Quick link-drop!

Nov. 24th, 2014 12:58 pm
umadoshi: (Feed logo (from Mira Grant's site))
[personal profile] umadoshi
Today is so very not a day for dealing with comments or tabs or anything other than this manga rewrite and then seeing Mockingjay Part 1 tonight, but!

Mira Grant is doing an AMA on Reddit today. As usual, I'm scrambling to remember the various Newsflesh world-building questions that've been piling up in my head. ^^;

Go! Ask awesome questions!

ETA: I haven't gotten any further in my Parasite reread yet, and my copy of Symbiont won't be here for a few days anyway, so if any [community profile] aftertheendtimes members feel like starting a discussion post there when you've finished Symbiont, please do! ^_^

give me something to write in the car

Nov. 24th, 2014 09:16 am
bessemerprocess: Elder duckie Ursala Vernon (acid-ink) (Default)
[personal profile] bessemerprocess
It's time for that Thanksgiving road trip aka I'm going to be in a car all day tomorrow. Thus:

Give me a character or a pairing and a prompt and I will write you at least three sentences, possibly more, of the most angstastic version of your prompt I can think of.

(I'm currently writing in Haven, Lost Girl, Gotham, Leverage, Hunger Games, ETA: Dragon Age Origins, Awakening, and II --I'm half way into Inquisition) and will always write in Criminal Minds and Pundit RPF, or feel free to lay down a challenge in a fandom I haven't written in recently. I'm saving these for the car, so you have until 8 am EST tomorrow to leave a prompt or three. Have fun!)

(no subject)

Nov. 24th, 2014 01:38 am
shila: (...wtf stop saying words)
[personal profile] shila
Strange thing I didn't expect: being ambivalent about NaNo ending.

The facts are I'm at 43k and November is almost over, right. My words per day to finish on time is less than 900, and this is after things resetting at midnight. Theoretically, I can hit 50k on Wednesday if I push it, or possibly even Tuesday--I've had 3k days before, and two days of a little more than that will get me there.

On one hand, I'm just Over This. I need a break from spending so much of the day writing, because I'm not that fast of a typist. I want to do other things already: I want to play lots and lots of Minecraft, I want to watch videos on YouTube, I just want to get back to doing what I was doing before November started.

On the other hand, I don't want to end the story. (It's probably more a padded short story than a novel but w/e, it's fiction with a beginning and a middle, and it will have an end.) I get to the part where I need to wrap things up in the next, say, 7k to 10k words and I just. Freeze. I think it's that I don't want to leave the characters, but I'm still going to have them around, hell I'm going to flesh them out more than I have them in the story--because this is 100% seat-of-my-pants-I-literally-remembered-NaNo-on-November-1st writing.

I don't know. This is confusing and I mostly have to ignore it if I want to get that 50k+ and the discount on Scrivener. (I totally have to buy it but I really would prefer to do it at half price. Sigh.)
umadoshi: (kittens - the picture of innocence)
[personal profile] umadoshi
[A smidgen of info for new folks: my husband ([personal profile] scruloose) and I have two Siberian kittens--which is to say, hypoallergenic kittens--who're coming up on a year and a half old. Claudia is our brown tabby girl and Jinksy is our black-with-chocolate-highlights boy, and after having had them for over a year, we're still both completely besotted.

This icon shows them in the bag they acquired ages ago when [personal profile] seolh used it to carry some things she brought us from Japan. They love that bag with all their hearts and all their claws. It's the one we use to weigh them.]

These days, Claudia and Jinksy's toys disappear completely off the face of the earth much less frequently than they once did. Possible reasons include:

a) The kittens have gotten better at retrieving the toys from wherever they've all wound up.

b) The pocket dimension is too full of toys to hold more.

c) The kittens themselves are now too big to get at the disappearance point easily or at all.


