Session #67: Peaceful Serenity

Oct. 22nd, 2017 02:54 pm
schneefink: Parker grinning, from First David Job (Parker smiling before jumping off a buil)
[personal profile] schneefink
I love playing D&D.

After our unexpected fight and victory against our enemy's head spy, we were looking for the gem with the soul of my undead minion.

The next sessions were so much fun that I wrote fic about it :D
Surviving Caterpillars
Featuring, among other things, my undead cat familiar fighting a dragon. I don't know how much sense it'll make for anyone not familiar with our campaign, but I enjoyed writing it a lot.

After that came the attack on the city occupied by enemy forces. Details )
scaramouche: Zhao Wei holding a gun, from So Close (zhao wei will fuck your shit up)
[personal profile] scaramouche
In anticipation for Branagh's Murder on the Orient Express coming out in a month, I watched the 1974 adaptation for the first time and read the book.

I am now a bit too prepared, because HOW CAN I WAIT A WHOLE MONTH.



The second trailer worries me a little, but I think it's still possible to roll with it.

Orthodoxy in Oxford

Oct. 22nd, 2017 08:55 am
naraht: Orthodox church in Romania (art-RomaniaPantocrator)
[personal profile] naraht
One of the things that I loved most about Russia was being able to pass any random church – usually a beautiful Baroque church – and know that it was an Orthodox church. And the fact that there was usually a service going on, which meant that I could go in, light a few candles and stand for a few minutes to enjoy the architecture and the singing before going on with my sightseeing. (There's no expectation that you'll arrive on time, or indeed stay till the end, as long as you know the points of the service during which you're not meant to leave.)

Back in Oxford, I'm really missing it. I would go to church much more if it could be this simple - if I could just pop in between the farmer's market and the cafe as part of my weekend routine. In the week and a half I was in Russia, I went to more church services than I've been to in years. (Not to mention wore a headscarf more than I ever have... it was a good chance to use all the scarves I have lying around.)

Really I shouldn't complain. I know there are places, like in the American South, where you have to drive for hours to get to an Orthodox church. I grew up in a town with one, and I've just discovered that we have four here in Oxford, not two as I'd originally thought.

• the Greek Orthodox/Russian Orthodox one, the oldest Orthodox church in Oxford and the home of Kallistos Ware, which is unfortunately a long walk from my house
• the other Russian Orthodox church (Patriarchate of Moscow), which is also a bit of a hike
• a Romanian Orthodox church
• an Indian Orthodox church (Malenkara Orthodox Syrian)

Whether or not I manage to get off my couch within the next half an hour to go to church this morning, I must definitely plan to visit the latter two sometime - particularly the last, as I've never been to an Oriental Orthodox church before. We shall see...

ETA: I ended up going to the other Russian church, which I hadn't visited before in its new home, and turns out to be only 20 minutes walk. Not too bad.
umadoshi: (tomatoes 01)
[personal profile] umadoshi
Today's main accomplishment: getting a decent amount of manga work done despite being drained enough to wind up taking two accidental naps this afternoon. >.< I got close enough to a draft on the chunk of script due Monday that I expect that deadline'll be fine even if doing some garden work (planting bulbs and bagging up the tomato plants for compost pickup, mainly) takes up more of our time than expected tomorrow.

There are theories at the office about how much longer this stint of Casual Job will go, but what have we learned about attempting to make predictions? We'll see how it plays out.

[dreamwidth.org profile] scruloose and I have now made it as far as episode 3 of Star Trek: Disco, and we're also up to date on The Good Place. Given my work schedule(s), I'm counting it as a partial win. I really want to start in on The Gifted, though.

I haven't watched any of the anime for The Ancient Magus' Bride (either the OAV or the recently-started TV series), but in the last several days I've seen it mentioned quite a few times here and on Twitter, and that delights me. The manga series is fantastic--definitely one of my current favorites of the things I'm working on. (The other being Yona of the Dawn.) In theory I really want to watch the TV series, but realistically, I said that about the My Love Story!! anime too, and like so much other media I ~really want~ to consume, it keeps not happening.

