"Here's how the new Star Wars novels will connect to The Last Jedi: The ‘Journey to Star Wars: The Last Jedi’ books will explore details from the history of Luke Skywalker and Princess Leia". I'm just gonna jump down here to Canto Bight: "This collection of four short stories will focus on creatures from the glamorous casino world of Canto Bight, described as the galactic version of Monaco. The book, which hits stores on Dec. 5, will be written by Saladin Ahmed, Rae Carson, Mira Grant, and John Jackson Miller." [Also linked at aftertheendtimes, because awesome news is awesome.]
"Stargate Origins Series to Launch New MGM Digital Platform — Watch Teaser".
"Pacific Rim: Uprising Releases Teaser and Info on a New Crop of Jaegers". [Tor.com] And once again, we have a Jaeger with a slur (same one) in its name. :/
"Jenny, the Doctor’s Daughter, Finally Getting the Doctor Who Spinoff Adventures She Deserves" [in audio drama form]. [The Mary Sue]
"Dick Grayson vs. Toxic Masculinity". [Book Riot] [May 2017]
Via wendelah1, "Rape Choreography Makes Films Safer, But Still Takes a Toll on Cast and Crew". [Content warnings: what you'd expect from that headline.]
Via dine, "The Kitten Rental Program is Saving Lives".
"The Lost Picture Show: Hollywood Archivists Can’t Outpace Obsolescence".
"Photobucket Is Holding People's Photos For 'Ransom': The company is now charging a $400 fee to hot-link images — which will break photos on tons of old websites and blogs.". [Buzzfeed]
"The Lost Cookbooks Of Black Chefs".
"Just 19 Fascinating Things About The Hair & Makeup On 'GLOW'". [Buzzfeed]
"How Eyeliner Defines My Womanhood". "My politics and my eyeliner became inseparable. Projecting my own sense of beauty, without shame or hesitation, scared the hell out of my opponents. My look was my armor and my weaponry. / But the fight took its toll. Somewhere in my late teens, I closeted myself again, without particularly noticing that I was doing so. I stopped wearing anything that scanned as feminine. I didn't even own eyeliner for 20 years. And I said nothing when people took me for a straight, cisgender man. [...] I’ve finally recognized, over years of trial and error — mostly error — that a wildly disproportionate amount of anxiety I experience arises from dressing like a man. A couple of years ago, that anxiety was swallowing me whole. I didn’t like who I’d become, and I wanted better for myself and my family. And, thanks to the wealth of information available online, and the supportive trans and queer community I found there, I had finally found the words to describe myself."
"Not in This Day and Age? On “Feisty, Cheeky, and Rebellious” Women in History".
"Cooling the tube – Engineering heat out of the Underground". "One of the biggest problems is a side-effect of what made it possible to dig the deep level tunnels in the first place — namely the very solid and nice to tunnel through London Clay which sits under the city.
In fact, when the early tube tunnels were dug, they were so cool down there that the cool tube was seen as a respite from the summer heat on the surface. Why suffer on a bus in the heat when there’s a cool tube to take instead, said the marketing men.
So why is the Bakerloo line, once the coolest place to be, now a mobile sauna?"
I ended up not writing yesterday. The afternoon and early evening got devoured by insurance related stuff. There's a receipt I can't find that I'm about 60% sure I submitted for a claim, but I can't find any indication on the Aetna statements that they ever got it. I also haven't managed to find it in any of the places I keep those receipts.
Then, while we were eating dinner, our power went out for about an hour and a half. Scott and I decided to go out in search of some sort of dessert, but the first place we tried had too long a wait for seating. The second had already closed for the evening. We went to Plum Market for the half price baked goods and then ended up at Wendy's for frosties. After we had paid, they handed them to us with straws, telling us that they were out of spoons and that, if we really wanted, they could give us forks instead of straws.
Cordelia's pediatrician told me that I will have to talk to the sports medicine people about guidelines for what she can safely do in gym class. I really hope they don't need to see her in order to do that because there's pretty much zero chance that they could see her for that before October, not the way non-emergency appointments go at the U.
I don't play with them much, so I have no idea what's out there or how to find them.
The “Junie Joins the Girl Scouts” pair of stories, published on October 18, 20011 & 2013.
There are words a mother never wants to hear. I’ve got a list of them; I keep it in a notebook which is otherwise filled with very boring accounting. I don’t want to give the kids ideas.
Our garden has been loving the sun-rain-sun-rain cycle.
Take a Peek!
Originally posted February 13, 2012. Part of the Aunt Family setting.
The bonfire had died down to embers by midnight. The children were asleep, the husbands and brothers drinking beer and playing poker, and the sisters-in-law settled off watching the children.
Fandom: Harry Potter
Word Count: ~3,450
Content/Warnings: Auror Partners, sex toys, mild D/s, banter, light bondage, blow jobs, facials, desk!sex, office!sex
Summary: Being a Junior Auror means getting stuck with all the crap assignments, but in this instance, it just might have worked out in Harry's favour.
