silverflight8: Different shades of blue flowing on a white background like waves (Fractal)
I reread Over Sea, Under Stone and actually really enjoyed it. I liked Will a lot better when I was a kid (Will has magic powers, Jane Barney and Simon don't) but the story is satisfying in a way I don't know how to describe. I really like the Drews, I think. And anyway, how could anyone not love a nice grail quest? I then read the Greenwitch really quickly--kind of a friction between the Drews and Will, understandable perhaps from Simon's point of view--and then the Grey King. Do you know what part I remembered, out of the whole book? The part where Bran (after explaining Welsh pronunciation) says that Will can't complain, English is full of things like dough and through and thorough. Caradog Prichard was scary; I don't remember him being so scary. It's his unpredictability and eagerness to resort to violence. I don't think he would have that much compunction about shooting humans either.

I know The Silver on the Tree's ending so this shouldn't be a surprise, but there really is a lot of fairly causal mind-wiping. There's the part in the Dark is Rising (when the rector and Paul are frightened out of their minds by the Dark howling outside), then the thing in the Greenwitch. The ending of SotT isn't comparable to the levels of AWFUL ENDING as say The Last Battle--a book I have never re-read because every time I think about it, I get angry--but the mindwipe thing. I hate that trope. It's so casual too. Will and the Old Ones are on the side of the light but Rowlands is right too--they may be "good" but it takes a long view and believes the ends justify most means.

--

I spent altogether too long yesterday and this morning trying to fix the problem of calibre hanging forever trying to get a list of books from my phone. Basically, it was trying to scan every item on my phone--and I have a lot of photos. As well as god knows what files that the various apps produce. It would take 15 minutes to scan through before I could do anything like transfer files. What fixed it in the end was I configured the settings so that calibre only scanned one single folder: the SD card Books folder. Not even the internal storage Books folder (that still made the job hang, for some reason). I'm so relieved. It now takes less than a second to scan through. VICTORY!

I also started finally assigning genres. I decided to use a hierarchical because I want to be able to pull up all the speculative fiction works or specifically high fantasy, which I nested into fantasy and then spec fic. And I gave in and created a Classic top-level category, which is only one layer deep (by language/country)--actually now that I think about it, it's mostly by language except for the English things, which are split British Isles-Canada-USA. Look, I split them up more because I read mostly English-language stuff, all right? (Also, I just can't sort too finely. It would be endless.)

email )

In other news, the insanity around the Hugos, which I am not even following but is going past my fannish view anyway, is making me cranky. Then there's the ongoing ??? with DA and EC. Aggh, things I don't want to know about the publishing/writing end! But as to the Hugos, no longer going to pick a book up because it has a Hugo.

what

Jan. 5th, 2014 02:54 pm
silverflight8: text icon: "Go ahead! Panic! Do it now and avoid the June rush!" (Panic!)
There are no library books at home right now. This makes me so uncomfortable for some reason. (I visited family for two weeks so I returned my books.) Even if often library books just languish on my shelf, and I've got an entire internet's worth of original fiction and fic, ebooks available immediately from the library, and everything--old habits die hard, I guess.

I have to go to the library. It's not too cold, just snowy.
silverflight8: Barcode with silverflight8 on top and userid underneath (Barcode)
I was reading Genome by Matt Ridley, just before I had to return it to the library. I like to live dangerously. It was published 1999, so just as the Human Genome Project was entering its wildly successful stage. It tells the tale of 23 chromosomes and "stories" I suppose of selected genes on each.

And yes 1999, and yes also POP SCIENCE BOOK but I was reading the chapters about psycholinguistics and intelligence and also evolutionary psychology and I started making >:( faces. I am not a biologist. I am not even studying to be one, although I was a pretty good bio student when I was studying the subject. (Labs don't agree with me. I'll never be a scientist.) But the more he talked about some subjects the more my "uh wait what" sensors went up. Especially--

Um I got to there and now I'm having tab explosion because hm, going after an article on 'interlocus contest evolution' (it was about X & Y chromosomes competing, and had some pretty stereotypical writings about male-female interactions). More research required, I'm trying to navigate JSTOR--takes me ages to get through stupid eJournal sites, they always kick me to the landing page for the whole series of journals which started in 1904 when I clearly clicked the "full text for article in January 2004 issue 294" *complaint*

Maybe tomorrow, I'm tired and it's making me cranky.

I also had objections to how he wrote about evolution. Popular science, I know, but evolution doesn't want to do anything. Was under the impression that Noam Chomsky's ideas about universal grammar getting pushback?

