sophia_sol: drawing of Combeferre, smiling and holding up a finger like he's about to explain something (Default)
Fifteen things that make me happy, in no particular order. I think this was a meme at some point? Feel free to post your own if you want to!

1. This youtube video of a dude making bread. It's just so soothing and lovely. It combines a number of factors: cheerful, upbeat music; a person being hella competent at a thing; a series of movements that are repetitive enough to be soothing but varied enough to not be boring; making food come into being; a person who seems to genuinely be into what they're doing. IT IS SO GREAT.

2. Being outside in the natural world. Whether that's walking in the local city park or going canoe tripping and ending up on a lake where I and my group are kilometers away from the next nearest human being, hanging out with nature is great.

3. Listening to music, whatever it is I happen to be particularly into at the moment.

4. Slowly and luxuriously waking up in the morning when I have no alarm set and nowhere to be and I've slept in enough that I'm not feeling tired and am just warm and cozy in my bed in that half-asleep state.

5. Wearing pretty dresses.

6. Essie.

7. Getting complimentary comments on fics/podfics I'm proud of.

8. When other people love the same books as I do and we can squee about their excellent qualities together.

9. Actually I need to say books in general! BOOKS ♥

10. Fandom and all the good things associated with it - friendship and fanworks and meta and people caring deeply about things.

11. Friends! And family! Basically PEOPLE I CARE ABOUT AND PEOPLE WHO CARE ABOUT ME AND ALL OF THEM ARE AMAZING PEOPLE.

12. Making music, and especially making music together with other people, whether that's singing or playing my trumpet or whatever.

13. Getting to the end of doing something challenging and feeling really proud of what I've accomplished.

14. My smartphone.

15. Colourfulness.
sophia_sol: drawing of Combeferre, smiling and holding up a finger like he's about to explain something (Default)
List ten books that have stayed with you in some way. Don’t think too hard — they don’t have to be the “great” works, just the ones that have touched you.


Les Miserables, by Victor Hugo

Okay like did you take a look at my blog at all last year? Aaaand this year too though to a lesser extent? OH DUDE LES MIS. Like: a) pardon me while I cry about everything in this book, b) omg the in-your-face commitment to social justice, c) the optimism that WE CAN DO THIS, we can make the world better, humanity can be good, and d) AUGH I LOVE EVERYTHING ABOUT THIS BOOK. And it's one of those books that as you delve deeper there's always more to notice (and have feels over). Where has it been all my life? Why did I never think to try reading it earlier?


Terry Pratchett's entire oeuvre

I can't specify any one Terry Pratchett book. I grew up on Terry Pratchett. Terry Pratchett's books are in my soul. Cut me apart and I will bleed Terry Pratchett. TERRY PRATCHETT YOU GUYS. His books (and I read ALLLLLL of them; yes, even Dark Side Of The Sun and Strata, unfortunately) were just so deeply formative for me.


Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell, by Susanna Clarke

The first time I read this book I accidentally read the entire thing, all ~1,000 pages, in two days flat. I have tried in the past to explain why this book means so much to me and why I am so flipping gone on it and I can never quite get there. But. THIS BOOK. THIS BOOK. I JUST.


Trapped, by James Alan Gardner

Okay so picture me and Essie at like 14 years old or something like that. I was staying over at Essie's place for a sleepover and Essie's parents had a hot tub. While we were sitting in the hot tub that evening, Essie began telling me about this really amazing book she'd read recently. I was fascinated, so she recounted for me the entire plot of the book from beginning to end over the course of the whole evening. It was awesome.

I later read the book myself (later that year, maybe?), and it was super great - and it remains super great, though there are other James Alan Gardner books I would say are even better. But I have an inexpressible additional fondness remaining for this book because of Essie's impassioned teenage explanation for why and how this book was just so brilliant.


Swallows & Amazons, by Arthur Ransome

Children going camping by themselves on an island using a sailboat and having adventures! Hell yeah! Swallows and Amazons forever!


Where There Is No Doctor: A Village Health Care Handbook for Africa, by David Werner

This book was directly relevant to my family's life when I was a wee kidlet - doing what it says in the title, giving information on how to deal with health challenges when you're in a situation with no doctor or a poor health care system, speaking specifically to an African context.

But the way it has really affected me was the fact that it continued to sit on my parents' bookshelves after we moved back to North America. And here's the thing about being the parent of a book-loving child: she WILL go through your bookshelves and find everything of interest on it.

