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[personal profile] the_comfortable_courtesan

'Tis with some chagrin that I open a letter from dearest Belinda, that writes that she hears that I am return'd to Town, and I mind that I have not writ to her this age. I hope she does not take offense in the matter or suppose I go scorn her.

But she writes in all good humour to mention that they have had dealings with Captain C-, and that she is in correspondence with Chancery over the matter of T-, but she doubts that there will be any immediate action; and she hopes that I may join 'em for the Derby again this year. She also wonders a little whether my jaunt abroad had somewhat to do with that matter I open'd to 'em last summer. But as I am happyly return'd she confides that all's well.

So I address myself at once to inditing a letter to her with as much of my news as 'tis prudent to convey, and declaring that 'twould be an entire pleasure to join their party for the Derby.

'Tis most particular shocking to me to have neglect'd to write to her, when I contemplate that this very e'en I am bound to Lord A-'s ball at B- House, that will sure be a matter of interest to her.

But indeed, I have been entire besieg'd with invitations and callers and the wranglings among the philanthropick set, and trying put my writings in fit condition to be publisht or stag'd, and going furbish up my wardrobe so that Docket will not scold me. Yet 'tis most thoughtless in me.

But I cannot regret the hours spent about my wardrobe when I go have Docket and Sophy array me for the B- House ball: sure I am a vain creature, but it pleases me to look so exceeding well in a fine new satin gown of Maurice's devizing, with my fine Hindoo rubies blazing about my neck and my pearls gleaming in my hair. They stand back and look very approving.

Docket nods and says sure Maurice does excellent fine work.

I arrive at B- House late enough not to be unfashionable early, but not so late as to look haughty. I greet Lord and Lady A- very warm: I confide that she is at that stage of increase where she begins show a little but is like to feel exceeding well. Certainly she looks so, and I remark upon how very much she is in looks. Lord A- looks at her very proud and says, but she should not overdo: I daresay Mrs O- B- has been dispensing cautions.

I say that I hope we may have the pleasure of hearing her sing, if only a little, before I proceed up the stair to see the rest of the company.

Sure one would not know B- House for that desolate wreck that us'd to be, 'tis now a fine fashionable residence entire throng'd with quite the best society, and I can hardly even believe it that same place where I was menac'd by that creeping madman. The chamber in which I was so terroriz'd by that horrid apparition is now a fine musick room in which Mrs O- B- goes delight an audience with her song.

I go in very quiet and sit down to listen for a little while, and find myself next to Sebastian K-. We nod very civil to one another in silence so as not to distract the other listeners.

After Mrs O- B- goes sit down to considerable applause, I stand and leave the room, for tho' tis most agreeable to listen to good singing, I must go improve the shining hour, whilst I also demonstrate that I may still dance a very great deal without I go swoon.

I should perchance have preferr'd not to dance with Mr O- B- so early in the proceedings, for tho' a most amiable fellow is a quite wretch'd dancer that treads upon my feet, but I must show civil. Is most effusive as to what a fine residence this is, how very pleasant Lord A- shows - has took him a time or two to play goff at Blackheath ('tis indeed a great mark of favour); entirely doats upon Charley, and comes about to an apprehension of the duties of his rank.

Why, says I, that is entire pleasing. Was ever an agreeable young fellow but somewhat of a careless fribble.

Goes very meritorious to take up the business of his estates, goes on Mr B-. And is a fellow will listen to advice.

The dance ends and I endeavour not to hobble as I quit the floor. I stand wriggling my toes to ascertain they are not broken.

Comes over Lord O-, that has been dancing with Cousin Lalage – 'tis in exceeding good ton of him – and asks me to dance. I concede with pleasure.

He says, he is entire glad that Lady B- is return’d to Town, along with Mr MacD- - he gives a certain smile by which I confide he supposes that we have been about matters for The Cause; 'tis indeed not entirely mistook – for he comes about to have the manuscript for the book of his travels complet’d, and would scarce dare venture it upon the world without he took it before our judgements.

O, poo, says I, I am like to suppose 'tis quite entire its own recommendation: Mr L- was most entire prepossesst by the preliminary essays he publisht – declar’d they had a fine virile style -

The Marquess’s lips twitch and he says, sure he cannot have suppos’d how much assistance I had from a certain lady of the pen -

Tush, says I, 'tis entire like unto advizing concerning furbishing up a residence: a gentleman’s study and a lady’s boudoir will require a different approach. But, I go on, I see that you have quite another kind of production in progress –

He looks somewhat more sober and says, sure the prospect is exceeding delightfull, but one cannot entire be unfearfull, 'tis a perilous matter for women.

