Month: September 2016

Goal Review September 2016

Posted September 30, 2016 by Lynn E. O'Connacht in Goals / 0 Comments

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And that was September. September was, um, better than many of the other months so far. HUZZAH! So let’s look at the goals I’d set.

Last Month's Goal
I Want to Read:

  • More of HEX by Thomas Olde Heuvelt as a comparative read
  • Books! (Hey, not specifying anything worked well last time, so let’s try it again.)

I Want to Write:

  • More of DemiPrincess
  • Go over moar proofs for A Promise Broken and Feather by Feather
  • Go over edits and changes for PIP.

I accomplished… most of these. The one thing I definitely missed out on is going over the proof for A Promise Broken, which I’d like to get to later today, because the proofs arrived substantially later than I would have expected. But other than that, I have made progress on all of these goals.

I managed to write a ridiculous 20,000-odd words on DemiPrincess and finally be in sight of where I was before my life went topsy-turvy again. I’ve poked at changes and edits for PIP. I’m now at the point where I’m a) terrified it is rubbish and with no betareaders because none of my friends really like verse novels/poetry, b) just generally not sure what to do with it even if I did have betareaders to read it. But hey it is done and I’m okay with not releasing it in winter. I’ve got plenty on my hands with wrapping up the serial Sea Foam and Silence and doing the associated “Hey, did you know there’s a book available?” promo. (I will likely fail. We all know by now that I’m rubbish at self-promo.)

I didn’t read nearly as much as I wanted or had expected to, but apparently I’m just in the reading slump part of my creative cycle? Maybe? I did read a few books! Just… I’ve not been in a reading mood at all.

And that is basically it! I’ve actually been unwell the past week or so, which didn’t really help. But I’m feeling better and things are more on track now! Whoohoo!

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Book Talk: The Second Mango

Posted September 22, 2016 by Lynn E. O'Connacht in Books, Other People's Creations / 0 Comments

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Today we’re doing something slightly different on the blog, though it’s something that I hope to do more of in future. It’s a book review revisit for a promo post! This one in particular is for the rerelease of The Second Mango.

So far, most all of the promos I’ve done have been in discussion with the author and in conjunction with a guest post or interview with them and has usually featured me trying to sound professional and smart. Today we’re just doing a shiny “Hey, this book exists!” type of post WITH ALL OF THE GEEKING. And then I want to do more of them this way, so I can share more shinies! AND GEEK OUT ABOUT BOOKS. And hopefully so things don’t get quite as lost as they do on Twitter. (This may or may not fail. I always worry people will have it when I geek out about things because they feel like I shouldn’t get to geek out. Or something. My brain is weird.)

Anyway! Today’s post, then, is about The Second Mango by Shira Glassman. This is a book I’ve read before and liked a lot. I loved the story and the characters. And the rights have recently reverted to the author and now the first of this four book series (six if you count both short story collections!) has been rereleased with an amazing new cover!

The Second Mango by Shira Glassman

Look! Isn’t it gorgeous? I know this one here is tiny (so click to embiggen), but IT HAS SHULAMIT ON THE COVER. SHULAMIT IS THE BESTEST, LOVELIEST, GEEKIEST PRINCESS. She’s also queer and Jewish and it is just wonderful and adorable and so fluffy. And also Rivka is demisexual and I will forever love Rivka for being a demisexual deuteragonist, especially one who is also heteroromantic. <3 ALL THE LOVE.

*comes back 600 words or so later* Uh. Actually, I should, uh, include a description somewhere. I think. Descriptions are good. Here, have a description:

Queen Shulamit never expected to inherit the throne of the tropical land of Perach so young. At twenty, grief-stricken and fatherless, she’s also coping with being the only lesbian she knows after her sweetheart ran off for an unknown reason. Not to mention, she’s the victim of severe digestive problems that everybody thinks she’s faking. When she meets Rivka, an athletic and assertive warrior from the north who wears a mask and pretends to be a man, she finds the source of strength she needs so desperately.

Unfortunately for her, Rivka is straight, but that’s okay — Shulamit needs a surrogate big sister just as much as she needs a girlfriend. Especially if the warrior’s willing to take her around the kingdom on the back of her dragon in search of other women who might be open to same-sex romance. The real world outside the palace is full of adventure, however, and the search for a royal girlfriend quickly turns into a rescue mission when they discover a temple full of women turned to stone by an evil sorcerer.

