larryhammer: topless woman lying prone with Sappho painted on her back, label: "Greek poetry is sexy" (classics)
So -- Yuletide, that massive fanfiction exchange for small, rarely written-for fandoms, is complete.

The most important thing you need to know about it, of course, is my gift: Biscuit Lion gave me Living Out The Remainder Of Their Lives, a fic for "The Song of Everlasting Sorrow" by Tang dynasty poet Bai Juyi, a work of historical fiction about the An Lushan rebellion. This focuses on Yang Guifei's time in heaven before finally being reunited with Emperor Xuanzhong -- with crossover appearances by figures from Chinese mythology. So, a posthumous fantasy -- niiice.

Of the few fic for poetry fandoms, it is by far the best. Everyone -- read it.

As for what I wrote, that would be A Change of Season, a Tang dynasty RPF (basically, historical fiction) about the relationship of Wu Zetian, the first and only female empress regnant of China, and Shangguan Wan-er, her personal secretary who become her right-hand woman (sometimes called her "prime minister," a non-existent title -- as a woman, she couldn't take a formal office). I'm pretty sure authorship was entirely obvious to anyone who knows me who stumbled across it: I didn't bother trying to hide any of my quirks. So, yes, there is Chinese poetry. I was just glad to actually write something, anything for the first time in a couple years. Took me the whole Yuletide period to finish, but it was quite satisfying.

Recs later, after I've had time to read some more.

Does anyone have recs for me?

---L.

Subject quote from "Spring View," Du Fu tr. Mark Alexander.
larryhammer: a woman wearing a chain mail hoodie, label: "chain mail is sexy" (chain mail is sexy)
It occurs to me that it would not be hard to rewrite the plot of The Vicomte of Bragelonne into a wuxia epic. It'd be a lot of work, because long-ass epic is long, but the structure and themes -- including the competing loyalties of the four musketeers after the passage of time -- translate very well.

---L.

Subject quote from "The Vatican Rag," Tom Lehrer.
larryhammer: a wisp of smoke, label: "it comes in curlicues, spirals as it twirls" (curlicues)
The Three-ladder system of social class in the US is very thinky for me, and large portions of it ring true. Note that this is social not economic class, which Americans often have trouble untangling. (via)

John McPhee has a long meditation on the importance of omission in art. (via?)

Some real covers for public-domain ebooks. Lolwhut. (via)

---L.

Subject quote from "The Spirit of Discovery by Sea," William Lisle Bowles.
larryhammer: topless woman lying prone with Sappho painted on her back, label: "Greek poetry is sexy" (classics)
How to title every book you ever write. (via) My debut novel Citrus on Quebec Street will be followed by the disappointing sophomore effort See the Thorn Twist (with the alternate title In Leather, Lace, and Chains in the UK), the collection The Tortoise Camp, then The FORTRAN Programmers, November in Osaka, The Wisdom of Post-it Notes, and Autumnwhaaa.

I admit it: a title like How to Settle Accounts with Your Laundress will make me click though to find out what the heck it is. Spoiler: a one-act farce published in 1847.

Stuff Business People Say. Yes, it's an ad. Yes, I've heard just about every one of these in person. The main wince-worthy one they missed is "out of pocket." (via)

---L.

Subject quote from "Abraham Davenport," John Greenleaf Whittier.
larryhammer: canyon landscape with saguaro and mesquite trees (canyon)
There. I declare revisions to A Desert Year complete: 366 poems, each buffed and polished, or in 30-odd cases replaced, all shuffled into something resembling an effective sequence. This being the poem-a-day project started almost five years ago, describing the cycle of seasons in southern Arizona -- now as good as I can get it. Now ready to send out into the world, at least once I finish writing this proposal.

This puts me up to two collections on submission. Which reminds me, I need to toss Ice Melts in the Wind at its next hopeful destination. But first:

Woofs.

In case you're wondering, or would enjoy it anyway, today's poem is:
    After a windy day,
a moon like a tarnished dime
    rises through the haze
and a single cricket chirps
in the trees along the wash.
Now back to revising the YA novel.

