bironic: Neil Perry gazing out a window at night (Default)
Oh hey there. Long time little update.

DOING

I've been working a lot. I'm just... really tired. I worked straight through last weekend and while it was necessary it was also not a great idea, so this weekend I did not work at all, and even though my work is not done, that turned out much better. Saw A St. Patrick's Day Celtic Sojourn with some coworkers and went to MST3K night at [personal profile] thedeadparrot's: the poorly executed sequel to Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon -- do not subject yourselves to it! Hung out with friend C. and watched TV and worked on a vid; see #2 below.

Ann Leckie came to town for a sci fi con, and [personal profile] thedeadparrot, [personal profile] stultiloquentia, [personal profile] jjhunter and I went to her reading/signing on Thursday. She read from Ch. 4 of Ancillary Mercy and answered questions -- a LOT of questions; the bookstore staff really should have put a stop to it after an hour, but it went for almost two. Then I got my trilogy signed, told her what I loved best about it, and shed enough inhibitions to say thanks for retweeting "Starships!" a while back. She said she bought the song after seeing the vid because she hadn't heard it before and afterwards it reminded her of the spaceships. :D

It snowed a few inches this morning and then warmed up so now it looks and sounds as if we are in a nature documentary about springtime in the mountains, snowmelt streaming from awnings and flowing alongside the curbs.

VIDDING

1. I am trying something new this year and have volunteered for the Vividcon Auction, where people bid for vidders to support the con and then a collaborative vid is born. I am a little scared and a little excited. Here is the list of participants and what they are & aren't willing to do. Bidding starts Saturday if that is a thing you are into.

2. I've also been working low and slow since Oct/Nov on a book trailer for Ancillary Justice. Upshot: Clip hunting takes a lot of time. I'm super excited about it, though, especially in the last couple of days, when I started taking what I've got and putting stuff down on a Premiere timeline. Will probably unlock a post about it in the coming weeks -- it was filtered to just a few people in case I got matched on it during Festivids -- to see if some of you have ideas for sources that might have visuals to fill the remaining gaps.

WATCHING

Lots of crappy movies & TV shows in service of the trailer project, heh, although the show The Expanse is pretty solid. Did they cast actors with Marfan syndrome to play Belters or what?

Season 5 of Girls is exactly what you'd expect, and I did manage to see Deadpool last month: an enjoyably irreverent meta romp.

Oh, and rewatched the second episode of Penny Dreadful with C., who's experiencing the show for the first time. My heart, oh my goodness, my heart still beats for Victor Frankenstein and Mr. Proteus. ♥ ♥

READING

All fiction pales in comparison to The Golem and the Jinni, so I switched to nonfiction for a while. I have conflicted thoughts about A.O. Scott's Better Living Through Criticism; his movie reviews are great and he said all the right things at his book tour reading/Q&A, but the book itself is surprisingly off-putting, considering I'm embedded in a community that lives and breathes pop culture analysis and should be among his core audiences. Don't feel up to writing a dissertation about it at the moment, though.

Now working my way through Best American Magazine Writing 2015. The first few articles were just as infuriating the second time around as when they were published: some for examining societal injustices whose solutions never seem to gain traction (racism through the lens of real estate, misogyny on the internet), and one for whining about the poor young men who're soooo victimized in the hunt to punish those who commit sexual assault on college campuses. Written by a woman (Emily Yoffe, no surprise). Ugh.

WRITING

I wrote a Golem and the Jinni ficlet -- you may have seen -- and would like to do a thing for the Porn Battle that starts today tomorrow. Specifically, I have an Ahmad/Dustfinger idea. A jinni and a fire-dancer walk into a bar... Because the answer to not getting many readers on a ficlet for a book is to cross it over with an even rarer book.

How're you all?
bironic: Fred reading a book,looking adorable (fred reading)
The Golem and the Jinni is over, leaving me filled with  :,(  :)  <3.

Their personalities and physical descriptions are different, but there were times when the Jinni reminded me of other characters I have loved. Marius, Dustfinger, Odo. Behind a cut for vague not-really-spoilers but just in case. )

My book crush on him remains undiminished. Will this lead to fic? I hope so. Because I want a lot of post-canon stories: )

The fact that somehow there are only three fics on the AO3 may help. Plus a long plane ride tomorrow followed by a few days of loosely structured vacation. But we'll see. Recent experience tempers expectations. It's a hard writing style to get right, and I'm not sure I'm up to meeting that level of characterization. Maybe jotting down those bunnies is as far as it goes. Or maybe I can channel my interest in the Jinni into finishing that Dustfinger poly story from last year.
bironic: Fred reading a book,looking adorable (fred reading)
It is a TMI sort of hormones week, which has manifested in slightly greater irritation/assertiveness and I suspect is at least partly to blame for the crush I've developed on the Jinni in The Golem and the Jinni. Also I blushed twice at work. :/

The assertiveness thing has been beneficial in that it got me a swift orthopedics appointment and two months of comped membership at the gym. My impatience was raised enough and my filters lowered enough that during an exasperating panel tonight I sent a text (containing a message that I wouldn't dare put in a work email) to my coworker who is at home recovering from a concussion and she said it cracked her up.

