Reading Wednesday

Oct. 18th, 2017 09:35 pm
muccamukk: Jeff standing in the dark, face half shadowed. (B5: All Alone in the Night)
[personal profile] muccamukk
What I Just Finished Reading
The House at Riverton by Kate Morton, narrated by Caroline Lee
Very enjoyable mystery/gothic history novel largely set in the 1920s. (I feel like Julien Fallows probably owes Morton money). I liked how the storylines intertwined and how each person's interest in the history changed how they saw it. The love triangle at the centre was probably the least interesting aspect, and I wish the story had had more focus on Grace, as the sections without her dragged a bit. Will read more by this author, in any case.

Bearista by Zoe Chant
Does what it says on the tin, though I could have used more coffeeshop UST, as those scenes were a highlight. However the main couple had great chemistry, and I liked how the heroine was strong, interesting and useful in a fight without being an action girl. Zoe is really good at heroines that feel real.
(I hope there's a sequel about Keegan and maybe a carpenter lady.)

A Long Day in Lychford (Lychford #3) by Paul Cornell
I really liked the emotion in this book, and how the characters were at odds for good reason. The feelings were very well conveyed, especially Lizzie's inability to connect with the other two. However, it felt a bit short to deal with all the themes it was trying to get in, and a lot of plot threads didn't feel resolved at all. Presumably they will be in the next one, but I wasn't left feeling like I'd read a whole story as I was with the first two. (Unless the fragmentation was itself a meta point.)

The End of Days by Jenny Erpenbeck, translated by Susan Bernofsky
I mean, it's a book in which the main character (and most of the other characters) dies repeatedly and often horribly, but it's just really pretty okay! I don't know what to say past wow, shiny about the writing and the structure and the themes, and it's just really meaningful! I want to learn German so I can read it in German.

What I'm Reading Now
Audio: In the middle of a Station Eleven reread, as I've been thinking about it recently. Still really good!

Paper: Theoretically, Beren and Lúthien, practically, not much.

What I'm Reading Next
Library book, probably Black Apple as it's due next.

007

Oct. 18th, 2017 11:28 pm
damalur: (Default)
[personal profile] damalur
@femdeku said: Hawke / Varric - "Unrequited."

Sometimes, when it was late and they were both languid and tipsy, he could get the sort of answers out of her that she would never have surrendered under other circumstances. Hawke was funny like that — you had to come at her sideways, with care, because she'd spook and bolt if you approached her head-on. It was like all the wariness, all the fear that she didn't ever exhibit in the thick of battle was saved up and brought out only when she was faced with a personal conversation. She'd be quite happy to let you think she never felt any emotions other than amusement, curiosity, and self-gratification. The rareness of it made her anger truly terrible to behold, and her grief even more terrible.

Which didn't explain how Varric had stumbled into this conversation.

It was late enough that the Herald's Rest was empty. Even Cabot had retired for the night, although not without a firm admonishment to the remaining pair still drinking by the fire. Most of the lanterns had been doused, making it seem like the only light came from the low red bank of the fire. Varric and Hawke both sat in chairs positioned before the hearth — bottle between them, legs stretched towards the heat — although Hawke's legs stretched considerably further than Varric's.

"Surely you're joking," said Hawke.

Read more... )

Mostly Links

Oct. 17th, 2017 08:44 am
muccamukk: Laura and Jubilee sitting together on a tree branch. Text: Sittin' in a tree. (Marvel: Sittin' in a Tree)
[personal profile] muccamukk
Bidding is open over at [community profile] fandomlovespuertorico.

[community profile] cap_ironman is accepting prompts for its holiday exchange community prompt pool. Read more here.

"Native-Land.ca: Our home on native land". Searchable map of North America's First Nations territories and pre-colonial histories. "There are over 630 different First Nations in Canada (and many more in the USA) and I am not sure of the right process to map territories, languages, and treaties respectfully - and I'm not even sure if it is possible to do respectfully. I am not at all sure about the right way to go about this project, so I would very much appreciate your input." (From [personal profile] umadoshi)

Death of a Modern Wolf by J.B. MacKinnon for Hakai Magazine
Once feared, vilified, and exterminated, the wolves of Vancouver Island face an entirely different threat: our fascination, our presence, and our selfies.

