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Lila Ralston

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July 13th, 2014

More Temeraire feels

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shinydog
Just finished Book 5 (Victory of Eagles). Spoilers behind the cut.

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I have to give a shout out here to the Georgia PINES public library system, which has allowed me to read books 2-5 in spite of the fact that my own library's personal holdings are quite spotty. I just put a hold on Book 6 and should have it soon. PINES lets borrowers get any book from any library in the system free of charge, and return the book either to their own local branch or any other PINES library. Great for vacation reading. (My only quibble is that a lot of audio recordings aren't available for interlibrary loan. Y'all get on that!)

July 11th, 2014

So I just finished the fourth book in Naomi Novik's Temeraire series, which is set during the Napoleonic War, only in a world that contains sentient dragons. This, needless to say, changes things up a bit.

I shan't get into spoilers in this post. Let me just say that, like Guns of the South (in which mysterious strangers give advanced weaponry to the Confederacy in the early years of the Civil War) the changes wrought by the presence of dragons (not only in England and France, but in Africa, Asia and the New World) are neither simple nor entirely predictable. Novik takes history seriously, and she takes the dragons seriously (not all her human characters do. But then, not all her human characters take women seriously, or people of color, or foreigners, or people of other religions or other classes...).

It's obvious Novik's a fan of Patrick O'Brian. Not just because of the setting--there are some notable stylistic and thematic similarities: a tendency for late plot reversals (both positive and negative); exploration of themes of duty, loyalty and liberty; the consequences of being a compassionate person in a world in which there are a lot of people who need saving and whom you're powerless to save.

In short: I love these books, and am loving each one a bit more than I did the previous installment. Oh dear... only four more to go (plus one coming out next year).

But maybe they'll help me through my Dresden Files withdrawal.

May 26th, 2014

What it all boils down to

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shinydog
Men's hurt feelings are more important than women's lost lives.

#yesallwomen

Paging Ursula Vernon!

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shinydog
ursulav, you need to see this video of wild animals running on a hamster wheel--including a frog and a slug.

https://www.sciencenews.org/blog/wild-things/mice-really-do-run-wheels?utm_source=Society+for+Science+Newsletters&utm_campaign=db1c8159e7-Editors_picks_week_of_May_19_20145_23_2014&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_a4c415a67f-db1c8159e7-90391509

April 21st, 2014

I needed some encouragement today after a rough day at work. So I turned to my lovely reviewers.

Here are some of my favorite bits, in no particular order, and not necessarily the Top Ten. (Except the last one, which is and shall remain my absolute favorite.)

1. "That one line stabbed me right in the heart, and then the next stanzas ram a whole set of kitchen cutlery after it." From hujwernoo's review of "Thomas's Song" on fanfiction.net

2. "STOP THIS RIGHT NOW YOU CANNOT WRITE THIS STORY ANYMORE IT SHALL SIMPLY END WITH PUPPIES AND CUPCAKES ALL 'ROUND EVERYONE SHALL BE HAPPY HYDRA SHALL BE DEFEATED

YAAAAAAY HAPPY YAY

(PLEASE WRITE MORE I CAN'T WAIT WHAT'S GONNA HAPPEN OMFG)"

From peppertheband's review of "Silently, Invisibly" on fanfiction.net

3. "Fantastic story, everything about it, especially your Original Character. There are few OCs I've enjoyed in fanfics as much as I've enjoyed Jeannine. Good Show." From dante_alicheery's review of "I'll Fly Away" on AO3.

4. "I have rarely read an original character in fanfiction and come away feeling desperately like I want to see more of her." From Musafreen's review of "Some Slick Continental Dude" on fanfiction.net

5. "Truly a fantastic work. I couldn't put it down and it's now 2 am. I regret nothing." From Galimeril's review of "I'll Fly Away" on fanfiction.net.

6. "Problem? Now I have to read all the other things you've written, and it will slow down my writing..." From AlphaFlyer's review of "Resilience I: A Door That Locks Behind You" on fanfiction.net

7. "Wow. Just, wow. Usually I hate this kind of thing...but I just realised, that's because usually they're not *good*. Bravo." The_Good_Gardener's review of "Thomas's Song" on AO3

8. "I am incoherent with glee." From carolinecrane's review of "Stayin' Alive" on AO3.

9. "So as soon as I saw the title of this one, I flailed wildly, and then I pretty much didn't stop as I read it." From Kaesa's review of "The King's Roads" on AO3.

10. THE BEST REVIEW I EVER GOT FOR ANYTHING:

"There aren't a lot of published books that make me slow down at the end because I don't want them to be over. I managed to stretch Chapter 32 over an hour and a half. Please keep writing this." T.+Nielsen+Hayden's review of "Silently, Invisibly" on AO3.

To all of you, and to everyone else who's ever read my stuff, especially those who hit the "kudos" button or left reviews: THANK YOU!

April 1st, 2014

Stetit puella
Rufa tunica.
Si quis enim tetigit,
Tunica crepuit.
Eia!

Stetit puella
Tamquam rosula:
Facie splenduit
Et os eius floruit
Eia!

Stetit puella
Bi einem bovme
Scripsit amorem
An einem lovbe;
Dar chom Uenus also fram;
Caritatem magnam,
Hohe minne
Bot si er manne.

March 31st, 2014

DEAR FANFIC WRITERS

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shinydog
(and also writers of published fiction whose editors are asleep at the wheel)

"BICEPS" IS BOTH SINGULAR AND PLURAL. THE WORD ENDS IN AN 'S'.

THAT IS ALL.

March 3rd, 2014

I kicked in $20.

Originally posted by kita0610 at South Carolina legislature confiscates budget of college for assigning Alison Bechdel's "Fun Home"
The South Carolina House of Representatives has withdrawn $52,000 from the College of Charleston for including Alison Bechdel's brilliant, celebrated memoir Fun Home in its summer reading program.

...

Representative Garry Smith said that the book "didn't merit scholarly consideration" because it "graphically shows lesbian acts." He led the campaign to withdraw the funds. $52,000 is the cost of the entire summer reading program.

...

To its credit, the college is refusing to allow its reading choices to be affected. College president P. George Benson said, "Any legislative attempt to tie institutional funding to what books are taught, or who teaches them, threatens the credibility and reputation of all South Carolina public universities."

...

I would certainly contribute to a fundraiser to make up the colleges' shortfall, especially if they'd guarantee that the funds would go to a program whose readings consisted entirely of things that Representative Garry Smith didn't like.

Update: In the comments, Tim​stellmach writes, "Money has been put where my mouth is. For reference, the name of the program in question is "The College Reads!", and the college's donation page is at https://giving.cofc.edu/donate.

Above Copied from Boing Boing.

I'm donating 10$. It isn't much but I intend to send it with a pleasant, yet pointed note in the name of said Senator. Perhaps you might consider doing the same? Let me know if you do.

January 3rd, 2014

Congratulations

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shinydog
...to elisem on her gig as Apex Magazine's new poetry editor!

December 22nd, 2013

Yuletide!

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happy
I've been so focused on writing and posting my two stories for Yuletide that I forgot until just a moment ago that someone's writing one for me.

Yay!!
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