“A poet can survive everything but a misprint.”
Oscar Wilde

author: Nicole J. LeBoeuf

actually writing blog

Trophy acquired at 2 different actions that add to explorer reputation, IF you're lucky.
Seal o' Piracy, October 2015: i can count to two (usually)
Mon 2015-10-12 21:31:12 (single post)

I have no idea what to blog about tonight, so I'm going to cheat and blog about Puzzle Pirates. It's not that much of a cheat; it's what I would have posted yesterday, had not yesterday's roller derby practice utterly kicked my butt and temporarily jacked up my shoulder, such that I went to bed at four in the afternoon and more or less stayed there until this morning.

So. The October 2015 Seal o' Piracy! How to get it? By...

Completing two (2) actions to add to yer explorer reputation!

Sounds pretty simple, right? For the most part, it is. But I ran into a bit of a catch.

According to Yppedia, you can add to your Explorer Reputation in the following ways:

...visiting the Atlantis citadels, visiting the Cursed Isles, visiting the Haunted Seas ship graveyards, visiting the Kraken, completing expeditions, and traveling around the ocean.

So first thing I did was take all my main pirates a-sailing, because "traveling around the ocean" is the easiest thing you can do. Lazing aboard a navy ship is the easiest way to do it, but also the most boring. Mostly I took my main pirates on trading voyages while I did other things (like, say, writing--writing very very slowly, but writing nonetheless). I made sure to keep this up until each pirate's Explorer Reputation moved upwards. (It generally doesn't take many leagues.)

Then I took Oshun pillaging in hopes of scoring an Expedition. And, why, yes, I did! I scored a Brigand King sighting. So I engaged Admiral Finius in battle, won the swordfight melee, won some small amount of PoE and ship supplies and also a pearl pocketwatch inscribed in honor of my victory. Like you do.

What I didn't win was my Seal o' Piracy. I didn't win that until completing the Buried Treasure expedition that I acquired a couple of battles later.

So something's not particularly straightforward here. I'm guessing it's either that "traveling around the ocean" doesn't count toward one's Seal o' Piracy for October 2015, because it's too easy; or that BK expeditions don't actually count toward Explorer Reputation after all, since they already count toward Conqueror Reputation. Or that maybe the BK didn't move my Explorer Reputation enough to trigger the trophy, and that the Buried Treasure expo pushed it over the top?

That's as much as I know so far, which admittedly isn't much. I'll tell you more next weekend if I figure more out. But until then, this blog is returning to actual writing coverage. (Hence the name.)

The raven has landed. Or wants to land. Pretty please?
YPP Weekend Blockade Roundup for Oct 10-11: Legacies of every kind
Sat 2015-10-10 12:58:11 (single post)

So the news on the Emerald Ocean is that Qlimax Telecom is back and is blockading everything in sight. Or at least, everything owned by Illuminati. I sure hope that Illuminati is defending, because after reading that forum post, I not only have absolutely no desire to job for "cutie" (QT), but I also kind of need some brain bleach.

On Meridian, the headliner is Legacy of Life's drop on Raven's Roost, currently governed by Imperial Coalition. Legacy is looking for a new home for its "blockade pond" project, and will conduct today's blockade in a spirit of good will:

Raven's Roost is an outpost, and we are not dropping to try to kill IC, to win the island in one week at any cost or to personally target anyone. We would love to see a blockade that is allowed to be just a blockade, decided on the board at even jobbing and reasonable pay, and if IC decide to play that way, so will we. That is, however, not what we have seen in the past and we will play with what we get.

And on Cerulean, Iris is under attack by Vargas the Mad. Riding High has chosen not to defend, and is requesting that the island's new owners--should a player flag win this blockade--allow the pet elephants Ysabella and Mopp remain upon those shores, as they are a "living" memorial to two beloved YPP players who have passed away.

That's all I've got. Scroll down for the complete schedule. Get out there, have some fun, earn some PoE, sink some ships! Arrr!

Standard reminders: Schedule is given in Pirate Time, or U.S. Pacific. Player flags link to Yoweb information pages; Brigand King Flags link to Yppedia Brigand King pages. BK amassed power given in parenthetical numbers, like so: (14). For more info about jobbing contacts, jobber pay, and Event Blockade battle board configuration, check the Blockade tab of your ocean's Notice Board. To get hired, apply under the Voyages tab.

