alexxkay: (Default)
At Boskone, I attended both a reading by and a kaffeeklatch with Rosemary Kirstein, author of the excellent Steerswomen books. (Earlier reviews by me here and here, and a good review by [livejournal.com profile] siderea here.)

First up, the question everyone's asking: No definite ETA on the next book, though there was a (totally not a promise) indication that it might be less than two years. She's got a full-time non-writing job that is apparently fairly soul-draining, and doesn't leave her a lot of energy for her creative work :-(

I had earlier gotten the impression that she had written the entirety of _City in the Crags_, but then she realized that another book was needed to go before that. My current (still possibly incorrect) understanding is that she was partway into writing CitC when she had that realization, and switched to the current book.

The current book is still untitled. While working on it, she has had lots of realizations about future plot elements, so hopefully the writing of the later books will go faster: she has many scenes planned out in her head that she is eager to get to and write down. (She was careful not to give spoilers, although clearly frustrated, and wishing she could talk about coming developments with us.)

She read (most of) the first chapter of the new book to us. She had had read it before at earlier cons, but she can't read the stuff she's currently working on without massive spoilers.

Her reading style was fairly poor, though not the worst I've heard. Had an interesting hall conversation with [livejournal.com profile] dsrtao in which he opined that he could contribute alot to conventions by offering his services to certain authors as a reader. The author would show up, introduce him, and let him give a reading that was actually performative, rather than dry and flat as they typically are. I encouraged him to explore this as an actual proposal, not just an idle notion.
alexxkay: (Default)
At Boskone, I attended both a reading by and a kaffeeklatch with Rosemary Kirstein, author of the excellent Steerswomen books. (Earlier reviews by me here and here, and a good review by [livejournal.com profile] siderea here.)

First up, the question everyone's asking: No definite ETA on the next book, though there was a (totally not a promise) indication that it might be less than two years. She's got a full-time non-writing job that is apparently fairly soul-draining, and doesn't leave her a lot of energy for her creative work :-(

I had earlier gotten the impression that she had written the entirety of _City in the Crags_, but then she realized that another book was needed to go before that. My current (still possibly incorrect) understanding is that she was partway into writing CitC when she had that realization, and switched to the current book.

The current book is still untitled. While working on it, she has had lots of realizations about future plot elements, so hopefully the writing of the later books will go faster: she has many scenes planned out in her head that she is eager to get to and write down. (She was careful not to give spoilers, although clearly frustrated, and wishing she could talk about coming developments with us.)

She read (most of) the first chapter of the new book to us. She had had read it before at earlier cons, but she can't read the stuff she's currently working on without massive spoilers.

Her reading style was fairly poor, though not the worst I've heard. Had an interesting hall conversation with [livejournal.com profile] dsrtao in which he opined that he could contribute alot to conventions by offering his services to certain authors as a reader. The author would show up, introduce him, and let him give a reading that was actually performative, rather than dry and flat as they typically are. I encouraged him to explore this as an actual proposal, not just an idle notion.
alexxkay: (Default)
After the performance, which climaxes with my character descending to Hell, [livejournal.com profile] kestrell's reaction was priceless. "Am I going to have to go get a bloody piece of bread and feed it to the bloody dog to get you back? Because I *will* be grumpy about it. Don't worry, though; *I* won't look back."

The following day, there was some brief discussion of the play in the midst of a panel on "Stealing Folklore". One of the audience members brought it up, and said that she immediately was prompted to wonder about a sequel. What happens to Thomas? None of the women are still in love with him, and he's probably just going to mope around in the woods, missing Faerie. The panelists observed that it was interesting that, in this version, Janet explicitly is not in love with Thomas; she cares far more about her ownership of the woods, which puts her in a sort of parallel with the Fairy Queen.

The panel then got distracted onto other topics, but there are further issues. What happens to Janet? Her problems are left quite unresolved. She is still six months pregnant, and under the legal authority of a very angry uncle. There *is* an obvious solution, but it's not very satisfactory. She can escape from her uncle's household, by marrying Thomas. Which seems unlikely to be a happy marriage, as there is explicitly no love between them. This recapitulates some of the action of the ballad on an entirely different level: to save what she wants to save (her child, her property ownership), Janet must tightly hold something that causes her pain (an emotionally barren marriage).
alexxkay: (Default)
After the performance, which climaxes with my character descending to Hell, [livejournal.com profile] kestrell's reaction was priceless. "Am I going to have to go get a bloody piece of bread and feed it to the bloody dog to get you back? Because I *will* be grumpy about it. Don't worry, though; *I* won't look back."

The following day, there was some brief discussion of the play in the midst of a panel on "Stealing Folklore". One of the audience members brought it up, and said that she immediately was prompted to wonder about a sequel. What happens to Thomas? None of the women are still in love with him, and he's probably just going to mope around in the woods, missing Faerie. The panelists observed that it was interesting that, in this version, Janet explicitly is not in love with Thomas; she cares far more about her ownership of the woods, which puts her in a sort of parallel with the Fairy Queen.

