July 2017


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Wednesday, July 26th, 2017 08:20 pm
Title: Silver and Gold
Author: [personal profile] komadori
Word Count: 100
Rating: G

Read more... )
Thursday, July 27th, 2017 03:03 am
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I think… I have… the last chapter done… on the epilogue to the epic… the Home Out In The Wind saga… ready to be posted… 

It’s a draft chapter because I’m not sure and I need to proofread it one last time. Parts of it have been done for six months or more. I’m. I can’t believe I’m still working on this, you know?

But. We’ll see. I think… I think it’s done.

I mean, I still have like, 10k of extras and bits and bobs and things, but. I mean. The big Plot Thing. Done. Marked complete. 

I could do that. 

Let’s not be hasty, here. But. Tomorrow. Maybe.

I feel weird.
Thursday, July 27th, 2017 01:13 am
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Bro you said let’s go out and I said please yes I’m so tired and frazzled I don’t want to think. You said where should we go? I said I mean, I could go for A or B but anything really. You said, how about C and I was like, you know, sounds good, I could go for Subset of C.
It’s been an hour and you’re still waiting for me to tell you what specific place we should go to for C. I don’t give a half a fuck at this point, and I’m burnt out and frazzled, and C was your idea, and I only live in this town part -time, and I don’t understand why it is ALWAYS my responsibility to pick the place. Always!
I’m going to just go sit in the car. I don’t care.
Thursday, July 27th, 2017 01:13 am
via http://ift.tt/2tL4pyp:sugarspiceandcursewords replied to your post “deputychairman replied to your post “I got talking with my dude…”

I had to fess up to my parents that I wrote fanfic when fanfic actually led me into a brief paying gig. They were bewildered but supportive. I chose a couple of carefully curated stories for them to read and lived in terror of impending humiliation for a day or two until my mom emailed me how much she liked that I’d hooked the two main characters up because “they’re clearly meant to be together.” I kinda have great parents.

Sigh. That sounds so cool.

I have never let my folks read even my original stuff because I just… they don’t… really… get… I don’t know how to say it without sounding like nobody understands me but really we don’t have the same tastes in storytelling in general, it turns out. They’re supportive but they don’t really understand what it is that I’m into exactly.

And like. One of the non-fanfic projects I desperately want to work on? My mom is a talented and professional researcher, and has written several books that are just compilations of her research. F’rex, she found every single Civil War soldier that she possibly could who either had served in the regiment our county raised, or who had settled in our town before or afterward, and wrote up a profile of each soldier. (That book is self-pubbed on the town website.)

And it is so dry. It is so dry. She is a great teller of facts, and a fine storyteller in real life; she was a teacher before she retired, she can make subject matter interesting. But holy shit, she once wrote up an account of the double axe-murder in the 1790s in our small town, and it was so boring I couldn’t finish it. An axe murder! Some dude went nuts and killed his whole family and dog, and turned up at the neighbors’ naked and covered in blood, and they were like holy shit what happened and he was like i don’t know, and in the end they said it was the Devil, and my mother tells this story and i’m like zzzzzzzzzzzhuh? I don’t know how she does it. She’s just. Very dry.

So I’m dying to write a series of stories about the characters in history who’ve lived in my town. I would love to collaborate with her on this. Except… 

it means she’d have to read my writing and I can’t handle that, so. I haven’t tried. 
Thursday, July 27th, 2017 01:13 am
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i am led to understand that the backstory behind trump’s trans military ban is this: 

so congress is hashing out their military spending bill, and there was a divide between conservative/moderate republicans over whether the pentagon should fund trans surgeries. in an effort to render the issue moot and help the bill along, house republicans asked trump to simply issue an executive order on the topic. the idea being, if there’s an EO about funding trans surgeries, then congress doesn’t need to bother debating or writing it into the bill one way or the other and they can finally move on to other matters

but trump fucked up; instead of putting an order restricting the military funding of trans surgeries, he declared he was completely banning trans people from service. this is not what congress asked for and it has turned the whole situation into a boondoggle. one republican aide has likened it to trump being asked to light a candle and setting the table on fire instead. this move may in fact endanger the military budget bill, and mire it in further debate on whether to overturn trump’s overreaching EO. add in the fact that trump does not like being told he fucked up, and will certainly dig his heels in, raising tensions between him and congress

so while it’s absolutely a malicious move that will endanger trans service members and will certainly further poison public discourse about trans people in general, there’s at least the silver lining that the order has been administered so incompetently that it’s going to throw a wrench into the republican agenda

i don’t like transphobia but i DO like watching the republican party flail helplessly around as the hideous monster they unleashed on the rest of us also stomps their plans flat too
Wednesday, July 26th, 2017 04:04 pm
What I've recently finished reading:

Text: Empowered: Agent (Empowered, #1) by Dale Ivan Smith, which so far is the best Instafreebie book I've tried (a rather low bar). The world-building is simple but fun; it's not just that Empowered people (that is, people with superhero-type powers) exist, but it's also an alternate history - one in which Richard Nixon prevented a nuclear war from escalating into global destruction "after Washington DC had been destroyed by a Soviet nuke fired from Cuba." (So I guess Kennedy didn't stop the Soviets...) This only shows up incidentally, at least in this book, but I am charmed by Nixon being considered a hero in this universe.

