Three disjointed thoughts about star wars that have been sitting in my drafts for a lot of months:

1. given the way the original trilogy is really good at showing mourning reactions from people wrt to deaths (or even believed-to-be-deaths), especially chewie wrt han, I now understand ppl's reactions to han's death.

2. I am belatedly fascinated by how in the original trilogy both vader and luke have this massive hang-up over the idea of killing their own family member (father/son), but kylo ren DOES THE THING. He fails to be vader in so many interesting ways!

3.apparently star wars is one of those fandoms where EVEN AFTER watching canon I still need to read lots of fic to begin to, like, grok it? I dunno, maybe it's that fandom has developed all these elaborate headcanons over the years to explain some of the more opaque things in the movies, or maybe it's that the tie-in materials have stuff that everyone's drawing on, who knows. But I feel like everyone knows more about how stuff in the star wars universe works than I do.
zvi: Gogo Yubari (Kill Bill): Movie Critic (movie critic)
([personal profile] zvi Sep. 26th, 2016 06:27 pm)
Sunday, yesterday, I didn't do any journaling. I didn't forget; my coaching reminder went off as normal and I knew what I was going to write about. But I didn't write about it while I was traveling home because I was tired. When I got home, I worked on doing stuff from my to do list. And I felt like I had written and posted to my journal, even though it turned out I actually didn't.

I felt bad about it, because I'd gone more than two weeks hitting every day, even when I was the most sick. But I guess I'll live and just try to pay more attention going forward.

BTW, I was going to tell you guys to go see Magnificent Seven. It was, in many ways, the movie Suicide Squad should have been. And in other ways, it was like a dustier, less elegant, more violent Ocean's 11. And it was like the best sort of exploitation movie, where all of the characters are the most awesome version of the stereotype they are. It's a drunk Irishman, a mysterious Asian guy, a smooth talking Mexican, and a taciturn Indian, but in a way where they were cool and I enjoyed it instead of being mad about it; sort of like Tarantino, but less visible effort.

Also, something I greatly enjoyed about the ending MASSIVE SPOILERS )
Like (almost) every year, I spent the last week (and half of this one) with my APs in Southern Tyrolia, aka paradise on earth.

I mean:

Unser Tal photo 20160925_130949_zpsd9vosj0q.jpg

More under the cut )

On the one hand we have Introverts! Get Over Yourselves! Get Out There And Socialise! (do we think that the writer thinks that MANNERS would also require submitting to unwanted embraces from relatives, etc? because it would Hurt Their Feelings if you didn't.)

This intersects just so much with the standard female obligations to grease the wheels of social life.

On another, we have these people who want small talk to be banned. Well, I am no great fan of small talk, which I am very bad at, but I also resist the ukase to speak only on those topics traditionally Banned in the Mess (sex, religion, and politics, as I recall).

Also, this reminds me all too much of Mr Mybug going around asking women 'do women have souls', which he presumably thinks makes him look DEEP.


And in other news, have spent far too much time over the past day or so endeavouring to give my mobile phone provider moolah so that I can have a new phone with more memory and, I hope, a better turn of speed, and I keep getting a transient message saying 'Please check the page for the following errors', without, you know, actually describing what the errors are, after I have put in my card details and clicked continue and it shows all the signs of transaction going through.

Several attempts, tried different cards, different browsers, and if doing it via tablet made a difference. Also ringing my card provider to confirm that their initial security block had been lifted.

I tweeted about this and so far the response has been, does your local store have the model in stock? (they do, but I can't even do click and collect. Also, I was rather hoping not to have to trek to a physical shop.)

Tell me again that this is a society of instant gratification.

bookchan: endless sky (Default)
([personal profile] bookchan Sep. 26th, 2016 03:51 am)
With no hockey to fill up my time I've been reading a lot more lately. Right now I'm on book two of the St. Mary's time traveling historian series and been enjoying it. They're not too heavy, but they've got enough of a plot that I'm enjoying them. Worth the 4 bucks I paid definitely. I'm in the middle of book two right now and I'm not completely happy with how the plot/moving forward was set up, but at least they talked their problems out.

