sophia_sol: drawing of Combeferre, smiling and holding up a finger like he's about to explain something (Default)
I'm busy making my way through the yuletide collection and am, as usual, overcome by feels at all these amazing and wonderful fics.

Of course the first fic I read was the one written just for me by my wonderful assigned author - I got a fic for The African Queen, and it's absolutely fabulous and just what I was wanting!

The Voyage Home (3959 words) by Anonymous
Chapters: 1/1
Fandom: The African Queen - C. S. Forester
Rating: Teen And Up Audiences
Warnings: No Archive Warnings Apply
Relationships: Charlie Allnut/Rose Sayer
Characters: Rose Sayer, Charlie Allnut
Summary:

After the excitement of navigating the Ulanga and plotting to blow up a boat, Rose discovers the prospect of going home to England sounds unbearably dull. Also, she misses Charlie.



And now I'm going through the rest of the collection alphabetically by fandom. I'm somewhere in the C's right now and there's so much left to go and already I have bookmarked 28 wonderful fics.

YULETIDE IS THE BEST.

(and also the one fic I wrote has been well received by the recipient, and I have actually gotten comments from more people than just the recipient, which is shocking and delightful to me because it is in the tiniest of tiny fandoms and I didn't expect anyone else to care about it!)
sophia_sol: drawing of Combeferre, smiling and holding up a finger like he's about to explain something (Default)
Okay so you know the Rivers of London series that keeps being talked up as awesome? By Ben Aaronovitch?

And you know the Benjamin January series that also keeps getting talked up?

APPARENTLY THEY ARE NOT THE SAME SERIES despite the fact that the name Ben(jamin) is involved in both, and both seem to be more or less murder-mystery type books.

*facepalming forever*

so I'd been under the impression that this single series (the Rivers of London series, starring Benjamin January) was about a black police officer in historical London dealing with racism and magic.

Which sounds amazing!

And now I'm kind of disappointed :P
sophia_sol: drawing of Combeferre, smiling and holding up a finger like he's about to explain something (Default)
I have to start by saying that that is a really unfortunate choice of flower name for one's secret identity, because at least in my experience the scarlet pimpernel is not a well-known flower name these days, and the only real association with the syllable "pimp" is, well, pimps. And "scarlet" doesn't really help with the pimp association. So the name sounds kiiiiind of sketchy instead of sounding like an innocent wayside flower.

ANYWAYS.

cut for spoilers )
sophia_sol: drawing of Combeferre, smiling and holding up a finger like he's about to explain something (Default)
To find out why I chose to read this book you have to look backwards in my life QUITE A FEW YEARS. Like, a dozen years at LEAST. As a kid I had this book called "Horses Forever" by Lawrence Scanlan - it's a nonfiction book about why horses have so much appeal to people. I reread it a LOT for a few years, during my most horse-obsessed age. And in one part of Horses Forever there's reference made to Tschiffely's Ride, apparently in glowing enough terms that I remembered the name for a dozen years as something I wanted to read. Gosh. That is an IMPRESSIVE FEAT given the generally poor state of my memory!

Anyways, fast-forward those dozen or so years, and I was wandering a used bookstore and saw Tschiffely's Ride on a sale shelf for like one buck. I was immediately like SOLD and then I took it home and put it on my bookshelf and didn't touch it for several years. (I am SO GOOD at reading things on my to-read list...) But! Finally I have read it!

It's a nonfiction book written by a white dude in the 1930s who randomly decided he wanted to travel on horseback from where he was working in Buenos Aires, Argentina all the way to Washington DC, something everyone said wasn't doable. Because he was bored and wanted adventure. This trip involves a lot of deserts and mountains and other such fun things. It took him 2 1/2 years. And he wrote this book after his successful completion of the journey!

