Wednesday, August 08, 2018

In process -- July 2018


Daily efforts
Bonechill (that horror novel): I went back to this and just started a different section because I couldn’t face editing WWS any more.
That huge pile of notes: still making notes; reading all that Kate Elliott changed how I look at these characters a bit. I also had a structure revelation.

Accomplishments
“Wind/Water/Salt”. Over lunch with the boy I realized how to fix Chapter 11, which is by giving the main character what he wants but making his life worse in the succeeding of it. To be honest, this is probably how to fix most of the chapters.

Connecting
Critted 8
Got back 5
 

Subs
Same one is still out there…

Knitting
Celtic Gang Girls of the 70’s (Rowan and me). Started the month with the sleeves and 6 inches of back. I may not actually hate doing intarsia – my problem might be with most intarsia patterns. This project has made me feel more kindly towards that Sasha Kagan book I look through but have never knit from, and also tons of Rowan patterns. Anyway, now I have 10 inches of back (this is half the back). If I’m going to have this done by late November, I need to finish the back in August, the front (which has much less intarsia) in September, and the collar (a lot of intarsia) in October, then do the finishing…

FI Corset belt. Started the month with an inch done.  Did maybe a half an inch. I must admit, I’ve chosen horrible colors and terrible yarn. At least belts are small. If you can call eight inches wide small.
Socks. Started the month with the toe of the first sock done. I ran out of the first ball of yarn (I have two) a couple of inches from the top, necessitating an emergency holiday trip to Michael’s, but the crisis has been averted. That first sock is almost done.

Finished sewing a dress. All that was left was buttons and buttonholes so this wasn’t a stretch. Started a skirt. I hope this goes faster, because that dress took like a year.

Sunday, August 05, 2018

What I read -- July 2018

LHC#13: “Sorcerer to the Crown” by Zen Cho. It took me until about half-way through to connect with the characters. After that I quite enjoyed it.

“Cold Magic” by Kate Elliott. Ed was doing a re-read, so I picked it up. I guess I’m reading the series now… spoilers: Cat gets force-married on p. 80 and by page 150 is starting to like her random forced husband. Ick. But that wasn’t the direction things were going and it was a fun read.

“Cold Fire” by Kate Elliott. All three volumes of this series were around the house, and they’re library books so that wasn’t going to last, so here we are. I spent a lot of time wanting to slap the characters here. At least Cat has agency and the freedom to make bad sexual choices.

The situation didn’t change really for like 200 pages after Cat got to Expedition. It made me wish I was a faster reader (I don’t often wish this). It probably didn’t help that I read this section while sitting waiting a very long time for my number to be called at a government office.

I was thinking about why it rubbed me the wrong way so much and sort of realized that what she was doing with the relationship there is something I’m trying to do with a relationship that I’m writing (though with very different characters). So it made me think about what did and didn’t work for me and why. I felt like not only was Cat being really annoying, she was really unclear about her motivations.

But! I was at circus and I said something about wanting to make yam pudding. I don’t know why this came up. And it led to an interesting conversation with someone about KE, and Terry Pratchett, and Neil Gaiman, and Diana Wynne Jones. It’s neat to find like-minded people.

“Cold Steel” by Kate Elliott. If it hadn't been a library book with an ambiguous due date, I might have put it down in the Lutetia section and just... never picked it up again. I was so glad when Cat finally left the mage house there. I didn't find the Mansa particularly convincing towards the end of the book. 

But it did have a satisfying resolution. I liked where the characters ended up. And the yam pudding was very good. 

Monday, July 09, 2018

In Process -- June 2018


Daily efforts
Bonechill (that horror novel): I stopped working on this because I don’t know where it’s going, and I worked on WWS edits instead.
That huge pile of notes: still making notes

Accomplishments
“Wind/Water/Salt”. Posted chapter 10 to OWW.

Connecting
Critted 6
Got back 4

Subs

1

Knitting
Ann Boleyn (1998). Finished all the knitting and sewed the danglers in, sewed on clasps. Blocking was a strange challenge.

Celtic Gang Girls of the 70’s (Rowan and me). This needs to be finished by November. The sleeves are done. Started the month with 3 inches of back. Now I have 6. The finishing will be brutal!
FI Corset belt. To use up some sock yarn, and make some of my elastic-waist pants more wearable. And to see if I’ll wear it. Sometimes I covet things I won’t wear, and this might get me in the habit of wearing some other things I have around… anyway, I made a swatch and started knitting with black and midnight blue, which is tough to work on. The first inch looks good, though.
Socks. Started one.

Tuesday, July 03, 2018

What I read -- June 2018


“The Red” Linda Nagata. Ed was quite taken by the form factor of this book. It’s been lying around the house for probably 1.5 years. I found it unsettling, which is a good thing. Oh, and at a certain point I was really happy when a certain character just died already, as I was really sick of that character. 

“The Kindred of Darkness” by Barbara Hambly. Library book but not on the hold challenge because the author was recommended by Scott Lynch a couple of weeks ago. This was the first BH book that appeared in my library search, so I requested it, not realizing it’s book 5 in a series. That’s probably why I had a challenge keeping track of who all the characters were – I don’t have any history with them, though I suspect a lot of the society people were new for this volume. Just, I had to use extra cycles to keep track of the others. I loved how the author used Lydia’s poor eyesight and vanity to fill in the scenes. This is something I need to learn to do for example for Abigail in WWS.

LHC#11: “Ninefox Gambit” by Yoon Ha Lee.I was reading this and thinking the background is not quite Japanese, not quite Chinese, and then I googled and yeah. That's a microaggression, I suppose. This was a really good example of how a reader of SF can just kind of go with it, not really know what's going on, but as you read along it kind of filters in. A lot of stuff isn't really explained, it's just how the world is. Skillful use of that technique. Interesting characters, too.

“Eight Days of Luke” by Diana Wynne Jones. Terri Windling mentioned it on her blog, and mentioning DWJ is the library hold equivalent of a drinking game. I haven't read that one! I have to request it right now! I liked the subtlety of it, figuring out who Luke is really, etc.



LHC#12: “Experimental Film” by Gemma Files. I read this for Canada Day actually! Everything about her writing hits me in the right places, maybe because I follow her on twitter and read her LJ and used to read her reviews in Eye... Such a personal approach to fiction, wow. I could probably learn a lot from her if only I could get it together to sign up for her litreactor course, but I always just leave the sign-up page open until it's too late.