Person of Interest season 3 disc 6

Apr. 30th, 2017 08:39 am
shallowness: Shaw with a faintly incredulous expression (POI Shaw)
[personal profile] shallowness
Read more... )

Next on the DVD pile is season 5 of Smallville. I know - I rewatched the season 4 finale the other daym which can be summed up by the punctuation marks '!?' and mostly not in a good way.

Church notes - 30th April 2017

Apr. 30th, 2017 05:39 pm
[personal profile] fardell24
The Sermon notes from 30 April 2017 without those from the rest of the month.
'The Word' )

Doctor Who 10.03 - "Thin Ice"

Apr. 30th, 2017 11:05 am
lizbee: (DW: Bill (garden))
[personal profile] lizbee
Such is my fondness for the show this season that I'm almost ready to get a Twelfth Doctor DW icon. THAT IS THE LEVEL OF MY COMMITMENT.

'Human progress isn't measured by spoilers.' )
[personal profile] kiwiria
T-3 (11am): It'll be rather interesting to see how this crossposting goes when I keep updating the same post over and over again! So if you're reading this on LJ and it doesn't seem to update on a fairly regular basis (at least for the next 12 hours) - head over to DW and catch up with me there :-)

In two hours Mum will come and pick me up and we'll head to Rebekka's place. It'll be really weird not to have readathon in my library, but anything to allow my sisters to attend :-) We're going to try to FaceTime with Isabella in Thailand as well, so she can join us at least for a little while. Hope it works!

But not having it at my place means that I haven't really done many of my usual preparations... I have a huge box of books to bring with me, and my fair share of snacks, but the library hasn't been made ready, and I don't have dinner cooking in the crock-pot... like I said - weird. But I'm sure I'll live ;-)

See you in a bit for the opening questionnaire. I expect it's going to be exactly the same as always, but it's part of the tradition :-)

Read more... )

Books Read: "Sue Barton, Student Nurse" - Helen Dore Boylston (169), "Rosemary and Rue" - Seanan McGuire (346), "An Age of License" - Lucy Knisley (195), "Sue Barton, Senior Nurse" - Helen Dore Boylston (143), "Where Are the Lions?" - Claus Tondering (228)
Currently Reading: "Sue Barton, Visiting Nurse" - Helen Dore Boylston
Pages Read: 1131

Broadening My Horizons

Apr. 28th, 2017 11:10 am
swan_tower: (natural history)
[personal profile] swan_tower

If you’re in the Bay Area, don’t forget: I’m reading at Borderlands Books tomorrow, at 3 p.m.! (On Independent Bookstore Day, no less.) And I will have some very special news to announce . . .


I think one of the things I’ve enjoyed most about writing the Memoirs of Lady Trent is the way it gave me a reason to shore up some of the gaps in my knowledge.

Take African history for example. If all you had to go on was my high school education, you’d think that it consisted of human evolution, Egypt, and the slave trade, with nothing in between. (Nothing after, either, but that wasn’t a regional bias; my history classes bogged down on the Civil War and Reconstruction, so that the twentieth century is as the void to me.) I had the vague osmotic sense that there had been a place called Songhay, and that was it.

I could have fixed that at any time. But I’m much more likely to pursue reading about a topic when I have an immediate use for it — something beyond “man, I really ought to know more about X.” It’s pretty well-documented that we learn things better in context, rather than in isolation, and a writing project gives me context. A globe-trotting protagonist was therefore ideal, because she dragged my thoughts in all kinds of new directions, laying the foundation for future exploration. (Solaike in the upcoming Lightning in the Blood draws a lot of its social structure from Dahomey; that probably wouldn’t have happened without The Tropic of Serpents first.)

