mayhap: indistinct screencap of hands with text My hands are the best part of this episode (Sark hands)
This video where Vikings defensive end Brian Robison goes around asking his teammates who on the team would make the best hand model is incredible. The Vikings may be struggling on the field, but their locker room game is still on point.

Edit: Replaced link to video with HD version. Thanks, NFLVideoConverterBot!
mayhap: animated gif of yule log burning (yule log)
Dear Yuletide author,

I am so excited that we matched on one of these fandoms and I can’t wait to read whatever you write this Yuletide!

I enjoy a wide variety of stories, all year round but especially at Yuletide. I like short, punchy stories and longer, plottier stories, explicitly porny and/or kinky stories and coy stories that are all about the teasing and the implications, stories with some kind of meta angle to them and stories that engage with the source material 100% on its own level, stories with unusual pairings and stories that are strictly canon pairings only, if applicable.

Baseball RPF
Lorenzo Cain, Salvador Pérez

I love the close relationships among all the various Royals players, but the single most entertaining one for me would have to be the ongoing bromantic comedy starring Salvy and his beloved hermanito Lolo, now showing at an Instagram near you. I definitely ship it, but I would also adore a story about them as teammates. I love all the horseplay, the giggling, the amazing locker room music choices. I love the way Salvy gets hearts in his eyes and LoCain struggles to maintain a straight face as he tries to fend off the camera.

I also just love baseball and everything about it, so any and all baseball-specific stuff in a story would totally thrill me. I really enjoy RPF that incorporates various real life references along with the stuff that didn’t happen and is totally fictional and would prefer not to receive the sort AU where they are something other than baseball players.

The Professor - Charlotte Brontë
William Crimsworth, Frances Evans Henri, Hunsden Yorke Hunsden

I am fascinated the role that Hunsden Yorke Hunsden plays in this story, which is one of the things that makes it so different from Villette. From the beginning he alternates between needling William and performing these extremely thoughtful favors for him, although it's not always easy for him to get under William's skin since William perversely enjoys some of his bluntness. He brings out such an interesting side of Frances when he meets her, too -- I love that promptly she gets into three arguments with him in a row, and the third time she doesn't even believe in the argument she's making; she just wants to fight with him!

I'm particularly interested in a story set when William and Frances are living in England and Hunsden is their neighbor. I love how he has apparently latched onto their family in lieu of starting their own, especially the way he seems to practically be a coparent to Victor. I would love more about their daily life as it's sketched all too briefly in that last chapter, or a story about something that happens as Victor gets older and goes to school, as William worries about.

I would also love threesome fic! William would be almost hopelessly scandalized by the prospect, I think, and probably Frances too, but then with the dynamic both she and Hunsden have with William where they love to tease him I can imagine it working out somehow. I do love stories where characters fumble their way into unusual relationships or sexual practices without quite knowing what they're doing or having the usual vocabulary to talk about it, which is sort of what I would picture. But I also absolutely love them the way they already are together, so it is totally up to you.

The Woman in the Wall - Patrice Kindl
Anna Newland, Francis Albright

I'm especially interested in futurefic exploring how Anna interacts with the outside world, set any time after the events of the book. I love her highly distinctive perspective and her willingness to explore unfamiliar and intimidating things but also judge them. I'd be curious to see her navigating any or all of: a new home, the city of Chicago, the late 90s internet, and of course her new blended family. I don't have a strong preference for whether you get or keep Anna and Francis together, but I do find it fascinating that the first person Anna gets to know who is outside of her immediate family, which is such a huge step for her, ends up being brought into her immediate family after all, and how, if at all, she would explain the complexities of that relationship to outsiders.

Most of all I just love this very peculiar book, with its very implausible premise worked out in such extensive detail, and I'm interested in whatever story it should happen to inspire you to write.

I am [ profile] mayhap on AO3 and [personal profile] mayhap on DW crossposted to [ profile] mayhap on LJ for stalking purposes. Happy Yuletide!
mayhap: Richard Burton and Peter O'Toole in Becket (Becket)
T. H. White apparently read the same book that Jean Anouilh did—Augustin Thierry's Norman Conquest of England—and wrote this note in its endpapers:
[With Thomas Becket the King] seems to have had one of the most important relationships of his life. Sodomy was a Norman vice, and Becket beautiful as well as strong, but there need have been no physical relationship. Indeed, it is most unlikely. But he did have a most intense emotional relationship with Becket, and I have no doubt that he submitted sincerely to the rods… Consider this fat, grey-eyed, bloodshot, strangely attractive sportsman kneeling to be whipped before the tomb of that beautiful person whom he had personally known to be a saint long before he was canonised, who he had persecuted all his life ("hell knows no fury like a woman scorned") and whom he had driven to revolt because he loved him and could not for that reason permit him to live his own life. Henry is a very real person.

