Friday linkspam

Jul. 31st, 2015 04:30 pm
umadoshi: (Rin hair undone (selphie))
[personal profile] umadoshi
A couple more posts rounding up links and quotes from various comments in the Metafilter discussion on emotional labor: this post by [ profile] elf, and a second post from [ profile] kaberett, with a few more links to go with the ones singled out earlier.


Via a Tumblr post, a neat interview with poet Richard Siken (whose work I discovered via [ profile] musesfool, I believe): "The Poet Laureate of Fan Fiction / The internet mistook Richard Siken’s poetry for TV fan fiction—and then it consumed him". I was unaware that Siken has a second volume of poetry out this year! War of the Foxes, one day soon I will order you. ^_^

"How 'A Wrinkle in Time' Changed Sci-Fi Forever".


Zen Cho has a new "My Publishing Journey" post up: "Signing with a literary agent".

At The Dissolve: "We’re losing all our Strong Female Characters to Trinity Syndrome". "So maybe all the questions can boil down to this: Looking at a so-called Strong Female Character, would you—the writer, the director, the actor, the viewer—want to be her? Not want to prove you’re better than her, or to have her praise you or acknowledge your superiority. Action movies are all about wish-fulfillment. Does she fulfill any wishes for herself, rather than for other characters?"


Via [ profile] criacow, an adorable one-minute YouTube video of cows being petted and hugged.

"The Oddly Soothing Sound of 9 Cats and A Kitten Eating Dinner Together At The Same Time". The post has two videos: one in which all of the cats eat together, and one in which the new kitten is introduced to the nine cats already in residence. (You'll also be linked to this Japanese blog, 9 Cats, about the ten cats.)

"21 Cats Who Are Too Adorably Stupid For Their Own Good".

Via [ profile] alisanne, tremendously cute kittens and equally cute otters.


Vienna Teng's website has been updated with info on The Fourth Messenger album release. The Fourth Messenger is a musical Vienna wrote with Tanya Shaffer, and Vienna sings the lead role on the album.

Via [ profile] boxofdelights, this slow-motion video of a goshawk maneuvering through a fairly dense forest.

Via Facebook:

--"Why Proof-Texting Is Not Like Other Sins". "Proof-texting is an intentionally deceptive practice that offers out of context proof while ignoring the greater witness of scripture and any other evidence that might refute the desired (and predetermined) theological conclusion. It’s the tool necessary to perpetuate the myth that the Bible is always perfectly clear about everything, when in fact that clarity often only exists when we proof-text our theology by ignoring the overarching themes of scripture in general and the message of Jesus in particular in order to condemn and exclude people we’ve deemed unworthy of salvation."

--"Hey, Internet: Stop Trying To Inspire Me" "I’m tired of people trying to inspire me to have a better, bigger, happier life. Let me exist. Let me fumble. Let me find the patch of light in the long tunnel of darkness. Let me figure out some shit on my own. I say we need less fake inspiration in this world and more realness. Less doomsday. Less fake happiness. More real shit. Less preaching. More storytelling. Less advice. More community."

--"Artist Celebrates Late Grandfather By Drawing Each Of The 100,000+ Items He Left In His Toolshed".

--This is only a couple of paragraphs, but sounds neat: "Let's visit the Cave of Hanging Snakes!" (Here's a slightly longer post about it.)

--"What A 47-Second Quick-Change Looks Like". "At the 2015 Tony Awards, Kelli O’Hara allowed the documentation of what a quick-change looks like backstage – and the army it takes to pull it off successfully."

--"Let Yourself Be the Change You Want to See in the World".

--"Living Bio-Concrete Can Heal Itself".
qian: Tiny pink head of a Katamari character (Default)
[personal profile] qian

As I said in my last post in this series, once I had a complete novel manuscript I had rewritten once, line-edited and proofread, I started querying agents with it.

I’d once read a blog post by a published novelist who said that they’d queried around 40 agents before signing with one, and the process had taken 18 months. Totally arbitrarily, I decided I would only think about rehauling my manuscript and/or giving it all up and running away to the circus after I’d queried 40 agents and/or 18 months had passed without my receiving an offer of representation.

This might seem an odd way to do things, but I find with writing that you really just want to figure out a way to trick your brain into not worrying about the publishing side of things, so that it can get on with the work. (The work is the writing. The writing is the most important thing. I know I keep saying this, but it’s true!) The idea was to buy myself 18 months of peace of mind. As you’ll see, though, I never got a chance to find out if it would have worked!

I’ll talk about my query in detail in another post, but it was pretty standard US-style: I explained what the story was about, talked briefly about myself and ended by offering to send a partial or full manuscript if they were interested. Funnily enough, the chief thing that helped me draft my query letter (and actually just figure out what the book should be about) was Linda Colley’s Britons: Forging the Nation 1707-1837 — but I’ll explain that in that other post!

I sent off my queries to 10 agents, eight of whom I’d basically just found on the Internet, and two of whom I’d been introduced to by author friends. Then I sat back, feeling contented with a good nine months’ work, and started thinking about the next project. It was going to be a space opera novella set in a world inspired by the maritime kingdoms of classical Southeast Asia (working title: Space Villette). I figured I’d have time to make a good start on a novella before I started hearing back from agents — heck, I’d probably be able to draft the entire thing by the time I had to think about Sorcerer to the Crown again, either because I had an offer of rep, or because I’d been rejected by 40 agents and had to rethink my approach.