Islam is another good example. In college I took classes on early Christianity (which also means you wind up learning a decent bit about Judaism) and Hinduism, and some of my Japanese history classes touched on Buddhism and to a lesser extent Shinto, but Islam? Terra incognita for me. Sending my characters to Akhia was the kick in the pants that I needed to read up on it, to make myself conversant with at least the basics. I could have read a Wikipedia article to learn the difference between Sunni and Shiite, but it was easier to retain details when I had a reason to devote dedicated work time to the question. I wouldn’t call myself deeply well-informed on Islam now, but at least I’m not flat ignorant anymore.

Thanks to this series, I know more about Polynesia and how you can locate a flyspeck of land in a thousand miles of empty sea. I know some of the dynamics behind and resulting from Tibetan polyandry. And as I said on the Tor/Forge blog, I’ve learned piles about different kinds of climates and how people live in them.

This is one of my favorite aspects of my job. It’s constantly giving me reasons to learn new things, and I feel richer as a result.

Originally published at Swan Tower. You can comment here or there.

Onward, forward, upward

Apr. 28th, 2017 11:02 am
[personal profile] miladygrey
*sighs* Thanks so much uterus, this was exactly the week I needed to feel knock-down drag-out exhausted all the time. Nevertheless, inspections are scheduled for Tuesday, all important documents have been faxed to agent and lender, copies of Stillbright are apparently shipping, Yeats and I are going to a book thing in Arlington tomorrow, and out to dinner tonight. So, triumphing nevertheless!

Reading Log: Gather Her Round by Alex Bledsoe; An Extraordinary Union by Alyssa Cole; Agents of Dreamland by Caitlin Kiernan; The Echo of Twilight by Judith Kinghorn; An Import of Intrigue by Marshall Ryan Maresca; Railhead by Philip Reeve; The Night Mark by Tiffany Reisz; Grace Notes by Katey Sagal; After the Crown by K.B. Wagers

engulfed in the ocean of the past

Apr. 28th, 2017 06:03 pm
ladyherenya: (reading)
[personal profile] ladyherenya
I was about to walk out of a secondhand shop without buying anything when I glanced over the “chick-lit” shelves again, to see if there was anything I’d missed, and there was. Cotillion by Georgette Heyer. I’ve been wanting to reread it. Yay!

Walk On Earth a Stranger by Rae Carson is an historical YA novel set during 1849. Leah has a magical ability to detect gold, but that doesn’t help her with the day-to-day life in a wagon train, so a lot of the time the fantasy element fades into the background. )

Binti by Nnedi Okorafor is a SF novella about a Himba girl who is the first of her people to leave their planet to go to university. I like stories about people going to university and I was expecting this to be about Binti’s experiences AT university, rather than about the journey getting there. )

The Hating Game by Sally Thorne is a chick lit novel I saw recommended on Tumblr. Lucy and Joshua work for now-merged publishing companies. For the past year, they have been sitting opposite each other and playing a game of one-upmanship that Lucy calls “the Hating Game”. I’m sitting here with a cellmate because every power-crazed war general has a second in command to do the dirty work. Sharing an assistant was never an option, because it would have required a concession from one of the CEOs. We were each plugged in outside the two new office doors, and left to fend for ourselves. )

I’ve had Elizabeth Gaskell’s The Moorland Cottage and other stories sitting on my shelf for a while now, and have finally started reading it. Maggie, in all her time of yearning to become a Joan of Arc, or some great heroine, was unconscious that she herself showed no little heroism, in bearing meekly what she did every day from her mother. )

Angela Thirkell’s 1938 novel, Pomfret Towers, is about a house party and its aftermath. I didn’t find it quite as funny as Summer Half, but it’s just as cosy and delightful. It was a perfect book for a rainy day. ...she only had to go into her sitting room and take up a paper or a book, to be at once engulfed in the ocean of the past, re-living with intensity the lives of people about whom little was known and whose very existence was dubious. When the tide ebbed, leaving her stranded upon the shores of everyday life, she would emerge in a dazed condition to preside at her own table, or take a fitful interest in her neighbours. )
[personal profile] grav_ity
This is book one and two in Ally Carter's EMBASSY ROW trilogy, and I really liked it. It's much, much darker than her first two series (the Gallagher Girls and the late, lamented Heist Society, though both of those had their own form of gravity), but it wasn't egregiously "edgy" like some things I could name.

