Hard Things

Sep. 20th, 2017 03:50 am
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
[personal profile] ysabetwordsmith
Life is full of things which are hard or tedious or otherwise unpleasant that need doing anyhow. They help make the world go 'round, they improve skills, and they boost your sense of self-respect. But doing them still kinda sucks. It's all the more difficult to do those things when nobody appreciates it. Happily, blogging allows us to share our accomplishments and pat each other on the back.

What are some of the hard things you've done recently? What are some hard things you haven't gotten to yet, but need to do?

Pears in Progress

Sep. 19th, 2017 10:38 pm
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
[personal profile] ysabetwordsmith
I got back out to pick up pears, so we cleaned half a bucket of them, and I put the bits in a crockpot to cook into pie filling.  :D

Tuesday Yardening

Sep. 19th, 2017 04:24 pm
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
[personal profile] ysabetwordsmith
Today is warm, partly cloudy, and muggy.  We went out to the orchard and removed many many field weeds from under the pear tree.  It is a bumper year for pears, they are all over the ground already, with plenty left overhead.  If I have the energy, I'll go back out later and pick up a bucket of them to make pie filling. 

Conflux 13 Schedule

Sep. 20th, 2017 08:00 am
calissa: (Calissa)
[personal profile] calissa

Conflux, Canberra’s annual convention for speculative fiction writers and fans, begins next week! This year it is taking place from Friday 29 September until Monday 2 October and the theme is Grimm Tales. Hugo-winning editor Ellen Datlow is the international Guest of Honour, and dark fantasy/horror author Angela Slatter is the Australian Guest of Honour. Kaaron Warren will be the MC. As usual, I will be attending and am very much looking forward to making some new friends as well as catching up with some old ones.

Where to find me

I will be sitting on four panels. Exact details are subject to change.

Con 101

When: Friday, 29 September 10:00 AM

Where: Program Room 3
Hotel Vibe
1 Rogan Street, Canberra

Panellists: Elizabeth Fitzgerald and Leife Shallcross

New to Conflux? Not been to a con before? Come and get your starter packs here. (Mostly just friendly chat–no actual starter packs will be issued, but there may be Tim Tams.)

 

Creating Story for Games

When: Friday, 29 September, 2:00 PM

Where: Program room 2

Panellists: Elizabeth Fitzgerald, Adam Hale (m), Rik Legarto, Alistair Ott, Maddy Piggott

Whether it’s roleplaying IRL or in a computer game.

 

Beyond the Hunger Games

When: Saturday, 30 September, 11: 00 AM

Where: Program room 1

Panellists: Felicity Banks, Elizabeth Fitzgerald, Adam Hale, Aiki Johnston (m)

The best YA books in the last 12 months

 

The Hugos are a Joke

When: Monday, 2 October, 11:30 AM

Where: Program room 1

Panellists: Alan Baxter, Ellen Datlow, Elizabeth Fitzgerald (m), Tim Napper

Or have they redeemed themselves? And what about the Nebulas? And how could we get better Aussie representation on the shortlists?

 

If you have an interest in speculative fiction and can make it along, please stop by and say hi! I love getting to know new people. However, if Canberra is a little too far away for you or attending conventions is not your sort of thing, there’s no need for you to miss out entirely. I shall be posting a convention report once the excitement is over (and I’ve had the chance for a few restorative cups of tea).

Mirrored from Earl Grey Editing.

Leaving Academia

Sep. 19th, 2017 03:16 am
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
[personal profile] ysabetwordsmith
Here is an essay about a professor leaving academia

I went to U of I.  There were parts of it that I enjoyed, and the culture wasn't that bad.  But I can see parallels.  For me it was more a matter of looking at the way education was going, and deciding not to get involved in public education as a teacher.  It was obviously going down the tubes, and that was decades ago; it's infinitely worse now.  So too, many colleges.  :/  I couldn't stop it.  I could sure get the hell out of the way.

