An Eventful day

Mar. 25th, 2017 11:41 pm
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[personal profile] cornerofmadness
I had to get up ungodly early on a Saturday to be one of the judges in the Ohio Academy of Science Science fair. This is my university's first time hosting this and frankly I think we knocked it out of the part (almost entirely because of our biochemist's work on this project). We don't know entirely why Shawnee State gave it up (one of our closest competitors) but to me, this is great for our school and getting exposure. Everyone stepped it up (including our English department who showed videos for the parents while their kids were presenting their research).

To my shock there were kids as young as 5th graders in this. Man, we just didn't DO things like this back in my day. What a shame. From here they will move on to state competition. Many won awards and scholarships. I was paired with one of my very best and brightest students (who's been at the college since she was 14. I love her). Right off the bat things went sideways. I put my clip board down in the bathroom and some other judge walked off with it. Finally found it.

My student ally (who has done way more of these than I) went after these kids like a bull dog, a very polite one, but she's way tougher than me! We all had 3 to rate and critique. I had one botany and two eye physiology ones. The second one (who was right next to a 5th grader who made a case study of her own performances using her prosthetic leg) really knew her stuff. She was busy impressing the hell out of us. Suddenly, while my student and I were studying her graphic, she took two steps back and was on the floor. At first we thought she had stumbled over her too high heels. After a second I'm like well fuck, she's fainted. I get on the floor and gather her up. She wakes up fast and I can see my student (plus two male students of mine, all of whom want to go to med school go pale faced but want to help). I send them for water and juice, figuring a) it's hot and the poor nervous girl might have overheated b) she says she ate but it could be hypoglycemia.

I stay with her even though she says she's fine because I see she is not. She goes out of me again and I catch her before she falls. I get one of the other students to bring a chair but at this point she's twitching and the nursing instructor sees us as well. Neither of us can revive her. Her eyes aren't rolling under the lids so in spite of some muscle twitching I don't think she's having a seizure but it is possible. Her pulse is so thin and thready I have my student call for an ambulance. In fact we LOSE her radial pulse and have to find it in her neck. her hands are blue, her lips are grey and we can not get this girl back.

Thankfully someone found her teacher and she wakes up when she hears the familiar voice. By the time her parents are located she's thankfully not looking blue/grey any more and is talking (though her mom of course is so freaked out the girl nearly passes out again from the emotion). I tell their dad they should still take her to the hospital ( by now the cops and one of the athletic trainers are there too) because she did strike her head that first time. Later her dad hunts me down to talk to the hospital because I'm the one who witnessed the full episode. She was more alert when she was there and seems to be okay. I guess if you're going to have a major syncopal event, have it in front of a doctor and a nurse. My student said wow I'm not sure medicine IS right for me. That was too scary. My response was I'm glad you three were here and saw this because this is what it is like and this is mild, really. You need to honestly think about this stuff and make the best choice for you.

Thankfully the rest of the day was less traumatic though one student sat on the table and collapsed it and we were running majorly behind for who knows what reasons. Lunch almost very arrived and I think they made serious errors in it. they had exactly 2 vegetarian dishes instead of the half dozen ordered. There were twice as many chicken and turkey wraps as there were judges. I ended up eating chicken because while I prefer the veggies sandwiches I WILL eat meat. It was horrible full of cartilage.

But over all, it was a successful day.

Then I went to L's play tonight. It was her first time directing and she had a small role and my chemist friend TH had several roles. It was a 1930s detective radio drama and it was funny. I thought they all did a good job. The woman playing Lola, this was her first time on stage and she was really good. The fellow playing the lead is someone I know peripherally thru L. He's in every play mostly because he's one of the few men who try out, not because he's good. He was actually rather bad in this because he could read the script (because it was there as radio dramas would have the script) and he read so monotone. Still, it was probably one of the more fun plays I've seen them put on.

I didn't get what I waned for dinner either. I knew the Italian joint would be busy but it was more than an hour wait. I went to KFC to try that Carolina Gold...even more chicken strips full of cartilage.

And hey ALL my stories are on sale for 30% for at least a few more hours at Dreamspinner. Find it here.

Also for a very limited time Abney Park's e-albums are only 2$ I need to buy some here.

I managed four hours sleep last night. Whee.

Adopt one today! Adopt one today!
Adopt one today!
Adopt one today!
Adopt one today!
Adopt one today! Adopt one today!
the_gneech: (Default)
[personal profile] the_gneech

In 2014, I missed Suburban Jungle so much that I decided it was time to return to it. But I couldn’t just pick up with Tiffany, Leonard and the crew seven years later. Tiffany’s story was finished, and as she was the star that the rest of the comic orbited around, there was nowhere for it to go except to just sort of string along as a zombie franchise. So I decided instead to for a “next generation” idea, and Rough Housing was born.

I freely admit, I had very little idea what I was doing with it at first, so I just tossed in a bunch of things that I liked and figured it would gel. Possibly not the best way to start a new project, but it was also true of the original Suburban Jungle and that seemed to go fine. My initial vision for Rough House was a lot more pure OTT zaniness and parody. Issue two pretty much exemplifies this, with the S.S. Plot Device and “The _______ of Cangrejo Diablo!” being typical of the kind of jokes I had in mind.

But for whatever reason… I just didn’t love it. Scripting was constantly a chore and instead of wacky hijinks I kept wanting to write shippy or emotional moments. By the end of issue three and well into the scripting for issue four it would be fair to say that Rough Housing was having an existential crisis behind the scenes. This resulted in the scripting for issues four and five taking forever as I wrangled with it.

I knew from the beginning of the “Best Bodies Contest” arc that the big payoff moments were Parker getting up on that stage, and Leonard’s final decision. But I also clung to the idea of wacky hijinks, envisioning lots of sabotage at the contest, Charity doing ridiculous things to stall Leonard and Morrison, and so forth. But while the emotional moments flowed quickly and easily, for the hijinks I ended up with whole pages of script that said things like “FUNNY SCENE HERE.” Fortunately I was able to lean on my wit to come up with gags on a page-by-page basis, but it was a frustrating way to run a railroad.

But as I was working on issue five, two important things happened. First, I began streaming my art sessions, enabling me to get real-time feedback from some of my most engaged readers and see what they responded to and why. Second, I was watching and falling in love with K-On! and examining how I responded to that and why. And when I spotted the overlap, everything clicked.

See, here’s the thing: K-On! hits the sweet spot perfectly. At its core, it’s a remarkably subtle, character-driven story about connections, loss, savoring the moments of life, and so much more– but it sneaks all this past you by being adorable and laugh-out-loud funny. But the humor isn’t the GIANT MONSTERS ATTACK humor of Love Hina or Sgt. Frog. The girls spontaneously forming a cheerleading squad for Ritsu as she tries to eat a receipt they don’t want their teacher to see gets me every time, but it’s also a completely realistic moment.

This was the eye-opener for me. The original Suburban Jungle was very comfortable with the GIANT MONSTERS ATTACK style, with its very tenuous fourth wall, aliens hiding in the sun’s corona, and all that jazz, but when people talk to me about it today, what do they talk about? How Tiffany, Drezzer, or Leona impacted them personally. The connection they felt to Mikey and Wally. How they identified with Dover’s codespeak.

The people in my streams, similarly, talk a lot about how adorable Charity is and wanting to give her a hug, being proud of Parker’s overcoming his fears, or how fun it is to see Rufo wanting to make out with anything that moves.

In other words, the parts that were coming the most easily, are the parts that work the best anyway. XD So! Lesson learned.

Langley and Ritsu... separated at birth?