In conclusion, I'm actually not terribly fussed about having to return that book, although maybe I should re-borrow it to look up the bibliography/references in the back. I am more sad about having to return Questioning Collapse, which is a collection of articles written specifically to refute Jared Diamond's Collapse, which in a nutshell argued that civilizations make choices that lead to their eventual collapse (with the parallel to modern day environmental mess.) Questioning Collapse is written by anthropologists and historians, people I'm about five million times more likely to trust than authors who write popular books about a field of study, and the case studies are well-cited and backed up by information, and also very interesting. I was in the middle of an article about the Qing dynasty and the 18th century and the eventual mess of the 19th; I really like how varied their case studies were.
silverflight8: bee on rose  (Default)
I read A Doll's House today.
possible spoilers )

I think I'm getting addicted to My Little Pony.
silverflight8: bee on rose  (Default)
It's ridiculous how many times I edit entries to get them just right. *facepalm* Especially entries with fic in them; I have to revise because oh now I see that typo, or uh you missed a tag or I just left a sentence hanging by itself. It's a good thing that it's easy to edit entries, unlike, say, fanfiction.net.

Also, in the course of my day, I discovered that Safari inserts different weird HTML tags, depending on whether you use CTRL-i or Apple-i. This is why I stick to Windows. :D

I'm happy because I have finished my impromptu oral commentary (ten-twelve minutes long, and recorded for "external moderation"). More or less successfully. I became terrifically hoarse midway through, and began rambling at about ten-and-a-half minutes (among other things, but I prefer to forget), but otherwise it went well.
silverflight8: a blinking Word cursor and text: it mocks me (writing)
I am nosy.

For the people on DW/LJ whom I haven't told my age, how old do you think I am? Just random curiosity. Comments are screened.
silverflight8: Barcode with silverflight8 on top and userid underneath (Barcode)
New Years' Resolutions! oh no.


-Wake up earlier. I routinely get up ten minutes before I have to leave and rush through everything (the ability to dress/eat/put everything together is acquired through many years of rushed mornings).

-Write more. I have decided that I will write some kind of story and post it onto [community profile] silverfic every Monday. Depending on the stage of the work (i.e. fit for eyes or not XD) it'll be locked to members or to administrators.

-Stop feeling so horribly about self. This pertains to marks. It was to my surprise that an A is 80-100%. I had no idea: I thought it was set at something like 90%.

-Participate in communities. I am such a lurker, sometimes.

-Work out a way to study effectively.

-Improve my French. (et j'habite dans l'ouest du Canada...)

-Read more fantasy/sci-fi. This is the one resolution that'll most likely get carried out ;)

-Continue to work with spr0t. And not collapse under everything I have to do, for the next semester. Oh lord.


ETA: using the <blockquote> tag was a mistake. Fixed.
silverflight8: bee on rose  (Bee)
I went to a sing-along version of Handel's Messiah yesterday, and it was spectacular.

Some of the program was cut out, but the program ran for two-and-a-half hours, with something like a fifteen minute break. Singers - mostly university students, who had auditioned for the roles - sang the recitatives and arias and duets. For the first time I really understood what my theory teacher had said about ornamentation: the arias were heavily, heavily ornamented (and so long that they had to sneak in breaths) and incredibly intricate - very Baroque. The first bass made it sound almost like chanting, but in his defense, I suppose it was quite low. I liked the other singers, though; they handled the long phrases and huge space (it was a church) well. The first violinist was excellent, too; when it was just the solo violin coming in on a dead silence, it worked and didn't seem clunky.

The lady behind me was kind enough to lend me (and my friend) a copy of the score. [To the unknown lady: <3] I followed most of the score that way, and it was lucky I had it, too, since most of the pieces I knew by heart were sung by soloists anyway. There was a predictably better soprano section in the choruses than alto, even though there were two high school choirs who'd come out to sing. Highest soprano pitch: B natural just below high C. The people behind me went into the whistle register for that one, I think.

The spectacular part of it, though, were the choruses, especially the Hallelujah Chorus. Almost everyone knew it, and in a church that big - three balconies, seating on the ground floor, at least three or four hundred people - with such a high ceiling, the sound soared and of course, the Hallelujah Chorus is the peak of the whole oratorio. It was stunning. It was like being in a sea of sound, bigger than a normal choir would be and simply glorious.
silverflight8: Barcode with silverflight8 on top and userid underneath (Barcode)
Ironically, on the day my paper was due, the printer had a jam. Yes. It had to be most hackneyed excuse: "My printer broke down!" Fortunately someone unjammed it and things went swimmingly, an hour and a half later.

