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Wednesday, 1 January 2020 08:00
lea_hazel: The Little Mermaid (Default)
Drop me a line about anything here.

(no subject)

Thursday, 25 August 2016 22:50
lea_hazel: Don't make me look up from my book (Basic: Reading)
At least I have my tablet back. It's much nicer to read that way than on my clunky old laptop.

Git it

Tuesday, 23 August 2016 12:33
lea_hazel: Neuron cell (Science: Brains)
I might have sworn, up until yesterday, that I had a GitHub account. Yeah. But I checked both of my Gmail accounts, both by searching for a registration email and by trying to activate a lost password. And nada. Huh.

I guess now is as good a time as any to register.

(no subject)

Sunday, 21 August 2016 20:50
lea_hazel: The Little Mermaid (Default)
I am without my phone and without my tablet and I literally don't own an alarm clock. What the hell.

Not to mention I am now also without an ebook reader. Small comfort that this only happened after I finished an dposted and double-checked my review.
lea_hazel: Neuron cell (Science: Brains)
Disclosure: I received an ARC of Stay Crazy from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

The most important thing to note about Stay Crazy, of course, is that the protagonist is insane. Well, yes, of course. It says right in the blurb that she was discharged from a mental hospital. And yet, she is also at the center of a vast conspiracy. It would have been so easy to make this the story of someone who only appears to be insane, when they are in fact the only ones who see the truth. Most often when I see spec fic stories involving characters confined in mental wards or the like, the story is one of false imprisonment, and draws a sharp line between the POV character and all those other people, the real crazies.

Em is as real-crazy as they come. Despite her unflattering descriptions of her fellow patients, she explicitly sets herself among them, the other psychotics. The book is written in a very subjective and often claustrophobic first person narration, dragging the reader deep into Em's periodic bouts of hallucination. It's difficult to immediately determine, during each episode, whether is is delusional or merely trans-dimensional. The silver insects crawling over her boyfriend's plate at the restaurant, the swallowing brown smoke at the bowling alley, even the TV psychologist's hidden messages. Which of these are conspiracy, and which are artifacts of the mind?

Read more... )

Crossposted to hazelgold.net.

The Stories

Tuesday, 16 August 2016 11:38
lea_hazel: Typewriter (Basic: Writing)
I was absolutely determined to produce some new material today, so I set aside the morning to be completely offline. Printed out my prompt sheet, which I had generated specifically for this purpose. Packed a notebook and a bottle of cold water. Slathered myself in sunscreen, just in case. Picked up a latte at my favorite bakery and took it to the little playground park nearby.

Of course I forgot to take the printed sheet with me, because I'm me, and I wouldn't be me if I didn't forget something. But I spent a little time recreating it, or trying to. And that gave me the mental process to decide what I should start writing. As par for the course, once the words are flowing then Newton's laws of thermodynamics are in effect, as in, "a wordcount in motion tends to remain in motion". Now my hand hurts!

It was a good morning.

I'll write about my birthday, too, but not until after my thing on Thursday. right now I have a book review to get to.
lea_hazel: Typewriter (Basic: Writing)
It's been a little over two years since I first signed up for 750words.com, a site based around the idea of morning writing exercises. One of the classic pieces of advice that professional writers give, is to start every morning by writing three pages, stream-of-consciousness style. This helps unclutter the mind and gets the writing brain into high gear. For people poor at planning it helps set an agenda for the day. For people prone to anxiety or rumination, it sets worries on paper and out of the mind. This exercise has many different uses. One page fits on average 250 words, hence the URL as given. 750Words.com.

Read more... )

Crossposted to hazelgold.net.
lea_hazel: Arthritis: It does the body bad (Health: Arthritis)
Read more... )

(no subject)

Monday, 8 August 2016 21:33
lea_hazel: Don't make me look up from my book (Basic: Reading)
Trying to get into romance novels is always such a pain because I am hilariously picky about romantic arcs and romance novels rely on such specific assumptions and explanations. Once you're a reader deep in the genre certain things just become invisible to you. Also, I don't always know what search terms I should be using.

Also, I'm utterly apathetic to contemporary romance. If I'm gonna be reading a romance, there better be a fucking robot or unicorn or something, or at least people being English a while ago. Not like the contemporaries are meaningfully "people like me", and that's not what I look for in fiction, anyway. Identification, I mean.

