kmo: (knowledge)
 I realize it has been forever since I posted something of significance aside from the odd "Dear Author" letter. Forgive me oh readers, first semester as a new faculty member has knocked me rather flat on my ass. It's all new preps for me, one of which is totally outside my field of study. (heh, why did i say i'd teach world civ again...) The latter did allow me the opportunity to basically create a lesson plan that may or may not have been inspired by parts of Naamah's Blessing. My colleagues are lovely, my students are a mixed bag as students often are. I'm busy, but overall it's a good busy. I'd rataher this than the daily existential crisis of it's-4pm-and-I-haven't-written-anything-and-am-still-in-my-pajamas that was my life as a grad student. 

While I have your attention- signups for the 1st ever Kushiel's Legacy fanworks exchange are ongoing through Sunday December 17th. As of now, fanworks are due Dec 15th and reveals will be on the Longest Night, Dec 21st. We decided to extend the signup deadline because of wonky AO3 tag issues and may extend the due date accordingly. You can find more information at the [livejournal.com profile] kushielexchange comm or you can check out the AO3 signup form here. If you are on the fence about signing up and are unsure of your other fannish commitments, you will also have the opportunity to sign up to beta or pinch hit as the spirit moves you. 

I am very overdue on my book reviews. Work has slowed me down, but I have been reading. 

Indigo Springs, A.M Dellmonica
The Sparrow, Maria Doria Russell
Point of Honour, Madeleine Robbins
Changeless, Gail Carriger
Grave Mercy, R.L Lefevers
Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl, Harriet Jacobs

Overdue book report, -5 points for tardiness )
kmo: (yuletide skates)
First of all, let me thank you for agreeing to participate in this challenge and write a story for me! This is my third year participating in Yuletide and it is definitely the highlight of my fannish calendar every year. The holidays are often a stressful time loaded with unpleasant family drama (as I'm sure they are for many) and Yuletide has become my happy place in all of that. So, from the bottom of my heart, thank you in advance for being my writer.

Please take all my optional suggestions and fannish blatherings as just that...suggestions. If there's a story idea you have for these characters that you like better, go for it! I’m comfortable with any rating. Follow your muse and I know you'll write a great story! If you'd like to see the type of stories I write and like, please feel free to check out my work on
AO3 or at fanfiction.net where I write as green lion. Very little of my journal is flocked, so feel free to explore my entries here as well.

General Likes and Dislikes )

Optional Details for House of Cards, Mathnet, The Sopranos, and Wise Child )
kmo: (bel & marnie)

First of all, let me thank you for agreeing to participate in this challenge and write a story for me! I watched the challenge by the sidelines for several years before finally taking the plunge last year- and I'm so glad I did! Please take all my optional suggestions and fannish blatherings as just that...suggestions. If there's a story idea you have for these characters that you like better, go for it! I’m comfortable with any rating. And I really enjoy everything across the whole femslash spectrum- from UST and one-sided unrequited longing to fic about established relationships and smutty sexytimes. Follow your muse and I know you'll write a great story! If you'd like to see the type of stories I write and like, please feel free to check out my work on AO3 or at fanfiction.net where I write as green lion. Very little of my journal is flocked, so feel free to explore my entries here as well.

General Likes and Dislikes )
Femslashy Optional Details )
kmo: (Default)
I already posted this on a few comms, but thought I would put in a plug here as well. [personal profile] silverflight8 and I were wondering if there might be interest in doing a Kushiel-themed fest or exchange this year, perhaps around the Longest Night. We're thinking of something that would basically follow the format of [community profile] got_exchange if you are familiar with that. We created a poll over here- please vote if you are interested and spread the word to fellow fans! And feel free to comment or PM me if you have any questions.

And now i must return to madly finishing my syllabi before classes start on Monday....all knowledge is worth having...meh.
kmo: (bel & marnie)
July was a very busy month round these parts. Here are some of the highlights:

I finally made all the required revisions to my dissertation and am now done with PhD school! Woot! On August 16th it will be officially official and then you can really all start addressing me as Dr. Kmo. Well, not really...I'm not one of those people. Or am I? Part of me almost wants to get my credit cards changed....my sense is most academics don't do this because we're "not real doctors." Which leads people to devalue our labor. If i think about this too hard, I'll give myself a headache.

