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Tansy Rayner Roberts

Posts Tagged ‘jem’

Friday Links is Also Not Married To Matt Fraction

Friday, August 10th, 2012

I have a new story out! “Please Look After This Angel” is the piece that was read in the marvellous theatrical performance at MONA the other week – now Island Magazine have put in online for you to read. Yes, you. It’s my first ever angel story (I THINK) which does not include clockwork. Keep an eye out for the others – I particularly enjoyed Michael Blake’s “Breathless” on the night, and thought that Melissa Howard’s “The Watchers” felt very Margo Lanaganesque – I will be interested to see how reading the stories on the page changes my opinions after experiencing them for the first time as a dramatic reading!

Also, my littlest daughter turned 3 yesterday which has come as a shock to all of us but did mean I could finally find an owner for the Astronaut Barbie I found on sale nearly a year ago. She also received a Cupcake Kitchen, a Wonder Woman board book, and an Alice in Wonderland costume. Love you, Jem!

But you’re not here for me talking about me, you’re here for linky links. Let us proceed!

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Jellybean Sick Day

Tuesday, July 17th, 2012

Home for the second day in a row with a flu-sick seven year old. It’s not fun. Poor thing has high temperatures and even higher misery levels. At least yesterday, Jem was at daycare, but today she’s home, she’s cranky and bored because her sister is a whole lot of no fun, and she feels ripped off because she was expecting a fun day of Glammer adventures today (I told my mum to stay away from the quarantine zone).

All this, and Raeli missed school pictures today too! We’re all pretty blah.

So the house is on full sick day mode – the freezer is full of homemade icy poles, the larder is overflowing with croissants and jelly beans (essential supplies, along with lemon squash and butter menthols) and I’ve cracked out the new Young Justice DVD I picked up from Big W the other day. It’s pretty good so far, though… gender issues ahoy! I look forward to when their lineup gets a bit more balance in it. One girl is not enough, especially when she isn’t introduced until after ALL the boys.

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Why Amy Pond Must Live

Monday, February 6th, 2012

Doctor Who, especially the classic show, has a reputation for being a bit sexist. Which is hardly surprising, considering that it is a product of its time across so many different decades. We lucked out in the late sixties when a classic battle of the sexes episode (including a scene where Jamie spanks Zoe, Taming of the Shrew style) failed to be made. But with such a paternal structure, whereby the Doctor is male and also the character who knows most about everything most of the time, and the employment of such strategic companion costumes as the mini-skirt and, in the 80′s, the mini-skirt AND boob tube combination (not to mention poor Peri in her leotard and shorts) it certainly doesn’t escape that taint. Even the female characters allowed to be close to the Doctor’s intellectual equal, such as Liz and Romana, are regularly taken down a peg or two because the entire premise of the show is that the Doctor is more capable at what he does (even when being comedically bad at what he does) than anyone else.

There’s a reason that more action figures have been made of Leela in her leathers and Peri in her leotard-with-shorts than any other Doctor Who companions. And let’s not get into the recent revelations that Jon Pertwee insisted on a recast of the role of Sarah Jane Smith, because the actress cast before Elisabeth Sladen was too tall, and he liked to perform against a physically small woman, one he could be seen to physically protect. Ahem.

But there’s one sexist trope that, narratively, Doctor Who almost never used, and looking back over some of the rather dodgy decisions made by the show and its almost all-male writing tradition, it’s quite impressive that they didn’t. They almost never killed the girl.

[Spoilers follow for a bunch of Classic & New Who]
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Never Mind Domestic Science… my Parenthood is all about Domestic Art

Sunday, January 22nd, 2012

As a parent, you get called on at times in your life to be creative and artistic in a domestic setting. There’s no actual obligation, but we’ve all had those notices about bringing cakes to the school (or as my friend received this Christmas, a summons to provide a plate of “something healthy” arranged in a suitably festive shape, such as a Christmas tree or snowman). There are school plays, fancy dress parties, never mind basic arts and crafts activities.

I’m a sucker for domestic art. I don’t do it very often – and I am entirely comfortable with time saving alternatives – but I love an opportunity to do something creative for my kids, given a comfortable timeframe, a practical plan, and a little breathing space.

The most common demonstrations of my domestic art skills in this house are costuming, and the provision of birthday cakes. Nothing fancy – sure, I once produced a hand-sewn Cleopatra costume for an Asterix party which was worn for all of 3 minutes, but I’m just as likely to run out to the shop to find a lion mask at a moment’s notice (give me a month and ebay, and I can dress you as ANYTHING, my darling, but a week’s notice? Aargh!). I’ve even been known to dress my kids up for occasions other than costume parties – like, for instance, my book launches.

This year, we knew with at least six months notice that Raeli wanted a Doctor Who party, and that she wanted to go as a lady Silurian, and my Mum was totally okay with making that costume, as long as it was confirmed as wanted 2 months before the party. 2 months before the party, Raeli changed her mind, and wanted to be River Song instead. We called the party ‘aliens and earthlings’ so as not to alienate the non Doctor Who watchers who were invited, and sort of forgot about the costume.

Meanwhile, I had a plan for Jem’s costume for the same party, which would be a TARDIS dress. Having seen all the gorgeous ones out there, I plotted to remix a plain denim dress, got the makings, and got very excited when I learned about the advances that have been made in T-Shirt Transfer technology.

Somehow, with less than a fortnight to go, we had not organised Raeli’s costume. Her more recent plans to be young Melody Pond ran aground when we checked that episode, and the kid was basically wearing a dress and a cardigan, which can not be made to look like a proper costume. Alarm bells rang. She was sent off with a stack of Doctor Who magazines to figure out what she wanted to look like.

