watersword: Bradley James as Prince Arthur in Merlin (2008, BBC) (Merlin: once and future king)
[personal profile] watersword
An incomplete list in no particular order:

Wednesday Yardening

Jun. 28th, 2017 04:49 pm
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
[personal profile] ysabetwordsmith
Today is mild, hazy, and blustery.  Earlier I went out shooting pictures.

Doug and I had a nice long session in the ritual meadow, cutting live brush and dead branches.  \o/  We found an empty bird nest in one bush (I checked that it was empty before we cut the bush).

EDIT 6/28/17: Round 2, I cut more brush.

EDIT 6/28/17: Round 3, I picked up sticks and picked a few mulberries.  Didn't even get a handful, but it's enough to add a bit of flavor to mixed berries.
sophia_sol: drawing of Combeferre, smiling and holding up a finger like he's about to explain something (Default)
[personal profile] sophia_sol
Okay so I spent a few days in June reading a bunch of Courtney Milan. Apparently she's a "betcha can't eat read just one" kind of author for me. I read ten. Most were rereads, which I don't have anything new to say about, but this time I did get around to reading a few books of hers that I hadn't read in November when I last did this. Namely: the Carhart series, the first romances that Courtney Milan ever published! This was back when she was being conventionally published by Harlequin instead of being a self-published author.

This Wicked Gift, by Courtney Milan (Carhart #0.5)

cut for discussion of rape )


Proof By Seduction, by Courtney Milan (Carhart #1)

And so I continue with the Carhart series despite the extremely inauspicious beginnings. This one, well, at least it didn't have a rapist main character? I still didn't love it though. I dunno, I didn't write down my thoughts soon enough after having read it so I don't remember all the reasons. But it doesn't have the things I like about later Courtney Milan (such as strong female friendships and interesting families) and also doesn't have a romance that I enjoyed reading about. And the leading man was pretty uninteresting to me, and the leading woman kept making baffling life choices.


Trial By Desire, by Courtney Milan (Carhart #2)

The Carhart series continues to improve! This one was actually mostly enjoyable. I liked the leading woman's mission in life, and I enjoyed the nature of the romance being one of having to develop a relationship between a husband and wife who don't really know each other and have been on different continents for years. But although this is closer to the Courtney Milan I know and love, this book just didn't get me excited the way her later books do.

Links

Jun. 28th, 2017 09:58 pm
selenak: (Londo and Vir by Ruuger)
[personal profile] selenak
This week, Potterdom had its twentieth anniversary. I always felt somewhat on the periphery of the fandom - I enjoyed the books and read some of the fanfic, I did have some opinions and theories while the books were published, but I never felt compelled to write fanfic myself, I didn't ship anyone with anyone else, and I don't think I had a Harry-Potter-related argument with anyone. Oh, wait, I think I did argue, but only in one post, about how whoever sorted the Beatles into HP houses and put John in Slytherin and Paul in Gryffindor was completely wrong, and then I wrote some silly meta fic to prove it. But other than that.

Anyway: I'm still fond of the books and some of the fanfic, and so I was delighted to see [profile] fernwithy celebrated the anniversary by writing a story about Harry shortly after Voldemort's death, trying to figure out where to go from there, and, not so coincidentally, what to do with Grimmauld Place 12, which as you'll recall Sirius left him, co-starring Kreacher and Andromeda Tonks, with cameos for Dudley and Petunia Dursley,

Broken

It captures grief, survivor's guilt, empathy, hope so very, very well.


Meanwhile, I just found there's this lovely bit from the last convention which both Stephen Furst and Peter Jurasik attended:



Boo on the cheapness of Warner Brothers, but aww on these two.

Good News

Jun. 28th, 2017 12:38 pm
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
[personal profile] ysabetwordsmith
Good news includes all the things which make us happy or otherwise feel good. It can be personal or public. We never know when something wonderful will happen, and when it does, most people want to share it with someone. It's disappointing when nobody is there to appreciate it. Happily, blogging allows us to share our joys and pat each other on the back.