---L.

Subject quote from A Desert Year, from "5 May."
larryhammer: canyon landscape with saguaro and mesquite trees (canyon)
Outside, it is an okay spring, as these things go -- not spectacular, generally warm but not hot. We got only a little rain this winter and so flowers have been restrained, even the cacti. Not dead drought, but definitely not a lively year.

Inside, it is a glorious spring, one doubly disconnected from the outside world: I've been pushing through I-hope-final revisions on A Desert Year* -- I'm down to a few dozen concerns to be addressed, of which only a double-handful or so require major rewrites if not replacements. Which means I'm halfway to living inside a detailed a record how this season rolled out in 2010** -- the first disconnect. Winter was wetter than average that year, meaning many more wildflowers, and the temperatures milder, meaning blooming later -- a second disconnect, to the tune of about three weeks after this year's events.

Or to put it another way, outside's spring sprung earlier. Not the cacti, who boomph on their own schedule thank you very much*** -- but the herbaceous guys, what there are of them, think it's definitely warmer. Last year, I had a vague sense of something similar, but I was immersed in classical Japanese and not paying that much attention.

The easy thing is to cry Climate change! -- especially since models all predict this corner of the country will get drier and hotter, as part of the global shift in patterns. I hope not, that this is just another variation in the noise -- because otherwise I'm reliving the last time we will have had a truly excellent wildflower season.****
    The dog is disturbed:
outside that patio door,
    languidly uncoiled
on flagstones warmed by the sun,
a rattlesnake slowly basks.

* Assuming I don't change my mind (again) and call it The Book of Desert Leaves: A Sonoran Year in Poetry.

** Plus occasional echoes of 2011, when I was filling in holes.

*** Tho' saguaros are already popping white WTF.

**** Future perfect subjunctive FTW.


---L.
larryhammer: topless woman lying prone with Sappho painted on her back, label: "Greek poetry is sexy" (classics)
A week after seeing Much Ado About Nothing, I still have the lounge-music setting of the hey-nonny-nonny song going through my head. Joss Whedon has earwormed me.

As the MetaFilter poster put it, arachnoFFFABulous. More by the photographer. (via)

Reddit thread: What's the best horror story you can come up with in two sentences? My fave: The doctors told the amputee he might experience a phantom limb from time to time. Nobody prepared him for the moments though, when he felt cold fingers brush across his phantom hand. (via)

Cookie Monster recites This is just to say" on Twitter. (via ML)

[livejournal.com profile] janni reflects on lessons from her Writing for the Long Haul series.

---L.

Subject quote from "A Better Answer," Matthew Prior.
larryhammer: a low-fidelity picture of a man, label: "some guy" (Iceland)
Our local arthouse theater is doing another Studio Ghibli festival -- this time focusing the non-Miyazaki movies. Last night, we saw Whisper of the Heart, my favorite Ghibli movie not directed by a Miyazaki (tho' Hayao wrote, storyboarded, and produced it). It has a lot of good things to tell young creative artists, especially writers. I love love love that the novel Shizuku writes is, based on the snippets we see, a hot mess. One that, now that she's finished it and so knows she can finish a novel, she can sit back and revise. And, yanno, go back to studying for exams. Also, somehow being a stalker with a library card manages to be more charming than ye typical teenage stalker with a crush.

What particularly struck me this time through was the translation of "Country Roads" that Shizuku does for her friend in the school choir. Her first version is more-or-less literal (to order of a few miscontruals), and also stilted and even more trite than the original, as she herself recognizes. For her revision, she aims for lyrics that match the spirit and the general situation of the original, and gets something that's much better. (This is even obvious in subtitles.)

No lessons for older creative artists to learn here, nope ...

(Eventually, I'll have something more coherent to say about Only Yesterday, which I finally saw, beyond "ohmygawdsthesceneryporn." But not quite yet.)

