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friends mostly. and ... other stuff.

straw hats
Grad student, sometimes-writer, and hobo.

I used to post fanfic on this account, but in an attempt to sync up my fanfic usernames, I've decided to post/link any new fics (2014 and later) to fdraskol/[personal profile] raskol. Old fanworks will remain unlocked on this account, but if you're here only for the fic or whatever, you might be better off checking out those accounts instead.

On the other hand, if you want to be let in on my immensely boring life, drop me a comment! I am pretty open to friending people if we've exchanged words before or have similar interests. (And, vice versa, feel free to defriend me if I am too mundane for you.)

If you need to contact me about anything and for some unknown reason don't want to PM me, here's your chance to do so. Comments are screened and anonymous commenting is enabled, so have at it!

lies! all lies!

straw hats
I actually finished reading this book last Friday but didn't have any breathing space until today.

No spoilers (or if there are, they are extremely vague and not plot-related), but beware the comment section.

Lynch, Scott - The Lies of Locke LamoraCollapse )


I was going to buy groceries yesterday evening and walked straight into the middle of a book fair.

Then I bought six books.

It was around 30 minutes from closing, so the boxes were super-messy and hard to sort through, but I picked up Assassin's Apprentice and Royal Assassin by Robin Hobb (which I've read but hadn't owned). I probably should've picked up the copy of Fool's Fate that I found; I own a copy, but when I got it, it was missing a page in the 800s (infuriating). Of the books I haven't read, I found Jacqueline Carey's Banewreaker and Godslayer, Zelazny's Roadmarks (they didn't have any Amber books), and Gene Wolfe's The Knight (which is overdue reading for me; I've heard a great many things about his prose).

But right now, I'm reading Carol Berg's Transformation! I've read Song of the Beast several years ago, but unfortunately I don't remember enough of it to really say anything about it, other than "DRAGONS. MUSIC. DRAGON-SONG. YEAH!" Anyways, I'm about 120 pages into Transformation right now, and I only have one specific complaint about one particular scene in the book, which is somewhat astonishing. We'll see if it holds true for the next 300 or so pages, though.

And I still don't have a copy of Brust's Hawk. D:


vernacular of the peasantry
Both churned out for the Chocobo Races. Apparently September was the Month of Nanaki for me. Thanks to [personal profile] dragonmoth for the help and support!

By Candlelight (FF7) -- [FFN, LJ, DW]
~2000 words, PG, Aerith & Nanaki -- for [personal profile] mako_lies 
Aerith and Nanaki find each other in the dark.

Close Encounters (FF7) -- [FFN, LJ, DW]
~2700 words, PG-13, Nanaki & Vincent -- for [personal profile] thousanth 
Quiet nights give way to disquieting company. In the mountains of Nibelheim, Nanaki and Vincent practice the fine art of not quite speaking their minds.


And that's it for the summer! Classes started today for me, so I'll be a tad bit more absent than I already am, but I'll try to check in from time to time.

Also, trying to finish The Lies of Locke Lamora before the quarter starts in earnest. In the 500s now. So close, yet so far.

[poetry] Gate A-4 - Naomi Shihab Nye

to the stars
Gate A-4
Naomi Shihab Nye

Wandering around the Albuquerque Airport Terminal, after learning
my flight had been delayed for four hours, I heard an announcement:
“If anyone in the vicinity of Gate A-4 understands any Arabic, please
come to the gate immediately.”

Well--one pauses these days. Gate A-4 was my own gate. I went there.

An older woman in full traditional Palestinian embroidered dress, just
like my grandma wore, was crumpled to the floor, wailing loudly. “Help,"
said the flight service person. “Talk to her. What is her problem? We
told her the flight was going to be late and she did this.”

I stooped to put my arm around the woman and spoke to her haltingly.
“Shu-dow-a, Shu-bid-uck Habibti? Stani schway, Min fadlick, Shu-bit-
se-wee?” The minute she heard any words she knew, however poorly
used, she stopped crying. She thought the flight had been cancelled
entirely. She needed to be in El Paso for major medical treatment the
next day. I said, “No, we’re fine, you’ll get there, just later, who is
picking you up? Let’s call him.”

We called her son and I spoke with him in English. I told him I would
stay with his mother till we got on the plane and would ride next to
her--Southwest. She talked to him. Then we called her other sons just
for the fun of it. Then we called my dad and he and she spoke for a while
in Arabic and found out of course they had ten shared friends. Then I
thought just for the heck of it why not call some Palestinian poets I know
and let them chat with her? This all took up about two hours.

She was laughing a lot by then. Telling about her life, patting my knee,
answering questions. She had pulled a sack of homemade mamool
cookies--little powdered sugar crumbly mounds stuffed with dates and
nuts--out of her bag--and was offering them to all the women at the gate.
To my amazement, not a single woman declined one. It was like a
sacrament. The traveler from Argentina, the mom from California, the
lovely woman from Laredo--we were all covered with the same powdered
sugar. And smiling. There is no better cookie.

And then the airline broke out free beverages from huge coolers and two
little girls from our flight ran around serving us all apple juice and they
were covered with powdered sugar, too. And I noticed my new best friend--
by now we were holding hands--had a potted plant poking out of her bag,
some medicinal thing, with green furry leaves. Such an old country tradi-
tion. Always carry a plant. Always stay rooted to somewhere.

