yuuago: (Frozen - Reindeers are better)
Well, I've set aside my time off to go to Victoria in September. That'll be nice. It'll be great to just be somewhere else for a while. I'm looking forward to doing absolutely nothing. Relatives keep pressuring me to go somewhere that I haven't been before instead, but... honestly, I can't think of anything that would be more stressful right now than to go somewhere new.

I have Friday off, and I'm really looking forward to getting my Rare Slash exchange fic finished. Man, exchanges are fun, but I'm feeling a little bit burnt out. So, I'll just noodle around with my own stuff for a while after this.

Though, now that I think of it, it might be nice to do a fic trade or two. (Or trade fic for art, perhaps.) I like the way me 'n Grey did it once or twice - decide on a fandom + pairing, and then throw each other three short prompts or so, and pick one. Can't remember what our minimums were - 500 words + 2 weeks to write? Not sure. Anyway, it was fun and stress-free, though I wouldn't want to do it very often.

Lately, I've been listening to an audiobook of Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince... This is one of those HP novels that I read only once (unlike the first three), so I'd entirely forgotten the plot. It's kind of fun to experience it for almost-the-first-time. From what little bit I do remember, I recall finding the interaction between Harry and Dumbledore kind of dull, but this time around I'm really appreciating the scenes they have together, sifting through old memories in the pensive. There's just something about those bits, hard to put my finger on precisely what I like about them... It might be, I think, that they both obviously need something from each other, and it's nice to see them actively working together on something.
yuuago: (A Redtail's Dream - Together)
Finished reading: Medicine River by Thomas King. Now that I'm finished it, I think it might end up on my list of comfort novels. It's just such a cozy read throughout - even though there are parts that handle some very serious topics, there's something about the narrative voice that gives the entire book a feeling of warmth. And I like that the structure allows for picking it up and reading at any point you wish; while there's a bit of a continuous narrative in the background, it's a very slice-of-life novel, and every chapter is pretty much self-contained.

Currently reading: Leaf Storm and Other Stories by Gabriel Garcia Marquez. Picked this one up at random; loving it so far. The title-story, "Leaf Storm", is more of a novella - and that isn't a bad thing, because I'm really enjoying it (at this point). It has a nice twisty structure.

Reading next: Whereas by Layli Long Soldier. This poetry collection was on my to-read list for a while; I suppose somebody must have rec'd it. Flipping through now, it looks really interesting - this poet plays a lot with structure and form. A lot of it is the kind of work that doesn't translate to digital very well, unless you make an image of it, perhaps. Anyway, I'm glad that it turns out the library had this one; I'm looking forward to it.

Also reading next: Songs to Kill a Wîhtikow by Neal McLeod. I picked this one up because I found the title so striking. This collection takes inspiration from the monsters known as Wîhtikow*, but the poet also writes about the Wîhtikow in the form of a metaphor for the greed and selfishness inside all people ("the attempt to swallow the light from the sky of the world", as he puts it). Anyway, I haven't looked too deeply into the actual poetry yet, but from what I've seen on a quick flip-through, I think I will love this.

On to-read list: Tecumseh and Brock: The War of 1812 by James Laxer. This was my birthday present. :D I'm really looking forward to this - the War of 1812 is one of those things that I have an interest in, but never really learned as much as I would like on the subject. Haven't flipped through it or anything yet, but hopefully it'll be a good read.
yuuago: (Small Trolls - Veeti - Reading)
☆ I received notice that my glasses came in! Unfortunately, I can't pick them up until Saturday because of work, arrrgh. I want them now...! Just so sick of being all squinty. Not to mention that it's embarrassing to go into a cafe (or, well, anyplace like that) and not be able to read the behind-the-counter menu without help. Eesh. Just... a few... more days... x_x

☆ Did some measuring and realized that the watercolours I received are on sheets with Euro sizing (or, well, international sizing), which makes plenty of sense considering where they came from. Problem is, all of the easily-available frames are US sizing. HMMM. Might need to look for an alternate solution here. Was hoping for something where I could easily switch 'em out of the frame at will, considering I only have space to display one at a time, but... eh. Now that I think of it, maybe I should take 'em to the local frame joint to see what my options are. I've been meaning to go anyway, since it's attached to the art gallery, which apparently exists (I was not aware we had one until recently; it's kind of in a weird part of town).

☆ My birthday is on Monday. I really wish my parents would stop bugging me about it. "But what do you want?! Don't you want to celebrate, don't you want gifts, don't you want to dooo anythiiiing...." Look, not to get all "I have no need for material possessions" here, but - I have no need for more material possessions. I already have everything I could possibly desire. And the last thing that I want to do after work is, well, anything. Just let me have some cake and then leave me in peace!