And this book is illustrated throughout with very matter-of-fact illustrations about a wide range of dire (and not so dire) health problems and treatments, and it was EXTREMELY COMPELLING. I spent a lot of time as a kid sitting on the floor by the bookshelves just paging through this, reading or skimming or looking at the illustrations as I felt moved.

When I flip through it today, everything about it looks so, so familiar.

And it was educational too! I remember clearly that it was from this book that I first learned about the placebo effect, for example. And I'm quite sure that lots of the other information seeped in as well, even if I don't remember various bits of information or ways of looking at the world as coming from this book specifically.

Anyways: god I love this book. It is REALLY GREAT.


Pastwatch: The Redemption of Christopher Columbus, by Orson Scott Card

Oh dear I am kind of embarrassed about this because Orson Scott Card. But this was my ABSOLUTE FAVOURITE book back in my high school days. I reread it approximately a million times and it never got old. I loved Pastwatch, this organization that was all about studying history, the reality of history instead of what history books said. I loved Tagiri, watching her family history backwards, back and back and back through the Pastwatch machines to see the causes of everything. I kind of identified with her, actually, and dearly wished that more people knew this book to so that I could use Tagiri as a reference for explaining why it was NOT cheating for me to read the last chapter of a book first so I would know how it ended going in.

I loved that all these deeply caring people came together to change the past and make it better, I loved that Columbus was a good man underneath the influences of his culture and society, I loved that the main characters were a whole mix of races and that there were plenty of women as well as men, I loved that it was ultimately such a hopeful book. I loved all of the characters. I loved how the book thought about history. I loved EVERYTHING, OKAY?

But I haven't reread this book in maaaany years at this point and I kind of don't ever want to reread it again. Because these days I know Orson Scott Card holds a lot of opinions about a lot of things that I REALLY don't agree with and I'm pretty sure a bunch of that stuff pervades this book as I'm told it does with his other books. (eg: gender, gender essentialism, homophobia, and probably more.) I've always been rather too good at being oblivious and I'm quite sure my younger self wouldn't have noticed any of that sort of crap. And I don't trust that I could reread this book without getting angry at it and at Card and ruining it. So I would much rather just let my teenage self enjoy the book in my memory and not discover the ways in which it is actually terrible.

I really really love the book in my memory.


The Homeward Bounders, by Diana Wynne Jones

Gosh this is a powerful book. And pretty dark, for a younger-end-of-YA novel. I don't remember how old I was when I first read it, but it really stuck with me - especially the end, the life that Jamie has given himself to.


The Enchanted Forest Chronicles, by Patricia C Wrede

Awww, charming and (mostly) feminist approach to fairy-tale-land! Everything I ever loved when I was younger! Rereading these days I definitely notice the flaws, but there's still a lot the series does right. And I just love Cimorene and Kazul and Morwen. And the whole world of the Enchanted Forest and so forth!


The Blue Castle, by LM Montgomery

The ultimate comfort read for me. It's a story about deserving nice things no matter how much people tell you that you don't matter, and a story where those nice things are BOOKS and NATURE and GOOD PEOPLE WHO LOVE YOU. *happy sigh* I generally end up rereading this at least every year and sometimes more often.
sophia_sol: drawing of Combeferre, smiling and holding up a finger like he's about to explain something (Default)
[personal profile] justice_turtle asked:

How do you feel your online persona relates to your RL persona? E.g., I'm a whole lot more forthcoming and emotionally honest online; I know people who say they're far more cheerful and optimistic online, etc. Are you pretty much the same person online and off, or not?


Read more... )
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[personal profile] osprey_archer asked:

Favorite fairy tale and why? Or maybe just feelings about fairy tales.


Read more... )
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[personal profile] kiki_eng asked:

Favorite character types (What characters do you like? Do they have things in common with each other?)


Read more... )
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[personal profile] verity asked:

January 16 is my birthday! TELL ME ALL ABOUT YOUR FAVORITE FOODS TO MAKE.


Read more... )
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[personal profile] justice_turtle asked:

What is your favorite snack/dessert/flavor of ice cream? :-)


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:

I want to hear about tropes! What tropes do you love? Any guesses as to why you love them? Also the inverse: tropes you don't like and best guesses as to why? and and and IF YOU COULD ONLY READ FIC BASED AROUND ONE TROPE FOR THE REST OF YOUR LIFE, WHAT WOULD IT BE???


Read more... )
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[personal profile] china_shop asked:

Do you visualise when you read, and if so, how much do you see?