And I looked around that gate of late and weary ones and I thought, This
is the world I want to live in. The shared world. Not a single person in that
gate--once the crying of confusion stopped--seemed apprehensive about
any other person. They took the cookies. I wanted to hug all those other
women, too.

This can still happen anywhere. Not everything is lost.


I have seen this poem circulating under two titles before: Gate A-4, or Wandering Around an Albuquerque Airport Terminal. I'm not sure which is the correct one myself.

books books books

bringing sassy back
Wanted to write this up earlier but laziness prevailed. Mostly spoiler-free; spoilers are in black, but you might want to open this in the comment pages, 'cause otherwise the text might show through.

Brennan, Marie - A Natural History of Dragons: A Memoir by Lady TrentCollapse )

Hobb, Robin - Dragon KeeperCollapse )

Hobb, Robin - Dragon HavenCollapse )


If you detect from this list that I am fond of dragons, you are correct.

I'm halfway through The Gypsy (Brust & Lindholm) and have picked up Nine Princes in Amber (Zelazny) as well as The Lies of Locke Lamora (Lynch) from a used bookstore yesterday. Hoping to finish them (and ... other things) before the beginning of school.


straw hats
Happy Labor Day!  My paltry summer!fic, with thanks to Clara, [personal profile] dragonmoth, and [personal profile] dustofwarfare for the help and support. Default links go to AO3.

Lacuna (FF5) -- [FFN, LJ, DW]
500 words, PG, Galuf & Lenna
She reminded him of someone.

In memoriam (FF7) -- [FFN, LJ, DW]
~3100 words, PG-13, Sephiroth & Zack (+ Hojo, Angeal, & Genesis)
Funerals are meant more for the living than the dead. Following the deaths of Genesis and Angeal, Sephiroth ponders the difficulty of letting go.

Seasons (HTTYD) -- [FFN, LJ, DW]
~1900 words, PG, Hiccup & Toothless (+ Stoick & Gobber)
The more things change, the more they stay the same. Hiccup and Toothless, as the world turns.


Hoping to churn out one or two more fics before school starts in late-September and I lose what little writing brain I have. I probably just need to work out some sort of fixed schedule for writing indulgent fanfic during the year, but when classes start, it just seems impossible.


bringing sassy back
Sorry for the months' long absence. Classes hit me like a ton of bricks, then summer classes hit me like a ton of bricks (aber ich kann ein bisschen Deutsch?), and then I had to go overseas to visit family, but!

First things first: My friend and her husband need to pay for some pressing hip surgery but are in a tight spot financially at the moment after having to deal with other medical issues these past few months. They want to avoid going into too much debt for it, so if you have the coin to spare, please do! (More details and the donation link here.) Even if you can't donate, signalboosting would help tremendously.

(Also she wrote a bossin' FF8 fic that you should check out, because squee! Squall! Torture! What could be better? Er. I mean. Er. Worse. Yeah, that.)


Brief thoughts on author Robin Hobb (no spoilers)Collapse )
in the dark
Excerpt from Mine the Harvest
Edna St. Vincent Millay

Read history: so learn your place in Time;
And go to sleep: all this was done before;
We do it better, fouling every shore;
We disinfect, we do not probe, the crime.
Our engines plunge into the seas, they climb
Above our atmosphere: we grow not more
Profound as we approach the ocean's floor;
Our flight is lofty, it is not sublime.
Yet long ago this Earth by struggling men
Was scuffed, was scraped by mouths that bubbled mud;
And will be so again, and yet again;
Until we trace our poison to its bud
And root, and there uproot it: until then,
Earth will be warmed each winter by man's blood.

Read history, thus learn how small a space
You may inhabit, nor inhabit long
In crowding Cosmos — in that confined place
Work boldly; build your flimsy barriers strong;
Turn round and round, make warm your nest; among
The other hunting beasts, keep heart and face, —
Not to betray the doomed and splendid race
You are so proud of, to which you belong.
For trouble comes to all of us: the rat
Has courage, in adversity, to fight;
But what a shining animal is man,
Who knows, when pain subsides, that is not that,
For worse than that must follow — yet can write
Music; can laugh; play tennis; even plan.
the art of motion
A Monstrous Manifesto
Catherynne M. Valente
If you are a monster, stand up.
If you are a monster, a trickster, a fiend,
If you’ve built a steam-powered wishing machine
If you have a secret, a dark past, a scheme,
If you kidnap maidens or dabble in dreams
Come stand by me.
If you have been broken, stand up.
If you have been broken, abandoned, alone
If you have been starving, a creature of bone
If you live in a tower, a dungeon, a throne
If you weep for wanting, to be held, to be known,
Come stand by me.
If you are a savage, stand up.
If you are a witch, a dark queen, a black knight,
If you are a mummer, a pixie, a sprite,
If you are a pirate, a tomcat, a wright,
If you swear by the moon and you fight the hard fight,
Come stand by me.
If you are a devil, stand up.
If you are a villain, a madman, a beast,
If you are a strowler, a prowler, a priest,
If you are a dragon come sit at our feast,
For we all have stripes, and we all have horns,
We all have scales, tails, manes, claws and thorns
And here in the dark is where new worlds are born.
Come stand by me.


Found this the other day, and it stuck with me. Monstrosity's been oddly relevant to my stories lately.

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