matrixrefugee: the word 'refugee' in electric green with a background of green matrix code (Default)
I've been erratic about posting lately, due in part to Reading A Lot of Books Lately and Watching a Lot of Things Lately and to having erratic sleep patterns caused by critters. The woodpecker has been up to his tricks, hammering on the white trim of our house (which my dad has recently just repainted). I've been sticking my head out the window or running outside and yelling at him. It seems the best way to drive off Woody, according to various articles I've dug up online.

Finished reading "The Help": usually I tend to steer clear of Very Popular Books since all too often they seem to end up Not Worth My Time, but then I cave in to See What All The Excitement Is About. This time, however, the pattern of Popular Book Turns Out To Be Crappy has been broken: It's very good, like a combination of "The Remains of the Day" and "To Kill A Mockingbird" with a whiff of "Mississippi Burning". I totally relate to all three of the main female characters: like Aibileen and Minny, I work a thankless job where I don't get a lot of respect (though my lot isn't as hard as theirs, of course), but like Skeeter, I'm still trying to get my feet under me and find my niche in life. Dare I say, I'm tempted to bring Skeeter or Aibileen to a certain Mansion, since I need more Normal People on my roster.

Speaking of which, I'm going to RP Hell: I'm putting Alice the sparkle-pire on reserve.

Also have been reading several Doctor Who novels I've picked up here and there: found one set at Halloween in a New England town (featuring Ten and Martha). I think I know what I'm reading for October!

Ordered the next volume of the classic penny dreadful Varney the Vampire, though I probably should read the first one.

Have been watching The Gates, courtesy of AJ at [profile] carpe_ooc: it's kind of like Desperate Housewives meets True Blood, but still fun to watch. Also had a "Hey It's That Guy" moment, when I realized Paul Blackthorne, aka TV verse!Harry Dresden has a role in it.

Also, I'm staying on top of episodes of Torchwood: Miracle Day. I can't say why, at least not right now, but I have a bad feeling about a main character, but I'd have to post a whole entry about my reaction to the series. I'm gonna wait till after this Friday before I jump to any conclusions, though.
matrixrefugee: the word 'refugee' in electric green with a background of green matrix code (Tolkien_Quote)
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Hoo, where to start, since I've been an avid reader since age two (Mom read aloud to me, up to and including street signs as she pushed me in the stroller)?? I'll try and keep the list short:

The Arch Books Bible stories series: lovely picture book retellings of stories from the Old and the New Testament, with very lively writing.

Father Lovasik's St. Joseph Picture Books, particularly the Lives of the Saints.

Fifty Saints for Boys and Fifty Saints for Girls: very cleverly written short stories about the lives of the saints; I can't remember the author's name, but she's a British writer with an almost Jane Austen-like gift of snark.

The Color Faery Books by Andrew Lang: I might be annoyed with the way he sanitizes and bowlderizes some of the stories, but they're still good to start kids on, just for the sheer diversity of stories.

Anything by Edgar and Ingrid D'Aulaire, especially their Greek Myths and Norse Myths

Beatrix Potter: 'Nuff said, particularly The Fairy Caravan, which was my favorite book as an eleven year old.

Alice in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass, particularly the version with illustrations by Mervyn Peake: his drawings just add a whole new level of weird to the story.

Coraline, and The Graveyard Book, both by Neil Gaiman. More weirdness!

A Wonder Book by Nathaniel Hawthorne

Little Women, et al by Louisa May Alcott

Anything by Laura Ingalls Wilder

Anything by Lucy Maude Montgomery (which, if you really look at them, are darker than they seem...)

Anything by Anne Pellowski

The Redwall novels by Brian Jacques (Granted, his stories can be a little bit all of a kind, but they're still a lot of fun)

Anything by J.R.R. Tolkien. Even the Silmarillion. Really. Because every kid needs some Elf soap opera to keep their life in perspective.

The Vampire Academy books by Richelle Mead, once they're a bit older
matrixrefugee: (Steerpike)
(Headspace!Titus: Why are you using *that* icon?
Ref: Because I really need to make one of you.)