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Book Talk: Hex, Chapter 3

Posted September 10, 2016 by Lynn E. O'Connacht in Books, Other People's Creations / 0 Comments

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Bilingual read-through of HEX by Thomas Olde Heuvelt

Welcome back to the comparative read of Thomas Olde Heuvelt’s HEX! This time I’m tackling chapter 3.

When last we visited the towns of Black Spring and Beek, we had encountered Stefan, his family and their USian counterparts as well as a creepy, kind of stalkerish old lady with eyes and mouth sewn shut. We’d also met with Robert Grim and a new family looking to move into town, something the townspeople were rather desperate to prevent and failed at miserably. (Things we’ve learned from chapter 2: do not send Robet Grim to do any kind of convincing or negotiating.)

Please note! This chapter contains suicide ideation and thoughts of severe self-harm and this post discusses some of it fairly briefly.

List of Prominent Characters

So, the NL and EN tags are the ones actually used in the story. If it’s listed for both then it’s a shorthand I’m using to note which of the characters is which. Where no name for ‘both’ is included I haven’t used a name for both. (Expect this list to get updated per chapter!)

  • Stefan (NL), Steve (EN), Ste (both)
  • Katherina (NL), Katherine (EN), Kat (both)
  • Jolanda (NL), Jocelyn (EN), Jo (both)
  • Timo (NL), Tyler (EN), Tiy (both)
  • Oma (NL), Gramma (EN), Granny (both)
  • Max (NL), Matt (EN), Maxmatt (both)
  • Robert Grim (NL, EN)
  • Claire Hamer (NL), Claire Hammer (EN)
  • Jens van der Heijden (NL), Warren Castillo (EN), Jenren (both)
  • Jasmine Aerendonck (NL), Bammy Delarosa (EN), Jasmy (both)
  • The Aerandoncks/The Delarosas, Aerenrosa (both)
  • Martijn Winkel (NL), Marty Keller (EN),Winler (both)
  • Loes Krijgsman (NL), Lucy Everett (EN), Loucy (both)
  • Pieter van Meerten (NL), Pete VanderMeer (EN), Pete van Meer (both)
  • Marieke (NL), Mary (EN), Marie (both)
  • Laurens (NL), Lawrence (EN), Lau (both)

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Film Talk: Bishoujo Senshi Sailor Moon: Episode 1

Posted September 7, 2016 by Lynn E. O'Connacht in Film & TV, Other People's Creations / 0 Comments

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Hi! Welcome, everyone to something I’ve been meaning to do since the beginning of blogging reactions to Sailor Moon Crystal: Blogging reactions to the original anime! As you’ve no doubt noticed, I’m doing this in conjunction with a first-time watching of the American Canadian dub of this version.

Due to the fact that I haven’t seen the US Canadian show before, I’m watching the episodes pretty much back-to-back in the format of dub and sub. I’ll also be posting dubbed episode commentary on the same day as the subbed commentary. That means that when an episode hasn’t been dubbed, that day will only have commentary for the subbed episode.

But this! This is the original Japanese anime with subtitles. Whoot!

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Film Talk: Sailor Moon Episode 1: A Moon Star Is Born (Original Dub)

Posted September 7, 2016 by Lynn E. O'Connacht in Film & TV, Other People's Creations / 0 Comments

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I have a confession to make: I’ve never seen the American (ETA: I’m told it was actually produced in Canada.) dub of Sailor Moon. I’ll grant you that’s probably not that much of a confession considering I’m fairly vocal about the part where I’m not American, but still. No, I came into the franchise through friends and was introduced via subtitled episodes.

So, because I clearly do not have enough on my plate and I’m definitely not struggling to keep up with the Steven Universe commentary, I’m going to add sporadic live watchings of the original American dub to the blog. Have fun reading me watch it for the first time!

Expect lots of all-caps and general commentary of complete and utter disbelief. Also expect me to slip up and use the Japanese names on occasion.

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Culture Consumption August 2016

Posted September 2, 2016 by Lynn E. O'Connacht in Other People's Creations / 0 Comments

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And thus August was over and we slowly start to head into autumn and the end of the year. OMG! The end of the year?! We’re over halfway through 2016 already?! Part of me is absolutely thrilled because, wow, did 2016 suck for the world. (I bet it’s not done sucking yet. I hope it is, but. Yeah.) And the other part of me is just staring at the calendar like “It cannot possibly be almost 2017. WHAT HAPPENED TO THE DAYS?!” so… there’s that.

