delphipsmith: (trust_snape)
My gift posted today over at [ profile] hoggywartyxmas and oh, my, is it a thing of wonder. If you like stories that break your heart and then put it back together again in a most satisfying and lyrical manner, please take a moment to go and read:

Through the Spiral of the Years
delphipsmith: (KellsS)
My gift has posted over at [ profile] sshg_giftfest, and it is stellar. I don't know who the Mystery Author is (though I have a suspicion), but they've got a magic quill, whoever they are. Run, do not walk, to this delightful tale of a novel come to life and a bit of Christmas cheer which totally made my night :)

A Gifting of Book Wyrms
delphipsmith: (trust_snape)
Reveals are up over at [ profile] sshg_giftfest, so I can now admit to having written "The Price of a Memory" (on the fest community or on AO3) for [ profile] reynardo! Her prompt was positively inspiring, and I had a wonderful time writing this for her.

I would also like to profusely and enthusiastically applaud and thank [ profile] dragoon811, who wrote for ME a splendid story containing so many of my favorite elements: entangled souls and seventh year, too-clever-by-half Hermione and sarcastic biting Severus, all beautifully interwoven with canon events and a perfect, heart-tugging ending. Go and read Warmth and see for yourself!

Check out all the other artses and fics while you're there, too, because every single one is top-notch. The amount of talent in this particular 'ship continues to amaze and delight me...
delphipsmith: (George scream)
Good Thing the First: I am caught up on reading [ profile] mini_fest, yay! So many wonderful little stocking stuffers, and one or two more substantial offerings. My favorite so far is a Minerva/Severus piece entitled Dark and Deep. Doesn't that title make you want to go there right now and read it?

Good Thing the Second: Real life is FINALLY FINALLY FINALLY slowing down, and I am so looking forward to getting back on LJ more. Since October when we moved house, it's just been one thing after another and woah, am I ready to slow down a little. I can also take on more of the mod-ly burdens for [ profile] sshg_giftfest, which to date have been shouldered almost entirely by the valiant [ profile] amorette, whom I owe big time for doing SO much more than her fair share. She is a true rock!

Good Thing the Third: Mr Psmith graduates tomorrow!!!! I am so proud of him I can hardly stand it :)

Good Thing the Fourth: This, shared with me by a fellow nerdgeek at work today. There are no words for how very much I love this:

delphipsmith: (weeping angel)
I stumbled across a fic on AO3 tonight that I simply must rec. It's dark, very dark, but oh so terrifyingly credible. Every action of every person in this story is entirely in character, and if the HP books had been written for adults instead of children, this or something very like it would surely have happened. The story isn't long but it's powerful, and will make you weep for every single person involved as they fall -- or step willingly -- into the darkness.

Title: Paterfamilias
Author: Miggy, Phoebe (Emeraldwoman)
Word count: 3929
Warnings: fairly explicit violence, especially the final few lines
Summary: Arthur Weasley discovers that no matter how limited the choices, the cost of using the enemy's techniques is too high.

When he was just an infant, Fred became very sick and could
barely breathe for how clogged his lungs were. Arthur had
watched him all through the night, convinced his son couldn't
die so long as he kept his fatherly gaze trained on the crib.
As he watches the son of a hated enemy cling to life, he
realizes only one word in that label matters...
delphipsmith: (KellsS)
I will have some things to say about Thanksgiving later, but right now I just want to say this:
Go ye and read :)
delphipsmith: (George scream)
Yes, I am still alive. Real life has been ver' ver' busy of late, what with freelance editing clients, getting my [ profile] minerva_fest entry in, trying to get caught up on [ profile] hp_silencio (which posted a stunning and heartbreaking Minerva-centric entry on Saturday, thanks to [ profile] teddyradiator for pointing me to it), birthday parties for nieces and nephews, and to top it off my online fantasy/sci fi writing workshop (which I'm now co-modding, and yes we would love to have new members) is running its twice-a-year short story in a week during the month of October.


I have managed to cram some reading in here and there: a YA post-apoc novel about seven young children trying to survive alone following a mass epidemic (Fire-Us #1: Kindling), a highly unusual, meditative and thoughtful post-apoc tale of perhaps the last woman on earth (The Hauntings of Playing God), a mediocre suspense/horror story about a missing Karloff/Lugosi film and a few too many other things (Ancient Images), a beach-read Gilded-Age romance (American Heiress), and a somewhat disappointing Angela Carter novel (The Magic Toyshop) about orphans and creepy puppets. (Links go to my reviews, if I've done one.)

