anthimeria: Stars in space (Starscape)
My summer job teaching gifted kids to write fantasy?  Was AMAZING.  I worked 12 hour days for 3 weeks straight and loved every minute of it.  I want to do it again, especially now that I've done it once and can learn from my experience.  Seriously, so much work and SO FUN.

The day job also picked up over the last few months, which is great because I love that, too.  It's meant an adjustment in my schedule, and with the interruption of WisCon and the summer job, I lost all momentum on Swan Book 2.0.  But I've been doodling with a short story lately (it wants to be a novella.  I may let it) and have written a few fics for the new Ghostbusters movie, which--OMG.  Best thing since--jeez, I don't even know.  The Mummy?  Practical Magic?  Actually, it's like they took the girl-centric Practical Magic storyline, added in the adventure and snappy dialogue from The Mummy, and tossed it into a blender with the original Ghostbusters, added more science and tech, and a completely kickass final fight scene just for fun.  I loved it A LOT.

With an interstate move lurking just over the horizon, I've also been trying to get going on moving prep.  For me, Stage One absolutely has to be Cleaning and Culling.  I am not a naturally tidy person, but I can't pack without space, and I refuse to bring anything extraneous, so doing both at once seems like a 2-birds, 1-stone situation.

That doesn't mean it's fun.  My floor is clean and vacuumed, the 'miscellaneous stuff' corner cleared out, my bookshelves have been culled and reorganized (1.5 medium-sized boxes of books to be donated), and my three shelves of work materials likewise.  Which is, to put it bluntly, the easy stuff.

Coming up are my closets, underneath the bed, and my crafting/electronics/jewelry/holiday decor/important papers shelves.  (It's a big set of shelves.)  Once that's done, I have my car, and then considering how long this is likely to take, doing all the basics over again.

Wish me luck!  Fingers crossed nothing unexpected falls from a high shelf.


Dec. 17th, 2013 08:04 pm
anthimeria: Woman drawing a sword, the words "Sword and Sorceress XXV" (SS XXV)

Anna is awesome, Elsa is amazing, the music is breathtaking, the visuals are stunning, the story is affecting (I cried in distress and happiness!), it totally upsets fairy tale expectations in the best ways, the funny sidekick characters are tolerable, and it's a story about love and fear and power where not one but two women get to have these things.

I don't want to spoil anyone, and I know a fair few people have feminist issues with Disney (I can be one of them), but this movie is worth it.  Especially if you have young girls, and even better, sisters, this movie says some really important things that many Disney/princess/fairy tale stories aimed at this age group either do terribly or gloss over.

It's wonderful for all the best reasons.

(I really really disliked the short that comes first, though.  Be warned.)
anthimeria: Astro City superheroine Flying Fox (Flying Fox)

After meaning to ever since I started working seriously on Forest War, I finally sat down and watched the Tinker Bell movie.  I was dreading it--I never really got what Disney was doing with the whole Disney Fairies thing, and it always seemed girly and mindless and commercial.

Well, while it was definitely girly and its track record shows commercial success, the Tinker Bell movie is not mindless.  It's a simple story told well, and a story with a some messages I can definitely get behind.  It has the somewhat-standard "Accept and love who you are" plot, but it also adds a whole new dimension to Tinker Bell's character--mainly, emphasis on the tinker part.

Basically, Tinker Bell is a kickass inventor and engineer, and after screwing up a bunch of stuff trying to be a nature fairy, she goes back and uses her building and inventing talent to fix her mistakes.  Even better, she does it in a whole new way, so not only is she 1) accepting who she is 2) which is a girl who is an engineer who is 3) inventing in new ways with objects previously thought useless, thus making her effectively The Best engineer.

Seriously, she saves spring with a bunch of re-purposed flotsam.  Take that, Tony Stark.


Jun. 3rd, 2013 02:02 pm
anthimeria: Open book, says "sometimes you reach what's realest by making believe" (Books)
Went out to see Epic last night with my family.  None of us knew much about it, but it looked fun and animated and so we figured we'd give it a shot.

Loved it!

A great adventure story with a wonderful, believable main character and a great supporting cast.  Loved the worldbuilding and the plot (it made WAY more sense than Star Trek: Into Darkness, which I also saw this week) and had some great funny moments (a few cringe-worthy moments as well, but I have a low tolerance threshold for the "funny" sidekick characters) and even my Dad teared up at the end!  In a good way.  Good emotional tears.

Epic is funny and fast and real and awesome, and I don't know why I haven't heard more about this movie.  I need to track down the book it's based on, as well, by William Joyce.  The movie is like the creators took Fern Gully and The Spiderwick Chronicles and smushed them together.

So!  If you like kid's movies, check this one out.
anthimeria: Barbara Gordon, in wheelchair, hand fisted, with the word "Not half beaten yet" (Oracle: Not Beaten)
Does what it says on the tin.

No spoilers: Orleans, by Sherri L. Smith

First came the storms.
Then came the Fever.
And then the Wall.

A few decades in our future, the Gulf Coast Delta has been quarantined from the Outer States of America for fear of Delta Fever, which struck after a series of devastating hurricanes and which discriminates solely by blood type.  In Orleans, your blood tribe is all.

