Nashville Jewish Film Festival begins Thursday, October 14

It's virtual, which in this case means that films will be viewable for 48 hours after their official screening time. I'm probably going to try to see IRMI.

Also, I love the logo: This entry was originally posted at I see comments at DW, IJ, and LJ (when notifications are working, anyway), but not on feeds.

"They sell cheese, stamps, tea, and death"

Maureen Johnson's Guide to Not Getting Murdered in a Quaint English Village

(via a thread that began thus:


In other news, attempting bourbon-pecan macarons whilst researching horses, figuring out what in my current closet goes with the 27-year-old hat I wore to my wedding, and thwarting the influence of Mercury retrograde on various platforms. This entry was originally posted at I see comments at DW, IJ, and LJ (when notifications are working, anyway), but not on feeds.

plot bunny meets rabbit hole

This essay was nowhere on my radar when I went to the eighth floor of the Central Library stacks this afternoon. I knew I was likely to haul back across campus more books than I'd come for, but I still absolutely blame Daniel da Silva and his banter with Archie Curtis about sonnets and Seurat:

essay title

Villis TOC

The fic's at 5880 words, with at least four more scenes to go. Daniel's about to quote Robert Louis Stevenson to Fen. It may well be a darling to be killed, but in the meantime, have this beautiful bit of soundtrack:

This entry was originally posted at I see comments at DW, IJ, and LJ (when notifications are working, anyway), but not on feeds.

research can be so rewarding

I've been stealing time here and there to work on a rescue lesbians fic.

This has included reading about guns. I now know what Archie is bringing to Pat for her birthday:

One of the first pocket pistols was invented in 18th century England and named after the reigning Queen Anne of Great Britain. This single-shot flintlock is easily recognizable because the breech and trigger plate are forged into one piece with the lock plate. This firearm is an early breechloader that is loaded by unscrewing the breech with a barrel key.

Despite its female namesake, both men and women used Queen Anne pistols. They were produced in a variety of sizes, with most being considered coat-sized. An even smaller variant was colloquially referred to as a “muff” pistol because it could fit within a woman’s hand-warmer.

And that, y'all, is how I ended up checking on the history of "muff" as slang to confirm that it was in use by 1907. Which led to this choice observation:

Interestingly, the OED labels the pubic sense of “muff” as slang, but it labels “muff-diver,” “muff-dive,” and “muff-diving” as coarse slang. It would have been interesting to be a fly on the wall as the dictionary’s editors discussed the labeling of these terms.
This entry was originally posted at I see comments at DW, IJ, and LJ (when notifications are working, anyway), but not on feeds.
  • Current Music
    Bennett, "Luer falconers"

hack and track

[If you don't want to know anything about K.J. Charles's England World/Will Darling Adventures before reading them yourself, come back to this entry later. Since they're romance novels, I don't consider the mention of pairings = spoilers, especially given my lurid history of non-canonical shipping, but mileages do vary.]

Many things are going well -- sometimes astonishingly so -- but I have nonetheless been moody and apprehensive AF for more than a month, because, oh, I'm me (hello past sins and persistent demons) and the world abounds with supremacists and traitors and airheads. Good God almighty on a rusty skewer.

(The astonishing includes finally winning You Can't Win Jack, a tennis contest I'd been close-but-no-cigar in a number of times for more than a decade -- and you can tell I was moody off the charts because I didn't find out or see the congratulations for half a week, having silently taken a break from following either the second half of the USO or the forum.)

What I am congratulating myself on this morning is knowing my wiring well enough to know that if I could simply get an England World drabble posted, that would appease the bunny-chasing part of my brain that was opening my fic-scribbling folder every hour and let me get on with the other things that have to be thinged before I dive into full-barreled canon review and research. It ended up being 400 words . . .

