Wednesday, November 04, 2015

In Process -- October 2015

First Draft

"Trepanneria and Scrimshawerie". Short story, not particularly satisfying, done. 
"Labyrinth Moon". Short story, much more satisfying. Done. 


I a little bit fell off the wagon with editing this month, and days went by where I didn't do anything except maybe crosswords and sudoku, mostly because I was so close to done with Lucky Kate that it needed some space. Eventually I dealt with this by typing some things up.
"Food Insecurity". typed this up and took out crap.
Something I noticed typing this is I really can't tell which pages were here to write and which were easy. so that's good.
Unfortunately while entering thechanges, I got stuck when I came across a spot where I needed to finish writing a scene I had somehow abandoned on the first draft.
"Lucky Kate". At the end of the month I was able to convince myself to go through it. Really, one more draft of this and done this time for sure.  






Rust Damask Jacket (Takle & Kolstadt). Almost finished first ball of dark rust. That was my goal for the month, and I've failed.  
Gift Item #2. Finished.
Gift Item #3. Half done.
Gift Item #4. 80% done.  
St. Anthony. This was finished back in... June maybe? I knew I wasn't going to wear it because I hated the neckline. Now I've come up with a plan, so before starting any other  gift items, I will finish it again. It's maybe a weekend's work, which is less than I thought. I'm just going to have to live with the too long sleeves. And I decided I like the body the way it is.

Monday, November 02, 2015

What I Read -- October 2015

“The Buried Giant” by Kazuo Ishiguro. So much buzz! So much fake controversy! I found this book really slow – too much dialog. At the same time, that dialog expressed character really well. Sir Gawain was really funny. We have a game we play at my house: the “Are you calling me fat?” game. It’s where everything you say can be turned into a comment about my weight. I think it’s enormously fun, Ed maybe not so much (the boy seems to like it too, often chiming in with “Did you just call her fat?” before I even have a chance). Anyway, Gawain plays this game too, but not about fat: more about mass murder. “There are a lot of bones here,” one character says, and Gawain says, “I didn’t kill all those people!” at great length. I’m paraphrasing. Also, there’s a warrior who’s got his arm basically strapped to his side, and Gawain detects a certain weakness there. Awesome! Also, I thought the title must refer to the dragon, but what it does refer to was quite awesome when it resolved. 

“Palais Royale” by Ian Fleming. Due to a quirk of Canadian copyright law, James Bond (book version, not movie version) enters public domain this fall in Canada and I think a couple of other countries like New Zealand and Japan, so a couple of Toronto authors have put together an anthology of new, unauthorized James Bond stories Due to the trans-pacific partnership, that copyright loophole will probably be closed next year. I’m not a big fan of the way copyright law works right now because death +70 years is an awful long time, and your descendents two generations removed shouldn’t still be sucking in the cash from your Tarzan invention or whatever. But apparently I’m on the wrong side of Disney so there you go. Anyway, the whole thing made me interested in the written James Bond, which I have no exposure to, as opposed to the movies, which I feel like I’ve seen all of at least five times each.
This book was ridiculously sexist, but it did move right along.

“Ancillary Justice” by Ann Leckie. I’d like to say read this because it won so many awards, but really, it’s because I was writing about Ancillary Data Streams at work and there was some kind of joke in there about book 4 of this series, and I needed to know what it was.
What with the sad puppies etc., I had a misconception about the gender thing going in. I’m not really sure what I expected, but it seemed to me AL was trying to present a society that didn’t express gender either physically or linguistically. If she used male pronouns throughout it was totally imperceptible. Using female pronouns made the whole thing clear.
The scenes where One Esk describes what she sees through multiple eyes were really beautiful. So was the Mercy at the end. I didn’t find Sievarden’s transformation from drug-addled wreck to reliable assistant particularly believable, but that is very possibly my problem not hers.

“The Scorpio Races” by Maggie Stiefvater. We all know by now, I’d read her grocery lists. I told the boy if he couldn’t think of something to give me for my birthday, this book would be good, and he cooperated. The title almost turned me off, though it is descriptive of the contents of the book, which was lovely.

Monday, October 05, 2015

What I read -- September 2015

“My Real Children” by Jo Walton. After plugging it to one of my friends, it seemed appropriate to read it myself. I wasn’t sure how well it would work, but it turned out fine. I started having to put it down about 40 pages from the end because watching Trish/Pat lose her memory was too distressing for sustained attention, but I pushed through. JW’s voice is so her own. There was more exposition than I thought was allowed, but it totally worked, so apparently that rule… isn’t. Whatever works for the story is how the story has to be told. 

“Maplecroft” by Cherie Priest. This totally sucked me in and if I could have I would have stayed up all night finishing it. The story is told in diary entries, letters, and reports, and it was an interesting exercise in voice I think. When doing something like that it seems to me that you can’t let the different characters sound too different, or too the same. The sequel came out at the start of the month!

“Deathless” by Catherynne M. Valente. She’s one of my girl crushes. This was fun to read at the same time that I was following Steven Brust’s readalong of Trotsky’s “The Revolution Betrayed”. The fairy tale repeating patterns and layers of imagery were fantastic. Sometimes I felt like I didn’t know Russian stories or history nearly well enough to catch all the references, but what I did catch was plenty.

Thursday, October 01, 2015

In Process -- September 2015

First Draft
 “Food Insecurity”. Short story, finished again.
“Smoke Zombies”. Short story, finished.
“Trappaneria and Scrimshawerie”. Short story, started.
I am starting to fantasize about NaNoWriMo again. Maybe this is water leopard’s year?

“Food Insecurity”. Typed up and took apart the crap part.
“Lucky Kate”. Did Character/Setting draft.



“Ceremonial Armour” (Kaffe Fassett, knit from a photo). Tied in all danglers. Crocheted edging. Sewed on beads. Tidied steek edges. Blocked. After 35 months, this thing is done!
Rust Damask Jacket (Takle & Kolstadt). Ignored.
Gift item. Done.
Gift item. 5%.

Wednesday, September 02, 2015

What I read -- August 2015

“Flex” by Ferrett Steinmetz. He was in my Viable Paradise class, so how could I not read this? The boy saw it and said the cover looked cool. I read the scene where Valentine and Aliyah made up while I was sitting in the coffee store, and tears ran down my face, so way to go Ferrett. So proud to know him! 

“The Darkest Part of the Forest” by Holly Black. The boy has an unexpected hatred for the Spiderwick Chronicles that he’s never explained. So this book didn’t attract him at all. Me, on the other hand… I couldn’t put it down. I especially loved how Hazel and Ben had the shadow of their parents’ neglect hanging over them, which got fixed about when they didn’t need their parents anymore. I also loved Ben and Hazel’s relationship so much. 

“The Maltese Falcon” by Dashiell Hammett. Last week I read a quote from William Gibson that referred to DH and plot, and it seemed worth reading something. This book was published in 1929! It held up just fine, seemed like reading the script from a black-and-white movie. Though I did have to google excelsior (a brand of wood packing chips). 

“A Universe from Nothing” by Lawrence M. Krauss. The boy bought this a couple of months ago, and read it and then forced it on me. The weird thing was I felt like I understood it! And I can’t even understand routers. A little bit rabid on the atheism, but whatever.