Langley and Ritsu… separated at birth?

The influence of K-On! has already worked its way into rewrites and page layouts. This Langley/Rufo moment, for instance, was not in my original script. It was inspired by the chemistry between Ritsu and Mio and tossed in to spruce up an otherwise dull page, but it’s just as great a moment for these two goofballs.

But the lessons I learned from K-On!, and the realizations I made about Rough Housing along the way, are going to have big repercussions moving forward. Issue six will see a shift away from “this issue’s funny premise”-style writing to focus more on the characters’ goals and fleshing out generally. I also hope to move away from being quite so much focus on Charity to being more of a proper ensemble with stories about the rest of the cast. (Who is Bounce? What does he do all day? What’s the deal between Langley and Rufo?)

This may lead to eventually changing up the cast somewhat, if existing characters aren’t working or new characters might work better. We’ll see. Rough Housing is sure to evolve over the next issues, but I finally feel like I understand it now. Giant monster attacks and wacky hijinks are not and were never going to be the strength of this comic, and really aren’t the strength of my writing generally. It’s the characters and connections, and the humor that naturally arises from them, that will make or break it.

Giant monster attacks may still show up from time to time, who knows? But where before I was saying “A giant monster attacks! What do the Rough Housers do?” I’m instead going to start with “The Rough Housers want X. How does that pan out?”

You’d think after being a writer for thirty-mumble years, I’d have learned that lesson by now. I guess I just need periodic reminders.

-The Gneech

Feanorian Week 2017

Mar. 25th, 2017 11:07 am
la_samtyr: grapes to be harvested (Dorwinion grapes)
[personal profile] la_samtyr
OK, why don't we all pretend that I found this amazing vid of Maglor? Perhaps it will inspire someone else to write? :)

The Epic Of Gilgamesh In Sumerian

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[personal profile] the_gneech

I wrote a thing...

Mar. 25th, 2017 12:47 am
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[personal profile] daemonluna
 So I stumbled across a short one-shot web comic on Tumblr. Coexisting With The Fair Folk Who Have Taken Up Residence In/Around/Beneath Your University: A How-To Guide.

And it turns out in the past month and a bit, it's spawned a whole fandom, and I've been skimming through all the accumulating bits and pieces of newly-minted fanon.

And I have Opinions about depictions of libraries and librarians in pop culture. So I wrote a thing

Up to 10 hours of sleep

Mar. 24th, 2017 11:34 pm
cornerofmadness: (Default)
[personal profile] cornerofmadness
In 3 days. Still not tired. Oh my brain isn't braining but the body isn't getting the message. It's just loopy and weird.

Weird is a good word for the week.

We had the second interview for the new faculty member. I don't want to say more than that but damn they were both so good.

Last night I went to my friend's production of The Taming of the Shrew (Mom: you like that one, she's like you. Um...thanks Mom?). It was mostly students and they did well. Two of the three English profs that were in were AWFUL. It's like they've never even seen the play. My god. The other, my friend HD was very good.

I've had issues online today. I went to reserve my trips in Utah but the person I was going to use for the tours is suddenly no longer featured on viator so now I have to wonder why. Must investigate that. Then I saw one of my credit cards was overdue. I had a confirmation code for it so I was confused. I ended up with the nicest of customer service people. Somehow i paid one credit card twice and somehow last month it never gave me anything but the remainders of the month before leaving me with a huge bill now. Sigh.

I also learned, after instanteous rejection that Netgalley had an even steeper learning curve than I realized. I never saw the caveat where every unread book you have drags your percentage down until you review and that if you don't read it in a certain time, it locks off and you can't read it. I had to go find some of the graphic novels at the library so I could read it as publishers won't let you read anything unless you're over 80%. Lesson learned. Only ONE book at a time for me as I'm too slow with ebooks. And no more graphic novels because they don't image right.

Speaking of ebooks....Frustrated. Last week I saw a 'save battery' thing flash up on my ereader. I don't remember clicking it (but with the touch screen who knows) and ever since the screen is so dark I can barely read my books. I've looked all over and can't find how to fix it. I did find one place that said it was to 'save battery' but it's off.

Systems crash update.

Mar. 24th, 2017 07:37 pm
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[personal profile] kerkevik_2014
  Got the laptop back, but as things stand I have lost everything I had saved. 

  Vids are the most painful right now, as there a great many I know are no longer on You Tube; the ones I had transferred to my hard drive just prior to the crash; for safe-keeping *pause for ironic contemplation* are the hardest to take. 

  It's the stories I was working on and the ones I had saved, which may or may not still be there,; still can't figure out how to use the wayback machine (all I seem to be able to get are page links that don't actually go anywhere; which why bother saving them?), the loss of which hasn't hit me yet. 

 It's the feeling nothing that bothers me, or should. I'm not feeling anything. It feels as if I don't care, which is obviously a fallacy or I wouldn't be posting about it. 


GUFF Interview: Alexandra Pierce

Mar. 24th, 2017 08:00 am
calissa: A black and white photo of a large, dark teapot and a small Chinese teacup with a fish painted on the side (Tea)
[personal profile] calissa

GUFF interviews, kangaroo, Earl Grey Editing, Elizabeth Fitzgerald

The Get Up-and-over Fan Fund is designed to promote connections between fandoms in Australasia and Europe. This year GUFF will send one delegate from Australiasia to Worldcon in Helsinki in August. Voting is open to all interested fans, regardless of nationality. It closes 17 April.

Deciding how to rank the candidates can be a pretty daunting prospect, so over the next few weeks Earl Grey Editing will be featuring an interview with each candidate. So far I’ve interviewed Belle McQuattie, Donna Maree Hanson and Sam Hawke. Joining me today is Alexandra Pierce.

First and most vital: What’s your favourite beverage?

My favourite hot beverage is black tea; I go in for flavoured ones like Earl Grey or some of the fruity ones from T2. Cold well, I have a weakness for elderflower cordial and New Zealand sauvignon blanc. Of course.

Yum. Elderflower cordial with tonic water is one of my Christmas traditions.

Oh nice! I have Plans to investigate elderflower as an ingredient.

How did you come to be involved in Australian SFF fandom?

Through Alisa Krasnostein! A friend got me reading the Aussie magazine Andromeda Spaceways; Alisa was interviewed and said she was looking for reviewers for her review site at the time (Australian Spec Fic in Focus), I emailed her and then all of sudden I was going to cons and the rest of it.

You host a feminist SFF podcast called Galactic Suburbia with Alisa Krasnostein and Tansy Rayner Roberts. Your seventh anniversary was earlier this month. What has been the most memorable part of the podcast for you?

Whoa seven years. Thats amazing. At the Australian Worldcon in 2010, we were at the Hugos ceremony and someone behind us said “Hey, listening to you two is like being on my commute!” We love feedback and feeling like part of a community. Also, winning a Hugo Award was pretty memorable. Plus, I get a regular date with two awesome women. Weve talked about some amazing stuff.

Winning a Hugo Award is definitely something that’s going to stick in the memory.

I was watching the live stream. It cut out as they said our name and then our acceptor was on the stage. I cried.

In addition to the GS podcast, you also teach, review books, write a column for, and run a couple of blogs, as well as another podcast (on cooking). Have I missed anything? How do you manage to juggle it all? Do you have any tips on how to steal a TARDIS?

