lost_spook: (Northanger reading)
(I'm still not doing anything for [community profile] fandom_stocking. Luckily it should open soon and then I can relax and do something else! I forget, of course, that 'better' when you've been bad is a relative term.

Also I seem to have given the impression to everyone that Manhunt is rubbish and it really isn't; it was just a bit up and down and sexist to begin with & I get very little out of protracted 'action' sequences. It's now reached an impressively consistent high standard. Vincent, Nina, and Jimmy, though, remain the most rubbish. Strangely, everyone was a lot more interested in watching it despite this, much more so than anybody is when I tell them old TV is good. Reverse psychology??)

Anyway, look at me, this makes it twice in a year (not calendar year) at least this time. I probably won't read enough to make it every Wednesday, but hopefully more often. I am optimistic!

What I've Just Finished Reading

And So To Murder by Carter Dickson, which I finished up quite quickly after I posted the other day. It was good fun and I enjoyed it. I still don't know whether to praise the BBC for giving me lovely mental casting (the three characters who were the most fun were played by Suzanne Neve, William Russell, and Stephanie Bidmead) or curse them for burninating it, but it did add to the book, so I suppose I'd better at least be a tiny bit grateful.

As I said, Monica Stanton (aka Suzanne Neve) is a vicar's daughter who writes a steamy Romance novel in 1939; her aunt, distressed, wonders why she couldn't write a nice detective novel, like those by Bill Cartwright (Wm Russell):

Now Monica Stanton, to begin with, had no real grievance against that inoffensive form of entertainment known as the detective-story. She neither liked nor disliked it. She had read a few, which struck her as being rather far-fetched and slightly silly, although doubtless tolerable enough if you liked that sort of thing. But, by the time her aunt had finished, Monica was in such a state that she had come to curse the day Sir Arthur Conan Doyle was born. It was a wordless, mindless passion of hatred. As for Mr William Cartwright... Monica felt that she would like to poison Mr Cartwright with curare, and dance on his grave.

Read more... )

Before Christmas, I can now say that I was for obvious reasons, re-reading a lot of Miss Marple as well as reading Dracula for the first time (my reactions are in my Yuletide reveals post).

I also finished Venetia by Georgette Heyer, a re-read, although it was one of the books I rashly gave away a while ago, so it had been a long time. Very enjoyable, of course, and I am very happy to have a copy again. It is very sad that after a year of reading Regency Romances, I still haven't found anyone even a tiny bit like Georgette Heyer. I wish there would be, somewhere, in some period or other.


What I'm Reading Now

I'm a bit between things, but I continue with the very excellent The Victorian City by Judith Flanders in NF. (I am even taking notes for family history, which is a very exciting development as of the last few weeks and months. It's taken a bit of patient building up, but I'm able to do it a little again.)


What I'm Reading Next

That is the question. I was looking at my TBR (when spoons) pile and seeing whether any of them clicked easily, but I haven't decided which one to try next or whether just to re-read something to build up a little more stress-free stamina first before I risk reading a new-to-me book that might get killed by CFS. (I'd rather wait and be fair in my first reading). We shall see!
lost_spook: (I Capture - writing)
And so my treats. I wrote the first for [personal profile] calliopes_pen, chiefly in a hopeless attempt to remain anonymous, so that she might at least wonder which one was me. (I had vague plans for a rather different one, but I got seized by this idea while reading through her likes in the letter):

Influence (1368 words) by lost_spook
Chapters: 1/1
Fandom: Dracula (TV 1968), Dracula & Related Fandoms
Rating: Teen And Up Audiences
Warnings: No Archive Warnings Apply
Relationships: Abraham Van Helsing & John Seward, Count Dracula/Jonathan Harker, John Seward/Lucy Weston, Jonathan Harker/Mina Harker, Mina Harker/Lucy Weston
Characters: Abraham Van Helsing, John Seward, Dracula, Jonathan Harker, Lucy Weston, Mina Harker
Additional Tags: Yuletide Treat, Implied/Referenced Mind Control, Dark
Summary: Some personalities are magnetic, they exert an irresistible pull on others.


Then there were two prompts in particular that jumped out at me this year, the first being Wasuremono's great prompt about Miss Marple being a goddess, the genius loci of St Mary Mead, which I obviously had to write:

The Spirit of St Mary Mead (4005 words) by lost_spook
Chapters: 1/1
Fandom: Miss Marple - Agatha Christie
Rating: General Audiences
Warnings: No Archive Warnings Apply
Characters: Jane Marple, Griselda Clement, Original Characters
Additional Tags: Yuletide Treat, Historical, Multi-Era, Roman Britain, English Civil War, 18th Century, 20th Century, 21st Century, Misses Clause Challenge, Miss Marple is a Goddess
Summary: St Mary Mead has had an unusual guardian down through all these centuries.