So! as many of you know, one of my most anticipated book purchases this year was the "lost" Gormenghast book, "Titus Awakes", which Mervyn Peake's widow Maeve Gilmore completed, based on one completed chapter and some notes which Peake had left, including a list of one-word elements he hoped to include, ranging from "Snows Mountains Lagoons" to "Angels Devils" and "Mermaids Pirates".

The story begins with Titus dreaming of Gormenghast as snow covers a barn where he's taken shelter. When he awakens, a large white dog creeps in and offers him comfort, shortly to be followed by some mountain villagers who take him in and nurse him back to health. Despite their kindness, Titus maintains a slightly cold detachment from them, determined not to let himself be held down by anything that could jeopardize his hard-won freedom. In time, he moves on, the white dog trailing his feet, as he wanders a landscape much more pastoral than the hyper-technical world he'd encountered when he first left the bounds of Gormenghast. He encounters a range of characters, from vagrant thieves, to a snarky and self-sufficient female painter, to a gang of would-be anarchists with an eerily familiar leader, to a portly dilettante poet who might be Swelter's twin. Flitting through the narrative is a mysterious artist through whom Titus learns of different kinds of love, and who might provide the wandering young earl with a place to call home...

The book is quite obviously mostly Maeve Gilmore's work, and I can hear the literary purists mewling about that already. She might not have full command of Mervyn's word painting and verbal gymnastics, but she has a firm grasp of the characters and the ideals, that of the search for freedom and a sense of self and of home. Her style is something of a balance between the weighty, fittingly static text of the first two books and the clipped, hectic feel of the third book. I have a feeling some parts could have been fleshed out more, and there are times when it seems like she was trying to fit in as many of the some four-dozen tropes Mervyn intended to use, but I'm not going to complain: I'm just glad to have this coda to a series that I've rediscovered and become so very fond of.
matrixrefugee: the word 'refugee' in electric green with a background of green matrix code (American_Gods)
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:: Points to icon:: This one, since it's got so many awesome characters in it and so many interesting riffs on mythology and legend.

I used to re-read Beatrix Potter's "The Fairy Caravan" in middle school: it's the longest and in some ways the weakest of her books, but it's still a sweet read with a lot of fun little critters.

Does re-reading the Gormenghast trilogy three times count as regularly re-reading???
matrixrefugee: the word 'refugee' in electric green with a background of green matrix code (Alucard)
Went to the little hole in the wall Barnes & Noble in Lowell this afternoon, and walked in the find the shelves half-stripped. This made me worry that they might be closing, so I asked what was going on. Come to find out that they were in the process of getting a new inventory and so they were thinning some things out. Picked up several classics, including Herodotus's Histories, Aesop's Fables (the complete version, featuring dozens I was not familiar with) and the deluxe annotated edition of Bram Stoker's Dracula.

Other than that, it was a fairly quiet day: working on my fics for the second round of [livejournal.com profile] fic20in20, which has become the successor to "drabble20in20". I'm woefully behind, and trying to catch up...
matrixrefugee: the word 'refugee' in electric green with a background of green matrix code (Black rose)
I...have not been feeling well physically or psychologically either. I don't want to go into detail, because I don't want to come off like some whining whiner. I don't want to burden any of you with that kind of crud. My customers have been doing that to me all week and I don't want to be guilty of that.

Had a couple bright spots today, though: picked up the second book of Patrick Rothfuss's "Kingkiller Chronicles" today. I think it is officially the second thickest book in my possession, after the Overlook Press omnibus of Gormenghast! Also, had to pick up extra tax forms at the library for my mother, and lo and behold, but they were holding their Wednesday book sale. I found the sixth of the Dark Tower books, which I've been looking for. I got the first four (as a boxed set), the fifth and the seventh at various book sales, but the sixth kept eluding me. Till now!
matrixrefugee: the word 'refugee' in electric green with a background of green matrix code (Jane Austen in Hollywood)
Okay, the spammers are getting really irritating. I've gotten multiple spam comments to this one dump of [livejournal.com profile] comment_fic entries, so I've had to enable the CAPTCHA on anonymous comments. I have non-friends who comment from other communities that I cross post from and sometimes the odd person from InsaneJournal, so I don't want to shut them out by disabling anon commenting completely.

