labellementeuse: a girl sits at a desk in front of a window, chewing a pencil (Default)
Happy New Year! You can check out my annual stuff I read last year post if you want.

In other news, Yuletide is upon us once again! I had a really really fabulous time doing Yuletide this year actually, including a couple of desperation writing parties with the Yulecops of Twitter that were both delightful social occasions and also really good at cudgeling me into action. I ended up being really proud of the thing that I wrote, not that it's necessarily all that great shakes but it was something new for me - new fandom, new pairing I'd never really thought about before, and new sensation of ... feeling like I could really see the development in my writing from my older Yuletide fic?

Dispatches (4644 words) by labellementeuse
Chapters: 1/1
Fandom: Swallows and Amazons - Arthur Ransome
Rating: Not Rated
Warnings: No Archive Warnings Apply
Relationships: Dorothea Callum/Nancy Blackett
Characters: Dorothea Callum, Nancy Blackett, Peggy Blackett, Titty Walker
Summary:

Do come up and visit me next time you get a bit of leave. Love, Nancy.



I received two fics that I really loved in Gentleman Bastards, an incredibly tough fandom that I'm truly awed anyone could offer. The two pieces are very different, which reflects the breadth in tone of the canon and also obviously makes for a couple of awesome gifts.

a glass poured to air (1717 words) by Raven
Chapters: 1/1
Fandom: Gentleman Bastard Sequence - Scott Lynch
Rating: Teen And Up Audiences
Warnings: No Archive Warnings Apply
Relationships: Sabetha Belacoros/Locke Lamora, Locke Lamora/Jean Tannen
Characters: Locke Lamora, Sabetha Belacoros, Jean Tannen,
Additional Tags: Spoilers, The Republic of Thieves
Summary: Redacted for spoilers

This is very spoilery for Republic of Thieves and I don't want to cut this so I'm not going to say much more but a great follow-up to that book if you needed a breather after it. It incorporates a number of things about the Jean-Locke and Locke-Sabetha relationships that I really love and has a brief passage about one of the things I find most intriguing about Locke, his relationship with religion.

The Goddess of Suffering Scam (4266 words) by Edonohana
Chapters: 1/1
Fandom: Gentleman Bastard Sequence - Scott Lynch
Rating: Teen And Up Audiences
Warnings: No Archive Warnings Apply
Characters: Jean Tannen, Father Chains, Locke Lamora, Calo Sanza, Galdo Sanza
Additional Tags: Don't Have to Know Canon, No Spoilers, Con Artists
Summary:

In the early days of the Gentleman Bastards, Locke impersonates a self-flagellating acolyte of the Goddess of Suffering, and Jean stands by as the muscle in case the mark catches on. You know what they say about the best-laid plans.



Completely different in tone to the other fic and yet, like the other fic, also totally like canon! This is a fun little caper fic, not at all spoilery, set during the gang's childhood/teenage years in Camorr. It's vicious, violent and fun in just the way canon can be - I particularly loved the flagellating apparatus, which fits SO seamlessly into Camorr.



For other recs, I'm still barely anywhere with my reading (I have about fifty open tabs in a special Yuletide window) but my recs I'm bookmarking on the AO3 here. I particularly commend the Rivers of London fic, which is excellent, and the Merlin Conspiracy fic, which had one thing I really disliked but was a very interesting and thoughtful fic that you definitely need to know canon for but is very rewarding if you do. I'm really impressed by people's ability to add to that canon which I think is awfully tricky.

Finally, I saw Desolation of Smaug the other day. spoilers: some positive, some negative, a fairly incoherent set of commentary bashed out the day afgter I went )
labellementeuse: text-only: "the education bestowed on Flora Poste by her parents had been expensie, athletic, and prolonged." (misc educated)
Before you read my pointless knitting story: [personal profile] genusshrike made another incredible Avengers vid, this time for Loki (incorporates footage from Thor as well as from The Avengers). I am far from a Loki stan or even fan, so when I say I've watched this vid five times, you need to understand what I mean. It's brilliant. Incredible editing and timing that give a very complete and kind of terrifying character study of Loki.

cut for a really long and kind of boring knitting story )

Things that didn't make it into this post, but I hope will soon: a more-than-140-characters version of my rant about how the Pokemon theme is the song that best describes generation Y, and a post about last week's episode of New Zealand's Hottest Home Baker, feminism and homophobia.
labellementeuse: a slim woman with a dark pixie cut points a gun towards the camera (heroes girls with guns 2.0)
Three Sherlock BBC Molly-centric recs:
Harry Watson/Molly sequence by [archiveofourown.org profile] marysutherland
Molly/Harry Watson, obviously. 60k of really pretty great fslash. Content: alcoholism, lots of talk about dead bodies. I really like Molly in this fic since she's incredibly smart and good at her job and kind of great.