(quoted in T. H. White's The Once and Future King by Elisabeth Brewer)
mayhap: illustration of young girl consulting tattered map (Dave McKean)
What I've been reading

Well, I've mostly been watching the Olympics, except for when I've been watching the Olympics and a baseball game at the same time. (That's pretty disorienting, especially when the announcers start talking about gymnasts warming up in the bullpen.)

But I did reread "The Story of Your Life" by Ted Chiang—just the novella, not the whole short story collection—after I saw the trailer for Arrival during the Olympics and was very confused by the idea of a movie being made out of that story as I remembered it, although I wasn't entirely sure how well I remembered it.

On reread, the trailer definitely has them changing a bunch of stuff about the setup for no immediately apparent reason that isn't necessarily important either way, but makes me wonder even more how on earth they've attempted to represent the important part of the story, which the trailer doesn't even really hint at. Which, I mean, it shouldn't; that would be horribly spoilery. But I'm so curious! How did they even end up making a movie out of something so seemingly unfilmable? I'm so curious now!
mayhap: wee Matilda reads a book (Matilda)
What I've been reading

I read Harry Potter and the Cursed Child. Thanks to the long time between the play opening and the script being published, it was the first time I consumed a Harry Potter book (-like object) without it being a scrupulously-unspoiled experience. I did start out avoiding the spoilers, but it ended up being untenable.

spoilers )

I read The Glory of Their Times: The Story of the Early Days of Baseball Told by the Men Who Played It, a really entertaining collection of oral history. Deservedly a classic.

I read But Didn't We have Fun?: An Informal History of Baseball's Pioneer Era, 1843-1870, which covers even earlier days than The Glory of Their Times. I was personally looking for more about gameplay and how it changed during that time period, which this book touches lightly on but focuses more on changes in attitudes towards playing baseball at all, and also the shift from local amateur teams to recruiting professional teams, which is also very interesting.

I read Full of Briars, an novelette in the October Daye series but with Quentin as the POV character, and i don't know why. I mean I do know why, because I still keep up with the series and I like Quentin, but then I feel like Seanan McGuire's writing really only works for me with a POV character who fits within this very circumscribed range that is her sweet spot and this…does not fall within that range. At all. Also the whole encounter with Quentin's parents just fell unbelievably flat. I dunno, this made me actively less excited for the next actual Toby book, which is not great.

I read Where Nobody Knows Your Name: Life in the Minor Leagues of Baseball, which follows a pretty good number of minor league players and managers (plus an umpire and a groundskeeper) through a minor-league season.
mayhap: Alex Gordon wearing his glove on top of his head (glovehat)
What I've been reading

I read Whatever Life Throws at You, a young adult/new adult romance novel (I'm not entirely sure what the difference is, which I believe makes me an old adult) about how the daughter of the Kansas City Royals' new pitching coach falls in love with their new hotshot rookie pitcher. My expectations were low; I was mostly curious and expecting to be mildly entertained by how it depicted, or more likely failed to depict, the town where I live. It delivered roughly what I expected, occasional moments of semi-accuracy amidst a lot of blandness.

What transfixed me, though, was the author's complete and utter lack of understanding of how a major league pitching staff functions. I suffered through all the boring, poorly-written romance bits just to see what insane pitching changes they were going to make next. At one point, the hotshot rookie pitcher/love interest pitched at least three innings every day for four days in a row. They appear to use starting pitchers in relief constantly, but I think this is just a misunderstanding about what the terms "ace" and "number five pitcher" actually mean, because elsewhere there is a reference to a "number five mid-relief pitcher, which is…not a thing.

Then there's this gem from the deciding game of the ALCS against the Yankees:
The other starter was coming off four days in a row of pitching and Brody was fresher and more ready, so his name got pulled from the roster.

That's not how this works. That's not how any of this works.

I think my favorite part, though, is where Brody is throwing a perfect game in the World Series—because of course he is—and he's already been named Rookie of the Year—because of course he has, even though that doesn't even happen until the World Series is over—and apparently he's been relying either entirely or almost entirely on a mid-nineties fastball, with his slider and curveball being described as "newer pitches" that he's still "trying." What? No. No way has he even been starting without commanding, at a bare minimum, two pitches that he can mix effectively, much less is throwing a perfect game, much less is he throwing a perfect game in the World Series. Especially since his arm fell off from overuse months ago.
mayhap: hennaed hands, writing (Default)
What I've been reading

I read The Girl in the Spider's Web, the continuation of the Millennium books, because I was just mildly curious enough (mostly about shippy stuff, TBH) even though I didn't think it looked very good. It, in fact, wasn't very good, and didn't really do anything I liked with the shippy stuff either. Cut more to spare you from boredom than from spoilers. ) So, meh.

