laceblade: back of Arya Stark (Game of Thrones), holding sword, facing water (Arya of House Stark)
Game of Thrones - This series is becoming a weird comfort reread for me. Still, they're definitely not the greatest books I've ever read, and some of the prose makes me cringe. The first is in some ways better than later volumes, but does also include the "rose petals across a sky streaked with blood" imagery where it's just like...FFS.
The constantly ignored threat of the Others pinged a lot more as a comparison to global warming this time around.
I find myself much more interested in Bran Stark than in previous reads.
I think that with every reread, I find Ned Stark more & more stupid.
I'm still really into the direwolves & want one approximately as much as I'd like my own lightsaber.

Unsounded - I read about 4 chapters while level-grinding in Persona 4, and I've finally caught up to the present. I've said many times that I've loved Ashley Cope since her days as a FF7 fanartist/writer GlassShard. Still love everything about this - the art, the pacing (it's read better in gulps), the writing, the world-building (which I usually don't give any fucks about) are all sublime.
ALSO people ride giant dogs like horses! I think I want one of those more than a direwolf, actually.
Great fantasy.

Alias, volume one - Borrowed from a comics club friend. This series is about Jessica Jones, a former Marvel superhero who didn't really like it & is now a private detective. This didn't WOW me quite as much as Spider-Woman, but I still liked it quite a bit & have put the second volume on hold at the library. This has apparently been optioned as a series by Netflix, and I'll be watching with interest.

The Less Than Epic Adventures of T.J. and Amal - Printed form of the webcomic, this is volume one. Basically does what it says - less than epic ;) Two guys end up on a road trip, & I'm pretty sure they're going to start a relationship. Cute, fluffy, & I think they'd be good together!

Pax Romana - I found this premise more interesting than The Nightly News, but I still find the heaps of praise surrounding this author kind of baffling.
At times, the narrative breaks from illustrations and is told in script format. While the overarching idea is interesting, the arc was unfulfilling, the characters more like caricatures.
laceblade: Ed from Cowboy Bebop riding a scooter, face = manic glee (Ed Samba)
are you two years ago by [archiveofourown.org profile] timorous_scribe - Reuniting a little threesome called the Unholy Trinity for some Toxic performance practice and one last sleepover before they have to return to their big kid lives (and all the issues that go with) at MIT, New York, and Yale.

i just can't shake this feeling (that i'm nothing in your eyes) by [archiveofourown.org profile] ratherembarrassing - Santana Lopez. When asked whether they each thought the other would end up at this point, both of them answered decisively. “Of course.”
post-Frenemies fic that's everything I wanted & didn't get from the show.

Here Comes Trouble (Or: the One Where Santana Takes Over Glee Club) by [tumblr.com profile] lookninjas The first thing she does is to put the picture of Finn back in the choir room where it belongs.
The second thing she does is to look right in his vacant, grinning face and say very firmly, “Just so we’re clear? I’m not doing this for you.”

The Way We Were by [archiveofourown.org profile] crossfirehurricane - An au where Lyanna Stark marries Rhaegar Targaryen & they live as king & queen in King's Landing. I like that neither Rhaegar nor Lyanna are saints, but this was more something for me to read while also gaming. I like the premise of the au.

Kingdom by the Sea by [archiveofourown.org profile] crossfirehurricane - An au where Lyanna Stark marries Robert Baratheon. Same as above - didn't really like the writing, but like the premise. I need Game of Thrones aus, I think. There are so many possibilities!

Buffy Season 10 #1 (New Rules part one) - Nice reminder of where we've been, plus a new mystery to figure out. Really enjoying the return of [spoiler].

Hawkeye - I'm caught up (unless another one came out today?) but don't have anything to say about these. REALLY enjoyed the trippy Christmas cartoon commentary issue.

Ms. Marvel #2, Captain Marvel #1, Lois Lane #1 one-shot - I liked all of these!

Spider-Woman, Agent of SWORD - I borrowed this from someone in comics club. I had no familiarity with Jessica Drew except that she sometimes shows up in Captain Marvel as a friend of Carol. Despite my lack of familiarity, this was fan-fucking-tastic. I really loved it.

Sarah Canary - I got about 120 pages in before going up. I gave zero fucks about the characters it what was going on :/

Boxers and Saints - These were really great, an appreciated as I'd previously had zero familiarity with the Boxer Rebellion.

Princeless: Get Over Yourself - I still like this story, although I don't feel the same glee as I did over the first volume. I'm happy to keep reading the collected volumes from the library, but I won't be adding this to my pull list.

Story of a Girl - I devoured this. I love Zarr's writing, and it's interesting to see how class plays a role in both this story (where the protagonist comes from a working class family) and the other book I've read by her (where the family is filthy rich).

Revival volume 2: Live Like You Mean It - I think I'm not feeling this series. There's a lot of gore, and this volume introduces way more problems while not solving any raised in the first. I think I'm also not into zombies unless it's an au Glee fic ^^;

An Everlasting Meal: Cooking With Economy and Grace - This is the first book about food that I've read in years that didn't make me feel anxious. As someone with a restricted diet, Adler's suggestions (& variations on suggestions) were easy to take as they applied, & ignore when they didn't. I don't know yet if this will change the way I cook or prepare food for myself, but it could, and I'd like to buy it.

ATLA: The Rift, #1 - Start of a new trilogy by GLL. I've liked all of his comics so far, and this one is no different. It's the exact tone of the show. Toph & Aang clash about their conflicting attitudes toward culture, & it's tied to how the world is trying to move forward after the defeat of Fire Lord Ozai.

I spent time sympathizing with Aang who's trying to reestablished Air nomad practices, but Toph has a good point when she notes that not everybody's past is idyllic as his, & some people can only live by pushing the past firmly behind them. Unfortunately for Toph, she won't have a choice.

Ancillary Justice - I liked this, but perhaps not as much as others in my circle. I liked what it did with gender, liked a glimpse at what long-game politics look like, liked how complicated it was. Didn't really care for the writing :/
laceblade: fanart of Tifa sitting outside of Gold Saucer looking forlorn. Cait Sith tilting head & looking at her in b/g (ff7: Tifa @ Gold Saucer)
I seem to be having some kind of mental block with my blog.

I'm still reading every day.

Not sure what my problem is wrt writing, but trying not to worry about it.
laceblade: Josh of The West Wing. Text: "They were just mad at me for imposing discipline and calling them stupid." (WW: Josh: discipline)
This book details the protests surrounding Governor Walker's 2011 Budget Repair Bill/Act 10.
Unlike Susan Riseling's book which focused on policing the protests, this one was written by two political reporters who work for the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, & they give much-needed political background.

The reporters are factual in pointing out which portions are theater (almost all floor debates are always scripted; Senator Ellis made sure Cullen was out of the building before calling the roll when the Democratic senators left for Illinois, etc.).
They don't shy away from the fact that legislators needed police escorts due to threats of violence/death, or that they got spat on.

They're also pretty clear about Walker's open dismissal for protesters, his inexplicable refusal to take out the collective bargaining item even when urged to by other members of his own party.

I haven't read Walker's pre-2016 book "Unintimidated," but I'm sure it presents him as he is: someone who genuinely believes that God wants him to do the things he's done, & cannot/will not listen to criticism.

Having lived these protests on Twitter, I remember pretty much everything clearly.
Not an important detail is left out.
It's clear that the reporters know Wisconsin politics really well, & I really enjoyed reading this book.

It perfectly captures and explains this moment in history.
If you're going to read a book about the protests, read this one.

