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Wednesday, May 18th, 2016

Subject:What Am I Reading Wednesday - May 18
Time:11:35 pm.
What I Just Finished Reading

The Captive Prince – C.S. Pascat 
Plotwise, it read like a bona fide BL novel in English. Craftwise, it read like decent fanfic, although I could have done without 90 percent of the adverbs. I can't shake the feeling that I know this story from somewhere.

Our main character Damen seemed a little too blasé about his captivity, and his flaying. I have high hopes that his complacency toward slavery will come back to haunt him, potentially as a wallow in helpless devotion to his captor. I imagine that exchange between Laurent and the Regent is significant, especially given the latter's preference for children. (Ew.) I do like that the racy bits are largely pandering to my tastes, versus standard romance novel or porn-for-straight-dudes tastes. I just hope they pander less to non-con/non-con BDSM/chan...I honestly can't tell where things are going at this point.

The novella at the end was of far better quality than the main novel; I hope the subsequent books take after it.

Prince's Gambit – C.S. Pascat
Okay, I'm hooked. Our heroes are clearly ciphers for Thor and Loki, but perhaps it's because I can rely on that shorthand/familiarity here that the book seems far more three-dimensional than it should be. Other elements remind me of Attolia, or Saintcrow's Romances of Arquitaine, or even a bit of Song of Achilles, and that's helping too.

For me, bad fantasy fails because it bumps me out of the narrative, and this should be doing that – (Who produces all the food and clothing for this bloated court and its rent boys and girls? Where are all the rent boys/girls coming from, anyway? Are their families upset that this has happened to them? What about the people who don't want to be pets? The slaves who don't learn to embrace abject groveling subservience? The commoners who think they're worth more than three coppers?) – but it isn't.

I am surprised by how much I like the dynamic between Damen and Laurent, which is more complex than I'd anticipated, and there are moments of shining humor that took me completely by surprise. The slow burn between them is also very, very well done, and hits pretty much all of my buttons. My one concern is that Laurent will prove to be too manipulative and omniscient to be believable, but I'll have to wait for the third book to find out.

Kings Rising – C.S. Pascat
I was absolutely right about the big reveal underlying much of Laurent's behavior, but it was handled so well, I'm pleased at having spotted it instead of irritated at its obviousness or heavy-handedness. I am also pleased at the way Damen's change of heart was revealed – as genuine and believable character development versus, again, heavy-handed with capital-L Lessons Learned moping and angsting.

I was surprised by an incorrect assumption I'd made concerning Jocaste, and completely blindsided by a nice piece of narrative symmetry toward the end.

Overall, in terms of some major kinks (worldbuilding, long-game plotting, character developmet) these books were far, far better than I thought they'd be and I am very glad to have read them, despite their having rendered me useless for doing anything else over the past five days.

The Late Works of Hayao Miyazaki – Dani Cavallaro
I finished it. I think my favorite passage is this:

His ecstatic vision is shattered as an enormous zeppelin descends onto the scene and proceeds to bomb the countryside below, while the boy is powerless to halt it. Strange creatures ride the zeppelin's hideous ammunition, which hangs from the aircraft by means of wires redolent of thick noodles.

“Redolent of thick noodles.”

"Redolent of thick noodles."

The entire book is written like that.


What I Am Currently Reading

The Strangler Vine – M.J. Carter 
Largely put on hold because of the Captive Prince series, along with the fic.

Western Power in Asia – Arthur Cotterell
The conquest of Calicut and Malacca was put on hold for the Captive Prince series.

Someone out there is responsible for this. They know who they are.

Indonesian: A Comprehensive Grammar – James Sneddon, K. Alexander Adelaar, Dwi Djenar
I've forged ahead into se- and se-nya constructions. Unlike last week's affixes, my brain seems to take to this set.


What I'm Reading Next

Trees vol. 1 – Warren Ellis
I am going to wrap this one up this week, because I've had it signed out for a really embarrassingly long time.

Myth-Making and Religious Extremism and Their Roots in Crises – Arthur Neal & Helen Youngelson-Neal
I made it to chapter 6 before the dense prose made me take a breather. There are interesting ideas in this book, but the presentation could have been tightened and the editing, well, could have been done in the first place.

