Review: Proper English, by KJ Charles

Apr. 20th, 2019 08:07 pm
highlyeccentric: Sign on Little Queen St - One Way both directions (Default)
[personal profile] highlyeccentric
Cover: Proper EnglishAs you may know, I am among those who have been desperately hoping for KJC to turn her hand to f/f romance. And, given my preferences among KJC’s previous work, I was hoping for a romance/action or romance/supernatural or romance/mystery blend.

This is is the romance/mystery blend, and although it leans a bit further into the ‘frothy period setpiece’ than my preferences do, I was delighted by it and, having received the ARC in return for honest review, swallowed it in one intoxicating sitting. It’s so much more My Jam than… almost any f/f on the market (and unlike a few others out there that are My Jam plotwise, it also has engaging, amusing prose!), so it’s quite hard to review this book.

Things I am delighted by
  • Top notch period history work. Far cry from the widely recommended f/f historical that I threw across the room on page three because the MC was angsting about being seen in physical contact with another woman in what was, if you knew the slightest thing about the period, a perfectly normal social touch. Instead, Patricia and Fenella have both been negotiating the fuzzy boundaries between what is considered normal female homosocial bonding for young women and preferences or desires which are more firmly deviant. (Spoilery note: I love that one of them has been desiring life partnership, but not really thinking about sex, while the other has rather more sexual experience but never really thought about forming a life partnership with a woman. Variety! Nuance!)
  • A romantic plot that consists of something other than the lesbian sheep poem in narrative form! There *is* a fair bit of staring, and some ‘well okay, she kissed me, but that doesn’t mean…’, but the main bulk of the romantic plot line is taken up with the two women figuring out the difference between each other’s external social presentation and inner self
  • Hilarious subplot involving a gay male couple, which I shall not spoil. That subplot also turns from hilarious to serious toward the end, and provides some real depth to Patricia’s emotional arc that isn’t dependent on the romantic arc
  • A good range of supporting characters. I was particularly fond of one Ms Victoria Singh, vegetarian, sikh and animal rights activist. KJC’s side characters are always a strength, bringing both engaging personalities and ties into various streams of historical demographics and politics. And - pleasing me, personally, in my specific pet interests - a male-female friendship that’s strong, unique, and just… there, providing depth to both the MC and one of the secondary characters.


Things that are less brilliant: I feel bad listing these, because I love that this book exists! I want KJC to write more of them! But, uh. You may have noticed I measure most historicals against KJC? I also measure KJC against KJC, and this is - while not her weakest - definitely not her strongest work.
  • Pacing: The mystery and romance plots were out of sync. The latter had pretty much
    resolved by the time the former exploded. There was also no point in the overlap where either MC had a real reason to mistrust each other, and I feel like that was a missed opportunity there.
  • Sex:
  • It’s fine! It’s fun! It’s better than many f/f romances out there! If you *don’t* like KJC’s kinkier work, then this book is definitely for you. I’m… just going to be over here feeling bad because I liked this but am still wishing for something more, and that something more can basically be summed up as ‘the kind of dynamics KJC writes for period historical MEN at terrible house parties’.


In short: I loved this book, but I loved it in the way that you love things for existing so you can’t hold their weaknesses against them the way you would for something that existed in abundance. I would definitely pay for it. It’s not KJC’s best work but I devoutly hope it’s not her last in the f/f market.

Books read in March 2019

Apr. 20th, 2019 11:37 am
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[personal profile] nou

As discussed last month, I’m redirecting the energy I previously used for providing content warnings into writing a little bit about what I thought about the books.

(This isn’t why this post is late. There was minor Medical Drama involving unexpectedly low iron levels and some rather unpleasant tests to try to find out why — short version is my internal organs are fine, we still don’t know where all my iron went, but iron tablets are magic, and that’s good enough for me.)

Definitely recommend

Swordheart, T Kingfisher. I somehow wasn't expecting this to be a romance. But it is! As well as fantasy. I’d read it again.

The True Queen, Zen Cho. I loved the first book in this series (The Sorcerer to the Crown) and I love this one even more. Dragons! Powerful older women! Wit and banter that are actually funny! And other reasons to love it that would be SPOILERS.

The Martian, Andy Weir (re-read). I keep confusing [personal profile] bob by referring to this as “the potato book”, but honestly the POTATOES are the thing I love about it. There’s at least one potato reference that made me laugh out loud simply because of its precision and dryness (which may or may not have been intended by the author). Some of the book is a bit clumsy (the stereotypical German, the insistence that humanity never leaves anyone behind when it’s set in the near-future with no indication that the problems of poverty, famine, institutional racism, etc have been fixed) but overall I like it and may well read it again.

Maybe recommend

The Murder Of Roger Ackroyd, Agatha Christie (re-read). Hercule Poirot mystery with an unreliable narrator. I'd read this before many years ago so knew the twist, but enjoyed trying to figure out where the gaps in the story were and how it was all managed. The thing with Agatha Christie is that you can be reading along quite smoothly and then suddenly there's half a sentence of casual and entirely unnecessary racism, anti-semitism, ablism, etc, and then it goes back to being an interesting detective story. (Some of her books are worse than this, with the racism or rape-apologism embedded in the plot — I will never read Nemesis again.)