So, er, I was wrong about that.

Read the rest of this entry » )

Mirrored from Zen Cho.

qian: Tiny pink head of a Katamari character (Default)
[personal profile] qian

I am going to have copies of the super rare and totally awesome SPIRITS ABROAD and CYBERPUNK: MALAYSIA paperbacks at Nine Worlds! A few of them are already reserved:


I KNEW I was going to find a retrospective excuse for having bought these incredibly cute post-it notes at Daiso.


And here’s what CYBERPUNK: MALAYSIA looks like in the flesh. Shiny and chrome!

I’m hoping the books will be available at the Nine Worlds dealers’ room, but I don’t know yet if I’ll be able to arrange that. However, you can place an order for the books now and/or buy them from me directly at the con!

I am selling the books for £5.00 each, and I am happy to sign and personalise them for you. You can even ask me to do a doodle! I can only draw friendly elephants, though. Also, there will be ultra secret, super exclusive SORCERER TO THE CROWN swag, which I will totally give you FOR FREE. (I mean, I don’t want to inflate expectations. It’s just stationery. But I think it’s going to be nice stationery!)

If you think you’d like to buy them from me in person, I will beg you now to bring a £5 note if at all possible. Of course, it’s easiest if you pre-order using the form below — that will enable me to put aside a copy for you, as stocks are limited. And also it means I don’t have scrounge up £5 bills!


Read the rest of this entry » )

Mirrored from Zen Cho.

umadoshi: (Newsflesh - box of zombies (kasmir))
[personal profile] umadoshi
Behold, I have a [ profile] trope_bingo card! First question: when one's primary fandom is set 20-odd years after the zombie Rising, what does one do with an "au: apocalypse" square? Write them into a different apocalypse, I guess? (It's a theoretical question--realistically, I'm probably not going to take a bash at that one. See also: the thing where I like getting cards and seeing if they get me writing, but never actually finish a bingo, so I don't spend any time strategizing for lines or corners or what have you.)

Also, admire the typo in one square, which says "art initiates life". ^_^ I hope someone else with that square works with it literally, rather than autocorrecting it and going from them.

Card under this cut )

Mishmash post

Jul. 30th, 2015 12:49 pm
umadoshi: (fangirl (bisty_icons))
[personal profile] umadoshi
--The Kickstarter to fund year 3 of Sparkler Monthly has only four days left, and still needs about $2500. If you haven't looked at them and are at all into the idea of female gaze-oriented prose/comics/audio drama covering a variety of stories, brought together by lifelong fangirls with tons of experience, please consider checking them out and helping to make their third year happen.

--For the last several days I've been waking up around 7 or 7:30, lying awake long enough to seriously wonder if I should just get up (despite my having been staying up late enough that my alarm's been set for 10 or 10:30), and then falling back to sleep and having incredibly bizarre dreams. It's an odd pattern. :/ Can't say I like it much.

--Last night [ profile] scruloose prepped Doughbot, so I woke up (the second time) to the smell of fresh-baked bread and had some for brunch, with the raspberry jam Kas and Ginny made after our first berrying outing.

--I need to spend more time reading in general, but reading through a stack of graphic novels from the library has reminded me of my theory that reading one GN or one manga volume every day would be a significant change to my current reading habits, and it wouldn't take all that much time each day. It'd be nice to put a dent in that part of my to-read backlog, esp. given how much manga I own and haven't read. >.<

--Via Twitter, NBC has all of Kings posted for online viewing. (Doesn't seem to be available in Canada, alas.)

--Last night I did the first part of the Scrivener tutorial, and mostly it just hurt my head. A few different people on Twitter weighed in and said they hadn't really spent much time with the tutorial except when they actually needed to figure something out. It's very jargony, so I think I might take that approach. And right now clicking "take snapshot" completely freezes the program. Awkward. (Opening the system monitor reveals that instead of a CPU percentage, the monitor says "zombie" for Scrivener [O_O], which [ profile] scruloose says is a specific error that he forgets the meaning of offhand. He and Kas are both very busy from now until the beginning of next week, but hopefully we can get it sorted out.)

--[ profile] seanan_mcguire's new CD, Creature Feature, is out! It's also already out of stock at CD Baby, but I've placed an order for whenever they get around to sending her a restock request.

--The newest BPAL update includes...well. Let them say it: "We’ve had myriad political figures throughout US history that have possessed acid tongues, but few in the modern era have provided such a constant stream of colorfully vitriolic superlatives as Antonin Scalia.

He is the federal court’s beat poet of indignation and right-wing rage.

For your pleasure, we present a line dedicated to SCOTUS’ reigning Sick Burn Champion, the cranky, flamboyant, inimitable Justice Antonin Gregory Scalia. Proceeds from every single bottle will be donated to the Southern Poverty Law Center, the Trevor Project, and the National Center for Transgender Equality."

