Tag Archives: reading

Yuletide Has Arrived

So I made out like a bandit with two gorgeous gift fics, one for the Divergent trilogy and one for Roswell.

Tess, through the years.

Bookmarker's Notes

I have a thing for "hurts so good." This story hurts as it walks through Tess's life and the mental abuse Nasedo gave her, but it's so, so good. And the last line just slams you in the gut. Beautiful.

When the walls come tumbling down, it's not just about people being set free. It's about how others are able to come in, too.

Bookmarker's Notes

This is beautifully layered and nuanced and developed, a character study of Tobias and the city of Chicago after everything that happened. It hurt but in a good way. It was slow, but in a rich way. I forgave canon for this story.

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New Arrivals

This entry is part 4 of 8 in the series December Ramblings

Again, nothing prompted, so I picked my own topic to ramble on. :grins:

  • A Samsung Galaxy 3 Tablet in white - You want to see gleeful, shocked scribbler? This was it. I'm thrilled to my toe-tips. Now, I just need to buy a keyboard that can keep up with me, though I'm getting the hang of Polaris office.
  • The Left Hand of Darkness by Ursula K. LeGuin - I have wanted to get my hands on this book for a long time, particularly because I love M.C.A. Hogarth's The Worth of a Shell, and the two get compared a lot relatively. So I have it now due to the Yuletide bookswap and I'm thrilled to my fingertips.
  • An actual pinch-hit I managed to snag for Yuletide the other day. I don't know what I was thinking, seeing as I still have to do my regular assignment, but I can't seem to keep the grin off my face.
  • The Splintered Gates storyworld - This was a total accident, I promise. It arrived after watching too much The Book of Daniel (love that movie) and everything I could get my hands on about the upcoming Divergent movie, then playing too much mentally with the space-version of Vardin. So I could dump the Vardin and keep the clans that arrived and their physiology and their societal structure and the things already interesting me about it and the new ways to combine characters, some old, mostly new, and yeah. This is scary. I have other work to finish first, you know?

What's new with you?

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The First Person

This entry is part 2 of 8 in the series December Ramblings

Because naturally, the first person in importance and existence is oneself.

So, prompted by in_the_blue: my thoughts on the first person point of view in fiction.

I have an odd relationship with these sorts of things. Fiction is fiction. It's all a device. It's all a way to convey a story and lock you, the reader, into the moment. Which is a fancy way of saying that I have no opinion on the point of view as a point of view and I often wonder why so many people get up in arms over this.

Divergent by Veronica Roth is in first person. We are told "I" and "we," etc., and that's the narrator/main character, Tris. But once the story gets going, as a reader, I am swept along and forget the point of view, the verb tense, and so forth because I'm lost in the story. When I read a third person point of view story, such as Emma by Jane Austen, the same thing happens. I forget how it's written and get caught up in what is going on. I forget half the words, except as they let me speed faster through the panorama in my mind. If I notice the framing for too long before getting sucked in, then there's a good chance you're doing it wrong. Equally half of my favorite books ever are in first person and the other half mostly in third. The book of poetry, naturally, doesn't count either way. :grins:

There is one thing that I'll admit is difficult to pull off as gracefully in first person—names. You're stuck with self-referential names and thus, Andrew and Natalie, the names of Tris's parents in Divergent, are only mentioned once each. I had to ransack the book to find them for fanficcing. Other than that, they are rightly referred to as Mom and Dad.

So there you have it, the bulk of my opinion on the first person. Though if you think about it, "the first shall be last..." and all that jazz.

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Scribbling Away in a Better Frame of Mind, October 23

This entry is part 22 of 103 in the series Daily Scribble Reports

Before writing, I did a survey of the usual suspects: The Passive Voice, Dean Wesley Smith, Starwalker by Melanie Edmonds (still amazing fiction), and Strange Horizons' Wednesday review and the short story for this week—which was... tough, but good.

Started off with the crossover. I'm feeling a little better late morning (we will not discuss the early morning), so I'm going to dive into a couple stories I put on hold to percolate.

So I got one ficlet out and got a start on the other. Nothing big yet though. Then while waiting for naproxen to kick in, I made the "mistake" of reading City of Glass again. It's surprisingly good and tempting to try to do it for Nano again. Ah, well. We'll see.

Back working on the collaboration piece and just couldn't get far with this being such a huge chore night. Frustrating to get a good start and not have time to continue, but that's life.


  • Fiction: 1354 words - Month to Date: 28,870 words
  • Blog: 234 words - Month to Date: 8,803 words
  • Nonfiction: 0 words - Month to Date: 314 words

365 Challenge

I'm counting the various parts of the AU round robin thecatisacritic started. It just makes sense.

