coraa: (sirens 2009)
Since I know a lot of my flist attends Sirens, presents programming at Sirens, or just plain loves Sirens--

Remember that the Sirens programming submission deadline is May 10 this year, which is coming up. (My goodness, 2013 seems to be passing in a blur....) And since all programming at Sirens is attendee-driven, if you're thinking, "I'd love to see X at Sirens!", now is your chance to either propose it yourself or bug your friends to do so. ;)

We always end up with fabulous programming, so I'm looking forward to seeing what y'all come up with!

(I know I haven't posted in donkeys' years. I'd like to promise that I'll post more soon, but we all know how those promises go. But I miss you all! That much I can say with truth.)
coraa: (sirens 2011)
Thursday is the first "real" day of the conference--it's when most attendees arrive, and the first keynote is that evening. We spent the day doing some setup and then welcoming attendees in the Creekside Room, which had doors leading to the back porch are (which in turn had a beautiful view of the creek—hence the name—and the aspen-covered slopes beyond).

Unfortunately, the skies produced 'wintry mix,' which IMHO is a far prettier word for 'a mushy combination of icy rain and soft snow' than the phenomenon deserves. Not so much fun to go hang around in. But that was all right: everyone hung out inside instead, playing games and having tea and desserts.

I wasn't able to participate in the games (I was doing presenter and volunteer check-in), but I got to watch, and it looked like people were having a blast. First there was a homemade pictionary-ish game, but with fantasy keywords like 'witch' and 'Beka Cooper' and 'legion' instead of the usual. Then, after that, was Books to Books--a modification of the game Apples to Apples, but with a bunch of fantasy characters and concepts mixed in. [livejournal.com profile] jmpava went to play that, and seemed to be having a good time despite not knowing a lot of the characters. (He reads a lot of SFF, but not quite the same set as was common among Sirens attendees.) In fact, the whole group seemed to be having a good time. They played straight through the dinner break, and kept breaking into uproarious laughter.

Then to dessert, where my friends had saved me a seat, and we talked about the best book we'd read all year. (My choice was When You Reach Me, by Rebecca Stead.) The Thursday keynote speaker was Justine Larbalestier, who gave an interesting (and very funny) talk about monsters, YA lit, Elvis, cultures and cultural appropriation, music, terrible music, camp (in the sense of "that movie was pure camp" rather than the sense of "summer camp"), and travel.

I didn't get a lot of photos at Sirens this year (I was busy and kept forgetting to take my camera places with me), but here's a pic from Vail of the aspens, which were in full glorious color while we were there:

From Sirens 2011


Next: Day 2: Books and Breakfast (including my review of my B&B book, Nightshade), a ton of presentations, Laini Taylor's keynote, and Bedtime Stories!
coraa: (sirens 2011)
So I'm back from Sirens! Which is pretty much my favorite event of the year.

For those of you who don't know, Sirens is a yearly conference about women in fantasy literature. For an eloquent explanation of why I love Sirens, you should read what [livejournal.com profile] praetorianguard has to say, here.

My feelings can be summed up by this image, which features a quote by Nnedi Okorafor, one of our guests of honor, and which is part of a monster bag I won at the auction on the last day:

From Sirens 2011


(But more about the monster bag later.)

Anyway!

This year's theme was "monsters," with Justine Larbalestier, Nnedi Okorafor, and Laini Taylor as Guests of Honor. Which was a pretty exciting lineup!

I came in early to help with setup, so I was already there before the Sirens Supper on Wednesday. The Supper is an optional event, the night before the conference proper begins, where people who come in early (staff, sometimes guests, and a handful of attendees--often repeat attendees) come in early to share a meal. Since the Sirens supper is smaller than the conference as a whole (I think it had around twenty people this year?), it allows for smaller, more intimate discussions.

I brought my husband, [livejournal.com profile] jmpava, to Sirens for the first time this year. I know he was a little nervous, but I think the Supper helped a lot, because it was a place he could get to know a few people before the whole conference fell on his head.

