timeripple: (dulac fiddle)
Today was a beautiful day, of the kind that remind me why I moved here. Wrote a bit, got a smoothie and drank it in the park with Cavafy’s selected poems, took a nap with Copernicus, wrote some more. Slow progress is being made, much of it on the wrong side of the line between context and wild speculation.

I got an ARC of The Bane Chronicles (collected), and I keep saying I’m done with that whole series, but it is awfully addictive, if absurdly overwrought in places and totally lacking in main characters who are less than ridiculously, angelically (or demonically) attractive. Magnus Bane is pretty much the only character I would actually want to read about at this point (though the terrible movie gave me an unexpected fondness for Isabelle Lightwood). Nostalgic terrible sweater blast! Plus I like just about anything Sarah Rees Brennan and Maureen Johnson write.

I also like Cavafy a lot, as it turns out.

“One of Their Gods” (C.P. Cavafy, tr. Edmund Keeley and Philip Sherrard)

When one of them moved through the center of Selefkia
just as it was getting dark—
moved like a young man, tall, extremely handsome,
the joy of immortality in his eyes,
his hair black and perfumed—
the people going by would gaze at him,
and they would ask each other who he was,
if he was a Greek from Syria, or a stranger.
But some who looked more carefully
would understand and step aside;
and as he disappeared under the colonnade,
among the shadows and the evening lights,
going toward the quarter that lives
only at night, with orgies and debauchery,
with every kind of intoxication and desire,
they would wonder which of Them it could be,
and for what suspicious pleasure
he’d come down into the streets of Selefkia
from the August Celestial Mansions.
timeripple: (nodame nom nom)
Happy New Year!

Work has been pretty all-consuming, but I felt very Berkeley this morning—went to the Cheeseboard for a ginger cookie and cheese roll, looked at "comfort shoes" at the mature lady-clothes shop, went to Andronico’s (which has the exact same bulk bins as Monterey Market, only more so). Came home and did half an hour of yoga with assistance from Copernicus the cat. Spent the rest of the day finishing an advance copy of The Blazing World, which I don't think I'm allowed to discuss pre-publication but about which I have many thoughts.

I thought about going back out and getting milk and eggs for a quiche tonight, but in the end opted to make a sort of salad by cooking frozen blackberries together with tofu and leftover sushi rice in a little pot and mixing that with spinach and pepitas garnished with fresh blackberries, sort of a less successful riff on Heidi Swanson’s black rice and cherry salad. It was… not all that delicious, to be honest, but it looked pretty. The white rice absorbs the blackberry juice and looks kind of like pomegranate seeds, if you don’t look too closely. Dinner reading: MFK Fisher’s Musings on Wine and Other Libations. She's delightful.

In other news, inspired by [livejournal.com profile] mousapelli and by extreme intellectual boredom and hatred of retail, I am seriously considering a try at a PhD. Probably in comparative literature rather than straight-up English, though really a mountain--nay, a mountain range--of research needs to be done before I even know where to apply. I had this revelation just in time to miss all application deadlines for this fall, so I'll have to wait almost two years to actually start--assuming I find a program I want that wants me--but I am pretty sure I can fill the time. I have a few real-world sources, but any suggestions and/or advice would be most welcome.

If I insist on spending all my spare time writing scholarly papers about Greek literature in Victorian children's novels, I might as well get credit for it.

My anthropologist housemate K. recommends that I take up kendo to increase my confidence. We shall see.
timeripple: (fyeah curly redheaded heroines)
I’ve been meaning to write for weeks, but, you know, things happened: I read a picturebook about a highway-rat, complete with coat of claret velvet and lace at his little rat chin. I started reading I, Claudius because I picked it up off a dollar cart and got twenty percent off for identifying that week’s guess-the-quote (the Aeneid, Arma virumque cano etc). I finished watching Flower Boy Next Door and King of Dramas, and I was going to write last night, but then I thought, no, I’ll just check out the first episode of Answer Me, 1997, I probably won’t like it because I won’t get the ‘90s k-pop references but we’ll just see.

