One morn I go to the stables to give my lovely Jezzie-girl an apple or two, and pat her upon the nose and say, alas, there will be no riding today for I have some several calls to make among the philanthropick set, and then go take tea at N- House. Sure I know not what that will be like in what they call their bachelor establishment.

And as Jezzie and I make amiable to one another, I see from the corner of my eye Ajax, with such an aspect that I confide he desires a word with me, so I pat my lovely mare upon the neck and turn to say, how now, Ajax, was there some matter you wisht open to me?

He indicates that 'tis indeed so, looks about to ensure that Nick is not by – I daresay he goes in take his elevens – and beckons me into an empty stall.

He says that I will mind that Sam Jupp came t’other morn to hold converse with him – I nod – and what is afoot is that the owner of the livery stables takes a mind to sell up and go live as a gentleman in the country.

O, says I, and thus the Jupps will find their occupation gone, and indeed also their home?

Ajax shrugs and says, 'tis like he will try sell it as a going concern - for 'tis an exceeding prime location for a livery-stable – but even that may bring down trouble – would a new owner want to keep on the fellows that are already there, might he have other plans for the accommodation – they are all in a great fret about the matter, just as they were getting back upon their feet, with Mr Jupp recover’d, several of the children now out in good service –

Let me consider upon the matter, says I. I suppose, even had they had some money put by, 'twould not have been enough to buy the place themselves.

I walk away, thinking. Sure I daresay I might go find places as grooms for Mr Jupp and Sam among those with whom I have interest, but 'twould still likely mean breaking up the family.

'Tis a conundrum.

And sure I find other conundrums when I go make my calls among the philanthropick set where a deal of matters gang aft aglay and I am oblig’d to make many notes in my little memorandum book. But, 'tis very agreeable when people will go say that there is none can hold a drawing-room meeting to match Lady B-'s: sure I am a vain creature. Matters go less awry than I fear’d with the optickal dispensaries, for I confide they have been got into good practices: but, even so, there are a few brangles that I must go soothe.

But at length I am done with 'em for the time being, and may instruct Ajax to go convey me to N- House.

The footman at the door is brisk enough in answering and showing me in but as I look about the hall as I enter I observe those signs of a household that has no lady keep her hand upon it. I frown a little at this, for I confide that the housekeeper is still the same, and before, tho’ ‘twas a gloomy place, did not show such signs of neglect.

I am shown into a drawing-room in which sits Lady Emily along with her brothers, that all rise to make me a leg upon my entrance.

La, says I, let us not stand upon ceremony.

Em minds that she should ring for tea and does so. This comes fairly expeditious in a good, tho’ not ostentatious, tea-service, and is a good fresh hot brew.

Mr Geoffrey M- takes a sip and looks up from his cup and says, 'tis not the tea we are accustom’d to be serv’d.

Em says, she doubts not 'tis the best company tea in honour of Lady B-.

Lord U- sighs and says that sure they do not need to make such a difference, but he dares say that the household has got into that miserly habit. But they should not be discoursing of domestick troubles before Lady B-.

Sure, says I, why should you not? For I am in considerable supposition that well-run domestick matters are the basis of a comfortable household, and even do you go furbish up the place so that 'tis brighter and less gloomy, 'twill still be somewhat uneasy do you not have those under hand.

They all sigh, and Lord U- says that they would not oblige Mama to return to this house, that she takes in considerable dislike, even was she not so well-suit’d at O- House.

I see Em frown a little. Mayhap – she begins – o, very like 'tis an entire foolish notion – but sure I have seen how Nan has been oblig’d take up the domestick affairs at O- House and D- Chase, and lamenting that she did not give enough mind to studying upon the matter afore she was wed, and saying that she does not how she might contrive was it not for that pearl amongst housekeepers, Mrs Atkins. And, she goes on with a great sigh, I daresay that one of these days I shall have an establishment of my own to manage, tho’ sure I hope 'tis later rather than sooner. So, might I not move back here, and undertake the matter?

Mr Edward M- bursts into a laugh and says, you would go practise upon your brothers, is that it? For cannot matter does any ill come to 'em from domestick mismanagement -

Lord U- gestures to him and he is silent. Why, Em, he says, 'tis a most generous offer, for I fear 'twould be a tedious thankless business. But indeed I think we might be more comfortable here.

She looks at me and say, O, Lady B-, do you think it might answer?

(Had I not had precisely this thought in my own mind?)

Why, says I, 'tis a likely plan. Perchance you might go lesson yourself a little with some lady that is us’d to the management of an establishment of this size.

I see them all considering over this proposal and then Mr Edward frowns and says, but should Em not have some chaperone?

Em groans loudly and says, what, have some fusty about the place? 'twould be an entire bore.

No, says Lord U-, Eddy has the right of it, you are a young unmarry’d lady, and moreover, we are oblig’d to conduct ourselves most particular proper -

Indeed, says Mr Geoffrey, when I think of the jests we are oblig’d to smile at concerning snakes.

They all sigh.

And then Mr Edward says, but what about Mama’s Cousin Lalage?

They look about one another.

Why, says Em, one could have no objection to Cousin Lalage, tho’ indeed, have not seen her for a very great while. But – o, sure I let family gossip pass over my head – was she not affianc’d to some clergyman?

Really, Em, says Mr Geoffrey, do you not recall the tragick story? The fellow went visit some college friend of his that had gone into the mission field, for he had some notion to that line himself, contract’d a fever out there in the South Seas, and dy’d.

O, cries Em, now I mind me of the tale. And she has had no other offers?

Living as quiet as she does in her papa’s vicarage? says Lord U-. Besides, 'tis give out that her heart is in the grave.

Em turns to me and says, Oh, Lady B-, do you think that might answer? She must be thirty at least, a vicar’s daughter, I daresay she has some knowledge of housekeeping –

Hmm, says I, might your dear mama invite her for a visit to O- House, so that you could look her over then and see if 'twould answer? But, says I, that is in longer prospect – why do you not take me around the house a little so that I might advize upon how it might be furbisht up somewhat more chearfull?

So we do so, and sure I feel does the Earl not go cast a general pall of gloom over the place, may be brought to some very pleasing effects. Will require, I point out, some disbursement of funds; and Lord U- says that he has been in consultation with their men of business, and he confides that they will not come to penury do they so.

I make a deal of little notes in my memorandum book and say, I will write these up fair for 'em.

They say they go dine at O- House, entire informal, just family, will I not join 'em?

Alas, says I, am not free to take up this exceeding kind invitation: perchance upon some other occasion.

Mr Geoffrey remarks that he dares say that now Lady B- is return’d to Town she has a deal of invitations.

'Tis so, says I.

Tho’ 'tis not that I am bidden about in Society: ‘tis that my darlings come visit me for a nice little supper together and triangular matters.

So I return home, and go change my gown, and then go sit in my library a little while inditing my thoughts upon how N- House might be quite vastly improv’d, and when I have done that, spend a little time about arranging my books, and mind that there are some volumes that I must return to Lord O-, and also that I must find out somewhat concerning the history of Sicily in the Middle Ages, without I go enquire of Mr N-.

'Tis most exceeding agreeable, but even more agreeable is to return to my pretty parlour as the time draws near, and take a quick look at the miniatures of my sweet Flora, and 'tis not long at all afore Hector shows in my best belov’ds and we go embrace one another very close.

And they remark that sure, they have not yet seen over all these fine improvements I have made; so I take them into the newer part of the house and show off my dining-room and my fine library, and sure there are a deal of kisses exchang’d and my dear wild girl shows some disposition to becoming saucy.

So I say that I confide we should go meditate a little upon triangles and I daresay 'twill give us a fine appetite for supper. And 'tis conced’d a most excellent plan and we go be about it.

O, 'tis a most happy thing to be thus remet with my darlings.



Saturday, April 22nd, 2017 06:04 pm

she is a tornado.

the telling

She is a tornado.
He is a man. He is solid and humble.
She tells the story three times, convinced
he does not understand. He is trying.
The story is about an elephant and a mermaid.
No, the story is about a millipede in a thicket of roses,
a prized buckskin horse and fifty lashes.
She is talking gibberish. He is trying to understand but she
is thunderbolt. Her tongue, a spear.
The dog is hiding in the back corner of a dark room.
The man wants to sit with the dog. She is melting.
Her face pools in her lap. Freckles pile at her feet.
There is nothing in the room that has not been hurled.
She is science like this. An atom, separating.
Finally, the story comes, like flood. Its mud seeps in
from under the doorjambs, rising. They are standing
ankle deep in water and rot and he understands now.
He is a spiced wound. He wants firearms. Hit-men. A brutal justice.
All the while, the window is sitting with its mouth open,
spilling their hot storm into the courtyard
where the neighbors have come to their sills,
elbows propped, hungry
like vultures.

~Jeanann Verlee

*

Saturday, April 22nd, 2017 11:33 pm

Write Every Day 2017 - April Day 22

When I'm out and about and I'm not thinking about anything in particular, fic tends to play out in my head. It's mostly not good fic - just my brain operating on autopilot - but it passes the time. Every now and then, though, a line of dialogue or narration happens that I actually like, which is why I always carry something to write.

Always, except when I forget, which happened today. And of course I came up with this line I really wanted to keep, and couldn't write it down. *headdesk* (I managed to remember it, thank god.) Does that happen to you guys, too?

In other news, I've signed up for [community profile] npt_admin (though the sign-up is rudimentary so far), and I'm working on my [community profile] holmestice sign-up as well. Hopefully, if nothing else works, the deadlines will cure me of my inability to finish anything ... Anyone doing either of these exchanges, too?

Today's writing:

See above, plus a few more paragraphs. And then I worked some more on the ASiB write-up.

Tally:

Days 1 - 20 )

Day 21 (LJ | DW): [livejournal.com profile] afrozenflowerr, [livejournal.com profile] auroracloud, [livejournal.com profile] doctor_jehane, [livejournal.com profile] esteliel, [livejournal.com profile] navaan, [livejournal.com profile] sylvanwitch, [livejournal.com profile] trobadora, [livejournal.com profile] ysilme, [livejournal.com profile] zippitgood (9 out of 13 so far)

Let me know if I missed anyone! And remember you can join in or drop in/out at any time. :)

Saturday, April 22nd, 2017 04:22 pm

Putting down roots

Today Zaphod and I went to the nursery and came home with a ton of plants!

