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More Boxed Sets, Plus Pies on Sale

May. 27th, 2015 03:15 pm
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Posted by SB Sarah

Love, Laughter, and Steamy Ever Afters

Love, Laughter, and Steamy Ever Afters is a ten book boxed set on sale until June for 99 cents. Featuring books from Bella Andre, Melissa Foster, Carly Phillips and more. It has a 4+ star average on Goodreads, and features reader favorite contemporary romance novels from each author. If you’re looking to stock up on vacation reading, this is a great choice.

From the hot big city heroes that make us melt, to the sassy small town heroines that make us smile, this limited edition collection has something for everyone. Ten sexy and sweet full-length novels—a wide mix of fun, heart-tugging, addictively romantic love stories—each handpicked by an all-star gathering of ten of today’s most popular contemporary romance authors.


BELLA ANDRE — Can’t Help Falling in Love (The Sullivans)
He can’t make the mistake of falling for another fire victim. She can’t love–and lose–another man with a dangerous job. Gabe Sullivan & Megan Harris have every reason to stay apart…but they can’t help falling in love.

MELISSA FOSTER — Seaside Dreams (Seaside Summers)
Bella Abbascia has quit her job, put her house on the market, and sworn off relationships while she builds a new life in her favorite place on earth, Wellfleet, Massachusetts. That is, until good-time Bella’s prank takes a bad turn and a sinfully sexy police officer Caden Grant appears on the scene. After fourteen years of focusing solely on his son, Caden cannot resist the intense attraction he feels toward beautiful Bella, but starting over proves more difficult than either of them imagined.  Can true love really conquer all?

LAUREN BLAKELY — Trophy Husband (Caught Up in Love)
Sometimes you can’t help falling in love, even when you try to do the opposite…  McKenna embarks on a playful, ironic quest for a trophy husband after her ex has ditched her, but along the way she meets someone who rocks her world. And she’ll have to choose between protecting her heart from hurt, or letting go of her fears of a new beginning.

VIOLET DUKE — Love, Tussles, and Takedowns (Cactus Creek)
After his combat injuries retire him from the military career he wasn’t ready to give up, battle-scarred Hudson Reyes now spends his new life as a movie industry fight scene and weapons specialist simply doing what he knows best: surviving. Until he meets her. The sweet, angel-faced wrecking ball to his good intentions—antique arms authenticator and martial arts maven, Liana Lin. Even though she’s everything he’s told himself he can’t have, sure as sin, if one woman could sneak past the barbed wires he’s wrapped around his heart, it’d be her. Now if only they could stop sparring long enough to find out…

SAWYER BENNETT — On the Rocks (The Last Call)
He left to travel the world for fame and glory, but only after spurning Gabby Ward and crushing her young heart. Now Hunter Markham has come back home to the salty breeze of the North Carolina Outer Banks and looking at the all-grown-up Gabby in a whole new way. Still bitter over his rebuff years before, Gabby is content to stay far away from him and his dangerously charming ways, but when Hunter presents an offer to her that she simply can’t refuse, she has to battle her ever growing attraction to the man that first taught her about heartbreak.

CARLY PHILLIPS — Dare to Desire (Dare to Love)
Quarterback Alex Dare, had it all—an all-star football career and his choice of willing women—until injury forces him into early retirement. Social worker Madison Evans grew up in foster homes and knows what it means to have-not. She isn’t impressed by Alex Dare’s wealth or charm. Not since she fell hard for him once before, only to discover she was just one of his too-easy conquests. This time around Madison refuses to succumb. But Alex wants Madison. And if there is one thing Alex does well, it’s to get what he wants. Can he convince Madison to take a risk and dare to love?

ERIN NICHOLAS — Out of Bounds (Boys of Fall)
Wild child Jackson Brady doesn’t think twice about returning home to help out when his beloved high school football coach gets sick. Jackson’s done a lot of growing up in the past twelve years and this is an opportunity to atone for his past sins. But to get back into everyone’s good graces, he needs to prove he’s changed. Sweet, well-respected Annabelle Hartington is the key. If she’ll give him a second chance, everyone will know he’s a new man. Surprisingly, he’s not the only one who’s changed and it turns out nothing stirs his inner bad boy like the *former* goody-two-shoes.

MELANIE SHAWN — Actually Love (Crossroads)
Real or fake… As VP of public relations for SPC, the beautiful and talented Jessie Sloan knew the difference. The order and control she had in her life was real. Love was fake and she didn’t have time for fake. Win or lose… Sexy, sculpted boxing champ Zach Courtland has had his share of losses in life, but inside the ring, he knew nothing but wins. He was used to taking and landing punches, but little did he know that he was about to get the knockout of his life.

JESSIE EVANS — Diamonds and Dust (Lonesome Point Texas)
Pike Sherman is a legend in Lonesome Point, a hometown boy who made it to the big leagues. Literally. Professional baseball acquired one hell of a pitching arm and its latest celebrity bad boy when the gifted Pike was drafted. His broken heart came along for the ride, too, but he kept that private. After a few days back in Lonesome Point, Pike can’t imagine life without Tulsi Hearst, the girl he left behind, but when Tulsi’s secret is revealed, his heart is broken all over again. The only thing worse than losing Tulsi, is losing six years with the daughter he didn’t know he had.

