lenora_rose: (Wheeeeee!)
I NEVER thought I'd be linking to a version of this song and saying, "No, really. Just hit the play button."

Really> Go. Don't read the commentary until after you start the music, either. Just play.

Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer

Yes.
lenora_rose: (Wheeeeee!)
The event this weekend went well; being our 40th anniversary, a great many people made an effort to show up who haven't in a while, or have never been this far north (their Majesties for one - eeep.)

Rather than leave it in the middle of the ramble, I'll put our best news up front:

Oh, lord, we have a quadruple peer.

Duke Tarrach Alfson is now a Pelican, too. And it truly, genuinely, and totally could not have happened to a nicer guy.

(Also, Gabriel de Lion and Azalais got engaged!)

________________________

Friday was its usual self; getting in, setting up, catching up, greeting old friends, and War Court, our short Dark Ages court for the Huscarls and the people who got to events-other-than-our-own to do one of the martial activities through the war season. We were given little pewter towers.

Personal thing: I've been rather wishing that the Huscarls spend a moment in this court to turn around, remove their helms and introduce themselves to the populace. Because three of the central Huscarls spend most of the event in the kitchen, making us our wonderful feasts and bacony breakfasts - and thus end up talking mostly to their old familiar friends. Which has the notable disadvantage that we have members who've been around a few YEARS who've pretty much NEVER met them in anything but passing (even the kitchen clean-up area is different enough from the rest of the kitchen that . And in the dark, in full Norse regalia, people really can't tell who they are, so even the ones we know well and love dearly (HEs Robin and Hreodbeorht even newbies have likely met, and it wasn't that long ago that HE Thrym came back for a while, and his name is still passed on in many a story) are turned into strangers. It works for the impression of the Elite Guard, but not so well for the feeling of connection. These guys feed us and toil for us all weekend; it would be great for even newer members to be able to look at the Huscarls entering the War Court and making their solemn oaths and to recognize them as Part of Us.

And some of them are very worth getting to know. I remember that from when they came out to all the other things.

We also had a class on what's involved with wine-tasting and mead-tasting and appreciation. With, yes, chances to try out the samples. Much fun.

The night seemed to end a bit early, even with that. I'm surprised, with the number of younger members, to be reminded that the group as a whole is aging.

________________________

Saturday began leisurely with the aforementioned bacon (and French toast and other breakfasties), then set-up of the archery range, and long slow shooting. We ended up with so much general practice we only did 2 royal rounds, nothing more -- everyone knew the Water Duel was waiting for Sunday, when the heavy fighters weren't doing their thing. I did okay - 45 - on my better round. (The other one was an embarrassment which ended with a freakishly good speed round - which earned me literally 2/3 of my total points on its own.)

Then it was running around trying to figure out where I was supposed to be going to find their Excellencies to set up for court. I ended up at the chapel we chose to use for court, and almost at the royal cabins before I was pointed the right way. At least I was only needed to stand there and look pretty (Archer Captain), unlike Colin, who was Herald, and had needed to be off doing his set-up well before.

Sometime before the event, their Majesties had decided their court would be Sunday noon, and so, "aside from one piece of business", our evening court was all local work; making Hadassah, a much-loved member who moved back to Ontario, a Forester (A local award for people who don't live with us but are considered part of the group. Inducting a new member into our order of the Snowflake, for people who've done good service. etc.

The whole court was actually run by the Prince and Princess (Hrodir and Anne - incidentally, both also Foresters for our group), since the King and Queen arrived less than an hour before.

Which meant that when their Majesties arrived, they swept in just after Hadassah's award, and took over on the spot. Which involved shocking the hell out of Duke Tarrach Alfson. Mistress Ia said that she felt he needed to be required to attend ALL the peerage meetings. (I first thought they were accusing him of slacking off on attendance, and only about the time it was occurring to Tarrach what was going on did I start thinking, "No, wait. HG FINA has the Pelican. He doesn't...")

We also got back the Baronial court long enough to make Tarrach and Fina foresters, of which the only surprise to me was that they weren't already.

(A fun bit of trivia; Colin, at the start, forgot to officially open the court until Hrodir told him to. When their Majesties came in, their herald Moraig, not knowing, forgot to open court until their majesties chided her. And on Sunday. Colin forgot to open court...)

And Tarrach was put on a very odd vigil.

See, after feast, Tarrach has been one of the main people to stand up, and challenge the other lord in the vicinity to go to the kitchen and help with clean-up. (The Lords specifically because the tradition involves stripping off tunics and doublets; we Ladies go just as enthusiastically when it's our cabin's assigned job - and it was for me - we just don't strip. Er. usually. There was that one time I walked in the kitchen and was shocked dead still to discover Branwen had removed her Tudor gown and was working! In! Public! in her chemise and her corset alone. (GASP) The little detail that she was more decently covered than I'd seen her outside SCA many a time in the summer...)

Because of this, though, they had set up two chairs in the corner of the washing room. His Grace was to strip off his shirt... and sit there on vigil while we worked around him. (He did, in fact, insist on drying some dishes. He stopped when the Prince came in to berate him. Also, I managed to keep him from getting a fresh drying towel.) When we were done, his vigil moved to the fireside, then to watch the fire arrows. I hung around various places, including fireside, to chat with various people.

