"I'm the pilot!"

Jul. 20th, 2017 10:13 pm
shakespeareanmagicalgirl: (Default)
[personal profile] shakespeareanmagicalgirl
Woke up early this morning to hit Target for the Bodhi Rook (Rogue One) Pop with T. Turns out, they did not have him in stock. Anywhere in the state, apparently. However, he was available to order on the website, so I have snagged him and he will be mine as soon as he arrives sometime next week. Squee and delight.

From there, we drove to Hot Topic, where we made friends with some other people waiting in line. As soon as they opened the gates, we made a mad dash for the Occamy (Fantastic Beasts), Luna Lovegood wearing spectrespecs (Harry Potter), and Baby with Dean (Supernatural). I wandered the store while T. got in line to check out.

Since I had really hoped we would be able to find her Pops, I was ecstatic with the development of the day.

After we left Hot Topic, we decided to hop on over to Barnes and Noble, just to see if they happened to have any more Aragorn/Arwen (Lord of the Rings
sets. As it turned out, they did, and we grabbed the prettiest box, and the flocked Lorax for my elementary school librarian mum.

T. insisted that we not leave the store without picking something out for me, so she got me my birthday present early and I chose the S.F. Figuarts Sailor Chibi Moon, bringing me one step closer to having a full Senshi army on my bookshelf. (I'm missing Uranus, because I have failed Michiru terribly. I
 am also missing Tuxedo Kamen, but he doesn't count.)

I'm so blessed to have T. in my life. She and my sister are my best friends, and I
 don't know what I would do without them.

After she dropped me off at my place, P. called wanting to hang out, so we went to a local used book/video store. Whereupon I picked up Rogue One on Blu Ray. I'm a little disappointed that it didn't come with the digital code, but that's what you get for buying used movies, I guess.

All in all, it was a great day.

(no subject)

Jul. 20th, 2017 05:36 pm
skygiants: Fakir from Princess Tutu leaping through a window; text 'doors are for the weak' (drama!!!)
[personal profile] skygiants
Death of a Pirate: British Radio and the Making of the Information Age is a fairly fascinating book that's trying to do a lot of things at once: the book starts out with the dramatic recounting of MURDER!!! and then immediately takes, if not a deep dive, at least a vigorous swim through such varied topics as the history of British radio and the BBC, Keynesian economic philosophy, copyright limitations, and the founding of Sealand in order to contextualize it.

Once we get back to the story of the murder itself, however, it turns out: IT'S BONKERS. The principals in the case are two pirate radio impresarios in 1966. Oliver Smedley, An Ardent Free-Trade Capitalist, was running a station called Radio Atlanta on a boat off the coast; Reggie Calvert, A Dance Hall Impresario, had taken over an entire abandoned British navy fort called Shivering Sands in the Thames Estuary and staffed it with a rotating encampment of youths running a station called Radio City. At one point Smedley and Calvert were going to have a merger, but then they had an ACRIMONIOUS BREAKUP spurred on in part by:

- the fact that Smedley was supposed to give Calvert a shiny new transmitter and instead provided an old one that never worked
- the fact that Smedley never paid all the bills he had promised Calvert that Radio Atlanta would pay
- the fact that Calvert got sick of all this and decided to merge with another station instead

The reason for all these pirate radio stations on boats and naval forts, by the way, is because in 1966 there was no legal pop radio in the UK (as explained, extensively, via the history of radio and Keynesian economic theory etc. that makes up the first half of the book). Because the pirates were technically outside of UK territory, on the other hand, they could technically get away with doing whatever they wanted, or at least the government like "it will be way too embarrassing to launch a huge naval raid against a bunch of youths on was a fort with a radio transmitter, so let's not."

HOWEVER, the fact that everything was happening outside of territorial waters where British laws and police had no jurisdiction BACKFIRED when:

- Ardent Free-Trade Capitalist Smedley decided he was so mad that Calvert had made a deal without him that he was going to MAKE SURE that the deal could never go through
- he was going to GET BACK HIS PROPERTY [the transmitter that had never worked]
- so he sent an ACTUAL OCCUPYING FORCE composed of out-of-work dockworkers to Shivering Sands, stole a bunch of key broadcasting equipment, took a bunch of it back to the mainland, and left a bunch of toughs to hold everybody who was on the station at that time hostage!!!
- (when they met the invading force, the hostage broadcasters were like 'welp' and made everybody tea)
- ("the vessel had to return briefly to pick up [the contractor who recruited the gang], who had been left behind drinking his tea")
- and then Smedley went to Calvert and his partner, an actual professional broadcaster, and was like 'I will not let you broadcast from there again or finish making your deal unless you pay me FIVE THOUSAND DOLLARS'