Doubloon Ocean Blockades

*** Saturday, October 10 ***

11:00 a.m. - Edgars Wahl, Opal Ocean
Brigand King attack!
Defender: Der Zorn der Götter
Attacker: Das alles verzehrende Feuer (3)

12:02 p.m. - Ix Chel, Emerald Ocean
Brigand King holds the island!
Defender: Black Veil (3)
Attacker: Fear No Monsters

*** Sunday, October 11 ***

12:00 a.m. - Raven's Roost, Meridian Ocean
Defender: Imperial Coalition
Attacker: Legacy of Life

12:10 a.m. - Paihia-Insel, Opal Ocean
Defender: Forcas Armadas
Attacker: Glare

4:00 a.m. - Sayers Rock, Emerald Ocean
Defender: Illuminatti
Attacker: Qlimax Telecom

11:00 a.m. - Pukru Island, Emerald Ocean
Defender: Illuminatti
Attacker: Qlimax

11:00 a.m. - Aimuari Island, Emerald Ocean
Defender: Illuminatti
Attacker: Qlimax

11:00 a.m. - Manu Island, Emerald Ocean
Brigand King attack!
Defender: Black Flag
Attacker: The All-Consuming Flame (5)

Subscription Ocean Blockades

*** Sunday, October 11 ***

11:29 a.m. - Iris Island, Cerulean Ocean
Brigand King attack!
Defender: Riding High
Attacker: The Enlightened (6)

Well, that artwork didn't come out at all like I imagined it. Oh well.
a familiar fictionette for oh-dark-thirty
Sat 2015-10-10 02:13:55 (single post)
  • 1,189 wds. long

It's ridiculous-o-clock at night, which is when Fictionettes get finished when your fictioneer is foolish. But F all that. Here it is: "A Familiar Situation," which is what our protagonist finds herself getting into when she accepts a sorcerer's offer of investment. It features an original watercolorish scribbly thing by me on the cover. Please enjoy the linked excerpt, and consider subscribing to read the whole thing and more than a year's worth of back-issue Friday Fictionettes besides.

That's all I've got for you tonight--see "ridiculous-o-clock," above. The weekend will be given over to Puzzle Pirates stuff, as per usual, and also a great damn big party that a league mate of mine is throwing, as per annual. Which is to say, I'm outta here. And also out like a light. And so forth.

a thing to do with only nine crawfish
Wed 2015-10-07 23:07:09 (single post)

I'm distracting you with a recipe again. Distracting you from what, you ask? Shush, I say. Distraction commences.

So the weather got rainy and chill lately, chill enough that we started turning our heater back on from time to time. But although temperatures didn't come back up to July-type heat, they did rise significantly whenever the sun came out. And the sun was out all day today.

So I thought, what the hell, maybe local crawfish season isn't entirely over yet. I hadn't attempted to take any since the first week of September, and I hated to think I might have missed my last chance.

Well, I brought home nine. Just nine. Honestly, it's probably not so much about the cooler weather as it is that I relied almost entirely on my homemade traps. Didn't really feel like I had the time to sit out there and line-fish this week.

Nine is enough to feel like it would be a waste to throw them back, but it's not exactly enough to make étouffée. Turns out, though, it's enough to give some good flavor to red lentil dahl. The following is my own from-scratch experiment, which I will now share with you.

Crawfish Dahl

  • 1/2 lb live crawfish
  • 1 C red lentils
  • 2 C water or stock
  • 1 tsp mustard oil
  • 1 Tbl olive oil
  • half an onion, chopped up
  • pinch of salt
  • 1/2 tsp tumeric
  • 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1 can (14 oz or so) light coconut milk

Boil and soak crawfish as per usual. With so few crawfish, I only used about a Tbl each powdered and liquid Cajun Land. Also a squirt of lemon. I figured I couldn't go too far wrong; if the crawfish were over- or under-spiced, I wouldn't notice it in a thick and creamy lentil soup.

Simmer lentils in water or stock for 15 minutes, covered. I used the crawfish stock I made recently. I'm trying to free up room in our freezer; turning two big bags of crawfish shells into two half-full bags of stock sort of helped with that.

While lentils are simmering, process crawfish. Peel and "de-vein" tails. Extract and reserve "fat" and any eggs found inside the heads. Set aside. You may have already noticed I am fairly non-squeamish about the gross-looking but tasty, tasty things you find inside a crawfish's head. I was raised to appreciate the good things in life.

