Jan 31 2015

Goal Review and Upcoming Plans Jan/Feb 2015

First goal review of the new year! Exciting!

I Want to Read:

– Zero Sum Game by SL Huang
– Otherbound by Corinne Duyvis

I Want to Edit:

A Promise Broken

I have accomplished exactly one of the items on this list. And not the one I was most supposed to accomplish. I read Zero Sum Game by SL Huang. Other than that I’ve either been distracted by gaming (my fault entirely) or a bad cold (not my fault, but especially annoying when you’ve just solve the issue that was your fault). And then the rest of the time I had available was spent on things related to writing, but entirely getting ahead of myself, such as sorting cover issues and poking ebook layout possibilities. Which reminds me that I also still need to poke the older ones and sort those out. *adds it to the list*

So I’ll just have to make up for it in February. ^_^

I Want to Read:
– Otherbound by Corinne Duyvis
– Women Destroy Fantasy by various authors
– Shadowplay by Laura Lam

I Want to Edit:

A Promise Broken

As you can see, still staying fairly quiet. I don’t think there are any games coming out that are going to make me obsessively play them to the exclusion of everything else, so that should be fine. Still, I want to be sure that I focus on the best editing that I can.

I think it’s time for yet more lists.

Jan 24 2015

Lynn and the Influence of Sailor Moon

When I put out my call for discussion topics, Elizabeth suggested I discuss how I was introduced to Sailor Moon. And… The truth is that I don’t quite remember. I’m pretty sure I was introduced to it by a friend in my mid-teens or so, but don’t ask me who or when or why because I’ve completely forgotten. Which doesn’t make for the best of topic discussions. As you can imagine it wouldn’t! It’d be dreadfully short.

I have, however, been thinking about Sailor Moon and why it’s such an important show  to me (because yes I came into Sailor Moon through the anime rather than the manga; it’s the anime that’s nearest and dearest to my heart) a reasonable bit, largely because of the reboot giving me oh so many feels. It’s been really fascinating to watch the differences between Crystal!Usagi and Classic!Usagi. You know those lists people make of media that’s been very influential in their’s life and that people use to go “If you want to understand me better, watch/read/play this”? If I were to compile such a list, Sailor Moon Classic and, specifically, the finale of Stars, would be pretty high on my list. And by “pretty high” I mean “would probably be number 1″. My feels about that episode (and, honestly, all of Stars) are that strong. But hey I think my reaction to pretty much anything Usagi says or does in that episode is “Yes, this. So much this”, so… You know. Resonance. It is pretty overpowering.

Being the final episode of the entire show, though, discussion of it in detail would be filled to the brim with spoilers for anyone who hasn’t seen it. It deviates a bit too much from the manga, if memory serves, to spoil that storyline entirely, but even so. Spoilers galore if I tried to discuss the episode in detail. So I’ll spread it out over the whole anime. And yes if you hadn’t picked up on it yet this post is predominantly about the classic anime adaptation with the occasional foray into other versions. There will be spoilers galore for the whole Classic series! Especially for some of the earlier season finales. THERE ARE SPOILERS GALORE. YOU ARE WARNED OF SPOILERS. FOR THE MANGA, CRYSTAL, THE CLASSIC ANIME AND THE LIVE-ACTION ADAPTATION. SPOILERS ALL THE SPOILERS. (Okay, not all. But if you want to go into any of the above fresh for post-season-1 developments in Crystal, you actually want to avoid the rest of this post.)

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Jan 22 2015

Book Talk: Lightspeed Issue #49: Women Destroy Science Fiction!

Cover for Lightspeed Issue 49: Women Destroy Science Fiction.You know, I’m glad that it took me such a long time to get around to the WDSF special (and the subsequent Fantasy special, which I haven’t read at the time I’m typing this up; I’m undecided on the horror. It’s… not my genre in that “I like to sleep at night” way, so I’ll probably need prodding to read that one, sorry. Anyway.) I’m glad it took me almost forever and a day to get to this special. The issues already got a fair amount of press when they were in Kickstarter funding and right after they got released and… As important as it is, now I can schedule my ramblings about the book around the Queers Destroy SF fundraising project (It’s raising funds now.) and give you a good idea of what we got the first fundraiser around. (Spoiler: We got awesomeness.)

