Wednesday Reading Meme

Sep. 20th, 2017 11:45 pm
chantefable: ([mood] cheerful)
[personal profile] chantefable
What I've just finished reading

Some haikus by a famous Edo poet Matsuo Basho, which were lovely: a respite and rearrangement of usual thought.

under the cherry -
blossom soup,
blossom salad.


Also, Suradanna and the Sea, a short story by Rebecca Fraimlow that is available online and was recommended by [personal profile] isis: a charming fantasy about spoilers ). It's very pleasant, and also f/f with a happy ending.

What I'm reading right now

Like I planned last week, I ploughed through some of Virgil's The Eclogues in Guy Lee's 1980 translation, and it has been rough because I lacked the background knowledge and contextual information to appreciate the glory of the bucolic idylls, if that's what you're going to call them... there's angst and hurt/comfort and Greek canon-typical violence, you know. Most of the meta- and para-textual stuff either went over my head or I sloughed it off, like so much half-baked comprehension. One thing is certain: in Eclogue 5, two shepherds, Menalcas and Mopsus, "sit down together where hazels mix with elms" and talk up their dead shepherd BFF Daphnis to the point of deification, something that Daphnis, who may have been a swell guy indeed, explicitly wanted when alive? Menalcas and Mopsus are kind of shippable, though. There's something intimate about two guys making a mound and singing praises to a tragically dead handsome oxherd, in verse. #justgreekthings ?

What I plan to read next

More D.H.Lawrence poems. Some sort of mystery would be nice as well, something pleasant.

Dear Trick or Treat-er!

Sep. 18th, 2017 08:50 pm
chantefable: ([bbc] omgstfu)
[personal profile] chantefable
Dear Creator, thank you very much in advance for making something for me. This is my first time participating in this fest and I am brimming with excitement. I am sure I will love everything that you generously choose to make. Thank you so much for offering to write/draw something in one of these fandoms.

I have made some prompts & suggestions, but please feel free to take things in whatever direction you like and/or include other characters. My strict DNWs are gratuitous violence, abuse and lack of consent (physical, social, sexual, etc.), any sexual situations for characters not of age, on or off-screen. Realism, magical realism & surrealism are all fine. I strongly prefer art with lower ratings; as for fic, wherever the muse takes you.

I like: historical (if appropriate) and worldbuildy detail, scenery porn, what-if AUs, original characters, time travel, ghost/afterlife stories, mythological and supernatural elements, and magical realism. I like gen, het, slash, and femslash. In general I'm not a fan of AU that completely changes the setting, but if you have a brilliant idea, go for it; I would prefer "interesting" to "mundane" AUs, e.g., in SPAAAACE yes, coffeeshop no. (Coffeeshop in SPAAAACE, okay!).

In fic: Themes like quests, journeys, transition, and liminal spaces; reflection, self-improvement, love, generosity, symbols; visual art and statues, micro and macro spaces, and tactile exploration. If you want to create WHAT-IF, go for it! Kudos to human-dolphin joint societies, atavistic tails, shark meritocracy, journeys to the bowels of the earth, inner demons made flesh and taking over, in short, any sort of soft sci-fi philosophical extravaganza.

In art: I like both serious portraits and funny little cartoons, as well as landscapes that tell a story (with maybe a hint of the characters' presence). I love interesting and experimental compositions, unusual perspectives, emphasis on textures such as hair and clothing, and scenery porn (Mountains! Trees! Cliffs with water crashing on them! Brooding ruins of an ancient castle!) and I like line drawings as well as full color. I like historical detail and obscure trivia, nature and architecture, water bodies and forests, colours. I also like woolly mammoths, dinosaurs, and space, so if in doubt, just throw in a velociraptor on a spaceship.

Tricks I would like: ghost stories, supernatural elements, afterlife stories, relationships between living characters and ghosts/spirits/supernatural entities, meddling deities, magical objects that do surprising things. Mildly spooky things. In general I prefer happy endings, but bleak for the purpose of narrative cohesion works, too.

Treats I would like: strong, heartfelt relationships, love for friends, family, life companions, romantic or otherwise, taking care of other people (when one is in charge of them, dependent on them, or in some relationship), loyalty, kindness, doing the good thing and/or the right thing, etc. My all-time favourite is the baroque theatre invisible mistress trope, which is basically Eros & Psyche – one falls for the other while their face & identity are concealed by a mask or disguised in the dark. As the fandom jargon goes, identity porn FTW. Please don't add in any unrequested background non-canonical relationship. Explicit sex okay, non-explicit sex is okay, no sex is okay, but any sex should be in believable language for that era or fandom. UST, gen, all good. I like sex in fic, but I prefer more focus on the emotions than the physical mechanics, and no BSDM or bloodplay or watersports or anything that might get a special tag.

I would prefer not to receive explicit horror (fic or art), any kink you'd specifically tag, or artwork that depicts explicit sex (NSFW R-rated is fine, NC17 showing genitals is not). I do not want any fic focusing on pregnancy, children, or with the A/B/O trope.

Now onto the specific fandoms. (If none of my vague ideas appeal to you, I assure you that as long as you incorporate things I have said I like, and avoid things I have listed as dislikes, I will be happy with whatever you choose to create.)

