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I'm delighted that Looking for Magic in All the Right Places has been included in this week's poetry-themed SSHG Quiz. Many thanks to morethansirius and the SSHG Quiz team!
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So many of us in Canada were hoping and praying Obama would win (and wishing we could vote as well)!  I'm grateful and relieved . . . but you have no idea how envious I am that you had the opportunity to elect a gifted and inspiring leader like Obama, while we had a choice between a boring man in a grey suit and an uninspiring grey man in a rumpled suit. 

And what a win!  Even Florida! (And no hanging chads in sight).  338 electoral college votes so far and counting . . .

Current Location:
Current Mood:
energetic energetic
Current Music:
raucous cheers of Chicago crowds
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To be filed under "Possibly Better Late than Never" a bit of pic-spam from our April trip Down Under...Collapse )
Current Mood:
grateful grateful
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(These are a few of the "bollard people" installed along the beach at Geelong, Australia.)

First of all, my warmest thanks to you birthday- and travel well-wishers from lo, these many weeks and weeks ago, and my apologies for not replying to your comments. Australia was wonderful, my only regret being that I never did get to meet Ozratbag in person. Though we did have a nice chat over the phone!

A few days after our return, I was offered a new job. Not the polytechnic teaching I mentioned in my last post (in April...good lord!), but an even better opportunity--to develop and coordinate a new writing course for an entire business faculty. Best of all, this is only 15 minutes' drive from my house instead of 45 +. So since June, I've been working on that and having a splendid time, feeling professionally challenged in all sorts of good ways.

But ironically, now that I'm producing 100's of words a week for teaching purposes, my fic-writing feels almost completely blocked. Ideas circle like crows, and all they do is peck at my brain. I want to write, but the few words I spit out just don't excite me.

I find myself envying colleagues who write fiction and belong to writing groups. In fact, when I was writing HG/SS regularly a few years (ouch!) ago, I was in an online writing group for a while and found it an inspiring experience. Because I would love to feel inspired again, I'll put the question out there: does anyone know of an online, HG/SS-friendly writing group that might be willing to take a new member with good editing skills and a need for a kick-start?

Oh and by the way, I look forward to being a regular LJ user again! Really. Truly. I mean it.
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Current Mood:
nervous nervous
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I'm happy to say that despite these distractions, I recently completed an entire story outline and Ch. 1 of my post-epilogue but not really epilogue-compliant fic. Though the incomparable jodel_from_aol  has beta-read this chapter, I will not post it until I've completed the second. Looking forward to doing some writing on the plane!
Current Location:
Soon to be at 35,000 feet
Current Mood:
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Hello Flist ... ! 

I'm still not sure where Fall 2007 went, though I suspect large parts of it disappeared into cyberspace.  I was teaching online again on top of an almost full-time job--fun and interesting, but so time-consuming!  I was also seduced for a while by Facebook, now a haven for middle-age-somethings trying to keep in touch with family and friends.  While I love Scrabulous (now my primary reason for still visiting), the thrill of having zombies and werewolves thrown at me by my former colleagues is disappearing, and I can't get used to discovering through a mini-news feed or new photo that a member of my extended family is engaged to someone truly awful.

I also missed Sycophant Hex, and even fic-writing got rather squashed under a huge writer's block.  So all in all, I felt very out-of-touch with things Potterish and especially Snape-ish.  I hesitated to visit LJ because I thought that might be like wandering into a room where the party's been in full swing for days and trying to, you know, fit in.  Which is silly.

But this January, I said no to extra online teaching--and got evenings and weekends back!  With this spare time, I've resumed regular admin work for SH, and I've started to catch up on the variety of HG/SS WIPs coming down the popular Ashwinder pipeline.  I'm greatly encouraged by all the writers--many good, some excellent--who cheerfully ignore scurrilous rumours perpetuated by JKR about the "death" of Severus Snape and the "marriage" of Hermione Granger! 

And I'm writing HG/SS fic again.  It's going slowly, but at least I'm not utterly blocked.  I wish I could write as fast and freely as I did a couple of years ago, but I'm hopeful I'll get my "legs" back.  I'm committed to posting chapters starting sometime this March.

So all this is to say...time to rejoin the party!  (And a special thanks to junewilliams7, who checked yesterday for signs of life!)
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Was trawling gently through the latest crack_broom recs today and found, to my flabbergastment, that an SS/HG I wrote (oh lord) three years ago was recced as recently as mid-July. My thanks to leandra713 for her kind words! Every so often someone stumbles across this story and leaves a review, even after all this time, and I'm just delighted when that happens.

Very chuffed!

On a different note, I have lots to catch up on here in LJ, including

•posting my paper/workshop from Prophecy; I'll invite comments as well
•posting some cosplay pics from Prophecy if I receive permission. I'll be writing to some people first, though.
•pretending that the whole 6A kerfuffle isn't happening b/c I can't stomach the thought of migrating.

