alexconall: the Pleiades (Default)
Shades of Milk and Honey by Mary Robinette Kowal—I've been hearing "Jane Austen with magic", and they're not kidding. This novel reminded me of nothing so strongly as Pride and Prejudice. It's very good in its own right: I'm intrigued by the system of magic Kowal's created, perhaps because she's framed it as an art not unlike painting or music (both of which Jane is also skilled at). I'm also pleased that for all Jane marries at the end, the primary relationship and the primary conflict are between women: Jane and her sister Melody. Jane's primary concern throughout the novel is in fact her relationship with Melody. (That said, I honestly didn't notice whether the novel passed the Bechdel test.)

Glamour and Glass by Mary Robinette Kowal—this is part two of the series beginning with Shades of Milk and Honey and has the same feel as Shades, but much more of an action plot than an emotional plot. A plot-crucial detail is the 1815 France setting; Napoleon is a big issue. Glamour explores more of the limitations of magic in this world, even as Jane finds a way around one of those limitations. The primary relationship in this book is between Jane and her husband, and many of the other major players are male, but I did note a Bechdel pass onscreen.

crossposted from
alexconall: the Pleiades (Default)
I try to write every day. I have a HabitForge goal set up for one hundred words a day and another for five hundred words a day. Five hundred words a day, I'm reliably informed, becomes a NaNoWriMo-length novel about every three months.

I'm on a four-hundred-fifty-plus-day streak of writing a hundred words a day, though I freely admit that one or two of those days were just writing the same word over and over. Okay, a few. Some. Not a lot, but some. (Also, this blog post counts as words for the hundred a day.) My best streak on the five hundred words a day is seventeen consecutive days—it takes twenty-one to forge a habit on HabitForge—and I just yesterday broke a five-day streak. On the other hand, many of the days on which I wrote five hundred words are days on which I wrote two or three thousand words, and I have won NaNoWriMo when I had about forty thousand words on the twenty-ninth of November.

That's always been my problem with NaNoWriMo. It doesn't work for someone who tends to write in bursts of creative frenzy.

But applying butt to chair and hands to keyboard is a really good way to produce words. I need to get better at that.

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alexconall: the Pleiades (Default)
Alex Conall, social justice bard

October 2015

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