July 25th, 2017
oursin: Brush the Wandering Hedgehog by the fire (Default)
posted by [personal profile] oursin at 09:27am on 25/07/2017
Happy birthday, [personal profile] adair and [personal profile] owlfish!
rosefox: A cartoon figure slipping toward a gaping hole in the paper. (slipping)
I'm having one of those "parenting is so hard, when does it stop being hard, oh right, never" days.

I was watching Kit play on their own and glumly thinking that happy Kit is independent and only wants parents when they're sad. Then they toddled over and handed me a stuffed fox, just because. So I know that what I'm feeling is just a feeling and has very little to do with reality. But it's still a big feeling.

Relatedly, having a tantruming toddler scream directly into your ear for several minutes is really quite challenging.

"Kit is so chill," I thought, once upon a time. "Maybe they won't really get toddler tantrums." I was so wrong. Soooo wrong. Tantrums aren't about personality. They're about cognitive and emotional overload. A scream into the void.

(My right ear is the void, apparently.)

(But was I going to stop cuddling my screaming child? Of course not. My ear can cope.)

And now I feel like the worst parent in the world because I couldn't really help my kid, even when they were bottomlessly miserable. There is no cure for the tantrum because it's an existential crisis. You just hold on and say "I'm here" like it means anything. And eventually they stop crying long enough for you to get some calories into them, which almost always helps. It turns out that kids are always basically one minute away from a massive hunger crash, and that rather exacerbates the existential angst.

You could not pay me enough to be a child again. No way. It's genuinely a wonder that kids are ever happy at all. Their bodies do weird things, the world is baffling, everything is too big, they have no control, safety is elusive and fleeting. It's like a fucking horror movie, 24/7. And yet my child comes over and smiles at me and puts their head on my knee for sheer love.

I guess maybe they wanted to say "I'm here" like it means anything.

I guess maybe it does.
Mood:: sad
July 24th, 2017
cupcake_goth: (Default)
posted by [personal profile] cupcake_goth at 10:53pm on 24/07/2017 under
STILL! HEADACHE! FREE!

Since Thursday! This is a damn miracle, that's what it is.

And today we ordered me a motorized standing desk, because the (antique by now, it belonged to my grandparents) dining table I've been using as a workstation for my laptop and two monitors for the past three years was never a good idea. I'd never found an office chair that was tall enough to be comfortable at that table, and that doesn't take into account that any one that was even close enough to use at that table meant my feet didn't touch the ground.

So! Standing desk, arriving this week. It's a good thing I finished The Great Decluttering: The Workdesk over the weekend. (Well, almost finished. I still have to haul some boxes of things out from underneath the table, but that should be relatively easy. Plus the Stroppy One is going to help me.)

Aaaaaand I've finally FINALLY accepted that I need to carry smaller/lighter purses with less stuff in them. Yes, I've said this before (every couple of years, I think?), but it has been made very clear to me that I absolutely have to do this and stick with it. I'm currently making a shoulder strap for a vintage velvet handbag I have, which should be just large enough for me to carry the essentials:


  • Phone.

  • Wallet.

  • Powder compact and two tubes of lipstick.

  • Tiny pill case of anti-anxiety meds.

  • Keys.

  • Sunglasses.

  • Tiny notebook.

  • Pen.

  • Handkerchief.



And maybe, just maybe, my mini multi-tool and tiny sewing kit. What? I actually end up needing those two things fairly often.

NO HEADACHE. I don't think that will stop being astonishing to me any time soon.
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
The general fund currently contains $85. Everyone is eligible to vote in this poll. I will keep it open at least until Tuesday night. If there's a clear answer then, I'll close it. Otherwise I may leave it open a little longer.

Read and vote! )
Mood:: 'curious' curious
james_davis_nicoll: (Default)
posted by [personal profile] james_davis_nicoll at 11:15pm on 24/07/2017
Saw a squirrel hop into the back of a pickup truck and wait, giving every impression it was waiting impatiently for something. Does it know trucks move? Is that how it got to the library?
kate_nepveu: sleeping cat carved in brown wood (Default)
Spoilers for all versions.

Prior rewatch post of FMA:B 5-9. Very short additional thoughts.

Read more... )
archangelbeth: Bleach's Captain Byakuya, three-quarters view. Captioned: sigh (Sigh)
posted by [personal profile] archangelbeth at 08:19pm on 24/07/2017
1: Got to bed around 1-something. Did not fall asleep till around 2am.

2: Woke up around 8am, and could not get back to sleep. Alarm went off at 10. Blah.

3: Took car over to the car place. Yay, she started! ...barely.

4: Spouse brought me back, then dropped me and kid off for doctor appointment while he went off to dental appointment.