We're 99% sure there's a sizable cache of small toys someplace in the house, but we've long since (mostly) run out of ideas as to where. I think the only concrete theory that's been tossed around and not yet explored is [personal profile] seolh's suggestion that the kittens might be losing them behind the tall bookcases in the living room, which would be a huge pain to move and look behind. That said, they'd have to drop the toys from above, I think, and I feel like toys began vanishing before they were big enough to be up there much (and they only carry the crinklepuffs in their mouths, usually). Mystery!

Tonight I was saying to [personal profile] scruloose and Kas that the kittens don't look all that big anymore. They're not small, but until they were a year or so old they were distinctly on the large side for kittens. Now that they're about a year and a half old and haven't been growing much for months*, they register as perfectly normal-sized cats (although they're still clearly kittens in a lot of ways).

The cats I had growing up were all in the medium-large range, I think--IIRC, of the two I really remember, Jenny was about 15 lbs, and while Macavity was usually on the skinny side (no idea what his actual weight was), his frame was medium or higher. So my mental benchmarks aren't really configured for cats who stay on the small side into adulthood, and thus Claud and Jinksy!bear seem quite normal to me.

*It's been several weeks since we weighed them, I think, but Jinksy's probably around 11 lbs and Claudia's probably a bit under 10.5 lbs?

kinda sorta injured

Nov. 23rd, 2014 10:13 am
ilanarama: me on a bike on the White Rim trail (biking)
[personal profile] ilanarama
I haven't been posting lately (geez, in over a month!) because I haven't been doing much. After the 1-2 punch (or 2-1, actually!) of the Double and the 50K, my right hamstring and ITB let me know in no uncertain terms that they needed a breather. So I have been taking a break from running in the hopes that I'll be able to start training for the Boston Marathon on schedule at the beginning of December.

In the meantime I've been getting massages and doing strengthening and stretching exercises, and biking a lot, or at least, a lot for me. When the weather is crappy I spin on the recumbent exercise bike in the basement, which is seriously boring, so I can't manage it for very long at a time. When the weather is good, though, I go mountain biking. I am not very good at mountain biking, and there are only two local loops I can do without carrying my bike over large portions of the trail. Fortunately, the more I do it, the less I suck at it - but I still suck!

Here is someone who does not suck. I don't think I could make some of these jumps on foot that he does on a bike! But wow, what amazing scenery porn this is. I would love to hike this mountain ridge (without a bike)!

Mishmash post

Nov. 23rd, 2014 01:27 am
umadoshi: (Pusheen Tumblr (roxicons))
[personal profile] umadoshi
--I keep feeling like it can't possibly be as late in the year as it is (you'd think I'd find that easier than usual, since Casual Job almost always winds up in early to mid-December), but somehow US Thanksgiving is in less than a week, and a week from tomorrow is the first Sunday of Advent. O_o US Thanksgiving is my benchmark for the start of the winter holiday season even though I live in Canada; so much of my online intake comes out of the US that it's when Christmas talk really revs up, and it's generally close enough to Advent that it's not unreasonable...except I still feel like we ought to be having warm days at least sometimes, but instead it's (I think?) a particularly chilly November for Nova Scotia. At least we've been spared any real snowfall so far. *knocks wood*

--Tonight I fell into Tumblr for a while for the first time in well over a week. I really am glad I kicked the habit of catching up on it completely every day (I even used to do it when Casual Job was on, which is slightly terrifying), but I keep forgetting how relaxing I find it, for the most part. I've got a lot of social justice stuff coming across my dash, but other than that, the fannish glee and cute animals pics are delightful but low-engagement in a way that's just what my brain wants sometimes. Tumblr'll never, ever be my preferred place to be online because of that low ratio of actual communication (Dreamwidth all the way for me!), but sometimes it's just the thing.

