Meme for a rainy afternoon

Jun. 27th, 2017 01:57 pm
el_staplador: Yuri Plisetsky from 'Yuri!!! on Ice' sticking his tongue out; caption 'makes me wanna barf' (yuri on ice)
[personal profile] el_staplador
Pick any story I've written, or, in the case of my longer, chaptered works, any chapter from any story I've written, and comment to this post with that selection. I will then give you the equivalent of a DVD commentary on that snippet: what I was thinking when I wrote it, why I wrote it in the first place, what's going on in the character's heads, why I chose certain words, what this moment means in the context of the rest of the fic, lots of awful puns, and anything else that you’d expect to find on a DVD commentary track.

My fics are here.


Also, I note with some amusement that the only fic mentioned in this post that I haven't actually managed to finish is The Fall of Strelsau. Though it's now sitting at 6,833 words, and yes, includes a by-election.

two books, neither alike in dignity

Jun. 26th, 2017 10:42 pm
metaphortunate: (Default)
[personal profile] metaphortunate
It's book talking time!

Coincidentally, I have recently read two separate books about French spy-courtesans in the 1920s 19th century. One was Alexander Chee's The Queen of the Night. The other - well, I call it a book, but it is an incomplete series, by Jo Graham, beginning with The General's Mistress and continuing in The Emperor's Agent and The Marshal's Lover.

Alexander Chee, award-winning author, is interviewed about TQOTN in Vogue and reviewed in the New York Times. Jo Graham is interviewed about her books in Amazing Stories and reviewed on, well, Goodreads. There is a great difference in the height at which your brow is meant to sit while reading these books.

Which just goes to show why you shouldn't judge a book by its cover.

The Queen of the Night is rapey-er than Game of Thrones, and you will not collect that from reading any of those interviews or reviews, but holy shit, it's grim and unrelenting. There is a lot of sex in this book - never let anyone tell you that Serious Authors don't write sex. What Serious Authors don't write is enjoyable sex, because that has the filthy female whiff of romance about it, and Chee will have nothing to do with that trap: enjoy 561 pages of bleak fucking, at best survival sex, at worst violent rape. But it's described like opera! So, you know: it's Art.

Whereas if on the other hand you like slumming, you could read a page-turner of a picaresque sex-and-war-and mysticism perspective on the Napoleonic Wars that is super, super interesting for someone who has tended to read about it from the English perspective! It reminds me very much of that Roger Ebert quote that's been floating around Twitter:
There's a learning process that moviegoers go through. They begin in childhood without sophistication or much taste, and for example, like "Gamera'' more than "Air Force One" because flying turtles are obviously more entertaining than United States presidents. Then they grow older and develop "taste,'' and prefer "Air Force One," which is better made and has big stars and a more plausible plot. (Isn't it more believable, after all, that a president could single-handedly wipe out a planeload of terrorists than that a giant turtle could spit gobs of flame?) Then, if they continue to grow older and wiser, they complete the circle and return to "Gamera'' again, realizing that while both movies are preposterous, the turtle movie has the charm of utter goofiness--and, in an age of flawless special effects, it is somehow more fun to watch flawed ones.
Both books are preposterous. But Jo Graham's books are cheerfully preposterous, with love at first sight being based on mystical reincarnation through the ages and a vow between Cleopatra's handmaidens or some such thing; and Alexander Chee's characters blankly drift through the ludicrous motions of a musicless opera plot because, as The Worst Bestsellers likes to say about characters in books like these, they are lizard people. Human motivations and actions are foreign to them! They hatched from eggs and now they are wearing human skin suits and that's why the author acts like their entirely, artificially plot-motivated behavior is normal and requires no explanation. It is normal, for lizards!

Whereas Jo Graham's books involve people having difficult but ultimately productive conversations about ambition and infidelity and polyamory - they don't have that vocabulary, but the ideas are definitely there - and people who aren't entirely good or bad, and an enby protagonist, and conflicted feelings about children, and the fear of aging and death, and politics that are rooted in the deep personal urge for freedom, and yes - magic, and sex, and fun! I got the third one as part of a StoryBundle, which was annoying as it spoiled the first two, obviously! But the moment I finished it I bought the other two anyway. Spoilers don't matter that much - they're not mystery novels, if you're writing about the Napoleonic Wars the interest of your story had better not depend on the reader not knowing how things turn out. The Queen of the Night I got from the library, and I tried to finish it, I really did. It just wasn't giving me anything to work with. It is the kind of book where spoilers matter - my loan of it ran out before I made it to the end, and I placed a hold on it to check it out again just because I did, honestly, want to know the answer to the mystery. But when my hold on it came due, I admitted that I did not want to know enough to drag myself through to the end of a very, very, very boring book, and I never checked it out the second time.

And, incidentally, between the grim, boring, rapey book, and the picaresque, sexy, fun book? The fun book is the one that's based on a real historical person. Maria Versfelt was a Dutch adventure star, as she is delightfully described in that Dutch website (thanks Google Translate), and her published memoirs are the basis for Graham's books. I think the reincarnation thing is invention, though.
umadoshi: (Deadline Russian cover)
[personal profile] umadoshi
New DW Communities

[dreamwidth.org profile] drawesome is "a friendly community of fan-artists who enjoy drawing. We hope to inspire and motivate each other to practice and hone our drawing skills in a stress-free, supportive environment."