5: Doctor appointment. I was poked, prodded, heart-beat-listened-to, and sent down for a blood draw to make sure that my blood is doing the right thing. Waved at waitress friend who was in for foot x-ray. I hope her foot is okay.

6: Grabbed a snack at the cafe in the place, for me and kid. Ate outside.

7: Had way more time to kill whilst spouse was doing dental thing and then returning.

8: Went over to nearby restaurant. It is, I note, drizzling. Turns out that the restaurant closes the dining room during lunch hours and funnels everyone into the bar area. Which was WAY TOO CROWDED. I'm not sure there were actually any free tables at all, in fact, and with the kid... nope. So we went and hung out in the hotel lobby next door, where the gal was really nice about it. (They have this huge dining area for when they serve breakfast and they aren't using it for anything, so...)

9: Picked up by spouse. Go to get car. Spouse does paperwork whilst I and kid go to Lunch Place that closes in like 30 minutes. Discover that the car is "stuttering" at really low speeds, and occasionally flashing AWD/Check Oil lights briefly. Get spouse -- who has gone home -- to call the dealership and ask if this is something concerning. They say that they want to see it after we eat. Food is had, and on the way back, at first traffic-light, car dies. Restart works fine. We make it the rest of the way just fine.

10: Waiting room is packed. Message spouse to come get kid. I hang out, do some editing. (People visiting from Pennsylvania had a tire pop off the rim and wound up at this dealership. I eventually chat with them some, plus reassure them that it's a good place.) Eventually the dealership mechanics get to my car and decide that they need a New Sensor Thingie, which will show up Wednesday. They are out of loaner cars till... at least Wednesday. (He hopes he can scare up something for the PA people if their car can't have a tire popped back on properly.)

So that's the state of the world. *SIGH*

Havva Quote
I__ says, “You can't set up emotional arcs that DON'T GO ANYWHERE.”
I__ says, “Well. I mean. You can.”
I__ says, “But then this happens and now the entire story has been ruined by this terrible ending.”


INwatch+Bookwatch )

Dragons under fold )
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
posted by [personal profile] ysabetwordsmith at 07:42pm on 24/07/2017 under , , ,
Today we picked up three piles of grass and some sticks.  It is pleasantly cool this evening, but there are sweat bees everywhere.  >_<  I do not enjoy being licked by insects. 
james_davis_nicoll: (Default)
posted by [personal profile] james_davis_nicoll at 07:55pm on 24/07/2017
I wonder how long it will take the shadowy figures behind the Dragon Awards to count the votes?

I wonder to what degree the award has been gamed by the puppies?
ysabetwordsmith: Damask smiling over their shoulder (polychrome)
This poem is spillover from the July 4, 2017 Poetry Fishbowl. It was inspired by a prompt from [personal profile] siliconshaman. It also fills the "gay" square in my 5-29-17 card for the Pride Bingo fest. This poem has been sponsored by Anthony & Shirley Barrette. It belongs to the Polychrome Heroics series.

WARNING: This poem contains historical atrocities which many readers may find disturbing. Highlight to read the warnings, some of which are spoilers. It features the Holocaust, acts of genocide, the Schutzstaffel, mass murder, loss of families, yellow stars, ghettos, a gay man and a straight woman getting married and raising a family together, some awkward family dynamics, gay-related bashing, unplanned (but welcome) lesbian pregnancy, and other challenges. But the good guys mostly win. If these are sensitive issues for you, please consider your tastes and headspace before deciding whether this is something you want to read. It is not a plot-relevant part of extant storylines, just an interesting piece of Terramagne history.

Read more... )
julesjones: (Default)
Release day for my new book. :-) This is a collection of short stories, some reprints and some new to publication. It's available now from all good ebook sellers (and you would not believe how long I spent at the weekend tracking down All The Amazons). Full details including all those buy links are on the page for Stormy Nights on the Storm Duffy site, and you can see the cover below. I don't have an approved-by-publisher excerpt as yet, but will endeavour to provide some snippets over the next few days.

Sex and love, lies and truth, shades in between. Happy endings and might-have-beens. Nine tales of these things between men.

Stormy Nights contemporary gay romance
ysabetwordsmith: Artwork of the wordsmith typing. (typing)
posted by [personal profile] ysabetwordsmith at 02:32pm on 24/07/2017 under ,
These are some posts from the later part of last week in case you missed them:
Poem: "Boston Pride"
Moment of Silence: Maryam Mirzakhani
Poem: "Chipped"
Effects of Father Loss
Listen to the Trees
Tiger Swallowtail
Gender in Comics
Hard Things


There is currently a poll for Poetry Fishbowl themes in late 2017. Vote for your favorites. I'll sort the most popular ones into a schedule tomorrow so I can post the advance announcement for the August fishbowl.


