catherineldf: (Default)
[personal profile] catherineldf
So many things! I'm embarking on draft 2 of my current gaming tie-in story -- more info when I can share it -- and now the sink is backed up, in a totally unrelated but tiresome event. At least I got the pesto made before that happened. Oooph.

Last weekend's shenanigans included Diversicon 25, which was...a mix of things. Hanging out with Melissa Scott was lovely and I got to introduce her to a number of my friends, who were all thrilled to meet her. We had lots of good conversations and a couple of fine panels. I also got to see some other friends who I haven't seen for far too long so that was lovely as well. On the less lovely side, a contingent of the Frenkel Fan Club turned up and apparently shared their enthusiasm with the room at large at the memorial panel for John Rezmerski (who definitely did not share their enthusiasm), Michael Levy and a longtime Diversicon fan. I missed the "fun" because I was on a competing panel, which was probably just as well. I also had to "guard" Melissa from some importuning which resulted in sulking. So many eyerolls. Never insist that anyone read your work when they are clearly otherwise engaged and are sending out very clear signals that this is not the time or the place. This is even more annoying when you clearly have the wrong person to begin with and are refusing to acknowledge it. There were some other behavior "issues" as well, and given that and all the recent deaths which I think made it a much lower energy and less pleasant con than some previous years, it was a hard weekend. I hope they can turn it around for next year.


In other news, I have seen Valerian and been mostly unimpressed. Pretty though. And trip planning is moving along. I've added a trip to Blue Lagoon, a Tom of Finland walking tour, a tour of Suomenlinna Fortress and we're discussing a tour of Stockholm and of course, tea. And the Abba Museum. Good times!

laceblade: Toby, Josh, and Donna of The West Wing, talking intensely (WW: 20 Hours in America)
[personal profile] laceblade
I know some people have weird squicks about RPF. Before I get into it, I just want to say that I listened to the podcasts I described below for months while having NO IDEA there was fic. Then [twitter.com profile] aileenwithan_a told me there was fic at WisCon, and I screamed at The Bar.

But it's all to say, you can enjoy the podcasts and most of this post on their own merits, and only seek out the fic if you choose to do so.
I've linked to fic under a locked post. That's also my plan going forward. I've seen the Glee cast have to put up with so much weird shit from tinhatter fans, :(

ANYWAY.
For months now, I've been listening to Pod Save America on a regular basis. During the 2016 election campaign season, it was a video semi-regular thing where Jon Favreau, Tommy Vietor, and Jon Lovett - former Obama White House staffers all - shot the shit about the campaign. They were very adamant that Hillary Clinton would win and that anyone who said otherwise were "bedwetters."

They were as shocked as the rest of us when Trump actually fucking won.
They stopped using The Ringer's resources and decided to create their own media empire. In honor of Trump, they named it Crooked Media. They now do ads on their shows and are trying to make money. (They also critique the ad copy WHILE READING IT ON THE AIR because Favreau/Lovett are both writers and cannot help themselves. Endlessly hilarious.)
You may have seen "Friend of the Pod" or "Repeal and go f$%& yourself" t-shirts - those originated with these guys.
Every Monday, Pod Save America releases an episode with Tommy, Favreau, and Lovett talking about politics and usually having a guest in the second half. Recently, they had Al Franken on. Every Thursday, Pod Save America releases a second episode of the week, with Favreau shooting the shit with Dan Pfeiffer, also a former Obama staffer/political strategist who's a few years older than these young bucks.

Tommy started his own weekly show called Pod Save the World. As Obama's former National Security Council spokesperson, Tommy will interview people like diplomats and other experts on international issues, usually trying to make it topical to things like North Korea, etc. He did invite Glenn Greenwald on his show after getting into it with him on Twitter, and it was actually one of the best episodes Tommy's done so far. I also really enjoyed his episode with Senator Tim Kaine about presidential war powers.