Mat is a good character, an interesting woman with a skill - manipulating growing plants - that is clearly much more useful (and lethal) than anyone gives her credit for. The Hero Council choice of "join us if we can use you, otherwise you must swear to never use your power" seems rather terrible to me, a bit of shoddy world-building but I guess it's needed for the plot. Her choices and actions are reasonable, especially as circumstances paint her into a corner. I like that she has a family she cares about, and I also like the lack of romance (though I suspect one is building).

The writing is okay, not great, though it's mostly free of typos and technically adequate. There are few obvious errors (such as a character being identified by name before Mat would actually know her name) but also few flashes of brilliance. Mostly it's just somewhat flat. I didn't feel particularly pulled along or emotionally invested, and this, plus uneven pacing toward the end, contributed to a general feeling of anticlimax.

Audio: Plus One by Elizabeth Fama, which was a SYNC offering, and surprisingly enjoyable and novel for dystopian YA. This is set in an alternate future in which the Spanish Flu pandemic of 1918 led to the need for split-shift staffing of hospitals, a day set and a night set of doctors and nurses, which in turn proved so efficient that the division between day workers and night workers was expanded to all parts of life, formalized and codified and enforced by law. But as daylight living is more natural and presumably more enjoyable, gradually the night people ("Smudges") became stereotyped as stupid, undesirable, lesser than the day people ("Rays") - and it took me until about 3/4 through the book to realize this was a civil rights allegory.

Yes, there is some suspension of disbelief required, but no more than, say, teenagers fighting to the death broadcast on television, or a society discarding all but a hundred selected novels, songs, and films. And what makes this an actually good book is that the plot is legitimately interesting and complex, and goes in unexpected (but foreshadowed) ways. There is a romance, which is somewhat cutesy and predictable, but at least it's not a love triangle - and, speaking of YA tropes, though this is in first person it is in PAST TENSE THANK GOD.

I liked the ending, which is not pat or universally happy, and which leaves a lot of things open-ended for a sequel (or for fanfiction). I would like to have seen a more explicitly "fight the system" plot, with Sol and the other characters actively working to bring the system down - maybe this will be in a subsequent book? Finally, I ship Sol/Gigi la la la and will be nominating this for Yuletide.

The audio version also includes "Noma Girl", a prequel short story which is also available free online. It was a nice fleshing-out of incidents only alluded to in the novel, but there's no new worldbuilding or anything unexpected here. I did like the more sympathetic view of Gigi. I don't think it will make sense if you haven't read the novel.

Webcomic: For some reason I followed a link (from Goodreads, maybe?) to The Less Than Epic Adventures of TJ and Amal by E. K. Weaver, which I'd vaguely heard of through osmosis but really didn't know anything about (I didn't realize it was a comic, for one; for some reason I thought it had to do with lesbians) and devoured it over the course of four or five days. It's a gay (m/m, and has some nsfw) roadtrip story in which the title characters get to know each other and find themselves (well, sort of). If you haven't read it, I recommend it! There is a tiny fandom, and I believe the comic was originally posted on LJ as a WIP.

What I'm reading now: Cibola Burn, the fourth Expanse book. So far I'm about 25% in and enjoying it more than the previous book, Abaddon's Gate. Also, wow, apparently all minor characters are gay in this universe, or at least every throwaway line about people being married refers to a same-sex relationship.

What I'm reading next: Now that I'm recommitted to this book series, I've got the next two on my phone.

What I've just finished watching:

Movie: I finally watched Hidden Figures, and it was every bit as awesome as I'd hoped. ♥ My mother was a chemist for the FDA before and during this era, and I realized that at least she had the advantage of being white (though she had the disadvantage of being Jewish). I can't imagine what it must have been like to have both racism and sexism barriers looming so hugely in one's life.

TV: We have finished S2 of The Expanse! I am still a little weirded out by the timelines of book series and show being off from each other. I also thought the Ganymede plot was done better by the show, but the Avasarala and Bobbie plot was done better in the books.

