nyagosstar: (king roy)
As part of my Nano/Christmas present project, I did a little fic writing.  Not as much as I was hoping, but a little bit that turned out good enough to share.  I'm not sure exactly where these fit.  If they're part of the Bitter verse or Fellowes Mews or something else entirely.  I know I was thinking about them both as I was writing, so maybe it's closer to a mash-up.

Fandom: Fullmetal Alchemist
Title: But Everyone Loves Roy Mustang...
Pairing: Roy/Ed
Rating: PG
Wordcount: 748
Available here on Ao3
You really have a gift )

Fandom: Fullmetal Alchemist
Title:  Winterborn Manor
Pairing: Roy/Ed
Rating: PG
Wordcount: 1343
Available here on Ao3

Shall I show you the house? )

nyagosstar: (Default)
It's strange.  I don't feel all that nervous about starting my new job tomorrow, but I've already had my stupid stress dream where I'm in college and at the end of the semester and I realize I stopped going to one of my classes because I didn't like it.  I spend the whole dream freaking out, trying to figure out what to do and mostly just feeling sick and stupid about the whole thing.  It's always a class on my high school campus, even though it's a college class and it's always taught by one of my high school teachers.  Completely ridiculous.

Also, just now, I have the annoying ring of pulsating light in my vision that is an early indicator of a migraine.

Honestly, I don't feel nervous, but I guess my subconscious and my body don't give a shit.
nyagosstar: (king roy)
So, about two weeks ago, I interviews for this job I really, really wanted.  I wanted it from the description.  I wanted it while I was in the room interviewing.  I wanted it walking out of the office and back to my car.  I wanted it so much I didn't want to think about it. I didn't want to set myself up for disappointment if I didn't get it.  It's easier, most times, to not want things, than to want them and be disappointed.  At least it has been in my experience.

Anyway, I was supposed to hear about a decision at the beginning of this week.  Then, of course, Hurricane Sandy came through and while PA was pretty lucky as far as damage was concerned, most places were closed Monday and Tuesday and the place I interviewed didn't open back up until Thursday.  I sweated it out all day Thursday, figuring there was probably a lot to catch up on right after missing three days, but that if I didn't hear by Friday, I didn't get it.

I tried, I really tried to distract myself Friday from thinking about it, but by about two in the afternoon, I had convinced myself it wasn't going to happen.  It was too late in the day.  I hadn't gotten it and I was feeling pretty sorry for myself.  I let myself want something and this is what happens. 

So, I made plans with E and a friend to go see Wreck-it Ralph(It was pretty good, btw) when I missed thier call, and they didn't leave a message.  It was about four in the afternoon and I was sure.  Who calls to offer a job at the end of the business day?  No one.  You call to tell all the people who you didn't pick, Thanks, but No Thanks.  I tried to call back and didn't get an answer.  I felt sick and my heart was pounding.  I tried again.

And again.

And then I finally got through and thought I was going to have a heart attack in the front room my heart was pounding so hard when I got the job offer.  I had to tell myself, firmly, "You cannot cry on the phone to your new boss.  You can't.  Keep it together for just a couple minutes."

So, that's my story.  I start the week after next in a job I really, really wanted and in a profession I think I could really, really see myself liking.  It'll be a first in my adult life.
nyagosstar: (bitter universe)

So, I’ve had an invitation to Ao3 for, um, a couple years now. A friend sent it to me and I hung on to it, even though I wasn’t sure if I wanted to use it or not. I activated it a couple months ago and this past week, I’ve started uploading old fic to my account.

Just today I finished uploading the entirety of my FMA bitter ‘verse stories, available for the first time in chronological order. It’s a lot of Hurt/Comfort, cause it’s my favorite and that was the table I was working on, but it’s a lot about relationships and figuring out how to just be a regular person after saving the world at a young age. I did a little editing along the way, but know I’ve probably missed stuff.