Clockwork Boys and The Wonder Engine, T Kingfisher (re-read). I decided to read these again after enjoying Swordheart, as they’re all set in the same universe and although I didn’t enjoy these two all that much the first time round, many other people seem to have loved them so I thought I’d give them another go. Still not my favourite: too much sexual longing, plot very slow. There are individual lines that are hilarious, though.

The King Must Die, Mary Renault (re-read). I read this when I was a kid and was absolutely astonished by it. It's still very readable, but although I'm aware of how pioneering it was in terms of retelling the Greek classics, I much prefer the more recent and less male-oriented works like Circe.

Wouldn’t recommend

The Valley At The Centre Of The World, Mallachy Tallack (DNF). This was just kind of boring. Also, there were too many short, choppy sentences that kept pushing me out of the story. I tried to work out if there was some pattern to these, some reason for them, but either there wasn't or it was too subtle for me. I got 27% of the way through and kept finding myself wishing I was reading something else, so I stopped.

The Invisible Library, Genevieve Cogman (DNF). This was kind of the opposite of The Valley in that it's all action and very little scenery. I again got fed up of it around the 27% mark and stopped reading.

Hot Money, Dick Francis (DNF). Not enough horses, too many unpleasant rich people. I stopped reading at the point where one of the main characters stated that a disabled person would have been better off dead.

Infomocracy, Malka Older (DNF). It's the future! Everyone has Wikipedia installed on their Google Glasses, police push their way through crowds by poking people with plastic triangles, and global elections are conducted with wards of exactly 100,000 people each. I decided not to buy this after reading the Kindle sample, so I don't know if the author ever explains what happens when someone dies or reaches voting age.

City Of Lies, Sam Hawke (DNF). I tried really hard to finish this! I should have liked it! It describes food and plants and technology, and has disabled protagonists! But I found it very boring and a little sanctimonious, and I kept forgetting which of the two POV protagonists was the current one, since aside from their disabilities and jobs they were fairly indistinguishable.

The Shipping News, Annie Proulx (re-read) (DNF). I read this years ago and remember liking it, so I thought I'd give it a re-read, but unfortunately I've also seen the film so was unable to get Kevin Spacey out of my head.

Flying Finish, Dick Francis. I appreciate that he included reproductive justice activists, but also hormonal contraception doesn't work like that. I liked all the detail about how you transport horses by air. But generally this isn't great. Too much about the perils of communism.

A Is For Alibi, Sue Grafton. This book is really weird about people's bodies, especially fat bodies. Aside from that, it's a fairly generic detective story with added tedious heterosexualling.

potboy: (Default)
[personal profile] potboy
via http://bit.ly/2ZrD0Oa

huxsmug:

huxsmug:

Ep IX: Hux’s fate spoilers

Hux escapes from the Resistance but ends up on a planet full of stray cats, his punishment is to take care of them for the rest of his life! 💕

Really sorry it got leaked! 🙏

Found rare footage of this ending from Ep IX, don’t need to thank me…

Round 94, Hour 12

Apr. 20th, 2019 11:38 am
glinda: I like bananas, bananas are good (bananas)
[personal profile] glinda posting in [community profile] fic_rush_48
*Yawns*

This is an anchor post! Good morning rushers, anyone else awake and writing? (Or in my case eating breakfast!)

Or were we all eaten by penguins in the night?

Round 94, Hour 11

Apr. 20th, 2019 06:32 am
inkstone: Alex Benedetto from the @Bunch issue containing Chapter 42 (Alex in pink)
[personal profile] inkstone posting in [community profile] fic_rush_48
Oops, looks like we lost a few hours to the void.

As for myself, I'm slowly waking up and making breakfast. What's everyone else up to?
potboy: (Default)
[personal profile] potboy
via http://bit.ly/2IuVrwh

georgiansuggestion:

DUE TO CIRCUMSTANCES OF A PERSONAL NATURE, I shall be retreating to my Garden Folly to spend the Remainder of my Years as a Hermit.

Books for Sale...

Apr. 20th, 2019 05:35 am
digitalwave: (Default)
[personal profile] digitalwave
Here's the list of the books I'm hoping to sell. I've got photos of all of them that I'll post later today after I get them edited. All the books are in beautiful shape, you guys know that we've always taken really good care of our things.

I'd love for them to go to friends. If they don't sell here I'll post them on eBay. I've got prices on everything, we'd just need to add in the shipping cost for anything you'd like. My payPal addy is bstaton @ iglou.com, without the spaces.

If there is anything you'd like, if you wouldn't mind, could you send payment via Friends and Family? That way they don't take all the fees out. I'll send them Media Mail to save on shipping because some of the books are really heavy! Here's the list:

BOOKS for SALE:
(Pictures to be Added)

Read more... )

Before I go fall in bed to sleep a couple of hours, I just wanted to thank you all. Between what I've sold, and help sent via payPal, I've gotten a bunch of little bills, our Water Bill and our Gas & Electric bills paid! I still need to sell enough for food, gas, a $100 medical bill and to cover our auto insurance bill, but things are so much better than they were!

I honestly don't know what I'd do without you guys. Your love and support mean the world to me, I love and cherish you all. I promise to do my best to pay things forward every day, in every way that I can. Thank you so, so much!

