kannaophelia: (Default)
2014-10-20 11:11 am

Yuletide Letter 2014

 AO3 username: KannaOPhelia

Dear Yuletide Writer:

Thank you so much for writing for me! I hope you are happy with your assignment. I’ve been doing Yuletide since the beginning, and always had a fun experience.  I want you to have fun, too. Trust me, the moment you made your offer of a fandom I adore, or put your hand up for the pinch hit, you pretty much guaranteed that I am going to love what you write.

You may have noticed that I love f/f, and my requests tend to skew that way. However, if you don’t feel the femslash love, I would much prefer you write me lovely gen than force yourself to write f/f.  

Please feel free to see my prompts as optional suggestions, if  you already have another idea in mind you want to write. I will be delighted to see whatever you come up with. This letter  is mostly to say hello and to give some clarity if you have any questions.

I’m happy with any POV and tense that works for you. I've signed up to express my delight with interactive fiction.  I especially love fic that captures the canon feel, or is full of little fannish details, fic in which the love of canon shines through.  I’m fine with OCs.  I love world building and plot, but I also love emotionally intimate close-up fics. I am a shameless romantic, but I also  love enemy ships.  I love humour, I love big emotions, I love exploration of issues. My tastes are pretty vanilla, and I prefer any sex to arise in the context of a story, rather than as the total focus.

Here’s a totally non-comprehensive list of tropes and themes that I shamelessly love and never get tired of:

o   Going through the process of figuring out that womanly/girlish  devotion is *more* than socially acceptable straight bff/”sisterly” relationships

o   First confessions/first kisses/first times

o   Womanly chivalry and protectiveness

o   Really serious, burning jealousy

o   Forced to pretend they are in love when at least one secretly already is

o   Slow burn

o   Socially self conscious awkwardness/uselessness

o   Lesbian true love/marriage/optional kids  (by magical fpreg, adoption or genetic donation as canon-appropriate)

o   Canon-divergent AUs.

DNWs: rape/noncon/dubcon, child/adult,  appearance bashing,  toys and strap-ons, mundane AU, crack, different setting AU, crossovers A/B/O, bdsm, PWP,  genderswapping, body-shaming.

Triggers: I don't think it will come up,  except possibly in the case of Dr Mac, but just in case,  because of my personal history I find anything to do with infertility, miscarriage, abortion, traumatic childbirth, stillbirth or other harm to babies and children incredibly triggering.

Okay, that’s it! Please feel free to contact me through the mods if you need to. My requests are below for reference, along with some info on availability, some more specific (and COMPLETELY optional) prompts if you feel a bit lost for inspiration, and some pretty pictures.

Dangerous High School Girls in Trouble (Video Game) –Any
Availability: http://www.mousechief.com/dhsg/index.html (website), Steam

My DHSGiT gang


Prompts )


Just William - Richmal Crompton --Any 

Availability: Just William and More William are available for free on Project Gutenberg.

William gets involved in one of Ethel's courtships

Prompts )


Mapp and Lucia series-E. F. Benson - Emmeline "Lucia" Lucas

Mapp and Lucia audiobook cover

Availability: Mapp and Lucia, Trouble for Lucia and Lucia's Progress, as well as the earlier Lucia-only books, are available on the Australian Project Gutenberg
 

Prompts )

Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries – Phryne Fisher / Elizabeth “Mac” Macmillan

Availability:  For the US (and those of us who have US accounts anyway) it’s available on both Netflix and Hulu. And a lovely person in the comments has let me know that it's also on Acorn.tv internationally, with a free trial month.

Phryne and Mac

Prompts )

Long live the Queen- Charlotte

Availability: http://www.hanakogames.com/llq.shtml, Steam.


Charlotte has a protective mother

Prompts )

Shoujo Kakumei Utena: Itsuka Kakumeisareru Monogatari | Some Day My Revolution Will Come – Protagonist/Sanjouin Chigusa

Availability:  Unless you can get hold of the original Sega Saturn game, I’m not aware of any current sources. There are Let’s Plays on the ohtori.nu forum, however, starting here: http://forums.ohtori.nu/viewtopic.php?id=2111


 

Prompts )
kannaophelia: (Default)
2014-10-09 10:07 am
Entry tags:

State of the Kanna

 Gosh, it's been  long time since I updated. I guess Camille Bacon-Smith's much derided claim that fans filled tragic gaps in our lives with fannishness was true for me, at least: the happier and more fulfilled I am, the less I need the connection and distraction that were so vital to me in getting through difficult times in my life. My fannish participation now basically consists of fic exchanges. And Monster High, OMG, how did I resist that so long?