They'd made one change to the fire arrows this year, thanks to Lord Bearaich; enough to make me feel it worth my while at least to watch the first few. Bearaich had figured out how to make "whistlers" for the arrows out of ping pong balls. So not only were there the sparklers to make beautiful arcs of light in the midnight sky, there were also sounds. Coolness.

Then we burned a tower down (as is traditional), and chatted, and called it a night.

______________________

Sunday's focus was on court and on the Water duel, as far as I was concerned.

Court went very nicely. I was surprised to get an award - a Crwth, for continuously singing around the campfire when there's a chance. (I have a Balefire, but mostly for pottery). Many people got many awards. A couple from Fargo were surprised by a sneak Court Baroncy.

And Tarrach got his Pelican.

Little story about that...

After Brunch in the AM, Tarrach and Mistress Ia, his sponsor, went and and distributed slips of paper to the populace with what are called admonishments - things the person being elevated into the peerage should do and be. Things like, "A peer should be generous to others and not boastful of his own accomplishments."

One of the locals given such a slip remarked that they looked kind of like fortune cookie sayings.

Which meant that he HAD to mention to HG Tarrach that some of these read REALLY well when you append "in Bed"...

Tarrach almost lost it during his own elevation.

Anyhow; the water duel went well. I won my first round - against a rather decent archer, Ingvar, who pointed out that he always went yup against either me or Cristina in his first or second round, and always got taken out by one of us. (Hee). I lost in my second round to a beautiful one-shot by an overall less experienced archer. I'd told her that it didn't matter that she thought I was better. She just had to get one in the right place at the right time. Evidently, she listened.

I wandered off then and did some knife-throwing for fun, got back in time to see the finals, which was Tarrach's younger son, Gregor, against Magnus. Magnus won.

I did four challenge rounds after; lost one for shooting like crap, one in a somewhat closer battle, and won two. Including against Colin. (Technically, I one-shotted him, since I took the bottom out of the target right on the first shot. But I kept going, and put another one through later. And had one skin off a corner, and probably would have hit with the last one if his target hadn't dropped. To be fair, he did hit it too, just not well enough to drain and balance out.)

We ran in after that, late for supper, and when that was done and the fire was lit outside, we sang bardic songs (though it took a surprising effort to lure members of the group hanging out on the balcony to the fire; they were singing occasionally, but there was a younger member at the fire begging for music. We paused long enough for lady Cristina to fulfill a longtime dream:

In Lord Gabriel's very first event, his mother made him garb. Of horribly synthetic fabric with silver spray paint, in the shape of a giant hoodie. (He said when she asked him if he wanted a hood, he said yes, thinking she meant a period-style detached hood).

Cristina had, last Winter, acquired this dubious piece of garb. (Okay, some of the worst I've ever seen). And at the event, she built an effigy, and burned it on the fire with great ceremony as a warning to all other bad garb.

Then we sang to late, and slept until it was time to get up and pack.

And now I should sleep again.
lenora_rose: (Default)
A business language "what not to do":

Strategic, I understand, is a happy business buzzword, so I can understand (Big Company X, a vendor for the company I work for most these days) wanting to use it for a customer service e-mail address, even if I think it's silly. And "Customer Associate", their chosen term for customer service rep, does naturally shrink to C.A.

However, the net result is an e-mail address starting with:

Castrategic

Which just makes me wince. And I'm not even male.

____________________

This last week, I ended up at two reception jobs with a lot of time on my hands. The result was a LOT of writing time (The first place was set up ideally for hiding the Dana from visitors/casual viewers, and the staff I worked with didn't mind. Especially as I got the odd jobs they found for me done in very short order first, as well as picking up the phone in a timely, friendly fashion.)

It went... oddly, though, as writing can. It's all officially on the same project, which is called the Ginevre books in my brain, but which I usually called "my only heteronormative traditional mediaevalesque fantasy trilogy (with dragons)". Except it's not a trilogy anymore, it's a four book series; The Serpent Prince, Soldier of the Road, the Poisoned Word – which title is based on the name of a dragon, and is thus an epithet as well, to match the other three – and the last book, which is either called the Dragon Queens, or Dragonchild.) And I'd like to think I do enough things to subvert all of the above or at least have thought through what they mean. (To my chagrin, the story has no overt lesbians. Ketan spends too much time in virtually male-only company. To *his* chagrin, as he's about as straight as you get.)

Except that, I started out picking away at Soldier of the Road, which I've been worrying at for a good couple months now when writing at all -- then, the next day, out of some whim, opened the file on the Dana for the Serpent Prince, which I'd almost removed as not needed.

Since then, the two have been running neck and neck – which one I pick up in a given writing session, or whether I trade off halfway through, changes each time. Admittedly, some of the new stuff in Serpent did inform how the very next scene in Soldier goes – as a book should do to its sequel – but it makes a strange synergy to cope with the same people at different moments..

I've been thinking a lot, though, over the age of the main characters. Ketan is 16 for the majority of the Serpent Prince, and Theo's 19. Pomal is probably within a year of Ketan, though she never specifies. Rosor is 18 (actually, her being two years Ketan's elder also goes virtually unmentioned, come to think of it). Vess is 15 for most of the book, and barely 16 when she marries Theo.