Anyway, I wound up sitting with Artemis and Marie Brennan, and we talked about all kinds of things, from books to travel to sleep to dealing with RSI. It was great to catch up. Then Amy asked an icebreaker question, and we all went around the table answering it: name one book that changed your life.

I chose Howl's Moving Castle, by Diana Wynne Jones, which was the book that taught me that you could make friendships through books. And I don't think that I've ever told the story of how it changed my life here, so now I will!

How "Howl's Moving Castle" Changed My Life )

We lingered a while, chatting, and then I went to bed earlyish in preparation for the first "real" day of the conference.
coraa: (changeling)
Saturday I overslept a bit, and made it a little late to the first session of the day: Female Friendships in Fantasy. After that I went to the Faerie DNA panel, which I didn't take good enough notes on to post as such, but I'll recount what I can remember under the cut ) I then attended a Q/A session with a publisher at Random House, Mallory Loehr, that was fascinating and full of good information (unfortunately I did not get notes on that either).

The lunch keynote for Saturday was by Terri Windling: she called it her "why fairy tales are important" speech, and it was very interesting, especially as someone with an interest in the evolution of folklore. We explored the history of Red Riding Hood, which began as a coming-of-age story in which the girl (with help from older women) defeats the wolf by her own cleverness and skills... and eventually became a cautionary tale about vanity and interest in men, in which the girl must be rescued. She also talked about a very creepy earlier version of Snow White, in which the prince took a while to wake the princess, and, uh, there was some... implications of their relationship while she was comatose—and how that became the much tamer version we known now. She also talked about the way that fairy tales came to be considered children's stories, when they did not begin that way at all.

After lunch, I attended the Golden Age of YA panel, had a relaxing afternoon, went to an early dinner, and then got dressed for the A Star Shall Fall launch party and the Faerie Ball.

For this part, I need pictures, so: under the cut!

The 'A Star Shall Fall' Launch Party )

After the launch party, we made our way to the faerie ball for more chatter and dancing.

At the faerie ball we were given glowsticks to give it that appropriately sparkly demeanor. There was a murder mystery plot (I didn't take part in it, but it sounded like a lot of fun), and lots of chatting, storytelling in the lobby, and dancing, dancing, dancing. I loved the ball from last year, and it was even better this year: a wide variety of people took part in the dancing, from those who could dance with great grace or passion or both to... uh, me, whose idea of dancing is to flail in an uncoordinated yet joyful manner. I am very often too embarrassed by my dancing to do it in public, even though it makes me happy, because of the 'uncoordinated' bit, but Sirens is one of those places where I feel pretty confident that everyone will appreciate the 'joyful' more than they will mind the 'uncoordinated flailing,' so I danced until I was soaked with sweat, and had a great time.

I also took pictures: people wore everything from jeans to elaborate faerie costumes, and the combination was enough to make the ball seem like actually a pretty darn magical place.

Faerie Ball )

The next day, we got up for the farewell auction and breakfast, where I won the handpainted version of the con symbol for the year (a girl reading a book with a faerie rising up behind her). It will be mailed to me. Squee!

They also announced the theme for next year, about which I am very, very excited: Monsters. Literal monsters, the monstrous, monstrous women (literally and figuratively), and the way that women have been imagined as monsters—for good and for ill. I already have several ideas for panels. And the guest lineup is pretty fantastic: Justine Larbalestier, Nnedi Okorafor, and Laini Taylor.

Anyway, after breakfast and many goodbyes, my traveling companions and I packed up and hit the road for Horse Camp, about which more later!
coraa: (sirens)
Last one! (Yes, the spam will end soon, I promise.) This is a topic that is near and dear to my heart—partly because for all my life, but particularly as a teenager, my strongest social bonds were nearly always with other women. So it struck me odd how few strong female friendships we see in fiction (other than women's lit and chicklit).

