Book Talk: The Aphorisms of Kherishdar by M.C.A. Hogarth

Posted March 24, 2013 by Lynn E. O'Connacht in Books, Other People's Creations / 4 Comments

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More short stories! More M.C.A. Hogarth! (Next Sunday, author variety!)


The Aphorisms of KherishdarThe Aphorisms of Kherishdar by M.C.A. Hogarth
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

If I’ve ever read stories as gentle and meditative as these, it’s been so long ago that I don’t remember it. I wish I had an idea of what to compare this collection to because I’d like more stories like these, please, world.

Word and language lovers will be delighted by the format of these pieces. Each tale starts with a (conlang) word and its definition and then proceeds to tell a short story revolving around the concept. It’s a /gorgeous/ idea and incredibly well executed.

The stories themselves are brief and, if I’m brutally honest, ultimately unsatisfying in the way that stories that make you go “But I want more!” tend to be. Hogarth’s introduction to Ai-Naidar society is even more subtle than in her Jokka shorts and the glimpses we get are fascinating. We learn very little about the narrator, but we learn enough and there’s a definite overall line running through these tales.

The writing is as gorgeous as ever. It’s lush and vivid and a delight to read. The stories… aren’t quite comfort reading in their content, but that’s exactly how I wound up experiencing the collection: as something soothing and warm. They’re delightful little gems, reflective and multifaceted and my only regret in reading this is that the stories and the collection aren’t longer.

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Book Talk: Once Upon a Time 7 is here! WHOO!

Posted March 21, 2013 by Lynn E. O'Connacht in Miscellaneous / 2 Comments

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Banner for the Once upon a Time 7 challenge. Art by Melissa Nucera. In other bookish related news: Carl, from Stainless Steel Droppings has been hosting a reading ‘challenge’ called Once upon a Time for seven years. (Well, this is the seventh year, so it’s not quite seven yet.)

I’ve been too chicken to participate officially the previous few times, but this year I’m signing up. I’m signing up for Quest the First, which goes as follows:

Read at least 5 books that fit somewhere within the Once Upon a Time categories. They might all be fantasy, or folklore, or fairy tales, or mythology…or your five books might be a combination from the four genres.

Normally this wouldn’t really be very challenging, but since I’m tying this in with the new Talking About What I Read feature thing it’s more challenging than it looks! I can make the read-about target easily because the challenge runs from March 21st to June 21st, so that’s about three/four months. It’s the talk-about part that I’m a little worried about. But I’ll manage, I’m sure. That’s the challenge. ^-~

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Book Talk: Sword at Sunset

Posted March 21, 2013 by Lynn E. O'Connacht in Books, Other People's Creations / 0 Comments

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I thought I’d try something new for a while: talking about the books I’ve read. I’ve been dipping my feet into reviewing again very slowly. I burned out on it and never managed to balance it with my own writing.

I made myself a deal: I’ll only review books I liked and have something (positive) to say about. I will point out things that bothered me/that things bothered me, so it won’t be all praise all the time, but I will slant it towards celebrating what I enjoyed reading. I don’t review every book I read, not even if I like it, and that’s okay. I don’t write long, in-depth reviews. I’ve been there, done that and it took over my life. Not again.

I’ve got a bit of a backlog on GoodReads, so we’ll say that I’ll try to publish at least one review a week until I’m all caught up with those. After that, I’ll slow down quite a bit.

So. Without further ado. Have the first rambling on books I’m posting. Enjoy!


Sword at SunsetSword at Sunset by Rosemary Sutcliff

My rating: 4 of 5 stars
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February and March Goals

Posted March 1, 2013 by Lynn E. O'Connacht in Miscellaneous / 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.

As I wouldn’t blame you for not recalling, my goals for February were the following:

For February I Want to Read:
– Fallen Grace by Mary Hooper
– Beauty by Sheri S. Tepper
– Possession by A.S. Byatt

For February I Want to Write:
12500 words of fiction (or of that syntactic essay I keep meaning to finish)

As I mentioned at the end of the first week of February, I was well on track toward reaching my goals. I finished up Beauty by Sheri S. Tepper, I finished the story I was working on and started to rework The Passage of Pearl. I suspect to have that ready somewhere in April/May at the latest unless the story decides to throw wrenches at me.

