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to live merrily, and trust to good verses
 
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Below are the 20 most recent journal entries recorded in a_t_rain's LiveJournal:

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Saturday, July 27th, 2019
5:38 pm
Vorkosigan canon question
Are we given any details about the names / overall structure of governmental positions on Beta other than the presidency? Legislative and Cabinet-equivalent positions, specifically?
Saturday, May 18th, 2019
6:45 pm
Hamlet crackfic
So I haven't been in much of a fic-writing mood for ages, but I am ALWAYS in the mood for increasingly cracktastic ways to save Hamlet, so have The One Where Hamlet And Laertes Decide To Settle Their Differences With A Crocodile-Eating Contest Instead Of A Fencing Match. This is totally and completely angevin2's fault.

The Great Danish Crocodile Cook-Off.
Tuesday, April 9th, 2019
8:25 pm
renaissance drama stuff
So, I'm still not dead! And I went away to New York for the weekend mid-semester, which is something I apparently haven't done since 2011, but should really do more often. I saw the Red Bull production of Webster's The White Devil on Saturday afternoon, which was clever and interesting and in a nice, intimate little theater in Greenwich Village, and I was kind of tempted afterward to skip King Lear and see it again in the evening, on the grounds that I'd seen lots of Lears and who knows when I'm going to get to see The White Devil again.

That would have been a bad, bad mistake.

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Saturday, April 14th, 2018
8:37 pm
new Hamlet fic
... because if there's one thing I can't resist, it's making up new ways to save Hamlet. Special thanks to whoever it was on my f-list who wondered, years ago, why Bernardo and Marcellus seem to think Horatio's status as a scholar gives him special expertise in how to speak to ghosts.

Graduate Seminar in Practical Necromancy; or, Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Undead
Wednesday, October 4th, 2017
12:53 pm
a thing that I desperately, desperately want to have a fandom
Elements of Strunk, a predictive text rewrite of Strunk and White's The Elements of Style. (In other words, the product of a computer algorithm that analyzes the original text, predicts which words are most likely to follow which other words, and uses this information to create new sentences in the style of the original, if I'm understanding this correctly.)

The resulting rewrite consists a number of pronouncements about writing that range from the semi-sensible (Do not use italics, with their penal definiteness, that plague of English prose), to the surreal (A comma should not pay any attention to Boston), to the philosophical (Of course, to be properly enjoyed, the paragraph has to be regarded as a man whom the writer desires to tell a story).

There are bits of accidental profundity:

It is interesting to recall how much confidence is required only to be young and inexperienced.

A rule of history is that what you see in a man is usually only what he cannot see.

And there are bits that are simply glorious nonsense:

The most useful kind of paragraph is The Possessive Jesus Of Composition And Publication.

A paragraph by The Whigs Of the City is an old mansion. In the old mansion is a portrait of Benjamin Paragraph, grandson of William Word.

There are passages that hint at an intriguing story:

This is in the old days. It was forbidden to export gold to authors in a state of escape. It was forbidden to write Charles's Letter or to use a conjunction.

He could never forgive his own body for something it was forbidden to do. For this reason, he is studying French literature and other forms of escape that can sometimes be used to avoid the subject of his treachery.

And there are moments when the algorithm becomes positively threatening:

The fact that I am in the house should always be remembered if you are on the roof and if you like to use italics. If you intend to use italics with this problem of a hostile character in the house, be careful not to use them without preamble.

This sentence will probably be misused by a man who God tried to avoid making.

