At Readercon almost two years ago, [ profile] sdn pulled me over after a panel and said "You like Megan Whalen Turner? Megan loves Elizabeth Wein. You should read Elizabeth Wein." (Henceforth: [ profile] eegatland.) Ok, I said.

However, some big things happened in my life between then and, oh, December 2008. It didn't occur to me to bother finding more things to do. Until suddenly, it did. I don't quite remember what set me off, though it might have been a review that specifically discussed Medraut, but I went looking for The Winter Prince with a passion. Upon learning that it was out of print I went about scouring websites until I found a used copy at I eagerly awaited its arrival, and hid away upstairs at my grandmother-in-law's house on Christmas Day reading it.

I'm not a huge fan of Arthurian work. Honestly, it never presented archetypes that I could believe in, that I could root for. Arthur was too simple, a boy scout with his only flaw was allowing himself to be seduced by his sister/aunt. Or something. 'Cause G-d knows he couldn't have been an active participant, there. Guinevere always seemed like a simpering idiot to me. The whole love triangle made me sick - if I can't believe that anyone would want the main object of affection I am really unlikely to buy it. Perhaps needless to say, this book had a lot to do to make me enjoy it.

Reader, I enjoyed it. The idea of a Guinevere (or, as she's known here, Ginevra) who is a talented mapmaker, healer, and fluent in three languages was refreshing. This woman wasn't a symbol of courtly love or whatever, she was a partner for a king and a kind mother figure for Medraut (our Mordred) as well as her own children. In fact, the women in this book were incredibly refreshing. Even Morgause. Especially Morgause.

It is literally impossible to discuss the rest of the series in any kind of detail without spoiling this book. Which is a shame, because the rest of the series is even better. The point of view shifts from Medraut to his half-sister Goewin in the second book, A Coalition of Lions, and the action moves from Britain to the African nation of Aksum (from which Medraut had returned at the start of The Winter Prince). My poor planning and inadequate patience (the second book is also out of print) meant that I read the third book, The Sunbird, second. Telemakos, an Aksumite child we meet in the first chapter of A Coalition of Lions is the main protagonist of The Sunbird and the last two novels - collectively known as "The Mark of Solomon" books. I haven't yet read the last two (a combination of running out of time and money), but I am looking forward to doing so.

It's a fascinating series, partly because it takes its Arthurian origins and moves them. Partly because of the way it deals with duty, loyalty, love, and family. Medraut, in the first book, is widely acknowledged - even by Artos (Arthur, naturally) - as the one who should be left to rule Britain. Goewin - as loyal as she is to her twin, Lleu, who is Artos's acknowledged heir - openly discusses how she does not trust her brother not to plunge the kingdom her father built into ruin. But everyone - including Medraut - also understands his or her part and duty. Goewin is, perhaps, so fascinating in that she is the mirror of Morgause. She is the fiercely intelligent woman who cannot rule because less intelligent men seek to diminish her power. She is wise enough to see the turns that lead down the darker path, but not wise enough to avoid them entirely.

I was expecting to find Medraut a fascinating character - the reading I'd done prior to getting the book led me to expect it. I knew he would be a character to capture my imagination - gifted, tortured, vain and humble, yearning for acceptance and love. But I didn't expect the world that sprang up around him - full of characters that moved like true actors in the story - with their own agendas that were not always convenient and never simple. The story does not end where the book does - it keeps flying, and leaves you, as the reader, trailing in its wake, trying to catch up. Even as the characters move countries and continents, their motivations, their pain and their purpose remain rooted in how they were when we met them. It's fascinating, and a joy to read a story that develops this way.

P.S.: [ profile] eegatland and her kids have been doing a PlayMobil version of The Winter Prince over here.
Four (just four, no scores) years ago, when I graduated from college, I spent a good three months applying for lab tech jobs, watching Stargate (SG-1 and Atlantis), and Firefly on my sister's computer, and otherwise emphatically vegging in her house. I think I may have been what is known as "burned out" - I still remember the feeling of being utterly emptied of any creativity I had at the time.

That feeling is a lot like where I was two weeks ago - utterly exhausted by life and not interested in anything save escaping the constant work, the constant pressure. I was late to get home for Shabbat that week and as I was pulling out of the university the driver in front of me was chatting on with her car full of girlfriends. I honked at her so she would turn onto the only road that leads out of this badly-constructed place, and she decided that flipping me off the rest of the time we shared the road was the way to go. I got home to light candles - late - and as I did so I saw how messy our dining room was. I was hit with such a wave of despair and anger and irrational desire to hit things that I could only manage one thing: I went to bed.

