Nov. 8th, 2011 05:34 pm
dt_maxwell: ([TV] Wiggle)

*takes deep breath*


*shrieks with glee*

*does a cartwheel*

*collapses into a pile of madly giggling fangirl joy*

(My copy of The Alloy of Law by Brandon Sanderson is here. YAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAY!!!!!!!!!!!)
The semester is blessedly, finally over. Final grades for the semester:

HI370: The American Military Experience: A
LC212: Fourth-Semester Chinese: B
PO302: Campaigns and Elections around the World: A-
PO324: Media and Politics in the United States: A-

American Military Experience (which is listed for both history and international relations credit) with Professor Bacevich was easily one of the best classes I've ever had. His lectures were always engaging and entertaining - Bacevich had us in stitches on multiple occasions. He could also be terrifying so while I know we all pretty much worshipped him, we also lived in perpetual fear. Still easily my most favorite professor.

On the other end of the spectrum was Media and Politics. This course was...disappointing, to put it very, very mildly - my best friend and I were constantly bitching about it. We have no idea how the hell the professor even got a job at BU (young guy, his first year teaching at BU), his teaching style was terrible. The lecture slides basically parrotted the readings (giving us no incentive to actually do them), he never said anything that wasn't already on the slides, and there was a distinct lack of discussion about current events! Complete and utter waste of time and money. I spent my classes typing up the slides as they appeared and then going back to surfing the 'net.

Campaigns and Elections was all right; not something to gush about, but at least it was interesting and the professor (also in his first year teaching at BU) was better at engaging the class and keeping everyone focused. Chinese was Chinese, though it must be said that Woo laoshi is totally awesome AND I NEVER HAVE TO TAKE CHINESE AGAIN WOOHOO!

I must have kicked ass on my finals. I really hope I did - I ended up catching a cold last Tuesday (first day of finals and I had two) and then spent the rest of the week sick as a dog. Friday was somewhat manageable but Saturday was miserable, and that was the day I had the 3-5PM final. (Everyone was pissed about that - last timeslot on the last day? Christ, we were a seething mass of anger taking that final.) Mom came to pick me up after my final instead of Sunday morning because I was so sick, and it took another hour and a half to pack up.

Good thing I'd sent my video games, books, and PS3 home with Dad after his doctor's appointment the week before. Mom's car was stuffed.

I've spent the last week recovering from my cold and generally vegging out. Trying to catch up on all my backlogged pleasure reading - finally got around to reading A Hard Day's Knight and I'm finally going to finish Proven Guilty. Going to have to flip a coin on whether to read The Way of Kings (I've owned it for nearly a year which makes me want to cry) or White Night next. And then I'm going to be waiting impatiently for The Alloy of Law to come out - NEW MISTBORN BOOK OHMYGOD YAY!!!!!


...Crap, I need to get a job this summer. *groans* Probably going to end up working at Blue Water again, much as I hate the hospitality industry - it's either that or some retail job and there really aren't many pickings on the Cape. And once late July rolls around it's going to have to be part time because I'm going to be driving up to Boston three times a week for my LSAT prep course. God, kill me.

Meh. I'll head over to Blue Water tomorrow to see if they need more people to man the front desk. In the meantime, I'm going to read and plot out my characters for Star Wars: The Old Republic.
Mildly incoherent and exhausted right now.

Think my American Military Experience midterm went well. I wouldn't say it was easy, but there weren't any surprises; paying attention in lecture and doing all the readings assured that, of course. Well, that and the extensive and thorough study of the ID terms Nicole and I did at the GSU yesterday. Very productive study session, we managed to condense two hundred fifty important terms and names into short, quick sentences we could easily expand on. Said short, quick sentences have likely spawned a number of in-jokes, but hey, it kept the studying interesting!

(I also got to make a crack about pilots and ordinance delivery systems that sent Nicole howling. Considering how long I've wanted to make that joke and the fact that someone appreciated it made me very, very smug.)

Tore through Twilight's Dawn when it came in on Tuesday (four hours of pleasure reading - something I haven't been able to do in a long time), feel torn in my reaction to it, particularly the last novella in it. Might have to reread it this weekend. Heh.

One more week until Spring Break. Two more midterms in the meantime. Today's Chinese quiz was canceled so I can relax for a few more hours.

Better make that birthday card for Dad, then.
dt_maxwell: ([Anime] Smiles are Free)
Okay, I should probably be doing work right now, but I am too happy to care.