And I'm currently a third of the way through Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality (HPMOR), which is quite fun: what if Harry Potter were a child prodigy raised by a physicist and tried to apply the scientific method to magic? Very much AU; all the familiar characters are there with essentially the same characteristics (Dumbledore twinkles and is a bit mad, Hermione is brilliant, McGonagall is proper yet with underlying affection) but everything else gets twisted round in new and interesting ways. The author must know quite a lot about the fanfic world because he works in a lot of inside jokes about various fandom habits and oddities (e.g. the Harry/Draco pairing), but it's all done very affectionately.

I intend to follow it up with Hogwarts School of Prayer and Miracles, mentioned by [ profile] kellychambliss, a spoof of the series as fundamentalist Christian. Promises to be amusing.

Ah, and last night we saw Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike, which was fabulous. I sympathized hugely with Vanya's rant about how we used to lick stamps and have typewriters, and the actress who was Nina (over)played her like a young female William Shatner parody, which made me and Mr Psmith laugh immoderately. A good time was had by all :)

So there you go. What's new with you, flist?
delphipsmith: (grinchmas)
...the two gifts I received this fest season; they are things of beauty!

The first is from [ profile] minerva_fest last month. I had asked for a story that explored the differences between Minerva and Molly, and [ profile] realmer06 delivered a thoughtful series of vignettes, anchored in the aftermath of the final battle, that shows us not only what might have been but what perhaps was always meant to be.

Title: Roads Not Taken
Author: [ profile] realmer06
Word count: 10,300
Prompt: Minerva has no children; Molly has seven. Minerva led a busy and successful career; Molly was a busy and successful wife and mother. The two of them muse on why they each made these choices, and how they feel about them now.

Eighteen-year-old Minerva McGonagall had never imagined herself the
kind of person to fall madly in love. She had never imagined herself to be the
kind of person who ‘madly’ did anything. But that had been before she met Dougal...

The second is from this year's [ profile] hp_holidaygen. I had asked for something about how either the Hogwarts ghosts or the Hogwarts House-Elves celebrate the season; what does it mean to them? My Mystery Author (reveals are not up yet) has written a ghostly meditation on the holiday from the viewpoint of the Fat Friar, a true gem composed of love and loss and loyalty entangled.

Title: Doorways
Author: ????
Word count: 1100

The Fat Friar leaned back in his chair and considered the glass on the table
before him. The wine was a deep, rich red, a red that whispered to him of promises to
come. Almost – he licked his lips around the word – seductive. A half-remembered quote
came to him.
I have looked upon the wine when it is red. Indeed.
delphipsmith: (magick)
I've been madly trying to get caught up on fest reading ([ profile] sshg_exchange, [ profile] hoggywartyxmas, [ profile] hp_holidaygen, [ profile] mini_fest, whew!!). I'm doing fairly well, though I still have a long way to go on [ profile] mini_fest, but I have also on occasion been seduced into other channels.

The most surprising and fascinating was Seven for a Secret (AO3). I have no recollection of how I found it, because I was following links upon links upon links (you know, like you do) and the trail is long gone cold, but it doesn't matter. What matters is that these are marvelous, dark reimaginings of seven fairy/Disney princess tales. Jasmine finds out the punishment for stealing in a Middle Eastern country; Belle witnesses the French Revolution; Sleeping Beauty awakes only to find everyone around her falling into a new kind of sleep, and more. They are disturbing, yes, but so creative and so beautifully, vividly told -- as good as Angela Carter's The Bloody Tower, or Tanith Lee's Red as Blood: Tales from the Sisters Grimmer. Luckily they're short-shorts (the total word count is only 6390) so you can get through them all during, oh, tea-and-a-cookie-or-two.

