jmtorres: (physics)
([personal profile] jmtorres Aug. 17th, 2017 10:15 pm)
This was in Club Vivid, and it is very silly.

vid: UFO
vidder: [personal profile] jmtorres
fandom: Home, AKA The True Meaning of Smek Day, the Movie
song: UFO Has Landed In the Ghetto by Ry Cooder
format: mp4, 39MB
runtime: 2:32
link: on Google Drive. I'm trying a new thing for where to keep my vids. Let me know if you have technical issues downloading it, please!
warnings: I can't think of any, there's a couple of explosions but it's an animated kids movie, they're not exactly graphic.
dorothy1901: Gilda: Put the blame on Mame (Default)
([personal profile] dorothy1901 Aug. 17th, 2017 09:36 pm)
1. It is possible to grow sunflowers in pots, provided the pots are big enough. A 16" diameter pot works.
2. You will have to brace the pot so that it doesn't fall over in a strong wind.
3. If the sunflower starts leaning to one side, add a counterweight to the other side of the pot to balance the weight. A large rock works nicely.
4. Bees love sunflowers.
5. It takes forEVER for sunflower flower buds to reach full bloom.


I'm pretty sure that at least two different species of bees have been hanging around the sunflowers: big fuzzy ones, and smaller non-fuzzy ones. Bumblebees and carpenter bees, perhaps. They're all welcome.
watersword: Keira Knightley, Pirates of the Caribbean advert, holding a gun, and the words "well-behaved women rarely make history." (Feminism: history)
([personal profile] watersword Aug. 16th, 2017 11:43 am)
I've been sick. I was traveling and offline, and then I came home and was sick with a nasty cold I picked up while gone, and then I glanced at the headlines of what had been happening and was promptly sick with horror and grief.

So far I've thrown money at the SPLC.

As so many other people have been saying: if you've ever wondered what you would have done in 1936, when the Nationalsozialistische Deutsche Arbeiterpartei was seizing control of the German government, or in 1965, as Dr. King was marching on Selma, now you know. It's what you're doing now.
Tags:
muccamukk: Gregory Peck looks up from the book he's reading. (Books: Hello Reading)
([personal profile] muccamukk Aug. 16th, 2017 11:05 am)
What I Just Finished Reading
The Ariadne Objective: The Underground War to Rescue Crete from the Nazis by Wes Davis
I'll admit that I started reading this as Guns of Navarone background, but even given that I found it pretty shallow. Basically it recapped almost entirely from the reports and journals of the British officers, with the odd German thrown in, didn't consider the Greek perspective in more than the briefest passing mention. I read the first two thirds and then sent it back to the library because I just didn't care.

Coed Demon Sluts: Beth (Coed Demon Sluts #1) by Jennifer Stevenson
I saw the author talking about this on Scalzi's blog, and decided to give it a whirl. Pretty much read it straight through on the plane, and enjoyed it, I guess. On the whole, there was way too much talk, and not enough action (or "action"). I didn't really connect with the characters because a lot of the time they sounded like talking points, not people. The actual plot, when it occurred, was engaging enough. Not sure I'll bother with the rest of the series.

(Though I did have the great pleasure of the preppy young man sitting next to me on the flight asking me what I was reading.)


Hold Me (Cyclone #2) by Courtney Milan
Enjoyed this one even more than the first one. I totally got the issues both MCs had, and why they set each other's teeth on edge, but at the same time their alternate relationship was totally believable and in keeping with that. They had great chemistry and I loved how their genuine issues were resolved by working things out and patience, not but Surprise Drama.


The Edge of Worlds (The Books of the Raksura #4) by Martha Wells
It's always good to get back to the three worlds, and I really enjoyed seeing how all the characters had grown over the years, plus all the new cultures and places they encountered on their adventure. The book also brought something I'd wanted from the start, the glimmer of hope for at least some of the Fell, in an exploration of their culture as well. Heck of a cliff hanger though.