[twitter.com profile] deray got his own show, Pod Save the People, after appearing as a guest and having a great rapport with the trio. (I like listening to this but it's SO LONG I have only made it to the end of one of these shows ONCE lol.
Ana Marie Cox also got her own show called, "With Friends Like These," which is meant to address like, the red/blue cultural differences, basically. She's passionately liberal; members of her family are not. How do we as society function/etc.?

And finally, Lovett got his own weekly show called Lovett or Leave It, on which he basically does political standup with a rotating panel of guests made with a lot of his celebrity contacts in Hollywood. (Last week's included Sarah Silverman.) He has some semi-regular segments, such as his own Rant Wheel, because this man can literally rant on any topic.

I think the ratings for Pod Save America especially must be pretty high because they've been getting a lot of blockbuster guests lately - Kamala Harris, Cory Booker, Tim Kaine, Al Franken, Chris Murphy, Susan Rice, and some others. Occasionally they'll do a live show in Los Angeles or elsewhere.

They do a lot of work with Ben Winkler to coordinator with Indivisble, and encourage activism on the part of their listeners. A lot of structure for people doing calls/resistance recesses/other stuff stems in part from them.

Some people have compared it to like conservative talk radio, but I think they're a little more objective than that (although I also could be biased). For example on Monday's show they basically ripped apart the Democrats' newly-unveiled "policy plan" that has jackshit holding it together.

Anyway, between this and twitter [where I do admittedly follow a metric fuck-ton of journalists], this is almost exclusively how I consume news lately.
It makes me laugh, every single episode, which is something we all need lately IMO.



I have long been interested in Jon Favreau because I find him incredibly attractive and because he had what was basically my dream job. Obama's campaign came at a weird time for me. The campus Obama campaign leader my age was a kid who'd gone to some smart kids week-long thing in Washington, D.C. the summer after we graduated high school [my friend Chad came too]. We were told by the real-life Joshua Lyman (under W) to get involved with a campaign, any campaign.
I took this literally and was an unpaid intern for Mark Green, first in his U.S. district office and then as a gubernatorial candidate. After that, when I graduated, no Democrats would hire me. The woman running the Democratic Party of Wisconsin (DPW) at the time ran into a friend of mine [fellow page] on the street and told her it was because of my Republican experience. I couldn't even become an unpaid intern for a STATE SENATOR who was a Democrat because of it. (I became bitter and took a job on campus and am now at my second job on campus WHICH I LOVE but sometimes feel really bitter about what might have been.)
ANYWAY. This other KID was had Obama THANK HIM BY NAME and CLAP HIM ON THE SHOULDER when he did a campaign event at the Kohl Center on campus. I was so jealous. My jealousy of Jon Favreau and his youth was like 80x that.

Anyway, that was my hook into following Favreau on twitter and then jumping into these podcasts.

Jon Lovett is gay; Jon Favreau and Tommy Vietor are ostensibly straight [Favreau just got married]. However, Lovett frequently complains about having to appear on tv with the two of them because of how hot they are. He has also referred to them as "bromosexuals."
On Chelsea Handler's show last week, they were talking about how much time the three of them spend together. "Sounds super gay," Chelsea says.
"Super gay," Favs agrees.
"NOT NEARLY GAY ENOUGH!" says Lovett.
Because of comments like these, and their chemistry and obvious affection for one another, we have ended up with: a fandom.

Jon Favreau and his wife Emily have a dog named Leo.
Jon Lovett owns a dog named Pundit (because that's how he feels about pundits) who is Leo's sibling.

Also bonus: Lovett and Tommy lived together when they lived in DC while working at the White House.

Here's a link to an actual transcript of part of an ad they did on Pod Save America's Monday episode this week for Sonos, a speaker company. [Link goes to tumblr, no images in post.] And here is the followup in the form of Facebook comments, where Lovett upholds Pundit's honor and accuses Leo of being a werewolf.

