Please feel free to look at older yuletide letters under the tag, but for the fandoms I hastily chose from this year's tagset, here are some notes.
Brat Farrar - Josephine Tey
I'd love to know what happens after the book. Or possibly see what happens in the book from Jane's side of things.
Sherlock Holmes (US TV 1954)
This is my comfort version of Sherlock Holmes. I love this young, playful Holmes and his strong, if somewhat gullible Watson! Anything echoing that would be great, but there are a couple of episodes which are a bit darker, and times when there's real danger. Exploring those would be good. I'm a sucker for hurt comfort.
Hardy Boys - Franklin W. Dixon
Frank was always my favorite. Get him into trouble!
The Secret Garden - Frances Hodgson Burnett
Rereading this lately I realized that Martha is really the first person to treat Mary like a human being. I'd love to see a story where Mary realizes it too. Perhaps Archibald Craven decides to make everything grand and Martha is reduced to a scullery maid? But a focus on Martha would be nice.
I cannot seem to snag a pinch hit for Yuletide this year. Even when I answer one that's the top message in my inbox I've failed!
*pounds head on keyboard*
*goes back to writing drabbles from prompts for Yuletide Madness*
ETA. I GOT ONE!
*does the dance*
My nook mini tablet thingie got stolen. And it had a whole bunch of passwords saved on it. Now I have to remember what sites they were for!
I missed signing up for Yuletide this year, but I did manage to get something done for acd_holmesfest. It's called Lion
and I've put it up at AO3.
It's gen, and basically a bit of character study/timeline contemplation about Watson and the Maiwand memorial. http://archiveofourown.org/works/1032872
Expect my usual indulgences in internet research, and Watson whumping.
Also, earlier, I wrote something for holmestice and I think I forgot to post it here. Slash, Granada, and also at AO3, it's a missing scene from The Priory School, and distinctly aimed at audiences who don't need to consider age statements. http://archiveofourown.org/works/1011984
Both are ex-WIPS I picked up and dusted off and finished. I'm going for threesies now, for another round of Holmestice and jamming in the same place I did before. But I think I may have finished the excessive internet research part of the proceedings.
Or at least hurricane force winds and lots of rain, etc... which is just as bad. It isn't the twirling and the eye that make a hurricane dangerous.
And we were looking at the advice on line. "It's going to be bad for the morning commute when people are dropping off their kids. Bring a fully charged mobile and warm winter clothing."?????!!!!
No. Stay home. Board your windows, and if you can't do that, put up tape. If you have to be at work, go early -- like before the storm early. Keep your kids home and haul out the board games. Get floods? Plan on them. Live near the coast? Got friends inland? Move there now.
But go on your regular morning commute? No. Just no. You don't want to be dodging falling tree limbs anyway.
You want a nice boring "I sat at home all day and watched the news" hurricane, not the exciting "there were lots of people in danger" kind of hurricane.
Being caught up by old fanfics, in AUs that are unlikely to ever be written about again.
Finding a new series of books without a fandom yet -- and waiting for the next book to come out.
And having no one to squee with...
In the first instance I've found myself rereading AJ Hall's series Lust over Pendle
. Which is AU Harry Potter, only it isn't, because it's really about Draco Malfoy and Neville Longbottom being completely in love with each other after the war is over. It was clearly started before the books were finished being written, so wildly AU, but they have the most fun with Narcissa I've ever seen. And Draco. And I say that not being a fan of Draco Malfoy at all. If you go reading, start with "Lust over Pendle", wander over to "Dissipation and Despair" and then go on to "The Perilous Point". And there are some other stories too, but those three are the ones that I'm reading. Again. Mind you, AJ Hall is one of the most amazing writers I've ever encountered. Her Sherlock
stories are great, and her AUs fill me with longing for more, and I love her OCs. (And they aren't all slash, if anyone's curious -- try "The Affair of the Asphyxiated Acafan" for a session of delight.)
The second instance is a series of books called "Rivers of London
". At least, the first book is called that in the UK. For some reason they decided to change the name in the US to "Midnight Riot". Wonderful stuff, with a POC main character who is a police constable just finishing his first two probationary years and about to start really shaping his career when he interviews a witness to a murder who just happens to be a ghost. I've read the first three books twice now, and if I were rich I would have been on a plane to England already hunting for the fourth one...
Read anything good lately?
There was a certain pleasure in being forced to abdicate, to follow at random the wide and narrow paths of a fascinating world. But as Sherlock Holmes strode the ancient camel paths of the Silk Road, he knew that his respite was temporary. Too soon he reached the ancient city of Bactria (Balkh, the Afghans called it, since their conquest not half a century gone). There, in the shadows of an empire crumbling into dust, where Zarathustra had once sought the balance between truth and lies, he felt the pull of distant fog-bound streets and a friend to walk beside.
