More booky thoughts

Oct. 21st, 2017 09:42 pm
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[personal profile] badgerbag
Moomin ranting tonight a bit (charmingly) about wishing his class was broader than just European fairy tales but he also appreciates that it is focused and grounded in particular history.

I was thinking how I came up against that wall around the same age, a bit earlier, and went looking for "world" stuff or just anything not English, US based, "western culture" wanting to see anything possible. Anthologies were good or looking by specific country or ethnicity. I would root through any library or bookstore. Encyclopedias too. The indexes of books were super instructive. It took just years for me to have any real handle on the depth of the problems of histories but it was clear from the beginning that A LOT WAS WRONG. I didn't go into that (right now it is better if I listen to him than talk about my own thoughts)

Anyway! I'm so, so proud of Moomin and his excitement about scholarly things. I feel like no matter what he does in life he will have that kind of love of books and knowledge and stories.

He also really loved Gilgamesh so I am going to show him those awesome debates online between Hoe and Plough, Fish and Bird, etc.

Mermaid points

Oct. 21st, 2017 04:22 pm
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[personal profile] badgerbag
Moomin convinced me that the HCA Little Mermaid story is actually amazing because she just feels her feelings but isn't an asshole, doesn't get married, and becomes foam on the sea and an air spirit who helps people so basically her story NEVER ENDS and she is a SUPERHERO who flies around with air powers, doing good in the world! I started out with the complete opposite point of view on this story.

Also when he said he thought of me in relation to her feeling like she is walking on knives..... i actually think of that sometimes so that kind of touched me.

He is also reading Gilgamesh and some Bible stuff for philosophy class and seems to be keeping up in his other math class! So nice to have him here even for a day. <3

Tor.com giveaway of Winter Tide

Oct. 19th, 2017 04:13 pm
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[personal profile] boxofdelights
Tor.com is giving away the ebook of Winter Tide by Ruthanna Emrys until midnight October 20.

It is a response to Lovecraft, but Kirkus describes it as "essentially a story about identity, found families, wrapped in a cozy mystery. With magic. And monsters. Except the monsters are not exactly who you expect them to be."

https://giveaway.tor.com/

No excuses every day

Oct. 19th, 2017 09:37 am
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[personal profile] badgerbag
Cannot quite work up the oomph to fix my various Wordpress problems.
Yesterday was a nice office day, tho my face still hurt I had a good afternoon there.
The smoke blew away from here over night and now it's foggy and rainy. I can't find my face mask.

I'm on 100mg neurontin at night for the face nerve pain from shingles. Taking it at 7pm isn't quite early enough (i am still groggy and weird feeling now) I'd like to go off it by the end of next week or decrease the dosage. My face really hurts..... and is cold sensitive. I need one of those microwaveable pillows.... my old one got moldy I think. the actual heating pad is huge (the size of my entire back) and rough textured. My eye is twitching.... it feels tired. I guess all the muscles around my painful face are tensing up. The skin is not too bad now but the pain has moved to a deep ache in my jaw like a toothache.

Working in little fits & starts on my new writing project (a novel)

Actual work still looming though right now I have a little bit of a break. (mid cycle, no dot release so far for 56, the lull before a big push to release 57)

Nazi rally in Gainesville is pissing me off. Hundreds of cops mobilized for this bullshit. It just helps militarize the situation even more.

Reading - Squirrel Girl novel, which was beautiful! Last night read The Lucky Stiff by Craig Rice and this morning The Fourth Postman. Hardboiled detective. But also funny! Craig Rice is Georgiana Craig.

reading wednesday

Oct. 19th, 2017 02:19 am
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[personal profile] boxofdelights
[This is actually from last Wednesday but I'm just going to post it now anyway]
• What are you reading?

Notes from a Feminist Killjoy, by Erin Wunker. It's a bits-and-pieces book, but all the bits are in conversation with other writers, and with reality; even its bittyness recalls how Tillie Olsen would carry a sentence in her mind, polishing it in scraps of time between interruptions, through a day of women's work, a day of no peace, no privacy, no silence, no solitude.
When I started this book, I wanted to write something unimpeachable. Something so clear and objective, it could be a little dictionary or translation phrase book for how to speak a feminist language and live a feminist life. I wanted what many other writers -- the many-gendered mothers of my heart -- had already written. I wanted A Room of One's Own, Sister Outsider, Willful Subjects, Islands of Decolonial Love. I wanted Feminism is for Everybody and The Dream of a Common Language. I wanted No Language is Neutral.

