linkspam is back in a cubicle

Apr. 24th, 2014 09:23 pm
[personal profile] cofax7
This is a wonderful comic about taking risks. It's in the context of traveling as a single woman, but it could be applied to almost anything. I wish I'd seen it when I was 18, although TBH it probably wouldn't have made much difference.

This is a pretty cool story about wildlife migration.

The New Yorker on the science of yawning.

The LA Times reports on middle-aged adults moving back in with their parents. It's not all hunky-dory.

John Krakauer has a pretty good overview of what's going on at Everest right now. I admit that I had had no idea the death rate for Sherpas was so high.

I've become very fond of The Toast in the last few months. This post about Anthony Bourdain is a good example of why.

Also this, which is not nearly so light-hearted.

Noted for later:
a piece in Outside about the threat to the Timbuktu manuscripts. Illiterate Africa was a myth. Words-books-had always been necessary.

How Dodgeball Became America's most Demonized Sport.

And now I'm going to finish catching up on Agents of SHIELD.

State of Camp Telophase

Apr. 24th, 2014 09:49 pm
[personal profile] telophase
To start off, I am now OK. And now that that's been said, my latest news is that I've had a miscarriage and ended up in the ER on Tuesday night due to pain, and throwing up my pain medication. But! as I said, I am OK now (as OK as you can be in the circumstances!).

Much more detail, and possibly way TMI under the cut.

Read more... )

Update on the Messy Little Injury

Apr. 24th, 2014 10:33 pm
[personal profile] chomiji

Thanks for all the sympathy and good wishes!

Cut just because not everyone wants to listen to this stuff even when it's not gruesome )

Haikai Fest: "Wombed"

Apr. 24th, 2014 07:22 pm
[personal profile] jjhunter
Let's take a breath for poetry. It is April, and as good a time as any for a collaborative poetry fest. Please find below a starting stanza or two of a brand new shiny haikai (what's a haikai, you ask? think extended haiku: alternating stanzas of 5-7-5 and 7-7). Comment with a new stanza responding to the original theme. Someone (most likely me) will respond with another stanza, and so on and so forth throughout the day.

life with uterus:
just got my first IUD
I thought I knew pain

Happy things

Apr. 24th, 2014 07:32 pm
[personal profile] kass
1. Sunshine today! and some time outdoors in the afternoon.

2. Clean sheets on the bed.

3. Treating myself to a quiet evening in fuzzy bathrobe with creative projects in front of me.

4. Having walked a 10,000+ step day.

5. Trying a new recipe for dinner, and rocking the house.


lizard stories

Apr. 24th, 2014 05:27 pm
[personal profile] yhlee
Lizard: "Do you think we should make a sequel to the story?"
Me: "...I think you should finish this story before talking about making a sequel to it, is what I think."

I actually do realize that I cannot save the lizard from committing every writing sin on the planet along the way, but I'm trying to save her from the big ones?

(The lizard laughed when she saw this and started dancing.)

lizard stories

Apr. 24th, 2014 04:38 pm
[personal profile] yhlee
Lizard (who is on spring break) wants to write a story about unicorns with me.

I ask her what the unicorn's starting situation is.

Lizard: "She's in a place that she doesn't know and she has lost all memories of her past life."


Orphan Black 1.2

Apr. 24th, 2014 04:18 pm
[personal profile] yhlee
I'm loving this and also where do I go for the icons? spoilers, although I'm behind everyone else )

Looking forward to more!

Non-spoilerishly, I think the scoring is in general extremely effective, although not something I'd listen to independently of the show (but that's frequently true of Western TV for me). I am, however, baffled by the choice of theme music because it's just weird and jars with my impressions of the show's tone. Is it just me?




There may be a reason that fungus is always evil fungus in my stories. I wish I could blame that National Geographic article on slime molds with its graphic full-color photography I read back in the...late '80s?, but to be honest, I was freaked out by fungoid things even earlier than that.

Please don't send fungus photos. It would be mean. :]

this looks like a cool Kickstarter

Apr. 24th, 2014 03:48 pm
[personal profile] yhlee
A History of the Great Empires of Eve Online (proposed to be a book). If nothing else, it sounds like it would make fabulous airport reading. I don't usually bother with book/zine Kickstarters because face it, I read really slowly these days and my Kindle is full of things like gamebooks and NAP reports that I, uh, still haven't gotten around to. But good airport reading is always worth stocking up on, and unfortunately I find fiction much harder to read than used to be the case. :(

Joe might even have forgiven me for mentioning IN PRINT about the time he WOULDN'T ANSWER MY BLACK HOLE QUESTION (for "Swanwatch") DESPITE BEING A REALIO TRULIO GRAVITATIONAL ASTROPHYSICIST because he was OFF SCREWING AROUND IN LOWSEC. So, just to be sure, I MUST MENTION IT AGAIN.