CRISTA MCHUGH — Falling for the Wingman (The Kelly Brothers)
Air Force pilot Caleb Kelly has come back home with one mission in mind—to propose to the woman whose letters and lucky charm helped him survive his deployment in Afghanistan. But when he finds their apartment empty with a note saying she’s left him, he arrives at her mother’s house in rural Alabama too find Kourtney is about to marry another man. Her little sister, Alex, convinces him that the best way to get Kourtney back is to make her think he’s fallen for someone new—her. But when a fake romance becomes all too real, Alex’s deception may leave them both grounded.

Add to Goodreads To-Read List →

This book is on sale at:

Amazon Barnes & Noble Kobo Google Play iBooks




The Girl on the Train

The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins is $6.99 at Amazon, iBooks, and Google:Play. This is one of this year’s biggest thrillers, and I know the waiting list at my local library is very, very long for both digital and paper copies. This book has a 3.8-star average on GoodReads, and the people I know who really liked it frequently compare it to Gone Girl (which is currently $4.99) .

A debut psychological thriller that will forever change the way you look at other people’s lives.

Rachel takes the same commuter train every morning. Every day she rattles down the track, flashes past a stretch of cozy suburban homes, and stops at the signal that allows her to daily watch the same couple breakfasting on their deck. She’s even started to feel like she knows them. “Jess and Jason,” she calls them. Their life—as she sees it—is perfect. Not unlike the life she recently lost.

And then she sees something shocking. It’s only a minute until the train moves on, but it’s enough. Now everything’s changed. Unable to keep it to herself, Rachel offers what she knows to the police, and becomes inextricably entwined in what happens next, as well as in the lives of everyone involved. Has she done more harm than good?

A compulsively readable, emotionally immersive, Hitchcockian thriller that draws comparisons to Gone Girl, The Silent Wife, or Before I Go to Sleep, this is an electrifying debut embraced by readers across markets and categories.

Add to Goodreads To-Read List →

This book is on sale at:

Amazon Google Play iBooks Audible




Perfect Pies

Perfect Pies: The Best Sweet and Savory Recipes from America’s Pie-Baking Champion by Michele Stuart is $1.99 right now. This book is all about pies (yes, way!) from the chef behind the deliciousness at Michele’s Pies in Connecticut. This cookbook has a 3.8-star average on GoodReads, and many readers who liked it say it made baking pies much less intimidating.

The smell of a pie baking in the kitchen immediately conjures up feelings of comfort, nostalgia, and love. Michele Stuart vividly remembers standing at her grandmother’s apron hem as a child, as she fine-tuned (and improved!) family recipes that had been passed down for generations. Eventually, Stuart’s lifelong passion for pie-making inspired her to open what would become the world-famous shop Michele’s Pies.

You don’t have to travel to Michele’s Pies in Norwalk and Westport, Connecticut, though, to taste Stuart’s mouthwatering creations. Perfect Pies shares nearly eighty delicious recipes, many of them National Pie Championships winners: There are desserts bursting with fruit (Country Apple Pie, Blueberry-Blackberry Pie), crunchy with nuts (Chocolate-Pecan-Bourbon Pie, Maple Walnut Pie), cream-filled delights (Coconut Custard Pie, Lemon Chiffon Pie), and pies perfect for a party (Ultimate Banana Split Pie, Candyland Pie). And let’s not forget Stuart’s sensational savory creations, from Lobster Pot Pie to Quiche Lorraine to Italian Wheat Pie. Stuart also passes along easy recipes for Hot Fudge Sauce, Raspberry Jam, and Whipped Cream to top it all off.

Stuart’s secret, she says, is that her pies are “made by hand with love,” but she doesn’t neglect to advise you on the basic kitchen tools you’ll need as she reveals essential tips and techniques, from how to roll out dough to the best way to make light and flaky crust. And of course she stresses the use of fresh, seasonal fruits and other wholesome ingredients. “The best pies are the ones that keep it simple,” Stuart notes. So whether you’re a pie novice, a weekend baker, or a seasoned pastry chef, Perfect Pies will help make everything you bake worthy of a blue ribbon.

Add to Goodreads To-Read List →

This book is on sale at:

Amazon Barnes & Noble Kobo Google Play All Romance iBooks





May. 27th, 2015 03:59 pm
nanila: wrong side of the mirror (me: wrong side of the mirror)
[personal profile] nanila posting in [community profile] common_nature
I took my camera on the daily walk with the baby today in the hopes of catching a glimpse of the heron that's been frequenting our strip of the canal recently. Not only was it around, it was on our lock! It stood for a good long while staring back at us before it flew off, so I got to take some nice shots. All can be clicked to embiggen.

Heron taking off.

+2 )

The Politics of Facial Hair

May. 27th, 2015 02:25 pm
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Posted by Lisa Wade, PhD

Recently we ran a graph showing the evolution of facial hair trends starting in 1842. It showed that about 90% of men wore facial hair in the late 1800s, but it was a trend that would slowly die. By 1972, when the research was published, almost as many were clean shaven.

So, why did facial hair fall out of fashion?

