I realized recently that not only do I not have an icon for Within the Sanctuary of Wings, I don’t have one for In the Labyrinth of Drakes, either.
So! I have two ARCs of Sanctuary to offer in exchange for people making me pretty icons out of the cover art for those books. You can find the full images for Labyrinth here and Sanctuary here. The icons need to be 100×100 pixels and contain the titles of the books; beyond that, arrange ’em however you like. I’ll pick two recips out of everyone who sends me an icon — so if you want the book early, fire up your mouse!
Meedja people wanted to film an interview with me in Former Place Of Work: this was supposed to happen next Monday, and ended up being today, this morning, before the facilities open to the public. (Greatly tempted to send The Famous Shirt on its own to do the job.) They did lay on a car to take me there. There was not a great deal of faffing about before we got to the, you know, actual interviewing.
This went fairly well, though I always suspect meedja luvvies to rave insincerely: this may be unfair.
I was fairly knackered after this, but yesterday I had an email from someone who wanted to discuss matters of mutual research interest, and was going to be visiting the Library today, so I said, could do coffee, or lunch, and we had a fairly intense and wide-ranging discussion of research over an extended lunch.
And when I got back to my desk, there was an enquiry from Another Meedja Person about a thing they're researching which is one that has (according to me) already been Done to Death, and they were very vague about what sort of angle they might be taking. But I thought I should at least get in a reply politely indicating that It's Been Done.
And then I came home, fully intending to rest for a bit and then go out again to the gym, but could not bring myself to leave the house again.
But at least I think I have done a fair amount of communicating Mi Learninz to people at various different levels today.
Crap, looks like the Split Personality archive is down. Anyone know anything about it? I mentioned AO3's Open Doors a few times to...someone. Probably not ranma. I wonder if there's any way to reconstruct it or get it saved by AO3 without the original owner.
The original prompt is here.
Fandom: Final Fantasy XV
Summary: Prompto asks Gladio for advice on flirting. It doesn't really go the way he'd planned.
( Education )
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
I really liked this book. The author drops you right into the middle of the action, and half the pleasure of reading this book is trying to figure out exactly what's going on and who's on whose side. I hesitate to say too much about this one; I think it's better reading it entirely unspoiled. The language is beautiful, the plot is incredibly novel and interesting, the narrative unfolds in unexpected ways, and the characters are richly drawn. By the end, I'd cried multiple times. Highly recommend this one.
View all my reviews
I finished the Fool trilogy a while ago while I was politely not bothering you with posts. I LOVE IT SO MUCH. It didn't make me cry as much this go around, but oh my god I'd actually forgotten how long Fitz spent ( Spoilering spoilers ). People who are soul mates but can't really deal with each other will NEVER not be my favourite thing.
I'm reading the dragon books now, and I love them but with far less emotion.
My feminism post that I can't write got out of hand, and then I cut out everything that I didn't actually want to have to explain, or that didn't mean what I meant, or that was just stupid, and I ended up with this:
"I think what I'm basically saying is: Maybe all sex isn't rape, but maybe you should just think about whether all sex is rape, because maybe in a way all sex is rape. (I don't believe all sex is rape.)"
It's basically my entire point. Unexplained. I think deep down it was a post about how important thinking about radical feminism is to me, and how many people don't seem to be exposed to it nowadays, except as something to ridicule and dismiss. And I think that's dangerous as well as sad.
THINGS NOT BOOKS OR FEMINISM
I am so cold I might blister.
I have bought new houseplants and pots to put them in, and they make me really happy.
I love things. Things are great.
I went back to the magical pizza place and the pizza was not magical. It's quite upsetting. Devastating. I don't know why we go on.
Maybe you should welcome the new soul vision.
As for the latter -- for braving 15,000 hours of commute -- I absolutely need engaging audiobook (iTunes / iBooks) recommendations.
Can you help? Things I like:
- Mystery & suspense & thrillers,
- Queerness (but that's not a prerequisite; I just cannot deal with unhealthy heterosexual role dynamics).
Things I don't like:
- Any type of family quarrel or issue,
- Violence against women or queer people or disabled people,
- Too many technical descriptions, battles, or fight scenes; I just don't care (this is sometimes a sci-fi problem).
To pad this, I've recently listened to Sarah Waters' Fingersmith, which was fantastic; I've listened to Blindsighted by Karin Slaughter, which was well-written enough but full of rape, violence against women and queer and disabled people (I wish I were kidding); and I'm listening to Transformed by Suzanne Falter & Jack Harvey, which is entertaining but hardly compelling (the "Society Domme" is just not working for me).
A key element of the negotiations between the Freedom Caucus and the White House revolves around the so-called Essential Health Benefits. The White House is working to possibly include the repeal of Obamacare requirements that certain benefits -- such as mental health coverage, drug addiction coverage and maternity care -- be required in insurance plans. [CNN.com one hour ago]
I still have it! \o/
That's it. That's the straight-up legalization of junk insurance, by the front door instead of coming in through the side.
The Most Unsatisfying Video in the World ever made. Content warning: designed to grate anyone with OCD tendencies. Right down to the inconsistent capitalization in the title. (via)
Reopening the wound: a proposal to re-redefine "planet" that adds Pluto and 101 other bodies to the set.
Subject quote from "The Secret Life of Walter Mitty," James Thurber.
Yes! I have a balcony this time! And it is lovely. I may go out and write on it. Being on tour has its occasional perks.
