stillsostrange: (Plot Octopus)
1. Dark Places - Gillian Flynn
2. Red Delicious - Kathleen Tierney/Caitlin R. Kiernan
3. The English Girl - Daniel Silva
4. Critical Space - Greg Rucka
5. Foreigner - C.J. Cherryh (reread)
6. Invader - C.J. Cherryh

And with Invader, I fell in love with the series.

7. Dark Dance - Tanith Lee (reread)

My very first Tanith Lee was Darkness, I, which I found on the new releases shelf at the Austin library back in the day. It was an odd place to come into the Scarabae. I didn't track down the first two for many years. I was very frustrated with Dark Dance the first time through, specifically with Rachaela and what I took as her passivity at the time. This time around, however, I find myself much more in sympathy with her, sometimes painfully so. The prose is exquisite, of course, though the pacing is sometimes a bit...statelier...than one might wish.

The first draft of Dreams contained a Scarabae homage, which I finally cut to streamline things. It's absence makes me sad, now, and I hope to find it a good home in another book.

8. Inheritor - C.J. Cherryh

Yup. Still quite smitten.
stillsostrange: (Valkyrie Air)
Dreams of Shreds & Tatters is loose in the world today! I'm so proud of my little book.

And as a lovely book day present, Tor.com says nice things about it.
stillsostrange: (Monster)
1. Dark Places - Gillian Flynn
2. Red Delicious - Kathleen Tierney/Caitlin R. Kiernan
3. The English Girl - Daniel Silva
4. Critical Space - Greg Rucka

5. Foreigner - C.J. Cherryh (reread)

I read Foreigner many years ago, and bounced off, despite loving plenty of other Cherryh. I remember being frustrated with Bren's failure to grok the Atevi, not to mention annoyed by the back blurb. Not a single word for love! My pearls!

Rereading, I appreciate it more for being the sort of quiet political thriller I love, and I can better articulate my ongoing frustration. Dude. Oxytocin. It's not that hard to explain. Explaining human social bonds and emotional reactions in terms of biochemistry is pretty freakin' simple. But it's apparently a huge blind spot for these space-faring humans.

I may be unduly harsh here. I'm not sure what research was available when the book was written. I know I've only learned about oxytocin and serotonin effects fairly recently. (My god, they should be taught in junior high, if not earlier.) But as a person who does not have as much oxytocin as the average talking monkey, I have been frustrated my entire life by the idea that human nature and human relationships are something that everyone intuits, let alone things that should be held as desirable. Ugh. Gross.

But this time I'll pick up the next book and give it a shot as well. I enjoy the politics and the worldbuilding and the characters.

Home

Apr. 3rd, 2015 10:31 pm
stillsostrange: (Riff & Magenta)
Tonight is our first night in the new house.

Being as we were on the third floor, we hired movers. The movers were scheduled for this afternoon, sometime after 11:00. We planned to get up, have breakfast, tidy a few last minute things and dust everything to be moved. Leisurely.

My phone woke me at 8:00. It was the movers. Their morning job had rescheduled, and could they come early? I made incoherent noises into the phone as I contemplated the likelihood of movers have ever before come early in the history of human domiciles. I made some sort of assenting growl and crawled out of bed. (It's important to note that I spent 18 hours on my feet yesterday.) We threw stuff out of the way and scrambled into clothes. The movers came precisely on time. I placed the exodus under my partner's supervision and fled to the new house to sweep and mop and attempt to sweep the knee-high pollen drifts out of our driveway.

The movers were faster than their original estimate, and very competent. One of them noticed my crash pad, and we discussed our favorite climbing spots in the area. After they left, we ran back to the apartment to throw laundry in the wash, and then we went for a belated breakfast and I ate a plate of migas as large as my head.

The rest of the day was spent scrubbing the bathroom. Last night I regrouted for the first time, earning myself a new adulting badge. I have since celebrated by taking a bath in my clean new bathroom, and am now rejoicing in our functional wireless.

Next up, dinner, and then a serious effort to stay up to watch the bloodmoon.
stillsostrange: (Valkyrie Air)
1. Dark Places - Gillian Flynn
2. Red Delicious - Kathleen Tierney/Caitlin R. Kiernan
3. The English Girl - Daniel Silva
4. Critical Space - Greg Rucka

Books! Lists! Lists of books!

