lotesse: (Default)
Hallo, fellow yuletider! Thank you for writing me a story!

I like emotionally intense reading experiences, family stories, passion, complexity, stories about good problem-solving and communication skills that nevertheless don't save you from life's complications, and stories about people trying. I'll give fandom-specific wants/dnws beneath; I don't have broad squicks to speak of, but some canons work for me in different ways than other ones do. I tend to gravitate to happy-ending stories, but I also enjoy fiction that is elegant, ironic, gothicized, or kinky in its cruelty.

specific fandom/request deets:

Hamilton, Hamilton/Washington )
Earthsea, a story about Tenar's life as a young woman on Gont )
Sleepy Hollow, Ichabbie competence shipping )
Enchanted Forest Chronicles, Cimorene/Mendanbar reunionating )
Madeleine L'Engle - Kairos Series, Meg and Calvin when their family was young )
lotesse: (freedom)
Revisiting Earthsea canon via googlebooks has revealed to me the entirely bullshit new cover for A Wizard of Earthsea, which had the most beautiful debut cover way back when, the one with the duotone woodcut and good typefaces, and has had terrible luck with whitewashing and malarkey ever since. But! the previous Honky Ged movie tie-in cover was, it seems, a bridge too far: whoever the sack of dicks is that makes these dumbass decisions went for some nice coded dehumanization instead. What's that you say, the red-brown protagonist also spends some time flying around as a hawk? Excellent! Put that on the cover. What a relief. Visible diversity narrowly avoided once again, blessed be the name of Blondy Jesus.
lotesse: (laputa_sheeta/pazu)
things that are Getting Better:

enrollment for next year done! successfully, even.

I just ate the last hundred pages of Middlemarch. I'm going to have to go back and write notes over the next week, but I just couldn't help myself. I am totally unable to resist George Eliot when she really gets her roll on - and girlfriend gives good ending.

Writing is also happening! Mainly on Prydain - and I'm trying to decide what I'm going to do with this fic. It's turning into a monster - over 8,000 words and I'm only just getting started, and I'm thinking about maybe posting it as a WIP? Which is something I never do, really, because I'm too much of a control freak/backward writer - but I want this to see daylight at some point!

My proposal for my spec-fic comp course went off today. I ended up including nuTrek, Serenity, LeGuin's "Winter's King," and N.K. Jemisin's "The Effluent Engine," as well as essays by LeGuin, Frederic Jameson, Joanna Russ, Francesca Coppa (TWC represent!), Elizabeth Freeman, and Adrienne Rich. So I'm excited about that, and hope it will get accepted - and also I am pleased that I have one less thing to work on.

Yesterday we went out to the farm and did things with tractors, and The Baby helped me pick a huge bunch of early jonquils, and we watched the first Pirates of the Caribbean movie with him, which he'd never seen. We've successfully converted him to Star Wars - we watched the OT together two summers ago, and now his closet door has a handwritten sign on it indicating the entrance to the "Jedi archives," so.
lotesse: (darkisrising)
It got so cold these last few days that I ended up turning back to Susan Cooper to cope with it! And oh dear me, I do love her books. The Dark is Rising books are sweet as honey, and I get all heart-clenchy over them. They're the sort of books that have me gasping out characters' names in peak narrative moments, just to somehow give voice to the abundance of love I end up feeling for them.

Question: did anyone else ever read Cooper's book Seaward? It was one of my best beloveds as a kid, and I haven't seen nor touched in for years, now - it tends to be hard to find. I remember that it was one of those books that were a big deal for me in early adolescence: the ones that were still pretty much children's lit, not YA - classic high fantasy, not hip or modern or anything like that - but that had sex bits in them. And not porn or anything, but just sort of an awareness of the body as a subject. Seaward and Many Waters and Tehanu, and Freckles. Before Song of the Lioness and Mists of Avalon. I loved those books so very very much.
lotesse: (Default)
Back at home at last, so first:

To My Yuletide Santa, thank you so much. I adore my story, I really don't have the words to tell you how much. Every image that pings me, that makes my breath come short--you wrote them all in. The blue dress, the blue dress! and the names with the dragon, and young Tenar trying to build herself around Arha, and my Ged. I want to be able to string words together so badly, but I find myself undone. So thank you.