Some of them I really, really love. Some of them, well, not so much. I like it, in that I got to see how I grew as a writer in a very tangible way. Over the course of about four years, I wrote almost 95,000 words. Just in this one universe. I would hope I did some growing, anyway.

I’ll be uploading the rest of my FMA stuff in the following weeks, along with some other bits and bobs. Nothing new, at least not at this juncture. It’s just nice to have it all in one place that’s a little easier to read than LJ.
nyagosstar: (Default)
Grief is a strange thing.

I mean, it's been more than a year now. Being back in PA with E has definitely helped, but things still hit me, stupid things that just come out of the blue.

This weekend was the birthday of E's twin niece and nephew, who are by extension, sort of mine. E was working, so I went to the party on my own, which was surprisingly good. I mean, they all know me and like me and I am able to hang out without too much awkwardness beyond my, you know, natural awkwardness. It was fun and cute and then one of the twins gave her dad a hug, and thanked him for her presents and I nearly lost it. I managed to hold myself together because I was in public and surprised by my reaction.

Shortly after my dad died, I was filling in at a store where I was friendly with the GM to help them prep for inventory. I'd already given my notice and pretty much everyone knew why I was leaving. We were talking a little bit about what I was going to do and how I was feeling and she said to me, "You will never get over this." And I was floored and upset and didn't know what to say. It seemed insane to me that I would still feel the same way in a year or two years or ten years. She's lost her parents something like ten years before and she was telling me I'd never get over this loss.

Given a little distance, a little perspective that I just couldn't have last year, I think I can say that she was wrong. At least in part. I am changed by this, absolutely, but I am also able to move forward.

IDK, apparently if you want anything other than sad ruminations, you should be watching my tumblr. Thanks LJ for your cheap therapy.


Sep. 24th, 2012 10:46 am
nyagosstar: (golden swirl)
I’m sitting in my sort-of sister-in-law’s living room, in Pennsylvania about as relieved and happy as I’ve been in, I don’t know how long. I mean, I know we have a lot to do in the coming weeks—I’m very much not looking forward to unpacking the storage container full of all of our stuff—but everything feels, I don’t know. Hopeful?

The trip up was long and exhausting. It always surprises me how tiring just driving can be. The first day was twelve hours to get to my brother in North Carolina. Since he’s lived now in two cities in three places and this is only the first that I’ve seen, I’d say it’s about time. We stayed up late both nights I was there and my nephew is just over three and a ball of energy, so there was not a lot of rest to be had. It was fun and really, really good, but tiring. Then yesterday, I made the seven hour trip in just over six. It helps that the speed limit around DC is more of a suggestion than an actual limit.

Just driving around DC left me feeling nostalgic and a little homesick. I haven’t lived there is, what, twelve years? But it still feels, I don’t know. Warm, is the best way to describe it. Then I drove past the place where I was a car with friends in college when one of the tires came off. It seems funny now—the car stopping and seeing the wheel continue forward—but it was a little less so at the time. The mid-to-north east coast is full of so many more memories than Florida, even though I spent 18 years there. I suppose it’s because I was an actual adult once I moved further north. I don’t have many memories of my childhood, they’ve slipped away over the years, replaced with new ones, more tangible ones.

Anyway, I guess the point is that I’m home. Not, you know, home, home, but much closer. And it feels so good.
nyagosstar: (sleepy simon)
Packing is for losers, yo.

Well, I say losers, but really it's just for movers. Regardless, it sucks, it's dusty, it's no fun. I don't know how we accumulate so much stuff, how so much stuff came with us that we didn't need when space in the car was at such a premium. I'm doing better this time around, which is nice. I'm not losing my mind, I'm not crying hysterically over nothing, all improvements.

I've been reading through some of my old journal entries trying to get a feel for what the hell I talked about here for the past seven years, trying to get a feel for getting back into a place where I can do it again.

