manifesta: (Alex/Izzy)

My salsa friends and I made our monthly pilgrimmage down to Seattle last night to go salsa dancing. Sometime around 1AM on Capitol Hill while walking back to the cars, I spotted a pair of steampunks. One of them had a clock tattooed to the top of his hand with some kind of design trailing upward and under his sleeve. He wore a pair of small, black goggles on his forehead. She had larger, clear goggles, and her boots featured some kind of intricate lacing involving metal clips. Unfortunately, it was pouring rain, and so I didn't get to see the rest of their outfits. I haven't been jumping on the bandwagon with steampunk fic because... well... I don't like bandwagons. But the steampunk culture and lifestyle seems to have been gaining popularity around here, and I have to admit, I do love most of the clothes.



As someone who appreciates taking a more masculine style (the 'punk' in this example) with feminine elements, I adore the woman's outfit (see above picture). I have this thing for wearing really frilly or flowy dresses/skirts and combining them with badass boots. Had I known this back in high school, instead of those strappy sandal-heels, I would've worn leather boots with my floor-length gown to prom.

Also: THANK YOU Dreamwidth for upping the number of free-account avatars from 6 to 15! A few big reasons I decided to convert from LJ to DW is because of the diversity statement, the site's lack of ads, and the designers' committment to user-focused progress. Not to mention the detailed weekly updates.

I realize that my being on DW may make it more difficult for my LJ readers, but I do appreciate you taking the extra time and effort to read and comment! I loved LJ for a looong time, but it's been going downhill for quite a while, and I'm excited to see how DW will expand once it comes off beta. Thus, if anyone wants a DW invite code (even if it's just to create an account to cross-post from LJ to), I've got some.

EDIT: You totally don't have to be a regular commentor to ask for a code, either. Just leave your email in the comments!
manifesta: (Dangerous)
This is old news, but several months ago Annette Curtis Klause posted the new cover art for The Silver Kiss (released in July). You tell me: does it ring any bells?

New and Old versions, respectively:

 

The Silver Kiss is one of the original romantic vampire YA out there, written well before the sexy-vampire boom. Twilight's plot is highly reminiscent of it, something I hadn't realized before now (I've been blinded by my undying love for Blood & Chocolate--the book, not the movie). I will say that I'm not a huge fan of the original cover, but it's better than this black background-red object combo I keep seeing everywhere. (The last is technically purple but still counts.) And the tree branches? Cool at first, but now its old.

Does the abuse of Klause's works ever stop? First the decimation of Blood & Chocolate in movie form, and now this. Klause was writing paranormal YA when most current paranormal YA authors were still aspiring writers. I'm just waiting for the TwiHards to start crying that she ripped off Twilight. (If anyone sees evidence of this, please do send me the link.)

On the bright side, in the new edition there are two new short stories about Simon and Zoë.
manifesta: (Alex/Izzy)
First things first: I have a new laptop.

It's a mini Dell notebook and its an early Christmas gift from my parents to replace/substitute for my still broken one. In the past 2.5 weeks I've been on the phone with Dell customer service for over a dozen hours and have been told several times that my old laptop was "fixed," only for it to crash anywhere from hours to minutes later. I'm still in the process of fighting with customer service to get it fixed, but at least now I have a stable internet connection and access to word processing software.

Things have been speeding up in my life. I start running labs on stereotypes and prejudice this week, while also planning an experiment for a class. I went down to Seattle on Friday night to go salsa dancing with friends. This weekend I'm hoping to chill in town and catch up on the work I've been neglecting in favor of arguing with customer service.

Wednesday I'm going to resume working on BWW. Thankfully, I was able to retrieve all the files off my old laptop and transfer them to the new one. I now have multiple back-ups of everthing on my computer(s).

Oy. I feel like this has been a long time coming, this whole having-a-functioning-computer thing, but now I'm too tired and busy to enjoy it. I hope things calm down later this week.

More updates to come.

Twitter

Sep. 28th, 2009 11:51 pm
manifesta: (Alex/Izzy)

Yeah, yeah, yeah. So I succumbed. Follow me on Twitter.

It was ridiculously diffiult trying to find a decent combination of my first and middle names. (I'm refraining from using my last name in any online context because I don't want searches of me to come up when I'm applying to grad school or, even later, when googling for any psychological papers that may include me in the author byline. Also, my last name isn't particularly fantasy-esque, and thus for branding purposes I don't know if I would want or be able to publish under it.)

