Mama said there'd be days like this

Jul. 21st, 2017 09:42 am
[personal profile] miladygrey
*sighs*

I took the long way around to work so I could stop to get gas and grab some lunch. I even left ten minutes early to factor this into my travel. Welp, first the usual gas station (Wawa, which has decent sandwich options) was under construction, so half the pumps were out of service and the other half were pay-inside only. Between people getting gas, people getting food, and people getting coffee, the line was out the door. So I went an extra few miles out of my way to the next closest Wawa. All their gas pumps were open, and I secured lunch, but the line to get out was insane, and I sat through two traffic light rotations. Then traffic backed up en route to work because OMG, a cop had pulled someone over, and I swear everyone including the bus drivers were slowing down to stare. And then the traffic lights in town were all against me, and it's already 85 degrees here with a forecast high of 95-feels-like-104, and I could hear Aveline using her I-courteously-hate-you voice with a client on the phone as I walked in 30 minutes late...

...5:00 and that bottle of white wine in the fridge cannot come soon enough.

Reading Log: Seven Stones to Stand or Fall by Diana Gabaldon; Supernova by C.A. Higgins; Midnight Jewel by Richelle Mead
[personal profile] sartorias
In the next pair of episodes, as Mei Changsu begins his campaign to take down the corrupt court, we start getting to know a couple of very interesting women, both challenging.

And MC is walks into another emotional gutting.
Read more... )
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SSHG Promptfest Reveal

Jul. 21st, 2017 02:43 pm
kerravonsen: Snape, Hermione: "Believe" (Snape-Hermione)
[personal profile] kerravonsen
So, the [livejournal.com profile] sshg_promptest has completed, and the reveals are up.
I made two items for the same prompt, because it was such a fabulous prompt:

Threads. As light as gossamer or spun into a thread; holding things together at the seams; yarn woven into a tapestry or the warmest blanket; twisted into string, a cord, a rope. Threads of memory or of hair. Loose threads. (prompt by [livejournal.com profile] eoforth)

First piece: Interlocking LivesSSHG Jewellery
On Etsy (more pictures, and yes, you can buy it!!!)

Second piece: Woven Threads
On Etsy (more pictures, and you can buy this one too!)

Book #47: Sovereign, by April Danvers

Jul. 20th, 2017 06:19 pm
grav_ity: (books)
[personal profile] grav_ity
This book comes out next Tuesday, and is the follow up to Danvers' book last year, called DREADNOUGHT, about a trans superhero in a future, but recognizable, world.

OMG, I LOVED IT. It was funny and engaging and heartbreaking and good. It contains possibly my favourite line in any superhero story ever. It manages to pick at the awkward spots in superhero stories without making you feel bad for liking them. I love all of the characters.

Highly, highly recommend this book (and the first one!). They are more hard proof that we don't have Superhero Fatigue, we have Straight White Dude Fatigue.

Book #46: Moxie, by Jen Mathieu

Jul. 19th, 2017 09:17 pm
grav_ity: (books)
[personal profile] grav_ity
(still sick. v. annoyed about it.)

ANYWAY, so Moxie is a book about a girl whose mother used to be a rebel of sorts, until her dad died, and she moved back to her hometown to raise her baby daughter. Now Vivian, 16, keeps her mother's keepsakes to help her through bad days...and there are quite a few bad days, because her high school is something of a disaster.

MOXIE, in this case, is the name of anonymous zine that Viv starts to draw attention to the sexist boys and teachers at the school. It's mostly low-key protesting until someone anonymously submits a poster that says the captain of the football team tried to rape her at a party, and the principal (the captain's dad) covered it up.

This book was really good. It's kind of like a manual, but not boring. It teaches girls how to be smart and brave. It levels up constantly. And, somehow, it's even aware of its own whiteness. All without being precious or preachy. It's just really, really good. I highly recommend it.

State of the writing

Jul. 19th, 2017 10:18 pm
helsinkibaby: (worfwrite)
[personal profile] helsinkibaby
So I decided to drop out of the Het Big Bang for this year. It's been a pretty shite year at work which sapped a lot of my mojo for anything longer than a comment fic piece and the 9k of words that I have will never be stretched to 25k by the end of August. Which sucks because I hate dropping out of things, I love the Het Big Bang challenge and I actually know exactly how I want the story to go - it's just that every time I sit down to write anything on it, my brain goes "Nope" and I end up staring at a blank screen.