One of the best things I've come across is my Simon tag. I mentioned he died this year, just last month, actually. He had a tumor on his face we had removed last year and the vet told us that the chance it would come back was an even 50/50. It was a year I lived in nearly constant fear, constant checking of the site. When it started to grow back, we went back to the vet who told us that this time, the tumor had embedded itself in the bone of Simon's face and there just wasn't a surgical option this time around. I got another few weeks with him, but eventually he was just sleeping all the time and then he didn't want to eat.

I know it was the humane thing to do. He was hurting and he wasn't himself. I know that. It was still hard and is still hard. It's a guilt that I don't quite know how to process or what to do with.

Anyway, this wasn't the point. The point is that I have this Simon tag in this journal where I recounted some really random, funny, sweet things about him that I'd actually forgotten. It's a sweet surprise and I'm so pleased that I took the time to record these things.

On my way

Sep. 12th, 2012 06:09 pm
nyagosstar: (Default)
Things have changed since we last spoke.

Considering it’s been more than a year since my last post, you’d think that’d be something of a given, but sometimes the best way to start is to state the obvious.

After my dad died, my girlfriend and I made an emotional and quick decision. I’m not saying it was a bad one, not even now, but it was emotional and not well thought out. We left the apartment, moved 1100 miles and set up shop with my mom. I couldn’t stand the thought of her by herself in the house, having to deal with the reality of my dad being gone, medical bills she didn’t know how to pay, a yard and home to take care of and the myriad of everyday things that seemed so insurmountable in the face of grief.

I don’t know how much good I’ve managed to do over this past year. It feels like very little most times when I think about it, like I spent a year keeping everyone from moving on. My brother and my mom talk about how it’s good for my mom to learn to live by herself, how to process things on her own and it mostly feels like I wasted by time and energy coming here in the first place. I have a lot of feelings surrounding this topic to unpack and I think it’s going to be a long time before I feel like I can do so with any sort of clarity.

And that’s okay. It has to be.

Because in ten days, our shit will be packed in my car and I’ll be making the long drive back to PA. I remembered Florida being miserable. The small town I’m from quiet and awful. But I remembered these things through the eyes of a child and young adult. As an adult, even though I sure as hell don’t feel like one, it’s significantly worse. This town has always been too small for me, this state too narrow-minded. It’s a whole other thing to realize as an adult that according to the Southern Poverty Law Center there is an active branch of the KKK five miles from your house. To worry about the possibility of being fired from a job because I’m a lesbian. To listen to the active hate from the most surprising and unassuming people.

It’s been a year that included the death of my cat Simon, which is something so much worse than I ever really expected. It was a year of watching the lives of my friends move forward and onward and upward while I felt lost and stuck and withering. It was a year of sadness and arguments and anger. It was a year of The Avengers, the RNC, the DNC, more heat than I ever remembered bearing.

It’s been a hard year, in many ways, and I keep thinking that each year is going to be better. That this year is finally going to be the year that isn’t soul suckingly awful. I, stupidly perhaps, have hopes for 2013.

It’s at least guaranteed to have fewer tropical sized cockroaches and spiders. Florida is gross, yo and I can’t wait to be done with it.

I’ve started a tumblr, because, apparently, I love drama? I’m easily influenced? I need something to fill my time? I have the same name, so it’s easy to find me if you’re so inclined. If any of you are over there and want to be tumblr friends stop by, it will be awesome! I’ll still be posting here, just mostly fic, I think. I haven’t decided.

Anyway, how have you all been?
nyagosstar: (Default)
The swamp is a fertile place. Everything seems to grow just a little larger. Alligators, which I’ve had in every back yard growing up, were only a worry when they started hitting ten feet. Fruit grows far larger than you’ll see in any grocery store. Insects come in sizes that seem like they should be on a nature special. I forget, having lived in Pennsylvania for almost ten years now, how big things can get. The worst I have to deal with now are centipedes and camel crickets. Both are pretty gross, but not particularly big.

The spider in my mother’s bathroom, however was enormous. They’re called wolf spiders and they’ve been in and out of my childhood homes for as long as I can remember. They look scary and they move fast, but they aren’t dangerous and they spend their free time eating grosser bugs. But it’s been years since I’ve seen one and to say that the thing was three inches long is not hyperbole. It was massive and hanging out in the shower.

