kmo: (Default)
This year I received a fic and a Madness story and I wrote a fic and a Madness story. Parallelism!

I received The Case of the Sunken Safe, a lovingly crafted Mathnet casefic as my main gift. I was also gifted Island, a Stella-centric drabble from The Fall. The drabble is really just so perfectly Stella. Please check them out and give them lots of kudos and comments!

I wrote Ouroboros as my main gift, which is based on the Wise Child Series by Monica Furlong, one of my favorite childhood book series. It’s a series I definitely recommend if you like YA, historical fantasy, and/or female mentor-apprentice stories.

I also wrote Love a Girl in Uniform as a treat. It is shameless Stella/Dani porn for the The Fall. Je ne regrette rien, yo.

[personal profile] silverflight8 asked me to talk about favorite childhood books.

Favorite Childhood Books )
kmo: (Default)
 Today's post topic comes from [personal profile] netgirl_y2k who ask me to talk about particular books, movies, films, etc I've been into this year. 

Well first, I guess, my love of the tv show Hannibal has launched into full blown fannish obsession. The first season was great, the second season took that greatness and ran off to even crazier, dizzying heights. And I'd just like to take the opportunity to apologize right now to peeps who follow me on tumblr for reblogging so many pictures of Gillian Anderson. You probably are under the grossly mistaken impression that this show is about a flawless blonde khaleesi who spends a lot of time outsmarting everyone and drinking wine and not about a dude who eats people. But that's the show I'm watching. And it's new and different for me as a small fandomer to be in such a semi-largish fandom where people make gifs, and fanart, and there are lots of dumb fandom inside jokes. There is lots of fic, but unfortunately not about my sun and stars Bedelia. Yeah Bedelia fandom is approximately me and 8 other people. So THAT feels familiar. And the femslash is non-existant and I keep meaning to BE THE CHANGE I'd like to see in fandom, but so far I haven't really had time. Perhaps over winter break. 

I know murder tableaux and lack of femslash probably doesn't appeal to a lot of my followers, but IMO it's the best show on US tv right now. 

I've also deepened my love of The Fall, which yes has lead to more reblogging of Gillian Anderson on tumblr. In this show she plays an icy police superintendent instead of an icy psychiatrist. Stella Gibson, unlike Bedelia, is also pretty firmly on the side of the angels, so if you like shows with clear cut lady protagonists to root for, The Fall might be for you.  In this show GA fights crime and misogyny and looks effing sexy as hell while doing it. Stella is my ideal type of female character--outwardly strong with little nuggets of vulnerability that bubble up from deep inside. I was more on the fence about the first season. There were times I felt the show, with its story line about a misogynist serial killer, was trying to have its (sexist) cake and eat it too. Like they'd show Stella spouting something unapologetically brazen and feminist and in the next frame they'd have the killer committing some horrific act of violence against a woman. I re-watched it again and felt more confident that the show was actually trying to draw explicit connections between the casual misogyny directed at Stella by her male colleagues in the police department and the obvious villainy of the killer. I think this connection has become even more explicit in series 2 and there have also been less violent scenes. Highly, HIGHLY recommend. 

FYI- I had a hard time not showing this gif to my Intro to Gender Studies class when we talked about women in the media. That kind of restraint is what they teach you in PhD school. I did teach them about the Bechdel test though.

Ummmm we've also gotten into Bates Motel recently. So yes apparently I like shows with gorgeous middle-aged actresses based on horror films? Bates Motel is much less scary than either Hannibal or The Fall. It's kind of a weird mashup of a dark pay cable drama about a dysfunctional mother and son and a teen drama from the CW. Like half Whos Afraid of Virginia Woolf and half Veronica Mars, at least in the first season. That combo works for me.  

I sadly have no new book series to rave about. I've read most of Rivers of London this year, and they're fine, though I prefer Felix Castor as my paranormal London detective of choice. I'm reading Hild right now, which was slow going for me at first, but I have really grown to love. It is great to have something that is reminiscent of Game of Thrones and set in the early Middle Ages which is so female centric. I had read Nicola Griffith's Ammonite earlier this year, which is classic lesbian sci fi and wow she has come a long way with Hild. Her historical worldbuilding definitely trumps her sci fi worldbuilding IMO, but you can see how they might cross-pollinate each other. 
kmo: (marlene)
I'm undecided about whether or not I want to do Fandom Snowflake this year. It was a lot of fun last year, and I like that it's very a la carte and low pressure. But I'm headed off to our big historians' annual meeting this weekend (as the interviewer, not the interviewee, woot) and will probably be playing catch up. In the meantime, a book meme borrowed from [personal profile] silverflight8

kmo: (Default)
 Not officially part of December meme, but I thought I'd take this lull in the epic shitstorm of grading that I am in to do my little book review thingy. Enjoying my brief respite before I am buried under a pile of poorly written research papers and blue books. Though actually, I kind of like grading final assignments....in that they are usually easier to grade as I don't have to put as many comments in them 'cuz students hardly ever pick up their work. :P