I really, really want somebody to write fic based on this text, although I have absolutely no idea what it would look like (and it will, therefore, need to be written by somebody who isn't me).
Thursday, August 3rd, 2017
3:06 pm
Test post
OK, trying this crossposting thing a different way since my first attempt didn't work.
3:03 pm
Test post
This is a test post to see if I've got crossposting set up correctly.
2:57 pm
Thanks to a request from a longtime reader, this journal is now backed up at Dreamwidth. (Yeah, I know I'm the last person in the world to do this, but I tend to be very, very lazy and inclined to inertia where social media is concerned.) Feel free to friend / comment over there! (Just don't expect me to join tumblr, because it kind of breaks my brain.)
Saturday, July 29th, 2017
8:42 pm
Two Gentlemen of Verona / Romeo and Juliet crossover fic
This is all the fault of lareinenoire, who asked whether the Friar Laurence in Two Gentlemen was the same as the one in R&J, and if so, what was he doing there. (Per the play, he was wandering in penance through the forest -- which seems to explain a remarkable number of things.)

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Tuesday, December 13th, 2016
5:26 pm
Titus Andronicus fic rec
Because sometimes you wander into the Pit of Voles on a whim, and accidentally find lovely things: Lavinia, Live by ZdenkaWaldner. Ten alternative endings for Lavinia that don't involve honor killing.
Sunday, September 25th, 2016
8:48 pm
new Shakespeare fic
Now that Histories Ficathon author reveals are over, I can claim credit for The Lord Who Doesn't Lie, possibly the only fic about medieval demandes d'amour games anywhere on AO3. Hotspur / Kate, mostly fluff.
Saturday, May 21st, 2016
10:55 am
more fun with auto-translation
So it appears that someone has been translating some of my Vorkosigan fics into Russian again, in this case A Brief History of Pornography in the Imperial Security Service (Simon, gen, implied sexual violence). As usual, I couldn't resist taking a look via my browser's automatic translator. I am greatly, greatly amused that "You can see a penis any old time" in the original has somehow been converted into "In the old days straight penises were everywhere"!

* It occurs to me that I have been remiss about linking to my Vorkosigan fic on LJ, so here's the rest of the roundup for the semester:

We That Are Young (young Piotr, King Lear, gen)
Give My Regards to Brodsky (Alys, By, gen)
Cargo (Shiv / Udine backstory)
On a Cold Planet (By / Rish, post-CVA but pre-epilogue)
Ordinary (Topaz, Pearl, gen)
Saturday, April 23rd, 2016
9:31 pm
Shakespeare's-deathday fic
So this was going to be part of one of those "five times Shakespeare's children saw one of his plays" fics, only then it started to have a sixth and seventh and eighth part, only they all remained irresolutely fragmentary, and I thought for a while I might write an actual novel about Shakespeare's family, only I don't have a plot. So. A bit of a project that may or may not go anywhere.

1616. Susanna watches Timon of Athens.

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Saturday, April 9th, 2016
3:21 pm
meme from nineveh_uk
Fic Work-In-Progress Guessing Game

Comment with a word, any word. If it’s in my WIP document(s) I’ll answer your comment with the sentence that it appears in.

With the caveat that I don't really have a WIP folder, and am not very good keeping track of files, so my answers may or may not be accurate.
Wednesday, April 6th, 2016
1:41 pm
The general weirdness going wild...
Apparently someone decided to translate my Vorkosigan fic Cold Case into Russian. This was a complete surprise, and I'm not sure why they picked that one, since it's neither the first nor the most popular in my series of behind-the-scenes-of-ACC fics, but it is the closest thing I've ever written to M/M slash (although it's very brief, incidental, and plot-driven), so I guess that might explain it. Anyway, I'm flattered.

But OMG, reading your own stuff translated into Russian and then converted back to English via Google Translate is surreal. A sampling of my favorite lines:

The combination of Vor gentleman with a tarnished reputation, very lovely commoner and semi-legal tavern remarkable in itself, but the general weirdness going wild when the two of them were taken to view the paper of the working file.

"No, I do not Sociopath Pierre and Pierre the Hermit. I'm just a nice-Pierre Small-and-sometimes-Libertine".

And, you know, I can usually do not start to get drunk right at dawn. Despite the fact that we are with you relatives.

Well, for example, chatting with him for a while, do not be tempted to cram yourself earplugs and loyalty still humming a little song to himself ...