It’s taken me far, far longer to work on The Passage of Pearl as I’d anticipated and I’m not 100% sure that what I’m doing is working, but either way I’ll be able to release a story I have even more pride and confidence in.

My February word count quite honestly blew me away. It stands at 30,854 words. So, yes, that’s more than double what I was aiming for. O_O March is also off to a pretty decent start. It’s not stellar — The Passage of Pearl is being a little ornery — but it’s perfectly respectable and has pushed my yearly total past 50K. I’d not expected to be at this point until the end of April, so I am really pleased and tickled by that.

For March my goals will continue to look much the same. I’m not yet willing to up my reading goals just yet. I’m thinking I’ll up it in May if I continue to make this kind of progress and I may alter my writing goals a littel come April. 12,500 words is my official goal. It’s what I need to write in a month to complete the challenge I signed up for (Inking It Out is awesome.), but I’m thinking of adding in my “I am building up a buffer for the rest of the year” counts as well. They’re a little higher, though not by all that much. Ambitious, I am not. I am incompatible with challenge ambitions, and, anyway, that’s not really my aim. My aim is to write and finish up projects and then write some more. Setting goals I can reach with (relative) ease is what’s encouraging me to push for more. Not because reaching the goal is a challenge but because I’m having fun. And, if I get stuck on something or need a break because a project isn’t fun, I can afford to without breaking my official-goal streak. It’s win-win for me. ^-^

Anyway! My March goals shall be as follows:

I Want to Read:
– Yellow Moon by Jewell Parker Rhodes
– The Bone Palace by Amanda Downum
– Son of the Shadows by Juliet Marillier

I Want to Write:
12500 words of fiction

Unofficially, my goals are to finish new drafts (and preferably the last draft) of The Passage of Pearl, Changeling’s Time and Made to Be Broken, but we’ll see how that goes. The first two are high priority pieces and I’ve got some pieces that may (read: likely will) usurp Made to Be Broken in the queue.

One day, I will learn how to make a calendar with a proper planning and wield it effectively and it will be grand and awesome, but that day is not today and I shall keep my planning tucked nicely in my head.

But there you go. March’s goals.

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Februaries, rambles, stories, the usual…

Posted February 8, 2013 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.

More or less. So far my February has been eaten by Let’s Play videos. It started out being really nice to me, but it was just to make up for being mean later on. *blows raspberry at it* (Yes, I’m childish today. It may have been the half a small cake I just ate and all the sugar. We will never know!)

Anyway, despite my life throwing a few curve balls at me that kept me off my writing game, I am actually still ahead of target. You do not want to know how ridiculously pleased I am by that.

Today I finished off a rewrite for one of the two stories I want to work on this month. It needs typocatching, but I don’t think any big issues were thrown up. And, anyway, I’d like to think I can get away with the less than realistic aspects. It’s written like a children’s story and features talking trains, after all.

I cried. So much. It’s a story that breaks my heart and it’s very dear to me. I thought I’d share a line. Don’t worry. It is not a sad line. It’s from before things go terribly, horribly, awfully wrong. (But don’t worry! It sort-of ends well. This is not a spoiler.)

The station master paced along the platforms, crying ‘What shall I do?’ and pulling at his greying hair as if making his headache worse would help him find a solution.

See? Totally not tragic. Yet. It is part of my Super Sekrit Project and once the polishing is done will bring me one step closer to its completion. And then I shall TAKE OVER THE WORLD!

You know, I wish I had this level of silliness in me when I tried to interview myself for the fun of it. It might be funnier. It might also be a heck of a lot worse. Anyone have questions or suggestions I could use? :p

If you count the self-interview (which I may still toss; who knows) I wrote 5,500+ words of fiction to do. GO ME! I also took a break from the story I was actually in the middle of reworking to work on these things, so… Yay for breaks!

Oh! Let’s do the book meme several days late.

I’m in the middle of reading Beauty by Sheri S. Tepper. I gave up on Possession (sadness!) and Fallen Grace (less sadness; I didn’t expect to love this to pieces), so I’m down to my last set book for the month already. If this keeps up, I really am going to have to up the numbers a bit to be more challenging. I have set two bonus reads, but I won’t tell you what they are. They’re more “Hey, if you don’t know what to pick, pick one of us!” selections for when I’m stuck.

