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asra: (Default)
Marciaelena is going through a very difficult time, and she needs our help. Please donate if you can, and please do share/signal-boost. Her post is here: http://marciaelena.dreamwidth.org/408507.html
asra: (Gwen/Morgana)
Not sure what's going on with LJ with the new servers and all that. I'm not planning on going anywhere else, but just in case: I'm asra on Dreamwidth and smithkingsley on Twitter and Tumblr. If I haven't added you there, please add me so I know where to find you.

Femslash Review Fest )

P.S.: This bookmark is made of awesome.
asra: (XF/DW)
This is still my favourite poem for this time of year, so.

May whatever holds you up stay forever beneath you, and... may all your nothings, too, hold something up and sing. <3

Things are not as they seem )

asra: (Gwen/Morgana)
Femslash Review Fest -- From December 18th-31st, leave reviews on femslash fics to show support and love! -- is a nice low-key way to participate in something fannish.

My recs:

Day 1: A fic written more than a year ago: Wonder If You Wonder About Me Too by [livejournal.com profile] lady_ragnell. BBC Merlin, Isolde/Sefa.

Day 2: A recent fic from your current fandom: If She Stays by Anon, written for [livejournal.com profile] merlin_holidays. An Elena/Mithian femslash fairytale!

Speaking of [livejournal.com profile] merlin_holidays, I'm the lucky recipient of this awesome Gwen/Morgana fic. (Angst warning for post-canon stuff.)

Rec Themes )
asra: (XF/DW)



asra: (XF/DW)

Also Gillian. I don't necessarily consider myself to be an icon, but I do consider myself to be a feminist. It's become a dirty word, and it shouldn't be a dirty word. By adding to one community, you're not taking away from the other community. That's not the intention.
asra: (XF/DW)
We've been talking and talking over the last couple of days. At some points there's been crying alongside talking. Today someone said that some other colleges held two-minute silences for Leonard Cohen. Instead of silence, we decided to celebrate him by listening to his music in class. These are the four versions of 'Hallelujah' I watched with my class.

There was even some laughter when someone said that Jon Bon Jovi makes out with the mic. Yesterday, we talked about the carnivalesque, about how laughter is necessary. We need poetry, music, and art -- and yes, humour -- more than ever.

Read more... )


Nov. 9th, 2016 05:43 pm
asra: (DS)

Screen Shot 2016-11-09 at 18.47.49
asra: (DS)

How is this even happening. I just... don't even have words. We're all in shock. I'm so sorry, America.

I feel like I want to throw up or cry. But I don't think we should grieve. I think we should be angry that dangerous, bigoted assholes are in positions of power, and I think we should channel that anger into our efforts to make things better. I think we should be supportive of each other, no matter where in the world we are.


Nov. 1st, 2016 11:03 pm
asra: (DS)
Just caught one of the cats peeing in the bathroom sink. Just when you think you've seen it all. He didn't stop when I walked in either. Just gave me a look that said 'you don't seriously expect me to quit mid-pee, do you?' and kept right at it.

Right, procrastinatory post over. *crawls back to funding application of doom*
asra: (DS)
Working on the syllabus for my fantasy course! I have some questions that I'm hoping my flist will be able to help with.

1. Suggestions for critical essays or articles. So far I have Tolkien's "On Fairy Stories", Ursula Le Guin's "The Critics, the Monsters, and the Fantasists", extracts from Rosemary Jackson's 'Fantasy: The Literature of Subversion', and an article on Harry Potter by Richard Bernstein.

2. Films to watch. So so many, so little time! I'm thinking Fellowship of the Ring, Prisoner of Azkaban, and The Neverending Story. Good/not good? Better options? Maybe The Hunger Games? PotC: Curse of the Black Pearl?

3. BOOKS. The Hobbit, Goblet of Fire (not sure about this one -- Philosopher's Stone may be better?), H G Wells' short story "The Inexperienced Ghost". Should I include Earthsea? Will 18-19 year olds be able to relate? Any suggestions for works/extracts from Gaiman? I want to include Philip Pullman, but His Dark Materials is too long to read/discuss as part of the course, and the film version of 'The Golden Compass' does very little justice to the book. Maybe just the first chapter of the book?

