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[ SECRET POST #2853 ]

Oct. 25th, 2014 03:39 pm
case: (Default)
[personal profile] case posting in [community profile] fandomsecrets

⌈ Secret Post #2853 ⌋

Warning: Some secrets are NOT worksafe and may contain SPOILERS.

01.

More! )


Notes:

Secrets Left to Post: 05 pages, 101 secrets from Secret Submission Post #408.
Secrets Not Posted: [ 0 - broken links ], [ 0 - not!secrets ], [ 0 - not!fandom ], [ 0 - too big ], [ 0 - repeat ].
Current Secret Submissions Post: here.
Suggestions, comments, and concerns should go here.

24 Hours Left to Sign-Ups!

Oct. 25th, 2014 05:58 pm
[syndicated profile] yuletide_admin_feed

Posted by jenn_calaelen

Sign-ups are open until Sunday 26 October 6pm UTC. (Remember this is not EDT - check the links if you are not clear on what time it is for you! What time is that for me? And here is a countdown).
If you are in most of Europe, remember the clocks go back tonight and so the time will be an hour earlier than if was for noms closing.

The link to sign up is here. If you have already signed up, you can use the same link to view and edit your details.
Here is the tag set of all fandoms and characters nominated for Yuletide.
kate_nepveu: sleeping cat carved in brown wood (Default)
[personal profile] kate_nepveu
So the conference I did the Mary Sue talk at a couple years ago has sent out another call for papers for May 1-2, 2015. It's at Ithaca College in Ithaca, NY, and it will be partnered with ITHACON40, a comic book convention. You can see the full CFP over at Google Drive, which includes some suggestions, but the topic is Women & Gender in Science Fiction, Fantasy, Children’s Literature and Comics. Abstracts are due January 15, 2015.

I'll be halfway through Vol. III of JS&MN by then, I wonder if that's something I could get a topic out of or if my shallow historical knowledge would make it dangerous. There's always the Bujold rant, but I'm not sure if there's any interesting generalizations or insights out of it. Discworld's too big a topic, and I'm not sure if anything there speaks to me more than anything else. Hmmm . . . *wanders off, contemplating procrastination opportunities*

Finally home, all four of us

Oct. 25th, 2014 07:47 pm
yvi: Kaylee half-smiling, looking very pretty (Default)
[personal profile] yvi
Arrived yesterday evening, picked up the cats this morning. After 9 hours,
Newton has finally stopped demanding cuddles.

the cats appear jet lagged as well )

[ SECRET SUBMISSIONS POST #409 ]

Oct. 25th, 2014 01:29 pm
case: (Default)
[personal profile] case posting in [community profile] fandomsecrets
[ SECRET SUBMISSIONS POST #409 ]




The first secret from this batch will be posted on November 1st.



RULES:
1. One secret link per comment.
2. 600x600 px or smaller.
3. Link directly to the image.
- Doing it RIGHT: http://i.imgur.com/KuBug.png
- Doing it WRONG: http://imgur.com/KuBug

Optional: If you would like your secret's fandom to be noted in the main post along with the secret itself, please put it in the comment along with your secret. If your secret makes the fandom obvious, there's no need to do this. If your fandom is obscure, you should probably tell me what it is.

Optional #2: If you would like WARNINGS (such as spoilers or common triggers -- list of some common ones here) to be noted in the main post before the secret itself, please put it in the comment along with your secret.

Oh, cats.

Oct. 25th, 2014 01:26 pm
settiai: (Kitties -- settiai)
[personal profile] settiai
Raise your hand if you were woken up around dawn by the sound of a loud crash coming from your kitchen? Followed by a just-as-loud THUMP, THUMP, THUMP?

... just me, huh?

So, yeah, I took the trash out last night before I went to bed. Garrus and Tali apparently decided that meant the empty trash can was fair play, and they someone managed to turn it over on top of Garrus. Who then started running in the wall, repeatedly, in an attempt to knock it off of him.

Tali? Perfectly named. Every now and then, though, I seriously wonder if I should have gone with "Grunt" instead of "Garrus".
aldersprig: (Aldersprig Leaves Raining)
[personal profile] aldersprig
It's almost November, and the Dungeon Call was so successful, I almost forgot about the October theme!

I'm taking prompts on the theme "Impossible Situations;" I'll write at least 100 words to at least the first five prompters.

Prompt in any setting, any characters. I'll see what I can do!

A difference between Fig and Ibid

Oct. 25th, 2014 11:59 am
james_davis_nicoll: (Default)
[personal profile] james_davis_nicoll
If, when he tires of his food, I pick and place back down Fig's dish, he is aware it's the same food he didn't want 30 seconds ago.

Ibid, not so much.

