenkushner: (Bordertown)
So I'm editing a new Bordertown story that uses the phrase "feral houses" a bunch of times in the opening pages - and I'm thinking, "Huh? Does this writer know what feral really means? Or is it possible it's a term from a B'town story that I've somehow missed reading?"

Enter: The Internet! I google "feral houses" and find page after page . . . most referring back to these amazing photos of feral houses in Detroit by James D. Griffieon.

My esteemed colleague [livejournal.com profile] ariberk then sent me this awetastic link to entire abandoned town, orphanages, roads, etc: Abandoned Place in the World -- omg, it is PURE BORDERLANDS!


May. 29th, 2009 02:24 pm
ellenkushner: (Simon van Alphen by Nicolaes Maes)
Meanwhile, here's a link to an adorable photo of me w/2 readers of admirable taste at Wiscon, with suitable T-shirts.

And here's a link to a post by the fabulous Colleen Doran featuring photos of some years back when she was visiting us in Boston (Delia's doing her hair in our kitchen. God, I miss that kitchen!) and we dragged her off to the Titanic Ball, in costume. (Delia & I are wearing our wedding dresses - silk from Alicia Mughetti, kind of Fortuny-like. I knew we'd get a lot of use out of them.)

Thanks to [livejournal.com profile] fatfred and [livejournal.com profile] aliseadae for the links!
ellenkushner: (Default)

Delia took this photo of me in my study on Monday.
ellenkushner: (NYC: RSD)
Let Proud Washingtonians boast of their blossoms!

Here in New York, we have an alley of cherry trees blooming in Riverside Park.

ellenkushner: (Default)
Rivendell in Switzerland?
(gakked from maskmaker Shane Odom (a.k.a. [livejournal.com profile] wildwose's FaceBook page)

[livejournal.com profile] isabelswift's Washington cherry trees.
ellenkushner: (EK/DS wedding band)

...was a week ago today, in Norfolk, VA. I intend to write about it, but am a bit busy right now. So here's a glorious collage of the festivities, made by my talented cousin [livejournal.com profile] stonz. I am the one in the striped skirt, hidden behind the chuppa pole (next to my other brother). My dad is walking the bride down the aisle. I found the blue jacket for her online, and made her buy it for the rehearsal dinner. You will recognize Delia amongst the dancers, next to my nephew AJ, across from my cousins Paul & Debra.

We are all so happy for David & Lucy Rebecca. They've waited a long time for each other. It's never too late to find the one you're meant to be with.
ellenkushner: (Default)
My dear sweet Michael Swanwick sent me this photo, with a note: Hi, Ellen. I was in Edinburgh recently and noticed a slate in the walk in front of the Writers Museum. So I took a pic and it is attached.

How lovely it is to have old friends!

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