ceitfianna: (running towards a happy ending)
I've waited on this [community profile] snowflake_challenge because I've had a couple of pretty awful days. I found out that I didn't get a job, didn't get to the next round on another, lots of sick going around my house and my allergies made my new contacts not act properly. It left me grumpy and I don't like doing something like [community profile] snowflake_challenge when I'm feeling in such a low place and I love the idea of the last challenge. Today has been better, I have more allergy meds, family is feeling healthier, I have Hexwood to reread and the weather's not as dire. Also last night, I made this amazing roast chicken from my Smitten Kitchen Cookbook, which so far has been one of my favorite Christmas presents.

Day 15

In your own space, create your own challenge. What’s something you want to see more people doing in fandom? Is there something fun you’ve tried that you think other people would enjoy if they gave it a go? Dare your friends to try it out, and have fun with it.

My challenge is to post a song or a poem that speaks to you. A friend of mine has been posting poetry and in April everyone posts poetry and I love it, but sometimes its songs that do it. Post these words that speak that to you and see who else they speak to. I'll start with one of my favorite artists, Jakob Dylan.

Got my window open wide
I got my window open wide
Got a good woman by my side
Got a good woman by my side

Now this kind of day has no night
Yeah, this kind of day has no night
And I ain't got much on my mind
I ain't got much on my mind

'Cause I know
Something good this way comes

Now watching the streets filling up
Watching the streets filling up
In the shade of the summer sun
In the shade of the summer sun

Got sweet apple pie on the stove
Got sweet apple pie on the stove
The birds they're all flyin' low
The birds they're all flyin' low

'Cause they know
Something good this way comes
Yeah, something good this way comes

The trouble doll, is not moving mountains
But digging the ground that you're on
If it's true that good fortune gives no change
We got just what it takes

Collar up on my coat
Yeah, collar up on my coat
Trucks are pullin' in for the show
Trucks are pullin' in for the show

Grasshopper jump in the road
Grasshopper jump in the road
Kids, they're all running home
The kids they're all running home

'Cause they know
Something good this way comes
Yeah, something good this way comes

The trouble doll, is not moving mountains
But digging the ground that you're on
If it's true that good fortune gives no change
We got just what it takes

I got my window open wide
I got my window open wide
I got a good woman by my side
I got a good woman by my side

'Cause I know
Something good this way comes
Yeah, something good this way comes
Yeah, something good this way comes

Jakob Dylan - Something Good This Way Comes Lyrics

I hope the video works, its being odd for me. If it doesn't, I recommend exploring his videos, I love his words and his voice. A lot of my fics have titles from his songs.

Rough day

Dec. 13th, 2013 10:56 pm
ceitfianna: (holiday kittens)
I spent most of today in a grump without knowing exactly why and then cried about fixing my resume though I ended up making progress on it. I think that saying 'got up on the wrong side of the bed' really fit me today, because it felt like all the stress and awful of the past few months just hit me. Thankfully my parents were patient and we talked and I feel better, also we put up and decorated the tree. That helped me to feel hopeful about looking forward but this time of year is being tough this year. I have a few gifts to send out but I'm not doing my cards as normal because I don't feel up to it, so I'm doing what I can. Life is tricky but there is hope.

Now for the December meme which is still open. Today's prompt comes from [personal profile] in_the_blue who requested: You're stranded on a desert island and can only bring thirteen pieces of media (assume you have something to watch/play them on, because I'm nice and it's a luxury desert island). What books/movies/CDs/whatever do you bring?

To begin with, I'm thankful that its thirteen though it will still be very hard to choose and I might cheat with DVD sets.

1-Memory by Lois McMaster Bujold, because it always gets me right in the feels and helps me feel like maybe I can handle what the world is tossing at me. I miss my full collection of Bujold but its currently in storage. So if I have to choose one, its this one for how often I reread it.

2-Poirot Mysteries with David Suchet, it doesn't matter which particular set of episodes, they always make me smile.

3-Newsies and I'm going to cheat here and say movie and soundtrack, because both bring back my faith in the human race.

4-The Narnia books-I can revisit them multiple times and they make me happy, also boxed set, it counts as one.

5-TaleSpin DVD set, they always make me laugh.

6-Paul Creswick's Robin Hood with the proper illustrations.

7-40 Years by the Dubliners, because it has everything I need in a CD.

8-Women and Country by Jakob Dylan because it lifts me up.

9-Black Books, complete set because again I keep going back to them and sometimes its fun to laugh at how messed up the world is.

10-Clutch of Constables by Ngaio Marsh-if possible I'd just take all her novels as I never tire of rereading them but this is my favorite.

Now its getting hard to pick and it really is coming down to books.

11-Mark Twain, as much of him as I can carry but must include; The Prince and the Pauper and Huck Finn.

12-Diana Wynne Jones and again so hard to pick but one of those sets of books that includes Conrad's Fate.

13-Last, oh last is so hard but Monty Python and the Holy Grail.

Ask me tomorrow and it might be a different list and this is really hard to pick.
ceitfianna: (Maeve)
Simple Gifts

Tis the gift to be simple, 'tis the gift to be free

'Tis the gift to come down where we ought to be,

And when we find ourselves in the place just right,

'Twill be in the valley of love and delight.

When true simplicity is gain'd,

To bow and to bend we shan't be asham'd,

To turn, turn will be our delight,

Till by turning, turning we come 'round right.

by Elder Joseph of the Shakers. My favorite version of this song isn't online but I love this song and its many variations.

We made it through today.
ceitfianna: (pooka illustration)
Thank you everyone for all your kind words. I have an end and now can start looking for my next beginning. I thought I'd post a song that's been pushing me forward this year, the entire album has reminded me that this is one chapter in my story.

My Story Is Not Done

I was born into a fairy tale,
Cinderella's dust-bin daughter.
Seemed like I was meant to fail,
Turning wine back into water,

Mama's slippers shattered when
She turned around to run,
But I never thought that mattered and
My story is not done.

So I told her, mama, make my bed,
Make it up both long and narrow,
Tell the cynics that I'm dead,
Let me hitchhike through the yarrow,

Ghost-girl on the median,
With a thumb cocked to the sun,
But I'd rather be the banshee and
My story is not done.