I do have to say that my copies are e-book copies read on a reasonably old ereader, so the artwork included is not at its best for me visually. (It is, for example, in grey scale.) If you can get the print copy, I’d recommend getting that one just so the art can shine. Normally, I try not to comment on all the stories in a collection purely because my memory for short stories is utterly atrocious. But I’m giving it a go this time around. ^_^

Fair warning: This issue is big (as in almost 200K words of fiction), so my rambling is about 4,500 words long too. You have been warned.

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Jan 17 2015

Steam Engines and Writing

On DW onewhitecrow asked me to talk about steam engines and… I have a confession to make: I know very little about steam engines. What I do know, insofar as it’s actual knowledge and not a vague blob of “I think it was like this”, is so very obvious that it doesn’t really bear mentioning. (In my opinion.) I do, however, have a whole collection of stories with steam engine protagonists.

So, instead of talking about steam engines in general, I’ll be talking about writing steam engines. Enjoy!

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Jan 15 2015

Book Talk: Under Nameless Stars

Cover for Under Nameless Stars by Christian SchoonBack in August (2014) I read Zenn Scarlett as part of my Month of Reading Strange Chemistry Books to try and get the authors some additional revenue and sales spike and their books wouldn’t have to languish in any way. Also because I’d heard a lot of good about the Strange Chemistry books in general and I’d been meaning to read some anyway. I didn’t quite read as many as I’d wanted, but I read a fair few.

Anyway. After reading Zenn Scarlett I wound up picking up Under Nameless Stars pretty quickly. I didn’t get around to reading it until December, though. And I did. It was one of the last books I read in 2014. Second last, I think.

Have the description!

After barely surviving a plot to destroy her school and its menagerie of alien patients, could things get worse for novice exoveterinarian Zenn Scarlett? Yes, they could: her absent father has been kidnapped.

Desperate to find him, Zenn stows away aboard the Helen of Troy, a starliner powered by one of the immense, dimension-jumping beasts known as Indra. With her is Liam Tucker, a Martian boy who is either very fond of her, very dangerous to her, or both. On the verge of learning the truth about her missing dad, Zenn’s quest suddenly catapults her and Liam thousands of light years beyond known space, and into the dark heart of a monstrous conspiracy.

This is your friendly neighbourhood SPOILERS warnings because one of my favourite scenes is right at the very very end. AND I’M GOING TO START WITH IT RIGHT BELOW THIS CUT. SPOILERS BELOW THE CUT.

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Jan 13 2015

Book Talk: Gaudete

Cover for Gaudete by Amy Rae DurresonAt the beginning or so of 2014, I picked up Gaudete by Amy Rae Durreson. As it’s a Christmas story (as you’ll also gather from the description that’s to follow), I decided to sit on it for about a year. Reluctantly because I love Amy’s writing, but I sat on it. I suspected that it would prove to be one of those books like Susan Cooper’s The Dark Is Rising, which is enhanced mightily by the timing of the read. It was a correct assumption, but then I’m getting ahead of myself a little. I haven’t even given the description yet. I just… wanted you all to know that going into my ramblings because, well because. It’s one of those things. I think. I’ll just… move on.

To the description of the story!

Every Christmas, child chorister Jonah Lennox used to meet Callum Noakes at Aylminster cathedral when Callum’s mother came to sell roasted chestnuts at the market. After years of friendship, an argument separates them, apparently forever. Putting away the memories of his lost friend, Jonah left the cathedral and moved on with his life.

When Jonah returns to the cathedral after ten years away, the market in the cathedral brings back memories—and Callum, who has made a life for himself as a woodturner. Upon meeting again, attraction pulls them together, and the holiday may inspire their old friendship to mature into new romance.