This wolf essay is really worth a read. I've worked with similar problems here (and know many of the people interviewed for the article), and it really frustrating and sad. Fortunately, our local animal has so far come to a happier ending.

(On a related note, I'll post the quiz answers this afternoon.)

Reading the News

Oct. 16th, 2017 12:38 pm
muccamukk: A basket with a seal in it. Text: WTF!? (Politics: Phoque (WTF!?))
[personal profile] muccamukk
(Canadian Edition)

Oh hey that's kind of cool: Mi'kmaq Grand Council flag symbol of change, acceptance for Indigenous Nova Scotians.

And they're adding an acknowledging the land bit in all their publications. Baby steps, but steps all the same. Good for you, Nova Scotia.

FUCK YOU, QUEBEC: Quebec set to pass law banning face coverings for anyone receiving public service — even a bus ride. (Couillard government will hold vote on Bill 62 aimed at establishing 'neutrality of the state.')

No, seriously, what is the matter with Quebec!? (I mean, I know the answer is "racism" but still, wow.)

Not Canadian, but cool: Black Panther trailer.

Conclusion: T'Challa's mom is SMOKING. I'm sorry. I'm shallow. (but she IS.)

006

Oct. 15th, 2017 11:49 pm
damalur: (Default)
[personal profile] damalur
@musicalheart168 said: Anything Hawke x Varric, let’s be real

I hope you're enjoying this. I much prefer being written to (or about) to having written, but yes, all right, I'll concede that a near-death incident is enough to win you a proper response, if only because I apparently need to remind you that you aren't allowed to die yet. I have a signed contract saying so, and you dwarves are sticklers for contracts. Brief aside: I took great amusement in imagining your reaction at being lumped in with "you dwarves."

My hand already hurts, Varric. Why in the world would you do this for fun?

Hang on a moment -- there we go, back again. Carver was rooting around in my pack for something. Gave him a kick in the rear. Serves him right, the idiot; I knew someone was stealing my jerky.

Anyway, it's a good thing you provided me with this list of questions as a guide to letter-composition (Hawke said sarcastically). You can be a bit of a control freak, Varric, has anyone ever told you that? Other than me -- my memory isn't so bad I don't remember mentioning it half a dozen times.

Oh, fine. On with the letter.

1. Dear Varric,

(That was admittedly a bit belated, but I never really feel as though our conversations have beginning and ends -- it seems that even on paper, we're halfway into the discussion already.)

2. I live!

(Didn't you indicate this is the most crucial piece of information to convey? Vaguely recall something about "life and livelihood," perhaps paired with an admonishment about concealing injuries. In the interest of honesty, I offer a complete catalog:

Read more... )

Back, Media Reviews, Plans

Oct. 14th, 2017 08:45 am
muccamukk: Text: "We're way over our daily quota of emo." (RoL: Daily Quota of Emo)
[personal profile] muccamukk
So I wasn't gone gone, but I did spend less time online, and read a lot, and I think that settled me out a bit?

My conclusion, after all that, is that Discord and I are not mixy things. I keep picking fights on it, and it's not a good look, and I should just... not. (Nenya: "You pick fights on tumblr at the time!" Me: "But I MEAN to pick fights on tumblr; they just sort of happen on Discord.") Since I don't have the bandwidth for tumblr (fights or no fights), my ip is blocked on irc, and I don't understand twitter, I'm going to try to post more here. Hooray! (And since the site went to HTTPS, I don't get randomly logged out any more! Double Hooray!)

I mean to do a picture post soon too.

TV Watched:
Also think I need to not watch Star Trek Discovery right now. I can't add "and Starfleet sucks" to my list of problems this year.

Watched the new episode of Legends of Tomorrow (3x01) and enjoyed having my silly show back. I think that they made the Legends look worse than they (usually) are for effect, and I'm wondering what Rip's DEAL is, but yay! Silly show back! Now we just need to finish getting the band back together.

Movies Watched (mostly as perspective yuletide offers):
Hidden Figures (2016), which was not as good as the book, had enough NASA over-simplification to make my eye twitch, and really didn't need Kevin Costner in it that much, if at all, BUT was otherwise delightful. It's hard to say no to a movie whose premise is "Woman walks into room and does math, everyone cheers!" I liked the differences in approach of the three main characters, their interactions and friendships, and how they each figured out how to get through. Also: SPACE!

