By Any Other Name
the tale of Willow

Willow
Date: 11:08AM | Wed, July 20th | 2011
Subject: Updated 100_Willow
Security: Public
Tags:books

Mistress of the Art of Death

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Willow
Date: 05:33PM | Thu, June 23rd | 2011
Subject: The Internet Can Be So Great
Security: Public
Mood:sore
Tags:books

Ok, yay for search engines. It's not my sources, it's not that the ebooks differ from the DTcopies; it IS that Cherryh forgot her canon in regards to some things in the Foreigner series. Alrighty then. Cause that was niggling me A LOT as I've tried to decide if these are books I want to 'dust' aka buy physical copies of (likely second hand) or if I want to BUY ecopies. But own them I -want- oh very much indeed. It has been a balm to my soul - can't even talk about it. Will end up crying. (I repeat, dear CJ Cherryh & Jim Butcher, please don't jump the FailTrain of privilege and callous disregard for your fellow human beings, all of them).

In other news, cold hard boiled eggs are yummy, but they probably shouldn't be breakfast, lunch and dinner, no matter how achy my joints feel right now.

Going back to the books; I don't follow commentary etc, as much I would like. I'd love to drown myself in other people's thoughts about it. But I do NOT want to run smack into the issues of privilege that will hurt me among the readers of the work. Especially not when the writing itself has been like Mary's hand on my soul.

Also, just peeking around for what I did find, I ran into Atevi and Calorie Intake. And I dont' need food issue triggers involved in a thing I enjoy.

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Willow
Date: 10:54PM | Sat, May 28th | 2011
Subject: Note To Flist (And Friends)
Security: Public
Mood:frank frank
Tags:a lil help?, books, obi-flist-kenobi

I have greatly enjoyed CJ Cherryh's Foreigner series. I have looked at the summaries of her other works, however, and concluded they would not be for me. The Alliance/Union universe intrigues some... but well I have no confidence I'd be reading other than lots and lots of white people having adventures. Even in Foreigner, there is only ONE non Caucasian human mentioned (and who gets dialogue ). I enjoy Foreigner, because I enjoy the Ateva and the fact that despite his power in the moment, the lone blonde white dude is a TOOL to be used by non human, non white powers, charting their own fortunes. Plus, said white dude often tends to have a clue about what he doesn't know and how detrimental assuming he and his know all, would actually be. And the society is set up thus that I wince less at all the noble, devoted, dark skinned servant types who see to his varied needs.

Are there other books out there about (I won't hold an ice cube's chance in hell to get actual POC's but) Alien Cultures charting their own fates with humans NOT being on top, not getting to dictate policy, etc? And said alien cultures being a unique culture as much as possible? And a little less - let's dress up some non-white culture?

Once upon a time (as close as 2 or 3 years ago even) I had a lot of squee over the Elves in 'The Obsdian Triology / (M.Lackey, J.Mallory)' being Japanese and a touch Mongolian (among certain tribes). And then I began to realize that once my glee at seeing certain cultures touched had faded, once the adrenaline rush was over, it was still a load of the combined crap of 'White Savior Who Becomes Better Than The Best Of Them' mixed with 'Their Ancient Old But Stagnant Ways' mixed with 'Oh what earthy esoteric knowledge these Others have'. Which of course all gleamed bright when I read the second trilogy in that universe and became appalled at the blatant 'Those gullible brown skinned desert dwelling people, need a honkey - etc...'

Again this year I am grateful my quality of life has improved, thus that my brain is no longer fogged with certain drugs, extreme exhaustion and fuge and I can follow more complex plots and detail in writing. It's helped spark things in my brain, my little writerly soul is peeking a tiny whiskered nose out and sniffing the air. I hesitate to bruise it with a lot of HONKEY SHINES BRIGHT. HONKEY SAVES THE UNIVERSE. AND IN THE LAND OF HONEKY ONE POOR HONEKY FARM BOY WOULD BE KING.

Suggestions?

