alee_grrl: Candle burning next to mirror in a window sill with snow seen through the window (Winter candle)
My heart-sister in Virginia was amazingly sweet (though she will deny it to her dying breath) and loaded my car for me Saturday morning. It is packed to the brim, but we were able to fit almost everything in it. Three small boxes of clothes and shoes will need to be mailed. After the car was stuffed with things I pointed it north and started driving. Stopped overnight in Binghamton, NY at a decent hotel that even had a Japanese restaurant in house. So that was happy making. Had dinner, showered, and crashed early. Then got up, grabbed coffee and breakfast and got on the road. Had a lovely drive and am safely ensconced at my heart-sister's in Vermont. I am exhausted but happy. Tuesday evening I will go up and meet with the landlords to do a walk-through and get the keys. Wednesday I will move in. Internet is scheduled to be installed on Thursday. There is still loads to be done, but it is nice to be back in Vermont.

I will probably only be online in brief surges this week. Much love to everyone!
el_staplador: (Default)
Chapter 3 of The Shame of the Strofzins is up! With bonus standalone(ish) Princess Osra story at the end!

I have come to the conclusion that I simply cannot start at the beginning of a story and go on until I get to the end and then stop. I have remarked before (though I can't remember where) that my writing process is less like laying a road than it is connecting up islands of an archipelago. I start with two or three very definite pictures or ideas in my head, and will probably have a basic idea of their position in relation to one another. Writing those down will induce five or six other islands to erupt from the seabed. And they drag more up behind them. After that it's a matter of building bridges, or causeways, perhaps throwing in an artificial island, perhaps bypassing three or four of the early ones, after all.

It means a reasonably amount of rewriting, to ensure that character development and such things are consistent. But that's probably good for me anyway, and anyway, it's the only way that I can do it.

I have this week discovered that even if I plot the whole thing out in advance, as with the current [community profile] rarelywritten assignment, some scene that's meant to happen two thirds of the way through catches my imagination and refuses to let anything else past until I've written it. I then say 'sod it', and continue writing the bits that happen to catch my fancy at that moment.

Perhaps island-hopping just suits me.


(Consequently, The Shame of the Strofzins is complete on my hard drive, but not on AOOO, because I just can't face putting in more than a chapter's worth of tags at a time. I'll try to speed up the posting schedule a bit, but I have committed to getting up at least one new chapter every week.)

Wednesday What Are You Reading

Mar. 25th, 2015 08:20 pm[personal profile] kafj
kafj: headshot of KAFJ looking over right shoulder (Default)
For once, I'm at home on a Wednesday. I now have several weeks to catch up on, and will probably miss stuff.


Currently Reading

Sunbathing in the Rain (Gwyneth Lewis) - was recommended to me by a clueless ex-colleague as being thought to be generally good on depression. Mostly it is, though I do not think there is anything in it that I hadn't learned elsewhere over the three or four years since it was recommended to me.

Pigeon Post (Arthur Ransome) - because I missed one train and the next was late, and I'd just happened to pop into the Oxfam bookshop and filled a number of holes in my Swallows & Amazons collection.

Carpe Jugulum (Terry Pratchett) - I'm now into the ones we have in hardback, most of which I hadn't previously read.


Recently Finished

The intervening Terry Pratchetts.

High Life in Verdopolis (Charlotte Brontë) - which I enjoyed hugely. I am now resolved to seek out the remaining works in the Angria and Gondal universes.

Following on from that, Firebrand (Ankaret Wells) - tremendous fun. I am a sucker for an airship and a Ruritanian landscape. This has both.

Really, what with Discworld, Angria and the half-real half-imagined Lakes, I have been having a lovely time in imaginary worlds recently.

Dracula (Bram Stoker) - for book club. I can't remember when I last read it - early twenties, I suppose. I was very struck, this time round, by the insistence on technology, and how very scientific our heroes are being in their approach to the supernatural.

Smile or Die (Barbara Ehrenreich) - a most enjoyable rant about the cult of positive thinking. Interesting to read in tandem with Sunbathing in the Rain, which is equally perceptive on the dangers of denying reality.

The Divide (Nicholas Evans) - didn't live up to the promise of its first chapter. Sentimental and unconvincing, with characters who failed to hold my sympathy.

The Monk and the Hangman's Daughter (Ambrose Bierce) - my favourite sort of unreliable narrator. I'll say no more than that.

Alexander's Bridge (Willa Cather) - my goodness, she could write. Alexander himself was tedious, but the prose is worth it.


Up Next

Some thing about London whose title I have forgotten, for book club.

Possibly The Maker's Mask, now that I have got started on Ankaret Wells.


Poetry

The Heart's Time (ed. Janet Morley) - is not quite as useful to me in Lent as Haphazard by Starlight was in Advent. I think this is because I find Lent more difficult generally.


Abandoned

Snow (Orhan Pamuk) - I put this down to finish Dracula, and when I picked it up again I couldn't remember where I'd got to and what had happened, and didn't really care what happened to anyone. So I left it under a seat at the TUC, and I hope whoever picked it up enjoys it more than I did.