[dreamwidth.org profile] comicsroundtable is "a fannish community for comics discussion, reviews, and general chat."


Fannish/Geeky Things

Neat Twitter thread on Wonder Woman costuming, written by a costume designer.

"Wonder Woman Actor Says Chief Is Actually a Demi-God". [io9]

"Dungeons & Dragons Wouldn’t Be What It Is Today Without These Women".

"More Murderbot Adventures from Martha Wells". [Tor.com]


Miscellaneous

"Disney Princesses Reimagined Years Later As Queens By Daughters And Mothers". "The main idea was to portray the relationship between a true mother and daughter as the same princesses a generation apart to show the similarities, the features that are alike." (Related ~10-minute YouTube video, which I haven't watched.)

"Report Finds Diverse Movies Outperform White Ones At Every Level".

"Declawing: A new study shows we can’t look the other way".

"Host a Silent Reading Party in 7 Easy Steps". [Book Riot]

"Why Honeybees Are The Wrong Problem To Solve".

"Invention Saves Wildlife From Drowning in Swimming Pools".

"Sitka artist designs slinky dress from 20,000 salmon bones".

"How I use comic books as a learning tool in my social studies classroom". [March 2016]



On Atlas Obscura:

--"Most of the World’s Bread Clips Are Made by a Single Company".

--"Jupiter Is Even Weirder Than We Thought".

--"Laurel Dinosaur Park: This dig site outside D.C. is known for its exceptionally high density of baby dinosaur fossils and dinosaur eggs".

--"The Wartime Spies Who Used Knitting as an Espionage Tool".

Monday Morning

Jun. 26th, 2017 08:58 am
wendelah1: (Mondays)
[personal profile] wendelah1
The "laid-back community for pretty much anything," [community profile] venture, is hosting a summer friending meme.



Timeless fans: [personal profile] jebbypal just posted the first challenge at [community profile] timeless_lifeboat: "Baggage." Speaking of luggage, were you aware that Fox aired a comedy this spring wherein an old duffel bag was used to travel back in time? It sounds dumb but it was in the time-honored literary tradition of children travelling in history using magical objects. As in, for example, Half Magic and Knight's Castle by Edward Eager. I read the entire seven book series when I was a kid. Anyway. Making History was cancelled after just ten episodes. This may seem obvious, but maybe it would have worked better if the time travelers had been kids? As an aside, I had thought someone nominated Eager's series for The Exchange at Fic Corner 2017. Nope. I must have dreamed it. Signups end June 28th.

That's it for the good news. The bad news is the Supreme Court has lifted the injunctions preventing the implementation of Trump's Muslim ban.

Roll Call: Court Allows Some of Travel Ban, Will Decide Legality Later

Think Progress: How to make sense of the confusing Supreme Court opinion on the Muslim ban The Court took an easy case and made it very complicated.

AND. We have just four days to stop Trumpcare. There are actions we can take to influence both Republican Senators and Democratic Senators. Let's not leave anything on the table.

Indivisible: Four Days to Stop Trumpcare: Enough is Enough. No exaggeration: We’ve been at this 6 months, and this is the most important week in our fight against TrumpCare. Republicans are planning a vote THIS THURSDAY. But Republicans still don’t have the votes. This truly could go either way. This is the moment constituent power was made for. This is the time to stand up.

By the way, as long as the Republican Party remain in power, the Senate will continue to write important, controversial, life-changing legislation behind closed doors. This is the opposite of transparency. Mitch McConnell has truly made a deal with the devil. He's thrown out the rules. This is NOT how a democracy is supposed to work.

EDIT: The CBO score for Trumpcare is in: 22 Million More Uninsured Under Senate Health Care Bill, Says CBO.

KEEP DIALING, Wendy.

(no subject)

Jun. 26th, 2017 09:25 am
seekingferret: Photo of me with my 2012 Purim beard, with stripes shaven into it. (Default)
[personal profile] seekingferret
At the end of the story of Korach ben Itzhar, the cousin of Moses who leads a strange rebellion in Numbers 16, Moses says

Numbers 16:29-30If these men die the common death of all men, and be visited after the visitation of all men, then the LORD hath not sent Me. But if the LORD make a new thing, and the ground open her mouth, and swallow them up, with all that appertain unto them, and they go down alive into the pit, then ye shall understand that these men have despised the LORD.


'Make a new thing' is a doubled use of the same Hebrew root letters, and that root is the root used in Genesis 1 to describe God's Creation of the world, so trying to preserve some of the sense of the Hebrew we might render it 'Create a creation'. Which is terribly infelicitous, so.

There is a debate among the more philosophical commentators about the nature of miracles. Rambam holds that God set in motion the natural laws of the world- physics, in a nut shell, and then because God is the Unity at the center of creation, God is able to alter those natural laws to effectuate something outside of them. Ramban, instead, holds that all of creation is constantly and miraculously being instantiated by God and that what seem to be miraculous violations of the natural laws of physics are just naturally within God's power. Both Rambam and Ramban are incredibly subtle and complicated thinkers and it's hard to say what either meant. It's possible this is not a debate and that they're truly in agreement. I do not claim to understand their teachings, which is why this post. But let's assume this is a debate as at least a starting axiom.