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Willow
Date: 01:56AM | Fri, May 13th | 2011
Subject: Ugh. Books: A Ramble
Security: Public
Mood:grumpy/ bitchy & other dwarves grumpy/ bitchy & other dwarves
Tags:books, looking for reading material, thinky thoughts

The devilishly handsome, the darkly charming, the blah blah blahing. I have an instant turn off button for romances. I don't want to hear about beautiful (often more than not) white people finding one another's arms. I want even less to hear about the one (white) woman, with the spunk, independence and determination to xyz, while winning the heart of abc Mc White Bread. That shite messes with your mind.

It's not the only reason I'm turned off, mind. But I can remember getting into situations I really, ordinarily would have thought twice of, and should have known better about. Except that it's fed into the minds of women and girls, especially those who sneak and read romances despite being told they're not old enough - and these days with teen romances everywhere who has to steak-. It's fed that you're lucky if you're the one woman some guy can stand; the one woman who's not related to him that he wants to be around. If you're that special woman, that once in a million woman who'll surprise him by having ideas, or understanding him or what the fuck ever. I bought into that mindsight and didn't even realize I was buying into it. I was so sure I was aware of my choices - but being aware and being able to take control are two different things. And I was flying in the stream of 'I'm special!' and not taking any control at all.

The shit you'll put up with to be 'special'.

And yeah, while the focus is on hetero relationships, the damage can cross-over. So I guess I've a huge ladder of chips on my shoulder for books describing themselves a certain way or dealing with relationships a certain way. And like I said, that's before I reach the point of rolling my eyes at all the spirited independent, just as good as a man maybe even better, uber white women roaming around fiction being spectacular and beautiful but not knowing it

Have I mentioned yet the bullshit it sets up for men? That somehow beautiful, intelligent, independent woman will somehow magically become submissive girlfriends and wives for just the RIGHT male? Suddenly his opinion will matter SO much, and his advice and if he's the right guy, she'll do near anything to please him? It's like... women are cats or something. And men are owners. And the right owner meets the right cat (undoubtedly while holding the right food/lure), and suddenly they're the only one who can pet the dangerous, sleek creature and get purrs. It is SO wtf.

Worse is when the 'Cat Owner' is a 1200 year old undead and is all 'OMG, I'm getting the nuzzling even though I'm not warm nor have I run through fish' and the woman as cat is all 'Hmmm, personal ice-pack. Catnip on the rocks.'. Really. WTF?

Huh, writing this all out? I never realized before my problem is because I think relationships aren't given any respect; They're formulas in books, where x input and y chemical should equal z reaction. And the writing often does whatever it can to get x + y = z. Even if they started out with a and 1.

I used to think of romances as women's power fantasies; but they're kind of dangerous power fantasies if the only power is in who one gives up power for. Or if power is one's body and sexuality.

Huh, guess this explains why I rolled my eyes while reading a sample, wherein there's this rule x can't ever fall in love with y - it's the LAW. And I'm all, how the hell do you criminalize emotional connection? How can you think you can control it? You can say x and y may not reproduce because of these circumstances etc... But the other way of phrasing it assumes love equals sex equals reproduction and just... There were problems with that even in real life, farless your fantasy made up universe. Arrrgh. Yeah, ok, lots of issues whenever I go to pick something up, because the world, that I can find, at least, if filled with cis, white, hetero, currently able bodied individuals - who even when the glove is ON FIRE, somehow must find the 'sanctuary of love' in one another's arms.

Geeze, no wonder I adore Claymore and have to hand wave certain bits.

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Willow
Date: 01:08AM | Thu, January 27th | 2011
Subject: This Is A List Of Complaints.
Security: Public
Tags::{ grumpy face, books, i will cut somebody, question everything, wtf!

* I am fed up with teenagers who want to be 'normal' and have 'normal lives' even though they have varied above normal abilities

* I am fed up with 'just a normal/ordinary/every day' boy or girl description of the protagonist in summary, and protagonist of course is white, middle class and usually blonde.

* I am fed up with reading 'Until/And Then/But....; The eye poppingly hot/studly seductive/ seriously sexy/sizzling/hunky or some other OMG BE JEALOUS intro description of, usually but not always, the male in a book summary. It makes me forget I like romance. Cause I do. I like reading about characters getting to know one another better, and finding similarities in points of view and politics and family life etc, and growing closer and emotions running deeper.

