pedanther: (Default)
1. I've been listening a lot lately to the podcast Film Reroll, which has the premise that each episode a group of people play a one-off roleplaying campaign based on a famous movie, just to see how far off course the plot can go when it depends on dice rolls and player imagination instead of having an author handing out plot points and making sure things pan out in the way they intend. Pretty far off course, it turns out; apart from the obvious consequences like people muffing their dice rolls really badly and everybody dying, one of my favourite examples so far is an episode where one of the players ended up sitting on the sidelines for the whole thing, because the plot took a direction early on that completely bypassed the character they'd been planning to play.

Another example is the campaign I've just finished listening to, The Wizard of Oz. It follows the movie fairly faithfully up until the protagonists meet the Wizard (though a bit more smoothly in some places, as the players get some good dice rolls in when facing the obstacles the Wicked Witch puts in their path) -- and then the players have to decide how best to tackle the job of stealing the Wicked Witch's broom for the Wizard, at which point the plot jumps dramatically off the rails, and the campaign ends up turning into a four-episode, eight-hour epic fantasy quest with cut-throat politics and dragons. Bits of it are amazingly poetic and surprisingly moving, and it's the one so far where I really felt at the end like I had been immersed in a story and not just been listening to a group of friends joking around. (Not that there's anything wrong with listening to a group of friends joking around; that describes most of the podcasts I listen to regularly.)


2. Our run of The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee has ended, as usual just when I felt I was really beginning to get the hang of it. (If I ever get to the end of a show and think, that's okay, there wasn't anything left to do here, that's when I'll really be sad.)

Next up is another production with a very long title, The Farndale Avenue Housing Estate Townswomen's Guild Operatic Society production of The Mikado. It's this year's big production by the director who's done Oliver! and Chicago and suchlike in previous years, and I was actually quite looking forward to having nothing to do with it for a change, but then I was invited to come on board as assistant director and gets some hands-on experience in the running of a big production, and I didn't feel I could say no.


3. I got to go to exactly one meeting of the gaming group between the end of rehearsals for Spelling Bee and the beginning of rehearsals for Mikado, but I got to do the things I'd wanted to do, so that was good. As I mentioned last time, I had two games I wanted to play, and I got to play both.

Ingenious is an abstract pattern-based competitive game with a tricky scoring mechanic where each player is scored on several different criteria and only the lowest score counts, so if you get too focussed on building up on one score and neglect the others you can easily find yourself in real trouble. I started playing the app version last year and was sufficiently impressed by it to buy the physical game in the hope of finding people to play it with me. As it happened I found two, which made things interesting because the app version only does two-player games and so I'd never played a three-player game before. It turns out that, like many other games, it's rather more complicated and more difficult to get on top of with two opponents than with only one. I ended up not coming last, and considered myself well satisfied with my performance. The other two players seemed to enjoy themselves too, so I expect I'll take it along again another time.

Forbidden Island, which my brother gave me for Christmas, is a collaborative game in which the players are exploring an island for centuries-old lost treasures while dealing with the inconvenient fact that the island is rapidly sinking. (If memory serves, the manual claims that this is the result of an ancient booby trap set by the owners of the lost treasures, who apparently really didn't want them to be found again.) Mechanically, it's kind of like a more family friendly (less complicated, less worldwide catastrophe depicting) version of the collaborative game Pandemic, which is not a coincidence as they're both designed by Matt Leacock.


4. Recently the emergency jump start box in the car ran low on juice, which it announced by beeping loudly and regularly and loudly, which inspired me to drive directly home and look for the charge cable instead of stopping on the way to do the shopping as I'd intended. This prompted three observations:

First, that it was probably designed deliberately to make a loud and irritating noise clearly audible throughout the car specifically to make it impossible for its owner to contemplate putting off the job of recharging it, because it's not a good idea to put off charging a piece equipment you might need in an emergency. In which case, congratulations to the designer, it worked.

