(no subject)

Sep. 20th, 2017 05:52 pm
dark_phoenix54: (books cats)
[personal profile] dark_phoenix54
Dark Knowledge, by Clifford Browder. Anaphora Literary Press, 2018

In New York in the late 1860s, Chris Harmony uncovers some pre-Civil War papers that hint that his grandfather could have been involved in the slave trade. He feels a need to find out what the truth is, but other family members don’t feel the same way- and even attempt to steal the papers. As he asks around, he finds clues that link other society people to the slave trade, too. And, fearing exposure now that trading in humans is illegal and looked down on in New York, those people set out to stop him.

Chris, his sister, their mother, and their cousin are all for getting to bringing it to daylight, even if it means their own family name will be besmirched. Their other relatives, and others in the shipping industry, are very much against it. They have their money, they have made their way into society, and they want the status quo held.

The story takes Chris from the docks to society balls. It’s a historical mystery, with a lot of family dynamics happening, and with a bit of a love story, too. It looks like Browder has done a lot of research into what trade and shipping was like back then. It’s pretty well written, but I found the ending very abrupt and unsatisfying – not so much of an ending so much as a “see you next week, same time, same channel”. I don’t know if this will be a series, and we’ll see the story given a better ending or not. I would have liked to have seen Chris’s sister take a more active role, too. Chris’s character is fairly well filled out, but the others not so much so. The author has promise, but this one gets four stars out of five.

(no subject)

Sep. 20th, 2017 05:29 pm
dark_phoenix54: (why motherfucker)
[personal profile] dark_phoenix54
A number of years ago, Hank Williams, Jr., the voice of Sunday Night football (or maybe it was Monday) for years, was removed from that job because he was making racist statements. Now, this season, he is back. It's Trump's America.

(no subject)

Sep. 20th, 2017 09:01 am
dark_phoenix54: (skull on books)
[personal profile] dark_phoenix54
Don’t Doubt the Magic! –the Story of Bernice O’Hanlon, Part Two By Cathie Devitt. Roundfire Books, 2017

Bernice O’Hanlon has returned to the island she grew up on. She is looking for answers- and two of the people who could provide those answers are now dead: her grandparents. The farm she feels should be hers by inheritance is lived on by a pair of brothers, who have been working the farm for her grandparents for years- and they have moved into the house. Bernice is a witch, and in this story she works with the Tarot to figure out how to proceed. The action alternates between the island and Glasgow.

This is the middle novelette of a trilogy, and while it’s said to be readable as a standalone, I had trouble figuring out who all the characters were and how their relationships worked- and there are a lot of characters. The action switches between them rapidly. I felt like I was watching a sped-up film; unable to catch up with what was going on. I enjoyed the premise that there were a group of witches on the island, and that the skills had been passed on to Bernice. I could understand her need to find out what happened to her parents and to her infant son. But with so much going on, I couldn’t form a connection to her or any other character. There was not enough time spent with anyone to care about them. I can only give it three out of five stars.

(no subject)

Sep. 19th, 2017 10:57 pm
cupcake_goth: (Default)
[personal profile] cupcake_goth
Cartomancy: be patient, you’ll be happy? UGH I HATE BEING PATIENT.

Halloween Tarot: Nine of Bats (Nine of Cups).

Vintage Wisdom Oracle: Patience.

(no subject)

Sep. 19th, 2017 02:36 pm
dark_phoenix54: (books cats)
[personal profile] dark_phoenix54
The Bedlam Stacks, by Natasha Pulley. Bloomsbury, 2017

In 1859, Merrick Tremayne is living in the ancestral home in Cornwall, doing the best he can with a ruined leg. The leg was ruined working for the East India Company, for whom he had done such varied services as run a tea plantation and smuggle opium. No longer of use to them, he lives with his brother, to whom the house and lands belong entirely, who wants him out and gone as soon as possible. The two solutions the brother puts forward are either Merrick take on a rural parsonage, or he’ll be sent to a mental asylum. Why the asylum? Merrick swears that the statue in the garden moves, and that someone is messing about in his greenhouse.