The couple of times I saw it, it stayed still and we both pretended not to see the other. It’s a pretty necessary insect adaptation in Florida. You can’t get rid of them all, so as long as they’re basically harmless and, you know, not cockroaches, it’s cool.

But my last day there, it was seven in the morning and I had to leave by eight to make the almost two hour drive to return the rental car and catch my flight. I was tired and overwrought and the damn thing was sitting on the floor of the shower. I turned on the water in the hopes that it would find a new home and I could shower in peace.

I spent the first five minutes of my shower, watching it shift, scuttle from one side of the room to the other. I kept one eye open while I shampooed my hair. And then. And then it started the downward trek toward the floor of the shower. I had enough. I jumped out of the shower, grabbed the showerhead and drown it. It’s not something I’m proud of, it wasn’t even something I wanted to do at the time, but it was all I could think to do. When it finally washed down the drain, curled and still, I finished my shower and tried not to think that this would come back and bite me in the ass.

I went to Florida for a week, extended my stay by another six days. A little more than 48 hours after I arrived back home, my father died in his sleep. I know the world doesn’t really work this way, I know it was the cancerous tumor that came on so fast and so big that took his life. But he seemed to be doing well when I left and all I can think is if I had just left the fucking spider alone, he’d still be alive.

Today is my birthday. Today is also the day my dad was cremated. It’s likely his memorial service will be on his birthday, which, of course, of course falls on Father’s Day this year.

I thought 2010 was a fucker of a year. Turns out 2011 is ready to fight for that title.
nyagosstar: (Default)
Technically my vacation started last night at 7:01 PM, but I'm not here to quibble over details. he point is that I don't have to go back to work until the 20th which is pretty much the most fantastic way to start January that I can think of. And the best part? I don't have to worry about getting to/from work around the huge amount of snow that's supposed to be dumped on us in just a few short days. Snow is soooooo much more acceptable when I don't have to be out in it.

Recently, I've been thinking a lot about FMA and some of the prompts from the [livejournal.com profile] fma_fic_contest journal have really caught my attention, so I thought I would dump them here as a tidy way to keep all of my stuff together.

This first piece is something I wrote thinking it was going to be what I was going to submit as my prompt, but it never worked as well on paper as it did in my head. It did, however, help my to write my actual prompt, and it's Roy and what's not to love about Roy?

The second is my actual entry for prompt #93 and the third is my entry for prompt #95. I love the idea of prompts, they're a great way to get back into the habit of writing, which I both firmly support and am trying to do. Both actual prompt entries were beta'd by [livejournal.com profile] sainnis, though, because I wasn't paying attention, I think I failed to mention it when I posted them originally.

Writing, like bananas, is good.

Cold prompt, version 1.0 )

Cold prompt Version 2.0 )

Family prompt )
nyagosstar: (my doctor is made of awesome)
Everyone wave hello to Diah!

He's my new laptop--an incredibly lavish Christmas present--that was very much needed as I'd been cobbling together computer/internet time on my own slowly dying desktop and E's laptop. It was problematic as she uses it a lot for school work and I couldn't always get the time I wanted. Grades > Fic What can you do?

Anyway, everything is now happily transferred over and running smoothly. Hopefully this means I will be able to update more regularly. Or at least more regularly than I have been.

In other news, I ordered in The Writer's Tale: The Final Chapter for myself because we don't normally carry it and I have a thing about ordering books online. I work in a bookstore, I should be able to get anything I want without having to resort to the internet. Anyway, it's all about RTD writing the Specials season of Doctor Who. It was endlessly fascinating and made me want to watch Who so much.

I watched The End of Time parts 1 and 2 and wish that I cared as much about Eleven as I did about Nine and Ten. Nine is my favorite and I think, always will be, but I ended up loving Ten after just a couple of episodes. I still like the show, I do. I think the story lines are interesting and the show is still cool, but I don't have this gut reaction to Eleven that I had with the last two. Part of it is definitely that it feels like everything I spent the last five years LOVING never even happened.

