“It is not so easy, in retrospect, to sense the full impact of this work. It predates Vacation II, and, at the time, the idea of a priest—a cloistered monk, no less—writing about the world was unheard of. Monks were (mistakenly) thought of as innocents, certainly not political beings, certainly not public intellectuals, but rarefied, childlike creatures who might write poetry, or share religious visions, or create kitschy art for sale to pilgrims in monastery bookstores. They did not enter into dialogue and debate with the worldly. And if they did speak out, it was in pious platitudes. Merton defied all that, despised kitsch and platitudes. His startling voice—that of a great literary artist—was a trumpet blast from another dimension, and it shook the literary world.”

- THE STORMING BOHEMIAN PUNKS THE MUSE #15: Contemplation + Politics
“Tobar’s story imagines the mass deportations promised by Trump in his campaign, and it is particularly prescient considering Trump’s executive orders on immigration that were handed down on Wednesday, orders that among other things include language vague enough to allow deportation of undocumented immigrants who have not been charged with a crime. Tobar’s story goes a few steps farther and imagines a nation in which even “anchor babies,” children born on American soil to undocumented immigrant parents, are being rounded up and bussed over the border despite their natural-born citizenship. The story opens on a couple spending their last minutes together before they are torn apart by toxic American nationalism.”


THIS WEEK IN SHORT FICTION, Claire Burgess reviews “The Daylight Underground” by Hector Tobar.

You can read “The Daylight Underground” at Slate.

“A dream sticks with me. I dreamt it as a teenager, right about the time I’d been sexually assaulted but before my unconscious mind had released the knowledge to me, trusting that I had a way to process it into something beyond desolating shame. In the dream, I am standing on the beach, facing an ocean. It’s dark, but still light enough to see. My friends are near me, including the boy who pulled me down the mountainside by the elbow years ago. As we loiter, a wave rears up—a tsunami, really, enormous in an otherwise calm ocean. It hovers in mid-crest. I watch its roiling, churning water, the whorls and splashes contained within its suspended form. I notice I don’t feel dread. Wouldn’t one feel dread, seeing such a wave like that, threatening, ruled by its own sense of agency or science? But there is no dread. Nor is there fear. Instead, I feel awe. I witness the power of this seemingly sentient force observe me just as I observe it. This wave holds a precipice I cannot leap: the giant wave never crashes; it never dissipates. We watch each other for a while, and then the dream ends.”

- (K)INK #14: WRITING WHILE DEVIANT: Jennifer Elliot
yhlee: Alto clef and whole note (middle C). (alto clef)
([personal profile] yhlee Feb. 25th, 2017 04:05 pm)
Fantastic video takedown of why the Marvel movies have terrible scoring and, more generally, the problem of temp tracks in film scoring [Youtube]. Particularly scathing was the analysis of one scene where the music was basically compared to room tone. Ouch! But I cannot argue the point.

Also, film composers ALL hate temp tracks, haha, but that's not news to anyone at this point!

(I can't figure out how to embed this, sorry! The Youtube "share" thing confuses me.)

(Thanks to Seth Dickinson.)
monanotlisa: (resist)
([personal profile] monanotlisa Feb. 25th, 2017 01:54 pm)
Many of you are probably already members or are actively avoiding it, but just in case: For news on Dreamwidth about The Resistance, there's

[community profile] thisfinecrew
Some years ago, in the midst of what was then called "the warnings wank" or "another round of the warnings debate" [personal profile] melannen stated "I warn for 'Old People Sex' when one of the parties is over 55 or so."

I was not at the time 55 though I was within spitting difference of that age. Nevertheless, I felt ferociously angry on seeing that statement. "Trigger Warnings" surely are things that one puts on content because the mere thought of what is warned for is supposed to provoke PTSD. That's what warnings are for, is it not?


I am still having sex.

Which leaves me in something of a dilemma. I am told, according to the best social justice theory going, that this makes me -- dread word -- "problematic".

Which is where we come on to the life and death of Helen Bailey.

Whom no-one came to help, because she was over 50 and therefore her sex life must be considered "problematic". The fact she was in the hands of a psychopath by then was exactly what she deserved for wanting to have a sex life after 50 in the first place. At least, when it comes to the opinions of people who assume over-55 sex needs a trigger warning.

The sheer waves of suicidal ideation which rise up ever time I think about "Frankly, I warn for 'Old People Sex' if the parties are over 55 or so" are so hard to combat, one might really welcome a serial killer, know what I mean? Bit of attention, at least.

Of course, wanting attention is terribly problematic. And requires a trigger wanrning.
([syndicated profile] rkirstein_blog_feed Feb. 25th, 2017 08:26 pm)

Posted by Rosemary

This morning, Facebook reminded me that it’s been two years since my last chemotherapy session.