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

Something about 1001 Nights? Just last month a new 6-volume edition was published here, and it's the first direct Arabic-Danish translation (by a lady!), and apart from coveting it in all its terribly expensive no-ebook-available glory, it is making me think of you. So, anything you want to talk about, or translations, or stories, or how you feel about your thesis now? Basically whatever you feel like!


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:

I would love to hear your thoughts about academia and having actually been free of it for a while now and whether you ever want to go back etc etc.


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:

you should talk about your EXCELLENT SARTORIAL SENSE (what it's like, where it came from, how people react to it, things you want to do in the future/things you wish you did slightly differently).


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

If you don't mind, tell me your thoughts and feelings on being culturally but not religiously Mennonite. I've picked up bits and pieces -- how it makes being in military fandoms like Stargate weird for you, for instance, and how it'd make trouble if you came out as biromantic -- but not very much. Does it bug you that there are very few Menno characters in mainstream fiction? Do you get asked by clueless people why you have a computer / wear bright colors / whatever? If you don't mind explaining that to me... I actually have no idea whether I've simply confused Mennonites with Amish/Old Order Amish, whether your group of Mennonites happens to be less Plain than some, or what. I didn't ask before because it's your own fucking business, but as long as I'm asking you stuff about being Menno anyway... :P



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:
what it is like cohabiting with your sister as an adult (and what it is like for your parents cohabiting with a sibling as older adults???) because I am endlessly interested in your experiences with this. :)


Read more... )
sophia_sol: drawing of Combeferre, smiling and holding up a finger like he's about to explain something (Default)
So, that December meme everybody's been doing! It looks like fun so I want to do it for January! Here are the rules, which are very straightforward:

Pick a date below and give me a topic you want me to discuss. You can request multiple topics (as long as they’re on different days — one topic per day!).

The dates )
sophia_sol: drawing of Combeferre, smiling and holding up a finger like he's about to explain something (Default)
Thing One: Reading capslock commentfic is SO WEIRD. I can't help but hear it all in my head as KIND OF SHOUTY AND VERY EMPHASIZED and when every single sentence of a story is like that it's just...it's WEIRD. Especially since LOUD AND EMPHATIC is totally not the right tone for, like, pining and stuff.

Plus my brain does not have as much experience interpreting capslock as it does regular text, so I cannot read it nearly as fast as stuff written in conventional patterns of upper and lower case -- so I get frustrated by how slow I have to go if I want to catch everything that's written!

Capslock is fine (and indeed awesome! I mean, I do use it kind of a lot!) for words and phrases and the occasional sentence, but an ENTIRE FIC in capslock is just too much for me.


Thing Two: I H8 U, whoever it was on the internet who pointed out how often fanfic sex scenes go:
-blowjob by person A
-reciprocation via handjob by person B

Until I saw this pointed out I did not notice, but now I CANNOT UNSEE IT. IT IS EVERYWHERE. I did not need more reasons to roll my eyes during sex scenes!

And now I am sharing this knowledge with you, dear readers, so that you can suffer too. I share because I care? :P


Thing Three: I use the word "eh" all the time when I am talking -- I am totally a stereotypical Canadian like that -- but coming across it being used in fic actually throws me out of the story. I have two theories about why! One: I'm so used to reading about characters from other parts of the world that I've never actually encounted "eh" in written dialogue much before, and so it looks unnatural, because I'm so used to it being a verbal-only thing? (and even in Canadian-written stuff, "eh" is pretty informal and writing tends to be more formal than speech so it still doesn't get written down much.) Two: the usage of "eh" in fic might not actually be accurate to how I am used to it being used, because a lot of the fic is probably not being written by actual Canadians?

I'm not sure how right the second one is, though, because a) I have no actual idea what nationalities the various authors are, and b) I no longer remember which fics I've come across "eh" in so I can't go analyze the usage. It's kind of hilarious, though, how long it took me to figure out how I do use it -- it's instinctive and automatic, and I've never had to think about it before! But I did finally figure it out. I put it at the end of declarative statements to invite agreement (or disagreement) and further discussion from the listening party. Like "The weather's quite something, eh?" or "We should probably clean the apartment, eh?"

And okay, looking at what I just wrote, those sentences look wrong even though I have used pretty much THOSE EXACT SENTENCES out loud before. So I think I can say without hesitation that whether or not my second hypothesis has any value, my first one definitely does.


