dorinda: Cary Grant, in "Bringing Up Baby," clutches his head beneath the letters "OMG WTF". (WTF_CaryGrant)
posted by [personal profile] dorinda at 01:35pm on 22/05/2017 under ,
Hoh man. Serious insomnia last night, my standard sleep hygiene routines fell down around my ears, so I'm at work on about 3 hours sleep. Kind of floating around behind my face like a gurbly balloon.

On the bright side, nice things going on at work, the powers that be actually ponying up money for something we really really needed, yay. But will I be glad to get home and eat a cracker and go to bed before sunset.

My current library audiobook is really fretting me. It's Donna Tartt's The Secret History, and I had heard about it eeeverywhere. Highly spoken of. And a good long book, so I was excited to jump in.

But now I'm just about halfway through, and am considering just stopping and returning the dang thing. It's a constant low-level irritation.

A major reason, unfortunately, is the reading. It's read by Donna Tartt herself, and there are few writers who I think should be audiobook readers. No shame, it's just...audiobook narration is a specific and underestimated skillset, and I vastly prefer to hear a professional do it. Just because you wrote the book doesn't mean you'll be good at reading it aloud.

She has a very low vocal energy, dipping into long croaky vocal fry a lot at the ends of sentences, because she doesn't know how to speak softly but also firmly/powerfully at the same time. A professional knows how to support their voice even when they're speaking right up against a microphone. For the same reasons, her voice scarcely changes timbre, staying in a repetitive, cyclical, muttery range, again because she doesn't have the skill at speaking quietly, on a mike, yet varying in tone and timbre and energy.

And to cap all that off, for some godforsaken reason she gives the character Bunny a distinctive "voice", high and very nasal and singsong, like she's doing some kind of puppet show. AUGH! No one else gets something like that. A professional audiobook reader--a good one, anyway--doesn't "do voices" like that. But here I have to listen to Bunny nasally-squeaking away right and left.

So it just rasps on my ears. It's likely that had I read the book in print, it wouldn't have felt like such a hard, irritating row to hoe--her reading has heaped a lot of difficulty onto the text that has taken extra work for me to disregard.

However--I can't guarantee I would like it, even if it had a good reader. Not just because all the characters are tedious to spend time with in a lit'ry-fiction/anachronistic/wealthy-spoiled-boring way, though that's sure the case. Nor that she seems to have given them banana levels of smoking habits mainly so she has actions to describe to break up big long speeches. Characters are forever lighting another cigarette or pouring another whisky (they all smoke and drink like thirty year olds in 1958, though they're supposed to be 20 year olds in the 1980s...I mean, I think even snotty old-rich Vermont college kids in the 80s drank dumb college booze like everyone else.).

That's kind of petty, I know. Worse I think is what feels to me like a complete overdetermination of Bunny Corcoran )

Granted, I'm only halfway through--maybe the second half of the book addresses this weird approach it seems to have committed to. But because the listening experience is not very pleasant, I'm not sure if I can stick it out.

Anyone who's read it, I'd be more than happy to hear your advice!
dorinda: Gunnar and Sinbad at the ship's rail, smiling. (sinbad-gunnar_smile)
posted by [personal profile] dorinda at 06:50pm on 29/04/2017 under , , ,
I meant to post this this morning, but then there were dishes to do, and then I worked on (well, brainstormed, anyway) my fledgling idea for Night on Fic Mountain, and then I went out for an Ingress walk in the gross swampy heat, and look it's almost 7pm. /o\

If you were around here on More Joy Day 2017, you'll probably have already seen this, but!:

Svefnthorn (1117 words) by Dorinda
Chapters: 1/1
Fandom: Sinbad (TV)
Rating: General Audiences
Warnings: No Archive Warnings Apply
Relationships: Gunnar/Sinbad (Sinbad)
Characters: Gunnar (Sinbad), Sinbad (Sinbad)
Additional Tags: Runes, Snakes, Escape, Sleep
Summary:

"You are not going to try to feed yourself to the snake so I can get away," said Sinbad at once. "So stop it."