Secondly, while driving home I had cause to ponder the subjective nature of time, because the beeps didn't always seem regularly spaced; sometimes they seemed closer together, and other times further apart. The most convincing mechanism I've seen proposed for the subjective experience of time changing speed is that it's a function of memory; the same amount of information is coming in at the same rate all the time, but when nothing much is happening we don't bother to remember most of it, and then it seems like time has gone by really quickly, but when things get exciting more detail gets stored and then it seems in retrospect that the experience was stretched out more.

Thirdly, if I hadn't been able to find the charge cable when I got home, I'd have been stuck with a loudly beeping box that I had no way to shut up, and that would not have been fun. Here's where I benefited from some of the work I've been doing sorting my clutter into boxes. It took a few attempts to guess which box I would have sorted the charge cable into (gadgets and accessories? extension cords? stuff I'm going to put away as soon as I figure where it goes?) but it was still probably faster and less stressful than if I'd had nothing more to go on than "it's in this huge pile of clutter somewhere, probably".


5. We had the state election last weekend. Overall, it was a landslide victory for the Labor Party, which has been in opposition for the last eight years, and a crushing defeat for the Liberal-National coalition government. (Obligatory Aus politics footnote: The Liberal Party's name refers to their economic stance; they're conservative on social issues.) In my local electorate, the contest was much closer, to the point that we still, a week later, don't know exactly who the winner is. Normally by this point in a vote count it's clear who won and the rest of the ballot counting is just to find out by how much, but in this case it's split almost evenly between the three major party candidates, which never happens. In this case, the Labor candidate has the lift that his entire party's getting but is a newcomer to politics running against two well-known local identities with long track records in public service. The Libs' candidate may even have got a boost from his own party's misbehaviour, or rather from his response to it; a couple of times during the election campaign he got caught wrongfooted when his party announced policies that would have a signficant local effect without warning him first, and he wasn't shy about saying what he thought about that.

(In other news, the populist party that was expected to be a protest vote magnet did much worse in the election than expected, possibly because they were frankly and very visibly incompetent, with several of their candidates being kicked out of the party during the election campaign for doing things that a proper recruitment process ought to have caught ahead of time. It's all very well going "vote for us because you can't trust those professional politicians and we're not professionals", but being so utterly unprofessional inevitably invites people to wonder how you can be trusted to the run the place if you can't even hold the party together long enough to get over the finish line.)
pedanther: (Default)
Fiction books
T L Garrison. The Twisted Blackmailer (e)

In progress
Terry Pratchett. Carpe Jugulum (e) (re-read)

Non-fiction books in progress
Pauline Scudamore. Spike

short, screen, and stage )
books bought and borrowed )

Top of the to-read pile
Josephine Tey. A Shilling for Candles
pedanther: (Default)
1. Our production of The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee opened this week. Everyone seems to be enjoying it so far. (Including us; not that we weren't enjoying it anyway, but it helps to be reminded how funny some of the bits are that had faded through over-familiarity.)


2. This weekend was the area final of the Toastmasters International Speech Contest and Evaluation Contest. I represented my club in the Evaluation Contest, and came second -- which came as a nice surprise, because I was pretty sure there were at least two other competitors who'd done better than me. My friend who represented the club in the International Speech Contest, with a speech about dealing with negative self-talk, was even more surprised to come first (but I wasn't, because it was clearly the best speech in the contest -- though I may be biased).


3. Now that rehearsals for Spelling Bee are over, I'll be able to start going to gaming group meetings again; I'm looking forward to it. Usually I just show up and see who's got a game that needs players, but this time I'm planning to suggest a few games of my own: Forbidden Island, which my brother gave me for Christmas, and Ingenious, which I gave myself for Christmas after getting hooked on the app version.


4. I've played a bit more Mass Effect since I last posted, and now know Garrus, Wrex, and Tali as more than just faces on Tumblr posts. I also, being me, managed to put my foot in my mouth with all three of them during their respective tell-me-about-your-backstory conversations. (No, that's not quite true; I did fumble things with Wrex and Garrus, but when I hacked off Tali I knew exactly what I was doing. Attempts to justify genocide make me prickly; who'd've guessed?)


