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Author: Cyn

Cynthia Armistead lives with her life partner Rick and their critters, Harpo the dog and Django and Tully (cats). They also foster a varying number of kittens from Lifeline Animal Project. Cyn is a Senior Technical Advisor for Apple. She is an avid reader, particularly of non-fiction and science fiction, fantasy, and mystery fiction. Music is another passion, particularly singing and hearing live acoustic performances. She indulges in knitting and tabletop roleplaying games.

September 2010 NaBloPoMo Theme: Art

I received the NaBloPo­Mo newslet­ter today and learned that this month’s theme is Art. On the one hand, I thought, “I have noth­ing to say! I’m not an artist. Blah.”

On the oth­er hand, I’m com­ing to real­ize that I must have order in my life or I start dying, bit by bit. “Ene­my of Entropy” isn’t just a fan­ci­ful blog title. Dis­or­der is painful to me. Dull col­ors, harsh light­ing, loud sounds, poor ven­ti­la­tion, and per­va­sive odors can drag any­one down, but they make me ill very rapid­ly.

If you find me sur­round­ed by chaos you can be sure that either I haven’t been in that space long enough to impose order, or that some­thing is very, very wrong.

I’m health­i­est and hap­pi­est when I’m when I find ways to increase the amount of har­mo­ny and beau­ty around me. There is beau­ty in order, and art, for me, involves order — some kind of order, even if it isn’t always obvi­ous.

I’m nev­er going to be an Artist in any clas­si­cal sense of the word. I have, how­ev­er, estab­lished peace­ful, joy­ful spaces for my fam­i­ly and friends to live in and vis­it. I put togeth­er fab­ric and fibers to cre­ate unique works of embroi­dery. When I sing, alone or with oth­ers, the result is no less beau­ti­ful for its ephemer­al­i­ty.

I’ll be try­ing to explore my own kind of art this month through blog­ging, my iden­ti­ty as an artist. And I’ll be work­ing on get­ting back to blog­ging reg­u­lar­ly, obvi­ous­ly. This is a new sort of blog post for me, more intro­spec­tive. We’ll see how that goes.

Book Review: The Horns of Elfland edited by Ellen Kushner and Delia Sherman

The Horns of Elfland The Horns of Elfland by Ellen Kush­n­er

My rat­ing: 3 of 5 stars
It took a while to track down this vol­ume, as it has long been out of print. Inter­li­brary loan was, once again, my friend. But how odd to read an actu­al phys­i­cal book again, when I’ve been read­ing ebooks almost exclu­sive­ly late­ly! Read more

Review: Blood Oath by Christopher Farnsworth

Blood Oath Blood Oath by Christo­pher Farnsworth

My rat­ing: 4 of 5 stars
Blood Oath is an inter­est­ing and fair­ly refresh­ing vari­a­tion on the vam­pire riff. Most of the cur­rent tales give us a suave, sexy preda­tor who mes­mer­izes his or her prey, leav­ing humans pin­ing for their pres­ence. They might even fall in love with a human. Nathaniel Cade, how­ev­er, refers to humans as food, say­ing, “Would you have sex with a cow?” That makes much more sense to me. It’s a good thing he isn’t inter­est­ed, either, as the typ­i­cal reac­tion peo­ple have to encoun­ter­ing him is utter pan­ic, often involv­ing the loss of blad­der con­trol. Read more

Book Review: Changes by Jim Butcher

Changes (The Dresden Files, #12) Changes by Jim Butch­er

My rat­ing: 5 of 5 stars
I do not give out many 5-star rat­ings, but for this book I couldn’t do any­thing else. That is despite the fact that Jim Butch­er did some­thing I hon­est­ly didn’t think he would do to his legions of loy­al read­ers, some­thing that I absolute­ly detest. Some­thing that I will not tell you about, because I loathe spoil­ers. Read more

Review: American Gods by Neil Gaiman

American Gods Amer­i­can Gods by Neil Gaiman

My rat­ing: 4 of 5 stars
I’m try­ing to remem­ber whether or not I’ve read any of Gaiman’s oth­er nov­els before, and I’m fair­ly cer­tain that I haven’t. I read Good Omens, but that was co-writ­ten with Ter­ry Pratch­ett, and the col­lab­o­ra­tion was genius. I know that the entire world seems to love Sand­man, of course, but I’m just not a fan of graph­ic nov­els. In fact, it took me a while to real­ize that the Good Omens co-author and the Sand­man author were one and the same. Read more

Where do first amendment rights go when you enter a courtroom?

I’m not even talk­ing about the rights of defend­ents or plain­tiffs, but those of peo­ple who are oth­er­wise present in a court­room who aren’t being dis­rup­tive. How much con­trol do judges actu­al­ly need in order to main­tain order in the court­room? At what point are they sim­ply being pet­ty tyrants? Read more

Review: Fantasy in Death by J.D. Robb

Fantasy in Death (In Death, #30) Fan­ta­sy in Death by J.D. Robb

My rat­ing: 4 of 5 stars
Fan­ta­sy in Death is an inter­est­ing take on the death-by-gam­ing plot that has pre­vi­ous­ly been done by a cou­ple of fan­ta­sy and sci­ence fic­tion authors, most notably in Niv­en and Barnes’ Dream Park series. I doubt that most of Robb’s read­ers will be famil­iar with the oth­er books, as they’re prob­a­bly com­ing from the romance world (cross­ing over from her Nora Roberts titles) instead of the sci­ence fic­tion genre. Read more