Dear yuletide author:

Oct. 25th, 2014 02:46 pm
raven: subway sign in black and white, text: "Times Square / 42 Street station" (stock - times square)
[personal profile] raven
A quiet moment for this, finally! Dear [community profile] yuletide author, thank you very much for writing for me. I'm delighted that you like one or more of these small fandoms as much as I do. My AO3 name is [archiveofourown.org profile] singlecrow, just for reference.

Generally, about me: I like found families, competence, people showing their love for each other in small and unconventional ways; I like angst and woe, but not hopelessness; I also like stories that are people in the worlds they inhabit, living their lives. I like gen and queer gen a lot, though honestly you should feel free to pair whoever with whoever, that's all fine with me.

I have no triggers or squicks in particular, though I don't tend to like PWPs very much.

Here are my requests:

Imperial Radch - Ann Leckie )

Frasier )

The Best of All Possible Worlds - Karen Lord )

Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell )

In conclusion! Thank you again for writing for me, dear author; if you enjoy writing it, I will enjoy reading it, I guarantee you.

Raven

Ideas for comic!

Oct. 25th, 2014 10:47 pm
alias_sqbr: (genius!)
[personal profile] alias_sqbr
I have to draw a four+ page comic for a coursera course I'm doing and I am TOTALLY BLOCKED.

I'm thinking I'll just adapt part of an existing story, either one of mine or something in the public domain.

Current thoughts tend towards Northanger Abbey but I am open to suggestions! Are there any public domain works, or original/fanfic of public domain works by me that you'd like to see me draw a short story about? Any art of mine you'd be curious to see expanded into a longer story (and have plot ideas for)? AUs are totally welcome but not nonsense crossovers because then I get tangled up figuring out how it WORKS.

It has to be accessible to random strangers so no asking me to write an ending to A Circle of Stars :P Also there is no guarantee I'll actually draw any of it comics are haaaard. BUT I WILL TRY

Also: Penny, I have not forgotten your Asama & Korra prompt, I plan on drawing it the moment the show gets them to a point where I'm not all "Asama & Korra ;_;"

ALSO speaking of AO3 today was FEMSLASHEX REVEALS YAYYY. I drew some Velanna/Sigrun. And I got TWO gifts: Undercover by kiki_miserychic, which is some sexy Root/Shaw art, and Quantum Relations by Settiai which is a very cute EDI/Sam fic.

This course is good but hardddd. I had to write TWO ESSAYS. With an introduction and a thesis and a CONCLUSION. urrrrggghhhhhh essayssssss. Of course we got half marks for even trying because coursera. But the peer assessors said I LACKED A COHERENT THESIS. Luckily we get to do self evaluation too so there was a "you are amazing and all your ideas are gold" to balance things out.

(no subject)

Oct. 25th, 2014 10:31 am
the_rck: figure perched in a tree with barren branches (Default)
[personal profile] the_rck
I made a banana bread cake with pumpkin spice chips yesterday. It's tasty but hard to get out of the pan. I probably shouldn't have used the whole bag of chips-- The cake has poor structural integrity and tends to fall apart along fault lines dictated by the chips.

I spent a lot of time yesterday rereading Rheotaxis. I haven't finished yet, so more rereading is on my schedule. I think I would like it better if someone else had written it. I keep seeing weak points, details I didn't keep consistent, that sort of thing. I did download the story from AO3, so I'm reading it on my e-reader which is more convenient than reading it on my laptop. I think I'm getting a better feel for what I've been doing with Nagi, and that can only help chapter 24 when I go back to it.

Cordelia has an all day field trip on Monday. We're supposed to pack her a 'low impact' lunch. I have no idea how to go about doing that, so she'll probably just get a sandwich and a juice box in a paper bag. They're going to be going to three or four different places in the course of the day, studying hydrology. Their current project is trying to come up with solutions to the global water crisis. I like this project both because it has a real world application and because there's no single right answer. It's pretty unlikely that any group of kids will solve the whole thing. I think it will be good for Cordelia to get into something that she can't do perfectly.

Cordelia didn't get to do a retest on order of operations. I'm not sure why they didn't when she thought they would. She also got a zero on a social studies assignment because she didn't get her notes handed in by the deadline. She blames the fact that the teacher was absent a lot, saying that she couldn't turn in her book to a sub. I think she should have turned it in anyway. That zero knocks her grade way down. She's currently got A+'s in English and science and B's in math and social studies. I'd be happy enough with the B's if she were doing B work across the board. B's are pretty good, after all. But she's doing A work except for that order of operations test and not turning in her notes.

Scott has started buying a new brand of margarine. We usually buy Earth Balance's soy free margarine, and I'm used to that. The new stuff (I forget the brand) taste bad to me. I don't use it very often, maybe twice a week, but right now, I don't want to use it at all. I'm not sure whether or not to complain. Scott eats a lot of margarine, and he thinks this new stuff is healthier. Ick.

