(no subject)

Aug. 23rd, 2017 10:31 pm
shadowkat: (Default)
[personal profile] shadowkat
1. Last night was spent cleaning out shelves, watching super fix shelves (so they don't fall on my head), cleaning again, and putting things back into shelves.

2. Haven't really read anything of note of late. Oh, I've read some books, I just didn't like them that much.

* Hate to Want You by Alisha Cole - highly rec'd by SmartBitches, plot did not work for me. An issue I have with contemporary or modern romance novels. Also the gender imbalance in modern romance novels irritates me. And, this is odd, I know, but I feel the writers don't know how to write male characters effectively? They either romanticize them or demonize them. I've seen male writers do it with female characters in noir mystery novels and spy novels, and female contemporary and historical writers do it with male characters. I think the writer forgets to treat the person like a person and not as some idealized or demonized take on their gender?

It's less of a problem, oddly enough, in historical romance novels. You'd think it would be the opposite, but, alas no. I don't know why this is.

Nor do I know why the roles are more stereotypical in modern romance than historical.

Hmmm.

I was gifted with a brother, so I've seen the romantic conflict from the male perspective. He is apparently a very attractive guy, and women, to say the least, throw themselves at him. Always have.
It irritates him. They've also used him. I watched them do it when he was in Elementary through High School.

And, I've heard the male side of bad divorces and breakups from various male friends and co-workers over the years. Our society, I think puts an undo amount of pressure on men being well...a certain thing. My brother stated it once, how there's this view that you have to be the macho guy..the guy that pops up in so many contemporary romance novels -- that alpha male character, who frankly does not exist in reality. Aka James Bond.

It's also one of the issues I've had with reading female written male/male fiction...the men are written oddly at times. I don't quite know how to explain it. Seen this with male written female/female slash as well. I think people have a tendency to write their fantasy versions and not the reality? Which is okay of course. But it is interesting.

* Book that I can't remember the name of, but just finished today, which I guess is saying something isn't it? Oh well, at least I can remember the names of the characters - Genieve and Archie, usually it's the exact opposite. And the plot. Then again, it's not that surprising I can't remember the name of it...all these books appear to have variations on the same title. Innovative in relation to titles these writers aren't.

Anyhow...the book is interesting in this one respect, the writer got curious about what would happen if a woman inherited the Duke or rather Duchess title upon her father's death along with his estates, during Victorian times. Apparently the writer had read about this happening...a family, I think Ledbester? Had requested a special dispensation from the Crown to permit the eldest daughter to inherit. The Duke's two sons had died and he was left with seven daughters, so he requested one of the daughters inherit upon his death, and Victoria granted it. So, the book is about Genieve inheriting the title and falling in love with a Steward (third son of a Viscount, who is a retired army Captain), that her godmother sent her to help her learn how to become a Duchess.

Interesting premise. And it worked. But...the book is poorly executed. Instead of exploring the premise or even the family interactions, or giving us more on why the hero is estranged from his family and working as a steward...we get a lot of "does he love me, he shouldn't love me, we can't be together, blah, blah, blah" and vice versa. I started skimming halfway through. Also the sex scenes don't quite work and feel clumsy. (Note: less is more with sex scenes. We do not need to know that he put his tongue in her mouth or licked it. It suffices to say, he kissed her deeply. Or with devotion.
You do not need to provide graphic anatomical details...not only is it rather dull, it's also a bit jarring. This is not a how to manual on how to have sex, after all.)

Also, at one point, and I thought this rather interesting, the heroine proposes that the hero become her mistress. Which he's put out about and states, he'd thought she wanted to marry him. And this breaks them up for a bit. (I'm not sure a man would be quite that insulted by such a proposition. But this one might. Particularly since his father had a mistress and he despised it.) At the end, she proposes to him, asking him to marry her. He turns her down. Until they have sex and he thoroughly ruins her, then he proposes marriage to her, and she accepts...and they have sex on the ground, naked, in a place anyone could just happen by...seemed rather uncomfortable, not to mention awkward and a bit odd.

The book ends with her announcing their marriage to their friends. I felt sort of let down by it, since at that point I was only reading to find out what his estranged brother had written him and how they reconciled. But the writer wasn't interested in exploring it further, and it was summed up in a brief sentence. "He read his brother's letter aloud to her, expressed, and they reconciled." Seriously? We get graphic details of an awkward sex scene, but nothing on this? Ugh.
(This is the problem with a lot of romance novels.)