(I'm hoping to avoid going in on any decant circles, because once again, I haven't worn any perfume in months and have plenty of other places I spend my money. >.> But the applesauce scent sounds tempting, and the idea behind this small line is great.)
umadoshi: (kittens - Jinksy - looking up)
[personal profile] umadoshi

At, [ profile] kate_nepveu posted Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell Reread: The BBC Adaptation, including, as she says, a spoiler-free "is it worth watching" section. (I have not read the full piece; I read the book long enough ago that I'll be going into the show with only a vague sense of what's to come, if I ever watch it.)

"The Afro-Diasporic Fantasy Art Of Nigerian-American Illustrator Odera Igbokwe". I've got this under "fandom" because the (gorgeous!) art shown is of racebent Sailor Moon characters, but it's a great piece in general.

Social Justice

At [ profile] ladybusiness, [ profile] renay posted "Five Ways to Add More Diverse Writers to Your White Male Dominated Reading Lists".

"Aya de Leon On How to Talk to Small Children about Racism: Celebrating Bree Newsome".

"13 Tips on How To Speak While Female". "9) When you form words at all, which should be but rarely, make certain they come out in a low, gravelly growl, like a hungover Joe Cocker who has just gargled shards of glass. Strive to sound like a cigarette would sound if it could talk. Strive to rumble like thunder that has taken a class to counteract its vocal fry. If you sound like the love child of Darth Vader and a female Ent, you have achieved your purpose. Speak so that those who hear you wonder aloud and say, “Surely this speaker is a man. Or a grizzly bear who has swallowed a man whole.”"

"Fatphobia: A Guide for the Disbeliever".

At Everyday Feminism:

--"5 Simple Ways Men Can Better Respect Women".

--"5 Effective Ways People with Thin Privilege Can Fight Fatphobia".

--"Here Are 5 Cultural Appropriating Outfits It’s Time to Retire for Good".


"10 Breathtaking Photos Of The Northern Lights, Taken On A Scottish Island".

"Interview: Photographer Christopher Swann Captures Whales and Dolphins in All Their Glory". There are some truly spectacular photos included.

At io9, gorgeous shots of the Milky Way over Yellowstone.


[ profile] muccamukk has posted a list (with links) of neat things NASA's up to these days.

For anyone in the vicinity of Toronto: "Now you can play an escape room game at Casa Loma". (Casa Loma is the castle downtown which doubled as Xavier's school in the first X-Men movie. [I can't actually remember if it was used in the second movie.] It's a neat place, and well worth a visit in general.)

[ETA: [ profile] muccamukk says that for X2 Hatley Castle was used for Xavier's.]

Via Facebook:

--Twelve gorgeous swimming pools from around the world.

--Two closely related links from "A Renaissance painting reveals how breeding changed watermelons" and "Here's what 9,000 years of breeding has done to corn, peaches, and other crops". [with graphics]

--At Serious Eats: "The Chain Breaker: A Dairy Queen Like No Other". "With its seasonal hours and walk-up service windows—plus a penchant for producing menu items you won't see elsewhere—the shop has more in common with the first Dairy Queen, which opened in 1940 in Joliet, Illinois, than the sleek stone-walled Grill and Chills that make up many of the franchise's over 5,000 restaurants today."

("Rogue Dairy Queen has been ignoring corporate HQ since 1949" is another article on the same Dairy Queen location, if you'd like to read about it with fewer lingering descriptions of the food.)

[writing] Project List, July 2015

Jul. 29th, 2015 07:21 pm
seeksadventure: (Default)
[personal profile] seeksadventure
Bad mental health = bad writing month. Year. This is an ongoing thing I fight.

Current active projects include:

The UK Horror Series isn’t off this list because it’s complete, unfortunately, but because my cowriter needed to take a break.

Stand Alones
Werewolves in Love
New adult romance. Werewolves, murders, and the constant sea. Status: Outline complete, first draft in progress.

Monsters & Music
Young adult supernatural mystery. Werewolves, murders, and teen witches. Status: Outline in progress, first draft in progress.

Love in the Time of Percussion
New adult romance. Marching bands, rock bands, and snarky flirtations. Status: Outline in progress.

Sex, Love & Drums
Young adult contemporary romance. Status: Outline in progress.

Chase the Sun
Young adult contemporary. Sisters on a road trip. Status: Outline in progress.

Monsters in the Trees
Young adult horror. Friends, makeouts, and monsters in an isolated cabin. Status: Brainstorming.

Race the Drums
Young adult contemporary. Marching band can save a life, if he lets it.

Nothing currently in draft form, but I’m starting to make notes about a series of essays about my experiences with bipolar.

(Originally posted at
seeksadventure: (Default)
[personal profile] seeksadventure
Some links in this post are affiliate links, which means if you click the link, I receive a small benefit without any additional cost to you.


Still reading WHAT WE LEFT BEHIND by Robin Talley and just started TOUCHED by Michelle Sagara, which is the sequel to SILENCE, which I loved. (Review here.)


Had a mini-reunion with some of my law school bffs over the Fourth, and we went to see Magic Mike XXL. I haven't watched the first one, but XXL is ridiculous amounts of fun. Watching it brought more joy than any other movie I've watched this year, despite my love of the Marvel cinematic universe and Jurassic Park series. Surprised the hell out of me that it was one of the most body positive movies I've seen lately, too.