Once he had accepted shelter as a given, watching the world from the safe harbor of his brother’s shadow. But he had been very small then, and the world had been full of sunlight. No sooner had he looked beyond the gentle shade to the bright green world than he had known he must venture forth, leaving umbra for penumbra, and further yet again. And when he stood in the antumbra he turned to see the light that had been hidden from him and saw only Mycroft’s silhouette, standing guard, a blotch between him and the glories of the sun.
When he found himself thinking that even the sky was mourning, he knew that exhaustion was catching up with him at last. A week since the murder, scant hours since he’d solved the crime, using every resource, calling in every favor, forever since he’d paused to dream. He wanted nothing more than sleep, but this was a funeral he could not miss. Not with John bending down to Harry’s grave, tossing a handful of mud onto the coffin. Mycroft’s umbrella was unfurled above him, fragile silk and steel against the elements, and Sherlock stood beneath that shelter and was glad.
Better than I thought it would be. I actually forgot I was looking at Brad Pitt a couple of times. It's odd watching a zombie movie with minimal gore, though.
Two things on my radar this morning. First, CISPA, which just got through the House and still has all the problems about privacy it did before. The president has threatened a veto, but I'd rather it didn't get through the Senate.
Also, today is the last day to put in comments about the XL pipeline to the US State Department. Here's the one I sent them. You can send your comment to email@example.com.
I'm a children's librarian, and have been for twenty-five years. As such, I've been exposed to, and have read, many books about climate change, global warming, the greenhouse effect, etc., written for children going back through the decades. I've also found in my collections books which were written more than half a century ago which describe -- at no more than fifth grade level -- the consequences of continuing to burn carbon for our atmosphere. I grant you that the books from the fifties want us to go to nuclear fuel, but the warning about the greenhouse effect is still there.
There was -- and I've been trying to find the reference without success or I'd link it -- a series of posters by the UN in the late fifties/early sixties which also, in simple language, explained what could happen if we continued to burn carbon. That poster series made the mistaken assumption that the oceans could absorb the carbon dioxide without acidifying, but again, the science of planetwide warming due to human activity was -- and has always been -- so clear that even non-scientists could understand it.
It has taken a huge campaign of misinformation to obscure the truth. We know that we have to stop using carbon based fuels if we want to continue to have a planet which can support our civilizations. Any assessment that says that using the tar sands which lie beneath the boreal forests of Canada is "inevitable" is simply false. The inevitability here is that we must, and will, turn to renewable sources of energy if we want to survive.
There are other reasons to deny this specific project. The recent spill in Mayflower, Arkansas, and the earlier spill near Kalamazoo have been real life demonstrations of the difficulty which arises in trying to clean up spills of diluted bitumen. The Mayflower spill has also exposed the legalistic and linguistic maneuvering which the oil companies have undertaken to avoid paying into funds to help clean up those spills. Credible sources have said that bitumen is more corrosive to the pipelines than other forms of oil -- a contention supported by the Mayflower spill, since that pipeline safely conveyed other materials for decades before being asked to convey diluted bitumen. Bitumen, if it is to be used at all, should be refined near where it is mined. A refined product might then be more safely transmitted by pipeline, but the current method of moving the stuff is simply unsafe.
Again, if bitumen is going to be used, it should be mined in a way that does not remove large swaths of plant life. The Canadian boreal forests are a "carbon sink" that cannot easily be replaced, nor can the activity of mining so close to the arctic tundra be good for the trapped gases in the permafrost.
We know that without the XL pipeline, the financial incentive to exploit the Canadian tar sands will be reduced -- hopefully to the point where the costs exceed the profits. We also know that the pipeline would create very few permanent jobs here in the US. We know that the refineries in Texas which are the target of the pipeline export the majority of their products. Any arguments to the contrary are whistling in the wind.
We also know that the United States is losing credibility in the world because of our obstruction to the necessary changes which must be made in our energy consumption. We are seen as slaves to the corporations, and fools who would risk the safety of everyone for the sake of the profit of a few. We cannot continue wearing blinders, going along without regard to long-term consequences. We should be leading the way into the future, not dragging our feet, staring at the past.
As a final consideration, switching over to renewable sources will pay dividends into our economy -- dividends which will be delayed unnecessarily if we continue to approve and subsidize carbon fuels. Even the giant energy grid companies know that the model of energy delivery which they embody must change. In Germany, where solar cells are common, energy consumption has dropped and the economy is doing fine. In America, where we get more sun, we'd do even better. We should be looking at lots and lots of small scale microgrid energy production, which would be, by it's very redundancy, more robust in the face of disasters, and be hunting for ways to use geothermal, solar, and wind to keep every household warm in the winter, comfortable in the summer, and capable of keeping food and medicine at safe temperatures whether or not a blizzard, hurricane, or other disaster has been to call.
This letter is getting long, but I hope that you don't mind. Weight the risks more heavily; look at the promises of reward with skepticism. Our economy, our food supply, our water, and our children, depend on the right decision.
The trouble with the internet is that if you google to find out if something that's bugging you is worth worrying about, you'll find out that it is, even if it isn't.