Long time no see etc.
I’ve been a bit scatty lately (more than usual, I KNOW!) because I’ve been moving all my stuff from one computer to another, an experience not unlike moving house. I originally came to Germany thinking, if we move into a furnished flat, we will accumulate much less stuff, and therefore will be able to move into a different flat when we are settled much more easily.
You’d think this would work! You’d think that, well, you can’t buy beds or sofas or chairs or cabinets or TVs or kitchen appliances that would require a great deal of moving, because these things are already provided and there is simply NO SPACE.
You would be right, and you would be wrong.
Because of course we can’t accumulate big things, but by the mighty beard of Jove, we can go back to England multiple times with empty suitcases and come back with full ones. One day my feelings about decorating our own place will overwhelm me and we shall have to move, and I am dreading that day. On that day we shall have so much stuff that we won’t be able to fit in the trivial things like chairs and beds and kitchen appliances.
But yeah, I’ve been moving all my stuff over, and in my usual way I was like whooo, all I need is my precious writing because I’m so unmaterialistic and a creature of simple pleasures and an artiste, and as soon as I moved it over I realised I’d forgotten my music and my pictures and I didn’t have Skype and I’d forgotten all my online passwords and basically right now I’m waiting for over 13,000 music tracks to copy over to my external hard drive so I can stick them here where they belong. Simple pleasures indeed.
Ergo, blogging! Of a sort!
Me again. So, I come clean now – I’ve been following some YA authors on Tumblr recently (by which I mean just reading through their archives because I am NOT going to give in to the Tumblr craze), and it’s been an interesting experience. They’re all really sweet, smart people and write interesting and thought-provoking things and reblog lovely pictures. Some of them are people whose books I’ve read and liked (Leigh Bardugo), or read and disliked (Veronica Roth), or not read at all (yet) (Sarah Rees Brennan). Through these Tumblrs I’ve come across other YA authors who are friends and friends-of-friends, Beth Revis (don’t get me started on Across The Universe. Let me just say that if I had access to this blog while reading it, I wouldn’t be ripping into City of Bones.), Maureen Johnson, and, yes, Cassandra Clare.
One of the recurring reblogs is this piece by an anonymous fan who finds Clary annoying, and Clare’s response. Clare’s response is measured and sensible, I’m not going to say it isn’t. It’s good, and feminist, and clear. And yet. Something about it does rub me wrong. Annoyingly (oh noes) I found a good counter-response detailing exactly what someone finds problematic about Clary’s (and Jace’s, actually) character, but it seems to have vanished from the internet.
I guess I don’t like to have my opinions squashed by “It’s just your internalised misogyny”? (Wow that’s totally just what someone with internalised misogyny would feel!) Because then I feel like I have to justify myself (but I like Isabelle! and I don’t like Jace! and I write female characters!) and you know, none of those things count because so much about Clary is not what I love in a main character. Her willingness to believe the worst of Luke after a single sentence that he said which was obviously a lie to keep him safe in a dangerous situation, her likening Madame Dorothea’s mother to a mule right in front of her, the way she just ignores everyone around her when they’re trying to have a conversation/help her for ages at a time (hey, I used to be super dreamy too! Then I learned – learned – how to pay attention to people other than myself!). All of this outweighs for me the fact that oh yeah that one time she threw what she thought was a magical mobile phone at a demon and it happened to kill it. Sorry.
I’m not going to say “I hate some male characters too!” even though I cannot stand Wolverine because my god it is NOT HARD to work in a team for like TEN MINUTES and not be a raging jerk and ruin everything, because it doesn’t make a difference, and really, I just want to talk about this book. I like to critique the things I love as well as the things I don’t love. In the one case it helps me identify what I didn’t like, and in the other, sometimes there are parts of things I love that aren’t perfect, or I would have done differently. I think these conversations are worth having, always.
I don’t really know where I was going with this. Authors having Tumblrs and interacting with audiences adds another complicated layer to the act of reading, I guess. I don’t want to let my liking of someone as a person (or as a perception of a person through social media) cloud my reading of their books. Basically I’m making things hard for myself. But I just wanted to let you know that I’m not against freedom or love or justice or anything. I don’t even have any readers, so if I was, I’d be doing a terrible job.
