slemslempike: (girlsown: seven sisters)
[ profile] katlinel asked what more stuff would you like to write about children's books?

There are two ideas I've had for a while. The first is something I wrote an essay about at university, but would quite like to revisit and do it properly, about the representation of WW2 women's services in children's books. The essay was about WW1, WW2, Falklands and Iraq wars (with a footnote about sheep), but it was too shallow and there's only really a lot of examples in WW2. Mostly I wrote then about the hierarchies, with very few Old Girls from school stories are in the ATS, which was not considered appropriate for nice girls.

The second is about tracing the changes from the beginning to end of the longer running series - Chalet School, Abbey Girls, Dimsie. When I first started thinking about this I was even more untheoretical than now, but I had had ideas about professionalisation ofof schools, and a change from "feminine" to "masculine" values. Mostly it would be a comparison, from the early 20th century, and the values and ambitions of the novels, to their finishing points after the authors had found success, been through a world war, and changed their characters to fit the times (or not changed them, and shoved them in a world of folk dancing and aristocrats). I don't know - I think that has been done in various forms already, and is probably not all that interesting at the heart of it. I'd still quite like to do something about the first and last novels in each series. Maybe more of a personal reading project than a writing thing.

I've just remembered an lj conversation ages and ages ago where [ profile] cangetmad came up with the title "funk and functionality" and I thought I could write something about fear in children's books, possibly the Marlow books iirc, but I am less sure about that. And somewhere I have a not even half finished spreadsheet containing information about what Chalet Girls do in their lessons and prep, and in what class. Fail to find predicates, mostly, I think.

Anyway, I don't think it very likely that I will write these, certainly not very soon. I am very bad at working off my own bat, so it would have to be spurred by a call for papers, and I don't look for those very often. But then I did like writing the class article, so maybe I will get to it some day.

Book meme.

May. 2nd, 2009 10:56 am
slemslempike: (books: E Bennett)
Which I got from [ profile] calapine.

Book meme. )
slemslempike: (games: escape yay)
I am resurrecting a meme I last did in 2005:

"If you leave a comment, I will draw one [or more] of your interests VERY BADLY in paint. I can't draw even with an actual pencil, and I only have access to a touchpad mouse, so I cannot emphasise the VERY BADLY enough. EXTREMELY APPALLING and almost certainly BARELY RECOGNISEABLE interests, that's what's on offer."

You can go here to see the level of skill I am talking about. (If you did it last time, I will pick different interests.)

(This is part of a Plan to make me do more work. It might seem at first this this is a Plan with somewhat obvious flaws, but the idea is that I will work for a bit, draw some interests, then work a bit more and draw some interests, instead of not really doing any work, then having an hours long break of doing nothing. So do your bit by letting me have at your interests! Probably this meme will be the making of my thesis, and my Paint skillz will form the basis of the front cover design of its eventual publication.)
slemslempike: (Default)
Maybe I won't do a phd after all. Because it turns out that I don't actually like doing revisions all that much, and in fact I simply just don't do them when I have to anyway. I've written rubbish, and I don't want to make it better, I just want it to be over. This is mostly just lazy whining. It could probably be fixed quite easily. I've had two weeks to do it, but I have written LITERALLY nothing in those two weeks. Bad idea, apparently.

I never post anonymous things, not least because whenever it occurs to me to do so someone else has already done it and I figure there wouldn't be any. But I haven't seen one for a bit. And I'm very bored. And I keep refreshing until there is something to see, and perhaps if there were occasionally comments I would do more work. So yes. Anonymous comments would be nice. Scandalous. Rude. Bitchy, oh, especially bitchy, or rambling, or just post whatever comes out with ctrl+v. I know this level of neediness is deeply unattractive, but I am past caring. I just want comments, so I have something to read that isn't the drivel I've written.
slemslempike: (games: scrabble)
The letter D

I just really like them, though I don't have a particularly impressive vocabulary, and I never really remember cool words I find (although, I do if I read them somewhere else, just not outside of books). I also really like the appendices in dictionaries. In my A level French/English dictionary they had neat little pages about French culture.

Mostly here to represent school stories in general. But I think these might have been among the first I read - after Malory Towers. In my primary school in Qatar they had a lot of the Goodchild reprints, which I took out repeatedly, and then moved on to the Drina and Penny books and the school Antonia Forests. I like Dimsie. Mostly I like her around other people, and I think that the Springdale books might be a bit better, but I have a large soft spot for her (along with everyone else in the known universe).

They can be really pretty. It's also a value thing, so that when I was cataloguing books for work the presence of a wrapper increased the price fairly significantly. But mostly, I think my shelves look nicer when the books on them have wrappers that decorate the spines. I don't have any blue-spine Chalets because of that. Of course, sometimes the wrappers can be hideous or just plain inappropriate, but even that's interesting, to think about whether the artist knows the book and if that's why they made the choices, or if not, what on earth that can have been given as a brief that created such an inapt picture.

