(Actually posted on Wednesday! Go me!)

Finished reading:
The drawing of the three by Stephen King. So I started this one sort of hesitantly, and it wavered between interesting and vaguely obligation reading, because I'd bought this as a paper book (yeah, I know I can still stop, but I Invested Money in it. It's been so long since I bought a fiction book, idek). And I read along, with that wavering interest, and then somewhere in the last hundred pages or so it slid into gear and I was going to bed early to keep reading and etc.

And I then I wavered over the third one, because I that's a goddamn seven book series I'm possibly staring down, and I wasn't sure about continuing, even after that gripped ending. Then I went and read [personal profile] rachelmanija's post (post contains big general spoilers for Book 2, and ... spoilers for book 3 that will be tasty tidbits if you've read 2, and probably brutal spoilers if you haven't read 2. If that makes sense.) And that post was enough to whet my appetite, and I've bought book 3 accordingly.

Currently reading: The waste lands by Stephen King, obv. I'm hoooping to try for a book a fortnight as general goal. We'll see how that goes.

Up next: If I don't fall straight into Dark Tower 4, definitely definitely going for Wake by Elizabeth Knox. My interest was piqued by Abigail Nussbaum's review, and I read the first few pages in the bookshop this afternoon, and dang, if I hadn't already committed to The waste lands I would have bought that instead. That looks to be some smooth writing, and I'm excite.
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Finished reading:
(DNF Sandman Overture Just didn’t care enough, nor have enough background to keep me reading.

The lady astronaut of Mars by Mary Robinette Kowal. Good god. A novelette about a woman who helps colonise Mars but has never lost the craving to keep going, and what she does now that she’s old, her husband is dying, and she’s been offered another opportunity to get into space. (“I’m on Mars. It’s still a planet.”) THIS is how you do a short fiction -- take a concept and then build on it. Trust your reader to fill in the blanks, and that they'll take pleasure in doing so. *takes notes for self*

This was originally written for an anthology, Rip off, where an author takes a first line from a classic and runs with it. The Dorothy aspect could perhaps be slightly stronger, but was still a good fit. I felt like the ending could have had maybe a paragraph or two more to round it out, but none of that stops it from being a wrenching mediation on growing old, and mortality, and all of those things within the complexities of a life-long relationship. Excellent read, and I’m delighted to see she’s got a new book coming out in two weeks.

Currently reading: (By which I mean 'finished minutes ago')
The girl with all the gifts by M. R. Carey, Holy SHIT this is good. I inhaled it in three days, and am left reeling slightly and very satisfied. It starts out with the trappings of a YA dystopia and turns out to be a well-rounded adult zombie genre novel with strong characterisation and excellent world-building. It’s tightly written, well-plotted, and there are no less than three female characters doing differnent things and with complicated agendas. The two military men are written like people, too. I was startled to find out that while M. R. Carey is a pen name, it’s a pen name for a guy. Do rec!

What’s next: Settling properly into The drawing of the three (Dark Tower 2) by Stephen King with some trepidation. I had a love/hate relationship with Dark Tower 1 (loved and read the first half of it in two days, then it took me weeks to read the second half, for example). I’ve been told it gets better, and I’m definitely willing to give it a shot.
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This is both recounting reading and doubling as my Hugo writeups, so!

What I finshed An absolute fuck-ton, for me, over the last two weeks.
The Fifth Season by N.K. Jemisin (Orbit): aaahhhh! I read it, and then flailed a lot and was very spoilery in the comments of my last DW entry. After some debate and a lot of considering of the details, it’s going on the top of my Novel ballot.


(BEST NOVELETTE)
“And You Shall Know Her by the Trail of Dead” by Brooke Bolander (Lightspeed, Feb 2015) ahhhh! Reposting review here from a few weeks ago: I. Fucking. Loved it. It took me a while to settle into the sheer amount of swearing, but once I did I was making delighted little noises at my screen. I loved the main character, I believed wholeheartedly in her grudging admittance of her feelings, and grinned fiercely at the ending. I’ll be looking up other things by Bolander, for sure.

