juushika: Photograph of a stack of books, with one lying open. (Books)
Recommend me some companion animal books for someone who hates high fantasy and series, if you please!

Companion animals: Bond creatures, telepathic or magical companion animals; think anything from Valdemar's horses and Pern's dragons to His Dark Material's daemons—a non-human with an incredibly powerful and meaningful link to a human.

Not high fantasy: I'm fine with second-world fantasy; it's high fantasy's typical tropes and archetypes that I dislike: elves, dwarves, magicians; made up languages, capitalized nouns; rambling epic quests that bridge twelve books.

...or series: Stand-alone novels within a series are fine, whether or not they benefit from knowing the rest of the series—just please point me towards those individual books, not the series as a whole (if they all stand alone, then point me towards the best one or perhaps the best starting place). A short-running, completed series (around three books) may work if you think it truly shouldn't be missed, but honestly I'd prefer to avoid those. Stand-alone books with no connection to series are my favorite, and I detest ongoing and/or sprawling epics.

Almost every companion animal book list I can find is a list of series, so this is me asking for individual books—if they come from series, fine, as long as I don't need to read all dozen books of them.

I have read... )

Crossposted to [livejournal.com profile] bookish.
juushika: Photograph of the torso and legs of a female-bodied figure with a teddy bear. (Bear)
I'm on a search for books set in, or with a sense of, winter. Where I live, winter means cold, bare branches, heavy rain, and ice; snow is welcome but not necessary. I'm more interested in the season's desolation and wildness than its celebration—horror, gothic literature, and the moody and atmospheric are welcome; warm firesides make welcome contrast, but transparent feel-good Christmas stories don't interest me. Fiction is a must, and I'm not fond of high fantasy; other than that, all genres are welcome.

Suggestions? Thank you!

Crossposted to [livejournal.com profile] bookish.
juushika: Drawing of a sleeping orange cat. (Default)
I've been plagued by a bit of a cough these last few days, edging towards a bit of congestion. So far it's mild and brainfog-free, but for those of you keeping score at home that makes for five fucking assorted illness so far this year. Back when I never left the house I used to max out at one a year, maybe, if it was a bad year. This, my friends, is ridiculous. We didn't even do anything this time! It's been a quiet week. I started exhibiting symptoms before our one real social-event-featuring-children. We didn't even go in a toy store! I don't even know anymore.

But that's not why I'm writing.

I love Practical Magic the movie—that wonderful combination of magic and wish fulfillment, humor (which actually works for me), strong characterization and strong female characters, setting-as-character, fluff and heart but something wry enough to keep it from being sap. I did not particularly enjoy Practical Magic the book, which may not be its fault (I picked it up second, and have an unshakable bias to what I encounter first) but is nonetheless true—it lacked the film's heart, it was a bit bitter, and little of it stuck with me. In fact, this sort of material is something that I rarely look for in books. Garden Spells was a fun little read, but I tend to have less patience for, or interest in, fluff in my reading material.

Right now, however, I'm sort of craving it. But this is hardly my area of expertise. So:

Recommend me some books that feel like Practical Magic the movie, if you would! Maybe a New England or Southern setting, maybe a remarkable rambling house; probably some strong, or at least well-developed, female characters; the sort of fantasy and magic that makes you want to light candles and plant lavender for luck: maybe not all fluff, but certainly a bit idealized, maybe something like you wish Wicca could actually be; perhaps a little light and funny and feel-good, but maybe a bit incisive or irreverent or dark to balance that out.

It does occur to me that even if Practical Magic the book didn't work out, other Alice Hoffman novels might satisfy this witchy-woman book craving. Is there an ideal place to start with her work, or a specific book that would best fit these qualifications?

Crossposted here on [livejournal.com profile] bookish.
juushika: Photograph of a row of books on a library shelf. (Books Once More)
On an unrelated note:

I'm in search of a springtime horror story. That may seem contradictory, but that's exactly why I want it: I've read summer horror (Kiernan's fantastic The Red Tree taught me how oppressive and stifling the dog days of summer can be) and autumn horror (every third scary story is one of these) and winter horror (just now Lindqvist's Let the Right One In is the only one to come to mind, but the stark dead of winter is a prime time for horror), but the the picnics and gardens of Shirley Jackson's novels are the closest I've gotten to horror in the spring. Those are fantastic—but I want more.