There's a third position, one which is at the same time even more naturalistic than Rambam and less, or which may be what Rambam is actually saying, I'm not sure. And it derives from this moment in the story of Korach.

Pirkei Avot 5:6 : Ten things were created on the eve of the [first] Shabbat at twilight. And these are they: The mouth of the earth [that swallowed Korach in Numbers 16:32]; and the mouth of the well [that accompanied the Israelites in the wilderness in Numbers 21:17]; and the mouth of the donkey [that spoke to Bilaam in Numbers 22:28–30]; and the rainbow [that served as a covenant after the flood in Genesis 9:13]; and the manna [that God provided the Israelites in the wilderness in Exodus 16:4–21]; and the staff [of Moshe]; and the shamir (the worm that helped build the Temple without metal tools); and the letters; and the writing; and the tablets [all of the latter three, of the Ten Commandments]. And some say, also the destructive spirits, and the burial place of Moshe, our teacher, and the ram of Abraham, our father. And some say, also the [first human-made] tongs, made with [Divine] tongs.



This is a really complicated Mishna that I don't understand at all, but it seems clear from the fact that the first item on the list is the mouth of the Earth that it's the phrase "Create a creation" that is the source for this logic. (I don't have the sources for all of the other things in this Mishna. I think the fact that the other two mouths are mentioned sbusequently suggests that the Earth-mouth is the source for all three of those. And I'm pretty sure there's no Torah source for the bit at the end about tongs, which is why it's just part of the 'and some say'... all that is purely Midrash Aggada) The Mishna is saying that Moses asked God to invoke a miracle of creation and this mouth that had been created at Creation and set up to swallow Korach swallowed up Korach. And it raises a lot of questions. It seems to be a response to this question of the nature of miracles, and its answer is in one sense more naturalistic than the Rambam: Not only is the world run according to natural laws set in motion at creation, but even things that apparently work outside of the laws of nature are actually naturally set in motion at creation as part of a special step in creation that took place Bein Hashmashot of Erev Shabbat.

Yet this is a hugely problematic theory for Jews because it seems to propose a completely deterministic universe where an intervention like the Earth swallowing up Korach for sinning against Moses and God can be preprogrammed as part of creation. If this is the case, where is free will? Where is Korach's ability to choose on his own whether or not to sin, if this preprogrammed miracle Earth-mouth was created as part of the Creation of the World?

Ah, summer

Jun. 25th, 2017 09:09 pm
snickfic: Gamora profile (mcu)
[personal profile] snickfic
That time when a young-ish woman's thoughts turn to superheroes and X-Men comics and Latin rock. (This is not a joke, my interests really are seasonal like this, and those really are my regular summer obsessions.) Right now the nostalgia for last summer's MCU femslash spiral is hitting me HARD. And lo and behold, I have a new GotG movie's worth of femslash to look for!

If you've got fic recs for either of those, btw, I'm all years. (Haven't seen AoU, Civil War, Agents of Shield, or the Netflix shows, though.)

fiber monday

Jun. 25th, 2017 09:08 pm
thistleingrey: (Default)
[personal profile] thistleingrey
The most recent office project (easy, very slow, for meetings in which I needn't speak) is finished. It's a narrow, single-skein shawl called See the Sea, and it's too small to stay on my damnable shoulders---not enough overlap, at 60" along the upper edge. Thus Sea is reassigned me --> Reason, and Dovana is reassigned Reason --> tiny relative when latter isn't tiny. *dusts hands* (What is this, though. I'm, like, the thinnest big-boned person of average height you'll (n)ever meet? Extra wool not only for cardigans but for shawls, pfui.) I don't block finished objects with pins, but because I can't wash this without Reason's notice, there won't be a photo till I've presented it, then taken it back for washing.

The prior office project is also finished now :P and won't look good till my hair is more heavily salted: undyed wool/alpaca grey-browns in a nifty gradient + chestnut with red tones = boring. *shrugs* The pattern is great, however: a shallow, asymmetrical shawl knitted in short diagonals. Unlike most of these yarn-club single-skein exercises, A+, would knit again.

My #SummerOfBasics idle daydream list, without buying yarn:
* Little Wave cardigan in progress
* ___Sand cardigan in progress (mine's not blue)
* Lena in "nutmeg"-colored yarn reclaimed from a failed shawl and/or Tegna in a lightweight green-grey
* Leigh in the repurposed purple wool/silk blend long allotted to it, though I see now that it'd be good only for chilly layering
...and then for next year, perhaps Summer in the "blue pine" Hempathy that never became something for Reason after her 3yo self snapped the yarn twice, and Noro Y839 skirt in yarn picked up when a shop closed a few years ago.

That said, I hope to finish the two cardigans and Reason's orange one, plus make my mother's gift by mid-fall. It'd be plenty.