Other Things to Do after Buying a Cat by [archiveofourown.org profile] blackeyedgirl
Molly/Sally, pretty much what it says on the tin. Molly buys a cat.

Sustain, or, Concerto for the Famished in D Minor, by [archiveofourown.org profile] maybe_amanda
Molly/Sherlock, Molly wants to have the baby, Sherlock decides he should be the father, you guys, whatever, kidfic, you know how I roll. TOTAL DISCLAMER: I'm only like 3/4 of the way through this so it could all end horribly but it's really good so far and I like threes.

Three Sherlock BBC post-series 2 recs, spoilerific:
The Mourning Woman by [archiveofourown.org profile] m_leigh
Molly-centric, Sherlock/John

Stand Alone Among the Wreck by [livejournal.com profile] giddygeek
John-centric, per the summary, this is a wallow.

And you've all read this already but if you haven't and you care about Sherlock at all you must:
Minds Like Ours Dream Up by [personal profile] blackeyedgirl
Sherlock/John. You know how you felt after 2x03? If you felt anything like me this is what you desperately wanted to read, right then, and now you can.

I had some feelings about Fringe this week but I can't be bothered cutting to express them. Now I'm going to go to bed and watch the Good Wife. Are any other Wellingtonians going to Kitty, Daisy and Lewis tomorrow night?

ETA: Also I just realised I have to write a fic for really really soon so it would be good if the next time you see me you asked me how it was going? <3 OUTSOURCING MY PLANNING LIKE A BOSS/LEECH
labellementeuse: Batgirl!Steph and Red Robin!Tim face each other. The background is a panel of Steph as Spoiler and Tim as Robin together (comics steph/tim otp!)
Teeny weeny recs set, just because: DCU threesomes. In reverse order of publication.

1. You've got to rock yourself a little harder, by [personal profile] musesfool. Tim/Steph/Tam, hot and adorable and IC. Except for the moment where Tim think's Steph's disguises are out there - I don't know if that's IC so much as it betrays a really startling lack of self-awareness for a Bat.

2. Steph and Tim Do the DCU, a series by multiple authors. I've only read the ones by [personal profile] iesika, which are Steph/Tim, Steph/Tim/Cass, and Steph/Tim/Kon. They're what it says on the tin: Steph and Tim have threesomes with lots of people. I just think this is the world's most perfect idea and they're great.

3. And Sometimes Discerned, by [livejournal.com profile] weirdnessmagnet and [livejournal.com profile] thete1. THE classic Bart/Tim/Kon fic of all time, IMO. A touchstone for the way I think about all three of these dudes. From - wow, shit, it's from 2004. So a lot of water under the bridge since then, but it's still relevant to me.
labellementeuse: animated icon with shots from various fantasy novels or flicks followed by "fantasy. what more do you want?" (misc fantasy pride)
I hate to be all looking-at-fandom-like-it's-a-zoo-exhibit but here are some things I learned tonight:

1. There are people out there writing 450,000-word The Faculty fic - which is a sequel to a 250,000-word fic.

2. People still write 200,000-word Harry Potter fic. Also, Queer as Folk and LOTRPS are both still things. (Seriously?!) (Although I have to say that I saw this youtube clip the other day and I was a solid foil tinhat for a good sixty seconds.)

3. There are just shedloads of fandoms out there that not only do I not know about, I haven't even heard of their source (I think they're all computer games and anime, like Kingdom Hearts and Vampire Knight. OK I've heard of Kingdom Hearts but not really. Stuff I recognise but never knew there was a fandom for: Dragon Age, Final Fantasy (many numbers), JAG (?!!!)).

3.1 Someone needs to clean up AO3 fandoms - there's a Weiss Kreuz and a WeiƟ Kreuz.

4. As far as I can see there isn't a way to browse the AO3 by wordcount. You can search all stories and view by wc but as far as I can tell that only gets you the most recent 1000 fics, sorted by wc - and it turns out there are a lot of Russian-novel-length fics for fandoms I've never heard of.

5. This is annoying when you're in the mood I am, viz: "I want to read something between 30,000 and 100,000 words and slashy and I don't really care what fandom as long as I vaguely recognise people but also, the writing has to be good." Any recs along these lines gratefully appreciated, and if they happen to be in fandoms with which I'm familiar, bonus! (This is a massively weird mood. I sort of feel like I could go for some Ron/Draco. um? Please send other pairings?)

