hedda62: Harold Finch on ecstasy, dancing (drugged finch)
Well, after following the show for five seasons I should probably react to the end of "Person of Interest"! I did like the finale - "like" is a tepid word and it's not that I feel tepid about the ending, since some of it was very moving and makes me think, and there were the appropriate explosions, but it didn't whelm me overly. Good end to the show, though, decent wrap-up to a somewhat disorganized season, and a nice lack of utter tragedy ... well, finality.

Here are my quick thoughts on how all the character arcs wrapped up, plus some thoughts on redemptive arcs and those that are not:
Read more... )

oh, hi

Jun. 15th, 2016 08:32 am
hedda62: Harold Finch, half in shadow, text: Oh, Mr. Finch (finch)
I figured just after the penultimate episode of Person of Interest was a good time to pop back in here. I've been busy, and not really feeling the fannish love for anything, but here's a brief TV wrap-up, and that's the right word, since so many of my shows have come to an end.

POI: I've enjoyed this season on the whole, or at least felt the usual mix of admiration and dissatisfaction. Last night's episode: I was operating on about two hours of sleep, so likely missed things, but the plot seemed to have taken several leaps past logic. Which is par for the course on this show: set things up for years, and yet have smart characters fail to take ordinary precautions or question stuff that seems weird. Anyway, next week will be it, and we'll all get over it - and I kind of want to write Machine-POV fic except that might mean having to watch too many episodes over again so I can figure out what was going on.

The Good Wife: Didn't love the ending, not so much because of the non-conclusive nature (I am all about that) but because of the it's-all-about-men thing, though I suppose that is thematically right, just really annoying.

Castle: Let's just pretend the last season or two didn't happen, or that we never found out all the backstage gossip, or that they had time to plan out the series finish.

Sleepy Hollow: Boy, am I glad I stopped watching this at the beginning of this season. Oy.

Agent Carter: Sorry that it couldn't keep going, but my investment in the Marvel-verse is pretty shallow anyway.

Elementary: Actually that was a pretty satisfying season. John Noble, aren't you glad you got killed off on Sleepy Hollow?

Orphan Black: Still enjoying this too. OMG Helena and her hat. And her deer.

I am going to try not to get hooked on anything else, and spend more evenings reading or writing. Or, you know, sleeping.
hedda62: (time travel)
Collections of unrelated observations make a post.

1) One really should not wake up on Mother's Day with Vienna Teng's "My Medea" going through one's head. But anyway, it was a very nice day on which I was fed brunch and cocktails and got to blog at three of my platforms (here, here, and here, if you're interested in, respectively, kolomikta kiwis, trees, and WWII airplanes vaguely related to thoughts about writing the little people in wartime, perhaps I'd already had a cocktail by that point).

2) Tangentially, with regard to the first, I keep realizing how annoyed it makes me when people a) don't pay attention to what you've said repeatedly, b) don't investigate things for themselves, and c) don't ask you to weigh in when you're standing right there, therefore d) making either themselves or you or both look like idiots when taking something that's not really a problem to an authority over both your heads. But so it goes.

3) Oh, while we're on blog posts, ha ha I used a thyme machine.

4) On the "Person of Interest" semi-renewal (for 13 episodes in the latter part of the season, demonstrating CBS's utter lack of commitment): obviously I want the show to go on (hopefully being picked up by another network or Netflix or something), but also am hoping that the limited engagement next season will mean tighter storytelling, whether it's for the endgame or a lead-in to more. They were just all over the map this season, with pointless dead-end subplots sprouting every few episodes, and not enough attention paid to either the main through-line or the intimate character details that used to make the show so compelling. A few of the episodes were stellar (and those were the ones with tight writing and a simple plot), but not enough were even average or coherent. Just trying to do too much, I think. And it just doesn't work for me to have occasional "wow, feels!" moments interspersed with a lot of garbage - I really need to know that someone's telling a story and sees where it's going, even if I'm kept pleasantly in the dark for a while. Was waiting for all those threads to be pulled together into whole cloth in the finale, and - it didn't happen, and in fact nearly the whole season didn't really advance plot or character development much. Or, at least, it was all going on beneath the surface, which may be great for fanfic, but not otherwise. And where there was development they tended to tell not show. With the possible exception of Root, they weren't using any of the characters to full potential. (Especially Bear.)