Then I went and presented at a conference in St. Louis. And a big important Dowager Lady Historian came to my panel and really liked my work! *flails* Also St. Louis was awesome and the part of town we were in was super gorgeous, with lots of fancy early 20th c robber baron mansions. My friends and i went to City Museum one night and got drunk. City Museum...like a playground crossed with an art installation inside an old shoe factory, it's one of the most indescribable places I've ever been. Oh yeah and it has a bar in a real log cabin attached. If you visit STL, you gotta go.

About a week ago, V and I moved into our new house! I'm still unpacking boxes and have a metric shit ton of work to do before the semester starts, but it feels great to finally be in a place of our own. Every day we look at each other and say, "It's really ours! We own a house!" It will be a work in progress for the next few months, because we really don't have the money to fix/rehab/decorate all of it right now. But I love the painting and the new furniture we have bought so far. First time I have owned furniture that wasn't A) free or B) something I had to put together with an allen key and a lot of cursing. 

In between all of this, I found time to read some books.

 Fairyland No 1, Red Dragon, Where'd You Go Bernadette, The 19th Wife )
kmo: (Default)
Uh, this month I neither accomplished all the academicy things (hello pesky revisions and conference papers!) nor fannish things that I wanted. Le sigh. But after much trial and tribulation and blood, sweat, and tears (buckets of tears, really) V and I finally closed on our house on Friday! Woot! We're excited to finally own a place, but at the same time, trying not to be overwhelmed by the number of decisions that need to be made before we can move in next month. Also we are shite at picking out paint colors.

Anyway, onto the book reviews!

Swordspoint, Flavia de Luce #4, The Eight, The Broken Kingdoms )

I also signed up for the Women of Genre Fiction reading challenge. The goal is to promote female authors in SF/F. It's not too late to join- you are just asked to read 12 books by 12 different female authors that you haven't read before. I am retroactively counting Bujold, Kushner, and Erin Morgenstern toward my goal- and I could count Veronica Roth and Deb Harkness as well, but since I didn't particularly enjoy their books, I'm aiming to read more. I definitely want to use this challenge as motivation to finally read some Ocativa Butler and Ursula LeGuin. Nicola Griffith's Ammonite has been on my to-read list for a long time as well. I think Cathrynne Valente will be next, though- The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland is sitting on my nightstand. I'm open to suggestions of course. You can see my tentative list (as kmo) on the challenge page.  

kmo: (Default)
I thought this post, "The Silencing of Catelyn Stark" expressed perfectly many of the feelings I (and others) have had regarding how the tv writers have chosen to portray Catelyn's character. Riffing on Catelyn Stark and Skyler White Syndrome... )

Help me procrastinate today with this Writing Process meme stolen from [personal profile] likeadeuce

Pick one of my fics and a question (or questions) and I'll tell you:
1. What part was most difficult?
2. What are you most proud of?
3. What's a reference you made no one has picked up on yet?
4. What's a bit that sums up your take on a character?
5. Favorite line(s) of dialogue?
6. Favorite lines(s) of prose?
7. Were there any points where you were trying to do something specific with sound, vocabulary, or rhythm?
8. How many drafts did the work go through?
9. Were you listening to anything while writing the fic? If so, what?
10. Imagery that is important to the fic, either while composing or in the fic itself?
11. What were you most worried about during the composition?
12. How do you want readers to react to this fic?
13. What did you want them to take away from it?
14. What inspired this fic?
15. If you used a beta, what did you agree or disagree on?
16. Did anything surprise you during the writing?
17. Were any parts written under the influence Unless coffee counts, I never drink and write!
kmo: (Default)
There's a Comment Meta Fest going on over at [community profile] fem_thoughts . Come on over and play! You can watch me be a cranky misandrist about "The Fall." Also lots of female-centric and femslash-friendly discussion if that doesn't appeal. ;)

In the comments of this week's Dear Prudence, there is a hilarious fake letter from Edmure Tully seeking Prudie's advice post-Red Wedding. Totally made my day. Also Edmure would totally write to Prudie. There's also a really funny one from Jorah,
Cut for RW spoilers )


15 Characters Meme )


kmo: (bel & marnie)
Life post-defense continues to be a thing of wonder. (yes i still have those pesky revisions, but dissertation revisions feel so much lighter than an actual dissertation)  I had this revelation around 11pm the other night where it suddenly dawned on me that the 800 lb gorilla that had been sitting on my chest for the past three years if not since the very moment  I entered grad school in 2007 was suddenly no longer there. It felt amazing. And yes, I realize it will be another uphill slog to getting the book out and tenure, etc, but I am going to enjoy these feelings of peace and happiness while they last. Because happiness really is the highest form of wisdom. 

