February 25th, 2013

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Recent Reads: The Blue Sword

I had a hard time reading this for purely physical reason: my copy of THE BLUE SWORD is very probably 30 years old, and the fragile yellowed pages are losing their tenuous grip on the broken spine. I was afraid it would fall apart in my hands, and thus was weirdly careful with not only the book but the reading of it. I believe I’ll seek out Robin McKinley at the nearest possible opportunity, ask her to sign my beloved and battered book, and retire it with honors alongside my equally ancient and beaten-up signed copy of DRAGONSONG.

The truth is, had discussion about HERO in my last Recent Reads post not pointed it out to me, it probably never would have occurred to me how passive a character Harry is. She is (in essence) The Chosen One, just as Garion is, and throughout the book, the story impels her forward rather than her own choices driving the story forward. The major break from that is of course her departure from Corlath’s army, but with how it’s written, even that is arguably her kelar forcing her rather than her own will.

It doesn’t matter. Not to me, anyway. THE BLUE SWORD is very close to my heart, because it’s one of the very first books–possibly the first book–I read with an awareness of genre, with an awareness that I was reading A Fantasy Novel. I first read it when I was ten, the year after it came out, as one of the books for Battle of the Books, and it utterly swept me away. I was in love with Harry, I was in love with Corlath, I was, dear God, in love with Tsornin.

And I still am. I was right, in re-reading HERO: Aerin is the stronger heroine, and HERO probably the stronger book. And indeed, upon re-read I discover that Harry’s big magic scene at the end of THE BLUE SWORD is acid-trippy as well, though not as mind-numbingly weird as Aerin’s. As an adult, it’s easier to admire Aerin’s stubbornness and the trials and tribulations she goes through to achieve her happy ending, and to appreciate that Harry essentially gets it all handed to her on a platter.

But when you’re ten and you’re caught up as Harry was, stranger in a strange land, but a land that speaks to you, and you are taken away to be important in that world…well. Yes. It’s ultimate wish-fulfillment, and McKinley has said as much about that book, but it’s okay. And I think that will never go away, so I think THE BLUE SWORD retains its place of preference in my heart. After all, a little wish fulfillment never hurt anybody. :)

And speaking of wish fulfillment, *God* I wish there were more Damar books. I know she doesn’t write sequels, I’ve known all her reason for twenty years, I respect them, I’m not pleading with her to write more, but *oh* how I wish there were more.

(x-posted from The Essential Kit)

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step by step

I am slowly getting there, in terms of amalgamating mizkit.com and cemurphy.net. In fact, tonight I’ll be redirecting cemurphy.net to mizkit.com in preparation for MOUNTAIN ECHOES’s release this week.

Nothing is nearly as organized as I’d like, but the basics are in place, which is to say the links should all work with the redirect. I need to go through and fix images, and in the slightly longer run I have hopes of making the CEMurphy.Net pages look different from the mizkit pages (because my delightful web designer lady has put the thought that it’s possible in my head :)), but for the moment, I’ll take “basically working” as good enough.

It’s getting there. It’s getting there. Keep calm, sure it’s grand.

In other news, it’s a bright and sunshiny, if slightly chilly, day, and I am feeling more positive and capable about, oh, everything. It’s amazing what a little sunshine does for my mood.

(x-posted from The Essential Kit)

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The 140 Character Cookbook

The other day over on Twitter, Ilona Andrews said she’d bought churizo because she’d seen a recipe she wanted to try that called for it, but now she couldn’t find the recipe so what was she supposed to do with the churizo?

I said, “Sautee it in a pan. Throw in chick peas & sautee in chorizo oil until soft. Mix sour cream over it. Eat with pita. Die happy,” which she did. Without actually dying, I should note. But OMG. It’s a recipe Ted invented a few weeks ago, and I tell you, strong men would weep. (Ilona’s response to it was: “I made it. Holy crap.” I thought that was just what we were after. :))

Anyway, so I said to Ted I’d given her the recipe and that I personally had to approve of any recipe that could be related and recommended in 140 characters.

He stared at me and said, “That’s a cookbook.”

…SO TEMPTED…

(Go on, give me your favorite 140 character recipes. I’ll save them. Just in case. :))

(x-posted from The Essential Kit)