The Big Country (1958), which was the first Gregory Peck western I've seen where he didn't try to rape anyone, and therefore the best of the three. Otherwise it didn't blow me a way. The filming was gorgeous, and he was pretty slashy with Charlton Heston, but the romances were a bit flat, and the feud that drove the storyline was predictable (though a step up from The Yearling with Righteous Poverty vs Unrighteous Poverty, but isn't everything a step up from The Yearling?) Anyway, nice to have that man's face on my screen again.

Moonlight (2016), since Nenya hadn't seen it. Perfect. Beautiful. Loved it all over again. Amusing cast overlap with Hidden Figures.

Books read (I keep missing Reading Wednesday, so here we go):
Flying Close to the Sun: My Life and Times as a Weatherman by Cathy Wilkerson
Reading this back to back with Assata, one couldn't help but notice that this was longer than it needed to be, but on the other hand, I'm young enough to have appreciated the context Wilkerson provided. I also appreciated the constant call backs in how she talked about her thinking at the time, and what allowed her and blocked her from seeing the flaws in it. It gave a really good read on what it felt like to be in a cult, and how Wilkerson emotionally progressed to the point where she needed to be in one. Also why she left and how that felt.

Island of the Lost: Shipwrecked at the Edge of the World by Joan Druett, narrated by David Colacci
Absolutely fascinating read. The author is largely pulling from the published accounts (plus ship's logs) of the voyages, but tells the stories well, and ads in great biological context to the adventure story. The contrast between the two groups of shipwreck victims was fascinating, and I love all the details of how one group was able to build things and prosper (though poor seals).

The Woman in Black by Susan Hill, narrated by Paul Ansdell
Solid ghost story. I enjoyed listening to it as the narrator was very good.

Her Every Wish (The Worth Saga #1.5) by Courtney Milan
I was like, That's it! I've had a day! I'm reading a romance novel. And this was a good romance novel. I liked the heroine's determination to make her plan work, and her conflict with the hero was believable and came to a reasonable resolution, as did the plot. It didn't on the whole have any of the delight that I associate with Milan well done. I miss the Brothers Sinister series.

Me Sexy: An Exploration of Native Sex and Sexuality edited by Drew Hayden Taylor
I really enjoyed this. I loved how varied the essays included were, and especially that it included three queer authors all with very different perspectives. I liked the language lessons, and the essays that dealt with the effects settlers had on the different cultures. It was very well put together, informative, and often funny. I probably could have lived without the Boyden essay. I often don't get his writing.

Ban This Book by Alan Gratz
Super cute middle grade book about a 4th grader who accidentally starts a library out of her locker, and then ends up taking a stand on freedom of speech. It was very sweet and quite funny, and most of the kids actually sounded like they were 10-11. It was probably a touch didactic, but not annoyingly so.

Braiding Sweetgrass: Indigenous Wisdom, Scientific Knowledge and the Teachings of Plants by Robin Wall Kmmerer
Loved this book. Loved the combination of cultural history and beliefs, personal experience and science. Loved the compassion and insight of the storytelling. Loved the descriptions of plantlife in all the places she'd lived and loved. Loved the ideas, and proposed solutions. Need to read again soon.

Did Not Finish:
Legacy (The Sharing Knife #2) by Lois McMaster Bujold
I read two hundred pages of this and realised that I didn't actually care, skimmed to the end and sent it back to the library. I enjoyed the first one a fair bit, so I'm not sure from whence my apathy about this one, but I sure wasn't invested in a story that should have been my jam. Oh well.

The Secret Agent by Joseph Conrad
Listened to a hour and a bit of the audiobook, and was pretty put off, basically. The narrator was overacting, but mostly it was so dreary and had some really odd fatphobia stuff. I'm... probably missing the point.

Ice Diaries: An Antarctic Memoir by Jean McNeil
I'm 100 pages in. I've been 100 pages in for... a while. The writing itself is gorgeous and insightful, but I'm just not invested in this woman's life. Back to the library it goes.

