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Pick any story I've written, or, in the case of my longer, chaptered works, any chapter from any story I've written, and comment to this post with that selection. I will then give you the equivalent of a DVD commentary on that snippet: what I was thinking when I wrote it, why I wrote it in the first place, what's going on in the character's heads, why I chose certain words, what this moment means in the context of the rest of the fic, lots of awful puns, and anything else that you’d expect to find on a DVD commentary track.

My fic is here.

Book meme!

Jan. 4th, 2015 03:34 pm
tree_and_leaf: David Tennant in suit imitating Tony Blair, Boyish grin, last-of-the-timelord hand gesture, even shinier teeth (last of the timelords hand gesture)
Books read in 2014 )

Meme Questions
How many books read in 2014?
102, assuming I counted right (and remembered to log everything). That is a bit disappointing. I have read less since I got married and watched more telly (I have also watched more telly since ordination, which I think is down to tiredness, but is still disappointing). Admittedly some of the novels were pretty long, but still...

Fiction/Non-Fiction ratio?
fiction: 60. (I read less fiction and more non-fiction than I thought!)
poetry: 1 (I read more poetry than that implies, though: I have a tendency to pick poetry books up and read a few poems, then put them back).
non-fiction/memoir: 32
(The bulk of this was travel literature, which I read a lot of and may be my favourite genre at the moment. I also read 3 of what might be termed spiritual memoirs. All blokes - two of them very good (Cron and Coles), the other hideously over-written though interesting on Oxford - but perhaps I should look for some by women. If such things get published).
plays: 0

Male/Female authors?
female: 33 and three half books by women. Lower than I would have guessed....

Most books read by one author this year? 7 (Bujold). I also read a fair bit of Raban, Fermor, Lindsey Davies, Elizabeth Peters, and Tony Hillerman.

Any in translation?
Antoine Laurain, "The President's Hat"
Edelgard Abendstein and Jeaninne Fiedler, "Berlin: an architectural guide" (2013).
John Chrysostom, "Six Books on the Priesthood".
Gosciny and Uderzo, "Asterix the Gallus." (translated into Scots!)
Also, I read three books in German.

Favourite? Oh gosh, I can't pick one. The stand-outs were the Catherine Fox novels, Richard Cole's autobiography, and Red Plenty. I also loved Red Mars and felt the rest of the series, though enjoyable, didn't quite live up to it. I enjoyed "Foxglove Summer" a lot, too.

Honourable mention to "The Girl With All The Gifts," because I never thought anyone could make me read and thoroughly enjoy a zombie apocalypse novel. I wasn't entirely convinced by the ending, but it really is very good.

Also, should it be relevant to your interests, "Pastoral Care for the Dying" is superb (and the medical background bits on the end of life would, I should think, be helpful for people who are not involved in pastoral care but want to know something about dying).

Least Favourite? I can't decide whether the Elizabeth Peters novels are "mildly diverting" or "meh," but they're definitely at the bottom of what I finished last year. (I picked them up cheap second hand. Not sure if I will bother to read any more. Possibly, if sufficiently cheap, and then re-Oxfam them, as they don't take much mental energy to read, and sometimes you want that).

In terms of books by a writer I do definitely enjoy, "Sure of You", because I began to get both very impatient with Mary-Ann, and also to suspect that Maupin was Flanderizing her in a way that felt ever so slightly misogynist).

Oldest? John Chrysostom, "Six Books on the Priesthood"

Newest? "Unseen Things Above", which Catherine Fox published as a serial on her blog. (I will buy it when it comes out).

Longest Title? (Funny thing to ask!) Discounting subtitles, either "Dandy MacGilvarray and an unsuitable day for a murder" (does that count as a subtitle?) or "The Owl Who Was Afraid of the Dark" (which I read to children). My favourite title was also a contender - "Jesus, My Father, the CIA, and Me."

Shortest Title? Peter Groves, "Grace".

Book that most changed my perspective:. The Rev'd Richard Coles on of dogging (summary: he doesn't any more, but found it surprisingly healing).