I wanted books that had already been written by people whose experiences of moving through the world are different -- often radically so -- from mine.

*

I got stuck.
*
I read some more.
*
I remembered that I tell my students that reading and writing are attempts at joining conversations, making new ones, and, sometimes, shifting the direction of discourse.
*
I sat down at my typewriter again.


• What did you recently finish reading?

George & Lizzie, by Nancy Pearl.

Lizzie agreed. "I remember reading a novel in which one of the characters, a college professor, was writing a book on the influence of Emily Dickinson on Shakespeare and how his colleagues always misheard it and thought it was the other way around. I wish I could remember the title, because talking about it now makes me want to read it again. It's so interesting to think about. Do you think we read Shakespeare differently because of Dickinson's poems?"


I remember reading that too! It was by David Lodge, I think Changing Places? I read it about the same age Lizzie did. Not at the same time: I'm maybe ten years older than Lizzie. But, like Lizzie, I grew up in Michigan and went to UM and struggled with depression most of my life and, as a young woman, tried to claim my sexuality in ways that were bad for me and for the people I interacted with. Lizzie feels real to me, is what I'm saying, and I'm okay with the fact that the people around her are kind of one-note because the problem this book is about is: if you can't stop being sad about your shitty childhood even though your life is no longer shitty, if you can't stop punishing yourself for bad choices that you made long ago, if you can't stop trying to change something that happened long ago and wasn't in your control even then. . . then how do you stop?
[Lizzie says] "They're your thoughts, right? How can you not think them?"
Marla struggled to answer. "I don't know, but people do it. I think I let go of things, or at least try to. You have to, really, otherwise you're weighted down with all those cumulative bad memories. James and I used to talk about that baby missing from our lives, whether it was a boy or a girl, whether we could find out who adopted it, whether we'd ever forgive our parents, why we didn't just say 'Screw you' to them back then and get married after I got pregnant. I mean, you know, it was so present. It was always there in our lives. But if we kept that up there'd be no place for anything else. And now we just acknowledge all that awful stuff happened, that maybe we made the wrong decision, that we were just kids. We were just kids. You have to forgive yourself eventually, right?"

Lizzie's husband George got famous by explaining that, while pain is inevitable, suffering is optional, but his explanation doesn't work for Lizzie. George doesn't seem to understand that, for some people, that's liberating, but for others, it says that your suffering was your choice and therefore your fault. I'd offer Lizzie Season of Mists, because "you don't have to stay anywhere forever" worked for me, but how a story works depends as much on the reader as on the story.

Which is not to say that we shouldn't do our best to write good stories. This one has a stupid editing oversight that dumped me right out:
[Marla:]"I love you Lizzie, and always will. And I will always, always, keep your secrets. But this, what this means to you and George, is an important secret. It's not the equivalent of a little white lie. It'd be like me not telling James about the abortion."
[Lizzie:]"But James knew about the abortion, he was with you when you had it."
"Don't be deliberately naive, it doesn't become you. You know what I mean: some other James I was involved with."


What abortion, I wondered? Was there an abortion as well as a baby given up for adoption? When?

No, it must have been changed from an abortion to an adoption at some point. Which was a good change: it's believable that Marla would find it harder to move on with her life after carrying the baby for nine months, while knowing that there was a person out there that she felt responsible for but had no ability to protect. But leaving evidence of the change in the story made me notice how flat all the other characters are, how they are the way they are in order to serve Lizzie's story.

• What do you think you’ll read next?

The Call of Cthulhu and Other Weird Stories, by H.P. Lovecraft.

Goddess of the Resistance

Oct. 17th, 2017 10:48 pm
lavendertook: Carrie Fisher with Gary flipping the bird to Jabba (Carrie Jabba)
[personal profile] lavendertook
For [personal profile] baranduin: One more reason why Carrie Fisher is the Goddess of the Resistance, and Princess General for all times and places can be found in this story related by a friend of hers who was sexually assaulted by yet another man with power in Hollywood, as reported in The Guardian and other papers today.

Star Trek: Discovery

Oct. 15th, 2017 10:54 pm
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[personal profile] ide_cyan
If you're able to watch this show, you should! (Yaaay for Space airing it in Canada.)

Spoiler alert for tonight's episode (the fifth in the season):

GAY CHARACTERS IN THE REGULAR CAST.

Also, cursing!

"This is so fucking cool!"