'Tis indeed so, says I, I hope you have her in good hands?

He says that he understands Mr H- to be very well-thought-of in the man-midwife line.

Entirely, says I, tho’ did you prefer a midwife of the more usual sex there is one whose interest I might advance to you.

He looks thoughtfull and says, he will ask his dear Hippolyta what she might prefer.

At the end of the measure I observe Lieutenant H- approaching. He makes me a leg and offers that I might care to dance? As he leads me onto the floor I remark that I had not expect’d to see him still in Town rather than return’d to his ship. He sighs somewhat and says, is at present second’d to duty at the Admiralty, sure had rather be at sea, hears I was lately at Naples, was the fleet there?

O, says I, arriv’d just about as I was about returning to Town, heard the Admiral’s excellent news.

He says somewhat of what a fine fellow is the Admiral, what a privilege 'tis to serve with him, and then his gaze strays to where Em is dancing with some fellow that I do not immediate recognize, and I confide that there are certain attractions ashore, even does he yearn for salt water.

At the end of the dance he goes with great expedition solicit Em, and I look about me and see where Viola is sitting. I go greet her and she says, she confides I have not yet been introduc’d to Rebecca G-, that is dear Jacob’s niece, and Julia P-, from Bombay.

They are indeed very fine-looking young women, of a most out of the common exotick style of beauty, that make exceeding civil. Miss P- in particular has a fine ivory-tint’d complexion and smooth raven hair and finely-cut features; perchance there is a little look of the Orient, that may be attribut’d to her upbringing in Bombay. I am like to think that Sir Z- R- would be quite wild to paint her, and remark on this.

Why, says Viola, perchance we might go to his studio one day, there can be entirely no objection to the matter.

Then come up the gentlemen to whom the young ladies have promis’d the next dance. I sit down beside Viola, ignoring that Sir V- P- endeavours catch my eye to come solicit me.

I mind, says I, that Martha found the scent of paints &C somewhat unsettling when she first went increase with Deborah.

Viola sighs and says, indeed she at present finds there are certain scents do cause a certain qualmishness, 'tis somewhat tiresome. Might you, dear C-, be kind enough to take 'em there? Are they not quite among the belles of the Season?

Entirely, says I, do they yet have any eligible offers?

O, there are several go pay 'em most particular attention, but do not yet come to that point. But 'twixt their looks, their portions, and their very excellent address, I cannot think they will linger upon hand very long. And, she goes on, Miss C- I think has already took, Lord V- shows exceeding smitten.

So 'tis give out, says I. What about Lady Rosamund?

Viola sighs and says, she was anticipating a young woman that would display theologickal objections like unto her brother; and sure she is mind’d to suppose that that would be a deal less exasperating than the ways she shows. But, she goes on, you should not be sitting out with me, dearest C-, I am sure that there are a deal of fellows quite panting to dance with the exquisite Lady B-.

'Tis possible, I concede, so be I may evade the antient ram. Aha, I continue, I observe Mr Geoffrey M- -

Viola laughs somewhat immoderate and says, do you go have a youthfull cicisbeo like unto Lady Z-? 'Twill be said that you have got quite into Italian habits.

O, poo, says I, he is an agreeable and respectfull young fellow.

Indeed, he comes over and makes an elegant leg – one may most certain see the effect of his association with Milord – and offers that I may care to dance?

I rise and curtesy and we go tread a measure, during which he conveys to me some very shocking matters he has lately discover’d in his studies concerning the laws of the nation.

The slow process of craft

Apr. 26th, 2017 09:55 pm
jreynoldsward: (Default)
[personal profile] jreynoldsward

I think I complained in an earlier post that I’ve been slow with writing a new book because of life plus working on short stories. One of the things that I am discovering at this point in time is that I just can’t be as much of a plotter with my short stories as I can be with my novels. That slowed me down considerably in drafting the short pieces, because I found myself worrying at the characters, at the plot, at every blessed thing without getting the words down on paper–and then freezing up because I couldn’t just sit down and write it out like I can in a novel.

I’m not sure why it is that way. I tried to outline the short stories. It just didn’t work. Oh, a rough outline was fine, but I found myself adding in complexity that really wasn’t helpful. Unlike writing a novel, too, I couldn’t depend on a rough framework to help me roll 2ooo words a day through the computer. I was lucky to get 1000 words in, if that.

I finally concluded that short stories are just different, and I need to be less controlling of the story in some ways. But I also needed to sit and think a lot more while crafting the short stories. As it were, I have four short stories–well, three shorts and a novelette that I wrote in the first four months of the year. I guess that counts for something. Just not enough in self-publishing world.

