Life Update

May. 24th, 2017 12:54 pm
lea_hazel: Arthritis: It does the body bad (Health: Arthritis)
[personal profile] lea_hazel
I feel like yesterday was somehow several days rolled into one, and in general this week so far feels like there has been a lot of it. So I am doing very little of today. I will go out grocery shopping at some point because I don't even have cornflakes and milk. I have some emails and messages I intend to respond to. I am working hard on tamping down the anxious instinct to mentally recite all the things I "should" be doing Arya Stark style. I am reading a review of Daughter of Mystery, which I've been meaning to read since the dawn of time, give or take (actually September or thereabouts).

I wrote yesterday and I wrote on Sunday, and I have a plan for how to go on, so on the whole I's say that I'm capital-O Okay.

Which is all I can really ask for.

ffs

May. 24th, 2017 11:28 am
goodbyebird: Sarah Connor Chronicles: Sarah looking serious. (SCC Sarah no fate)
[personal profile] goodbyebird
I'll be home tonight and the only thing showing at the local cinema for days and days and days is Johnny Depp's ugly face. UGH

Daily Happiness

May. 24th, 2017 02:09 am
torachan: close-up of a sleepy kitten face (sleepy molly)
[personal profile] torachan
1. We had strawberries with whipped cream after dinner tonight and they were so good! The first really tasty berries of the season, I think.

2. I got another chapter of manga finished up tonight. I have several chapters out for typesetting, so hopefully one of those will be ready to post soon.

3. Last night and tonight I got in a lot of cuddling with Molly. She often comes up on my desk for pettings, but sometimes finds it hard to calm down and just get petted, but both nights she lay down on my desk and I was able to cuddle her as I petted and gave her lots of tummy scritchings too.

umadoshi: (mermaid (roxicons))
[personal profile] umadoshi
What with it being (#)Mermay, I keep thinking "maybe I'll post a standalone chunk of my mermaid (currently-)fic under lock" and then feeling anxious about it. These days I'm so tangled up about writing and the lack thereof that I'm not even sure where, exactly, the anxiety is rooted. Maybe in the fact that it'd mean actually opening a writing file for the first time (;_;) in a few months?

Or maybe I feel uneasy because the story is in such a weird place: it's an AU WIP that's so AU that I've basically decided that I'm going to take the serial numbers off and let it breathe as its own thing...except that'll mean rewriting absolutely everything I've already gotten down. So "sharing a chunk" would mean "sharing words that I already expect will never see the light of day even as part of a complete draft". (But I love those words.) (But it's a weird thing to post.) (But I've already shared swaths of it with [dreamwidth.org profile] ushobwri on workshop days, if not for quite a while, so what's the big deal, self?)

Community promotions! [dreamwidth.org profile] china_shop just created [dreamwidth.org profile] nanodownunder, which will run in June and offer daily check-in posts. I've signed up in another attempt at getting an external kick in the pants; I haven't made it anywhere near as far as trying to figure out what I might attempt to work on.

Anyway, [dreamwidth.org profile] china_shop is lovely, and it sounds fun. Do come join!

Also, prompt claims are now open at [dreamwidth.org profile] smallfandomfest! (Complete spreadsheet of prompts here.) The prompt list accrues new prompts with each round, rather than discarding the list of unfilled prompts and starting over, which means it's fairly long. ^_^ And there's a new Newsflesh prompt. Made by someone I don't know. (My fandom is small enough that wholly unfamiliar names literally always startle me for a second.)

And it's a smutty prompt for my ship, so clearly I should try to write something for it, because a) how often does that happen? and b) it's a prompt that meshes perfectly with my headcanon.

Tomorrow we're signing some Very Grown Up (and uninteresting, alas) money-related paperwork, which always feels intimidating. One nice thing is that our lawyer friend (formerly of Casual Job, who passed the bar just last year) is doing the necessary lawyerly things; if we must spend money on getting paperwork extensively handled, I'm glad (some of) it's going to a friend.