For the longest time it felt like there weren't anime versions of any manga titles I've worked on, but it's never quite been true. I mean, Sgt. Frog had a (pretty long-running!) series and movies and all, although I gather the plots rarely adhered closely to the manga (and with that series, there's no need for them to, really); also, DN Angel got animated in some capacity (TV series?), but as I only actually worked on the final two volumes that Tokyopop released (vol. 12 and 13, I think?), it never sank in and felt like "my" series. And X has been animated twice, but I actively loathe the movie and am deeply grumpy about the TV series...

...and then there're the newer things that I keep wanting to see, but not finding time for: Arpeggio of Blue Steel, My Love Story!!, Yona of the Dawn, and now Magus are all out there. (Okay, no--I did see an episode or two of My Love Story!!, and that was wonderful.) (I feel like I might even be missing one. And now I suddenly really want someone to animate Lucifer and the Biscuit Hammer.)

Will I ever make it as far as checking those shows out for real? No idea. (I even have an ongoing Crunchyroll subscription, but I don't exactly make use of it. [Terrifying media-to-consume list, etc. etc etc.])

Last night was my fourth aerial silks class, so we're halfway through. It wasn't *bad*, but I also don't feel like I managed to do a whole lot )

[dreamwidth.org profile] scruloose and I are so utterly out of the gardening habit at this point. We don't have anything planted specifically for autumn, and we gave the tomato plants up for lost a couple weeks ago when I kept hearing that there was an overnight frost warning and last-ditch tomato harvesting should happen. So we did that, but since then I've been seeing local photos and stuff from gardeners carrying right along with harvesting their tomatoes etc. Next autumn we won't be so quick to say, "Oh, I guess we're done now."

A lot of the tomatoes we brought in at the abandoning-them point were still very green, but those all seem to have ripened up nicely. There's just one left now; [dreamwidth.org profile] scruloose has been working his way through them. The plants did produce some more fruit, but [dreamwidth.org profile] scruloose's experiment in eating one of those post-final-harvest tomatoes wasn't tasty, for whatever reason.

As a result of wandering off from dealing with the tomato plants, I should admit we've also completely slacked on dealing with the flowers. >.< Which isn't so bad for the potted annuals, because they have an expiry date, but we really need to double check what to do about the perennial bed and the potted raspberry shrub.

And whatever else happens, those bulbs need to get planted. *determined*

My FemslashEx story

Oct. 21st, 2017 05:18 pm
rachelmanija: (Buffy: I kind of love you)
[personal profile] rachelmanija
I had tons of fun with FemslashEx, and highly recommend browsing the archive.

My recipient was [personal profile] iknowcommawrite aka Scioscribe, who wrote me two lovely Treats last Yuletide! FemslashEx allows prompts for original fiction, and this is the prompt I wrote for:

Female Revolutionary/Princess

Class issues, identity porn, loyalty kink, and compromised principles: hell yeah. I think ideally I would like this one in a fantasy world, but I’m open to other possibilities. I’d love to see about any variation on this I could think of. Is the revolutionary undercover in the palace, getting ready to overthrow the monarchy while falling for the princess? Is the princess on the run from the revolution, disguising herself, and falling in amongst the rebels? Do either of them begin to rethink their principles or their policies? Is the revolutionary agitating in the open, and the princess is intrigued by her radical ideas? Other things I’m totally here for: wearing a crown while being thoroughly debauched by a revolutionary, hurt/comfort, kneeling, undressing from gowns and corsets, and virgin princess/experienced revolutionary.

Isn't that great? I found it very inspiring.

I wrote Burn, an epistolatory exercise in Ultimate Identity Porn. The revolutionary hides her face to conceal her identity. The princess silences her voice to preserve her purity. They know each other. And they don't...

write stuff

Oct. 21st, 2017 05:25 pm
isis: Write what you're told! (micah wright)
[personal profile] isis
Author reveals have just happened for [community profile] femslashex and were yesterday for [community profile] crossovering, so I can cop to the fics I wrote. The discerning reader will notice similarities. :-)

Footsteps in the Sea (5926 words) by Isis
Fandom: Black Sails
Rating: Teen And Up Audiences
Warnings: Creator Chose Not To Use Archive Warnings
Relationships: Captain Flint/Thomas Hamilton
Characters: Captain Flint (Black Sails), Thomas Hamilton
Additional Tags: Alternate Universe - Rivers of London Fusion, Supernatural Elements, Post-Canon, Genius Loci, Crossovering Exchange
Summary: James and Thomas escape from the plantation, find passage to the islands, are caught in a storm at sea, and make a bargain with Neptune.