Doyle woke me up a few hours later and we went out for dinner to a mall that has two things that cheer me up immensely - a Borders and a Cheesecake Factory. We didn't really get to explore the Borders before closing, so we went back the next day so I could indulge in some escapism. And that's when, after wandering around and not having anything catch my eye for 15 minutes, I picked up [ profile] blackholly's Ironside, and started reading. I bought the book and finished it at home, a few hours later, curled up in the new reading nook I'd made for myself several months ago but hadn't actually used before. And then I went to the stack of books I've bought and not read, and I picked up [ profile] libba_bray's The Sweet Far Thing. It'd been waiting for some attention for almost a year now, and I felt like I was going back in time - like I was back at my sister's house in August/September 2004, flying through Tithe and A Great and Terrible Beauty and thinking "I could do this. I have a story to tell."

It's weird how a one-two punch can happen twice. It took me longer to finish TSFT than AGaTB, and I still have many thoughts on it - and it actually makes me want to write fanfic, which is not an event that happens very often. I'll save that for another post (gotta have a reason). But last night I opened the file I keep Glamour in and started scanning it. I read through the notes [ profile] lodessa and [ profile] hamsterwoman left on my journal last summer. And I started thinking about how I could fix it.

I'm still too far from "there yet." I worked another 12 hour day on Tuesday, I've not really had much success in waking up and going into work earlier so I can leave earlier (though I've now moved it back about 30 minutes). I have yet to write a single word. But today I picked up another book from my overwhelmingly large "to read" pile and put it in my backpack. Gotta start somewhere.
adelynne: (dragon reading)
( Aug. 1st, 2007 03:34 pm)
Has anyone heard of Good Reads? What are its pluses and minuses as concerns Library Thing?

Thanks so much!
adelynne: (Default)
( Jul. 9th, 2007 09:25 am)
Readercon was great, though much less with the panels and much more with the social this year. Bought many, many books just the same.

Gave Friday-morning brunch ride to an overcrowded car, including [ profile] maureenmcq and her lovely husband only to return in time for her kaffeklatch. Stayed after for [ profile] blackholly's, had a fabulous time and also met Laura Anne Gilman. Saw [ profile] mroctober, who reminded me that I do need to write up my thoughts on Vintage and So Fey (and, for that matter, Megan Whalen Turner and the love I bear for her). Also [ profile] sdn who, upon learning of my love for MWT told me "Here's Elizabeth Weir. Megan loves Elizabeth's writing. You should read." (I totally will.) Caught [ profile] matociquala in the lobby, and she told me of the hotel's hot tub and a fabulous Korean BBQ place two miles away from the hotel, then caught her kaffeklatch. Went to fabulous Korean BBQ place with my "con family" of [ profile] grailquestion, [ profile] lunaratu, [ profile] rosefox, [ profile] sinboy, and [ profile] yuki_onna, along with [ profile] megmccarron and a lovely person named Liz whose LJ I do not know.

Somewhere in there was also dessert at Finale for my birthday, drinking beer on Saturday night while falling asleep to [ profile] yuki_onna's rather strong opinions on Neil Gaiman, a girly shopping trip to the mall with [ profile] grailquestion and [ profile] lunaratu, and seeing [ profile] fuyu_no_fuhei, though too briefly.

I went to more readings than I did panels, and I am now searching somewhat desprately for the anthology from which Theodora Goss read her story despite acquiring ridiculous (and I mean ridiculous) quantities of anthologies this weekend. Caught a bit of the Interfictions readings - everything Interfictions was scheduled opposite something else I was also interested in. The reading was Sunday "morning" (noon, actually) when I'd gotten so burned out on con I just drove in late.

Despite it all, I did miss [ profile] ellen_kushner and her guitar. [ profile] yuki_onna's commentary on that was great: "And I now know all the lyrics to 'Beeswing,' too!" There's always next year, I hope.

Now I'm at work, desperately trying to remember how I do that. I hope I shall be able to overcome my desire to flee editing my book and post more this week.
adelynne: (firebird)
( May. 30th, 2007 10:49 am)
Wiscon was not what I expected. Much like [ profile] rosefox, I'd heard "Readercon, only bigger" and expected it to be that.