Read more... )
sophia_sol: drawing of Combeferre, smiling and holding up a finger like he's about to explain something (Default)
[personal profile] sentientcitizen asked:

The formative literature of your childhood! What books do you think impacted you the most, in retrospect? Was there a difference in things you found on your own vs things your parents intentionally facilitated?


Read more... )
sophia_sol: drawing of Combeferre, smiling and holding up a finger like he's about to explain something (Default)
This year for yuletide I wrote two fics, awww yeah, go me!

from the same sky (1038 words) by sophia_sol
Fandom: Rómeó és Júlia (Színház)
Rating: Teen And Up Audiences
Warnings: No Archive Warnings Apply
Relationships: Mercutio & Tybalt
Characters: Mercutio (Rómeó és Júlia), Tybalt (Rómeó és Júlia)
Additional Tags: Hair, Friendship, Backstory, warning for unhealthy relationships because Verona
Summary:

Tybalt and Mercutio were childhood friends, of a sort.


This one I wrote pretty much immediately after I read Carmarthen's letter. I was reading through, like "lalala what a good letter" and then all of a sudden one of her prompt suggestions leaped out and attacked my brain. So. I was extremely namf about this one while I was writing it, because wowwww Mercutio is hella intimidating to write, but I'm pleased with how it turned out!



in three-quarter time (1036 words) by sophia_sol
Fandom: Den lille Havfrue | The Little Mermaid - Hans Christian Andersen
Rating: Teen And Up Audiences
Warnings: No Archive Warnings Apply
Characters: Den lille Havfrue | The Little Mermaid, Prins | Prince (Den lille Havfrue | The Little Mermaid), Prinsesse | Princess (Den lille Havfrue | The Little Mermaid)
Additional Tags: Alternate Universe - Canon Divergence, outside pov, Misses Clause Challenge
Summary:

The princess reflects.


This was my assigned fic, and I had lots of fun brainstorming a million different things I could write for this one. The great thing about writing fic for fairy tales is that there's pretty much an endless number of places you can go. In the end this is the idea that I felt most drawn to. I'm pleased with how this one turned out too! Although upon finishing it I sat back for a moment and went, "HUH." Because thinking back over the last number of female-character-centric fics I've written, pretty much all of them have been either gen or gen-ish and on the theme of grief or loss of some sort. I DON'T KNOW WHAT IT SAYS ABOUT ME that I am drawn to explorations of these themes through the medium of female characters, but there's clearly SOMETHING going on in my subconscious!


---------

And the fics I received! I received two fics as well, a bountiful and delightful harvest.

The City of Carcayona (15496 words) by Gehayi
Fandom: Robinson Crusoe -- Daniel Defoe
Rating: Teen And Up Audiences
Warnings: Author Chose Not To Use Archive Warnings
Characters: Xury, Robinson Crusoe, Scottish Sailor (Robinson Crusoe), Portuguese Captain (Robinson Crusoe), Original Male Character(s), Original Female Character(s)
Additional Tags: 1600s, 17th Century, Canon Character of Color, POV Character of Color, Male Character of Color, Female Character of Color, Character of Faith, POV Male Character, POV Third Person, POV Minor Character, Slave Trade, Non-Sexual Slavery, Sailor - Freeform, Muslim Character, Historical, Moriscos, Legends, Turkey (Country), Venezia | Venice, Egypt, Ottoman Empire, Road Trips, Yuletide, Yuletide 2013, Wordcount: 10.000-30.000, Chromatic Yuletide
Summary:

"It's only a story, Xury," said Téo gently.

"I know it is a story, " Xury replied with wounded dignity. "I am fifteen, not five. But do you see why she is so important to us? She never quit. No matter what was flung at her, she kept on. And eventually she won. There are worse stories, Téo. Like the story that sings loudly, 'You are alone, enslaved, helpless and without hope, and thus it shall be forever.' That is a terrible story to believe in."


FIFTEEN THOUSAND WORDS FIXING XURY'S STORY FROM ROBINSON CRUSOE, filled with carefully researched history and people being good to each other and a great deal of hope! Gosh, I was just blown away, and it's so exactly everything I ever wanted about this book and this character.