It's not done until it's told,
It's not told until it's written,
If I'm brave and if I'm bold,
I can challenge what's forbidden,
For nobody gets to tell me
That I'll never be the one.
When they ask you what befell me,
Say my story is not done.

Left my family in a storybook;
Tell my sisters that I'm sorry.
I never dared a backwards look,
On the path to purgatory,

And I can't say that I'm sorry for
The things I've left undone.
I've been on the road to glory, for
My story is not done.

I have wandered through the carnival,
Seen the secret shadows dancing,
Counted feathers where they'd fall,
Taken chances not worth chancing,

I have counted out my jackdaws and
My magpies one by one,
I have always been an outlaw, and
My story is not done.

It's not done until it's told,
It's not told until it's written,
If I'm brave and if I'm bold,
I can challenge what's forbidden,
For nobody gets to tell me
That I'll never be the one.
When they ask you what befell me,
Say my story is not done.

So come on all you fox-girls and you ghost-girls
And you pretty pirates,
Come on all you wild girls and you lost girls
And you shrinking violets,
Come and pay the piper, say you'll leave their war unwon.
It's only words on paper, and your story is not done.

I was born into a fairy tale,
Never tried to find Prince Charming.
Had a different ship to sail,
Didn't find the waves alarming,

For nobody gets to tell me
If I've lost of if I've won.
When they ask you what befell me,
Say my story is not done.

by Seanan McGuire from Wicked Girls and I need to get myself one of the Wicked Girls' posters.
ceitfianna: (Tiwa playful)
Apparently this Bryce and Charles story is going to come in installments as that's how my mind is working with it. I have no idea how many of these there will be, but at the end, they will be posted together. Part of why I'm posting as I write is the Nolanverse is hard, but I love it and I appreciate any advice on if I'm getting it or not.

I was listening to The Dark Knight Rises soundtrack on my way to work and the rise chant kept going through my head all day. It helped me to deal with some work weirdness, nothing bad just weird. Also I need to think of a tag for the two of them and I'd welcome any suggestions.

In the meantime, I'm going to post part two of Love is a country best crossed when you're young.

Part one can be found here. Basic set up is Bryce is a rule 63 Nolanverse Batman, Kite is [personal profile] walksbyherself's amazing OC who is Bryce's ward and Charles is somewhere in X-Men: First Class.

He always made her tea even though she rarely drank it before it got cold, but he did. Charles was the same, he kept on caring for her and trying to help even when it wasn’t wanted. Maybe there was a switch some people had that allowed them to turn off empathy, Ras had it, Kite seemed to, but she wasn’t sure if she did. )
ceitfianna: (candy raspberries)
This afternoon I saw Les Miserables in a pretty much full theater, the day was grey, so I think a lot of people thought movie day. The movie was beautiful, made me cry and I loved it. Seeing it reminded me that the holidays seem to be the season of movies that take me back to my childhood. I fell in love with The Hobbit when I was in middle school and the movie brought it all back. I don't honestly remember when I fell for Les Mis, it was definitely around middle school but the movie also made me go, oh hello, I know and love these songs. Editing as I've remembered details. With a French class, I went to see Les Mis in Philadelphia and loved it. Then at Longacre, the summer program of my favorite summers, I was persuaded to join some friends in singing Do You Hear the People Sing. After that I was fully in love with Les Mis and its songs that stir and are wonderful. Also my middle and high school band directors loved making us play Andrew Lloyd Webber, which meant that I got rather familiar with Les Mis and Phantom.

In terms of Yuletide, I only wrote one story this year but it was my longest one yet and my recipient was wonderful. All their requests were generous and I was originally matched the Old Kingdom but wanted to try writing Warehouse 13. This is one of the plottiest fics I've ever written and one of the quickest Yuletides as well.

The City's Call (3200 words) by FiKate
Chapters: 1/1
Fandom: Warehouse 13
Rating: General Audiences
Warning: No Archive Warnings Apply
Relationships: Jack Secord/Rebecca St. Clair
Characters: Jack Secord, Rebecca St. Clair

Jack and Rebecca are called into a case at Somersby Academy, a boys' boarding school just north of New York City, where they have to figure out what Artifact is making the boys act like addicts.

“I don’t want to miss anything, any connection, that’s what we’re doing. Reaching out and finding things and yeah, sometimes that means we go looking down in the City, but it’s the City. We’re allowed.”

ceitfianna: (holiday kittens)
This weekend has been wonderfully quiet for me. I just came back from Ann Arbor, where I was able to finish my last holiday shopping for my family, have a great meal with Rick and get The Hobbit soundtrack, the deluxe version with all the bells and whistles. I'm starting to realize that in one week, I will have finished the first half of my first year as a middle/high school librarian and that for all the things I still have to do, this job is working. Its complicated but all the tricky parts can be worked with and will get better with time. I need to hold onto that when the kids are getting rowdy or I'm not sure anyone's hearing me, I'm making this work.

The big stuff left for the holidays is getting paper and printing out my holiday cards and sending them. That also means finding where I packed the connector cord for my computer to my printer, its not too deep in, but I don't know where it is. If I can get them printed out before I leave then I can send them from my parents place. They won't be sent until after Christmas but that's why they're holiday cards. I'm also hoping to get writing on holiday fics, the ideas are swirling around in my head but I haven't been able to pin them down yet. I'm still open to prompts here as I love writing for everyone. Last week was focusing on my Yuletide, which is written, betaed and posted. I've never been this early before its odd and nice.

As its been floating around, I thought I'd also do the Yuletide meme. This is my fourth year doing Yuletide, I started during my first year of graduate school. I love being a part of it and its inspired me to do other exchanges, as well as learning a lot about how I write.

2009: They are Mine. Sandman with Bast, Daniel and references to Dream. My first year I wasn't sure how best to do offers and did too many Anys, so ended up with a request for I think Aphrodite/Pandora slash that made me boggle. I had recently read a wonderful anthology of short stories based around Sandman called The Sandman: Book of Dreams and my person had a request for a story about Bast. I think I wrote this story a day or two days before the deadline.

