Tuesday, November 1, 2011

CFP: “Kick *ss” Moms: Mothering and Reproduction in SF

Deadline: Dec. 15 2011

Femspec is an interdisciplinary feminist journal dedicated to sf, fantasy, magical realism, surrealism, myth, folklore, and other supernatural genres. We have been in print since 1999 and boast of an advisory board that includes Suzie Charnas, Pamela Sargeant, and Samuel Delany. We are currently seeking submissions for a special issue or themed section dedicated to women who balance the worlds of adventurer and caregiver, with a focus on mothering and reproduction in sf. 

Most female characters in sf, fantasy, and other supernatural genres do not have children.  Those who do are often relegated to a peripheral role until the children are grown.  However, characters who balance raising a child and saving the world can be fascinating.  Why aren’t there more of them? We are interested in works that explore these issues, as well as writings about mothers and parents who have attempted to rearrange childrearing through creation of intentional community and work about the reconstruction of the breeding process socially in various genres.  We are also looking for works that address the intersection of mothering and adventuring – including the adventure of construction of a new society freeing women from reproduction according to traditional norms. 

We are hoping to find works which look beyond the stereotype of the mom who will protect her children to the death and investigate mothering at multiple levels including the creation of utopian and dystopian societies in which mothering is arranged differently.  We are also interested in papers about teaching any of these works that experiment with reproduction and treatment of reproduction and mothering in early sf.

We would welcome works from the following genres, which address these issues:
  • Critical papers
  • Fiction
  •  Non-fiction
  • Poetry
  • Book Reviews
  • Art Work
Please submit two copies of your piece to: 

Valerie Guyant
625 Hibbard Hall
English Department
U of Wisconsin Eau Claire
Eau Claire WI 54701

or guyantvl@uwec.edu

Since Femspec is double anonymously peer reviewed, submissions must exclude any indication of your name. Along with your submission, include a separate sheet with:
  • The title and genre of your piece
  • Your name
  • Address
  • Email Address
  • Phone number
  • A two sentence abstract 
If your work passes the first round, you will be asked for an electronic submission. All submissions should conform to current MLA guidelines, which can be found online at http://www.mla.org.

Any submission that does not arrive with sufficient copies will not be sent through the review process. Please note that only subscribers may submit to Femspec. To subscribe, please visit our website at http://www.femspec.org. Subscription must be in hand in order for the submission to be reviewed, and it must be maintained throughout the submission, review, and publication process.

If you have any questions, please visit our website or contact femspec@aol.com.

All copyrights will be maintained by Femspec.

The cover artist will receive two free copies of the issue.

Monday, October 31, 2011

CFP: Speculative Dimensions of Divination

Deadline: Feb. 15 2012

Femspec (a peer reviewed journal dedicated to critical and creative works that challenge gender through speculative means in a variety of genres) is seeking submissions on speculative aspects of divination through any means including Tarot – particularly representations of Tarot and other readings in film, speculative literature, art, poetry, and popular culture.

Submissions that focus on the divination reading process and the spiritual medium reader using whatever tools at hand are particularly welcome and may include:
  • critical analysis as well as short stories, poetry, and excerpts from longer works
  • personal accounts of experiences working as a reader
  • memoirs and autobiographical accounts of spiritual and divination readers
  • scholarly papers about fiction, cultural products or ethnographies
  • participant observation and commentaries on representations of the spiritual reading in any aspect of popular culture, including evolution of contemporary decks in the women's spirituality movement, the practice ofpalmists or phone psychics, art, film, the phenomenon of internet readers, Tarot reading shops, booths on boardwalks or at carnivals and festivals such as Renaissance Fairs.
Papers collected will be reviewed individually or as a special section or special issue of the journal, depending on the volume received and on what is timely for publication. The journal is double anonymously peer reviewed. All copyrights will be maintained by FemspecAll submitters must have active subscriptions throughout the submission, review, and publication process. The cover artist will receive two free copies of the issue.

MLA format required. See the Femspec website (femspec.org) for paper submission format. For more information, contact femspec@aol.com.

Sunday, October 30, 2011

CFP: Women, Myth, and Art (Special Issue)

Deadline: 15 March 2012

Femspec, an interdisciplinary journal dedicated to challenging gender through speculative means in any genre, announces a call for material on women, myth, and art.

Do you use myth in your creative writing in any genre, or art? Do you write about women artists and writers who do so? Do you critique or contribute to the growing body of feminist myth scholarship exploring what the ancient mythic archetypes such as these can contribute to women in the modern world?

Who made those images? What is the relationship between powerful goddess archetypes and the lives of women in the cultures that produced and worshipped them?

We are looking for publishable critical and creative material that explores women’s reclamation of myth from our own and other cultures, plus the creation and use of new myth.

See femspec.org for submission procedures. All submitters must subscribe and keep their subscriptions current throughout the submission, review and publication process.
The issue will contain an exclusive interview with Judy Grahn.

We also seek reviews of films, books, and any media including jewelry, popular culture, television shows, and music using myth to challenge the gender stereotypes of today.

All articles must be in MLA style. Authors are responsible for style conversion and copyediting and proofing accepted work. We are a peer-reviewed cross-over journal in numerous data bases and have been in existence for over ten years.

Monday, June 20, 2011

The Best of the Second Five Years

This contest, which honors submissions to Femspec, is conducted every five years. We had two celebrations already, including one party at PCA in San Antonio which was attended by the two SF/F Area Chairs, two award winners, the Editor in Chief, two prospective interns who had just been interviewed and successfully came onboard, participants and audience members of Batya's Tarot panel, a mythologist with a book she had asked us to review, and various attendees walking by or who had noticed us in the program. The second was held at WisCon, a regular Sunday night  party from 9 to 2 am with refreshments from Willie's, and readings aloud from prior issues especially most of the creative writing in the award-winning 6.1, of African America Women's Speculative Works. We will have our third event, a wine and cheese, in the book exhibit hall at NWSA in Atlanta, so come by! We will be the ones with balloons and party hats....

Judges: Annis Pratt, Janice Bogstad, Florence Howe, Gloria Orenstein, Laurel Lampella, Philipa Kafka, Rick Collier, and Robert Von Der Osten.