In retrospect, I should have known better. JUST TAKE MY HEART, I WASN’T USING IT ANYWAY.

Mind you, I said the same thing three days ago when I read Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell. (It’s Big News now that John Green reviewed it in the New York Times, and that review and my reaction are an excellent example of vastly differing reader communities. We both loved it, but wow, it’s like we read entirely different books. You should read it too: there’s an awkward, magnificent, Romeo-&-Juliet-hating curly redhead, an eyeliner-wearing comic-reading half-Korean, epic explosions of adorableness and angst, all set to a soundtrack of terrible parenting and the Smiths.)

Actually these two stories are very similar in certain ways: they so perfectly embody the awkwardness, the intensity of being a teenager in a not-so-long-ago age (Eleanor & Park takes place in 1986; Answer Me, 1997 takes place in, obviously, 1997). Both stories are about growing up—that long liminal moment between dependence and independence. They’re about family, first love (true love?), and—of course—music.

They’re about a time in life that—if we’ve had the privilege of experiencing it (and so many young people haven’t, or experience it differently than I did and the characters in these stories do)—we’re expected to leave behind. But that shouldn’t mean we ignore it completely, and I think a lot of people read YA partly because, on some level, teenagerhood informs the rest of our lives, and the things we start working through then don’t just disappear because we hit twenty. This doesn’t mean adult readers of YA are immature or incapable of handling adulthood. It means, perhaps, that we’re still in touch with our younger selves in a way that demands some level of engagement. That questions about identity, family, love, one’s place in the world—that these are universal and ageless, in narrative just as much as in non-narrative philosophy; in living YA just as much as in anything written by dead white dudes.

That’s not the only reason for adults to read or write or edit YA, of course. But it is one that I think deserves a little more credit than it generally gets. It’s more usually phrased as the self-deprecatory “Well, I guess I’m still a teenager at heart”—but I think it demands (and deserves) more examination than that.
timeripple: (nodame nom nom)
My heart has been thoroughly broken by Code Name Verity and may never recover, but clearly this will not stop me from reading and flailing about books all over everything and getting political about it.

The story: I was recently invited to an upcoming romance writers meet-and-greet cocktail hour.

Now, romance is not a genre that particularly interests me in a casual capacity. Given the choice, I would probably not stroll over to the paperback romance shelf of a library and pick up something with an appalling cover. (I would probably stroll over to the sci-fi/fantasy or YA section and pick up something with an equally appalling cover.)

However! It is a genre that interests me politically for two reasons, being 1) produced and consumed almost entirely by women, and also 2) being almost universally degraded, disregarded, and generally looked down upon (the first being part of the reason for the second) by The Establishment. As a professional in the children’s lit world, I know what it is like to have your genre of choice pooh-poohed and not taken seriously, and to have one’s intelligence and maturity called into doubt based on one’s involvement with said genre. So I have quite a lot of sympathy for romance, and people who like and advocate romance, even if it’s not quite my thing.

All this is a long way of saying that I feel it would be fun and instructive to attend a romance publishing soiree, and that I also feel I should do some research beforehand. (One hates to insult the guests of honor by showing up and saying, “Oh, I haven’t read your book, I’m just here for the food.”)

So I picked up a number of romance novels at the library recently, and enjoyed many of them! Well, two. Look, baby steps, okay? )

Are there any romance novels you particularly like? Speak to me, O flist! for my heart is sore and I may never read another YA friendship story again.

*side-eyes open copy of Friends with Boys* Okay, I lied, YA friendship owns my soul, but talk romance to me anyway?
timeripple: (nodame nom nom)
Off for a weekend of drinking and debauchery in NYC with [livejournal.com profile] mousapelli. Uh, by which I mean bubble tea and karaoke and shopping.

...

