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Temping

Well it’s been so long I do need to start posting here again probably….

I also have been drafted, hired, compelled through various physical and emotional threats to write for justinplusone for the week. That means I have to post every day twice a day. You’re beginning to say why the threats were necessary huh? Getting me to post that much is like convincing Jesus to come back down here for a day trip. Anyway if anyone wants to check it out I’ll be writing all week.

www.justinplusone.com

Nude Photos! Gasp :O

A friend suggested I simply post nude photos of myself to raise the number of hits this receives. Well here’s a trial run.

Getting Ready to Shower.

Getting Ready to Shower.

Ta da! We’ll see if this has any effect on hits whatsoever. I suppose it’s worth a try. If it works I’ll add more which should also become progressively more appealing as I continue to get in better shape.

Update: Well so far it seems to be working I guess I’ll have to do follow up photos…

A new post? Author Plug, Near Future Cyber Punk

Well now that the semester is almost done, I think it’s high time I start writing about it. Which is not my intention right now. Right now I’m writing to say that I will be spending time over our month and half Christmas vacation reflecting and writing. Much of it here. And also you know to plug my favorite authors.

Shout out for Cory Doctorow, which if you’re reading this as it’s a blog you’ve probably already heard of him. Nonetheless because there are people who haven’t I’m informing you that it’s high time you read one of his works be they short stories or novels. Cory Doctorow rose in prominence in part because he’s brilliant, and in part because he was the first author to publish a novel online using the Creative Commons license, a practice that has since been repeated by numerous other authors. This means that his first novel “Down and Out in the Magic Kingdom” and all subsequent works can be found online at his website.

Craphound.com

Cory Doctorow is also one of the four editors of the blog Boing Boing. His work primarily entails near future sci-fi that takes current cultural trends and looks at their consequences. It’s all very well imagined, creative, and possesses that all too rare didactic ability to get the reader to ask the right questions.

Ah Life in New York City

Well I’m back in New York going to classes and I’ve been busy as hell trying to get everything together and ready for school, including my body and voice. I don’t know which one is more of a pain but I’ve been doing lots and lots of yoga, and shower singing. Once dance classes start in full I’m sure

I started classes the day after I got off the plane and it’s been non-stop ever since. I didn’t finish nearly enough of my summer homework ahead of time so I was swamped with that for a while. Actually I’m still working on it, but depending on which classes I have tomorrow I think I’ve progressed to a normal level of busy. I should probably figure that out pretty soon. I also had my first academic classes last week and now that I’m in them I think I’m really going to enjoy them. I’m taking a class on Shakespeare, (I know how many classes on Shakespeare can I take but I learn something new each time.) I’m also taking intro to Sociology and we’re starting with Marxism which ties perfectly into my Chekhov work. I still haven’t decided what to minor in, but I guess there isn’t a rush.

My acting classes are off to a mostly good start. I sang Friday. I wasn’t yet ready to do so and it was pretty rough. Yet you’ve got to start somewhere and on the plus side I’ve spent all weekend working on these things. I guess the really great thing is that I’m really enjoying my work again and able to really throw myself into it again. I think last year I had so much other stuff going on and I was burnt out from doing theatre 24/7 I was starting to feel like I didn’t even know what life was like anymore because I had spent all my time imitating it.

I auditioned for the Wild Party last night, but alas no call back. They’ll be other productions, and I’m really excited for a re imagining of a Sondhiem Classic that’s coming up, so hopefully I will have the fortune to be a part of that.

It’s been a huge pain rebuilding my music book after a cat peed on it, but I’ve got a binder and a bunch of plastic sheets so now it’s just the process of getting copies of all the music I know again and slowly adding them back into my book.

Lots of things are happening in september.

Really Quick Post on Everything

All right so I’ve been distracted with summer homework and preparing to go back to NYC, along with spending my last couple of days with Andrew. The summer’s been great for the most part, but I have been incredibly lazy and so now have quite a lot of work to do. I keep telling myself I’m also going to get back in shape but that doesn’t seem to be happening. Once I get back to NYC I guess I’m just going to have to get my ass back into yoga and dance classes before placement auditions. Oh well should be interesting.

For free yoga class in New York I highly recommend Yoga to the People on St. Marks Place. They have daily classes running all day which will be appreciated by both advanced and beginning students that can be a great workout that’ll kick your ass but won’t leave you super sore the next day. It’s a donation based studio, and truly does not require you to pay a cent unless you need to borrow a mat. Check them out here!

Oh and it’s worth noting that YTTP just opened up a sister studio in San Fransisco for anyone who lives out there.

In other news the Stratford Man, Part II “Hell and Earth” by Elizabeth Bear

Alright, I wrote about this extensively when I reviewed part 1, “Ink and Steel” and as this is not so much a sequal as the second half of one book I can’t really say much more about the plot of this one without spoiling things a bit. I will however say that the second book fixed almost all my annoyances about the first book. The plot moved faster. It was easier to understand because the subtext of the dialogue actually went places and had consequences. This book was also quite a bit more action oriented without losing any of the depth and humanity found in the first. To anyone who likes Shakespeare, and dark fantasy that doesn’t fall into cliche fantasy genres I highly recomend these two books. In case you missed it here’s a link to my review of “Ink And Steel”, which explains the plot and the many reasons you should read this book.