Pretty Little Liars: I'm racing through season five. Each time I sit down, I plan to watch one episode during lunch, and then I end up watching two or three in a row. I don't even care where this story is going (well, more or less), I love the ride. The second half of the season has me filled with chosen family feelings. I love how those girls love each other and the people important to them. (Except for Ezra. Ezra can disappear any time.)


The road trip home from Chicago was basically All Covers All the Time because I found out J had never heard any of the "Radioactive" covers, so I played them, and then of course my second favorite song to be covered, "Bad Moon Rising." (My favorite is "Carol of the Bells" but I didn't have any on my device.)

Radioactive: Imagine Dragons, Pentatonix and Lindsey Stirling cover, and the Dirty Tees mix.

Bad Moon Rising: Mourning Ritual and Thea Gilmore.


No time to play because of Chicago road trip + reunion, but we finally got the band back together for some Rock Band, so that was pretty epic.

(Originally posted at
seeksadventure: (Default)
[personal profile] seeksadventure
Some links in this post are affiliate links, which means if you click the link, I receive a small benefit without any additional cost to you.

silence cover

Book: SILENCE by Michelle Sagara
Genre: YA paranormal
Series: Queen of the Dead series book 1
USA Release Date: Currently available
Source: Purchased
Rating: 4/5 stars
Recommended?: Highly recommended, particularly for people who love ghost stories, strong friendships, and human-shaped monsters.

"It began in the graveyard... "

Ever since her boyfriend Nathan had died in a tragic accident, Emma had been coming to the graveyard at night. During the day she went through the motions at her prep school, in class, with her friends, but that's all it was. For Emma, life had stopped with Nathan's death. But tonight was different. Tonight Emma and her dog were not alone in the cemetery. There were two others there--Eric, who had just started at her school, and an ancient woman who looked as though she were made of rags. And when they saw Emma there, the old woman reached out to her with a grip as chilling as death....

Emma was not quite like others teenagers. It was true that other girls had experienced grief. Other girls had also lost their fathers, or had their boyfriends die in a senseless accident. But though she hadn't known it till that night in the graveyard, unlike those other girls, she could see, touch, and speak with the dead. In fact, Emma could draw upon the essence of the dead to work magic. That was what Necromancers did. But Emma had no desire to be a Necromancer. She just wanted to help the ghosts who walked the streets of Toronto, unable to escape from the land of the living. And that was just as well, because had she chosen the path of the Necromancer, Eric would have had to kill her.

Instead, Eric and his fellow Necromancer hunter Chase found themselves violating every rule they were sworn to follow, becoming part of Emma's group, helping her to stand against those who preyed upon the dead. But whether Emma and her friends could survive such a battle was anyone's guess. And whether Emma could learn to use the magic of the dead against her enemies without herself falling victim to the lure of such power remained to be seen. Eric seemed to think she could, and her living friends would never abandon her. But only time would tell what Emma's true destiny was....


Our main character, Emma, spends part of her nights walking her dog Petal (a delightfully sweet and funny Rottweiler) to the cemetery so she can sit in silence by her boyfriend's grave. The night the book opens, Emma actually sees someone she knows, new boy Eric.

Eric isn't alone; he's with an old woman who gives Emma the lantern she carries, along with a disturbing kiss, after she realizes Emma can see her. This unwelcome touch brings unfortunate side effects: excruciating headaches, lots of nausea, and, suddenly, Emma can see and hear things no one else can.

At the heart of it, this is a pretty straightforward story: Emma can see the dead, talk to them, use them to gain power. She's tempted by the power, mostly because she sees the ways she could use it to do good, to help the ghosts, to solve the mystery surrounding what happens to them after they die.

There are other people like her in the world, necromancers who have no qualms about taking the power for their own needs, and Eric, his pseudo-brother Chase, and the old man who trains them (plus others) hunt down necromancers and kill them.

Emma is an excellent main character and narrator. She's loving, loyal to family and friends, and driven by her desire to do good in the world. I particularly love her friendships; this is no lone girl, different from all the other girls (ignore that bit in the description). She is different than most people because she sees ghosts, but she participates in her life, even as she mourns her father and her boyfriend. She is close with her mother, she has dear friends, and those two things are such a nice change. Female friendships forever.

Also wonderful is the lack of a love triangle, which can be done well, but so often isn't. Here, Emma is still in love with her boyfriend, and so desperately mourning him, there is no real room in her life for a new romance. It's not that she'll never love again, but it would have weakened the story for her to start out mourning him, and then immediately enter into a love triangle with Eric and Chase. The way the guys are introduced could lead to that, and I braced myself, but was happily surprised when it didn't happen. Emma convinces the boys not to kill her not because they're flirting with her, but because of how much she loves her friends, her family, and how much she tries to do good for the ghosts.

For the most part, I enjoyed the Sagara's writing style, but there were a couple times that the narrative became far too talky in the middle of an action scene, including one of the last big scenes at the climax. That's not the time I should be flipping ahead, hoping for something to happen, but that's what I did.

