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18/09/2017 18:57
yuuago: (SSSS - Vesa - Guelder-rose)
[personal profile] yuuago
Holy shit, you know you're a lightweight when all it takes to get you flushy is a single can of cider.

OR MAYBE it's just that the fic I'm writing is Really That Hot. Yeah, let's pretend it's that.

(Hey, [personal profile] laufeyknits, I think you'll love this thing. I mean, we figured that, but... seems it'll be up your alley. Probably.)

Apparently writing This Sort Of Thing is easier after a drink or two. I've slapped down five... almost six pages in two days. Who'd have thought. (NOT ME)

Except if everything goes according to plan it'll be Really Fucking Long and oh man, I don't want to think about how much of a pain in the ass it'll be to proof this, ugh....

Oh well. LATER. I will worry about that later. Yes.

(no subject)

17/09/2017 21:15
yuuago: (A Redtail's Dream - ?!)
[personal profile] yuuago
Oh gods, please remind me to never go into a yarn store again. Yarn stores are dangerous. Very.

(But... so many lovely things....)

I'm going to go to a piano performance tomorrow! And then a string quartet performance on Wednesday! Ahhh I haven't done anything of the sort in ages, this will be so nice... It's a good thing that I packed some vaguely-presentable clothes just in case.

Also: managed to write something today. It was kind of drizzly and cold and nasty, so I spent some time slapping down words in a cafe, and turned out about 1.2k ish. Feels good! Except, I started something new, when really, I should be finishing older wips. Oops. (It's that one with Tapiotar/Vesa, and if it turns out the way I expect, it'll sure be... something. And also one of the most niche things I've ever written, but oh well. xD)

Various

16/09/2017 21:54
yuuago: (A Redtail's Dream - Hannu)
[personal profile] yuuago
(Apologies if this posts twice; DW has been giving me tons of errors this evening.)

* Oh gods. My feet hurt. So. Bad. Not because of ill-fitting shoes; I've just done... so much walking... Damn, it's too bad I didn't take the phone with PokeGo on it; I'd have hatched a million eggs today. Upside: I did some wandering, discovered some new coffee shops away from the busiest part of downtown (and therefore more likely to be reasonably quiet), and also came across a grocery store, which certainly does mean some good things for my wallet. Mmm, fruit and granola for breakfast....

* I went to One Wave Gathering* at the legislature lawn today, and there were dance performances by various indigenous groups from the island, as well as some from the South Pacific, and it was awesome.

* Picked up a tiny cheapass sketchbook and spent some time scribbling (including while I was watching the dancers). Not actual, y'know, drawing; just some scribbly figures. It's nice. I find that if I go into things with the intent of disposing of it/recycling it after I'm finished, I enjoy it more....

* Going to go see Nomadic Tempest tomorrow evening. It's... a rock opera? Performed on a boat? Something like that. Hopefully it'll turn out to be as cool as it sounds. ;p

* I was going to write tonight, but I'm far too tired for it. ...Ordinarily I'd feel a bit bad, but I regret nothing. ;V (Well, okay, MAYBE I feel a TINY bit like a slackass for not writing anything for Synchronised Screaming two weeks in a row, but....) Hopefully I'll be able to do some scribbling tomorrow, though. The Trick or Treat signup list looks so good already, and I want to get started with writing....

* YiH: Karo showed a preview from an extra chapter* and eeeee~ <3 Ahhh Veeti's hair is doing that, you know, fwoosh, wavy thing. Loving the reminder that YiH Veeti actually is very attractive when he doesn't have that "half-dead, or maybe he just got pulled out of a swamp" sort of look goin' on... It's something that I forgot about, to the point where I even told Folie that while I love him to bits, he ain't smoochable, not so much. I CONCEDE, I take it all back, A++ would kiss.

* Imagine what a spider wearing flip flops would sound like. Just think about that for a second.

(no subject)

16/09/2017 21:08
skygiants: Beatrice from Much Ado putting up her hand to stop Benedick talking (no more than reason)
[personal profile] skygiants
If you are currently in Boston, you have one week left to go see Or at the Chelsea Theater! As [personal profile] aamcnamara put it on Twitter, "it is the Restoration queer bedroom farce spy writing-themed play of your dreams."