The other thing is that I am now in the process of laying out the foundation for the sequel to Pledges of Honor, Challenges to Honor. Right now that consists of opening up Scrivener and making notes to myself about the interrelationships between the main characters as well as their interactions with minor characters. I’ve also started making general plot notes as well as notes about individual book arcs. I’m starting to get a grasp of what the plot is going to be, and I have a rough initial blurb written.

But!

I have NO. FREAKING. IDEA. about point of view yet. From all the backstory I’m building, this needs to be a multiple-viewpoint book. And yet–I somewhat want it to reflect Pledges with Katerin as the viewpoint character. And yet–there are things happening out of her POV which could be important. I might add one more POV, but…I’m not yet convinced it needs to happen. Katerin’s arc is going to be serious enough. She’s had a quiet eleven years since the events of Pledges. But the Gods are stirring, the Emperor-over-Sea is remembering the distant exiles who could yet challenge his legitimacy, and her role as Banisher of Shadows is going to come into play. The Red Goddess has the reddest of blood-red motives, and she does not look very kindly on the daughter of the woman who banished her from the Witch City of Waykemin.

Or the Miteal family, which means two strikes against Katerin and her daughter Witmara.

So yeah. Once I start writing on this one, it’s gonna be a ride.

But first I have to figure out if it’s just Katerin’s POV or not.

Mirrored from Peak Amygdala.

wednesday reading

Apr. 26th, 2017 09:44 pm
boxofdelights: (Default)
[personal profile] boxofdelights
• What are you reading?

The Summer Without Men, by Siri Hustvedt.

• What did you recently finish reading?

Descender, Vol. 1: Tin Stars, by Jeff Lemire. A robot who is also an adorable little boy survives terrible and mysterious catastrophes. He may hold the key to understanding and preventing their return. The other characters and the settings are interesting. The art is beautiful. I would have loved this if I had read it when I was young. Now, I have read enough stories to notice when the plot is steered by the Rule of Cool, when the answer to "Why didn't the characters do the smart thing?" is "Because the author wanted a torture scene/a robot gladiator scene/a woman dying, gasping a slogan." Also, I have read enough stories that treat women as people to find the Weasley ratio really annoyingly noticeable. There's one female main character, one female supporting character, a few more who get a line but not a name. And only one of these female characters is human: the robot boy's dead mom.

• What do you think you’ll read next?

I've got suggestions to read or reread for my SF economics panel:

The Dispossessed, by Ursula K. Le Guin
Red Mars, Green Mars, and Blue Mars, by Kim Stanley Robinson
The Diamond Age, by Neal Stephenson
Walkaway, by Cory Doctorow
The Peripheral, by William Gibson
The Marq'ssan Cycle books by L. Timmel Duchamp

More suggestions still welcome!

(no subject)

Apr. 26th, 2017 09:22 pm
the_rck: (Default)
[personal profile] the_rck
I got home to discover that some jerk on FFnet had left a series of comments on one of my fics that all pointed out what the commenter considered to be canonical errors. I was relatively cranky about it at first because it's not a story that tends to get many comments, so I was disappointed to get things that didn't even say the reader liked it.

But seriously? The complaints were all about details of Doctor Who canon which is like complaining about such things in, say, fic for Marvel comics (or DC comics). If you look far enough, you can find supporting canon for pretty much any sort of bizarre thing you want to throw in. One of the comments tried to tell me that regeneration only ever happens when a Time Lord is near death. But Romana canonically does it just because she feels like it when she goes from Romana I to Romana II. Another said that the Tardis doesn't ever get rid of rooms or move them.

So I'm now at the point of laughing. I have no idea what this person expected. Are they trying to prove that I'm not a trufan? Are they trying to humiliate me into never writing again? Do they actually think that this sort of thing is helpful and that I'll thank them and worship their wondrous grasp of canon? (I doubt it because they commented as a guest.)

Writing and depression

Apr. 26th, 2017 07:26 pm
yhlee: I am a cilantro writer (cilantro photo) (cilantro writer)
[personal profile] yhlee
I don't think I have anything new to say about writing and depression, but I'm struggling with it right now and trying to reboot myself out of it, so I thought I'd talk about that.

For anyone who's new here: I have bipolar I, which means that I spend significant periods of time depressed. I also cycle very quickly sometimes, so I can go from elated to suicidal within a single day or the course of hours. Needless to say, besides sucking in its own right, it makes writing, which I think of as a somewhat neurosis-inducing career [1], an additional challenge.