5) Other shows: still enjoying "Elementary" and "Orphan Black" (which also has convoluted plot lines, but I don't really care if I follow it all since it's the characters who matter for me - hoping they tie Alison's storyline back in though), hanging on for the end of "Mad Men" though not caring too much about it, thinking that "Castle" should have ended for good with this season (maybe "The Good Wife" too, we will see).

6) I don't think I've said anything about the upcoming new Vorkosigan book - I guess I'm excited about it, though perhaps not so much as I should be? Very glad to be seeing more of Cordelia, of course.

7) I'm scrambling to get as much done in my mess of a landscape as possible before summer really hits with its horrible heat and humidity (a taste of it earlier this week, yuck), and we have construction on a new porch/deck going on. Then I hope to write my way through the rest of it.
hedda62: (tea whisk)
Things that have happened lately:

1) Saw Vienna Teng perform on Saturday night! Just so lovely and perfect. I got the tickets way back in December, ended up asking a MG friend to come along because I thought she'd like the music, and indeed she loved it, so that's good; the venue (the Hamilton in DC) was very nice (table seating, with food), even if a slightly late arrival meant that we basically couldn't see Vienna's face for most of the show. But she sang one after another of my favorites, everything from the generally appealing "City Hall," "Landsailor," "Whatever You Want," "Grandmother Song" (to close, which was great), to the personal WoT soundtrack items like "Eric's Song" and "Augustine," and so much more. I'd expected more emphasis on "Aims," but I guess she did that tour already, and it was wonderful to hear her reaching far back into her catalog.

It was a solo show (she had a NZ duo, the Bollands, opening for her on the tour, and they were pretty entertaining, but none of her usual backup group), so pretty much just Vienna, a piano, and technology. The last of which was a fascinating addition - probably old hat for those who go to a lot of live shows, but for me it's all happening mysteriously in the background usually, so it was fun to see her setting up tracks and letting them play in parallel. I'd seen the magical voice-splitting thing for "Hymn of Acxiom" on video before, but it's cool in person.

The between-song patter was interesting, too, with some details about where the songs came from and what she's doing (real corporate job now, which apparently she was working from the passenger seat of the van on tour, conference calls and spreadsheets and the like). She didn't have a set list, and was taking requests; the funniest moment was when some deep-voiced guys at the bar called out "Lullabye for a Stormy Night!" and she turned and said, "Are you from Boston?" (because apparently either they or someone just like them had come to both her Massachusetts shows and shouted the same thing).

Anyway - wonderful wonderful, made my week. More details on request.

2) And then we got up early the next morning (I got almost no sleep, due to mistimed insomnia, if it's ever timed right) and drove up to Allentown. Awards ceremony (P. got a prize for history) and then "Romeo and Juliet" that evening, which was done as a tribute to Ferguson et al. with the Capulets being rich (for inner city) black and the Montagues poor white, and lots of police barriers (marked VPD) and Catholic schools and dirty streets and Mercutio in full punk mode. It was very well done, even if the story doesn't quite map right to the theme (family rivalry doesn't tidily broaden to state oppression and societal prejudice, if you stick with the text instead of going all "West Side Story"), but I give them full credit for trying. For saying something. (And P.'s girlfriend E. did a lovely job in the small roles of Lady Montague and the Apothecary (as legless Vietnam vet drug pusher).)

Interestingly, Chesapeake Shakespeare in Baltimore is also doing R&J right now, with apparently the same casting decisions (just going by the website photos), and has had to cancel several shows due to the unrest.

3) I keep meaning to do a catchup post for book and TV consumption (I have read all the way through Lev Grossman's "Magicians" trilogy, finally, for one thing), but for now I'll just say, wow, "Person of Interest," good job ramping the tension up at the end of the season. I am wondering about the timing of this "Correction" on May 6, which is the day after the finale airs next week, but not at all congruent with the snow they were (literally) digging through in last night's episode. Are we going to skip through time, or are they just going to prevent (or perhaps not prevent!) something that's scheduled for months in the future? Anyway, very curious to see how they're going to pull all the plot threads together, if they do; I think the season's theme of separation is still pretty relevant, and the two teams (of villains and heroes and ambiguous figures) that have been making distinct circles all season still seem to be doing so. Though there are some points where they touch, so maybe that'll be important. The Machine is playing some very big game (and talking!).