3. Was going to discuss world-building in books but no time. So will leave you with this...
I've realized that books that have a lot of world-building but not a good or clear plot or clear character arcs, seem to lend themselves to television and film adaptations rather well.
GRRM Game of Thrones is great with the world-building and the character vignettes, but bad on plot and cohesive character arcs. Same is true with most of Neil Gaiman's books, great world-building, not great character or plot development.

Also apparently most sci-fantasy readers don't really care about character arcs or plot that much, as long as there is an intricate world and mythology in place. It does help to have interesting or likable characters...but they can be sketchy, the world building can't. They get very upset if the writer screws up on the world-building. I've never understood this.

Well, that didn't take long

Aug. 23rd, 2017 08:32 pm
next_to_normal: (Default)
[personal profile] next_to_normal
I've actually been on Match for two months and this is only my first date, so I guess it took longer than it seems, but I only just promised you hilarious (or horrible) dating stories three days ago, and... I am desperately in need of my gifs. (Damn you, Photobucket! *shakes fist*)

This isn't applicable to this particular story, but this is the kind of guy who apparently is single in DC. DO YOU SEE WHAT I AM UP AGAINST HERE, PEOPLE? I MAY AS WELL JUST ADOPT FIVE MORE CATS AND BE DONE WITH IT. (On the other hand, I kind of want to be BFFs with all those ladies: "I'm stealing his dates and making them my friends and I'm SO HERE FOR IT," lmao.)

Read more... )

Dear FemslashEx writer

Aug. 23rd, 2017 08:44 pm
trobadora: (Regina/Snow - this thing of ours)
[personal profile] trobadora
Dear [community profile] femslashex writer,

thank you so much for writing a story for me! I'll be absolutely thrilled about anything you can create about the relationships I requested, and everything important is in the requests themselves, but if you'd like some additional info/ideas/thoughts, here's some of it:

General Preferences

Fic Likes & Dislikes )

I hope this is useful for telling you about the kinds of things I like to read. :)

Now for the fandoms and ships I requested, in no particular order:

Requests

Grimm - Kelly Burkhardt/Elizabeth Lascelles )

Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles - Sarah Connor/Catherine Weaver )

Once Upon a Time - Regina Mills | Evil Queen/Mary Margaret Blanchard | Snow White, Red Queen | Anastasia/Jabberwocky )

Doctor Who - Thirteenth Doctor/Missy )
twistedchick: General Leia in The Force Awakens (Default)
[personal profile] twistedchick
Why I don't use automated checkout machines -- they cost jobs. Millions of jobs.

Where statues go to retire.

Is America finally ready for the bidet?

The Congressional Black Caucus is talking impeachment.

With all the weirdness, we might need some Help!

***

There is a lot of coverage of Trump's speech in Phoenix yesterday, ranging from "he's deranged" to "he made it all up" to "he plans to pardon that racist Joe Arpaio" and more. And there were 3000+ peaceful demonstrators outside -- at least, it appears, until police threw pepper bombs into the crowd. I do not have the oomph to chase all of this, but if you go to news.google.com, you'll find a ton of links. Sorry. I am having vision problems (eta: because the frame of my glasses is bent and one lens is closer than the other, and I have ordered new ones that aren't in yet) and need to take care of my eyes today, ok? Thanks for understanding.

like a bird in a cage

Aug. 23rd, 2017 11:15 am
musesfool: Superboy, arms crossed over his chest (no retreat baby no surrender)
[personal profile] musesfool
Oy, the subway this morning, I can't even. One of the great joys of vacation, even if I'm staying home, as I am this time around, is not having to get on the subway unless I want to, and certainly not during a really screwed up morning rush.

I keep checking FedEx to see if the package with the contracts/check was delivered. By 10:30 they said! But at 11 am, it's still in transit. Sigh. eta: And delivered as of 11:20 am. Whew./eta

Anyway. It's time for what I'm reading Wednesday:

What I've just finished
nothing yet.

What I'm currently reading
The Stone Sky by N.K. Jemisin, the third book of the Broken Earth trilogy. I'm not finding it quite as compelling as the first two books. spoilers ) I'm about 60% through, so I imagine more terrible things are coming.