"Springtime" means it takes place in the spring, but it should be more than a passing influence: the time of year should be a prominent aspect of the setting and atmosphere. "Horror" is as broad as you need it to be, but I have a personal preference towards Gothic novels, Lovecraftian influences, (New) Weird, and fairy tale retellings; I like my horror psychological and atmospheric.

Can you think of anything that might fit the bill? I'd appreciate all recommendations.

Crossposted here on [livejournal.com profile] bookish.
juushika: A black and white photo of an ink pen. (Writing)
I feel you, oh tickle in the back of my throat. I have done so for about 24 hours now, but I refuse to be punished for the cruise by suffering a cold, and so I am staunchly pretending to be perfectly well until—and I hope it doesn't get to that point—I no longer can. Because right now, all it really is is annoying, not disruptive in any way, which is a blessing. While ignoring the throat-tickle today I went to Starbucks to spend some productive time out of the house. I used to do that all of the time, and then fell out of the practice of it, but I should really get back in—it does me good, and gets book reviews written. (I am many behind.) It was a lovely day, I looked lovely too; it was a good use of my time.

Relatedly (if you're in my head, anyhow, connecting Starbucks and getting out and looking lovely to this ongoing quest of mine towards personal improvement), I have a weird request to make. I am in search of shoes, and do not know how to find them. In the past, shoes haven't been much more bother than a trip to Payless, but I've been discovering that my disinterest in shoes and all other fashion items has less to do with disinterest in them and more to do with disinterest in popular examples of them. I don't want flimsy little flats or silly pointy heals; I want chunky black shoes, and knowing that I want to find a decent-quality pair that I really like.

The problem is that I'm not trained in these things—I find shopping an alien concept, but perhaps shoe-shopping most of all. So the question is: do shoes like I want exist? if so, where can I find them? My first priority is a pair of black shoes that look like (and I know this is silly) Shiny Thing's Flare Oxfords in Second Life: [1] [2]. Black, shiny leather, laced, a little bulky/oversized, ideally with a bit of a platform and/or heel but without aggressive tread, with a square-ish and large-ish toe. The women's shoes I've looked at so far seem to be all frills and pointy heels, no thank you; I've had somewhat better luck looking at men's shoes in a kid's size range. Skecher's offers up Cool Cat - Pixel which is pretty promising; Cool Cat and Alley Cat may be too, and Raiders - Buccaneers have a neat platform look but I'm not sold on the overall shape. ETA: Dr. Martens 8461 may work—Docs have thin sharpness to their uppers which I don't like, but the overall shape is spot on. The perfect shoes in this category would take oversized and chunky and run with it—I don't want platforms and I'm not quite aiming for Kingdom Hearts, but I want my shoes to look bigger than they are and maybe give me a bit of height.

Secondly, more as a pipe dream, I want boots. Something like Shiny Thing's Glossy Ribbon Boots from Second Life (outing myself again as a massive dork): [1] [2]. Black, shiny leather, somewhere between calf- and knee-high, maybe a bit of platform, chunky heels, square toe; lacing detail probably preferable, but buckles may work too. I have no idea where to even begin, here. None of the popular women's boot designs appeal too much. I could consider combat boots, maybe. Honestly I don't know what's out there, or what might work.

I wear a size 8 or 8 1/2 women's shoe, preferable wide. I wear a size 6 or 7 in men's shoes. I'm aiming in the $50-150 range; lower is better, but dirt cheap isn't necessary.

Do things like this even exist? Where might I find them? Where can I browse shoes in a productive way? What sort of brands may turn up styles like these? Are you some sort of magical shoe genie thinking, "silly Juu, this is the pair you want?" If so I suggest you send me a link.

Teach me how to buy shoes.

Please?

P.S. I am, finally, pretty much caught up on what I feel like I need to get caught up on of what I missed while I was gone. But if you find yourself wondering if that means I personally snubbed your important piece of news or heartfelt post, link me—I may have missed it.
juushika: Drawing of a sleeping orange cat. (Default)

This 4-month-ish female kitten is looking for a home within a 10-hour drive of St. Louis. Interested? Know someone who might be? Willing to contribute to vet or transportation funds? [livejournal.com profile] naamah_darling is hosting a search for a help here on her LiveJournal.

