Stephanie Burgis
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Ivy & Thorn, black olives and Verdi
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Woot! My Elizabethan fantasy story "Ivy and Thorn" has been published in Grendelsong, Issue No. 1. I've missed the online party by a day (dratted time difference), but I'm super psyched. There's a fantastic line-up, with stories by writers I love (see below), and I can't wait to see it all in full print.
Grendelsong image
(And another cool thing? The illustrations are gorgeous. The one in the image above is actually the illustration for my story. Eeee!)

In other good news, today I made Greek macaroni & cheese from my new Mac & Cheese recipes book, and mmmmmm, it was good! It had spinach, garlic, black olives, cherry tomatoes and a mixture of feta and parmesan cheese. Cooked, it basically tasted like a warm baked Greek salad - so in other words, total bliss. Of course, I may never be able to move ever again (there was a LOT of cheese and whole milk in that meal)...but what the heck, who needs to be able to move, when there's more exotically-flavored mac 'n cheese to eat?

Yesterday, I got to enjoy one of the biggest perks of my job and attend a full rehearsal of Rigoletto. Wow. It was a total revelation. I've always thought I didn't like Verdi - disliked the stories, wasn't moved by the music, didn't get the appeal of his operas at all. Guess what? I'd only ever seen (snippets of) Verdi operas performed on video or CD. It turns out that they feel completely different when they're performed live - hugely dramatic, and soooo effective. Rigoletto totally blew me away. It's a very bitter opera, it's a tragedy of monumental (or, okay, of operatic) proportions, most of the characters are completely loathsome and there's not even a tiny shred of hope for the future at the end of the piece...but it works. I don't know why. It just does. And the music works, onstage. It just does. I loved it, much to my own shock.

So if anyone gets a chance to see it performed by a good company (say, by Opera North, this coming season all across the north of England), then go ahead. Take the risk. Go try it, and see if it works for you after all.

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