szzzt: You know Wufei is appalled. Oh NOES! (wufei_noes)
I forgot why I enjoy bad fic so much. Because it is so motivating to write better fic, of course! Because you realize that that better story is what you really want to read, and you think about it, let it tantalize you, all while you read the bad fic, yes.
Okay I need to go take a shower now

IN OTHER NEWS--

Fitzwilliam?! (Imagine me blurting that out loud. "Fitzwilliam?!!") No wonder everyone just calls him Darcy!

And Sir Walter Scott? Your drawerfic, did you have to? Your unfinished drawerfic, really? I am not reading your unfinished drawerfic. I need those neurons for trying to remember the characters in stories that have endings. But the anecdote for the novel your brother someday planned to write and never did--that was actually pretty interesting.

Still though, Sir Scott, I had to skim like twelve introductions I-kid-you-not, and your hero is pretty boring so far and rather shallow, and I might dump you at any moment for Frances Hodgson Burnett and her characters who define awesome by their very actions and are thus incapable of being unawesome. In fact I really hope someone has done A Lady of Quality for Yuletide. Wow, but that book would make a good manga.

Ah, I can't help it. Here is a scene.

“What was your message?” demanded the young lady of the chaplain. “You cannot return without delivering it. Tell it to me. I choose it shall be told.”

The chaplain clutched and fumbled with his hat, pale, and dropping his eyes upon the floor, for very fear.

“Pluck up thy courage, man,” said Clorinda. “I will uphold thee. The message?”

“Your pardon, Madam—’twas this,” the chaplain faltered. “My lord commanded me to warn your honoured father—that if he did not beg you to leave off wearing—wearing—”

“Breeches,” said Mistress Clorinda, slapping her knee.

The chaplain blushed with modesty, though he was a man of sallow countenance.

“No gentleman,” he went on, going more lamely at each word—“notwithstanding your great beauty—no gentleman—”

“Would marry me?” the young lady ended for him, with merciful good-humour.

“For if you—if a young lady be permitted to bear herself in such a manner as will cause her to be held lightly, she can make no match that will not be a dishonour to her family—and—and—”

“And may do worse!” quoth Mistress Clo, and laughed until the room rang.

--A Lady of Quality, Frances Hodgson Burnett
szzzt: Naruto crouches, kunai in his mouth, forming a ninja hand sign. (bamf)
So I have been reading some books!

Also I have not been turning the computer on very much. Not sure why. Possibly I developed an allergy to it. I am still away, but possibly I will come back soon--partly because I have read a lot of books and I am now somewhat out of books to read and eyeing GWAddiction hungrily.

But, let's talk about the paper books I've been reading. Liquor and Prime by Poppy Z. Brite: not books about vampires, but books about cooking! (Sadly, unlike Sunshine by Robin McKinley, not about both at once.) In fact these are excellent books about cooking, with a truly sweet relationship between two chefs at the center of the story. Unlike all fic ever, Being Gay causes them no angst. They are too busy running the (*#$&(ing restaurant. (Being filled with chefs, these books have lots of swearing. I was impressed.) Liquor is better than Prime because it has the origin-story advantages, but I will happily read the third book and misc short stories in this series if I ever find them.

And you know--

There are lots of manga that are about finding something you love and learning how to do it really, really well; most sports manga qualify, as do 'career/calling' manga like Hikaru no Go (playing Go), Gaku (mountain climbing), Kami no Shizuku (wine tasting), etc. I hear there was one some years ago that was about a vet practice and caused a huge bump in the number of vet school applicants. I find these stories fascinating. Passion for craft is passion for craft, and this story could be retold a million times and be new every time, because the details of every craft are different, and this story revels in the details. The funny thing, though, is that this story doesn't seem to be told very often in English-language fiction; not in fantasy or scifi anyway. Why? It's so awesome! Am I missing a genre somewhere?