Peru: Day One Point Five

Apr. 24th, 2014 03:33 pm
[personal profile] starlady
Well, we made it. I flew United for the first time in…eight years, and it wasn't actually as bad as I feared; the coffee is actually quite good. That said, we were still delayed an hour in San Francisco because of maintenance issues and then because of an inability to find a United crew to staff the spare United plane they found (where from, who knows; the previous plane and crew were Continental; reconciling seniority systems is the hardest part of airline mergers), with the result that I was running through Houston to make my connection to Lima. Considering that I got on the jetway of my arriving flight twenty minutes before our scheduled departure, and the flight to Lima was not in the same terminal, I felt pretty proud of that.

I'm in a hostel for the first time in…many years (I've been lucky enough to crash with friends, or to get travel grants to cover conference hotels), and it's weird. Fine, but weird. I slept about three hours, maybe, and I'm a little paranoid about my laptop and passport, though I have a private room. Lima seems nice so far, though admittedly we are in Miraflores, which is evidently a relatively ritzy part. I haven't seen much more of the city than walking from the hostel to the hotel to get the conference shuttle, which is what I did this morning.

Equally importantly, Pablo Neruda's "Canto XII from the Heights of Machu Picchu" came up in [community profile] poetry today, and it couldn't be more appropriate, given my travel plans.
[personal profile] the_shoshanna
Tonight at dinner Geoff and I cast Game of Thrones with Sesame Street characters muppets. Like, Rob Stark is Cookie Monster, because he means well but he's such an idiot; the chickens are the Tyrells; and Oscar the Grouch is totally the Hound.

(I had been trying to tell him about the utterly fantastic Avengers/Sesame Street crossover I'd read, and the conversation kind of degenerated from there...)

[Edited because I realized belatedly that our memories had blurred together Sesame Street and the Muppet Show!]

William H. Patterson Jr. (1951-2014)

Apr. 24th, 2014 03:00 pm
[personal profile] james_davis_nicoll

William H. “Bill” Patterson Jr., author of the Hugo-nominated Robert A. Heinlein: In Dialogue With His Century, Vol. 1 (1907-1948): Learning Curve, died April 22, only a month before the second and final volume of the biography will be released.
[personal profile] musesfool
Today is my dad's 79th birthday. He celebrated by sending a group text to all of us on his new phone. Yay technology!


Today's poem:

After the Blast

It happened again just now, one word
snagging like fabric on a barbed fence.

Concertina wire. You said: I didn't see the body
hung on concertina wire. This was after the blast.

After you had stood in the divot, both feet
in the dust's new mouth and found no one alive.

Just out of the shower, I imagine
a flake of soap crusting your dark jaw, the phone

cradled like a hand on your bare cheek.
I should say: love. I should say: go on.

But I'm stuck on concertina—
the accordion's deep inner coils, bellows,

lungful of air contracting like a body caught
in the agony of climax.

Graceless, before the ballooning rush
of air or sound. The battering release.

~Elyse Fenton


Arrow: Seeing Red
spoilers )

Seriously, though, if you are looking for a kickass live action comic book show - that requires no prior knowledge of the comics (though it provides a lot of fun Easter eggs if you have some) - you should be watching Arrow. It's on Netflix (and also available via the usual suspects, I ... suspect)!

Here is a list of s1 episodes that are essential: The pilot, "Year's End," "Trust But Verify," "The Odyssey," "Dead to Rights," "Salvation," "The Undertaking," "Darkness on the Edge of Town" and "Sacrifice." If you enjoy it, then you can go back to watch the s1 eps you've missed, since they do provide some character intros and relationship stuff that is important down the line. And then watch all of season 2, because it is KILLING it. The show's not without its issues - there are few PoC and there's a classic fridging of one of them, and it took half a season to find its feet - but when it's working, it really works. (And early on, the fight scenes, the Ollie/Diggle relationship, Ollie's inappropriate chemistry with his younger sister, and the at-first brief flashes of Felicity will carry you through. Oh, and Susanna Thompson is gloriously regal as Moira Queen, Ollie's mother.)

Trust me! You won't regret it! Have I ever steered you wrong?


Shine and Fezzik at play

Apr. 24th, 2014 12:11 pm
[personal profile] batwrangler
I took this week as a vacation so I could catch up on few things but I have been feeling under the weather since Good Friday so I am not getting a lot done. I did, however, finally get around to finishing two old posts: this one from April 11th introducing Shine and this one from April 17th about our first week at puppy kindergarten.

And here are some videos of Shine and Fezzik playing together:

(Link in case embedding fails: )
[personal profile] batwrangler
Shine was about 17.6 pounds last week at the vet's. I don't think she's up to 20 yet. She and Fezzik adore each other and Fezzik is overjoyed when Shine comes back after being away for the day (I think he's afraid he's not going to get to keep her).

