take on me

Mar. 28th, 2017 10:13 pm
thistleingrey: (Default)
[personal profile] thistleingrey
Courtney Milan, Hold Me (2016): amidst everything, I nearly failed to notice that it's also nonbinding teacher/student (they're not in the same field or connected instructionaly). Way to overclock the setup.

That setup emerges from the narrative's predecessor, Trade Me. Here, Tina's best friend Maria runs a pseudonymous blog that was begun as a lightweight distraction but has gained some rather heavyweight-intellectual reader-commenters, including someone who signs himself Actual Physicist. Over time, MCL and A. have begun exchanging text-message confidences. Then we see them meet in person for other reasons, with instant enmity on both sides; then, of course, one of the two discovers the link. That's the main line. But it's also a book about multiple trans and queer individuals who form a group but aren't the same and don't all get along, and about being overtly femme with shoes that speak, and about men in technical fields who think they're allies and aren't, and about being a non-traditional undergrad, and about being wrong on the internet....

Whereas Trade feels slightly stitched-together to me (except for Falun Gong, I know every single riff's antecedent well, so the narrative tradeoffs show), Hold manages a self-consistency and balance while juggling so. very. many. complicated elements. Read more... )

Why to actually write a thing

Mar. 29th, 2017 05:58 am
beccaelizabeth: my Watcher tattoo in blue, plus Be in red Buffy style font (Default)
[personal profile] beccaelizabeth
I do not know how to be helpful when people are in a bad brain place
but I think it might involve writing more stories.

Like, Owen Harper on a rooftop was helpful. But a random person just saying to think about a hot cup of tea is really unlikely to be helpful. You kind of have to go on that whole journey through some very dark places to get to where it matters when he says maybe, just maybe, there's a light.

But it's difficult thinking how to put a story together. Like, I can remember feeling bad, and on the bad days that's most of what I can remember, but then I don't feel so bad any more. As just a thing that happened over time. Like, there's not a magic sword I can pass on. Just... I don't know, standing with Jack up on a rooftop waiting for a sunrise. Things get better. And just saying that doesn't seem terribly helpful when they are not in fact currently better.

It also matters that these people matter before they say the encouraging hopeful thing. I mean, the difference between some random officer and Aragorn is we've followed Aragorn halfway across their world and seen all the places he's been and the things he's done, so if he says to stand and have some hope, he knows of what he speaks.

Being a random person on the internet who sees someone having a bad night and wants to say something encouraging cannot have quite the same emotional heft.

Even if I ever could think of something helpful to say.

So if I'm going to be helpful, I have to think of a story full of characters a reader can identify with and or look up to as they go through the toughest stuff and survive.

... well it's good to have goals...

But also they don't necessarily need a big speech, they just need someone reaching out and saying we can get through this. And it being true.

So identifiable characters, metaphor demons of identifiable problems, and solutions that involve the power of friendship and stubborn free will.

Ingredients list.

(no subject)