Not having the dissertation hanging over me has also freed me up to do lots of other things- like taking better care of myself. I've started a very basic running program and I'm hoping I can stick with it. So far it feels pretty manageable. I used to run pretty regularly in my first year of grad school. You can tell how long it's been since regular exercise has been an important part of my life-- my workout mix consists of all the hot summer jams circa 2006-2008. (Nelly Fertado's Maneater, anyone?) 

I also haven't done a book review post since...uh...March. I have been reading, just not posting.

Reviews of The Mirador, Code Name Verity, Vorkosigan Saga, The Magician King )
kmo: (Default)

So, while I was madly finishing up my dissertation, I discovered a new TV obsession (TM), Hannibal, which has been airing on NBC. Peeps, this is the most strangely beautiful, visually stunning TV show I have ever seen. It also has a subtlety and a depth to it you don't really see on most network TV shows. Hands down it is the best network drama I have seen in years, and could easily compete with anything on AMC, HBO, or Showtime. And for that reason, I am terrified it is going to be cancelled, because a show like this is just too goddamn speshul to be on one of the basic networks. So, I am desperately singing Hannibal's praises to anyone that will listen, hoping to generate some buzz via word of mouth.

To summarize, it's less of a prequel to Silence of the Lambs and Red Dragon (the Thomas Harris books/movies that feature serial killer Hannibal Lecter) and more of a reboot. It's a prequel in the sense that it goes back to the heyday of Lecter's career as a serial killer when he was still at large, working with the FBI. But it's kind of a reboot in the sense that Fuller is reimagining some of the canon in the present day, has changed and gender-flipped some characters, and borrows storylines from the other Harris novels. I really love Silence of the Lambs and can take or leave the other films, so I'm not some kind of rabid Hannibal fangirl by any means, and yet I still enjoy the show.

Reasons to watch )
kmo: (Default)
Trust me, I'm a Doctor. Sorta. I have some minor revisions, so it's not completely over, but basically they let me into the guild. Yay! When people ask me what it feels like, I keep telling them it's really surreal. When you devote six years of your life to something, it's very strange to have it come to a climax in one afternoon. But gradually it's sinking in. And since I do have a job waiting for me, I can honestly say that I feel ready to be a professor and no longer kept in the perpetual adolescence that is grad school. Thanks so much to all of the folks who left nice comments and cheered me on through the final lap!

Oh and so in the middle of it all, I received a lovely Rarewomen gift from [archiveofourown.org profile] ivy She wrote me the Sidonie/Amarante fic I have always longed for. Both women are so beautifully rendered. The Kushielverse has such rich female characters and it was wonderful to see these two finally get some well-deserved attention.

Trust (1809 words) by ivy
Chapters: 1/1
Fandom: Kushiel's Legacy - Jacqueline Carey
Relationships: Amarante de Namarre/Sidonie de la Courcel, Bérèngere de Namarre & Phèdre nó Delaunay
Characters: Amarante (Kushiel's Legacy), Sidonie de la Courcel, Ysandre de la Courcel, Phedre no Delaunay, Bérèngere de Namarre, Alais de la Courcel
Summary: Neither trust nor friendship come easily, especially when they are thrust upon you.

In return, I wrote Armistice Day, an Edith-centric Downton Abbey fic set post-season 3. It focuses on Edith's career as a novelist and a reconciliation between her and Mary. Harkening back to discussions on "id-fic" with [personal profile] likeadeuce I can honestly say that Mary and Edith reconciling and Edith having a career of her own are definitely rooted in my deepest desires for both characters. If i were Julian Fellowes, this is what I would do in season 4. Oh and I gave Edith Dorothy Sayers' life. If only I could have worked in Gwen taking a job as Edith's personal secretary....