Moderator: Mette Harrison ([livejournal.com profile] metteharrison)
Participants: Holly Black ([livejournal.com profile] blackholly), Rachel Manija Brown ([livejournal.com profile] rachelmanija), Janni Lee Simner ([livejournal.com profile] janni), Sherwood Smith ([livejournal.com profile] sartorias)

For privacy reasons, I'm only including LJs/blogs of people on the panels if their LJs or blogs include their names in some kind of clear fashion, on the principle that the connection is therefore already public. That said, if I have miscalculated and you want me to remove either your real name or your blog link, or if you want me to use a different link, please let me know and I'll do so immediately.

Notes behind the cut. People are attributed by initials; Q/C indicates an audience comment or question. As always, transcribed fast and edited only glancingly, misattributions and errors are my own, assume everything outside of quote marks is a paraphrase. ??? indicates something (usually a name) that I missed.

Panel Notes )
coraa: (flight)
First day of programming!

I woke up bright and early to get some coffee and go to the book discussion room and discuss faerie books. There were tables for War for the Oaks and Tam Lin and Thomas the Rhymer and Wildwood Dancing... and The Bones of Faerie, which is the one I sat at. We had a lively discussion of the fantastic apocalypse and its aftermath, the way that things first appear one way and then are revealed to be another (in this case, oddly enough, the mistaken impression is given not by the faeries but by the most militantly human of the humans), and of pragmatism in the magical world. (Also a brief digression onto the topic of [livejournal.com profile] janni's Dead Cat Theory: if the book is soul-crushingly depressing, the cat must live to counterbalance it lest your readers all fall into bitter despair; if the book is reasonably hopeful, you can kill the cat, because the counterbalance isn't necessary.) It was a wonderful discussion, and about right for a book discussion with the writer present: Janni was there for the first half, which gave us a chance to ask questions and hear interesting anecdotes, and then she excused herself for the second half, which gave us a chance to speak more freely as readers. (Not that Janni is a scary author type, but you know what I mean.)

From there, into the main panels of the day.

In the morning, I went first to "Faeries Come To Our Town," which was about the origins of urban fantasy and the way it's changed in the past 30 years. Then to Are There Faeries Outside Western Europe?, and then to Go On, Judge A Book By Its Cover.

Lunch gave us the second keynote: Marie Brennan's talk on why faerie is ruled by queens, about the association between women and faerie, the resonances with the mythology surrounding Elizabeth I, the association with the Other, and the continuing fascination with the pairing of faerie woman and mortal man. But you don't have to rely on my kludgy summary, because she's posted her talk: Why Is Faerie Ruled By Queens?

After lunch I attended Holy Barking Spiders!: Biology, Education and Feminism in YA Fantasy. I took a break to do some writing and then went to the Sirens Bootcamp presentation—something I'm definitely planning to do.

A group of us went to a lovely dinner (sushi!) at which we discussed everything from anime to embarrassing family stories, and then back to the hotel for Bedtime Stories, a set of readings by the Guests of Honor. Terri Windling did a wonderful piece on the meaning of home.

Unfortunately, by then I was beginning to be socialed out, so I retired to the hotel lobby bar, where I had a long talk with [livejournal.com profile] samhenderson, that lead to an idea for a project that we're thinking of working on!

And then to bed.

Tomorrow: the faerie ball, for which I have pictures (omg).
coraa: (matilda reads)
I confess: a big part of why I went to this presentation (which is about book covers, and how they function as advertisement, as hints to the tone and content of the book, and as genre indicators) was that the title was awesome. :D It was listed as a presentation in order that Faye could show slides, but it was held really as more of a roundtable, with lots of discussion.

Since so much audience discussion happened, by people whose names I didn't know or have forgotten, and since it went so fast, I'm just describing the content in prose rather than as a dialogue. Also, I apologize for the lack of images; finding and linking them all would have been so time-consuming that I wouldn't have probably ever gotten around to posting, so you get my descriptions instead.

Moderator: Faye Bi

Notes behind the cut. As always, transcribed fast and edited only glancingly, misattributions and errors are my own, assume everything outside of quote marks is a paraphrase.