Emma's group of friends are pretty wonderful (I particularly love her best friend, Allison, who is smart and funny and sweet, and the token mean girl who is actually friendly and loyal and snarky), but there are some issues surrounding Michael, who is autistic. I'm neurotypical, and would be speaking from a place of privilege, so I'm going to link instead to Ada Hoffman's review at Disability in Kidlit, which hits the things that pinged for me, and then goes into more depth with them: Ada Hoffman's review of SILENCE.

This is where a lot of my misgivings about the book come from, and is complicated to talk about. I don’t want to suggest that it is somehow bad or undesirable to provide clueful help to a disabled person. Yet I think a lot of us with disabilities will feel a familiar wince at the idea of being a charity case – of being valuable, not for ourselves, but so that someone else can earn goodness points by helping us.

I really love Michael's character, particularly the way he is with child ghosts (oh, man, could be creepy because CHILD GHOSTS, ends up surprisingly sweet), but Hoffman has an excellent discussion of his purpose in the story.

In the end, I really enjoyed SILENCE, loved the characters, and immediately purchased the next book in the series. I can't wait to see what happens next, and to explore more of this delightfully developed world.

(Originally posted at
umadoshi: (feminism - she's someone (iconriot))
[personal profile] umadoshi
Subject the first: if you currently go to the New Kittens page on the 7 Cedars Siberians site, the four kittens are the very top (Libby and Izak's current litter) are Claudia and Jinksy's full siblings! CUTE.

Subject the second: [ profile] skygiants has info on how the upcoming Valdemar ficathon I linked recently came to be, and its origins are even better than I'd imagined.

(I do not have time to reread the Vanyel books right now. I already want to reread Indexing in the very short term, and dear heaven, do I have too much new stuff to read... Plus I should reread Newsflesh to refresh my sense of Georgia and Shaun's voices [and also JUST BECAUSE]... But it's been a long, long time since I read the Vanyel books. And I think my expectations of them would be...reasonable.)

Subject the third is the main point of this post:

This is a huge thing right now that I'm seeing talked about in many places: the Metafilter comment thread going on in response to Jess Zimmerman's "“Where’s My Cut?”: On Unpaid Emotional Labor" that was posted a couple of weeks ago.

The thread is epic and enlightening. It first came to my attention a week or so ago as a Twitter reblog with a note suggesting that all men read it. I read the existing thread at that point, and it was daunting then; it's much, much longer now, and I haven't delved back into it yet. (As I type this, it's got 1521 comments. I think there were about 400-500 when I read through.) As [ profile] jjhunter points out, the comments in [ profile] siderea's post reccing the MF discussion include a number of highlighted/choice excerpts from the discussion.

[ profile] kaberett has also reposted some key bits from the discussion.

Under flock, [redacted] pointed out a couple of other (and much shorter) posts/threads: this one on looking for a partner willing to pull their weight in terms of emotional labor, and this Emotional Labor Checklist/Self-Assessment to see how much of it you're doing yourself.

[ profile] siderea has also since posted "Emotional Labor and Friendship".

Anti-procrastination Tuesday

Jul. 28th, 2015 10:52 am
peaceful_sands: butterfly (Default)
[personal profile] peaceful_sands posting in [community profile] bitesizedcleaning
Wishing you all well on this Tuesday. Anyone else up for some anti-procrastination?

Is there something you've been procrastinating on? Something that really needs must be done, but is kind of a pain in the tuckus? Today's challenge is to do That Thing.

Go team, go! We can do it together!

NOTE: Optional 5 minute challenge for those who just do not have the brains for this challenge, because it is just too much. (Which is totally okay.) Spend 5 minutes dealing with paper. Recycle, shred, trash, sort, file, pay, respond. Or even just get it all into one pile to cut down on clutter. 5 minutes totally can make a difference!

single perfect tear

Jul. 27th, 2015 10:40 pm
metaphortunate: (Default)
[personal profile] metaphortunate
I know, I know, you wonder what FFA is even for, but I am here to tell you: for the Great Woobie-Off.

And best of all: [personal profile] skygiants informs us that the winner, the Woobiest of all the Woobies, is, of course:

Vanyel Ashkevron. Search your feelings: you know it to be true.

On a similar note, would you like to have your heart broken, and then fixed better than it was before with gay porn? Damn, son, [personal profile] cesperanza has still got it: "All the Angels and the Saints", Captain America/Bucky Barnes. Yeah, I know this is like a year old; this isn't even my fandom, I haven't been reading in it, I ran into this randomly, and whoa.
umadoshi: (WotH: making music (iconchacha))
[personal profile] umadoshi

"Glorious Photo Captures the Moon and a Two-Tailed Comet".

"15 B&W Historic Photos Restored To Full Color Bring The Past To Life".


Via [ profile] lizcommotion, "Ideasthesia: How do ideas feel?". "The traditional model of our mental function is that first our senses provide data to our brain, which then translates those senses into the appropriate mental phenomena: light into visual images, air vibrations into auditory experiences, etc. But what if that process is actually occurring simultaneously? Danko Nikolić describes the theory of ideasthesia." (Six-minute animated TED-Ed lesson.)

I feel like maybe I've linked to Vienna Teng's solo cover of Ain't No Sunshine / Lose Yourself before (where she lays all the vocals and backing herself on stage), but it's worth linking again.