Naturally, everyone involved was like 'wtf????' and refused to pay Smedley a dime; Calvert threatened to involve the police but the police were like 'ummmmmm technically we can't do anything for the same reasons we haven't been able to stop you from broadcasting;' Calvert then made a whole bunch of other even wilder threats; and all the hired dockworkers sat around cheerfully charging Smedley for hostaging operations which he was rapidly running out of money for.

Anyway, in the middle of all this, Calvert drove out to Smedley's house in the middle of the night and started screaming at him, and Smedley shot him and then claimed self-defense and that his HOSTILE OCCUPATION OF A POP RADIO STATION was just a little joke gone wrong! No harm no foul if only Calvert hadn't been so UPSET about it! It did help Smedley's self-defense case that Calvert happened to be carrying A FAKE PEN FULL OF NERVE GAS at the time, which apparently, according to his family, he always carried around just for safekeeping.

...so the author's point in writing about all this seems to be that a.) this incident was crucial in getting the pirate radio boats shut down and the formation of the current BBC radio system that includes actual pop radio, b.) that this is all a forerunner of later copyright battles and offshore data centers and so on, c.) pirate-radio-on-boats in the 1960s was a WILD TIME. About the latter, at least, he is most surely not mistaken.

(This has nothing to do with the main brunt of the book but I have to spare a mention for Radio City's chief engineer, who later was hired by the mob! to perform an assassination attempt!! using a spring-loaded hypodermic needle full of cyanide!!! in what it turns out was ACTUALLY a sting operation by the U.S. Treasury department who picked the hapless Radio City engineer to act as the assassin because "he needed the fee while being clearly incapable of killing anybody"!!!! This whole incident gets two pages in the book because it's somewhat irrelevant to the author's argument but seriously, where is this guy's movie?

For the record, the same mobsters then tried to intimidate Reggie Calvert's widow into selling them the remnants of the station and she was like 'lol no' and they were like '....well, when a lady knows her own mind, she knows her own mind! No hard feelings.')

Camp NaNoWriMo: Day 20

Jul. 20th, 2017 01:51 am
shakespeareanmagicalgirl: (Sarah)
[personal profile] shakespeareanmagicalgirl
Project: Underground
Genre: Fanfiction
Target goal: 126,000 words
Current status: 115,279 words
Status: Complete draft

So I have not only run out of book, but run out of plot and subplot as well.
As much as I wanted to hit the 125k mark, it's not going to happen with this story. Which is a shame because I really thought I could make it this year.

I've adjusted my goal in the NaNoWriMo tracker to reflect my work, because regardless of the fact that I
 didn't reach my first goal, I wrote twice as much as the NaNo standard, and I'm counting this as a win.

Ultimately, I'm proud of myself, because I've never managed to hit 100,000 words before, so as disappointed as I am that I couldn't hit the original estimate, I did something I've never done before. And now that I know I can do it, and do it in a month, it'll be easier next time.

Especially considering the original draft twelve years ago came out to 75,000 words, I need to acknowledge how far I've come. I didn't write 100k of nothing. It's solid plot, and while I'll cut and trim down words in the editing process, the bulk of these words are necessary to advance the story.

I'm over the moon with my progress as a writer.


This morning, T. and I head out to the Great Beyond in search of SDCC exclusive Funko Pops because we have problems. (She wants Dean with Baby, Luna with glasses, and the Occamy. I want Bodhi Rook.) It's going to be hectic, but fun.

Wish us luck!

Anticipations.

Jul. 19th, 2017 10:56 pm
hannah: (Laundry jam - fooish_icons)
[personal profile] hannah
Just about packed for the con tomorrow; what's not yet set aside is recorded on a checklist and waiting to be collected. The MP3 player gets loaded up last.

