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For the second time this year I woke up, checked the news, and felt like I had woken up in the wrong universe.

I am still sad, and angry, and afraid, but now that some time has passed I'm determined. I am going to donate to the ACLU and Planned Parenthood; Jezebel has a good list of organizations people can donate to, if you haven't seen it yet. I am going to write a letter to Hillary Clinton to say thank you. The glass ceiling is holding but it's been badly cracked and I know we can do it next time. I know we can. Every time I want to despair I think of history and how far we've come, even though there's so much farther to go. Look at a hundred years ago. We didn't get here without fighting and I'm not saying progress will happen without more fighting, but it can be done and has been done.


Crosspost: http://silverflight8.dreamwidth.org/177576.html.

dear yuletide writer

Hello yuletide writer! I'm so thrilled that there are other fans for these small fandoms. I apologize for the brevity; I don't have access to a computer and writing/editing is kinda fiddly on a phone.

In general I like action/adventure stories, casefic, continued adventures of so and so, missing scenes, stories that expand the worldbuilding. I love alternate history and history in general, fantasy and magical systems. Love longfic, will not freak out at big word counts. I'm not a fan of grimdark and depressing stories - not to say that you can't have serious issues, but I don't enjoy stores that conflate constant violence and despair with reality it versimilitude. I'm also not a fan of lectures. You can also follow my yuletide tag back to see past letters.

That said, I've really found I enjoy a really eclectic range of stuff (more than what I write or rec on AO3 or my journal), so please write something that comes to you, if my prompts and ideas and preferences don't work out!


Fandoms!

Chrestomanci - Diana Wynne Jones
I love these books and read them a lot, especially when I'm in got a nice lighthearted read. Lots of characters nominated, so I have a lot to say: I love the shenanigans Conrad and Christopher get up to at Stallery and would love to see more of them. Young kid Christopher and his frankly reckless adventuring in the place between is also a favorite. I'd love to see more with him facing off with the Dright, maybe later on as Chrestomanci. Or Tacroy in either of his agent roles, on the good and bad sides; we get a hint of it and his later life but not much else. What about Millie's powers? How are they supplemented by the power of the goddess, and does Millie ever hear from her post life? What's life like in Chrestomanci castle with all the children there now??

Matt Cruse - Kenneth Oppel
Ahhh give me all the stories about the Aurora and the steampunk world! I'd love to see Kate tramping through the jungle discovering new life, or Matt as a captain, or just pre-Airborn, as a cabin boy. Or their adventures later! I love the little alternate universe tweaks that are in the book and would love to see more worldbuilding.

Shades of Grey - Jasper Fforde
Another one I love the worldbuilding on. There are only hints as to what happened, the true intentions and nature if authority (except that they're pettily ridiculous and yet ironfisted enough to be really scary). Would love to see way more of what Jane knows, what she's planning. What's life like as a grey? Or I guess now her very light green. She's tangled with the people in the village before and I, for one, would love to see her clash with say Violet deMauve. Did someone tell her about reboot or going outside at night, how did she start to find out? Where else has she been using the roads, traveling by night? What's her and Eddie's next steps? I can't believe Fforde left us on that note and wish he'd hurry up and write the next one!

Thanks for writing for me! Happy yuletide!

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Update

Well, I haven't posted for awhile and this time I have a legitimate reason - my computer crashed really badly and I have just agreed to pay a horrible sum of money to have it fixed. (A comparable new one would be three or four times more expensive D:) It auto updated to the anniversary edition of Windows 10. I don't regret updating to 10 - security, far more efficient space use - I think it was just really bad luck. I've never actually had a hard drive crash on me before.

Also the timing was rather bad -it was RuneScape's double xp weekend! I played only a little on the Saturday evening. Figures, hmph.

I read some O R Melling (don't remember it being so YA but I was actually in that age bracket then), finally Heidi again, though my friend has left Switzerland and is doing a thing in London, and am reading The Secret Country by Pamela Dean. Pretty good but the general bickering, constant simmering of unhappiness of like all the children is preventing me from simply eating it up. I also read The Gilded Age, wick is about Anita Hemmings, the first African-American woman to go to Vassar, and she did it by passing for white. I enjoyed it a lot (maybe I should read more boarding school stories), but I also feel like Anita was never angry. Kind of like how I feel I was sooo angry at her treatment compared to Fanny's own feelings in Mansfield Park.

