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Today I baked apple crisp. I also went to Holly Black's event for her new novel (which has vampires), and I cooked carrots and black beans (with honey) for dinner, all orange and black in the frying pan.

I think it might be autumn.

I've written a bunch of letters lately and sent them off. Hopefully, people will write back! I am going to write to more people, too--I would like to have a big group of correspondents, but ideally spread out so that I'm not writing all of the letters at the same time.

It's been a good couple of weeks for reading, too, what with the part where I have a commute now. I've been rereading a lot of Dorothy Sayers lately, and my roommates and I finally finished (re-)watching Season 5 of Buffy. I got Starglass, too--which is by my VP XV classmate Phoebe North, and really an interesting contribution to the generation ship genre. I am definitely intrigued to see what the next book is like!

I also got Caitlin Kiernan's Blood Oranges out of the library, which with Coldest Girl in Coldtown makes an interesting point-counterpoint. Blood Oranges is the gritty horrible side of paranormal novels, along the lines of Sunshine except even less romanticized and (if possible) with even more gross visceral stuff. Coldest Girl is much more in the romanticized vein (ha), even though there is--as Holly Black noted today--a lot of blood in it. Though perhaps not in the romanticized vein so much as examining the romanticization?

Anyway, an interesting pair of novels to read together.

I haven't been writing much, despite good intentions. My brain hasn't been producing many new exciting ideas recently. But at the Holly Black event today I started thinking again about The Urban Fantasy Novel (which I wrote a first draft of lo these many years ago), and how maybe now that I have actually been in college, and through college, and have some small modicum of outside-of-college living on one's own--and tangentially have learned some things about plot and so on--I could attack it and actually rewrite it to be decent. Maybe. Possibly. Though it really would need a lot of work... but I am itching to start doing something, working on something, so why not try this? It may not catch, but then I guess I can just go on to a different defunct project, and yet another, until my brain gets bored enough to generate fresh concepts.
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In four days, I will graduate from college.

In the meantime, among other things:
- My last days at work. I shifted four or five ranges of books today, in order to shelve the lion's share of the previously in-processing books. Talking to my boss and another student worker, I realized how much I actually have put into organizing and neatening the stacks. It's been so gradual that sometimes I forget how neglected it was before I got here. I hope I get to go and do this somewhere else now, I really do. If I never work with old books again it will break my heart.
- The increasingly pressing need to go through my thesis committee's notes on my senior thesis. I keep meaning to do this, and keep doing other things instead.
(- Like look for jobs. Which is useful! But polishing my thesis and submitting it to the library ought to happen before I leave campus.)
- We are up to four mice caught. The problem with old pretty dorms is, apparently, that they are full of holes.
- Movies. Lots and lots of movies. We had a million senior week plans, and none of them really came to fruition except the "watch a ton of movies" one.

Also, I've been reading books. I got a cache of used ones recently: a Sladek mystery (entertaining), Jumper by Steve Gould (pretty good, though I had some plausibility problems--I do want to find the sequels), some Liavek stories by Mike Ford (more straightforward than other work of his I've read), and Sunbird by Elizabeth Wein (which I reread in a gulp, wincing for Telemakos all the way).

And I just finished A Stranger in Olondria (Sofia Samatar), which is...fascinating. It brushes past the edges of societies that could host entire novels. It is about death and life and religion and books and stories. I want it to be in the Imagined Worlds class I just took, except that that class mostly read lighter fare, and this book is very rich. (I dog-eared a page in it, which I hardly ever do.) Reading about it other places on the web, I can tell that I will have to come back to this book, and that I will probably get different things out of it next time.

(I can't tell if Samatar made the mispronunciation of her main character's name similar to the name of the main character in The Dispossessed on purpose. I hope she did. It made interesting things happen in my head.)

I've contemplated, recently, what kind of books I want to write--or what kind of books I have inside of me--as I've been emerging from the college cocoon. The inside of my head is a very different place than it was four years ago. Even over this last semester, writing my thesis, the way I think about putting words-onto-pages has shifted. I think I like the changes, but I am not sure what to do with them yet.

The nice thing is that I have time to figure this all out. Am I the kind of person who writes flashy adventure stories that happen to have queer characters (or whatever) in them? (The world does need those books.) Am I the kind of person who writes thought-provoking books that don't follow any pre-set patterns? Can I combine those? How can I combine those? How does my brain default to combining those, and do I want to do something different? The last couple of novels I've tried to write have been fairly surface-level YA urban fantasy things, and I think maybe I need to dig deeper for whatever ends up being my next big project.