Today at work I learned all over again just how different I am from my coworkers: they never looked inside some of the filing cabinets in the office when they got there. They've been working there much longer than I have, and today was the first day those cabinets got a proper investigation and a full cleaning. They were stuffed with all sorts of office detritus: loose envelopes with office letterhead, computer cables, takeout leftovers like salt packets and napkins, delivery menus, pens, block of staples, post-it notes, lost clothes, medical records that can't yet be thrown out because of federal regulations, shower gel, candy, perfume samples, rubber bands, paper clips...stuff, mostly. Lots of stuff. That I would've cleaned out in days of arrival if I'd been able to, because I would've gone looking to see what's around and figured out what to do with it all. Like, for example, throwing away old delivery menus.

I recognize a fair amount of inertia behind a closed cabinet door in an office where things are always busy. I also wonder why they never raided those cabinets for pens, when pens are a valuable commodity in basically any office environment.

Next week, I'm taking the clothes back with me, washing them, and then dropping them off at an appropriate fabric recycling program. I figure it's the best option available.

Wednesday Book Meme

Jul. 19th, 2017 01:44 pm
wendelah1: Sally from Peanuts looking at a shelf of books (book geek)
[personal profile] wendelah1
Because of all of the kids' books and quickie romances I've been reading lately, I am nine books ahead on my Goodreads challenge. I'm going to have to up the ante by ten books, at least, to compensate.

What I've finished

All the President's Men (1974), Carl Bernstein and Bob Woodward. I began reading it because of (1.) this article in Newsweek: "The Eerie Similarities Between Alleged Trump Scandals and All The President's Men, and (2.) because we'd just watched the movie based on it. (Note that the Newsweek story was published back in March. Imagine if they'd written it this week.) The book is award-winning journalism but honestly, the movie makes for a better story. Go rent the movie. Download it. Whatever. (We checked it out of the library). You will not be sorry. The movie gets five stars. The book gets four stars. These reporters, their editors, and their publisher are all American heroes.

Beany and the Beckoning Road (1959), Lenore Mattingly Weber. Beany believes that she has lost boyfriend Norbett to another girl: Cynthia. She and Johnny plan to drive from Denver to California to return their nephew to his parents and advertise for passengers to share the travel expenses. What a surprise for Beany when she discovers that one of the passengers is Cynthia. What will happen to a mismatched set of passengers with very little money and a tomato plant in the back seat?

This was better than the previous book in the series. Beany flies off the handle one time too many for my taste but whatever. Three stars for retro-charm and that tomato plant. I haven't decided if I'm going to continue on with the Malone family, but this book was funny and engaging.

Girl in the Water (2016), Dana Marton. I took a chance and purchased (I know!) this book because of how much I liked Secret Soldier. The online reviews were enthusiastic, but I was not impressed. Marton tried to weave together three stories, and multiple points of view, and couldn't quite pull it off. spoilers ) I applaud her attempt to write something more ambitious than your run of the mill romance but this didn't work for me at all. I give it one star.

I returned Sugar and Other Stories (1987) by A.S. Byatt to the library after reading just one story. Actually, I didn't make it through the first story. I can't recall the title. It was about an unpleasant little girl, attending an atrocious boarding school, with nasty classmates and an appalling, sadistic headmistress, who I've decided in retrospect might be a stand-in for the writer. Byatt enjoys torturing her characters in much the same way that her headmistress character enjoyed torturing her students. Halfway through, I found I wasn't liking anything about this story. Enough was enough. I skimmed through the next two stories and they were more of the same. No, thank you.

What's next?

I borrowed another book in the time travel porn series from the LAPL. I think this one is called "The Slayer" but it has nothing to do with vampires.

I'm still rereading the series for my kidlit fic exchange, titles withheld.

I unearthed an old novel of Margaret Drabble's which I'd never read, The Peppered Moth.

I'm carrying around Mirror Dance from the Vorkosigan saga in my purse.

There's a stack of time travel novels from the library at my bedside.

Entering Space: Creating a Space-faring Civilization by Robert Zubrin is sitting around somewhere, too. I got it out of mothballs because there is a chapter on mining asteroids, which is relevant to my interests. Speaking of space-faring civilizations, season two of The Expanse arrived yesterday!

black kitty
dolorosa_12: (le guin)
[personal profile] dolorosa_12
My wedding is fast approaching, and while I think Matthias and I have that under control (it'd be a bit late if we were still running around planning it, given the wedding is in two and a half weeks, after all!), we've only barely begun planning our honeymoon. All the flights and accommodation are booked, but we haven't yet started to plan what we actually want to do in the places we'll be visiting: Budapest, Vienna, and Prague. That's where you come in.