I'm waiting on such dull things, guys. For one, an email notifying me that my ancient email account that I never use but don't want to let go of has been renewed for another year (it's with the local freenet, and they require you to say "please renew my account for another year" annually, which is kind of annoying, and I did it a bit late. And I really wish the damn "okay, that's done!" reply would turn up so I can forget about it for another year.

For another, when I was out erranding with my mom last Thursday, we stopped by a library branch I don't usually go to, and since she was going in and I otherwise didn't need to, she dropped a book of mine that was due that day into the returns bin. Great! Except my online account still thinks it's checked out (and thus overdue). I've been logging in once or twice a day to see if it's been checked in, and tonight (after business hours) I finally tweeted to the library system's account to ask "um, when should I start worrying?"

These are small, boring things, and since I'm not wired to put stuff like that out of my mind, I can't stop thinking about them. >.< I've hit the point of actively resenting the amount of mental real estate they're taking up between them.

Misc. linkspam

May. 23rd, 2017 11:05 pm
umadoshi: (Newsflesh - First Lady (kasmir))
[personal profile] umadoshi
"How Pink Heels Became Harper Watters' Signature". [Dance Magazine] "When Houston Ballet demi-soloist Harper Watters first posted a short video of himself in bubblegum pink heels, he went to sleep with 4,000 Instagram followers. He awoke to more than double that, and 500-plus comments. Now at nearly 65,000 followers, Watters knows he (and his partner in crime, fellow Houston Ballet dancer Rhys Kosakowski) struck a fun chord with a new audience."

"Drag Queen Story Hour Puts the Rainbow in Reading".

Via [dreamwidth.org profile] deifire, "George A. Romero Is Planning a NASCAR Zombie Movie".

"If You're Under 16, You Won't Believe What The Internet Used To Be Like". [Buzzfeed, in case the title didn't give it away]

"'A Kingdom On Wheels': The Hidden World That Made The Circus Happen".

"Nevertheless, He Persisted: Tales of Masculine Perseverance". [McSweeney's]

"13 Real AF Situations Every Anxious Person Has Experienced". [Buzzfeed]

"The need for urgent collective action to keep people safe online: Lessons from last week’s cyberattack".

"Exclusive: Could the legend come true? Tower of London raven allowed to fly free".

"On the radar: receipts". [OxfordWords Blog] "How and when did ‘receipts’ come to mean ‘proof’?"

"Surreal Pencil Drawings Look Like How Repressing Your Emotions Feels". (Really neat; also frequently disturbing.)

"Exploring Yugoslavia’s Mysterious Abandoned Brutalist Monuments: Serbian photographer Jovana Mladenovic photographs forgotten post-World War II sculptures".

"Dear Media: Please Stop Simply Saying the Rape Charges Against Julian Assange Were “Dropped”". [The Mary Sue]

"Why you should never ever feed bread to a duck".

"Coming Up Aces: What does asexual mean?" [Queership]

At Baking Bites: "A Visit to The Museum of Ice Cream, Los Angeles".

"Presenting…The Freelance Writer’s Rebuttal Guide!" [Matt Wallace]

"A Brief History of 'Squee': The word has its fans". [Merriam-Webster]

"The Hot New Millennial Housing Trend Is a Repeat of the Middle Ages: Communal living is hardly a departure from tradition—it's a return to how humans have been making their homes for thousands of years".

Icon Retrospective

May. 23rd, 2017 09:29 pm
goodbyebird: Buffy Summers looks down a road outside of Sunnydale. (BtVS the road goes ever on)
[personal profile] goodbyebird
Since I recently did my 100th icon post, I just wanted to give myself a bit of a bird's eye view of how my process has evolved over the years. So picking one icon per post and gathering them all here, in chronological order.

Bit more that 100, as I started out posting to my personal journal back in the day. )

Well. My eyes are bleeding. I remember some of these so fondly, like I acutely remember nailing it. Icons still really function as touchstones for me in fandom though. Tiny memory puzzle-bits =)
havocthecat: faith lehane is totally setting a bad example (btvs faith bad example)
[personal profile] havocthecat
1. These days, I have bad days, and I have worse days. (I also have some good days. Somewhat less for now. This is not my norm, but there you go.) No, I don't really want to talk about it. Right now, anyway. I'm sure I will eventually. Personal problems abound, and I love all of you for being here for me in spite of those.

