An Actual Update: Fannish Edition

Oct. 21st, 2017 06:29 pm
fairestcat: Dreadful the cat (Default)
[personal profile] fairestcat
Sorting out my mood stabilizers gave me back my ability to read for pleasure and it also gave me back my fannishness.

I've been reading a lot of books, but I've also been reading a shitton of fanfic for the first time in years and just loving it.

I tend to multifannishness with periods of intense focus on one specific fandom. For most of the summer that was Les Miserables, which is a great fandom to binge-read, but a highly inconvenient fandom to want more fic for in 2017, as it's not dead, but definitely doesn't attract as many really good authors as it did a couple of years ago.

Les Mis is really actually two fandoms with one name. There's the Valjean/Javert portion of the fandom, and there's the Les Amis d'ABC portion of the fandom.

I've read and loved some Valjean/Javert in the past, but right now I'm ALL about Les Amis.

The thing about Les Amis fandom is this: in canon almost every character dies, but fandom being fandom says "fuck that shit," and instead you can read thousands upon thousands of ways for everybody to live.

Most Les Amis fic is AUs. Modern AUs. High School/College AUs. Dystopic SF AUs. Fantasy AUs. Soulmates. A/B/O Universes. If you can think of it, someone has probably written it.

But there is a common theme to most of it, a story I needed to read over and over this year. It's a story about queer, radical revolutionaries who get to be happy and maybe even win a little. Not all the great fic is overtly political, sometimes they're radicals in different ways, but that radical queerness is always there at heart, and it feeds my soul.

Also, Enjolras/Grantaire is basically radical idealist who's terrible at human emotion meets cynical alcoholic who's feels too much, and it's gold. If you like pairings who start out the story completely incomprehensible to each other and fight a lot on the way to falling in love, this is definitely the fandom for you. I love stories about people who make each other better, and that's very much the case for these two.

I'm working on a Les Mis recs post but it's rather long, and I've got a lot of other things going on right now, so I'm not sure when I'll get it finished.



Just when I was starting to despair of no more Les Mis fic, [twitter.com profile] bonibaru and [twitter.com profile] thatmissp started talking about Shadowhunters and linking to stuff. So I watched one of bonibaru's vids and went, "ooh, pretty, also very, very queer". And then misspamela posted a snippet of a fic she'd written and I read it and said, "okay, I definitely need more of this." And then I discovered that it's on netflix in Canada, and decided I'd give it a shot.

I watched the entire 13-episode first season in 3 days.

As my two enablers warned me, it's not exactly good TV. It's a trashy supernatural teen soap opera, and it embraces that. But I actually love that about it, it has no interest in being subtle and nuanced, and that makes it kind of charming and endearing. It's just so earnest.

Also, very, very queer. It's an ensemble show and within that ensemble the romance that gets the most attention and best development is the queer one, and it fills me with joy.

Magnus Bane is a flamboyant, hedonistic, bisexual and immortal warlock. Alec Lightwood is a young, uptight, closeted supernatural demon-fighter. They meet and Magnus immediately goes, "I want that one," and Alec suddenly completely loses the ability to speak. It's adorable.

And of course there's angst, and Alec is a self-sacrificing idiot a lot, but it's also a surprisingly honest and realistic relationship arc for a supernatural teen soap opera.

Anyway, I've just started season two and I'm enjoying it immensely. It's not the kind of fandom I expect to become passionate about long-term, but right now it's providing a much-needed shot of sparkly queerness in my life.

An Actual Update: Real Life Edition

Oct. 21st, 2017 04:06 pm
fairestcat: Dreadful the cat (Default)
[personal profile] fairestcat
Look, I can makes posts sometimes that AREN'T either music or book reviews! Who knew?

This summer was filled with reading, multiple trips to a friend's cottage in the Gatineaus, and learning to be dog owners. That last has been particularly exhausting, but we're getting there. And he is a sweetheart.

This is Bogart:
sitting dog

all about Bogart, with more pictures and a cameo from Dreadful )

There is also a new four-footed resident downstairs. Chakra, one of Rayne's cats, died in mid-August and in September I saw this fine gentleman in a pet store and sent his picture to Rayne, who promptly came and met him and fell in love.

This is Ivan Vorcatril:
white cat

Yes, we do call him, Ivan, you idiot )

Which is better than Kina is with the new temporary downstairs resident.