One of the things I haven't had very much in the last four years is a solid aesthetic space (nb: what I mean by this is a little fuzzy even in my own head): it's all been equations and academic prose. When setting up my post-college life, I definitely want to figure out how to both build in time to write (get up super-early?) and to find people or a place to talk about this sort of thing. LJ/DW are a good place for this in some respects, so I might end up blogging some of my process here, but it would also be fabulous to have a not-online version.

...I think that's all I've got right now. I feel a little bit like I'm surfacing; hi, world. I'm still here. Somewhere.
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As nice as the snowstorm was, having a proper true weekend was lovely. I was sad to miss everyone at Boskone (so close, and yet so far), but running away from the semester for a convention would have been a terrible idea.

So I got work done, and I also spent time doing things that weren't productive at all--I even went off-campus for nearly entirely frivolous reasons (the donut shop in Amherst that does gluten-free vegan donuts I can eat (!), and the remainder of a gift certificate to a bookstore there--I got The Girl Who Fell Beneath Fairyland). (Which is nice; it got nicer the longer I read it, and even when I wasn't totally convinced had details that I really liked.)

And I wrote 250 words of fiction this morning, and I don't hate them! I even have an idea of where the words should go next. I'm not sure it's a whole real actual story, but it's more than I've had for a while.

Sometimes I am aware that I'm waiting (for grad schools, for short story submissions, for summer opportunities). I hate waiting. But I am trying to slow down, relax, spend time doing things I enjoy. After all, if I'm enjoying myself, it's not waiting. It's just life.
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I just got an email saying my library books are due in three days, so I guess I'd better type up a books-read post or I'll forget what all of them were.

books! )

I may be forgetting a few, but I think those are about it.
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Even in London, there are books. In my life there are always books. And I think that the additional bag I was planning on acquiring during my trip here...may end up mostly filled with books. (I only have bought three so far, but then I have just finished reading the third one.)

three books, similar and dissimilar )

Today I went to the Chelsea Physic Garden. I sat on a bench and read and wrote a bit in my notebook and took a bunch of pictures of trees and banks of shrubbery and neatly-planted beds. And I may have come up with an idea for a new short story. Like rereading The Dragon Waiting, this is something I'll have to do historical research for, but hopefully I will not be lazy and will write it/do the job properly.

I still think Whisper-Trail is horrible. I wrote about 70 words on it yesterday and then I gave up. Maybe if I leave it alone for a while it will get better? -/useless hopes-
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all of the books )

My tags page informs me that this will be the 100th post I have tagged with "books books books". Yay, reading!
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Mostly: planning, planning, planning. WisCon next weekend! London soon after that! I have all the things to do.

Bit of progress on Whisper-Trail:
5983 / 80000

...but not very much. Partly because of planning various things (I went voluntarily to the Mall of America by myself) and meeting up with friends, partly because my brain's decided to go on vacation. Well, it is summer break. But I have a goal of 10k by the end of May, so one of these days I should maybe start putting words down again.

And revise that short story. I should do that, too.

Books read:
books! )
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There is a tumblr full of Diana Wynne Jones memorials and I started writing this as a submission, and then it turned into a post.

I discovered Diana Wynne Jones with Year of the Griffin. It's a sequel, so it seems an odd starting place, but it worked well for me. When you're a kid, adults assume that you aren't as smart as they are just because you're younger. They look down on you, they use smaller words when they're talking to you, they pat you on the head--physically or metaphorically. When you're a bookish kid who has a big vocabulary and a fierce imagination, this can result in...difficulties.

The main characters in Year of the Griffin are in college, by my younger self's standards basically grown-up, but nearly all the adults talk down to them anyway. This creates...problems. But their desire to learn and their friendships allow them to keep growing, circumvent the adults, and solve some (okay, most) of the problems the adults think are unsolvable.

Finally, I had found characters with whom I had complete sympathy.

Better yet, this Diana Wynne Jones person had written lots of books! In each one, the plot was complicated and difficult to predict, and in each one I added new words to my vocabulary--in a very natural way, by encountering unfamiliar words when reading and garnering what context I could to figure out what they meant. They were clever and funny and magical and wise, books I could reread over and over. Some of them were books that I could tell I didn't quite understand yet, but that was okay; I had the other ones, and maybe eventually I could read them again and they'd make sense. (I get Crown of Dalemark now, but I am pretty sure I still don't understand Fire and Hemlock.)