---L.
larryhammer: a low-fidelity picture of a man, label: "some guy" (some guy)
... this morning was judgment day

Another meme, one I'm way behind on. For accountability purposes, I note that publishing-wise I did better in 2012 than I have in some time, with 4 poems out:

"Winter Advice" in Goblin Fruit, Winter 2012
"Desert Stories" in Mythic Delirium, issue 26
"Listening" in Tales of the Talisman, volume viii, issue 1
"Laurel Thoughts" in inskscrawl, issue 4

Possibly a trend. One can hope. Or perhaps even aspire to placing another of my long narratives.

*boogies off into the purple sky, people running everywhere*

---L.
larryhammer: a low-fidelity picture of a man, label: "some guy" (some guy)
Work is in panic mode at the moment, leaving me with little brain for anything as creative as linkblogging. Celebrating the lunar new year with our Taiwanese-born Former Sometimes Roommate with a hot-pot was quite lovely, though, even if I did get a leetle bit obsessive with folding origami snakes. But I don't have photos uploaded yet, so instead of new content, have another of those hexagram poems I wrote last autumn.

thunder over mountain transforms to earth over heaven )

---L.
larryhammer: topless woman lying prone with Sappho painted on her back, label: "Greek poetry is sexy" (classics)
Yuletide authors have been revealed -- I can admit to writing an Iliad fic for myhappyface focused on Hector and Paris and their two marriages: Two Brothers, Two Weddings, Two Partings. I'm afraid I broke two rules of fanfic, by incorporating whole-cloth far too much Sappho and Morris and by directly quoting canon. But aside from that and completely failing to disguise anything about the way I write, I'm fairly pleased with it. The story is told slantwise enough you probably need to be familiar with the Iliad.

Many thanks, again, to the authors of my gifts, springgreen for A Prelude to the Adventures of the Boatperson of Heaven and snowynight/sinngrace for To the Star. (I should have known I knew them both, heh.)

While I'm at it, more recs from the Yuletide archive, still in no particular order:

"Worked okay so far?" - A lovely, lovely fic for Hobbes and Bacon, and since all the canon is these four strips (click "Newer Entries" to see the others), all you need to know is the characters and premise of Calvin & Hobbes, which you of course already do (you do, right?) and that Bacon is the nickname of Calvin and Susie's daughter.

Lunete and Ondine, or The Clever Maiden - a "translation" of a sequel to Yvain, complete with "scholarly" introduction explaining why it could not, despite the text's claim, to have been by Chrétien de Troyes. I somewhat regret that the "translator" did not attempt rhyme or meter, but do not hold it against them as 1300 lines of Arthurian femslash is an laudable accomplishment in itself. Can be read without knowing canon, as most of the backstory is explained, though a familiarity of the conventions of medieval romance probably helps. One of my favorites of the season (along with "Contagious Fogs").

Cum Mortuis in Lingua Mortua - Technically, this is a fic for Pat Barker's Regeneration, but in effect it's historical RPF about Siegfried Sassoon conversing with something who may or may not be the ghost of Wilfred Owen, but certainly a ghost of his war experiences. Knowledge of the novel not needed, but knowledge of the poets helps.

Die ente magd - Uses the characters and tropes of Princess Tutu to tell an archetypal fairy tale and critique several of its tropes, including the treatment of villains. Requires knowing the series.

Into the Woods - A space marines adventure in a dystopic future. A backstory fic for Aliens, but it works just fine without knowing canon.

Lebenswerk - Another backstory fic, this one for Sunset Boulevard. Works quite well indeed even if you haven't seen the movie but only know something of the history of Hollywood and the transition from silent movies to talkies. It probably works even better with the movie, though.

---L.
larryhammer: Yotsuba Koiwai running, label: "enjoy everything" (run run run)
Despite feeling Overwhelmed By It All, I will supposedly be able to crawl out from under my deadlines in early November, so I once am again participating in Yuletide -- this being an annual fanfic exchange for "rare" fandoms. As usual, I'm requesting and offering fics for works (almost) entirely in the public domain. If anyone is interested in my details, my Dear Yulemouse letter, offering further information to whomever gets randomly assigned to me, is here. Needless to say, I'm still kicking myself for not thinking of I Ching Anthropomorphic in time to nominate it.