I still feel disappointed that so many people with whom I agree politically remain so easily manipulated by unions/liberal commentators.
People who talk about politics often lament about how unreasonable the other side is - I've heard many people wonder aloud how Republicans can think the way they do.
In the Netflix documentary about Mitt Romney, his wife & kids start a conversation wondering how Democrats could possibly be so obtuse about what it's like to run a small business.

While people are easily incredulous about people they disagree with, this skepticism is rarely turned back on to their own side.
If you feel an emotional resonance in someone's message, it's pretty rare that you'd take the time to go look up the percentage or historical fact someone quoted at you, so long as the conclusion affirms your political opinion.

Useful information is becoming sought-after in political reporting. Nate Silver enjoyed wide success after successfully predicting Obama's reelection based on aggregating poll data, and my former elections/voting professor Charles Franklin does the same thing on a smaller scale here in Wisconsin.
I'm looking forward to seeing what Silver & his team do with FiveThirtyEight, and am hopeful that he & other smart journalists who keep leaving establishment publishers like the New York Times & Washington Post for newer as-yet unexplained start-up journalism/internet ventures can put out valuable information, and that people will actually pay attention to it.

We'll see.
laceblade: Jubilee from X-Men, headphones on, working on an iPad, lookin' chill (Jubilee work)
Since last time, I've read a lot. Mostly because it's been at least a month since I last wrote about books.

I still like Dykes to Watch Out For, & would like to read more (I've read 4 volumes). I was pretty excited by the appearance of Thea, a new character who uses crutches or a wheelchair, depending on what kind of day it is for her.
When she gets hired over Mo & another primary character, they gripe about their boss wanting to appear . But the truth is that Thea is simply more qualified.
It's a teaching moment for Mo & others. I hope Thea gets some storylines of her own, beyond just being a teaching moment, but it was still nice regardless.
The characters in this book make me feel lazy by their constant protesting, lol.

I didn't like Rebecca Ore's Gaia's Toys as much as I'd hoped. It's a place where the ideas are better than the writing.
I was more interested in where the characters ended up at the end, I guess, & I would have enjoyed more about that.

I finally read K-ON! College, the last (& final?!) installment of this series. It basically does what it says on the tin. I still prefer the anime to the manga, as the manga has some more pandery poses/etc. I never felt like that watching the show, though.
This series (mainly the anime, which has been extremely popular) is consistently held up as being meant for men, as being exploitative of teenage girls.
I have to say that I try to be perceptive about such things, & I don't see it.
I recently came across this post [will insert list when back at home & can pull it from tumblr ^^;] that cautions Western feminists from imposing their interpretations on media that are culturally Japanese.
It's something I continue to think about a lot.

I've finally dropped the Dengeki Daisy manga, after reading volumes 3 &4. It continues to spend too much time focus on the things that aggravate me, & too little on the few plot points I enjoy (both of which have been covered in previous posts). Maybe I'll return to it if I get bored, but not for a while, at least.

I'm working from a rec-list of someone's fave fantasy novels, & a lot of them are women. I seem to be into fantasy more than SF lately (previously it had usually been the reverse for me!). The most recent entry was Princeless, so that's where I started. I really, really loved this. It opens with a young black princess interrogating her mother about princesses being locked in towers & saved by princes. She thinks it's stupid for fathers to purposely do this to their daughters (to secure marriages even when they can't afford dowries) - how can this happen?!
Turn the page, & Adrienne herself is locked in a tower by her father, in order to lure a prince to marry her.
Adrienne finds a sword under her bed (planted by her brother!), & convinces the dragon who guards her, Sparky, to "fight back against [their] mutual oppressors." THAT IS A LITERAL QUOTE.
She decides it's not enough for her to be free - she wants to help free her older sisters, also locked in towers.
IT'S JUST SO PERFECT. Really looking forward to reading more of this series.

Made it through Dawn of the Arcana #11. This ended up with an inevitable & cool plot development, but overall this series isn't doing much for me. Usually I don't mind panels without text, but in this book it just seems to emphasize that nothing's really happening, and people's feelings don't change over time (after volume 2, at least).

Plowed through The Hemingses of Monticello. I think this book could have benefited from more editing, particularly in the middle, but it was still a great work of non-fiction. Beware of the comments left by white people on Goodreads.

Black Widow & The Marvel Girls - Intended for children, I borrowed this from a member of my comics club. Basically, each chapter is Natasha having a plot with another female Marvel character. I got a much better sense for her from this than I did when I tried reading Winter Soldier about a year or so ago.
I still haven't read anything about Black Widow that makes me stan for her like Captain Marvel or Batwoman, but I'm willing to keep trying.

I read the second Twelve Kingdoms book, Sea of Wind, about Taiki. UGH I LOVED IT SO MUCH, so great, ugh. I <3 these books & can't really be coherent about them.

I read volumes 2-4 of G. Willow Wilson's Air. These felt a little messy to me, like I didn't always know what's going on. Interesting ideas, though?! I'm hoping Wilson's Ms. Marvel is held together a little better. I very much enjoyed the first issue, anyway. Kamala Khan is now tacked up on the wall of my cubicle, ;)

Read X-Men: FF in my continued efforts to read the arc that came before the current arc. Didn't really care for anything that was going on.

Jonathan Hickman's The Nightly News came highly recommended, and I really disliked it. This Goodreads review covers all the reasons why.
AND YET, it didn't stop me from borrowing Hickman's Pax Romana from the same comics club member, as the Vatican starts sending a time traveling army around. Hopeful that it will suck less!

Lastly, I read the first volume of Gail Simone's Red Sonja comic, & enjoyed it more than I expected to. I still don't get the chainmail bikini, but with 0 familiarity of the original series, Simone was able to make the characters & world feel very real. I plan to read more!
laceblade: Slytherin crest. Text: WE DON'T HUG. (HP: Slytherin no hugs)
OMGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGG
laceblade: Fanart of Yukiko & Chie from Persona 4 (P4: Yukiko/Chie)
SO...after my HP reread, I had a lot of stuff due back at the library.
Then I went to comics club & borrowed lots of stuff from people. SO THIS IS A LONG LIST, is what I'm saying.

Cold Steel by Kate Elliott - Great conclusion to a trilogy I've loved. I LOVE CAT AND BEE. CAT AND BEE FOREVERRRRRRR. Also I now want to read a bunch of other Kate Elliott stuff. Good thing I've been buying her novels wherever I find them used/cheap.

Kaze Hikaru, volumes 14-18 - Things are getting a little more intense! I loved the foreshadowing when the doctor came to visit - listening to Okita's chest, when the reader knows he's going to end up dying from consumption.

Saturn Apartments, volumes 6 & 7 - The end of this series! It got a little more intense than I thought it would. Anyway, I can't remember any manga or comic focusing so much on class issues as the central theme of the plot. I'm glad I read this - great sf/f ideas, and a great entry manga, if you're looking for something.

Tears of a Lamb, volume 2 - Didn't like this volume as much as the first - almost the entire thing was about the school's sports festival. I did enjoy meeting Kanzaki's sisters, though.

Dengeki Daisy, volume 2 - I loathed the first half, where Teru was a "slave" doing domestic tasks for Daisy (although she doesn't know he's Daisy).
I LOVED the second half, though - where it's about hackers & the work Teru's brother did while he was still alive. I really hope that Teru goes & lives with Riko.
I'll keep reading FOR NOW.