Recs for Kushiel's Legacy, Hunger Games, Political Animals )
kmo: (Default)
Sorry for the light posting and commenting lately. I submitted my dissertation to my committee 2 weeks ago and i am defending tomorrow afternoon! Eeeeep! Wish me luck! I promise to return to your regularly scheduled programming of tv recaps, memes, and fic recs once I am a doctor of philosophy. 


kmo: (knowledge)
Even though I really, really shouldn't be procrastinating writing by doing memes (as there is shamefully little time left to procrastinate before i hand this sucker in) I couldn't resist doing the 21 Last Lines meme stolen from [personal profile] likeadeuce And as I have only written about 23 fics total, 22 of which are archived at AO3, I just barely meet the requirements for the meme!

*Note the reverse chronological order is closer to when I wrote them to when I posted on AO3- most of my Carmen Sandiego fics were posted to ff.net before I archived them at AO3.

21 Last Lines )

When possible, I really like to have my last lines be "careful" and exact, with the precision of a poet. I would say #'s 2, 6, 10, and 20 are most like that. It surprised me how often I end with dialogue (7 times) because I rarely open with dialogue. I don't mind making the pornographies when it feels appropriate, but sometimes I just can't go there for whatever reason, so 13, 14, and 19 are that (ironically 13 is curtainfic that was already preceded by porn.) Multi-chapter stories that I have worked on for months are really hard for me to end, part of the reason I don't write them that much any more. I love #12 as a story, but I still wish i could have come up with something better for those last lines. The issue was I was using the framing device of having it be a lost part of Phedre's life story, and so I felt the need to return to that framing. I think it leaves the story on a more intellectual and reflective note than i would have liked- a conflict of the head versus a conflict of the heart.

#20 is by far my favorite, if you were curious. My refashioning of Jacqueline Carey's "when love cast me out, twas cruelty took pity on me" for my own nefarious purposes. (mwaahaha)  it's such a great line on its own, so i can only take partial credit.  If there are any you are curious about, please feel free to ask! 

kmo: (Default)
 
It's helpful when my two Sunday night shows are united by similar visual motifs. 

GoT 3.03 Thoughts )
I really don't have a lot of Mad Men thoughts this week. Other than I think Peggy and Stan's late night calls are my new favorite thing, and definitely the best phone calls since "Pizza House!" Oh and *slow clap* for Trudy Campbell. Trudy Campbell for the Iron Throne! Still, not enough Joan. Moar Joan. 
kmo: (Default)
 It's that time of year again when they air Mad Men and Game of Thrones on at the same time and I spend my Sunday evenings binging on tv and my Mondays in an internet black hole reading everyone's reaction posts. Man, are these shows begging for a crossover or what? Basically because I want Sally Draper and Arya Stark to be besties. Sally would learn that as much as it sucks to be a teenage girl in the 1960s, it sucks even more to be a teenage girl in Westeros. And Arya could add Don Draper to her growing collection of inappropriate father figures, maybe offer up Pete Campbell to the God of Many Faces. It would be awesome. (actually Pete is too much fun to receive the "gift"...Joan's ex-husband on the other hand....)

GoT 3.02 )
kmo: (orchis house)
 
So, although Jacqueline Carey's newest book, Dark Currents, the first in her Agent of Hel trilogy, came out in October, I only just got around to reading it. Partially, I was afraid that my expectations were just too high and that I would end up disappointed, as I was with much of the Naamah series and Saints Astray. And I'll be honest, I was dubious because paranormal romance/urban fantasy is not a genre I've ever really been into. Fortunately, I was pleasantly surprised and found Dark Currents very enjoyable. Daisy, the "reluctant hell-spawn," makes a fine heroine. She's half- All American girl, half-demon, and this gives her a grittiness and a sort of down-to-earthness that makes a nice change of pace from Carey's other protagonists (who I LOVE but, it's great to see an author that's got range) At the same time, Daisy has a lot in common with her predecessors. Like Loup and Phedre, she has strange genetic predisposition that she hasn't quite mastered. Like Imriel, she has a bloodline people fear. And like Moirin, she's the child of a single mom. Carey is fond of certain tropes- you could say she recycles them. But they just happen to be tropes I like, so I do kind get a kick out seeing how she mixes and matches them in her work. 