"Sand Cats: Where The Adults Are Kittens And The Kittens Are Also Kittens".

"22+ Sleepy Kittens Doing What They Do Best – Sleep". Ohmygosh, the belly spots in photo #9...!

"Shelter Puts Dogs In A Photo Booth To Get Them Adopted, And The Results Are All That!".

Adorable photo of a frolicking baby orca.

"Meet Atchoum. He’s the only cat in the world to have Hypertrichosis – aka “werewolf syndrome”" is about a cat with a rare condition that means his fur grows constantly.

"Once Thought Extinct, 'Royal Turtles' Make a Comeback".

"Curious Cows Help Save Seal Pup Stuck in Mud After Swept by Tide Into UK Marshland".


On Oxford Words, "What do you call a group of…" is a gallery of their favorite collective nouns. (The post also links to this longer list. "Some are fanciful or humorous terms which probably never had any real currency, but have been taken up by antiquarian writers.")

Via [ profile] jjhunter, "Playing Mozart’s Piano Pieces as Mozart Did". "While modern players tend to hunch over the keys and hold their forearms nearly perpendicular to the keyboard, 19th-century style dictated that pianists sit bolt upright. The posture prevented players from bringing their weight to bear on the keyboard, instead forcing them to rely on smaller finger movements. The elbows were held firmly against the body, with forearms sloping down and hands askew. As Ms. Kobb became more fluent in this approach, she found that certain movements — jumping quickly between disparate chords, for example — became swifter and more fluid. “The elbow against your body serves as a sort of GPS, so you always know where you are,” she said.

Chords and scales sound smoother and can be played faster, Ms. Kobb also found, and dramatic pauses between notes — often a matter of physical necessity rather than of style — are lessened. The old style also allows the performer to be more discriminatory and subtle in choosing which notes to stress, Ms. Kobb learned, producing a performance that is subdued by today’s standards."
(The post includes a link to a 23-minute video of Christina Kobb playing and discussing her work.)

In response to this article on the debate of whether it's racist or appropriative for non-Japanese to wear kimono*, [ profile] swan_tower posted "Preserving Fire". (That link is to the Dreamwidth post, where there's some discussion, but there's a lot more at the Livejournal crosspost.) "“Kimono,” as we think of them now, are the fossilized relics of nineteenth century fashion, the domain of specialists who have learned all the rules and can steer clueless modern people through them like dolls. It’s as if a “dress” in Western society meant a corseted garment worn with a lobster tail bustle, made out of fabric that matches the color and pattern aesthetics of 1870, and god help you if you mistakenly wear a day dress to an evening dinner, or a riding dress when you intend to go for a walk in the park.

If that was what a “dress” was in 2015, it would be going the way of the dodo.

So people in Japan are trying to figure out how to preserve fire, instead of worshipping ashes. Part of that means relaxing the rules, so that you no longer have to do things exactly the way they were done in 1870 Japan."

*Specifically, the example is of the Boston Museum of Fine Arts' display that allowed visitors to try on a kimono that was very similar to one in an 1876 Monet. There was protest in the US, but in Japan, people were apparently sad to hear that fewer people would get to experience wearing a kimono.
umadoshi: (hands full of books)
[personal profile] umadoshi
I finally got all of the books I bought in Toronto this spring entered into my spreadsheet! For anyone who's curious, here are the lists. ^_^

At TCAF, I picked up:

The Fangirl's Guide to the Galaxy: A Handbook for Girl Geeks. Maggs, Sam
Lover's Leap: The Tale of Jane Riley. Adams, Leisl
Nimona. Stevenson, Noelle
Seanan McGuire's InCryptid: The Price Family Field Guide. Bing, Kory. (Postcard book of 24 critters from The Price Family Field Guide on Seanan's site.)
a softer world: truth and beauty bombs. horne, emily and Joey comeau
Tokyo Demons 2. Sentar, Lianne

And then there was the trip to Bakka-Phoenix, AKA my very favorite bookstore, AKA a store I'd love to support more than airline weight restrictions usually allow for. This trip involved Ginny's moving truck. And so.

As you'll see, I picked up all the books from The United States of Asgard despite never having read anything by Tessa Gratton before. This is a combination of having had her recced to me by a couple of people and the fact that Chris, the manager at Bakka, explained the publication situation to me and I decided to just nab them all rather than risk buying the first one or two, falling in love, and then not being able to acquire the third and the book of short stories/novellas (I don't remember exactly what it is ^^;).

Bakka acquisitions: are under the cut )

(no subject)

Jul. 27th, 2015 08:17 am
copperbadge: (radiofreemondaaay)
[personal profile] copperbadge
Good morning everyone, and welcome to Radio Free Monday!

Ways to Give:

[ profile] eimearkuopio's friend Kia died suddenly and unexpectedly recently, and her wife is now trying to raise two children alone, with no life insurance to help with funeral expenses. You can read more and help out here and also read Eimear's post about Kia and Sabrina here.

[personal profile] maschalismos was recently diagnosed with lupus and fibromyalgia, and is struggling to cover medical bills for her diagnosis and for ongoing attempts at treatment. You can read more and help out with her medical bills here.