Very Vicky, issue #? & The Very Vicky Junior Hepcat - This was described to me as a fashion magazine, but idk if I agree? Anyway, Vicky dresses in black cocktail dresses & oversized black hats, & is going to visit her aunt & uncle down in the South (she lives in NYC). She hangs out at the beach although she tries to stay out of the sun. She makes friends. The pages are filled with references to old fashions & alcohol. One of the side character meets God on the beach, & he walks around & tries to meet people. I think I didn't read enough to get a full picture. Overall, it seemed kinda weird. I didn't like it enough to seek out more, I don't think.

Dykes to Watch Out For, vols. 1 & 2 - borrowed from [personal profile] jesse_the_k - I've heard about these for years but never read them before. Strip comics about the lives of lesbians! Just people living life. I really like "mundane" comics like these - it happens more often in manga than in US comics, I think. I'm glad there's lots more to read. The references to late-1980s politics make me happy. The errant transphobic comment does not.

Pretty Deadly, #1-4 - Glad I went back to reread #1 & then reread everything that's been released through now. It all makes sense again! I love the writing & the art. I'm excited to see where this goes.

Saga #18 - Decent wrap-up to this arc. Loved the final panel. Thirsty for more, but the next arc won't start 'til May!

Hawkeye #16 - I spent an embarrassing amount of time searching my apartment for #15 before complaining on Twitter & being told that Marvel skipped #15! Weird, but yay for more Kate Bishop!
laceblade: Dark icon, white spraypaint on bottom with "DA" for Dumbledore's Army. Top text, in caps: We will not obey. (HP: Dumbledore's Army: We will not obey)
Finished
Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix - I wrote enough about this last time, I think. As will become clear below, I've now cemented this as my favorite installment in the series.

Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince - I remember being disappointed with this book when it came out. After the intense battle at the end of the last book and the Ministry of Magic having been proven clearly wrong (so everyone had to accept that Lord Voldemort was really & truly back), it felt dishonest for everyone to just go back to school. This book is largely about Voldemort, with the Deathly Hallows being largely about Dumbledore. I didn't really care to learn too much about Voldemort or his family. I did like the end-bit better than I remembered - pretty much everything from Harry & Dumbledore going off to the cave with the locket on through the end is solid writing.
I felt bad for Luna and Neville in this book - their being the only to notice the DA coins was sad to me. Overall I wish that Harry, Hermione, and Ron could have hung out with the two of them more, and been better friends to them in this book.

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows - I do & do not like how Harry & co. do not have a clear plan for how they're going to destroy horcruxes. They fly by the seat of their pants; it's hard to figure things out but lots of interactions with random people help them make connections; it's probably more realistic for them to work things out so slowly. Still, they spent way too much time fighting in the woods :(
I really like that Harry was kind to Kreacher, who them seem to rediscover readings for living, and made Grimmauld Place a clean & healthy place to live, even while they're hiding.
Lots of great scenes in this book, obviously. The scene with the Resurrection Stone is probably my favorite.
The epilogue did not bother me at all this time.


Leading up to the end, I tweeted a lot about wanting HP fic recs, especially bureaucratic after-book fics about Harry/Ron/Hermione and the politics involved in working for the Ministry of Magic.
I have LOTS of fic recs to work through (and am very glad about it!).

I started with
Lust Over Pendle by A.J. Hall. Described by the author, "Lust Over Pendle is a comedy of manners set in the Golden Age detective thriller genre, and is presumed to take place after the end of the seventh Harry Potter book, and, therefore, after the fall of Voldemort."
This is a Draco/Neville fic. I definitely didn't read it with a pre-inclination for the pairing, *g*
Basically, Draco defected from the Death Eaters toward the end of the war, but people still don't believe he's "turned" to the good side, & feel incredulous about his relationship with Neville (revealed to their families & the Wizarding public when a photo gets published in The Daily Prophet).
This fic - the dialogue, characters, writing style - drips with class privilege, I think.
I love the dogs. I like Hermione helping out by totally pwning ass. I love that Harry's just shunted off to the side after acting like an idiot, with everyone understanding that things will work out better if he's just out of the way.
I like that people who are caricatures in the main series feel very real in this fic (Colin Creevy, Neville's grandmother, Draco Malfoy, etc.). I like Neville's love for gardening being an asset and a real hobby. I like the interactions with Muggles, with them being real people. I liked Melanie very much as an original character.
There's more in this series - lots of short stories and a sequel "novel" to Lust Over Pendle. I'm looking forward to reading more.


Currently Reading
Cold Steel, & I'm trying to read it really fast because it's due back at the library Saturday ;__;
I've only read a few chapters since picking this up again after finishing Lust Over Pendle.
I love Kate Elliott's writing. I love these characters. Very grateful for this trilogy.
laceblade: Miyamoto from Tari Tari, wearing headphones, bliss (Tari Tari: headphones)
THINGS I LISTENED TO A LOT IN 2013:

Marina & the Diamonds - This probably started toward the end of 2012, actually, but I really love her music. Yet another singer I associate with [livejournal.com profile] ontd_glee since I found her from my friends reblogging her on Tumblr all the time. "Lies" might be my favorite.

nano.RIPE - When I heard them singing an insert song in the anime Hanasaku Iroha, I was absolutely convinced that it was YUKI (aka: vocalist from Judy & Mary), but I was totally wrong. nano.RIPE did all of the music (w/lyrics) for Hanasaku Iroha, and I love them a lot. They're nice in a "get pumped up in a dreamlike sort of way" mood, I think. I listened to them quite a bit this year, & they were a nice new find!

Little Mix - Another group reblogged on Tumblr a lot by my Glee fandom friends. I love/love/love "Wings" & sang that quite a bit while driving. I've only recently listened to songs from their new album - "Little Me" has a very important message & video; I'd like to spend more time listening to the songs on their newer album.



OneRepublic's Waking Up album - I'd had Marching On as part of my fic mix for a while, & ended up buying this album, which I adore. I think the whole thing's about an hour, & I enjoy listening to it most as a single unit. I liked this for mornings, but it does a good job of general cheering, I think.

Paramore self-titled album - I'd only really heard about Paramore through fics written by [archiveofourown.org profile] thememoriesfire, & when their new album came out, I decided to just get it. My favorite song is "Proof," due to the rhythm, I think. There's a lot of variety in this album - something for everyone, imo. "Last Hope" was pretty cathartic when I was feeling at my lowest, and I have to be a little careful not to listen to it when I'm in a good mood. I tended to listen to this one all the way through. This was my summer album - spent a lot of time with the sun roof of my car open while belting out lyrics.
It's unsurprising that "Still Into You" is their most popular - the melody & lyrics remind me of Taylor Swift, but Hayley's voice makes it something else entirely.
After falling hard for this album, it took me a few months to finally check out their backlog in CD-form & rip it from the library. There's a lot to love there, too, and I think Paramore's probably now one of my favorite bands. I associate a lot of lyrics with Glee's Quinn Fabray, which is helpful for writing purposes ;)

Save Rock & Roll by Fall Out Boy - I've liked Fall Out Boy since sophomore year of high school, I think. My friend used to burn CDs for me because my parents' computer was way slower - he'd download albums/etc. I used to love Grand Theft Autumn. I listened to "From Under the Cork Tree" non-stop in college. ANYWAY, they came out with a new album which I love. My favorite tracks (ARE ALL OF THEM) are The Mighty Fall, The Phoenix, Young Volcanoes,& Alone Together.
Seeing them perform live in Milwaukee with a group of friends was one of the high points of my entire year. I made a playlist on my iPod comprised of their setlist, and it's been my go-to for the rest of the year.
I'd never listened to the Folie A Deux album when it came out, so I listened to it a lot this year. "Disloyal Order of the Water Buffaloes" is my favorite, but I also spent a lot of time just listening to the whole album straight-through.
I listened to more Fall Out Boy this year than any other band, including Glee covers.

