Month: September 2014

Book Talk: Earthrise

Posted September 27, 2014 by Lynn E. O'Connacht in Books, Other People's Creations / 0 Comments

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Cover for Earthrise by M.C.A. HogarthAt the point of my writing this, I’m a grand total of four (or five if you count the first Vinnie the Armadillo book) books away from catching up on M.C.A. Hogarth’s backlist. HUZZAH! For those of you yet unaware of my admiration of Hogarth’s skill, I offer up the following comparison: I’ve discovered her works last year or so, two years ago at the absolute most, and she’s published a good 22 books, not counting short story singles. I finally got on with Terry Pratchett enough to want to read everything ten years ago and I’m still not caught up to his backlist. (I’m getting there, though! I think I’m about 10 books away from catching up.) Diana Wynne Jones? About halfway through her works and I discovered her about 7 years ago.

I count all three among my favourite authors, but clearly something about Hogarth’s work has me binge-reading it to catch up in ways other authors don’t manage. I’ve been putting off Earthrise for a while for a variety of reasons. I was going to read it in August, but then opted to support Strange Chemistry instead and so September it became. ^_^

Anyway! Enough about me! Let me tell you what Earthrise is about.

Reese Eddings has enough to do just keeping her rattletrap merchant vessel, the TMS Earthrise, profitable enough to pay food for herself and her micro-crew. So when a mysterious benefactor from her past shows up demanding she rescue a man from slavers, her first reaction is to say “NO!” And then to remember that she sort of promised to repay the loan. But she doesn’t remember signing up to tangle with pirates and slavers over a space elf prince…

There you go. That’s what the book is about. Sounds pretty neat, doesn’t it? It sounds exactly like the kind of science fiction that should work really well for me. Also can I just point you all to the words “space elf prince”? I really really do not need more than that to get me interested.

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Signalboosts & Links

Posted September 26, 2014 by Lynn E. O'Connacht in Miscellaneous / 2 Comments

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Links Round-up

Let’s start with the signal-boosting of this very special linking post.

First up, there’s MisSpelled, a webseries featuring a diverse female cast about witches. It’s got, at the time of this writing, a little over two days to raise 50,000 to fund the rest of the season. I spent some time earlier today to watch the first four episodes and the promo and I’d happily recommend it. I really hope the webseries can get funded and find its stride because it looks like something superawesome that I’d love to see more of.

Author Lyn Thorne-Alder has written a lovely overview of what you need to know to start a webserial. The recently released anthology What Follows also has a short story by Lyn. You can read a little more about the anthology here.

Becca Lusher, meanwhile, has announced the release of a short companion novel for Unbound and Free. Be With Me will be released on October 1st for free. You can read more about the announcement here. She’s also announced that she’ll be pulling Orion’s Kiss, her debut collection, from all non-Amazon retailers soon to go Amazon-exclusive as an experiment on the first of October, so if you’ve been curious about her near-future dystopian introduction to the Aekhartain and don’t want to deal with Amazon, be sure to pick it up before Wednesday!

Meanwhile, Elizabeth Barrette has been interviewed by Amazing Stories. You can find the first half of the interview here. It also comes with two audio recordings of Elizabeth’s poems for you to enjoy!

Courtesy of Elizabeth, there is also this story about a clothing line designed specifically for people with Down syndrome.

Courtesy of Elizabeth Fitzgerald comes this signalboosting post with details about more Conflux workshops, Hachette Australia looking for authors, and a note about Dewey’s 24-Hour Readathon come October.

This post contains some useful information for freelancing bloggers who need to set up and manage invoices.

The Book Smugglers have started up a round table about diverse mythical creatures. You can read the first part here and the second part here.

For the artistic and visually inclined, have some utterly stunning examples of bodypainting.

Lastly, have a song by Bars and Melody from Britain’s Got Talent. It comes with a content note for bullying.