5 things about today #26

Oct. 26th, 2014 12:59 am
transcendancing: Darren Hayes quote "Life is for leading, for not people pleasing" (Default)
[personal profile] transcendancing
Another one on time! Woot!


* Slept poorly and didn't make it out of bed early enough to go to Psarakos with [personal profile] aquaprofunda, which is a shame.

* However, it did mean that when I got up a little later than planned, I went straight into study and spent the day pretty consistently doing so. Very happy with that.

* Made delicious veggie bean chilli, spicy with beans and corn and chipotle and my new Creole seasoning blend I made from a recipe provided by Gumbo Pages (I wish to make Gumbo sometime soon).

* Now onto season 5 Boston Legal - exciting to be getting to the end!

* I have another followthrough come through today! This makes 4 now, soon as I get the two sets of consent forms back. Just need one more for this year.

And now, bed time.

Spirits on the move

Oct. 25th, 2014 01:13 pm
qian: Tiny pink head of a Katamari character (Default)
[personal profile] qian

A few Spirits Abroad-related updates ….

Fixi has sold (most of) the first print run, so the book has gone into a second printing! Really delighted about this. Thanks to everyone who bought a copy.

image

The book’s back in stock on Amazon, so you can order it here if you would like the paperback: Spirits Abroad at Amazon.

(If you want to order the book on Amazon, don’t worry if it looks as though it’s out of stock — the reason for this is that Amazon is conservative and only orders as many copies as it needs to fulfill customer orders, plus a few extra. But Amazon always orders enough to fulfill orders placed by customers, and Fixi has plenty of copies going spare, so if you place an order you’ll definitely get the book — it may just mean you’ll take a little while to receive it.)

And there’s always the ebook version, of course. Most of the Fixi Novo books are now available on Smashwords, if you’re interested in trying out Malaysian pulp: Fixi Novo at Smashwords.

image

Spirits Abroad is kind of the odd duck out, as I’ve now hiked up the price to a princely US$3.99, plus of course the lavish detail of Likhain‘s cover is very different from sleek Fixi Novo house style.

Speaking of which, Likhain’s posted about the process of creating the piece that became the cover: Call it abundance.

I want to say there are voices and stories that cradle our hearts when we’re at our most fragile and closest to breaking, and it’s these voices that we return to time and time again — we can trust them with our pain, our bodies, our selves.

image

She’s sending me the painting! So excited. We have just moved, and I dream of colours on our walls. (Er, leant against the walls rather than affixed to them in any way that would breach the terms of our lease, of course).

Likhain’s also a brilliant writer, and her poem has just appeared in Strange Horizons: Seeds by M Sereno.

Swallow a seed and it will sprout within you,
becoming your veins, invading your bones.
Those poets and conquerors knew this. Knew the mouth is an altar.

It’s about a lot of stuff. Do read it.

Mirrored from Zen Cho.

sam_storyteller: (Default)
[personal profile] sam_storyteller
Title: Devils and Heathens
Rating: R
Summary: Peggy Carter didn't go looking for trouble, or Bucky Barnes, or a threesome. Sometimes these things just find you.
Notes: Inspired by this art post, and abetted by the Stream Team. Thanks in particular to superqueerpasta on tumblr for encouragement and chocolate-alchemy on tumblr for commentary.

Also available at AO3.

He's not here. )

[poem] Craftwork

Oct. 25th, 2014 11:39 am
kaberett: a patch of sunlight on the carpet, shaped like a slightly wonky heart (light hearted)
[personal profile] kaberett
For all of you; and specifically for [personal profile] jelazakazone, a bit.

I am living a borrowed life on
borrowed time, in that
the theft thereof has not been noticed yet--
my other selves are paper-thin;
they echo in the corners of my eyes,
their futures circumscribed by our own hand
and thereby written out of history.
Egal: perhaps they would be better, but
it's me who's living this, who's
strong or weak enough to hold on tight.
I will make a patchwork of my fractured nights,
my scraps of grace: as ever bound together
with the brilliant shining thread that you,
unknowing, trace.

Attempting to reset my sleep cycle.

Oct. 25th, 2014 08:40 pm
vass: Tosh trying to sleep, her brow furrowed (Sleep Now?)
[personal profile] vass
Going to bed now.

See you all tomorrow.
graycardinal: Yuletide warning flag (Yuletide Crossing)
[personal profile] graycardinal posting in [community profile] yuletide


DISCLAIMER: I Am Not A Mod™, so the following should not be construed as official advice; all opinions expressed are entirely my own. I posted the original version of this guide last year, and had meant to get this up a bit earlier this time around.  All comments and suggestions are very welcome, and will be considered when next year's iteration is drafted.