Here's a link to a tumblr post that has an embedded image of an Instagram post, plus screencapped comments from it. Tommy Vietor and Jon Favreau sitting side-by-side looking at their laptops, doing a Q&A. This was when they campaigned about health care in DC right after Favreau's wedding. In the comments, someone cheekily says they look like a before/after advertisement for self-tanner, and Tommy (the very pale one) says, "That is...so accurate." (They are all very self-deprecating.)

This is a gifset on tumblr of Lovett introducing Tommy Vietor on his Lovett or Leave It podcast. [It's a podcast but they do it in front of a live audience bc it's comedy.] It's hilarious because it's a perfect example of how Lovett talks, and because Tommy can't stop laughing even though Lovett is roasting him.
"Honestly, Tommy looks like a boat shoe became a person."
"He's the WASPiest thing I've ever seen. They based...they based many of the characters of the Sound of Music on his face."

Here's a tumblr gifset mostly of Tommy and Lovett interacting with one another.

Lovett is almost always angry/ranting but occasionally he gets really serious and is very eloquent when he does so. Almost like...underneath his bluster, he's an idealistic kid who writes really well and worked for Obama :*) Example!

SO YEAH. Anyway.....me, the person who never writes fic, have my first 5.3k fic in this fandom out with like 5 ppl [IF ANYONE ELSE WANTS TO BETA PLS LMK I NEED FEEDBACK.]

Storybuilding: A Ramble

Jul. 26th, 2017 06:45 pm
kiya: (rune)
[personal profile] kiya

Mirrored from Kiya Nicoll.

I’m working on this story.

I have… nine tabs of reference material open, assuming I haven’t lost some somewhere, all of them about real-world culture and organization of the Marines (both US and Royal). That’s not counting the brief things I have opened, researched, and closed (“How would a Marine address their Navy corpsman?”).

Or the other things I’ve had open. Common world surnames, say, that’s one I keep having to pull up every time I get another speaking part. The aliens’ names are easier, there are only two of them in the platoon, and I can just make something up that’s in accord with their vocal apparatus. Trying to reach out for names that paint the suggestion that there’s a broad world full of human beings that contribute in the subtext, though, that requires some actual thought. And some thought, because just snagging ‘most common surname’ by continent or something is still lazy. Just a slightly broader lazy than before. But if the worldbuilding wants to include breadth of humanity it has to actually show it in the interstitial bits.

And then there’s more overtly political questions. I sit with this story, this story that I’m trying to root in a particular military experience, while proclamations are being made about trans people in the military, and I go, “… is there someone trans in this platoon?” Because that’s as conscious a decision as having women in the platoon, as having names for people that reach beyond European standards, and the odds are good that someone like Karou the hyenoid alien does not exist but I am damn sure that Chelsea Manning does. It’s easy to just grab the easy names, the assumed genders, the just-like-every-other-story bits, easy and lazy and anyway if it’s just like every other story why am I sitting and writing it in the first place?

And it goes on. Trying to articulate a plausible Space Marine ethos means spending a bit of time sitting with actual Marine expressions to try to figure out how that would translate, how to include it, how to express it in the story without sitting down and doing the “This Is What It Means” talk from people who are busy with their actual mission. It means coming up with story twists and angles that will let that actually show, rather than remain entirely invisible underneath the events. Which isn’t a different writing problem than questions of human diversity at all – it’s all about how to take the things that are true in the storyworld and make them visible and plausible.

I did a little mini-tweet-thread about this question of breadth of humanity, mostly talking about Cracked Pots, the novel in progress, but it holds here too. My gods, it’s full of PEOPLE. And figuring out the people means figuring out the things, the details that make them all real. All the effort into the little telling details and right moments.

This particular story is capped at 5000 words for the market I’m writing for.

Longer stories produce… notably more tabs.

ALL HAIL [personal profile] jenett, EXTREME LIBRARIAN

Jul. 26th, 2017 12:40 pm
sporky_rat: It's a rat!  With a spork!  It's ME! (Default)
[personal profile] sporky_rat posting in [community profile] alt_fen

Good fen, we have [personal profile] jenett to thank for this!

