I grew up in a place that had very few Hispanic people but a really strong French Catholic population, so the first time a Hispanic friend ranted about white people celebrating Dia de los Muertos I was really confused until I realized that in the wider world of white people it is not actually common to be the kind of person who skips Mass on Christmas and Easter but goes to church two or three days in a row for Allsaints' and Allsouls'.
What can I say? It happened in my home parish. And tonight I'm pulling my candles out.
Hmm: Fic is not actually yet completed. But at least the pressure of making wordcount is off? I may be able to finish a rough draft tonight, regardless.
(I'm trying to get as much done today as I can because I'm doing NaNoWriMo this year.)
Hmm: Yuletide fic looks like it wants to be more than 1,000 words long, so I'm actually not 30% done...
Bad: Goddammit, it's HALLOWEEN and the weather is still warm. Whyyyyyyyy. (Because I'm in Louisiana, that's why.) Well, it's not as warm as it could be, but I hear in some places north of us there's snow.
How is your Yuletide progress?
I have this notion that next Gencon I would like to cosplay, but I don't know how to begin and it would have to be a bought costume because I can't sew worth mentioning. Does anyone have pointers? Links to sites for beginners?
(God knows, I am so uncreative I don't even know what I would want to cosplay as, but I presume there are options.)
That my relationship with writing is a thing that I couldn't fix all at once; that knowing the right things I should feel, and giving myself pep talks, was insufficient (though a thing I've become very good at). That coming back to it again and again, and accepting the hardness of it, and accepting tiny tiny word counts, and accepting all the times I felt avoidant and suddenly sleepy or preoccupied, and working at it like a thing I almost needed to learn from scratch -- that's been the only way to make it work.
And I still want really badly to sell a lot of books, and be able to write full-time, but I've got to be okay with not telling myself this story of "If you REALLY WANTED IT you would be working fifty billion times harder."
Some time ago I read an essay online arguing that most advice is going to be great for a lot of people and terrible for a lot of people, depending on where they're starting from. "You should work harder" and "You should take a break, you're working hard enough" are both true things for some people and false things for others. And the emphasis in online writers' spaces on "If you want to be a writer you have to write, you have to write a LOT, you have to do it on a SCHEDULE, plumbers don't get plumbers' block they just do their jobs" is understandable and good for a lot of people but if you're in a space of exhaustion and burnout it doesn't really give you room to recover and regrow.
I have to understand that I can work hard without shifting myself into "You have to write ALL the words NOW" mode.
Dust: An Elysian Tail (Windows (Steam)): Dust has amnesia, a floating helper with a high-pitched voice, and a talking sword. The helper, Fidget, needs to return the sword but consents to wait till Dust has finished with it. The sword, Ahrah, tells Dust how to fight. Eyeroll. It is gorgeous and reasonably well thought out in its initial setting, the more so given that one person has done the programming and the art. Eighty minutes brought me as far as death by boss #1, largely because a laptop keyboard is shite for 2D Castlevania-style melee/aerial combat and tight turns. I am not great with action games, but sometimes it is partly one's tools---the keyboard understands only one keystroke/input at a time, whereas a console controller can handle two.
[Pause here while I borrow a controller from darkforge and set up the appropriate drivers.]
The worldbuilding has casual Korean flavor: ( Read more... )
So, on one hand one wouldn't ordinarily spend time thinking through how twisted a French-flavored setting a computer RPG or even a fantasy novel has, or if one did, perhaps it'd be in postcolonial/subaltern terms; certainly people have deconstructed Celtic Twilight, e.g. Dust doesn't suit a postcolonial analysis, and that it doesn't is fine by me. Till now a specifically Korean flavor---distinct from a pan-East Asian flavor that can't keep sushi and kalbi straight because the writer's local restaurant happens to serve both---is unusual enough in English that it entertains me to think through the bits. I mean, this and Analogue, right? What else on computers? As distinct from Korean-produced RPGs.
I've paused gameplay indefinitely during "chapter two" because the game scratches the same itch that led me to play mindnumbing hours of Diablo II during grad school, which means that it is occasionally exactly the right thing but mostly not. :P And Civilization: Beyond Earth will be released a week after the last edit on this post draft [it's out]. I do respect the ending, for which I've spoiled myself deliberately.
Email from somebody who is research assistant to A Clueless Senior Academic, on a wholly-work-related topic, to my home address.
Am prepared to bet that ACSA said to research assistant, contact the knowledgeable and helpful Dr Oursin with this question about a specific collection of archives -
Without, however, giving the RA my work email contact, so no doubt they googled for me and got my personal website.
RA does not write very well (mutter, grumble, shakes antimacassar, what are young scholars today coming to).
On the surface, the question is, are bits of the collection missing, which yes, there are certain things not there, this is the nature of personal papers, they seldom survive in their entirety -
But I suspect that what the question is REALLY about is concerning a ripperology-type sensationalist factoid about the person in question and have the records of person's (alleged) SEKKRIT DODGY RESEARCH been expurgated? And not why no luv-letters, family holiday snaps, etc.
- recent reading
Michael A. Stackpole. Malicious Intent. Battletech tie-in novel, which I took a ridiculous amount of time to read because I have no attention span. I wasn't at first sure that all the strands would come together--Stackpole's BT novels tend to be aggressively multi-POV--but they did at the end, in a very satisfying manner. I really grew to like Doc a lot. And to my great surprise, I think I have become a Vlad Ward/Katrina Steiner-Davion shipper--they don't have a lot of time on-page together but the chemistry is astonishing.