Three years ago we rescued and either rehomed or tnr'd the colony of feral cats who'd been hanging out in our backyard. One of the first kittens Rayne rehomed was Sage:

grey and white cat

Sage has returned to us, but she can go home with you! )


In non-pet news, As of yesterday I am taking Concerta for ADHD.

This article was somewhat unnerving to read, because so much of it could apply to me: How I Came To Understand My Adult ADHD".

Especially this part, about how long the writer went undiagnosed:
When I asked how this was possible, my doctor-friend hit the nail on the head without looking up from her menu: “You were performing well, so no one asked you how you felt.”

I'm still figuring out what parts of my non-neurotypical brain are because of being bipolar and what parts are in fact due to ADHD. It's a weird feeling to be re-evaluating this stuff now. I'm 37. I've been diagnosed as bipolar since I was 24. I thought I was done learning new and interesting things about how my brain works.
starlady: Peggy in her hat with her back turned under the SSR logo (agent carter)
[personal profile] starlady
Professor Marston and the Wonder Women (2017), dir. Angela Robinson
I loved this film so much and I'd bet that almost everyone reading this will love it too. Based on the real-life story of the creator of Wonder Woman and his wife and their partner, the movie has been winning deserved praise for its respectful portrayal of a poly love story, as well as its exploration of exploring kink and BDSM in a relationship. The story of Bill Marston, Elizabeth Marston and Olive Byrne is fascinating, and Robinson leaps off the agreed-upon documentary record to make it a full-on romantic trio, with Elizabeth and Olive's sexual relationship being just as important and real as either woman's relationship with Marston. Despite all that, however, the film is mostly inexplicit; Robinson is far more focused on the depiction of relationships through the way people look at each other than through body parts. It is, in other words, extremely female gaze, and very sexy. I would happily have watched another hour of the movie, particularly as the latter half gets into the challenges of queer parenting in a homophobic society in a way I wasn't expecting, but the movie's conventional structure means that there's only so much time. Still, it was wonderful, and all the actors were great. Go see it.

The Princess & the Frog (2009)
Disney's last traditionally animated feature film, its first featuring a black princess, and probably the only Disney princess movie I hadn't seen. I liked the story of Tiana and her feckless prince, and from my admittedly inexpert position it seemed like the non-white characters were largely depicted in a positive manner. The story is sweet, but it owes so much to Shrek, it's kind of painful, and the thing that really struck me is that even as Disney put a lot of effort into moving beyond racist stereotypes in its depiction of the non-white characters, they were unwilling or incapable of to get beyond lazy stereotypes and fatphobic tropes in their depictions of villains and fat people. (I was also interested to see that the dupe villain gets a British accent, since the movie being set in New Orleans means that Disney was unable to rely on its main vocal stereotyping strategy of having the villains speak in Southern accents.) All of which is to say, there's ultimately no comparison between this movie and some of Disney's more recent successes.

Thank You!

Oct. 18th, 2017 05:43 pm
otw_staff: 'Comms' and 'Claudia' written beneath the OTW Logo (Claudia)
[personal profile] otw_staff posting in [community profile] otw_news
Organization for Transformative Works Membership Drive, October 12-18, 2017

However you took part in #otwdonate, thank you for getting us started on our next 10 years! We've got some numbers for you about how this membership drive turned out: https://goo.gl/SMZamk

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with heart

Oct. 17th, 2017 08:13 pm
thistleingrey: (Default)
[personal profile] thistleingrey
Kate Elliott, Buried Heart (2017)
(and "Bright Thrones," the novella between #2 and #3)

I can say even less about Heart than about Blade, its predecessor. This is one of the rare times when I like the middle book best of a trilogy. I think that the YA-ness of this trilogy has limited (by complexity and book-space) the treatment of relevant social issues raised by the story; it is good that they are raised, but several choices in #3 make sense to me only because the book is YA and needs a relatively small number of characters. Things have fitting ends within that constraint, but I'm not quite satisfied. Still a good read.