September of Year Three (FOR REAL THIS TIME)! Apologies for it being a GoogleDrive linke, but I went through the WaybackMachine and downloaded every single one of the pdfs and saved them to my GoogleDrive so I would have access ANYWHERE. Mauahaha.

So on 25 August-ish, I can post October!

(Please work, GoogleDrive. Please work.)

oursin: Photograph of small impressionistic metal figurine seated reading a book (Reader)
[personal profile] oursin

What I read

Finished Moonbreaker.

A novella by Heather Rose Jones, Three Nights at the Opera (2014), prequel to Daughter of Mystery.

There was indeed a new Catherine Fox, Realms of Glory, delivered to my Kobo well in time to beguile my journeyings. Very good.

Alex Hall, Glitterland (2013): m/m contemporary romance, which was an absolute page-turner and I will even give it a degree of pass on the phonetic rendering of Estuarine speech, on the grounds that this might be down to the first-person narrator's attempt to depict Difference.

Charlie Jane Anders, All the Birds in the Sky (2016): I had a bit of a problem with the rather gender-stereotypical allocation of science vs magic, and also with the way that both of them, in particular Patricia, are shown as coming to their powers as a result of familial dysfunction and school bullying (are US high schools really quite so generally toxic as literature would have me believe?), which is not that dissimilar in its rather Spartan overtones to the ethos of the military school to which Laurence is briefly sent. But I read on.

Helene Wecker, The Golem and the Djinni (2013) - there were parts where I thought this was a bit slow, and possibly about showing off the author's research, but then it all came together with all the threads meshing at the end.

On the go

The end is almost in sight with Prince of Tricksters. Also continuing with Rejected Essays and Buried Thoughts, as and when.

Up next

Well, I have lately had delivered to my Kobo Kate Elliott's Buried Heart (2017), conclusion (?) to the Court of Fives series. But I've also, finally, received Monica Ferris's cozy mystery, Knit Your Own Murder (2016), at last a) out in paperback and b) actually in the mailer received from the seller.

Music meme: day 16 of 30

Jul. 26th, 2017 10:39 am
liv: alternating calligraphed and modern letters (letters)
[personal profile] liv
Let's get the political complaining off the top of my journal, and talk about One of your favourite classical songs.

Because I always end up picking Fauré's Requiem every time I answer a meme about music, I'll stick to a strict definition of 'song' and go with Les roses d'Ispahan instead:

video (singing over animation of the score) )

The story behind this is that I fell in love with Fauré when I heard the school choir singing the Requiem when I was 12, and the singing teacher saw me falling in love and decided to try to teach me to sing, even though I notoriously couldn't hold a tune. And we talked a lot about singing Christian sacred music, but she also pointed out that Fauré wrote plenty of secular stuff, so I could learn that. Alongside lots of simpler things more appropriate for a beginning singer. And I loved all the repertoire I learned, but Les roses d'Ispahan best. Spending absolutely months trying to learn songs that were too hard for me gave me an appreciation that just listening to them never would.

Or, if I'm going with a strict definition of Classical, to get even further away from always going on about Fauré... most of the music I like is either Baroque or Romantic really, but I'm not against the entire Classical period. So let's go with Schubert, whom I always reliably like. I'm choosing the song Heidenröslein for the tune, even though I'm not wholly enamoured of the lyrics. I mean, it's Goethe, but it's also about the poet destroying his lover to punish her for rejecting him. Also because I discovered recently that there's a Rammstein song alluding to it, so I'm using the meme as an excuse to tell you about that.

video embed, containing religious violence )

(no subject)

Jul. 26th, 2017 08:59 am
oursin: Brush the Wandering Hedgehog by the fire (Default)
[personal profile] oursin
Happy birthday, [personal profile] el_staplador and [personal profile] mrissa!
the_comfortable_courtesan: image of a fan c. 1810 (Default)
[personal profile] the_comfortable_courtesan

The final volume of the AMacD commonplace books ends abruptly halfway through. Between two pages are inserted a large number of loose cuttings from assorted periodicals, reporting the death of Gervase Reveley, Viscount Raxdell, in a street accident which only his own skills as a whip prevented from being a far worse disaster, but leading to his being thrown clear of his own curricle and fatally injured. There are also a number of obituary notices. On the following page is written three times I must be philosophical with a heavy line drawn underneath.