As I said, February was nice to me for the first week or so. I do hope it’ll perk up again. Wait, did I set 12,500 for my February goal too? I am less than 4000 words away from reaching that. I don’t know how that happened! O_O

And that’s what’s been going on with me. No doubt the month will continue to seesaw, but I hope I can stay on top of things (and build up a really good word buffer for later on in the year when I’ll need it).

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January Ramblings

Posted January 31, 2013 by Lynn E. O'Connacht in Miscellaneous / 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.

Well. It is now the end of January, which means it’s time to review my goals for January.

What you don’t know, because I’ve been nice and secret about it (again), is that I’ve already set my goals for February veeery early on in the month. I thought it might help encourage me to finish things. I’m not sure how well that’s working, but I’ve had to alter the reading list because I finished one of February’s books yesterday, so it seems to have a positive effect.

Anyway! I know I just linked the original post, but for completeness’ sake I’ll restate my January goals. (Now with properly spelling author’s names!)

For January I Want to Read:
– Sword at Sunset by Rosemary Sutcliff
– The Annotated Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien
– Bridge of Birds by Barry Hughart

For January I Want to Write:
12500 words of fiction (or of that syntactic essay I keep meaning to finish)

I have finished all of these. In fact, I read a ridiculous amount. I’ve read 24 items I’m calling “books” (even though some are ebooklets/short stories and some are magazines) and about 33 online items, mostly Yuletide fanfic. (I’m still not caught up!)

I wrote a grand total of 17,081 words and, although that number may yet go up later today I wouldn’t count on it. This last week has been filled with copious amounts of busy and I haven’t felt like starting on any writing. It’s not always relaxing and I was in dire need of relaxing things.

But I got there. I didn’t quite get to the three stories I wanted to have done, but considering the grief the other two were giving me I don’t mind. Two stories all polished up and ready to go is also good.

For February I Want to Read:
– Fallen Grace by Mary Hooper
– Beauty by Sheri S. Tepper
– Possession by A.S. Byatt

For February I Want to Write:
12500 words of fiction (or of that syntactic essay I keep meaning to finish)

So. There we are. Those are my goals fo February. We’ll see how it goes. XD I’ve also been trying to get back into talking about the books I’ve read, so there have been some brief burbles on GoodReads for some of the things I’ve been reading. They’re not long and I’m going on an “It’s okay to mention things I didn’t like, but mostly it needs to be positive” basis. These are both deliberate choices. Reviewing has eaten my entire life to the point of burn-out once. I don’t want that to happen again and I do want to share things I’ve enjoyed with others. So we’ll see where we go from here, really. ^-^

Hope everyone’s January was good and your February will be awesome!

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Awesome people are awesome

Posted January 7, 2013 by Lynn E. O'Connacht in Miscellaneous / 0 Comments

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Thanks to everyone who commented on my panicky plea for help post. You’re awesome and I am deeply grateful to you all for responding. I think it works fairly decently, but so far I’m still the only person to have seen the story. I may very well be biased. I may or may not end up trying to steer the reader to one specific interpretation. I hope not! I’m hoping that keeping it gender-neutral will make it easier for aces to identify with Jules’ asexuality instead of harder to relate to the story as a whole.

Have a (run-on) sentence from the latest draft!

I’m not sure if I’m still breathing because it doesn’t feel like I am and I have no idea what to say to her, but I won’t hang up (I can’t) and then I hear her voice and I rush to tell her not to hang up and that’s when I realise that I’m talking to her voice mail.

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Ideas, Plans, Things, Books!

Posted January 2, 2013 by Lynn E. O'Connacht in Other People's Creations / 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.

It is now January 2nd, 2013 here. I would have made this post yesterday, but alas I did not get to sleep in time to escape the fireworks, which meant I am still catching up on a sleep deficit. *le sigh* I need a life planner. Or something.

Anyway! Mustn’t grumble too much as it also means I’ve been bouncing around like, er, a bouncy ball tossed into a room with great bouncing-inducing surfaces at high speed so it has ridiculous amounts of momentum. No. No, that doesn’t quite work as a metaphor, does it? My ability to come up with shiny examples does rather plummet, yes.