*hugs*

Running log w/b 15 Apr

Apr. 20th, 2019 10:37 am
rmc28: Photo of me shortly before starting my first half-marathon (half-marathon)
[personal profile] rmc28
numbers )

I am noticing that the first running interval each time is almost always uncomfortable, but everything seems to loosen up by the second or third, so I'm trying to make sure I take that first one as gently as possible while still actually running, and trusting that it will get better (and so far it always has). I am definitely reaching the point of actively enjoying most of the running intervals and coming out of the overall exercise with a nice endorphin buzz. Whee.

potboy: (Default)
[personal profile] potboy
via http://bit.ly/2GqhbGb

Off the top of my head I think it’s not a universal thing (not that the hero’s journey is) because, with female narratives not being dominant, there are a lot more opportunities for people to start over and reinvent what being a female hero means. 

I’m not specifically familiar with all the steps of what people say the heroine’s journey is (ironic because I almost did an honors research project about it back when I was attending a women’s college), but I know that writing heroic female characters means a lot of trope subversion. It’s important to factor in how many female characters are created by writers of all genders taking inspiration from real life, from themselves (even if they’re not women) and women in their lives. 

Writing women is a lot more experimental, is what I’m getting at. I think it’s only a literary “thing” if writers choose to use it as a template.

Okay so I checked on what the key features of the heroine’s journey are and my first thought was nope, no way you could fit many stories with female heroes into this one model. I started thinking of all these other tropes I associate with heroine journeys: 

- exploring and challenging worlds of absurd rules and social norms (Alice in Wonderland, The Wizard of Oz)

- leading by helping people figure out what they want/need (The Wizard of Oz, Momo (which is an incredible book by the author of The Neverending Story that I see way fewer references to)) 

- domestic/indentured labor as a trial (Spirited Away, The Force Awakens, Howl’s Moving Castle, Cinderella)

- rescuing loved ones ensnared by magic (Spirited Away, A Wrinkle In Time, The Wee Free Men, The Snow Queen, Momo)

- close connection to a fantastical device like a book or accessory, probably could call it The Witch’s Wand (The Golden Compass, The Diamond Age, Sailor Moon)

Except it’s not like all of these show up all the time, so that’s the trouble with these monomyth models it’s just describing one specific plot arc but there can be?? others??

I took seriously way too long to answer this ask by the way and wrote a whole lot of versions of this and deleted a lot of them and I still think this is kind of an incomplete ramble but I need to stop doing this and do some other stuff lol. 

Star Trek: Discovery 2.14

Apr. 20th, 2019 10:29 am
selenak: Siblings (Michael and Spock)
[personal profile] selenak
And we have the second season finale in a row where I felt the build up was better than the execution, though for somewhat different reasons than I did re: the season 1 finale.

Spoilers liked the season as a whole, but this is the second ep which made me throw up my hands )

QotD

Apr. 20th, 2019 05:24 am
eftychia: Me in kilt and poofy shirt, facing away, playing acoustic guitar behind head (cyhmn)
[personal profile] eftychia

"The process of storytelling -- the process of remembering and revising -- is in fact a fundamental function of community. It allows individuals to refold experiences anew year after year. If we are, as John Locke claimed, the sum of our memories, then we change not only the story but our individual selves every time we remember the Exodus. We fold that protein chain a little differently than the year before. Our brains are literally changed by the process of storytelling.

"It is significant, then that it is God who tells us to keep telling the story. In Exodus we are commanded again and again to tell the story in each generation. If you believe in an omniscient God, then surely God knew that revisions are inevitable every time the human brain uses a memory. It follows, then, that God must see some advantage in an ever-changing, unstable storyline. God wants that slight alteration in proteins to take place in our brains every time we gather in community. That is part of the dazzling sum of who we are."

-- JP, "Passover, Memories, and the Power of Storytelling", 2013-03-22

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[personal profile] potboy
via http://bit.ly/2Gw0474

damnskippies:

damnskippies:

a█ab

assigned [ REDACTED ] at birth

@scratchoffticket im sorry but this is the funniest fucking thing anyone has added to this post thank you addfahdufkgsag

Things come to an end

Apr. 20th, 2019 09:49 am
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[personal profile] shewhomust
I am writing at the kitchen table, using my little notebook, because I had to turn it on to find my recipe for spiced buns: Lent is coming to an end and tomorrow there will be hot cross buns for breakfast. Not, as I said when I wrote up that recipe, that I observe Lent, or indeed Easter, but there is a pleasure in cooking traditional foods at the traditional time, and for once I have hit that target.

A less happy coming to an end is afflicting my little notebook: switching it on is no longer a trivial matter. Not only does its battery run flat between uses, it runs so flat that it requires a period plugged in before it is willing even to work on mains electricity. I suspect that one of its two batteries is not charging at all. I must have bought it some time in 2015, which I suppose makes it a respectable age for an electronic device, and it has done its job well in that time - all the more reason why I don't look forward to replacing it.

Thinking these thoughts, I notice that the cracks in my bread bowl grow more sinister with every batch of bread. At least it will be no problem finding a replacement in this case; I can just go back to using the bowl I used before I was given this one (which, unlike the current bowl, actually is a traditional bread bowl). Perhaps I should do that, and not wait until the bowl splits asunder, I thought, as I emptied the last of the bere meal into the dough. (Did I actually buy it at the Barony Mill? In that case, we have probably reached its Best Before date...)