([personal profile] movies_michelle gave me Gunnar/Sinbad and the prompt "sleep", and then I dunno what happened, there was a giant magic snake and stuff. :D )
dorinda: Illya and Napoleon close together, like an engagement photo :D (uncle partners)
Yet another story I kept forgetting to put into AO3! I originally wrote this for a zine, "Relative Secrecy 2", 1998:

The Fusion Affair (7729 words) by Dorinda
Chapters: 1/1
Fandom: The Man From U.N.C.L.E. (TV)
Rating: Teen And Up Audiences
Warnings: No Archive Warnings Apply
Relationships: Illya Kuryakin/Napoleon Solo
Characters: Illya Kuryakin, Napoleon Solo
Additional Tags: First Time, Escape, Partnership, Nonverbal Communication, Broccoli Test, Misunderstandings, Shower Sex, Origin Story, Zine: Relative Secrecy 2
Summary:

Napoleon finally gets a partner, and can no longer be quite so comfortably solo.



Nineteen ninety eight! Zoicks. Time kind of flew. I did eventually put it up on my own webspace, but never imported it into AO3 when that came along...I think I started once, but then for some reason didn't get it tagged and posted before the expiration of the draft, and then was grumpy about having to hand-code the italics again? Oh, I don't know, it was silly, because of course I sat down to do it today and it didn't take so long.

There used to be a really nice website for Marian Kelly's MUNCLE and Wild Wild West zine series, but it seems to have gone now, alas.

You can see my obsessions with things like discovering-deeper-partnership and the broccoli test from back in the day, huh. :D
dorinda: Someone writing at a desk while wearing a large helmet with an oxygen tube attached (a device called "The Isolator"). (isolator)
posted by [personal profile] dorinda at 07:11pm on 17/04/2017 under , ,
While at work, I took a peek into my email and HEY LOOK MY ASSIGNMENT. Wooooooo! \o/

Assignment Day feels second-only in excitement to Collection-Opening Day. The past couple days have been like an extended Christmas Eve... "Did Santa bring me an assignment yet? How about now?" That feeling of tenterhooks and possibility.

Now I have my assignment, which I can't tell you about or else I'd have to kill you, and I am excited and nervous in the best way. So I better get brainstorming.

Oh, and, the first batch of pinch-hits are out--if you felt like strolling through them, they're here:

https://nightonficmountain.dreamwidth.org/25610.html
dorinda: a tall ship with all sails set (sailing ship)
[personal profile] movies_michelle wrote me A THING! A Black Sails, Flint/Silver, Flint/memories-of-Thomas (it's set between seasons 3 and 4) commentfic thing, which I enjoy and think you would enjoy too:

https://movies-michelle.dreamwidth.org/1222443.html

Check it out!
dorinda: In "Brideshead Revisited" (1981), Sebastian and Charles, arms around each other, look out to sea. (Brideshead_sea)
Dear author or artist,

Thank you so much for making something for me! Above all, I'd like you to have fun and create something you enjoy, so any other blatherings here are purely optional for reals. Just in case they might help. If you already have an idea, go for it!

Some of my general preferences:

First times. Happy or at least hopeful endings (that doesn't rule out bittersweet or melancholy tones, and needn't be fluffy...just no unalloyed sadness/darkness/loss please.).

I requested slash relationships, though for me that doesn't automatically require explicit sex. I mean, sex is great if the story or artwork calls for it. But don't feel hemmed in; it's entirely up to you. For me, slash is first about the depth of connection and intimacy between the characters, however it's expressed. I am, I admit, a sucker for tenderness. Especially coming from a repressed character for whom tenderness itself is an admission of vulnerability.

Some of the tropes and approaches I enjoy: words that camouflage deeper/unspoken meanings, protectiveness, worry, extreme competence (with honest weakness), hurt/comfort, chosen families, uncovering a secret, partners against the world, nurturing via food/drink/warmth. (Also, in stories I must admit I like past tense, unless there's a reason for present tense.)