Sociologist Rebekah Herrick gives us a hypothesis. With Jeanette Mendez and Ben Pryor, she investigated the stereotypes associated with men’s facial hair and the consequences for U.S. politicians. Facial hair is rare among modern politicians. “Currently,” they noted, “fewer than five percent of the members of the U.S. Congress have beards or mustaches” and no president has sported facial hair since William Howard Taft left office in 1913, before women had the right to vote.

Using an experimental method, Herrick and her colleagues showed people photographs of similarly appearing politicians with and without facial hair, asking them how they felt about the men and their likely positions. They found that potential voters perceived men with facial hair to be more masculine and this was a double edged sword. Higher ratings of masculinity were correlated with perceptions of competence, but also concerns that the politicians were less friendly to women and their concerns.

In other words, the more facial hair, the more people worry that a politician might be sexist:

2 (1)

In reality, facial hair has no relationship to a male politician’s voting record. They checked. The research suggests, though, that men in politics — maybe even all men — would be smart to pay attention to the stereotypes if they want to influence how others see them.

Thanks to Dmitriy T.C. for use of his face!

Lisa Wade is a professor of sociology at Occidental College and the co-author of Gender: Ideas, Interactions, Institutions. You can follow her on Twitter and Facebook.

(View original at

I have an applicable library card

May. 27th, 2015 10:33 am
james_davis_nicoll: (Default)
[personal profile] james_davis_nicoll
Sigh. I don't know why I cannot link to the card catalog entry. Sorry for the broken html.

The local academic libraries have copies of Partners in Wonder: Women and the Birth of Science Fiction 1926-1965 by Eric Leif Davin. Worth a review?

DE: It's where my demons hide

May. 27th, 2015 07:31 am
bjornwilde: (01-Hank: Beast)
[personal profile] bjornwilde posting in [community profile] ways_back_room
From [personal profile] gods_that_haunt_me :

What are your pup's worst flaws or bad habits?

(no subject)

May. 27th, 2015 10:12 am
the_rck: figure perched in a tree with barren branches (Default)
[personal profile] the_rck
Well, I did get to sleep a bit after 2 last night. I got up this morning a bit before 8. I thought about going back to sleep, but I have so much to do today that getting started on it seemed like a good idea.

I suspect I'm catching the family cold. I have a definite earache, and that seems the most likely cause. Of course, for Scott and Cordelia both, the cold started with a sore throat, and I don't have that. I guess I'll find out.

I forgot to mention one thing in my earlier post-- I finally donated the $80 that Cordelia and her friends raised. They wanted the money to go toward water security because they studied that topic last fall and the fact that there are parts of the world where people don't have easy access to good water made a strong impression on them.

They had thought that Oxfam was doing that sort of work because another friend had talked about her mother donating to Oxfam for that, but I couldn't find any way to specify that the money should go to that when I looked at Oxfam's website. None of the specific projects seemed to be about water.

Scott suggested which is an organization he's heard a lot about from the Vlog Brothers, and Cordelia said that was a good idea, so that's where I went. The only thing I wasn't pleased by was that there wasn't any way to credit the kids for the donation. Cordelia assured me that it didn't matter, but I'd have liked to put their names on it since it was their money and their work.

Time for link finding and Remix related fic reading. Those two things should keep me busy all day.

conversations with small children

May. 27th, 2015 04:49 pm
cimorene: (crack)
[personal profile] cimorene
CHILD: What are you doing?
ME: Knitting a cardigan.
CHILD: Oh, who for?
ME: Well, maybe myself.
CHILD: Oh, you must be making one for everybody!
ME: Uh, no, there wouldn't be time for that, it takes quite a long time...

#and not even if you paid me but it would cost like a hundred bucks

(no subject)

May. 27th, 2015 06:34 am
elainegrey: Inspired by Grypping/gripping beast styles from Nordic cultures (Default)
[personal profile] elainegrey
Reading Bernie Sander's interview after watching three episodes of The Century of the Self is a dose of sunshine after Houston-like deluges flooding my hope for democracy.
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Posted by SB Sarah

Help a Bitch OutThis HaBO is from Margaret, who is looking for a book with…a lot of features. LOTS of features.

I am looking for the name of a book I read ages ago – back in the 90s, but the book was definitely written in the 80s. Totally loved and hope to read it again or at least find out the author and see what else she wrote. :)

Anywho. Details: the novel is set in Texas. The main characters are two women, half sisters, but did not grow up together as one was the daughter of the mistress. They look very similar, but one is meek and the other feisty. I believe their names are Rachel and Eden (not sure on this).

Their father dies and the mistress’s daughter ends up with money while the legitimate daughter gets nothing due to bad investments. They both attempt to come to terms with each other and their father’s death and of course fall in love – Rachel with Eden’s lawyer and Eden with a oil rigger/gambler named MCrea (I think) who has a notable feature – a pinkie with a short tendon. This is how he realizes that Eden’s daughter is his because she hides her pregnancy from him…

That’s all I can remember, but I hope it is enough!!

So, short pinkie fingers, inheritance drama, and surprise sisters – well, hello there, the 80s! Do you recognize this book? Help a Bitch Out!