A Darker Shade of Magic – V.E. Schwab
This being my third stab at this novel since last November, I am determined to make headway this time.

これで以上です。
Comments: Read 12 orAdd Your Own.

Wednesday, May 11th, 2016

Subject:What Am I Reading Wednesday - May 11, 2016
Time:9:15 pm.
What I Just Finished Reading

Alas, nothing. It has been a week of long hours at work and long commutes to and from.

What I Am Currently Reading

The Strangler Vine – M.J. Carter 
I’m about halfway through with my read-through, and enjoying my favorite bits from my first go-round with the added knowledge of hindsight. And god help me, I appear to be ficcing it.

Western Power in Asia – Arthur Cotterell
I’m currently in the midst of the Portuguese expansion into India. Thus far, the writing is crisp and informative. I am pleased.

Trees vol. 1 – Warren Ellis
The first issue didn’t capture me, but I’m increasingly intrigued the further in I read. That said, I wish Ellis had devoted more panels (to say nothing of issues) to unpacking some important character development, a common reaction I’ve had to other recent promising titles.

Miramont's Ghost – Elizabeth Hall
I’ve read enough fiction that I have a hard time tolerating cliché at this point. Por ejemplo: We are told the main character is “making up” for his horrendous treatment of his daughter by doting on his granddaughter. Except, making up with your daughter is how you make up with your daughter. Spoiling her daughter when you didn’t treat her well just adds insult to injury.

Indonesian: A Comprehensive Grammar – James Sneddon, K. Alexander Adelaar, Dwi Djenar
This week I delved deeply into the affixes ke-an, pe-an, and per-an and tried wrapping my head around the nuances that all come out the same in English translation.

What I'm Reading Next

The Late Works of Hayao Miyazaki – Dani Cavallaro
Cavallaro possesses the linguistic aptitude of Donald Trump. It’s taken me two years to get through this thing but this coming week, I will finish it. I will not let it defeat me.

Most Blessed of Patriarchs - Annette Gordon-Reed and Peter S. Onuf
Looking forward to this weekend, when hopefully I can sit down and devote long uninterrupted periods to reading this.

これで以上です。
Comments: Read 1 orAdd Your Own.

Sunday, May 8th, 2016

Subject:Fic: To Whom It May Concern
Time:6:39 pm.
I actually participated in shipswap this year and wrote the following Goblin Emperor fic, which was great fun.

Title: To Whom It May Concern
Fandom The Goblin Emperor
Summary One day, Csevet Aisava made a simple mistake.
&c. Post-canon, 2,835 words, rated G.

これで以上です。
Comments: Add Your Own.

Wednesday, May 4th, 2016

Subject:What Am I Reading Wednesday - May 4
Time:10:58 pm.
Wow, it's been awhile, hasn't it?

What I Just Finished Reading

The Infidel Stain – M.J. Carter
What a disappointment. This book reads like someone's bad fanfic sequel to The Strangler Vine. Carter reduces her formerly intriguing protagonists to buffoonish caricatures, which makes her cribbing from Doyle all the more obvious and irritating. The narrative reads as if someone had a gun to her head and was threatening to pull the trigger if she dared include anything but exposition.

And boy, is it tedious (Just try to distinguish passages from the novel from the book's bona fide historical afterward. I dare you.) Even the dialogue is presented as post facto exposition, when it would have been more exciting and less verbose had it been written as dialogue. I get the feeling that a) Carter and/or her publishers wanted to get a sequel out as quickly as possible, good writing be damned, and b) Carter included so much exposition (vice narration or dialogue) to hit contractual word counts. At any rate, give this half-baked volume a miss.

What I Am Currently Reading

The Strangler Vine – M.J. Carter 
Now, this is some good writing. A disaffected ensign in the East India Company is ordered to accompany a disgraced loose cannon and former officer on a search to locate a missing poet, who may have been murdered by Thugs. Carter's descriptions are lush and the protagonists fascinating. And she plays her cards close to her chest, so when she parcels out hints and clues as to who these people might be, readers are left hungering for more.