I’m in Chapel Hill tonight, at the great Flyleaf Books, where the fun begins at 7pm. If you’re in the area, come on by and see me!
Tomorrow, I return to Richmond, VA for the first time in ten years (yikes! Where does the time go) at the Fountain Bookstore. If you’re near Richmond, I would love to see you there!
Also, in this short entry I have used up all my all explanation points for the day!
Surprising new role for lungs: Making blood
Female guppies with bigger brains pick more attractive guys
Laser activated gold pyramids could deliver drugs, DNA into cells without harm
Biologists say wolf spiders have a wider range of personality than once believed
Ghosts of past diseases shape species evolution
New research suggests ability to assess group size at a glance is seated in ancient brain
Dead zones may threaten coral reefs worldwide
Giant magnetic fields in the universe
Critical thinking instruction in humanities reduces belief in pseudoscience
Engineers design 'tree-on-a-chip': Microfluidic device generates passive hydraulic power
Non-breeding ravens live in highly dynamic social groups
We're pleased to announce that after seven months, the Archive of Our Own is once again available on the Internet Archive's Wayback Machine!
Late last year, the AO3 suddenly vanished from the Wayback Machine, a non-profit archiving service. We reached out to its maintainers several times during this period, to find out why AO3 pages weren't archived anymore. The project's director contacted us this week and explained the problem.
Rather than excluding only pages belonging to users who had asked for their content to be taken down (e.g. their profile page or specific works), the entire archiveofourown.org domain had been mistakenly excluded. The folks at the Wayback Machine have corrected this problem and the AO3 is available there once more. (Check out the Archive homepage from 2010!)
While the Wayback Machine is a great service, and another useful tool in the efforts to preserve fanworks and fan history, this is a good reminder not to keep all your eggs in the same basket. Download works you might want to read again in a year, crosspost your own works to other sites, and be sure you save back-ups locally and/or with a trusted online service.
If you're concerned about the public availability of your works, check our "How can I hide my works from non-Archive users?" FAQ for information that can help protect your privacy.
...Anyway, somehow I was expecting this to be about a princess and a goblin, not a princess and a peasant boy and a WHOLE BUNCH of goblins, none of whom she really interacts with. I think somehow I had got the impression that Curdie was a goblin who helped her out.
That's really the core of my response to this book. As I was reading it (and I'm very glad I did) I was seeing all the ways in which this is really an important foundation block in the later fantasy I've read, missing pieces that I haven't found in extensive folklore reading but still turn up every now and then in post-Victorian stuff, even such little things as the physical descriptions of the goblins. (Such as having a jack-o-lantern face, when folklore pumpkinheads are usually very distinct from folklore goblins.)
And then there's the very strong, and very Victorian, thread in this book of beautiful = good and ugly = bad. Not to say that post-Victorian kidlit has totally solved that one, but still, there's enough pushback against it in newer kids' fantasy (and in folklore) that my response to the lady who is beautiful beyond imagining (*especially* if she admits she's wearing a glamour) is BEWARE, and you should probably go find an ugly crone to talk to instead. Also I can't think of a single reason why the goblins aren't in the right here, given the way they are being dehumanized and their lands are being steadily stolen and then destroyed. They even try for a diplomatic solution first!
Of course, the fairy-story books I was imprinting on instead when I was the age for this were The Ordinary Princess (all about how Ordinary doesn't have to be Beautiful to be Good) and Goblins in the Castle (where Our Hero realizes halfway through that the displaced goblins are in the right and he's been on the wrong side all along). Both of those books are almost certainly arguing with MacDonald and his peers, whether consciously on the part of the writers or not, but I got their side of the argument first and it's a much better side. :P
I was also interested in how young Irene was. There's a standard in kidlit publishing (or at least there was, awhile back) that your protagonist should always be at least a couple of years older than the reading level you're writing for, presumably as an aspirational thing, and also so kids who read a lot can feel smug about reading books for older kids and kids who are a little slower don't have to be talked down to.
But I'm wondering if it's also because adult authors tend to write their protagonists acting a few years younger than kids of that age feel like they are in their heads. Irene certainly feels younger than eight to me, for a lot of the book: at eight I could tell you who my cousins-once-removed were and how they were different from my second-cousins, and I can't imagine many second graders I know being confused by the concept of a great-grandma, or in general have Irene's maturity level. And when I was a kid, reading books about kids a few years older than me, the protagonists didn't usually feel like they were that much older than me. Maybe by telling grownups to write eleven-year-olds for eight-year-olds, you end up with characters who feel like eight-year-olds to eight-year-olds.
I did really like the strong message in this book that adults need to believe what kids say to them, and that if the adults don't, that's on the adults, not the kids. And if the kids let themselves be half-convinced the adults are right and the kids are imagining or exaggerating, it's also the adults' fault, and not the kids failing, and not just "part of growing up." And that the mysterious secret stranger actually tells the protagonist to tell all her grown-ups everything, not to keep it secret, because adults who tell you to keep your relationship a secret are probably not the adults you should rely on. That's something that is REALLY REALLY IMPORTANT to teach a lot of kids (although probably more important to teach grownups), and I think the way MacDonald did it was a lot more emotionally real and with a lot more conviction than a lot of other people, especially modern kids' fantasy, where the parents not believing or not being told is either taken for granted or treated as harmless.
Also wow, you really couldn't get away with handing a character a LITERAL PLOT THREAD in a modern book...
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( Particular: about the show )
( Specific requests from the AO3 signup for my own reference )