It's challenge time!
Comment with Just One Thing you've accomplished in the last 24 hours or so. It doesn't have to be a hard thing, or even a thing that you think is particularly awesome. Just a thing that you did.
Feel free to share more than one thing if you're feeling particularly accomplished!
Extra credit: find someone in the comments and give them props for what they achieved!
Nothing is too big, too small, too strange or too cryptic. And in case you'd rather do this in private, anonymous comments are screened. I will only unscreen if you ask me to.
We currently have three open epics. "The Inner Transition" belongs to Polychrome Heroics: Berettaflies and needs $308 to be complete. "The Higher a Monkey Climbs" belongs to Polychrome Heroics and needs $161 to be complete. "Two Foxes" belongs to Polychrome Heroics: Iron Horses and needs $169.50 to be complete.
How would you like to distribute the $60?
ALL $60 into "The Inner Transition"
ALL $60 into "The Higher a Monkey Climbs"
ALL $60 into "Two Foxes"
Divide it equally across the THREE poems
I did indeed press on, bracing myself for a spoiler. (And now I'm completely up to date on the comic; yesterday was the first new installment I read as a Caught-Up Reader. I think the only material I have left to read now is the handful of mixed comics/prose shorts on Spangler's store site, and I've made it as far as buying them all.) And many things happened, because there'd been a five-year timeskip since the first act of the comic, and I thought, "Okay, I don't know which of these things is the spoiler davidgillon mentioned, but many things happen very early in Act 2 that leave things in a very different place than they are as of the published Rachel books, so presumably it was one of those..."
Except then I read all the way back through the posts at agirlandherfed, and due to a couple of Asks there, the nature of the early-Act 2 spoiler was spelled out.
It was an offhand reference--a panel's worth of mention, at most--and so far the comic hasn't mentioned it again, and I completely failed to process it for what it was. But now, belatedly, I know.
And my heart broke a little.
"Only in the Gift"
I have seen the moon-shielded sun
and the Father God winking
as he turns his one wide eye
back toward the waiting world
a reminder that we live,
moment by moment,
only in the gift of
his infinite light.
Prompt: hexarchate, "calendrical sword."
Ajewen Cheris and her girlfriend Linnis Orua paused outside the shop. A banner of ink painted onto silk fluttered in the flirtatious artificial breeze. Orua had grown up on a station with less naturalistic ideas of aesthetics, and found this dome-city with its aleatory weather nerve-wracking. She still spooked whenever there was a wind, which entertained Cheris because Orua also had long, luxurious waves of hair that rippled beautifully. "We were always told to be aware of strange air currents as a possible sign of carapace breach!" Orua had protested when Cheris teased her about it.
"Blades for All Occasions," Cheris read. She had been saving for this moment throughout the first two years of academy, and practicing for it besides. Orua didn't understand her fondness for the sport of dueling, but she had agreed to come along for moral support.
"Well, no sense in lingering outside," Orua said. She grinned at Cheris and walked forward. The door swooshed open for her.
Cheris followed her in. A tame (?) falcon on a perch twisted its head sideways to peer at her as she entered. The falcon was either genetically engineered or dyed or even painted, although she wasn't sure how she felt about any of those alternatives: its primary feathers shaded from black to blood red, with striking metallic gold bands toward the tips. It looked gaudy as hell and quintessentially Kel.
Orua was busy suppressing a giggle at the falcon's aesthetics. Cheris poked her in the side to get her to stop and looked around the displays, wide-eyed. Her eyes stung suspiciously at the sight of all those weapons, everything from tactical knives to ornamented daggers with rough-hewn gems in their pommels and pragmatic machetes.
But best of all were the calendrical swords. Deactivated, they looked deceptively harmless, bladeless hilts of metal in varying colors and finishes. Cheris's gaze was drawn inexorably to one made of voidmetal chased in gold, with an unusual basket hilt. It was showy, extremely Kel, and an invitation to trouble. Only a cadet who had an exemplary record and was an excellent duelist would dare carry such a calendrical sword. And besides, the lack of a price tag told her there was no way she could afford it even if she could, in honor, lay claim to such a thing.