Matter of Fact
G, Archie/Daniel, post-canon, doting, no plot

Until yesterday, the line I quote in the fic summary was arguably my favorite in Subtle Blood (hello, competence kink), but the one that has been ringing through my head the past two days is "You stupid bastard, you're true as steel." In Think of England, this speech may have been the first passage I bookmarked:

“Thirdly, and this is the important one: dead men. Dead men under the sun of Jacobsdal or floating down the Thames at night. Dead and smashed in the seas off Beachy Head, or in lonely rooms with a gun falling from their hands, or in the next war because of the secrets that have been sold. The Armstrongs have left a trail of blood for their own enrichment, and I intend to bring them to justice. And I am quite sure that you will stand with me to do it, whatever else happens, because if you are a man to put personal concerns before duty, then I have lost my judgement.”

"I intend to bring them to justice" is sharing the room in my brain that also has "Everyone who fought or resisted in World War I or II or the others had other things they could have done with their lives had it not been for supremacists, traitors, et al. Everyone who had the misfortune to be born in outright serfdom or slavery is a testament to the world being profoundly unfair" and "Your parents survived martial law and poverty. Get over yourself and get on with things."

But since I am also an unconquerably frivolous and hedonistic soul, there is also the Yuletide Fandom Promo post to be vastly amused by (I started laughing at the very first one and didn't stop, and I had been warned in advance that someone had nominated Sotheran's Twitter, but still... *wipes tears from eyes*). It occurred to me this morning that Yuletide is much like RPGs for me -- I'm too much of a control freak and hot mess to participate as a regular, but I love the lead-up (building characters, aye; actually playing them, nay) and once in a blue beaverish moon popping in to serve a morsel of mayhem.

Anyway, I've got to dedicate 14 hours to professional melodrama today (melodrama being the topic rather than the situation, fortunately), so off I go. I have a glass of water at hand and I slapped sunscreen on my face before sitting down, so that's at least two teensy steps toward getting back into a good groove.

I'm also wearing my phone as a pedometer, because my employer is dangling gift card raffle entries as an incentive to get in 7,000 per day. Which has not been happening with me yet, but it is helpfully informative to see just how sedentary I currently am, and to plot how I'm going to fix that once the melodrama has been curtained off. This entry was originally posted at I see comments at DW, IJ, and LJ (when notifications are working, anyway), but not on feeds.


The sketch file for the side fic (e.g., the non-crossing-with-Wimsey canon filler I might actually have a prayer of posting before NYR 2021 closes) is nearly at 3,000 words, which is rather annoying given how I had sternly told myself to focus whole hog on the things for which my deadlines are non-negotiable as opposed to wholly optional no-one-is-expecting-this fluffing about.

Of course, my brain has been pulling this stunt for decades, so I am not really surprised. Because, let's be frank, as much as I truly enjoy herding citations into compliance, there's the difference between black coffee and fine champagne (and I would feel bereft if my life could not include both), and so there's the pleasure of doggedly applying AMA style across a jumble of files that is most necessary (because it's related to a ton of money to be directed toward cancer research) that yet doesn't feel quite enough if I don't also carve out time to fashion fresh conversations among our England World friends (or, in the case of Daniel, the dishing out of snark and the deflecting of people shouting at him, with abundant reason for dishing and deflecting and especially the shouting). I can barely wait until I can flesh this out enough to share what's going on when I have Fen and Pat have this exchange:

Collapse )

In other sparkling distractions, my re-immersion in Monteverdi has now extended to watching every instance of "Madama, con tua pace" to be found on YouTube. It's a brilliant, hilarious aria, and the interpretations range from classical and Louis XIV settings (with 1970s production values, which adds to the entertainment) to nordic-abstract and franco-grotesque riffs.

1979 Harnoncourt/Ponnelle

It doesn't hurt that philosophical musings typically make my own head ache, so I'm delighted to come across Monteverdi making fun of them. My favorite incarnation at the moment is Silvia Frigato's, which starts at around 52:15 at It is so physically precise and so beautifully rude, especially her delicious laugh as the orchestra rips through the ciaccona.

(I'm also delighted by this 2000 staging in Aix -- the page peeks in ca. 43:22 and starts sassing Seneca a minute later. Silvia's voice and technique are stronger to my ear, but this Seneca is freaking gorgeous, so there's that. . .)

