Wednesday Reading

Wednesday, 3 April 2013 13:54
brigid: close up of my face a week or so post partum (Default)
What did you just finish?
Straight: the Surprisingly Short History of Heterosexuality by Hanne Blank; There's Nothing To Do On Mars by Chris Gall (kid's picture book); Friends With Boys by Faith Erin Hicks; Last Ape Standing by Chip Walter

What are you currently reading?
The Wood Wife, by Teri Windling, Are You My Mother, by Alison Bechdel (which I read once and put aside to mull over and re-read, it's much chewier and more intense than "Fun Home."),My mother she killed me, my father he ate me ed by Kate Bernheimer

What will you read next?
Stumbling On Happiness by Dan Gilbert; Days Of Blood And Starlight by Laini Taylor; Breaking The Magic Spell by Jack Zipes; London's Sinful Secret by Dan Cruikshank; The Complete Knifepoint Horror by "Soren Narnia" (won via goodreads giveaway).



You know, you can also follow my book reviews on goodreads. http://www.goodreads.com/user/show/1376296-brigid-keely

book meme

Wednesday, 19 September 2012 16:37
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It's international book week. The rules: Grab the closest book to you, turn to page 52, post the 5th sentence. Don't mention the title. Copy the rules as part of your post.

"Her dress rustled as a matter of course, but it was the sort of sound that was easily lost in the Quarter, beside the water most especially."

"Ganymede," by Cherie Priest.
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Mirrored from brigidkeely.com/wordpress.

In addition to nanowrimo, naphopomo, and nachopomo, November is also nablopomo; but it isn’t nanomango which takes place in June. (According to Wikipedia, November is also a lot of other stuff.)

Are you doing anything especially writery for November?

I’m going to try and update MAH BLAHG every day during the month of November and also work on outstanding pieces of fiction I have open as opposed to starting new pieces of fiction that won’t get finished. Is there a “national finish your stupid writing already” month or a “national edit your rough drafts” month or something?

30 Things: 8-14

Saturday, 2 October 2010 22:42
brigid: close up of my face a week or so post partum (Default)
I've gotten behind on the 30 things meme because I am TERRIBLE and a HORRIBLE PERSON oh my GOD. Also I've been doing some fiction writing/world building for something that I don't have a PLOT for but have a lot of BACKGROUND for so maybe I'll just illustrate it as like a dictionary/bestiary possibly with some short stories/vignettes I don't even know.

So now: 30 Things: 8-14

8) What is your favorite holiday?9) What is your favorite season?
Autumn. Definitely. Totally. The cool, crisp weather; the season change; the colorful leaves; the approach of winter and end of summer (hot! humid! ARGH NO); the comfort food; the ability to make soups and stews and want to eat them instead of wanting to die because it's hot; etc.

10) What are you afraid of?
Haha! Everything? No! I have Anxiety and so pretty much The Entire World scares me to some degree unless it is very very familiar and safe and even then sometimes I feel like the Hand Of God is reaching down to smash me into the ground. TOTALLY FUN, RIGHT? I am very hesitant to try new things, and I'm a little afraid that Niko is just as nervous cautious. That being said, I also have specific Phobias, and those mainly involve: heights (which yes makes riding an elevated train as my main source of getting-around TOTALLY A THRILL A MINUTE); needles; vomit. I think that's it.

11) Do you like trains?
I grew up in a tiny subdivision surrounded by corn and soybean fields, and forest preserve/wetland. It was pretty rural except for our 1 block or so of houses. Like, I didn't grow up on a farm, but I worked with horses one summer between 7th and 8th grade and there was corn and soybeans EVERYWHERE. It was fairly isolated! And sound traveled pretty far. At night, sometimes I'd lie in bed unable to get to sleep, and I'd hear the long low horn of passing high-speed freight train and imagine traveling anywhere, everywhere, escaping SOMEHOW and just getting OUT. The romance of trains has never left me, and I totally love trains and would really like to travel by long distance train more. I am so thrilled to live in a city that has such a great public transit system.

