Movies

Movie review: Captain Marvel

Captain Marvel

Captain Marvel

My household went to see Captain Marvel this past Thursday night. We’re not normally an opening-weekend movie-viewing type of household, but this time I wanted to make an exception. And I was deeply delighted that we did.

Because, spoiler-free picoreview: CAROL DANVERS IS MAGNIFICENT AND I MUST SEE THIS MOVIE AGAIN.

Behind the cut you will find ALL THE SPOILERS. If you haven’t seen the movie yet, and care about spoilers, come back and read this later.

Coming over from Facebook or Twitter? If so, please be mindful about what replies you may give me on those sites.

If you’re reading this either directly on angelahighland.com OR on my Dreamwidth account, spoilers in the comments are fair game.

Now with all the caveats out of the way, let’s talk Captain Marvel. 😀

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Music

Geeking out about fiddle rosin, Part 1

This is a super-late post, as I’ve been lagging a lot on blogging. But I want to clear out my Drafts folder in WordPress, so here we go!

If you follow me on Facebook, you already saw me geeking out about this, this past late December/early January. But for the rest of you, here’s a post all about how I’ve been able to test various kinds of fiddle rosin I got from Dara as a holiday present.

My fiddle teacher, Lisa Ornstein, had suggested that I get better rosin to improve my sound. Up till that point, I’d been using the rosin I got with the instrument: a block of d’Addario Natural Light.

She recommended Salchow, so I put that on my wishlist–both the Light and the Dark kinds, as I didn’t know which one I wanted. But for 2018’s Solstice/Yule/Christmas/fill-in-your-favorite-winter-holiday-here, my belovedest Dara got me five different kinds of rosin. What she got me included:

Pyramid of Rosin

Pyramid of Rosin

  • Salchow Light
  • Salchow Dark
  • Jade L’Opera
  • Pirastro Goldflex
  • Pirastro Schwarz

This, for the record, is a whole helluva lot of rosin. Lisa was deeply amused when I told her about this, too. Essentially, I have a lifetime’s supply of rosin here. But Dara maintained (and I agree with her) that it was appropriate to get a whole bunch of types to try out, so I could make an informed decision on which ones I liked best.

I did some preliminary tests when I got all of these, throughout the first couple weeks of January. So far I prefer the Jade, with a side helping of the Pirastro Schwarz. The Jade gives my instrument a nice clear bright sound, while the Pirastro Schwarz adds a bit more depth and nuance that I appreciate.

However, I learned that since multiple rosins on a bow at once can have different effects on your sound, I didn’t really properly test the Salchows and the Pirastro Goldflex. With the cloth I’m using to clean my strings, I can take care of this problem. If I very gently stroke it along my bow hairs, this helps eliminate prior rosin residue.

So now, for anybody who might find me when they’re looking up what sort of rosin to get, I’ll do a few more posts about my experiments with this stuff. (Particularly since I want to give the Salchows and the Pirastro Goldflex a better shake.) I’ll talk about all five types of rosin, cleaning the bow before switching to each. And I’ll record a sample of how I sound with each as well, to see if I can detect any differences.

This should be fun. Stand by for more to come!

Books, Other People's Books

Because apparently I needed retail therapy ebook roundup

I’ve been slurping up a high number of ebooks lately, so here’s a quick roundup about that.

Picked up from Amazon:

Beat to Quarters, by C.S. Forester, which is one of the Horatio Hornblower novels. We decided to read some Hornblower in book club, since gfish has headed off to hang out on a tall ship for a few weeks, and it seemed thematically appropriate.

Grabbed this from Amazon because I couldn’t find an equivalent version on Kobo. This Hornblower novel in particular is the first one in publication order, but the sixth in chronological order.

Pre-ordered from Kobo:

Avatar: The Rise of Kyoshi, by F.C. Yee and Michael Dante DiMartino. This is an Avatar: The Last Airbender tie-in novel, part 1 of a duology delving into the life story of Avatar Kyoshi, the Avatar just before Aang’s immediate predecessor, Roku. Kyoshi has important cultural impact still present by Aang’s day, and I will greatly enjoy reading about her.

Picked up from Kobo:

The Heiress Effect, The Countess Conspiracy, and The Suffragette Scandal, by Courtney Milan. Books 2-4 of her Brothers Sinister series. Nabbed these partly because I already knew I like Milan’s work a lot, and partly because of the eruption of the CopyPasteCris scandal. Wanted to buy a few of Milan’s titles I didn’t already have, to show her my support.

(Note: since I purchased these, I have actually finally read Book 1 of this series, The Duchess War. Recommended for fans of historical romance who appreciate camera time spent on issues outside the ton and new ways to underscore the restrictive gender roles of the era.)

A Hope Divided, by Alyssa Cole. Historical romance, book 2 of her Loyal League series. Grabbing this because Cole’s shot onto my radar as a romance author I want to regularly follow, now that I’ve read several things of hers.

Bellewether, by Susanna Kearsley. This is her latest release and I do love me some Kearsley, so yay! Bonus points for some French Canadian action in this one.

Alice Payne Arrives, by Kate Heartfield. This is a Tor.com novella and it sounded like great fun, with a time-traveling rogue type as the heroine. Book 1 of a series.

