fernstrike: (Me)

Yesterday I was out in shorts, catching some rays in the garden of the uni residence - today I'm back in layers and fluff and the sky is steel grey. The weather in Spain is mad! Folk have begun to trim the dead branches of trees, though. There've been little bonfires burning since this morning, punctured by the sound of chainsaws trimming the boughs. Grey skies, cold, and bonfires makes me think more of 'autumn' than 'spring'. Who'd've thought the equinox was just yesterday?

I've begun work on a new pet project of mine. I'm taking a look at Norwegian mythology and fairytales, and I'm going to make some urban-fantasy-ish remixes of these stories. Think Asbjørnsen and Moe meet Holly Black. Most will probably be set in my ancestral home county of the Trøndelag. I really want to bring a sense that the myths are alive in Norway; that they're not just off in some inaccessible part of the mountains, but could be found in the copse of woods behind your house, or on the edge of the city at night. Stories a grandparent may have told you about things in the woods and rivers; the reasons behind unspoken rules; a weird part of the city or a deserted backlot; a body of water, an abandoned farm, a little woodland somewhere. I'm getting advice from family who've lived there longer than I ever have, and I'm excited to share some of the stories as they get written!

Pictured: The nøkk, a malevolent water spirit. Art by Theodor Kittelsen, "Nøkken" (1904).

In other news, my next entry for B2MeM is well underway and I'm looking forward to sharing it hopefully by tomorrow evening, if not by today! I also have an account now on Many Paths To Tread (under the usual penname, Fernstrike), which I'm so happy and excited about.

Usually my afternoon would be free, and I would spend it in the library writing something - ideally, those Norway stories. This weather especially gives so much inspiration! Unfortunately, two lectures were rescheduled for today (darn it all), so the chill writing sesh is a no-go.

Have a great day everyone!

-S

Book Haul!

Mar. 19th, 2017 05:28 pm
fernstrike: (Me)
So, the trip to the city wasn't supposed to involve a book haul - especially when I was hardly looking for an extensive English section in Madrid - but as it sometimes (alright, always) happens with me, I find a way. Turns out that the basement of the Casa del Libro in Gran Via has a huge languages section and a wide range in English. For only about two walls worth it's really very good!! I limited myself to four volumes. These are the spoils.



  1. "The Complete Robot" by Isaac Asimov. Sci-Fi isn't usually my province, but Asimov is one of the exceptions. Long ago I read "I, Robot", after watching the film, and his work has stuck with me ever since. Glad to finally have a complete set of the robot stories!

  2. "The Lay of Aotrou and Itroun" by J.R.R. Tolkien. After learning that it had just recently come out, I regretted not looking for it while back home in Singapore, so that I could get a copy and keep it safe on my Tolkien shelf. Behold - that little basement English section in Casa del Libro has a solid collection of Tolkien's work, both legendarium and non-legendarium. This was a surprise and exciting find!

  3. "The Shell Seekers" by Rosamunde Pilcher. My mum first read this book many years ago and it has been a favourite of hers ever since. She's begun rereading it, so when I saw the volume in thee shop, I decided to get myself a copy and read along too.

  4. "The Travels of Ibn Battutah" edited by Tim Mackintosh-Smith. This was a chance find and semi-impulsive purchase. It seems to be an ancient travelogue written by a scholar, native to Tangier, at the height of the Islamic Empire. It should prove to be very interesting, as he travels around Africa, the Levant, Central, Eastern, and Southeast Asia - and from the introduction, it seems his travels are far grittier and wittier than those recorded by Marco Polo, who died shortly before Ibn Battutah began his journey. I love this particular editions of pocket classics, once done by an independent publishing house, though their cover adesign and cloth has changed somewhat.

I will certainly update on how these books are!

In other news, I got my dress for the spring ball! Can't wait to show photos once the day rolls around. I do believe we hit a jackpot with this one. I've been so lax with being involved on B2MeM; I'm going to spend today reading and reviewing, and will hopefully get back to posting some stuff tomorrow. Hopefully I can keep up with that AND Fëanorian Week!

Wishing everyone a fine day.

-S
fernstrike: (Me)

Friday at long last!

Today passed swiftly and without much event. Our morning lecture was interrupted by our lecturer, who was so keen for us to go to a small conference being held about the Chinese economy, running concurrently to class, that she cut the lecture short less then halfway so that we might attend it. It proved to be enlightening in that it did not go into excessive details and technicalities, but explained major trends and revealed new insights. I was perhaps most surprised to learn that the majority of western states do not consider China a market economy, and put many barriers on it joining the WTO. It's rather sad, the echoing strains of the Cold War that never seem to die away.

But that's rather heavy and political, and I'm probably better off ranting about that on Facebook!

I spent a calm afternoon out by the river today after Skyping home. It was exciting to finally be warm enough to go out in short clothes and catch some rays (18º! And a fortnight ago it was snowing!). If you'll indulge me a selfie, here's the dress I brought from home after Christmas, to the right.I do so love the designs from British India (not like I own many...it is a great woe that such beautiful things simply thieve your wallet).

There is a wide grassy spot where the river dips over a stone wall. It faces west, and so is bright and warm in the afternoon, and you can hear the rushing water and the twittering of birds. I lay there for about an hour catching up on my reading of Fellowship of the Ring, and then returned home. On the way, I spied these lovely trees, their boughs laden with what looked like snow. A fortnight ago, it certainly was snow. Can you believe that these, below, are blossoms?


I spent the evening watching The Battle of the Five Armies while trying to come up with a. topic for my next political theory essay. I think I've settled on corruption, though it hasn't been approved. It's due next week. Uni makes disorganised children of us all.

In other news, I've made massive headway with my artwork of Maedhros - which is perfect, as Fëanorian Week begins Monday, and starts with dear Maitimo after all! I will admit I've always been more of a fan of the Sindar and the Doriathrim, but it's about time I really tried to understand the complexities of the Noldor, and especially the Fëanorians, who I've honestly rather neglected. I've also - at last - begun on my next piece for B2MeM 2017. It's growing more than I thought it would, which doesn't help fact that I'm still quite far behind my quota. When the muse compels you, though, she can be a beautiful tyrant that you are hardly keen to disobey.

I'm going to the city tomorrow, so signing off for tonight. Take care all! Hope you've had a lovely Friday too.

-S

fernstrike: (Me)

So my economics midterm went rather swimmingly, I should say!

Read more... )
fernstrike: (Me)
It's been a long, tiring day.

Economics midterm is going to fall on my head tomorrow and I feel the least bit prepared for it, but somehow I shall have to press on and just resolve to do better for the final. Some time was imparted to developing a script for my invented language, but it is proving most challenging (particularly as I'm finding the sounds themselves aren't that cohesive).
I will be beginning a book tonight about case studies in international politics, and balancing that with finishing up Chapter 2 of The Fellowship of the Ring, which I am rereading now for the first time in over 10 years! It's been criminally long since I've lead the seminal work in the Professor's literature. I need some of the dedication that Christopher Lee had (one reread every year)!
In the meantime, I attended a spectacular talk on the history of literature on the Ramayana in India - specifically, the role of Sita. I will definitely write up a longer post in the morrow elaborating on that.

For now, it's late (it's already the next day, and well into it), and I must lay my head. In parting, above is shown a photo of the sky in its stunning beauty on the past Monday evening.

Wishing all the best to everyone. TTFN!
-S

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