Poem: "So Closely Allied"

Sep. 19th, 2017 02:34 am
ysabetwordsmith: (gift)
[personal profile] ysabetwordsmith
This poem is spillover from the February 2, 2016 Poetry Fishbowl. It was inspired by prompts from [livejournal.com profile] my_partner_doug, [personal profile] wyld_dandelyon, and [personal profile] chanter_greenie. It also fills the "separation and reunion" square in my 1-23-16 card for the Valentines Bingo fest. This poem has been posted as a birthday present for [personal profile] callibr8. It belongs to the series Polychrome Heroics.

Read more... )

Poem: "Learning and Growing"

Sep. 18th, 2017 11:14 pm
ysabetwordsmith: Victor Frankenstein in his fancy clothes (Frankenstein)
[personal profile] ysabetwordsmith
This poem is spillover from the September 5, 2017 Poetry Fishbowl. It was inspired by prompts from [personal profile] sweet_sparrow, [personal profile] technoshaman, [personal profile] readera, [personal profile] gingicat, [personal profile] ari_the_dodecahedron, and [personal profile] librarygeek. It also fills the "vampires" square in my 1-1-17 card for the Dark Fantasy Bingo fest. This poem has been sponsored by [personal profile] janetmiles. It belongs to the series Frankenstein's Family.

Read more... )
ysabetwordsmith: Damask smiling over their shoulder (polychrome)
[personal profile] ysabetwordsmith
This poem was written outside the regular prompt calls. It fills the "chocolate" square of my 4-1-17 card for the Month of Rainbows bingo fest. It has been sponsored by [personal profile] bairnsidhe. This poem belongs to the Mallory thread of the Polychrome Heroics series.

Read more... )

Poem: "Can't It Just Be What It Is?"

Sep. 18th, 2017 06:13 pm
ysabetwordsmith: Damask smiling over their shoulder (polychrome)
[personal profile] ysabetwordsmith
This poem is spillover from the August 15, 2017 Poetry Fishbowl. It was inspired by a prompt from [personal profile] chanter_greenie. It also fills the "food" square in my 7-31-17 card for the Cottoncandy Bingo fest. This poem has been sponsored by Anthony & Shirley Barrette. It belongs to the Calliope thread of the Polychrome Heroics series.

Read more... )

Monday Update 9-18-17

Sep. 18th, 2017 03:15 pm
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
[personal profile] ysabetwordsmith
These are some posts from the later part of last week in case you missed them:
Sunday Yardening
Wolves and Dogs
Review: Skyr
Friday Yardening
Poem: "Downtime"
Poem: "For Whose Sake"
Thursday Yardening
Good News


This week there will be a half-price sale in Polychrome Heroics.


Poetry in Microfunding:
"The Inner Transition" belongs to Polychrome Heroics: Berettaflies and has 25 new verses.  Stylet enjoys a shower and Valor's Widow starts cooking.  "The Higher a Monkey Climbs" belongs to Polychrome Heroics.  Pips reveals his attraction toward Joshua Tull.  "Two Foxes" belongs to Polychrome Heroics: Iron Horses.  The Iron Horses tell Kenzie what happened to the gaybashers.  "A Haven in a Heartless World" belongs to Diminished Expectations and is now complete.  Read about family in adverse conditions.

Weather has been mild and mostly sunny.  It rained yesterday!  :D  Currently blooming: dandelions, marigolds, petunias, lantana, million bells, snapdragons, zinnias, firecracker plant, white and red clover, morning glories, frost asters, torenia, purple aster, sawtooth sunflowers, pink sedum, purple sedum.

Sunday Yardening

Sep. 17th, 2017 06:37 pm
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
[personal profile] ysabetwordsmith
Today has been warm and muggy.  We finally got some rain!  \o/  There will be more chances later in the week, too.