Favourite character: Jane, in "Acts and Omissions" and "Unseen Things Above".

Favourite scene: Well the one that remains most vividly with me is the bit in "Fathomless Riches" when he sneaks away from a family Christmas to go and look for casual sex and meets a guy who takes off his coat to reveal that he's naked apart from a piece of tinsel round his cock. But that's more because I can't shake the image...

Favourite Quote: Nothing springs to mind.

What do you want to read in 2015? I want to finally get hold of Least Heat Moon's book on driving around America on small roads (Blue Highways? Lost Highways?). I love his prose style and he writes the sort of thoughtful, history-heavy Americana I really enjoy. I want to read Catherine Fox's "Benefits of Passion" and "Love For the Lost" (I'm less sure about her YA stuff or the judo memoir). And I keep meaning to get hold of "Ancilliary Justice" (and to read more SF in general).
tree_and_leaf: Isolated tree in leaf, against blue sky. (Default)
I don't write enough fic to feel I really justify this, but on the other hand, I would enjoy it, so:

Pick any paragraph or any passage from any fanfic I’ve written and comment to this post with that selection. I will then give you a DVD commentary on that snippet of what I was thinking when I wrote it, why I wrote it, what’s going on in the characters’ heads, why I chose certain words, what this moment means in the context of the fic, and anything else you’d expect to find on a DVD commentary track.

Fic here.
tree_and_leaf: Isolated tree in leaf, against blue sky. (Default)
I Am A: Neutral Good Elf Cleric (4th Level)

Ability Scores:







Neutral Good A neutral good character does the best that a good person can do. He is devoted to helping others. He works with kings and magistrates but does not feel beholden to them. Neutral good is the best alignment you can be because it means doing what is good without bias for or against order. However, neutral good can be a dangerous alignment when it advances mediocrity by limiting the actions of the truly capable.

Elves are known for their poetry, song, and magical arts, but when danger threatens they show great skill with weapons and strategy. Elves can live to be over 700 years old and, by human standards, are slow to make friends and enemies, and even slower to forget them. Elves are slim and stand 4.5 to 5.5 feet tall. They have no facial or body hair, prefer comfortable clothes, and possess unearthly grace. Many others races find them hauntingly beautiful.

Clerics act as intermediaries between the earthly and the divine (or infernal) worlds. A good cleric helps those in need, while an evil cleric seeks to spread his patron's vision of evil across the world. All clerics can heal wounds and bring people back from the brink of death, and powerful clerics can even raise the dead. Likewise, all clerics have authority over undead creatures, and they can turn away or even destroy these creatures. Clerics are trained in the use of simple weapons, and can use all forms of armor and shields without penalty, since armor does not interfere with the casting of divine spells. In addition to his normal complement of spells, every cleric chooses to focus on two of his deity's domains. These domains grants the cleric special powers, and give him access to spells that he might otherwise never learn. A cleric's Wisdom score should be high, since this determines the maximum spell level that he can cast.

Find out What Kind of Dungeons and Dragons Character Would You Be?, courtesy of Easydamus (e-mail)

Well, yes...
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Ten Top Trivia Tips about Tree_and_leaf!

  1. In the Spanish edition of Cluedo, tree_and_leaf is the victim.
  2. Tree_and_leaf once lost a Dolly Parton lookalike contest!
  3. Abraham Lincoln, who invented tree_and_leaf, was the only US president ever granted a patent!
  4. It is impossible to fold tree_and_leaf more than seven times.
  5. It is bad luck to light three cigarettes with the same tree_and_leaf!
  6. Tree_and_leaf has four noses.
  7. A chimpanzee can learn to recognize itself in a mirror, but tree_and_leaf can not.
  8. The pigment Indian Yellow was manufactured from the urine of cows fed only on tree_and_leaf.
  9. A bride should wear something old, something new, something borrowed, and tree_and_leaf!
  10. According to the story, Pinocchio was made of tree_and_leaf.
I am interested in - do tell me about
tree_and_leaf: Isolated tree in leaf, against blue sky. (Default)
Recently Read

The Cambridge Companion to St Paul, which is a useful introduction to the subject.

