hedda62: my cat asleep (Default)
I don't know if it's a New Year's resolution exactly, but I am trying to see the beauty in things more, so here we go.

Serious bummer of a week, with David Bowie going and now Alan Rickman - the latter more difficult for me because I actually met him for, you know, a minute once, and because Snape and all that - but it is great to know that they left so much beautiful work behind that we can enjoy. Still, waah.

Finally listened to the "Hamilton" soundtrack on Sunday (a day before Alexander Hamilton's birthday, which I know about because J. went to Hamilton College and we have a calendar from there which of course lists it, though I'm sure it was all over Tumblr too), and (of course) it was just as wonderful as everyone said, clever and wordsmithy and heartfelt and tuneful, and I'll be returning to it many times.

Had a grand jury session yesterday which finally after all these months brought out the "Oh my God why can I not tell anyone about this?" response, when an otherwise slightly interesting but repetitive investigation suddenly turned into film-worthy drama, oh it was fantastic and made me happy about people and their beautiful crazy instincts.

I posted my old Aubrey-Maturin crossover fic on my author website for Twelfth Night, and then inevitably started rereading The Far Side of the World, which is one of my favorites and O'Brian at top form, full of glorious words put together beautifully. Here is a bit where Stephen is in Brazil with a new Peruvian friend (the scene where he's first introduced to coca leaves):

In the event Lopez needed no hints. He spoke Spanish only with difficulty, and seeing that both his guests were fluent, even enormously fluent, in that language and that they agreed very well, he excused himself on the grounds of early work to be done and bade them good night, leaving them on a broad veranda with a number of domesticated creatures on it, marmosets of three different kinds, an old bald toucan, a row of sleepy parrots, something hairy in the background that might have been a sloth or an anteater or even a doormat but that it farted from time to time, looking round censoriously on each occasion, and a strikingly elegant small blue heron that walked in and out. Two bottles of white port stood between them, two hammocks hung behind, and Lopez returned for a moment to beg them to use the mosquito-netting. 'Not that we have mosquitos in Penedo, gentlemen,' he said, 'but it must be confessed that at the change of the moon the vampires do grow a little importunate.'

They did not annoy his guests however, since the vampire really needs a sleeping prey and these two (though eyed wistfully from the rafters) never went to bed. They sat talking all night, watching the sliver of the new moon go down and the procession of great glowing stars pass across the sky: bats of a more amiable kind, two feet across, showed briefly against their light, and in the river only a few yards below could be seen the star-twinkling wake of turtles and the occasional alligator: the lion-maned marmoset in Stephen's lap snored very gently, sleeping on and on despite the continual flow of talk.

Just to show that it is not all blue-water sailing in these books, glorious as that is as well. As an aside, which I may need to expand upon at some point, I am always bemused by the people who tell me that they tried O'Brian and couldn't manage him because of not understanding all the sailing terms - which, a) I still can't follow all of it despite multiple rereadings, b) neither can Stephen, c) why the heck do you have to understand every word of fiction that you read, instead of letting it wash over you in a beautiful haze? But this is perhaps one of those substantial personality differences that I will never get, even if I substitute me reading nonfiction and try to work from there.

Anyway, and finally. Not to locate myself in the next paragraph from Patrick O'Brian, but I am working on getting Not Time's Fool out (I need to force myself to do formatting and cover work this afternoon) and I did put up the teaser chapters if you are the sort of person who reads them. I am fascinated to see what people will think of this book - I am very pleased with it, in the end, but it is deeply weird in places (like when most of the characters sit down in the middle to start telling fairy tales) and all the book-long and series-long and otherwise-partial arcs tangling together make the structure a bit wonky, not to mention the chapter that covers seven months. But there are bits that I think beautiful. Hope some of you will too.
hedda62: my cat asleep (Default)
Be damned to you, [personal profile] gogollescent, for making me (by force, I assure you) start rereading Post Captain last night and spend the day thinking off and on about Simon Illyan as Sir Joseph Blaine. This delightful Stephen/Diana on Sergyar story is why. Note long comment thread.

The subject line quote (Stephen to Sophie, about Jack, obviously) is also resonating rather forcefully, as some sort of pattern for male friendship, though I'm not sure I can think of another pair for which it might be appropriate, except perhaps Christopher Robin/Eeyore, and that was a tail, not ears. But in the sense that Jack and Stephen are my epitome, my archetype, my gold standard of odd couple perfection, that's what I'm looking for. He seweth while he chastiseth, no doubt, but he's always there to sew. And Jack always goes after Stephen when he falls out the window. (And I don't ship them at all, pray pardon the pun, which doesn't stop me from shipping any other odd couples I take a fancy to.)