Alexander MacDonald, MA, locks the volume away with the others in the secure press, and looks down at his hand. The effects of grief upon the physical body are surely a topic suited to the philosopher, he murmurs as he observes its faint persistent trembling.

But, he thinks, no-one will imagine it to be anything but the natural effects of his efforts over these past few days: no-one will suppose that the signs of lack of sleep upon his face due to anything but the business of organising the funeral, arranging for the succession of the new viscount, writing or causing to be written the vast number of letters that have been necessary, and having all in order for this present morning’s reading of the will.

At least he had been there to the last: it had been considered not in the least remarkable that Gervase desired to communicate last wishes to his dedicated secretary, when they brought in his broken body.

He bites his lip. The new viscount, a fellow of nearly Gervase’s own years that had never expected to inherit, any anticipations in the matter falling upon his son, shows considerable signs of wanting him to stay and steer an obscure country squire through the new paths he suddenly finds himself set upon. But to stay at Raxdell House, when there is no Gervase –

But first, the reading of the will. The servants were well instructed beforehand, but he should be there with His new Lordship to greet the lawyers as they arrive.

The relatives and the household have assembled. Jerome, Seraphine and Roberts all sit together. Old Fosticue – demonstrating respect for the ancient association of the firm with the Reveley family, it is Old Fosticue comes creaking about this ceremony – picks up the document.

There is a little – not quite a gasp, more the sounds of breaths being drawn in among the assembled company – and Old Fosticue looks up as the drawing-room door can be heard opening. A late-comer to the reading? He cannot think of anyone who should be there and isn’t - mayhap some family black sheep in hopes of some small legacy –

A rustle of silk. He turns to look.

Still able to glide like a swan into a room, though in this instance, a black swan, Clorinda, Dowager Marchioness of Bexbury, advances down the rows of chairs, clad in the deepest of mourning, and, gracefully resisting any efforts to direct her anywhere else, comes to sit beside him.

How could he have not known she would come? One must play the comedy out to the last act and the final bow, she has said in respect of so many stratagems and contrivances over the years. Of course she would be here. Under concealment of the full skirt, she takes and squeezes his hand.

A deal of the property is entailed but there was still a considerable amount entirely within Gervase’s disposal. In the will he has carefully detailed numerous minor bequests to various members of the household, distant relatives, and friends. Jerome is well-provided for, as he should be. His dear friend, the Dowager Marchioness of Bexbury, comes in for several pieces of his mother’s jewellery, a valuable snuff-box, and a painting by Raoul de Clérault: doubtless everyone will speculate that Gervase made some settlement upon her years ago, and guess that these are merely sentimental tokens of his esteem. And after all, she is known a well-left widow with no need to hang out for legacies

And to my devoted secretary, who has served me so well and so faithfully - of course, he had expected some remembrance –

- but not that it would be what could only be described as a generous independence, along with something about enabling him to devote his abilities to philosophy -

- at which he finds himself feeling quite the reverse of philosophical, but Clorinda grips his hand again and he does not faint or fall into a fit of weeping.

Afterwards, His new Lordship says all that is proper, but looks as though he is about to lead to the possibility of Sandy's remaining; but a weight leans upon his arm, a voice says in die-away tones, o, Mr MacDonald, I feel quite overset - no-one can apply a dainty handkerchief to her eyes as Clorinda can – might you see is my smelling-bottle in my reticule, sure I thought I had put it in – o, Your Lordship, I am indeed sorry to break in upon your conversation, but I find myself so exceeding faint I would prevail upon Mr MacDonald's kindness to escort me home.

