james just put together the Cuddles for Comfort 2017 collection on AO3, and notes:
The collection is open to fiction, art, vids, podfic, any type of fan creation that features cuddling.
All relationships and ratings. Gen, slash, het; lovers, friends, siblings, sworn enemies, sentient battle tanks, all welcome!
The fest is from now until Feb 14, though the collection won't really close so folks can post after.
Yesterday scruloose and I bought this coffee table...sight unseen, because there wasn't a floor model out. (We have a few days after its delivery to return it, no questions asked, if we change our minds once it arrives.) We looked at some others, but veneer tops are very common, and while our cats are never deliberately destructive, they're cats and have claws, and I suspect a veneer would start having visible scratches within a day. This one has a slate top.
And today I ordered an Alphasmart Neo2 (used, as they were discontinued in 2013 or so). I've heard about them on and off for years and always kinda wanted one. On Facebook, a friend mentioned having just gotten one and already loving it, so I finally went ahead, since the secondhand price on Amazon was pretty reasonable.
Oh, and I think I forgot to mention that a few days ago I caved and bought a supporting Worldcon 2017 membership so I can nominate and vote in the Hugos. I'm not gonna pretend that the main incentive wasn't this note in seanan_mcguire's eligibility post:
The 2017 Hugo Awards will have a special category for Best Series, and because of the release of Feedback and RISE during the 2016 calendar year, Newsflesh is eligible.Yes, hello, I am all over this.
Fandom: Newsflesh Trilogy - Mira Grant
Rating: General Audiences
Warnings: No Archive Warnings Apply
Relationships: Georgia Mason/Shaun Mason
Characters: Georgia Mason, Shaun Mason
Additional Tags: POV First Person, POV Female Character, Canon Disabled Character, Adopted Sibling Incest, Coping Mechanisms, some spoilers (see notes)
As either a concession to my scruples or a sign of how eager he was to get the hell out into the open air with someone other than a security detail, Shaun put on an almost-reasonable amount of protective gear without my having to say a word. I did the only appropriate thing in response: while he fidgeted, I went back to my computer, pulled up our shared calendar, and entered "PIGS FLEW" on the current date.
He opened his mouth to protest, and I shook my head. "Not a word, or tomorrow morning I have a new blog post about my dashing Irwin brother finally learning some common sense in his old age," I said, which earned me a glower that suggested Shaun couldn't decide whether "common sense" or "old age" was more offensive.
In which Georgia and Shaun take a fleeting break from the horrific workload and stress about two-thirds into Feed.
--Written for cantarina for fandom_stocking.
--Title from Dessa's "Warsaw".
--Beta work by wildpear.
--Set roughly between chapters 22-23 of Feed. Includes mid-book spoilers.
You can also read the fic ( under the cut )
Title: The Job Interview Job
Rating: General Audiences
Summary: Unemployed librarian Bobby Dismas isn’t sure how Leverage International found him or what they want with him, but apparently it has something to do with his conspiracy theory website about Roy Chappel (and Kenneth Crane, and Jacques Labert).
Read it here on AO3: http://ift.tt/2itSkrS
from Tumblr http://ift.tt/2iDK7zQ
Ways to Give:
notalwaysweak linked to a fundraiser for afullmargin, who is on the verge of losing her home because she's had to use rent money to pay her car repair bills. You can read more at her twitter or Donate at Ko-Fi here. (Ko-fi is a relatively new giving site but I'm given to understand you are not actually buying her a coffee, it's for the rent.)
Anon and edible_chemistry both linked to a fundraiser for deadcatwithaflamethrower, who due to medical bills and related health issues, student loan problems, and other financial issues, will need support to get through the next few months. You can read more here or give through PayPal here; you can also help out by buying her book, Ashlesha, here.
lunaisfree is moving to Seattle to be with her partner, and while she currently has a job, money issues are making the move itself almost impossible. You can read more here and help out here.
ambienne linked to a fundraiser for The Islamic Center of Eastside, Wasington which has been the target of numerous acts of vandalism and which was badly damaged in an arson fire this past week. You can read more and give to help rebuild here.
hypernatraemia is a chronically ill trans man, who has a job which provides insurance, but his car has broken down. Without his car he can't get to work, and he really needs to keep this job. He's raising money for a new (to him) car to help him keep his job and thus his insurance for healthcare and transition expenses. You can read more and help out here.
thephoenix04's partner, Zeah, is fundraising to afford bottom surgery. She has some money saved towards the surgery but an earlier surgery slot opened up and she's trying to pull the rest of the funds together as quickly as possible. You can read more and donate here.
rilee16 is still struggling to cover medical expenses after two head injuries last year, and hasn't been cleared to return to work, thus can't earn money to cover basic living costs, let alone the bills they've received, including a recent rent increase. You can read more and help out here.
dreamwaffles's job ended and she's trying to make ends meet until she can land another one. She has a donation page up here but is also selling beaded jewelery through Etsy; you can check out Saxifrage Designs and make a purchase here.