When I saw [archiveofourown.org profile] linndechir's crossovering prompt for Ocean God Flint, I knew I wanted to write that. I didn't actually game the system, but there were only two people I could write for, and so I was delighted to get this assignment. My favorite part of the Rivers of London series is the existence of the Rivers themselves, the idea of genius loci who rule over their small parts of the natural world. Plus I had always wanted to tackle James and Thomas's immediate post-canon story.

The beach on which Thomas and James find themselves after escaping the plantation, by the way, is where the Bull River empties into Wassaw Sound. The beach where Thomas awakens after the shipwreck is in the Berry Islands of the Bahamas.

The Pirate and the Mermaid (8628 words) by Isis
Fandom: Original Work
Rating: Teen And Up Audiences
Warnings: No Archive Warnings Apply
Relationships: Pirate/Mermaid
Characters: Original Female Character(s)
Additional Tags: Mermaids, Pirates, Supernatural Elements, Cultural Differences, Shipwrecks
Summary: "Of course," said Charlie pettishly. As if she was just a stupid kid, asking stupid questions. "How was I supposed to know? You're the first mermaid I've ever met."

"Well, you're the first woman-with-legs I've ever met!" snapped the mermaid.

Oh, man, this was the most fun thing to write ever. I kind of ignored [archiveofourown.org profile] elstaplador's specific prompts and just keyed off the idea of a (female) pirate and a mermaid, and although I had the (general) ending in mind from the beginning, the story went there in its own way. As I said to [personal profile] sovay it ended up being sort of YA femslash, more of a story about two young women from different cultures hanging out and discovering commonalities than anything sexy or overtly supernatural. It's mostly mermaid worldbuilding, really, and I had a kick doing that. (I actually had a whole sexytimes idea in my head - more worldbuilding, from the physical POV - but that ended up not fitting into the story!)

In other writing news, I've been cheerfully writing lots of little stories and ficlets for [community profile] trickortreatex, but it's about time to turn my keyboard to [community profile] yuletide.

(no subject)

Oct. 21st, 2017 08:55 am
skygiants: Jadzia Dax lounging expansively by a big space window (daxanova)
[personal profile] skygiants
After reading Ann Leckie's new book Provenance I went on Twitter and asked what you call a screwball plot if it isn't necessarily a comedy.

Like, Provenance, while frequently funny, is not a non-serious book -- it concerns itself with classism, wildly unhealthy family relationships, interstellar warmongering, fetishization of cultural artifacts, and inhumane conditions of incarceration, not to mention murder -- but the structure of the plot is very classic screwball. Misunderstandings! Mistaken identities! Brilliant[ly ill-advised] schemes colliding with each other and blowing up in everybody's face! The faint air of Yakety Sax playing frequently in the background!

Honestly it feels a lot like Ann Leckie channeling Lois McMaster Bujold, with less intense character dynamics but also fewer moments of side-eye.

Our Heroine Ingray Aughskold is the foster daughter of an elected official who has been locked in competition with her foster-brother since they were both small for the eventual goal of inheriting their mother's position. Ingray comes from a public orphanage, while her asshole abrother is the son of a wealthy family, which gives him an edge that Ingray has never quite been able to best.

CUE: Brilliant[ly ill-advised] scheme! Ingray decides to attempt to break a fellow political foster-kid, Pahlad Budrakim, out of Compassionate Removal (i.e. terrible jail) in order to learn the location of the highly important cultural artifacts which Pahlad has hypothetically stolen.