I'm happy a new season will be starting in the spring, but it makes me sad the only thing I'm going to get from RTD is America!Torchwood.

This is not exactly where I expected this post to go, but there you are. I have some fic to post, little baby things that I'd like to have here in my journal, and I'm a crazy person about that kind of thing, but that is going to have to wait for another day.

Also!! If anyone is reading anything AWESOME in the book world drop me a line. I'm dying for something good. I'd prefer something grown up, but I'll take any rec as long as it's good.


Jan. 2nd, 2011 10:19 am
nyagosstar: (Default)
Even though I'm not really keen on the idea of New Year's resolutions--I feel like if you want a change, you should just go ahead and do it and not wait for some arbitrary date--I do like the idea of reflection at the end of the year and beginning of a new one. Particularly this one, which I feel like has a lot to process.

2010 was...not a great year. It started out in a particularly shitty fashion and continued on that vein almost all the way through to the end. There were some bright spots, and some good times, though I think it would be pretty hard to have a whole year of unending misery unless you found yourself in a prison camp or living on Hoth.

The thing is, this year, is that I'd like a better mix of good thing to bad things ratio. 2010 was something of an asshole and I'm hoping that 2011 is going to be better. I'm certainly going to try to make it a better year and hope that the things that are out of my control do a better job of falling apart.

Here's hoping.
nyagosstar: (Default)
- Leave a comment saying "What's up?!"
- I'll ask you five questions to satisfy my curiosity.
- Update your journal with the answers to your questions.
- Include this explanation and offer to ask other people questions.

I've been negligent in getting these done, but my excellent questions come from [profile] a_big_apple

1. What's your favorite place to go out to eat? (I like asking food questions, it seems, I've asked everyone at least one.)

You know, it’s silly and a chain, but I love Pei Wei. I could eat their Asian Chicken Chopped Salad every night for the rest of my life and be totally happy. And the pad thai with veggies and tofu? I’m a fan of tofu to begin with, but they must make it with crack or something because it’s SO GOOD. Also, I just tried this Moroccan place in the city off of South Street and it could quickly become a favorite. Many, many things were good about the meal I had, but the couscous was the best freaking couscous I’ve ever had.

2. What fandom, or aspect of fandom, are you most embarrassed to admit to non-fandom friends?

Porn. It’s got to be the porn. I’m pretty comfortable with all the fandoms I like, and the ones I know are ridiculous, I can cop to that fact. Some of my early fandoms were not only poorly done, but actively bad. It’s okay, I’m cool with that. I loved them all for various and quality was not always at the top of the list. But it’s kind of hard to own up to the porn. "Why yes, I do in fact write about two grown men—sometimes cartoon men—having sex. How have you been?" Though, to be fair, owning up to the non-porn variety is pretty tough, too. There are hundreds of pages of Gen Star Wars fic out there that make me a little shy.

3. Do you have to have things just the way you like them to fall asleep, or can you sleep anytime, anywhere?

If I’m in my own bed, my only requirement is that I have two pillows. E and I joke about this all the time because she only has one, and it’s like I’m mean and depriving her—two are mine, only one is yours. But other than that? If we had a sleep team for the Olympics, I would gold metal that shit every four years. I can drop off any time, any where, though I’m especially good on planes, in cars, pretty much any sort of moving vehicle.

4. Do you tend to remember dreams? If so, what's the strangest one you can recall?

I think I’m about 50% on remembering my dreams. Often I’ll wake up and think, oh, that was so strange, and then an hour later it’s gone from my brain. Some of them stick with me and some of them I can only remember that I had a strange dream, but not the details. As for the strangest, I don’t know about that, but I have recurring, stress induced dreams of post-apocalyptic worlds 3-5 times a year. They are almost always the result of nuclear war and sometimes, if I’m super lucky (ha) I get to see the mushroom clouds and the burning before jumping ahead to the horror of life afterward. On a lighter note, I have random, stupid fandom dreams all the time, ones where I wake up thinking, damnit, brain, why couldn’t Ed and Al have been doing something cool instead of drinking tea? Or, ‘Why was Ianto calling Owen "Dear" and by the wrong name in the second season episode Sleeper’

5. If you could have a portal in your home that would take you instantaneously somewhere else, but you could only set it for one location and never change that location, where would the portal lead?

