st_aurafina: Captain America, looking somber, holding his shield (Marvel: Captain America)
It has been

0 days since my last panic attack.

Which is to say that there is medical stuff of the 'It's probably nothing' variety and it has done my brain in. I am getting better at dealing with these panic attacks, but at the same time, they're kind of intense this time around. Today at work, I thought I was going to black out. Lots of zippy little black dots and a feeling of imminent doom. It is a crapballs way of coping with stress and I am miserable that it is back on my mental menu of cope.

On the other hand, I can get my shoulders well and truly off the mat when I do an abs crunch. Like, right up there, shoulder blades clear off the mat. I used to just be able to lift my head. That is 100% my work of the past two years. I am very proud of this. Do not harsh me on it even if this sounds like a piddling effort to regular folk. I am on a hair trigger and I have a fork handy.


Still reading heaps of fic, still wallowing in Winter Soldier feels. Also reading the Winter Soldier arc in Captain America - I had forgotten how much detail was transposed directly to screen. ("Who the hell is Bucky?", oh, my poor heart.)

Revenant (73471 words) by stele3
Chapters: 11/11
Fandom: Captain America (Movies), The Avengers (Marvel Movies)
Rating: Mature
Warnings: Graphic Depictions Of Violence
Relationships: James "Bucky" Barnes/Steve Rogers
Characters: Steve Rogers, James "Bucky" Barnes, Natasha Romanov, Sam Wilson (Marvel), Phil Coulson, Clint Barton, Thor (Marvel), Tony Stark, Pepper Potts, Maria Hill, Nick Fury, Bruce Banner
Additional Tags: Dubious Consent, Dehumanization, Hostage Situations, Torture, Ableism, Suicidal Thoughts, Canon-Typical Violence, Post-Movie(s), slightly AU, Suicide Attempt, Non-Consensual Body Modification, Body Horror, Panic Attacks, Mind Control, Period-Typical Homophobia, Bisexuality

Post-movie AU in which Bucky didn’t just leave Steve on a river bank...he took him.

Many thanks to rennemiles and sansets for beta-reading this and being willing to talk at length with my incoherent ass. I will be posting a chapter a week.

This chapter contains no sexual content, but future chapters include several scenes of varying dubious consent. I will make note of that and the exact situations in the chapters that it applies to. If anyone spots anything else in the fic that I should have tagged for but did not, please do not hesitate to tell me.

I still have one chapter to go in this one, but since I'm probably not going to be posting for a bit, I wanted to rec it - I have loved ten of the eleven chapters I've read thus far. It's AU in the sense that Bucky takes Steve with him when he goes on the run. There are many good and bad feels in this, but also a satisfying amount of plot, and visits from many Marvel characters, including Agents of SHIELD. I hope the last chapter is good too - it seems to be heading to awesome places.

Slowed Me From My Ruining (5997 words) by galfridian
Chapters: 1/1
Fandom: Captain America (Movies), Marvel Cinematic Universe
Rating: Teen And Up Audiences
Warnings: No Archive Warnings Apply
Relationships: Sharon Carter/Steve Rogers
Characters: Sharon Carter (Marvel), Steve Rogers, Natasha Romanov, Nick Fury, Sam Wilson, James "Bucky" Barnes
Additional Tags: Pre-Relationship

After SHIELD falls, Sharon Carter joins the CIA and finds herself assigned to track down the Winter Soldier.

A hyper-competent Sharon Carter on mission to find Bucky. Lots of professional relationships, lots of weaving in and out of espionage circles, glimpses of what it is like to be Agent Peggy Carter's niece.

depends on where you're standing (4118 words) by dirgewithoutmusic
Chapters: 1/1
Fandom: Captain America (Movies)
Rating: Teen And Up Audiences
Warnings: Author Chose Not To Use Archive Warnings
Relationships: Sharon Carter & Natasha Romanov, Sharon Carter &; Peggy Carter, Steve Rogers & Natasha Romanov
Characters: Sharon Carter (Marvel), Peggy Carter, Natasha Romanov, Steve Rogers, Agent 13 (Marvel)
Additional Tags: Bechdel Test Fix, Aftermath, Idealistic little girls who grow up to be fierce women, coffee with an assassin, spies around the watercooler, SHIELD falls
Series: Part 1 of bringing the war home

Sharon Carter expected to pull a gun in the line of duty. She didn’t expect to pull it here. SHIELD was her holy ground.


Some aunts take you to mass, but Sharon’s took her to the shooting range.

When Sharon finally met Captain Rogers, she was almost startled at his size. She’d read the comics, sure, but to Sharon, who had heard all the stories (and to Peggy, who had told them), Steve Rogers would always be 5’4” and breakable, had always been a hero.

