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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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I submitted my sixth and final (U.S.) grad school app today, but I have no idea if any of the auxiliary materials were sent -- well, my transcripts were sent but I don't know when the Leicester one will arrive, but ETS doesn't actually tell me if they've actually sent the GRE score reports I ordered, and none of my recommenders have told me anything so I'm not sure they actually got the rec request from LSU, let alone sent the recs. NONE OF THEM. THIS IS TERRIFYING.

Like, there is so much money involved in grad school apps, and also like...my entire future. So this is the kind of terrifying stress that's both entirely out of my hands now and also nauseating.

(Also, like, I swear to god the websites for the programs I applied to had their application dates in order of how incompetent their websites/application forms are, because this one was the worst.)

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5 things make a post

1. Yesterday was my birthday! Not much happened because I have no friends in this town and it's too cold to leave the house (-14 F this morning, I need to move back to Louisiana ASAP), and then my ex ruined it by e-mailing me with the subject line "Happy Birthday but I guess don't read this today."

2. I've been using MonthlyInfo since 2010, and it does what I need it to, mostly, except it doesn't always e-mail me reminders so sporadically I get my period more or less on schedule but on my birthday by surprise because I would totally be one of those werewolves who's like "...the full moon again? didn't this just hapAWOOOOOOO." As far as I can tell MonthlyInfo doesn't have a mobile app (since I don't think the website has been changed since 2010), and I am trying to decide if I want to look for a period tracker app I can use on my phone. Does anyone have one they'd rec? It would have to at least have MonthlyInfo's featurs.

3. I would love to spend at least one day without looking the refrain of "we're all going to die" running in the back of my brain, but I don't see that happening any time soon. (I really shouldn't check Twitter on my phone first thing in the morning.)

4. I've been keeping reading spreadsheets for the past five or six years -- I think I started in 2011, though it could have been 2010 -- and this year I'm trying a couple other spreadsheets as well -- tea (I always forget what I've already bought or tried), cookbooks (to keep track of which ones I use and which recipes I make), and recipes (both from online and from cookbooks). So we'll see how that goes.

5. I am still -- incredibly stressed. I've got one more application due the day after tomorrow and I need to send some e-mails, because I can't tell if my rec requests went through or not, and then...the waiting game. I know everyone's like "your 20s don't define your future!" but this...kind of is my future. And also my past, since my two MAs are useless without a PhD.

5a. I need to start making some inquiries at PhD programs in the UK, except one of the downsides of the breakup is that it's also, uh, put me off the entire country. Which is ridiculous. Though the other reason doing a PhD in the UK is not the best idea is because U.S. PhD programs are funded, but UK ones are not, so I would have to find the money somewhere if I got in. I just wanna go back to Louisiana, man.

5b. Between the apps and the breakup and the weather, I'm just so stressed. And it's all manifesting in my jaw.

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On the Edge of the Devil's Backbone (257399 words) by bedlamsbard
Chapters: 22/?
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: Syndulla"s GambleCollapse )

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Wednesday reading meme

...even though it's now technically Thursday, whoops.

What I'm currently reading

Numerous things -- I'm still flipping through things without really focusing on any one. Rereads on two Barbara Hambly books, Stranger at the Wedding and Blood Maidens, as well as a reread of Scott Lynch's The Lies of Locke Lamora.

(I am also doing a mini-project over on Instagram, just for fun.)

What I've just finished reading

Barbara Hambly's The Time of the Dark (I've mentioned many times I'm on a Hambly kick, right?) and the new Seanan McGuire novella, Dusk or Dark or Dawn or Day, which came out yesterday. And a bunch of Barbara Hambly short stories (or novelettes, going by the descriptions on Amazon); for some reason I like the Windrose shorts better than I like the novels. *flips hand* I haven't read all of them, so some of them are new to me.

What I'm reading next

I had a sudden craving to reread the Halfblood Chronicles by Andre Norton and Mercedes Lackey the other day, so those are up next now that I've gotten the first two from the library (I've only got the third one, for some reason).