Terminal Alliance, by Jim C. Hines. Book 1 of his Janitors of the Post-Apocalypse series. Grabbing this one finally as it’s at mass-market prices in ebook form, now that book 2 is out.

“Deriving Life”, by Elizabeth Bear. SF. This is a Tor.com short story, which you can read for free on their site. But I nabbed my own copy as I felt this piece was achingly beautiful.

The Priory of the Orange Tree, by Samantha Shannon. Fantasy. Nabbing this on general “because epic fantasy written by women” grounds, but also because I love this cover and I love the title. Read enough of the sample to go “yep I want to know more about what’s going on in this world”, too.

And last but not least:

Thornbound, by Stephanie Burgis. Book 2 of her Harwood Spellbook series, which is essentially fantasy romance. Caught my attention with the worldbuilding idea of an alternate Earth where Boudicca drove the Romans out of Britain–and the nation that grew out of that, Angland, is one ruled by the Boudiccate, full of women politicians. Men, meanwhile, serve as mages, and gender power dynamics are essentially flipped. I’m ON BOARD. I’ve already read Spellswept, the prequel novella for this series, and am looking forward to diving into the two novels.

Total for the year: 22.

The Murkworks

And, back again

We’re being all yo-yo-y over here with the power going up and down and up and down and back up again. But now at least, we are again back.

For those of you who didn’t see my angelahighland.info post earlier, we got some rain in this afternoon. Things were fine until we heard a loud pop somewhere near our house, at which point our power went down. I got onto the PSE app on my phone and reported the outage.

Not long after that, a PSE truck showed up in our driveway with a couple of crew investigating. They told us a branch had come down on the lines near our house, which tripped the circuit, and they just needed to get a truck in that could reach it.

So we went ctrl-alt-fuckit and went out for dinner. Fortunately, while we were out, the power came back. Let’s see if we stay back up this time!

Hold Together

Hold Together

Books, Other People's Books

Shoveling out from under the inbox ebook roundup

Once Ghosted, Twice Shy

Once Ghosted, Twice Shy

All these storms in the Seattle area have meant my inbox has been piling up along with the snow! So here’s another ebook roundup post to help clear out the queue.

Acquired from Amazon:

Jane Doe, by Victoria Helen Stone. This one is a thriller about a woman getting revenge on the man responsible for killing her best friend. Saw this get talked up very positively on the Smart Bitches site, so when it went on sale for $1.99, I nabbed it.

(And I bought it from Amazon since it’s published by one of Amazon’s own imprints, and therefore not available with other ebook vendors.)

Acquired from Kobo:

How Long ’til Black Future Month?, by N.K. Jemisin. This is her newly released collection of shorter works, and I’m snapping it up because goddamn this woman can write. And I nabbed it in ebook form for $4.99. (A price which is still in effect as of this writing!)

Spellswept and Snowspelled, by Stephanie Burgis. Fantasy-flavored romance, sort of a meld of historical romance and romantic fantasy, so think “Regency romance with elves”. This is highly pertinent to my interests! These two titles are a prequel novella and Book 1 of the series called The Harwood Spellbook, and right now the prequel is on sale for $1.99 and Book 1 for $0.99. If I like this, I’ll also be nabbing book 2.

And last but most definitely not least:

Radio Silence, A Duke by Default, and Once Ghosted, Twice Shy, all by Alyssa Cole. Nabbing these because a) hey, I’m also published by Carina Press! This makes Alyssa Cole and I fellow Carina Press authors! \0/, b) I really liked A Princess in Theory, so I wanted to proceed with the series, c) I’m particularly happy about Once Ghosted, Twice Shy, featuring queer black women, and d) I also enjoyed Cole’s An Extraordinary Union, and am looking forward to building her presence in my library!

Got the two Royals books for nice and cheap, and I nabbed Radio Silence while I was at it by spending some amassed Kobo points. I love that I can periodically do that on their site! Also, I like the cover on Once Ghosted, Twice Shy almost as much as the one on A Princess in Theory. I love the expressions those two women are giving each other. (heart)

Total for the year: 10

Main, Rebels of Adalonia

Main angelahighland.com site back online; also, Rebels on sale!

Our power came back a short while ago, so that means my web server is back up again! And THAT means angelahighland.com is once more reachable.

And I said this over on the post I put up on angelahighland.info, but for those of you who didn’t see me post it there, or see my last post on Dreamwidth: the Rebels of Adalonia books are currently ON SALE for 99 cents each right now!

Since sale prices on the Rebels books are outside my control, I will NOT know when this price stops being active. So if you don’t already have these ebooks of mine, now is a real good time to get them. Or tell a friend if you know somebody who you think might like my writing! Please do spread the word, I need all the word of mouth I can get. Particularly since right now I don’t have a day job. Thank you in advance!

The Rebels books are available on all major ebook platforms, as well as directly from Harlequin, Carina Press’s parent company. All the links to buy the books are on the official Valor of the Healer, Vengeance of the Hunter, and Victory of the Hawk pages.

And do remember: the Rebels books are NOT standalone novels. You DO need to read all three of them for the complete story. But at 99 cents a pop, that’s still cheaper than most paperbacks!

Questions? Let me know!