State of the Kanna: WONDERMOUS.  I enjoy life immensely. I enjoy parenting immensely. I look forward to every day.*
 

tl;dr )


tl;dr, but once I started writing, it kept happening!

Short version, I'm very happy indeed, and so is the rest of my little family.

brief note on mental illness )
kannaophelia: (Default)
2013-11-14 10:18 am

(no subject)

 Tell me this is not the cutest baby in the world.

Cai baby in overalls
kannaophelia: (Default)
2013-10-09 04:22 pm

Crunchy, Pro-Vac and Jabbed

 I was told recently at a mothers and babies group by two of the ladies (two of  the most dear to my heart) that they were surprised I was so pro-vaccination because I seemed like the kind of person who would be really anti.

I had a knee-jerk "Do I look stupid and irresponsible?" moment (that I didn't act or speak on, thank goodness) and then I laughed because... I'm awfully crunchy. I'm a lesbian, a vegetarian, I don't shave my legs or wear makeup or follow "beauty practices" (although I recently dyed my hair "lightest golden caramel brown", i.e. strawberry blonde) except on special occasions, and I follow a lot of attachment parenting practices, like baby wearing, baby led weaning, and part time elimination communication (omg FANTASTIC).  I desperately wanted a natural birth, although I settled for a safe one. We called our son Caius :P.

I can definitely see that someone would class me as the kind of woman who would be anti vaccination. But the thing is, I am also pro evidence based medicine. I was a medical librarian, I am educated, I can assess research. I read all the arguments pro and anti, I read Andrew Wakefield's book, and my position is this:

I am not convinced that combined MMR vaccinations at 18 months and rechallenged at 4 years causes leaky bowel syndrome in genetically susceptible children, leading to infantile regressive psychosis, commonly collapsed with "autism". I don't think the evidence from Wakefield's case studies is compelling, and further studies have failed to prove even a weak link. There are far more likely links with genetics and nutritional deficiency in pregnancy.

But even if I did, I would still vaccinate Cai, and get my own flu and whooping cough jabs. Because of risk-benefit calculations, because I will always try to act in my darling boy's best interests, and because of herd immunity and the people who rely on it.

I'm not one of the people who claim vaccinations are harmless in all cases. There have been tragic results. But there have been far more tragic results from epidemics of preventable diseases. For kids who do not have genuine medical reasons not to vaccinate, I am hardcore pro-vacc.

Jabbed: Love, Fear and Vaccines is an incredibly moving and unbiased documentary on the choices to vaccine, or not, that doesn't flinch from the hard issues.
kannaophelia: (Default)
2013-10-07 10:59 pm

Yuletide Letter 2013

Hi Yuletide Writer! Welcome to Kanna’s Yuletide Requests 2013, niche pink girly games edition.

If you’re writing for me, it means you have offered (or pinch hit) one of my favourite games, and for that, I salute you. And also—thank you. You are writing for me, and that makes me very happy and excited. I’m sure I’ll love anything you write me.
 
All of these games are female-oriented (except possibly Rorona, which caters to the moe crowd as well) games with female protagonists and an emphasis on relationships, romantic or otherwise. They also tend to have several of the following:  visual novel style storytelling, fashion, stats raising, dancing rhythm games, jrpg, and  otome (dating sim for girls) elements. Some are localised Japanese games, some are Japanese influenced OEL indie games.  They’re all fluffy and super-cute. They are all also happy-place games for me, so it is easy to please me!

A note:  I’ve asked for characters and pairings I’d particularly enjoy seeing, but these are very rare fandoms and nearly anything in them would make me happy. If you’d prefer to focus on other nominated (female) characters and just cameo the requested ones, feel free to go with that.

Triggers
: I don't think it will come up, but just in case, I find anything to do with infertility, miscarriage, elective terminations, traumatic childbirth, stillbirth or other harm to babies and children incredibly triggering.  I also find sexual violence and, especially, dubcon upsetting.