Status: ___Sand's hem continues with pauses; now that those office projects have been polished off, the ghost shawl catches the pauses while my finger heals yet again. Here's ghost shawl in someone else's photo---blues are past, with the light/dark brown segment plus edging remaining. Baby hat is paused till my shoulder and wrist feel less aggrieved. Lately, joint woe tracks general inflammation evident in other ways, which still surprises me. I gather it's usual, generally.
sineala: (Avengers: Tony: I win)
[personal profile] sineala
We were invited to post early, so here is my and Wren's Cap RBB:

Tony Stark and the Mysterious Marksman (18510 words) by Sineala
Chapters: 1/1
Fandom: Marvel (Comics), Marvel Noir
Rating: Teen And Up Audiences
Warnings: No Archive Warnings Apply
Relationships: James "Bucky" Barnes/Tony Stark
Characters: Tony Stark, James "Bucky" Barnes, Steve Rogers, Invaders (Team), Nick Fury, Carol Danvers, Victor von Doom
Additional Tags: Action/Adventure, Secret Identity, Identity Porn, World War II, Hero Worship, Doombots, Latveria, Snipers, Explosions, Canon-Typical Violence
Summary: The year is 1943, and the war is swinging into an unexpected front: the Allies need to get their hands on every magical item they can find before someone else does. There's no one more qualified for the job than Tony Stark, former adventurer for Marvels magazine. When Nick Fury sends him on his latest mission, Tony finally gets the chance to work with Captain America... and the guy won't stop extolling the wonders of his partner, some kid called Bucky. But when Tony gets back to base, he meets someone even better than the Bucky of Cap's stories: an enigmatic -- and incredibly handsome -- marksman by the name of James Barnes.

That's right, it's Marvel Noir Winteriron identity porn! I've never written Winteriron before, but this was a lot of fun! It was written to accompany Wren's gorgeous art, which you can view here. (The stargazing art was the original art, she drew the sniping art to go with the story, and the art at the end she drew to have more Noir art and I asked if I could steal it and put that scene in. So I did.) I originally wasn't even going to write for this, but the art just won me over (because OMG NOIR) and then I had an identity porn idea and... all of this happened.

I hope all three of you who like this pairing will appreciate this story. :D You probably don't need to know anything about Marvel Noir; I explain it at the beginning if you're curious.

(no subject)

Jun. 25th, 2017 02:15 pm
skygiants: Princess Tutu, facing darkness with a green light in the distance (cosmia)
[personal profile] skygiants
I have never read Dhalgren or indeed any Samuel R. Delaney. However, as of yesterday I have at least had a Dhalgren Experience, thanks to [personal profile] aamcnamara, who turned up a local theatrical-dance-music-light-'architectural puppetry' performance of something called Dhalgren: Sunrise this weekend.

Dhalgren: Sunrise is comprised of bits of text from what I assume is Dhalgren the book, accompanied by dance, light, and music, almost all of it improvised. Also, some of the music was performed on imaginary instruments. "That must be a theremin!" I thought brightly to myself on seeing one of the instruments, mostly because I don't know what a theremin looks like and therefore I assume that any instrument I don't recognize is a theremin. But it turns out it was not a theremin, because there was a credit in the program for 'invented instruments,' though I don't know whether the one I saw was the Diddly Bow, the Bass Llamelophone, or the Autospring.

Anyway, so my new understanding of Dhalgren is that it is about a city in which Weird, Fraught and Inexplicable Things Are Happening. This is not a very thorough understanding, but it's still more of an understanding than I had before. The show is composed of seven scene-vignettes:

Prelude: A brief reading of [what I assume to be] the book's introduction.

Orchid: Three women dance on a bridge and a man acquires a prosthetic hand-weapon-implement. The director at the end gave special thanks to the dude who made it, understandably so, because it very effectively exuded Aura of Sinister!

Scorpions: Gang members dance and fight in front of a building? Alien gang members? Just aliens? Anyway, some entities wrapped in glowing lights have a dance fight in front of a building; the text is from the point of view of a worried inhabitant of the building who Has Concerns.

Moons: The moon has a new secondary moon friend named George. The dancing in this section was one of my favorite bits -- the Moon did some amazing things with her light-strung hula hoop. [personal profile] aamcnamara pointed out later that the narration in this bit, which featured a wry and dubious radio announcer, seemed like a perhaps-intentional echo of Welcome to Night Vale. I have never actually listened to Welcome to Night Vale, but from my cultural osmosis knowledge this seems about right.

Fire: The light show took front and center in this bit about everything being on fire and also, simultaneously, not on fire. The maintenance man doing the narration is very plaintive about all of this. There may also have been dancing in this bit but I don't remember what anyone was doing.

Sex: The guy with the sinister prosthesis has an intimate encounter with two other people inside a blanket fort. I always like the blanket-fort method of showing sex onstage, it hints appropriately while allowing actors not to have to do anything they're uncomfortable with. At some point in this process the sinister prosthesis is removed for the first time, which I expect symbolizes something about human connection.

Sunrise: The characters who have previously just had sex emerge from the building and now seem to have a difference of opinion about whether the sunrise is just normal, or whether the earth is actually falling into the sun. Eventually all the characters are onstage being distressed, along with the music and the lighting -- again, really cool light effects here, especially the final overwhelming projection of light followed by and darkness.

It's a one-hour show without intermission, which we all agreed afterwards was for the best; the deeply weird mood and atmosphere would have been difficult to slip back into if one could get up in the middle to go to the bathroom. For those of you who have actually read Dhalgren, I will leave you with [personal profile] aamcnamara's sum-up: "It was a strange experience, but honestly could have been stranger."