  • 235/365 – Kingdoms and Thorn/Fracture and Recall Crossover: Cleaning – 440 words
  • 236/365 – Kingdoms and Thorn Ficlet: Shattered by Night – 772 words


  • Butterfly Division: Amnes – 142 words; Total: 359 words
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Allegiant's Out

And let's face it: usually I don't mind spoilers. After Insurgent, I did want to see what I was getting into. I'm glad I did. I'm going to wait until lithiumlaughter or in_the_blue share what they thought, because I have a real problem with logic issues (read: HUGE problem) and I'm on the fence with whether I'll take the finale very well.

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Reading vs. Writing: Wait, I thought you guys were friends!

Yeah... not always. And this is the perfect summation and what to do about it, from Kristine Rusch:

Back when I was training myself to sit down and finish something, I learned the hard way that my greatest distraction was not other people or my computer or games or the phone or the television. My greatest distraction was other novels.

If I started reading a novel at lunch, I would finish at dinner. And then I’d deem it too late to write. So I had to make reading my carrot. I didn’t allow myself to read until I was done writing.

I’ve mentioned that a lot before, because the stupid compulsion remains. I cannot read fiction before I’m done writing my own fiction or I won’t get anything done.

But there was another component to my writing back then, one I dropped as the deadlines, publication dates, and payments took over. I wouldn’t let myself read anything if I hadn’t written that day.

In other words, reading was my reward. If I finished 3,000 words, I could read a book. If I didn’t, I couldn’t read until I did.

Carrot, meet stick. Stick, meet carrot. I had forgotten you guys.

- See more at: http://kriswrites.com/2013/10/16/the-business-rusch-carrots-and-sticks/#sthash.FuKcyUvN.dpuf

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On Christian Introverts by J. S. Park

So I was perusing valuable links and ran across this gem of a post called "14 Ways to Handle a Christian Introvert." Note: I am a Christian and an introvert. I rolled with laughter. This is me. You read my mind.

An excerpt:

2) We just don’t sing like the front row.

It’s great that extroverts can freely express themselves during worship time.  But introverts sometimes just read the lyrics, connect inwardly, and keep their hands inside the vehicle.  If you see us raising even one hand and singing a few words, we are seriously pushing the gas pedal all the way to the floor.

3) Do not ever rebuke us in public.

Or you and I are done.  Forever. You should never do this anyway.

7) We get super-tired around a lot of people.

My limit is about four hours, and then I actually get a headache from just hanging around human beings.  My Sabbath rest is leave-me-alone-time with my non-judgmental dog.  Give us that time without trying to counsel us about it.

8) Don’t be offended if we don’t reply right away.

Sometimes when we see a Facebook invite to that next big church event, we just let it sit there and think about it periodically throughout the week and then come back to it before committing.  We do the same thing with text messages, emails, phone calls, and you showing up at the door.

10) Please do NOT bring a lot of attention to us.

Not in the church bulletin, not the church site, not for my birthdays, not for that nice thing I did for the homeless — just please, no spotlight.

11) Sometimes we’re just moody.  It’s not depression or a “spiritual attack” or “unconfessed sin.”

One word: space.  Lots of it.

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Reading and Writing, October 11

This entry is part 10 of 103 in the series Daily Scribble Reports

So this morning was one of those mornings where feeling weird and what-have-you, I skipped straight past anything I ought to do and went and read Beneath Ceaseless Skies on my morning work break. It's a double issue. Then I dug through my email and dug up Laurie's story instead of waiting until I was at home this weekend where I already have it saved.

When I feel weird, I read. That's me. When I hurt, I fanfic or write an angsty poem. Otherwise, I write. I wonder what that says about how often I feel weird.

So I finished Laurie's story. Awesomeness. Then I finished editing all 13,574 words of story from inferno goodness—which I only say because it's done. Unfinished stories are not good. They taunt and tease and bother me. This is the first novelette I've written ever. Now, of course, I want to typeset it and publish it, which requires getting a Rachelle-worthy cover which makes me need to buy a stock photo I don't have, which would imply the need for a Kickstarter-type campaign, but this is micro-funding on a micro, micro, micro scale, so…


Maybe I ought to write. Hm. Nope, first I read through the ficlets from thecatisacritic. I'm glad too. I'm still not all that settled down for writing.

Talking with the beta yesterday about maybe doing Nano, which would mean picking a story for it. I'm all over the map on what I'd want to do: Collateral Damage, the Seven Days book, or something in Vardin, or seriously, Lovemark the Seasons. So yeah, on the fence there.

