(no subject)

6 Mar 2015 09:05 am
the_rck: figure perched in a tree with barren branches (Default)
[personal profile] the_rck
Yesterday I did my usual three hours in the school library. I shelved a lot of books. Both book carts were full when I arrived, and three classes worth of books came in while I was there. The librarian also had me entering data-- March is reading month, and the school is doing a reading a challenge to see how many minutes of reading the kids can do during the course of the month. The goal is, I think, 300,000 minutes for the whole school for the month of March. If the kids make it, they get some sort of minor prize. I think it's getting to see the design for the new school mascot. Yesterday, between a third and half of the kids turned in their reading logs, adding up to about 21,000 minutes which isn't quite half of what was needed to be on target for the month's goal. Hopefully, some other kids will turn in their forms today.

Cordelia had not wanted to be bothered with the reading log. She said she didn't want to time how long she spent reading. Then, her ELA teacher and the librarian offered her class an incentive-- Normally, each month, the sixth graders have to make 'think marks' about the books they read. I'm not entirely clear on what think marks are, but Cordelia doesn't enjoy doing them. If a kid turns in all four reading logs for the month of March, they will not be required to do any think marks this month. Cordelia considers this a good deal.

In writing, I beat my head against the transition I need for a while before I figured out a route toward it. I still haven't managed it, but I'm closer. With a little luck, I'll get it today.

There are two things I want to bake today-- banana bread and brownies. I'm just not sure I want to wash the mixing bowl in order to do both. I will probably make banana bread since the bananas are at the perfect stage of overripe. The brownies would be so that Cordelia can have something sweet after dinner, and I think she can survive a night without.

Scott thought he had Monday off for a doctor's appointment, but it turns out that the appointment and day off are on Tuesday. I will enjoy having him around, but it will mean two days next week when I do little to no writing. Monday, there's no school so that teachers can fill out report cards. It'll just be me and Cordelia. The other kids we'd normally have over are going to be home with their mother because she's working a night shift that day. Hopefully, Cordelia won't be too disappointed.

Provisional Hugo nominations

6 Mar 2015 09:21 pm
starlady: (through the trapdoor)
[personal profile] starlady
Links are sporadic in the below list: I am tired. Ballots are due at 23:59 on 10 March (Pacific time). To vote in the actual awards, join Sasquan as a supporting member (bonus: you can vote for site selection for the 2017 Worldcon, i.e. the one that should be in Helsinki!)

Best Novel
  • Ancillary Sword by Ann Leckie
  • The Goblin Emperor by Katherine Addison
  • Cuckoo Song by Frances Hardinge
  • Lagoon by Nnedi Okorafor
  • The Southern Reach Trilogy by Jeff VanderMeer

Best Dramatic Presentation (Long Form)
  • Snowpiercer
  • Interstellar
  • Maleficent
  • Edge of Tomorrow
  • The Hunger Games: Mockingjay, Part 1

Best Dramatic Presentation (Short Form)
  • Orphan Black, "By Which Means Have Never Yet Been Tried"
  • Orphan Black, "Governed As It Were By Chance"
  • Welcome to Night Vale, "Old Oak Doors (Parts A and B)"
  • The Legend of Korra, "Day of the Colossus"
  • The Legend of Korra, "The Last Stand"

Graphic Story
  • Gene Luen Yang & Sonny Lieu, The Shadow Hero
  • G. Willow Wilson & Adrian Alphona, Ms. Marvel, Vol 1: No Normal
  • Brian K. Vaughn & Fiona Staples, Saga Volume Three
  • Kurtis J. Wiebe & Roc Upchurch, Rat Queens, Vol 1: Sass & Sorcery
  • Kelly Sue DeConnick & David Lopez, Captain Marvel: Higher, Faster, Further, More

Best Semiprozine
  • Strange Horizons
  • Giganotosaurus
  • Beneath Ceaseless Skies

Best Fanzine
Best Editor (long form)
  • Sheila Gilbert

Campbell Award
  • Alyssa Wong
  • Isabel Yap

Best Related Work
  • Tropes vs Women’s "Women as Background Decoration" by Anita Sarkeesian

Best Fan Writer
  • Liz Bourke
  • Abigail Nussbaum
  • Foz Meadows
  • Natalie Luhrs

Best Novelette
  • Xia Jia, “Spring Festival: Happiness, Anger, Sorrow, Love, Joy”
  • Yoon Ha Lee, “The Bonedrake’s Penance”:
  • "I Can See Right Through You" by Kelly Link
  • "A Guide to the Fruits of Hawai'i" by Alaya Dawn Johnson