☆ Quick book rec (can't be bothered to do a proper Reading Wednesday): Medicine River by Thomas King is excellent. It's a slice-of-life story about a photographer living in a small city near a Blackfoot reserve in southern Alberta. It's full of vivid characters, and stylistically, it's really easy to get into. I'm not finished it yet, but I expect I will be soon, because I'm having a lot of difficulty putting it down. Compared to King's other books (at least, of the ones I've read), I think I might place it closest to Green Grass, Running Water, though this one doesn't have any supernatural elements to it. (GGRW is also excellent, please read it if you haven't already, it's REALLY good.)
yuuago: (Germany - Reading)
Last finished: Land of Love and Ruins by Oddný Eir. ...I didn't like it. I'm having a difficult time figuring out WHY I didn't like it. What drew me to it was the format - I flipped through it in the library and found that it was just atypical enough to pique my interest; it's written somewhat as a diary, or internal musings, perhaps. But I found myself struggling to stay interested in it. A lack of interest in the narrator and her story, I suppose, maybe.

Currrently reading: Embers: One Ojibway's Meditations by Richard Wagamese. This is one that I saw in the bookstore, considered buying because I love the author's other works, and then decided to try the library's copy instead. It's very what-it-says-on-the-tin, a series of brief personal meditations on the subject of - well, everything. Existence in general. Wagamese has quite a way with words, and it shows here just as well as it does in his poetry. It's taking me a while to get through this one because I prefer to avoid reading big chunks of it all at once. It's better when taken one page at a time. (Ideally, perhaps, one page per day, though there aren't 365 of them.)

Also reading: Loon: Memory, Meaning, and Reality in a Northern Dene Community by Henry S. Sharp. This one is... I'm finding it interesting, but rather difficult to follow at times. The writer draws on a lot of metaphors from quantum mechanics in order to describe things like the Dene perception of time, reality, events, and existence, and it's... a little outside my field. But I do find it interesting, even if I don't expect the quantum bits will contribute much to my understanding of knowledge/power/inkoze as a concept, heh.

Reading next: I have no clue. According to the reading goals I've set, I need to read... uh... more books that I own, rather than library stuff. Fair enough. All things considered, I should read all of the books that I bought last time I went on vacation, because I have zero doubts that the next time I go to Victoria, I'll come back with more. So... it'll probably be one of these:
-Arctis, William Heinesen. Faeroese poet; this one looks like a very landscape-focused volume.
-Circling North, Charles Lillard. Canadian poet. I don't know anything about his work.
-Forge, Jan Zwicky. Canadian poet. Several of the works in this volume are music-influenced. ...I confess, part of the reason I bought this is because I love the way the book was designed; Gaspereau Press puts out such pretty volumes, especially for poetry. (And now I suddenly miss Nova Scotia again, oh dear.)
-What the Bear Said: Skald Tales of New Iceland, W. D. Valgardson. Canadian writer of Icelandic descent. Short stories influenced by Icelandic tradition (or reconstruction of handed-down stories? Not sure).
-Scars, W. P. Kinsella. Short stories set in Hobbema (near Edmonton).
yuuago: (DenNor - Be with you)
31C?

Well, looks like summer is here.

Seriously, wasn't it just a couple of months ago that it was -20C or something... I swear it was.

This time of year, all you can do is flop down and try not to expire from the heat. Bleh. I want to go for a run later, but I might need to make it more brief than usual. It's soooo dry... eugh.

Anyway! A brief Reading Wednesday, since I'm here.

Recently Finished: Bridge of Birds by Barry Hughart. Like I've mentioned in previous entries, it's a very good novel; one of the best I've read in a while. If you haven't read this one, I do suggest giving it a try. It's set in a fantasy version of ancient China, with a delightful cast of characters, a wonderfully light narrative style, and the sort of twisty narrative that takes a million strings and pulls them all together in a really satisfying way. As an aside, there are so many scenes in this book that would make for absolutely beautiful illustrations, oh man....

Currently Reading: Oryx and Crake by Margaret Atwood. Or rather, re-"reading" via audiobook. It's been a while since I read this one, and I'd forgotten most of it, even though I read the rest of the MaddAddam trilogy more recently. It's very... I find the world in this novel interesting, but there is a lot that I could do without. The Crakers are just a little too weird for me. And everything just seems like it's covered in grit, though I can't remember if the other novels were like that too, or if it's mainly due to Snowman's POV. Maybe I should re-read the others in order to see about it.

Reading Next: Nnnot entirely sure at this time. When it's so fucking hot out, I want to read something cold. Maybe I'll finally read Luminous Spaces, that recent translation of Olav H. Hauge's poetry and journals. I've been meaning to, and anyway, he writes the most beautiful winter landscapes.

