Monday, November 23, 2015

I'm baaack! Various and sundry, but mostly France to Germany and a new blog post!

It has been a long while since I posted hasn't it? Since June at least. I went on an extended hiatus from all things bloggy and podcasty and poetry-y while we (the family and I) went on vacation in Italy after school got out, finished out our sojourn in France, arrived in Germany and prepared to begin and began elementary school and all that entails. It was a busy summer that extended into the fall and seems not to be slowing down. Although now, I'm making sure I take time to start doing the things I love to do, namely sing, teach singing, narrate stories and poetry, produce my podcast segment Poetry Planet, blog for Amazing Stories, writing reviews and round up cool poetry. But phew! That's a lot!

I have a lot less time for my hobbies and even my work than I did in France. Dante only goes to school from 8:00 to 13:00 (1pm). Then we have lunch and start on homework and/or go to one of his after school classes. He has Italian on Mondays, Guitar on Tuesdays, German on Wednesdays (which will fall away in January) and Karate on Thursdays. They get homework on most days and since he's training in the discipline of Olympic Dawdling, it takes him forever. Unfortunately, that doesn't leave much time for play. And since I am responsible for feeding him, supervising his homework, and taking him to his after school activities, that leaves little time for me. Mornings only folks! And when do I shop, run errands, clean the house, etc. Well, whenever it just has to be done and not a moment sooner. I have started teaching again, but just a couple of students so far and I've committed to singing with a small vocal ensemble, Vox Animae, in Bremen with my former co-student there, Imma Einsingbach. She's also helping me do a course on Hildegard von Bingen's music in the new year, so there's that.

We miss Paris, sure. Hannover is NOT Paris. But one a trip back in October I discovered that there are certain things I do not miss at all: the crowds of tourists, the dirt and the air pollution. Life is just a little bit more comfortable, easier and healthier here in Germany. We miss the flair of our neighborhood (close to the Eiffel Tower), despite the tourists and the sheer plethora of things to do in Paris. We miss being able to go (but rarely actually going) to movies in English at any time. Except kids movies. They were ONLY in French! What's up with that?!? We miss the wonderful food and restaurants of Paris. We have a wonderful market right in front of our door here in Hannover, but there just isn't much imagination to the things they sell at the vegetable/fruit a meat market stalls. The necessities and that's about it. It is nice, though, to be known by name (even after 3 years away) and to meet people I know and have a cup of coffee every Wednesday. But I did that in Paris too, I suppose. It's different here, but wonderful in it's own quiet way. But it's still not Paris. The Eiffel Tower never got old. Here's a photo I took in October:

When the horrible attacks occurred in Paris we were glad that we now live in quiet provincial Hannover. But then a few days later, the terrorists decided to plan something in Hannover of all places. Luckily, their plans were leaked, and they were foiled by the efficient German police.

ANYWAY, I also recently took up my blogging on Amazing Stories again. My first post after my hiatus since June focusses on Science Fiction Poetry with the natural sciences, technology and space exploration as its basis and the WOMEN who write it: "Women Destroy Hard SF Poetry - Round Up November 2015". This week I resume reviewing poetry collections and naturally I'll post those links when they go live.

I also managed to finish a narration for FarFetchedFables (the sister podcast to StarShipSofa that does Fantasy) that was in the works for WAAAAAY too long. I'll post here when it goes up, promise.

And I'm making progress on a long overdue (sound familiar?) themed Poetry Planet for StarShipSofa. In fact, I can see the light at the end of the tunnel and it should be ready to go VERY soon. Really. Which StarShipSofa show it'll go into is up to Tony and his assistant Jeremy Szal, though. Stay tuned.

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Tuesday, June 02, 2015

Poetry Review - Littlest Lovecraft series by Tro Rex and Eyona Bella (Amazing Stories Mag)

Littlest Lovecraft is a series of picture books in verse based on novels or stories by H.P. Lovecraft. I have helped Kickstart all 3 Littlest Lovecraft books in the series. It finally occurred to me that I could review the first 2 (The Call of Cthulhu and The Dunwich Horror) and promote the 3rd (The Shadow over Innsmouth) for Amazing Stories. There are 2 audio excerpts, The Call of Cthulhu read by moi and The Dunwich Horror excellently read by Dan Putnam.

Poetry Review – Littlest Lovecraft series by Tro Rex and Eyona Bella

Monday, June 01, 2015

Poetry Review - The Sex Lives of Monsters by Helen Marshall (Amazing Stories Mag)

The Elgin Award winning (2014) collection The Sex Lives of Monsters by Helen Marshall was one I'd been planning on reviewing in full (more than just the mini-review that I did in 2014 along with all the other Elgin nominated works). I also recorded 2 full poems (one of which is a series of 5 short poems on Billy the Kid) for your listening pleasure!

Poetry Review – The Sex Lives of Monsters by Helen Marshall

Saturday, May 30, 2015

Video Interview with Kim Stanley Robinson (SofaCon2 - StarShipSofa)

I had the intense pleasure of being allowed to interview master Science Fiction Author and Hugo and Nebula Award winner Kim Stanley Robinson for StarShipSofa's SofaCon2. We talk about his next book Aurora (or as much about it as he feels he can say), about his writing space, the book of poetry and another fiction anthology he edited, about education in the US and he answers several questions from fans. I was hopped up on pain-killers having just had oral surgery and I am considerably addled, but he was very kind, intensely interesting and eloquent!

Interview with Kim Stanley Robinson at SofaCon2

Friday, May 29, 2015

Genre Poetry Round Up - Haiku! (Amazing Stories Mag)

I don't normally theme the Round Ups for Amazing Stories, I feature what catches my fancy. But what was coming into focus was quite a bit of haiku and so I thought I'd gather it up into one post. I'm no expert and so I got some help on this Genre Poetry Round Up dedicated to SF haiku. Thanks Deborah P. Kolodji and Julie Bloss Kelsey:

"Genre Poetry Round Up - haiku!"

Thursday, May 28, 2015

Interview with SF poet Steve Sneyd (Amazing Stories Mag)

There is a nowadays little known master of SF poetry living in the UK named Steve Sneyd.

He's (still) well-known among British SF poets, and also American SF poets who've been around awhile, but I, for one, had never heard of him until last year, when I was researching a Poetry Round Up on British SF Poetry. I have nominated him for the honor of Grandmaster of SF Poetry awarded by the SFPA (voting through June 15, 2015) and I sincerely hope he wins. It's important to remember poets like him. 

He is pretty much completely offline and only writes handwritten letters or anything for that matter, including his SF Poetry newsletter DataDump. I interviewed him by snail mail and transcribed his hand-written responses:

Interview with SF Poet Steve Sneyd

Monday, May 25, 2015

Narration - Moon Cup, by Sylvia Spruck Wrigley

It's not poetry! At long last I narrated another story for StarShipSofa! This one is by Sylvia Spruck Wrigley, who I had the pleasure of meeting for coffee in Paris. She sent my son a hand-knit Cthulhu later!

The women will definitely appreciate this story, as it asks the question of what happens to the blood and delves into calamity as well. The assistant editor of StarShipSofa, apologized for giving me the story, if it was too icky (my words). I assured him that, since I am also a woman, I could, in fact relate to the ick, no need to apologize!

Moon Cup by Sylvia Spruck Wrigley