I'm boosting the signal less because I think it will do any good, although I hope it will, but because I can't not say something. I cannot get this cat out of my head—there's just something about her that has captured me, and I've been obsessively refreshing that post for two days now. My heart aches. If I lived closer, logistics all be damned, I think Devon and I would be opening our doors to her right now. Since I can't make a home for her, I hope that she finds another one somewhere else, and soon. Something tells me she will make someone immeasurably happy.

Adopt one today! Adopt one today! Adopt one today! Adopt one today!
juushika: A black and white photo of an ink pen. (Writing)
I'm having one of those nights where I just don't want to go to bed. Not because I know I can't sleep (although that's always a possibility), not because I'm restless, but simply because I'm not in want of rest. I am, instead, in want of a diversion—but nothing appeals. I have a film I could start, but that would take too long. I have two films I could finish, but neither intrigue. I'm reading two books, but one is frustrating me and the other is slowly paced and doesn't appeal. I could start a new book and probably should, but none in my piles is calling out. I could probably lose myself in a few hours of Sims, but that isn't likely to seduce me into sleep.

So instead I'm poking around the internet, wondering what in a perfect world I would chose to entertain myself, and the answer is obvious because I've been thinking about this for the last couple days, as I dither over reading material while playing and writing Ghost and Aaron.

You see, I have a fetish for intimate relationships. Not any, not all—but unusually intimate relationships.

(I don't have to warn you, do I, that all text and links below may contain explicit content?)

In Adair's The Dreamers (my review) and the subsequent film, a pair of twins and their friend huddle together in a den of isolation and intimacy, breaking the boundaries of sexual orientation and incest while they build a boundary against the real world. In the film Threesome, a mixup leads to a co-ed threesome of college roommates whose type two love triangle creates an uneasy balance of unusual intimacy and repressed desire (ha—TV Tropes lists it as an example of this triangle type). In Brite's Lost Souls (my review), Nothing and his father Zillah curl together in their own den of iniquity where the incestuous aspect of their relationship only serves to draw them closer. In the manga Angel Sanctuary, the protagonist and his sister fight their attraction to one another—until they give into it, leave home, and share a brief and blissful period of love (before rocks fall and everyone dies).

Incest isn't necessary, although it's such an obvious, universal taboo that when that barrier is broken, the relationship is unusually intimate by default. But any relationship with an unusual level of intimacy scratches my itch. In the manga Boy's Next Door (my review; this manga is also by Kaori Yuki, who wrote Angel Sanctuary), a young prostitute meets a serial killer of young boys—and against good sense and all odds, falls in love with him. It goes further than that, still. Intimacy that appears unhealthy or inappropriate satisfies me: in the manga pair Kawaii Hito - Pure and Kawaii Hito - Cute, older men have relationships with high school/college-aged boys—and in Pure, the younger is so shy and vulnerable that he becomes entirely dependent upon his lover. A Perfect Circle's Pet croons, "Pay no mind what other voices say / They don't care about you, like I do / Safe from pain, and truth, and choice, and other poison devils / See, they don't give a fuck about you, like I do." Intimacy forged and expressed in unusual or extreme ways also satisfies me. In the BL game Togainu no Chi, Kau is scarred and pierced, his eyes and vocal cords have been destroyed, and he walks on all fours all because it pleases his owner, Arbitro. This is also what spawns and feeds my love of guro, where pain, mutilation, and even death can be signs of intimacy and love. But even the simplest love story can fit—in Ai no Kotodama (in volume 2, a prequel), best friends discover that their unusually close friendship may open doors to a physical relationship. And it's even the attraction of most slash: not the intrigue of gay sex (although that's great too!), but an unexpectedly intimate relationship read into heteronormative, plantonic canon.

Attraction which invades platonic relationships, which defies sexual orientation, which breaks the barriers of incest, which defies social mores, which finds unusual expression, which appears unhealthy, imbalanced, or extreme—this gets me, deep down; it tugs at my heart, my guts; it captures my interest and imagination. In part it's the guilty pleasure and intrigue of taboo, but it's also the sense that what defies the normal order must do so for good reason: this is a passion that runs so deep that it cannot be constrained by law or reason. In other words, I love unusual intimacy because it is unusual—and because it is intimate. I have a lot of fetishes, but this one may top the pile.