Her mother had told her bedtime stories about Aunt Peggy saving the world. Her aunt had told her stories about a skinny kid who hated bullies, and a crew of wisecracking soldiers who followed his lead—about Steve and Bucky and all the Howling Commandos out to save the day and chase away each of Sharon’s nightmares.

Her father told her stories about talking elephants and singing mice who built treehouses together.

Sharon carried all of those with her, into the lies of pink nurses' scrubs and the chaos of SHIELD's fall, into everything that came afterwards.

But this came first.

(A Sharon Carter character study)

Ignore the annoying tags - this is excellent Natasha & Sharon friendship fic, and Sharon & Peggy mentorship fic. (I do not like that tagging style! I know it makes me sound curmudgeonly, especially since I use them on Tumblr, but I don't like them on AO3. I'm cranky and I know it.)

When I feel down, I want you above me (2706 words) by lanyon
Chapters: 1/1
Fandom: The Avengers (2012), Captain America (Movies), Marvel Cinematic Universe
Rating: Mature
Warnings: Author Chose Not To Use Archive Warnings
Relationships: James "Bucky" Barnes/Steve Rogers
Characters: Steve Rogers, James "Bucky" Barnes, Tony Stark
Additional Tags: Phone Sex, Unadulterated silliness, The Winter Soldier - Freeform

In the twenty-first century, Steve Rogers still has inordinate difficult talking to women, or men, or anyone with a pretty face. Tony Stark suggests that he try calling a phone sex line. Under the influence of severe exhaustion, he does just that. He has no explanation for why he keeps calling, though.

Silly but hilarious and endearing.

He Who Pours Out Vengeance (148808 words) by Underground
Chapters: 26/26
Fandom: Hannibal (TV)
Rating: Teen And Up Audiences
Warnings: Author Chose Not To Use Archive Warnings
Relationships: Will Graham & Hannibal Lecter, Alana Bloom/Will Graham, Alana Bloom/Hannibal Lecter
Characters: Will Graham, Hannibal Lecter, Alana Bloom, Jack Crawford, Beverly Katz, Dr. Chilton, Jimmy Price, Brian Zeller
Additional Tags: Post-Season/Series, Drug Use, Cannibalism, Canon-Typical Violence, Mental Institutions, Emotional Manipulation
Series: Part 1 of The Better Angels

Post-Savoureux. Will fights back.

Long and thinky, written between Hannibal S1 and S2, lots of Will behind bars doing his Will thing. It was really interesting to see how much of S2 must have been telegraphed in S1, because there were weird and satisfying areas of overlap between this suggested S2 and the canon one.

Odd One Out (27652 words) by thingswithwings
Chapters: 1/1
Fandom: Leverage
Rating: Explicit
Warnings: No Archive Warnings Apply
Relationships: Alec Hardison/Parker, Alec Hardison/Eliot Spencer, Parker/Eliot Spencer, Alec Hardison/Parker/Eliot Spencer, Eliot Spencer/OC
Characters: Alec Hardison, Eliot Spencer, Parker, Sophie Devereaux (Leverage), Nathan Ford
Additional Tags: Partnership, Polyamory Negotiations, Threesome, Non-Equilateral Triangle, Aromantic Character, Bisexual Character, Polyamory, Food, Queerplatonic Relationships, there is also very briefly a monkey, and equally briefly a plot

"We should talk about Eliot," Alec says, at the same time Parker says, "We should have sex in a hammock."

A very distinctive OT3! I really love the way Parker is clearly neuroatypical, but perfectly adult and able to negotiate relationships and needs. And is also the boss of everyone.

Life of Crime (35399 words) by neveralarch
Chapters: 8/8
Fandom: Marvel 616, Hawkeye (Comics)
Rating: Explicit
Warnings: Graphic Depictions Of Violence
Relationships: Clint Barton/Natasha Romanov, James "Bucky" Barnes/Clint Barton/Natasha Romanov, James "Bucky" Barnes/Clint Barton, Clint Barton/Carol Danvers, Clint Barton & Kate Bishop, Kate Bishop/America Chavez, Barney Barton & Clint Barton
Characters: Clint Barton, Natasha Romanov, James "Bucky" Barnes, Carol Danvers, Kate Bishop, Barney Barton, Maya Lopez, Steve Rogers, Tracksuit Mafia, Lester | Bullseye
Additional Tags: Deaf Clint Barton, Edgeplay, Consensual Kink, Polyamory, Supervillain AU, also lots of other characters and implied pairings but these tags were starting to get out of hand

As a supervillain supercriminal contract worker with a morality deficit, Clint Barton leads a glamorous life. You know, stolen cars, dangerous women, a really confusing relationship with a meddling do-gooder, the works. It's pretty awesome. Except for, uh, medical bills, the mob, and being on the run all the time. That part isn't all that awesome.

