favorite AO3 tools

Jul. 27th, 2017 08:54 am
runpunkrun: image of a folded newspaper, text: good news everyone! (good news everyone!)
[personal profile] runpunkrun
Userscripts:

I use these with Greasemonkey in Firefox, but other browsers have their own monkey-based extensions for userscripts.

AO3 Kudos/Hits Ratio — Min's script does the math for you so you can see how popular a work is with its readers. Shown as a percentage, the ratio is useful as long as you're aware of its shortcomings. For instance, chaptered wips are always going to have a really low kudos/hit ratio just because a reader can only leave kudos once but usually visits a story multiple times, driving up the hit count. And of course it doesn't take comments into account.

Incomplete Work Script — Makes it more obvious a work is in progress by greying out the text and changing the transparency of the blurb. Works on index pages as well as on the work itself. Never again Rarely get to the end of a story and experience that sinking realization that it's not finished! This is by Flamebyrd, who makes a lot of the tools I use.

Download Buttons — Want to download a lot of stuff in a hurry? tuff_ghost's script adds a download button to each work on an index page. So go ahead and download the top ten coffee shop AUs without ever leaving the page. Works on series pages, too.

Floaty Review Box, Chapter Shortcut & Kudos Sortable Bookmarks — ravenel's script does lots of good things. The floaty review box makes commenting easier, just highlight favorite lines, hit "insert" and the magic box copies them to the comment box for later. The last chapter shortcut is helpful if a wip has just been updated and you want to skip straight to the latest chapter. And, as if that weren't enough, it also lets you sort your bookmarks by kudos. If you can, check out the Tumblr post for a gif-based tutorial. If you can't, get the userscript directly from pastebin.


Other Helpful Tools:

Hide Empty Paragraphs — A bookmarklet that removes extra blank lines from some AO3 works. This is also from Flamebyrd; check out their site for more cool stuff: Flamebyrd's AO3 Bookmarklets and Scripts.

Filter Me, AO3 — You simply cannot with the AO3's complicated filtering system? This tumblr will filter shit for you. Just send them an ask and they'll post a link curated to your exact preferences, probably. Terms and conditions may apply.

AO3 Series Downloader — This baby by stillwinds requires Java and as such is not my thing, but if you're interested in messing around with command lines, it will download an entire series into a single epub file for you. Or, if you use Chrome, there's a browser extension.

And, finally, the AO3 has its own list of Unofficial Browser Tools, and most of these are on it, but there's lots of stuff I didn't mention, so go dig around if you're looking for tools to help you post to the archive from Gdocs, or tools to help you manage challenges you're running, or tools to filter out unwanted content. And if you know of something that's not on the list, send support a tip.

{also posted to Tumblr}

Francesca, by Ezra Pound

Jul. 26th, 2017 11:36 am
runpunkrun: tree on a grassy hill against a blue sky (et in arcadia ego)
[personal profile] runpunkrun
Francesca

You came in out of the night
And there were flowers in your hand,
Now you will come out of a confusion of people,
Out of a turmoil of speech about you.

I who have seen you amid the primal things
Was angry when they spoke your name
In ordinary places.
I would that the cool waves might flow over my mind,
And that the world should dry as a dead leaf,
Or as a dandelion seed-pod and be swept away,
So that I might find you again,
Alone.



angry when they spoke your name )

Dice & pages

Jul. 24th, 2017 11:47 pm
schneefink: (FF Kaylee in hammock)
[personal profile] schneefink
During work I keep coming up with things I want to post about, and then when I'm home I'm too lazy and/or tired, similarly often on weekends. No vacation for me until September, most likely, but I told myself to pay attention and take a mental health day if I need it. I haven't been sick yet so I wouldn't feel bad about it.

D&D )

I recently found a book again that I'd searched for for years: "Bloodrights" by N. Lee Wood. I was prepared to be disappointed, but to my happy surprise I still like it a lot. It's harsher than I remembered, especially in regards to the cost of striving for power. The surprising reveal at the end made me look at much of it in a different way and made me like it even more. Yay trope subversion. Spoiler )
I liked Antonya and many of the other characters, and rereading the book now there are several scenes that I now much better understand the id buttons they pushed (esp. Kerrick & Morgan.) Also, something I'd forgotten about which was a nice surprise, queer people exist and are, while not completely normal, not a big deal.