What good news have you had recently? Are you anticipating any more?
watersword: Sophie Devereaux in a museum, looking up and over her shoulder (Museum)
[personal profile] watersword
Hi Dreamwidth! If you have a DRM-free ebook or ebooks you would like to share, I would be very interested. My tastes are summed up in this post from 2016, but I am willing to explore pretty much any genre (I'm set for The Great Western Canon, I think, thank you Project Gutenberg), with a particular fondness for SFF and historical fiction.

Comments screened.

♥♥♥

Wednesday Reading

Jun. 28th, 2017 08:54 am
oracne: turtle (Default)
[personal profile] oracne
I read books!

The Hanging Tree by Ben Aaronovitch was engrossing and satisfying, and now I'm ready for the new book in the series. I hope this trend of More! Guleed! continues. I am loving Tyburn as a character and hope to see more of her.

The House of Shattered Wings by Aliette de Bodard was more depressing than I was in the mood for, but did have the virtue of making me homesick for Vietnam, a place I've never been. (It was very odd reading about dark corridors being strangled by magic while lounging next to a pool in the sun, watching The Tots frolic.)

There's a lot going on about privilege and colonialism and autonomy and change.

See, there were positive sides to a House. But of course there were. Of course there would be good people like her, like Laure—within Silverspires, within Hawthorn—even within House Draken, where Theophraste the tailor had been kind, and sorry to see the Annamite troops drafted in the war, and made his best effort to cut them uniforms with flowing patterns like those on Annamite silk, and handed them scraps of cloth they could use as blankets against the killing cold. It hadn’t changed a thing. Such people’s lives were richer, easier because of the House system. And in turn, the House system existed only because such kind, gentle people kept pledging themselves to it and strengthening it from within. They were all complicit, without exception. And so was Isabelle. “What threatens the House?”

I think if you like Tansy Rayner Roberts' Creature Court books, you'll like this (and vice versa); they had a similar tone to me, great powers losing their power and trying to deal with that.

Coincidentally, the themes of the de Bodard had some echoes in the Fowler book I read next.

We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves by Karen Joy Fowler has been on my TBR since before it came out. I think I'd call this literary fiction rather than specific. TW for primates in labs. It's about families, and how we think about families, and also about animals and how humans relate to them, how we treat each other, and what that says about us both. I was especially struck by the themes intersecting with my thoughts about the current American healthcare debate between those who think it's about money and those who think it's about people.

“We need a sort of reverse mirror test. Some way to identify those species smart enough to see themselves when they look at someone else. Bonus points for how far out the chain you can go. Double bonus for those who get all the way to insects.”

Once, she’d given me a raisin for every raisin she’d eaten, and now she had two poker chips and was giving me one. Two interesting behaviors--that was as far as Dad could go. Here is what I’d thought it meant. I’d thought Fern was apologizing. When you feel bad, I feel bad, is what I got from that red chip. We’re the same, you and I. My sister, Fern. In the whole wide world, my only red poker chip.

The NotSame was this: Like a chair or a car or a television, Fern could be bought and sold. The whole time she was living in the farmhouse with us as part of our family, the whole time she was keeping herself busy being our sister and daughter, she was, in fact, the property of Indiana University.

Made it!

Jun. 28th, 2017 09:50 am
rmc28: Rachel smiling against background of trees, with newly-cut short hair (Default)
[personal profile] rmc28
I'm forty years old today. My second birthday Since Cancer.

I've not done much about it: cakes in the office yesterday & I may get a takeaway tonight rather than cook.  I am vaguely thinking of doing Something on the weekend that includes 1st October (my arbitrarily-declared Happy Being Alive Day) but I haven't worked out what Something will be yet.  In the meantime, a good friend is holding a party on Saturday so I'm going to enjoy being part of their celebration instead of organising my own right now.

