Today's ambiguity

Oct. 19th, 2017 10:47 pm
james_davis_nicoll: (Default)
[personal profile] james_davis_nicoll
"Resent" is both how one might feel about being told an email never arrived and also what one might do in response.

Wait

Oct. 19th, 2017 10:47 pm
james_davis_nicoll: (Default)
[personal profile] james_davis_nicoll
The month was only half over last weekend. How can it be almost three quarters over only a week later?

(no subject)

Oct. 19th, 2017 09:48 pm
the_rck: (Default)
[personal profile] the_rck
I went downtown yesterday early enough to have time to return things to the library and to pick up my holds. I had a little more than forty minutes before the bus I needed to take to get to Skyline. I got out to the school about fifteen minutes before the final bell. Cordelia was a little worried about where to meet because I wanted to give her geometry teacher some Puffs as a donation (the district no longer provides tissues for teachers to put out for the kids who have colds/allergies).

The fundraiser stuff was in two smallish boxes, one of which only contained a beef sausage thingy and so didn't weigh very much. I told the cab dispatcher where we'd be waiting, but he neglected to tell the cabbie. Fortunately, he guessed the front entrance, and we'd positioned ourselves where we could see cars on both loops approaching that (there's one for buses and one for parents dropping off/picking up, but when there aren't buses there, cars can use either).

We had friends over to play games last night. We played a cooperative game called Star Trek Five Year Mission that Scott's planning to run at UCon. We missed a lot of details the first time through. I didn't play the second game because they wanted to do the timed version. I didn't want to deal with that. Instead, I took a short walk and recaptured the Ingress portal down the street. I managed to get a silver (second level out of five) badge for making fields.

I had intended to go out this morning, but Scott's sister texted me with an invitation for Cordelia to go out to a concert this evening, and I spent quite a long time trying to coordinate that (including reaching Cordelia to make sure she even wanted to go). I can only assume that my niece intended to take a friend and had that friend cancel at the last minute. I didn't ask.

I've written 1200 words today, just not on any of my established WIP. Because I needed a new, half completed story. Really, I did.

Books read, July

Oct. 20th, 2017 02:32 pm
cyphomandra: boats in Auckland Harbour. Blue, blocky, cheerful (boats)
[personal profile] cyphomandra
We have a new government!!! (more importantly, one I am very happy with; Labour/NZ First in coalition with the Greens, Jacinda Adern as Prime Minister; I would have preferred Labour/Greens but they didn't get the votes. I am unable to sum up my thoughts on Winston Peters, leader of NZ First and the person who under our MMP system ultimately decided the next government, but basically I respect him as a politician and would never vote for him)

Agatha Christie, After the Funeral
Agatha Christie, Elephants can Remember
Anne Gracie, Marry in Haste
Anne Gracie, Gallant Waif
KJ Charles, An Unnatural Vice
KJ Charles, A Fashionable Indulgence
KJ Charles, A Seditious Affair
KJ Charles, A Gentleman's Position
KJ Charles, The Ruination of Gabriel Ashleigh
Anne Gracie, His Stolen Princess
Anne Ursu, The Real Boy
Pierre Lemaitre, The Great Swindle


My Miss Marple re-read has taken a detour because I know there are only two left and I don't want them to be over. After the Funeral is Poirot, investigating the case of a batty but often insightful woman who is murdered with a hatchet the day after she states that the relative they are just burying was obviously murdered himself; I spotted the clues and put some of them together but really got this on the rather depressing approach of that if anyone is remotely coded lesbian they will come to a bad end. Elephants can Remember is another Poirot, and it's one where I have a very clear memory of reading it as a child (probably 9 or so) in a library copy, and not really liking it, and possibly I didn't finish it. It's late - published 1972 - and a bit obvious (features identical twins) and it's sad in a slightly nasty way. Despite that it does manage to handle a plot where all the major reveals are in the past and in people's memories without annoying me by having the sequence of reveals be too obviously stage-managed, so there's that.