DC Sneak Peek: Cyborg

May. 27th, 2015 10:04 pm
nate_abril96: (Default)
[personal profile] nate_abril96 posting in [community profile] scans_daily
I wanted to do this post on Cyborg ever since it was announced by DC. Not because he's one of my favorite characters (although there are some parts of him I like), but because I also wanted to include a very important essay about the character that made me rethink some qualities of him. As such, I felt it was important to share it with the community along with this preview. Read more... )

DC Sneak Peek: Harley Quinn

May. 27th, 2015 07:07 am
informationgeek: (Default)
[personal profile] informationgeek posting in [community profile] scans_daily

Comic Vine: Chad, I was going to ask, what’s it like because the scripts, the stories are nuts.

Chad Hardin: It’s…you like being surprised. You like having new things and new experiences. With Jimmy and Amanda, it’s never a dull moment. You never see it coming. You can’t predict where it’s coming from. It helps keep the art fresh because you’re not bored, you’re not doing the same old thing over and over again. It’s always something new and always something fun.

Read More... )


May. 27th, 2015 07:50 am
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[personal profile] kalloway posting in [community profile] onedeadplotbunny
Just a reminder - this is your community, too. Feel free to use it to ask for advice, vent, commiserate, celebrate, etc.

This is a weekly check-in! You do not have to check in, of course, but if you would like to comment on the last week, feel free!

If you have a deadline coming up, you can do it! If you need a deadline, feel free to ask!

The current Brainstorming Post is here.

The Big Idea: Alma Alexander

May. 27th, 2015 10:53 am
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Posted by John Scalzi

An idea can seem silly, wacky or frivilous — which can be great — but there’s always a chance it can bloom into something else… bigger. In Wolf, this was Alma Alexander’s experience. She’s here to tell you how.


When the original call came for an anthology featuring “unusual” stories about Were-kind, one that specifically specified that writers should try and be a smidge more original than wolves howling at the full moon, I had a brainwave which I think might be the closest thing to an actual Original Idea™ that I’ve encountered in a long time – the concept of a Random Were, a creature which doesn’t have a “fixed” form as such but can Turn into the last warm-blooded creature observed before the metamorphosis begins. ANY warm-blooded creature. The potential for merry mayhem was obvious and hilarious, and that was the way the story originally went – it was funny. (One of the characters – via an unfortunate farmyard accident – was thus transformed into a Were-chicken…)

The deeper I got into what was supposed to be a short story, the more I realized that I was trying to stuff a triple-layer chocolate cake into a cupcake baking mold. Not only did this thing not want to be a “short” anything, it wanted to be far bigger than I realized. It wanted to be a novel. And then it decided it wanted to be three novels. (Not a trilogy, mind you. A sort of triptych, where a central story arc was seen through three different points of view (with ramifications specific to the POV character). An ambitious and intense structure on which to hang what had very quickly outgrown the original amusing little concept.)  This story was bigger and darker than I could have imagined from its humble beginnings. And its gifts, in the end, were many – not least the three POV characters, one better than the other, some of the best people to grace any of my stories ever.

But the Random Were – big as that idea was –proved to be just the beginning. The bigger idea by far was the creation of the world in which all this happened. A world very much like ours but with the addition of an under-class of Were creatures who live amongst us constrained by  rules and laws imposed on them by a fearful majority which does not Turn. The Were live and work and go to school among us… but they are obliged by law to be locked away during their three days of Turn, and if they cannot oblige adequately by themselves then they are forced to report to places known as Turning Houses where they can be kept sequestered and away from the public eye (out of sight out of mind) for the duration. The Turning Houses are terrible places. And underneath even that evil lurks something deeper and greater still.

Most importantly… the Were aren’t just beleaguered by the mundanes of their world. They are slaves to their own biology and physiology… and there are those within the Were kindred itself who have agendas of their own and are pursuing them in secret and ruthless ways. And to get here, I had to do something that I had not done before now.

I had to go back to my educational roots.

I hold a MSc in Molecular Biology, but that has long been left behind, receding in the rear view mirror as I move forward in life. I worked in a research lab, briefly, but I bailed before I pursued a PhD and then went sideways into first scientific and then general editorial work, and then into writing my own books. My chosen genre had never really approached that original layer of science education… until now, until the novel called “Wolf”, until I was suddenly faced with the surprisingly enthralling opportunity to do something that I don’t think I’ve ever really seen done before: figure out the genetic basis of the Were (including the curve I had just thrown myself, the concept of the Random Were, which changed all sorts of fundamental ideas). On a molecular DNA level, I was going to work out exactly what kind of creature they were, and why, and how they were different to the rest of us.

And I loved it. And I loved the idea that I had wrapped empirical science (the basic building blocks of an entire species)  into social science (creating a society where all of this functioned, warts and all) into a layer of fantasy that makes it all so much larger than life and easy to sink into.

With this kind of depth, with a complex and tightly woven structure of a kind I have never attempted before, with the kind of characters who stepped up to carry the story… the Were Chronicles (“Random”, “Wolf”, and the forthcoming “Shifter”) may be the best thing I’ve ever written. And on so many levels, quite possibly the most important. The Big Idea here surprised even me; I often tell people that I am an instinctive writer who plants a story seed into fertile ground and then waits to see what kind of thing pops up, a daffodil or an oak tree. With these particular books, what grew was a redwood. And I am left – grateful, and not a little astonished – sitting in its shadow.