There is some unnecessary exposition here (although far less than in the sequel), and some fairly improbably scenarios, but here's the thing: I'm willing to go all-in on these bits because the rest of the writing is so good.

Sang Alkemis – Paul Coelho
I was hoping the experience of reading this one in Indonesian would make it somewhat more tolerable. It hasn't.

Indonesian: A Comprehensive Grammar – James Sneddon, K. Alexander Adelaar, Dwi Djenar
I adore grammar books, and for Indonesian, this is probably the best. The explanations are concise and clearly written, and there's a lot of good vocabulary for intermediate to advanced readers.

What I'm Reading Next

Most Blessed of Patriarchs - Annette Gordon-Reed and Peter S. Onuf
Jefferson fascinates me: you'd think he largely got it if you only knew him from his writings, but in his conduct he was a hideous human being as often as not. I'm interested to see whether this book's premise – that Jefferson organized his life around “mastery” of the self, intellect, actions, etc. - can convince me.

Miramont's Ghost – Elizabeth Hall
This was a freebie and looks to be as bad as most Kindle novels, but I need something mindless for my commute.

これで以上です。
Comments: Read 10 orAdd Your Own.

Wednesday, March 2nd, 2016

Subject:What Am I Reading Wednesday - March 2, 2016
Time:10:07 pm.
What I Just Finished Reading

竹光侍 3 - 松本大洋 (Takemitsu-zamurai vol. 3 - Matsumoto Taiyo)
Matsumoto is just a master - his artwork imbues the characters with such life that when terrible things happen, you cry.

These Heroic, Happy Dead - Luke Mogelson
I’m not quite sure what to say about this book. The writing is solid – often poetic – and Mogelson does a phenomenal job of showing, not telling. But for some reason, it just didn’t do it for me. This may be because although Mogelson is a talented writer, the story he tells (over and over) of men hopelessly broken by war has already been told (over and over) by myriad other authors. To be sure, Mogelson tells this story well. I just wish he could have also told a story or two about the women who fight in these wars, or any veteran who came out the other end without being fully crushed by the experience.

What I Am Currently Reading

The Goblin Emperor – Katherine Addison 
Reading very slowly now, as I’m approaching the Great Avar’s state visit and midwinter, collectively my favorite arc in the entire novel.

Sir Lancelot the Great - Gerald Morris
This is perfect bedtime reading. I’m far older than the audience for whom Morris is writing, but there are genuinely delightful scenes throughout.

Myth-Making and Religious Extremism and Their Roots in Crises – Arthur G. Neal and Helen Youngelson-Neal
This is a dense book so progress is slow, but I’ve found a lot of food for thought thus far. Subject-verb disagreement abounds – a strange quirk I’ve noticed in other books published by McFarland.

Washington’s Spies – Alexander Rose
I’m also talking this one very slowly, enjoying Rose’s descriptions of the colonial period and the patriots and crown loyalists who populated it.

神隠し - 佐伯泰英 (Kamikakushi – Saeki Yasuhide)
Being the story of Akame Kotoji a master swordsman and former samurai who now makes his home in Edo as a knife-sharpener. Eighty pages in, we’ve learned that Kotoji has a common-law wife named Oryo, and a son who is actually not his but the child of Kotoji’s erstwhile assassin (whom Kotoji killed first), to whom Kotoji is teaching kendo so that said son can kill him and avenge his birthfather when he reaches his majority (PS: good lord, Japan). One day, the grandfather of Kotoji’s landlord disappears in the blink of an eye from the crowded family residence (the “kamikakushi” of the title), but Kotoji wonders whether something other than the supernatural is to blame.

竹光侍 4 - 松本大洋 (Takemitsu-zamurai vol. 4 - Matsumoto Taiyo)
In which we will learn something of Soichiro’s backstory.

세상에 없는 아이 - 김미승 (Sesang-e Eomnun Ai - Kim Misung)
Our protagonist has recently saved an important man from drowning, and is about to be kicked out of her house by her father for her troubles. (She neglected to bring home any firewood, what with all the life-saving.) I sense a “virtue belatedly recognized and rewarded” payoff on the horizon.