On the Selection of Those Who Will Represent Humanity to the Inhabitants of Toliman B (3102 words) by Syme
Fandom: Three Hearings on the Existence of Snakes in the Human Bloodstream - James Alan Gardner
Rating: Teen And Up Audiences
Warnings: Author Chose Not To Use Archive Warnings
Additional Tags: Original Character(s), Future
Summary:

A record of the sub-committee's interview of Maggie Farrell, Somnotician and candidate for the position of artist on the delegation which will shortly leave Earth to make first contact with the inhabitants of Toliman B.


FIC EXISTS FOR THIS SHORT STORY HOLY CRAP, and this too is everything I could have hoped for! This fic ran with my prompt of a fourth hearing set in the future and does a careful and thoughtful and wonderful job of continuing the themes of the story in an interesting and plausible way. ALSO IT IS A FIC ABOUT DREAMS AND STORIES AND SPACE.

-----

So basically this was an absolutely amazing yuletide, AS ALWAYS. I love yuletide so very much.
sophia_sol: drawing of Combeferre, smiling and holding up a finger like he's about to explain something (Default)
Thing One: Used bookstores are so dangerous. I now own four more Rosemary Sutcliff novels than I used to, which means that my collection of Rosemary Sutcliff novels is now 500% larger than it used to be.....

Thing Two: The used bookstore I was in had a copy of Catullus's poetry. I was like "ooh Catullus, I should own that!" But then I was like "BUT TRANSLATORS MATTER" because I was recently betrayed by a translater (THANKS EDWIN GILE RICH AND YOUR DEQUEERIFYING OF VIDOCQ'S MEMOIRS) so I thought I'd better check its quality first. My method: flip to Catullus 16 and see how the first line was translated, because that will tell you a lot about the translator. The translation in the bookstore went this route: NOT EVEN ATTEMPTING TO TRANSLATE the words "pedicabo" and "irrumabo" and leaving them in the Latin, with nary a footnote or anything. I went "hmmmmmmmm yeah I think this doesn't speak highly for the translator's willingness to be honest about what Catullus is saying" and left the book behind. Sigh.

Thing Three: I was relistening to the CSR Les Miserables recording today because it's soothing (...idek you guys apparently that's what happens when I listen to something THAT MANY TIMES) and for the first time, all the listening to other cast recordings IMPACTED HOW I LISTENED TO IT. It was super weird! Like for a moment in Red & Black I expected to hear the TAC Enjolras sing the line "Marius, you're no longer a child" even though I don't even LIKE the TAC Enjolras! And at one point in "Do you hear the people sing" I expected to hear "A la volonte du peuple"!

Yuletide!

Jan. 2nd, 2013 06:51 pm
sophia_sol: drawing of Combeferre, smiling and holding up a finger like he's about to explain something (Default)
RIGHT I SHOULD POST ABOUT YULETIDE instead of continuing ever farther on my fall into Les Miserables. Being easily distractible is sometimes fun and sometimes problematic....

Anyways! I wrote one fic for yuletide, and that fic was for Sarah Rees' Brennan's excellent short story Queen of Atlantis:

One Cannot Ask Loneliness (1098 words) by sophia_sol
Chapters: 1/1
Fandom: Queen of Atlantis - Sarah Rees Brennan
Rating: Teen And Up Audiences
Warning: No Archive Warnings Apply
Relationships: Genia/her husband
Characters: Genia
Summary:

The night before Genia's first sacrifice it rains.



It was fun! If by fun I mean full of me tearing at my hair! This wasn't the story I intended to write -- the story I intended to write was far more epic in scope -- but I'm quite pleased with how this turned out nonetheless: a small and quiet story about who Genia is and why she made the choices she did.

I also received two fics, both for A Girl of the Limberlost, both about Edith, and VERY VERY different from each other!