Wolf: Amazon|Barnes & Noble

Read an excerpt. Visit the author’s site. Follow her on Twitter.

craft projects update

May. 27th, 2015 05:48 pm
fred_mouse: crystal mouse, looking straight out at the viewer (Default)
[personal profile] fred_mouse
I've not been keeping up with Craft Wot I've Been Doing/Finished - the last listing I made was back in July of last year. 

Where are those projects up to?

Crochet - all of the original three are finished and gifted (and at least one more finished and gifted), but I haven't got around to blogging them - I'm calling an amnesty on that, and declaring them done. Knitting - I think I frogged the rainbow blanket, and then created a crochet baby blanket from it instead (rainbow + purple suggests the one that went to baby sister of youngest's skate teammate). Youngest's jacket is still ongoing, but at least I found the instructions again this morning. Quilting - bright stripes went to someone (umm), as did the dusty pink (twin 2). Purple ducks and bright pink - one of these is sandwiched, the other needs one row of sewing for the top to be done. Blogging of the individual squares has stalled - again, I'm going to amnesty this one, as I would rather put my crafting effort into physical objects. But the photos are still somewhere...

As for the 'other quilts/bedding' - I don't think I've touched a single one of them. 

the current list )

Australian mistletoe and wasp

May. 27th, 2015 07:50 pm
calissa: (Default)
[personal profile] calissa posting in [community profile] common_nature
20150126 09 Mistletoe

Stalked mistletoe (Amyema miquellii) on a local eucalypt. This mistletoe is native to Australia and its long, thin leaves mimic many types of eucalypts. The photo was taken back in January, while it was still summer in this hemisphere.

Adult orange parasite wasp )


May. 27th, 2015 04:42 am
dglenn: Me in kilt and poofy shirt, facing away, playing acoustic guitar behind head (Default)
[personal profile] dglenn

"Danger and anger are everywhere. Love is the rarity, the gem buried in the core of the mine, the outpost of God." -- Loren, narrator of Metallic Love (2005, Bantam Books) by Tanith Lee (b. 1947-09-19, d. 2015-05-24)

NGC 6240: Merging Galaxies

May. 27th, 2015 08:01 am
[syndicated profile] apod_feed

NGC 6240 offers a rare, nearby glimpse of a cosmic catastrophe in its NGC 6240 offers a rare, nearby glimpse of a cosmic catastrophe in its

lynnoconnacht: A brown-haired girl in a gingham dress looking at the viewer over her shoulder. (!Me blue default)
[personal profile] lynnoconnacht

Huzzah! I have finally gotten around to reading the third installment in Valente’s Fairyland series! That took quite a long time, so I’m just going to launch straight into the rambling below the cut.

Read the rest of this entry » )

Mirrored from Little Lion Lynnet's.

(no subject)

May. 27th, 2015 01:49 am
maevele: Tom collins from rent dancing across the table, with text saying he is awesome (awesomeollins)
[personal profile] maevele
There was a making stuff party at wiscon, and as a result, I tried to knit for the first time in years. There was a time when I was one knitting motherfucker, but it started aggravating my wrist problems so I stopped. But I tried again at this party, and it didn’t hurt, so tonight I dug through my boxes of crap and found the few crappy aluminum needles and the really awesome yarn I hung on to, and tried again. I started and frogged stuff like twice just based on misjudging how it was going to come out based on which needles I was using but now I am like 15 rows or so into a purse, I guess? It was maybe gonna be a headscarf for a minute, but I need a purse.

But I’m just super excited to be knitting again, and if I don’t get all obsessive and watch my positioning it won’t hurt my hands and I can have cool stuff. I so miss all my good knitting supplies though, trying to relearn with aluminum needles and fancy yarn with ribbon and shit is hard. I wish I had known I was gonna get back into knitting before my birthday, it would have SO changed what I asked for.
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Posted by Redheadedgirl


Tiny Pretty Things

by Sona Charaipotra
May 26, 2015 · HarperTeen
Young Adult

I love ballet stories. I have eight of the 11 Drina books, including two of the really hard to get ones. I have all of the Royal Ballet School diaries, and a bunch of the Satin Slippers series from the 80s (and oh, is it 80s. It’s so bad and the main heroine is so stupid). Center Stage is one of my favorite movies, and I highly suggest going to see simulcasts of the Royal Ballet in movie theaters when you get a chance.

Carlos Acosta and Marianela Nunez of the Royal Ballet performing a fish dive from Don Quixote. Yes, I am using this as an excuse to post ballet gifs.

So when I was at the We Need Diverse Books panel at RT, and two of the authors were Sonia and Dhonelle and they were talking about their book which was set in an elite ballet school and there were three main leads and it, among other things, explored how their ethnicity affected their experience and I was like I NEED IT RIGHT NOW. I was lucky enough to get a signed copy from Avon later that afternoon, and devoured it before I even got home.

