What I've Been Reading Wednesday

Oct. 18th, 2017 09:52 am
lost_spook: (reading)
[personal profile] lost_spook
What I've Finished Reading

I finished up The Castle of Otranto and it continued to be delightfully OTT and ridiculous right to the very last line. I laughed a lot. Especially at the last line. The charm of it is, I think (other than gloomy castles and giant suits of armour and what have you), that it's very hard to tell if the whole thing is some kind of joke, or just bits of it. This seems to have been the question for 250 years, and, indeed, the next book I read, The Old English Baron by Clara Reeve is quite openly The Castle of Otranto, the more rational (and therefore possibly not-truly-Gothic) remix.

As Clara Reeve says in the introduction, certain elements of Otranto, "destroy the work of imagination, and, instead of attention, excite laughter." (Walpole apparently responded that hers was, "So probable, that any trial for murder at the Old Bailey would make a more interesting story." Hmm, wait, a novel featuring a real life murder...? Shame he didn't try it, heh.)

It does indeed tail off into a long, plodding fixit of everything, though. It's rather like a tumblr-recommended fixit version of Otranto where everything is relentlessly put right and all the bad people are punished or grovel and apologise to the good people. I liked the beginning with the locked up haunted wing with the murdered body in it very much, though, mixed with a more recognisable setting. Also its hero Edmund has an amusing tendency to weep over people. (The best bit was at the end where he flung his arms round both his mentors legs at once and they had to stop him and then he still had to hug them and weep over them.)

But, given that it's still only about 130 odd pages and has a haunted East wing, it was readable and fascinating to compare to Otranto. I'm glad the collection had them both.

I also read another Daisy Dalrymple (Dead in the Water), which you could probably tell because fic happened. My friend is coming to see me again this week - I have hopes she might be able to lend me some more, because the only others I've found are quite a few books on from that. (Obviously, I'm looking forward to seeing her with or without books, but with books is always better.)


What I'm Reading Now
Sorcerer to the Crown by Zen Cho, which, as promised by [personal profile] aralias, is very light and enjoyable and just my sort of thing. I seem to be okay with it, too. \o/ (The only downside is the inevitable comparison to Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell, which can do it no favours. It's a shame she didn't set it, say, 20 years later or earlier to mitigate that. Although, of course, I'm only 100 pages in; there are no doubt very good Plot Reasons.)

(I'm still note-taking from A Mad Bad and Dangerous People? and technically sort of reading Desolation Island, but have not progressed far with either since last time.)


What I'm Reading Next
Well, if my friend does bring me some more Daisy, there'll be that. And once I've finished Sorcerer to the Crown, I might try the next Gothic novel in the collection, which is Mistrust by Matthew Gregory Lewis (author of The Monk).

good things of late

Oct. 17th, 2017 08:00 pm
alatefeline: Painting of a cat asleep on a book. (Default)
[personal profile] alatefeline
Stunning views of Mt. Hood on the drive home on a couple of clear days lately.

Autumn leaves!!! The red-violets, the scarlets, the golden yellows, the lemon-lime yellow-greens, the rich bronzes, the purples and olive-greens! The chiaroscuro of wind movement, the ombre effect of different amounts of light on different heights, the subtle changes day to day!

Talked to my sibling B last weekend. They are doing well, being absurdly domestic with their adorkable partner, and in touch with our parents.

Noticed feeling unusually upbeat in car on the way home, compared to usual after-work blahs.

Food:

Read more... )

signal boost: anyone in California?

Oct. 17th, 2017 07:04 pm
alatefeline: Painting of a cat asleep on a book. (Default)
[personal profile] alatefeline
A friend of a friend is looking for an apartment to share and/or a place to crash while apartment-hunting.

If this is not you, but you think you might know someone who knows someone, please boost the signal! You might save someone's life.

https://balsamandash.dreamwidth.org/107706.html


I mentioned a friend looking for roommates in California earlier this month. She's still looking, and it's getting bad -- the end of this month means basically be homeless in LA or come back to Florida, and both of those are gonna be really hard on her mental health. So I'm putting out the word again and hoping some kind of miracle comes through.

If anybody is looking for a roommate in the downtown LA/Hollywood/Wilshire area -- or knows somebody looking for, or knows someone who might be looking for, or knows someone who might know someone, or any kind of lead at all -- please, please hit me up and I can get people in touch with her. Or honestly, at this point, if anyone knows somebody in other areas of California willing to house a couch surfer for a month to give her a little more time to look, I can send that to her and maybe she can work things out. She's not good with dogs or cats but other pets are not a problem, and ideally looking to pay around $600/month.
EDIT: After some discussion, if there's anyone in the area of San Diego -- or possibly anything else within about that far from LA (so 2-3 hours, so not all the way up the state but a much larger range than before) -- that might be able to put somebody up for a couple of weeks to a month, that would be really appreciated as well, as it would give her more time to try and look.

Help seriously, greatly appreciated. I'm really worried about how this is going to end up.


