mllelaurel: (Default)
Fiction
1. *The Goblin Emperor, by Katherine Addison (rr)

Nonfiction
1. *On Writing, by Stephen King (rr)
2. *Hamilton: The Revolution, by Lin-Manuel Miranda & Jeremy McCarter
3. Secret Windows: Essays and Fiction on the Craft of Writing, by Stephen King
mllelaurel: (Default)
This is a Card Page for Colors TCG






Name: Lily
Join Date: June 11, 2013
Cards Collected: 2954
Trading Log





Mastered!





ECATS Circle )

Cards )

Crayons
x28 x22 x17 x20 x29 x27 x23 x20

Sketchpad

Trades: 1299
mllelaurel: (Default)
Decks that I have mastered go here. Limited editions are first. Then specials. Then character decks, grouped by series.



Limited Edition )

Specials )

Digital Devil Saga )

Hatoful Boyfriend )

Kingdom Hearts )

Magi: The Labyrinth of Magic )

Puella Magi Madoka Magica )

Sekirei )

Shoujo Kakumei Utena )

Star Driver )

The World Ends With You )

Xenosaga )

Zero Escape )
mllelaurel: (Default)
Doubles

Doubles )

Character Cards

Character Cards )

Specials

Specials )
mllelaurel: (Default)
WORD: BUM (3/29)
TRADES:
B - (traded paternal13 for BURGERS19 with Qu-ko) LINK
U - (traded XCARD for YCARD with PLAYERNAME) LINK
M - (traded MANIAC15 for artemyra15 with Qu-ko) LINK

PHRASE: MARCH COMES IN LIKE A LION...
TRADES:
M - (traded invader16 for MENTOR17 with Aru) LINK
A - (traded ARCHANGEL01 for dawn10 with Ivoryandhorn) LINK
R - (traded avenger05 for magoi01 with RALENE) LINK
C - (traded flameking10 for CERBERUS09 with Ten) LINK
H - (traded prefect15 for HARIHARA05 with Ivoryandhorn) LINK

C - (traded CLUELESS07 for voidgear17 with Ivoryandhorn) LINK
O - (traded protestant07 for OBLIGED19 with Ivoryandhorn) LINK
M - (traded create01 for MAGOI09 with Harukami) LINK
E - (traded EARL03 for disney13 with Ivoryandhorn) LINK
S - (traded hebirote01 for SOHCAHTOA01 with Jen) LINK

I - (traded coo19 for babylon15 with IVORYANDHOEN) LINK
N - (traded NETHERWORLD17 for butler10 with Cendol) LINK

L - (traded mist19 for LITTLEDEVIL15 with Abyss) LINK
I - (traded INSEI17 for protector19 with Ten) LINK
K - (traded sonic05 for sohcahtoa10 with KIRI) LINK
E - (traded EVERAFTER01 for magoi02 with Aave) LINK

A - (traded nobility14 for ARIADONEY05 with Senren) LINK

L - (traded XCARD for YCARD with PLAYERNAME) LINK
I - (traded copying11 for IZUMO05 with Senren) LINK
O - (traded ORDINARY11 for fiancee18 with Cendol) LINK
N - (traded NESHITTERU15 for usas08 with Kazu) LINK
mllelaurel: (Default)
Books read )
21.

Manga )

Short Stories
"You and You Alone," by Jacqueline Carey
"The Truth About Cassandra," by Neil Gaiman
"Kaskia," by Peter S. Beagle
"Two Pretenders," by Marie Brennan

Currently reading:
Tortall and Other Lands: A Collection of Tales, by Tamora Pierce

On Deck:
The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay, by Michael Chabon

On Reserve
Among Others, by Jo Walton
Deathless, by Catherynne M. Valente
Red Glove, by Holly Black
Eona: The Last Dragoneye, by Alison Goodman
Fuzzy Nation, by John Scalzi
Fury of the Phoenix, by Cindy Pon
Naamah's Blessing, by Jacqueline Carey

Upcoming Reads
1.
2. Saints Astray, by Jacqueline Carey
3. The Snow Queen's Shadow, by Jim C. Hines
4. With Fate Conspire, by Marie Brennan
5. The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making, by Catherynne M. Valente
6. Mastiff, by Tamora Pierce
7.
8. The Republic of Thieves, by Scott Lynch
9.
10. The Kingdom of Gods, by N. K. Jemisin (woc)

To Read - Books by Writers of Color
1.
2.
3.
4.