[1] I am pretty sure there are non-neurotic writers out there! But I am literally, professionally diagnosed crazy, and I have spent time in the psych ward for suicide attempts, so...

When writing gets hard, it comes down to routines. Writing is easy when it's a fire in the mind and the words blaze to be let down on paper (or typed into the computer, or whatever--I write both longhand and on a computer depending on my mood or the particular project). But inspiration is completely unreliable, especially when depression comes calling.

My routine goes something like this. Note that I don't claim that this works for everyone! Just this is what I do, and it more or less works for me. Sometimes better than others.

1. Get out of bed. Sometimes this is the hardest step.

2. Get food into myself. I have this rule that no writing happens until I have eaten something, even an oatmeal packet. Bodies are weird (or anyway, mine is! maybe yours is perfectly fine :p). If my blood sugar drops, I turn into a depressed suicidal wreck. I find this completely maddening considering that I'm overweight so you'd think that I could survive for a couple extra hours off fat reserves, but nope! Not so lucky. So I try to remember to eat at intervals. Even so, there's this period in the late afternoon/early evening where I usually have to take a break from writing no matter when I started because my blood sugar is too low for me to concentrate. (This is usually because I'm trying to time dinner to be convenient for my husband and daughter. If it were just me, I would eat smaller meals every four hours and that might work better.)

3. Get exercise. Sometimes I skip this, but I read somewhere that you should try to do the most important things first in your daily routine. I figure exercise is more essential than writing, or anyway, it should be higher priority. Also, I sort of cheat in that right now I'm mostly doing the world's wimpiest exercise biking, on a bike that has a built-in desk, and I use that time either to do reading (right now I'm beta reading for someone, for instance), or write fanfic. I could even use that time to do work-writing rather than fanfic-writing. It all depends.

4. Get shower. Because I am so wimpy, even wimpy exercise-biking leaves me drenched in sweat.

5. Make tea. I allow myself one cup of caffeinated tea a day. Right now that's a Republic of Tea black tea flavored with almond, which honestly I don't like all that much--I tried it out of curiosity and discovered the almond flavor didn't agree with me. So when the tin runs out I'll switch it for some other black tea. After that runs out, I start making herbal teas instead. Too much caffeine can trigger mania or hypomania, or just generally screw with my sleep (and screwing with sleep can mess with bipolar cycling--it's a whole Thing), so I try to not to overdo it.

6. Settle in to write. I turn on iTunes, set the whole thing to Shuffle, and attempt to write at least one sentence/song. Most songs are pop/rock songs of 3-4 minutes. This is not a recipe for blazing fast writing. What it is, is conditioning. My brain gets the idea that every time we switch to a new song, I should get back in gear and get writing. My philosophy is that slow and steady wins the race. I don't produce words particularly fast--I know there are fast writers out there, but I'm never going to be one of them. But I do believe that accumulating words a little at a time consistently will also work.

One of my problems is low morale, and a related problem is being intimidated by high goals. So I set low goals. One sentence during a song of that length is eminently doable. In fact, spurred by one thought, I usually end up writing more than one sentence. And that's good! Likewise, when I am at my most depressed--when I can barely string two thoughts together, or when I feel like everything I have ever written is completely worthless, I set my goals very low. As in 250 words/day low. These days I have novels to write so I can't do that forever, but even 250 words/day is better, in terms of sustaining momentum, than 0 words/day. It's simple mathematics. If you write 250 words/day, you can eventually write a novel, even if it takes you a while. Whereas with 0 words/day? You'll never get there.

This is not to say that you should never take a break! I have 0-word days. Weekends are usually dead time because I have family obligations. Sometimes the depression is just too much to deal with. But there is a difference between occasionally taking a break, and never writing. The latter is what I seek to avoid.

In the meantime: what helps you when you're dealing with doubt or depression? Tell me one thing you like about your own writing, if you like. :)

The flowers that bloom in the spring

Apr. 26th, 2017 07:26 pm
batwrangler: Just for me. (Default)
[personal profile] batwrangler
 If we had crocus (or bloodroot) this year, I missed them in the late-season snow, but the magnolias, forsythia, and early daffodils are all blooming.

(no subject)

Apr. 26th, 2017 05:41 pm
meganbmoore: (badlands: butterflies)
[personal profile] meganbmoore
 AMC renewed Into the Badlands for a third seasons almost simultaneously with NBC pulling Powerless from its schedule, with no date for the completed episodes that haven't aired yet, which pretty much means it was already cancelled.