Nominees for fiction:
1: 7.1: Debra Schleef, "From the Archives of Drs. Pacek and Arriola"
2: 8.1/2: Fina Wisker, "New Blood"
3: 8.1/2: K.A. Laity, "Eating the Dream"
4: 9.2: Gina Wisker, "Recruitment"
5: 10.1: Finesia Fideli "The Resurrection of Lazarus"

And the winners are:
First Place: K.A. Laity, "Eating the Dream"
Second Place: Gina Wisker, "Recruitment"
Third Place: Debra Schleef, "From the Archives of Drs. Placek and Arriola"
Fourth Place Tie: Gina Wisker, "New Blood," And Finesia Fideli, "The Resurrection of Lazarus"

Nominees for criticism:
1: 10.2: Ritch Calvin, "'This Shapeless Book': Reception in Joana Russ's The Female Man"
2: 8.1: Eric M. Drown, "Business Girls and Beset Men in Pulp Science Fiction and Science Fiction Fandom"
3: 6.2: C.S'Thembile West, "The Competing Demands of Community Survival and Self-Preservation in Octavia Butler's Kindred"
4 : 9.2: Cristy Dwyer, "Queen Lili'uokalani's Imprisonment Quilt: Indomitable Spirits in Protest Cloth"
5: 10.1: Rebekah Sheldon. "Reproductive Futurism and Feminist Rhetoric: Joanna Russ's We Who Are About To. . . "
6: 6.2: J. Andrew Deman. "Taking Out the Trash: Octavia E. Butler's Wild Seed and the Feminist Voice in American SF"
7: 7.1: R.C. Dorozario, "The Consequences of Disney Anthropomorphism"
8: 7.1: Debra Bonita Shaw, "Sex and the Single Starship Captain: Compulsory Heterosexuality and Star Trek: Voyager"

And the winners are:
First Place: Debra Bonita Shaw, "Sex and the Single Starship Captain: Compulsory Heterosexuality and Star Trek: Voyager"
Second Place: R.C. Dorozario, "The Consequences of Disney Anthropomorphism"
Third Place: C.S'Thembile West, "The Competing Demands of Community Survival and Self-Preservation in Octavia Butler's Kindred"
Fourth Place Tie: Cristy Dwyer, "Queen Lili'uokalani's Imprisonment Quilt: Indomitable Spirits in Protest Cloth"; Rebekah Sheldon. "Reproductive Futurism and Feminist Rhetoric: Joanna Russ's We Who Are About To. . . "; Eric M. Drown, "business Girls and Beset Men in Pulp Science Fiction and Science Fiction Fandom"
Honorable Mention: Ritch Calvin, "'This Shapeless Book': Reception in Joana Russ's The Female Man"

Nominees and winners for memoirs:
1: 8.1/2: Jane Davis, "The Value of Stupidity: Negative Values in Academia"
2: 8.1/2: Batya Weinbaum, "Memoirs of an Academic Career"
3: 8.1/2: Tina Andres, "Growing Thick Skin"

First place: Susan McLean, "Siren," 7.1, 2006.
Second place: Phebe Beiser, "Celebrating Holi," 10.1, 2009.
Third place: Glennis Redmond, "Scripted Hope," 7.1, 2006

Art: Cover Nominations:
1: 10.2: Kartika Affandi, Vinity or Aragon, 2006
2: 9.1: Helen Klebassadel, "Regeneration"
3: 7.1: Menoukha Case, "Ascent: Yes!"
4: 7.2: Jenna Weston, "The Grain Goddess"
5: 6.2: Diane B. Lekovic, "Burning City"

And the winners are:
First place: Helen Klebasadel, Regeneration; created 1999
Second place: Kartika Affandi, Vinity or Aragon, created 2006
Third place: Jenna Weston, The Grain Goddess, created 2001

Best special issue or themed section:
6.1: "Speculative Black Women: Magic, Fantasy and the Supernatural," Ed. Gwendolyn Pough and Yolanda Hood.

First: "Having a Good Cry by Robyn Warhol," Reviewed by Erin Smith, 6.2
Second: "Slayage: The Online International Journal of Buffy Studies, eds. Rhonda Wilcox and David Lavery," Reviewed by Tanya Cochran, 6.2
Third:  "The Rat Laughs by Nava Semel," Reviewed by Lank Ravin, 9.1

Other short-listed reviews: 
"Demeter and Persephone: Lessons from a Myth by Tamara Agha-Jaffar," Reviewed by Simone Roberts, 6.2
"Women Write Pulp (Dorothy B. Hughes, In a Lonely Place, Faith Baldwin, Skyscraper, Valerie Taylor, The Girls in 3-B, from the Series, Femmes Fatales)," Reviewed by Erin Smith 6.1
"Crafting the Witch: Engendering Magic in Medieval and Early Modern England by Heidi Breuer," Reviewed by Emily Auger, 10.2
"An Introduction to Western Esotericism by Nadya Q. Chishty-Mujahid," Reviewed by Emily Auger, 10.2
"Dearest Anne by Juduth Katzier," Reviewed by Lani Ravin, 9.1

We thank everyone involved. Look forward to a publication of The Best of Femspec: The First Ten Years, a forthcoming anthology of Femspec Books, and to further contests.

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Calls for papers and special issues

We have calls for papers currently operating for Divination as Speculative Literature (previously Tarot in Culture but modified to be more culturally inclusive); Motherhood in SF (formerly Kick Ass Mothers in SF but this got no submissions so we expanded);  and Myth, Women and Art.

If you are interested in any of these please scroll through the archives or email us at femspec@aol.com.

Calls for papers when developed with an individual usually continue even if the individual working on the issue or themed section has moved on for some reason or decided not to complete the project. As this happens often due to discovery of the workload, illness, job loss, break-ups, needing to move or to defend a disseration, or a tenure struggle, over the years we have decided to pick up on and continue many special issues so as not to be drained of our resources going into the issues that otherwise would have been advertised by us and fizzled out. We will continue to do this to the best of our abilities, but since special issues notoriously take more time and energy than general queues, we are also not committed to coninuing all special issues if none of the edtors is particularly interested in doing the work.

Having said that, one of our interns who since moved on developed a call for a special issue about Halloween and related holidays which was circulated.So  if anyone wants to come forward to pick up on that, since we are currently letting that one go, please let us know.

The two special issues edited by others are now Paula Gunn Allen, in its second stage of review but awaiting complete subscription payment, and Elisabeth Vonarburg in its first stage of reviw and all paid up. At this point, either of these could be issue 11.2 depending on receipt of completely revised manuscripts and funding. Or, as has happened in the past, if the PGA special issue is not completely subscribed and completed to our satisfaction we may pursue the ability to use sections of it as part of a  general queue.