Ask [personal profile] balsamandash for more details.

worky

Oct. 17th, 2017 06:59 pm
alatefeline: Painting of a cat asleep on a book. (Default)
[personal profile] alatefeline
there has to be a finite number of kids at our school

but sometimes it seems like eleventy zillion

Random Fandom Meme

Oct. 17th, 2017 09:35 pm
lost_spook: (OUaT - belle)
[personal profile] lost_spook
Randomly memed from [livejournal.com profile] dimity_blue:

Choose five series fandoms (no peeking before you choose them), list them, and then answer the questions behind the cut.

1. Once Upon a Time
2. Blake's 7
3. Doctor Who
4. Dracula (1968)*
5. Sapphire & Steel

Cut for questions and answers )


* Yes, I did fail to read the instructions when I made the list. *handwaves*

Ficlet: Fatal Error

Oct. 17th, 2017 01:40 pm
lost_spook: (dw - bill)
[personal profile] lost_spook
Title: Fatal Error
Author: [personal profile] lost_spook
Rating: All ages
Word Count: 693
Characters/Pairings: Twelfth Doctor, Clara Oswald
Notes/Warnings: None.
Summary: Letting the strangers go had clearly been a mistake…

For [personal profile] persiflage_1 in the 500 Prompts Meme: 12. Why didn't we detain them? - Twelve & Clara Oswald (DW)

Here @ AO3 | Also @ the Teaspoon

one word at a time

Oct. 16th, 2017 09:58 am
silveraspen: moiraine (NS comic) writing in a journal (wot: writing in a journal)
[personal profile] silveraspen
What 2017 has been doing for me is making me realize that I can’t do work in the same way I used to.

The above-linked piece by John Scalzi has a lot of good points, but I think the linktext I chose from it is really the core, for me.

ticky? ticky

Oct. 15th, 2017 09:09 pm
alatefeline: Painting of a cat asleep on a book. (Default)
[personal profile] alatefeline
This evening I hit almost everything on my work night self-care check list. Read more... )

spoony quote

Oct. 15th, 2017 11:39 am
alatefeline: Painting of a cat asleep on a book. (Default)
[personal profile] alatefeline
Quote:

You are the only person who can define which activities take a whole drawer-full of spoons, and which ones only take a spoonful of spoons (and are therefore possible). And you already know that these definitions are subject to change without notice. Just take it easy on yourself. (by acelightning)


Attribution: Read more... )

Fake Show #1: Coffee & Curses

Oct. 15th, 2017 05:35 pm
lost_spook: (s&s - silver)
[personal profile] lost_spook
This has taken me so long to do, I feel almost embarrassed to post it, because unlike some of the more detailed ones I've done, this one was straight-forward, but it was lingering just because I couldn't work out who to cast as one character. (I'm still not sure who it was I must have had in mind, but I found a suitable stand-in. After, er, nearly all year...)


From the [community profile] isurrendered meme, [personal profile] john_amend_all gave me this prompt. If I had remembered that he threatened to do this several years ago, I would have tried to ward it off, but I didn't, so here we are:

One of those obscure centuries-old cults has a ritual: Once every hundred years, on the night of the winter solstice, the chosen one must stand at a particular place (where ley lines converge) and will become an inspired bard and prophet.

... Except that since the last ritual, an office block has been built on the site, and the mystic powers end up being bestowed on the coffee machine. Hilarity, as they say, ensues.



Which is coming to an LJ near you some time soon as:

Coffee and Curses )

hi today I hung out with people

Oct. 14th, 2017 11:57 pm
alatefeline: Painting of a cat asleep on a book. (Default)
[personal profile] alatefeline
so that is a thing that I have did

and soon I will go sleep

hi I made purple food

Oct. 14th, 2017 02:34 pm
alatefeline: Painting of a cat asleep on a book. (Default)
[personal profile] alatefeline
Purple pancakes! They are a thing that we made today!

ETA: Since people have asked after ingredients... Read more... )

ETAA: This is particularly important since S bought the ingredients and suggested it and it's the first time we've done Saturday Pancake Day since I went completely gluten free for health reasons last summer and it's historically been an important family bonding thing. So <3 <3 <3 thank you S and may the word of tasty pancakes made with loved ones reach everyone interested.

hi I'm okay

Oct. 13th, 2017 02:46 pm
alatefeline: Painting of a cat asleep on a book. (Default)
[personal profile] alatefeline
I'm okay

sorry I didn't post Thursday

back later

Various Things

Oct. 13th, 2017 09:25 pm
lost_spook: (yuletide)
[personal profile] lost_spook
1. The world out there seems set to get worse and worse in every way at the moment. I feel bad that I have nothing to offer, but frivolous fannish things, but so it is.


2. I have my Yuletide assignment, but obv. can't talk about it. I have mixed feelings about whether I can do it proper justice, but it is a fandom I love and wanted to get, and hopefully I'll manage something decent in the end.