The Harbors of the Sun (The Books of the Raksura #5) by Martha Wells
I'm sad to see the end of this series, but what a great send off. Everyone got something to do, we met all kinds of old friends again, and Pearl and Malachite got to hang out (the Pearl-Malachite show was easily worth the price of admission).

The last act was Very Dramatic (well a lot of the book was), but really how much had changed since the first trilogy, and I love how much of a family everyone now has, and how many forms that takes.

(Loved this series so much, the sting of loosing it is lessened by Murderbot being so good, and by the snippits that show up on Wells' Patreon.)


Days Without End by Sebastian Barry, narrated by Aidan Kelly
** spoiler alert ** I have a lot of mixed feelings about this book. It is a book about a gay man who is somewhat genderqueer who spends the entire book with the love of his life and is still with him at the end (they are in fact married with a family by about two thirds through). It was gorgeous. The writing was stunning. The content was often brutal.

Not in a Tragic Gay way, but in a wow the MCs were in the US army during the genocide of the Native Americans, and in the Union army during the civil war, and then we did another round of genocide in Wyoming. And so... yeah.

But on the other hand, it painted nothing as glorious, and I really appreciated a "Wild West" story that actually showed what was going on, and boy howdy did it not romanticise anything. And while it never excuses any of the characters, it does lay out how a lot of that happened, how even good men got sucked into being monsters.

So, gay HEA, beautifully written, uncountable slaughter, would rec the audiobook, as the reader has a pleasing Irish accent.

(This was strongly recced to me by Dad who goes in for depressing things with pretty writing. He also may have been trying to bond over queer content, which is nice. Your mileage will vary widely on how much you can handle the MCs being complicit in crimes against humanity, even if they were only foot soldiers, and in the army as victims of imperialism themselves.)


Notes of a Native Son by James Baldwin, narrated by Ron Butler
I don't have a lot of the historical context for the first half, but the writing is so perfect, and the ideas are clear and sharp, and it's pure pleasure to read. (It's somewhat depressing how little has changed.)


Keeping Her Pride (Ladies of the Pack #1) by Lauren Esker
One of my favourites by Esker (still doesn't top Guard Wolf, but probably edges out Dragon's Luck)! I really liked Debi and her slow road to understanding and redemption. I love how her vision of herself changed, and part of that was just a matter of realising that yes, she could put sugar in her coffee. The business plot took something of a back seat until the end, but it's a fast read, and I mostly loved watching Debi grow.

Fletcher wasn't my favourite hero, but he was solid and his issues made sense. His complicated relationship with his ex wife and their daughter made sense. I liked that the kid was there to be trouble as well as cute, as four year olds tend to be. She was pretty cute though.

Nice guest spots by various agents from the other books, but this was entirely readable as a stand alone. I haven't read Handcuffed to a Bear, where Debi first showed up, and followed it just fine.

(I got a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review, which is horridly late. Sorry, Lauren!)


What I'm Reading Now
I've got the first Sharing Knife book going on audio, which I'm enjoying in a peaceable idfic sort of way. I can see why some people want to set it on fire. I quite like it.

I'm also drifting through Sister Emily's Lightship and Other Stories, a collection of mostly fairytale riffs by Jean Yolen, which is very good.


What I'm Reading Next
The Stone Sky is out. Once I've braced myself, I'll start that.
sineala: Detail of Harry Wilson Watrous, "Just a Couple of Girls" (reading)
([personal profile] sineala Aug. 16th, 2017 12:54 pm)
What I Just Finished Reading

Therese Sellers, Alpha is for Anthropos: Look, I read a book this week! Okay, so it's a children's alphabet book for Attic Greek, but it's still a book and therefore it counts. Anyway, it's very cute; all the art is done in the style of red-figure pottery, and the accompanying little rhymes scan (more or less) to various children's songs.

What I'm Reading Now

Comics Wednesday!