(no subject)

Jun. 25th, 2017 11:00 am
seekingferret: Photo of me with my 2012 Purim beard, with stripes shaven into it. (Default)
[personal profile] seekingferret
Dear [community profile] fic_corner Writer

Thank you for writing me a story! My childhood favorites are not sacred and I'm interested in seeing however you see fit to explore them.

Here were my prompts:


Cyber.kdz - Bruce Balan
Fandom tl;dr: Teenage adventures with dial-up modems!

I love this fandom so much. The idea of the Net as this unregulated frontier where kids could make a difference because only their actions, not their appearances, mattered. And the found family, who bickered with each other endlessly but ultimately stood up for each other when someone needed it.

The Grounding of Group Six - Julian F. Thompson
Fandom tl;dr: Just an ordinary story about ordinary kids at an alternative school involving lots of camping


My usual request for this fandom is pure trollfic: Write a fluffy school story with none of the darkness of the original canon and act like that's all that's there. To see if you can lure unsuspecting people into the ridiculousness that is this book. Basically write a fic as if the cover story from the end of the book, where Group Six was just overlooked and nobody remembered to recall them, were true.

I realize this is a deeply specific request and I am fine if you disregard it and write something that actually engages with the story as it actually exists.

Westing Game - Ellen Raskin
Fandom tl;dr: Chess and mystery and money and wordplay and family, complicated family

I love everything about the Westing Game and its twisty, emotionally complicated payoff, and would love to see more about any character.

I also have this theory... let me dig it up.

Sam Westing is involved in a car accident leading up to his disappearance which is an extremely mysterious event. It is apparently real- Sykes's limp is real, not faked, per Chris, and the only limp in the book not the result of a Turtle kick. And it results in facial disfiguration for Sam, but of a sort that is dramatic enough to render him unrecognizable to his ex-wife when he is Sandy, but not enough that he cannot mask it (presumably with makeup?) when he is in his Northrup or Eastman guise. I do not understand the import of the accident. If the accident is what changed his outlook on life, why wait 20 years after for his revenge/game/reparations?

...For Turtle to be Sam's rightful heir, she has to ultimately 'win' the game, which most straightforwardly means either a)finding the fourth or b)beating Sam at chess, which JJ and Theo never managed and nobody else in the game ever attempted. But Sam is not the kind of person who happily loses games. Sam's game is set up so that neither Turtle nor JJ nor anyone else has to win, but... what happens to Eastman's money in that scenario, if Turtle loses? Does he have to set up another Westing game with new heirs to manipulate? Is there the possiblity that this is not the first Westing game he has run? Is the quest for heirs the thing which has occupied the twenty years since Westing's disappearance?



So basically I would love to see a take on a different Westing Game, a different grasping and overly manipulative attempt for redemption from Sam Westing.

Sizzle & Splat Series - Ronald Kidder
Fandom tl;dr: Youth orchestra members, clarinetist and tubist, team up to fight crime.

Hans Kleiman is my favorite character in the series but I'll take anything with Sizzle and/or Splat. I love Kleiman's fusion of games and music, as a passionate enthusiast of both myself. I wish there were more of him, I wish he didn't have to die to impel the story's action, because his chemistry with Sizzle is wonderful.

Star Voyager Academy - William Forstchen
Fandom tl;dr: Book 1: Harry Potter at Starfleet Academy. Book 2: Harry Potter on his first mission for Starfleet. Book 3: Harry Potter is an alcoholic former Starfleet officer enlisted to make first contact with aliens

I think I'd like to actually see the war, you know? The part bizarrely skipped between books 2 and 3, where everything went to shit in utterly predictable but no less tragic ways.

i ship Matt/Justin, I ship Tanya/Justin, I ship Thor/Jason, I ship Tanya/Madison... Not so interested in Justin/Brian or Matt/Brian, I think. And I'd also love gen. Falcon fighting gen! Complicated morally ambiguous battle gen! Academy hijinks gen!

I'm still here, it's getting late

Jun. 25th, 2017 09:16 pm
morbane: pohutukawa blossom and leaves (Default)
[personal profile] morbane
So, hi.

It's winter; the fire's on; the headphones I just accidentally gave a bath to are hung at a strategic distance from it, across the fire-screen, which is an irrelevant piece of furniture because the fire is gas. (It comes in handy when drying clothes, however.)

Offline, I've been settling into my new house. Our longtime friend AC moved in as a flatmate in February, and in April, another old friend, AR, moved back from Scotland and came to live with us for two months while looking for his own place.

The house has been good to us. There was one miserable and expensive week when we checked out some suddenly-blocked drains and the plumbers, while dealing with that (in a temporary fashion - the tree roots that caused the problem have yet to be worked around), alerted us to a gas leak caused by corroded pipes and then arranged for those pipes to be replaced. No hot water for five days while I was in bed with a cold and the tradesmen had to dig a trench through the reinforced concrete that forms the support for the house's front extension. In other house maintenance respects, I am yet to kick into high gear. We need a large pair of curtains downstairs to keep the heat from flowing out and away at the large French doors, and I have not enjoyed my dealings with the curtain consultants thus far. But I love having a spare room. I love being able to offer guests space with a real bed. I love having two ovens. I love the giant converted garage and the view over the valley to the western hills. I love having a bay tree and a lemon tree. I love having a house on street level. Before this, I moved out of my last street-level house in January 2006.