What I'm watching next: Nothing for a while, because on Saturday we are headed out for a week of backpacking in the wilderness and so we might as well hold off on starting anything new. I'm trying to talk B into getting a short-term subscription to HBO Now via Amazon Prime so we can watch Game of Thrones. (His objections are that a, he hates WIPs even more than I do and wants to be able to watch every day or every other day rather than waiting a week between episodes, and b, he is sure they will make it hard for us to cancel after a month or two.)

In the meantime, [community profile] remixrevival has signups through Sunday, and [community profile] crossovering has extended signups through Sunday, so if either of these interest you, you have a few more days to join up!
Wednesday, July 26th, 2017 09:08 pm
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Cassian Andor. Fulcrum.

for @thefulcrumcaptain prompt → fulcrum
Wednesday, July 26th, 2017 09:08 pm
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No one tell me what this is really about, it’s the only giggle I’ve had today. #iamtwelve (at Delaware Camera)
Wednesday, July 26th, 2017 02:16 pm
So on Monday the realtor I've been working with sent me 10 listings to choose from and I said I liked five, and so I'm seeing 2 out of those five tomorrow evening (the two most expensive and also the two I was least interested in. funny how that works out. the one that was my fave accepted an offer yesterday and is thus off the market now. Sigh. eta: and there goes my second fave, with an accepted offer. but I'm seeing the last one on Saturday, so there's hope! I like each of these three, just not as much as I liked the other two and also they each have one drawback or another, I guess./eta). I'm trying to keep an open mind, but I'd really like to see the two I like more before I have to make any decisions.

How can it only be Wednesday? Yesterday felt like it was 8 days long in and of itself. Sigh.

What I've just finished

What I'm reading now
Still on Abaddon's Gate. I like it but not as much as the first two books so it's taking me longer to read (the fact that I haven't been getting a seat on the train hasn't helped). I feel like the new characters are not nearly as interesting as Avasarala and Bobbie, though I like Anna and Bull just fine. Melba, otoh... On the plus side, spoilers ) I'm about a hundred pages from the end so I'm guessing there's still some excitement to come.

What I'm reading next
Regardless, I did pick up the next book - Cibola Burn - because I do want to see what happens next. I just also wish we got the POV from the others on the Roci instead of all Holden all the time there.

Wednesday, July 26th, 2017 01:03 pm
via http://ift.tt/2uBtb1q:deputychairman replied to your post “I got talking with my dude about how it’s silly that people expect…”

wow NOBODY IRL has read or will ever read my stuff, I share your amazement that anyone does this! my dude doesn’t read anything and I will certainly never point him to my stuff. ugh. no.

I can at least talk with my dude in somewhat abstract terms about it. “Someone is wrong on the Internet!” We have an agreement where he sometimes tells me what happened at work today, which I rarely understand although I honestly know a lot more about software development than I ought to just by exposure at this point, and sometimes I tell him what’s happening on the Internet. 

My brother-in-law got me to admit that I write fanfic, in general terms, and I feel weird that he Knows. I would probably rather die than link him.

You’re better about keeping your government name off the fannish Internet than me, though. I’ve been the same screen name way too long. And like. Watermark my photos, LOL. Oh well. I’d be easy to find, but nobody’s looking, and that suits me fine.

walburgablack replied to your post “I got talking with my dude about how it’s silly that people expect…”

I give fanfic to irl folk only very rarely and really not at all nowadays. I used to in masters, but not in undergrad and not now. My only exception is my SO, but she is (a) also fannish and (b) my writing partner for non-fannish stuff.

The whole concept of a “writing partner” is one of those things that sounds heavenly but I suspect I’d be terrible at. Writing is so lonely, but it’s kind of… for a reason; it’s messy and I’m not sure anyone really needs to see that. 
Wednesday, July 26th, 2017 01:03 pm
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Slow progress but I love the texture of hand-quilting so much, it’s all soft ripples and stitch variations. #flybyquilt #handquilting
Wednesday, July 26th, 2017 03:23 am
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I got talking with my dude about how it’s silly that people expect that a romantic partner should share all your interests, and he was like, right, you should be your own person, and I admitted that sometimes I’m jealous of my favorite authors who have partners(husbands) who read their work and are their biggest fans, but I get that that’s not mandatory, and he said, well, right, you wouldn’t really appreciate my criticisms, since my tastes are so different from yours, and I don’t remember exactly what I said, but he perked up when I mentioned how much porn I’d been writing lately, and he was like, you know, I probably would have some reasonably meaningful feedback on that, and honestly I dunno, I write a lot of gay stuff, and stuff I don’t think he’d really be all that into, but, well, long story short I sent him a link to the most recent PWP (Yavin IVsome) and I’m now rereading it with a critical eye and kind of thinking like, hm, maybe I shouldn’t have sent him that, so, uh, anyway. It’s a bit female-gazey, now that I reread it, and maybe I’m too flowery in the descriptions, and gosh. 