12) Do you like your name?
I used to hate my name. Haaaaaaaaaaaaate. It's spelled weird and is kind of harsh (buh and a hard "g" and a hard "d" at the end) and oh yeah, it totally rhymes with "frigid" hur hur hur I HAVE NOT HEARD THAT BEFORE NO YOU ARE VERY CLEVER THANKS SO MUCH. But the alternative was being named Myrna Louise which... I don't know. I try to be a rational person but I think with a name like that I would have turned out very different both mentally/emotionally and physically. MAGICAL THINKING WRT NAMES OK. I think I grew into it and I like it a lot now. (another option would have been Molly; that is the girl name my parents selected for my mom's other two pregnancies that produced boys. One of my best friends in high school was named Molly. It's a lovely name, but that would have been WEIRD.)

13) Do you have a pet or pets? What is your ideal pet?
I HAVE NOTHING TO LOVE ME UNCONDITIONALLY. No pets. I grew up with dogs and I really really miss having dogs. I would love to have a dog again. Preferably one that is house trained, obedient, never gets sick or hurt, and can feed and walk itself. Wait. No. Actually, yeah, I'd really for real love to get a dog again. I've thought about getting birds but then... it's unfair to keep a flying creature with a big roaming area in a little cage (and I don't want to clean bird poop off my couch/furniture, so no, I wouldn't let it out to fly about the house); I'm allergic to cats and don't want a box of poop in my house; Nesko is scared of lizards; I am not fond of mice/rats/rodents. I've thought about getting a hedgehog but don't think we can provide a warm enough environment for them, sadly. We tend to live in old, drafty buildings. In a few years, when Niko is older and we're more set financially, I want to adopt a rescue dog, though.

14) What TV shows are you currently watching?
We finally got a clear plastic cover for the push buttons on the tv, so we can once again watch TV without Niko turning the tv on/off and changing the channel. LOOK THERE ARE BUTTONS HOLY GOD THEY DO THINGS WHEN YOU TOUCH THEM OMG OMG OMG OMG OMG. We're working our way through Ashes to Ashes a little more slowly than I'd like. Other than that, I don't watch much tv. PBS sometimes, especially travel shows and Antiques Road Show because I'm a boring nerd. I want to watch Undercovers but it's on the same night I tutor and Nesko gets home late so I miss it on tv, and then I forget to watch it on the internet. I caught an episode of Raising Hope which was pretty terrible.
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30 Things: #7

Thursday, 23 September 2010 23:48
brigid: close up of my face a week or so post partum (Default)
7) What's the first book you remember reading?

I started reading on my own when I was 3 years old, which is about the same age one of my brothers at least (I have two brothers, both of whom are very intelligent) and many of my friends learned to read. I don't really remember a time I couldn't read.

One of the first books I read was something about boy and girl siblings (white, blond, blue-eyed of course... it was from the 1950s but wasn't quite Dick and Jane) going to the Zoo.

I entered Kindergarten and the classroom had a copy of that book. I excitedly told my teacher that it was one of my favorites and I loved reading it, and she responded something about how much fun it was to look at pictures and be read to.

Then we started learning the letters of the alphabet, one letter a day. It was kind of like having fingernails pulled out one by one. I was reading at a 3rd grade level and bored out of my damn mind.

But that zoo book was awesome.

Little Swimmers was another early favorite, and Little Lost Angel was busted out at Christmas Time.
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brigid: close up of my face a week or so post partum (Default)
6) What color are your eyes? Do you wear glasses or contact lenses? Do you wear colored lenses that change your eye color? Would you rather have a different eye color?

My eyes are a light grey/green color. They are light enough that they pick up and reflect color and light around me so look different depending on what I'm wearing, how bright it is, etc.

I do wear glasses. I'm very nearsighted and also have astigmatism and I really rely on them to, you know, function. I've tried contact lenses in the past but my eyes get really dry with them, and I have a lot of trouble getting them in/out.

I like my eye color just fine and if I were going to get tinted lenses they'd be red or reflective silver or something unearthly like that.
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brigid: close up of my face a week or so post partum (Default)
5) What is your favorite part of your body?

Right now, I remain constantly impressed by how much my feet have changed since I stopped forcing them into too-small too-narrow shoes. It's not like I was a stiletto queen or anything, just that I have very wide feet and it wasn't until I was in high school that I was able to find any sort of shoe that fit at all. My toes are, now, a completely different shape. They are straight and not crammed together, my gait is better, my balance is better, the bones of my feet don't hurt as much as they used to.

