Angelic Paranoia

Paranoidangel's Website


I did some ficathons towards the end of last year and didn't talk about them (although one of them has only just had author reveals).

Doctor Who
There was [info]tardis-festivities where I received a Six and Evelyn fic where Evelyn is right and saves the world, which is what I love about those two:

Fit for a King (838 words) by lurking_latinist
Fandom: Doctor Who (Big Finish Audio)
Rating: General Audiences
Relationships: Sixth Doctor & Evelyn Smythe
Characters: Sixth Doctor (Doctor Who), Evelyn Smythe
Additional Tags: Historical, Fluff, Baking, Dessert & Sweets
Summary:At the end of an adventure, Evelyn faces one more challenge that will call on all her skills...

I wrote an Amy/Rory fic. I had a blank sign up for this, so I went through various ideas for plots before realising that I had no idea how to solve them/they didn't make sense. I remembered that they had bunk beds on the TARDIS and decided to write something about that.

Wedding Nights are Cool (972 words) by paranoidangel
Fandom: Doctor Who (2005)
Rating: General Audiences
Relationships: Amy Pond/Rory Williams
Characters: Rory Williams, Amy Pond (Doctor Who)
Additional Tags: Wedding Night, Beds
Summary: It's Rory and Amy's wedding night, but their bedroom isn't quite what they expected.

Star Trek
And then [info]startrekholidays carries on with the cookery theme for my gift, which had Pike finding bugs in his flour and then it all goes interesting from there:

When There are Bugs in the Flour (2076 words) by Ljparis
Fandom: Star Trek, Star Trek: Strange New Worlds (TV)
Rating: General Audiences
Characters: Christopher Pike
Additional Tags: Food, Starship Enterprise (Star Trek), Cooking, Bugs & Insects
Summary: Captain Pike finds something unwelcome in his pantry.

I kept looking at the sign ups for this, getting excited about various characters/pairings and adding them to my offers. And then ended up getting the most recent pairing I got excited about, which worked out quite well in that respect. And then I once again came up with a plot that just didn't work before I remembered an idea I'd mostly forgotten about.

Baby Dream (2077 words) paranoidangel
Fandom: Star Trek: Enterprise
Rating: General Audiences
Relationships: T'Pol/Charles "Trip" Tucker III
Characters: Charles "Trip" Tucker III, T'Pol (Star Trek)
Additional Tags: Alternate Universe - Canon Divergence, Pregnancy
Summary: Now is the time for Trip and T'Pol to have a baby, but nothing is ever easy for them, especially where children are concerned.

I didn't sign up for Yuletide. I didn't want to overdo the ficathons like I did at the end of last year. But I did manage to write some treats in that last week before Christmas when everything's quiet.

When all the requests were visible I was off work ill. It was sad that SJA wasn't requested, but Rani Takes on the World was, so it was a good excuse to re-listen while I was ill.

Time Bubble (1434 words) by paranoidangel
Fandom: Rani Takes on the World (Big Finish Audio Drama)
Rating: General Audiences
Characters: Rani Chandra, Clyde Langer, Samira Rustami
Additional Tags: Timey-Wimey
Summary: Rani's trapped and Clyde is going to save her. Just like old times.

And hhertzof's Chalet School request was just begging for some present day silliness. I think I wrote the fic in less time than I spent looking at the Maynard/Bettany/Russell kids names to come up with all the prefect's names.

The New Prefects of the Chalet School (1041 words) by paranoidangel
Fandom: Chalet School - Elinor M. Brent-Dyer
Rating: General Audiences
Characters: Original Female Character(s)
Additional Tags: Worldbuilding, Post-Canon, Tongue-in-cheek
Summary: It's September 2023 and the first prefect's meeting of the new school year is about to take place.