Uh yeh ok, when you put it like that it sounds like I do a lot! I also cook and occasionally do house work; I try to get away for astronomy occasionally, too. How do I fit it all in? Well, I dont have kids or pets. That certainly helps. I also work part time as a teacher and have done for a while, which gives more time not only during the week but also at night and on weekends when otherwise I would be planning or marking. I dont always manage to juggle everything – sometimes I drop balls all over the place. I guess I keep doing the things Im doing because theyre all things I WANT to be doing, so doing them is (usually) enjoyable. That definitely helps. As for using a TARDIS I think of Hermione and her time-turner and I think that would be a very bad idea. Id just end up confused.

What’s coming up next for you?

I’m editing a collection of non-fiction in honour of Octavia Butler, which is tremendously exciting; I’ll also be hosting a Facebook book club, on the first Sunday of the month from March to June, on a few of Butler’s books.

I loved Letters to Tiptree, so I’m really looking forward to this new anthology.

Were excited! Its called Luminescent Threads: Connections to Octavia Butler.

Wow, what a great title!

What are you most looking forward to about Worldcon 75?

Meeting people! At the 2010 Worldcon I was very new to the scene and very shy. I’m still very shy but at least this time I have had contact with people who will be there, so I’ll feel more like I’m *allowed* to talk to them!

Alexandra Pierce, Galactic Suburbia

Alexandra Pierce reads, teaches, blogs, podcasts, cooks, knits, runs, eats, sleeps, and observes the stars. Not necessarily in that order of priority. She is a Christian, a feminist, and an Australian. She can be found at her website, and on the Hugo-winning Galactic Suburbia podcast.


Mirrored from Earl Grey Editing.

Blog tour - gender in the theatre

Mar. 23rd, 2017 04:32 pm
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[personal profile] charlie_cochrane
Over at the Sinfully Blog for the In The Spotlight blog tour where I'm sharing some thoughts about gender and the theatre. Do drop in and chat.

It's been a strange two days.

Mar. 22nd, 2017 10:55 pm
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[personal profile] cornerofmadness
Yesterday, I woke up from a nightmare. I dreamed I was in one of those big house dreams of mine. It was in the woods, maybe upper Wisconsin or Alaska or something. There was a lot to the dream but I don't remember all of it. I was being tortured by a youngish man with dark hair. He wanted something I had, something important and valuable and antique. Actually more than one thing. One I know had been given to me by Aunt S2 and the other was in a box. I was trying hard not to even think about it because I was afraid he'd see it in my mind.

At one point he grabbed my bare foot and improbably my toenails were painted in orange and black checkerboards (as if I'd ever do that on a pedicure). WHen I wouldn't give up what I had hidden he bit off one my toes. I managed to get away and ran screaming to my friend to help me. the room she was in had a door with that thick white paint from decades of repainting and only locked by one of those sad hooks in a metal circle things you see in toilets after the original lock's been busted off. I told her to call 911 but the phone looked like it was encased in styrofoam. She only laughed at me. I'm not sure she was other than my friend. She acted like [personal profile] evil_little_dog but looked more like [personal profile] silvrethorn. That's when I realized she had hired the assassin to torture and kill me for whatever the hell it was I had. I managed to call the cops (but I had to call 1-911 to get a line out).

In the end I was minus a toe, betrayed by my friend and the thing in the bag Aunt S2 gave me was 'the most delicious sandwich in the world.' ALl this over a sandwich which was ancient and rotted. What the fuck brain?

Last night I took a two hour nap from 2to 4 and I've been up and jazzed, ever since. I'm still not really that tired. I'm somewhere beyond that, into lala land and the functional delirium. I did four hours of lab and two hours of class like that.

Not hungry either, just vaguely nauseous. My left eye is killing me as something happened that rarely has ever happened to me in the years of me wearing contacts. It rolled up under my upper lid and it took forever to get out. I'm sure I've scratched my cornea.

Kanda isn't speaking to me. He wanted fed the moment I got home. I didn't feed him (He's on a schedule) so he pestered and pestered me. I picked him up which just pisses him off. He sits on my lap every day but if I pick him up and put him on my lap the world is ENDING.

I won a cozy mystery from Penguin books via Goodreads and the beginning really put me off. I get that most cozies don't have a lot of swearing. I've no issue with that. I have many friends who don't swear (we all know I do but whatever). But in the book instead of just skipping the swears she's inserted nonsense that make the SImpson's Ned Flanders seem like a sailor. I'm really put off by adults calling each other boobyheads and other non-swears that makes it sound like everyone's on the Andy Griffith show. That's fine 50 years ago but now it just seems infantilizing.
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[personal profile] charlie_cochrane
Am delighted to be at My Fiction Nook today, where I'm discussing the link between Chicago and Twelfth Night (there is more than one) and why Shakespeare's Antonios intrigue me.
grey853: sad kitty (sadkitty_1000_egrets)
[personal profile] grey853
Oh, man, I have a cold. I haven't had one in a long time, a year maybe. I forgot how miserable they are. Yuck. Thank goodness I'm retired. I remember the days of dragging into work with a cold and, man oh man, was that fun...not.

Just had to share.

Borrowed Time

Mar. 21st, 2017 04:51 pm
kerkevik_2014: (I'm Sad)
[personal profile] kerkevik_2014
 Got a borrowed laptop, but cannot find the password to get me back on my email which, when I get the laptop back I will need whatever has been recovered. 

 Cobbled together set up died Saturday night with that laptop. Somehow managed to get through the last couple of days without even any music to find solace in. Dreamwdith & livejournal I can change the passwords for without my email account; others? don't know. 

 Without my cats... 


Happy AlbanEilir/Ostara

Mar. 20th, 2017 10:56 pm
cornerofmadness: (Default)
[personal profile] cornerofmadness
Or Spring Equinox if you'd like.
 photo spring_zpst1zfwiho.jpeg

Ohio is celebrating it by raining buckets. Whee.

I've been having tons of dreams that flee the moment I wake so I'm sleeping like hell and my blood sugar is WAY out of control up around 250-350 (I think it's my ovaries).

We interviewed the first of our two job candidates and that went well.

I'm working on fixing (and greatly changing) the first chapter of Blood Red. Now if I only had the energy to type in the changes.

I also ate questionable food and now I don't feel well.

I have nothing interesting to say so have some holiday music.

I found this one oddly empowering.

Adopt one today! Adopt one today!

(no subject)

Mar. 20th, 2017 08:00 pm
cafeshree: text lets get to work (activism)
[personal profile] cafeshree
 I did some calling of Congress people today, had to leave voicemail, but still proud I did it. Calling is getting a little easier but I still have to work up to it.  I used 5 Calls app to do it and it was easy. Gives you a list of things to call about, gives a little explanation of the subject, then lists the Senators and you pick which one to call and it connects for you. After lets you pick if you've left voicemail or got through and a couple of other things I don't remember. I like it, made it easier. 

I feel like I need to schedule resistance things, most days I dip in here and there, sometimes it feels like I'm playing catch up. Maybe if I make calls just before leaving for work. 

I joined a local group, from my previous town, my Dad heard about it sent me a link. I haven't met in person, that will happen Wed. The last time they had a meeting I was sick with flu. They got the town to pass a sanctuary city thing, but I'm not sure what else they've been up to. One of them created a google doc to sign up for various things like creating a web page, being a liaison to the council and some other things. I signed up to help with web page and the other woman emailed me to set a meeting. I told her I couldn't meet that Saturday but did have the Mon/Tues evenings available that she did. Never got back to me. I responded to her email again but nothing. So I'm feeling like maybe this group is  going nowhere, or will only do things sometimes. So I'm on the lookout for another group of people to join in with. 