It would be spoilery to tell you why, but I’ve been thinking about the notion of the OTP lately—what it is, how it’s constructed and used, what differences between a canon and fanon OTP look like. Any thoughts on the matter?
timeripple: (i said nothing)
Look, a second post in as many weeks! Admittedly it is not very substantive, but that is because I have been busy doing things and not writing about them and also being exhausted by my job. Er. My life is a SOCIAL WHIRL, I tell you!

The weekend before last I acquired an [livejournal.com profile] a4yroldfaerie for a day, and she made me watch much hilarious and interesting television of the Vampire Diaries and Revenge variety, and we ate crepes and mac'n'cheese and went through all my free books. Then last weekend [livejournal.com profile] mousapelli visited our fair shores (or rather, crashed upon them, the fair shores being my floor) and I made her read a Roman steampunk oracle machine story and we watched a ton of Big Time Rush and listened to music and giggled a lot.

I have also gotten some reading done! THE FOLDED WORLD by [livejournal.com profile] yuki_onna was everything I hoped and expected it would be. Also recently finished: STEAMPUNK!, a short story collection edited by Kelly Link and Gavin Grant. Sometimes automatons (automata?) are just automatons (a?), but sometimes they are not! Also, "dirigible" is my second favorite new word. I am now halfway through an advance copy of TEAM HUMAN, the collaboration between [livejournal.com profile] sarahtales and Justine Larbalestier. I really need to make a separate post about Phillip Reeve's FEVER CRUMB and sequel, A WEB OF AIR, because I have many things to say about them, not least about the awesomely awkward teen engineer heroine. Namely: "awesomely awkward teen engineer heroine" are words that need to appear together more often!

My very favorite new word is one I found in a biography of Charlotte Mary Yonge, and it is "squarson". As far as I can tell this is a portmanteau of "squire" + "parson", as in, "The Yonges themselves produced squarsons." You guys. SQUARSONS! ;alskdjfl;ajdfaslkjfa;lkjfdsa;kldf Oh you wacky Victorians. ♥
timeripple: (i said nothing)
Look, a second post in as many weeks! Admittedly it is not very substantive, but that is because I have been busy doing things and not writing about them and also being exhausted by my job. Er. My life is a SOCIAL WHIRL, I tell you!

The weekend before last I acquired an [livejournal.com profile] a4yroldfaerie for a day, and she made me watch much hilarious and interesting television of the Vampire Diaries and Revenge variety, and we ate crepes and mac'n'cheese and went through all my free books. Then last weekend [livejournal.com profile] mousapelli visited our fair shores (or rather, crashed upon them, the fair shores being my floor) and I made her read a Roman steampunk oracle machine story and we watched a ton of Big Time Rush and listened to music and giggled a lot.

I have also gotten some reading done! THE FOLDED WORLD by [livejournal.com profile] yuki_onna was everything I hoped and expected it would be. Also recently finished: STEAMPUNK!, a short story collection edited by Kelly Link and Gavin Grant. Sometimes automatons (automata?) are just automatons (a?), but sometimes they are not! Also, "dirigible" is my second favorite new word. I am now halfway through an advance copy of TEAM HUMAN, the collaboration between [livejournal.com profile] sarahtales and Justine Larbalestier. I really need to make a separate post about Phillip Reeve's FEVER CRUMB and sequel, A WEB OF AIR, because I have many things to say about them, not least about the awesomely awkward teen engineer heroine. Namely: "awesomely awkward teen engineer heroine" are words that need to appear together more often!

My very favorite new word is one I found in a biography of Charlotte Mary Yonge, and it is "squarson". As far as I can tell this is a portmanteau of "squire" + "parson", as in, "The Yonges themselves produced squarsons." You guys. SQUARSONS! ;alskdjfl;ajdfaslkjfa;lkjfdsa;kldf Oh you wacky Victorians. ♥
timeripple: (intellectual dilettante)
No really, it's a Saga. But this installment is over, and I am so excited to be actually getting a few hours of sleep tonight before my opening shift. Oh my God, I really am a sleep-deprived twentysomething working a low-paying job many hours a week to support my literary aspirations. How did this happen?!?!?! MY LIFE, YOU GUYS.

