impulsereader: (Default)
Meme from [livejournal.com profile] quarryquest.

It's international book week. The rules: Grab the closest book to you, turn to page 52, post the 5th sentence. Don't mention the title. Copy the rules as part of your post.


I normally avoid these, but it's real-book-related and short so I gave in. I have nearest me five books stacked in a pile...I've checked the top two, and here's the more interesting one.

Next moment he was at the door, roaring, "Treason! Treason! Guards! Bardia! Where are my guards? Where's Bardia? Send Bardia!"
impulsereader: (Default)
Meme from [livejournal.com profile] quarryquest.

It's international book week. The rules: Grab the closest book to you, turn to page 52, post the 5th sentence. Don't mention the title. Copy the rules as part of your post.


I normally avoid these, but it's real-book-related and short so I gave in. I have nearest me five books stacked in a pile...I've checked the top two, and here's the more interesting one.

Next moment he was at the door, roaring, "Treason! Treason! Guards! Bardia! Where are my guards? Where's Bardia? Send Bardia!"
impulsereader: (Default)
Amazon is finally offering the beginnings of a glimmer of an affordable way to buy used books en masse.  Halleluiah!  So far I’ve mainly used alibris.com to buy used books because they offer a slight discount on combined shipping if you order from the same seller, and there is always a coupon code available for at least a dollar off your order – a little silly, I know, but even a dollar saved makes me feel better.

Cut for length and blather )

State of the fic – up to 28k words in this first section.  Have thrashed out an acceptable draft of ‘the scene which would not be written’ and have decided to leave it for a little while as that whole ‘not hiding from this scene’ thing may have gone a bit bananas now.  I’ve been living within it for longer than a week.  I need to poke my head out and survey the rest of what needs to be done to finish this up.

To celebrate – a snippet!  In fact, it’s a ‘can you guess what’s really going on here?’ snippet.

----------

Before the first course was served, the gentleman seated at the head of the table rose to offer a toast.  He was an elderly man with hair and beard gone completely white, and he gave off a distinct air of amiable joviality.  “Welcome everyone!  I’ll keep it short and just remind you all to have fun and rock on while you’re visiting!”
 
There was a rather rousing response of, “Rock on,” from perhaps three quarters of the diners as everyone lifted a glass.  John blinked and turned an inquiring gaze upon Sherlock, who looked genuinely amused for the first time since Grandmere’s dressing down.
 
“That is my Uncle Rocky, our host.  He is Father’s elder brother and he is dotty as a loon, as you can easily infer from the fact that he allows Grandmother to inflict this yearly gathering upon his household.”
 
John was prevented from asking any follow-up questions because the dining partner to his other side reached over and touched her hand to his arm.  Politely, John turned to her.  Sherlock had introduced her as a distant cousin by the name of Claire when they had seated themselves.
 
“I read the news today.”
 
A little uncertainly, John responded, “Did you?”
 
She nodded.  “Oh boy.”
 
“Erm, right.”  He considered this sentiment for a second then admitted, “Yes, actually, I suppose that’s generally my reaction to the news these days.  The government are certainly mucking it up, aren’t they?”
 
“We can work it out.”
 
“Yes, I suppose it will work itself out in the end; or, at least, Mycroft will do.”
 
“Will it bring you down?”
 
John considered this.  “Well, he can be an annoying git, but I suppose someone has to be in charge of things.”
 
She nodded sagely.  “Sail the ship.”
 
“Yeah, though I do wish he’d stop sending cars.”  He frowned and decided to change the subject.  “Have you come far, Claire, or do you live nearby?”
 
“Flew in from Miami Beach.”
 
“Oh, quite far then.  Mrs Hudson, our landlady, lived in Miami years ago.”
 
“Caught the early plane back to London.”
 
He winced in sympathy.  “Those morning flights can be murder.”
 
“Didn’t get to bed last night,” she agreed with a sigh.
 
John was starting to get an odd sort of feeling about this conversation, but he couldn’t quite put his finger on why.
impulsereader: (Default)
Amazon is finally offering the beginnings of a glimmer of an affordable way to buy used books en masse.  Halleluiah!  So far I’ve mainly used alibris.com to buy used books because they offer a slight discount on combined shipping if you order from the same seller, and there is always a coupon code available for at least a dollar off your order – a little silly, I know, but even a dollar saved makes me feel better.

