Desert Rose

Star of the Desert

The Meanderings of Mazal HaMidbar

Thrilled about upcoming biography
Desert Rose
mazal_


I am so psyched that a biography of Eleanor Cameron is due to be published Feb. 15. ("Eleanor Cameron: Dimensions of Amazement" by Paul V. Allen.

www.upress.state.ms.us/books/2095

Cameron did YA before it was cool and before it was called that and before it was normalized for women to write speculative fiction.

The following posted below is a review of my favorite book of hers -- not just my favorite YA novel but one of my favorite books ever. This particular one is not speculative fiction.

The review is good but does not mention several other points in the book's favor, including the "lion and the unicorn" tapestries, the positive influence of Scottish heritage in the household that hosts the heroine in what appears to be Monterey, Calif., and the fact that the tumultuous adult relationships are elucidated age-appropriately but clearly.

http://frisbeewind.blogspot.com/…/eleanor-camerons-spell-is…


An update to a lengthy Angel-esque Christmas fanfic
Desert Rose
mazal_


I am finally going live (pun intentional) with a long-planned update to this holiday story, in the form of a script and set circa Season Two of "Angel: The Series." 

The crime described is based (albeit in a disguised way) on a case I was actually involved with, many years ago.

Thanks to my dear friends Liz for the concept for the new adaptation at the end of scene nine, Steve for the technical acumen and Merrith for indirectly inspiring me to actually get this done.


MAGI

Summary: To protect the children who are, we must heal the children who were.


Spoilers: Angel the Series episodes through midway through Season Two. "Magi" is intended as a thematic sequel to Season One episodes "Prodigal" and "War Zone," and it takes place in an alternate universe wherein Angel never helped kill all the lawyers nor fired his employees.


Characters: Angel, Cordelia, Wesley, Kate, Gunn, David, Rondell, Alonna, Harlan and Lindsey from the show, plus original characters  (perpetrator and victim) 


Pairing: Only Angel/Kate friendship


Rating: R for significant discussion of child sexual abuse


Note: The pitch (treatment/synopsis) of "Magi" won honorable mention in an international contest sponsored by the website CityofAngel.com in Autumn 2000. 

Dedications: To WildBill for persuading me to write a script from the pitch, to SpykeRaven for inspiring me with her AtS stories "Metamorphosis" and "Fallen Angels," and to everyone in the world who catches angels before they fall.


Disclaimer: No copyright infringement intended and no money made.


SCENE 1, December 21, 7 a.m. in the Mojave Desert.


Read more...Collapse )

Magi
Desert Rose
mazal_

Summary: To protect the children who are, we must heal the children who were.


Spoilers: Angel the Series episodes through midway through Season Two. "Magi" is intended as a thematic sequel to Season One's episodes "Prodigal" and "War Zone," and it takes place in an alternate universe wherein Angel never helped kill all the lawyers nor fired his employees.


Characters: Angel, Cordelia, Wesley, Gunn, Kate, David, Rondell 


Pairing: Only Angel/Kate friendship


Rating: R for significant discussion of child sexual abuse


Note: The pitch (treatment/synopsis) of "Magi" won honorable mention in an international contest sponsored by the website CityofAngel.com in Autumn 2000. Also, this full version of the story is a slight revision of that which was posted online originally in June 2001 and as such contains two new scenes plus one revised scene to bring Gunn more into the story.


Dedications: To WildBill for persuading me to write a script from the pitch, to SpykeRaven for inspiring me with her AtS stories "Metamorphosis" and "Fallen Angels," and to everyone in the world who catches angels before they fall.


Disclaimer: No copyright infringement intended and no money made.


SCENE 1, December 21, 7 a.m. in the Mojave Desert.


Read more...Collapse )

A Wrinkle in Time
Desert Rose
mazal_
My ladies' spirituality bookclub has been reading YA fantasy over the summer on the theory that it will be easier on our hot, humidified brains. First was The Little Prince, then A Wrinkle in Time (both re-reads for me) and currently the first Harry Potter novel (so that I now will no longer be among the few in the developed world never to have read it).

I just re-read A Wrinkle in Time this morning, and it still captured my interest. I was able to look at it this time with my adult, writer's eye, and I noticed a few interesting things.

One, L'Engle gets away with things that no literary agent would tolerate today, all of them in the beginning of the first chapter: Beginning with an awakening, focusing immediately on the weather and having the protagonist view herself in a mirror as a means to describe her appearance to the reader. That, of course, is in addition to the cringe-worthy first line: "It was a dark and stormy night."

Second, the New Testament roots are much more obvious to me than when I first read it. This is not a criticism in any way, merely an observation.

Third, it is a classic coming-of-age novel in the sense that the young heroine is forced to realize that her idealized dad is merely human, as are we all . . . and said girl gets her first, presumably quite innocent, kiss from a boy.

Fourth, the influences of Brave New World, 1984, A Little Princess and The Wizard of Oz are all clear.

Still, it was a great re-read, and I am looking forward to March 9 when the big-budget Disney feature-film version, with the trio of witches/Fates/Norns/fairies being played by Reese Witherspoon, Mindy Kaling and Oprah Winfrey.