This is why Ghost and Aaron are cousins, why they were friends as close as brothers, why Aaron doesn't identify as gay (or even bisexual), why one steals and one dreams, why Aaron insults Ghost's mother and Ghost uses Aaron for sex, why this entire storybit exists. They are that way because the live that way, in their shitty house in my silly game while I sit back and let them have control. But they are still children of my consciousness and so they fulfill my desire for this sort of slightly discomforting, always meaningful, intimacy.

And that's the sort of story that I want, right now. The last one I stumbled upon—entirely by accident—was the film Threesome, which may not be great (the critical response certainly wasn't), but pleased me because it appealed so well to this little fetish of mine. But that was months ago, and I haven't run in to anything similar sense—save for Ghost and Aaron, of course, but I want something to consume for a bit, rather than something to make. So I appeal to you—anyone who's manage to read this far and may understand what I mean. Do you have in mind a book, a film, a story of any sort which might fulfill this desire? I would love to hear about it.
juushika: A black and white photo of an ink pen. (Writing)
I have a couple oh-help-me-flist questions—and a few bonus memes—that I keep meaning to get around to, so here I go shoving them all into one post for your commenting pleasure.

Can anyone recommend a Clive Barker book to me? I put out a request here but who knows, you might have missed it after the wall of text. Recommendations for a (standalone, good, preferably more than simply bloody) Barker novel would be much appreciated, before I give up on him.

Dear Simmers: I'm thinking of going back to The Sims 3 and would love to know if you recommend World Adventures—or the first stuff pack, or if you have your eyes set on Ambitions, or if there's something big and glaring that I'm unaware of because I've been long out of the loop. As I tackle the Herculean task of getting the game running again, these would be good things for me to keep in mind.

And then a pair of tell-me-what-to-write memes:

Everyone has things they blog about. Everyone has things they don't blog about. Challenge me out of my comfort zone by telling me something I don't blog about, but you'd like to hear about, and I'll write a post about it. Ask for anything: latest movie watched, last book read, political leanings, thoughts on alfalfa*, favorite type of underwear, graphic techniques, etc.

Repost in your own journal—if you want to—so that we can all learn more about each other.


Alternately:

What kind of topics/entries would you like to see me posting about? Any particular questions you've always wanted to ask me but have resisted because the answer would be a huge essay? Ever want to wind me up and watch me go on a particular topic? Anything you've heard me say, "I should write that entry about XYZ I've been meaning to write" and have been patiently waiting for**?


Adopt one today! Adopt one today! Adopt one today! Adopt one today! Adopt one today!

* What's crazy is that as a guinea pig owner, I actually have thoughts on alfalfa.

** It pains me to end a sentence with a preposition. Yes, even when I didn't write the sentence. Yes, I know I'm outdated. Yes, I know I'm strange.
juushika: Photograph of a row of books on a library shelf. (Books Once More)
What with this overcast cool weather, I feel like we've taken a step back in time to 1816: the year without a summer, and I am in the mood for books to fit such wonderfully dark days. And in that vein would you please to:

Recommend gothic novels. That delicious sort of horror, rich with atmosphere. I have most of the classics on my TBR list already, but do please mention your favorites—personal recommendations carry weight. I'd also love recommendations for modern gothic lit, novels one may not expect to fit the genre, southern gothic, subversive gothic—anything which I may not have yet discovered.

And/or recommend Halloween-ready books. No real definition here—but texts from Poe to Bradbury's Something Wicked This Way Comes, vampires or werewolves or ghosts or none of the above, be they horror or haunting or darkly festive, whether or not they're set at Halloween, I'm looking for the sort of fearful pleasures one would curl up with in late October. Books meant to be as frightening—yet enjoyable—as we want Halloween to be. Because this weather has me feeling we've already skipped ahead to autumn!

And thank you.

For what it's worth, my personal recommendations. )

Crossposted to [livejournal.com profile] bookish
juushika: A black and white photo of an ink pen. (Writing)
Polls are closed and Express won. Thank you all!

