October 23rd, 2017
newredshoes: Domo-kun doing victory arms! (domo-kun | victory arms!)
posted by [personal profile] newredshoes at 07:52pm on 23/10/2017 under
I have turned in
the keys
that were for
my old place

and which
you were probably
hoping
I would leave

Kiss my ass
neighbor at 18
so loud
and so pissed
October 21st, 2017
tempestsarekind: (peddlers of bombast)
Heh.

You all may have seen this already, but somehow it had never come across my radar - a video podcast with Greg Doran from 2013 (possibly - that's the upload date, anyway), where he takes some actors from the Oxford University Drama Society through the prologue of Romeo and Juliet:

Acting Masterclass: 'Pyramus, you begin'
https://podcasts.ox.ac.uk/acting-masterclass-pyramus-you-begin-0
skygiants: Jadzia Dax lounging expansively by a big space window (daxanova)
posted by [personal profile] skygiants at 08:55am on 21/10/2017 under ,
After reading Ann Leckie's new book Provenance I went on Twitter and asked what you call a screwball plot if it isn't necessarily a comedy.

Like, Provenance, while frequently funny, is not a non-serious book -- it concerns itself with classism, wildly unhealthy family relationships, interstellar warmongering, fetishization of cultural artifacts, and inhumane conditions of incarceration, not to mention murder -- but the structure of the plot is very classic screwball. Misunderstandings! Mistaken identities! Brilliant[ly ill-advised] schemes colliding with each other and blowing up in everybody's face! The faint air of Yakety Sax playing frequently in the background!

Honestly it feels a lot like Ann Leckie channeling Lois McMaster Bujold, with less intense character dynamics but also fewer moments of side-eye.

Our Heroine Ingray Aughskold is the foster daughter of an elected official who has been locked in competition with her foster-brother since they were both small for the eventual goal of inheriting their mother's position. Ingray comes from a public orphanage, while her asshole abrother is the son of a wealthy family, which gives him an edge that Ingray has never quite been able to best.

CUE: Brilliant[ly ill-advised] scheme! Ingray decides to attempt to break a fellow political foster-kid, Pahlad Budrakim, out of Compassionate Removal (i.e. terrible jail) in order to learn the location of the highly important cultural artifacts which Pahlad has hypothetically stolen.

Complication: Pahlad is possibly not Pahlad, and is certainly not inclined to be cooperative.
Complication 2: The space captain who Ingray hired to get them back home is wanted for theft by an alien ambassador, who Does Not Understand Humans, and whom everyone is panicked about offending due to some Very Important Alien Treaties.
Complication 3: Meanwhile, what Ingray's mother would actually like her to be doing with her time is shepherding around some other ambassadors, human ones from a different planet, who want to do politically-motivated excavations in a local nature preserve
Complication 4: Also, someone is about to get murdered!
Complication 5: And the cop in the case has a crush on Ingray!
Complication 6: And MANY OF THE HIGHLY IMPORTANT CULTURAL ARTIFACTS HAVE DISPUTED PROVENANCE AND IT'S VERY DISTRESSING (for everyone but me, because the minute I heard that title I was like 'this had better be about cultural heritage' and LO AND BEHOLD)

((...though I did want to see a little more documented archival paperwork and process surrounding the question of the authenticity of the artifacts, but I mean, ignore me, it's good, it's fine.))

My favorite character was definitely possibly-Pahlad, with their bitter cynicism and constant challenges to everyone else to do better; wanting More Pahlad all the time was probably my biggest complaint about the book.

My other favorite character was the almost entirely useless Radch ambassador, who just did not want to be there that day. Everything about the treatment of the Radch in this book delights me. "So weird to hear this totally clueless woman speaking with the accent we're used to hearing from villains on the TV!" You definitely don't need to have read the Imperial Radch books to enjoy Provenance, but I suspect it does probably make the few Radch cameos five times funnier.
October 20th, 2017
newredshoes: vintage-y lady + parking lot full of cars (<3 | costumes and settings)
My phone tells me that I climbed 51 flights of stairs today.

But on the plus side, everything I don't plan on tossing from Old Place is now in New Place, and I drove a large van in freaking Brooklyn and didn't damage anything (a true first for me driving rented vehicles in a city!).

My nephew is worth his weight in gold, and I am so glad we get to reconnect like we are.