2010: By the Fire. Old Kingdom set during Lirael and a missing moment conversation between Yrael and Kibeth. This year I was better about only offering what I thought I could write. This is one of my favorite fics that I've written for Yuletide, because I feel like I captured the characters. Though this was another one that I wrote closer to the deadline, I was getting better about writing long stories but they're not easy for me. One reason I signed up to Yuletide was to get over a mental block I had about word lengths due to not finishing my masters in Wellington.

2011: On the way back. Hexwood centered on Vierran and Mordion. For this story, I ended up doing more writing ahead of time but it was a challenging one as its a tricky canon. In the end I think I posted it the day before the due date if not on it as I was driving home.

Its interesting to look at my offers as I've started using Yuletide as a challenge for myself in offering to write for fandoms that I like but don't normally write. Thanks to Yuletide, I've lost a good bit of my fear for writing in new fandoms and word lengths. I still have moments of eep, what am I doing but its better. This year mine is actually turned in early, its my longest one yet and in a new fandom.
ceitfianna: (gaze to tomorrow)
I don't have a lot to say about yesterday that others haven't said better. The main thing I take from this is we need to take better care of each other in many ways. Everyone on my flist and circle, consider yourself hugged.

Last night was my work holiday party, which was chaotic and by the time I got to it, I was just glad for the free food. Fridays two clubs meet in the library and I hadn't realized the entire school was closing early for the party, I thought it was but never heard something solid enough to tell the kids. So the kids had to be pushed out but after a long day, it was nice to be surrounded by kids playing D&D and Minecraft and just being young and creative. Other than that, there was one small bump in terms of figuring out where my desk is going to go as things can be moved but not that much. It will be sorted, which is the bit that counts. And I finally had a chance to talk with the IT guys about the library website, so I can do more work on it.

The party itself was quite nice and I found out my Secret Santa was someone that I do consider a friend which is wonderful. She also gave me a mug and a Barnes and Noble gift card, proof that she really knows me. Also I had lots of great small moments and conversations and it was wonderful to realize that I am a part of the school community. My giftee wasn't at the party but I left her final present so I hope she got it.

Today was the Lord of the Rings' marathon at school, but I decided to go see The Hobbit instead. My main non-spoilery thoughts are how I can see that if someone didn't know that the story had a different feel they would be confused, but I loved it. Though I did keep wondering, I wonder what would have happened if this movie had come out first and then we see the others, a different approach to Middle Earth. The movie captured all of what I adore about the book, its humor and smaller scale, also the singing made me incredibly happy. Oh and the 3D was effective, that's some of the best use of it I've seen since Up and the scenery made me miss New Zealand. I have a coupon and gift card to Barnes and Noble and plan on acquiring the soundtrack as seeing the movie today was just what I needed.

Now I'm home with tea and I'm going to write, RP and enjoy a quiet weekend.
ceitfianna: (tea and a book)
This morning I picked up the huge pile of papers that I need to fill in and sign and tonight there's a party for new faculty. I'll do a little filling in tonight and then bring them with me tomorrow and work with the HR lady that I keep missing, it was her day off today and finish them. Today is being a day of decompressing and adjusting. Tomorrow morning orientation starts and next week there's no class but lots of meetings and orientations.

I have a room with a door I can shut, space in a nice place that's close to the school with a friendly dog and nice woman who's a former teacher and one of her daughters is a librarian. Its also a huge place, I'll have to take some pictures of it, the room I'm in clearly for one of her daughters but it feels kind of staged and not lived in. I had to shift a little TV to get a bedside table and there's no bedside lamp, which gives me the impression of a room not well lived in. I also think that she and her husband haven't lived in this place very long, its all a bit too clean. I'll take some pictures as its hard to explain but will be a good in between spot. The trick will be figuring out how to be social without too being too much as her husband works in another state during the week and her two daughters live elsewhere. She also has lots and lots of stories of the school, which are good but also kind of daunting. It also turns out that the new Lower School librarian is someone I went to SI with, she graduated in April, I in August and my favorite professor from SI is also close by. This makes me feel a lot better, because it means there won't be quite as many new meetings to do, and I have people that I can ask for help.

I'm in an area that reminds me so much of the suburbs around where I grew up though more like the ones on the Main Line, the slightly nicer ones. Swarthmore always tended towards the odder side of things, but just on my drive to the school, I've passed nice apartment places, there are great little downtowns. So I think I'm going to have to end up driving to school, but I'll be able to walk to one of these downtowns. That makes me so happy, I was afraid that I wouldn't be able to do as much walking because this part of the country was truly designed with cars in mind. Ann Arbor isn't too far away and it turns out that the directions I got to go back and forth from the school were unhelpful and there are easier ways.

My drive back here was rather exciting in some not always good ways. I hit a lot of traffic going through Maryland and parts of Delaware. The first part of the drive is on small highways, mainly single lane one way or the other through Delaware and Maryland. For some reason, there were just a lot of people who didn't want to go the speed limit. Thus I created a new driving curse, may you be pulled over for speeding as there are speed traps in some of the little towns along the way.

Then I got into such a driving groove that I almost forgot to eat lunch but was good and did get something. When I was on 70, not far from the Pennsylvania border, I drove into a storm, I could see it as the sky grew dark. It was a pretty awful one as this was in a really hilly area so there was fog, misty rain and cars. I was listening to the Lord of the Rings soundtrack, which was incredibly appropriate. I forget which bit I was in but as the storm lightened, the music went from dark and dramatic to lighter. Oh and there was road work everywhere, it felt like every single major highway had road work of some form or another on it.

Yesterday was long, not bad just long as it was mainly turnpike driving that just went on and on. When I hit Toledo, I went a different way as I was heading more to the East and discovered I like 280 and 75N, though I ended up in a thunderstorm and roadwork. The absolute worst bit of the drive was that 75 took me directly into Detroit during rush hour, 75 is one of those huge highways that goes in and around the city. I did end up getting where I needed to but it seemed a stupid way to get there as I could have just as easily gone around Detroit another way instead of straight through. By the time I reached the place, I'm staying, I was ready to fall over, my car is going to be properly unpacked tonight. I think this will be a good short term solution and that I'll have lots of good options for long term stuff.