Do you love me? Do you like me enough to support my silly whims?

Pretty please go vote for Express Zenovka at the bottom of this page. Polls close at noon PST! Express is a very close friend of mine via Second Life, and I really want him to win this.

Thank you to everyone who does.

And, er, I am still alive! Just putting my social energy into SL, lately.
juushika: A black and white photo of an ink pen. (Writing)
On a completely different note!

I read Feministing in a passive sort of browsing way, but this post caught my eye and my attention. It's a video done by a group by Pleix, and a brilliant bit of social commentary in a quietly disturbing package. Well, just watch it (potentially disturbing, but the imagery is not graphic):


The video's social commentary, and my further thoughts. )

I'd love to see similar satires. If you happen to know of any, please do recommend them! This video is wonderfully done and a perfect length, given the premise and content: it makes the point without becoming repetitive. But I'd love to see something similar in book length. And I want to reread Gunnm, of course, but it's buried deep within my boxes of books.
juushika: A black and white photo of an ink pen. (Writing)
I've been a bit floaty and empty-minded these last two days, and as a result I've been watching television.

Generally, all the TV I watch I watch through CBS.com, which hosts online videos—specificially CSI and its deriviaties, as well as Moonlight (with which I have an hate/love relationship) and Numb3ers, which I watch because it's not actively bad and fills my free time when I need TV noise. But lately, I've been watching on-TV TV as well. Reruns of Sex and the City, though edited, are a joy. Less so is the inevitable (because Mythbusters isn't on all the time) reality television: The American Idol auditions (amusing because they are so painful; I don't plan to watch the actual competition), and tonight—Moment of Truth.

Contestants are asked difficult questions. If they answer enough of questions truthfully, in front of host, audience, and select family and friends, they are rewarded cash prizes. If they lie once, they lose their winnings and their game ends. The questions come from a selection from fifty that they are asked before the show, during which their responses were measured by a polygraph test.

Have you ever had sexual fantasies in Mass?
Have you ever peeked at another man's package in the shower?
Have you ever used the internet to flirt with another woman while married to your wife?
Have you ever gone through a co-workers personal belongings without their knowledge?
Have you ever touched one of your female clients more than was required to do your job?
Have you ever done anything that would give your wife reason not to trust you?

Interestingly, we all (me, boyfriend, the brother) all sat down to watch this show on the same day that [livejournal.com profile] chaos_current asked in his friends meme: Would you take a public lie detector test for $500,000? (Assuming you only get the 500k if you tell the truth.)

Let's ignore lie detectors being a whole bunch of unreliable bullshit. Let's ignore reality television and game shows being a shitton of unreliable absolute bullshit. What gets me about this show and Luke's question is: what is it that everyone is so embarassed to admit? )

This especially confuses me because one of the more common LJ memes is something along the line of "ask me a question, any question, no matter how personal, and I will answer it." That, and truth and dare—why are we so anxious to spill our guts if we find it so shameful?

And in that vein, and out of curiosity, I'll entertain just the same. If you have a personal question for me, or more than one question, on any topic, no matter how sensitive, ask it here and I will try to answer. This post is unlocked because I am not ashamed; depending on possible questions, my responses may be screened so that only the asker receives them, because I ain't getting paid. (I doubt I'll do as much, but I reserve the right.)

I support open communication. I welcome the communication. If you would like to know me better, then I am happy to help you. The questions don't have to be embarrassing, in fact—anything you've ever wondered, I'm happy to answer that too. But in all cases, your response to my answer is your responsibility. I don't expect cheers and praises for my failings, but I expect those that care for me to accept me, and as for the rest—if I am not ashamed, why should you be?
juushika: Photograph of the torso and legs of a female-bodied figure with a teddy bear. (Bear)
Step One
- Make a post (public, friendslocked, filtered...whatever you're comfortable with) to your LJ. The post should contain your list of 10 holiday wishes. The wishes can be anything at all, from simple and fandom-related ("I'd love a Snape/Hermione icon that's just for me") to medium ("I wish for _____ on DVD") to really big ("All I want for Christmas is a new car/computer/house/TV.") The important thing is, make sure these wishes are things you really, truly want.

