August 2014

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Wednesday, December 17th, 2014 10:05 pm
 Norman Bridwell died recently.  He is known as the writer/illustrator of Clifford the Big Red Dog.
Wednesday, December 17th, 2014 05:00 pm
1. BEARS

2. So I have now read Avengers: The Children's Crusade (which was very very omg good, all my YA feels are now reignited after being slightly meh about the Secret Invasion and Dark Reign trades).

Also I really need all the fic about Billy and Teddy and their grandfather and all the different things that family means. (There are only a couple - Trust Me by dangerouscommiesubversive is really really good - but there need to be more.)

(btw I wrote up an outline of the first issue of the YA-set-in-billy-and-teddy's-apartment series. *innocent whistle*)

3. I keep meaning to catch up on replies to everyone else's posts but at this point I am SO FAR BEHIND. I am reading and enjoying them all though!

4. [personal profile] umadoshi asked: Is there a book/show/movie you've been fully intending to get to this year but find yourself putting off for some reason? (Fear of disappointment, not wanting it to be over--whatever!)

Oh gosh, there are SO MANY of these. I am totally the person who will listen to your recommendations and nod along sagely, but even if it's something that sounds perfect for me, I can never start reading/watching/listening until the time is right. Sometimes that time is ten years later.

Today I am going to talk about Avatar: The Last Airbender )

Anyway just this week I bought a couple of the missing S3 discs at a flea market so maybe I will get back to watching it soon. I could do it over the holiday when I have the TV to myself again except I was planning to spend the holiday watching both series of Cosmos back-to-back (something else I keep trying and failing to watch through.) So I guess we shall see.

SOMEDAY.

And then I can start putting off watching Korra.

5. Bears.
Wednesday, December 17th, 2014 10:49 pm
I did promise some Edwin Morgan and this is a seasonably appropriate piece as well.

Trio

Coming up Buchanan Street, quickly, on a sharp evening
a young man and two girls, under the Christmas lights –
The young man carries a new guitar in his arms,
the girl on the inside carries a very young baby,
and the girl on the outside carries a chihuahua.
And the three of them are laughing, their breath rises
in a cloud of happiness, and as they pass
the boy says, ‘Wait till he sees this but!’
The chihuahua has a tiny Royal Stewart tartan coat like a teapot-holder,
the baby in its white shawl is all bright eyes and mouth like favours
in a fresh sweet cake,
the guitar swells out under its milky plastic cover, tied at the neck
with silver tinsel tape and a brisk sprig of mistletoe.
Orphean sprig! Melting baby! Warm chihuahua!
The vale of tears is powerless before you.
Whether Christ is born, or is not born, you
put paid to fate, it abdicates
under the Christmas lights.
Monsters of the year
go blank, are scattered back,
can’t bear this march of three.

– And the three have passed, vanished in the crowd
(yet not vanished, for in their arms they wind
the life of men and beasts, and music,
laughter ringing them round like a guard)
at the end of this winter’s day.
Wednesday, December 17th, 2014 04:30 pm
This poem came out of the May 6, 2014 Poetry Fishbowl. It was inspired by a prompt from [personal profile] peoriapeoriawhereart. It has been sponsored by [personal profile] stardreamer.

Read more... )
Wednesday, December 17th, 2014 03:45 pm
This poem is spillover from the July 1, 2014 Poetry Fishbowl. It was inspired by a prompt from LJ user Laffingkat. It also fills the "myth / fable" square in my 6-1-14 card for the [community profile] genprompt_bingo fest. This poem has been sponsored by [personal profile] stardreamer.

Read more... )
Wednesday, December 17th, 2014 11:08 am
For [personal profile] loki_of_sassgaard: Something you read that became head canon so quickly, you wondered how you didn't think of it first.

I honestly cannot think of a single answer to this question. I don't really have strong head canon ideas anymore, and none of the ones I used to have stuck with me. I just don't think about the things I'm fannish about that way anymore. I'm sorry this is such a pointless answer, but I can't think of anything I would even qualify as head canon, much less head canon that came from something I read. There are things that work in fic I read, and things that don't, and things I like to believe about characters, and things I don't, but it's all about context and how convincing the writer is and it varies from story to story.