Another bit of good news is that I'm finally happy with where my [community profile] ineedmyfics' story is going. I got an idea for it as soon as I saw the prompt but haven't liked anything I've written. Well, last night as I was driving around I got a new angle and have a first paragraph that I like. It still needs a lot more, but I know that I can take lines from my earlier stuff and this will end up something good.

For now, I'm finding that Caribou Coffee does pretty tasty tea. I think my favorite part of what's coming up is getting to know the area and all the people connected to the school. It just gives me such a good vibe, this is going to work. I also need to figure out a good tag for the school.
ceitfianna: (dream of a fantail)
Tomorrow afternoon, evening and part of Wednesday, I'm going to be spending at [personal profile] dodger_sister's. The plan is watching movies, talking mainly about writing, dinner and taking full advantage of the delicious AC in her place. I was feeling better today but my rather nice dinner ended up not staying where it should, I'm not happy. My sleep schedule's off again, last night I didn't get to sleep until six and the night before my coughing woke me up at six. Tonight I hope for a fairly solid night's sleep, though the fact the weather's gotten hotter again probably will make it trickier.

Good things have been happening, I figured out what I need to do for canceling various services before moving, I had a fantastic conversation with my family. My parents are babysitting my nieces and my sister is down there as well, that meant the phone conversation was full of everything. The nieces talked about Wonderstruck, my sister raved about her Mac, she's finally getting actually digitally connected, books with my father and just general health and planning with both parents. It's weird to think that they'll be here in about a week and by August I'll be out of Michigan. For context, my sister is in her older 40s and she's had email and access to computers but it never really stuck for her. This has worried me and my family as she's wanted to change jobs and it seemed like things were passing her by, but she sounded excited and asked for my help. I look forward to what I can do for her. A lot of things in her life have been moving forward and it makes me so happy to see it. Oh and I've been acquiring some good music of late, a Wallflowers' cd, Tori Amos' To Venus and Back, The Dark Knight soundtrack, that one's fully [personal profile] adiva_calandia and [personal profile] lienne's fault <33s and then one called Songs of the Civil War with a lot of good artists I know. I'm going to be enjoying a few of these on my drive tomorrow and at other points.

This coming week is going to be quite chaotic with Art Fair and many shifts, which is why I'm going for a break. I'll have my laptop and phone, so will definitely be doing some tagging, I just won't be on as much as I normally am.

If you'd like five topics just comment with five or something like that for me.

Now for the last round of five topics, this time from [personal profile] innerbrat:

1. Children's literature.
I love children's literature from picture books to young adult stuff. It's amazing how much the concept of children's literature has changed since I was a girl in the 80s, 90s to now in terms of adding depth and quality. There are fantastic authors who are reaching out to connect with their readers, publishers doing the same and kids going YES back at them. I love seeing how my nieces have reading as a part of their life and I hope in my professional life to become someone kids know they can trust about books they like and want to read. When I was young, I read children's books and grown up books, everything I could find and I had librarians who helped me figure out my way. That's why I want to be a librarian, I also love getting to explore books as part of my life and the constantly growing world of children's literature.

2. Friendship
I consider myself a loyal friend and feel blessed for all my friends from those I've met to those I haven't. To me being a friend means doing what I can to support someone however I can, sometimes that means not doing anything. My oldest friend is someone who our mother's met while pregnant and our birthdays are both in June. Mine at the start, hers at the end and we've been close since elementary school. When we were younger, we always seemed like almost mirror images to me. She was the oldest in her family with two younger brothers and the house full of all the toys, cable and sweet snacks, I was the youngest with two older brothers and an older sister and parents who watched my television watching and had healthy food. Though I did get sneaky with the TV and they finally gave up trying to cut me off after I learned how to plug it in and they realized I read as much as I watched.

Now this friend and I have stayed in touch all over the world, she moved when we were both in high school but we're constantly visiting each other and calling and texting. I know that no matter what she's there. Then there's all the Milliways' friends and friends of friends who form my other network that I love and hope to get to see when I'm back on the East Coast. Life is short and friends make it sweet and rich.

3. Textures
Textures aren't something I'm constantly thinking about, but I'm always aware of. I play with my jewelery, touching my earrings, twisting my ring and bracelets, thinking about what's there. At the moment, I'm wearing a long silk skirt that feels light and cool and sandals that I can feel supporting my tired feet. My lips are cracked as I fiddle with them and my hair is feeling light and not heavy as I washed it yesterday.

4. Changeling
I don't recall which came first reading Charles de Lint or playing Changeling: the Dreaming, but both of them hold my idea of magic in the world. Magic where it's just out of the corner of your eyes, complicated and itself, you will be changed by it and it by you. The roleplaying games I've been proudest of running were Changeling ones. The LARP and tabletop that I ran at college, my players had their dramas but we had some great adventures. That was where I learned the great lesson of don't plan too much and trust the creativity of those around you, it's served me quite well so far.

Tiwa, [personal profile] piwakawaka my glorious fantail pooka is one of my favorite characters to play as she's a part of me. She's my creativity, my love of New Zealand and the teacher part of me all out there in the world and going, I want to know and explore and fly. The kind of stories I want to tell and write are those of magic just at the corner of your eye that gives you wings and shows you your possibility.

5. Faith
My faith is fairly simple. I was raised in the Swarthmore Monthly Meeting, which meets every Sunday in a lovely building with odd green cushions and paint on the edge of the Swarthmore campus. I spent my childhood going to First Day School, Quaker Sunday School, got marigolds on Easter, played in the pageant and after every meeting, spent time with wonderful people. One of the traditions of this meeting is after the Sunday meeting, there's brunch and everyone talks and laughs and you feel the community. That's the root of my faith, the joy of being with people, walking through lilacs and knowing that God is everywhere. I've addressed God with many names in my travels and felt his touch from Pennsylvania to jewel box churches in Greece to by the water in Wellington or with family. Faith to me means that we're all connected and have something rather strange inside us that says, yes, there is more.

