Today was the Melbourne Doll Show which I’m usually in two minds about due to it mostly being a dollhouse and baby doll event rather than adult shaped dolls. But since I moved, the event is too close to avoid going to lol.
As I thought, there was only two Barbie stalls there but I still picked up enough things to make it worth my while.
I ended up buying Tiffany Taylor as my first purchase because she was $20, her hair and plastic was immaculate and the only flaw was the fact her brunette bangs were hacked off and her left eyelash was broken off. I bought her nude with ONE of her original shoes.
I also got a Totally Hair Ken for his outfit, the Disney Mattel Prince Phillip for his head, and Superstar Ken for his short swimtrunks, as well as a vintage Ken sweater.
Due to the fact I knew I had no Tiffany Taylor sized clothes I looked around the other stalls and bought this handmade outfit that’s meant for MSD sized ball jointed dolls. The skirt is fully lined and the seller included MSD sized panties.
From the same seller I bought this dress meant for 1/12th scale BJDs but I bought it for my Picco Neemo doll. It was the exact same price as the MSD dress but I knew I couldn’t make a dress this nice using such a sheer fabric. Surprisingly the dress also included panties.
And finally, since the place was full of porcelain parts seller I managed to find a slim pair of shoes that fits Tiffany Taylor for $2.
Hey. I heard that Discworld is good, but I don't know what it's about. That, and it's 40-something books and I'm not sure about starting another long series. Help?
Oh man you’d better make your peace with starting a long series because there is literally no way I’m going to not tell you to read Discworld, especially not today.
Okay, so Discworld is actually several series following several sets of characters and some standalone books about other characters, all taking place on the Discworld, which is an entirely flat, circular world sitting on the shoulders of four elephants who stand on the back of a gigantic space turtle. It’s a world a bit off the edge of the reality curve, and yet while Sir Pterry uses (used no no don’t cry it’s just the past tense DO NOT FUCKING CRY ABOUT THE PAST TENSE) uses it to tell fantastical stories, he also uses it to drop the realest shit on you (one of my favourites being “So many crimes are solved by happy accident–an overheard conversation, the wrong phone call, someone of the right nationality just happening to be within five miles of the scene of the crime without an alibi…). He has (had *sobs*) a huge love of wit and wordplay and his writing is jam packed with puns, jokes and twists.
Before I go off on a giant rant, I should mention that Mark Oshiro is doing a “Mark Reads Discworld” series and that if you’re unsure it might be worth popping onto Youtube and listening to him read a few.
There are several main character sets and if the series at large seems too intimidating it might be good to pick one and start with that.
The Watch: Guards! Guards!, Men At Arms, Feet Of Clay, Jingo, The Fifth Elephant, Night Watch, Thud!, Snuff
Books following the Ankh-Morpork City Watch, the equivalent of the police for the sprawling twin city of Ankh-Morpork, which is one of the central locations of the whole series. While the Discworld at large is fantasy, the Watch books dip into the Crime genre as Captain (later Commander) Sam Vimes and the other various members of the Watch solve crimes and face major social issues such as racism, sexism, cissexism (no really, one of the characters is a dwarf who decides to express herself as openly female even though traditional dwarfish society is one where everybody has a beard and twelve layers of chainmail and is referred to as “he”, and the way her “coming out” is treated by other dwarves and her feelings about it strike a lot of chords with coming out as transgender–or so I’ve been told, not being transgender myself but I can see the parallels), political subterfuge (Jingo was written during the first Gulf War and it’s still so horrifyingly relevant) and rich people thinking they’re above the law (Sam Vimes disagrees). Also Night Watch is a huge homage to Les Mis with morally-flipped Javert and Valjean and it’s amazing, but also equally amazing even if you’re not familiar with Les Mis (which I wasn’t the first twenty times I read it). Along with werewolves, dwarves, trolls, vampires, zombies and Nobby Nobbs (who was disqualified from the human race for shoving), the series will introduce you to my ultimate Life Goal, Lady Sybil Ramkin, a mightily-built woman who breeds pet dragons and is kinda the living embodiment of “do no harm, take no shit”.
The Witches: Equal Rites, Wyrd Sisters, Witches Abroad, Lords and Ladies, Maskerade, Carpe Jugulum
If you like fairy tales and folklore and the power of stories, these are the books for you. Following the Ramtop Witches–predominantly the fierce and powerful old witch Granny Weatherwax; her best friend and cheerful matriarch of a minor army of children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren, Nanny Ogg; Magrat Garlick, the somewhat soppy, pathetic and dreaming young(ish) witch (I identify with Magrat like WHOA so when she gets her moments of power–and she gets at least one per book and when she does DAYUM–it’s so, so wonderful); and the fat, powerfully-voiced junior witch Agnes Nitt. They fight mad dukes (Wyrd Sisters has a plot that’s some kind of amazing hybrid between Hamlet and Macbeth), fairy queens, fairy godmothers, and any force of story that tries to force people into what they should be instead of accepting what they are. As well as the power of stories, they also deal with some heavy moral themes (Carpe Jugulum has an amazing conversation between Granny Weatherwax and a somewhat lost priest about the nature of sin that has had a huge formative effect on me) and has a lot of basis in theatre (aside from all the Shakespeare, Maskerade takes place in an opera house in Ankh-Morpork).