Politics, because it's unavoidable: The current situation in Poland is scary, it shows how easily things like that can happen. That the protests appear to have had some success is encouraging but not more than a silver lining.
There are so many countries were democracy is under attack…
In Austria I'm trying to focus on the push-back against the surveillance program, but I'm scared about the new government after the next election. The outcome seems almost certain and it would be a bad one imo, but as we've recently seen in the UK a lot can change during an election campaign, so we'll see.

monday list

Jul. 24th, 2017 11:28 am
runpunkrun: combat boot, pizza, camo pants = punk  (punk rock girl)
[personal profile] runpunkrun
Things to do today:
  • make granola
  • take a shower
  • read Star Trek fic
Things I already did:
  • made appointment for eyeballs!
  • ate breakfast!
Things I probably won't do:
  • figure out how to finish this fic
  • work with me here Rodney
  • you've had three years
  • stop mooning around on the sidewalk
  • and end this
  • or I swear to god I'll set fire to everything you love
  • I'll do it
  • fire is much easier to write than a happy ending
  • ask anyone

Dear Equinox Vidder

Jul. 21st, 2017 10:31 pm
chaila: Elizabeth Bennet reading a book, from the 2005 movie. (austen - lizzie/books)
[personal profile] chaila
Time for [community profile] equinox_exchange! I am so excited we're doing Based on Books this round. Books woo! I love all of these sources very much, and would love to get a vid for any of them. I have included some optional details, but I think most of them come down to: anything focusing on any of the women or the ensemble would be great. The only thing I don't particularly want is a vid focusing mostly on a male character in a women-centric source (which all of these are, except FNL, in which I love all the boys too).

Repeating the details from my signup:

Requests for Anne of Green Gables, Mary Poppins, Younger, Love & Friendship, Pride and Prejudice (2005), Anne With an E, Sense and Sensibility (1995), Friday Night Lights )
sophia_sol: drawing of Combeferre, smiling and holding up a finger like he's about to explain something (Default)
[personal profile] sophia_sol
I have been hopelessly obsessed with these books since I read them, and if there was any fandom for them to speak of I WOULD BE IN THAT FANDOM but since there are no epic-length fics for me to be reading, I'm left with just...rereading the books themselves. Even though I don't usually do rereads that soon after a first read. But this time I'm doing it by audiobook so it's at least a different experience!

It's been a while since I've listened to an audiobook, so I'd forgotten how much more intense and immersive an experience audiobooks are? There's no skimming or skipping ahead possible, and you can't read faster as it gets more exciting. You're stuck at speaking pace for every single sentence in the book so there's plenty of time for things to really sink in.

I mean, I knew this already, this is why I generally don't read novels by audiobook as my first exposure to the book, it's too stressful for my delicate sensibilities. I definitely would not have been able to handle The Scorpion Rules by audiobook if I didn't already know everything that would happen. But I was still surprised by how different an experience it was to listen to it as audiobook.

For one thing the horrifying nature of everything that happens was way more directly horrifying, oh my god. Like I did notice this stuff but it didn't strike me as much on first read through when I was all focused on questions of what happens next.

Read more... )

This is an anti-rec!

Jul. 20th, 2017 09:38 pm
calvinahobbes: Calvin and Hobbes watching tv (calvintv)
[personal profile] calvinahobbes
I watched Anne With An E, and I absolutely loathed it. I watched the whole thing, because I accidentally started it with my mom, who kept insisting it might become better (it didn't) or, later, might be a decent show if we pretended it had nothing to do with Anne of Green Gables (nope).

The production value is great - I was able to enjoy the costumes and set designs and authentic food, although eventually it became weird how the characters were constantly eating or cooking. The problem with this show is that it is REALLY BAD fanfic. Jerry Boute is made a major character, and from episode 1 it's obvious that Moira Walley-Beckett is trying to set him up as a romantic interest, for absolutely no fathomable reason. Maybe she wants to emphasise the French presence in Canada by foregrounding one of the only French-Canadian characters in the book??

I might easily be able to forgive a change like that, but it proved to be a foreboding of how Beckett approaches canon: imagine her just gleefully tearing up the original books and tossing them across the room. Again, if she changed things with some sense of respect for the originals, in an endeavour to make the stories more suitable for television, that would not automatically be a problem. But Beckett seems to inexplicably think that L.M. Montgomery's original novels were boring and devoid of plot, so she freely invents conflicts and challenges that never would have belonged in quiet Avonlea. This short first season (first? I hope last and only!) contains: a dramatic horse racing scene, a cliff-hanger, a pedo!threat, a housefire, the death of a major side-character, the attempted suicide (WTAF I could scream!) of a major character... and these are just the ones I can mention without really spoiling the plot. So. Many. Unnecessary. Changes!