Cut for length and blather )

State of the fic – up to 28k words in this first section.  Have thrashed out an acceptable draft of ‘the scene which would not be written’ and have decided to leave it for a little while as that whole ‘not hiding from this scene’ thing may have gone a bit bananas now.  I’ve been living within it for longer than a week.  I need to poke my head out and survey the rest of what needs to be done to finish this up.

To celebrate – a snippet!  In fact, it’s a ‘can you guess what’s really going on here?’ snippet.

----------

Before the first course was served, the gentleman seated at the head of the table rose to offer a toast.  He was an elderly man with hair and beard gone completely white, and he gave off a distinct air of amiable joviality.  “Welcome everyone!  I’ll keep it short and just remind you all to have fun and rock on while you’re visiting!”
 
There was a rather rousing response of, “Rock on,” from perhaps three quarters of the diners as everyone lifted a glass.  John blinked and turned an inquiring gaze upon Sherlock, who looked genuinely amused for the first time since Grandmere’s dressing down.
 
“That is my Uncle Rocky, our host.  He is Father’s elder brother and he is dotty as a loon, as you can easily infer from the fact that he allows Grandmother to inflict this yearly gathering upon his household.”
 
John was prevented from asking any follow-up questions because the dining partner to his other side reached over and touched her hand to his arm.  Politely, John turned to her.  Sherlock had introduced her as a distant cousin by the name of Claire when they had seated themselves.
 
“I read the news today.”
 
A little uncertainly, John responded, “Did you?”
 
She nodded.  “Oh boy.”
 
“Erm, right.”  He considered this sentiment for a second then admitted, “Yes, actually, I suppose that’s generally my reaction to the news these days.  The government are certainly mucking it up, aren’t they?”
 
“We can work it out.”
 
“Yes, I suppose it will work itself out in the end; or, at least, Mycroft will do.”
 
“Will it bring you down?”
 
John considered this.  “Well, he can be an annoying git, but I suppose someone has to be in charge of things.”
 
She nodded sagely.  “Sail the ship.”
 
“Yeah, though I do wish he’d stop sending cars.”  He frowned and decided to change the subject.  “Have you come far, Claire, or do you live nearby?”
 
“Flew in from Miami Beach.”
 
“Oh, quite far then.  Mrs Hudson, our landlady, lived in Miami years ago.”
 
“Caught the early plane back to London.”
 
He winced in sympathy.  “Those morning flights can be murder.”
 
“Didn’t get to bed last night,” she agreed with a sigh.
 
John was starting to get an odd sort of feeling about this conversation, but he couldn’t quite put his finger on why.
impulsereader: (Default)
I’ve just spent a long time watching my cursor blink. This was after I’d begun a rec/review of this book and then decided to start over. The problem is very likely that Douglas Adams is impossible to follow in any capacity. I apparently think that I am one of the funniest things to happen to Earth since clowning came into fashion at the beginning of time, but even my brain admits that there is no way I can write a competent, funny review of this book which has any chance of getting across how perfect and wonderful it is. So instead of reading the blather which follows, you should really just get yourself the book and read it instead. http://www.amazon.com/Last-Chance-See-Douglas-Adams/dp/0345371984/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1340219152&sr=1-1&keywords=last+chance+to+see Astonishingly, my local used book store has gifted me with at least two copies. I have a hard time believing anyone who has read this book was willing to let it out of their sight afterwards. But – there is some benefit to continue reading if you so choose, because this all leads to bonus Stephen Fry at the end, saving you the research.

This book was born of what Adams calls ‘some sort of journalistic accident’. It was the very happiest of accidents, because it produced a work which casts Adams in a role for which he is perfectly suited – that of translator and interpreter. In 1985 a magazine sent him, along with Zoologist Mark Carwardine, to Madagascar. Their task was to seek a glimpse of an aye-aye, a very rare lemur, in the wild. In a precipitous moment which surely indicated from the start that this partnership was charmed – Mark and Douglas managed to spot the animal, at night (the aye-aye is nocturnal), in the rain, and their photographer captured the image for posterity. It had been many years since anyone else had laid eyes on an aye-aye in the wild. Adams is hooked, and he and Mark make an appointment to seek out more endangered species around the world – in three years, because of some pesky books he has to write beforehand.

