Kidlet story

Jul. 20th, 2017 09:23 pm
resonant: Little Red Riding Hood and wolf. Text: "La beta noire." (beta noire)
[personal profile] resonant
New Draco-centric story from the kidlet over at AO3! I betaed. I even offered some comments that were not smiley faces.

I know exactly why I walk and talk like a machine (24327 words) by terminally_underwhelmed
Chapters: 1/1
Fandom: Harry Potter - J. K. Rowling
Rating: Teen And Up Audiences
Warnings: Graphic Depictions Of Violence
Relationships: Minor or Background Relationship(s), Pre-Harry/Draco - Relationship
Characaters: Draco Malfoy, Lucius Malfoy, Narcissa Black Malfoy, Harry Potter, Ron Weasley, Hermione Granger, Blaise Zabini, Luna Lovegood, Arthur Weasley, Astoria Greengrass, more like ace-storia amirite, various OCs, Minor Characters
Additional Tags: Epilogue What Epilogue, War Aftermath, Emotional Growth, Bureaucracy, Pre-Slash, Friendship, headcanon dump
Series: Part 1 of Solitaire/Mercenary
Summary:

They're together when the Dark Lord falls.

Draco is barely aware of his own senses, half-blind and exhausted from months upon months of corrosive fear, and whatever shred of reality is still allotted to him is in his father’s urgent grip on his shoulder and his mother’s hands around his and the way he leans on both of them.

runpunkrun: dana scully reading jose chung's From Outer Space, text: read (reading)
[personal profile] runpunkrun
Selected Poems, by William Carlos Williams: Holy shit, it has to be noted—and I did not do this on purpose—but it took me five years exactly to read this book. I started reading it on July 11, 2012, and finished it on July 11, 2017.

That's exactly how slow going it was.

To my disappointment, not everything William Carlos Williams wrote is as accessible as "The Red Wheelbarrow" and "This is Just to Say," two of his most famous poems. Instead, there's a mix of transparent and opaque.

And then there's Paterson, which he's also known for, a five-volume epic poem that here is presented in extracts, taking up about forty pages instead of its usual three hundred, and seems to be about a grasshopper, a park, geography, some text from a medical journal, a personal letter, and a history lesson. I don't know if it would have made more sense if I had read it in its entirety, but I'm not interested in finding out.

Williams liked to experiment with white space and sentence fragments—he's a contemporary of e e cummings and T. S. Eliot—but his white space lacks the energy and enthusiasm of cummings, or, later, of Lawrence Ferlinghetti. Mostly it just looks jumbled, or unnecessarily spread out, staggered like the teeth of a zipper. The chopped up, incomplete sentences were coarse and seemed to impede meaning rather than free it. I didn't feel like I was discovering or feeling something; I felt like I was tripping over it.

For such a long volume, my notes with my favorite poems and lines don't even take up a whole index card, and I was definitely experiencing William Carlos Williams fatigue by the end. The book collects selected poems from 1914 to 1962, and I found Charles Tomlinson's introduction to be wordy and almost breathless in tone but informative about Williams and his poetry style, though more useful after I'd read the book than before.

My favorite discovery has to be the complete Pictures from Brueghel series. I'd read parts of it before, but didn't realize there was more to it. It's ten poems based on works by Brueghel the Elder, who I encounter quite often in poetry. There's something about his paintings that draws poets to him. It's probably the level of detail, all the little stories going on in these huge lush landscapes full of color and people and animals. The poems I've read have all evoked such clear images, even if I'm unfamiliar with the paintings themselves, and Williams's work is no exception. Though, as always, in order to enjoy Williams's "Landscape with the Fall of Icarus" to its fullest, you benefit by knowing the joke behind Brueghel's "Landscape with the Fall of Icarus" and the tiny splash Icarus makes down in the corner of the painting where no one is even looking. Just his leg sticking out of the water. Williams captures the humor and sadness of that image, still giving it only slightly more attention than Brueghel did.

It seems I like Williams best when he's being simple and transparent. His complicated, fractured works don't appeal to me as much, and it feels like this collection is more geared toward the latter. But could be it only felt like it.

Contains: rape, classism, and racist language and attitudes.

