tellitslant: amanda tapping being a dorkface at the camera (Default)
what I just finished:
In the last two weeks, since I missed last week: Broken Harbour by Tana French, which didn't creep me out this round as badly as it used to. I started re-reading French's Secret Place but got sidetracked by the discovery that there's a new Sara Paretsky book out next week, so I'm re-reading all the V.I. Warshawski novels in advance. I've finished the first eight so far.

what I'm reading now:
Tunnel Vision, the ninth Warshawski novel. I really love these books, but I haven't re-read the whole series in a very long time. I'm finding it interesting to re-read them and think about their feminism as related to the era in which they were written. It's also quite interesting to read them adapting with the times - I re-read all the Kinsey Millhone novels earlier this year and they are resolutely grounded in the 80s, while these keep up with the calendar and the technology even as I think they keep V.I. at an acceptable age to continue detecting. I'm also enjoying thinking about the times at which I originally read these - when I started the series, which books I picked up as they were coming out. I think I started reading them in high school, so it's been a while.

what I'm reading next:
I have eight more Warshawski novels before the new one comes out on the 28th. I'm spending a bunch of time in airplanes and airports over the weekend, so who knows, I might make it. :P I also seem to have missed one novel in the group, or at least I don't remember it from the synopsis, so, yay, it's like two new ones!
tellitslant: amanda tapping being a dorkface at the camera (Default)
what I just finished:
In the Woods and Faithful Place by Tana French. Re-reads both, but not for a while. I am so desperately, perpetually in love with French's prose. Also Dreaming Spies, by Laurie R. King, which is one of her better recent Mary Russell books, if a little problematic even if you assume the Orientalism is meant to be period-appropriate.

what I'm reading now:
Broken Harbour, also by Tana French. Definitely the one of this series I re-read the least often, because it is creepy, but here we go. As well, "Coriolanus," because I'm seeing it on Friday.

what I'm reading next:
No idea. I just rescued my grandmother's copy of Wolf Hall from the pile to go to the used book store, so possibly that, finally.
tellitslant: amanda tapping being a dorkface at the camera (Default)
what I just finished:
When I finished Uprooted (see last week's post, but: definite recommendation if you like magic and fantasy and female protags and... lots of good stuff), I couldn't think what I needed as a followup, but it finally hit me: Kristen Cashore's Graceling trilogy. I re-read Graceling and Fire while on the island and now I really, really, really want more from her.

what I'm reading now:
I am a few pages from the end of Bitterblue, the third of the Graceling novels. I love these books and their unapologetic feminisms and their brilliant characters and their insistence on working through terrible things.

what I'm reading next:
I finally bought the most recent of Laurie R. King's Mary Russell novels, Dreaming Spies. I should probably re-read some of the previous ones first, but I don't think I have them handy. Still, I think that's up next, and then possibly some Val McDermid.
tellitslant: (bond - bond/m - i miss the cold war)
what I just finished:
Station Eleven by Emily St. John Martel. This had been mentioned in my vicinity several times before I finally picked it up and absolutely devoured it/cried about it. In my defence, no one who rec'd it to me bothered to mention that it treats the following themes: Canada, Shakespeare, Star Trek, comic books. I MEAN REALLY. I'd like to read Martel's previous books, but looking them up on amazon etc reveals a lot of reviews that say "this is almost brilliant" - Station Eleven seems ot be her first where there are few critical reservations. So I will probably not buy her previous books, but may grab them from the library first. Anyway, this is a post-apocalyptic novel, but a truly fascinating, occasionally disturbing, and quite touching take on the genre. I would like more people to read it.

what I'm reading now:
Hild by Nicola Griffith. I re-read Griffith's Aud books recently and tried to dive into Hild immediately thereafter, but came up hard. The writing style is very similar, though Hild is, suitably, much more lush. Even when Aud is being poetic, it's still an almost utilitarian level of sensory awareness. It's also interesting to see Hild herself grow up to become somewhat more Aud-like. The two of them are definitely on a continuum.