First off, I finished my Chinese composition last night at around 10:30. YAY! Am still very proud of myself. Then celebrated by playing Origins until 1 AM. I know, I know, I promised this weekend would involve no Dragon Age, but I wasn't going to start reading about political consultants at 10:30 at night on a Friday. And besides, I finished the Stone Prisoner DLC and Soldier's Keep and Return to Ostagar and some of the minor sidequests and all I need to do now is Nature of the Beast and the Landsmeet and then I kill the Archdemon! ...And then I gotta play Awakening. And do the Golems of Amgarrak and Witch Hunt DLCs.


...Moving on! There is another reason why am super-awesome-happy right now, but that requires some backstory!

Many many years, when I was precocious and tiny and around eight or nine, I was obsessed with horses. (Well, one could argue I still am, just to a lesser degree.) My obsession was such that I refused to read any books that didn't involve horses in some way. My mother was delighted that I loved to read but utterly frustrated at my obstinacy on equine-related matters.

I clearly recall the day my mother finally had enough. We were at the Hyde Park branch of the Boston Public Library, before they did the renovations that gutted the main building and added on this truly disgusting-to-look-at glass addition. The Hyde Park branch had great vaulted ceilings, tons of high windows that let in huge amounts of natural light, heavy wooden tables and chairs everywhere, and massive bookshelves built right into the walls; it was a beautiful building inside and out and it remains the image I see when I think "library." It's a shadow of its former self, now.

Anyway, I remember standing in a corner, scanning the shelves in search of something interesting (aka had a pretty horse on the cover). Mom came over and handed me a book, saying, "I know it's not horses, but you've read almost every horse book in the library. At least give this a try." I took it grudgingly.

It was a hardcover and it crinkled with the plastic libraries always put on the dust jackets. There was a green, angry-looking dragon on the cover, breathing blue flame. Facing the dragon so you couldn't see her face was a girl with long hair in a braid, cringing away from the flame; there was a baby dragon in her arms and two more at her feet. The title read Dragon's Milk by Susan Fletcher. (As luck would have it, Amazon has an image of that old hardcover - see it here.)

Mom, thank you.

I fell in love with that book and the story of a girl named Kaeldra, whose green eyes meant she could communicate with dragons, on a journey that started with a need to acquire dragon's milk to save her little sister from dying of vermilion fever. I managed to find the other books in the Dragon Chronicles later: Flight of the Dragon Kyn, a prequel about Kaeldra's ancestor Kara and my favorite of the series, and Sign of the Dove, whose summary would contain spoilers for Dragon's Milk so I won't say anything more. These books were my first really entry into fantasy - I didn't encounter Birth of the Firebringer until a year or two later, after the library defacing renovation began. I own paperback copies of the Dragon Chronicles and they are some of the most battered books I own despite my best efforts as I've just read them so much.

So today I was taking a break from reading and decided to browse deviantArt. On a whim I typed "dragon" into the search engine and scrolled down a bit. A title of one piece caught my eye: Flight of the Dragon Kyn.

No way, I thought. No fucking way.

To my utter delight, a favorite artist of mine (I've got a print of his "Steampunk Dragon" hanging on my wall at home) had done the covers for new paperback editions for some of my most favorite books ever (something I do not say lightly, considering my great and abiding adoration for the Firebringer Trilogy). A link in the picture description leads to the book's Amazon page, and I figured, "You know, my copies are so old, I should probably get some new ones - and with such beautiful cover art!" So I scrolled down to go to the "add all three to cart" option when something caught my eye under "Customer Also Bought" section.

A book called Ancient, Strange and Lovely by Susan Fletcher, published last fall. It's a new stand-alone novel of the Dragon Chronicles.

All four books will arrive on Wednesday. I haven't stopped smiling for hours.

Tomorrow's likely going to suck, but today? Today was awesome.
So I've spent the last three days with my nose buried in a book.

Well, not just one book. Quite a few, actually. I've been spending a great deal of time since the semester ended trying to catch up on my pleasure reading with a vengeance, mostly books I'd bought sporadically since January but hadn't had time to fully indulge in. I managed to catch up on those (oh my Goooooood, Dead Beat by Jim Butcher is officially the best book EVER in terms of sheer AWESOME!), and then thought it'd be a good idea to cycle back to some of my old favorites that I hadn't read in a while.

This inevitably lead me to deciding to pick up Mercedes Lackey's Valdemar series once again.

They're very readable and very fun - and, not gonna lie, ever since I first read Arrows of the Queen I've always wanted a Companion. The thing is, every time I finish reading a Lackey book (and today I tore through the Vows and Honors books specifically), I get the itch to fiddle around with my Brindlewood 'verse, specifically the components dealing with mercenary companies, and combined with some other books I've been reading and a show I rewatched recently, I've actually gotten a bit of inspiration for writing and the muses are staring at me and cackling and grinning evil grins, help!