When lentils are about 5 minutes from done, heat oils to medium high. Add onion and pinch of salt. Sauteé until onion is soft. You are unlikely to find mustard oil in a mainstream US grocery store, for reasons. Really, any cooking oil will do (maybe add a half tsp of mustard powder to the other spices). However, the first dahl recipe I tried called for it, so, after some research, I picked some up. It was on the shelf at a nearby Indian grocery, and it was labeled "for external use only" (as a massage oil). Nevertheless, an ingredient check said this was the stuff I wanted. I only ever use a little at a time because otherwise the burn goes right up my nose.

Pour coconut milk into fully cooked lentils and stir. It wasn't my original plan to add coconut milk, but after the 15 minute simmer, my lentils had pretty much drunk up all the stock. Adding coconut milk meant the dahl would have a consistency like soup rather than like porridge.

Add crawfish meat, crawfish "fat" and eggs, and all spices to the sautéed onions. Stir constantly for about a minute, until spice smell is strong and crawfish tails are well coated and tightly curled. Not that they won't mostly be curled already, mind you, but they really tightened up during the sautée. I put them in the soup whole, because they make me smile when I get one in my spoonful. But I chopped up the crawfish eggs fairly fine. Each crawfish egg is tiny, but in aggregate they form a solid lump (of deliciousness). The only lumps I wanted calling attention to themselves were the crawfish tails.

Stir onion-crawfish-spices mixture into cooked lentil mixture. Simmer a few more minutes, then remove from heat. Serve.

I think that's everything. It was delicious, and made enough to feed me twice. I was very good and put the second helping away in the fridge rather than devouring it all tonight.

Just can't resist a piece of MS Paint blockade intent art from Babylon.
YPP Weekend Blockade Roundup for Oct 3-4
Sat 2015-10-03 13:15:11 (single post)

So Babylon is "back, and fourteen times more ready to blockade than before." Which is fortuitous, because when we last heard from them, they were not going to blockade anymore, and especially not against Dies Irae. Against whom they have declared no less than four blockades this weekend: on Turtle, Tigerleaf, Delta and Nu Islands. Yay?

Dies Irae have announced their intent to defend Turtle Island.

As always, the winner of this situation is ye humble jobber. Babylon have announced a rate of 1414 PoE/seg to start, which you can expect to go up at a rate directly proportional to how contested these islands are. And my guess is, given the long-term feud between these two flags, "how contested" equals very.

Meanwhile, following last weekend's blockade on Isla Ventress (Jade Ocean), that island now belongs to CORSARIOS DE POSEIDÓN, who have commenced construction of the first new buildings since el ańo dos mil mumble mumble. They're now hiring under the sign of "Navegantes," offering hourly rates of 25/35/44 PoE per basic, skilled, and expert labor respectively.

Continue reading for the complete blockade schedule for the weekend and the usual paragraph of blockade notes. Here come those notes now!

Standard reminders: Schedule is given in Pirate Time, or U.S. Pacific. Player flags link to Yoweb information pages; Brigand King Flags link to Yppedia Brigand King pages. BK amassed power given in parenthetical numbers, like so: (14). For more info about jobbing contacts, jobber pay, and Event Blockade battle board configuration, check the Blockade tab of your ocean's Notice Board. To get hired, apply under the Voyages tab.

Doubloon Ocean Blockades

*** Saturday, October 3 ***

10:03 a.m. - Accompong-Insel, Opal Ocean
Brigand King holds the island!
Defender: Das Jadeimperium (1)
Attacker: Glare

11:04 a.m. - Tumult-Insel, Opal Ocean
Brigand King attack!
Defender: Der Zorn der Götter
Attacker: Hort des Eiswurms (1)

12:00 p.m. - Moab Island, Meridian Ocean
Brigand King attack!
Defender: Alria
Attacker: Black Veil (6)

12:39 p.m. - Havoc Island, Meridian Ocean
Defender: Legacy of Life
Attacker: Blood Sweat and Beers
Attacker: Cannabis Nation

*** Sunday, October 4 ***

4:45 a.m. - Kakraphoon Island, Emerald Ocean
Defender: Hysteria
Attacker: The Crazy Department

7:26 a.m. - Wissahickon Island, Emerald Ocean
Brigand King holds the island!
Defender: Chthonic Horde (2)
Attacker: This Means War

11:00 a.m. - Aimuari Island, Emerald Ocean
Defender: Illuminatti
Attacker: Blue Ice

