Why, Bless You, Googs!

If you have a Google account, you get a nifty Google Doodle for your birthday. Tuesday (Aug. 26) was my birthday, and narcissism shot to record levels when I saw this every time I went online:

Of course, when you click the image, you land on your Google Plus page, which, in my case, is painfully empty. Mausoleum-like, even. >.> But, hell, who cares, when the current Google Doodle (only in the UK) is this beauty:

Massive squealing, glomping, and all that. :D Joseph Sheridan Le Fanu – born August 28, 1814. Gothic fiction writer, he who wrote the creepy (and magnificent) Carmilla and a mind-boggling list of other horror stories. I’ve got his complete collection in my Kindle. I’ve been chipping away at that thing for over a year now, and I’m not even done yet. Jayzuz.

The Guardian has a really great write up on him, and it’s worth enjoying at a pretty leisurely rate. If I didn’t have to go to my day job, I’d be hitting every page I could find on him.

And since I’m fawning over literary idols, look who’s sharing a birthday with Le Fanu:

Johann Wolfgang Von Goethe
(Aug. 28, 1749 – March 22, 1832)

Yay, end of August! :D While this month is the only month of the year that doesn’t have a holiday (sad, but true), we at least have Le Fanu and Goethe, and, in politics, Aug. 26 is also the day the 19th Amendment took effect, allowing women the right to vote. \O/

I’ll take those three goodies, thank you. August ain’t so dull, after all.

The Siren Calls Again

I’ve been badly abusing the replay button on this video. I can’t help it.

Nox Arcana – Night of the Wolf from Territorio Under on Vimeo.

Been feeling the itch to write gothic stuff again. I’ve only made one attempt at tackling vampires, and it was a comedy (Desmond and Garrick). I’d love to be able to try another vampire story, i.e., one that’s more aligned with traditional vampire lore. And that means vampires = reanimated corpses =/= romance material.

Well, I’ve talked about this a number of times before, so you know my preferences regarding vampire fiction.

I’ve been thinking of pursuing this for the next set of novellas. Rather than fairy tales, which have been my default themes for the last two anthologies, I’d like to venture into more traditional gothic fare. Well, that’ll be fun. I can dust off all of my old gothic short story collections and see if I can hit the ground running when the time finally comes.

Incidentally, if you’re also interested in reading classic gothic stuff but don’t know where to start, I highly recommend The Oxford Book of Gothic Tales, edited by Chris Baldick. It’s most likely out of print now, but you can still snag used print copies online.

Clive, You Dolt…

That’s in reference to the book-version Clive. At least in the movie, he’s given a good reason to “change his spots” and becomes a sympathetic character. But this passage (if you haven’t read or watched Maurice and want to, spoilers alert):

Hugh Grant and James Wilby in Maurice

They were his last words, because Maurice had disappeared thereabouts, leaving no trace of his presence except a little pile of the petals of the evening primrose, which mourned from the ground like an expiring fire. To the end of his life Clive was not sure of the exact moment of departure, and with the approach of old age he grew uncertain whether the moment had yet occurred. The Blue Room would glimmer, ferns undulate. Out of some external Cambridge his friend began beckoning to him, clothed in the sun, and shaking out the scents and sounds of the May term.

- from Maurice by E.M. Forster

Damn passage kills me every time. Every… #$&!@*… time.

And the movie dramatizes it in a brief scene, too, that one about Maurice beckoning to Clive from so long ago always, always reducing me to a quivering, soggy mess.

Not sure where this came from, but I just suddenly felt compelled to post it and listen to my heart crack all over again. [ /masochism ] And I also feel just as compelled to reread the book and re-watch my DVD of the Merchant-Ivory adaptation – in case, you know, my heart hasn’t broken enough times already, considering how many times I’ve already seen the film and cried my way through the final act. [ /extreme obsessive-compulsive masochism ]

The Glass Minstrel E-Book Giveaway at TNA

I’m actually a few hours late (go, day job!), but better late than never. ¬__¬ Anyway, the promised e-book giveaway for The Glass Minstrel is now up at The Novel Approach. You’ve got till Aug. 24 (hey, two days before my birthday!) to toss your name in the hat. Good luck!

To spice things up a bit:

The best interpretation of the Trepak Dance as far as I’m concerned. See? Only the best for you guys. 

Three-Part Series on Shoujo and Gender Roles at The Mary Sue

A bit of a heads up for those who enjoy this subgenre: The Mary Sue is posting a three-part series on shoujo manga/anime and gender roles. Mostly the focus is on female characters in male dress, and the first title discussed is The Rose of Versailles.

The Rose of Versailles

This is one title I really should check out. It’s a classic, and if I enjoyed Revolutionary Girl Utena, it’s best to go back several years and explore its forebears. You know, the same way I went back and dove into Kaze To Ki No Uta and Toma No Shinzou for classic shounen ai titles. At any rate, there’s quite a bit of stuff over at The Mary Sue, and I’m not just talking about shoujo, either. Much geekery can be had over there for us girls (and boys who support geeky girls).