I had great success earlier this year asking my Dreamwidth circle for recommendations for things to do in Iceland when visiting with my mother -- people made fantastic suggestions, and the two of us were able to put together a good itinerary, and we had a fabulous time. Does anyone have similar suggestions to make for any of the three cities Matthias and I will be visiting?

Things we like:
- art galleries, museums, cool old buildings/architecture. We wouldn't want to spend the entire time doing nothing but visiting museums, but one or two in each city would be nice.
- walking, especially in quirky/pretty/interesting parts of cities we've never seen.
- good food and drink. He likes beer, but will probably have done investigations of his own and have that covered. I like coffee.

If anyone has knowledge regarding public transport (if there's some kind of 24-hour travel pass or the like, or if we need to pay on buses with exact change, or other local quirks to public transport systems), that would also be super helpful. In all three cities we'll be staying in hotels that are reasonably central. We will be in each place for roughly two full days and three nights.

Thanks in advance!

Sink into the bay.

Jul. 18th, 2017 09:24 am
hannah: (Fruit - truntles)
[personal profile] hannah
Waking up without any major responsibilities or outstanding obligations is a rare pleasure. I finished my classwork yesterday afternoon, and I don't have work today, so the most I should get done is to pack and prepare for the con this weekend. Which won't take long. I could've gone to the movies, but since I'm all done with classes for a good few weeks, I'll do that later - since Spider-Man will be playing for a while, but the cherries in the fridge won't last nearly that long.

Baking, cleaning, exercising, packing, and if time allows, writing. I wouldn't want to do this every day, but once in a while, it's nice to luxuriate.

(no subject)

Jul. 17th, 2017 08:54 pm
skygiants: C-ko the shadow girl from Revolutionary Girl Utena in prince drag (someday my prince will come)
[personal profile] skygiants
[personal profile] genarti read The Privilege of the Sword for the first time recently, because I had been telling her to since 2008, and then kept trying to talk to me about it. Unfortunately at this point I did not remember most of the things she was trying to talk to me about because I hadn't read it since 2007, so eventually I also had to reread it in self-defense.

It turns out this is still and probably will always be my favorite Ellen Kushner book. The central plotline follows Katherine, a cheerful young lady who gets invited to restore the family fortunes by going to live with her incredibly weird uncle in the big city and becoming a swordsman!

Unlike many plucky heroines, Katherine does not initially have really any interest at all in cross-dresing or becoming a swordsman. However, eventually she comes to enjoy swordfighting for its own sake, helped along by the mentorship of her incredibly weird uncle's nice ex-boyfriend, the necessity of dueling for a friend's honor, and the discovery that bisexuality and gender fluidity are potentially relevant concepts to her teen coming-of-age story.

...that's the A-plot! B, C, D, E, and F plots include:

- Katherine's mom's reparation of her relationship with Katherine's weird uncle
- Katherine's weird uncle's actress girlfriend's dreamy new cross-dressing fantasy Broadway show
- Katherine's weird uncle's unfortunate friendship breakup with his mathematician bestie
- Katherine's bff's attempts to overcome trauma from rape-by-fiance by engaging in romantic gay roleplay via letter-writing
- Katherine's other bff's attempts to overcome trauma from an abusive childhood by engaging in competitive voyeurism
- Katherine's bff's gigolo cousin's star-crossed romance with a scriptwriter/potter who is on the run from her abusive in-laws who do not appear in this book
- trade routes?? politics?????

I'm pretty sure that's not all the plots. There are so many plots in this book. It's fine because the plots are barely the point at best, the point is coming-of-age and life after trauma and thumbing your nose at Societal Conventions while getting to know and like yourself! I especially enjoy how in the end, spoilers )

(Note: emo murderous Alec from Swordspoint drives me up a wall in his own book, but is significantly more tolerable to me when he's just Katherine's incredibly weird uncle. I mean he still drives me up a wall here but it's much funnier when he's driving everyone else up a wall too.)

5:00 a.m. musings

Jul. 17th, 2017 04:44 am
shakespeareanmagicalgirl: (Gators)
[personal profile] shakespeareanmagicalgirl
1. I have run out of book in Underground, approximately 23,000 words before my planned length. As exciting as it is to have a finished first draft, I'm a little frustrated with my underwriting habit and inability to make the word count. Therefore, I've added a much needed new subplot, and I'm going back in a separate folder to write the new scenes. I'll add them into the final manuscript later.