This is a terrible answer. You can ask me something else if you want!

For [personal profile] st_aurafina: Where would you travel, if money/time/effort were no issue?

Time and money and effort are no issue? None at all? No loopholes or exceptions or unexpected impossibilities? Really?

In that case, I would build a spaceship capable of interstellar travel and go visit all the most interesting and most potentially life-supporting exoplanets in the galaxy!

Hey, you didn't specify that it had to be possible by current levels or technology or even plausible by the currently understood laws of physics. If I could go anywhere at all, I would load up my spaceship and fly off to explore the galaxy and discover new planets and exciting things and it would be glorious.

But if I am confined to Earth (curse you, physics), I would rent a house in Scotland for a year and go explore and write and drink and explore some more.

-

What I've just finished reading:

Guardian of the Dead by Karen Healey - YA fantasy drawing on Maori mythology, very enjoyable. I'm kind of sad there isn't a sequel, because I would love to spend more time with these characters.

Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo - YA fantasy drawing on Russian folklore influences, also very enjoyable, with a twist I probably should have seen coming but totally didn't. I'm looking forward to the rest of the trilogy.

Black Juice by Margo Lanagan - Short story collection about weird, dark things. The first story ("Singing My Sister Down") is the best and the one that really--okay, no lie, I totally typed "really sticks with me," but considering what the story is about that seemed like a pun in bad taste, so NEVER MIND.

What I'm reading right now:

Between books.

What I'm going to read next:

Possibly some more YA fantasy--I have Finnikin of the Rock by Melina Marchetta out from the library--or something else. Haven't decided yet.
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Wednesday, December 17th, 2014 10:55 am
I now live and work in such a way that I have little to no professional contact with men; I can go entire days without having to consider what a man — any man — thinks of my work.
See, that's what kills me about this The Toast/The Butter thing. Mallory Ortberg wrote that but it's not true. Nick Pavich is the guy running the money behind the site. She's hasn't escaped working for The Man.

That's why Roxane Gay has to post these humiliating tweets about how she's doing what she can.

Oh Mallory, you told us you were the Queen of Misandry but you were sitting on a throne of lies. ;___;

ETA: thanks [personal profile] kate_nepveu for pointing out that Ms. Ortberg is not working for Mr. Pavich: they are co-founders, with equal ownership in the company.

Still. When you're a business owner but you can't alter your contracts without a man's buy-in, it is not true that you've substantially escaped having to care about a man thinks of your work.
Wednesday, December 17th, 2014 04:49 am
Here is my card for Round Five of the [community profile] genprompt_bingo fest. This bingo challenge encourages original or fanfic material across all formats and lengths. It's a terrific fest if you want general and/or gentle fiction, although people can interpret prompts any way they like. There are many categories, and you can choose to omit up to three. Read the rules first.  Browse the Round Five prompt list.  Request a Round Five card here. Prompt lists are renewed once a quarter, and you may request a new card then even without bingo on a previous card. (See all my 2014 bingo cards.)

If you'd like to sponsor a particular square, especially if you have an idea for what character, series, or situation it would fit -- talk to me and we'll work something out. This is a good opportunity for those of you with favorites that don't always mesh well with the themes of my monthly projects. I may still post some of the fills for free, because I'm using this to attract new readers; but if it brings in money, that means I can do more of it. That's part of why I'm crossing some of the bingo prompts with other projects, such as the Poetry Fishbowl.

Round Five: December 1, 2014-February 28, 2015.
Cards may be requested prior to February 28.
Any content, fiction or poetry, etc. fanfic or original.
Minimum of 100 words for fiction, poetry, or other text fills.

Underlined prompts have been filled.

GENPROMPT BINGO CARD

Furnishing the Home Vulnerability Be Still My Beating Heart Parody Thank God it's Friday... Again: Time Loops
Warming / Cooling Drinks Pink (Love it, Loathe it, Embrace it, Reject it) Magical Horses (Centaurs, Unicorns, Pegasi) Best Friends Indefatiguable
Confessions Fear / Terror Wild CardEvening Trade Winds
Priceless Logic and Numbers The Heart of the Jungle / Forest Butcher / Baker / Candlestickmaker: Tradesman Rich and Poor
Toys Trapped! I Have a Rendezvous with Death Warning Signs Nauru

Wednesday, December 17th, 2014 04:06 pm
What I'm Reading
Silver Spoon vol 4 by Arakawa Hiromu - It's still great. Also I'm really jealous of all their fresh vegetables.

