Work first, then love -- work is good, I'm getting heavy praise for honestly not that much effort?? I met with an old family friend who works on freshwater conservation this afternoon, I guess he needs a writer in a hurry? So maybe this summer will be MBA work and writing for them, and perhaps I won't do any academic/literary writing at all, or not so much. I'm really okay with that -- it's been good for me, transitionally, but the industry that runs parallel to the academic humanities seems infected with the same sickness that's imo overrunning academia -- the pay is shit, the treatment is shit, there's no stability, and it's acceptable to work your people hard without having their backs on anything. Two years ago, it felt important to keep my hand in, keep up on scholarship. Now? Fuckem.
Love. Love is good. Not effortless, and not perfect -- but it's kind of an amazing feeling, learning how to trust someone to have my back like this. I was never this vulnerable with my ex, never as open about my needs, and my god, it's really something, innit, this mutual support gig?
I'm feeling comfortable moving on milestones that I never wanted to share with my ex, even though it hasn't been so very long -- discussed sharing the main body of finances today, getting a joint acct together, and lord but that's something I never ever ever wanted to do with S. I'm not worried in the same way about D. spending out my money selfishly, because seeing me provided for is genuinely important to him -- in fact, I think he's going to be able to help me learn to spend money on myself, which is something I've never got the hang off. I've a pair of new shoes and two new dresses this spring, and am going out in pursuit of a new swimsuit as soon as my period's over -- and it's lovely nice to have new things as needed, really it is.
April was scary for me, because I was medically and financially -- and emotionally -- in a needier place than I had been over the winter, and it was frightening to subject the relationship to the test that S. failed so abjectly -- could I still have worth when not able to play Lady Bountiful? But I needn't have worried.
We're going camping this weekend, for the 1st -- it's just starting to be warm enough to sleep out, here, and he's been asking for a chance to convince me that his method will render sleeping out comfortable enough to make it nice to do. I'm willing to take it on faith.
Heiresses of Russ 2015, edited by Jean Roberta and Steve Berman, collects some of the best "lesbian-flavoured" speculative short fiction from 2014. I've been reading these anthologies for several years now, and enjoying them for their woman-centred stories and queer imaginings.
While it's often true that there is some unevenness in a collection of short fiction, I found the stories in this year's anthology to be pretty much all of notable quality. But even in such a collection, there were some truly stand-out pieces for me, among them Ruthanna Emrys' "Seven Commentaries on an Imperfect Land," Ken Liu's "Knotting Grass, Holding Ring," and Susan Jane Bigelow's "Sarah's Child."
*This anthology contains 14 short stories, 10 written by women, 3 written by men and one written by a genderqueer person.
PS: a sign at the Science March: "What do we want? SCIENCE! When do we want it? AFTER PEER REVIEW!"
For all of your Expanse squee, whether it's about the books, the TV series,
the amazing Belter language, or about the actors themselves.
20.4.17 - At least it’s scenic http://ift.tt/2ouus5H
Penric and the Shaman is the second novella in Lois McMaster Bujold's world of Five Gods subseries about the young demon-ridden divine. Several years have passed since Penric acquired the demon he calls Desdemona, and he has learned to work with both the altered perceptions and powers she gives him, and the personalities and memories of her ten previous hosts. He has come into his own as a sorcerer and a scholar, and has learned much about the nature of being a priest - and a priest of the trickster Bastard god at that.
All three aspects of his vocation are tested in this adventure. He is called on to assist Oswylt, a Locator of the Order of the Father, in his pursuit of a suspected murderer. The complication in this pursuit, which makes the presence of a demon-possessed sorcerer necessary, is that the suspect is a shaman, a practitioner of wild earth magic, who is himself possessed by the spirit of a Great Beast, and this possession gives him powers that can only be countered by a sorcerer's demon.
The pursuit of and eventual confrontation with the shaman Inglis is a test of Penric's abilities as sorcerer, scholar and priest - and it is also a fascinating exploration of the nature of the wild magic first seen in the novel The Hallowed Hunt, and how it relates to the religion of the Five Gods that has been so much a part of the other works set in this world.
The novella offers much - fine storytelling, growth and development of a character with great promise for many more stories, and a large amount of worldbuilding seamlessly integrated onto the story.