(If you're interested in playing, signups are here; requires an account on AO3 and being willing to offer to write fics for at least four of these fandoms, in return for which you get to request fics from any three or four from the same list.)

A live-action recreation of the title sequence of The Simpsons. (via)

Stacked images from ISS flyovers make for a very trippy video of lightstreaks. (via)

A short new piece about some university engineers attempting to build a human-powered helicopter. (via)

ETA: Jonathan Coulton rerecords "Code Monkey" for the 15th anniversary of /. and makes it rather beautiful. (via all over)

---L.
larryhammer: Yotsuba Koiwai running, label: "enjoy everything" (run run run)
Despite feeling Overwhelmed By It All, I will supposedly be able to crawl out from under my deadlines in early November, so I once am again participating in Yuletide -- this being an annual fanfic exchange for "rare" fandoms. As usual, I'm requesting and offering fics for works (almost) entirely in the public domain. If anyone is interested in my details, my Dear Yulemouse letter, offering further information to whomever gets randomly assigned to me, is here. Needless to say, I'm still kicking myself for not thinking of I Ching Anthropomorphic in time to nominate it.

(If you're interested in playing, signups are here; requires an account on AO3 and being willing to offer to write fics for at least four of these fandoms, in return for which you get to request fics from any three or four from the same list.)

A live-action recreation of the title sequence of The Simpsons. (via)

Stacked images from ISS flyovers make for a very trippy video of lightstreaks. (via)

A short new piece about some university engineers attempting to build a human-powered helicopter. (via)

ETA: Jonathan Coulton rerecords "Code Monkey" for the 15th anniversary of /. and makes it rather beautiful. (via all over)

---L.
larryhammer: a low-fidelity picture of a man, label: "some guy" (wanderweg)
The going was excused by Sirens -- which was fun and full of thinky and some wonderful remeets (waves to [livejournal.com profile] rachelmanija, [livejournal.com profile] kateelliott, [livejournal.com profile] chibicharibdys, [livejournal.com profile] starlady38, [livejournal.com profile] swan_tower, [livejournal.com profile] artemisgrey, [livejournal.com profile] jennifergale, [livejournal.com profile] rhinemouse, [livejournal.com profile] metteharrison) and defictionalizations (waves to [livejournal.com profile] thistleingrey, [personal profile] rilina, [livejournal.com profile] esotera). But really, the traveling was all about the Oregon coast.* Three slow days of winding US-101 and dune hikes and empty gray beaches was not enough. I did journal, but the daily haikus are more likely to convey something of the scene, however haltingly.


under the maples
a single seed whirling down --
children trudge to school

—Portland, 6 Oct


a tattered cover
flutters in the restless breeze:
reading in the park

—Portland, 7 Oct
and no, that's not a good haiku


footprints in the sand --
off in the moss-covered pines
a bird croaks once, twice

—Reedsport, 8 Oct


shiranami wa
hisoi hiroi hama e
kuru ya kuru

—Reedsport, 9 Oct**


on the empty beach,
sounds of continual surf
a plover piping

—Reedsport, 9 Oct


one wave
rides piggyback
on another

—Depoe Bay, 9 Oct


gray fog fades inland
suddenly
a sparkling bay

—Netarts, 10 Oct


until the next wave
Arcturus is reflected
in receding water

—Seaside, 10 Oct


a long white spray
rumumumbles on black rocks --
below, train whistle

—Columbia Gorge, 11 Oct


gray veils the river --
a drop of water runs off
a pale maple leaf

—Skemania, 12 Oct


green grass and green moss
and green-on-green Douglas firs --
*clink* of a golf ball

—Skemania, 13 Oct


pale faces in the lobby --
black crows on a wet green lawn

—Skemania, 14 Oct
idea stolen from [livejournal.com profile] starlady38


brown leaves plastered flat
on the wet concrete sidewalk --
cars shush in the street

—Portland, 14 Oct
no, this one isn't good either




* Okay, okay, and the pilgrimage to Powell's. NB: It turns out they can ship your purchases with a single price for 10–1000 books.