The superficial trophy significant other due to looks, power, etc... UGH. SO MUCH DAMN UGH.

* I am tired of torture porn and gore in thrillers parading as mysteries. I do not have a serial killer fetish. I am tired of serial killer this and serial killer that.

*(Spoiler Blanked / Somewhat Triggery) If your book is a romance, even a historical gay romance? I don't need on page 3 to be reading about 'And then I sodomized him' followed by descriptions of pain and someone's overwhelming lust despite their partner's discomfort. Even as a memory!

Things that cannot be controlled - all the prexisting books of cis, hetero, male fantasy wishfulfilmen, where some barbarian/young man/whatever has to save the day, or at least is village, while growing into or showing off his already 'mighty thews' blah blah blah, with extra inborn nobility/political savvy/etc... blah blah.

Sigh. I have other complaints, but right now, while in pain, and wanting comfort, I once again sought out books and stories. And once again my soul cried out NO! I've been all twitchy about anime too (and anime is where I go when Euro/US tv makes me want to claw at my poor skull).

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Willow
Date: 12:45PM | Sun, November 28th | 2010
Subject: More Thunderclaps via Mercedes Lackey
Security: Public
Tags:books, books of the past, wth?

STORM WARNING. So I'm reading it and feeling - bored - but it's again, one of the trilogy arcs I really like. And then I reach this place where I realize I'm being TOLD all about how one character feels about another, and about how things are. Told, not shown. And that the part that was boring me before was how much further telling, not showing, was going on.

The Obsidian Trilogy is still currently one of my favourites. But now I'm going to have to wonder, as I read, if I'm skipping a bunch of TOLD not SHOWN as well. I know that was the case with the second trilogy from those writers - along with a bunch of other things. Ugh. So much ugh.

Now I wonder who else has come to this conclusion about the told not shown re: Misty Lackey. And I wonder at what need did it fill in the past, that I missed it or forgave it. I find myself going - who wants to be TOLD that someone loves them, is surprised to love them, feels devoted to them. Wouldn't a person rather see this for themselves?

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Willow
Date: 03:19AM | Tue, November 23rd | 2010
Subject: What The Hell Am I Reading?
Security: Public
Tags:books, wth?

I am attempting to read Skinned by Robin Wasserman. I am on page 54. I am... conflicted. I am... confounded? Upset? Perturbed? Disturbed? I am something. I am doing a lot of wincing. The premise is; girl gets in accident, gets put in robot body. The synopsis is; and then friends reject her, there's trouble, blah blah. The problems I'm having start at genetic selection for children, with focus on blonde hair andf blue eyes for the protagonist and allusions to ancestral Nazi great x whatever grandpaprents. They slide further into ugh at Mecca and Jerusalem and nuclear warfare, the 'death of relgion' and now 'Faither's - who are stupid people who believe in G-d. And who also have a problem with people who've been downloaded into robot bodies because... G-d created man. Who created you. And well, I'm not feeling trust for this author I've never met before, who seems to be hinted at an all white world, with some non white surnames. Plus it's all feeling surface.

Is the Nazi mention meant to hint at something deeper or not? Is it the YA thing where all adults are idiots - that a counselor of some sort doesn't grok depression regarding trauma? And what Faith are 'Faithers', cause surely even if West Asia is all exploded, it didn't take ALL the Jews and ALL the Muslims, ALL the Arabs and ALL the Persians, ALL the Turks and everyone else from that region with that ancestry or those associations.

And while it's YA, 1st person pov, I don't trust that a similar case person in the story isn't being treated as the 'Good and cooperative cripple'. If so, is this the 1st person perspective of someone now handicapped, dealing with a world that doesn't believe in her right to exhist because it's not what they're used to? Is her detachment a grieving of what she's lost, without any help given on how to continue to live? Possibly in a society that's extremely phobic?

I'm kind of stuck about if it's about the symbolic death of a person who's severely injured, who continues to want to live their life and has to face a word that goes 'But what kind of life is that'?

Also, I supposed I may be havng a natural ambivilence of Americanized Highschool Social Jungle as THE LIFE.

Has anyone else read the book? Should I trust the author? Cause I'm not sure about the message that disability equals symbolic death equals a need to 'be with your own kind'.