What I'm Reading Next

Chances are good I’ll return to some of the yet-unfinished volumes from Wednesday reviews past.

これで以上です。
Comments: Add Your Own.

Wednesday, February 24th, 2016

Subject:What Am I Reading Wednesday - February 24, 2016
Time:9:14 pm.
Most of this week I devoted to the print newspapers and Economists that have accumulated since January, so the book-reading consequently suffered.

What I Just Finished Reading

N/A

What I Am Currently Reading

The Goblin Emperor – Katherine Addison 
I'm taking my time with this reread so that I hit my favorite scenes during optimal moments. All the characters are wonderful, and I should be gaga over Maia and Csevet, because theirs is a dynamic that just does it for me. But for some reason, it's Beshelar. I <3 all over Beshelar.

These Heroic, Happy Dead - Luke Mogelson
Being a short story anthology in the "how war breaks men" genre. Eighty pages into the 180-page book, the "how" appears to be "by turning them into drunks who lose their jobs, houses, and kids, and threaten and/or beat the women in their lives." Not a lot of variation here or ground that hasn't been covered before, but the writing is spare and beautiful.

Trees - Warren Ellis
That I may think Transmetropolitian is better than Sandman is one of my dark little secrets. Like Gaiman, though, Ellis often coasts on that triumph and it looks like he's doing so here: the characters thus far are all cookie-cutter types (sassy female scientist! jaded older male scientist! ambitious NYC mayoral candidate! his wry lackey!) and thus forgettable. Hopefully it improves in later chapters.

幸村殿、艶にて候 4 - 秋月こお (Yukimura-dono, En nite Soro vol. 4 - Akizuki Koh)
One of the great pleasures of this series is all the historical accuracy Akizuki includes alongside the supernatural bits and BL elements, and how interesting she makes it seem. The passages I read this week have included the challenges of travel and communication in an era without post, roads, or even rule of law, and several charming scenes where characters for the first time in their lives see a map and try to grok a Portuguese missionary's beliefs through the medium of Buddhism. It's delightful stuff.

竹光侍 3 - 松本大洋 (Takemitsu-zamurai vol. 3 - Matsumoto Taiyo)
This volume opens with Soichiro's mother telling her five-year-old son that there's a demon inside of him, that like his father, he'll become a beast when he carries a sword, that he'll be less and less of this world the longer he's in it. Is it a dream or a memory? Either way, it's chilling stuff, especially when Matsumoto juxtaposes it with present-day scenes of Soichiro.

세상에 없는 아이 - 김미승 (Sesang-e Eomnun Ai - Kim Misung)
A woman gives birth to a daughter who may be a whale, or maybe she just resembles one. Either way, neighbors and residents of nearby villages consider her an omen of ill fortune, and she's teased and bullied as she grows up, despite her selflessness. It's all very typically "put upon young woman maintains her Confucian virtues in the face of adversity" Korean. That said, trees were just discussing her plight when I had to put it down, so I'm hoping it goes off in more fantastic and interesting direction.

What I'm Reading Next

TBD as I wrap up the current batch.

これで以上です。
Comments: Add Your Own.

Tuesday, February 23rd, 2016

Subject:Dear Smut Swap Author
Time:8:22 pm.
I am so excited to be getting a fic from you!

My few DNWs are rape, wholesale AU, underage, and non-canon character death. Otherwise, please be as explicit as you like! The tags should speak for themselves (and anyway, I'm a big proponent of going into stories blind), but below are some brief thoughts on why I like each of my requested pairings to get your juices flowing.

The Goblin Emperor - Cala Athmaza/Deret Beshelar/Maia Drazhar; Csevet Aisava/Cala Athmaza/Deret Beshelar/Maia Drazhar
Oh, Maia. You're emperor! And you have all these subordinates who clearly adore you! Who are all awesome in their own right! And are in the same room with you all the time! How could this not happen?

The Goblin Emperor - Csevet Aisava/Maia Drazhar
Csevet is clearly head over heels for Maia. When is Maia going to realise what all the blushing is about?