- If you wish for real life things (not fics or icons), make sure you include some sort of contact info in your post, whether it's your address or just your email address where Santa (or one of his elves) could get in touch with you.

- Also, make sure you post some version of these guidelines in your LJ, so that the holiday joy will spread.

Step Two
- Surf around your friendslist (or friendsfriends, or just random journals) to see who has posted their list. And now here's the important part:

- If you see a wish you can grant, and it's in your heart to do so, make someone's wish come true. Sometimes someone's trash is another's treasure, and if you have a leather jacket you don't want or a gift certificate you won't use—or even know where you could get someone's dream purebred Basset Hound for free—do it.

You needn't spend money on these wishes unless you want to. The point isn't to put people out, it's to provide everyone a chance to be someone else's holiday elf—to spread the joy. Gifts can be made anonymously or not—it's your call.

There are no rules with this project, no guarantees, and no strings attached. Just...wish, and it might come true. Give, and you might receive. And you'll have the joy of knowing you made someone's holiday special."

So here we go! What I want this holiday season (in no particular order)... )

The best way to get in contact with me regarding any of this:

My contact information. (Can't see it? Want to? Just ask.)

Paypal: swiftskyes AT hotmail DOT com.

Do you have a holiday wishlist? My funds are (quite) tight, but I'd still like to gift where I can. Feel free to comment with your list, or a link to your own.
juushika: Drawing of a sleeping orange cat. (I should have been born a cat)
I'm looking for another lost book: I'm looking for a book that I remember from my childhood. In it, a werewolf bit someone (on the arm?) to drag them out of a burning building. Other details I'm fairly sure of: it was a young adult book and I think both the werewolf and bite victim were teenagers or younger, it was published before/around 1997, and bite victim becomes a werewolf. That's all I can remember. Sound familiar? Help pinpointing the title would be immensely helpful.
[livejournal.com profile] whatwasthatbook crosspost.

Speaking of more immense help: I'm looking for book and movie suggestions to add to my to-read list and Netflix queue. Both are quite full, but I rather enjoy loading them up, so. Feel free to add as many suggestions for either as you would like, either in the poll that follows, in the comments, or both.

[Poll #1068362]

My own most recent suggestions include:

Books — Necklace of Kisses, Francesca Lia Block; The Book of Lost Things, John Connolly; The Call of Cthulhu and Other Weird Stories, H.P. Lovecraft; The Time Machine, H.G. Wells.

Films — Legend, Perfect Creature (steampunk priest vampires—seriously, this film rocks), The Fountain, Curse of the Golden Flower.

In other brief general-update news: I took a few day unwilling break from writing (and sleeping, and blogging, and SL, and...) while I went through a brief depressive episode, but as of today I seem to be back to it. The writing, that is. I've at least plotted out a bit further, and I wrote 1500 words, so I consider that a promising restart. The depression wasn't fun, and it's been coming with probably psychosomatic symptoms that feel like a constant early cold/flu (constant headaches, throat pain, stomach pain) as well as pretty severe back pain and spasms. These things may not be passing, but I want to get back to my book, so I'm at least starting to ignore them a bit.

I've started taking advantage of the reserve system at my local library with wonderful results as far as getting books go, even if I haven't been entirely pleased by what I've read. I now have a healthy towering physical to-read pile, and I love it. I am woefully behind on book reviews, however. Hopefully I can finish some of them soon. The boy has a shiny new toy—an Xbox 360 and Halo 3, of course, so he and his brother are here often (as this is where the Xbox is set up) and I've watched countless rounds of Halo. I am a very patient gamer's girlfriend, and thank goodness for it. I tried playing the game. It was a failed experiment; I shall stick with word puzzles on Popcap for now.

And that is all. Much thanks to those that can be of any help with identifying that werewolf book, and to those that suggest books/movies.
juushika: A black and white photo of an ink pen. (Writing)
I've been meaning to post for ages, I swear, but my writing has consumed me, and when I'm not writing, I'm reading (and since I made another trip to the library during their front-step booksale, I'm doing even more of that). So there's no huge landmark to announce here—I passed 90k, and haven't quite yet hit 100k, but I'm pretty damn close. Either way, the novel is proceeding apace, if by apace we mean very rapidly indeed. I've reached the wolves section, which I wrote pretty early on in the progress of this novel and marks the change from the inside safe world to the outside dangerous world and, with it, heralds the read developments and the approaching end of the novel. It's also a huge chunk, and for a while I was uncertain where the story went after that, but an epiphany and a half later, I now know precise where the story goes next—and how it gets there, and what it means. All that's left after that is figuring out the what and how of the end of the book—I've known the why since the beginning.