I feel like there is more I can do, not completely sure what more is but it's there. 
the_gneech: (Default)
[personal profile] the_gneech

The Wakaba Girls, successors to Hokagou Tea Time

Source: K-On! Wiki

So what do you do when your little four-panel comedy manga gets picked up as an anime series and blows away all expectations, becoming a huge hit– even if that success has more to do with the anime studio than with your own talent?


…You cash in, of course! Which is what the creator of K-On! attempted to do with K-On: College and K-On: High School. Spoiler alert: it didn’t really work, but you can’t blame the guy for trying. But what I’m really interested in here is the attempt, because I’ve found a lot of interesting applicability to my work on Suburban Jungle.

Adaptation Expansion

I won’t go quite as far as Digibro and say that “the K-On! manga suuuuuuucks” because I don’t think it does. I mean, everything in the manga is also in the anime. It’s just that the anime is also so much more. Reading the K-On! manga feels like an outline, or a very rough draft storyboard of the anime series.

To fault the manga for this is kinda pointless. K-On! the manga never professed to be anything more than what it was: a disposable four-panel comedy strip. Imagine if Zootopia was a licensed version of a Garfield-style comic, and you might see what I’m getting at.

To that end, I don’t envy the position Kakifly (the creator of K-On!) found himself in. The story of K-On! had a definite end, and there were only two real ways you could carry on: either you follow the older four off to college, or you stick with Azusa and do the next year of high school. I don’t know if he was unable to decide which, or he wanted to hedge his bets, or what, but he went with “do both,” running two different series simultaneously with alternating chapters… effectively dooming himself to not doing either one well.

More of the Same, But Differently

Of the two branches, the High School storyline works better, if only because the characterization is stronger. Azusa, Ui, and Jun were already established by the original series, and Nao is an interesting new addition in her own gothy way. Sumire… eh… the less said about Sumire the better. But the storyline, as far as it goes, focusing on Azusa’s quest to create her own Light Music Club rather than living in the shadow of the previous one, does at least have a spark.

The College storyline, by contrast, just falls flat. The only new character who makes an impression at all is Akira, the lead guitarist of “rival band” Only Girlz– but even she was clearly created to merge the roles of Yui’s caretaker and tsundere glomp-target into a single character. It’s as if Kakifly tossed Ui, Nodoka, and Azusa into a blender to create Akira… and then had no more ideas for the rest of the cast. As for storyline, there isn’t any to speak of beyond a vague “battle of the bands” one-sided rivalry on Akira’s part that even the members of Hokagou Tea Time barely even notice.

In short, the follow-up manga series disappoint for two major reasons: the first being that the manga was never as good as the anime in the first place, and the second being that the follow-ups needed to be more removed from the original series and allowed to be their own thing. (The fact that a big Yui/Azusa reunion moment keeps being hinted at, but never appears, doesn’t help either. I’m guessing this was being set up to be the highlight of some future chapter that never materialized.)

When You Come to the End, Stop

As I say, I don’t envy Kakifly’s position… because I was in a similar one myself. When I decided I wanted to return to The Suburban Jungle, there was a lot of pressure from people wanting me to just pick up where it left off and basically do more of the same, with variations. Some people wanted Leona to become the new star, some people wanted Drezzer, many people just wanted it to keep on going the way it had.

And Suburban Jungle was a mid-tier webcomic! I can’t imagine the kind of pressure I would have felt if it had been made into hugely successful TV series.

But at the same time, I have studied enough sequels, spin-offs, and reboots to know that just tacking on more chapters after “the end” just feels anti-climactic. It didn’t work for Babylon 5 (twice!), it didn’t work for M*A*S*H or Are You Being Served? or even The Three Musketeers and it wasn’t going to work for me.

That’s why I took such pains to separate Rough Housing from Starring Tiffany Tiger. There is some of that “combine characters from the previous cast to make a new character” thing going on… Charity, besides being the combination of Dover and Comfort one would expect from their child, also has elements of Tiffany, for instance. But it was important to me from the beginning that there not be any absolute corollaries, and not simply repeating the same story or gags with a different skin.

In the case of K-On!, my armchair advice would have been first to let a few years pass in the real world in order to gain some distance from the work, and then to have made a stronger break. If you absolutely wanted to continue with those five characters, which I think could have worked, then fast forward past college and reunite them as adults. My suggestion: make them the stars of a TV show about a band, a la The Monkees, and having to deal with wanting to be For Realz Serious Musicians in a world that just thinks of them as being a corporate cash-in. That could open whole new avenues of humor and would crank up the recurring theme from the original of serious musicianship vs. fluffling off in new and interesting ways. Just imagine Ritsu trying to manipulate studio execs, or Mio finding a website full of fanfiction about herself, for starters…

Dammit, now I want to develop this show. ¬.¬ Anybody got the phone number for Kyoto Animation?

-The Gneech

PS: There’s still more I have to say about K-On! and in particular what effect it’s had on how I think about and approach Suburban Jungle, but that will have to wait for another post. In the meantime, the rest of the series is here: Zen, Music, and So. Much. Tea. (My K-On! Obsession, Part One) and K-On! the Anime v. the Manga, Part One.

Sitting in the Comfy Chair

Mar. 20th, 2017 12:48 pm
charlie_cochrane: (Default)
[personal profile] charlie_cochrane
Am being interviewed over at Elin Gregory's blog today. She asks a good question, that girl, and she's also included a rather cheeky (literally) picture of Shane Williams in amongst the text.

Do drop in and see!

Writerly Ways

Mar. 19th, 2017 11:59 pm
cornerofmadness: (Default)
[personal profile] cornerofmadness
It’s been a while since I’ve come up with anything cogent to say for Writerly Ways and that trend is continuing right along with my own despondency over my writing. At least selling that short story was a bit of a boost.

What I did want to talk about today is the business related side of writing. For one, do authors read directions or are we just so self centered we believe they belong to other people? I belong to a number of writing groups in various places online. About the only group that seems to actually follow directions is my old writers’ group which started by-mail 20 years ago (yes, I’ve been part of this group that long). Others just seem clueless but maybe willfully so. I have at least three groups that don’t allow promo except on certain days and yet there are people who post constantly in spite of repeated warnings (and I assuming bannings in some cases). I appreciate that we can’t just promo every day. I’ve been in groups I’ve either left or it fell apart because of constant promoing.

I belong to other groups where you’re meant to post snippets, you know like the now defunct seven sentence sundays. I can handle you going over a line or two. We all do. Then we have those who go over by ….well, let’s just say there are three or four paragraphs and I’m like do you not understand what a snippet is?

Apparently a lot of us don’t understand what flash fic is either but that’s a tale for another time. Either way, the above just makes me think you’re unprofessional if you’re constantly doing it.

The other end of the business is writing newsletters and blurbs. I think I mentioned a few weeks ago about those newsletters. I just got another one who said something along the lines ‘the people have spoken. I should have edited this before publishing it.’ (I had one a few weeks ago who said well I couldn’t afford an editor so I didn’t bother). You know, I think I would come up with another reason for why I’ve republished something. I haven’t read the books I’ve downloaded by these people (I got them from insta-freebie which I’ve more or less stopped doing when I downloaded more ebooks than I could read in three years). It just sounds like a stupid thing to share with your readers. As Jana I might talk about depression and how it affects my writing negatively. I’m not about to say I write passive pieces of shit that need chronic saving, even if it’s true (and sometimes it is). And worse, I just saw (literally 3 seconds ago) someone put it in their goodreads blurb, oh yeah btw this is republished to clean up all my typos. OMG.