Every so often I try m/f romances, and after finding Sherry Thomas I checked a couple of rec sites out, focussing on historicals, and picked up a book by Anne Gracie. Her books are competent regencies that neither overdo the slang nor stick contemporary characters in costumes, the characters themselves usually behave like sensible adults, and she has a sense of humour, and in addition to all that a lot of her books are available through the library's Overdrive system, so I have been binging. Plotting could be stronger and the endings sometimes feel rushed, I don't always feel that much sympathy for her characters, plus she can't really pull off some of the melodramatic conventions (secret royalty etc), but they're mostly fun reads. Marry in Haste is arranged marriage; male lead returns to England post-Napoleonic wars trying to track an assassin but finds he has to take over estate responsibilities and look after his half-sisters, so marries their governess to supervise them. The hero discovers the heroine is not a virgin on their wedding night and after he storms off initially they have a conversation where she points out that a)there'd been no opportunity to tell him earlier and b) if it was that important to him he should have mentioned it in the proposal, and he listens to her, agrees, and they move on (she had a sweet but short-lived fling with a farm worker, if I remember correctly). The assassin plot-line creaks a bit but is okay. Gallant Waif has a great older female character, grandmother to the hero and godmother to the heroine's mother, who essentially kidnaps the heroine (who was in a miserable state) to get her to sort out the hero, who is crippled and sulking post-war. I am not wild about people flinging coffee pots at each other to indicate feistiness, and I felt the tone of the relationship in this one was a bit off from their angst-ridden pasts, plus the final scene felt rather unlikely - at a ball the heroine gets initially shunned by everyone and then there's a bit where everyone she's ever helped - war veterans and their families, mostly - come over and accept her. His Stolen Princess has a mother and son who are Secretly Princess and Crown Prince from another non-existent European country escaping an Evil Relative with Designs on the Throne, and was my least favourite of these three as the characters didn't really work and the plotting was equally unlikely. The supporting characters were good, though.

KJ Charles, The Society of Gentlemen series. I read these all in about two days. I've had A Fashionable Indulgence for ages but couldn't get into it. Harry fled to France as a child when his parents were wanted for sedition, and has been living in poverty; now he's the heir to fortune and nobility, and his cousin Richard sets him up with his friend Julius (dandy, closed-off emotionally post-war) to show him how to be a gentleman. The Pygmalion plotline is not my favourite, and neither of the characters are really there for me; I liked it while I was reading it, but it doesn't crackle. But the second, A Seditious Affair is a different beast; Silas, an anarchist, atheist and printer of seditious literature (also looked after Harry after his parents' death) has weekly assignations with a nameless noble who likes Silas to beat him up and insult him beforehand. Nameless noble is, of course, Dominic, one of the Society of Gentlemen, and also a government employee tasked with hunting down rebels. This really sparks as a novel. The characters are believable, as is their setting, which is very specific time period - the Peterloo Massacre takes place during the book - and it is explicitly addressing one of the things that bugs me about m/m historicals set in England in the 1700-1900s, namely class. It's a dynamic, unstable relationship, and I like seeing that, even when the characters' kinks don't necessarily work for me. A Gentleman's Position, about Richard and his valet, who's been secretly in love with him for ages, is also about class, but it's a tamer book - I liked it more than the first, though, because I am fond of pining. The Ruination of Gabriel Ashleigh is a novella that takes place first chronologically, and it's perfectly unobjectionable, but it doesn't really have the room to convince me of a) the characters b) their backstory and c) its rapid resolution in favour of explicit sex.

KJ Charles, An Unnatural Vice. Second in the Sins of the City series, and I liked it more; crusading journalist is determined to expose the Seer of London as a fraud, they end up hooking up, the melodrama plot with lost heirs and fraudulent claimants ticks along in the background. I think this series is very much one overall plot for the three stories, which does weaken the individual parts a little. Lots of nice spiritualism details.