To Read - Non spec-fic (6/10)
mllelaurel: (Default)
Lois McMaster Bujold
Chalion
Paladin of Souls

The Sharing Knife
Beguilement
Legacy
Passage
Horizon

Vorkosigan Saga
Shards of Honor
Barayar
Memory

Jacqueline Carey
Kushiel's Dart
Kushiel's Chosen
Kushiel's Avatar
Kushiel's Scion
Naamah's Kiss

Santa Olivia


Charles de Lint
Dreams Underfoot
Memory and Dream
Trader
Moonlight and Vines
The Onion Girl

Gregory Maguire
Wicked

Christopher Moore
The Gospel According to Biff, Christ's Childhood Pal

Tamora Pierce
Song of the Lioness
Lioness Rampant

Trickster's Choice
Trickster's Queen

Briar's Book

John Scalzi
Old Man's War
The Ghost Brigades
Zoe's Tale

Catherynne M. Valente
The Orphan's Tales: In the Night Garden

---

Particularly Wanted

Lois McMaster Bujold
Mirror Dance
A Civil Campaign

The Curse of Chalion

Jacqueline Carey
Kushiel's Justice
Kushiel's Mercy
Naamah's Curse
Naamah's Blessing (not released yet)

Saints Astray (not released yet)

Charles de Lint
The Ivory and the Horn
Tapping the Dream Tree

Jo Graham
Black Ships
Stealing Fire

Jim C. Hines
The Stepsister Scheme
The Mermaid's Madness
Red Hood's Revenge

Scott Lynch
The Lies of Locke Lamora
Red Seas Under Red Skies

John Scalzi
The Last Colony

Catherynne M. Valente
In the City of Coin and Spice
mllelaurel: (Default)
Note: This is a work in progress.

2004 )

2006 )

2007 )

2009 )

2010 )
mllelaurel: (Default)
*= Favorites. I've liked most of the games I played in, but these were the ones that took my breath away. The ones I'm still talking about years after.
%= Games I enjoyed a lot less.

Question marks instead of character name mean either the character's identity is secret or I forgot it.

Played )

GMed )

Writing Credits )

Upcoming )
mllelaurel: (Default)
Final Fantasy X
Kingdom Hearts
Kingdom Hearts II
Kingdom Hearts: Re: Chain of Memories (+Riku's side)
Xenosaga I
Xenosaga II
Xenosaga III

Currently Playing
Final Fantasy XII
Final Fantasy VII (through prologue)
Xenogears (through prologue)

Also interested in playing
Kingdom Hearts: 358/2 (It's for Nintendo DS, but Phoenix Wright and The World Ends With You might make a DS altogether worth it. Also, [livejournal.com profile] fiddle_dragon said she might have a DS, though she's not sure.)
Kingdom Hearts: Birth By Sleep (PSP. Fuckers.)
Final Fantasy VIII (Either I'll love it or hate it. Just like everyone who's played it)
Final Fantasy IX (Art's kind of annoying, but I've heard really good things about the story and characters)
Sukoiden V
Final Fantasy X-II (If I can get over them 'trying to appeal to women' by putting in dress up games, and while I have nothing against revealing clothing, I dislike it if it's OOC, as in Yuna's case.)
Final Fantasy XIII (Now that I have access to a PS3)
Digital Devil Saga
mllelaurel: (Default)
Dear Yuletide Author:

First of all, welcome and thank you! This is my second year doing Yuletide, and I’m very excited to read your story. I want to start by saying that you shouldn’t consider any of my specific requests binding, if that’s not what floats your boat. I just wanted to give you some ideas, to help you get started and give you a taste of the sort of things I’m into.

Let’s start with the general guidelines:

Things I Like

I love fic that captures the feel of canon, even if it’s operating in a different genre. Fic which incorporates little details of the world building. Fic which doesn’t forget the existence of characters who may not be center-stage, or their importance to the leads. I like fic where the characters sound and act the way they do in canon, without any of their edges and flaws filed off. I like complicated emotions and psychological realism, including and especially in speculative settings. I’m a multishipper, so het, slash, femslash and poly are all A++. If there’s a pairing I’m particularly fond or unfond of, I’ll mention it under that specific fandom. Otherwise, have at! Anything from gen to kinky, kinky porn is well appreciated. (And if the kink in the latter is visceral and real-world believable, even better!) I like well-earned happy endings and bittersweet ones. Happiness and tragedy are both great, but I’d prefer something other than unmitigated fluff, or ‘everything sucks, so let’s just be emo about it.’