I need to take care of plants now. Have a good day!
hedda62: my cat asleep (Default)
Reasons I have been somewhat dispirited of late:

a) Toothache that developed last week turned out to be an infection requiring a root canal. While waiting for that appointment, I took antibiotics that dealt with a lot of the pain once they kicked in (before that I needed to take a few of the leftover oxycodone from P's wisdom tooth extraction last summer) though of course necessitated also taking antidiarrheals, because that's how my insides roll. After a lot of mystery novels and "Lost," I got back on my feet Sunday, and even went to Jazzercise on Monday (though my ambitions of keeping up regular classes and adding in some of the weights-focused classes have been postponed). The surgery was yesterday (I really have to look up root canals to see what was going on - so much drilling for a tooth that's still mostly there) and I have to go back in two weeks to have it all done over again, because my dentist couldn't locate one of the canals, suspects it's blocked, and is trying to decalcify it with some substance working away deep in my jaw. It doesn't hurt much at the moment, unless I mistakenly bite on it, but the whole process is so boring, I am not getting stuff done, and the worst thing is that I haven't been able to tolerate hot liquids (I need to test this again, but it still feels likely) so no coffee, no tea, except the iced varieties. Chewing has not been especially wonderful either. I have been eating a lot of yogurt.

b) Spent over two hours Tuesday morning freezing my ass off at the demo garden, trying to orient the new MG interns; finally gave up and went home without planting cabbages (at least they got to go for a ride). It was not too cold for the cabbages, but it was too cold to kneel down and stick my hands in the soil. We continue to have regular little spurts of freezing rain and snow; today will be much warmer (so I'm planning to get those cabbages in) but tomorrow temperatures plunge again (there is talk of nights in the teens). Realistically this can't last much longer, and I would love another cooler than normal late spring and summer (while feeling guilty that the rest of the globe is suffering record highs), but at the moment it feels like winter won't let go. We do have crocuses finally though.

c) Person of Interest kind of sucked this week. Willing to discuss in comments, but right now I only have energy to say spoilers )

d) Still no writing progress - toothache is not conducive to plot-hatching. I am hoping to push myself to get some words down this coming week, in between lots of other stuff that needs doing. Green plants in the ground will help my mood. Also caffeine in a heated form, if that becomes possible.
hedda62: my cat asleep (Default)
1) I meant to post yesterday (but didn't get around to it) after reading the morning's Writer's Almanac and noting that it was Janet Flanner's birthday. She was the New Yorker's Paris correspondent for many years, and I named my character Janet Lapinski after her (also after a lovely children's book in which the Bunny Queen is Janet, but that's beside the point). Because of the European connection, not because she was (apparently) bisexual, but hm.

2) I could also have noted as a result of the same entry that it was the anniversary of Sir William Herschel discovering Uranus, thus setting up many rude jokes, but I didn't.

3) Today, of course, is Extra Pi Day. I was finishing up a Jazzercise class at 9:26:53 this morning (yes, I did complete the Challenge and receive my relatively useless tank top, thank you). And I have pâte sucrée chilling in the fridge for a pumpkin pie. (ETA: forgot to note that, as my son pointed out on FB, a lot of theatre companies are celebrating by posting pics and quotes from Titus Andronicus, which is absolutely awesome.)

4) [ObSelfPromotion] You could all celebrate by reading The Opposite of an Epitaph, because it does mention pi. [/OSP]

5) Along with half the known universe, I should probably undertake a reread of Terry Pratchett. :( :( :( Actually there are several of his recent books I haven't gotten around to yet; it's sad to realize that this is now a temporary predicament. (Unless I pull a Desmond Hume and save one of them for my deathbed.) One wonders if Sir Terry realized ahead of time that everyone would eulogize him by pulling out the DEATH quotes - well, I'm sure he did.

6) Speaking of Desmond, I had all these shower thoughts the other day about Lost season 6, and exactly when, if you think about it logically, it becomes obvious that spoiler )

7) Have watched all the Scott & Bailey that is currently available in the U.S., which is through season 2. I do really want to find out what happens next, but can wait until the next season is released, which should be this summer. It's extremely entertaining and satisfying, though; there's little that's better in terms of female buddy drama, and lots of great opportunities to growl at the annoying menfolk (but also kind of sympathize with them, in places).