And--well--I don't know what else to say. I said some of it last year. At least part of A Returning Power is responding to her work, and I'm sure bits of other stories I've written owe quite a lot to her too. To a certain extent? I don't think I'll ever stop saying things about Diana Wynne Jones.
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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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In light of all the World Book Day posts, throwing this one out there--not quite a meme, but--

I've been reading bits and drabs of Thackeray T. Lambshead Cabinet of Curiosities. It's making me vaguely uncomfortable for a reason that I can actually identify: all the readings I've been doing for Post-Colonial Theory complicate this anthology like woah. The dippings-into that I've made all subscribe to that imperial worldview, and I haven't hit any yet that question or critique it. Maybe they're in there! But it's interesting to see how I start poking at the influences of stories, frown at premises, etc. based on the academic readings I've been assigned.

Also, how there are particular types of narratives that depend on an imperialist society to take place. Especially the "lone adventurer, exploring the wiiilds!" type of thing. Arguably (okay, possibly have been reading too much Spivak) the whole chosen-one-hero thing? And so it's always a choice, I guess, to put that in or not. Restricts the stories that you can tell but in another way opens up to more stories--or at least I hope it does, for me individually; I know it opens up to a wider variety of stories told by other people. Growing up in a very quest/explorer/hero-centered vein of fantasy literature makes it harder to see my way out of that, though, or to see in what ways that trope can be used without invoking the imperialist structures that grew it in the first place.

Possibly I'm getting too thinky. I should go to bed.

(Meanwhile, I have four and a half pages of a short story which is incredibly difficult to get right. Cursed thing. I will keep on, though; it's interesting just to see where this goes.)


Feb. 16th, 2012 09:23 pm
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I know I ought to Start Working On Something New, since I've started querying agents and all. But, well. There's only so much I can do, and my classes-and-work responsibilities have been eating my brain, nevermind the research proposal and associated duties. Today the work excitement was "run a class visit to Special Collections all by yourself with no particular training in such areas". (It went well, and they seemed to like the books I showed them. Yay!)

In the meantime, though, I have been reading. These days reading two books in as many days counts as a major achievement these days.

Yesterday it was How I Live Now by Meg Rosoff, which a friend had recommended. I picked it up at the library, didn't find the first few pages too grabbing, but kept reading and got sucked in. Gracious. There are things I could quibble with, but overall it's quite the book and I'd recommend it.

Today, Breadcrumbs by Anne Ursu. I first found this back in Minnesota at a bookstore, enjoyed the beginning, but didn't quite want to commit to spending the money (college student!). Happily, I ran across it in the New Books section of our college library today. Spent part of the afternoon devouring the rest of it. Also good. The closest comparison I can make, off the top of my head, is The Last Unicorn for ten-year-olds only a bit thinner and portal fantasy.

And tonight, because my brain was tired of staring at computer screens (fixing website stuff at work today, etc.), I started rereading Pamela Dean's Tam Lin. Even though my college life is very different from those characters', aspects of it hew awfully close.


Jan. 24th, 2012 10:33 am
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Back on campus. Settled in, and almost surprised at how settled I've been feeling. Less stressed about almost everything than I was during January. Whew.

This may have something to do with the fact that I decided Not To Worry this weekend. On Friday I listened to the Swordspoint audiobook on the plane instead of freaking out about A Returning Power. I lazed about. I saw the Tennant and Tate Much Ado (aaa, their faces) and the Tennant Hamlet (...his face). I bought groceries in Northampton and made oatmeal-raisin cookies and ate most of them. Yesterday I had a to-do list but I only did half the things. Today I have done some more of the things! Someday soon I hope to return to full Alena functionality.

Meanwhile, it is the 24th. Going by my original goal--of "send query letters out by the end of January"--I have a week left for polishing A Returning Power and its query letter and its synopsis. And deciding which set of agents to query first. Today I realized that the first two scenes have to be combined. La.

But, well. Today's the first day of classes, but somehow I only have one class each day for the rest of the week. So I will have time to work on the novel, and then it can be out in the world and off of my mind. And then I will write something else.