1A. Thanks to all of you who are patient with my off days when I get a little snappish. Those are less under my control than I would like. Serenity is hard to come by. (Please make all the Firefly tv series jokes you can. :)

2. I have a Tumblr. I have auto-crossposting of public posts set up for the people who have taken off to Tumblr and don't check Dreamwidth anymore, but who want to keep up on my life. I do not log onto Tumblr. Ever. This is not going to change. I don't have the time to be on multiple sites, the mental energy to deal with Tumblr, or the emotional energy to put up with Tumblr's toxic folks.

2A. Yes, I am aware you can curate your Tumblr experience with xkit or Tumblr Savior or whatever the latest trendy scripting extension is, but I don't have time.

3. I do the same with auto-crossposting public posts to Facebook, but I do log onto Facebook occasionally because my LARP runs on Facebook.

4. If you're reading on another site and you want the access-locked posts, you will have to make a Dreamwidth account. That's more personal content and less fandom and nerd content. Well. A little more nerd venting too, I guess.

5. I have many other social networking logins, but mostly don't participate, because I am a lazy social networking slacker.

6. Work is busy and only getting busier. Same with offline obligations. I do my best to reply to comments, but you can also get in touch with me via email to havocthecat@gmail or a Dreamwidth private message.

The Last Line Meme

May. 23rd, 2017 12:29 pm
calliopes_pen: (54 IJ Edith candles corridors)
[personal profile] calliopes_pen
Because I think we all need some mindless stuff at the moment, have a meme that I took from [personal profile] musesfool.

Cite the final line of five of your fics – your favorites, or the most recent ones.

1. There was still happiness yet to come...for both the living, as well as for the undead. Wrap The Cloak Of Night Around His Shoulders. Dracula (1968), following the wedding between Seward and Mina.

2. With this bittersweet chapter concluded, they would see to the rest of their lives. Let The Shadows Become Your Shroud. Crimson Peak (2015). That’s basically Alan and Edith limping off to see to their wounds, mourn Thomas, and just live, in the aftermath of a massive exorcism of a ghost from reality itself.

3. There was solace in the shadows, for both young and old vampires alike. Give Your Soul To The Night. Fright Night (1985). Jerry is revelling in winning as quietly as he can, while settling down for a nap, surrounded by turned teenagers, in his coffin in the basement.

4. Only the dead remained. Blood Begets A Curse Anew. Legend (1985). It probably is as grim as it sounds, as Darkness basically teleported a changed Lili (help me; I keep writing Lucy) out of the dining hall, after teleporting the goblins away to somewhere presumably unpleasant. Oh, and should anyone be curious about this story, do beware of a bit of animal sacrifice at the beginning, and references to torture in the middle.

5. And we gladly feast on those that would subdue us. Because We’re Addamses. Wednesday Addams is thinking, and thereby reiterating a statement made in the first Addams Family film.

(US) Political linkspam (10 links)

May. 23rd, 2017 01:11 pm
umadoshi: (Newsflesh - not a pessimist (kasmir))
[personal profile] umadoshi
I haven't sorted these, but here's a smattering of what I think are the best of the US-politics links I've read via Twitter/RTed from [twitter.com profile] ysabet_m. 10 links )
musesfool: (shakespeare got to get paid son)
[personal profile] musesfool
Writing is dumb and I don't recommend it.

In other news, I woke up at 5:15 this morning to pee and didn't fall back asleep until after 6:50 am, partly because I have a bug bite on my ankle (first of the season *sigh*) and even with cortisone lotion and allergy meds, it didn't stop itching. That is just wrong. My alarm goes off at 7:20 (it allows me to hit snooze three times and still be in by 9). I was not happy.

So instead of anything interesting, here's a meme [personal profile] snacky tagged me to do over on tumblr and as always tumblr is useless for finding things later, so I'm posting it here in case I ever want to see it again:

Cite the final line of five of your fics – your favorites, or the most recent ones.