My life is basically a cross between orz and XD, with a lot of facepalm thrown in.
timeripple: (intellectual dilettante)
No really, it's a Saga. But this installment is over, and I am so excited to be actually getting a few hours of sleep tonight before my opening shift. Oh my God, I really am a sleep-deprived twentysomething working a low-paying job many hours a week to support my literary aspirations. How did this happen?!?!?! MY LIFE, YOU GUYS.

My life is basically a cross between orz and XD, with a lot of facepalm thrown in.
timeripple: (intellectual dilettante)
I am the heart that you call home
And I’ve written pages upon pages
Trying to rid you from my bones


Finished this round of revisions, at last. (I started titling every new file That Damn Paper [insert date here]. I have a lot of files that start with That Damn Paper now.) Admittedly I have not exactly been losing sleep over them, but it is good to be done. I can have fun again! I can watch the rest of Avatar! I can allow my colleagues to tie me to a chair with duct tape and force me to watch more Slings & Arrows! I can watch drama upon drama upon drama WITHOUT SHAME OR REMORSE.

The past 24 hours’ work was accomplished on nothing more than half a plastic cup of Thai iced tea and an enormous quantity of Gatorade. I am hopeful (probably in vain) that Gatorade has replaced chai as my writing drink of choice. It probably has about the same amount of sugar, but it also has actual nutritional value and is much, much cheaper.

There comes a time in the writing process when I simply have to turn my brain off and type. Otherwise I never get anything done; too much thinking about it prevents action. I re-wrote this paper in my head at least five times before I finally sat down last night and got it going, chai or no chai. I was ruthless. I cut out enormous chunks of things, said things that I didn’t think needed to be said, hung paragraphs together on a whim and hoped my transitional sentences held. Then I succumbed to my growing migraine, went to bed, got up this morning, and did it again.

I always tell people that no, I didn't go to grad school to be a writer. Joke's on me, I guess.

And if you don't love me let me go
And if you don't love me let me go
timeripple: (intellectual dilettante)
I am the heart that you call home
And I’ve written pages upon pages
Trying to rid you from my bones


Finished this round of revisions, at last. (I started titling every new file That Damn Paper [insert date here]. I have a lot of files that start with That Damn Paper now.) Admittedly I have not exactly been losing sleep over them, but it is good to be done. I can have fun again! I can watch the rest of Avatar! I can allow my colleagues to tie me to a chair with duct tape and force me to watch more Slings & Arrows! I can watch drama upon drama upon drama WITHOUT SHAME OR REMORSE.

The past 24 hours’ work was accomplished on nothing more than half a plastic cup of Thai iced tea and an enormous quantity of Gatorade. I am hopeful (probably in vain) that Gatorade has replaced chai as my writing drink of choice. It probably has about the same amount of sugar, but it also has actual nutritional value and is much, much cheaper.

There comes a time in the writing process when I simply have to turn my brain off and type. Otherwise I never get anything done; too much thinking about it prevents action. I re-wrote this paper in my head at least five times before I finally sat down last night and got it going, chai or no chai. I was ruthless. I cut out enormous chunks of things, said things that I didn’t think needed to be said, hung paragraphs together on a whim and hoped my transitional sentences held. Then I succumbed to my growing migraine, went to bed, got up this morning, and did it again.

I always tell people that no, I didn't go to grad school to be a writer. Joke's on me, I guess.

And if you don't love me let me go
And if you don't love me let me go

Profile

timeripple: (Default)
timeripple

April 2017

S M T W T F S
      1
2345678
9 101112131415
16171819202122
23242526272829
30      

Syndicate

RSS Atom

Most Popular Tags

Style Credit

Expand Cut Tags

No cut tags
Page generated Sep. 21st, 2017 04:03 pm
Powered by Dreamwidth Studios