Thursday, January 31, 2019

What I Read -- January 2019

“The Modern World” by Steph Swainston. I was nervous to start because I was afraid a sober Jant might be insufferable. I got a little thrill in a bookstore seeing the subsequent volumes. It’s like having a crush. So I put off starting this by reading everyone’s Christmas gifts first.
This book reminded me of “Forever War” by Joe Haldeman, where the soldiers grow increasingly out of touch with the people they’re protecting. Thinking about it after I started reading, I wanted more from a sober Jant. He’s still so flawed, but… I don’t know, maybe he should take up meditation or something? I think I wanted him to be insufferable. Then the ending, that was satisfying. The emperor is a piece of work, but I guess he’s giving Jant what Jant needs. Though I figure if Jant is expelled from the circle like ever, he’d just OD himself permanently into the shift. Would that be so bad?
One of the weird things about this world to me is, it seems like there are only two drugs: alcohol and cat. In cannabis-legalized Canada here where I am, it seems like there are way more alternatives for one such as him. I mean, short-term. 

LHC #25: “Autobiography of red: a novel in Verse” by Anne Carson. If memory serves, I’d read a poem by her that really took me, so I thought I’d try something else. Weird that I should pick another thing about a guy with wings just after that last one. When I was done I did a quick google to make sure I understood the book (seems like  I did). I should probably read more poetry because it makes me think about economy of sentences and also the right words.

LHC #26: “Data Science from Scratch: First principles with Python” by Joel Grus. So, I am not a programmer and I’m not interested in becoming one. Data, however, I’m very interested in. When I think about going back to school, if it’s not history, I’d probably study information science? I guess that’s why I put this on my list. Something to do with avoiding being manipulated by people with their data perhaps? It was kind of an empowering read. I’m developing a bit of receptive multilingualism for certain types of code I think. 

“A Burglar’s Guide to the City” by Geoff Manaugh. Research for Persephone. Fluke, but I read this at the perfect time. I'd just realized that I needed an insider for my heist, and (sitting in a meeting at work) wrote an outline of one of the plots, and then I read this and pieces kept falling into place. I hope it works... 

Monday, January 07, 2019

In Process, December 2018

Persephone: Researched real estate frauds and pandemics. Another month spent protecting my paracosm. I actually found myself making a list of ways Aaron is a response to him. I found a structure and divided my notes into four piles.  

“Wind/Water/Salt”. made lots of edits to Chapter 13, but never managed to finish it. So close! 
I took chapters 14 - 16 on vacation with me and this was a good thing because I realized chapter 15 needed to be in the middle of 13, and that made room for a chapter to solve a continuity error for Fairfax. All in all, a productive month.

Took up some of Chapter 3. It was good because I had come up with something for Preston to be doing (as I told the boy, Abigail wants to control her daughter, and she wants her familiar back. Fairfax wants to find a witch so he can get paid and go home to Virginia. Preston has a mill…?)

Critted 5
Got back

Celtic Gang Girls of the 70’s (Rowan and me). Got to “divide for neck” on the front and finished the left shoulder. So, the right shoulder and collar and a lot of finishing to go. I have hopes for January, though!
FI Corset belt. Still 1.5 inches done. Ignored.
Socks. The socks are done. No more socks for a while. Well okay, maybe I’ll do another pair of Sock Band socks because those were awesome, but after that no socks for a while.
Drachen (knitty Fall 2018). I needed something portable, and this fit the bill. I hope I don’t run out of yarn, but if I do, I guess it will just have shorter sleeves. I almost bought different yarn for this project but the woman at the yarn store told me (at great length) that my choice of yarn would produce a project that would be a dog’s breakfast. Yes, she said that. I have about 8 inches.

Finished sewing a skirt.

Wednesday, January 02, 2019

What I read -- December 2018

“No Present Like Time” by Steph Swainston. Even the act of typing it before starting to read it caused anxiety. At the same time, it’s really forced me to apply some stringent plot to my Persephone story. But I got past chapter 5 and it was really hard to put down. I’m having a hard time adulting here!
I think it’s Jant’s pure presence in his body that works for me so much. Sometimes I’m reading something that’s a wee bit of a romance and the whole plot I’m yelling at the MC, “Tell him god damn it!” Well, here I’m yelling at Jant to not do the cat, and I know he can’t stop because he’s an addict and… well, it’s just so much for me.
But I got to the end, and I don’t know. I wasn’t satisfied? In order to calm down I watched four episodes of Avatar: the last airbender. 

LHC #24: “The God of Small Things” by Arundhati Roy. I was just setting this to active on my library account when my sister mentioned she was reading it! Weird synchronicity. Then I was carrying it around and a karate person went on a long spiel about how AR’s second book has just come out, and she wrote this one and that one, with a huge gap in between, and I said “How is it?” because I was probably on page 15 at the time, and he said “I don’t know. I haven’t read it, but I talk a good line.” He’s a high school English teacher. Then I pulled it out in a store while fishing for change, and the cashier said “Oh my god I loved that book!” and I said oh, it seemed kind of rambling but I was only on page 60, and she told me that it does focus and has a satisfying ending. 

“All the Crooked Saints” by Maggie Stiefvater. The boy didn’t know he wanted this for Christmas, but since he got it for him I got to read it first. It went by quickly.

"The Piano Tuner" by Daniel Mason. My sister asked for it for Christmas, and in true family tradition, I read it first. DM did some neat things with dialog, but the ending seemed like a cop-out to me. For my Persephone novel, I might need to do with drums what DM did with pianos.