For all of the Goblin Emperor pairings, I really love the devotion between Maia and his crew, but it could come out in so many ways: desperate and lusting, playful, sweet and exploring, even a little bit of competition for His Serenity's favor. Feel free to run with this however you see fit.

MCU: Thor - Loki/Thor
This pairing could go either way: sweet reconciliation or angry issues!sex. I love this pairing's potential to explore power dynamics, trust and vulnerability, and anger and reconciliation. Add to that Thor's machismo, Loki's magical aptitude, and the duo's ability to verbally get under each other's skin, and you have one potent pairing.

Onmyoji - Abe no Seimei/Minamoto no Hiromasa
Oh, these two. The trust, the repartee, the butting up against Heian period norms, the fact that Seimei may be a fox who knows magic. Please, play around with the two to your heart's content.

Samurai Flamenco - Gotou Hidenori/Hazama Masayoshi
Hazama's proposal was so not laid to rest in the final episode. The question is, does he wear Gotou down, or does Gotou reconsider? I feel like this could play out very sweetly, with screwball comedy, or with more high drama (whether that be purely emotional or of the space invaders/King Torture type), and I'm excited to see where you go with it.

これで以上です。
Comments: Add Your Own.

Wednesday, February 17th, 2016

Subject:What Am I Reading Wednesday - February 17, 2016
Time:9:55 pm.
What I Just Finished Reading

竹光侍 1 - 松本大洋 (Takemitsu-zamurai vol. 1 - Matsumoto Taiyo) 
I love this series (a brief overview of vol. 1 is in last week’s entry here). Matsumoto’s art is in a class of its own. For example, one scene features Seno Soichiro (our samurai protagonist) and Kankichi, the carpenter’s son he’s befriended, chasing a butterfly in the fields outside of Edo. Kankichi tries to “fly” like the butterfly, Soichiro criticizes his technique, and then comes this. Is this what Kankichi thinks Soichiro would look like if he were a butterfly? What Soichiro thinks he would look like? There are hints throughout the volume that Soichiro is a fox – is he and has he actually transformed himself? Can only a child like Kankichi see it? Or is Kankichi imagining Soichiro is a fox that can transform into a butterfly, like a child might? The way this mangaka plays with visuals, and chronology, and symbolism, and perception and shifting realities…just, guh.

竹光侍 2 - 松本大洋 (Takemitsu-zamurai vol. 2 - Matsumoto Taiyo) 
Volume 1 introduced several characters and situations that at the time seemed little more than establishing shots of classical Edo. Here, Matsumoto weaves them into a larger narrative in ways I doubt many readers would have anticipated, and sets up further events that won’t become significant for several volumes down the road. He also continues to establish Soichiro as that rarest of protagonists – a decent human being – in ways that are so subtle it’s hard to catch them all on the first read-through.

ふかい森のなかで - 水原とほる (Fukai Mori no Naka De - Mizuhara Tohoru)
I’m glad I stuck with this book, because it ended up being so much more than the sum of its parts. The whole thing takes place in two rooms, between two characters that start off as little more than standard genre tropes. But Mizuhara puts them through the ringer in a way I don’t think most BL authors are brave enough to do (and that absolutely requires the 50-odd page denouement for the reader’s sake as much as the characters’). She breaks the protagonists down and rebuilds them in a way that makes what came before and what develops after believable and touching, with much more showing than telling. It’s also incredibly hot in a very raw way. I will be keeping and rereading.

What I Am Currently Reading

The Goblin Emperor – Katherine Addison 
A reread, because I decided to drabble this for International Fanworks Day. It’s always interesting to see what my brain does with books on the first read, when everything is new and I’m not focusing on anything in particular. For instance, I paid the most attention to Maia and Setheris in the early chapters because I assumed the novel would center on a reconciliation between them. I seem to have aged Csevet, Cala, and Beshelar up to early thirties as a result, and was surprised to find on this readthrough that he isn’t. It’s a bit of a disappointment, as younger master/older servant is a big kink of mine, but only a very small one.

Secrets of the Samurai – Carol Gaskin
This book had an amazingly outsized influence on my life. To be honest, I was afraid to reread it, because what if it was horrible? I’m pleased to say that so far it is holding up extremely well.