I've become quite fond of Penric and Desdemona, and am looking forward to reading about their further adventures.
Genre: Celebrity BDSM RPS
Contact: the mods - jennandanica, fiercy and alley_oops
Main Comm: Citadel
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9.4.17 - Some years I buy myself an Easter present as a milestone marker. This is nine years. http://ift.tt/2oevhkq
If you have any spare money you can afford to donate, you can help:
Honestly, I can't imagine anything nicer than watching Farage suffer in court and thinking "yes, I helped make that happen."
Warchild by Karin Lowachee is full of a muted homoerotic undertones, which is a good description of my entire love life as a teenager, so it's not surprising that I loved this book. But that's not the only selling point of the novel! It also has spies, alien martial arts, slow burn friendships, revenge, double crosses, and a critique of all the terrifying ways child abuse can fuck someone up, in and out of war.
I expected space battles, Obligatory Female Love Interest, and a testosterone fueled climax where the Good Guy Protag gets verbally fellated by everyone around him. Plus, medals, because for some reason in my head all military space opera ends like A New Hope. Instead I was treated to a personal account of one boy surviving every horrible thing the universe could throw at him, because who needs a happy childhood to turn into a well-adjusted and happy adult? Ha ha ha, let's make this kid suffer as he grows up, lose everything, fall in love with someone unattainable, and betray people he cares for multiple times for the person he loves even though he can't figure out if that person actually cares for him or is just using him. If you want some angst, my friends, allow me to introduce you to Jos Musey. ( Read more... )
1. the character I least understand
2. interactions I enjoyed the most
3. the character who scares me the most
4. the character who is mostly like me
5. hottest looks character
6. one thing I dislike about my fave character
7. one thing I like about my hated character
8. a quote or scene that haunts me
9. a death that left me indifferent
10. a character I wish died but didn?~@~Yt
11. my ship that never sailed
Rosemary and Rue, the first of Seanan McGuire's October Daye urban fantasy novels, starts off in a manner most uncharacteristic of the genre. Toby Daye, private investigator and half-fae changling, is tailing a fae lord suspected of kidnapping his brother's wife and daughter when she is caught and transformed into a koi. She spends the next 14 years swimming in a pond, her selfhood submerged in the limited mind of a fish.
Unlike many urban fantasy protagonists, Toby Daye doesn't always get away safely. That was the first thing that caught my attention and made me think this might be a cut above the masses of urban fantasy series on the market these days. Then there was the fact that rather than bouncing back ready to avenge her losses - years of her life, a relationship with a lover and a child who believe she abandoned them and want nothing to do with her, a sidhe mother who was slowly losing her mind when the transformation took place and is beyond reach by the time Toby breaks free of enchantment - she withdraws, repudiates everything of her former life, shows all the signs of PTSD you would expect from such an assault, such losses.
And then one of the Sidhe nobility, Evelyn Winters, also known as Evening Winterrose, Countess of Goldengreen someone Toby has known all her life, is murdered by cold iron, and her last act is to bind Toby with an ancient curse to stop at nothing to find her murderer.
The complexity of October Daye's world, encompassing faerie beings from multiple cultures, changelings, kingdoms anchored to the world but not wholly in it, and the politics of all these levels is fascinating, and watching Toby navigate all these realms - while still living in the world and dealing with jobs and rent and the human relationships severed when she was imprisoned in the body of a fish - is enough to engage the reader's interest. Add in the mystery of Evening's murder and the twists and turns of Toby's investigation, and you have a roaring good read.
Kai Ashante Wilson's novella A Taste of Honey is a bittersweet story of love and loss, of sacrifices made for love, and the eternal question of what might have been.
Aqib bmg Sidiqi is a member of the minor royalty of
Great Olorum, is in training to follow his father as the Keeper of the Royal Menagerie. His family has great hopes for him, that he will marry well and raise their status, thus improving his warrior brother's chances of promotion and his scholarly sister's chances of making a good marriage herself.
But Aqib places all this at risk when he becomes the lover of Lucrio, a soldier with the diplomatic delegation from Daluça. In Olorum, sexual relationships between men are taboo and the penalty is death. Lucrio and Aqib fall passionately in love, just ten days before the delegation is due to leave.