AKB48/No Name - I've covered this moreso in an early post about the AKB0048 anime, but due to watching that show, I've listened to more of their music!

Patrick Stump's solo album - listened to a lot in conjunction with Fall Out Boy. "Spotlight" is probably my favorite.

Watch the Throne - Obviously this isn't new, but I was able to rip a library CD copy of it, and I fucking love it, all of it. This is another one where I tend to listen to the album as a unit, rather than individual songs. That said, No Church in the Wild and Niggas in Paris are probably my faves.

I've only listened to 99RadioService's OP songs for the Chihayafuru anime - there are two - I like the first one, Youthful, the most, but the one from s2 is good, too. [livejournal.com profile] lavendarsleeves pointed out that they sound like Spitz (who I found through Honey & Clover), and that's probably true! I should really find an album by them or something.

I really/really liked Pentatonix/Lindsey Sterling's cover of Radioactive, & also their video. Watched it about a billion times this year.

Get Up Kids - A new-to-me discovery made while reading that they were an influence on Fall Out Boy. They're growing on me; mostly I get happy whenever one of their songs shows up on shuffle.

Fave Glee covers of the year - Scream (still), Empire State of Mind (still), We Will Rock You, Some Nights, Creep, & Love Song.

Lea Michele's solo album is set to come out in 2014. In the meantime, she released her single Cannonball, which I like okay. I agree with many that "Battlefield" shows off her voice much better, although I'm still upset it's not about an actual battlefield :(
I'm pretty excited for her album to come out.


As always, you can find almost-daily updates on my music consumption at [last.fm profile] ribbonknight
laceblade: Dark icon, white spraypaint on bottom with "DA" for Dumbledore's Army. Top text, in caps: We will not obey. (HP: Dumbledore's Army: We will not obey)
Read
Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire - I've never liked this book as much as many others have. I find the Triwizard Tournament irritating, as well as all the fighting that Ron & Hermione do.
It's lolarious to me that Harry/Hermione shippers could read this book & not see Ron/Hermione coming miles away.


Reading
Twelfth Night - I actually started this some time last week, & read the first act & a half. It's one of my favorite Shakespeare plays. I got sick reading it on the bus (queasy-making sharp turns!), and although it's not the play's fault, I've sort of set it aside.

Kitty and the Dead Man's Hand - Kitty's hanging out in Vegas! I'm interested in this book because [personal profile] meganbmoore said something happens that turned her off from the series for now, & [personal profile] littlebutfierce said something happens they were afraid about but it ended up being okay. I WANT TO KNOW WHAT IT IS?! I turn to this when I get Harry Potter'ed out.

Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix - This has always been my favorite Harry Potter book, & I get really defensive when people make fun of it.

idk. I love the idea of Dumbledore's Army - a group of students banding together to teach one another Defense Against the Dark Arts because their teacher is a mole from the government who only teaches them theory, & refuses to allow them to actually perform spells in her classroom.
Risking expulsion, they meet regularly to do it anyway.

I loved learning that Sirius came from a family of dark wizards, and he was an outcast.

I really like Rowling using The Daily Prophet to show how much the media affects people's perceptions of reality, how it can be used to manipulate a populace. I love the Ministry of Magic refusing to accept the reality that Voldemort has returned, and that the Order of the Phoenix exists to counter-act Voldemort - and having to do work against the Ministry while doing so. I LOVE the pompous self-righteousness of Cornelius Fudge and Percy Weasley.

Dolores Umbridge has long been my favorite villain because she's the most realistic.

Much like how the dementors, which appear earlier in the series, are Rowling's representation of depression (they suck out happy feelings & leave you cold), I find the loathed occlumency that Harry has to endure reminiscent of therapy. Being told to empty his mind of emotions/thoughts is like meditation used to fix anxiety, & it feels impossible to him. Having his mind attacked over & over & having him feel like it's doing more harm than good is like talk-therapy, IMO. Reliving his worst moments.

I like the grownups refusing to tell Harry what was going on, and how angry he felt about it. It really captures what it feels like to be 15 & have adults treat you like a child.

It's the first book where Ginny can really speak in front of Harry, & I love the revelations that she's a good witch, that she's sarcastic, that she fights with her mom to be treated like her older brothers when they get to hear info & she doesn't. I love her telling Harry off for sulking because he thought he was being possessed by Voldemort instead of just coming & fucking talking to her.

It's the first book where Ron & Hermione are really with Harry for the end-of-the-book battle, and what's better is that Neville, Luna, & Ginny are there, too. And there's able to contribute because of the spells & confidence Harry gave them during their clandestine DA meetings.

ANYWAY. I'm about 2/3 of the way through this one, & will continue to haul it through my Harry Potter reread before joining 3 of my high school friends to fly down to Harry Potter World next week.

Thanks to everyone who's been reccing me HP fanfiction. I expect that once I'm done with my reread, I'll be loading up my e-reader with a bunch of fic, :) In the meantime, if you have more to rec, or haven't recced yet but would like to, please feel free.


Book-shaped space - via [personal profile] wrdnrd, There is a zine called Sonorous, which focuses on "feminist perspectives of Harry Potter." Here's their call for contributions for their second issue. I've just ordered a copy of their first issue, ;)
laceblade: Dark icon, white spraypaint on bottom with "DA" for Dumbledore's Army. Top text, in caps: We will not obey. (HP: Dumbledore's Army: We will not obey)
Finished Reading
Kaze Hikaru, volume 13 - Still very much enjoying this series, although it does bug me how much Miki's weight is used for comic relief.

Kitty and the Silver Bullet (#4) - I liked this volume. It wraps up a lot of loose ends that have been hanging around since the first book, but it's all pretty intense. I really like where everyone ends up at the end of this volume, and I'm excited to see how things evolve.

Inheritance by Malinda Lo - This is the sequel to Adaptation. Like the first book, it's very fast-paced and hard to put down, which was good for me since I needed to read it in a day in order to get it back to the library!
I love the way this ends up bucking typical-YA-love-triangles. It seems like the series is done, but I would read more.
A lot of people on Goodreads were complaining about the protagonist's bisexuality, which is a pretty stupid complaint.
I loved these because the characters felt like people, which is a thing that is sort of rare in SF-for-adults, IMO.
These are my favorite books by Malinda Lo so far.
I did freak out a little about the kids giving no more than verbal assent to have their entire DNA sequenced at an academic research institution - it would take a written consent form with lots of warnings about future insurability!!

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone - I'm traveling to Harry Potter World in Florida mid-month with three of my high school friends, so I'm trying to see whether I can get through the series before then! Going back to work is slowing me down for sure, ^^;;
Still surprised by how quickly the first book goes by - it's pretty much a constant, "Wow, we're at the troll ALREADY?!"/etc.

Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets - I used to dislike this book when I was younger, but I don't really remember why. Reading it now, it's easy to see why I liked Ginny quite a bit, even before she became a more prominent character in the later books.

Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban - Easily my favorite of the first three books. Not only is the Sirius Black plot frightening & interesting, I love the Marauders back story. My iPhone case is the Marauders' map!
I like the kids starting to be sarcastic with one another in this book, as well as talking back to their teachers a little bit. I always wish Lupin would have been a little closer with Harry in later books, like Sirius.
Rowling's use of adverbs began to bug me in this book, though. I get annoyed & disappointed by her using descriptors like "piggy eyes" and "piggy face" to describe fat people. Hopefully I can get through the rest without going nuts!