--Actual media intake for the evening: I started my Parasite reread and got maybe four chapters in before realizing that I was staying fully engaged as long as I was actively reading but starting to fall asleep on the couch within seconds every time I looked away from the screen for even a few seconds (which I do often, what with the kittens), so I fled the couch's vortex and watched the first episode of The 100. I can't say it immediately grabbed me by the heart or anything, but there were several familiar faces among the adult cast, all of them actors I really like, so that's exciting. *^^* (Especially Paige Turco, who's my favorite recurring guest star on Person of Interest.)

--Another benefit of Casual Job wrapping up is that we can get back to some of our group viewings. We've been showing Utena to Kas gradually (we're around Ruka's introduction), and before I went back to work and [personal profile] wildpear had a Sunday evening class for a few months, we'd been in the habit of watching things with her and her husband and Kas on Sundays after Pumpkin goes to bed--which never leaves time for much watching, so shows take a while, but that's okay. ^_^

Anyway, we'd nominally started a Firefly rewatch (for once, something we'd all seen already!) ages ago, but never got past the pilot, and in the intervening time I've started really, really wanting to show them Leverage, which none of us have seen all the way through. (I've seen all but the back half of season 4 and some episodes of season 5 [I have seen the series finale]; [personal profile] scruloose has seen an unknown and scattered number of episodes, Kas has seen the pilot, and [personal profile] wildpear and her husband haven't seen it at all.)

So [personal profile] wildpear and I talked about it a bit last night, and as much as anything, GamerGate made the decision for us, because right now neither of want to see Adam Baldwin's face. (I'd been somewhat aware for a while that Baldwin's a sorry excuse for a human being, but WOW, SO AWFUL.) Leverage it is.
rydra_wong: Text: BAD BRAIN DAY. Picture: Azula, having one. (a:tla -- bad brain day)
[personal profile] rydra_wong
Courtesy of [personal profile] gingerschnapps, it's the [mental health] Downswing Party!

Bring your mood disorder, anxiety or other mental health issue! Commiserate! Hang out!

Important note: if you're worrying that you're not doing badly enough to qualify, you are welcome too!

GD & Taeyang's Good Boy

Nov. 21st, 2014 09:10 pm
colorblue: (Default)
[personal profile] colorblue
[personal profile] akilanajmah linked me to this. It is the most addictive thing.

dira: Bucky Barnes/The Winter Soldier (Default)
[personal profile] dira
Behold, the latest round of my ongoing Shame vs. Ego battle where I think I'm too mortified to cop to writing something except I can't not put my name on my work. (Ego is so far undefeated, but this was a closer battle than most; I think it stayed anon for more than twenty-four hours over at [community profile] hydratrashmeme before I stuck it up on the AO3.)

Uh. We don't ever, ever have to talk about this or acknowledge that it happened, though. It's fine.

I swear I'll write something nice again someday. Like. Underage hookerfic is nice, right? I mean, comparatively.

Butt Stuff (3801 words) by Dira Sudis
Chapters: 1/1
Fandom: Captain America (Movies), Marvel Cinematic Universe
Rating: Explicit
Warnings: Rape/Non-Con
Relationships: James "Bucky" Barnes/Hydra Agents
Characters: James "Bucky" Barnes, Hydra Agents
Additional Tags: HYDRA Trash Party, Sadism, Medical Torture, Enemas, hydratrashmeme, Crying, Begging

"It's all right if you need to make noise," Mercer reminded him. "You're allowed during procedures."

umadoshi: (introvert)
[personal profile] umadoshi
According to the folks who keep track of this sort of thing and report on it on Twitter, this stint at Casual Job was the longest (autumn) session since 2009, which happened to be my first real time working there (and in 2009 the length of the stint--which was only one day longer than this year's--was due to extenuating circumstances that were not present this time). No wonder everyone in the office is so exhausted. O_o

But it's over until the spring session now, other than going back for the office Christmas party, whenever that is. (Five years in, I'm still impressed that I enjoy my co-worders enough to willingly go back and socialize when there's zero pressure to do so. ^_^)

I'd been thinking that finishing in November this year might leave me with the energy to do some sort of holiday party thing at our place for the first time in several years, but I used to do it around St. Nicholas Day (December 6), and even though it's a couple weeks away, I doubt I'll be recharged enough by then to have a mass of people in the house; when I burn out, pulling myself back together is a slow, slow process. :/ But I am at least optimistic about doing more Christmas baking than I have in the past few years, so that's something!