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Reading Habits

Posted September 26, 2014 by Lynn E. O'Connacht in Miscellaneous / 4 Comments

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Daily Life. The text 'Lynn's Living Life' underneath the cameo silhouette of a woman. Daily life updates.

Another meme I’ve sort-of nicked from The Bibliophibian. (But Nikki finds such fun things!)

(1) Do you have a certain place for reading at home?

Not really. I tend to curl up on my bed, but that’s because my bed is wonderfully comfortable. I’m as happy curling up on a chair or a couch. So… I suppose it’s not so much that I have a certain place for reading as I do a certain way of reading. I like curling up with whatever I’m reading or have the space to sprawl, so any place that lets me do that comfortably is good for me. ^_^

(2) Do you use a bookmark or a random piece of paper?

Usually, when I’m reading a paper book I use two bookmarks. They tend to be the small magnetic kind since they stay put. I know not everyone likes them, but I find them quite handy. They do need to have small magnets, though! Ones where the whole bookmark is magnet I dislike.

Anyway, I do use just paper if, for example, I’ve just bought a book and started reading it with no bookmark at hand. I just don’t like it. I’m a bookmark person and may have started the tiniest collection of them. Pretty things.

I have two bookmarks because I tend to prefer breaking things down. I use the first bookmark to mark my place and the second to mark where I’d ideally like to get to in a reading session. I’m not sure how much sense that makes, but it gives me a reason to get up and walk a bit or get something to eat.

(3) Can you just stop reading or does it need to be at the end of a chapter or a certain number of pages?

This ties in so nicely with the previous question for me! I don’t actually need to stop at the bookmark, though I prefer it. And I prefer to use my second bookmark to note the nearest chapter (or scene) break after 100 pages. I can stop anywhere I like, even in the middle of a sentence, but I really really don’t like doing it. I prefer ending things on a chapter, or at least the ending of a paragraph. Just a period will do. But I vastly prefer to read about 100 pages per reading session.

(4) Do you eat or drink while reading?

I’l drink while reading, but not eating. I’m not sure why. It’s as easy to put a sandwich down as it is a mug, after all. I do need both hands to read paper books usually, though, so maybe that has something to do with it?

(5) Do you read one book at a time or several at once?

It depends. I vastly prefer to read only one book at a time, but I frequently find myself reading two. It’s actually one of the things I like about ereaders. They make me read just one book on them because I hate the effort of switching between them. With paper books I’m much more likely to be reading several at once. Never more than four or five, though, and it’s usually because one book is proving a particularly slow read that I don’t touch all that often. It took me about a year to read The Tale of Genji, for example, because I needed so much time away to read something else. Right now, the book that’s taking a long time is Forests of the Heart by Charles de Lint. I’m not settling into it just yet, so I tend to be slower and read other books in between. Once I hit my stride, it’ll default to The Book I’m Reading properly.

(6) Do you read out loud or silently in your head?

In my head.

(7) Do you ever read ahead or skip pages?

Very, very rarely. I don’t mind spoilers, but if I’m reading ahead or skipping pages it usually means I’m looking for something to convince me to keep reading or to be proven wrong in an assumption I’d really like to be wrong about. The latter isn’t always negative, though.

(8) Breaking the spine or keeping it new?

Keeping it new. Actually, I’m not too fussed about it either way, but I seem to have a knack for reading with little damage to the spine. (It can be very useful for bookish presents I also want to read.)

(9) Do you write in your books?

Of course not! I use those little adhesive papers that don’t damage the pages if I use anything at all.

(10) What are you currently reading?

Forests of the Heart by Charles de Lint and Earthise by M.C.A. Hogarth. It isn’t a reading month apparently.

Tagging: Anyone who wants to play along!

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Film Talk: Sailor Moon Crystal (Episode 5 & 6)

Posted September 25, 2014 by Lynn E. O'Connacht in Film & TV, Other People's Creations / 0 Comments

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Sailor Moon Crystal: Act 5, Makoto, Sailor Jupiter Sailor Moon Crystal: Act 6, Tuxedo Mask

I’m a little late with my posts this month! I’m really sorry. I’ve been incredibly busy with a lot of things and I’ve been out on the days the episodes aired and completely wiped out when I did see them. But here I am at last.