2. There's a superfluous crocodile in the Underground manuscript. Specifically, there's a superfluous deinosuchus in the Underground manuscript. I have no regrets. She is big and beautiful and my baby girl. I love her.

3. Crocodilians are such amazing animals, though. They are gigantic, beautiful prehistoric beasts. And I adore them, so much. Just let me be a swamp witch in the Everglades and tame alligators to do my bidding and eat the rude...

4. I have decided to donate my skull to a production of Hamlet when I die. At least then I know my head will go to good use.

5. I have succeeded in choosing an ending for Slippery When Wet, and I am pleased with myself for making progress there.

6. Underground officially has a sequel in the planning, because I am a ridiculous marshmallow. I'm not sure on a title yet, but it's almost certainly going to be taken from A Midsummer Night's Dream. EDIT: Consulted with my brother. The working title is Spirits of Another Sort.

7. I need to add a second monitor to my desktop for editing purposes. I have the extra monitor, I just need a VGA to HDMI adapter to get it installed. Time for a trip to Staples.

8. The grad school search goes slow and painful, and I don't want to think about how I'm going to pay for it.

9. I recently discovered that the BBC has a Three Musketeers television show. I checked out the first season from my library to look into it. I'm hoping that it's relatively accurate to the book, because it's a favorite of mine.

10. I am devastated at the news of George Romero's death, partially because he was a phenomenal director, and partially because I am terrified that his death will herald the zombie apocalypse, and there is no way I'm prepared for that nonsense.

(no subject)

Jul. 16th, 2017 09:37 am
skygiants: Nellie Bly walking a tightrope among the stars (bravely trotted)
[personal profile] skygiants
Rose Melikan's The Blackstone Key is one of the few books I've grabbed at random off a library shelf recently without ever having heard of it. Then I immediately grabbed the next two books, The Counterfeit Guest and The Mistaken Wife, so I guess they were doing something right, although also several things not right.

These books are deeply fluffy YA-ish Regency espionage hijinks starring Mary Finch, an impoverished orphan schoolteacher turned (by the end of the first book) surprise heiress with an unexpectedly encyclopedic knowledge of British law and an enthusiastic penchant for Adventures! !! !!!

Captain Holland, the series love interest, is an artillery officer who is good at mechanics and up on new military technologies. Other salient characteristics include:
- a terrible tendency towards sea- and carriage-sickness
- an ongoing resentful inability to understand all the clever literary and historical references being tossed around by the rest of the characters
- CONSTANT MONEY STRESS

I'll be honest, he won me over during the first book when Mary's like "am I a bad person for worrying about how the outcome of all this espionage will affect my potential inheritance?" and he's like "DEFINITELY NOT, if anybody tells you they don't stress about money THEY ARE LYING."

Rose Melikan is a scholar of the period and very good on British military history. She is not so good on plot. The first book is complete, hilariously convoluted nonsense involving SMUGGLERS and CIPHERS and MYSTERIOUS WATCHES and a SURPRISE CHANCE-MET DYING VILLAIN. It turns out that spoilers )

The second book is probably my favorite and definitely the least nonsense plot-wise; it's about the 1797 naval mutinies, and Our Heroine gets recruited to spy on a plotter because she happens to know his wife and will likely be in his house, which does not stretch suspension of disbelief too very wildly. (It's also sort of entertaining to watch the author do a careful dance between what I suspect is a personal sympathy for unionization and strike tactics and the fact that Mass Military Mutiny Is Definitely A Bad Thing, Our Characters Must Stop It At Any Cost.)

...then in Book Three we are expected to believe that an actual professional spy sees no better alternative for an important espionage mission than taking a well-known youthful heiress and society figure whose salient skills are, as aforementioned, a knowledge of British law and an enthusiasm for Adventure, and sneaking her off to Paris in a fake marriage with a clueless American painter while her respectable household desperately tries to pretend she's in London the whole time. At this point suspension of disbelief goes straight out the window again.

I have mixed feelings about Book Three in general; it's the darkest of the three and several sympathetic characters die as a direct result of Our Heroes' espionage endeavors including infuriating spoiler ) I'm not here for that! I'M HERE FOR THE HIJINKS.

These things happen in New York City.

Jul. 15th, 2017 10:48 pm
hannah: (Breadmaking - fooish_icons)
[personal profile] hannah
Today I experimented with cake variations and wandered into a neo-pagan street fair. The cake came out as a success and I bought some jewelry I'd wanted for a while. First, eliminating the crumb topping, doubling the batter, and baking it in a larger pan. Second, a hamsa of reasonable heft and weight that I haven't yet been able to find at most other open-air street markets I've managed to wander into. I don't know if I'll wear it, but I like having it.