Anyway, it was more or less a straight up political thriller, which I always enjoy, involving Smart Girls and Team Work and Secret Societies and literal gender politics, all of which I basically live for.

There was also a possibly triggering depiction of mental health. Basically, the MC's family gaslight her for, like, international security or whatever, and so she has all of these terrible reactions to her therapist and her meds. Which I gather was problematic for some, but as a person with experience being gaslit(?) by a relative, I have to say: the MC's anger and betrayal and RIGHTEOUS FURY was kind of cathartic. I liked that Carter didn't shy away from the damage that was done.

ALL OF WHICH TO SAY I can't wait for the third book to come out in paperback so I can GET TO THE BOTTOM OF THIS.

The Accidental Mr. Thomas Wilker

Apr. 27th, 2017 11:06 am
swan_tower: (natural history)
[personal profile] swan_tower

I’ve got a post up at about what it feels like to say goodbye to Isabella, and there’s an interview with me at Goldilox. Continuing on from yesterday’s post (and this time basically sans spoilers), there’s someone else I’d like to talk about . . .


Tom Wilker is the best accidental character I’ve had in a while. Maybe ever.

What do I mean by “accidental”? I mean that I did not, at the outset, plan for him at all. I don’t think he was even in the first thirty thousand words I wrote, before I set the book aside for a few years; I think I added him in when I came back to the story, because I realized Lord Hilford would of course have some kind of assistant or protégé along for the Vystrani expedition. Jacob was too new of an acquaintance to occupy that role; therefore I invented Mr. Thomas Wilker.

Read the rest of this entry  )

Originally published at Swan Tower. You can comment here or there.

[personal profile] kiwiria
Want to Read

(The examples are books I literally only picked up because of the topic)

Travelogues I LOVE a good travelogue. Roadtrips, bike trips, boat trips, hikes - doesn't matter, as long as they allow me to live vicariously through other people.
Ex: "If Your Dream Doesn't Scare You It Isn't Big Enough - Kristine K. Stevens"

Letters/Journals I've always been a fan of epistolary novels :-) I'm likely to pick up a book if it's written in letters or journal entries without really caring too much about the plot :-P
Ex: "Where'd You Go, Bernadette" - Maria Semple

Cruise Ships Haven't been able to find many books on the subject, but whenever I do I pick it up straight away! If you have any recommendations, I'm all ears!
Ex: "The Woman in Cabin 10" - Ruth Ware

Time Travel It is really HARD to write a good time travel novel, but when it's done properly, it's an awesome plot device.
"Time and Time Again" - Ben Elton

"Happiness Project"-type memoirs Whether it's people traveling, knitting the perfect sweater, searching for their BFF or whatever, I'm immediately hooked. I LOVE this kind of memoir and am always on the lookout for more.
Ex: "MWF Seeking BFF" - Rachel Bertsche

Boarding Schools I used to read a TON of boarding school novels as a teen. Unfortunately I wasn't as diligent in writing down titles and authors back then, so I don't remember half of them. But I'm still automatically more inclined to pick up a novel if it features people staying at a boarding school.
Ex: Nothing recent :-(

Books with Wacky Titles I'm a sucker for long and convoluted titles. "The Hundred-Year-Old Man who Climbed Out the Window and Disappeared", "Love for the Cold-Blooded - Or: The Part-Time Evil Minion’s Guide to Accidentally Dating a Superhero", "The 13 1/2 Lives of Captain Bluebear". If it's got a wacky title, I'm likely to at least pick it up and read the back cover - just to see what on earth is going on!
Ex: "The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry" - Rachel Joyce