On the other hand, I did adapt enough to have a good time. Seeing people was wonderful, and probably the highlight of the trip. Met [ profile] mroctober for longer than 15 minutes, and he had no idea who I was. Saw [ profile] matociquala and [ profile] truepenny at the Gathering, [ profile] buymeaclue, [ profile] nihilistic_kid around here and there, [ profile] ellen_kushner and [ profile] deliasherman flitting like busy butterflies to and fro, [ profile] sdn after her second panel, wherein we had a brief chat about fanfic, and [ profile] blackholly when she crawled out of bed recovering from whatever bug she had. Met [ profile] grahamsleight and [ profile] desayunoencama, as well as Maureen McHugh and her lovely spouse. Learned a lot.

Heard people diss the Kushiel trilogy on multiple levels, which was highly entertaining, as they expressed most of the problems I had with the book aside from the massive culture rape.

Cleaned up nicely for the parties, and had the joy of Doyle walking around in leather pants (which prompted [ profile] grailquestion and [ profile] yuki_onna to explain to [ profile] justbeast that he needs to obtain a pair), and generally hung around parties. Parties were not what I expected - entirely too much standing around and chatting and not enough, well, partying. When we came down to say goodbye to people on Sunday night there was a dance party going on, and that was great - I wish we could have stayed.

Monday was entirely a day of travel. We planned our England trip from Midway airport and panicked about having two days to do it in. We've mostly accomplished the task now, though. All packed and stuff, and off to England at 10pm Eastern.

I do have panel notes, and I do want to write them up, but I'm not sure I'll have the time before we leave. In that case, they'll wait until I get back.

Did I mention that I read books? Well, I did. Fiction, even! I read Valiant on the plane to Chicago, Vintage and the ARC of So Fey at the con, finishing the former on the plane to Atlanta, then The Theif by Megan Whalen Turner on the plane back. [ profile] queenofthorns reviewed the series some time ago, so when I saw the first two in paperback I snagged them up. Gen certainly hooked me, so I read The Queen of Attolia yesterday, and pre-ordered The King of Attolia paperback, which comes out June 12th. I've packed a bunch more to go, and hopefully I'll have time to write about them more after we return. I'm so happy to be reading fiction again!

Also, [ profile] justbeast asked meaningful questions about Glamour, and prompted me to crack open the Honour draft. It's not as bad as I feared, which is almost always the case. I'm truly looking forward to beginning the revisions to the first book when I get back from England, now. Just a reminder, that if you want to help critique it, answer this poll.
Stolen cheerfully from [ profile] lareinenoire and [ profile] lodessa (my two English geeks. :)

Book Meme )
Small Sci-Fi/Fantasy cons are extremely lonely to attend on one's own, particularly if they're very sparce on programming they offer. As a result of these observations, though I enjoyed meeting Sharyn November ([ profile] sdn) and Guy Gavriel Kay, I'm extremely doubtful as to my attendance of Vericon should it coincide with the Fetish Fair Fleamarket and more people want to go to that.

Dreadfully lonely. It will be nice to go to Boskone with [ profile] yuki_onna, my friend N, and others.

That's not to say I had a bad time. I'm extremely pleased to have met Guy Kay and to have had the chance to warble at him about how The Lions of Al-Rassan is one of my favorite books ever. (We also discussed my RL name. His mother's family, apparently, is originally from Ukraine, round about Kiev.) And the advance purchase of Ysabel, awesome.

Sharyn, too, was an absolute dream. She was so pleased to hear about how Firebirds is the book that made me love the short story, and we spoke for a bit about [ profile] deliasherman's next Neef book (I mentioned that "Cotillion" was my favorite Delia short story).

I also attended the panel on action (and missed the one on culture due to the Guy Kay signing and blueness that was only abated by a hot chocolate from Finale - [ profile] buymeaclue, [ profile] nihilistic_kid, see what you've done?), where people spoke very intelligently about motion and scene and choreography, and a bit about the Ramayana. There was a good discussion of how action has become very cinematographic (is that a word?) in writing due to fild and television. Also, video games. There was a great deal of fatalism about all the POV shifts and quick cuts, but people also intelligently discussed the way a fight (or sex) scene has to pull its weight in the story by advancing the narrative or the characters or both. The example used was out of The Princess Bride; Inigo Montoya's fight with the Dread Pirate Roberts atop the Cliffs of Despair.