What I'm reading next
As always, it's a mystery. I have many things on my iPad, so we'll see what catches my fancy.

***

Adventures Elsewhere — July 2017

Aug. 23rd, 2017 02:17 pm
helloladies: Gray icon with a horseshoe open side facing down with pink text underneath that says Adventures Elsewhere (adventures elsewhere)
[personal profile] helloladies posting in [community profile] ladybusiness
Adventures Elsewhere collects our reviews, guest posts, articles, and other content we've spread across the Internet recently! See what we've been up in our other projects. :D


Read more... )
legionseagle: (Default)
[personal profile] legionseagle
I'm in general pretty sceptical about the Honours system, but over recent days I've become a believer. The Honours system justifies itself by continuing not to give a knighthood to Geoffrey Boycott and by very properly giving them instead to the likes of Viv Richards, Curtly Ambrose, Wes Hall and Gary Sobers (and why the hell has Clive Lloyd not appeared on that list?), something that has recently prompted the mouthy Yorkshire rhubarb obsessive to observe that the honour was handed out "like confetti" to Windies players and that "Mine’s been turned down twice. I’d better black me face.”

Honestly, it's like a variation on Lewis's law*: Boycs' explanation for why he hasn't been knighted shows why he mustn't be knighted.

However, speaking of white knights, a whole bunch of Boycott supporters have crawled out of the woodwork on twitter, claiming that the only reason their hero hasn't had the respect he deserves is because of that pesky domestic violence conviction from 1998, and after all, that was in France so it barely counts and anyway, she was probably lying.

And since most of them are talking about "new evidence" I thought it was my public duty to do a little gentle fact checking, as a resource for others who may have to deal with these pests.

Read more... )

Anyway, as [personal profile] kalypso and I have known since the early 80s, the block to his knighthood lies not in his domestic violence conviction, his racism, his ban from Test cricket as a result of touring apartheid-era South Africa, his running out of Randall or his all-round painful personality. It lies in the deep dark reason everyone in the know knows, but no-one can talk about.


*"The comments below any article on feminism justify feminism".

t-shirt crossover (not for me)

Aug. 22nd, 2017 07:33 pm
twistedchick: General Leia in The Force Awakens (Default)
[personal profile] twistedchick
I was looking at a catalog today and found the most frightening t-shirt I've seen in a while.

The design was meant to be patriotic and comforting -- a kitten looking out from under a draped American flag. I can't fault the idea, though it's not to my taste.

However-- on a shirt? The kitten is all head and it's huge -- the size of a small leopard. And with the shading, it appears to be emerging from the wearer's chest, confidently searching for more food...

Facebook Kittens/Alien.

Not for the win. ewwww.
musesfool: close up of the Chrysler Building (home)
[personal profile] musesfool
This morning I signed and initialed four copies of a contract, wrote a deposit check, and shoved it all into a FedEx envelope so it can arrive at the seller's attorney's office tomorrow morning. Keep your fingers crossed that it goes better this time than it did the last.

L keeps saying she has a good feeling about this, but I had a good feeling about the other one right up until I didn't, so I am not doing any premature celebrating at this point. I mean, I think last time everything went so smoothly and I was basically carried along feeling incredulous and lucky and we saw how that worked out so. Back to cautious optimism and trying to manage expectations. And looking at potential furniture and paint colors, of course.

Gosh, the carpeting is so bad. I mean, first of all, I don't like carpeting but secondly, why white shag? why brown? These are not appealing (to me, and given that the apartment was still available when I got to it, to a lot of other people). If you are trying to sell your apartment, maybe make better aesthetic choices! Don't even get me started on the number of really terrible photos I've seen. I realize that taking pictures is a skill, so if you don't have it, find someone who does to take your pictures and then - protip! - upload them in the right orientation. I closed out of so many potential listings because the photos were a. terrible and b. rotated 90° counterclockwise, making them impossible to parse without a lot of neck craning. Don't do that!

I mean, re: the ugly carpeting: I'll have money left to rip it up and sand/polish/seal the wood floors beneath, but I've seen apartments in the same neighborhood and price range that already had that done, and they look so much nicer. *hands*

Anyway, now the seller just has to sign and we can officially be "in contract" and move on to the next step in the process.