I edited and finalized a story. I'll write more this weekend. Bad me, but it's Friday, so no after-work scribble-time was available anyway.


  • Total Fiction: 0 words - Month to Date: 13,881 words
  • Total Blog: 291 words - Month to Date: 5,495 words

Finalized Pieces

  • "Dowse and Bleed," Kingdoms and Thorn, 13,574 words
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Reading and Writing, October 7

This entry is part 7 of 103 in the series Daily Scribble Reports

So I had a late night last night that terminated with the end of my deep virus scan at 3 o'clock this morning. To say I'm feeling only minimally inspired is putting it mildly. On one hand, I think the story from inferno, also known as "Dowse and Bleed" is finally done. I sent it back off to my beta late, late last night and she graciously consented to give it another gander. Thank you, Lord, for an awesome beta.

On Betas

And on that, in_the_blue is a contributing author to two anthologies, including Dragonthology. You can check out her website as Gwynne Jackson on Wordpress.

I have been fascinated in a probably-too-involved sort of way at Elle Casey's blog post about action in story and… betas. She considers being a stranger to be a requirement because friends hold back. It's human nature. I consider being a stranger to be a great way for me not to know your reading style and my beta (love you!) does not hold back on me and I don't hold back on her, and that MATTERS.

I'm not afraid of getting hurt by my editor. I'm a writer; my fears are significantly more predictable: that my story sucks, that it doesn't make sense, that I'll never finish something worthwhile, etc., etc. I'd rather my beta tell me nicely to go back to the drawing board than have a reader tell me I should have quit while I was ahead. But let's face it: it's the real world. I'm gonna get a healthy dose of both.

And on that, thank you also lithiumlaughter for being the queen of all things poetry and for all your help as a new-to-my-fiction reader of the anthology. Between the two of my betas, I think I might be able to salvage what I'd hoped for from that mess. (I say 'mess' with all due affection).

In case you hadn't noticed, I get rather rambly when I'm tired, and I'm tired, so this is rambly, but I felt it strong enough to want it off my chest before trying to pull together anything fictive. I don't thank my betas half enough and I still haven't finished that Niko + Collie fanfic, though it keeps accusing me when I flip through it in my WIP file. It's just there's this little original fiction addiction I seem to be going through right now… Right. Yeah. I'm a mess at staying disciplined with these things.

On Reading

So brief reviews of what I've been reading lately.

The Transfer

"The Transfer" is a short story by Veronica Roth about Tobias Eaton transferring from his birth faction, Abnegation, to the one that would hurt his father the most, Dauntless, where he earned a new name on his first day. We see his father/son relationship and I don't care how old this sort of material is, I was already invested in the character and the sculpture and the details and the characterization made this one hit me hard. We see the terrible ambivalence Tobias has toward his world, unable to find where he fits because there is only one thing he knows and it's the most terrible part of all. We see Tori and Amar and the fearscape. In short, I loved this and intend on picking up the next three shorts as soon as they're released.

With Fate Conspire

I recently reread With Fate Conspire by Marie Brennan. It's the fourth and final book of the Onyx Court series, historical fiction deeply interwoven with a fictional faery London that is terrible, realistic, and wonderfully fascinating all at once. I own this book because I made the winning Livejournal icon for it for the author and so got an advanced review copy: white cover, specs on the outside, and all. If anyone was wondering, I want the entire series in their proper covers. I nominated this book for Yuletide, even though it was a brand new fandom on AO3. That is my intro to say how much I love this book. Now, to the details.

There are really three stories going on here. Though the third one doesn't take prominence until the end, the echoes of it are felt throughout. Echoes? What am I saying? The earthquakes of it are rending the fabric of the world around our two protagonists, whose primary foci are quite personal. London is shot through with iron and the underground trains are being run right through the Onyx Hall. Faery London is in its death throes and while fighting desperately to hold on, see little or no way to save the Hall or their presence in London.

In the middle of this, Eliza is an Irish woman who as a girl befriended a skriker, a faery creature, then was betrayed when he stole away her friend and love, Owen. She is on a hunt through London to find the faeries that are bombing the railroads and make them give Owen back. The other protagonist is the skriker she once befriended who is caught up in his own desperate fight for survival, bound to a cruel master who breaks people for the sake of breaking them, and who may hold the only key to saving the Hall.

I love deep worldbuilding, sprawling stories, juxtaposed timelines, technical details. If you don't, this book isn't for you. If you do, this book delivers. I keep reading it and rereading it because it's the fascinating interplay of faery and human, Irish and Fenians, the church and the Special Police, science and magic, survival and sacrifice, the personal and the epic. I love this book.