October blows

Oct. 17th, 2017 05:34 pm
celli: "You know what? I am absolutely out of my fool goddamn mind, and I am going to OWN THAT SHIT." (crazycakes)
[personal profile] celli
#ptsd #sexualassault #Weinstein

cut for the above )

some things, including fiber monday

Oct. 15th, 2017 08:11 pm
thistleingrey: (Default)
[personal profile] thistleingrey
First (1.), a question: every sewing blog that mentions "interfacing" shows something that's essentially plastic, and the bit of fusible interfacing I've seen in person is the same. What was used in its place before polymers seeped into daily life? Something like organza/organdy?
And: it's pretty clearly a Western European-based tradition to use interfacing. Do pre-colonial-influence sewing conventions in other parts of the world do something similar---is it actually generally useful for a neckline---or does W Euro-influenced sewing assume that interfacing is necessary because it's become commonplace and unquestioned? (I have to question the casual inclusion of dairy or wheat all the bloody time now, so I feel free to question this, too.) I mean general tunic and vest shapes, excluding anything ultra-fancy for one-time wear.

2. Status: I didn't knit much this week despite ample opportunity because dry fall air and raging fires a county or two over == chapped hands, rough enough to snag worsted-weight wool, never mind a laceweight wool/silk blend.

3. After ten minutes failing to revisit Stardew Valley productively (there was a plan and I'm happy to have forgotten it), I've begun playing Torment: Tides of Numenera at last.
Current reading, btw: Axie Oh's Neo Seoul, YA with a near-future dystopian setting. I love the fact that the title is a pun: in English, neo = new, two syllables; in Korean, reading neo as monosyllabic , it's a near-homophone for English "no soul." Thank you for letting so many things stand, Lee & Low (publishers).

4. Read more... )

fic report

Oct. 15th, 2017 09:45 pm
celli: A black cat with a Santa hat on, tilting its head, captioned "Whatcha Writin'? Yuletide" (Yuletide kitty)
[personal profile] celli
Between a tax deadline and a ptsd episode, I haven't been able to write much, except for that yuletide treat which is my indulgence fic.

Done:
* Coursera Character week 2 story (326/300-600)

New:
* Coursera Character week 3 story (0/700-1000)
* Coursera Character week 4 story (0/1000)
* Yuletide story (0/1000+)
* Yuletide treat #1 (777/1000+)

Progress:

Other:
* PODSA mpreg (2264/whatever)
* Star Wars auction fic (713/1000+)
* PODSA Victory Eve sequel (110/whatever)
* AIRPF AU with [personal profile] rajkumari905 (3316/whatever)
* AIRPF auction fic (0/1000+)

Looking Forward

Oct. 15th, 2017 12:02 pm
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[personal profile] otw_staff posting in [community profile] otw_news
Donors in the last 10 years have allowed the OTW to offer what it does today. Will you help us achieve more over the next 10? http://goo.gl/uF2LiA

العربيةBahasa IndonesiaবাংলাČeštinaCymraegdanskDeutschΕλληνικάEnglishespañolfrançaisitalianoעבריתmagyarमराठीNederlandsnorskpolskiportuguês brasileiroportuguês europeuRomânăРусскийsuomisvenskaTiếng Việt Read more... )
elf: John Egbert with a rocketpack, captioned "THIS IS STUPID" in all caps. (This is stupid)
[personal profile] elf
I have to watch episodes with several breaks, because TEH STOOPID bothers me.

I mean, there's the standard TV show stupid where characters have to tell each other things that they already know, so that we the audience can catch up on what happened since last season. Fine. Normal TV stupid.

There's the stupid of watching combat scenes - streets somehow devoid of cars except for those belonging to the villains; martial artists spinning into HTH despite facing their opponents and having a clear path between them (you don't turn your back on an enemy if you don't get something from it - sure, spinning around may get you leverage for an attack, but nobody did that); old Western-style one-shot-insta-death bullet wounds (except, of course, for any character with a name), and so on. TV violence stupid. Fine. Normal.

There's the interpersonal drama stupid, which includes both "let's talk about stuff that we would never directly say, except for the audience to catch up" and "let's make sure the audience has been informed, AGAIN, of exactly who has what relationship with whom." Bleh. Fine. Gotta throw in some backstory exposition for the new watchers. Then there's the mind games and secrets bullshit, where everyone pretends that they haven't spent five years learning that you need to rely on your teammates and that means telling them when something weird is going on. Fine. Emotionally constipated characters in order to stretch out the tension.

There's also spoilerific stupid, so I'm putting that behind a cut. )

Pull the Football, Save the World

Oct. 13th, 2017 12:34 pm
starlady: Peggy in her hat with her back turned under the SSR logo (agent carter)
[personal profile] starlady
Are you worried about nuclear war? I am too. Keep reading for a way to stop it with one simple action.