The actors are very good, not least Amybeth McNulty who plays Anne with an impressive amount of talent - she's the perfect fit - and she does an admirable job of acting out Anne's verbosity, mood-swings, and many many honest-to-god anxiety attacks and flashbacks because this is a "psychologically realistic" production, apparently. But the actors can't save the atrociously melodramatic plot, or the fact that this has very, very little to do with Anne of Green Gables. I hate it! Don't bother with it!

(This review by Sarah Larson is good and only a bit more spoilery than mine.)

Märchenmond

Jul. 19th, 2017 11:35 pm
schneefink: (FF Kaylee in hammock)
[personal profile] schneefink
I recently reread one of my favorite fantasy series as a kid, the Märchenmond books by Wolfgang and Heike Hohlbein. (I only ever knew of three books, I recently found out that there is a fourth one but with a different main character. I haven't read it yet and I don't think I want to.) The title means "fairy tale moon", though the English translation is "Magic Moon," which for some reason sounds hilarious to me.

I was worried I wouldn't like the books anymore, but I reread them anyway because I had ideas for these characters for h/c bingo. (No idea why they came to mind after so long. Now after rereading I've discarded the original idea but I have another one, let's see if anything comes of it.) Unsurprisingly I don't like them as much as I did, but I can still see why I loved them and enjoy some elements, good enough for me.

As I half expected, I didn't much like the main character, who always becomes unexpectedly extremely wise in the last fifteen pages and makes a great speech; the special fighting skills were pretty much a given. Especially books 2 and 3 required a lot of work to ignore how silly the central conflict premise was so one could enjoy the rest of the plot. In all three books I really liked the secondary characters, they were a lot of fun. There were continuity problems from each book to the next, I did not expect that to annoy me as much as it did.
All in all I don't regret rereading the books, but probably won't do it again, at least not anytime soon.

Märchenmond )

Märchenmonds Kinder )

Märchenmonds Erben )


In apartment news, most of the construction site is gone! Originally it said end of July, so logically I expected it to last until the middle of August, and it finishing earlier than announced was a happy surprise.
Eva moved out today :( She'd only been here for three and a half months, but apart from DD she was my favorite flatmate so far and I'll miss her. We already found the next person, she'll move in in August. She seems nice too, but at least at her initial visit I found it not that easy to get into a conversation flow with her, I hope that'll get better and we'll get along well. We already know that she doesn't bake, that's a downgrade right from the start ;) DD and I decided to bake more often (and also make more lemonade), I hope we'll actually manage to keep to that.
runpunkrun: dana scully reading jose chung's From Outer Space, text: read (reading)
[personal profile] runpunkrun
Selected Poems, by William Carlos Williams: Holy shit, it has to be noted—and I did not do this on purpose—but it took me five years exactly to read this book. I started reading it on July 11, 2012, and finished it on July 11, 2017.

That's exactly how slow going it was.

To my disappointment, not everything William Carlos Williams wrote is as accessible as "The Red Wheelbarrow" and "This is Just to Say," two of his most famous poems. Instead, there's a mix of transparent and opaque.

And then there's Paterson, which he's also known for, a five-volume epic poem that here is presented in extracts, taking up about forty pages instead of its usual three hundred, and seems to be about a grasshopper, a park, geography, some text from a medical journal, a personal letter, and a history lesson. I don't know if it would have made more sense if I had read it in its entirety, but I'm not interested in finding out.

Williams liked to experiment with white space and sentence fragments—he's a contemporary of e e cummings and T. S. Eliot—but his white space lacks the energy and enthusiasm of cummings, or, later, of Lawrence Ferlinghetti. Mostly it just looks jumbled, or unnecessarily spread out, staggered like the teeth of a zipper. The chopped up, incomplete sentences were coarse and seemed to impede meaning rather than free it. I didn't feel like I was discovering or feeling something; I felt like I was tripping over it.