I read The sorcerer to the crown by Zen Cho this weekend and that one I throughly enjoyed and would recommend. I'd call it regency fantasy more along the lines of Gail Carrienger maybe or at least the setting. It also stars two characters of color as it's main characters and explores their relationship with each other and the world around them it being shoehorned in. The magic is awesome and enjoyed too. I'd realized that's been a problem for me in some urban fantasy where the magic is always hidden or depressing. Here the magic was part of their world and something accepted to certain extent. Anyways it's fun and I'll read it again. Plus the familar's were great and the climatic battle hilarious!
sholio: Jack and Peggy from Agent Carter (Avengers-Jack Peggy)
([personal profile] sholio Sep. 25th, 2016 11:33 pm)
Baby's first gifset.

I finally broke down and paid for a year's subscription to the full version of Photoshop. Ever since I upgraded to a new computer that can't run my old CS2, I've been getting by with Elements, but I'm doing more covers and other pro stuff now that needs the full-featured program. So naturally I'm using it in a responsible, professional kind of way ... to make animated gifs of television characters.

I'm pretty happy with how it came out, although I should have cropped the third one so you can see more of Jack's hand. That one was the first gif in the set that I made, though, and I did a ton of editing to it, so I don't think it bothers me enough to start over from scratch making a new one. (Foolishly, I didn't save any of the intermediate, pre-cropping stages.)

One thing I've noticed making Agent Carter vids, and it's also true of gifs, is that the first season is so desaturated compared to the second season, almost sepia-toned. You have to really lighten and saturate it to get it to match ...
yhlee: Sandman raven with eyeball (Sandman raven (credit: rilina))
([personal profile] yhlee Sep. 25th, 2016 08:46 pm)
I've read and enjoyed Mary Roach's nonfiction in the past; the one I definitely remember reading is Stiff, which looks into the world of cadavers. The latest book of hers I've read is Grunt, which is about the military. Roach's particular approach to her subjects is what endears her most to me. She is frequently funny, self-deprecating, and able to see the ridiculous side of subjects that we don't necessarily automatically see as funny or ridiculous. At the same time, she has a sense of humanity and compassion. When reading Grunt, I was frequently reminded of a book I read and enjoyed in high school, Wayne Biddle's A Field Guide to Germs. Biddle managed the trick of discussing an abecedary of diseases with both wit and kindness toward the human sufferers.

As Roach says in her introduction to Grunt,
"People think of military science as strategy and weapons--fighting, bombing, advancing. All that I leave to the memoir writers and historians. I'm interested in the parts that no one makes movies about--not the killing but the keeping alive. Even if what people are being kept alive for is fighting and taking other lives. Let's not let that get in the way. This book is a salute to the scientists and the surgeons, running along in the wake of combat, lab coats flapping. Building safer tanks, waging war on filth flies. Understanding turkey vultures."

I'm someone who tends to get hypnotized by the tactics/strategy/logistics/great commanders perspective on military history, so books like this are a useful and necessary corrective. And my dad spent some time as a US Army surgeon, and I'm interested in histories of medicine in general, so that got my attention as well.

This book is not for the faint of heart. Some chapters have medical grue; if you're a sensitive reader, you may want to proceed with caution. I grew up with full-color photos of open heart surgery lying casually on the living room table and thought that was normal for much of my childhood, so I am hard to squick with either pictures or verbal descriptions. (It also helps that I can't visualize jack.) In person would be a different story, largely because I've never desensitized my sense of smell.

Table of Contents: Read more... )

All in all, this is--I hesitate to use the word "fun" given the subject matter, but Grunt is engaging written, the chapters flow interestingly into each other, and Roach brings up a number of topics that I wouldn't have necessarily thought to research otherwise. Recommended.

