(no subject)

Jul. 25th, 2017 01:15 pm
[personal profile] martianmooncrab
Yesterday, instead of lounging about the house in my jammies, I had to get dressed to take the sister creature to the ER .. she has a viral chest infection.

I got home right before ten, so I got to watch Midnight TX on tv.

Today, New Book Tuesday, and I am already tired. But, things to do...

(no subject)

Jul. 25th, 2017 04:05 pm
jhetley: (Default)
[personal profile] jhetley
Pitcher plants blooming. Also at least three kinds of bog orchids, and little tiny sundews.
al_zorra: (Default)
[personal profile] al_zorra
      . . . .  "I Don't Want to Watch Slavery Fan Fiction" by Roxanne Gay runs in today's NY Times Op-Ed section.

NYPL pay wall, so url not link:

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/07/25/opinion/hbo-confederate-slavery-civil-war.html?


She hits all the points I've made, including the one that people tend to stay far away from, which is art and entertainments' civic, social and moral obligations to the polity.

Why yes, it is odd that whenever there is a reimagining of antebellum slavery and the Civil War, it always is white supremacists win and white supremacists are always in charge.  IOW, this is no alternate history, it is how things always were.  Why don't we reimagine a nation without color coded slavery, or any slavery at all?  Why don't we imagine a nation in which there was no Napoleonic cession of the Louisiana Territory? A reimagining in which Texas and California etc. stayed with Mexico?  Hmmmmm?  Why don't we?????? 

     . . . . That *&^%$#$ McCain did it, by the way.  The Kill Bill has been passed, thanks to his vote and thus the the tie-breaking by the Speaker.

jreynoldsward: (Default)
[personal profile] jreynoldsward

I hadn’t really planned on writing two books at once this summer. Originally, my goal was to just work on Challenges of Honor. But I had about 15k words in on Klone’s Folly, and since I wanted to have it as a short novel to shop around to various presses…I decided that perhaps it was different enough from Challenges that I could work on Klone as a break from Challenges. Klone has also suffered from being put aside for other projects and I simply wanted to get the dang thing off of the hard drive and out into the world, whether as a submission project or a self-publication project. If I clear it off of the schedule, then I can get to more projects on the list.

I also wanted to find out if it was possible for me to do this sort of writing multi-tasking.

So after about a month of doing this, I’m finding the results to be…interesting. As I anticipated, when I hit a writing wall in one book, switching to the other gets me another 500-1000 words before I’m done for the day. Working on two books doesn’t seem to negatively impact my overall writing totals–I’m averaging about 2x the amount of work on Challenges that I am in Klone, but am roughly at about the same point in the book in both places. I’m shooting for a rough draft of about 60k-80k with Klone and about 90k-100k with Challenges.

Meanwhile, I am finding that yes, with two different types of books, it is possible for me to multi-task like this. Klone is a first person POV, somewhat of an urban fantasy in a rural setting. My current quick summary is that it is Frankenstein’s Monster meets Jane Eyre in contemporary NE Oregon with Sasquatch and other supernaturals and music festivals (though the opening is the only music festival piece so far; I may need to throw another one in). I’ve been going back and forth as to whether it slides into a romance, and I think it might, which would lead to the music festival reprise. My main character Reeni has just revealed herself to be a fire elemental. Hijinks ensue.

Challenges is straightforward epic fantasy, with two third person leads who are strong females with kids–and dealing with Gods, magic gone awry, a dying strong female elder, and all sorts of slight-of-hand political games involving the Gods, an ambitious colonial empire that wants to recapture a rebel colony, and all sorts of stuff. I’m writing a lot of active female leads, not so many men. Hey, it’s a self-pub project–part of my Goddess’s Honor series–and a direct sequel to Pledges of Honor. There is a market for it, albeit not a huge one. My Goddess’s Honor books and short stories keep selling at a decent rate, which makes me happy.

Both books seem to be nourishing each other. I hit the wall on one, and find that winding down with the other book seems to free up my mind to work on the first book reasonably well the next day. It also appears to be less mentally fatiguing than devoting the same amount of time and word count to just one book. Most typically, I’ll get in about 2k on Challenges, then swap over to Klone and get in 500-1000 words for the day without flogging myself along. The switch also seems to work well for summer writing, where I might be breaking up my writing day to do horse things or other outdoor stuff early on in the day, then writing during the heat of the day. I’m also finding it easier to write after dark and later into the evening.

But most of all, I don’t feel as hammered as I would if I were working on both books.

Interestingly, too, both books have seriously jumped the rails with regard to my detailed outlines. In a good way, as I’m throwing in more complications and shoring up plot holes in the process.