Best Short Story
  • "The Breath of War" by Aliette de Bodard (Beneath Ceaseless Skies)
  • "Cimmeria: From the Journal of Imaginary Anthropology" by Theodora Goss (Lightspeed)
  • Alyssa Wong, “Santos de Sampaguita”
  • "Elephants and Omnibuses" by Julia August (Lackington's)

(no subject)

6 Mar 2015 01:22 am
snarp: small cute androgynous android crossing arms and looking very serious (Default)
[personal profile] snarp
Modern medicine needs to fix it so I do not spend half of my time asleep and another quarter gazing with glazed eyes upon things I need to clean thinking "I need to clean that thing."
edenfalling: headshot of a raccoon against a background of foliage (raccoon)
[personal profile] edenfalling
Summary: This was Gamora's universe, but she acted more out of place and isolated than Gaila. She held herself clenched tight like she was in enemy hands and opening would be to invite poison into her veins. Fortunately Gaila had years of practice forming out-nets and in-nets with aliens. (1,600 words)

Note: This ficlet was written on 3/5/15 for [personal profile] samparker, in response to the Three Sentence Ficathon prompt: Guardians Of The Galaxy/Star Trek AOS, Gamora/Gaila, tenderness. It is a sequel to both Rattle the Cage (wherein Natasha Romanova discovers Gaila imprisoned in a HYDRA lab) and Following the Girl (wherein the Enterprise's cross-universe rescue attempt mixes oddly with the Guardians' attempt to retrieve the Tesseract). There may be one or two more ficlets in this sequence.

The Company of Trees )

That was one of the more frustrating things I've ever written! Not because the characters or scenario were particularly difficult in any objective sense. The words just did not want to come.

I think I may have had a mild blue funk over the past week or two, actually. I have been doing the obsessive reading and sleep-schedule-what-sleep-schedule things, which are fairly reliable symptoms of a depressive episode, and a funk would explain my sudden creativity lapse. I just haven't felt particularly gray, or at least not as compared to how I've been feeling normally over the past few months. Mneh.

Anyway, I got enough sleep last night and I seem to be somewhat more together today, so hopefully if I can get to bed at a reasonable hour tonight and tomorrow that will give me the boost I need to finish hauling myself back up to somewhat more stable mental ground. *crosses fingers*

Oh. Right. And I should remember to eat regular meals. That helps too. *wanders off in search of extremely belated dinner*

another random

5 Mar 2015 07:43 pm
sevilemar: black-and-white clint and natasha, nearly holding hands (avg_clintasha)
[personal profile] sevilemar
 I haven't posted in a while, and there have been things happening.

# I said I wanted to go to a Seilgarten for years, and now I actually did it. I very much prefer solid ground under my feet, but I was visiting my sister and she suggested it, and I thought fuck it, let's try. I was shaking with adrenaline whenever I finished a part, and I was hugging the platforms like mad inbetween, but everything went fine. I actually finished two paths without incident, and I am very proud of myself.

# My brother brought me a lot of my old stuff that was in storage with my mum, like photo albums, the books I read when I was a teenager, a lot of my old costumes and school things, etc. I am slowly re-connecting with the girl I was, and it does me a world of good. I haven't realized before that in dealing with my grief over my fathers death, and finding my feet in the new city I moved to for university all at once, I cut myself off from a big part of myself. It's good to have it back.

# I have a proper bedroom now, not just a room with a mattress. I have a sideboard and a rail for my clothes, and actual bed, laminate flooring, and curtains. And a lamp, which looks sort of weird but has the softest, most gorgeous light, perfect for a bedroom^^ My aunt and my mother moved to adjacent flats, and I got a lot of their stuff.

# It's good to have sore muscles again, feels very familiar, even if it is a pain in the ass when traveling.
edenfalling: colored line-art drawing of a three-scoop ice cream sundae in a silver dish (ice cream sundae)
[personal profile] edenfalling
A week and a half ago, I mentioned that if a brownie recipe says to use an 8 x 8 pan, baking them in a 9 x 13 pan is a bad idea.

Yesterday, I took my second box of that particular mix and tried baking it in an 8 x 7 glass dish. The time given on the box for an 8 x 8 glass pan was 45-50 minutes, and I duly baked the brownies for about 50 minutes. In a vague attempt to compensate for the slightly reduced pan size, I set the oven at a slightly higher temperature than the requested 325 F -- I started at 350 F, then turned down to about 335-340 F. Judging by the results, I should either have baked the brownies another five minutes or left the oven at 350 F the whole time, since they came out slightly squishier in the center than is strictly desirable. But they are much more properly brownie-like than the ones I made in the 9 x 13 pan, so hey, I'll take it.