I'm always looking for the ice queen heroines but they seem to be hiding.
lea_hazel: Don't make me look up from my book (Basic: Reading)
I read historical romances once in a blue moon, when I have a craving for three hundred pages of their particular brand of frustration. Earlier in the weekend I picked one up on half a whim and have been tearing through it ever since. With some breaks.

Pro: crossdressing, briefly.

Con: heroine has that obnoxious protagonistic habit of insisting, over and over, that she's not pretty.

Read more... )

TV

Wednesday, 3 August 2016 22:22
lea_hazel: Don't make me look up from my book (Basic: Reading)
I watched the whole of Stranger Things over the course of the last few days. My brother has been bugging me to see it. Not that he gave a plot synopsis or anything like that. He's gonna want to know what I think about it and I thought it was pretty meh. The only character I cared about was one, and I cared about them specifically because (without giving any explicit spoilers) the narrative seemed to dismiss their very existence.

How do I explain to my brother that this show was literally made for him?
lea_hazel: Typewriter (Basic: Writing)
I had a fantastic idea for a new meta post for my blog while I was at the coffee shop, and as soon as I left I forgot it. Bah!

Now I have to brainstorm recurring ideas that I can't let go of, but haven't addressed in writing yet. There's... a whole bunch of those.
lea_hazel: Typewriter (Basic: Writing)
My ideas for stories lately have been overly abstract and difficult to realize, and also I keep forgetting to keep a notebook on me at all times. As a desperation maneuver I generated a square from [community profile] allbingo's legendary bingo square generator to try and force the issue using the old "double line" refinement procedure. It's worked for me before, but now I'm trying for original fiction (at least some of it), so the additional narrowing parameter of "what fandom is this right for" won't be on my side.

The square:

Read more... )

My ideas:

Read more... )

There are a lot of ideas locked in this card and I'm so glad I generated it. I don't know if I'll manage a strict double row for a bingo, but the goal is to write, and for that I hope it will suffice. Just have to jump the next hurdle, which is the threat of the blank page staring at you from the computer screen. But that's a perennial problem and not going to go away any time soon. I failed to write first thing in the morning today so I don't know if I'll manage any new words, but otherwise I feel like this is shaping up to be a pretty productive writing day. And the morning's not gone yet.

Life, in short

Tuesday, 26 July 2016 11:52
lea_hazel: Neuron cell (Science: Brains)
Last week: first half of the week (and the second half of the previous) was dominated by the exam I had to take for the OU, fortunately my only one of the season (since I tanked badly on linear algebra). I didn't study quite well enough, but the exam went decently and I came out of it after an hour and a half feeling okay. And was able to put the matter out of mind and spend the evening and the following day decompressing in the extreme.

Then I went back to work and readjusted to routine, after a week of feeling weirdly detached from my own life and the schedule I built for myself. This is still a work in progress, I suppose. On Thursday they held a kind of team event which took us out of the office. I enjoyed it, but it was hot and I came home exhausted. On Friday my sister pointed out that I had been sunburned, a little bit, around the collar and on the back of my neck. Dedicated nerd, vampire jokes etc. etc. My doctor also says that my vitamin D is critically low again.

This week: work. On Sunday night I went to see the new Ghostbusters with my brother and found it delightful. Laughed out loud more than once, a rarity for me with comedies. Today is my first dedicated writing day in a while and I'm finding it hard to get back in the rhythm. Probably because sometime in the last week or so I sank back into The Sims 2 of all things, and last night I stayed up much later than I had intended.

I actually realized several times that I forgot to cross-post my review of Martha Wells' dragon shapeshifter books, but I kept forgetting to do something about it. I'm posting it now, back-dated. And I need to think on what my next blog post should be. I mean, I could review Ghostbusters, but I really don't have anything intelligent to say that hasn't been said a billion times already.