I also bid in an auction for the first time and got a long time loop fic:

Breakfast of Champions (12729 words) by sunlitroses
Fandom: Star Trek: Strange New Worlds (TV)
Characters: Erica Ortegas, Christopher Pike, Number One | Una Chin-Riley (Star Trek), Christine Chapel, Joseph M'Benga, Spock (Star Trek), Nyota Uhura, La'an Noonien-Singh, Pelia (Star Trek)
Additional Tags: Time Travel, Shenanigans
Summary: The Captain was hosting a breakfast gathering in his quarters. Number One was passing drinks. Spock was burning the pancakes. It was a morning like any other.

Until it wasn't.

Books 2023

This year my goal was to read 12 books that were bought in a previous year. I smashed that and read 15! Of the books I acquired there were 15 that I didn't read. Which means that my to read pile has not gone down. Or up. (It's not a literal pile since some of them are ebooks.)

So my goal for 2024 is once again to read 12 books that I acquired before 2024. And that my to read pile should not have gone up by the end of the year. Which given that I did that this year should be possible next year.

What I am reading Wednesday

I've had a cold, so I got a lot of books read.

What I Just Finished Reading
Rosamund Heads the Chalet School by Lisa Townsend. This is a Chalet School book written by someone else. It follows the same term as Redheads, but is about the head girl, who barely appears in Redheads. I enjoyed it - it was a pretty standard Chalet School story. Although I couldn't remember Redheads and at one point something happens, but Rosamund doesn't know what and it's never explained. So I then went on to read Redheads, which I'd recently acquired from GGBP, since it's one of the few I don't own at all.

Redheads at the Chalet School by Elinor M Brent-Dyer. I enjoyed this, especially seeing the other side of events that happened in Rosamund. The only trouble is that Lisa Townsend pointed out the inconsistencies and then I could really see them. Without having them pointed out I would never have noticed. In retrospect, I should have read this one first.

Spectacles by Sue Perkins. I love an autobiography and this one was interesting with her being on Taskmaster at the moment. It was just interesting to see her life and how she got into comedy.

The Female of the Species by Lionel Shriver. I was reminded of the existence of Lionel Shriver recently when I went to a second hand book shop and some of her books were there. I have a weird relationship with her books because I don't know if I like them or not. I owned a copy of Double Fault for a while, and then struggled to get rid of it because I wanted to re-read it but couldn't. But I thought I'd try some more because they are interesting. This one was her first book and it was a bit of a struggle. I found the characters a bit odd and weirdly named. There were very long flashbacks, which didn't feel relevant at the time (but were later). I don't know if I liked it or not.

Should We Stay or Should We Go by Lionel Shriver. This is about a married couple deciding to commit suicide together when they're 80 (which happens to be March 2020). And then each chapter is a different idea of what happens with them going through with it or not. Some of them massively go off into flights of fancy. It was all right, but I have two problems with this book. One is the number of pages that went on about Brexit. Maybe that'll be interesting in 50 years time, but not yet. And also the author is American but set it in Britain. So there are a few weird things in there, like one character getting ALS and a mention of England having been a member of he EU.

The Girl on the 88 Bus by Freya Sampson. I read her first book, The Last Library, when I was on holiday and immediately put this ebook on hold from the library. Then it took ages to get to me. It's about a man looking for a girl he met once on the bus. And it's also about various characters in it following their own path, rather than the ones their parents have set out for them. Partway through this I worried that there was going to be an unlikely romance in it (like her last book, although that only happened right at the end). But then the plot took a turn, the romance took a back seat and then I really enjoyed it.

Surprise Me by Sophie Kinsella. I got into Sophie Kinsella when I picked one of her books for a reading challenge, knowing nothing about it. They're easy to read and have interesting characters (with some really interesting jobs). But I can't read too many at one time because quite a few are about romance (even though they don't sound like are they). This one isn't, strictly speaking, since the main character is married. I really enjoyed it - there was a mystery brewing which doesn't get solved until the end and I was into that.

What I'm Currently Reading
The Week (magazine). It was posted on Thursday and arrived today. So now I've finished my book, I will catch up on week-old news.

What I'm Reading Next
I Owe You One by Sophie Kinsella. The last of her books I have to read, aside from the Shopaholic series, which I've tried and I'm not into. I don't know anything about it, I didn't even bother to read the blurb. Annoyingly though, the library doesn't have it in ebook form, only in hardback. Which are needlessly big and heavy.