Thank you to the generous person who donated this book!
sholio: Peggy, Jack and Daniel from Agent Carter (Avengers-Agent Carter OT3)
([personal profile] sholio Sep. 25th, 2016 02:40 pm)
A couple of different ficathons/fic exchanges had author reveals recently, so here are two more recent Agent Carter fics by me.

First of all, I wrote this one for a ficathon that just calls itself The Agent Carter Ficathon, for the round 2 prompt, "Reunited." And also for my h/c bingo square "family":

Coming in from the Cold (Peggy/Daniel + Jack, 5000 wds)
It's Christmas 1955, and Peggy and Daniel get an unexpected visitor.

I started writing a different fic for this (an action-type one) but desisted when I realized it was going to be much longer than I could write before the deadline. So this one is really a sort of fluffy prequel to the other, unwritten one that takes place a couple of years later.

And then there's my fic for [ profile] avengersfest:

Mirror, Sword and Shield (Jack/Daniel, teen-rated, 14K words)
After his shooting, struggling physically and emotionally, Jack moves in with Daniel to recover.

This was written for the same person I wrote "Tin Soldiers" for (it's a small fandom, okay XD). It's a slow-burn getting-together fic, rather hurt/comforty as you might expect from the description. Various other characters show up as well.
calissa: A low angle photo of a book with a pair of glasses sitting on top. (Mt TBR)
([personal profile] calissa Sep. 26th, 2016 08:00 am)

Flameout, Keri Arthur, urban fantasy, phoenix, books and tea, Earl Grey Editing

Published: July 2016 by Piatkus
Format reviewed: Paperback, 360 pages
Series: Souls of Fire #3
Genres: Urban fantasy
Source: Hachette Australia
Reading Challenges: Australian Women Writers Challenge 2016
Available: Publisher (print and electronic) ~ Abbey’s ~ Amazon ~ Barnes & Noble ~ Book Depository ~ Booktopia ~ Dymocks ~ Kobo

Disclaimer: I was provided with a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
This review contains spoilers for previous volumes/books.

Emberly and her red hot partner, Jackson, have hit an impasse in their battle against the crazed humans infected by a plague-like virus derived from vampire blood. Their quest to unearth the leader of the group leads them into an ambush—and leaves Emberly at odds with her former lover, Sam, who’s pressuring her to join his Paranormal Investigations Team.

To make matters worse, three local witches have been kidnapped—and if their spells fall into the wrong hands, Emberly’s powers could end up smothered. With time ticking until the virus consumes the world, Emberly and Jackson must race to save the witches, find a cure, and smoke out their nemesis—or go down in a blaze of glory…

After my disappointment with the previous book, I’d hoped Flameout would live up to some of the promise of the series. Unfortunately, it proved to be an action-packed book in which almost nothing happens.

As with Wicked EmbersFlameout is very plot-driven. The vampire battle that ended the last book brought news of new factions within the vampire ranks, and most of them are unhappy with Emberly. Rogue elements of Melbourne’s resident werewolf pack also have it in for her after some altercations, and the head of the pack is unwilling to step in. And then there’s the head of the Red Cloaks who has taken a very personal interest in her. Between trying to dodge people who have it out for her, Emberly and Jackson are still in search of the missing research notes stolen from her previous employer. Their efforts have displeased the Paranormal Investigations Team, who have decided that the best thing to do about it is to force her to join them by whatever means necessary.

In case all these elements weren’t enough, Melbourne’s magic community also gets introduced when a powerful local witch contacts Emberly about seeking out some missing coven members. Once again, I found world-building to be a strength of the series and the addition of this community brings something new and interesting to the story. I was particularly interested in the way the human witch’s relationship with Mother Earth differed from Emberly’s. I also enjoyed seeing a new form of magic at work.

The story foreshadows larger plots at work. While I found this interesting, it undermined any sense of resolution. The ending was suitably flashy and cinematic, but didn’t ultimately change the status quo.