And to assure you I’m not crazy here’s a link to another person’s review.

And of course for those who want to rush over to Amazon

And while I’m busy providing links, one of my favorite artists just opened up their website so here’s a mini advertisement and a link to maliceazriel.com

Still Here

Sorry for not having written in some time. I actually did a couple posts that were promptly deleted by internet failure. After which I became a bit discouraged and gave things a break for a while. I finished Hell and Earth by Elizabeth Bear a week ago so I’ll have a write up on that soon. I’m currently working through Iron Council by China Mieville, but have been distracted by the Wheel of Time. I’m also at work on preparing to go back to ny and school. It’s my last few days for the year with Andrew so right now that has taken precedence. Anyway just wanted to let everyone know this blog is not dead and I expect Bi-weekly posts to resume.

Ink and Steel, finished, frustrated, yet hungry for more.

For those who are unfamiliar with the material Ink and Steel is the third published novel in Elizabeth Bear’s Promethean Age series. It takes place well before the events of the first two books (Blood and Iron, Whiskey and Water) during the end of Queen Elizabeth’s reign over England. It also part of a duology within the series collectively known as The Stratford Man. Ink and Steel’s sequel, and part II of The Stratford Man, Hell and Earth was released yesterday. The title “The Stratford Man” refers to one of the novels two main protagonists William Shakespeare the other being renowned Elizabethan playwright Christopher Marlowe who was introduced as a character in Whiskey and Water and who will probably appear in all the books spanning the four hundred years between. Like the rest of the Promethean Age books, Ink and Steel describes a secret behind the scenes war between Faery(It is worth noting that the Fey of Elizabeth Bear’s worlds are powerful and deadly) and various human factions namely the Prometheans (A group of human sorcerers, though who exactly constitutes the prometheans and what their goals are I believe changes from novel to novel as different factions of humanity gain control.) For a more detailed explanation on Elizabeth Bear’s Promethean Age please see her own description of the series here!

As a whole I highly recommend the series for anyone who likes urban fantasy or historical fiction, and would praise it endlessly for it’s willingness to defy cliche and yet bring in rather exhaustive looks at myth and history. Unless one has an undying love of Shakespeare however I wouldn’t recommend starting with Ink and Steel as it’s much slower than the previous books in the series although they all reportedly stand alone (I would recommend reading Blood and Iron before Whiskey and Water even though it isn’t necessary to read them in order, and The Stratford Man is a Duology so those really do go together)

Ok, now onto what I actually thought of the book, lets start with the criticism. This book is really pretty slow. I’ve read three other books by Elizabeth Bear and for the most part she moves rather briskly, but I think this may have been a story that was too long for one novel so it turned into two, and as a result got a 250 page exposition. To add to the confusion the secondary characters are rather indistinct, so most readers are going to spend some time wondering who the hell the protagonists are talking too, and why they should care. On top of that the whole thing is in old english which can be hard to follow when the conversations deal more in subtlety and indirectness. This is in many respects a very hard book to get into, and the slow pacing could have you wondering why are you putting so much effort into it.

However, there are some excellent things going on in here. Elizabeth Bear has done an unbelievable job incorporating all the knowledge we have on Shakespeare and his works into the narrative. Yet the historian never takes center stage so you won’t feel like you’re attending a history lesson. You also don’t need any knowledge on the subject to understand what is going on, but Elizabeth Bear makes many nods to both the factual and the theoretical behind each his life and works and deftly incorporates them into the plot. (Note: As a theatre student I’ve had many classes on Shakespeare’s life and works, and was actually amazed by how many contradictory elements of what we know she was able to bring together.)

Normally fictional depictions of Shakespeare bother me because of how he is portrayed. Elizabeth Bear presents the character of Shakespeare as ultimately very human. Instead of putting him on a pedestal she allows him to be unsure and flawed. He is someone the reader can empathize with and connect to. He may be brilliant but instead of attempting to make that his primary trait she instead emphasizes the humanity that allowed him to write the works that still speak to our hearts today.

The other protagonist Christopher Marlowe is as he was when he first appeared in Whiskey and Water, but younger and more vulnerable, not yet knowledgeable of the forces that maneuver around him. He remains my favorite character in the series so far. I can’t speak to the historical accuracy of her presentation of Christopher, but I imagine Elizabeth Bear has been equally stringent in her presentation. Although this is Fantasy. Christopher is cast here as a prophet to be just coming into the recognition of his powers as forces in the realm of Faery attempt to use what he will become to serve their own purposes and he seeks to ensure the safety of those in the mortal realm he left behind.