Links

Oct. 13th, 2017 02:12 pm
muccamukk: Mei-Ling and Duncan sitting by the fire. (HL: Conversation)
[personal profile] muccamukk
American politics:
Pull The Football - Save the World
(Even if you're not American, spreading the word seems like a good idea.)

Rebecca Solnit on Harvey Weinstein, Hillary Clinton, and Blaming Women for the Acts of Men. Or, An Incomplete List of Things That Are Not Men's Fault.
(I have spoken. Which I do. Which is one of my faults; I am crafting an apology for that out of dynamite and backhoes which will be ready presently.)

Fandom:
Highlander Secret Sants Sign Ups!
(Open through the 15th)

005

Oct. 11th, 2017 12:19 am
damalur: (Default)
[personal profile] damalur
Anonymous: One shot bianca dealing with hawke/varric. <3

"She's not what I expected."

"Who?" Varric said. "Hawke?" He dragged his eyes away from her and finally looked at Bianca, who remembered a time when she'd been able to immediately command his attention with no more than her presence. He had a dozen other things to occupy him now, not the least of which was the tall human woman consulting with her brother on the other side of the hall.

They'd been so young then. Too young, although Varric had always seemed just a little bit younger. It was all those stories, going to his head, buoying him above the waterline when the weight of his world threatened to pull him under. And then there was her own fatal flaw, which was that she had to take everything apart to figure out how it worked. She didn't have patience for fiction.

"Hawke," Bianca said. "She's a brassy one, isn't she? I always thought you needed a sobering influence, even if you are a tangled ball of worry, but you went in the opposite direction instead."

"I haven't talked about her that much," Varric protested.

"And that speaks volumes," Bianca said. "Anyway, I read your book about her. Caught a case of hero-worship, haven't you?"

He snorted. "Please. Trust me when I say that I've seen Hawke at her best and at her worst."

"Have you now?" she said. He was slow to catch her tone, but when he did, bam, there it was: all his focus, right on her. Varric largely came across as a mild sort of man -- friendly, good-humored, a little stubborn, maybe a touch roguish, but overall easy-natured. He was slow to change his mind and sometimes a touch too complacent. But what people didn't realize was what lay behind all that: the slow molten devotion, the sharpness, the protectiveness, the watchful edge and guile. She used to live for the moment when she had all that heed trained on her.

From over and away, Hawke let out a loud cackle of laughter, and just like that, Varric's gaze slid away again. Ah, well -- it had never really been more than borrowed in the first place.

"You know," Bianca said, "I'm glad you have her, Varric. I really am."

His answering smile was a little rueful, a little grateful, and more than a little crooked. "Yeah," he said. "Me, too."

004

Oct. 9th, 2017 09:52 pm
damalur: (Default)
[personal profile] damalur
Anonymous: for a prompt, varric/hawke, "all sorrows can be borne if you put them in a story"

"It won't work, you know," said Hawke. She was drinking her very fine, very dark stout nonetheless, but she found she had little patience for these sorts of games anymore. Wonder of wonders – and she'd always thought her patience with Varric infinite.

"What won't work?" he said.

"This," Hawke said. "All of it. I might be cracked, but I'm not stupid, Varric. The tavern, the beer, the music, the company – how much did you play that minstrel to switch to Ferelden folk songs? And an inn like this should have thirty crowded around its fireplace, not three." They were at the corner of a busy crossroads, and although the hour was late, there wasn't an empty room to be had, but other than the minstrel playing softly in a corner across the room and a pair of thoroughly-soaked messengers, there wasn't a customer in sight.

"Thought you might now be in the mood for a crowd," said Varric. "Come on, Champion – "

"No," she said. "Don't call me that."

Read more... )

Happy Thanksgiving!

Oct. 8th, 2017 03:34 pm
muccamukk: Charissa looking down at someone. Text: Yeah (Sarcasm Implied) (A-Team: Yeah...)
[personal profile] muccamukk
I have been having a non-amazing weekend (which will hopefully pick up?) and spending to much online is turning me into a cranky murder panda. So I think I'm going to take a bit of a fandom break until next weekend.

It's not anything on DW, especially, and certainly not anything all y'all are doing, I just need to clear my head.