I hope these answers make sense, I ended up being rather philosophical.
ceitfianna: (long road)
For the past few days I've had the refrain of "Another suitcase, another town" from Evita in my head, which is odd. Evita isn't a favorite of mine but when I was visiting my parents, my father bought the movie soundtrack because it was cheap at the booksale. He's always been interested in Eva Peron which was why he bought it, also it was a quarter. Then when we were driving north for my nieces' communion party he played it and we all decided we didn't like it. Some of the songs are good but Madonna added so much other stuff to them or possibly they already had that but too many saxophones. So that's the refrain in my head and I'd like it to not be there as it just hits all my feelings of gah, waiting and worrying, which has been making me feel not in a great place.

On Saturday some of this nervousness had a nice physical manifestation when there was surprise roadwork on a road I drive a lot and I badly damaged my right side mirror. This is now another thing that I have to get done. As my birthday gets closer, I feel like all I really want to do for it is just be taken care of for a little bit. If I can arrange the massage that will be part of it and there are plans in the works, I'm just feeling tired. Since feeling sore and unhappy seems to be going around my group of friends of late, I'd also like the world to be nicer for my friends for my birthday too.

In terms of various good things, all the books I've been reading lately have been wonderful. The library booksale in Delaware brought me so many lovely reads that I'm going to do a quick rundown of my utter favorites.

The Toll-Gate by Georgette Heyer: The main character of this book is just out of the army where he was known as Crazy Jack because nothing ever goes simply for him. The story starts as he's riding to visit a friend and then stops at a toll in the middle of the night because the gatekeeper's missing and ends up comforting and protecting his worried son. There's brilliant use of thieves' cant, a romance between two quite well-suited people, a highwayman that wants to be a farmer, a mystery including something hidden in a cave and an old man who will have things his way. If you've never read Heyer, this is a great way to start as it has all the best elements of her books; believable romance, wonderful feel for the Regency era, humor and beautiful language.

Courtesans and Fishcakes: The Consuming Passions of Ancient Athens by Peter Davidson: Books like this are why I'm a classicist as the introduction lays out brilliantly how historians try to figure out what ancient life was like and how some areas get looked at closer than others. Then the rest of the book is an intelligent and fun discussion of Athenians thoughts on food, sex and money. I highly recommend it for the knowledge in it and the playful sense of writing.

The Course of Honor by Lindsey Davis: I adore Davis' Falco series set in Vespasian's Rome, its one of my favorite historical mysteries and if there's a new one, I always read it. This book is Davis' take on Vespasian's career told through the eyes of Caenis, the slave and then freedwoman who he loved throughout his entire life. We follow everything through Caenis' eyes. She is a slave in the palace and then later for Antonia, so has a unique perspective on the Claudians. The romance between Vespasian and Caenis is subtly presented as their lives are complicated in terms of class, money and politics. Davis handles it all deftly as well as weaving through it a knowledge of yes, we all know how this ends but lets play in the details. Reading this made me want to go and reread and rewatch I, Claudius, which examines the same general area in time.

At the moment I'm in the midst of The Nonesuch by Georgette Heyer which feels like the most Austen of the books of hers I read. The Nonesuch, which is the name for Sir Waldo who is the pinnacle of a gentleman comes to Yorkshire when he inherits an estate and most of the book is about his interactions with the ladies and gentlemen of the area. Its a charming and a wonderful read but normally Heyer reads like Heyer to me, this one feels far more like Austen and makes me want to go and try and finish my Becoming Jane fix it story.

Writing about books has improved my mood and I'm going to get things done and then have a wonderful birthday weekend/week as my family goes that celebrations should keep going.

A week off

Feb. 25th, 2012 02:19 pm
ceitfianna: (Tom on the banister)
Today is the start of Winter Break at Michigan and I really have needed it. Somehow time has gotten a little out of hand for me with all of the Milliways' changes, working extra shifts and trying to find a job. My part-time job and where I live are just asking and where will you be this summer next year, which makes me want to hide. Yet I know I can do this, it's just these first few months have been harder than I expected.

It's wonderful to know that in this coming week, all I have to do is take care of myself and hopefully finish up some writing and send out more job applications. The focus though for me is going to be; not creating more lists for myself and taking the time to do quieter things.

Last night the Allpocalypse plot wrapped up and it's one of the best RP plots I've ever been a part of. It ate up a huge amount of sleep along with causing a few moments of horrible flailing but it worked. The craziness of the chat room, the threads that ranged from hilarious to heartbreaking and the joyful feeling running through is Milliways to me.

Now I'm going to do another round of the question meme, this time from [personal profile] wanderlustlover who gave me a few questions I wanted to think on.

If you'd like some more questions, please comment below.

1. What is the most important thing you learned living in another country?
How to stand on my own and learn that I can. Lately I've been feeling stressed and worn out as I try and find a full time job and move from this transition space I'm in. Yet I know that thanks to New Zealand, I can find my feet. I've found a place to live, held jobs, even found a guy when half-way around the world. This transition is being a little tricky but I'm going to get through it and find a new place for myself.

2. What was your happiest moment yesterday?
This is really hard to pick as yesterday and the past few days have been full of fantastic moments in the Allpocalypse chat and threading in Milliways. So highlights were the entire flying peen thread and ensuing conversation which started on Thursday and then back up again last night, the Orannis' plot, Will and Sariel, and just being and talking with everyone in chat.

3. Favorite song discovered in the last few weeks (or months)?
Another tricky question because I haven't found that much new music in the past few months. It's been more rediscovering music. Whenever I go home for break, I import lots of music from my parents' extensive collection. Though when it comes down to the music that's been in my head the most, I'd have to say [profile] seananmcguire's Wicked Girls. Whenever I need to give myself a push, this is the music that does it.

4. What is one thing new people should know when they meet you?
That I will go out of my way to be welcoming to you, but it takes me a little time to share myself with you. I can go from quite an extrovert to head in a book rather quickly and it's not me being rude. I get nervous and also I'm a storyteller, so if I start telling a story that you're not interested, let me know. As I want to listen but sometimes get carried away in the telling. Be honest and open with me and I'll do the same for you.