AC is a fantastic fit as a flatmate. She and I share the idea that although other kinds of social interaction are worthwhile, the most pleasant is to be in the same space as someone else, each with a computer, very occasionally remarking on interesting and amusing things that pass our screens. Also, she is a fandom writer and artist. Also, she and Joel have somewhat compatible tastes in games and TV. I have had really good luck in flatmates over my years in Wellington, but in my last major shared flat, my flatmates were the kind of people who are pure introverts when they get home. I respected that, but this is my ideal.

I'm already missing AR a little. Four people in the house was really nice too. AR flatted with me and Joel in 2007-2009, and then flatted with AC and two other friends in 2015, and then he went off to Scotland, and then ten months later he returned. It is a nice way to be tangled together. He's coming around for dinner and boardgames tomorrow night. I hope he brings Codenames. He introduced AC & me to the game last week and I really, really liked it: simple mechanics + word-association problem-solving & teamwork.

There are, of course, also politics going around me and other offline updates, but perhaps another time when I'm not trying to dust this journal off after months of silence. (Joel, btw, is currently in Las Vegas, in the 'holiday' part of a North American business trip.)


Online, I've been struggling to catch up after Yuletide. Here's what's caught my interest:

  • Night on Fic Mountain went live a few days ago, at a solstice. This is a fic and art fandom exchange for rare fandoms - basically, mini-Yuletide on the far side of the year. I used to co-mod it, but nowadays dhampyresa does all the work and only calls on me occasionally. *waves pompoms* I did write a pinch hit, and enjoyed several pieces of art and fiction. Have a look.

  • Alternate Universe Exchange is a new project from Rosencrantz, whom I also team up with when Once Upon Fic comes around (see below). This is a fandom exchange (fic-only) for alternate universe ideas - whether they're of the "but what if Bob didn't die" or the "everyone works in a coffee shop" variety. Tag approving is.... interesting. If you think you might want to nominate, get in quick.

  • Speaking of Once Upon a Fic, that went live in May, and I still have stories to comment on. This is a challenge for interpretations of fairy tales and similar canons, and I love it so much. I was really disappointed in myself that I did not complete a work this year, and I would like one day to make it up to my recipient. Meanwhile, however, the works that were created are brilliant. [livejournal.com profile] bleodswean, I think you in particular would appreciate Children of wild, legends round our neck, must shatter, a 30,000-word celebration of the stories of Baba Yaga and Koschei and Vasilisa and Ivan(s).

  • The other exchange that I delight in the most is Jukebox, which went live earlier this month (again, I'm still browsing and commenting). I love seeing all the different directions in which people take song lyrics and music videos. Again, I recommend the works. They are fantastic. I am, of course, biased. Even so.

  • After Yuletide, I made two poor fandom decisions, the first of which was to sign up to Worldbuilding Ex despite already feeling burned out & having a tonne of Yuletide admin to catch up on. I can't entirely blame myself because this is a concept I get really excited about, and I had a blast discussing ideas with the mod, and there were amazing works and I got amazing gifts.... It's just that it was unwise for me at that time. I hope next year I manage to be in a better shape after Yuletide.

  • The second poor fandom decision was to take on a pinch hit for Fandom5k, a fic exchange for all fandoms and works of 5k+. I mean, I can sincerely say that it was a fun prompt and I felt I was on my recipient's wavelength, that it offered me the challenge of something I rarely do (write for a TV canon), and that it was satisfying to know I could confidently sketch out a plot that would be long and dense enough and then bring it to fruition. But it was also bad timing and I stressed myself out for a continuous month over the thing.

  • Now I look at my AO3 assignments page and there are NO OPEN ASSIGNMENTS and it is beautiful. Beautiful.

  • ... and while I will not finish a NYR before Crossovering starts, I can at least work on one, and so I will begin to feel on top of things. (Crossovering is awesome! Come play with me! Get your fandom crossovers here! Ahem.)




And in my silence, the song I keep coming back to is Crowded House's How Will You Go, because on their album Woodface, this track ends in over a minute of silence and then a sudden refrain... I'm still here, of course. Looking it up just now, I see it is labelled a bonus track, which makes sense yet never occurred to me before now. I just thought it was .... all the same track. With silence in the middle.



[personal profile] seekingferret, thanks again for the playlist - I really liked "Mah Yedidus" and I grinned to hear it, and the rest comes in shades of appreciative interest. More later.

I also have some gifts from all these exchanges I've taken part in lately. I shall post later about my recent gifts.

(no subject)

Jun. 24th, 2017 05:08 pm
skygiants: Jadzia Dax lounging expansively by a big space window (daxanova)
[personal profile] skygiants
Our adventures with Star Wars: The Clone Wars continue! Though, alas, those of many of our clone buddies do not.

Episodes 11-20 of Season 1 under the cut )

Just focus on getting a pounding

Jun. 24th, 2017 06:30 pm
lokifan: black Converse against a black background (Default)
[personal profile] lokifan
I do feel like there’s a level of identifying with Crazy Ex-Girlfriend songs that suggests you’ve lost control of your life.