A good day.
October 19th, 2017
theladyscribe: (writing is for fun)
posted by [personal profile] theladyscribe at 09:02pm on 19/10/2017 under
Dear Hockey Holidays Writer,

Here is my letter! It is maybe a bit long in the tooth, but I have tried to be thorough. I have tried to include both holiday-themed and non-holiday-themed prompts for each of my requests. I've also included some general holiday prompts, but don't feel that your story has to center around the holidays. You do not need to use all of my prompts for any of my requests — these are suggestions of things I would enjoy, not the only things I like (nor everything I like). I would rather get a story about one thing you really want to write than a story with a bunch of things that you've included only because I mentioned them here. Feel free to mix and match prompts if something in my requests catches your eye for a different pairing.

rest of the letter below the cut )
October 18th, 2017
newredshoes: I am so hot for Bucky Barnes in his dress uniform. (cap | shipping out tomorrow)
I'm here! I'm intact! I'm in my new place! I'm about 90% moved in, but, lololol, the things that are still at the old place are, for some reason, things like all my regular clothes and my blankets and sheets. Betta Barnes will probably come with me tomorrow, and a friend with access to a creepy van (for setting up races) maaaaaay be able to help me collect everything that's left (mostly kitchen and random stuff). Five amazing Russian men completely disassembled my apartment in 90 minutes yesterday, four flights of stairs and all, and the whole move was done in just over three hours. As I was standing on the sidewalk with my bike, talking to the guys about how to get to the new place, who but Terrible Neighbor comes sauntering by, with her two kids right there. "Bye, bitch," she says, like she's ~got me (or something???). I thought up all this clever shit I could have said later, but... no more. It's almost over.

So now I'm picking out paint colors and trying to find where I packed things like my remote controls. I am determined to have at least one small corner plastered with flamingo wallpaper. An awesome Puerto Rican guy from the Bronx set up my internet tonight; we traded pet photos and stories, and he told me all about his brother, a retired Marine, who lives on the island with a service pig named Cleopatra. (He also told me that he thought I was an autoresponse robot when I picked up his call, because my voice was so "creamy," which is a freaking delightful compliment.)

I kind of don't have much more to say at the moment. Therapy was good today. Things are just... looking up, and that's great. ♥
skygiants: (wife of bath)
posted by [personal profile] skygiants at 07:40pm on 18/10/2017 under ,
I didn't deliberately read up on seventeenth-century English history history in preparation for A Skinful of Shadows; it was just a fortunate coincidence that I'd just finished Aphra Behn: A Secret Life right beforehand (thanks to [personal profile] saramily, who came into possession of the book and shoved it into my hands.)

The thing about the English Civil War and everything that surrounds it is that it's remarkably difficult to pick a team, from the modern perspective. On the one side, you've got Puritans and repressive morality and NO PLAYS OR GOOD TIMES FOR ANYONE, but also democracy and egalitarianism and a rejection of the divine right of kings and the aristocracy! On the other side, you've got GLORY IN THE DIVINELY ORDAINED KING AND THE PERFECTION OF THE ESTABLISHED SOCIAL ORDER, but also people can have a good time every once in a while and make sex jokes if they feel like it.

Anyway, one fact that seems pretty certain about Aphra Behn is that she grew up during the Interregnum and wrote during the Restoration, and was very much on Team Divine Kings Are Great. Would Puritans let a woman write saucy plays for the stage? NO SIRREE, NOT AT ALL, three cheers for the monarchy and the dissolute aristocracy!

There aren't all that many facts that are certain about Aphra Behn, especially her early years -- the first several chapters of this book involve a lot of posed hypotheticals about who she might have been, how she might have got her start, and who might have recruited her into the spying business. It does seem fairly certain she was a spy: code name Astrea, Agent 160. (Me, to [personal profile] aamcnamara, after seeing Or last month: "I don't know that I buy all that Agent 160 business, there's no way that was something they did in the 1660s!" I apologize for doubting you, Liz Duffy Adams.)

Admittedly she was the kind of spy who spent most of her spy mission stuck in a hotel in Antwerp writing irritated letters back to King Charles' intelligence bureaucracy, explaining that she would happily continue with her spying mission and do all the things they wished her to do if only they would send her enough money to PAY HER DANG HOTEL BILL. (They did not.)