We are also interested in doing a Joanna Russ Tribute if anyone wants to coordinate it. Currently interviews with board members and others are planned.

We appeciate your respect for our scarce time and energy and any interest in keeping this fantastic though fragile journal afloat...which miraculously has continued to occur for a number of years.

Anonymous peer review process: read if you are editing for us


Above is the link that is mandatory for all new editors and special issue or themed sections editors to read.

In the past it has occurred that special issue editors do not understand the importance of anonymous peer review, or the importance of removing themselves from the review procss if there is a conflct of interest in expressed opinion.

Femspec prizes itself on being a peer reviewed journal as this helps with legitimacy for those in academe getting tenured.

Even if you are a specialist in the field editing a special issue for us or with us you must peer review, rather than review yourself knowing the names of the submitters, in order toprotect the standards of the journal.

Thnk you very much.

WisCon and other recent adventures

Femspec offered its products for sale at a table at WisCon Memorial Day weekend, and made many new connections with future people interested in working on the journal and submitting materials for future issues such as women, myth and art, motherhood in sf, and divination.

We also had our awards party and celebration of the Best of Femspec's Second Five Years, on Sunday night. From 9 pm til 2 am the next morning, we read aloud from previous Femspecs with whomever came in, thus publicizing our winners as well as other authors.

All were amazed at the high quality of work we have been publishing, particular the fiction. Gina Wisker's "Recruitment" was a winner at about 1 am. We also read aloud most of the creative writing in the winning Special Issue, 6.2, African American Women's Speculative Works. By the next day, we had sold out of the entire issue.

Another awards party was also organized at the Popular Culture Association in San Antonio, at which two of the winners were present to behonored.

Look for us in the Exhibit Hall at National Women's Studies in Atlanta, in Nov., where we will have our final and third awards party for the second five years winners.

Good news--although we had decided to publish The Best of Femspec: Creative Writing from the First Ten Years ourselves, and launch it at the next PCA, the editor of Aqueduct Press said she would also like to work on it. So if anyone wants to help get it together, let me know.

I only went to two sessions, besides the one where I read from my novel. One was a Remembering Joanna Russ, at which I recruited contributors to the Joanna Russ Memorial Tribute. Still open...

And another was one on reproductive justice, which left me open to doing a special issue on the topic if anyone is interested.

Happy summer,


Saturday, April 9, 2011

Available Positions in Femspec

Femspec is an interdisciplinary journal dedicated to challenging gender through science fiction, magical realism, myth, the supernatural, and other speculative works. Currently, we are looking for people to fill a variety of positions, which are listed below. All positions require three years of volunteer work as well as logging hours and tasks and participating in femspeceditorial wiki and SKYPES on a regular basis. All require and assume current subscriptions to the journal, professional demeanor, consistent communication, ability to take direction, responsible follow-through, love of the subject matter, and embracing our vision. This may lead to recommendations or future gainful employment.

If interested, send bio, vita, letter of interest, and two references to femspec@aol.com. If you are interested in more than one position, please indicate in separate paragraphs your suitability for each in your letter of interest. All applicants for positions must be current subscribers. (We have a special circumstances, household companion, retiree, differently abled, underemployed, unemployed, and student rate of $30. This is not currently posted on our website, www.femspec.org.) Interviews will be conducted through telephone or SKYPE.

Accountant: Someone to help us keep and prepare sound books.

Kickstart Campaign Project Manager: Kickstart has approved a campaign to raise money to print an anthology; the campaign project manager will make a video, explain the process and what feminist sf is on their webpage, make post cards, and set up the links.

Web Person: Updates website as each issue is released – which involves posting the cover, table of contents, abstracts, and showcasing any special features – and makes any changes requested by the editorial board, the editor, or direct supervisor.

Set-up Person: Puts each issue (two a year, between 80 and 280 pages) into the correct format to send to the printer. Sends material back to editor and proofreaders. Makes input into final document to send to printer. Responsible for maintaining electronic archive. Sometimes resizes graphics, designs covers, and works with advertisers to get acceptable files for use. Work may expand as we continue to produce anthologies and books.

Advertising Manager: Solicits and receives exchange ads from other publications such as scholarly journals or feminist media. Keeps a file of all the participating advertisers. Develops new ads on a regular basis and sends them to each publication in the format requested.

Arts Editor: Solicits art in the speculative vein and coordinates review of submissions of articles and cover art.

Drama Editor: Solicits drama submissions in the speculative vein, responsible for reviewing submitted materials, and encourages coverage of drama productions or festivals.

Contract Manager: Submits contracts to accepted authors, archives signed copies, amends contract language as necessary, and consults re-issues.

Manuscript Review Editor: Circulates initial manuscripts to at least two anonymous reviewers, gives feedback to author, ensures author incorporates feedback, re-distributes revised manuscript to one of the initial reviewers and to one new reviewer, and then either accepts or rejects the article. Writes rejection letter or submits completed article to wiki in general queue to be picked up for copyediting. Posts bio and abstract provided by the author.

Public Relations: Gets each book reviewed in significant publications and blogs. Collects such reviews and sends them to the web person to post in press coverage area. Plans and carries out promotional events for each new release (e.g. parties at cons or conferences, signings at bookstores, readings at universities, etc.).

Research and Development: Researches potential funders to determine time line and possible ways to breakdown the large grant we have developed to send to different agencies. Contacts the agencies to discuss the projects and to determine possible interest. Looks at previous funds received by other feminist media by agencies. Once a plan has been developed, works with editors to produce and disseminate a series of grants.

Donor Development: Contact current donors individually and inform them of the journal’s progress to solicit continuing support. Find new donors by gathering a list of women’s studies programs and popular culture programs and developing a campaign to approach the programs for support. Initiates the mutual fund so that donations to the fund may be solicited. Works with a lawyer to complete non profit status so that donors may receive a tax-deductible from Femspec.

Publishing Practicum Intern Coordination: Develops a policy to recruit and interact with interns who seek marketable skills. Teaches interns basic skills such as copyediting, press release writing, proofreading, manuscript submission and processing, writing calls for papers, etc. Helps interns assess jobs performed and become familiar with what skills they can list on their resumes. Writes intern reviews to help with placement.

