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Category Archives: personal
I got some really sad news today: Venus Zine will no longer publish its print version.
The website will stay up and continue to publish new content, but the magazine will no longer appear on newsstands.
This breaks my heart. Venus Zine has been the go-to source for celebrating women in the arts and media. Their articles and interviews have been intelligent, fun, and informative. They made me feel like the newsstand was a place where I was represented: as a woman, as a feminist, and as a lady who supports other lady projects.
More than that, Venus Zine was a creative home for me at a time when I was just starting out as a feature writer and blogger. Back in 2005, they published my first article ever — an interview with comics creator Brian Wood — and for the next 3 1/2 years, they let me write about what I love. A chance encounter with another Venus Zine writer at a Northern State show led me to reviewing music, something I fell in love with and have continued to do ever since.
Print media is truly losing one of the best and smartest magazines for women in Venus Zine. And while I consider myself and all the other readers lucky that the first-class web content will continue, nothing will fill the print version-shaped hole in my heart.
Photo by bcostin, via Flickr.
BN Review has a nice write up of recent BBC wonder, Sherlock. This was by far the favorite television event of 2010 in Skinny House; not only did I see it early (and uncut) through nefarious means, I forced the rest of the household to watch it on successive Sunday evenings as it aired on Masterpiece Mystery. So it’s lovely to see the show getting a little highbrow love:
Sherlock, in which Cumberbatch stars, is a loving if heavily re-engineered adaptation of the well-known adventures of Holmes and Watson, which time-shifts its central pair a hundred years forward without so much as a backward glance at Victorian frippery, steampunked or otherwise. Instead, Mark Gatiss and Steven Moffat’s creation for the BBC and Masterpiece Mystery! remixes Conan Doyle’s detective stories for the era of GPS smartphones and CSI-style forensic labs. The tone is one of darkly deadpan comedy: a good many of the classic exchanges between the swift-thinking detective and his clay-footed friend John Watson (still a war-veteran doctor) are recast to milk laughs out of Martin Freeman’s mingled wonder and rue over his fate as a sidekick to a pale-skinned Byronic scarecrow who sports manners only slightly more acceptable than those of Hugh Laurie’s Dr. Gregory House.
They also recommend five books related to the great detective, at least one of which is going on my must-read-over-the-holidays list. Arthur Conan Doyle has been getting a lot of love on the site lately; my favorite columnist, Michael Dirda, recently featured an NYRB release of some of his non-Sherlock stories.
Alas, the bookshelf pictured above is not mine. If it were, that would mean I’d be busy reading Les Klinger’s annotated collection of the stories. (I keep meaning to ask for it for Christmas and forgetting, which is probably for the best, considering the amount of time I’d like to invest in pouring over them. But Klinger does have a few pieces of writing up on his site for perusal and general time-spending.) However, you can see me and good friend Ally at 221B Baker Street a few years ago. That was the day I convinced Ally of Holmes and Watson’s true and undying love for each other—over 2 years before Guy Ritchie got the same idea.
Next year should bring us more Sherlock, as Mark Gatiss tweeted a little while ago (and possibly/probably a sequel to the big budget version as well). It’s a good time for Baker Street, and I couldn’t be happier about it.
Further Holmesian amusements:
If there’s one thing grad students are known to have, it’s heaps of spare time just lying around.
But every single moment not spent nose-deep in book after endless book should be, I believe, spent doing something else just as worthwhile. (Okay, sometimes those worthwhile things are, like, watching Gossip Girl until 2 a.m. But still.)
In the past couple of months, I’ve gotten involved in something I’m deeply passionate about, but something I don’t talk about a lot on here. It’s called the Organization for Transformative Works, and I think it’s kind of a big deal.
The Organization for Transformative Works (OTW) is a nonprofit organization established by fans to serve the interests of fans by providing access to and preserving the history of fanworks and fan culture in its myriad forms.
Fandom has been a direct part of my life for over 10 years (and even longer when you account my childhood amongst Trekkies), though I may not talk about it a lot. It has provided me with hours of entertainment, support when I needed it, a chance to do some good in the world, and a ton of wonderful friends around the world.
Right now, though, it’s time to give back. The OTW does what they do out of love, but it does not happen inexpensively. Servers cost money, legal reform costs money, publishing academic work costs money. Many of us donate our time to the OTW — which, I can tell you, is a fun and mutually beneficial experience — but time alone can’t make the organization run.
So if you’ve ever experienced the sheer joy of fandom, or created a fanwork, or enjoyed a fanwork, or if you believe in open access to intellectual property in the spirit of transformation, think about donating a few dollars. We’ve got a lot more battles to fight, a lot more projects to create, and a lot more fun to share with the fannish world.
Checking my Google Reader for the first time in months brought some sad news: the Whale Wall will soon be no more.
The girls at Pecanne Log, my all-time favorite Atlanta blog, have a posted a nice little tribute. They’re right that the mural was kind of crappy and weird, but so were most of my favorite things about Atlanta.
The Whale Wall is one of those things I saw once and then could never seem to find again, convincing me that I’d made it up on some overly-hot summer night. I don’t generally do a lot of hallucinating while riding my bike, but you know how the memory makes strange things seem stranger.
The parking garage the mural used to adorn had some of the coolest ramps to ride — tight corkscrews spanning several stories — and there really was one sweaty summer evening where we rode up and down them till we nearly puked. Getting up to the top is fun, but I was so dizzy I nearly took a spill off the side. Imagine if the Whale Wall was the last thing you saw before you died. Getting down again the correct way was much harder since we had to fight the downhill momentum, keep to the tight turns, and not stop pedaling, then thread the needle between giant concrete pillars with our heads still spinning.
I don’t think I managed to find my way back to the Whale Wall once in the intervening 5 years, until exploring downtown this summer. That was the day we learned about the Hustler’s 10 Commandments, What the Chicken?, and the awesomeness of mixing giant beers at the CNN Center with running in the fountain at Centennial Olympic Park.
You want to be a better writer? Blog for an editor who began before blogs were invented.
I’ve never revised so much in my life. It’s amazing.
Sadly, most of what I’m writing are internal documents that I can’t share. But trust me, they’re good.
The start of school means the start of my new job as the Library Outreach and Publications Intern for Falvey Memorial Library at Villanova University. Part of my job — a teeny, teeny part — is blogging for the library on events and sundry other topics. We host a lot of cool things in Falvey (including a graphic novel event that I get to help organize!), and I’m lucky in that I get to speak to our lecturers and learn all sorts of neat things in the process.
As I’ve done in the past, I’ll be posting links and excerpts from my articles here.