The relationships also remained stagnant. I continue to appreciate the distinct differences between Emberly’s polyamorous relationships and the marked lack of resentment between Emberly’s life mate Rory and her new flame Jackson. I certainly don’t want to see Emberly be forced into the tired trope of picking One True Love. However, it would be nice to see the relationships grow in some way.

Although I was entertained by Flameout, I was ultimately disappointed and will be thinking hard about whether I wish to continue reading the series.

Mirrored from Earl Grey Editing.

oursin: Frontispiece from C17th household manual (Accomplisht Lady)
([personal profile] oursin Sep. 25th, 2016 09:33 pm)

As we got in latish and exhausted on Friday, no Saturday morning rolls.

However, we stayed in on Saturday evening and I cooked us dinner: roasted marrow-bones (Waitrose sells split marrowbones and they are not at all dear) with capers; and then a bozbash of onion, aubergine, okra, red and green bell peppers, chickpeas and chopped dried apricots.

Today's lunch: Plaice fillets with coriander butter, with sweet sprouting cauliflower, which I cooked according to the roasted broccoli with garlic recipe, mangetout peas stirfried with star anise, and La Ratte potatoes roasted in goosefat.

Currently in the oven: Psomi loaf, with mixed seeds rather than just sesame.

dira: Bucky Barnes/The Winter Soldier (Default)
([personal profile] dira Sep. 25th, 2016 08:05 pm)
A better week! Less coughing! Marginally less really distracting fic reading! More! Writing! 

And a couple new super-enchanting epic fic ideas that I am definitely not allowed to start writing. 


WIPs currently active: 7. Down by one from last week because!!! I finished the ageplay!! And somebody I will have run it by enough people to get up the courage to actually post it!

Words written this week: 6,394

WIPs that got no words this week: 1, Threetoo’s bathtime, but I swear I’m getting that one finished next. 

WIPs that did get words this week: 

Codename: Aluminum Bastard (aka broken dick epic): 159, but to be fair I had Bucky say a REALLY COMPLICATED THING. And then, you know, needed to go away and think about that for another week, I guess?

Born in the Blood: 590, and I am definitely… definitely almost sure what happens next. Really.

Slavefic #4 (the one about Steve): 305

Bucky/Steve consensual sexy ageplay nobody asked for: 4,276, and, did I mention, IT IS DONE. :D

Post-CACW woobie!Sam/Steve: 366

How the Winter Soldier Met the Hulk: 175

Gentle Dom!Steve/Bucky Omorashi PWP: 523

from Tumblr
davidgillon: A pair of crutches, hanging from coat hooks, reflected in a mirror (Default)
([personal profile] davidgillon Sep. 25th, 2016 05:59 pm)
I feel like I want to write something longer, possibly thoughts on the Paralympics, but I'm currently being driven to distraction by itching, mostly on the palms of my hands. This is the third day, and last night I ended up wearing wheelchair gloves to stop myself tearing my palms to ribbons. There's no rash or anything, so my guess would be opioid related, possibly compounded by general tiredness, but that's not a side-effect I get very often - and it's not one I'd like to see any more of, thank you!

liv: In English: My fandom is text obsessed / In Hebrew: These are the words (words)
([personal profile] liv Sep. 25th, 2016 04:18 pm)
Over the course of this weekend:
  • A young Russian Orthodox man told me I was a beautiful mother and he wished that I could be blessed with many children if I didn't have them already. At this point, all he knew about me was that I am female, and I had just led an impromptu ten minute discussion on the opening saying from Ch 2 of Pirke Avot, the section of the Mishnah on ancestral ethics.
  • An elderly Catholic man asked me to show him all the key parts of the synagogue's architecture and furnishings so that he could see what was similar to his church. I was a little reluctant since the reason we were in synagogue was for a memorial service and it didn't seem quite the moment for touristing, but he didn't actually ask in the middle of prayers and the regulars said it was ok to give him the tour.
  • A secular woman decided that since I know how to say all the "special words in Hebrew" I should also make the decision about whether it's ok to cut corners in making tea for large numbers.
  • A middle-aged Jewish widow gave me a huge bouquet of roses to thank me for leading the prayers for her late husband's stone-setting.
So, um, I definitely feel appreciated, even if some expressions of appreciation are more welcome than others...
zvi: (barcode)
([personal profile] zvi Sep. 24th, 2016 10:19 pm)
I hate being sick. Friday, I woke up and didn't feel bruised and beaten, so I went into work. (I had been out of the office four business days, so there were some things I really need to get done.) I only made it until about quarter to two, and then I left work to get lunch, walk around a nearby shopping center a little bit (I was sort of hoping to buy a purse big enough to hold my 10" tablet, but I didn't see anything I really liked), until I could catch the bus home.