Shops It almost doesn't matter what the shop sells (although bonus points if it's books or yarn).
Ex: "The Bookshop on Rosemary Lane" - Ellen Berry

Books Books about books, books about reading - fiction and non-fiction both. Very meta I suppose, but I still love them.
Ex: "So Little Time, So Many Books" - Sara Nelson

Knitting Again both fiction and non-fiction. Since it was a novel about knitting that got me knitting in the first place, I guess it's understandable ;)
Ex: "The Beach Street Knitting Society and Yarn Club" - Gil McNeil

NOT Want to Read
(or "put down the book" as some of these I won't actually know about until I've read part of it)

Love triangles It wasn't romantic in "Twilight", it wasn't romantic in "Hunger Games" and it hasn't been romantic in any of the numerous spin-off since. In fact, it's just annoying!

Angels Not always - depends a lot on how it's done. But if the angel is a love interest - I'm out.

Urban fantasy/paranormal It's really weird, because while I generally love fantasy and paranormal, the sub-genre "urban" (as represented by e.g. "Storm Front" by Jim Butcher and "Magic Bites" by Ilona Andrews) leave me cold.

Fae With very, very, VERY few exceptions, fairies etc. just don't interest me.

Westerns Books and movies both - I have very, very little patience with stories set in this time period. There are exceptions, of course, but they are few and far between.

Bullying Reading about bullying makes me sick to my stomach, and I've put down more than one book, because I could see that that was where it was heading. I don't care if the bully gets what's coming to him/her in the end - I don't want to read about it.

Unhappy endings One of those things you usually don't really know until its too late. I don't need a "happy ever after", but if the book is literally about the main character fighting for one specific thing through the entire book, and then the book ends with them not succeeding for no good reason (or even worse, with the bad guys winning) then you can be certain I'll feel like throwing the book across the room.

Ghosts Very similar to angels, it really depends on how it's done. But more often than not, ghosts just annoy me. Of course it doesn't help that I don't believe in ghosts, so if the book's supposed to be realistic, they loose me right there.

Unlikable main characters Another thing you won't know until after you've started the book, but it's made me put down more than one book unfinished. An excellent example of this is "You" by Caroline Kepnes. The book was actually fairly interesting, but I disliked the main character SO MUCH that I just couldn't stomach reading on.

Suicide/Infidelity I'll admit it - both things can be acceptable tactics to move the plot along, but if I can tell from the blurb that it's going to be the main focus of the book, then I'm just not gonna bother unless it comes VERY highly recommended by someone I trust.

Book #21: Hunted, by Meagan Spooner

Apr. 26th, 2017 08:39 pm
grav_ity: (books)
[personal profile] grav_ity
This is a Beauty and the Beast retelling, and it was really good. I liked it because it was very nearly a straight-up retelling, but there were a lot of little nooks and crannies that Spooner put into her story, and that made the whole thing feel really fresh and interesting.

Also: sisssssssstersssssss. It was wonderful.

Actually, that leads me to a wider point: this was an excellent love story. Not romance, though it was that too, but love story. The relationships between the sisters, their husbands, their town, their was all just really great. Knowing what I know both of Beauty and the Beast and of Meagan's other writing, I was CONSTANTLY waiting for the other shoe to drop, but it never did. I enjoyed it immensely.

Also there was a tonne of magic in this book, and also people being very smart, and also valourized kindness, and I am here for it.

Concerning “Lord Trent”

Apr. 26th, 2017 10:11 am
swan_tower: (Default)
[personal profile] swan_tower

More than six years ago, in January of 2011, I sent my agent the pitch for the Memoirs of Lady Trent. It consisted of thirty thousand words from the first book and a document approximately three thousand words long describing the setting and the plots of the various novels. Because I am crap at outlining, while those latter synopses bear some resemblance to the final story, it’s very obvious in hindsight that I was just waving my hands in an attempt to make it look like I knew where was going . . . and nowhere is that clearer than in the figure of “Lord Trent,” i.e. Isabella’s husband.

