(Granted, I'd gotten through a full day's work beforehand, including some moderately complex data merging and a number of fiddlely coordinating to-do's in preparation for the call, and the call itself went fine, but that was an unnerving degree of short term memory scrambling - I had it written right in front of me in digit batches of 4-4-2.)
What is unusual is the cheerful way Pebble chose to announce all this. Note in particular this image:
We'll never deliver the products you Kickstarted, the products you bought are dead on your wrist, but hey, at least the engineers are having fun joking about it!
P.S. Guy on the left: get a fedora that fits.
What I read
Finished The Age of Scandal - and with additional fat-shaming of Caroline Matilda, Queen of Denmark! No, underwhelmed entirely by this.
Lead Me Not - rather slow, though the setup did rather require that everything moved very tentatively. I wanted more about the twin sister - even if that was a really terrible idea for getting her twin brother to come to terms with his sexual orientation, there was enough there that it seemed like there might be a story.
Latest episode of Tremontaine.
Tanith Lee, Greyglass (2011) - what was really great about this - characteristically late mode Lee - was the way she does the unheimlich in the ordinary and the banal - barely needs any supernatural element, and could be put down to 'all in the mind'?
Anne Charnock, A Calculated Life (2013) - this was, I think, a freebie or a special offer that someone or other recommended. Very good. Small detail work. One or two slightly info-dumpy places, but mostly it's done very subtly. Melodrama eschewed.
On the go
Marjorie Senechal, I Died for Beauty: Dorothy Wrinch and the Cultures of Science (2012): I think this was a freebie in the category of Academic Press 'we can't/won't pay you for giving us a report on this ms/book proposal/encyclopedia article, but you can have £/$XXX-worth of our books!' I'm finding it slightly irksome - there's a certain amount of rather consciously fine, or intended to be fine writing (a touch creative-writing class) + a fair amount of 'my research I show u it'. Also, has various instances of getting it wrong ('First Division' in UK prisons c. 1917 didn't mean you were a nob, it meant a certain class of offence not of common criminality, one of the suffragette issues was about trying to get suffragette prisoners into First Division), missing the point, and infelicitous word choices (I don't think 'home-schooling' has the right connotations for 'educated by governesses in the days when girls often weren't sent to schools anyway'). And had that thing where, although author has found out a lot (see 'my research I show u it') I suspect I know enough about quite a lot of the cast of characters to a) wince and b) know more - e.g. 'How could she not mention that Bertrand Russell's elder brother was banged up for bigamy after a trial by his peers, i.e. the House of Lords?' (and I bet he didn't serve that sentence in the First Division) and 'given all the other peripheral matter you mention, surely is worthy of note that Elizabeth von Arnim was Katherine Mansfield's cousin?'.
So I'm rather reading it with my little nitcomb in my hand, in my hand.
So, anyone with ideas: let me know?
What kind of stuff would you be interested in me writing about
Narratives of how my life is going
Personal introspection (psychology/trauma/spirituality)
Meta about psychology and culture
Squee and speculation on my current fandoms (Check Please, Yuri on Ice, etc)
Fanfic and stories
BONUS ROUND: SUGGEST YOUR OWN
Feel free to elaborate in comments!
My first year of writing, after being an avid annual reader of this ficathon. You had and have to offer several fandoms you can write in so you can be matched, and I threw in Ovid's Metamorphoses on impulse and as an afterthought. (Knowing my Greek myths and my Ovid, this was something I knew I didn't have to do much research for.) Wouldn't you know it, this was what I was assigned, and most satisfying it proved to write, too. Mind you, I was also initiated in the experience of Yuletide panic, when after the default date my recipient showed up as ungifted despite me having posted the story weeks before, but after some mails, this was cleared up. The recipient was happy and wrote lovely feedback, and so all in all, I had a great first time Yuletide experience.
In that year, DS9 was allowed back as a Yuletide fandom, so I listed it among my offers and promptly got assigned to a DS9 request. Which challenged me to write a version of Dax I hadn't written before, Ezri, a pairing I hadn't written before (Worf/Jadzia Dax), and a pov I'd never written before (Worf, who in my previous DS9 stories had only shown up in cameos). Just goes to show you can get challenged out of your comfort zone even in a fandom you think you've done all in already. Experiences like this are exactly why I sign up for ficathons.