Always fun to see the reaction of the interlocutor, you should talk to him about bisexuality in plain text.

Yet one thing was fucking unfair to rabies.
Friday, March 18th, 2016
8:33 pm
letter meme
OK, so I figure I should post something every now and again just to prove I'm not dead. nineveh_uk gave me the letter R.

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Comment if you want a letter!
Friday, January 22nd, 2016
2:05 pm
1902 Shakespeare quiz, Seventh and Lastly
Only seven questions in this final installment, alas, since the Numbering Genie seems to have struck again.

50) What do we know from the Plays about the private means and residence of the aunt of a young lover who came near having his head cut off?
51) Give six examples from the plays of nineteenth-twentieth century slang.
52) What character in the plays lost his head because he wrote correct Latin?
53) What character said that two potentates must be equally valiant, because they were both born by rivers in which salmon abounded?
54) What character was accused by his sister of preaching better than he practiced?
55) What character knelt before his blind father backward so as to pretend that he had grown a beard?
59) What King thrust into prison by his foes, receives a secret visit from one of his grooms, who breaks into sobs to think that the horse of which he had the care, is to be used in the triumph of former master's enemies, and what was the horse's name?

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Thanks for the quiz, B.W.H. It was fun, if occasionally frustrating. I bet you didn't think someone would be taking it 114 years in the future. I wonder who you were.
Wednesday, January 20th, 2016
7:53 pm
1902 Shakespeare quiz, part 6
40) What character in the plays uses the name of a popular seventeenth century author as an ejaculation?
41) What lady had for her maid the daughter of a celebrated witch?
42) On what day of the week, and at what hour did Romeo kill himself?
43) What character in the plays feared to cross the English channel for fear of seasickness.
44) Tell Cleopatra's fish story.
45) What character invited guests to a banquet and set them up for nothing but hot water?
46) What character in the plays was buried in the sand on a sea-beach?
47) What character was supposed to be possessed of a devil? What one talked Staffordshire dialect?
48) What character was hanged for stealing a crucifix from a cathedral?
49) Who arranged a play to be performed before a noble lord and wanted to play all the parts himself?

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Tuesday, January 19th, 2016
5:41 pm
1902 Shakespeare quiz, Part 5
30) Give the pleadings and arguments in the action of William Visor of Wincot, against Clement Perkes of the Hill?
31) What was the color of Orlando's hair? Who punned on his own name on his deathbed?
32) What dainties did Perdita provide for the sheep-shearing feast?
33) What was Shakespeare's favorite ballad judging from the fact that it is the one oftenest alluded to in the plays.
34) What six characters in the plays are palpably thumbnail sketches for six characters in the later ones?
35) What Scriptural story did Falstaff think fittest to be represented on tapestry?
36) What women in the plays had beards?
37) What character in the plays owed his life to his ability to write a clerky or engrossing hand?
38) What character in the plays was punished for his crimes by being buried breast deep in the earth and left to starve?
39) What character in the plays made a plume for his hat out of a pack of playing cards?

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Monday, January 18th, 2016
9:08 am
1902 Shakespeare quiz, Part 4
As before, I've transcribed the questions exactly as written, spelling errors and all.

20) How many years had Falstaff known Bardolph before he met Mrs. Quickly?
21) What was the name of Poins's sister? And who is alleged to have promised to have married her?
22) Where is breach of promise mentioned in the Play's?
23) What character was taken prisoner in joke by his friends disguised as enemies?
24) What character, who boasted of his knowledge of a certain language, was exposed by his companions who talked to him in gibberish which he mistook for that language?
25) What was Dull's riddle and what was the answer to it?
26) What are the names of the only four dogs in Shakespeare?
27) What noble lady refused to accept forgiveness from her leige if spoken in French and what Queen refused absolution if given in Latin?
28) Who was Casca's schoolmate?
29) Give all the instances of second marriages in the plays?

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