Also, I'm sorry, Lisbeth was the world's biggest Apple fangirl. You can't just have her go switching platforms all abruptly like that. And there was nowhere near enough quoting the specs of actual computers. I expect this from my Millennium books!

I read The View from the Cheap Seats, Neil Gaiman's collection of selected nonfiction. A lot of the bits I'd already read, but they're still much handier to have collected in one place, and I had missed out on gems like this aside from an introduction to Bone:
The first time I read Moby-Dick, as a boy of ten, I read it for the exciting bits (and finished it convinced that it would make a terrific comic; then again, I recall, at about the same age, finishing King Solomon’s Mines utterly certain that it would make a brilliant musical. I must, in retrospect, have been an odd child)

I read The Soul of Baseball: A Road Trip Through Buck O'Neil's America by Joe Posnanski, whom you may know as the guy who wrote that blog entry about taking his 14-year-old daughter to see Hamilton. (That was a piece of fandom cross-pollination that I was not expecting.) It's a really lovely book, both really personal and intensely focused on its subject.
mayhap: illustration of young girl consulting tattered map (Dave McKean)
What I've been reading

I read Every Heart a Doorway, Seanan Maguire's novella about a boarding school for kids who have returned from portal fantasies, because I liked the idea so much that even though most of the non-spoilery reactions I'd seen were pretty neutral on the execution, I thought it couldn't be all that bad, and anyway, it was short. I definitely did not expect to hate it as much as I did. )
mayhap: illustration of young girl consulting tattered map (Dave McKean)
What I've been reading

I read Necessity, the concluding book in Jo Walton's Thessaly trilogy. I really liked it, even though I felt like spoilers ).

I was also persistently earwormed by the song from Finian's Rainbow. It's very catchy.
mayhap: hennaed hands, writing (Default)
What I've been reading

I read Lois McMaster Bujold: Essays on a Modern Master of Science Fiction and Fantasy. I felt like a lot of the essays tended towards bland summaries with the occasional dash of critical namechecking without ever actually saying much. There is some good stuff in the essays on disability, and I liked the essay about the use of alternate history in the Five Gods books. The essay on the Sharing Knife books maybe does the most to really dig into them and see what makes them tick, maybe because they are relatively unpopular.
mayhap: hennaed hands, writing (Default)
What I've been reading

I read Girls Standing on Lawns, which is a sort of multimedia collection containing vintage snapshots from MoMA's collection, paintings inspired by said photographs, and bits of text by Daniel Handler (Lemony Snicket). I'm not sure how much the latter two elements really add to the original photographs, but I like the idea of the collaboration anyway. I scanned a bunch of old family photographs of a similar vintage and girls standing on lawns were everywhere.

I read Bertram Cope's Year, which caught my eye when [ profile] lysimache read it. It's so odd to think that it was actually published in 1919—self-published and to a pretty cool reception, from the sound of it, but still. Without being explicit as such it's very frank about its gay characters, especially their various foibles. I could personally have done with a little less of the A-plot of single girls hopelessly throwing themselves at the hapless Bertram Cope and a lot more of the tensions among the various male characters, but so it goes.

I read The Worst Night Ever, the sequel to Dave Barry's middle grade book The Worst Class Trip Ever. Owing to not being set during a class trip, it returns to Miami, which is where Dave Barry's work comes closest to approaching realism, and it made me laugh muliple times.

I read Sex with Shakespeare: Here's Much to Do with Pain, but More with Love. You might recall that Jillian Keenan wrote that Modern Love column about her spanking fetish; this is the much longer version of that story, with a lot more imagined conversations with Shakespeare characters. I related pretty hard.
mayhap: hennaed hands, writing (Default)
What I've been reading

I read The Frogs and Toads All Sang, a collection of silly poems written and illustrated by Arnold Lobel for private distribution among his friends, which were rediscovered and published a few years back with the illustrations remastered by his daughter, Adrienne. They are super charming and fun.

What I'm reading now

The new Temeraire book, except slowly because I don't really want it to end.
mayhap: medieval manuscript fox reads over a rabbit's shoulder (shoulder reading)
What I've been reading

I read Birds, Beasts and Relatives and Fauna and Family, the second and third volumes of Gerald Durrell's memoirs about his childhood on Corfu, which I had to request as interlibrary loans. As the introduction to the second book promises, he left a lot of the best stories out of the first book; both of these books lean more towards funny stories about his family and funny stories about his various animals with a little less rhapsodizing about nature, which is about where my sweet spot is.

