If I’ve been more than usually quiet this last month and a half it’s because I’ve been preoccupied moving to Oregon. Turns out there’s even more to it than renting a large truck, packing up your life’s belongings and driving for twelve hours. There’s insurance and licensing and you find out how much stuff you truly need. Like blinds. Bike stands. Waste baskets. Spare sheets. A vet.

But I seem to be nearing the end of the turbulent times of change. Routine is creeping in again, even if that routine is necessarily different from my previous one. In the space it has lent me I’ve been writing, both fiction and letters, and hanging pictures. I have a studio now, and it is assembled to the point that I might begin working in it soon. Which is good, because we are already behind schedule on Perihelion 2017, and we have another ten titles to publish next year.

Which reminds me, I really must apply for that Business Permit.

Bend is a funny sort of city, which is probably why I like it so much. It was until quite recently not a city at all, and there is a tension here between all the people who want it to stay small, yet at the same time really want to be here and are proud of the place they live in. There are a lot of transplanted Californians, which gives the atmosphere a kind of comfortable familiarity. At the same time, these are largely Californians who have self-selected as the kind of person who is compatible with the Oregonian spirit, which appears to be slower, more relaxed, and less inclined to dance in the streets when it rains. There are many other out of state immigrants, but the common thread I find is that most of us came here from places that were not right for us, and, having found Bend, understand just how lucky we are to be here.

For myself I find I am not only a Californian in Bend, I am a writer in Oregon. I feel myself developing a new (if still not complete) understanding of Ursula K. Le Guin. I think it has something to do with the volcanos and the high desert.

So far I think the thing I like best about it is that, within walking distance of my house, there is a yoga studio, at least two bike shops, a frozen yogurt café and a hardware store, plus more coffee shops and restaurants than there was in the entirety of my old hometown.

Instead of being thirty minutes away by car, the vet is five minutes. I can ride my bike to the farmer’s market. I can also ride my bike to the dirt trails which lead up into and across the Cascades. The place is riddled with off-leash dog parks. The place is riddled with dogs, period.

Many people have asked in perplexity, “Why Bend?” when they heard about the move. But these have uniformly been people who either didn’t know me very well, or didn’t know Bend, or both. Everyone who knows me, who has visited the city, has looked at the quirky cafés, the bike shops, the dogs, the artwork rampant in the roundabouts, and nodded sagely.

“Of course,” they say. “This is your city.”

It’s not, of course. (I only just got here.) But somehow, though I never visited before 2013, I have managed to grow up into the sort of person who lives here.

And now I do.

I run. I bike. I work. I walk my dog over streets whose asphalt is made lumpy from all the roots growing under it. The houses crowd in tightly, craftsman and prairie style or modern custom built with funky windows and odd angles. There are ponderosa pines and quaking aspen. Every garage has at least two bikes in it. And there are dogs everywhere.

Now there’s me, too.

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It has been quite a week. Month. Whatever. I am moving house and business across state lines and had to leave things half-finished to go attend MidAmeriCon II. Which was wonderful. And exhausting. And exciting. And would have been enough to lay me out for a whole week but I had to move right on to Toronto, where I am writing this now, for a dear friend’s wedding.

So this will be the briefest of recaps:

Everything went well. Art show. Panels. Demos. Book sales. Print sales. Everything went well. I made some new friends and reconnected with old ones. Missed David Stein who I learned broke both his legs recently. (!!!!) Once again I have come away inspired by the F/SF fandom and filled with new drive and inspiration to take my work to the next level. Don’t let the quietness fool you: my reserve is only growing while the creative output is on hold during these times of change.

But I have managed something, at least: Aphelion 2016 is finally out! The Heliopause master post is over here. Please refer to it for all the relevant links to purchase the book (electronic or print) from your preferred retailer.

Brief and incomplete thanks to: Greg Ketter, for selling my books for me. Brian McCullough for being a fantastic handler. Rob Carlos and Teddy Harvia and Chronographia for their doodles in my guest book. In fact, everyone who signed my guest book! You are all awesome! John Picacio for everything between heaven and earth. And Nina Niskanen, Sunil Patel, Ann Leckie, Morgan Swim, Karen Bovenmyer, Mur Lafferty, Kyell Gold (you know who you are), Will Frank, Courtney Schafer, Kinuko Y. Craft, Teresa Nielsen-Hayden, Foz Meadows, Lyda Morehouse, and PAT CADIGAN.

Keep being you.

So many awesome memories, but at the moment one thing stands out so that is what I will put here.

I got to speak briefly with Robert Silverberg, who I didn’t recognize as Robert Silverberg at the time because he was not wearing a suit and up on stage at the Hugos. He asked me how I got the name Ogawa. So I explained about the being quarter-Japanese thing. I then went on to explain that Goldeen was a Jewish name (from Goldenstein). He squinted at me sideways.