I made some writing-related business decisions re: Patreon and itch.io, but since I haven't properly implemented anything, it's soon to concern with that. I am making inroads with Ren'py, though, I can say that much. And with the script of my in-progress game taking on a distinct shape, I think I could make a decent visual novel out of it, if I can find the right assets. And then I would have something to put on my itch.io, and to link to when I say grandiose things like "I am a game writer".
lea_hazel: The Little Mermaid (Genre: Fantasy)
The Cloud Roads is the first installment of Martha Wells’ Books of the Raksura series, a vivid and imaginative secondary world fantasy populated by a wealth of strange and fascinating creatures. Primary attention is given to the Raksura, a species of reptilian shapeshifters with a curious insectile social structure. This book is driven by worldbuilding, and as such, it must introduce a point-of-view that can ease the reader into the rich vitality of the setting, one piece at a time. Moon’s backstory as it is given is far from original, but as a vagabond traveler orphaned at a young age, he serves the book’s needs perfectly.

A well-rounded review requires revealing to the reader some things that the protagonist himself is initially ignorant of. Moon begins the story as a solitary being, camouflaged among strangers and unable to answer even the simplest questions about what he is or where he came from. The only others of his kind who he knew are long-dead. He does know a few things about himself, some of which he reveals to the readers, and others which he holds back. But the first turn of the plot is stated in the very beginning of chapter one, before doubling back to expose the transition in full.

Read more... )

Crossposted to hazelgold.net.

(no subject)

Monday, 18 July 2016 18:31
lea_hazel: Don't make me look up from my book (Basic: Reading)
Just read (rather, skimmed the beginning of) a gushing review of The Secret Garden and Heidi, two books that I've grown to loathe since I read them as a child. Read more... )

I'd comment on the actual review, but I'm 100% sure that I'd lose my temper, express myself poorly, end up hating every word I say, and ultimately gravely regret the whole experience. I'm bad at having opinions.

Cell Trouble

Friday, 15 July 2016 12:24
lea_hazel: A frowning white theater mask (Feel: Sad Face :()
My cellphone has been giving me trouble for a couple of weeks now, refusing to charge sometimes or giving me contradictory information about how high the battery charge was. I was getting all set up to order a new battery off Amazon or something. Then I decided to be a little smarter about it and took it to one of the phone stores that has a lab. The guy said that it's the socket thingie in the hpone that needs replacing and gave me an estimate, which even in worst case scenario is still only, like, half the cost of a new phone. Still a bunch more than a battery could cost, though.

Now I'm wondering whether my parents still have that archaeological cellphone that they kept around from when my sister was studying abroad. I do have my SIM card, so that might be convenient. Given that I don't even own a watch.

Feeling a lot less smug about all those opinion pieces lamenting how "dependent" we as a society have become on mobile devices. Not that I can't function without my phone, or anything. It's still terribly inconvenient, though, and there are all these phone numbers and things on my SIM that I just. Don't have saved anywhere else.

Binge-reading

Tuesday, 12 July 2016 09:19
lea_hazel: Don't make me look up from my book (Basic: Reading)
I tore through the first three books of Martha Wells' Raksura series like it was my job. Then I downloaded the sampler for the fourth book on Kobo and read it through. When I hit the fade-out, I decided that it was time to slow down. After all, if I binge too hard, I risk burning out on the series before I've even had a chance to get my excitement to the max.

Meanwhile I'm looking at the other "maybes" I downloaded and trying to decide what to read next. I never did finish Emma, actually. Maybe now is the right time for that. N. K. Jemisin's The Fifth Season starts out brilliantly but it's got a trying narration structure and it's depressing as all fuck. On the other hand, there is literal geology magic. I've been meaning to read Marie Brennan's Midnight Never Come for years now, now might also be the right time for that. Or I could try and pick out something extra-frothy, to let me keep up the reading momentum more easily.

Reading dilemmas.
lea_hazel: The Little Mermaid (Genre: Fantasy)
I’ve been obsessed with mermaids since I first watched Disney’s The Little Mermaid when I was six years old. Reportedly, after the movie I menaced my father with complex natural science questions like ‘what do mermaids eat?’ Fairy tales never really stopped having an appeal for me, even as a teenager when I grew frustrated with their simplistic and formulaic nature. It’s a good thing, too, because studying fairy tales taught me more about writing than almost anything else. To this very day, there are some words that, if I see them on a book cover, will spark an immediate interest: "dragon", for example. Or "mermaid".

Read more... )

Crossposted to hazelgold.net.
lea_hazel: The Little Mermaid (Default)
I am on top of everything, more or less.

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