Complication: Pahlad is possibly not Pahlad, and is certainly not inclined to be cooperative.
Complication 2: The space captain who Ingray hired to get them back home is wanted for theft by an alien ambassador, who Does Not Understand Humans, and whom everyone is panicked about offending due to some Very Important Alien Treaties.
Complication 3: Meanwhile, what Ingray's mother would actually like her to be doing with her time is shepherding around some other ambassadors, human ones from a different planet, who want to do politically-motivated excavations in a local nature preserve
Complication 4: Also, someone is about to get murdered!
Complication 5: And the cop in the case has a crush on Ingray!
Complication 6: And MANY OF THE HIGHLY IMPORTANT CULTURAL ARTIFACTS HAVE DISPUTED PROVENANCE AND IT'S VERY DISTRESSING (for everyone but me, because the minute I heard that title I was like 'this had better be about cultural heritage' and LO AND BEHOLD)

((...though I did want to see a little more documented archival paperwork and process surrounding the question of the authenticity of the artifacts, but I mean, ignore me, it's good, it's fine.))

My favorite character was definitely possibly-Pahlad, with their bitter cynicism and constant challenges to everyone else to do better; wanting More Pahlad all the time was probably my biggest complaint about the book.

My other favorite character was the almost entirely useless Radch ambassador, who just did not want to be there that day. Everything about the treatment of the Radch in this book delights me. "So weird to hear this totally clueless woman speaking with the accent we're used to hearing from villains on the TV!" You definitely don't need to have read the Imperial Radch books to enjoy Provenance, but I suspect it does probably make the few Radch cameos five times funnier.

Lipstick Red

Oct. 21st, 2017 04:15 am
espresso_addict: Winged dragon in slate blue & red brown hues (dragon)
[personal profile] espresso_addict
I reread The Silver Chair last night, for the first time since I was a child (I'd love to know where my copy got to), and my inchoate anger at Lewis seems to have coalesced into this triple drabble on the problem of Susan...

Lipstick Red )

[Also at AO3]

[MA, gastronomy] Moar Ghoti?

Oct. 20th, 2017 08:51 pm
siderea: (Default)
[personal profile] siderea
Locals,

I have a friend coming from out-of-town – from one of those more landlocked places – who would like to go out for seafood. I'm abashed to admit, my answer to the question of where I go for seafood around here is "New Hampshire", which is not compatable with our plans. I am nursing a grudge against Legal, and just about all the places I used to go are out of business.

They're a foodie, will be staying in Somerville, and will be getting around on the T.

Where should we go?

[local] Music to Cure MS

Oct. 20th, 2017 08:23 pm
zdenka: Miriam with a tambourine, text "I will sing." (Default)
[personal profile] zdenka
Oh right, I should post an actual concert announcement, shouldn't I? (Note: I am not performing in this concert, merely helping out with various things as a volunteer.)

The Fifteenth Annual Concert to Cure MS will take place:

Sunday, October 22, 2017, 3-5 pm
Park Avenue Congregational Church
50 Paul Revere Rd, Arlington, MA

More information may be found at the concert website here.

It's always a great program, performed by some very talented people. As usual, there's a mix of opera, musical theater, Gilbert & Sullivan, instrumental music, and more. You can see the full program here.

This year's concert is free, though donations are encouraged. All proceeds go to the Accelerated Cure Project for Multiple Sclerosis.

Also, delicious refreshments will be sold at intermission! Including honey cake and lemon butter cookies shaped like bats, if all goes well.

The Adventure Zone

Oct. 21st, 2017 02:04 am
schneefink: (FF Kaylee excited)
[personal profile] schneefink
I just finished listening to "The Adventure Zone" (and by that I mean I literally finished it ten minutes ago, I was typing this up during the last two episodes) and it was amazing and I need to ramble about it. I started it and it didn't really draw me in, I only kept listening because I saw so many people recommending it. Eventually it got better, then around The Eleventh Hour I started to actually enjoy it (finally some character stuff), The Suffering Game wasn't my favorite but that arc's end and the following Lunar Interlude is where the overarching arc got really interesting, and then The Lost Century was really great, and Story and Song was fantastic. It took a long time, but in the end it was worth it. So many feelings. Especially about Taako and [spoiler] *flails*

Spoilers )

I bet it would be fascinating to listen to the whole story again, see how it all looks different now that I know the background, especially because I listened to most of it at work and definitely missed some details. (Not sure I will, at least not right away, because there's a lot of other stuff I want to listen too (live session and Q&As from TAZ alone), but I'll see.)
writerlibrarian: Oriental calligraphy in red (Default)
[personal profile] writerlibrarian
We are experiencing a really nice Indian Summer. It will last until Sunday. Then Fall arrives for real with rain and rain and rain.