Clorinda’s hair under the cap may be silver-gilt rather than golden these days, she is no longer a young woman, but she still has only to enter a room to draw a bevy of men, old and young, to her side. The new viscount swallows and says, indeed, he would not wish to detain Lady Bexbury here –

O, thank you, breathes Clorinda, and they leave the room quite as if he is rescuing her from the press rather than the reverse.

Once they are in her carriage, and driving away, she says, really! solicit you at such a time to remain about Raxdell House! shocking ton.

But -, he begins.

O, but me no buts, Sandy dear. Are there not young men among your connexion would jump at such a place? You need only say to Lord Raxdell that you have become so entire used to Milord’s particular ways that you confide you would find it hard, at your time of life, to have to change to suit his, but that you will ever be entire at his disposal and that of any secretary he appoints to give advice.

It is entirely true, utterly sensible, quite proper: and something that he had not even managed to begin to think in his frozen state.

My dear, she says, I confide that these past days you have barely slept, have been about all matter of arrangements and perform’d them all exceeding well, and 'tis entirely that consideration should prevent Lord Raxdell from approaching you until you have had time to think of what you will do now. In particular as you do not need to be hanging out for preference.

No… he says, wondering if having something to put his hand to would at least be a distraction, keep him from thinking, from remembering –

They arrive at Clorinda’s pretty house, where they have hatched so many plots and sounded so many mysteries. Hector makes exceeding civil condolences to him, and shows them into the pretty parlour. He goes sit in his accustomed chair.

Vaguely, he hears Clorinda give some instructions to Hector, then turn and say, and Hector, when you have spoke to Euphemia, send up someone with more coals to stir up the fire.

He thinks it might be one of Hector and Euphemia’s offspring that comes lay more coals and stir up the fire into a fine blaze.

Why, dearest C-, do we need a great fire? (For the weather has of a sudden become a deal milder than that cold snap, with ice upon the ground that contributed to the accident.)

Because, dear Sandy, you are shivering.

So he is.

Quite shortly afterwards comes Euphemia herself with a mug in her hand. He had been expecting coffee, has not coffee ever been almost immediately served whenever he comes here?

'Tis a posset, says Clorinda, a most sustaining thing. I daresay you have not eat a thing these several days. You cannot live upon coffee.

He wrinkles his nose but indeed, he cannot remember eating anything, though surely Seraphine must have been leaving food for him.

A little while later comes some excellent soup.

And then he remembers nothing more except for some faint remembrance of being conveyed upstairs by Hector.

Politically isolated

Jul. 25th, 2017 05:25 pm
liv: cast iron sign showing etiolated couple drinking tea together (argument)
[personal profile] liv
I feel completely out of step with most of my friends politically. UK politics, very gloomy )
oursin: Photograph of Rebecca West as a young woman, overwritten with  'I am Dame Rebecca's BITCH' (Rebecca's bitch)
[personal profile] oursin

I noticed - flitting past me on Twitter the other day - somebody eyerolling at, if not codfishing, some bloke's plaint that watching Dunkirk had made him realise that The Modern Man does not have these Manly Challenges To Rise To -

And being a historian, I thought that, actually, there have been long generations, at least in my country, where most men were not being called upon to take arms and fight, and the general attitude to the soldiery was summed up by Kipling in Tommy.

And that thing about Challenges to Rise To always tends to be seen in a context which leads to e.g. the Battle of the Somme, rather than to being a despised Conscientious Objector, a decision which history may read entirely differently -

Which possibly links on to that thing I also saw flit past me on Twitter apropos of alt-history narratives which allow the viewer to believe that they would be The Resistance, which reminded me of that nasty piece of work Jimmy Porter in Look Back in Anger going 'where are the good brave causes?', and really, one can think of a few relevant to the 1950s, not to mention, we do not, ourselves, envisage J Porter going off to Spain in the 30s.

And the whole notion of Heroic Actions and somehow, not here, not now.