Shine and I had our first Puppy Kindergarten class last night. Shine got to meet seventeen new people (thirteen people who came with their puppies and four trainers) at class and nine (of ten) new dogs:

Wembly (black male Newf - about 45 pounds -- Shine was not at all intimidated by the big black dog, who was, after all, smaller and less bouncy than Fezzik)
Sasha - terrier/beagle mix (the bigger of the two white-and-fawn short-haired dogs, maybe a little taller than Shine, but lighter)
Amore - terrier mix (the smaller of the two white-and-fawn short-haired dogs, about two-thirds of Sasha-the-mix's size, constantly wanted to wrestle with Sasha-the-terrier-mix)
Penny - b&w hound/boxer mix (tallest puppy in class, maybe 25 pounds, but very shy, she ended up sharing the dedicated "small puppy" area with Maggie and Libby. Penny and the two terrier mixes are all rescues from southern states)
Sasha - the younger/smaller black Lab girl (roughly shine's size)
Summit - the older/bigger black Lab girl (a bit bigger than Shine)
Maggie - Shi zhu - with couple & two middle-school girls (Maggie is teeny, tiny, probably weighs less than a pound - Shine didn't actually meet her)
Libby - Maltese (very small but she seemed to like Shine and Shine knows to be respectful of small white dogs on account of the one she lives with at home)
Thorn - fawn male PB (about Shine's height, but stockier and heavier)
Bella - blue female PB (a little smaller than Shine and maybe the same weight as Shine)

DogSchool Staff: Karen, Allison, Jen, & another trainer whose name I've forgotten (and I left out the other puppies' owners' names -- only three of which I remember -- because I'm pretty good with dogs but not so good at people!)

We had introductions and some play time, worked a little on sit, down, and come (all interspersed with more playing), went out for a potty break, and then sat in a circle and passed all the puppies around the circle. Each time we changed puppies, we gave them treats and did something with the puppy in our laps: looked in their ears, played with their feet, jiggled their collar, held them in our lap, etc. (The two little girls with Maggie were given string cheese, which was the best treat on offer at class, to give to the puppies.) Then the puppies got to play a little more before class ended for the night.
[personal profile] batwrangler
My default bat image isn't being displayed: instead it seems to be a picture of five rotary-cutting disks.

Back to the weight room again!

Apr. 24th, 2014 08:29 am
[personal profile] oracne
I'll be very glad to stop having to use the tag "medical" along with "gym."

I was a bit more restrained in the weight room than on Monday. I did 20 pounds on the tricep machine, and my arm trembled much less! I stuck to 20 pounds for overheads, and did 25 for chest press and biceps. Then I did 55 for lat pulldowns and rows, because those are mostly back muscles, though I did have a little pain in the elbow for both of them. I skipped seated leg press because I overdid it on Monday, and instead set the elliptical at level 5 for my 30 minutes.

These machines are kind of annoying because most of them only deal with isolated muscles, so the workout takes longer. Free weights are much better, and I'll be happy when I can go back to them.

Clearly we need this today

Apr. 24th, 2014 12:11 am
[personal profile] phi
Based on responses on LJ/DW/Twitter to my Siddig el Fadil gif, we need more picspam. So here, twenty pictures of beautiful actors and actresses.

I think Siddig el Fadil has only become more handsome as he's gotten older, but there's one pic of young Siddig from his Deep Space Nine days under here too.

That salt-and-pepper beard OMG )

Do you have any idea how hard it is to find photos of Nandita Das that haven't been photoshopped to make her look gora? Fuck colorism in the ear.

I will fight anyone who says Nandita Das needs to be lightened in Photoshop to be beautiful )

And here's the point where I run out of colorful commentary. Sorry. Pictures though.

Chiwetel Ejiofor )

Indira Varma )

The amount of hatred directed at Lupita Nyong'o hurts my heart. She's so smart and talented and beautiful. More Lupita please both on screen and behind the camera!

I can't get over how bright her smile is in pretty much every photo of her ever )

Putting this together reminded me of Skyward. I miss her so.

It seemed to last for days

Apr. 23rd, 2014 11:47 pm
[personal profile] sovay
We have a stove. All four burners work without needing to be lit by hand. The oven works. The broiler works. None of it has been inhabited by small animals or encrusted in years of ignored grease. It was delivered this afternoon by subcontractors from Sears; when they left, they took the old one away. For the first time since we moved here in October, I will be able to bake without using the toaster oven.

(I will probably still make lasagna in the toaster oven, because I want to see if I can. But after that, I don't know, I could make cookies or a pie or something. Or broil a chicken. Or bake noodles and cheese. This is going to be awesome.)


Apr. 23rd, 2014 07:34 pm
[personal profile] badgerbag
I am doing a lot! Too much! Yet not enough.

Since Zond7 left Monday night I have suddenly degenerated from my smug routine, forget to eat meals, and there is laundry everywhere. somehow instead of writing extra poetry and living in a nice neat environment I have entered odd workaholic and not taking care of myself mode.