I know that blurb writing is hard but it is necessary. It should be short. It should tell us what the story is about. I go to Goodreads every night and try to win books so I see a shit ton of blurbs. If I can’t tell what the hell the book is about after reading yours, I’m not even going to try to read the book for free, much less spend money on it (and that happens a lot, the blurbs that make no sense what so ever). If your blurb is 9 paragraphs long, you’ve probably failed. You’ve lost your reader before you’ve even lured them to your book. (Heaven help you if there are misspelled words, crap grammar etc in the blurb. If you can’t take the time to proofread your blurb, I’m going to assume your novel (especially if it’s self-pubbed) is equally bad). And your blurb shouldn’t be misleading. Lately, I’ve read books where the story barely resembles the blurb and I felt cheated because what the book was really about was something I wouldn’t normally read.

And now the weather Betty’s links (though having just listened to the latest Welcome to Night Vale I’m excited for the second book coming out this fall because it’s about Carlos. That was the problem with book #1. It was about side characters I could hardly care about.)

steal time to write.

The dreaded synopsis writing.

Things to consider when talking to an agent

Kurt Vonnegut on writing

redundant characters (one of the reason last year's nano is just lying there)

worldbuilding mistakes (I have to admit this one is a tad mean)

7767 / 100000 words. 8% done!

These are the same as they were three weeks ago because seriously my writing has been paralyzed. The less than 1000 words above were all a 300 word flash fic, editing behind blue eyes and pissing into the wind trying to fix Blood Red.

Splinters of Silver - editing nothing

Blood Red - restarted with chapter one. Kill me now. (3 fucking weeks later, I'm still there)

Steampunk Holiday -

2529 / 9000 words. 28% done!

Behind Blue Eyes - edited ch 7

Haunted Hocking -

3003 / 60000 words. 5% done!

In Which Grind Becomes Drag

Mar. 19th, 2017 07:43 pm
the_gneech: (Default)
[personal profile] the_gneech
The irony of "we didn't make enough money therefore we have a huge tax bill" makes me bang my head on the desk. And again, we've got the savings to cover it (in the form of retirement funds burning up), but we have reached the point where being unemployed has ceased to be a nuisance and become a serious problem. I have until now been concentrating my efforts on finding a job out in CA to facilitate going out there, but at this point, I don't feel like I can afford that luxury any more.

Not that there have been a whole lot of job prospects around here either; the election of Lord Dampnut has been a huge blow to most of the major job sectors around here except Murder Incorporated, and I'm not interested in joining that particular industry.

However, I am now opening my long-term job search up to other cities that have some appeal but were previously not under consideration, such as Richmond, Pittsburgh, and Boston. In the shorter term, I am going to spend the upcoming week hunting down and connecting to temp agencies, something which has had mixed results in the past– but mixed results are better than no results at all.

I'm frustrated and disgusted by the whole thing. What started out as feeling like life was taking unwanted turns some years ago, now feels like the wheels have completely come off and I'm just watching the wreck in slow motion. But there's no readily visible course of action to take to fix it, and honestly, there are no decisions made in the past I could point to that could have prevented it, either. The choices we made all along were the best ones with the information available to us at the time. So there aren't even lessons to be learned about it. There's just keeping calm and dragging on.

Drag, drag, drag.

-The Gneech

The new Top Gear

Mar. 19th, 2017 07:49 pm
grey853: penguin smack (ani_penguinSmack)
[personal profile] grey853
Does anyone watch the new series without the originals Richard, James, and Jeremy? I've tried a couple of times, but I find all the new people extremely annoying. There's no chemistry at all.

Major fail. I haven't made it through a whole episode. I kept saying what Martin is saying:

 photo MartinFreemanWTFisthat.gif

Humanity for Beginners by Faith Mudge

Mar. 20th, 2017 08:00 am
calissa: A low angle photo of a book with a pair of glasses sitting on top. (Mt TBR)
[personal profile] calissa

Published: February 2017 by Less Than Three Press
Format reviewed: E-book (mobi)
Genres: Contemporary fantasy, LGBTQIA
Source: NetGalley
Reading Challenges: Australian Women Writers Challenge 2017
Available: Publisher (electronic only) ~Amazon ~ Barnes & Noble ~Kobo ~ Smashwords

Disclaimer: I was provided with a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

Gloria did not intend to start a halfway house for lesbian werewolves. It just sort of happened. Between running a small bed-and-breakfast with her friend Nadine, helping one young lycanthrope adjust to life after the bite and soothing ruffled fur when the other brings home an unexpected cat, Gloria has more than enough to keep her busy, but one thing is definite: she is not nor ever will be an alpha, whatever Nadine says. And the ever-expanding circle of misfits in her guesthouse is certainly not a pack. If only Nadine and the rest of the world were as simple and clear cut as she kept wanting them to be.

Humanity for Beginners is a quietly charming novella that subverts some current tropes common in urban fantasy shifter stories.

For a start, it centres a lesbian woman in her 40s–not your typical werewolf protagonist. Gloria denies the others’ insistence she’s their pack alpha. In fact, she denies there’s a pack at all (though never that they’re a family). Self-control is very important to her and she does her best to act as rationally and as human as she can. This doesn’t always work in her favour.

Gloria’s attitude towards pack dynamics stands in strong contrast to the toxic masculinity of the other packs portrayed in this story. Gloria doesn’t dominate through violence and aggression, as the other packs do. Instead, her approach is more maternal; she can’t help but be genuinely concerned for the well-being of her adopted family. This doesn’t mean she’s a pushover or that she wears her heart on her sleeve. Indeed, she sometimes struggles to stay neutral and let her fellow werewolves to make their own decisions, even though it’s really important to her that they do. She also is capable of enforcing boundaries where necessary.

This resistance to toxic masculinity also manifests in the type of story this is. Set in a rural guesthouse, Humanity for Beginners is a domestic tale that centres on relationships. As the characters sort out romantic, pack and family dynamics, they’re also busy preparing food, cleaning rooms and taking bookings. It’s a gentle story without a whole lot of action, though conflict remains present.

While each of the characters was distinct, the characters external to the pack could have used a little more depth. In particular, I would have liked to learn a little more about Damien, who is part of the family even though he’s not a werewolf. However, I feel the author did a reasonable job within the constraints of a novella.

Overall, Humanity for Beginners was a subversive story that was a pleasure to read.

Mirrored from Earl Grey Editing.

Sunday Morning

Mar. 19th, 2017 12:30 pm
cafeshree: red roses (redparchmentroses)
[personal profile] cafeshree
Went to breakfast & Barnes & Noble with Dad & Sis. It was a late celebration of Sis's birthday which was Thursday. I gave her money for a massage thing at Kripalu where she's going next weekend. We had good discussion about Resistance stuff. At Barnes & Noble I got a few puzzles for relaxing with and since Sis also puzzles she helped me narrow down the choices. Then I got a couple of magazines. One on making cards, I'm thinking of doing something like that with my photography, so I got one to start investigating the situation.

Sun is out and it's warming up which is nice, I want the snow gone.
grey853: a rainbow heart (ani_RainbowHeart_dhamphir)
[personal profile] grey853
This is one of the best explanations I've ever read on this subject of female objectification and how it affects our psyche.

December 3, 2012

“Okay, so here’s why girls don’t get flattered when guys comment on their bodies.”

A few months ago, you said I looked “objectively really hot, actually, you’re definitely the hot one of us.” I laughed and thanked you because we have the kind of relationship that allows for that kind of banter. Your phrasing amused me. I took a little bow.

You asked me why girls get upset when guys comment on their bodies, and wondered why my reaction to you was different than, say, a girl’s reaction to a random guy on the street. Why I was mildly flattered, instead of scared or angry. You honestly didn’t understand, and wanted to know.