Maybe you feel small and powerless. But many snowflakes make an avalanche. If we all move in the same direction, we'll be unstoppable. We will only fail if we choose not to act.

Trump has the power to order a pre-emptive nuclear strike for any reason - or no reason at all. He's always shadowed by a man with a briefcase of codes, called the "nuclear football," to enable him to launch nuclear missiles at any time. It would take less than five minutes from his order to the missiles being launched, and no one could stop him. Republican Senator Bob Corker says Trump is leading us into World War III. I believe him.

But we don't have to stand by and let it happen. Let's pull away that football!

Both House and Senate have bills to prevent the President from launching a pre-emptive nuclear strike without a congressional declaration of war. They're both called the Restricting First Use of Nuclear Weapons Act of 2017. Passing those bills may literally save the world.

𝐇𝐨𝐰 𝐭𝐨 𝐬𝐚𝐯𝐞 𝐭𝐡𝐞 𝐰𝐨𝐫𝐥𝐝:

1. Contact your representatives in Congress. Ask them to co-sponsor the bill NOW, before it's too late.

2. Contact EVERYONE in Congress who might want to prevent a nuclear war. Usually people only speak to their own representatives. But with the fate of the entire world is at stake, it's worth contacting everyone who might listen.

3. Promote the Pull The Football campaign on social media. Trump isn't the only one who can use Twitter. Get on it and start tweeting #PullTheFootball.

Share this post on Facebook or Dreamwidth. Put up your own post on whatever social media you use. Ask your friends in person. If you know anyone in the media, contact them to get the word out. If you're not American, you can help by publicizing the campaign on social media that Americans follow.

𝐇𝐨𝐰 𝐝𝐨 𝐈 𝐜𝐨𝐧𝐭𝐚𝐜𝐭 𝐫𝐞𝐩𝐫𝐞𝐬𝐞𝐧𝐭𝐚𝐭𝐢𝐯𝐞𝐬?

1. Resistbot is a free service that will fax, call, or write your representatives for you. Just text the word "resist" to 50409 to begin.

2. Call the Capitol Switchboard at (202) 224-3121 and ask to be connected to the representative of your choice.

𝐈'𝐯𝐞 𝐜𝐨𝐧𝐭𝐚𝐜𝐭𝐞𝐝 𝐞𝐯𝐞𝐫𝐲𝐨𝐧𝐞. 𝐖𝐡𝐚𝐭 𝐧𝐨𝐰?

Contact them again. THIS IS THE MOST IMPORTANT PART. One water drop can be brushed away. Many water drops make a flood. Call, fax, or write as often as possible. Set aside 15 minutes every day to make as many calls or faxes as you can in that time. Relentlessness works - it's why the NRA is so successful. If they can do it, we can do it.

𝐖𝐡𝐚𝐭 𝐬𝐡𝐨𝐮𝐥𝐝 𝐈 𝐬𝐚𝐲?

Page down for a sample script. Or speak or write in your own words.

𝐃𝐞𝐦𝐨𝐜𝐫𝐚𝐭𝐬 𝐭𝐨 𝐜𝐨𝐧𝐭𝐚𝐜𝐭:

Every Democrat not currently sponsoring one of the bills. Thank them for their courage and service to the nation, and ask them to act now to save the world.

Thank the Democrats currently sponsoring the bills. There are 57 in the House and 9 in the Senate. Especially, thank Congressman Ted Lieu (sponsor of the House bill) and Sen. Edward Markey (sponsor of the Senate bill). Encourage them to step up their efforts to make it pass.

𝐑𝐞𝐩𝐮𝐛𝐥𝐢𝐜𝐚𝐧𝐬 𝐭𝐨 𝐜𝐨𝐧𝐭𝐚𝐜𝐭:

The Republicans listed below are the most prominent who have voiced concerns about Trump. This is not an exhaustive list. There are more Republicans who might be receptive. For instance, all the House Republicans who just voted for more aid for Puerto Rico, and all Republicans who are retiring from their seats and so not worried about getting re-elected.

Sen. Bob Corker warned us that Trump is setting the nation on a path to World War III. If you only contact one Republican representative, contact him. Thank him for his courage and urge him to follow through on his convictions.

Sen. Walter Jones is the only Republican to support the bill. Thank him for his courage and urge him to get his colleagues onboard.