I love the way my body is able to bounce back.

I also love my eye shape and color, the new curly bits in my hair (big chunks of hair fell out about 6 months after I gave birth, and that hair grew back in slightly coarser and much more prone to curling), and that my nails have stopped splitting and peeling. At least for now. And my dimples. Love those guys. And my Frida Kahlo eyebrows. Ok, they don't meet in the middle quite as much as hers did, but they are formidable.
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30 Things: #4

Saturday, 18 September 2010 11:36
brigid: close up of my face a week or so post partum (Default)
4) What is your ideal meal?

It's one eaten with family and friends who I love.

Food-wise it'd either be really great pizza and Mexican or Greek Coke followed by tiramisu, or else avgo lemano soup, saganaki, and the swordfish shish-ke-babs at Greek Islands. I don't normally like fish, but ho man, their swordfish is excellent. Baklava for dessert.
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brigid: close up of my face a week or so post partum (Default)
3) What did you eat for your last meal?

I had leftover pepperoni pizza, a can of coke, and a fist full of dayquil. Pizza and coke is my go-to comfort food, especially when I'm sick (which I am. again. fffffffffuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuu.)

My favorite pizza is Giordano's Deep Dish; second to that is this place called Nick's that does East Coast style pizza and mostly I like them because 1) the staff is super nice and friendly, 2) my best friend and I used to order from them like once a week and it was A Thing. Ahhhhh, memories. Nesko likes super thin pizzas of the kind you get in bars. It's a mixed marriage. I love him despite his flawed tastes in pizza.
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Friday Five

Thursday, 16 September 2010 20:47
brigid: close up of my face a week or so post partum (Default)
The Friday Five courtesy of [community profile] thefridayfive:



1) What is your favorite mode of travel? (Car, train, plane, etc).

Oh man, I love trains so much. I have a serious THING for trains. My current temp job involves riding around Metra (long distance commuter) trains and counting passengers who get on/off at stations and it is SO EFFING COOL.


2) Where is the northernmost place you've traveled? The southernmost?

Northernmost is Toronto, southernmost is Florida Melbourne, Australia.


3) What is the last place you visited for the first time?

Nesko (my husband) and I drove to Dallas/Fort Worth during January about five years ago. Other than that I've been to some distant suburbs of Chicago (where I live) recently, but haven't had very long stopovers.


4) Of all the places you've traveled, which is your favorite?

Melbourne, Australia. Absolutely and definitely. I would love to go back. Maine was really nice, too.


5) Where would you most like to travel to next?

I have several places, actually! Within the US I'd like to visit friends in Boston,MA; Philly,PA; San Diego,CA; Seattle,WA; and Eugene, OR. Oh, and Fort Wayne,IN. Other than that, I'd love to return to Oz, visit New Zealand again, and travel through Montenegro which is the country my husband's family is from.


30 things: #2

Thursday, 16 September 2010 13:42
brigid: close up of my face a week or so post partum (Default)
2) If you could live anywhere at all, where would you live?

I love where I live now, but if money/geography/reality were not an issue I'd love to live:

1) In a sweet huge apartment in Edgewater close to where we lived just before this place. It was super conveniently located to public transit, grocery stores, drug stores, and a beach. And a really nice playground. Parking was a butt, though. But, the beach! And an express bus to Lincoln Park Zoo!

2) Downtown Chicago (things will be great! When you're DOWN! TOWN!), possibly near some friends of ours who live on Printer's Row. That's so, so expensive, though. Just as a comparison: They pay more for a one bedroom no dining room than my in-laws charge for a 3 bedroom 2 bath with dining room and sunroom out here in Albany Park. Realestate! Location location location!

3) In Melbourne, Australia. My mom and I visited some friends there the summer after I graduated 8th grade and I felt instantly at home and felt homesick after we returned to the States. It was so, so beautiful. We went there in July, I'd probably feel different about Australia in the summer. But dang, I loved it. I still want to return.

4) Montenegro. Nesko's family owns property (including a house) out there, and every so often we talk about moving overseas, possibly forever. I've seen photos and it's a beautiful country.
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30 things: #1

Wednesday, 15 September 2010 14:35
brigid: close up of my face a week or so post partum (Default)
1) Where do you live?