“Flashpoint: Titan” by CHEAH Kai Wai (There Will Be War Volume X, Castalia House) Chose not to read anything published by or directly associated with Theodore Beale. Life’s too short and he’s too gross.

“Obits” by Stephen King. *makes face* What a nasty little story. Guy who writes trashy, nasty obituaries for dead celebrities finds he can write the deaths of people still alive. Guy objectifies the shit out of the women he works with, and has no redeeming qualities whatsoever. Plus, Character finds they have a Skill, Skill has unintended consequences, character stops doing Skill is… a nice set up, but it’s barely a story. I finished it because I usually really like King. This, not so much. The realisation that he’s still writing this type of male POV in 2015 is depressing. I’ve put this below No Award.

“Folding Beijing” by Hao Jingfang, trans. Ken Liu (Uncanny Magazine, Jan‐Feb 2015): That’s more like it. Well executed concept that’s woven into the tale of a character and his few days running illegal and profitable message running between the First and Second Spaces of Beijing that literally fold up the city at regular intervals. Well-crafted, and uses the physical division of the city to talk about class and labor and etc. It tempted with questions and answered at least one satisfyingly. The language was somewhat wooden, but I’ll chalk that up to translation. It could have gone into slightly more depth, maybe, but it’s still a solid entry in what was otherwise a rather weak/Castalia House field.

“What Price Humanity?” by David VanDyke (There Will Be War Volume X, Castalia House (see above)

(GRAPHIC NOVELS)
The Divine written by Boaz Lavie, art by Asaf Hanuka and Tomer Hanuka (First Second): Meh. Had good potential. I would have ranked it higher if I thought it was going to be an ongoing series of some kind, and therefore had the potential to achieve some depth. As it is, it’s a relatively shallow, macho-military hyper-violent type story, which… meh.

Erin Dies Alone written by Grey Carter, art by Cory Rydell (dyingalone.net): Webcomic, and a delightful one. A mentally ill young woman (agoraphobic? Social anxiety? Hasn’t left her house in some years) uses computer games to cope. And then the characters from her games start rocking up. This is charming, funny, and touching. There’s speculation here that the rabid puppies nomination was for the title alone, and that Beale hates someone called Erin and has no idea what it’s actually about. I’m inclined to agree, and have stuck it at the top of my ballot. I read all of it, even the half that wasn’t eligible for a Hugo having been published in 2016, I’ll be checking back on this one every now and then to keep up with it, even. Hugo worthy? Close enough.

Full Frontal Nerdity by Aaron Williams (ffn.nodwick.com). Double-meh, or half a meh, depending on what’s weaker. A long-running stand-alone webcomic that from what I can see from google images is all deep within tabletop gaming and seems very, very male. Which is fine, but I’m noticeably not its audience.

Invisible Republic Vol 1 written by Corinna Bechko and Gabriel Hardman, art by Gabriel Hardman (Image Comics): Complicated and relatively compelling story of a journalist who finds an alternate take on the rise of the revolution/ruler that’s just fallen. Sci-fi was more of the backdrop, here, but the characters that inhabited the alternate take were suitably flawed and complicated and I liked many of them. Female lead (sort of. Mostly), and casually married gay characters! Nearly tempted to find the second volume, even.

(Side short story)
Hungry Daughters of Starving Mothers by Alyssa Wong (found poking around the John W Campbell award finalists): Hella compelling tale, tightly crafted, confidently written, and very unsettling. Also queer as in NBD, and I read all 7000 words unhesitatingly in one sitting. A+. (Content notes for creepy as-fuck guys and a serial killer) This actually bumps Andy Weir off top spot for me -- mainly because while I loved The Martian, the guy now has a movie deal under his belt, and I'm betting Wong is waaaayy less known. So.

Currently reading:
The Sandman: Overture written by Neil Gaiman, art by J.H. Williams III (Vertigo): I’d read several of the original Sandman graphic novels, but they and I never quite clicked aside from the character of Death. As of writing, I'm half way through. The art is gorgeous but it’s so far-ever-so self-aware of itself as a book and verging on too smug for its own good. Still reading, but this isn't going to be the thing that gets me into Sandman proper, clearly. Ah, well.