The second was for moemachina, about Feste & Olivia from Twelfth Night. As I've loved Feste since I did the play for A-Levels mumble years ago, I couldn't resist. I had an idea, but then remembered that writing Shakespeare fic is TERRIFYING. So I watched BBC TN twice in a row, found some 16th C jokes and riddles on the internet, built my fic around those and then went for it. And then typed it up while mentally going LALALA not writing Shakespeare etc. Happily, it seems to have got some really lovely comments, so I clearly didn't mess it up too badly.

movements of the mind (1892 words) by lost_spook
Chapters: 1/1
Fandom: Twelfth Night - Shakespeare
Rating: General Audiences
Warnings: No Archive Warnings Apply
Relationships: Feste & Olivia (Twelfth Night)
Characters: Feste (Twelfth Night), Olivia (Twelfth Night), Original Characters
Additional Tags: Yuletide Treat, Friendship, Backstory, Jesters, Implied/Referenced Character Death
Summary: ”Look you now, he’s out of his guard already; unless you laugh and minister occasion to him, he is gagged.”


That done, I decided to write a couple of treats for Madness if I could, but the Adam Adamant Lives! fic for Liadt grew large enough for the main collection, even if it was probably too frivolous for Yuletide (and I don't think Liadt was fooled by my anonymity for a minute, either):

Battered and Bruised (1812 words) by lost_spook
Chapters: 1/1
Fandom: Adam Adamant Lives!
Rating: General Audiences
Warnings: No Archive Warnings Apply
Relationships: Adam Adamant & Georgina Jones
Characters: Adam Adamant, Georgina Jones, William E. Simms
Additional Tags: Yuletide Treat, Cake Fic Meme, Cake, Humor, Hijinks & Shenanigans, I was going to label this crack, and then thought soberly about canon, and didn't
Summary: Mr Adamant suffers a truly traumatic incident at a village gala. Unfortunately for him, Georgie is on hand to help...


And lastly, this tiny bit of post-canon for Gerry and Sandra from New Tricks, for Dynapink:

Vintage (532 words) by lost_spook
Chapters: 1/1
Fandom: New Tricks
Rating: General Audiences
Warnings: No Archive Warnings Apply
Relationships: Sandra Pullman & Gerry Standing
Characters: Sandra Pullman, Gerry Standing
Additional Tags: Post-Canon, Ficlet, Yuletide Treat
Summary: "You look as if you've seen a ghost..."

With many thanks to Pers who patiently beta-ed all three full treats and a second beta of my long assignment! (Those who have been around these parts a while: I think you can probably already guess which one got the influential rec. Oh, yes. It is my fate, my doom, my only claim to fame. :lol:)
lost_spook: (cat)
My currently regular Thursday feature...

OUaT: Browned Butter by awanderingbard (G, 1956 words. Emma Swan/Killian Jones, Snow White, Regina Mills, Henry Mills.) It's Storybrooke's first Thanksgiving, and Emma is finding trying to be a domestic goddess more difficult than she anticipated. Sweet and funny, with Emma battling to do something impressive on the domestic front.


Miss Marple: Advice From Aunt Jane by DesertVixen (Teen, 1212 words. Miss Marple, Dolly Bantry, Jane Helier.) Jane Helier needs some advice from Miss Marple and Dolly Bantry Pitch perfect conversation between the three, picking up on threads from The Thirteen Problems.


Doctor Who: At Last a Dragon by paranoidangel (All ages, 985 words. John Chesterton, Tenth Doctor.) John Chesterton doesn't believe in Father Christmas, the Tooth Fairy or the Doctor. John Chesterton finally realises that all the stories his parents told him were real. Lovely.


Heroes: Drive My Car by Andraste (Hiro & Ando, Hiro/Ando.) "Our life of legend begins!" Great, fun vid for S1 Hiro & Ando.


Diana Wynne Jones: World Enough, and Time by jamjar (PG, 5408 words. Erskine, Hathaway, Torquil, Awful, Howard, Catriona.) The journey of a thousand miles (starts with sending your siblings to Alpha Centauri). Perfect capturing of the novel's tone, with the remaining siblings starting to both mend their ways and move about more freely.
lost_spook: (b7 - deva)
Request: Favourite plot twists - [livejournal.com profile] jaxomsride (It turns out I'm not doing these in order. Also I see no reason to wait for December, either.)


It's hard to think about favourite plot twists, maybe because it's not the first thing I think of in what I like about something (though don't get me wrong, I love a really great plot twist), but also because I have a tendency to rewatch and re-read things I like a lot, so then it becomes hard to remember the time when the plot twist was surprising instead of inevitable and admired plot work.

Or, in short, I can't guarantee these are my actual favourite plot twists, but they were the ones I came up with this week. I shall try to talk about them without spoilers. If this involves sign language at any point, bear with me.