In the end while I was left satisfied and less frustrated with the slow pace of the book, and the difficulty of keeping track of who’s who and why they’re important than I had been 100 pages previously, this is a much slower book than her previous books in the series. Fans however won’t be disappointed, and I have a feeling that most of the action has been saved for part II. While I would recommend the series to anyone I wouldn’t start with Ink and Steel unless you have a particular love for Elizabethan playwrights. Elizabeth Bear once again proves that she is a very very smart author and shows talents that will serve her well as she continues to write the rest of the series. And I as the reader am left anxiously awaiting getting my copy of Hell and Earth later today!

For links to each book in the series on Amazon see below.
Blood and Iron
Whiskey and Water
Ink and Steel
Hell and Earth

Elizabeth Bear’s Website

This is one of those crappy life posts, so watch out!

You have been warned, I hence forth take no responsibility for anyone who reads this post hoping for something that would hold relevance to anything they may be interested in.

Disclaimer II, This is also slightly one of those life sucks and this terrible thing happened to me posts. Don’t worry no one is dead, and I don’t intend to do too much moaning. well not that kind and not tonight anyway…

(Editor’s Note: I know this is very long but if you read the first couple and last couple paragraphs everything will still make sense without any of my lamenting.)

Anyway, so I was staying with my much older brother in his apartment/tiny house for the summer, and today when I woke up this morning he proceeded to take all my stuff and throw me out of the house. Why? Well because my boyfriend had come inside the house the day before when he came to pick me up while I finished making us something to eat. I know right now it still doesn’t make any sense.

You see my brother is a bit paranoid, amd he felt that by allowing someone into the house I was endangering his lifestyle. Let me preface by saying that my boyfriend had been more than welcome until a couple weeks beforehand when my brother had another paranoid freakout because a friend of mine who I’d known for 8 years drove an hour to come see me, and arrived before my brother had woken up and I was able to tell him she was coming. Nothing happened during her visit, nor would anything that anyone could possibly be upset about. Yet, after it was done he forbid anyone from coming through the door but me. So I found myself stuck in a house too late in the summer to rent an apartment with the one rule I know I can’t keep, and that it’s really just a matter of time. Did I mention the only reason I am here at all, away from the majority of my family for the summer is to see my boyfriend before I go off to school again. I’ve spent the last couple of weeks feeling extremely unwelcome there myself, and trying to pretend that I wasn’t appalled that my brother would treat someone so horribly who was obviously very important to me and someone whom he had gotten to know and I thought be friends with.

Anyway, it’s awful to find out that you can’t depend on a trusted family member because you aren’t as important to them as their other choices. There’s a part of me that is realy angry and hurt. Someone says they love you but when it comes down to it there’s something else they love more. He of course believes that I screwed up, but the problem is his failure to trust that I wouldn’t endanger his privacy, and his inability to really trust other people. I guess when you know that you’re not someone who can be trusted to come through for someone else it makes it hard to believe that they would for you. I never did anything that put him or any of it in danger, but his perception of reality has become so skewed that he can’t see that. 

It really sucks that things had to turn out this way, because even when you know something mentally at least you can pretend that things might be different. While I’m furious, the realization of what was really really important to my brother was something I’d known for a while, and I can’t say I’m surprised. So I guess this doesn’t hurt as much as it should, And as much as I hate to say it I shouldn’t have given him the benefit of the doubt when he asked me to stay for the remainder of the summer that I could depend on him. I should have taken into account the way he has slowly cut himself off from any close relationships because he can’t risk it. I know now that even if it hadn’t been this as long as I chose to commune with the outside world, eventually it would have been something.

He is a really great guy in a lot of ways but his paranoia about the world keeps him from being the person he could be, and I really wanted to believe otherwise.

Anyway, I’m all right, even though I was given no time to pack and while I used the restroom and collected my toletries he threw anything that was mine out onto the driveway. A friend of mine came and picked me up along with the trash bags full of unwashed pissed on clothes (Thank You Cat) I’m secretly sleeping at his house (Well I guess his parents house which is why it’s secret) and using the internet because no one else is awake and I don’t know when I’ll have another opportunity. (Gosh darn it this thing doesn’t have spellcheck on it.) Tomorrow I’ll continue trying to get a hold of my grandparents to see if I can spend the remainder of the summer with them.

(For those who are interested I’m almost almost done with Ink and Steel by Elizabeth Bear and will probably post on that the next time I have internet. I’m sorry it’s taken so long it’s been a bit slow going because not much happens in the book which is really my main gripe about it, though as this is a two parter I have a feeling most of the action was saved for part two whcih I’m sure I’ll read as soon as it’s released this week.)

Happy Lammas/Lughnassadh!

For those who didn’t know it’s the sabbat Lammas or Lughnassadh, the first harvest! It’s a time for honoring the bounty of earth in the first harvest celebration. Have some fresh baked bread and don’t forget to eat lots of corn this weekend as you celebrate the prosperity of summer and make plans for the coming fall.

This art is credited to lilcatty, you can view it on deviantart Here!

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