So, yes, urge to write (something, probably just a short story) rising. And stick in stupidly-obvious shout outs to favorite things (which, admittedly, might only seem stupidly-obvious to me) and post it here on LJ to have my ego stroked. Siiiigh.

Oh, well.


Jul. 12th, 2009 02:09 pm
Dad's finally put some actual shelves in the bookcases, so the mess in the library/den/whatever has been somewhat taken care of. I'll start worrying about actually putting the books in some semblance of order once Dad gets all the shelves in.

Of the books that have been unpacked, I've been doing inventory and figuring out which ones I really don't give a damn about and wouldn't mind donating to the library - or even better, selling on eBay. The unpacked books are mostly hardcovers and large softcovers like omnibus editions and trade paperbacks, as they were packed in large plastic tubs that could be reused for moving other stuff from Boston to the Cape.

My OCD-ness about keeping my books in pristine condition has paid off at long last, because a lot of the books are in almost new condition and I'm positive I could get a good price for them. There's quite a few hardcovers and large softcovers I'm more than happy to part with, so once I finally start organizing the shelves I'll make a list of the books I don't want anymore and set them aside. Then I'll get the shoeboxes with my mass market paperbacks (seriously, large shoeboxes, like the ones you get boots in, are perfect for small paperback books) and do the same with those, because I know there's a ton of paperbacks I own that I don't really want anymore.

Once I know which books have to go, I'll try to figure out some reasonable prices for them (I'm thinking half-off the original prices for the hardcovers, omnibuses, and trade paperbacks, will think of something for the mass market paperbacks and some of the more beat up books) and have Billy help me with putting them on eBay. And maybe before I put them up on eBay, I'll put a list of what I'm selling up here to see if anyone's interested in what I've got on hand.

Hopefully I can start selling before the end of the July and go through August, before school starts up again. Be so nice to have some more spending money at BU.
Spent most of the day down on the Cape, didn't get home until about seven. Scribbled down stuff in my notebook for the pirate story on the drive down, grumbled angrily about the haphazard shelving practices of my family as I tried to rearrange the bookshelves, and read Wraith Squadron by Aaron Allston on the drive home. Fun times.

(Billy was reading Heir to the Empire by Timothy Zahn in the backseat. Sign you've successfully gotten your twin brother to read something: he reads specific quotes aloud. Score one for me, especially since he's never even thought about picking up a Star Wars EU book before. I can probably thank the Star Wars: The Old Republic forums for that; he asked me about the first Star Wars books written and released about a week ago after trolling the forums for an hour.)

Gorged myself on strawberries after getting home, returned a call from the editor of the Ashmont Outlook (they're more than happy to put in a short article about Petey and just needed a cleaner image of her to put with the article, so I got the editor's e-mail and sent it off to her), read a few more pages of my book, and then logged on.

Perhaps I should take a nap.
Right, so, still no Beep. We're going to expand our poster reach by putting up posters at both the Super Stop & Shop off Morrissey Boulevard and the Shaws in Lower Mills, stopping off at the Neponset Pet Center again to talk to the techs (much more likely to see Beep than the front desk people) and ask one of them to put a poster up in the back so the vets can see it, dropping by Angell Memorial with a fresh poster (Mom needs some blood work done so we'll be in the area anyway), and maybe-possibly the post office down the ways on Washington Street. We're also looking into putting adverts in both the Ashmont Outlook (which is a monthly newsletter that circulates only in Ashmont Hill) and the Dorchester Reporter (the weekly newsletter that circulates all throughout Dorchester, duh). We especially want the posters up at the supermarkets because of their high traffic profiles (people gotta eat, y'know) and the Reporter; the more people see Beep's picture and our contact information, the better.

And now on to other topics, 'cause I desperately need to get my mind on happier things.

On the writing front, I've been doing some massive rehauling of my Heaven'n'Hell 'verse. For one thing I've chucked an entire class of demon because they bore too much resemblance to the Harpies from Anne Bishop's Black Jewels series. On t' other hand I still find the idea of vengeance demons incredibly awesome and decided to use the Erinyes (better known as the Furies) for my own devious purposes, and tweaked them to suit my setting (and enrage classical scholars the world over). Most of the tweaking involved making them a species with both males and females rather than just females, although with a definite matriarchal bent.

Of the new characters that waltzed into my head following this reorganizing of Hell, the most prominent was Thanatos, Dranyari's big brother type figure and the eldest son of the Erinyes Queen, Alecto. Blatant bastardization of Greek mythology? You betcha! But that's how he introduced himself and I wasn't inclined to argue.