幸村殿、艶にて候 4 - 秋月こお (Yukimura-dono, En nite Soro vol. 4 - Akizuki Koh)
This was to be my commute book this week, but it took a very unexpected (albeit hot) turn, and even though I know no one else can read it, just…not on public transit. So I’ll be returning to it on evenings and weekends for the time being.

Silver Diamond 24 - 杉浦志保 (Sugiura Shiho)
I’ve hit a bit of a wall with this one – the volume features a lot of exposition that’s probably setting up something big and cool, but in the meantime, it’s a lot of exposition.

What I'm Reading Next

終点Unknown 3 - 杉浦志保 (Shuten Unknown vol. 3 - Sugiura Shiho)
This is volume 3. The series ends in volume 5. What the hell, Sugiura? What. The. Hell. I just…don’t know what I’m going to do, knowing you aren’t writing another 25-plus-volume series. Actually, I’m pretty much heartbroken that you aren’t.

竹光侍 3 - 松本大洋 (Takemitsu-zamurai vol. 3 - Matsumoto Taiyo)
In which we will encounter a formidable antagonist.

(…other volumes TBD as the mood strikes me.)

これで以上です。
Comments: Add Your Own.

Monday, February 15th, 2016

Subject:It's International Fanworks Day!
Time:4:44 pm.
I wrote a Goblin Emperor drabble to celebrate.

Title: Songs of Solace
Fandom The Goblin Emperor
Summary In the days following Dach'osmer Tethimar's treachery, Cala Athmaza and His Serenity turn to popular music for comfort.
&c. Mid-canon, 100 words, rated G. Answers the prompt, "What does your favorite character—or your favorite pairing—get fannish over?"

これで以上です。
Comments: Add Your Own.

Wednesday, February 10th, 2016

Subject:What Am I Reading Wednesday - February 10, 2016
Time:11:29 pm.
What I Just Finished Reading

終点Unknown 2 - 杉浦志保 (Shuten Unknown vol. 2 - Sugiura Shiho)
The second volume of Sugiura's new series. The basic premise is that two members of rival criminal/slave organizations (one vaguely medieval European, the other vaguely medieval Asian) are the only survivors of their respective group's efforts to unearth a valuable artefact. Said artefact is an ornamental bracelet that has permanently attached itself to their wrists. It prevents them from moving more than 10 feet away from each other and shoots magical beams of light when they're trying to locate something/being altruistic in the most blatant deus ex machina ever. The series is built around the protagonists' journey to a faraway island where a craftsman supposedly lives who can remove the artefact from them. Valuable lessons will likely be learned along the way. For some reason it took me forever to get through this volume; the characters just aren't immediately compelling like they were in Sugiura's previous two series. That said, Sayatoki (Shuten's iteration of Narushige or Rapunzel) did grow on me, so hopefully it starts hitting its stride in the third volume.

In the Line of Fire - Pervez Musharraf
It pains me greatly, but I cannot just stop reading a book. Even if I put it down for close to a decade (as is the case here) I must go back to finish it. This vanity memoir is a quick read, but it's also filled with passive voice and a subject who does his best to obscure the more unsavory aspects of his time in office. Meh.

In Order to Live - Yeonmi Park
This memoir is also a quick read, but that's because it's gripping and inspiring. Get ready to sob repeatedly over the horrors Park underwent in order to escape from North Korea. This is perhaps the most moving defector memoir I've read.

What I Am Currently Reading

Silver Diamond 24 - 杉浦志保 (Sugiura Shiho)
I am stalling so hard to avoid reading the final volumes in this series, because once I do, it will be over. It's crazy to think I've been following it for 12 years now. More thoughts when I've completed the volume.

ふかい森のなかで - 水原とほる (Fukai Mori no Naka De - Mizuno Tohoru)
I loved Mizuno's Karato no Tsubara, for all that it was dark, dark, dark. This novel, however, seems more standard BL fare: a rich but absent father hires a high school student to spend three afternoons a week at the apartment of his college-dropout hikkomori son. Inevitably, they will begin shagging. I can read huge swaths of this book at a time, but neither the plot nor the characters are grabbing me.

