Thursday, March 30, 2006

Winter Cities, Book 2 of the Long Price Quartet

I posted before about Daniel's book, A Shadow In Summer, which is available now. Daniel sent me the word processor file of the manuscript for the next book, Winter Cities. I'm printing it out in batches like a serial and we are reading it for our bedtime story. How cool is that?

We've come across one great bit already. I'll give you some backround and a quote, but I'll leave out the character's name to avoid this being a spooler. There is a character that had great status as a priest/sorceror, but when the chips were down, blew it. At least in the eyes of his society and his order. The following quote is the result of him being summoned to speak to the head of his order, quite possibly the most powerful man on the planet, years after the failure.

There was no reason for the Dai-kvo to have called him back to repeat the indignities of the past.

There are always indignities of the future, the soft voice that had become his muse said from a corner of his mind. Never assume that you can survive the future because you've survived the past.

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Leading the Rear, Uploading Photos

In my post, New Year's Resolution, I resolved to keep in touch with family and friends in ways that make me seem cool. Well, uploading photos to the net is status quo now, so I can't claim this makes me look cool, but I'm sharing some photos online. If you followed the link from yesterdays post, you've seen all of them already except the one I just uploaded.

Their is a woodworker, Eric Fryer, who is a genius. I had lusted over his work for years. About 2 years ago, Jae traded Eric a portrait of his wife for a rocking chair for me. It's all handmade, hardwood, mostly walnut. It's incredibly comfortable for a piece of wood furniture, and its simply gorgeous. This picture is not great, but it gives you an idea.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/joshgentry/

Monday, March 27, 2006

Jae's little joke


Here's a photo Jae took of me on a weekend trip we took to Silver City, last year.

I'm just starting to upload some photos at http://www.flickr.com/photos/joshgentry/

Sunday, March 26, 2006

Hijinks

This morning, during our daily 15 minutes of vigorous house cleaning, Jae attacked me with a sharpie, saber style. I pulled one of my sweet kung fu moves and kicked it out of her hand (I was surprised I could get my leg that high.) She got revenge later by biting my butt.

Yardwork = Beer

Shorts and T-shirt today. While Jae was working at her studio, I decided to do some yardwork. I did lots of watering, transplanted a rose, picked up some of the trash blown our way by the spring wind. I also swept the sidewalk in front of the house. When I was done, I was parched. It was so time for some beer. I'm usually an ale man, but a lager just felt right. I'm quaffing a Killian's Irish Red, and damn am I enjoying it.

Thursday, March 23, 2006

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

The Problem with Sequals

We were driving home from seeing "The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe", and Jae said, "That's what the Bible is missing, centaurs."

I pointed out that the Bible does have pillars of fire and flying chariots and such. We started musing about Bible story movies done by Peter Jackson, and we were like, "It'd have to be Old Testament, of course." Then Jae says, "The New Testament has the same problems as all sequals."

I laughed for a long time.

Thursday, March 16, 2006

Zen Saturday

Saturday we'll be dropping off a gift at a baby shower, on the way to a funeral.

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Betty Bax George

Betty Bax George was a delightful woman for, I'd guess, well over 80 years. She died on tuesday.

I met her about a year ago. The Artists' Studios, a co-op of artist studios, had an open house. Jae and Betty shared a studio space. It was a hard day for Jae, she was ill and spent most of the time napping in the car and feeling terrible. Worked out well for me, however. I sat Jae's booth for her, and that's how I met Betty.

Jae and Betty's studio was in the back, a little isolated. We got some traffic, but we also got to chat. She was brilliant company. Once in a great while you meet a person who is a delight to talk to. That was Betty. There was nothing fake about Betty. She was warm but straightforward, no bullshit. During the open house, she hoped the crowd was moderate and the wine would keep flowing. She told me about being an RAF driver during WWII, and how they almost had to cancel her wedding to Bill, an American G.I., because of the invasion of Normandy. She adored her children, she missed her sisters in England. She loved to read and talk about books. She made some beautiful pictures. I never heard her complain about the arthritis that knarled her hands, or the oxygen she carried everywhere. I'm rambling, I can't "capture" her for you.