Up next: OMG, still reeling. But probably the second Dark Tower by Stephen King.
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Has anyone read it? I just finished it minutes ago, and I have no idea how to feel. I know the odds that anyone in my circle has read it are low, but anyone want to have a spoilery as fuck conversation in the comments?

ETA: Comments are now FULL of spoilers that will shift your whole reading of the book if you haven't read it. etc etc.
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What I finished: (in no particular order)
Perfect state by Brandon Sanderson
Slow bullets by Alistair Reynolds
Binti by Nnedi Okorafor
I have thoughts about all three of these that I'll pull together at some point. I know that's not quite the point of the meme to just list things, but I want to finish all of the short story category first.

The builders by Daniel Polansky -- put aside at 10%. It just didn't grab me, and my time is limited.

What I'm reading now: Penric's demon by Lois McMaster Bujold. Much denser than the others, and slower going for it, but interesting and engaging and has made me laugh, and wonder where it's going. A+ so far.

What's next: Either back up the Hugo finalists list to the novels and The Fifth Season by N.K. Jemisin, or down to the novelettes and “Folding Beijing” by Hao Jingfang, trans. Ken Liu, or “Obits” by Stephen King. Probably The fifth season.
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Missed last week, la la.

What I finished: Seveneves, which was flawed in several large and small ways, but I'm ultimately really glad I read it, and Binti, which I'm going to reread a little of to try and sort my feelings about.

Also read The water tower by Gary Crew for the first time, and holy SHIT, that was a legit scary picture book. (Intentionally so, but hot damn. Well done, Crew). Like, I was so unsettled about it hours later that I slept badly. *impressed*

What I'm reading now: Perfect State by Brendan Sanderson. Half way through and rather liking it but so far am having that invariable written-by-a-man effect of "...that woman who is not the POV character, why are we not following her?" (I mean I know why, even narratively, but *whines*)

What's next: Probably The Builders by Daniel Polansky.
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What I finished/What I'm reading now: Still going on Seveneves by Neal Stephenson. That said, I'm only 140 pages from the end, and I've been averaging 100 pages a day every day for the last week. That's freaking huge for me. It's been a really good read -- it's been so long since I've been itching to get back to a book when I'm doing something else. I've missed this feeling. I've even been willing to keep reading after it takes a sharp left/long time jump forward, which is saying something.

What's next It turns out The fifth kingdom... doesn't exist in the library system in my state? I'm kinda thrown. That'll have to wait until I buy my MidAmeriConII membership sometime next week, and therefore can get my hands on the reading packet. I've downloaded the free-to-read shorter pieces from the ballot to tide me over. Well, the not-obviously rabid puppy ones, anyway.
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I've not only been reading, I've been reading almost enough to justify the meme posting. Score!

What I finished:
Guards, Guards! by Terry Pratchett, which I'd not read before. I wasn't emotionally engaged as such, but it was an absolute pleasure reading this, and watching it unfold and then all come together. Pratchett had really started to hit his stride here, and it shows, glowingly, compared to, say, Mort, where the seeds were there, but not quite cohesive.

Uprooted by Naomi Novik. One of the three Hugo-nominated novels that made it through my Amazon-sample-chapter sample reading. I'll probably put all of those in a separate Hugo-reading post at some point.

What I'm reading now:
Seveneves by Neal Stephenson. Second of the three Hugo novels. 70 pages in and so far, wheeeee.

What's next:
Seveneves is going to keep me busy well into next week, if not all of next week (800+ pages, oof. I'm budgeting for at least a week of reading/350 pages, then reconsidering). But The fifth season by N. K. Jemisin when I do get there.
maharetr: Comic and movie images of Aisha's eyebrow ring (The Losers) (Default)
( May. 15th, 2016 10:35 pm)
Vaguely keeping track of my reading, as I remember to do it. I'll try and remember to keep spoilers vague, and/or under a cut.