And now, while the dough is proving, I should go to my desk, and to the unfinished post that awaits on the computer there. Maybe that, too, can be brought to an end?

elviscl: Animating on Procreate

Apr. 20th, 2019 08:47 am
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[personal profile] potboy
via http://bit.ly/2Xu77mm

elviscl:

Animating on Procreate

Saturday 20/04/2019

Apr. 20th, 2019 10:34 am
lhune: (3L)
[personal profile] lhune posting in [community profile] 3_good_things_a_day
1) Breakfast on my sunny balcony.

2) Coffee.

3) I'm making a savoury cake for tomorrow.
conuly: (Default)
[personal profile] conuly
but at least it's gone now. Plus! Less phlegm! I think my cold is going away!

*************


Read more... )

"Heathens"

Apr. 20th, 2019 04:25 am
viridian5: (Nagi (Society))
[personal profile] viridian5
Weiß Kreuz slash:Heathens”   [@ AO3]
RATING: PG-13; background Crawford/Schuldig, past Nagi/Mamoru.
SPOILERS: Post-canon.
SUMMARY: The life you save may be your own.
NOTES: This took a long time to finish, so thanks to [personal profile] akira17, [personal profile] bardsley, and Graegal for reading parts of it for me in different stages.
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[personal profile] potboy
via http://bit.ly/2GvHVpT

maddie-w-draws:

some moods as icons

Free to use anywhere online, credit appreciated :)
naye: nami hanging laundry, looking content (nami - ii tenki)
[personal profile] naye
It's been a while since I expressed my deep and sincere gratitude (and surprise!) that I once again have the pleasure of experiencing a fandom where Dreamwidth is a main node. Having comms and journals for discussion is infinitely better than trying to do the same through Tumblr's reblog-to-answer system.

I was just reminded of this when I saw a person whose (innocuous) post I and others had reblogged with random comments go don't have this discussion on my blog!, which. I feel you, person! But that's not how Tumblr works! Once you post something it is gone. People can respond to it and interact with it in ways you may find doesn't match your original intent because Tumblr is a platform where you pass things around.

And because I have a Dreamwidth I can share this and people can read it and then if anyone wants to have a discussion about Tumblr there are comments! That I can moderate, even! I won't have the frustration of it wandering off to some far corner and turn into a discussion on... IDK, "We should all move back to LiveJournal" or something else that would annoy me to be looped in on through notifications.

So grateful to Dreamwidth for still being here, and for everyone who's stuck with it and come back and just taken it up for making this my internet home. ♥

Round 94, Hour 8

Apr. 20th, 2019 03:20 am
kalloway: Camilla from Fire Emblem Fates looking pleased/smug (Default)
[personal profile] kalloway posting in [community profile] fic_rush_48
How go the words this hour? I ended up setting my last project aside for now, will work on some archiving instead.

One of Life's Essentials

Apr. 20th, 2019 08:11 am
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[personal profile] poliphilo
We paused on the way home to stop at a supermarket to buy essentials. No sooner had I stepped through the door than I realised there was something missing from the list- a magnolia tree. It was the last one on its shelf and it was calling to me.

I planted it as soon as we got home. That's the third magnolia we've added to the garden.

Daily Happiness

Apr. 20th, 2019 12:09 am
torachan: sakaki from azumanga daioh holding a cat, with the text "I like cats" in Japanese (sakaki)
[personal profile] torachan
1. Had a really good night's sleep last night for what felt like the first time in a while. I didn't sleep well the night before so I was extra tired and that helped. Hopefully I'll sleep well again tonight.

2. I did a lot of reading and playing Yoshi's Crafted World today, and just generally had a relaxing day off for the most part.

3. I also had a suuuuuper sweet cuddly Jasper. He was so happy to have both me and Carla home today that he was just extra cuddly all around.

4. Carla made Trader Joe's meyer lemon cake and we had that with strawberries. That cake is so good! Glad they brought it back again this year.

5. The face of a sweet cuddle bun.

(no subject)

Apr. 20th, 2019 12:06 am
dolari: (Default)
[personal profile] dolari
The Alexandria is nearly a million years old. One of 64 "Memory Ships" built by a civilization, the Ixore, doomed by the oncoming shockwave of a supernova. Each ship, 5 miles long, built over two generations, was programmed with the entire knowledge of the civilization, to be flown with two pilots and two hundred passengers.

The mission: Jump the ships as far away from the home planet as possible, and then continue outwards in every direction, in search of a habitable planet. Once one was found, the two hundred passengers disembark along with a copy of their history.

And then the ship moves on, with two pilots. To collect as much information about the universe as possible, and share it, along with the information of their own doomed civilization, with cultures that can use it without destroying themselves.

The ships are programmed to take care of their pilots for as long as possible. At first through suspended animation. But as the ships took on more and more information, they were able to incorporate and generate more and more technology. With the discovery of nanites, the ships programming changed the way it viewed "take care of their pilots for as long as possible" and could now use them to artificially extend the lives of their pilots as long as they wished. The ships could not operate without a pilot, as the creators wanted explorers to take the ships to new phenomena and new worlds.

The ships do communicate with each other, but are so far flung, that updates, including new discoveries, ships statuses, telemetry and so forth, are hundreds of years between check-ins, even with communications ten times faster than the ships top speed.