Femspec Books and Production Associate Editor: Femspec is in the process of expanding into a publishing house. The associate editor will spearhead this project by talking to other feminist and independent publishers, developing a review process for manuscripts, researching what other publishing houses have done during their start ups, developing a timeline and process including guidelines for authors, etc.

Special Issue Editor: Develops calls for special issues. Works with the editors of the special issues throughout the process. Distributes the proposed call to ed board; makes moderations, gets final improvement, distributes widely. Develops a policy statement on the process and structure of special issues to post and utilize with all special issue editors. Ensures all submitters of each special issue are subscribes and keeps a subscription current throughout the submission, review and publication process. Trouble shoots the process and keeps all special issues moving at a timely basis. Can be two to four special issues being proposed or handled a year.

Contest manager: Announces and conducts poetry and fiction contests through vehicles such as Poets and Writers. In charge of the "Best of" contest, which occurs every five years.

Blogger: Encourages other bloggers, promotes the blog, makes blog updates (including ideas sent in by editors, updates about Femspec events, developments, or content) and posts announcement about our books and events.

Retreat Manager: Organizes Femspec annual retreat. This includes determining a time and place when key players gather for organizational planning, organizing the retreat’s agenda, keeping records, arranging catering, and organizing transportation.

Saturday, April 2, 2011

CIFF Take Two

Independent Shorts Program 11

This was the Saturday 11 am feature, which I picked because of the mention of a woman going to the moon in one film, and the mention of flying books in another. Also, Emmy Levine, our primary CIFF coverage from last year, mentioned that the shorts was a category more likely to be a repository of women directors. This Saturday morning visit was full of surprises and worth the time as well as the voucher.

The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore (William Joyce and Brandon Oldenburg, USA, 17 minutes) while not specifically challenging gender, illustrated in a delightful way the process of an author writing and creating a book in a library with an attendant audience of books eagerly helping him, and then flying off to author heaven led by a clutch of balloon-like books on a handful of strings as he regains his youth. Meanwhile, on the steps of the library, a youthful reader checks out the book he leaves behind.

The Spaceship (Emil Mkrttchian, Sweden, 25 minutes) was the one about the woman who wants to go to the moon. Turns out this is not science fiction at all, but the science fiction impacted imagination of a mentally challenged young woman who has a talking red rabbit to keep her company as she imagines her goal of getting there in imaginary spaceships. Abandoned by her mother who checks into a mental hospital when abandoned by her father, who is disturbed by having a child who is different, she cycles around town bearing the insult of “retard” by those who consider her different. She befriends the owner of a pizza parlor who refuses to hire her, although he too, as she eventually points out, harbors a fantasy: of going on a safari. She eventually does get him to give her a job, and cooks for other borderline, homeless, strange, and different people who dance in the streets enjoying her obviously innovative pizzas they are willing to take a chance on. There is a fantasy section when she goes to the moon, however; as she pops out, she sees an electrical being who turns out to be a vehicle for the flashback to her originally diagnosing psychiatrist who had thrown her father into a tizzy about how she would have a hard life, labeled for being so different.

Last Rain (Tony Sanchez and David Sanz, Spain, 20 minutes) doesn’t really challenge gender, but it could be about time travelling and past or future lives; go see it. It won a Oaxaca Film Festival.

Interview (Sebastian Marka, Germany, 20 minutes) seems, for a brief minute, to be a challenge of gender as a woman takes out an ad to send an actor to pose as a serial killer of women that her husband, a journalist, is interviewing; except, the killer answers the ad and actually kills her.

As the Rain Was Falling (Charlotte Joulia, France, 9 minutes) tricks the viewer into believing that a man and a woman caught in the rain start to have an affair. The bell rings interrupting their start of a kiss, and the viewer discovers the two are a separated couple passing off things and a kid at school. Doesn’t fit our category, but it’s still good.

Another good film is Heirlooms (Wendy Chandler and Susan Danta, Australia, 10 minutes), which is a series of short animations about precious objects of a series of children around the world.

Friday, April 1, 2011

35th Cleveland International Film Festival: Take One

Bibliotheque Pascal
Szaboics Hadju, Dir.
Hungary, Germany 2010
111 minutes

Having nearly walked out of this film by a young male Hungarian director (b.1972) three times, in the end, I was glad that I stayed at this first film I have had time to sit and write up thanks to a reprieve at the Hospitality Suite next to the Ritz. The cinematography was beautiful, for one thing. Originally I picked the film off the program of the 35th Cleveland International Film Festival program due to the description that emphasized the interplay of fantasy and reality in the life of a young mother “called into question by child protection services after leaving her young daughter with a fortune-telling aunt” (44). Since I have been working on reclaiming the image of “the fortune-teller” in Western culture, both in film and in life, this drew me in.

We did not even get to meet the fortune teller until about a third of the way through the film. She was portrayed sympathetically and realistically—talking about the mortgage and the competition of the Gypsy who only told the customers good things who had moved into the neighborhood and cut into her business. After showing her reading cards for her niece, she merely looked at a palm or two and made dire predictions rather than using her powers to be transformative, feeding into the image of the palm reader that most have. And although she confesses on a grave that she does not believe in tarot or coffee grounds, she does read cards with which her clients expect her to be predictive. In fact, she makes a prediction that turns out to be false and is expected to raise a large sum of money to pay off a client. Hence the plot.

She takes tickets to have the crowd watch her grandniece dream; apparently, this brought on the action of Child Protective Serives. During the dream, the child sees her grandfather lead a brass marching band to liberate her mother from a house of prostitution in far off Liverpool, where her mother was about to be gassed to death and then raped to lines of Shakespeare’s Othello, after playing lines of George Bernard Shaw’s Joan of Arc. There she had been raped by a john for wearing men’s clothing.

All the other prostitutes, also victims of the sex slavery system from Eastern Europe, play other characters in literature; after the marching band comes through from the power of the daughter’s active dream, they all stand bewildered on the street looking rather vulnerable in their variety of fantasy costumes.

The scene flashes back to the office of the social worker at Child Welfare who makes it clear to the sad but colorful Mona that if she really wants her daughter back, they cannot possibly put this rendition of the mother’s truth into the report—nor that the father jumped out of her from the sand at the beach. Nor that he ran out to the bathhouse the next morning. Nor that he convinced the soldiers after him for beating a gay guy to death to put all their guns down, ran, and then got shot. Nor that it was her own father who asked her to accompany him to Germany for his surgery and then sold her into sexual slavery, only to be shot himself and have the money he had paid for her be taken back.