I dug up the sickly rhododendron bush beside my front door and have replaced it with a lilac. (The woman at the nursery assures me that if I trim it appropriately, it will flower and will not grow up to be 15 feet tall.) I've also put in three daylilies beside the house, and two hostas. All of these are perennials, so assuming that they take root, they'll be here for years to come. They're also all low-maintenance, which is important -- I know myself well enough to know that once it's summer, I don't spend time gardening.

And I bought three window boxes for the railing on the mirpesset. One of them now has three small petunia plants in it (Zaphod chose them, and chose the colors -- purple, pink, and variegated.) Another has potting soil and a bunch of flower seeds, because he really wanted to try to grow seeds. And the third will have herbs in it later in the spring. Best part is, they sit on the railing, so they don't have a footprint! I've watered everything we planted.

Now we are curled up in the living room watching Pokémon XYZ, and I am basking in the satisfaction of a task completed, and the satisfaction of continuing to put down roots in my new place.

Detective fiction, in this particular case, and the author being C.P.Snow: Sir Charles Snow in private life*.

C.P. Snow's first published work was called Death Under Sail first published 1932, though actually it was the 1959 edition published by Penguin in 1963 which I had the dubious pleasure of re-reading (I'd first read it aged about 16 or so, when my father got it out from the library, and not recalled much of anything about it except that it happened on a wherry, which I knew about from Arthur Ransome, and a lot of the action does indeed take place around Horning and Potter Heigham.)

I picked up this particular copy in Cardiff, where I managed to have just the kind of secondhand bookshopping experience I'd hoped for in Oxford, but not managed. It has C.P.Snow's Author's Note at the front, the following extracts from which should have been sufficient warning not to proceed:

Why I started [he explains in the paragraph about that Death Under Sail was his first novel] with a detective story is obscure to me now and woul ahve been so at the time. I suspect I had a sense that I was one of those writers who have to nose their way among experience before they know what they are good for. Anyway, I did write a detective story, a stylized, artificial detective story very much in the manner of the day. At the time it was very well received, and I found that, having partially escaped from the scientific trap [he was 26 at the time] I was being lured into another. There were all sorts of temptations set up in from of me to get me to set up as a detective story writer.

In fact, I never had any intention of writing another. They are great fun to write, but they take almost as long as a novel proper: I already knew what I wanted to do, and I also knew there would be scarcely time enough for that. If I had had another life-time to play with, though, I shoulc have liked to write some more detective stories. I shouldn't have gone on with the convention in which Death Under Sail was written. I should have had a shot at the real roman policier, bringing the story as near to a realistic novel as I could. No one, not even Simenon, has done quite what I should like to see. I believe the field is still wide open.


The level of condescension is staggering, especially given that while one might be quite proud of Death Under Sail as a first novel in 1932, by 1959 he should have simply let it sink without trace.

It's particularly weird to experience because while you can tell Snow knows he's working within an artificial, convention-heavy genre, but Death Under Sail is so tin-eared about the conventions in question. It's almost as if once he knows he's not expected to be naturalistic, all attempts to be realistic fall out of the window, too. Also, "artificial" is one thing, as are flat characters, as are stereotypes. People being disassociated from the events depicted to the point of psychopathy is something else entirely.

Basically, Death Under Sail would have worked extremely well as an Agatha Christie. One of the reasons it would have worked well is that either or both of the first person narrator, irritating Ian or his mate Finbow**, who is the detective, would have realised that if one is in a situation where the owner of a yacht has been shot by one of the the other five people on board, all of whom are now staying with you in a borrowed bungalow in Potter Heigham (i) one is at uncomfortably close quarters with a murderer;(ii) someone (not necessarily the murderer) is in danger of being hanged; and (iii) if the murderer starts to panic, someone else is likely to end up dead. And the reactions of the characters would be shaped by that underlying fear.

None of these thoughts appear to cross anyone's mind in Death Under Sail. People go out for midnight snogging sessions in the middle of Hickling Broad in motorboats and the worst that happens is that the housekeeper, Mrs Tufts (whose bolshie attitude to having unexpectedly to cater for seven people, one of whom is a murderer and all of whom are rude to her is put down entirely to her being prudish and Not Our Sort Dear) gets stroppy.

Mostly they sit around playing bridge without even considering doing things like speaking to their lawyers or anything of that sort. No idea that there could be consequences of even being suspected of murder crosses their minds.

The detective inspector, Aloysius Birrell, is ludicrous even by the standards of the police in inter-War detective fiction. He works solo. There is no press interest. One might think that Harley Street practitioners were shot at the helms of private wherries on the Norfolk Broads every day of the week.

It really is an example of Snow, who name-checks Sayers at least twice, clearly assuming anything any of the writers in the genre can do, he can do better by virtue of being a proper novelist and the result is frankly bizarre.







*(yes, I know he later became a Lord, but not when Flanders and Swann made that particular crack.)
** Finbow believes that since cricket went to the dogs as a result of 20/20, day/night matches , wearing helmets, limited overs games, the West Indies having a black captain - well, whatever people were getting pissed off about cricket going to the dogs about in 1932, the only way to enjoy it these days is to go to Lord's when there isn't a game on and drink tea aphoristically at the square.



Saturday, April 22nd, 2017 09:39 am

(no subject)

Bredon Hill
by A. E. Housman

In summertime on Bredon
     The bells they sound so clear;
Round both the shires they ring them
     In steeples far and near,
     A happy noise to hear.

Here of a Sunday morning
     My love and I would lie,
And see the coloured counties,
     And hear the larks so high
     About us in the sky.

The bells would ring to call her
     In valleys miles away;
‘Come all to church, good people;
     Good people come and pray.’
     But here my love would stay.

And I would turn and answer
     Among the springing thyme,
‘Oh, peal upon our wedding,
     And we will hear the chime,
     And come to church on time.’

But when the snows at Christmas
     On Bredon top were strown,
My love rose up so early
     And stole out unbeknown
     And went to church alone.

They tolled the one bell only,
     Groom there was none to see,
The mourners followed after,
     And so to church went she;
     And would not wait for me.

The bells they sound on Bredon,
     And still the steeples hum,
‘Come all to church, good people’—
     Oh, noisy bells be dumb;
     I hear you, I will come.



"Bredon Hill" by A.E. Housman from Collected Poems. © Wordsworth Editions, Ltd, 1999.

When Sophy brings my chocolate the morn, I say to her that I am dispos’d to go take a little ride in the Park afore breakfast, so please to desire Docket to have my riding-habit ready, and go tell Hector to request Ajax to prepare Jezebel.

For I am in great longing to give my sweet Jezzie-girl a little exercize without we are constantly held up by those that desire speak to me, observe whether I am truly in health &C, and 'tis entire not possible at the fashionable hour.

When I am dresst I go out to the stableyard, where I find that Sam Jupp has come convoke with Ajax, I daresay concerning some trouble with one of the nags at the livery stables, while young Nick goes saddle and bridle Jezebel, that is groom’d so exceeding fine that her coat gleams like unto satin. I give her an apple and tell her that she is entire the best of Jezzie-girls.

Sure Sam is growing a fine strong fellow. Seeing me about to mount he comes over most extreme expeditious to hold Jezzie’s head, tho’ I am sure she is too well-manner’d and too us’d to me to go shy.

Thank you, Sam, says I, and smile upon him, at which he blushes somewhat. (One day, I confide, my smile will no longer have that effect upon young fellows.)

There is somewhat of a mist the morn, that is not entire disagreeable, for gives a pleasing softness to the view, while, I daresay, keeping a crowd from the Park. My lovely Jezzie-girl needs no urging to a fine canter and 'tis exceeding delightfull. At length I bring her back to a trot to cool her a little on our way back.

I am turning a few matters over in my mind when I observe another rider, and then see that 'tis Milord, so wave at him with my crop, and he comes over. He remarks, with a little amuz’d twitch of his lips, that it is pleasing to see Lady B- so much in health –

Poo, says I, as if you did not know 'twas an entire tale put about for the generality.

- for he has had little enough occasion to see her at all since her return to Town.

Indeed 'tis so, says I, for I have been about displaying myself in order to confound gossip. But, dear Milord, do you come breakfast with me, 'twould be most entire agreeable.

He declares that nothing could give him greater pleasure, at which I say, alas that one does not carry a fan for the correction of flatterers when upon horseback. He laughs and says, sure he has greatly misst me during my absence.

So we return to my house, and go into my pretty parlour, and Celeste comes bring coffee and muffins and lays the table and says, there will be more very shortly.

So we sit down and fall to, for indeed a fine morning ride gives one an exceeding appetite, and in a very little while comes Celeste again with Nell as an auxiliary carrying further dishes. Indeed 'tis a fine spread that includes kedgeree, devill’d kidneys, some mutton-chops in the style of General Y-'s cook, and more muffins hot from the oven.

At length we are sat’d and sit back with our coffee cups in hand.

Dear C-, says Milord, you must know how exceeding gratefull I am to you –

All is well 'twixt the pair of you? I ask.

O, quite entirely! 'Tis a most happy reunion - but indeed I feel I owe you most particular gratitude –

O, poo, says I, if this concerns a little matter of not taking advantage of a fellow that was in state of distress -

- 'tis a most curious thing, he says with a little frown, putting down his cup with a clink into the saucer, that I should have resent’d that far more than his frolicks at the villa.

I pour him some more coffee. 'Tis indeed curious, says I, for you know his disposition as well as I, and 'twould have been an entire aberration, not the commencement of some new course –

Dear C-, I confide that the east wing of R- House sees strange matters that I daresay none would have predict’d –

'Tis as maybe, says I, but –

- and has ever been a great sympathy 'twixt the two of you.

I look down into my coffee-up and frown in a way that Docket would go chide me for. 'Tis perchance, I say at length, that we both know what 'tis to set out upon the world with naught but those gifts we were born with, with no advantages of birth or wealth or interest: in my case I had a certain style of looks and a natural talent for the arts of Aphrodite, and in his case he had that power of intellect that all remark upon; but were oblig’d to make our own way -

Milord looks upon me with great affection and says, but you also had a deal of native wit -

La, says I, tell no-one, for 'tis a great advantage to be consider’d a silly creature –

- and, he goes on with a grin, I do not think has hinder’d the career of our dear bello scozzese that he is not some huncht and stoopt wizen’d scholar, tho’ perchance we should not mention the matter to him.

I laugh somewhat immoderate and say, I confide 'tis so.