Anyway, on a personal level August was… interesting. I may or may not have attempted to drown heartache in new technological shinies I was planning on getting eventually anyway because my desktop was in serious need of an upgrade. The only thing I can say about that at the moment is that I am still not over the sheer amount of pretty involves. And it should last me a good long time too! Yay for investments! To be fair, it took me a while to get it sorted properly because I am hopeless at hardware. (To be fair, I’ve never owned a computer with two graphics cards before. Feeble excuse, but ah well. Figured it out.)

Anyway, it turns out that heartache is very, very bad for writing sweet, fluffy romantic prose and very good for writing poetry, which I may have mentioned before. That was… interesting in what it says about my production schedule. (I wrote Tales of the Little Engine over the course of the summer as a small break between big projects as well. We’ll see if I do something again next summer.) As well as what it says in terms of my own emotional state. I used to write a lot of poetry and kind of… let it fall to the wayside for reasons I don’t rightly know. Given that one of the main self-care things I’ve done of the summer has been working on loosening and opening up, I’d say it’s very possible that anxiety and depression made me so incredibly tense and closed that it manifested in a loss of writing poetry? I don’t know how this works. I could just be seeing connections that aren’t there. But it fits what I know of writer’s block, so… I don’t know.

Anyway! That is a good thing! It may mean I get around to those companion verse novels for Sea Foam and Silence sooner rather than later. (Well, the Six Swans retelling one, anyway, because fairy tale.)

What I've Posted

What I've Read

An Alphabet of Embers by Various: Lots of short flash pieces to enjoy. As with most anthologies it was a bit of a mixed bag for me, but I really enjoyed it overall. If you want your stories to have a clear plot and narrative, though, you might find yourself pretty disappointed. A lot of these pieces focus on evoking emotion or an atmosphere and most all of them require you to read slowly and think to be able to really understand what the story is about. It’s glorious. ^_^ (Even if I did read it at a time where I’m not really in the mood for it.)

Champion of the Rose by Andrea K. Höst: I have a few reservations about the way it handled the plot at the beginning, but it’s a very interesting book and I enjoyed it a lot once I settled into it. You can read more of my thoughts here.

Every Heart a Doorway by Seanan McGuire: My thoughts are here. Overall I really enjoyed it, though I think it deserved to be a full-length novel to let the world and the characters truly shine.

HEX by Thomas Olde Heuvelt: It’s… not my kind of read, sorry. I know a lot of people loved it, but visual horror bores me to tears. And I will never not be sore of the COMPLETELY UNNECESSARY change in location. But mostly I was just bored and the misogyny was way worse and more recent that I was expecting and ugh Islamaphobia and homophobia and just. No. Wasn’t for me. Probably a very good book if you like visual horror and don’t mind reading misogynist povs, though. I’m just… the opposite of the intended audience. (Disclaimer: changes to the location may mean there is less Islamaphobia and less homophobia. It may also means there is more. At present I can only speak for the Dutch edition.)

Last Rituals by Yrsa Sigurðardóttir: Also a book about witch trials! Set in Iceland and a modern murder mystery. I had a lot more fun with it than I was expecting. You can read more of my thoughts here.

the princess saves herself in this one by Amanda Lovelace: A collection of poems/a verse novel. It is… let’s say very powerful. I may not have made the best choice in reading through it all in one go. It is gorgeous, though. If you enjoy poetry, I highly recommend it. It’s beautifully done.

A Promise Broken by me: Edits edits edits. I love edits! I also love typesetting and layouts and basically this whole part of the process. Also I am getting the hang of rereading my own work. But it’s my own work, so I’ll hush. But making the print edition is so exciting! I want to make ALL THE BOOK LAYOUTS. (Dear publishers, please hire me for a junior design position in this field?)

When Our Worlds Collide by Aniesha Brahma: I keep thinking I read this one last month, but apparently not? My thoughts on it are here. It keeps some of the technical and structural issues I had with the first book I read by Brahma, but it’s a lot of fun and very adorable. Definitely recommended if you enjoy cute, contemporary romance that doesn’t quite happen or end the way you’d think.

What I'm Reading

HEX by Thomas Olde Heuvelt: See above. I’m doing a (very slow) read-through of both the Dutch and the English version and geeking out over the differences in language use and the way the changes work. Here’s chapter 1 and chapter 2.

