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Sunday, January 10th, 2016 09:12 am
Meme collected from [personal profile] legionseagle.

Rules: go to page 7 of your WIP, skip to the 7th line, share 7 sentences, and tag 7 more writers to continue the challenge.

Elrond waited for the other elf who did deliveries for the bakery to arrive and she, too, said she’d not seen anyone around in the street.

Elrond sighed. So that was the end of that possibility.


Finding a residence in a fold of hills leading down to the sea outside the city proper, it had amused Elrond to call his new home Rivendell. The only resemblance it bore to his house on Middle-Earth was that it was, if possible, even more rambling than his former home, and had been built over a long period in a variety of styles and painted a number of colours. His amusement, he knew, was not shared by all of his household, but at least there was little confusion about who lived here.

He’d chosen it because it was the only house available that seemed large enough to contain his household. He’d arrived with a few friends, the Ringbearers among them, but his foresight had not failed him and in time the numbers grew.

I don't tag, it always strikes me as unfair.
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Monday, November 2nd, 2015 01:01 pm
Does anyone know of any book bloggers who would be interested in reviewing books that the writers describe as "far-out insane grimdark epic fantasy."

If so, let me know and I'll pass the details on to my two writer friends who hope to be having their books out soon-ish.
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Tuesday, October 27th, 2015 04:50 pm
I'm not sure I really understood what was required, the tutor had asked for a monologue addressed to someone else and this is what I produced. He said it was a bit of a cheat. However, this is a short original piece I wrote for my creative writing course. )

Comments welcome, as always.
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Sunday, October 25th, 2015 05:12 pm
I am back from Nottingham, where I was attending the British Fantasy Convention. I had a great time, saw some excellent panels and met a gaggle of writers and people who teach writing. I attended with my friend Anna Smith-Spark (@annalibitina on Twitter), whom I know from work. When I worked of course.

My only quibble was the choice of people on the panels. I get that it’s largely an event for writers and aspiring writers, but I got mildly tired of hearing people say something along the lines of, “When I wrote my book [name of book] I did [this awesome thing].” I know that a lot of the people who attend are there to sell their book, but really? Is it necessary to hammer it home that hard?

@annalibitina did not over sell her book in the panel that she was on (she has an agent, though not a publishing deal – yet) though the reading she did was the best I heard and made me want to read her book properly. Also from discussions I had with her, I think she and [personal profile] legionseagle would get on a storm. Not that they’re writing the same type of book, because they’re totally not, but their politics mesh very well, and their views of fantasy as a genre.

Anna is concerned that she doesn’t end up with fans who miss the point of her book (“Death! Death! Death!”) and don’t realise that she’s playing with the trope.

Sadly, she can’t make Eastercon – but maybe I can get them to meet up for lunch sometime.

I gather the next British Fantasy Convention will be in Scarborough. A tidy step from where I live. And will be in September, which is also a bit close to my gaming event. We’ll see how my finances bear up, too.
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Wednesday, October 7th, 2015 05:47 pm
Three good things have happened today, both of which fill me with quiet pleasure.

Firstly, I bought some writing software which has encouraged me to write 1000 words on my Elrond/Thranduil story about them meeting in Valinor. That's a move forward as I'd been stalled.

Secondly, I managed to find (remember) my Fanfiction.net password. Remember fanfiction.net? Well, I sort of do, and not being able to get into my account was an occasional niggle. Not a day in day out niggle, just something that irritated me when I remembered it. So I spent some time today working through the options for the email address and password combinations that it could be. And, in the end, I found it.

Thirdly, I finally put the 'missing' story of mine on AO3. I've finally accepted that I've lost touch with the co-writer (some fan called Tidmag) and just put it up on my account. Maybe she'll get in touch, maybe she won't, but that won't be niggling at me, either. I only wrote it in 2006...

So that's it.
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Tuesday, October 6th, 2015 12:22 pm
I've been a but quiet lately, largely because nothing much happened. But when I think about it, things did happen.

I ran a game of Call of Cthulhu not this last Saturday just gone, but the previous one. The characters rather bollocksed it up and allowed the King in Yellow (Hastur) to arrive on Earth. I mean, ouch! That means that the rest of the games from now on in have to be run with this Great Old One slowly taking over the planet. Thanks guys. It's a bit like Sauron running all of Middle Earth.

I also had my first Creative Writing class at the City Lit last Thursday. That went quite well, and I enjoyed it, so I'm looking forward to Thursday when I have the next class. The other students all seem OK, though there's one who looks as if she's going to be hard work for the teacher and for the rest of us. We'll see.

Smokey is a good cat, though a bit clingy. Not quite sure what's going on with that. She's absolutely mad on her 'thing on a string on a stick' and if I ignore her for too long, she'll find it and drag it towards me, so there's no misunderstanding about what she wants of me. Sweet kitty! She always looks so determined with this thing in her mouth, every hair indicative of desperation.
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Wednesday, August 19th, 2015 01:33 pm
I got into conversation online with [personal profile] raincitygirl, and following from that I looked into courses offered by the City Literary Institute, a London college which offers day and evening classes for a reasonable sum to everyone who cares to sign up in a variety of subjects from Painting to Sewing, from Computers to Languages and every stop in between.