With each new discovery the ships became faster, reconfigured themselves, grew to incorporate tech and grew to store more information. The Alexandria has had hundreds of pilots since it's launch as "Ship #54" and has grown to 45 miles long, 4 miles tall at it's widest. An concave wide cylinder, packed full of sensors, engineering, memory and nanites that run maintenance on the ship, and it's crew. It can travel at roughly 5000 times the speed of light. It has few weapons as it's a ship of knowledge, but has jump drives to get away from danger, at the risk of leaving itself open it whatever may be waiting at the end of the jump.

At the time of it's hand over to it's two new pilots, Manu Zavala and Celeste Donley, it's previous captain wished to end his travels (and his life) after more than two thousand years of piloting. Manu was chosen because he had a keen mind, and insatiable curiosity...but was disaffected with life. Celeste was chosen by Manu because she was a troublemaker...always doing what she wanted, never what she was told: She could take the Alexandria to places he could never think of, just on a whim. A copy of the archive was not transmitted to Earth - it was far too violent to tempt with knowledge above it's maturity level.

The name the previous captain gave the Alexandria was too long an unpronounceable for humans. Manu names it for the Library of Alexandria, since he sees the ship as a library. The two leave Earth, knowing they will never come back - the ship has learned all it can from Earth, and is ready to move on. The original captain is allowed to die, and Manu and Celeste take the Alexandria for a little joyride around the Galaxy.

Tarot layout: Moon in Libra reading

Apr. 19th, 2019 11:17 pm
elf: Crowley's Queen of Wands (Queen of Wands)
[personal profile] elf
The topic of specialized readings came up on a Discord channel, so I made a layout for the full moon in Libra (that's today, technically in about 5 hours; the next day and a half or so are still considered "full moon" for magical workings).

Large image under the cut )

Round 94, Hour 7

Apr. 19th, 2019 11:01 pm
thedarlingone: nib pen and parchment, captioned "writing" in fancy letters (writing pen)
[personal profile] thedarlingone posting in [community profile] fic_rush_48
I am writing! Are you writing? My coauthor and I are recapturing a brainwashed space-pilot for deprogramming...

Round 94, Hour 6

Apr. 20th, 2019 01:59 am
kalloway: Camilla from Fire Emblem Fates looking pleased/smug (Default)
[personal profile] kalloway posting in [community profile] fic_rush_48
Got it, just barely! I'm twelve links into a research hole. Send articles about rope!
viridian5: (Aya (pain))
[personal profile] viridian5
It was balmy today, with a high of 70 °F (about 21 °C), which was nice but made the bursitis in my shoulders and arms flare up. Can't I just enjoy warmth? Guess not. Another way I know warmer weather is coming is that I'm starting to feel my nighttime restlessness kick in, making me want to go out for a walk, but it's raining hard tonight so I am indoors and sad instead.

Another sad thing is that most of the petals from the blooming trees have already fallen off from many hard rains and high winds. I barely got to enjoy them.

So, you know my opinion on Stuy

Apr. 25th, 2019 01:15 am
conuly: (Default)
[personal profile] conuly
Mainly, that those schools are overrated, that test needs a serious overhaul and critical review, and that everybody obsessed with that school (and the others) seriously needs to get a grip and reconsider the life choices that brought them to this place.

But nobody ever takes my excellent advice, and so they won't stop talking about those schools, and so I keep on reading. It's like a very boring trainwreck that I narrowly escaped but not really.

With that said, I have to admire the NY Times slipping in this snide commentary in this article here: “The bureaucrats who run these school districts have swallowed hook, line and sinker the idea of racial diversity” as an essential part of education in America, added Mr. Yoo, who is best known as the legal architect of Mr. Bush’s so-called torture memos.

Man, that's some serious, if factually-accurate, shade.

On the subject of affirmative action, way in the comments to that article somebody quoted Clarence Thomas opining that affirmative action just makes people doubt the merits of blacks. I will go on the record as saying that it is neither his race nor the specter of affirmative action that makes me doubt Clarence Thomas' credentials, capacity for critical thought, jurisprudence, or ethics. In fact, I have made it a long-standing policy to support what he doesn't, just on general principle, and that policy has yet to steer me wrong. So if Clarence Thomas is against affirmative action, that is certainly good enough for me.

(No, I do not intend to get into a discussion here and now about whether or not policies intended to increase representation of some or all racial minorities are good or bad, or if they're racist against other minorities and/or any or all whites, either in the abstract or with regard to specific situations. Not nearly enough spoons for that today.)

Creative Jam

Apr. 20th, 2019 12:21 am
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
[personal profile] ysabetwordsmith
The April [community profile] crowdfunding Creative Jam is now open with a theme of "Identity Crisis."  Come give us prompts, or claim some for your own inspiration.


What I Have Written


From My Prompts

(no subject)

Apr. 19th, 2019 10:20 pm
dolari: (Default)
[personal profile] dolari
I've decided to go ahead and develop the Alexandria story, but really have no intention of "doing anything" with it. Between the comics, the musical, the novel - I simply don't have time for it (although apparently the energy).

Still willing to give it to anyone who can Do Something With It.
starandrea: (Default)
[personal profile] starandrea
Once Upon A Time In Dixing, fic by [personal profile] china_shop

“Chief Zhao.” Shen Wei turns to the man who was and will one day be again his indomitable brother in arms, his lover and his friend. “I need you to stage a jailbreak.”