Some things I love:
• f/f
• First times
True love
Kissing and cuddling
Jealousy
Magic
Slow burn
Plotty gen (or plottiness in general)
Worldbuilding
More details if you want them! )
Socially selfconscious awkwardness/uselessness
Humour
Angst
“What if X had happened different?” AUs
Cuteness
Shippy best friends one of whom is butch and protective, the other more feminine (my total castiron kink)

Some general dislikes:
Toys and magical penises
Bdsm
Crack
Mundane AU
Zombie apocalypse etc.
Genderswap  of female nominated characters
Scenes retold from a character’s perspectives
Five Things fic

Things it’s totally okay to include if you’re wondering:
Holidays
OCs
Negotiated, loving poly
Love triangles

Now, on to the requests! In alphabetical order, no preference implied.
 
Atalier Rorona: Alchemist of Arland (PS3)
An incredibly cute low fantasy jrpg with otome elements,  a heavy emphasis on the alchemy mechanics, and a loving-hearted alchemy apprentice protagonist  who goes out adventuring to  save her indolent mistress’ shop. There’s a wiki here.

Request: Rorona/Cordelia
These two are so incredibly cute together, with their mutual low self-esteem getting in their way but obviously meaning the world to each other. I’d love shippy fic (especially if Cory’s  jealousy is involved), or a story with the girls going out adventuring together, either as BFFs or a couple.

I haven’t yet played Totori or Meruru, so don’t worry about contradicting later canon.  I love the world of this game, and I have a deep love for most of the characters, male or female. Cory and Rorona are my favourites, but  I also have a fondness for Esty/Tiffany . The one reservation I have is that I find Astrid’s sexual harassment of the other characters uncomfortable, and I’d prefer you not to go there; that aside, I’m quite fond of her.  I don’t mind if Hom is male or female!

Cute Knight Kingdom (PC, Mac, Linux)
A fantasy stats raising sim with otome and rpg elements, in which you control a young woman in a fantasy world, your choices leading her to one of a number of fates… including love. Its website is here

Request: Player Character
I’d love a story focussing on one of the multiple “career” endings/paths of this game, worldbuilding, backstory or a story pairing the PC with one of her female romantic options (Helena and Princess Alana).  Gen or f/f, please!

I have an obsession with stats raising sims,  and the Cute Knight games have been filling the Princess Maker shaped hole in my gaming. I really love that there are female romance options, so I nominated Helena and female-Al with that in mind, but  didn’t end up requesting either because I would be equally happy with gen focussing on the poor PC slaving day after day at her training and jobs in order to end up in one of the endings, or expanding character backgrounds. I forgot when nominating, but I think the PC default name is Sorami.

Heartstring Bugs (PC, Mac, Linux)
A Ren’Py stats raising/otome game, set in school, about a girl trying to make a better (and more open and honest) go of her next year at high school, and maybe find love, with the help of an adorable alien baby virus. Available  free here.

Request: Any
This game didn't have a romance route for the three female NPCs—I would love to read one! Alternatively, I’d enjoy any two the girls paired with each other, BFF gen, or explorations of the background and lives of the nominated characters… baby viruses for bonus points!

I mentioned an obsession with stats raising sims, didn’t I? I find this otome dating sim, with its  sympathetic protagonist,  endearing and absorbing. I was, however, a little disappointed that the girl characters only had friendship routes, not romance. I would love a fic that fixes that, or pairs any of the nominated characters (Elly, Alice, Naomi and Tamera)  with each other. If gen is more your style, something expanding the emotional world or background of one of the girls, BFF fic, or just something cute with Vic the baby virus would be equally welcome. I would prefer not het, as the game is so full of it already! If I had to pick a favourite girl, it would be Naomi, but I truly like them all.

Pretty Ballerina/Imagine: Ballet Dancer/Star (NDS)
A very pretty Japanese rhythm/career sim game with simple minigames and lots of gorgeous costumes,  following the stories of three young ballerinas. It’s really sad that this game was so overlooked, probably because it was released in English on the Imagine label, which has very erratic quality. There’s a review here.

Request: Keira/Naomi
The end of Keira’s story makes it clear that Naomi is the most important person in the world to Keira. I would love a story developing on this, preferably as a pairing, but BFF gen would be great. Something focusing on the pretty pink world of this game with ballet and fashion would be perfect, or with Naomi finding a happy-ever-after despite her thwarted ballet dreams.