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I am simultaneously convinced I am good enough to get into graduate school and that I'll never get into graduate school because I'm a spectacular disaster (though not because I'm not good enough, just because I didn't have the right combination of magic words in my apps or my stupid five-year-old GRE scores).

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5 things make a post

1. I've got probably-a-canker-sore in the inside of my cheek, and the entire left side of my face hurts right now. If I remember correctly from the last time it happened, there's usually only a day or two of all-consuming pain before it starts going down again, and then we'll find out how much of that pain came from the sore or if part of my face is going to fall off or something. I think there's also a fairly decent chance I've been so stressed from the combo of application deadlines + breakup + weather that I've started grinding my teeth in my sleep again, which may also be contributing to the jaw pain. Right now I can't sleep on my left side, because it puts a lot of pressure on that side of my face -- this happened a few months ago too, and I've gotten stress-induced jaw pain before when I was in grad school.

I just assume any kind of pain I'm in is stress-induced and thus it can just be ignored, which one of these days is probably going to end in me dying.

2. It's been snowing for two days and I hate the fact I moved back up north so much right now. Like, I know it's in the thirties in NOLA right now, but there aren't four inches of snow there and also it's Carnival and there's also good food available, so in conclusion, I would one hundred percent rather be in Louisiana right now than in Washington.

3. I got soot on the sleeve of my white cable-knit wool sweater yesterday and I'm so bummed, I don't know how to get that out. (It's not handknit, I never managed sweaters before I had to stop knitting, but that doesn't actually...change anything insofar as the soot on wool things goes.)

4. My attention span has been so bad lately that I can't quite concentrate on reading novels, so I've been reading (mostly rereading) short stories and novellas by my favorite authors. I'm always glad when authors put their shorts up on Amazon so I can read them on Kindle without buying an entire anthology, but sometimes I wish they were a little cheaper.

5. It's just occurred to me that I could probably take painkillers for the jaw pain and that might actually work. I'm used to most of my stress-induced pain being unaffected by painkillers so there's no point in taking ibuprofen or whatever.

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Reading Wednesday

What I'm currently reading

I am mostly finishing up rereads of books that I didn't finish before the end of the year -- Circle of the Moon by Barbara Hambly, which is one of my favorite Hambly novels, and Sunshine by Robin McKinley. I've got a couple other books that are currently on the backburner and which I'm trying to finish the others before going back to -- Blood Maidens, the third Asher/Ysidro Hambly novel, and Empire of Sin: A Story of Sex, Jazz, Murder, and the Battle for Modern New Orleans by Gary Krist, which I'm trying to decide whether I want to keep reading or not. I've also apparently started rereading Barbara Hambly's The Time of the Dark again.

(I don't actually recommend reading multiple books by the same author at the same time; it's a little bit disconcerting, and the recurring themes and character types sometimes get really obvious.)

What I've just finished reading

Weirdly, a lot of short stories. I don't read short stories very often, and I tend to only do so if it's an author whose novels I also like. But I started off the year by going through Scott Lynch's four shorts -- "In the Stacks," "A Year and a Day in Old Theradane," "He Built the Wall to Knock It Down," and "The Effigy Engine: A Tale of the Red Hats." Then I picked up the anthology Night's Edge and read the Charlaine Harris short "Dancers in the Dark" (fine at the time, but in retrospect I'm kind of distressed by how stalker-y the vampire love interest is) and the Barbara Hambly short (a reread) "Someone Else's Shadow," which always amuses me just because of how clearly it's dated to the early '00s. I bounced off the Maggie Shayne short in the anthology and only got a chapter in before noping out.

Also, the T. Kingfisher novel Summer in Orcus, which I liked but which also somewhat unexpectedly set off my current set of Issues -- spoilers, and also, my breakup issuesCollapse ) But on the other hand, were-house.

What I'm reading next

I've got a stack of library books out, but I really want to do Gentleman Bastard and Circle of Magic rereads, so we'll see.

