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[personal profile] duskpeterson


THIS MONTH'S THEME: Middle East & North Africa

A number of my characters come from societies that are partially based on societies in the Middle East and North Africa.

The Koretians and Daxions of the Three Lands series are descended from a desert people who are based loosely upon the Bedouin. (Very loosely. When I started the series at age sixteen, I had a vague sense of the Koretians being connected with desert life; the rest I gradually pieced together as time went on.) Although the people of Koretia and Daxis have lost most of their desert customs over the centuries, their cultures remain strongly based on kinship; in Koretia, this often takes the form of men vowing to be blood brothers. In addition, the traditional Koretian system of justice is based partially on honor codes. By the time that the Three Lands series begins, the Koretian justice system has been tainted by such practices as blood feuds.

An early test cover for an installment of Breached Boundaries:

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Southern Vovimians appear in several parts of the Turn-of-the-Century Toughs cycle: Transformation 3: A Prisoner Has Need (The Eternal Dungeon), Sweet Blood 4: Checkmate (The Eternal Dungeon), Whipster (Michael's House), Mercy's Prisoner (Life Prison), and Hell's Messenger (Life Prison). Southern Vovim is what we would call a pan-African settlement in the New World, but its original founders were from the Toughs world's equivalent of the Kingdom of Kush in what is now Sudan (and also Egypt, during the century in which Kushites were pharoahs). More can be learned about the Kushites in the Wikipedia article on Meroë. (Again, it took me time to figure out this connection.)

Turning back the Toughs cycle: In ancient times, when these people settled in what would become the southern-most province of Vovim in the New World, they brought with them a tradition of creating textiles, jewelry, and works of gold, which would help to make Vovim the most arts-oriented country of the Midcoast nations. Unfortunately, the southern Vovimians' native tradition of iron-working died out, with the result that neighboring Yclau would later pioneer the Industrial Revolution, rather than Vovim. However, southern Vovimians are one of the two "tribes" that helped to form Vovim, the largest country in the Midcoast nations. Among the Midcoast nations, Vovim is rivalled only by Mip (which Vovim helped to found) for its multicultural splendor.

Cover for Whipster, showing a much later resident of southern Vovim, whose ancestors came from further south in the Old World:

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I'VE SET MY MULTIFORMAT E-BOOKS FREE

Enjoy and enjoy. My e-books at other bookstores are available free too, except at Amazon, where they're 99c.
 

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NOW AVAILABLE FREE IN MULTIFORMAT: Law Links (The Three Lands)

Few events are more thrilling in a young man's life than a blood feud between two villages. Or so Adrian thought.

Torn between affection toward his traditional-minded father and worship of his peace-loving, heretical priest, Adrian finds himself caught between two incompatible visions of his duty to the gods. Then the Jackal God sends Adrian a message that will disrupt his world and send him fleeing to a new and perilous life.

This novel on a young man's encounters with soldiers and spies can be read on its own or as part of The Three Lands, a diverse fantasy series on friendship, romantic friendship, romance, and betrayal in times of war and peace. The series is inspired by conflicts between nations during the Roman Empire and the Dark Ages.

Available as a free multiformat e-book or as a 99c Kindle e-book: Law Links (The Three Lands).
 

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NEW ONLINE FICTION: The Eternal Dungeon, The Three Lands, and Life Prison

Information about my online fiction. Click on the titles for the full blurbs, tags, and stories.
 

Ma'am (The Eternal Dungeon). The guards who serve under her are mocking her. In other words, it's an ordinary workday.

Wildfire (The Three Lands). He was a loyal servant of the god. But even loyal servants have their limits.

Shifts (The Eternal Dungeon). Midwinter's god is as cold as cruelty and as warm as a loving heart.

Adversaries (The Three Lands: Breached Boundaries #1). When an endangered slave visits an imprisoned spy, she discovers that she has more options in life than she had thought.

Open-Soul Surgery (The Eternal Dungeon). He expected death. What arrived was worse.

Emancipation (Life Prison). Civil war is tearing apart the land. Again. . . . "Emancipation" is loosely inspired by events at a border-state manor during and after the American Civil War. This is a special Juneteenth holiday gift story for my readers.


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REISSUED ONLINE FICTION: Leather in Lawnville, The Eternal Dungeon, Young Toughs, The Three Lands, and Life Prison

Information about my online fiction. Click on the titles for the full blurbs, tags, and stories.
 