For such a long volume, my notes with my favorite poems and lines don't even take up a whole index card, and I was definitely experiencing William Carlos Williams fatigue by the end. The book collects selected poems from 1914 to 1962, and I found Charles Tomlinson's introduction to be wordy and almost breathless in tone but informative about Williams and his poetry style, though more useful after I'd read the book than before.

My favorite discovery has to be the complete Pictures from Brueghel series. I'd read parts of it before, but didn't realize there was more to it. It's ten poems based on works by Brueghel the Elder, who I encounter quite often in poetry. There's something about his paintings that draws poets to him. It's probably the level of detail, all the little stories going on in these huge lush landscapes full of color and people and animals. The poems I've read have all evoked such clear images, even if I'm unfamiliar with the paintings themselves, and Williams's work is no exception. Though, as always, in order to enjoy Williams's "Landscape with the Fall of Icarus" to its fullest, you benefit by knowing the joke behind Brueghel's "Landscape with the Fall of Icarus" and the tiny splash Icarus makes down in the corner of the painting where no one is even looking. Just his leg sticking out of the water. Williams captures the humor and sadness of that image, still giving it only slightly more attention than Brueghel did.

It seems I like Williams best when he's being simple and transparent. His complicated, fractured works don't appeal to me as much, and it feels like this collection is more geared toward the latter. But could be it only felt like it.

Contains: rape, classism, and racist language and attitudes.
sophia_sol: drawing of Combeferre, smiling and holding up a finger like he's about to explain something (Default)
[personal profile] sophia_sol
Ah yes, very much in the usual style of Alcott's moralizing tales for young folks: ridiculous and kind of preachy, but also somehow charming.

It's a book about how poverty, modesty in dress, old-fashioned manners, hard work, and familial love are what you need to live a happy and fulfilling life, as shown by contrasting the main character Polly with her rich city friend Fanny and Fanny's family. The first part of the book takes place when Polly's about 14, and the remainder is Six Years Later when they're all adults.

I don't love this book as much as some of Alcott's others, but it's possible that's just because I was introduced to this one so much later. I grew up reading the Little Women trilogy, and Eight Cousins/Rose In Bloom, so there's a great deal of nostalgia factor in my love for those books, I think.

But it also seems to me the case that Polly, far more than the lead characters in these other books, is deliberately put forward as a model girl, which makes it harder to see and like her as just a person. And I don't understand Polly's interest in her designated love interest at all, which doesn't help me to feel happy with the conclusion of the book. (But then there are plenty of narrative choices in Alcott's other books that I also don't like, including some that I don't like a lot more than this (I AM STILL SO MAD ABOUT WHAT HAPPENS TO DAN IN JO'S BOYS), so who knows whence comes my lesser love for this book.)

My favourite part was the part where we meet all of Polly's female friends who also work for a living. Their close friendship and love and support for each other is great. Unfortunately this was just one short scene in the whole novel - definitely not an actual focus.

Magical Horses + Fire

Jul. 16th, 2017 11:56 pm
schneefink: (FF River and Kaylee)
[personal profile] schneefink
As a distraction from the (partially justified) anxiety about all the things I should be doing, have a rec.

Friends Across Borders by [archiveofourown.org profile] MueraRashaye (Valdemar series)
316k, gen, canon-compliant & OC-centric, series in progress (9 stories completed + 1 WIP)
Summary: Two long-time enemy nations can't become meaningful allies overnight. Stories from the lives of a border-guard Herald and Sunpriest, from their first meeting to the end, and insights into just how Karse and Valdemar were able to turn around their relationship so fast.
What I knew about canon beforehand: In a country named Valdemar some people have special magical Gifts and they are soulbonded to magical white horses.
Why I love it: Enemies to friends <3 More precisely, technically-enemies to brothers on a personal scale leads to enemies to allies on a national scale. The friendship between Firestarter Kir and Herald Anur is so wonderful, and it's great to see the ripples they cause spread outwards. I also really like all the stuff about Karsite culture, cultural difference and culture change etc.; obviously I can't say how much of it is canon and how much is the author's own worldbuilding, but it's beautifully done. Kir also has a very nice atonement storyline.