Not so much at the moment, I have about two or three inches of roots. But my natural hair colour is brownish and the dye has faded to a reddish brown, so I don't think it looks too awful. I like dying my hair. I don't wear make-up (except very occasionally, preferably when someone else does it), so it's my one thing of changing my appearance really. I've been dying my hair since I was fourteen, starting with those little wella mousse things in mahogany. Then I had various shades of red and purple throughout school, and blue in one summer holiday. The blue wasn't terribly successful, and I didn't wash it out properly because then it wouldn't have shown up at all, and so it just bled steadily onto my neck and all my clothes throughout my holiday near Machyllenth. COOL AS FUCK. Mmm. After that they brought out those blue-black and purple-black colours, so I had those a lot through sixth form and first year uni. When I was doing my year abroad I dyed half my hair black and the other half bleached to be Cruella De Vil at halloween. Then I dyed over the bleach with turquoise, which faded to green, and I had absolutely kick-ass hair that year. I perhaps clung onto it a bit longer than the regrowth really allowed. Then back to the normal colours again until my MA year, where I wanted quite desperately to have rainbow hair. I even got as far as buying the individual dyes. Then I roped in a friend to bleach my hair underneath. It was not a success. I had about two inches of very white hair, then a few of bright orange, fading to very dark brown at the ends. She was more tearful than I was. It was fixed by an emergency visit to Toni and Guy, who patched it up nicely, but didn't seem to get that I hadn't actually tried for the tie-dye effect and kept asking me why I'd done it in tones of sorrow. So that wasn't really a great moment in the life of my hair. Mmm. I'd still like to have it, but if I need to get a job then it won't be the greatest, and the bleach would still be a huge hassle.

I like buying these. And I love that they are bringing out old things on DVD all the time, and if they would just do ,i>Grace Unver Fire that might almost content me. I like it when they do imaginative things with extras and the casing - like wrappers. And I like that I can watch a DVD on my laptop while doing my work, and it actually makes me get through all the boring parts of copying and pasting and data entry.

Doug Penhall / Peter Deluise
JUMP! Street. Hurrah. Peter Deluise plays Doug Penhall who is wonderful and lovely and beautiful in the right light. Peter Deluise does some commentaries for JUMP! Street and is very lovely on those too, mostly being (justifiably) rude about his acting. He moved into directing (though he also played a bully on Friends, and did a guest thing with his brothers and dad in Third Rock from the Sun) and was involved with the Stargate things and Jeremiah. I have listened to a few Stargate commentaries and he is still adorable but unfortunately rather earnest about things that really don't deserve it.

The Dukes
The Dukes is our local arts cinema and theatre. I love it. I have a student card, so all the films and all of their home-produced plays are a mere £3. And they have a bar, which isn't hideously expensive, and you can take drinks in with you, but you're not allowed ice in the live productions because of the actors. I assume because of the noise, though perhaps they've had some disgruntled patrons and had the need to remove any possible projectiles? It's quite a small place, and they usually show things like Harry Potter and LoTR a few weeks/months after they come out, and then the "critically acclaimed" stuff, and interesting foreign-language films. The last two films I saw there were Jarhead and Breakfast on Pluto. People tend not to talk through the films, which is lovely, though there are often some particularly knowing chuckles, which is amusing. And occasionally some politically-motivated clapping.

I hope to earn one. Unfortunately that will require a lot more work than I'm doing at the moment. Mmmm. I try not to think about the end of the degree too much, as it seems like tempting fate, and the middle is also a bit scary, but I have at least started it, and I have a proposal, which is a good step. Although technically I'm an MPhil student, not a PhD student.

Other people's, that is. I do not keep one, other than this journal. Fictional people mostly. I really like well done novels in diary form - Provincial Lady, Adrian Mole, and the Princess Diaries are pretty good fun. And Bridget Jones was really good at the diary entries. It's probably also why I enjoy lj, though not all of you are fictional.
slemslempike: (Default)
From [ profile] tiniago, this is my fantasy pirate ship crew. I am, obviously the captain. I have chosen my crew for efficiency and fabulousness, so hopefully I will have very little work to do.

1st mate: Sally from Third Rock from the Sun. She would be the best pirate first mate ever. Very efficient, and ruthless, and violent. She would enjoy the weapons side of pirating.

2nd mate: Fraser from Due South. He has to be second mate because he works better in a subordinate role, at least outwardly. He would be excellent for the navigating, and solving clues to get us to the treasure.