Leatherdar (Leather in Lawnville). The narrator goes on the hunt at a college ballroom dance.

Prison Food and Fondness (The Eternal Dungeon). "All she needed to gather were the ingredients for the meal. This she tried to explain on one summer morning, standing by the outer dungeon's exit while confronting two guards who had their daggers pointed at her."

Far Enough Away (Young Toughs). He knew he wasn't normal. Now he must save others who have been left behind.

Pinned (Leather in Lawnville). A rude top and an interfering family member prove to be an explosive combination at the Eagle bar.

In Hot Water (The Eternal Dungeon). They are two of the most talented prison-workers in the world. It's a pity their skills don't extend to dishwashing.

On Guard (The Eternal Dungeon). A bloody knife from a crime scene becomes a mystery to be solved and a foreshadow of trouble to come.

The Whipping Post (The Eternal Dungeon). Ten minutes left to contemplate what lies ahead, before the end begins.

Bonds (The Eternal Dungeon: Sweet Blood #1). A prisoner meeting his fate. A torturer meeting his demons. And between them, a man whose bonds are on the point of shattering.

Green Ruin (The Eternal Dungeon). Three guards and a mysterious substance provide a temptation too great to be missed . . . especially when two torturers add their skills to the mix.

New-Fashioned (The Eternal Dungeon). The Eternal Dungeon's youngest torturer has a special talent. He's about to discover what it is, at the worst of moments.

Searching (The Eternal Dungeon: Sweet Blood #2). Walking into a trap may be the only way to create one.

Bard of Pain (The Three Lands). In the battle-weary lands of the Great Peninsula, only one fate is worse than being taken prisoner by the Lieutenant: being taken prisoner if you are the Lieutenant. (Also available in free Braille and DAISY editions).

Split (The Eternal Dungeon: Sweet Blood #3). It was his duty to transform the prisoner's soul. But which one?

In the Silence (Life Prison). He can't speak. He can barely see. He experiences only fear and the faint whispers of something he had once known. But an intruder into his secure retreat from danger will pull him into awareness of what stands before him. What stands there is renewed danger . . . and the hope of something more.


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CURRENT ONLINE SERIALIZATIONS: Leather in Lawnville, The Eternal Dungeon, Young Toughs, and The Three Lands

Information about my online fiction. Click on the titles for the full blurbs, tags, and stories.
 

Spy Hill (Commando). On a hot summer's day, on a high hill surrounded by the enemy, the best battle-companion can turn out to be the truth.

Survival School (Young Toughs). How far can trust grow, when you're in a place you despise?

Checkmate (The Eternal Dungeon: Sweet Blood #4). The Eternal Dungeon is no longer a prison. It's a battlefield.

Law Links (The Three Lands). Few events are more thrilling in a young man's life than a blood feud between two villages. Or so Adrian thought.



*Certificate: 2016 Rainbow Awards. This certificies that Dusk Peterson has been awarded Best LGBT Alternative Universe/Reality for Risk (Dark Light #2).

RISK IS A WINNER IN THE RAINBOW AWARDS 2016

For the fifth time, the Rainbow Awards has honored one of my e-books. Risk (Dark Light) received the following honors:
 

  • 3rd Place, Best LGBT Book.
  • Winner, Best LGBT Alternative Universe/Reality.
  • Finalist.
  • Honorable Mention.


You can read the judges' comments (with an understandable but fairly serious couple of errors in the first sentence).

In addition, you can browse through a list of my e-books that were previously honored in the Rainbow Awards on my Awards page.
 

NEW STORY TAGS

I've updated the story tags page with additional stories and with the following new or expanded tags:
 

  • adventure, suspense, and thrillers (which is basically what I write, yeah).
  • fantasy.
  • historical fantasy.
  • 1870s.
  • Middle Ages.
  • Renaissance.
  • physically disabled characters.
  • chauffeurs.
  • craftsfolk.
  • diplomats and peacemakers (expanded tag).
  • monolatrism (see definition).
  • pluriform monotheism (see definition).
  • arsonists.
  • assailants.
  • assassins, murderers, and terrorists (expanded tag).
  • traitors.
  • war criminals and aggressive seizure of foreign lands (expanded tag).
  • soldiers and former soldiers (expanded tag).
  • father & daughter.