Speaking of cookies, I got a couple of Barnes and Noble gift cards for Xmas and promptly ran out and bought the Smitten Kitchen cookbook. IT IS FABULOUS. Tons of new recipes that aren't on the website, gorgeous photos, and it really does lie flat on the counter when it's open, just like advertised. Much cooking will ensue in the New Year!!
delphipsmith: (grinchmas)
...don't forget [ profile] hp_holidaygen! There have been some great stories posted so far, with more to come, so toddle over and take a look. Aside from my lovely gift, we also have a peek at Minerva's school years, a description of a Malfoy Christmas, a story of Severus' desolate Yule as headmaster, snarky!Draco, and much much more. Most of them are fairly short, so you can dip in for just a few minutes here and there without investing an entire evening (because of course we all have lots of claims on our time over the next few days!). So what are you waiting for? Go!!
delphipsmith: (snape applause)
My gifts (yes, plural!) have posted on [ profile] sshg_exchange, and I tell you now: RUN DO NOT WALK to read All Shadows Pass Away. I am blown away by the gorgeousness of the prose, the vivid lushness of the descriptions, the liveliness and depth of the dialog...There are cats and libraries and walled gardens, Tuscany and Wales and Hogsmeade, there are theological/philosophical debates and picnics, there are echoes of myth and legend, and most of all there is so much love in all its forms: friendship, healing, loyalty, desire, passion, faith.

As if that weren't gift enough, the same Mystery Author also created a lushly beautiful piece of art based on my story A Price Beyond Rubies which looks like a page from an illuminated manuscript and which forms a perfect linking device between that story and hers.

Even if Santa leaves me nothing but coal this year, I will consider myself supremely well-gifted indeed :)
delphipsmith: (grinchmas)
[ profile] hp_holidaygen has begun posting, and guess whose gift was first under the tree? Mine!! Some wonderful, talented, generous person has written for me a bittersweet tale of mystery, friendship, loyalty and love, with (of course) a Hermione determined to Figure Things Out -- and all set in a fantastical, mysterious, enticing library that I would give my eye teeth to visit (ah, but perhaps I shall someday!). Not to mention that they have linked in ancient myths like Orpheus and Eurydice, Lot's wife, etc. -- I've always been fascinated by retelling of myths and fairy tales, so this is an extra extra bonus. Hermione encounters a series of "old friends" as she makes her way towards her goal, and the glimpses we get of what has happened to them all in the intervening years add a nice richness and complexity. Truly, I am a lucky recipient, and could not have asked for more!

Go ye and read: Don't Look Back.
delphipsmith: (buttons)
...that there's a giant comprehensive master list for all six years of the [ profile] sshg_exchange? It has 900+ fics listed and is sortable AND filterable by all sorts of characteristics: year, author, rating, etc. Wish I'd found it at the beginning of my four-day weekend instead of the end >:|

I'm plugging along on [ profile] sshg_exchange and [ profile] luciusbigbang, not to mention my writing group's twice-yearly Short Story In A Week which always, always, ALWAYS seems to fall during the busiest months of the year for me, in some sort of cosmic slap-down of my attempts to participate fully in it. So far we're three days into the first week and I've written king zippy nada, as a a friend of mine used to say.

But it's not my fault, really! I keep getting distracted -- not least by the aforementioned list, but also by the wonderful SS/HG AU fic Droxy's Folly, which went up on AO3 over the weekend. (If you haven't read this yet, drop everything and GO.) And of course by silly videos of cats, we all know how that goes.

Curse you, interwebz!!!!

Seems appropriate that I share one item of distraction, given (a) the current fests-in-progress, (2) the BBC's recent tut-tutting over 50 Shades of Grey (thanks, [ profile] laurielover1912) and Newsweek's assertion that what's really wrong with FSoG is the lamentable quality of the prose. So, for your edification and jollification, I offer this light-hearted defense of smut, from Tom Lehrer:

[Error: unknown template video]
delphipsmith: (grinchmas)
...but it's never too early to start thinking about winter holidays!! Prompting is now open for the low-key, low-stress holiday mini-fest :)

Banner by [ profile] pink_mint
delphipsmith: (much rejoicing)
My [ profile] lm_hgficxchange gift fic posted, and it's absolutely wonderful! It's from the pen of the talented [ profile] rivertempest and she has outdone herself. The story has all my favorite things: clever plot, witty/snarky banter, a little UST, and Lucius in some truly monumentally funny situations. I laughed until I cried at the herbal tea and the men's wear :D

Go forth now and read Equal Opportunity -- you won't be sorry :)
delphipsmith: (stgroup)
If you've read Patrick Rothfuss' The Name of the Wind (excellent books) and also the Narnia books, you'll enjoy this short tribute fic / fan-fic / mashup, by Rothfuss himself. Though does it count as fanfic if you wrote the original book? But then, it's got someone else's character in it too. So yeah, I think it counts.