Will I do it again? Well, I have other, older projects that need to be dusted off. Now that I’ve finished the Netwalk Sequence, I need to get to these other ideas that have been sitting around. At last count I had about 9 book-level projects I wanted to work on. I don’t know if this concept will work on two books that I’m starting from scratch as it really helped that I was picking up on Klone after I’d gotten some work done on it already.

But that may be the next adventure of a hybrid writer.

Mirrored from Peak Amygdala.

triffid of the day

Jul. 25th, 2017 06:45 pm
lamentables: (Default)
[personal profile] lamentables
Triffid #oftheday

Walking is almost back to a normal pace now - so much so that the f*tb*t recognises it as exercise - but I'm still not walking more than 2km at a time. I've now spent too much time not-walking or hobbling, so that walking feels like hard work and not fun. This makes me grumpy, but I am trying to focus on the longer term instead of on immediate gratification. Not-walking has also had a impact on my mental health: I'm twitchy and prey to small-hour brain weasels at the moment. *resolve face*

abrinsky had his stitches removed today and his face is looking much more the way it should do. Without the stitches there, he braved a wet shave (though not of the wound itself) and this also makes him look more himself. The nurse confirmed he's healing well, which is good to hear.

Nonsense

Jul. 25th, 2017 10:41 am
pjthompson: quotes (quotei)
[personal profile] pjthompson

Random quote of the day:

“The danger of civilization, of course, is that you will piss away your life on nonsense.”

—Jim Harrison, The Beast God Forgot to Invent

Disclaimer: The views expressed in this random quote of the day do not necessarily reflect the views of the poster, her immediate family, Lucy and Ethel, Justin Bieber, or the Kardashian Klan. They do, however, sometimes reflect the views of the Cottingley Fairies.

Mirrored from Better Than Dead.

Politically isolated

Jul. 25th, 2017 05:25 pm
liv: cast iron sign showing etiolated couple drinking tea together (argument)
[personal profile] liv
I feel completely out of step with most of my friends politically. UK politics, very gloomy )

Another Disaster

Jul. 25th, 2017 01:01 pm
al_zorra: (Default)
[personal profile] al_zorra
      . . . . Foolishly,  I thought I'd clear caches this morning.  What I did was zotz my Outlook live mail account, losing everything including my contacts list.  

This being my primary, personal e-mail account, is a serious problem in itself.

BUT!  beyond this!  it seems to have removed my actual live mail e-mail address / name, insisting I use my gmail name / address.  So I'm receiving enormous amounts of ads and junk in the Outlook box, but not anything addressed to my 'name.'

Today's our anniversary.  I really am observing it.  ARGH!!!!!!!

OK.  Restored.  Gads what a waste of three hours.  And there's no one to blame but myself.




NIF: eps 15-16 Lanterns and Swords

Jul. 25th, 2017 08:57 am
sartorias: Mei Changs (MC)
[personal profile] sartorias
These are transitional scenes in that they flash to the past but are building toward a coming confrontation. But on repeated viewings, we can see deep groundwork being laid for even bigger stakes.

And oh, the emotional moments are riveting.
Read more... )

Music I Dislike

Jul. 25th, 2017 08:59 am
oracne: turtle (Default)
[personal profile] oracne
I was thinking this morning about the very few music groups I don't like, and why I don't like them. This was prompted by a song coming on the radio and me turning it off.

1. Steely Dan. I know, I know, Bard College. But the main singer's voice irritates the crap out of me. It's so...whiny. It feels like it is scraping every nerve. The twangy stuff in the background exacerbates the effect.

2. Elvis Costello. His voice is so-so to me, but also, an ex-boyfriend loved his stuff.

3. Florence and the Machine. I should like this band, but all their songs sound too similar to me, and there's not enough change within the songs, either with the style or within the singer's voice. Maybe if it was more Metal? Because I am okay with the repetitive nature of a lot of Metal, and Industrial. Regardless, the singer's voice always sounds a bit strained to me as well, so I guess there's subconscious discomfort with that.

4. Frank Sinatra. I have never liked his voice. I have no idea why. He gives me the creeps like knowing some man is following you down a dark street.

5. Kenny G. No, no, no. *cries*

What about ya'll?
larryhammer: Enceladus (the moon, not the mythological being), label: "Enceladus is sexy" (astronomy)
[personal profile] larryhammer
When Girls Studied Planets and the Skies Had No Limits. (via)

Redefining the kilogram, using precise measurements of Planck's constant. Note that despite the article's focus on America's NIST measurement, two groups in other countries have made similarly accurate measurements.

Study shows that having more than one illustration per page-spread makes it harder for early readers to learn new words. Key jargon: Cognitive Load Theory. (via)

---L.