6. Relatedly, does anyone have any recs for books with gay protagonists? I just really am in the mood to read about people who aren't heterosexual for a change. Warning, I don't usually read commercial romance novels. I could probably go chicklit if it was, you know, lesbian chick lit. Also nothing too depressing please. *bats eyelashes* ty.

7. Speaking of, a few weeks ago I read Mission Child and then China Mountain Zhang by Maureen F McHugh - [livejournal.com profile] shoelessgirl lent me the former and then I hustled off and bought the latter from Arty Bees. I liked them both ENORMOUSLY and I can't recommend them enough - terrific, terrific science fiction, controlled, character-focused writing and plots, truly compelling characterisation and situations. Highly recommended. I believe there may still be a copy of one or the other at Arty Bees, although I can't recommend her third book, Half the Day is Night, because I got a third of the way in and stalled unhappily. (Not enough sex, probably.)
labellementeuse: Text-only icon: "I do love knitting patterns." (hp I do love knitting patterns)
Quick rec:

Twenty-Year Man, by ellen fremedon. Vorkosigan Saga, spoilers through Cryoburn (although not significant ones, I don't think), Byerly/Ivan aka the pairing I never knew I wanted but am now OBSESSED WITH PLEASE WRITE ME SOME PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE.

Ahem.

OK, with more dignity, I think I've read this fic five times since [personal profile] shihadchick linked to it a couple of weeks ago. It's long enough to wallow in a little, it's brilliantly written, perfectly Ivan, a fascinating character story and a seriously good plot and interesting look at Barrayar and oh my god guys they're perfect together PLEASE EVERYONE WRITE THIS PAIRING FOREVER. Oh look just go read it, OK? You'll like it, I promise. and while I'm at it if anyone has some good Ivan fic, I'd love to hear about it.

Nothing much else going on except that a) I got two FREE bookshelves yesterday, bliss oh bliss, b) I'm registered for swing classes starting next week, eek, and c) oh my god if you ever have to fill out a FoRST grant report just don't, just say no, quit your job, change your name, move away, start over. Horrendous.

Although I might be overstating the case because I haven't been sleeping well lately on account of not being able to breathe well because a couple weeks ago my allergy meds ran out and I didn't motivate myself to go and get some more. Idiot. I always think after one day oh it's not so bad, but two weeks later I can't breathe through my nose at all, my sleep is really interrupted and I wake up exhausted every morning, I have no brain at all when I am awake, tired all the time, etc. NEVER AGAIN.
labellementeuse: a girl sits at a desk in front of a window, chewing a pencil (misc the higher common sense)
Oh man, I so badly wanted to get these up before reveals, but JUST TO PROVE that I did write all of this stuff before New Year, here are my prelim recs!
three YW, two TDiR, and some misc. )

I wrote two stories but they weren't very good (not being modest, I really am not pleased with either of them): Some Blessing in Disguise Nikita, Nikita/Daniel, for [personal profile] templemarker, which was not very good despite some stupendous beta efforts from just about everyone I know as well as two delightful Yulechat strangers, Hsifeng and someone whose Yuletide name I don't know (went straight to email and it was not obviously fannish name); and too young to know the time, Circle of Magic, Sandry/Daja, Lark/Rosethorn, for [personal profile] trialia, beta'd by Grevling. Darlingest Tria, I hope you had a good Christmas anyway.

On the other hand, I beta'd some awesome stories! I think this is vaguely in the order in which I read them.

What You See is What You Get (If You're Looking Hard Enough, [livejournal.com profile] sixth_light, The Mentalist, Steampunk AU. So like, I know nothing about this TV show, but I know that this story is fabulous. If you know the Mentalist, you probably will think so as well.

I've Got Four Voices On The Line (the only one I hear is mine, by [personal profile] sushiflop, Animorphs, Tobias-centric. This is as awesome a Tobias fic as anyone could want to read.

The Indian Rope Trick by [personal profile] dustyasymptotes, The Children's Book, Julian Cain. OKAY SO I can't really say I beta'd this because I am the worst person in the world and *forgot it was sitting in my inbox* and then I'm pretty sure she went away. So I'M TERRIBLE. But this story? Not terrible! Julian Cain, at the end of his life.

I know there are a few last-minute yulechat betas I did that I'm forgetting about BUT. I'm also going to sneak in a TOTALLY NON-YULETIDE RELATED rec for...