Besides her unpaid expense reports, most of what is known about Aphra Behn comes from her context and her publications, and the things she wrote in them -- only some of which can absolutely definitively be traced to her at all; several of her short stories and novellas are disputed, including one of the ones I found most interesting, "Love-Letters Between A Nobleman And His Sister." This early three-volume novel is extremely thinly-veiled RPF about a wildly trashy historical trial involving King Charles' illegitimate son, his best friend, the best friend's wife, and the best friend's sister-in-law. All of these people then went on to be involved in a major rebellion, which the second and third volume of "Love-Letters" cheerfully fictionalizes basically as it was happening, in the real world.

One of the first English novels ever written by a woman [if it was indeed written by Aphra Behn], and arguably the first novel written EVER, and it's basically one of Chuck Tingle's political satires. This is kind of amazing to me.

OK, but back to things we think we're fairly sure we do know about Aphra Behn! She wrote a lot about herself talking, and about men judging her for how much she talked; she wrote a lot of things that were extremely homoerotic; she also wrote a lot about impotence; she was often short on money; she cheerfully stole other people's plots, then got mad when people accused her of stealing other people's plots; she rarely wrote anything that was traditionally romantic, and most of her work seems to have an extremely wicked bite to it. She did not read Latin, which did not stop her from contributing to volumes of translations of things from Latin. She was almost certainly not a member of the nobility, but she believed in divine right, and divine order, and divine King Charles, even though it seems likely from her writing that she did not believe personally in religion, or God, and the King probably never did pay her bills. An extremely interesting and contradictory person, living in an interesting and contradictory time.

And now I think I need to go find a good biography of Nell Gwyn - she's barely relevant to this biography (Aphra Behn dedicated a play to her, but there's no other information available about their relationship) and yet Janet Todd cannot resist throwing in a couple of her favorite historical Nell Gwyn one-liners and they're all SO GOOD.
October 16th, 2017
laundrybaskets: laundry (Default)
posted by [personal profile] laundrybaskets in [community profile] nano_writers at 05:07pm on 16/10/2017
 Anyone else going attempt NaNoWriMo this year?

For the first time in years, I am seriously planning on writing a story. I have no plot, but my main characters are loud and demanding. 
October 15th, 2017
gramarye1971: Old Ways (TDIR: Old Ways)
posted by [personal profile] gramarye1971 at 12:20pm on 15/10/2017 under ,
Took me much longer than I expected to whip this fic into a final shape, but it feels good to post it now. So have a story wherein even my fake dating reads like gen-fic, and I can't stop myself from finishing with an A. E. Housman quote because I am predictable like that.


Title: A Sunset Romance
Fandom: The Dark Is Rising Sequence
Rating: G
Relationship: Merriman Lyon & Miss Greythorne (or perhaps Merriman Lyon/Miss Greythorne)
Summary: At the end of the summer season in Trewissick, the Professor has returned to stay at the Grey House. This time, however, he has brought a lady with him...and from the look of things, their relationship goes beyond anything that might be interpreted as mere friendship.
Notes: An expanded version of a trope prompt ficlet, courtesy of the ever-delightful [personal profile] rymenhild, who requested fake dating, Merriman Lyon. Once I stopped giggling at the prompt, I started to see how it might actually work! So continuing my original response, here is a few thousand words of Merriman and Miss Greythorne fake dating, set in the autumn between the events of Over Sea, Under Stone and The Dark Is Rising. (Also on AO3.)

A Sunset Romance )
October 14th, 2017
tempestsarekind: (austen snark is the best snark)
Why you gotta be like this???

http://globefan.tumblr.com/post/166319239366/all-day-lectures-and-panel-at-the-globe-on-the

It's an all-day series of lectures/panel on "developments in the authorship question" later this month

I mean, I don't invite people to my house to have all-day lectures and panels on whether or not I exist, but you do you, I guess
newredshoes: Woman in religious ecstasy, surrounded by art implements (<3 | patron saint)
Some dates have been set, some things are happening, I am trying not to take late-afternoon/early evening naps! Moving trucks on Tuesday afternoon, three years to the day after I moved in here. Getting internet at the new place on Monday afternoon (in theory), and so should be getting keys... on Monday afternoon? Apparently this is very complicated. I already sense a pattern with this leasing company (ho ho, no shit!), but fingers crossed I just won't need anything ever. IT WILL BE FINE. Everything will be fine once I am in a new space!

Packing is starting to feel like psychological warfare, though. I have tried to make a list of what's left, which would in some ways be easier to handle if I could get access to my apartment, which legally becomes mine tomorrow. But it's like... the kitchen and the decision-fatigue-inducing papers and knickknacks and the "can I run all over Brooklyn and Manhattan to donate this before Tuesday and still get all my work done?" stuff. I suspect there will be a lot of Tuesday morning "throw it into a garbage bag! God will know his own!" going on.