5. What was your first pet?
This is a kind of two part answer as when I was younger, we had a wonderful old, orange tiger kitty named Charlie Meatloaf who was the sweetest, laziest cat. He was the cat of my childhood but he wasn't my cat. When I was I think six or maybe a little older, my family got a tiny kitten named Mary, who was a Christmas present for me. She was all black except for the tip of her tail, a V on her forehead and some of her paws. I loved her so much and named her and she was mine, but she wasn't a healthy little cat and didn't live long. Yet she was my first cat, Suzi came later and she lived longer. Charlie also was around for a good long time, but Mary was mine. I need to see if I can find some pictures of her to upload and hold onto. Somewhere there's one of her curled up in a knit hat.

6. What is the best book you've read in the last year?
Another difficult question as I'm constantly reading and books are best for me in a number of ways. The fantasy one that I didn't expect to like and fell in love with the world was The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms by N. K. Jemisin; the non-fiction that's how non-fiction should be was Drum of War: Walt Whitman and his Brothers in the Civil War; the one that I want to wish to give everyone who asks what good is a librarian today is This Book is Overdue. Those are the first I think of and it might be a different list tomorrow but that's the list for last year for today.

7. What is your favorite spot in your house?
At my desk looking out on the park as it changes colors and connecting to all my friends. Though I do need to get a new desk chair at some point.
ceitfianna: (goddess with bird)
I've recently been reading some wonderful books that I haven't had a chance to talk about and as I just finished one more I thought I would. On the recommendation of [personal profile] minkhollow, I read Villains by Necessity and it made me so happy. It's a riff on a high fantasy worlds where the balance of the world has gone too far towards Light and a band of villains need to go and open a DarkGate to release Darkness into the world once again. The band of characters and world is well drawn while still playing on well known fantasy tropes, there are moments of fun and some tough places and I enjoyed it. If you like high fantasy and enjoy Diana Wynne Jones and Pratchett, I can't recommend it enough.

The other two books I read that have stayed in my thoughts are quite different ends of the spectrum. Unraveled by Courtney Milan, a fantastic historical romance that I won from SmartBitchesTrashyBooks.com that's about a woman trying to get by and a rather strict judge. Their romance is complicated and careful and the book just works. I plan on finding the rest of this author's books as apparently this is one in a series she wrote about a family.

Then the other book is Rosanne Cash's Composed which is a book about family, writing, music and love. Her way with words is breathtaking and I kept crying with recognition and amazement as I was reading. The only thing I wish I'd been able to do as I was reading was have her greatest hits playing as her songs and her family's songs are touchstones throughout the book.

Last night at work one of my fics started to come together, which makes me so happy. Maybe, maybe I'll be able to post it this week along with doing more job stuff.

The meme is a tarot one which is simple but I have to say that the answer feels right to me.

You are The High Priestess

Science, Wisdom, Knowledge, Education.

The High Priestess is the card of knowledge, instinctual, supernatural, secret knowledge. She holds scrolls of arcane information that she might, or might not reveal to you. The moon crown on her head as well as the crescent by her foot indicates her willingness to illuminate what you otherwise might not see, reveal the secrets you need to know. The High Priestess is also associated with the moon however and can also indicate change or fluxuation, particularily when it comes to your moods.

What Tarot Card are You?
Take the Test to Find Out.

ceitfianna: (tea and a book)
My morning started off strange, I lost another right contact lens, which always leaves me off. I like wearing contacts but there are times I hate putting them on especially when I don't wake up when I wanted to. I'm still working on the Valentine's Day prompts and hope to post them this weekend as I have ideas and want them to be good.

Everything at Milliways is making me feel busy and happen. I love when plots come together and I get chances to have wonderful unexpected threads and to see what happens. There's a decent sized list of housekeeping of journals that I have to do in terms of OOMs and paid accounts but those will get done.

For now I'm going to do another round of this new variation on the question meme:

Comment to this post, and I will list seven things I want you to talk about. They might make sense or they might be totally random.
Then post that list, with your commentary, to your journal. Other people can get lists from you, and the meme merrily perpetuates itself.

Seven questions from [personal profile] minkhollow
7 Answers )

Questions from [personal profile] ladysingsthe

1. What is your favorite thing to do when it's cold and wet out?
Get a big mug of tea, a good book and ignore the world.

2. When you're stressed, what relaxes you?
Venting, a good vent clears the air for me. Then I do something that has nothing to do with why I'm stressed but gets me moving. I find cooking can be one of my best stress relievers as it involves chopping, stirring, considering spices and by the time I'm done, I'm past what's bothering me. Other times going on a walk or a drive, just getting out of being in the space where I'm stressed does wonders for me. Whenever I'm stressed, I have this bad habit of overthinking and creating bad thought spirals so getting myself to do something physical short circuits them.

3. Do you believe in ghosts or anything paranormal?
I do, but I don't tend to talk about them a lot. My mother and I both read the tarot and see omens and answers in the not most obvious places. My father is a scientist so we don't really discuss those things too much with him, but I do believe that there's more out there than what's visible.

4. What's one thing you want to do or learn, but haven't yet?
It's hard to pick just one thing for this. I want to learn Tai Chi and a new type of dance for me.

5. What types of music do you gravitate towards?
Music that tells stories. I have a rather large collection of country music because I liked it when I was younger due to the stories. Now I also listen to folk, alternative and really anything with a story that clicks with me. Also music that I can move to, I adore Baroque music, soundtracks and musicals as there's a sense in them of this music wants you to be active.

6. If you could have three wishes, with let's assume no perverse incentives/loophole-seeking genies, what would the wishes be?
1-A job at a public library that's not too far from people I know where I get to spend my days getting kids excited about books.
2-A guy in my life who just wants to be with me.
3-Money to take an amazing US road trip or a trip around Europe.

7. Are you a dog person, cat person, or another kind of person entirely?
Cat person. I grew up with cats and whenever I get to visit someone with cats, I feel really happy. Though I'd consider myself a dog aunt as I love to see them when I don't have to take care of them full time.
ceitfianna: (Dean time rambles on)
I like this variation on the question meme that was last seen over on [personal profile] in_the_blue.

My day has kept getting better by the way. I had tasty soup from Whole Foods and all the Dooms over in [community profile] milliways_bar which keep making me beam. When Milliways is active and creative, there's no other group of people that I want to talk with, write with and truly create with.

