Boston Event! Books! Music! Artists!

Wednesday, 11. November 2009

No really, I’m coming back soon, PROMISE. But in the meantime, Boston locals, there is an AWESOME book event happening this Friday!

Boston Interfictions 2 Reading and Concert

That’s right, Friday at 7:30pm at the Lily Pad in Inman Sq, Cambridge, authors will be reading their stories from the Interfictions 2 Anthology, while musicians give us a concert to go with the words! So cool! So much fun! Everyone come! Tell your friends!

And while we’re talking about Interfictions, you should know that the Interstitial Arts Foundation, who put out the book and are sponsoring the event, are also running an auction of art pieces inspired by the stories in the collection. You can see them all here, and, oh, right, this one’s mine.

Thanks for reading!

Things are happening!

Friday, 16. October 2009

Oh my poor, neglected podcast and blog, I’m so sorry. Things have been pretty busy for me lately, but I do owe you guys an update. I have a third episode recorded, I just have had no time to edit! It’s coming soon though, I’m hoping to have some time this coming week.

In the meantime, there’s a bunch of cool stuff coming up! Tomorrow I’m headed to Rhinebeck, which probably just made all the fiber people reading swoon a little. I’m taking the recorder and hoping to get a chance to talk to some interesting people, and we’ll see what happens with that!

The other thing going on is a Boston area event for the Interstitial Arts Foundation, which I’ve mentioned before, and you can find a link in the sidebar. I’m going to talk about it more soon, but for now, if you’re in the Boston area, just keep November 13 clear, ok? Really, it’s going to be awesome. You want to come.

That’s all for now, but I’ll be back soon, promise!

Episode 2: Goblin Fruit

Monday, 24. August 2009

icon for podpress  WHT002: Goblin Fruit [53:52m]: Play Now | Play in Popup | Download

Art from Summer 2009 issue of Goblin Fruit by Oliver Hunter.

Art from Summer 2009 issue of Goblin Fruit by Oliver Hunter.

I know, it’s been FOREVER since the first episode!  So sorry, things were a bit crazy there for a while, and that hasn’t actually changed but Worldcon is over, and that helps some. :)   So here is the second episode, with the lovely ladies from Goblin Fruit!

And here are some show notes!

The poem at the beginning is The Changeling Always Wins by Nicole Kornher-Stace, the featured poet in the summer issue of Goblin Fruit.  We talk about her a bit in the show, and I met her at Readercon along with the rest of the GF crew, and she is lovely.  You should read her poetry (plus her kid is really freakin’ cute).

Oh right, we recorded this at a con.  In case you’re wondering, info on Readercon is here, and I really must thank Ellen Kushner who was so sweet to let us record in her hotel room.  Thanks Ellen!

Also mentioned is Mike Allen and Mythic Delirium, another fine online poetry ‘zine.

XKCD’s map of the internet!

Mike Allen’s safe for work striptease at the Rhysling Awards: no seriously, it’s safe.

A correction!  In the show Amal says she thinks the Science Fiction Poetry Association was founded in 1987, it was actually founded in 1978.  We apologize for the error.

Goblin Fruit Trailer

Song at the end is “Goblin Girls,” with words by C.S.E. Cooney and music and performance by Jeremy Cooney.

This episode was so much fun!  I’m really proud of it, and so glad that I got a chance to sit down with Amal and Jess!  I love what these ladies are doing with Goblin Fruit, and it doesn’t hurt that they are lovely, lovely people.  Congratulations once again to Amal for winning the 2009 Rhysling award for short poetry for her poem “Song for an Ancient City,” which she kindly read for us on the show.  It was such a treat to hang out with them and the associated Goblins at Readercon, and I can’t wait to do it again next year.  A couple more administrative notes, I figured out some more of my technical issues, so you should soon be able to subscribe to the podcast on iTunes, which will please me greatly (Update: I wrote this post last night, and this morning I had the email telling me that you can now subscribe through iTunes at this link! Hurray!).  If you use a different podcast syndicator, feel free to let me know where you would like to see me submitting the show.  And as always, feedback is more than welcome!  There will be more news soon about other things I’m involved with, and if you’re interested, I actually started yet another blog at Stackscene for talking about books and literacy issues.

Thanks for coming back for the second episode!


Monday, 20. July 2009

Handspun yarn by me for Shira Lipkins Blogathon.

Handspun yarn by me for Shira Lipkin's Blogathon.

Good news, everyone! Blogathon auctions and information is up at [info]blogforbarcc! If you want to know what this is all about, read here (short answer: like an online telethon, with fiction, and auctions of cool handmade items for BARCC, because Shira Lipkin is awesome), if you want to see my three items, they are here, here, and here. For more information on the auctions, read here.