Cheris sighed, then looked up into her girlfriend's eyes. "I wish," she said, her voice soft.
"Let me help you pick," Orua said, ignoring the sales assistant who was watching them imperturbably with his arms folded behind his back.
Cheris blinked. "I thought you didn't know anything about dueling?" she teased. Orua paid more attention to the special effects and makeup on dueling shows than the actual dueling.
"I don't know anything about dueling," Orua said, as the sales assistant radiated disapproval. "But I know a lot about you." Her eyes turned sly, and Cheris hoped that Orua wouldn't get too specific here of all places. She grabbed Cheris's hand and tugged her along to a completely different display. "Look!"
At first Cheris wasn't impressed by the calligraphy-stroke plainness of the calendrical swords on display. Then she saw that that the metal evinced a faint iridescence, like that of a raven's feather. She particularly liked the one whose textured design incorporated the first digits of the base of the natural logarithm.
Orua stooped to whisper right in Cheris's ear, "Tonight I'm going to see how many digits of that number you can recite before I get you to--"
"I'll buy this one," Cheris interrupted, very loudly, and pointed.
Unseen, the sales assistant and Orua exchanged winks.
Poem: "To Appreciate Small Victories"
Poem: "The Bamboo That Bends"
Poem: "As Couples as Possible"
Crowdfunding Creative Jam
Poem: "The Whole of Civilization"
Bust of Lincoln Destroyed (54 comments)
Read "Absent the White Roses" by William Altolft
Read "Under Cover Fashion" by Bairnsidhe
Promoting a Better World
Poem: "Tricky Treats"
Today we saw the eclipse in Chester, IL. :D 3q3q3q!!!
The bonus fishbowl last week went well.
Poetry in Microfunding:
"The Inner Transition" belongs to Polychrome Heroics: Berettaflies. Valor's Widow finds out what Stylet has in his backpack. "The Higher a Monkey Climbs" belongs to Polychrome Heroics. Pips gets worried about Jules and drops by for a visit. "Two Foxes" belongs to Polychrome Heroics: Iron Horses. Kenzie hears that the Iron Horses are going after the gaybashers, and feels uneasy over his own reactions.
Weather has been warm to hot here. Currently blooming: dandelions, marigolds, petunias, lantana, million bells, snapdragons, zinnias, firecracker plant, white and red clover, morning glories, spiderwort, echinacea, blackberry lilies, Queen Anne's lace, frost asters, cup plant, black-eyed Susan, torenia, purple aster, rose campion, some yellow thing in the wildflower garden, thistle.
Probably I should have gotten my act together to find a place to see the totality. Maybe in 2024, where the totality is further away but closer to people I might reasonably be able to visit.
Meanwhile, have some tree shadows from the courtyard in front of my office.
Alas, I have this novel to work on. :p 2,000 words on Dragon Pearl today! (I'm doing revisions, but I had to rip out a few chapters that weren't working and replace them with all-new ones, always thrilling.)
If you like that, you will like this book. It's one of those slim but pithy volumes that precisely captures a time, a place, and a state of mind.
I've always had a fascination with ballet, ever since my second-grade teacher offered a trip to see the Nutcracker Suite (it was at least ten years before I realized that the second word was not "sweet") to her top three students. I had no idea what that was, other than that it was clearly desirable, so I went all-out to make sure that I'd get the prize. I was sufficiently enchanted with The Nutcracker and the general air of specialness surrounding the entire experience that I begged my parents for ballet lessons, at which I lasted something like three sessions. I don't recall the exact problem, but based on my age I'm guessing that there was too much standing around.