The story unfolds in two times, the events of each night of their relationship interwoven with scenes from Aqib's future after Lucrio is gone, his marriage with a highborn royal woman, the childhood of their daughter Lucretia, his career with the Menagerie, all the things that he would have lost had he left Olorum to be with Lucrio.
But Wilson is not content with giving us just such a straightforward story, and nothing more, and in the end takes us much deeper into the realm of duty, sacrifice and love to an unexpected but satisfying conclusion. Beautifully and evocatively written.
Context & Bad Things: Friday I commented a bit about being really miserable. A Bad Thing happened at school, and I was processing that. ( Read more... )
The plum, apple, and cherry trees are in full magnificent blossom here in Portland, with pear and crab-apple still in bloom but starting to drop petals and leaf out. There's that particular intense reddish pink that I want to call cherry-candy-colored but it is historically older and prettier than cherry candy! Sunrise cloud red-pink?
S and I are struggling with some communication with each other - I miss her nonverbal signals; she has a hard time finding the spoons to verbal at me - but we're very aware of it and love each other a lot and are working on it, and I think we made progress talking and listening before she needed to go to work. Progress is good!
I have discovered the Everything Croissant. You know all those seeds and spices and onion bits and more seeds you get on a good savory Everything Bagel? Try those swirled into a croissant with extra butter, and shaped like a giant muffin of croissant-y tastiness for extra silliness.
We got our community garden plot assignment at last! Payment, required training and volunteer hours, first day to weed and turn over, details of commute, and deal between me and S on who does what still to be worked out, but WE GOT ONE YAAAAAAY! And okay, it is far away, but still YAY GARDEN.
I have actually seen the sun at least briefly more days than not this past week.
One of my school kiddoes LOVES the sensory activity kit I put together for her and it is also helping with eliciting some spontaneous oral language stuff. Other stuff is complicated but hey smile of pure joy on little kid's face after squishing a squeezy toy and ringing a little silver bell = YES. Also several students keep giving me dandelions to wear at recess, so I do. <3
I have some time and some energy now and will try to go do some things accordingly.
Seanan McGuire's novella Every Heart a Doorway is a portal fantasy with a difference - it's about what life is like for those who cross into another world after the portal travelling is done, after the strange world beyond the magic door has changed their hearts and souls and then sent them back.
Eleanor West knows what it feels like to find your true home on the other side of the magic mirror, or at the bottom of the rabbit-hole. As a child, she wandered into another world not once but several times. Now a middle-aged woman, she runs a 'home for wayward children' - mostly girls - who have gone through a portal and returned, but can not move on. Most have been sent to Eleanor by their parents, who don't understand what their children have experienced, or why and how they have been changed. They want their children back as they were, and Eleanor tells them she can help them. But her real intention is to help the travellers accept that their portals are closed, that there is little chance of their ever opening again, and how to live in the mundane world with the knowledge of where they have been.
Nancy is one of these wayward girls. She has spent years of subjective time in a world she calls the Halls of the Dead, learning to be silent, motionless, a statue in black and white, until the Lord of the Dead sent her back. Her parents believe her to be the victim of a kidnapping, and send her to Eleanor West, to be healed. At first she is confused by the others she meets, all changed in different ways by the different worlds they have been to. She learns how the portal worlds are classified, of the axes of Logic and Nonsense, Virtue and Wickedness. And she begins to form wary relationships with some of the others. Kade, a trans boy cast out of the world he loved because it, like the mundane world, could not accept his gender. Her roommate Sumi, a noisy, colourful girl who is never still. Jack and Jill (identical twins Jacqueline and Jillian) who have been to a world of mad scientists and vampires.
When murder strikes, Nancy, and some of the other children whose portal worlds dealt with death, attempt to unravel the mystery before the authorities have cause to shut down the school.
Every Heart a Doorway is a strange and compelling tale, balanced between fantasy and horror, about difference and what people will do to find a place they can call home.
20.4.17 - Guess who dressed for 16 degrees when it feels like 5? http://ift.tt/2pV6zVR
TODAY, SUNDAY APRIL 23: ACLU People Power is holding deportation solidarity events outside regional ICE offices at 3 p.m.
