Tuesday, October 11, 2016

What I Read -- September 2016

“The King of Attolia” by Megan Whalen Turner. Since I was on a bit of a roll, I might as well continue, right? I almost stayed up all night to read the second half, and then the next morning caught myself accidentally reading ten pages the next morning before work. These books do so much right – characters, plot (so much plot!), all the scenes pulling their weight. There are scenes full of banter, but it all serves character and plot!

“A Conspiracy of Kings” by Megan Whalen Turner. This was the whole point of the previous three, so here we are. There wasn’t enough Eugenides, in my opinion.

“Mother London” by Michael Moorcock. I don’t think I’d ever read a book by him before, so I picked one at random. This might not have been the best place to start. The story travels back and forth in time following three people who share a peculiar psychic ability that they don’t really control. It’s about how London was affected by the aftermath of WWII, with the displacement that happened during rebuilding, etc., and Brexit is an interesting time to revisit that. It wasn’t until the end that I decided the plot was primarily about a love triangle. If it wasn’t a library book that needs to go back, I might consider reading it again now that I have a clue. The language was really quite lovely, but as a whole it was hard to grok the first time through.

Monday, October 03, 2016

In Process -- September 2016

1st draft
Continued Season 11 Writing Excuses exercises.
“The ex-magician’s apprentice”. 4000-word short story, finally done.
Then I got to turn to editing Volcano again, and then a couple more short things. It’s neat to be trying to write really short things as exercises. I wish I’d started doing this a while ago.
“Labyrinth Moon”. I don’t know when I’ll be ready to commit to this as done, but it must be close.
“The Cicatrix Diary”. Ignored.
“Volcano”. Started the month with 800 words to remove to get it under 5000 (which was my goal). Used it in some of the month’s exercises.
 “Imp Face”. Trimmed the middle and improved the ending.
“Top of the Stairs”. Typed and did one editing pass, then put on the shop…
I’m trying a different thing here where rather than editing it to death myself I let other people (hopefully) provide suggestions on that.

Went to a friend’s reading (actually missed my friend reading due to being trapped in a long line at the Tim Horton’s drive through) which morphed into a workshop and there were a few publishers there – my mother’s publisher was one of them which was neat. He remembered her!
Critted 6
Got back 1 crit on the one story, put up another story, got 1 crit on that too.

I think I might have figured out at long last how to be critted finally. It’s not about the words they say, it’s about my attitude going in, what my goal is. I think before I was wanting people to tell me I was genius. In my head I knew that was not the right way to do to it, but, well, let’s say I’m getting more out of this workshopping thing than I did last time. So win.


Ann Boleyn (1998).  Having restarted the sleeve, I had enthusiasm for it again, so I did an entire pattern repeat.
Gift socks. Done.
More gift socks. started.
Gift (other thing). Started.

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Random thoughts about CAN CON

Sometimes I’m reading an article about Cultural Appropriation or something (e.g., http://www.salon.com/2016/09/26/writers-imagination-vs-cultural-appropriation-in-search-of-common-ground/) and I think about Canada and Canadian culture.

I know people who won’t read Canadian books just on principle (I tried to force a Guy Gavriel Kay book on someone once, and after about a year he conceded, and told me afterward he wished I hadn’t told him GGK was Canadian because he would have read it sooner). We consider Canadian movies to be low-budget crap. Orphan Black is so good, we don’t even consider it Canadian. I once saw George Stromboulopolis say “Americans see someone famous and say someday I’m going to be that guy. Canadians see someone famous, and they say Someday I’m going to  bring him down.” Paraphrasing, but that’s the gist.

And now we have a serial killer going around Hollywood killing people in Canadian ex-pats’ houses. Well, in my imagination, anyway. Two is a trend, right?

It all means something just on the edge of my consciousness. If only I was a little bit smarter, I could articulate it.

Like, maybe it’s that this nervous tic people have here (I can’t say Cdns, because I do it too) where we’re talking about someone who is generally accepted abroad and we go “He’s Canadian.” It’s like we can’t believe they’re talented until they’ve achieved international acclaim. We have no faith in our own judgment.

Maybe what I’m trying to say is we’re ripe for appropriation up here, I don’t know.

Wednesday, September 07, 2016

In Process -- August 2016

1st draft
Continued Season 11 Writing Excuses exercises.
This month I got to write a couple of short stories for these.
“The Stairs Going Up”. 2500-word short story, done.
“The ex-magician’s apprentice”. 4000-word short story, not quite done.

“Labyrinth Moon”. My crazy plan with the Online Writing Workshop is to finish stories, send them out and get them their rejections (if that’s what they garner…) and then put them on OWW in order to get critical feedback because I get rather a lot of the form rejections. There are only two stories in my backlog that meet the requirements, so this month my goal was to finish a couple of things and get them circulating so they can accrue those rejections. And here we are, sigh. I got to the point where I couldn’t look at it anymore and set it aside. Maybe next month?
“The Cicatrix Diary”. Ignored.
“Volcano”. The problem was the first scene was 3x as long as it needed to be. It’s shorter and better now. The rest? Ugh.
 “Imp Face”. Ignored.

Tweeted some circus stuff. 
Critted  7; close to my goal of two per week.
Got back one more crit on the one story.


Ann Boleyn (1998).  At the start of the month I was getting ready to rip out seven rows of the first sleeve, do eight more rows of the body, then start the sleeve again.  But then I changed my mind and just kept on with the sleeve I’d started. Then I ripped out four inches of sleeve and added seven stitches of width to it and I think I’m happy now, but I have about 20 less rows than I did.
Folded mini dress. Finished.
Gift sock. Don’t tell anyone.
Eir by Elsebeth Lavold. Kind of based on the tee in “suicide squad” because I don’t have enough white. I cast it on because I need to always have something with vast expanses of stocking stitch. I used a cone of Silk-Cotton and a skein of purple silk, and used up most of the white and all of the purple, which is good. 
Baby booties. Two pairs, both gold. One is for a work shower, the other is for a friend.

Tuesday, September 06, 2016

What I read -- August 2016

“Massacre at Mountain Meadows” by Ronald W. Walker, Richard E. Turley, and Glen M. Leonard.  Sarah Monette (KatherineAddison) read and reviewed it a couple of weeks ago, and it sounded really interesting, and then I accidentally requested it from the library, so then I was stuck. But this was actually pretty interesting even if it wasn’t what I meant to read next.
I'm always fascinated by the way proper historians think. Good history books are aware of what ideas they don’t have facts to support, and these authors made it very clear what they were guessing about. Plus it’s a fascinating piece of history that I knew nothing about. 

“TheThief” by Megan Whalen Turner. Reread because I came across book 4 at Bakka. My notes say I first read this in September of 2006. It’s still a fantastic read. I love how Sounis, Eddis, and Attolia are the names of countries and their regents.

“TheQueen of Attolia” by Megan Whalen Turner. Because what was the point of reading just book 1? When I brought home book 1, I told the boy I knew he didn’t love these books the way I did, but I bought it anyway. And he said he didn’t hate these books, it’s just that his 12-year-old self didn’t think Gen should have to lose his hand.