Thanatos will also firmly remain Dran's big brother figure (as well her regular drinking buddy and partner in crime); I briefly toyed with the idea of some romantic element between Dran and another character (not Eitan), and then promptly made said idea die in a fire. Romance? In Hell? If I couldn't suspend my disbelief, there was no chance I could make any potential readers do so, either.

Speaking of readers...

So. Many. Books. I want. To read!

Warbreaker by Brandon Sanderson: It's Brandon Sanderson, I'm already in love with this book. Elantris was fantastic, I'm still spazzing like a loon over the Mistborn trilogy and it's effing Brandon Sanderson! This man's world-building skills leave me speechless and the summary for this book makes me wiggle in my seat and giggle hysterically. It's not coming out for another week and I want it NOW.

Santa Olivia by Jacqueline Carey: It's Jacqueline Carey! While admittedly I've gotten very, very behind with her Kushiel series (I still need to read Kushiel's Justice and Kushiel's Mercy, and now Naamah's Kiss is nearly out...), I love her writing style, and I'm really interested to see where Carey goes with this. It's a far cry from her Kushiel books: werewolves plus comicbook-style superheroes. Oh hell yes. It sounds like a fun read and I wants it, precious, yes.

Dragon Rule by E.E. Knight: FUCK YES MORE AGE OF FIRE BOOKS! Admittedly it's not coming out until December 1 and there isn't even cover art up yet much less a summary, BUT THERE IS NO DOUBT IN MY MIND THAT THIS BOOK WILL ROCK MY SOCKS OFF. Draaaaaagons. *makes grabby hands*

Tales from the Perilous Realm by J.R.R. Tolkien: I had no damned idea this was out until I saw it waaaay down the line on my Amazon "Recommended for You" list and I was mad as hell because holy crap, it's TOLKIEN and it came out in NOVEMBER. Four Tolkien novellas I have been dying to read ever since I started fangirling Tolkien? HELL. YES. (I'm not entirely sure I'm all that excited about "The Adventures of Tom Bombadil," which is a poem, but oh my God, "Farmer Ham of Giles" and "Leaf by Niggle"!)

The Legend of Sigurd and Gudrun by J.R.R. Tolkien: ...Do I really need to say more?

Norse Code by Greg Van Eekhout: Fun with Norse mythology! Steven Burst speaks highly of him, plus a renegade valkyrie? Hell yeah! Good old urban fantasy fun. Sounds like my cup of tea.

Traitor to the Crown: The Patriot Witch by C.C. Finlay: First of a series; is to the American Revolution as the Temeraire series is to the Napoleonic Wars, except no dragons. That's cool, gimme a copy! Sounds pretty damn awesome, plus I'm of the opinion the American Revolution needs a bit more love in the alternate history department.

*sighs happily* Books.
Taking a short break from midterm-studying to stare at something other than campaign data/polarization of the electorate/political paradoxes/MAKE IT END OH GOD. *headdesk* Stupid multiple fifty-plus page readings.

So. Some randomness. Kinda.

First, a meme, shamelessly snagged from [ profile] foofighter0234.

i ship it // my thread

Have at it!

Today is Dad's birthday. Not heading home for spring break until Friday afternoon, so texted him this morning wishing him happy birthday and then went present shopping at the B&N after class. Managed to find a sweater I know he'll like in XXL - miraculous - and also a BU hat in size 7 7/8 which is even MORE miraculous because my daddy has a very large head and it is a biiiiiitch to find hats for him that will actually fit. And a book, got him a book. And then called home about half an hour ago to sing him happy birthday. Yay, Daddy!

Also got myself a book. The Shadow Queen by Anne Bishop. EEEEEEEE!!! Must not read all at once! Have to finish studying!

Oh, hey, would ya look at that, Manny's finally signed to a team. The Dodgers. Two years, $45 million and- wait. Didn't the Dodgers offer him that deal before? Twice?


Holy crap have you seen those pictures of Jacoby Ellsbury from spring training? OH. MY. GOD. He was adorable before but now OH. MY. GOD. My brain is still mush and my ovaries are still clanging madly and ohmyGooooooooood. Holy crap those arms. Oh. My. God.

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The Firebringer Trilogy by Meredith Ann Pierce (Oh come on, this one was obvious.)
Band of Brothers by Stephen Ambrose (This one, too.)
The Black Jewels Trilogy by Anne Bishop (It read likes a fanfic, yeah, but that doesn't stop me from enjoying it immensely every time.)
Mistborn by Brandon Sanderson (...Yeah, the amount of times I've gone capslock over this series should have been an indicator.)
Age of Fire series by E.E. Knight (See above.)

