Friday, December 04, 2015

In Process -- November 2015

First Draft
“Food Insecurity”. Missing bits.
“Water Leopard”. I didn’t do nanowrimo, because the last thing I need is something to cut into my editing time. First drafts are not the problem. But I would have done this, if I was doing it. So I started it. I had 7900 words to start. Now there are probably 6000 more.  

Editing
“Food Insecurity”. Typed missing bits, made the ending and the beginning match a bit better. Deleted a thousand words, then added in a different thousand. Edited some more. 
“Lucky Kate”. Read it and hemmed and hawed. Really I need to do a last copy edit and call it done.
Clairvology”. Research mostly.
“Milo”. Typed. There wasn’t much to this actually, and while I remember what I was trying to do, this story doesn’t do it. Yet. 

Connecting
--

Circulating
2

Knitting
Rust Damask Jacket (Takle & Kolstadt). Finished first ball of dark rust and second ball of medium rust. I’m past the armholes on the body, so that’s something.
Gift item #3. Done. 
Gift item #4. Done.
St. Anthony. Ripped out one strip and redid, tightening the neckline so it doesn’t flap. Much better now, and I can wear it. Win! 
Hoodie (Norah Gaughan VK S/S 2005). Amazing, this has been in my queue for ten years! I am so old. Started because I needed something easy, and also because after I finished and fixed all that other stuff, I deserved something for myself. Back is done, started hood. 

Tuesday, December 01, 2015

What I read -- November 2015



“The 19th Century Wind Band and Wind Ensemble in Western Europe” by David Whitwell. I’m not sure how Russia counts as Western Europe, but I’m researching for North America anyway, so … shut up. This book was what I needed though. I read this over two Friday afternoons at the Metro Reference Library. 

“John Crow’s Devil” by Marlon James. This must be the magic that happens when you win a major literary award… people like me suddenly find out about you and read your book. This book was the sort of thing I could never write – the scatologicalness of it all, the sex, the language. The resolution totally made sense. I dind’t find any characters particularly likeable, but that’s not important to me apparently. Really good. Though I guess I was expecting something a little… more mainstream from a booker prize winner? 

“Dreamhunter” by Elizabeth Knox. The sequel has been kicking around my house for years. I guess someone gave it to me, but I didn’t want to read it without reading the first one, and I didn’t have it, so apathy prevailed. I had a little trouble with the first couple of chapters, I think because omniscient POV isn’t in style right now so I’m not used to it. I couldn’t keep track of how many people there were in the picnic party (five that mattered, but I kept feeling like there was another girl). But I managed to get through that and then the story was quite engaging. The comparisons to Garth Nix and Philip Pullman were spot on. I’d be pretty mad if I didn’t have book two, because the ending was quite unsatisfying. It felt like this was written as a single book and was cut in half in editing. 

“The Elephanta Suite” by Paul Theroux. My sister gave me this. Based on the receipt that looked like it was used as a bookmark, she bought it at an airport bookstore. She’s a pilot, sohaving an eReader has really improved her life. This book claimed to be about India, but it seemed like it was more about Americans in India. Dislikeable Americans. I found this book odious, and only finished it so I could call it done and get rid of it. I’m not sure whether this book was about awful things India does to Americans, or how awful India is, or what.

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. 

Editing

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.  

Connecting 

 --

Circulating

2

Knitting

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 http://madelineashby.com/?p=1827. 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?

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

Connecting
--

Circulating
2

Knitting
“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%.