Weird! Instructive!

I think it is also the tramadol and extra coffee. Must fix that tomorrow.

Tea only after 1 cup of coffee, and no tramadol after .. umm..... 1pm?

I wrote to the EFF as i said i would, yesterday i did a fun zine reading thing at DU, I worked quite hard, went to all the meetings ever fucking invented, and hacked some portals whicih was super relaxing and fun, and grocery shopped.

i read from a funny old zine and a section from a newish poem that i think is nearly done.

Cannot do enough at work to feel like i'm on top of things or truly competent. HOw to limit things????? why do i keep on taking more responsiblity?

i do not want to burn out.

also i went to 2 doctor appointments which while not specially stressful or hard, and i went in a cab, were still stressful and hard.

i miss zond7 quite a lot!

i think i need to strictly enforce some hours off even if i can't take a whole day ... which i don't feel that i can....
[personal profile] kate_nepveu
Still discussion happening in my Hugo reactions post, if that was a thing that interested you at the time; it seems to have had a slow trickle out onto Twitter, sped up today by John Scalzi linking to it and other criticisms of his position from Shweta Narayan, Arachne Jericho, and Rose Lemberg.

I explained why I took a somewhat different approach than those posters in a comment on my old post, but the criticisms of Rose Lemberg, and SL Huang, about the idea of "merits" generally, are important and worth reading as a broadly-applicable matter. (To be clear, I also recommend Shweta and Arachne's posts as powerful and important, they're just a little more focused on the specifics of this discussion.)

A link roundup is being maintained by Stefan Raets.

I'm going to again err on the side of caution and screen anon comments; I will unscreen them as soon as I can if they're consistent with the policy statements in my profile. So far I haven't had to keep anything screened; I will say so if I do. But, if you have substantive comments rather than something about these links, I'd appreciate it if you took it to the original post, because I hate split discussions.

And now, I must go wash dishes.

More FNL. Whee!

Apr. 23rd, 2014 09:44 pm
[personal profile] kass
Tonight [personal profile] kouredios and I watched FNL S5 x 08 and 09. There are only four episodes left! I kind of can't believe it. (The first time I watched ep 9 I apparently said the same thing: I can't believe there are only 4 more episodes left, ever.)

Also I am drawing giant pink sparkly hearts around Matt Saracen. What else is new. *grin*

We are contemplating watching Fringe next. (Having done all of West Wing and new Who, both of which were known to kouredios, and now almost all of FNL, which was known to me.) I am kind of ridiculously excited at the prospect of rewatching Fringe. Because. I mean. Olivia Dunham. Made of awesome, Y/Y?

For now, though, I am all DILLON TEXAS and JULIE and MATT and VINCE and JESS and COACH and OH TAMI and OH SHOW. ♥
[personal profile] james_davis_nicoll
Setting: Steel City, a city much like Detroit on one of the Great Lakes, in the Concord setting (an old homegrown campaign from the 1980s). The city hasn't had a sanctioned team of supers in a generation but happily a mass Origin is going to give the city a chance to address that lack.

Rather unfortunately from the point of view of the government, the Origin happened at an Occupy Steel City rally, so the mix of characters is going to be broader than the government might prefer.

a day for picspam

Apr. 23rd, 2014 08:35 pm
[personal profile] yhlee
Flowers, lizards, random Back to the Future car mod sightings, that kind of thing.

images )

Exit 13th Age

Apr. 23rd, 2014 09:36 pm
[personal profile] james_davis_nicoll
Schedule conflicts mean yet more long gaps between sessions so our 13th Age campaign is shutting down.
[personal profile] malkingrey
(That would be me.)

If you make an appointment, or in any way need to save a date, do not simply mention it to me in passing and expect me to remember to add it to the calendar the next time I'm at my computer.

Because maybe I'll remember it, and maybe I won't.

Give it to me in written form. On a piece of paper, if that's what you've got handy. Or in an e-mail, which would be even better. But if it isn't written down somewhere, it isn't real.

Got that?


(no subject)

Apr. 23rd, 2014 03:15 pm
[personal profile] phi
I was going to write a response to the response to the response to the Hugo announcements, but screw that. Cishet white dudes have chewed up enough of my emotional bandwidth this week.

Wiscon, new schedule! )

And because this week hasn't had anywhere near enough good things in it:

A photo of Siddig El Fadil giving the prettiest shy smile ever )

In completely different news, I've been using Blue Apron for a while now. As you know Bob, I've been horribly depressed for ages, with close to zero energy for anything. I hadn't cooked a meal from scratch, except on dates with the now-ex cute person, all last fall and winter. This was not okay, but I didn't have the energy to do anything about it. Enter Blue Apron, which sends me a box of perfect portions of groceries (no buying a whole bunch of celery when I only need one stalk for example) and recipes every week. It's a lazy way to cook, and ideally I'd be well enough to do my own damn meal planning and shopping, but it's better than frozen dinners and pizzas and takeout every night. I've been pleasantly surprised by how good the food is.