8) Really enjoyed this week's Person of Interest and am eagerly waiting to find out how it ties in to the season arc - hopefully it does? Considering the Control-centric episode earlier? I mean, I am never not going to like Michael Emerson being badass from a wheelchair, or having second thoughts about moral decisions, but I suspect there was more to it than "whoops, we never put this bit into season two." I'm loving this season in the sense of all the separate bits being meaningful and well-acted, but here and there I'm wondering at the connections, and I suspect this has to do with how the plot got reshuffled a bit after unavoidable cast changes. Do not know where they are going with John Gets Much-Needed Therapy, but I really don't think it's where everyone worries it's going.

9) There were probably five other things I was supposed to post about, but I'm sure they can wait, and I have to make the pie now.
hedda62: my cat asleep (Default)
Quick TV catch-up:

Sleepy Hollow: Almost like Katrina after last night's episode. Almost. Also, nice to see Frank again? I hope?

Castle: Back to form and they managed to find a new twist to keep things running a little longer. (Based on last week; haven't seen this week's yet.)

The Good Wife: And the Chicago canyons echo again with the refrain, "Kalinda, what the hell, no!" Also, I love episodes that require "we didn't know this would be in the news" disclaimers.

Elementary: Introducing new main characters and giving them storylines of their own is a good thing, people; season developing nicely. (I should probably note here that Ophelia Lovibond was yet another in the category of "where, oh where, have I seen that actor before? *checks imdb* Of course: 'Lewis'.")

Agent Carter: Watched the first two episodes of this; will probably keep watching. My main reaction is: it's just so satisfying. In somewhat the same way as Miss Fisher except with much more anger and fork-in-artery grit.

Person of Interest: On hold again until February, dammit. (Not that I begrudge the State of the Union, but otherwise grrr.) Good essay here: Why Person of Interest Needs to Continue Being the Gutsiest Show on Television. It's hard to remember sometimes that reactions are different outside fandom, but I'm not surprised that some viewers want it to go back to being the cosy procedural it never was. And probably hate Root/Shaw.

Couple of reading notes: Aside from finishing A People's History of the American Revolution, it's been mainly comfort reading. Among other things, I reread Lois Bujold's The Spirit Ring, which is an early stand-alone historical fantasy novel that I must have read originally after plunging through the Vorkosigan books. In that context it was a bit disappointing, but it's really very good on its own merits: the world-building is solid, the writing sings in places, and the characters are appealing. Seen retrospectively, it strikes some interesting notes with regard to the Chalion series, too.

Earlier in the month, to remove the taste of a dreadful Agatha Christie conspiracy thriller dealing with the misuse of an international youth movement, I reread some John Verney - anyone else here familiar with the Callendar series? ismo is the relevant one here, but the series starts with Friday's Tunnel - very fun 1960s British teenage adventures, which for some reason our local library possessed when I was a kid, and I later managed to procure copies for my kids (out of print alas and tend to be expensive). All of them use female POV, girls with real personalities and varied interests and a tendency to be irritable, and I'm glad to find I still love them (the books and the protagonists, especially February). If I ever do participate in Yuletide, I'll be sure to propose this series - there has to be someone out there who's read it.
hedda62: pay phone with "green roof" (phone)
"Control-Alt-Delete" actually got the fic-writing juices flowing, where all the shipping and anguish of the last episode failed to. So:

Fresh White Paint, Control-POV, 1077 words of mostly interior monologue. She's not code-named Control only because she gives the orders.

This came about because I started thinking what a boring trope it was that spoiler ), and then I considered it in context and words started happening. I probably have more to say about the episode and where the season's going, but this will do for now. Aside from "what do you mean, trilogy?" that is.

Managed to excuse myself from doing what I should have been because all writing is good, yes, especially when you've been somewhat blocked? And also writing Control will help me understand Ted. Uh-huh, self.

ETA: and because I have that eerie sense of timing, posted this right before AO3 went down - but it will be back as soon as Greer allows it.
hedda62: Harold Finch, half in shadow, text: Oh, Mr. Finch (finch)
1) Got Younger Son delivered to Allentown and his stuff into the off-campus house he'll be in this semester. A whirlwind of Target and Thai food and frigid temperatures and hotel with paper-thin walls and music all the way up and back.

2) Writing is occurring! I have more than a page of Book Five done and am settling into a new character's head (Rinaldo, if you're interested. So not a new character, I mean, but a new headspace). Making notes and having thoughts about where I'm going with the book. (Cryptic words about rivers and traitors, ha ha.)