(A quick mental search for passioncraft books just turned up China Mountain Zhang and some Heinlein juveniles. Surely that can't be all!) Maybe a single novel is just too short to tell a passioncraft story properly, compared to manga with thousands of pages to lavish on it. Liquor doesn't attempt to tell the entire story, for sure; it elides a lot and picks up right mid-career for the two protagonists, tossing the reader in with fine disregard. A manga would have started at age 12 to wring every bit out of coming of age and finding the love of the cooking, but Liquor realizes quite well that it has to pick its timespan, and uses good old third-person omni recollection to sneak in the most important early scenes.

Someday I want to write a story about a tower crane operator, set on a tower crane. Man, I really do. There is like nothing on the Internet about tower crane operation. I'm so curious. Immigrant tension on a construction site...mafia graft...amnesia... Okay, so that story was gonna be a Koori no Mamono AU fic and might still be, but it's firmly in "ofic with fandom stamped on" territory, which is fine with me. Gots to write the ofics someday.
szzzt: Sepia-toned and androgynous, an angel crouches, its braid and long earring swaying. (Default)
So I got one of those small rectangular things that people are always looking at and occasionally talking into as though there's a person on the other end. I like him. I gave him a green font.

I've been reading Austen because she is free, and wow! Pride and Prejudice is written entirely in dialogue! I did not know.

I don't know what any of the people look like, what they wear, what their houses look like, where they live, what the room looks like, what they are doing either between or while talking, or who is in the room. Sometimes I am not sure who is talking! Like with Fruits Basket, I must summon up my nebulous mental list of who might be nearby whatever formless place the speaker is at, and subtract anyone mentioned by name in the speech.

I'm sure this is simply because I'm not paying enough attention? Or perhaps this is why those actors always look vaguely uncomfortable to be physically present with visible characteristics in a definite location, sometimes even doing things, while declaiming the immortal words.

I like Darcy. He has good words. The hero lady has good words too. I hope they talk more soon.
szzzt: Sepia-toned and androgynous, an angel crouches, its braid and long earring swaying. (Default)
'As for an end,' said Martin, 'are endings really so very important? Sterne did quite well without one; and often an unfinished picture is all the more interesting for the bare canvas. I remember Bourville's definition of a novel as a work in which life flows in abundance, swirling without a pause: or as you might say without an end, an organized end. And there is a least one Mozart quartet that stops without the slightest ceremony: most satisfying when you get used to it.'

Stephen said, 'There is another Frenchman whose name escapes me but who is even more to the point: La bêtise c'est de vouloir conclure. The conventional ending, with virtue rewarded and loose ends tied up is often sadly chilling; and its platitude and falsity tend to infect what has gone before, however excellent. Many books would be far better without their last chapter, or at least with no more than a brief, cool, unemotional statement of the outcome.'

'Do you really think so?' asked Paulton, looking from one to the other. 'I am very willing to believe you, particularly as the tale has reached a point where... Nathaniel, may I beg you to read it? If it really will do without any beating of drums, or if you could suggest the first notes of the true closing passage, how happy I should be! I could escape from this cruel, desolate, corrupt and corrupting place.'

'I should like to read it very much,' said Martin. 'I have always liked your pieces.'

--Patrick O'Brian, The Nutmeg of Consolation, p. 301

What a lovely peek under the hood this is--the moreso in that it's only the second such fourth-wall passage I recall in fourteen books of the Aubreyad. (The first such is also earlier in Nutmeg and consists of Stephen extolling the virtues of the novel as character study, for which potential, he says, it excels any other form.) Unlike Dorothy Sayers, who uses her mystery novels peopled with genre-savvy mystery writers to play racketball off the fourth wall, Patrick O'Brian keeps it close to his chest. Except here.

I did intend to quote less than the entire page, but it's hard to pick and choose from abundance swirling without a pause.

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szzzt: Sepia-toned and androgynous, an angel crouches, its braid and long earring swaying. (Default)
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January 2012

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