Also, the writing. She is moving along.

manifesta: (Dangerous)
A list of things that will remain undiscussed in this entry: the fact that my laptop is still broken; the status of my novel; the level of stress I'm experiencing in regards to school.

A list of things that will be discussed: books, and lots of them.

Since Black Friday (or in other words, last Friday, the day my laptop died), I've read nearly 7 books. That afternoon I finished reading Palimpsest by Catherynne M. Valente, which was confusing but wonderful and contained prose that would have bordered on being purple if written by anyone else but was saved by Valente's amazing skill for words. Over the course of the weekend, I raided my roommate's bookcase for new books to read and found Scott Westerfield's Uglies series. I blazed through the entire series and later found myself silently using some of the characters' Pretty jargon. It's a good series, though I did find some of the characters immature-- Aya, from the fourth book, particularly wore on my nerves. Tally did at first, too, but I feel like she at least had a character arc and matured throughout the series.

Yesterday I finished Hawkspar by Holly Lisle, a book I picked up in June but didn't start reading until this week. I've been a fan of Lisle's work for years (her forum and workshops for writers were my gateway drug), but her writing never really resonated with me until she wrote Talyn a couple years back. I feel like Talyn is the pinnacle of her story-crafting ability, and it's been on my keeper shelf ever since. Hawkspar is a pseudo-sequel to Talyn. I remember following along throughout the years as Lisle wrote the book, and the struggle she endured to get it published (as a midlist author with years of experience and books behind her) both intact and as the book she knew it to be. At 600-words, it's beefy, but amazing, and I'm glad she fought so hard. There isn't a single page or scene that isn't necessary. I mourn the words I knew she had to cut, just to narrow it down to 600. Hawkspar is an excellent example of an modern epic fantasy with solid world-building. Did I mention that the main character was blind for most of the novel? She was. The fact that Lisle wrote a book featuring a protagonist who couldn't see, and thus, couldn't wax poetic about her surroundings, deserves many a brownie point.

Since I'm not talking about the state of my laptop, I won't mention that while at Starbucks today I experienced hardcore laptop-envy when some dude pulled out his fully-functioning Macbook and proceeded to enjoy his mocha and his uninhibited wireless access, too. It could be upwards of two weeks until I have working computer, so I still won't be around much, though I'll try to update when I can. Up next: a review from one psych major to another for Psych Major Syndrome by Alicia Thompson, My Sister's Keeper by Jodi Picoult, and any other books I burn through between now and then.
manifesta: (Rory/Logan)
Two days at home and I already can't breathe. Rah, allergies. I can't wait to go back to college.

I'm currently reading Namaah's Kiss by Jacqueline Carey. It's a signed copy I bought through The Signed Page many months ago. I actually met Carey back in June, when she did a reading in Seattle. She was witty and charming, and personalized my copy of Santa Olivia.

It dawned on me this morning that I tolerate (if not enjoy) some things about Carey's books that I wouldn't and don't in most others. Whereas it's a common suggestion to start writing the book at the last possible moment, right in the middle of the action, the beginnings of the novels in Carey's Kushiel series are drawn out. A lot happens, it's just... not right away. Something about her writing style is so beautiful and languid that I can't help but want to read further.

I've been devouring Namaah's Kiss in bits and pieces, in part because I want to make it last as long as possible, and in part because I've been busy with other things. My room is in boxes, but at least after today it's in organized boxes.

I've also been thinking about age. Five years ago, at 15, I wanted to be a published teenage novelist. It was a lofty goal, and one I eventually let go the closer I got to 19 (because no way was a book going to be picked up and published within a year before I turned 20). I turned 20 earlier this month. I didn't think about it much at the time, but then I ran into Teens Writing for Teens via theinkymuse. I wish a blog like that had existed five years ago! I never knew there were so many teen writers out there seriously pursuing publishing. At the time, I had only known a small handful of others.

Crazy.

Unfortunately, it seems like most of the writers I've run into that are around my current age write almost exclusively YA. This puts me in the weird position of wanting to talk with people my own age about writing and publishing, but also wanting to write adult fiction. BWW is not YA. It's not even in the general vicinity of YA. Many of the books I read are also, for the most part, decidely not YA. Perhaps I should put up a warning for this blog.

On the bright side, I've expanded my blog roll for the first time in a long while after finding some wonderful journals.

Black Widow's Walk
 
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