I'm doing recent, because it's easier than choosing favorites:

1. "Forget about Vader for a few minutes, Luke," she says after another great victory that's come with its own desperate costs. "Let me tell you about our mother, instead." (Mother Is the Name for God, Star Wars, Leia & Padme)

2. It's as good a way as any to start a day. (Stuck in the Middle with You, Star Wars, Ahsoka, Anakin, Obi-Wan, platonic bed-sharing)

3. The Force chimes with a clarity and closeness Anakin hasn't felt in a long time when he sits down beside Obi-Wan, takes a deep breath, and opens his mouth to finally tell him the truth. (and gravity, scientists say, is weak, Star Wars, Anakin & Obi-Wan, Obi-Wan/Satine)

4. Ben went, and he and the galaxy both exhaled in relief. (Everything That Rises Must Converge, Star Wars, Skywalker Family Reunion Time)

5. Rey grinned, warmed by their confidence, and prepared the Falcon for takeoff. (if you find yourself lost, dig, Star Wars, Rey & Leia)

I think I'm better at last lines than I am at first lines, but sometimes I like to wrap things up too neatly, so they land with a thud instead of whatever smart and satisfying sound they should land with. I dunno, what do you think?

***
calliopes_pen: (fab_jupiter Never Forget Tara)
[personal profile] calliopes_pen
This is not in order of importance, but in order of how recently I heard of it.

1. Sir Roger Moore has passed away at the age of 89, following a “short but brave battle with cancer.” He will be best known for his role as James Bond, over the course of seven films. Sherlock Holmes fans may also remember that he was Holmes in the film Sherlock Holmes In New York (1976).

2. My condolences must also go out to Zack Snyder, his wife, and the rest of his family in the wake of a family tragedy. Snyder will be stepping down as the director of Justice League as he mourns the loss of his daughter, and requested that Joss Whedon direct additional material for him.

3. And lastly, but certainly not least: as the numbers confirmed to be both dead and injured continue to rise, my thoughts are with the families affected by the suicide bombing at Manchester yesterday. It just didn’t feel right to post condolences and not mention this one as well. Here’s James Corden’s message to Manchester.

(no subject)

May. 23rd, 2017 08:41 am
the_rck: (Default)
[personal profile] the_rck
I woke with a headache this morning. It actually started before Scott's alarm. Food and caffeine helped a little. The next step is medication and, if I can manage it, a nap.

Scott worked late last night. He said that money will cover the new power supply for my laptop. Cordelia had her last training for volunteering at the science center camps. Apparently the adults doing the training pretended to be campers so that the trainees could practice. Cordelia said, "I guess they couldn't afford real children."

Mostly, I spent a lot of time yesterday watching Murder She Wrote episodes so that I could return that DVD set to the library. I also cat waxed more than a little. I intended to try to nap, but every time I felt like maybe I could, I looked at the clock and realized that I actually couldn't. Hopefully, today, I'll manage to lie down by 9:00 or 9:30.

I have a load of laundry in the dryer right now, and it's trash day. Apart from that, I don't have anything that absolutely has to be dealt with. Maybe I'll empty the wastebaskets before I nap. That will only take about five minutes as there are four wastebaskets, none of them heavy or hard to get to.

With a little luck, I'll manage to write later today. I'm still searching for a first sentence for my NPT story. Maybe I should pick a POV character first?

Daily Happiness

May. 23rd, 2017 01:31 am
torachan: (Default)
[personal profile] torachan
1. I got my hair cut today! Haven't got it cut since early February, so it was getting really shaggy and annoying, but as usual I was dragging my feet about actually doing it. I'm so glad to finally get it done, though!

2. I had a pretty relaxing day off. Did some housework and translation and just chilled out.

3. I also played a little bit of Zelda, though not much. I decided I want to concentrate on farming stuff to upgrade my armor, so I wasn't doing anything super exciting. I haven't really been using the camera function much, but I figured it would be helpful to set a tracker for whatever I'm trying to farm at the moment, so I did get it out and take pictures of a few things. I needed like forty electric Lizalfos tails, lol. Thankfully those guys are all over the place in the desert so I'm down to just needing like ten more. I also got one more shrine quest done in the desert while I was there, and accidentally stumbled across another shrine, too. Just twelve shrines left to go!