When it comes to relationships in fic, my guideline is ‘more banter, less shmoop.’ I’m as much of a sucker for declarations of love as the next person, but put some thought into how a given character would act on those particular feelings. That, and I just plain like banter. :) Springing off from this, I have a major soft spot for unorthodox and indirect ways characters might say ‘I love you.’ The ‘as you wish,’ clause, if you will.

I love canon divergence or ‘turn left’ AUs, time loops, ‘Five Things That Never Happened to X,’ roleswaps, and other variations on a theme.

Not Inherently Positive or Negative - Just Needs More Detail

I love certain types of hurt/comfort, and dislike others. Particularly, what I like is characters going together through trauma, supporting each other, and bonding. What I dislike is h/c which infantilizes the hurt character and doesn’t acknowledge them as a person with agency and drive; ridiculous amounts of comfort for something minor like a headcold; or h/c which assumes that ‘hug and cry’ is the only possible emotional aftermath to trauma, ignoring other valid reactions, such as anger, denial, black humor, being surprisingly okay with it, etc.

Things I Dislike

There are few things I dislike more than character bashing, or characters who are sympathetic in canon being made to act like abusive assholes. If they are morally gray canonically, obviously that is fine, and not what I am talking about here. Extra special note for this, if said character happens to be a PoC, female, or queer.

I have no interest in Character/Reader, A/B/O or mundane AUs, such as high school of coffee shop. (I was going to say ‘modern AUs,’ but then I realized I’d be totally down with say a mafia AU, or something like that, which might still be set in the modern world. Basically, I want a setting which can parallel the stakes of canon in an interesting manner. Sticking with the canon is always a safe bet, though I do love me some canon divergence AUs, as mentioned above.)

Crossovers aren’t particularly my bag, especially in an exchange, where you might have no way of knowing which fandoms I am or am not familiar with.

In terms of squicks, please no MPREG, reproductive coercion, or breeding kink. Mention of a pregnancy or kid is fine, but it shouldn’t be the focus, and I ask for absolutely no scenarios where the character doesn’t want to be pregnant but has to keep it anyway.

As per what I’ve said a couple paragraphs above, absolutely no rape or abuse featuring canonically sympathetic characters as the perp (or even ones who might be ruthless on occasion, but unlikely to go *that particular route* if they’re in character.)

I dislike seme/uke essentialism, and essentialist gender roles in general. Who tops (or does the penetrating, or what have you) sexually has jack-all to do with strength of character or actual power dynamics in a relationship.

Now, on to the specific fandoms and requests:

Sagas of Sundry: Dread )


The Good Place )


Star Driver )


Umineko no Naku Koro Ni )
mllelaurel: (Default)
Reviewed for FF Friday.

"Fifty Years in the Virtuous City" is a short story very loosely based on "The Sultana's Dream," which can be found here. It tells the story of two women, Amrita Karim and Suhela Mullick, who live in a world a couple of steps off from our own, in a matriarchal country which does not exist but could. It tells of their rivalry in academia, their work, their brush with the brutality of war. The relationship itself is understated, an ever-present backdrop to everything Amrita (the narrator) experiences, though not acted on till the end of the story. The worldbuilding is fantastic, the characters are three-dimensional, and Amrita's feelings are rendered vibrantly, even (or possibly especially) because they are not always easily quantifiable.

Highly recommended.
mllelaurel: (Default)
Reviewed for FF Friday.

Ellen Klages' Passing Strange is a love story, a romance between Emily, a runaway daughter of a blue-blood New England family, and Haskel, a brilliant artist who makes her living drawing lurid covers for the pulps. But it is also a love song to the city of San Francisco in the 1940s, vibrant in its descriptions of lesbian bars, Chinatown cocktail lounges, and the World Fair.

Klages' writing is superb. She pulls a few tricks I normally dislike, such as mid-scene point of views switches, but the style is so well-done it does not impact my enjoyment or the three-dimensionality of the characters. The romance goes quickly (this is a novella,) but it's both affecting and believable.

There are elements of magic, well-foreshadowed, but out of focus enough I'd label this book more magical realism than fantasy, and the final use of the magical elements leads to a satisfying ending just as I was bracing myself for something a lot more depressing.

Highly recommended.
mllelaurel: (Default)
Reviewed for FF Friday.

The Nomeolvides women carry the power to make plants grow - whether they like it or not - and a curse which makes those they fall in love with disappear. When the current generation of Nomeolvides girls realize they are all falling for Bay Briar, a dapper, black-sheep scion of the family that owns La Pradera, the land which they garden, they realize they have to do something before Bay disappears too. By way of answer, La Pradera gives them Fel, a boy who doesn't remember his past, and who might have disappeared generations ago.