Presentation/Discussion Notes )
coraa: (inspiration)
Last Wednesday, we got up at a leisurely hour and drove on to the petroglyphs at Sego Canyon, near Thompson Springs.

First, though, we drove through Thompson Springs. Thompson Springs is sort of a ghost town: it still has some current residents (distinguishable by their houses, which have intact windows and have not fallen down), but their residences are sprinkled in amidst dilapidated and falling-down houses from a variety of periods. I believe the history is that the town was originally a coal mining town, and had a series of revivals and then collapses: the coal mining ended, but the local highway remained; then the local highway was replaced by I-70 some miles away, but the Amtrak station remained; then the Amtrak station closed, and the town faded almost entirely—except for a handful of residents who continue to hang on, and a gas station nearer I-70. There was an old brick motel, with doors standing dark and open; the weathered railroad station, its white-painted paneling going gray from the bottom up; the old schoolhouse leaning over but not, quite, toppling. The house with sunbleached cattle pelvises hanging from the chainlink fence appeared to be inhabited still, though.

From there we drove on a bit to the petroglyphs. For which I have pictures!

Petroglyphs--image heavy )

From there, it was an easy drive the rest of the way to Vail. As we drove higher and higher, the brush gave way to pine and aspen. The aspen was in mid-turn: many of the trees already bare, some still green, and some a truly gorgeous deep gold. The landscape around the hotel was—as with last year—really gorgeous. Actually, here, have some pictures!

The view from our balcony )

Wednesday evening we had the Sirens Supper, the supper for the Sirens staff and anyone who wants to come a day early and attend. We discussed the books that had changed our lives, which lead into great conversations on such diverse topics as Cimmorene, archaeology, the influence of books you read at a very young age, and things that happen in real life that you'd never believe in fiction. It was a lovely way to start the conference.

The next day there was nothing really going on until evening, so I spent the day reading and writing (always a good thing). Then there was the official start of the conference: the dessert reception and the first Guest of Honor keynote, in which Holly Black talked about growing up in a creepy old Victorian house with a mother who, e.g., warned her not to astral project lest something else get inside her body while she was 'gone;' living in Jersey and how that inspired her to begin her Modern Faerie Tale series; urban legends and how they come about; and a hilarious retelling the fairy tale "The White Cat," on which her newest series is based.

The next day was the start of programming, but I'll save that for tomorrow.
coraa: (sirens)
This was a fascinating presentation, partly on biology in fantasy literature and partly on pedagogy. As someone who feels that science and fantasy don't have to be mutually exclusive from a literary point of view, I really enjoyed it.

Since it's a presentation rather than a panel, I've written it up in sort of a prose format rather than as a dialogue.

Presenter: Christina Blake

Notes behind the cut. People are attributed by initials; Q/C indicates an audience comment or question. As always, transcribed fast and edited only glancingly, misattributions and errors are my own (particularly, in this case, science errors are almost certainly errors of transcription rather than the presenter's errors), assume everything outside of quote marks is a paraphrase.

Presentation notes )
coraa: (history - very few dates)
So, recapping!

Last Sunday (wow, it's already been over a week), I got on a plane and flew to LA, where [livejournal.com profile] rachelmanija picked me up at the airport and we got fantastic chicken with garlic sauce from Zankou. (Seriously, super delicious. I really wish I could figure out how they made that garlic sauce!) I also introduced her to the cracktastic addictive joy that is The Sims 3. The next day we picked up [livejournal.com profile] sartorias and headed for Colorado!

The first day, we headed northeast across Southern California and through Nevada. (I didn't take many landscape pictures, more's the pity, so I'm going to take advantage of other peoples' flickr shots to illustrate.) On the way toward Las Vegas I admired the weirdness that is the Joshua tree, and the general stark bareness of the landscape. We passed through Las Vegas and continued northeast, clipping the corner of Arizona and finally stopping in St. George, Utah. (On the way we drove through a truly impressive thunderstorm. And by 'through' I mean 'straight through;' the lightning was striking on all sides, long jagged branches of light, and clouds so dark that the intermittent flashes could blind, strong winds and thunder enough to make the car shudder, rain that didn't so much fall as slash downward. It was truly impressive.)