4. Carla took a picture of me with Jasper. :)

(no subject)

May. 23rd, 2017 10:30 am
lea_hazel: Don't make me look up from my book (Basic: Reading)
[personal profile] lea_hazel
I'm making steady progress in Upside Down again. I set it down for a while, partly because of depression, partly from being very busy and stressed over other things. And partly because I read Alyssa Wong's story and it was absolutely-- beyond description.

I have been desktopping

May. 22nd, 2017 11:41 pm
lyssie: (Jo Grant blows up daleks)
[personal profile] lyssie
Since my new screen is ginormous. I've been using Pixlr, as my ancient photoshop will not work on this computer. Sadness.

Anyway, some of these are better than others, and I am to lazy to do preview images. Lots of reds.

Women of SG: Atlantis
Liz and Teyla, and a bit of Sam (a variation of the above)
Mockingbird (Bobbi Morse) Because those covers were fucking amazing, ok.
Multiple Marvel women Natasha Romanov, Carol Danvers, Bobbi Morse.
Natasha Desktop 1
Natasha Desktop 2 Art by Phil Noto
Natasha Desktop 3 Art by Phil Noto
Kara Thrace and Sam Anders
River Song, the many faces of
umadoshi: (Newsflesh - check this out (kasmir))
[personal profile] umadoshi
--I updated [tumblr.com profile] jinksyandthebrain for the first time in a couple of months. Have some pics [dreamwidth.org profile] seolh took in March. (I especially love the three of Jinksy!bear sprawled on his back on the sofa. The belly is not a trap.)


--I promise not to get in the habit of signal boosting lots of [dreamwidth.org profile] aftertheendtimes posts over here, but [dreamwidth.org profile] cantarina is trying to gauge interest in a fanworks exchange covering all of [livejournal.com profile] seanan_mcguire's worlds.


--[dreamwidth.org profile] scruloose, Ginny, Kas, and I went to Happy Veal for lunch, and we're forced to conclude that while the food ranges from "tasty" to "AMAZING" (hello, green onion pancakes), the service is just always either mediocre or awful, so we're always going to have to calculate if we're up for dealing with that. TL;DR, the food arrived SLOWLY. No, more slowly than that ) And yet I can't swear off the place. The green onion pancakes are so good I could cry.


--Garden: [dreamwidth.org profile] scruloose dug out the rough shape of the flowerbed, and it looks like getting that ready will be trickier than we'd hoped. OTOH, transplanting our six tiny Lemon Boy tomato seedlings into their interim pots was quick and simple. And in between those things, when Kas and Ginny dropped me and [dreamwidth.org profile] scruloose off, they came in to borrow a spade and see the breathtaking new openness of our small back yard. Ginny got a look at Neighbor L's dandelion ripper, and then [dreamwidth.org profile] scruloose brought our shiny new one out...and Ginny proceeded to spend something like half an hour, in her Fluevogs and cute dress, merrily massacring dandelions for the sheer delight of using the thing.

It's remarkably satisfying. [/understatement]

miscellanea (brain-dump)

May. 23rd, 2017 03:52 pm
china_shop: Neal, Peter and Elizabeth smiling (Default)
[personal profile] china_shop
하나. I can't remember who recced Helenish's Die Hard fic, Pre-Existing Condition, but kudos for the rec. It was delicious!

둘. Over the weekend I signed up to asianfanfics.com so I could crosspost my three or four Kdrama fics, but I'm too self-conscious to actually do it, and I don't properly understand their tagging system (that new-fangled x thing instead of slashes?), and I feel like it's full of strangers (which is true of AO3 too, of course, but I'm used to that), and what am I even dooooooooing?

New platforms are hard.

셋. Current Kdramas: Goblin (cont.); Witch's Romance (rewatch); Dal Ja's Spring; and for my solo watch, a confusing mix of The K2, My Girl, and Imaginary Cat, all of which I've started, none of which I've got more than an ep and a half into, all of which I intend to watch more of. I'm usually a "one show at a time until I'm done" solo-watcher, so this is kind of throwing me.