After that I confined myself to reading ballet books, which was more fun that actually doing it. Had I tried when I was older, I might have stuck with it for longer. Based on Bentley book and everything else I've read about ballet dancing, it has an austere, stoic, boot camp, push your limits atmosphere that would have really appealed to me if I'd been three to five years older. And then I would have gotten my heart broken, because I am not built to be a ballerina.
Winter Season beautifully depicts the illusion shown to the audience and the reality experienced by the dancers, and how the dancers live the illusion as well. It's got all the fascinating details of any good backstage memoir, without bitterness or cynicism. Even as it ground down her body, Bentley never stopped loving ballet; she seems to feel that she was lucky to have the chance to live the dream, just for the opportunity to spend a few minutes every day being the perfect expression of her body and the choreographer's art.
Winter Season: A Dancer's Journal, with a new preface
And I will place the next bit under a cut in case you just want to read about Winter Season. As opposed to ass. ( Read more... )
All fiction requests will be delayed until Tue Aug 29 at the earliest. Please say how urgent all divination requests are; if they are not urgent, they will be similarly delayed. Etsy orders I'll get out the door promptly. If you want to commission jewelry or artwork, we can talk, but the same delay applies. Redbubble orders are on Redbubble's schedule.
If you signal-boost this and let me know you've done it, I'll do 100 words of fiction to your request, one small art to your request, or one divination card-equivalent—no earlier than Tue Aug 29.
Fiction to Buyer's Prompt
Current Etsy will be put on vacation Thursday
Older Etsy will be put on vacation Thursday
What’s the opposite of a submarine? Because someone made one for goldfish. Basically it’s a fish tank sitting on wheels–a tank tank you could even say–with a camera suspended over the top. The camera watches the direction the fish inside the tank is trying to swim in, and it steers the robot in that direction. Speed is dictated by how close the fish is to the edge.
Goldfish are not, despite popular perception, stupid. There’s no reason one couldn’t learn to “drive” a robotank around, although the limiting factor would be the water, given the lack of a filter.
I, for one, welcome our new aquatic-robotic overlords.
Mirrored from alisfranklin.com.
--I didn't make further Defenders progress over the weekend, so I'm still only three episodes in. But I did get StarCraft Remastered up and running!
--The one thing I miss about having a CRT monitor (yes, I hear myself) is my old document holder, which can't be readily used on a flatscreen. I've been poking around online this weekend (Amazon, Staples, Newegg), and there are so few options for holders that actually attach to the monitor and hold the document you're typing at eye level. scruloose looked at the first couple of possibilities I found, and one looks like it needs more of a frame around the actual screen than my desktop monitor has, and the other sticks with something he thinks isn't likely to hold well on this monitor. I have great confidence that he can rig something up and make it work, once we go over the possibilities I've found so far, but I'm baffled by how few options there seem to be. (But maybe my dislike of having the document holder down on the desk--too low, and eating up a footprint of space on the desk surface--isn't widely shared.)
(The above means I fell into the rabbit hole of desk organizers etc. on Amazon. O_O I seem to have escaped alive.)
--AFAIK Nova Scotia won't see much sign of the eclipse tomorrow. I hope all of you who're able to see it, and who're excited about it, get a good look!
scruloose and I are new enough at the whole gardening thing that it didn't occur to either of us to check on the plants after the weather yesterday. Although I suppose a lot of the reason for that is that the weather didn't seem that bad? It was windy and quite rainy, but it didn't seem that windy, and the rain seemed like it'd be good for them. *sighs* But no, a couple of the tomato plants, including the towering Sungold, toppled over. In the Sungold's case, the Smartpot stayed put but the halo and rootball tipped out. o_o
I didn't get a look at it then; scruloose went out without me at first when I was still hoping it'd be a case of tipping the plants back upright. I'd just been in the shower, and it was dark, and I knew the mosquitoes--which, as we've established, find me tastier--were out. But scruloose didn't come right back in, so I put on a thick hoodie, hood and all, and zipped it up so only my hands and face and the tops of my feet were bare.