(I may or may not be auditioning for a production of Midsummer Night's Dream this weekend. Um. Theater! I like it! It's not writing, but it involves lots of awesome people.)
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It snowed yesterday, properly, enough to cover most of the grass and dead leaves. Enough to creak under my boots when we walked down to a coffee shop and heard music: a band with two teachers from my high school in it. I drank a tall mug of peppermint tea. At the set break, they came over and chatted--what am I up to, all that sort of thing.

I hope the snow doesn't melt today. It makes this city feel like winter.

I like my dad's new house. It already feels homelike. I am glad to spend this week here (I fly back to Massachusetts on Friday). Most of the people I know have gone back to school already, or are leaving today; I've enjoyed having social times, but it'll also be nice to be utterly unscheduled. People should be getting back to me on A Returning Power soon, and then I can fix things in that, and keep making sallies toward a query letter. And I can keep working on plans for my hypothetical London jaunt--I've got a goal of drafting my research proposal before I go back.

In the meantime...
boooks! )
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I've been training myself in how to read seventeenth-century sentence constructions, and meanwhile gotten halfway through Anne Conway's treatise and maybe a third of the way through the collected Letters of her and her friends and family.

I've attempted to outline Queen of Spades at least twice and may have to resign myself to not being able to write that right now.

I've read slush, I've sent emails, I've planned things, I've written letters myself. I have also read quite a few books and wasted a large quantity of time. (This is what break is for, sometimes, when you have just finished revising a novel. And then wrote a short story in a day. Um.)

Books read: include reread of Fire Logic and Earth Logic by Laurie J. Marks (underappreciated, even by me); Nnedi Okorafor's Akata Witch (intriguing and neat and hooking into her other work in interesting ways); and at least one other I can't recall right now.

And I've written some solstice stories, which is good because people gave me these prompts in December 2010 and there are still--er--three left, now. Usually I am close to done by the next winter solstice, and then I scramble to finish the last ones so I can get to work on the new set of prompts. This year, though, I was in the midst of revising fever when the solstice happened. So I didn't post anything asking for new prompts and didn't finish the old ones and... yeah. This happens.

Three left, though, and then perhaps I can figure out what I'm doing this year. Solstice stories again? Offer to hand-write and send people letters or fictionlets? Since I am usually too poor and/or cheap to buy presents for my friends, giving them my writing seems like the least I can do, but I am starting to wonder if people actually enjoy them.

On the other hand, one of the ones I wrote today made me remember why I like doing this solstice-stories thing purely for myself. Usually I would not write a story about a talking hedgehog and his rat friend catching moon-light in jars to light their houses during the winter. But I did, and now I'm contemplating writing more stories about them. What do they do during the summer? Who are their other friends? They seem like the sort of stories that need illustration, but I don't know how well I'd be able to provide that.

Which all makes me feel comfortable inside. Writing something that wasn't even in my head before the words started is something I hadn't done for a while. This says to me that my brain's recovering nicely from its fits of revision.

...into which it will descend again next week, after all the people who have ARP get back to me, but shhh. I'm enjoying it while it lasts.
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books read on winter break so far )

Reading books makes me a happy Alena. Today perhaps I will finally dig into research for my summer project proposal, and tomorrow even (gasp) go outside. If I want to see people while I'm back, I should probably schedule things, too...
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One chapter to go. Possibly two, depending on how I swing it. Either way, like the nice post title says, I am still on track.

I took the king out of this scene, but I think he has to go back in. Alas. Well, kings are nice.

Social engagements today are zero: good, after the flurry of family-related events. (Every day since I returned on Friday, and in a way every day since last Tuesday. None of them bad, all of them draining in their own way. Introvert time is nice. I like introvert time.)

I've reread all of Protector of the Small over the past couple of days, and also reread The Essential Dykes To Watch Out For. My idea of comfort reads...may be different than other people's. Witness the time I thought that Mieville's The Scar would be a good thing to read when I was sick.

Oh, plus I washed my clothes and did other minor tasks important for life. That was a Good Thing. The Alena is rebooting from maintenance mode!

Maybe after the first of the year I will even start writing something new.
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My brain might be growing back. Rewrote the first scene in the yep-still-untitled short story, and I think this time it actually works. Um. Yeah. It's nice, having a brain. I mean--I have been writing, but there's a difference between putting sentences on a page and actually thinking about them.

The last of the last cake was eaten a couple of days ago, marking the first time since my birthday that there hasn't been cake in the house. But I discovered today that Whole Foods, at least the one I go to, sells maple cotton candy. Temptation officially has been succumbed to. This is probably bad for my soul, or teeth, or something. Oh well.