✿✿✿

May. 28th, 2017 06:53 pm
yuuago: (A Redtail's Dream - Together)
✿ This weekend, I had the house to myself. At least, for most of it. It was so nice to get up super early, do a few chores, and just relax. Drink some coffee while listening to classical music on the radio and letting the sunlight and birdsong come in through the open garden door. It's so nice to have a bit of peace and quiet. I had no idea that CKUA plays a classical program early on weekend mornings; I might have to try to catch it more often. Unfortunately, my family usually objects when I play this station, but... I can work around that.

✿ About halfway through reading Hughart's Bridge of Birds now. Melusine really knew what she was doing when she sent me this novel; I find it absolutely delightful. Looks like I'm going to have to track down the others in the series.

✿ I went into the forest again this weekend. This morning, I got up early specifically so I could go out before the day got too hot. It's amazing how so much can change in the course of a week. The leaves are actually full and open now, and there are little harebells blooming everywhere. No rose blossoms yet, though, and the fireweed won't bloom until June. Didn't see any deer today, either. ...There were plenty of mosquitoes, unfortunately. I didn't get bitten, but I'll have to remember to bring some repellent next time.

✿ I've found a good place for rituals. It's in one of the places in the Birchwood where there has been some controlled clearing, which means that it's a little more accessible than the place I was using before. It also doesn't have the super-steep, super-slippery decline toward the stream that the other place does, and I don't have to go through a fuckton of rosebushes to get there. Best of all, there's this one tree that was sawed off very cleanly, and the stump is completely flat. It makes for a great altar; I just need to cover it with a cloth first. Most of the logs from the trees they cut down have been cleared, but I found a small section that was left behind, so I can actually sit down to do my work now. My only complaint is that the visuals aren't as good as the other place; before, the stream was only a few feet away from me, and it was a really pleasant experience to be able to watch the water while I cleared my head. Now, I can't see the stream at all; I can only hear it. But that's all right. The location makes up for it in other ways.
yuuago: (OzNZ - Friends)
Because I'm too tired for a proper entry -

✿ I went mucking around in the woods yesterday! I saw three deer! And found a trail that goes deep down to the stream! And did some bushwhacking, and scouted out the general location of a geocache, but since I had neither a pen nor swag on me, I decided not to prod for the exact spot. (Note to self, go back there this weekend. ...And wear gloves. And possibly thicker trousers. ROSEBUSHES EVERYWHERE, I WILL NEVER BE RID OF THEM.)

✿ Apparently when given the choice between nervewracking highway driving practice or parking practice on small roads, I'll choose the highways. Blurgh. WHY do people let their kids play on the road?! And WHY does nobody drive the speed limit here?!

✿ I'm working stacked shift all through this week, and all through the next (with the exception of Victoria Day). I'm gonna die. (When will this fic get written? WHO KNOWS)

✿ Pokemon Go victory: I FINALLY HAVE A BLISSEY. And I earned the 1000KM badge! It's too bad that the badges don't stack; I'd like to earn another one, for another 1000KM. ;) But at least it tracks how much you've walked even after you get gold. And ALSO I finally found an opportunity to stick a pokemon into the gym near my workplace, the one with low turnover - which means that I get 10 coins every day without having to do anything at all. It's glorious.

✿ I have discovered that our library has some of Sapkowski's Witcher novels, so I might have to pick some up this weekend, see how I like them. My mate Tik says she found them kind of blah, but I can't not give them a try, because holy shit, medieval fantasy Poland. I need more of that in my life. :V And apparently Netflix is going to be doing a Witcher tv series? Which is surprising - and I admit that I raised eyebrows a little - but maybe it will be good? Or at least better than the Polish TV series, which I am informed is terrible (of the "let's pretend this never happened" sort, not the "so bad it's good" sort).
yuuago: (YiH - Sakari - Fresh air)
Went out yesterday for some ritual stuff and mucking around in nature... discovered that slippery forest paths are even more interesting when there are rosebushes every-freaking-where and you, by coincidence, forgot to bring the thick gloves that you acquired specifically to deal with this problem. ...But it was all right. The sound of the rain on the stream was very nice. Though the way the wind made the spruce trees creak was a little unnerving. It sounded like they were going to come down on top of me.

I cleaned my room today and (re)discovered that I have way too many books. And most of them, well, I haven't read them. Aaand this leads me to think that I really should stop checking things out of the library, at least for a while, so I can make my way through this backlog. Once I've read something, I'm comfortable ditching it, but in the meantime I have all these piles of books and... yes. I really should take care of this. A lot of it is nonfiction (mainly history), but a good part of it is poetry, and that shouldn't be difficult to get through.

It has been raining all day and I'm in a horrible funk about it. I think, as soon as I have my after-supper coffee, I'll go take a walk outside anyway, just because I'm craving fresh air.

I've been working slowly but steadily on my NoFM exchange fic. Really, I want to start another one - my recip has great taste and I would love to give them two gifts - but I don't know if I would have time to complete two. I know there's roughly a month left, but with work and everything, I'm finding it very difficult to find time to work uninterrupted.