3) And doing research. Finally finished reading the section of A People's History of the American Revolution on African Americans, made note of a bunch of sources I can find at U.Md., got a JSTOR account (I had been under the impression that you needed an academic affiliation for this, but no) and shelved a journal article on enslaved people in Virginia being recruited by the British and so forth. I think this will figure in the book; not sure yet, but it's a place to start. (Well, André on the Hudson is a place to start, but it's all going to be thematically tied together, I swear.)

4) Got a couple of really nice bits of fan mail. :)

5) Kind of but not looking forward to POI tonight. Well yeah I am, but glutton for punishment, oh ow show. Have spent too much time on Tumblr this week wallowing in it all. Just reblogged a gifset of various character-killing explosions over the course of the show (tagged it "an inherent cultural passion for things that go boom") just because it was SO PERFECTLY TYPICAL. They do tend to repeat themselves thematically (and explosively) when it comes to killing people off, but it still manages to be freshly painful each time. Still need to write that essay.

6) Also, as counterpoint, still enjoying Miss Fisher a lot; nearly done with the second season I think, well past the Phryne/Jack temporary estrangement and up to the adorable Dot/Hugh stuff. A show with just enough pleasant tension but no real trauma is really just fine with me thanks.
hedda62: pay phone with "green roof" (phone)
It is 6 degrees F. outside, which makes getting up to do things not the most pleasant thought, but I've managed to zip through quite a few tasks this week (at the standing-up desk, mostly - which is in the coldest room) so feel justified in being almost through Foxglove Summer and having watched POI 4.11 "If - Then - Else" twice.

And wow, what a stunning episode. Structurally brilliant (if not unpredictable - lots of people guessed the format based on the previews and the title) and a perfect exhibition of the show's combination of action and emotional punch (emotional knockout, even), with Finch-voiced moral lesson to boot (and having just published a book full of chess metaphors I am not at all prejudiced, but I thought it was beautifully done). I have been spending more time on Tumblr than I should looking at the ideas and beautiful gifs posted (though not much discussion - still not a good place for that).

serious spoilers )

In conclusion, fantastic episode. And now I have to wake up the kid and make sure he finishes packing - we drive to Allentown today, how much fun in this weather.

Epiphanies

Jan. 6th, 2015 07:41 am
hedda62: Harold Finch on ecstasy, dancing (drugged finch)
Well, lots of things happening on January 6, anyway:

- Snow!!
- Foxglove Summer out in the U.S. and on my Kindle! Lots of stuff to get done before I can read it, alas.
- New Person of Interest tonight! Looks to be a very interestingly-structured episode and a hell of a cliffhanger.
- Sherlock Holmes's birthday, if one cares to celebrate that.
- Last day for the Christmas tree (and the Christmas Penguin, outside).

Also, Sleepy Hollow last night… !!!

Yesterday was apparently National Bird Day and I did a little author blog post on that and the bird thing in my books - pretty much what some of you have read here already. Also it was Twelfth Night, of course.
hedda62: my cat asleep (Default)
1) I put together a FAQ for my books, mostly spurred by having to make that "check the box or not?" decision again for "adult content." I did not check the box. Here's the relevant portion of the FAQ:

situationally-appropriate )


I think this is all reasonable, but there's bound to be someone out there who gets huffy. Difficult sometimes to remember that not all the world reads E-rated fanfic on a regular basis and thinks my writing is tame. :)

2) I am having trouble being quite as enthused about season two of Sleepy Hollow as I was about season one, and I'm afraid it has to do with Katrina. It's very hard to express dislike for her without being one of those "gets in the way of my ship!" people, and while I do kind of ship Ichabod/Abbie, I would love Katrina to be a great character instead of the inconsistently written and acted mess that she is. She could be both the love of Ichabod's life and a person causing him great consternation; she could be both badass and ladylike; she could be smart as hell and still confused by her confusing circumstances; she could be motherly and passionate and jealous, and conflicted about those feelings. There's plenty of room for fascinating development along all those axes of character, but instead she's tossed arbitrarily from one side to another, never gets to be fully competent at anything, never gets to be as funny as the other characters, is often a victim and more frequently stupid, has marvelously unclear motivations, and keeps wearing an outfit you'd think she would toss in the trash immediately. And she's been the focus of a lot of episodes this season, so all this is unfortunately front and center.

