asakiyume (asakiyume) wrote,

  • Music:

Wednesday reading, plus an only tenuously related story & a song

When I get a free moment, I've been enjoying the stories posted in the New Decameron project that Jo Walton organized, though there are so many that I've got bookmarked that I haven't had a chance to read yet. One I *did* read was Naomi Kritzer's "A Star Without Shine", which begins like this:
Once upon a time, in a very small kingdom, there was a king with one daughter. His wife had died, and he had not remarried. This is not the fairy tale where the king decides to marry his own daughter, don’t worry. This king was a completely different sort of terrible father: he believed that his daughter should earn his love, and nothing she did was ever good enough.

It continues with a companion cat, a wise villager, and an overall quirky, good feel I loved. Since I had also recently read and enjoyed Kritzer's "Little Free Library (totally charming story with an abrupt ending hinting at the possibility of more to come), I think I really should check out her novel.

In long-form fiction, I've got the ARC I mentioned last entry, A Sinister Quartet. Right now I'm on the first story in it, CSE Cooney's "The Twice-Drowned Saint," which is a giant subversion of the notion of angels and an angelic city, and what with its setup of desperate refugees required to make literal human sacrifices to enter (and then once in, the city is no picnic), it definitely has real-world resonances that you could call allegorical except that Cooney is more focused on *personal* drama--individual hopes, ambitions, and prices paid. At least so far--I'm only partway in. (And you can get a taste of the story via the Decameron Project: here.)

I'm also reading The View from Castle Always, by Melissa McShane. People seek out the castle when they need to go on a quest--it is getable-to from anywhere and opens onto anywhere--and leave with a chosen quest item. Unfortunately, our protagonist Ailanthe chooses an item, but then the castle doesn't let her leave. I'm curious to see where it goes--there's lots of potential. Right now the story is reminding me of any time I've ever tried an RPG-style video game: I get stuck at the very first level, unable to figure out how to advance.

Other things on my radar: Aster Glenn Gray's soon-to-be-released The Time-Traveling Popcorn Ball. I've read this story in beta, and it's *such* a great time-travel story, and great on friendship, sibling relationships, family hard times, and sense of place. Also, Sherwood Smith has a third Lhind story available--Lhind the Firebird. I'm still one behind: I enjoyed Lhind the Thief, but still have Lhind the Spy to catch up with.

The office manager for our church phoned up yesterday....

Her: I hear you make masks.

Me (cautiously): I've made some masks...

Her: Well, since the governor has decided houses of worship can reopen, we want to have masks available, in case people happen to come without one. Not that anyone will be that foolish, but, you know, just in case.

Me: Well, I'd be happy to make a few, but I don't have an operational sewing machine right now. I've been making them by hand, and it takes some time...

Her: However many you can make would be great. I've asked other people as well.

Me: All right then... I'll see how many I can make by Friday.

So far I've made two 😑 But today I also had to do a food shop and mow the lawn, so maybe I'll make more tomorrow. Maybe. And when I finish posting this entry, maybe I can work on one.

How does this story tenuously connect with the reading? Well, when I asked Mike for the ARC of A Sinister Quartet, I figured I'd be able to concentratedly read it, since my editing jobs are *very* spotty these days and I don't have other calls on my time. And then the mask task comes along! It's the way life always goes.

Here's a fun song with a cumbia beat: Josefa, by La Fragua Band. This entry was originally posted at Comments are welcome at either location.
Tags: civic stuff, covid19, friends, reading, stories

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