ETA: 1 hr later -> And then there was angry robot hate make-out, more passionate than anything felt before. I am SO done.

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Willow
Date: 11:46AM | Sun, October 24th | 2010
Subject: Notes To Self
Security: Public
Tags:books, cope scale 5

Misty Lackey remains a comforting read, even when I realize I'm reading for the umpty-eleventh time; misunderstood formaly abused orphaned or abandoned or neglected child, overcomes all challenges especially those caused by bullying and emotional blackmail intimidation, usually after a despairing moment of crushing defeat and self punishment, followed by a campus wide event that crushes those dark bullying thoughts once and for all via epic heroism.

I read her. I like her. I especially like Valdemare and yet - I always knew when I was reading her no damn horse was ever going to come find me. And recently, with everything going on with SF professionals and fans showing their asses - even the fantasy seems so damn tainted and filled with DO NOT WANT.

And unfortunately these days, thinking of Lackey, makes me think of other individuals which brings pangs of disappointment and other complex emotions. So she's now bitter-sweet. But bitter-sweet comfort is still comfort. And I just might pull out the Obidian Triology to re-read again.

*Recent Read: Collegium Chronicles Book 2

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Willow
Date: 01:29AM | Wed, July 14th | 2010
Subject: On Books (plus a list)
Security: Public
Mood:glass is half empty glass is half empty
Tags:books, making a list - checking it twice, things i like, things i loathe, things that suck

What is it about ebook borrowing/sharing that makes it easier for me to read some things than to go into the library and pick it up? Is it that the physical act of being in the library is my safe space so picking up something potentially hurtful seems a broader poisoning than knowing I can delete right off my harddrive forever? Does my subconscious feel more buffer?

Meanwhile, a friend's asked (a good week or so ago when I started this) for a list of things I enjoy reading - but right now all I can think of are what I dislike. So I'm going to do that list first and hope it helps me pinpoint what I do love.

Ugh List )
===
Possible Whee List )

[Have had this open for a day now and can't think of anything else for the whee pile. And waiting is likely to mean this never gets posted and it was originally about the ick anyway... so...]

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Willow
Date: 05:06AM | Sun, July 4th | 2010
Subject: Thoughts & Mini Update
Security: Public
Tags:about me, books

I'm in desperate need of replenishing the well, so I'm looking up books, trying to find something that will hurt me the least. Stumbled across what seemed like an interesting cozy and thought 'Aha! No gratuitous sex, focus on a small group with character development, mystery for me to puzzle out, I can handle the white people'. Except that in the middle of a police questioning, when there's still evidence to be collected, the story flashes-back to one month earlier and starts dropping info-dump backstory (non relevant in my book and thus after I'd closed and opened and closed and reopened - I skipped it).

I didn't like the beginning, which was a prologue of the do-er's thoughts as per stalked the victim. It just seemed so... bad guys think like this cliche. But it was just a prologue. Then came Chapt 3, with the flashback info dump. And then all over, was the, to me, forced gimmick. Do other people really want to read about the best way to store coffee, roast coffee, make coffee in the middle of a murder mystery? Do you need a recipe and an itemized list of instructions when someone's life hangs in the balance?

Then there was a , to me, realistic moment of lust after the lead detective - but instead of that being about shock, and thinking about life and love and mortality, up pops the protagonist's ex-husband and they're suddenly will they or won't they-ing. Oh yeah, and it's chapt 5 or 6 I think where we find out that the protagonist's boss is her ex-mother in law (unless they dropped that in the stuff I skipped). It seems so pretentious to call your MiL 'Madame'.

So here I am trying to figure out if this is me as a reader going 'WTF' or if this is yet another case of 'Stuff that gets published that's actually not worth it'.

More on Wed )

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Willow
Date: 08:26AM | Sat, June 5th | 2010
Subject: Ugh. Books
Security: Public
Tags:book review, books

I'm trying to read How Opal Mehta Got Kissed, Got Wild & Got A Life. I don't think I'm going to make it.

I think I'm at chtp3, but I didn't check before I put the book down. Put it down, not throw it across the room. But that doesn't mean my disappointment is mild in any sense of the word. I still have some hope, this book/story is going to navigate and explore some of the pit falls of trying to be a model minoirity; and what it means to focus so completely on academics you have no interior or exterior life.

