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06 October 2009 @ 05:48 pm
Trying to contain my excitement  
... for Wincon, and get some of Christopher's supplies for Yosemite lined up while dealing with work and other family stuff.

We went through ALLLLLL his clothes last night to see what fit and what didn't, and got rid of a ton of clothes. He tends to wear a lot of things for about 1.5 to 2 years, and then suddenly nothing fits.

We're down to two pairs of pants (he avoids them anyway, but he'll need those for Yosemite in October), a slightly too-short fleece top that we'll keep for the trip, some sweatshirts (2 borderline), maybe 4 long-sleeved shirts, and a fair amount of T-shirts and shorts (not so helpful for the trip). He doesn't have a jacket, because he's resisted buying one for years, and the one from age 7 is goooone (though that would've motivated him to get a new one)!

HSH and I will be making some Target/Walmart trips, to see what we can find without paying R.E.I. prices.

Today at the gym, I read a fascinating Sports Illustrated article on Dick Fosbury, and how he came about the Fosbury Flop. Why are these things never available online to link? Anyhow, Fosbury arrived at that style in part because he could never make the standard style work for him-- it just seemed "wrong" to his body. A lot of people found it bizarre at the time, even referring to it as "lazy," but to me, it seems to make a better translation of the jumping motion (less wasteful) than the traditional style. Oddly enough, Fosbury never really "ran" up to the bar, and I'll bet current high-jumpers using his style do. It seemed he couldn't figure out how to convert the forward momentum of running into upward momentum, so he kind of 'loped' and then jumped really, really high. Great article.

The SI issue took up most of my workout time on the elliptical trainer, thank goodness. The mystery novel I've been working on has really been trying my patience, and when I went back to it I only made it through one more page before bailing. The soap-opera B-plot (which had previously been a Romance-novel B-plot) surged forward, and since the A-plot was just stupid I decided to quit torturing myself.

This is one of the books handed down to me from my mother, who got it from her friend in Florida that she trades books with. Gah. Is this some current trend among mystery writers, mixing soft-core porn or Romance into the story so heavy-handedly? Too often, I find myself thinking, "Pick a genre already!"

This particular book was by Iris Johansen, who theoretically has a good reputation as a writer, but I'll be chucking the rest of her books in the "To Read" pile at home based on this one. A former "agent" is forced out of hiding when an old enemy comes after her and her daughter, because he wants her to (get this) train his two magnificent blue-eyed white horses who are known as The Pair and are untamable. Seriously, that's the A-plot. It's amazing I stuck with it as long as I did. :0

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CaffieneKitty: facepalmcaffienekitty on October 7th, 2009 01:50 am (UTC)
train his two magnificent blue-eyed white horses who are known as The Pair and are untamable.

Sounds like a Mary-Sue plot-line. Does the secret agent/horse whisperer have sparkly purple hair and eyes like perfect emeralds?

Out of morbid curiosity, what was the 'mystery' of the novel supposed to be?
The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphors: heh-hehhalfshellvenus on October 7th, 2009 05:06 am (UTC)
Hee-- the woman IS a horse-whisperer. And it definitely has that MarySue touch to it.

I quit halfway through, and I'm not sure whether the mystery was "What the evil guy is really up to" or "Will they find the mole inside the CIA" or "What was the heroine's devil-may-care father really up to all those years ago?"

Perhaps this book considers itself a "thriller" rather than a mystery.

Also? I forgot to mention that the woman's daughter is a prodigy. She composes music, and is just the smartest little thing ever!
CaffieneKitty: facepalmcaffienekitty on October 7th, 2009 05:52 am (UTC)
Well of course she is! Yeesh. I think I was writing plots and characters like that when I was 12. :-P

If you read sci-fi at all, try Lois McMaster Bujold's Vorkosian series. Most have smoe form of mystery, some political intrigue, some romance, loads of fun. On her author page at Baen books there are a few of her books that have sample chapters posted.
The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphorshalfshellvenus on October 7th, 2009 03:54 pm (UTC)
Well of course she is! Yeesh. I think I was writing plots and characters like that when I was 12. :-P

I know! It seems like the kind of thing a person should have grown out of long ago. And whose editor should have said, "Epic horse-taming? Seriously? Try again."

I do read some sci-fi/fantasy, and sample chapters is really helpful because I'm picky about what I like! It's more "miss" than "hit" in both genres-- I've got a bunch of Ursula K. LeGuin (and prefer her older works), some Elizabeth A. Lynn, Ray Bradbury, "Golden Witchbreed" (loved the first book, not the second), Patricia MkKillip, and Lynn Flewelling (I prefer the "Tamir Trilogy" to the "Nightrunner" series, even though the latter is slash and that's rare).

Meanwhile, I've bailed on both Mercedes Lacky and Anne MacCaffrey, and read a bunch of the Marion Zimmer Bradley books (and usually wanted to slug her).

Most of the authors I like in this area are women, with a random male author once in awhile.

I like the different cultures/worldviews in fantasy/sci-fi, and not so much the robots/rockets/rayguns stuff. ;)
CaffieneKitty: reading/researchcaffienekitty on October 7th, 2009 04:49 pm (UTC)
You will likely really enjoy the Vorkosigan series then, I think. Lois is a great lady, not full of herself or out to promote any kind of agenda, and the cultural development and inter-relations in her worlds are fascinating.

She also does fantasy. "Curse of Chalion" has a fascinating culture that's kind of proto-European, but has an interesting theological system, and there's a couple loosely-related books springing from there set in the same world.

I'm not as fond of her "Sharing Knife" series - although again, it's an interesting culture and world - the story seems more focussed on the main characters romance and relationship and them fitting into each others cultures than on an external plot. I don't mind romance or relationship storylines, as long as they aren't the books' focus, but that's just my personal preference. That said, she does some damn fine relationship-based drama.
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The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphors: M/L postcoital crawdadshalfshellvenus on October 7th, 2009 05:09 am (UTC)
Wait, there's more! She used to be a secret agent in the company of this devastatingly sexy man, whom she's been angry with for years, and yet when they meet again The!Sparks!Fly!

They cannot control their urges for one another, the heat that flows between them (are you gagging yet?), and yet she is sure he's a cold-hearted man just out for his own interests.

Or IS he? Can her love change him?

*Glacccch!* (hairball sound)