I then decided to check out canon, which previously I'd only known through vaguely remembered crossovers/fusions with other fandoms (one with SGA and one with Rurouni Kenshin) that I read years ago. I knew that canon was about very different characters and even a different country, but I decided to at least try some books in the series, so I read the "Last Herald Mage" trilogy. It was… okay? I would have loved the books when I was fifteen. The plot was OTT dramatic several times, but sometimes I don't mind that very much. The romance in the first book made me roll my eyes a bit, but hey, teenagers. The second book was tough to get through at times because the portrayals of exhaustion of loneliness were very well done. In the third book spoilers )
I liked the fic series a lot better than canon though, so after finishing the books I read the fic again (for the third time. What. And it is free! I love fandom.)
runpunkrun: dana scully reading jose chung's From Outer Space, text: read (reading)
[personal profile] runpunkrun
Gluten-Free Sweet Treats: Cakes, Brownies, Cookies and More, by Emma Goss-Custard: First, this book is British and, as an American, parts of it made no sense to me. The "gluten-free storecupboard" section at the back goes through various ingredients and where to find them but failed to address my many questions. Mixed spice? Stem ginger in syrup? Damsons?? Turns out those're plums. I know this because I can use Google, but I had to go out of my way for it, and I feel like I'd have to go out of my way to find many of these ingredients, which is an obstacle. The other problem is cultural. I'm never going to make spotted dick because the name makes me want to gag.

Still, the cookbook is adorable and has many good qualities, and there are even a few recipes I'd like to try, but at a certain point I gave up because too many of the ingredients aren't things I keep around. Lyle's Golden Syrup and Lemon Oil amongst them. I continued to flip through and look at the nice pictures, but with less of an expectation I'd find something I could make out of my cupboard.

The good news is that every recipe stands on its own. The book doesn't require a custom flour blend. It uses a lot of polenta, ground nuts and seeds, and very little rice flour. It doesn't address flour substitutions, though. There's an emphasis on fresh fruits, as well as different levels of cream (clotted, double, fraîche). Weirdly a lot of the chocolate recipes call for dark and milk chocolate. Not something I see a lot.

The book itself has cute graphics and a colorful layout. I love that each recipe has an info box that tells the size/number of items it makes, baking time, and if/where/how long it can be stored. The introduction to each recipe sometimes suggests flavor variations but only rarely describes the taste and texture of the item. Add that to the fact it only has colored pictures for a third of the recipes, and that means I only have the ingredient list to go by when judging what the final product is going to be like, and in gluten-free baking it's basically impossible to guess the outcome of throwing together a bunch of nut flours and cornstarch. The British call cornstarch "cornflour" by the way. No way that can end badly.

The recipes give amounts in volume and weight (ounces and grams), and there's a helpful index and an abbreviated introduction to gluten-free baking.

Not something I'm going to come back to, but might be a great cookbook if you're gluten-free and in the UK or have gastronomical ties to the region.

The Swan Riders, by Erin Bow

Jul. 15th, 2017 12:31 pm
sophia_sol: drawing of Combeferre, smiling and holding up a finger like he's about to explain something (Default)
[personal profile] sophia_sol
OH GOSH!!! It's hard to know what to say about this book. It was SO GOOD.

in which I find a lot of things to say anyway )
runpunkrun: dana scully reading jose chung's From Outer Space, text: read (reading)
[personal profile] runpunkrun
And Then There Were None, by Agatha Christie: From Christie's author's note: "I wrote the book after a tremendous amount of planning, and I was pleased with what I had made of it. It was clear, straightforward, baffling, and yet had a perfectly reasonable explanation; in fact it had to have an epilogue in order to explain it."

It was so perfectly explainable that she had to add an extra bit to the story to explain it. Yes, that makes perfect sense. I often find my own writing to be so straightforward it requires an epilogue to explain.

This is only my second Agatha Christie book, and the only thing I remember about the first one is that it had a million characters and maybe some Siamese cats? I figured this one would at least have fewer characters. I read it because I recently finished Yukito Ayatsuji's The Decagon House Murders, which references this book in both the text and the premise, and I wanted to see how closely the two were related. Ayatsuji borrows a lot from Christie, and adds his own interesting twist on the murderer.

As for Christie, I didn't care much about the characters, and the writing is awkward thanks to a disjointed dialogue style that depends heavily on adverbs, like:

She said grimly:

"This woman was poisoned. Possibly by a toxic amount of -ly adverbs."

He said doubtfully:

"Surely that's not possible?"

She said grimlyer:

"Oh, it's totally possible."

And, as previously complained, the mystery had to be explained in an epilogue. Which isn't how I like my mysteries to be solved.

Contains: antisemitism, colonialism, racism.

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kiki-eng

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