Hippo, Birdie, Two Ewes (belated)

Oct. 12th, 2017 11:56 am
onyxlynx: Festive pennants in blue & purple with word "Birthday" centered. (Birthday)
[personal profile] onyxlynx
 to [personal profile] piglet !  Hope you had an excellent time

Hippo, Birdie, Two Ewes

Oct. 12th, 2017 12:01 pm
onyxlynx: Festive pennants in blue & purple with word "Birthday" centered. (Birthday)
[personal profile] onyxlynx
to [personal profile] kalmn  and [personal profile] halialkers  ! . Hope you special day was fun!  Wishing you unmitigated joy.

In Memoriam

Oct. 9th, 2017 11:37 am
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[personal profile] onyxlynx


poetry sale!

Oct. 9th, 2017 11:49 am
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[personal profile] gwynnega
My poem "scenes from a marriage" will appear in Strange Horizons, one of my favorite publications. [personal profile] cafenowhere suggested I write a poem about this photograph by Elliott Erwitt, and "scenes from a marriage" was the result.

Last night on TCM I watched The Return of Dracula (1958), which I'd never seen before. It's not great, though the "vampire posing as a family member idolized by a young girl" premise gives it a Shadow of a Doubt vibe. Also I watched House of Dracula (1945), which I've seen a few times and like very much, especially for the part where mad science cures Larry Talbot's lycanthropy, and Billy the Kid vs. Dracula (1966), which I'd heard about for decades (and okay, I didn't watch the whole thing, but wow, John Carradine's Dracula is a lot campier in this film than in the Universal movies).

(no subject)

Oct. 8th, 2017 03:23 pm
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[personal profile] sanguinity
[community profile] holmestice sign-ups close on Tuesday. I hope that the people who care about that already know? But just in case: [community profile] holmestice sign-ups close on Tuesday.

(Ugh, and I have to find time to write my sign-up at some point!)

Speaking of Holmestice, have two Holmestice-related stories that I posted between rounds!

Talent and Genius
Шерлок Холмс | New Russian Holmes (2013)
Sherlock Holmes & John Watson
Gen, No Warnings Apply, 827 words

I exhaled, and trusted him.

From a prompt offered by [personal profile] rachelindeed during the Winter 2015 round: "Talent hits a target no one else can hit. Genius hits a target no one else can see." (Arthur Schopenhauer)
That prompt was such a beautiful fit for New Russian Holmes, that I wrote this fill the same morning. Even though she hadn't requested New Russian. And then I sat on it for the better part of two years, because she hadn't requested New Russian, and I wasn't sure what to do with it.

But that was silly, so here, have a New Russian ficlet about Holmes and Watson and talent and genius.


Sherlock Ferret & The Amnesiac Admiral for [personal profile] starfishstar
Sherlock Ferret - Hugh Ashton
Sherlock Ferret & Watson Mouse, Wiggins
Gen, No Warnings Apply, ~4500 words
Amnesia, Holometabolism, Friendship, Happy Ending

Wiggins is missing. Watson Mouse is on the case.

Last round, [personal profile] starfishstar was the only one who publicly guessed my authorship for both my stories, and so I offered them a treat. (Several people said after the fact that they had guessed, but they didn't commit themselves publicly and in advance of reveals, so no treats for them.) Starfishstar asked for Sherlock Ferret, which is a wonderfully charming children series. However, as often happens when my brain is handed a cracky, implausible premise, I started asking how that would actually work and... Well. That's how we ended up with Ashton's charmingly earnest world running smack up against the horrifying realities of butterfly pupation. (Don't worry, it all comes out right in the end. Or as right as it can be, when butterfly pupation is in play.)

As per usual when I write these super-obscure Holmesian fandoms, everything you need to know is in the fic. The story is complete in three chapters; I'll be posting the rest over the next few days, as my betas and I have time to finish editing it.

henna day post / movies

Oct. 8th, 2017 02:21 pm
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[personal profile] gwynnega
I am hennaing my hair on a pleasant LA afternoon. We had some autumn weather, then we had a brief heat wave, and now we're somewhere in between.

I have been enjoying TCM's October horror movie programming. (They're mostly showing films I already know and love, comfy blankets of horror. This is fine with me.) Also, the other night I watched The Tin Star (1957). Westerns are a hard sell for me, but Anthony Perkins and Henry Fonda have such great interplay in this one.

This morning I saw an excellent noir, They Won't Believe Me (1947, starring Susan Hayward, Robert Young, and Jane Greer) that had one of the most WTF endings I have ever seen.
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