Uprooted by Naomi Novik. I wanted something a little quicker than Hild (GOD I miss having reading time; can't wait to have a commute again) and so I picked this up earlier today. I'm almost finished it and it's delightful. Novik's Temeraire books were good for not being my thing; this is good AND it's my thing and I'm very pleased to have listened to the chatter about it.

what I'm reading next:
No idea. I got a lovely bunch of book recs last time I asked, so I will probably mine those. I'm off to Victoria this weekend till Canada Day, so I will need some decent reading material. I might start a re-read of Tana French's Dublin Murder Squad series with an eye to offering them for Yuletide...

[ps]

Jun. 22nd, 2015 08:34 pm
tellitslant: (white collar - ot3 - heart!)
happy fourteen years, lj account.

o.O
tellitslant: amanda tapping being a dorkface at the camera (Default)
The Miss Fisher's Murder Mysteries open thread.

Come talk to me about Doctor Mac, and probably some other things. :D
tellitslant: helen magnus with a big gun (sanctuary - helen - carry a big gun)
Another in the series of Last Tango in Halifax ficlets.

For Roses Too - Gillian Greenwood, Eddie Greenwood, Raff Greenwood; rated T, 1000 words. NOTE: this fic is spoilery for 2.05, and so are the warnings. Warnings and triggers are thus listed in the notes at the beginning of the fic. Gillian, pre-series, coming to a breaking point.
tellitslant: amanda tapping being a dorkface at the camera (Default)
I've been noodling with little bits of backstory and character studies for Last Tango in Halifax and, since a couple are done, thought I would start sharing them! These are not thematically connected; they're just attempts to get character voice and backstory and so on into my head. But I like them. :)

Make Do and Mend - Gillian Greenwood & Alan Buttershaw; rated G, no archive warnings, 1000 words. Set very early in s1; no major spoilers. An exploration of Gillian's worries about her relationship with her father and the threads that bind them together. Many thanks to [personal profile] hobbitbabe for patiently answering many questions about knitting.

The Journey Home - Caroline Elliot; rated G, no archive warnings, 500 words. Set immediately after the s3 finale; very spoilery. Caroline and the drive home, looking towards the past and the future.

I think my fandoms are getting tinier and tinier. But then, I've cunningly been increasing the size of my last, well, several... :P
tellitslant: helen magnus with a big gun (sanctuary - helen - carry a big gun)
While I was in Arizona last week, my mom was checking in on my house, mainly to make sure nothing else plumbing-related happened while I was gone. When I got in very late on Tuesday night/early on Wednesday morning, though, the security alarm was off, which was a bit disconcerting - but then I noticed the microwave clock was off, so we'd apparently had a power failure. I'd expect the alarm to have a battery or something, but who knows.

Yesterday, as I was doing laundry, I opened the laundry chute and pulled out a pileup of towels that I hadn't gotten around to washing for a while. And smack in the middle of the stack was a blue button-up shirt that does not belong to me.

...d'you think I can get them to do the laundry next time, instead of adding to it?
tellitslant: amanda tapping looking adorable (sanctuary - a-tapps - dorkface)
There's something amusing about having a plot-related discussion with a friend and only afterwards thinking about what it would look like from the outside. I mean: "Do I really want to give [name] the syph? I am a terrible person. [...] Maybe instead of giving [name] an STD I'll give him a horrible flu for the flight and then a case of traveller's stomach. Even though he deserves worse."
tellitslant: amanda tapping being a dorkface at the camera (Default)
When you see this, post excerpts from three of your works in progress, says the meme. Well, it's not quite 'when I see it,' because I had to fetch my notebook in from the car and type up a chunk of my most recent, but nevertheless. 'In progress' might be stretching it a bit too, but 'on my mind,' at least?

None of the excerpts are spoilery for their respective shows. In rough order from first started:

Scott & Bailey )

Scott & Bailey )

Last Tango in Halifax )

I still owe [personal profile] soupytwist a ficlet, but I haven't started it yet. *looks cute*
tellitslant: (tos - uhura - smiiile!)
Yuletide this year was surprisingly difficult! It took a lot of to-ing and fro-ing and reworking - I scrapped a good 4000 words and restarted at one point, quite late, and I'm a little bitter about that, though I have hopes that some of those ideas may make it into another fic at some point.

