Jul. 2nd, 2017 02:33 pm
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Filia and Maritus gaze awe-struck at the majestic beauty of the Olympic
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First, thank you! I'm looking forward to this, and I hope you'll have fun writing.

As for what I like and don't like, mostly the answer is "it depends." There are very few things I would say a flat-out no to: graphic torture; prolonged graphic violence; incest; rape. But even these, if necessary for the story, character, or setting, might be okay. What I really don't like to see is deliberate cruelty normalized or justified.

My attitude about explicit sex also depends on context. In general, I prefer sex not to be the raison d'être of a story.

For this exchange, I prefer no AUs or crossovers.

Things I especially like:
  • backstory, for both characters and setting
  • underdogs
  • minor characters coming to the fore
  • outsider perspectives
  • characters being in character
  • a setting that feels rich and real
  • unexpected or incongruous friendships
  • romance that goes against gender and/or sex stereotypes
  • actually, anything that goes against gender and/or sex stereotypes
  • people working through difficult problems together
  • slice of life stories
  • endings with a sense of forward motion
  • things I wouldn't think of writing about myself (like what? I don't know!)
Most of all, I hope you write a story that you like and feel excited about.

As for me, I'm a middle-aged woman who likes to read children's fiction; I'm a scientist who likes to read about magic; I'm a physically inactive person who likes to read about adventures and derring-do. My interests are broad and a polite description of my education would be "eclectic."

Notes on specific prompts:

Laela: Anything about this character would be great: backstory, future fic, missing scene, etc. I'm curious about her relationship with Kamet; why he trusts her implicitly and why she betrays that trust in order to push him toward his freedom (as long as the answer is not "she's in love with him"). Given what we know of the character's history, this could get dark. Canon-typical violence is okay, but I prefer nothing graphic or extended.

Ina & Eurydice & Sophos: I'm thinking more of their childhood relationship here, but it could also be something later on, when they're all adults. Either fanart or fanfic would be great. If you feel like doing something light-hearted and cute, this would be the prompt to go with.

Aris: What has Aris been doing while the events of Conspiracy of Kings and Thick As Thieves are going on? In Thick As Thieves, Costis uses Aris's name as an alias; is there a story behind that? What does Aris think of Costis and this Kamet fellow? Be as shippy as you like, or make it gen. Prefer no explicit sex.
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I haven't posted in a while, and I'm behind on answering messages, for which I apologize.

I just want to wish everybody a happy new year with this wonderful video from this morning of a hummingbird nestling taking its maiden flight. The second nestling fledged less than an hour later, but the video of that one isn't as good.

NFE 2016

Sep. 12th, 2016 07:56 pm
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Here's my gift. It is one of only a handful of Andrew Ketterley stories in existence! Go read it. A high and lonely destiny comes at a cost.

The High and Lonely Destiny of Andrew Ketterley (1129 words) by Anonymous
Chapters: 1/1
Fandom: Chronicles of Narnia - C. S. Lewis
Rating: General Audiences
Warnings: Creator Chose Not To Use Archive Warnings
Characters: Andrew Ketterley
Additional Tags: Epistolary, suggested Andrew Ketterley/MOC

The work of a magician is solitary and full of sacrifice.

My own story, of course, I cannot talk about until reveal. I'm a little concerned because my recipient hasn't said anything yet. Sigh. Go, TE, go and do something else and DON'T WORRY. People like your story. Really, they do.


Aug. 10th, 2016 06:41 pm
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Having long, protracted, yet fundamentally silly argument with a friend of Maritus's about whether Vikings had horns on their helmets.

According to the archaeological record, contemporary paintings and sculpture, and contemporary descriptions, they did not.