5. Movie-wise, I have been to see Rogue One (I teared up at the end, in the good-heartwarming way not the bad-distressing way) and Moana (lots of fun).
pedanther: (Default)
Fiction books
Katherine Addison. The Goblin Emperor (e)
Agatha Christie. The Murder at the Vicarage
J Sheridan Le Fanu. Wylder's Hand (e)
Ellis Peters. City of Gold and Shadows (e)
Ellis Peters. Rainbow's End (e)
Terry Pratchett. The Last Continent (e) (re-read)
Anthony Price. The Memory Trap (e)
Anthony Price. A Prospect of Vengeance (e)

In progress
Terry Pratchett. Carpe Jugulum (e) (re-read)

Non-fiction books in progress
Pauline Scudamore. Spike

Abandoned
Gregory Mone. The Truth About Santa Claus

short, screen, and stage )
books bought and borrowed )

Top of the to-read pile
T L Garrison. The Twisted Blackmailer
pedanther: (Default)

Long after the rest of the universe, it feels like, I've decided to try out this "Mass Effect" thing several of my friends are into.

Read more... )
pedanther: (science)
So, the last week has been interesting, computer-wise. (But there's a happy ending.)

It began when I finally got tired enough of the little ways in which my computer was showing its age to go and ask the computer guy if there was anything simple that could be done without going in for a whole new computer. The guy listened to my description of the problem, asked how old the computer was, and diagnosed that the hard drive was starting to wear out. I agreed to bring my computer in and have a new hard drive installed, after getting his assurance that he could shift everything straight from the old hard drive to the new one and everything would still be where I was used to finding it.

I took it in on a Wednesday. It took a couple of days to reach the head of the queue, during which time I made do without a desktop computer at home. On Friday, I got a call from the computer guy, who had started work on my computer and realised that it was older even than he'd gathered - and that's when things started to get interesting )
pedanther: (Default)
List of Completed Fics:
Ten Alternate Universes: Bernice Summerfield (481 words; Doctor Who & spinoffs)
Ten Alternate Universes: Kay Harker (606 words; The Midnight Folk et seq.)
Ten Alternate Universes: Havelock Vetinari (1062 words; Discworld)
New Flowers Bloom (100 words; Snow-white and Rose-red)
A week next Saturday at the Stork Club (401 words; Captain America: The First Avenger)

Read more... )
pedanther: (Default)
Fiction books
Lois McMaster Bujold. The Curse of Chalion (re-read)
Lee Falk, Ray Moore. The Phantom: The Complete Newspaper Dailies volume 1
Gail Carson Levine. Fairest
Anne McCaffrey. The Ship Who Sang (e) (re-read)
Anthony Price. A New Kind of War (e)
John Scalzi. The End of All Things
John Scalzi. The Human Division
Ursula Vernon. Summer in Orcus (e)

In progress
Katherine Addison. The Goblin Emperor (e)
Terry Pratchett. The Last Continent (e) (re-read)

Non-fiction books In progress
Pauline Scudamore. Spike

short, screen, and stage )
books bought and borrowed )

Top of the to-read pile
Anthony Price. A Prospect of Vengeance
pedanther: (Default)
This is my first actual post to Dreamwidth. All the posts preceding this one have been imported from my old blog on Livejournal.
pedanther: (cheerful)
So, here's a thing that I wish I'd known an hour ago: Android devices' external/additional storage doesn't preserve a lot of the file properties I'm used to assuming a computer will keep track of. In particular, it doesn't keep a "file created" date or a "file last modified" date. (It does know one date, which is the file creation date if you created the file in that location on that device - if you moved it from another computer, or even from another folder on the same Android device, that's what date it remembers.)

The way I learned this was by moving a bunch of files onto my new Android device, and saving them to the external storage on the assumption that this was a sensible way to keep the internal storage free for important system files.

To be fair, I don't care about the file dates of all the files thus affected (and of those that I do care about, there's a significant chunk that I have backed up on a computer with a real file system, because I care about them in other ways too, so there is a place I can look up that information if I need it). But in a way, that just makes it more annoying, because it means that the significant files constitute a relatively small chunk of storage space, and I could easily and without any inconvenience have kept them in the device's internal storage if I'd known it would matter.

