(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.)

Fic! Marauders sedoretu fic, in fact

Jul. 17th, 2017 03:41 pm
aria: (Default)
[personal profile] aria
So I've only been working on this fic, on and off, since the last HP movie came out. Never say I don't eventually finish my beloved old WIPs.

Geometry of the Impossible, Remus/Sirius/James/Lily
"I don't think Lily nor James would be very happy if I did his courting for him," Remus said. He saw that Sirius' face was fixed into blank patience, and had a flash of desire to snarl and go for Sirius' throat, because he might at least understand that. "Look. There are comical farces written around your idea, and I'm not terribly keen on having Lily fall for me instead --"

Please enjoy 21k of Teenage Werewolf Disaster :DDD

This week in writing, 7/16

Jul. 17th, 2017 01:39 am
dira: Bucky Barnes/The Winter Soldier (Default)
[personal profile] dira
Still not great, but better than last week! 

WIPs currently active: 5

Words written this week: 3,259

WIPs that got no words this week: 0

WIPs that did get words this week:

Codename: Aluminum Bastard (aka broken dick epic): 104, still inching along. I probably just need to hit a scene break soon, but then I’m going to have to figure out what happens next, so…?

Born in the Blood: 821, and it is distinctly possible that every one of them is terrible, but I haven’t figured out how to make them less terrible so for now I’m just going with it.

Dragon!Bucky/tribute!Steve and Learning to Be a Good Citizen: 490, including realizing that I needed to insert an entire chapter before where I initially started writing. 

All Eternals Deck #2: 598, possibly all getting deleted when I redo the beginning because i figured out that I was doing it wrong…

Slavefic #6: 1,246, DIRELY in need of a POV change. Soon. Yes. 

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nvm

Jul. 16th, 2017 05:01 pm
netgirl_y2k: (doctordonna)
[personal profile] netgirl_y2k
Disregard everything I said last night about no longer caring about Doctor Who, I care so much I've just had a little cry from how much I care.

(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.

Things Come in Threes

Jul. 15th, 2017 11:06 pm
netgirl_y2k: (Default)
[personal profile] netgirl_y2k
1. I have a guest dog this weekend. An acquaintance from the park had to go down south all of a sudden because of a death in the family, and as she had enough to deal without trying to wrangle a dog sitter I offered to take him.

Barnaby is an Australian Labradoodle, and so cute that I've been googling pictures of puppies from breeders, or at least I was until I saw the price tags attached to them, at which point I remembered that one of the reasons I got Freya in the first place is that I was offered her for the low, low price of free to a good home.

The other reason I've only got one dog, despite the fact that ever since I switched from split shifts at work I've thought that it might be nice for her to have a friend, is that Freya is a jealous wee besom. She's been sharing her toys and treats fine, they've been drinking out of the same water bowl, but every time I go to pet Barnaby she'll walk between us and shoulder him out of the way. Earlier he got brave enough to come up on the couch with me and Freya jumped up and bowled the poor little guy off as though he was a skittle.

This is why, despite Barnaby feeling like a literal cloud, I've barely gotten to pet him.

Barnaby is currently curled up on Freya's dogbed, and Freya is up next to me snoring like a freight train. I guess guarding me 24/7 from other dogs I might like to pet is tiring work.

2. They're announcing the actor for the Thirteenth Doctor after the tennis tomorrow, and I will be tuned in despite the fact that I haven't actually watched very much of this last season. I watched the first two or three episodes, and I've liked Capaldi as the Doctor, and Bill seemed cute, but I have harboured a dislike of Matt Lucas ever since Little Britain was fucking everywhere, and I couldn't get over them making fucking Nardol a backdoor companion.

Anyway, if they announce Pheobe Waller-Bridge (or, really, anyone who isn't a white guy) I will gladly jump back in, and if they announce Kris Marshall I can close the door on this part of my fannish life with nary a look back. I actually think Marshall is a better actor than a lot of people do (he's been serviceable tilting into good in Death in Paradise) but the casting of another tall, goofy looking white guy would represent such a failure of imagination on the part of the showrunners that it'd make it really hard for me to care.

3. For those of us who missed Remix, [community profile] remixrevival is here. Yay!

(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.