And I am thrilled with the progress, and having one hell of a great time writing it, even it part of me is still itching to start that next novel.

I am constant pleased by how this novel exposes itself to me, and I'm not sure who to be impressed with--the novel, or myself. )

Worries like that sure won't keep me from writing it, though.

I've finally named another character: Adora, the vampire. I've been playing with two names for a while, but finally decided on one because, um—to be honest, the boy likes it more, and I've been at a draw, so that's a good enough reason for me. I was considering the name Delilah (Hebrew: languishing, lovelorn, seductive) for the story of Samson and Delilah, but went instead with Adora (Greek, Old German and Latin: a gift; beloved; adored) for the Leanan Sidhe, the fairy lovers and muses of artists with, as popularized by Yeats, vampiric tendencies. Leanan means sweetheart, as does Adora, and is a fitting name for the character and her role in the story. Plus: it sounds pretty.

This leaves me with just the protagonist (currently NAME) who is in dire need of a name. She's a cat-hybrid, apprentice witch, and is (self-)isolated, insecure, somewhat haughty, and afraid to admit her mistakes. The whole story revolves around her, so her role is wide and varied, but basically: she must go to the palace, untrained and uninformed, to discover the threat to her kingdom and how to save it. And (as I'm sure you've been expecting): name suggestions for the protagonist are more than welcome. Any language root, any length, any meaning, any sound—I just need starting places.

In non-novel related news, I'm in love. This is no new big thing because I'm just in love with the same boy I've been in love with for years now, and it's not a huge revelation, and things aren't perfect. But, lately, they've been good, and that's enough for me.

Wordcount: 94,223 typed (377 pages), 3,400 handwritten.

Previous Accomplishments: Reached the wolves, which means that the first two thirds are now officially and completely written and typed. Figured out where the story goes after the wolves, and how to get there; began writing it.

Upcoming Challenges: Figure out how the book ends, and try to write the final third in fewer than 5k words.

Currently Reading: The Rose and the Beast, Francesca Lia Block; War of the Worlds, H.G. Wells, Tales of the Witch House and Other Weird Stories, H.P. Lovecraft.
juushika: Drawing of a sleeping orange cat. (Default)
I just sent this to the queue at [livejournal.com profile] whatwasthatbook (x-post), but there's no reason not to post it here as well. I want to find these books so desperately, and have had no luck. I'd be forever grateful if someone happened to know what they were. ^_^ And so:

I am looking for a set of illustrated science-fiction books on human and non-human animal evolution.

I read these books in my public middle school library in approximately 1997, so they were published before/around that date and, I assume, were either written for children/young adults or else for all ages. I believe there were two separate books: one for human evolution and one for animal evolution. The latter may have included plants as well, but I don't think so. Both books were heavily, even primarily illustrated, and the pictures were accompanied by explanatory text. The illustrations were full color. I believe the books were tall, wide, and not very thick, and that the pages were glossy.

The books were both theoretical science fiction texts about the possible evolution of humans and animals from the present into the distant future. I remember one specific example of humans developing fins and gills as a response to the changing climate on earth. Some of the animal examples looked like crosses between existing species. For the book on humans, each page featured a different stage in evolution, complete with an illustration.

I've been trying to remember these books for years, and have been searching all variations of "illustrated science fiction evolution book" with no luck. Anyone have any suggestions as to the title and/or author of these texts? It would be greatly appreciated.

ETA: Found! On the [livejournal.com profile] whatwasthatbook community, by wonder readers [livejournal.com profile] londonkds and [livejournal.com profile] pikku_gen. The books are After Man and Man After Man by Dougal Dixon. Not only are these the books, Wikipedia also has some great info on them, and Wiki links to this site, which has almost all of After Man online. Yay.

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