The Maker's Mask by Ankaret Wells - After the disaster of The Three-Body Problem I wanted some sci-fi that was about as different as possible. I've only just started, but I'm quite enjoying the book so far. Ladies! Pseudo-medieval post-planetfall politics! Genderqueerness! Assassins!

Razorhurst by Justline Larbalestier - I bought this while I was in Australia, and it's just been short-listed for an Australian literary award, so I'm hoping to finish it soon!

What I've Read
Clariel by Garth Nix - I think the best thing to say is, it was worth the wait. I'm really impressed at how many writerly tricks Nix pulled off here, and how a book written 11 years after its predecessor but set 600 years before can so effortlessly set up the next book in the series. I also was impressed at how suspenseful I found the book to be, given that I knew the ending going in. MORE OLD KINGDOM NOW PLEASE.

Stranger by Sherwood Smith and Rachel Manija Brown - At long last the #YesGayYA book is available in the world, and I quite enjoyed it, which to be honest is no less than I expected. The book is set in a post-apocalyptic Los Angeles, but it's a very animanga kind of livable, quotidian postapocalypse, and the society it portrays is interesting and believable, with just enough vampiric plantlife thrown in to keep things interesting. Honestly I think this book may appeal to fans of X-Treme X-Men, as it really is "the X-Men in the Old West" in some ways, even as it's also one of the most LA books I've read--not Hollywood, but actual LA with actual people. The food descriptions alone nearly made me want to book a flight back to California; I did go out to the best Mexican restaurant in Tokyo because of it. And, of course, I also found the characters interesting, and wasn't fussed by the switching between multiple protagonists, or by what happens to them.

Essentially, I disagreed with the [community profile] ladybusiness review on basically all points, and in particular, I wanted to mention that I don't think that queer characters in books should be treated like they're made of glass. A story in which being gay and suffering for it in whatever way is not the only story that should be told about gay characters, but at the same time, it's not like nothing bad that isn't about being gay ever happens to gay people, and what some of the gay characters in this book have to deal with in terms of parents and family is stuff that everyone has to deal with. I think it's just as important to represent those kinds of things in fiction because they are universal, or the next best thing to it, and gay readers deserve to have that chance just as much as straight audiences. (I also appreciated that gayness isn't just for white boys. Indeed, most of the protagonists are people of color, which was refreshingly realistic for a book set in future!Los Angeles.) I will say, however, that if you haven't liked Sherwood Smith's other books, I don't think you'll like this one. She has a very distinctive close third person POV style that, quite frankly, took me a while to get used to when I first started reading her books, and though obviously this is a co-written book and the style isn't "strictly Sherwood," if you will, there's enough of it in the prose that I'm confident in this prediction. All that having been said, I loved it, and I'm very excited to hear that Hostage, the sequel, is coming very soon!

The Goblin Emperor by Katherine Addison - I was not expecting to sit down and devour this book in less than a day but readers, I did. IT'S SO GOOD. It follows Maia, the despised youngest son of the elf emperor who unexpectedly inherits the throne after most of the rest of his family die in a suspicious airship accident. I'm still bitter about The Mirror Empire and grimdark, and I really appreciated a fantasy novel with goblins and elves and airships and bridges in which the struggles are about how to overcome one's own ignorance and how to enact good policy for one's realm. Maia is deeply sympathetic, and his relationship with his mother's family--he is essentially biracial, being half-goblin and and half-elf--was particularly interesting. I'm not sure I should even mention that Katherine Addison formerly wrote books under the name Sarah Monette, but I do think that assertions that this book is totally out of character with her previous work is somewhat wrong. It's true that this book is in many ways the polar opposite of something like Melusine and those books, but in some ways Maia's struggles to figure out how to interact with the world reminded me very much of my absolute favorite of Monette's works, namely the Kyle Murchison Booth stories. I do think there are subtle continuities between this book and Monette's earlier work, but I would also say that if you bounced off any aspect of the Melusine novels, I would heartily recommend giving this one a try. Her prose is a delight in and of itself.