竹光侍 1 - 松本大洋 (Takemitsu-zamurai 1 - Matsumoto Taiyo) 
A reread, also to avoid reading the final volume in this series, which is one of the best manga out there, period. Our story begins with an eccentric samurai coming to Edo from the rural province of Shinano. He befriends the young son of a carpenter, who begins to wonder if the samurai is more than he at first appears.

幸村殿、艶にて候 4 - 秋月こお (Yukimura-dono, En nite Soro vol. 4 - Akizuki Koh)
Our heroes have finally arrived in Kyushu, and look set to begin committing 350-odd pages of intrigue and sabotage in the name of Toyotomi Hideyoshi. The opening picture insert contains a HUGE spoiler that makes me wish I could just be at the final scene already, even though I'm sure what precedes it is going to be awesome.

Sir Lancelot the Great - Gerald Morris
I love Morris' A Squire's Tale series, and although this volume belongs to the The Knights' Tale companion series for younger readers, I can already tell it possesses much of the same charm.

What I'm Reading Next
Will probably just wrap up everything in the 'currently reading' pile.

これで以上です。
Comments: Add Your Own.

Monday, February 8th, 2016

Subject:Fic: What Six Sees
Time:6:36 pm.
Last week was insanely busy, so on Sunday I recuperated by writing a Watchmaker of Filigree fic.

Title: What Six Sees
Fandom The Watchmaker of Filigree
Summary Six has good eyes.
&c. Post-canon, 2,227 words, rated G

これで以上です。
Comments: Add Your Own.

Saturday, January 30th, 2016

Subject:Dear Ship Swap Author
Time:10:38 pm.
Dear Ship Swap Author,

Thank you so much for writing my Ship Swap fic! I'm thrilled to be getting a new story in one of the fandoms I've requested. I am a pretty easy reader to please. I like everything from gen to PWP, fluff to angst, and short with punch to long and epic. I've offered some canon musings and prompts below the cut in case you'd like some ideas to work from, but I love diving into things without having any idea what they're about. So if you have something in mind you'd like to write, please feel free to do so! I only ask that you avoid the DNWs below.

Kinks: Angst, banter, characters confronting social mores, characters hitting each other's buttons/teasing, found families, humor, hurt/comfort, kindness in adversity, master/servant devotion, trust/loyalty (especially when tested under duress)

DNWs: Major AU (e.g. high school, etc.), mpreg, (I would prefer) non-canon character death, rape as a plot shortcut

Anonymous commenting is enabled, so feel free to drop me a line if clarification on any of this would be helpful.

Collapse )

これで以上です。
Comments: Add Your Own.

Wednesday, January 27th, 2016

Subject:Today was a great day...
Time:9:39 pm.
A coworker gave me a ride home because the two-mile walk to public transit involved scaling snowbanks like Mario. (Pro tip: piling snow from the roads onto sidewalks is not the answer, municipal overlords.) During the drive, a conversation about our favorite mashup albums took an unexpected turn when Coworker mentioned that there were "conspiracy theories on the Internet" about how two members of One Direction were secretly dating, and that "teenage girls look for hidden signs of this in their songs and videos and write slash fiction about it."

"It's a creative outlet," I said.

To which Coworker replied, "Oh yeah, it's great. In fact, there's even this thing called 'Yuletide' where literally thousands of people get together from all over the Internet and make lists of books and shows--big stuff like Harry Potter to the most random niche movie you can think of--and stuff they like, and then they all write stories for each other..." and continued to give me a largely accurate summary of Yuletide for the next few minutes, during which I silently ticked off what he had right and what he slightly funhouse-mirrored.

For background, Coworker is an Ivy league-educated PhD who does hard sciences. And he knows about Yuletide and is just tickled by it.

Sometimes, life puts me smack in the center of a joke we can all be in on, and it's great.

これで以上です。
Comments: Read 8 orAdd Your Own.