I don’t blog for Blogathon, because that’s just not a skillset I have, but I do very strongly believe in what the participants are doing. Blogathon is this coming Saturday, and I’ll be there with them. If you read that first post I pointed you to, you’ll see mention of me running a support crew. This is true. What happens is we get a houseful of people staying up for 24 hours and writing like crazy to try to change the world and make a difference. They’re busy, so other people come in and take care of them, and in years past that has lead to some organizational problems. Well, now we’re talking about my skillset! My hope is just to keep it running smoothly enough so that the bloggers can actually write, and not be plagued with questions.

So! Why am I telling you all this? Because BARCC is a wonderful organization, and they’ve had their budget slashed this year because of how the economy is crap. Last year Shira, with the help of the sponsors and the item auctions, raised over 3,000 dollars for BARCC. No, seriously, that’s the actual number. American dollars, even. It’s amazing to see what can happen with this, so consider sponsoring Shira directly, if that’s what you’re into, and check out the auctions (not just mine) that are up in the community. There’s a mask from Mandy, my first guest, there’s jewelry, paintings, books, music, it’s a lot of cool stuff, is what I’m saying.

And this Saturday, be ready to check out Shira’s posts if you want to see how the items fit in with the stories and poems she’s written. Fun! Really!

One of the most important things here is to remember: Even if you can’t donate or bid on things, or don’t want to (that’s ok, I promise!) PLEASE consider passing the links around for us and spreading the word! This is a hugely important issue and telling your friends or readers how they can help is just going to keep driving up the momentum on this project!  Thank you!


Tuesday, 14. July 2009

icon for podpress  We Have Thumbs Ep 001: The Uncommon Facade: Play Now | Play in Popup | Download

Ok, I THINK I fixed the first episode.  Consider what was posted before to be a sneak preview or teaser, please!  You should be able to hear this one better and maybe get to hear the whole thing.  I’ll add it to the previous post too, but here it is!  Next episode is recorded and will be up as soon as I can edit it.

One final note: I am still working on getting this syndicated through iTunes and the other podcast aggregators, I do know how much easier that will make it to listen and download this.  For now, when you click through on the player, click on the arrow on the right hand side of the player, and choose “Save as Source” to download to your computer, iTunes, whatever.  This is on a Mac, using Quicktime, I think other players have a slightly different way of dealing with it.  But you can actually download, I tested it!

Episode 1: The Uncommon Facade

Monday, 6. July 2009

Update: 7/14/09: It’s better now!  Please go to this post for the correct sound file!  Thank you for your patience!

EDIT: Apparently I’m having technical issues with the sound, I’m working on fixing these and will post an update when you can actually download the show.  Sorry for the problems and delays, but hey, it’s my first one, something had to go wrong.

or: We Are a Raptor Free Zone.

Palimpsest mask

First episode! Finally, right? I’ve only been talking about this for like, well, I guess it’s only been a month, actually, which I guess is pretty good.

This episode features Mandy Leetch of The Uncommon Facade, and she is a maskmaker, among other things.

Show Notes:

Mandy’s Etsy Shop
K’s Firebird mask
My Clockwork Girl Mask
Catherynne M. Valente’s Palimpsest mask (also see above)

We talked about a bunch of other people here, almost all of whom will eventually be featured on the show, so I figured I’d give links to their stuff whenever possible.
S.J. Tucker
K Wiley
Pics of K w/mask from festival
Goblin Fruit
Catherynne M. Valente (be sure to check out her online serial novel, The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making! New chapters go up every Monday! )
Waterhouseleather link
Interstitial Arts Foundation
Puppet Building

It’s true, we giggle a lot. Sorry about that.
Yes, we are materials geeks.
D: face, for those not fluent in internet and emoticons. Tilt your head to the right, it’s the face you make when something is just awful.
No music in this episode, although there will be some normally. I decided that for the very first show I had enough to worry about without trying to make myself completely crazy. So next time I’ll try one more new thing, and so on. :)

So there we are! First show, please leave me some feedback. I know the tags aren’t right yet on the file, it’s something I’m working on getting right, and once I do I’ll get this syndicated on iTunes and the other podcast networks. For now if you want to hear the episode directly just click on the link below and it should start in your preferred media player, if you want to download it right-click and save.

And now, a preview! I mentioned one of my next guests in this episode, but we’ve just confirmed that the next episode of We Have Thumbs will feature the editors of Goblin Fruit, the online poetry magazine! The link is above, do go check it out! I’ll be chatting with Amal and Jess at Readercon week after next THIS WEEK THAT IS HOW LONG IT TOOK ME TO MAKE BLOG GO, and it should be a lot of fun!


PS: You may have noticed the site hiccupping a bit today, sorry about that!  I was using an old version of Wordpress that my hosting provides, and it was giving me fits.  Luckily a friend is wise in these things and scrapped it all and installed a more recent version, so that I can FINALLY give you this show, which was done a couple of weeks ago at this point.  Three Cheers for Conrad!

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In Which I Talk About Myself

Monday, 6. July 2009

So I realize that at the moment most of the people coming here are going to be people who already know me, but I figure I should probably say some stuff about who I am and what I do, just in case.