The first thing to remember is that the Signup Summary is mostly accurate, but not entirely accurate.  Specifically, the code that generates the Signup Summary doesn't see (and therefore doesn't tally) fandoms included in the Optional Tags section of a "bucket list" offer. It does see all requests, and sees all offers included in the main Fandom field of an offer slot, whether that slot is used for a "bucket list" or not.

[NOTE: A bucket list is an offer slot featuring multiple fandoms in which you've offered "Any" characters; you add the extra fandoms to the Optional Tags section. Details about this process are documented elsewhere.]

It's important to note that the "bucket list bug" is an AO3 code issue, and is not a matter over which the Yuletide mods have control. Any challenge or exchange that produces a Signup Summary will experience the same issue. It does NOT affect the actual matching process. The code that does the matching sees all and knows all; it recognizes and accounts for bucket list offers.

What this means, generally:

If a fandom is listed in the Signup Summary, its actual number of offers may be higher than that listed. Specifically, a fandom listed with 0 offers may in fact have 1 or more offers in bucket lists. OTOH, the listing may also be correct as reported.

Essentially, the result is that all those (x/0) fandoms that look unmatchable may actually have a potential match or matches lurking in the bucket lists, and many (x/1) fandoms may be more matchable than they look....but there's no way for most participants to tell for sure.

Suggestions for building or editing bucket lists:

Use a bucket list only if you're actually offering more than ten (10) fandoms.  This ensures that the lowest possible number of offered fandoms is affected by the bucket list bug.

If you have a choice as to which of several fandoms to include in a bucket list, consider choosing fandoms with the fewest characters nominated.  Fandoms with larger character sets may benefit more from being visible.

If you have a choice as to which of several fandoms to move into or out of a bucket list, check the Signup Summary first.  Fandoms with many other offers will suffer least from having one offer moved into a bucket list, while fandoms with few or no offers will benefit most from having an offer moved out of a bucket list.

If you made a bucket list offer:

With respect to the fandoms in your own signup, you have a slight advantage in reading the Signup Summary. For example:

If you offered Agents of H.Y.D.R.A. in your bucket list, and it's showing up as (3/0) -- that is, three requests, no offers -- in the Signup Summary, you know that there are requests out there for it and that you can be matched to at least two of them (or all three, if none of the requests is yours).

If Agents of H.Y.D.R.A.is sitting at (1/1) in the SS and you know (a) the request was yours, and (b) you made a bucket list offer for it, you are also slightly ahead of the game. Because you know that the offer reported in the SS isn't actually yours, you know it's a potential match.

By contrast, someone who requested and offered Agents of Y.U.L.E.T.I.D.E. -- but didn't use a bucket list -- will look at its (1/1) Signup Summary listing and think "unmatchable", not knowing that you also offered Agents of Y.U.L.E.T.I.D.E.in your bucket list.

Should you edit your signup as we approach the last-minute stage?

That depends.

Three things you should NOT do:

• Don't simply delete a bucket list offer. The matching process needs those offers.
• Don't delete a request you want desperately, just because it looks unmatchable in the SS.
• Don't blame the mods for this problem; as noted above, it's an AO3 coding issue.

Two things you probably should do:

If you made a bucket list offer, but still have available offer slots (remember, you have as many as 10), you should consider moving as many offers as you can out of the bucket list and into those available slots. This will make the Signup Summary more accurate.

If you have available offer slots, bucket or otherwise, take a few minutes to cruise the long list of (x/0) and (x/1) fandoms in the Signup Summary. Invisible bucket offers notwithstanding, many of those listings are most likely accurate, and if there's a fandom among them you can offer, making that offer will (a) help the matching process, and (b) give someone a better chance of receiving a story they really, really want.

Three things you might consider as the clock ticks toward the last minute:

If all of your fandoms look unmatchable on the Signup Summary as the signup deadline nears, you might want to modify your requests (and/or offers). Remember that you have as many as 6 requests and 10 offers, so you may be able to add one or two without deleting existing entries.

If you've made offers for fandoms not on the Signup Summary -- that is, for entirely unrequested fandoms -- you might consider deleting those offers. This is very much a judgment call. The mods have indicated that offers for unrequested fandoms tend to slow the matching process; OTOH, it's entirely possible for a last-minute signup to include unrequested fandoms, so that the offer you thought wasn't matchable might actually "go live" just as signups end.

If you have time and interest in doing so, consider sending a polite note to AO3's Support team, encouraging them to address the bucket list bug as they continue to improve the archive's underlying code engine.  (The squeakiest wheels are the ones that tend to be greased soonest...but the cyber-elves tend to do their best work for the customers that feed them cookies as opposed to the ones that just shout the loudest.)

This has been your Muppet News Reporter, now signing off....

My House Smells And I Don't Know Why.