Or features three cast members, playing, respectively:
- former spy and ambitious playwright Aphra Behn
- Charles II of England and also Aphra Behn's ex-lover double agent William Scot
- Nell Gwyn, and also Aphra Behn's elderly and extremely cranky maid, and also in one memorably stamina-requiring and scene-stealing monologue Lady Mary Davenant, manager of the Duke's Company of theatrical players

Most of the play takes place in Aphra Behn's apartment, with cast members popping in and out of side rooms as Aphra Behn vainly attempts to keep all her love interests separate AND ALSO thwart a hypothetical plot on the king's life AND ALSO and most importantly finish writing the final act of her career-launching play by a deadline of 9 AM the next morning! Which nobody will let her do! Because they keep wanting to make out with her and/or tell her about plots on the king's life! It's all very frustrating!

The dialogue is delightful, the actors do a fantastic job rattling out natural-sounding rapid-fire iambic pentameter, I laughed aloud at the final plot twist, and the ending contains a solid dose of much-appreciated optimism; it's an extremely enjoyable experience and one I would strongly recommend.
yuuago: (A Redtail's Dream - Kantele)
[personal profile] yuuago
WELL, here I am in Victoria. It's nice to be off the plane, let me tell you. :V

Popped into Munro's after supper... oh gods, I need to avoid going in there. The amount of books - well, not just books, but books I would actually want to read - is overwhelming. They have an entire set of bookshelves filled with poetry! Like, not just one shelf, but the whole damn rack! So much of it! Huge! Every time I go in there, my brain can't process the amount of it. Far different from back home's "half of one shelf, and half of that selection is made up of Leonard Cohen".

Discovered that Gregory Scofield has a new collection out - Witness, I Am. Had to get it, of course. AND ALSO I discovered that he'll be holding workshops at the Festival of Authors... which I am going to miss by only a handful of days, arrrrgh goddamn. If only I could extend my stay!

See, his writing means a lot to me - when I read Singing Home the Bones, it was the first time I'd come across a 21st-century poet whose work I actually liked. Before that, it was all... [/vague handwave] Epics and medieval stuff. The Harley lyrics, Homer's works, the Kalevala, Beowulf, that sort of thing. But there was something about Scofield's work, I can't put a finger on what.

So, that's a disappointment. But oh, well. Maybe some time another opportunity will present itself.

Regardless, I'm looking forward to doing glorious nothing for an entire week. It'll be nice to just do whatever I please and not have to think about... anything at all.

Also: my room has a proper teakettle. I'm delighted. No sad mediocre microwaved tea this time. Brilliant. <3

(no subject)

14/09/2017 18:16
skygiants: Hikaru from Ouran walking straight into Tamaki's hand (talk to the hand)
[personal profile] skygiants
At first I expected to write a rather scathing post about Rachel Kadish's The Weight of Ink, and then I got like 2/3 of the way through and realized that there were in fact some things I really liked about the book to counteract the things that made me stare into the camera like I was on the office, and THEN I got to the end and -

-- ok let me backtrack. The Weight of Ink is a serious literary novel about a pair of academics (the favorite protagonists of serious literary novels) who have discovered a treasure trove of 17th-century documents in a staircase written by Ester Velasquez, a Portuguese Jewish woman who Confounded All Tradition by acting as scribe for a London rabbi. The book proceeds to interweave Ester's story and POV with that of the academics as they discover various bits of evidence pointing to the things that Rachel Kadish will then later explain to us in Ester's narrative sections.

Ester's story is .... it's mostly good? I think I have come around to largely thinking it's good. It starts to pick up around the middle of the book, when Ester starts writing letters to various famous philosophers under fake male names so that she can Engage in the Discourse.

[ACADEMIC A: [Ester's fake name] did not get much attention during his career or make any important allies -
ACADEMIC B: Oh, why is that?
ACADEMIC A: Well, basically, he was very rude to everyone he wrote to.

I will admit I was charmed.]

Ester's most important relationships are with the rabbi -- a good and wise man who respects her intellect and cannot support the ways in which she chooses to use it -- and with Rivka, the rabbi's housekeeper, a Polish Jew who acts as Ester's foil in a number of significant ways, not all of them obvious or expected. Both of these dynamics have an interesting and complicated tension to them that goes well beyond the standard 'I, A Misunderstood Woman Ahead Of My Time.'

Also there is another young upper-class Jewish woman who is rebellious in wildly different ways than Ester is; a pair of brothers who are both interested in marrying Ester for profoundly different reasons, neither of which is true love; and, for a brief period of time, a love interest. The love interest is hilariously lacking in personality and equally hilariously irrelevant to Ester's life on the whole, and mostly exists to trigger a series of philosophical musings related to desire about which Ester can fight with Spinoza. I guess The Distant Shadow Of Spinoza is also one of Ester's most significant relationships.