Chronic grousing aside, this self-inflicted mayhem is all to the good: the KJC plotbunnies are going to push me into reading more novels and histories (and Timon of Athens) sooner than I would otherwise, and I hit the piano yesterday and today to thump my way through parts of Poppea and Ulisse. Good times. This entry was originally posted at I see comments at DW, IJ, and LJ (when notifications are working, anyway), but not on feeds.

399th verse, same as the 1st

I don't have time to fall back in love with Monteverdi right now, but golly, what I've seen of the 2017 Venice production so far of Il ritorno di Ulisse is fantastic (and on a completely irrelevant note, I would cast Lucile Richardot as Harriet Vane in a heartbeat were it up to looks and voice alone):

(My birthday present to myself this year was the Bahrenreiter edition of the opera. Relatedly, Rob at Yesterday Service Sheet Music in Somerville, MA, is a sweetheart, and y'all should consider ordering from him if you need your own copy of a classical something or other.) This entry was originally posted at I see comments at DW, IJ, and LJ (when notifications are working, anyway), but not on feeds.


To my immense and admittedly outsized relief, the England World/Will Darling Adventures epilogue the author posted to her chat and newsletter contingents this week is funny and lovely and doesn't make me go EW(E). It did put paid to some of the Fen stories I'd started sketching out as a possible eleventh-hour NYR treat to someone who frequently commented on my fics back in the day (i.e., more than a decade ago. Strewth . . . )

. . . and I have all-too-characteristically bunnied myself twice since starting that sentence, so it's back into the "When I Have Time" folder for "Unruffled" and "Obvious Competence." "In on the Joke" (in which Daniel da Silva and Peter Wimsey get on each other's nerves) and "Professionally Foreign" (where they oh-so-elegantly fray everyone else's nerves) remain in that folder.

. . . and this is all pastry frisbee where the near future is concerned anyhow. (AKA, will I get around to these before 2023, if ever? You'd be better off betting on Le Peace Treaty, Imagine Neverland, or Nth Power, which all happen to be horses running at Laurel Park this Thursday.) But it's nice to have a bundle of frothy-bubbly knife-sharp possibilities tickling certain corners of my brain while HQ contends with heavier stuff. Which put me in the mood to listen to Elgar's Cello Concerto this afternoon while addressing postcards, which in turn put me in the path of an article about Julian Lloyd Webber's love of the piece, and -- ohhh:

Lying on his deathbed, 15 years after the concerto's completion, Elgar "rather feebly" tried to whistle the first movement's haunting 9/8 theme to his friend, the violinist William Reed.

"Billy," he said with tears in his eyes, "if ever you're walking on the Malvern Hills and hear that, don't be frightened. It's only me."

On a far more frivolous note, I've been thinking that the woman on the cover of Proper English reminded me of someone, and I finally realized this week that it was Gustine from the 2020 season of La Plus Belle Voix.

This entry was originally posted at I see comments at DW, IJ, and LJ (when notifications are working, anyway), but not on feeds.

speaking of THINK OF ENGLAND

Lovely to glimpse one of the interior illustrations, courtesy of the author putting a copy up for auction (to aid Afghan women):

(Also amused to see the current "like" count for the second tweet at 69, as is the highlight count for the "Dear fellow, you've missed it by a mile" paragraph in chapter 7. And the bidding is currently at $275.)

(There is also a Thai set of Charm of Magpies that's currently at $215.) This entry was originally posted at I see comments at DW, IJ, and LJ (when notifications are working, anyway), but not on feeds.

translations of THINK OF ENGLAND

In the latest installment of "I am incapable of simplifying my life" (which this week has also involved accidentally poisoning two carnivorous plants and getting sassed by ducks), I tumbled into a rabbit hole yesterday that involved hunting for translations for K.J. Charles's Think of England, which netted the following:

The German title means "Meeting at Midnight" and was livetweeted at length last year by a bloke who came across it in a supermarket bargain bin:
(I especially like him really liking Fen and Pat: "Ich mag die beiden Damen!" And doing so with some choice snippets from the book.)

The French title means "A Taste of England." Hmmm. Mm-hmm.

I think the Japanese title is the same as the English? What a fine cover.

Any of you know if there's a Spanish edition? This entry was originally posted at I see comments at DW, IJ, and LJ (when notifications are working, anyway), but not on feeds.