Here there be spoilers. (Up through In the Labyrinth of Drakes, though I’d say the only really bad spoiler is for A Natural History of Dragons. If you haven’t yet read Within the Sanctuary of Wings, you’re in the clear.)

Read the rest of this entry  )

Originally published at Swan Tower. You can comment here or there.

[personal profile] swan_tower

medium-sized version of the cover for WITHIN THE SANCTUARY OF WINGS

At long last, the series is complete.

This story has been living in my head for . . . about a decade, I think. I know I wrote the first third of A Natural History of Dragons in 2007 or thereabouts, before stalling out on the plot and setting it aside. I came back to it in late 2010, sold it in 2011, the first book came out in 2013, and now, my friends, the end of the story is in your hands. (Or will be, as soon as you run out and buy it.)

I’m going to be launching a new blog series, along the lines of John Scalzi’s THE BIG IDEA or Mary Robinette Kowal’s MY FAVORITE BIT, called SPARK OF LIFE: a place for authors to talk about those moments where the story seems to take on a life of its own, with a character doing something unexpected or the world unfolding a bit of depth you didn’t plan for. For me that mostly tends to happen in the depths of the tale, when I’ve built up enough momentum and detail for such things to spring forth. But in the case of this series, it happened less than a page in, because the spark of life?

That was Isabella.

Countless reviews have talked about how the narrator is one of the strongest features of the story. I’m here to tell you that, like Athena from the head of Zeus, she sprang out more or less fully-formed. The foreword got added a bit later, so it was in those opening paragraphs of Chapter One, where Isabella talks about finding a sparkling in the garden and it falling to dust in her hands, that she came to instant and vivid life. Part of the reason that initial crack stalled out in 2007 — or rather, the reason it got so far before stalling — was because I was having so much fun just following along in her wake, exploring her world and listening to her talk. The narrative voice has consistently been one of the greatest joys of writing this series. I have an upcoming article where I talk about how sad it is for me to be done with the story, because it feels like a good friend has moved away and I won’t get to see her regularly anymore. That’s how much she’s lived in my head, these past years.

Stay tuned on future Tuesdays for a glimpse at how other authors’ stories came to life. And stay tuned in upcoming days for some more behind-the-scenes stuff about my own characters!


In the meanwhile, the book is out, and so are the reviews. Here’s a spoiler-free one from BiblioSanctum, and two reviews on one page at Fantasy Literature; here is a SPOILER-TASTIC one at (Do NOT click unless you’ve read the book or are fine with having the big discovery of the entire series laid out in full. I’m serious.) (And while I’m at it, the same goes for that Gizmodo article that shows all the interior art for the book, because spoilers can come in visual form, too. Love ya, Gizmodo, but oof. warned; you didn’t.)

Back in the land of no spoilers, you can read about my absolute favorite bit of Within the Sanctuary of Wings on Mary Robinette Kowal’s blog. It’s . . . a wee bit topical, these days. And I’m on the Functional Nerds podcast, talking about all kinds of things that aren’t this book, because they like to give authors a chance to branch out and natter on about roleplaying games and things like that.

And finally, I’m currently running a giveaway on Twitter. Name your favorite female scientist in any field (there, or in comments here), and get a chance to win a signed book of your choice from my stash of author copies. It’s already a stiff competition; we’ve had dozens of women named. (If you were wondering why my Twitter stream has turned into a sea of retweeted names, that’s why.) You have until tomorrow!

Originally published at Swan Tower. You can comment here or there.

(no subject)

Apr. 25th, 2017 10:17 am
sabrina: Mara Jade in By The Emperor's Hand (SW; Mara Jade; Lightsaber)
[personal profile] sabrina
This morning I'm sitting here thinking about the emotional irritation/exhaustion that was yesterday, and I have some things to say about Mara Jade, about fandom, about gender issues that drive how we interact with and what we assume about certain characters and their fans. Because apparently sometime in the last decade, I've thought way too much about women's studies and gender studies, and when you start seeing things you can't unsee them.