Oct. 25th, 2014 03:46 pm
splodgenoodles: (Default)
[personal profile] splodgenoodles
Although I can guess. Fish. Everywhere. Scraps of fish to tempt a cat. Bowls containing leftover fish waiting to be washed. Hands that handle fish several times a day. Fridge full of fish. Worm bucket that contains uneaten fish that I am now emptying regularly but still, it builds up quickly. Cat who no longer grooms properly.

Live fish in tanks that are probably due a water change.

Mostly I'm running about either trying to feed the cat or cleaning up to reduce the smell.

What

Oct. 25th, 2014 12:36 am

(no subject)

Oct. 25th, 2014 02:03 pm
splodgenoodles: (Default)
[personal profile] splodgenoodles
I had planned to head to a rally in the city today. And while I confess I was dragging my feet a bit, I finally coaxed myself into action with the promise of a particular city-based treat for myself afterwards.

Looked up the train timetable - and found that they're doing trackwork, so trains are replaced by buses this weekend. Apparently I could get in touch to find out more about accessibility options (I presume they might have a bus or two that has the wheelchair lift) but I'm not feeling quite that enthused.

Break Point

Oct. 24th, 2014 10:12 pm
stoutfellow: Joker (Joker)
[personal profile] stoutfellow
Apparently hashtags of the form #notall(category) have become popular on twitter: #notallmen, #notalllibertarians, etc.

Obviously they are intended to be parsed as not-all-(category), but I find myself irresistibly tempted to read no-tall-(category).

What? I'm not quite 5'5", and I have dreams....

Lightdancer:

Oct. 24th, 2014 08:33 pm
halialkers: Raven in Blue hood, glowing white eyes, right hand with palm stretched upward (Default)
[personal profile] halialkers
Chapter XX: 

Doom has come upon you,  upon you who dwell in the land. The time has come! The day is near!  There is panic, not joy, on the mountains
.-Ezekiel 7:7

If Outsider-2, the supposed Lightdancer of the Dreamworld, is accurate in describing that these entities do not age like humans or identifiable life, then these entities have understandings of time that indicate that certain theories that past, present, and future are illusions may in fact be true. In such a case, we must accept, finally, that there is no protection from these entities, and that at any moment cities of millions may be reduced to blood-strewn rubble and millions of people slain without warning without any protection whatsoever. This, above all else, must be concealed as the consequences of panic and avoidable fear would outweigh any potential gain of noting something on this scale could thus repeat itself, in hopes that mass violence of the sort that followed in the last two weeks and led to the first large-scale violation of the Posse Comitatus Act as a last-ditch measure can be restored.

As one last note, the Commission Of Extradimensional Affairs has agreed that the Cult of the Undying Flame must be destroyed at all costs, regardless of First Amendment rights. The concept of humanity serving such a creature as in the green armor, which if the reports of the cult are accurate is indeed the Azar, is one too horrible to contemplate. This last provision will not be declassified for some 100 years after the release of this document.

Halloween at work

Oct. 24th, 2014 07:21 pm
azurelunatic: Azz and best friend grabbing each other's noses.  (Default)
[personal profile] azurelunatic
Not allowed to peck Purple with my long, dagger-like loon beak.

Fanfiction: FemslashEx

Oct. 24th, 2014 08:52 pm
settiai: (Liara -- bleeding_muse)
[personal profile] settiai
Pink and Blue (4261 words) by Settiai
Chapters: 1/1
Fandom: Mass Effect
Rating: Teen And Up Audiences
Warnings: Author Chose Not To Use Archive Warnings
Relationships: Liara T'Soni/Ashley Williams
Characters: Ashley Williams, Liara T'Soni
Additional Tags: Alcohol, Canonical Character Death, Community: femslashex, Friends to Lovers, Friendship, Mass Effect 1, Mass Effect 2, Mass Effect 3, Non-Canon Relationship, Post-Mass Effect 1, One Shot, Spacer (Mass Effect)
Summary: The story of the Shadow Broker and the Spectre (but not necessarily the one you're thinking of).

Quantum Relations (1967 words) by Settiai
Chapters: 1/1
Fandom: Mass Effect
Rating: Teen And Up Audiences
Warnings: No Archive Warnings Apply
Relationships: EDI/Samantha Traynor
Characters: EDI (Mass Effect), Samantha Traynor, Female Shepard (Mass Effect), Jeff "Joker" Moreau
Additional Tags: Community: femslashex, Mass Effect 3, One Shot
Summary: Samantha wondered when her life suddenly started sounding like the summary of a bad movie. Woman has inappropriate feelings for a VI. Said VI turns out to be an AI. Meanwhile, the universe goes to war.