My main gift was the following, a lovely sweet story that does just what I asked for and gives many warm fuzzies! Thank you, Whetherwoman!

Home Is Where the Hart Is (1090 words) by whetherwoman
Chapters: 1/1
Fandom: A Girl of the Limberlost - Gene Stratton-Porter
Rating: General Audiences
Warning: No Archive Warnings Apply
Relationships: Edith Carr/Hart Henderson
Summary:

Edith has changed. Has Edith's relationship with Hart changed?



My other gift was from [personal profile] justice_turtle, who knows me well enough to know that I REALLY DO MEAN IT when I say I'm open to being convinced of other viewpoints -- so he wrote the following as a treat for me, a fic which is pretty much the exact opposite of what I had thought I wanted. HEY GUESS WHAT, turns out JT is really damn convincing and this story is actually ALL OF THE AMAZING AALSDSHFLKDJHFLKSDFJ

A Girl of the Social Round (1246 words) by Justice_Turtle
Chapters: 1/1
Fandom: A Girl of the Limberlost - Gene Stratton-Porter
Rating: General Audiences
Warning: No Archive Warnings Apply
Relationships: Edith Carr/Hart Henderson, Edith Carr/Philip Ammon
Characters: Edith Carr, Philip Ammon, Hart Henderson
Summary:

PHILIP AMMON IS A DICK *koff* I mean: An apologia for Edith Carr.



In conclusion: yuletide once again was EXCELLENT. I LOVE YULETIDE SO MUCH. And I mean, there is SO MUCH wonderful fic written for SO MANY glorious tiny fandoms, and it kind of feels like the entire thing is a gift -- one I am very thankful for. I'm not yet done going through all the yuletide fic I'm interested in, alas, and we'll see how far I get THIS year before I get distracted. (It'd be a first if I actually managed to get to all the fic I intend to this year!)
sophia_sol: drawing of Combeferre, smiling and holding up a finger like he's about to explain something (Default)
As I do every year, here is the complete list of all the books I read in the past year! You will notice that this list is shorter than usual. Upon analysis, it was very simple for me to determine the cause: I started a new full-time job in August and my rate of reading immediately dropped. OH WELL.

The list! This time with links to the post I made after reading each book so you can see what I thought if you missed it at the time! )

The commentary/analysis! )
sophia_sol: drawing of Combeferre, smiling and holding up a finger like he's about to explain something (Default)
WHOOPS so then I accidentally started reading Les Miserables the book (aka The Brick) and also wandering the Les Miserables tag on tumblr and now I am having ALL OF THE FEELINGS, by which I mean EVEN MORE OF THE FEELINGS THAN PREVIOUSLY?

Book feelings because the first section of the brick is ALL ABOUT how awesome the Bishop is, and also all about how Victor Hugo thumbs his nose at standard narrative conventions for novels (ANY INDICATIONS OF WHAT THE PLOT MIGHT BE? WHO NEEDS SUCH THINGS IN THE FIRST HUNDRED PAGES, LET'S DISCUSS THE BISHOP OF D--'S CHARACTER INSTEAD, WITH VARIOUS ASIDES TO RUMINATE ON PHILOSOPHY AND HISTORY AND THEOLOGY AND STUFF) and I love it to pieces.

AND THEN I accidentally got given allllllll the Grantaire feels upon stumbling across this post on tumblr. So um WOW GRANTAIRE IS THE BEST AND EVERYTHING IS AMAZING AND TRAGIC. Like, dude. I AM NOT USUALLY INTO TRAGEDY but I am 100% willing to make an exception for Grantaire, because HOW SO PERFECT. And it's almost -- almost -- not a tragedy for him, because spoilers. ) So yes. I'm not sure why Grantaire is hitting all of my buttons SO SO HARD but WOW IS HE EVER. I guess he's hitting previously-unidentified buttons for me? I SHALL HAVE TO THINK MORE ON THIS.
sophia_sol: drawing of Combeferre, smiling and holding up a finger like he's about to explain something (Default)
Ages ago [personal profile] justice_turtle and I decided to do an Iliad read-along together, and we are FINALLY DOING IT! We've created a community, [community profile] geeks_vs_trojans, where our discussions will be happening. We'll do one chapter a week, with discussion posts going up on Sundays. The first one is tomorrow!