We look at one another very fond.

He goes on to change the subject and remark that, altho’ the terrifying virago minds that she should take matters more easyly than was wont in her present condition, has took to summoning her confederates in various causes to convoke with her at M- House.

Indeed, says I, I hear that she goes makes Lady D- her deputy in certain philanthropick matters –

- and I am consider’d her voice in matters of anti-slavery.

Why, says I, I am glad that she finds herself able delegate some of her business to others.

We exchange a little further gossip about mutual acquaintance and then he takes his leave.

I go to my desk to be about my correspondence.

In the afternoon I mind me that 'tis an entire age since I have visit’d Sir Z- R-'s studio and paid my compliments to the wombatt, so I desire Docket to array me in somewhat suitable for the occasion, and set off in my carriage.

There is as ever a deal of company about the studio, but Sir Z- R- comes most immediate to bow over my hand, say that sure 'tis not spring-time without Lady B- comes like Flora to Town, and that not only do I look quite entire well, sure as ever time has stood still with me. I smack him lightly with my fan and say he was ever a dreadfull flatterer.

No, indeed, he declares, sure the wombatt has grown mightyly since antipodean Flora, but you are fresh as ever.

La, says I, and how does the wombatt? – I look out into the garden where it goes saunter about the shrubbery, taking an occasional mouthfull, delivering the cut to those that endeavour strike up acquaintance – In fine plump condition I see.

Indeed, goes thrive, says Sir Z-. Has lately gratify’d its amorous inclinations tho’ I know not yet whether there will be progeny from its exertions.

I will, says I, just go pay it my respects tho’ I daresay 'twill look upon me as vulgar encroaching.

In the garden I find Lady Emily, along with her brother the Honble Edward, vainly endeavouring attract its attention. They greet me very effusive.

'Tis a deal larger, says Mr M-, than the one at R- House.

Why, says I, 'tis the proud papa of Josh F-'s darling. But I did not anticipate to see you here, do you go be portray’d for posterity?

They shake their heads. Mr M- says I may have heard that he and his brothers go reside at N- House, and they have took a thought that perchance a few paintings might brighten the place up –

Sure 'tis a dreadfull gloomy place, says Em, that we did not fully realize until we had been elsewhere.

- and one hears that Sir Z- R- has paint’d some very fine landscape studies.

Sure, says I, might liven the walls a little –

But, o, cries Em, are you not, Lady B-, give out as having quite the nicest taste in such matters? Does not Tony ever praise your fine efforts at O- House?

Mr M- sighs and says, sure they already owe Lady B- a deal of gratitude for her kindness to the family, 'twould be entire too much to ask her to advize 'em how to render N- House less like the setting for some Gothick novel.

La, says I, 'tis not that bad; but sure I confide that afore one introduces any fine pictures to the place, should be somewhat done in the matter of painting and furbishing, so that they might have a fitting setting.

There! says Em. Did I not say we should seek her thoughts in the matter?

Mr M- looks somewhat embarrasst. Indeed, he says after a pause, U- has remarkt that he doubts not your advice in the matter would be most exceeding usefull, but we would not go beg yet further favours of you.

O, poo, says I, 'tis a matter I find most enjoyable. But let us go look at some of these landscapes.

When we do so, I take the opportunity to remark that one must take into consideration where they will hang, how they will show to best advantage, &C. They sigh and say they can see 'tis not so simple a matter as they suppos’d.

Em remarks, but anything that would make N- House look less of a bachelor establishment would be an improvement.

My dears, says I, 'tis ever better in these matters to go away and think on 'em, and there will be one or other or so painting that sticks in your mind, should not make hasty decisions. And why do you not come have tea with me and tell me all your news?

They look at one another and exchange what I suppose are silent communications and say, 'tis most extreme hospitable of me and they would be delight’d.


Friday, April 21st, 2017 10:26 pm

Friday evening linkspam

Yum: roasted rhubarb wine compote. Time to buy some rhubarb...

This is a super creative (and surprisingly bloody) animated short.

Community planning needs more people like this, looking at diverse and under-represented communities.

A long profile on Alec Baldwin as Trump.

These posters are awesome.

Word of the day: Abydocomist -- One who brags about their lies. Other fab Old English insults can be found here.

Holy crap, this is too awesome for words: an automated conlang generator. . (I'm sure it's not up to the standards of something created by an actual linguist, but for many purposes, it would be great.)

Also holy crap awesome: Carmen Cusack doing "You'll Be Back". So great. Oh, and check it out: LMM and Raul Esparza singing Anita & Maria in West Side Story. . That's really lovely, actually.

*

I have the feeling we're at Peak Television. And that soon there will be a bubble. Which is my justification for not really watching much tv right now: I figure there will be enough for years to come.

Tonight I'm catching up on Homefires, which is a drama set in an English village at the beginning of WWII. It's not really surprising or creative, but there's some great cast members and heart-warming bits. Also, for Code Name Verity fans, it looks like the one lesbian character might decide to go for pilot's training...

I need to get back to The 100 and Underground. One of these days...

Friday, April 21st, 2017 09:39 pm

Let's Put On A Play About Ourselves!


 

If This Is Wrong: A Film About Fandom from Franzeska Dickson on Vimeo.


It's a film about queer slash fangirls.  It is part of Franzeska's film school thesis. Part of the program is learning how to take a film from conception to the end - including learning how to fundraise to cover costs.
 

They're running their kickstarter right now! Lots of rewards, including a DVD of the movie and a paper zine.

Or, if you'd like to make a tax-deductible donation, you can do so through Franzeska's film school. There are instructions on their website.

 



Friday, April 21st, 2017 06:01 pm

Gratitudes

1. My kid's new favorite thing to do is invent trivia questions and ask them of each other. (Like: "Which planet in our solar system has the most moons?" or "What can Bulbasaur evolve into?")

2. Saw my therapist today, and she affirms that I am rocking the house on many levels. Frankly I quite agree. :-)

3. Dinner tonight is already made, and it is tasty, and I have a challah to go with it, because Passover is over huzzah.

4. I've actually read two books recently. Like, actual paper books. They were both somewhat work-adjacent, but I derived genuine pleasure from reading them.

5. The trees are so close to leafing! And that makes me happy.

Shabbat shalom to all who celebrate.

Friday, April 21st, 2017 11:59 pm

Write Every Day 2017 - April Day 21

All right, everyone, I need you to go look at this stained-glass Dalek and appreciate the hell out of its gorgeousness.

Actually, I may have linked that before, but I can't find it just now, and it's so beautiful. I want one so badly. (Though ideally not life-sized. I don't have the space, no matter how amazing it would look. But a smaller version I'd make room for in a heartbeat.)

Today's writing:

My writing of actual fiction today amounts to exactly two words. But those two words occur in the context of a lengthy set of notes about a new fic idea that appeared in my head last night, so that's actually all right. Sherlock gives me so many bunnies, and the only thing that's less than optimal about it is that they're all for long fic. (Also, a million variations on a theme. But I like that in my fic.)

I've also spent a lot of time (again) on the ASiB write-up, which is taking forever. I mean, it's fun - I enjoy this kind of thing, and I like the way it clarifies things in my head - but that doesn't mean it's not taking a lot of time and energy. Both of which there is never quite enough of, even at the best of times ...

Tally:

Days 1 - 15 )

Day 16 (LJ | DW): [livejournal.com profile] auroracloud, [livejournal.com profile] doctor_jehane, [livejournal.com profile] esteliel, [livejournal.com profile] miss_morland, [livejournal.com profile] navaan, [livejournal.com profile] sylvanwitch, [livejournal.com profile] trobadora, [livejournal.com profile] ysilme, [livejournal.com profile] zippitgood (9 out of 12)
Day 17 (LJ | DW): [livejournal.com profile] auroracloud, [livejournal.com profile] doctor_jehane, [livejournal.com profile] dreamflower02, [livejournal.com profile] esteliel, [livejournal.com profile] miss_morland, [livejournal.com profile] navaan, [livejournal.com profile] sylvanwitch, [livejournal.com profile] trobadora, [livejournal.com profile] ysilme, [livejournal.com profile] zippitgood (10 out of 12)
Day 18 (LJ | DW): [livejournal.com profile] auroracloud, [livejournal.com profile] doctor_jehane, [livejournal.com profile] esteliel, [livejournal.com profile] miss_morland, [livejournal.com profile] navaan, [livejournal.com profile] sylvanwitch, [livejournal.com profile] trobadora, [livejournal.com profile] ysilme, [livejournal.com profile] zippitgood (9 out of 12)
Day 19 (LJ | DW): [livejournal.com profile] auroracloud, [livejournal.com profile] dreamflower02, [livejournal.com profile] esteliel, [livejournal.com profile] miss_morland, [livejournal.com profile] navaan, [livejournal.com profile] sylvanwitch, [livejournal.com profile] trobadora, [livejournal.com profile] ysilme, [livejournal.com profile] zippitgood (9 out of 12)
Day 20 (LJ | DW): [livejournal.com profile] afrozenflowerr, [livejournal.com profile] auroracloud, [livejournal.com profile] doctor_jehane, [livejournal.com profile] esteliel, [livejournal.com profile] navaan, [livejournal.com profile] sylvanwitch, [livejournal.com profile] trobadora, [livejournal.com profile] ysilme, [livejournal.com profile] zippitgood (9 out of 13 so far)

Let me know if I missed anyone! And remember you can join in or drop in/out at any time. :)

Friday, April 21st, 2017 03:31 pm

Sic Transit, et cetera

I already miss Twin B -- not in an empty-nest kind of way, but in a somebody-around-to-talk-to kind of way. With Himself out of the house, it's only me and my brother, who's in his room upstairs most of the time (and who isn't the most cheerful of company at the best of times.)

And in other news, I see that Con*Stellation, down in Huntsville, Alabama, is closing down after this year's iteration. Himself and I were Guests of Honor there, back in 1990, and they sent us a nice note asking us if we wanted to be there for the finale -- but alas, Huntsville is much too far out of our range for us to go if it isn't on the convention's dime. This year will be the 35th Con*Stellation, so it's not surprising it's shutting down -- the conrunners who were energetic young fans 35 years ago are approaching retirement age. (Thirty-five years is a long run for a regional con; Boskone hits 55 next year, and Mini-con hits 53, and Wiscon is coming up on 44, but they've all got active organizations behind them feeding in new blood to run things.)

Also, today is grey and rainy.