I snagged this as soon as it came out and read it in three gulps.  It's a thick enough book (not page count, really, but amount of action and information per page) that I needed some time, but by those last 100 pages I was flipping as fast as I could.  It's really good near-future with a disease-based social sci-fi twist, and I loved it.

Fen de le Guerre is a phenomenal main character--practical, emotional, absolutely nothing unnecessary about her.  Daniel, a surprise second POV character, is exactly what he is--and I as a reader spent a lot of time on Fen's side, wanting to smack him.  Fen is that wonderful kind of character who immerses you in her world, to the point where Daniel--who comes from outside Orleans, who in a less well-told story would be our audience-POV character--comes off as a bumbling fool.  Or, at least, naive in a well-educated and privileged way.  The reader belongs to Fen, which is as it should be.

If you like well-told adventure stories that don't hold back from social-sci-fi darkness, with impeccable characterizations, and don't mind getting punched in the gut a few times, Orleans is for you.  It's fantastic, thoughtful, and doesn't ever stop.

So many spoilers:

Iron Man Three )

So, all in all, I'm doing fairly well on stories consumed today.  Now I have editing to do in prep for WisCon, so that'll be interesting.

anthimeria: Astro City superheroine Flying Fox (Flying Fox)
So, I saw Green Lantern . . . some time ago, Harry Potter in the midnight showing, and just this afternoon I kicked on over to Captain America.

SPOILERS BEWARE!  Though nothing big or unexpected, really.

Green Lantern )

Harry Potter and the Dealthy Hollows pt 2 )

Captain America )

And those are the movies I've seen lately.  Sadly, the only one that passed the Bechdel test was Harry Potter, but at least Captain America had a period-relevant excuse.  I was pleased to at least have a female main character; asking for two from a period superhero flick might've been too much.  Though it would've been nice.  Green Lantern has no such excuse.

In short: GL=dull, HP=okay, Cap=YAY.

anthimeria: Comic book panels (Sequential Art)
Just saw "How to Train Your Dragon" for the second time, and it is just as fun on the next go-round as it was on the first!

It's not a complicated movie, but it's fun, well-written and well-executed.  There's just nothing bad about this movie.  It's a wonderful version of the boy and his dragon story (of which I have read a lot, so I know what I'm talking about!).  If you're five, fifteen or fifty, this movie is worth seeing.

HTTYD has a bunch of breathtaking flying scenes, more than enough for me to want my own dragon.  Toothless (the dragon) is scary and adorable at turns, Hiccup (the boy) is smart and funny and determined, the art is beautiful, the character/dragon design is quirky and unique, and it doesn't shy away from consequences.  Also, the dialogue is awesome.

Now I really want to read the book, but in one of those good news/bad news situations, my library has three copies--that are all checked out.  I hope this means kids are reading them!

(PS: on a similar note of good, recent children's movies, I love the soundtrack for "The Princess and The Frog")
anthimeria: Gears, some magnified (Gears)
I haven't dived in yet, but the water looks fine.

My Skywatch outline has been returned to me, and I have been tweaking it for several days, mostly fixing the beginning and the end (I've noticed a trend).  I'm not entirely sure about either of the scenes I added, so I'm going to set the outline aside for a few days and then come back, see if time lends perspective.  Actually writing the book might be the best way to tell at this point.  I'm (still) almost there.

Writing that isn't steampunk )
Wandering back around to the subject of steampunk (I think this is my longest just-about-me post--some of the WindyCon posts might be longer, but I'm not sure), I've been reading and watching whatever I can get my hands on via libraries and netflix.  Cherie Priest's book Boneshaker was very good, though it took me a week and a half to get through the first two hundred pages, I read the second in about two hours.  Definitely a book worth sticking with.  The Otomo anime Steamboy was also rollicking fun, and the background art is gorgeous.    Reading the subtitles, watching the movie and oogling the background was kinda difficult at one in the morning, but worth the trouble.

I also found the '60s tv show The Wild, Wild West, which is black and white and ridiculous but pretty fun, too.  I also had a geek-out moment in the very first episode, because I'd seen Sherlock Holmes (which is kinda steampunk-y) that day and there's a shot in the movie that's identical to a shot in the pilot, down to the design of the sleeve-gun.
anthimeria: Open book, says "sometimes you reach what's realest by making believe" (Books)
Definitely felt like I've been on a precipice for a couple of weeks.  The research for Skywatch was driving me mad; I got really tired of reading about colonialism.  Once the anger, frustration, and distasteful residue of the expansionist history of the nineteenth century wore off, though, I settled back down to finish worldbuilding and outlining.

Cut for writerly nattering )
In a completely unrelated note, I finally found time to see "The Princess and the Frog," and it is a movie made of wonderfulness.  Tiana has a song called "Almost There" that I've already nearly memorized.


anthimeria: unicorn rampant, first line of Kipling's "The Thousandth Man" (Default)
Lauren K. Moody

Positive Obsession

There is hope in error, but none at all in perfection.
--Ursula K. Le Guin

The universe is made up of stories, not atoms.
--Muriel Rukeyser

Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.
--Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr


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