Poetry in Microfunding:
"A Hope and a Promise" belongs to Polychrome Heroics.  Aidan and Mrs. Ozenne talk more about Saraphina as she interacts with another toddler.  "The Inner Transition" belongs to Polychrome Heroics: Berettaflies.  Valor's Widow finds out what Stylet has in his backpack.  "The Order of Their Stars" belongs to An Army of One.  Astin takes V shopping.

Weather has been sweltering and intermittently rainy here.  Currently blooming: dandelions, marigolds, petunias, lantana, million bells, snapdragons, zinnias, firecracker plant, white and red clover, morning glories, spiderwort, echinacea, blackberry lilies, yellow coneflowers, Queen Anne's lace, frost asters, cup plant, black-eyed Susan, torenia.  Corn ears are thickening.  I picked blackberries yesterday.  Jalapenos are getting bigger. 
mrissa: (Default)
posted by [personal profile] mrissa at 02:08pm on 24/07/2017 under

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

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

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

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

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

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

rachelmanija: (Book Fix)
Illness memoirs, like child abuse memoirs, have a number of pitfalls. They’re about depressing topics and so are hard not to depress the reader, they’re often by people who don’t write professionally and so are not well-written, and as the subject is inherently self-focused, they can very easily come across as self-absorbed. Even if they manage to avoid those problems, many are valuable works of self-help, self-revelation, community-building, comfort, and calls to action… but are not interesting to someone who mostly wants to read a good book.

This one is a good book.

Julie Rehmeyer, a mathematician and science writer, chronicles how chronic fatigue syndrome/myalgic encephalopathy (CFS/ME) crept up on her until her entire life had vanished and she was frequently completely paralyzed. While she desperately tried to find a treatment, she instead encountered an array of quacks, snake oil salesmen, nice but useless therapists, nice but useless doctors, a patients’ community full of apparent crackpots, and medical literature claiming that it was a mental illness caused by, essentially, being lazy and whiny.

In desperation, Rehmeyer finally starts listening to some of the apparent crackpots… and when she applies her scientific training to their ideas, she finds that stripped of the bizarre terminology and excessive exclamation points, they sound surprisingly plausible. With her entire life at a dead end and nothing left to lose, she reluctantly decides to try a treatment which is both radical and distinctly woo-woo sounding.

And it works.

But unlike every other “How I cured/treated my illness by some weird method” memoir, the story doesn’t end there. Instead, she not only researches and theorizes about how and why it might have worked, she interviews scientists and doctors, and even arranges to do a double-blind experiment on herself to see if it’s a real cause of her symptoms or the placebo effect. I cannot applaud this too much. (I was unsurprised to find that every article I read on her book had a comment section claiming that her results were due to the placebo effect.)

Lots of people have suggested that I write about my own horrendous illness, crowd-sourced treatment, and jaw-dropping parade of asshole doctors who told me I was lying, a hypochondriac, or crazy. While you’re waiting… read this book instead. Though it’s not the same disease and she was treated WAY better by doctors, a lot of her experience with being beaten over the head with bad science and diagnoses based purely on sexism was very similar. As is much of her righteous rage. I am way more ragey and less accepting than she is. But still. It’s similar.

Overall, this is a well-written and honest memoir that shines a welcome light on a poorly-understood illness. Rehmeyer's perspective as a science writer provides for clarity, justifiable anger, and humor as she takes apart the morass of bad science, victim-blaming, and snake oil that surrounds chronic fatigue syndrome. It's informative without being dry, easy to read and hard to put down.

Through the Shadowlands: A Science Writer's Odyssey into an Illness Science Doesn't Understand
jimhines: (Snoopy Writing)
posted by [personal profile] jimhines at 12:56pm on 24/07/2017

I checked Amazon today and was surprised to see that three of my books are on sale in electronic format. Barnes and Noble doesn’t appear to have price-matched the sale yet (they have now!), and I don’t know if this is limited to North America, but here’s what I do know:

Libriomancer is on sale for $1.99.

Goblin Quest is on sale for $2.99.

The Stepsister Scheme is on sale for $2.99.

That’s book one of all three of my fantasy series. If you’ve been waiting to check out my stuff, this is the perfect time.