The reno are almost done. The counter top (quartz) has been measured and will be installed on Monday afternoon along with the sink. Then the plumbing and back splash will be done when my guys are free. That might be a few weeks.

Hockey is in full swing. Surprise teams are the New Jersey's Devils with their three rookies. Nico Hischier, who scored his first goal last night and added another one. Ottawa's Senators are also doing good despite Captain Erik Karlsson's absence. He is back now but not fully ready. Baby steps on his rebuilt ankle. Toronto's Leafs are performing as expected. Against the Wings, Auston Matthews was fantastic. Again. They even shot out the Caps in Washington.

Nikita Kucherov in Tampa is a scoring machine.

I'm outlining what I want to write for Nanowrimo. I might not write much but I setting up a goal of 5000 words.

Outbox

Sherry Thomas' A Study in Scarlet Women. The first in her Lady Sherlock's series. Fabulous remixing of Sherlock Holmes. Totally. Charlotte is point on. So is Livia. Mrs Watson, so good. I liked how Thomas turned things around and a non fan of Holmes will like it too but for the fan there are Easter eggs hidden all through the book. Charlotte "Sherlock" Holmes is fun and logical. Genius but with some empathy, especially for her family. The twists and turns of the introductions of the "known or expected" characters are wonderful. Mrs Hudson, John Watson, Moriarty are there in one form or another.

Inbox

Cinder. Marissa Meyer. Android fairy tale. Looks interesting.

Currently reading

Level up. Cathy Yardley So far it's keeping me interested. Geek girl working in game developing looking to move up as an engineer.

Ces livres qui nous font du bien.
This week's hockey highlights

Biking

Oct. 20th, 2017 10:11 am
seekingferret: Word balloon says "So I said to the guy: you never read the book yet you go online and talk about it as if--" (Default)
[personal profile] seekingferret
The 25 mile ride I did in Helsinki at Worldcon left me wanting to do more longer rides on my bike. I somehow rode ~25 miles in Helsinki in spite of the fact that I don't think I've ever ridden more than 10 miles in a trip here in the US- in retrospect the bravado of saying "Sure, I can do this, let me sign up" amazes me. Helsinki is flatter than Highland Park, though, especially along the coastline, and the bike I rented there had road tires that I think probably also helped reduce rolling resistance compared to the more treaded tires on the crummy mountain bike I've been riding since I was a teenager. 25 miles still feels out of reach at home, but I want to work toward it not feeling so crazy, since I know that in some parallel European universe it's possible.

About a month ago, I set off on a 14 mile ride. They converted an old industrial railroad track into a biking path in Metuchen. It's about 4 miles to the trail, the trail is 3 miles long, and so all told the round trip is 14 miles. I rode 3.5 miles and then wiped out catastrophically on a curb cut, damaging my bike and bruising my arm pretty badly. There's this tricky part of the trip out where there's no choice but to ride alongside Rt. 27 and there's no sidewalk, and I was overly anxious having cleared that passage to get back on the sidewalk as soon as it was there, and there was also a puddle to avoid, and the result was I hit the curb slightly wrong and went flying. So that was a bust.

But I got right back on the horse. Er, bicycle. As soon as my bike was fixed up, I went out on the same route. We had beautiful weather and I made it through the tricky part without trouble (beyond a racing heartbeat) and the actual bike trail was lovely, with an overgrown tree canopy isolating it from the rest of town. I had to cut the ride short because I was going to dinner in my sister's Sukkah that night, so I only did 10 miles total. But I easily could have done the 14, I had it in me. I'm waiting for the next free Sunday to do the whole trip.