Any story set in this pretty pink, sparkling world, would be wonderful, especially if you incorporate the costumes! I love all the characters and even though I don’t particularly like ballet personally, I’ve always loved career building narratives, I  love the way ballet is the Most Important Thing in the World… except friendship. That being said, I ship Keira/Naomi like fire.

Princess Debut (NDS)
A  super cute otome rhythm game about a girl who switches places with a princess in a ballroom dancing-obsessed magic kingdom, working on winning the prize at the Great Ball… and perhaps finding true love with her dancing partner. Wiki here.

Request: Sabrina/Princess Isabel
I really wish poor prickly, lonely Isabel had a route, or at least, that the results of the promises between Isabel and Sabrina to drop their rivalry and become friends had led to actual friendshippy scenes. I’d love something exploring their friendship, romantically or not… or fiction about the Princesses in general. f/f or gen, please!

Despite the dreadful dancing graphics, I have had so much fun with this game. Princess Isabel was my favourite character, poor kid, and I was disappointed that after the interminable “looking for Isabel” sequence her story basically went nowhere. I would love a  missing Isabel route fic, or f/f or BFF gen about Sabrina and Isabel. An ensemble story about more of the princesses would also be great. For all I’m asking for female characters, I’m fond of all the princes except the little brat, and don’t mind at all if they appear.

Wagamama Girls Mode 2/New Style Boutique/Style Savvy Trendsetters (3DS)
An incredibly addictive fashion game where you  choose stock, advise customers, style your boutique, compete in fashion parades, and network, network, network to get your boutique to the top. There’s a wiki for the series here.

Request: Player Character
Anything set in the fashion-obsessed, mutually supportive world of Style Savvy would be wonderful. Gen would be great, or I’m cool with the PC being paired with any of the women who make it their mission in life to help her succeed, her models, or with the cute delivery boy with a crush.  Basically, I want the labels, the shop and the networking!

I have wasted incredible amounts of my life on this ultimate game of dress up. And the characters are so charming and sweet! Gen would be great for this game, especially if it involves the fashion obsessions and the ability to completely redesign and refocus your image and your shop every ten minutes. I’m also very fond of all the female characters and totally up for f/f, and I wouldn’t mind het for this one, because the delivery boy is so adorable! Oh, and my favourite brand is Marzipan Sky and my least favourite is Enid Chen. ;)
 
 
So that’s all my requests! You have no idea how excited I am at the thought of getting a story for one of these games. Again, thank you so much, and I hope you enjoy yourself writing!

XX Kanna
kannaophelia: (Default)
2013-09-28 10:38 am

(no subject)

 Femslash exchange assignments are out! A pairing after my own heart. <3
kannaophelia: (Default)
2013-09-27 10:01 pm

What do you want? I'm working.

The Cai baby helping Mama with her writing.

Cai playing with his toy laptop
kannaophelia: (Default)
2013-09-25 10:09 pm

Femslash Exchange 2013 Letter

 Dear writer,

First of all, I'm really sorry for giving you no prompts in my details. It's not something I'd normally do, but I signed up at the last minute--I missed nominations, so I didn't think there would be anything I wanted, but I checked it out and was like a kid in a candy store picking out awesome pairings.

Trust me, though, I do want any and all of them very much! There's something really exciting about having no idea what I'll get instead of a carefully planned and restrictive lists of prompts. I don't remember being this excited about an exchange in a long time.

I'll get the generals and the  negatives out of the way first

Triggers: I don't think it will come up, but just in case, I find anything to do with infertility, miscarriage, elective terminations, traumatic childbirth, stillbirth and harm to babies and children incredibly triggering. (Lesbian pregnancies by way of donor or magic or scifi [if canon appropriate], and adoption, I do love, just no negativity.) I also find sexual violence and, especially, dubcon triggering.

Squicks: the words cum, cunt and pussy, sex toys or dildo substitutes, magical penises, voyeuristic men. I'm an old-fashioned lesbian. :)  Bdsm is not so much a squick as something that leaves me entirely cold. 

General dislikes: Total AUs (i.e. coffeeshops or zombie apocalypses); crossovers of unrelated fandoms; genderswap; crack; PWP; character bashing; infidelity; what X was thinking in Y canon scene.