Epic Dessert

Jun. 27th, 2017 07:35 pm
ysabetwordsmith: (gold star)
[personal profile] ysabetwordsmith
Today, in Reasons Not to Hurl the Planet into the Sun, I discovered that Cracker Barrel has a new dessert for summer: Campfire S'Mores.  This consists of a graham cracker crust, warm fudge brownie, roasted marshmallow, and melty chocolate bar accompanied by a scoop of vanilla ice cream drizzled with dark chocolate sauce.  *DROOL, SLOBBER*  It's harder than it looks to translate recipes across different cooking modes, such as bringing a campfire classic into the kitchen.  I've had several attempts at indoor s'mores, including the pretty good s'more dessert pizza at Brixx, but nothing that compares to this.  So if you like s'mores and you're near a Cracker Barrel, go try this.  \o/

EDIT 6-27-17: Someone has thoughtfully posted a copycat recipe.  This will be useful after the special concludes in August. Meanwhile go throw money at the people who invented this, in hopes they will make more awesome food.

EDIT 6-28-17: Now in delicious poem flavor!  I wrote about some supervillains discovering this dessert.  "Reasons Not to Hurl the Planet into the Sun" is 60 lines, Buy It Now = $20

YOU GUYS

Jun. 27th, 2017 07:03 pm
yhlee: icosahedron (d20) (d20 (credit: bag_fu on LJ))
[personal profile] yhlee
I scored the following used RPGs from Little Wars for a SONG:

- Mutants and Masterminds
- Wraith: The Oblivion
- Aeon limited edition
- Star Wars Core Rulebook ([personal profile] dhampyresa, do you want this? I'm happy to send it to you--it's Wizards of the Coast's d20 system)
- Mage: The Ascension (we may already have this BUT I DON'T CARE)
- Changeling Storyteller's Guide (now I just have to find the core book for Changeling)
- Wraith Player's Guide
- Battlefleet Gothic 2002 Annual (I looooooooove the aesthetic of the Battlefleet Gothic miniatures and am sorry I only own one, which is still unassembled in its blister pack)
- Earthdawn (I used to own this before my stepmother threw it out)
- Ars Magica (ditto)
- and a stray issue of Playboy July 1995 because it was sitting there lonely and I am easily amused

PLEASE, VAN, CONTINUE ACQUIRING AND SELLING USED RPGs. I WILL COME BUY THEM!!!

This is like Christmas.

Tuesday Yardening

Jun. 27th, 2017 04:12 pm
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
[personal profile] ysabetwordsmith
Today is beautiful, cool, and sunny.  I trimmed brush around the purple-and-white garden, finishing that round.  \o/   

EDIT 6/27/17: Round 2, I watered plants.  Then I hauled 4 garden carts full of brush from previous projects to the brush pile in the ritual meadow.  I have not yet picked up the giant ring of trimmings around the purple-and-white garden though.

EDIT 6/27/17: Round 3, I sprayed week killer in the old raspberry patch and in the streetside yard.  In some places there is poison ivy as far as the eye can see.  >_<  I expected that, because it is a "bandage" plant that appeared in disturbed earth, but I do not want it here.  I have firmly suggested that Gaia patch the ground with something else, such as the grass I spent two weeks planting there.  Some of the grass has grown in beautifully, but other areas remain stubbornly bare dirt or noxious weeds.  Ah well, it's a work in progress.
yhlee: icosahedron (d20) (d20 (credit: bag_fu on LJ))
[personal profile] yhlee
I've been interested in game design for some time, but when I started in elementary school, either there were no resources or they were hard to find. It was already hard to find books in English when I lived in South Korea. We did have Base access for a couple years while my dad was still in the Army, and then he left the Army to teach at Yonsei University and we lost Base access and, with it, access to the library. In any case, it would never have occurred to me to look for books on "game design." I don't think I heard of it as an area of study until college or possibly after. I spent a lot of high school trying to design a cockamamie chess variant, and I did read up on real chess variants (Chinese chess, Japanese chess, Burmese chess, etc.). It wasn't *good*, and the one time a couple friendly strangers over the internet volunteered to playtest it, they confirmed the ruleset wasn't any good, no doubt because I had devised the pieces' moves to be ~symbolic~ for storytelling purposes (it was worldbuilding for a fantasy novel) and I didn't know anything about board game design.