I tried explaining, but I think I left you more confused than I found you.

I have a better explanation now.

The first time I can remember a guy staring at my boobs, I was in eighth grade. I didn’t even notice; I was still a kid and was largely oblivious to such things. My dad, however, did notice, and started glaring at the twentysomething stranger ogling his thirteen-year-old.

I could maybe have passed for fifteen back then. There was no way anyone would have mistaken me for an adult. That wasn’t the issue, though. To that guy, it wasn’t about who I was or how old I was. I was a set of boobs to him, not a person, certainly not a child.

My experience is pretty common. Girls start getting unwanted attention at a young age, and it happens for the rest of our lives. Men yell things at us on the street and invade our personal space on the bus or trolley when there are plenty of other seats. They try to look up our skirts when we sit down. They don’t listen when we try to rebuff them. We see reports of yet another girl raped on her way home last weekend, another woman whose body was found in a ditch. We’re told not to go out alone at night, to take someone with us even if we’re only driving to the store or the library or the gas station. We’re told to carry our keys like weapons, to park in the lot instead of the structure because it’s better to get rained on than raped and murdered. We’re told not to walk alone even during the day. We’re told close friends might rape us if they’ve had a bit to drink because they’re men, that it’s wrong, but it happens sometimes and we should be on our guard.

Imagine hearing that from the age of five. Imagine being told from childhood that men are more likely to hurt you than women are. Imagine knowing that, though you might be smart and well-trained, men will almost always be bigger and stronger than you, and you wouldn’t be able to beat most of them in a full-on fight. I can best my brother at arm-wrestling, yeah, but that doesn’t have many practical applications.

Now imagine that one of the people you’ve been taught to regard as a threat to your body says he wants your body. If he really does, you’ll have a hard time stopping him, and people will treat you as an object lesson for others, like you’d done something wrong for “letting” him hurt you. They’ll ask why you didn’t do more to protect yourself, why you wore that dress, or walked into the parking lot at that time, or talked to that person. Why you went out after dark or flirted with someone at a party.

I’m not saying all men are awful. I’m saying that decent men should be the norm, but there are a lot of men who aren’t, and who make us feel unsafe in our normal lives. We can’t tell the difference between decent people and potential rapists by looking.

What you said to me was meant as a compliment, and I took it as such. That’s because I’ve known you since we were kids, and I know you didn’t mean any harm. We have the kind of relationship where words like yours are appropriate, and you’ve never strayed outside the bounds of what’s okay. I don’t have that kind of relationship with the car full of drunken guys I walked past on the way home from D&D last weekend.

Girls get upset when guys comment on their bodies because we’re being treated like sources of pleasure, not people. We get angry because we can’t go about our business without having to worry about sexual predation. We get scared because, when it comes down to it, if a guy tried to act on his shouts of “Hey baby, nice tits, keep it up” we probably wouldn’t be able to stop him, and some would blame us.

Girls get upset because we’d much rather be seen as people, not just bodies.

I feel broken.

Mar. 18th, 2017 04:38 pm
kerkevik_2014: (Default)
[personal profile] kerkevik_2014
  It's the little things that break you. 
  And I feel broken. 
  Not feeling like I want to put this worthless bag of shit back together again. 
  Enough already. 



Mar. 18th, 2017 10:00 am
cafeshree: (polorbeardon'tlook)
[personal profile] cafeshree
I've been watching Whitechapel and I haven't been scared or creeped in a long long time.
I've been watching the last few episodes in the daylight! Now only one to go to finish the season.
Kind of glad it's almost over but also wanting more.


Mar. 18th, 2017 01:39 pm
kerkevik_2014: (Default)
[personal profile] kerkevik_2014


I feel cold.

I usually like the cold.

But I feel so cold.


charlie_cochrane: (Default)
[personal profile] charlie_cochrane
In The Spotlight is out today, so I'm guest author at Diverse Reader, answering some excellent questions from Meredith. So drop in and find out what first sparked my interest in mysteries, which mystery author I'd like to invite to dinner and which of my series I'd like to see adapted for television.



All may be lost

Mar. 18th, 2017 11:57 am
kerkevik_2014: (Default)
[personal profile] kerkevik_2014
  Laptop crashed and, thus far, they have been unable to recover anything. 

  All my stories. 
  All the videos I knew I wanted to keep; including all the Star Trek I had only the previous evening begun transferring to my hard drive, all my photos, and all my stories, and all the files I had saved from my older laptop; which I am on now, with a cobbled together set up. 

  At this moment I really don't know whether it's worth carrying on. 

  I was finally feeling as if, despite everything, I was getting somewhere wiht organising my chaotic online life, and now everything I felt was important, and wortyh saving; so far, may now be lost. 

 It feels like there's no point. 

 I think I may just quit. 

 The thought of having to go back to the beginning and doing all that again is just too exhausting. 

 I can hardly be bothered with doing more than is absolutely necessary to keep myself goimg so I can take care of the cats. 

 I hate my life; I hate myself, and I look around me and all I can see is miserably hateful; disgusting and evil peopl triumphing everywhere. 

 I think I may just fucking quit. 


Happy St Patrick's Day

Mar. 17th, 2017 11:35 pm
cornerofmadness: (Default)
[personal profile] cornerofmadness
(Even though there's been someone there the last several years to suck the joy out of it for me).

I'll keep this short and mostly just share what I like best about the day: Celtic music.

It wasn't a good day anyhow. I felt horrible most of the day, exhausted, dizzy to the point I considered driving up to urgent care to see if I have another inner ear infection. Instead I went outside to find the car looking like someone dumped a Slushee on it. Yay for freezing rain. head desk.

The writer's group meeting in Athens was already canceled (good thing because the weather never improved) and I considered doing laundry but I just didn't have it in me. After I ate lunch and pissed about on the computer I felt better, enough to go out (now that it wasn't raining or otherwise being horrible) and went to the Sixth Sense for a milk stout and then on to Arch and Eddie's for dinner, passing on beer #2 as the rain had restarted.

By the time I made it home we were having thunder-sleet. Mom called me back (she had called earlier in the day) and said she was surprised I sounded so much better (so apparently I was quite ill this morning) and lamented that at 10 pm when nothing new was on TV the Star Trek BBCAmerica was running was Omega Glory. P.U. It was a good night to sit at home and watch the second to last Grimm and watching Sleepy Hollow drive off a cliff again.

Two things. One: some open calls for MLR I'm looking at the Witching Hour (and thought some of you might too). I have a basic haunted house idea but I'd like to build to All Hallow's Eve. I'm also not above cribbing from true hauntings. What are some of the scariest ones you've heard (also by all means, if any of these interest you WRITE!) I might even switch out my intended camp nano for this in part at any rate. I'm going to set it in that 16K pink house. open calls here.

And now the weather:

and this is my BFF from college's cousin's band!

Help me find this old bandom fic?

Mar. 17th, 2017 11:17 pm
villeinage: (Default)
[personal profile] villeinage
This is a dystopian slave fic. PatD are captives, FallOutBoy run a kind of Underground Railroad? Did I imagine this fic?

Yeah, I had a crappy week.

Newsletter 171

Mar. 17th, 2017 08:06 pm
charlie_cochrane: (Default)
[personal profile] charlie_cochrane
Since my last epistle, I’ve rather blotted my copybook with Mr Cochrane concerning that rugby game last week which I’m not allowed to mention. I just made an off the cuff remark wondering how many England might have scored against Scotland had we had our first choice team playing… 


In The Spotlight”  comes out tomorrow! Nice little mention for it at the Romantic Novelists Association blog. And yes, I’ve created a “publisher” name for my self published works – most of you will realise what “The Right Chair Press” alludes to. 

