November 25th, 2014

andrew potter

Billy Baldwin (1903 - November 25, 1983)

The dean of indigenous decorators (he abhorred the term interior designer), Billy Baldwin was at once a classicist and a modernist. Though his aesthetic emotions were from time to time stirred by things Continental, in general he disdained the florid, baroque and rococo in favor of the clean-cut, hard-edged and pared-down. Among his early influences were Frances Elkins, perhaps the most sophisticated decorator of her day, and Jean-Michel Frank, whom he described categorically as “the last genius of French furniture.” (Picture: “Color is the great transformer,” said Billy Baldwin. He sits in his New York apartment around 1973. Photo: Durston Saylor)

Baldwin’s own work was slick, in the positive sense: neat, trim and tidy—indeed, immaculate. It was also snappy: everything tailored, starched and polished—yet at the same time uncontrived-looking. Above all, it was American. “We can recognize and give credit where credit is due, to the debt of taste we owe Europe, but we have taste, too,” he declared. He would live to see his own name become a byword for exemplary American design.

For Baldwin, who was partial to plump deep-seated sofas and chairs, the ultimate luxury was comfort. “First and foremost, furniture must be comfortable,” he decreed. “That is the original purpose of it, after all.” He usually had it upholstered straight to the floor, believing that too many naked chair legs left a room looking “restless.”

Eclectic where furniture was concerned, he championed “a mixture of all nationalities, old and new,” but one of the canons he carried at the forefront of his mind was that there must be a connection between the various pieces. That connection, not surprisingly, was quality, in the name of which he favored pieces of contemporary design over reproductions of antiques. Unlike most decorators’, Baldwin’s first impulse was to use some of the furniture the client already possessed—“I do not necessarily believe in throwing out everything and starting from scratch.” The full atmosphere or mood of a room could never be achieved, he felt, without an “enormous personal manifestation” on the part of the client, which would serve in turn to enhance his own work. In fact, he confessed that he had “a natural interest” in women’s clothes “to the extent that they were going to be worn in the rooms that I was working on.”

The blue salon of La Fiorentina, on the French Riviera, attests to his gift for creating sophisticated simplicity and comfort. He designed the legendary villa in the early 1970s. Photo: Richard Champion

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Source: Architectural Digest > Architecture + Design > Design Legends: Billy Baldwin, This article was published in the January 2000 issue

Days of Love: Celebrating LGBT History One Story at a Time by Elisa Rolle
Paperback: 760 pages
Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform; 1 edition (July 1, 2014)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1500563323
ISBN-13: 978-1500563325
CreateSpace Store:
Amazon (Paperback):
Amazon (Kindle):

Days of Love chronicles more than 700 LGBT couples throughout history, spanning 2000 years from Alexander the Great to the most recent winner of a Lambda Literary Award. Many of the contemporary couples share their stories on how they met and fell in love, as well as photos from when they married or of their families. Included are professional portraits by Robert Giard and Stathis Orphanos, paintings by John Singer Sargent and Giovanni Boldini, and photographs by Frances Benjamin Johnson, Arnold Genthe, and Carl Van Vechten among others. “It's wonderful. Laying it out chronologically is inspired, offering a solid GLBT history. I kept learning things. I love the decision to include couples broken by death. It makes clear how important love is, as well as showing what people have been through. The layout and photos look terrific.” Christopher Bram “I couldn’t resist clicking through every page. I never realized the scope of the book would cover centuries! I know that it will be hugely validating to young, newly-emerging LGBT kids and be reassured that they really can have a secure, respected place in the world as their futures unfold.” Howard Cruse “This international history-and-photo book, featuring 100s of detailed bios of some of the most forward-moving gay persons in history, is sure to be one of those bestsellers that gay folk will enjoy for years to come as reference and research that is filled with facts and fun.” Jack Fritscher

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andrew potter

Sarah Monette (born November 25, 1974)

Sarah Monette is an American novelist and short story author writing mostly in the genres of fantasy and horror. She was born and raised in Oak Ridge, Tennessee and she began writing at the age of 12. In 2004 she earned a PhD in English literature, specializing in Renaissance Drama and writing her dissertation on ghosts in English Renaissance revenge tragedy. She double-majored in Classics and Literature (a cross-departmental program between French, English, and Comparative Literature) in college. She is currently teaching a course on 17th century literature and lives in Wisconsin.

She won the Spectrum award in 2003 for her short story "Three Letters from the Queen of Elfland." Her first novel, Mélusine was published by Ace Books in August 2005, earning starred reviews in Publishers Weekly and Booklist and a place in Locus's Recommended Reading list for 2005. The sequel, The Virtu, followed in July 2006, also earning starred reviews and making Locus's Recommended Reading lists for 2006. Her short stories have been published in Strange Horizons, Alchemy, and Lady Churchill's Rosebud Wristlet, among other venues, and have received four Honorable Mentions from The Year's Best Fantasy and Horror, edited by Ellen Datlow, Gavin Grant, and Kelly Link. Her poem "Night Train: Heading West" appeared in The Year's Best Fantasy and Horror XIX, and a story she co-wrote with 2005 Campbell winner Elizabeth Bear, "The Ile of Dogges," appeared in The Year's Best Science Fiction, edited by Gardner Dozois, in 2007. She also has been published in the award-winning Postscripts.