I read My Sister Rosa, which is the followup to Liar that I've been wanting Justine Larbalestier to write which she has failed to provide for me until now. I mean, it doesn't do anything like that particular narrative thing that Liar does, but it's another ridiculously gripping, ridiculously creepy book, this time about a boy trying to keep the world safe from his little sister, who he clearly sees is a sociopath (which is also set in contemporary New York, so it's not like they have nothing in common). Loved it, couldn't put it down, definitely would recommend.

I reread "There are Rocks in My Socks!" Said the Ox to the Fox to make sure that I still thought it was readaloud-worthy before I inflicted it on a friend as a baby shower gift. I remember we acquired a copy somewhere when I was long past the age of being read to but I used to read it repeatedly to my little brother, in spite of the fact that it was pretty beat up and a previous owner had scribbled in pen throughout. It's too bad it's not in print.
mayhap: medieval manuscript fox reads over a rabbit's shoulder (shoulder reading)
What I've been reading

I read Matters of Taste: Food and Drink in Seventeenth-Century Dutch Life and Art. I've always loved 17th c. Dutch still lifes with food, which comprise the majority of the selection of paintings. There are also period recipes that you can try yourself to go with it, but they are in a separate companion pamphlet.
mayhap: (champions)
Mike Moustakas is out for the rest of the season with a torn ACL and I'm just fucking gutted.
mayhap: Junie B. Jones peeks from behind composition book (Junie B.)
The Royals play the White Sox, who are currently sitting two games ahead of them in the central division, at the same time as the finals of the Scripps National Spelling Bee tonight. I'm going to have to try to watch them both at once.

Edit: well, the game is officially postponed, so this is one problem that I don't have anymore. At least I didn't get hit by a tornado.
mayhap: hennaed hands, writing (Default)
What I've been reading

I read Lolly Willowes, which is a very odd book. It reminds me of something Jo Walton said once, about how she would be reading a literary fiction book and stumble across a metaphor involving, say, vampires, and then get distracted by what the book could be like if it contained actual, non-metaphorical vampires. It seems like a perfectly normal book about a woman breaking out of her constrained spinster existence and building an independent life for herself in the country and then, whoa, witches' familiars and dances with the actual devil. I had previously read Sylvia Townsend Warner's biography of T. H. White but didn't know anything about any of her own work.

I read Call Me by Your Name, because I heard that there was going to be a movie and that Armie Hammer was going to be in it. It's weird because, having read it, it's not obviously suited to film, being mostly composed of exquisite introspection, but even if you take the all that out the residue still seems promising—sizzling slow-burn chemistry, lovely Italian scenery, hopefully reasonably-explicit sex scenes.

What I'm writing now

I started Too Like the Lightning, Ada Palmer, and I have to admit that I'm finding it slightly slow going so far. There is a lot of worldbuilding going on. And it's interesting! But it's a lot.
mayhap: hennaed hands, writing (Default)
What I've been reading

I read Duplicate Death, one of the only Georgette Heyer mysteries I hadn't read. I had hoped that the bridge game would come more into the mystery and it really didn't; it did, however, manage to feature two of my least favorite elements in mysteries of this vintage, mild spoilers )

I read Fairy Tale Comics: Classic Tales Told by Extraordinary Cartoonists. Even though this anthology features a lot of really interesting artists, I feel like you just can't do that much with versions of fairy tales that are a few pages long each.
mayhap: hennaed hands, writing (Default)
What I've been reading

I read Brain Camp, another graphic novel that Faith Erin Hicks drew but did not write. I wasn't that excited about this collaboration, though. It's a summer camp horror story with some reasonably creepy touches but not a lot going on in terms of its cast of characters.

I read The Only Rule Is It Has to Work: Our Wild Experiment Building a New Kind of Baseball Team. Two writers for Baseball Prospectus got to try to play moneyball on a shoestring with an indy ball team last year, and as though they thought it was an essential part of the moneyball process, they immediately handcuffed themselves by accidentally appointing a manager who, Philip Seymour Hoffman as Art Howe-like, was not interested in and did not intend to implement their statistically-driven suggestions or experiments. Although this makes for some entertaining drama that is good book fodder, it really limits the extent to which they are able to put their stamp on the Sonoma Stompers' season, for good and ill. A lot of writers could have written an observational book about the strange world of indy ball, and these are some of the only writers who would have been interested in implementing a five-man infield, so it seems like a bit of a waste. Very entertaining read, though.

November 2016

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