Notes: Happy Birthday blithelybonny! You are such a delight, and it was wonderous getting to hang out with you earlier this year IRL. It took me awhile to figure out what direction I wanted to go with your prompt, and I hope you enjoy what I came up with. Wishing you a fabulous day and an even better year! <3
Read on AO3
( Read more... )
One of the things I did get done yesterday between work, the ball game, and the Epic Sunburn, was finish a slim book of short stories called A City Equal to My Desire by James Sallis. This wasn’t a book that was recommended to me, which means I don’t have to feel bad about truly disliking it. I found it in a keyword search on the library website for books about ukuleles, and it has a short story called Ukulele And The World’s Pain, which admittedly was one of the better stories in the book despite still not being very good.
From what I can tell, he did pick the best story out of the book to develop into a novel, “Drive”, but it is very obviously unfinished in short-story form. Sallis has a couple of ongoing problems in the short story collection, one of which is that he tends to skip the vital information you need in order to know what the fuck is going on. And not in a “the blanks slowly get filled in” way, or in a “your imagination is more terrible” way (though there is a little of that) but just in a way where like…he says something that you understand to be vital to the story but which is missing context, then spends like a page describing the fucking diner someone’s sitting in, and by then any context forthcoming doesn’t get linked back. It’s like being in the middle of a paragraph when you hit the photo plates in an older book – yes the photos are very interesting thank you but I need to finish the thought you were sharing with me before I go back and look at them. I think maybe he thinks this is challenging the reader but it’s not, it’s just annoying and makes what are otherwise interesting premises totally opaque. I shouldn’t need to work this hard for a story about a hit man who decides not to kill a politician.
If the book had a more cohesive theme in terms of the stories, it might be more readable – he clearly enjoys building worlds and then doesn’t quite know what to do with them once he’s built them, so if this was an entire book of “weird and different worlds” ala Italo Calvino’s Invisible Cities, I would buy in more fully and I think he would have put a little more elbow in. But it’s not. It’s mostly “here’s a really interesting world and a person living in squalor in it does something while being in it”. Also he appears to be fascinated by describing things that are shaped like pi. And a lot of times it feels like he read a wikipedia article on something and wanted to share some knowledge, so he just kind of built a half-assed story around his wikiwander.
And all of this I would probably let go if say, it was something I was noticing in a fanfic writer, or someone who was just starting out, or someone I felt was genuinely trying to get a point across. But there’s this inexplicable sense of arrogance to the collection, a sort of smugness to it that in professional writers drives me up the goddamn wall. Stephen King sometimes falls into the same trap, where it feels like the author believes they don’t have to respect their readers because they are The Writer.
The thing about volumes of short stories is that you keep reading it because sometimes there is a real gem. And there are one or two good stories in the volume, but I don’t know if they’re worth the rest of it.
So my review I guess is mostly me being annoyed, but it boils down to “If you like short stories in the SFF Noir genre, give it a whirl, but if you’re bored with a story none of them get better, so feel free to skip to the next one.”
from Tumblr http://ift.tt/2gQid4Q
It's primarily directed at film writing, but I think it can be used for all types of narrative storytelling. I've been listening to The Art of Storytelling video series.
It starts out with "We are all storytellers," (I'm there still) which I think is an admirable point and has a number of their creators talking about their amateur efforts and how they got started, like Betty and Veronica fashion fanart. :)
It leads to characterization and story structure, and while I don't know that visual language is going to be terribly helpful to us print writers, it might give good ideas for descriptions of scenery to go around dialogue. There are also lessons and activities that you can do, should you choose.
(I can't find closed captions on Khan Academy, though. That's my one quibble thus far.)
One of my favorite pieces of writing advice is still this graphic: Pixar's 22 Rules of Storytelling.
No, I'm not saying they have to be YOUR rules too. I'm just saying I find the list as a useful set of way to help me go through one of my stories and figure out what's not working and what I need to do to make it work. Or sometimes, for me to just let go and stopy worrying at something, and maybe come back to it later.
Content note: by dint of the subject matter, this post is going to contain a number of offensive words.
Like last week’s essay on insults, there are a lot of foul words in this post. But I find it interesting that, at least in the modern United States, many of us would consider them far less offensive than some of the slurs from last week — because the words traditionally considered “profanity” have spread through mainstream discourse, losing much of their power to shock along the way, while pejorative terms for groups marked by ethnic, religious, sexual, or gender difference have become increasingly unacceptable in polite conversation.
And you know what? I’m okay with that.
I’m still going to put the rest of this behind a cut tag, though, because people’s mileage on four-letter words varies.
Here again there are patterns in what’s considered to be profane (in the “offensive” rather than “not sacred” sense). In English, the two main sources of vulgar language are religion, and matters of the body.
On the religious side, we have “hell” and “damn.” Profanity is also sometimes referred to as curse words, and that sense is very clear here; if you damn someone to hell, you are literally attempting to curse them. Some people also consider “Jesus Christ” and “God” to be off-limits, because of the prohibition against taking the Lord’s name in vain. That mentality has been fading over time, though, and most of our other religious swearing has become so obsolete as to sound quaint: “Zounds!” is a shortening of “God’s wounds,” i.e. the wounds suffered by Christ, but few people can take that seriously these days. Ditto “gadzooks,” which used to be “God’s hooks,” the nails used in the crucifixion, and “’sblood,” “God’s blood.” The very British-sounding intensifier “bloody” may have a connection to that last one; how offensive it is today depends on who you ask.