On the other hand, I started a completely different fic yesterday, just writing out a snippet of something that came into my head and I now have *checks word counter* 7,127 words of angsty fluffy plot with a few other scenes in my head that will need to be written to make it work as an actual fic that makes sense and stuff. The irony that I could have just pulled a switcheroo and declared this for the Het Big Bang Mini Bang option is not lost on me, alas I had already filled out the poll by the time I realised that I'd written 5000 words in 12 hours. Plus it's a literal fandom of two, but hey it is making me happy and not much has done that this year so yeah.

DICE TALES is out in the world!

Jul. 19th, 2017 10:29 am
swan_tower: (Default)
[personal profile] swan_tower

I should have posted this yesterday, but appropriately enough, I was too busy prepping for the game I ran last night. 🙂

Dice Tales: Essays on Roleplaying Games and Storytelling is out now! If you play RPGs and have an interest in them from the narrative side of things — the ways we use them to tell stories, and what GMs and players can do to make them work better in that regard — you may find it of interest. Follow the link to buy it from Book View Cafe, Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Google Play, iTunes, Kobo, or (in a first for me) DriveThruRPG. And if any parts of it wind up working their way into the games you play or run, let me know!

Also, the New Worlds Patreon has headed off into the wilds of rudeness, with two posts on “Gestures of Contempt” and “Insults.” The theme will continue through the end of this month before turning in a new direction for August. Remember that patrons at the $5 level and above can request topics, so if there’s something you’d like to see me discuss, you can make that happen!

Originally published at Swan Tower. You can comment here or there.

WIP Wednesday - Week 29

Jul. 19th, 2017 10:25 am
kiwiria: (Default)
[personal profile] kiwiria
The designer who made all the cool fruit coasters put out another design for testing this past weekend. Of course I had to sign up so I could add to my collection, and fortunately she was happy to have me on again. 'Twas supposed to be another orange, but I had misplaced my orange yarn, so it ended up being either a very unripe orange or an apple instead.
Don't care - either way, I like it :-) It's currently blocking and looks a bit misshapen, but I think it'll add nicely to the collection.



I still need another 700 meters to reach my stashdash goal, so decided to finally cast on for the Exploration Station. The first 6 wedges were plain garter stitch and went really quickly, but now I've started on the brioche section... and that's going to take awhile. It's not nearly as difficult as I'd feared though... and I am childishly amused that the stitches are called "bark" and "burp" ;-D



I've also started yet another sock (Yes, this is the 5th sock currently on my needles. Yes, I could theoretically finish stashdash just by finishing off those socks. Schh! Stop making sense, you!), as Nina mentioned my nieblings might enjoy some handknit socks for the cold mornings. The colour is way off in this photo as it's actually a gradient from green to grey... but what can you do. I also have some ideas for fun decorations on the leg. We'll see how it works out. I'm knitting these with true afterthought heels, so I'll have to cut the yarn once that time comes. I need to measure it tonight, but I think I have another 10-15cm to go on the first leg.

Amphibians

Jul. 19th, 2017 06:52 am
shallowness: Molly and Roger both smiling (Wives and Daughters Molly/Roger)
[personal profile] shallowness
Poldark 3.5

Read more... )

Some day, I will post more often and it won't just be episode responses.
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NIF: Eps 5-6, Palace Dynamics

Jul. 18th, 2017 05:35 pm
sartorias: Mei Changs (MC)
[personal profile] sartorias
Episode 5

This and the next episode was the turning point for me: up until now I enjoyed the episodes, but didn’t feel much engaged. I know it’s different for different people, just as in anything else: one friend was hooked from the first episode at the sight of MC gliding in that flat boat as he played that compelling minor key melody on the flute. Another didn’t get hooked until a certain point in the story a few eps on, and then all of a sudden got hooked so hard that they had to mainline the entire thing until the end. And then promptly rewatch it all.

For me, it was the conviction that I got through this and the next episode, which I think of as a pair, that not only was Mei Changsu as brilliant as promised, but I was going to see proved, bit by bit. That intrigued me. And that intrigue began deepening slowly, until the emotional layers of friendship, loyalty, brotherhood, hidden and obvious—all the conflicting emotional currents—gripped me.
Read more... )
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[personal profile] mary_j_59
I posted this on live journal, actually, because I couldn't remember my login for Dreamwidth!

Here is the link: http://mary-j-59.livejournal.com/107389.html

I will try to pretty it up later--rushing to work now. Enjoy! Comments welcome either here or there.
[personal profile] swan_tower

I had the pleasure of meeting Michael F. Haspil at Denver Comic-Con recently, and he had me at the word “Egyptology.” The hero of his debut novel is a mummy and former pharaoh — how could I not be interested in that! But I’ll let Michael tell you about how it took a different character to bring his mummy’s story to, er, life for him.