Yet by the end of the Serpent Prince, Ketan has already been faced with marriage, wars external and civil, political dissent, blasphemy (in a world where the gods have a lot to say directly about same), betrayal, and judging in trials for murder and high treason. (Also nepotism, stupid behaviour about girls, arguments with dad, doing the right thing for the wrong reason and the wrong thing for lack of experience, but those go with being a teenager. Although, granted, arguments with dad are a lot different when you have to be extremely careful not to accidentally cross the line into treason just for saying you don't like his rules.)

I keep wanting to flinch on this. I keep thinking, nobody would bat an eye if I quietly added two years to everyone. The thing is, I want to face the fact that they're a bunch of younglings. I want there to be a subtext about how fast you grow up when the consequences for failure aren't social embarrassment but murder, or a curse from a god. About how to act when age isn't considered an excuse for not knowing, when you can't say "But I'm just 16!" and expect anyone at all to pause for anything, be it asking you to act as judge or slaughtering you in battle.

About irrevocable life-altering mistakes you make when you're nine, or 15, or 20. Because while these are not impossible to do in our world -- where you could end up in an unskilled labour job because at 16 you weren't thinking seriously about the fact that you want to be a doctor but can't afford University without a scholarship, or a dislike of condoms or a missed pill could make one's future VERY different indeed -- we now consider these bad things, and have a number of steps and means that such a person can get support so they can try again. A change I DO approve, compared to the world I write in. ***

The thing is, I'm not trying to MAKE that point. I'm not trying to have that debate about better or worse. Indeed, I suspect that that aspect of the books will go under a lot of radars, and hope it will; it's not even a theme, just a thing.

The entire point, indeed, boils down to, "This isn't our world. They don't make our choices or have our assumptions." A point which is lost if I do add even two years. Because while that still feels uncomfortable, it downplays it. It asks that it sneak under the radar for fear of troubling sensibilities. To not be different enough from 21st century first world ideas, gods and unquestioned monarchy**** notwithstanding, to bother those who like it here.

I think I fail too much as it is; I'm sure the boys have attitudes that give away the writer's 21st century assumptions. And I don't want that. But it keeps whispering.

I can't quite tune it out entire. There are times it's legitimate to ease the way of readers, and isn't a case of abandoning a vision; Bear chose to write the Stratford Man not with complete Elizabethan dialogue, but with something between that and modern idiom, that people might actually make it through the splendid book.

I don't think *this* is the time to listen to that voice. But to silence it whole it is to lose a possibly useful editorial tool in the future. Which means it gets to annoy me now, whent he decision is made.

_______________

** Not sure why I did the last two: Soldier should be a viable entry point for the series if I had to sell it separately, but I'm dubious that the other two could stand or sell alone.

*** Conversely, there is something to be said for the arguments against overprotection, or for how little we allow our teenagers to accomplish or experience. Everything is, after all, a matter of balance, and as often as not, more information and less protection might have *prevented* some such bad choices being made. But I will never say it's wrong to try and mitigate the effects of a bad choice made young.

**** Ketan actually does fail to consider the idea that a patrilineal monarchy is bad. That surprised me; he really does end up questioning so much else, right up to the decrees of Gods - though he *also* never considers the idea of not worshipping something, even in the face of the fallibility of deity.

* there is no single star footnote because, feeling too lazy for html, I used single stars framing a word for emphasis.
lenora_rose: (Default)
A business language "what not to do":

Strategic, I understand, is a happy business buzzword, so I can understand (Big Company X, a vendor for the company I work for most these days) wanting to use it for a customer service e-mail address, even if I think it's silly. And "Customer Associate", their chosen term for customer service rep, does naturally shrink to C.A.

However, the net result is an e-mail address starting with:

Castrategic

Which just makes me wince. And I'm not even male.

____________________

This last week, I ended up at two reception jobs with a lot of time on my hands. The result was a LOT of writing time (The first place was set up ideally for hiding the Dana from visitors/casual viewers, and the staff I worked with didn't mind. Especially as I got the odd jobs they found for me done in very short order first, as well as picking up the phone in a timely, friendly fashion.)

It went... oddly, though, as writing can. It's all officially on the same project, which is called the Ginevre books in my brain, but which I usually called "my only heteronormative traditional mediaevalesque fantasy trilogy (with dragons)". Except it's not a trilogy anymore, it's a four book series; The Serpent Prince, Soldier of the Road, the Poisoned Word – which title is based on the name of a dragon, and is thus an epithet as well, to match the other three – and the last book, which is either called the Dragon Queens, or Dragonchild.) And I'd like to think I do enough things to subvert all of the above or at least have thought through what they mean. (To my chagrin, the story has no overt lesbians. Ketan spends too much time in virtually male-only company. To *his* chagrin, as he's about as straight as you get.)

Except that, I started out picking away at Soldier of the Road, which I've been worrying at for a good couple months now when writing at all -- then, the next day, out of some whim, opened the file on the Dana for the Serpent Prince, which I'd almost removed as not needed.