#speculativefiiction
Desert Rose
mazal_
I sm trying to reclaim some (but but by no means all) of my teenaged interests, and that includes reading: speculative ficton, classics, history snd the like. I recrntly read Piratica. by the late, great #TanithLee, and enjoyed it immensely. I was pleased to learn that she will be memorial guest of honor at the annual ReaderCon, scheduled next month in a nearby suburb. #NaomiNovik is appearing, and many others including the young, newish, well regarded and local #N.S.Dolkart. This will finally be the year I attend.

Get ready for the new Hunger Games ...
Desert Rose
mazal_
Virtually everyone from media superstars to Average Joes on FaceBook are trumpeting their reasons for the unexpected (to them) Nov, 8, 2016, win of Donald Trump to the U.S. presidency, so why not me?

Here are my explanations, most of which others have suggested as well ... but I am saving my final and most devastating one, which I have not so far read elsewhere, for last.

1. Disaffection with "the system" and the search for an "outsider" to shake things up. Personally, I have never understood just how a robber-baron-capitalist is an outsider, but, hey, that's just me. What we DO have now is someone who has never served in any governmental capacity, is of dubious mental health and appears to have less notion than the average fifth-grader of how it works at even the most basic civics level.

2. Frustration with an American economy that, in many ways, never recovered from the hit it took nearly a decade ago and has genuinely left many folks behind. It has been recently reported that some 10 million able-bodied men of typical working age are not working and not even actively seeking to do so.

3. An immense desire among many to roll back the progress Western society has made over the past 100 years, especially abortion rights. This is what it may mean to our new overlord to "make America great again" if that is understood to take us back a century, with no regulation of food or drug safety, no provision for health care or financial support for seniors, no meaningful labor laws, no safe reproductive rights, and voting again restricted to straight rich white Christian men.

4. A public-radio program analyzed the upcoming election quite elegantly several weeks ago in terms of the major candidates being television programs. Hillary Clinton could, in that paradigm, be viewed as a show that has been on since 1992 and should have gone off the air years ago, whereas Trump is still-popular reality TV.

5. Slowly building backlash due to sexism, racism and classicism ... until 2008, virtually every president was been a rich white Christian man. Many U.S. citizens just never accepted a Black president and were damn sure not going to accept a female one. Someone I know terms this "the Tom Bradley effect." Bradley was the very popular Black mayor of Los Angeles in the 1970s who eventually ran for California governor. Poll after poll predicted his statewide win. He lost, definitively. The concept is that, long before the phrase "politically correct" was invented, people knew that "they should" seem to support a qualified person of color for governor, but, ultimately, they declined to do so.

6. And my final and perhaps saddest reason has to do with the 11th-hour revelations of our new POTUS' sexual attitudes and actions, which many observers saw as the end to his political ambitions. As is undisputed, Trump about a decade ago was recorded stating that someone with his wealth and power could simply assault anyone with no negative repercussions. Moreover, some dozen women have come forward to say that to differing extents he has actually done almost just that. Even worse, there have been allegations that some true victims were not even women but little girls in their early teens.

This character revelation obviously did not dissuade his supporters. They were not horrified. They were not shocked. In fact, for some, I believe that it was quite the opposite. They were titillated. They were envious. Far too many people in this world -- most, but not all, white, most, but not all, men, most, but not all, straight -- wish that this could be them. Their deepest, darkest, dearest desire is to be able to fuck anyone they wish, with absolutely no regard to any previous commitment of any party, age of majority, power imbalance or even consent.

We are a rape culture, and we have elected President Snow. Get ready for the Hunger Games.

valentine's day meal
Desert Rose
mazal_
Korean short ribs (beef)

artichoke, beet, carrot, mushroom, parsnip, red onion, sweet-potato

strawberries

vanilla whipped cream

chocolate-raspberry tamale

now with even more gratitude ...
Desert Rose
mazal_
... I just ate my first full meal in a week. I'm still taking antibiotics (they seem almost always to be prescribed for 10 days) but feel completely back to normal after being struck hard by a "strep throat" bacterial infection. My temperature went nearly to 103 and I pretty much couldn't move during that time.

I am grateful to live in an age and a place where authorities understand the means of transmission of most infectious diseases and how to treat them effectively ... and can do so within affordability of the average resident.

And I am grateful to be back to my regular level of activity.

First post of the New Year, but, I hope, not the last ...
Desert Rose
mazal_
For 2016, I am seriously considering -- for the first time in a very long time -- making formal, written New Year resolutions.

One is to post more frequently. It's getting ever harder to consider myself a writer when I don't even blog/post very often, here or elsewhere.

I am willing to work hard to make this as good a year as possible. Difficult things happen to so many of us, but, in many cases, we can change our circumstances or, at least, change our attitudes toward them for the better.

I like to say that when, uh, life happens, it may not be our fault -- but it often IS our responsibility to improve the situation if we possibly can.

I am proud to say that I did a lot of that in 2015, which has in fact improved my life, and I want to better that in this new year.

I am newly re-committed to living an active, healthy, productive life, and I hope that you are, as well.

missing my show
Desert Rose
mazal_
So sorry that the showrunner decided to axe his own creation at the end of the 10-episode season one-and-done.

The show got better with each episode, the characters were great and I have never before found the villain (who ended up more of a frenemy) more attractive than the hero. (On Angel: The Series, I liked Angel and Lindsey about equally).

We can only hope for DVDs.

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