Subject quote from "Hope on Fire," Vienna Teng.

Tuesday roadkill report

Jul. 25th, 2017 11:32 am
jhetley: (Default)
[personal profile] jhetley

Probable raccoon corpse across from the golf course. Only probable, being in the weeds on the far side of a US highway.

Nothing particular in the floral department. If you want to gather lupine seeds, the heads are dry now.

Got out on the bike, usual weekday route. No sign of the cemetery heron.

15.26 miles, 1:13:12

(no subject)

Jul. 25th, 2017 09:08 am
the_rck: (Default)
[personal profile] the_rck
My sleep was only middling last night. I was stressed out at bedtime and didn't end up turning out the light until much later than usual because I wanted to unwind a bit. I used the c-PAP for part of the night. It had been my intention to use it all night, but I took it off in the middle of the night. I don't know why. I remember doing it and that it seemed important to do so, but I can't remember why.

I decided to make use of being up early to do a chore that I've been putting off for months. I pulled all of the books I've already read off the shelves in bedroom (two shopping bags filled to the top) and consolidated the other books as much as I could. I've dusted some of the shelves. I don't know that the dust quite made it to the dust bunny stage, but I at least had dust mice.

I want to clear enough space that I can have one shelf for library books. Having them in six different places isn't conducive to remembering to read them. I also want space for my thumb splints and some place level to land my laptop over night when I've been using it in there before bed.

I need to figure out what to do with the jigsaw puzzles. I like puzzles, but we don't really have a place for me to do them. Setting up a card table isn't really feasible for space reasons, not unless I'm going to finish the puzzle in a single afternoon while I'm home alone.

Scott scheduled today as a vacation day so that he could deal with two medical appointments. The way work schedules things, that means he has tonight off. Their book keeping considers third shift to be on the day that it starts rather than on the day it ends. This is partly so they can say that third shift works M-F instead of Tu-Sa. At any rate, his first appointment is at 11 and the second at either 2 or 3. Right now, the plan is for him to shower and then try to nap for an hour before the first appointment.

We need to wash Scott's work clothes today, and I'd like to change the sheets and run a load of laundry for us and maybe for Cordelia. I need to shower, too, and I'd like to nap if I can. Oh, and it's trash day. Great fun.

Tomorrow, my parents will be in town briefly because my step-father has an appointment about that growth in his eye. They suggested that we go to lunch. I'm pretty sure that they were hoping to see Cordelia, but they never did much to build a relationship with her, so she's got zero interest. She'd go along if she had nothing else going on, but she's not going to skip part of her volunteering in order to see them.

Scott gave me a ride to and from my appointment yesterday. I wouldn't have asked, but I was feeling really miserable due to cramping. He took the opportunity to pick up an interlibrary loan book that had come in for Cordelia.

My psychiatrist suggested that I try to find some sort of online, at home work to earn money to help while we're financially strapped. I'm looking at that as a huge can of worms. There's not a lot I'm able to do because of not being able to commit to regular hours or even to a set number in a week. Also, most of the online work options aren't things I'd be good at or aren't things that my anxiety would permit.

I'm also concerned about the possibility that earning money, even sporadically, might affect my disability status with either Social Security or my long term disability insurance through my former employer. The LTD insurer is always looking for any hint that I might not be disabled. I might be able to work for a while before I wrecked myself, and that might well be long enough to lose the LTD insurance payments and the medical insurance that goes along with the money.

My writing might be marketable, but I think that would wreck me, too, because there'd need to be a lot of it, and I'd need to figure out how to sell it and work at making sure that people saw it and... I'd stay awake all night worrying that I had or hadn't done something that would just wreck everything. Also, the sort of writing that might bring in money within any sort of helpful time frame would likely be some sort of ebook porn short stories. I can write porn. Sometimes. I can even write it quickly. Sometimes. I just... I write dark and complicated, and sometimes, I can't write at all for days or even weeks.

My psychiatrist also said that, if I'm still exhausted the next time I see her, we can talk about stimulants because insurers will cover them for people with sleep apnea who have been using a c-PAP for at least two months. I'm not entirely optimistic. Provigil (modafinil) didn't help me at all, and I suspect that caffeine has more of a psychological effect for me than a physiological one. Well, if I've recently had caffeine, sleeping is harder because I have to get up to pee every twenty minutes, but I'm not sure that counts.

It's frustrating that she's the only medical professional I'm dealing with who understands that the things that the other doctors are worried about all derive at least in part from fatigue/exhaustion and from anxiety and pain making sleep difficult. And each of those things makes all of the others worse.

I did some edits on my second Pod Together fic yesterday, all things that my partner requested. I'm hoping that the changed text will be easier to read. I still need to do one check on the pronunciation of the name of a minor character. I think I remember how it was pronounced, but I don't want to rely on that.

