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).

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

Less busy weeks

Oct. 17th, 2017 11:56 pm
avron: (Default)
[personal profile] avron
I had expected to have work today when I left yesterday, I never got a text message though. So I went out last night to play games, getting quite unlucky in the Formula De game, scoring okay at Coloretto, and comfortably winning the Dominion game on the basis of seeing a combo my opponents did not.

My Saturday afternoon was spent in the park up the street, with the annual community event that involves a lot of free food and activities for children. I spent a fair portion of it with particular young people I know from church, and a short while with a couple of my second ex's children after they were happy to see me. Also spent a little while with the woman who inferred I was the father of a particular child at Mainly Music a month or so ago, minding her son on a couple of occasions as she got food for him.

The prior weekend was Mini-Con III for Saga and while I played only a few games it was mostly a good time. The only real downside, aside from not seeing people I'd have hoped to see, was the six hour game that should have taken about three with rules explanation etc. Having played once I now see more of what to do, and should both score much better, and play quicker in any subsequent game.

Four weeks from now I should be in Hanmer Springs, for the first Gamesfest I'll have attended in four years. I don't have any Saga thing keeping me here in the city, and money seems unlikely to be an issue this year. I don't expect to travel well, but with four full days there before coming back to the city I'll have plenty of time to feel "normal" again before needing to travel more.

About a month ago I started going back through the records I've kept at Board Game Geek to clean up inconsistencies in how I'd recorded seating, some played colours etc., missed data, and just generally making the data better. I have managed to get through about two thirds of the nearly 6000 recorded entries with 7 Wonders probably going to take the biggest time frame as the Boards used have many different notations. I've played Agricola and Race for the Galaxy more, but the clean up for each of them is simpler, I already dealt with the Agricola games.

Holly Poly

Oct. 16th, 2017 10:14 pm
settiai: (Numinous World -- settiai)
[personal profile] settiai
Whoever nominated all of the Numinous World relationships for Holly Poly, I love you. ♥

(If it's not someone reading this, I'm going to be very surprised. Impressed, but surprised.)

Discovery 1x05: Choose Your Pain

Oct. 15th, 2017 07:53 pm
rivendellrose: (Hand and Arm)
[personal profile] rivendellrose
Spoilers under the cut, the usual ranting and raving and random notes. And then more spoilers than usual because I think The Boy's Reddit habit ran him across something that's a major spoiler, and then he was like "Haha, listen to this crazy theory that a bunch of people seem to believe," and I was like "...Oh fuck I'm pretty sure that's actually true," and then my brain started putting together other disconnected pieces and guys, my brain just isn't a pretty place right now.

I will separate the Big Spoilers from the Just This Episode spoilers. But, like... WARNING.

Spoilers, spoilers everywhere. )

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 )

Virtual Garage Sale

Oct. 14th, 2017 02:24 pm
settiai: (Garrus -- bleeding_muse)
[personal profile] settiai
I know that most of you are probably getting sick of seeing me mention it, but I promise that this will be the last time that I post a link to my virtual garage sale post. That said, if any of you know someone who might potentially be interested in anything listed there, please feel free to pass along the link. I'd really appreciate it.

Also, if anyone knows someone who might be interested in a Roomba (which is listed on that post), please let me know. I'm very much willing to haggle on the price since it's used, but selling it would help me immensely since it's basically the only "big ticket" (so to speak) item that I have left to try selling.

I'm less than $200 away from having enough to cover all of the various bills that will come out of my checking account on November 1st, and from that point forward my finances should be in a much better state. I get three paychecks in November, which is ridiculously helpful all on its own, and I should be getting both a holiday bonus and a raise in December. Add in the tax refund that I should be getting at the beginning of 2018, and for the first time in ages I'm actually not completely panicking about the state of my life in general.

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…

Chamber of Secrets Rewatch

Oct. 10th, 2017 02:14 pm
author_by_night: (Folks by ozqueen (quoted from To Kill a)
[personal profile] author_by_night

Link to PS/SS Rewatch here.

Full disclosure, I actually saw Chamber of Secrets last weekend, but forgot to post my review. Spoilers across the board (i.e. all seven books).*Insert Hedwig's Theme here* )

Discovery 1x04

Oct. 8th, 2017 08:05 pm
rivendellrose: (Hand and Arm)
[personal profile] rivendellrose
Well, that was unquestionably an episode that happened.

In which I have feelings about Discovery, some of which are not good, and also talk about spoilers. )

b7friday

Oct. 7th, 2017 02:07 pm
lost_spook: (writing)
[personal profile] lost_spook
[community profile] b7friday is opening up again! We have a new prompt and everything and I have made banners to promote it. If you want to use them to pimp it somewhere yourself, the code is in the text box:











I have also made a rebloggable tumblr post here.