Two Parts of a Whole (1132 words) by Settiai
Chapters: 1/1
Fandom: Marvel Cinematic Universe, Guardians of the Galaxy (Movies)
Rating: Teen And Up Audiences
Warnings: Author Chose Not To Use Archive Warnings
Relationships: Gamora/Nebula (Marvel)
Characters: Gamora (Marvel), Nebula (Marvel), Thanos (Marvel)
Additional Tags: Community: femslashex, One Shot, Post-Canon, Pre-Canon, Pseudo-Incest, Sister/Sister Incest, Sisters
Summary: They were each other's everything.

One assignment. One treat. One pinch hit. :)

(no subject)

Oct. 24th, 2014 08:15 pm
synecdochic: torso of a man wearing jeans, hands bound with belt (Default)
[personal profile] synecdochic
Sarah, sitting and putting labels on the 150-odd vials of BPAL I decanted today: "You know, I don't think it was an unreasonable request."

Me, opening 200-some vials that I bought secondhand to sniff them and determine if I like them or not: "What?"

Sarah: "'One of these days I should find a perfume I can wear to work', I said. And here we are, somehow that having turned into 'try everything BPAL has ever made'..."

Me: ...Hello, have you MET ME? YOU KNEW IT WAS ON FIRE WHEN YOU LAID DOWN ON IT.

(She is so very tolerant of the fact that "....that escalated quickly" is my life motto.)

FemslashEx

Oct. 24th, 2014 08:10 pm
settiai: (Samara -- bleeding_muse)
[personal profile] settiai
*insert flailing here*

Eee! I just got the most amazing Mass Effect fic as part of [community profile] femslashex! there Death will not find me by [tumblr.com profile] originally, a post-ME3 FemShep/Samara fic that's absolutely gorgeous.

Sometimes what comes next is the gym

Oct. 24th, 2014 04:27 pm
redbird: my head and chest, from in front (new gym icon)
[personal profile] redbird
The numbers from [profile] julian_tiger's most recent bloodwork are worse, and his weight is down; we aren't going to have him much longer. And I lost Velma less than a week ago. So, try to avoid making significant decisions, and I am doing quite a bit on habit. Things like having yogurt for breakfast, or timing on cups of tea.

One of those habits seems to be exercise, though that's not an everyday thing like the morning yogurt. I hadn't been to the fitness room since Monday, so I went this afternoon. I think it helped my mood, as well as being good for me on other levels. There were two other people in the exercise room, one telling the other what to do, setting the amounts of resistance on the machines, and so on. The one being instructed looked to be in his teens; it was weird realizing that I may have been doing this since before he was born. That's enough years to normalize it, and make it something to do when "normal" feels a bit out of reach.

numbers )

[ SECRET POST #2852 ]

Oct. 24th, 2014 07:03 pm
case: (Default)
[personal profile] case posting in [community profile] fandomsecrets

⌈ Secret Post #2852 ⌋

Warning: Some secrets are NOT worksafe and may contain SPOILERS.

01.

More! )


Notes:

Secrets Left to Post: 00 pages, 000 secrets from Secret Submission Post #407.
Secrets Not Posted: [ 0 - broken links ], [ 0 - not!secrets ], [ 0 - not!fandom ], [ 0 - too big ], [ 0 - repeat ].
Current Secret Submissions Post: here.
Suggestions, comments, and concerns should go here.

Unpopular Opinions

Oct. 24th, 2014 05:36 pm
yhlee: (AtS no angel (credit: <user name="helloi)
[personal profile] yhlee
Unpopular Opinions
(or possibly opinions that are actually popular, but no one informed me because I live under a rock, and also this parenthetical statement is too long for its own good)

I've been sick half this week and my concentration is shot, so why not?

1. Story vs. writing. I think there is a useful distinction to be made between story and writing; between the essence of the tale, and the language it is clothed in. I came to this opinion partly because of Joe. Joe is much better at story than I am, in the sense that he comes up with plot mechanisms that I find interesting. (I've mostly seen this in action in an RPG context.) I sort of cobble my stories together. I have a hell of a lot more practice with the language-clothing end of things. (It's as well it's just one of us with this specialty, because this way Joe earns money with physics, and we all eat.)

This is one of the reasons why, although I can tell the difference between good and bad prose (or what I consider good and bad prose, anyway), bad prose doesn't automatically eject me from a story. If a particular piece of fanfic hits my trope kink buttons? I will put up with all sorts of bad prose. If you're writing giant robots and smashy battles and your female characters don't suck? I will put up with your bad prose. Feed me a story I like--hell, not even a story but a bunch of happy trope kink buttons mashed up together--and I'll keep reading.

That being said, when I was reading slush [1], I would, in fact, bounce stories for bad prose. If I'm recommending something to the editor upstairs, I want the story to be good at both.

[1] I am no longer a slush reader, although I miss it and wouldn't mind doing it again someday.