11:50 a.m. - Ix Chel, Emerald Ocean
Brigand King holds the island!
Defender: Black Veil (5)
Attacker: Fear No Monsters

Subscription Ocean Blockades

*** Saturday, October 3 ***

12:00 p.m. - Turtle Island, Cerulean Ocean
Defender: Dies Irae
Attacker: Babylon

3:00 p.m. - Tigerleaf Mountain, Cerulean Ocean
Defender: Dies Irae
Attacker: Babylon
Attacker: The Coalition

11:34 p.m. - Delta Island, Cerulean Ocean
Defender: Dies Irae
Attacker: Babylon

11:34 p.m. - Nu Island, Cerulean Ocean
Defender: Dies Irae
Attacker: Babylon

*** Sunday, October 4 ***

12:00 p.m. - Zeta Island, Cerulean Ocean
Brigand King attack!
Defender: Black Flag Inc
Attacker: The All-Consuming Flame (3)

Click to view original watercolor illustration by Kay Nielsen
this fictionette ain't goin' nowhere but maybe round the corner for a beer
Sat 2015-10-03 00:40:49 (single post)

The first Friday Fictionette for October is a small folk tale retelling, or a folk tale fanfic if you will. It's called "How the Lassie Didn't Go East of the Sun and West of the Moon," and it posits a lot more communication and common sense than is the norm in folk tales. I mean, seriously, a girl's got more senses than just her sight. If her mother imagines that her daughter needs a candle to tell whether the guy she's sharing her bed isn't a Troll, her mother has a very innocent idea of what goes on in bed. That's all I'm saying.

I was astounded to discover that all of Kay Nielson's gorgeous watercolor illustrations for the folk tale collection East of the Sun and West of the Moon: Old Tales from the North are as much in the public domain as the text itself--or at least they are covered by "no known copyright restrictions." I incorporated one of these illustrations for the Fictionette cover art, because it's lovely and because it helps make clear exactly what folk tale I'm playing with.

I've also released a Fictionette Freebie for September, and it's "The Celebrated Frog Forger of Clackamas County." The PDF chapbook and the MP3 audiofictionette are now both available for free to subscribers and nonsubscribers alike. Enjoy!

And with that we head into the weekend. If you're in the neighborhood and want to hang out, I'll be among the crowd helping local brewery (and Boulder County Bombers sponsor!) 300 Suns celebrate their Grand Re-Opening on Saturday afternoon. Bring a game to play, buy some beer, and enjoy their new menu! That's what I'm gonna do. (My, that Lushious Belgian Ale with the ginger and lavender sounds tasty...)

dealing with wheels and dealers
Tue 2015-09-29 23:59:59 (single post)

I brought my bike in for maintenance today. Actually, I brought it in for maintenance last week, but after evaluating all the work the bike needed, it was determined that we'd need to order a part before work could be done. Today I got the call that the part was in, so today I brought my bike in.

And here is the difference between bike maintenance and car maintenance:

Twice--both last week and today--the technicians tried to talk me out of getting service done. It started out as an attempt to lower the cost estimate by leaving out certain services that were deemed not strictly necessary. I thought about it, thanked them, and said I'd rather do all the things. I'm in it for the long haul on this bike. I'd like to care for it accordingly.

After that there were multiple attempts--first from the tech who first gave me the estimate last year, then from the tech who checked my bike in today--to convince me that, considering the age of my bike and the shape it's in, wouldn't I be better off just buying a new bike?

No, I said, I like this bike. No, I don't mean just the basket, awesome as it is. I don't just mean the seat that my butt's so accustomed to. I mean the bike. I have been riding it for more than twenty years. In that time, it's become almost an extension of myself. I don't care that at this point the only original parts on it are the handlebars and the frame. I don't care if the frame is a little dinged. It's my bike. I would like it to remain my bike. Thank you.

It's sentimental. It's probably not economical. It's certainly not 100% rational. But that's where I'm at.

Anyway, come to think of it, this is not really so much about the difference between bike maintenance and car maintenance. It's more like the difference between a vehicle maintenance and repair shop that's also a new vehicle dealer, and one that isn't. The place I took my bike sells bikes. The place I take my car does not sell cars.

OK, and the bike place probably caters to more students on tight budgets than the car place does. I do give them credit for honestly trying to save me money. But I'm pretty sure they were also, quite honestly, trying to sell me a bike.