(I stole these pics from the B7 Image Library, and basically every single B7 group shot on it seems to be everyone looking seriously unimpressed/bad-tempered, so I choose these where they also looked kind of vaguely interested as well as unimpressed. Ish. Oh, B7... <3)

(Sorry if you've seen this several times already - I'm nearly done!)
author_by_night: (cool_large)
[personal profile] author_by_night
My family and I (re)watched Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's/Philosopher's Stone tonight. Here are some of my thoughts. All of them spoilery.


Do do do do do do do....

Read more... )


Next on my rewatch reaction post list: The Chamber of Secrets. 

In the meantime, what do you guys think characters apart from Ron and Harr would see in the Mirror of Erised? Particularly ones we know less about.


Fannish things

Oct. 6th, 2017 09:37 am
lost_spook: (yuletide)
[personal profile] lost_spook
1. Yuletide sign-ups are still open for anyone thinking of taking part. (I believe they close on the 9th, but check the link.)


2. For those of you in the UK who don't mind a bit of old telly, I checked the Drama channel, and guess what their next run of ancient TV on Saturdays is? It's the BBC's 1976-77 historical (Edwardian) drama The Duchess of Duke Street! It has a very slow start (even for ancient telly), but Gemma Jones is so fabulous throughout, and I recommend it. The bit where Julian Fellowes turns up and swipes the plot for use in Downton is also entertaining, and S2 has bonus Lalla Ward. (And then write me Louisa/Mary, because I never could manage it, though I tried.)

(And when I say Saturday, I mean tomorrow.)


3. Fall Equinox went live the other day. Lots of lovely fanvids! (The theme this time was 'based on books.')

What I've Been Reading Wednesday

Oct. 5th, 2017 05:29 pm
lost_spook: (Northanger reading)
[personal profile] lost_spook
Only one day late!

What I've Finished Reading
The Mauritius Command, and the series continues to be solidly excellent. Then, slightly to my own surprise, I managed to read The Goblin Emperor, which I enjoyed very much (I can see what people mean about it being a very reassuring read and why some other people also find that annoying, but it suited me just fine right now) but stupidly did so in only about three or four days and was sick for the following three days as a result, which does dampen enthusiasm somewhat. (I don't know why I did it; I think I get a bit panicky that my reading ability might vanish, leaving me stranded halfway through a book).

So, after that I didn't read properly for a week, and then read the v light Daisy Dalrymple mystery I got from the library, Damsel in Distress, by Carola Dunn.


What I'm Reading Now
I'm technically reading Desolation Island (the next in the Aubrey-Maturin series), but not really much at the moment, as I think I was reading too much of them and having less brain than I should have done.

I am also beginning to work my way through my random Seven Masterpieces of Gothic Horror, starting with the first, The Castle of Otranto by Horace Walpole. It's very random and its heroes are terribly saintly, but this makes me laugh, especially when some of the other characters would rather be hanging around with less saintly people, or somebody has a moment of sarcasm. (Matilda's maid Bianca would obviously prefer to be in a Shakespeare comedy, but Matilda won't oblige her with even normal curiosity, let alone shenanigans and scheming.) There is also a spooky giant helmet with plumes of doom, and it's only 100 pages long.

I also enjoyed the particularly OTT bit where a Helpful Friar who has turned up to reason with Villainous Manfred accidentally causes Manfred to order the execution of the suspiciously Noble Peasant Theodore and is midway through begging for Theodore's life when he pauses to realise (via a handy birth mark) that Theodore is in fact his long-lost son (and he was formerly the Count of Falconara, because obv. you can't actually have a Noble Peasant. How he carelessly lost his son and her mother, hopefully I will find out before it's done.)

I am (family history) note-taking from Boyd Hilton's A Mad, Bad and Dangerous People: England 1783-1846, but I don't know if it counts as reading, as it is one of the Oxford History of England so more political and so on, so I am doing a lot of skimming through it. (It's a large book. When I'm not using it, I am trying to flatten some paper with it. It's multi-purpose.)


What I'm Reading Next
I think the library has the next Daisy Dalrymple book, so I might get that next week, but otherwise I think it will be something else off my TBR pile. There are several possibilities! If I can be sensible this time, that is. And at some point, presumably the next 'Gothic Masterpiece,' The Old English Baron by Clara Reeve. (It's longer, though - all of 134 pages!)

. . .

Oct. 4th, 2017 05:58 pm
settiai: (Diana -- shoemoney2night)
[personal profile] settiai
Well, it looks like I'm taking a four day weekend.

Don't get me wrong, I was planning on taking Friday off because tomorrow looks to be the huge final battle on Critical Role which will probably last half the night. But I wasn't planning on taking tomorrow off as well, because I actually do need to save some of my PTO. Today definitely changed that, though.

I'll probably make a locked post later giving more details, since it's work-related. Basically, though, it's been a bad enough week at work that I'm done. To the point where just the thought of going in tomorrow was making me sick.

Which... no. Just, no.

Anyway, on the bright side, that means I can work on fic-writing for FemslashEx. And Black Emporium. And possibly even some early treat-writing for Yuletide. So that's a win, at least?

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akashasheiress

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