Anne Ursu, The Real Boy. I bought another book by Ursu years ago and never finished reading it, which gives me twinges of guilt when I see her name (it's in a box somewhere, along with practically everything else in my collection by an author with a surname from N onwards). This is children's fantasy in which Oscar, the shop boy for a magician, has to deal with the absence of his master (and the surprisingly gory death of an older apprentice) and magical problems that indicate something seriously wrong with his society. Oscar is autistic; it's never spelled out, and the book is in his point of view, but we see how others interact with him and how he feels about things. It's nicely done, although there is a rather disturbing bit where Oscar decides he can't possibly be a proper human (see title); this is not the case. However, the world-building in this felt a little wobbly, and the lack of almost any remotely sensible adult a little forced.

Pierre Lemaitre, The Great Swindle (trans. Frank Wynne). This won the Prix Goncourt in 2013 and it's a cynical but oddly caring book; the ending didn't quite work for me, but a lot of the rest did. The set-up is fabulous - in the final days of WWI, the grasping Lieutenant Henri d'Aulnay Pradelle, desperate for promotion, sends out two of his men to scout the enemy lines and shoots them in the back, using their supposed murders at the hands of the enemy to spur his own troops into a suicidal attack. Albert Maillard, one of his soldiers, discovers the bodies during the charge, realises what has happened and then sees Pradelle watching him; Pradelle shoves him into a bomb crater where he is buried alive, only to be dug up by Edouard Péricourt, a dissolute aristocrat possessed by artistic genius, who then has half his own face blown off by shrapnel. It's a set-up that would be the reveal of a lesser book.

Albert, stricken by guilt, looks after Péricourt once both men are discharged, and is drawn into Péricourt's elaborate revenge scheme (possibly the swindle of the title; there are a lot of swindles) but Pradelle is also manoeuvring through post-war society, and he knows Albert is out there. It's an indictment of the treatment of war veterans, and the way in which sympathy can be manipulated and channeled into socially acceptable methods of expression; it's also about the odd friendship/carer relationship between Albert and Péricourt, and about Péricourt's sister Madeleine, who believes her brother dead, and it's about the eminently unlikeable Joseph Merlin, a chicken-obsessed bureaucrat, who is the ultimate architect of justice. I said the ending didn't quite work for me and it doesn't - I wanted more resolution for Péricourt - but I did like the other characters' fates.

Dear Author: Holly Poly

Oct. 20th, 2017 07:53 am
tielan: (AVG - agents)
[personal profile] tielan
Dear author,

Welcome to my Dear Author letter for [community profile] holly_poly, wherein I try to give you a snapshot of the kind of stuff I like, and which you are welcome to take as gospel (although I don’t recommend it), consider as guidelines (rather than rules), or simply read as an exercise in curiosity (entirely acceptable).

WORK IN PROGRESS

holly_poly: still working things out )

b&w updates

Oct. 19th, 2017 09:14 pm
lost_spook: (james maxwell)
[personal profile] lost_spook
Since I was complaining a few posts ago about the lack of James Maxwell in Subway in the Sky, I should say:

a) That paid off - [personal profile] swordznsorcery pointed me to this Design for Loving campaign sheet from eBay, which has a large pic of Mr Maxwell, plus a synopsis and cast list, and then [personal profile] liadtbunny pointed out that it is up on the BFIplayer here (although only for rental, and I'd have to watch it online and not keep it and rip it and cap it, but still; if lack of JM overcomes me anytime, I could do that). Plus, bonus pic!* (It was 1962, though. I can't remember why I had 1958 in my head. I should know by now there is no 1950s JM, however much I want to make that not be true.)

And b) my other film, The Third Secret, which I will have to talk about properly sometime (it was very pretty and complicated) coughed up a satisfactory cameo. Cut for pictorial proof )


* I don't know why James Maxwell looks like he's in a threesome there, though. Don't these people know that he only ever makes worshipful love to people's hands and would be tragically in the way?