I waited as long as I could, and then there was a stoppage of play, so I ran to the bathroom, and of course that is when the the Rangers scored the winning goal in OT last night. I should have just spent the whole game in the bathroom. I will take it either way. ZIBANEJAD! Plus Kreider finally showed up, and Nash has been in beast mode throughout. And AV better not sit Buchnevich again. Plus, Girardi is playing like he's five years younger! If only Holden and Staal weren't so terrible together. Hopefully they can put this series away at MSG tomorrow, though I wouldn't bank on it. Maybe I will just sit in the bathroom all night, just to be sure.

***

Today's poem:

Design
by Taylor Graham

While we're asleep
the ordinary items of a room
rearrange themselves
wordless, regardless of their labels
("Made in Taiwan," "wash & wear")
or what it says in the owner's
manuals,
the revocable warranties.

They rise up
while we wander lost in the natural
symbols of our dreams.
These simple household goods
mimic speech and intertwine
into a cabala of their own design,
intricate
as wallpaper.

Listen. Every sound clicks
into place, a tone
like bells, like machines make.
Refrigerator,
dishwasher, clock.
All these manufactured servants
are singing to themselves,
to soothe us into sleep.

***

Friday, April 21st, 2017 08:28 am

(no subject)

A Quiet Life
by Baron Wormser

What a person desires in life
    is a properly boiled egg.
This isn’t as easy as it seems.
There must be gas and a stove,
    the gas requires pipelines, mastodon drills,
    banks that dispense the lozenge of capital.
There must be a pot, the product of mines
    and furnaces and factories,
    of dim early mornings and night-owl shifts,
    of women in kerchiefs and men with
    sweat-soaked hair.
Then water, the stuff of clouds and skies
    and God knows what causes it to happen.
There seems always too much or too little
    of it and more pipelines, meters, pumping
    stations, towers, tanks.
And salt-a miracle of the first order,
    the ace in any argument for God.
Only God could have imagined from
    nothingness the pang of salt.
Political peace too. It should be quiet
    when one eats an egg. No political hoodlums
    knocking down doors, no lieutenants who are
    ticked off at their scheming girlfriends and
    take it out on you, no dictators
    posing as tribunes.
It should be quiet, so quiet you can hear
    the chicken, a creature usually mocked as a type
    of fool, a cluck chained to the chore of her body.
Listen, she is there, pecking at a bit of grain
    that came from nowhere.



"A Quiet Life" by Baron Wormser from Scattered Chapters. © Sarabande Books, 2008.

Friday, April 21st, 2017 08:50 am

(no subject)

Happy birthday [personal profile] ankaret

Sure there are a deal of matters I should be about to re-establish myself in Society.

I had intend’d that my first dinner-party in my fine new dining-room would be for very particular close friends, my darlings, Biffle and Viola, Sir B- W- and Susannah, Milord; but I am a true daughter of Eve and rul’d by curiosity and I greatly wish observe Lord K- in company with Mrs D- K- and his own parents. So I purpose invite Lord and Lady T- and Lord K-, along with Sir B- W- and dearest Susannah, Mrs D- K-, and, as he happens be in Town, Captain C-. I have also long wisht bring about some better appreciation 'twixt Lady T- and Susannah of one another’s fine qualities.

So I send Timothy with cards of invitation, and then go have a little discourse with Euphemia about what might be serv’d.

I find the household at elevens, and a deal of excit’d chatter over their purpos’d theatre-party - all show a disposition to jump up and bob, but I wave 'em to sit down and say, I will come later to convoke with Euphemia concerning a dinner-party. Euphemia, I observe, looks extreme gratify’d at this prospect.

Returning to my parlour, I find that the devot’d ladies have come call. I desire 'em to be sent into the parlour and coffee, cake, &C brought.

My dears! says I, this is a pleasure, and go kiss 'em both.

There, says Miss L-, is she not entirely in the pink of health?

Why, says Miss McK-, indeed she is, but I was not surpriz’d she found herself a little pull’d down after the frenzy’d whirl of last Season.

But, she goes on, we came, first to assure ourselves that you were indeed in health, and that report had not been deceiv’d by Docket’s cunning in the matter of rouge, and second, to see whether you purpose anything in the way of soirées, drawing-room meetings and so forth; for altho’ we find ourselves in happy condition of a deal of employment, we would ever consider that any claims of yours came first. O, and thirdly, to say we suppose that you are already appriz’d that Titus goes wed his young lady?

Comes Celeste with coffee and some of Euphemia’s very excellent fruitcake – I see Miss L-'s eyes light up at the sight.

Indeed, says I, I was give to understand that Titus and Tibby desir’d go marry, now that there is one into whose hands she may confide the Duchess. And sure I go consider upon a soirée, and drawing-room meetings, and indeed I have askt Mrs O’C- to come call upon me about taking banque.

Did I not say, says Miss L-, that she would not let the grass grow beneath her feet?

They look at me very affectionate. I ask how matters do with 'em and their musickal set.

Why, says Miss McK-, most excellent well. Lady J- continues hold her select musickal parties - is’t not give out that 'tis entire beneficial to infants in the womb to hear sweet musick? – and Lord and Lady A- have give several musick parties at B- House – and we have a deal of connexions for recitals and the giving of lessons. And 'tis the same for Mr G- D-, and sure he has a less harry’d look now his wife does not go constantly increase.

And as for Titus, says Miss L-, we do not think it at all imprudent that he now goes wed: does very well with his singing, and the songs he writes, and gets on with his cantata, and begins have somewhat of a connexion for giving lessons.

While Signor V-, she goes on, sighs somewhat that the Contessa has left Town, is otherwise in fine spirits.

'Tis all excellent good news to hear, says I. And you still enjoy a little corner of Welsh seclusion in the City?

They exchange affectionate glances and say, 'tis so, still. And while we mind upon such matters, adds Miss McK-, do you not think that Lady Emily M- is of like nature?

I purse up my mouth and say, mayhap, or perchance 'tis that that fashion that comes to those 'twixt girlhood and womanhood to take a great enthusiasm for some other lady, is prolong’d somewhat beyond the usual years.

Mayhap, says Miss L-, somewhat sceptickal. But – she glances over at Miss McK- - sure 'tis coming about time we were at our rehearsing.

I laugh gently and say sure I would not keep 'em from that.

After they have gone I am mind’d to go convoke with Euphemia, but Hector comes to say that Mrs O’C- has call’d, will I see her? Indeed, says I, send her in, and go desire fresh coffee &C.

Mrs O’C- is looking in excellent health. I ask after Mr P- - she sighs and says goes complaining about Mr J-'s ill judgement over his plays, for he did not take 'em and did not even say, did you but do this or that little thing to 'em, but dismisst 'em quite out of hand, but otherwise quite in health – and her son, that she says comes along very well at his lessons –

Celeste comes with fresh coffee and cake.

- and how her business goes.

La, says she, who would ever have suppos’d how many fellows there were desir’d special pleasures? Sure I am in such a position that I may go pick and choose my patrons, 'tis exceeding agreeable. But, my dear Lady B-, if 'tis about taking banque at a soirée, I am ever at your disposal.

That was indeed part of why I wisht see you, for now I am return’d to Town I should be about the matter of a soirée; but I also wisht discover whether Lord K- still comes visit you, and how you find him, for I have heard somewhat troubling intelligence about him.

Why, says Mrs O’C-, indeed I think there is somewhat amiss with him. Still comes most regular tho’ not perhaps so often as was wont – no more than once of a fortnight – but seems, I know not what – somewhat distract’d? As if had some heavy matter upon his mind. Is’t true, do you think, that at last he goes consider a second marriage?

I am like to think so, says I.

She sighs a little and says, a good regular patron is a very desirable thing to have – but, she says, with a more chearfull air, are there not a deal of marry’d men come to my door? Perchance he merely goes be dutyfull and heeds his mama’s exhortations about heirs.

May be so, says I.

We exchange a little more gossip – no-one has heard anything of Mr Miles O’N- since he decampt back to Ireland – and then she says, she has matters to be about, and do I purpose a soirée, to let her know most immediate when 'twill be.

We part on terms of great amiability.

I then go once more to the kitchen to convoke with Euphemia, that sits – I am glad to see her sitting - at the table preparing somewhat, and we go discourse of what we might serve at a dinner-party. I concede that 'twould be quite in order to serve an ic’d pudding, that she is in great desire to do, and to the very early sparrowgrass, and that I quite entire trust her judgement in the matter. She says that there is some excellent fine beef that Sir C- F- sent up from Herefordshire.

I leave her considering over the matter, and go into the newer part of the house to look at the dining-room. I find that Nell and Polly are there, dusting and polishing under the supervision of Prue, that is become a deal more sober and responsible: I confide 'tis the excellent influence of Dorcas. They all make me little bobs and I tell 'em to get along with their work, I just came in to consider over company china. For I think it might be undue ostentatious to use my very finest service, and sure all my china is exceeding good.

Shall also need, says I, to have the silverware clean’d -

Why, says Prue, Hector will not let it go tarnish in the press: takes it out to polish up most regular.

Excellent, says I, but I daresay that do we anticipate company we should give it a final rub over.

And wash the china? asks Prue.

Exactly so, says I, for even does it stand in these excellent cabinets I doubt not some dust creeps in.

Prue tells the girls a little sharp not to stand gaping but get on with their work. She sighs and lowers her voice and says, this promist theatre excursion makes them very excitable.

I nod, and say, pointing, 'twill be that service but need not be took out to wash just yet.

I return to my parlour and look with a little sigh at the pile of letters, and mind that there are still some few that arriv’d whilst I was away that I have not yet perus’d, for did not appear from any that I most particular desir’d news of.

So I take one, and crack the seal, and see that 'tis sign’d Peter Swann, that I know none by the name of, and then I turn it over and see 'twas writ from Boston in Massachusetts, and I smile to think that Mr W- Y- has acquir’d enough sense to employ a pseudonym when writing.

He writes to say that he is arriv’d there, and 'tis more pleasant than he suppos’d, there is even a very fine university that he has some hopes may obtain preference to a post at, but meanwhile occupies himself with some private tutoring. There is a deal of most genteel educat’d society, that cries out considerable against slavery, and he find several households that boast engravings of Mr de C-'s tableaux of the Evils of Slavery.

Reynaldo di S- is quite universally very well-receiv’d: is besought hither and yon throughout those parts to go speak of the Bourbon tyranny, and consider’d an entire romantick hero among young ladies –

I laugh somewhat immoderate.