Missy Remix: Interest Poll

Jul. 11th, 2017 07:52 pm
trobadora: (Missy (stylised))
[personal profile] trobadora posting in [community profile] doctorwho
After the recent series finale, [personal profile] navaan and I shared our squee for Missy, and while bouncing fic ideas around we had an idea for a different kind of Remix challenge.

It went something like this:
  1. The world needs more Missy!
  2. Someone should do a fest or a challenge or something.
  3. A fest where Missy gets to be in everything! Everything’s better with more Missy.
  4. A Missy remix! Remix this fic by adding Missy to it!
  5. Someone should really do that.
  6. "Someone" is going to be us, isn't it?

In general terms this is how it would work:

Like in a normal remix challenge, people would sign up with the body of Doctor Who work they've written and be assigned a remixer, who gets to pick one of their stories to remix. The difference - all remixes would have the aim to add Missy somehow:
  • Missy's POV on what happened
  • Missy doing things behind the scene while the plot unfolds
  • Missy directly bursting in on the story and interacting with everyone else
  • ...

(More general info about remixes.)

This is a very specific idea for a fest and before we set to work, we wanted to find out if anyone who isn't us would be interested in taking part in a challenge like this. So let us know:

Missy remix poll @ Trobadora’s DW

Fics What I Have Written

Jul. 11th, 2017 12:07 am
netgirl_y2k: (kahlan white dress)
[personal profile] netgirl_y2k
Modern Magic Formula (Legend of the Seeker; Cara/Dahlia & Richard/Kahlan, HP AU)

School was a long time ago, and out here in the real world it's practically acceptable for a Slytherin to have a crush on a Hufflepuff.

Written for [community profile] everywoman, for [personal profile] shopfront who at the same time was writing me the most frickin' delightful Sara Lance fic (Etiology). Good times!

Brother, It's Cold Outside (A Song of Ice and Fire; Renly, Stannis & Robert)

One of Renly's earliest memories was of Robert threatening to beat the tears from his eyes. Stannis had replied that Renly had not eaten a full meal in a year on account of Robert's fool rebellion, and if Robert struck Renly, then Stannis would strike Robert.

Later, Stannis had beaten the tendency to weep from Renly himself, but Stannis and Robert's relationship had never recovered from that first, shocking display of fraternal defiance.


This was written for the GoT AU exchange, and was the result of of my unsuccessfully trying to game sign ups to get a different assignment, and having to write a fic about three characters I'd never given a second thought to, and I accidentally gave myself feelings.

(Note to self: stop trying to game sign ups; if you want to write something that badly, write it as a treat.)

This week in writing, 7/9

Jul. 10th, 2017 01:25 am
dira: Bucky Barnes/The Winter Soldier (Default)
[personal profile] dira
(I missed a week there but I also missed a week or more of writing, with all the things finished and going out into the world, so we’ll call it a wash and start fresh, huh?)

WIPs currently active: 6, because I started altogether too many new things while trying to coax myself back into action after more than a week just not writing at all. (It’s a lot for me! It was unsettling!)

Words written this week: 2,280

WIPs that got no words this week: 0

WIPs that did get words this week:

Codename: Aluminum Bastard (aka broken dick epic): 133. This sure is a story in which stuff is happening. I should probably… reread the last couple chapters and try to remember where the fuck I was going with this in the previous geological era when I last worked on it.

Born in the Blood: 389, and hooboy I hope you did not want a lot of detail about [significant lifetime event taking place in this chapter] because the whole thing happened inside those 389 words.

Less-Sad Sequel to “Ring the Bell Backward”: 567, and struggling not to feel like, spiritually jossed by Spider-Man: Homecoming even though this story obviously occupies a fairly drastic alternate universe from canon.

Dragon!Bucky/tribute!Steve and Learning to Be a Good Citizen: 133, haha oh look I started a sequel how did that happen??

All Eternals Deck #2: 308, oh hey look I finally figured out how to start the next Bucky/Bruce story, too! :D

Slavefic #6 (Steve Learns Some Stuff about Sex): 555, picking up literally about three minutes after the end of The Sacrifice Play. :D

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dira: Allison Argent, smiling delightedly (Allison - Smile)
[personal profile] dira
Ahahaha with all my other new releases in the past week, I almost forgot to announce this one!



Surrendered to the Sea is out now in ebook & paperback through Amazon!

When an omega werewolf cast himself into the sea, he never expected someone would be there to catch him...