***

cover art for GRAVEYARD SHIFT by Michael F. HaspilI wrote the original version of GRAVEYARD SHIFT during NaNoWriMo some time ago. However, I still remember when the story really jumped into gear and, regrettably, that wasn’t truly in the first draft, though at the time I thought it was.

As I began revisions and sorted through the aftermath of a NaNo first draft, certain aspects stood out as being decent. The main character, Alex Menkaure, an immortal pharaoh now working in a special supernatural police unit in modern-day Miami, and his partner, Marcus, a vampire born in ancient Rome, needed minor work. The climactic battle at the end against the villains needed a lot of polish. While the action was solid, I wrote the section in a blur and it showed. Also, there was something missing. While Alex and Marcus are formidable, the villains I’d set up for them to go against were more so, and they needed help.

The help came in the form of Rhuna Gallier, a young but vicious shapeshifter with her own agenda. I’d had an idea for her character while brainstorming another novel, but realized with some minor tweaks, Rhuna and “The Pack” could fit into GRAVEYARD SHIFT’s story and world.

When I wrote the next draft, as I seeded Rhuna’s presence throughout the book, she threatened to take over the entire thing and make it hers. This may sound weird to non-writers, but she didn’t seem to understand this was Alex’s story and she was a supporting character. So I promised her besides the climax she would get a cool action scene. I knew in the scene Rhuna needed to be mostly on her own with minimal support so I could showcase her lethality.

In GRAVEYARD SHIFT’s world, a practice goes by the underground name of S&B. It stands for Sangers, a derogatory name for vampires, and Bleeders, humans who willingly let vampires feed on them to experience the pleasurable sensations that come with it. Participants meet in bloodclubs, which are akin to prohibition-era speakeasies. Many unsavory activities such as human trafficking, blood and drug dealing, and murder, happen near the clubs and they are part of Miami’s criminal underbelly.

In the early draft, I had a criminal vampire who liked to prey on young girls, take one of his victims to the club. It was an unhappy chapter and ended with the vampire killing another victim. In the new draft, Rhuna showed up. That’s when the story jumped to life. Rhuna took the place of the victim and suddenly where I had a naĂŻve girl falling prey to an old vampire’s wiles, now I had Rhuna going in as a Trojan horse and the vampire and his companions never knew what hit them.

I rewrote the sequence, several chapters long, in one sitting. Now, I can’t wait to write Rhuna’s novel. It’s going to be great fun.

***

From the cover copy:

Alex Menkaure, former pharaoh and mummy, and his vampire partner, Marcus, born in ancient Rome, are vice cops in a special Miami police unit. They fight to keep the streets safe from criminal vampires, shape-shifters, bootleg blood-dealers, and anti-vampire vigilantes.

When poisoned artificial blood drives vampires to murder, the city threatens to tear itself apart. Only an unlikely alliance with former opponents can give Alex and Marcus a fighting chance against an ancient vampire conspiracy.

If they succeed, they’ll be pariahs, hunted by everyone. If they fail, the result will be a race-war bloodier than any the world has ever seen.

Michael F. Haspil is a geeky engineer and nerdy artist. The art of storytelling called to him from a young age and he has plied his craft over many years and through diverse media. He has written original stories for as long as he can remember and has dabbled in many genres. However, Science Fiction, Fantasy, and Horror have whispered directly to his soul. An avid gamer, he serves as a panelist on the popular “The Long War” webcasts and podcasts, which specializes in Warhammer 40,000 strategy, tactics, and stories. Graveyard Shift is his first novel. Find him online at michaelhaspil.com or @michaelhaspil.

Originally published at Swan Tower. You can comment here or there.

NIF: ep 4, rumbles of thunder

Jul. 17th, 2017 06:31 pm
sartorias: Mei Changs (MC)
[personal profile] sartorias
On my first viewing, I found Nirvana in Fire pleasant to look at—beautiful people, excellent costumes and sets, gorgeous martial arts, what’s not to like? It wasn’t until the next couple of eps that I began to get hooked, but on subsequent viewings, when I know the layers below every glance, every line, it’s too compelling to stop, and I keep turning away from what I should be doing to watch just a little more. [The constant heat and stickiness don't help.]

The complexity is there, and so brilliant, and this ep finishes setting up one sequence so that we will in the next actually see MC’s brilliance, step by step, unfold before our eyes. We’ve been told—and now we’ll be shown. It was then that I got hooked.

But first, episode four, which sets up not just that aspect, but a whole lot of important emotional beats: we’re beginning to get clues to what happened twelve years ago, that no one dares talk about.

Read more... )
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[personal profile] lizbee
I've been sick as a dog for almost a week -- I haven't had a voice since Saturday morning -- so I was "lucky" enough to have coughed myself awake just in time to catch the announcement live via Twitter.