Black Panther and the Crew #5, Generations Wolverine And All-New Wolverine #1, Invincible Iron Man #10, Secret Empire: Brave New World #5, Spider-Men II #2, US Avengers #9, Ultimates 2 #100, X-Men Blue #9 )

What I'm Reading Next

Dunno.
The Boy proposing to me at the top of the Eiffel Tower last night.

I said yes, duh.
lilacsigil: 12 Apostles rocks, text "Rock On" (12 Apostles)
([personal profile] lilacsigil Aug. 16th, 2017 10:54 am)
It's the time of year for [community profile] femslashex! I've asked for either fic or art on all of my prompts and would be thrilled with either. All but one of my requests are canons with a visual component, but (as a long-time comics fan!) I'm very happy with different interpretations of the characters so don't feel tied down to their literal canon appearances if there's something different you want to do. The same goes for fic - while obviously I enjoy the tone of each canon, if you want to write something at odds with it, or from a different POV or using original characters to explore the canon pairings, that's all good too.

General likes: plot, women working together against common enemies, non-mundane AUs (coffee shop in space yes, coffee shop in modern day Earth no)

General dislikes: rape/non-con, non-canon character deaths, adult/teen or adult/child sexual interaction, mindless zombies, apocalyptic or post-apocalyptic AUs, character or pairing bashing

I've tried to put several prompts for each of the fandoms and a general idea of what I like about them, but if you want to do something else completely, please do! These are just suggestions.

Fandoms

American Gods (TV) )

Crossover - Denise Bryson (Twin Peaks)/Dana Scully (The X-Files) )

Marvel 616 )

Murder Most Unladylike Series - Robyn Stevens )
melannen: Commander Valentine of Alpha Squad Seven, a red-haired female Nick Fury in space, smoking contemplatively (Default)
([personal profile] melannen Aug. 15th, 2017 10:46 pm)
No FMK this week, because I am way behind on reading, and also because I am going eclipse-hunting over the weekend! I will be bringing eclipse-related books on that trip. And thinking about this xkcd strip which was the main thing that got me into the new year, anyway.

Probably it will rain all day, but at least I can say I tried.

So instead of books, since I will be doing a lot of driving in the middle of nowhere, my question this week is: What songs are on your eclipse playlist? "Total Eclipse of the Heart" and "The Sun Is A Miasma of Incandescent Plasma", obviously. But what else?

I have been working on the book collection, though! I went through and re-did my to-read lists, of which there are three: one on the library website, which has 300 books on it, of books the library has; the Goodreads one, which includes only books my library doesn't have and has about 250; and ~2500 owned-but-unread, so that's totally doable at my current rate as long as I never add any more to any of the three lists.

(Anybody want to be goodreads friends, by the way? if we aren't already, drop me a line. my gr is connected to my rl so I don't link it here but I will def. add people.)

Me and Mom also cleaned out the cookbooks over the weekend, which was fun! We both agreed on keeping the ones that had some kind of sentimental value to the family, of course. food, cooking, and diet as expressed in a collection of second-half-of-twentieth-century cookbooks. )

We got rid of about fifty cookery books. There's only about 200 left. That't TOTALLY reasonable for a family of two that cooks an actual meal at most twice a week, and usually from recipes we know by heart, right?
Title: Mona Lisas and Mad Hatters
Fandom: Person of Interest
Rating: Teen
Words: 52k
Characters/Pairings: Root/Sameen Shaw, Harold Finch/John Reese, Harold Finch/Grace Hendricks, John Reese/Mark Snow, Michael Cole, Robert Hersh, Joss Carter, Kara Stanton, The Machine, Bear
Warnings/Content: Sentinel/Guide AU, mind-bonding, show level violence, show level torture, emotional hurt/comfort, canon character death (Michael Cole). Some Mark/John dubcon in chapters 4 and 5. Follows some events from Ep 1.10 Number Crunch, Ep 1.23 Firewall and 2.16 Relevance.
Notes: Written for [community profile] wipbigbang 2017.