Book reviews

Paperweight by Meg Haston. An apparently run-of-the-mill story of a girl coming to terms with her eating disorder and the death of her brother, and yet near the end of it I wanted her story to just roll on forever. I would have read chapters/years more of so many of these characters, and felt a pang leaving them. I liked many of these characters, or were at least very interested in their stories, and what made them tick, and the glimpses we got of their lives. The main character, Stevie, is unlikeable and bitchy for much of the first half of the novel, but in ways that were, to me, clearly presented as unreliable narrator/defensive measures, and realistic ones at that. (I also give her kudos for the complexity of the relationships she writes about, and for no one blinking about making out with boys or girls, just ‘what was that like for you? what was the impacts surrounding that? what was that relationship like for you?’ etc) This was actually a really impressive piece of work, in retrospect. I’d totally look up more by this author.

Sandstorm by James Rollins. Was recced to me as ‘like Dan Brown, but good’, and the 50 or so pages I read backed that up: mysterious artifacts wreaking havoc! Ancient mysteries! Rollins gets bonus points for having several main female characters doing multiple things and having differing agendas. It wasn’t quite enough to keep me reading, but if you’re after a Dan Brown, but good, this looks like it would solidly, solidly fill that bill.

Mort by Terry Practchett. This was his third, and it shows -- I finished it, but I was only ever charmed, and not emotionally invested in Mort, or in the princess he was trying to save. The plot seemed to take a relatively long time to appear, and it all seemed sliiightly noticeably self-conscious as a piece of writing. I’m currently reading Guards, Guards, which is noticeably stronger all round, and I’m enjoying much more.

Shipwrecks, Sailors, and 60,000 years by Jackie French. Early Australian history with a children’s audience in mind. THIS is what I want out of my Australian history. It finishes with Captain Cook, but it starts with all the Indigenous history available and easily digested, and literally spends almost half of the 170 page book focusing on how the original settlers lives, and their nations, and their ways of life and their rich cultural histories. And then it talks about the known-in-detail discoveries of the continent, never once assuming the “and Captain Cook settled the land, of course!”. I appreciated this book so much. Would absolutely read more of her Fair Dinkum Histories series. Highly recced.
maharetr: Comic and movie images of Aisha's eyebrow ring (The Losers) (Default)
( Feb. 15th, 2016 09:30 pm)
I read enough books over the last couple of months that I feel the urge to keep track. So!

Have-reads (start date: mid-Dec 2015):

Carry on by Rainbow Rowell: A full novel treatment of the fan-fic world Rowell created for her book Fangirl. Wonderful, loving critique of Harry Potter, basically. Excellent construction of magic and the laws and rules therein. It’s wonderful to read what’s set up to be the seventh and final book of a series ... where the ‘getting you up to speed on the previous six books’ is actually describing things that are unwritten and don’t exist. Delightful! Dragged a little in the second half, but mostly inventive, clever, and charming. Strong enemies-to-lovers work, and yay for main character queerness. Minor grumble over the fact that they go “oh. we must be gay now, then? okay.” Bisexuality is a thing, okay?

When Audrey met Alice by Rebecca Behrens: What it’s like to be the First Kid, and learning from the diary of a historical First Kid along the way. Also charming. The author goes out of her way to make the First Family Very White, and then casually breaks the mold in other ways -- it’s her dad who gets the research funding at John Hopkins, and its her mother who’s the President of the United States. There’s also strong, strong message of pro-same-sex marriage, and trying to get that on the political agenda, which was a thing that was actually passed in the US the same year the book was published. The main character drove me nuts when she did various selfish things that were not actually acknowledged as such, but general concept and execution: charming.

Shards of honor by Louis McMaster Bujold: Really remarkably good. Affecting, for all its distanced writing, and wonderfully timed and wry in places. Looking forward to sequel.

Story of your life by Ted Chiang (Short story, 39p, available here): A linguist attempts to communicate with an alien race whose communication style is structured around knowing how things end before you start them. Beautifully and assuredly written. I didn’t quite ‘get’ it, but I felt achingly for this woman and her daughter.

The gunslinger by Stephen King: I was embarrassing levels of gripped by the first half, found the second half almost impossible with its dragging, and not wanting spoilers ) Willing to read more, though. Strong potential.