But it's hard to trust, when the 'Jimmy Choo' name dropping starts happening. And it seems like the protagonist is getting caught up in popular culture superficiality. Not to mention the perceptions and phrasing of what 'a normal teenager is'. A normal teenager is white, tanned, overly made up - if she's a girl-, in skimpy sexualized clothes, precarious heels and boy crazy? A normal American teenager is the ultimate consumer of products both physical and ethereal/esoteric/life-style focused and pumped from the relevant commercial enterprises?

I'm already wondering why the main character can't 'get an Indian life'? At how by chpt 3 (or whatever) it's insinuated that culture is nothing but clothes, food and ideas of what it takes to survive in competitive America.

If anyone's read this book and wants to try and assure me it won't be as painful to read as it has been so far - please, feel free to say so. Right now it's going back up on the shelf. I can look at the pretty-cover and try not to think about what's inside.

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Willow
Date: 02:38PM | Fri, October 2nd | 2009
Subject: This Is Why I Can't Have Nice Things To Read
Security: Public
Mood:pissed the fuck off pissed the fuck off
Tags:bad story telling, books

Things that will make Willow want to claw the eyes out of an author's head. Those of you who know what Willow + Smallville + Belle Reve means, will understand when I say: Rachel Vincent IS FULL OF SO MUCH DAMN PSYCHOPHOBIC BULLSHIT!

Rachel Vincent and her: Soul Screamers.

Her premise was interesting in the short story 'My Soul To Lose' - But unholy cow turds, if her description is truly the state of mental health services in Texas - then Texas is more than that backwards place where white people are all about creationism and important white males only in their history books. If she was being 'faithful' to actual research, then Texas is at LEAST 70 years behind every effing body.

But I'm seriously doubtful she's ever been in therapy in her entire life, ever had to figure out just how much to tell a suspicious medical professional and has absolutely no. fucking. clue about anything at all. Seriously she thinks medical professionals will shoot Haldol into some teenager they have no medical history for? HALDOL? When they don't even know what's wrong? Sweet effing christ on a dildo pogo stick, mental health issues in books concerning teenagers need more responsibility than a cruise through WebMD you absolute fucking tosser!

And her whole damn set up was SO STRAIGHT OUT OF TERMINATOR 2. Seri-fucking-ously. Shit on toast man. Shit. On. Toast. White walls and cinderblocks? Integrate some fucking colour theory in there, you loser! Absolute and total loser! Even prisons aren't dull grey bullshit anymore. Shit.

And the final bit of fuckery? She honestly thinks mental health professionals are SO unprofessional, from orderlies on up, that they'd let a teenager just plain fucking die on watch... so she can move her plot along.

Ok, maybe she changed or tweaked things between the intro short story and the actual fucking novel. But I am so not convinced Rachel Vincnet; Professional White Woman has any fucking clue about mental health, mental health professionals, non freudian psychological methodology (she sure as hell ain't got a clue about Jung) mental health institutions or y'know, anything REAL and concerning a non privileged lifestyle.

Kicking fuck!

Is nothing important enough to professional white women authors who aren't writing about their own damn privileged lives, to do some actual empathic and analytic research? And y'know, check ins? Was it more important her shit matched inaccurate tv portrayals?

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Willow
Date: 05:18PM | Thu, September 10th | 2009
Subject: Neither A Borrower Or A Lender Be - Doesn't Apply To Books!
Security: Public
Mood:exhausted exhausted
Tags:books

About to take an apparently much needed nap, but I feel the need to ask this question:

What's the difference between a group of friends reccing books and sharing copies of each other's books with physical books whether face to face or via online trading and a group sharing ebooks?

Am I once again confused by people who don't understand the concept of libraries? How libraries promote books and authors and people trying things they'd ordinarily not spend actual money to just try?

Considering how I've been feeling about white authors recently I don't know how else I'd have ended up reading The Clockwork Heart - which did actually begin to surprise me and add some interesting depth in its second half. I didn't have to go to a physical library, lug it home and use up precious spoons while worrying about when I'd be able to return it if it took me ages to read because of a myriad of reasons; energy, errands, mood, etc.