TV is still good at the moment, though. Riverdale is peak ridonk, The Good Place is making me SO OUTRAGEOUSLY HAPPY and Jane the Virgin is finally back and I'm so overwhelmed by love that I can only watch it in chunks. I finally saw Kung Fury with my friend H, who came over last night for loafing; it was staggering, and it leaves Netflix in a week, so get on that, friends.

Neighbor has not messed with me since Monday night, at least. They seemed to be gone for a few days, but they're definitely back now. I'm worried about that window when the movers are coming in and out for a bit, but there's no way around it and hopefully, well. Movers.

I am still crashing and all my books are in boxes.
skygiants: Mosca Mye, from the cover of Fly Trap (the fly in the butter)
posted by [personal profile] skygiants at 02:40pm on 14/10/2017 under ,
I was resigned to waiting until October 17th for A Skinful of Shadows to come out in the US. However, [personal profile] izilen, horrified at both the long wait after the UK publication and the clear inferiority of the US cover, acquired a copy on my behalf and mailed it over the ocean -- after first warning me it was the darkest Frances Hardinge book yet.

Having now read it, I don't know that it's actually that much creepier than the first third of Cuckoo Song, or the bits of Lie Tree where Faith in her deepest self-loathing slithers snakelike through the island purposefully destroying everything she touches. It definitely has a higher body count -- a much higher body count -- but I mean it's a book about a.) ghosts and b.) the English Civil War so maybe that's to be expected ...?

Like many of Hardinge's books, it features:
- a ferocious underestimated girl struggling to hold onto a sense of self in a world that wishes her to have no such thing
- a recognition that the people you love and who believe that they love you will sometimes betray you, sometimes for reasons they believe are good and sometimes not
- a ruthless and terrible female antagonist whom the heroine cannot help but respect and admire
- a struggling journey up out of solitude towards a coalition built of necessity with the least likely individuals
- including an undead bear
- admittedly this is the first Hardinge book to include an undead bear
- it is also the first Hardinge book about literal ghosts, a lot of ghosts, a lot of very unpleasant and sinister ghosts but also some ghosts for whom I have a very deep affection, including the very bearlike bear.

I also have a great deal of affection for Makepeace - the illegitimate scion of a very old noble family that is quite confident it will be able to chew her up and spit her out, and finds itself repeatedly mistaken. I don't think I love her yet quite as much as Trista or Faith or Mosca, but that's what I said about Faith right after I read The Lie Tree, too, and LOOK AT ME NOW.
October 9th, 2017
newredshoes: Angie Martinelli making a funny face mid-word (agent carter | angie thinks it's bunk)
Things my neighbor yelled while pounding on my front door:
  • "Answer the door, bitch!"
  • "Keep my name out of your mouth, bitch!"
  • "I'm gonna trap you, bitch!"
  • (Aside, when I wouldn't answer) "What, is she taking a shit?" (While funny, also suggesting she wasn't alone, which, cool!!!!)

    She waited until [personal profile] theladyscribe left after spending the whole afternoon helping me pack, sort things for donation and tossing, and watch the first two episodes of Wynonna Earp (which, what!!!!! by the way!). Neighbor also kept yelling at me through our shared walls when I wouldn't come out when shouted at from the landing. Yes, I am freaked out! Yes, I am unhappy! I'm not so sure it's a good idea now for me to go to therapy tomorrow morning while also carrying huge bags of books to donate, in case she jumps me while I'm leaving. (I truly would not put it past her!)

    Everyone under the sun told me to call the police next time something like that happened, but I get my keys to my new place on Sunday, and I want to be out of here as fast as possible after that. She will 100% retaliate, if she hasn't already done something unspeakable to my door. (I know that also suggests I could call anyway, since she'll retaliate anyway, but. I do not want to deal with any of that.)

    I stayed quiet in the apartment for a while, because, well, earnestly freaking out. But then I put on iTunes shuffle, starting with the Office Space rap cover of "Take This Job and Shove It," and shuffle has been been very good to me, bringing all my most obnoxious-but-beloved tracks (Delirium, Neutral Milk Hotel, Lhasa, solo Paul McCartney, Simon & Garfunkel live; now it's playing a country cover of "We Can Work It Out").

    Honest to god, I am just so ready to leave. Would appreciate any moral support, though, I won't lie.
  • Music:: "I Remember," Damien Rice

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