Also, because I didn't get to this yesterday due to working my butt completely rewriting an essay, the five DVDs I'd bring with me to that desert island with electricity:

The Producers (I don't need to explain this one.)
The Great Escape (Nor this one.)
Band of Brothers (Okay, yeah, it's more than one DVD, but I have the boxed set. Hush.)
Sleeping Beauty (If you know me outside the Internet or, you know, paid any attention to my e-mail address, this one's obvious.)
The Swan Princess (Oooh, childhood.)

Right, need to stop with the procrastination for now, methinks. There is a political science midterm to be studying for and I am sooooo behind on the readings. -_-;
In case you missed my last post, today is my birthday.


Got up mid-morning, took a nice hot shower, then stumbled downstairs for breakfast. Read the birthday card from my mother and started crying - no, no, nothing bad, just hormones, but it was something I needed to hear (read, whatever) and it made me feel better. Also got a hundred bucks from the parents, a Bleach poster from Billy that will be tacked to my dorm wall once I move in, and the movie Stardust from [ profile] predikit.

Hit the bookstore this afternoon with Mom and got some stuff with my birthday money: Just Another Judgement Day by Simon R. Green, A Cruel Wind: A Chronicle of the Dread Empire by Glen Cook, Mistress of the Art of Death by Ariana Franklin (for waaay reduced price), Tsubasa: Reservoir Chronicle volume 19, and Emma volume 1. The rest of my money I will save for a rainy day.

Billy and Dad went out to get dinner from a place called Wings Over Brookline (they've got restaurants over most of the northeastern states, and Billy orders regularly from the one in Amherst), and those wings were delicious omg. No cake, but we had more of Mom's oh-my-god-so-rich-I-can't-eat-another-bite-and-yet-so-good-must-have-more chocolate cream pie with crushed Oreo-cookie crust and piles of homemade whipped cream. Way better than a mere cake. (I love my mom and am so glad I'll be relatively close at college because it's easier to bum baked goods off her.)

Good day.
I hate Macy's. I also hate their circulars, which always come with those God-awful perfume/cologne/whatever samples that stink up the house. They cause my chemical sensitivities to go haywire and not all the Advil, Tylenol, and NyQuil in the world can make the migraines and hyper-sensitivity to every other smell in the Goddamn world go the fuck away. OW, DAMNIT.

(I don't care how much Mom likes the deals she can find out about with those circulars. The next time one comes in the mail, I'm burning it.)

And yet still there were some amusing spots to the day.

Me: *huddled under a pile of blankets, sipping hot cocoa*
Jazz: *flopped in lap, snoring*
Mom: *pokes head into room* What are you watching?
Me: Sleeping Beauty.*
Mom: *raises eyebrow*
Me: It's pretty!
Mom: Mmmhmm.
Me: Maleficient is the best Disney villain ever!
Mom: Uh-huh.
Mom: Of course it is.
Mom: *raises other eyebrow*
Me: *hangs head* Maybe just a little.
Jazz: *snore*

A little later

Mom: What are you watching now?
Me: Bollywood musical.
Mom: Any plot?
Me: It's based on "White Nights" by Fyodor Dostoevsky.
Mom: Who?
Me: Wrote Crime and Punishment.
Mom: Oh. Any good?
Me: No idea, I never the short story and I hate Dostoevsky.
Mom: Ah.
Me: S'pretty, though.
Mom: Well, Bollywood.
Me: Yeah. Oooh, song and dance number, finally!
Jazz: Zzz...

A little bit ago

Mom: Hey, I think I saw the mail truck out the window.
Me: *whips head around* DID IT STOP HERE?
Mom: I think-
Me: *ZOOM*
Jazz: *is suddenly on the floor* Mrow!
Me: *zooms back in with a box* EEEE!
Mom: Eh?
Mom: Wha-
Mom: o_o;

*Anyone who knows me in RL (or, y'know, has my e-mail) can probably guess what my favorite song from this movie is.


Dec. 2nd, 2008 07:47 pm
Ugh, trying day.

Jazz is sick again, poor thing. Mom and I managed to corner her and get the medicine down her throat (at least most of it - part of it ended up on her face while she fought), and then we broke out the carbonated water (seriously, that stuff works wonders on rug stains) because the steam-cleaner was down at the Cape house.

Mom was pissy and weepy about the whole thing (it wasn't pretty this morning), which in turn made ME pissy and weepy (mostly because she took part of her frustration out me and I was freaking out about whether or not Jazz was having kidney failure, which is what I inevitably start thinking every time this happens with her). So after bringing in the trash cans, I retreated to my room and stayed there most of the day to read.