Other Media

A lot of Thunderbirds, which is delightful in its combination of appalling science ("Well, Mr Tracy, the gas seems to evaporate...") and horrific workplace health and safety practices. I'm rather wishing I were liveblogging it, because it's the only way to share the joy. I cringe through the sixties attitudes.

Long Road to Peekskill (Will Kaufman) - a presentation on the life of Woody Guthrie, with an emphasis on his formation as an anti-racist activist. With songs. As one might expect, shocking and depressing (particularly when one considers e.g. Ferguson) in parts, but very interesting indeed.

Sunday Picnic Swaddled In The Sun

Mar. 22nd, 2015 12:46 pm[personal profile] poetree_admin posting in [community profile] poetree
poetree_admin: Paper sculpture of bulbuous tree made from strips of book pages (Default)
jjhunter

Sunday, every Sunday, let's have a community picnic. It's probably been a long week, and it's lovely to have a few minutes to sit back and relax and enjoy some good conversation in a less formal space. Feel free to bring something for the Picnic Basket - a poem you liked this week, a thought you had or something you experienced, or even something completely unrelated to poetry whatsoever that you just feel like sharing. Just take a moment to say hello, and maybe have a bite to eat; no one is going anywhere fast, and the shade promises some relief from the everyday heat. Let’s get to know each other a bit better, here under the branches of the poet’s tree.
alee_grrl: (sleep)
Or in the basement in today's case. I started packing in earnest today, with my focus being on books, dvds, cds and other media. My niece totally earned the $11 she was looking for by hauling said items downstairs to the basement for me (we live in a 3-story townhouse where the first floor is the garage and den, second floor is kitchen and living room, third floor is bedrooms). I figured since it was bitterly cold today I would do the packing in the garage, this way when I go to pack my car next weekend the boxes do not have to be hauled very far.

My preferred packing method is to sort by size and shape, then play packing tetris. I start with the biggest books then work my way down, trying to limit myself to one super heavy book per box of larger tomes/collections. I load them in so the bindings face up, and after a row is filled I fill in empty areas with smaller books, cds/dvds, and other odd ball items (card games, tarot decks, etc). I will pack/re-pack my household goods and decorative items in smaller spurts over the next week. My space saving method for fragile items is to use my clothes and linens rather than packing paper or bubble wrap. Tends to work well and makes it easier to fit everything in your car. I did buy some dish foam as that is really useful for layering between dishes and isn't quite as bulky as clothes.

Having moved repeatedly as an adult, often in situations where I had to fit everything in my car, I've winnowed down my collection of things. I bought ten small heavy-duty boxes and three medium heavy-duty boxes. I only needed six of the small boxes for media, which was nice. I'm beginning to think that I might really be able to fit everything into my car this time. Last move took two trips, but my Subaru should fit more than my Saturn did as the Subaru is a hatchback.

Despite that I always run into the "ah I have too much stuff" when I'm packing. Probably because packing takes up so many spoons. I'm definitely done with packing for the day. I foresee hot shower and an early bed time tonight.
el_staplador: (Default)
Jukebox Fest: an exchange for podfic, art and fic based on songs and music videos. Nominations open March 29


I really enjoyed doing Jukebox last year - it got me back into fic after I'd burned myself out doing [community profile] 52fandoms.

In other fic news, I have an actual plot outline for my [community profile] rarelywritten story, with fandom-appropriate period detail and suspect logic. This never happens. Usually I have two or three fixed points in my head, and I work out the bits between them as I write. I am slightly worried that it means I won't actually be able to write the damn thing.

ETA: And I have put up <ahref="http://archiveofourown.org/works/3550325/chapters/7905744">chapter 2 of The Shame of the Strofzins.

Too many goodbyes

Mar. 18th, 2015 05:08 pm[personal profile] alee_grrl
alee_grrl: a still of chihuro sitting on a balcony overlooking water and watching the train ride across the water (train watching)
Found out today that one of my law school friends died. She was close to my age and I know struggled with her own demons. She was bright, funny, and compassionate. She will be missed.

So many bright lights gone in the past year and a half. Some I knew from personal experience and friendship, and some I only knew by their works. I raise a glass to all of them and hope that their lights find peace in whatever is next.

Sunday Picnic Waltzes In Whenever

Mar. 15th, 2015 09:37 pm[personal profile] poetree_admin posting in [community profile] poetree
poetree_admin: Paper sculpture of bulbuous tree made from strips of book pages (Default)
jjhunter

Sunday, every Sunday, let's have a community picnic. It's probably been a long week, and it's lovely to have a few minutes to sit back and relax and enjoy some good conversation in a less formal space. Feel free to bring something for the Picnic Basket - a poem you liked this week, a thought you had or something you experienced, or even something completely unrelated to poetry whatsoever that you just feel like sharing. Just take a moment to say hello, and maybe have a bite to eat; no one is going anywhere fast, and the shade promises some relief from the everyday heat. Let’s get to know each other a bit better, here under the branches of the poet’s tree.

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