And how am I doing now?  Fine, just fine, medically speaking.

Well, I’ve got the scars.  And a sort of… call it a divot.  Because the chemo was so successful, I didn’t need the full mastectomy that we all expected at first.  They ended up removing so little tissue that under most circumstances the divot isn’t even noticeable at all.   The site aches a bit when I move in certain ways, but not enough to limit my motion at all.

I’ve been lactose-intolerant as a result of chemo for the last two years or so, but it actually seems like that’s starting to back off.  I might be free of it, soon.

I have some residual numbness in my fingers and feet, also a known side-effect of the really aggressive course of chemo we took.  It’s weird, but manageable: sometimes things can slip from my grip, especially very smooth things.  I just have to pay closer attention than I used to.  I have to watch out for bruises and cuts on my feet in places I can’t feel, and be careful of over-flexing.  (Which always reminds me of Cordwainer Smith’s story, “Scanners Live in Vain.”  I have to scan.)

And I have periodic check-ups from my oncologist and surgeon.  But these are being scheduled at longer and longer intervals.

So… No problems.  Two years later, no real problems.

When I reread the blog posts from the time of my treatment, it seems as if I was perky and cheerful for most of the experience — but I know that much of that is illusion, caused by the facts that a) I used my blogging to cheer myself up and stay positive, and b) when I felt really unhappy, I just didn’t blog at all.   But trust me: I experienced the full range of possible emotions during that time.  Including some that defy description.

I got a lot of support and encouragement from the comments and emails from all of you, by the way.  I can’t express how much it helped me to know you were out there rooting for me.

Of course, my sister Sabine was my main support person, and I was so lucky to have her.  Still am, generally, by the way — but especially during that time.  I can’t say enough good things about her and how she helped.

I had many things planned for that time, most of which had to be abandoned, or changed, or  postponed.  I was barely able to write during that period.  Some  writers and artists actually manage to maintain (or even increase!) their creative output during cancer treatments.  I was  not one of those.  The emotional limbo interspersed with  periods of stabbing angst were not, I found, particularly conducive to maintaining the clarity thought and steadiness of imagination I needed to make serious progress.  I had some spurts, but nothing I could maintain for long.

However, one thing that I did manage during all that was the publication of the ebooks.  For the most part,  the process was straightforward dog-work — tedious, but doable.  And with no set schedule and no deadline, I could do as much as my strength and mental acuity allowed at any particular time, and set it aside whenever I wasn’t up to the effort.

Below: Links to the posts I made during my whole cancer experience.  I just reviewed them myself, and found it pretty interesting…

12/23/2013: breaking the news

Sometimes the wind comes out of nowhere and knocks you sideways.

12/30/2013: First chemo

Quick post.

01/08/2014: A rant on pseudo-scientific bullshit included here

Amazon emails! Plus: here come the loonies

01/13/2014: losing my hair, but I don’t care…

Abandon ship!


01/19/2014: missing out on Boskone that year

As I feared, no Boskone for me.

01/28/2014: in the chemo suite

Three down, five to go


02/05/2014: health update inside ebook update

Predictably… Plus: ebook update


02/13/14: at the halfway point.

Snow day! Plus: halfway through chemo. Extra flash: Delia Sherman’s Con or Bust offering!

02/27/14 :  one way you  know you’re using the right chemo

You know what? This stuff actually works.


03/12/14: Cumulative effects of chemo, including no guitar-playing

Still here…


03/24/14: Just another day in the chemo suite

Use it when you’ve got it

04/01/14: Chemo continues, despite blizzard

Many thanks! Plus: Bumped by the blizzard

04/04/14: A hat.  I wore a hats a lot during my treatment

Delia Sherman knitted me a little hat.


04/07/14: Numbness side-effects of chemo, with drawings!

Annoyances and updates


04/25/14: Gaining strength once the heavy-duty part of chemo is done

Still here…


05/09/14: Surgery had to be postponed…

Surgery postponed

05/13/14: The body has a mind of its own

Foiled again.


05/21/14: results of that biopsy

About that biopsy…


06/01/14: More delays

Wait, what? Postponed AGAIN?


06/06/14: Just an update to say all went well

Quick update


06/07/14: What the surgery entailed

Two days later


06/15/14: Could not ask for a better outcome

And the official pathology report says…


06/24/14: Radiation therapy meant no WorldCon in London for me

Well, about WorldCon in London…


07/08/14: Prepping for radiation therapy

Hey, I got a tattoo!


07/17/14: Echocardiogram, because of Herceptin

Briefly ….


08/28/14: A post mostly about a poll, but including info about radiation side-effects

Poll reports. Plus: Ow.


