Friday, August 20, 2010

Picture Day Friday

Now you people who read my blog know that I rarely succumb to gratuitous beefcake pictures. *snork* Ahem!

Richard Armitage image copyright by MeAndRichard.wordpress


I gave in to a wee temptation above after listening to this sampling of Richard Armitage read the book THE CONVENIENT MARRIAGE by Georgette Heyer. (Thanks to Nicola Cornick for the link.)


In this interview, RA talks about why he enjoys working on audio books and about the challenges audio presents an actor, in general, and him in particular. On the stage or on film, he uses his body as well as his voice, but on audio books, every emotion and nuance has to be conveyed via the voice. This can be difficult to do, but since he's musical, he enjoys the challenge.


By the way, RA plays the flute and the cello.

...Musical Ability...

*sighs* How I adore thee, RA, let me count the ways.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Anglo Saxon Recipe: Braised Fennel with Ginger

Courtesy of The British Museum Cookbook by Michelle Berriedale-Johnson (British Museum Publications, 1987), comes this recipe for braised fennel with ginger. The original version of this recipe is from Forme of Cury, which is a collection of 196 recipes copied by Richard II's scribes at his cooks' directions.

Fenkel in Soppes

1.5 lb fresh fennel root; trimmed, cleaned, and cut in matchsticks
8 oz onions, thickly sliced
1 tsp (heaped) ground ginger
1 tsp (level) powdered saffron
0.5 tsp salt
2 Tbsp olive oil
5 fl oz or 2/3 cup (each) dry white wine and water
6 slices (thick) coarse wholewheat or wholemeal bread (optional)

Put the fennel in a wide, lidded pan with the onions. Sprinkle with the
spices and the salt, then the oil, and finally pour over the liquids. Bring
to the boil, cover and simmer for 20–30 minutes or till the fennel is
cooked without being mushy. Stir once or twice during the cooking to
make sure the spices get well distributed. Serve it alone with roast
meat or griddled fish, or place one slice of bread on each warmed wide-mouthed soup plate, cover it with the fennel, and pour over the juices. Serves 6.

Monday, August 9, 2010

Chatsworth has Attics to Let

Image copyright by Bakewell Derbyshire In a new twist on the American practice of garage sales, the 12th Duke of Devonshire is selling off family bric-a-brac from his vast ("the length of village streets," according to the Guardian) attics.

Rediscovered beneath layers of dust, these objects were once part of the fabric of the many great houses that have featured in the Devonshire family's history. Chatsworth, Devonshire House (on Piccadilly in London, demolished in the 1920s), Bolton Abbey, Chiswick House, Hardwick Hall, Lismore Castle, and Compton Place have all contributed items.

The sale comprises 20,000 objects in over 1,000 lots, ranging in value from £20 to £200,000, covering over 500 years of Devonshire history. These rediscovered objects are from many of the Devonshire estates: Chatsworth, Devonshire House (on Piccadilly in London, demolished in the 1920s), Bolton Abbey, Chiswick House, Hardwick Hall, Lismore Castle, and Compton Place. Sotheby hopes to raise £25m, a conservative approximation. Go here for images of some of the objects on sale.

Image copyright by The TelegraphThis lovely carved white marble chimneypiece by William Kent, featuring George II circa 1735 is from the Saloon and estimated at £200k—300k.

Image copyright by The Guardian The sale will also feature a splendid royal scandal: the massive bookcase that was used to conceal the door through which Prinny (the future George IV) passed to meet the Roman Catholic Maria Fitzherbert in the next room at Devonshire House. The bookcase is estimated at up to £80,000.

So, if you are in need of a dining table that would comfortably seat 60 or a red carpet 62ft in length, hie yourself off to Chatsworth for the public viewing (by catalog only, check link for ordering) October 1—4 and for the auction October 5—7.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

IASPR 2nd Annual Conference

The second annual conference of the International Association for the Study of Popular Romance is being held in Brussels, Belgium from August 5 to August 7. Here's the schedule.

Coffee and Registration

Introductory Remarks

SESSION 1: International Romance

Natalie Pendergast (University of Toronto, Canada): Expressions of Romance in Comics: Young Romance andOniisama e …
Eric Selinger (DePaul University. USA): Shame, Postmodernity and the Poetics of Popular Romance Fiction
Magali Bigey (Université de Franche Comte, France) : Romances: Novels Ceaselessly Evolving. What Mechanisms Are at Work?