Omega Devon Griffith feels like his life is already over; he's failed out of school and it's just a matter of time before his parents arrange a loveless mating for the good of the pack. He wants someone to love him for himself, but it seems like he's missed his chance. When he gives in to a dark impulse and slips into the sea, he thinks that one moment of surrender will be the end...

Sea god Lir has spent years living only in the present, forgetting his own troubled past and never worrying about the future. Then his father issues an ultimatum: Lir needs to prove he can care for someone else, or he'll be banished from the sea forever. Lir doesn't even know where to start, until a werewolf falls into his sea and nearly drowns. This is Lir's chance to show he can be responsible for a mortal. He may not know anything about werewolves, but how hard can it be?

When Devon's heat arrives, Lir quickly discovers that caring for him takes more than just food, water, and shelter... and Devon finally feels like he has a future worth looking forward to. Alone together on Lir's enchanted island with a baby on the way, their love quickly blooms. But Devon can't quite forget his life on land, no matter how hard Lir tries to keep him happy in their hideaway. Can Lir and Devon's love survive beyond their magical island, or will too much reality break the sea's spell?

Surrendered to the Sea is an m/m mpreg romance featuring a lost omega werewolf, a lonely sea god, and a happy ending hot enough to melt icebergs!

surprise morning adrenaline

Jul. 7th, 2017 08:09 am
silveraspen: paved road with double yellow center line twisting through green trees (follow the yellow brick road)
[personal profile] silveraspen
It is a rather unique experience to be startled from the shower by the doorbell and someone banging on the front door. I scrambled into a robe and went to answer.

Crew Guy: You have a leak in your main water line. I've called a crew. It'll need to be replaced.
Me: ... but y'all just replaced the entire line! With brand new copper! In January of this year!
CG: Okay, that's weird.

Which led to the two of us plus another local water company team lead standing around outside and trying to dig a hole in the front yard to figure out if it was really a problem or if the construction crew from a couple of weeks ago had accidentally cut through my drip irrigation system instead.

With me barefoot. In a fluffy bathrobe.

Happy Friday, everyone.

(no subject)

Jul. 6th, 2017 05:56 pm
skygiants: the aunts from Pushing Daisies reading and sipping wine on a couch (wine and books)
[personal profile] skygiants
I regret to report that Night Fall is probably the least interesting Joan Aiken book I have ever read, in large part because there is not much time for anything to happen in it -- it's like 150 pages long and I read it in the course of one round-trip public transit ride from Brighton to Chelsea. That said, Joan Aiken managed to fit PLENTY of nonsense into, for example, The Witch of Clatteringshaws which has even fewer pages, and yet contains a Loch Ness monster, an evil plastic surgeon, a golf-club-riding witch, and the rightful king of Britain, so 'too short' is clearly only half an excuse at best.

The problem is that Night Fall spends at least 50% of its pages carefully setting up Our Heroine Meg's unhappy childhood, raised by a distant and judgmental father and his even more judgmental servants after the death of her loving but irresponsible film-star mother and stepfather. The one thing her father approves of is her engagement to the extremely boring stockbroker next door, who breaks his promise to take her to study art in Paris, and does not like her cat, and it's all very psychologically stifling.

So then by the time that Meg decides to confront her psychology by running away to a tiny mountain town where she witnessed a MURDER as a SMALL INJURED CHILD there is just not room left in the book for very much to happen, although someone does attempt to murder her by leaving a giant rat in her car, which is up there as overly convoluted murder methods go.

The best part of the book however is when Meg finally confronts the villain with his crimes, and the villain laughs evilly and explains that she cannot act against him because he has stranded a hostage on a tiny cliff-ledge who will be murdered if she tells what she knows!

The hostage is her cat!!

UNDERSTANDABLY, MEG IS HELPLESS.

(Well, not exactly helpless. She eventually dives down on the cliff-ledge to rescue the cat, then has to be rescued in turn by the love interest with whom she has spent a very nice half-hour or so talking about urban renewal, and who subsequently expresses the opinion that if she had fallen off the cliff he would have thrown himself in as well, because it's True Love. This young man is clearly very desperate for other young people with whom to discuss urban renewal. Unfortunately, Meg seems to forget in the sudden upswell of affection for anyone who is not a boring stockbroker that this still gets her no closer to art school in Paris.)

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