*yawns*

I'm so sleepy. I want to go home. All day I've thought it was Wednesday and that I would be off work for 6 days (I'm taking Thurs/Fri/Mon/Tues off), but no, it's only Tuesday. Stupid Tuesday. Always the worst.

***

Recs

Aug. 22nd, 2017 06:38 pm
selenak: (Rachel by Naginis)
[personal profile] selenak
Defenders:


Gone for Soldiers: Claire and Jessica at a certain memorial service post show. In which two backstories the series left out are addressed. Excellent Claire and Jessica voices.

Above, but undermined: neat missing scene between Matt and Jessica.

Orphan Black:

The sun that's setting in the east: what Rachel did next.

Tatiana Maslany about Orphan Black interview: in which she looks back on the show, sees P.T. Westmoreland as the perfect analogue for a current head of state (hint: mediocre man in his early 70s with his power based on lies, obsessed with himself, no regard for anything not him) and thus a good final villain, and reveals which Clone was the most fun for her to play.

All hail my incredible skills

Aug. 22nd, 2017 08:54 am
monanotlisa: (natasha - avengers)
[personal profile] monanotlisa
Yesterday post-swim (!) the first time after endoscopic surgery (!!) I was patting myself dry. I looked at my towel and found bright red on it. Eek! I looked at my abdomen -- all good -- and then at my hand, where a long, slice-y cut was oozing a little blood. To add insult to injury, it wasn't even on my fingers, where one might feasibly mishandle the courtesy razor: It was right between my index and second finger, actually requiring a butterfly bandaid.

I'm just not meant to shave, y'all. Most of my leg scars (in spite of several knee surgeries and a few IV port leftovers from hospitals), are from cutting myself up trying to get hair off that belongs there in the first place.

In other health news, I found the world's tiniest malpractice problem! So, here was the success of the above-mentioned fifty minutes of swimming without aggravating my Problem Incision, the rightmost one, which of course includes some details, but not gory ones after all )

what's getting (re)moved, what's not

Aug. 22nd, 2017 10:35 am
twistedchick: General Leia in The Force Awakens (Default)
[personal profile] twistedchick
Some Confederate statues are being removed, some covered, some may be moved, and some won't go anywhere.

I have no problem with the Confederate monuments at Gettysburg National Battlefield Park. They mark the locations where people stood or died when stuff happened; they are largely markers saying this unit was here, sometimes with names, sometimes not. They assist with understanding what happened in the battle. I don't recall offhand that there was anything glorifying the South there, in the way that there is elsewhere; but it's been a few years since I walked the entire battlefield, tracking troop movements.
twistedchick: General Leia in The Force Awakens (Default)
[personal profile] twistedchick
I'm rereading Georgette Heyer's 'These Old Shades' and I just came to the place where it mentions, in a phrase in one sentence, Justin Alastair's secret efforts to put Charles Edward Stuart on the throne instead of George I. And that made me imagine a fanfic crossover that I have brain enough to write, though I'd love to read it. The other source would be Outlander, specifically the second volume where Jamie and Claire are in France attempting, subtly, to stop the Stuart uprising because Claire knows its outcome and wants to save the lives that would have been lost at Culloden, not to mention the destruction of the Highlands. The main problem in writing it would be viewpoint and style -- These Old Shades is written in a very mannered style, and the Outlanders, which are mostly from Claire's viewpoint, are a modern view of a past era. If it were from Justin's viewpoint -- he would not be quite the cynical onlooker that he is in 'Shades', at 45. He'd be a bit more like young Rupert, and I'm not sure how to do that. If it were from Claire's viewpoint, he might come out looking like a younger version of St. Germaine, which would not do. But what I would love to see is Justin's reaction to one of Claire's famous set-downs, whether aimed at him or at someone else. I suspect they would end up good friends, though I have no idea what Jamie would think of that.

Unfortunately, Leonie would not be able to be there in 1745 -- and her next appearance is in 'Devil's Cub', which I think dates to something like 1775 or 1780. By that time Jamie and Claire are in the Colonies, and I don't think they visit Paris together again for a while, though Jamie is there before that with his print shop. So the dates don't line up for a confrontation between Dominic, Leonie and Justin's son, and Bree, Claire and Jamie's tall, outspoken, red-haired daughter who wears breeches (Leonie would like that, though.)