Do I be happy or sad?  I can't tell.

Unfortunately, all the Freshman shows whose renewals I'm antsy about-Powerless, Timeless, and Emerald City-are NBC, and it doesn't look goof for any of them.

Write Every Day 2017 - April Day 26

Apr. 26th, 2017 11:50 pm
trobadora: (mightier)
[personal profile] trobadora
What happens when I steep in Sherlockiana for months: inevitably, of course I'll come up with a pastiche idea of my very own. What also apparently happens when I'm obsessed with Holmesian slash: I come up with a het idea. *headdesk* Really, brain? Why?

(It's a really nice idea, though. I may actually write it one day.)

Btw, we've found our host for May - many thanks to [livejournal.com profile] miss_morland! We'll be continuing over at hers next month. :)

Today's writing:

Notes for the above, and about 150 words of dialogue. (And then I fell down the hyperlink abyss. I didn't even mean to do research, I was just quickly looking something up! But that's how it always goes, isn't it ...)

Tally:

Days 1 - 20 )

Day 21 (LJ | DW): [livejournal.com profile] afrozenflowerr, [livejournal.com profile] auroracloud, [livejournal.com profile] doctor_jehane, [livejournal.com profile] esteliel, [livejournal.com profile] miss_morland, [livejournal.com profile] navaan, [livejournal.com profile] sylvanwitch, [livejournal.com profile] trobadora, [livejournal.com profile] ysilme, [livejournal.com profile] zippitgood (10 out of 14)
Day 22 (LJ | DW): [livejournal.com profile] auroracloud, [livejournal.com profile] doctor_jehane, [livejournal.com profile] esteliel, [livejournal.com profile] miss_morland, [livejournal.com profile] navaan, [livejournal.com profile] sylvanwitch, [livejournal.com profile] trobadora, [livejournal.com profile] ysilme, [livejournal.com profile] zippitgood (9 out of 14)
Day 23 (LJ | DW): [livejournal.com profile] auroracloud, [livejournal.com profile] doctor_jehane, [livejournal.com profile] esteliel, [livejournal.com profile] miss_morland, [livejournal.com profile] navaan, [livejournal.com profile] sylvanwitch, [livejournal.com profile] trobadora, [livejournal.com profile] ysilme, [livejournal.com profile] zippitgood (9 out of 14)
Day 24 (LJ | DW): [livejournal.com profile] auroracloud, [livejournal.com profile] doctor_jehane, [livejournal.com profile] esteliel, [livejournal.com profile] miss_morland, [livejournal.com profile] navaan, [personal profile] ofmonstrouswords, [livejournal.com profile] sylvanwitch, [livejournal.com profile] trobadora, [livejournal.com profile] ysilme, [livejournal.com profile] zippitgood (10 out of 14)
Day 25 (LJ | DW): [livejournal.com profile] auroracloud, [livejournal.com profile] dreamflower02, [livejournal.com profile] esteliel, [livejournal.com profile] miss_morland, [livejournal.com profile] navaan, [livejournal.com profile] sylvanwitch, [livejournal.com profile] trobadora, [livejournal.com profile] ysilme (8 out of 14 so far)

Let me know if I missed anyone! And remember you can join in or drop in/out at any time. :)

(no subject)

Apr. 27th, 2017 06:34 am
thawrecka: (Default)
[personal profile] thawrecka
Guardians of the Galaxy 2 is great. I see that some critics don't like it as much as the first, because nobody gets called a whore, and we all know that a lot of film critics love sexism and this is 10 billion times less so than the first film. And there are more female characters, and the visuals are stunning, and it was sufficiently space weird. I laughed until I cried and then I just plain cried.

Perseids Watch 2017

Apr. 26th, 2017 03:51 pm
james_davis_nicoll: (Default)
[personal profile] james_davis_nicoll


Come watch the Perseid Meteor shower in rural darkness near New Dundee. This year, the often spectacular Perseids peak from late Saturday, August 12 to early Sunday, August 13, which is to say “conveniently on the weekend instead of the middle of a work-week.”
Read more... )

Reading Wednesday

Apr. 26th, 2017 01:24 pm
brigdh: (Default)
[personal profile] brigdh
What did you just finish?
Rusty Puppy by Joe Lansdale. The twelfth book in the thriller/mystery/action series Hap & Leonard, this one picks up immediately where the previous one left off – which is good, since that previous one ended on a hell of a cliffhanger, with Hap seemingly in the middle of dying. Well, he's all better now and while I didn't particularly expect the series to kill off its narrator and co-protagonist, I really could have used some more resolution to that particular plot development.