Thank you to my amazing betas: [personal profile] lilacsigil and [personal profile] musyc. You guys were awesome and got me from "I want to write POI Sentinel/Guide fic with soft face touching" to actually getting it posted.

Title is from the Elton John song. ("Subway's no way for a good man to go down.")

Summary: In 2001, Harold advised on a project called Cascade, not knowing he was a Guide himself. Years later, he and John, a Sentinel on the run from Cascade, must help Shaw, who has just lost her own Guide when the Project turned on her. Complicating matters is Root, searching for Harold's Machine and interfering with their rescue of Shaw.

Also at the Archive

Chapter One
Chapter Two
Chapter Three
Chapter Four
Chapter Five
Chapter Six
Chapter Seven
Chapter Eight
Chapter Nine
Chapter Ten
Epilogue
dragovianknight: closeup of a green dragon (Default)
([personal profile] dragovianknight Aug. 15th, 2017 09:48 am)
I have fallen under the Indie Slush Pile, and I can't get up.

Rec me!

What I am looking for:

1) Not tradpub (Edit: This one and #4 are the only non-negotiable ones, see my reasons in comments; #2 can extend to SF or any similar genre, but I don't read many mysteries or much contemporary)
2) Fantasy - sword and sorcery or some other action sub-genre preferred over politics
3) Prefer a female main character
4) Competent writing, for the love of all the gods

I am honestly starting to think it's not possible to have a well-developed independently published story. Please show me I'm wrong.
marinarusalka: (Default)
([personal profile] marinarusalka Aug. 15th, 2017 06:30 am)
So British Airways has decided to add some extra stress to our Paris trip by losing The Boy's luggage for three freakin' days. Every day they kept saying, "Oh, we found your bag, it's out for delivery to your hotel!" and then no delivery would happen. Until if finally did happen -- at midnight last night. Sigh.

Despite this, we've gotten some good sightseeing in before I had to start attending the conference. Sunday we successfully navigated the subway and train system and got ourselves to Versailles. In retrospect, it was probably a bad idea to go on a weekend, as the crowds were beyond insane. The line to get into the main palace was three hours long, which we weren't willing to do, so we did the gardens and the smaller Trianon palaces. There's Grand Trianon, a pink marble palace that Lois XIV built as a private place to have nooky with his mistress, and Petit Trianon, which was Marie Antoinette's idea of a quaint country cottage. Both are very pretty and charming, and give a pretty good idea of why the French Revolution happened.

Yesterday we did the Arc de Triomphe, which required climbing a ridiculous number of steps (284!) to get to the top but was totally worth it for the view. Then we followed up with a visit to Notre Dame.

Here, have some pictures.

Grand Trianon:


Arc de Triomphe:


Eiffel Tower:


Notre Dame:


Tags:
dragovianknight: closeup of a green dragon (Default)
([personal profile] dragovianknight Aug. 14th, 2017 06:33 pm)
There are the books where chapter 1 feels like the DM is setting up the campaign world for you. *sigh*

Is the current trend in YA really the "I am incompetent at everything and also clueless about my surroundings" character? Or is this just people trying to ape Harry Potter without going the necessary step of putting their MC in a world they genuinely have no way of knowing anything about?
And therefore, I am always annoyed when I pick up an indie book that looks good, has an interesting premise, and then turns out to be shallow, half-developed, and powered entirely by the idiot ball.

This applies to YA just as much as books allegedly aimed at adults. Thus was I really fucking disappointed in A Quest of Heroes (Amazon link), which I am pretty sure I picked up because it was a) free and b) the title seems like a perfectly good phrase for a group of adventurers, amirite? A quest of heroes, a murder of crows, a pack of wolves...

Sadly, the book was not nearly so clever as that, and the worldbuilding was tissue thin. And I don't want to say the main character is dumb as a box of hammers, but his awareness of the world around him extends for about six inches. This might be accurate for a fourteen year old, but it makes for a damn boring MC.