I was thinking about dried things this morning. On my birthday I received flowers--they are by now very dead and were finally disposed of today. A couple of stalks of little purple flowers dried out in preference to other modes of dying, though, and I saved them (for a time, at least). Remembered, carrying them back up, finding a dried leaf in Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell earlier this summer when it fell out from between the pages. At the time it must have been something treasured, a keepsake, but now I have no memory of when I put it in there. Odd how your own keepsakes can become someone else's treasures, even if that someone else is yourself in the future.

Nice book recs on home and family in comments to my post yesterday. I think part of my curiosity is why my generation chose, or stumbled on, or fell en masse into the reading of speculative fiction as a mode of exploring thoughts around home. That's one of those questions that may well not have an answer, though.

Speaking of books, I'm rereading some Wimsey. Murder Must Advertise, right now.
I also read Brave New World for the first time. I had been meaning to do so for quite a while, but never quite got around to it, til now. Peculiarly preserved gender dynamics, retro-future tech... I hadn't known how much Shakespeare it actually has in it. Not quite what I was expecting, not quite what I wanted, but interesting.
And I had something else out from the library, but now I can't remember what it was.

I've also seen a couple of movies since last recording here--
Captain Blood, a very swashbuckly Flynn movie that took a peculiarly long time to get to the swashing and buckling but did eventually deliver.
...and a rewatch of Princess Bride. Which swashbuckles all the way through.
Did I post here about going to see the newest, and last, Harry Potter movie? I did see it. Behind us, before the movie started, a middle-aged woman was talking about how odd it was that the theater had so few children--since, after all, Harry Potter was a children's book. And I frowned, because, well, yeah, in the Harry Potter generation here (may I humbly submit this over the Oughts or the Noughts or whatever ghastly phrase we've got now?), and not so much a kid anymore.
Anyway, the actual movie was as impressive as it ought to be, with that budget, and there were some moments that made me extremely happy. There were quite a few moments that did not make me happy, but then I never really liked the seventh Harry Potter book--I only read it once.

Probably I am missing various media-things. If I think of them I shall add them. Now I should go finish up my video for the REU program, but I might type up the bits of Queen of Spades from this week's notebook-writing instead.
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Here are some neat posts: On SF and simplicity and Ladies, Don't Let Anyone Tell You You're Not Awesome (everyone's read that post about Mary Sues by now, right?).



I have been thinking about home, particularly home-in-speculative-fiction, at least since the Readercon panel "There Is No Homelike Place" (for which I skipped most of the Kirk Poland, because I had previous interest in the subject). The panel covered a lot of ground, and was one of my favorite panels at the con this year, but part of the basis for it was that, in this Modern Age, people are becoming less rooted in physical space. Part of what I started puzzling over then, and am still puzzling over, is, well--think of the children!

Because yes, in American society, people change jobs and people move and people get divorced and remarry and bring stepchildren into families, and people are more and more digital and Internet-based, and all of this changes children's feelings and thoughts about home. The middle class is also expanding--I forget the exact statistic, but a huge sector of American society self-declares in the middle class, and with that many people, it's no wonder there are more stories, more feelings, more people who don't fit into the mold of 'one picket fence and one building-structure on one plot of land for the greatest part of your life'. And this changes children's feelings and thoughts about home.

Some of it's positive, some of it's negative, some of it could go either way:

My parents divorced when I was in the beginning of high school; for the next two years, I bounced weekly between their houses (the third year I put my foot down... and moved every two weeks), and for most of that I used the word "home" very sparingly. Both houses were nice, I like both my parents, but it still just felt wrong. So they were "my dad's house" and "my mom's house", and they remain that to this day. Odyssey (six weeks living in the same place!) and then college (entire months in one room!) were a relief.

And yet-- to a certain extent, my home was on the Internet, and still is. My first real and awesome communities were on the Internet, during middle school, formed on Neopets guild boards. There remain plenty of people I mostly or only talk to via the web--although I have moved more of my socializing off the Internet in recent years.

College has become a sort of home, but as I go into my third (!?) year of four, how temporary it is becomes more and more apparent.

I still feel weird about using the word "home" sometimes, to refer to any place.

I still dream about living in one place for an entire year. It seems remote, almost impossible.

And there are countless more stories. This one's just mine.

