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Wednesday reading meme

Actually on Wednesday this week!

What I'm currently reading

The Minority Council by Kate Griffin and The Silent Tower by Barbara Hambly, both rereads, though I've only read The Silent Tower once. (I've read others of the Windrose books multiple times, but the first one, only once -- this is another series I originally read in a weird order for some reason.) I also started Star Wars: Knight Errant by John Jackson Miller yesterday (another reread), but was still in a Matthew Swift headspace so I went to The Minority Council instead.

What I've just finished reading

I finished up the Sun Wolf and Starhawk series with The Witches of Wenshar and The Dark Hand of Magic (Barbara Hambly), and then went through the middle two Matthew Swift books, The Midnight Mayor and The Neon Court (Kate Griffin). I also finished reading Star Wars: Catalyst by James Luceno, which I hadn't expected to like or finish and which surprised me by the fact that I actually did like it. I bounce off so many Star Wars novels (a good 90% of the time they're the weakest part of the canon) that it's always a shock when I actually like one.

What I'm reading next

I really want to do a Star Wars: A New Dawn reread -- I've been meaning to since last year, and just haven't gotten around to it because for some reason I keep thinking I have to finish all my other books in progress first.

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5 things make a post

1. I've gotten offers from not one, but TWO graduate schools (Emory University and the University of Kentucky), which means that I'm going to have to face my nemesis, making decisions. I didn't actually expect to get into multiple schools. I'm still waiting to hear from two others, though I had to present myself as more interested in the Late Antique period for them and my entire record is classical, so those two are longer shots on that point alone. And Emory was my first choice (aside from Tulane, which said no), so...

1a. I have to tell them by Monday whether or not I'm going to the department's admitted students weekend and I am freaking out, because I know I should go, but the idea is terrifying. Not least because I can't interpret the instructions on the freaking e-mail about booking flights.

can someone please tell me what I'm supposed to do here?Collapse )

1b. I hate traveling so much that my kneejerk response is NO I DON'T WANT TO, but I guess I...should. But I don't want to and I'm dreading it. Alternately I just tell them no, I'm busy that weekend. Or something. (There's a 99% chance I'm going to say yes, so I don't need to be wooed.)

2. My father was supposed to come back from Thailand two weeks ago, but he got the date of his return flight wrong and missed it, so he's coming back this Wednesday instead. My mother keeps going "I don't understand how anyone could get that wrong," and I have to keep telling her, "I've done that with deadlines and exam dates," because I...take after my father in a lot of ways, apparently including in our crappy memories.

3. The weather's gone up above freezing here, which on the one hand is great, but on the other hand everything is melting...including the snow piled up on the woodshed roof, which we've now discovered is leaking heavily. You know what's in the woodshed? OUR FIREWOOD.

3a. My mother and I are basically like "well, we'll let Dad deal with it when he comes back" at this point, but I'm not sure there's anything that can be done before spring. I'm pretty certain we're going to have to get the roof replaced, so at least we already know what this year's home improvement project is going to be. (Last year we redid the deck. A few years ago my father decided to dig an impromptu sewage ditch. Living in the country is fucking weird.)

4. I am pretty good baker -- I've done biscuits, cookies, scones, layer cakes, eclairs and cream puffs, bread, cinnamon rolls, pies, crisps, and crumbles -- but the one thing I've never been able to make successfully has been chocolate chip cookies. I've tried so many times, every recipe you can think of -- yes, even that one. yes, that one too. yes, I've tried Alton Brown -- but I've never been able to do them successfully UNTIL NOW. I FINALLY MASTERED THE CHOCOLATE CHIP COOKIE. (I know, right, who can't make chocolate chip cookies? Everyone can make chocolate chip cookies.) I made perfect, delightful chewy in the center and crispy on the edges chocolate chip cookies, and I'm genuinely stunned because I've fucked it up so many times, AND YET. PRAISE THE TOLL HOUSE GODS. (The only thing I changed was using half milk chocolate and half semi-sweet chocolate chips, but that's only because I had both.)