I live in a ~~vintage~~ brick 2-flat in a cool neighborhood in Chicago. It's a 3br 1ba with washer and dryer in the unit, in the enclosed back porch. We have a sun room, too, and a fireplace that doesn't work but we're discussing 1) opening it back up or 2) getting a gas insert. My in-laws own the building, so we have leeway in Doing Things to the place, including painting. I adore our neighborhood and like the building a lot as well (although if I could, I'd add another bathroom and some more closets) although, being an old building, it has its issues. We have tentative plans to take out the central heat and get the radiators working again, and then redoing the kitchen. Eventually, we are going to gut this apartment because the walls are in bad shape. I'm looking forward to what this apartment will eventually look like... it will be a gem!

30 Things

Wednesday, 15 September 2010 14:06
brigid: close up of my face a week or so post partum (Default)
Here's a meme asking 30 questions about yourself. Answer in as much or as little detail as you want, over as many days as you want.

1) Where do you live?

2) If you could live anywhere at all, where would you live?

3) What did you eat for your last meal?

4) What is your ideal meal?

5) What is your favorite part of your body?

6) What color are your eyes? Do you wear glasses or contact lenses? Do you wear colored lenses that change your eye color? Would you rather have a different eye color?

7) What's the first book you remember reading?

8) What is your favorite holiday?

9) What is your favorite season?

10) What are you afraid of?

11) Do you like trains?

12) Do you like your name?

13) Do you have a pet or pets? What is your ideal pet?

14) What TV shows are you currently watching?

15) Got any podcasts to recommend?

16) Got any webcomics to recommend?

17) Pickles: sweet or dill?

18) Toilet paper: over or under?

19) Do you recycle?

20) Oxford commas, or not?

21) What's your favorite gender-neutral pronoun?

22) What are you wearing RIGHT NOW?

23) What's one of your favorite articles of clothing, ever?

24) What is one thing that you want? Anything at all. No limits.

25) What is one thing that you made and are proud of?

26) What's the last thing you failed at?

27) How quickly do put away clean laundry?

28) Have you ever used a neti pot?

29) Do you know how to swim? Did you ever have swimming lessons?

30) What color ink do you prefer writing with?
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brigid: (words)
1. Grab a book near you.
2. Open the book to page 123.
3. Find the fifth sentence.
4. Post the text of the next 3 sentences on your blog along with these instructions.
5. Don't dig for that "cool" or "intellectual" book in your closet. Just pick up whatever is closest.

I had been cuffed across the back of the head, hard and more than once, for "looking" at my lady visitors. I kept my head down.

And was that pragmatism or broken pride?




--Corambis by Sarah Monette. I'm pulling quotes from it to make text icons, which is why it was handy.
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brigid: close up of my face a week or so post partum (me)

Mirrored from brigidkeely.com/wordpress.

Day 20 – Favorite kiss

Wow, do I totally not have one. I am, in general, uninterested in romantic elements in fiction.

Any great kissing scenes that will change my mind, that you can recommend?

brigid: close up of my face a week or so post partum (me)

Mirrored from brigidkeely.com/wordpress.

Day 19 – Favorite book cover (bonus points for posting an image!)

"the changeover: a supernatural romance by margaret mahy"

The original cover toThe Changeover , by Margaret Mahy, is one that’s always grabbed me. Laura is not a conventionally attractive girl, nor is she entirely White. I mean, she’s not HIDEOUS, but it was clear in the text that she didn’t really fit in for a number of reasons. And here’s the book cover featuring her12, and she looks as described, and she’s got olive skin and dark curly hair and looks kind of tired and what’s with that coin? That looks interesting. Hm, let me just pick this book up and huh! wow! Witches? Really?

Margaret Mahy… gosh. I read so much of her stuff when I was younger. She’s an excellent writer.

  1. And note that her head is showing, she’s not a headless body, which is the current trend
  2. And note that her ethnicity hasn’t been whitewashed, which is the current trend

brigid: close up of my face a week or so post partum (me)

Mirrored from brigidkeely.com/wordpress.

Day 18 – Favorite beginning scene in a book

Cricket magazine used to have a feature 1 where people submitted the first sentence of favorite books. Just the first sentence. It was so… intriguing! Tantalizing! I’d sit there and dream up really awesome first sentences, hooks that would lure people in.