The setting is the American Ballet Conservatory, which feeds into the American Ballet Company. It’s make it or break it time- do well, and you might get a spot in the company, if the director thinks you’re good enough, if your body holds out, and if you are very very lucky.

The three leads are Gigi, a black girl from California who just started, and Bette, a white girl from New York, who is a legacy student: her grandmother danced with the company and her older sister was one of the shining stars six years earlier and is in the company now. Plus, there’s June, a half-Korean girl who’s been at the conservatory forever, but feels like she’s part of the woodwork.

From Center Stage, with Zoe Saldana at the front of three dancers, doing grand jetes across a studio. She’s amazing at it, and knows it.

They each have their own challenges- June doesn’t know who her father is, and her mother is super intense, demanding that if June isn’t getting lead roles in the student performances, then she’ll need to leave the school. She also doesn’t know much Korean, and the other Korean students have banded against her.

Gigi is new, and super talented, and an outsider in terms of geography, regional culture, and race. She doesn’t get the cutthroat culture, or why no one wants to be her friend. Many of the other girls have been there forever, and then Gigi swans in and takes the good roles and gets the good attention but she also has a heart condition. Dancing could kill her.

Bette, though. Bette has been secure in her position as the queen of her age group based on the strength of her last name and her alpha bitch-ness. But she’s starting to plateau, and her mother is a drunk who isn’t interested in parenting, just in having little genetic resume boosters.

One of the things we talked about in the We Need Diverse Books panel was that some facets of making your book’s world more diverse is just making the characters not default to white. There are aspects of Gigi, June, and Bette that don’t default to their repective races. They are all working for the same goal. They go to the same classes and are trying to learn the same techniques.

Four dancers from the Royal Ballet in a rehearsal studio practicing the “little swans” dance from Swan Lake.
Misty Copeland, from the Under Armor ad, performing bourees en pointe. She looks GLORIOUS and strong.

However, there is also the challenge of making your characters authentic in their experiences, and this is where Charaipotra and Clayton shine. Gigi is black, but she’s not, and some of her classmates assume she’s from the ghetto (“I’ve never been to the ghetto!”) but there’s still the issue of her tights needing to be dyed a different color than the white girls’. The food is different for her, and her family doesn’t act like the other girls’ families. When she loses her shit, there’s the worry that she’ll just be seen as a Angry Black Girl, not as someone who has legitamate things to be upset about (and oh, she does).

June struggles with the fact that she is only half-Korean, and while she was raised by her mother, her mother blames her for being what she was brought up to be. Who among us hasn’t been faced with parent disappointment for being exactly what they molded us into?She doesn’t know much Korean (but her mother didn’t teach her), she’s got an eating disorder modeled on her mother’s.  Being alienated from her culture while it swarms around her, not touching her, is June’s unique problem in her life, and it’s heartbreaking.

Bette is a total sociopath, but the way she tells her story, you almost think there never was a chance for her to be anything else. Her mother is determined that she’ll have two professional ballerina daughters, no matter what the cost is to them. Her mother is a narcissist with no empathy, so it’s no wonder that Bette is the same. She never had a chance and the book has a lot of empathy for her, even as it condemns what she does. That’s a neat trick, and not easy to do.

The cover copy describes this as Black Swan meets Pretty Little Liars. The melodrama factor is high. There’s harassment that escalates to attempted murder, maimings, vandalism, and HIPPA violations. The end was, the more I think about it, the most satisfying unsatisfying ending imaginable, and I am SUPER glad that I went to the WNDB panel, and that I snagged a copy. I’m really excited to see what else these two write, separately or together.

One of the reasons we need diverse books is because “we need windows and mirrors.” The Mirror, to see ourselves reflected in fiction. I see myself reflected all the time- other people who are not white, cis, straight, Christian, do not.   Everyone deserves to see stories that represent them. But we also need Windows, to see stories about people who are not like ourselves. It teaches empathy, and that the world isn’t the way our stories often portray it. Because of the structure, this book can be both mirror and window, and that’s important.

(no subject)

May. 27th, 2015 01:39 am
the_rck: figure perched in a tree with barren branches (Default)
[personal profile] the_rck
I'm up right now because I ate too much at dinner. That was a good five hours ago, but things won't settle enough to let me sleep. I also couldn't get my mind to settle down, either.

Since it's after 1 a.m., I will refer to the 26th as yesterday from here on out. Why not?

Scott and I didn't get up until after 9. I think it was closer to 10 by the time Scott emerged from the bedroom. Neither of us were very motivated to get moving, but he was feeling considerably better after a good night's sleep.

We had lunch at Totoro. Parking was difficult. Scott found a space right in front of the restaurant, but he started at a bad angle and kept bouncing off the curb and nudging the car in front of us. Some random guy came by and yelled at Scott for that (as far as I could tell, it wasn't his car).

After lunch, we went to the Secretary of State's office so I could renew my driver's license. It took less time than it might have because they were sorting out the easy things and giving them to a new employee, and a driver's license renewal was considered easy. I expected a written test and an eye exam, but they did neither, just had me sign a couple of forms and pay them. The photo for the license wasn't great, but I didn't think we were likely to get a better one by trying again.