Anyway, I tell you all this because I have a bunch of coupons for free meals I can distribute. Each shipment contains food and recipes for three dinners for two people. If you're interested in trying them out, let me know. They are totally unable to deal with allergies or veganism. The most control you get over your food is saying yes or no to six categories of meat (shellfish, fish, pork, lamb, beef, and poultry).
[personal profile] james_davis_nicoll
Ibid has worked out how to get up to the top shelf of the book case in my bedroom and from there to the top of the door, just as Fig did months ago.

What he can't do is get back down....

wherever i am, i am what is missing

Apr. 23rd, 2014 02:31 pm
[personal profile] musesfool
Ugh, I woke up this morning with a terrible headache and nothing so far has helped.

I think I might have broken geeky co-worker #3 this morning. He asked me if I was excited about Spider-Man 2, and I was like, "More like really concerned." spoilers for a 40 year old comics arc )

*spoiler for ASM2 )

SHIELD: "The Only Light in the Darkness"
spoilers, not squee; also Cap 2 spoilers I guess )

So there's that.


Wednesday reading meme:

What I've just finished

The First World War by Hew Strachan, which is a good overview of WWI, if a bit drier in tone than the other books I've been reading. Its main flaw is the absence of maps. I don't understand how nobody said, "Hey, can we get some maps to illustrate all the things you're talking about?"

I also reread Wyrd Sisters, which was really enjoyable.

What I'm reading now

I've moved on to rereading Guards! Guards!, which I'm also enjoying.

What's next

I don't know? I might do another WWI history, or possibly a book about both wars and the inter-war period, and intersperse the heavy non-fiction with a Discworld reread. I also have a Star Wars tie-in novel I haven't read, and a bunch of comics to catch up on, so there could be that, too. *hands*


Today's poem:

Keeping Things Whole

In a field
I am the absence
of field.
This is
always the case.
Wherever I am
I am what is missing.

When I walk
I part the air
and always
the air moves in
to fill the spaces
where my body's been.

We all have reasons
for moving.
I move
to keep things whole.

~Mark Strand

[personal profile] sovay
(In which I draw too many conclusions from etymology.)

Is the world of Ancillary Justice our far future? When people in this setting say human, do they mean Homo sapiens? It only occurred to me to wonder last night after I realized that Radch is cognate with Raj and Reich; before that I would cheerfully have assumed the story was taking place anywhere with comparably hominid sexual dimorphism, in the same way that secondary-world fantasies never worry about parallel evolution. I'm still not sure it's relevant. Nice way of embedding echoes, though.

books inherited

Apr. 23rd, 2014 08:16 am
[personal profile] thistleingrey
When my stepfather died nearly three years ago, my mother sorted through his things and gave much of them to his offspring, one of whom has two children. She knew they wouldn't want the materials he'd acquired for trying to learn Korean; most of those have come to me. (He enjoyed watching sageuk---historical tv shows---and had continued working at his intelligence analysis job till he fell ill, past age seventy; the mental cycles required for the latter kept him from retaining much of his language self-study. He was quite good at his job.) Since I had the Rogers/You/Richards College Korean already, his copy didn't come to me and isn't included in this overview of materials, which is an attempt to move the little stack off my desk.

Language study can be idiosyncratic; herein are remarks on some pros and cons of what I've inherited.

Read more... )
[personal profile] james_davis_nicoll

Under Ontario's Liquor Control Act, Brewers Retail is the only retailer permitted to sell beer for off-site consumption, except for stores on the site of a brewery, locations of the provincial government-owned Liquor Control Board of Ontario (LCBO), and LCBO-authorized agency stores in certain smaller communities.[...] The act and the company's articles of incorporation further stipulate that Brewers Retail cannot sell "hard liquor" (spirits), or consumer goods (like groceries).

Reaction has not been 100% favourable.

Wednesday Reading

Apr. 23rd, 2014 09:00 am
[personal profile] oracne
I am at last reading Martha Wells' Emilie and the Hollow World, since the sequel is on its way to me (I do that, pre-order something, then don't read it for ages). But I've had to temporarily put it aside a couple of times, first to finish a book for anonymous review, and now to do a last proofread of something of mine, half of which I finished last night (the sort of reading in which I am hyper-aware of all tiny flaws, sigh). I will likely finish the Emilie book by the weekend if not sooner.

In nonfiction, I got a little farther into Gulp: Adventures on the Alimentary Canal by Mary Roach, and continue to work through Peoples of Color in the American West, usually right before bed or when I have insomnia.

In fanfiction, I started reading the Avengers story 1796 Broadway by teaberry blue and rainproof, even though it's not quite done yet.