2. I'm still bitter that real-time strategy completely killed turn-based strategy for the PC. But that may just be because I want to play M.A.X. for the rest of my life. And hey, there's Sid Meier's Civilization: Beyond Earth, even if I expect to cause the planet to die horribly. I've played Sid Meier's Alpha Centauri, but not any of the "regular" Civilization games. And even when I played SMAC, I would do it on one of the easier settings. But that's okay because SMC:BE is now on my hard drive, mwahahahaha.


3. I like Tom Godwin's "The Cold Equations." It's manipulative! Tear-jerking! Sexist in that old-timey way, with the helplessness of the young girl! God knows, I highly doubt Godwin would have described a boy of equivalent age with such doelike innocence and tear-jerkitude, or possibly even used the word "boy" at all. And yet every time I read that damn story, I get to that one line and I cry.

You don't have to tell me all the things that are terrible about the story! I agree with you! I found this essay by Paul Kincaid on the story and his follow-up essay to be very illuminating. And yet, I like the story, in that way that I frequently like things that are not objectively good.

God knows, I cannot call it an unsuccessful story either. I knew the entire plot of the story, and its title, and its author, at least five years before I was able to track it down, from reading sf literary criticism essays that I scraped out of my high school library. (Yes, there were some.) I can mention the story to Joe and he will know what I am talking about. I bet I could start a flamewar about it. (Please not here, or anyway, not while I'm still kind of sick.) I am personally indifferent to the idea of an sf literary canon because I am too lazy to read things for homework because, sorry, I dreamt last week that I had to write an exam for IBH World Literature and I am so done with taking lit courses anymore. But is it a story that I would expect to find litcrit discussion of, skiffily, somewhere? Sure.


4. While I'm at it, I enjoyed slush reading.

I may just not have done it long enough to become completely jaded and cynical about it, though.


5. It is okay to spend just two hours writing your 1,000-word Yuletide story (plus a few minutes for tweaks). I've done that. As far as I can tell, no one has ever been able to tell the difference between the fast stories and the ones I slave over forever while gnawing my fingernails ragged (or I would, if I still chewed my nails). In fact, this is true of more than fanfic. Stories are weird. Some of them take more effort than others, and I've never ever been convinced that the reader on the other end can reliably tell the difference without external evidence. If only effort were correlated with quality--but it isn't. Not usefully, in my experience.


6. So I didn't actually think Meyer's Twilight was a good book (I read it because a friend sent it to me as a joke, and in fact it's pretty amiable airplane reading, which is what I used it for). I mock the sparklepires. Rather a lot, if you must know. (Not that a Yoon would mock anything, least of all a Yoon.) But it irritates me tremendously when people diss the people who like Twilight and talk about how people buy bad books and how other books deserve to be bestsellers and cry me a river. People read the books they want to read, people enjoy the books they enjoy, I may think Twilight is kind of terrible but I will defend to the death your right to think it is awesome, or to enjoy it despite thinking it's kind of terrible, or anything in between. This applies generally to romance (for me); romance is not my genre, I will mock individual romance novels (and I don't expect to stop), but we all have different tastes and I do not find romance novels inherently more mockworthy than giant robot novels (Battletech tie-ins) or grimdark (Warhammer 40k tie-ins, Paul Kearney's Monarchies of God) or over-the-top mind-bond space opera (Margaret Weis's Star of the Guardians), all of which are things I've read. I am sure this applies generally all over the place. I am long past the point where I care much about literary merit anymore. De gustibus, cheers.

Brilliant

Oct. 24th, 2014 03:04 pm
melchar: raccoon girl at halloween (halloween melchar)
[personal profile] melchar
https://www.eviscerati.org/comics/comic/hd/2014/10/Too-Long-Didnt-Resist#comment-24382
Transcript from Eviscerati.org [Help Desk] - a brilliant web comic parodying Micro$oft in which Bill Gates is presented as a lord of darkness/ring-wraith. Today's comic is brilliant.

FIRST FED: Sir, the FBI strenuously objects to you encrypting your phones by default.

THE BOSS: Your strenuous objection is noted. Thank you for stopping by.

SECOND FED: What possible reason could you have--

THE BOSS: Market forces, agent. I have no particular love of encryption, nor do I possess idealistic stirrings that compel me to fight for concepts like freedom, or even privacy. Indeed I am somewhat more sympathetic to your position than to that of my customer base, since allowing a government to constantly monitor its citizenry would increase human misery and suffering.

SECOND FED: Then why would you--

THE BOSS: Because when it comes to promoting the cause of evil, your people are rank amateurs. I've been doing this for tens of thousands of years. Getting a population to the point where they despise the thing that makes them suffer while at the same time constantly choosing it over all other options is a painstaking process. It requires patience. You could have created the world you wanted, but you were impatient. You tried to rush things, and your population recoiled enough to give Google and Apple a marketing opportunity. I am obliged to follow suit.