Today, I put away about six loads of laundry, including schlepping an ironing board up and downstairs, and I was wiped out. My breathing got fucked up so that talking made me cough, and I still feel quite subpar. (I can't tell if it's the impact of the laundry or if it's just me feeling shitty from the flu.)

Anyway, also today, I decided against reinstalling Ubuntu on my computer. (I was dual booting Ubuntu and Windows, but first my Windows partition got too small to be usefully updated, then my Ubuntu partition got too small to be updated, so I took it to a computer shop to be repartitioned, but they were kind of freaked out by the idea of installing Ubuntu, so I ended up having them wipe the hard drive and install Windows 10. I actually really like Windows 10 and One Note, and almost everything else I do, I do online.

So, I'm going to restore the data from my backup, but not Ubuntu. I'm pretty sure it's going to be easier, once I eventually get everything backed up. (Getting everything backed up is going to take forever, though. I'm doing it in chunks, as I'm trying not to download stuff that was saved multiple times on my hard drive. For some reason, nearly all of my podfic had been saved twice, for instance.

I feel a little sad about it, but also like it will make my life easier. I was never very political about free software, and dual booting is kind of a pain in the ass. It's the end of an era for me, though. :/
yhlee: snowflake (StoryNexus: snowflake)
([personal profile] yhlee Sep. 24th, 2016 08:10 pm)
Dear Yuletide Writer,

Hello, and thank you for writing for me!

General likes: I have pretty broad reading tastes, but some things I enjoy include angst, schmoop, fics that stick close to canon, fics that go a long way from canon, odd AUs (everything from coffeeshop to high school to IN SPAAAAAACE), power dynamics (especially in smut if one is inclined to write such a thing), witty dialogue, comedy, darkfic, amnesia, dubcon/noncon, military tactics/strategy/logistics, plotty fic...

DNWs: Animal harm and issuefic. [1] I have also listed a couple DNWs specific to fandoms where warranted. If you're not sure about something you want to include, feel free to query via the mods.

[1] I've read some brilliant issuefic, so it's not that I'm against the category, but this year I am inclined toward iddier reading.

If you are feeling experimental--IFs, second person, odd narrative structure, etc.--I encourage you to go all-out. I like that sort of thing! But at the same time, please do not feel obliged. I like not-second person (etc.) fics, too. :D

Optional note: I am open to both AUs (as you have figured out) and crossovers. In particular, a Captive Prince/L5R crossover could be amazing if someone wanted to try it. I assume Laurent is a Doji duelist and Damen is a Hida bushi...or what about Vorkosigan/L5R? Just imagine!

I've talked a little about what I like about each requested fandom, and listed possible prompts in case you find that sort of thing inspiring. If you come up with an even better idea, however, go for it! It is important to me that you have fun writing what you write. :D

If you are hard-up on time and need an emergency fandom, I would recommend Captive Prince. It's a trilogy, BUT you could read just the first book (titled, helpfully enough, The Captive Prince) and use that for a basis for a missing scene or an AU. Alternately, you could go with Vorkosigan Saga (although the whole thing is ungodly long), just read the first omnibus (Cordelia's Honor), and base a fic off what you find there, going AU as necessary. I don't mind AUs in general and will not hold it against you! As much as I love L5R, it has a ridiculous amount of backstory scattered in five zillion places. I completely disrecommend L5R as an emergency fandom.