And speaking of books, Publishers Weekly has reviewed Dreams. Believe me, it's not just the characters who are intensely beleaguered.
stillsostrange: (Valkyrie Air)
Today I took a break from our move to help a friend move. I burned a lot of calories, sunburned my shoulders, and went home determined to give even more stuff to Goodwill so that I will never have that much stuff to move. Tomorrow I must meet a flooring person to see about fixing a water-damaged board in the living room, which is currently preventing us from filling a bookcase there. Wednesday I will borrow my mom's SUV to make what will hopefully be the last IKEA run, to obtain yet another bookcase and various other things. Friday the movers come to drag everything down from the top of this ziggurat and set fire to it in the parking lot relocate it.

In non-move-related news, the first few chapters of Dreams of Shreds & Tatters are now up on my website. A month and a half left till release day.
stillsostrange: (Valkyrie Air)
Yesterday was new house day, one of many. I went over at 9:00 for carpet installation, and left at 23:00. I scrubbed baseboards, wiped out cabinets, dusted, swept the driveway and patio, and reupholstered a chair (three more to go). Later my partner and roommates came over for more dusting and scrubbing, plus toilet seat replacement, new AC filters, replacement doorknobs, and the removal of some unfortunate blinds which will live out the rest of their life in the garage. Still to do: replace some light covers, put up curtain rods where those blinds were, contact paper the kitchen cabinets, call down the cleansing fire of heaven upon the bathtub, and sweep and mop before we bring our furniture in.

For you see, we are getting a very good deal on rent in a lovely, well-situated house by taking over a lease for friends*. The down side is that we don't get the professional cleaning services that would usually be brought in between tenants. So we clean. Everything. Ourselves.

On Friday I'll get a Uhaul and bring in my bookcases from storage. In a week and a half we have movers to carry everything down three flights stairs.

I'll spare you the Unfuck Your Habitat-style before & afters, but expect pictures soon.

* Chuck Palahniuk says that no matter how much you think you love somebody, you'll step back when the pool of their blood edges up too close. I say that no matter how much you think you love somebody, you'll reevaluate your entire friendship if you have to clean out their fridge.
stillsostrange: (Valkyrie Air)
Yesterday my partner and ran Warrior Dash for our second year (my third). This year it fell after days of heavy rain. The parking lot was a muddy deathtrap--we watched cars being pushed and towed out on our way in, and helped push a car on our way out. The entire 3.5+ mile course was one giant mud obstacle. Muddy trails, muddy climbing frames, muddy climbing ropes... Good times, good times. The most serious obstacle for me was the water feature, which we've never had here before. The swimming and hauling myself up parts were fine, but the water was so cold my lungs seized going in and after treading water waiting for others to clear the path, the strength started bleeding out of me. I wasn't warm again for hours.

Afterward we decided not to go see the Church play, and instead went to see Spring. Sadly, this turned out to be a poor decision. The story is a bilious sack of human-centric crap, about the transformative experience of falling in love with a bland, selfish "nice guy." Fuck everything about it. Or simply stop watching it five minutes before the end and imagine the real ending for yourself.

Day 1 - Ten random facts about yourself
Day 2 - Nine things you do every day
Day 3 - Eight things that annoy you
Day 4 - Seven fears/phobias
Day 5 - Six songs that you’re addicted to
Day 6 - Five things you can’t live without
Day 7 - Four memories you won’t forget
Day 8 - Three words you can’t go a day without
Day 9 - Two things you wish you could do

Day 10 - One person you can trust

Myself. Without that, what is there?
stillsostrange: (Valkyrie Air)
I saw Bestial Mouths last night, breaking my two-year SXSW curse. I shall brave the madness again on Saturday and see what I can find. Of course, my partner and I are running Warrior Dash early on Saturday. Last time I did WD and SXSW in one day, I ended up not eating enough and blacking out on the sidewalk outside the club. We will strive to avoid that this time.

Day 1 - Ten random facts about yourself
Day 2 - Nine things you do every day
Day 3 - Eight things that annoy you
Day 4 - Seven fears/phobias
Day 5 - Six songs that you’re addicted to
Day 6 - Five things you can’t live without
Day 7 - Four memories you won’t forget
Day 8 - Three words you can’t go a day without

Day 9 - Two things you wish you could do

You'd love it. Nobody tells you when to go to bed. You eat all the ice cream you want. You get to kill all day, all night just like an angel.

Teleportation would be pretty badass, too.

Day 10 - One person you can trust
stillsostrange: (Valkyrie Air)
I may brave the madness of SXSW tonight and attempt to break my curse of always missing Bestial Mouths. We'll see. The gods smile on brave women, or so I hear.

Day 1 - Ten random facts about yourself
Day 2 - Nine things you do every day
Day 3 - Eight things that annoy you
Day 4 - Seven fears/phobias
Day 5 - Six songs that you’re addicted to
Day 6 - Five things you can’t live without
Day 7 - Four memories you won’t forget

Day 8 - Three words you can’t go a day without

God damn it. Alternately, for fuck's sake.