Anyway, I appreciate the weighting of these relationships, and the way in which the narrative emphasis shifted from what I expected, and especially all the relationships that were not grounded in romance, but in other forms of love and duty and resentment and complicated emotional bonds.

And ... then there's our modern academics.

Helen Watt is a stiff-necked elderly British specialist in Jewish history, who is on the verge of retirement due to Parkinson's disease. Helen has a Tragic Backstory: in her youth, she spent a month as a volunteer in Israel in the 1950s and had a summer fling. Sorry, let me rephrase: she met an Israeli soldier who was the love! of her life!! (For a month.)

The pivotal scene in their romance occurs when Helen shows up for one of their few actual shared off days to have a date, and he hands her a copy of The History of the Jewish People and then LEAVES and REFUSES TO COME BACK until she's READ IT COVER TO COVER. This is the only way she can understand our endless, endless oppression!

(Meanwhile, he lurks outside, and periodically brings her snacks. THIS SCENE IS SOMEHOW NOT MEANT TO BE COMIC.)

Alas, Young Helen in her frailty decides it's all a LITTLE too much for her, and subsequently regrets her lost love until the end of her days. But, inspired by the world's weirdest date, she decides to dedicate her life to the study of Jewish history, so I guess ... that's all right .....?

She is assisted in her endeavors by Aaron, the third POV character. Aaron is an insufferable American Jewish Ph.D. student. He is working on a dissertation about Shakespeare and the Jews, for which he has no evidence, so instead he spends the entire book obsessing over an unattainable Cool Girl. (And she is so textbook Cool Girl! The coolest girl of all! A girl who poses nude for artists who capture a certain something about her, a girl who's just realer than other girls, THE MAGICAL IDEAL.) He sends her incredibly long, pompous emails after a one-night stand which took place on an evening in which "he waited until Marisa was on her second beer -- he kept track from a distance, biding his time. When he approached at last, his own untouched beer dangling casually in his hand --" OKAY AARON, THANKS AND GOODBYE, YOU AND I ARE DONE.

But alas, we are not done with Aaron, we are not done with Aaron at all. Eventually Aaron does come to realize that he's insufferable! A significant part of this realization comes when he visits an archive and meets a shy, demure archivist who's bad at flirting, and is suddenly struck by how desperately sad it is that people like her may never find love because they're all overlooked by assholes like him. If only people like him paid attention to people like her, their lives might be fulfilling and the world would be better! ALAS.

(There are two other archivists in the book, The Interchangeable Patricias. They have a few moments of heroically rising to Helen's aid but mostly their role is to stand as icily competent, largely humorless glowering gate-guards over the sacred text, because of course.)

So basically everything about the modern sections was nonsense to me. (Also, I got mad every time they found a document that explained to them a Piece of the Mystery in a way that was way too narratively convenient. 'Oh, look, Ester doodled out her real name and her fake name next to each other and added a note that said 'HEY IT'S ALL MY NAMES!' Isn't that handy!')

Still, Ester's story in and of itself was good and compelling and interesting, and grudgingly I became invested in it despite myself...

And then spoilers! )

Reading Wednesday

13/09/2017 21:15
yuuago: (Germany - Reading)
[personal profile] yuuago
Oof... there was some sort of enormous construction delay, and traffic was backed up, and the tl;dr of it is that I didn't get home until nearly 8PM. Geeze.

Upside: I was able to finish reading Patrick Gale's A Place Called Winter.

Quick take: This was a breezy read. I liked it. Would read it again, even. It'd make a good film, actually. Because of the premise, I was worried that it would have a tragic end, but that is not so; the ending is hopeful.

Now, a fairly realistic M/M novel set in Edwardian-era England and Saskatchewan is bound to have its parts that are painful to get through... and that can be said for this one. But there are also a lot of happy moments too. And, like I mentioned, the ending isn't a downer (or at least, not entirely).

Would I recommend it? Sure, especially if the time period/setting is appealing. While there is romance in it, it's as much historical fiction as it is a romance (if not more), and for me, the Saskatchewan bits were definitely part of the appeal.

The author isn't Canadian, but I think he must have travelled to Canada at some point, because the way he paints a portrait of it is just so very perfect.

A couple of short excerpts that I liked )

Anyway.

The character I fell in love with most was (as usual) not the central character, Harry Cane; rather it was Ursula, a two-spirit woman who shows up in certain parts and forms a friendship with Harry over time. We see just enough of her for me to latch on to, and man, I'm kind of tempted to write fic about her....