Also, not nearly enough Frank Irving is happening, but we knew that.

3) Bad POI fan here: dozed off here and there during last night's episode and missed both Bear's swimming and the bit about the circle (which I know about from browsing Tumblr), so I will have to watch it again. It's not the show; it's me and my previous night's insomnia. But I did wake up for the ending and look forward to mayhem ensuing next week. And I didn't snore as much as Fusco.
hedda62: my cat asleep (Default)
1) I almost have a cover! I need to work on balancing the color (or lack thereof; it's all sepia-ish) but I think I should be done today, and then very little is stopping me from getting the book together and uploaded. This time around I'm pretty sure I'll have a different cover for the ebooks than the paperback, because the print cover uses a wraparound background image with another image covering most of it on the front cover, and not enough of the background shows there to be comprehensible alone. So much as I hate to lose the planes-that-look-like-birds, I think the ebooks will just have the broken violin. Will post on the blog when it's done. (I am still not sufficiently talented with image software (using GIMP now) to make it what I want, but IT IS GOOD ENOUGH SO THERE.)

2) TV catch-up: a) Need to stop dozing off during POI, but that's my fault not the show's; I especially loved Root's turn as French Mary Poppins; b) speaking of which, Doctor Who had some spot-on moments during the season finale, and I have decided that it's not worth dwelling on the places I didn't think they quite made their points, because the misses were fairly close (by the way, has anyone written the story where spoiler )?); Castle, WTF? though I suppose you get the "it was only a dream" pass.

3) We will be getting the polar-vortex-whatever during the day today, though at nothing like the power the center of the country has been experiencing. Our local weather gurus have predicted some "mood flakes" tonight, another term for "conversational snow." I have been a little too occupied with cover-building and the like to do as much outdoors as I should have been doing; maybe I'll manage to go pull out the pepper plants today at least.

4) Music recs. First, my son and a friend, together known as Red Wheelbarrow, have a little album out which you can listen to (and pay what you want to download) here, if you should wish to. As Patrick says, it's a bit rough around the edges, but hey, the price is right, and new artists should be supported, and I think they do a splendid job: Helen has a lovely voice and Patrick plays multiple instruments well and I am not prejudiced at all. Album is original music; you can listen to their covers here.

Second, on a more experienced and professional level, a friend sent me the latest of Zoe Mulford's CDs, "Coyote Wings," and I am now interested in getting her others. Excellent songs, very personal and yet universal, great lyrics and themes and thoughtfulness. And, as I figured out soon after glancing at the liner notes, she is the sister of one of Patrick's directors/teachers/now-colleagues at the theatre camp he attended for many years and now works at in summer, and in fact one of the songs, "Acrobats," which you can listen to at the "music" link on her site, was written to celebrate her brother's wedding (to another employee of the same camp as well as of the commedia troupe they both belong to which I think I have referred to here before). So that is cool.
hedda62: pay phone with "green roof" (phone)
Because Root/Shaw on The Toast's Femslash Friday!

With bonus Root/The Machine/Shaw, which does make considerable sense.
hedda62: my cat asleep (Default)
1) Post up on visiting places you write about (the why and the maybe why not) at the author blog. With reference to Venice, because.

(Incidentally, I am gathering that as with Twitter, so with Wordpress there is a method whereby bloggers like, follow, and/or post empty comments with the intent of getting you to follow them back; see comment about my interesting post on travel writing which is not what I wrote about but is what the commenter does. Sorry, I have you all sussed out now and I'm not going there. So to speak.)

2) Things I need to do in the next few days: upload teaser chapters for Time Goes By; decide on a not-stupid About the Author blurb for that book, and also whether I should have a dedication; start formatting the print version; do a temporary price cut for TFT and TAF ebooks (month of November, buy 'em now); send out email announcements as well as posting on the blog; get ready to agonize over cover design. Plus other things in other spheres of my life.

ETA: Also have to come up with a blurb for TGB a little more extensive than the placeholder ("Adventures extending over five centuries, three separate continents, and one world-convulsing war"). OMG how.

3) Am attempting to catch up on TV missed while away. Caught up on Person of Interest, which continues to be fantastic this season (all of you who gave up last season, you should come back!); on Castle, which is still entertaining if stretching it a bit with the amnesia plot oh please; on Sleepy Hollow, which is just absurd but completely lovable and doing interesting things with interpersonal relationships; on Doctor Who, which… I just don't know, really. Others to follow.