Mmm, brownies... :-)

(no subject)

5 Mar 2015 11:19 am
the_rck: figure perched in a tree with barren branches (Default)
[personal profile] the_rck
Last night, Scott's FATE game met. We're still playing just with aspects and not with skills, so it's a lot harder to do anything than it would be normally (The FATE dice do not tend to roll well for anyone). I spent a lot of the game session laughing, which was nice. I'm not entirely sure, though, why I was laughing. It just seemed like a lot of what was going on was funny. We're all still feeling our way into our characters.

One of the players wasn't present because his wife and daughter were both sick. Fortunately, his character hasn't been introduced to the group yet. Unfortunately, we're now in the middle of an operation, so I don't think it will be easy to work him in next session.

Cordelia has started voluntarily brushing her teeth every morning before school. I hadn't realized it before today because I'm usually still in bed when she does it. I have no idea why that's now part of her morning routine. She and I had sort of let it fall by the wayside a couple of years ago (I just kept forgetting to tell her to do it).

I did a little writing longhand last night during the game session. I skipped over the transition I need to write and went straight to the next scene. It's a short one, but I think it works. It kind of shows a darker side to the point of view character, but I don't think it will surprise anyone who's been paying attention.

Someone suggested a fix for the iTunes problem I was having-- It seems that the program had decided to list the songs alphabetically instead of in track order. I've got it back in track order now. I can't believe that I didn't notice the tracks were alphabetical until someone suggested they might be.

For [community profile] metanews, we keep having to make decisions about how to alphabetize things, and I'm reminded that what I learned about alphabetizing titles is way out of date-- People don't necessarily ignore initial articles now (though we have decided to), and numbers and other non-alphabetical characters are generally put first, before the As. I was always taught to spell out the number and file the title as if it were the word for the number. I don't think we've reached a consensus on that one yet. (The troublesome fandom at the moment is The 100.)

Sirens Reading Challenge!!

5 Mar 2015 12:43 pm
starlady: Peggy in her hat with her back turned under the SSR logo (agent carter)
[personal profile] starlady
I feel like longtime readers of this platform will already be aware of my love for the Sirens Conference, which is focused on girls, women, and female-identifying people in fantasy and science fiction--with a particular focus on YA--as readers, writers, and characters. It's in Denver this year, and Yoon Ha Lee, Rae Carson, and Kate Elliott are the guests! You should join us, it's going to be awesome.

This year Sirens has formalized an attendees' version of the staff reading lists as the Sirens Reading Challenge. I am historically very good at winning books and at book-related challenges, and this year's theme--Rebels--is near and dear to my heart, so I am doubly excited for this.

List below the cut; I've copied the links from the Sirens webpage to preserve the partner links to the Tattered Cover, Denver's independent bookstore. Bolded = already read.

I am so excited. )
It's going to be great.
umadoshi: (InCryptid - true love)
[personal profile] umadoshi
[personal profile] balsamandash gave me a few prompt options, including "Talk about Toby/Newsflesh crossovers. Or Incryptid/Newsflesh crossovers. Or Indexing/Newsflesh crossovers. Other Seanan/Mira media and Newsflesh, cross the streams."

I spent a while before I started this post thinking about whether Newsflesh can comfortably fuse with any of Seanan's other work but InCryptid in my head (emphasis on in my head; if anyone else crossed it with any of her other worlds, I would pounce on it), but nothing else clicks conceptually for me. My brain doesn't want to interlock the Newsflesh worldbuilding with the magic in Toby's world, or with the rather different mad science in Parasitology, and so on.

But InCryptid is internally scientific enough that it's all about creatures existing quietly alongside us naturally, so I can sort of work with that. Which is understating things, given that my Newsflesh/InCryptid crossover where Georgia and Shaun meet the Aeslin mice is one of my very favorite things that I've ever written (and is far and away the most widely-clicked thing I have on AO3, which amuses me). So that opens up all kinds of possibilities--albeit more for other people than for me, probably. There's literally a whole world alongside the known one, mostly hidden from everyone but cryptozoologists and the occasional person who stumbles over a cryptid and a) notices and b) lives to tell the tale.