Frontier Wolf (Sutcliff) )

The Eagle (of the Ninth) (Sutcliff) )

DCU (Movies) )

Burnt (2015) )

John Wick (Movies) )

Person of Interest (TV) )

Spooks (TV) )

Aubrey-Maturin (O'Brian) )

Hannibal (TV) )

Southland (TV) )
chantefable: ([hp] make love)
[personal profile] chantefable
Remix Revival went live today, and I was fortunate enough to receive two gifts in the main collection. Behold the haul:

Sunset (The Tequila Sunrise Remix) (1220 words) by Anonymous
Chapters: 1/1
Fandom: Harry Potter - J. K. Rowling
Rating: Teen And Up Audiences
Warnings: No Archive Warnings Apply
Relationships: Draco Malfoy/Rose Weasley
Characters: Draco Malfoy, Rose Weasley
Additional Tags: Age Difference
Summary:Rose grows up hating Draco Malfoy. Then she meets him.

This is a remix of Tequila Sunrise, my vaguely identity shenanigans story about Draco Malfoy and Rose Weasley (mostly Draco's bleak despair, his midlife crisis and low-key femdom needs), and I was super thrilled when I realised it was remixed during the un-revealed period (I skim-read the tags and they pointed pretty clearly to which fic of mine was remixed, you see). The lovely creator made a Rose POV-remix, very tender and Harlequin. You like HP and melodrama? This is your jam.

Pity No More (The Closed Doors Remix) (1140 words) by Anonymous
Chapters: 1/1
Fandom: The Man From U.N.C.L.E. (2015)
Rating: Teen And Up Audiences
Warnings: No Archive Warnings Apply
Relationships: Illya Kuryakin/Napoleon Solo
Characters: Napoleon Solo, Illya Kuryakin, Gaby Teller
Additional Tags: challenge: remix revival, Period-Typical Homophobia, No Dialogue, Remix, Soulmate-Identifying Marks, Soulmates
Summary: It hadn’t been an easy thing, growing up with a man’s name tattooed inside his wrist, even if it was in English. Too many people knew English, were learning English -- it wasn’t safe. He faked an accident. Deliberately threw himself off-balance and burned his wrist, alongside a good portion of his arm, in the fire from the stovetop. The words weren’t just unreadable, after that. They were gone.

This is a remix of Pity No More, my second most-popular Man from UNCLE soulmates AU, and YAY lovely, it manages to be even more bleak and claustrophobic. You like soulmate-identifying marks and attraction against the odds? No sweet endings? This is your jam.

Family [names] Matters

Sep. 15th, 2017 11:52 pm
sincere: MK: Zero is pained and confused (??? ;;)
[personal profile] sincere
Hey, internet. Anyone there? I want opinions!

My sister is having another baby, and the name they decided on is driving me CRAZY.

Context here. )

Wednesday Reading Meme

Sep. 13th, 2017 11:40 pm
chantefable: ([mood] cheerful)
[personal profile] chantefable
I've been meaning to start this meme for years. What's the point in waiting? The time is now!

What I've just finished reading

I read Wailing Ghosts by Pu Songling, a short story collection from Penguin's Little Black Classics series. This is an author (born in 1640 and died in 1715 in Zibo, China) who wrote miniature tales of soft horror, Classical China-style. There are magic tricks and cryptic events, macabre events, unexpected hauntings, monsters, and Taoist monks ex machina. These are quite delightful - they have very particular structure and style, and what is considered narratively satisfying. The tales are a mix of the mundane and the supernatural, and often have a sort of 'moral' or 'takeaway message' in the end, often unexpected - so it's like a true novella in this respect, the final bit bearing the element of surprise and maybe rearranging the story. And they have such cute titles, like 'The Monster in the Buckwheat' or 'Scorched Moth the Taoist'.

What I'm reading right now

A collection of poems by D.H. Lawrence - it's huge and it will probably take me a while. I love poetry, and I like that this is the complete works collection - not just the good bits or the trendy bits or the highlights. This way you can get a better idea of how the author's style and artistic and/or existential concerns evolved.

what is chaos, my love?
It is not freedom.
A disarray of falling stars coming to nought.


(I have to say, Lawrence's poetry is frequently more readable than his prose. Some of the poems so far are excellent, either in form or function or message.)

What I plan to read next

I feel like Virgil, to be honest. I read a lot of The Georgics back when I wrote my Lucius/Hilarion fic in Frontier Wolf fandom, and now I'm thinking about The Eclogues. I am unable to finish a proper book lately, which is why I am more focussed on poetry and short stories. But some of The Eclogues sounds like a reasonable goal!

Book-a-day: Day Twenty-Eight

Sep. 8th, 2017 10:30 am
chantefable: ([mood] cheerful)
[personal profile] chantefable
28. Bought at my fave independent bookshop

The first collection of puzzles in nineteenth-century fiction by John Sutherland, Is Heathcliff a Murderer? (I already wrote about its sequel Can Jane Eyre Be Happy?.) This is a book of essays pondering weird bits in English novels and deconstructing / contextualizing / explaining / solving them with historical facts, allusions and deduction. There are thirty-four conundrums and Sutherland treats things we normally handwave while reading as real, serious question, and finds a rationalisation in the text, or an explanation of why exactly the author made a factual error or handwaved something.

For example,
- Why does Dracula come to England rather than neighbouring Germany? (seriously, I always wondered, and I really like Sutherland's interpretation. I still want fanfic for Dracula's German road trip, though)
- How exactly does Victor Frankenstein make his monster? (this should be mandatory reading for all cinema and TV people who have been ruining the book forever with their irresponsible and unsubstantiated display of gory patchwork corpses)
- Who is Helen Graham? (fascinating if you are a fan of Anne Bronte's The Tenant of Wildfell Hall)
- WTF is up with Rochester's 'celestial telegram' and telepathic communication with Jane in the end of the novel?

Fascinating, amusing, many references.

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