In more pleasant news, had a father-daughter trip to the Used Book Superstore last night: I found a clever little novel entitled "Letters to a Heroine", based on the premise that Jane Austen is writing an advice column; also found Ovid's "The Art of Love", Marie de France's "Lais", an interesting-looking young adult novel entitled "Parsifal's Page" (based on Wolfram von Eschenbach's "Parzival"), and most fascinating of all, Liza Dalby's "Geisha", based on the work of an American anthropologist who is the only non-Japanese woman ever to train as and become a geisha. I'd been looking for this one for years without much luck, thus as soon as I spotted it, I snatched it up.
matrixrefugee: the word 'refugee' in electric green with a background of green matrix code (Book-canon!Steerpike)
One of the best-kept secrets I've been sitting on lately is the bookstore-cafe that was opening our town. We've had a history of this town eating bookstores: there have been two that have opened in holes in the wall in various strip malls, but which shut down after a couple of years due to falling business. I have high hopes for this one: it's a stand alone in a historic house on the main road, so it's likely to do well.

It's officially a bookstore-cafe now: they have a writer banging away on a laptop in the cafe. free wi-fi for the win. The staff is very friendly and helpful -- just bought two Doctor Who tie-in novels and the clerk at the register turned out to be a fan; the cafe manager has a voice that sounds absurdly like Neil Gaiman's minus the British accent (and the chai tea is to *die* for).

Only downside: it is *NOISY* in here, but it is opening day, so everyone who's been dying for a bookstore in town is likely here.
matrixrefugee: the word 'refugee' in electric green with a background of green matrix code (Alucard)
Crummy day at work yestday, between having an Aspie moment, then getting chewed out by one manager for it -- I'll worry about the damn holidays when we get to them; having an Aspie moment when its less manic does not presuppose that I'll have one later on. I never know when to expect them, and since That Time of the Month is imminent, I'm more likely to have a bad spell than when it It Isn't. At least the other front end manager was a lot more empathetic and got on her case for getting on mine.

But enough of that: I currently have a nice little pile of books I'm reading or have read recently, including:

*"Perdido Street Station" by China Mieville. Just the dedication alone and Neil Gaiman's endorsement sold me on it. Anyone who drew their inspiration from and dedicated their book in memory of Mervyn Peake has a lot going for them. And the Peakean influence shows: the city of Crobuzon could easily exist in the same 'verse as a certain ginormous castle. I would die happy if someone wrote a crossover between the two.

*"The Physick Booke of Deliverance Dane" by Katherine Howe. In some ways, it's rather like "The Historian" only with the Salem Witch Hysteria, but the writing is nowhere as good. I probably shouldn't compare apples to oranges, but while the descriptions are vivid and the history is interesting... the characters seem a bit thin. The fact that the various archivists and professors seem uniformly to have it in for the heroine reeks a little of Sue-age. At least said heroine is somewhat conservative and reticent helps redeem it, since if she was plucky and rebellious, I'd be sending her to a certain Mansion to be reformed...

*"Black Butler" aka Kuroshitsuji by Yana Toboso. I picked this gothic-Victorian manga as a way to tide myself over till the next volume of Yami no Matsuei gets translated and released in the States (a little bird tells me it may be released in February of next year). It's a lot of fun, reminds me quite a bit of Hellsing, only with some mild shounen-ai overtones, and with a dash of YnM -- Sebastian could be Tsuzuki's more competent twin brother, when he isn't reminding me of a kinder, gentler Alucard.