Let It Be
Another year of a DS9 assignment. The lesson learned in this Yuletide was that even in a relatively big (for Yuletide) fandom, like DS9, popularity is by no means guaranteed. This story - about Odo and Quark, and the beginning of Odo's time on Terok Nor - got not as many readers as Let it Be had done, and was somewhat overshadowed by the other DS9 stories posted this year. Readers, I experienced writerly jealousy in a fanfic context for the first time. Also a Yuletide rite of passage!
The first year in which I wrote a treat in addition to my assignment. My assigned fandom was Sunset Boulevard, and the new Yuletide experience that year was that the original prompt had been very general, and by the time the recipient's letter was up, she'd forgotten she had requested Sunset Boulevard and wrote more detailed thoughts only to fandoms I had zero ideas about. Panic! However, contacting the mods resulted in Sunset Boulevard being talked about in her letter, which allowed me to write the Norma and Max backstory I'd been wondering about for eons, which in turn to my great relief resulted in a happy recipient who wrote lovely comments to every chapter of the story:
By now, I had enough of a certainty of how long it would take me to write a Yuletide story to write a treat as well, and even write it first. It was a story naraht and self had been daring each other to write for eons, about Alma Cogan. I still feel a bit guilty about writing RPF (though not guilty enough not to do it, obviously), but Alma Cogan has been dead for decades, which was liberating enough for me to this for Yuletide. I had been a bit concerned narah and I would be the only ones interested in the result, but this turned out not to be the case, which made me a happy writer.
Such an easy game
The year of the siblings! I ended up to write both my assignment and my treat about sibling relationships, which I was aware of, though I only noticed during the beta process I even had both pairs of siblings drink hot chocolate together in the comfort part of h/c. What can I say? It seemed to fit them. The assignment was in Breaking Bad, and in addition to everything else told me another Yuletide lesson, which was: better not request exactly the story you want to write yourself, or it will be a really weird emotional experience later. In this case, I had asked for a story about Skyler and her sister Marie for Breaking Bad, which I got, and had offered Breaking Bad with Skyler and Marie as characters, and guess which prompt I got.
My other siblings tale of the year was another classic movie fanfiction, this time for The Godfather, and allowed me to explore the female pov of this very male-heavy tale, and a character whom both canon and fandom seemed to dislike a lot, Connie Corleone. This resulted in what is so far my most widely read Yuletide story, which I certainly hadn't expected. Cue beaming author!
I had a new fandom to offer this year, The Americans, which I did get assigned to. Which was also the first time I offered to write for an unfinished canon. Now obviously I've done this often before, but not for Yuletide. It's one thing to dash off a story inspired by an episode which might not even be beta-read because it feels that urgent, and another to write for the most attention-getting of ficathons with months of preparation. The shared risk is that you could get jossed completely within said months. Luckily, this hasn't happened to me (yet); also, I got a prompt that allowed me to explore a guest character and his relationship to one of our main characters I had been wondering about for a while. Result:
Like the Fellow says
Meanwhile, doing shared Mary Renault book readings and debating with other readers had resulted in joking about possible film versions for some of the novels in question. This was also the year Disney released Saving Mr. Banks, their take on the clash between P.L Travers, author of the Mary Poppins novels, and Walt Disney, who between clashes bond a bit over Daddy issues. All of which led me to kid around with naraht about Hitchcock filming Renault, and them bonding over Mommy issues. Some jokes remain jokes; some just refuse to go away and want to be turned into actual stories. And thus I ended up writing the tale of Mary Renault clashing with not one but both Hitchcocks, Alfred and Alma, and reluctanctly bonding over mother issues:
Saving Mrs. Fleming
As with DS9, I ended up writing in the same fandom for two years in a row, which is why I haven't offered to write The Americans this year. (As opposed to DS9, nobody else wrote any Americans stories in the last two Yuletides, which, woe, because I do love the show a lot, and it's not Star Trek, it needs a building audience.) My 2015 prompt was a general one about the two main characters ("just fuck me up in the feels"), and thus I ended up writing casefic for Philip and Elizabeth, a story that I hoped would feel like a missing episode and tackle various s3 issues - the Soviet war in Afghanistan, our antiheroes' stressed relationship with each other and with their handler. The Americans reading Yuletiders responded very posivitely - except for the recipient, who didn't respond at all. Which was when I realised how lucky I'd been with my recipients from various ficathons, including Yuletide, until then. It's very frustrating if a person you've written a story for can't even be bothered with a "thanks for writing for me" note.