Comment to this post, and I will list seven things I want you to talk about. They might make sense or they might be totally random.

Then post that list, with your commentary, to your journal. Other people can get lists from you, and the meme merrily perpetuates itself.

1. What was your second choice for a career after library science?
Education, I always wanted to be a teacher but it never quite worked for me. One of the big problems was that most programs for learning to be a teacher don't fit well with learning other things. So if I did education as an undergrad, I suddenly had a lot less choice in my classes so I didn't. Then the same thing happened when I considered being a school librarian. The thing thing about being a librarian is that teaching and education is a huge part of it and so that career fits within this one.

2. Cats or dogs, and why?
Cats, always cats, because they don't ask much of you but when they give, they give so much. I grew up with cats, an old tiger kitty who I adored, a young kitten who didn't live long and then Suzi, my tabby who we were each other's. I hope it's not too long before I can have a cat again.

3. Three albums (CDs, whatever) you'd want with you on a desert island, assuming you had some way to play them?
This is quite difficult as the music I like listening to changes so much depending on my mood. Thus these are the three for today.
The Dubliners 40 Years
The Master and Commander soundtrack
Jakob Dylan Seeing Things

4. You can only play one RP character for the rest of time. (I know, it's a Sophie's Choice, but...) Which one and why?
Actually this one's not too hard for me. It would be Will Scarlett, because I've known him in various forms since I was twelve and I could shift him and change him for many games. I actually have done that already and he's always there and waiting.

5. What would you say is your personal style of dress?
Comfortable, simple and colorful. My daily outfit is usually a pair of pants, one of my sweaters that are all in various jewel tones and jewelery to fit the sweater. Today I'm wearing black pants, a red v-neck sweater with a necklace from New Zealand that has a miniature woven kete or basket and earrings that are red with the image of a peacock in them. I love when I find a piece of jewelery that works perfectly with something I own. I do love getting dressed up, pretty skirts make me happy but the main choice for me is always, "Can I walk in it?"

6. What will your next computer purchase be?
Probably some sort of smart phone as I got my beautiful MacBook Pro for my birthday this past summer. Though an e-book reader is also a consideration but I think the smartphone will come first.

7. Do you want kids some day?
Yes, I really do. I love my nieces and spending time with them but I want my own kids. One reason I've always wanted to be involved in education is because it allows me to be around children and nurture and inspire them.
ceitfianna: (tea and a book)
Tonight I went out to see the new Sherlock Holmes movie and it was just what I needed. Due to the ALA Midwinter meeting, a lot of librarians are away so I've been picking up extra shifts. This means a nice sized paycheck next Friday but also that I haven't had a day of not working this week and won't have a day off until Wednesday. This has made it even harder to get myself doing tasks focused on applying for more jobs as it's bitterly cold and I want to curl up and read or roleplay when I'm home. Seeing the movie was a way to get out of my head for a while and it was fun, funny, action packed and made me smile. I'm going to use some of my holiday money to buy the soundtrack and if they're still there possibly some cheap DVDs that I've had my eye on like Iron Will and The Pirates of Penzance. I have a soft spot for Iron Will and horribly cold weather as I saw it with one of my brothers during a snowstorm when the power went out at my parent's place and he was taking care of me. We had to drive to a theater outside Philly to find one with power and watched a double feature with one of the awful Beethoven movies.

I've been reading some fantastic books lately but I want to save those until I've finished one of them and can put it in context with some thoughts about being Quaker as well. This is another thing that's fallen behind in this long week as my writing is there but slower. I adore the song writing meme and loved all that came out from it and seeing every one else's stories is fantastic. The various sandbox games are doing great things for my general RP feeling and either tonight or tomorrow I'm going to put one up where I try out some different points in time for a few pups.

I know I'm forgetting things but it's been that kind of week, so I'll end with the desktop meme behind the cut. It's a picture I took outside my apartment building. Normally I don't see it as Firefox and Tweetdeck are in the way.

Desktop. )

A quick edit as I keep forgetting to share this. Here's a picture of my new boots. I need to do a proper picture post soon.
Boots! )
ceitfianna: (Default)
I always find it interesting to do this year in review meme so I'm going to post it as my sister in law and nieces play hearts. Life is feeling pretty good at this point. My banking stuff is finally sorted after another phone call where someone reversed the overdraft charges and sped up my credit for stolen money. It's progress which I'm grateful for.

Also I've created mirror journals for all of my RP ones though the only differences is that Tiwa and Jane's journals don't have their underscores. I started some of the imports but then realized that honestly those can wait as with some of them that will be a project. Today was wonderful, our family went for a walk out by Cape Henlopen and I split off at one point and had a nice quiet second half of the walk and took some gorgeous pictures along with having an idea for a fic. The afternoon has been lazy and since the weather in Delaware is amazingly good, my father set up the chiminea we have outside so the girls could have s'mores.

We spent some nice time being chilly, drinking wine and eating sugar, I also took some good pictures. I love having my family close and discovering my brother and I have very similar music tastes as he gave me a playlist full of Ryan Adams. Currently there's lamb cooking in the oven and lots of delicious wine. I hope everyone's New Year is wonderful. I feel blessed to have spent this year with all of you and hopefully next year I can meet more of you.

Looking back on 2011 )
ceitfianna: (Charles+Raven-here to hold you)
GEMINI (May 21-June 20): In Santa Cruz there used to be a nightclub that
featured live rock bands on a big stage but enforced a strict policy
forbidding its patrons from dancing. The one time I went there, the music
was loud and infectious, and I naturally felt the urge to move in vigorous
rhythm. Moments after I launched into my groove, a bouncer accosted me
and forced me to stop. I think this situation has certain resemblances to
the one you're in now, Gemini. Some natural response mechanism in you is
being unduly inhibited; some organic inclination is being unreasonably
restrained or dampened. Why should you continue to accept this?

Once again Unce Rob is incredibly on the nose. I feel like I spent most of yesterday having to find ways to say things, so people wouldn't be angry while I was worn out and a mess.