4a. I still haven't made king cake this year. QUICK, MARDI GRAS SEASON IS COMING TO AN END, THERE'S NOT MUCH TIME LEFT.

5. So -- I don't think I've mentioned this on DW, but I started knitting again in December. For those that don't remember, or weren't around, I stopped knitting in February 2013 when I got tendinitis in both wrists, and I was too afraid of injuring myself again to pick it up again at any point in the intervening four years. When I stopped I still had stuff on the needles (a 3x1 ribbed sock, a lace stole, a cabled cowl), and I just packed it up when I moved from England back to Washington. At some point in December I pulled out my half-finished sock and started doing a round or two in the ten minutes between finishing doing my hair and finishing an episode of Rebels or TCW (everything in my life gets timed by those 22-minute eps; the 44-minute ones can really throw me off). And then I started working on it more, and finished that sock -- and cast on for a second sock (which involved me trying to figure out which cast-on I'd used, since I didn't have notes or anything, and which heel I'd used), and finished it a few days ago -- my first finished knitting in four years. I'm still sort of wary of the stole and the cowl (for one, I either put aside or threw out the patterns when I was decluttering this summer, and have no idea where they are, though I do know which patterns they are -- the stole is Juno Regina and the cowl is Nennir), but I pulled out my untouched stash, wound up a skein of Tanis Fiber Arts pebble sock, and cast on for another pair of socks.

5a. I'm still incredibly paranoid that I'll re-injure my wrists; I'm probably more afraid of that than I am of anything else, and I'm afraid of everything. Mostly I'm afraid of it when it comes to typing, but I can't stop typing, so...we persevere. (I wear wrist braces when I type and when I sleep, but I think they actually make my wrists worse if I wear them while knitting.)

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Tags:

slightly belated Wednesday reads

What I'm currently reading

The Witches of Wenshar, the second Sun Wolf and Starhawk book, by Barbara Hambly. I'm sort of inching through James Luceno's Star Wars: Catalyst -- I suspect it's going to be another DNF, as Luceno's one of my least favorite SW writers and I have a low tolerance for ~genius men and the women who take care of them, which is pretty much what the beginning of the book reads as. (And from what I've heard, I don't think that's going to improve; I don't particularly care about Galen Erso and Orson Krennic's relationship, either.)

What I've just finished reading

I'm going through books a little more slowly in February than I did in January, which has its highs and lows. I finished rereading The Siren Depths, and went through The Ladies of Mandrigyn (the first Sun Wolf and Starhawk book) and The Midnight Mayor (the second Matthew Swift) book, all of which were rereads.

I also moved The Fifth Season to my Did Not Finish list, and got through one chapter of The House of the Four Winds this morning before it went to the DNF list too. Blah. I suspected it would hit the DNF list as soon as it said as an aside "oh, yeah, these seventeen countries all share one ambassador for convenience." That's not...how international politics...works... (Sort of an alternate fantasy Earth, which I tend to find dull when they're just making up fancy names for England and France so that they can slot in their tee-tiny fictional country but not have to think about it too hard. Like, either do something interesting with it and do it fast, or go full fantasy, dude.) Also, the MC was...painfully boring.

What I'm reading next

I keep meaning to reread the Rivers of London books so I can read The Hanging Tree, since I can't remember what happened, but...I like the Matthew Swift books better which is why I reread The Midnight Mayor instead WHOOPS.

I've been meaning to reread the Enduring Flame trilogy as well, but we'll see. In all likelihood...more Barbara Hambly.

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On the Edge of the Devil's Backbone (269748 words) by bedlamsbard
Chapters: 23/?
Fandom: Star Wars: Rebels, Star Wars - All Media Types
Rating: Teen And Up Audiences
Warnings: Creator Chose Not To Use Archive Warnings
Relationships: Kanan Jarrus/Hera Syndulla
Characters: Hera Syndulla, Kanan Jarrus, Sabine Wren, Garazeb "Zeb" Orrelios, C1-10P | Chopper, Ezra Bridger, Cham Syndulla, Barriss Offee, Kallus | ISB-021, Darth Vader, Ahsoka Tano, The Inquisitor (Star Wars), The Seventh Sister, The Fifth Brother
Additional Tags: Alternate Universe, Canon-Typical Violence
Summary:

Ten years after she vanished during an Imperial raid on a Twi'lek colony, Cham Syndulla sees his daughter Hera for the first time in a hologram -- now wearing the uniform of an Imperial agent and apparently working closely with a human Inquisitor. All Cham wants to do is to bring his long-missing child home to what remains of her family, but he soon finds that Hera Syndulla is only interested in two things: her duty to the Empire and her loyalty to her crew, a mismatched collection of outcasts brought together by Hera and her pet Inquisitor.


With Cham and the Rebel agent known as Fulcrum in pursuit, a new mission takes Hera and the crew of the Ghost to the planet Lothal, where a chance meeting with a Force-sensitive teenager awakens something long buried in the Inquisitor once known as Kanan Jarrus...and has dire consequences for Hera, their crew, the Empire, and the fledgling Rebel Alliance.


*

Preview: FulcrumCollapse )

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Reading Wednesday

What I'm currently reading

The Siren Depths by Martha Wells, which is a favorite and a reread. I started N.K. Jemisin's The Fifth Season yesterday, but I'm not in the headspace to handle it right now. (And honestly, I'm not sure I'll ever be; I've liked Jemisin's other books, but this one is...not my thing. But it's definitely not my thing when I've been doing comfort reads for months because I can't deal with life.)

What I've just finished reading

A couple of Star Wars Legends novels -- Fatal Alliance by Sean Williams, which is an Old Republic novel, and Tales from Jabba's Palace, which is a collection of related short stories that had some really clever bits. And a canon novel, one of the YA novels that came out last year as part of the Journey to The Force Awakens releases, Jason Fry's The Weapon of a Jedi, which was fun.

I also read about half of Alexander Freed's Rogue One novelization before moving it to my Did Not Finish list; I'm not a fan of movie novelizations and this one was driving me to the verge of hating the story, which is...not the goal, since I actually liked the movie.

What I'm reading next

I want to say "the books I took out of the library" but in reality probably...not those.

What I'm reading next

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5 things make a post

1. I HATE WINTER because among other things, it turns the landscape in a monochromatic dystopian hellscape. There's actually more snow than that (the first two were taken today, the last one last week) now, since it's been snowing all day and I HATE IT. I lived in New Orleans for six years, y'all, why did I move back to Washington? When can I move away from Washington?

1a. Though I keep worrying vaguely about the fact that five of the six schools I applied to are all in very, very red states, but like...see again, I lived in Louisiana for six years, and Louisiana is a red state even if Orleans Parish is blue. (I think. I am pretty sure.) And Washington might be blue but my county is red. So like. *shrugs* I'm not planning on losing my Washington residency if I didn't do so in the past nine years, so. Also like I haven't even been accepted anywhere yet so that's not like. Really a major concern.

2. In "I hate winter and also living in the country" news, the other day a deer died on my lawn. *dead-eyed stare, no pun intended* cut for animal deathCollapse )

3. On Monday I did make my first phone call to one of my reps -- I hate phone calls and I hate calling strangers and I hate expressing opinions, and both my senators are Democrats anyway so there didn't seem to be much of a point. (My congressman is a Republican so expressing an actual negative opinion is...still a little too intimidating for me to do, even if it's just to a staffer.) But I decided I would try one, and I got through to Maria Cantwell's DC office on the second try to say thank you for speaking out against the immigration ban. I tried Patty Murray's office but couldn't get through, but one is a start.

Everything is like...you know, CALL YOUR REPS EVERY DAY! OR YOU HAVE FAILED THE REPUBLIC! I hate phones and I hate expressing opinions, so mostly I just scrolled past and felt guilty. So...one is a start.

4. I've been watching a lot of Say Yes to the Dress lately, which always makes me feel like I'm back in college -- one of my best friends loved the show, and I have a very firm memory of sitting on her couch watching marathons with her. Also I'm appalled at some people's friends and families. What the fuck, people, it's her wedding, let her do what she wants.