Don't be afraid of classic frameworks if you like 'em! I mentioned hurt/comfort, but I also won't turn up my nose at Having To Share A Bed, Huddling for Warmth, Pretend Couple, Undercover as Rentboy, situations where one suffers or sacrifices for the other, rescues, stranded somewhere (idyllic or non-), etc.

A few thoughts by fandom, alphabetically:

Almost Human )

Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World (2003) )

Rejseholdet | Unit One )

The Sting (1973) )


dorinda: Cary Grant, in "Bringing Up Baby," clutches his head beneath the letters "OMG WTF". (WTF_CaryGrant)
posted by [personal profile] dorinda at 12:40pm on 31/03/2017 under ,
Has anyone else out there read the first detective novel by "Robert Galbraith" (revealed to be J.K. Rowling), "The Cuckoo's Calling"?

Because I just finished the audiobook yesterday--read by one of my favorite audiobook readers, Robert Glenister (actor, brother of Philip)--and am a bit grumpy about it. (Though Robert Glenister does a terrific job, as always. ♥)

The thing is, it's full of cliches (which granted I might call "tropes" if I liked 'em better) that feel so worn out and negative. Not that an old trope is a bad thing--detective stories are a big old trope in action!--but I don't know, things felt old in a tired/irritating way, not in a classic/familiar way.

The one that bugged me maybe the most (other than the identity of the killer, which will be under cut) was the whole setup and dynamic with Cormoran Strike (detective)'s new assistant. She's a young woman, who ends up basically caretaking and mommying him, cleaning up the office, making him tea, asking what's wrong, following & nannying him when he gets smashed-aggressive-drunk, managing his feelings. It's kind of like Effie from The Maltese Falcon, except with decades upon decades more time and more books having gone by so the stereotype is both exhausted and exhausting. (Also, Effie is a bit more feisty.) A naive young woman being an older man's pretty-but-off-limits-mommy, BLEAAHHHHHHHHHH.

Also, I was baffled by the identity of the killer, GIANT SPOILERS )

In short, wah. I was hoping I'd really like the book, partly because there are more in the series now (of course), and the audiobooks are all read by Robert Glenister. Also, it's being filmed for TV, with Tom Burke (Athos on The Musketeers) as Cormoran Strike, and that might very well be enjoyable.

Dammit, book! Be more good!
dorinda: a tall ship with all sails set (sailing ship)
posted by [personal profile] dorinda at 09:16am on 30/03/2017 under ,
Word is spreading of a new fic and art exchange for Black Sails:

http://blacksailsexchange.dreamwidth.org/

...yeah, I keep reading it that way too. :D

Anyway, nominations opened today and will be open until April 5, and you can nominate characters and relationships (both & and /).

I don't feel ready to try writing any Black Sails yet, so I'm sticking with Night on Fic Mountain for my spring-into-summer exchange needs, but I hope anyone interested out there has a great time!
dorinda: Someone writing at a desk while wearing a large helmet with an oxygen tube attached (a device called "The Isolator"). (isolator)
Just a followup, Fic Mountain-wise. I ended up nominating:

* Almost Human, John/Dorian

* Rejseholdet, Fischer/La Cour

* The Sting, Henry/Johnny (and also Kid Twist in the character set)

And I added Nero Wolfe to the Nero Wolfe character set.

I feel so lucky re: Almost Human! The rule is that in order to qualify, a fandom has to have fewer than 500 stories (complete, in English, 1000 words or over). And when I ran a filter on Almost Human, its total came to 497. Yikes! That was a close one.

So I nominated it immediately. Once approved it gets to stay in, even if 4 more stories roll in in the meantime, and it has been approved. Whew! \o/
dorinda: Will Graham and imprisoned Hannibal Lecter look like mirror images. (hannibal and will mirrored)
posted by [personal profile] dorinda at 10:34am on 25/03/2017 under , ,
This year's Vividcon vidder auction is now open--details at http://vividcon.dreamwidth.org/415659.html or http://vividcon.livejournal.com/394336.html .

So many sources. Soooo many. You can look at an individual vidder's offers by clicking their name on the auction page, or a whole list of all the vidders is here or here.

Seems like there's something for everyone...give it a look!

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