As always, spoilers lie below the cut. And I am not a happy little lynnetbird, so expect all-caps as well. Lots of them. Unhappy Lynn is terribly unhappy. WHY!?

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Redecorating

Posted September 23, 2014 by Lynn E. O'Connacht in News / 2 Comments

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Daily Life. The text 'Lynn's Living Life' underneath the cameo silhouette of a woman. Daily life updates.

This is going to be a fairly quick post as I still need to get ready for my day-job in… about 15 minutes? I’m really happy to get to the point where I can write something up, though.

The past few days have seen me redecorate the blog with a new look (thanks to Creative Whim!) and a new general layout. Some of those are changes you’ll be able to see right now, but I’m still working out some of the chinks (see: have at most 15 minutes to write this today), so the official announcements will have to wait.

What it means for Little Lion Lynnet’s itself, though, is more blogging and hopefully more signal boosting for others. We’ll see how it goes, but that’s the general gist of it. I’m most just writing this up to point at the shiny new layout and features. (Innit pretty?)

Some things may be temporarily broken as I sort them out. Please don’t hesitate to let me know if anything is wonky and I’ll have a shiny and official update about everything ASAP!

Meanwhile, have fun looking at the shinies!

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Cover Reveal: Tales of the Little Engine

Posted September 22, 2014 by Lynn E. O'Connacht in News / 0 Comments

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Jan would like nothing more than to carry people across the mountains like the big trains do. When the steam train gets the chance to do just that, will it manage? And will it find happiness?

Together with its canine friend Mister Whiskers, the bravest little engine finds itself right in the middle of several magical mysteries. The narrow pass between its hometown of Vawick and the city of Dunnsbridge is haunted by the Nethertrain and its minions, but the bravest little engine isn’t afraid. When the Nethertrain learns of the little engine’s intrusion, it is furious. Can the bravest little engine and Mister Whiskers find a way to stop the Nethertrain once and for all?

Accompanied by two essays on the influences and ideas behind the stories, “Tales of the Little Engine” collects some of the adventures of two very different little steam engines. Join Jan as it learns that, sometimes, dreams come true slightly differently from how we think they should or tag along with the bravest little engine as it travels around Vawick and Dunnsbridge.


As another experiment, I’ve enrolled Tales of the Little Engine into Kindle Select for the first three months to see what happens. Tales of the Little Engine is available for pre-order on Amazon right now and will be released on October 8th, 2014.

I’m really excited to be sharing this collection soon. I thoroughly enjoyed learning more about the world of these engines and I hope that readers will feel the same!

You can preorder the collection on all Amazon website:

US, UK, CA, AU, DE, FRES, IT, JP, IN, BR, MX

Enjoy!

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Signal Boosting

Posted September 15, 2014 by Lynn E. O'Connacht in Miscellaneous / 3 Comments

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Links. The text 'links' underneath a big, old-fashioned key. Links I felt were interesting.

Today you get a bonus post in the form of signal boosting.

Tomorrow (September 16th, if I recall on CDT), Elizabeth Barrette will be holding a poetry fishbowl crowdfunding event. Give prompts and receive poetry. It’s an additional fishbowl with a set theme. This event is all about P.I.E.

Meet Brenda Cochlain, Private Investigator Extraordinaire. She deals with the really weird cases. She also happens to use a wheelchair; and she can kill with guns, blades, or her bare hands if necessary. That guy kissing her is Darrel Finn, undercover cop. He thinks that smart, tough women are hot. This puts him ahead of Nate, a lawyer; and Rick, a construction boss — the other two guys interested in her.

The series, as you can guess, is urban fantasy. If you’ve been following my blog for a while, you might have noticed that urban fantasy isn’t really my thing. If you’re an avid reader of urban fantasy, you’ll also have an idea of how difficult it is to fit that genre into poetry. But it works really well.