Blood leads us to the body and our other source of swearing, mostly via excrement and sex. A lot of the charge around obscene words come from the violation of taboos: you aren’t supposed to talk about bodily waste, so “shit” and “piss” and “ass/arse” are shocking. (And if you don’t want to be shocking, you retreat to euphemisms like “water” or much more academic terminology like “feces” and “urine” — which, because of how English developed, are Latinate instead of earthy Anglo-Saxon.) You also aren’t supposed to talk about sex, so “fuck” is similarly charged. “Sodding,” another word associated with British English more than American, is shortened from “sodomize,” which puts it alongside “bugger” in the categorization of our curses.
But this varies from language to language. Last week I mentioned the Japanese chikushou or “beast,” which is used as an expletive much like we might say “shit!” or “damn!” when something goes wrong. In English you might say something is beastly, but it isn’t quite the same thing. Dennis Tedlock’s book of Zuni narrative poetry, Finding the Center, leaves the archaic words tísshomahhá and hanáhha untranslated, saying “they have no meanings other than the emotions they are supposed to express,” explicitly contrasting them with the religious and bodily references of English interjections. I’d love to get examples from other languages, especially from outside the sphere of long-term Christian influence — are there clusters of swear words that arise from different conceptual sources?
Speculative fiction has a long history of trying to come up with invented substitutes for standard English profanity. Some of these are obvious swaps, often done to get around TV restrictions on language: Farscape’s “frell” or Battlestar Galactica’s “frak” are pretty transparent. I have to admit I find “frell” unconvincing, simply because it sounds so pretty. In English most of our swearing comes from Germanic roots, which gives it a certain sound; “frell” is too light and liquid to pass. “Frak,” on the other hand, has that hard stop at the end, which makes it sound more like profanity to me. C.S. Friedman’s Coldfire Trilogy subs in “vulk,” which is more than just a random set of phonemes: the planet the series takes place on is extremely seismically active, so that earthquakes and volcanic activity are a constant threat. Since the planet was settled by colonists from Earth, it makes sense that the volcano/vulcanology root would give rise to “vulking” as a curse word.
On the religious end of things, sometimes I think you can’t throw a rock at epic fantasy without hitting an oath built on the structure of “[god]’s [noun]” — where the noun is usually either a body part or an iconic object. As the examples above show, that’s not unrealistic, but it does get predictable and tedious after a while. The Wheel of Time associates good with lightness and evil with darkness, which has problematic connotations I’ll get into in a later post, but it also gives rise to some setting-specific forms of swearing: light = fire, so while “Light!” is a socially acceptable interjection, “burn me” and “ashes” are considered much more vulgar. In a world where floods are a frequent problem, maybe water-based terminology would become a source of oaths. Decay has mild usage in English, via “rot,” but you could build more on that principle; ditto the closely-related issue of disease.
But in the end, the challenge here isn’t to come up with a new swear word; it’s to convince the reader of the weight that word carries. In Mary Gentle’s Book of Ash series, she has her present-day historian translate medieval profanity into modern idiom, because he knows the originals just won’t have the right impact on his readers. To really convey the sense of transgression, you need everything around it in the story to reflect that. If your pov character doesn’t normally use such language, have them flinch from it. If the speaker is normally much better-mannered, acknowledge how much of a breach this is. Think of whatever you consider to be a truly offensive word, think of how you would write about that word coming up in your own daily life — and then make it that real in the story, too.
Characters/Pairing/Other Subject: Peter Quill, Yondu Udonta
Content Notes/Warnings: none
Artist on DW/LJ: n/a
Artist Website/Gallery: Skidar on Tumblr (artist's tagging is somewhat haphazard, but most of their other fanart can be found under the skidar-art tag)
Why this piece is awesome: Since the new movie came out, there's been a ton of excellent art about kid!Peter and Yondu, so it was hard to pick one to start with! I went with this one because it's very cute and lively with wonderful details, and I could totally see them getting into a situation like this.
Link: Don’t let the baby Terran wander unsupervised
The woman studied Raizel. “You have skills I don’t?”
“Well, I can’t design a building,” Raizel admitted, “or build one. But in the last two days I’ve been dusted by a pixie, blessed by a spectre, and kissed by what might have been a goddess.” Also by two whores, but she didn’t think that counted. “Also, I grew up on a mountain side, and I have on occasion bound wild goats, a catamount, and once a small wyvern that was getting into the garden. I might be able to help you.”
“If you could, I could start building on time. I can’t pay much - I’m not that rich of an architect yet - but I will put your name on the building. Do you think you can do it?”
“Tie up a wizard? I’m willing to try. The carriage stops in Esteronzerai anyway, doesn’t it?”
“That’s where it turns off to go north,” the woman nodded. “His name is - well, the thing that he calls himself is the Diamond Raven.”