The episodes that never were

Jul. 18th, 2017 08:12 pm
resonant: Brian from The Breakfast Club: Demented and sad, but social (Default)
[personal profile] resonant
[personal profile] lunabee34 says: "Tell me about the episode (or book chapter) that never appeared in one of your fandoms but should have."

Star Trek TNG: "The Price" is such a god-awful episode that when it leaves those two Ferengi in their shuttlecraft stranded in the Delta Quadrant and doesn't bother to tell us what became of them, that's not even the worst of its crimes. (The worst of its crimes is probably what Crusher and Troi wear to do aerobics.) Anyhow, yes, the Ferengi were acting like jerks, but they didn't deserve to die the kind of death that you'd die stranded in a shuttlecraft 30,000 light-years from home. I think either they should reappear as part of the Borg collective, or the Voyager crew should find them.

Due South: More Ray&Ray. Doesn't everyone want more Ray&Ray? Make RayK go to meet a new informant and discover that it's the Bookman.

The Princess Bride 2: the story of how Buttercup wound up being the Dread Pirate Roberts.
resonant: Brian from The Breakfast Club: Demented and sad, but social (Default)
[personal profile] resonant
- There's a group of people who detest it on principle. Asked to define it, they create a definition that basically sorts everything into two categories: Things I Hate, Which Therefore Belong To the Genre I Hate, and Things I Like, Which Obviously Do Not Belong To the Genre I Hate. (Ask a classic rock fan who hates country about Crosby, Stills, & Nash. Or a classic sci-fi fan who hates fantasy about Pern.)

- Traditionally, about a third of it was worthless due to sentimentality.

- More recently, another third of it is worthless because capitalism endlessly churns it out in identical shiny plastic pieces.

- When it's bad, there's nothing worse.

- When it's good, it captures the human spirit so well that it brings tears to your eyes.
runpunkrun: dana scully reading jose chung's From Outer Space, text: read (reading)
[personal profile] runpunkrun
Gluten-Free Sweet Treats: Cakes, Brownies, Cookies and More, by Emma Goss-Custard: First, this book is British and, as an American, parts of it made no sense to me. The "gluten-free storecupboard" section at the back goes through various ingredients and where to find them but failed to address my many questions. Mixed spice? Stem ginger in syrup? Damsons?? Turns out those're plums. I know this because I can use Google, but I had to go out of my way for it, and I feel like I'd have to go out of my way to find many of these ingredients, which is an obstacle. The other problem is cultural. I'm never going to make spotted dick because the name makes me want to gag.

Still, the cookbook is adorable and has many good qualities, and there are even a few recipes I'd like to try, but at a certain point I gave up because too many of the ingredients aren't things I keep around. Lyle's Golden Syrup and Lemon Oil amongst them. I continued to flip through and look at the nice pictures, but with less of an expectation I'd find something I could make out of my cupboard.

The good news is that every recipe stands on its own. The book doesn't require a custom flour blend. It uses a lot of polenta, ground nuts and seeds, and very little rice flour. It doesn't address flour substitutions, though. There's an emphasis on fresh fruits, as well as different levels of cream (clotted, double, fraîche). Weirdly a lot of the chocolate recipes call for dark and milk chocolate. Not something I see a lot.

The book itself has cute graphics and a colorful layout. I love that each recipe has an info box that tells the size/number of items it makes, baking time, and if/where/how long it can be stored. The introduction to each recipe sometimes suggests flavor variations but only rarely describes the taste and texture of the item. Add that to the fact it only has colored pictures for a third of the recipes, and that means I only have the ingredient list to go by when judging what the final product is going to be like, and in gluten-free baking it's basically impossible to guess the outcome of throwing together a bunch of nut flours and cornstarch. The British call cornstarch "cornflour" by the way. No way that can end badly.

The recipes give amounts in volume and weight (ounces and grams), and there's a helpful index and an abbreviated introduction to gluten-free baking.

Not something I'm going to come back to, but might be a great cookbook if you're gluten-free and in the UK or have gastronomical ties to the region.
runpunkrun: dana scully reading jose chung's From Outer Space, text: read (reading)
[personal profile] runpunkrun
And Then There Were None, by Agatha Christie: From Christie's author's note: "I wrote the book after a tremendous amount of planning, and I was pleased with what I had made of it. It was clear, straightforward, baffling, and yet had a perfectly reasonable explanation; in fact it had to have an epilogue in order to explain it."