OMG, this is such a good question. I went initially with my parent’s house, but you know, what do you do once they move, or aren’t around anymore. I don’t want a portal to some random stranger’s house. You know what? I’m going to go with the Covered Market in Oxford. Discount the creepiness—to me, anyway—of dead animals hanging outside butcher stalls, it orients me in the city and I can go on a food rampage whenever I want. Dying for a Melting Moment? Done. Sexy Brazilian(it’s a sandwich)? It’s a ten minute walk. Best hot chocolate on the planet? Look for the vendor carts just outside. McVities Digestive, plain chocolate of course? Head over to the Co-Op. Clearly, some of my most lasting memories of Oxford center around food.

5 1/2. Have you been writing lately? Maybe more Bitter 'verse? Or even playing about in Fellowes Mews 'verse? Or something else fantastic? I was just re-reading the Bitter stuff yesterday and remembering how much I love all of it.

Honest to god, whenever anyone even casually mentions having liked something I wrote, I go "EEEEE!" in my head. That being said, I haven’t been working much on any FMA stuff as I’ve been mostly concentrating on original fic and trying to get it into shape. I’ve found I work better on this piece when I’m not dividing my attention, so fandom has been on somewhat of a back burner. That doesn’t mean I won’t come back to it, just that, right now, the boys are chilling in their cool big house and everything is fine, nothing to report :) So, yes, I am writing, but nothing fandom-wise.
nyagosstar: (sleepy simon)
Simon has found a new hidey-hole in the apartment, which is saying something as this apt isn't that big to begin with and there aren't many places where I don't know where to look for him. Twice this week and once last week either E or I have come home and not been able to find him. We both thought that he'd sneaked behind us on our way out the door and had been living in the suburban wilds for 8 hours. At least ten minutes of panic and calling his name and tapping on his food bowls later, he would appear out of the ether all, 'what's up, bitches?'. I finally, finally found him where he'd shoved himself in the back of the closet in the bedroom, behind the lowest hanging coat. It's so dark there and he's all black the only way I could tell he was there was to reach my hand in. *shakes head* it's because we've had the windows open and he's looking for a quiet place that doesn't sound like nature.

David Gray's new album comes out Tuesday and I wasn’t that excited until I bothered to look at the information and discovered, it’s not a collaboration with Ray Lamontagne, it’s all by his lonesome, they’re just touring together. So, yay new music on, but now I’m even more bummed that I never got tickets to see him this month. The timing was terrible and I couldn’t afford the tickets and it’s not like I haven’t seen the man many times now. Its just, I love him. I love his music and I love seeing him live because he is transcendent in person. He gets better in person. So there’s that.

In other music related news, I went to the Guster website and listened to a track from their upcoming CD and I don’t hate it. Hooray! Maybe this one won’t make me want to gouge me ears out.
nyagosstar: (so glad i met you)
The other night I finished the second installment of the Chaos Walking series, The Ask and the Answer. I am completely blown away by these books. I thought there was no where to go after the end of The Knife of Never Letting Go. I thought we had seen the worst that this world could do and then, and then it got worse. It’s a brilliantly beautiful study of what happens to people, especially young people when they’re thrown into terrible situations where they don’t know who to trust and who’s telling the truth. It’s an amazingly crafted slide into the murkiness of right and wrong and it just shines.

This is not to say the books aren’t harsh and brutal and grim—I’m actually very pleased I didn’t finish reading this one during my lunch break at work because I would have cried and there would have been awkward explaining to do—because they are, but they’re beautiful as well. Kind of in the way the Octavian Nothing books broke me apart, but in a good way.