Merrick is a plantsman (who just so happens to have had a grandfather and father who went to Peru), so when the East India Company (who desperately need more quinine for the rampant malaria in their areas of operation) needs someone to locate high-yield quinine trees in Peru, take and smuggle out cuttings, and get them started in an area the EIC operates in, they come calling in the form of Merrick’s old friend from the Navy, Clem Markham. Never mind that there have been no successful ventures into the Peruvian jungles, or that Merrick can’t walk without crutches. It’s better than the asylum or the parsonage.

The first part of the novel moves very, very slowly. Training Clem to take cuttings. The sea voyage. The mule journey to the Peruvian interior, at high altitude. The fact that the man who provides them with a guide to lead them to “frost resistant coffee trees” will kill them if he finds out they are after quinine. Thankfully, when they reach the village of New Bethlehem (“Bedlam”), the white gunmen leave them with the native guide, and things get weird. The village is on volcanic glass, with hot springs warming the river. There are trees that burst into flame from even a tiny spark, golden luminescent pollen in the air, clockwork statues that move when approached, and the forest is bordered by a line of salt that only the priest (who is also their guide, Raphael) may pass.

This story is adventure both supernatural and natural, historical fantasy, a touch of steampunk, an indictment of how Europeans treated the people of other continents, and a love story. The plot speeds up after they reach Bedlam, thankfully, but it is never a high speed story. The descriptions are beautiful. The characters are built up, layer upon thin layer, as are the relationships. I fell in love with this place and with this book. I totally forgive it for moving slowly. Five stars.

(no subject)

Sep. 18th, 2017 10:56 pm
cupcake_goth: (Default)
[personal profile] cupcake_goth
Miss Erzabet No Biting is so serious about cartomancy. So. Serious. You have no notion.

Halloween Tarot: Six of Imps (Six of Wands).

Vintage Wisdom Oracle: Discernment.

moody monday

Sep. 18th, 2017 03:25 pm
haertstitch: wild roses grow deep  (rose)
[personal profile] haertstitch
felt something
attack my foot
in the night
woke up feeling
the other foot
felt scratched later.
dratted cats.

it rained
most of the day.

Mike went to check thru the fire hall computer
he'd been afraid cc cleaner would have been
why the poor thing had crashed.
but anyplace it would have shown was clean.
but it probably was the power failure.
they don't turn off the computer
when they leave and have no usp.
he has a meeting tonight and he'll

DavE's legacy "http://www.romm.org"
Shockwave radio play "http://www.romm.org/audio/"
Think maybe his death was more of a ~time travel.
the body just wasn't needed.
I will catch up with him someday
and I'll find out where he got to go to
that was so important.

someday... a scavenger hunt,

I've been finding some cool things this year
eyeball creature plants

trying to make little monsters
been listening to a series "http://jayneannkrentz.com/harmony/"
and they have little
dust bunnies, that have 6 legs, 2 pairs of eyes,
and when you see their teeth you are in trouble.
kind of think they'd eat worries
more active, less subtle than worry dolls.

the uncle called- think they could not get the parents
and when I tried to answer I think the folks had called them back.
fone tag is iffy with them.

Witchy life

Sep. 18th, 2017 06:12 pm
cupcake_goth: (Default)
[personal profile] cupcake_goth
(Those of you not into magic or witchcraft, feel free to scroll by.)

As you may remember, I spent a not inconsequential bit of the past two weeks having bad nightmares and generally feeling really off-kilter. It felt like there was some sort of sharp, abrasive quality to the air. I am legendarily bad at creating or maintaining wards, so I texted my big brother and let him know I needed him in his role as magical tech support. He came over Friday evening.

"The energy in here feels like static. Really bad static", says he, proceeds to do the whole Lesser Banishing Ritual of the Pentagram (something I have never managed to completely memorize, but I'm working on it*), then reset the house wards. I stand by and join him in doing this each time, but I always need him to take the lead on it. The weird, abrasive quality went away, and it felt like after a thunderstorm. Inside the house. Yeah, it's a thing.

Today, I finally managed to go do what I'd been intending to do since last week: go to the neighborhood park that includes a beach for Puget Sound. I waded out into the (cold, so cold!) water, stood there for a few minutes, collected some water in a bottle, then came back out and collected sand in a small jar. Both of those things are now sitting on my altar.