Reginald Bretnor, ed. The Craft of Science Fiction, ©1976. A collection of essays. I have to confess I've never heard of Bretnor, or if I have encountered him before (possible), I have completely forgotten about him.
Essays: ( Read more... )
daidoji_gisei, if you can find this through your library, or a used copy, I think you'd enjoy some of the essays. I recommend in particular: Clement, Spinrad, Williamson; but have a look for yourself. (I got this out of the library myself.) Alternately, if you just want a couple of essays, I can photocopy them for you.
2. Apparently we will get a break from the rain this weekend. I am looking forward to this, because the rain has just felt relentless lately. And living where I live, that's saying a lot.
3. Since I've been canning a lot this year, I have been fishing a lot of used up vanilla beans out of recipes. Except they aren't used up! I've cut them into slightly smaller pieces, and tucked them into my sugar jar. (Not the main supply, but the little one that stays out on the counter for tea and coffee.) I often drink my coffee black, but sometimes I make it light and sweet as a special treat.
4. After many years of not wearing watches, I have started wearing them again. I have two - one gold-colored and one silver-colored. The strap on the silver-colored one is very fussy and ends up flapping about, so I am considering getting a replacement at some point. I see there are now ones which are solar powered. Has anyone had luck with them? (Also a decision: replace just the silver-colored one, or get a two-tone one to replace both?)
But I guess it is a bad idea, even though they now allow WIPs, because
a) I will definitely not get 50,000 words this month, and my book will probably be over in another 50,000 words
b) Writing longhand prevents accurate word counts
c) At some point I am going to have to unpack my entire collection of books and it will take a long time.
Oh well. Rust Apothecary for Camp NaNoWriMo, maybe? Rust Apothecary and Occult Post-Apocalyptic Girl Gang will probably both take a fair amount of research.
I'm sort of panicking over the fact that I have a much better idea of who my antagonist is than my protagonist.
Meanwhile, I have my Yuletide assignment and am mostly through source review. Am going to attempt to start writing tomorrow despite PANICKING. Wish me luck! And good luck to fellow Yuletiders.
Story tropes I find particularly delightful: I enjoy women being badass, guys being adorkable, people newly in love being Mr. Darcy-level awkward around each other, and people generally being sexy by being competent, clever, and sensible in their own ways. I like genfic, shipfic, love triangles solved by OT3s, team dynamics/interaction, character studies, complex plotty fic, bittersweet-to-happy endings, snark, fluff, angst, whump, experimental/metafiction, and clichefic that takes the cracky cliche and runs with it. Graphic consensual smut is always welcome but never required.
I don't like character-bashing, ship/het/slash-bashing, sexism, holiday-themed fic, MPREG, A/B/O AUs, major character death, characters out of character for the sake of plot, sexual assault, or graphic violence-to-the-point-of-gorn.
Now on to the fandoms!
( John Dies at the End, Discworld, Scarlet Spider, New Warriors, Mushishi, Secret Avengers )
I've started the bio of Pamela Hansford Johnson and on the whole it is pretty good and has a nice readable style.
But really early on it did a thing that my dearios will recognise as one of those things that We Pedantik Hedjogs do not like at all, which is make an unsustainable statement intended to prove that their subject was a Very Speshul Snoflayk.
No, really, it is not a supportable hypothesis to say that if you read the bios of other srs women writers of the period their childhood is an account of upbringing in privileged surroundings and education by governesses rather than at local girls' grammar, how very different from childhood and adolescence in what was effectively, even before father's death since he was working in Nigeria, a single-parent family in the South London suburbs (Clapham).
To which I say, TOSH.
I will concede that Nancy Mitford, Vita Sackville-West, and E M Delafield would probably all count as upper class (though the situation of the latter is complicated by French father and Catholicism).
Virginia Woolf and Naomi Mitchison probably count as upper-middle/gentry, but the privilege there would probably be 'o hai we are the intellectual aristocracy' (but see Virginia on the educational opportunities meted out to 'the daughters of educated men' and Naomi's complaints about the governess she shared).
Antonia White - father was a school-teacher. Sent to posh convent school and we can see from Frost in May that there were serious class issues going on.
Stella Gibbons. Father was a doctor, but was a GP in a slum area and pretty much the model for the entire Starkadder family. Succession of governesses, whom her father habitually seduced, and then North London Collegiate School for Girls.
GB Stern. Father a wealthy businessman until the business the family was in went crash. Notting Hill High School, though also 'finished' in Germany and Switzerland.
Rebecca West. Father a journalist, who deserted the family when she was eight. Richmond High school, Surrey (1900–01), George Watson's Ladies' College, Edinburgh, supported by bursaries. Sense of downward social mobility compared to rest of family.
Pamela Frankau. Father left her mother. Boarder at Burgess Hill School for Girls.
Winifred Holtby. Prosperous farmer's daughter. Queen Margaret's School, Scarborough.
Elizabeth Taylor. Father insurance inspector in Reading. Abbey School in Reading.
Vera Brittain. Father a paper manufacturer. Grange School Buxton, then boarder at St Monica's, Kingswood.
I could go on.
And I will not even, no, wait, yes, I will, mention 'education in disease-ridden hellhole run by sadistic evangelicals, sisters died'.