But I digress. Here it is: Kvothe vs Aslan

In other entertaining news, President Obama admits he's a Trekkie. Based on the photo I think he's got the girl geek demographic sewn up ;)

It's supposed to be in the 20s tonight. Freakin' spring in the northeast. Grrrrrr...
delphipsmith: (tonypm)
I recently discovered the parodic stylings of Minerva [ profile] mctabby and have laughed myself nearly into a cracked rib. Be sure to put down any beverages before proceeding...Ready? OK!

The Head of Slytherin is a delightfully demented and decadent little piece set to the tune of "The Battle Hymn of the Republic." There's voyeurism, slash, and polyjuiced rhyming smut -- who could ask for more?? Apparently it was written back in 2002 for something called "the Severus Snape Fuh-Q Fest," which sounds fabulous and quite possibly worth reviving. Here's a sample:

(If you need a refresher on the melody)
I would never have believed it of my stooges, Crabbe and Goyle,
But I saw them sneak off somewhere with a flask of massage oil.
I pursued - and found him waiting, with a cauldron on the boil -
The Head of Slytherin.

Then there's the hilarious That Potter Slash, also by McTabby, a parody of everyone's favorite Dr. Seuss book Green Eggs and Ham:

Would you, could you
Read it! Read it!
No escape!

Serious giggles lie ahead. Read (or sing) aloud for best effect.
delphipsmith: (modern quill)
Just ran across this piece by Lev Grossman (The Magicians) about fanfic, which he calls "the cultural equivalent of dark matter" LOL! The full article is worth a read -- it's long, detailed, and on the whole pretty accurate (and non-derogatory) about fan culture. As a bonus, it specifically identifies the first K/S fic, which I hadn't known before ("A Fragment Out of Time," 1974, in a Star Trek zine called Grup).

Most of all I'm hugely amused by this:

Fan fiction is what literature might look like if it were reinvented from scratch after a nuclear apocalypse by a band of brilliant pop-culture junkies trapped in a sealed bunker. They don't do it for money. That's not what it's about. The writers write it and put it up online just for the satisfaction. They're fans, but they're not silent, couchbound consumers of media. The culture talks to them, and they talk back to the culture in its own language.

Yesss! I always knew we were saviors of literature, guardians of the cultural flame!!
delphipsmith: (GryffSlyth)
I wish to heartily recommend to your attention a wonderful HG/SS fic entitled Karakuri by the talented [ profile] talesofsnape. The plot is complex, clever and logical, everyone is very in-character, and the writing is top-notch with wonderful turns of phrase, lively dialog and excellent vivid description. In addition to the main characters we get an appropriately sweet/vague (and wonderfully blunt) Luna, as well as a glimpse into the strong and long-standing friendship between Severus, Lucius and Narcissa. There is romance, humor, wit, Dark magic, a mystery abduction, and -- of course -- snark, a given for any tale including our favorite Potions master:

Hermione grinned. "You have an evil tongue, Severus Snape."

"Only my tongue, Granger?" Snape growled. "I must be slipping."

Also, please to look at my flashy new icon, also courtesy of [ profile] talesofsnape, which is a quote from the story. Now be off with you, go forth and read.
delphipsmith: (books-n-brandy)
AbeBooks (who gets far too much of my disposable income) has a feature on "Best Booze and Books Pairings". My favorite is this:

Read: Busman's Honeymoon by Dorothy L. Sayers
Drink: Anything from Château Lafite Rothschild

Sayers’ posh sleuth Lord Peter Wimsey enjoyed the finer things in life and that included good wine. A classic red from Château Lafite Rothschild (perhaps out of our price range), one of the most famous producers of Bordeaux, would be his cup of tea.

Why yes, thank you, I will have a glass of that, Lord Peter, and a little John Donne would not go amiss.

They also pair Oscar Wilde's Picture of Dorian Gray with something called Oscar Wilde Mild, brewed by Mighty Oak Brewing Company in Maldon, Essex. That sounds like a bit more work to acquire than the wine (though indubitably cheaper!).

Read all their suggestions here. Hm, maybe a New Year's resolution: try all of these!

Speaking of booze and books, check out [ profile] firewhiskeyfic. I'm amused by the premise.


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