ETA: Or, on further investigation, perhaps not. Copying a file to the device's internal memory also loses a bunch of file property information and keeps only one file date, which is reset to the time the file was copied. The reason I didn't spot this immediately is that thereafter it functions as a "file last modified" date, updating each time the file is edited. Which is something, anyway, and for at least some of the files I was annoyed about is the thing that matters.
pedanther: (cheerful)
1. This week I have five Christmas/end-of-year social events in six days; in no particular order: work, the Rep Club, the other theatre group that isn't the Rep Club, Toastmasters, and the brass band. Three of those have already happened, and all of them were on evenings when I would have had to give them a miss or leave early if I'd been in the Christmas Show, as I was saying last entry, which would have been regrettable.

Also on the list of things I'd have had to miss out on: going to see the WA Symphony Orchestra's annual public concert with the family. (Does that count as an end-of-year social event? I'm inclined to say not, because nobody fed me.)


2. The choral group I mentioned joining has finished up for the year. I've been enjoying it and will definitely be back next year.


3. I have been to two charity book sales recently. I donated a box of books to the first one, so I came out with a net decrease in the number of books taking up space in my house. Win!

A significant amount of the box I donated consisted of duplicate copies, many of them a result of seeing a book at a sale and going "I've always wanted a copy of that" and then finding when I got home that I already had one in the to-read pile. I managed to do it again at both of these sales, so I've already made a start on the next box...


4. So far since the new $5 note was released, I've only had one pass into my hands. It was weird and disconcerting and I spent it in the very next shop I went into so that I wouldn't have to keep looking at it.


5. At work, my computer finally got old and unreliable enough that the boss felt obliged to find room in the budget for a new one. This meant leapfrogging from Windows XP (yes, it was that old) to Windows 10, which despite my reservations has been relatively un-horrible. The worst of it were some initial issues with the wireless keyboard, which seem to have sorted themselves out, and a weird tendency to reboot itself without notice, which I think has been fixed now that I've tracked down the option switch that was set to "Reboot immediately after installing a system update" (the documentation says that that option will still wait until the computer is standing idle, but such was not my experience).

There's also the unanticipated side-effect that my computer at home, which had always felt speedy and powerful compared to the one at work, is now by comparison showing its age and small memory.
pedanther: (cheerful)

1. I have been to the cinema to see a movie for the first time since, according to my notes, July. The movie was Arrival, and it was worth going to see. I will probably go and see some more movies this month, because we have Rogue One arriving this week and then Moana in the post-Christmas summer season.
 

2. I finally got around to reading The Last of the Really Great Whangdoodles by Julie Edwards, which has been lurking in my to-read pile for years. The author is the wife of the film director Blake Edwards, aka the actor and singer Julie Andrews, and I'm pleased to be able to say I enjoyed it, although probably not as much as I would have when I was the target age and less capable of spotting the bits that are designed to impart important life lessons. Other things that stuck out to now-me that wouldn't have to child-me were the puns (especially having recently read the bit in Summer in Orcus where the child protagonist is scornful of the kind of puns adult fantasy writers put in children's fantasy), and the wise token adult's attitude to the designated adversary's concerns, which I felt should have had a hashtag on them saying "#notallhumans". I was very pleased that the designated adversary turned out to be not evil, just doing his best in very trying circumstances, and that the token wise adult was shown to be a human being with his own flaws and blind spots (and that he started listening to his former adversary more by the end), but I felt it could have done with an explicit call out that even though the designated adversary turned out to be wrong about this specific group of humans he had perfectly valid reasons to be distrustful of humans in general.

(PS. I probably would have identified with one of the children when I was a child, but as an adult the designated antagonist is definitely my favourite character.)
 

3. Another thing that's been sitting on the shelf that I finally got around to is the Big Finish audio drama Storm Warning, the first of their series featuring Paul McGann as the eighth Doctor. It was okay, I guess? I mean, I enjoyed it, but I'm not in a big hurry to find out what happens next. (Although part of that's obviously because I'm starting the series fifteen years late, so I already know from fandom osmosis quite a bit about what happens next.) And, to be fair, I've never been all that good at audio dramas; I don't tend to find them engaging enough to sit still through.
 