Scott made a quick trip into Plum Market before we headed back into town. He forgot that Huron had construction, so he took Dexter instead of Miller, and that dumped us onto Huron which was one lane only for a very, very long way. At least, it was one lane going in the direction we needed.

Scott dropped me off at Bubble Island as there was no parking. I got bubble tea for all three of us. Unfortunately, I didn't hold onto the tray that the drinks had come on firmly enough, so it, with Cordelia's bubble tea, slid off my lap and onto the floor. The cup split, so we had lychee flavored green tea all over the car floor. We ended up just not telling Cordelia we'd had bubble tea and making sure that we had finished ours well before she got home. (I also had to put my shirt in to soak because it had gotten strawberry green tea all down the front.)

It was Tuesday, so Cordelia didn't come home until 4, and she brought two other kids with her. Those two come every Tuesday and Thursday. The three kids played until the other kids' father came to get them, around 5:30. Then Scott dragged Cordelia off to wrap presents while I talked to my brother on the phone.

Some time after 6, we headed out to Red Lobster. They weren't at all crowded, so we were seated immediately, and our food came fairly quickly. We all ended up with leftovers. I managed to drop food on myself at least twice. I really wish I was better at not doing that.

After dinner, we went to Dairy Queen. I wasn't sure it was a good idea given Scott's cold and the fact that Cordelia seems to be coming down with it, too, but Scott seemed to think it would be okay. Scott and Cordelia had small chocolate dipped cones. I had a small Heath blizzard.

When we got home, we discovered that my step-father had called while we were out. That surprised me because he and Mom pretty much never remember anybody's birthday (they didn't acknowledge Cordelia's in any way). Then one of my sisters called (the other one is 23 years younger than I am, and I don't think she has the slightest idea when my birthday is).

After I got off the phone, I opened presents. Cordelia had been making faces at me and pointing at the clock while I was on the phone because she knew it was her bedtime, but she still wanted to see me open presents. (She was eager to get to bed because she was feeling sick.) I got two books, two CDs, and two DVDs.

After Cordelia went to bed, Scott and I watched last night's episode of Antiques Roadshow. We were in bed with the light off by 11:15. And then, I couldn't sleep.

Hopefully, now I can.

Anti-procrastination Wednesday

May. 27th, 2015 06:01 am
peaceful_sands: tinkerbell (tinkerbell)
[personal profile] peaceful_sands posting in [community profile] bitesizedcleaning
Where did Tuesday go? So it's Wednesday, let's try anti-procrastinating today!

Is there something you've been procrastinating on? Something that really needs must be done, but is kind of a pain in the tuckus? Today's challenge is to do That Thing.

Go team, go! We can do it together!

NOTE: Optional 5 minute challenge for those who just do not have the brains for this challenge, because it is just too much. (Which is totally okay). Move two items from a room where they don't belong, to the room where they do! Could be dirty dishes, clean laundry, or just something random that got laid down and forgotten.


✓ 2015-05-27

May. 27th, 2015 12:45 am

Greetings from Rehoboth Beach

May. 27th, 2015 12:01 am
littlereview: (photos)
[personal profile] littlereview
We are having a very nice last-minute vacation! On Monday night I discovered that my sister, whom I had thought was still out of town for her birthday, was back in New York, so we decided to meet for breakfast on Tuesday morning at a diner near where she lives. We had a nice meal, then my family drove through New Jersey to Delaware, where we are currently staying just off the boardwalk in Rehoboth Beach, a place I went often in my childhood and several times during my kids' childhoods, though we've gone to the Outer Banks instead for the past several years.

We have been eating Thrasher's fries and Royal Treat ice cream and walking on the beach, though the water's quite cold for swimming -- I suspect this will be a wading-only trip. We also wandered a bit along the boardwalk and Rehoboth Avenue, though I am sad to learn that both Mostly Irish and the Thunderbird Shop have closed! Adam has school friends camping at Cape Henlopen and went to have dinner and s'mores with them while we went looking for ghost crabs, though we suspect we went too early, while the boardwalk was too bright. We'll try tomorrow!

By the Sea )

Change is the only constant

May. 26th, 2015 11:17 pm
milliways_mods: (Judging)
[personal profile] milliways_mods posting in [community profile] ways_back_room
SO yesterday was fun, right? When the Main Bar page went all wonky.
Ha! good times.

Well there's a good reason why that happened...okay, maybe good isn't the right word, but there was a reason why it happened:

I was learning how to code to get the [personal profile] milliways_mods journal up and running. A feat which I believe was largely successful.
For the most part.

Which is why I bring it to your attention now.
Could you, if you have a moment, go over to the new mod journal and let me know what you think.

On it we're going to host the FAQ, Application information, our new Cast List, and a separate Contact List.
It's not finished, or rather the information contained within isn't, but it's a good starting off point.

Tell me what you think in the comments below.

I can't believe I spaced and didn't mention this:
None of these changes would have been possible without much hand-holding from Debi.
For serious. Completely never would have happened. She's a rockstar!

MOD POST: Amnesty is open!

May. 26th, 2015 09:49 pm
sabinetzin: (iron man - tony's heart)
[personal profile] sabinetzin posting in [community profile] intoabar
Hello and welcome to the amnesty round! From now until just before the 2016 round opens (which will be some time in March or April), feel free to post any outstanding entries to the comm. That includes entries from any round that were not posted, as well as bonus fics, if your prompt was just too good to do once!