Beyond the Wall - GOT S7 Ep. 6

Aug. 21st, 2017 10:43 pm
shadowkat: (Default)
[personal profile] shadowkat
OMG!

That was...incredible.

eh spoilers )

(no subject)

Aug. 21st, 2017 09:57 pm
skygiants: storybook page of a duck wearing a pendant, from Princess Tutu; text 'mukashi mukashi' (mukashi mukashi)
[personal profile] skygiants
A couple months ago I was talking with my roommate about the new Anne of Green Gables TV series (I have not seen it, she had opinions about it) which led to us reminiscing about Other L.M. Montgomery Books We Had Known, which led to me last weekend rereading The Story Girl and The Golden Road.

I was actually much more attached to these books than I ever was to Anne -- they're about an extended group of cousins who have very wholesome adventures together. The cousins include:

Beverly, Our Narrator, most notable for his mildly purple narration and deeply sentimental soul
Felix, his little brother, who is Fat and Sensitive About It
Felicity, who is Very Beautiful and Very Prosaic and also Extremely Bossy, like Lucy from Peanuts if she also looked like Elizabeth Taylor
Cecily, who is Very Good and Very Serious and probably also Doomed to Die Young Like Good Children Do
Dan, Felicity and Cecily's brother, who is an Annoying Brother
Sara Ray, who lives down the road and cries all the time
Peter, who is But a Hired Boy but Clever and Talented and also In Love With Felicity
and, of course, Sara Stanley the Story Girl, who is not pretty but interesting, and has a spellbindingly beautiful voice, and is prone to stopping in the middle of any given conversation to announce that she knows a story that has some vague relation to the topic at hand and will then proceed to relate that story come hell or high water, which: oh god, of course I imprinted on these books as a kid, because I of course do the exact same thing, except without any vestige of a spellbindingly beautiful voice, and also instead of 'I know a tragic story about our uncle's great-aunt's wedding' my version is usually 'I read a book once in which somebody banged a griffin.' But, much like the Story Girl, once I get started on an anecdote of this kind there is very little chance of stopping me. I apologize to anybody who has suffered from this.

ANYWAY. Fortunately, the other kids (with the occasional exception of Felicity) never get fed up with the Story Girl and are always glad to hear an entertaining anecdote about the minister's cousin's grandmother or whatever the topic of discussion is that day.

The kids also get into normal turn-of-the-century-Canadian kid stuff, like pretending to be ministers, or freaking out because the local old-lady-who-might-be-a-witch sat in their pew at church, or panicking that it might be the Day of Judgment. Normal turn-of-the-century-Canadian kid stuff centers very prominently on appropriate church behavior, as it turns out. L.M. Montgomery's world is composed of Methodists and Lutherans and that's about it. I don't remember this being weird for me as an emphatically-not-Christian youth but it is slightly retroactively weird for me now.

Other notable things that happen in The Story Girl and The Golden Road:
- Dan eats poison berries because Felicity tells him he would be an idiot to eat the poison berries, nearly dies, then goes back and eats more poison berries because Felicity made the mistake of saying she told him so
- Cecily the Very Sweet and Very Good is mean to exactly one person in both books, a boy in her class who conceives a terrible crush on her and will not leave her alone despite multiple stated requests until she publicly humiliates him in class, which she ruthlessly does; a good lesson
- The Story Girl gives a great and instantly recognizable description of synesthesia without ever actually using the word
- The Story Girl befriends a desperately shy neighbor who is known as the Awkward Man, "because he is so awkward," our narrator Bev helpfully explains
- the Awkward Man is later revealed to have a secret room in his house containing women's clothing, which, the Story Girl explains, is because he's spent years buying things for an imaginary girlfriend - and, I mean, far be it from me to question the Story Girl! but some grad student could probably get a real good paper on gender and sexuality in turn-of-the-century children's lit out of this is all I'm saying

Totality!

Aug. 21st, 2017 10:10 pm
oracne: turtle (Default)
[personal profile] oracne
I'm in Tennessee at the moment. Two friends and I sat out and viewed the entirety of the solar eclipse. The totality was so beautiful; so awesome in the original sense of the word.

It took us about four hours to return when it had taken us maybe an hour to get to our viewing spot, but we had plenty of snacks and the new Kesha album to keep us happy. We ate peach pie for dinner, because we are grownups.

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