What follows is a rousing tale of travel to places which are very definitely not tourist friendly in a time when travellers had to do quite a lot of ‘telexing’ to make arrangements, and the picture of what you would encounter once you arrived could be unbelievably distorted from the reality in which you eventually found yourself. For example, conflicting reports abound regarding at what point they will need to acquire a three-day-dead goat in order to bait a Komodo Dragon – whether or not they will be forced to share a choppy ride in a small boat with the dead goat then becomes a point of serious concern.

While in China in search of the Baiji – the Yangtze River dolphin – Adams decides it would be a good idea for them to put a microphone into the water so that they can get an idea of what the dolphins are up against. The animals are endangered because the noise pollution in the river messes with their sonar and they are consequently being chopped up by boat propellers at an astounding rate. This leads to a hilarious hunt for condoms carried out in three languages, one of them sign.

Only Douglas Adams could have written a book so heartrendingly bleak as he ponders the fate of these species and yet so damn funny that you will be laughing out loud – I promise. Near the end, he translates to a readership of laymen the convoluted world of the scientist conservationists who are working on these projects going on around the world who are desperately trying to keep endangered species from tipping over into extinction. For a real-life look at some of the work being done today in this area, (though this particular video is focusing on collection of specimens rather than the endangered aspect of the equation) go watch this rather wonderful video – if you will be upset by the sight of dead birds and rodents respectfully collected for scientific research and the benefit of future generations of both animals and people, please skip this portion of today’s lesson. :-) http://fieldmuseum.org/explore/multimedia/film-discovering-mount-gorongosa

And as a lovely follow up and tribute to his friend, Stephen Fry also travelled with Mark for a stint. http://www.bbc.co.uk/lastchancetosee/archive.shtml Oh! And if you go there you can listen to the original radio show that Douglas Adams did! Score! As soon as I have speakers I’m on that!
impulsereader: (Default)
I’ve just spent a long time watching my cursor blink. This was after I’d begun a rec/review of this book and then decided to start over. The problem is very likely that Douglas Adams is impossible to follow in any capacity. I apparently think that I am one of the funniest things to happen to Earth since clowning came into fashion at the beginning of time, but even my brain admits that there is no way I can write a competent, funny review of this book which has any chance of getting across how perfect and wonderful it is. So instead of reading the blather which follows, you should really just get yourself the book and read it instead. http://www.amazon.com/Last-Chance-See-Douglas-Adams/dp/0345371984/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1340219152&sr=1-1&keywords=last+chance+to+see Astonishingly, my local used book store has gifted me with at least two copies. I have a hard time believing anyone who has read this book was willing to let it out of their sight afterwards. But – there is some benefit to continue reading if you so choose, because this all leads to bonus Stephen Fry at the end, saving you the research.

This book was born of what Adams calls ‘some sort of journalistic accident’. It was the very happiest of accidents, because it produced a work which casts Adams in a role for which he is perfectly suited – that of translator and interpreter. In 1985 a magazine sent him, along with Zoologist Mark Carwardine, to Madagascar. Their task was to seek a glimpse of an aye-aye, a very rare lemur, in the wild. In a precipitous moment which surely indicated from the start that this partnership was charmed – Mark and Douglas managed to spot the animal, at night (the aye-aye is nocturnal), in the rain, and their photographer captured the image for posterity. It had been many years since anyone else had laid eyes on an aye-aye in the wild. Adams is hooked, and he and Mark make an appointment to seek out more endangered species around the world – in three years, because of some pesky books he has to write beforehand.

What follows is a rousing tale of travel to places which are very definitely not tourist friendly in a time when travellers had to do quite a lot of ‘telexing’ to make arrangements, and the picture of what you would encounter once you arrived could be unbelievably distorted from the reality in which you eventually found yourself. For example, conflicting reports abound regarding at what point they will need to acquire a three-day-dead goat in order to bait a Komodo Dragon – whether or not they will be forced to share a choppy ride in a small boat with the dead goat then becomes a point of serious concern.