Since then, the two have been running neck and neck – which one I pick up in a given writing session, or whether I trade off halfway through, changes each time. Admittedly, some of the new stuff in Serpent did inform how the very next scene in Soldier goes – as a book should do to its sequel – but it makes a strange synergy to cope with the same people at different moments..

I've been thinking a lot, though, over the age of the main characters. Ketan is 16 for the majority of the Serpent Prince, and Theo's 19. Pomal is probably within a year of Ketan, though she never specifies. Rosor is 18 (actually, her being two years Ketan's elder also goes virtually unmentioned, come to think of it). Vess is 15 for most of the book, and barely 16 when she marries Theo.

Yet by the end of the Serpent Prince, Ketan has already been faced with marriage, wars external and civil, political dissent, blasphemy (in a world where the gods have a lot to say directly about same), betrayal, and judging in trials for murder and high treason. (Also nepotism, stupid behaviour about girls, arguments with dad, doing the right thing for the wrong reason and the wrong thing for lack of experience, but those go with being a teenager. Although, granted, arguments with dad are a lot different when you have to be extremely careful not to accidentally cross the line into treason just for saying you don't like his rules.)

I keep wanting to flinch on this. I keep thinking, nobody would bat an eye if I quietly added two years to everyone. The thing is, I want to face the fact that they're a bunch of younglings. I want there to be a subtext about how fast you grow up when the consequences for failure aren't social embarrassment but murder, or a curse from a god. About how to act when age isn't considered an excuse for not knowing, when you can't say "But I'm just 16!" and expect anyone at all to pause for anything, be it asking you to act as judge or slaughtering you in battle.

About irrevocable life-altering mistakes you make when you're nine, or 15, or 20. Because while these are not impossible to do in our world -- where you could end up in an unskilled labour job because at 16 you weren't thinking seriously about the fact that you want to be a doctor but can't afford University without a scholarship, or a dislike of condoms or a missed pill could make one's future VERY different indeed -- we now consider these bad things, and have a number of steps and means that such a person can get support so they can try again. A change I DO approve, compared to the world I write in. ***

The thing is, I'm not trying to MAKE that point. I'm not trying to have that debate about better or worse. Indeed, I suspect that that aspect of the books will go under a lot of radars, and hope it will; it's not even a theme, just a thing.

The entire point, indeed, boils down to, "This isn't our world. They don't make our choices or have our assumptions." A point which is lost if I do add even two years. Because while that still feels uncomfortable, it downplays it. It asks that it sneak under the radar for fear of troubling sensibilities. To not be different enough from 21st century first world ideas, gods and unquestioned monarchy**** notwithstanding, to bother those who like it here.

I think I fail too much as it is; I'm sure the boys have attitudes that give away the writer's 21st century assumptions. And I don't want that. But it keeps whispering.

I can't quite tune it out entire. There are times it's legitimate to ease the way of readers, and isn't a case of abandoning a vision; Bear chose to write the Stratford Man not with complete Elizabethan dialogue, but with something between that and modern idiom, that people might actually make it through the splendid book.

I don't think *this* is the time to listen to that voice. But to silence it whole it is to lose a possibly useful editorial tool in the future. Which means it gets to annoy me now, whent he decision is made.

_______________

** Not sure why I did the last two: Soldier should be a viable entry point for the series if I had to sell it separately, but I'm dubious that the other two could stand or sell alone.

*** Conversely, there is something to be said for the arguments against overprotection, or for how little we allow our teenagers to accomplish or experience. Everything is, after all, a matter of balance, and as often as not, more information and less protection might have *prevented* some such bad choices being made. But I will never say it's wrong to try and mitigate the effects of a bad choice made young.

**** Ketan actually does fail to consider the idea that a patrilineal monarchy is bad. That surprised me; he really does end up questioning so much else, right up to the decrees of Gods - though he *also* never considers the idea of not worshipping something, even in the face of the fallibility of deity.

* there is no single star footnote because, feeling too lazy for html, I used single stars framing a word for emphasis.
lenora_rose: (Default)
Just re-watched the new Alice in Wonderland with my husband and some friends. (Which is good up until she - like every hero yet again - chooses to give up Underland in favour of the real world she hated. But that's another rant for another day).

This time, however, I noticed something.

At the end, when she's proposing to travel to China, I asked Colin, "So she's responsible for the Opium Wars?"

When he stopped laughing he said, "That explains a lot."


(No sign of Irina yet. As mentioned in the comments and the ETA to the last post, Dakota came home last night. just in time, as they're leaving tomorrow morning.)
lenora_rose: (Default)
Just re-watched the new Alice in Wonderland with my husband and some friends. (Which is good up until she - like every hero yet again - chooses to give up Underland in favour of the real world she hated. But that's another rant for another day).

This time, however, I noticed something.

At the end, when she's proposing to travel to China, I asked Colin, "So she's responsible for the Opium Wars?"

When he stopped laughing he said, "That explains a lot."


(No sign of Irina yet. As mentioned in the comments and the ETA to the last post, Dakota came home last night. just in time, as they're leaving tomorrow morning.)
lenora_rose: (Gryphon)
1) When I was describing a dragon in one of my stories, I ended up writing this sentence: "More heat flowed off him with each motion, and a scent like candle-smoke, but also, strangely, rather like lilac at the end of its bloom." I wrote that scent, and I thought it seemed crazy. But apt.