Carmen at the opera - omg. I enjoyed it a lot, A+ would attend again. Sadly another modern update....as a young person who has not seen a ton of opera, I wish I could see more with original settings. This one was very gritty and the stage very minimalistic. I also was slightly disappointed with the habenera, which should really ooze sex appeal; it was all just sorta restrained. And it's not like the rest of the opera was restrained, which was weird. Maybe the Carmen just wanted a very different interpretation? Also, there was a lot of male nudity for a change! In addition to all the female nudity, more forgivable in this opera... It opened with a man in only his underwear running endless laps around the stage - at least thirty or forty, as punishment I think. The other characters just acted like he wasn't even there. Escamillo was amazing and wore the brightest yellow suit imaginable, and pulled it off. The children had clearly been told to sing at the tops of their lungs for Avec la garde montante and were pretty adorable.

I've also been doing a lot of Ingress and letterboxing. There's a very active ingress group locally and I made level 8 a bit ago, which isn't the highest level but the one where you get access to the best gear available. I like the urban exploration thing a lot (thus also letterboxing).

I did calligraphy with my log and decided to look at all my nibs:

20161001_213750.jpg



20161001_154613.jpg

I use all them except the Hunt globe and 102 and the speedball b nibs. OK, the 102 I use for touch up because the top is so fine it catches on everything and then ink splatter, the globe is inflexible and gives me no line variation, and the b ditto - the b all give really thick lines too and no line thickness variation. I used the c-2 for the cover page. I'm not sure I can even write consistently with the c-0, which is even broader - you need so much ink on it you practically have to redip after every stroke. And the line gets thinner as you go down!

I also carved my own stamp! I bought a few cheap pink erasers, scoured the internet for inspiration and guides, and used an exacto knife. Worked out pretty well but I'm not so good at stamping while outside without a table! It's been fairly addicting. I found 3 stamps today (failed to find 2) and really want to go tomorrow too. I have an ingress farm to go to tomorrow morning (almost completely cleaned out of gear - been destroying enemy portals a lot. Lots of fun. What's building compared to getting to smash my nemesis's portal?) But afterwards, more stamp collecting.

Fall is coming in slowly and I want the weather to hold so we get a nice pretty leaf show.


Crosspost: http://silverflight8.dreamwidth.org/177253.html.

David, by Earle Birney

One of my favourite poems. It seems to be so unknown :(

http://rpo.library.utoronto.ca/poems/david


Crosspost: http://silverflight8.dreamwidth.org/177044.html.

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Hey flist! I'm hosting the second part of the readalong for MWT's The Thief, in honour of its 20th birthday! Here's part one (chapters 1-3), and part two (chapters 4-6).

I'm actually cross-posting this all over because I spent absurd amounts of time on it. It's been ages since I've done this - I really should review in depth some of the books I've read recently, but it really does require hours of butt in chair time.


Crosspost: http://silverflight8.dreamwidth.org/176737.html.

books, I have read them

Wow, I haven't posted about my reading in forever. In fact there are still books undeleted from my kobo/marked as unread in Calibre cause I'm not even updating my spreadsheet of read books...for shame.

I finished Here Be Dragons. It improved as I went on, and the narrative really narrowed down a lot more after John's death, which was helpful - I don't really like a lot of POV-jumping. I find it hard to care as much when it constantly flips between people. At any rate, I didn't even recognize the Magna Carta when it showed up. Joanna calls it the Runnymede charter, which makes sense. You don't call it the ancien regime when you're in it. John's death also took me rather by surprise. I was reading a non-fiction biography sort of concurrently with Here Be Dragons, but very intermittently, during lunch breaks, and it was going much slower than Here Be Dragons, since it had to describe the warfare and political situations, esp on the continent.

some light discussionCollapse )

I also read the End of Karma: Hope and Fury Among India's Young, by Somini Sengupta, on recommendation from wordsofastory. It's a very engaging, well-written and also easy-to-plow-through book, which is really difficult to do. She doesn't shy away from talking about how ugly circumstances and life can be, but she doesn't pity or coddle either, and she does in an incredibly readable way. She takes stories from seven different young people, from all over the country with different ambitions and aspirations, and ties their expectations and hopes back to some of the hopes and promises that came out of independence. She calls them noonday's children - out of the dark, big dreams sometimes, wanting those promises to be fulfilled. And she wrote about inequality, which is something that is very relevant right now. This is an extremely recent book - especially since I'm always late to the party when it comes to reading new stuff - and it was good to see how she incorporated current events in her discussion. Overall extremely good, although I found the last chapter hard to get through - I had to slam the book closed a few times there because it was getting to me. This review is very short because I know next to nothing about India, history or current, and moreover I've had to return my book, but it's very good for someone who doesn't know India well at all.