Spots the Space Marine

Another book I just reread—again. Written by M.C.A. Hogarth, it's one of those awesome serials that was snippeted and scened (in chronological order) all the way through a sprawling epic with an intimate, personal look at an ensemble cast. Warning: this book is not served well by the ebook format. I could. not. read it until I got a print copy through the Kickstarter project. After I got the hefty book in my hot little hands (yes, it gets heavy), I fell wholely in love.

You have Spots, properly Magda Guitart, who just got shipped in from a part-time desk job in the Marine reserves joining a squad that's still reeling from the loss of many of their people. Then, there's Claws who takes her under wing and in turn comes under her wing as they make acquaintances and then friends with the resident alien "Fiddler," Samuel-Colt, a weapons-engineer, music-expressive bug with a huge sense of humor. Turns out, this depot off in the middle of the nowhere is in a hotbed of a crab warzone and their relationship with the Fiddler is their only way to survive as the battles get hotter and more devastating.

And Spots dances. In body armor. With a singing, cutting-edged shield. I cannot begin to do this book enough justice. Read it.


If I were a good girl, I'd tell you more about thecatisacritic's work right now, but I'll save that for when I have more energy to do it justice. So my comments were less than awesome, but they exist. And I love the new story.

In related news, ran across a wonderful resource dealing with the legal status of fandom and self-regulation within the community. I am a firm believer in fandom (duh) and treat my original fiction as a canon with some self-generated fanfic and a community approach.

Wasn't I supposed to be writing…?

Yeah. That. :coughs: Okay, pick a prompt I guess and fire away. Let's just run with the theme of chairs and laps and hugs for a bit, okay?

Paused to yak comfortably to thecatisacritic over her ficlets and mine. And Shift.

I might go to bed when I get home, which would mean no more scribbling.


  • Total Fiction: 799 words - Month to Date: 10,403 words
  • Total Blog: 1314 words - Month to Date: 3439 words

365 Challenge

  • 202/365 – Kingdoms and Thorn Ficlet: Little Girl Reminders – 542 words
  • 203/365 – Seven Days Ficlet: The Joys of Motherhood – 257 words
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A Day in the Life of the Scribbler, October 3

This entry is part 3 of 103 in the series Daily Scribble Reports

Per usual, will update throughout the day...

Stage One: Assess

So I cleared out my LJ inbox of nonreaderly things on the first page and noted to self to read through the first page sometime today—AFTER writing.

Stage Two: Work

Picking a random prompt—Ilsa in the city—and writing for five minutes. So make that ten minutes. I finally used up the title that's been bothering my muse for two months now, and I like what I got.

Taking another random prompt—kisses as distraction—and running with it. I hope the prompter forgives me, but really, this is how Justus thinks. Now anyway. So that took less than eight minutes and netted me another scene of a Unit in action. I need more with Justus' unit as somebody :cough: :cough: thecatisacritic :cough: ordered some fics with them.

Same prompt, different characters: a couple because that's easier. Red Wolf/Whisper. Wow. That went quickly and yanked on a few threads I didn't expect to deal with.

And one more random prompt—not without you—with random couple chosen: Ilsa/Hasheni. Let's see what happens. About ten minutes and wow, is this stuff NOT fluff.

Okay, reading and reviewing those ficlets. That took a little while...

Grabbing random prompt and scribbling: Justus' family + Shift, Rachelle. Oh boy, don't I pick the easy ones. Ouch.

So more back and forth with thecatisacritic (what can I say? she's the one prompting) and added the new prompt comments to my ficlet post.

365 Challenge

Day 276. I'm at 192/365. Better... Ish.

Stage Three: Count


  • Total Fiction: 2011 words - Month to Date: 3838 words
  • Total Blog: 249 words - Month to Date: 968 words

365 Challenge Pieces

  • 188/365 – Kingdoms and Thorn Ficlet: Linger – 310 words
  • 189/365: Kingdoms and Thorn Ficlet: The Unsuspecting Suspect – 221 words
  • 190/365 – Kingdoms and Thorn Ficlet: Taste of Regret – 460 words
  • 191/365 – Kingdoms and Thorn Ficlet: Catalyst – 362 words
  • 192/365 – Kingdoms and Thorn Ficlet: What the Emptiness Fills – 658 words



  • Rose is Rose comic
  • Luann comic
  • thecatisacritic fic/lets


  • The Passive Voice blog
  • Dean Wesley Smith blog
  • Kris Writes blog
  • Juliette Wade worldbuilding blog
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