Weekly Reading

Apr. 19th, 2019 09:33 pm
torachan: arale from dr slump dressed in a penguin suit and smiling (arale penguin)
[personal profile] torachan
Currently Reading
I'm Special: And Other Lies We Tell Ourselves
This guy has a show on Netflix now that sounds interesting (about a gay disabled man, based on and played by himself) but I haven't watched it yet, but when I was reading an article about the show it mentioned his memoir as well, so I picked that up. Only read the intro so far.

Inner City Blues
No progress.

Triple Threat
About halfway through and enjoying it. I'm sad that this series ended after only three books.

Bright Boulevards, Bold Dreams: The Story of Black Hollywood
Got to the start of the 1930s. So far it's been really interesting, though I've been going at a slow pace as I've been focusing more on other books (thankfully was able to renew it as it's due back at the library in a couple days and I'm nowhere near done).

Recently Finished
The Frangipani Tree Mystery
This was so good! Definitely going to read more books in the series.

Gaikotsu Shoten-in Honda-san vol. 4
I enjoyed the first three well enough but there was really not enough material for a fourth volume and it's super padded out with random stuff.

(no subject)

Apr. 19th, 2019 11:16 pm
harpers_child: melaka fray reading from "Tales of the Slayers". (Default)
[personal profile] harpers_child
1. Impulsively cut my hair today. My hair celebrated by doing it's best floof. I feel better.

2. I'm worldbuilding and mapmaking for the D&D game I may be running. Making so many really great NPCs. I'm kind of in love with all of them.

3. My MiL realized this afternoon that tomorrow is 420 and she has plans with a friend so now my Easter plans are up in the air. ... Whatever.

Round 94, Hour 5

Apr. 19th, 2019 10:18 pm
xandromedovna: usurpationcorn (Default)
[personal profile] xandromedovna posting in [community profile] fic_rush_48
Well, after a couple hundred more words, I'm now ready to depart for the land of dreams. Best of luck everyone!
china_shop: Close-up of Zhao Yunlan grinning (Default)
[personal profile] china_shop
I wrote a little 700 word ficlet last night:

all I need to know
PG-rated, established relationship, no particular spoilers; also for [personal profile] kiezh's prompt: Shen Wei. "No. I won't."
Summary: Three months of mutually investigating each other, occasionally crossing over into actual B&E and/or stalking, and Shen Wei decides to enforce his boundaries now, when they’re finally together?


And just now I finished and posted the Cave fic I've been working on most of the week:

Once Upon a Time in Dixing
~5,900 words, G-rated, Shen Wei/Zhao Yunlan, caper fic/identity porn, canon divergence AU set during episode 6. (Spoilers to ep 40.) No warnings apply. Also for [personal profile] solo's prompt: Shen Wei. "There's an app for that." (I cheated slightly.) With much thanks to [personal profile] trobadora for beta. <3
Summary: “Chief Zhao.” Shen Wei turns to the man who was and will one day be again his indomitable brother in arms, his lover and his friend. “I need you to stage a jailbreak.”


I had SO MUCH FUN writing that last one. The silver lining of being on steroids is that my brain gets super cracky! :-D

*twirls and twirls and goes to do the dishes*

I Go to Sing

Apr. 19th, 2019 11:54 pm
muffyjo: (Default)
[personal profile] muffyjo
I Go to Sing
by Lindy Thompson

I might be exhausted and the children might be cranky,
but I will be going to church on Sunday.
Don’t know who is preaching, doesn’t matter –
the sermon may be helpful or not, holds my attention or doesn’t –
it’s the singing.
I go to sing.

I get up,
get clean,
get dressed,
possibly get mad (at not-ready kids, at empty coffee pot, at traffic)
get going,
get there,
get seated,
get comfortable,
get focused

and when the music starts,

get saved.

It’s the singing.
I go to sing.

It’s the willingness to stand if you are able,
the common agreement on page number,
the voluntary sharing of songbooks with people on your row,
even ones you rode there with –

but most of all,
it’s the collective in-breath before the first sound is made,
the collective drawing upon the grace of God,
the collective, if inadvertent, admission
that we are all human,
all fragile,
all in need of the sustaining air, freely dispensed,
all in need of each other to get the key right and not sound discordant –-

it’s the hidden life-celebration
in the act of making a joyful noise,
all together.

We don’t even have to sound that good.
Singing together still brings home
the we-ness of worship,
the not-alone-ness of life in God,
the best of all we have to offer each other.

When we are singing, I think that I might actually be able to forgive you
for being so terribly human,
and you might be able to forgive me
for being so terribly not there yet,
and we might be able to find peace now,
not postpone it for some heavenly hereafter
but live and breathe it today,
drawing in the grace of God,
voicing out our need and hope and gratitude and longing.

When we are singing, I can feel the better world coming,
and if I get to be a part of it, you do too . . .

so sing with me,
and we’ll make our way down that blessed road together,
collectively better
than we ever thought
possible.