The community (on lj) where someone enthusiastic about the book shared it, has just been suspended.

I shake my head.

Also it'd be nice if bookstores sold ebooks in non drm format so I don't have to worry I'll never be able to transfer it to other things and also nice if it wasn't all Kindle centric.

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Willow
Date: 08:37PM | Mon, September 7th | 2009
Subject: I'm angry and I don't even know if I can explain why
Security: Public
Mood:upset upset
Tags:#queer issues: q is for queer, books

This entry concerns an author named Keith Hartman and his book, "The Gumshoe, The Witch, And The Virtual Corpse" and the free chapter read available here. Though personally I'd advise against reading it.

Thoughts on the book here )

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Willow
Date: 10:13PM | Sat, September 5th | 2009
Subject: Broad Reading Question
Security: Public
Tags:books, thinky thoughts

Do you ever start to read books and become disappointed a few chapters in when you realize and then have it confirmed (still early on) that you know the way the characters relationships are going to go and you know the probable plot?

I realize that nothing is ever really new. But shouldn't there, couldn't there be new combinations?

Right now I'm reading 'Clockwork Heart'. Maybe it's not the relationship I find predictable. Maybe it's the whole look at a caste system and the possible problems involved in it. The... very fantasy perspective that right now to me at least, seems to drip with privilege about institutionalized bias.

But truthfully, I think I'm more irritated by female characters who are just horrible people readers.

ETA: Halfway throught the book. The female character is an idiot.

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Willow
Date: 10:22PM | Tue, August 25th | 2009
Subject: Random
Security: Public
Tags:books, wtf!, wth?

Did I ever journal the time, this year in fact I think, I tried to re-read Jennifer Roberson's 'The Cheysuli Chronicles' and ended up going 'OMG WTBF '? Cause that totally happened. I'm staring at the list of books in the series now and I'm going to happily delete and move on. Wow - back in the day when an impressionable wee Willow brain didn't notice the whole 'He rapes because he loves' - Or maybe I did notice it, but somehow kept reading.

ETA: Oh LJ-Archive, I love you so. Curious Willow Wonders followed by Curious Willow Discovers (and goes WTF). Also I apparently have a 'books of the past' tag. Weird.

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Willow
Date: 07:08PM | Mon, July 27th | 2009
Subject: Grr + Book Stuff
Security: Public
Tags:#race issues: writing, books

Grrr.

In other news I can explain - I asked the library to order 'Thirteen Orphans' by Jane Lindskoldat the beginning of the year. They finally got it in. I brought it home. About two hours ago (the grr ate up time) I opened it and read the acknowledgements and saw TOR and PNH and TNH. And then flipped it to the side and saw it's a TOR book.

Now I don't want to read it.

Now granted before the 'Grr' that was my attempt to run an errand for my mother, this seemed much more aggravating that it seems now. Now I'm just kind of -well sometimes some bath babies get thrown out. But let me just do a quick search engine check.

First up: Through Wolf's Eyes - Native American Mythology (+ talking animals - actual amerindians)

This doesn't have me wanting to look any further.

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Willow
Date: 06:38PM | Sat, May 9th | 2009
Subject: The Point Being Missed
Security: Public
Tags:#race issues: general, books

[info]sami hits a point that I've only had in the back of mind as fire laden cursing.

I'm not saying it's impossible to write speculative fantasy on these premises - what I'm saying is that you can't do it as background. If you write a people out of existence as background, rather than as the setup for an exploration of how the world is different without their influence, then you're almost guaranteed to be doing it for reasons that are entirely offensive.

*points emphatically*

My curse laden thought that hadn't fully formed yet? "Why is it even when we're invisible/erased we're still fucking props?"

Cause that's how the concept of an America without Indigenous First Nations reads to me. And that's how it'd read to me if there was a book about Australia without Indigenous Peoples.

Y'know what that is? That's fucking Live Action Avatar: The Last Airbender. Take the land, the trees, the geography, the food and the necessity due to elements etc of architecture - just leave out the people.

And there are people fucking wondering what's meant when PoC say "And y'all do this shit. ALL. The. Time."