The Anonymous Tip Job and Professional Contacts by [personal profile] china_shop, White Collar/Leverage, Neal, Hardison, and then the sequel is Neal/Hardison. LOOK AT THAT PAIRING. That is one hell of a pairing, people, is what I'm saying. These were a treat to beta, and they are just exactly right.

ALSO AND FINALLY. a) I did a blog post about the books I read last year; and b) I made the DW post where I've been reading/reviewing/listing these books public, so if you're interested in my (mostly seriously mundane) commentary on more of them, have a look.
labellementeuse: text-only icon: "From now on I don't care if the tealeaves spell Die, Ron, Die, I'm chucking them in the bin." (hp ron's approach to pseudoscience)
BUT THIS ONE IS AMAZING AMAZING AMAZING AMAZING

TEARS ON MY FACE

If you love Harry Potter, and especially if you love Harry, Ron, and Hermione (and the DA), WATCH THIS VID. (And if anyone knows if she has an LJ so I can download it and keep it forever and call it George Fred, please please please tell me.)

labellementeuse: grayscale icon. castiel reaches towards the camera. he looks grumpy. (spn castiel goes grrr)
Insta-rec: A Charming Man, a Castiel-centric vid by [personal profile] giandujakiss - I don't get this vid at all, I need to watch it ten or fifteen more times (or read a commentary or something), but this vid is excellent, really well put together. Slight overtones of Dean/Castiel, if you're squinting, but I think you can read it as a gen vid.

SPN starts again in a few days and I'm super-excited! When was the last time I was excited for the premiere of, hell, any show? IDEK. Which reminds me: a post about what I'm watching this season! Gosh.

New shows I'm going to try/am trying: )
Returning shows:
Supernatural
Grey's - Maybe; I stopped watching half-way through last season (Izzy and Alex break up, I break up with show), but they had a killer finale.
Brothers & Sisters - Mmmmaybe? I kind of got sucked in last season?
Community
Modern Family
Gossip Girl - Probably not, but I hear they're in Paris for the premiere and that I do want to see.
Vampire Diaries, Bones & the Big Bang Theory - I'll let my flatmate download these so they don't count against my share of the bandwidth, probs. *guilty face* I've been watching Entourage for the same reason.

In other news, last night I went to bed at five and slept till 8:30 the next morning. It was lovely. I was late to the doctor's, but who gives a fuck? Bliss.
labellementeuse: a girl sits at a desk in front of a window, chewing a pencil (steph/cass otp!)
1. Just FTR, this week's issue of Batgirl is epically funny, reminiscent to me of YJ and its slashy, sassy, pop culture loving ways. Overall I have been hugely, hugely impressed with this series. Bryan Q Miller really "gets" Steph and I have been charmed by the way he's kept the book light and funny, while simultaneously dealing with what are, to me, very serious issues for Steph: independence, adulthood, her worth as a crimefighter. I have always loved Steph, but he makes her tremendously appealing to people who aren't fans as well; her sincerity, her good cheer, her terrible jokes, her tendency to narrate her own life, her desire to be her own woman and her awareness of her own flaws - I really think this is the best writing Steph's had since before she became Robin. The first seven volumes of this run have just been collected into a trade, Batgirl Rising; give it a go!

2. Last vid meme post!

Day 19 - A movie vid you love
Sorry, did you say a meta vid I love?

Kill A Man by [livejournal.com profile] zimshan
Supernatural, gen/Wincesty overtones, spoilers through season 5, violence, use of screencaps and stills

read more )

Day 20: A narrative vid you love
Hurricane by [personal profile] laurashapiro
Farscape/BSG, Starbuck/Aeryn Sun, two pilots walk into a bar, sex, little bit of violence

So everyone has seen this vid already, but if my some faint chance you haven't, RUN DON'T WALK.
read more )

OKAY WOO ALL DONE LOOKIT THAT *twirls*
labellementeuse: a girl sits at a desk in front of a window, chewing a pencil (kate demasking)
I just made a whole bunch of new friends, so OBVIOUSLY what I'm doing is posting another meme post. SORRY GUISE. For those playing the LJ game, I just unfriended a bunch of people and communities: people I'm following on dreamwidth who don't flock their entries, and communities that got annoyingly spammy. I really doubt I got up anyone's nose and as you guys know I'm way, way too lazy to flock, but if I defriended you and you want back on, tell me tell me. I was really aiming at consolidating, not cutting. (Also: defriending amnesty. If you've been wanting to, do it, I promise not to cry.)