I also realize that I have a distressing tendency to begin posts with “So,” but I’m working on that.

I’m mostly a fiber arts person, myself, I knit, I spin, I collect fiber and tools for both, I’m starting to experiment with dying, both fabric and fiber, and I make fiber art pieces to go with stories and books. If you have a Ravelry account you can see some of my stuff there, under emilytheslayer. When I was a kid my grandmother taught me how to crochet, and I did that for a while but it didn’t stick. Then in November of 2005 I was living in Little Rock, Arkansas, gearing up for a giant move to the Boston area for graduate school, and out of nowhere decided I was going to learn how to knit. This urge happened to coincide with a sale on craft books at Barnes and Noble, so I picked up a couple of knitting books and pretty much never looked back. A year or two ago now I was given a drop spindle and started trying to learn how to spin, which was frustrating because unlike knitting, it wasn’t something I could just learn from a book! At this point I’m a pretty decent spinner, and I’ve successfully taught several other people how to knit. Which is awesome! Watching the light come on for someone when the knitting suddenly makes sense is one of the coolest things I’ve ever been lucky enough to witness, let me tell you! Some of the artists that will be featured on the podcast are actually people I’ve taught to knit, and at least one of them calls me her “knitting mommy,” which cracks me up to no end.

The art stuff is fairly new for me, and still kind of funny. What happened is kind of a convoluted story, but I’ll attempt to make it reasonably clear. Shira Lipkin was asking for writing prompts for a project she was working on, and I supplied one. Just some words that were running through my head, no big deal, “Wool and silk and wood.” You know, the things I obsess over. She turned it into a poem that you can read here, and was her first professional sale. That was pretty cool, so not long after that when Shira put out a call to artists to make stuff for her to write about during Blogathon, I responded! During Blogathon Shira wrote a short story or poem once an hour for 24 hours, with sponsors pledging donations to the Boston Area Rape Crisis Center, and the items being auctioned off to raise more funds for the center. I knit her two pieces, some baby booties and a lacy cowl, which both got stories and went off to new homes. Then came a friendship with Catherynne M. Valente, whose novels have a habit of turning into folk art. What I mean by that is people are often inspired by her works and end up making art about them. So there are cds that go along with some of her novels, and visual art in several different mediums; jewelry, paintings, knitted things, and more. So when her latest novel, Palimpsest, came out and art was being created for the story, I jumped in and made wristbands. I could explain them, but unless you’ve read the book they won’t make a lick of sense. My current project involves spinning yarn to go with one of Shira’s stories, a nice twist on our usual method of collaboration! Shira has a story in the upcoming Interfictions anthology, produced by the very nifty Interstitial Arts Foundation. I have plans for an art yarn to go with the story, and I’ll talk more about that at a later date. It’s going to be cool, though, I can tell you that.

Other stuff I do or have done or am getting into includes dying skirts and fiber and yarn, making silly yarn hair accessories, a little bit of sewing here and there, and now this podcast.

Up next I should be able to start talking about some of the people you’ll hear from on the show, now that I have some of this other stuff out of the way!

A Blog Appears

Monday, 6. July 2009

Ohmygosh, this is my website! It’s far from finished, please excuse the dust as I kick things around and play with my settings and make up logos and generally get things pretty; around here.

But hi! I’m Emily, and this is the blog and website to go with my podcast which will be appearing here very soon.

“We have thumbs?” I hear you saying cautiously, “What are you ON about?” Well, uh, I’m kinda ridiculous sometimes. I amuse myself, that’s the main thing. The point of the show is that I know a lot of really cool people. They make things, and I make things, and it’s pretty much always cool stuff. I don’t remember where I got the idea for the name, I was probably sleep deprived at the time (I think I was at a con), and I was thinking about how awesome my thumbs are, and how it’s opposable thumbs that separate us from most animals, and how I use my thumbs to threaten my computer when it’s misbehaving. Granted, this is more difficult with my laptop than with my PC, but if I pull that plug the laptop will run out of juice eventually! So from there it was a short step to “We make cool things ’cause we have THUMBS!” And I thought; I was just being goofy, but everybody I told seemed to like it, and lo and behold, it was pretty much the first thing I came up with that actually had an available domain, so here we are. Nice, eh?

Right, so, the show. Like I said, I have a lot of people in my life who make very cool things. Each episode I’ll be talking to one or more of these people about the things they do, and how, and why, and so on. I’m plannign to cover topics like crafting for production, talk to married couples who are both makers, makers with kids, just lots of things. I’m going to start putting previews up soon, but just as a teaser the people I’ll be talking to involve writers, musicians, artists of many stripes, crafters, leatherworks, fiber artists, and some REALLY weird stuff. This isn’t another knitting podcast, but it will be discussed a lot since I’m a knitter and a spinner, but I’m hoping there will be something for everyone here.

So welcome! I’ll be putting up more information later this week and working on the website, and there will be an announcement once I get a schedule together.

Thanks for reading!