“I am a quarter Jewish,” I explained.

“Yes,” he said. “But from where?”

I gave a disjointed explanation about my maternal grandfather’s ancestors and their journeys around Ukraine, Romania, Crimea, their problems with the Pogroms, etc. when he stopped me.

“So you are Eastern European Jewish,” he said.

“A quarter, yes,” I said.

“Yeah, yeah,” he said. “But that means you’re my people.”

“I am?”

“Yes,” he said. It was then I realized who I was talking to, and was rendered speechless. Which was just as well, because he went on:

“My family is Eastern European Jews. I’ll think of you as my Japanese niece.”

I got him to sign my guest book, too.

This was Sunday night in the Marriott lobby, and as that was essentially the end of my World Con, it’s not a bad place to end this post.

Until next time…

-Robert Silverberg’s Japanese Niece.

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MAC2 Schedule

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For more information, or to add events to your schedule, go here! Very excited that they gave me so much stuff to do!

Some notes:

  • Cultural Influences in SF Art will be helmed by my man John Picacio co-starring GoH Kinuko Craft along with myself and Kurt Busiek. Should be a good show.
  • Fursuiting Demo will feature a behind-the-scenes look at the work that goes into bringing Tachyon to life, a brief overview of the different aspects of fursuiting, and a special guest appearance by a brand new character I’m developing!
  • If this Literary Beer is anything like the Kaffeeklatches I’ve attended in the past, it will probably be BYOD (alcohol is not required) and there will be more relaxed conversation than High Literary Discussion. Kids (in body or spirit) welcome.
  • I’ll have extra brush pens and bristol board on hand if anyone wants to have a go! No previous experience necessary!
  • Come promptly for my Reading on Sunday to catch the pre-show! I aim to have time for questions afterwards but if we run out of time I plan to go camp at Greg Ketter’s table afterwards, where there will be copies of my books for sale!
  • In the Art Show you’ll be able to bid on the originals of the Burrowing, Tawny, Whitefaced and Barred Strange Owls, as well as some never-before-seen works involving owls and metallic paints! Should be good fun! I’ll also have a giant print of Nebula on display in the ASFA Lounge.

Hope to see you there! If you’re on twitter and want to track my movements, following @GrimbyTweets would be a very good idea.

Cheers!

P.S. Happy Birthday to me!

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Righto, so it’s been a very busy, happy summer in a stressful sort of way. Conventions, moving, a friend’s wedding, more conventions (MOVING) so naturally I’ve been painting more cute owls in strange hats.

Whitefaced Owls in Assorted Strange Hours Hats

Whitefaced Owls in Assorted Strange Hours Hats

These darlings are modeling the Yellow-grey pixie, flotsam shell, and Fiddler’s Green fiddlehead hats!

Both the originals will be up for grabs at MidAmeriCon II this coming weekend! If you plan to attend, do go have a look! Chronographia will be there as well, with more of her amazing hats, so be sure to check her out as well! They will soon by added to my RedBubble shop for all your print and gift card needs!

Watercolors on 5″x7″ paper.

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The short of it is I was bogged down in long-term projects and one morning I woke up and realized what I needed to do was paint an owl wearing one of Chronographia’s marvelous hats. So I did. This was the result:

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Elf owl in a Sprout Beret

It made me so happy that I did another one the next day.

Barn Owl in a Sky Blue Counterpoint

Barn Owl in a Sky Blue Counterpoint

By this time I was on a roll, and knew I had to keep painting owls, if only to keep my spirits up.

Snowy Owls in Pixie Hats

Snowy Owls in Pixie Hats

Chronographia tells me these hats were made on commission for a couple going on a skiing trip—so my choice of owl was extra appropriate!

Great Gray Owl in a Yellow Star Jester Hat

Great Gray Owl in a Yellow Star Jester Hat

Half the fun of this, of course, if looking for reference pictures of various owls. Great Grays are incredible—I could do a whole series within this series of great gray owls!

Northern Hawk Owl in a Scarlet Pinwheel Topper

Northern Hawk Owl in a Scarlet Pinwheel Topper

Northern Hawk Owls are also stupendous birds! Very serious and majestic. So of course I had to put mine in the most outrageous hat!

Eurasian Eagle Owl in a Sugared Violet hat

Eurasian Eagle Owl in a Sugared Violet hat

Painting the owls in flight was very time-consuming, because of their wings, but also highly rewarding! Doing the details of light and dark on their feathers without white paint was an additional challenge.

Tawny Owl in a Red Atagaric

Tawny Owl in a Red Atagaric

There is something about owls that is so self-possessed and dignified that when they look offended it is particularly adorable.

Burrowing Owl in a Pine Jester.