The panel then got distracted onto other topics, but there are further issues. What happens to Janet? Her problems are left quite unresolved. She is still six months pregnant, and under the legal authority of a very angry uncle. There *is* an obvious solution, but it's not very satisfactory. She can escape from her uncle's household, by marrying Thomas. Which seems unlikely to be a happy marriage, as there is explicitly no love between them. This recapitulates some of the action of the ballad on an entirely different level: to save what she wants to save (her child, her property ownership), Janet must tightly hold something that causes her pain (an emotionally barren marriage).
alexxkay: (Default)
At Boskone, I was part of a staged reading of Jo Walton's "Tam Lin", a delightfully convoluted fanfic mixture of William Shakespeare, Bujold's Barrayar, and Pamela Dean's novel version. It's both an adaptation of the ballad and a sorta-kinda a sequel to A Midsummer Night's Dream.

I played Robin Goodfellow, who is not quite as Puck-ish in this play as formerly (though he still has a great deal of silly business, including an infamous scene of ladders and flirtation). Though Janet-saving-Thomas is in some sense the central plot, Puck's growing world-weariness ends up being the critical element that brings the play to a (mostly) happy ending. Hence, I got to exercise my hamminess in both comical and tragical modes, and had a blast.

The play was co-directed by CHip and Davey, and also featured Jane Yolen as the Fairy Queen, [livejournal.com profile] negothick as the village wench who Robin falls in love with, and Michael/Christian as Thomas, among others.

The audience appeared to have a blast as well. Lots of laughs, thunderous applause at the end, and lots of direct personal praise. The author seemed amazed and pleased that I had managed to convey both the comedy and seriousness of the character as needed; I, in turn, thanked her for giving me such wonderful speeches to work with. Davey reminded me afterwards that the role had previously been performed by Mike Ford, and in tones which suggested that she thought I was a worthy successor, in at least this small way.

Now, on to [livejournal.com profile] herooftheage's production of Henry V, in which I will be playing Exeter, Fluellen, and probably miscellaneous bit parts. Early rehearsals are promising, and suggest it will be a really good show by the time we go live in June.

Interesting observation on Shakespearean writing: One of the hardest parts of working on Tam Lin was figuring out where to breathe. Robin has lots of very long, intricate sentences, which really do contain a single (if complex) thought, so ought not to be broken up by pauses. So I worked hard at putting in half-breaths unobtrusively where I could, which took a lot of experimentation. Fluellen in H5 also has lots of long sentences that clearly should not be broken up by pauses. But in our very first read-through, without any preparation, I was able to read them straight through with no difficulty at all. Fluellen's speech patterns include a lot of apparently-random interjections -- yet they are not nearly as random as they seem; they naturally enforce partial breaths on the person saying the line, at just the moments when he needs to do so. Yet another example of Shakespeare's subtle brilliance.
alexxkay: (Default)
At Boskone, I was part of a staged reading of Jo Walton's "Tam Lin", a delightfully convoluted fanfic mixture of William Shakespeare, Bujold's Barrayar, and Pamela Dean's novel version. It's both an adaptation of the ballad and a sorta-kinda a sequel to A Midsummer Night's Dream.

I played Robin Goodfellow, who is not quite as Puck-ish in this play as formerly (though he still has a great deal of silly business, including an infamous scene of ladders and flirtation). Though Janet-saving-Thomas is in some sense the central plot, Puck's growing world-weariness ends up being the critical element that brings the play to a (mostly) happy ending. Hence, I got to exercise my hamminess in both comical and tragical modes, and had a blast.

The play was co-directed by CHip and Davey, and also featured Jane Yolen as the Fairy Queen, [livejournal.com profile] negothick as the village wench who Robin falls in love with, and Michael/Christian as Thomas, among others.

The audience appeared to have a blast as well. Lots of laughs, thunderous applause at the end, and lots of direct personal praise. The author seemed amazed and pleased that I had managed to convey both the comedy and seriousness of the character as needed; I, in turn, thanked her for giving me such wonderful speeches to work with. Davey reminded me afterwards that the role had previously been performed by Mike Ford, and in tones which suggested that she thought I was a worthy successor, in at least this small way.

Now, on to [livejournal.com profile] herooftheage's production of Henry V, in which I will be playing Exeter, Fluellen, and probably miscellaneous bit parts. Early rehearsals are promising, and suggest it will be a really good show by the time we go live in June.

Interesting observation on Shakespearean writing: One of the hardest parts of working on Tam Lin was figuring out where to breathe. Robin has lots of very long, intricate sentences, which really do contain a single (if complex) thought, so ought not to be broken up by pauses. So I worked hard at putting in half-breaths unobtrusively where I could, which took a lot of experimentation. Fluellen in H5 also has lots of long sentences that clearly should not be broken up by pauses. But in our very first read-through, without any preparation, I was able to read them straight through with no difficulty at all. Fluellen's speech patterns include a lot of apparently-random interjections -- yet they are not nearly as random as they seem; they naturally enforce partial breaths on the person saying the line, at just the moments when he needs to do so. Yet another example of Shakespeare's subtle brilliance.
alexxkay: (Default)
very tired.

Highlight was definitely the play on Saturday night. [livejournal.com profile] negothick and I knocked 'em dead. I think half the audience shook my hand afterwards, and the author was practically in hysterics, she was so happy.

More later, probably.
alexxkay: (Default)
very tired.

Highlight was definitely the play on Saturday night. [livejournal.com profile] negothick and I knocked 'em dead. I think half the audience shook my hand afterwards, and the author was practically in hysterics, she was so happy.

More later, probably.

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Alexx Kay

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