The treat I wrote in 2015 was for my first book Yuletide fandom since Ovid, Ancient history as interpreted in Jo Graham's novel Hand of Isis. Which is slightly different than writing historical fiction based on whatever your own research has produced; you work with already established interpretations of characters, though of course there's still room for additional interpretation, especially since the novel is a first person pov, which means another character from their own pov can see things differently. Moreover, it was a chance to tackle Marcus Vipsanius Agrippa, who, depending on whether the work of fiction is pro-Augustus or pro-Cleopatra, usually ends up in a minor supporting role as either Sam Gamgee in the wrong canon or a soulless minion, despite having been the Empire's second most powerful man in his lifetime. And I could write Julia, Augustus' daughter, in what was arguably the happiest time of her life instead of filtered through her later tragedy. It turned out to be a very satisfying writing experience indeed.
This year: three stories in three different fandoms, though two of them are sort of related, about which I'll chatter on post reveal.
I have wondered at times why English and many US knitters think that cuff-down is the only way to knit proper socks. When did it start?---when knitting reached England, as part of an inheritance of whichever tradition(s) brought it there, or as a local(ish) preference given the prevalence of sock clocks, or...?
These involve spoilers for the mid-season finale and also for the one thing I know about future episodes, which was mentioned in past entries.
(I'll probably do this for Legends of Tomorrow after their mid-season finale too, because why not??)
( Spoilers under the cut )
Ooh fun. :D
You know, there's a general, overall answer to this, and I'm answering with that, rather than with a specific fandom example, because this is something I've kinda wanted to make a post about for awhile. I can actually peg the specific combination of factors that tends to draw me to something fannishly. There are always exceptions, but most things that have gotten their hooks in me have the following factors: worldbuilding that is clever, fun, and interesting enough to make me want to explore the world more, but not so tight that there's nowhere to insert my own imagination; an ensemble cast with a number of different characters I like in different ways; and a character relationship (or much more rarely, an individual character) that pings my id. And for the latter, the relationships that make my id go "zing" are usually (though again, not always) either an antagonistic friendship with combined elements of love and situational distrust, or two characters who start out disliking each other and fall in "like".
You'd think with a roadmap that detailed, I'd be better at guessing what I'm going to like, but the subjective elements are SO subjective (and so hard to recognize at first glance) that I have a long history of initially dismissing the things I later fell in love with. There are a few things I've glommed onto from the first episode, e.g. Agent Carter, but it's more common for me to go the route that I went with shows like Stargate Atlantis, White Collar, or more recently Flash, where my first reaction to it was disinterest, and then I watched enough episodes to have it grab me.
So actually that's more of a general answer than a specific answer, but I guess that's the way my brain rolls tonight. :D
For me though this is a time of year when I love creating for others and would love to send out cards to anyone who would like them. Comments will be screened on this post and you can also message me to let me know that you would like one and your address or even to say that your address hasn't changed.
My December meme is here and open for topics to write about or fic prompts.
So, in short, if your self-defense level of desired investment is "I want to take a class once and then be done", go to a Rory Miller weekend seminar the next time he's in your area. If you are able-bodied and willing to go train regularly, consider Krav. If you are not able-bodied, talk to me about your body and your intentions -- I can recommend other things. If you are considering a firearm, talk to me/see previous post on that topic to figure out if that's going to match your lifestyle and threat model.
Your martial arts questions can go here, if you have them! There are many experienced martial artists reading, so you can get lots of perspectives, too, not just mine.
So if that's a direction your thoughts are currently trending in, for whatever reason -- go, ask. Trained martial artists are standing by to take your calls. *g*
(Note: I'm purposely omitting internet activism, not because it doesn't have value but because it's something that we've got pretty much covered, and that's -- relatively -- a comfort zone for many of us. We are going to have to try to find ways to do more, to the limits of our various abilities.)