Mar. 28th, 2017 09:35 pm
ranunculus: (Default)
[personal profile] ranunculus
Today is Tuesday March 29th.
Got up this morning, packed for Ukiah, did a little garden work.
At 11:15 left for my dental cleaning and checkup. I'm pleased to say that everything is good.
Tazlina and I left straight for Ukiah.
Got the last three items to finish the sprayer repair. Then realized I had to fix the electric fence at the Iris Barn first. The tenants had managed to kill the battery through a combination of ignorance, neglect and a lot of fast growing greenery. Sigh. I was concerned that the fence charger was dead as well. The new charger couldn't be put in the place of the old charger as it was just a bit too close to some overhead high voltage lines. They weren't a problem for the old chargers, but the new ones have fancier electronics that could be affected. The new chargers also need more ground rods, a total of four, six foot rods driven completely into the ground at the new site. I had three mostly driven in, but they all needed to go down one more foot into sticky hard clay. It took a lot of pounding with a sledgehammer. I managed to break one of the "acorn" connectors that fasten the wire to the ground stake. The replacement wouldn't fit over the top of the stake till I had filed off the edges where the sledgehammer had splayed it out.
Once the ground stakes were in and wired up I installed a wire under the gate leading to the east. I think that east fence line (which is falling apart) is the very first fence built way back in about 1985. It has needed electricity run to it since then!!! A little later it was extremely satisfying to see a young steer start to stick his head through the fence and push on it. Oops! He jumped back and trotted off shaking his head.
With a new battery and the fence charger housing moved, it was time to check the fence and weed whack under it. The first fence I mowed under clearly hadn't even been connected to the electric fence charger. Walking around the old arena revealed half a dozen young cattle and the bull, all in my horse pasture. The youngsters gaily walked through the fence. A quick glance showed that this fence too never been connected to the electricity. The bull was one fence further in. Tazlina and I opened a couple of gates, made a big circle around the bull and started moving him slowly toward the open gates. He was pretty good, eventually seeing his way out and trotting happily back to the cows. One of the important things is never to really pressure bulls. Give them plenty of time to think about what to do. Usually they will back down and move away. It was almost full dark before I had the fences pounded back, connected and the electricity on. Bet they don't go through those fences again!!

Fic Rec: Hounded

Mar. 29th, 2017 04:40 am
[syndicated profile] 221b_recs_feed

Posted by sanguinity

Title: Hounded
Author: Random Phantom
Pairing: Gen
Length: 23K words
Rating: K (suitable for most ages)
Verse: The Hound of the Baskervilles (Roxburgh and Hart, 2002)
Author's summary: My entry into Challenge 010 at the Watson's Woes livejournal; an AU story featuring an alternative ending to the 2002 Hound of the Baskervilles. Watson has to face the hound by himself; and the consequences change him in a way he never expected.

Reccer's comments: Ian Hart's Watson was a paragon among Watsons -- competent, skilled, active, noble, and valiant -- and in "Hounded" he gets to keep on showing his stuff. In this AU of the film, Watson gets to Sir Henry in time to save him from being savaged by the Hound, but at the cost of being savaged himself.

But not just savaged, because that dog wasn't just an abnormally large hunting hound. ;-)

What follows is a solid adventure with an ample dose of hurt/comfort. Watson retains his pawky sense of humor (and all the other noble traits we love him for), and Holmes rises to the occasion, determined to be the best and most loyal friend a new werewolf could want.

Happily, no familiarity with the Roxburgh film is needed, as "Hounded" goes AU from the film just before the film goes AU from the novel. If you already know the basic plot of HOUN, you're in great shape. Furthermore, the fraught Holmes-and-Watson relationship depicted in the Roxburgh film is completely absent from this story. (This Holmes reminds me more of Cushing or Brett than of Roxburgh; I do not consider this a fault in the story.)

"Hounded" also has an incomplete sequel, "The Hour of the Wolf," which is a little angstier in tone than the original. It currently stands at 40K words, and was last updated in 2010. I found it a satisfying read, but then I mostly just wanted more Holmes and Watson being good partners to each other, which it delivered, despite the incomplete plot arc.

Basic Crepe Batter

Mar. 28th, 2017 11:59 pm
[syndicated profile] seriouseats_recipes_feed

Posted by J. Kenji López-Alt

Basic Crepe Batter
This right here is your basic, go-to crepe batter, whether for sweet or savory applications. It can be whipped up in mere seconds in a blender, or whisked together by hand, and—contrary to popular belief—does not require resting before cooking. Fill it with the ingredients of your choice: butter and jam, ham and egg, spinach and cheese, and more. Get Recipe!

Dinner plans, April 11th and 12th

Mar. 28th, 2017 09:10 pm
azurelunatic: A metal sculpture of a walking duck with a duckling on its back, in front of the University Place Library (duck)
[personal profile] azurelunatic
So, which of my various SEA-TAC area friends might be available for dinner the evenings of Tuesday, April 11th, and/or Wednesday, April 12th?