I had to go out and reposition flowerpots that fell over.  Again.  I moved some around and maybe that'll help hold them up. 
lb_lee: A happy little brain with a bandage on it, surrounded by a circle and the words LB Lee. (Default)
[personal profile] lb_lee
There is a chestnut of misinformation on tumblr claiming that 'system' is a term made by DID folks, for DID folks, and nobody else is allowed to use it.  This is often wrapped up in the idea that multiplicity is owned by people with DID/DDNOS/OSDD, and anyone else claiming it is appropriating.  This is utter nonsense.  I've written numerous posts on this before, but here is the more thorough breakdown, first focused on the politics of this statement, and then the actual facts of reality.

The Politics: why this argument doesn't make sense, even under its own logic. )

The Facts: twenty-plus years of non-DID multiples using 'system.' )
calissa: A low angle photo of a book with a pair of glasses sitting on top. (Mt TBR)
[personal profile] calissa

Fake Geek Girl, Tansy Rayner Roberts, Belladonna University, Earl Grey Editing, books and tea, tea and books

Published: March 2016 by Sheep Might Fly
Format reviewed: E-book (mobi)
Series: Belladonna University #1
Genres: Fantasy
Source: Author
Reading Challenges: Australian Women Writers Challenge 2017
Available: Author’s website (electronic, free) ~ Sheep Might Fly (audio, free) ~ Review of Australian Fiction

Meet Fake Geek Girl, the band that plays nerdy songs at the university bar every Friday night, to a mixture of magical and non-magical students: lead singer Holly writes songs based on her twin sister Hebe’s love of geek culture though she doesn’t really understand it; drummer Sage is an explosive sorcerous genius obsessing over whether Holly’s about to quit the band to go mainstream; shy Juniper only just worked up the nerve to sing her own song in public and keeps a Jane Austen themed diary chronicling the lives and loves of her friends. When the mysterious, privileged Ferd joins their share house, everything starts to unravel…

Fake Geek Girl is a fun short story that brings magic to an Australian university.

The world-building was one of my favourite parts of the story. It’s set in an alternate version of the present where magic (also referred to as the Real) and technology (the Unreal) exist uneasily alongside each other. Magic is very much the norm, with almost everyone having some degree of magic proficiency. Students have laptops and mobile phones they need to keep protected from magic radiation, and heaven help the student who tries to use magic Post-Its on his ordinary textbook. The university likewise reflects this dichotomy, with the more prestigious College of the Real teaching thaumaturgy and similar magic classes, while the College of the Unreal includes Gender Studies and Unreal Literature.

The characters were also wonderful. Each character is distinct, with their own personalities and quirks. Hebe is a sweet girl who cares about her friends and isn’t afraid to snark when she’s constantly mistaken for her rock-star twin sister. Sage is the glue that holds the band together… well, usually. And shy Juniper’s love affair with Jane Austen was gorgeous. I was actually a little disappointed we didn’t get to see more of her, but I’m hoping that may be rectified in a later story.

As you might gather, friendship is very much at the heart of the story. Changing circumstances threaten to steal away one friend, but has simultaneously delivered a new one. The characters don’t always face these changes with grace, making them very relatable. They also come with a side order of banter.

The story is written in first person with the author’s distinctive voice–sarcastic but fun and upbeat. The chapters alternate perspectives, with the heading title incorporating the perspective character’s name. Despite this, I didn’t immediately twig to the shift in perspective and it threw me off in the second chapter. However, the story was too much fun not to persist.

Overall, I really enjoyed Fake Geek Girl and the series has become my new favourite of the author’s work.

Mirrored from Earl Grey Editing.

Changing our Internet Usage

Sep. 17th, 2017 12:33 pm
lb_lee: A picture of Sneak smiling (sneak)
[personal profile] lb_lee
Hello!  It's Sneak!  I was thinking about an article that [personal profile] metahacker linked, this one about designing sites addictively.  And it's made me get on board with Mac and Biff's idea about changing how we interact with the Internet!