The third is due sometime in Sept and I’m hoping to get my hands on an early copy, but that’s still sort of up in the air. If I had it, I would tear through it instantly, but then again, the wait is probably good for me. I haven’t devoured something like this in such a long time that I’m afraid of what it’s going to do for the state of my reading for the rest of the year. When I’ve read something that I loved so much, it kind of kills my desire to read anything else for a while. We’ll see.

Also randomly in the ‘people who look like other people’ file, did anyone else think that Lady Gaga looks kind of like Billie Piper on the cover of the new Vanity Fair? Or that the woman on the cover of the Red Queen book looks a lot like Dru from Buffy?
nyagosstar: (mori refreshing)
and it is known as Cold Stone Creamery's ice cream cupcakes.*

the wrapper is not a wrapper, it's a chocolate shell. that is filled with a thin layer of cake, then lots of ice cream and then frosting.

this is amazing in so many ways i don't know what to do with myself.

*brought to you by E's grandmother's birthday
nyagosstar: (all for nothing)
Today is the 65th anniversary of the bombing of Hiroshima. 65 years and I found out second hand through someone else's lj post.

Nuclear power scares the hell out of me. Nuclear weapons are not okay.

This can never be undone.
nyagosstar: (saluting keith)
It’s like a joke, but without the lead up or the punchline.

1) I came home from work on Tuesday E and I had both worked early and were pretty tired so we laid down in bed, facing each other to talk about what we wanted to do for dinner. In the middle of this conversation, she looks at me all serious like and busts out with, “You’re waiting for a train.” Two days later it still makes me giggle.

2) We were watching Top Chef last night which love, but doesn’t require all of my attention and so also simultaneously dicking around on the internets. E pulls up some old 80’s cartoons and programs on youtube—Pinwheel, anyone?—and there is the Simon the Chalk Boy cartoon. I loved it when I was little and it still has a fond place in my heart. So we watch the opening credits and who, who, Who should turn out to be the narrator? Bernard Cribbins. Seriously, Donna’s grandfather from Dr. Who narrated a children’s program something like 30 years ago. I love it.

Also, in my desperation after finishing The Knife of Never Letting Go and waiting for The Ask and the Answer—which is finally in my possession and I can’t wait to start reading—I picked up I Am Number 4. I’d heard some good things about it and some people are trying to make it into a big deal and we had it, so I borrowed it. It was good, it wasn’t amazing, but it was solid and cool, if a little bit contrived in the narrative flow. I liked the characters a lot and thought the pacing was actually pretty brilliant.

The one qualm I have with it is that the ‘author’ is a character from the story. I don’t know what is up with this trend, but I find it super irritating. When I see something like this, it makes me think that either the author is well known for another work and is trying to branch out, or the book is a amalgam corporate construct that makes me feel kind of dirty for liking. It’s an unnecessary gimmick for me to like the book. I think it’s an unnecessary marketing ploy for kids to like the book. Just stop.
nyagosstar: (books)
As I have nothing else I really want to talk about, here's another installment of what nyagosstar is reading….

Apparently, I am on this kick of reading post apocalyptic books. It’s weird because it seems to be all that I want. I have half a dozen books I thought I wanted to read, but then nothing really appeals to me right now other than reading about how everything is going to end and how we’re going to deal.

On a sort of related side note, we watched Dreamscape the other night as part of the epic movie watching epicness prompted by the unholy union of the xbox live account and Netflix. I saw it when I was little and only really remembered the bit where the guy turns into the creepy lizard man. Imagine my surprise when one of the major themes is the president’s nightmare that involve a massive nuclear holocaust. In watching all these old movies from my childhood, I am now discovering the root to many of my reoccurring adult nightmares. Seriously, check this out. Unless, of course, you had responsible, non-hippie type parents who paid attention to the rating on movies. In which case, I imagine your childhood dreams were filled with hugs and puppies.