Speaking of exchanges, nom period for [community profile] raremaleslashex starts tomorrow. I'd like to do this one, but it might not be possible with my schedule... we'll have to see.

On an unrelated note, I find it kind of funny how my viewership doubles when I write G-rated fluff of the SSSS juggernaut. It's not that I'm surprised of course; but man, people sure do like Emil/Lalli. Though the fact that the numbers for the fluff were double than the response to the kinky fic of the same length with the same pairing does surprise me - but only a tiny bit (it was a little bit atypical). Normally I don't pay attention to reader response, but since these two things were posted so close together, the differences were more obvious than they otherwise might have been.
yuuago: (Small Trolls - Veeti - Reading)
T. Kingfisher/Ursula Vernon has released a new short story compilation, Jackalope Wives. Yay!

Most of it is previously-published stuff, but since I have a hard time keeping track of her short stories, I haven't read most of them (I have read "Pocosin", which is included here, and I enjoyed it very much). It's nice to have them together in one volume. And there are two new ones that haven't been published before.

Looks like I have something exciting to read this weekend.

While it's on my mind - I've been thinking of doing a giveaway draw for one of T. Kingfisher's ebooks at some point. Would anybody be interested in that? And I can't decide if I'd rather do it for a specific book or not. She's written so many good ones.

There was going to be more to this entry, but I am ex-haust-ed. Today will be an early bed, I think.
yuuago: (Small Trolls - Veeti - Skygazing)
I stumbled over a very interesting find in the bookstore today. Passage, a collection of poetry by Gwen Benaway. Now, the poetry collection at our local Chapters is tiny (about half a shelf). And the store doesn't generally carry a lot of work by indigenous writers, nor writers who fall under the LGBT2QA umbrella. So to find that they had something by Benaway, who is Two-Spirit and Anishinaabe/Metis, was a really pleasant surprise. ...Well, I really shouldn't be buying any more books, since I really don't have the shelf space, but fortunately poetry collections don't typically take up very much room. From the glances I've given, this one's pretty good; I'm happy to have it. "Cold River"* in particular is one I found especially beautiful. ("Sing the winter water / I've been promised / Be the killing cold / I was born in".... yes <3 )

...Anyway. So, that was nice.

Unfortunately, I've spent most of the day out, which means writing Did Not Happen (especially not on this very fun but also very challenging NoFM assignment) but maybe I'll make up for that tomorrow.

I picked up a stylus for my tablet, which means I can finally draw on it. And this... is interesting. It feels SO WEIRD to actually be able to... draw... on an electronic thing. Anyway, I like the ephemeral nature of it, so it's possible that I might end up sketching more often - after all, digital stuff can just be erased when you're done with it. It isn't as much fun as working with coloured pencils, but it probably won't press that feeling of "oh my god, you're wasting paper, stop wasting paper and supplies on garbage".

On a completely unrelated note, I love today's Small Trolls page update*. Veeti makes the most adorable grumpy-sulky expressions. <3 That kid has completely stolen my heart. (I MEAN, I love Jáhko too, a lot, but... ffff. Somehow, in "red + blue" duos, I always gravitate toward the "blue" one.)
yuuago: (Small Trolls - Jáhko - Doze)
Verrrrry tired today (work was exhausting) so here is a quick and dirty Reading Wednesday. Pardon if I'm incoherent.

Just Finished: Things We Lost in the Fire by Mariana Enriquez. This is a collection of short stories by an Argentine author - as far as I know this is the only collection that has been translated into English so far, but she's written many other stories, or so I've heard. Anyway, if you enjoy horror and the macabre, this is definitely a collection that I recommend reading. I was hooked from start to finish. Some of the stories are more supernatural-leaning, while others are more just... threaded with the whole feeling that something is just wrong. Overall, it's a collection that'll leave you feeling oogy in the best way.

Currently Reading: Off the Map by Alastair Bonnett. Basically a look at unusual, forgotten, and liminal spaces around the world, and what places like these mean. And it talks more broadly about the human sense of place and how this is important. And so on. The general concept for the book is very relevant to my interests (this was a gift from Gray, who knows exactly what I like). The actual discussion of individual locations tends to be very brief - basically just a glimpse, giving a taste of it so that one can look 'em up later (it does cover a lot of them). It's by no means a difficult read, which is good because I've been too tired to handle anything challenging.