And then today, five hours before the Yuletide deadline (I procrastinate on some things, okay?) the power goes out. For the first time in years. Inexplicably, too; it's not even snowing. It came back on about twenty minutes later. Anyway, I'm expecting some other twist soon; these things do come in threes, I think.

(Went to a sing-along Messiah! Will post later.)
silverflight8: bee on rose  (Default)
- context - I am re-reading War and Peace. The first time I read it, I had no idea about naming conventions in Russian. I spent the whole book confused about who was who. In the meantime, one of my friends explained most of the conventions to me, and I'm still having trouble keeping them all straight.

-

Mr. Tolstoy, I'm really sorry, but I can't keep up with all the names. For one, you have many many many variants of names (Anna, Anna Pavlovna, Annette, her title, Scherer, or x's wife) . I get that characters X and Y have a different relationship than X and Z, which necessitates all these variants. But you have a novel (huge enormous thing that can be used to fend off an attacking octopus if I ever had the misfortune to meet one) that really does deserve the title of "epic" and the cast of characters reflects this. Plus you introduce them in huge lumps.

So!

I propose a new system for writing character names! How about, after every name that's in a book, we have a little number after it? That way, readers (i.e. me [*wail* surely there must be others!]) can actually keep track of names. Like, since you mention Anna first, she could have a 1 after her name. In thinking about this, I think it would be awesome if there were an option to hide the number (like an electronic screen or just different editions *dreamily*). Imagine the possibilities! You could even twist their names 'round and still not confuse readers.

Impossible, but one can dream.

silverflight8: Different shades of blue flowing on a white background like waves (Fractal)
I've finally satisfied my urge to completely! go! bonkers! over tagging. Tagging with colons to form wonderful little straight subheading thingies on dw (I am very pleased with the multi-level list thingy), tagging for what I can see I might write - organization! ZOMG . (Sadly, not for this journal. I don't think I could stand going through that many entries, and suppose I added more tags! It would never end.) I realize I like this compartmentalization of stuff I anticipate will be unwieldy. I hate having all my writing scattered on my computer - they're in one folder, mostly, but chapters are split up, there's no way to tell what's going on, and they're all labelled differently.
silverflight8: bee on rose  (Default)
Thought of the day:

Thanks to the organization of my iTunes collection (read: haphazard), in my mind the possibly-lost-to-time fifth movement of Eine Kleine Nachtmusik is actually the Kyrie. Dido and Aeneas lead directly into the (really jarringly) happy Four Seasons, and somehow I've merged Mozart's 40th Symphony (aaaah) into Pathétique.
silverflight8: bee on rose  (Default)
Writing to-do list. Not including other things:
Wherein I babble about my writing list. It's long, but I'm optimistic. )

Writing on all of them is piecemeal, but it's better than that READING ONLY after Nanowrimo.

silverflight8: Barcode with silverflight8 on top and userid underneath (Barcode)
I have finally, finally, finally found aida cloth. That is sold just as itself. Without the premade packages with more embroidery floss than I could ever use. *bounces* It's absurd how happy this makes me. This means--oh my God, I've been looking up patterns all day. Some of them look terribly old-fashioned, but there's other beautiful ones...

In other news, choir has started again (yay!) and we're doing some of Palestrina's music. Forget all the other pieces--I can't wait. It's like music history and choir are colliding! (They should, but they don't often enough.)
silverflight8: bee on rose  (Bee)
Hi! Welcome to my journal! I like books and words and languages and all sorts of things. If you like books, we'll probably get along splendidly. This journal is a mix of fannish and bookish and real-life stuff, but in general I keep this journal lighthearted, as a place to have fun--this is where I relax, chat with people, and do silly things. My favourite genres of books are historical fiction, fantasy, alternate history, historical fantasy, science fiction... Come in, pull up a chair!

Let me be terribly earnest for a moment: I like Aquinas' quote "Seldom affirm, never deny, always distinguish." I believe truth is complex, that slogans rarely express the complexities that underlie them, and that when possible I should try to understand why before attacking. There are terrible people, terrible beliefs, terrible things, but merely shouting about "wrongness" has rarely worked. (I am atheist, but I remain fascinated by medieval Europe, the role Christianity had in shaping that society and ours today, and I enjoy Aquinas' logic and writing.)

My reviews/critiques tend to be whatever catches my fancy, but I am not interested in defending what I like on anyone's merits. I also consider this place a space for me, the reader: reviews I write represent only my point of view, are for other readers, and are not intended to be personal attacks.

LiveJournal is my home--my LJ is the same name. Everything on DW is on LJ, but not the other way around.

If you need to contact me, my @livejournal.com address will reach me.

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