Right, so books: )

On an unrelated note, I gave Simon a bath this morning which is always both hilarious and necessary. He is now mildly put out and smelling pretty.

Also, if you’re not watching The Fabulous Beekman Boys, you haven’t seen TV the way it was meant to be played.
nyagosstar: (books)
Avoiding editing, vacation and lots of down time mean that i have a handful of books to chat about this morning.

Half Brother

Hands down one of the best books I’ve read this year. Kenneth Oppel rocks my socks in any event, but this is really something spectacular. Set in Canada, about a boy whose parents are researchers and bring a chimp home to study behavior and see if he can be taught language through ASL. It’s so thoughtful and well written and touching and so vivid in a way that I don’t get with most fiction that I read. This felt real. I want this book to be a bestseller. I want this book to win awards. I want everyone to know Kenneth Oppel's name because he is SO good.

Packing for Mars

We all know how I feel about space, NASA and exploration and this was the perfect book to pull me out of the funk that the NASA budget debacle has put me in. I’ve read and seen a lot about space travel so it was really cool to read something that talked about things at length that I’d never gotten much information on before. Mary Roach has the coolest, easiest writing style. In my world of fantasy and psychosis we would totally be friends. This is a nuts and bolts approach of what it takes to get people in to space including but not limited to the long process of food development and bathroom issues and the long testing period of every piece of equipment that goes into space. It was the most fun read I’ve had in ages.

X Isle

Okay, I loved the book The Various by Steve Augarde. It was beautiful and strange and i always hoped that it and it’s sequels would be more popular than they were, but I couldn’t get anyone to touch them with a ten foot pole. Sometimes books from other countries do really well here and sometimes they just don’t work, so I was super excited when I heard he was writing a new book outside the Various series and it was post-apocalyptic and very different from his previous novels. Maybe this one would be something that would bring everyone back around to his other writing.

Here’s the thing. It’s a very good book. I love the characters and the concept, the story is exciting and good and I read it in a breathless run just so i could get to the end and find out what happens. But it’s flawed in a way that his others aren’t. There is a plot point with one of the characters that’s very obvious from the beginning of the book and I’m still not sure exactly what the point of it is. I don’t know that it brings anything to the table, I think kids will figure it out pretty quickly and then nothing really comes of it. And the end is sort of a cop out. Some aspects of the story are dealt with brilliantly, what it means to try and survive in a harsh environment, what it means to fight for your life, how you reconcile morality to a world were society has broken down. But the very end, I don’t know if it was too big a task to take on, if he didn’t want to deal with what was going to happen next or if he just got tired, but the book just stops and not in a good way. Also, this book is going to be a hard sell to any teach or parent who is worried about language in the books their kids read, which is a shame, because it fits the characters and the situation, but it’s hard to get school librarians to buy books for their school libraries that have a lot of bad language in them because otherwise they hear it from the kid’s parents.

In the end? I liked it, but with reservations.

Our Tragic Universe

I have been waiting for a new book from Scarlett Thomas for ages and ages. Okay, so for four years, but in terms of how I see the world, it’s been ages. I read Popco because [livejournal.com profile] sainnis saw it and thought it was just the kind of book I would like. And it was. So I read everything else she had written in a kind of literary glut and have been a fan for years.

After letting the book settle in my brain for a couple days, I have come down on the side of liking it, but it was sort of a process. The first half of the book is very blah, blah, blah here are two characters talking to each other about all the random shit I researched to write this novel. Normally, she is very good at making a more subtle integration of research and story. The first half the story is really at the mercy of the research. But then, the research relaxes, becomes what it’s supposed to be and the story is allowed to bloom and it is beautiful. I feel like this is a book I should read more than once to get everything out of it that I really can. Again, I liked it, but will recommend with reservations.

and finally, i feel back that I ever recommended The Magicians to anyone at work. It sounded cool, and the idea is cool but the characters and execution suck. Did anyone actually get through this? Is the payoff worth it? I'm about fifty pages in and am ready to give up on it completely.


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December 2012

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