Sunday, January 3rd, 2016

Subject:Yuletide Reveal - Revisions - The Watchmaker of Filigree Street
Time:10:59 pm.
Mood:Alas, awake.
And my fic, also for Watchmaker. I'm so pleased to have matched in this fandom in both directions this year. I wrote the whole thing on a Nexus, which in addition to having size 2 font, features a text input/autocorrect system that was clearly developed by a sadist. There were long stretches when I would have given up in despair except I love this novel so much, to the extent that half a year ago I swore I would write the first fic in the fandom. And I did, and this is it:

Title: Revisions
Fandom: The Watchmaker of Filigree Street
Summary: Love and friendship, like learning another language and everything else in life, require practice to perfect.
Written for: loneraven.

これで以上です。
Comments: Add Your Own.

Subject:Yuletide 2015! And this amazing fic I got.
Time:9:43 pm.
Mood:jetlagged.
First of all, if you haven't yet read The Watchmaker of Filigree Street, go do that. Right now. This is not a drill.

Then, when you are dying a bit inside because it's over, come read my Yuletide fic, which after multiple readings still manages to leave me speechless. It is The Watchmaker's Apprentice by Jain and it is just. So. Damn. Good.

I gave my author a ridiculous list of abstract prompts (character interactions! restrictive social mores! humor! tea!) and she incorporated all of them while still finding the time to rifle through Natasha Pulley's desk drawers for scenes that didn't make it into the actual book. Because my fic really reads like Pulley wrote it.

Absolutely read the book first, because you don’t want to be spoiled for it. Then read The Watchmaker's Apprentice. Then, I have more musings about it Collapse )

これで以上です。
Comments: Add Your Own.

Wednesday, October 21st, 2015

Subject:Dear Yuletide Author
Time:6:43 pm.
First of all, thank you! Yuletide is one of my favorite fandom events of the year and I'm thrilled that I'm getting a story from you.Collapse )

これでいじょうです。
Comments: Add Your Own.

Sunday, February 15th, 2015

Subject:AO3 informs me that it's International Fanworks Day...
Time:10:21 am.
...on which occasion, they invite fen to create a fanwork entailing what "your favorite character—or your favorite pairing—get fannish over." In response, I wrote this drabble.
Title: Interpretations
Fandom: Song of Achilles
Summary: Whenever Achilles and Patroclus tire of Elysium, they return to roam the world of the living.

Collapse )

It also lives on AO3 here.

これでいじょうです。
Comments: Read 2 orAdd Your Own.

Saturday, January 3rd, 2015

Subject:I also want to talk about how awesome my Yuletide gift was.
Time:4:01 pm.
First of all, it's called The Honor Guard, it's by spiderfire, and it's pretty darn amazing.

Although I offered to write a Graveyard Book fanfic myself, I was really hoping it wasn't the only thing I'd match on, becauseCollapse )

これでいじょうです。
Comments: Add Your Own.

Subject:Yuletide Reveal
Time:3:44 pm.
So when I signed up for Yuletide this year I somehow managed not to find Temeraire, or Natsume Yujincho, or IwtV, or about three other things I was considering doing, in the nominated fandoms list (and I went through that thing with a comb). But that was okay, because I secretly wanted to write another fandom even more and as luck would have it of the six fandoms I offered, that was the only one I matched on.

I knew the moment I got my prompt how I wanted to interpret my recipient's request. After 1.5 months of panic about how on earth I was going to actually go through with that, I had a lot of fun writing this fic:

Title: 年末怪奇事記 (A Record of Unusual Occurrences in the Eleventh and Twelfth Months)
Fandom: 陰陽師/Onmyoji
Summary: The purification rites had concluded without incident. Midnight came, and with it the new year. All was silent in the capital except for the breeze, which carried the single mournful note of a flute. Seimei leaned against the pillar of his veranda and looked up at the clear winter sky. "It seems troublesome things are on their way," he said, and smiled.
Written for: ozsaur.

これで以上です。
Comments: Read 4 orAdd Your Own.

Sunday, November 9th, 2014

Subject:I find myself fangirling Samurai Flamenco something fierce these days.
Time:9:59 pm.
There's so much more going on in this series than first meets the eye. That, plus deftly handled fanservice and it was pretty much a foregone conclusion. This series deserves far more fandom than currently it has.

これで以上です。
Comments: Add Your Own.

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