I looked first at the German courses, because I did German with them to A level, but am now sadly out of practise. I've put a couple on my wishlist, but also emailed the languages department to ask which would be the best fit.

I did sign up, though, for a "Ways Into Creative Writing" course which starts on 1 October and runs for (I think) 11 weeks until December. It's on a Thursday afternoon, so should fit in with my packed lifestyle.

I'm more than a bit nervous, because when I worked Horrible Ex Boss was very critical of my writing skills, which damaged my self-confidence to no little degree as one thing I thought I could do was write. She said I couldn't and I could see no reason why she'd criticise that when there were so many other things about me to criticise. Basically, I believed her because I had no reason not to.

Roll on 1 October.
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Sunday, June 14th, 2015 08:26 pm
Yes, we have finally reached the stage of reviewing the novels. The five nominations are:

Ancillary Sword, Ann Leckie (Orbit US/Orbit UK)
The Dark Between the Stars, Kevin J. Anderson (Tor Books)
The Goblin Emperor, Katherine Addison (Sarah Monette) (Tor Books)
Skin Game, Jim Butcher (Orbit UK/Roc Books)
The Three Body Problem, Cixin Liu, Ken Liu translator (Tor Books)

I tried to read all of them, with varying levels of success which I will describe below in more detail.

Ancillary Sword by Ann Leckie (Orbit US/Orbit UK) )

The Dark Between the Stars, Kevin J. Anderson (Tor Books) )

The Goblin Emperor, Katherine Addison (Sarah Monette) (Tor Books) )

Skin Game, Jim Butcher (Orbit UK/Roc Books) )

The Three Body Problem, Cixin Liu, Ken Liu translator (Tor Books) )
lexin: (Default)
Saturday, June 6th, 2015 05:15 pm
I don't know where it's going, but I'm trying to commit fanfic. At last! It may never go anywhere, but at least I'm writing.

However, I have a question.

Elves who've done evil...the only one I can think if who tried to commit a murder was Eöl, in his attempt to kill Maeglin.

The Sons of Fëanor swore that stupid oath (it was seriously stupid) but I don't see that as evil, just unwise and misguided.

Were there any others? Anyone I've missed?
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Sunday, May 31st, 2015 03:46 pm
I am somewhat behindhand on my reviews of the Hugo nominations. This is largely because I started the novels and the first one I picked up is “The Three Body Problem” by Cixin Liu. Other people on File 770 have raved over it, but I’m finding it very hard going. I will try to finish it, but I’m only prepared to give it another couple of days before I give up and move on. It’s not the translation – the translator did a bang up job – I’m just struggling to dig up much interest.

It’s also because I had to prepare to run my occasional Call of Cthuhlu campaign for my two friends, which always takes up time. We had a good game, though. Well worth it. We’re still looking for a third player, in case anyone’s interested.

The final two "related" works…and there are no spoilers in these items, for once.

“Why Science is Never Settled”, Tedd Roberts )

Wisdom from My Internet, Michael Z. Williamson )
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Sunday, May 24th, 2015 12:44 am
On Thursday, I had a bit of a hiccup. I decided that, after a year of using it, I didn’t like the way that Windows 8’s standard email program dealt with emails. So I resolved to sort it out and get Outlook 2013 up and working and make it my default program for email. I thought it would be easy. A ten minute job.

How wrong could I be?

As it turned out, very very wrong. It took me only a few minutes to make it work with my outlook.com email address. Very simple. Done in three clicks. For some reason the icloud.com email address I have but never use was already linked to it. Don’t know how that happened, I’d certainly done nothing to make it do that.

The sticking point was my standard gmail.com address, the one I use for 90% of the time.

Gmail’s instructions make it sound simple. “Put these settings into the email program and watch it work.” So I put the settings into the email program and it did not work. I varied them according to the instructions for over four hours and it still did not work. I had a cup of tea and tried again. No dice. Rebooted. No dice. Cuddled the cat in a marked manner. No dice.

Finally I tried settings I was sure I’d tried at least twice before with no results…and it worked. Eh? What was with that?

My old friend [insanejournal.com profile] yonmei once said that she’d been working with computers since 1991 and still sometimes the only explanation for why the thing has done what it’s just done is, “It’s possessed.” I concur.

Hugos reviews, continued. Note: rampaging spoilers herein. Please do not click on the links if you can’t cope with spoilers.

I’m currently working my way through the “Best Related Work” list. I should say up front that I haven’t finished two of these, and doubt if I will finish them – if I’m even meant to finish them which I’m not completely sure I am.

