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“How did he become Celestial One? Was there a vote among the other chief priests?”

A vote? Maskelle thought, bemused. The Ariaden were a strange people. “He died.” Rastim and Rian both stared at her.

“Died?” Rastim repeated.

“To become the Celestial One you have to become so close to the Infinite, so at one with it, that you can merge with it and return at will. One morning he died, and later when they were preparing him for his funeral, he sat up and asked for tea.” She smiled wryly. “There are probably at least one or two other Koshans in the city who can do it and some very advanced penitents hiding out in the jungle. They just aren’t careless enough to let someone see them and force them to take on the duties of Celestial One.”


This book, ladies and gentlemen. This book.

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In Which My Feet Continue a Little Sore

The weekend was the big vintage sale run by a charity I volunteer for. It takes up several rooms, is the big earner for the year, and is still called, by old hands, 'the linen sale'.

Quite busy in the morning, calmed down in the afternoon. Only slightly overran my personal budget. It was a really nice hat, okay? And the embroidery kits were cute. And... Um.

A lot of ladies were wearing some really beautiful ornamented white blouses. I was the only one in period dress this year, but the 1920s afternoon-tea dress went down a treat. Very comfy, too.

What I'm Reading:

Wheel of the Infinite by Martha Wells.

The first chapter has the heroine, a semi-lapsed religious, trudging down the road in the rain with a caravan of travelling players and regretting her grey hairs. She cuts down to the riverbank to pick up some medicinal herbs, stumbles upon a den of bandits, and through guile, bravado, some judicious head-banging, and a slightly dodgy divine invocation sends them off into the storm, rescuing some guy while she's at it.

Chapter 2 has an evil self-motivated puppet.

You won't be able to pry this book from my cold, dead fingers.

It's non-European fantasy, and the visual flavours are interesting. The setting is developed enough that different kinds of theatre, and who likes what kind, and who laughs at the jokes,are apparent, for example. I... think Wells is informing her setting from a real-world culture, though I'm a bit clueless and can't pick which.

In any case, I'm looking forward to the rest of the book. Grumpy-but-kind badasses are kind of my thing.

EDIT: Not even an important evil self-motivated puppet. More of a Crap, that thing got out, quick get it off stage before the audience notice, argh it bit me kind of an evil self-motivated puppet.

Moments of unexpected delight

I was listening to a collection of Fred Astaire songs for the first time, enjoying the clever lyrics, syncopated rhythms, tapping that was clearly the gent doing something physicality virtuosic - AND THEN THEY BROUGHT IN THE OOMPAH BAND. Go, tubas!

I don't think I'd heard his version of "Putting On The Ritz" come to think of it - it's got references to people going out to Harlem and spending their last two bits which I didn't recognise (or maybe I just didn't notice them in other versions). I think I like it better that way - feels less like watching a slick guy with too much money enjoying things I can't have, more earthy and fun.

In other news, I'm working on a 1920s drop-waist dress. Even though it's a Pattern? What pattern? style I notice that fit and tailoring is an issue - you want to know the difference between hanging like a sack and elegant-ish sack dress? One inch. We'll see how it goes. The fabric is, uh, well, it has a lovely asymmetrical print and comes in a wide width, and I decline to say further... Look, once upon a time people made clothing out of feed sacks and liked it I could have been using cloth that once had flour in it that's what could have been don't judge me, 'kay?

If it works out I'll post pics.

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Well, at least it isn't literal crack.

I've been playing around with the pretty new tablet (it was a gift, and is amazing) and I stumbled into the Visual Novel genre. It's... interesting. So here's some mini reviews, because I felt like talking about them.

Most of my experience with interactive romances is through the side stories of Baldur's Gate and similar adventure games: largely optional, text based, and almost always pure dialogue. Even the original tracks of BG2 had a lot of player choices in what to say, and some of the mods I've played are incredibly complex. But VNs have pictures!

So. Herewith some slightly spoilery reviews.

Enchanted By Moonlight, by Voltage.

