So the past couple weeks have seen me under the weather. Or under the rug. Or under the ground. Really, it all starts to feel the same after a while. What I thought was the flu turned out to be the cold virus from hell. It seriously made me question what a flu even is if a cold can produce such epic levels of pain and suffering. Once again I had a three day fever, pharyngitis, laryngitis, conjunctivitis (yes, apparently a cold can cause pink eye), took a day and a half off of work, spent three nights with such body aches that I got out of bed voluntarily at six in the morning to look for any kind of distraction, and was reduced to a four day solid regimen of pain killers just to be able to swallow some water. And then, when the worst of the virus had passed, Alex and I were invited to an oyster bar in Mie and… the results weren’t pretty, let’s just say. In any case, I’m well now (aside from a lingering sore throat which apparently has no cause), and looking up at the mountain of back writing I have to get through to catch up. My blog has been patient, but it’s still waiting for:
Last Argument of Kings: Afterthoughts I will write this one, I swear. I really, really want to—it’s a good book. I wish responsibility would take a vacation so I could get to writing the things I want to write about.
The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction Jan/Feb: Afterthoughts Yeah, I’m so far behind I have a queue going for book reviews. Actually, if I review the classics I’ve been reading then that queue is even longer. I’m not going to review the classics I’ve been reading.
Two posts regarding Interesting Stuff I Read on the Internet because the world hungers for my opinion on things, and don’t tell me otherwise. I need reasons to get out of bed some mornings.
Some kendo bloggy stuff because I have to remind myself every now and again that I have a life outside of mashing my fingers despairingly into a keyboard, and that life involves hitting people on the head with sticks.
At least I’ve been able to keep to my one book a week reading schedule, though I’ve deviated slightly from my planned reading list for the year. That is to say, I read the first book on my list, The Blade Itself and it was anarchy from there. To be fair though, there has been some reason for the distraction: I couldn’t just stop at one First Law book, and then I had to read The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction to keep current, then my Lonely Planet guide book for Seoul came (which should be hint enough but, I’m going to Seoul, woohoo!), following that John Green announced that his half of Crash Course would return to literature, so I hopped into reading The Odyssey, Oedipus Rex, and Hamlet.
Speaking of which, this was the first time I’d ever read Hamlet, which is almost as shameful as admitting that one has never heard of Romeo and Juliet (I assure you, I have, and read the play, and seen the Takarazuka version. If you don’t know what Takarazuka is, get yourself informed, or we can’t be friends anymore.)
But back to Hamlet. I was really stoked to read it in high school. It was the Shakespeare play for the twelfth grade. After Romeo and Juliet, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Twelfth Night, and King Lear, Hamlet, the most lauded and oft quoted of all of Shakespeare’s plays was to be the final one we studied in high school English. And for every English class except mine, it was.
We got The Taming of the Shrew instead. In place of the insanity and bloody revenge we were promised for five years, we got domestic abuse and misogyny. And yes I’ve heard the argument that Katherina was able to hen peck Petruchio with a tactful show of feminine docility in the end, but only by giving up her own identity and becoming her sister instead.
I really enjoyed reading Hamlet, finally. Some cultural references finally make sense. I think I might now understand the allusions in Geoff Ryman’s story “Rosary and Goldenstar” from The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction Sep/Oct 2013 issue, though I can’t say that the story makes any more sense to me. Some things will just always go over my head, I suppose.
I ended up re-watching the Simpson’s episode “Tales from the Public Domain” because it contains a parody of both The Odyssey and Hamlet and I was reminded of the episode as I read both. I’m currently reading Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, which I though I’d read in high school, but it turns out that one was also left off my reading list. For shame.
In other news I’ve been invited to write a dark fairy tale for a charity anthology, which should be fun as I love fairy tales and dark stories. I’ll be reading a bunch of fairy tales soon to calibrate my writing. Then, once that’s finished, I’ll finally be free to work on my novel manuscript again. Maybe. Things have a way of getting in the way, just when I finally feel I’m settled down. I’m also going to try to write the first draft of one short story every week, under 3,500 words. I need more practice with this, damnit, plus my brain muscle needs more exercise. All of me needs more exercise, actually, but that’s a whole other problem.