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Willow
Date: 08:02PM | Thu, September 4th | 2008
Subject: So....Stupidity
Security: Public
Mood:exhausted exhausted
Tags:books, question everything

So tired I just berated meat in a pot for not cooking, cause I forgot/didn't realized I'd turned back off the stove. The whole thing did, however, jolt my memory to something I jotted down earlier today. I finally found the wherewithal to pick up and start reading an urban fantasy/vampire book I found last month at the library; written by a Latino!

In my first attempts I kept breaking off to consider and jot down thoughts over how I'd do something with vampires. And it didn't help that the book begins with the protagonist involved in the Gulf War (the 2nd one) and those pages were really hard for me to read. But this goes beyond politics and whatever distraction/anxiety/itchy comes with considering writing one's own tale. There came a point in the book where I thought the character was just plain STUPID.

And then I realized it's not the first time I've seen this happen in UF. In fact the only time it HASN'T annoyed me has been Jim Butcher. But that's because his protagonist realizes he's doing something stupid but is shown to think there's either a) no other way to do it or b) he doesn't know how to do it any other way or c) he's at dead ends and something has to get moving, time's running out and lives are in danger. I can handle stupidity when the character knows it's stupid.

What I can't handle is the character does something and it doesn't go as planned, in fact it's incredible disturbing, potentially dangerous in terms of discovery and blatantly showing that all facts are not present. And what does this particular character do? He tries the same move two more times with the same exact results. Then he waltzes into a similar circumstances and tries his same move again and that's doesn't work at all. In this case it's not just a particular move that's being relied on too heavily, it's just a total, TOTAL lack of thinking.

Now I get that some of this is supposed to be a kind of natural cockiness and part of the plot might even be to chip away at that attitude. But it's difficult for me not to go outloud in a doctor's office while reading. "How the heck can someone be this stupid???!"

Basically the character tries to unscrew an electric plug socket (I'm using an analogy here ) and he's grounded and everything, but he not only gets shocked but things catch fire!!!! But then he goes to a different socket and does the same thing. "It's my lucky screw driver." And... he gets shocked and things catch fire. Then he goes to yet a third socket annnnd things catch on fire and he gets shocked PLUS some anonymous drywaller shows up behind him with a nail-gun, intent on getting that socket hole to stay covered.

Does our protagonist think this could be someone who doesn't want him poking behind the walls and wires? Nope. He thinks "Hey, some jerkwad's just a little too eager to use an automatic puncturer of things. I am SO gonna set them straight when this socket mess is all over."

Cue scenario #2. And once again he believes the answer to all his problems lies behind a plug cover. And once again ... well, you know the drill by now.

Is this seriously the only way to move plot forward? To have the protagonist just not... think? Or am I unusual in my levels of paranoia and self preservation?


Using the example of petting a dog and the dog biting one's hand - I know that for me, the minute my so called supernatural charms didn't work to prevent a dog from biting me - I'd be "Holy c rap, what new thing is this?" And if as i pondered that and what to do next, a belligerent dognapper/animal control showed up and decided to come after *me* while the dog ran away? I'd certainly be wondering what in blazes was going on.

But in these books, the Vampires or Werewolves or Demons or whatever, know that to be revealed is the worst thing they can do. They also know the government lies and lies and lies and would happily cut them up like pizza, and who knows what. But they're never worried or suspicious, they breeze right in and figure they won't be noticed; even though they're climbing up walls, turning into bats, and hissing their sibbalants, growing claws and howling at the fricking moon. "Oh , they'll just think I'm eccentric, a furry, born with a lisp."

It's sort of like watching Law & Order when people start talking to the cops. You end up wondering "Does a show like Law & Order not exist in their universe???"

Do government conspiracies; the proven kind (like sterilization and experimentation etc) not exist in books and on the internet in these worlds? Is there no Men In Black movie? No Buffy and the Initiative. G'damnit NO COMIC BOOKS???!!!

So yeah, is it just the character that's stupid or the whole world? Or am I just easily irritated and seeing things.

More thoughts after sleep and food - perhaps even in that hour, regardless of doneness.