Started and finished The Phoenix Endangered by Mercedes Lackey and James Mallory. The Enduring Flame Trilogy really isn't as good as the Obsidian Trilogy, although I love the banter between Harrier and Tiercel. The cliffhanger ending left me frothing at the mouth, though more in a "Why did they have to end it RIGHT THERE!" kind of way. Certainly better than Foundation's sloppy ending. (Misty, I love you, but I may never be able to forgive you for that ending.)

Not sure whether or not I'll stay online much longer after I post this. Contemplating curling up under a big blanket and getting started on the third and last Mistborn volume, The Hero of Ages. (OMGILOVEYOUBRANDONSANDERSONEEEEIT'SSTILLREALLYMINEOMGYAYIHAVEIT*)

*You have no idea just how hard I squealed when I finally got that book. Although if you listen carefully, you might just hear me when my copy of Dragon Strike by E.E. Knight gets here...


Oct. 28th, 2008 04:54 pm
dt_maxwell: ([Movies] L33tness)
So I spent most of the day running errands with Mom. Stop & Shop this morning, rush home to put away the perishables, break for lunch, then off to BJ's for more stuff in the early afternoon. Stuff has been put away, we should be good for a while, and the candy we decided to buy is strictly for us. I put my foot down this year about giving out goodies on Halloween; I've had door duty two years in a row, and for three straight hours I don't get to sit down for more than two seconds. Hand to God, most of those kids don't live anywhere near the Ashmont neighborhood. I voted to pull down the shades, turn the lights off, and take refuge upstairs. Lucky for me both Mom and Dad approved the plan.

So this Halloween I can get sit back, watch some horror movies and maybe scare myself to death by reading "The Rats in the Wall" and "The Dunwich Horror" by H.P. Lovecraft. I will be guaranteed no sleep for at least two nights straight after reading those gems of horror. And like the Lovecraftian fangirl that I am, I'm looking forward to it.

There is clearly something very wrong with my mind, especially since after four years I'm still irked Miskatonic University isn't real. (I would have fought tooth and nail to go there.)

Right, that actually wasn't the point of this entry. This is:

A few weeks ago, I said to hell with it and decided to join the Science Fiction Book Club. The enrollment deal included getting five books for a dollar each with a sixth free. The way to a man's heart is through his stomach, but the way to DT's heart is through hardcover books. There was absolutely no way I could say no to six hardcovers for five bucks. So I placed my order and twiddled my thumbs as I waited for it to ship.

Today, it arrived. Yeah, I did the happy dance. Twice.

So, my order.

Havemercy by Jaida Jones and Danielle Bennett (I've heard mixed reviews about this one, but I'm willing to give it a shot.)
Scar Night by Alan Campbell (Oooh, dark fantasy can't get darker than this. Gimme.)
The Phoenix Endangered by Mercedes Lackey and James Mallory (Admittedly, The Enduring Flame trilogy isn't as good as the original Obsidian Mountain trilogy, but it's entertaining nonetheless.)
The Voyage of the Space Beagle by A. E. van Vogt (My bookshelf is woefully lacking in true science fiction, and what better to remedy that than a true classic of the genre?)
Off Armageddon Reef by David Weber (More science fiction. Oh, happy day.)

...Yeah, I really haven't stopped flailing since I took The Hero of Ages out of the box. I've been eagerly waiting for it to come out ever since I finished The Well of Ascension. However, I do still have to finish Tales of the Black Company and then read Foundation before I can start on my new books with a guilt-free conscious.

Eeee, books!


Oct. 26th, 2008 09:35 pm
Right, so, errand-time didn't happen because Mom (nor I, honestly) wanted to go out on a Sunday afternoon. So instead I spent most of my day doing more reading and I fervently love Glen Cook now. Another fantasy author says of him, "Reading his stuff is like reading Vietnam War fiction on peyote," and hot damn if he isn't right.

Tales of the Black Company is a compilation of the first three books in the series (The Black Company, Shadows Linger, and The White Rose) and are all told from the point of view of the Company's physician/surgeon/medic/what-have-you, Croaker, who also serves as the Company's Annalist/historian. Cook doesn't waste words and is generally very sparse when it comes to descriptions, which I find immensely refreshing as many authors rely too much on description. Since this is a dark fantasy, not everything is sunshine and roses, but Cook inserts enough humor that you don't get needlessly overwhelmed by the grim atmosphere.

To reiterate: I love Glen Cook. My Pantheon of Literary Gods now has a new member.

The downside to this is that now I've got mercenary company on the brain; this is nothing new for me, back in my roleplaying days I was found of playing lone mercenaries and even managed the Mercenary Guild at one site (ah, memories), and typically I return to the concept every now and then when I write. However, since I've also been mentally outlining how I want my Brindlewood (my high fantasy/steampunk hybrid) story to go for NaNoWriMo, I've been expanding my cast of characters and know I want a mercenary company coming to Brindlewood as an escort for a merchant caravan. (A cavalry company, of course, to satisfy my inner horse lover.)