2013 will see… a lot of things hopefully. I did not win the lottery as planned (which, selfishly, I consider extremely mean of the universe, but there you are), so I’ll be working on the same old same old things. One of those things is my TBR pile!

I’ve been trying to find ways to reduce it for a while now and have finally stumbled across some that work reasonably well. And by ‘reasonably well’ I mean ‘Slowly but actually gets the thing to go down’. Huzzah! This year, I’d like to fiddle around with the format a little and we’ll see how it goes, really.

In previous years, I’ve kept one pile of “I really want to get to these books” for the whole year. I’m still doing that, but I am terribly mean and not giving you the whole list. I try to keep the list around 50 books because I know my attention span will drift after all the new and shinier books.

So! This year, to spice things up a little, I am assigning myself 3 books per month. I read about 12 a month on average, so I should be perfectly all right with just 3. 2, possibly, if one of them is a chunkster. I may not manage it. It is a new thing, so it’ll be hard to find my way into a number and schedule that works. If I do well with 3 books, I may up it to 4 or 5 later on.

I also aim to talk about the books a little. Not full-blown reviews, but little thoughts and musings. Just to start talking about books again. You can be sure I’ll talk more readily about books I enjoy, though. I like positivity and fostering it too much. (That doesn’t mean I want a lack of critical thought or aught, mind! Problematic things are problematic and that should be acknowledged. I just want to try and slant it towards also being positive.)

Anyway! What does that mean for January? It means I am using Windows 7’s sticky notes (diiiiislike, but they work?) to remind myself every day of what I am supposed to be reading and doing. (I get to remove books after I finish them, of course!) So!

For January I Want to Read:
– Sword at Sunset by Rosemary Sutcliff
– The Annotated Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien
– Bridge of Birds by Barry Hugarth

For January I Want to Write:
12500 words of fiction (or of that syntactic essay I keep meaning to finish)

And those are my January goals (as relevant to my rambling here). I will probably revise the way I lay these out as I get more practice in writing them up and such, mind, so suggestions are more than welcome!

And for those who would like a status update: I’ve started Sword at Sunset at the end of 2012. I got a bit stuck 100 pages into it and then yesterday read through another 100. That puts me roughly halfway through the book. I am excited! (The sooner I finish it, the sooner I can reread The Hobbit and the sooner I can learn all sorts of things I never knew from the annotations!) It’s a slow book, Sword at Sunset, and it gave me some trouble settling into it, but I think I’ve found my stride now. ^-^

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Happy new (Gregorian) calendar year!

Posted December 31, 2012 by Lynn E. O'Connacht in Miscellaneous / 0 Comments

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Happy new (Gregorian) calendar year!

I’m a little early with it, but that’s because I aim to be in bed and asleep soon.

I spent my day reading, for anyone curious. I decided to clear my ereader of the samples I’d loaded onto it. Turns out about half of those samples ended before the story even began. What? How does that even make sense? Why are they calling it a sample?

Another thing I’ve learned from my sample reading is that I have to get my hands on a copy of Team Human as soon as possible. *sits on her grabby hands. is a good girl*

*waves* Good night all!

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A year in postings, a blogging retrospective

Posted December 26, 2012 by Lynn E. O'Connacht in Miscellaneous / 0 Comments

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

I only started to switch over to WordPress in mid-December and I’m reconsidering the wisdom of reposting all the posts manually. So I was very nice and copied over all the relevant posts to WordPress as well. Now you can have them in both blogs!

This is a meme that does the rounds on at least LJ round about this time of year. I thought it’d be a fun way to go over 2012. However, because I am a complete and total git, I’ll also see about doing a Year In Stories and Poetry list and a Personal Highlights list. We’ll see how that goes. XD You’re also getting this a few days early because I am a bouncy bunny today. (I shall see The Hobbit later today. It is all very exciting. I’ve been rewatching LotR the past few days rather than rereading the book. I plan to do that sometime in 2013.)

But before we get to those lists… (And deepest apologies in advance if I’ve missed someone. I’m doing this by memory. Let me know if I forgot someone? I like congratulating people.)
Before we get to my lists… Let me again extend my congratulations to (in no particular order) Maria Stanislav, Clare K.R. Miller, Memory Scarlett and Amy Rae Durreson! CONGRATULATIONS!

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