Winter Sunlight

A couple of Alienist and Daniel Bruhl links, just because

A gifset on Tumblr that made me go "Wait, what scene was that from, I don't remember that?" led me to the existence of this staggeringly depressing deleted scene from the season one finale. (Contains animal harm.) On the one hand, this provides some closure on two otherwise open-ended threads - what happened to Joseph (the child prostitute) and Ezra, the troubled kid that Laszlo had a few bonding scenes with throughout the season. On the flip side, it's monumentally depressing and actively undermines the general tone of "you can do better and be better" that the season ends on, so I think I'm glad they decided not to include it. But it's nice to know where the writers intended Joseph to end up, anyway.

I typically avoid candid photos of celebrities or really knowing much about their personal lives at all - it feels unpleasantly intrusive to me - but this series of photos of Daniel Brühl and his wife may have singlehandedly boosted my serotonin levels into the stratosphere, especially the first one. This entry is also posted at with comment count unavailable comments.
Winter Sunlight

Fall prompt-type challenges for my own recording info

Fall Festival Bingo at [community profile] allbingo, with prompt lists that you can use to generate your own bingo card at [personal profile] magistrate's bingo card generator.

Comfortween at [community profile] hurtcomfortex.

Whumptober! Which I suspect I probably won't manage to write much for, but you never know.

Other things - Autumn icons at [personal profile] delacourtings - technically from last year, but just in case your autumn icon bank needs to be refreshed. You could also look ahead to winter/Christmas icons too.

Yes, I really love fall. This entry is also posted at with comment count unavailable comments.
Winter Sunlight

A post I've been thinking about for a while

There's something I've been talking to friends about, but have never actually posted about, and it is this: I know a lot of freelance people (me included) who really hit a burnout wall this summer/fall, and I think a significant part of that - aside from the general stress of the Everything™, is that we never take vacations anymore. I mean, think about it. Obviously not everyone does, not everyone can, but most freelance people take about as much vacation as people working a regular 9 to 5 in the course of a normal year. We visit our families and friends, we entertain visiting friends and family, sometimes we go places just for fun.

And now we've all been working nonstop, week in and week out, for a year and a half, or more, and we're all slamming into mental and emotional walls of fatigue.

After hitting my own wall in July and August, I ended up taking a big chunk of September "off." It hasn't been quite as much of a vacation as I planned because I ended up with some pretty significant work stuff going on too (I edited a book, wrote mailing list short stories, etc) but I've been leaving my unwritten novels on the shelf, giving myself permission to spend the day reading books and writing fanfic if I want to, and that kind of thing. In October I'm getting back on the horse and working on novels again, but freelancers need time off too. And if you haven't been taking time off because you can't go anywhere, spending a week sleeping in and doing things for fun is 100% worth it for your state of mind. If you're worried about lost work time, in the long run you'll probably work more efficiently and get more done if you take some time off -- and maybe save yourself a massive case of burnout that could take years to recover from.

It's something to think about, anyway. This entry is also posted at with comment count unavailable comments.

Harrow the Ninth

I read it! And, uh. I didn't like it. A LOT. SORRY. Details under the cut (squees are harshed, etc). If you liked the book, don't worry - it's me, not you! I hope you continue to enjoy it. Under the cut, I detail all the reasons why I hated this book with the power of 10,000 flaming suns.

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Winter Sunlight

Harrow (no actual spoilers)

Okay, after the comments to the last post I think I'm sold on reading Harrow next, because I love Collapse ), and I think I'm going to really like those aspects. :D Stay tuned for reactions, and please don't tell me anything more in the comments!