Contact me via private means if you wish; my gmail address is pretty easy to guess from my username, and I have been known to use Dreamwidth private messages as well.
[syndicated profile] comicsalliance_feed

Posted by Kevin Fitzpatrick

The Flash has primarily made use of time-travel to visit the past, but with Savitar’s murder of Iris looming, a trip to the future is in order. As such, next month’s “Once and Future Flash” may finally introduce us to the 2024 Barry, complete with a much more comic-looking costume.

Continue reading…

[syndicated profile] snopes_feed

Posted by Bethania Palma

The Internal Revenue Service granted nonprofit status in 2014 to an organization that now sponsors "After School Satan" clubs, two years before they were created.

I do love Housman

Mar. 28th, 2017 08:56 pm
mme_hardy: White rose (Default)
[personal profile] mme_hardy
Her strong enchantments failing,
  Her towers of fear in wreck,
Her limbecks dried of poisons
  And the knife at her neck,

The Queen of air and darkness
  Begins to shrill and cry,
'O young man, O my slayer,
  To-morrow you shall die.'

O Queen of air and darkness,
  I think 'tis truth you say,
And I shall die to-morrow;
  But you will die to-day.

(Anybody want to expound on why it's "I shall" vs. "you will"?)
[syndicated profile] snopes_feed

Posted by Dan Evon

A photograph showing a pregnant Melania Trump in a bikini reappeared more than a decade after it was first published.

(no subject)

Mar. 28th, 2017 11:21 pm
kittydesade: (Default)
[personal profile] kittydesade
I went to bed with what I thought was a headache and woke up with a migraine and little writing work done and so in order to be contrary I'm... studying PHP. Okay sure. My brain moves (sluggishly and drugged) in mysterious ways.

Fortunately today's day jobligations once again primarily consist of "knit this sample of a thing" so I can sit and be quiet while my head recovers. I'd forgotten how much I dislike knitting with lace yarn because it takes so damn long to do anything with it, but I'm liking both the yarn and the pattern, so at least there's that.

... yeah the rest of my day got eaten either by the migraine or the knitting oops.
maeve_of_winter: (Default)
[personal profile] maeve_of_winter
 I just finished rereading a couple of old "lost in a snowstorm/must huddle for warmth" types of stories, and it made realize just how much fondness I have for those tropes. 

Now, I'm curious to hear what types of hurt/comfort plots other people like?


Mar. 28th, 2017 09:14 pm
yhlee: snowflake (StoryNexus: snowflake)
[personal profile] yhlee
Poll #18118 side project for fun
Open to: Registered Users, detailed results viewable to: All, participants: 7

If I were to do a mini-gamebook (~100 sections) just for fun as a side project, it should be about:

View Answers

the hexarchate
4 (57.1%)

a sequel to Winterstrike (StoryNexus game)
3 (42.9%)

non-hexarchate space opera
0 (0.0%)

something else that I will explain in comments
1 (14.3%)

ticky the talky tea tocky!
2 (28.6%)

For reference: Winterstrike is now completely free to play (all the previously Nex-locked options are now free options, which should make it play faster!).
erinptah: (Default)
[personal profile] erinptah

Hello From The Magic Tavern just got so intense. There was an epic battle in episode 100...then a bunch of interludes, including one from the Cowboy Dimension that had me dying of muffled laughter at work...and now it's officially designated Season 2, and, yowza.

If you're not already listening (and if you're not allergic to shows with a whole lot of butt jokes), you should start.


Deep into the backlog of Love and Justice. It's kind of...uplifting?...to hear about how much they love Crystal. Like, I can listen to them gush about the things that were emotionally affecting, and don't have to see the actual animation, so I can imagine they're podcasting from an alternate dimension where it didn't make me sad.

They're too hard on the '92 anime -- by which I mean, they complain about things it objectively can't help. Of course the first season doesn't have much sense of "shared past" between the senshi and the Dark Kingdom. The animators didn't know about it! Naoko hadn't written it yet!