Reading Next: This is what they say, by Francois Mandeville. This is a collection of stories that were told by Mandeville at Fort Chipewyan in 1928, recorded in Chipewyan/Denesuline, and much later translated into English. Some of them are stories from Mandeville's life, and others are traditional, ones that were handed down. The other collections of Dene stories that I've read were from more northern parts of Denendeh - up around Fort Wrigley, or Yellowknife, that kind of area. Fort Chipewyan is much closer to home, and I'm really glad that I stumbled across this book. And I'm glad that our local library has such things like it.
yuuago: (Norway - Map)
Petty venting )

Rainy, drizzly, miserable day today. Upside: The snow is gone, and my hair looks awesome. Okay, good enough.

Been listening to an audiobook of Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban lately. It's reminding me that I used to vaguely ship Lupin/Snape (I just found their interaction very interesting...) I think I tried to write some fic of that, which was terrible, and was never posted anywhere because I never finished it. The files are all long gone by now. Ahh, memories.

You know, it's so frustrating to look at your schedule, and then look at the time available to you, and find that there's no possible way you can stuff everything in. I need a time-turner, man. If nothing else, I'd be able to take a good long nap.

For the past couple of days I've been trying to write poetry in a very restricted format, and I'm finding it very challenging. Three stanzas, four lines per stanza, four words per line, one syllable per word. More-or-less inspired by some of the stuff in the Book of Songs. But while this form is suited to Chinese poetry, it's maddeningly difficult and almost impossible in English (to the surprise of absolutely no one) especially if the person writing it doesn't usually play with such restrictions... I'm afraid the result is pretty mediocre so far. xD But the point is more in the exercise than the result, I guess. It's kind of fun in its own way.

Nnnnot much else to say right now. I'm only a few days into this altered shift, and I'm already exhausted.
yuuago: (Tistow - Veeti - Glance)
You'd think I'd have learned not to take naps after supper, but apparently not. Yesterday I woke up at 11:30 PM and proceeded to flip my shit because I thought I'd slept in... fortunately, we still have proper nights right now; we aren't into "still bright past 11" season yet. So one look out the window fixed that. But I sure do feel like a bag of fail, pffff.

I have no idea what I'm going to do tomorrow. Library's closed, transit is reduced... what a bummer. Maybe I'll go for a walk in the woods, if it isn't too soggy in there, as long as I remember to bring the bear whistle. There are some geocaches that look like they would be easily accessible, and I want to check to see if they survived the controlled burning over the winter. The one that I found a few weeks ago, just on the edge of the Birchwood Trails, was not in very good shape - somebody else had come by and hastily repaired it, but it could have been better. ...Maybe I should take some duct tape. And an extra container or two. And add some more Euro cent coins to my messenger bag pocket - they make for pretty good swag, nice and compact and ~exotic~.

There are rumours that it's going to snow. Please, no. Or, well - I shouldn't say that. We need precipitation. So I suppose it should be "if it's going to snow, please let it melt soon after". I guess.

Aaand since I forgot to do Reading Wednesday yesterday, here's a brief one:

Currently Reading: Race to the South Pole: The Expedition Diaries of Scott and Amundsen, edited by Roland Huntford. I haven't reached the part where things start to get really horrible for Scott, not yet. But his diary entries kind of make me want to claw my face off. Even from the very beginning, his expedition seems like an absolute clusterfuck. Whhyyyyy ponies, of all animals! Why fabric anoraks instead of fur?! Why take experimental motorized sledges, ones that haven't been thoroughly tested in extreme conditions?! ...And then there are Amundsen and Bjaaland's entries, which are brief but cheerful, and keep going on about how excellent the skiing is, pfff. One would think they were on vacation.

Also Reading (And also a rec): My copy of the Building Fires in the Snow anthology arrived last week. At this point, I've only read some of the poetry in it, not any of the short stories, but so far I can definitely say that the poetry is lovely. Aside from that, one thing that I found really touching was the introduction. It made me feel like this anthology is coming from a place that I can identify with. A lot of the time, when I read non-fantasy LGBT2QA works, I feel very... detached from it, because I feel that it has nothing to do with me. The kind of community and experiences that have appeared in other anthologies that I've read speak to something that does not exist here. If I try to find any sense of community at home, it's like... what community? The only public LGBT2QA event that I can remember was followed up by someone stealing and burning the pride flags* (but thankfully, no physical violence). But this book, with its emphasis on nature, and remoteness, and the difficulties of building up relationships as a result of that remoteness, and the necessity of the closet... Its mention of the fact that many people who were approached declined to contribute because of the fear of being outed and the very real danger that could come from that... The northern experience is not a big city experience. This isn't Vancouver, this isn't San Francisco, this isn't Toronto. This is something that I can identify with. Anchorage is a much bigger city than Fort McMurray, and of course it's much farther north, but the poetry I have read in this book so far feels like home. And the way so many of the works are firmly situated in nature, an existence utterly surrounded by it -- yes. That's it. That's my experience. It makes me feel like I'm not so alone. (I'll confess, I cried.) ...So. If you do get a chance to read this anthology, please do. Whether you're looking for LGBT2QA lit, or if you want to read something about life in the more northern parts of North America, I really do recommend it. I might have to see if I can get my local library to add it to their collection.