I have a kindle now and I have just discovered the fabulousness that is downloading ebooks from the library. I know, I know, 2010 called and wants to hang out. I do feel oddly treacherous, like I am cheating on regular books or something. But it's just so easy and convenient to have them come at my command! So in the last month I read:

Speaking from Among the Bones, Flavia de Luce #5- This is absolutely my favorite Flavia mystery since the first one, probably because it is the one that actually takes the time to examine Flavia, her sisters, and their father as a family unit. The stakes are higher here. And I won't spoil, but it ends on a major cliffhanger/gamechanger that promises to take the series in a new direction. Which I am so happy about and it felt like the perfect time to pull the trigger on that particular Chekhov's gun. Anyway, I love Flavia...she might actually be my favorite girl detective. I just want her and Arya Stark and Sally Draper to meet on the astral plane and be badass tween BFFs. Also, PBS where is my Masterpiece Mystery series starring Flavia? Can we have fewer old white dudes and their young white dude partners and more morbid 11 year old girls solving mysteries, plz? Though a little birdie on FFA told me Sam Mendes has optioned the film rights...that would be amazing! 

Beauty and the Werewolf, Mercedes Lackey- Part of Lackey's 500 Kingdoms fairytale romance series, which I have read all of. I feel like fairytale romances are probably an odd choice for me, but I do love this series, even if it is super straight and conventional in a lot of ways. Also fairly silly. Mostly because I really enjoy all the fairytale mashups (this one is kind of Beauty and the Beast mixed with Red Riding Hood and general werewolf stuff) Also because I love the world-building- basically magic functions on something called The Tradition. The Tradition is storytelling tropes- the tendency for tales to repeat themselves. It's oddly meta. If you like OUaT or just fairytales in general, I'd definitely recommend this series. I wish there was more of a fandom for it.

The Devil You Know, Felix Castor#1-  I have to thank [personal profile] netgirl_y2k for turning me on to the Felix Castor series. I'm loving it! On paper, it's really not my thing- male exorcist doing ghostbusting in an alternate 21st century London. But it's really so much more than your typical urban fantasy. I don't usually go for male protags, but Felix's first person POV is original and hilarious. The world building is also great- like the way the books deal with the ethical and moral issues of having an epidemic of the risen dead around. Plus, it also has Juliet the gorgeous succubus who is reluctant to return to hell. I'm halfway through the second already and I can tell Juliet and I are going to be friends. 

Is anyone else watching American Horror Story: Coven? )
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: (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: (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: (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)
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 )
kmo: (phedre)

Skipping Day 9- create a fanwork- because I really can't do the fannish thing on the spot. My muse, she does what she pleases and cannot be coaxed to perform on demand. What a diva. 

Day 10: A Creator I Love- In Praise of Netgirl_y2k )


Day 11- A Canon that I Love: Being Evangelical for Kushiel's Legacy )

kmo: (claudia)
 
I received some excellent books as Christmas gifts. I usually ask for things I've been wanting to read  but don't quite desire enough to buy myself and are too popular still to be checked out of the library. So, this year I received The Night Circus, The Magician King, and A Discovery of Witches. I'm particularly excited about the latter, since I have heard it is basically Lady Historian porn and my adviser is BFFs with the woman who wrote it. Who is actually in real life a big name Lady Historian of Early Modern Europe and coincidentally, a lesbian. We'll see if that makes the het romance in the book more or less believable.

In other news, I gave my BFF of 26 years Kushiel's Dart for Christmas. A few months ago, she asked me "Have you read Fifty Shades of Gray?" Should I read it?" And I was like "HELL to the NO." Friends don't let friends read bad porn, amirite? I told her that if she wanted to read a book about S&M, she could do better. And I meant to send it to her ages ago, but forgot. I have a feeling she'll enjoy it- she's gotten into ASOIAF (though more so, the tv series) so she's no stranger to fantasy epics. Prediction: she will love Phedre/Joscelin and the religious aspects because of our messed up strict Catholic upbringing. She will approach Phedre/Melisande with the same disapproval and lack of comprehension she displayed every time I pursued an inappropriate relationship with a mercurial older woman. (i have a TYPE, ok? and her name is Queen Bitch) I seem to remember she went through an angel phase during high school. If she can make it through the first 300 pages of ornate prose and intrigue, I think I might have a convert.

The Thousand Autumns of Jacob de Zoet, The Dark Wife, Doctrine of Labyrinths )

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