Tuesday, October 15, 2013

VCon 38

Dragged the little ones to their first SF con, and was joined by Lila, as well. A good time was had by all.

Barbara M.Gordon & Paula Johanson at the SF Canada table.

My Associates.

Ready for the Masquerade.
Exposing Difficult Truths.

Sercon Stuff at the Writers Workshop.
Fran Skene Kicking Off the Turkey Readings

Make it Good, Casey. Knock 'Em Dead.

Wild Turkeys... As It Were...

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Human Evolution: Diving Into Online Learning

My 200th post!

Today is the first day of my edX course, ANTH_207 Human Evolution, offered for free by Wellesley College and taught by Adam Van Arsdale. I have been going over the course materials and have added my voice to the growing discussion. There are people from Vietnam, Brazil, Australia, Canada, the US of A...It is shaping up to be a fascinating course, with videos, scientific papers, assignments. I am so stoked!

Here is my introduction. There is still time to sign up if you are interested, or go for another of their many offerings.

A Hearty Hello from Vancouver, Canada (+ Answers to the Questions re Evolution)

CaseyWolfabout 2 hours ago

I am delighted to be among you all as we embark on this journey of discovery. I thought I'd read all of your introductions first...this proved impossible given my time constraints. Nevertheless, I am happy to have read many and to have some sense of my fellow travellers.
I have had a lifelong interest in "deep time"--paleontology, evolution, and so on--and in science generally, though I have been diverted into the arts over much of my life. I was forced to leave school for health reasons years ago and am excited to have an opportunity to look into the mechanics of evolution in more detail than a one hour radio program might offer. (I did take a 4th year course in Evolution at UBC years ago, which was truly wonderful, but I am definitely due for a refresher.)
The past months I have been caring for a dying friend and I am already reveling in the opportunity to take my thoughts far away from those worries and joys and put them onto something so different and so long of interest to me.
As to the questions: Why are you taking this class? Stimulation, pleasure, filling in the holes in my understanding of the evolution of our branch of the tree. A break from stress. What questions do you most want answered about human evolution? Why do we have round hairy nostrils when lemurs have smooth comma shaped ones? Why do we have so much hair on our heads, and so little elsewhere? (I can't think of other animals with hair that grows almost without check.) Are we more governed by the impulse to co-operate or the impulse to distrust and have power over outsiders, and how can these traits be examined in our evolutionary past? When and how did you first learn something about the human fossil record? Age five when my mother introduced me to all her favourite subjects.
Much wonder and delight to us all! Thanks to Wellesley for the offering.
(Gadzooks! There are 18, 000 people in my class!)

Sunday, September 01, 2013

VCon Coming...

Getting ready for this year's VCon--VCon 38. (And to think I have been attending since VCon 11.) I am thrilled to report I will have Actual Children in tow this year for the first time in ages, since my sister's first batch grew up. These two are now self-sufficient enough, and I have pared down my commitments enough, that we should do quite nicely ranging around the hotel and all the offerings of a proper SF con.

The Pallahaxi Players are taking the year off and I am concentrating my guestly contribution on Sunday. On that morning I will participate in a three hour, four contributor Writers Workshop with Linda Demeulemeester and Rhea Rose (chaired by R. Graeme Cameron). An hour later I plunge into three more hours of (in this second case) mad activity at the Turkey Readings.

I love the Turkeys. They were Fran Skene's brainchild many years ago, a way of raising funds for the Canadian Unity Fan Fund (CUFF) as well as a he** of a lot of fun for panelists and audience alike. One year I got so carried away with the joy of it all I abandoned my post as a reader/panelist and became the Evil Queen in one of the skits.

If you have no idea what I'm talking about, check out this earlier posting. (Coincidentally, I am wearing a dress by Krista Reich in the video. You will see why this is of note if you read below...)

Apropos of nothing, I will mention that my wardrobe has just been elegantly improved by the arrival of two handmade linen dresses--a grey 12th century style gown and a black surcote--made by Krista Reich of Foliate Face Artworks. The gown is similar to the first one I bought from her back at VCon number who-knows-what. I can only hope October deigns to be cool enough for me to wear them because they are really lovely and feel fabulous to put on.

Never did I think I would say such a girlie thing. I guess C L Moore was right. As a teenager I made a very sour face when her otherwise barbaric Jirel of Joiry got all gooey over slipping into a nice dress.

Who'd a thunk I'd slide so far?

I just looked at Krista's portfolio online and she doesn't have up photos of either the gown (a simple and graceful full-skirted dress) or the surcote right now, but I'll add a photo she does have of a Saxon overdress she made for me several years ago. I've stumbled across a photo of me wearing a shawl she made for me, as well, so I'm popping that in for your viewing pleasure.