In 2007, she donated her archive to the department of Rare Books and Special Collections at Northern Illinois University.

The Virtue - Cover Art by Judy York

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Sarah Monette´s Mélusine quartet is easily the very best series I´ve read this year. These are dark, labyrinthine novels, packed to the rafters with deliciously damaged, morally ambiguous characters. Monette´s worldbuilding is astonishingly complex, but her crystalline prose assures our clarity of understanding. A good thing, too: competing magical systems, political intrigues, cultural and personal histories abound and the stakes, high when the first book, Mélusine, opens, only rise through the subsequent three books (The Virtu, The Mirador, and Corambis). The central characters - `ganymede´ wizard Felix Harrowgate and his assassin half-brother Mildmay the Fox -- are wondrous creatures and the supporting cast is at once populous and intimate, thanks to Monette´s skilled strokes with the characterization brush. But the greatest joy of Monette´s series, for me, is her light, almost giddy, touch with language (my enduring favorite: sexual submissives and dominants are described as `martyrs´ and `tarquins´). --Lee Benoit
Further Readings:

Melusine by Sarah Monette
Series: Melusine
Hardcover: 432 pages
Publisher: Ace Hardcover (August 2, 2005)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0441012868
ISBN-13: 978-0441012862
Amazon: Melusine

Mélusine-a city of secrets and lies, pleasure and pain, magic and corruption, and destinies lost and found...

Felix Harrowgate is a dashing, highly respected wizard. But the horrors of his past as an abused slave have returned, and threaten to destroy all he has since become.

As a cat burglar, Mildmay the Fox is used to being hunted. But now he has been caught by a wizard. And yet the wizard was looking not for Mildmay, but for Felix Harrowgate...

Thrown together by fate, these unlikely allies will uncover a shocking secret that will link them inexorably together.

More Spotlights at my website:, My Lists/Gay Novels

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andrew potter

Michael Griffo (born November 25, 1964)

Michael Griffo was born, raised, and has since relocated to New Jersey. He is an award-winning playwright and all of his plays have been produced throughout the country and in London. Two of his plays -- CLOUDY and 5G/10B -- have been published in Smith & Kraus's Best 10 Minute Plays for 2 Actors: 2005 and CLOUDY is licensed by Playscripts, Inc.

UNNATURAL is the first book of the Archangel Academy series that will also include UNWELCOME and UNAFRAID. UNNATURAL is a young adult novel that explores the relationship of two young outcasts who meet at an all boy's boarding school in north western England. Set against a backdrop of vampires and the supernatural, it is a coming of age story that young and old alike will be able to relate to.

Further Readings:

Unnatural (Archangel Academy) by Michael Griffo
Series: Archangel Academy (Book 1)
Paperback: 352 pages
Publisher: K-Teen (March 1, 2011)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0758253389
ISBN-13: 978-0758253385
Amazon: Unnatural (Archangel Academy)
Amazon Kindle: Unnatural (Archangel Academy)

Michael Howard and Ronan Glynn-Rowley meet at Archangel Academy, an all-boys school in Eden, a rural town in north western England. Both are outcasts and decried as unnatural, Michael because he's gay, and Ronan because he's a hybrid vampire. But when Ronan, afraid to reveal his true self to Michael, turns him into a vampire against his will, both become drawn into a dangerous new world, where traditional vampires plot to destroy hybrids, and where fellow students, teachers, even their own families have unexpected secrets...

More Spotlights at my website:, My Lists/Gay Novels

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andrew potter

Rainbow Awards pre-party and 8th anniversary (Day 25)

November 2014 marks the 8th anniversary since I opened my first journal on LJ, and the 6th anniversary of the Rainbow Awards and we will have again a 1 month long big bash party. 120 authors, all of them in the 2014 Rainbow Awards, have donated an ebook and I will use them for a Treasure Hunt. Every day, for all November, I will post 4 excerpts (a random page of the book). No reference to title, or author, or publisher. You have to match it with the book ;-) comment on the blog (do not leave anonymous comments, if you post as anonymous, leave a contact email (comments are screened)), you can comment 1 time for more matchings (you can even try for all 4 books if you like, so 4 chances to win every day). Until the end I will not say which matching is right, so you will have ALL month to try. No limit on how many books you can win, the more you try the better chance you have to win. End of November, among the right matchings, I will draw the winners. So now? let the game start!

If at the end of the treasure hunt there will be still unmatched excerpts the giveaway will go to the one who matched more books.

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