Currently Reading

Peter Ackroyd on Venice.

Also trying to teach myself some phrases of Spanish from Say it In Spanish, although I cannot concieve of ever needing to say "Can you recommend a good cook?", and I sincerely hope I won't need "I have typhoid fever"...

Reading Next
Heffers had a sale of fiction in translation, so I shall probably read Bulgakov, Diary of a Young Doctor next.
tree_and_leaf: David Tennant in suit imitating Tony Blair, Boyish grin, last-of-the-timelord hand gesture, even shinier teeth (last of the timelords hand gesture)
Books read recently
Finished the Civil War book, also The Line of Beauty, which I enjoyed, but found curiously unsatisfying. Maybe it was just that I didn't like most of the characters.

Currently reading

Peter Ackroyd, Venice.

The Cambridge Companion to St Paul.

Anything on the Camino, or Northern Spain, I can scare up.
tree_and_leaf: Red and white striped lighthouse, being hit by wave (lighthouse)
Read recently

Fred Secombe, How Green Was My Curate

Slender but amusing fictionalised memoir of life as a curate in the Valleys by the older brother of ex-Goon Harry Secombe. Ended rather abruptly on the incumbent's death - which of course meant all kinds of professional and emotional complications for the protagonist, so that was rather frustrating. Though apparently there is at least one sequel, so I suppose it's more of an unexpected cliff-hanger...

Have stalled a bit on The Line of Beauty.
Am enjoying Diane Purkiss' The English Civil War: A people's history, though it is rather grim reading.
tree_and_leaf: Isolated tree in leaf, against blue sky. (Default)
I have not done many fandom related things lately, but this - seen all over - is a nice meme. So, pick a number, and I will discourse. Possibly at length, possibly tersely.

1 - Your current OTP
2 - A pairing you initially didn’t consider but someone changed your mind
3 - A pairing you have never liked and probably never will
4 - A pairing you wish you liked but just can’t
5 - Have you added anything stupid/cracky/hilarious to your fandom, if so, what
6 - What’s the longest you’ve ever been in a fandom
7 - Do you remember your first OTP, if so who was in it
8 - Do you prefer characters from real action series or anime series
9 - Has the internet caused you to stop liking any fandoms, if so, which and why
10 - Name a fandom you didn’t care/think about until you saw it all over tumblr [let's substitute LJ here for a more meaningful question in my case]
11 - How do you feel about the other people in your current fandom
12 - Your favorite fanartist/author gives you one request, what do you ask for
13 - Your favorite fanart or fanartist
14 - Your favorite fanfiction or fanauthor
15 - Choose a song at random, which OTP does it remind you of
16 - Invent a random AU for any fandom (we always need more ideas)
17 - A ship you’ve abandoned and why
18 - A pairing you ship that you don’t think anyone else ships
19 - Show us an example of your personal headcanon
20 - Do you remember what your first fanwork was?
21 - Self-rec: What's your favorite fanwork you've created?
22 - Are you one of those fans who can’t watch anything without shipping
23 - 5 favorite characters from 5 different fandoms
24 - 3 OTPs from 3 different fandoms
25 - A fandom you’re in but have no ships from
26 - Just ramble about something fan-related, go go go
tree_and_leaf: The Archdeacon from Rev., 3/4 profile, holding something, wearing tonsure collar. (archdeacon)
The headcanon meme, swiped from [ profile] dolorous_ett:

1. Pick a pairing or a character
2. Ask me my particular head!canon regarding something about them
3. Post to your journal to share your own head!canon!

You know my fandoms, Watson...
tree_and_leaf: Isolated tree in leaf, against blue sky. (Default)
Some of these are predictable. Some are... more surprising (clearly if I want more hits I should write... baby-fic? Or maybe it's Amanda being awesome).