On the other hand, I regularly feel like Sailor Business (which I'm all caught up with now) is too easy on the '92 anime. So it kinda balances out nicely.


I'm listening to both of those at 1.2x speed, because the hosts tend to meander. Same with Yo, Is This Racist? -- it's just too slow otherwise.

...also, it talks a lot about the awfulness of current politics. I kinda have to psych myself up before listening. And/or say something like "once I get through one of these, I'll reward myself with the next Magic Tavern episode."

More-polished and better-edited regulars on my MP3 player: the Savage Lovecast, and The West Wing Weekly. Those get played at regular speed. Both make references to the political awfulness -- it's an inherent side effect of their premises -- but in measured and relatively-contained doses.


Still listening to Illusionoid, and Kakos Industries, although I stopped saving the episodes afterward. Neither one is so absorbing that I'd want to do a re-listen.

...in fact, the only series on this list where I'm holding onto the episodes is Magic Tavern. Did a re-listen just a few months ago, in preparation for Yuletide fic. It's highly re-listenable.

Related, a couple anons on FFA were talking about Republic of Heaven Community Radio, and one mentioned the weaknesses in book 2. I stepped in with this:

Honestly, I'd go back and give it a full-body rewrite if canon hadn't been such a painful kick in the teeth.

I can see the soft spots, can feel when the pacing sputters, I know there are ways it could have more consistency and stronger throughlines. I just...don't have the stomach to go near it.

That's not an empty promise -- anyone who knew me from fake-news fandom might remember that I did a full-body rewrite on a longfic there. But, yeah. Not in the cards, not this time.

New Verses

Mar. 28th, 2017 08:48 pm
ysabetwordsmith: Damask smiling over their shoulder (polychrome)
[personal profile] ysabetwordsmith
Thanks to an audience poll, the general fund has divided between the two open epics.  "A Hope and a Promise" has 4 new verses.  Mrs. Ozenne observes Saraphina.  "Essential for Human Survival" has 4 new verses.  Groundhog and Cassandra talk about whether to set aside dangerous things for a while.

What Went Right - 29 MAR 2017

Mar. 29th, 2017 09:49 am
megpie71: Animated "tea" icon popular after London bombing. (Default)
[personal profile] megpie71
Another day, another three things about "what went right" from my news feeds.

Gravity Discovery Centre observatory: a place to explore the wonders of the cosmos and origins of life by Emma Wynne (ABC Radio Perth, Western Australia)

A profile piece about the Gravity Discovery Centre observatory at Gingin, and its senior astronomer, Richard Tonello.

Hardy inland spangled perch make the most of heavy WA rains as desert creek beds turn to rivers by Rachel Day (ABC Goldfields, Western Australia)

A chance discovery of small fish flipping about on the side of a flooded road in the Goldfields reveals the spangled perch - a desert fish which is incredibly hardy and can survive a wide range of conditions.

Young WA farming family grows eco-house out of cereal crop by Lisa Morrison (ABC Great Southern, Western Australia)

The Maesepp-Potter family in Katanning live in an off-grid, straw-bale house they built from materials sourced on their working sheep and grain farm (the straw-bales were barley straw grown on the farm, the thermal walls are rock sourced from the northern end of their property). They're opening the doors of their home to the public as part of the Great Southern Sustainable Living festival.

So there's my three for the day. If you've seen any articles about what went right in your news feeds, why not share a link in the comments, and boost the signal?

Fic rec!

Mar. 28th, 2017 09:49 pm
sineala: (Avengers: Not tonight)
[personal profile] sineala
A Steve/Tony fic rec! If you are the sort of person who enjoyed Marvel's 1872 miniseries but you feel it would have been better if Steve had been a merman, you will probably like A Man to Ride the River With by a_sparrows_fall. Alternatively, if you just like stories about dudes who fall in love with mermen, hey, it's got that going for it.

(Yes, this post was also an excuse to use my 1872 icon.)


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