Reading Next: The library had In Calabria by Peter S. Beagle, so that needs to go before anything else. I loved The Last Unicorn, but haven't read any of his other works, so we'll see how this one is. Aside from that, I've felt a vague desire to read Lord of the Rings. And I've also felt like re-reading T Kingfisher's The Raven and the Reindeer for a while now. Ehhh, who knows. :V
yuuago: (Small Trolls - Veeti - Skygazing)
Finished reading: Claude Monet, 1840-1926: A Feast for the Eyes by Karin Sagner-Duchting. This one's a biography of Monet, with lots of gorgeous plates of his paintings and so on, and though it took me a little while to get into it, it was certainly an interesting read... I can't say of how it compares to other studies of Monet and his career, but one thing it did make me realize is that I know hardly anything about most of the artists that I admire. Luckily, this is something that can be easily fixed, and I expect I'll have fun with that. As for Monet, funnily enough, reading about him made me feel better about my own work. I'm thinking of the Haystacks series in particular, how he wanted to do so many views of haystacks at different times of day, and different seasons, to catch the differences in lighting and atmosphere and so on. Sometimes I feel like I'm writing the exact same thing over and over - except that it isn't the exact same thing, because every scene is a little bit different. Not that I'm at all like Monet, of course, but it was nice to see a little of myself reflected in his work. (Even if it's a part of his work that I'm not actually a fan of - the Haystacks paintings fall flat for me. Though perhaps I'd feel differently if I saw one in person.)

Currently reading: Welcome Home: Travels in Smalltown Canada by Stuart McLean. It's basically what it says on the tin - a travel narrative about small communities in various Canadian provinces. (Much to my disappointment, he skipped Alberta and the Territories.) In some ways, it's made me very glad that I don't live in places like this - but it has also reminded me of everything I miss about living in Wolfville. There's a certain sort of atmosphere that I really do miss, and something that's impossible to get in this industrial city. Ah, well. Oh, another thing - this book was written when the issue of Quebec separation/sovereignty was very current, and the section set in Quebec deals with that quite a bit. It's sort of like a time capsule of the issue, I guess, or at least a small sliver of it, and I found that pretty interesting.

Reading next: Race to the South Pole: The Expedition Diaries of Scott and Amundsen, compiled/edited/translated by Roland Huntford. This one is pretty much what it says on the tin. In addition to Amundsen himself, it also contains logs from another member of the Norwegian expedition party, Ove Bjaaland. I've read Amundsen's published account of his South Pole travels, but this is entirely new to me, and I think I'll really enjoy it when I get around to it. I'm... less excited about Scott's journal, because he came to such a depressing end, and to be honest everything I've read about the British side of the South Pole race makes it sound like it was a poorly-planned clusterfuck. But I won't skip over his entries, of course.

Waiting for: Building Fires in the Snow: A Collection of Alaska LGBTQ Short Fiction and Poetry. Can't start this one yet because I'm still waiting to receive it in the mail.... When I saw this anthology on the Lambda awards list, I just knew I had to read it. At first I was hoping to get it through the library, but then I changed my mind. It intersects so well with some of my interests, so I figure, it's one that I want to have in my personal library - and I'll probably like most of it, anyway. (Well, okay, you never know, I suppose....)

☆☆☆

Mar. 22nd, 2017 08:29 pm
yuuago: (A Redtail's Dream - Hannu)
☆ It snowed today, which just proves (again) that while it might technically be spring, it isn't really spring, not here. And it won't be until mid-April or so.

☆ Still thinking about signing up for [community profile] nightonficmountain. Am I in the mood to commit myself to an exchange? Who knows. (I suspect that if I do sign up, I'll end up as an initial pinch hit. Which is fine. But, eh.)

☆ Hey aRTD folks: over on tumblr, I'm giving away a hannunvaakuna necklace like the one Hannu wears in the comic (details here). Message me there if you want to be added to the draw list. Or message me on DW. Or whichever. As long as I have a way to contact you, it's fine.

☆ I have done nothing this evening. NOTHING. I feel like a useless lump.

☆ I've been listening to an audiobook version of Louise Penny's The Cruelest Month. At first I was having trouble getting into it, because the reader's voice is very soothing and makes me kind of dozy... but I like it so far. It reminds me that I really should read more of the Inspector Armand Gamache novels - I like them a lot. But I have one problem with listening to this one at work, and it's that there are so many food descriptions, and they make me so hungry! Every single scene at Olivier's bistro, pfff... the sandwiches sound like they'd be so delicious. ;;; Also, there is something about Three Pines that reminds me of Wolfville - I guess it has a similar atmosphere, except that Three Pines is of course very French - aaand naturally it makes me miss Wolfville terribly.
yuuago: (Small Trolls - Veeti - Reading)
So, as a reward-to-myself for finishing all of my boring chores today, I decided to read Year in Hereafter, a Kalevala-inspired webcomic that has been vaguely on my radar for a while now. I'm not very good at getting around to reading things, even when I know that they're relevant to my interests.