1. Mother Tongue (723 hits, 17 kudoses (kudos? kudis?), 7 bookmarks). Star Trek (could be either TOS or 2009). In which Amanda pwns disapproving in-laws. I like this ficlet, but it's pure fluff dashed off in a hurry, and I'm rather surprised this is my top fic.

2. And after darkness, light (719 hits, 20 kudi, 10 bookmarks). Narnia. What happens if an Anglo-Catholic decides it would be a good idea to write a Problem of Susan fic. I'm not surprised this one is high-up (despite the possibly off-putting tags, but you can't say they don't warn you what the fic will be like). I think it may be my favourite of my fics, though. I also note that, though more people have _read_ Mother Tongue, more people like this one, as far as one can tell. I think this is fair.

3. In the Files (659 hits, 31 kudi, 3 bookmarks). Deep Space Nine. Behold the awesome power of Yuletide, for this was only written this Christmas. I'm fond of it - I wanted to look at mothers and daughters and the competing claims of various duties, and I also wanted to write something that you can imagine working as an episode (though of course it would need a lot more complications, and a B storyline. Also, I have a suspicion people are more generous with the kudos button at Yuletide.

4. Trailing at some distance, Tell Beauty How She Blasteth (429 hits, 10 kudi, 2 bookmarks). Wimseyverse. AU-fic of doom, which is the most depressing thing I have ever written. This was fairly widely recced at the time (including on TV Tropes), but it was posted on LJ long before I posted it at the AO3, so I strongly suspect that this is actually my most recced fic over all. I also think it's one of my best.

5.In Search of a Big Picture. (375 hits, 18 kudi, 1 bookmark). Vorkosiverse. This one was fun to write, but I can only attribute its popularity (it's a drabble!) to the fact that the Vorkosiverse is a small fandom which is very active on the AO3

And I note that all bar one of my top five fics are female-centric. I find this cheering.

6. Putting on Civvies. (367 hits, 6 kudi, 5 bookmarks). ST: 2009. Pure fluff, with a bit of linguistics geekery, in particular my fascination with the curious use of the Quaker Thou in Amok Time. A sweet little fic, in its way.

7. The Exercise of Virtue. (321 hits, 9 kudi, 3 bookmarks). Bible (NT). Actually I think this is the weakest of my three NT fics, but it continues a pattern of my female-centric fics doing best. I also suspect a pattern where people are more generous with kudos in small fandoms.

8. A Child of Our Time. (290 hits, 17 kudos, 2 bookmarks). Doctor Who. Another one I just dashed off: a timey-wimey origin for Susan. Fairly good idea, wish I'd been able to think of more than a fragment...

9. Some Secrets in a Privacy Forever Ours. (279 hits, 7 kudi, 3 bookmarks). Bible (NT). This one is my favourite Bible fic.

10. Just Good Friends. (278 hits, 3 kudi, 1 bookmark). Star Trek: 2009. More pre-ship Spock/Uhura.

Honourable mention for the great achievement of fic no. 12, Like a Thief in the Night - another undoubted beneficiary of the Yuletide Effect - since it was only published last Christmas, and I am the only person in the world who writes Rev fanfic (NB I would be very happy to be proved wrong).

Do I know what to make of this? No, I don't, other than that I am not and never will be a BNF (but then I don't want to be). Interesting that it tends to be the fic with women at the centre that do well, though.
tree_and_leaf: HMS Surprise sailing away over calm sea, caption "Sail away" (Sail away)
Embolden the ones you did before you were 11 ¾ (as far as you can remember!)
Italicise the ones you have done since then.

In passing, I detect a definite southern-centricity to these questions.

1. Climb a tree - Um. Sort of. I never got very far....

2. Roll down a really big hill Well. Assuming that we mean by this "hills I thought were really big when I was seven...

3. Camp out in the wild I'd been camping with the Guides - just - by that stage, but only to the county campsite, though as they'd been running cattle on it the week before county camp, I still managed to come home with huge infected horsefly bites, which I remember as one of the most disgusting moments of my childhood. Nevertheless, I was not put off camping, though I was a student before any wild camping actually happened (I never did the Duke of Edinburgh award, because it was sold to us on the basis of "This will look good on your CV!")