Other than the job stuff, most of what's been going on with me is working to make lots of things fall into line. I was woken this morning with a question about my healthcare that I'm signing up for and I don't know the best way to contact the government to say, I can't afford to pay back my loans yet. And my well meaning parents are poking me about it which makes me fret. If we were RPing or anything yesterday especially after about 5:30 pm, I was so quiet because I was working to find my balance again. Today I've been working on healing myself and giving myself permission to go, the interaction I had was horrible. My supervisor looked over the transcript and said I did the right thing and she's sorry I had to go through it.

I spent a huge part of today wandering around Barnes and Noble and finally ended up buying The Goat Rodeo Sessions by some of my favorite artists. For dinner I'll have another tasty night of leftover tamale pie. Next time I make it, I think I'll use tomato paste or sauce instead of just diced tomatoes, it will stick together better.

In other things I'm proud of, I made a gorgeous collage of Flat Stanley pictures for my niece that I'm going to send. It's more than a month later and I hope that's okay. Things are getting better and by this time next week, I'll be on the East Coast with my family and for that I'm incredibly grateful. Soon I'll be putting up a post to collect addresses as I'll be making and sending out holiday cards and maybe writing some fic gifts. I haven't decided on the second one yet, but I probably will as I love writing gifts.
ceitfianna: (Hiding Cat)
I just had one of the worst work shifts I've had in a while. Today started off good as I woke up early to do an extra shift so I can have break and then my afternoon shift wasn't too bad.

The trouble started during my last shift of the day when a conversation started that set my creep meter off but they hadn't done anything yet. Also it was clear English wasn't their first language so I kept trying to help until suddenly I was being asked if I was on Skype and they were saying their library doesn't have interlibrary loan. What makes it so awful was how they were still asking valid questions just mixing it in with trying to find out about me and I kept going Librarian!

I'm still a mess of twisted up nerves from how this person made me feel. Yes, I am a real person who is answering questions but that's where it stops. I'm not there to be hit on or picked up simply because I happen to be a woman. I sent my supervisor the transcript as it's something I can do.

Now as I am in serious need of distraction, have meme that's been posted by [livejournal.com profile] austen and [livejournal.com profile] agonistes. (Original formatting yoinked from [livejournal.com profile] bzzinglikeneon because it is of the pretty.) Though I kind of messed up the coding.

Pick any question or two and I'll answer it.

01. My sexual orientation.
02. What I'm really bad at.
03. The one person whose arms I'd like to be in.
04. My best first date.
05. A description of my self-esteem.
06. Who my best friends are.
07. My favorite book.
08. Biggest turn-offs.
09. A description of my best friend.
10. My favorite animal.
11. Someone I miss.
12. The reason behind my last break-up.
13. What I did yesterday.
14. My greatest achievements.
15. My favorite songs right now.
16. A description of my last kiss.
17. What I find attractive.
18. All of the pets I've ever owned.
19. My favorite ice cream flavor.
20. The one place I wish I was right now.
21. The most cruel thing anyone has ever said to me.
22. All of the places I've lived.
23. Qualities that make me more likely to love a person.
24. My future plans.
25. One of my internal conflicts.
26. What I'm doing tomorrow.
27. My life's aspirations.
28. My most embarrassing moment.
29. Two of my insecurities.
30. What I would do if I won the lottery.
31. What I love most about myself.
32. My biggest pet peeves.
33. What musical artists I've seen live.
34. How many kids I would like to have.
35. My idea of a perfect date.
36. What I'm really excellent at.
37. My most traumatic experience.
38. Where I would like to live.
39. The nicest thing anyone's ever said to me.
40. Whether I like where I live now.
41. What I can hear right now.
42. My relationship with my siblings.
43. What's currently worrying me the most.
44. Something I've repeatedly wished for.
45. My relationship with my parents.
46. What I dislike most about myself.

I'm not sure how I feel about how appropriate the music's being for my mood.
ceitfianna: (feathered face)
I spent this afternoon at Conclave that's being held at one of the airport hotels and had a great day. Last night was a little rough as I was honestly far too tired to attempt being social around strangers, today on the other hand was great. Also I've discovered that the best music to make me feel better about the world seems to be Jakob Dylan, I sing along and feel hopeful.

I drove over around two o'clock, signed up for a coffee clatch and played in the Dealer's Room. I ended up finding a jade bracelet that said hi to me and now I have a bracelet to wear all the time, a shirt that says Barrayan Imperial Academy, gorgeous earrings with cranes on them, a book called Loki by Mike Vasich who signed it for me and I'm wearing my Wicked Girl Saving Herself shirt that I picked up from [livejournal.com profile] seanan_mcguire herself at the coffee clatch. The coffee clatch was amazing, basically we sat in part of the con suite and just talked. Most of the conversation was about parasites and disease control and I really have to read the Newsflesh books now as I've heard Seanan's enthusiasm for doing the research for them. I discovered that I didn't miss anything by not reading the Jane Austen mash up books, which I'm very glad to hear as they sounded dubious to me. This is the site for the company that I bought my shirt off of, its small and local and does cool stuff.

One of my favorite things about cons no matter the size is how you can always find someone to connect to and people don't mind if you just insert yourself into conversations. When I bought my bracelet, I ended up talking to another librarian who also writes m/m fiction and mentioned Storm Moon Press and that I have friends who write and publish. I gave her a rec for a job posting site and we talked some about the world of publishing and it made me grin. I've discovered there's a guy who has shirts, mugs and tote bags with designs inspired by the Vorkosigan series and I was good and only bought one shirt. My main complaint with this con is that things seem oddly timed to me, it probably feels quite different if you're staying over but there was a dearth of things to do between afternoon and evening so I haven't gone to any of the concerts as I'd rather reconnect to people here than feel awkward among strangers for three hours. Tomorrow I'm going to go back and hopefully hear a least one panel as I keep just missing them and get some books signed and I think buy a CD. I'm trying very hard to not buy books even though there is an incredibly tempting display but instead buy things I couldn't get elsewhere like cds by that could be signed by one of the signers, fan specific gear and such. I took a picture of my haul and will post it when I next put pictures up and those who bought the Wicked Girls' shirts, mine is beautiful, comfortable and well worth the wait.

I love the fan community and I'm so glad that I took a chance and drove out to Conclave.


ceitfianna: (Default)

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