Ah, well. I don't read these books for their subtle plotting, I read them because the banter between Hap and Leonard never fails to make me laugh. For example:
"You do look cool in that fedora.” [Hap said to Leonard]
“Like I value your opinion.”
“But you do.”
“Do not.”
“Do.”
“So you like it?” he said.
“Stylish, brother. You found something that works for you. I know how hard that must be for you.”
“You’re still searching, though,” Leonard said. “Your daughter doing okay?”
“Yep.”
“That’s working out?”
“Except she and Brett [Hap's girlfriend] have the colds from hell. I think it might be flu. Brett actually asked that I stay at the office tonight. They are seriously infectious. And I don’t want that shit they got.”
“But you don’t mind sharing their germs with me?”
“I don’t have a single symptom,” I said. “And I’m keeping it that way. I’m actually kind of enjoying being on my own at the office. Well, there’s Buffy [the dog]. It’s nice for a change of pace. Me and Buffy can play checkers until late at night. She hasn’t quite got chess down yet.”
“You can stay at my place, asshole.”
“I’m fine at the office. John and you might get back together, and I’d rather not hear you fucking behind the wall. I can’t enjoy that. I keep thinking something is in the wrong hole.”
“Long as I’ve known you, you are still bothered by it?”
“Not the gay, just the act. I don’t want to hear it going on.”
“That’s the same.”
“How do you feel about heterosexuality?”
“Nothing against it, but it makes me kind of go eeew.”
“Now you get it.”
“I’m going to tell Brett you referred to her equipment as a hole.”
“I was just speaking in a general way.”
“Uh-huh.”
“Please don’t,” I said.
“I’ll consider on it,” he said.


In this book, they investigate the murder of Jamar, a young man supposedly beaten to death in a drug deal gone wrong, but whose mother swears that something more is going on. The plot expands to include a conspiracy of crooked cops, the sexual harassment of Jamar's sister, an illegal boxing ring, an abandoned sawmill, a bunch of incompetent hitmen, Leonard's new boyfriend, a sleazy lawyer, and a deliciously creepy explanation for the phrase 'rusty puppy'. There's a slender feel to all of it, like much of it is only there to provide a setup for the fanservice-y climax wherein Hap and Leonard are forced to publically fight each other to the death. But since I quite enjoy a bit of well-done fanservice, that's not really a criticism.

Speaking of, I also loved the new character of an eight-year-old girl who becomes involved in the mystery (warning for various language issues):
The little girl came over. “You think you’re bad, don’t you?” She said this to Leonard.
“Baby girl, I don’t think, I know I’m bad.”
“Them boys hold grudges,” she said.
“Do they now? Well, that’s going to worry me for days. Who the hell are you? ”
“Reba. I was named after a white lady that sings.”
“Yeah?” Leonard said.
“Mama liked that cracker shit. I don’t. I like me some real music. I mainly go by Little Woman.”
“You just made that up,” Leonard said.
“Startin’ now, then.”
“I like Reba,” Leonard said. “I mean the singer, if that’s who you’re talking about. You I don’t like at all, you little snot-nosed pile of rat shit.”
“Leonard,” I said. “Kid.”
“This ain’t no kid. That there is a fucking four-hundred-year-old midget vampire.”
“Fuck you,” Reba said.
“Fuck you too,” Leonard said.
“You ain’t black at all?”
“What the fuck color am I? This look like shoe polish to you?”
“Uncle Tom is your color.”
“Yeah, well, you want to stay in the goddamn projects and wear your own shower cap and house shoes and whine about the Man keeping you down, you go on and do it. Me, I spit in the Man’s fucking face, tell him it’s face wash, and he’s got to like it.”
“I hope you get et up by a tiger,” she said, walking away.
“Not likely,” Leonard said.
“Leonard, really? You’re going to pick a fight with a kid?”
“She started it. Ancient midget-ass motherfucking vampire.” He yelled out to her then. “I hope your fucking tricycle has a flat.”
She kept walking away, and without looking back, she stuck her hand up in a fist, extended her middle finger.


I suspect (and sincerely hope) that she will become a recurring character, which makes me very happy. Though really I want Leonard to adopt her so they become a mean angry kick-ass family of crime solvers.

It's not a deep book, but sometimes deep is not what I want. For funny, light-hearted entertainment, you could hardly do better.
I read this as an ARC via NetGalley.


Mr. Potter by Jamaica Kincaid. A hard book to review, mainly because it doesn't really have a plot and barely has characters and it isn't even entirely clear as to which genre it belongs – memoir or novel – though the one thing it is closer to than anything else is poetry.