(no subject)

Oct. 19th, 2017 10:26 am
kittydesade: a bright red queen chess piece at the head of a diagonal line of white pawns on a white background (red queen running)
[personal profile] kittydesade
Well, that was a moment of ... irritation more than panic, but still. My Kindle wouldn't turn on for the longest time this morning, and it seemed to have a full charge so I wasn't sure what to do. I plugged it in finally and eventually it started waking up and noticing it was connected to a computer, so I'm guessing it was just at the end of its charge and hadn't flipped over to the 'Hi dumbass your battery dead' screen yet. Still, though. I am getting a damn Kindle for Christmas, I just have to figure out which one. Anyone have an opinion on the subject? I likely would only use it for reading books unless the Fire has amazing word processing capabilities. As far as I can tell though it's meant for output (video, audio, books) not input, which means I'd most likely be inclined to keep a Kindle for reading books and get a tablet for everything else at some nebulous later date.

Winter appears to have shown up giving us about a week of Fall? Maybe? And then just, winter. I exaggerate, but not by much. Yay climate change. I have tomato soup from Trader Joe's, I'm contemplating nice crockpot recipes for broccoli cheddar soup. And potato soup. Though to be fair I already have a recipe for Damn Fine Potato Soup and I just need potatoes and to make sure it crockpots well. (IIRC it does.)

I think I've hit the point where I need to decide, is it worth it getting only the minimum amount of sleep given both the stress of the current administration and winter, where I always need more sleep, or is it going to make me even less productive to stumble around tired not all the time but a good portion of the time. I spent a number of years only really needing 6 hours of sleep most of the year, and I deeply resent that that's no longer the case. But I think it's just going to be worse if I insist on only getting 6 hours and then it turns out I do need more and I'm just fucking tired and slow.

On the plus side I did finally wake up.

And then I made the mistake about complaining on Twitter that this influx of good horror makes me want to write horror but I don't know if I can write horror. My feed was instantly full of friends saying of course I could, which is good, but then someone said something that gave me an explosion of feral blood-eating plotbunnies, which is both better and worse. And now I have another novel to write. Novella? To sum up my current slate of things:

Long Road is in edits
Malachy is with the Editrix
Starlight has just finished getting second drafted
the second Lifestyles of the Modern Witch novel has a synopsis but will be drafted next year
Nerd Girls is waiting for me to finish with Long Road
Jude Against the Ghost Talkers is getting drafted next month.
I released Turing Shrugged on Kindle at the end of last month
White Noise is floating around somewhere with no projected release date

... So the next time I start freaking out about how I can't write fast or produce fast someone roll that list up and beat me with it.

Blergh. It's cold and I should put the gardens away, such as they were this year, and I don't think I wanna. Maybe I'll just do it over the course of the next week. And at some point I need to convince the boy to help me get the black plastic over the garden beds. Or just haul it on myself. Maybe I'll just haul it on myself tomorrow when I get home. Still cold. Still don't wanna.

Fic translation!

Oct. 19th, 2017 03:04 pm
sineala: (Avengers: Welcome back Cap)
[personal profile] sineala
My Avengers/Trek fusion Straight on till Morning is now being translated into Chinese, as 冲破黎明 Straight on till Morning, by AkiJune.

I am impressed, not just because they are translating a 100,000-word story (though, I mean, that is impressive), but that they are doing so with footnotes! Footnotes for all the minor characters and the technobabble (including the stuff I made up) and the random obscure comics references!
twistedchick: General Leia in The Force Awakens (Default)
[personal profile] twistedchick
Not entirely well yet, but couldn't wait to post these:

Excessive force: A judge has ruled in favor of children who were handcuffed in school.

For being at Standing Rock to cover what was happening, Amy Goodman was charged with "participating in a riot." The judge in the case has thrown it out for lack of probable cause.

Museum visitors who match the artwork.