And before you click through the cut: remember that herein lie spoilers and Amy is a good friend of mine. I do have bias. (But not about the writing. The writing’s genuinely that good. <3)

So you have been warned. Spoilers lie herein.

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Jan 02 2015

Monthly Goals December 2014/January 2015

Meep! How the year has flown. Feels like yesterday that it was August and look where we are now! Another year over, another year older. Another set of goals to reach for a new month.

Here’s the list of old stuff just as a reminder of what I wanted to do in December.

I Want to Read:
– Lightspeed Issue #49: Women Destroy Science Fiction!
– Under Nameless Stars by Christian Schoon

I Want to Write:
Ribbit Charles Wilson

I accomplished the reading goal! I actually read about six books this month. (If you’re curious, that’s significantly down from previous years where I read about 15 books on average.) I failed utterly on the writing goal, but that’s largely because I spent all my writing time this month on polishing up A Promise Broken. I’m close to done. The whole month turned out a little more eventful than I’d anticipated, so I didn’t quite get to the very end before 2015 began.

Not counting my editing in December, I wrote about 217,073 words of fiction, though a chunk of these were various drafts of the same story. The spreadsheet I use works by days rather than projects, so I didn’t keep decent stats on how much was what. Still. That’s about a novel less than last year, which makes sense when I consider the struggle some of these pieces were. Although I’m having to tell myself very firmly that this is not as shabby as I think it is and I really need to learn not to compare myself to people who can work at the speed of 500,000 words a year when I know that’s not (at present) a feasible number for me. 250,000 is perfectly respectable. That’s five 50K novels’ worth, after all.

So for January I’m starting off slow.

I Want to Read:
– Zero Sum Game by SL Huang
– Otherbound by Corinne Duyvis

I Want to Edit:
A Promise Broken

See? Slow. This is partially because we’re continuing the whole trend where I expect my months to be more complicated than I assume. Ideally I’d finish A Promise Broken in a few days (actually, ideally I’d already be done) and switch to a short story project I’ve been putting off. (Because evolutionary genetics hurts my brain. It’ll be so worth it, but ow my brain.) I also have thinky thoughts on energy and social spoons. Well, and me. And I want to talk about Under Nameless Stars. And I want to sort the blog out a little more. I’m still on official hiatus until mid-January, so if there’s anything you particularly want me to be aware of please drop me a note, thank you!

Dec 31 2014

Reading/Watching/Gaming/Etc December 2014

Final installment of the monthly “What has Lynn been up to?” post of the year 2014! :O I’ll see you again next year! For now, let’s just poke at what December has brought in terms of posting.

What I've Posted

What I've Read

Donegal Folk Tales by Joe Brennan: Alas, this book was brought low by the formatting and I not agreeing in the least. They’re about what you’d expect from the title, but I didn’t get on with the formatting. (I’m sorry. I’m a comma snob. I have flexibility when I’m reading for pleasure, but I’m still a comma snob.) I feel bad for the stories because I really did enjoy them. There were a couple of variants I’m pretty sure I hadn’t managed to encounter too. ^_^

Gaudete by Amy Rae Durreson: My thoughts to come in January. Sneak peek: This novella made it onto my ‘best of 2014′ list. Despite being a genre I ordinarily never read. (I’m a speculative fiction girl. It takes a lot to get me to like contemporary realistic fiction enough to finish it.) But this was adorable and gorgeous.

Kaleidoscope by various authors: It is a sad, sad thing when you’re reading an athology dedicated to showing diversity in YA and you spend every single story pleasantly surprised by the diversity in it. That’s not the anthology’s fault, of course, but the environment that anthology is published in. I really, really, really liked this anthology. Like all anthologies there were a couple of stories that didn’t work for me, but overall I was incredibly happy and impressed with them. ^_^ If you like YA fiction and diversity, this is well worth checking out.

Lightspeed 49: Women Destroy Science Fiction by various authors: My thoughts can be read in late January. For now, I shall leave you with this not-quite-a-spoiler: Eeeeee! SHINY.