4. TV shows:

- I'm thinking maybe one episode each from Buffy and Merlin. Would the pilot episodes work? Or maybe there are better options among later episodes?
- Possibly SPN? Although all the good episodes I can think of need context to understand. "Roadkill" is a good one, right? Something people who don't know the show will still be able to appreciate (given the awesome twist at the end)? Possibly "Dead in the Water", since it's creepy and atmospheric enough for the genre, and has some wonderful characters as well as great writing? Any other suggestions?
- I know Doctor Who is sci-fi rather than fantasy, but I can think of a couple of episodes, such as 'Blink' and 'A Christmas Carol' (the flying fish are completely awesome!), that might be fitting? Good idea?
- Game of Thrones. Definitely unsuitable to screen on campus, but I'm thinking maybe I can focus on one character (possibly Daenerys and her dragons) and show some clips that could be discussed? I really want to include GoT somehow.


Oct. 31st, 2016 11:02 pm
asra: (XF/DW)
Class is so good! [livejournal.com profile] _profiterole_ had already given it the thumbs-up, so I went into it confident that it wouldn't disappoint, and did it ever deliver. So. much. equal. representation.

Kind of gif-heavy (and one gif is probably NSFW).

Buffy meets SJA )
asra: (DS)
I just saw an interesting call for papers on queer readings of vegan texts. Would anyone have recs for vegan texts -- books, films, anything, really, that could be analysed as a text? I've started looking around but am getting stalled by all the results for recipe books.

ETA: There's an awesome issue of Critical Animal Studies for download here, with an entire article on the topic of queer theory and veganism. Abstract below the cut.

Read more... )
asra: (Ellen and Jo)
Such an unforgettable film.

My heart just shattered when I realised the significance of the name he'd given his machine. All the tears for Alan Turing.


In book news, I'm almost done with the Captive Prince trilogy. Good while it's lasted, but romance is so not my genre. I do love Laurent's character, though.
asra: (Rory reading Plath)
I'm way behind on reviewing books I've been reading, but I have to recommend the Raven Cycle by Maggie Stiefvater. Just finished the first book, which I thoroughly enjoyed. It ends with such a killer line that I had to start reading the second one immediately. Here's the (completely non-spoilery) beginning of book two to entice you:

A secret is a strange thing. )

Thank you my lovely [livejournal.com profile] chaosmaka for reccing the fanfic that got me into reading the series. <3
asra: (DS)
A very happy birthday to [livejournal.com profile] analineblue! I hope you have a lovely day. <3

In academia land, this morning I reached what I thought was my office and found, to my horror, that a picture of a saint had been pasted on the door. Then I looked up and saw that the name above the door wasn't mine; I'd gotten off the lift on the wrong floor. Phew.

The last two books I read won't need much time to review, haha. Flipped: this is the very last time I let my students talk me into reading teenage heterosexual romance! I did love the central idea of seeing things from a different perspective.

I suspect The Strange Library is to Murakami what Haroun and the Sea of Stories is to Rushdie: a quirky, potentially magical but ultimately disappointing tale. Not recommended, unless you have 45 minutes to kill on a book that has more pictures than text.

The best for last: Vikram Chandra's gorgeous, gorgeous Love and Longing in Bombay. I have five more pages to read, but will leave them for after work so that I can savour them. The end of the book also has a few pages from the beginning of Sacred Games, since the protagonist of that book is introduced in one of the five stories in Love and Longing. One of the five is a gut-wrenching story about a gay relationship, and I won't write about it just now because it deserves a re-read and serious reflection. But here's a bit from the last story, magic realism at its best that's worthy of Marquez himself. This is after news of the attacks on Hiroshima and Nagasaki reaches a tiny village:

Read more... )
asra: (Ouija)
My Summergen gift fic (Sam and Dean, gen, 4500 words) is the most perfect thing. I feel a little guilty for being the recipient of something so lovely, because I'm definitely not a part of fandom anymore, not the way I used to be. Anyway, that's a conversation for some other time. The fic takes place right after 'Dark Side of the Moon' (BE STILL MY HEART) and alternates between the present and the summer Sam was 17, thereby completely indulging my love of both DSotM and pre-series fic.

Trust me, you want to read a fic that begins like THIS. )

I have a feeling I know the author because the writing is so familiarly beautiful (I've already narrowed down the list of possible suspects to two, lol), but I'll be just as happy if it turns out that the author is new to me because hey, more awesome people around = always good! And you, dear mystery author, are perfectly awesome, and I'm so glad (and lucky!!) that you were my gifter. ♥

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