Lunch (Provided)

Special Presentation
Allison Norrington (De Monfort University, UK): Romantic Comedy / Chick Lit as a Transmedia, Immersive and Participatory ‘Experience’ for Women

SESSION 2: Romancing History: Echoes of Times Past

Amy Burge (University of York, UK): “Weird and kinky and medieval”: The Idea of the ‘Medieval’ in Contemporary Popular Sheikh Romances
Piper Huguley-Riggins (Spelman College, USA): “Pride in the Ancestors”: Beverly Jenkins and the Historical Romance
Sandra Schwab (Johannes Gutenberg-University, Germany): There Be Dragons: Romance and the History of Stories

SESSION 3: Paratextual Identity and Reclamation of Ephemeral Texts

Faye O’Leary (Trinity College Dublin, Ireland): Nora and J.D.: Identity in Nora Roberts’ Romance Fiction
William Gleason (Princeton University, USA): Paratextually Yours: Story Papers, Seriality, and the Shape of Late-Nineteenth-Century American Romance Fiction
Cora Buhlert (Universität Vechta, Germany): Love for a Dime – A History and Taxonomy of the German “Liebesromanheft”

Coffee Break

KEYNOTE 1: Lynne Pearce (Lancaster University, UK): Romance and Repetition: Testing the Limits of the Love


Friday 6th August

SESSION 4: The Language of Romance

Stephanie Moody (University of Michigan, USA): “Is that another crack about my weight?”: Using Discourse Analysis to Study Romantic Fictional Dialogue
Artemis Lamprinou (University of Surrey, UK): Translated Romances: The Effect of Cultural Textual Norms on the Communication of Emotions
Heike Klippel (Hochschule fuer Bildende Kuenste, Braunschweig, Germany): The Signs of Romance: Visualizing Love and Romance in German Soap Operas

Coffee Break

Session 5: Power, Gender, and the Female Gaze

Pradipta Mukherjee (University of Calcutta, India): Indian Popular Romance: Devdas in Bollywood and Reading Three Screen Adaptations
Sarah S. G. Frantz (Fayetteville State University, USA): Alpha Male: Power, Confession and Masculinity in Popular Romance Fiction
Pam Rosenthal (Independent Scholar, USA): The Queer Theory of Eve Sedgwick and Homoeroticism at the Edges of the Popular Romantic Imagination

Lunch (Provided)

KEYNOTE 2: Celestino Deleyto (University of Zaragoza, Spain): The Comic, the Serious and the Middle: Desire in Contemporary Film Romantic Comedy

SESSION 6: Film, Genre, History, and the Construction of Identity

Giselle Bastin (Flinders University, Australia): From A Royal Love Story to Whatever Love Means: The Charles and Diana Biopics as Soap Opera
Roger Nicholson (University of Auckland, New Zealand): Romancing the Past: Historical Fictions and the Fear of Nostalgia
Claudia Marquis (University of Auckland, New Zealand): Shakespeare and the Modern Romance of Adolescence: 10 Things I Hate About You

Coffee Break

SESSION 7: Life Stages in Romantic Comedies

Betty Kaklamanidou (Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Greece): “The Bells Are Ringing for Me and My Gal” or How the American Rom Com ‘Wedding Cycle’ Found its Way into Greek Cinema
Claire Jenkins (Warwick University, UK): Romance and the Single Parent in Contemporary Hollywood
Margaret Tally (State University of New York, USA): “It’s (Not That) Complicated”: Hollywood Construction of Middle-Age Romance in the Films of Nancy Myers

Conference Dinner


Saturday 7th August

KEYNOTE 3: Pamela Regis (McDaniel College, USA): Criticizing Romance: The Last Quarter Century”
Respondent: An Goris, (Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, Belgium).

Coffee Break

SESSION 8: Romance Forms: Perspectives on Sex and ‘New’ Romance

Ashley Greenwood (San Diego State University, USA): Violent Sex or Sexual Violence? The Gendered Language of Sex in Contemporary Romance Novels
Angela Toscano (University of Utah, USA): “When my lust hath dined”: Rape, Ravishment and Forced Seduction in Romance
Jin Feng (Grinnell College, USA): Who is the Ideal Hero? Consuming Web-based Time-Travel Romances

Lunch and Special Panel

Séverine Olivier and Agnes Caubet (Université Libre de Bruxelles, Belgium) : Francophone Perspectives on Romantic Fiction: From Academic Field to Readers’ Experiences

SESSION 9: Sex and Gender in Vampire Romances

Jonathan Allan (University of Toronto, Canada): Theorising Virginity in the Romance
Chiho Nakagawa (Nara Women’s University, Japan): Finding True Love and Finding Her Sexuality in Vampire Romance Novels
Tom Ue (McGill University, Canada): Gender, Romance and Performance: Stephanie Meyer’s Twilight Saga and the Female Knight Errant

Closing Roundtable

Monday, August 2, 2010

Photos Galore from RWA

I've uploaded all my photos to Facebook. If you've friended me, you should be able to see them there. Otherwise, HERE's the public link.

This is How I Feel about Nationals


(With Anna Campbell.)

I'm Home......And in a Video

Smart Bitch Sarah Wendell took a music video of folks at the RWA Literacy Autographing last Wednesday evening. She had various people lip-synching to a soundtrack. It makes for a fun viewing, because it brings back all the memories of all the people I met there.