Thing Four: Today I decided to take another go at leg-shaving just so I could experience the silky-smoothness people seem to like about it, and borrowed Mara's marginally-less-crappy razor to do it. And DUDE. My legs feel SO WEIRD. Kind of like they're not actually there, or aren't mine, or aren't real or something! I went for a walk today and as my skirt swished against the shaved legs it felt wrong; the touch is muted and different and it's just -- gosh. Who knew hair makes such a difference in sensation!


Thing Five: There's that meme going around where you list all the songs you've stolen from been inspired by to title your fics. Here are mine!

1. "Getting What You Want" -- "You can't always get what you want" (I have no idea, it's one of those songs where I just know how the chorus goes because it's presumably well-known or something)
2. "If Love Is What You're After" -- "Give yourself to love" (Kim Thiessen (written by someone else, though))
3. "As The Sea Will Allow" -- "Wave over wave" (Great Big Sea (well, traditional, I think))
4. "How Far We've Come" -- I don't remember anymore! It was a song my beta linked me to and it fit really well and then...I promptly forgot the song
5."You'll Never Know Until You're There" -- "Pas de cheval" (Panic! At The Disco (though I suppose at the time of this song they were lacking the exclamation mark. WHATEVER, I like their dorky punctuation and I'm keeping it in))
6. "But We Yearn For It" -- "A few simple words" (Grit Laskin)
7."My Mind Is A Safe" -- "27" (Fall Out Boy)

And this is not mentioning the poems and plays and sayings I've used for my titles! What I mean to say is, I am bad at coming up with titles and generally resort to borrowing other people's words....
sophia_sol: drawing of Combeferre, smiling and holding up a finger like he's about to explain something (Default)
Because I like talking, and because it's an excellent distraction from my NaNo, a voice meme!

1. What's your username and is there a story behind it?
2. Where are you from and where do you live now?
3. What are you wearing? Yes, I am hitting on you.
4. How long have you been in bandom? How did you get into it?
5. Which bands are your favorites?
6. Which band members are your favorites?
7. Have you seen any of them in concert? Any fun stories or memories to share?
8. Do you have an OTP? What is it, and why do you love it?
9. What story do you wish someone would write?
10. Are you working on something for bandom right now? Tell us a little bit about it.
11. You've got fic open somewhere on your computer right now, don't lie. So go to one of your open tabs or word documents or whatever, and read us a couple of lines.
12. Say these words: Iero, haberdashery, LOLcat, flist, dirigible, halcyon, nemesis, ephemeral, languorous

Bandom voice meme by sophia_sol

memery

Nov. 12th, 2011 11:55 pm
sophia_sol: drawing of Combeferre, smiling and holding up a finger like he's about to explain something (Default)
Ffffff I don't even care that I'm super behind on replying to comments and am losing track of half the interesting things that go by my flist/rlist, MY NANO IS OFFICIALLY THE LONGEST THING I HAVE EVER WRITTEN IN MY LIFE. (okay no I lie I do care, but WHATEVER. NANO.)

And now, MEME, BECAUSE I CAN.

From [personal profile] justice_turtle, among other people:

1. Open up your music player. Hit shuffle.
2. Record the first few lines of the first thirty songs that come up that do not give away the name of the song. Skip instrumentals, but don't skip the embarrassing ones.
[gosh, for some songs avoiding the title is ACTUALLY IMPOSSIBLE. Okay then.]
3. Make hapless LJ
[or DW] denizens guess the song names and artists. Google is cheating. For musical songs, the name of the musical is acceptable in place of the artist. [And for folk music you can just skip artist altogether, of course]
4. Least hapless LJ
[or DW] denizen wins admiration. That's right, just like a lobbyist in budget season, the points don't matter.


What follows is a combination of super-obvious songs and songs that nobody will get, and everything in between. )


Yyyyup, so that's a pretty good summary of the kinds of things I listen to, actually.

A meme!

Sep. 22nd, 2011 02:00 pm
sophia_sol: drawing of Combeferre, smiling and holding up a finger like he's about to explain something (Default)
From [livejournal.com profile] carmarthen

What are the three things that most attract you to a fandom?

Comment with an answer to the question above.

I’ll respond by asking you five questions so I can get to know you better.

Post to your journal with the answers to the questions. Or if you want, post in the comments here. Or both!

Include this explanation in the post and offer to ask other people questions.

My answer to the question )

And now my answers to Carmarthen's five questions for me, cut individually because I have a tendency to go on at some length.

1. So, bandom...perhaps I missed it, but what tipped you over into obsession there? )

2. Favorite Arabian Nights story? )

3. What three fandoms do you wish existed? )

4. What is your favorite modern AU trope? )

5. What movie are you looking forward to? )

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