It was so perfectly explainable that she had to add an extra bit to the story to explain it. Yes, that makes perfect sense. I often find my own writing to be so straightforward it requires an epilogue to explain.

This is only my second Agatha Christie book, and the only thing I remember about the first one is that it had a million characters and maybe some Siamese cats? I figured this one would at least have fewer characters. I read it because I recently finished Yukito Ayatsuji's The Decagon House Murders, which references this book in both the text and the premise, and I wanted to see how closely the two were related. Ayatsuji borrows a lot from Christie, and adds his own interesting twist on the murderer.

As for Christie, I didn't care much about the characters, and the writing is awkward thanks to a disjointed dialogue style that depends heavily on adverbs, like:

She said grimly:

"This woman was poisoned. Possibly by a toxic amount of -ly adverbs."

He said doubtfully:

"Surely that's not possible?"

She said grimlyer:

"Oh, it's totally possible."

And, as previously complained, the mystery had to be explained in an epilogue. Which isn't how I like my mysteries to be solved.

Contains: antisemitism, colonialism, racism.

gratitude and a great salad

Jul. 13th, 2017 10:02 pm
cofax7: Iroh eating noodles (ATLA - Iroh)
[personal profile] cofax7
I really need to work on gratitude.

1. New medication for the dog, which means she no longer pees in her sleep. (Yes, it's a thing.)

2. Talking my oldest niece into reading the Montmaray novels. Which I then re-read over the weekend, and yes, I cried at that one point. (Oh, Carlos.)

3. Finally getting through to the VA about Dad's life insurance policy.

4. Making my awesome "Oceanside salad" and eating two bowls of it for dinner. [recipe below]

5. Borrowing ebooks from the local library.

*

Oceanside salad )

In other news, I really enjoyed the final Raksura novel by Martha Wells, enough to want to reread them all, except the last Court of Fives novel by Kate Elliott is coming out soon, so I want to reread all of those, but I really shouldn't.

Also, the Narnia fic exchange is up for signups this week, and I cannot decide...

free ebook: Kushiel's Dart

Jul. 13th, 2017 02:53 pm
runpunkrun: dana scully reading jose chung's From Outer Space, text: read (reading)
[personal profile] runpunkrun
Tor.com has this eBook of the Month Club where every month they give away an ebook for a week, and then for the rest of the month there are discussion posts and whatnot. Because it's Tor, the books are always DRM-free, and you can get them in mobi or epub—though only if you live in the US or Canada; sorry, everyone else.

This month, Tor's giving away Kushiel's Dart, by Jacqueline Carey, and I know fandom's got a thing about this series, so I'm passing it along. I think the only reason I know about it in the first place is because of fandom and the crossover/fusion fics that borrow its premise. Which, to quote from that Fanlore article, is:
The books take place in an alternate-Europe during the Renaissance; the primary setting is a country called Terre d'Ange, which is a France-analogue. Its people practice an invented religion whose primary tenet is "Love as thou wilt" - as a result all forms of lovemaking are sacred, and in canon most characters are assumed to be bisexual and there are multiple examples of relationships involving BDSM and polyamory.
So go sign up if this sounds like your sort of thing. You'll get Tor's newsletter, but I honestly enjoy having it pop up in my inbox. Tor.com has interesting articles about science fiction and fantasy, and really great free short fiction, and the newsletter gives you little blurbs about them maybe once a week.

Legal stuff: Kushiel's Dart will be available from July 13th-19th. Download before 11:59 PM ET July 19th, 2017.

Gluten-Free Cookies, by Luane Kohnke

Jul. 13th, 2017 01:37 pm
runpunkrun: dana scully reading jose chung's From Outer Space, text: read (reading)
[personal profile] runpunkrun
Gluten-Free Cookies: From Shortbreads to Snickerdoodles, Brownies to Biscotti: 50 Recipes for Cookies You Crave, by Luane Kohnke: Did I take a star off this rating (on Goodreads) because the author used the phrase "yummy-in-the-tummy" (in quotation marks no less?!) in one of the introductions to a recipe? No, but I wanted to. I wanted to so much.