넷. Plus I'm trying to catch up with [personal profile] wc_rewatch, having missed a few episodes. (I'm definitely skipping 3.05, but on the fence about whether to give 3.06 and 3.07 another go now that my attitude to Sara has changed. Given I've already recapped the entirety of season 3 in elaborate detail, 3.08 was more fun to revisit than I expected (CLINTON!), but 3.03 was still blah. I much prefer a Neal who at least has an inkling that he can't have the things he repeatedly says he wants unless he rehabilitates himself and STOPS BETRAYING HIS FRIENDS. :-P)

다섯. I'm still using Windows 7 (adapted to look as much like Windows Classic as possible), and in the wake of the recent ransomware and hacking events, the general tone of the internet is "If you're using Win7, how are you still alive?" Since my kneejerk reaction to the free Win10 upgrade last year was a strong Do Not Want, I'm now considering switching to Ubuntu instead.

(Why is it that learning a whole new thing is less irritating than adapting to a new version of an old, very well-known thing? Actually, I know the answer to that: it's the problem of changing ingrained procedural memories.)

Anyway. I'm making a list of Things I Do On My Computer, but if anyone has any Ubuntu advice or suggestions, please please please. Particular areas of uncertainty: a simple alternative to iTunes that lets me load stuff onto iPods; vidding software recs (something similar to Sony Vegas would be fantastic; hey, if it handles new file formats, I might even get back into vidding)...

...and, yeah, here's why I'm hesitating: because I just looked up FileZilla for Linux and it said, Built for Debian 8.0 (Jessie). It is highly recommended to use the package management system of your distribution or to manually compile FileZilla if you are running a different flavour of Linux. Oh god, I have no idea...

Okay, wikipedia says Ubuntu is Debian-based. *breathes again* But still. Is there an Ubuntu-for-Dummies Dreamwidth comm anywhere?

여섯. I'm going ahead with the [community profile] nanodownunder comm, even if it's just a handful of us. Daily check-ins for June. Locked posts, no frills, very little modding (unless someone else wants to take on the social side of modding duties). Pretty much modelled on [livejournal.com profile] picowrimo, which sadly doesn't seem to be running mid-year this year. Who's in? All welcome. Join the comm -- and feel free to spread the word.

We'll kick off 1 June, NZ time. :-)
meganbmoore: (girl k: training)
[personal profile] meganbmoore
12 Monkeys: How to write a season finale with a brilliant and unexpected twist that adds layers to character and reinforces your ongoing themes and leaves your fandom going “Whhhaaaaaa.....?

spoilers )

Into the Badlands: How to write a season finale with a twist guaranteed to piss off the majority of your fanbase, displays bad and lazy writing, and tosses themes that you get praised for and season long character arcs into the garbage for shock value, leaving your fandom going “WTF HATEHATEHATEHATEHATE.”

spoilers )

Another late Reading Wednesday

May. 22nd, 2017 04:53 pm
brigdh: (Default)
[personal profile] brigdh
What did you just finish?
The Burning of Bridget Cleary by Angela Bourke. In 1895 in rural Ireland, a young woman named Bridget Cleary was burned to death by her husband. She had been sick with bronchitis for the previous week, and her family had apparently become convinced that the "real" Bridget had been stolen away by fairies, leaving a sickly changeling in her wake. In fact, the night before her death, her husband was assisted by her father, her aunt, and various cousins of hers to perform a magical ritual/exorcism that verged on torture. But the question of how much any of them really believed in fairies remains open. Was her murder simply domestic violence that used the legends as a cover-up? Was it an unfortunate accident? Something in-between?

All of this gains resonance from the fact that the story of Bridget's death hit newspapers at the same time as Parliament was debating Irish Home Rule and Oscar Wilde was undergoing trial for homosexuality. The idea of Irish peasants (not that any of the people involved truly qualified as such... ) blindly following fairy legend to the point of murdering a pretty young woman provided ammunition for all sorts of political goals.