Currently Reading
Nothing, as I went to draft this post immediately after finishing POA!
Previously, my favorite book has always been Order of the Phoenix. We'll see if that holds true this time.

OTHER
Although I've been on the periphery of HP "fandom" (almost everyone I know loves these books; I'm speaking specifically of fandom in the "creation of fanworks" sense) for years, I've never really read much fanfic.
If anyone has any suggestions, please let me know. (Epic-length stuff appreciated!) Even the stuff where you're like, "Oh, everybody's read THAT."
I have the suspicion I've asked this question before, so I'll be searching my own tag, too, ^^;;
laceblade: Masked & caped Totoro with child-sized Batman and Robin clinging to its tummy (Totoro & Batman & Robin)
I have signed up for [community profile] inkingitout.
I didn't make my goal when I last tried this in 2012 (saga blogged on my "inkingitout" tag here. My last locked post on the issue cataloged quite extensively what I did & didn't like about it.
I had decided with someone else at the end of 2012 that quantitative measurements of my writing stressed me out.
In 2013, I made no writing goals, and thus I barely wrote at all. What little writing I did do was thanks to the Lift.do app, and having a vague goal of writing every day (rarely met).
I'm in a much better place than I was in 2012 in multiple regards, and I think I am better at managing stress.
In 2012, I had surgery in January & was effectively out of commission for months. I didn't really start writing until the end of June, and I still wrote a total of over 60k words.
FOR THESE REASONS, I've made a goal of writing 75,000 words in the year of 2014. I expect that most of these words will go toward A Song is a Weapon, but I'm not limiting the projects.


There are some other things I'd like to continue working on: more growth as a gardener (although I had some big successes in 2013!), keeping my apartment neater so that it's a constant place of peace for me, reading lots of stuff (SO GLAD to have regained my attention span in 2013), finding ways to make my body stronger, etc. I may come back & edit this entry if I come up with quantitative ways of reaching those goals. For now, they are things of which I'd like to be mindful even though I don't yet have specific ways to measure them.
I'm also considering attending more rock concerts in 2014 (since I only saw Fall Out Boy in 2013, this would not be difficult!) but I do feel a fair amount of anxiety, so I'm not adding this to the official list, although I'll be keeping it in mind.
laceblade: G Washington, A Hamilton, & T Jefferson; lol!text about political party formation (LOL politics)
Finished Reading
Kitty Takes a Holiday by Carrie Vaughn - This one is my favorite of the 3 I've read so far! Cut for discussion of suicidal character, which was a main plot in this book )
UGH I LOVE IT. ty again to [personal profile] littlebutfierce for talking these books up <3 <3 <3

Kaze Hikaru 11 & 12 - Wow, so spoilers )
It was all very dramatic & makes me excited for how this series will continue the intense events yet to come!!
I love every character and UGH JUST SO GOOD, I really did not expect to like this series as much as I do. I've been aware of it for some time but I'm glad I finally picked it up.

Shinjū by Laura Joh Rowland - Christ there's a lot of suicide in the books I read this week! ANYWAY, the novel begins with a double-murder that was arranged to look like a shinjū, or "lovers' suicide," in which two people are bound together & throw themselves in the water to drown because they're unable to marry - in this case, due to familial class differences. Sano Ichiro is a new yoriki working for the shogunate, & he ends up violating bushido to keep investigating this weird case, even after repeatedly told not to.
The writing doesn't do much for me, & the characters are pretty rote BUT there were a number of plot progressions that came totally out of left field for me, & I couldn't put the second half of the book down.
This is the first in a long series, so I'm willing to stay with it & see if the writing improves. I've got the next book on hold at the library.

Unico by Osamu Tezuka - I don't know why I keep Tezuka manga, as I always hate it. It had such an adorable cover!!! But I think I'm finally done for good.

A View From the Interior: Policing the Protests at the Wisconsin State Capitol by Sue Riseling - There have been a number of books published about the Wisconsin union protests. I doubt I'll ever read John Nichols', as I find him pompous & stupid. The ones written by the protestors don't really interest me either. HOWEVER, I have two checked out & this is the first one I've managed to read, written by Sue Riseling, Chief of UW-Madison Police.
The book is entirely focused on how the protests were policed, & why certain decisions were made. Riseling's style is pretty straightforward, but I found the book fascinating. The breakdown of clusterfucky project management was very intriguing, & it didn't hurt to have a book filled with characters who are super familiar to me.

Her insights into policing are great. When it's first suggested to clear out the entire building with no warning, here's her thought process:
The thought of abruptly switching gears and having uniformed police clear people out for no particular reason except "today is the day" struck me as fundamentally wrong. It is a lesson I learned a long time ago and try to continually teach to new police officers: "Can I?" and if yes, "Should I?"
Can I muster enough police officers to empty this building by 6:00 tonight? You bet. The mass arrest plans were in place, the civil disobedience plans were in place, the hard (riot) gear for police was on-site and ready for use, and the University Police force's Police Extraction Response Unit was here, along with the EOD canines. Unlike last Friday or Sunday, today I had everything I needed to make this happen.
Should I? No. It would be a ridiculous tactic, bad philosophy, and constitute an egregious use of power. The Assembly was still meeting and the building had to remain open. There was nothing to be gained from the spark that would ignite or the firestorm that would follow if we forced people out of the Capitol today. If we thought the crowds were big now, imagine how large they would be if we proceeded to shatter the trust and evict protesters without warning. Just to achieve the goal of clearing the building because we can made no sense.

Once the Assembly session was over, of course, then there WAS a reason to clear the building (the building had hours - staffing it with police was costing tens of thousands of dollars - cleaning crews couldn't do their jobs & the whole building smelled like BO & human waste - capacity hazards, etc.

She makes clear things that those within the building understand, but people tweeting to #wiunion usually did not & lots of people usually don't - that things that look like dramatic progressions have actually been agreed upon by both sides ahead of time to make more political theater.
One example is the part where Ted (full confession: my former boss & friend) is asking for troopers to accompany his staff to visit the houses of a few senators after they'd skipped town (preventing the Senate from voting on the "budget repair bill" due to a lack of quorum). Ted relays to Riseling that "conversations were occurring between various leaders and a few of the missing senators. Some of the senators had intimated that if they were found in the state, they would return to the Capitol."
Purposely concocted political theater, & yet I remember people totally losing their shit when the pages & troopers went to knock on doors.

Riseling steps into a power vacuum of controlling various police agencies (excluding the city & county cops, who refused to enter the fucking building, jackholes). The daily meetings are almost painful to read, especially the actions of Capitol Police Chief Charles Tubbs. The power structure and decision-making authorities are unclear, which is never good.
Once they decide to close the Capitol at 4pm on a particular Sunday, Tubbs pushes for voluntary compliance, meaning that while most of the protestors leave the building when asked, everyone's aware that a few of them will stay behind & refuse to leave.
DOA & Tubbs & others basically state that once this happens, they will refuse to open the building on Monday as usual, until those people leave.
Of course, this is never explained to protestors, & since Tubbs & the majority of the committee refuse to allow Riseling & her officers to simply arrest these protestors and physically remove them from the building (a process with which they're really familiar!!), Tubbs allows the actions of a hundred or so people to close access to the building for thousands of others, pissing everyone off.
Riseling asks lots of questions related to this - if we don't arrest the protestors who refuse to leave the building & they stay over night, then what happens Friday morning? If we only allow 354 people into the building, are these protestors counted in the 354 figure? At what point will they actually cut off people from sleeping inside the Capitol? Nobody answers her questions - always a sign of shitty management & a totally dysfunctional workplace, in my experience.