Not if I see you first by Eric Lindstrom: An exploration of a teenage girl and her relationships. Gutting to read right now. Really excellent exploration of friendships and romantic relationships, setting boundaries, and the impacts we have on each other’s lives, and how we grieve. Oh, and also being blind. Bugged by the stretches of unattributed dialogue, but that’s a minor quibble.

Next up: Barrayar (Vorkosigan ; 2) or The drawing of the three (Dark Tower ; 2) Barrayar, probably, because shorter, and alternating feels like a good way to go, somehow. Although between the main write up of this post and the actual posting now, I’ve found that my brain is not quite up to the effort it requires, and I’ll probably divert to The drawing of the three.

(DNFs: Cinder by Melissa Meyer: I’d heard good things, so I was keen, but it never quite hooked me, and it turns out that the ‘reader is strongly hinted to’ about X, and character finding out about X was waaayy too big a gap for me.)
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maharetr: Comic and movie images of Aisha's eyebrow ring (The Losers) (Default)
( Jan. 30th, 2016 11:12 pm)
(I want to figure a better title for these posts. Hmm)

1. Today was a good day, and an excellent Saturday. Woke up and did my stretches (again! nearly like a whole habit!). Got up early-ish for a weekend -- like, 8am.

2. Took Kenobi to the vet with [personal profile] chaosmanor. He's doing so well -- paw healing up, and generally so pleased on the Good Drugs. We're to continue to do ridic rigorous healthcare things for another week, and bring him back next Saturday.

3. I finished [profile] cupidsbower's beanie! At so long last! Now that I've reminded myself I can knit, at least for short periods, and I've removed the faint guilt of 'you should be working on the beanie', suddenly I want to knit All The Things. Next up on knitting: finish the ten-stitch doily thing from even more forever ago, and maybe start a table runner for the sideboard \o/

4. It stormed today! And wasn't too hot! Kiba was so Alert and On Guard during the whole thing, poor darling. It feels like it's rained so little, and I'm almost never home to savour it properly. I've missed it so much.

5. [personal profile] chaosmanor and I took Kiba to the park where he ran around happily, and fetched our somewhat clumsily thrown balls with great glee. He was less pleased with the compulsory shower afterwards (hello grass allergies, ugh), but endured it stoically.

Bonus: the I played more Fallout 4, and refreshed Tumblr a lot, and now it's not even 11:30 and I'm pleasantly tired. Winning :)
maharetr: Comic and movie images of Aisha's eyebrow ring (The Losers) (Default)
( Jan. 29th, 2016 10:26 pm)
And possibly also yesterday combined, because

1. It is very very hot today. I've not looked up to see how hot, but enough that things are still hot and ugh at 10:30pm. ... Just looked, actual temp is 30C ish, apparent temp mid-20s, but it's totally 30ish in the house right now. Air con for sleeping tonight. At least it's not humid, and I've solidly learned that difference.

2. Yesterday we had a work gathering at work, instead of usual staff dinner. And it was really good -- the weather was great, it wasn't too noisy because it was outside, the food was meat-heavy and delicious and very prompt (yay on-site catering!).

3. Before gathering, co-worker and I strolled carousel looking for an A5 spiral bound notebook for me for work. (srsly, how hard is it to find an A5 spirax notebook? A: Impossible where we were. Not even Kmart or Target had them.) But at work today she'd bought me one (a top bound thing, but so, so feeling the love)

4. When I got home from gathering, [personal profile] samvara had bought and left on my bed a gorgeous present Eating through the zombie apocalypse. It's beautifully put together, funny, and has a CDC-zombie-outbreak outlook to food preparation and emergency cooking/survival. I approve wildly, and am into this.

5. I've give my cold to my co-worker and my housemates. Boo :( On the other hand, there's a shitload of people sniffing and coughing on the train, and at least one other person sick at work, so it's clearly Making The Rounds hard.

Bonus: Got a call from the insurers of my Super income insurance. I called them back, like a grown up, and answered their question honestly, and they're like "yeah, that's fine, thanks." sooo it seems like I'll have the income protection insurance I want, I hope \o/
maharetr: Comic and movie images of Aisha's eyebrow ring (The Losers) (Default)
( Jan. 27th, 2016 10:03 pm)
Maybe not five, but we'll see.