And then possibly a post looking at ways Mara Jade could enhance canon. Because everyone assumes that if she comes back she has to be connected to Luke, but the things that made Mara Jade great had nothing to do with Luke Skywalker. People shipped them because they made a great partnership, sort of how people shipped Han and Leia, or people shipped Cassian and Jyn, or Chirrut and Baze. Like, you see a connection and a chemistry and you ship things, and then sometimes those ships are canon. But Mara Jade wasn't beloved by so many because she was in a relationship with Luke Skywalker. She was beloved because she was a fascinating character who gained her autonomy and learned to shape her future. And if anything, the de-emphasizing of the Skywalkers and Solos in the Canon EU, leaves a lot of room for Mara to be a part of other stories.

Cause I really don't know how to be a Mara Jade fan these days. There are a safe places where I can squee about how amazing she is, but I feel like outside of those spaces I feel very hesitant to even identify myself as a Mara Jade fan. But I always prefer to create content and be positive, and I'm kind of glad I revived this blog, because I miss the LJ atmosphere tbh. I like Tumblr, but stuff can spiral ridiculously fast there and I prefer this for conversation.

Rain, Rain, And Also More Rain

Apr. 25th, 2017 12:41 pm
tkingfisher: (Default)
[personal profile] tkingfisher
Five inches in forty-eight hours, by the home weather station in the garden. (I love this thing SO MUCH. I cannot even tell you how much I love it.)

The rivers are all flooding, of course, but I'm on high ground, so it's just soggy. The thing of interest to me is how my growbag + water reservoir systems are holding up. All of them are as saturated as it is possible to be now and the tubs of water are overflowing. So far, they've done fine staying consistently moist during sunny days--now we see if they drown in the rain!

So far, most of them are holding up apparently fine. One bag, which is too shallow for the tub it's in, is definitely waterlogged (but that's one out of over a dozen, so not too shabby!) The two big chiapas-inspired growbag + barrel tubs are hard to tell, because the rain also pummeled a bunch of stuff flat, so I can't tell if the tomato starts are dying from drowning or just hammered down by hard rain. The peppers in the same tubs are okay. I guess we'll know in a day or two.

We close on Dogskull Patch next week. I am trying not to think about it for fear of jinxing everything and becoming a whimpering wreck.


Apr. 25th, 2017 11:18 am
[personal profile] fardell24
Lest We Forget.

One day left! (For two things!)

Apr. 24th, 2017 01:51 pm
swan_tower: (Default)
[personal profile] swan_tower

Tomorrow, y’all. Tomorrow, Within the Sanctuary of Wings will be available from all reputable vendors of books! If you’ve been waiting for the series to be complete before you pick it up, now is your chance to start! If you know someone who has been waiting for the series to be complete before they pick it up, now is your chance to tell them to start!

My upcoming tour schedule is here, with a new item added: a May 11th signing at University Bookstore in Seattle, where I will be joined by the inestimable Todd Lockwood.

Also, don’t forget that the illustrated edition of Lies and Prophecy is currently 30% off at Kobo. Just enter “APR30” as a coupon code at checkout to get the discount. The sale ends today!

Finally, I’ve contributed a number of items to this year’s Con or Bust auction. There are three lots:

Bidding is open now, and will continue until May 7th. It’s a great organization and a great cause, so go forth and bid!

. . . see you all tomorrow!

Originally published at Swan Tower. You can comment here or there.

(no subject)

Apr. 24th, 2017 11:37 am
sabrina: (Love Actually; Take You Down)
[personal profile] sabrina
In other news, I got my Hux and Kylo a Millicent yesterday.

Cause, why not?


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