[ profile] editrx has been struggling a lot lately, and is now facing huge water bills, plus a lien on her house for a property tax bill that has gone past due. She needs to raise $6K to keep her head above water. You can read more about her situation here and help her keep her home here; she also has jewelry for sale on Etsy and her bookshop, Star Cat Books, sells through abebooks here.

[ profile] taragreen89's sister Uma has been accepted into the Alonzo King LINES Ballet Training program in San Francisco, but because it's not considered a "college" there's no federal financial aid available. She's raising money for tuition and also for housing in the Bay Area. You can read more and help out here and check out updates here.

Anon linked to a fundraiser to restore a historical printing workshop in Graz, Austria. They are having a hard time finding money locally for repairs and machine maintenance. You can read more and support the project at their indigogo here.

[ profile] mr-chatterboxs-column linked to their local circus and aerial arts studio, which is rundraising to support their transfer out of a warehouse garage and into a larger work space. The studio works with a lot of underserved New Mexico small communities, particularly women in an actively feminist and queer-friendly environment. All donations are being matched right now; you can read more here and support the fundraiser here.

Help For Free:

[personal profile] via_ostiense is volunteering for the CARA Pro Bono Project, which provides free legal services to refugee moms and kids in immigration family prison in Dilley, Texas. She is looking for Spanish-speakers and indigenous language speakers (Mam, K'iche, and Q'anjob'al) to do phone translation for their meetings. You can read more about the project here and reach her via PM at Dreamwidth to get more info and sign up to volunteer.


[personal profile] fiercynn is moving to NYC for grad school this fall and is looking for housing and fannish roommates in Manhattan. She is a 26yo Indian-American queer cis woman with no pets looking for nonsmoking housing, preferably under $1100/month. You can read more and get in touch here, or contact her at fiercynn at

Anon is immigrating to Dublin this September and is looking for help and/or advice finding housing and a job. She is a single woman, muslim, quiet, non-smoker, allergic to cats and fannish; she's looking to rent a one-bedroom or share an apartment up to EUR1000/mo. She has graduate degrees in the social sciences and experience working with international non-profits. You can contact her to offer advice or help her find a place/job at go_fish44 at

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 or via email at copperbadge at gmail dot com. 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!).
umadoshi: (raspberries (fierce_icons))
[personal profile] umadoshi
[This post was going to be a fair bit longer, but I think the rest of what I've written needs reviewing and should be its own post anyway. We'll see what happens with that.]

Today we ([ profile] scruloose, Ginny, Kas, [ profile] wildpear, Pumpkin, and I) headed to Dempsey's Corner with the goal of picking a variety of fruit--cherries, blueberries, raspberries, and currants were all on the list. We had minimal luck in the sense that we only came back with a significant amount of one of those; the blueberries were only starting, and the currants situation was a bit confusing (not interesting enough to type out), and the raspberry bramble situation was...sad. In future, I think I'll stick to getting raspberries from the place we went last weekend, which was amazing (and I want to check out their blueberry situation too, since that's their main thing there).

But the cherries at Dempsey's were fantastic. Between us we picked eighteen pints, all but two of which are of a dark red variety (the other two pints are a lighter, multicolored [orange/reddish/yellow] variety). I forget how many varieties of cherries they have--several--but I don't know if it's different kinds available at slightly different times, or if we basically got only these two kinds because we picked our eighteen pints from only a handful of trees that were overflowing with bounty.

A strange feature of cherrypicking: every once in a while, a noisy recording (animals howling, that sort of thing--I forget the details) would start up, which we assume has to do with keeping too many birds from dropping by and eating up all the fruit.

I don't know how many cherries the others ate, but I had a lot, and didn't even need to do my usual thing of going to the cash with my pickings and then paying for another pint on top of what's there. Dempsey's has a very reasonable $2 admission fee for picking and for going in to see the baby farm animals (their "petting zoo"), and it also includes eating as much fruit off the tree/bush as you want, as was clearly explained. Works for me!

So in addition to the picking, we got to befriend a pair of bull calves, a pair of baby goats, and a couple of lambs; some chicks may also have been scooped up. ^_^ And at the end of the day, we were the only people still in with the animals (we'd finished picking and had paid, and were saying our goodbyes) when one of the staff (a woman we wound up interacting with a few times, who seemed lovely) came out to give the animals their bottles and put them back in the large fenced area where they stay overnight. (She explained that their animals, which aren't working animals, tend to be from mothers who have difficulty or die during the birthing, so the Dempsey's people bottle-feed and tend and give attention to the babies.) And visitors to the farm get to help out, so that's what we did. ^_^ [ profile] scruloose and I bottle-fed goats, and Ginny fed a calf, and I'm a little fuzzy on what exactly [ profile] wildpear and Pumpkin were doing feeding-wise, since we were all surrounded by hungry farm babies who were mobbing us for their dinner. (Kas was taking photos. I think he said he shot around 350 today.)

All in all, it was very successful. *^^* Tomorrow evening we're going out to meet [ profile] recessivejean for dinner, and when we get back, we'll pit and freeze most of the cherries (except for the ones that're getting tossed in the dehydrator). Later in the summer/early fall I want to go back for peaches and plums, at the very least (since I want to get blueberries and fall raspberries from the other u-pick). And then we need to figure out what to do with them all! (And the four [?] pints of raspberries still in the freezer.)