There is probably a metaphor about writing in here, something about making the decision to throw more hours of revision at a beloved story rather than just trunking it and moving on to a new one. I am not prepared to follow this metaphor to its logical conclusions, not least because I think there are too many logical conclusions to keep track of. In any case, I didn't manage to get to the story revision today.

But I did take my bike in for maintenance!

That's actually my photo of an actual deer that likes to hang out under our linden tree and flatten the lawn. Hooligan!
this fictionette knows how to bide its time
Mon 2015-09-28 22:07:47 (single post)
  • 962 wds. long

Well, last week's Friday Fictionette didn't make it up on time either, but it went up Saturday, and I'm-a gonna tell you about it. It's called "The New Criminal Element," and it's about deer. And hooligans! Deer who are hooligans. Just as you always suspected they probably were.

That link goes to an excerpt hosted on Patreon. If you're already a subscriber/Patron and you're all like, "To hell with this 'excerpt' foolishment! Give me the Real Deal," why then, the link you want is either to the full-length PDF or to the MP3 audiofictionette, or both. And if you aren't yet a subscriber and you would like to be, because a buck a month for about 4000 to 5000 words of fresh new story-like objects sounds like a great deal, any of those links will do ya. Just follow the instructions under "Become a Patron" to chose your goodies.

I don't actually have much more to say than that, really. I could say that THIS will be the week when I really Get Shit Done. That's certainly my intention. But I also said the Fictionette would be up on Friday, and you see how that went. So I think I'm just going to keep my mouth shut for the moment.

YPP Weekend Blockade Roundup for Sept 26-27
Sat 2015-09-26 13:39:16 (single post)

Today is an exciting day in blockades: On the Jade Ocean, uninhabited Isla Ventress is being blockaded.

Unlike the Emerald Ocean version, which is of course more populated, Jade's Pelican Archipelago only features three islands you can get to by Free Ferry: Isla Descartes, Isla Greenwich, and Isla Spaniel. But today, Isla Ventress is being blockaded--and presumably the winner of that contest will take control of the island.

This is not the first time Isla Ventress has been blockaded. Yppedia tells us the island was first opened up to blockades on May 7, 2010. It was contested throughout that summer and fall. And apparently there was going to be a contest for the island in the summer of 2012--but that fell through somehow. The island has at some time since reverted to unclaimed status and all buildings thereon have crumbled to dust. If you whisk there today, you can see that there's a notice board but no buildings at all, and the island in currently unclaimed.

So that would partially explain why we've got a blockade on Isla Ventress with three attackers and no defenders.

So that's all the news I've got on that. Meanwhile, the rest of the blockade schedule proceeds as indicated on the other four oceans. Enjoy!

Standard reminders: Schedule is given in Pirate Time, or U.S. Pacific. Player flags link to Yoweb information pages; Brigand King Flags link to Yppedia Brigand King pages. BK amassed power given in parenthetical numbers, like so: (14). For more info about jobbing contacts, jobber pay, and Event Blockade battle board configuration, check the Blockade tab of your ocean's Notice Board. To get hired, apply under the Voyages tab.

Doubloon Ocean Blockades

*** Saturday, September 26 ***

10:08 a.m. - Accompong-Insel, Opal Ocean
Brigand King holds the island!
Defender: Das Jadeimperium (1)
Attacker: Forcas Armadas

12:00 p.m. - Ix Chel, Emerald Ocean
Brigand King attack!
Defender: Order of the Jolly Roger
Attacker: Black Veil (6)

12:01 p.m. - Isla Spaniel, Jade Ocean
Brigand King attack!
Attacker: Flota de su Escamada Alteza Imperial (1)

2:20 p.m. - Isla Ventress, Jade Ocean
Attacker: Tsunami
Attacker: Courage

5:00 p.m. - Dendrite Island, Meridian Ocean
Defender: Blood Sweat and Beers
Attacker: Radioactive

9:30 p.m. - Duat Island, Meridian Ocean
Defender: Devil's Advocates
Attacker: Cannabis Nation

10:13 p.m. - Basset Island, Emerald Ocean
Defender: Midknight Sun
Attacker: Roman Empire

10:47 p.m. - Amity Island, Emerald Ocean
Defender: Loose Lips Sink Ships
Attacker: Roman Empire

10:49 p.m. - Penobscot Island, Emerald Ocean
Defender: Keep the Peace
Attacker: Roman Empire

*** Sunday, September 27 ***

11:58 a.m. - Kasidim Island, Emerald Ocean
Defender: Keep the Peace
Attacker: Hysteria