In my head, Stephen is walking into Simon's office complaining querulously that being seen entering ImpSec HQ is going to blow his cover, and that his role as ship's medical officer doesn't allow enough time to be the secret observer Simon sent him into space to be (too much sewing people's ears on, probably), and that Kline Station officials killed off all his experiments, and oh by the way here's the intelligence you wanted. Not that I'm ever going to write it, but it amuses me.

It's a beautiful day and the cold is somewhat less awful, and I got a lot done, but oh dear not nearly enough (and there was an hour less to do it in).
hedda62: my cat asleep (Default)
So in the end we watched Love Actually again, rather than Downton Abbey, last night. Mostly because it was P's last night at home and he wanted to, and he wasn't caught up on DA (like, having just started the first season).

*favorite Christmas movie ever* Speaking of which, I never did my list of Christmas books, but I don't feel like dragging them all out now (for values of now not meaning "now" but after I get back from driving to Allentown in an hour) and there is always next year. I did read A Mixture of Frailties mostly on the plane, so got my fix.

Having rejoiced in a little wavelet of fannish attention in the last few days (including, out of nowhere, several comments on my otherwise-ignored O'Brian story "The Language of Home," which cheered me as much as the Lewis love) I now need to concentrate on getting some work done, so among other things I will probably stop reading the Lewis comms temporarily as I don't see getting around to watching (by whatever devious means) the new eps immediately (though if my iron nerve breaks, you'll know).

Okay, must run now. Try not to disturb the eels.
hedda62: my cat asleep (Default)
And hurray for AO3, so I can share my enthusiasm with more than one person. :)

I'm already working on a new fic, which will feature Laura Hobson and her imaginary friend Stephen Maturin, thanks to Hathaway's discovery in "Generation of Vipers." It will have to count as a crossover in AO3-land, even though Stephen quite naturally never gets a word in. This will be my second crossover in "Lewis" fandom. If anyone who doesn't know me reads this, it's truly not typical!

In the old old days when I wrote the Snape/Vorkosigan crossovers, I had the wonderful experience of attracting a number of Harry Potter fans to Bujold's books, plus I think a couple who went the other way. The former group includes [personal profile] philomytha, one of the best Vorkosiverse writers out there, so I did some good. :) I was actually very surprised that people not familiar with Bujold would read the stories (Snape fans, not the most orderly) especially since they were full of spoilers. I tried to avoid that with "No Time for Sergeants" and in fact I'm getting a good number of readers for that, most if not all of whom are there for Hathaway, but just maybe I'll send a few off to Bryant & May or Dalziel & Pascoe.

And really any Laura Hobson fan should read Patrick O'Brian (or any Hathaway fan, since he seems quite familiar with the series as well).

Something not about "Lewis" will turn up here shortly, I'm sure...


May. 15th, 2012 04:15 pm
hedda62: my cat asleep (Default)
Still here. It's been a month and a half, I think, which is nothing compared to some of my absences. I had a grumpy April and a... sneezy May, if we are doing Disney dwarves, though actually stuffy nose and migraines are the more common results of my allergies. A sleepy June would be nice, but I don't think it's going to happen.

So, working backwards: as of the weekend I am the mother of a college graduate, which, ack. It was a spectacularly damp commencement but they read the Houston weather right and the skies cleared in time, although it took much longer for the ground to stop being a lake. He will spend next year in San Francisco interning at SOM (Skidmore, Owings and Merrill, which, wow. And no, I don't think George had anything to do with it, heh. Another branch of the family) and then back to Rice for another year.

In a few more weeks I'll be the mother of another high school graduate, who is off to Muhlenberg College in Allentown PA in the late summer. Best undergraduate theatre program in the country. Not tops academically, which is just as well considering his recent grades. Ack. I will miss him greatly.

In the April downturn I managed to reread the entire Aubrey/Maturin series (except for Treason's Harbour which we no longer possess for some reason), and I am now rereading Len Deighton's Bernard Samson books. I have had more Thoughts about series fiction as a result but now is not the moment. Whether there will ever be a moment is up in the air. I am rather scattered in focus just now.

Have seen the finales of both Castle and Once Upon a Time, each of which was satisfying in its own way. Happy to discuss if anyone wants.

Otherwise am amazingly behind at everything. And must go wash dishes.
hedda62: my cat asleep (Default)
First, two quotations from author's introductions, cut for length:

Patrick O'Brian )

Reginald Hill )

These are actually examples of different phenomena; O'Brian's characters are living multiple fictional years within the historic year of 1812, whereas Hill's are stretching out 10 years of fictional life over 20 that the author and his readers are experiencing. But my subject line actually referred to the quirk of the author explaining himself. Does anyone have any additional examples of this - not of fiction stretching or compressing time, since that happens to most series characters, but of authors stepping forward to talk about it?

I wrote a little story a few years ago taking advantage of O'Brian's time-fiddling. Fictional time is just a very cool thing and I don't think we notice it enough (although perhaps to do so twists the muscles of our minds in painful directions; everything in moderation).

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