3rd mate: Donna from West Wing. She would be ace. She could be in charge of all the administrative parts of running a pirate ship, and of writing up where we had been and what we had done. I feel that running a pirate ship properly probably involves a lot of administration. Also she can be tricksy when she wants to, and would do well do be away from Josh.

cook: Killick (Master and Commander) would be a good idea, but clearly this would never happen. So he has been kidnapped by us, perhaps, and we are pretending that we are not pirates at all. He warms slightly to us because we take better care of our clothes.

cook: Reese from Malcolm in the Middle. An excellent cook, and he would also be handy in a fight if we let him out of the kitchen. Very ingenious.

Crew Members
1 Hanson. (JUMP!) He might be quite a rubbishy pirate, actually, a little too prone to complaining about how things were going, but he would like not having to pay taxes. And he would very much enjoy the dressing up parts of being a pirate.

2 Penhall. (JUMP!) He would be even worse, but he has to follow Hanson. Possibly Hanson ran away to sea without Penhall, but then Penhall followed him because they need to be together and look after each other. Perhaps he tortured Booker to tell him where Hanson was. And then killed him, thus proving his piratical worth.

3 Lucy Diamond from DEBS. Because the skill and the wonder and the helping people to understand their gayness. This is very important on a pirate ship.

4 Julian Clary. If we came across a bunch of people who were so physically tough that we thought our usual brutal methods wouldn't work on them, he would be brought in to make cutting remarks that so unnerved them that they are reduced to quivering jelly. About which Julian would make a decidedly single entendre.

5 Lawrie Marlow (Antonia Forest books)- I thought Nicola at first, but she is against pirates. So then I thought Lawrie has no scruples. Also, she would have seen loads of pirate films, so while Lawrie S Marlow might be a bit scared, Sophia Lawrence as Errol Flynn would be marvellously swashbuckling, and much better at the bravado and swaggering than Nicola. Bet she's good at climbing the rigging too, although she would obviously avoid this as much as possible. And she can't load the cannons because they bang at her, and everyone lets her get away with it.

6 Kim Kelly from Freaks and Geeks. I think she would get on very well with Sally, and confront her authority a lot while secretly trying to be a litle more like her.

7 Sarah from Press Gang. She is used to being bossed around by very scary people (ie Lynda) and would actually be so thrilled to be in a less volatile environment that she would shine like the star she is. We would let her use whatever kind of tippex she liked. She could work with Donna and help to type things up and write stories. She would be able to write a newsletter for amongst ourselves, and possibly to go out among the pirating world.

8 Margaret from Sense and Sensibility. I'm mostly thinking of the Emma Thompson adaptation. But she would be ace, and could help Fraser with the navigating. She would be used to piratical maps, and sword-fighting. She writes letters to Edward telling him about the adventures, but mostly out of politeness, as she thinks he is utterly wet for letting marriage to Eleanor stop him from coming to sea.

9 The main character from Stick It. I have only seen the trailer, and there is no release date listed for the UK yet (WOE), but she would be ace. She would break the law. OF GRAVITY. And that could lead to other laws as well.

10 Margot Maynard (Chalet School). We could harness her devil and get her violent tendencies under control, by which I mean bubbling just under the surface at all times.

Cabin boy: Phoebe from The Exiles. She would be very disconcerting, and if there was a mutiny, she would be the instigator. But in the meantime she would be good at finding things out, and cope well with a hardened life.
slemslempike: (little miss: Fun)
I have always wanted to do an anonymous meme. I love reading other people's. But whenever there's a spate of them I realise too late, so that everyone has fatigue, and their capacity to be secretively bitchy/scandalous/revelatory/deep/shallow etc is ended. But now I have remembered. I have no logging. I also actually proper promise never to turn it on suddenly as I have seen some evil people do. That is bad. So yes.

Secrets! Bitchiness! Revelations! Thoughts! Criticism! All shall be mine. Please. It'll be fun!

P.S. Also, the right answer was sultanas. Reemmber this for next time.
slemslempike: (jump: do it)
Taken from just about everybody: Look at your LJ "interests" list. If you have fewer than 50 interests, pick every fifth one. If you have between fifty and seventy-five interests, pick every seventh one. If you have over seventy-five interests, pick every tenth one. If you have fewer than ten, pick all of 'em. List them on your LJ, and tell everyone exactly what it is about these things that interests you so much.I only have about 35, and these aren't what I would call my main ones. )
slemslempike: (Default)
Help take my mind off things.

If you leave a comment, I will draw one of your interests VERY BADLY in paint. I can't draw even with an actual pencil, and I only have access to a touchpad mouse, so I cannot emphasise the VERY BADLY enough. EXTREMELY APPALLING and almost certainly BARELY RECOGNISEABLE interests, that's what's on offer.