And our roof is being repaired! I got awakened at seven this morning by what sounded like giant woodpeckers hammering on the roof, so I moved to the couch to catch a few extra Z's... only to wake up a few hours later to find the daylight in the room had a blue tinge due to the blue tarps which the roofers had laid down on the lawn and draped from the roof to catch the busted shingles they were pulling up. Besides getting the roof reshingled, we're also getting rid of the very unnecessary hatch that was in the middle of the roof, which did little more than leak when we had a heavy spell of rain.
matrixrefugee: the word 'refugee' in electric green with a background of green matrix code (EvE Online Sieges)
I've been too quiet in here lately, but life has been far from quiet, hence the lack of posting...

Last weekend was a bit of a rough one, since That Time of the Month hit me. Sunday night, my folks and I went to the Topsfield Fair; Monday night, my dad and I went again, this time to watch the demolition derby -- translation: fun ways to recycle cars, to the tune of about four turning over during the shenanigans. Unfortunately, I had to work that morning/early afternoon, so I was pretty tired.

Tuesday, I spent much of the day recovering from the crazy weekend. Wednesday, my check came in the mail, so I decided it was time I'd better get some flannel sheets for my bed. The ones I have, while they've still got a lot of mileage in them, just won't fit the mattress. Thus I headed to Wal-Mart to see what I could find. No flannel sheets to be found, but... I found a unicorn PillowPets plushie. I've seen them advertised, but haven't seen the unicorn anywhere, till I found the fluffy fellow sitting at eye level on a shelf. Also got the first season of "Castle" on DVD: started watching this season on hulu.com, and I am utterly hooked (not just because Nathan "Mal Reynolds" Fillion plays the leading man, but also for the witty writing and the wonderfully bizarre cases -- and the sly references to "Firefly"...).

Just got back from the monthly trip to the Salem, N.H. Barnes & Noble, mit Target shopping for the infamous flannel sheets. Found four volumes of the manga version of "Kyou Kara Maou!", and got a copy of James Frazer's classic study of myth and magic "The Golden Bough". And at the Target in Salem, I found some lovely flannel sheets with a print of autumn leaves. They look snuggly and I can't wait to put them on the bed!
matrixrefugee: the word 'refugee' in electric green with a background of green matrix code (YnM -- 003)
As well as dropping off a good stack of books I'd been meaning to get rid of since forever, and even more that I had recently culled out while reorganizing a few shelves (unfortunately, this meant that I misplaced a few Anne Rice books I wanted to read this month, darn it). We had a coupon for the Used Book Superstore in Burlington, so we decided, today being rather dreary which made it a bad day to work on decorating the yard, that we'd get rid of the pile of books -- and get a few more. I fiund several more of Anne Rice's Vampire novels (not the ones I had misplaced, though I was tempted to do the "find what you lost by getting a replacement" trick) as well as a few odds and ends including a book of true ghost stories from Salem. They sold two books that I'd had my eye, so I guess I'll have to look for them used on Amazon.

Got off to a good start on the [livejournal.com profile] halloween_31 fics, but I need to get cracking at typing them before they really start to pile up. I think I have five out of thirty themes written (it's actually thirty themes and one author's choice, but one of the themes is redundant, so I may do two author's choice, while giving the comm owner the head's up on this little snag). At least they're coming out as short little sketches, though two decided to become longer, more serious fics (one featuring a slightly hair-raising conversation between Tsuzuki and an angry female ghost who turns out to have an indirect tie with his past). I'm a little stuck as to how to write a "trick or treat"-themed fic, since I'm setting these fics in the YnM-verse and as far as I know, trick or treating isn't done in contemporary Japan, though I suppose I could do something featuring Mercy Falcone, the original character from the U.S. branch of the Ministry of Hades.
matrixrefugee: the word 'refugee' in electric green with a background of green matrix code (Autumn_Road)
It's still a little humid (possibly as a result of Hurricane/Tropical Storm Earl blowing through), but that's likely from all the rain we had last night. But there's a nice breeze and there's something oddly autumnal about it. Maybe I'm just hoping it is, since this has been a very long, uncomfortable summer for me, since we've had so much warm weather. No offence intended toward those who like it warm: I'm renting the top of my folks' hundred year old, hard to air condition house, so it's been table fans and open windows at night for me, plus having to make sure the house has cooled off to the right temp before closing windows before the sun rises and warms things up again.