The first book is essentially a paranormal police procedural. It's quite a contrast to the travelogue type books Carey usually writes, as the action takes place within the boundaries of Daisy's hometown. But again, I enjoyed the mixing of the fantasy and the mundane. And as a police-procedural type mystery, the plot moves steadily and it's entertaining. A lot world-building happens in this first book, so it can at times feel a bit like "these are the people in my really strange neighborhood." I expect we're being set-up for a more in-depth showdown over Daisy and her demonic birthright and the supernatural and mundane residents of Pemkowet in the next two books. I don't know why but the tone and the pacing and the presentation of many love interests for Daisy reminded me a lot of the Stephanie Plum books than any fantasy series that i'd read. Go fig. 

Likes )

Critiques )

In short, if you like urban fantasy/paranormal romance along the lines of True Blood and Lost Girl or quirky female police procedurals like Stephanie Plum, I'd recommend this series to you. Kushiel fans- what can I say? If the Kushiel series is a long, elaborate feast of many exotic courses, Dark Currents is like a hamburger and a microbrew at your favorite pub. Which is not a knock against it- because who doesn't enjoy a good burger and beer?  Preferably in this case a delicious Bell's Oberon or Two-Hearted for Michigan pride. 
 

  
kmo: (mistress)
While I wait patiently for my rarewomen assignment, I'll share a fic I wrote with you. It's just a little Carmen Sandiego character study that I wrote as a way of getting my fanfic groove back after so much stress. I was beginning to wonder if the well had run dry for me on this fandom, but nope. Well, let's just say i still have a lot of plotbunnies but not usually easily executed one-shots, so I decided to just write it.

Canyon (1470 words) by kmo
Chapters: 1/1
Fandom: Where on Earth is Carmen Sandiego?
Rating: Teen And Up Audiences
Warnings: No Archive Warnings Apply
Characters: Carmen Sandiego
Additional Tags: Angst, Character Study, Villain Protagonist
Summary:

Carmen reflects on the nature of canyons, grand and otherwise.



While I'm on the subject of female criminal masterminds, let me give you my review of Queenpin by Megan Abbott

This book, it rocks )

In other news, I just finished Jacqueline Carey's newest book, Dark Currents! I liked it. So expect an extra special review post from me about it soon.
kmo: (Default)

Rarewomen signups are still ongoing until Feb 28th. Sorry to spam you all with my author letter, but maybe it will be fun reading. Come join us, it's lots of fun!

First of all, thank you so much for participating in this challenge! There are so many amazing female characters out there and I'm happy we get to show them some love this time of year. Please take all my optional suggestions and fannish blatherings as just that...suggestions. I’m comfortable with any rating. Follow your muse and I know you'll write a great story! If you'd like to see the type of stories I write and like, please feel free to check out my work on AO3 or at fanfiction.net where I write as green lion. Very little of my lj is flocked, so feel free to explore my entries here as well.

General Likes & Dislikes )

Rarewomen Prompts )

kmo: (mistress)
Let me present to you my new OTP of the moment. In the past few days i have gotten absolutely hooked on Irene/Molly Sherlock fic. Granted, I read an Irene/Molly story a few months back and really liked it, but  now that I have taken the opportunity to seek out more I loooooove it. And though there is no hint to suggest this pairing in canon as the two ladies in question never actually meet, it just makes so much sense. Well, so much sense to me anyway that sweet, odd, good girl Molly and cold, calculating, bad girl Irene would be perf together. Because Molly is so much stronger than even she knows....and she craves a regard that Sherlock could never give her, but perhaps Irene can. Gah. I love them. The Dominatrix and the Cat Lady. (I should write a fic called that...)

Some Fic Recs )

I also signed up for rarewomen again this year. Despite it being right around Must Finish Dissertation time, I figure I can find time to write at least one challenge fic. You can read my noms here. I am still trying to narrow down my requests. So many wonderful ladies to choose from.

V and i watched the first three eps of House of Cards on Netflix over the weekend.

 Initial Thoughts )
kmo: (Default)
A questions meme!

-Comment with "What is a week-end?"

-I'll respond by asking you five questions so I can get to know you better.
-Update your journal with the answers to the questions.
-Include this explanation in the post and offer to ask other people questions. (If you want. Totally optional.)

Questions provided by [personal profile] netgirl_y2k


Questions & Answers )

Profile

kmo: (Default)
kmo

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