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Max Gladstone made a great post today about friendship and Agent Carter which I had a few quibbles/addenda to. I tried to explain them on twitter while at work which, predictably, failed. So here is my new attempt.

(Longish )
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Books et cetera )

I've been having a pretty sleepy spring break. I wrote a scene and a half of a play and I revised a short story, also I wrote a kind-of-prologue for a novel that doesn't actually have a plot. Sent a story or two out and a few more queries. I am having vague tickles of ideas; we'll see if any of them go anywhere.

Don't Wanna go back the day after tomorrow. Especially because I'm getting my second quantum midterm next week and the week after that is tech week for Midsummer...but, well, onwards. It will be nice to have structured Things To Do again. (I might get to go to some bits of ConBust next weekend but we'll see; Midsummer is eating my life.)
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Some books, before I go off and leave them to be returned to the library in my absence, because this afternoon I am going to be on an airplane to Massachusetts again.

Recent reads )



Spoilers! Arsenic and Old Lace; also, Doctor Who )

Now I am going to go and try to stuff as many books into my luggage as will fit.
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When novels leave there are these big gaping holes in your brain where you used to fiddle endlessly with plot and characters and What Happens Next. (I would be lying if I said I didn't think about the novel-that-was at all, but I've been trying to push it out of my brain as much as possible.)

So, clearly productive things I have done this week include watching TV on the internet (Community, Glee, the last episode of Tipping The Velvet), reading, making my christmas wishlist, fretting about my future (after college; next summer; this January), and doing assorted homework. Finals are approaching; they're still far enough in the future that I don't actually have to study for them yet--just worry about them, too.

(While I was thus distracted, the new issue of Ideomancer came out. It's awesome.)

I've also realized that I never wrote up things about all the books I read while staying at [livejournal.com profile] vcmw's house over Thanksgiving break. Possibly that will never happen. Short rundown: Pegasus, Hopeless Savages (Best Of?), a non-fiction book about awesome Victorian women, um? Probably something else. Since then, I have read Sayers' Nine Taylors (creepy) and caught up on a bunch of online fiction venues.

The state my brain's been in, though, everything takes me twice as long as it normally would. And the pointless fretting about my future definitely isn't helping: should I go to physics grad school after undergrad, even though I'm not really sure I want to? Should I get my MLIS, even though really I would like to do special-collections librarianship and that isn't a very large field and I'm not sure I would like the job enough to go wherever there was an opening? Should I sell some best-selling novels before I graduate college and then just end up with enough money to never have to do anything but work on novels for the rest of my life? I like that last option but it's even less likely than the rest of 'em and all the bits that I could affect of that one are intimidating, too.

Also, I feel like this summer is Important to what I do after college--if I am going to grad school for physics, shouldn't I try to do physics research this summer somewhere? But I kind of want to go to Taos Toolbox and learn about writing novels, and that is both not doing physics and spending more money than I am likely to earn, seeing as how I have no idea how to get a job that isn't work-study in a library. And preparing for a career plan that is very unlikely. Whee.

...yeah. Any, er, advice, anyone? (Hint: "go drink tea and read some more nice books and don't worry about life after college" is perfectly legitimate advice.)
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1. Finally read Gun With Occasional Music. I think I had read it before; in the light of having read The Big Sleep and Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep, it read very differently. This completes my Noiry (Cyberpunk) Trifecta.

2. Tipping The Velvet. omg, the cloooothes.

3. Very much anticipating the new Bordertown anthology. (I will like it even more when I get to read it!)

4. Getting nice rejection letters, and finding new markets to send said story out to that I think, well, hope will really like them. It's satisfying in a whole different way than working on novels.