More about that (also, spoilers) )

(no subject)

13/09/2017 22:38
skygiants: Sheska from Fullmetal Alchemist with her head on a pile of books (ded from book)
[personal profile] skygiants
Juliet Takes a Breath was our book club book for the month of August. I am glad for the existence of this book in the world and I am glad I read it, and with that said my experience of reading it was largely one of OVERWHELMING CONTACT EMBARRASSMENT.

Juliet Takes a Breath is the coming-of-age story of Juliet Milagros Palante, a young Puerto Rican lesbian from the Bronx who's spending the summer of 2002 interning in Portland, Oregon! with international feminist sensation Harlowe Brisbane! author of "Raging Flower," a book about VAGINA POWER!

Unsurprisingly, pretty much every time Harlowe Brisbane spoke a sentence I wanted to retract my head all the way back inside my nonexistent turtle shell until a million years had passed and womyn power white lady feminism was a thing that could be discussed with distant scholarly complacency, like galvanism or the Cathar heresy. This is completely expected and indeed clearly intended by the book, but nonetheless, OH LORD.

Anyway, not everything is Harlowe Brisbane being exactly the way you'd expect; a great deal of the book is Juliet dealing with a wide range of family reactions to her coming-out (the width of the range in particular is really good!), and Learning New Vocabularies, and finding comfortable queer POC spaces, and attending lectures about intersectional solidarity in the wake of 9/11, and making romantic gay teen mixtapes full of Ani DiFranco songs! But oh, lord. At least one book club member said it rang extremely true to their experience and memories of Portland in 2002. Myself, in 2002 I was nowhere near Portland nor any of the Cool Yet Problematique gay spaces that Rivera is writing about here and it's PROBABLY just as well, but it does seem quite likely to me that walking around Portland in 2002 was a lot like walking around a physical manifestation of certain bits of tumblr, and that is indeed the sense I got of it from this book.

[a sidenote: the acknowledgments in the back include pointed thanks and reference to the time that the author spent with Inga Muscio, author of 'Cunt: A Declaration of Independence.' I'm not necessarily saying this book was a callout post, but .... anyway Inga Muscio also cheerfully blurbed the book on the front so it seems there were no hard feelings on her part and all is well.]

Blah blah blah eyeshadow

11/09/2017 21:37
yuuago: (DDADDS - Damien - Glam)
[personal profile] yuuago
I picked up a MUFE palette a while back, and it's only recently that I've been experimenting with it a bit.

More about that )

(no subject)

10/09/2017 22:07
yuuago: (DenNor - Be with you)
[personal profile] yuuago
You know it's time for bed when you accidentally put the relationships in the characters field... Maybe it's best to just, like, not let me near Ao3 ever. (Or maybe I could get some proper sleep for a change -- nah.)

Today was utterly nasty. Windy and cold and rainy all at once. I took one look outside, and decided to not even bother going out or anything, because it looked seriously unpleasant. (And now I feel like a lump, but, well. That's how it goes.)

Finished my letter* for [community profile] trickortreatex. You guys should all consider doing this one~ I love this exchange so much! Mmm, that bite-sized minimum wordcount. Delicious. :D

Leaving for vacation this Friday... Aahh! It'll be nice to go somewhere, even if it's somewhere I've been before - well, Victoria is always nice. Haven't decided what to do when I'll get there, but I'm sure I'll figure it out. Though, considering so much of the Pacific coast is on fire, I'm a little worried about smoke. Not physically, but well - ugh, I'll just deal with it somehow if I see/smell it, I guess.

On an unrelated note, I made a crustless quiche thing yesterday, and it turned out really good. ...I had supervision for it, but eh. At least it turned out. ~Learning experience~ and all that. We were going to do another one of my recipes from that book of Fruilian cooking, but we took one look at the time/temperature suggested for baking the frittata, and were like "... this seems off". Sooo... we used one of mom's recipes instead. I might dump it here later - going to have to look for the card first.

Dziady etc; pagan stuff )

(no subject)

10/09/2017 18:37
skygiants: Katara from Avatar: the Last Airbender; text 'just kicked butt' (katara kicks butt)
[personal profile] skygiants
Code Name Pauline: Memoirs of a World War II Special Agent is a compilation of oral history interviews with Pearl Witherington Cornioley, behind-the-lines SOE agent in France during WWII, packaged up into a YA nonfiction narrative.