Help For Free:
Anon linked to the Brexit Book Club Campaign, which wants to send a book about the implications of Brexit to every member of parliament. They have the money to send the books but in order to get a response from their MPs, the books need to be accompanied by a note signed by one of the MP's constituents. They're still looking for constituents for some areas, and also would love to have constituents add their names to areas where they already have representation. You can read more about the campaign and add your name here.
There are currently two charitable auctions going on in fandom:
fightbackfic, an organized effort to encourage people to donate to charities in return for thank-you fic. You can sign up to be an author before January 20th here and read more about how donation works here.
fandomtrumpshate, a fandom auction to benefit charities in the wake of the election. Signups for creators are closed, but you can read more about it here and search here for items to bid on.
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.
"Wide Impact: Highly Effective Gmail Phishing Technique Being Exploited".
"WhatsApp backdoor allows snooping on encrypted messages".
Not so much my thing, but this may amuse some of you! wildpear's husband was passing this link from Physics Forums around: "Vacuum or pressure to move spaghetti through a hole".
"Productivity in Terrible Times".
"This Tiny Thermal Printer Turns Anything On Your Phone Into a Sticky Note".
"Nellie Bly and the Women Who Paved the Way for Investigative Journalists Both Real and Fictional". [The Mary Sue]
Via alisanne, geeky wedding cakes at Cake Wrecks.
"John Scalzi's 10-point plan for getting creative work done in the age of Trump".
"I wore men’s clothes for a month – and it changed my life".
"How much does it hurt? Aching, throbbing, searing, excruciating – pain is difficult to describe and impossible to see. So how can doctors measure it? John Walsh finds out about new ways of assessing the agony".
"The 1 Photo Going Viral to Help Women Detect Breast Cancer".
"Eindhoven graduate designs a gun for firing her tears".
"‘Goodnight Moon’ author was a bisexual rebel who didn’t like kids". [Annoying headline, but an interesting read.]
"A View from the Edge — Creating a Culture of Caring". [The New England Journal of Medicine] [Content notes: Late-term pregnancy loss. Otherwise, I wouldn't say this is hugely graphic about the writer's (nearly fatal) situation past the first paragraph, but avoid if descriptions of callousness from medical professionals distresses you.] "My recovery involved five major operations including a right hepatectomy. I had to relearn to walk, speak, and do many other things I had taken for granted. But in the process, as a patient, I learned things about us — physicians and other medical professionals — that I might not have wanted to know. I learned that though we do so many difficult, technical things so perfectly right, we fail our patients in many ways.
As a patient, I was privy to failures that I’d been blind to as a clinician. There were disturbing deficits in communication, uncoordinated care, and occasionally an apparently complete absence of empathy. I recognized myself in every failure."
"The Instant Ramen Power Rankings". [Lucky Peach]
"Ramen in Japan, Ramen in America: On flour, chicken fat, and how Americans just don't really know yet". [Lucky Peach]
"What Would Dorie [Greenspan] Do? Celebrate everything". [Lucky Peach, the holiday edition]
Also, if you've never looked at her comic A Distant Soil, go check it out -- it's awesome! (Disclaimer: I have no personal or professional relationship with Colleen Doran, I just like the comic.)
scruloose went to Mountain Equipment Co-op today and used a Christmas gift card to pay for part of the purchase. This is not interesting in and of itself, but I mention it because, when I was entering the expenditure into the spreadsheet, I happened to notice the following words on the receipt:
"Transaction type: FORCED REDEMPTION"
In the last few days I semi-spontaneously decided I wanted to look into getting a new chair for the living room (to add more seating, not to replace anything), and since there are currently some new-year sales happening, last night (fully spontaneously) scruloose and I went for ramen and then shopping with Ginny and Kas.