Namely: we will be deleting our Facebook, and drastically cutting down our tumblr time (if not ending it entirely).

But my reasons for it aren't the same as theirs.  Biff just doesn't like the Internet in general, and Mac noticed that it wasn't making us happy.  Rogan has said he finds internet stuff increasingly overwhelming, and I think I know why: the newer generation of social media sites are designed for constant interaction.

We grew up in an older Internet time, where you weren't expected to be online every day.  You could take a break for a week, and quickly catch up, no problem!  Forums, DeviantArt, Livejournal, all of these sites are (or were) not intended to be used multiple times a day, every day. (Unless you're a HARDCORE user.) The sites were also designed for specific things: to make posts, or put up art.  They weren't expected to be everything for everyone, and while DeviantArt had forums and chatrooms, you could do perfectly fine without them. (And I don't think the chatrooms were there when we first joined.)

However, as time has gone on and more folks are on the Internet more often, these sites have changed their design philosophy.  Instead of being made for folks to interact maybe a few times a week, they're now made to be posted on multiple times a day for long stretches.  They're also more generalized.  For instance, Facebook was originally intended for folks applying for college, or in college; now it's used to organize offline events and work engagements, catch up with people from your past, and have heated political arguments.  It has groups, events, chats, games, individual pages, all with very questionable security and ethics, and they sell the information for profit.

I don't think it's paranoid to say that a site like Facebook designs itself to be as omnipresent as possible so they can get as much information (and therefore as much profit) as they can from their users!  But I can say that it makes the site not a lot of fun to be on, for us anyway.  Even the nicest site in the world would get overwhelming and tiresome when you're encouraged to be there all the time!  And by trying to be everything for everyone, their designs tend to fall apart, because they're trying to do so many things at the same time.  So it becomes awfully byzantine (in the case of Facebook) or just plain incoherent and broken (like tumblr)!

Arguments and conflict happen on every website.  But when a site is designed to be used all the time, the rate of interaction as high as possible, then it means that instead of seeing conflict maybe once a month, you see it all the time, and that's its own kind of draining!  On the whole, I think that we are just not able to keep up with sites like that, and that it's bad for our health to try.

In other words, it's time to refocus our online energy to websites that are designed for fewer, more specific interactions!  Therefore, I personally vote in agreement for deleting our Facebook, continuing our low/no tumblr usage, and refocusing our attention on sites like Dreamwidth.

--Sneak

Queer Crip Pride shirts!

Sep. 16th, 2017 02:16 pm
lb_lee: A picture of Sneak smiling (sneak)
[personal profile] lb_lee
Hey guys, did you love the gorgeous textures and typography for our covers of the Homeless Year and Alter Boys In Love?  Awesome news, the designer friend who did those is now selling awesome queer disability pride shirts!  We're planning on buying the purple one with the pink 'disability pride' letters.

Also there's a sale going for about nine more hours, so snatch one on the cheap!

Woo, T-shirts!

--Sneak and Mori

New verses in "The Inner Transition"

Sep. 15th, 2017 08:37 pm
ysabetwordsmith: Damask smiling over their shoulder (polychrome)
[personal profile] ysabetwordsmith
The general fund sent $20 and [personal profile] mama_kestrel added $25, so there are 25 new verses in "The Inner Transition."  Stylet gets a much-needed shower.

Review: Skyr

Sep. 15th, 2017 05:33 pm
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
[personal profile] ysabetwordsmith
Last time we went to Harvest Market, we picked up a carton of skyr, which is Viking-style cultured milk.  It is similar to yogurt, but not quite the same thing.  It doesn't smooth out when stirred, but tends to stay chunky, not my favorite thing.  It is the sourest yogurt relative I have tasted.  :P  There are notes strongly similar to sour cream and cream cheese.  I do not like it at all for eating by itself.  However, it could make an excellent ingredient, for example in cream cheese or pastries.  For people who dislike sweet things and find regular yogurt too insipid, try this.
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