Here's the link. You must all go read the most wonderful piece of Ged/Tenar ever written: Lighting the Lamps

And for my own use and that of others, here are recs for Villette, Persephone, Narnia, Howl's Moving Castle, Beauty and the Beast, The Secret Garden, Galaxy Quest, To Kill a Mockingbird, Into The Woods, Douglas Adams, Anne of Green Gables, and Little Women )
lotesse: (Default)
Just got back to school after a long, weird, and at times wonderful holiday. And here was this lovely waiting for me:

Goro Miyazaki, son of Hayao Miyazaki and co-member of Studio Ghibli, is directing an animated Earthsea movie. Oh. My. God. Miyazaki. Earthsea. If anyone can do it, it's him. I would so love to see a good production of these books, but it would have to be perfect. One misstep and the story would be torn to bits. Here's hoping. Eek.

more info: http://www.nausicaa.net/miyazaki/earthsea/
lotesse: (erised)
I've been trying to understand why feminist critique, both in fandom and outside of it, has such potential to cause me pain. Because I know that it's necessary, god above I do, and I wouldn't banish it for the world. But I do get that sinking, painful, want-to-look-away-now feeling, and I'm not usre that I like it.

This semester has been one of major feminist conflict for me. I have an instinctive attraction to the feminism of women like Virginia Woolf, Emma Goldman, Carol Gilligan, and Ursula LeGuin--the idea that women should not have to turn to the yang side of things to be good feminists, the idea that there is another way of doing things that has traditionally been alotted to women that's worth hanging on to.

Gilligan is a perfect example of this: she points out that men and women tend to view moral dilemmas differently, men focussing on rights and women on responsibilities. Only men's way of thinking has been regarded as correct and/or mature by the psychological establishment. Gilligan argues that the other way, the one that has traditionally been sociallized to the female role, is just as valid. LeGuin does this, too. She talks about writing with the female voice, tellling the yin-ish stories. And I like this idea. This feels like somewhere where I belong. Because I do, as a person, value caretaking above individual achievment. Heck, I'm a socialist. Something Le Guin mentions: the story has been definied (by men) as a thing with a conflict, something that moves the way a thrown spear does. She rejects this, talks about the novel as a vessel, as a carrier bag, something to tuck bits of things into.

Okay, all well and good. but a lot of these ideas are criticized as being part of feminist backlash, trying to tie women to the domestic role again. And I want to say, "no, really they aren't. All women don't have to be like this, it's just that I am, and I don't want to be devalued for it." But I can see their point. And it makes me oh so anxious.

Perhaps it's that I vehemently don't want to be part of the problem. I see the reality of sexism, and I want to make it better. I want to help. And I hate feeling like I'm supporting the misogynists by being the way I am.

Or maybe it goes even deeper, to a desire to not be controlled. I hate the idea that all these things that I think and feel, that I think are me, are really the result of my brainwashing at the hands of those who I would oppose. I want my thoughts to belong to me, not to someone else. And yet I know that there are women who have stuck their heads in the sand and refused to recognized the reality of sexism, and I know that they impede the progress of feminism. It happens. but I don't want it to happen.

I don't want my pleasures to turn out to be guilty ones. When LeGuin or C.S. Lewis or even my own darling Tolkien makes me happy, I don't want to think that it si only so because my thoughts and feelings are not my own. Re-reading Anne, I realized that Anne's life made me happy, and wasn't that horrible, because she goes to college and all but then goes back home to raise six kids and Gilbert gets to have a career. I felt this pang of anger towards myself for enjoying this portrait of the feminine mystique. And then I thought that LeGuin would talk about writing motherhood, writing the yin story, that Gilligan would talk about the fact that Anne chose to help individulas rather than fight the system, and that it maybe wasn't so horrible after all.