I might have to go again next year, if they get the same jewelry vendors. The hamsa vendor had some pretty amusing fandom-based charm bracelets. I know I basically inoculated myself in terms of fandom jewelery possession with this single purchase, so I doubt I'd wear them, but it'd still might be fun to have them. Or deliberately buy them to give them away.

This house is falling apart.

Jul. 14th, 2017 11:12 pm
hannah: (Jack Aubrey - katie8787)
[personal profile] hannah
Now that Photobucket's gone, and most available fandom icons with it, I've gone back to looking for new ones the old-fashioned way: through people's icon pages, grabbing and saving and hoping the metadata hasn't changed since they were uploaded. It's not even that I need more - I've got enough saved to pick one or two and be fine - so much as I want to know I've looked in as many places as are left for me to do so. I'm sure everyone reading this knows how that feeling goes.

I've got time yet because the fic's nowhere near done and it'll need heavy editing on top of that, but it'd be nice to be prepared.

Obligatory Anniversary Sonnet :-)

Jul. 13th, 2017 06:40 am
arontius: (Default)
[personal profile] arontius
.....On this date, a decade ago, Tammie Dupuis and I stood in the Living Room of her beloved South Seattle home and said our wedding vows. Every year since just gets better and better. My only regret? Not having married her ten years before that. smile emoticon:-)

.....You are my sun, my moon, my glitter, guiding northern star that brightens my very soul. Love you forever! Happy Tenth Wedding Anniversary!

.....With obligatory wedding anniversary sonnet ... :-)

My early journies lacked a purpose clear
An aimless wandering through many lands.
Then Love took pity and leaned close to hear
My cries to fill the space my heart demands.

Glass wings a window to another world
A prism freeing light in many hues.
Seen in exstatic light as she is hurled
In sudden motion to release her muse.

This dragonfly forever draws me near
A guide whose beauty in a spell binds me.
Her flights of passion drive away all fear
New wonders revealed she leads me to see.

Love's wisdom sent me a soul searing fate
Forever to be with this perfect mate.

.....All My Love, Aaron.

Camp NaNoWriMo: Day 12

Jul. 12th, 2017 11:59 pm
shakespeareanmagicalgirl: (Labyrinth)
[personal profile] shakespeareanmagicalgirl
Project: Underground
Genre: Fanfiction
Target goal: ~126,000 words
Current status: 100,000 words

As much as my shoulder is still hurting, I actually wrote
today! We're heading straightway into the climax, and I'm having loads of fun again. This is the fanfic of my heart, and it's been over ten years in the writing. I'm still in awe of how it's changed over the decade. It's gone from short, immature novel to something awesome. The romance, in particular, is so much healthier and developed. I'm under no illusions that it's ready to post, but it's so much better than it was when I was still calling it It's Only Forever.

K and L both expressed an interest in seeing a sequel when
I finish this draft. I've always toyed with the idea, but to hear someone actually express a real interest was flattering beyond belief. I've been doubting my writing ability lately, so it was nice to hear my ideas validated with real interest.

I
adore the Underground universe and everything about the original film. It's saved my life in so many ways, and touched me as nothing but 80's fantasy can. I'm beyond thrilled to be paying tribute with something this strong and fun.

(no subject)

Jul. 12th, 2017 11:26 pm
skygiants: Hazel, from the cover of Breadcrumbs, about to venture into the Snow Queen's forest (into the woods)
[personal profile] skygiants
With Sorrow's Knot I think I have now finished reading everything from Erin Bow's backlog, which is good in that I have consistently enjoyed it all, but bad in that I have no more Erin Bow backlog.

All of Erin Bow's work (I can now say, having read all of it) is in some way about death and undeath and the wildly unhealthy ways in which human beings react to loss; however, Sorrow's Knot is EVEN MORE explicitly about this than most. The book focuses on Otter and her friends Kestrel and Cricket, who are all pretty sure they know what they're going to do when they grow up: Kestel is going to be a ranger, Cricket is going to become a storyteller (despite being a boy and getting a certain degree of side-eye for deciding to stay in the women's village at all -- everyone knows it's dangerous in the forest and boys don't have any power to protect themselves with, sorry boys!), and Otter is going to train with her mother Willow and Willow's teacher Tamarack to learn the very important job of being a binder, aka Person Who Stops The Dead From Coming Back And Killing Us All.