Day 9 - Two things you wish you could do
Day 10 - One person you can trust
stillsostrange: (Valkyrie Air)
I mourn the death of my car today. It was fifteen years old and lived a life full of repairs. I hope the afterlife is kind to it, but its absence leaves me in dubious financial straits.

Day 1 - Ten random facts about yourself
Day 2 - Nine things you do every day
Day 3 - Eight things that annoy you
Day 4 - Seven fears/phobias
Day 5 - Six songs that you’re addicted to
Day 6 - Five things you can’t live without

Day 7 - Four memories you won’t forget

I don't know what I won't forget. I've already forgotten a million things I wish I hadn't, and remember things that bring me nothing but bad chemicals. And that is all this question gets from me.

Day 8 - Three words you can’t go a day without
Day 9 - Two things you wish you could do
Day 10 - One person you can trust
stillsostrange: (Valkyrie Air)
Today I'm cooking for a friend's potluck wedding (my favorite couscous from Smitten Kitchen and a pear & bacon salad with blue cheese and candied walnuts) and poking at a novel proposal. My desire for a non-heteronormative, female-led, contemporary supernatural spy thriller has grown so strong I have to write one myself. Unless someone has some good recommendations. But I'll still probably write my own.

Day 1 - Ten random facts about yourself
Day 2 - Nine things you do every day
Day 3 - Eight things that annoy you
Day 4 - Seven fears/phobias
Day 5 - Six songs that you’re addicted to

Day 6 - Five things you can’t live without

Exercise. If you had told 16-year-old me that one serious workout a week would be insufficient and four would be ideal, she would have been so bewildered. I'm so bitter at the public school system for making me and many other chubby awkward kids believe that athleticism was a thing we could never possess.

Craft and creation. I spent most of 2013 in a terrible funk that left me barely writing and not making jewelry or other crafty things. It was so gross.

The internet. It's where 80% of my friends live.

Music, and by extension dancing. I survived 2013 by dancing as often as I could and discovering a ton of new music.

Parity. I went a while without that, and it was also gross.

Day 7 - Four memories you won’t forget
Day 8 - Three words you can’t go a day without
Day 9 - Two things you wish you could do
Day 10 - One person you can trust
stillsostrange: (Valkyrie Air)
Missed a day, due to being distracted by the death of my car. I won't know anything certain until Monday, but this may be it's final death. This will be of some concern to me if it happens.

Day 1 - Ten random facts about yourself
Day 2 - Nine things you do every day
Day 3 - Eight things that annoy you
Day 4 - Seven fears/phobias

Day 5 - Six songs that you’re addicted to

It changes, of course, but currently they might be:

Fever Ray - "Keep the Streets Empty For Me" (I have plans for this song. Such plans.)
Fever Ray - "If I Had A Heart" (We've been on a Vikings bender lately.)
Karen O - "Immigrant Song" (See aforementioned bender.)
Austra - "The Choke"
Bestial Mouths - "White Eyes"
Ladytron - "Destroy Everything You Touch" (I feel Isyllt leaning over my shoulder a lot these days.)

Day 6 - Five things you can’t live without
Day 7 - Four memories you won’t forget
Day 8 - Three words you can’t go a day without
Day 9 - Two things you wish you could do
Day 10 - One person you can trust
stillsostrange: (Default)
Day 1 - Ten random facts about yourself
Day 2 - Nine things you do every day
Day 3 - Eight things that annoy you

Day 4 - Seven fears/phobias

I've been afraid of sharks since I was eight. I'm always a little nervous in the ocean, despite my love for it.
I'm nervous about snakes when hiking, though I'm not sure I'd call it a fear.
Embarrassment? Failure? Rejection? Powerlessness? The disintegration of long-term relationships? I think that about covers it.

Day 5 - Six songs that you’re addicted to
Day 6 - Five things you can’t live without
Day 7 - Four memories you won’t forget
Day 8 - Three words you can’t go a day without
Day 9 - Two things you wish you could do
Day 10 - One person you can trust
stillsostrange: (Default)
Today included dayjobbing and packing and lifting, and poking at a chapter for a proposal I would like to have ready to launch soon. Tomorrow is Agent J's birthday--she will be twelve. This is very strange to me. Things have been rough over the past three years, but we've also seen a lot of progress.