* The only part of the LBRP I'm good at remembering is calling on the Archangels, and that is entirely because Kate Bush actually included a version of that in her song Lily. Again, if I'm learning a melody and lyrics, I will remember it forever.

(no subject)

Sep. 18th, 2017 05:47 pm
dark_phoenix54: (writing)
[personal profile] dark_phoenix54
A couple of semi productive days. Repaired the flannel sheet that was ripped in several places. Repaired the top sheet that was almost torn in half. Did three book reviews. Put elastic in the pair of Egyptian print pants. Did two loads of laundry. Sorted some things and put some things that aren't big enough for me anymore out for the Cat Sanctuary thrift shop. Did online looking for dental colleges/clinics/sliding scale places.

Small things, but I was busy all of both days. Busy enough to have blood sugar crashes, even, which surprised me.

(no subject)

Sep. 18th, 2017 04:22 pm
dark_phoenix54: (skull on books)
[personal profile] dark_phoenix54
The Hanging Tree, by Ben Aaronovitch. DAW Books, 2016

In this most recent of the Rivers of London series, Constable Peter Grant is back in London, but still in a territory he’s unfamiliar with. This time it’s the realm of the very rich.

A rich girl ends up dead of an overdose at a party- in a place where they shouldn’t have been partying. Lady Tyburn calls Peter with a request (that’s putting it gently): her daughter was at the scene of the crime, and she wants her name kept out of it. Not just proven innocent of the drug thing, but completely not there.

Of course it turns out that there is a supernatural element to the situation, so Peter is on the case legitimately. The long story arc that started six books ago is advanced here: the Faceless Man is involved. And that means Lesley makes an appearance. Peter spends time having a fire fight in Harrods, having a super expensive flat blow up, building new tech things to use around magic, and narrating the story as the world’s best educated and most snarky POV ever.

Of course it’s a five star book. I hope this series goes on forever. It’s funny, it’s supernatural, and it’s the most diverse urban fantasy I’ve read. For that matter, it’s probably the most diverse stuff I’ve read, period.

(no subject)

Sep. 18th, 2017 11:28 am
dark_phoenix54: (skull on books)
[personal profile] dark_phoenix54
Her Fearful Symmetry, by Audrey Niffenegger. Scribner, 2009

Julia and Valentina are identical twins. They are the daughters of Edie, who was the twin sister of Elspeth, who has just died and left J & V her flat in London, along with a great deal of money. The catch is, they must spend a year living in the flat, and their parents must not be allowed into the flat. This sounds all right to J & V, who although technically adults, show no signs of maturity. They have dropped out of three colleges and do nothing more than exist. Actually, that’s not quite true; Valentina is interested in fashion design and enjoys sewing and upcycling used clothing. Julia, the bolder of the two, has no interest in anything, and as she’s the dominant one, nothing is largely what they do.

The building they come to live in has other tenants; on the top floor lives Martin, a victim of severe OCD and agoraphobia, whose wife has just left him, unable to deal with his rituals and towers of trash any longer. On the ground floor lives Robert, who was Elspeth’s lover. The building backs up to Highgate Cemetery, with the graves of many famous people as well as the crypt that contains Elspeth herself, and her family. This will be important later. The flat is also inhabited by Elspeth’s ghost- something she makes known after a while.

This is one creepy book- and some of the creepiness isn’t supernatural. The way Julia dominates Valentina, the reason for the rift between Edie and Elspeth, the relationship between Valentina and Robert and between Valentina and Elspeth- there is wrongness everywhere. And that created a problem for me: I couldn’t manage to really like any of the characters. Even ones who I felt sorry for at first turned out monstrous. As another reviewer said, Martin is the most human and likable person in the book- and his relationship with Julia is actually a good one.

It wasn’t hard to figure out what would happen after a certain point, but reading how it played out was still a creep fest. The author’s prose is lovely; even when I was disgusted with the people, the writing beckoned me on. Because of my dislike for the characters I can’t give it five stars, but it’s a very strong four, because very little horror really gives me the shivers.