In books bought, I ordered the third volume of the collected Hawkeye comic and the latest Barbara Hambly mystery, Good Man Friday. My hardcover of Katherine Addison's The Goblin Emperor is also on its way.
[personal profile] jjhunter
Let's take a breath for poetry. It is April, and as good a time as any for a collaborative poetry fest. Please find below a starting stanza or two of a brand new shiny haikai (what's a haikai, you ask? think extended haiku: alternating stanzas of 5-7-5 and 7-7). Comment with a new stanza responding to the original theme. Someone (most likely me) will respond with another stanza, and so on and so forth throughout the day.

egg me on, will you?
egg-travagant egg-cellence
egg-tices egging

inspirational image behind the cut )
[personal profile] sovay
Fifty years ago today, the 1964 World's Fair opened in Flushing Meadows. Both of my parents remember going, separately—my mother was eighteen, my father twelve. My grandmother had put aside half dollars until she had enough to pay the admission fees for her three children and give them each ten dollars to spend. My mother vividly remembers eating Belgian waffles for the first time. (My father had texted me with news of the anniversary earlier today: the waffle part, specifically.) In honor of the Brussels waffles of 1964, [ profile] derspatchel and I tried to go out for Belgian waffles tonight, but all of the usual suspects—SoundBites, the Toast—were closed. We ended up at iYo, where Rob skilfully negotiated the DIY waffles (hey, with mention of the World's Fair) and I put a bunch of strawberries on green apple frozen yogurt (it worked for me). I am baffled by the apparent citywide assumption that no one wants waffles after nine at night. It's like bagels at four in the morning. Doesn't everybody?

Earlier in the day I was at Porter Square Books, where two very nice things occurred.

First, I discovered—and pounced upon, and purchased before it could vanish—the first anthology of modernist poetry I've seen whose biographical notes openly discuss H.D. as polyamorous and bisexual. Her relationship with Frances Gregg is given equal weight with her relationship with Ezra Pound: "another young poet . . . similarly intense and romantic." Mention is made of the brief period in 1910 when both women were involved with him. Bryher in 1918 is introduced as "a young novelist" rather than the more usual and dismissive "heiress"; her relationship with H.D. is unambiguously "lifelong." The table of contents is missing her own poetry, sadly, but it does include one of Gregg's poems to H.D.—I hadn't even known that existed. I wish the afterword had not persisted in referring to H.D. by her given last name rather than her chosen initials, but at least it doesn't make the same mistake with Bryher. There's more to be acknowledged and celebrated there, but it's a better start than Norman Holmes Pearson. And I am sure this is not the most intersectional collection of poems that could have been chosen out of the Modernist movement, but there are queer women in it, women of color, disabled women, women with differing degrees of education and profession, women who had children and didn't, women who died young and didn't, Jewish women, Dadaist women, women I'd never heard of; there are sixteen of them selected for this book and all of them wrote. I'm looking forward to spending more time with them.

Second, I picked up a copy of Ellen Datlow's Lovecraft's Monsters. I hadn't seen the table of contents before. (It's a very tempting one. I need a better book income.) It reprints a poem I published. That has never happened to me before and I am curiously cheerful about it.

I need to write a pastiche of Dorothy Parker. I want to conclude with the following true fact:

"And I just got spam from Romania."

(no subject)

Apr. 22nd, 2014 05:21 pm
[personal profile] yhlee
For the easily amused: Leticia Lara & Odo at Sense of Wonder interviewed me. There is also a Spanish translation. (I wish I had time to learn Spanish too!) Wherein you can see scans of the zines I have been foreignly translated into. :p

Meanwhile, is it a sad commentary that I keep having to look up >>cyclinglink<< macro syntax in Twine despite using it reasonably frequently? Now you know why I switched out of comp sci and into math.

(no subject)

Apr. 22nd, 2014 11:37 pm
[personal profile] phi
During lunch today, some people on twitter were asking me how I handle my slush, both judgments about what goes on to the editor-in-chief and the mechanics of how I cope with the volume of email. It's a meaty enough topic I decided to answer it in a higher bandwidth medium than twitter.

First, the mechanics. I worked out a system that works for me, through several months of painful trial and error. Your mileage may vary.

At Apex, when submissions are open, I'll get anywhere from 8-20 stories a week. The managing editor sends them out in batches, one submission per email, with the story as an attachment. I have a gmail account dedicated to slush and administrative emails from Sigrid and Cameron. As soon as I notice an unread email in my inbox I immediately label it, either "To Be Processed" or "Administrivia." Everything in my mailbox has a label. In my experience this is absolutely vital to being able to process things efficiently.