THE BOSS: Getting a population to accept evil requires instilling in them an overwhelming sense of apathy. Or sloth, if you prefer the classical term. You could have conditioned your population to accept eternal, unending surveillance if you'd simply introduced the matter to them by degrees. They would have resisted initially, but in the end they would have found the fight too tiring and moved on. Instead, you impatiently chose to make them afraid. Fear is a useful short-term tool, but fear is an emotion. It makes them care. That almost always works against you in the long term.

THIRD FED: I was going to argue with you, but I lost interest in what you were saying...

SECOND FED: ...which may have proven your point.

Mastering Fiction Writing

Oct. 24th, 2014 04:50 pm
yhlee: icosahedron (d20) (d20 (credit: bag_fu on LJ))
[personal profile] yhlee
- recent reading
Kit Reed. Mastering Fiction Writing. This is an excellent book, process-oriented and largely aimed toward the beginner. Parts of it I disagree with violently, mainly because Reed is highly character-oriented and I am highly...not; when she talks about the necessity of getting into characters' skins, I am apt to stare blankly at the page and go, I don't do that. Or at least I usually don't; there are characters whose heads I get into, and then there are all the other characters, and I can tell you that the second category is far larger than the first. When I wrote "Ghostweight" I didn't spend a moment in Lisse's skin. Maybe it shows as a kind of heartlessness; I don't know; that's something for the reader to judge.

Nevertheless, this is a very good writing how-to book, very pragmatic. As a curiosity, I note also that Reed's prose is hell and away better than Damon Knight's, but that's something I knew already from reading examples of their short science fiction. Nevertheless, the quality of prose in a writing how-to book is not an absolute indicator of its usefulness, depending on what, indeed, it is you're looking for help with. I would rather have my throat slit than have to read a novel by Larry Brooks if the prose in his novels is anything like the prose in Story Physics and Story Engineering, strident, gallopingly tin-eared, but on the other hand, I have found those books far more helpful than I ever found John Gardner's The Art of Fiction, no matter how much I admire Grendel.

This book packs a lot into what is under 150 pages. Again, it's aimed mostly toward the novice writer, but it's very good. Recommended.

Breakdown of Reed's chapter topics and my assessments of them: Read more... )




Meanwhile, I have played 40 min. of Civilization: Beyond Earth on the easiest setting and am having fun blundering around the map exploring! I have no idea what I'm doing and I'm sure I will die horrible some turns down the line, but this weekend maybe I can have Joe explain the game to me. :D I'm already enraptured! One...more...turn...

Duck and Cover?

Oct. 24th, 2014 10:26 pm
hrrunka: A small radio transceiver (radio)
[personal profile] hrrunka
Yesterday evening's astronomical society meeting included a talk about asteroid and cometary impacts, and what might be done to avoid them. It seems large asteroid impacts are quite alarmingly common, but it might be possible to adjust an asteroid's orbit enough to make the difference between an impact and a near miss, provided the problem object can be identified far enough in advance, and there's considerable progress being made. Comets, on the other hand, are seldom spotted more than a very few years out, and they tend to be moving somewhat faster, so a comet on an impact course is bad news. Curiously, one passed really quite close to Mars last week.

Today I made a little progress on the annual paperwork shuffling exercise, went on a short shopping expedition, and also talked to Colin, who was on Hail Storm Hill activating it for SOTA.

This evening there was gaming. We played "Ticket to Ride", and Lissa won again. The Dartford Tunnel traffic was not playing nicely early in the evening, so I took a back route to Gravesend, but it was more or less back to normal by the time I came home.
james_davis_nicoll: (Default)
[personal profile] james_davis_nicoll
Not least because they were specifically for Rediscovery reviews.

Current version:

A: You can buy a review for a book for $100 (or by supporting my Patreon: see its page for specific details).

B: Authors may not buy reviews of their own books nor can their family members, publishers or agents. I have the right to decline any book; this is not to be taken as a negative comment on the author or book.

Authors may point out to me that their qualifying books are now out and while I cannot promise to read said, there will not be a charge if I do.

I reserve the right to break my own rules (except for B because, wow, can authors buying reviews go horribly wrong fast).

Lightdancer:

Oct. 24th, 2014 02:51 pm
halialkers: Raven in Blue hood, glowing white eyes, right hand with palm stretched upward (Default)
[personal profile] halialkers
Chapter XIX: 

The disease had sharpened my senses --not destroyed --not dulled them. Above all was the sense of hearing acute. I heard all things in the heaven and in the earth. I heard many things in hell. How, then, am I mad?-The Tell-Tale Heart, by Edgar Allan Poe.

The Monk's brutal voice bayed as he stared into the Lightdancer's twin fingers.

cut for length )

The wait would not be a long one.....

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