I read Martha Wells' The Wizard Hunters in an effort to stave off my burning desire to have the next Raksura book. You know how you have books on your e-reader or shelf for ages and ages and are always excited about them when you're sorting through the library (and don't have the time to sit down and read), but when you are actually in a place to read you go, no, I'd rather reread this extremely trashy book for the 48572th time? Anyway, I finally started while I think I was waiting for the train and the opening part hooked me immediately, though when I say what it is it sounds rather horrible. Tremaine's looking for a way to kill herself that would be passed off as an accident - because her city's under siege and she doesn't really have close family anymore and it's not nearly as horrible and sad as it sounds! Oh god. Think Lirael's beginning or something.

some discussionCollapse )


Crosspost: http://silverflight8.dreamwidth.org/176438.html.

!!

I got my chef's knife sharpened today, and it is the best seven dollars I have spent in my life. I was at the point where I couldn't cut tomato or pepper skin anymore, but now, now the knife goes through stuff like butter. I mean, it's so sharp I'll probably take a finger off one of these days, but I love it. I love it soooo much. This is gonna make cooking so much easier.


Crosspost: http://silverflight8.dreamwidth.org/176202.html.

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Sorrows of Young Werther

I finally finished it. I think my tolerance went up as I read it or it got less melodramatic (after that I no longer trust my judgement); I managed to get through to the end with a minimum of eye rolling.

Though when he started writing his suicide note addressed specifically to Charlotte saying basically "you're the cause of my death" and he thinks he loves her? I was more or less boggling while reading anyway, but that takes the cake. How wrapped up in yourself can you possibly be? Yes, obviously, he is not in a fit mental state, but that's amazing. (And then since he had no intention of immediately killing himself, he was obliged to add amendments to it...I assume, probably uncharitably, to twist the knife a little more. Whatever. Intentional or not, it would twist the knife. These things cannot be called love.)

I did not enjoy reading this. It's not even fun to mock because it's so self-pitying and melodramatic. There's bits where he bathes her hand in tears (I hope it was metaphorical; I am not reading it again to check). This is not how you treat someone you love. The condescension towards anyone of lower standing, perceived to be lesser, etc was constant and irritating, and Werther's naivete about children was grating (it's very much Romanticization - capital R and lower case r really - of childhood, which annoyed me when I first studied Romanticism and still annoys me.) There weren't even enjoyable rhapsodies about the landscape - which I still enjoy - because Werther would immediately have to inject his condescending social commentary or cry about Charlotte and his childhood again.

I've never liked woobies and I've never liked frail creatures. (Also I loathe the word woobie.) I've always preferred the hyper-competent people or the Scarlett O'Hara characters. Werther is pretty much the exact type of character I hate.

This is like the least helpful book review ever, but it's been a trying day.


Crosspost: http://silverflight8.dreamwidth.org/175912.html.

books catchup

I read Games Wizards Play and I was disappointed, to be honest.

Plotwise, it's quite interesting. There's nothing epic or earthshattering this time; instead the Wizards' Invitational is on, a competitive event where young wizards demonstrate their projects to a jury - a big international science fair. They are mentored by older wizards who the Powers think can pass on knowledge. It's meant to be a opportunity to help younger wizards experience without the life and death consequences that errantry usually brings.

detailsCollapse )

I also read Edge of Worlds, by Martha Wells, which I enjoyed a lot more. It's about the Raksura, a shape-shifters groundlings/skylings in a world full of different sapient species. It's been a few (peaceful) turns since the last book, but the whole court has had a strange, premonition dream linked again to the Fell, shape-shifters that prey on other species. Moon and Jade and some of the other Raksura sail away with a group of strange groundlings to investigate an sea-bound island that the groundlings think that the Fell-and-Raksuras' forerunners might have built.

more under the cutCollapse )

Progress mostly stalled on Sorrows of Young Werther and Here Be Dragons. I am reading a biography of John's rule during my breaks, and it's going well. It'd be going better if people in medieval England had more than like, five names in circulation. I cannot keep track of everyone! The big names, like William Marshal I can remember, but sometimes it's disputes of William vs William.


Crosspost: http://silverflight8.dreamwidth.org/175650.html.

I run out of time daily

In honour of April Poetry Month, one of my favourite poems:

Euclid Alone - Edna St Vincent Millay

Euclid alone has looked on Beauty bare.
Let all who prate of Beauty hold their peace,
And lay them prone upon the earth and cease
To ponder on themselves, the while they stare
At nothing, intricately drawn nowhere
In shapes of shifting lineage; let geese
Gabble and hiss, but heroes seek release
From dusty bondage into luminous air.
O blinding hour, O holy, terrible day,
When first the shaft into his vision shone
Of light anatomized! Euclid alone
Has looked on Beauty bare. Fortunate they
Who, though once only and then but far away,
Have heard her massive sandal set on stone.

I'm not doing the one poem a day posting (or writing - kudos to everyone doing that) but I am really appreciating all the poetry on my flist.


Crosspost: http://silverflight8.dreamwidth.org/175351.html.

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