I can’t really remember any specific favorite beginning scenes– or first lines– now, though. Sorry.

  1. They might still have this feature; I haven’t read Cricket in a very long time

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Mirrored from brigidkeely.com/wordpress.

Day 17 – Favorite story or collection of stories (short stories, novellas, novelettes, etc.)

I really, really enjoyed Year’s Best Fantasy and Horror, and once we’re settled where we’re going to live permanently1, and I have a bit of extra money, I’m going to start collecting all the volumes. They will require their own bookshelf. When I was younger, one of my goals was to get something published, and then have it reprinted in Year’s Best. I still haven’t been published, and Year’s Best is no longer active, sadly. I discovered a lot of new-to-me authors in the pages of those anthologies, both printed in the actual volumes and in the honorable mentions.

Datlow and Windling also edited several books of retold fairy tales: Snow White, Blood Red, Black Thorn, White Rose, Ruby Slippers, Golden Tears, Black Swan, White Raven, Silver Birch, Blood Moon, Black Heart, Ivory Bones. I’m pretty sure I’ve read all of them, and own most of them. I dip into them time and again.

  1. Our current apartment, which is owned by Nesko’s family, is nice and I adore the neighborhood. However, there’s only one bathroom (barbaric!) and the school district kind of sucks. They do own a building a block away that has a slightly larger apartment with 2 bathrooms, so we might move there at some point, or we might move… I don’t even know. But this place, lovely as it is and homey as it feels, isn’t where we’re going to end up.
brigid: close up of my face a week or so post partum (me)

Mirrored from brigidkeely.com/wordpress.

Day 16 – Favorite poem or collection of poetry

First, I’d like to direct you to Gwyn McVay, who writes poetry: Ordinary Beans.

Some of my favorite poems include Invictus and Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night. A little predictable/pedestrian? Maybe.

Recommend me some poetry, if you care to!

brigid: close up of my face a week or so post partum (me)

Mirrored from brigidkeely.com/wordpress.

Day 15 – Your “comfort” book

Every few months or so, at least once a year, Nesko and I talk about moving to his family’s country of origin. This would be a very long over seas voyage, and shipping things would be expensive as all get out. So every time we talk about that, I take mental stock of All My Books and try to figure out which ones I’d pack and take– or, as eReaders become more and more common, which I’d repurchase in electronic format.

During our second to last move, we divested ourselves of quite a lot of books. Literally, about a third of them. It was weird and hard and almost traumatic, and I felt lighter and free-er afterwards, although I have gone back looking for a few of the books we got rid of and once we are permanently settled some place I am totally going to repurchase volumes of “Year’s Best Fantasy and Horror.” I dipped into them too rarely to justify their weight and amount of shelf space they took up.

This is one of those questions that’s so incredibly hard for me to answer. Like a lot of my introverted, socially awkward friends I turned to books for socialization and companionship. In the absence of human connection, kindness, and understanding, I had books. They were as close to friends as I had, until my awkward social fumblings in high school. Like a lot of my friends, I’m inordinately attached to books. I think that’s part of why I re-read books I enjoy so frequently. It’s very much akin to visiting good friends. (I think it’s also part of why I’m so horrible at maintaining human friendships. You can put a book down and pick it up later on and nothing has changed. With humans, you need to make an effort and keep in touch and be considerate.)

Anyway, although I didn’t like them at first (until I read The Fall of The Kings, which for whatever reason snapped everything into connection and made me fall in love with the world and characters when before I’d only appreciated the books for their excellent writing), I turn again and again to the Riverside books. I also dip frequently into Robyn McKinley’s Damar books, although recent rereads have left me frustrated at the pro-Colonialism brown-people-saved-by-feisty-white-women elements. I’ve mentioned these books at least once already in this meme. A lot of these questions are pretty repetitive.

I’m working on a real blog post about Political Correctness and what it is and isn’t, and why complaining about PC thought police makes you look like an asshole. However, I have a 16 month old who is refusing to sleep unless it’s with another person (usually me), so I have very little time to myself at the moment. If you’re interested in reading baby stuff, feel free to hop on over to http://brigidkeely.com/baby/ and check it out. Be warned that most of the recent posts are about OMGSLEEPISSUESWTF.