The end of the matter is that the things that make me happy, the images and dreams that I most cherish, are not going to be acceptable to a certain brand of feminism. And that makes me very, very afraid, because the success of the feminist movement is something very dear to my heart. And when the things that I love are accused of sexism, it's going to freak me out, because it will plunge me into re-evaluating myself. Someone over on [livejournal.com profile] miriam_heddy's journal brought up shaving, but for me the equivalence isn't there. I know that, when I do shave, I'm caving to social pressure. I don't do it often, but I recognize that it makes me far less likely to wear skirts. I know my motivations in that scenario. I'm not acting with complete courage, perhaps, but I'm certainly not deluding myself. And it's that delusion that I worry about, that I will do anything to end.

If the things that I love are sexist, if I love them for the wrong reasons, then I regard that as something I must change. Because I am determined to lead the self-examined life.


3 Feb 2005 04:35 am
lotesse: (truelove)
Five characters that I had hopeless crushes on as a child:

1. Prince Caspian, The Chronicles of Narnia. The hair, the geekery, the knowledge of boats...he was like me, a child yearning for the old days, except that he actually got them back and was hotter than me.

2. Gilbert Blythe, Anne of Green Gables. So the perfect guy ever. That, and I was totally Anne, so I reckoned he'd like me.

3. Eilonwy, The Prydain Chronicles. Gorgeous, spunky, clever. I should have wanted to be her, but I think that I mainly just wanted to snog her. Not quite sure why ti worked out that way, but it did.

4. Laurie, Little Women. Come on. Who didn't love this guy?!?

5. Ged, A Wizard of Earthsea. Just. He's Ged, man. Dark, tortured, brilliant, silent, passionate...I wanted to fix him and free him and have lots and lots of sex with him.

I have been completely carried off by Palestrina's "Sicut Cervus." Oh my god. This may well be the most beautiful music in all the world. I could live a lifetime listening to it alone.
lotesse: (Sweet Bess)
Quote for the day, from Ursula K. Leguin:

"Socrates said, "The misuse of language induces evil in the soul." He wasn’t talking about grammar. To misuse language is to use it the way politicians and advertisers do, for profit, without taking responsibility for what the words mean. Language used as a means to get power or make money goes wrong: it lies. Language used as an end in itself, to sing a poem or tell a story, goes right, goes towards the truth.
A writer is a person who cares what words mean, what they say, how they say it. Writers know words are their way towards truth and freedom, and so they use them with care, with thought, with fear, with delight. By using words well they strengthen their souls. Story-tellers and poets spend their lives learning that skill and art of using words well. And their words make the souls of their readers stronger, brighter, deeper. "

There are no words for how much I love this woman.

I need to start writing again. Fic, original, poetry, anything. I think that sometimes it's easier to close that off, to just sleep. Go to class, read some fic, turn off your brain. I's easier, but it isn't better. I feel like I'm only half-alive when I'm living like that. So I'm going to start writing again. I've got Trio!fic, Pansy!fic, and hobbit!fic all simmering away, and I think I found a new original story to write. I think that I actually might be able to like this one, if I can ever get anything done on it.

I feel oddly guilty about not posting any decent content. I mean, who'm I kidding? No one's really interested in my ramblies. No, that's not a plea to tell me how much you love me. It's a reminder to myself of just how silly I sound when I whine like that so that maybe I won't.
lotesse: (Default)
There's a gorgeously thick, curling mist blanketing campus this morning, and everything is very still and quiet. I wish that I could write, but I can't think of anything to say. So I s'pose I'll just be quiet. I mean, what I really want is my boy and my cats to curl up in bed with, but if wishes were horses beggars would ride.

And if I can't write, I want to read. Anyone have any good fairy-tale-based recs?

ETA: Le Guin on Rowling! Excerpted from a link fom [livejournal.com profile] roxannelinton, "...stylistically ordinary, imaginatively derivative, and ethically rather mean-spirited." God, I love that woman. "Ethically mean-spirited" indeed! Hear, hear!

daughter of the sea, oregano's first cousin


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