Stephanie Burgis
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links, tulips, and konvaniencies
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Over the past week, I've seen about a dozen cool pages that made me think "Must link to that in my next journal entry"...but then I never felt like I had the energy to write a new entry. So, of course, I've forgotten nearly all of the links, but here are a few that stood out:

  • Will Shetterly gives fabulous writing advice about what makes a great action or sex scene, and Emma Bull adds to it in her thoughtful comments on why we should all burn plot.

  • In response to Diana Peterfreund's excellent blog post about living with rejections, her agent Deidre Knight wrote a super-helpful post about how to deal with agents when they request an exclusive.

  • And I was shocked by the discovery that there really are cats with opposable thumbs--this may signal the end of the feline need for humans. But Gwenda's cat is so darned cute that I don't care... :)

  • In other news, I'm still sick, and depressed about it, but Patrick's been making it so much more bearable, not just by picking up the slack on everything around the house, but by bringing me white tulips to brighten up the view from the couch, buying me novels (Tim Powers's The Anubis Gates and Patricia McKillip's The Forgotten Beasts of Eld) and picking up stimulating research books from the library for me to get me inspired on Congress of Shadows. This week he picked up Aileen Ribeiro's The Art of Dress: Fashion in England and France 1750 to 1820, and More Letters from Martha Wilmot: Vienna 1819-29. I'm totally loving the Wilmot letters--but drat it, why didn't she arrive 5 years earlier? She's great for period voice, etc., but with how quickly fashion changed during that time period, I just can't trust that her descriptions of clothing in 1819 Vienna would hold true for 1814 Vienna.

    This has been the major research hurdle for the novel--no female commentators on the Congress! Male commentators are great for all sorts of things--the Comte de Garde-Chambonas gave wonderful personality clips for several of the real people who became characters in CoS--but drat it, he never ever mentions what anybody is wearing, much less details of their jewelry, hair styles, etc... (Although he does talk about ogling the women with the Prince de Ligne. Apparently they weren't focusing on the jewelry and clothing, at that point...) Ah well. I'm enjoying the Wilmot anyway, and trying hard to figure out the meaning of the one term she uses (all the time) that I just haven't nailed down yet--"Konvaniencies"! I've been assuming the word refers to chamber pots, but some of the things she says about them--! Well, the letters will be even more interesting if I'm right...

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