Chair shopping was unsuccessful. It also inherently makes me a little sad, because I know exactly what chair I want. This one! Ginny has it, and it's tremendously comfortable and cozy...and massive. There's no way to fit it into the living room without making the room feel over-full and cluttery, short of getting a smaller sofa. And the current sofa is wonderfully comfy and beloved and not going anywhere. (Not to mention that our wallet would much prefer not unnecessarily replacing a large furniture item.)
Tomorrow scruloose and I are heading to another store, and it's still possible that a chair will come home, but it's no longer my focus. The real takeaway from last night, you see, is that I learned about lift-top coffee tables. *_* How did I not know this was a thing? They are made for my "I like to combine dinner and TV-watching" lifestyle. (Probably literally.) And they have varying degrees of built-in storage, in the form of drawers and/or open space under the top! Storage, guys! STORAGE!!!
(We almost brought one home last night for a very deep discount, because it had a bit of damage and the lift mechanism was extremely stiff. The damage was reparable, but after spending a long time studying it, scruloose and Kas, who are both very handy, concluded that there was no way to be sure that the mechanism's stiffness could be fixed. :/ scruloose figured there was a decent chance it'd be easy to take care of, but didn't want to bank on it, so we passed the poor table up.)
I don't know how I feel about this. "Leia At Risk: Grief, Nostalgia, and Mythic Storytelling".
"BBC reveal plans for 'poignant' new Terry Pratchett documentary".
"10 Discworld Quotes You'll Desperately Need for the Next Four Years". [io9]
"The Feminism of Sailor Moon". [Teen Vogue]
"Sarah Michelle Gellar Reveals Where She Thinks Buffy Would Be Today".
"My Little Ponies: Like 4-H, But for Weirdos". [seanan_mcguire at Tor.com. My favorite author, folks. *g*] "In the very first animated adventure of the Ponies, they fought the Devil. Like, the Devil. He wanted to transform innocent Ponies into dragons of darkness and use them to bring about eternal night, as one does. Lots of Pony panic and some casual kidnapping followed, and something in my tiny blonde brain went “click.”
You could get away with anything, if you made it fluffy and pink enough. You could destroy the whole world, as long as you were willing to cover it in glitter first.
Oh, this was going to be fun."
"Previously on Comics: Anticipated Adaptations and Fighting Stigmas". [incitata at Women Write About Comics]
Sarah Gailey concludes her Women of Harry Potter series at Tor.com with "Minerva McGonagall, Bright and Burning".
"Life Hacks for Brain Fog: Chronic Illness, Focus and The Professional Artist" and "Brain Fog Life Hacks: Out of Sight is Out of Mind". [Colleen Doran]
"Everything Breaks. It’s What We Do With The Pieces That Matters". [Rachel Barenblat/The Velveteen Rabbi]
"Clinique Makes Crayola Makeup a Reality".
"Depression: On Noise, Answering the Telephone and Making Decisions".
"Regarding Spirit Animals". "Dear NonNatives: Nothing is your spirit animal. Not a person, place or thing. Nothing is your spirit animal. You do not get one. Spirit animals derive from Anishinaabe and other tribes deeply held religious beliefs. It is a sacred, beloved process that is incredibly secret. You as a NonNative can say “X is my spirit animal” but as an Anishinaabe woman I hear "I'm a ignorant asshole." There are better words. If you want to say X is my spirit animal, don't. Try "Patronus" or "Muse." or "Inspiration" NONE OF WHICH MISAPPROPRIATE LIVING CULTURES."
"Jesus never read ‘The Bible’". [Slacktivist]
"A pocketful of hope". [Author Kristine Wyllys' New Year's post]
"Library Extension [for Chrome] Finds Books At Your Local Library While You Shop On Amazon". [Lifehacker]
"I love sliced white bread. It’s the best thing since … er, sliced white bread".
seangaffney asked me about my favorite Christmas music.
I'm fortunate in that I'm a celebrator-of-Christmas who hasn't had my fondness for Christmas music beaten out of me by a constant barrage of awfulness over PAs. I rarely spend much time in malls or anywhere else that's prone to that, and I don't see commercials, so probably 99% of the Christmas music I take in is entirely under my control.
So, left to my own devices, what I listen to when I'm just putting music on myself is either boys' choir or selected tracks from the Trans-Siberian orchestra (meaning their recordings of actual Christmas carols + a few classics that always get tucked into the category); I don't particularly like the other parts of their Christmas albums that use (AFAIK) original compositions to tell stories. I also listen to a few holiday albums by various artists; the Annie Lennox one is lovely, for example. And I even listen to most of the Tori Amos holiday album (so very much a seasonal holiday album, not a Christmas one) a couple of times a year, despite still not being over the cognitive dissonance of Tori Amos having a holiday album.