(A supervillain AU where Clint shoots arrows at people and gets beat up a lot. So, not really that much of an AU.)

This is my favourite thing for ages! It made me check out Matt Fraction's run on Hawkeye, which was so much fun. Lookit me, reading comics and keeping up to date for the first time in years! Anyway, this is awesome, and it has Carol, and America Chavez (so I'm also checking out Young Avengers for the first time in ages) and it's basically lured me back into comics and that's a thing I never thought would happen again.

Clint Barton’s Home for Wayward Mind Wiped Assassins (5772 words) by roguewrld
Chapters: 2/2
Fandom: Marvel Cinematic Universe, Captain America (Movies)
Rating: Not Rated
Warnings: Author Chose Not To Use Archive Warnings
Characters: James "Bucky" Barnes, Clint Barton
Additional Tags: ficlet Friday, clint doesn't know #coulson lives, tony wants to get the band back together, but he's not in the fic

“Where ever you were, whatever you did and whoever you did it for, it’s over. You need to pretend to be a person now, okay?”

So, Neveralarch's fic led me to Hawkeye comics, and the comics led me to this fic, and it's a really clever fusion of movieverse and comicsverse Clint, as he looks after post!Winter Soldier Bucky, and it's a WIP but I love it.

Hawkeye! Totally unexpected outcome! Once again, fanfic is a gateway to new canon.

Ugh I'm going to bed now.
st_aurafina: Captain America, looking somber, holding his shield (Marvel: Captain America)
Feeling okay the past couple of days. Sick, like, with a virus, but basically mentally on the level. It's a very nice feeling.

Yesterday we bought tiles and shower cubicles. Bathroom readiness approaches.

I'm doing Reading Wednesday this week, only with fanfic. These are mostly from recs off my flist, so thank you to all the people who posted them.


This is delicious fun - lots of feels, lots of comics canon, lots of little Indiana Jones moments:

X Marks the Spot (20195 words) by thehoyden
Chapters: 1/1
Fandom: X-Men: First Class (2011), Indiana Jones Series
Rating: Explicit
Warnings: No Archive Warnings Apply
Relationships: Erik Lehnsherr/Charles Xavier
Characters: Erik Lehnsherr, Charles Xavier, Hank McCoy, Sebastian Shaw
Additional Tags: Alternate Universe - Fusion, Hurt/Comfort, Sharing a Bed, the Tesseract really gets around

The year is 1962, and Charles Xavier is a professor of archaeology who knows how his students feel, whether he wants to or not. He spends his spare time researching a mythical artifact, but he knows better than anyone that X never, ever marks the spot.


I only watched a couple of episodes of Almost Human - I bailed early because the show was stepping weirdly around issues of consent and personhood in a way that squicked me. I don't know if the show ever managed to deal with those issues, but this fic did in a satisfying way. A satisfying plot, and lots of world-building.

One of the Crazy Ones (105467 words) by starandrea
Chapters: 20/20
Fandom: Almost Human
Rating: Mature
Warnings: No Archive Warnings Apply
Relationships: Dorian/John Kennex
Characters: John Kennex, Dorian (Almost Human), Valerie Stahl, Sandra Maldonado, Richard Paul, Rudy Lom, Maria Pelham, Marty Pelham Jr.
Additional Tags: Case Fic, Night shift - Freeform, Interdepartmental cooperation, Snark as a primary method of communication, Multiple DRNs, Robot Rights, Living Together, Departmental intrigue, First Kiss, First Time

A kidnapping case turns personal when someone takes exception to the LAPD's involvement. Or maybe it's John and Dorian they don't like. John doesn't care what their problem is, he just wishes they'd stop trying to kill him--until he doesn't, because having an active threat against his life makes Dorian his 24/7 bodyguard.


This is a WIP but I've enjoyed it enough to hit 'subscribe' so I'm happy to share it here, too. Bucky is so broken, and so addicted to caffeine. Funny and heartbreaking.