It's semi-hilarious to read about protestors sitting in the Rotunda with messages they wanted to give to the media upon their arrest, & having already discussed their techniques/etc., while unknown to them, no arrests were going to occur.

Riseling is frustrated with this, realizing that the overall goal is a political desire to limit overall access to the building, rather than to keep the peace (p. 249). Riseling's goals are safety balanced with facilitating people's rights to exercise their First Amendment rights.

It's hilarious later on, when the overall goal is to close the building, & Chief Tubbs suggests an exchange of people, allowing protestors inside to go home & shower/change, while allowing someone outside the building to come in & take their place. Riseling says that their repeated goal is to return the Capitol to regular business hours, with nobody spending the night inside the building. Given that goal, exchanging people one-to-one runs right contrary to that - the total # of protestors in the building would never decrease!

15 days into the protests, Riseling figures out that the Capitol Police's secretary has solely been in charge of logistics, which was why logistics had been failing. tbh, Capitol Police in general came off as a complete shitshow in this book.

UW Police was way more open to logical suggestions & rolling with the surroundings of reality, & also accepting leadership & pointed questions from a woman. It's clear that a lot of dudebros are not down with this.

Several times, it's clear that Republicans put themselves into dangerous positions by not being open with the police about their plans. They'd pull surprises & erode the trust with the public, & every time the police would have to come running.

Her reflections on how policing can help facilitate people exercising their rights is pretty enjoyable to read, although it's clear it's something an officer & manager must actively think about & work toward.
Passively having ideas like "let's get this shit & lockdown" & then executing plans that don't actually facilitate your overall goals ruins the settings for everyone. Overall, I liked this book quite a bit.

Tears of a Lamb, vol. 1 - I randomly picked this up from the library while home for the holidays at my home!library.
It starts off with Hasumi inexplicably having a strong desire to enter the apartment of her classmate, Kanzaki. She never explains why, so they just have nonsensical & epic arguments in front of their classmates. I almost stopped reading it after a chapter two, but I'm so glad I continued!
It turns out that Hasumi is trying to locate a ring that she thinks is in the apartment from the person who lived their two-tenants ago, who was her friend. Hasumi's also dealing with an eating disorder caused by stress, & I guess I just imprinted on her pretty strongly. I'm interested in seeing where this goes, although I think I'll need to use our library's outer-loan system to obtain future volumes.


Currently Reading
I'm kind of skimming through Brian Jacques's Loamhedge. Later Redwall books don't really do it for me, even though the earlier ones were pretty formative! I've always been a little interested in Loamhedge, though. It's the original abbey from which Abbess Germain & the other mice came, running from a plague, back in the days of Martin the Warrior.
I wanted to learn more about it, but the plot of the hare who uses a wheelchair & is seeking a magical cure to be able to walk again is making me really uneasy.
I'm heading back to Madison in a few hours, so I'll likely just skim this to see wtf happens.
laceblade: Azusa offering piece of paper to the viewer, Ui in background holding cake (K-On: Azusa offer)
(it's been 84 years.gif)

Finished Reading
The Twelve Kingdoms: Sea of Shadow by Fuyumi Ono - I mostly wrote about this last time, but ended up loving it! I really think that having the insight into Yuko's thoughts helps a lot. I love her growth throughout the book, and the entire constructed fantasy world is just really awesome. I have the second book checked out from the library now, & maybe some day I'll try the anime again, too.

Kaze Hikaru, volumes 6-10 - I'm really enjoying this series a lot more than I thought I would. The art style has grown on me - I really like the faces for Okita Souji & Hijikata & etc., and the backgrounds are great, too. I like reading about the daily inner-workings of the Shinsengumi, & I do like how the volumes are dealing with the populace's perception of the Shinsengumi as blood-thirsty wolves, even though the members of the troop view themselves as noble protectors. This conflicting view of oppressor vs. protector is interesting, and I hope the manga-ka keeps picking it apart.
Taeko Watanabe's end-of-volume reviews of historical fact are nice, too.

Reading this series leads me to look up a lot of historical figures on Wikipedia, & now that I've started watching Rurouni Kenshin on Crunchyroll, I feel pretty conflicted about who to root for in the Bakumatsu!!

All that said, Sei's love for Souji is really compelling. I love her rejection of simply becoming his wife, & continuing to dress as a man so that she can protect his life in battle as her way of expressing her love.

Learning the World by Ken MacLeod - This is a sci-fi novel about a generation ship in which the POV switches back and forth between the people on a ship approaching a world with intelligent life, & the people living on the world which they're approaching. There are politics & governments & inventions & lots of discussions over tea. Sadly, I think this is an author where I like the ideas and concepts much more than the writing.
I find that with many sci-fi enthusiasts, they can rave about the ideas or world-building, but I don't really give a fuck unless the characters & the writing really reach me.
AND YET, it was decent enough that I might try his revolution series that [personal profile] jesse_the_k told me about.

On Being Ill by Virginia Woolf - Picked this up on a whim at the library. Woolf's questions about why don't more narratives take on the concept of illness - something which could be compelling and with which everyone can relate - were super intriguing!
It was followed by "notes" from her mother, Julia Stephens, about how to care for sick people. While probably unusual at the time, most of her advice comes down to giving sick people autonomy - don't just fluff up their pillows without asking; don't enter the house and mutter about their illness instead of speaking so they can hear you, etc. Lots of advice also on how best to pin the sheets, how best to prepare beef broth, etc.
I wouldn't mind having Woolf's mom care for me, ;)
Quick read.

Dawn of the Arcana, volumes 9 & 10 - I loathed volume 9 because NOTHING ever happens, the volumes are pretty easy to blow through because there's very few words per page, blah-blah. But volume 10 involves a few-months time-jump & a seizure of agency by the protagonist, who's spent a lot of time whining before. I'll probably continue with this! Too bad I'm almost caught up with the English release - I've been waiting for volume 11 for months, & it'll probably be a while before I get it.

K-ON! High School by kakifly - After finishing watching season 2 of the anime, I was happy to be able to immediately pick this up & read about Azusa's last year of high school. I really love K-ON! all around, although I think it's a series in which I prefer the anime to the manga. I have the K-ON! college tome somewhere around my apartment (or at least, I think I do), & I'm kind of dying to read it.

Black Dogs by Ian McEwan - Since reading Atonement a couple years ago, I seem to read one of his per year. I love McEwan's writing, I think I would read almost anything he's written. It's a story about a complicated marriage, told by a son-in-law. It's also about post-WWII Europe, & evil, & love.


Currently Reading
Kitty Takes a Holiday by Carrie Vaughn - do to the content I've been warned about, I put this on hold for a couple months but I think I can handle it now. Only one chapter in so far - following the high levels of excitement in the previous volume, Kitty's hanging out in the middle of nowhere to find some peace. I'm pretty sure she won't quite find it. I'm happy to return to her life.

oh yeah

Dec. 19th, 2013 07:03 am
laceblade: Ed from Cowboy Bebop riding a scooter, face = manic glee (Ed Samba)
So, every month I get a 48-hour guest pass to Crunchyroll that I can give to someone else if they give me their email address.

Currently, I have 4 just sitting around with nobody to gift them to, & if nobody wants them, they'll just expire!

So let me know if you're interested! The 48-hour time period begins when you activate it, not when I email it to you.