- so does not yet proceed into the wilderness about Herr P-'s ideal community. He himself finds this spot surprizing congenial, and can he indeed obtain a position at Harvard, is in strong disposition to make the place his home.

Well, thinks I, folding the letter and smiling, perchance he has give up poetry, and 'tis all to the good.


Friday, April 21st, 2017 07:49 am

(no subject)

Happy birthday [personal profile] lexin

Friday, April 21st, 2017 06:16 am

Meme from [personal profile] cloudsinvenice

Comment with one of my fandoms and I'll tell you:

the character I least understand
interactions I enjoyed the most
the character who scares me the most
the character who is mostly like me
hottest looks character
one thing I dislike about my fave character
one thing I like about my hated character
a quote or scene that haunts me
a death that left me indifferent
a character I wish died but didn’t
my ship that never sailed


Thursday, April 20th, 2017 08:44 pm

ha ha HA

So since my LAST post:

- I caught a cold on vacation
- which turned into a sinus infection when we got home
- just as I felt better, husband caught a cold
- just as husband started to feel better, Hypatia caught a cold with fever
- right about this time I started having mysterious joint pain
- which was explained today when Hypatia's cold turns out to be FIFTH DISEASE and apparently I managed not to get it as a kid HA HA AWESOME

APART from the endless courses of disease I have also:

- (mostly) coded a webcam-based Python wand recognizer so we can use our Harry Potter Wizarding World wands at home to trigger IFTTT events

- ripped the bezel off a spare monitor and taken it to framing store so I can turn it into a wizarding family portrait

(NO REALLY IT'S GOING TO BE AWESOME LOOK:



- obtained (and now thrown out) a printer with invisible ink which instead of printing things in invisible ink just leaked invisible ink all over our lovely built-in office counter (fortunately, the ink is in fact invisible, so no one will ever know unless they tote along a blacklight for inspection)

PS if you think this is so I can print an invisible ink marauders map that will only appear in response to someone using their wand and solemnly swearing they are up to no good HOW DID YOU GUESS

(as I described all this in chat, [personal profile] elynross said, "I'm starting to get the feeling you have a deadline" HA HA HA it's like she knows me)

So yeah, I only just finished rewriting a script treatment a month and a half past when I said I would and have not touched my novel in a month. On the bright side when I finally reopened it today and re-read it, a quarter of the way through the first chapter I knew what was going to happen in the rest of the book, which I have been wondering for some time now, so that was nice.

Oh and I imported over [community profile] sga_flashfic so if you have old links, update them! Also I banged in http://ao3.org/collections/sga_flashfic so please upload your stories to the AO3 and pop them into the collection! If you happen to be able to throw a few bucks at the AO3 for the fundraising drive that would be pretty cool too. I mention there is an AO3 HAT among the goodies and it says "You have already left kudos here" on it! <3 <3 <3

What I have NOT done: seen Fate of the Furious! So DO NOT SPOIL I!

Thursday, April 20th, 2017 07:41 pm

Simple weeknight supper

I recently unearthed a recipe card I picked up at Zingerman's back in the fall, and tried the recipe tonight, and it is tasty. I suspect I will lose the card, so I'm saving the recipe here.

Fettuccine with tuna, fennel, and pepper )

Thursday, April 20th, 2017 04:34 pm

yay! iron!


Thursday, April 20th, 2017 11:53 pm

Write Every Day 2017 - April Day 20

Complaint of the day: Google is apparently discontinuing Google Talk and entirely replacing it with Hangouts. And I seriously dislike the way it displays conversations, stretched out and visual rather than the bare-bones text I prefer. And the new "dense roster" setting apparently doesn't apply to the conversations themselves? Ugh.

(Sorry for all the complaining recently, I seem to be in a complainy mood. Venting is good for the soul!

Today's writing:

I worked at a fic for some time this evening, and on the plus side, I'm confident I now know how it needs to go and what I need to do to make that happen. On the other hand, I don't feel I made any progress actually getting there, and I lack the concentration I'd need to actually put theory into practice.

I wish I had an easy fic going on where I could just churn out words for a while, because that I think I could manage ...

(I worked some on the ASiB write-up too, but that's slow-going as well.)

Tally:

Days 1 - 15 )

Day 16 (LJ | DW): [livejournal.com profile] auroracloud, [livejournal.com profile] doctor_jehane, [livejournal.com profile] esteliel, [livejournal.com profile] miss_morland, [livejournal.com profile] navaan, [livejournal.com profile] sylvanwitch, [livejournal.com profile] trobadora, [livejournal.com profile] ysilme, [livejournal.com profile] zippitgood (9 out of 12)
Day 17 (LJ | DW): [livejournal.com profile] auroracloud, [livejournal.com profile] doctor_jehane, [livejournal.com profile] dreamflower02, [livejournal.com profile] esteliel, [livejournal.com profile] miss_morland, [livejournal.com profile] navaan, [livejournal.com profile] sylvanwitch, [livejournal.com profile] trobadora, [livejournal.com profile] ysilme, [livejournal.com profile] zippitgood (10 out of 12)
Day 18 (LJ | DW): [livejournal.com profile] auroracloud, [livejournal.com profile] doctor_jehane, [livejournal.com profile] esteliel, [livejournal.com profile] miss_morland, [livejournal.com profile] navaan, [livejournal.com profile] sylvanwitch, [livejournal.com profile] trobadora, [livejournal.com profile] ysilme, [livejournal.com profile] zippitgood (9 out of 12)
Day 19 (LJ | DW): [livejournal.com profile] auroracloud, [livejournal.com profile] dreamflower02, [livejournal.com profile] esteliel, [livejournal.com profile] miss_morland, [livejournal.com profile] navaan, [livejournal.com profile] sylvanwitch, [livejournal.com profile] trobadora, [livejournal.com profile] ysilme, [livejournal.com profile] zippitgood (9 out of 12 so far)

Let me know if I missed anyone! And remember you can join in or drop in/out at any time. :)

So I've imported my LJ to DW in 2009 and consistently crossposted from DW since, so if I rerun it now, and only import comments, will that work out like you'd want it to? I.e. I get a backup of all the newer comments on the LJ entries added to my DW entries, but older comments won't be duplicated?

Thursday, April 20th, 2017 02:11 pm

Grumble.

Himself was supposed to be back from the Granite State Magicians meeting in time for me to take my poor brother up to the clinic for a scheduled injection, but he isn't here yet and there's less than an hour to go.

Also, he was supposed to be bringing the ambulance squad paycheck with him, but it wasn't in the office yesterday morning before he left because the squad chief was out on Monday with a death in the family. And now I'm fretting that they'll end up rolling this week's paycheck into next week's, for convenience, which wouldn't be convenient for me at all, at all . . . I was counting on that check to pay the phone bill and buy this week's groceries, never mind gas and the laundry.

ETA: He made in just in time, ambulance check in hand.


Thursday, April 20th, 2017 08:15 am

My Digital Life

New hard drive install and image restore went well. I was on my way by Monday. But even with all the software reinstalled I had to deal with


*corrupt outlook pst files
*multiple daily backups had to be tested and restored
*set up a weekly image backup - tested and restored
*fiddle with all the USB ports - matching USB 3.0 to USB 3.0 to make said backups faster
*order new USB hub, external hard drive and power strips
*buy a new vacuum cleaner (yes ours died) to have [personal profile] xlorp vacuum under the desk and behind the computer tower (dust!!)

then deal with (mainly driver problems)
*DVD player that won;t burn
*printers that won't print
*scanner that won't scan

all the while
*frantically testing DIY security cameras before the house next door gets torn down and rebuilt (with construction comes theft and break-ins).
*trying to create a front yard habitat for the feral cat living in a shed in the next door house about to be torn down. The shed protects her from coyotes at night and she will not enter our back yard due to another cat who has taken up residence


We're still not done with all of these so will continue to be elusive and non-resposnive

Thursday, April 20th, 2017 10:44 am

sea spray or tears, salt touches your mouth

The other night, I made pistachio-crusted chicken, as per [personal profile] mousapelli's recommendation, and omg, it was so good. And even better reheated, which is not a thing I usually say! But if, like me, you just always substitute bone-in thighs for boneless breasts, it will take a lot longer than the recipe suggests to cook! Let's just say I was really hungry by the time I got to eat dinner on Monday.

***

Who knew there was so much paperwork to fill out upon someone's death? I certainly didn't until now. I guess my dad took care of all that when my mother died, but now I'm getting emails and texts from my brother about filling out this and signing that and I'm like, I don't know what any of this is? But I guess we have to all sign it to close out his various retirement accounts etc. It's a lot of paper, though. I know that.

***

So I did finish that story and post it last night:

and gravity, scientists say, is weak (@ AO3)
Star Wars; Anakin & Obi-Wan (Obi-Wan/Satine); AU; pg; 3,230 words
"You're not the only one who's ever been in love, Anakin."

Amusingly enough, it didn't have a title (the file was called Satine Lives!) until I posted that poem the other day, and then I was like, hey, that line works, and so there it is. (Possibly I had a lot of not really coherent thoughts about gravity -> attraction -> attachment, and there was some other stuff that never really made it into the story re: the gravitational pull Anakin and Obi-Wan exert on each other, but it made sense in my head!)

I still really want an Obi-Wan/Satine story that focuses on them and their relationship, but I'm not sure I'm capable of writing it. As usual, Anakin swans in and sucks up all the air in the room, so I had to recenter it while writing. *hands*

I'm just glad that my one-story-a-month posting streak isn't broken. I was worried there for a while, since as you know, the past few weeks have been a little rough.

***

And lastly, today's poem:

Black Ships Burning
by Jennifer Crow

No way home--you know this
when flames stain the wine-dark sea.
You watch the past blaze
against Ilium's sands;
the glow illuminates
the stunned faces of your comrades.
This is how kings roll the dice:
not with bones, but lives
of men. Sea spray or tears,
salt touches your mouth,
and the gulls laugh overhead
like the distant gods.
Tomorrow blood will run
down your blade
and the hot, rank scent of death
will cling to you in the night
while the captains count their spoils.
You knew glory once, when
Aeolus's winds snarled your hair
and waves creaked beneath the bow
of your ship. Athena's eye watched you--
but no more. Her painted wards
warp and bubble in the heat,
and you stand godless on the beach
watching fires paint the clouded night.