I've Never Seen Star Wars: Art Gallery

I listened to a podcast years ago where Susan Calman got friends of hers to introduce her to new hobbies. One of them involved going to an art gallery and appreciating paintings by looking at them from different angles.

And then an episode of Crowd Science (another podcast) also involved going to an art gallery and similarly the idea was to look at paintings from other angles. Including lying on the floor.

I recently went to an art gallery. I wondered round and if something took my fancy I read the description and looked at the painting for longer.

There was one with a group of people in a boat and the longer I looked at it the more details I noticed. It made it more interesting. I thought I've got the hang of this looking at paintings thing.

And then I looked at a horse. It was a horse. There wasn't a background, it was just a horse. It didn't matter how long I looked at it, it was still just a horse. And then I looked at Van Gogh's sunflowers and it looked like what I already knew it looked like because I've seen pictures. It was unexciting.

There were a lot of Jesus-y paintings. Where I learnt on the second one I saw that John the Baptist was Jesus's cousin. Which explained why he was in the first painting. And I also realised that the only thing I know about John the Baptist is his name. And then I thought how hard it must be to sleep if you have a halo - there's no way of getting your head on a pillow where the halo wouldn't get in the way.

Then I found my way back to non-Jesus-y paintings and there was one of Narcissus being distracted by his reflection. With a couple of women peering around a tree at him. And a random topless woman that is out in the open that no one has noticed. I thought maybe that's the point because Narcissus is being distracted by himself and the two women are marvelling at him. But then it still seemed like the topless woman was in there because the painter just fancied painting a topless woman. I felt like I was doing English Lit at school and ascribing meaning the author didn't put in just because the teacher told us it was there.

I found a painting with more detail, of a dockyard and some workers. In the snow. Although when I looked at the painting for longer I realised that perhaps the painter thinks that all water is white. And then realised that the painter also can't do faces. I mean, I can do faces better than that and I really can't do faces.

And then I got bored with looking at paintings because it's just looking at a load of pictures and I couldn't really see the point. So now I feel like I've tried that and don't have to do it again. So it's a 2/5, if only because in a choice between an art gallery and a sauna it's a very easy choice. And at least it was free.

I've Never Seen Star Wars: 3 things

I went on holiday recently and did four things I've never done before, which plenty of other people have.

Sat in a car with tinted windows
I didn't plan to do this, but my taxi to the station turned out to have tinted windows. Which I didn't properly notice until I got in. I'd always wondered what it looked like from the inside. Now I know that it looks like I had my sunglasses on. Way less exciting than it looks when a car goes by and you can't tell who (if anyone) is in the back.

I'd give it a 2 out of 5.

Sat in a sauna
The hotel I stayed in had a small pool with a jacuzzi and sauna. I've already tried a jacuzzi (didn't like the bubbles), but I thought I'd try the sauna.

Before I went in I thought it would be a room where you sit and feel really hot. I found that it was in fact a room where you sit and feel really hot.

Although the 'really' bit depends on how long you sit there. I don't think I managed a whole minute. I couldn't see a reason to make myself as hot as it had been outside in the heatwave the week before. It was just as unpleasant.

It's getting 1 out of 5, and that one is entirely because it was exactly like I expected.

Got room service
I've never had room service before and really fancied it. It was quite nice. I sat in my hotel room in my pyjamas and ate dinner while watching TV. What's not to like? Despite that, now I've done it I don't feel the need to do it again. It costs extra and I am quite capable of sitting in a restaurant with a book.

I giving it a 4 out of 5.

What I am reading Wednesday

What I Just Finished Reading
The Twyford Code by Janice Hallett and The Mysterious Case of the Alperton Angels by Janice Hallett. These are a similar idea to the first book: there's a mystery and it's all told in an epistolary sort of format. I enjoyed these, although I think the first book was the best.

Cradle by Arthur C Clarke and Gentry Lee. By finished I mean, gave up on. I put it down to read the two books above, picked it back up and got another chapter about a character's sex life. After that I kept thinking "Do I have to read this?" and realised that I don't. So I stopped - I was about a third of the way through.