General loves: Best friendship being complicated by love and desire; antagonism; being complicated by love and desire; true love in general; soppiness; bickering; jealousy; girls going on adventures; canon details (e.g. magic in Harry Potter, pop rock music in Jem,  weirdness in Utena); humour; emotional depth; first times; marriage and lesbian parenthood; soft butch-femme if character appropriate.

On to the candy, in alpabetical order by fandom and pairing! Please consider these prompts as helpful suggestions only--if there's something else you're dying to write, go for it. I'm sure I'll love it. :)

Discworld )

Doctor Who )

Harry Potter )

Jem )


Heavens, that was long. Serves me right for being so grabbity with pairings. Once again, thank you so much for writing for me--I'm so excited at the thought of finding out what you've written for me! I really hope you have fun.

Love, Kanna.

kannaophelia: (Default)
2013-09-25 06:43 pm

Self-pubbed YA recs!

Some of you asked about recommendations for selfpubbed YA, so here you go. :) They are all great reads, and all free or dead cheap, and you have nothing to lose by downloading samples in any case.

The pick of the bunch, my seriously, just go and  READ THIS pick is the Magnificent Devices series by Shelley Adina (steampunk). I nearly gave up on the first one because I thought it was going to be Georgette Heyer like romance with a "spirited heroine" in a steampunk setting, but I'm so glad I persisted. The narrative takes a couple of really unexpected twists, and it is just so incredibly enjoyable and creative and awesome and gleefully fun. Both of us are reading the series right now, and enjoying every minute. The fifth book is coming out soon, and all four in one volume are currently under a dollar, so it's an awfully good time to give it a whirl for small change. 

Coming close is the start to a very different series, The Sekhmet Bed by Lavender Ironsides (Yeah. I know. Don't judge it by the pseud) (historical fantasy). I should say that the author is horrified by it being called YA, but it's my list, and I consider it YA, so there. It's the story of the adolescence of Hatshupset's mother, of all the fabulous characters, and it's a mix of coming of age in Ancient Egypt, powerplay and intrigue between the protagonist and her ambitious, sexy sister, and fantasy built around Egyptian mythology. It's brilliant. Waiting eagerly on the sequel, which will be about Hapshutset her/himself.

Less well written, but definitely super fun is the Causal Enchantments series by K. A Tucker (vampires). They are vampire teen novels, clearly Anne Rice inspired, with an alternate universe and a war between witches and vampires. The storytelling is great (better than the technique, to be honest) and they are addictively easy to rip through, with the special fun of predicting what is going to happen next, omg. Also there are huge psychic, surprisingly cuddly  hell hound things. They also have the most stupid heroine I've ever met, Evangeline. This may be a drawback for you, but Izzy and I found it a feature not a bug. Evangeline is hilariously dense. She's great. The first book is free, and we went and bought all the others.

daynight by Megan Thomason (dystopian) has brilliant and fascinating world-building, so much so that I swallowed it in a gulp. It has all the expected ingredients, such as a love triangle and "we must pretend to be in a relationship omg" (actually, that's one of my ironcast tropes, I love it), but it really has a different world than any dystopian I've read. (There's a prequel, cleanslatecomplex, but I wouldn't suggest reading it first.) I have one major caveat, a recurring problem in selfpubbed YA, in that the heroine's emotions seem WAY off. She experiences the most startling or horrendous things and they don't seem to phase her in the slightest, she's straight back to "Hi, hot boy!" or dozing off. If you can cope with her bizarrely flat emotions, however, this is fantastic. Another one where I want the sequel NOW.

I have more recommendations, but this will do for a start. :)





kannaophelia: (Default)
2013-02-07 11:08 am

New motherhood :)

Thank you to everyone for the well-wishes! I feel very loved.

I know we are biased because we are madly in love with our Cai-baby, but he does seem particularly adorable, sweet-natured and well-behaved. Besotted baby talk )

I am beginning to get resentful when asked if we are going to have another one, because... isn't he enough? I guess I'm basically monogamous by nature. ^_^'
kannaophelia: (Default)
2013-01-23 06:44 pm

some thoughts on buying books

Tracking the last fiction books I have bought, from most recent to least...