Mainstream-children's and mainstream-YA might be doing better at this; I haven't read much recently. Even as a kid, I didn't read much. I loved to read fantasy and science fiction--especially in YA, the non-fantasy novels were mostly Issue Books or heterosexual romance, which has never interested me. Fantasy novels often ended with the finding of home (Narnia was brought up in the Readercon panel--England is their home, they have to go back at the end of The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe), or began with it (the Enchanted Forest Chronicles, which I adore). Or there's a dichotomy--the Happy Family versus the Broken Home--while really, for many or most people, it's more complicated than that.

Fantasy and science fiction, though, have the power to address lots of people's issues and problems and thoughts and longings for and about home. They don't have to be specific to one situation. Look at Diana Wynne Jones' Homeward Bounders--a book which almost gives not enough resolution to the issues it raises (okay, it gives enough, it's just a resolution that hurts so I don't want to admit it).

Look at--as the Readercon panel suggested--Bella in Twilight. (Divorced parents, feels aimless, no real home, obtains boyfriend with ready-made, eternal family, wants to really belong.)

Look at (again, Readercon panel) Harry Potter. Harry grows up, simultaneously, with and without a family. Over the course of the series, sometimes he almost finds home, but it's snatched away. (Sirius Black.) Why? Well, as much as the books are ostensibly about beating Voldemort, they're at least as much about finding home. Harry does find a sort of surrogate family in the Weasleys, but their house is never completely his home. As Kate pointed out when we were on our way home from the last Harry Potter movie (I was grousing about how I dislike the epilogue and find it pointless and a too-easy jump into the future when Everything Is Okay), the epilogue is the end of that arc--Harry has a family, he has a home. Can you imagine the Harry Potter series where he spent the last three books living with Sirius Black? It's almost beyond plausible.

I have no answers, just observations, just questions, trying to spot patterns. Could this be part of the mythical Reasons Why Twilight (et cetera) Is So Popular? Are these popular books in fact doing more with the concept of home than less-popular ones are--or are these just the ones we think of first? Do series, which take longer to get to the home--if there is one--satisfy this need for the readers more comprehensively? Is this part of the dystopia trend (home isn't safe)?

Do you have any recommendations for recent books, children's or YA, that deal with this sort of thing in a complicated, non-Problem Novel sort of way? Any thoughts?


Jul. 23rd, 2011 04:18 pm
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Today I typed up/wrote 3391 words of fiction. Mostly typed up, from my notebook, going back ~2 weeks. Readercon: awesome, and stole my whole weekend. But I modified some stuff along the way, and it's awesome to get it all on computer where I can start looking at the larger pieces there.

...part of that was a self-contained piece, one of my solstice stories, this one for [livejournal.com profile] vcmw. Yay, another solstice story down! I like to get most of them done before the winter solstice comes around again.

A bunch of it, probably the majority, was bits and bobbles on the short story I've been working on a lot this summer (still untitled). Once I had typed up everything I had in my notebook, I was sort of startled to realize that that takes care of all of acts II and III, basically, plus most of act I (it needs linking material or possibly just a revision of this one scene). Which means I am getting very close to having an actual draft of that. It feels too long but that could just be me, and it's around 3000 words right now, which isn't so big for a short story.

The rest was a couple of scenes for QoS, namely the last big turn of the two main characters' relationship and also what is in at least one sense the climactic scene of the whole book. Now that I know the ending of that, I think I will be able to write it--although I almost never outline wholly before I write a novel, I usually need some sense of how the ending turns for me to be able to begin it. So that rocks. If I ever have enough time to start filling in the rest of the prose.

Also I read a couple of books today/lately, so belated start to documentation:
Geek Fantasy Novel: which is pretty much as one might expect. Lots of geekery. Wasn't sure it hit its target audience, and I am not so easily charmed by the meta these days, but still, meta. (And geekery. And fairy tales.)
What I Didn't See, Karen Joy Fowler: I am not sure whether I'd read her before. The stories had enough variety to not bore me in reading a single-author anthology straight through (which is always a danger); however, I think they might benefit most from being read apart. So I'm not completely sure that the first story, "Pelican Bar", is actually the best, or if I just read it first. But I found "Pelican Bar" really intriguing in some creepy ways, and the rest of the stories were good too. And they are the sort of stories I think would be even more neat on re-read, so hopefully I'll run across the anthology again sometime and do that.

May 2017



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