For the record, this remains one of my favorite exchanges that I have ever written in any fandom/medium, and since it's relevant, I'm going to shamelessly drop it here: but not so shamelessly that I won't put it under a cut. 170 words under here )
How the Rising would have affected various cryptid species is fascinating. InCryptid give us some impressive reptilian beasties like lindworms that might help keep the population of animal zombies in the wild at bay, and any species that can induce petrification could be handy (by which I probably just mean "have an improved chance of survival", since I doubt the presence of zombies would make them more likely to reveal themselves to the world at large; it might just make their small, insular communities seem even less suspicious to others).

And there's the question of whether some species would be susceptible to KA or not: outwardly part-mammal/part-bird griffins (who appear to be mammals, according to the Field Guide), or species like the wadjets, where the sexual dimorphism is so extreme that one gender appears mammalian and one appears reptilian. Or finfolk, with their peculiar life cycle...

Cuckoos...one shudders to think (and presumes they're not susceptible). Could they influence KA zombies? o_o

(Seanan has created a LOT of scary creatures across her worlds. For me, cuckoos rank pretty high in the "most terrifying" list. This in no way keeps Sarah from being my favorite InCryptid character. *g*)

So...yeah. Lots of possibilities there!

Personally, at the moment I have two ideas rolling around in my head (and have some wordcount for both, although they're both mentally filed away as "stuff I've written down but don't really expect to finish"). I have a few pages of Rose Marshall and Shaun Mason meeting each other, which would not be a long story if it were ever finished, and a handful of pages of Verity Price meeting Georgia and Shaun via some sort of time travel. (I have no idea how I would justify that, only that given the glimpses of other...dimensions?...we're given, it could surely be handwaved.) What I have involves Verity going forward in time; I also keep entertaining the idea of the Masons going back in time to NYC during the summer of the Rising (which would be horrifying in all kinds of ways for them, starting with the fact that yes, they're as crowd-socialized as it's possible for them to be in their world, but that would mean nothing compared to pre-Rising populations in a large city, and continuing with the fact that their brother would still be alive, and while KA itself would presumably still break out, they could be in a position to warn their parents somehow and save Phil's life, thus essentially guaranteeing that they'd never meet each other).

Neither version is ever likely to see the light of day (and there are ZERO words written on the latter). But it would be interesting, for all that in many ways it'd be more a case of the transplanted character(s) trying to deal with the vastly different world, as opposed to an exploration of cryptids.

(no subject)

4 Mar 2015 09:59 am
the_rck: figure perched in a tree with barren branches (Default)
[personal profile] the_rck
Link finding went unusually fast yesterday. Most of the blogs I do didn't have very much this week. The Daily Dot, for example, only had one linkable article when it usually has about eight. I'm not sure when I'll be able to make the post. There's one person left who hasn't gotten their links in yet. I'll post as soon as they have their stuff in.

I did no writing yesterday. Instead I banged my head against the wall of what happens next. I have a couple of ideas, but I'm not sure they don't go too far into the darkness. I also have to figure out a rough timeline for the rest of the story, to decide how long I want it to take, in story. The characters are making plans for years down the road, and I'm curious about how those plans will come out, but I may end up destroying all of those plans in pursuit of other events.

My email inbox has gotten over 200 messages. I need to go through and weed out the things I'm never going to answer and find other homes for the stuff I want to keep.

iTunes is doing something weird with the library CDs I've been playing. The track listings are appearing scrambled, out of order. I don't have shuffle on, so it's not that. The program plays the tracks in the order in which they appear, so that the current CD I'm listening to starts with track 7 then goes to track 4 followed by track 2. I tried quitting and restarting the program, but it didn't help.

We're expecting to have Scott's FATE game tonight. One of the players can't come because his wife and baby daughter are sick. Hopefully, everyone else will be able to come. I probably ought to put in some time cleaning the kitchen today so that that doesn't look quite so terrible when people arrive, but our cleaning lady comes back tomorrow (she's called me to confirm that), so I'm very tempted to wait and let her do it. Then again, most of the house is pretty bad from not having been really tidied (by me) or swept and mopped and such (by her) in a month. I had good intentions at the beginning of February-- I was going to sweep regularly at the very least, but I ended up not doing it.

(no subject)

3 Mar 2015 11:25 pm
esmenet: Little!Anthy with swords (Default)
[personal profile] esmenet
Half an hour away from it being over: happy 21st birthday to me!