Fannish nomenclature

Apr. 20th, 2019 01:52 pm
vass: Small turtle with green leef in its mouth (Default)
[personal profile] vass
They should call "reverse bangs" gnabs.
m_findlow: (Jack sad)
[personal profile] m_findlow posting in [community profile] fan_flashworks
Title: Stalled negotiations
Fandom: Torchwood
Characters: Jack, Ianto
Author: m_findlow
Rating: PG
Length: 3,894 words
Content notes: none
Author notes: Written for Challenge 260 - Cave and Challenges 188 - Rush and 199 - Best (Bingo squares)
Summary: Jack and Ianto are facing their toughest assignment yet, and the best solution is a huge gamble.
 
china_shop: Three-quarter profile of Shen Wei being unimpressed (Guardian - Shen Wei srsly?)
[personal profile] china_shop posting in [community profile] fan_flashworks
Title: Once Upon a Time in Dixing
Fandom: Guardian
Rating: G
Length: ~5,900 words
Notes: Shen Wei/Zhao Yunlan. Dixing is basically just one big cave, right? Caper fic, identity porn, handwaving Dixing’s corrosive effects, canon divergence AU set during ep 6, spoilers to ep 40. Also for the FFW Bingo prompt Wire and [personal profile] solo's prompt of Shen Wei, "There's an app for that." Much much thanks to [personal profile] mergatrude for hand-holding and [personal profile] trobadora for beta. <3 <3 <3 No warnings apply.
Summary: “Chief Zhao.” Shen Wei turns to the man who was and will one day be again his indomitable brother in arms, his lover and his friend. “I need you to stage a jailbreak.”

Once Upon a Time in Dixing )

Linkspam: fannish/geeky, misc.

Apr. 20th, 2019 12:40 am
umadoshi: (Winter Soldier - Steve & Natasha)
[personal profile] umadoshi
Fannish/Geeky Things

"Fruits Basket: The Three Musketeers Arc is coming to Yen Press!" This is a set of three new Fruits Basket chapters that Takaya-sensei's doing about the Mabudachi Trio. ^_^ "This story takes place around the same time as the last chapter of Fruits Basket, so for those who haven’t read all of the manga, please proceed with caution!"

Via [personal profile] goodbyebird, "2019 PSO Atlantic Pole bronze medalist, Deadpool". [YouTube ~ 4.5 minutes]

"Tour of Duty: Journey back through each Marvel film that defined Captain America: EW visited the set of every movie as Chris Evans brought Steve Rogers to life. With Avengers: Endgame approaching, it's time to look back".

"Marvel's Kevin Feige Promises 'Major Storylines' for Disney+ Shows".

"Avatar: The Last Airbender's Writer Says a Possible Season 4 Was Sidelined for Shyamalan's Film". [io9]

"CinemaCon 2019: Turns Out The Cats In Tom Hooper’s CATS Are The Size Of Actual Cats".

"Manga Answerman - What Are The Best Digital Manga Services?"


Miscellaneous

"Farewell From The Establishment!"

"Sleepovers reduce stress in shelter dogs: ASU study shows short-term fostering temporarily reduces cortisol levels and increases rest in shelter dogs".

"Bok Choy Isn’t ‘Exotic’: A young generation of Asian-American farmers is reclaiming Asian vegetables — and in the process, their own culinary heritage".

Via [personal profile] fred_mouse, "GenX Tribe: Breaking Bones and Other Stories of Walking it Off". [CW: All kinds of medical stuff, focusing on things going un- or poorly-treated.]

"The pink lakes of Australia – in pictures".

"Peepshi: The Next Generation". "Spring is officially here, which means the birds are a-singin', the bees are a-buzzin', and everywhere you look, there are signs of new life. What better time to buy a crap-ton of delicious, squishy Peeps and murder them one by one?"

"‘Angels in America’ Audiobook Will Be Narrated by Full Cast of Broadway Revival".

"We Can’t Get Over This Amazing High School Production of Alien". [The Mary Sue]

A post? A post.

Apr. 20th, 2019 12:30 am
umadoshi: Three purple crocuses poking up from the soil. (spring - crocuses!)
[personal profile] umadoshi
Right, posting is a thing.

--Until about a week ago, my phone (which will be...three years old this summer?) lived in a case with a cover that flipped shut. It now has a just-covers-the-back-and-edges case. There are benefits to this, like remembering that notification lights are a thing and I can tell if I have email without actually turning the screen on! How clever! But so far my literal grip on the thing still feels tenuous, and my slightly-germophobic brain has yet to come to a decision about whether I should lay the phone face-up or face-down by my bedside (or on other surfaces), because the cats walk over the surfaces that the phone face is touching when face-down, but the cats could also at any moment walk on the screen if it's face-up, and I know where those paws have been, friends. *wry*


--Crocuses are starting to just poke up in the front yard, so I guess soon we'll find out whether the manymany bulbs we planted out back a year and a half ago mostly failed to produce flowers last year because it takes two years or because something went wrong. Here's hoping it's the former.


--Sea is moving away disconcertingly soon. It feels like she just got here! (And she did, really. But the Nova Scotia job market lived down to its reputation. >.<) It's weird and sad to think of her being gone, even though it's not as if we'll never see her again. And in the meantime, efforts are ongoing to make sure she gets to eat ALL THE SEAFOOD, 'cause there's no ocean where she's going. :/


--The entire weather forecast is made of rain or showers. This would be less aggravating if rain hadn't resulted in scheduled work not being done on our townhouse this past Monday. (Non-urgent, but we're looking forward to having it done.) It's been rescheduled for this Tuesday, and so far the forecast only says "showers", so here's hoping things can proceed.