Pearl's story is as fascinating as all the other stories about WWII female secret agents I've read, with the bonus that it's barely crushingly depressing at all! Pearl started out as a courier, posing as a traveling cosmetics saleswoman and working with an old school friend of hers who was running the SOE Stationer network -

(sidenote; she'd also been the one to recommend that her old school friend sign up for secret intelligence to begin with, and then was like 'yes now that I've set that up I'll pop on over to join his network now, thanks')

(sidenote 2; she'd also managed to somehow smuggle a secret message to her fiance Henri, a French soldier who had just escaped from German POW camp, and get him in contact with the Stationer network as well, so literally as soon as she parachuted in her boss was like "HEY WELCOME TO FRANCE HERE'S YOUR BOYFRIEND I'll just .... leave you two alone a bit")

- but eventually her boss was arrested by the Gestapo. Fortunately, Pearl had dragged several other members of the network out for a picnic that day, so they all escaped!

Then D-Day happened and Pearl was like "well, I guess it is now my job to be in charge of organizing all British supply drops and getting weapons and money to the French underground resistance, and no one else seems to be sabotaging the Germans around here, so ..... I guess that's what we're doing now?"

And that's how Pearl ended up being in charge of several thousand Maquis soldiers! With Henri playing support.

(There's a couple of Henri interviews in the back and they are mostly taken up with the story of how he rescued a baby bunny while retreating from the Germans and brought it along with him through numerous battles until they were about to be captured, at which point he was like 'FLY FREE, MY RABBIT FRIEND! SAVE YOURSELF!' "And that was the only life I saved during the war." BLESS.

There's also a very cute bit that the interviewers put in dialogue, because they also obviously found it super cute, where Pearl is like "ugh I get so mad when people say the men followed me because I was pretty" and Henri is like "BUT YOU WERE, YOU WERE SO PRETTY" and Pearl is like "I WAS NOT AND ALSO THAT'S NOT THE POINT.")

I have not yet managed to get my hands on Nancy Wake's autobiography, but I would love to compare/contrast -- they played very similar roles during the war in organizing Maquis during the liberation of France, but while Nancy Wake seems to have made no bones about being a very front-lines combatant (strangling soldiers with her bare hands, etc.) Pearl spends a lot of time in her account strongly disclaiming active heroism and emphasizing the logistics and support elements of her role. Could she have killed somebody herself if she had to? Well, gosh, she's so glad she never had to find out, that wasn't her job at all!

But I mean, Pearl also starts out early on in her narrative explaining that she is very conflict-averse and dislikes argument above all things, and then goes on to describe, in addition to extensive amounts of fighting with the Germans:

- fighting with the entire French government when it looked like they weren't going to give any of her Maquis any medals because they were technically working under the British rather than the French (ง'̀-'́)ง
- fighting with the entire English government when they tried to give her a civil Order of the British Empire rather than a military one because "there was nothing remotely 'civil' about what I did" (ง'̀-'́)ง
- fighting with the head of SOE after he accused a trusted French colleague of hers of being a double agent due to a misunderstanding and then failed to apologize -- "as Colonel Buckmaster is kind enough to visit me each time I come to Paris, can you ask him to alert me next time and I'll ask [the dude who was falsely accused] to come too?" (ง'̀-'́)ง (AND HER OLD BOSS NEVER VISITED HER AGAIN)
- fighting yet again with the English government when they wouldn't let her wear parachute wings, because she'd only jumped four times instead of five, "SO I JUST WORE THEM ANYWAY" (ง'̀-'́)ง (the editor is like 'we don't know where or how she got a pair to wear? but apparently she did?')

What I'm saying is I take Pearl's description of her own retiring conflict-averse shyness with a grain of salt.
yuuago: (Tistow - Veeti - Magic)
[personal profile] yuuago
Dear Trick or Treat creator:
Hi! I'm really looking forward to what you're working on for me. I bet it'll be awesome. :D I've tried to provide a lot of possibilities in order to give you an idea of what I'd enjoy - but I'd be pretty happy with almost anything. There is no need to adhere strictly to my prompts; run with them in whichever direction you would like. As long as you don't hit anything on the Do Not Want list, we're good!

Requested medium: Fic or Art (all fandoms). Requested genre: Treat or Trick (all fandoms). Ao3 username: yuuago.

Questions/comments/requests for clarification are welcome. *Letter subject to change - I might add more prompts or another fandom later.

Likes and Dislikes )
A Redtail's Dream )
Hetalia )
The Seventh Bride – T. Kingfisher )
Slavic Mythology )
Small Trolls )
The Snow Queen (1957) )
Stand Still Stay Silent )
Valiant Hearts: The Great War )
Year in Hereafter )
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