I've really been hoping for a woman of colour as the next Doctor, and I didn't recognise Jodie Whittaker by name, so I felt a weird stab of disappointment and even betrayal when I saw her white hand, coupled with simultaneous excitement that it was clearly a woman's hand.

I still think that a white woman was the easy option, casting-wise, but I've seen Whittaker in a few things -- including the first four episodes of Broadchurch, which I inhaled last night and enjoyed so much I completely forgot about Game of Thrones -- and she's very, very good.

And I also wonder if it would be unfair to an actress of colour, to throw her to the same wolves that drove Leslie Jones off Twitter, while also expecting her to lead a show with (so far) all-white writers. Which is not to excuse the implications of casting a white woman, I just think it might be complicated. Most things are. Whitakker's already been hit with a barrage of misogyny, and I hope the BBC is filtering her mail.

Anyway, I've curated my social media so well that I haven't seen a single friend or acquaintance saying they're opposed to a female Doctor as such.

On the other hand, I've seen a lot of performative finger-wagging, reminding us that this is only a victory for white women (got it, thanks) and that we can't rely on pop culture to save the world (no, really? Good heavens, I had no idea, thank goodness I had you, random Twitter person, to tell us off for being invested in a hobby!).

I guess I'm weary of performative wokeness, and, while everyone's entitled to an opinion, I find a lot of opinions on Doctor Who from people who aren't or haven't been in the fandom ... lack context? Which is sometimes valuable, and sometimes it's just the hot take equivalent of "DID YOU KNOW THAT 'TORCHWOOD' IS AN ANAGRAM OF 'DOCTOR WHO'?"

ANYWAY. Whitakker. I'm looking forward to her run, I'm still holding out hope for Alexander Siddig or Sophie Okonedo as Fourteen (it's never too soon!), people are already complaining that Whitakker is too young and too old, so, like women everywhere, we already know she just can't win.
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[personal profile] miladygrey
So, the story of my mornings now in the new house. It is worth noting that the house has three levels--the finished basement, the living room/kitchen, and the two bedrooms upstairs.

I: get up

Yeats: stays in bed, because it's summer.

Westley and Hector: prowl impatiently around the bedroom while I shower and dress, because someone should be feeding them.

I: go downstairs.

Westley and Hector: race me down the stairs, almost tripping me.

I: go downstairs again, to the basement.

Westley and Hector: start yowling dramatically at their empty food bowls, which are at the foot of the basement steps.

I: getting the food out of the laundry room. "Yes, guys, I know."

Westley and Hector: om nom nom.

I: go back up to the kitchen, have my coffee and my twenty or so minutes of calm time before the day kicks into gear.

Westley: at some point meanders back upstairs and goes to take his post-breakfast nap on the sofa.

A small plaintive voice from somewhere in the basement: "Mew? Mew? Meeeeeeeeeh?"

I: go back down the stairs to the basement.

Hector: is sitting forlornly in the dark.

I: "You ninnyhammer, did you forget that you can go back up the steps?"

Hector: "MOM! Everyone left, but you came for me!"

I: go back up the stairs, almost tripping over a super-enthusiastic Hector who wants to headbutt my calves to show his love as I lead him back up into daylight.

He's only alive because he's so darned cute, I swear.

Reading Log: Bitch Planet: President Bitch by Kelly Sue DeConnick; The Strange Case of the Alchemist's Daughter by Theodora Goss; The Thing About Love by Julie James; A Break with Charity by Ann Rinaldi; A Second Chance by Jodi Taylor; A Lesson in Secrets by Jacqueline Winspear
[personal profile] sartorias
This extraordinarily popular series is based on a novel written by a woman, and was first published online. She published it serially, and it became enormously popular, so much so that a film company contacted her and she wrote the screenplay for the series. She has also published at least two revised editions online that I know of — none of this being translated into English; I’ve found out this much by trolling through sites where people who and speak English have talked about it.

So, on to episode three.
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NIF: Episode Two, we meet Prince Jing

Jul. 16th, 2017 11:43 am
sartorias: Mei Changs (MC)
[personal profile] sartorias
Every man in the capital city wants to marry a princess.
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Computers *are* run by gremlins.

Jul. 16th, 2017 10:53 am
lizvogel: A jar of almonds that warns that it contains almonds. (Stupid Planet)
[personal profile] lizvogel
Yesterday, my laptop's keyboard spontaneously decided it wasn't going to work. At all. Rebooting didn't help, even unplugging and pulling the battery didn't help.

Today, it's spontaneously decided to work just fine again.

Technology, pah!
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rj_anderson

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