The Guest of Honor speech cheered me immensely, though. Kay offered a "partial defense of fantasy as a mode of fiction." He pointed out that all good fiction is escapism, it's a function of the act of storytelling. He added that his primary goal was always to keep a reader up to 3AM. And that beach reading serves a purpose - it's difficult to read challenging fiction in 15 minute instalments (which I will agree with - Ursula Le Guin and my trips to and from work shouldn't have mixed). He asserts, and I agree, that fantasy fiction has the capacity to be as important, moving, and thought-provoking as the finest stuff you're going to find out there. Moreso, even, as it can tap into myth and legend and bring universal truth home the way historical fiction won't necessarily because it's easy for people to assume you're writing about that one time in that one place. In other words, fantasy allows for the universality of a story and lets the timeless themes shine through.

It helps that he was incredibly funny (and punny). When he didn't wish to engage in discussion of a theme right then, he offered that after the speech whoever did could take him out to the bar and "take his best shot while [Kay] took [his] best shot." There are apparently plans in the works to bring The Last Light of the Sun to a movie theatre near you, and there's a third project for high-end television he can't talk about yet.

All in all? Good stuff. Needs better timing. And more people.
adelynne: (dragon reading)
( Dec. 22nd, 2006 10:11 am)
Apparently all the talk of slash and yaoi annoyed [ profile] matociquala away from reading reviews. Which is a shame, I think, because I believe in positive reinforcement. And this might be my favorite of her books to date.

I'll try not to let the OMG!SQUEEEE!!! and drool overrun as I type, but no promises.

I wasn't going to get Carnival until after the New Year. With my habitual lack of faith in the library system (Actually not true, I think libraries are great. I just don't think they work well for me.) I've come to rely heavily on the kindness of strangers and my Discover card to provide me with Borders and B&N gift cards which allow me to buy books without compromising my ability to pay rent. And the holiday season is a time when bookstore gift cards are showered in my general direction because people (my family) understand that one of the greatest gifts they can give me is the license to prance around a bookstore and actually get to pick out things that I can take home with me. And other people may be stumped beyond the knowledge that "She likes books. And biology. But we can't really get her biology. And we're not too sure on what kind of books she likes." [ profile] mrsix is an exception, but he rocks like a rocking thing. (Sorry, tangent.)

Anyway, I was going to wait until I had accumulated a nice pile of gift cards before making the book purchases that would hopefully tide me over the next semester. But given the slash debate (on which I am not taking sides), I was intrigued enough to go read Amazon and see if I could find more reviews. And then I stumbled on the Exerpt.

Well, shit. There went that plan. Frantically I search for a bookstore in the general area, only to find they're all way out of my way. Annoying, but then it turns out that Doyle's doing some last-minute holiday shopping in the neighborhood of one store that says it has it. Yay! On the sixth night of Hanukkah my boyfriend gave to me....

It is somewhat amusing to realize just how much Bear's writing style (at least on the sci-fi end) appeals to my brain. Or maybe it's just training. Hammered took me a bit to really get into, it was on my second try that I actually did. Scardown was a race between myself and my dad (the last time I bring something he might want to read as my first book for a family vacation), and by the time I picked up Worldwired it was such a smooth transition I don't think I noticed. Much like Vincent hitting his stride, Carnival and I just clicked the moment I read that exerpt.

That's at least partly due to the fact that Our Heroes were giving off enough sexual and other tension to drive me up a wall. You read "Chapter One" and bang! here comes conflict. I love it.

Have I mentioned just how much I love the fact that Bear's protagonists are, as a rule, over the age of 50? It gives so much more to the plot - in wisdom, in knowledge, in experience and depth. When you say "these people were lovers who were separated" that doesn't mean "they had one or two screws and went their separate ways" but "they maintained a secret relationship for over 20 years before they were forced apart for 17." So much more history, so much more at stake. It explains everything from how well they work together to how much weight on their shoulders they're both carrying.

It is a love story. Without a single "I love you," without weepy dramatic sex, without things that may look fine to a romance writer but generally make me want to spork my eyes out in the cold light of day. (There is sex; it's not weepy.) It's difficult to describe just how the way Vincent and Angelo are presented together appeals to me, except to say that as I've grown, I've encountered the fact that love is like this. That no matter how much you love, there are things you will not sacrifice, or forsake for the fear of no longer being yourself. That the thought of giving something so precious up would terrify and hurt you, but to do the morally wrong thing would simply destroy you. And these two are the best example of it I ever read.