Introvert icon notwithstanding, I'm putting together some very low-key social plans to interweave with my freelance stuff over the next few days. Arpeggio of Blue Steel vol. 4 is due Monday, but right now it's looking like [personal profile] wildpear will be over for at least a little while tomorrow evening (she can flail delightedly at me about The 100, which she fell headlong into this week after reading Sarah Rees Brennan's posts about it; I guess it's getting bumped way up in priority on my list so I can talk to her about it ^_^), and her Sunday evening class is over for the year now, so we can get back to Sunday night hangout-and-TV. Good timing, that! And Monday evening Kas, [personal profile] scruloose, [twitter.com profile] CrissyBlanchett, and I are probably going to see Mockingjay Part 1--not exactly opening night, but hopefully having read the books will mostly inoculate me when I inevitably stumble over spoilers here and there.

But other than those few things, I expect/hope to spend the next several days sleeping, rewriting Arpeggio, and trying to dust off the many lines of communication that got neglected while Casual Job was on. And writing. Wow, do I ever need to do some writing. I hope that part of my brain comes back online soon.

This isn't quite the Wednesday reading meme, but last night I finished reading The Raven Boys. I really enjoyed it, but rather than carry on to the next book immediately, I'm going to reread Parasite in preparation for Symbiont coming out on Tuesday. After I'm done with those, I can backtrack and pick up The Dream Thieves.

(What this really means is that I failed utterly at strategizing when I was choosing what to read a few days ago; if I'd been thinking, I would've opted for a standalone novel instead of the first of a series [of which I have three books on the shelf]. Oh, well.)

And as I already mentioned sadly on Twitter, today I had a copy of Symbiont in my hand and didn't buy it. >.< The bookstore in the mall by the office had it out on the shelf already, but the release date isn't until Tuesday, and I absolutely want my purchase to count towards Seanan's first-week sales numbers. (I took the lone copy up to the register and told them why I wasn't buying it, but I suspect there's a 50-50 chance it got reshelved after I left.) The stupidity of early sales not counting towards first-week sales still blows my mind.

Resting update

Nov. 20th, 2014 09:50 pm
juliet: (Default)
[personal profile] juliet
So last week (or the week before; whichever) I decided that I was going to REST in November. (Where "in November" is defined as "in the bits of November which are not Leon-days and when I do not already have commitments, i.e. only actually about 8 days in total.)

My observations so far:

  • I am not all that good at resting. I keep thinking "right, so what am I going to DO today? what is my GOAL? what do I want to ACHIEVE?" and then having to remind myself that what I am DOING today is nothing.

  • I am really not all that good at resting. My idea of 'doing nothing' is only spending an hour or so doing ticky-box useful things, and then the rest of the time knitting. And reading, which ought to count, except I keep finding myself reading things off the 'I really must read this' pile rather than just fun things. OK, sometimes the IRMRT pile contains unexpectedly fun things (if they were truly expectedly fun I would have read them already; they tend to be things that I might be pleased to have read but are not necessarily restful). But still. I mean, I do like knitting! But I find it curious that it is so difficult not to do something that I clock as 'vaguely useful'.

  • Having said all of that, I have had a couple of naps in the last fortnight, which were great! And I have done enjoyable reading and knitting rather than (mostly) hurtling around the place with the mile-long to-do list, so we will count this as a win.

  • When I have sat down for an hour with the to-do list, the enjoyment of crossing things off the list has been significantly higher than usual, which I found fascinating. Possibly partly because I was limiting the time I was going to spend doing it? Rather than having a whole day (and more...) of ticky-box tasks stretching ahead of me.