Sisters of Icarus by Becca Lusher: Betareading was this, so… I’m shushing. I look forward to rereading it eventually, though. Becca’s decided to postpone the release for a while, but I know it’ll be worth the wait. ^_^

Under Nameless Stars by Christian Schoon: My thoughts are still percolating. I didn’t like it as much as the first book, largely because I didn’t much like Jules as a character, and because Zenn’s veterinary life takes an understandable backseat. (Also I wanted more Katie. *waves her Team Rikkaset flag*) I wouldn’t recommend reading this on its own nor with a large gap between this and the first book. It doesn’t stand alone well. It is, however, a fun space adventure story that didn’t quite go where I’d expected it to go. I’m just sad it’s a duology rather than something a bit longer because I wasn’t quite ready to say goodbye to the universe at large. I hope to get my thoughts in order for a longer comment in January.

What I'm Currently Reading

Forests of the Heart by Charles de Lint: Yep. Still convincing my brain I need to finish this. (I adored what I read, but. Somehow I just can’t convince myself to pick it up again. It’s weird.)

What I've Played

Bravely Default Demo: It’s a game that I’ve been curious about for a while, so when I saw it had a demo I decided to give it a try. I enjoyed most of the demo, even though JRPGs aren’t really my thing. I’ve eventually bounced off all the ones I’ve tried. (It’s the random encounters, mostly.) It doesn’t tell you much about the storyline or the characters, which is a shame, but it does seem to showcase most all of the gameplay on offer and that’s what most people are after. All in all, I realise that I’m not the target market, but hopefully the fact that the demo manages to intrigue me enough to consider buying it at a reduced price to try anyway is helpful to people wavering. It’s got an interesting and versatile combat system that I quite enjoyed.

Dragon Age: Inquisition: It has finally stopped crashing every other cutscene. This game is pretty. Still not fond of the plot, although I give it kudos for switching gears so fast. Also, the companions. I’ve been having so much fun with the banter and conversations. Also, Dorian. And Krem. I REALLY WANT KREM IN MY PARTY. I suspect this one will take me forever to finish the first run of. I have thoughts and feels I have not the vocabulary for at the moment.

What I've Watched

Catching Fire: I enjoyed this one! I’ve been very slow at watching the films, as you can see, but I did enjoy it. I’m not sure it worked the way I’d wanted it to since it felt like there were important bits missing, but I did like seeing it. (And apparently I still need to get used to films that end on cliff-hangers because trilogy.)

Mars Needs Moms: It’s a sweet idea and I enjoyed the (voice) acting, but it’s a predictable story and most of the developments only worked for me because That’s How The Story Goes. I was disappointed, even though I had pretty low expectations going into it. Still, it’s a film that I could see myself renting to watch with mum for Mother’s Day if I were a lot younger.

Sailor Moon Crystal: My thoughts are here. (ALL THE SPOILERS warning.)

Tron: Legacy: Eh. (Nope, apologies. That’s all I’ve got. Eh.) I was neither very impressed nor entertained. Maybe it would’ve helped if I’d seen the original first? I just spent most of the film going “And I should care because?..”

Dec 29 2014

Plans for 2015

Welcome back to my discussion of writing end-of-year posts! Yesterday’s post covered 2010 up to 2014, as a reminder. Today’s post, as you can see from the title, features the plans for 2015. It actually covers a much longer term than a year, but I like the possibility of being flexible. Announcing details of my plans through to 2020 or so would make me feel a little stuck to deliver on them. So I either have to hedge or I’d have to not talk about it. I’m picking option number 2. Maybe next year I’ll feel differently. We’ll see. For now, let me just show you what my 2015 plans are. If you’re not interested in the writing and only care about the blogging, scroll down to ‘2015 in Blogging’.

Like yesterday’s post: this one does not discuss or mention the effects of VATMOSS. I know it’s important, but it’s also the end of the year. (Well, almost.) Let me focus on the positive things.

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