And I thought, did not my beloved Dame Rebecca say somewhat to this point in Black Lamb and Grey Falcon, and while this has the rhetorical universalisation and generalisation to which she was (alas) prone, it does seem relevant to this notion of some kind of masculine Rite de Passage:

All men believe that some day they will do something supremely disagreeable, and that afterwards life will move on so exalted a plane that all considerations of the agreeable and disagreeable will prove petty and superfluous.

As opposed to, persistently beavering away at the moderately disagreeable in the hopes that it might become a little more agreeable.

the_comfortable_courtesan: image of a fan c. 1810 (Default)
[personal profile] the_comfortable_courtesan

Dear readers, I have recently completed what I suppose, length-wise, amounts to a novella, i.e. long enough that I will be posting it in instalments.

It is set some 20+ years after Clorinda renounced writing her memoirs.

Content warnings: some character deaths, atypical behaviour while in the throes of bereavement, startling and unexpected revelations.

But some answers to questions about 'what happened to - ?'.

First episode coming shortly.

(no subject)

Jul. 25th, 2017 09:27 am
oursin: Brush the Wandering Hedgehog by the fire (Default)
[personal profile] oursin
Happy birthday, [personal profile] adair and [personal profile] owlfish!

Anti-procrastination Tuesday

Jul. 25th, 2017 07:34 am
peaceful_sands: butterfly (Default)
[personal profile] peaceful_sands posting in [community profile] bitesizedcleaning
Tuesdays here and it's time to tackle the anti-procrastination part of the week (well, today, tomorrow, whenever suits!) What will it be? What's been plaguing you that you're going to deal with this week? Tell us all about it.

Need a challenge? Here we go, let's head for the kitchen today and think about bite-sizing our way to progress. Set your challenge by taking into account time available and spoons left at the point at which you're going to do this and by assessing your starting point.

Suggestion 1 - pick a work surface and figure out what needs to happen for it to be in 'ideal condition' - clearing and packing away items to leave it empty? Cleaning the surface in some way? Be realistic - if the work surface is huge, don't tackle it all in one go, break it into sections and tackle one. Consider the ways of doing this - most important area first in terms of future use, most visible area, easiest to tackle area to provide the encouragement of progress quickly, worst area first because you've got the time and energy to make a good dent in what needs doing - you know best. Set a timer and go for it, how much can you get done?

Suggestion 2 - Open a cupboard and tackle a shelf - first identify anything that doesn't need to be there (our of date, wrong place, unwanted) and remove those items. Next step is to either move everything in there to wipe down the shelf (if you think this is necessary - this may depend on the contents of the cupboard that you pick) or to go straight to organising the contents in a useful/pleasing/practical fashion. If it's a food cupboard, remove anything that out of date and health harmful but also identify items which need to be used up quickly and bring them to a more prominent position to encourage yourself to use them up.


And with that I shall leave you and head to work for the day - I'll be back this evening to cheer, if anyone else can cheer and encourage please do.

A World of Fantasy

Jul. 24th, 2017 09:14 pm
frith: Light pink cartoon pony with dark pink mane (FIM Pinkie excited)
[personal profile] frith posting in [community profile] ponyville_trot
a_world_of_fantasy_by_wilvarin_liadon
Source: http://wilvarin-liadon.deviantart.com/art/A-world-of-fantasy-694355941

Fandom awake! I don't know what you're here for, but for me it's the art! And the ponies, ponies and art, and the whole triumph over adversity thing, but art keeps me going. So, ahoy, art event ahead and only five days from now!

Every year, since 2011, Equestria Daily has had this 30 day art challenge. Ponies plus art equals win! I suck at drawing and if I ever want to not suck, I have to draw, but I'm a bad hamster, I only spin that wheel if there's a deadline. So every year I do the art challenge. This year it starts on July 29th. The submission form for your oeuvres d'art will be here. It's the same dance as with the Ponies Around the World photo thing. You can do your art in any medium you want, including 3D. So, Plasticine, mashed potatoes, macrame, Source Film Maker, all good. Visual puns are a plus. Not acceptable: using a pony generator tool, like the General Zoi Pony Creator. Once submitted, your work automatically appears in this gallery here. Neither of those links work today but they will by July 29th.