4. The Rep Club Christmas Show has been and gone. I was involved only as an audience member, which I think may have been the right call. On top of the reasons for making that decision in the first place, I'm now in a position to tell that I enjoyed watching it once but it would probably have worn a bit thin through a month of rehearsals and performances. (It would also have been a crimp on my social life that I'd have regretted, in terms of things I've been able to go to on what would have been show nights.)

The next Rep Club production is, as I've mentioned, The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee. I've been cast as the socially awkward science nerd, which as you can imagine is going to be a stretch.
 

5. Fanfic rec: Third Wheel, in which Bruce Wayne makes his first official visit to Metropolis, and Lois Lane is assigned a celebrity profile that turns out to be more interesting than she expected, while Clark Kent investigates sightings of a mysterious bat-man.

"I've always wanted to learn how to fly," Clark said, sounding impressed.

"You should," Bruce said. "It's fun."

"It always seemed like it would be."

pedanther: (cheerful)
1. Joking Hazard is a card game along the lines of Cards Against Humanity, where the aim is to supply the missing part of a joke, but instead of one-liners it's three panel comic strips. That makes it a bit more involved than CAH, and will possibly mean that it takes longer for the novelty to wear off, but I suspect when it does I'll be as over it as I am over CAH, particularly since it has the same kind of sense of arguably-humor. (The game I played produced one or two actual jokes and a lot of strips where the punchline was "And then one of the stick figures does something rude and inappropriate".) It is only fair for me to admit, however, that the novelty did last all the way through the game I played, and I did kind of enjoy it.


2. I've played a few different variants of the card game Love Letter since I joined the gaming group; the most recent is Love Letter: Premium Edition, which uses the intial theme (the one with an actual love letter, as opposed to supervillains or hobbits) but includes extra cards that can be added to the deck if more people want to play. This is really useful at our gaming group, because the standard game is restricted to four players and usually there are more people than that who want to play; with the extra cards, a game can have up to eight players. Most of the extra cards have new abilities, some of which are intended to keep the game from dragging; for instance, in the standard game you can only get a victory point by winning a round, but the expanded game includes several other ways to gain victory points, such as a card that invites you to predict who will win the current round and awards you a victory point if you're right. Or a very interesting card which -- okay, the most reliable way to make sure a person doesn't win a round is to eliminate them from play, but one of the new cards awards the person who has it a victory point if they're eliminated. And of course they get a victory point if they win the round, so once someone plays that card everybody else has to try to steer the game so that they make it to the end of the round without a winning hand. What tends to happen a lot in practice is that someone will have a lapse of concentration and eliminate that player anyway, having forgotten why it's a bad idea. I've actually won a whole game that way.


3. Survive: Escape from Atlantis is a board game where the players are trying to evacuate the population of an island that's gradually sinking into a sea infested with carnivorous sea monsters, whirlpools and other hazards. It's not a co-operative game: each player has a particular group they're responsible for, there are a limited number of boats, and part of the gameplay is making the sea monsters go and bother somebody else. I enjoyed it a lot.


4. I got my old Magic: The Gathering cards out of storage recently, because I've noticed there's pretty much always Magic players at the gaming group even when nothing much else is happening. I haven't actually got to use them at a meet yet, but mentioning that I had them led to me getting invited to join a game of Magic: The Gathering: Commander, which is a variant of the game where several people fight each other simultaneously instead of one-on-one. This involves a different kind of deck from the usual one-on-one game; the player who was organizing the match kindly lent me one of his spares. I ended up being one of the last two players standing, I suspect largely because the more experienced players didn't see me as a threat and concentrated on knocking each other out. I very nearly won the match, too, but although I had all the cards I needed I didn't use them as well as I needed to, saving one up when I should have played it and playing others when I should have saved them. Well, I'll know better next time, if there's a next time.

The lost opportunity I regret most, although I don't think it would actually have changed the outcome, involved a card that lets the player swap the hitpoints of two opponents. At the point I drew it, one of the other players was nearly out of hitpoints, largely due to the efforts of another player who was not only in full health but had acquired extra hitpoints and had had to break out an extra hitpoint counter. Swapping their hitpoints would have been really entertaining. Alas, by the time I had the mana to use the spell, the weakest player had been eliminated, and the strongest had suffered a major reversal of fortune, with the result that the strongest player had only a three-point lead over the weakest remaining player. Much less entertaining.