But enough about the warm weather: I've got a couple writing projects I'm poking at, one of which might end up being published for real.

The first is a Gormenghast related essay that came about as a result of a conversation with the inspiring [livejournal.com profile] tomboy_typist: I was describing a moment of Fridge Logic that came about as a result of watching "Life After People", while working on RP tags for [livejournal.com profile] 77th_earl. It dawned me that, given the kind of decay that Gormenghast has fallen into -- a lake on a roof big enough for a horse and its foal to swim in, a tree growing through a wall with a trunk big enough for the Twins to have a tea table and chairs on it -- that the structure might not be in the best of condition. Thus it dawned on me that there might just be some magic in Gormenghast, that the Rituals of the Law, for all their soul-sucking inanity and the way that Sourdust and Barquentine (or just Barquentine in the BBC mini-series) nitpick over them, might just be supplying the magic that's keeping the elements from conquering the Stones. I can't say more, as I'm saving it for the essay, but it's a very intriguing point to ponder...

The other might be my NaNoWriMo project for this year: I'm hoping to write a Catholic novel dealing with that touchiest of touchy topics, namely, homosexuality and what it's like to be a faithfull Catholic and to be a GLBT person. I'll be focusing on four main characters: a priest (more or less modeled after Father Mychal Judge, the gay priest and NYC FD chaplain who was among the first victims at the WTC Towers on 9/11) wrestling with his own identity and his vocation, a single woman in her thirties (Okay, yeah, Author Avatar, but hey, it worked for the late Shusaku Endo when he wrote "Scandal"), a fifteen year old boy trying to make sense of himself and a male escort who's sort of a Mary Magdalen-like figure. Still trying to come up with a plot, but it'll come when it's ready. I'm likely to get a lot of flack for this, and I'm not sure if I really want to try publishing it, but it's the kind of novel that Needs To Be Written and Published. I'm hoping Ignatius Press with open their doors to it, and given the number of really good Catholic novels they've published in recent years, I have hope for them.

Also got back to reading GRRM's "A Clash of Kings", the second of the Song of Ice and Fire novels. Somebody please tell me that Joffrey dies a hideous, horrible death? The kid is such a *BRAT*, you want to reach into the book and king or no king, spank him and send him to bed without any supper; he might be thirteen, but he acts like he's about *three*.

And on Thursday, I made my monthly trip to the Salem NH Barnes & Noble, where I picked up the new Supernatural tie-in novel "War of the Sons" and the latest issue of SPN magazine: I've heard that they're moving the show to a time slot on Friday nights this season. Plus I missed most of last season, thus I really cannot wait for the DVDs which are coming out on Tuesday the 7th. If I'm extra quiet this week coming, it means I'm likely watching the series marathon-style. Also picked up... "Winnie the Pooh" and "The House at Pooh Corner"; I'm tempted to bring Eeyore to a certain Mansion, and I'm due for a canon review, but my copies seem to have vanished.
matrixrefugee: the word 'refugee' in electric green with a background of green matrix code (Book-verse Harry Dresden)
Nicked from [livejournal.com profile] cupcake_goth, and it's an utterly adorable little meme:

Name four comfort-reading books:

-"The Tao of Pooh" by Benjamin Hoff: Taoism made even easier, by seeing it through the eyes of a certain Bear of Very Little Brain

-"The Halloween Tree" by Ray Bradbury: I re-read it every October, and I don't think there's any other writer who captures the spirit (HA!) of the season as well as the Grand Old Master

-"American Gods" by Neil Gaiman: Okay, it has its Nightmare Fuel moments (Bilquis and her John, in that early chapter), but there are so many cool stories within this book that I like to open it at random and just reeead when I need a pick me up

-"Blood Rites" by Jim Butcher: Funniest opening and ending lines ever, and the reveal in the middle is a CMoH that makes me go "Awwww..." every time I read it.