1. Today was a bit of a wash, mentally and productivity wise, because I was sicker (cold-ier) than I realised, and the afternoon was a bit of "sitting and staring".

2. I didn't drive to Granny's as planned because of it -- I stayed home and hung out with [personal profile] samvara while she played Fallout, and then I went off and played Fallout myself for a while. I did call mum though, to check that she'd got my text message about piking (1+ adult point to me!), and she was totally relaxed about it, and mentioned that Granny was also cold-ish.

3. I mentioned to her that now she'd organised her will and in particular given me enduring power of guardianship that I really wanted to sit down with her (and Granny) and have the end-of-life conversations -- what she wanted, organ donation etc. I don't think she was expecting that at all, but dude, I need it. Also, I should start thinking about my own.

4. Finally sent off the Insurance Adjustment form for my super, and got the 'change of fund' form from work. Filled out the change of fund form even! Handing it back in tomorrow. Wild progress, I hope.

5. I borrow-nicked [personal profile] chaosmanor's beard trimmer to buzz my underarm hair, which worked a treat (prepping to wear super pretty blue top with cap sleeves). So easy and quick.

Bonus: made smoothie! Drank it while waiting for the bus, and it was okay. Looking forward to experimenting from all your comments <3
maharetr: Comic and movie images of Aisha's eyebrow ring (The Losers) (Default)
( Jan. 26th, 2016 08:03 pm)
1. I got myself out of bed to go to the beach, and drove [personal profile] samvara and Kiba to said beach. [personal profile] samvara guided me through parking with cars on either side. Still not something I'm comfortable doing alone, but I did it! Kiba was so well behaved, and the water and weather were wonderful. It was packed at the beach, more people than I'd ever seen usually (hi public holiday). Then cafe for breakfast. Iced chocolates are like food of the gods at the moment.

2. I made a smoothie this morning before we left the house, too; practice for making smoothies when I'm in the morning rush. (long story short: I'd been eating breakfast at work at my desk of a morning, which I was aware was pushing it but boss finally went from 'only during homeroom' to 'no more, sorry'. So! Smoothies. I might battle to find something that tastes 'good', but current recipe:

soaked oats and chia seeds
frozen berries
a little water
big dollops of yogurt
a bit of cottage cheese (apparent 'super secret' ingredient of the foodie websites. I'm not convinced but am going to finish the container anyway)

Mix, then stubbornly apply stick blender.

Anyone have their own smoothie methods?

3. I wrote! I wrote 100 words and then I wrote a little more, and I have half a ficlet. Oh my god.

4. I played Fallout 4 for the first time a few days, too. Have left Piper in Diamond City, and took Nick as a companion because I couldn't find Deacon. Take that 'it's been a while since you did the thing..." anxiety!

5. We've been feeding Kenobi mince to take his meds (wild success), which last round turned out to be amazing-quality beef hamburger patties cos that's what was left at the IGA. They smelled so good raw that I sequestered two for myself, and had one this evening with rice and beetroot 'salad'. A+ life choice, although the rice was slightly hard. Still good.

All in all, an excellent day off. The fact that tomorrow is Wednesday is going to be unbelievably confusing.

(Bonus thing! Women's International Cricket, broadcast on channel 9, on Australia Day. So many women being expert and sponsored and on TV and it took my breath away)
maharetr: Comic and movie images of Aisha's eyebrow ring (The Losers) (Default)
( Oct. 25th, 2015 03:10 pm)
Fellow Yuletider, hi!

Whee! Here we go again! (Alt: If it's your first time, welcome!) I hope you're excited and not freaking out too much.

My general likes/dislikes have tended to stay consistent through the years. Feel free to read back through the tags below, and this year's is below, if you want.
likes/dislikes )

Fandoms! )
Yuletide writer! Wow, hi, suddenly we're here again! Welcome, if you're new to all this!

Okay, my general likes/dislikes tend to stay the same across the years (see my dear writer tag below if you want to browse past letters), but I reiterate them below, just in case ;)

This year, I'm carrying two old favourites very dear to my heart, and have found two new favourites in the fandom nomination list. The two new fandoms are fresher in my mind, so get All The Rambles. Word count doesn't correspond to amount of love; I would be equally delighted with getitng an Old Faithful filled, so to speak, as I would a more recent-to-me fandom.