To put simpler, their love is not hearts and flowers. It's pain, and lies, and spoiler )

But the book cannot stand on its own with just the two of them. Ultimately, as much as it is about Vincent and Angelo's relationship, it is also about New Amazonia, about New Earth and Ur, and the OECC (which we never actually see, so that's pretty darn impressive), about Lesa and how far you will go to give your children the best chance you can, about cultures taken to the extreme, and about the lies we tell ourselves to live.

Pretty impressive, no? Throw in all that physics (I'm pretty sure one round of research on superstring theory will keep on giving as far as Bear's writing goes), more spoiler ), espionage and intrigue, a bit of art, and you get an incredible book.

When I first met Elizabeth Bear, I told her that I, traditionally, had a hard time reading science fiction. Not entirely true when I think back to my childhood - Verne was on top of the list - but generally true when I open an Asimov novel. I suspect that in this "deficiency" I am far from alone. I told her that what really made me care about the story was character driving plot driving character development. Perhaps that's why this novel works so well for me.

I do have some quibbles, though. I'm not sure if one of them isn't just an error in printing, but one is a small plot point that's never addressed. It doesn't detract from the story, but if I'm giving a full review, it feels right to note that as much as I love it, it's not a perfect book.
I've been feeling slightly sick of late, and thus more than slightly lethargic. So this afternoon I put my new Persuasion DVD in and watched.

I can't really nitpick at all. I loved it, not with the same passion one loves Pride and Prejudice, but with a softness that comes from it being a quieter, more mature love story. I loved the wardrobe decision to put the Musgroves in reds, bright and vibrant, and the subdued contrast of Anne's cloak. I loved the way Anne changes, seems to glow from within as the movie moves along. The music seemed especially appropriate, for reasons I can't exactly articulate.

It's a grand adaptation. And a just portrayal of one of my favorite Austen books.
adelynne: (firebird)
( Sep. 6th, 2006 04:45 pm)
Running ragged has, apparently, run me ragged. Or it could have been one of my so-called friends who dropped by Sunday night and brought his or her cold with them as a present. Whichever it is, I pulled a half-day at school and came home to drink tea, read books and papers, and generally recuperate. Unfortunately, my head's really fuzzy, so while I am getting through The Blue Sword at an acceptable pace, I have to read in short snatches and rest.

Not too happy with being sick, as you might imagine. It's way too early in the year to be laid up, and most inconvenient in terms of school. So I lie here and fret and occasionally read part of a good book. I suppose I could always load a DVD, but I'm trying to minimize the time I spend staring at bright screens. Perhaps they're unavoidable...

I feel myself rambling though, so I best lay off and rest again.
I was biking around yesterday (mainly for exercise, also for the thrill of not getting run over my second time out in the streets), and biked into the square near my house as my penultimate stop on the way home. I wanted to go to the Goodwill to see if I could find one book that was really popular and yet very expensive in hardcover (non-fiction). So I wander in and start looking. No sign of the book I want, but oooh, look, there's Terry Pratchett's The Color of Magic. "It's only $0.79," I say to myself, "And very small, it should fit into my bookbag easy."

...By the time I left the Goodwill I still hadn't found my book, but I dropped $7.50 on two hardcovers and four paperbacks. Three of which I'd already read and liked enough to want for my collection, one that looked to be a good Science Fiction anthology, one of which contains Elizabethan plays by Marlowe (Tamburlaine), Jonson, and whoever wrote The Duchess of Malfi - which I'm too lazy to get up and check right now.

I had to cart this stuff in a already partially full backpack home on my bike. I really ought not be allowed near books for sale.
One of the weird things about this book is how long it's taken me to really figure out what I think of it. In fact, it wasn't until I was sitting at the sushi bar two hours ago that it hit me.

For me, Blood and Iron, is a problem book. [ profile] matociquala has previously stated that it's a story told from the point-of-view of a villain, and that might cause people to have issues. That isn't mine. I find villains often much more interesting than the heroes, brave and true. At least in the stories, I look with fondness on my villains.

Stray with me into Stargate: Atlantis for a moment. A lot of fans (at least from what I could see) had serious problems with the moral choices the expedition (otherwise known as Our Heroes) made at the end of last season and the beginning of this one. [ profile] thepouncer pointed out, I think correctly, that they were faced with an "Us or Them" choice. And given that one, choose Us every time.