The next day we hit the road again, and spent most of the day (well, all day, really) crossing Utah. We saw sage-green plants growing in dirt red as rust, and steep striated hillsides, incredible patterns of light and shadow, fingers of stone and hilltop cliffs that looked like fortress walls.

We stopped at Cove Fort, which was a waystation for those traveling the Mormon Corridor in the mid to late 1800s. It was built as a defensive fort because it was established during the Black Hawk War, but no shots were ever fired at the fort (save one accident in which a little boy shot his brother in the knee) and things sound like they were pretty peaceful. The fort was a stop for a couple of stagecoach lines (including rooms to let), a Pony Express stop, and a telegraph station. It was run by one man and his family.

We stopped and took the tour, given by a nice LDS guide who was very sweet and not pushy and, as Rachel put it, had the ability to make pretty much anything into a parable involving Jesus. (I didn't notice, because he was actually a lot less heavy-handed about it than the people I grew up with, but there you go.) The fort was really interesting from a historical point of view: fully restored, and with many of the original furnishings. (I was particularly interested because material culture is one of my verymost favorite elements of history.) I did get pictures there, so, under the cut!

Cove Fort--image-heavy )

Then we drove a bit farther and decided to call it a night early, so we'd be fresh and awake and have good daylight for the petroglyphs the next morning. We stopped in Green River, at a hotel with an absolutely lovely river view.

Just one more picture )

Aside from the beautiful landscape and the chance to stop and see some really interesting historical things, the trip was a great joy because of the company. We talked about all kinds of things, from sense of place in fantasy literature to sexual orientation among pioneer women, from the difference between a critique and a review to the way historical fiction sets up a dialogue between modern mores and historical ones.

The next day: petroglyphs, and arrival in Vail!
coraa: (sirens)
Another set of panel notes! (These are out of order, because some of these need more editing than others.) This was a fun one: I personally happen to think the golden age of YA, inasmuch as there is one, is right now; there were certainly great YA books when I was a teenager, but frankly most of the new and interesting things I see in fantasy these days is coming out in YA, and I quite cheerfully read mostly YA as an adult myself. (This is not meant as a zinger against my friends who write books for adults, nor is it universally true! It's just a trend I've noticed.)

Moderator: Rachel Manija Brown ([livejournal.com profile] rachelmanija)
Panel: Janni Lee Simner ([livejournal.com profile] janni), Malinda Lo (http://www.malindalo.com/), Sarah Rees Brennan ([livejournal.com profile] sarahtales)

For privacy reasons, I'm only including LJs/blogs of people on the panels if their LJs or blogs include their names in some kind of clear fashion, on the principle that the connection is therefore already public. That said, if I have miscalculated and you want me to remove either your real name or your blog link, or if you want me to use a different link, please let me know and I'll do so immediately.

Notes behind the cut. People are attributed by initials; Q/C indicates an audience comment or question. As always, transcribed fast and edited only glancingly, misattributions and errors are my own, assume everything outside of quote marks is a paraphrase.

Panel notes )
coraa: (sirens)
This was one of the panels I was looking forward to the most, because I really think that non-Western European fantasy is a topic and inspiration that has not been much tapped (in the Western market, anyway). Also, I was curious how the panelists were going to define "faerie" in a non-Western context. I wasn't disappointed: the panel was fascinating.

Moderator: Shveta Thakrar ([livejournal.com profile] shvetufae)
Panelists: Cindy Pon (http://cindypon.com/blog/), Andrea Horbinski ([personal profile] ahorbinski), Valerie Frankel (http://frankelassociates.com/calithwain/author.htm)

For privacy reasons, I'm only including LJs/blogs of people on the panels if their LJs or blogs include their names in some kind of clear fashion, on the principle that the connection is therefore already public. That said, if I have miscalculated and you want me to remove either your real name or your blog link, or if you want me to use a different link, please let me know and I'll do so immediately.

