lokifan_import: (Luke)
Last night, I found out that my favourite author of all time, Diana Wynne Jones, died late on Friday.

I wanted to write her a fan letter, saying how much I loved her books and how comforting they were at uni and now it’s too late.

This makes me very sad. Particularly since, you know, shallow but... she stopped writing for years, and started again a few years ago, and it still felt like a miracle seeing a new book by her. Earwig and the Witch comes out in June; after that, no more.

This is insufferably long, but I really don't care. This is... she was seventy-six and she lived a good life by all accounts, but this is still my creative role-model and the creator of so many things I've loved. This is where I truly understand crying over Kurt Cobain.

Diana Wynne Jones’ novels - and short stories - are absolutely wonderful. There is a distinct voice, in terms of both prose and moral outlook, in every one; every character is vibrant, real, their dialogue perfectly suited to them; there is fun and flavour and interest, and on occasion those stories are absolutely devastating. The scene in The Lives of Christopher Chant where Tacroy confesses upsets me every time I read it. She used archetypes, and subverted them; what shows even more talent is when she didn’t subvert the archetypes and still made you care for the individual characters.

Teach me to hear mermaids singing, or to keep off envy’s stinging )


joomla visitor

Rest in peace, Diana Wynne Jones. I look forward to your very last book.

DARLINGS!

Jan. 11th, 2011 12:10 pm
lokifan_import: (Spike: booklover)
My deepest and most grovelling apologies! I am so sorry. I disappeared initially because I spent two nights at [livejournal.com profile] son_of_darkness’ (AWW YEAH) making up fanfic of his original characters where [livejournal.com profile] creatore_magico’s scary demon was the Fonz and Kye’s angel cried a single crystal tear while he got raped in a dirty alley. It was a special time.

Also got to see [livejournal.com profile] melusinahp for the first time in months. Her children are fantastic – Girl has definitely inherited her mother’s wit – and her husband cooks wonderfully and another friend, A, was there and I was so pleased <3. ALL WAS GOOD.

And then I unexpectedly went to Devon! )

Also, finished rereading The Prisoner of Zenda between times. Where is my Rudolf/Rupert hatesex? Bonus points if Flavia’s there! Rereading it at twenty I actually know what Rupert’s trying to do when he forces his way into Antoinette’s room and she screams, which makes him rather less attractive; but he is such a Magnificent Bastard!

Also read quite a bit of Melusine again: excellent book, despite Sarah Monette’s RaceFail and the heavy deluge of angst. Although hilariously my aunt saw the cover (which is really terrible) and she was all MAYBE I SHOULD READ IT.

She was all smiley and enthusiastic, and I stood there and tried to work out how to explain that while I love our bonding over books, this one is nsfw )
lokifan_import: (Willow/Tara: like an amazon)
Happy International Women’s Day!

I encourage you all to make a contribution to Amnesty International, who fight for women’s rights around the world – for the prosecution of rapists, the protection of mothers and an end to female foeticide. (If anyone wants to suggest other charities aimed at helping women – especially ones related to education – please do so in comments.)

Since I’m thinking about Jane Eyre anyway (I’m about to do an essay on it) a question for you – do you consider Jane Eyre to be a feminist or proto-feminist book? What sort of statement do you think it makes for its time? If you do consider it feminist, I’d love to know why. And not just because I can use arguments for/against in my essay. ;) I don’t, truthfully; although its protagonist is a woman, and its status as the first English bildungsroman about a girl matters, I don’t see much feminist cred there. “Women feel just as men feel” was not a revolutionary statement to me: the ‘women feel, men analyse’ paradigm was well-entrenched by 1847.

...Heh. I am SUCH an English undergrad today!


joomla visitor

lokifan_import: (Default)
All right, dear flist, I have a question for you. The majority of fandom (whether it’s a small majority or an overwhelming one seems to depend on which corner of the interwebs you inhabit) was dissatisfied with Deathly Hallows. So if you were JKR’s editor, in a power suit and awesome boots (that goes double for you, [personal profile] son_of_darkness) which parts would you want changed? Chopped out, added in, cut down UNTIL IT WAS NO LONGER HALF THE BOOK AND MONUMENTALLY DULL. *coughs* Not that I have any particular bias. Would you concentrate on making it less of a minefield of plotholes you could lose a leg in, or would you just want Draco to be touched inappropriately?


joomla visitor

lokifan_import: (Default)
Reread Sectumsempra scene just now, for purposes of fic and also of avoiding my 850-page Modern Criticism and Theory textbook. Unfortunately ended up reading on through the chapter, because I’m bad at making myself stop reading.

Got to Harry being oh-so-oppressed by the system and Snape. “A dozen detentions!” Oh, my heart bleeds. Almost as much as Draco’s chest, you amazingly amoral little pyschopath!

Have now thrown book against wall. Book has broken spine. Catholic Schoolgirl Roommate knocked to ask what that booming noise was.

Ooh-er.

In other news, happy St Patrick's Day!


joomla visitor

lokifan_import: (Default)
The marvellous [profile] frantic_mice recced my fic Unforgivable (if you follow the link, READ THE WARNINGS), and she said very clever things. Between that and the talking in the comments, I’m suddenly missing literary analysis like whoa! It has been months since I analysed a book, and it’s a month until I get to go to UEA and be an English student, with all the blathering about literature that entails.