I also wrote about four hundred words on chapter 7 of Auguries of Innocence. I need to go back to the early part of the chapter to lay some groundwork for the things that just occurred to me as necessary. It's all about a character who hasn't been in any of the previous chapters, so I don't need to tweak anything earlier in the story. (This is an advantage of using point of view characters who don't think the way that most people do, Draco because he's unmoored in time, and Luna because she never did.)

Hmm

Jul. 25th, 2017 07:33 am
flick: (Default)
[personal profile] flick
Please, I said to the sitters before we went away, please help yourselves to vegetables, and be sure to pick the courgettes before they get too big.



(Mrs Farmer's been picking tomatoes for about three weeks now. "They are in the polytunnel," she said consolingly, but then so are mine!)

We've been travelling around The Frozen North* for the last few days, including Chester, Glossop, Ripon, Harrogate, Barnsely and Stoke. The sitters seem to have mostly done a good job, although I'm going to be having A Word with them about getting the gravel out of GB's feet when they come back in a couple of weeks for worldcon: I must have spent five minutes on what's normally a thirty second job, this morning.

The Wedding went pretty well in the end, although there was quite a lot of venue drama beforehand. My aunt is threatening a blistering TripAdvisor review, although I think my sister would rather have a refund!

* I had to borrow a coat from my mother. Never occurred to me to take one with me!

The grass isn't always greener

Jul. 25th, 2017 07:15 am
garyomaha: (Default)
[personal profile] garyomaha
When we bought this house, we noted that a "negative" on the official property evaluation was "excessive property size." The house sits on nearly one acre, in the center of town. For you city types, that's a lot. For you country types, ummm, not so much.

We ignored the warning. M agreed to (mostly) take care of the outdoor part of the home. Great structure, outstanding location, and more than enough space for two people. Plus room for a detached garage we would build someday (we did) and a dog run (it's here now, too). Driveway is a bit long but we live with it.

At first, the house did not have a lawn sprinkler system. That's almost necessary around here, where lawncare is Sport and some people compete to have the nicest-looking lawns. Living on the edge of a nice neighborhood, as we do, either puts our home in the "nice" or "borderline shabby" category, depending largely on what we do with the outdoors. So, over time, a lawn sprinkler had to be considered. At least for the front yard, but not necessarily for the whole, huge, yard. Eventually, it was added, creating the trifecta of outdoor devices (garage, dog run, and sprinkler) that have, for us, increased the value of our home.

With a sprinkler comes more water usage. One must be careful not to over water. There are gizmos to help with this, but it's largely a matter of eyeballing the lawn, particularly when the weather gets warm (as it is now). Our yard in pre-sprinkler days would have been turning brown by now. But not today, as our water bill ironically shows how much we care about being green in one way but not so much in another.

This is one of the times of the year -- along with snow shoveling -- when I know that, without M, I would be living in some place where I did not have to take care of outdoor maintenance.

Dank

Jul. 25th, 2017 07:29 am
jhetley: (Default)
[personal profile] jhetley

Overcast, air temperature 57 F, wind NNE about 10 mph. Roads still damp. Balancing act between bike ride and visitors.

Interesting Links for 25-07-2017

Jul. 25th, 2017 12:00 pm
andrewducker: (Default)
[personal profile] andrewducker
sovay: (Cho Hakkai: intelligence)
[personal profile] sovay
There is now a Blu-Ray of The 5,000 Fingers of Dr. T (1953). And it's region-free.

Well, I'm delighted.

(I have to thank Cine Outsider for the tip-off; I had no idea until I was scrolling down as I do about every month or so and then what? I still have dreams of seeing an actual print someday. The film was shot in Technicolor. It may have been chopped to pieces by Columbia, but what's left should still look good. Besides, I have always had the sneaking suspicion that even the most faithful digital transfer cannot properly reproduce the full effect of Dr. Terwilliker's hat.)

Back in "civilization"

Jul. 24th, 2017 11:56 pm
ranunculus: (Default)
[personal profile] ranunculus
 M, Donald and I spent 8 days out in a remote Alaska cabin called Driftwood.  It was great.  Quiet and peaceful until the last couple of days when more people arrived.  Pictures coming later.

I'm looking out the window in Anchorage Alaska tonight and mourning the fact that it is ONLY 11 pm and the light is fading.  5 minutes earlier every day here.   I love long days, and always mourn and whine untll the light sees fit to return again.

"You get nothing!"

Jul. 25th, 2017 02:26 am
rosefox: A cartoon figure slipping toward a gaping hole in the paper. (slipping)
[personal profile] rosefox
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.

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desperance

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