Worm Holes/Wondi Pōēnandumak

Jun. 24th, 2017 10:03 am
primeideal: Multicolored sideways eight (infinity sign) (Default)
[personal profile] primeideal

For [community profile] tic_tac_woe (Apocalypse Bingo), I wrote this story for the prompt "Dystopia Without End"!

This is a script set in the fictional country of Zwangzug, which I've RPed on the browser game NationStates. As it is now, Zwangzug is a nice place to be--not perfect, but pretty great. So this is an in-universe script written by a Zwangzugian film-maker, imagining what it would be like in an alternate universe where things went wrong shortly after a national tragedy early in Zwangzug's history. A lot of the allusions will only be funny to me (or someone who's read a lot of my factbooks, I guess), but it should still make sense as an original story. (The main characters are very loosely based on some of my main sports characters, and this would be a parallel that might or might not be recognized in-universe; again, you shouldn't have to get any of this to enjoy it as a story.)

It's about 13,000 words long. I "Choose Not To Warn" in the sense that there can and likely will be lots of violence and character death ahead; there's no sexual content.

Some other content you might find in various amounts includes baseball fans, consensual violence, humor (gallows and otherwise), and conlanging!

Worm Holes )

(no subject)

Jun. 24th, 2017 10:39 am
nestra: David Hewlett, resting his face on his hand. (sleepy Rodney)
[personal profile] nestra
I have had my main Yahoo account for almost 20 years, I think, and Yahoo is making themselves so irritating that I'm considering dumping it. Switching between multiple accounts has become complicated. They really want me to log in via my phone rather than in a browser (which I tried for two days, and no). I can't log in unless I turn off my ad blocker for that page.

I know it will be a pain to find some variation of "myname" at Gmail, and Google already owns a lot of my life, which I don't love. And oh my god, the maintenance I'd have to do to change everything to a new address. But I use my Yahoo email way too much to curse every time I use it.

Maybe I just need to get rid of my alternate accounts, and then I'd never need to worry about the login page. Hmm.

Anyway, yeah, that's my life. Except I did just get back from Europe (summary: fun time, also exhausting post-back surgery, no more southern Europe in summer). Now I have the mental room to get excited about my next trip to the UK in October! I've never been to Scotland, or to many other places in England except London, so I can't wait. Which means I should buy a plane ticket or something.

I'm about five weeks post-surgery, and everything is mostly fine. The scar tissue is tight and a little tender, which causes vague twinges of pain occasionally. The more irritating thing is the hamstring in my right leg, which has decided to tighten the hell up. I can't stand or walk for long periods, though if I sit down for just a minute or two, it kind of resets and I'm fine until it happens again.

I'm trying to be diligent with exercise, and if it doesn't get better, I see the surgeon again next month, and maybe it will be time for more physical therapy. But the surgery definitely fixed the problem it was meant to fix, and walking for short periods of time is certainly better than not walking at all.

Linkspam: Wonder Woman, misc.

Jun. 24th, 2017 12:41 pm
umadoshi: (Wonder Woman 01)
[personal profile] umadoshi
Wonder Woman

"Patty Jenkins is Co-Writing ‘Wonder Woman 2’ With Geoff Johns".

"5 'Wonder Woman' Amazons On The Power Of Their All-Woman Army".

"Native Actor Eugene Brave Rock Talks About His Role in Wonder Woman: As Wonder Woman smashes records, Native Actor Eugene Brave Rock talks about a whirlwind week and being gifted a headdress".

"The Revolution Won’t Be Saved By Wonder Woman — And That’s Okay". [The Establishment] "Wonder Woman is a stand-in for so many women in some position of vulnerable visibility who feel unfairly scrutinized for their ideological imperfections; she, and her at times tortured relationship with the women’s movement that adopted her as a mascot, provide a helpful case study for understanding the consequences of the demands we place on each other."


Miscellaneous

"I'm A Teenager And I Don't Like Young Adult Novels. Here's Why".

"“Boys By Girls” Is Using the Female Gaze to Redefine Modern Masculinity".

While looking up some planting info for plants we have, I learned about the existence of a couple of plant types that we're not likely to ever have, but which look really neat: arisaema (cobra lily) and tacca (bat plant).

"10+ Of The Oldest Color Photos Showing What The World Looked Like 100 Years Ago".

"Disney Illustrator Imagines A Life With A Pet Octopus, And It’s Just Too Adorable (10+ Pics)".

"Writing Advice to My Students That Would Also Have Been Good Sex Advice for My High School Boyfriends". [McSweeney's]

"These “Galaxy” Flowers Hold Entire Universes On Their Petals".

"You", via a locked post where the link was described as "How ordinary (often well-meaning) people make life much harder than it needs to be for people with disabilities."

"Adhesive Foot Pads Let You Ditch the Flip Flops with Flexible Feet Protection". [Article links to active Kickstarter.]

"Animated GIFs Reveal Differences Between Subway Maps and Their Actual Geography".

"Oh, Lovely: The Tick That Gives People Meat Allergies Is Spreading".

"World's first water park for people with disabilities is literally the coolest thing ever created". (Now, if only it weren't called "Inspiration Island".)

"Brutally Honest Freelance Writer Bios". [McSweeney's]

"The Lunar Sea: The moon influences life in a surprising and subtle way: with its light".