--[personal profile] scruloose and I need to start making solid plans for being in Toronto this year, and awkwardly, the trend of my "I really want to go and will enjoy being there, but holy crap, does the planning exhaust me" feeling getting more intense is continuing. Also, 2019 is likely to be a bit expensive in general, so I want to at least look into cashing in some of our heap of Aeroplan Miles to get to Toronto this time around, but the fact that it's one province too far away to count as a short-haul flight is just irritating. The thought of spending 25,000 miles to get to Toronto (the number needed to get anywhere outside "short-haul" range in continental North America) when 75,000 is enough to get to China or Japan is harsh.


--Speaking of money, we have an appointment with our accountant next week--when the company called to see if we were going to be coming in, he literally had one spot left this month. Oops. So this weekend has to include tallying all of my freelance income and deductions to hand off to him. I am very fond of roads and schools and all such things, so I'm philosophically on board with paying my taxes! But oh, the actual paying of them (and paying for his services, but we've plainly established that [personal profile] scruloose and I should not be left to our own devices on this front) is gonna sting.

Buffy and X-men comic reviews

Apr. 19th, 2019 10:17 pm
shadowkat: (Default)
[personal profile] shadowkat
1. Read the latest issue of Boom Studios Buffy Comics Reboot - this is allegedly the final of the four issue arc for this year. No clue if they will continue after it?

Anyhow....my thoughts? It's steadily gone downhill, writing wise. To the point in which I've just about decided to give up on it.


spoilers )
I'm not sure what the writer is doing exactly, but I've read better fanfic (well that sort of goes without saying when it comes to the comics or any novelization of the series.) Why? Because whomever is approving the rights for these things -- doesn't perceive the series in the same way that I do, obviously. Nor has the same taste, which is saying a lot, considering how broad my taste actually is.

The problem is that the writer is not telling the story directly. She skips time.
Relies too heavily on the readers pre-existing knowledge of the series and characters (much like fanfic writers do, actually), which would be fine -- if the characters were closer in their behavior to those in the series (they aren't). And the story followed the canon, it doesn't. You can't veer that far away from canon and just skip to the fun parts in your story, without any build up. It's jarring.
Don't do this people. It's lazy writing. It's bad enough that you are playing in someone else's sandbox with their toys and getting paid for it, without forgetting to build up to your major plot points in a satisfying way.

I don't care what happens to these characters. They bear little resemblance to the one's I knew. And I have not had time to invest in their relationship with each other, to care what happens. You can't push the reader into the center of the action without some character development -- even if the characters are based (and rather loosely in this case) a television series.

If it weren't for the great art, I'd have given up a while ago. The art is the best that I've seen for the Buffy comics. It's very complimentary to the actors -- they actually look better here than they did on screen. I know, go figure.

But the writing is getting worse with each issue. Some of the dialogue is cringe-inducing. Buffy actually says the words "Jeez, Louise" - eh, no.

And while the art is great for the most part, Joyce and Drusilla do not bear any resemblance to the actors who played them. Nor for that matter does Robin Wood, but that appeared to be deliberate.

Rating? Not worth your time or the price of admission. Skip.

2. It probably would have helped if I hadn't been reading the X-men comics at the same time. In particular Matthew Rosenberg's take on Un-Canny X-men, which is superb and pretty much does all the things a good serial writer should do -- further the characters arcs, address their relationships with each other, and provide action that helps examine social issues and those relationships/emotional arcs concurrently.

I read Uncanny X-men #16 prior to the Buffy Comic, and night and day. My only quibble with Un-Canny is the art, which was uneven. It's the reverse of the Buffy comic -- great writing, very uneven art, yet still a much better comic.

They do a few unexpected things here -- which help examine what it means to be a leader and the toll it takes on people. In this issue, Cyclops has begun to question his leadership -- and decides to step down. He's basically tired of second-guessing himself all the time, and worse having everyone else do it too. He's also trying to hold his team together, and keep everyone alive. He's been trying to keep everyone alive for a while now, and failing miserably. He's lost more people than he cares to count, and most of them, people he loved a great deal. The guy is basically wallowing in grief and self-doubt. But luckily he has company -- Logan, Alex, Dani Moonstar, Shan, Rahn, Hope Summers, Banshee, Johnno, Illyana, Jamie Maddrox, are all along for the ride.
spoilers )

Round 94, Hour 4

Apr. 19th, 2019 09:18 pm
xandromedovna: usurpationcorn (Default)
[personal profile] xandromedovna posting in [community profile] fic_rush_48
Ughhhh, how do I make them have the same fight twice without it feeling like the same fight twice?

Writing is hard, let me know if you've had more success than I am.
sasha_feather: Retro-style poster of skier on pluto.   (Default)
[personal profile] sasha_feather posting in [community profile] access_fandom
Spoilers below the cut. My personal preference is to be spoiled for this sort of thing.

Read more... )

(no subject)

Apr. 19th, 2019 08:05 pm
ironyoxide: (Default)
[personal profile] ironyoxide
This morning, an invisible, imaginary rabbit left a toy unicorn on my desk. This unicorn drops candy out of its butt when you lift its tail, and makes New Age wind chime noises when you so much as look at it cross-eyed.

I suspect this will be the most normal thing to happen to me this weekend.

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