After watching nearly the whole movie of the fantasy plot, the natural audience reaction is to feel quite disturbed and perturbed that the young mother is forced to create a mundane story of meeting a guy in the street in the city, being given a false name and place that he worked, that she couldn’t find him the next day that she chose to go into prostitution for the money and hated it….until we realize the longer she talks that this is indeed the truth, and the fantasy of the rest of the story had been made up.

The child welfare worker signs the papers with the toned down story after modifying a few items such as the man she met forced her to go into prostitution and that the young mother herself returned having decided to mend her ways. Ominously saying he is not quite sure what he will put in the report for the benefit of the child, after the mother leaves to the satisfaction of the typing secretary, the social worker indeed gives the recommendation to return the child to the biological mother.

In the last scene, we see the mother serving four scoops of pure air to the daughter from an empty bowl of soup, and pouring invisible milk from an empty pitcher, all the while saying how good the meal is. Playfully, the daughter demonstrates actively agreeing. We are brought to wonder if indeed the social worker’s hesitation to give the child back to the mother had not been correct after all. Then the camera pans out to show that the two of them are playing on sets of kitchens and bedrooms in a fancy goods department store. Recognition clicks. Goods are displayed for consumers in an economy where the cash to purchase them is not there.

The film does challenge gender through speculative means, surrealism, and magical realism. However, my urge to walk out was to avoid watch a rape, and I took no pleasure in the glorification of women’s victimization and female objectification. I also did not enjoy a pattern in my mind forming as I was remembering that the audience award at this festival a couple of years ago had also been about prostitution, and that the Jewish Film Festival in Cleveland has similarly had a film a couple of years ago about the Eastern European sex traffic trade, also focusing on a woman who had chosen to leave the country to go into prostitution to send her money to her daughter.

But where are the images of strong women fighting in Israel against the Occupation, or the ways women have been organizing in Eastern Europe, and all the ways women have been against this and other issues? I wondered this to myself, as I saw the man who had purchased Mona from a sexual slave parade introduce her to the habit of shooting up and encouraging her to contact him if she ever wanted to try it again. I had to force myself to remember that there were other films at the festival that I had not seen, or had not seen yet—such as the film about the women’s art movement of the 1960s and 70s (!Women Art Revolution 122) and the film about the woman who translated five Dostoevsky novels into German because she believes literacy can be spiritually uplifting (The Woman with the 5 Elephants 122).

So I stayed and watched the blood spurt from the man as his sexual slave bit his tongue. In the fantasy she almost got away, and it was the power of her daughter’s dream of liberation, even though she must have felt abandoned, that saved her.

35th Cleveland International Film Festival BE PART OF THE STORY; Tower City Cinemas March 24-April 3 2011. Cleveland, OH. Program Book.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Process for Book Submissions to Femspec Books

Process for Book Submissions
1. Subscribe to Femspec at femspec.org.
2. Submit an excerpt of 50 pages or less following procedures stated online.
3. Explain in the submission process that you have a book length manuscript that you would like us to consider publishing as a special issue as well as the excerpt. Describe the book, the genre, the intended audience, and your qualifications as an author to reach this audience as well as your marketing plan and what you could do to help us reach out.
4. The excerpt will go through the normal peer review process.
5. At the end of the process, we will either
a. reject the excerpt and say we are not interested in pursuing publication;
b. accept the excerpt for publication;
c. request revisions of the piece;
d. request to see the entire manuscript for publication of a special issue;
e. initiate discussion as a publication as a product of Femspec Books, which would require submission of the entire manuscript and a pricing process which would require your contribution. A publication as a special issue or as a piece within a general issue would not.

Special issues, products of Femspec Books, or general issues with your piece are available in bulk to buy at a twenty percent author’s discount, so that you may buy and promote your products at speaking events and on your own.

We also have available on a contract basis press release services, eblasts, and books on CD, travel drive or ebooks productions which can get your product distributed in alternative forms.

Finally, if you publish an entire book with us, either as a special issue or as a Femspec Book production, you may contract for book review services by people in our networks, and for an interview in Femspec by a member of our team to give you additional exposure.

Good luck and we look forward to seeing your manuscript! Please read our webpage at femspec.org to determine whether your manuscript is a good fit with us prior to submission.

We also provide initial editorial consultations for $65. After an initial consultation, the editorial rates are $50 an hour or $10 a page, whichever you find more workable to get your manuscript into publishable shape.

These services are available whether you select to submit to Femspec Books or elsewhere.

Our editors have years of experience in both critical and creative publication to put at your service.

Our interest is in serving you to the best of our capacity. We are not attached to your publishing in Femspec, although of course developing our own mission is our primary motivating goal.

Friday, January 28, 2011

CFP: Femspec's Special Issue on Motherhood and Reproduction in the Speculative Imagination: Lived in Reality and As Created in Fiction and Other Genres

Are you a "strong" mom? Do you kick butt and take prisoners in real life or your imagination? Do you know of a strong mom in real life who would make a great character in sf, fantasy, magical realism, surrealism, myth, folklore, or other supernatural genres? Can't think of any but wish you could?

These are the types of questions that led a group to discuss the idea of the "Kick *ss Mom" at WisCon, which is a feminist-centered, science fiction and fantasy convention held in Madison, WI every year. At WisCon 33, amongst a number of interesting panels was one that addressed a specific, focused issue:

Most female characters in SF, fantasy, and other supernatural genres don't seem to have children. Those who do are often relegated to a peripheral role until the children are grown. However, characters who balance raising a child and saving the world can be fascinating. Why aren't there more of them?

What we discovered during the panel, however, is that many could think of a number of female characters who seem to belong to the category, if the definition of a "Kick *ss Mom" is modified to include women who are strong in ways that don't always include carrying a sword while swaddling a baby.

The more interesting questions, beyond identifying individual characters, became "what/who is a mom" and "what does it mean to 'kick *ss'"? For instance, is Buffy a mom to Dawn? Do the women in Charlotte Perkins Gilman's Herland kick butt? Can a planet be a mom in this discussion? Are all strong moms also strong role models? If so, where do we place "evil" female characters in this discussion if they have given birth? Does giving birth automatically make someone a mom or is emotional commitment more important than biology?