Let me demonstrate with the opening paragraph:
And that day, the sun was in its usual place, up above and in the middle of the sky, and it shone in its usual way so harshly bright, making even the shadows pale, making even the shadows seek shelter; that day the sun was in its usual place, up above and in the middle of the sky, but Mr. Potter did not note this, so accustomed was he to this, the sun in its usual place, up above and in the middle of the sky; if the sun had not been in its usual place, that would have made a great big change in Mr. Potter's day, it would have meant rain, however briefly such a thing, rain, might fall, but it would have changed Mr. Potter's day, so used was he to the sun in its usual place, way up above and in the middle of the sky. Mr. Potter breathed in his normal way, his heart was beating in its normal way, up and down underneath the covering of his black skin, up and down underneath his white knitted cotton vest next to his very black skin, up and down underneath his plainly woven white cotton shirt that was on top of the knitted cotton vest which lay next to his skin; so his heart breathed in its normal way. And he put on his trousers and in the pocket of his trousers he placed a white handkerchief; and all this was as normal as the way his heart beat; all this, his putting on his clothes in just that way, as normal as the way his heart beat, the heart beating normally and the clothes reassuring to Mr. Potter and to things beyond Mr. Potter, things that did not know they needed such reassurance.

The entire book goes on this way, full of repetitions and a focus on oddly specific little details while the larger picture is left vague, only gestured at rather than depicted. Certain phrases occur over and over again throughout the book until they take on the feeling of a chorus or chant: a line drawn through him; Mr. Potter was my father, my father's name was Mr. Potter; Mr. Potter was born in nineteen hundred and twenty-two and he died in nineteen hundred and ninety-two; Mr. Potter could not read and Mr. Potter could not write. The story, such as it is, is about Roderick Potter, a poor chauffeur on Antigua: his parents (his father who never acknowledged him and his mother who committed suicide when he was young), the man who owns the car Mr. Potter drives (from Lebanon, with his own tragic history of exile), one of his customers (Dr. Weizenger, about whose past we never learn more than that he is fleeing Prague in the 1940s, but really, what more is there to say than that? – to say someone is fleeing Prague in the 1940s is to say exactly what they're fleeing from), Mr. Potter's own many illegitimate children, one of whom grows up to be a writer and becomes the narrator of this book. More than a story, it's a lyrical observation of colonialism, racism, poverty, sexism and broken families, tragedies carried down the generations, all the general global and individual ills of every life, and the ability – or the lack of it – to recognize and articulate such problems. And, most of all, whose voice will be heard doing so.

I think I liked it, overall, though it's a weird book to grapple with. It's a very good example of a very particular thing, but if a 150 page prose poem about the narrator's unknown harsh-but-suffering father doesn't sound appealing, I don't think the actual experience of Mr. Potter will change your mind.


Mount TBR update: 14!

What are you currently reading?
Blood & Beauty by Sarah Dunant. A novel about the Borgias from my favorite melodramatic historical fiction author!

Wednesday Reading

Apr. 26th, 2017 11:29 am
oracne: turtle (Default)
[personal profile] oracne
What We Pretend To Be by ifitwasribald is one of the more interesting Avengers stories I've read - the "normal" humans of the group, Tony Stark, Clint Barton, and Natasha Romanoff, are all dosed with super serum by an enemy. The story is a sort of psychological study of how each of them would deal with the potential of becoming more like Captain America, or more like Hulk. There was also unexpected Tony Stark/Bruce Banner slash.

The Price of War by shuofthewind is a massive retelling of the first season of the Daredevil Netflix series, with the addition of Darcy Lewis, who never met Jane and Thor and ends up becoming a lawyer. I loved that this story had a lot more female characters than the original version, but was sad that Karen's character gets less to do because it's Darcy's story now. There is eventual Darcy Lewis/Matt Murdock. My interest in the story lagged a bit once the romance kicked in, but I still enjoyed all the comics (616) characters who appeared.

The Weirdest Jack And The Beanstalk

Apr. 26th, 2017 10:23 am
calliopes_pen: (my bloody valentine Edith hat smile)
[personal profile] calliopes_pen
From The Nostalgia Critic: The Weirdest Jack And The Beanstalk. It’s just a bit over 15 minutes, without all the usual skits that he's done lately with his reviews.

I watched that movie when I was 2 or 3 in the 1980’s; I'm just surprised someone else knows about it, since very few people I have encountered ever have. Right around that same time, I discovered both Unico movies. And around that same time was The Little Mermaid (also anime; this one, not another from the same time frame) and The Last Unicorn (which wasn’t as surreal as the others). Is it any wonder I am the way I am, and go for the darker (and possibly on the weirder side) fairy tale stuff?