Just do a Find search on the story tags page to find these tags.
 

OTHER ADDITIONS TO THE WEBSITE

I changed my mind; I've brought back my young adult site.

At duskpeterson.com, I've added a page listing interviews with me.
 

Words per year

2016 WORD COUNTS

I've posted my word counts for 2016. I issued fifteen new stories last year, which is a number I'm pleased by. Unfortunately, my wordage continues to be so-so: 114,186 last year, which is no better than it has been every year from 2010 onwards. Granted that I had a legitimate excuse last year (I was spending a lot of time getting ready to launch my new business), but still, I could be doing a lot better than this. Fortunately, my 2017 wordage is looking good so far.

For the first time in seven years, I've also updated the wordage charts. I use these charts to help me see work patterns I might otherwise miss noticing. One chart reveals what I never would have guessed: My words per hour keep going up.

The last chart on that page, which shows how many stories I've published and reissued each year (with the e-books mainly showing up in red) . . . Do I get some sort of award for workaholism?
 

2017 PLANS

First, a bit of crowing, for I hit a personal milestone last year, without noticing it: I've issued over one hundred stories!

I began the year by posting a lot of long works of online fiction rapidly, but because of the demands of my new day job, I've had to switch over to a chapter-a-week serialization schedule. The good news is that I'm serializing more than one story at a time.

Here's my main serialization schedule for this year. The serializations run parallel with one another, though they don't all start on the same day (as you'll already have noted, if you've been following the updates at my blog).
 


Because I've set my multiformat e-books free, you can read ahead in older stories if you like, but this will give folks who don't know about my e-books a chance to read my stories gradually. And if you like book-club-style read-alongs, you can join fellow readers in reading and discussing each chapter as it's posted.

Breached Boundaries (The Three Lands) and The Awakening (Dungeon Guards) are at the editing stage. However, those two volumes collectively add up to 320,000 words, so it will take a while to finish editing them. (I'd originally hoped to issue Breached Boundaries at a rate of one installment per month, while the later installments were being edited, which was why I posted the first installment in January. But once I finished writing the remaining sections this March, it became clear that all the sections of Breached Boundaries would need to be edited at the same time, for continuity reasons.)

A reminder that, if you want to know at any point where I am in getting a new story issued, you can check the bottom of the series pages at duskpeterson.com, where I place my progress reports. My weekly updates (including announcements not made at the online archives where I post stories) are available through my blog and my e-mail list.
 


REVIEW: Rebirth (The Eternal Dungeon)

"Thank you. Thank you for this story, for these characters, the stealing me away from a cold Winter day and giving me a hot prison to feel like home, a little cell of my own to feel safe and Layle and Elsdon to restore my faith in humanity." —Elaine White / Divine Magazine on Rebirth (The Eternal Dungeon).
 


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FEATURED BACKLIST TITLE: Blood Vow (The Three Lands)

"I had come to tell him, in the cheerful manner boys have, that our world was about to be destroyed."

He has taken a blood vow to the Jackal God to bring freedom to his land by killing Koretia's greatest enemy. But what will he do when the enemy becomes his friend?

Thrust into exile and pain, young Andrew has no choice but to accept the friendship of the very person he had vowed to kill. When he returns with his friend to his homeland fifteen years later, though, he finds himself in a land of conflicting loyalties . . . where a vengeful god awaits him.

This novel on a young man's quest for true manhood can be read on its own or as part of The Three Lands, a fantasy series on friendship, romantic friendship, romance, and betrayal in times of war and peace. The series is inspired by conflicts between nations during the Roman Empire and the Dark Ages.

Available as a free multiformat e-book or as a 99c Kindle e-book: Blood Vow (The Three Lands).


Excerpt

Peter turned away and carefully undid the sorting I had just made of his clothes. "I fear that I have led both of us into a pitch-black cave, without bothering to bring a light with me," he said. "Let us move on to another subject. How did you spend your day? Aside from listening to insults from Lord Carle, I mean."

"I spent my day doing absolutely nothing."

Peter continued to look down at the items he was aimlessly moving from one pile to another, but a smile crept up the side of his face. "That sounds glorious. Where did you do this nothing?"

I came over beside him and took a belt out of his hands. "In the council library, to begin with; hence my embarrassing appearance at your closed meeting. I must apologize to Lord Dean tonight before he takes vengeance on the porter."