I do a lot of slush reading on my phone, either during my lunch break at work, in line at the grocery store, on the subway. I don't like to send responses from my phone -- too much opportunity for a typo or copy/paste errors, and that's just disrespectful to authors who have taken a great risk by sending their work out into the world. I do want to record my immediate reaction to a story though, so again, I use gmail labels. After I've read a story the label changes from "To Be Processed" to "Read Again," "Reject," or "Forward to Sigrid." When I'm home and at a computer with a real keyboard, I send out responses and take my time to re-read and consider the "Read Again" stories, ones I'm on the fence about rejecting. Once I've sent a response to the author and, for the latter case, forwarded the story up, I add the label "Response Sent." I use the gmail search queries "NOT label:response-sent" "has:nouserlabel" and "label:to-be-processed" to filter my inbox and make sure I've read and responded to everything. The searches "label:foward-to-sigrid AND NOT label:response-sent" and "label:reject AND NOT label:response-sent" improves my efficiency at actually telling authors where their story stands. Seriously, gmail's search tools are amazing and life changing, and I could write a whole post just about them.

As for aesthetic judgments, every slush reader's criteria are different. Sigrid wrote her thoughts up here back when she was slushing under Lynne's editorial direction. Mine are very similar:

1) Is the writing-craft high quality? Here I'm not just looking for competent grammar and vocabulary. Is the syntax repititive? Is information repeated? Are info-dumps shoe-horned in awkwardly? Does the structure make sense? Are there six pages of weather reports before we see any action or character development?

2) Does the story elicit an emotional reaction in me? Is there something in it that makes me catch my breath? Halfway through the story do I desperately want to know how it ends? The story could have the most beautiful use of language in the world, but if it doesn't make me feel it's not getting passed on to Sigrid.

3) Does the story fit in with Apex's overall aesthetic? Even if a story passes the first two criteria, if it really doesn't feel like a good fit, I might turn it down anyway, although generally I will leave this up to the EIC's judgment.

4) How does the story treat women, trans people, queer people, people of color, poor people, disabled people? Are people with marginalized identities fully developed characters or just set pieces for the cishet white male heroes to act upon? I won't pass along stories that dehumanize or demean people on the basis of their identities. In particular, stories that contain rape, domestic violence, or "pregnancy horror" are a very hard sell to me (not impossible though! Just last night I sent Sigrid a story that contained a domestic violence scene, that was contextualized well and, IMO, necessary to the narrative). I'll also note it is possible to have a character who is misogynist/racist/classist in a story that is not *-ist.

Lastly, I write Sigrid a short blurb about each story, explaining why I think it should be published. If I'm really on the fence about a story and can't make up my mind, I'll assume it should be forwarded up and start writing an email to Sigrid. I give myself fifteen minutes with an empty email draft. If I can't come up with at least a sentence justifying why it's worth her time? I reject it.

On triggers: I will not respond to a story that hits one of my PTSD triggers. It's not fair to me to keep reading a story that is taking me to bad places, and it's not fair to the author. Those get sent back to the managing editor with a request that the story be sent to another slush reader. As far as I know, when stories get redistributed in this way, the receiving slusher doesn't know that I bounced it back into the slush pile.

Barring triggers, I will always read at least the first thousand words of every story. A wooden or otherwise unfortunate opening paragraph can always be fixed in editing if it picks up in the middle (and none of the stories I read that ended up getting published have been the same in final form as they were when I first read them). At that point, the remarkably awful stories have a more likely chance of getting read to the end than the simply mediocre stories, because some part of me always wants to hope the author did something interesting or subverted whatever terrible trope they started with. Usually I'm wrong, but hope springs eternal. You cannot read slush without a very high initial optimism to carry you through.

I also do my very best not to read the cover letter or look too closely at the author's name before I read the story. It's the closest I can get to blind submissions, even though I've now been at this long enough to start recognizing some authors by their style.

[art] here, have some more comics

Apr. 22nd, 2014 12:42 pm
[personal profile] yhlee

With apologies to Sergeant Sagara and Full Metal Panic: Fumoffu. (Uh, just to be clear, that's Jedao and Cheris. Although Jedao isn't quite this stupid usually.)

Drawing Words, Writing Pictures had this fun exercise that the lizard and I both did. Hers came out better, I think, but honestly the lizard is more artistic than I am. :) Read more... )

The next chapter's assignment, which I decline to upload so that I don't get my @$$ sued off, is a comic jumble--you take panels from a day's comic page (I just printed off random stuff I found on webcomics) and then attempt to create a coherent comic narrative illustrating the 7? kinds of transitions on the way. I used Claymore, Terminal Lance, Piled Higher and Deeper, Peanuts, and a couple other random things. (You're allowed to overlook "superficial" differences in character design--any cat can be The Cat Character, for instance.) The result was wacky and the actual trying to make something coherent part had me tearing out my hair for over an hour, but it was fun in a masochistic kind of way.
[personal profile] musesfool
Apparently, all DC's weekly comics will end in March 2015 and they're not saying what will happen next. I don't even know. #dc look at your life. look at your choices.


I watched Sunday's The Good Wife last night and wow, what a good episode. I basically loved everything about it. And now I want the crossover with Cap 2 where spoilers for both TGW and the movie ) Someone should write that for me!