The writing is lush, almost fairy tale-like. However, there's a tendency to belabor already touched-on emotional points, which left me frustrated and disconnected. Some of the reveals fall flat, and one of the most significant reveals makes all the characters who had not figured it out up to that point look like idiots.

As for the characters, it's been a bit since I've read this book, so my memory's faded, and I can't help comparing it to Labyrinth Lost, which also featured a sprawling extended family of Latinas. To me, at least, the family in Labyrinth Lost was much more vividly rendered and believable. The characters in Wild Beauty are still good, they're still likable. They're just not as real. Fortunately, Bay is one of the better efforts, sharp and likable as a romantic interest. She does eventually come to return one of the cousins' feelings for her, though it's not Estrella's (the POV character.) Estrella's own romance is also likable, though it's with a boy and thus outside the purview of this comm.

On a side note, I had a hunch as I read that Bay might be better described as genderqueer rather than female, and my hunch was borne out by author's notes, but she does go by she/her pronouns, and I figure more genderqueer representation can't hurt.

To sum up: this book is pretty good on both sexuality and gender representation, but occasionally frustrating when it comes to its own narrative.
mllelaurel: (Default)
Reviewed for FF Friday.

Alex Mortiz comes from a long line of brujas, but unlike her mother and sisters, she fears her powers. She's got her reasons. Even normal bruja abilities come with blowback, and Alex's powerful magic comes with danger and death, and shadowy things called maloscuros come to threaten the safety of her family. But when she tries giving back her powers, the canto goes wrong, and Alex's family is taken from her instead.

With the help of her best friend Rishi, and a mysterious boy named Nova, Alex descends to Los Lagos, where souls of the dead go between lives, to get her family back. But the world of Los Lagos itself is in crisis, held hostage and sucked nearly dry by the Devourer, an old and powerful being who might just have her sights set on Earth next, and who is none too happy about Alex standing in her way.

What I liked best about this book was its world. I loved the details of bruja culture and everyday living, from the items which fill Alex's home, to the specificity of the cantos brujas cast (not spells, spells are for witches; cantos are for brujas.) Although the magic and faith practiced by Alex and her family isn't exactly Santeria, or another real-world pagan analogue, you can tell Cordova's done her research even before you get to the author's note. It shows in the vivid verisimilitude of her setting. I loved the eerie, dangerous beauty of Los Lagos, the way its denizens popped off the page, and the way the challenges ahead of Alex felt, well, challenging. I've always been a sucker for descent to the underworld stories; stories of people who'd go to literal or figurative hell for those they love, so the concept was a real easy sell.

As for the characters, I didn't always like Alex, who starts out sullen and wishing to be normal. (Those familiar with my tastes know how little I sympathize with normalcy-seeking characters.) On the other hand, I found her very believable as a person and character right from the get-go, and watching her grow and develop throughout the story was a joy. By the end of the story, I loved her. I found Nova interesting, entertaining, and even sympathetic throughout, for all that his glib inscrutability would have likely driven me nuts in real life. Cordova also does a great job with a lot of her secondary characters, who are memorable despite their relatively-limited page count, especially Alex's older sister, Lula, and the Adas, Rodriga and Agosto. The Devourer is a credible threat, with an interesting background.

And then, there's Rishi, easily the weakest part of the book. Which is a shame, as she's inexorably entwined with the very reason I picked this book up to begin with. Alex is bisexual (which is awesome!) and finds herself attracted to both Nova and Rishi in the course of the story. It's not that I think Alex makes the wrong decision, when she ultimately chooses Rishi, but a) traditional love triangles are stupid anyway, and b) having finished the book, I still have no idea who Rishi is, aside from her being quirky, Guyanese, and into Alex. She falls flat, and with her the love plot. I want to cheer for the same-sex love interest winning the day, but. Eh.

Some of the problem is she has no magic and is a fish out of water in Los Lagos. But Ordinary People (™) can shine in extraordinary settings by being clever and determined. I… guess Rishi is determined, and her faith in Alex is unflagging, but she doesn't contribute a hell of a lot. Even at the point in the plot where Alex and Rishi are on their own, and I think 'hey, now's Rishi's chance to shine…' she still does nothing. She's a love interest, and that's all she is. I'm not sure why there's such a disappointing contrast to the other characters. My only guess is, Cordova was really invested in providing Good Queer Representation (™), didn't want to fuck it up, and overshot in the bland direction.