Reached (Matched vol. 3, Ally Condie)
Seven: a Lesbian Snow White (Jennifer Diemer)
Fugly (K. Z. Snow)
The Sekhmet Bed (Lavender Ironsides)
The Blemished (Sarah Dalton)
Cinderella and the Lady (K. T. Grant)
The Fox's Mask (Anna Grant)

So. That's three e-first or e-only commercial/trade small or micropress books and three entirely selfpublished books. And a single one from a Big Six (Four?) trade/commercial publisher - and only because I already had the first two books in the trilogy. That is a MASSIVE change in my purchasing habits from two years ago. And it doesn't even count all the free downloads (mostly limited time offers or "first book in series is free") and samples sitting on my ereader or my tablet - there's a lot, and if I enjoy them, I do go on and buy full books, sequels and other books from the authors. I never would have even looked at Spencer Baum's vampire books if his/her unrelated The Demon Queen and the Locksmith hadn't been a random/temporarily free download that became one of my favourite books of the year. (It's free again, I recommend you grab it.) These are only books I've spent actual money on lately.

It's not just price. It's not that I used to spend a lot on individual books anyway, although I was constantly buying them, at least not in a way that sent money to the author in any meaningful way. I was a remainder book store junky - do you mean I can get 8 books for ten quid? LET ME AT THEM. I don't really do that any more, though. So it's not just that Reached was $10 now the antitrade judgement has gone through and would have been even more without it and Sarah Dalton's book was 99 cents. Don't get me wrong, I love buying a book for less than a cup of coffee. But I was cheap anyway, unless it was a high priority book for some reason, mostly series or author loyalty related.

Here's the thing. People who are very pro Big Six/4 and anti alternatives (and let's make it clear, being published by the Big Six is still an awesome dream and a great path if you can pull it off) like to lament that with the rise of self-publishing and micro epresses, we all are reading the slushpile instead of being protected by gatekeepers and have no way to choose books with any quality. All they do is reveal that they have no actual idea of how ebooks are chosen and purchased.

I have bought far, far more duds, in print or ebook, from big publishers than from Smashwords or little epresses. The last books I was really, really upset that I'd wasted money on were "proper" books - generally expensively purchased. My other books? Not so much so. And there is a very big reason for this.

SAMPLES.

It takes me only a couple of sample pages and about two minutes, in general, to decide that a book on, say, Smashwords, is better off left on the slushpile. Some are truly awful, but really? I tend to abandon them pretty much as soon as opening the sample. The amount of time I spend looking at dreck that the author was delusional to put out there is actually very, very small.

On the other hand, if I'm reading a decently sized sample on Smashwords or somewhere and I get deeply drawn in, I generally hit "purchase" long before I reach the end of the sample. Small e-first presses tend to give generous samples, too - at least enough to judge the quality of the writing and editing. Some don't; I'm less likely to buy from them. (Small press editing issues: they are all technically as much trade publishers as, say, Penguin, but that is absolutely no guarantee of decent editing. Cinderella and the Lady desperately required better editing, but what the hell, I felt like reading lesbian fairy tale erotica and it was $5. Some selfpubbed authors actually do a much better job through their betas than some trade publishers. I still don't know what Malindo Lo's editor is paid for, apart from spellchecking.*) I don't judge books by covers, either - after all, specialist lesbian presses tend to have horrendous covers. It tells you nothing about the quality of the book, only about budget. I judge by a) concept and b) words.

The big publishers? Arrgh. Part of the reason I wasted so much money on a book about dealing with anxiety and depression in pregnancy is that the free sample consisted of an introduction by someone else telling me how amazing it was plus part of a first chapter saying the same - not enough to judge that it was nothing but bog-standard CBT workbook stuff (which is clinically demonstrated, as well as by my own experience, to make OCD related anxiety WORSE long term, unlike DBT) with a pregnancy theme inadequately pasted on. The Daisy Dalrymple books, or Sarah Water's latest? I just couldn't pick up enough info through flicking through a paperback copy to realise I'd hate them. Reading samples is by far my favourite method of deciding on book purchases.

It's not always true that big publishers fail at this, of course. I bought The Hunger Games because I ended up on Suzanne Collins' website through TV Tropes and there was a lengthy enough sample - ending right when Prim is chosen - to make me realise that Katniss was a hell of an interesting heroine. In general, though, the samples are too much front matter and not enough content to sell me.

And then there's the issue of if you can get books as ebooks at all... or in your region... or charging differentially dependent on region.