Krista draws from many periods for her garments, and also creates original designs. She uses good fabric and does excellent sewing, making clothes that can be worn for many years. And yet her prices are not high. I have seen many flimsy and cheap looking period gowns that sell for more than her fine dresses. It has me scratching my head, but I'm glad I can afford to buy her clothes now and then.

Unfortunately, Krista didn't sell much at that VCon where I met her, so she hasn't been back, but if you are interested she is quite good to work with even at a distance. She's recently moved to Victoria, BC, where a small selection of her garments can be seen in person at Triple Spiral Metaphysical, in Fan Tan Alley between Pandora and Fisgard Streets. But definitely have a look through her portfolios online.

See you at VCon!

Monday, April 29, 2013

From Horrors to Sorrows (to Laughs)

Both The Speed of Dark and Callanish Writes Volume VIII are now available for perusal.

The Speed of Dark is the brainchild of Canadian author and publisher Clayton Bye, named for his young son, who tottered in one night to ask, "What is the speed of dark?" The book itself is not suitable reading for young children, though. It is a collection of "strangely different and disturbing" horror stories.

Those of you who have read my stories may be surprised that I have anything in a horror anthology--so am I. But by and large I let stories write themselves. Certainly, I help. But if a story needs to take a turn that is uncomfortable for me, I will hang in and let it work itself out. "Eating Our Young" didn't take an uncomfortable turn, exactly. It began grim and continued on that way. But it speaks about a kind of wrong that I feel deeply, something that crept up and said, look at me.

I invite you to have a look, too.

The Callanish Society of Vancouver, BC offers week-long retreats for people with cancer. I had the privilege of being one of their scholarship participants in February 2012, and it really was a life-changing event. I am extremely grateful that I was told about them days after receiving my cancer diagnosis, and that I was able to attend a retreat before my treatment began. The amount of intelligent caring and joyful openess that surrounded each of us was incredible, and the eight participants gained immeasurably from our week together.

It was not all gloom, by any means--I should perhaps pull out some of the ukelele pictures for you some day--but the laughter and kindness and beautiful food and surroundings (in the woods near Whistler, BC) helped to make it possible for us to look at the hard facts of cancer in each of our lives.

A couple of months later Callanish offered a writing class for former retreat participants going back several years. The group met once a week for several weeks in a row and with poetic prompts and such-like, sat together and wrote whatever sprang (or dragged) forth. Rather than then critiquing them, we read them aloud (or didn't) and responded from our hearts. Some of us were healing, some of us were dying, and some were long in recovery, but all knew both the joy and the sorrow that cancer can bring.

Many of the offerings we wrote over those weeks are now in a book called Callanish Writes Volume VIII. There is some darn good writing in there, and some very honest talk. A beautiful book, and I treasure my copy.

To download the first volume of Callanish Writes (not the one I refer to above), click here. To learn more about the Callanish Society, sign up for a retreat, donate, or winkle a copy of the latest volume of Callanish Writes, click here.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Pred & Ed Readers' Choice # 4 !

Writers on the Wrong Side of the Road places 4th in the Preditors and Editors Reader's Choice Award (for Anthologies).  http://critters.org/predpoll/final_tally_antho.ht

This is particularly cool for me as I have three stories (one co-authored) in the anthology. So, yay!

Here's the full list:

1. The Ghost Is the Machine, Post Mortem Press, [link][comments] 

2. Sapphic Planet Anthology, Sapphic Planet, [link][comments] 
3. Beneath the Surface, Gypsy Shadow Publishing, [link][comments] 
4. Bonded By Blood 5: Doomsday Descends, SNM Horror Mag, [link][comments] 
4. Writers on the Wrong Side of the Road, Chase Enterprises Publishing, [link][comments] 
5. Dark Tales of Lost Civilizations, Dark Moon Books, [link] 
5. Blaze, Amazon Digital, [link][comments] 
5. Evernight 2, XoXo Publishing, [link][comments] 
6. Adventures in Otherwhen, BooksforaBuck.com, [link] 
7. Read The End First, WIcked East Press, [link] 
8. Mirages: Tales from Authors of the Macabre, Black Curtain Press, [link] 
9. 2012 Christmas Collection, Victory Tales Press, [link][comments] 
10. Horror for Good, Cutting Block Press, [link][comments] 
10. Substitution Cipher, Candlemark & Gleam, [link] 
10. Wicked Bag of Suspense Tales, Wicked East Press, [link][comments] 

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Free Book Download--including "Miss Lonelygenes' Secret"!

Ahmed Khan has announced that his anthology A Mosque Among the Stars is now available as a free download. 

My story, "Miss Lonelygenes' Secret" follows a scientist who matches—and sometimes improves upon—potential spouses based on their genotypes. But her own life isn't going so terribly well...

Find out why at