Above the cut, general things!
If you're panicking about producing a fic where people have to Do Stuff, and there should probably be Plot and a Story Arc, and Character Development, and Characters Learning Shit! You totally don't have to. I'm all for 1,001 words of lazy Sunday afternoon; a bunch of vignettes or drabbles; a slice-of-life; a five-times fic; a missing scene or chapter, etc etc... I mean, if you've been bitten by a bunny that is all about the Plotty Character Development then shit yeah, run with it and be joyous. But it's not required.

I will say, though, that if you have an idea that you want to write for whatever fandom/s we've matched on? Write it. Ignore whatever I've said below and write it, seriously. If you're having a ball, that shines through no matter what you're writing, and I'll love it, too.

Likes and dislikes )

Fandoms! )

I hope that helps! If you want more info, or you have questions, you can PM [personal profile] meghanc/[tumblr.com profile] meghantopus and they'll pass messages back and forth accordingly. Good luck, and have fun (and, let's face it, stress the hell out, but I hope the fun and excite balances out!).
Paths not your own (unthought knowns) (5702 words) by maharetr
Fandom: Captain America (Movies)
Rating: Teen And Up Audiences
Warnings: Graphic Depictions Of Violence
Characters: Winter Soldier, Natasha Romanov
Additional Tags: Brainwashing, Memory Loss, Hydra (Marvel), Torture, Mission Fic, Pre-Movie(s), Canon Compliant, Canon-Typical Violence

Summary:
He remembers nothing.
There is nothing to remember.
But there are things he knows.

For the first time in forever I have written and finished a thing! And I'm posting about it! *needs to go lie down now*
What I've read this year:
Arclight by Josin Mcquein: A solid enough post-apoca YA novel. Strong opening pacing. I finished it thinking that I would be interested in reading the second one, once she needed a plot, and where she'd take that plot.

Gifts by Ursula Le Guin: A bequilingly simple story. It does facinating, tiny things; setting us up with an expectation of Horrifying, Inevitable things to be revealed. This expectation kept me reading for a good half of the novel, even though there wasn't much in the way of plot. And then Le Guin introduces a gutting emotional component that kept me transfixed for the next quarter... and then she deftly subverts that initial expectation, does the reveal, and it's nothing like what we expected, and so much more horrfying than I ever expected, and I'm even now faintly shivery about it, thinking it through. Also interested in reading the sequel and where she starts/takes her plot.

Attempted to read:
A Thousand Kingdoms by N K Jeminsin: I gave it 50 pages, and then stopped because of consistencies and holes in worldbuilding. People are welcome to assure me it firms up, and I'll wade through the lengthy dream sequence that was the dealbreaker at page 50ish.

What I'm currently reading:
Monstrous regiment by Terry Pratchett
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Ante-up Creator! Hi!

How you doing? I'm seriously excited it's that time of year again -- Losers things! I hope you're stoked, and not freaking out too badly. Hopefully you're going to look at my letter and go 'yaaay! I can do that!' If you don't... can I offer you reassuring hugs, and 'you're making something, just for me! So much love! <3.'?

Okay! This is a compilation of general notes from my Losers letter last year, and my Yuletide letter/s. You can also check out my 'dear writer' tag for the original letters.

General things! )

More specific things! )

Things I'd rather/rather not have )
If you'd like to double-check something or want more specific details, I imagine you can contact [personal profile] kate or [profile] lady_krysis and they'd pass on a message?

Best of luck! Have fun! <3
Sorry! I hope you haven't needed to be refreshing too much!

I confess that I'm cobbling this together from other letters, and you can find those under the dear writer tag, if you want... I was going to say more information, but realistically it's the same information repeated in different ways. *wry grin*

I will say, though, that if you have an idea that you want to write for whatever fandom/s we've matched on? Write it. Ignore whatever I've said below and write it, seriously. If you're having a ball, that shines through no matter what you're writing, and I'll love it, too.

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Fandom-specific things )
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