Tuesday, June 26, 2007

let them eat cake (fire?)

Okay, one more thing before I go. In a recent article in the NYRB, Max Rodenbeck leads into an exploration of Lebanon & its discontents with a quote from an unnamed Hezbollah spokesperson. It is as follows: "This country is like a cake. On the top it is cream. Underneath it is fire."

Meh? A journalist should be able to distinguish quotable wheat from compostable chaff. True enough, Rodenbeck is good enough to note that the metaphor is "clumsy," but then he goes on to unpack it anyway, pondering that while "Lebanon whets appetites with its gorgeous landscapes, clement weather, energetic people, and wonderful food, trying to consume too much of it tends to bring on heartburn" and that the "country's infernally complex ingredients seem chemically incapable of melding into a digestible dish."

Oy. Hyperextended metaphors taste like supermarket ice cream cake with that gel icing and filling made of capsaicin and wasabi peas.

An escape to gelato never sounded better! See you in July.

all the gelato i can eat

I've finished revising a short story just in time to fly off the continent and spend a spell riding horses in Sardinia. It will be like Chariots of Fire, only a better soundtrack and clearer water:

Here's my illustration of what I'll be doing, aside from ambling with ponies:

Well, I will be more relaxed than that. I can't use anything but that spraycan in Photoshop. It's my very own airbrush. Very classy, very Atlantic-City-meets-Sardinian-rock-formation.

And one more thing: I just rec'd an email from one of my authors. She asked whether a given photo would work for her author photo. She described it as the read-my-book-or-I'll-spank-you picture. How can an editor say no to such a photo? Love the people I work with.

Still, the horses are whinnying. Ciao, ragazzi.

Saturday, June 23, 2007

the originals

On my way to represent BADRAP in the SF Pride Parade and it reminded me--I never posted this review.

for Library Journal

Gallo, Marcia M. Different Daughters: A History of the Daughters of Bilitis and the Rise of the Lesbian Rights Movement. Nov. 2006. Avalon Publishing. 320 p. bibliog. appendix of interviews. endnotes. ISBN-13: 978-0-78671-634-0; ISBN-10: 0-7867-1634-7. $26.95.

Almost fifteen years before the Stonewall Riots brought the issue of gay rights into the mainstream press, six San Francisco women were busy organizing a way for lesbians to meet safely behind closed doors. As a result, the Daughters of Bilitis (DOB), a secret social club for lesbians, was born in 1955. In an exhaustively researched chronicle of the organization and its work, Marcia Gallo presents the DOB in its full context, from FBI surveillance and the dangers the founding women faced collaborating during the McCarthy era to GLBT Historical Society’s ultimate preservation of DOB meeting minutes, records, and letters. Gallo addresses both the racial tensions and political advancements within the organization, as well as the historic significance of their newsletter The Ladder. Relying heavily on personal interviews, Different Daughters depicts the development of the DOB and the courageous ways members networked with other homophile organizations. Gallo proves an unyielding researcher, honoring this bold, diverse group of women who led the organization until the last chapter dissolved in 1978. Recommended for all public and academic libraries. Elizabeth Kennedy, Oakland, CA