003

Oct. 8th, 2017 10:23 am
damalur: (Default)
[personal profile] damalur
Anonymous: As for a distraction, I'm terrible with prompts, but maybe some good ol' MCU as family? Team bonding? Tony trying to get everyone else into Risk?

“What we have here,” Tony said, “is a failure to communicate. No, hang on, let me be clear: what we have here is a failure to communicate the basic concept of the game.”

“Tony, man,” said Rhodey, “I have played Risk before.”

“Really? Because you’re losing badly enough that I wasn’t sure knew you’re supposed to be trying to win.”

“Hey, don’t look at me,” Rhodey said. “I’m an invalid.”

“I was given to understand that Risk is a game that tests strategic reasoning. Given Colonel Rhodes’ occupation, one would assume he would win quite easily.” The Vision paused, blinked, and invaded Siberia. “Which merely proves that assumptions are dangerous.”

“Did I just get trash-talked by a robot?”

“He’s not a robot,” Tony said, at the same time as the Vision said, “I am not a robot.”

“I got trash-talked by a robot,” Rhodey said. “A robot. Incredible.”

“I am a fully self-aware synthetic being,” the Vision said. “More correctly, an android.”

“Most correctly, a mandroid,” Tony said. “Oh, come on, don’t look at me like you’re a dog trying to figure out quantum tunneling. We all know you understand humor.” Somewhere hidden deep inside the Vision was a kernel of JARVIS that remembered both sarcasm and those early days spent playing Risk when Tony was still trying to perfect machine learning.

Perfectly straight-faced, the Vision said, “Perhaps you aren’t as funny as you think you are, sir,” and started to lay siege to Mongolia.

002

Oct. 7th, 2017 09:30 pm
damalur: (Default)
[personal profile] damalur
Anonymous: maybe some carver/merrill?

Read more... )

001

Oct. 7th, 2017 09:27 pm
damalur: (Default)
[personal profile] damalur
Anonymous: Varric/Hawke, URT, idiots in denial, Varric POV? :D

She found the note in a ledger, where it was being used as a bookmark. It forewent any address whatsoever and instead started mid-lamentation, like the author was halfway through a thought before he’d bothered to pick up a pen.

But it’s been three years, which lends a little perspective, if not a little relief, and I wouldn’t mind setting the record straight at least once. You’re right, there’s plenty that didn’t make it into the official accounts. I never exactly exaggerated, but I did omit liberally, both in the story itself and in what I told the Champion.

Our first meeting wasn’t nearly as coincidental as I let on. I guess you figured that one out by yourself. She’d already developed something of a reputation – the sort of reputation that made Bartrand turn up his nose – but it caught my interest. There was a dash of crazy in there, sure, and she was an absolute scoundrel right from the beginning, but there was no denying that she got shit done. I put myself in her path in the interest of hiring someone competent and dangerous, but I didn’t really need to orchestrate a show to make that happen. She needed money, and I had an attractive offer; it was a simple enough business transaction – but if I’m laying all my cards on the table, I’ll admit that I wanted to impress her right from the start.

Have you ever… Maker’s tits, this is going to make me sound exactly like the asshole
artiste Orlais’s literary circles think I aspire to be… but have you ever met someone you immediately knew was your match? Or, if you want me to be even more flowery: I adored her. She thought she was hard to love, but damn if I wasn’t head-over-feet from the minute I first clapped eyes on her. And part of it was knowing that she liked me right back – not, maybe, in the way I cared for her, but I never once doubted the depth of her devotion.

If you’re looking for a confession, then yes, there it is. I’ve never been able to decide if I regret withholding that information from her; she marched into the Fade still believing I was hung up on Bianca, but maybe that was for the best – she never gave me any indication she felt the same way, and on top of being something of a coward when it comes to delicate personal matters, I wasn’t about to throw away the best partnership I’d ever had for a mere roll in the hay.

I am aware that the Maker is having his revenge on me right now, though. You know, she told me once she’d never gotten a love letter, and here I am, writing her one that I’m sending to someone else. Not like she’s around to read it, anyway. The truth only hurts the poor bastards who are left standing at the end of the day.


“You’d think so, wouldn’t you?” said the woman who had found the note, and then she went off with her letter in hand to address herself to the author.

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