"I wouldn't bother." Peter left the sorting to my hands and sat down on the bed near me, leaning back against the wall. "I was witness to the porter's own apology, which was the most eloquent piece of poetry I've heard since I had a Daxion bard up on charges of stealing a bit of butter from the palace pantry."

"You put a bard on trial for stealing butter?"

"It's hard to believe, but the law classifies that as a major crime. Any use of the Chara's goods or money for forbidden purposes is considered a crime of disobedience – though you'll be relieved to hear that I let the bard go free. As for the porter, he has nothing to worry about; Lord Dean is fully occupied with planning this trip. Where did you go after you left the meeting?"

"Out to do more nothing. I did it under a certain tree in the garden."

Peter smiled and pulled his knees up to his chest, wrapping his interlocked hands around them as he leaned further back. "I'm glad that you found a good use for my birthday present. You've no idea the trouble I had in convincing the gardener that Emor would not crumble if he planted a Koretian tree in the palace grounds."

"Is it a Koretian tree? I didn't know."

"It turned out to be less expensive to bring a sapling over the black border mountains than to buy one of Emor's few remaining trees. I hope you won't stop using it, now that you know its barbaric origin."

I didn't bother to reply, but tossed a tunic at Peter. Laughing, he prevented it from landing in his face. "If you've spent an entire afternoon doing nothing, then you must have had a particularly terrible morning. I hope that our talk in the Map Room wasn't what drove you to seek pleasure ahead of duty."

I shook my head and knelt down to pull Peter's travel pack from beneath his bed. I knew that it was there only because I had cleaned the floor around it during my time as his slave. Over ten years had passed since it was last put to use.

As I stood up, I saw that Peter was still watching me expectantly. I said, "Lord Dean saw me in the council library before the meeting. We had a talk on marriage."

"Ah." Peter let the word drop like a heavy pebble into water. When the ripples were beginning to fade, he added, "Well, you needn't pass on to me what he said. I'm sure it's the same that was said to me at the meeting. That was what the council spent most of its time discussing: my ill-considered decision to visit a dangerous land when I have no heir. Fortunately, the lords did not insist that I beget an heir tonight, before leaving Emor."

I began to fold the tunics in the tidy manner which had never come naturally to me, but which pleased Peter. After a while, Peter said, "It seems a curious topic for Lord Dean to discuss with you. Did he say why he chose you as the messenger of his views?"

I noticed that his voice had taken on a note of quiet authority, but I ignored this and said simply, "He has asked me to mediate for him in the past."

"That isn't what I asked." He waited. When I did not reply, he said, "Andrew."

I continued to stare down at the tunics, but my hands were checked in their motions. Peter said, "Andrew, it is my duty as Chara to know what methods my council lords are using to try to influence me. Do not make me have to command you in this matter."

I stared at the items I was packing and took a moment to still my heart before saying, in the neutral voice that the Chara's clerk adopted when reporting the words of a witness, "Lord Dean said I would be able to demonstrate clearly to you the importance of fathering an heir. He also said he was sure that, like any other man, I understood the desire to raise a family."

I did not look up at Peter, but I heard him slowly let out his breath, as though he himself had taken the blow. "May he die a Slave's Death," he said. "He actually told you that?"

I did not reply. His voice dangerously low, Peter added, "High Lord or not, he can be summoned on a charge of insulting a free-man. I would request such a charge if you wished."

"No." I reached over and picked up the dagger without thought, and then placed it hastily in the pack before reaching for the tunics from the chest. Finally I said, "He probably just forgot."

"Lord Dean never forgets."

The bitterness in Peter's voice made me look up. Peter was staring into the distance as though peering at an invisible scene. "When I was four years old," he said, "Lord Dean took me to see some kinsmen of his in his hometown of Busedge. It was the first time I'd ever left the palace, and it was one of the happiest periods of my life. The High Lord let me have my way in everything; he wasn't strict with me the way my father always was. Toward the end of the visit, I confided to Lord Dean that I had once tried on the Pendant of Judgment to see what it felt like. Lord Dean promised to keep my secret – and he did, for many years. Then, one day about a year before my father died, I was talking with my father and Lord Dean – you may remember, for it was on the night when we first spoke. Suddenly, to gain a trivial point in an argument with my father, Lord Dean mentioned what I'd done. I've never forgotten the look my father gave me, and I've never trusted Lord Dean since then."