… Dude and I have been together for a decade and a half, and the last thing of mine I had him read, he wanted to know why everybody had dumb names. He is Super Not Into fantasy or sci-fi stuff at all, and doesn’t read much at all but when he does, it’s contemporary stuff. He loved Nick Hornby etc. He doesn’t do drama or epic shit or any of the stuff I do.

This is almost as bad as when I told my sister my AO3 handle and linked her to a fic. It’s been like six months, she didn’t read it, I think I’m all good, but the nervousness about it… 

y’all don’t understand, I’m not out to people in RL, I don’t know anyone in person who’s basically ever read my fanfic. Some of y’all talk about, like, your mom reading your shit, and liking it, and giving you advice, and I can’t even imagine what that would be like.

I almost hope he doesn’t read it because then I can stop worrying what he won’t like about it. Ugh I’m the worst at dealing with this.
Tuesday, July 25th, 2017 07:11 pm
Last week's F win was a tie between The Dragon and the George and Goblin Quest. I am waffling over which one to pick. Goblin Quest had discussion in the comments, but on the other hand, reading it would break my unbroken streak of not having read any of the many Hines novels I own.

K winner was the Callahan. I am going to keep Callahan's Crosstime Saloon but this may be the nudge I needed to just drop the rest.

Anyway, this week's FMK theme is SF by Anglophone Writers of Color. We will pretend the reason it was tough to get a set of ten together for this is that when I get one of these it doesn't linger as long on the to-read pile. (Actually, it was tougher than I expected because finding out race for a lot of SF writers - especially older and more obscure ones - is not simple. There does not seem to be an easily accessible and accurate masterlist of SF Writers of Color out there. And at some point, for some of then, I found myself thinking that if they aren't interested in making their ancestry part of their public bio, I need to not be looking this hard. I never did figure out if Philip Jose Farmer is actually in any way Hispanic.)

How FMK works, short version: I am trying to clear out my unreads. So there is a poll, in which you get to pick F, M, or K. F means I should spend a night of wild passion with the book ASAP, and then decide whether to keep it or not. M means I should continue to commit to a long-term relationship of sharing my bedroom with it. K means it should go away immediately. Anyone can vote, you don't have to actually know anything about the books.

I pick a winner on Friday night (although won't actually close the poll, people can still vote,) and report results/ post the new poll on the following Tuesday, and write a response to the F winner sometime in the next week.

Link to long version of explanation (on first poll)

Poll: Butler, Delany, Hamilton, Hurston, Martinez, Mosley, Reynolds, Takei, White, Wilson )
Tuesday, July 25th, 2017 07:25 pm
Poll post coming soon! But first, I have finished Discount Armageddon by Seanan McGuire!

It was fun! I enjoyed it! The characters were great! Much like the other McGuire I have read, I felt like the more I thought about it, the less there there was there! (I can't think of a single piece of internal evidence other than Verity's word that it took place in Manhattan instead of, like, Columbus, Ohio. The Price-vs.-Covenant thing really doesn't work with the logistics that are set up in the book. Verity's main character note is that ballroom dance is the most important thing to her, she tells us this at least every fifth page, and yet at no point does she ballroom dance, even as practice. Etc.)

And I did really like the variety of cryptids and the cryptid community, but the "cryptozoologist" thing still bothers me, in that a cryptozoologist is a very specific thing situated in a very specific time and culture - it is not something like "witch" that has enough meanings with enough history you can basically go with whatever - and I would really really love to read an urban fantasy about cryptozoologists - and Verity Price is really really not one. (I mean, you could make a cool backstory about how the Prices and allies adopted the terminology ironically in the 60s to further distinguish themselves from the Covenant - or that Sanderson got himself in WAY over his head with a Price girl at some point and came out very confused, which is a fanfic I would definitely read - but she does not seem to be doing that.)

But! It is a urban fantasy in which ALL OF THE SEX IS UNAMBIGUOUSLY AND EXPLICITLY CONSENSUAL, and I didn't even know that was a thing that existed, so I will forgive it A LOT for being that. (I would also enjoy the fanfic about how Price family sex education includes a unit about how part of their mission is to introduce the urban fantasy community to the idea of "affirmative consent" which it had previously lacked entirely.)

I have Down Among The Sticks and Bones on its way from the library, but I have learned it is NOT about the Skeleton Girl (with that title how is it not about the Skeleton Girl?) so I find I am not that excited about it coming.
Tuesday, July 25th, 2017 11:18 pm
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Doing some non-farm signpainting by request. Don’t bother with the burn pile, @solwhale ! This bit of offcut siding is perfect!