Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Steppe It

Just finished Range of Ghosts by Elizabeth Bear. I enjoyed it with its pan Asian sweep and comic book cliffhanger ending. The Mongolian/Tuvan herder culture is compelling. If you've heard Tuvan throat singing you have experienced some of this. Yurts and ponies and wide open spaces. Oh! I just searched for Kongar ol Ondar, the first throat singer I ever heard and found that he died last summer. Here is the website in his name and an obituary in the LA Times. I feel sad at this news. Another series that uses the touchstone of Genghis Kahn as a jumping off place is The Lens of the World by R.A. MacAvoy. I was swept away by those books when I read them initially. They seemed absolutely new and strange and yet engaging adventure reading. I am waffling on re-reading them, fearing a loss of magic. But Tea with the Black Dragon still holds its pull, so I should give it a go. Oh! Here you should read this interview with RAMacA too. I am all feely today. (But I can't really recommend Death and Resurrection, her newest, try one of the others. Maybe she'll write more!!)

Ms. Bear's writing I like although I find it a bit mannered. Sometimes I do not know what her meaning is, as though she has sketched the scene or backstory without actually putting all the bits down. It's preferable to being bludgeoned by repetition I suppose. I like how she rolls herself up in the storytelling. She has a good sense of moments of ultimate drama and sets them carefully. The steppe bowman standing in the saddle and loosing arrows atop his running mare was the one that got me in this book.

Neurotic avoidance was temporarily defeated last weekend when I got off my rear and communicated about the lodging we are trying to locate for 4-6 people for a wedding in San Francisco this July. I don't feel very competent to arrange such but the conversation needed to be started and I could do that. Spoke with my college friend Statsgirl last night and it was lovely to hear her voice. She is a low drama / high results person and I am encouraged by our start on this project. It'll be fun to hang out and be touristy with her. I realized that I have never stayed at a hotel in San Francisco.

I'm rather excited to have such a fun trip ahead of me. Now to plan what kind of ridiculous hat to wear for the fairy tale theme. I'm thinking the tall cone with the floating gauzy ribbon and chin strap would be a hoot. Yet perhaps impossible to pack. I can't face a poofy dress on my 47 yr old bod, I would rather wear something I feel good in. I can get with a silly hat.

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