Letters from Gardner, Lou Antonelli )

The Hot Equations: Thermodynamics and Military SF )

Finally for this tranche we have:

Transhuman and Subhuman: Essays on Science Fiction and Awful Truth )
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Wednesday, May 20th, 2015 06:12 pm
I only managed to read two short stories today because I had to go out into the excitement that is the east end of London where I live and get some money out of the ATM. I also took the opportunity to eat brunch and wander round the local supermarket – boy do I have an exciting life!

I also finally got around to ringing the Ear Nose and Throat people at the local hospital for an appointment, but was told they hadn’t released any yet and all the ones they had were full. So the post-nasal drip drips on. (I told you about the exciting life.)

Again, spoilers. Please do not read if spoilers bother you. Of course, if you wouldn’t have read these stories anyway, have at it.

Turncoat by Steve Rzasa )

The Parliament of Beasts and Birds, John C. Wright )

Having now read all the short stories, I’m really hoping that the slate entries on the rest of the list are better than their short story nominations. So far, the only one which seemed to me to be of a good standard was the one I reviewed yesterday by Kary English, “Totaled.”
lexin: (iDalek)
Tuesday, May 19th, 2015 04:29 pm
The Hugo Awards packet came out yesterday (yippee! I’ve been waiting for this) and I think what I’m going to do is to post probably short reviews of the stories as I read them, mostly as records for my own voting purposes so that I’ll remember what I read and what I thought of it when I read it. I plan to give them marks out of ten, but reserve the right to alter these as I read more.

I’m also going to start cross posting to my WordPress thingy at mpmrommel.co.uk as I don’t currently make use of that and I really should. I shall just have to hope that if I overstep the allowances the hosts get in touch and let me know.

I have to say, also, that anything that isn’t in the packet and isn’t available on the web probably won’t get read. It’s not that I don’t want to read those stories, but that I’ve spent this month’s allowance on books, and can’t afford to spend more.

Note: rampaging spoilers herein. Please do not click on the links if you can’t cope with spoilers.

On a Spiritual Plane by Lou Antonelli )

A Single Samurai by Steven Diamond )

Totaled by Kary English )

So that’s the first three.
lexin: (Default)
Friday, December 30th, 2011 02:35 pm
I've been having a very quiet time over the last few days, sometimes quiet because I'm actually asleep.

In between z's I've been catching up on reading the pile of unread books which had reached my knees. It's reminded me how much idiot characters annoy me - I don't suffer even fictional fools gladly. Latest example is a story where a Chicago cop and a Russian mafioso are having an affair, and in the book I'm reading they've so far had sex twice without advancing the plot one iota. Why? It's supposed to be a detective story - OK with porny leanings but even so.

Yesterday was good; I had breakfast with [livejournal.com profile] gloria1 then noodled about in a charity shop for a bit without buying anything and then made my way down to my hairdresser to see if he could see me and do something about my wild and woolly locks. He could if I was prepared to wait for a bit, so I went and had a coffee and when I came back he cut my hair. So I have a new coiffure for the New Year. Go me!
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Monday, November 14th, 2011 10:17 am
Gacked from [personal profile] legionseagle who had it from [personal profile] raincitygirl. It's about AO3, which I also use just about every day.

Thank you.

Thank you to everyone who's ever written a line of code, fixed a bug, wrangled a tag, answered a support ticket.

Thank you to the back-end coders and thank you to the front-end coders.

Thank you to everyone who's ever brainstormed about what the archive might do, and thank you to everyone who's poured their hearts, souls, and spare time into trying to make the archive do all of those things and more.

I use the AO3 every day. Thank you, from the bottom of my heart, for building it for me and for everyone who uses it -- and for everyone who doesn't use it yet but might use it someday.

This archive isn't something to which fandom is entitled. It's a labor of love. You make the archive as your gift to fandom, and I appreciate that gift so, so much.

Even though it isn't finished yet. Even though it isn't perfect yet. It's still awesome, and your hard work is tremendous and admirable, and I just want to say thanks.

(Dear everyone else: if anything in this post resonates with you, feel free to signal-boost or repost.)
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Tuesday, November 8th, 2011 11:02 pm
Isn't it weird how suspension of disbelief works?

I'll read just about any mpreg story Sherlock fandom can throw at me, and lap it all up. No problem with that at all. My brain just accepts it as if it's quite normal. Well, not quite - I prefer a quasi-scientific or medical explanation, but give me that and I'm yours for the duration.

I turn my rosy nose up, however, at a story where the premise is that characters A and B, in this case Mycroft and Lestrade but let's not get hung up on specifics, get drunk and end up married.

There probably are countries where a degree of sobriety is not required of parties in a marriage ceremony, where notification doesn't have to be made X weeks in advance or a special licence bought and where the marriage does not have to be conducted during normal hours of business in a building. But that is not where I live. The whole idea just makes me go 'tilt'.

When it comes down to it, I think this is a failing of my imagination and not the writer(s) ability, but it is odd.
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Monday, August 15th, 2011 09:44 am
If I made Cinderella, the audience would immediately be looking for a body in the coach.
— Alfred Hitchcock

When I write a story, what do you immediately look for?