Instead, I will ignore that, and focus on the positives, because there are so many of them. To start with: This book does not require a custom flour mix! Each recipe tells you exactly what you need to make it. The measurements are by volume only, though, which I find to be a bummer in gluten-free cooking. I'm going to try the ginger molasses cookies first, and maybe fool around with converting the measurements to weight using an online calculator or chart. If I can find two that agree.

Most of these cookies are made with brown rice flour and almond flour, along with tapioca and potato starch. The recipes call for xanthan gum, but Kohnke says you can substitute guar gum straight across, which goes against everything I've read, but I guess you can experiment with that if it's your thing. Some of the cookies call for vegetable shortening, which I don't cook with, but I've had good results using ghee or clarified butter in place of Crisco, so I'll try that here. The book has an introduction that goes over ingredients, cooking techniques, and tools for those people who are just starting out, but it doesn't get into substitutions much so you're on your own there. And while these recipes don't require a custom flour blend, they are based on Kohnke's own mix. She says you can use it in your favorite wheat flour-based recipes, too, and provides a handy chart to convert a cup of wheat flour to a cup of her blend with all the individual ingredients listed, so you still don't have to mix up a batch of it and have it hanging around.

The recipes cover a lot of the basics: chocolate chip, gingerbread, jam thumbprint, oatmeal, snickerdoodle, shortbread, biscotti, flourless peanut butter. There are sections on kids' cookies (for kids and/or to make with kids), bar cookies and brownies, holiday cookies, and meringues. One of these things is not like the others.

Each recipe has an introduction that describes the cookie's flavor and texture, and at the bottom it tells you how to store them and how long they'll last. There are lovely color photos for each cookie, and a useful index that is sorted by recipe and ingredients. So you can look for "ginger molasses cookie" or "molasses" and find it in both places. This is definitely a book I'll come back to.
runpunkrun: dana scully reading jose chung's From Outer Space, text: read (reading)
[personal profile] runpunkrun
The Gentleman's Guide to Vice and Virtue, by Mackenzi Lee: Henry "Monty" Montague is off to the continent for his Grand Tour with his best friend Percy and, unfortunately, Monty's little sister and a chaperone. But Monty's dad, The Duke of Whatever, is totally fed up with Monty's rake-like behavior and sets down some strict rules Monty has to follow if he wants to learn how to run the estate when he comes back. Uh, spoiler, he doesn't he follow them.

Elsewhere, I described this as a romp, and I stand by it. It's rompy. It's queer. Monty seemingly goes all ways, and in fact reminds me a lot of some James T. Kirks I've encountered in fanfic—rough childhood, convinced of his own awesomeness (as a defense mechanism), will kiss anything with a mouth, and totally, deeply in love with his best friend who has dark skin and can't eat with the family when company comes. This metaphor is breaking down, but Percy is mixed race, and while Monty might be totally oblivious to what this means for Percy, Percy is more than aware of it, and even if Monty doesn't notice, the story does, which I appreciated a lot.

I couldn't help but like Monty even though he's a self-absorbed little shit. He's loveable and slappable in equal measure. Percy adores him, so there has to be something about him we didn't get to see since we apparently meet him at his worst. In keeping with this, Monty's quest was totally dumb, and if he'd listened to ANYONE even ONCE in his LIFE then NONE of this would have HAPPENED, but then you don't have a book, or a guy who can learn from his mistakes. Which I'm not sure he ever does, but whatever. He cries a lot, too, which I dig.

Good hurt/comfort, friends-to-lovers with lots of sweet snuggling and intimate non-sexual contact, in addition to some brief sexual contact. And a kick-ass sister. Fun, super queer, and a happy (if unrealistic) ending.

Contains: violence, child abuse, suicidal thoughts, racism, homophobia, upsetting attitudes towards chronic illness/disability.

tuesday list

Jul. 11th, 2017 09:51 am
runpunkrun: illustration of numbered sheep jumping over a sleeping figure, text: runpunkrun (and then she woke up)
[personal profile] runpunkrun
  • I know
  • you don't hear from me for like
  • a month
  • and then it's a blast of
  • 100% BOOK REVIEWS
  • I got a little behind
  • and had a health thing
  • a year from now
  • I won't be able to tell which
  • "health thing" I meant there
  • as it's really more of a plural situation
  • just to give you an idea
  • of how things are going
  • with me

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