But on the scale of the book as a whole, that's a nitpick. I really enjoyed Labyrinth Lost and would absolutely recommend it on the strength of its story, world, and cast. I'm really looking forward to the sequel with Lula as the protagonist. The love plot? Eh. But so goes it.
mllelaurel: (Default)
You can read more about FF Fridays here. In the organizer's own words, "If you want to join in, just review something FF on a Friday."

Since the whole venture only started yesterday, I haven't had the chance to pick up a new book, so I will be recommending a fanfic instead.

The Art of the (Im)Possible is a fic based on the San Junipero episode of Black Mirror, written by mswyrr. The fic is short but evocative, following Kelly and Yorkie after the end of the episode. The relationship is both heartwarming and three-dimensional, and I really like how the fic touches on Black Mirror's prevalent themes of technology and personhood, and the ways in which they intersect.
mllelaurel: (Default)
Dear Yuletide Author:

First of all, welcome and thank you! This is my first year doing Yuletide, and I’m very excited to read your story. I want to start by saying that you shouldn’t consider any of my specific requests binding, if that’s not what floats your boat. I just wanted to give you some ideas, to help you get started and give you a taste of the sort of things I’m into.

Let’s start with the general guidelines:

Things I Like

I love fic that captures the feel of canon, even if it’s operating in a different genre. Fic which incorporates little details of the world building. Fic which doesn’t forget the existence of characters who may not be center-stage, or their importance to the leads. I like fic where the characters sound and act the way they do in canon, without any of their edges and flaws filed off. I like complicated emotions and psychological realism, including and especially in speculative settings. I’m a multishipper, so het, slash, femslash and poly are all A++. If there’s a pairing I’m particularly fond or unfond of, I’ll mention it under that specific fandom. Otherwise, have at! Anything from gen to kinky, kinky porn is well appreciated. (And if the kink in the latter is visceral and real-world believable, even better!) I like well-earned happy endings and bittersweet ones. Happiness and tragedy are both great, but I’d prefer something other than unmitigated fluff, or ‘everything sucks, so let’s just be emo about it.’

When it comes to relationships in fic, my guideline is ‘more banter, less shmoop.’ I’m as much of a sucker for declarations of love as the next person, but put some thought into how a given character would act on those particular feelings. That, and I just plain like banter. :) Springing off from this, I have a major soft spot for unorthodox and indirect ways characters might say ‘I love you.’ The ‘as you wish,’ clause, if you will.

Not Inherently Positive or Negative - Just Needs More Detail

I love certain types of hurt/comfort, and dislike others. Particularly, what I like is characters going together through trauma, supporting each other, and bonding. What I dislike is h/c which infantilizes the hurt character and doesn’t acknowledge them as a person with agency and drive, or h/c which assumes that ‘hug and cry’ is all there is to it, ignoring other valid reactions, such as anger, denial, black humor, being surprisingly okay with it, etc.

Things I Dislike

There are few things I dislike more than character bashing, or characters who are sympathetic in canon being made to act like abusive assholes. If they are morally gray canonically, obviously that is fine, and not what I am talking about here. Extra special note for this, if said character happens to be a PoC, female, or queer.

I have no interest in Character/Reader, A/B/O or mundane AUs, such as high school of coffee shop. (I was going to say ‘modern AUs,’ but then I realized I’d be totally down with say a mafia AU, or something like that, which might still be set in the modern world. Basically, I don’t want a setting which obliterates the stakes and issues of the canon.) I have a love-hate relationship with soulmate AUs. For me, someone finding their soulmate is not a satisfying and cathartic endgame in and of itself, if it comes at the expense of good old fashioned relationship building. On the other hand, it could be interesting to explore the worldbuilding implications of a world where soulmates are a fact of life. In general, sticking with the canon setting, or canon divergence AUs are your best bet.

Crossovers aren’t particularly my bag, especially in an exchange, where you might have no way of knowing which fandoms I am or am not familiar with.

In terms of squicks, please no MPREG or reproductive coercion. Mention of a pregnancy or kid is fine, but it shouldn’t be the focus, and I ask for absolutely no scenarios where the character doesn’t want to be pregnant but has to keep it anyway. As per what I’ve said a couple paragraphs above, absolutely no rape or abuse featuring canonically sympathetic characters as the perp (or even ones who might be ruthless on occasion, but unlikely to go *that particular route* if they’re in character.)

I dislike seme/uke essentialism, and essentialist gender roles in general. Who tops (or does the penetrating, or what have you) sexually has jack-all to do with strength of character or actual power dynamics in a relationship.

Now, on to the specific fandoms and requests:

Below the cut )

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