B&I also presents the reader with an "Us or Them." Significantly, it is told from the point-of-view of the Them. Which could be cool, and is at times. But here we have what was the problem for me. I can't bring myself to support the Sidhe. It is not for lack of trying, but for what I see as a lack of vision on their part. In The Three Musketeers, Cardinal Richelieu was undoubtably the villain. But he was a villain with vision. A goal he was working toward. Our Heroes might have opposed him, but at the end of the day they knew he was working to further France as much as they were. And from there we have a connection.

The fae may be dying. Horrible and beautiful and magical as they are they are dying, bound by their own bargain with the Devil Himself on one end and the iron chains of the Prometheans on the other. It is a truly horrible fate. But as much as I seek it and try to see, what is the alternative for the Us? We see the horror and the reason the Prometheans started their war in the first place, but we're never given a good reason to side with the fae. Carel says that the world shouldn't be safe, and to an extent I agree with her. But there must be a give and take, and for the danger they bring they must provide a reason for their existance, or in the "Us or Them" humanity would always choose us.

And as a reader, I'm still human.

Please don't think I didn't like the book. I did. It made me think, and rubbed at me in ways only a good book can. The characters are engaging and though I cannot be convinced to side with Elaine, I can see how she came to her choices. It is a good read, and I would recommend it for what, at least in my experience, is a unique take on the Sidhe, Arthurian legend, and dragons. I'll definitely read the sequel.

But it is a problem book for me.
I've been out of sight of a computer for about 24 hours. Surprisingly, I am not getting withdrawal jitters. ;P

As a result, I missed the beginning of [ profile] sirduke's Literary Friending Frenzy. Go forth and friend!
I am off visiting people at glorious Pennsylvania retreat, where internet is limited, and even if it wasn't I'd not be spending much time on it as there is a lake! For swimming! Still, gmail's inaccessible and it's driving me batty to not get my e-mail, so I'll settle for posting briefly.

I've been reading Dawn Cook's The Decoy Princess, which is great at subverting tropes and full of enjoyable characters. Not Faulkner, but then I'm in the mood for a light read having re-read [ profile] ellen_kushner's divine The Priviledge of the Sword prior to leaving. I've got my head chock full of thoughts on how Alec Campion is a great champion of women's rights, and when sober, a remarkably useful person to know. There might be a post on that later, full of spoilers for all three books. Then again, that depends entirely on how coherent I can make myself under all the squee.

My own writing is still being beaten into submission. I feel like I've written something that might have a few jewels underneath if only I can scrape away all the dust and annoying bits of forcing the plot to the point where it makes no sense. And rewrite the prologue so it's not a vehicle for all! melodrama! all! the! time! (Yes, I do like my exclamation points today.) Still, it's a process that's helping me immensely, and I like to think is actually simplifying a narrative that will be difficult enough with all the characters and their arcs in there.

But more importantly, swimming!
adelynne: (Default)
( Jul. 25th, 2006 08:54 am)
Arrived safe & sound ten and a half hours after we set out. After watching Friday's episode of Psych managed to make it home at about 11:30. Then I finished Black Powder War and attempted to go to sleep. The latte I made while watching Psych proved unhealthy for the latter, though at least this time there were no troubling dragon dreams.

Today there shall be little progress in editing - I've agreed to babysit my niece, and at most, there'll be that short window while she naps.

Psych, however, continues to be a fun show. The Boyfriend and I persist in guessing the culprit at about the 30 minute mark, but it's still fun to see how Shawn gets there. My one little semi-spoilery comment. )

And now, on with my day!
adelynne: (Default)
( Jul. 24th, 2006 09:25 am)
As a result of devouring much of the Temeraire series in one continuous swoop (I'm about a hundred pages from the end of Black Powder War) my subconscious treated me to a series of dreams last night featuring dragons and the Air Corps Reserve, which I am suddenly a member of. And then there were these strange buildings on plateaus and exams one had to pass. I kept waking up in anxiety and needing to remind myself that dragons were not real, there were no exams, and I needed to go back to sleep because I had an 8:30 wake-up time.

Shortly we'll be headed off to fair Boston, driving all the way. It should take us ten hours or so. I am not looking forward to this trip, less so for the night's tossing and turnings having hurt my back.