(It explains a lot. Granted, back then I sort of liked the evil Hecuba from that version of Jack And The Beanstalk, and found Jack to be the weird one.)

Meanwhile, checking on the poll in the previous locked (only on Dreamwidth) post: So far, it’s at a tie between people just wanting to vote, and people in favor of a Gothic Horror/Romance community; second place is do both. I forgot to mention that the poll will continue through Saturday evening.

(no subject)

Apr. 26th, 2017 08:51 am
the_rck: (Default)
[personal profile] the_rck
Pretty much all venting )

The chores I did yesterday were enough to make the tendinitis act up again, so I'm not looking forward to the walking I'll have to do today. Right now, my plan is to take a cab to UHS, get lunch somewhere nearby after the appointment, hang out somewhere (Espresso Royale, probably) until about 2:00 and then get the bus to the hospital. PT is 2:45 to 3:45, so I'll just wait for Scott to be able to pick me up after work. I really ought to make a lunch and take it with me, but I don't want to deal with that.

I've tried ice on the tendon. That hurts all the way up my leg. Right now, I'm applying heat. That's making my calf muscle ache, too, but I'm hoping it will loosen the dratted thing up enough that I can stretch it properly.

My left elbow has started giving me trouble. The pain is at the back of the joint and fairly pinpoint. It is, sadly, probably more tendinitis. I think it's stress from trying to compensate for not using my hands in the ways I normally would.

I didn't go with Scott and Cordelia to Cordelia's PT appointment yesterday. I was so very, very tired that I thought that staying home was a good idea. I haven't generally had the option, so that was nice.

Scott's avoiding pork products now. I'm not sure if he's going to try one more time to make sure that he didn't just have a bug last weekend or if he's just cutting all of that permanently. I think that, if it is an allergy, one more exposure won't make it suddenly as bad as the beef allergy, but I know that such things get worse with more exposure, so this isn't going to be something he can indulge in occasionally.

I'm working on clearing out all of the frozen stuff we've got that contains pork. Scott buys potstickers and spring rolls frequently, and he never looks to see what's in them as long as they don't say 'beef' on the front. It's resulted a few times in me not having easy options for feeding Cordelia's Muslim friends, so I've learned to check the freezer ahead of when I expect to have them over to see if I need to make Scott go out and buy something that will be okay.

good morning, it's 26 april 2017

Apr. 26th, 2017 01:19 am
solarbird: (korra-on-the-air)
[personal profile] solarbird
I'm overbooked this week; Anna's nasal surgery on Monday went about as planned, but there is much more time-consuming aftercare than I understood, and while this needed to happen, it is a lot of time away from other things. Here's a partial catch-up, with emphasis on fascism and neo-fascist activities.

Russia:
  • Republican Oversight Leader: Michael Flynn Apparently Broke the Law
  • EXCLUSIVE: Sebastian Gorka’s Ties To Nazi-Allied Group Stretch Back Decades
  • Senate Russia probe flounders amid partisan bickering
  • Senate Trump-Russia Probe Has No Full-Time Staff, No Key Witnesses
  • Macron Victim of Cyber Attack Similar to U.S. Democratic Party’s
  • Donald Trump, Jr., retweeting Nigel Farage endorsing Marine Le Pen. Global. White. Nationalist. Authoritarianism. Movement.

Misogyny:
  • A GOP Lawmaker Has Been Revealed As The Creator Of Reddit’s Anti-Woman ‘Red Pill’ Forum
  • And here it is, the NH state rep and founder of The Red Pill talking about why he should get to sleep with underage girls
  • Donald Trump to strip all funding from State Department team promoting women's rights around the world
  • Inside The Online Community Of Men Who Preach Removing Condoms Without Consent

Corruption and farce:
  • House Oversight Committee calls on Trump’s business to prove he’s not violating the Constitution
  • Ivanka Trump adds a chief of staff
  • Report: Trump won't fire Spicer because 'the guy gets great ratings'

Chechnya:
  • Gay men detained in Chechnya give accounts of abuse, electrocution
  • President of Chechnya Intends to Eliminate All Gay Men There by Ramadan

And three unsorted:
  • Trump’s Sanctuary Cities Order Blocked by Federal Judge
  • Resilience of the Resistance
  • May Benefits as Britain's Pro-Brexit Party Loses Supporters

It's April 26th, 2017; this is the news )

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