What I've Played

Divinity: Original Sin Enhanced Edition: Testing out the new desktop. It is SO PRETTY. I really like some of the changes I’ve seen to date, but I admit I haven’t played it a lot yet. I really just wanted to get a sense of how the graphics would look. (So pretty.) I’m intrigued to find out what else Larian Studios changed, though, because if I recall they actually made quite a few substantial changes to the game, including the narrative! So… Replaying this fairly slowly.

Never Alone: Foxtales: Again, testing out the new desktop mainly, but I haven’t gotten around to finishing up Foxtales, so I was also just curious to see what the new mechanics were like. So far, I really like the story that we’ve been given here and I like what the game is doing with its mechanics! Definitely worth playing!

Rise of the Tomb Raider: I… mostly wanted to try this out to see what difference the new desktop made. Then I noticed that they fixed the issue with the Pit of Judgement. 100% completion achievement without replaying the game from scratch because of a bug is GO. I, uh, may have spent most of my time on that gourd toss challenge because I’m super terrible at it. But YAY I did ALL THE THINGS and have achieved 100% completion on everything you can do in the game. (I may never do that gourd challenge again now.)

War for the Overworld: I mostly faffed around in the Home Realm, but again this was largely just to see what things looked like on the new computer. Home Realm is… Well, Home Realm after all. I also poked at the expansion pack just to see what the difference was and I liked that one much better, though I’d still like better control over the enemies spawning. (An ability to set it to automatically spawn infinite waves of enemies at random intervals would be nice.) I do really like the campaign levels. The team was pretty inventive with some of them and I’ve enjoyed those a lot. It’s really nice to see the variety of what you can do with the engine incorporated into the official campaign. And I’m not good at these kinds of strategy games, so I’m probably missing loads. I just really like the feel of inventiveness that the game has. ^_^ It’s not 100% what I was hoping for, I admit, but that’s okay. I’m finding it really easy to love this game for what it is rather than having what it isn’t drag my enjoyment down from the first instance.

What I've Watched

Carebears 2: A New Generation: You know the suck fairy? The suck fairy adores this film. There is absolutely NOTHING in this film it has not touched. I… admit I don’t know why I rewatched it, but possibly nostalgia and I remember the kitten positively. (I also remember it having a bigger role, but no. No, it’s all the lion.) But wow. Wow, was this a terrible film. The narrative makes no sense whatsoever, and that’s by 80s kids’ film narrative standards! This film is more plot hole than actual plot. Why did I do this? (Don’t be like me. Or, if you really desperately want to see how bad it is, do livetweets so we can all share in the suck fairy. Disclaimer: I may be tempted into doing that in future. Someone save me from me, please.)

Elena of Avalor S1 E3-5: This show is building up fairly slowly. I like how each of these episodes to date has largely focused on an important supporting character, but I admit I was a little thrown at how… non-magical the first couple of episodes were. I like them, don’t get me wrong. It’s just not what the opening credits led me to expect and it’s thrown me these first few episodes. I’m looking forward to seeing the rest of the season, though. Also, it has songs! Musical shows nearly always win me over in the end. (Here. Have a sample.)

My Little Pony – The Movie: This one was… actually surprisingly free of suck fairy magic, though watching it straight after Care Bears 2 may have created rose-tinted glasses. But it was entertaining and cute to rewatch. The backstory isn’t the best, but the narrative is cohesive and generally fairly logical. (Except the opening scenes with Lickety-Split and seriously what was up with that ship. I may have gnashed my teeth. A lot.) Also it was fun to see how much inspiration Friendship Is Magic actually took from Generation One. Very… 80s children’s entertainment, though.

My Little Pony – Friendship Is Magic S6: I think I’m sadly being hit with the Season 5 Fatigue. Is that a thing? I tend to run out of interest in shows around season 5, I don’t know why. But there you go. I still like the show and enjoy the episodes (The Gift of the Maud Pie is one I really liked which is interesting because Pinkie Pie is probably my least favourite pony on the show. Personality clash and all.), but it’s not with the same enthusiasm. Still, I will happily keep watching as the show brightens my day when I do.

Steven Universe S4 E1-4: After the revelations about Rose in the finale of season 3, I’m really looking forward to learning more about what happened and, perhaps, some answers regarding Lion. I’ll be surprised if we get much more information on Lion, but I live in hope. I like the way the show is slowly building up its narrative and I still enjoy watching it a lot.

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