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Handbook for Dragon Slayers, by Merrie Haskell

Review copy provided by author. Further disclaimer: Mer and I are friends and have critiqued each other’s work in the past, although I had nothing to do with this one. (It came out really well without me!)

I’m not sure where to start on the stuff I like about this book. (I don’t think there was stuff I didn’t like about this book, so that’s easy enough.) There’s the setting: for all that “generi-Europe” is more closely Germany-France-England than anywhere else, it’s not really anywhere very well grounded, whereas Handbook is actually set on the Rhine River, with cultural and geographic specificity abounding (but not overwhelming a book of this length). There’s the main character, with her very well-conceived disability being part but not even remotely all of who she is. There’s the supporting cast, including a character who would be the main character of just about any other fantasy novel but shines in a supporting role. There’s the interweaving of folk and fairy tale influences, some just around the edges and some right up front and center.

What I’m trying to say here is this book: it is full of good stuff. And you might not learn all that much about slaying dragons from it, but there is enough other stuff with horses and inks and like that, it will balance out. (And there are dragons! But. Well. Just go find out yourself.)

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Not just a test post! Now with content!

I wanted to see if my new WordPress blog on my own website would crosspost to my lj, but that’s not really a good enough reason for a post.  But now!  Now I can tell you about Tim’s War for the Oaks photo project!  Which is full of photo projecty goodness, and anybody in the Twin Cities who wants to come and read War for the Oaks in a photo on Saturday should check the details at the link.  And you should check the details at the link anyway, because there are non-Saturday opportunities and also interesting photos.

Crossposting should not be difficult, but I am not having a day of much brain, so we’ll see.

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Once upon a time

Once upon a time, before the days of LiveJournal, Facebook, and Twitter, I kept a blog on my very own website.  I hand-coded the entries.  I could still do that, but…yeah, who are we kidding, there is no reason for me to do that.  I could butcher my own bison, too.  My best-aunt is supposed to bring me the heirloom butchering knife from when the ancestors lived in a logging camp and barely spoke English.  From her gestures I would guess it would be two to three feet long.

I digress.  Well.  I pretty much always digress.  Most of the people who are likely read this any time soon are used to it.

So once upon a time, I kept a blog, and then there was LJ, and gosh, that was so convenient.  So many friends there!  So much conversation!  There was an outage once for several days, and we all kind of panicked!  Whatever would we do without LJ?

I kind of think we’re finding out.  This is one of those bang vs. whimper things.  Don’t get me wrong, I’m going to mirror these posts to my lj.  I’m still going to read my lj.  But the conversation there has not been what it was for quite some time, and it doesn’t work to use a particular tool to “keep up with” people if you don’t actually…keep up with people with it.  So the idea is that I will aim at posting a couple of times a week and see how that goes.  Sometimes having something on a set schedule means I do it less and sometimes more, but it means that I spend less unproductive time on worrying about whether I am doing it or not.  So that’s the goal here.

Also, y’know.  A place for my blather about writing and books and cool stuff I’m enjoying and whatever else.  That can’t be bad, right?  Okay, it could be.  But it probably isn’t.