Subscription Ocean Blockades

*** Sunday, September 27 ***

11:58 a.m. - Namath Island, Cerulean Ocean
Defender: Black Flag Inc
Attacker: Sushicide

Cover art features a public domain photo of a courtroom--not in Clackamas County, alas--and a Creative Commons licensed photo of a report card.
here is a fictionette, tomorrow you get another
Thu 2015-09-24 23:29:48 (single post)

So I didn't get it done Sunday. And I didn't get it done Monday. I got it done yesterday, and today you get the blog post about it:

"The Celebrated Frog Forger of Clackamas County" is your Friday Fictionette for September 18, 2015. So there. Why a frog? Because apparently I was on a talking frog kick last month, and went there on the least provocation. Why Clackamas County? I dunno; it scans right, I guess. And I lived in Oregon for a little while, so what the heck.

It was actually Josephine County that I lived in for the last couple years of the '90s. During that time, my mail kept getting randomly sent up to Marion County because multiple people saw envelopes and packages addressed to Selma, OR and "helpfully" corrected the obvious misspelling to Salem.

My goal is to have tomorrow's fictionette done on time. My goal is always to have them done on time, of course--at least, right up until the time I give up on it because I fail again. But this time I know ahead of time that my Friday the 25th will be packed with time-consuming things, so I have done a good bit of work on it early.

It will be about deer. Maybe talking deer. Deer that are capable of spray-painting graffiti slogans in English, anyway. I guess I've just been on a talking animal kick. This post-Spreading Sentience Syndrome setting may wind up in a pro-publishable story one of these days, seeing as how it keeps working its way into the fictionettes.

Anyway, here it is. And also, sorry for the long silence. I promise it's not because I got broken in Saturday's tournament. Nobody got broken! I just got bruised, and some of those bruises were from delivering righteous hits. But I did need more time to recover than I thought I would. Apparently, recovery involved two days spent more or less flat on my back with books. Or maybe it's just that I need days-in-bed-with-books from time to time, and derby recovery was a good excuse.

What I've been rereading is Sheri S. Tepper's True Game series, which is kind of like a cross between Xanth and Pern in its world-building, but its squick derives from aggressive pro-eugenics politicizing rather than from sexist rapey crap. I'm... not exactly selling it here, am I? Rereading Tepper is always a guilty pleasure. Her worldbuilding and her protagonists' development are fantastic. And even if I can't quite buy into the chess-like framework for the duels in The True Game, I kind of dig the attempt. But her politics are monstrous, the sort of stuff that gives feminism and environmentalism a bad name. She seems to think the solution to all societal problems is to have aliens or gods or sentient trees or whatnot kill off most of the population. It comes up in most of her novels. In the True Game books, she explicitly posits that physical "deformity" leads to moral deficiency because, what, living in a crippled/deformed/stunted body that's constantly in pain squeezes the soul out of shape? Somebody please find me a way to read the whole "Dupey" encounter in a more generous light? Because I can't. And it gets worse, because there are characters called Midwives (capitalized to indicate magical Talent), whom all good characters want at their side during childbirth (refusing a Midwife is an indication that you're corrupt and evil and selfish), whose future vision allows them to see which newborns will never "grow a soul" and therefore may be exterminated. Put those two bits together, and, well, way to tell a good portion of your readers that, due to whatever condition they were born with, they're congenitally evil and you'd prefer they'd never been born. And that's before we get into her conveniently subjecting two of her villains to misadventure resulting in dramatic facial wounds that make our sensitive protagonist want to throw up every time he lays eyes on them, but at the same time condemns these characters for vanity because they tried to magically hide their scars (shock!)... Argh. This is not your go-to author for handling disabilities and issues of physical appearance with compassion, is what I'm saying. And her villains tend to be two-dimensional strawmen, and half the time I think she uses a thesaurus written in baby-speak to come up with names for people and places, and she uses way too many exclamation marks.

...And I still turn to her novels for comfort reading. Some of them, anyway. (Any of the ones I read before throwing The Fresco at the wall, anyway. I stopped seeking out new stuff of hers to read after that.)

I seem to have gone off in a rant. Well, I'm now well into rereading the fifth book of the novena, so it's been building up. Remember, though, I'm choosing to reread them, so they've got to have something going for them, right? But they are decidedly not for everyone.

Well and so but anyway, see you tomorrow with a new Fictionette. Promise. (Double dog promise! Pinky swear!)