So this is particularly bad timing for three vids that are all basically Issue Vids. If you have Issues with Issue Vids, steer clear! For these vids I think it's particularly important that you watch them before reading my commentary, so uh. Please do?

Day 16 - A vid that told you something new about a show/movie you already loved
My Medea, by [personal profile] yunitsa
Joss Whedon shows; Girls in Boxes; premise spoilers for Dollhouse; spoilers for Firefly; Buffy included but (IMO) no significant spoilers; violence against women, general creepiness.

blah blah )

Day 17 - A vid you wish you had made
Let There Be Guns, by [personal profile] kuwdora
Stargate: SG-1 and Stargate: Atlantis; everybody has guns; tv violence, no spoilers worth mentioning.

I'm not a vidder, so this was tough for me, but this is sort of an attainable goal: I wish I was as witty as this vid. Of course it starts off with a bit of an advantage because it uses a hilarious song, but the spark of genius that first combined the two - well, I desire it! There's nothing much to this vid except wit, and I love it.

Best Bit: Definitely "naw, not me, I got me a rifle." &Vala; The timing on "we could go out and shoot things" is really good, and "we wouldn't need the police no more" is extra-good because it comes from an episode about, like, separationists so I think it's hilarious. The vid mostly depends on visuals rather than canon knowledge, so I like that that's a scene where canon knowledge makes this extra funny.

Day 18 - A vid that made you investigate that vidder's other work further
Bachelorette, by [livejournal.com profile] obsessive24
BTVS, ensemble, spoilers for the whole series, rapid cuts

GUISE GUISE, I know I've recced like fifteen vids which are all RARR JOSS HAS PROBLEMS, but this vid? sort of pro Joss! You should watch it!

etc etc )

SO THAT WAS A LOT OF TL;DR. Watch some vids, guys!
labellementeuse: a girl sits at a desk in front of a window, chewing a pencil (Default)
When You Reach Me, by Rebecca Stead, is a middle-grade novel that is yet another reminder of the fact that some of the most beautiful and precisely elegant writing being done today is being done for children and young adults. Children do not tolerate wasteful writing and, like Bloomability, Bridge To Terabithia, The World Around the Corner and The Giver before it, When You Reach Me is a perfect example of how this leads to writing that is not merely nice or thoughtful but refined and artful.

It is 1978. Miranda is 12 years old. She lives with her mom in New York. Her favourite book is A Wrinkle In Time and her best friend just stopped speaking to her. Then Miranda starts getting notes from the future. When You Reach Me is the letter Miranda writes back.

excerpt under the cut )

Read this book - another addition to my list of great middle-grade novels. I don't even want to be a writer, but if I could write like Stead, I think I would.
labellementeuse: a girl sits at a desk in front of a window, chewing a pencil (steph/cass otp!)
I DECLARE TODAY HAPPY DAY.

Day 13 - Your 'pick me up' vid of choice
Can Delight by [livejournal.com profile] jescaflowne
Bring it On, BTVS (movie and TV series), ATS, Heroes; cheerleaders; dancing, flashing lights, no spoilers, watch it now!

THIS VID. I think what I love about this vid is its clarity of purpose. I showed it to my sister and she was like "It's about cheerleaders?" in the first five seconds and then, at around 0:32, she said "... who save the world! It's about cheerleaders who save the world!" Yes. Yes, it is. This vid isn't as polished as the vid most people, I would say, would know [livejournal.com profile] jescaflowne, Another Sunday (get it at her website), but it uses similar techniques - silly, fun, OTT 80s music video effects, lots of split-screen, etc. Fast and, I'm sure, impressive editing. The cutting from the different teams of cheerleaders and dancers is really seamless and incredible - it leads the eye really well. It's mayyyybe just a little bit long. But who cares about that shit? It's a vid about cheerleaders! Who save the world!

Best Bits: Claire's hair-flip at 2:22 is my absolute favourite bit if this vid. It says everything. It says: I'm cute and I'm a cheerleader and you think I'm adorable but not worth much and I know that. But actually? I'm totally fucking indestructible. Get the hell out of my way. Movie!Buffy's knowing look at 0:34 works the same way.
more )

Day 14 - A mood vid you love

IDEK what a mood vid is, but I figure More Joy Day vids count. Here are a couple of my favourites:
Outerspace by [personal profile] kuwdora
Stargate SG-1; violence, spoilers through Ark of Truth

Smile, by [livejournal.com profile] charmax
BTVS/ATS; SMILING YES.

If It Gives You Joy, by [livejournal.com profile] thedothatgirl
All Joss Whedon TV shows; ridiculousness, kittens, Giles monsterfied chasing Dr Walsh through Sunnydale. It does give me joy so THERE.