Since then I have made a point of reading books on game design when I can find them, and the occasional article on the web. While I have released a couple of small interactive fiction games (IFs) and the narrative game Winterstrike (Failbetter Games), I don't really consider myself a game designer. It's more in the nature of something I do on the side because I find it illuminating to consider alternate ways to approaching narrative; I think primarily as a writer of static fiction. And for the purposes of the hexarchate, it's research because I decided that one of the factions (the Shuos) abuses game design techniques in their pedagogy, and one of the characters (Jedao) is a gamer.

The Kobold Guide to Board Game Design, ed. Mike Selinker, is a collection of essays by various designers. I was originally going to read the book through and do a report on the book overall, but I liked the essays enough to do individual reports on some of them. cut for length )

Thank you to the person who donated this book!

Poetry Fishbowl on Tuesday, July 4

Jun. 27th, 2017 01:29 pm
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
[personal profile] ysabetwordsmith
This is an advance announcement for the Tuesday, July 4, 2017 Poetry Fishbowl. This time the theme will be "gender, orientation, and identity." I'll be soliciting ideas for QUILTBAG folks, queer allies, homophobes and other identity bigots, boomerang bigots, gender scholars, the oppressed, the misunderstood, ordinary people, outcasts, abuse survivors, the women that men don't see, questioning, debating labels, losing everything, looking in the window, taking people for granted, surviving oppression, hiding in the closet, coming out, upstanding, speaking truth to power, punching up, protesting, telling your own story, bedrooms, classrooms, counseling offices, churches, government buildings, libraries, cities, alleys, bars, parades, liminal zones, self-discovery, self-awareness, QUILTBAG pride, pride flags, other symbols of identity, birth control, reproductive freedom, sex toys, assumed male gaze, same-sex marriage, alien sex/gender dynamics, unpaid labor, self-sacrifice, emotional labor, disruptions, subversive education, humility, humiliation, social evolution, appreciation, identity literature, and poetic forms in particular.

I have a linkback poem, "The Emulsification of Humankind" (14 verses, Torn World). 

If you're interested, mark the date on your calendar, and please hold actual prompts until the "Poetry Fishbowl Open" post next week.  (If you're not available that day, or you live in a time zone that makes it hard to reach me, you can leave advance prompts.  I am now.)  Meanwhile, if you want to help with promotion, please feel free to link back here or repost this on your blog. 

New to the fishbowl? Read all about it! )

So, It's Tuesday

Jun. 27th, 2017 10:54 am
oracne: turtle (Default)
[personal profile] oracne
I watched the first few episodes of Lucifer with C. last weekend, and we commented on how, in real life, we'd be running the other way from that guy and his come-ons and insinuations.

I'm still thinking on the idea of angelic punishment, Lucifer's raison d'etre, because what does it accomplish, really, in the end? Those harmed by the punishee were still harmed, and will still suffer from it; that is not changed, and especially if the victim is dead, what do they gain? It all depends on your feelings about revenge, I suppose. Is the punishment of a criminal an act of justice, or is it merely a momentary strike against pain that already occurred? Punishment and justice can be very different things.

In boring news, my thigh still hurts; I discovered this by not taking a night dose of anti-inflammatory for two nights in a row and self-assessing each morning.

I complain about exercising when I'm forcing myself to get moving and go, but I also complain when I cannot exercise, because there is no winning here. I would really appreciate the stress relief and sense of virtue that comes after a workout.

I probably won't play softball this week, even though we have two games. Agh.