If you did not finish in the 2015 round and did not notify a mod, you can regain your eligibility for the 2016 round by posting in this period. No need to notify us, even if you defaulted previously; just post and we'll take care of the rest!

Please follow the standard guidelines. As always, remember your warnings statement and don't tag your own posts.

Happy posting!

Fic: the springtime of lovers

May. 26th, 2015 09:50 pm
moetushie: Beaton cartoon - a sexy revolution. (Default)
[personal profile] moetushie
the springtime of lovers (3290 words) by havisham
Chapters: 1/1
Fandom: The Silmarillion and other histories of Middle-Earth - J. R. R. Tolkien
Rating: Explicit
Warnings: Creator Chose Not To Use Archive Warnings
Relationships: Fingon/Maedhros/Maglor
Characters: Fingon, Maedhros, Maglor
Additional Tags: Sex Pollen, Threesome - M/M/M, Breaking and Entering, Crack Treated Seriously, Dubious Consent

Fingon's ill-fated foray into Yavanna's secret garden. (Stop sniggering back there.)

I've never written sex pollen before! All attendant warnings of dubious consent apply.

To-do list... study plan edition

May. 27th, 2015 11:31 am
transcendancing: Darren Hayes quote "Life is for leading, for not people pleasing" (Default)
[personal profile] transcendancing
I've woken up in a much better state, much less overt anxiety and stress. However, pain is a thing today - it's just low level achey stuff that I'm familiar with from Before Panadol (BPan), but days like this I'm aware that usually the panadol is on top of this and all of this is gone.

Is it possible that the stress exacerbates the pain to this degree? Food for thought.

Anyway current to do list. Also, suggestions on successful study planning for exams would be really welcome as I have to do this semester's exam study around the shift work I'll be doing on prac. I'm really not sure how to go about this as I will need to be much more efficient than usual - usually I can afford to just time sink into study.

* make a study plan so you have some idea of what and how much to cover -- this didn't happen, tomorrow's plan.
* put your roster into your calendar in there, and again there are a series of late-->earlies which is going to suck. Also a night shift (but at least I get an extra day off for that).
* take a photo and post it to instagram done x 2!
* have coffee with [personal profile] caitlen I had cheese instead but delightful time spent in awesome company!
* get vaccination booster done! I have been a bit of a pincushion this week.
* get immunisation status form signed -- in progress, waiting on this from my doctor.
* get confirmation from Clinical Learning that having the second vaccination for MMR will do the trick for starting placement next week. -- This is not done, but not for lack of trying. CLO were supposed to call me yesterday and didn't. I figured surely they'd call today. They didn't. I tried to call them this morning regardless, left a message on voicemail. They haven't returned the call, I tried to call this afternoon and got voicemail again but didn't leave a message. Pretty pissed off about it.
* check ingredients for dinner but you should have them all - and I do! So this is done already! We're having Macaroni Peas for dinner tonight.
* draft a blog post about learnings from essay writing - make it dot points if you need to (this might be asking too much). -- ahahahaaha, yeah this was asking too much.
* post daily content for Laney.
* Send email to Adam Bandts office on the allowable time legislation. Just sent. I will probably have to follow up with additional information, but this is done for now.
* locate documentation to bring for placement (Working With Children, Police Check) done!
icon_uk: (Default)
[personal profile] icon_uk posting in [community profile] scans_daily a Truly OUTRAGEOUS post

(Sorry, I had to get that out of my system and better now than later)

Now as you know, I pride myself on being the manliest of men, the most testosterone-driven pile of XY chromosome derived masculinity as you could ever hope to meet...

And like all manly men, I have an unfeasily large interest in a mid 1980's cartoon series called "Jem", a series with an almost entirely female cast (only three regular male characters over the whole series; the heroine's boyfriend, the evil manager, and a rival band's lead singer in the last run of episodes) and featuring more female agency than most other cartoon series since the mid 1980's combined! In the words of the theme song there was 'Glamour and Glitter, Fashion and Fame', but also adventure, romance, a heroine who is an executive as well as a pop star, some sci fi in the form of her hologram projecting earrings, exotic locations and... well, pretty much everything you'd hope for in a cartoon (and no ccomedy relief pets!)

I posted some of the preview character bios, and also a little sample of #2 a few weeks back, but those are the only posted pages on S-D do far (somewhat to my surprise), so I though that, now #3 is out, I would make a slightly longer look at it, because by heck it deserves one.

Only the Beginning! )

Unfuck tomorrow morning

May. 26th, 2015 09:00 pm
[syndicated profile] unfuckurhabitat_feed
  • Wash the dishes in your sink
  • Get your outfit for tomorrow together, including accessories
  • Set up coffee/tea/breakfast
  • Make your lunch
  • Put your keys somewhere obvious
  • Wash your face and brush your teeth
  • Take your medication/set out your meds for the morning
  • Charge your electronics
  • Pour a little cleaner in the toilet bowl (if you don’t have pets or children or sleepwalking adults)
  • Set your alarm
  • Go to bed at a reasonable hour

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