And if we interpret the question another way, my favorite individual Christmas carols are "O Holy Night" and "Carol of the Bells". I also absolutely love Vienna Teng's "The Atheist Christmas Carol"; it's one of my very favorite songs from her earlier albums.
Just a brief post to say Happy New Year and apologise for the radio silence here! I’ve been travelling, as you’ll have seen if you follow me on Instagram or Facebook, and I’ve also been working on my book.
This is a follow-up to Sorcerer to the Crown and it’s not going to be out before 2018, notwithstanding reports elsewhere (including by me /o\) that it was due out this year. Sorry! The delay is entirely my fault, but I am working steadily on it and it will get done. I’ll post about the details when I can.
Till then, there’s not likely to be too much activity on this blog, though I do plan to start posting more about writing and publishing and all that sort of thing once I’ve got the MS in a state I’m reasonably satisfied with. Consider it a fallow period — I gotta build up my nitrates!
Mirrored from Zen Cho.
So apology out of the way, onto the more important stuff. Anti-procrastination. What are you tackling today? What do you need a cheer for?
Does anyone want a challenge? Here we go - pick the level of challenge according to your energy and time limitations - remember getting one thing done is a real success, recognizing your limitations is a success (if you're too darn tired to tackle anything then, then plan a gentle way through your tasks for when energy is better, think of what your priorities will be - but don't DO anything today - rest and self care to make the days ahead easier). The challenge - low spoon - put some cleaner in the toilet, swish, leave for five minutes or so, come back, swish again and flush - SUCCESS!! Medium spoon - as per low spoon and then spritz sink with appropriate cleaner, wipe down, rinse - and SUCCESS!! Enough spoons (or time to bite-size into individual pieces and return to do another later) - Medium spoon challenge, + spritz shower/bath, wipe down and rinse - SUCCESS!! So Many Spoons/Much Time the rest of us are a little jealous - all of above + vacuum/sweep floor and clean as appropriate.
Good luck everyone! *\0/*
A ridiculous amount of m/m romance. In the past week, I've read seven novels, four novellas, and one short story. I don't know; it just kind of...happened. In rough order from best to worst, and cut for length:
( Joanna Chambers, K. J. Charles, J. L. Merrow, Alex Beecroft, Ava March )
What I'm reading now
It's a secret. :-)
What I'm reading next
Hugo nominations are due in a little over two months, and my current ballot contains exactly one novel, one novella, and one novelette. (At least I'm good on short stories.) So very soon I need to start reading SFF published in 2016, and lots of it. If anyone has novella or novelette recs to share, I'd be appreciative.
fandom_stocking opening is delayed until this weekend; the fest is also still in need of volunteers.
After Obama joked about working for Spotify after he leaves office, they created a job for him. Well played.
"In Review: A Look Back at Eight Years Through Letters to the President: As chosen by the President’s correspondence team".
"Thanks, Carrie Fisher". "If, like me, you’re among the millions of Americans living with mental illness and you feel safe saying it, you can in part thank Carrie Fisher."
"Sharon Horgan: ‘Carrie Fisher was so real it was dangerous’". "It’s hard to write a love letter to someone who was allergic to bullshit. I keep reminding myself that she would have laughed in my face. That’s enough of a reason to keep this saccharine-free."
"Carrie Fisher's Urn Is Her 'Prized Possession' Antique Prozac Pill". [THR]
Genevieve Valentine posted her "Red Carpet Rundown: The 2017 Golden Globes". As always, if you’re worried I’m making fun of outfits on the red carpet because I think it’s fancy dresses and frivolous nonsense, and somehow my previous rundowns don’t convince you, never fear: I wrote two novels about weaponized public image as the world’s most bulletproof cover for political machinations, so probably not. As a bonus, this rundown includes her Catwoman Division. *g* "A little while ago, on Twitter, I mentioned that someone had asked offhand about my dream Catwoman casting for the new movie, and I went into my usual spiral of overthinking something trivial until it haunts my dreams. Part of the problem is that there are so many factors that would change the nature of the story and thus the ideal cast. How old is she supposed to be? (Margot Robbie is 25, but that’s younger than Harley Quinn’s supposed to be, surely – she’s a doctor!) Is Selina 35? 45, like Affleck’s Batman? Has she known him long (I assume yes) or is she young enough that she’ll be having her first run-ins with him? Are we thinking of actresses who have yet to really break out, or are we picking someone who’s done enough recent big-ticket work that the studio feels like she’ll bring in an audience? What’s her narrative position – mentor? Reluctant ally? Antagonist? I had a spread of 20 actresses before I realized I should probably just cool it."