4) I read, over the course of the trip, several books but two in particular that I'd really like to review together if that were possible anywhere, just because they resonated as if unrelated objects struck and vibrating in close harmony. One is Jo Walton's My Real Children, which I loved as a transformation of the mundane extraordinariness of life into the fantastical (old woman with dementia in nursing home reflects on two entirely separate lives she remembers having lived in two versions of the 20th and early 21st centuries (neither of them ours)), and the other is a memoir by my second cousin Ann Hedreen about her life and that of her mother who died in her 70s of early-onset Alzheimer's, called Her Beautiful Brain. The resonance is close in the description of confusion and forgetting and disintegration, the life choices faced by women, the poignancy of loss and ordinary living, the portrait of a period of time; the format is different, of course, but I think Walton's book has a lot of elements of memoir (there's a lot more of "and then this thing happened, and then the other thing" than I thought I could put up with in what has to be categorized as speculative fiction) and it certainly reads as a real person's story, or stories. (But it's a different sort of person who chooses to write about their own life rather than those of invented characters. I didn't know Ann very well before reading her book; now I almost feel I know her too well. Memoir is not a choice I'd make for myself, even if my life was interesting enough to merit one.) Also, I had no idea before I started Walton's book that it had so much to do with Italy, so that was fun.
hedda62: my cat asleep (Default)
New post up at my author page - Something Alarmingly Plausible, No Doubt: Writing the Past - about how I approach my version of historical fiction. I'm just going to do one more "update" post, tomorrow or the day after, and then leave the blog alone until I get back from Italy.

And OH WOW fantastic episode of POI last night, perfectly grim and poignant and intimate and funny and laying the foundation for who knows what. I loved it all, and all of them in it, but number one was Fusco's glee-face. Friendly acts of revenge: better than falafel.
hedda62: my cat asleep (Default)
I'm back. You can read about my garden visits here; otherwise, here's the continuation of the previous post.

Last Wednesday I was in St. Johnsbury VT, and did see the Athenaeum before I left (splendid!), then drove a long way by back roads across New Hampshire and Maine and wiggled my way down to the coast, where I stayed a couple of days with my uncle and aunt, sorting out books and walking on the beach and watching "The Roosevelts." Then (see garden blog) I popped up to the Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens (lovely!) and then down to my dad's in MA for another couple of days, then (see garden blog) to Tower Hill Botanic Garden (I am forever intrigued by which gardens decide to be botanic and which botanical, and which pluralize themselves, but never mind) and then to New Haven CT to spend the night with my sister and brother-in-law and their cats. Then Monday I drove down to PA and spent the night close to Chanticleer Garden which I was going to visit again the next day until I checked the website and discovered it was closed on Tuesdays. Oops. So I drove home, stopping to outfit myself at an Eddie Bauer outlet store on the way. The end.

I was cautiously pleased by last night's POI season four premiere - if they keep that up, it'll be a good season. Spoilers )

I need to catch up on the openers of "Sleepy Hollow" and "The Good Wife." And I'm watching "Doctor Who" despite misgivings; speaking of betrayal and difficult transitions, I got pissed off at everyone being disappointed in Clara for reacting badly to the regeneration. After all, it's a shocking event if you're not expecting it, and she's the only one of the New Who companions to witness one of his* except Rose, who at least got David Tennant out of it. Not that Capaldi is without his attractions, but I'm getting a vibe of back-to-the-sexless for this season. Back to it being a rather creepy kids' show, perhaps. Anyway, I've caught up on that and am enjoying it, without huge amounts of enthusiasm, but without wanting to throw things at the screen either. (It's on my lap; there wouldn't be much windup room.) I love the new opening graphics, the new TARDIS, and the eyebrows. And Danny Pink, whose surname must be significant.

*Amy and Rory saw one, but it wasn't the Doctor's.

ETA: I did watch the Sleepy Hollow ep, and ha, still love this crazy show, although Franklin did his kite and key experiment in 1752, but the SH timeline has never made the slightest sense anyway.
hedda62: my cat asleep (Default)
Things:

1) Wow, Hannibal finale, way to earn your content warnings. Also… what? What?!!! (I suspect the Hamlet-like bloodbath is by way of saying "hey, network, this is what you get for not renewing us till after we'd written it" but holy shit.)

