I’m not sure these roundups are working for me… but anyway.
After several rounds of “can someone recommend a c-drama like Nirvana in Fire and not being able to scratch the itch and mostly being disappointed that nothing else is as good, I decided to just… rewatch Nirvana in Fire.
Gotta say it makes a huge difference those first few eps to know who everyone is and what is going on instead of playing catchup. Also, after 6 months of chinese lessons, it’s nice when I sporadically actually understand on my own, instead of just reading subtitles.
Also, I finished xxxHOLiC 2 (original volumes), completing my reading challenge for the year (I read much fewer books a year since I got into danmei, they’re just so long…)
Starting Peerless Book 4…
I redid my Touya/Yuki shrine in Eleventy in 2020, and when I tried to edit recently I realized that what I was using for sass no longer works. So I’m in the process of restructuring the build scripts, and cleaning things up while I’m at it, now that I understand Eleventy better.
The recent thing about Germany getting Google to censor AO3, coupled with 2 months of Mastodon, has made me realize that laudable though AO3 is, total centralization of fanfiction is perhaps not a great idea, and that in particular I need to figure out how to automate downloading my bookmarks (on my to do list for months now) and also to start posting my own fanfic in my own sites in addition to AO3. And I realized that even though it’s popular to malign the experience of fanfiction archives for specific fandoms, ships, or even personal archives… I rather liked the experience? Even with a new fandom, AO3 is a known quantity, it’s never really brought me that little thrill of discovery that finding a new archive used to.
I started reading Peerless a couple months ago, very excited to do so, because I’d liked Thousand Autumns quite a lot and absolutely LOVED The Fourteenth Year of Chenghua (despite a not great translation). And well… the thing is… am starting Book 3 (Chapter 70) and I’m just not that excited about it. And I really wish it wasn’t that way.
I suspect my biggest issue is I don’t really like Cui Buqu that much, or find him particularly interesting at this point. Like yes, weak and sickly but is actually super powerful and very smart, but I just don’t find his personality engaging? I liked both Shen Qiao and Tang Fan very much, on the other hand. Shen Qiao in particular, because of what happens at the start of Thousand Autumns, is in a situation somewhat similar to Cui Buqu’s (weak body, might very well die), but I find the exploration of his inner life so interesting, while Cui Buqu is just kind of… not that interesting to me yet.
And then there’s the main ship. Look, I love a good slap slap kiss story, I love ships that start out with the two people in question getting under each other’s skin and irritating the fuck out of each other, but with this one… I just don’t see the sparks at this point. Yes, they both acknowledge the other is beautiful. Yes, they PRETEND to be a couple sometimes, but I don’t get, so far, anything that tells me there is tension because of hidden desires. I absolutely buy that Feng Xiao is starting to feel an attraction (and I like Feng Xiao more than Cui Buqu, there is that), but so far… not doing it for me.
Of course, I know I’m not even halfway through the book yet, and I keep reading because I did love Meng Xi Shi’s other two books that I’ve read, but I’d really like to start getting excited about this story, its characters, and their relationship. Here’s hoping it happens soonish.
A recent conversation on Twitter about the trend of advertising (romance?) novels simply by their tropes got me thinking about how I choose what I want to read, what gets me interested, and how different it is for books vs fanfic. And so, here I am writing this post, which honestly is of interest to exactly one person (me!).