Day 15 - A vid (by someone else) that has defined a con or period of time for you

This is a bit of a cheat. But I don't really go to cons and I've never been the kind of person who remembers a time by a song or book or vid. However...

One Night Fandoms, by [personal profile] eruthros and [personal profile] thingswithwings.
Very, very multi-fandom; The Yuletide Vid; SEX SEX SEX.

The time when I feel most connected to fandom as a whole is in December, when I'm scrambling to finish my Yuletide fic and screaming down gtalk at [personal profile] sushiflop and messaging hippos in yulechat and dicking around writing snippets of maybe-this-is-an-extra-fill-OK-maybe-not. And this vid simultaneously manages to convey that feeling and the Yuletide Process (love, smut, agony, happy farewells...) AND ALSO the huge joyful sprawling nature of Yuletide itself. *twirls it*
labellementeuse: a girl sits at a desk in front of a window, chewing a pencil (OT3 OT3 OT3)
More vids! I don't think I'm going to be very talky today, though.

Day 10 - A vid that makes you laugh
United States of Pop, by [livejournal.com profile] llenka
Community; dance moves; warning for very fast, very highly-lit cutting that even I, who have no vision issues, find a bit difficult to watch; spoilers for the whole season
Read more... )

Day 11 - An AMV you love
This one was tough for me because I'm not at all into anime and the only AMV I've ever really liked is Failed Experiments in Video Editing, which is really good and funny and I'm sure if you're a vidder you'd find it even funnier.

However, I don't really feel that's enough of a sample for me to rec AMVs with authority, so instead I'm going to rec a vid that I love that I could fit into one of these categories:

Big City Life, by [personal profile] lithiumdoll (You can get it here, I couldn't find a vidpost.)
Dark Angel; Max; spoilers for the whole show; violence.

Dark Angel spoilers )

Day 12 - A relationship vid you love
three under cut )

And one thing about food:

So the other day I prepared and froze some World Peace Cookies, except I stupidly left out the chocolate chips so I was like, wow, they're gonna suck. (protip: even without the chips these biscuits are still pretty great, I was just making excuses.) BUT then I was thinking about something I was reading on Debbie Does Edmonds the other day about yoyos and thinking how GOOD the icing that sandwiches together a yoyo is, and I thought - ooh, yeah. That would be awesome.

And it was.

Butter Icing

50g butter, very soft
1/2 C icing sugar
2 T custard powder - USians and other non-Commonwealthers, I believe the standard sub is vanilla instant pudding mix, although that's usually in Nanaimo bars and IDK how it'd work here.

1. Beat all together
2. Enjoy on delicious cookies.

A highly recommended combination, although you really can only eat one.

Wolf Hall

Aug. 5th, 2010 10:11 pm
labellementeuse: a girl sits at a desk in front of a window, chewing a pencil (and she's buying a)
So I finally finished reading Wolf Hall, by Hilary Mantel, which I have been working on on and off since the beginning of this year. I really struggled with it, and I think at some point I'm going to work up a post to articulate why, but here are the Cliffs Notes:

- I found this book incredibly absorbing but incredibly alienating.

- I think this is because the conceit of the book - a close third person, with a POV character who seems to think entirely in metaphors and memories - is so overly clever that I'm tempted to call it conceited. (Ha ha.)

- Like, sometimes it's beautiful, and I think from a characterisation perspective this book is incredible. Not, perhaps, easy, but challenging and rousing. It woke me up, that's for sure. The point of view made me feel like I knew the people around Cromwell as well as he did, no more and no less, and I think that's pretty cool.

- And then, other times, you get half-way through the book and minor spoilers ) My point here is that there's challenging, and then there's opaque, and I think this sometimes went to opaque. And to be honest I think that's a flaw. Or rather, I think that I think it's a flaw. There's a concept we talked about in a paper last year that I didn't understand until now, and I wish I could remember the specific words, but it was a famous dude literary theorist who had a word for writing that isn't comprehensible. At the time I didn't get to grips with this idea at all - I could only compare it to the unreliable narrator, and the prof said that that wasn't it (but couldn't give any specific examples.) However, maybe, if I'm remembering it right, this book fits the bill in some wise.

- and then on the other hand I sort of am anti the idea of reading - surface-level reading - being a process of decoding. I don't think writing should be laboured. Perhaps this is because when I studied literature I looked at it in the context of the period it was written in and its implied sociopolitical meanings, not really at the content of the books, so much. But I don't think that's it.