2) I am, alas, not nearly so intrigued by Castle's Downton-Abbey-esque season finish. Because come on now.

3) Hoping to catch up on other things besides obsessive weed-pulling and powerpoint-polishing after I give the Big Talk this Thursday. It seems likely I'll be defaulting on Trope Bingo, though, because despite wanting to write something (probably the POI hiatus fic that all of us must write) I don't see it happening this week.

4) I've been listening to lots of Vienna Teng and picking out Waters of Time-related songs; have decided that "Antebellum" is totally Sam and Olivia's song, and "Nothing Without You" is Wilfrid and Beatrice's (despite their fervent arguments against the title). Or alternatively "Augustine." (And "Harbor" is - ideally at least - George and Olivia's, and I could go on, but I'll spare you. Funny that on the whole I tend to find the non-romantic-pairing songs first, though.)

5) Oh, and the POI hiatus fic may borrow a title from "Goodnight, New York."

6) The trip to Texas went well, and we got Younger Son packed off to Ghana via Albuquerque, and he's sending happy-sounding texts about fufu and power cuts. I pick him up in Philadelphia a week from Thursday.

I suppose I should do more weeding now. Or organize my resource list.
hedda62: my cat asleep (Default)
My head is a bit scattered today (see below) but I must at least register the WOW at the Person of Interest finale. Talk about game-changers! I'll need to watch it again (next Tuesday will be the first opportunity, I think) but really: this is the show that hangs "procedural" out in the wind and lets the birds shit on it. When it's good it's very good, and even where things don't quite make sense the aura of drama carries it through. I'm hoping they don't give us a quick resolution back to routine next season; I'm not sure they could, really.

a few quick spoilery thoughts )

I also saw the finale of "Once Upon a Time," and there were lots of clever (and viciously painful) things happening, though I am still stuck with that impression of game-changers and near-immediate take-backs (though at least some of the deaths this season seem to have been permanent). I do like that the journey from "ethically challenged" (yes I am rereading the Rivers of London books) to purely good is a rocky one, with lots of temptations to power and revenge to trip over.

Off tomorrow for the long weekend and graduation in Houston, which should be easy enough to pack for and is for me and J, but P's itinerary is slightly more complicated (Houston-Albuquerque-(Denver)-Philadelphia-(London)-Accra, Ghana, over the next week) and he hasn't exactly been home much to organize for it, so I suspect today will be a hair-pulling festival of last-minute searching and shopping. Whee.
hedda62: Waterfall, with the words "water metaphors" (water metaphors)
Wow, it is raining hard out there. We've had nearly 3 inches over yesterday and last night, and I think by the end of the day might very well reach the 5 inches predicted. At least I won't have to water plants for a while?

Thoughts for today:

a) Pretty satisfied on the whole with the Person of Interest plot arc, though I have to say: that is more Grace Hendricks, in one episode, than we've had over all the others combined, and spoiler ) I am very much looking forward to the final two episodes.

b) I have wished George a happy birthday in the fairly public arena of my author blog, thus further committing myself to dorkdom.

c) I've expressed this thought here before, and really it's still amusing rather than perturbing me, but that whole "fanfic as marketing strategy" thing is pretty much a bust. I've had a much bigger response, in terms of actually buying, reading, and recommending my books, among my real-life friends than among the people I've connected to in fandom - many of you reading this being the exceptions, of course. What I failed to understand is that there's no easy way to connect the two spheres, and also that reading someone's original work is a big leap from reading fanfic, over a larger gap than $4.99 represents. I still get a kudos email every day, and recently had a new reader go through all of my POI and a lot of my Vorkosigan stories, leaving kudos on each one, so obviously they appreciate my writing - but there's no way, in the context of AO3, to reach that person and say "by the way, I have these novels," and if there was, no way to know whether they'd be interested in reading about characters and situations they aren't already familiar with. (I do have a link to my website in my AO3 profile, and in my DW, LJ, and Tumblr profiles, but who reads profiles?) But I think there are a few people who'd decide to take the chance if they were aware it existed, and word of mouth is still the only way that's going to happen, because otherwise we seem to have sturdy barriers between fannish and original work.

d) However, I am very glad that (on my sister's recommendation) I used ifttt.com to work out automatic posting from my author blog to Facebook, Twitter, and Tumblr - and so far it's working, unlike Wordpress's Publicize feature. Should I send the posts here as well?

June 2016

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