As you can probably tell, the discussion became very animated during our panel discussion, and it seems like the sort of discussion that ought to continue. To that end, Femspec is interested in producing a special issue centering on issues such as those mentioned and any others pertinent to the general focus of women, motherhood and reproduction in the speculative imagination.

We are looking for works which go beyond the stereotype of the mom who will protect her "cubs" to the death and aim to investigate mothering at multiple levels of the child's development, how mothers who continue to be adventurers deal with the issues related to mothering, moms of adventurers, and how they "fit" in the genres mentioned (Molly Weasley comes easily to mind but there are so many others), and the "disappearing baby" syndrome that is used so often to put a woman in jeopardy, where her baby vanishes in some mystical fashion and returns as an adolescent or adult later in the story, having been absent for all of the "mothering" portion of his/her/its young life.

Do you have a story to tell? A poem to share? A piece of art that could be reproduced in print? An author to interview? An area on this topic on which you could develop an annotated bibliography? Do you want to critically analyze the differences between moms in myth and contemporary fiction or look at the unique ways that fantasy film portrays mothers and mothering? Do you know women who have parented children in unusual ways, going beyond the norm to create modern mythic prototypes of new ways of living, for example, by challenging gender by how they raised their kids in community? Do you have an idea not mentioned? Propose it and let's see what sort of a celebration of mothering we can produce together!!


Here are the details:

Submissions should be mailed to Batya Weinbaum at:
1610 Rydalmount
Cleveland Heights, OH 44118

We need two copies, and a subscription, as all submitters must be subscribers from the onset and all the way through to publication.

Submissions must *exclude* any indication of your name on them so that your piece may be read anonymously.

Include a separate sheet with the title and genre of your piece, your name, address, email, phone and a two sentence abstract.

Also, include a disc with your document in Word and .rtf format.

All submissions should conform to MLA standards, as found in the latest edition of the MLA Handbook for Writers of Research Papers. MLA guidelines can also be found online at: http://www.mla.org.

Any submission that does not come in with sufficient copies will not be sent through the review process.

We will accept submissions through June 15, 2011.

Please note AGAIN that only subscribers may submit to Femspec. To subscribe, go to http://femspec.org. Reduced rates for special categories (student, retired, disabled, un or underemployed, household member of another subscriber) available for $30 but must be mailed by check with your submission.

Add $10 to all outside of the US submissions.

E-mail editorial enquiries should go to Batya Weinbaum at: femspec@aol.com.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

If you have to make up silver jewerly, try Taxco

For years I have been dreaming and trying to get ancient goddesses I have collected from historical research made into pendants. I dropped the images off in Bali, and in Varanassi, to no avail. But in just one week, I left withover 60 pendants and a better understanding of the business, with all intents to go back. Plus I have on-going relations with suppliers, and an invitation to study with one of the talleres (workshops) to learn the process myself. Every day I string another goddess along a string of gorgeous glass, stone and wooden beads. So, try Taxco.

Like I said, it took only one week. I arrived on Monday at 2 pm thinking I would give myself a day to relax after getting off the DF bus. But once I had a room, I was out hiking the cobblestone streets in search of a laundry. On the way back, I popped my head into a little store in the side of a woman's garage and asked if she knew where I could have some designs made up. She pointed across the street to Jaimes.

I carefully crossed the slanting cobblestone street. After all, at the laundry a woman had fallen and hurt herself. I did not want to be traveling through some foreign country on crutches again!

Across from the store were three or four steps and I climbed and entered. I gave the man who came to the counter (about 35, has been working in the trade since he was 7) a copy of a picture of a friend of mine Athena wearing a t-shirt she had bought from me at Fishing Creek Reunion in October.

The image was my rendition of an image of an ancient Israeli goddess from the Tanach period, about which I had learned at a workshop a Starwood last summer (2010). The presenter had distributed a xerox from an archaelogical journal. Apparently, her existence questions the monotheistic roots of Judaism. She holds the world in her arms, so maybe she is the original creator, the mother of the world. A la the Virgin of Guadalupe here.

By the next day I had a sample. The young man had xeroxed the image, reduced the picture to the size I wanted, glued her on a block of silver, and carved her face, body and details out laboriously with a series of hand and mechanical tools. The next day I ordered ten. By Thursday I had all of these, each different, as he altered them through conversations--no, she needs toes; no, this is a crown and this hair; no, no eye on what she is holding because she holds the world not a child; she is in a coffin so the edge needs to be straight; and that circle? it represents a vagina and has to be higher...and wonderful conversations and experiences. We discussed what these images meant, how they related to the ancient goddesses in Mexico, the relationship between the Egyptians and the Maya...how long the maestros had been studying, and many other images. The son of the founder of the shop tried his hand at one, as did the master craftsman in his seventies who had taught the younger man his trade and art.

Here are a few more. Below you will see the mermaids (sirenitas) which are from an ancient coin discovered in India. The Buffalo Woman (mujer y buffalo) is a woman celebrating herself by jumping up and down on the back of a buffalo, a fertility symbol as well. Also an ancient coin from India, according to my research.

I plan to have a long term working relationship with Jaimes. Each of these pendants can be purchased. You can pay through the paypal make a donation page on the journal (femspec.org) which supports our operations. Thanks so much.

Hebrew Goddess--$130
Mujer y buffalo--$150

You can also market these on commission for us, and if you like, send me images you would like to have reproduced. I can work them up for you.


Saturday, January 15, 2011

Special Issue Process

1. Editor proposes idea to Femspec.
2. Editor drafts call paper and sends to Femspec to circulate to board.
3. Board returns to special issue editor with input.
4. Once the cfp is approved, the editor is required to subscribe.
5. The editor is requested to look at other special issues of Femspec as orientation.
6. Editor circulates cfp and informs Femspec of where and how the issue is advertised.
7. Editor works from here on in with Special Issue coordinator who ensures that:

a. Femspec is kept informed of who is submitting.
b. Editor understands how to carry out a peer review process, including that it is her responsibility to line up independent readers specializing in the area of the special issue.
c. Editor understands responsibility to collect book reviews, as well as only previously unpublished work in English since Femspec will own copyright on all texts published (fiction or non-fiction).
d. Editor has informed all submitters of the necessity to subscribe and to keep a subscription current throughout the process.
e. Editor may have input on cover art and design.
f. Editor will be asked to assist in funding production of the issue with grant funds from her institution.