- Maybe I was just offended because I'm a pretty good reader and I found parts of this mass-market fiction trade paperback to be as difficult as any fiction I've read, and more difficult than not a few academic papers. (And saying that, I don't even have this dilemma about academic papers: I'm willing to concede that there are multiple purposes for fiction, but the purposes of non-fiction writing is to be understood, and if you can't do that, you shouldn't.) So, well, I don't know! I don't know how I feel about it. We'll let it percolate for awhile, shall we?

- To get over it, today I read the last two volumes of Scott Pilgrim (AWESOME, and now I'm fully prepped for the movie which also looks awesome) and started in on Homeland, which is short stories by Barbara Kingsolver. Kingsolver is one of my favourite novelists and earlier this year I read Prodigal Summer, the last novel of hers that I hadn't read, so I was planning on saving it for when I was really down. However, book group's theme this month is short stories, so there you go. I am enjoying them so far, but a lot of them, I must say, do feel like out-takes from her novels. But then, perhaps that's what I was looking for! They aren't like The Poisonwood Bible, so that's a relief.

- Also I saw my sister in her school musical and she was frigging rocking! She was the lead and unfortunately had strep throat but she did pretty well considering. (They did Brigadoon, a musical I had never heard of & tbqh I probably won't rush out and download it, but one of its strengths was that it was set in Scotland, so they all did dreadful Scottish accents (except for three people who did AMERICAN accents which were EVEN FUNNIER.) Worth the price of admission!
labellementeuse: a girl sits at a desk in front of a window, chewing a pencil (beatrice!)
Day 7 - A crossover/constructed reality vid you love

Unnatural Selection and Seven Nation Army, by [livejournal.com profile] charmax.
Multifandom; Terminator, BSG, others, Charles Darwin's Origin of Species; killer robots take over the world; violence, fascism.

read more )

Day 8 - A vid you had to watch multiple times to understand.

Origin Stories, by [livejournal.com profile] giandujakiss
Buffy/Angel, It's Nikki Wood's Fucking Coat, violence & how. If you like Spike (or if you don't!) you should watch this vid.

read more )

Day 9 - A vid that makes you cry

Ing, by [livejournal.com profile] laurashapiro
BTVS; Anya; gore; downer ending. Spoilers through 7x05.

anya! )

OMG BED.
labellementeuse: a girl sits at a desk in front of a window, chewing a pencil (parker/hardison)
So this is the post in which I'm chronically incapable of picking only one vid. I'll try to do better next post.

A preamble: I don't think I've said this stuff before, so: I recommend that you watch the vid at least once before you read my commentary. Although I hate to advise using up other peoples' bandwidth, if stuff is available for direct download (especially at MU or wherever) I recommend that you do that rather than streaming. They're around 50mb and it's the days of miracles and broadband, splash out! And remember I'm not a vidder and in fact I haven't really studied visual texts at all, so where my language is not right please forgive me. Also, just like fanfiction, vidders appreciate comments if you like their work.

Day 4 - An ensemble vid you love
Imma Be, by [livejournal.com profile] talitha78
Leverage; Hardison, Parker, Eliot; Spoilers through S2; crappy song but awesome vid.

I don't even have to put my comments about this one below a cut. It's not real deep, it's beautifully, cleanly cut, it's basically a romp. A romp heavy on the Hardison, which is nice because he's my TV boyfriend, and on the Parker, which is nice because she's my TV girlfriend. Eliot's also in there which is nice because I care about him! But not as much as the other two. Um, so yeah, it's a romp.

Honourable mentions: (Glad I'm) Not a Petrelli, by my besties [livejournal.com profile] sixth_light and [livejournal.com profile] lady_larla, Heroes, Claire & the Petrellis, season 1; umpteen billion awesome Buffy vids that I couldn't list if I tried all year. (Never seen a good Angel one, though. Recs?)

Day 5 - A vid everyone should see at least once
some 'splaining )

And now for something completely different!

Day 6: A vid you've watched more than 10 times.

So I immediately went to one of my favourite vids, and then I stopped and looked at another one, and another one, and another one, and then I thought: this is ridiculous. This could be a themed post all of its own. and then I thought: but I goddamned freaking love these vids! So I'm going to talk about them and that's that.

Day 6: Women: They're Pretty Fucking Incredible

Bionic, by [livejournal.com profile] tallulah71; Glorious, by [personal profile] such_heights; One Girl Revolution, by [personal profile] arefadedaway; and I'm Your Man, by [personal profile] charmax.
Very, very multifandom; women; not specially spoilery for anything in particular; TV violence.