Now I can't smell lilacs without thinking of dragons.

2) The flooring is in. The next steps are: cleaning and putting in baseboards. Retouching the paint on the walls. Moving furniture into position (different from the last arrangement; we seem to have decided to flip a lot around.)

My father in law did by far the most of the work. Colin did a lot, including most of the more esoteric and tricky board-cutting and the work on vents and ducts. Two friends, Chris Q and Nathaniel, came by and leant their hands. I made myself available most times I was home, tore up boards, sorted boards, and laid out flooring and cleaned - and did a number of other assorted side activities that were necessary to the job but far from central. And my mother in law occasionally helped and more often cleaned but most often fed the lot of us, full home cooked meals for nearly every single lunch and dinner, which is an impressive amount of work.

I really do feel like they could have done it without me; not because I didn't do anything, but because my jobs were always smaller fussier things. Still, i feel proud looking at the floor.

3) The rain we had last weekend had one effect on the house; the vent leading to the upstairs bathroom fan leaked. Not a little. A whole lot.

To trace the leak, Colin climbed up into the attic. And, knowing he'd have to go back, he left it wide open. Even though he said he'd seen evidence it was occupied.

Result? This is the e-mail I sent Colin today (with one correction, as I didn't take the time to dig up the accent aigu.):

We had the first squirrel in the house.

Élise didn't catch it. Not for lack of interest. She *was* first on
the scene and cornered it on the stairwell post.

I did. With the pink garbage pail so conveniently left in the hallway.
I'll grant Élise the assist, though; it went my way because she was on
the other side, and she did nearly bump her nose on the garbage pail
as it came down on the thing. But I really didn't want it getting past
me into the bedroom.

You mom took it outside (I was still in my nightshirt; this all
happened about five minutes after my alarm went off, while I was still
trying to convince myself to have a shower. Actually, I first thought
the thump in the hall was Adam's door. Until Both cats went on full
alert, and Élise took off.)

She released it some ways away, but I expect it or its fellows will be
back to the attic soon. Granted, between humans and cats, they may not
try to venture down again...

I washed much of the upstairs hallway; it definitely left a couple of
small black things behind it on the floor where it had been trapped,
as well as more insulation. And I teased Élise for not catching it
first. (Not that i think she understood. She did look like she wanted
her toy back.)

Irina never left the bedroom. I'm still not sure if it had got past me
if she'd have jumped at it or away.

Anyhow, in short, if you could try and find the places they get into
the attic and seal them up, tonight seems like a good time.And should
we lay down some of the dessicating poison up there, too?


Turns out I'm slightly wrong, and my mother-in-law handed it to my father-in-law, who, in her polite words, tested how well it could swim (not very), and then got rid of the remains. I can't say I disapprove. I just didn't want it killed in the house. Or toyed with anywhere that I'd regret having to clean.

Colin put a live trap up there instead of poison, as he couldn't find any of the desiccating (Now that I have a spell-check...) kind, and pointed out that he couldn't walk safely across the attic to look for holes without removing all the insulation, as he couldn't see the support beams.And to find the entry from the outside, he'd need a two-storey ladder, and ours was loaned out to *someone* and never returned (We'd have asked if he could remember who had it. But the last one we remember was Augustine United Church, and I distinctly remember carrying it home from there.)

4) I'm still working on the wrong projects. or the wrong parts of the right projects. Argh.

5) Someone asked me recently about putting writing samples on my LJ more often. So. What the heck. This is the opening to Bird of Dusk. (The * is where the guy in Writing Idol stopped reading; though I did change small things since then.)

April, 199-, Damina-Riel City, Manitoba. )
lenora_rose: (Gryphon)
1) When I was describing a dragon in one of my stories, I ended up writing this sentence: "More heat flowed off him with each motion, and a scent like candle-smoke, but also, strangely, rather like lilac at the end of its bloom." I wrote that scent, and I thought it seemed crazy. But apt.

Now I can't smell lilacs without thinking of dragons.

2) The flooring is in. The next steps are: cleaning and putting in baseboards. Retouching the paint on the walls. Moving furniture into position (different from the last arrangement; we seem to have decided to flip a lot around.)

My father in law did by far the most of the work. Colin did a lot, including most of the more esoteric and tricky board-cutting and the work on vents and ducts. Two friends, Chris Q and Nathaniel, came by and leant their hands. I made myself available most times I was home, tore up boards, sorted boards, and laid out flooring and cleaned - and did a number of other assorted side activities that were necessary to the job but far from central. And my mother in law occasionally helped and more often cleaned but most often fed the lot of us, full home cooked meals for nearly every single lunch and dinner, which is an impressive amount of work.

I really do feel like they could have done it without me; not because I didn't do anything, but because my jobs were always smaller fussier things. Still, i feel proud looking at the floor.

3) The rain we had last weekend had one effect on the house; the vent leading to the upstairs bathroom fan leaked. Not a little. A whole lot.

To trace the leak, Colin climbed up into the attic. And, knowing he'd have to go back, he left it wide open. Even though he said he'd seen evidence it was occupied.

