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Sirens post, part 1

I'm going to share the notes that I took, fairly haphazardly, at Sirens. The first thing I took out my pen for was a panel with the three guests of honor: Kate Elliott, Yoon Ha Lee, and Rae Carson, on Friday morning.

The guests of honor were asked, "What is a fantasy work that you think is revolutionary?"

Kate Elliott said Tanith Lee's short-story collection Red as Blood, because it dealt with women and sexuality, because women were allowed to be angry, because it included details like menstruation. [This is my best recollection based on my notes, which say merely "women, sexuality, angry, menstruation"]

Yoon Ha Lee said Joanna Russ's The Female Man

Rae Carson said Buffy the Vampire Slayer and added, "I've learned to love flawed things."

Then I have a couple more random notes of things that got said in the panel. At one point an audience member asked a question about how to write characters that were sufficiently unique--she worried her characters were interchangeable. Rae Carson said, "Go on with your bad self!" --I don't even know exactly what that means, but I liked it. It seemed very affirming.

At another point, Kate Elliott was talking about interacting with people online, and she talked about when you're arguing with someone, and she said, "I'm not talking to the people I'm arguing with online; I'm talking to the people who are listening in." --Super perceptive, I thought. And if you do choose what you say based on that wisdom, you're likely to think carefully before you speak.

At another point, Yoon Ha Lee was talking about the importance of making time to write--he said even if it's writing in the lunch line. The one caveat he added was that you should prioritize your health.

Women of the Revolution: Changing Genre and the World
My notes on this were very sparse, but one thing I wrote was the question that someone--maybe the moderator, Casey Blair, but maybe one of the panelists--asked: "Are you a revolutionary, or are you revolutionary"--raising the question of the difference between the noun and the adjective.

One of the panelists was a woman named Justina Ireland, whom I've seen around Twitter. She said, "Revolution sometimes happens in very small ways," which I thought was a good point. She mentioned a comic I'd heard people talking about, Raising Dion, about a mother raising a superhero son. (There was another panel, the next day, called "Mother of the Revolution," which talked about mothers in fantasy.)

Here's the neat cover of Raising Dion:

The Pen Is Mightier Than the Sword
In the afternoon, I went to cafenowhere's talk on Sara Estela Ramirez, a poet and Mexican revolutionary. She actually lived for much of her life in Laredo, Texas, where she founded a literary journal, taught in a progressive school, contributed poetry to Spanish-language newspapers, and acted as a propagandist for the revolutionary cause, all while dealing with chronic health problems.

In addition to providing a fascinating portrait of Ramirez and her context (I didn't know there were progressive schools in the 1910s, let alone in border regions, and I didn't know about the flowering of Spanish-language newspapers), cafenowhere drew really creative and inspiring connections between poetry and revolutionary communiqués, talking about "the art of the dispatch." She pointed out that both poems and communiqués often use coded language and symbolism, that mnemonics, which help ensure a communiqué is remembered, can help make poetry or lyrics memorable, too. It was a really cool idea; I kept thinking about it.

Presentation on Lumberjanes
This is a comic I'd heard good things about. The presenter said it's noteworthy because the girls are so varied, not just in terms of interests and personality, but in also including neuroatypical characters, a budding lesbian relationship, and a trans girl. The girls are all friends, and the creators are a group of women webcomic artists.

So that was Friday! I'll write up Saturday later tonight.


( 18 comments — Leave a comment )
Oct. 28th, 2015 02:20 am (UTC)
Excellent write-up!
Oct. 28th, 2015 11:45 am (UTC)
It's so late--I should have written it when things were fresher. Ah well. On to Saturday!
Oct. 28th, 2015 04:11 am (UTC)
Thanks for this; lots of lovely leads! :)
Oct. 28th, 2015 11:46 am (UTC)
My pleasure!
Oct. 28th, 2015 02:27 pm (UTC)
Re: Raising Dion - I guess you've seen this?
Oct. 28th, 2015 02:33 pm (UTC)
I had seen stills but not the actual trailer--now I'd like it to be a TV show starring those characters!
Oct. 28th, 2015 02:41 pm (UTC)
Maybe...? :)
Oct. 28th, 2015 07:40 am (UTC)
Looking forward to hearing about the rest...
Oct. 28th, 2015 11:47 am (UTC)
Alas, my notes for Saturday are even sparser, but I'm going to post what I recall....
Oct. 28th, 2015 03:13 pm (UTC)
She pointed out that both poems and communiqués often use coded language and symbolism, that mnemonics, which help ensure a communiqué is rememberedcan help make poetry or lyrics memorable, too.

That is indeed a brilliant insight. Thanks for sharing cafenowhere's wisdom. :D

Edited at 2015-10-28 03:14 pm (UTC)
Oct. 28th, 2015 03:35 pm (UTC)
She said she's submitting it to the Sirens compendium (I think it's called), which is a collection of the papers and things presented at the conference and which, I hope, will be available to the public--then you'd get more than just my garbled recollection!
Oct. 29th, 2015 12:20 am (UTC)
Nicely given the day's events. The cover is really colorful...is that an illustrated book?
Oct. 31st, 2015 11:13 am (UTC)
It's a graphic novel--so, like a comic book: pictures with word balloons. I haven't actually seen the physical book, but I love the cover.
Oct. 29th, 2015 03:13 am (UTC)
Thank you for both parts.
Oct. 31st, 2015 11:13 am (UTC)

How are you doing?
Oct. 31st, 2015 11:40 am (UTC)
Hanging in. Miss you. Hugs for days. Spiced chai tea?
Oct. 31st, 2015 12:15 pm (UTC)
YES hot spiced chai forever.
Oct. 31st, 2015 03:01 pm (UTC)
My dear friend. I got to speak of you yesterday when my coworker ask after your painting. My every day magic.
( 18 comments — Leave a comment )

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