3. In the department of inevitable irony or something, the GRO have resumed their test pilot of offering PDFs for (some) historical certificates online for £6 instead of £9.20. I had been saving birthday money for this moment since May in case it ever came. Guess who finally gave up on that ever being a thing and spent the last of the money on Sunday? Yes, me. (The wretches! The rotters!) Anyway, for those also into UK family history, it's running for three months or so this time, so don't miss out.


4. I wrote a frivolous thing for no reason at all for the first time in forever. It was, of course, still stupidly obscure. Whoever it was - at least two people, I think, or maybe three - recommended me the Daisy Dalrymple books for light mystery reading, I blame you. All/both of you. Ficlet of pure froth: Foiled (G, 490 words, Alec/Daisy.)

Fic: Substitute

Oct. 12th, 2017 06:04 pm
lost_spook: (divide & rule)
[personal profile] lost_spook
I've been trying to finish off a few [livejournal.com profile] runaway_tales things, including another AU. This one was also written for [community profile] genprompt_bingo square "Happy Endings" and [community profile] hc_bingo square "grief" and is a modern coffee shop AU. I am so proud of myself, even if maybe the coffee shop is probably too incidental. But a while ago, [livejournal.com profile] oonaseckar said to me that it would probably be impossible to do a modern Edward/Julia AU and, of course, if someone says that it's impossible to write something, obviously I have to write it. (I wrote Six/Rose and Steed/Baldrick once for the same reason. Edward and Julia managing excuses to have a fake relationship and then be awkward about it in the 21st C was no problem at all.)

But I crossposted it to AO3, as I think it's a fun/sweet enough standalone piece; also it's for two other comms, and also because LJ's word limit forced me into posting it in two parts over at RaTs, which annoyed me, because clearly it isn't a work that's meant to be in two parts. I hoped I'd done enough amputation, but apparently not. (Dammit, LJ.)

Substitute (13480 words) by lost_spook
Chapters: 1/1
Fandom: Original Work
Rating: General Audiences
Warnings: No Archive Warnings Apply
Relationships: Original Female Character/Original Male Character
Characters: Julia Graves (OC), Edward Iveson (OC)
Additional Tags: Community: hc_bingo, Alternate Universe - Coffee Shops & Cafés, Romance, Grief/Mourning, Fake/Pretend Relationship, Brief mention of car accident, Community: runaway_tales, Fluff, Humor, Angst
Summary: Julia Graves has perfectly reasonable motives for fake-dating a customer – it’s all about interior decorating, honestly…

hi I'm queer

Oct. 11th, 2017 07:47 pm
alatefeline: Painting of a cat asleep on a book. (Default)
[personal profile] alatefeline
I'm pansexual. And poly. And autistic, which matters, because I process romance and attraction differently because I process everything involving people differently.

I also think more like (my mental construct of) a cat than I do like (my mental construct of) a generic neurotypical human in my society.

I'm genderqueer. I use they pronouns for myself when with friends. I'm not out as genderqueer at work because people are having a hard enough time with reconciling their mental concepts of me-as-autistic and me-as-competent-human-being. I'm out as queer basically everywhere because I am privileged enough to have a liberal family background, and live in Portland, OR, and be white, a young adult, and not visibly disabled.

I have lots more Words, but not the energy to Explain right now. But I wanted to participate in the whole Coming Out Day thing.

(PS: You don't have to come out if you don't want to. Or if it's not safe. Or if you've already done it 500 times and just don't wanna again. But if you want to there are sparkly rainbow balloons and people who want to chill with you and cheer you on. In fact, whether you are queer or straight or some other option, out or closeted or whatever, here, have a balloon. It's shiny.)

*still being a cat*

Oct. 11th, 2017 01:39 pm
alatefeline: Painting of a cat asleep on a book. (Default)
[personal profile] alatefeline
(because humaning is HARD)

*creeps out from under furniture*

*slinks around room*

*cautiously headbutts friend*

*startled!retreat*

*cautiously observing; paws now out from under furniture*

ETA:

*one paw*

*two paw*

*whiskers*

*whoooole cat*

*finds a comfyspot in room*

rrrrrrrrr

Oct. 10th, 2017 08:35 pm
alatefeline: Painting of a cat asleep on a book. (Default)
[personal profile] alatefeline
*this post emerging into cyberspace from the vicinity of a pair of cat eyes, glaring with ferocious defensiveness from beneath a sofa*

Hey there

So I actually had a pretty rotten mental health day today, and ended up calling in sick to work - which I HATE! - and staying home and sleeping all day because I wasn’t functioning in real time. Read more... )

still okay

Oct. 8th, 2017 09:34 pm
alatefeline: Painting of a cat asleep on a book. (Default)
[personal profile] alatefeline
struggling with juggling work life, chores, relationship, and the epic thing I am reading that is taking a bit of brain runtime

trying to kinda ... maintain?

I feel very warmly towards you my friends, and yet also wish to hide under furniture.

*catsneak*
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