This true event makes for an absolutely fabulous story. Unfortunately Bourke is not the person to tell it. She frequently jumps around in time, making it hard to understand the chronological order of events. She positions Michael Kennedy as the protagonist, though God alone knows why – he's one of Bridget's cousins, but wasn't even there on the day she was killed, doesn't give particularly elaborate or compelling testimony in the trial afterward, and has nothing to distinguish him from the rest of the family. She makes the thesis of her book the idea that Bridget was killed out of jealousy, but doesn't even try to show that this jealousy actually existed; she simply treats it as a foregone conclusion. And, I mean, Bridget was better-educated and wealthier than the rest of her family! I am willing to believe this was an important factor in her death! I am totally the choir, and yet Bourke wouldn't preach a single piece of evidence to me.

Ugh, I have such mixed feelings about this book. There's a lot of interesting details in it, from the history of fairy legends to the contemporary Romantic tradition of writing poems and collecting folklore, to the case itself, but it's all so muddled and incompetently done. There's a kernel of good here, but it's coated by a lot of poor writing.


Marriage by Susan Ferrier. Ferrier – at least according the back of the paperback I read – is considered the "Scottish Jane Austen". And based on this book, I have to agree. We've got romance among the lower gentry, country folk coming to the city (in this case Bath), and, most prominent of all, lots of wry observations about other people's foibles. It's not exactly like Austen (among other things, there's a fairly heavy Christian tone to the narrative, though it never gets so moralizing as to ruin the fun for me), but it's close enough that if you like the one, you'll probably like the other.

So, the plot! Juliana is the daughter of an earl and is engaged to a (old, annoying, but rich) Duke. However, she is in love with a handsome soldier boy, Henry, so they elope. Henry is promptly fired from his position and Juliana disinherited by her father for such behavior, so they are forced to go live with Henry's family in rural Scotland. Since they're both shallow, spoiled, dumb young things, this is basically a fate worse than death, especially given Henry's collection of meddling spinster aunts. Juliana may have promised that she was willing to live in a desert to be with Henry, but it turns out that was because she didn't know what a desert is. Eventually Juliana gives birth to twin girls; she and Henry keep one, and the other is given to Henry's childless sister-in-law, a woman who stands out by being the only person with any sense and good-heartedness in the whole book.

All of this takes up the first third or so of the book. Afterwards we have a timeskip of sixteen years, allowing the twins to grow up. Juliana has managed to make it back into society, where she is a center of fashion. She's raised "her" twin, Adelaide, to be charming and to value marrying rich above all else – she doesn't want to see her daughter repeating her own mistake! The other twin, Mary, is well-read, charitable, humble, and has all the generic goody-two-shoes traits you might imagine, though she's a little too genuinely nice for me to ever resent her for this. The plot begins when Mary is sent off to Bath to meet her mother and sister for the first time in her life. People fall in love, marriages are made (not necessarily the same as the ones in love), and a multitude of ridiculous secondary characters march in and out of the narrative. My personal favorite was Doctor Redgill, a man so obsessed with food that he considers the only 'good marriage' to be one that comes with a French cook.

It was a fun book, but I have to complain about the edition I read (which I picked up for free from a box on the street, so I suppose I can't really grumble too much): Oxford University's "World's Classic" edition from 1986. It's stuffed full of footnotes: do you need what "backgammon" is explained to you? how about the phrase "you shouldn't game" (as in gamble)? And of course it is vitally important that a common phrase like 'it's an ill wind that blows no good' should come with a citation for its earliest appearance in print. On the other hand, an entire paragraph in French doesn't need a translation, silly! Doesn't everyone speak French? The editors are absolutely desperate to find allusions to other pieces of literature; I'm sure not every single time a character is described as "pale" it's a quote from Bryon. I literally can't imagine who these footnotes are intended for, and yet someone spent so much time assembling them, coming up with 4-5 per page. It's... funny? sad? irritating? Well, it's certainly memorable.

I enjoyed the book, though I might recommend acquiring a different edition.


Mount TBR update: Jumping up by 2 to hit 17!

What are you currently reading?
The Fair Fight by Anna Freeman. A novel set in late 1700s Bristol about a female boxer. It's so much fun!

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