4. Build a den. No, unless we're counting blanket forts, or the shelter I made for the Brownie "Survival in the Wild" badge...

5. Skim a stone. Not that I can do so reliably

6. Run around in the rain Look, I went to school in Scotland, what do you think? I can't say I remember it with joyous fondness, though.

7. Fly a kite

8. Catch a fish with a net. No. Any amount of water beetles/ pondskaters etc, and tadpoles in a jar. (I always put them back, though).

9. Eat an apple straight from a tree. No. The furthest south I regularly played outside as a child was Westmoreland, and while there were apples, they were crabs, and I wasn't completely daft.

10. Play conkers

11. Throw some snow

12. Hunt for treasure on the beach

13. Make a mud pie

14. Dam a stream

15. Go sledging
Best thing ever

16. Bury someone in the sand - my parents refused to co-operate in that sort of thing....

17. Set up a snail race - No. I had lots of books and therefore was not terminally bored.

18. Balance on a fallen tree - Yes. Badly.

19. Swing on a rope swing Oh yes. It was my favourite place to sit and read.

20. Make a mud slide. No, and I'm pretty sure I wouldn't have seen the appeal.

21. Eat blackberries growing in the wild. Yes, lots, although usually this was in the context of brambling expeditions for jam, and the amount I could eat before someone said "in the tub, not your mouth!" was strictly limited.

22. Take a look inside a tree

23. Visit an island

24. Feel like you're flying in the wind

25. Make a grass trumpet
- well, tried it, and failed every time, however often Granddad demonstrated it. God did not intend me for an oboeist.

26. Hunt for fossils and bones. I wasn't keen on collecting bones, but I had a collection of fossils displayed in cardboard boxes with lovingly written labels, some of which were even accurate.

27. Watch the sun wake up - As I said above, I grew up in Scotland. In January, the sun rises at about quarter to nine. Of course I saw the sun rise. I sometimes went to school before the sun had risen and, once I was at secondary school, came back as it was setting. Again, not a joyous aspect of childhood. There are few things more gloomy than spending all the hours of daylight in school.

28. Climb a huge hill

29. Get behind a waterfall

30. Feed a bird from your hand

31. Hunt for bugs

32. Find some frogspawn

33. Catch a butterfly in a net - I was always afraid I'd damage them. I'd keep very still and hope they'd land on me, instead (sometimes this even worked).

34. Track wild animals Well, if we mean, look for tracks of deer and rabbits, yes. I also recall several attempts to sneak up close enough to a squirrel to get a really good photograph. This never worked.

35. Discover what's in a pond

36. Call an owl
If you mean 'call like an owl', then I must admit that, like Peggy Blackett, they always came out like ducks.

37. Check out the crazy creatures in a rock pool Crazy?

38. Bring up a butterfly

39. Catch a crab - neither in the literal or rowing related sense, though I have done the latter since.

40. Go on a nature walk at night

41. Plant it, grow it, eat it
Although it was only cress. I helped plant and harvest peas and beans and potatoes in the garden, but that was really my parents' initiative, so probably shouldn't count.

42. Go wild swimming

43. Go rafting

44. Light a fire without matches

45. Find your way with a map and compass Although only under parental supervision, and to be honest, always in circumstances where, if you could read the map, you didn't actually need the compass.

46. Try bouldering

47. Cook on a campfire

48. Try abseiling

49. Find a geocache - did they even exist when I was 11? I'd never heard of it if they did.

50. Canoe down a river
tree_and_leaf: Eowyn, tight image of dirty face, yelling.  Caption "I am no man" (Eowyn - no man am I)
In honour of International Women's Day:

Comment with the name of a female character from one of my fandoms, and a prompt, and I will write a drabble.
tree_and_leaf: Kira Nerys, three quarter face, thoughtful expression. (Kira)
I haven't really forgotten the Star Trek meme, though you are getting some answers in a batch.
1 - Which Star Trek is your favorite?

