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therapeutic thump

i like your moxie, sassafras!

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Gah! Why does this make me feel like a loser?
ad: now that's a matriarch
A few things that have been bouncing around in my brain.

(1) I totally, completely love the world Sarah Monette created in her Mélusine series. I love that she doesn't spend a whole lot of time worldbuilding, trusting instead that it's implicit in what she's writing. I've never read anything else that had two such sharply and immediately differentiated first-person points of view, which I think is quite a feat. And I adore that the characters are unsparing of themselves - it makes me think of Lord Peter and Harriet, who have been my standard for self-excoriating characters until now. And then I wonder if my enjoyment of the books is because I can see the characters as AU versions of Sam and Dean. And then I wonder - does that matter?

(2) So Jensen plays Mildmay in the movie version in my head. You know who else he plays? Jim Taylor from Philip Pullman's The Tin Princess. Oh, yes. Actually, wait, maybe I don't mean Jensen Ackles does this. Maybe I mean Dean Winchester plays these two characters.

(3) I'm feeling like a big fat loser (not a big svelte loser, because let's face facts here) because the story I've been writing for bigbang, that has been haunting me for over TWO YEARS (!), is at 6000 words and in no way going to be even close to finished by the time bigbang drafts are due. I finally realized this on Saturday night and decided to put it aside and try to work on something else for bigbang. I've got 1700 words of the new one, and hopefully I'll get that one done in time - though I must say that I envisioned this one clocking in around 10,000-12,000 words instead of the bigbang minimum of 20,000. Oh well. So that means the kind souls who volunteered to beta the original bigbang story (I'm guessing because of the premise I outlined) - that's girl_wonder and gretazreta - are off the hook. I don't want to hold you to doing beta work on a new story altogether, but I'll probably hold you to betaing the original story, whenever I finish it.

(4) I need a quiet night curled up with a book.

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So Jensen plays Mildmay in the movie version in my head.

OH MY. I started reading those books but never quite managed to commit... you've given me reason to try again, because that would be AWESOME.

It makes me SO HAPPY. Mildmay totally rules. Also, if you have a fondness for YA books that aren't childish, try Tin Princess. Much of what Pullman writes doesn't do it for me - I reread the Dark materials trilogy and was appalled at how poorly it stood up for me - but his Victorian stuff is very good, and Princess is my favorite of the bunch.

Maybe since it's been in your head for so long and deeply ingrained, it needs to be written at a slower burn.

*panics, dashes off to work on my own big bang*

I think so. I really like the 6000 words I have so far, but Sam's still not even a year old, and this story is only going to end when Sam's 18, so. Lots more writing to do!

Normally, I'd say something about how a story that's been in your head for two years isn't going to desert you, and about how it'll probably develop even more solidly given the longer period of time you'll be spending with it now, and about how you've got 6,000 words that weren't there before, which is an awesome start--but I think I'm going to skip all of that and go the *hugs* and commiseration route.

Aww, thanks! I know it's better for the story to take my time with it, but . . . I just want to take time off from work so I can write this story and love it!

I am happy that you found a new idea for big bang (and am intrigued). Perhaps as dotfic says above, it has been in your head so long it needs time.

4) I second that, LOL!

The other story I'm working on is also something I'd been thinking of for a little while - a funny story, actually. So far, it's not particularly hilarious, but hopefully once it settles in, it will be. Thanks!

Thank you SO much for recommending that book to me! I got it before taking a transAtlantic flight and figured I'd read maybe half of it before I got home. I had FINISHED the book by the 4th day of our trip and that's quite a feat considering we were going non-stop from 8am-11pm everyday. I actually just ordered the next two books in the series from Amazon.com and I'm eagerly awaiting their arrival.

I also pictured Dean as Mildmay, but sometimes he also played Felix. Apparently Dean is just that awesome.

I will now be passing off my copy of "Melusine" to my sister and hopefully she'll enjoy it as much as I did. (I was literally so hooked on it, that I walked around London for two hours going into various bookstores looking for "The Virtu" before someone FINALLY told me the books are only sold in the States. Apparently I loved "Melusine" more then I love the well being of my feet.)

Yay! I'm so glad you loved this!

I totally saw Felix as Sam and Mildmay as Dean, but I totally agree, Dean really is just that awesome.

Happy reading when you get back! By the end of The Virtu, you will want to hand Mildmay your heart.

I wanted to give him my heart at the end of Melusine! I'd go into detail as to WHY, but I don't want to spoil any potential readers. Let's just say I love him, and that's all the explaination it needs. *g*

He seriously has some very Dean moments. I sort of want to google to see if anyone's every crossed over Melusine and SPN. But I doubt they have. Literary crossovers rarely happen. I just want to see Dean and Sam meet Mildmay and Felix!

I finished The Virtu a few days ago and I've all ready sent Mildmay my heart in the express mail.

These books are so freakin' GOOD! No seriously, they're really, really good. I keep trying to whore them out to my friends. I feel like a crack dealer. "Hey you wanna read a book? I got the book for you..."

Now I'm halfway through The Mirador which I'm not loving as much as the previous two, but I think that's because there's this new third character and I haven't quite warmed up to her yet. I'm still devouring the book at an alarming rate though. Do you know if she's writing a fourth book or will I have to try and make the third book last me for awhile?

And once again, I love you for recommending these to me. They're WONDERFUL! *hugs Mildmay*

Hee! A crack dealer is exactly what I feel like sometimes too!

I am very fond of Mehitabel, but I don't love her like I love Mildmay. Still, so much of the third book is devoted to what Mildmay's going through that I had no issues with it that I can think of.