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WANTED: Dragon by Visual-Wordplay

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Our Personal Space by Metasepia Games

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I picked through a few of the demos of NTT Solcorp's Shall We Date series. Two of my general observations are a) the story ticket social networking dress up platform some of their games use is freaking annoying, and b) their art is uniformly gorgeous. Fortunately, they have quite a few pay-by-the-character formats. Anyway, I settled on:

Shall We Date: Scarlet Fate

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And hey, if you've played any of these and have an opinion, to agree or disagree, come drop me a line...

Fic: "At the Siege of Ungar"

Gifted to rachelmanija

Content notes: fantasy, wartime, magic and magical creatures, youth endangerment equivalent to a Gundam series.

"At the Siege of Ungar"

It was never meant for a fortress.

But the shifting front of a long war meant that Ungar Summer Palace, a toy-box of pearlescent stone perched in the hills, had been retasked into, first, an outpost, and then a strong shoulder of the war. Toiling up the winding hill road, recently widened and all-over mud in the autumn weather, Jain eyed it thoughtfully: the delicate arches, the eggshell dome, the curling ornamentation of the walls blended jarringly with the heavy beam-and-stone of the extensions. She had a sudden vision of a maiden in a dancing gown, arms solid with wiry muscle, brandishing a battle axe.

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Calling on your recipe-fu

I have been asked to supply quote sinful baking unquote.

I am not actually much of a baker.

If you happen to have any tasty/favourite recipes that have negative virtue, I would appreciate any suggestions.

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I mowed a lawn; I brought home groceries

I am excused from further duties today.

I also shoved in a handful of lobelia seedlings acquired at the supermarket into the awkward front flower bed in one more bid to get something to grow there that isn't weeds.  The problem is the clay, I think.  It's hard to find a plant that says, 'Clay?  Give me more!'  Sigh.  At least with the new hose it's easy to keep them watered as the weather heats up - just poke it over the fence.

The... I think peppermint seeds I've been keeping in a covered seed-raising box are sprouting in a way which I suppose is nice, but it happens so veeeeeeryyyyyy slooooooowllyyyy that it really is no wonder I've been two-timing with supermarket seedlings.  The daisy cuttings I snuck into the same box seem to be doing quite well, though one of the lavender sprigs died and the other isn't looking so great.  Oh well.  The circle of life and all that.

I also have a dilemma, in that yesterday I acquired a shirt for gardening, because it was long-sleeved and airy and the print was busy enough that it wouldn't show the dirt, and, having tried it out, I'm a bit in love with it and don't want it to fade too soon.  The print is made to look like a patchwork of gingham and cheque and houndstooth, all in shades of red and burgundy and it should be loud and busy and horrible - it is - but it is also strangely pleasing.  Ah well, I'll work something out.

**

I've been experimenting with cooking.  The Chinese Broccoli/Gai Lan stir fry did not turn out so great, mostly because I'd substituted a couple of key ingredients, but the potential for greatness was there.  I have plans for celery-and-tofu.  (Marination will occur!  Oh boy!) but not tonight, because I am excused from duties. (There were salmon fritters at the cafe on the way home: edible, but not something I'd actively seek out again.)

**

As to Yuletide, I have completed my Canon Review, and have the inklings of an idea that should please my recipient and myself.  I may have to go back and review some portions of the canon again a few times.  To get the details right, you understand.  It will be a terrible trial.

I HAVE ROSES

Two bright yellow blooms from Robert, a slightly lopsided pink effort from Midge (Midge is a rescue rose and needs a bit of encouragement), and Margaret, and Abaddon off in the corner, have buds well on the way.

Woo hoo!

On repotting Little Cthulhu the baby kowhai, I discovered that it had been reaching beyond the trammels of its mortal shell, and sent tap roots well down into the ground underneath, which made things awkward because I couldn't exactly leave it there indefinitely.  I had to break the root in the end and the new pot turns out to be deeper but not wide enough for LC's expansive roots.  I'll have to repot very soon, or finally admit that LC doesn't need me any more.  (That would hurt.)

**
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EDIT:

Yes, yes I do name some of my plants.  What of it?

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