I was assigned to write Scott & Bailey fic for [livejournal.com profile] featherxquill, and though she gave a wide range of prompts for all of the nominated characters, I knew that what she'd love most was some Gill/Julie:

at least we can hold each other (1561 words) by kathryne
Rating: Explicit
Warnings: No Archive Warnings Apply
Relationships: Julie Dodson/Gill Murray
Summary: Two people who've known each other as long and as well as Julie and Gill have many ways to communicate.

...which is a little porny story riffing on both Julie's wardrobe and the way that Julie and Gill balance a personal and working relationships.

But the reason I was having trouble was because apparently what I really wanted to write was all the trauma that ensued following s3 and through s4. And, well, [personal profile] soupytwist had also requested S&B, and she is a lovely person who deserves a little treat, and who wouldn't be horribly put off by angst, so I thought I would just... write the angst and get it out of my system and gift it to someone who would appreciate it. And she did. :P And she guessed I'd written it for her, too, which means she gets to prompt a ficlet off me if she wants... :D?

Pictures of Strangers Always Looking Down on You (1874 words) by kathryne
Rating: Teen And Up Audiences
Warnings: No Archive Warnings Apply
Characters: Julie Dodson, Gill Murray, Helen Bartlett
Summary: Like Helen Bartlett, Gill finds herself fighting to break free of others' perceptions - even those who are meant to be in her corner.

After the struggle to get these written, I'm fairly happy with both of them - there are some things I would change, but overall I think they turned out pretty okay. :D
tellitslant: (bond - bond/m - i miss the cold war)
Fandom this year: not enough fic-writing. My AO3 stats say I've written just over 23,000 words. On the other hand, that's better than last year, and my god this was a shit year all around. Plus, frankly, the amount of texting Soph and I have done probably brings that up a lot. I mean. A LOT. As always, though, next year, more writing, I hope!

Your main fandom of the year?
Let's call it the Sally Wainwright-verse: the not-actually-interconnected tv trilogy of Scott & Bailey, Last Tango in Halifax, and Happy Valley. I haven't been particularly fannishly productive about Happy Valley, I suppose, largely because it is kind of traumatising, but in terms of mental investment these three occupy a definitely very high position in my list of fannish loves. I've only posted fic in S&B, but I have spent a... significant... amount of time building headcanons for all three. (There was a Catherine Cawood cameo in the first draft of one of my Yuletide fics, but I had to trash that, sigh.)

Your favourite film watched this year?
I didn't watch many films this year, it feels like, and I missed out on a LOT of the really big ones. That said, however, how can I give this to anything but Maleficent? It wasn't perfect, and I didn't end up as fannish about it as I'd expected, but god it made me happy. It made me happy and it didn't disappoint me. Honourable mention to Pride, which made me bawl, but yeah, Maleficent by a country mile.

Your favourite book read this year?
I hate these, because I never remember what I read from one month to the next! That said, I spent the latter half of November and first week or so of December powering through the ten volumes of Louise Penny's Three Pines series, which I could not put down. I keep meaning to read more Canadian literature, and these books really left me longing to return to Montreal and Quebec in general, plus they were excellent mysteries in a year where I rediscovered my love of the crime genre.

Your favourite album or song to listen to this year?
Hmmm. The Imelda May album "Mayhem" has barely left my car CD player since August (so disappointed that I was just too ill to watch her mainstage show at Folkfest). Taylor Swift's "1989" has been delightful. Various of Bear's Den's songs have been in heavy rotation at home. But I think 2014 has to be a year of Fleetwood Mac: "Rumours," "The Dance," "Live," and "Greatest Hits" have been in heavy rotation because – the Mac is back!

Your favourite TV show of the year?
It's so hard to pick from that trilogy listed above! Technically, Happy Valley is probably the best, and has certainly appeared on numerous best-of lists: it's tightly plotted, brilliantly acted, gut-wrenching, and very well shot and edited. But favourite? Hm. Last Tango is currently airing, which puts it front of mind, and its characters are some of the most well-rounded, fully realized around. But it is a liiittle bit soapy. Okay a lot soapy. I mean, it transcends! But. Plus I'm already angry at it for what it'll do next year. And Scott & Bailey – well, there are things I'd change, things I wish it'd done better, but as a discrete unit it may be one of my favourite shows ever. We still don't know if it'll get a fifth season, but if it doesn't, I am absolutely content with that, as the way it ended was just marvellous. So. S&B it is.

