azhure: (dreaming tree)

One of the recent events that will always resonate with me was watching Catherynne M Valente speak at Strowlercon are share her Monstrous Manifesto.

I make no pretence at having anything but love and gratitude that someone like Cat exists in this world, and that she shares her words and worlds with us.

And she’s done it again with her guest of honor speech at Mythcon (full speech at Cat’s livejournal), but I had to share this:

Let me tell you, I am a mouthy, aggressive, ambitious woman. I have been a known monster for quite some time. And to be a woman is to be monstrous, to be queer is to be monstrous, to have a body that is not white, that is sick or broken, that is even the littlest bit out of compliance with an increasingly unreal eidolon is monstrous. To be poor, to be other than Christian, to be old–we’re the ones who live in the frightening forest, waiting to prey on everyone else. It’s not really a metaphor–culture treats all of us as though our souls are catching, as though we must be contained and punished and shown to be wicked, made to dance in iron shoes, so that no further good folk will step out of line. After all, a gay teacher will make his students gay. A single mother will ruin her sons. A career woman will steal treasure from noble knights. As social powerlessness grows, scapegoats must be found. Strong, pale men with might on their side must be dispatched to triumph. Dragon bad; sword pretty.






Mirrored from Stephanie Gunn.

azhure: (dreaming tree)

Most of you who are reading those know that I am a huge fan of Catherynne M Valente’s work.  Today, her newest creation takes flight: The Habitation of the Blessed, book one of her Prester John trilogy.

Cat has a fantastic round-up post on her livejournal, including a giveaway.  And a terribly humourous video ;)

Basically, if you’re a fan of Cat’s work, you’re going to want this.  And if you’re not a fan, then buy it and become one ;

My own copy is somewhere between continents, but due here any day.  I suspect that when it arrives, I shan’t be getting any work done for a few days.

Mirrored from Stephanie Gunn.

azhure: (dreaming tree)

Written by the mighty Cat Valente, read at the Monster’s Ball at Strowlercon:

If you are a monster, stand up.
If you are a monster, a trickster, a fiend,
If you’ve built a steam-powered wishing machine
If you have a secret, a dark past, a scheme,
If you kidnap maidens or dabble in dreams
Come stand by me.

If you have been broken, stand up.
If you have been broken, abandoned, alone
If you have been starving, a creature of bone
If you live in a tower, a dungeon, a throne
If you weep for wanting, to be held, to be known,
Come stand by me.

If you are a savage, stand up.
If you are a witch, a dark queen, a black knight,
If you are a mummer, a pixie, a sprite,
If you are a pirate, a tomcat, a wright,
If you swear by the moon and you fight the hard fight,
Come stand by me.

If you are a devil, stand up.
If you are a villain, a madman, a beast,
If you are a strowler, a prowler, a priest,
If you are a dragon come sit at our feast,
For we all have stripes, and we all have horns,
We all have scales, tails, manes, claws and thorns
And here in the dark is where new worlds are born.
Come stand by me.

Mirrored from Stephanie Gunn.

azhure: (dreaming tree)

Self Portrait in Snail by *Ravenari on deviantART

I’ve been thinking about starting a series of posts on some of the people who inspire me.  Each of them act in their own way as muse and inspiration.  Some of them I’m blessed enough to know in real life.  Others I’ve exchange occasional emails and instant messages with.  Others I’ve only interacted with through the art that they create.

All of them are people who burn brightly in the world, who share something of themselves.  All of them are firebirds.

I have a long list of muses.  So many, that it would be logical to think that I would find it difficult to know where to begin.  In reality, it’s very simple.

The first muse, firebird incarnate, is Pia van Ravestein (Ravenari at Deviantart, with originals available at Etsy).

I am truly blessed in this life to be able to call P a friend both online and offline.  I honestly cannot remember how we actually started talking to each other.  It was almost certainly at livejournal – honestly, it almost feels as though I’ve known P forever.

Not only is she an amazingly talented artist (Seriously, if you’ve never seen her work before, stop reading this right now and go and look at her gallery at Deviantart.  I challenge you to not find at least a half dozen pieces you want to buy.  And then challenge you to buy some prints and support an amazing artist), she’s also an incredibly talented writer.  She’s been to some dark places in life and yet she continues to shine with this amazing light.  A light that she would probably deny exists most of the time, but which glows through everything that she creates.

Knowing P has inspired me spiritually as well as creatively and made me really think about how I move through this world.

I’m lucky enough to own several of her original artworks  as well as many prints.  Check below the jump for some of her amazing work.

(And for the record, she has no idea I’m making this post.)

Read the rest of this entry » )

Mirrored from Stephanie Gunn.

azhure: (dreaming tree)

As I sit here typing this, the voices of Catherynne M. Valente and S.J. Tucker fill the room.

I have spent a good chunk of the weekend watching the live feed from Strowlercon.  Which has been amazing and inspiring and incredible.  I wish that I could have been there so, so much.  I am so thankful for whoever decided to set up the live feed, which has allowed people around the world to take part in this amazing event.

I always knew that it would be a great thing.  I make no effort to hide how much of a fan I am of Cat and Sooj’s work.  The other artists involved were just as incredible.  I have a feeling that I’m going to be watching the archived videos as long as they’re available, and probably purchasing music from all of the other musicians.  And probably buying some of the video from the con if it’s made available.

A special shout out to Shira‘s daughter Elayna, who sang in the last section of the con and was just radiant and amazing and luminous.  She’s inherited every scrap of her mother’s presence, and I can only begin to imagine the kind of energy that fills a room when they’re both present.

The whole thing got me thinking about why I admire this group of people so much.  Yes, they’re all incredibly talented.  But they’re also firebirds.  They live their truth.  They don’t hide themselves, they create and fly and burn and burn and live again.

Thank you, to all of you, for sharing your fire.  Maybe next year I can find a way to be there and burn and fly with you.

Mirrored from Stephanie Gunn.


azhure: (Default)
sister awakened

January 2017



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