***

Thursday, April 20th, 2017 09:55 am

Ugh.

This has been a sucky, sucky month, and it doesn't look like it's going to stop sucking any time soon.

(Why is it that I never seem to get any of the good surprises? Just stuff that I have to cope with, and that I mostly don't get acknowedged for . . . and this after I swore a mighty oath, once, that I was going to avoid the kind of jobs that only draw notice when something goes wrong. But try as one might, one still gets stuck with some of them.)

Thursday, April 20th, 2017 08:05 am

(no subject)

Failing and Flying
by Jack Gilbert

Everyone forgets that Icarus also flew.
It’s the same when love comes to an end,
or the marriage fails and people say
they knew it was a mistake, that everybody
said it would never work. That she was
old enough to know better. But anything
worth doing is worth doing badly.
Like being there by that summer ocean
on the other side of the island while
love was fading out of her, the stars
burning so extravagantly those nights that
anyone could tell you they would never last.
Every morning she was asleep in my bed
like a visitation, the gentleness in her
like antelope standing in the dawn mist.
Each afternoon I watched her coming back
through the hot stony field after swimming,
the sea light behind her and the huge sky
on the other side of that. Listened to her
while we ate lunch. How can they say
the marriage failed? Like the people who
came back from Provence (when it was Provence)
and said it was pretty but the food was greasy.
I believe Icarus was not failing as he fell,
but just coming to the end of his triumph.


"Failing and Flying" by Jack Gilbert from Refusing Heaven. © Alfred A. Knopf, 2005.

'Tis most exceeding delightfull to be in triangle once more, and 'tis also a fine opportunity to discourse of a deal of matters in private.

O, cries Eliza, I am in extreme relief that you are return’d in time for the R- House ball, and to be able to advize upon the business. For indeed, upon convoking on the matter with His Lordship, we determin’d 'twould look somewhat particular did we not hold a ball, after the great success of last year’s, and might bring about gossip of a kind we should wish avoid.

La, says I, I confide you would have contriv’d entire excellent; but indeed I am glad that I am arriv’d in time. I confide I have misst the M- House rout -

They go say, alas, 'tis so, and then say somewhat of what a very fine occasion 'twas.

And then there is a little silence and they say at length, sure they have been exceeding worry’d about their dearest C-, for aside from all the perils of travel, they were in the greatest concern that their darling would be about something foolish and reckless -

Alas, my dears, says I, I was indeed a foolish and reckless C- for a while in Naples –

- in particular, goes on Josiah, because His Lordship communicat’d to me somewhat of the activities of the late Marquess in those parts –

- and, continues Eliza, we were mind’d that our lovely third is also spymistress general to our circle and most exceeding apt at the matter –

- and, says Josiah, will mention secrets that are not her own to disclose concerning the Marquess’s legacy.

La, says I, I will confess to you here in private that I was about aiding, as much as I might, being but a feeble timid feminine creature –

They laugh somewhat immoderate.

- those that struggle against the Bourbon tyranny, and indeed became somewhat in love with danger, for sure, 'twas quite intoxicating what one that was consider’d not merely mad - for are not the English all entire mad? – but an extreme silly featherwit, might discover.

Why, says Eliza, hugging me very close, 'tis a very fine thing but we should be exceeding gratefull would you take a little more care for the best belov’d of our hearts, for 'twould most greatly distress us to lose you.

They both embrace me very close.

My dear loves, says I, indeed I hope I shall not be in a like frenzie again, for 'twas most entire unlike me, I was not myself. Or, perchance, we know what we are, but know not what we may be.

They kiss me and then say, they fear that the lovelyest of C-s grows somewhat melancholick, and confide they have a remedy for that.

I love them so very much.

The morn comes the usual chocolate-party levée, with my sweet Flora being a wakefull wombatt, and Bess and Meg I confide now on better terms, and Josh with the mongoose, and Quintus that is such a serious little fellow.

And I look at my precious jewel so carefull in the way she hands the cups and think that sure 'twould be entire the time to give her that tea-service in miniature that I was sent to attach my interest in the matter of china for my dining-room, for I confide that she will not break it.

Then comes Mrs L-, as we must now style her, saying that she is sure they have all had a grand holiday, but 'tis time to return to regular habits. Bess and Meg deny extreme fervent that 'twas anything like a holiday, for they were most dutyfull in hearing the little ones their lessons and looking over their copying &C.

Mrs L- looks at 'em with the greatest affection, and says, even so.

My infant bluestocking shows a most affecting reluctance to quit my side, at which Mrs L- smiles and says, she will leave her a little with her aunty while she gets the others settl’d to their tasks.

So when Williams comes see do I need any assistance in dressing &C, my darling child shows very pretty well-behav’d and says, may I, afore she goes poke about into any matter.

And then I dispatch her with some several kisses 'twixt us to the schoolroom, and go have a nice little breakfast with my darling Eliza in her family room.

We smile at one another very much. O, 'tis so delightfull to be reunit’d after so long.

But sure, it no longer rains and I cannot find any excuse to linger further, so I must be away.

So when I return I go at once to have Docket and Sophy dress me suitable for the forenoon, and go attend to my correspondence in my pretty parlour.

I am about composing a letter to my dearest Abby in New South Wales to say somewhat of how matters have gone the last several months, but that I intend very shortly to hold a drawing-room meeting for their work, that will sure be well-attend’d by those that desire see whether I am in a decline or go increase, when comes Hector to say Mrs D- K- calls, am I at home?

Indeed, says I (for I am in great desire to hear about how Lord K-'s wooing goes and whether she inclines instead to Mr van H-, that is indeed an agreeable fellow), and request some coffee and any buns or such that Euphemia may have upon hand.

Comes in Mrs D- K-, that is looking in health, but one must observe that her garments still bear the sign of being those of some several seasons past, made over.

I ask how she does, and she says, the old lady is ever the same tiresome b---h, but must be said in her favour does not go drag her out of bed is she out of temper and wishes kick someone, or throw about the plates at dinner when displeas’d. 'Tis peacefull, belike.

Comes Celeste with coffee, and some slices of Euphemia’s fine fruit cake. I pour out and desire Mrs D- K- to help herself to cake.

After a little while has gone by in silence, I say, I hear that Lord K- still goes make suit to her?

She licks her fingers, puts down her cup, sighs and says, 'tis so. And that dragon Lady T- shows quite unwont’d civil. But –

I continue listen in silence

- is’t a freak of my own, or can it be that a fellow shows too devot’d? So that I will ever be coming across him do I but go out an errand for the old b---h; and will show exceeding attentive are we met together in Society; sure I think – perchance I go delude myself? – that do I look out of my bedchamber window of an e’en, he will be about the square.

(Indeed this troubles me, for there are fellows will do so and present it as the conduct of an exceeding meek cavalier servente, 'tis entire to demonstrate their devotion; but will go into frenzies of jealousy does the object of their interest show preference elsewhere, or even merely show not so civil towards 'em as they should desire. I confide I must go see can Mrs O’C- supply me with any intelligence in this matter, tho’ may consider that her as 'twere Hippocratick oath prevents her. But sure, she knows me well enough to know that I will not go convey any matter to the scandalmonging set or the printmakers of Holywell Street.)

La, says I, 'tis indeed somewhat out of the common, and is like to feel oppressive: does one not hear of husbands that set the servants to spy upon their wives are they oblig’d to be out of the house –

She shivers a little and says, it comes to her that she wonders how 'twas he knew she was out of the house in Bath and was so near at hand when she was set upon.

I say that I will consider over it, for may just be that he grows anxious that she has not yet give a definite yes to his suit. And, I go on, I hear you are being paint’d by Mr van H-?

’Tis so, she says, and nibbles at another piece of cake. A very civil, well-conduct’d fellow.

Have ever found him so myself, says I.

Perchance 'tis because he is Dutch? she says.

Why, says I, there are even Frenchmen that may be civil well-conduct’d fellows.

She gives a very faint smile, then says, sure she should be on her way about the old b---h’s errands.

After she has gone, I look somewhat covert out into the street to see do I observe Lord K- at all.

Because I think it very prudent to go continue display myself in full health and not increasing I go ride my lovely Jezebel in the Park again at the fashionable hour, where a deal of fellows come and make civil to me.

I observe, on a fine horse I think I recognize, Captain C-, and go over greet him.

Is that not, says I, Nimrod, of Captain P-'s breeding?

Indeed 'tis, says Captain C-, have determin’d upon selling out and going undertake the like business in Nova Scotia and wisht glean his wisdom and that of his lady – sure 'tis a shocking thing she may not get free of her murderous lunatick of a husband even did he purpose bigamy. Confid'd that 'twould be most answerable to raise fine strong work-horses for farming &C, but besides Captain P- having connexions and knowing who would be good honest fellows to deal with, also took the thought that 'twould do no harm to raise a few riding-horses as well and there is no better fellow to put me in the way of providing the beginnings of a stud.

'Tis an excellent plan, says I, I suppose you are come to Town for dealings with the War Office &C.

He concedes that 'tis so.

(I wonder does he also go consider over a wife to take to Nova Scotia with him, but to enquire does he have any intentions of the kind would require most exceeding tact not to seem prying.)


Thursday, April 20th, 2017 12:23 am

15 years on livejournal?? Wow. Also, no more.

Joining the crowd fleeing LJ in protest of the new TOS, I've reimported my lj here to pick up the comments since my last import. In the process, I found the below (image below cut so as to not blow up your reading list) - how can it possibly have been 15 years since I got an LJ? Time sure has flown. Even tho I haven't posted in 4+ years, I feel very sad about deleting it. But delete it I have. & it's nice to see at least a few familiar names still posting here - I miss the days of late night chats with fannish folk. I don't suppose any of that moved over to slack or any of the myriad other tools for chat? I see all sorts of fannish content on twitter, tumblr, etc, but surely there must also be conversation somewhere?

Anyway, RIP jcalanthe.livejournal.com.
See image with stats about my 15 years with LJ )

Wednesday, April 19th, 2017 11:02 pm

The importer has (mostly) caught up!

Our content importer has mostly caught up with its backlog; almost everything that's still listed as being "in the queue" are jobs that were tried, failed once or more with a temporary failure, and are waiting to try again. (The importer tries a few times, at successively longer intervals, when it gets a failure it thinks might be temporary/might correct itself later on.) This means that new imports scheduled now should complete in hours (or even minutes), not the "several days" it's been taking.