Remember the case of the girl who was raped at 12, had the child, and then a judge was giving her rapist custody? The judge in the case has reversed his order and will not do it now. And there are apologies from the DA's office. Apparently nobody told the judge until afterward about the guy's two previous "sexual offense" trials, one of which resulted in jail time?

***

Tearing the fabric of patriarchy -- looking at Weinstein and others through the precise wording of law, not victim-blaming.

The power of shamanic art.

What is left of America as we knew it is disintegrating.

And, copied from Facebook:

From a friend's page:
Distracted by taking a knee, the imminent nuclear war with North Korea, the loss of the nuclear nonproliferation treaty with Iran, the elimination of federal civil rights for Trans people, and Russiagate?
Meanwhile.....
The GOP has slipped in some new bills.
The following bills have been introduced (Sept-Oct):
1. HR 861 Terminate the Environmental Protection Agency...
2. HR 610 Vouchers for Public Education
3. HR 899 Terminate the Department of Education
4. HJR 69 Repeal Rule Protecting Wildlife
5. HR 370 Another attempt to Repeal Affordable Care Act
6. HR 354 Defund Planned Parenthood
7. HR 785 National Right to Work (this one is devastating to the working class ... it ALSO applies to Union members)
8. HR 83 Mobilizing Against Sanctuary Cities Bill
9. HR 147 Criminalizing Abortion (“Prenatal Nondiscrimination Act”)
10. HR 808 Sanctions against Iran
Renew your resistance.
Contact your House Representative.
COPY. PASTE. SHARE. Don't let your guard down; the GOP is utterly without morals or simple human decency.
oracne: turtle (Default)
[personal profile] oracne
Our first concert of the season, last night, went really well. They normally go well, but sometimes magic happens and there is intensity and power we hadn't bargained for. Last night was like that. My brain was buzzing with it.

We had a larger audience than usual, and our roster has shifted a bit, and we were singing with only three continuo players instead of our usual instrumental ensemble. Because of the reduced forces, we were able to stand closer to the audience.

I'm not sure if all of those things, or any of them, contributed. But it was great. I could feel it from where I was, and I heard it in audience comments afterwards. I could even feel it ahead of time, a bit, as I was strangely keyed up and needed to stretch and center myself before we went on. The hour flew by.

I continue to love Schütz with the fiery passion of a thousand exploding suns.

Next up, November 15: J.S. Bach: Cantata BWV 79, Gott der Herr ist Sohn und Schild; world premiere of David Carpenter, "A Love So Still," a setting of Dietrich Bonhoeffer's poem "Von guten Mächten"; Martin Luther/Ludwig Senfl, "No Moriar"; Hans Leo Hassler/Michael Praetorius, "Ein Feste Burg"; Johannes Brahms/Hugo Distler, "Es ist das Heil uns kommen Her."

Linkdump 19-10-2017

Oct. 19th, 2017 10:00 am
gominokouhai: (Default)
[personal profile] gominokouhai

Well good lord....

Oct. 19th, 2017 07:11 pm
mab_browne: Auckland beach, pohutukawa and a view of Rangitoto from a painting by Jennifer Cruden (Kiwiana)
[personal profile] mab_browne
Apparently we have a Labour/NZ First coalition. Colour me surprised, although certainly not unhappy. I'd have thought that Winston's Blue Rinse support would have had him going with the Nats, although policy-wise Labour is a better fit. Now to see if Jacinda Ardern can wrangle him any better than his past coalition partners.

Interesting times, indeed, although thankfully on a smaller scale than some.

(no subject)

Oct. 18th, 2017 09:38 pm
kittydesade: (and so good night)
[personal profile] kittydesade
Aargh so tired. I keep thinking okay, tomorrow will be quiet, but it keeps not happening and since till next Thursday or so is the run-up to SAFF it will keep not happening until next Thursday. And I am so damn tired. I'm surprised I managed to finish a scene in Starlight today and get my words done. There's some more on my Habitica to do for the day but I can't bring myself to go look at it yet.