While in China in search of the Baiji – the Yangtze River dolphin – Adams decides it would be a good idea for them to put a microphone into the water so that they can get an idea of what the dolphins are up against. The animals are endangered because the noise pollution in the river messes with their sonar and they are consequently being chopped up by boat propellers at an astounding rate. This leads to a hilarious hunt for condoms carried out in three languages, one of them sign.

Only Douglas Adams could have written a book so heartrendingly bleak as he ponders the fate of these species and yet so damn funny that you will be laughing out loud – I promise. Near the end, he translates to a readership of laymen the convoluted world of the scientist conservationists who are working on these projects going on around the world who are desperately trying to keep endangered species from tipping over into extinction. For a real-life look at some of the work being done today in this area, (though this particular video is focusing on collection of specimens rather than the endangered aspect of the equation) go watch this rather wonderful video – if you will be upset by the sight of dead birds and rodents respectfully collected for scientific research and the benefit of future generations of both animals and people, please skip this portion of today’s lesson. :-) http://fieldmuseum.org/explore/multimedia/film-discovering-mount-gorongosa

And as a lovely follow up and tribute to his friend, Stephen Fry also travelled with Mark for a stint. http://www.bbc.co.uk/lastchancetosee/archive.shtml Oh! And if you go there you can listen to the original radio show that Douglas Adams did! Score! As soon as I have speakers I’m on that!
impulsereader: (Baker St.)
They are issuing copies of Arthur Conan Doyle's Holmes stories with covers which are from Sherlock.

ETA - OMG - Martin Freeman wrote an intro for one of them...my consternation grows apace.
impulsereader: (Baker St.)
They are issuing copies of Arthur Conan Doyle's Holmes stories with covers which are from Sherlock.

ETA - OMG - Martin Freeman wrote an intro for one of them...my consternation grows apace.
impulsereader: (Edinburgh map)
Please forgive me if, at any point, you are someone who is trying to follow this chronologically. My post on Day 3 - when I visited Edinburgh Castle - is currently causing LJ to spit out an error. Out of frustration I posted the next installment which I’d already written to make sure I could post anything at all. I could. And since the last time I was amused by LJ correcting me - it turned out I was spelling ‘dalmatians’ incorrectly - well, I’m giving it the benefit of the doubt.

Day 5 got away from me just a little bit. The plan was to visit Edinburgh’s Farmers’ Market in the morning and the Scottish National Museum in the afternoon. A couple of things conspired to set me off schedule. My left knee had been seriously protesting all the down-hilling I had done on day 4 and it continued to do so all this day as well. This means I took a bus into the city and was moving quite a bit more slowly than usual. Also, disappointed at the dearth of used bookstores I was finding on my own - oh, I bought a copy of Tess of the D’ubervilles from a charity shop on day 2 - I had marked onto the map a shop which came up when I did a google search for the area I was going to be in for the market and museum. Now, I have no idea why only one dot came up, but there was a whole handful of good stores over there. I was moving slowly, but I managed to buy a lot of pretty, pretty books. Being delayed, I found myself being thrown out of the museum at five, making a second place I have to go back to before I leave. I did; however, walk through Greyfriar’s Kirkyard before I turned for home.
Read more )
impulsereader: (Edinburgh map)
Please forgive me if, at any point, you are someone who is trying to follow this chronologically. My post on Day 3 - when I visited Edinburgh Castle - is currently causing LJ to spit out an error. Out of frustration I posted the next installment which I’d already written to make sure I could post anything at all. I could. And since the last time I was amused by LJ correcting me - it turned out I was spelling ‘dalmatians’ incorrectly - well, I’m giving it the benefit of the doubt.