As part of the usual release hoo-hah, I’m blog touring (all over the place like a rash, one might say) and most of these appearances give you a chance to win either a copy of “In The Spotlight” or something from the back list. So for starters, there’s: 

A week of giveaways at The Diverse Reader - I was one of those on day 3.  I’m guest author there tomorrow, too.

There’s a whole month of giveaways at The Romance Reviews anniversary event. My question will show up in a week’s time, on the 24th 

My main writing job at the moment is sorting out some edits for Broke Deep, which is available for pre-order at the Riptide site. Really good offer for the e-book/print combo. Then I need to get my head down over the edits for “Better to Die”, my story for the Manifold Call to Arms anthology. Still a couple of months before submissions closes so if you’re tempted to send something along, get a wiggle on.  

And finally, I occasionally turn my hand to a bit of sketching. Yes, it's two guinea pigs driving a motorcycle and sidecar. As they do...


Mar. 17th, 2017 02:41 pm
karzilla: a green fist above the word SMASH! (Default)
[staff profile] karzilla posting in [site community profile] dw_maintenance
Thanks to everyone who let us know that Photobucket images were not loading properly on some pages. The problem seemed to be mostly limited to HTTPS requests; Dreamwidth maintains a list of known high-traffic image sites that support HTTPS, so that our secure content proxy service doesn't cache them unnecessarily. Unfortunately Photobucket seems to have recently changed their site configuration such that HTTPS requests aren't being served as expected, and we've now taken it out of our list of "proxy-exempt" sites.

If you continue to have issues, make sure you're not using HTTPS Photobucket links. It's a bit counterintuitive, but if you use HTTP instead, it will be automatically transformed on our end to an HTTPS link that uses

Hope that clears everything up for now! Let us know if it doesn't...

The Red House Mystery - some thoughts

Mar. 17th, 2017 11:07 am
charlie_cochrane: (Default)
[personal profile] charlie_cochrane
I wrote this originally as part of an article for Mystery People ezine, but I'm reposting it in response to some discussion at Live Journal (about the slashiness in Moby Dick!


It comes as a shock to many people (it did to me) that AA Milne wrote a murder mystery. Just the one, published in 1922, but it was enough to earn him admission to the inner sanctum of crime writers.

Is “The Red House Mystery” a good book? I’d say it’s fair enough, and very much in the style of its time, which is fine if you appreciate the Golden Age of crime. It certainly has many of the classic elements – the country house, the house party, the locked room, the wastrel brother who reappears from abroad and, of course, the amateur sleuth, with his slightly dim sidekick. If the denouement draws on a plot line which is peppered throughout those Golden Age mysteries, it’s none the worse for that.

Of course, it’s a whole other discussion about whether the detective’s sidekick only really exists to fulfil the main purpose of allowing the sleuth to show off his or her genius and give fulsome explanations regarding his or her thought processes. In the case of Red House’s Bill, he appears to be at the dimmer end of the bell curve of intelligence and certainly hero worships his friend Tony, the man who solves the case.

Tony’s a really interesting character, a man of independent means who takes on various jobs just for fun. He’d have been well served by further crimes to solve with his sidekick. I could envisage a whole series of cases in which our two heroes pop up at house parties and the like, tackling crimes, causing chaos and generally having a whale of a time. Alas, those books were never written.

Somebody even suggested that Bill reminded him of Piglet, but Tony and Bill makes me think of Raffles and Bunny, not least because of the “slash”. I usually say if you’re not sure what slash is, get your mother to explain when you get home. This time I’ll give a definition, straight from Wikipedia. “Slash fiction is a genre of fan fiction that focuses on interpersonal attraction and sexual relationships between fictional characters of the same sex.”

Milne himself objected to love stories getting in the way of the detection, so he takes Bill’s love interest “offscreen” pretty rapidly, then – ironically – proceeds to give us an almost love story between his two leading men. If you picked up this book without knowing the author or context, you might think you were reading a romantic mystery, with a gay bloke (Tony) who pursues, and then is all over, another man. From the moment Tony serves Bill, first in a shop and then in a restaurant, "Something about [him], his youth and freshness, perhaps, attracted Tony". He arranges a proper introduction to Bill and they quickly become "intimate". Yes, that word clearly didn't mean quite the same in 1922! As the story proper gets going, Bill is flattered, delighted and proud to be liked (and needed in the cause of investigation) by Tony, who soon after tells Bill he's wonderful for describing someone so well, at which Bill is happily embarrassed.

Should I mention how often Tony takes Bill's arm when they're walking? I know that this practice was not uncommon between men in the early twentieth century, and nobody batted an eyelid, but they seem to be at it all the time. Then there's the hand holding; Tony tells Bill he's the most perfect "Watson" before taking Bill's hand in both of his to say, "There is nothing that you and I could not accomplish together..." (That's the sort of thing he says a lot.) Bill responds by calling him a silly old ass, and Tony replies with "That's what you always say when I'm being serious" which is very similar to a tense, flirtatious interchange between Laurie and Andrew in Mary Renault’s "The Charioteer".

They even end up sharing a bed, although strictly in the way the characters share a bed in “Three Men in a Boat”. That’s another element which is hard to interpret innocently with modern eyes, although those of us who were brought up on “Morecambe and Wise” know that Eric and Ernie weren’t “at it” when the lights went off.

So what the heck was going on in “The Red House Mystery”? It’s terribly easy for us to look back at books written so long ago with our “slash goggles” firmly in place and see things which the author didn’t intend. Perhaps we see things which aren’t there at all. You only have to look at the volume of Holmes and Watson romances that have sprung up to find people interpreting old stories in a very present-day fashion. But gay men did exist in the 1920s (and at any point in history) and gay or lesbian characters can be found, thinly veiled, in classic books such as “A Murder is Announced”.

Maybe Milne was just being observational in his writing, basing Tony on somebody he had known, weaving in elements of conversations he had heard, as so many of us do. I have little doubt that he had no intention of giving us that romantic storyline, but he did so, nonetheless.

Gender Reactions

Mar. 17th, 2017 06:34 am
grey853: (HumanRightsEmblem)
[personal profile] grey853
I couldn't get this bigger, so click on it to see it.

As a teacher, I once gave a short writing assignment. The question was, “How would you feel and what would you do if you woke up one morning as the opposite gender?” After the unexpected responses, I followed up with a discussion.

Some of the girls said they would be bothered a little, but would then adjust and have more opportunities for sports and jobs. The rest were thrilled with the idea and said they always wanted to have more power. They could be stronger, run faster, be better with a boy’s body. They also wouldn’t have to have periods.

On the other hand, I was shocked when at least one boy in every class would write that he would kill himself if he had to be a girl, that he would never be able to live with the shame of it. Nearly all the other boys had other negative responses. They wrote about how all the things they couldn’t do if they were girls. They even talked about how they couldn’t have sex and not be a slut if they were girls. Worse, they wrote about how terrible it would be to get stuck with getting periods or having a baby. Guys didn’t have to worry about that.

But the idea that some boys would rather commit suicide than live as a girl still shocks me.

Rotted meat

Mar. 16th, 2017 11:07 pm
cornerofmadness: (Default)
[personal profile] cornerofmadness
That's what the bones of my story is covered with, Behind Blue Eyes that is. It's one of my former nanos which I've reread in the past but I'm finally rereading now for a writers group and holy hell it stinks. I FINALLY did something vaguely creative tonight in butchering this piece of gas-bloated road kill. There is more red ink than black on these pages but it's one of those stories where the characters never shut up in my head (often filling it with stuff I know I can't use) and I love them so it's worth it to try and make this not stink.