5. Wolfram Alpha, which saved me from integrating by parts at least five times today.

6. Thanksgiving break this week, after just two days of classes!

7. Yesterday.

(Things I do not like include the way my dorm hallway smells right now. Seriously, people? Some of us need to do laundry.)
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The Big Sleep, Chandler: The dawning realization that now I know where Guy Noir came from. An impressive novel; the context of "so this is where this comes from" made it even better.
Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?, Dick: Wildly different to any the several ways I had imagined it. (One based on the title, one on Bladerunner--I know, I know--and one on the few pages of it we read at Odyssey.) Also very good. I stood at the Amherst bus stop today reading this, and didn't even notice it was forty-some degrees (and me in light jacket and scarf), or that the bus I thought I was waiting for wasn't going to come, until I finished it.
The Shape of Things, LaBute: A student production of it went up this week in the campus center. The cast and crew were all awesome; I detested the script. Can't win 'em all, I guess.
Baccano!: An anime my roommate and I have been making our way through. (She's seen it before.) Violent, bloody, ridiculous, awesome. 1930s mafiosos plus immortals plus awesome people plus a helping quantity of silly. I hear the English dub is better (1930s mafia accents?) but we don't have a copy of that. Ah well.

Next up is Gun, with Occasional Music, and then I think my Noir Run will be complete. Unless anyone else has recommendations.

(Novels to work on? What novels to work on? I would radiate guilt, except I'm too tired.)
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Classes start again tomorrow. Three-day week, so there's not really much stress, but it's still sad. On the other hand, people now make me dinner and wash my dishes for me again, which is nice; and the geek dance is on Friday.

---

34.4 / 75


Over fall break, I've been taking my laptop and going to Upper Lake, which is mostly surrounded by woods. I sit on a bench in the autumn sunlight and stare at the leaves and the lake and I write.

I am going to miss that bench. Maybe I can sneak off to it sometimes once classes have started again. Pity it's all the way across campus.

---
Five Red Herrings, Sayers: Too many policemen with thick accents, not enough Wimsey.
"Remembrance of Things Past", Criminal Minds: Not stellar, but hey, they can't all be.
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In food-related news, project Avoid Dining Halls Over Fall Break progresses nicely. For lunch I had the leftovers of the rice-and-vegetables from last night, some potato chips I'd picked up in my wanders, and an apple previously scrumped from the dining hall plus sunflower butter.

When it came to dinnertime I was a little more ambitious: I'd gotten some frozen ground-turkey patties in Northampton and cooked them up last night to refrigerate. Today I broke them into pieces and put them in the rice-cooker along with a can of beans and a can of tomatoes, and cooked the result. Then I dumped all that into a plastic thing, stuck it in the fridge, and put some rice in the rice-cooker--with spinach (local! organic!) in the steamer-pan. Result: deliciousness. Thought I had made too much rice, until I started eating. Nom.

Best part: I have two days' worth of leftovers, and will only have to do rice and vegetables tomorrow and the next day in order to have just as much tasty food. I think we call that a win. Even if I had to wash All The Things afterward.

---

31.8 / 75


Today I invented time travel. Perks of being a speculative-fiction writer. Though admittedly it's a fantasy novel and the time travel is done with magic, which isn't how most people who write time travel mean that sentence. (Query: fantasy novels with time travel? They must exist, but I can't think of any.)

My Big Goal had been, as you know Dear Reader, a complete re-draft of this by the end of the month. That... may not happen. But progress feels good: I am hitting my forehead against new snags!

---

Have His Carcase, Sayers: Well, that was rather silly. But I liked it--though not as much as Strong Poison or Gaudy Night. Benefit is that now I get to reread Gaudy Night before I go on to Busman's Honeymoon.

"J.J." (Criminal Minds episode): That was good.
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102 / 350


I have a hundred pages! ...Actually I had a hundred pages yesterday. I've added a couple more pages today, and I might add some more (the day is young! I have a general idea of what the next few scenes are!), but I wanted to post and say: woo, and also hoo! Progress is being made, and I have changed the color of my page count thingy.

The scene that got me to a hundred pages turned out to be the middle of the next chapter, but that's okay. We can deal with that. (And hey, how cool is it that my brain tells me these things now? Good brain!)

---

So I have been watching Avatar: The Last Airbender, because it's on Netflix streaming and it's the summer and what better things do I have to do and I had been hearing all these fantastic things about it for the longest time. And lo, it is indeed pretty awesome.

Someday I will watch all those other things I hear are good, like um The Wire? Anyway, I don't watch much TV so my endorsement is maybe not worth so much, and anyway I think that everyone knows Avatar: The Last Airbender is cool already, but there you have it. I'm really enjoying it so far. It's entertaining and well-made and pretty and has good characters and fun ideas, and these are all Good Things.

August 2015

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