Ooh! Lovefilm just sent me Ed Wood.
slemslempike: (Default)
Quiz here, taken from Bookish. Having taken all of them in a fit of boredom, I find that I am a sorry excuse for an English graduate. Some of the questions were quite easy to guess at though.

72% - Twentieth Century
64% - Victorians
66% - Romatic Period
64% - Restoration & Eighteenth Century
60% - Early 17th Century
60% - 16th Century
20% - Middle Ages

In my defense, the last category was never included in any of my courses, so it was completely guesswork.

To assuage my feelings of inadequacy, I'm going to pretend that they're being graded on an average UK university scale. Woo-hoo! Discard the lowest marked module and I get an upper second overall. (Of course, if we're grading on American terms, I failed. Not even scraping a D. Let's not grade on American terms.) It's a very American style quiz. Quite a few of the things in the questions were mentioned in passing in my literature lectures, but we weren't marked on them. All English assesment was through essay questions, 3 essays in three hours.

Go on then. Take the quiz, ace every cateogry and then post about it here to make sure I feel really dumb. Or, better yet, take it, fail even more dismally and then make me feel better!
slemslempike: (Default)
Hardback or Paperback? For my children’s book, I mostly prefer hardbacks. For general fiction, I prefer paperbacks. But I try really hard not to crack the spines, because I'm anal like that.

Highlight or Underline? Underline, usually, but I only do that on photocopies of things, almost never in books. I've never been keen on making notes anyway, I tended to get through classes by skim reading and posing wuestions that would get us off on a tangent.

Lewis or Tolkien? Tolkien. I think. But then I also believe that more literature has been affected by Lewis.

E.B. White or A.A. Milne? A.A. Milne. Pooh, baby! Piglet and Eeyore and everyone else.

T.S. Eliot or e.e. cummings? E.E Cummings, because his poems are generally shorter. I like short poetry.

Stephen King or Dean Koontz? Never read either.

Barnes & Noble or Borders? We only have Borders in this country. I don't remember any differences from when I was in the States.

Waldenbooks or B. Dalton? Don’t have either here.

Fantasy or Science Fiction? Fantasy. I'm a little unclear on the borders here, but Pratchett would be fantasy, right?

Horror or Suspense? Suspense. Dislike horror pretty intensely.


Hemingway or Faulkner? Not read either.

Fitzgerald or Steinbeck? Disliked all of what I’ve read from both of them.

Homer or Plato? Not read any of either. (Good lord, I’m practically illiterate.)

Geoffrey Chaucer or Edmund Spenser? Ooh, I’ve read Chaucer. Only the Miller’s Tale though. I quite liked it.

Pen or Pencil? Pen.

Looseleaf or Notepad? Notepad.

Alphabetize: By Author or By Title? By AUTHOR, of course, are you INSANE? (Alphabetical by author in fiction, children’s and lit crit section, alphabetical by subject in biography and will probably be alphabetical by author within subject divisions once I get around to shelving my non-fiction properly. Aren’t you thrilled? And in children’s, within authors, it’s major series first (in series order) then chronological order, with shorter series grouped at the date of the first book in the series.)

Dustjacket: Ooh, yes. I keep them on to read myself, but usually take them off if I lend them to other people.

Novella or Epic? Um, depends on author?

John Grisham or Scott Turow? Never read either. Az wants me to read The Partner at some point, so I guess I will soon. I don’t think I’ve even heard of Scott Turow.

J.K. Rowling or Lemony Snicket? JK Rowling. I don’t like Lemony Snicket.

John Irving or John Updike? I’ve never read any John Updike. Come to that, I’ve only read half of one John Irving book, but I think I was enjoying it before I mysteriously stopped.

Fiction or Non-fiction? Fiction. I don’t tend to read much non-fiction at all.

Historical Biography or Historical Romance? Biography. I don’t read much romance. (Although I once read a hysterical Mills & Boon called Timber Boss (or something), in which the hero imprisons the heroine in his house (by taking away her shoes), and then tells her not to lock her door, because he can get in anyway. At the end he says ‘jokingly’ that he “should have followed my first instinct when I broke into your room. Or my second…” Ooh, beating or rape, which will it be! There is also a minor character who is in love with the hero because he once gave her a spanking when she was a young teen. It has ruined me for other romance novels.)

A Few Pages per Sitting or Finish at Least a Chapter? I don’t have hard and fast rules – I read whenever I can, for as long as I like. Usually it’s a few chapters at a time, because I read quickly.

Short Story or Creative Non-fiction Essay? Creative non-fiction essay. I don’t really like short stories, if I like something I want it to go on longer.

Buy or Borrow? Buy. I am trying not to do that so much at the moment, but I’ll be back to buying once I get back on budget.

Book Reviews or Word of Mouth? Book reviews, usually.


slemslempike: (Default)

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