The reason I finally caved with this one is that the artist is working on Small Trolls, a webcomic collaboration that they're doing with the author of Tistow (another webcomic that I haven't read yet). It's a... crossover + AU? of YiH and Tistow. Or something like that. Updates on Fridays. Anyway, Small Trolls is a fantasy comic that draws on Saami folklore, structured as short stories, so of course when I heard about it I just had to read it. There are only about 28 pages up at this time, but I adore it so far - especially Veeti in particular. What a darling, precious kiddo. He's completely stolen my heart. Hello there, new favourite character.

So, since I loved that one, I decided, OKAY, FINE, I'll read Year in Hereafter. Unfortunately, this comic is on hiatus until further notice, which I didn't know going in. Alas. (Well, seems like it's actually going to be about 5 months, but... you know. Until further notice.) But, there are 240 pages up already, which was enough for me to get a feel of the story. I'd heard it shares some similarities with Stand Still Stay Silent and A Redtail's Dream, but for me, it seems to be mostly that they share an aesthetic (and draw from the same Finnish folklore). The stories aren't similar at all in terms of plot/characters. (So, perhaps one could say, if you liked the visual atmosphere of SSSS/aRTD, but didn't like the stories, maybe give YiH a try....)

What's it about? A journey through three parallel worlds - our world, and Tuonela, and Kalevala - with the ultimate goal of saving Lapland by defeating Loviatar. Basically. Sounds pretty good to me! At this point, the journey is just starting - which is one of the reasons I'm so disappointed that it's on hiatus, because I want more. Siiiigh. Ah, well. I can wait. And at least I have the weekly Small Trolls updates to keep me occupied in the meantime.

Some miscellaneous thoughts: I'm completely in love with Sakari. I expected to like Veeti best, because I love the version of him in Small Trolls... and I do like YiH Veeti a lot, but he is a very different character than the one in SmT. Sakari, though... he's quite a ray of sunshine. And I have such a weakness for pretty guys with lo-o-ong blond hair. [/cough] Aside from that, the art is pretty, the magic and folklore references are neat, it makes me want to re-read the Kalevala for the Nth time, and oh noooo whyyy does it have to be on hiatus....

Unfortunately, I don't feel that I have enough of a grasp of the characters/story/worldbuilding to write fic for this comic. I mean, I could try; maybe I could manage pointless slice-of-life and/or shippy nonsense with Sakari and Jaako. But the result wouldn't be so great, probably. ...Seems kind of silly to say, considering I've already started writing some Small Trolls stuff. [/cough] Shhh, it's poetry, so it doesn't count.

Anyway - I can't in good conscience actually rec Year in Hereafter, since it's on hiatus. But it might be something to look at if you're bored on some weekend, and feel like reading a pretty webcomic inspired by Finnish folklore, and don't particularly mind that there are only 240 pages of it. I do suggest looking at Small Trolls if you can put up with something that only updates weekly, though.
yuuago: (Germany - Reading)
The effect of my cold is that it's hard to concentrate on reading, soooo I haven't done much of that, oh well.

Currently reading: The Cyclist Who Went Out in the Cold: Adventures Along the Iron Curtain Trail by Tim Moore. The author's writing style is entertaining, but I keep getting gobsmacked by how utterly stupid some of his decisions are. Or rather, the sum of the beginning of his trip, in general, was one horrible decision and I am very surprised that he didn't die or (as far as I can tell - not through the first half yet) lose some digits to frostbite. You see, he began his journey at the northern end of the Iron Curtain Trail - that is, starting at the Norway/Russia border, then cutting through northeastern Finland before entering Russia. And he did this in March. ...Biking in the Arctic in March is a monumentally stupid idea because that's effectively STILL WINTER. And he did this extreme cycling not on a bike equipped for extreme weather, but on an East German shopping bicycle. And of course this is someone who had never done any kind of ice biking before. ...So, what I'm saying is, even though he has a very funny writing style, I keep getting tripped up by how utterly foolhardy his decision was (he didn't have to start in the north! He could have started from Bulgaria! But nooo). It makes the book a little bit tricky to get through. Thank god the locals showed him a lot of kindness, because otherwise he would have died.