BONUS! -"Yami no Matsuei (Descendants of Darkness) Vol. 5": Since the cultural elitists like to say this isn't a book since it's manga, I thought I'd Leave It In Anyway. It might start out with a funny-shivery Muraki cameo, but this one makes me just go "awwww", as Tsuzuki finds a book that one can get lost in and meets a gender-flipped version of himself.
matrixrefugee: (Steerpike)
I had had no plans for the day: just needed a down day after all the emotionally drained feelings I've been dealing with: however, my dad took part of the day off since a roofer was coming to give us an estimate on how much it will cost. Afterward, we went to the Used Book Superstore in Burlington (we had a coupon come in the mail): picked up the usual crazy stack of books, including, but not limited to the first book of Tony Kushner's "Angels in America" (aka "Belize's canon" to the [livejournal.com profile] carpe_ho_ras crowd), C.S. Lewis's "Poems" (did not know he wrote poetry at any length...), Charlotte Perkins-Gilman's "Herland", and Norma Goodrich's "The Grail" (a study on Grail lore and various incarnations thereof).

Saw something rather strange, and I wonder if someone working there did this on purpose as an educated joke: On not one, not two, but three different shelves in the Classics section, there was a copy of Macchiavelli's "The Prince" right next to a copy of St. Thomas More's "Utopia". There couldn't be two more vastly different books, from the same era, and yet here they are, cheek by jowl. What made this even funnier is that last night I'd watched the second episode of season one of "The Tudors", in which the King and Sir Thomas discuss both those very books. Which made me laugh out loud, since a lot of commentators will point immediately to Macchiavelli when they're describing a certain anti-hero/anti-villan/sneaky little character who was also played by Jonathon Rhys-Meyers. And I've read that part of JRM's preparation for said role was reading Macchiavelli. Of course this is triggering much hilarity in headspace -- as does watching "The Tudors": when I'm not snarking about the historical revisionism (though kudos to the costume designers for including a hairshirt as part of Jeremy Northram's wardrobe, since St. Thomas actually wore one), "the boys" are making wacky comments ("Hey, the skinny kid grew into himself...").
matrixrefugee: the word 'refugee' in electric green with a background of green matrix code (TrueBlood)
Which means I can at last wear the Fangtasia tee-shirt I got just before this maddening heat wave we've been having. I'm trying not to grumble about the weather, or grumble about people grumbling about the weather. Or about people whining in general ( :: Glares at people commenting on the LJ News comm:: ). There seems to have been a rash of it lately and it's wearing on my nerves as much as the weather is. I don't know what the cause behind it is, but it's caused me to be a bit more hermetic than usual.

Did a little retail therapy to ease my frazzled nerves: went to the Burlington Barnes & Noble for the first time in a month and picked up a couple of odd volumes of Naomi Novik's Temeraire series (aka "Iskierka's canon" to the [livejournal.com profile] carpe_ho_ras crowd).

Still watching "Dexter" and I'm on the third season already. For a series that has plenty of Nightmare Fuel, it's got it's share of Crowning Moments of Heartwarming, particularly this season. Gotta love how Dexter proposed to Rita. He's not just asking her to marry him, he's asking to be a dad to her kids. Awwwww!!!

I'm also taking tentative pokes at another Showtime series, namely, "The Tudors". I blame the red-hot shortfic that one of the Carpe folks wrote for it, as well as a certain headspace-dweller's fondness for Jonathan Rhys-Meyers. :: Glares at Muraki:: I'm well aware that it's a highly romanticized view of history, but I'm a little leery of it: my biggest concern is how Sir Thomas More gets portrayed. He's one of my heroes and I'd hate to see him get warped into a sanctimonious jerk or something just as tedious.
matrixrefugee: the word 'refugee' in electric green with a background of green matrix code (Book-canon!Steerpike)
Why yes, it's another Gormenghast ramble: I guess this is my latest Aspie fixation, and it's certainly a rich one...