I go on for awhile )

Now I'm going to finally go and watch the vids [personal profile] genusshrike has been reccing!
Vid Meme: Days 1-3
labellementeuse: a girl sits at a desk in front of a window, chewing a pencil (geek chic(k))
So everyone's seen those 20/30 days of vids/tv shows/fanfiction/whatever memes going around, and I really like them because I like to rec and I like to read other people's recs but I rarely do it without some kind of structure/being forced. So I like that. On the other hand, the chances of me being able to post 20 times in a month are slim to none. Plus, I figure I'd get boring. So I'm going to do my version three at a time, which is one week, and if it takes two weeks then so be it. Also, I'm doing the vidding one, because vids are cool. I figure three vids is about as many as I can expect my random flistie to watch in one day.

Preliminary Notes:
- I really like multifandom vids. Like, really. Half of the vids I plan on reccing are multifandom, so if you don't like those, steer clear.
- The recs are going to be, obviously, skewed towards fandoms I'm in at the moment. I tried for a bit of range, but you're going to see a lot of Jossverse vids, partly because I'm watching Buffy really heavily at the moment, and partly because I have probably read three or four BTVS fics that I enjoyed, but the good vids seem to come one after the other. There are a couple of fandoms that I think have fabulous vids that are notably missing: Battlestar Galactica, Stargate: Atlantis, and Doctor Who. Yeah, IDEK what's going on there, but I'm in a Jossverse place so I'm just going with it. Supernatural gets a little work-out, too.
- I really like political and meta vids, so there's going to be some of that.

Day 1: A vid that made you start watching a brand-new show

Channel Hopping, by [livejournal.com profile] ash48, and Channel Surfing, by [livejournal.com profile] ash48 and [livejournal.com profile] maichan808.
Supernatural; humour; gen; spoilers throughout but not specially significant post-season 4; violence, gore, horror, 90s television.
read on )

Day Two: A male character study vid you love

Jesus Walks, by [personal profile] mimesere, sadly presently only available on youtube.
Angel: The Series; Charles Gunn; spoilers throughout; violence, language.
and so on )

Day Three - A female character study vid you love
I Wish I Was A Punk Rocker, by [personal profile] kuwdora.
Stargate: SG-1; Doctor/Captain/Major/Lt. Colonel/Colonel Samantha Carter, in multiple universes; spoilers throughout; explosions.
Saaaaam )
labellementeuse: a girl sits at a desk in front of a window, chewing a pencil (raise your voice)
So [livejournal.com profile] china_shop is running Fandom Appreciation Week - this is where, every day of the week, you do a small thing that celebrates fandom, connects writers and readers, etc. I really love this because I rarely write anything and feel I don't give much back to fandom, so it's a chance for me to participate. Consequently, I'll be playing this week as much as I can!

The challenge for Day 1 was to rec three fanworks created for a challenge. Fortunately, this is easy for me, since most of the terrific fic in the Fandom of my Heart is written for challenges. However, I decided to make it a little bit more spicy by excluding this year's Yuletide. I did so because everyone reads Yuletide and those stories, brilliant as so many of them are, should be fresh in your mind. (If they're not... go and make it so.) After some mucking around, I came up with these three, which pleased me because it's almost like a set (theme: devastating.)

Balance, by coffeebased (DW? LJ?), Yuletide 2008.
This is a really brilliant what-if that sneaks a happy ending out of a devastating premise. It's N/K-ish gen that begins just after W@W and I think it's clever and really well-written, with some wonderful ideas that are, unfortunately, mostly concentrated in the first half of the story. The back half gives the requisite happy ending although it is less thoughtful, but I personally like a happy ending on my Yuletide fic.

The Stars Will Still Remain, by [livejournal.com profile] semiramis, Myriadwords challenge 2005
So this is a story about Nita losing her wizardry, and I absolutely love it. Yeah, I know! I think it has a brilliant atmosphere and the writing is beautifully visual. I also love the creeping sense of oppression.

No White Flag Here, by [livejournal.com profile] senri, Yuletide 2007
So, this was actually written for ME by one of my favourite people ever, and it's about Joanne and Nita, so it is pretty much... my Kryptonite. Nevertheless. This is a really terrific little piece about Joanne, watching Nita, watching her mother die. Highly recommended.


And now that you're devastated - um, sorry. Here, have three of my all-time favourite Tom/Carl fics to make up for it: An Unwilling Heart; Not Enough; and Three Ways Tom and Carl Never Met.

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