This, You Protect (10122 words) by owlet
Chapters: 7/?
Fandom: Captain America (Movies), Marvel Cinematic Universe
Rating: Teen And Up Audiences
Warnings: Author Chose Not To Use Archive Warnings
Relationships: James "Bucky" Barnes & Steve Rogers
Characters: James "Bucky" Barnes, Steve Rogers, Sam Wilson (Marvel)
Additional Tags: Humor, I hope humor anyway, cursing, Protection, Strong feelings about coffee, slightly off-canon

The mission resets abruptly, from objective: kill to objective: protect


Adorable origin story for Bucky and Steve - vivid historical setting, and a creepy eugenics background. I loved the microcosm of Bucky's neighbourhood. And Steve is so very Steve!

The Dud (7539 words) by nimmieamee
Chapters: 1/1
Fandom: Captain America (Movies), Marvel Cinematic Universe
Rating: Not Rated
Warnings: Author Chose Not To Use Archive Warnings
Relationships: James "Bucky" Barnes/Steve Rogers
Characters: James "Bucky" Barnes, Steve Rogers
Additional Tags: Illness, Newsies - Freeform, disregards the tie-in comics, Pre-Serum Steve Rogers

When he was eight or nine, Bucky Barnes was the secret sworn enemy of the dud newsie.


Another WIP - I found this one when I was deeply in need of h/c snuggling-type fic, and this fic has buckets of it. And lots of action, and Darcy being her usual competent non-super-powered self.

That Which You Seek (45801 words) by Wynn
Chapters: 8/9
Fandom: Marvel Cinematic Universe, Marvel (Movies), The Avengers (Marvel Movies), Captain America (Movies), Thor (Movies)
Rating: Teen And Up Audiences
Warnings: No Archive Warnings Apply
Relationships: James "Bucky" Barnes/Darcy Lewis
Characters: Darcy Lewis, James "Bucky" Barnes, Jane Foster (Marvel), Thor (Marvel), Tony Stark, Steve Rogers
Additional Tags: friendship fic, Bucky doesn't know how to pancake, Darcy doesn't know how to throw a punch, In a way they help each other, some snark, Some adult language, Winter Soldier level of violence, Intense Fighting, references to blood, Some angst and feels, Set post-Thor: The Dark World and Captain America: The Winter Soldier

The man in the booth before Darcy stares down at his pancakes with suspicion.

A few days after Bucky discovers his true identity, Darcy encounters him in a diner 50 miles outside of D.C. having apparently transformed from a handsome long-dead war hero into a creepy, scruffy, pancake-hating serial killer. So of course she tries to help him.


Mindscape fic! Always something I love. And a lovely Scott/Emma dynamic, too.

Visiting Rights (1657 words) by GrayJay
Chapters: 1/1
Fandom: X-Men - All Media Types, X-Men (Comicverse)
Rating: Not Rated
Warnings: Author Chose Not To Use Archive Warnings
Relationships: Emma Frost/Scott Summers, Jean Grey/Scott Summers
Characters: Scott Summers, Emma Frost, Jean Grey, Charles Xavier, Phoenix Force, Mister Sinister, Nathaniel Essex, Nathan Summers, Alex Summers
Additional Tags: mindfuckery, Professor Xavier is a jerk, telepaths, relationships, Extended Metaphors

Scott's mind is a Winchester House of false doors and dead ends, deadfalls and secret passages built on and over and through each other.


Team fic, with lots of raw edges and awkwardness. And plot and shooting people. And competence. All good things.

your homecoming will be my homecoming (18972 words) by lupinely
Chapters: 1/1
Fandom: Captain America (Movies), Marvel Cinematic Universe
Rating: Mature
Warnings: Graphic Depictions Of Violence
Relationships: James "Bucky" Barnes/Steve Rogers
Characters: James "Bucky" Barnes, Steve Rogers, Natasha Romanov, Sam Wilson (Marvel)
Additional Tags: Additional Warnings In Author's Note, Post-Captain America: The Winter Soldier

This is what Bucky thinks he remembers. Writing a letter to Steve in the trenches, muddy footprints, impressions of army boots on the ground. So cold his fingers ache. He’s writing the letter but it doesn’t make sense. He’s writing the letter but he wants to go home. It’ll make sense then, he thinks—it’ll make sense when they both come home.

[Steve/Bucky, post-Captain America: The Winter Soldier]

st_aurafina: Rainbow DNA (Default)
Sadly it's not that good. Kind of soapy and purple.

From Monster of the Week (this week's episode is Tunguska, the font from which so many Mulder/Skinner/Krycek fics spring forth): The Russians chasing Mulder and Krycek with horsewhips may seem over the top, but literally the same thing just happened to Pussy Riot.

Just finished reading:

The Silence of the Lambs, by Thomas Harris.