Result? This is the e-mail I sent Colin today (with one correction, as I didn't take the time to dig up the accent aigu.):

We had the first squirrel in the house.

Élise didn't catch it. Not for lack of interest. She *was* first on
the scene and cornered it on the stairwell post.

I did. With the pink garbage pail so conveniently left in the hallway.
I'll grant Élise the assist, though; it went my way because she was on
the other side, and she did nearly bump her nose on the garbage pail
as it came down on the thing. But I really didn't want it getting past
me into the bedroom.

You mom took it outside (I was still in my nightshirt; this all
happened about five minutes after my alarm went off, while I was still
trying to convince myself to have a shower. Actually, I first thought
the thump in the hall was Adam's door. Until Both cats went on full
alert, and Élise took off.)

She released it some ways away, but I expect it or its fellows will be
back to the attic soon. Granted, between humans and cats, they may not
try to venture down again...

I washed much of the upstairs hallway; it definitely left a couple of
small black things behind it on the floor where it had been trapped,
as well as more insulation. And I teased Élise for not catching it
first. (Not that i think she understood. She did look like she wanted
her toy back.)

Irina never left the bedroom. I'm still not sure if it had got past me
if she'd have jumped at it or away.

Anyhow, in short, if you could try and find the places they get into
the attic and seal them up, tonight seems like a good time.And should
we lay down some of the dessicating poison up there, too?


Turns out I'm slightly wrong, and my mother-in-law handed it to my father-in-law, who, in her polite words, tested how well it could swim (not very), and then got rid of the remains. I can't say I disapprove. I just didn't want it killed in the house. Or toyed with anywhere that I'd regret having to clean.

Colin put a live trap up there instead of poison, as he couldn't find any of the desiccating (Now that I have a spell-check...) kind, and pointed out that he couldn't walk safely across the attic to look for holes without removing all the insulation, as he couldn't see the support beams.And to find the entry from the outside, he'd need a two-storey ladder, and ours was loaned out to *someone* and never returned (We'd have asked if he could remember who had it. But the last one we remember was Augustine United Church, and I distinctly remember carrying it home from there.)

4) I'm still working on the wrong projects. or the wrong parts of the right projects. Argh.

5) Someone asked me recently about putting writing samples on my LJ more often. So. What the heck. This is the opening to Bird of Dusk. (The * is where the guy in Writing Idol stopped reading; though I did change small things since then.)

April, 199-, Damina-Riel City, Manitoba. )
lenora_rose: (Wheee!)
Okay, that was both weird and REALLY cool.

Earlier today, I met someone who looks exactly like my character Dave Jolicoeur from Bird of Dusk. Exactly, as in, I really wanted to ask his name, and wouldn't have blinked if it was not only David, but the FRENCH pronunciation of David. Exactly as in, the perfect mix of "hey, he's handsome" and the exact right catalogue of rough features that suggest he shouldn't be. The exact lovely dark eyes in the middle. The exact crisp utter black of the hair that's the other wonderful feature. The right fine deep voice with the little thrum.

The one thing even slightly off was that he was taller than I envisioned. And that mostly made me think, "I wrote him too short."

I have had people remind me of characters in hints and starts, the same way you can meet people who remind you, a little or a lot, of a real-world friend or sibling. (When I don't consciously write the first-draft characters' descriptions off real people in the first place). I've had encounters in buses and restaurants that firmed up the descriptions of people whose physical appearance was still in flux (And one of those last caused me to change the colour of the people of an entire fictional continent; which I figure is all to the good, as I have way more than enough white protagonists.)

But even that last encounter wasn't like this; I've never had such a "walked out of the book" match. So much so that I wanted to ask if I could take a few pictures (And a sound and motion recording would have been even better), even though I encountered him in circumstances where that would be even more inappropriate than usual.

Of course, this is not helping with the whole writing thing; I'm off Bird of Dusk to at least the end of January (Moreso as I also have some reading I wanted to do before that edit), even if the Serpent Prince is back to dragging its feet. And it puts the wrong story in my brain. (I forced out a couple words on Serpent yesterday then forced more progress in writing in general by typing in a scene from another project entirely that's been mouldering in one of my paper notebooks)

Still, it kind of made me weirdly happy.


(And for those who might wonder, I am fully aware that this man has his own personality and attitudes. I know better than to assume I know him because of who else he looks like, and I was quite capable of treating him as such. (Those times I've met two unrelated people who bore an uncanny resemblance to one another, they did NOT have like personalities. In one case, snarky as it sounds, my reaction really was 'thank god', as the person the new-met man resembled was an ex.) )
lenora_rose: (Wheee!)
Okay, that was both weird and REALLY cool.

Earlier today, I met someone who looks exactly like my character Dave Jolicoeur from Bird of Dusk. Exactly, as in, I really wanted to ask his name, and wouldn't have blinked if it was not only David, but the FRENCH pronunciation of David. Exactly as in, the perfect mix of "hey, he's handsome" and the exact right catalogue of rough features that suggest he shouldn't be. The exact lovely dark eyes in the middle. The exact crisp utter black of the hair that's the other wonderful feature. The right fine deep voice with the little thrum.

The one thing even slightly off was that he was taller than I envisioned. And that mostly made me think, "I wrote him too short."