5. I had played Tsuro before, and didn't think I liked it; it tends to be over very quickly and often ends in the last two players dying simultaneously, but it turns out to be a good game for filling in time while waiting for something else to happen. (The fact that I actually won a game probably also helped lift my opinion.)
pedanther: (cheerful)
Fiction books
Ben Aaronovitch. The Hanging Tree (e)
Julie Edwards. The Last of the Really Great Whangdoodles
Terry Pratchett. Jingo (e) (re-read)
Anthony Price. For the Good of the State (e)

In progress
Katherine Addison. The Goblin Emperor (e)
Ursula Vernon. Summer in Orcus (e)

Non-fiction books
Jimmy Maher. Let's Tell a Story Together (e)

short, screen, and stage )
books bought and borrowed )

Top of the to-read pile
Terry Pratchett. The Last Continent
pedanther: (cheerful)
1. At the gaming group this week, we played Carcassonne and Splendor. First we played a two-player game of Carcassonne, which I won convincingly, then another person arrived and we played a three-player game, which I lost even more convincingly. Then we played two three-player games of Splendor, and I lost both times.

At the end of the evening, everybody happened to finish up early except the role-playing group, who were in the middle of battling a kraken that was trying to sink their ship. I hung around to see how that turned out; how it turned out was that the kraken destroyed the ship, but the adventuring party did manage to rescue most of the people on board by stuffing them inside some kind of hammerspace pocket their wizard conjured up. On the one hand: Lots of survivors, yay! On the other hand: Lots of survivors stuck in a hammerspace pocket hovering in midair over open ocean with no chance of anybody happening along to rescue them... The wizard explained that he had a theoretically sound plan for getting everyone back to dry land in one piece, but the venue was closing up so we didn't get to find out yet how well that was going to go in practice.


2. The local music school runs a small choral group for adults that I've been vaguely aware for a while, but hadn't got around to checking out due to having other things on and general shyness about putting myself into new situations. Recently I've had some more free time due to not being in any shows at present, which happened to coincide with the beginning of a new school term, so it seemed like a good time to check it out. I am enjoying it so far.


3. In a rare burst of decluttering enthusiasm, I've done something about the pile of Things I Put Down For a Moment Intending to Deal With Them Later that was gradually engulfing my study. It's now sorted into three boxes: things to be put away when I figure out where they go, likewise but with a good chance I'll be wanting them again before then, and things that actually need dealing with. Next step: dealing with the things in the third box.

In a bit of carry-over, I also did a thing with the box that's been sitting in the kitchen since I moved in, which nominally contained things that needed to be unpacked in the kitchen. It's now been separated into a small box of things that really do need to be unpacked, and a larger box of things I never actually used in the old kitchen and don't see myself using in this one either. Next step: Figure out how to usefully get rid of the second and larger box.


4. The new online community platform Imzy recently moved from closed to open beta, in case anyone's interested in checking it out. (Can't have communities without people in, after all...) My impression is that so far the more broadly-drawn communities, like Fantasy, are making more of a go of it than the communities based on more specific topics, but that may change as more people get involved.


5. Fanfic rec: Working Backwards by Starlightify. In which Clark Kent wakes up in Lois Lane's bed and has to figure out how he got there, and also who Lois thought he was at the time. Normally I find stories with this kind of premise acutely embarrassing, but this is written with a great deal of warmth and empathy and I enjoyed it unreservedly.
pedanther: (cheerful)
Fiction books
(anonymous). Little Spinners: Dancing Princess
Michael Dahl, Oriol Vidal. Little Monkey Calms Down
William Finn, Rachel Sheinkin. The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee (re-read)
Kim Newman. Angels of Music (e)
Daniel Pinkwater. The Big Orange Splot (e)
Daniel Pinkwater. Lizard Music (e)
Terry Pratchett. Hogfather (e) (re-read)
Anthony Price. Here Be Monsters (e)
Robert Louis Stevenson. The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde (e)

In progress
Terry Pratchett. Jingo (e) (re-read)
Ursula Vernon. Summer in Orcus (e)

Non-fiction books in progress
Jimmy Maher. Let's Tell a Story Together (e)

short, screen, and stage )
books bought and borrowed )

Top of the to-read pile
Ben Aaronovitch. The Hanging Tree
pedanther: (cheerful)
1. At the gaming group, last time I went, we played 7 Wonders: Duel. There were about half a dozen people interested in learning about it, so we ended up playing in rotation, where everyone got two games against different opponents and most people (including me) won the first and then lost the second.