Your best new fandom discovery of the year?
Sally Wainwright and her giant evil cat and their commitment to a postfeminist genre discourse on British telly.

Your biggest fandom disappointment of the year?
We do not fucking speak of Warehouse 13. Go outside, turn around three times, and spit. Ptui.

Your fandom boyfriend of the year?
Did I... consume... texts... with boys in them???

Your fandom girlfriend of the year?
UGH, no! Gill Murray, with her nails and her impossible jawline? Rachel Bailey, with her smile and her recklessness? Gillian Greenwood, with her inability to keep her fingers away from her mouth? Caroline Elliot, with her DPhil and her hips and her freckles and her gorgeous kissing? Erm, yes.

Your biggest squee moment of the year?
I think probably when Maleficent queered true love's kiss. You could've knocked me over with a feather. Boom. Runners up: Scott & Bailey and past!Gill with hair down to her bum dressed all in leather; Last Tango and Caroline and Gillian and "They think I'm one of your women"; so much of Alicia's ascendance in The Good Wife; Stella and Reed kissing in The Fall.

The most missed of your old fandoms?
I miss being fannish about comics. A lot of people have really gotten into comics in my vicinity this year, and I am just... I'm reading more of them, and I'm enjoying a lot of them, but fannishly I just don't have the investment right now.

The fandom you haven't tried yet, but want to?
I find this question a bit funny because it assumes fannishness about the texts I plan to try. I am looking forward to watching Miss Fisher's Murder Mysteries, Mapp and Lucia and Manhattan.

Your biggest fan anticipations for the coming year?
Dreading the continuation of Last Tango, but anticipating fic, my own and that of anyone I can drag in kicking and screaming! A little worried about what s2 of Happy Valley might be like, but looking forward to more of Catherine and Clare (I think this is meant to be in 2015?)! More superhero movies (I'm not really invested, but I enjoy dipping in and out of the fic)! And, of course, AGENT CARTER. :D :D :D Oh, and I need to catch up on Strange Empire... and prep for X Company.
tellitslant: amanda tapping being a dorkface at the camera (Default)
Okay, I am having a really difficult time getting my brain to engage enough to read Yuletide, much less comment, but: the fic I got is in a suuuuper tiny fandom and it absolutely deserves more readers. It's a five-minute fandom - Killers Kill; Dead Men Die is a Vanity Fair photoshoot from a few years back. You can flip through the backstory in literally the advertised five minutes and be prepped to read the fic right away.

And it's absolutely, fantastically worth reading; one of my Yuletide letter comments was that I loved how in control the women of the fandom were, and this takes that and runs with it. It's great at using and commenting on the elements that make a noir story, and the twists at the end made me grin like a dork and make re-reading it fabulously fun.

If you like strong female characters (the good kind), noir, metafiction, or identity games, you should totally read this.

And please, if you read, comment! I try to comment regularly, but I really kick it up at Yuletide because, well, authors deserve it.

Read the fic here: Uncommon Inquiries
tellitslant: (tos - uhura - smiiile!)
Putting this up now as I expect tomorrow to be a bit crazed:

I have two fics in the Yuletide archive - the main Yuletide archive, not Madness. Guess one of them, and I will try to write you a ficlet or do something equivalent! Guess both of them and... I will try and do something slightly fancier? Open to negotiation. ;)

I shouldn't think either is too difficult to guess, to be honest. Perhaps slightly easier if you follow my Tumblr as well. But who knows - I think that every year and I think I've only been guessed once!
tellitslant: (good wife - alicia/kalinda - office)
Home sick today, I caught up on the last three weeks of The Good Wife, about which I mostly have "WHAT THE CRAP" to say.