Then there's the issue of author payment. When I bought remaindered and second hand books, the author didn't see a cent AFAIK. Small epresses generally give generous royalties to balance out the tiny or nonexistent advances, and selfpubbing even more so. I will always try to buy from a small press site directly or from Smashwords to maximise what they get. I like the idea of my money, little as it is, going directly to the author. And it costs me the same as an Australian, no markup for not being from the US, unlike a lot of books with major releases.

Finally... I'm a lesbian. It is much, much easier to find the kind of book I want to read in the world of selfpubbing and small epresses, many of which have GLBT and, increasingly, YA GLBT imprints, which don't necessarily have the "gay characters written for straight readers" thing that seems needed to get an agent and publishing deal elsewhere.

There are small presses that just suck, too. Hello, most of the older and more established lesbian publishers, who charge a fortune for badly produced and unattractively written and edited paperbacks and ebooks priced higher than blockbusters. Or Girls Gone By, who tie up school story classic copyrights in overpriced paperback editions and refuse to release them as ebooks, leading to stupid secondary market prices. (Bettany Press, OTOH, do it right, if kind of expensively.) There are very, very many incompetent, scam or just useless small and micropresses, who seem to take author royalties and give them nothing in the way of editing or high quality cover art or distribution or marketing in return. And evils like iUniverse and Publish America. But there are also gems like Musa Publishing and Star Moon Press. And so, so many DIY authors believing in themselves and their writing.

I'll still buy Big 6-4 books, although mostly out of series or author loyalty. I'll buy the Jasper Fforde Shades of Grey prequel the day it comes out, for instance, even though I'm gutted that it is not the promised sequel. (I suspect he has no clue how to dig Jane and Eddy - haha, fellow Jane Eyre fan - out of their hole.) I'll buy loads of picture books for Ponyo - as well as some locally written selfpubbed books about diverse families. I think getting a big publishing contract with a huge marketing budget behind it is still the most fab thing ever. And libraries still mostly stock books from big publishers, and I love libraries.

It's hard to talk about this stuff without being accused of prematurely dancing on the grave of traditional publishing or believing everything Konrath says or whatever. I was just thinking about the huge change in my own buying habits, as someone who buys books a LOT, and the fact that I can't be the only one to completely reassess how and when they plonk down money for a book.

Read more... )
kannaophelia: (Default)
2013-01-23 10:41 am

Vintage lesbians!

[personal profile] romana03 and I treated ourselves to the Joan Hicks Miss Marple 1980s adaptations a while back, and we've been watching them through. They are pretty much the best adaptations of anything ever - right up there with the Hunger Games and Order of the Phoenix movies and the 1980s BBC and more recent ITV Jane Eyres and the early (NOT later) David Suchet Poirots. (I'm not counting adaptations that I only love because they bear hardly any resemblance to source material but are vastly better, like Miyazaki's freely interpreted adaptations of Howl's Moving Castle and The Borrowers.)

Part of what makes this adaptation perfect is seeing Miss Hinchcliffe and Miss Murgatroyd from A Murder is Announced as if they were taken from behind my eyes when I read, and they are SO ADORABLE. They are what I think of as my vintage butch/femme portrayal ideal. (And, yes, I think they were explicitly intended as a lesbian couple by Christie. I've never understood why people think Christie is somehow oblivious to the existence of non-heterosexual people when Miss Marple's nephew EXPLICITLY talks about his house proud queer friend and then worries that his dear protected Aunt Jane won't know what he means, and of course she does because Miss Marple is a dreadful and uncannily accurate old gossip. No one involved in theatre and general intellectual and writing circles in Christie's era would not have come across gay men and lesbians.)

Just look at these Hinch and Murgatroyd clips - especially the scene with the Inspector. SQUEE.

http://m.youtube.com/#/watch?v=FuSJp6ilLBU&desktop_uri=%2Fwatch%3Fv%3DFuSJp6ilLBU

I want more portrayals like that. It worries me a bit that I default to writing fourteen-to-twenty year old lesbians -- a side effect of coming through anime/manga/gaming and school story (including HP) fandoms, plus Xena, because Gabrielle was obviously written much younger than she was cast. There need to be more positive portrayals of overweight middle aged and elderly butch/femme lesbians who don't wear makeup or pretty clothes.