Oh, and [ profile] scruloose and I also came home with a few preserves: he got the...I think it's peach/lime/jalapeño sauce?...and I got a jar of strawberry/plum jam (since strawberries are over for the season, so we can't make any of that) and a jar of honey/cinnamon spread. Dempsey's is multipurpose enough that they have their own hives, which is pretty great. Maybe someday we can take a look.
umadoshi: (writing - internet (iconriot))
[personal profile] umadoshi

Via Twitter, "University of Iowa Libraries Begin to Digitize Decades of Fan Fiction".

Via [ profile] metanews, "How ‘Avatar: The Last Airbender’ Demonstrates a More Inclusive Masculinity".

Chris Butcher posted "Shifts and living history", about the evolution of the North America comics market/industry. (Chris is the guy behind the Toronto Comic Arts Festival and the manager at The Beguiling, a well-known Toronto store, so he knows whereof he speaks.) "So, basically, my theory goes that the manga boom in the late 90s sort of blew up every single thing that the industry thought about comics, and who the audience is for comics, and what comics can do. [...] How did the rest of the comics industry react to this sea-change? In the pettiest way possible of course, by othering the success of that material as much as they could. “Manga aren’t comics,” went the discussion. They were, and are in many ways, treated as something else. The success that they had, the massive success that they continue to have, doesn’t ‘count’. All those sales and new readers were just ‘a fad’, and not worthy of interest, respect, or comparison to real comics. It was the one thing that superhero-buying-snobs and art-comics-touting-snobs could agree on. [...] Flash back to a little over a week ago: This is the first year that Marvel Comics as a Publisher did not win any Will Eisner Awards for excellence in comics [...] You know who did take home Eisners though? A lot of women, a lot of folks working on books with large or primary female audiences, and young audiences too."

At The Mary Sue: "My Love(ish) Story: Anime, Aces, and Suna-min Rolls".


Three posts by [ profile] mrissa (author Marissa Lingen):

--"Priorities" is a response to Linda Nagata's "Some Thoughts on Quitting" (quitting writing if you need to, that is).

--"Cumulative, repetitive": "one of the important things about trying to get better at writing–and this is definitely a place where writing is like everything else–is distinguishing when you’re doing something that is forming a practice or forming a rut. “Practice” is key for most skills–this is where the truisms about “you have to write a million words of crap” come in, or the idea of ten thousand hours of practice before you get good at something. But some things are better repeated than others."

--"Translation, regionalism, colloquialism". As you may gather from this pullquote, this is of professional interest to me: "Translating from non-regional to regional vocabulary is tricky; going from regional to regional is, if anything, more fraught. In several anime–Azumanga Daioh, for example–a character with a regional accent in Japanese is given a corresponding regional accent in English. Osaka in Azumanga Daioh has a southern accent in the translation I heard; in some apparently she is given a Brooklyn accent. While her accent is a non-trivial part of the character and needs some equivalent to be translated, the fact that translators couldn’t agree on which of two extremes of American English she should speak seems pretty indicative of how difficult this choice is." (The text [ profile] mrissa is mainly looking at is Kazuki Sakuraba’s novel Red Girls, which I haven't read, but which is translated by Jocelyne Allen, who translates a couple of manga titles I adapt.)


The Geek Feminism Wiki entry on steps/precautions to take to "mitigate internet trollstorms". "Being the target of mass online and offline harassment, whether because of sexism, racism, or other issues, can be overwhelming and devastating. This document intends to provide actionable guidance for people who are being attacked or who are concerned about being attacked in the future, and includes both information security, physical security, and self-care advice drawn from the experiences of the Geek Feminism community."

Via a few people, "The British Library Puts 1,000,000 Images into the Public Domain, Making Them Free to Reuse & Remix".

Via [ profile] cofax7, "The Contorni Matrix", for those needing to make use of tons of veggies (due to CSAs or what have you).

I haven't signed up for this (yet?), but via a couple of people, Unroll Me is an email management tool/service. Here's what the site says: "We identify your subscription emails and neatly list them for you. / Do you remember signing up for that newsletter? We didn’t think so. Chances are, you’re drowning in unwanted email subscriptions. / We give you the option to unsubscribe from junk emails right off the bat. One click and they’re gone. Done.

Now that your inbox is junk free, easily combine your favorite subscriptions into a beautiful daily digest email called the Rollup. / You choose what gets rolled up and when you receive your Rollup. Like to browse email with your morning coffee? You can get all your newsletters and social notifications at 7 a.m. each day. It’s up to you."


Last week I linked a post called "If Male Musicians Were Described The Same Way As Female Musicians", and [ profile] jinian shared this one in a similar vein in comments: "Men Who Rock II". It's delightful. *^^*

At OxfordWords, a post about phrases and idioms having to do with cats.

National Geographic asks, "Can Cats Recognize Their Grandparents? Some felines and many other animals can likely sniff out their kin—but what they think of them is another matter.".

Via [ profile] alisanne, a test to see how good you are at distinguishing between colors.

Via [ profile] kaberett, "Why Britain has secret ‘ghost trains’".

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