I know there will be a fourth book - it used to have a working title Summerdown but now seems to be called Corambis - and I thought I'd read somewhere that that would be the last book in the series, but I cannot seem to verify that now. The fourth book was supposed to come out this summer, but appears to be delayed until 2009.


I discovered the author has a live journal truepenny and she updates frequently. I sometimes feel weird reading authors LJ's though. Especially if I thoughrowly enjoyed the world they created. It's sort of like taking a backstage tour of Cats when you're eight. It's really cool, but part of you wishes you could still pretend the dancers really WERE cats, not just dancers in makeup.

There is also a community which I've been reading posts at. There seems to be lots of essays analyizing themes of the books, and I dig that. Apparently there is a theory that Mildmay is dyslexic which is why he has so many problems reading. When reading the books, I wondered that myself, but it's really neat to see other people's opinions as well. I'm dyslexic so I tend to have theories about street smart, but not nessisarily school smart characters having dyslexia. I also think Dean might be dyslexic, but in a completely different way then Mildmay.

I also just finished reading the third book. Mehitabel grew on me. It was still a little jarring to have a third narrator after having two for so long, but I liked her. And man, Felix and Mildmay just tear me up! They both have so much armor on them, and neither one is willing to shed the chainmail even the smallest bit. Not that I can blame them since any attempts at taking off the armor always end in pain. It was seriously painful to read the book in places. People can be so MEAN to each other. I like that it was shown as the raw state of human nature that people try to deny, but geez, sometimes I just wanted characters to freakin' HUG each other instead of attempting to wound each other.

I agree, I need more Mildmay. I'm totally hooked and I don't want to WAIT until 2009!

That's very cool! I'd taken a look at her lj when I first started reading the books, but I didn't see a lot that really grabbed me. And I have to say that I've read a handful of her non-Melusine work and it pretty much did nothing for me - I really think she struck gold when she created Felix and Mildmay and this whole world.

I'm so happy these books are a happy place for you too!

The books totally work for me because the characters aren't always likeable. They have these huge flaws. I find that I dislike Brechtian theatre because I don't like being alienated from characters in order to logically analyize them. These characters seem to function for me the way Brecht's theatre wants to (and probably does for most people, I just don't dig it.) I'm able to be completely involved in the story and the characters, and yet still be objective enough to go "oh, that was a bad choice and this is why..." I can completely understand why they fuck up so spectacularly, but I don't find that awareness to be at all alienating. I love it.

Anyway I'll stop bugging you about it. *g* I'm just giddy from finishing the third book and I'm eager to poke at the themes presented.

You're not bugging me!

I agree completely that these characters function in that fantastic - and seemingly rare - way in which I can love them and still see both sides. I don't think you should have to be alienated from a character in order to analyze her or him, and in fact any piece that discounts the joy of reading/watching/engaging is, to me, less effective than one that accommodates that joy.

And that's exactly why I value Brecht as an inovative playwright, but dislike his theatre. It's not enough for me to be able to analyize his characters while watching his plays. I have to identify with them as well! I need an emotional attachment in order to make the logical assessment of their flaws, more potent.

Okay I seriously need more Mildmay now. I really am like a junkie in need of a fix. I devoured those three books and I don't want to wait for more! I have discovered a few fanfics, but they're very very rare. There's one from Yuletide that's actually pretty damn good, but all that did was make me even more hungry for stories.

It's weird - I trust the author absolutely to give me everything I want to see, so I'm not jonesing for fanfic. But I do want to just keep reading the books over and over. It's a sickness.

I've just gotten used to having new Mildmay chapters to read and now I'm going through withdrawl. I'm also in the mood for some major comfort fic. That boy needs hugs dammit!

I lent the first book to my sister, so I can't re-read the series starting from the beginning. :(

I could rec some other stuff for you, maybe?

I'd love some good recs. I certainly appreciated the "Melusine" rec. *g*


If you want another series, go for the Philip Pullman Victorian series: Ruby in the Smoke, Shadow in the North, The Tiger in the Well [those three make up the Sally trilogy], and then the fourth, related book is The Tin Princess. I was in middle school when I found the first book, and it blew me away with how gritty it was. I still enjoy the trilogy (some of the bad guys win! some of the good guys die!), but the last one is my favorite.

If you want another sprawling fantasy series, go for Stephen R. Donaldson's The Mirror of Her Dreams and A Man Rides Through. These are really interesting, funny, lush fantasies - you kind of never know whose side you're on.

And if you want more angsty half-brothers, try Nightlife and its sequels by Rob Thurman. I won't lie - I like these characters, but I don't love them. And the first book (the only one I've read) reads very much like SPN fanfic with the numbers filed off. But it's a quick and enjoyable read.

Thanks for the recs! I've printed out your list. *g* Can I just skip straight to Tin Princess or do I need to read all of them?

Weeeeeelllllllll, Princess definitely makes sense on its own, and you don't need to have read the others; the main character of the first three books barely shows up in the fourth. But. If you read Princess first, you'll be spoiled for what happens to some of the characters from the original trilogy. Does that make sense?

Yep that makes sense. *g* Its like reading a one shot from a 'verse and then deciding to go back and read from the beginning, but all ready knowing the main character dies. *g* Apparently my analogy for everything nowadays is fanfic related.

"You know who else he plays? Jim Taylor from Philip Pullman's The Tin Princess." --- I saw this, and just _had_ to go: Yessss! Totally!

Mmm, Jim, with those bright green eyes and the working-class confidence and the intelligence to back it all up! Perfect fit, right?

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