Most importantly, the ways the book is bad are very much self-absorbed Mary Sue-fic bad. Not because the MC is practically perfect in every way, but because the world shapes itself around him. You can tell the villains because they Instahate Our Hero Thor (don't name your hero Thor, people, unless your hero is Thor). The designated Good People equally Instalove him. He is deeply confused why he is hated! And why he is liked! In fact, Thor spends a great deal of the book clueless, conveniently has magic powers as the plot demands (but the Mysterious Magic Man won't explain jack shit, he just shows up to make Mysterious Pronouncements), receives the gift of a magic falcon maybe-familiar from the King roughly five minutes after showing up at the capitol, finds a probably-magic white leopard on a hunt, etc etc.
In which I complain at length. )
In short, Thor doesn't earn things so much as he bumbles his way into being in the right place at the right time, meeting the right people, and then managing to blow it all through sheer lack of sense. The people who oppose him oppose him for no good reason. The Evil Gay Trope offends me less than the sheer lack of sense or intelligence demonstrated by LITERALLY EVERYONE. Declaring your book YA - and I question that, given the whole "getting Thor drunk and buying him a whore" part - doesn't absolve you from basic logic and sensible character development.

The book ended on a cliffhanger, but frankly, I choose to believe the end of book 1 is the end of Thor's story. I'm certainly not going to pay money for the rest.
st_aurafina: Shaw in Relevance, with golden lights (POI: Shaw fancy)
([personal profile] st_aurafina Aug. 12th, 2017 04:35 pm)
I got my 50K fic off to my second beta/ameripicker. I feel weird. I, uh, finished something. It's due to be posted on the 15th. What even?

Interesting things I didn't realise until I had to edit 50K of my own writing )

I have actually written a lot of things this year!

Tinee Linkspam:
- via [personal profile] musesfool, OPI summer challenge
Leave prompts! (Please leave some more POI prompts!)
- From Facebook, Clydesdale foal leaves the stable for the first time - tinee leggy baby, big world, what do? How do you even horse?
- Also from Facebook, this terrible curse upon some burglars. CW: creepy doll faces
- From my local paper, big news in this part of the world: Giant puzzle solved. (The puzzle is literally a puzzle.)
- From McSweeney's via [personal profile] kalloway, I’m a Google Manufacturing Robot and I Believe Humans Are Biologically Unfit to Have Jobs in Tech. (Rolling my eyes right out of my head at that google dude.)
- From My Modern Met, What Happens When a Bird’s Wings Sync Up Perfectly with a Camera’s Frame Rate. (I have dreams where stuff like this happens, like where the laws of physics are apparently broken)
- Free crochet pattern: Stingray purse or pal (I'm not sure why not both? I could be pals with a purse.)

Root/Shaw things from my endless tumblr wanderings while I was writing 50k of fic:
- Silver Lining - a Root/Shaw doujinshi. Pls pls [personal profile] lilacsigil, read this to me?
- POI OST You Are Being Watched - this is brilliant. Gifs from the final scene over the score for the theme.
- Winter Soldier!Shaw is kinda… Swol - I am all over this idea as an AU.
sineala: Detail of Harry Wilson Watrous, "Just a Couple of Girls" (reading)
([personal profile] sineala Aug. 9th, 2017 11:26 am)
What I Just Finished Reading

Still nothing! Still writing a lot of fic.

What I'm Reading Now

Comics Wednesday!

Captain America #25, Defenders #4, Generations - Phoenix and Jean Grey #1, Secret Empire #8 Secret Warriors #5, Unbeatable Squirrel Girl #23 )

What I'm Reading Next

Dunno.
Title: Off the Edge
Characters: Joker/Shepard
Wordcount: 10k
Additional Tags: ME3, Pining, Mass Effect Big Bang 2017
Summary: What Shepard needed was an anchor.
Notes: See AO3.

Read more... )
.

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