I also turned in a 300 word flash fic and sent it in to Queer SF's contest. Thanks ELD for the help there. This is the most I've written in nearly 6 weeks. There's seems to be so little point in it.

I'm worried about my cousin's husband. His heart is exceedingly bad. I was shocked he survived the move from where we all grew up back home out to Seattle to be with his other son (their eldest lives here in OH but not near me). I still don't think it was a wise move (she didn't want to keep the townhouse once he passes which I understand but now you're in a new place that's going to remind you of him...) Anyhow his sister died this week and they're coming back out for the funeral. I will be surprised if he doesn't die at the funeral (hell I thought he was going to die at my grandmother's two years ago).

It's been a tense pissy week at work. The only good thing is mid-terms did what they're meant to: terrifying the failing students in to see me NOW while they can still save themselves. Instead of waiting until the last two weeks they're here now. But then I panicked when I realize I only have SIX labs left and I am totally fucked. We're SO behind. SIX weeks left. HOW???? SObs uncontrollably. I've been meditating to help with the stress.

GUFF Interview: Sam Hawke

Mar. 17th, 2017 08:00 am
calissa: A black and white photo of a large, dark teapot and a small Chinese teacup with a fish painted on the side (Tea)
[personal profile] calissa

GUFF interviews, kangaroo, Earl Grey Editing, Elizabeth Fitzgerald

The Get Up-and-over Fan Fund is designed to promote connections between fandoms in Australasia and Europe. This year GUFF will send one delegate from Australiasia to Worldcon in Helsinki in August. Voting is open to all interested fans, regardless of nationality. It closes 17 April.

Deciding how to rank the candidates can be a pretty daunting prospect, so over the next few weeks Earl Grey Editing will be featuring an interview with each candidate. So far I’ve interviewed Belle McQuattie and Donna Maree Hanson. Joining me today is Sam Hawke.

First and most vital: What’s your favourite beverage?

I once had a boss who went to a management course that convinced him he needed to get creative pictorial responses out of his staff, so for a few weeks he kept making us express our ideas in pictures. (When asked to draw a picture representing how we felt about a particular task, one of my colleagues drew a picture of herself crying, which made him cross and the rest of us giggle). In honour of a dumb and painful craze by the most annoying person I’ve ever worked for, I am going to answer this in visual form.

Sam Hawke, drinking preferences

Oh, and hot chocolate any time of day. Consequently, I am pretty easy to entertain.

I am definitely keeping this diagram to reference for next time we catch up. Also, don’t tell anyone but I’m not all that fan of pink fruit teas either.

Now, before I get too distracted: how did you come to be involved in Australian SFF fandom?

My love of SFF is present in my earliest memories: watching Star Blazers on our wee black and white TV with my siblings, going to the movies for the first time to see the Neverending Story, sneaking David Eddings books my sister said I was too young to read off her shelf. But outside my immediate family, in my pre-internet youth, my exposure to fandom was limited to occasionally getting a thrill when someone recognised my Red Dwarf t-shirt in the street and exchanging a knowing nod. None of my friends were ever into SFF so it remained a thing I shared with my siblings and my closet but not much further. I think my teenage years might have looked very different if I’d been born 10 years later.

I discovered the joy of Other Fans! On the Internet! eventually, and always having wanted to be a writer, it was natural that I mostly fell into bookish spaces. However, being very shy meant I was typically an obsessive reader but limited contributor to a lot of these places. I guess I can thank the group at Robin Hobb’s newsgroup for finally drawing me properly into fandom. A few of us Aussies in the group met up at Supanova back in 2014 and hung out with each other and Robin in person (I don’t think I was even really aware conventions existed outside a faint knowledge of San Diego’s Comicon before that). That coincided with me finally finishing a publishable novel, joining the Canberra Speculative Fiction Guild, and getting up confidence to participate in spaces I’d previously just watched. This year I’m planning on attending at least 3 conventions – Continuum, Conflux and Worldcon – and I’m very excited to be involved. I really like the way shared love of fictional worlds can bring people together no matter how different they seem.

What Australian SFF work have you recently loved?

I’ve been pretty embroiled in writing/editing stuff the past few years and haven’t read as much as I’d like to – I’m particularly out of touch with recent short fiction, Australian and international. But I’m always a fan of and find room for the big Aussie fantasy writers like Trudi Canavan, Glenda Larke and Garth Nix – Jennifer Fallon is a particular favourite so I was thrilled to get my paws on the Lyre Thief, and am looking forward to the next one shortly. I’ve also loved Kate Forsyth’s fairytale retelling/historical fiction hybrids – do they count as SFF? I’ve also been catching up with Gillian Polack’s smart, literary-bent novels (The Wizardry of Jewish Women, Time of the Ghosts), and I just finished Thoraiya Dyer’s debut Crossroads of Canopy, which I really enjoyed – absolutely gorgeous, immersive worldbuilding. For something a bit darker, I thought Watershed by Jane Abbott, set in a nearish future Australia, was a really grim, clever piece of dystopia.

I recently read Jane Abbott’s Elegy and loved it. Looks like I’m going to have to pick up some more of her work!

And speaking of my Mt TBR wish list, City of Lies is the first book in your duology, The Poison Wars, and is set to be published by Tor in 2018. Congratulations! It must be a dream come true. Did you do anything special to celebrate, or did you immediately start work on the next thing?

Thank you! It is, literally, the dream. I wasn’t allowed to tell anyone for AGES so I did a lot of squealing within the confines of my house, and I took my family out to dinner, but nothing more dramatic than that. I have been trying to think of something dumb and fun to buy as a celebratory treat (when I finished the book I bought myself the Kitchenaid mixer I’ve always wanted – I am a mad baker) but haven’t come up with anything delightful-yet-unjustifiable enough yet.

In some ways it still doesn’t feel real! I didn’t head straight into the sequel because I want to be informed by the direction the first one takes post-edits, so I’ve been dabbling in another, unrelated, fantasy that I hope will be the next project after this.

What’s coming up next for you?

Everything sort of depends how City of Lies goes – I’m contracted for 2 books but whether it stays at 2 or not depends whether it does well and people want more, I guess! So, yanno, hopefully people will buy it and like it…

Fingers crossed!

Lastly, what are you most looking forward to about Worldcon 75?

I have never been to a Worldcon so honestly I don’t entirely know what to expect other than a chance to hang with cool people and talk and think about the things I love (and hopefully find some new things to love!). I made a joke about Tim-Tam eating contests in my voting pitch on my blog but I am legit hoping someone challenges me to this because no-one EVER believes me how hard it is, and I will laugh salty tears of joy when they’re trying to finish biscuit number 2 and have just realised how things are turning very very wrong. I’m also hoping to meet and geek out over some great authors, attend interesting panels, butcher some Finnish, eat weird stuff, and get into some fun ridiculous arguments.

Sam Hawke

Sam Hawke has wanted to write books since realising as a child that they didn’t just breed between themselves in libraries. Having contemplated careers as varied as engineer, tax accountant and zookeeper Hawke eventually settled on the law. After marrying her jujitsu training partner and travelling to as many countries as possible, Hawke now resides in Canberra raising two small ninjas and two idiot dogs. Her debut novel, City of Lies, the first book in the Poison War series, is due out from Tor in July 2018. You can find Sam Hawke online at, on Twitter as @samhawkewrites and on Facebook as


Mirrored from Earl Grey Editing.


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