2 - Who is your favorite character? )

3 - Who is your least favourite character? )

4 - What was the first Star Trek series you watched? )

5 - What was the first episode/movie you watched? )

6 - Your favorite canon pairing? (Canon being the series and the movies, including the reboot.)

7 - Your favorite non-canon pairing?

8 - Your favorite actor/actress? (Not the same as character.)

9 - What's your favorite episode?

10 - What's your favorite species? (Humans are a species as well.)

11 - What's your least favorite species? (See question 9 about species.)

12 - What's your favorite funny moment?

13 - What's your favorite dramatic moment?

14 - What's your favorite Star Trek quote?

15 - How did you get into Star Trek?

16 - Are you involved with Star Trek fandom?

17 - Have you read any of the books? If so, which ones?

18 - If you could be any species in the Star Trek universe, what would you be?

19 - How did the Star Trek reboot affect you?

20 - Of the minor characters (one shots, not the recurring ones) who's your favorite?

21 - Which Star Trek food would you want to try at least once?

22 - Which Star Trek world would you want to visit at least once?

23 - Is there anything you'd want to change about Star Trek? Why?

24 - Is there anything about Star Trek that has disappointed you?

25 - How has Star Trek changed you?

26 - Lots of Star Trek Parodies out there. Which do you dig?

27 - What would you cross over with Star Trek?

28 - If you could change one thing about Star Trek, what would it be?

29 - If you could tell Gene Roddenberry one thing, Star Trek related or not, what would it be?

30 - What's your favourite film?
tree_and_leaf: Burne-Jones angel playing trumpet, caption "Make a joyful noise." (joyful noise)
Via [profile] eponyomous_rose. Like her, I got fed up and cut the list of songs down to twenty-five.

1. Open up your music player. Hit shuffle.
2. Record the first few lines of the first thirty (I did 25 because I am lazy and want to go to sleep) songs that come up that do not give away the name of the song. Skip instrumentals, but don't skip the embarrassing ones.
3. Make hapless LJ denizens guess the song names and artists. Google is cheating. For musical songs, the name of the musical is acceptable in place of the artist.
4. Least hapless LJ denizen wins admiration. That's right, just like a lobbyist in budget season, the points don't matter.

I also omitted most of the choral stuff, because ‘Guess the Mag and Nunc and Ave Verum” is not a particularly fun game... The folk songs are arguably a bit unfair, but as there is no actual prize, I feel less than guilty.

1. Put a candle in the window, but I feel I’ve got the blues.
2. To sail on a dream on a crystal clear ocean, to ride on the crest of the wild raging storm. (Not one of my favourites, I must admit).
3. It’s autumn in Gothenburg, I want it all to myself.
4. Oh my bags are packed, I’m ready to go.
5. I’m going higher, I’m soaring higher, far above the clouds of doubt and fear.
6. Walk a lonely foreign street, hunger sets the pace.
7. Called you so many times today, I guess it’s all true what your girlfriends say.
8. No I would not give you false hope, on this strange and mournful day.
9. Well you wonder why I always dress in black.
10. Grab your ticket and your suitcase, thunder’s rolling down the tracks.
11. Come rede me dame, come tell me dame, my dame come tell me truly…
12. I was lost in the lakes and the shapes that your body makes.
13. In dem Kerker saßen zu Frankfurt an dem Main.
14. If you want a lover, I’ll do anything you ask me to.
15. One dark and stormy winter’s night the snow lay on the ground.
16. I had a little gramophone, I’d wind it round and round.
17. Didn’t know what time it was, the lights were low.
18. Walking out on the resurrection trail, going nowhere slowly.
19. Jetzt ist der Unsinn bald vorbei, es war auch allerhöchste Zeit.
20. Come gather round people wherever you roam.
21. I wish, I wish, I wish in vain.
22. Woke up from a dream Thursday morning.
23. Te Deum Patrem colimus, Te laudibus prosequimur.
24. She’s taking her time making up the reasons to justify all the hurt inside.
25. Just as the sand made everything round.


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