Other Republican senators to prioritize contacting: Susan Collins, Jeff Flake, Lindsey Graham, Orrin Hatch, Dean Heller, John McCain, Lisa Murkowski, Marco Rubio, and Bob Sasse.

𝐒𝐚𝐦𝐩𝐥𝐞 𝐒𝐜𝐫𝐢𝐩𝐭:
Hello, my name is [your name.] I'm calling to ask Representative/Senator [their name] to co-sponsor the Restricting First Use of Nuclear Weapons Act of 2017. I believe Senator Corker when he says we're on the brink of World War Three. No one benefits from a nuclear war. But we can stop it if we choose to. This may be the most important action Representative/Senator [their name] will take in their entire life. It may literally save the world. I urge them to co-sponsor the bill restricting first use of nuclear weapons. Thank you.

Thank you for reading this far! Please share the post before you go.

Thanks to [personal profile] rachelmanija for creating this campaign!

I suppose I'm getting some Pathfinder

Oct. 11th, 2017 08:31 pm
elf: Life's a die, and then you bitch. (Gamer Geek)
[personal profile] elf
I have basically played no D&D since 1st ed AD&D. I remember writing up a character in 2nd ed (oh look; elves can finally be druids!) and again in... 3.5, maybe? But I don't remember actually playing in either of those; if I did, it was a single session of getting-the-party-together that later went nowhere.

I'm vaguely aware that D&D and Pathfinder are similar but not the same. I don't particularly need to know; until D&D gives up on the stupidity that is alignments (I do hear they've dropped alignment languages, at least) and the notion of dozens of character classes to allow variety instead of switching to a point system that actually lets people build the players they want... not particularly interested. D&D as a system is designed for a particular type of play, or at best, a particular range of types of play, none of which appeal to me.

I keep coming back to, "why aren't they using GURPS" if they want granular details about combat and character building, or, "why don't they switch to FATE" if they want free-flowing story adventures.

Anyway. Humble Bundle has Pathfinder books on sale, and in the way of HB, a large swarm are available for the $1 minimum. I'll get that.

I scrolled down. Normally, there's a $1 ("pay what you want") level, a mid ($8 here), and a $15 level. This time, there's also higher levels. At the top, for $45, you can get a set of miniatures.

The Red Sonja figurine shows everything I hate about D&D, the high fantasy genre, and the tabletop RPG industry.

OTW: A Decade of Serving Fans

Oct. 11th, 2017 05:31 pm
otw_staff: 'Comms' and 'Janita' written beneath the OTW logo (Janita)
[personal profile] otw_staff posting in [community profile] otw_news
Organization for Transformative Works Membership Drive, October 12-18, 2017




The history of the OTW spans a full decade. To keep our work going, we need your support. Learn more and donate today: https://goo.gl/sGQA77

OTW Finance: 2017 Budget Update

Oct. 10th, 2017 09:13 pm
otw_staff: 'Comms' and 'Janita' written beneath the OTW logo (Janita)
[personal profile] otw_staff posting in [community profile] otw_news
OTW Budget Banner




We've updated our budget for the rest of the year, and we're making plans for the future, too! Learn more here: https://goo.gl/tKRHEA

cocoknits

Oct. 10th, 2017 08:24 pm
thistleingrey: (Default)
[personal profile] thistleingrey
Julie Weisenberger, Cocoknits Sweater Workshop (2017): like Herzog's Fit to Flatter and its sequel, Knit Wear Love, this workshop walks the reader through an analysis of women's upper-body garment parts, offers some broad suggestions about balancing proportions, and provides customizable patterns with further suggestions for modification. Herzog brings a computer security specialist's algorithmic mentality and a few years of knitwear design to the process; Weisenberger has been designing garments professionally for several decades, and it shows in the patterns' gentle twists upon the basics. (Herzog's are already outdated, to my eye. Too much trend, not enough basic.) There's a master worksheet for gathering up stitch counts for the shoulder/yoke/sleeve.

Notably, Weisenberger's patterns use a clever top-down pickup method to shape the yoke. Read more... )

Celebrate Ada Lovelace Day 2017

Oct. 10th, 2017 10:05 am
otw_staff: 'Comms' and 'Janita' written beneath the OTW logo (Janita)
[personal profile] otw_staff posting in [community profile] otw_news
OTW Celebrates banner

Happy Ada Lovelace Day from the OTW! Learn more about Ada Lovelace and her contribution to coding here: https://goo.gl/jGtUJw

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