Month: May 2016

Goal Review May 2016

Posted May 31, 2016 by Lynn E. O'Connacht in Goals / 0 Comments

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Monthly Goals. The text 'monthly goals' underneath a scroll with a key on it. A look back at my goals of the month.

May. Oh, May, you have so much potential. And then the potential got eaten by stress and anxiety and an actual, honest-to-goodness job interview. This was a massive boost to my confidence in many ways and respects, even though it did not lead to anything. More on it below! (OMG! Am I actually going to be talking about my everyday life for a bit?!)

Last Month's Goal

I Want to Read:

  • A book

I Want to Write:

  • Fiction

I have accomplished both of these! Sadly, neither of them as much as I would have liked and had planned, but I have achieved both and I am slowly making progress on everything, so, instead, I’d like to focus on some more personal notes that made up May.

Content Note: Discussion of anxiety and its effects. Also about doing things despite being anxious and learning to ignore Negativity Brain.

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Film Talk: Sailor Moon Crystal Act 34

Posted May 30, 2016 by Lynn E. O'Connacht in Film & TV, Other People's Creations / 0 Comments

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Missed the previous reaction post? You can find it here!

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 34: Infinity 8, Infinite Labyrinth 1

Hey, look! I am actually somewhat on time with this one this time! Miracles happen! Okay, so let’s start off with the totally not spoilery part: we did get the change of opening and ending this episode as we all knew we would and… I am not sure on the ending song. But then it feels odd to have such a Mamoru-focused ending song when the show as a whole is so little about him. Maybe it’ll grow on me. I’m not sure.

The opening… I’m a little less divided on. It’s basically the same song, after all, with different singers and a few different arrangements. I think now that I’ve heard all three that the first is my favourite in terms of the opening credits. I’m not decided on the full song yet. (This is partially because when it’s the full song I prefer the second of the first and so I know I can’t base my opinion of the third full version on the opening.)

Anyway! Onto the episode itself!

Standard disclaimer of all-caps everywhere is still in place.

Also. Pictures later because ASGDHSDK. <3

ETA: Now with pictures!
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Readalong Week 4: Between Two Thorns

Posted May 30, 2016 by Lynn E. O'Connacht in Books, Other People's Creations / 9 Comments

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Between Two Thorns Readalong Banner made by Anya from On Star Ships and Dragon Wings

And we’re back for the last week of the Between Two Thorns readalong. This week the questions are hosted by Lynn from Lynn’s Books and we’re, predictably, at the end! The plot has come together, at least insofar as the plot of a first-in-a-series comes together anyway, and answers have been given. It’s time to see how everything hangs together! (Or is it? Dun dun DUUUUUUUUUN.)

The Schedule

Part 1 – Monday 9th May: Chapters 1-9, hosted by Over The Effing Rainbow
Part 2 – Monday 16th May: Chapters 10-18, hosted by On Starships and Dragonwings
Part 3 – Monday 23rd May: Chapters 19-25, hosted by x + 1
Part 4 – Monday 30th May: Chapters 26-End, hosted by Lynn’s Books

Spoilers for the whole book below the cut!

The Questions

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Film Talk: Sailor Moon Crystal Act 33

Posted May 29, 2016 by Lynn E. O'Connacht in Film & TV, Other People's Creations / 0 Comments

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Missed the previous reaction post? You can find it here!

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 33: Infinity 7, Transformation - Super Sailor Moon

Oh, look. I’m late. Again. But on the bright side, I’m now almost caught up on all the blog-related things that I’d fallen behind on? There’s that.

Anyway, after last week left us on an incredibly evil cliffhanger, let’s dive straight in!

Fair warning: All-caps abuse is present. Because OMG does this season of Crystal not pull any punches in any way. At all. *flails* Also, there are fewer screenshots because I was, um, a bit busy flailing and hiding under blankets and generally engaging with the episode.

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Book Talk: The Tea Lords

Posted May 29, 2016 by Lynn E. O'Connacht in Books, Other People's Creations / 0 Comments

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Book Talk: The Tea LordsThe Tea Lords by Hella S. Haasse
Pages: 341

Born into wealth and privilege, Rudolf Kerkhoven is destined to follow his father's footsteps into the Dutch colonies, with its uncleared jungle foothills and potential for riches. When he arrives in Java he is immediately smitten by the landscape and the life, and over the seasons, Rudolf's dedication and diligence gradually transform the land into a productive estate for tea, coffee and quinine. When he meets the independent-minded Jenny and their two sons are born, Rudolf is happier than he thought possible. But for Jenny, the damp austerity of their home, her fertility, her father's secret, and the native spirits of the land grow to overshadow their marriage and the life they've strived for together.

And the Year of International Reading continues with The Tea Lords by Hella S. Haasse. Haasse is, if I recall, one of the Netherlands most well-known authors and one of the few to be translated and known abroad. The Tea Lords is a historical novel set in Indonesia, based on the accounts of the families.

WARNING: I will be spoiling the ending and the book deals with depression and suicide. If these are sensitive topics for you, tread with care when approaching this book and this post.

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DIY Print Books: The Fiddling Fail

Posted May 26, 2016 by Lynn E. O'Connacht in Miscellaneous / 0 Comments

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Design Adventures: Fiddling Fail

Welcome back to another instalment of Design Adventures. This time around, we’re tackling my experiences with the first couple attempts I’ve made at the creation of a print layout. OMG! We’re already moving to discussing print?! Yes, we are! Aren’t you excited? Print editions are… a very different kettle of fish from ebooks. When you see designers talk about how authors should hire professionals to do this for them, this is what they’re talking about far more than the ebooks. Creating print books is an art form all of its own, especially when you’re working with image-heavy manuscripts. I’m usually not, though, so like with my post on ebooks I’m going to be focusing on fiction manuscripts.