Normally, not a problem.

The problem arises when my dastardly, conniving muses decide to throw one of my favorite fandoms into the mix as some messed up tribute. Like, say, the Captain is a lanky redhead, soft-spoken but a brilliant leader. And his lieutenants include his hard-drinking best friend, a brash but charming officer with a gap-toothed grin, and a ruthless field commander with a shadowy reputation. Not to mention the rest of the company. Radically different names, of course.

Some of you will know exactly what I am talking about.

And I can feel the muses grinning at me evilly. Damn, damn, damn, I won't let that particular idea take over my brain, I won't! I have a challenge to write and a zombie story to finish and NaNoWriMo to participate in!

Finally finished reading Ghost Soldiers by Hampton Sides and I highly recommend it to all my fellow history geeks. Now I just need to figure out what to read next: high fantasy tale with talking white horses and the humans that put up with them (Foundation by Mercedes Lackey) or dark epic fantasy about the pursuits of a company of mercenaries (Tales of the Black Company by Glen Cook)? Decisions, decisions.

Came across a gigantic coffee table book entitled Military Aircraft in Flight while helping Mom pack up some of Billy's stuff and by gigantic I mean almost two feet long and nearly a foot-and-a-half wide. It's got pictures of bombers and fighters from WWII to today, reconnaissance planes, and helicopters. Yeah, my inner military geek flailed and squealed. Spitfires, Hurricanes, Mustangs, Hornets, Apaches, B-2s, Chinooks, Jaguars... Sigh. Happy day.

Got some more of the zombie story done. I will have that thing finished by Halloween if it freaking kills me.

And almost time to go with Mom to run some more errands. I tell myself at least it's not Macy's (unlike many girls my age, going shopping is something I consider to be a traumatizing and agonizing experience) and without me, Mom would become woefully distracted by every sales item she came across. Still, shopping. Ew.

Hm, in that case, I think I'll go with Tales of the Black Company.
Just got back home after accompanying Mom to drop the Toureag off for an oil change and service check. It took a couple of hours so we trekked alongside the highway to the Barnes & Noble to pass the time and as much as I love bookstores, once I locate exactly what I want I do not mind leaving as soon as possible. (Yeah, I'm a weird breed of bibliophile.) Of course, once we'd finished lounging around B&N Mom decided to visit Pier 1 Imports and ugh, they had those awful scent dispersal stick thingies that reek to high heaven and make me headache-y and nauseous.

But I have books! Eee, books! Which means it's time for a DT's Latest Haul List which I haven't done in forever. Ah, nostalgia.

Ghost Soldiers by Hampton Sides (Easy Company, I love you, but my history bookshelf needs some diversity and I've been itching to get my hands on this one for a while.)
Chronicles of the Black Company by Glen Cook (Dark epic fantasy. Score!)
Goblins! A Survival Guide and Fiasco in Four Parts (The illustrations are cute and I get a kick out of stuff like this, stop looking at me weird. Plus bargain-priced.)

BooksbooksbooksBOOKS! DT is happy.
So, didn't get to go to the game today. One, Dad absolutely had to be on the Cape today because he had a big team working on the homestead (as we've come to call the family property in West Dennis) and so couldn't get back to Boston with the tickets, and quite frankly, no one here at home was willing to endure a three hour (at best) round-trip drive to pick them up. Two, with so much rain the game was postponed anyway so there was no point.

Also, we got slaughtered last night. I stopped watching when it was 13-5; trust me, it was ugly. Which also means the Rays take the AL East and Jesus Christ, that is so damned wrong on so many levels. The Rays, not sucking? Why haven't the Four Horsemen shown up already?

So instead I amused myself for most of the day by finishing The Darkangel and then plowing through A Gathering of Gargoyles, which I actually enjoyed more than the first book. The second book in a trilogy better than the first? I'm not even sure The Lord of the Rings can boast that (and this coming from a girl who considers Tolkien her Literary God). I haven't started The Pearl of the Soul of the World yet, mostly because I need a little time to absorb what happened in the first two books. Yeah, Meredith Ann Pierce is my Literary Goddess.

After I finished reading, I watched some movies with Billy: Balls of Fury (stupid as Hell and it completely reaffirmed how much Christopher Walken scares the crap out of me) and American Gangster (Denzel Washington is made of pure awesome and Russel Crowe is the same as always). And since the game ended up postponed, FOX has been showing the Cubs-Brewers game, so we've been watching that. We were pretty impressed with Ted Lilly's pitching and hitting, although his teammates screwed up his potential no-hitter. My interest is flagging, though; it's not quite the play-offs and I can't bring myself to give a damn about the National League just yet.