A re-read in celebration of Hannibal S2 starting tomorrow. I haven't read this for years and years! I noticed two things - firstly that I'm much more au fait with American places and culture than I was in... *calculates* 1989? 1990? And secondly, that I now know the term Mary Sue and can apply it to bookverse!Hannibal and his maroon eyes and his extra special, more special than special polydactyly.

Also this:

“He gutted Will with a linoleum knife when Will caught up with him. It's a wonder Will didn't die. Remember the Red Dragon? Lecter turned Francis Dolarhyde onto Will and his family. Will's face looks like damn Picasso drew him, thanks to Lecter."


Soon it will be time to close my tumblr tab and huddle and wait for the new episode to air! So excited!

Currently reading:

Still reading India Black and the Widow of Windsor. Still liking the shenanigans at Balmoral.

Five-Twelfths of Heaven by Melissa Scott. Liking it a lot! So far, there is space travel via harmonics using what I presume are giant space travel organs (since the pilot had to pull out the stops!) and a poly marriage of convenience. Which are awesome things.

Planning to read:

I might re-read Red Dragon, since Silence of the Lambs was so much fun. In as far as that kind of story is fun.

I am having all sorts of anxiety about the new house, which is disappointing, because there's not a lot to be anxious about at this stage - we're financially okay, we're under no pressure to move quickly, and the house came through the inspection really well. (The builder, or Builder-Inspector, said that he'd be happy living there, which I take as a ringing endorsement.) I think it's stress about new things, maybe? Or that there are complex social cues when you buy a house in a small town - I know the family we're buying from very well, they know us, and though the agent has been scrupulously confidential about everything, I can see the rumour starting to spread through town. Not that it even matters who knows these things. Just that I don't know how to read the cues and what to do about them.

And then there's Dad, who had a really good go at taking down my self-confidence when I called for advice on finance. He doesn't know we've actually bought the house. I'm not telling him until I give him a change of address card.

I refuse to doubt myself. We have done an awesome job and found the right house at a price that suits us. And man, are we going to have to get rid of some junk before we move. Fifteen years in one small house equals lots of clutter.
st_aurafina: Rainbow DNA (Default)
It has rained and rained today! Really heavy blattery rain, which is lovely and much needed and has cleared the air of this horrible muggy closeness that I hate. Also, it will refill our rainwater tank, which has been secretly seeping precious rainwater from a cracked seal into the lawn. There's a nice green patch there, now, but I'd rather have the water for the vegetable garden.

This is my first Wednesday at work for a good few weeks. I hate Work Wednesday because I have to check the dosettes. Checking dosettes is not my most favourite thing ever. Just so many tablets to count. And so many of them are round and white. I am using my coloured pens (on my checking sheet, not on the little white tablets!) and I have coffee from the cafe next door, but I don't know if I will survive.

Still, I am up front for watching the local rumour mill spin - we've heard that the oldest person in town may have passed away. Nobody knows for sure. Nobody will identify who they heard this from. Everyone is claiming they've only heard it from this one person, and that they've only told this one other person. Reports say there are a lot of cars at the house in question. Small towns are weird. (I wonder if I'm gruesome for trying to figure out who the next oldest person is. I don't think that's gruesome? I'm not going to congratulate them or anything.)

Just finished reading:

Damiano by R A MacAvoy.

So much trippier than I remembered. So many more people died than I remembered. What is it about dreamy hot weather that makes me read trippy, slashy books about angels? I read The Vintner's Luck in similar weather, and it made much more sense then than it did on any re-read.

I started reading the sequel, but the weather had changed and the mood for reading that kind of thing was gone again. Until next year, I suppose.

The Lucy Variations by Sara Zarr

Mostly because I was in the mood for YA about the world of prodigies. It was self-indulgent in exactly the way that I wanted it to be: the story of a musically gifted teenager who has lost faith and confidence in her abilities and learns to love music for music's sake. The teenage relationship storyline felt a bit pat, I hated Lucy's crushes on her teachers, but I loved her pressure-cooker family, and the competitive world of teenage prodigies.

Parasite by Mira Grant

I've had it on the to-read shelf for a long time, and randomly picked it up this week. I think I'd been holding off because I half expected to be disappointed by anything that came after Newsflesh, but obviously this week I felt resilient enough to deal with that. It didn't disappoint, though.

She has good science! Mira Grant does her research and writes scientific plots in ways that are accessible to non-science reader without making science readers twitchy. The plot was good, and the premise was clever: in the future, the privileged all have bio-engineered intestinal worms that maintain our health, stop our allergies, boost our immune systems. The Big Pharma bad guys were impressively realistic. (I'm scared of those guys IRL, so I'm not surprised to read about dodgy practices in genetic engineering and patent law.) On the other hand, there's only so much I can read about parasitology before I start to feel gross and covered in egg capsule slime.

