November 11th, 2008


Oliver in High School

Before I begin, a message for all who have been giving me such good advice about e-reading devices: I finally clicked the "send" button on my Kindle order. The ophra promotion no longer works, sadly, but the deed is done, and I'm glad, I tell you--glad. Thank you all for the support and discussion. I found it immensely helpful, as always.

So, Saturday night I went to a highschool production of Oliver!. It was my old highschool, and the attraction was the daughter of one of my classmates. She was the Artful Dodger, with a top hat pulled down over her ponytail of wavy golden-brown hair. It's an all-girls school, so all the orphans and pickpockets had ponytails, also Mr. Bumble and Mr. Sowerberry and Mr. Brownlow. Bill Sikes had a cloud of black curls, a fine broad face, a wonderfully menacing sneer, and a promising contralto. And Fagin? Blonde hair teased and powdered like a fright wig, layers of robes, a true, light alto, and an absolute absence of self-consciousness that allowed her to milk the part for every possible laugh. The menace, not so much, but menace is always an uncomfortable guest on a highschool stage.

I loved it. It was closing night, the third performance of three. Everybody had the words and moves down cold and spirits were high. Nobody looked or sounded nervous, although there was a little self-consciousness attendant on any scene requiring a kiss (Mr. Bumble's proposal; "I'd Do Anything"). A function of age? Of being all-girls? Of being Upper East Siders?

Nebula Interview

So a while ago, I was asked to do an on-line interview for the Nebula committee, on account of my story having been nominated. Charles Tan set the excellent questions, and I duly answered them and sent them in, and now the interview is up.

I'm pretty pleased with it, particularly my answer to the "What advice would you give beginning writers" question. When the interview's been up long enough, I may post it here, for easy reference. Mine. It's good advice for me, too.