I have had people remind me of characters in hints and starts, the same way you can meet people who remind you, a little or a lot, of a real-world friend or sibling. (When I don't consciously write the first-draft characters' descriptions off real people in the first place). I've had encounters in buses and restaurants that firmed up the descriptions of people whose physical appearance was still in flux (And one of those last caused me to change the colour of the people of an entire fictional continent; which I figure is all to the good, as I have way more than enough white protagonists.)

But even that last encounter wasn't like this; I've never had such a "walked out of the book" match. So much so that I wanted to ask if I could take a few pictures (And a sound and motion recording would have been even better), even though I encountered him in circumstances where that would be even more inappropriate than usual.

Of course, this is not helping with the whole writing thing; I'm off Bird of Dusk to at least the end of January (Moreso as I also have some reading I wanted to do before that edit), even if the Serpent Prince is back to dragging its feet. And it puts the wrong story in my brain. (I forced out a couple words on Serpent yesterday then forced more progress in writing in general by typing in a scene from another project entirely that's been mouldering in one of my paper notebooks)

Still, it kind of made me weirdly happy.


(And for those who might wonder, I am fully aware that this man has his own personality and attitudes. I know better than to assume I know him because of who else he looks like, and I was quite capable of treating him as such. (Those times I've met two unrelated people who bore an uncanny resemblance to one another, they did NOT have like personalities. In one case, snarky as it sounds, my reaction really was 'thank god', as the person the new-met man resembled was an ex.) )
lenora_rose: (Archer)
Friday

Jane Yolen, general wandering, and mixed-up plans )

Saturday night I went to Prince Caspian with [livejournal.com profile] taleisin and Colin.

Movie review )

Yesterday I did a day pass to visit Keycon.

Panels and music. )
lenora_rose: (Archer)
Friday

Jane Yolen, general wandering, and mixed-up plans )

Saturday night I went to Prince Caspian with [livejournal.com profile] taleisin and Colin.

Movie review )

Yesterday I did a day pass to visit Keycon.

Panels and music. )
lenora_rose: (Archer)
This year's Gimli Event was fun. Mostly. Too many people who usually make it didn't (abacchus and _aura_, Sun_in_Her_Hair) Brannie_bird and Dan, and Siegound and Rachelle -- well, those are the ones whose reasons for not going were more money/time off than Other) and at least one newbie I thought would have had a blast. Of course, we also had some newer people and new out-of-towners who did get to come out, so it all balances.

Good archery; two decent shoots plus some fun goofing around. I even did alright. I also found out for sure that one can shoot mongol style and fire a combat arrow (Aka a golf tube with a tennis ball on the end.) The lake was considerably nicer than last year and cool but not cold (by my standards), so I got to go in for a while. I sang around the fire, in an admittedly woefully thin bardic circle. (Partly because the bardic stuff didn't tend to start until late, so we lost some singers due to the desire for sleep.)

Also, in court I got an award, for archery, (Colin got two awards! One for service, the other for fabulous garb, aka his "fancypants" and hats). I also became the official herald. Tao_of_erec how4ever, had been bragging a little too loudly about the fact that as soon as I took over he'd ahve nothing to do, so the HM Hrodir promptly made him the Royal Herald of the event. Hee. I just had to do the Baronial side, which is easier and doesn't involve getting hit with pillows or mocked by the King. Granted, Erec gave as good as he got. As he would. He is, after all, EVIL. He says I'm not evil too, due to my becoming a Herald of my own free will.

I've found the "fire" (Sparkler) arrows getting less exciting, though I still shot one teamed with Cristina; she recently got a super-cool if tiny traditional Korean bow. I'd borrowed an identical bow so I'd have the chance to check it out, and since we were not only shooting the same bow but had been given the same archery award in Court, it seemed to make sense as a set. But I actually had more fun watching it, rather than my usual hoping for a second round.

On the other hand, in some ways, the tower burning was better this year. Colin built his mini tower a little more sturdily this year, so less smoke crept out the sides, and less air got in other then right at the bottom, so at first, it was acting like a chimney - billows of smoke out the top and nothing through the sides. Even when the sides started blackening and smoking through.

A couple of us took turns trying to blow more air into the bottom to speed the process. When I did this, once side crevice promptly ignited, leading Tao_of_erec to start accusing me of witchcraft*; not helped when, later, I aimed to do the same thing on the other side of the tower -- at exactly the moment the top finally ignited into massive flames. Whee! This got perpetuated through other things, from my gloves to... well, whatever tao_or_erec or others could come up with. It also naturally tied in nicely to erec's attempts to claim I was Evil. (Admittedly, Erec did give me a massage that did some painful at the time but nice afterward massage type things to the bad shoulder that left it tender as only professionals previously had. so he's not all evil.)

I did wind up in a bit of a sour mood for a portion of Sunday night - oddly enough, not at the moments I was accused directly of being bitchy and argumentative, but afterwards, partly out of sheer confusion that several things I said seemed to be being taken wrong -- in several different locations and contexts in a row. (I also had a stretch earlier that night where I managed three particularly dirty but totally unintentional double entendres in a row, that was just too damn funny.) One of the things I did figure out why it was taken wrong, but by then it was better not bringing the subject up again. One I think I figured out, and did have a chance to at least speak to the hurt party and ensure she was okay, though she was reticent about details and I preferred to talk happier subjects.