5. At least twenty percent of every day is dedicated to worrying about getting into grad school. WHEN WILL I KNOW. There's so much praying going on in my household right now, probably more than at any point in the previous 20+ years.

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Tags:

Wednesday reading meme

Before I get into the usual stuff, I did a January round-up of books only over on Tumblr; I liked doing daily reads and I think I'm going to try and keep it up. (Though the weird side effect of it is that it does make me juggle books in order to have a new one to post every day, though I'm not sure I'm actually juggling them more than usual.)

What I'm currently reading

I am finishing up Barbara Hambly's The Armies of Daylight, the third Darwath book.

What I've just finished reading

I finished Icefalcon's Quest (the fifth Darwath book; I don't usually do series rereads in order) this morning. Also, Stranger at the Wedding and Star Trek: Crossroad, both by Barbara Hambly (you know I'm deep into an author when I'm reading their tie-ins for a fandom I'm barely familiar with, but Crossroad read fine for someone who's only seen the most recent Trek movies despite being a TOS novel). Also Star Wars: Lost Tribe of the Sith, by John Jackson Miller, my favorite Star Wars author.

What I'm reading next

I've got the Rogue One novelization out from the library, and I've been meaning to read N.K. Jemisin's The Fifth Season for a while now.

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5 things make a post

1. Every now and then I get really into a mobile game; past contenders include Angry Birds Star Wars II and Star Wars Card Trader. Right now it's Star Wars Force Arena, which is delightful. (Especially if you play it with the sound on, because it's all the Star Wars music -- I haven't done, like, an exhaustive survey but I suspect the music changes from battlefield to battlefield, since on Lothal it tends to be Rebels tracks.) I was a little antsy about it being player versus player instead of player versus ~the machine, but so far it's fun and that keeps it varied.

It's all characters from the Rebellion era, which keeps it within a very tight timeline; it's OT, Rebels, and Rogue One characters, plus a couple of comic book characters -- Doctor Aphra from Darth Vader and Evaan Verlaine from Princess Leia (though not playable, since they have to be used with a specific playable character). They're short on ladies on the Imperial side, which is kind of a bummer; Aphra and Arihnda Pryce from Rebels are there. I was hoping for the Seventh Sister, but so far she hasn't made it in. On the Rebel side, Leia, Sabine, and Jyn are all playable. All that said, I usually play as Ezra, mostly because I'm hoping I can eventually get Kanan, who can only be played with Ezra. (No Hera or Ahsoka, alas. Hopefully someday!)

2. I am waiting on grad school responses; I had an interview with one earlier this week, and got what's essentially waitlisted by another. ("Admissions committee recommended you, but we can't guarantee funding so we can't make an official offer, I'll be in touch if this changes.") My prof from Tulane says this is a good sign, since there's usually a fair amount of shuffling going on because applicants tend to get offers from multiple schools. I just feel like everything in my life is on hold until I get responses.

2a. This is really bringing home how slight the chances are of getting in -- like, the programs I'm applying to tend to only accept 4-8 applicants a year, and get between 150-200 applications. And if the same people are getting multiple offers, like...this is a very small field, I'm just saying. (TBH, it makes it sound like there are fewer than a hundred people in classics and ancient history nationwide who will be entering grad school in the fall -- which may be true, I don't know. I'm not sure how many PhD programs there are in the States for classics or ancient history.

2b. There was a 9% chance of snow the other day, so naturally it was snowing, which I actually found very encouraging considering there's only a 4% chance of getting into the grad program I interviewed for.

3. Looking at current events right now is depressing the hell out of me -- like, I can barely hold it together on my own account between the grad school stress and the breakup stress and the "what even is my future" stress, and then there's...America. (I need to start muting stuff, I think, but I haven't been because I'm like "I need to stay informed!" but also I want to curl up in a corner because everything is horrifying.)