If you tried to schedule a second import while the first one was still running, at any time in the past 10 days or so, you may have confused the poor thing. If you think your import should be finished by now and it isn't, and you're seeing "Aborted" on the Importer Status part of the Importer page, feel free to open a support request in the Importer category and we'll look into it for you. (It may take a little bit before you get a response; those of us who have the access to look into importer problems have been really busy for the past two weeks or so, and I at least need a few days to catch my breath a bit before diving back into the fray! But we'll do what we can.)

I hope all y'all are continuing to settle in well to your new home!

and gravity, scientists say, is weak
Star Wars; Anakin & Obi-Wan (Obi-Wan/Satine); AU; pg; 3,230 words
"You're not the only one who's ever been in love, Anakin."

Title from "What Binds Us" by Jane Hirshfield. Read it at AO3.

and gravity, scientists say, is weak )

***

Feedback is adored.

~*~


Wednesday, April 19th, 2017 11:55 pm

Write Every Day 2017 - April Day 19

Why am I constantly tired at the moment? I need a TARDIS just so I can sleep for a month, dammit.

Today's writing:

Despite having something of a breakthrough yesterday, today I failed to make any progress whatsoever. Of course I was out with friends in the evening, so there's that, but still. I did try after I came home, but only managed a few sentences before my eyes started falling shut. but tomorrow I'm seriously going to buckle down and make something of this, dammit.

Tally:

Days 1 - 15 )

Day 16 (LJ | DW): [livejournal.com profile] auroracloud, [livejournal.com profile] doctor_jehane, [livejournal.com profile] esteliel, [livejournal.com profile] miss_morland, [livejournal.com profile] navaan, [livejournal.com profile] sylvanwitch, [livejournal.com profile] trobadora, [livejournal.com profile] ysilme, [livejournal.com profile] zippitgood (9 out of 12)
Day 17 (LJ | DW): [livejournal.com profile] auroracloud, [livejournal.com profile] doctor_jehane, [livejournal.com profile] dreamflower02, [livejournal.com profile] esteliel, [livejournal.com profile] miss_morland, [livejournal.com profile] navaan, [livejournal.com profile] sylvanwitch, [livejournal.com profile] trobadora, [livejournal.com profile] ysilme, [livejournal.com profile] zippitgood (10 out of 12)
Day 18 (LJ | DW): [livejournal.com profile] auroracloud, [livejournal.com profile] doctor_jehane, [livejournal.com profile] esteliel, [livejournal.com profile] miss_morland, [livejournal.com profile] navaan, [livejournal.com profile] sylvanwitch, [livejournal.com profile] trobadora, [livejournal.com profile] ysilme, [livejournal.com profile] zippitgood (9 out of 12 so far)

Let me know if I missed anyone! And remember you can join in or drop in/out at any time. :)

Wednesday, April 19th, 2017 03:09 pm

What I'm Doing Wednesday

books (nonfiction: trauma; fiction: Commissario Brunetti) )

dirt )

wildlife
The maintenance mgr came out & saw the burrow under the house. I feel bad for what I assume is the rock squirrel, but I refuse to fight rodents for my veggies. Also, there are a pair of cardinals nesting in the tree canopy over my backyard! Maybe my caterpillar problems are about to end! Possibly I should rehang my bird feeders...

healthcrap
The chronic fatigue component of fibro continues to flare (along with everything else), and I am beyond weary of sleeping 10+ hrs a night and being exhausted by the simplest of tasks. But! [personal profile] goss' post about chocolate reminded me that cocoa powder has no soy in it, so today I made a shake with cocoa powder, peanuts, molasses, vanilla, frozen bananas, and almond milk and immediately felt much better.


Wednesday, April 19th, 2017 12:44 pm

Four More Days

A quick repost from my editorial blog:
Just a quick note to let everyone know that my springtime seasonal sale expires at midnight this coming Sunday the 23rd.

Buy a line-edit and critique for a writer friend, or for yourself; you needn’t use the gift right away, but can claim it whenever you desire.
And a DW/LJ-specific note: If you're thinking of taking the plunge, right now would (from my point of view) be a very good time to do so, what with taxes and all.

Wednesday, April 19th, 2017 10:44 am

she's let her heart float to her mouth—

Now that was a much better game the Rangers played last night. Keep the KZB line together! Let Buchnevich in the lineup! I mean, there's nothing you can do when the officiating is so...inconsistent, but it might just go to seven now instead of six as I predicted.

***

I'm writing this story - I should be done soon I hope - but it's not actually the story I want? But it's the only way I can figure to approach it in a way I actually can write? So it's almost a completely different story though it touches on the same (AU) events. It's kind of a weird feeling. What I mean is, I really want a Satine Lives! story with a dramatic rescue and some sweet sweet Obi-Wan/Satine reunionating, but since I still am figuring out how to write from Obi-Wan's POV and I have no idea how to even get into Satine's POV, what I'm actually writing is the story where Obi-Wan actually has a conversation with Anakin about relationships etc. from Anakin's POV, because for whatever reason (I choose not to examine it too closely *snerk*), that's still the easiest POV for me to write from. Idek. Writing is weird. Such a terrible hobby. I don't recommend it.

***

What I'm reading Wednesday:

What I've just finished
Stealth (Star Wars: Clone Wars Gambit #1) by Karen Miller, which has enjoyable Anakin & Obi-Wan banter and hijinks, occasionally touching on heartbreaking foreshadowing or missed opportunities. My eyeroll might have been audible when Obi-Wan thinks about whether Qui-Gon ever considered how Anakin's childhood in slavery might have damaged him and I'm like, YOU'VE HAD TEN YEARS TO DISCUSS THAT AND MAYBE GET HIM SOME THERAPY BUT APPARENTLY YOU DIDN'T DO ANY OF THAT. Like, you're aware of it, and yet you ignored it. I don't even know. Let's not absolve Anakin of his myriad terrible choices, because boy howdy does he screw the pooch in every single possible way, but still, some of that could have been avoided had ANYONE said, hey maybe instead of telling the kid not to dwell on the past, we get him some therapy to learn how to deal with it. I am just saying.

Otoh, Anakin is a little more self-aware here than I would expect - he actually knows that his whole life is a lie! I mean, I know he knows that, but I feel like he probably rationalized it away a lot and blamed the necessity of it on other people rather than taking the responsibility for it himself.

Plus, we meet yet another ex-girlfriend for Obi-Wan "Banging His Way Across the Galaxy" Kenobi (I mean, they don't call her that, but I basically read it that way). Legends canon seems to be littered with them.

Anyway! I enjoyed it but it ends abruptly, so it was a good thing I had the next book handy.

What I'm reading now
Siege (Star Wars: Clone Wars Gambit #2) by Karen Miller, sequel to the above.

What I'm reading next
TWO WEEKS UNTIL CITY OF MIRACLES. Before that, I don't know.

***

Today's poem:

Venom
by Luisa Igloria

In every bottle of Caballeros
triple-distilled mezcal, a scorpion

swims in a silo of liquid the color
of caramel, of clarified dulce de leche,

the hot milk of it pressed from a mulch
of chopped blue agave hearts, maguey azul.

Darker than an olive dropped into a martini,
it's there as a memento of what follows

after the flush of pleasure, after the heat
that turns the knees into a mash like pulque

because though she said she wouldn't let it,
she's let her heart float to her mouth—

it lies on its side like a fish in cold
stupor and her tongue has gone numb

like a stone. All because she's fallen
for the one she can't have, she tosses

her head back and drains the little cups
like they were poison, remembering

the sting of lime on his tongue, the bite of salt
in the crevice between his finger and thumb.

***

Wednesday, April 19th, 2017 08:22 am

(no subject)

11 Park Vista
by Sue Ellen Thompson

We rented a room from an English violinist
and shared the kitchen that filled the second floor.
We had until the lessons downstairs were finished
to cook and eat our dinner before

he started his. Married now
and beginning to show, I took the train
to London every day and joined the crowd
perched on folding camp-stools at the Tate.

Returning one evening, I saw my husband
wreathed in steam above the kitchen stove
while a young girl raised her violin
and released a flock of sparrows in the parlor below.

I paused on the front walk, breathless with greed.
Food, music, children—all within reach.


"11 Park Vista" by Sue Ellen Thompson from The Golden Hour. © Autumn House Press, 2006.

Wednesday, April 19th, 2017 07:54 am

New Book Wednesday Actually on Wednesday

(If you've been following my book rec and new book listing posts for a while, you may have noticed this already, but while most book lists emphasize books by popular straight white men, this one emphasizes everybody else. I include books by straight white men, but in about the same percentage that other book lists include everybody else. I also try to highlight books that are less well known.)

(I only link to one retail outlet in the book's listing, but most books are available at multiple outlets, like Kobo, iBooks, international Amazons, Barnes & Noble, etc. The short stories are usually on free online magazines.)


* Imaginary Cities by Darran Anderson
For as long as humans have gathered in cities, those cities have had their shining—or shadowy—counterparts. Imaginary cities, potential cities, future cities, perfect cities. It is as if the city itself, its inescapable gritty reality and elbow-to-elbow nature, demands we call into being some alternative, yearned-for better place.


* Tender by Sofia Samatar
The first collection of short fiction from a rising star whose stories have been anthologized in the first two volumes of the Best American Science Fiction and Fantasy series and nominated for many awards. Some of Samatar’s weird and tender fabulations spring from her life and her literary studies; some spring from the world, some from the void.


* Journey Across the Hidden Islands by Sarah Beth Durst
The traditional Emperor’s Journey is meant to be uneventful. But as the princesses Seika and Ji-Lin—twin sisters—travel to pay respects to their kingdom’s dragon guardian, unexpected monsters appear and tremors shake the earth. The Hidden Islands face unprecedented threats, and the old rituals are failing. With only their strength, ingenuity, and flying lion to rely on, can the sisters find a new way to keep their people safe?


* A Fistful of Honey by Malena Crawford
This stunning novel begins when a pending divorce and job loss force Alena Ford out of her elite life in Manhattan’s Upper East Side, and into a gritty section of Brooklyn. Stripped of everything, she is forced to face the demons of her past and the ghosts in her heart. When Alena befriends her eccentric neighbor Gloria, the woman’s stunning amethyst necklace and Black Madonna painting draw her into a world of ancient secrets, dark forces, and powerful magic.