I was thinking about how hugely helpful it's been to many people just to have posts saying "I phoned my representative about this, and this is what it was like". A lot of us are thinking we need to learn how to find ways of being more activist even though it's challenging and scary for us.
And we also have a lot of people who have been or are involved in various ways, whether it's being part of ACT-UP actions or stuffing envelopes for a political party.
So -- please, share. If you've done something -- what did you do? how did you get into it? what happened? what was it like?
We need to share any skills and stories we have (and not just the stuff that sounds dramatic and cool and involves chaining yourself to things -- envelope-stuffing matters too).
Please comment with a link to anything you write, or post directly in the comments. Thanks!
Infrastructure includes lots of things some of these are have positive impacts on society and others negative. For example oil pipelines, high speed rail, highways, and solar energy plants are all infrastructure, but investing in each one of these would clearly have different impacts on society and the built environment. Politicians and the media have a tenancy to lump all of these things together and treat them like one thing, but this is really not helpful and can obfuscate the effects of government actions.
And government actions in infrastructure really do matter. Infrastructure funding is a major way the federal government plans the US built environment. The federal government leaves a lot lower levels to government – they don’t tell cities how to zone for example, or make it illegal to build on flood plains. But they do invest in big projects that make things possible. The Central Valley Project brings water from northern California to Southern California and means that more people can live there and there can be more irrigated agriculture in the south. The interstate highway system made it easier for people to drive and contributed to urban sprawl (it didn’t help that they knocked down a bunch of intercity neighborhoods to build freeways). As these examples show the federal government doesn’t have to do central planning to have a huge impact on the landscape.
So if you are thinking about contacting your reps please tell them you want to invest in mass transit and clean energy not new highways and pipelines. Tell them about the already existing infrastructure that you use and could use more money. Ask them not treat infrastructure like it is all one thing that always good, but to think carefully about what the federal government builds and how it will shape our future. Because infrastructure might seem boring but it shapes the world we live in.
snickfic: Why You Should Join Your Local Democrats
brendanmleonard: Just going to leave this here (Korematsu)
annleckie: You can still send letters
quantum-displacement: Anti-Trump Masterpost
Tweets from Jared Yates Sexton: When people start talking about Trump's "revolution", tell them he lost the popular vote
Tweets from Moshe Kasher: There's a fundamental misunderstanding of what these protests are about. No one believes they will effectively stop a Trump inauguration.
Tweets from Dan Olson: Here's the boring, pragmatic, bureaucratic nightmare instead
rockscanfly: The elections we refer to as Midterm Elections are held every four years, at the half-way point between presidential elections.
egregiousderp and others: To all of my friends out there and ESPECIALLY my trans friends, if you hadn’t done so now, PLEASE GET A PASSPORT.
Relevant link for the above: https://travel.state.gov/content/passpo
Tweets from Tehlor Kay Mejia: It’s important to stay vigilant about the other transgressions going on with Trump, but examining this Hamilton thing isn’t frivolous.
leupagus: So you want to get #involved but are totally fuckin’ baffled: POLITICAL HOMEWORK FOR THE POLITICALLY DUMSQUIZZLED
Tweets from Elliott Lusztig: Hannah Arendt in her book The Origin of Totalitarianism provides a helpful guide for interpreting the language of fascists.
Stain: the backstory for Natima Lang and Quark that the s2 episode Profit and Loss (aka Casablanca In Space) indicated. Does a great job in fleshing Natima out and providing Quark with an ic voice.
and the bible didn't mention us: There are nights when John Silver can’t sleep and there are nights when Captain Flint doesn’t sleep and there are a lot of things that neither of them say. Or, the one where Silver helps give Flint a haircut. Set between seasons 2 and 3, and captures the two at that point of transition very well.
And if the night comes, and the night will come, well at least the war is over: Charlie deals, or doesn't, with the s1 finale events. I love the conversation with Quill in particular.
Whoops started a game of Dragon Age: Inquisition and now I’ve pretty much moved to Thedas. Yes sure there are demons (and politicians) there but at least you can kick bad guy ass and force reluctant warring factions to cut it out for long enough to save the world.
(Also I’ve never done the Iron Bull romance or played an Adaar before and I’m loving both! I'm developing a ridiculous amount of backstory for her, too...)