4. I've been keeping a reading spreadsheet since 2011, keeping track of every book I read; this year I've been branching out to keep track of tea I buy (because I always forget) and recipes I make (because I'm curious). So far successful. Not successful: my attempt to set up a habit tracker, since it just stresses me out more. I don't feel like I have enough structure in my life right now to make trying a bullet journal anything resembling successful (a lot of the ones I've looked at have given me hives), since I need to do everything in very, very small doses or I get completely overwhelmed.

5. I finally found the set of stickers that I use to track the amount of work I do (I used them for working on my grad school apps), so I ordered two packs and having those extra packs has made me relax a lot. I have probably been stressed out of proportion, but I can't find any Rebels stickers in the States (these ones are only available in the UK), and I was just...very stressed. Also, the pack I have I got from my ex, so having new packs that don't come from her ease my peace of mind. (In the aftermath of the breakup, I got so stressed out looking at them that I couldn't even touch them because they made me think of her. I am past that now, mostly because I ordered the new packs.)

5a. Okay, that top link actually goes to the company which makes the stickers AND THEY'RE FOR SALE! and the six times I went to that website before I couldn't find, like. an actual store. so I bought my new packs on Ebay, but they're there! I could buy them! You have no idea how much this relieves me.

5b. I also decided that I would buy Rogue One stickers (which I can find in the States on Amazon) if I couldn't find Rebels stickers, so having that to fall back on is also very reassuring. (There are of course OT and TFA ones, but I don't care particularly about those. No TCW or PT that I've found, which isn't surprising.)

5c. I realize this all sounds incredibly minor, but stickers are basically the only thing that got me through my thesis and my grad school apps, so having an avenue that led to productivity being potentially cut off was terrifying.

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Tags:

Wednesday reading meme

What I'm currently reading

Stranger at the Wedding by Barbara Hambly is the only active book I have up at the moment, though I've got a scattering of others that are in progress but which I haven't looked at in a while. I love Stranger at the Wedding, it's one of my favorite Hambly novels.

What I've just finished reading

I just finished a reread of the entire Chrestomanci series, which was delightful and makes me wish there were more stories that centered around Christopher, who is my fave. (I've heard that most DWJ fans are either Howl people or Chrestomanci people, and while I like Howl's Moving Castle better than any of the Chrestomanci novels, Christopher edges Howl out slightly for me.)

I also finished up a reread of Barbara Hambly's Winterlands novels with Knight of the Dragon Queen and Dragonstar.

What I'm reading next

I've got some books out from the library, and I took Jennifer Roberson's Lady of the Forest off my bookshelf a while ago because I wanted to reread it, but there's a better than even chance I'm just going to keep trucking ahead with my Hambly rereads.

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Wednesday reading meme

What I'm currently reading

A lot of stuff because sticking on one book is hard: A Knight of the Demon Queen and Magistrates of Hell, both by Barbara Hambly -- the first one is a Winterlands novel and the second one is an Asher/Ysidro novel. They're both rereads, though I've only read Knight of the Demon Queen once before. Also, Witch Week by Diana Wynne Jones; I'm on a Chrestomanci rereads. A couple of other things that I keep picking up and putting down, which are also rereads: Wheel of the Infinite by Martha Wells and The Walls of Air by Barbara Hambly, the second Darwath book.

What I've just finished reading

The three Haflbood Chronicles by Andre Norton and Mercedes Lackey -- The Elvenbane, Elvenborn, and Elvenblood. The first Chrestomanci book, Charmed Life (also my least favorite Chrestomanci book -- Cat sort of irritates me, and I like Christopher better, so I'm looking forward to hitting The Lives of Christopher Chant in this reread). Also, rereads of Barbara Hambly's Blood Maidens and Scott Lynch's The Lies of Locke Lamora. And various short stories by various authors.

What I'm reading next

I've got Star Wars: Catalyst and Rogue One out from the library, so I want to read those -- I'm hesitating over buying the novelization, because I'm notoriously wary of novelizations, but this one got highly recced. (Of course, Stover's RotS novelization is highly recced too and I HATE IT, so like. I'm extremely dubious of recs.) And then more Chrestomanci and undoubtedly more Hambly.

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first times (earth_mage)
bedlamsbard
she makes her own dystopia as she goes

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