Notes behind the cut. People are attributed by initials; Q/C indicates an audience comment or question. As always, transcribed fast and edited only glancingly, misattributions and errors are my own, assume everything outside of quote marks is a paraphrase. ??? indicates a name I missed; if someone else can fill that in, I would be forever obliged!

Note: As Shveta disclaimed at the beginning of the panel, the terms "mythology" and "folklore" are used in the technical sense of "sacred stories" and "knowledge of the people," and not in the colloquial sense of "untruths." Use of the terms is not intended to cast any aspersions on the credence or truth of the ideas and beliefs. Some of the things being discussed are still part of a living religious tradition, and are respected as such. That being the case, I've preserved the terminology used in the panel itself.

Panel Notes )

EDIT: A link to the presentation handout.
coraa: (sunhawk)
I am currently sitting in the hotel bar of the Vail Cascade resort, the day before Sirens begins properly (there's a dessert reception tonight, programming starts tomorrow), enjoying the comfortable chairs and enormous windows that look out over the mountains. (The bar isn't open right now, so it's also nice and peaceful.) I can see aspen—some green, some deep gold-yellow, as they're mid-turn—and some kind of pine or fir, and a creek, and the clouds passing overhead. It's quite pleasant! Right now we're at 8000 feet, but I'm keeping hydrated and resting a lot, so it isn't bothering me too much.

I road-tripped the distance from Los Angeles to Vail with [personal profile] sartorias and [personal profile] rachelmanija, which was a lot of fun. It's apparently either two long days or three short, easy ones, so we went with three. We passed through Nevada (straight through Vegas, in fact), the upper corner of Arizona, Utah, and then Colorado.

On the way, we saw a lot of beautiful views: the weird twisted shape of Joshua trees, deep rusty-red cliffs, spires in layers of gold and brown and red and black, swift dark rivers, bluegray volcanic rock that drips and pools as if it were poured (because it was). Rocks in shapes like hands and fortresses and towers and elephant toes and trees and, um, unmentionable things.

I'll post more about our stop at Cove Fort and the petroglyphs once I get the pictures off my camera and uploaded.

Last night was the Sirens Supper, at which I got to see several people I met last year and meet several more new ones, during varied discussions including books that changed your life, historical figures and events that nobody would believe if they were in fiction, and the Ig Nobels. I also got to see [livejournal.com profile] rhinemouse again—the four of us are rooming together—which was awesome; we're planning on being NaNoWriMo buddies this year, which is good because I can always use the added kick in the pants!

Anyway, we're here, and I'm very much looking forward to the start of Sirens tonight! I'm going to try to take notes/liveblog the panels I go to, since they sound really cool.
coraa: (changeling)
In a week, I'll be in LA; a week from Wednesday, I'll be at Sirens.

Who am I going to see there? :D
coraa: (miss piggy)
Thank you to everyone who voted in the dress poll and expressed opinions!

My plan right now is to buy the Bella in silver/pewter and then either the Divina or the Riona in burgundy, deep blue or jade green (not sure right now), and see how they look under the corset. If the lacing and/or embroidery detail doesn't work with either (as several people have expressed as a concern, and I think it's a valid concern) I'll get something else to go with the corset (whether a different dress or a skirt/tunic combo) and I'll just wear the others as dresses.

And when I get wedding shoes, I will pick shoes that will look awesome with whatever I get. :D I'm thinking maybe something with a nifty lacing detail....
coraa: (miss piggy)
[livejournal.com profile] vom_marlowe pointed me to HolyClothing, which has a lot of lovely hippie/gothic/gypsy/faux-medieval styles. They're also reasonably priced! So I think I'm going to get a dress for Sirens from there.

The dress would be worn under my skirted corset. In that picture, both the blue tunic and the burgundy-and-black skirt are separate pieces; the skirted corset is only the deep blue (with silver and gold overlay) corset and split skirt. So whatever I get would be taking the place of the blue tunic and the burgundy skirt.