However, it may have made me do something stupid at work re: voicing displeasure to an HR staffer about an issue that displeased a lot of people but that no one seemed to want to confront the issue-creators (HR) about. We'll see how this shakes out. Ugh, politics. Why can't discussing things directly always be the way to go?

.

MEANWHILE, I am about halfway through The Golem and the Jinni and remain in love with it. The prose is a pleasure to read, not in the distracting way that makes you stop to admire how sentences are crafted -- or stop to tell the style to get out of the way -- but in the way where they just flow and describe a vibrant world of place and people and create an atmosphere that you want to wrap around yourself forever. The cover is beautiful with its deep blue and gold. The pages themselves even have a pleasing texture, and the font has this perfect serif that gives the words a Hebraic/Arabic flavor to suit its protagonists and their communities. (The paperback edition does have an issue with format, though, where the outer margins are nice and wide but the inner ones get swallowed by the binding.)

So: The Golem is a wonderful character. It's nice to read again about Eastern European Jewish immigrants in New York City at the turn of the 20th century. The Jinni has well constructed flaws, yet Helene Wecker is so good at writing seduction that I feel as won over as the girls he attracts while I read those scenes. (When I'm done, I've got to see if there are any AO3 stories.) This morning on the bus I enjoyed an argument the Golem and the Jinni had about the pleasures of submission/subservience, followed by the Jinni blowing a Bedouin girl's mind 1,000 years ago re: pansexuality and nonmonogamy.

Magical realism is generally a tough sell for me, but there's none of the Modern Literary Fiction obnoxiousness in the writing here that has put me off other examples. I think there's also something special about this period of city history as depicted in other works I've loved, such as Pete Hamill's book Forever and Gangs of New York and even the beginning of Winter's Tale (book version) before it got unbearable.

tl;dr I think the Jinni is sexy, and everyone who praised this book was right.

.

Figuring out what to read next is not going to be easy. Any advice? I've got a short stack of nonfiction ready to go -- A.O. Scott's new book on criticism; Pawpaw; a medical memoir I've been meaning to read since [personal profile] laurashapiro recced it last year; Best American Magazine Writing 2015 -- but another SF/F novel or two would be great for the travel that's coming up next week and the week after. Goblin Emperor? Women authors and/or characters a definite plus.

(I did put in a library request for Captive Prince, given the raptures undergone by seemingly everyone as the trilogy has progressed, but am not sure when that'll be ready.)
bironic: Neil Perry gazing out a window at night (Default)
I thought it would be fun to keep track of the movies I watch so at the end of the year I can remember what they were and to see how many I actually go through. What happened alongside this endeavor is that my decision-making process and my behavior immediately changed. I started trying to watch more to make the list longer. This week it occurred to me to switch from a numbered list to bullets. We'll see how that goes.

Here we are for Jan. 1 - Feb. 6:

24 movies )

(For the record, 6 of those were for vid research)

+ TV seasons: Mozart in the Jungle 1-2

...

Thanks for your feedback yesterday on Pride & Prejudice & Zombies. I decided to bail and picked up The Golem and the Jinni instead. Three pages in and it's already a pleasure to read. In fact, I'm debating whether to sit on it for a week and a half and bring it on the plane to/from Vancouver.

Speaking of which, went on a quest today for an outfit suitable for a gallery opening. Found this very pretty dress but it fit like a box, alas. Oh, haha, there was also a collection of dresses suitable for Star Trek cosplay. Will probably wear what I wore to [personal profile] cinco's wedding, then, or my gray plaid skirt + black top if that's not too casual; hard to tell. The trip was not entirely in vain, however; I got a green and blue gradient sweater.

We had a beautiful snowfall on Friday -- storybook icing on the tree branches once the winds died down, followed by a pink and orange sunset. All of our million inches of snow last winter was powder; none of it stuck like this. Boston Globe curated some shots. More forecast for tomorrow. Good luck to every one of us trying to get home from work in the middle of it!

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