For God’s sake, I wrote an email to a friend composed entirely of haiku today. Clearly I need to get my English-nerd on.

So I’m posting this essay. I wrote it for a writing competition, so I could include non-fiction. I didn’t win the competition, but I think this is pretty good meta; I’m almost certain it’s what got me into UEA. Do be aware this wasn’t written for LJ originally!

It’s all about monsters in fiction, though. Because it’s themed, rather than character-based, I never got to Voldemort: but don’t be afraid to bring him up in the comments! Or the Master (the Buffyverse one or the Whoverse one!), or Angelus, or Davros. Come, fannish friends, and tell me about books.

Oh, and if you don't want to read my Teal Deer about the portrayal of monsters in fiction, and how it varies from Gothic novels to children's novels to modern YA, check out the bibliography. Those books are AWESOME.

Bibliography )


Here Be Monsters )
lokifan_import: (Default)
So yesterday I met up with slashers, for the first time ever! There’ll probably be a happy, squee-ful post about it tomorrow. For now I’ll just mention that we stopped in two bookshops and I now own three new mangas. Have read Gravitation already and I love it. The hero wants to be a rockstar and he’s so emotional and melodramatic and has constant pratfalls; he goes after Eiri Yuki, the slick blond writer, in utter fury when he’s told his lyrics are no good. Adorable.

And there’s this clever, sexy, cheerful best-friend guitarist named Hiro. *sigh* Once again, I’m falling for the secondary character.

I got the first volume of Loveless too, because [profile] lilith1631 told me to. Virgin boys with cat ears and tails! LOVE. And I’m now reading June’s Freefall Romance. Not what you’d call great literature, but there’s a blond and a brunet, and they’re both in suits and ties when they’re not naked and there’s delicious explicit boysex.

Besides, I also have Diana Wynne Jones’ new book! House of Many Ways is extremely awesome so far, even counting its Fiery Redheaded Heroine (TM), and the Entirely Unsurprising Exploitative Uncle (TM to DWJ). This is fantasy everyone should read, unlike... Well.

Youngest Sister, who’s thirteen, has finally picked up a book for the first time in a year.

It’s Twilight.


joomla visitor

lokifan_import: (Default)
Hey guys!

Haye-on-Wye was amazing! There were all these famous authors and journalists everywhere, and I heard these great authors speak! And I got loads of cool stuff!

Let's break it down - and if anyone else is now hearing bad 90s rap in their heads, you're not the only ones.

The Events )

Everything Else )
If anybody wants a Hay postcard, you can have one. Comments are screened so you can give an address.

I am so glad I went, even though I'll undoubtedly be thrown in debtors' prison. It'll be a fitting end for a writer. Hello, Mr Dickens.


joomla visitor

lokifan_import: (Default)
I'm going to Hay on Wye! I'll be there from Sunday till Tuesday. Obviously this means absence from LJ from three days, but maybe it'll help wean me off LJ. I should be better at avoiding it better anyway, since I'm revising.

I am so excited! For anybody who doesn't know, Hay on Wye is a little Welsh town in which EVERY SHOP IS A BOOKSHOP. The Hay on Wye literary festival is next week, and it's the biggest books event in the UK. I'm going to hear all these amazing authors talk, and buy books, and talk to other avid readers, and write. OMG!!!

Is anybody else going? Considering you lot seem to be mostly Americans and Canadians and people with kids, maybe not. But it would be great to meet some flist people!

Hay on Wye!!!!


joomla visitor

lokifan_import: (happy scrubs)
Bad news and good news, today.

Bad news: my iPod got stolen. This really upset me, but I got over it within hours: I have no talent for unhappiness. I can replace it for £50 via insurance. Of course, I also had plenty of reason to be happy...

Good news: my friend just gave me The Game by Diana Wynne Jones! She is my favourite author, and it's a new book by her. I am unbelievably happy about this; my darling friend, who is the Boy Next Door, seemed rather surprised when I leapt on him, gave him a hug and a kiss. But it's so good. She didn't publish for over ten years, after proligacy in the 70s and 80s; I still get this disbelieving thrill when I hear there's a new one.

Even better, it says at the back we're getting a sequel to Howl's Moving Castle!

And there's a book fair at college! I shall overspend horribly tomorrow, I can feel it.


joomla visitor

lokifan_import: (happy scrubs)
It's my birthday! I just opened some presents, including:

Transformation by Carol Berg
Sailing to Sarantium by Guy Gavriel Kay
The first three Spiderwick Chronicles by Holly Black
Dangerous Spaces by Margaret Mahy

:d Is this a theme I see before me? *snicker* Fantasy book-lovers unite!

Also an iPod from my parents. Gotta love that. And very yummy-looking Belgian chocolates, which I have to wait til Sunday for because I've given up chocolate for Lent.

Tonight is family night: a meal with parents and sisters. Tomorrow, I'm going out and drinking with my friends - probably a lot.

I know. My lack of originality hurts me, too.

I CAN'T BELIEVE HOW EXCITED I AM!


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