Fire and Hemlock by Diana Wynne Jones - I read this because [personal profile] littlebutfierce mentioned it in a December meme post, and I devoured it. It's a masterpiece and if you haven't read it you must do so now--I especially recommend it to those of you who, like me, are rather over the whole Tam Lin thing or never even got into it in the first place. (Ironically, I've read a lot of Tam Lin books and will read more. But as Jones herself says in this book, if you can't find things worth reading in fairy tales that is your problem.) It is not very Tam Lin-ish even though it's a Tam Lin novel; there's far more of T.S. Eliot in here, which makes me happy because Four Quartets is my absolute favorite Eliot. That said, I am not ashamed to admit that I relied quite heavily on [personal profile] rushthatspeaks' two essays explicating the ending to understand what happened, and to those who may have found it confusing, I highly recommend those posts: We only live, only suspire/Consumed by either fire or fire and The way upward and the way downward are the same.

Silver Spoon vol. 3 by Arakawa Hiromu - Still excellent. I appreciate the peeks into Arakawa's philosophy, which was an aspect of FMA that was de-emphasized as things went on, understandably.

What I'll Read Next
Probably the book after the Wells one, since I'm given to understand that they're a very tightly knitted duology. Also more Diana Wynne Jones! And more Silver Spoon of course.
Wednesday, December 17th, 2014 01:24 am
 [personal profile] dialecticdreamer just posted Part 1 of 7 for "Chance Meeting."  Mallory meets someone new on campus.  :D
Wednesday, December 17th, 2014 12:39 am
 [personal profile] brides_koneko is hosting a prompt call on the theme of "joy and connection."  A linkback guarantees something will get written for your prompt.  You can donate for more goodies too.
Tuesday, December 16th, 2014 08:54 pm
Why I am going to hell:

The Junebug has a child's umbrella, and I have an adult umbrella, which is bigger when it's opened but folds twice so it's smaller when it's closed. Today the Junebug was crowing that his umbrella is the biggest, so I explained to him how my umbrella was a grower and his umbrella was a shower.
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Tuesday, December 16th, 2014 08:17 pm
This poem came out of discussion with [personal profile] dialecticdreamer. It also fills the "usual suspects" square in my 9-29-14 card for the [community profile] origfic_bingo fest. It has been sponsored by [personal profile] stardreamer. This poem belongs to the FORK thread in the Polychrome Heroics series.


Read more... )
Tuesday, December 16th, 2014 05:21 pm
This poem came out of the November 4, 2015 Poetry Fishbowl. It was inspired by prompts from [personal profile] dialecticdreamer and [personal profile] madgastronomer. It also fills the "hypoglycemia / low blood sugar" square in my 6-10-14 card for the [community profile] hc_bingo fest. This poem has been sponsored by [personal profile] stardreamer. It belongs to the FORK thread of the series Polychrome Heroics.

Read more... )
Tuesday, December 16th, 2014 01:49 pm
Via [personal profile] boundbooks, instructions for finding unclaimed funds in America. Turns out Blue Cross owed me $75.

Indie Australian sf/fantasy/YA author Andrea Host is putting all her books on sale for 99 cents until January 1.

If you have read any books by Andrea Host, please discuss in comments. Also let me know if you find any unclaimed funds!
Tuesday, December 16th, 2014 02:50 pm
This poem was written outside the prompt calls, inspired by a discussion with [personal profile] dialecticdreamer. It also fills the "face to face" square on my 9-29-14 card for the [community profile] origfic_bingo fest. It has been sponsored by [personal profile] stardreamer. This poem belongs to the FORK thread of the Polychrome Heroics series, following the events of the story "Keeping Warm" and demifiction "Corporation Sues Man."

WARNING: This poem features bigotry and hateful slurs.  If these are sensitive topics for you, please consider your mindstate before deciding whether you want to read further.

Read more... )