09/07/14: And heading back to the day-job

Inching my way back into the Day Job


12/29/14: An essay on radiation therapy

Radiation therapy and me


02/25/2015:  Herceptin isn’t killer chemical like most chemo, so at some places they call a patient’s official Last Chemo the last of the heavy-duty chemo…. but at my hospital, they declared my chemo over with my final Herceptin infusion.

Last chemo

And that’s it.

Sometimes, looking back, it all seems sort of unreal.   I remember it all quite clearly — but heck, I have a writer’s imagination.  There are plenty of things entirely imaginary that exist in my mind just as clearly as if they happened.

I do know how to tell the difference, however.  This was real.  And… seems to be over.

In other news: Hey, I’m alive!


aldersprig: (Marked)
([personal profile] aldersprig Feb. 25th, 2017 09:00 pm)
MARKED - 4.4

“Can I learn how to remove it myself, Professor?” Nilien concentrated on her sight and managed to see the mark again. “I mean, if I find more, I don’t want to have to come back here and bother you every time…”

“We can certainly try to teach you, at least. All right. If you don’t already have magic sight up, pull it up.” The professor waited until Nilien nodded. “Very good. Now, like everything in runic magic, it’s a matter of focusing your power, but what I find helps here is if you think about erasing the lines. So you’re going to take the trace apart one line at a time. You see how the lines work here? So we’ll start with this curve, and imagine it gone, and so on down the whole thing. Understand?”

read on...
typographer: Me on a car in the middle of nowhere, eastern Colorado, age four (Default)
([personal profile] typographer Feb. 25th, 2017 12:46 pm)
Weekend Update 2/25/2017: We have to have standards! (aka, Martinis for Science!)

This week’s Friday round up of links was one of my biggest collections, with over 100 linked stories, and I didn’t see much in the news yesterday that struck me with that sense of “Dang! I wish I’d known that to include in this week’s list,” nor many that made me go “Oh! We have to follow up on that!” Part of the reason is that I seem to be coming down with something and had barely enough energy to get through my work day yesterday, let alone spend any break time reading news. I crashed right after logging out at work, then got up and started dinner and so on.

But I noticed that once again a couple of links that I had bookmarked to include in yesterday’s list were missed, and one of them absolutely must be shared! ...

(The rest of this post about ANSI standards and martinis is at FontFolly.Net.)
yhlee: Amber Tarot Knight of Swords: Benedict (Tarot d'Ambre: Benedict)
([personal profile] yhlee Feb. 25th, 2017 02:43 pm)
Le Tarot d'Ambre par F. Nedelec, cont'd

A plot

Read more... )
dancesontrains: (Default)
([personal profile] dancesontrains Feb. 25th, 2017 07:38 pm)
Hello, dear writer of filth! This is the first time I've done smutswap. My AO3 username is dancesontrains, and you can get an idea of what I like from the stuff I've already written as well as the letter below.

general likes and dislikes )

(TW: incest)

The Flash TV 2014 )

(end TW: incest)

The Flash RPF )

Harry Potter - J.K. Rowling )
thnidu: ankh (ankh)
([personal profile] thnidu Feb. 25th, 2017 03:32 pm)
In a little while I'll be going to synagogue to welcome a new baby into our community. We were asked to bring food or snacks, so right now I'm sitting in Dottie's Donuts, an excellent shop that opened here last year. I was going to get a dozen, but the price was too much, so I've bought an assortment of eight -- their flavors of the day -- plus a vanilla blueberry scone thingy to eat on the spot. YUM!

While munching, I wandered around and looked at the neighborhood announcements and ads hanging on the wall. About half of the batches were out of date, one as old as December. So I took those down and handed them to the counter man, saying "These are all out of date. Now it'll be easier to see the current ones." He looked mildly surprised and thanked me.

Every little bit helps.
raincitygirl: (Captain America)
([personal profile] raincitygirl Feb. 25th, 2017 12:12 pm)
I have had a frelling horrendous week. Just one thing after another. And then last night I was going through my f-list/dwircle for the first time in WEEKS, and stumbled across this video post by [personal profile] selenak, which made me all sniffly. It's about the anti-Nazi WhIte Rose non-violent protest movement in Nazi Germany, which ended up with 3 idealistic university students being executed for the high-crime of distributing anti-regime pamphlets. I'm not kiddingor exaggerating. It's not actually a depressing video, just a sad one, if you get the distinction.

Anyway, I am utterly determined that today I will answer the comments people left me weeks ago, because it's Saturday and I have nothing else to do. Well, I have to take a bath, clean the litter box, get groceries (I have very little food in the house) and take the garbage out, but I don't have to go back to work until Monday, so yay me!


lavendertook: (Default)

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