Elizabeth has also made a few posts discussing disability issues the past few weeks, some inspired by the fishbowl. There’s a post about the use of the terms disabled vs handicapped here on LJ and here on DW. There’s also a post about disability in SFF (on LJ and on DW.)

This discussion on narratives of diversity in SFF is also linked courtesy of Elizabeth.

If you’re interested in seeing more diversity in (SFF) fiction, Elizabeth has a lot of different series for you to check out and I highly recommend them, but this Tuesday/tomorrow, you can request specific things set in the P.I.E.-verse so if there’s anything you’d particularly like to see in fiction, visit Elizabeth’s LJ or DW tomorrow and leave a few prompts. Or, if you know you’ll be busy or fear missing the fishbowl, you can leave an advance prompt. (Please see either the announcement post on LJ or the one on DW.)

Maria Stanislav, meanwhile, is writing a neat guide on her experiences as a freelancer. The first post in the series can be found here. So far the posts cover self-care and time management. They’re filled with practical advice and very accessible.

Elizabeth Fitzgerald, editor extraordinaire, has just started up a professional blog. I’ll be looking forward to seeing what Elizabeth plans to discuss and I hope she’ll have a blast!

Grace from Books Without Any Pictures, has written up a book blogger’s guide to managing ARCs.  I’d add that a review policy that allows physical books mentions roughly where the books would need to be sent. In my book blogging days I’ve been offered ARCs only for the author/publisher to rescind when they learned they’d be shipping to Europe. Adding the information is no guarantee it’ll be read by everyone (in all cases, the information was right there on my policy page), but it’ll save both you and the person offering you the book a lot of heartache. (On the flipside, authors and publishers offering paper review copies, be sure to check whether you’re willing to ship to a reviewer before offering. You’ll make reviewers super-excited and then super-sad.)

Lastly, a few days ago, Amy Rae Durreson linked me to Queer Romance Month. As I understand it, it’ll run for all of October. Amy’s got a story ready for it, so more on that when I can. For now it has some pretty interesting articles on queer romance on the site.

And that’s all I’ve got. ^_^ May there be something useful in it!

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Seven Deadly Sins (of Gaming) Meme

Posted September 10, 2014 by Lynn E. O'Connacht in Miscellaneous / 0 Comments

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Thoughts. The text 'rambling thoughts' underneath a burning lantern. For rambles, thoughts, and not-essays.

I did sort of imply I was going to do one of these, so… Here it is. ^_^ Seven gaming meme questions and my answers to them all. Have fun!

GREED – What is your most inexpensive game?

Probably Super Amazing Wagon Adventure. I forgot how big the discount was, but I got it on discount and, barring games I’ve received for free, that makes it the cheapest game I have. Quite fun too, though I’m utterly and entirely abysmal at it.

WRATH – What game do you have a love/hate relationship with?

(Heroes of) Might and Magic, the franchise before Ubisoft rebooted it. Love the world, love the setting, love the story, love the games. Suck at strategy big time and the one map I had where I was doing awesome and kicking major butt (HoMM2, Resource Wars map scenario with only the purple wizard who only had its island of all the monsters ever standing between me and total victory) got lost forever when my mother, in all her infinity wisdom of computers, broke the software enough to require reformatting the entire drive and no one bothered to check whether there was stuff I wanted to maybe, you know, back-up.

No, I am totally not bitter about losing that save file. Absolutely not.

But I never did manage to get back to such levels of awesome and I still adore the games. The RPGs as well. 4-7 are some of my favourite games. (Even though I’m terrible at them. I am awesome at Arcomage, though.)

GLUTTONY – What game have you devoured over and over with no shame?

Apart from (Ho)MM and the built-in version of Arcomage? Baldur’s Gate 1 and 2 with ToB expansion pack. (Yep. Not Tales of the Sword Coast.) So much fun. Also, King’s Quest 7, only my favourite KQ game ever. And Quest for Glory 3 and 5. Thief 1. Thief 3 had some nice replays. Sword of the Stars: The Pit. Minecraft.