I did love Sal, the prickly and defensive POV character, and the neat way Mira Grant worked an amnesia plotline to give us an in on her world.

Currently reading:

India Black and the Widow of Windsor by Carol K Carr.

Seances! Merry Christmas shenanigans at Balmoral! Dour monarchs and feisty maids and presumably espionage at some stage. I've been warned it's not as good as the first book, but my tolerance is high because it's lots of fun

Planning to read next:

Masters of Sex by Thomas Maier. (Because I enjoyed the series.)

Legend by Marie Lu (Because people are talking about the third book in the series, and I haven't started the first one yet.)

Tea With the Black Dragon by R A MacAvoy (When I can find my copy of it. It's here, somewhere.)
st_aurafina: Rainbow DNA (Default)
Just finished reading:

Hild by Nicola Griffith.

I loved it! I always worry when I'm reading books with historical settings, because I have a huge inferiority complex about my history learnings which basically ended in Fourth Form in 1986. This story is beautifully immersive, though, and while I don't actually know much about this time period, Nicola Griffith built the microcosm of Hild's world as thoroughly as she outlined the history and politics, and so I never felt left behind. I adored all the botany, agriculture, and herbalism, as well as the day to day life in a royal court, the espionage, and the massive religious shift of the time. Hild, and the way she creates her own legend, is amazing.

I had read other reviews that said it ended abruptly, and wow, that's certainly true. But there's another book coming, apparently? Definitely looking forward to that.

Currently reading:

Pop Goes the Weasel: the Secret of Nursery Rhymes, by Albert Jack.

Because nursery rhymes are creepy and full of hidden stories, and I love that. So far, it's pretty light and easy, but there are still a few that I've never heard and are super creepy.

Damiano by R A MacAvoy.

This is a re-read for me - I picked it up randomly on Sunday when it was 45C and my head was swimming. It's a very dreamy book. It's still as trippy for me as the first time I read it - I picked it up in a book exchange when I was living in Sydney in 1992. I completely forgot about the talking dog. Macchiata!

Planning to Read

I find it really interesting to look at this over the past few weeks - I very rarely seem to actually read the things I'm planning to read, and instead grab random things off the shelf. Still, it's fun to speculate.

I want to give Nicola Griffith's Ammonite a try, since I enjoyed Hild so much. Still have the next India Black novel to try. The Damiano trilogy, since we've got some hot days coming up and that seems to be when I like to read trippy fantasy with angels.

Ugh, so many hot days coming up. Still, we may get our first tomato this weekend. In the last month of summer, wtf.
st_aurafina: Short, round chick with glasses and dark hair (Country girl!)
We spent yesterday doing some medical stuff - [personal profile] lilacsigil is having a day procedure next week and there's pre-op check-ups and so on to be done this week. It's super exhausting, even though it shouldn't be. Mostly I think because we both instinctively do this massive, massive girding of loins, getting ready to deal with big scary stuff that isn't there. We charge up our nuclear reactors for generating cope just to power a light bulb, if you know what I mean. You probably don't. I don't think I know what I mean, but today at work I cried, because I was so tired I just wanted to lie on the floor. Now I'm chilling out with a drink, watching [personal profile] lilacsigil make Lego Tony Stark ride a lion.

I didn't read a lot this week - mostly I inhaled the whole first season of Masters of Sex. Lizzy Caplan is amazing - actually, all the women were amazing. All the men were frustrating in that way that the male characters of Mad Men drove me berserk.

Just finished reading:

India Black: Madam of Espionage by Carol K Carr

Well, that was fun all the way down. India's love interest (or so I presume) kept a large number of guns and knives in his trousers. There was an unexpected journey across the Channel. Lots of food and wine and luxury furs. Will definitely read more, especially while I'm feeling stressed.

Currently reading:

Hild by Nicola Griffith

Lots of people on my flist were reading this a few weeks ago. I've only just started but I like it so far.

Planning to read: *scans list* Scorpio Boys? More India Black?

You know what I did that I probably shouldn't have did? I signed up for things:

[ profile] wipbigbang - to finish off my Sanctuary AU where Imogen doesn't die. Victoriana, yay!

[ profile] xmenbigbang - to finish off my Valdemar/XMFC fusion where Charles is the Companion. Sparkly pony mindbonding, yay!

Ugh, the people in the holiday house across the road are back, with their throbbing bass and their barking dogs. I AM NOT IN THE MOOD FOR THEIR BULLSHIT! I've put up with it all through Christmas. They're supposed to go home after Australia Day!