Tiffany Aching–The Wee Free Men, A Hat Full of Sky, Wintersmith, I Shall Wear Midnight
Kind of a subset of the Witches books, these books predominantly follow Tiffany Aching, who starts off nine in the first book and ages two years between each subsequent book. They’re YA (but I mean that in a good way I swear) and they were actually my gateway drug to the Discworld. Tiffany is a little girl from the farming country who has read the dictionary from cover to cover and thinks about things too much and in general is a perfect candidate to be a witch, even though when the books begin they’re outlawed where she lives after the Baron’s son disappeared and everyone decided that the strange old lady who lived alone in the forest was to blame. Tiffany isn’t quite buying that old story, though (and every time she talks about this poor old lady it’s fucking heartbreaking), and it’s good that she doesn’t because fairies are coming to her land, and if you think that’s a good thing you are about to learn very differently. However, she has some help in the form of MY VERY FAVOURITE SPECIES ON THE ENTIRE DISCWORLD: the Nac Mac Feegle, the thievin’, drinkin’, fightin’, six-inch-tall blue Pictsies who were thrown out of Fairyland for being Drunk and Disorderly. They’re FLIPPING HILARIOUS.
I’d say these books are kiiiiinda Discworld Lite? Except A Hat Full of Sky goes some kinda dark places and then I Shall Wear Midnight is DARK AS HELL LIKE WOW I WOULD LET KIDS READ THE FIRST THREE BOOKS BUT MOST DEFINITELY NOT THIS ONE. But they’re all hella good and I think they’re a good first choice of series to go with.
The Wizards–The Colour of Magic, The Light Fantastic, Sourcery, FaustEric, Interesting Times, The Last Continent, The Last Hero, kinda Unseen Academicals
Predominantly following the chronic-failure-of-a-wizard Rincewind, the wizard books are mostly earlier books (The Colour of Magic and The Light Fantastic being the first two Discworld books chronologically, though personally I wouldn’t recommend starting with them–I tried reading The Colour of Magic a few times and couldn’t get into it until I’d read The Wee Free Men and a bunch of others) and are the most about the nature of magic and cover the widest expanse of the Discworld, because Rincewind is extremely good at getting into massive trouble and then running away from it. Rincewind kinda moves out of centre stage in later books in favour of the rest of the colourful faculty of Unseen University in their misadventures. Your favourite character will be the Librarian. The Librarian is everybody’s favourite characters. He’s an orang-utan. There is a reason for this, but nobody cares. He’s an orang-utan and everybody loves him. Ook.
Death–Mort, Reaper Man, Soul Music, Hogfather, Thief of Time
These books are all about the Death of the Discworld–seven foot tall, skeletal, black robes, scythe, tends to show up under unfortunate circumstances–and his friends and family. Death is one of the best characters in Discworld but I feel too emotionally compromised to talk about him right now, so let me talk about his granddaughter Susan because she’s the deuteragonist of Soul Music, Hogfather and Thief of Time and she’s amazing. She’s partly human, partly… not, and she keeps trying to carve out a normal life and never quite managing it as she invariably gets drawn in when things are happening that are strange even by the Discworld’s standards (for example, Soul Music is about what happens when Rock Music gets invented, and Hogfather is about what happens when your Santa-equivalent winter figure goes missing and Death has to fill in for him). The stories deal strongly in themes of creativity, imagination and belief, especially Hogfather, and tend to be really, really beautiful. Death cameos in just about every book, but his character development arc across these books is one of the best in all of Discworld. AND HE ALWAYS TALKS LIKE THIS, IN ALL CAPS WITH NO QUOTATION MARKS. YOU ALWAYS KNOW WHEN HE’S SPEAKING TO YOU.
There are a bunch of other standalone books (there are three about Moist Von Lipwig but that’s not a series you want to get to until way later) and my absolute favourite that you should definitely read, if you read nothing else, is Monstrous Regiment. The premise is fairly basic: Polly cuts her hair and pretends to be a boy to join the army and find her brother in the backwards militaristic nation of Borogravia. If you know what the title’s from, it pretty much spoils the plot, but you may have seen it cross my dash enough times to get it anyway if you’re following me :P You want canon lesbians who don’t come to a horrible end? You want varying neurodivergent characters treated with love and respect? You want crossdressers and transgender characters and how to tell the difference? You want major discussion and consideration of gender issues and a Joan of Arc homage who doesn’t get burned? Read Monstrous Regiment. You also get a vampire hallucinating that they’re in the Vietnam War on a world where Vietnam doesn’t actually exist when they run out of coffee.
TL;DR (but please do read): Pick one of the series and read it. I’d highly recommend Tiffany Aching, but The Watch and The Witches are also good starts. The characters and locations and such do intertwine with each other sometimes, but the majority of the books are specifically written so that you can pick them up and enjoy them without having read any of the others.
And you will enjoy them. They’re sweet, they’re sad, they’re terrifying, they’re funny as hell, they’ll really make you think and you’ll be quoting them forever. Don’t be scared of how much is ahead of you: be grateful you have so much to experience for the first time. I guarantee you that once you’ve read them all, it won’t be enough. There could never be enough. But what there is is a gift.
Completely. I would love to. I was just talking to my agent about that... But I need to finish my album first! He said, "It takes you years to create an album but with a kid, it only takes nine months!"
Dylan wrote me this on Valentine’s Day. I have never had a boy buy me tiffanies jewelry and hide it in my closet and hide clue notes. I’ve never had a boy rent me out a house on a beach just for a night. I’ve never had a boy fly me over to his island every weekend. I’ve never had a boy buy me a necklace with 48 diamonds in it and a meteorite. I’ve never been given so many flowers. I’ve never had a boy go dive to find me a sunrise shell and make it into a beautiful bracelet. I’ve never had a boy fly over for a day to take care of me and help me walk to class. I’ve never had a boy be quiet every morning just so he can get up and make me breakfast when I wake up. I’ve never had a boy smile all day just cause he’s with me. Dylan has done all of this and more. The list goes on. I’m such a lucky girl.
So I went past this Japanese store in the ball and was looking in their display case and saw this and I HAD to buy it, it was the last one. They also had red and Brendan (but no May wahh) so I got misty :)