What Katy Did by Susan Coolidge. I don't know if this felt like many other books or if it was because I distantly remembered the story. It was short and it was fine.

What I'm Currently Reading
What Katy Did At School by Susan Coolidge. At the start of this it mentions Thanksgiving, and then there's a footnote explaining what that is. Which was interesting - in the age of the internet you're hard-pressed not to know what it is. It's also interesting that they start at a boarding school in April, have a four week holiday in September and four days for Christmas. That's a long time to be at school for.

What I'm Reading Next
What Katy Did Next by Susan Coolidge. May as well finish the trilogy.

What I am reading Wednesday

What I Just Finished Reading
Killing Eve: No Tomorrow by Luke Jennings. Interestingly, this book and the TV series completely diverged. I preferred the series, I think, since it was a lot of Eve and Villanelle being like a couple and Eve assuming that Villanelle has emotions that she doesn't have because she's a psychopath.

Star Trek: Strange New Worlds: The High Country by John Jackson Miller. This was my pre-holiday present to myself in case the pool at the hotel was closed and I had a whole evening with not much to do. It took me a while to get into it and it was alright, but not that great in general.

Tales from the Chalet School by Helen Barber & Katherine Bruce. This is a book of Chalet School short stories set across the era. They felt very Chalet School like.

The Appeal by Janice Hallett. This is a murder mystery told in messages and emails. Although no one gets murdered until near the end of the book. I was proud of myself for guessing one secret, if not anything else!

What I'm Currently Reading
Cradle by Arthur C Clarke and Gentry Lee. Although I don't know if I'll finish it because I'm nearly halfway through the book and all that's really happened is a history of two of the male character's sex lives which have no relevance to the story, as far as I can tell. Although so far the story is 'some whales are behaving oddly' so nothing has any relevance. Although amusingly this is set in the future of 1993 where video calling is common.

Quantum Leap: Double or Nothing by J Henderson. I say currently reading, I've got as far as putting a bookmark in it. The Quantum Leap podcast have done this book and I don't remember anything about it, hence the need to re-read it.

What I'm Reading Next
The Twyford Code by Janice Hallett and The Mysterious Case of the Alperton Angels by Janice Hallett. I liked the first book of hers I read and the library has ebooks of the other two, so they are on hold and I just want to read them now.

What I am reading Wednesday

What I Just Finished Reading
I had no internet for the whole weekend (and some of Monday) so I've got a lot of reading done recently.

Killing Eve: Codename Villanelle by Luke Jennings. This was interesting. There were some elements in here that are similar to the series, but some things are totally different. Which is probably a good thing in the end as having seen the series gives me no clues as to what might happen in the book, so reading the book isn't boring.

Undoctored by Adam Kay. I thought this would be some light relief, which it sort of was. It's about the time after he left medicine with flashbacks to his time at medical school. It's clear he had bad mental health at medical school and it just got worse after he left medicine. But he tells it in an amusing way, so it doesn't seem quite as awful.

The Songs of Distant Earth by Arthur C Clarke. This started with a foreward talking about how he didn't like the way Star Wars and Star Trek have faster than light travel. Which seemed like a bad start. But then it was an interesting story of colonisation.

Imperial Earth by Arthur C Clarke. This felt a lot like the previous book, except it's all set within the solar system, mainly centring on a character who lives on Titan and visits Earth. Arthur C Clarke does like to explain a lot of concepts and he has a democracy where the president is drawn by lottery from people who don't want to do it, which he also had the previous book. But he alludes to things going wrong in the late 20th century, before humanity wises up and fixes things. Except none of those things are climate change, which does therefore date the book. If he was writing now I can't imagine that he wouldn't include it.

What I'm Currently Reading
I've literally just finished that last book, so nothing!

What I'm Reading Next
Killing Eve: No Tomorrow by Luke Jennings. I am really looking forward to this because presumably it all wraps things up, but I have no idea how, since it's gone on a different track to the TV series.