*cranky and not quite drunk enough*

Hopefully Recipe Friday tomorrow.
st_aurafina: Rainbow DNA (Default)
Ugh, personal trainer time this morning was cruel and I'm walking like a penguin again. But my brain is so much healthier for it. It's worth it.

Also, we had a puppy break at work today! One of my juniors has just got a springer spaniel puppy, and she brought him in to visit us. Puppy feet! Silky spaniel puppy ears! Freckly puppy nose! He'd just come from a puppy play date, and he kept falling asleep in her arms, and the levels of adorable were lethal. I think we all died, multiple times.

Just Finished Reading

A Great and Terrible Beauty, by Libba Bray

I found this on one of the GLBT booklists, where someone had said that they'd nominated it, even though the queer content was problematic. Which it was, I suppose, in the sense that part of the dire and dangerous magic the girls tampered with involved a lot of frenzied girl kissing and touching, and because there's an obvious male love interest for Gemma, the POV character. I actually liked it - I liked that Gemma was not at all close to any of the girls in her secret society, but they were all quite tight knit at the end. I liked Gemma's developing moral compass, and how she took on responsibility for the safety of her friends. The atmosphere of the book was deliciously dark and feverish, a little like Picnic at Hanging Rock. Very fraught. Lots of corsets and heaving bosoms.

It took me a while to get going - just like with The Hunger Games, first person present tense is a bit off-putting for me. There was a lot I liked in it, though, and I think I'll check out the next book in the series.

Currently Reading

India Black: Madam of Espionage by Carol K CArr

A ha ha, this is heaps of fun. India is the owner and madam of the Lotus House, a brothel in 1870's London, who is lumped with a briefcase of sensitive documents when one of her patrons drops dead while dressed as Queen Victoria and waving a riding crop. There's a lot of running around, sneaking into embassies and hotels, making out with other madams, and a sleigh chase. India's background is as yet a mystery to me, and she does like to tell us how she's just so much cleverer than the prostitutes she employs, but I'm enjoying her POV so far. It's light and frothy and a bit ridiculous but also fun.

Still reading Moon Over Soho, but I've put it aside for Victorian prostitute espionage.

Planning to Read

I think I really need to do a reread of Harry Potter - when I was writing for [community profile] fandom_stocking, I had to ask [personal profile] lilacsigil what Voldemort's cronies called themselves. And how to capitalise 'Death Eater'. That's a sad state of affairs.

A while ago, I started The Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvater. I put it down - first person present tense again - but I did like the premise and you know, horse books are a thing. After enjoying A Great and Terrible Beauty, I'd like to give it another go.
st_aurafina: Rainbow DNA (Default)
Holy balls, today was a scorcher. We've just had a thunderstorm and it's down to 33C, from 43C. Blah. On the other hand, we finally got our watering system hooked up to our rainwater tank, so we can give everything a guilt-free soaking. Well, not that we felt that guilty, since our region isn't on water restrictions, but still, it was expensive to water from the mains. And we have our first zucchini, which, in this heat, turned from a tiny todger to a monster practically overnight.

What have you just finished reading?

Inheritance, by Malinda Lo

The sequel to Adaptation - it was clever, and it wrapped up all the plot lines in ways that felt original and not too clever-clever. I love the way she writes contemporary teenagers, and the way she can pull off a plot where said teenagers are saving the world, and yet by the time all the threads are pulling together, it doesn't feel cheesy. Also, yay for canon queer characters.

spoilers )

What are you currently reading?

A Fatal Thaw, by Diana Stabenow

This is the second Kate Shugak murder mystery - I love the setting (a National Park in Alaska) and I love the people (all sorts, all rugged as fuck) and I love Kate (never wants anyone to see how much she cares about stuff). I'm finding, as with the first book, I'm really not that into the actual murder. I just want to see Kate and her tough as balls friends hanging around and surviving stuff. But you have to read the murder to get the Kate, and so I am.
ETA: Just finished it; the murder got a lot more engrossing about halfway through.

Moon Over Soho, by Ben Aaronovitch

Definitely liking that there are consequences for the characters who were badly injured in the last book, and definitely liking Peter a lot better.

What do you think you'll read next?

After gritty Kate Shugak, I'm thinking I'll give India Black a try. Madam of Espionage Mysteries! It sounds fancy and fun.

Some links:

- This amazing fan art for Hannibal by [personal profile] gnatkip (Warning for animated gifs.) So creepy-beautiful!

- What if Hannibal told cheesy jokes instead of implying cannibalism?. (Also warning for animated gifs) Their faces! Their faces, expressing horror and hopelessness, as he delivers the punchline! Ow, my sides hurt.