One of the latest in a series of packages of things bough via Amazaon showed up today, bringing a collection of short stories by Mervyn Peake, including most prominently "Boy in Darkness", a kind of side-story to the Gormenghast novels. There's an interesting point which Maeve Gilmore (Mrs. Mervyn) makes in the preface:

"[N]o book, however long, can possibly chronicle every incident in its character's life. There are many events, and adventures or meetings with people which take place outside the book, just as we, however close we are to our families or friends, can only know a small part of what makes up other people's lives."

You could definitely use that as an apologia for fanfiction writing. We fanfic writers are merely writing the bits that the canon creator didn't write, didn't think to write, or decided not to write. There's apparently a notebook in which Peake had jotted a bunch of ideas for Gormenghast, which never made it into the bricks, including the possibility of making the Steerpike/Fuschia pairing fully canonic (up to and including SP impregnating Fuschia, which leads to her suiciding; I can't help wondering if the "SP as a Groan bastard" theory which mini-series canon strongly yet subtly supports is in there as well, because if it isn't, it was a lost opportunity on Peake's part since it puts the story into the same league as Greek tragedy). Which leads me to add that I'm poking at a pair of very short "missing scene" fanfics: one which explains why Fuschia in her mid-twenties is described as "no longer a virgin" (ie. I reveal who her lover/bed-buddy is; not telling till I post it) and the other is a rather tragic sketch set after her suicide, in which Prunesquallor has to do a post-mortem examination.

Also, I have (technically) finished reading the bricks! Though I had a moment of "Hey, wait, what?" when I happened to open the omnibus and find that "Titus Alone" was several chapters longer than my stand-alone paperback edition (the Ballantine paperback from the 1970s). I was more than a little irritated, since I don't tend to like the edited version of anything. However, it turns out the edits were made in order to make the narrative more coherent. Which lead me to think, "Okay, I can get that from an editorial standpoint, but from a thematic and creative standpoint, it kind of goes against the grain of a world where madness and eccentricity dominate and where things losing their meaning is the order of the day."

I have to admit, I rather liked "Titus Alone", not quite as much as the first two books, but I still enjoyed it immensely. And as I move toward intro'ing one version of Titus Groan at a Certain Mansion, I'm thinking of making some strong references to elements in it, although his entry point will be coming at the end of the books/end of the mini-series, since I'm combining book and mini-series canon (it's sort of book continuity with the trappings of the mini-series, thus he won't be expecting an Evil Albino when he meets our SP).
matrixrefugee: the word 'refugee' in electric green with a background of green matrix code (Birthday Cake)
I've been a bit busy starting some of the birthday festivities: I have to work the day after my birthday, so I've had to rearrange my schedule a bit.

But, among other things, I've been doing a bit of shopping, some practical, some fun. Among other things I have acquired:

--Several DVDs, including both the Tod Browning and the Francis Ford Coppola versions of "Dracula" -- I've never seen the whole thing of the Tod Browning version, so I'm rectifying that, stat -- also the complete set of "Firefly", which I was watching over the weekend via Hulu, and which I enjoyed so much that I picked that and "Serenity" up at Newberry Comics in Burlington.

--A Fangtasia tee-shirt, also at Newberry Comics; I almost bought a bottle or two of TrueBlood, but my finances wouldn't allow for that at that time.

--Do not shoot me, but I also bought a copy of the new Twhinelite novella, the proceeds from which are going to the Red Cross to help the relief effort in Haiti and in Chile. I've only just started reading it, and so far it's pretty good (compared to the rest of the series).

--Also have been getting several packages in the mail, more books on order from Amazon, including the light novel version of Blood+ (essentially a novelization of the anime; just waiting for the third one so I can triple-check the facts on Riku's death since I am introing him at the Mansion this week) and the art book based on the BBC version of Gormenghast (proof of how obsessed I am. Stephen Fry's introduction in it should be waved under the noses of all the purists whinging on Youtube about the miniseries: he pretty much slaps all their arguments with a dead fish).