I'd love some help picking out the dress.

A few caveats: the theme of Sirens this year is faeries, so I'm looking for something more faerie, not so much, say, goth or steampunk. Also, don't worry about temperature: if the dress is too summery, I'll wear it with a wrap. Also-also, I'm splitting 'cut' and 'color,' so the example images of the cuts will all be in silver for consistency, and then you can suggest better colors separately.

The dresses that appeal to me (all are in silver so you're comparing cuts rather than colors) are the Divina (an empire-waist dress with no sleeves and a not-very-full skirt), the Bella (a dress with a lacing detail, full sleeves, and full skirt, which I could either wear flat or make more full with a crinoline), the Paulina (a dress with a lacing detail, sleeveless, and a not-very-full skirt), the Alexis (a dress with an empire waist, short sleeves, and an A-line skirt), and the Riona (a dress with a lacing detail, small/spaghetti straps, and an A-line skirt).

The colors that I think would work well both on me and with the skirted corset are silver/pewter, white/ivory, black/midnight, burgundy/wine, lavender/blue, sapphire/blue, divine/blue, purple/passion, or jade/green.

For the first three questions of the poll, assume I'm asking just about a dress to go with my corset for the Sirens ball. The fourth and fifth question are more open. The picture of me in the corset is a pretty good gauge of my coloring, although I'm a bit more, uh, full-figured now than I was then (in other words, I've gained 15-20 pounds).

[Poll #1600893]
coraa: (miss piggy)
[livejournal.com profile] vom_marlowe pointed me to HolyClothing, which has a lot of lovely hippie/gothic/gypsy/faux-medieval styles. They're also reasonably priced! So I think I'm going to get a dress for Sirens from there.

The dress would be worn under my skirted corset. In that picture, both the blue tunic and the burgundy-and-black skirt are separate pieces; the skirted corset is only the deep blue (with silver and gold overlay) corset and split skirt. So whatever I get would be taking the place of the blue tunic and the burgundy skirt.

I'd love some help picking out the dress.

A few caveats: the theme of Sirens this year is faeries, so I'm looking for something more faerie, not so much, say, goth or steampunk. Also, don't worry about temperature: if the dress is too summery, I'll wear it with a wrap. Also-also, I'm splitting 'cut' and 'color,' so the example images of the cuts will all be in silver for consistency, and then you can suggest better colors separately.

The dresses that appeal to me (all are in silver so you're comparing cuts rather than colors) are the Divina (an empire-waist dress with no sleeves and a not-very-full skirt), the Bella (a dress with a lacing detail, full sleeves, and full skirt, which I could either wear flat or make more full with a crinoline), the Paulina (a dress with a lacing detail, sleeveless, and a not-very-full skirt), the Alexis (a dress with an empire waist, short sleeves, and an A-line skirt), and the Riona (a dress with a lacing detail, small/spaghetti straps, and an A-line skirt).

The colors that I think would work well both on me and with the skirted corset are silver/pewter, white/ivory, black/midnight, burgundy/wine, lavender/blue, sapphire/blue, divine/blue, purple/passion, or jade/green.

For the first three questions of the poll, assume I'm asking just about a dress to go with my corset for the Sirens ball. The fourth and fifth question are more open. The picture of me in the corset is a pretty good gauge of my coloring, although I'm a bit more, uh, full-figured now than I was then (in other words, I've gained 10-20 pounds).

Poll #3997 dress ordering
Open to: Registered Users, detailed results viewable to: All, participants: 3


For the Sirens ball dress to go under your corset, I prefer the following style:

View Answers

Divina
1 (50.0%)

Bella
1 (50.0%)

Paulina
0 (0.0%)

Alexis
0 (0.0%)

Riona
0 (0.0%)

For the Sirens ball dress to go under your corset, I prefer the following color:

View Answers

silver/pewter
1 (50.0%)

white/ivory
0 (0.0%)

black/midnight
0 (0.0%)

burgundy/wine
0 (0.0%)

lavender/blue
0 (0.0%)

sapphire/blue
1 (50.0%)

divine/blue
0 (0.0%)

purple/passion
0 (0.0%)

jade/green
0 (0.0%)

For the Sirens ball dress to go under your corset, I reject your prior options and think you should wear this:

Forget about the Sirens ball! In general, you should buy this:

And?