8. Once manuscripts have been collected, editor sends them out for anonymous review, collects comments, sends them to authors, collects revisions and assembles a project with appropriate introduction and cover.
9. This is submitted in duplicate in hard copy to the editor with one copy completely free of any names or identifying information. All art must be in Jpeg 350. All permissions must be held or obtained by the editor. No additions to the project are accepted after this initial submission.
10. Femspec reads this, and sends one copy to a reviewer. All comments are returned to the editor who is responsible for getting authors to revise in a timely process.
11. Authors and editor are responsible for copy editing and bringing completely into MLA style.
12. The revised manuscript is returned to Femspec again in duplicate hard copy, with one version again completely free of any identification of author. The other copy must have all art completely and properly labeled with name, title and date. The editor must also provide a complete response to all items requested in the revision, with a point by point explanation of how the requests were met.
13. Femspec sends the revised copy to the same or a new reviewer. If accepted, the issue moves to production. At that point, bios are also submitted electronically.
14. All files are sent to the line editor, and then to the set up person. The set up person forms an issue. The file is sent to the editor for proofreading. This usually takes two rounds and it is up to the editor whether she or he wishes to send individual files to authors.
15. After the issue goes to the printer, the editor works with the web person to set up the abstracts, table of contents and special features announcing the material on the web page.
16. Next the special issue editor works with the publicity people to do outreach to the public about the existence of the issue--getting it reviewed, announced on lists and at conferences.
17. The editor is then asked to be part of the special issue advisory committee working with the special issue coordinator to help troubleshoot and advise future issues.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

If you have to stay on Isla Mujeres...

Casa Espana. Avenida Francisco y Madera.

Get off the boat Turn left. Take the first right. It is on your left.If you are looking for the real thing and want authentic experience, try this.

Hotel owner Antonio Rios Chale is a direct descendent of the Magana family. Senor Magana used to sit in a white suit and determine all transactions on the island, according to island lore. Any problem or disagreement, everyone came straight to him. According to his utterances, the participants in the feud would act. And that was that. This was before paved roads and street lights.

I first came to know Antonio when he was still working in private practice as a dentist. I had a four year old with bad teeth at the time, and probably needed some dental work myself as well. Also some letters indicating to the government that due to the necessity of emergency dental work, our tourist visas of already several months had to be extended… things like that. I remember screaming in the chair I was going to come back in my next life as a chicken, because he told me chicken had no teeth as I slunk away from his hypodermic needle in his overstuffed chair.

Thus Antonio came to be a friend, and a go-to person for me, the longer I lived on the island. I believe once I read his palms. I know that I read the palms of at least one of the women who worked for him, who I last saw dancing in the square right up in front of the knock-out band from Merida (also in white suits) with her son in a dashing hat on New Year’s Eve.

Antonio has the habit of ending any conversation with, if you need anything let me know. I used to take him up on this frequently, without realizing this was part of the direct lineage of the ruling family tradition. And thus, quite possibly merely part of his social conditioning rather than anything personally indicating that he thought of me as a friend.

The latter realization clicked one morning this time back when I ran into Antonio at one of those outdoor tables of the restaurants where he can be found on Café Hidalgo, the main drag, regular according to schedule. He breakfasts every mmorning over the newspapers with a couple of his brothers. But to protect his privacy, I will keep his hours out of this post and let you figure out for yourself when you get down here just when that is.

I think in this particular instance, I wanted to know how to put a restraining order on one of my neighbors who kept calling me a slut (ramera, in Spanish--I had gone to ask him the word to better explain the situation to my landlord). He said yes that could be done here, and the problem was probably she was Canadian. And I needed her full name.

I answered, funny, my landlord had said the same Canadian thing, and I would have to get the full name from him,

Antonio, inquisitive and supportive person that he is, inquired as to who my landlord was. Javier, I answered. Oh, Javier Ravell? My primo. . . he was a professor, and a Maganua as well, descended from the man in the white suit and thus also everything clicked…both he and Antonio in the manner in which they conducted themselves definitely carried on the family line.

So if you want a nice place to stay, with a big mirror on the way out so you can see how your tan is progressing and how you look in that new dress or shirt, small and intimate with about 13 rooms, tourists of all types from all countries, an inner courtyard with many plants and tables under palapas to eat off of, roosters that crow, frequent warbling of other birds, internet that most of the time actually works, a small pool and a PAN official in the gobierno in case anything goes wrong (he now works in public health),and a refuge from aggressive neighbors, Antonio’s place is your place, and Antonio is your man as well.

Over the years he has helped me translate articles about to go to press that needed to be rescued from the GOOGLE translator program, providing more information about altars and such than I had ever been privy to before; filled me in on the back stories of land take overs, who goes to jail and why and how PRI helps them get out when it serves their own interests, and the growth of PAN opposition for the benefit of the artesanos when PAN had complete control; pointed out the progress of the lives of the people when all I could see was the glut of the development of higher priced tourism; offered to get fireworks approvals for my daughter’s birthday celebration, and just been a good friend all around. You can rent weekly or monthly or by the night, and if you are about to lose one housing and haven’t yet negotiated the next, he will get you some room on an interim rate as well at the drop of a hat.

Six caracols if you need a place to stay in Isla Mujeres. In my book, if you want a real feel for the island, the absolute best.