In this post, I’ll discuss my attempts at reacquainting myself with DTP software since it’d been a few years since I’d done anything much with any of them and, when I last used them, they were part of a university course on how to create print books. It was quite basic, but it taught me what I needed to know.

So, the first question then, is what do you need? If you want to make your own print layout, what do you need?

  • A computer
  • Word processing software OR DTP software

Yep, that’s it. You need a computer and a program like Word or OpenOffice and that’s it. You can create your entire print layout in Word. Whether you’d want to is another question and one only you can answer. You can also use Scrivener to create your print layout. Its compiler has the options for it. I admit that I don’t know how well either of them work, but if you’re willing to invest the time in learning how to use the programs you should be able to create something quite pretty.

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Readalong Week 3: Between Two Thorns

Posted May 23, 2016 by Lynn E. O'Connacht in Books, Other People's Creations / 4 Comments

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Between Two Thorns Readalong Banner made by Anya from On Star Ships and Dragon Wings

And we’re back for the second week of the Between Two Thorns readalong. This week the questions are hosted by Imyril from x + 1 and we’re about a third of the way through the book. The plot is becoming clearer and clearer, but the book’s clearly not done surprising us yet!

The Schedule

Part 1 – Monday 9th May: Chapters 1-9, hosted by Over The Effing Rainbow
Part 2 – Monday 16th May: Chapters 10-18, hosted by On Starships and Dragonwings
Part 3 – Monday 23rd May: Chapters 19-25, hosted by x + 1
Part 4 – Monday 30th May: Chapters 26-End, hosted by Lynn’s Books

Spoilers for the first 25 chapters below the cut!

The Questions

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Film Talk: Sailor Moon Crystal Act 32

Posted May 22, 2016 by Lynn E. O'Connacht in Film & TV / 0 Comments

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Missed the previous reaction post? You can find it here!

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 32: Infinity 6, Three Guardians

As you all can see, I’ve been incredibly busy and this week’s episode is incredibly late as a result. Not only that but it’s also lacking in images for now! However, I finally have my main laptop back, so that’s good news. (The bad news is having to reinstall everything.) But, yay, I have finally found the time to sit down to give comments on this week’s episode! Hopefully tomorrow/next week will be a lot less hectic and I’ll be able to respond to the episode in a more timely fashion. *crosses fingers* Like before, images will follow later. Next episode may also come without images for now, so apologies in advance if it takes me a while to add them all.

ETA: And now the images are present. HUZZAH!

So… Without further ado, let’s get to the episode!

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DIY Ebooks

Posted May 19, 2016 by Lynn E. O'Connacht in Miscellaneous / 0 Comments

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Design Adventures: DIY Ebooks

Welcome back to another instalment in Design Adventures. This week, I’m tackling ebooks. In the first post, I mentioned that ebooks are relatively easy to make yourself and, as a result, I don’t really have that much to say about my process. I’ll cover the basics of what I do, but it’s not the focus of this particular post. I’d much rather look at some of the methods I have experience with and discuss those experiences. I think that’d be more helpful in letting people find what works for them. Bear in mind that this post focuses on the creation of ebooks that consist predominantly of text i.e. prose and poetry. It won’t cover the best way to create, say, an ebook version of a picture book which is beyond my area of expertise as I’ve never tried it.

First up, though, a question that needs answering: what tools do you need to make an ebook?

  • A computer program that can save your story in a .doc or a .docx format.
  • An internet connection

Yep! That’s it! All you need is a computer with some form of word processor on it and an internet connection. Most ebook vendors will allow you to upload a doc file and do the conversion for you. As long as you make sure you follow their guidelines on how to format the file, you’re good to go. It takes a bit of time to acquaint yourself with said guidelines and they’ll differ (slightly) for each vendor, but you can also find free templates online pretty easily.

Please note! The above is the most basic and easy way to make an ebook. It’ll definitely be functional, but it may not look as good as it could. One does not follow logically from the other, alas. So if you want a functional ebook that looks terrific as well, be prepared to invest a little more time and effort (or money) into the process of creating them.

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Book Talk: Kalpa Imperial

Posted May 18, 2016 by Lynn E. O'Connacht in Books, Other People's Creations / 2 Comments

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Book Talk: Kalpa ImperialKalpa Imperial: The Greatest Empire That Never Was by Angélica Gorodischer, Ursula K. Le Guin
Pages: 246

In eleven chapters,Kalpa Imperial's multiple storytellers relate the story of a fabled nameless empire which has risen and fallen innumerable times. Fairy tales, oral histories and political commentaries are all woven tapestry-style into Kalpa Imperial: beggars become emperors, democracies become dictatorships, and history becomes legends and stories.

But this is much more than a simple political allegory or fable. It is also a celebration of the power of storytelling. Gorodischer and translator Ursula K. Le Guin are a well-matched, sly and delightful team of magician-storytellers. Rarely have author and translator been such an effortless pairing.

Also by this author: The Dispossessed, The Left Hand of Darkness

Kalpa Imperial by Angélica Gorodischer is… certainly not what I’d expected to read! I was expecting a novel! But what I received instead was a collection of short stories all linked by virtue of being part of the same setting and talking about, roughly, the same empire.

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