Five days! These things always start with the warm-up challenge: 'Draw a Pony Standing'. 2B pencil or not 2B pencil, that is the question.

You know, I have yet to see anyone submit a stick-figure pony made with real sticks, and there have been several stick figure ponies.

How Are You? (in Haiku)

Jul. 24th, 2017 06:46 pm
jjhunter: a person who waves their hand over a castle tower changes size depending on your perspective (perspective matters)
[personal profile] jjhunter
Pick a thing or two that sums up how you're doing today, this week, in general, and tell me about it in the 5-7-5 syllables of a haiku. I will leave anonymous comments screened unless otherwise asked; feel free to use this to leave private comments if that's what you're most comfortable with.

=

Signal-boosting much appreciated!

Hoorah wayback machine

Jul. 24th, 2017 01:06 pm
lucky_guess: (Default)
[personal profile] lucky_guess posting in [community profile] alt_fen
I finally got around to backing up my alternity files.

I also couldn't help myself, and read the codas, and the final month of game play, and also the Battle for Hogwarts month.

It took me a solid two-day marathon just to get through all of it, and I cried like a dozen times. Mercy. (Also, I may end up getting on a computer that has advanced adobe and rearranging some of the pages during 2015-05 to match order of events -- silly time zones interfering in the height of battle. I'll re-post here when I do in case anyone else wants a copy.)

There were so many sweet little touches I'd forgotten, or let fade a little.

for those still re-reading who don't want to be (re)spoilered )

It was SO GOOD, y'all.

Just.

Thank you.

I may also have to dig around for some of those final letters, and re-read them, and let them break my heart all over again.

a little red flag

Jul. 24th, 2017 02:08 pm
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[personal profile] mrissa

Originally published at Novel Gazing Redux. You can comment here or there.

I know a lot of writers. Really a lot. Really really. And we all have different process, and that’s great, that’s wonderful. In person I have been known to chirp “we are all a beautiful rainbow,” but it’s really hard to get my total lack of sarcasm on that point through on the internet. (We are, though! We are all a beautiful rainbow! Yay!) In this case, I have spotted what looks like a consistent red flag for burnout, and I’m having a hard time phrasing it so that it’s clear that I don’t mean to exclude some kinds of inspiration.

Here’s the red flag. Writers with a few novels or a ton of short stories under their belt who get into a place where they only want to talk about being sick of tropes and wanting to deconstruct them. I know that deconstruction is a major creative inspiration in some writers’ processes (all a beautiful rainbow!). But the larger percentage of conversation about other people’s work gets to be about deconstruction and frustration, the more I watch for other signs of burnout.

Because–squee is not just good publicity. Squee is important for your own work. If you’re not honestly feeling like squeeing about other work you’re encountering, that’s a bad sign. And it’s probably not a bad sign about what’s out there in the world, because there is a lot of stuff out there in the world. If none of it is pressing your buttons, really none? that’s a bad sign about your buttons and where you are in terms of energy levels, taking criticism, getting enough recharge, all those things.

This is not a red flag of you being (or a friend being!) a bad person, or a worthless artist, or someone who will never recover, or anything like that. I’ve seen many people come out of this kind of burnout. But just as it’s easier to talk about how to begin a story than how to deal with the middle and ending that grow out of it, it’s a lot easier to talk about early-career things than all the paths that can grow out of them. And yet it feels to me like there are a lot of mid-career/developing writer paths and pitfalls that it would be really useful to talk about more, so…I’m going to try to do some of that, and I appreciate the other people who are doing that too.

(One of my favorite roads out of this is to cast my net very, very wide and look at things that are way outside my usual so that badly handled tropes and obvious choices are less grating. But other solutions for jolting out of this kind of deconstruction/negativity trap welcome.)

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Elise Matthesen

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