Reminder that we have a suggestion post if there’s a topic that you’d like to see discussed but would like to ask the mods to look into. This can be anything from general information, or a how-to-do-a-thing, or something you may want to discuss as a community. Folks are welcome to post directly to the comm as always, but if you’re not comfortable/don’t have spoons, we can help too.
It's been quite quiet in the comm this week, but here are some reminders of ongoing or future actions
Public Participation in EPA's Regulatory Reform - Deadline: 15 May 2017
April 29: Peoples Climate March - see these posters for National Parks in 2050 if climate change continues for inspiration and slogans.
June 11: LGBT+ March
Other news to know
There's been a steady drip feed of minor new revelations about the Trump Campaign's Russian links, the situation with North Korea rumbles on, and Syria is still a mess. For a catch up to the major developments each day, What the Fuck Just Happened Today usually provides good links to the key stories.
French voters go to the polls today to pick the two candidates for the run-off on May 7, and the UK government has called a snap general election on June 8. (I'm in the UK and this just makes me want to cry, because our opposition parties are so dysfunctional at the moment. I think my main hope is that the early signs the centre/left are figuring out how to build the kind of resistance movements, like Indivisible, that you've seen in the US will bear fruit -- if not for this election, for the long term.)
So, what have you all been up to in the last week or planning to get involved in next week?
This week, I...
called my one senator
called my other senator
called my representative
called my governor
called my state reps
sent a postcard/email/letter/fax
attended a town hall
donated money to a cause
went to an in person activist group
participated in a phone or online resistance training
went to a protest
signed up for alerts
took care of myself
not a US citizen but worked in solidarity in my own community
did something else
committed to action in the coming week
No more I fear the Turba,*
For I have seen God play
Among the dews and lilies
Of the Eternal May.
* Note: "Turba" is presumably a misprint for "Tuba".
For anyone who believes I'm being unjustly mean to Ms Kaye-Smith's verse:
And every night I sit alone,
And every night I see
A little cotton-aproned ghost
Who takes no heed of me.
She sets the milk, she sets the bread,
One scarce would know that she was dead -
[/brb loling 4evah]
- Margery Sharp looking sharp, 1945. I have a later photo when her hair was lighter and she looks like Jillian Holtzmann's mum, lol.
- Reading, books 2017: 30
12. Lost Chapel Picnic, by Margery Sharp, 1973 in collected book form but earlier as individual short stories. (4/5)
• ETA, from a story not in LCP: [...] Sherrard discovered that he had been deceiving himself. He knew perfectly well why he was uneasy. He was uneasy because while it is one thing to sublet one's flat to a woman who didn't shoot her husband, it is quite another to introduce her, even in absentia, to one's simple but millionaire friend. [...]
13. Summer Half, by Angela Thirkell, 1937, fifth zombie Barsetshire novel so within the earlier period when they were reasonably well-written and actually amusing. (4/5)
• Lust in the pews: During the sermon both had ample leisure to reflect upon the astounding beauty of emotion as roused by the involuntary contact of elbows, and left the church very little better than they came in.
• A sixteen year old girl on her marriage plans: "I'd like to marry someone like Hamlet and Richard II and Richard Hannay and Browning."
"Well, I hope you will, Lydia," said Everard, getting up. "You deserve them all. [...]"
Thanx to twistedchick
8.4.17 #weekendreading 2: this book has a lot to answer for vis a vis my brainscape http://ift.tt/2oeAHw0
56 Doctor Who, 14 Sapphire and Steel, 19 Humans
12 Once Upon a Time, 15 Merlin, 27 Empire, 76 Various TV
( Another preview to another post behind the cut. )
Becky Chambers' new novel, A Closed and Common Orbit, is set in the same universe and time period as her break-out first novel, The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet, and shares some of its characters. The main protagonist is Lovelace, now called Sidra, the former AI of the tunnelling ship Wayfarer. In the previous novel, Lovelace decided to download herself into a humanoid artificial body, despite the legal penalty of termination of consciousness, and now, with the assistance of rogue tech Pepper, Lovelace is becoming Sidra.
As part of the acclimatisation process to her new human-shaped bodykit, Sidra has come to stay with Pepper and her partner/lover Blue, and to work as Pepper's shop assistant. As Pepper and Blue introduce Sidra to humaniform living, we feel every moment of Sidra's physical and psychological transition from ship-based AI to body-based consciousness - her discomfort, her feelings of sensory disorientation, her sense of being cut off from the information flow she lived in, her inability to control the sensory perceptions of a mobile body, all the details (as Chambers presents them) of how a ship-based AI perceives and how that maps onto the ways in which a body-based AI must learn to function.