A small heap of linkspam

3 Mar 2015 11:17 pm
umadoshi: (InCryptid - Heroic Stand)
[personal profile] umadoshi
Tom McRae has announced his next album, due out in May. *^^* "Speaking of the departure from his previous, more stripped back albums, Tom says: 'as we recorded the album I had the image of the band gathered round a piano in a post-apocalyptic bar, singing our hearts out as the fires rage around us... also handily blocking the exits and stopping the crowd from leaving.' That the album is released on the eve of the UK General election is also no coincidence. 'We're sleep walking into a world ruled by oligarchs, where tech giants monitor and exploit our every thought, where governments and banks collude against us, and hyper-caffeinated teenagers design software to destroy any remaining jobs', says McRae, expanding on just some of the record's subject matter. 'We're going to need something to sing along to when the shit finally comes down'."

The National Post (not a source I usually find myself linking): "Toronto tunnel mystery solved: Two ‘blue-collar guys’ dug hole for ‘man cave,’ police say."


Cute

"15+ Before-And-After Photos Of Cats Growing Up".

"23 Chubby Puppies Mistaken For Teddy Bears".

One of the cutest things I've seen on Tumblr in ages (and I say this as someone with an extensive "cute" tag!): this puppy trying to mimic its person's howl.

"20 hedgehogs who will make your day better".


Useful

Via Twitter: this page on the IMDb lets you search two shows/movies for people who've worked on both, or search two people's info to see if they've worked on anything together.

At the OTW, "10 Fair Use Misconceptions".

At Baking Bites: "How to Use Tea in Baked Goods".


Social Justice

I loved [personal profile] thefourthvine's recent post on women (or people in general) supporting each other: "Team Angry Cat".

At the Daily Dot: "The one basic thing men still don't seem to understand about women".

Via many people, David Gerrold, a writer from Star Trek: TOS, responds to someone's complaints about social justice destroying sci-fi. "I was there. I know what Gene Roddenberry envisioned. He went on at length about it in almost every meeting. He wasn't about technology, he was about envisioning a world that works for everyone, with no one and nothing left out. Gene Roddenberry was one of the great Social Justice Warriors. You don't get to claim him or his show as a shield of virtue for a cause he would have disdained. […] Star Trek was about social justice from day one -- the stories were about the human pursuit for a better world, a better way of being, the next step up the ladder of sentience. The stories weren't about who we were going to fight, but who we were going to make friends with. It wasn't about defining an enemy -- it was about creating a new partnership. That's why when Next Gen came along, we had a Klingon on the bridge."

As he did last year, author Jim Hines has been hosting a series of posts from various people on different aspects of representation. This year's first post is "Exponentially Hoping", by Merc Rustad, and there doesn't seem to be a tag for the essays. But there've been a few so far, and while it looks like this week there aren't any guest posts scheduled, there will be more coming up.

Via Facebook: "Think of the children" at Queer Femme Mama, in response to the updated health and sex education curriculum in Ontario and to Senator Donald Plett's transphobic amendment to Bill C-279 that, as the post says, "effectively bar[s] trans people from public bathrooms". "Because whether I like it or not, being a parent lends me some sort of credibility and authority to speak on issues that are relevant to children. And it gives me an opportunity to disrupt the bigots who use ridiculous “think of the children” logic to deny people’s human rights and promote discrimination."
snarp: small cute androgynous android crossing arms and looking very serious (Default)
[personal profile] snarp
For [personal profile] azurelunatic, set in the really good AU I just came up with in which everyone is a normal human except for the witches, who are exactly as they are in canon. No one thinks that there is anything strange about this.

(I have accidentally turned your Dave-and-Karkat prompt into something female-centric like some kind of a reverse PXS.)

DAVE: what is lovecraftian though

DAVE: what even is that word is this a fucking romcom thing

KARKAT: NO, GOD, IT MEANS "OF OUR HAVING TO DO WITH FEFERI'S MOM"

KARKAT: LALONDE IS YOUR SISTER, AS A SUPPORTIVE BROTHER YOU SHOULD ALREADY KNOW THIS FUCKING WORD, IT IS THE TERM FOR HER SEXUAL PREFERENCES.

DAVE: okay one

DAVE: she wants to fuck plenty of moms other than feferis mom so thats not all inclusive

DAVE: and two youre definitely full of shit because why would there need to be an actual specific word for that

DAVE: like theres no word for jades dog

DAVE: or for damara and there should sure as FUCK be a word for damara

KARKAT: THE DAMARA ONE IS "CHTHONIC." I DON'T ACTUALLY KNOW WHY THERE'S NOT ONE FOR THE DOG.

whois

kaigou: this is what I do, darling (Default)
锴 angry fishtrap 狗

to remember

"When you make the finding yourself— even if you're the last person on Earth to see the light— you'll never forget it." —Carl Sagan

March 2015

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