Day 1 - Ten random facts about yourself
Day 2 - Nine things you do every day

Day 3 - Eight things that annoy you

Aggressive or unsafe drivers.
The phone at work. Even when I don't have to answer it, the sound makes me cringe.
People who spill drinks on the dance floor. (No longer people who smoke on the dance floor in these parts--ah, the changing times.)
Security questions whose answers made sense to me ten years ago.
The necessity and vagaries of human communication.
My inability to do 5x5 overhead press at 50 lbs. I have been on this plateau for so very long.
People sneezing loudly. I'm pretty sure I have mild misophonia. (Also the squicking when someone rubs their eyes loudly. Argh!)

Day 4 - Seven fears/phobias
Day 5 - Six songs that you’re addicted to
Day 6 - Five things you can’t live without
Day 7 - Four memories you won’t forget
Day 8 - Three words you can’t go a day without
Day 9 - Two things you wish you could do
Day 10 - One person you can trust
stillsostrange: (Default)
Day 1 - Ten random facts about yourself

Day 2 - Nine things you do every day

Condition my hair.
Make the bed.
Futz around online.
Canoodle with my partner.
Some sort of physical activity. Most common are climbing, running, weight lifting, dancing, or the day job.
I don't drink coffee or tea every day, but it happens more often than not.
Listen to music.
Pick up at least one misplaced thing around the house. Or attempt to, at least. Right now everything is misplaced as packing starts.
Something other than the thing I should be doing.
Lament the unfinishedness of a story, the lack of time I have to finish a story, the closeness of a deadline, or the fact that I just wrote 800 words of a story starting in the wrong place. Sometimes I even make progress on stories.

Day 3 - Eight things that annoy you
Day 4 - Seven fears/phobias
Day 5 - Six songs that you’re addicted to
Day 6 - Five things you can’t live without
Day 7 - Four memories you won’t forget
Day 8 - Three words you can’t go a day without
Day 9 - Two things you wish you could do
Day 10 - One person you can trust
stillsostrange: (Bone Palace)
A survey sort of meme swiped from [livejournal.com profile] la_marquise_de_. Just the sort of thing I need to distract myself on a gloomy Sunday when I should be working on this short story that's due quite soon.

Day 1 - Ten random facts about yourself

I spin widdershins when I dance.
I'm seriously considering bright blue curtains in the new kitchen.
I may be the only goth in the world who doesn't appreciate Nightmare Before Christmas.
One of my new fitness goals is holding a shield wall.
I wish I kept better notes and timelines for previous novels.
I don't know how to ride a bike, but friends are trying to convince me to do a triathlon next year.
I swim very slowly. (Which makes that triathlon doubly problematic.)
I chose snuggling over trail-running this morning. Warrior Dash is two weeks away. Oops.
Coming up with random facts is very difficult for me.
This short story still refuses to finish itself.

Day 2 - Nine things you do everyday
Day 3 - Eight things that annoy you
Day 4 - Seven fears/phobias
Day 5 - Six songs that you’re addicted to
Day 6 - Five things you can’t live without
Day 7 - Four memories you won’t forget
Day 8 - Three words you can’t go a day without
Day 9 - Two things you wish you could do
Day 10 - One person you can trust
stillsostrange: (Riff & Magenta)
I miss you, LJ! Maybe not enough to drunk-post at 3:00 am, but pretty close. Tumblr and Facebook just aren't the same.

My partner and I and our roommates are moving this month! Going from five mammals in a two-bedroom (third floor) apartment to a three-bedroom house will be a pleasant change. We'll have exciting things like tile floors and a bay window! Not to mention retrieving all my books from storage. The relocation of stuff doesn't start for another two weeks, but I may succumb to my urge to start packing now. Something will end up being done at the last minute no matter how early I begin.
stillsostrange: (Default)
On Sunday, [livejournal.com profile] matociquala and I ran* the Galveston Half Marathon. The astute reader may note that I am still alive. This comes as a surprise to us all.

We appear to be doing it again next year.



* I ran 3/4ths of it, in intervals, because I'm still taking it easy on my IT bands.
stillsostrange: (Default)
It isn't just one of your holiday games.

I have an anthology story to finish by the end of the month, another due in March, and an Isyllt novelette sort of thing that glares at me reproachfully from time to time. In addition, I'm also trying to put together a proposal for the second Dreams book. The trouble is, it probably needs a title that isn't D2: Byakhee Boogaloo*. I'm reaching the stage of frustration where I start combining nouns until something sticks.

Door(s)/Tower(s)/Mask(s) of Night/Horn & Ivory/Shadow

Diane Duane took all the good Doors Into things. Murder mysteries have cornered the market on Eliot references. The Waking City would almost be a good play on Boston as "the walking city." Does anyone ever call it that?


* I maintain that all sequels are either Electric Boogaloos or Pigs in the City.

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