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Obligatory comment about hating fashion.
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Obligatory comment about loving fashion.
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Tickybox.
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coraa: (bookses)
This is mostly about the panels and things I went to. Since I'm discussing specific books and characters, I'll be using highlight-to-read spoiler markers. I'll try to indicate whether any given spoiler is a mild spoiler, a bookbreaking spoiler, or something in between.

...this took forever, and also, it's long.

Sirens: Panels and Roundtables )

...uhhhh, yeah. So I think I will put the workshops in a different post, because this is getting kinda long.
coraa: (juniper)
This is going to be full of squee, because I loved Sirens. Loved loved loved Sirens. Let me just say that I'm pre-registering as soon as pre-registration opens for next year, and that I can't wait. So if I seem effusive... that's why. I really did have that good of a time.

It's also taken me a while to write because I'm painfully long-winded, especially with squee. Oh well.

I left for Sirens early in the morning two Thursdays ago -- that is, October 1. We had a bit of excitement because I got all packed and [livejournal.com profile] jmpava kindly got up early to take me to the airport and we went out to the car and it... wouldn't start. Fortunately I did not freak out, but instead we called a taxi company and I was driven to the airport by a very chatty cab driver who filled the time by discussing weather and the name origins of all the states. ("California," he said, "I don't know where the word 'California' came from, except that it sounds Spanish." I supplied, "I think it was from Queen Califia, a mythical Amazon warrior woman from a Spanish romance. I think she lived in the mountains with her Amazon warrior band and some gryphons." Although it turns out that origin is disputed, he seemed pleased.)

From there it was all smooth sailing to Denver.

Sirens, part the first )

home again

Oct. 10th, 2009 09:53 am
coraa: (Default)
I am home! Home and well-rested, and, though I would have happily spent many more days at Camp Lipizzan, glad that I ended the trip on the beginning of a weekend rather than the end. Now I have the weekend to decompress, post, unpack and do laundry, clean the fridge, and maybe write some more.

Seattle welcomed me home with some quintessentially Seattle weather: grey skies and green foliage, mist and rain. When we went to see Dar Williams in concert last week (something I didn't have a chance to post about before I left, but that was awesome), she was telling an anecdote about how, in the... 90s, I guess, her group of friends consisted of a lot of New Yorkers clad all in black, but that her one friend from Seattle dressed in the colors of the Pacific Northwest: "lichen and lattes." I like that. Lichen and lattes, that's how I think of Seattle. (Of course, right out the window there's a holly tree, and since it's coming up on that time of year, the holly tree has the beginning of very red berries in clusters. So some color, too.)

And it was wonderful to take a break from lattes and lichen and visit some other, truly spectacular climates. Vail, Colorado was chill and vivid: brilliantly blue sky, hills carpeted in alternating swaths of deep green pine and absurdly brilliant gold-and-yellow aspens, purple-grey snowcapped mountains on the horizon. It was crisp and cold; it snowed one day, though it didn't stick. Vail, Arizona had just as blue a sky, but a lot more of it, from horizon to horizon -- and the mountains that ringed us on all sides were purple at dusk but dappled red-gold in daylight. The land itself: burnished brown-bronze with the dramatic shapes of desert plants, fat spiked cactus and the slim, reaching arms of bushes. The air was cool in shade and warm in direct sun, and absolutely dry -- and dropping to cold at night. Lovely.

(I didn't take pictures, though I'll link you to other peoples' pictures as I go along. You'll just have to make do with word pictures from me, I guess.)

Anyway. So much happened in the last week, and it was so fantastic, and I met so many people, that I'm not sure where to begin (except, apparently, climate). So with the next post I'll begin at the beginning, with Sirens.

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coraa

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