** Not only am I not sure whether the final line achieves the effect I'm going for, I don't know how to translate it -- which is an odd feeling to be sure. A rough rendition might be white waves / to the broad beach / coming, coming. Maybe.


---L.
larryhammer: a low-fidelity picture of a man, label: "some guy" (wanderweg)
The going was excused by Sirens -- which was fun and full of thinky and some wonderful remeets (waves to [livejournal.com profile] rachelmanija, [livejournal.com profile] kateelliott, [livejournal.com profile] chibicharibdys, [livejournal.com profile] starlady38, [livejournal.com profile] swan_tower, [livejournal.com profile] artemisgrey, [livejournal.com profile] jennifergale, [livejournal.com profile] rhinemouse, [livejournal.com profile] metteharrison) and defictionalizations (waves to [livejournal.com profile] thistleingrey, [personal profile] rilina, [livejournal.com profile] esotera). But really, the traveling was all about the Oregon coast.* Three slow days of winding US-101 and dune hikes and empty gray beaches was not enough. I did journal, but the daily haikus are more likely to convey something of the scene, however haltingly.


under the maples
a single seed whirling down --
children trudge to school

—Portland, 6 Oct


a tattered cover
flutters in the restless breeze:
reading in the park

—Portland, 7 Oct
and no, that's not a good haiku


footprints in the sand --
off in the moss-covered pines
a bird croaks once, twice

—Reedsport, 8 Oct


shiranami wa
hisoi hiroi hama e
kuru ya kuru

—Reedsport, 9 Oct**


on the empty beach,
sounds of continual surf
a plover piping

—Reedsport, 9 Oct


one wave
rides piggyback
on another

—Depoe Bay, 9 Oct


gray fog fades inland
suddenly
a sparkling bay

—Netarts, 10 Oct


until the next wave
Arcturus is reflected
in receding water

—Seaside, 10 Oct


a long white spray
rumumumbles on black rocks --
below, train whistle

—Columbia Gorge, 11 Oct


gray veils the river --
a drop of water runs off
a pale maple leaf

—Skemania, 12 Oct


green grass and green moss
and green-on-green Douglas firs --
*clink* of a golf ball

—Skemania, 13 Oct


pale faces in the lobby --
black crows on a wet green lawn

—Skemania, 14 Oct
idea stolen from [livejournal.com profile] starlady38


brown leaves plastered flat
on the wet concrete sidewalk --
cars shush in the street

—Portland, 14 Oct
no, this one isn't good either




* Okay, okay, and the pilgrimage to Powell's. NB: It turns out they can ship your purchases with a single price for 10–1000 books.

** Not only am I not sure whether the final line achieves the effect I'm going for, I don't know how to translate it -- which is an odd feeling to be sure. A rough rendition might be white waves / to the broad beach / coming, coming. Maybe.


---L.
larryhammer: a low-fidelity picture of a man, label: "some guy" (wanderweg)
My default for when I have nothing else to say seems to be to post another of these. This may be a dangerous habit.

mountain above water mutates to lake above heaven )

---L.
larryhammer: a low-fidelity picture of a man, label: "some guy" (wanderweg)
My default for when I have nothing else to say seems to be to post another of these. This may be a dangerous habit.

mountain above water mutates to lake above heaven )

---L.
larryhammer: Enceladus (the moon, not the mythological being), label: "Enceladus is sexy" (astronomy)
Gnah. Deadlines. BRB no brain.

But something nifty did arrived in the mail: contributor's copies of the summer issue of Tales of the Talisman, with my poem "Listening." And even, my name of the cover. Which is cool. It's also the second purely science-fictional thing I've ever written -- the result of a workshop at CopperCon a year ago this weekend. *waves to [livejournal.com profile] mrockwell*

Back to the copy mines. *crunch crunch crunchity crunch*

---L.

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