Monday, January 10, 2011

if the palmist says you have green hands, you may end up on Isla Mujeres

If you have to eat on Isla Mujeres…one place not to miss in Diane and Victor’s Le Bistro Francais. Established in December of 1995, decorated with bright and vibrant colored tiles from Cancun, the restaurant was one of the first to point towards the future of the hike upwards in level of income of the average Island tourist. I remember going to Le Bistro Francais, with the excitement of the French restaurant opening years ago, for the baked potatoes. Diane was the first to serve them on the island. This year I popped in on Dec.26 right after my cold set in craving her delicious French onion soup, served with as many plates of fresh cooked hot rolls as the waiters can bring. For the budget traveler, definitely a meal in itself.
The trick to a good restaurant, Diane explains, is not the food, but the person waiting tables. She reports that many people have come to Le Bistro Francais over the years due to the charms of her husband Victor, who is also the chef. He learned everything from his wife, Diane, who had studied French cooking since she was seven years old. The people like Victor’s work and his food. According to Diane, lots of people come every year to see Victor. He always comes to the table to greet them with a smile and friendly words. This year my daughter wanted Diane’s French toast for our special New Years brunch. I had the delicious bagel with cream cheese, green pepper and garlic spread.
Le Bistro Francais has been written up in the New York Times (Jan. 21,2007, Patrick O’Gilfoil Healy)—the only restaurant covered in this NYT visit, according to the Minister of Tourists in Cancun who came over to congratulate her for being one of the two restaurants chosen to be written up in all of Quintanaroo. Her dreams right now include selling the restaurant with a mini three-apartment hotel upstairs so she can retire and write her cookbook. Years ago, a palmist read her fortune and said she had green hands and would live by the sea surrounded by water, so you bet she did.
Lonely Planet, the French tourist book Routeur, four stars in the Brooklyn Journal of Food for both breakfast and dinner—many experts have noticed this pleasant vibrant hideaway at Avenida Matamoros 29, catty cornered off the hustle and bustle of Calle Hidalgo’s nightclubs.
And no wonder. The food is always fresh and the vegetables always disinfected. You can come for the very popular breakfast from 8 am to noon, when the restaurant is always crowded in wintertime, customers even forming lines, according to Diane, waiting for the restaurant to open at 6 am, and for dinner from 6 to 10 pm. The unique fare includes flamed filet mignon, the garlic bread, the portabello salad. All has original sauce, such as the very popular mix of lemon and caper dripping on fish and the Caesar salad, which I tasted myself. Ditto the coq au vin, the special French cooked chicken, the recipe for which came from a famous French chef. You can find the most fresh lobster and shrimp brought by the same man who buys direct  from the fisherman every day at the best price on the island.
Victor’s art on the menu, walls and ceilings shows he hails from Merida, with the primitivistic colors shapes—lobsters and fish look at you from the walls. He has been on the island since he was 16, when he came here in the Navy. Diane preferred his art to that of the professional she hired at first.  Diane is French Canadian; they both know three languages.
Come to see for yourself and check out the affordable prices. You will not be disappointed. The unusual drink list is a draw too—imported French and Chilean wine, brandy, cognac, kahlua. Try the crepe suzettes, pastas and ravioli too.  .                Five caracols…the highest.

Sunday, January 2, 2011

if you have to eat on isla mujeres...

If you have to eat on Isla Mujeres…
Where have all the editors gone? Not to the MLA although that is where I usually am at this time of year to be on Chat with an Editor and various CELJ panels (Council of Editors of Learned Journals). This  year I am  back on Isla Mujeres off the coast of Cancun  instead, since they changed the time of the conference, and also because it was time to organize my daughter’s diezyochoiera.
Ours was a hybrid tradition, since we were not even here for her 15th, and she wanted to be in Mexico on the island where she was born for her liberation, or the year of becoming  no longer a minor. I had promised the Mayan midwife who had worked with me at my daughter’s birth to do an oral history, as a continuation of my dissertation fieldwork (see Islands of Women and Amazons: Representations and Realities) so in addition to laboring away over 11.1 in internet cafes, putting in to WisCon for our awards celebration party, here I am attempting to also engage in some field work.
First thing you notice when you come back to Isla after two and a half years is that the island has become a Tower of Babel. Coming in on the ferry you see high rises, and walking down the streets of down town, you really begin to wonder, are you even in Mexico? Israeli restaurants, Italian cafes, Asian and Thai restaurants, Argentinian  steakhouses, a French Bistro…even a Chabad House with a Chanukah menorah street lighting party.  Many of the old places are gone, both restaurants and hotels, replaced by establishments catering to the higher priced tourist. No longer a romantic place where you come lose yourself and discover who you are again, but a place where you come and stay on target with your cell phones and your wifid directories where you look up on the internet where to eat and where to go. In the internet cafes, you can overhear people skyping with their stockbrokers, or even walking down the streets past the market as they buy and cell stock via cellphone. The island has become a destination place for travelers from Australia, Norway, Japan. The old-timers struggle to connect behind the scenes at expat fundraising parties for one charity event after another—HIV AIDS prevention, the English school.
But if you have to eat, the best place to do it is a little hole in the wall across the street from the hospital called Pita Amore. Ricky the owner is from Merida and brings the pita in direct from the old Lebanese baker who doesn’t even speak English. Ricky, who studied cooking in NYC, says there have been 20% Lebanese in Merida since WWII. He serves up four kinds of sandwiches in the pitas, each for under 40 pesos which is remarkable on an island where breakfast now costs seven bucks. What has happened here seems to have been the impact of NAFTA that broke down protectionism and let foreigners have businesses, so the little family establishments with murals on their walls and open hearts have been driven out. But also, as in Bali when the terrorist explosion of the nightclub drove tourism down, those who were there had to pay and pay. The old licuado shop for years on the side of the centro is closed, but we have three high priced Italian helado shops. Perla de Caribe on the Sea Wall is shut down, but a new high rise hotel towers over and eclipses the cemetery. And those who want to stay open charge even eighty pesos for French toast…since tourism is thin, the prices go up for those that still come or remain. Why is tourism thin? Well first of all, the Mexican president told everyone not to come when the Swine Flu was happening. Then there are all those travel advisories against the killings and deaths and shootouts in Cancun. Little things like that. And the cost of the ferry is now 70 pesos each way,what with the second line opening, each line had to raise the price to stay afloat.Ricky reports the prices doubled overnight in one day, from 35 to 70 on July 25, 2009, really hitting folks without local residence cards.  All the fish in the vicinity have been plucked and the cost of gas to go far enough out to get fresh fish has gone up so high that even in Las Lomitas the economical fishing restaurant, you get charged 100 pesos for fresh fish. One of the major fishing cooperative closed, leaving only four. The cooperatives' store went out of business.  If you want to find fish to cook yourself, better have personal contacts. Or a lot of time to search out fish on the beach.
Need I go on? But Ricky’s offers a counter to all this. His place is small but he caters to the budget traveler who comes in and orders a take out to take back to Pocna, the hostel for international travelers, that now costs ten dollars a night (up from four). And to the local regulars like George who tried to open a bar next door that didn’t work who comes in almost every night with his dog, Sadie. And if you need to do some internet, Ricky will even let you use his computer.  His attitude is he is nothing without you, and he makes you feel loved. Customers can sign his wall, like a graffiti project. The chipotle and cream sauce on the pita either with meat or with chicken or purely vegetarian (the latter is what drew me there when trying to find a restaurant for my daughter’s party) is very hot and spicy. But good. And the attitude is good, and the heart.
So if you have to eat, it’s a start. .