For some reason, however, this friend keeps sending me pictures of Bronze Age petroglyphs (with horns!), 14th century German burial helmets (with horns!), and Medieval Russian armor (with horns!), as though this proves something. Arrgh.
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 That's it for the pics. I hope it's not all too spammy, I can never quite anticipate how large the individual photos are going to be on the screen.
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A few pictures from Gudbrandstalen, the valley where much of Sigrid
Undset's novel Kristin Lavransdatter is set.
Taken from the train. )


Jul. 25th, 2016 02:09 pm
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The center of the town of Ålesund was completely rebuilt after a catastrophic fire in 1904, in Art Nouveau style. (Catastrophic fires are a running theme in the history of Norwegian cities.) One street is named after Kaiser Wilhelm (!), a major benefactor of the town after the fire. We had only a short time there because we had a ferry to catch.

A few architectural details. )
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We just returned from a trip to Norway. These pics were all taken with phones, so the focus isn't perfect. I took the first two and Maritus took the last one.

1. Overlooking Aurlandsfjorden from a hill above the harbor at Flåm )
2. Storfjorden, near Barstadvika (I think) )
3. Leaving Geirangerfjorden )
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First, thank you! I'm looking forward to this so much, and I hope you're having fun writing.

As for what I like and don't like, mostly the answer is "it depends." At the moment I'm looking for something relatively light-hearted and fun, although if you're using the Andrew Ketterly prompt I could see it going fairly dark. There are very few things I would say a flat-out no to: graphic torture; extended graphic violence; incest; rape. If you want to write about the worst impulses of human nature, then I prefer to see it leavened with loyalty, courage, and kindness. I prefer gen, but a little romance is fine.

Things I especially like:
  • world-building
  • backstory, both for characters and the world itself
  • underdogs
  • characters being in character (acknowledging that people's interpretations of the same character differ)
  • a world that feels rich and real
  • unexpected or incongruous friendships
  • romance that goes against gender and/or sex stereotypes
  • actually, anything that goes against gender and/or sex stereotypes
  • snappy dialog
  • non-sentimentalized parent-child relationships
  • cultural complexity
  • political complexity
  • characters working through difficult problems
  • mythology and folklore
  • slice of life stories
  • things I wouldn't think of myself (like what? I don't know!)
Most of all, I hope you write a story that you like and that makes you happy.
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I had a slightly weird interaction on AO3 just now. I wrote a comment on a story saying "I don't usually like this sort of thing, but I'll make an exception." The author responded that she knew I meant it as a compliment, but that it was a rude compliment.

In retrospect, I can see that "i'll make an exception" could come off as obnoxious, as though I'm condescending to enjoy the story, but all I meant was that the author got me to enjoy something that I ordinarily don't enjoy.

Anyway, I apologized and s/he replied that it was no big deal, but I thought the whole thing was kind of weird. 
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We had a bumper crop this year, probably due to the relativelwet winter followed by a very warm spring. The plums started ripening about a week earlier than last year, as well.

Total harvest: 96 lbs. The tree produced over 100 pounds of fruit, but there are some branches that I leave to the neighbors since they hang over on their side of the fence. We had some fallen and squirrel-eaten plums as well.

Total produce:

Frozen Plums: 6 quarts
Plum Liqueur: 4 liters (or more; won't know exactly until I decant it)
Plum Chutney: 3.5 pints
Plum Syrup: 10 pints (I use it as a base for drinks, sorbet, and gelato)
Plain Plum Jelly: 3.5 pints
Plum Butter: 6 pints
Plum Jelly with Pinot Noir: 4 pints

The pinot noir jelly didn't gel the first time, so I had to redo it this morning. Usually I don't add pectin, but I did on the second round. It's still not jelling perfectly, but I can live with a soft jelly, so I have decided that I'm officially done with canning for the year.

In case you're wondering why I use different units of measurement, it has to do with the containers I use for different types of preserves.

I also made two plum cobblers (and will probably make another tonight) and a batch of sorbet

I gave away about 30-40 pounds of fruit. I still have at least 10 pounds in my fridge; thus the need to make a cobbler.

I didn't make any jam this year, but made more syrup than usual. There's only so much plum jam/jelly/butter our family can eat and give away in a year, and we still have a few jars left from last year. Also, I'm sure that some of our friends may appreciate something other than jam at Christmas.


Jun. 1st, 2016 09:45 pm
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Of interest to fans of LOTR and/or Narnia (and xkcd-type humor):


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July 2017



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