She came back with bright, starry eyes, and the request for an astronaut costume.

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Christmas at our House… is basically all about Doctor Who

Sunday, December 25th, 2011

A home-made Adipose from Glammer to Raeli

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Oh yes, we Halloweened

Saturday, October 29th, 2011

A couple of days early, but it worked for us!

a little witch, and her baby bat

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Writing Fantasy: Finding the Words

Wednesday, September 7th, 2011

I had an amazing visit to the local Maritime Museum today, under the guidance of the most excellent Liz. Raeli and Jem had a brilliant time exploring the museum itself, which combined display and video material with some fabulous tactile exhibits such as wheels to spin, enormous brass bells to ring, and the hull of a ship for small people to hide inside (possibly this was not actually there for that purpose).

After stocking up on loot from the shop (an activity book and pirate craft project for Raeli, a pirate slinky for Jem, a book about female crewed ships for me) we were taken upstairs to view the sekrit stuff, namely the archive and private library, plus the many staff. I have to say this is the first time I have used writer credentials to get behind the red velvet curtain of anywhere! The girls were well behaved for a good 10-15 minutes as Liz showed me some of their digitised images and shared some gems about the history of the Derwent river. I already have extra Nancy ideas bubbling away, and plan to go back for more visits when not encumbered with two children with a patience time limit (well, the toddler, anyway. Raeli was a jewel the whole time, and charmingly fascinated with the place).

I’m almost at the end of the draft of the first Nancy novel, and while I’m very pleased with the writing and most importantly the scene-by-scene structure, it’s not ready yet. Now that I know which time periods are going to be relevant to the story, I need to do a lot more research on what Hobart was like in those specific times, and figure out for myself what Nancy and Sylvie Napoleon were doing during those specific years.

But there’s the other thing I need to do as well, which sadly no amount of historical books and visits to museums are going to help me with (unless of course they do). I need to find my words.

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It’s a Jungle In Here

Tuesday, August 9th, 2011

Jem turns two today! Sadly she has come down with a horrible virus and is not feeling very festive.
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unexpected tuesday links!

Tuesday, July 12th, 2011

I skipped my Friday links post last week, because… well, you know. It was one of those days. I have so many links building up, though, I thought I’d better get one in now or I’ll end up having to produce a whole magazine by the time Friday comes around again! Also, some of my links are in danger of looking severely dated…

In other news, it is raining. Grim, vengeful rain. How else would you expect rain that holds off all day and then starts while I am EN ROUTE to pick up my daughter for school, with the baby in the back seat, so I don’t even get a head’s up that maybe today was not the day to put the baby in soft slippers? In other news, Jem has grown so much now that her feet entirely stick out of the stroller, and the plastic rain cover for said stroller. All of these facts are related.

Deb Biancotti is interviewed by Alisa at Galactic Chat!

Fabulous roundtable about (global) Women in World SF
– every comment is packed with intelligent, thoughtful ideas. I am delighted such a thing exists in the world. Some important questions are asked, like – why is it so easy for urban fantasy to be excluded from any discussion on spec fic? And why is it that crime readers are so much more open to female authors than SF readers?

The roundtable was in response to this original post by Joyce Chng about women outside the English speaking world are doubly marginalised in the science fiction field.

Maureen Johnson takes on the writer of that Wall Street Journal article (podcast), on the topic of whether YA fiction is getting too dark for teenagers to be allowed to read – fabulous radio and it’s cool to see how articulate Maureen is in person. It’s irritating that the final word goes to a caller who is obviously just out to plug his own book and hasn’t actually been listening to much that has been said in the conversation, and I was disappointed Maureen didn’t get to comment on what he said, but for the most part I think her point of view came across clearly and the conversation was absolutely one worth having.

This post by Tricia Sullivan is getting a little long in the tooth now, but I think it’s absolutely worth checking out if you haven’t already. To put it and the conversation it responds to into context, it’s also worth reading these two posts by Cheryl Morgan: Here We Go, and Further Thoughts. There is some intelligent, interesting conversation in the comments of all three of these posts.

I’m still chewing over my thoughts on the upcoming DC reboot, and this is one of the best posts I’ve seen exploring some of the problematic aspects of regressing storylines, particularly when it comes to female and minority characters.

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Of Jam and Valets

Saturday, June 25th, 2011

It’s amazing how fast it returns. A week of writing 1000 words a day, and it’s already feeling a lot easier, both to sit down at the computer, and to stay there for the full 1000 words without getting all twitchy and restless. The book is coming easier, and I’ve solved some major problems with it that had been bugging me for a while. Funny how writing a book actually makes the book, you know, get written. It’s a foolproof method, really.

Jem’s speech, which had been lagging behind her climbing, hugging and animal impressionistic skills, has recently been coming on in leaps and bounds. She has two two-word phrases now, ‘more toast’ and ‘Doctorrrrooo’ (generally while pointing at any pictures of well dressed Englishmen). We have also discovered that ‘jam’ and ‘yum’ are indistinguishable terms. Her favourite so far is quince jelly.

The cutest thing in the universe may very well be when I ask whether the girls want cereal or toast for breakfast, Raeli says ‘both!’ and Jem echoes, ‘bofe!’ These are the things which do not last, and need to be pinned down in memory.

Also this week I have inhaled the entirety of Downton Abbey, thanks to the encouragement of @zeft as well as the rest of the internet.

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