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Various and Sunday

I just chopped up every vegetable in the house, sautéed them all a little, and added a can of garbanzos and a bunch of chicken stock. That counts as soup, right?

Talk about satiety! One bowl of that stuff was mighty. (Also pretty tasty.) And there are at least eight bowls left in the pot. And hardly any calories. I'm starting to get the hang of this.

Reading I'm in the midst of, now that I'm not writing so much:

Makers by Cory Doctorow is one I've been struggling to finish for several weeks now. The guy has some really interesting ideas about what the world is coming to, which is why the clumsy writing and so-so characterizations haven't quite driven me away yet. Doctorow wants to tell me all about real creativity and the evils of intellectual property, about 3D printing, the beauty of shantytowns, genetic modifications that will solve the obesity epidemic, robots and Disney and "rides" that evolve their own stories. I mean, there's a lot in there. It's a long novel. And I keep going back to it because there's enough plot and drama to make me curious.

The story contains one graphic and pornographic het sex scene that's actually rather good but just wham! comes out of nowhere and goes nowhere; and one of graphic and near-pornographic one-on-one violence that I found so deeply disturbing as to have to skip most of it. I mention them not as warnings so much as indicators of Doctorow's rather scattershot and unedited-feeling style.

Major Pettigrew's Last Stand by Helen Simonson: Just started this one, on audio. The reading, by Peter Altschuler, is one of those unfortunate ones that works hard to destroy the text and make the avid audiobook listener wonder what the hell publishers are thinking (for instance, "Well, it's better than the Kindle's computer voice...barely.")

So far, it's a charming little modern-day comedy of class, manners, and generational change set in a Sussex village. Since I've actually lived in a Sussex village and met a Major Pettigrew or two, I'm enjoying it as much as I can through the annoyingly bad reading.

In fanfic, I'm in the midst of "Arcane Asylum" by new_kate, a Merlin AU whose summary at the AO3 says "For the last twenty two years Uther Pendragon has been waging war on magic. Now his son Arthur has been framed for a magical crime and sent to the prison for magic users. Arthur is instantly targeted by the inmates, but mysterious top dog Merlin takes him under his wing. They form a bond, and Merlin decides to help Arthur clear his name." It's dark (well, duh--prison fic) and fairly harsh, and moves along at a good clip. I'm enjoying it so far.

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