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Willow
Date: 12:30AM | Tue, July 1st | 2008
Subject: More on book reviews in my journal
Security: Public
Tags:books, thoughts on: things to process

I'm wondering if I think it'd be spammy since I read so much. Cause this space makes as much sense as creating a new journal for it. Or am I caught up in thinking of this as my day to day journal and books are an escape and thus should be put somewhere else?

*ponder ponder ponder*

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Willow
Date: 11:20PM | Mon, June 30th | 2008
Subject: Looking for that perfect book site
Security: Public
Tags:books, online: culture

Someone recced Posterous to me on my post about WTF Book Blog/List?? But they posted anonymously. Anyway I've tried it and I do like the simplicity. I just miss tagging.

I'll see if I like this better than creating a new iJay. I don't know why I feel so reluctant to start a new journal. It shouldn't be a problem. iJay's moving along nicely and if I began to feel more and more comfortable with it I'd buy a year's worth of time, despite the fact that I wouldn't be all that big on icons, etc.

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Willow
Date: 05:16AM | Sun, June 29th | 2008
Subject: Books
Security: Public
Tags:books

Every couple of months it seems I talk myself out of starting a journal just for book reviews and start looking for an easy book review / social site. Except nothing ever seems as simple as Danga Interactive with a desktop client I can use, and tagging. Simple, simple and more simple.

Why do I talk myself out of this when it could so easily give me the list I want to keep track of what I want to read?

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Willow
Date: 12:04PM | Thu, May 8th | 2008
Subject: Bbbboooks
Security: Public
Tags:books, online: support network

[info]the_rck, and others

Free book.

More information here.

But it's suppose to work internationally too.

|Thanks to [info]wesleysgirl|

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Willow
Date: 02:05PM | Thu, January 31st | 2008
Subject: Book thoughts
Security: Public
Tags:books, micropost

Apparently I should have picked up Burning Bridges ( Laura Anne Gilman) at the beginning of January when I was hanging out at the library with Zvi. Because now no one has it to send to me.

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Willow
Date: 10:06PM | Tue, January 15th | 2008
Subject: Arrrgh
Security: Public
Tags:books, online: life

Will the library thing users on my flist please tell me why you like it?

Does it have a demo?

Do you not find the site confusing and too full of extraneous text?

is it not overly busy with all the links and communities and the seeming pressure to talk and be social?

ETA: *headdesk*

So I tell myself stop being stubborn and go use Goggle Book Search since I do enjoy it so -

And really I do, cause I can make my thoughts on the book whatever I like and the when you click on the book you get other people's reviews - which might be more in depth than what I want to say about the thing. I love that part.

WHAT I DO NOT LOVE IS ADDING BOOKS TO MY LIBRARY ONLY TO DOUBLE CHECK AND FIND THEM GONE!

Adding 1 book to 32 books should not bring me down to 28.

Crap, fuck, damn.

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Willow
Date: 12:14PM | Thu, December 6th | 2007
Subject: Books
Security: Public
Mood:grumpy grumpy
Tags:books, online: life

So I've looked and looked and looked for a good book thing as Goodreads just seems so bloody annoying.


I've checked out:

Chainreading.com - It seems a wasteland. Not a lot of people, and what's there kind of empty headed. Or maybe I was just disappointed after having the tab up for so long, hoping it'd be the one once I got time to look at it.

Reader2.com - I used to use regularly, but it's not easy enough to use, or easily organized.

http://www.revish.com/ - Wants to force you to write a review of a certain length.

Bibliophil.org - Seems very plain, and how ever do you organize? There's no tour.

There are several that collect more than books, also movie dvd's, cd's, your action figure collection. But they seem like far too much. I appreciate the movies and the cd's, I guess. It'd be good to keep track of them. But I don't want to be overwhelmed.

Shelfcentered.com

Squirl.info - (stamp collections, books and more)

MediaChest.com - 0_o

But a lot of them only reference Amazon.com for information. Some of the books and music I like can't be found on Amazon.com.

http://lib.rario.us/ - And they're just empty and stark and dark and well, I don't like them.


Gurulib.com seems like it could be personalized somewhat. But I really don't like the how things come up when they're listed in a collection. And it seems oddly impersonal.

What I Want )

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By Any Other Name
of Willow
January 2016