I'm also figuring out the webcam on this laptop, and thus I maaay be posting video bloggage via YouTube. We'll see: I haven't yet set up an account there, but in due time.
matrixrefugee: the word 'refugee' in electric green with a background of green matrix code (Belle)
Had an appointment with the therapist today, which I almost didn't remember till when I woke up this morning.

And I sped home from that, since we had a coupon for the Used Book SuperStore in Burlington, and since my mom had an appointment at Lahey Clinic, we decided to use it pronto (as we've had them accidentally expire on us). Picked up Jacqueline Carey's Godslayer duo, also Anne Rice's "The Vampire Lestat", a collection of Louisa May Alcott's little-known thriller short stories, Pushkin's "Eugene Onegin", Anne McCaffrey's "The City Who Fought" (aka "Sim's canon" to the [livejournal.com profile] carpe_ho_ras crowd), among others.

Work tomorrow is up in the air: I'm supposed to call in and see if anyone has called out, which I have a feeling is going to be "nope, sorry", but I hope not, as I need the money for next month's phone/Internet bill, which just arrived in the mail. And because I am eying a potential birthday present for myself, namely the impossible to find soundtrack to "Gormenghast" (for USD$60. I must be insane. Or addicted.).
matrixrefugee: the word 'refugee' in electric green with a background of green matrix code (Sandman quote)
And I have to thank everyone for all the hugs, kind thoughts and vampire hugs from everyone for helping me pull myself back together. Though now, out of the blue, I have a bit of a cough in my chest. Not enough to floor me, but enough to slow me down a bit. I also discovered, about fifteen minutes after punching in at work, that I'd looked at the schedule wrong and I had the day off. Rather a nice surprise, though it won't look too good on my paycheck next week. But... I'm working on finishing the infamous [livejournal.com profile] story_lottery stories: I've got maybe one left to finish writing, specifically the EvE Online fic, but I've had that mapped out in my head for a year. Expect to see an insane amount of ficcage popping up for the next few days as I scrabble to meet the deadline.

Also went to the Salem NH Barnes & Noble last night: bit of a disappointing trip, as they didn't have two things I was looking for, though since one was the new Supernatural tie-in novel, it might have gotten scoffed up quickly. I'll try the Burlington B&N. I did get Richelle Mead's "Succubus Shadows", and I'm now fighting the temptation to bring Georgina Kincaid to the Mansion ([livejournal.com profile] carpe_ho_ras, you are my anti-drug of choice. :: Laughs:: ).

Now re-reading Gormenghast (and skim-re-reading "The Historian", since I'm seriously considering bringing Helen Rossi in at a certain addictive RPG), and I had forgotten how delightfully Byzantine Meryvn Peake's prose is. And I have to snerk at the purists who yell about the Pre-Raphaelite inspired art design on the TV series (which I have been watching via YouTube and trying to ignore the anNOYing comments: I like how they've redesigned the website, but could they find a way to collapse the comments? I swear to God, YouTube has the most inane commenters ever): I can't see any argument against it, and I rather like it.
matrixrefugee: the word 'refugee' in electric green with a background of green matrix code (TDF Welcome to the Jungle)
Nope, I don't seem to be doing my usual "devour the book in one day" since I've been juggling it with Gregory Maguire's "Wicked", which I for some reason never finished when I started reading it two years ago. We recently had the book version of Elphaba turn up at the Mansion and I decided this was a sign that I needed to finish familiarizing myself with her world.

I'm trying to avoid spoilers, but I have to say, "Changes" is not pulling any punches. "Hurt the hero" is one of the many rules of good fiction writing, and let me tell you, Jim is roundhouse punching Harry in this one. The series is not going to be the same after this, and I'm dreading some of the reactions that the small handful of kiddie fans will have -- though older fans will be cackling with glee (while secretly wincing at the things that go down).

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