- Operation War Diary is the new project at Zooniverse, the people who ran Snapshot Serengeti. They have scanned in unit war diaries from WWI, and need people to tag the scans for dates, location, people etc. It's like the ideal thing for me, since I have extensive training and experience in reading crappy handwriting.

- via [personal profile] vass, a read-along for Arrows of the Queen which I haven't read yet, but looks like fun. Dr Vanyel's Exploding Horse Syndrome!

- Monster of the Week has started Season Four of X-Files, yay! Bees and bee husbandry!
st_aurafina: Rainbow DNA (Default)
URGENT ETA: Please don't describe the things you see when you google the thing I said not to google!

Last year I had a lot of concentration issues, and I really didn't keep track of what I read, what I started and never finished, what I put in the to-read pile. This year, I will do better! I know I read a lot of books last year, before I fell into the Mercedes Lackey epic re-read, but I didn't really think about it. So.

What have you just finished reading?
London Falling, by Paul Cornell

Someone on my flist - [personal profile] glinda, I think? - posted about this, and I remembered that I had tried it, and given up. She said that the start tripped her up at first, with a lot of police procedural talk. Which was the reason I put it down - I felt trapped in an episode of The Bill. So I picked it up again and pushed on and I really enjoyed it - the magic system was interesting, I loved the history and mythology of magical London and football culture, and the way the characters adapted to police work with magic was super cool. I'm looking forward to more from this series. (I presume it's a series? It's set up that way.)

Also, canon gay characters, canon POC characters. Yay.

Rivers of London, Ben Aaronovitch

Because I liked London Falling, and because I like the trope of 'London is old and full of magic', I gave this a go, too. Yeah, I liked it? Well enough? I adored the spirits of the rivers - I want all the fanart of them at their various gatherings. I liked Nightingale, I loved the Folly and Toby and Molly and Leslie. Took me a while to click with Peter, though; he's kind of an arsehole at the start. But we worked it out. I'll definitely read more. Because there is more. Needs moar queer tho. Lots more queer.

Divergent, by Veronica Roth
[Redacted rant about invisible queer people] We know all that. I should know better than to have picked that book up in the first place. I need to stop grabbing the ones that have all the buzz and the upcoming movie, and look for the ones that don't have all that attention.

What are you currently reading?
I've started Moon Over Soho, second in the Rivers of London series.

What do you think you'll read next?

I'm going to go plumb [ profile] diversityinya. It's a good tumblr. [ETA: Going to read Inheritance, the sequel to Adaptation, by Malinda Lo.]

Other random thoughts I am thinking right now:

- I like cooking and baking, but I am crap at cakes. They're either weird and rubbery or dry and horrible. What is the secret of cakes? Why can I bake something complicated like bread, but not a cake?

Ditto for hummus. (Entirely prompted by someone's delicious homemade hummus on my flist, drool.) Why is tahini so gross? It grosses up my hummus, and I don't understand what I can substitute for it.

- It turns out my Harvest Box code is reusable, so if you're in Australia and you want to try out a service like Graze in the US, here: 86231FJMCVJ (You get two half-priced boxes, and I get a $4 discount.

It's working out pretty well for me; there's only been a couple that I really, really hated - the one with dried rockmelon (ugh, like bitter leather wrapped around my teeth) and the one with the spoopy berries that set off my things-with-holes phobia.

The website is here: HarvestBox, you get four snacks in one box, and as you rate them, they tweak what you get. So no more spoopy berries ever again, thank goodness because they were nasty. (They were dried white mulberries, don't google it if you have trypophobia and DO NOT GOOGLE TRYPOPHOBIA IF YOU THINK YOU MIGHT HAVE IT. DO NOT. NO. GET A FRIEND TO DO IT. Ugh, even the word has too many holes for my comfort.)

- I wrote some fics for [community profile] fandom_stocking. Not as many as I would have liked, but since the mod has unfortunately been sucked into the polar vortex, I'm taking the opportunity to peck away at more. Stay safe, people in the icy north!

- I had a good therapy time on Tuesday, which involved a discussion of Klingon birthday rituals, and the visualisation of pain sticks becoming matchsticks. (In preparation for my family's heinous birthday season in April/May.)

- Every now and then I remember that Derek Jacobi is the narrator on In the Night Garden (of the genre of trippy British children's puppet shows) and will exhort you to catch the ninky-nonk. I think this is either really good or really terrifying, or maybe both. Sample at 2:25, under the cut.

Catch the ninky-nonk! )


st_aurafina: Rainbow DNA (Default)

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