RELATED: They just added Rurouni Kenshin (both subbed and dubbed).
You can view their list of shows here, with a few different sorting options.
laceblade: Hachi of NANA, applying lipstick (NANA: Hachi makeup)
from [personal profile] jesse_the_k - "Your fashion role models, influencers, cheerleaders, or hell the worst pair of shoes you've ever owned."

I'm having a hard time with this one because I don't feel like I have a personal style. I spent most of high school in jeans and hoodies. Since being an unpaid intern, I've had to build up a wardrobe of business casual, but I don't consider it very fashionable.

I have a hard time finding things that fit me. Until Torrid opened in Green Bay, I couldn't find any lace/nice florals (which I've liked forever) in a size that actually accommodated my bust.

I hate clothes shopping because as a kid I spent a lot of time being unable to fit into things I wanted, unable to shop in all the stores my friends did.

I don't know about role models - I like seeing what Lea Michele is wearing, or Olivia Pope on Scandal. A few other celebrities. But none of these people share my body type, so idk that I'd say I try to copy their fashion.
I guess probably other women in my life - my sister and cousins-in-law & cousins are good at putting together outfits, as are most of the women I work with.
laceblade: fanart of Harry Potter in Gryffindor scarf, Hedwig landing on his outstretched arm (HP: Hedwig)
Mmm.

For a specific book/occasion, definitely the Harry Potter books, especially when the 7th & final book came out.
My page friends Nina and Isa went to Barnes & Noble on the west side with me.
On the drive home, Isa read aloud by the light of a cell phone in the car.

All night, Isa kept calling me as she read (I read faster, so I was always ahead) to react emotionally to whatever she'd just read.
That entire experience is actually cataloged here.

I remember reading the end of A Dog Called Kitty aloud to my 3rd or 4th grade class (we had a "looping" class, so same class & students two years in a row) because my teacher was crying, & couldn't.

I remember reading Hatchet, remember picking up Cynthia Voigt books for myself.

I remember reading the Star Wars book, Shadows of the Empire.

I remember repeatedly rereading certain Dawson's Creek books for the almost-sex scenes.

I remember arguing with my mom, who wouldn't let me read A Tale of Two Cities because it was "too adult" (she'd never censored my reading before; I wanted to read it because of a Wishbone episode, lmao, I was 10), went downstairs & got the biggest book I could find, & fell breathless into Gone With the Wind.

I remember the huge sense of pride in 1st grade when my peers were looking at age-appropriate books, but Ms. Bougie took me across the aisle to "real" books, & let me check out chapter books. Ms. Bougie knew my mom because she'd been a patient in the ICU [she had polio], but I feel fairly confident that this choice was made on ability alone.

Planning what to bring to "Book it and Bag it" days [days when we brought sleeping bags & piles of books/snacks & just read all day] days in advance. I remember a lot of Berenstein Bears chapter books for the first few of these.

There are places - reading under my covers by flashlight at home so my mom wouldn't yell at me to go to bed; reading in bars Up North when I went out with my parents, Bonnie, & Bernie. Reading in the early mornings at sleepovers surrounded by my best friends because I was always the first one up. Reading on couches with my head in Antoine's lap at his apartments until I fell asleep. Reading in my sister's house while her kids slept in another room, as I babysat.

There are words - my favorites, which I reread & reread.
Reading the Little House series every single year from kindergarten through the end of middle school.
Rereading Redwall around Christmas every year: It was the start of the Summer of the Late Rose. Mossflower country shimmered.
laceblade: Rachel & Santana wearing eye masks, arms folded, on their couch (Glee: Pezberry couch)
Currently Reading
The Twelve Kingdoms: Sea of Shadow by Fuyumi Ono - I've been aware of the Twelve Kingdoms anime for years. Back in my semester of Anime Club as a college freshman, this was one of the three shows airing. Steph and I hated it, regularly heckling it under our breath & talking about how much we couldn't stand the protagonist & more especially one of her companions. To be fair, we did miss at least the first two episodes, I think.
I actually really love the book. Getting inside of Yoko's head makes up for a lot of what's just whining in the show.
Yoko gets transported from her high school to another world by a mysterious dude with golden hair named Keiki. They get separated pretty early on, & all she has is a sword, a demon attached to her that allows her to fight extremely well with the weapon, & a jewel that heals her.
She gets taken in by some humans a few times, but gets betrayed by them every time.
I just reached the part where she met the rat, Rakushun.

I'm looking forward to reading more of these, even though I know Tokyopop only released 4 of the volumes, & I've heard that the translation/editing for the 4th volume is abysmal. I'm assuming there are translations of these online - anyone have a link?! ;)


Completed
maybe one day a plane will bring me home by [archiveofourown.org profile] astano - The first five times Santana visits New York.

A Scheme, Starring Rachel Berry, with Music and Lyrics by Rachel Berry (and Sam Evans) by [archiveofourown.org profile] ellydash - Rachel’s running after Finn. Sam’s running after Quinn. Eventually, they realize they’re running side by side. Season 2. I read a small blurb on Tumblr recently related to writing, where the mark of good fanfiction especially is that for every line of dialogue, you can't imagine anyone else saying except for the character who's saying it. [archiveofourown.org profile] ellydash is really good at that. Every single character feels spot-on, even/especially those who don't have big parts in the story.
I want to write like that.
& of course I'd now like to read this author's entire Glee backlog.

There's so much good Glee fanfiction I haven't read yet. :*) And due to that, I fell down a rabbit hole of ellydash's backlog & also [tumblr.com profile] ratherembarrassing's Pezberry reclist.

All My Loving For Someone Who's Loving Me by [archiveofourown.org profile] ellydash - Mercedes/Brittany/Santana - A Troubletones rehearsal at Santana’s house doesn't go exactly as planned.

Make Me Feel the Same by [livejournal.com profile] gilligankane - Pezberry written after episode 1.15. "She finds out about Finn and Santana through Tina who found out from Mercedes who got it from Kurt who was talking to Brittany who mentioned it in the first place." (I THINK THIS MIGHT BE THE FIRST PEZBERRY EVER WRITTEN?!)

Apologies by [livejournal.com profile] insaneantics21 - During 2x12. Santana & Rachel apologize to one another for the shitty things they've said to each other.

i seem incapable of titling things when drunk by [livejournal.com profile] lynnearlington - spoilers for 2x18, "stop acting like you aren't hot, it's pissing me off"
bandage and the blade by [archiveofourown.org profile] ellydash - It’s so much easier, in the end, for Emma to blame everything on Will. This focuses on Emma's anxiety & struggles with OCD.
Saga #x

Brown Girl in the Ring by Nalo Hopkinson - As with The Midnight Robber, I really love the politics & the world that Hopkinson has set up - in this case a dystopian Toronto where Ti-Jeanne's grandmother's herbal skills are valued, whereas before they were a thing the family couldn't talk about. But I wish there was more about the society/etc., and that it was a longer story. Instead, it's pretty focused on Ti-Jeanne's journey. While I appreciate that she's a protagonist who made mistakes but remained sympathetic, I overall felt a little "meh" about this & rated it 3/5 stars.

Very! Very! Sweet, volumes 4-6 - Still loving this story - the clothes that Be-Ri wears (it seems rare that a heroine in manga/manhwa wears baggy clothing that's still cute/etc.?!), her developing relationship with her love interest, & just everything else.