It's a moderated community, to allow both of us to talk openly about more personal reactions to the book if we so desire -- so if you want to eavesdrop, or participate in the discussion, join the community and one of us will add you!

I AM EXCITED.
sophia_sol: drawing of Combeferre, smiling and holding up a finger like he's about to explain something (Default)
OKAY SO HEY, I should post my list of books I read last year! It is a thing I do every year and I am even later than usual about posting this! So HERE GOES

A key for you:
Bold text is books I adored
Plain text is books I liked
Italicized text is books I found mediocre
Strikethrough text is books I found awful
Underlined text is for nonfiction
*Asterisks are for books I've read before

The list )

The commentary thereon )
sophia_sol: drawing of Combeferre, smiling and holding up a finger like he's about to explain something (Default)
(Okay I think I will call this post complete. I'll try not to poke at it anymore, at any rate! PS, dear author, just because I rambled at far greater length about my first request doesn't mean I wouldn't be equally thrilled by the others. Seriously, whenever I even try to think about which of these I would like the most, my brain goes DOES NOT COMPUTE, because I am desperately in love with the idea of getting fic for any of these things. :D)

Dear Yuletide Writer,

I am so thrilled and happy and excited to know that you are going to be writing me a shiny fic in one of my fandoms! I already know you have excellent taste, since you offered to write one of these fandoms, so have no fear that I will adore whatever it is you write for me.

Also, feel free to stalk the rest of my DW or LJ for further details about me if you feel so inclined; none of it is locked! But also feel free to not do that, or to not even read this post if you don't want to; I totally understand that different people have different approaches to this kind of thing!

But if you DO want to see me rambling happily (and hopefully usefully) about myself and my fandoms, read on! :D

yay yuletide! )

And that is all, O Wondrous Author! I look forward with great anticipation to see what you will come up with for me! I hope you have fun with this.

With much love,
Sophia
sophia_sol: drawing of Combeferre, smiling and holding up a finger like he's about to explain something (Default)
I think this year I need to write a pimp post for the things I am going to be requesting for Yuletide. Because none of them have any fannish activity to speak of. I have no experience writing pimp posts, so we'll see how this goes!


Fandom One: Three Hearings on the Existence of Snakes in the Human Bloodstream, by James Alan Gardner )


Fandom Two: Robinson Crusoe, by Daniel Defoe )


Fandom Three: Sir Richard Francis Burton RPF )

idk, stuff

Nov. 1st, 2011 03:32 pm
sophia_sol: drawing of Combeferre, smiling and holding up a finger like he's about to explain something (Default)
Thing One: APPARENTLY I am doing NaNo after all. I am a writing ridiculously self-indulgent bandom AU with no research whatsoever and it will be awful and I will never share it but I am WRITING IT ANYWAYS because it will be Good For Me. I mean, the longest thing I've ever completed is only like 5k words and I'd like to know that I'm capable of writing long things even if they suck. (so far I am 36 words in. GOOD START THERE, SOPHIA.)


Thing Two: Okay, so I just listened to "Smells Like Teen Spirit" by Nirvana for the first time (and the second time and the third time, in an attempt to learn to like it). And...the impression I'd gotten from the fact that I've actually HEARD of this song, a fair amount, and the fact that wikipedia calls it "one of the greatest rock songs of all time", was that it would be, like, a good song? But I'm underwhelmed. It's kind of boring, and also all of the lyrics are entirely incomprehensible. I mean, it's not bad as a song to just ignore in the background, but it's nothing special that I can see. If you are a person who likes this song, could you please explain to me what I am failing to see? I want to understand!


