24 October 2008 @ 06:52 pm
Today has been sort of pathetic. It's raining and cold and I slept on my hip all weird so it hurts and Dad broke a lightbulb in the bathroom and I got to spend half an hour picking up glass off all the soft things in the bathroom and BLARGH. And my sister is still not returning my emails, which leads me to believe that she changed email addresses, because the one I'm sending the emails to is her maiden name. And she's simultaneously absentminded and Type A enough to forget to tell anyone that. (We are not exactly alike! Shut up!) Otherwise, she's pissed at me about something. And I have no idea what that could be.

So, yeah. Today has been a day.

Random: Does it bug anyone else that Mediaeval Baebes say their name "Medieval Babes" instead of "Meh-dee-eh-vahl Behbs"? Because it's starting to bug me a little.

On the NaNoWriMo front, I have come to a decision. Since the poll was absolutely inconsequential, because everything was tied everywhere (which might have been my fault for setting it up the way I did -- who knows!), I made the decision in the face of everything everyone told me. In other words, I used golf scoring, and will be writing a tale of love and war and jokes about boobs on the Welsh border.

Yes, I will be writing the novel I tentatively titled Smells Like the Holy Spirit. Unfortunately, it will probably be a lot more serious than the title implies, but it is a working title.

And there might be ninjas. I don't know yet.

I've been trying to harness Google for my nefarious research needs, but to no avail. I tried the library, but some monster got there before me and checked out all the books on the middle ages. Of course, there were only two, but I still felt thwarted. So I'm going into this blind, really. I know next to nothing about medieval Wales, unless we want to go counting what happens in "Henry IV, Part 1". And Glyndwr is pretty hocusy-pocusy, mystical, magical in that. Fairly confident the Henry plays are not an accurate reflection of 14th century Wales, to say nothing of the English bias.

Stupid toaster burnt my bagel! Blargh.

Anyway, why medieval Wales? Let me tell you, and some stuff about 'historical' novels )

In closing, my soundtrack for the next month will be Mediaeval Baebes (Mirabilis and Undrentide) and Garmarna's Hildegard von Bingen, which is, yes, a recording of plainsong written by Hildegard von Bingen in the 12th century, set against some subtle electronic stuff. I also have Love's Illusion by Anonymous 4, for that authentic touch.

The Garmarna album is excellent, and I recommend it to people who like Delerium and other similar groups. Maybe Mediaeval Baebes, though the Baebes have a more medieval sound, really. Emma Hardelin, Garmarna's vocalist, has an absolutely haunting voice.
Current Music: Isabella -- Mediaeval Baebes
20 October 2008 @ 10:24 pm
So, as you should all know by now, I am a fan of trashy books romance novels. Though to say I'm a fan strikes me as slightly weird -- my life doesn't revolve around them, I don't have expectations of life based upon them, in fact find a whole crapload of things wrong with a lot of aspects of the romance "standard", and they're by no means the only genre I read -- but I guess there isn't another word for it.

Unless, does anyone know of a phrase for someone who enjoys something but is fully aware of that thing's many flaws? Snarker, by some people's definitions of snark, I guess.

But I don't go into a romance novel expecting the LOLZ. Every time I pick one up, I go, "Wow! Maybe this will be the one! The book with minimal anachronism, no punishing kisses, nobody callously ripping apart anybody's clothes, no TSTL heroines, and heroes that are confident but not assholes. Oh, book! Please be this book!"

Yeah, that usually doesn't happen. Mary Balogh delivers consistently, as does Patricia Gaffney (who sadly doesn't write historicals anymore.) But most other authors? Oh, it's a tough call. It could go either way.

So, that's why I picked up a book of novellas, where Mary Balogh received top billing. Because Mary Balogh can do very little wrong in my mind. She pulled off one of the hardest things in a historical romance -- the hero was a virgin, and the heroine was way experienced. If you can do that convincingly, then . . . well, wow. Congratulations!

So, I grabbed a copy of Timeswept Brides for a quarter, and settled in for a good time.

The Mary Balogh story was, of course, quite good. Man goes back in time via a family heirloom ring, which he gave to his fiancee despite having some serious doubts about marrying her. In the past, he discovers his One True Love, who is married to the man whose body he happens to have appeared in. Who is also his direct ancestor, which sort of makes the MC his own grandpa. Anyway, the man in olden times scoots forward to the modern age, and falls in love with the MC's fiancee, because their respective SOs were more suited for the other guy. Yeah, it's confusing. But good! Very fluffy, because 72 pages isn't really enough space to explore serious issues.

And then I flipped to the next story, with high hopes. And it got . . . squicky. Like pedophilia squicky, which I was not expecting.

I'm not even sure where to start with this novella, there are so many things wrong with it. Historically, ethically, other -cally's. So let's start with the setting and the names of the characters and work from there.

A Dream Across Time by Constance O'Banyon )

So. Yeah. Bad novella. Pretty creepy.
Current Music: Ode to an Electric Fan -- Pretty Balanced