1. Murder on the Orient Express by Agatha Christie. Her books are so well known, that I think I was spoiled for quite a few of them by the time I read them, or, being the sort of lazy reader who hardly ever tries to work out the murder, maybe I wasn't struck by the others. At any rate, once it became clear what the plot twist was in this one, I was delighted by it, and remain so. I've read at least one other book that used the same twist as The Murder of Roger Ackroyd but I don't think I've ever come across anything with the same solution as Orient Express. (It is something that should be hard to pull off without being ridiculous, which is perhaps why. Or because I haven't read the other books in question, of course.) It's not my favourite Christie, but it is by far my favourite solution to a murder mystery.


2. Listen (Doctor Who). I hesitate to mention this, because I don't want to get into DW discussions, but I thought this was shaped around such a wonderful twist, not just for an episode but because it subverted the expectations of the whole show, especially in terms of New Who and did so beautifully. I know some people are watching this other awful show at the moment, but for me, this was one of the most perfect episodes in a long, long while & largely because of the twist, so I have to include it here.


3. My Life's My Own (Public Eye). It's probably not so much a proper plot twist, in the same way as the two above (but then Public Eye doesn't really work like that), but over halfway through there's a reveal that I completely didn't see coming which not only impressed me in terms of the episode but revised my entire opinion of the series I was watching and what it was capable of. And it was already being a particularly good episode. In addition, there's a twist of viewer expectation in which it looks as though the story is winding down to its close in a particular way - and then it suddenly does so much more with its last five minutes.
lost_spook: (I Capture - writing)
The ficlet meme is not as dead as I thought! I don't seem to be able to retrieve the one I thought of for [personal profile] lolmac or yet come up with anything for [personal profile] seriesfive (sorry!), but for what it's worth, I've now managed one for everyone else. \o/ And here goes (in two posts):

For [livejournal.com profile] lizzie_marie_23 who gave me the prompt: Miss Marple, sunset

Title: Sunset
Author: [livejournal.com profile] lost_spook
Rating: All ages
Word Count: 535
Characters/Pairings: Jane Marple, Raymond West, Joan West
Notes/Warnings: None.
Summary: Small details are so often what counts.

Sunset )
lost_spook: (Ten Agatha Christie)
Crossover meme fic. Please don't shoot me anyone, because I was meaning to type up the other two I have already written first, but with the editing of End Game stretching on this was as far as I got all week. It's just that I do realise I've now done all three of [livejournal.com profile] curuchamion's prompts. *cough* liked them all.

Title: Partners in Crime
Characters: Miss Marple, Major Hugo Darracott
Word count: 627
Summary: In which our two heroes tackle crime and each other in their own unique ways.

Partners in Crime )
lost_spook: (Avon)
My effort for this week's [livejournal.com profile] b7friday challenge "Different strokes":

Little Grey Cells
492 words, All ages.
It's one of the those classic 1930s murder mystery moments. Just with Avon, not M. Poirot...

(I haven't forgotten I still owe drabbles, but there's a one week limit on the challenges for this comm).
lost_spook: (Harry)
All right, I will post the other chapters here eventually, but I am a little busy right now, so the whole thing is here at the This Time Round Archive.  But I will have to put the others here eventually, just because Miss Marple really does need italics.  (She has pretty much one per sentence, I tell you...)


http://www.ttrarchive.com/millcottage.html
lost_spook: (Harry)
TTR: Murder at Mill Cottage
Part One: Dr Sullivan in Practice
(All Ages, Sarah Jane Smith, Harry Sullivan, Miss Marple and various other supporting characters from a certain 45 year old TV show).

Edit: I've just done something weird to my entry again.  Oh, well.  There must be a html code out of place, but it's hiding when I g to look.  (I've got to get better at this.)  I just realised the below doesn't actually sound like the story, which is a mock-Agatha Christie mystery (I can't quite claim parody) with Harry as narrator & village GP.  If I explain too much more about why & the joke I'm having (with myself if no one else), it'll give away too many clues about whodunnit.  Well, assuming anyone cares...  But put Harry and Sarah in a Miss Marple - don't they fit nicely? - and then think about The Murder of Roger Ackroyd...

Harry's the local GP in Nether St Yorick, Sarah the journalist who's arrived just as there's a murder.  Together they attempt to solve the mystery, but find there are some things that should be left to little old ladies.

My latest This Time Round effort, the idea shamelessly stolen from Helen Fayle, who should have kept something that priceless better guarded.  (That Harry and Sarah should be the leads in an Agatha Christie type village murder mystery).

I'm posting it here because I think the idea's general enough to appeal outside TTR, plus I can give Miss Marple italics here (& writing Miss Marple without italics is not easy).
 

***

Chapter One: Doctor Sullivan in Practice )

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