Hopefully, all my muscles will not dissipate by the time I have no more resting pain/ache and can once again drag myself to the gym.

I did read three books this week, which hasn't happened in a while.

Going out to dinner with friends tonight, which ought to cheer me up.

Also, a big deadline at dayjob yesterday appears to have gone okay. Go me.

(no subject)

Jun. 27th, 2017 10:47 am
yhlee: two voidmoths at war (hxx Raven Stratagem)
[personal profile] yhlee
An interview [Lightspeed Magazine] by Christian A. Coleman. Note that the interview mainly discusses Raven Stratagem, so there are spoilers for Ninefox Gambit. I also hint at what's coming in the third book, Revenant Gun.

[story] The Ghost and Its House

Jun. 27th, 2017 10:04 am
yhlee: sleepy kitty (Cloud)
[personal profile] yhlee
For P.H.
Prompt: "ghost consciousness."

The house had lain ruined for decades upon decades, quiescent at the edge of the town. Once, it was said, a fine family had dwelled there, wealthy at first, much given to parties and entertainments. The oldest people in the town still remembered the parties: the music of string quartets, and cakes decorated with spun-sugar ornaments, and couples dancing gaily through the night. But now none of the windows had glass in them anymore, save for a few sharded teeth, and the wind blew freely through the rooms where people had once gathered to gossip.

Nevertheless, the house was not entirely uninhabited. A ghost remained attached to the house, and it murmured to itself during the long winter nights, singing tuneless ghost-songs of the shapes that shadows make in the dark, and the sounds that mirrors make when no one is around to hear them, and footsteps in the distant wood. The ghost did not remember the name of the person it had been, once upon a time, but neither did this make it unhappy.

In time a pregnant cat moved into the house for the shelter it offered. The ghost did not remember much about cats, except that they liked cream, and it had no such thing to give the cat. But it had other things to offer. It encouraged the old closets to throw their doors open and disgorge their rotted linens so that the cat would have something to nest in, and it offered all house's hiding places, as well as the lullaby of the crooning wind.

For her part, the cat was a pragmatist. She did not share human prejudices against ghosts, and a ruined house was as good as any other place for her to raise kittens. She merely made sure that there were no raccoons or the like already occupying the place, and then she set to building her nest in earnest.

Cats are not the most talkative of folk, but this cat was friendlier than most. She asked the ghost why it lingered in the house, instead of going to its rest the way humans usually did. While she didn't always put credence in human stories, she had heard that ghosts usually stayed in the realm of the living because they had left some task unfinished.

The ghost said to the cat, "The only task is the task of the house itself. It was my home when I lived, and it remains my home in death."

"Then I am sorry I cannot help you," the cat said, dismayed in spite of the very pressing matter of the kittens she expected to arrive in a matter of days. "A human could help you restore the house, but I am a cat. I may have clever paws and whiskers, but they are no good for building."

The ghost's laughter gusted through the house, although it tried to keep the worst of the cold from the cat. "What do I care about restoration?" it said. "Perhaps once, when I had flesh, it would have mattered to me. But now I am a creature of shadows and dust and ash, and this house suits what I am now. I can keep it safe for you and your kittens. They can play in the house's halls and grow to adulthood without fear of being chased out by human owners; is that not enough?"

"If that is the case," the cat replied, "I shall gratefully accept your hospitality, and my kittens and I will keep your house free of mice."

"It is a very old bargain," the ghost said, "and if it suits you, it suits me."

Two days later, the kittens were born without fuss, or more fuss than the usual, anyway, and in the years to come, generations of cats made their home in the house. They probably live there still. As for the ghost, it has been busy adding the songs of cats to its repertoire. The result is noisy, but none of them mind.

Profile

lettered: (Default)
It's Lion Turtles all the way down

January 2015

S M T W T F S
    123
456789 10
11121314151617
18192021222324
25262728293031

Most Popular Tags

Style Credit

Expand Cut Tags

No cut tags