(no subject)

Sep. 17th, 2017 09:25 pm
cupcake_goth: (Default)
[personal profile] cupcake_goth
Let's see: I didn't do any cartomancy last night, because I spent all day yesterday down with a really horrible sinus migraine that may have had a light dusting of eye strain. I say this because my sinus migraines don't usually have light sensitivity and mild vertigo, so something else had to have been going on.


Anyway, yeah, horrible migraine. To the point where I just gave in and spent most of the day in bed, listening to Disintegration (which is the best album by The Cure, I will fight you on this) over and over. Which meant that my hopes of Saturday involving going to the spa, then making up a few hours of dayjob work that needed to happen went away.

Today there was also supposed to be a trip to the spa with some friends, but when we got there, the spa was at capacity and turning people away. Well, offering to take people's phone numbers and call them when there was room, but it works out the same. I have never had that happen, but then, I don't go to the spa during the day on weekends. After 7pm and staying until closing, yep! Going in the afternoon during the week, sure! (Working from home is awesome.) But apparently weekends are insane there.

Instead I hung out with friends (not at the spa), and catching up on things. Then I came home, made dinner, edited, built, and uploaded a lot of content for work, and removed a layer of skin on my face with a mild acid. You know, usual Sunday evening things.
haertstitch: (Default)
[personal profile] haertstitch
I had a batch of blankets
I got up with them wrapped
around me and went and sat
in a field.
I'll be ok I said as I
watched someone
walk away.

got 2 of these cut out and primed.
the board was narrow on one end
but they'll be on opposite corners
angry bird gargoyle

we primed the wood we were replacing on the soffits
I told mike we needed to do it over further- and he had to argue
then looked closer and ripped off more board.
it was the nest over out bed room.

while we were waiting on paint
we trimmed the low hanging branches
and cut out the trees around the garage
and trying to grow into the house.
cleaned the vine off the antenna tower.
mike did 2 trips to the burn pile.

the neighbors up the hill were arguing.
deaf people, stupid people should not
live in multi-unit housing.

Kevin came and helped mike nail the boards.
stressa had to tell me not to fall down.
it is not something necessary to tell someone on the roof.
I ended up feeling like a gargoyle.

it doesn't look we did much.
but it was important to help keep it dry.

sapokka harbor in finland
Sapokka harbor

(no subject)

Sep. 17th, 2017 05:08 pm
dark_phoenix54: (books cats)
[personal profile] dark_phoenix54
The Art of Hiding, by Amanda Prowse. Lake Union, 2017

Although she grew up dirt poor, Nina McCarrick has lived a charmed life since she met Finn while waiting on her father at a construction site. Swept off her feet, they married fast. He insisted he wanted her to be a stay at home wife, even before the children arrived. So she put her dreams of becoming a nurse aside, and managed their luxurious home, taking care of the kids who go to an expensive private school, running errands, and, her big concern, arranging flowers. Her life is enviable- isn’t it?

Then Finn is killed in an auto accident. Suddenly, not only has she lost the husband she loved, but she discovers that their life was a sham. The house was being foreclosed, putting her out on the street. The business is bankrupt and no longer exists. The school fees are in arrears. Nina and the kids are basically tossed out with the clothes on their backs- everything else is removed by creditors.

Thankfully, Nina has a sympathetic sister, Tiggy. She also has an uncle who owns a flat, and it happens to be between tenants. With a roof over their heads- as long as the money in her purse holds out- she sets out to rebuild her life. Her younger son is sympathetic and a cheerleader for her; her teenaged son is cynical and resentful. She has no real marketable skill set, and her job hunt is discouraging.