… Yeah, okay. No wonder I can never reduce the size of my gaming backlog. I keep replaying things.

SLOTH – What game have you neglected reading due to laziness?

Consortium, I think. Actually, if you want to count it that way, everything remaining on my list. That probably makes it… Gabriel Knight 1 since that’s been on my list the longest. Or possibly Syberia 1. No. No, wait. Planescape: Torment. That’s been the longest on my list. (But it’s looooooooooooong. T_T)

PRIDE – What game do you talk most about to sound like an intellectual gamer?

Those games that have awesome stories. I like stories. I like seeing how they work on their own as well as how the game mechanics fit around them. (DEATH TO THE PIXEL HUNT. And also THE ILLOGICAL PUZZLES OF ILLOGICALNESS. Still so totally looking at you, KQ5.)

LUST – What attributes do you find attractive in male or female characters?

Pretty much the same thing as for the reading meme: kindness, compassion, intelligence… I like well-rounded characters that seem like fun people to be around or be friends with, really. Beyond that I’m not too picky. Being nice to look at does not hurt.

ENVY – What game would you most like to receive as a gift?

Er… A DRM-free copy of Child of Light? That one sounds interesting, but. UPlay. Alternatively, I would also quite like a complete (non-UPlay-dependent) version of HoMM6 sorry, MM:H6) that I could gift to my mum who still really really loves the franchise. (I’ve been trying to get her interested in similar games, but nope.) Dragon Age: Inquisition would be a good gift too, but that’s not out yet, so.

But, other than that, I’m still pretty much set. I can spend several years gaming before I run out of backlog, especially with the added replay value that some games have.

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Strange Chemistry and Exhibit A Reading Month Wrap-up

Posted September 7, 2014 by Lynn E. O'Connacht in Miscellaneous / 9 Comments

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And now… a week later than planned, the wrap-up post for the Strange Chemistry and Exhibit A Reading Month! (dun dun DUUUUN) I hope everyone who participated had a lovely time with the book or books they chose to read! At the bottom of the post you’ll find a shiny new linkie for any posts I may have missed and thus failed to include.

For my own participation, I set out to read 7 books:

And, as I mentioned earlier, I read all seven of them. WHOOHOO! And I also went out and used my emergency funding to buy a few more. Notably:

  • Black Dog by Rachel Neumeier
  • Under Nameless Stars by Christian Schoon
  • Shadowplay by Laura Lam

I am excite! They’re not on the September list of things I want to read since I’ve pushed books by friends or books I’ve been promising friends I’d read for months to the backburner to revel in Strange Chemistry books in August. It’s their turn this month. I opted not to review two books since I could not, in good conscience, do so in the spirit of the month. (I’m really sorry! I wanted to love everything.) I also didn’t manage to read any Exhibit A Books. I’m a very mixed bag about this, because I knew from the get-go that’d be a tough one. It’s just not my genre and I don’t know where to start or what to look at. Mostly I’m sad I couldn’t give those authors a better shout-out.

Grace from Books Without Any Pictures has read several books for the reading month:

The latter two are short story prequels. Grace has also reviewed a few Strange Chemistry books before the Reading Month began and was kind enough to round up the links at the beginning of the month here and I heartily recommend checking them out.

Ellie from Curiosity Killed the Bookworm has also read several books:

I’m really sorry if I’ve missed anyone or any specific posts that people have made! Drop the link in the comments or use the Mister Linkie to let people know about them if you have any I missed.

Thanks to everyone who participated or wanted to participate and spread the word! May the authors affected by the closing of Strange Chemistry and Exhibit A Books all find good new homes and may their careers continue on an upwards slant!

Farewell, Strange Chemistry and Exhibit A Books. You shall be missed, but the stories that you published shall live on in the authors and their careers. May they write and publish many more works for us to enjoy!

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