* WarDance by Elizabeth Vaughan
Now a warrior-priestess, Snowfall, stands before Simus, who dares to speak of peace, of reconciliation. Her knives are sharp, her tattoos alluring, and her cool grey eyes can look through Simus and see...everything.


* The Dragon's Legacy by Deborah A. Wolf
In the heart of the singing desert, the people are fading from the world. Mothers bear few live children, the warriors and wardens are hard-pressed to protect those who remain, and the vash’ai—the great cats who have called the people kithren for as long as there have been stories—bond with fewer humans each year.


* Mother of the Sea by Zetta Elliott
When her village is raided, a teenage girl finds herself on a brutal journey to the coast of Africa and across the Atlantic. Her only comfort is a small child who clings to her for protection. But once they board the slave ship, the child reveals her rebellious nature and warns that her mother--a fierce warrior--is coming to claim them all.


* Short Story: When Stars Are Scattered by Spencer Ellsworth
Ahmed is a doctor working in a far flung outpost of humanity. His way was paid for by the leaders of his faith and his atheism is a guarded secret. His encounters with the "kite people" will cause him to doubt his whole worldview however when the aliens start dying and escalating tensions between religious extremists threatens to destroy the colony's peace.


* Anathema Magazine Issue 1
Anathema: Spec from the Margins is a tri-annual speculative fiction magazine of work by queer POC.

Wednesday, April 19th, 2017 06:25 am

DW Anniversary Poll (Open to everyone)

Dang, I missed my DW-versary day again this year. But I noticed something - it seems like many of us came here in 2009, and within a week or two of each other. Anyway, it's made me curious, therefore POLL! :D

The date of your account's creation can be seen on your Profile page.

Poll #18231 DW Anniversary
Open to: Registered Users, detailed results viewable to: All, participants: 62


Which year did you create your main DW account?

View Answers

Before 2009
1 (1.6%)

2009
54 (87.1%)

2010 - 2015
6 (9.7%)

2016 - 2017
1 (1.6%)

Which month did you create your DW account?

View Answers

January
2 (3.2%)

February
1 (1.6%)

March
3 (4.8%)

April
32 (51.6%)

May
16 (25.8%)

June
0 (0.0%)

July
2 (3.2%)

August
1 (1.6%)

September
1 (1.6%)

October
0 (0.0%)

November
2 (3.2%)

December
2 (3.2%)

If created in April, which day?


I am one forenoon in my parlour at my pretty desk about going over my accounts, and finding all in very agreeable state, when Hector comes say Miss A- is at the door, am I at home to her?

Why, indeed, says I, show her in and do you desire coffee and any little cakes or such Euphemia may have about her.

How now, dear rogue, says I, going across the room to kiss Miss A-, do you come solicit my interest in that matter of plays? Sure I have an intention to be about it – have made a note in my little memorandum book – but indeed there are a deal of matters come pouring in upon me now word is gone about that I am in Town once more.

Miss A- laughs as I wave her into a chair, and says, indeed she would be glad to hear any good news concerning plays, for Mr P- continues pester 'em, but that was not why she came the morn.

Comes Celeste with coffee and the little fruit buns that Miss A- likes particularly. Miss A- says that does any in the household desire passes for the play she would be entire delight’d to provide 'em. Celeste bobs and says, O, Miss A-, I confide that Nell and Polly have never been to the play –

I say with some caution that they should go with some sober older person, do they so –

Why, says Miss A-, Dorcas is still of your household, is she not? Why do you not make up a little party and I will send passes.

Celeste, exceeding thrill’d at this prospect, bobs again and makes most effusive thanks.

After she has gone to convey this very delightfull intelligence, I pour coffee and desire Miss A- to make herself free of the buns, and say that I hope 'tis no ill matter concerning Lady J-.

Oh no, cries Miss A-, I am quite in wonderment at how well she bears up: for indeed at her age 'tis no light matter to go with child. But keeps in most excellent good humour. She smiles very affectionate.

No, indeed, she goes on, that is not where my worries lye.

She nibbles on a bun, and then says, she continues give a little instruction in dramatick matters to the Earl of N-'s children and their circle, they come along very pleasing. She then sighs and says, she takes some concern over Lady Emily –

Oh, I cry, 'tis not that she falls at your feet –

Not entirely, says Miss A-, looking very sober. But indeed she did come weep in my lap lately, and I am in some trouble what I should say to her. May have been somewhat that happen’d while you were away, but she took the most exceeding fondness towards Lord D-'s sister –

I was there, says I, when they first met.

- ah, says Miss A-, wrinkling up her nose, and I daresay you entirely penetrat’d into Lady Rosamund’s character –

Nasty little b---h, says I.

Entirely, says Miss A-, but Lady Emily was quite besott’d, one could not say anything, but I am like to suppose she has come about to have the veil torn from across her eyes and to see that little hussy in her true colours. But it render’d her exceeding distressfull, and sure I saw that she was troubl’d by somewhat one day when I went for their instruction, and took an opportunity to ask her privyly what was ado –

And then she went sob in your lap?

Precisely, says Miss A-. And I am very like to think that she is of my dear Lady J-'s nature, but has not come to that consciousness of the matter that she came to thro’ her study of the classicks with her uncle.

Indeed, says I, 'tis a thought that has crosst my own mind.

Miss A- sighs and says that she apprehends that 'tis not with Lady Emily as 'twas with Lady J-, that was left an independence by her uncle and thus not oblig’d to concede to any attempts to make some marriage alliance.

I would suppose not: her family lament that she does not show particular favour to any of her suitors, but 'tis entire assum’d that she will marry, and marry to the advantage of her family.

Miss A- sighs. Do you think she will?

Why, says I, does she not fully understand her own nature, and does she find some fellow she does not altogether dislike, she may go marry him – for her family may be fond of her, but I daresay they will be telling her that 'tis a most unusual matter the very great liking there is 'twixt her sister and Lord O-, or the romantick tale of Their Graces of M-. But she will continue falling in love with other ladies, I confide. And sure there are husbands that would not much mind, because 'tis not somewhat that would bring a cuckoo to the nest, and they might have their own diversions, but there are other fellows that go be very jealous and resentfull even of affection shown unto a lapdog.

'Tis so, says Miss A-. Are there not fellows that will marry actresses and then forbid 'em the stage? 'tis a similar matter.

I sigh myself. 'Tis a tangle, I say. But I will go consider over it.

O, cries Miss A-, if any can unknot it 'tis Lady B-!

La, says I, I do not contrive to miracles.

Miss A- laughs somewhat immoderate and says, that is not what reputation gives out.

She rises to her feet and says that she must be along to the theatre.

We kiss very affectionate and she departs.

I go throw myself into a chair to ponder this conundrum but find no immediate solution. I will go leave it ferment a little.

After I have made some duty calls, I go ride my lovely Jezzie-girl in the Park at the fashionable hour. There is a deal of Society about. I observe that Lord V- goes drive the Honble Frances C- in his phaeton. I also see Mr Geoffrey M- in what I confide is a fine new phaeton: he waves to me with his whip and I ride over to greet him.

La, says I, am surpriz’d to see you here, 'tis give out that you are entire wedd’d to your books –

He blushes a little and says, has been persuad’d that a little healthfull exercize can only be beneficial to studying. And 'tis entire delightfull to see Lady B- return’d to Town in such health.

I say I hear that he and his brothers go live at N- House.

Indeed, he says, but 'tis but a bachelor establishment and they do not entertain - not but what 'tis a sad shabby gloomy place that one would not wish invite any to.

He then is struck with a happy thought and says, U- was saying some months ago, O, could we only get a little advice from Lady B- upon furbishing the house up – his face then falls and he says, sure he dares say 'twould be improper to invite me to come look it over –

Why, says I, did I not do the like for O- House? Took Hector with me for propriety. Or, says I, as a notion begins form in my mind, surely your sisters come visit? Might I not come along some day with Lady Emily, for 'twould be exceeding usefull to her to learn a little of these matters.

Mr M- concedes 'tis an entire bang-up notion and he will open the matter to U- and Eddy as soon as maybe.

He then proceeds to ask would I care for a drive sometime.

Why, says I, I hear you have a very pretty hand with the ribbons and I should be entire delight’d.

He blushes most exceedingly.

'Tis an agreeable encounter.

In the e’en I go to a little family party at R- House, to welcome Mr and Mrs L- home from their wedding journey. I have been in some consideration concerning some suitable present, and have settl’d upon a pretty string of pearls for Mrs L-, that has always greatly admir’d the fine pearls that the Admiral gave me.

All are sitting in the parlour when I arrive, and I observe that Sandy is of the company and thus is no longer in disgrace.

I go congratulate the happy pair, give the gift to the quondam Miss N-, that gasps, O, Lady B-! when she opens the package, say to Mr L- that I have some travel observations that he may like for the paper, and ask how they enjoy’d Lyme Regis. O, quite exceedingly, they say, and expatiate somewhat on their walks along the Cobb, the remarkable fossils for which the place is fam’d &C&C.

Mrs L- desires her husband to help her fasten the pearls about her neck, and he does so with a very doating air.

Eliza says that 'twill be an excellent thing to get back into good schoolroom habits: sure Bess and Meg have shown very well in hearing the younger ones their lessons, but 'tis not the same.

Patty comes take my sweet Flora, that demonstrates some sign of becoming over-excit’d, to bed, and I am desir’d to come be a sleepy wombatt. Sure this has become an occasion upon which my precious jewel recounts me in great detail all that she has lately been about before she may be prevail’d upon to lye down and behave in the fashion proper to sleepy wombatts. But 'tis entire charming.

As I return to the parlour Eliza comes meet me in the corridor. La, Lady B-, she says, have you observ’d how the rain comes down? Sure I think you should stay the night in your fine reserv’d chamber rather than undertake the journey home in these conditions.

I look at my dearest of all wild girls and smile very much. Why, Mrs F-, that is most exceeding thoughtfull of you, and I confide Ajax may find some shakedown in the stables can Seraphine and Roberts not offer him a bed in the gardener’s cottage.

We look at one another with very speaking expressions, and then go behave ourselves most extreme proper in company.


Wednesday, April 19th, 2017 08:16 am

AKICOMDW

Could any kind soul give me the name, in the original language, for the undead, reanimated corpse warriors who come out of the Cauldron in the Rocks Fall, Everybody Dies branch of the Mabinogion? Would appreciate any Irish or Scottish Gaelic equivalents, also.


Thanks in advance.

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