Mirrored from Jim C. Hines.

james_davis_nicoll: (Default)
posted by [personal profile] james_davis_nicoll at 12:39pm on 24/07/2017
The logic of requiring pedestrians to press a button for the pedestrian crosswalk sign to change, rather than just linking it to the traffic lights.
oursin: Brush the Wandering Hedgehog by the fire (Default)

This involved a certain amount of faff and hassle about making sure we were buying the right kind of ticket for the train which would also give us free rides on public transport, ascertaining which platform the train in the right direction left from, etc etc. And then when we arrived a) finding the right stop for the tram b) missing the stop we wanted and being carried on to a point we didn't want.

Except it turned out to be right around the corner from Hundertwasser's Waldspirale apartment block, which was on the list of things to see.

After which we wandered down in the direction of the Schloss (which can only be seen by way of guided tours, we passed) and had what was a rather more leisurely lunch than we had intended at the Altes Rathaus before going to the Hessische Landesmuseum, based on the collections of the Grand Dukes, which has some nice stuff.

We then went out to Mathildenhöhe, which was where the artists of the Jugendstil Art Nouveau movement hung out. This includes a Russian Orthodox Church (not particularly Art Nouveau) and the Hochzeitsturm, Marriage Tower, which looks as if it might be the HQ of one of those somewhat spooky early C20th New Agey cults that crop up in mysteries of the period, and a rather small museum (but I think part of it was closed) of furniture and objects created by the artists of the colony.

And then back to Frankfurt, whence we flew home today.

***

And in other news, spotted this in today's Guardian: the strange world of book thefts:

“We caught a gent last Christmas with £400-worth of stolen books in his trousers and elsewhere.... As we showed him the door he told us: ‘I hope you’ll consider this in the Žižekian spirit, as a radical reappropriation of knowledge.’”
As an anarchist friend of a friend remarked when his car was nicked, 'Property is theft: but so is theft theft'.

copperbadge: (radiofreemondaaay)
posted by [personal profile] copperbadge at 07:48am on 24/07/2017 under
Good morning everyone, and welcome to Radio Free Monday!

Ways To Give:

Anon reminds us that the 2017-18 school year is coming, and [tumblr.com profile] positivelypt has a post up with links to wishlists for underserved classrooms. You can check out the list, give, and reblog here.

[tumblr.com profile] rilee16 is struggling to cover medical expenses after two head injuries last year, and has a fundraiser running to cover living expenses, previous medical bills, and a recent rent increase. You can read more and help out here.


Help For Free:

Anon linked to [tumblr.com profile] globalsextrendsproject, who are working on an independent research projected aimed at establishing whether there are global trends in stimuli for sexual arousal and the content of sexual fantasies. You can read more and reblog here or fill out the form here. I took a quick breeze through the form and it's primarily short-answer rather than multiple choice, once you get past the demographic stuff.


Activism:

[tumblr.com profile] stabulous has a post up about Welcome Blanket, a project initiated by the Smart Museum of Art in Chicago and anti-Trump craftivists. They are asking people to send handmade blankets to be exhibited at the Smart and afterwards distributed to refugees and immigrants arriving in the US. The hope is to create 3200 blankets to equal the length of the wall Trump wants to build across the US-Mexico border. You can read more at the link above, and find out how to participate at the official site, which includes activism resources whether you want to actually send in a blanket or not.


News To Know:

[personal profile] brainwane linked to Creative Commons, which is offering grants of up to USD$1000 for small projects ("Salons, campaigns, translations, e-books, printing, collaborations, and more") which grow the global commons. They want help increasing discovery, collaboration, and advocacy towards their mission. You can read more and apply for a grant here.

Anon linked to [tumblr.com profile] dr-kara's new comic available on ComixOlogy, [Super]Natural Attraction! Kara is well-known to me as a groovy artist who does cool stuff so while I haven't read this yet I wholeheartedly recommend her work. She has a rebloggable post about it here and you can buy and read it here.

And this has been Radio Free Monday! Thank you for your time. You can post items for my attention at the Radio Free Monday submissions form. If you're not sure how to proceed, here is a little more about what I do and how you can help (or ask for help!). If you're new to fundraising, you may want to check out my guide to fundraising here.
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
This poll invites audience feedback about themes proposed for the Poetry Fishbowl dates in late 2017. Everyone is eligible to vote in this poll. I will keep it open until at least Monday night, and then I need to close it so I can post the advance announcement on Tuesday.

The structure uses checkboxes. There are 38 themes after condensing similar ones and dropping things we've already covered. You may vote for as many themes as you would enjoy prompting/sponsoring in a fishbowl. I recommend that you don't vote for ALL of them, so as to help narrow down to favorites.

Read and vote! )
Mood:: 'curious' curious
oursin: Brush the Wandering Hedgehog by the fire (Default)
posted by [personal profile] oursin at 07:42am on 24/07/2017
Happy birthday, [personal profile] heyokish!