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2016

2016 was a hot mess of a year that I spent a lot of time crying through -- I probably remember more crying than there actually was, but there was a lot of crying.

The Good
- I finished my second master's degree in classical studies, along with my MA thesis, and graduated in August. At a couple of points this year I really wasn't certain that I was going to be able to do so, especially because I ended up taking an extra semester to do so.
- I went to my first convention, which also happened to be my first Star Wars Celebration, and had an amazing time and met a lot of cool fannish people.
- I wrote a lot of fanfic -- looking back, it's easy to say that this wasn't a successful year because I didn't finish anything, but I probably wrote upwards of 200K, which is, any way you cut it, a lot of words.
- For my TA job this spring, I gave my first college lecture -- just the one, but still huge for someone who's hoping to go into academia.
- I got my third tattoo, and the first one I went to alone instead of bringing a friend for emotional support.
- I did a lot of decluttering and redecorating when I moved home, which I've been meaning to do for years, and now I feel more comfortable in my room.
- I did a full rewatch of the Star Wars prequel era, from TPM to RotS and including all the Clone Wars episodes, which I've been meaning to do for years.
- I finally figured out how to wrangle my work ethic, which I've been struggling with for a long time.

The Bad
- This was probably one of the worst years ever for me in terms of emotional and mental health. I spent a lot of time crying, like I mentioned above, and the span of July-August-September is pretty much a black pit of despair where I don't remember much except for all the crying. I started out the year by refusing to talk to my father for about four months (he made me cry on Christmas day), had a vacation that was pretty disastrous apart from SWCE itself, and moved home at the beginning of August, when I had what even at the time I could identify as what was, for me, pretty severe depression.
- In November and December a very close relationship, which had been on the rocks since May and which I should have ended in July, began to crumble, and I finally ended it in December. I spent a lot of time increasingly unhappy and feeling trapped and attacked; I started to doubt almost every aspect of my personality and the way I expressed myself both online and off. My self-confidence, self-esteem, sense of self-worth, and ability to trust my own opinion have mostly collapsed as a result.
- politics

The Neutral or Not-Bad-Bad
- I moved from a city I loved back to my hometown, which I do not love but don't actively hate. I've done the NOLA-Ellensburg move several times now, and I think this final time has really cemented my desire to live in New Orleans permanently. The next time I move back, I'm not moving away again. Unfortunately, I don't know when that will be, since I'm in the middle of graduate school applications that, if successful, will determine where I live for roughly the next seven years.
- I also moved back in with my parents, which has been at times a pretty rough adjustment, coming off living alone for two years. In an apartment, in a big city, in a fairly central part of said city, in Louisiana, as compared to home, which is in a house with a fair amount of property, outside of town, in a rural town in Washington State. It's a lot of culture shock, despite the fact that this is where I grew up.
- Some of the repercussions of the move mean that I hardly ever leave my house and I have no RL friends in the same state, and since I'm not working or going to school at the moment it's meant that I've been increasingly isolated.

Things that I am hoping for in 2017
- To put up with less bullshit in hopes of not hurting anyone. Someone is already hurt; it's me, and I'm just prolonging my pain by putting someone else's needs or desires before mine.
- To try and find more peace with myself. 2016 did a number on my ability to trust literally any of my own feelings, and I want to try and undo some of that damage.
- One of the weird things that's happened over the past year or two is that I've gotten increasingly uneasy to express an opinion online, which I think is partially due to the move away from a fannish journal culture. It's resulted in me doubting myself and my opinions and being unwilling to express them, and I would like to try and take a step away from that.
- I spent a lot of time complaining this year, to the extent that it actively started to destroy my ability to actually enjoy things. This is tied up in a lot of things, including what happened with X, but the end result is that it makes it hard for me to enjoy things and it makes me doubt myself, and I need to stop doing so much of it.

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I need to do something with my Christmas money other than mail my ex's stuff to another country, which just feels like punishment, honestly.

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

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