  • I do, overall, feel better than I did when I made the decision.

  • I do need to rethink what I'm trying to fit into my normal life at the moment. I have done some provisional thinking on this and will continue to contemplate it next week.

  • I have also done some writing just because I wanted to, which is an improvement on last month when it was all about ticking things off. This was pleasing. Long may it continue. (The interesting thing is finding the balance between the self-discipline of 'show up and write'; the feeling of 'I want to do this and am enjoying the process' (where 'enjoying' also covers 'this is hard work and exhausting but satisfying'); and the bit where you just need to keep on plugging.

Further updates at the end of the month, if I think of any.
umadoshi: (Kittenbus friends w/cats (theidolhands))
[personal profile] umadoshi
In some form or another, the text or subtext of nearly all of my posts for the last couple of months has included "work is still a whirlwind, and thus I am still behind on everything else". This includes leaving comments, reading posts (hence the uncontrollable Sea of Tabs), and...well, basically everything that isn't work.

So to new or newish folks (also, hello and welcome!), if you find me commenting or replying to comments days later than one might expect, it's due to the specter of what I affectionately call "Casual Job" (due to the fact that I'm a casual employee, rather than the hours; it was recently mentioned by a couple of people that my nickname for it is somewhat misleading, given the fact that our hours are all over the map and sometimes ludicrous). It consumes my life twice a year. Fortunately, I really enjoy the work and have awesome coworkers, because between Casual Job and my freelance work, I have basically nothing left over for the duration.


This round of work may end tomorrow. No one in my office has a shred of control or influence over when it ends, so it also may not end tomorrow, but hope springs eternal. (I am so done. Just...done. I am beyond ready to hibernate for the winter with [personal profile] scruloose [husband], the kittens, the tea stash, and my freelance deadlines. Emphasis on the deadlines, 'cause I have a manga rewrite due on Monday. Whee!)

And now to bed. Like An Adult. Or something.

wednesday reading, and an update

Nov. 19th, 2014 07:43 pm
cofax7: cofax spits on Aeryn's relationship with John since 1999 (FS - Spitting on the Ship)
[personal profile] cofax7
So. Hmm. Lemme think.

Recently finished: Hmm. I guess I should list So Big, by Edna Ferber, for book club. It's not well-known now (I had never heard of it before it was picked for book club), but it won the Pulitzer for fiction in 1925. (To be fair, there was some serious campaigning for the prize by a publisher friend of Ferber...) I really enjoyed it. It's the story of the daughter of a gambler, who is thrown on her own when her father dies unexpectedly. At 19, she has great plans, but starts out as a schoolteacher in farm country outside of Chicago--and somehow never manages to leave. She's a marvelous character, full of strength and vivacity, and the book is more than worth it just for her story. It's basically a feminist novel in its valuing of women, and women's labor, even though the book is actually named after the protagonist's son. The second part of the book concerns itself with the son, and I found it less engaging, but it's still well worth the read. And I will find more Edna Ferber to read now!

Also, I don't know if you all remember this, but I'm a huge fan of Molly Gloss, especially The Hearts of Horses. And now she has a new novel out, Falling from Horses, which is basically a sequel to Hearts of Horses but not completely. You don't need to read the first one to follow the second. They are both about horses, naturally. But Falling from Horses is about Hollywood, and the damage we do in creating those fantasies. A young Oregon cowboy goes to Hollywood in 1938 to become a stunt rider, and gives us a look into the movie business at the time, and the lives and deaths of horses and men (and a very few women). It's gorgeously written, with the simplicity and vividness of prose that is Gloss' hallmark. But it is also devastating, and heartbreaking, and no one who cannot bear to read about animal harm should read this. Still, I really enjoyed it, especially to learn about Martha and Henry, despite their struggles and tragedies. Martha's letter to the schoolteacher, for instance, is wonderful.