Hopefully the plants will be okay, now that they've had more supports added. We'll take another look tomorrow when there's light. But at the very least, I definitely have mosquito bites on the backs of both hands and the tops of both feet. Ugh. Sounds like we may have similar numbers of bites despite scruloose having been outside easily twice as long as I was.
So, holy shit, where did the year go? Apparently “somewhere else”, meaning Conflux season is hurtling towards us, fast.
Conflux, for the uninitiated, is Canberra’s local specfic (sci-fi, fantasy, horror, and associated genres) convention and, unlike its sister-cons, e.g. Continuum, Conflux’s main Thing is that it tends to be more focused on the writing and craft side of things than the fannish side. Which isn’t to say there aren’t plenty of fannish things to do and see–there totally always are–so much as that it’s also The Writer Con, meaning there’s always a pretty strong programming track for craft and publishing.
Anyway. Confux’s program has gone up, so this is the part where I pretend I do some kind of scheduling and/or planning for where I’m going and what I’m seeing. Neat.
Mirrored from alisfranklin.com.
Warning: This poem contains some intense topics. Highlight to read the warnings. It features prison inmates, group therapy, a show soup with some goat features including syndactyly and prey instincts, references to adaptive equipment, vulgar and intrusive talk, spitball leading to a prey reaction, refusal to apologize, speciesist language, discussion of disabilities, adoption issues, learning to compensate for a lost hand, and other challenges. If these are sensitive issues for you, please consider your tastes and headspace before reading onward.
( Read more... )
What the hell! the reader exclaims. This writer can’t spell! She’s written travelling instead of traveling and centre instead of center and realisation instead of realization. Colour instead of color. This book is crap! It’s riddled with spelling errors and grammatical problems. It’s a bloody one star from me.
No. It’s not riddled with spelling errors and grammatical problems. It’s not written in US English.
Donna Maree Hanson on spellcheck.
So despite being set in Australia, both Liesmith and Stormbringer are published in the US, and thus written in US English. Except it’s US-English-with-Australian-idiom, which means characters describe things as (say) being “a shittonne” rather than “a shitton”, because a tonne and a ton aren’t the same thing, and Australia uses the former. Needless to say, I had some fun discussions with the copyeditor over that one…
The other big example I can think of: “was sat”/”was stood” instead of “was sitting”/”was standing”. The former are common constructions in British English, and sound grammatically odd in Australian and US English.
For the most part, I think US audiences are used to reading solely US editions of books and, yes, these will be rewritten. Which means it’s US audiences who tend to be the ones balking when they encounter non-US English. I’m not sure about the UK, but in Australia it’s kind of a toss-up on whether we get the UK, US, or specifically Australian editions of books (and, of course, if you’re buying print books from, say, Amazon, you’re almost certainly getting US editions). So readers here, I think, tend to be more accepting of grammar and spelling variants.
(The other region I’d be interested to know about would be Canada. I think Canadians tend to use British English spellings, but I’d be willing to bet most of their print books are US imports.)
Tl;dr, pretty much any review you read of the “too many typos 1-star!” variety is full of shit.
Mirrored from alisfranklin.com.
It encapsulates both the jaw-dropping awfulness and bizarreness of the Orange Supremacist era, and the extent to which the mainstream media has gotten so appalled that they're dropping their usual false equivalency. I mean the old "both sides have a point," which works when both sides DO have a point, but does not when you're talking about Nazis vs. anti-Nazis or Cheetolini vs. human beings with empathy. Also, it made me laugh.
Yesterday post-rally hederahelix and I were discussing this.
"It's just so surreal," she said. "Hey... Is that a camel?"
I looked over. The U-haul next to us had a giant camel painted on the side.
Below the camel, as if in explanation of why a U-haul would be decorated with a giant camel, were a few lines of Wikipedia-esque notes on camels, something like "A camel is an even-toed ungulate within the genus Camelus, bearing distinctive fatty deposits known as "humps" on its back."