On the plus side, Memrise being so much more usable on the app even than on the website means I can play with it for five minutes' worth of breathing room.

Mostly I'm just tired. I don't think I'm even dropping anything I have to do except I guess Long Road, which has no immediate deadline at least. I should be doing something else but I'm too brain dead now to think about it. No, what I should be doing is using Habitica to make lists of things as I think of them and then checking them off, that's what it's there for.

But right now I should be going to sleep.

Wednesday Media Thingie

Oct. 18th, 2017 08:53 pm
moetushie: (yoi: victor shining eyes)
[personal profile] moetushie
I'm actually reading a book this week! Unfortunately, it's for Yuletide so I can't talk about it. It's also a reread, but I'm definitely picking up nuances I didn't notice before.

In other media, I casually began to watch two shows, both streaming on Crunchyroll. My Hero Academia is ostensibly about superheroes, but it reminds me more of a sports anime (or a kung-fu movie) than anything else. I'm halfway through the first season, and I like it so far. All Might is an #inspiration and Midoriya is a fluffy-haired darling. Bakugo is an ass. Iida is hilarious. What is the school thinking, giving their students these costumes.

The other show is Poco Udon World, which is a cute but slight anime about 30 year protag who goes back to his hometown after the death of his father, and meets & then adopts a magical little boy. It's heartwarming, and also a blatant ad for Kagawa, Japan. Which I don't mind! It looks amazing. All that udon.

I was really hungry for a nice slice of life anime that didn't heavily feature high schoolers, and this delivered. A lot of reviews seemed to complain about the relative lack of udon in the show, but I like it. It's very soothing and cute.

Anyway, I'm off! I'm on a 1-day streak of getting 8 hours of sleep and I can't break it!!

Marvel Is Marvel exchange

Oct. 19th, 2017 09:04 am
tielan: (AVG - maria)
[personal profile] tielan

banner by broadbeam


The idea here is to organize a gift exchange designed for Marvel and its many branched runs, authors, related and unrelated fandoms. The idea is to include the X-Men side and the Avengers side and every other side that non-Marvel fans don't realize is Marvel. The idea is to include any timeline you want, any world you want, any character you want, so long as it's Marvel.

NOW OPEN FOR NOMINATIONS

Dreamwidth Community | LiveJournal Feed | 2017 AO3 Collection | 2017 Tagset
  • Nominations: Sunday, September 24 - Saturday, October 14
  • Sign Ups: Tuesday, October 17 - Sunday, October 29
  • Assignments Out: Monday, November 6
  • Works Due: Saturday, December 9
  • Works Revealed: Sunday, December 17
  • Authors Revealed: Sunday, December 24

today's xkcd

Oct. 19th, 2017 08:30 am
vass: a man in a bat suit says "I am a model of mental health!" (Bats)
[personal profile] vass
Research Risks

I have some thoughts:

1. Marine biology is low risk of misuse by supervillains? Come on! Sharks!

2. Molasses storage's low risk of breaking free and threatening local population: didn't that actually happen at least once? If we're counting trucks as facilities, I mean. Never mind, I should have looked at the mouseover text before posting.

3. I wouldn't put linguistics that low for supervillain risk, assuming the validity of the strong Sapir-Whorf hypothesis. (Yes, everything I knew about Sapir-Whorf did come from that one Delany book.)

4. But then, he put palaeontology low as well, and. Well. Do that right/wrong enough and you get both microbiology (bubonic plague! anthrax!) AND ornithology (dinosaurs!)

5. HE LEFT OUT ECONOMICS. And poli-sci (between history and sociology?) but imo economics is WAY scarier from both a supervillain and accidental escape perspective.

6. Really, isn't any discipline high supervillain risk if the supervillain has the right mental attitude?

7. If prosthetics is high supervillain risk/low escape risk, and dentistry is low supervillain risk/low escape risk, are dentures high or low supervillain risk?
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