I've also been pushing the limits on my shorter after-work rides, lately, though it's getting dark earlier and earlier, making it harder for me to get in those rides before the point in the sunset where I'm too nervous of getting hit by a car to ride.

My next goal is to do a ride on the D&R Canal trail... I've done, a few times, the ride to the entrance to the trail- it's roundtrip 8 miles from home. And then the actual trail segment is 29 miles, so I can sort of pace myself and work my way up to the whole trail. Of course, now it's late October, I'm going to be running out of good weather weekends soon. I keep saying I'm going to get a gym membership to try to do indoor stationary biking in the winter, but then I remember that I find stationary biking stultifying. So we'll see.

Gratitudes

Oct. 20th, 2017 09:58 am
kass: a latte in a teacup with a heart shape drawn in the foam (latte)
[personal profile] kass
1. Beautiful sunny morning. Beautiful hills. Beautiful skies.

2. A latte. Because latte.

3. Goofy kid-and-kitten shenanigans this morning before school.

4. Shabbat is coming and I get to have Shabbat dinner with some people I love!

5. The Good Place is on On Demand, so last night I watched the two-part S2 premiere and it made me happy.

How are y'all?

Dreadnought by April Daniels

Oct. 19th, 2017 09:29 pm
lightreads: a partial image of a etymology tree for the Indo-European word 'leuk done in white neon on black'; in the lower left is (Default)
[personal profile] lightreads
Dreadnought

4/5. Danny is fifteen and trans and very, very closeted. She happens to be present for the death of a superhero, and when his mantle passes to her, it transitions her.

A lot of this is great. Though in the case of Danny’s deteriorating relationship with her parents, “great” also means scary and infuriating. See also: the greatest transphobic threat to Danny’s safety and happiness in this book is arguably from someone who is supposed to be on her side and who claims the banner of feminism, which is painfully spot on.

I kind of wish this wasn’t a superhero book though? Which is not relevant, I realize, since this book is really just what you’d get if you reimagined a Marvel superhero’s origin story to include transness and queerness then wrote it in prose. That’s not a bad thing! But I am 0% interested in the extended – seriously, lengthy – descriptions of all the punching and kicking nonsense. And only minimally interested in superhero tech. And only a touch more interested in the ethics of superpowers conversation. Been there, done that.

So I guess what I’m saying is that this is a great book from a purely representational perspective – yay straight-faced superhero origin story about a transgirl – but I am not interested in straight-faced superhero origin stories these days.

Eating, Reading, Making

Oct. 19th, 2017 02:29 pm
forestofglory: E. H. Shepard drawing of Christopher Robin reading a book to Pooh (Default)
[personal profile] forestofglory
Eating:I made Thai inspired yellow curry the other night with tofu, cauliflower and sweet potatoes. It wasn't bad. The people in my household I was feeding liked it.

Reading: I started So You Want to be a Robot and Other Stories by A. Merc Rustad because many people whose taste I trust liked it. Currently only two stories in but I like it so far.

Making: I'm sewing a dress for me! I don't sew a lot for myself or for adults so this exciting.

fantasy casting

Oct. 19th, 2017 09:28 pm
philomytha: girl in woods with a shaft of sunlight falling on her (Default)
[personal profile] philomytha
I've only watched two episodes of the show so far, but the guy playing Richard Garland in The Halcyon is very close to my mental model of Illyan. He's got the self-effacing slightly puppyish face, he's got the whole spymaster cunning and fighting dirty thing going too, he's a loyal but independent-minded subordinate and generally he's not far off my mental image of him, both in the actor and the character. Tempting to reshape Lady Hamilton as Alys now and see if I can ship them, but Alys even right after Padma died wasn't quite as crazy as Lady Hamilton, though Lady Hamilton does have good reason.

Anyway, it's a good show so far. It's about the fortunes of a grand hotel in London just before the Blitz begins, a bit Upstairs Downstairs/Downton Abbey kind of vibe, but in the 40s. And googling it now to find out the name of the actor (Steven Mackintosh) I discover that it's been cancelled after one season, because this always happens with new series I like the look of. Oh well.

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