She and Jae liked each other well, and they saw each other often at the studio. After that open house, Jae and I would try to have lunch with Betty once a month, but we fell short. Our loss. I count myself lucky that I knew her for that year. We miss her, say true.

Saturday, March 11, 2006

More of the same

This post is some followup to the last 2. There's a thorough review of A Shadow in Summer at
Emerald City. One of my favorite bits from it is:

Good grief, a fantasy world in which the author has thought about the economic uses of magic! There are not too many of those around.


A comment to the Church Sign Generator post leads to a bonanza of similiar toys:

www.customsigngenerator.com

Monday, March 06, 2006

A Shadow In Summer

Daniel Abraham is a friend of mine from work, and Jae has known him for far longer. His first novel is available at Amazon on March 7th. I got email a couple days ago that my pre-order had shipped. What is way cool is we've already read it. We got to read one of Daniel's promo copies. It's good. True, we are predisposed to like it, but both Jae and I really think it's a good book.

It's really smart. It's fantasy, what Daniel referes to as "High Fantasy." In other words, its on the intelligent and literate side of fantasy, versus the formuliac stuff churned out for adolescent boys. It has romance, grimly realistic politics, and characters that come alive off the page. It's very human, there's a lot of ambiguity, its genuinely on of the best new books I've read for awhile. Especially if you like fantasy, you should give it a try.

You don't have to just take Jae and I's word for it. He's getting some rave blurbs from big league writers, such as Connie Willis.

"Reader, be warned: If you open Daniel Abraham's A Shadow in Summer, he will lead you into a strange, seductive world of beatings and poets and betrayals, intrigues you do not fully understand and wars you cannot stop and places you are not sure you want to go. Intricate, elegant, and almost hypnotically told, this tale of gods held captive will hold you captive, too."
--Connie Willis, Hugo Award-winning author of To Say Nothing of the Dog


The book is _A Shadow In Summer_, by Daniel Abraham.

Day of Profound Coffee Making

I make the coffee in our house. The reason: I get up first. We don't have a coffee maker. I discovered that these tea bags worked nicely for making single cups. I put a kettle of water on the stove, and while it is heating, I get the cups and bags ready. Jae and I drink different coffee, so I know which cup is going to be hers and which cup is going to be mine. This morning I realized that I always pour the water in my cup first. Meaningless habit, or subtle sign of self-centeredness?

I titled this post, "Day of Profound Coffee Making," because my brother also posted about coffee making today.

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

Culinary Adventure: Korean Cuisine

Jae and I decided to go someplace new for dinner, someplace that would be an adventure. There was a restaurant we had been driving by for a couple of years, advertising "Korean Barbecue". I knew I liked Boulgogi, but hadn't had much Korean. Jae often had Korean when she was in a dorm in college, because she hung with the international students. She adores Kimchi, which I won't let her eat in the house. Based on that little knowledge, I figured Korean wouldn't be boring. It was a gamble, and we felt like a gamble, so we went.

We split dishes, family style. First came the steamed dumplings. Those were familiar from other asian food. Yummy. Then came the Kimchi pancake. Jae described it as a cross between a Kimchi omelet and a pancake. I did not expect to like it. It was a vivid orange and it was visibly obvious there was quite a bit of Kimchi in it. I ate half. It was intense, but I decided I liked it. That was the big surprise of the evening.

Then came the boulgogi. That's the barbecue part. We ordered pork, and man was it some good meat. Happily, it came with several side dishes. One little bowl of bean sprouts that I guess were pickled, a bowl of seaweed, and a bowl of fish strips.

We really enjoyed it. It was new, it was fun, and we liked everything.

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