Overdressed: The Shockingly High Cost of Cheap Fashion by Elizabeth Cline - Some of the blurbs on the book describe this as being the "Omnivore's Dilemma" for the fashion industry, & that's sort of true. Cline looks into the outsourcing of the production of garments, & also the race to use as cheap of labor as possible with no thought as to either the quality of the final product nor the lives of the people working to make the clothing.
Some of the things Cline talks about are familiar: Women bragging to one another about how little money they spent on clothing; having no idea which fabrics are "good" (raises hand); etc. While I've never watched clothing "haul" videos on YouTube, I watch makeup ones semi-frequently, so I knew what she was talking about.
Some of the things she discusses are unfamiliar: While I mainly shop at places like Penney's, Gap, & Kohl's, Cline talks about buying garments that are only meant to last "3 washes" or so, & talks about throwing her clothes away. I think maybe this happens more often with stuff from Charlotte Russe or Forever 21 (none of which make clothing in my size), so I'm not sure what's up with the discrepancy. I wear clothing for years, & if something only last me 3 wears, I would be pissed.
Anyway, I gave this not that great of a grade because I found it pretty repetitive and not instructive in the end. She has a final chapter on how people should learn basic sewing techniques, buy a few higher quality items that will last longer, & familiarize themselves with their local tailors. These all seem like good ideas, but I still have no idea where to buy "good quality" clothing or how to go about recognizing "good" clothing.
I have a hard enough time finding clothing that fits me & drapes well on my body shape.
Still, I could learn how to repair ripped seams, or patch holes to make "weekend jeans," or a few things like that.
She did mention people like the blogger behind Refashionista, a woman who takes old/out-of-date clothing from resale shops & remakes them into modern/solid clothes to wear at a much cheaper price. It's a neat blog, but I'm not willing to invest that much time into it, I don't think.
As sort of a coda, I also listened to a Planet Money podcast about a family working in a clothing factory in Bangladesh.
laceblade: Quinn of Glee, glaring. Bangs, pink ruffled collar, black cardigan. (Glee: Quinn)
So obviously I'm not posting these on the day they were intended any more. BUT there are a lot of gaps in my "month," so it's possible I'll catch up, or more probably just extend it past December.

Anyway, this prompt is from [personal profile] raanve, & after clarifying on Twitter a little bit, we're going with "music and writing," for me.

As-you-know-Bob, the thing I've been writing for the last couple years is A Song is a Weapon.
Music works a little differently in Glee fandom, as it would not be too random or unsettling for the characters to break into song in the fic itself. And as the title implies, singing does become pretty important to the plot. By the end of the fic, characters will literally sing.

That said, I still have a pretty lengthy "mix" for that FF7 Inception-AU I'd been working on for a while, too.

I find it almost impossible to write without listening to music. This is true even on the rare occasions when I sit down knowing what I'm going to write. Often, if I find a particular song gelling really well with a scene, I'll listen to it over & over until that scene is done.

Often, a lyric or a few lyrics will grab me & there'll be an image or a feeling that happens that I associate with a character in the fic.

Here's one from a few days ago. It hasn't been edited, so please withhold judgment as I'm using it to offer up a peek into my process. idk how other people write, but my process involves producing a lot of bilge.

I recently added Paramore's "Future" to my mix for this fic [which I have yet to update anywhere online - it's been a pretty big overhaul of adding/removing songs]. [Full lyrics here.] This fits into my mental image of Quinn-in-high-school, closing herself off from everyone else after her dad kicked her out of the house due to her pregnancy. In the show, she makes connections with people who help her, & then the relationships are never referred to again. On Glee itself, this is just lazy writing on behalf of the writers. In my fic, I'm trying to make the argument that Quinn used every waking minute to make sure she got into Yale [so she could join Skull & Bones], & researching her father's work and Skull & Bones, and figuring out how to bring them down.

Since the rest of the characters are physically separated from Quinn in my story (due to college/some still being in high school), & also suspicious of her, I haven't gotten into her head much, but after the intensity of season 3 & the shift in everyone else's attitudes, I think the reader needs a better understanding of where Quinn's coming for.
Anyway, the lyric from Paramore's 'Future' that prompted this scene is, "We don't talk about the past," but also the song as a whole - feeling really shitty about something specific that's ruined your life, but having a plan for the future that you can be focused on to help you get through what you have to get through now - in this case, high school.
(ALSO pretty sure the song doesn't mean your goal should be destroying an evil/patriarchal cult but YMMV)
Anyway, here's what I jotted down on a legal pad at work.
Watching her father had been jolting, once. After years of repression, it was jarring to see his face, to hear his voice. We don’t talk about the past, she’d said sharply to Mercedes to cut her off, once. It was one of the last times Mercedes pushed Quinn to talk about how she was really doing - feeling - after Beth was born. There’d been a sharp pang of guilt after seeing the hurt on Mercedes’s face, but Quinn hadn’t let herself acknowledge it. Like her mother, she agreed that not discussing the past was best. Unlike her mother, Quinn was fine with letting the past map out her future quite clearly. She wouldn’t talk about the past - that was fine. But it didn’t mean that she’d forgiven or forgotten. It didn’t mean she’d stopped caring about the puppet strings her father and his cronies had laced throughout the government and the rest of society. Wearing a white dress with matching headband didn’t make her innocent again. Holding up a copy of Pride and Prejudice in glee club didn’t mean she wasn’t reading Robert Kennedy’s The Enemy Within.

This is pretty rough, & a version of this won't end up in the fic.
I don't like "jolting" and "jarring" being in the first two sentences.
I dislike the "sharp pang of guilt" cliche, also the "forgiven or forgotten."
The last few sentences are building toward something, but I totally miss the landing - there's no conclusion.
Most of the text is pretty dramatic & vague, too, and it makes me wrinkle my nose - the sentence about puppet strings especially.
BUT STILL, it captured everything this lyric was making me think, & now it's down on paper.

In addition to the chapter I'm currently working on (4), I have a bunch of other "image flashes" like this for the rest of the fic. 10k words' worth, at the moment. Especially toward the end of the fic, some of these are the same scene - rewritten 2 or 3 times because they've happened different ways in my mind, almost always thanks to listening to different music.

Eventually, I use logic to string them all together.

Sometimes, the image I've jotted down doesn't work - originally chapter 4 ended in a warehouse-type building that looked like one of the reactors from FF7.
Recently, I decided that part of the reason this scene wasn't working was because the whole premise was stupid - it made way more sense to be in a nondescript office building than in a dramatic warehouse - especially since the kids were supposed to be obtaining paper documents.

Sometimes the lyrics of a song can drive the plot of the story. This happens most often when I hear a song for the first time, or after not hearing it for a really long time (so I'm paying closer attention to the lyrics than usual).

Kris Delmhorst's "Yellow Brick Road" ended up giving me a glimpse into how the story ends, & the lyrics are almost perfect for a Wicked-obsessed Rachel Berry. (I won't say too much more than that, lest I give away the conclusion!)

Sometimes too, it's a beat. I played drums in high school, & I can be really drawn to songs/bands because of unusual and/or strong rhythms. Beats are what keep me moving when I'm doing something longer, like editing an entire 8-10k chapter.


UMMMMM, so that's part of how I write. And perhaps also explains why I'm such a slow fucking writer ^^;;
When you write a lot of disjointed crap, it takes a while to get rid of the shit & make it ready to email a draft to a beta, let alone post it for good at AO3.

As always for this meme, additional questions are welcome.

Profile

laceblade: Mitsuki of Kyoukai no Kanata anime, in school uniform, looking at viewer, uneasy (Default)
laceblade

April 2014

S M T W T F S
  12 345
6789101112
13141516171819
20212223242526
27282930   

Syndicate

RSS Atom

Most Popular Tags

Style Credit

Expand Cut Tags

No cut tags
Page generated Apr. 16th, 2014 10:11 am
Powered by Dreamwidth Studios