But anyway, let’s learn about THE CIRCLE AND THE BROTHERHOOD!
Well, as always I was smug because I was being all regular with my posts, and then I jinxed it. Well anyway, I’m back now. Since I was neglecting you, I did finish the Mortal Instruments series (though there will apparently be a sixth and final book, which to be honest I am relieved about, because it’s like Clare took five books to learn how to write a cliffhanger, and by then I was like WAIT BUT THIS IS THE END? So, sorry for doubting you, Clare.)
OK, gentle reader, choose your WEAPON OF CHOICE.
Is this semi-regularity? Why I think it could be!
Had a very good weekend at the German iaido nationals over the weekend, and feel somewhat better about my hobby of being mean about people’s work on the internet.
So, without further ado, let’s go through THE FIVE-DIMENSIONAL DOOR!
Well, after a week of well over 10 degrees (it got to around 15 last Wednesday), spring has decided it’s not playing. Yesterday we had some flurries of snow that didn’t stick. This morning we woke up to a decent frosting, and it was throwing it down all day so hard that it was up to about mid-calf depth (if you’re as short as me) in the deeper drifts. Insane.
So, due to that and work reasons, I couldn’t make iai tonight. And what’s the next best thing?
Making fun of other people’s hard work, that’s what!
Let’s get… FORSAKEN!
So, I suck. I was planning to do this every week, but then I decided to make an immense cross stitch for my sister’s birthday, and I massively underestimated it. As in, it’s still not finished, and her birthday was on the 18th February. Worst sister ever. On the upside, I managed to get to England for a weekend and show her the work in progress, so yay! I’ll of course be blogging it here (ha, as if I don’t have at least two posts worth of cross stitches waiting in the wings even as we speak) and now that she’s seen it, I feel like I can talk about it spoiler-free, as it were. Not that I even know if she reads this blog.
So, in other news I’ve been to a few iaido seminars recently, which have cut back on stitching/blogging time. And on the 16th/17th March, at Bad Homburg Hochtaunushalle, I’ll be competing in the German nationals, so, you know, there’s that! If you’re in the area – come along! It’s free!
Slightly related to this, I’ve been having shoulder trouble recently. Long story short, I have hypermobile joints, and my shoulders have been grinding (more than usual) and giving me some pain. I eventually went to see someone, terrified that my mother was right and I finally had arthritis to show me right for freaking out shoe shop assistants and classmates etc with my “party tricks”, but the orthopaedic guy reckons it’s muscular, not joint-related, which was a huge relief. Still waiting to find out what to do about it, but at least it’s looking manageable/fixable. Take that, hypermobility. Still got some years in my joints yet.
So that’s the life update, I’m sure it was fascinating. Let’s get on with the ~scholarly analysis~ of City of Bones.
Chapter five. Hold on to your hats, kids.
Yes! You read that right! Today you get not one, but TWO chapters of City of Bones ranting, or critiquing, or whatever this is.
These are short chapters, and the last ones before everything starts going insane, so I thought I’d be as time-efficient as possible and shorten your wait.
Colin, hurry up and read the damn book already.
SPOILER WARNINGS AHOY.
OK, so let’s get back to my obsessive need to pick apart anything that kind of annoys me. City of Bones, wheeee!
I repeat, if you haven’t read City of Bones and plan to, don’t read on. I’m not kidding about this need of mine being obsessive. Though I’m sure there are none of you who fit this description, right? Especially no one who’s refusing to read City of Bones until I read Insurgent. Hahahahaha why would you even think that?
So, I like to read. And I like to read… opinionatedly. In fact, here is the beginning of an opinionated reading of the (appalling) Harry Potter fanfic, Dumbledore’s Army and the Year of Darkness. I’d give you a plot summary but I can feel the bewildered rage rising in me just by typing out its title, so I won’t. Read it if you dare, or if you have hours of free time you desperately need to fill. Sorry for my old LJ by the way. We were all self-important once. Some of us still are.
Anyway, I read this book recently, and I just need to share it with the world. That means spoilers, so beware. I also do these things in huge detail, if you didn’t check out my DAYD critique.
This book is called City of Bones, by Cassandra Clare.