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. 

Thursday, August 11, 2016

What I read -- July 2016

“Children of Earth and Sky” by Guy Gavriel Kay. I love the way he sets up his characters, puts them in an interesting spot. And then I love how he catches them at an absolute life-changing moment. I love how he doesn’t feel obligated to keep them static. His characters evolve so much!

So this book contained what seemed to me to be like the worst-planned war ever. And I assume it’s totally based on history! Every sprint one army would leave its city and drag their heavy cannons towards a fortress. If they made it there in time, they would besiege it. If not, they would turn around and go home, so they could come back next year.

“The Peripheral” by William Gibson. When I requested this from the library, I didn’t realize it was so long. But that’s okay, the chapters were short and it was no trouble to read 100 pages at a sitting. He really kept the energy up – characters popping in and out of the peripherals, using the alternating POVs to keep the story moving. I stopped about halfway through to  figure out how he was managing those POVs actually.

So the worldbuilding was great (the lack of time paradox was useful), the characters were great (esp. the ones who appeared in both timeframes, that was neat), the plot kind of got lost for me. But whatever.

“Forever” by Maggie Stiefvater. The boy read it and wanted to talk about how MS does the things she does. He has the spirit of an editor. So I finished it, and now we can talk.

Tuesday, August 02, 2016

In Process -- July 2016

1st draft
Continued Season 11 Writing Excuses exercises
“The Cicatrix Diary”. I seem to have abandoned this story.
“Volcano”. There was a plot but the characters were thin. Writing Excuses gave me an idea of what it needed.
“Labyrinth Moon”. So close to done last month. I had a plan for this one, which fell apart due to unrealistic expectations on my part.
“Imp Face”. The Writing Excuses exercise was about adding a subtext of Element of Wonder.

Rejoined the online writing workshop. It was time. Put one thing up, critted one thing, got one crit that I haven’t looked at yet.


Ann Boleyn (1998).  I started the month with just the shoulder short rows done. That was five colors of the ten. When I added color 6 in, I started having angst and almost ripped it out, but then I just kept going because what the heck, and it’s fine. I knitted down to the start of the first sleeve and started that, but I think it’s too narrow and maybe too short so I’m going to take that out and do another inch of chest I think.
Folded mini dress. I had five folded pattern repeats done at the start of the month. I did two more (one more than required, but I want it a little longer) and just yesterday I made it to the split for armholes, so it’s almost done.  

Friday, July 08, 2016

In process -- June 2016

Okay, I give up on ever actually achieving my goals with this month, it being more than a week past over. Here's what I did. 

1st draft
“Water Leopard”.
Had roughly 60K at the start of the month and wanted it over. Now it’s done.
Which is good, because my idea was to do exercises instead, because I have plenty of first drafts and I’m not sure they get better. This will increase my editing time and focus I hope… I’ve started with the Season 11 Writing Excuses exercises. Though in the interest of my own sanity I also devoted about six days to my karate essay.

“The Cicatrix Diary”. Ignored
“Volcano”. Did 2nd draft. The writing excuses exercises were useful on this actually.
“Labyrinth Moon”. Changed the name and did three drafts, and I’m so close to calling it done.
“Imp Face”. Writing Excuses got me to revisit this one too.

Did a self-editing workshop. Didn’t really connect.

nothing but I have an excuse. It was my karate essay!

DragonFruit Socks. Finished.
Boot Topper Socks. Finished.
Ann Boleyn (1998).  Like a crazy person, I decided to do it top-down with set-in sleeves, and apply some shape to the typical AS box. So what I’ve done mostly is figuring so far.
Folded mini dress. Seemed like a good project for vacation. Found an error in the pattern almost immediately, which Ravelry confirmed. Yay ravelry! I’ve done 5 pattern repeats of the six required, and I’ll probably do an extra one. I have plenty of yarn.