I'm also writing SS/HG again for the first time in months ... post DH. God, I love being able to write again--and this time I will not be blocked. In other news, my evil alter-admin ego is back in the saddle at Sycophant Hex, enjoying the post DH creativity! It all feels very good.
Current Location:
Current Mood:
cheerful cheerful
Current Music:
Jann Arden's rendition of Peace Train
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This isn't an essay or even very coherent, but my immediate, gut, readerly reactions to each chapter after reading it for the first time and not knowing what was going to happen next. All commentary/spoilers under LJ cuts.

Speechless for now ... !


Sat. July 21, 11:30 a.m. Pacific Time ... I wondered how long I'd have to wait for my book to be delivered. Visions of sitting around 'til late afternoon, feeling as if I'm the only one not invited to a world-wide party! But the doorbell rang abt. 10 mins ago. It's here. Though somehow Amazon mixed up my order and I now have TWO copies.

And it's chilly and pouring with rain today. What could be more perfect for a marathon read?

I'm sticking to my promise not to skim or read the end first. In fact, I'm going to force myself to react/reflect briefly after I finish each chapter. Oh and BTW, the Raincoast Books editions are Brit and DO NOT list the table of contents at the front. So no chance of being spoilt by that.

Here we go!

11:33: The epigramsCollapse )

Chapter OneCollapse )

Chapter Two Collapse )

It's 12:45 p.m. I've now read and reflected on two chapters and have taken a short break to brew my second (and last) cup of coffee for the day. How laid-back is that? I suspect I'll need wine later on. But I'm enjoying this slow read-and-reflect process and am quite happy not to rush along ... for after all, this the very last time I'll ever get to read a new HP book.

Chapter Three Collapse )

Chapter Four Collapse )

Chapter Five Collapse )

Chapter Six Collapse )

Chapter SevenCollapse )

It's now 3:15 p.m. Mr Savageland has considerately stepped out to do some shopping; while at home, he's been very careful not to interrupt, even though I don't mind a bit. A brass band could be marching through the living room and I would hardly notice. At an average of about two chapters per hour, this is going slowly. But I like stopping at the end of each chapter and writing about it for a few minutes, even though my reactions could all be complete pants. And yes, I've remembered to eat lunch (cheese and crackers while reading Ch. 7).

Chapter EightCollapse )

Chapter NineCollapse )

Chapter TenCollapse )

4:45 p.m. ... Ten chapters in five hours, and I don't know quite how many to go. But I have all night!

Chapter ElevenCollapse )

Chapter TwelveCollapse )

Chapter ThirteenCollapse )

Chapter FourteenCollapse )

It's now exactly 7 p.m., and I'm a good third of the way through after 7 and-a-half hours of reading/reflecting. I suspect I'll end up going to bed late, before I've finished the book. Can't see myself pulling an all-nighter!

Chapter FifteenCollapse )

Chapter SixteenCollapse )

8:45 p.m. The wonderful Mr Savageland has fed me chicken, salad, and white wine. Now on to the next chapter ...

Chapter SeventeenCollapse )

Chapter EighteenCollapse )

Chapter NineteenCollapse )

Chapter TwentyCollapse )

Chapter Twenty-OneCollapse )

Chapter Twenty-TwoCollapse )

Chapter Twenty-ThreeCollapse )

11:54 p.m. Going to bed now. It's been wonderful reading it this slowly and reflectively, and I'm enjoying the way it's unfolding as a story ... but I'd sure like to have it finished before I have to go in to work on Monday!

Sunday July 22, 7:10 a.m. I confess I read three more chapters in bed before falling asleep around 1 a.m. Now I'm looking at having to finish the book by around noon or so. So I'm going to combine and shorten today's "readerly" reflections.

Chapters Twenty-Four, Twenty-Five, and Twenty-SixCollapse )

Chapters Twenty-Seven, Twenty-EightCollapse )

Chapters Twenty-Nine, ThirtyCollapse )

Chapters Thirty-One through Thirty-SixCollapse )

EpilogueCollapse )

11:32 a.m. on Sunday, July 22. Finite Incantatem!
Current Mood:
indescribable indescribable
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I know many are avoiding LJ in case of being spoiled ... but if a few of you are still checking in over the next day or two, here's something I'm curious about:

When you get your genuine copy of Book 7, will you read it very slowly, savouring each line and plot twist? Will you skim it very fast, so the agony of finding out what happens will end as soon as possible?

Or will you even (gasp!) read the last page first?

When I get my book sometime on Saturday, I'm going to turn off the computer and the phone and sequester myself in a dark room on a comfortable couch. I'll start on p. 1. and keep reading sequentially, page by page, until I get to the end ... as if this weren't really Book 7--the one that will forever canon-shaft us--and as if I didn't particularly care what happens to characters like Severus Snape: whether he (1) lives, (2) dies, (3) is redeemed, or (4) falls howling into a fiery pit (I vote for 3).

For a round of final speculation about Snape before the moment of truth, check out the latest episode (19) of snapecast: Orson Scott Card gives a fine analysis, based on literary reasons, about how JKR as a novelist should deal with the Potions Master. I look forward to discussing that after we've dug ourselves out from under Book 7.
Current Mood:
contemplative contemplative
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