I know what I want most next year is for all the people in town and out of town who usually go but didn't make it to come out next year, and make everything extra splendid.

...Of course, some friends of mine are talking about having their wedding that weekend (Though nothing is firm yet). I really hope they have it sooner, or later, because several of the in town people I most want to convince to make it out to Gimli next year will be not only invited but in the wedding party. Rrrargh! Of course, they have no reason to take the SCA into consideration, but It's not for the sake of the SCA I hope they change it - it's for my sake and my wholly selfish desire to have all the cool people around me -- at BOTH occasions.


*As stated in the last post, old style medieval -- or at least Monty Python -- witchcraft, not Wicca.
lenora_rose: (Archer)
This year's Gimli Event was fun. Mostly. Too many people who usually make it didn't (abacchus and _aura_, Sun_in_Her_Hair) Brannie_bird and Dan, and Siegound and Rachelle -- well, those are the ones whose reasons for not going were more money/time off than Other) and at least one newbie I thought would have had a blast. Of course, we also had some newer people and new out-of-towners who did get to come out, so it all balances.

Good archery; two decent shoots plus some fun goofing around. I even did alright. I also found out for sure that one can shoot mongol style and fire a combat arrow (Aka a golf tube with a tennis ball on the end.) The lake was considerably nicer than last year and cool but not cold (by my standards), so I got to go in for a while. I sang around the fire, in an admittedly woefully thin bardic circle. (Partly because the bardic stuff didn't tend to start until late, so we lost some singers due to the desire for sleep.)

Also, in court I got an award, for archery, (Colin got two awards! One for service, the other for fabulous garb, aka his "fancypants" and hats). I also became the official herald. Tao_of_erec how4ever, had been bragging a little too loudly about the fact that as soon as I took over he'd ahve nothing to do, so the HM Hrodir promptly made him the Royal Herald of the event. Hee. I just had to do the Baronial side, which is easier and doesn't involve getting hit with pillows or mocked by the King. Granted, Erec gave as good as he got. As he would. He is, after all, EVIL. He says I'm not evil too, due to my becoming a Herald of my own free will.

I've found the "fire" (Sparkler) arrows getting less exciting, though I still shot one teamed with Cristina; she recently got a super-cool if tiny traditional Korean bow. I'd borrowed an identical bow so I'd have the chance to check it out, and since we were not only shooting the same bow but had been given the same archery award in Court, it seemed to make sense as a set. But I actually had more fun watching it, rather than my usual hoping for a second round.

On the other hand, in some ways, the tower burning was better this year. Colin built his mini tower a little more sturdily this year, so less smoke crept out the sides, and less air got in other then right at the bottom, so at first, it was acting like a chimney - billows of smoke out the top and nothing through the sides. Even when the sides started blackening and smoking through.

A couple of us took turns trying to blow more air into the bottom to speed the process. When I did this, once side crevice promptly ignited, leading Tao_of_erec to start accusing me of witchcraft*; not helped when, later, I aimed to do the same thing on the other side of the tower -- at exactly the moment the top finally ignited into massive flames. Whee! This got perpetuated through other things, from my gloves to... well, whatever tao_or_erec or others could come up with. It also naturally tied in nicely to erec's attempts to claim I was Evil. (Admittedly, Erec did give me a massage that did some painful at the time but nice afterward massage type things to the bad shoulder that left it tender as only professionals previously had. so he's not all evil.)

I did wind up in a bit of a sour mood for a portion of Sunday night - oddly enough, not at the moments I was accused directly of being bitchy and argumentative, but afterwards, partly out of sheer confusion that several things I said seemed to be being taken wrong -- in several different locations and contexts in a row. (I also had a stretch earlier that night where I managed three particularly dirty but totally unintentional double entendres in a row, that was just too damn funny.) One of the things I did figure out why it was taken wrong, but by then it was better not bringing the subject up again. One I think I figured out, and did have a chance to at least speak to the hurt party and ensure she was okay, though she was reticent about details and I preferred to talk happier subjects.

I know what I want most next year is for all the people in town and out of town who usually go but didn't make it to come out next year, and make everything extra splendid.

...Of course, some friends of mine are talking about having their wedding that weekend (Though nothing is firm yet). I really hope they have it sooner, or later, because several of the in town people I most want to convince to make it out to Gimli next year will be not only invited but in the wedding party. Rrrargh! Of course, they have no reason to take the SCA into consideration, but It's not for the sake of the SCA I hope they change it - it's for my sake and my wholly selfish desire to have all the cool people around me -- at BOTH occasions.


*As stated in the last post, old style medieval -- or at least Monty Python -- witchcraft, not Wicca.
lenora_rose: (Default)
The problem with being days behind on LJ is that i don't always read comments or click on links. Thus, i almost missed this:

The Bayeux Tapestry - Animated.

It's missing the prologue, but...
lenora_rose: (Default)
The problem with being days behind on LJ is that i don't always read comments or click on links. Thus, i almost missed this:

The Bayeux Tapestry - Animated.

It's missing the prologue, but...

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