I really gave up on speculating about this show a long time ago, because I don't think I've ever been able to call a major plot point on it (which is why I love it, of course). Therefore I am trying to remind myself that I assume this casting spoiler is know, but maybe not )

I am also resolutely refusing to make guesses about the Cary storyline or the state's attorney race, though okay so maybe a tiny guess )

I have also been watching The Fall, with Gillian Anderson, which is another notch on my list of interesting contemporary post-modernist, post-feminist UK crime dramas, aka 'my current favourite things.' (You'd think this would be a tiny list; I'm pleased to report that it is not nearly as small as one might expect.) It's very different from Scott & Bailey and Happy Valley (which are from the same creator, Sally Wainwright, while The Fall has a male showrunner), but very, very good.

...although I would like to invite you all to listen to Panjabi's mysterious 'Canadian'-plus-whatever accent on TGW and then her brought-up-in-Croydon accent on TF and then chip in to get her a good accent coach, eh? I'm just saying.

One of the things that I particularly like about the show is that Stella is allowed to be a woman of appetites. And yes, of course I include sexually, because that's the one facet that becomes a plot point. I think it's notable too that we see her eating - a big, thick hamburger once, and I think pasta, and chocolate in the most recent ep - all solid foods. She drinks whisky - not a subtle drink.

This could easily have tipped over the edge into overly-masculine caricature - she eats red meat and drinks hard liquor and fucks around, no wonder she makes it in the man's world, ho ho - but what saves it is that more than anything, Stella seems to be a sensualist. This comes out in the way she cuts through the water swimming, the way she holds her head under the shower, the clothes she chooses. I see an appreciation for those sensations, those experiences - even though she seems closed off emotionally, she's determined to express her desires for things that don't necessarily fit a 'proper' view of her.

And thinking on that, and thinking about it appreciatively, positively, started me thinking about Katie. I'm pretty... critical of? easily-frustrated by? stressed about? Katie's insistence on pursuing Spector. Obviously this is about audience-knowledge rather than in-show-knowledge, but it's also that sort of cringing vicarious embarrassment of watching a young teenage girl do the sort of things that young teenage girls can do, you know?

But how does what the show says about Stella relate to what it says about Katie? Of course what Katie does is a problem largely because Spector is a serial killer, but in a lot of ways she mirrors Stella. Katie too gets to eat pasta and drink red wine, to (attempt to) make sexual demands, to be confident (as much as she can). We're meant to worry, to wonder what will come of it and how it will allow Paul to use her, but really, the problem doesn't necessarily lie in what she does and what she wants as much as it does in the fact that a predator uses her desires and her actions to ensnare and endanger her. Sure she does stupid teenage things, but she's a stupid teenager!

And that the show doesn't, actually, mock her for that... it definitely gave me pause, and then I gave myself a swift kick in the pants for being so judgey about Katie myself. I think the world could do with a lot more overly-confident sixteen-year-old girls.
tellitslant: (sugar rush - brighton)
Title: Saturday Night and Sunday Morning
Author: [personal profile] tellitslant
Fandom: Scott & Bailey
Characters/pairing: Gill Murray, Julie Dodson, Janet Scott; background Gill/Julie
Rating: General
Word count: 4400
Notes: Many thanks to [personal profile] soupytwist for her keen Mancunian eye. This was originally begun as a prompt for [personal profile] sophia_gratia's birthday and finished for mine, so, thematic! As this was begun before s4 aired, it plays fast and loose with the show's timeline - but then, so too does the show, in places.
Warnings: None.
Summary: "I don't want to run the risk of getting drunk like someone I know did at her fortieth and run up and down the back garden topless at midnight in front of her few remaining guests singing 'I Am Sixteen Going On Seventeen.'" In the aftermath of Gill's birthday, Janet and Julie have a heart-to-heart.

Read it on AO3!

[also]

Oct. 30th, 2014 12:08 am
tellitslant: amanda tapping being a dorkface at the camera (Default)
A brief addendum to my Dear Yuletide Writer letter, which is spoilery for the s4 finale of Scott & Bailey, under the cut )

[oh]

Oct. 29th, 2014 10:23 pm
tellitslant: (tos - uhura - smiiile!)
dear Scott & Bailey, I'm sorry I ever doubted you, thank you for making up to me all the horrible things that Warehouse 13 did, mwah mwah mwah love you forever, xoxo kk

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