So last night, Kyle Farnsworth got his first save as a Met, and I had the strongest urge to pick up the phone and call my mother, because Kyle Farnsworth is a dick and neither of us like him, and because she always appreciated being able to talk about the Mets (usually it was commiserating on losing, but sometimes it was being excited about winning). And I couldn't, and that made me sad.


The Logic of Loss

There it is, the thing lost, found again
in the very cranny I first refused
to look, so sure my logic was
that it was in another nook,

where it belonged, the key, I mean,
in the key drawer with a dozen more
of brass, aluminum, miniatures for trunks,
skate key, clock key, rusty skeleton,

the obsolete set to the Ford LTD
in the scrapheap now or compressed,
reused for some new-fangled guzzler
(but I digress); to find it, I gave up

looking; then there it was, that key
to the lock box where I knew
the snapshot of my once-intended lay
along with some other old friends'

and lovers' fading Kodachromes
and curled-up black-and-whites.
I find it in that very spot
I recollect I chose myself,

the self, so easily deluded, that told
its self that it was a special place,
never to be forgotten. I can see
myself slip the key into the striped

Russell Stover's box, still filled
with small brown wrappers
that once held fine chocolates.
I swear I still smell the sweetness

of their caramels and creams
I tasted when I was a little boy
on some long lost afternoon,
suddenly brought back,

resurrected by a tipsy causal chain
to spring forward in the mind,
momentarily, reconstitute,
then recede, fading into specks

until there it was, the thing found,
lost again, the key to my first love mislaid
by the illogic of the brain inside
the nooks and crannies of my heart.

~Philip Miller


What are the Hugo rules

Apr. 22nd, 2014 12:53 pm
[personal profile] james_davis_nicoll
regarding new editions of old books?

"It would not be logical"

Apr. 22nd, 2014 12:13 pm
[personal profile] rosefox
Recently I read yet another book where the character I most identify with ended up sad and alone after the death of her beloved partner. Reader, I am fucking done with these books. DONE. Done done done.

If you nodded along to Ferrett's post about how the "logic" underpinning all-white and all-male award nomination lists is suspect, then nod along to this. Every time a lesbian dies, every time a wife is widowed, every time a mother grieves the death of her child, every time rape is used to define a woman's character, it serves the story that the author wanted to tell--the story the author chose to tell. And I am no longer content with "it makes sense in the context of the story" as an explanation or an excuse. That "logic" is just as suspect.


Tell stories where it doesn't make sense for her husband or wife to die. Tell stories where her child dying is unfathomable. Tell stories where women live happy fulfilling lives. Tell stories where women find love and don't lose it again. Tell stories where women and their bodies aren't treated like objects.

Tell stories where women are happy, where a woman's happiness makes sense in the context of the story, where a woman's happiness serves the story, where a woman's happiness is integral to the plot. Tell stories where women's hearts and minds and bodies and families and vocations are healthy, and treated with respect by other people.

Tell stories where women are happy.

This should not be such an outrageous suggestion. But take a look at recent SF/F, at the books that get awards, at the books that get talked about, and it is entirely and utterly radical.

Tell stories where women are happy. I dare you. And I'm begging you, please. I can't handle any more unhappy women. I can't. It's why I read romance more than SF/F these days. I don't identify as a woman anymore, but that doesn't stop me from identifying with women, and they are all so sad and I can't do it. Stop showing me how tough and realistic your grimdark is by making the women as miserable as the men. Stop showing me how exciting and dangerous your space adventure is by putting the women through as many trials as the men. I believe you, okay? It's tough and realistic, it's exciting and dangerous, I believe you, you can stop now.

It will be hard the first few times, because it's so alien, this notion of women's happiness. But you'll get used to it, once you can adjust your ideas of what's "logical".

Tell stories where women are happy. Go on. Give it a try.

The Steerswoman by Rosemary Kirstein

Apr. 22nd, 2014 11:34 am
[personal profile] james_davis_nicoll

(Picture is a link)

In what fellow FASS member Mark Jackson-Brown charmingly refers to as "the Before Times [1]", book distribution in Ontario was pretty patchy and while I remember that word of mouth on rec.arts.sf-lovers was very positive about The Steerswoman, I didn't manage to find a copy of it for my own until 1993, four years after it was published. I can tell this because when I look at the back of my copy it has a sticker from A Second Look Books dated 1993. Which I guess means the author didn't make any money off me so let's move quickly on to the next paragraph.

These books are what SF should aspire to be; it is a shame they are not more widely known.

There will be some spoilers. Read more... )

VM fic rec

Apr. 22nd, 2014 11:22 am
[personal profile] kass
[ profile] ltlbird has just posted a new Veronica Mars story, which I had the pleasure of beta-reading. It's about 3000 words; contains spoilers for S1; and offers a really interesting glimpse of what Lilly might have been thinking before the series began.

It's here: Considering Lilly.

Read, enjoy, leave feedback! ♥

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