Been fiddling with the talent calculators over on the WoW website. I think I know what I want Lailya's build to ultimately be, but since I'm not in the beta I can't really test it out to see if it needs tweaking to make it more viable as a leveling/grinding spec. You can see what I've got here and any input from my fellow WoW geeks would be much appreciated. I haven't even thought about Ashke's build; I'm rerolling her as a Death Knight on Blackwater Raiders (Lailya's staying put on Silver Hand for now) and since I don't know how DKs play at all until WotLK launches I haven't the faintest idea of what would make a good spec. I'd go troll the forums, but the official WoW forums are cesspools on a good day so I'd rather not touch 'em.

All right, I'm going to go watch the WotLK opening cinematic again and drool over that frost wyrm.
Oh, God, I just got done watching the funniest stand-up special I have ever seen! Guy's name is Gabriel Iglesias and he is my all-time favorite comedian, hand to God. I've watched his previous half-hour show from a few years ago multiple times and STILL get a kick from it, and this new special literally had me HOWLING with laughter for the whole hour. Ask my brother, he'll confirm that since he was laughing as hard as I was. Seriously, no comedian has ever been able to make me laugh that hard and that long before. I am so buying the DVD. *firm nod*

In other news: long-awaited books coming out in the next few months!

Coming out later this month on the 21st: The Well of Ascension by Brandon Sanderson, book two of the Mistborn series. This is only his third published book (his debut, Elantris, was a rarity in the fantasy genre, a stand alone, and was utterly brilliant), and I absolutely adored the first Mistborn book, The Final Empire, so I have high hopes. Sanderson's world-building leaves me in utter awe.

Next month, on Sept. 25: Empire of Ivory by Naomi Novik. The fourth Temeraire book, YAYAYAY! For those of you unfamiliar with the Temeraire series (composed of, in order: His Majesty's Dragon, Throne of Jade, and Black Powder War), it's basically a rewrite of history, set in the Napoleonic era with... dragons! Yes, dragons. Nothing else I can say could possibly convey how much I worship this series, so I'm really excited about the fourth novel finally coming out.

Oct. 16: The Phoenix Unchained by Mercedes Lackey and James Mallory, book one of The Enduring Flame. It's a sequel series to the previous series they'd written together, the Obsidian Trilogy, which I thoroughly enjoyed. This is set about a thousand years after that trilogy; Magick is fading out of the world, with Wild Mages a rarity and High Mages effectively extinct. Since it is a sequel series (which, in my opinion, normally don't hold very well), I'm not getting my hopes overly high with this one, but I'm intrigues enough to check it out.

Dec. 4: Dragon Outcast by E.E. Knight, book three of The Age of Fire. Words cannot accurately express my love for this series; they are all about dragons, they are all told from a dragon's point of view, and each focuses on a different member of a clutch, primarily after they all go their separate ways after an attack by dragon-hunters. The first, Dragon Champion is about Auron (later called AuRon once his wings finally grow in and he takes his first flight), a rare gray dragon (who lack scales, and thus, have no hunger for gold or precious items) who is the champion of the clutch (when, after hatching, he kills one brother and maims a second). The second, Dragon Avenger, is about Wistala, the clutch's only surviving female, who's a true tough cookie. This latest one is about the maimed brother, known for now only as Copper; seeing as how awesome the first two were, I can't wait to pick this one up. I think there may actually be a fourth book in the works, but I don't know for sure; I'll have to check the author's website.

^_^ Whee, books! Almost one utterly-engrossing new one a month! Now I just need to find one for November and this will be well and truly awesome. Yays.


Jul. 16th, 2006 10:11 pm
Whoot, I finally got to the bookstore yesterday!

Fushigi Yugi: Genbu Kaiden volume 4
Rurouni Kenshin volume 2
J.R.R. Tolkien: A Biography by Humphrey Carpenter (and I love it)
The House of Medici: It's Rise and Fall by Christopher Hibbert
Insurrection by Thomas M. Reid
Exile by R.A. Salvatore (eehh! Pretty cover!)
MacBeath by You-Know-Who

Aaaahhh. My brain feels so much better.

Been writing up information stuff for The Book, specifically the Harpies. They've changed a lot from the original design, but overall I really like 'em. I'll post what I've got about them a bit later, methinks.

And my dad is watching Steven Seagal movies on Spike. Oye. Talk about no plot. This one just started and I have no idea what in hell is going on. *sighs* Oye.




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