A Closed and Common Orbit is not just the story of Sidra's adaptation to a humanoid body and a human way of being, however. Parallelling Sidra's present experiences as an AI becoming human, is Pepper's childhood as a child raised by AIs. Designated Jane 23, her ealiest memories are those of a cloned child labourer, living in a factory/workhouse under the supervision of robot taskmasters called Mothers, learning to process scrap technology. Jane knows only the Mothers and her fellow workers - her agemates, all named Jane, and those of the other cadres, each agegroup sharing one name, living regimented lives of work, exercise and sleep, never setting foot outside the rooms of the workhouse. When a freak explosion shows Jane the incomprehensible outside of ground and sky and endless piles of scrap tech waiting to be processed, her curiosity draws her out of the factory and into a desolate junkyard world of feral animals. She escapes thanks to Owl, the still-functional AI of a junked spaceship who takes her in and manages to teach her just enough about being a free human to survive off-world.
The concepts here - sentient AIs, artificial consciousness downloaded into bodies, ideas of personhood and family that don't distinguish between fleshed and coded beings - are nothing new in the world of science fiction. What delights is the interlinked stories of two women who don't fit in, don't belong, finding out who they are and making a place where both can be at home.
This is really a mash-up of two recipes, with the ultimate aim of
providing Sufficient Nutrients in a single meal. The first is Jack
Monroe’s Spinach & lentil daal, from their second book; the second
recipe is the Epicurious Indian spiced eggplant recipe. Both have been customised by me, for me.
Long recipe is long, so I direct you to the dreamwidth write-up.
I know there's one in Boston, and a quick check found others in New York and Seattle. (The website isn't set up to search for events by date or time; I found those two by searching based on my old NYC and Bellevue, WA, zip codes.)
The Boston event looks small so far: 121 of us have signed up to attend, so I figure I'll be more noticeable there than I would be if I'd made it to the March for Science today.
Note: this was originally announced for April 22nd, and then rescheduled a couple of days ago.
So, I just moved over here from LJ.
I usually use Dreamwidth for roleplaying purposes, but after the....shall we say....shenanigans that Livejournal has been doing as of late, I decided it was time to pack my things and move.
Please forgive me if my icon phrasing makes you upset, but I'm being as honest as I can with the keywords.
asexual_fandom: This is a community to discuss asexuality and fandom. Does what it says on the tin.
st_trinians: This is a general St. Trinian's community. All things St. Trinian's are welcome.
fem_thoughts: Meta about Women and/or Femslash
remix_tree: Remixing remixes and possibly remixing those
A Movie I Love: Doctor Zhivago
An Action Movie I Love: Mad Max: Fury Road
A Drama I Love: Little Miss Sunshine
A Western I Love: Cat Ballou.
A Horror Movie I Love: The Haunting (1963 original, no remakes accepted).
A Comedy I Love: Encino Man
A Romance Movie I Love: the Ghost and Mrs. Muir.
A Noir I Love: Sin City
A Disney Movie I Love: Maleficent
A Sci Fi Movie I Love: The Day the Earth Stood Still (Michael Rennie version)
An Animated Movie I Love: Secret of Kells
A Superhero Movie I Love:
A War Movie I Love: The Pianist
An Exploitation Movie I Love: Machete
A Musical I Love: South Pacific
An Historical Movie I Love: Shakespeare in Love
A Bad Movie I Love: Legend
A Childhood Favorite: Operation Petticoat
A Shakespeare Movie I Love: Romeo and Juliet (Zefferelli version)
A Franchise I Love: Harry Potter
A Trilogy I Love: LOTR
A Guilty Pleasure I Love: Couples Retreat
A Movie Recently Seen: Up the Yangzte. A documentary about life on board a cruise ship that travels the Yangtze to Three Gorges. Not a cheerful movie but interesting.
My Favourite of This Year: I haven't seen anything new yet this year!
A Favourite of All Time: Wizard of Oz
8.4.17 NGL I kind of want a post office themed knife http://ift.tt/2ocirVs