The newer Granada adaptations? SPOILED EVERYTHING. Apparently, you can't have lesbians on TV unless they are something out of Tipping the Velvet, i.e. young, hot, and appealing to men. And they totally screwed up Miss Marple's response. Miss Marple's social circle's idea of being tolerant of lesbian couples is being too well-bred to notice the obvious while still respecting the depth of the bond they have together, not all this wink-wink nudge-nudge I'm on your side girls stuff. Worst of all was comparing lesbianism to adultery because hey, it's all forbidden love. Only one kind involves the deep betrayal of another human being, natch. And having Miss Marple have adulterous memories is so out of character and out of canon it makes me spit. We know what Miss Marple's teenage love life was like..
kannaophelia: (Default)
2013-01-21 11:06 am

Best feminist terms for parents not working outside the home?

I'm not returning to work after Ponyo is born. (Which is, OMG imminent, and also prodormal labour is the most unfair thing in the world, we thought we'd be mothers by today, part of the reason I'm posting here is to take my mind off painful contractions that have started AGAIN but I have no faith will lead to active labour.)  It feels a little strange, as a feminist who has all often been described as a feminazi bitch, to say that - but after all, I always believed in choice.

I really, really loathe the term "full-time mother". It implies that working mothers are somehow only part-time mothers, which is crap, Romana will be just as full-time a mother as I am even though she will be working full-time as well. The term (deliberately, politically) sets up an unfair bias against women who work outside the home.

I have nothing against mothers working outside the home. My mother, who was always a working mother, was also  the best mother imaginable. I know everyone says they have a special relationship with their mother, but I do think Mum and I are genuinely much, much closer than most mother-child relationships, so much so that other people don't always understand our bond. My Nanna was, quite frankly, angelic, the most loving and giving woman imaginable, and she was also a working mother. My Grandma was a housewife, and I don't think anyone envies having her as a mother.

Mem Fox drives me to fury, and not just because of her support for a convicted pedophile or because Koala Lou is toxic. (I am really hoping no one gives Ponyo any Mem Fox books. No matter how beautifully her illustrators do their jobs, they will have to go straight in the charity donations bag, because, RAGE.)

I'm staying home at least the first few years, rent allowing, because - oh, because I'm selfish. Because I am lucky enough to have an amazing wife who will support me despite the financial sacrifice it entails. Because my career is not currently fulfilling and I just don't wnat to go back there. Because my health is rubbish and I have never really dealt with full-time work well because of it. Because I want the chance to have more time to focus on my writing. I suspect none of these reasons are acceptable to the kind of woman who says things like "Working mothers only work 9-5, I have a 24 hour seven day a week job!" as if it matters at  2am with a vomiting toddler whether your day is spent on laundry* or on being a corporate executive, or call childcare child abuse.

So just for the record. I am not making any sacrifices for Ponyo by staying home. I hope he will like having me around, but I also think there are real advantages in socialisation and stimulation etc in outside childcare. It's not that one model is better than another, it's a case of swings and roundabouts.

I need to find a title that doesn't imply that I'm guilt-tripping working mothers. Housewife probably suggests far more interest in housework than I actually have. (I can learn to vaccuum. It's like riding a bike, right? I've done it before. I do like cooking.) Homemaker, again, implies that single-working or dual-income homes aren't really homes. I suppose I could be really anticipatory and use full-time writer, even if I don't end up making any useful money from it... But that seems, um. Presumptuous.

* I AM LEARNING ABOUT THE WASHING MACHINE AND HOW IT WORKS, OKAY? I'm sure nappies will give me lots of practice... Actually, I'm going to practice now by prewashing some nappies.

kannaophelia: (Default)
2013-01-20 04:04 pm

Finally giving in

I've had this Dreamwidth account for a very long time and never used it, but there's comms I wanted to join and also lj and my iPad don't get along - bloody thing likes to autorefresh in the middle of a post and I lose everything and can't restore as a draft. I don't actually know if DW will work any better, but I'm going to try crossposting for a bit. And to read friendspages on both.

I am lazy and it will take me forever to hunt down and friend people on DW as well, so if you want access on DW, please friend me and I will return suit! But really, as I'm crossposting, it won't make much difference, it's just a matter of which site I'm on when I type into a box. :D Comments can go to either site.