The hiding is not just the secrets her husband hid from her, but how she hid her authentic self to please him. Hiding can create some terrible results. It’s an okay story but didn’t really move me. Three stars.
haertstitch: (Default)
[personal profile] haertstitch
Sept 15, 2017
I burned incense for
the dead
and again yesterday.
and tonight I did it again,
last night I found out It was an old friend.
He's the first friend I loved
at the Bozo buss building. My girlfriend walked in
on us in sarah's forest- we were lit in candle light
and it was a beautiful sight she said.
she also told me if I didn't get birth control
she'd name my first child. I did get it right away.
sadly we only played the once but we always
stayed friends. I don't think I fit the requirements
to go to meet momma, I'd started to learn I didn't like
the churchianity and was transitioning out of the
religion I grew up with. going to bible college I found
being a female would always make me a 2nd class person.
I had wanted to be a minister but not after taking their religion classes
and having an art instructor tell me I'd think carnal thoughts doing
nude drawings- But god made human beings why should they be evil?
after all we were made in his image. duh.

any how. Sarah died unexpectantly in the winter
and now Baron Dave He's with Sarah & Reen.
and a host of so many people.
Reen & DaveRome
This was the handsome fellow I made love with.

Obituary: Baron Dave Romm
Filed in Fan, Obituary | Steven H Silver, September 16, 2017 4:16 pm
Tags: Baron Dave Romm
Fan Dave E Romm (b.1955) died around September 15/6. Dave was active in Minneapolis fandom and was an avid photographer, taking pictures of various Minicons and other conventions he was able to get to. He traveled to Antarctic in 2005 and wrote about his experience in Argentus. He also hosted Shockwave Radio Theatre on KFAI-AM and archived the podcasts on his website. Romm became a baron of the micro-country of Ladonia in 2001.

sigh it looks like I'm getting old
I need to grab onto the live friends
and make more.

snorri is sleeping on the same pillow as gus
they are actually touching!! we're downstairs
gus's knee is bothering him and it was trying to storm.
snorri came and comforted me when I started crying
he's much happier I know Meep and talked with me
at breakfast this morning.

Sweet Dreams universe
Dance among the stars Dave
the world has gotten smaller without you
but I will greet the sun with happiness
because you were a part of my life.
Fare Thee well old friend

(no subject)

Sep. 16th, 2017 03:41 pm
dark_phoenix54: (abnormal brain)
[personal profile] dark_phoenix54
Many of my recent dreams have been violent or stressful lately, so I was very surprised when last night, I flew in my dreams for the first time in at least two years! Effortlessly, too, when frequently in the past it was a strain. woo-hoo!

More wittering about perfume

Sep. 15th, 2017 11:11 pm
cupcake_goth: (Default)
[personal profile] cupcake_goth
Pulling up my review of Blood Popsicle reminded me of a post I made on Tumblr last year. So here: my thoughts on the scents of colors of velvet.

- Black velvet: An inky sharpness over the scent of dusty, antique books. There’s a hint of beeswax and a winter sky at night in there, too.

- Red velvet: The tartness of raspberries, the golden glow of amber, and honey mixed with salt. The darker the red, the stronger the honey.

- Purple velvet: Gunpowder tea, sweetened with vanilla sugar, being sipped in a secluded garden.

- Green velvet: A warm summer night, full of night-blooming flowers, and the scent of crushed moss.

- Blue velvet: Blackberries and creme brulee, served on a tarnished silver platter.

(no subject)

Sep. 15th, 2017 10:46 pm
cupcake_goth: (Default)
[personal profile] cupcake_goth
Cartomancy: mixed messages? Maybe? Wait, probably not. It really does boil down to PAY ATTENTION, JILLIAN.

Halloween Tarot: The Devil

Vintage Wisdom Oracle: Perception

we have computer cable-

Sep. 15th, 2017 01:14 am
haertstitch: wild roses grow deep  (rose)
[personal profile] haertstitch
woke up to find voices,
the one night I was all naked
and we had the computer tech
come to set up the transfer to co-axle cable.
got dressed fast.
turned out our modem could not handle it.
so we now have real dsl and a new modem.
it is faster
it has dropped once. already.

was looking through my magazine
I found the jacket I had in mind
and the spiral roses.-
the collar would make a good cape
rose jacket

the same magazine had these blackwork ladies.
black work in "Stitch"apr/may 2013
they reminded me I had this handkercheif.

(no subject)

Sep. 14th, 2017 10:33 pm
cupcake_goth: (Default)
[personal profile] cupcake_goth
Cartomancy: trust your intuition, or perhaps realize you might know some werewolves.

Halloween Tarot: The Moon.

Vintage Wisdom Oracle: Purity.

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