Thing Three: Things that are amusing: listening to a band whose name sounds merely vaguely familiar in that distant sort of way that I've heard of a lot of bands, and discovering I'm extremely familiar with two of their songs. Ahahahaha.... (the band in question: Fleetwood Mac)


Thing Four: If I weren't already 100% sure about what I want to nominate and request for Yuletide, I'd be pretty tempted to request fic about the Voynich Manuscript. I don't even know what a fandom for that would look like, but I'd love to find out!


Thing Five: My hobby: looking at different wikipedia pages all related to the same band and seeing how many different genres the band will be called across the various pages.

I AM STARTING TO GET THE FEELING THAT MUSIC GENRE IS PERHAPS EVEN MORE INDISTINCT AND PROBLEMATIC THAN BOOK GENRE.


Thing Six: I'm so ridiculous. When I listen to music on shuffle on iTunes, of course it never succeeds in actually spreading out listens perfectly evenly between all songs, so then some songs on an album end up with more listens than others. So then I feel the need to carefully listen to the lower-count songs just enough times to get them all even again, because it bothers me when the counts are all skewed like that. Except then I feel like I'm creating something artificial with my manipulation of listen-counts like this. Possibly I devote too much mental energy to this...
sophia_sol: drawing of Combeferre, smiling and holding up a finger like he's about to explain something (Default)
Thing One: Okay, first day of proper work today, and I know I said I wasn't going to talk about my work here, but I just had to share one thing: one of my coworkers? Is an actual honest-to-god alien conspiracy theorist. I just -- what. What even. I had no idea how to respond, and just sat there with a blank look on my face while underneath I was unable to think of anything except Stargate....


Thing Two: My adventures with Pinboard continue apace. I quite like it! I mean, it's still an adjustment, figuring out how things work differently than Delicious, but it is an adjustment I am willing to make. And frankly even if Delicious fixes everything that's wrong with it, I don't think I'm going back -- it's proven that it can't be trusted, whereas Pinboard has been nothing but welcoming for the migrating fans.

Of course, updating all my author tags so that they begin with an @ instead of a period is taking quite some time. But whatever, at least I'm the right kind of obsessive to actually do the entirety of them.


Thing Three:I keep on thinking that my difficulty with faces isn't as bad as I always say it is. Like, I was catching up on my rss feed the other day, and as a result saw a whole lot of pictures of Tom Hiddleston (thanks to Tumblr), and I was like, dude, his face, totally recognizable, why do I keep saying I can't recognize his face? And then a face of a guy came up and I was like, who's that? And it was Tom Hiddleston, only with his hair not slicked back. And that was enough that all of a sudden he was not recognizable to me. Yeah.


Thing Four: This weekend Mara and I canned a full bushel of tomatoes, resulting in 21 quarts of tomatoes in our storeroom, plus a couple more quarts in the freezer because we didn't want to do another canner-full for just a few more jars. PRODUCTIVITY FTW. (this means that thus far this year we've done: damson plum jam, peaches, and tomatoes. We're behind on what we accomplished last year, but I'm still pretty pleased with our Mad Housewife Skillz!)


Thing Five: I'm pretty sure I've said this before, but I think wistfully sometimes that it would be nice if people would write spoilery summaries of their fics. But Daniel Defoe in his novel Moll Flanders? He goes one better and spoils the entire thing IN HIS TITLE.

"The Fortunes and Misfortunes Of the Famous Moll Flanders, &c. Who was Born in Newgate, and during a Life of continu'd Variety for Threescore Years, besides her Childhood, was Twelve Year a Whore, five times a Wife (whereof once to her own Brother) Twelve Year a Thief, Eight Year a Transported Felon in Virginia, at last grew Rich, liv'd Honest, and died a Penitent, Written from her own Memorandums."

A++, Daniel Defoe. I approve.

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