2. I participated in the Multifandom Drabble Exchange on Imzy, because it seemed like a good excuse to check out Imzy and a good excuse to write some drabbles. I wrote one drabble, and attempted a second based on one of my recipient's other prompts but it refused to be squished down to 100 words.

* New Flowers Bloom expands a bit on some of the events that are summarized so briefly in the happily-ever-after paragraph of the fairy tale "Snow-white and Rose-red".

* A week next Saturday at the Stork Club is a shameless fix-fic for the end of Captain America: The First Avenger.

I received two drabbles, both for the TV series Ultraviolet (yay!). Neither of them seems to have been posted anywhere outside of Imzy (which is currently still only readable to the beta testers).


3. I have not signed up for Yuletide this year, though I may end up doing a pinch hit or a treat or something. This is my usual level of engagement with Yuletide, because I find that the most daunting part of Yuletide is thinking of things to ask for.


4. Kim Newman's new novel Angels of Music (a take on the Charlie's Angels premise populated with characters from 19th century genre fiction, including the Paris Opera Ghost as the mysterious faceless leader) is now available in a variety of formats. It's also been announced that his next book will be a short story collection with a theme of monsters, featuring a brand new Anno Dracula story titled "Yokai Town".


5. Ursula Vernon's new novel Summer in Orcus is being published online as a serial, with new chapters dropping twice a week. It's her version of the old "child dragged into another world for an adventure" genre.
pedanther: (cheerful)
We have completed our run of The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. It had some complicated staging and lighting requirements, and I was worried it wasn't all going to come together in time, but it was working well enough by opening night. (On closing night I felt as if we were stopping just as we were really getting the hang of it, but I always feel that way on closing night regardless.) It would have been nice to get larger audiences, but the people who did come enjoyed it, and that's sometimes all you can ask for in community theatre.

A few days after it closed, I read the original novel for the first time, which I'd decided during rehearsals that I wanted to do for comparison purposes but also that I would leave it until after the show closed so I wouldn't get confused if it turned out to be very different. It did turn out to be quite different, most obviously in the fact that it makes "Who is Mr. Hyde?" the big central mystery in a way that is now impossible. Another striking thing was that in the novel there is a minor character named Enfield who appears in only two scenes and exists mainly to trade exposition with the protagonist about the mysterious Mr. Hyde; in Noah Smith's stage version, Enfield has a greatly expanded part, becoming one of the six main characters and the biggest villain beside Hyde himself.

Next up for the Rep Club is the annual Christmas show, which this year is a vaguely Arthurian bit of business entitled A Knight to Remember. I will not be involved, as I have been in rehearsals or performances continually since March, and I feel the need for a bit of a break. Particularly since I have already been offered a part in the first show for next year.

The first show for next year is to be a musical, The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee. The director first tried to do it here a couple of years ago, but that didn't work out for various reasons beyond anyone's control, and about half the people who were cast then have subsequently left town. Those of us remaining have been guaranteed parts in the second attempt if we're still interested (which I am), although not necessarily the same parts, because it will depend who auditions to fill the gaps and how the group dynamics shake out.

I've been vaguely pondering directing something again, but have no particular ideas about what.
pedanther: (cheerful)
Fiction books
Edgar Rice Burroughs. The Mad King (e)

In progress
Terry Pratchett. Hogfather (e) (re-read)

Non-fiction books
Eleanor Herman. Sex with Kings

short, screen, and stage )
books bought and borrowed )

Top of the to-read pile
Ursula Vernon. Summer in Orcus

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pedanther

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