Burrowing Owl in a Pine Jester.

As of this post the series consists of eight owls, which are available as prints and greeting cards over on my Red Bubble shop, but I expect there will be more in future. The original Elf, Barn and Snowy Owls have been sold, while the rest are slated to appear in art shows at AnthroCon and World Con this summer. Chronographia will also be peddling her wares at the later, but in the meantime I encourage everyone to go check out her Etsy shop, where she lists hats and other goodies for sale!

All were done in watercolor on 5″x7″ paper.

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Hunter and Hound

2016 by Goldeen Ogawa, watercolor on paper

This is a somewhat cheeky piece of work. You see, it could be a depiction of Arawn, King of Annwm, (or possibly Gwyn; the distinction between them being so fuzzy), with one of his red-eared Yeth Hounds…

or it could be Sirius, the Dogstar, incarnate in a bastard Yeth Hound/golden retriever mix and the Master of the Hunt, who is probably the original Child of Darkness on whom legends of Arawn and Gwyn were based. It entirely depends on how much of a Diana Wynne Jones fan you are, I suppose. 😉

Personal work done between book projects, to remind myself that yes I can make pictures that don’t take months to finish.

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Belated, I know, but if there is any overlap in between my readership and members of WorldCons 2015 (Sasquan), 2016 (MidAmeriCon II), and/or 2017 (WorldCon 75), and you’re having trouble filling out your Hugo Nomination ballots, here are my Hugo-eligible works, and their respective categories:

Best Novella

(A science fiction or fantasy story between 17,500 and 40,000 words that appeared for the first time in 2015.)

  • “The Dogs of Canary Island”
  • “Missionary Man”

Best Novelette

(A science fiction or fantasy story between 7,500 and 17,500 words that appeared for the first time in 2015.)

  • “The Moonfoot Problem”
  • “The Case of Countess Baronia”

All of which can be found in Apsis Fiction: Aphelion 2015from Heliopause Productions, July 2 2015.

In addition, my own person can be considered for Best Pro Artist thanks to the examples below:

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RotationTwoCoverSm06MonstersDaughterSmAphelion2015CoverSmHugo nominations are open until midnight (11:59 Pacific DST) March 31 2016. Look to your email for your member number/PIN, and happy form-filling!

Best,

G

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On this final Sunday in March, in honor of #DWJMarch and all fans of Diana Wynne Jones, I present a very tired author reading from Dogsbody, as suggested by Dragonrose, plus a bonus of my own choosing. It also features accompaniment from the iPad-Who-Would-Not-Be-Silenced, and my own dog, Frieda, on Squeaker (fairly certain not a Zoi) Toy.

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dogsbody

Dogsbody is a standalone novel, but like so many of her works, its world is deep enough that it leaves one wishing for more stories with set in the general vicinity. I first read it in the same mad imaginative growth spurt  during which I read Homeward BoundersArcher’s GoonTime of the Ghost and a number of her other standalone works (this was in the early naughts, before Year of the Griffin had been published), and at the time was deeply unsatisfied with the story in a sore, cold-foot-ache (to borrow a phrase from Jamie) sort of way, because although I wished for a happier ending, I understood even then that it was the best possible ending it could have had.

In revisiting portions of it in preparation for this reading I discovered, to my astonishment, that it has a downright miraculous ending. Still bittersweet, yes, and it still gives me that cold-foot-chest-ache, but it is altogether a wonderful and beautiful thing: unflinchingly realistic in its depiction of humans and human behavior, and yet it injects into a very dark and troubling story an unmitigated beam of optimism, which, though narrow, is bright and sharp as a polished knife. And it is that, I now realize, which hurts. Because there are a lot of Duffies in the world, and precious few Miss Smiths.

The Tough Guide to Fantasyland was perhaps the first book by Diana Wynne Jones I ever read. (Aunt Maria was the first I encountered, but I didn’t muster the courage to actually read it until some years later). It has, more than any other work, influenced me in my decisions of what not to do.

I hope you’ve enjoyed my Diana Wynne Jones read-aloud! If you want to revisit any of the episodes, you’ll find them all collected in the DWJmarch read-aloud 2016 tag. Enjoy!

And follow, follow, follow…

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This week’s DWJMarch read-aloud was requested by my Wonderful Mother, who asked for something from The Spellcoats!

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spellcoats

The Spellcoats is the third book in the Dalemark Quartet, though it takes place prior to all the others. However, like the Chronicles of Narnia, these books are best read in the order in which they were written: Cart and Cwidder, Drowned Ammet (this author’s personal favorite), The Spellcoats and finally The Crown of Dalemark, which brings together threads from the three preceding volumes in a truly masterful and epic fashion.

One last week to send in requests for my DWJ March read-aloud! Shoot your ideas over to goldeenogawa@gmail.com!

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