Then Tamarack dies -- and then Willow abruptly and without explanation decides she doesn't want Otter becoming a binder after all -- and then the knots that stop the dead from coming back to haunt the living begin unraveling -- and then more people die -- and then Otter and friends get to go on a road trip! It's not a super fun road trip and it unsurprisingly features several close encounters with the dead.

I really liked the worldbuilding and the slow and careful work that Bow does to build out the daily lives of the characters and the culture -- it's a North American-based world without European influence, and I'm certainly not qualified to comment on how well it's done, but to me it felt interesting and non-obvious. Also, Otter's world is almost entirely composed of women and everything revolves around Significant Mother-Daughter Relationships and it's great, although Erin Bow sadly had not yet discovered lesbians as of this book. (Though I feel like perhaps this is the book that led to her discovering lesbians? Like, I do wonder if someone came up to Erin Bow and pointed out that she'd written a matriarchal village where Actual Heterosexual Romance is explicitly rare and still somehow only featured Actual Heterosexual Romance onscreen, and Erin Bow was like 'WHOOPS OK SORRY I'LL MAKE IT UP TO YOU' and then we got The Scorpion Rules. Which, I mean, if this is the case, I guess I'm not complaining, I'm very happy to have The Scorpion Rules!)

I also really liked the importance of stories and storytelling and lore and bits and pieces of information shared and not shared, but the pacing of the way those stories are shared with the reader sometimes felt a little off to me; there were occasionally times, especially towards the end, when I felt like the book was leading me to expect a Big Reveal that had already been revealed. But, I mean, the point of the book is not really to Reveal, it's to examine grief -- and as I have mentioned above, Bow is exceptionally good on grief.

Come on and let me know.

Jul. 12th, 2017 10:10 pm
hannah: (Zach and Claire - pickle_icons)
[personal profile] hannah
Yesterday was made of petty disappointments, and today about made up for it. Yesterday things were delivered that were technically correct but improperly aligned to what I'd wanted, nothing was as productive as I hoped, all those tiny things adding up to a day that wasn't wrong or bad in any big way, just lots of little ones.

But today I ran errands, fed pigeons at two different parks, looked at buildings and murals and got rained on and met a friend for dinner at Schiller's Liquor Bar before it closes next month. We talked about work, AIs, music and mattress shopping and non-tourist vacation spots, and the fine points of personal taste and what makes different alcohols good to drink. No personal work done - no classwork or writing - but filing myself up to give it a go tomorrow.

Everything has its day, right?

Jul. 12th, 2017 10:28 pm
skieswideopen: (Being Human: Aidan close-up)
[personal profile] skieswideopen
I find it hilarious that New York Fries--a fast food restaurant that literally sells nothing but fries (and hot dogs)--has a loyalty program. (Okay, they also sell a few poutine variants, but that's just French fries with toppings.) A loyalty program. Buy 10, get one free.

On the other hand, apparently members can get free fries tomorrow in honour of National Fry Day, so now I'm kind of thinking about joining.

Books Wednesday

Jul. 12th, 2017 07:51 am
wendelah1: quote: take these broken wings and fly away (take these broken wings)
[personal profile] wendelah1
If I seemed overwhelmed and overwrought yesterday, I was. I am. I hope and pray that the democratic institutions in my country are strong enough to withstand the onslaught of avarice and deceit that has been set in motion by this corrupt, incompetent, evil administration and its supporters. Democrats are patriots, too. Believe me, this is the last thing I wanted to be told, the last thing I expected to have happened during the last presidential election.

Okay, so, books. I read more books than usual last week because of my quest to find a suitable romance blurb on which to base my Timeless story for [community profile] unconventionalcourtship.

Before I stumbled onto that treasure-trove of scifi porn, the Time Raiders series, I looked at a number of possible choices.

Secret Soldier by Dana Marten

Read more... )

Sundial by Carrie Lofty

Read more... )

I checked out three of the nine books from the Time Raiders Series.

Read more... )

Leave it to Beany by Lenora Mattingly Weber

Read more... )

This week needs more cats. Did you know that there is a Pinterest board devoted to books and cats?

Cat sitting on a bookshelf

This is Bartleby who resides at my favorite bookshop in San Diego, California.

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