I love all three fandoms equally so have simply put them in alphabetical order. I'd be thrilled by fic for any of them.

Captive Prince (Damen, Laurent), Legend of the Five Rings (Hida Kisada), Vorkosigan Saga (Aral Vorkosigan) )
yhlee: Texas bluebonnet (text: same). (TX bluebonnet (photo: snc2006 on
([personal profile] yhlee Sep. 24th, 2016 07:50 pm)
The Sky-Sister's Garden

For Nancy Sauer ([personal profile] daidoji_gisei).
Prompt: "vegetables."

People who dwell on sea or land often do not realize the effort to which the sky-sisters go to cultivate the clouds, the winds, the swirl of stars in the great wheel of night. Every caprice of the weather is governed by laws written in the language of butterfly wing and unstable equations. The dwellers on sea and land sacrifice goats or geese or, occasionally, imperfectly formed geodes to influence the rains ands snows and sun in their favor, little realizing that the sky-sisters, for all their attentiveness, cannot do more than nudge the weather to help them.

One such sky-sister was known for her skill at coaxing constellations to march properly across the sky as the seasons passed, instead of lingering too long and scattering meteor-signs of ill omen. With her digging tools and specialized shears, she traveled the skyways, her pet bird--the sky-sisters have a weakness for birds--perched upon her shoulder. Patiently she stopped by recalcitrant polestars or planets out of alignments, singing and tugging until they grew in their proper places.

Even the sky-sisters have time for leisure, however. During those hours, this particular sky-sister lavished time on a small plot of land upon a sky-island that the lord of clouds had kindly anchored in the atmosphere for her benefit. There, taking advantage of the peculiar ways that seasons manifested in the sky-realm, she grew sugar snap peas and parsnips and carrots, tomatoes and cabbages and kale. (Never beets, however. She was not fond of beets.) Her bird benefited the most from the garden's harvest, but she too ate the resulting salads and soups.

Try as she might, however, the sky-sister could not grow zucchini. She tried planting it close to the sun. The zucchini wouldn't sprout. She tried planting it close to the moon. The zucchini wouldn't sprout. She tried planting it on the underside of the sky-island, in case the zucchini had unorthodox notions about the proper place of gravity. The zucchini wouldn't sprout.

This only made the sky-sister more determined. She fertilized the zucchini with fewmets imported from the Mountain of Nine Dragons. The zucchini wouldn't sprout. She watered it with the tears of poet tigresses. (She shed a few tears herself, contemplating their odes. Tigresses are surprisingly excellent poets.) The zucchini wouldn't sprout. She chanted imprecations from the Book of Aspiring Chlorophyll. The zucchini still wouldn't sprout.

At last the sky-sister sat down on her sky-island and looked around at all the vegetables that did grow. "Why isn't this working?" she asked, and absentmindedly plucked a sugar snap pea to gnaw on.

At this point, her pet bird had the grace to look embarrassed. "You really like zucchini, don't you?"

The sky-sister hadn't realized that the bird could talk, but when one spends one's free time on a floating island, this sort of detail doesn't faze one. "I don't see how you could have guessed that," she said wryly.

"I do too," the bird said. "I just like it at a more embryonic stage of development."

The sky-sister considered this. "Well," she said philosophically, "it's good to know that the problem was not my skill at gardening, but my skill at applied ornithology."
Title: Of Death Close-Walking Beside
Author: [personal profile] muccamukk
Fandom: Agent Carter (Peggy Carter & Jack Thompson)
Rating: Teen
Word Count: 1,700
Notes: Written for [personal profile] sholio as a treat for [ profile] avengersfest 2016. Thanks to Morphia for beta reading.
Summary: They made Jack quit looking for Peggy four months ago, but that doesn't mean he's stopped seeing her everywhere.

Haha, surprising no one, I'm sure :D


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