Deadline is Past

Jun. 23rd, 2017 08:42 pm
pumpkinkingmod: (pic#10227049)
[personal profile] pumpkinkingmod posting in [community profile] everywoman
The deadline for regular assignments has passed.  Pinch hits are due on the 27th.  A small number of extensions were requested and granted.

I'm going on an adventure!

Jun. 23rd, 2017 05:26 pm
mildred_of_midgard: (Aragorn)
[personal profile] mildred_of_midgard
My best friend and I have a road trip planned for the second half of September! Sadly, he will not be moving in with me this year, because of the illness and death of a close friend of his that caused his dissertation to be delayed, yea unto the fifteenth year.

But! At least the road trip is happening. We're not going to have as much time as I'd hoped, but it should be good nonetheless. If he can get a couple days off work, we should be able to extend the trip until we have about as much time as we had last time.

We leave the 15th, and return either the 24th or 26th, depending on whether he can find someone to cover for him. I have offered to comp him for lost income (ah, the beauties of a tech job).

We are not going anywhere exciting. The goal is to check off the remaining continental states we haven't been to, aka the boring ones (sorry not sorry).

For him, lucky bastard, this is just Arkansas and North Dakota.

For me, this is Arkansas and North Dakota AND ALSO *deep breath* South Carolina, Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana, Oklahoma, Missouri, Kansas, Kentucky, West Virginia, Maryland, Delaware, and New Jersey. And DC, the only vaguely interesting place we're going.

My family's rules for states (or countries) visited have always been: flyovers don't count, but any on-the-ground technicalities count! My mom putting one hand/foot in each of the states at the Four Corners counts. My dad's 15 minutes in the Detroit airport count. Layovers where you don't get off the plane count! My friend's and my 15 minutes in a car passing through the tiny southwest corner of Montana between Idaho and Wyoming on the way to Yellowstone counts.

So we will be doing a lot of border-tagging. If we pass the "Welcome To" sign, it counts!

Here are our current plans, assuming he gets the time off work.

I fly to meet him in Raleigh, North Carolina, where he will have been visiting family. We rent a car and head off into the sunset.

We pass through SC, AL, and MI on the way to Louisiana. We were going to visit New Orleans, but given that he's already been there and the main attraction for me was seafood, and given how tight on time we are, we're planning to bow to my shrimp allergy and give it a pass, which will buy us another day or so for the rest of the trip. So we'll just tag the LA border and head up to Little Rock, where he wants to visit the Clinton Presidential Library.

Then the scenic route through the Ozarks, and a lot of weaving across the borders to check off midwestern states for me. I was going to just do this for North Dakota, but he wants to visit Bonanzaville ("a pioneer village with 12 acres, 43 historic buildings, 400,000 artifacts, and millions of memories. Bonanzaville is operated by the Cass County Historical Society, with a mission to collect, display and interpret artifacts relevant to the history and cultural heritage of the Red River Valley.")

Then we detour to Wisconsin, because his family has a timeshare near a lake there, and he coauthored a volume on the local history of the lake and the surrounding community, which delayed his dissertation by at least three years, and he wants to show me the area. I imagine it will be scenic, am hoping for good hiking, and will try not to get eaten by bears.

Depending on how we're doing on time, maybe a quick visit to Laura Ingalls Wilder's birthplace, in WI not far from his lake. If we don't have time, though, I don't mind, as the only place she lived I really wanted to see was De Smet, and we did the tour there on the big cross-country road trip.

Then south, to catch Kentucky and WV on the way to DC. We'll actually spend a day or two in DC visiting museums, and then we'll check off my remaining eastern seaboard states on the way back to Boston, where he will catch a plane back to LA.

Stay tuned for any impromptu detours and sightseeing we come up with along the way! (Last time, it was the fortuitous* realization that Niagara Falls was totally on our route.)

* And I do mean "by chance"--we passed a sign for a Niagara Cave in Minnesota that made me decide to look up exactly where Niagara Falls was, on the suspicion that it was near our route, and it turned out we were passing through Buffalo, so we gave it a visit.
watersword: Keira Knightley applying lipstick and looking in a mirror, with the words "a work in progress" nearby (Keira Knightley: lipstick)
[personal profile] watersword
Today I called Sen. Schumer and Sen. Gillibrand and said the following:
Hi, my name is [[personal profile] watersword] and my zip code is [redacted]; I'm calling to ask you to add a tally mark to your count of constituents who have called and are very angry about the Republican anti-health care bill.


Both times I was answered fairly promptly, the staffer was clearly charmed by my "I know you are on my side, I'm trying to help," and I was informed that Schumer's office has gotten ~500 calls over the past ten days on the issue (I'm not sure if that's all the offices, including Washington, or just the NYC office I called), and the Gillibrand staffer I spoke was on his ~60th call on the subject for the day. This is a horrible slog but I am going to keep showing the fuck up.

Profile

cahn: (Default)
cahn

May 2017

S M T W T F S
 123456
78910111213
1415161718 1920
21222324252627
28293031   

Most Popular Tags

Style Credit

Expand Cut Tags

No cut tags
Page generated Jun. 27th, 2017 01:51 pm
Powered by Dreamwidth Studios