Day 5 got away from me just a little bit. The plan was to visit Edinburgh’s Farmers’ Market in the morning and the Scottish National Museum in the afternoon. A couple of things conspired to set me off schedule. My left knee had been seriously protesting all the down-hilling I had done on day 4 and it continued to do so all this day as well. This means I took a bus into the city and was moving quite a bit more slowly than usual. Also, disappointed at the dearth of used bookstores I was finding on my own - oh, I bought a copy of Tess of the D’ubervilles from a charity shop on day 2 - I had marked onto the map a shop which came up when I did a google search for the area I was going to be in for the market and museum. Now, I have no idea why only one dot came up, but there was a whole handful of good stores over there. I was moving slowly, but I managed to buy a lot of pretty, pretty books. Being delayed, I found myself being thrown out of the museum at five, making a second place I have to go back to before I leave. I did; however, walk through Greyfriar’s Kirkyard before I turned for home.
Read more )
impulsereader: (Edinburgh map)
So I bet at least someone who is reading this has stumbled across bookcrossing.  Some time ago I did and I thought, 'oh neat.  I should really do that sometime,' but as with most things I didn't follow up.  And as I continue to excessively mention, I'm leaving for Edinburgh on Monday.  Pursuant to this fact I've recently been toying with the idea of trying a day trip to Kirkcudbright - making a pilgrimage to see the scenery enjoyed by Dorothy Sayers and Lord Peter.  This made me pick up my copy of The Five Red Herrings and break one of my resolutions - to not bring books with me, just pick up really cool second hand books as I discovered them in Edinburgh.  I thought, 'well just this one, so I can see if a day trip would be worth it.'  For the plane, I reassured myself.

I imagine you can see where this is going by now.  I do a lot more thinking when I'm driving than I ever suspected before.  I was musing again on the way home today about bookcrossing and had the thought that it would be fun to see if there are any books in play in Edinburgh and hunt them down during my trip.  Then it hit me.  Of course I must bring my copy, slap a bookcrossing ID on it and leave it in Kirkcudbright.  Then I need to buy myself a new copy in a bookshop in the very town.  And now I feel like I have to do this.  Before I was just toying with the idea because public transport seems to involve a long stretch by bus, and it would be intensely brave of me to rent a car because I've only ever done opposite side navigating up 'til now.  But now, I really think I have to do it because it just seems so right and it makes me so happy to think of actually pulling this off!

I'm also eyeing my Ian Rankin and Alexander McCall Smith with a new eye but don't want to overdo it.  I'd hate to end up spamming Scotland.
impulsereader: (Edinburgh map)
So I bet at least someone who is reading this has stumbled across bookcrossing.  Some time ago I did and I thought, 'oh neat.  I should really do that sometime,' but as with most things I didn't follow up.  And as I continue to excessively mention, I'm leaving for Edinburgh on Monday.  Pursuant to this fact I've recently been toying with the idea of trying a day trip to Kirkcudbright - making a pilgrimage to see the scenery enjoyed by Dorothy Sayers and Lord Peter.  This made me pick up my copy of The Five Red Herrings and break one of my resolutions - to not bring books with me, just pick up really cool second hand books as I discovered them in Edinburgh.  I thought, 'well just this one, so I can see if a day trip would be worth it.'  For the plane, I reassured myself.

I imagine you can see where this is going by now.  I do a lot more thinking when I'm driving than I ever suspected before.  I was musing again on the way home today about bookcrossing and had the thought that it would be fun to see if there are any books in play in Edinburgh and hunt them down during my trip.  Then it hit me.  Of course I must bring my copy, slap a bookcrossing ID on it and leave it in Kirkcudbright.  Then I need to buy myself a new copy in a bookshop in the very town.  And now I feel like I have to do this.  Before I was just toying with the idea because public transport seems to involve a long stretch by bus, and it would be intensely brave of me to rent a car because I've only ever done opposite side navigating up 'til now.  But now, I really think I have to do it because it just seems so right and it makes me so happy to think of actually pulling this off!

I'm also eyeing my Ian Rankin and Alexander McCall Smith with a new eye but don't want to overdo it.  I'd hate to end up spamming Scotland.
impulsereader: (Edinburgh map)

I am vacationing in Edinburgh in early April – my first solo international trip – and I’m mystified at the lack of active travel communities on LJ. 


Read more... )

impulsereader: (Edinburgh map)

I am vacationing in Edinburgh in early April – my first solo international trip – and I’m mystified at the lack of active travel communities on LJ. 


Read more... )

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