Reading Next: I have no idea. It might be a while before I can get to the library. I might need to resort to (gasp) reading one of the books that I already have, horror of horrors. ...Actually, you know, I've been kind of in the mood to re-read Lord of the Rings, so maybe I'll tackle that. We'll see. In actual fact, it won't exactly be a re-read, because I never did read the entire trilogy - I got bored at the beginning of Return of the King and never finished it. But I was pretty young at the time, and my tastes (and attention span) have changed a lot, so... we'll see.
yuuago: (SSSS - Emil - Reading)
Eugh, I've come down with an awful cold, and probably won't go in to work tomorrow. Lovely. Oh well, anyway -

Finished reading: A Taste of Honey by Kai Ashante Wilson. I picked this one up because of its pretty cover*; didn't even bother to read the back. It wasn't until I got home and started reading it that I realized it is gay romance against a fantasy backdrop. A pleasant surprise, let me tell you. :D As for the novel itself, it's delivered in non-chronological snips of moments over a long period of time, and at first I assumed it was just an atypical stylistic choice, but there's a reason for it beyond that. (I wonder if a more attentive reader would have caught on... I certainly didn't.) Good news - this is not a doomed lovers scenario, and it has a happy ending. But I won't go into detail about it. ;) I like the world that was built up here, and I'd like to read more with it, I think.

Currently reading: True Arab Love by Issa J Boullata. This one is a collection of short stories primarily (though not entirely) focused on Arab people making a new life as immigrants in Canada and the USA. Mixed feelings about this one so far - I keep getting the feeling that I should be analyzing these; a lot of the stories have the same "feel" to them as a lot of stuff that I've read for English class. Which isn't a bad thing, necessarily, but it's not exactly what I expected.

Reading next: The Cyclist Who Went Out in the Cold: Adventures Along the Iron Curtain Trail by Tim moore. Basically, it's a travel narrative about a guy who bicycled from the Norway-Russia border down to Bulgaria. It sounds like it could be really interesting, though I'm unsure whether it'll live up to the coolness of the concept. I find that a lot of writing about EE/CE countries from people outside of the area tends to carry a lot of baggage, to say the least. But! Who knows. Maybe it'll surprise me.
yuuago: (Åland - Plotting)
Recently I've been listening to an audiobook of Stephen King's Firestarter, and it reminded me of how much I used to love stories of psychic and parapsychological phenomena. Yes please, give me alllll the telepathy and pyrokinesis and telekinesis and clairvoyance and that sort of stuff. *_* This book hits me just as well as it did the first time I read it, ages and ages ago. (Though actually, I can't remember which bit of fiction it was that got me interested in psychic powers first. Was it Stephen King's novels - both Firestarter and The Dead Zone? Or did I watch Weiss Kreuz first? Or is it just that R-- introduced me to the idea? Oh, well.)

Anyway, it's been a nice little walk down a road that I used to enjoy very much. For a while there, I kind of cut off my taste for that thing in fiction (along with many other things) due to associating it with someone that I'm not involved with any more. But, some time has passed, so... maybe it wouldn't hurt to explore that subgenre again.

Now that I think of it - if any of you have suggestions for books/movies/etc featuring psychic powers, I'd love to hear about them. Psychic, rather than magical, to be clear. In particular I like it best when these powers have to be kept hidden. My frame of reference is, like I mentioned, mainly Stephen King's novels and the Weiss Kreuz anime. And allll the trashy parapsychology books I used to check out of the library in the early '00s... but let's ignore that. ;p

And all this reminds me of the first version of Yuriy's character, which was very different from what it is now.

A little more about that )

☆☆☆

Feb. 22nd, 2017 10:17 pm
yuuago: (Pokemon - Decidueye - soft)
☆ Reading Wednesday: Somewhat in the middle of reading a poetry collection, Calling down the sky by Rosanna Deerchild. I say "sort of" because I've kind of put it on hold for now, since I'm having difficulty focusing. It's very strong poetry and I really love her style (it's, hmm, I guess you could say it's both sparse and conversational at the same time - very minimal in form, and with a very strong "vocal" note to it). The subject is (mainly) the experiences of survivors of the residential school system, and it has a really raw note to it.

...Aside from that, I've been listening to an audiobook of Neil Gaiman's Coraline, mainly. It's been ages since I've read the book or watched the film, and I've forgotten almost the whole thing, so it's really interesting to experience it again.

☆ Delicious things: polenta with sausage and mushrooms. And blackberries for dessert. The polenta we used was storebought, and all through supper mum kept going on about how it isn't the same as how it was when her Friulian relations made it when she was a kid, blah blah blah preservatives. Well, I do have a book of Friulian recipes, and the polenta looks like one of the few things that it's possible to make from scratch without altering the ingredients (so many of them require ridiculously specific stuff that you can't get in this frozen wasteland). So... maybe we'll try that some time soon. If we're feeling adventurous.

☆ Night-driving lesson #2 went well. Once again, I did not crash into anything. I did forget to turn the headlamps off after we were done, though. Going to have to remember to... not forget that. Um. That would be bad. Oh well, IT'S A START.
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