Ah well, such is life. I'll metaphorically see you all in Boston.
Picked up Naomi Novik's Temeraire series and am mid-way through the Throne of Jade. Thus far, much more bloody than the first book.

Stopped by a Half-Price Books on my way out of Pittsburgh and picked up the 7th Annual Year's Best Fantasy & Horror for $5, a hard-cover edition of Black Heart, Ivory Bones, also for $5, and a $3 copy of The Perilous Gard. In short, very profitable even if it was annoyingly confusing to get back on the freeway in the right direction.

My own progress has been minimal, but nonetheless existant, for which I have [ profile] yuki_onna and [ profile] grailquestion to thank - after we had lunch Wednesday, I got some editing done (mostly of the cosmetic variety), while Cat discovered and explored Gather.

Stargates were tonight, but I find myself to "meh" on them to properly discuss. That could be because of the headache, though. I'm going to take a jacuzzi and see if that helps. (Only in my parents' house do I get to say that.)
Thank you all for your good wishes!

I got up at 8AM and drove to the UPS pick-up center, where they only had my first package. But it had Elizabeth Bear & Sarah Monette's latest offerings within, so I grabbed it and ran back home, and dived under the covers to resume my reading of The Virtu (having read the first 4 chapters online). And I consumed the thing. I read it while I waited for people to call, and plans to be made, my other two packages to arrive (which they did!) and people to wake up. I read it while on my way to my birthday not-so-surprise, and finished just as we pulled into the parking garage. And it was good. I was a bit worried that having had such hype about it, it might have let me down, but no, it just continued to rock. Yes, there were flaws, and if I ever see [ profile] truepenny again - and boy is it tempting to go to WorldCon now - I'd love to talk to her about it. But the characters stayed true to themselves while weaving a brilliant plot between their flaws and love and I just wanted to hug Mildmay. Lots. There shall be a real review later, and it shall be good.

The rest of the birthday was awesome. There was Mohegan Sun and my winning at blackjack tables, dinner with lots of friends and some family (brother-in-law and sister, who completely messed with my head while I was trying to figure out where we were going), and general fun.

And I got a hottie bear.

Now I return to grand old Boston to watch the end of a World Cup semi-final, eat Thai, and read some more. Three way tie between Blood and Iron, The Lies of Locke Lamora, and His Majesty's Dragon. We'll see who triumphs.

But not for long. For tomorrow, the Glamour edits start.
adelynne: (world cup football)
( Jul. 2nd, 2006 01:34 pm)
UPS & I have reached an accord - they will stop messing with my head, and I will get up before 8:30 tomorrow morning (my birthday) and get down there to pick up my packages. I think I'll feel like a winner after I've got them, but right now I'm just a tad bitter.

In other news, while a store copy of Blood & Iron was relatively easy to locate, I had to go to Providence to find a copy of The Virtu. I can't tell whether it's because they haven't stocked them yet or whether they keep being ripped off the shelves, though I hope for [ profile] truepenny's sake it's the latter.

I wasn't really in Providence for the books, though. We went there to see WaterFire, which was truly and spectacularly awesome. Nothing like 100 baskets full of fire on three rivers with musical accompaniment that includes Chopin, Bach, and Dead Can Dance, while two entertainers do fancy fire tricks on narrow ledges. It goes from sundown to 1 AM, though we only stayed 'till 11 or so. And then there was cheesecake for dinner. Came home and collapsed in a tired but very happy heap. Thinking about going again on the 15th, dragging people from around to come with.

And finally, because it's not like I was going to ignore it, a bit of football - specifically, Brazil v. France )
A Bit of Football Wanking )

UPS simply refuses to deliver my books (and my Pride and Prejudice miniseries, and the boy's wireless card...) when I'm here. I literally camped out in front of my building in wait for the UPS guy, and he came by after I had to leave to meet friends for dinner. GRR!! Argh!! So still not murdering cat-thieves or insane gay mages for me. I amuse myself pondering what they could possibly be doing in Chapter 5 as a way to pass the time. (Yeah, sad. The Coop didn't have it stocked either.) Also attempting to get through A Wizard of Earthsea and Looking for Jake. Let you know how that works out.

Despite looking forward to this break for a long time, my jobless state is only now starting to sink in. Strange, I thought it would be a bit more revelatory. So, in that spirit, a poll.

[Poll #759870]


adelynne: (Default)


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