... also, I've been sitting here all day watching showers of golden leaves blow off the trees through the window. It's really gorgeous, but I think this is the wind that's going to take most of our leaves and leave us with bare sticks until we get a staying snow. This entry is also posted at with comment count unavailable comments.
Winter Sunlight

Gideon the Ninth by Tamsin Muir

I had so very heavily osmosed that this book would be Not My Thing that I ended up spoiling myself for several major plot points (although not, as it turns out, most of them). Then I started reading it a couple of days ago as part of a survey of general "hookiness" of openings - and then I looked around and it was on my Kindle and it was 6 chapters later, so, uh.

Turns out it actually is very much my thing.

Except it still kind of isn't - I still don't care about necromancers or gloomy skeleton-filled catacombs in the slightest, this book is totally not my aesthetic, and I am actively grossed out by the necromancy and general bleeding from every orifice that accompanies it.

And yet I found the book riveting, and delightful, and occasionally hilarious, and even beautiful/numinous in unexpected ways. I'm not that enthused to read the sequel (see spoiler sections below) but I really enjoyed this one as a standalone thing. I know it's kind of based on Homestuck and I can definitely see that, and it also reminded me of Amber to a surprising degree, but actually what the style really reminded me of, more than anything else, was 1990s/early 2000s independent comics: the Goth aesthetic and random asides and tonally bonkers worldbuilding. I know this is exactly what is going to make this book not some people's cup of tea, and I get that, but this book kept reminding me of the way that indy comics artists back in the '90s would stick incongruous sight gags into the background of panels - silly labels on products, that kind of thing; it doesn't have to make sense, it's there to make the reader smile. This book is gonzo, bonkers, balls-to-the-wall "because the author wanted to"; it's a book that runs on pure id, and luckily I'm just in tune enough with the author's id to really enjoy it.

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Winter Sunlight

A day late, but ...

We got our first snow night before last, so yesterday I woke up to the backyard looking like this:

It melted off pretty quickly, but it's still cold, hovering just a little above freezing. Spent a lot of yesterday doing cleanup/pickup in the yard and greenhouse. Garden is now tucked in for winter, because it's COMING. This entry is also posted at with comment count unavailable comments.
Winter Sunlight

Alternate Universe Exchange

I didn't sign up for [community profile] auexchange, but I picked up two pinch hits for it, which are now revealed.

Miles Away (The Punisher, Frank + the Liebermans, 5600 wds)
By now they've been on the run long enough to have a system. This was for the tag prompt "Dimension hopping to find a timeline that isn't doomed" and also a general fondness on my recipient's part for megafauna. I admit that I started writing with the general idea in mind of Frank Castle, Dinosaur Hunter and never actually managed to achieve it, but there's always next year.

A Plausible Deniability (The Alienist, John/Laszlo, 3000 words, explicit)
"You want to do what," John said.

This was written for the tag prompt "Anal Penetration Commonly Used to Treat Stress and Anxiety," which I took one look at and realized that this is 100% in character for Laszlo Kreizler. Although I suppose on some level, this isn't entirely an actual AU so much as Laszlo convincing John that they're in that AU and John cheerfully going along with it. Anyway, this is mainly late-Victorian-era porn with feelings. This entry is also posted at with comment count unavailable comments.
Winter Sunlight

Jump Scare reveals

Authors are revealed! I wrote three things.

Ashes and Rubble (Falcon & Winter Soldier, 3600 wds, Sam & Bucky & Zemo)
Zemo is poisoned with a hallucinogen while undercover with Sam and Bucky. This was for the tag prompt "Character Forced to Relive Their Worst Memory." Look, I have a brand.

Underground (Justified, 3200 wds, Rachel & Raylan & Tim)
An ill-advised attempt is made to pursue a suspect into a haunted mine. This is probably the most actually horror-ish of what I wrote, and can also be read without canon knowledge, I feel - all you really need to know is that they're US Marshals in Kentucky.

Katabasis (The Alienist, 8900 wds, gen or pre-OT3)
Set after season one, the characters try to fix a canonical character death using Flatliners-style methods. This is exactly as great an idea as it sounds like. This entry is also posted at with comment count unavailable comments.