I also read Ancillary Sword, which I really enjoyed!

Current reading: I'm finally reading Wolf Hall, after having it on my Kindle for the last few years. It is, of course, very well-written, but I'm glad I'm at least fairly familiar with Tudor politics (after my many years of Dunnett fandom), because I could see one getting very confused very easily. I'm also sort of reading an Andre Norton novel I picked up used, Brother to Shadows. It's not one I've read before, probably because it was published in 1993, which I think means she didn't write much of it. It's not very compelling, although I always like to see Zacathans show up.

Up next: probably Rachel and Sherwood's book Stranger, but not until I finish Wolf Hall.


Update: TNG is safe home from her surgery, looking ridiculous with a donut around her neck and her butt shaved bare. She is asleep at my feet as I type.

quick update

Nov. 19th, 2014 06:55 am
cofax7: Giles: men in bifocals: I spit (BtVS - Giles Bifocals)
[personal profile] cofax7
1. TNG had cancer surgery yesterday, which went well and they think they got all the tumor. I get to bring her home tonight and she will look ridiculous because they shaved her entire butt. However while she was under they gave her x-rays and determined that she has severe hip dysplasia. (I knew she was having some trouble, but not that it was so far along. Bad owner.) So in future there will be less running for her, and a new cushy bed (which she will destroy, because that's what she does). And glucosamine and fish oil.

2. Dad's doing okay but there may be something neurological going on. Sigh.

3. Job is okay except that I'm spending so much time dealing with TNG and my Dad's doctor visits etc. that I'm going to have a hard time finding enough PTO at Christmas. Bah.

4. In better news, I discovered Manhattan on Hulu, and why isn't anyone talking about this show? The cast is great -- it includes Olivia Williams from Dollhouse as the disgruntled scientist wife of a scheming physicist working at Los Alamos during WWII. Also Richard Schiff as a terrifying security investigator/interrogator.

I'm watching it in binges--2 or 3 episodes at a time, and I'm about 7 episodes in. Definitely recommend it if you have any interest in period dramas, and it's also a commentary on the modern security state.

It aired originally on WGN, but the first season is already over. If you get Hulu Plus, you can watch it. Give it a try!

NaNoWrimo, Day 19

Nov. 19th, 2014 07:30 am
dira: Allison Argent, smiling delightedly (Allison - Smile)
[personal profile] dira
To the surprise of perhaps EVERYONE, I am actually still on pace for Nano! Yesterday's target was 30,000 words, and I ended the day with 30,724. (That's only the words that count for Nano--the total word count on the hookerfic right now is 81,253.) Even better, the end is sort of in sight! I'm into the last set of stuff that happens in the middle of the story, before the end starts kicking in! I'm not going to make it too far into the end by the end of November or the 50,000-word mark, and frankly I'm a little unclear* about how the end even works, but. Ending! It's gonna happen! I'M GOING TO FINISH THIS STORY YOU GUYS.

The thing that actually kind of blows my mind about my Nanowrimo productivity is that, in addition to writing 30,000 words in 18 days for my Nano story... I've also written about 17,000 words of other fic in those same 18 days. So in case anyone was wondering how strong is my fixation on Bucky Barnes: strong enough to compel me to write a total of 47,000 words of fic in 18 days. THANKS, BUCKY. I reward you by... having two different trash fics in progress right now. But also a story where totally nice things happen to Bucky! Um. That one is progressing slower than most, but still.

I am also also somehow cultivating a bit of a... social life? In amidst all of this? Going places, meeting people. A bunch of it is Nanowrimo-focused write-ins, but some of it isn't, it's just me actually getting out and being social. I'm a little scared that I'm going to hit December, stop frantically juggling all of this, and just collapse and do nothing at all, but... even if I do, I'll have written lots of stuff and met lots of people! So. ONWARD!

*I somehow got distracted in mid-sentence and initially typed "happy" for "unclear," which is a typically optimistic Freudian slip from me.


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