"The Year We Went on Offense Against DRM: 2016 in Review". [Cory Doctorow at the EFF]
"Here are seven ways you can keep fighting for justice in 2017".
"All of the fucks given in 2016: The field of fucks was far from barren in 2016. In fact, just shy of a billion fucks were given across social media the news this year".
Via falena, "The Fierce Triumph of Loneliness". [Helena Fitzgerald] "The things I miss could be seen as childish, a state of being in which I was never obligated to consider anyone’s needs other than my own. Women are pushed out of childhood so quickly, shoved without ceremony into the heavy social obligations of adulthood. Living alone is a reminder that we can make our bodies antisocial, hoarding our selfishness and our silence. Loneliness and solitude are privileges of thoughtless and full-throated adulthood traditionally handed to men and kept from women. They are the strange and rich pleasures of the world beyond the social, beyond the structures of home and family. Choosing the domestic actively, out of love, is a sacrifice worth making, whether this is to make a family involving children or simply with a partner, but it is still a sacrifice."
This year-old post from about love and grief from Helena Fitzgerald's TinyLetter is lovely and bittersweet. "Our culture has celebrities in place of myths, and we have grief twitter instead of byzantine lore about the journey to the underworld and the proper ways of burial. When celebrities die and we mourn them in a massively public way, this is a safe way to practice mourning for our parents and our partners and our friends, to try to force ourselves to make the unthinkable familiar. The generational quality of this grief comes from the fact that, as the celebrities with whom we grew up die, it signals that we are at the age where people are dying, and we look ahead to the inevitable disasters, the wave that grows larger on the horizon. If our public grief is a performance, it’s a performance in the way that a disaster drill is a performance. Our grief at losing an icon who meant a great deal to us is a real grief but a bearable one. But that bearable grief is a test-drive for future unbearable ones. We practice together in the hope that we can be prepared, so that the idea of loss does not seem so alien."
"Ukrainian Women Bring Back Traditional Floral Crowns To Show National Pride".
"The 30 Most Important Cats Of 2016". [Buzzfeed]
ICYMI, I wrote an introduction post a few days ago.
I suspect I'm not going to manage replying to comments on my post about f.lux/Redshift, but I appreciate all the answers and data points! I haven't yet looked any further into it/installed one, although Ginny noted that she installed f.lux on her Mac when I was living with her for a few months (which means in 2011), because I mentioned it, so that probably clears up which program I've tried before. But neither of us are sure.
2011! How the hell has it been that long since I lived with her in Toronto?! (For new folks, my Ginny lives here now, but at that point we were working in Ontario and Nova Scotia equivalent offices doing very similar work, and since I'm a seasonal/casual worker, I was able to just...wander up to Ontario [after interviewing, of course] and do a short stint there. It was great fun.)
In 2011, scruloose and I hadn't gone to Japan yet.
I'd read both Feed (2010) and Deadline (2011--although I don't remember what month it came out, so I probably hadn't read it yet while living with Ginny) and really enjoyed them but hadn't fallen head-over-heels in love with Newsflesh yet. (I know how weird that sounds, given how I feel about Georgia these days.)
I still thought I'd never get to live with cats again, short of outliving scruloose and his allergies.
There's something I have to research and really don't want to (because it'll probably bring up a lot of horrible stories and possibly images). I always had indoor cats growing up, and they always had collars (flea collars, usually), and when we got Claudia and Jinksy, in addition to having them microchipped, we got them breakaway collars (bells removed) and tags with their names and scruloose's phone number, in case they ever get out.
Breakaway collars sound so safe! But yesterday Mystic Melody (the cattery Claudia and Jinksy's father is from; I follow them on Facebook because our breeder doesn't have social media presence) posted an upsetting story that ended with a cat's death ( I'm not recounting the story or putting any graphic info under here, but still using a cut for anyone who wants to avoid the subject entirely )
Do any of you with more extensive cat experience have thoughts on this?