He pulled his gaze away from the past, reached to his tunic, and unclasped the emblem brooch in order to toss it to me. "You'd better pack this now. . . . It was perhaps unwise of Lord Dean to reveal his true nature so clearly to the Chara To Be. These days, if I were about to be cut down in battle and needed the help of either Lord Carle when he was being his most brutal or Lord Dean when he was being his most amiable, Lord Carle is the one I'd turn to."

"It's not a choice I'd want to make," I said, wrapping the brooch carefully in a face-cloth before packing it. "At any rate, Lord Dean does have a point in what he said to me."

"Lord Dean's points are like dagger points; they can only kill. Listen to me." Peter pulled himself forward so that he was kneeling on the bed close to me. "If I ever need advice on who to marry, it is you I will go to, not a man like Lord Dean. You know me better than anyone, better than even my father knew me, and nothing of what you are to the world changes what you are to me."

I said nothing, did not even look his way, but let my smile be my reply. . . .
 

Available as a free multiformat e-book or as a 99c Kindle e-book: Blood Vow (The Three Lands).


Relaxed

Jun. 25th, 2017 06:56 pm
cafeshree: woman sitting on chair reading a book (Default)
[personal profile] cafeshree
I was getting quite angry again at the world and it's treatment of people.
Almost to the point where I wanted to give up and just pretend.
But I can't. Too many people are being/will be treated horribly so I have to do what I can to combat the evil.

At work I've done a trial run of citizenship classes. We had a few people inquire and I'd been working on learning how to teach them because it was something I thought I might be able to do. I just contacted 4 people, only 2 have made it, but it's enough to give me an idea of how to teach this stuff and how to structure the class etc. So, this week will be the last 2 classes for them. I will then start up again in August. This gives us time to advertise and for me to get better prepared.
The last class though I was tempted to ask them why they wanted to do this, after the way this country is going, I myself was ready to run.

This weekend I pulled back a lot and only checked online briefly, just to get an idea of what's going on. I really needed the break. I needed to get back to some of the things I've let slide, and take care of myself which I really haven't been doing. Yesterday I had lunch with an old boss/friend. We hadn't seen each other in quite some time, spent 3 hours at lunch and then went to Barnes & Noble which was nearby and spent almost another hour. I ended up buying a few puzzles, it's a really good way for me to wind down. I started on one today and it has been fun.

I've caught up on some cleaning and what not that has fallen by the wayside, and this weekend I'm going to a bicycle shop to look at purchasing.
I put that off too long. I was trying to research a bit to find out what I was looking for, but didn't get too far before feeling lost. I found a couple of bicycle shops in the area so I'm going to go check them out.

I've been watching White Collar. I hadn't finished the series, so went back to the beginning since I couldn't remember where I left off.

I have done some reading.
Magpie Murders by Anthony Horowitz. Mostly fun, but really it was reading a Midsomer Murders but with different detective, got a little bored/annoyed at times. Would recommend if you like cozy British mysteries. I wouldn't rave about it though, but it did kickstart my reading again.

Weight of Ink by Rachel Kadish. Interesting story. It's a past and present story, takes place in London of mid1600s and present. An academic woman near the end of her career discovering some documents (well a former student found them in his house during some remodeling and  after having her look at them sells them to her university). They are documents written by a rabbi about trying to grow/teach the Jewish community in London of the mid1600s. Turns out though that the scribe is a Jewish woman, who ends up writing to various philosophers of the time, and so the story covers how all of that came about and the research into trying to find out exactly who this woman is and what happened. There were some dull moments for me but mostly I enjoyed the book. I liked the idea.

I have to read about half of the Count of Monte Cristo in 2 weeks for book discussion. I read it a while ago but details are gone so it will be almost like a new story.

calissa: A low angle photo of a book with a pair of glasses sitting on top. (Mt TBR)
[personal profile] calissa

The Furthest Station, Ben Aaronovitch, Rivers of London, Peter Grant, Earl Grey Editing, books and tea, tea and books

Published: June 2017 by Subterranean Press
Format reviewed: E-book (mobi)
Series: Rivers of London/Peter Grant #7.5
Genres: Contemporary fantasy
Source: NetGalley
Available: Publisher (print and electronic) ~ Amazon ~ Barnes & Noble ~ Book Depository ~ Booktopia ~Kobo

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

There have been ghosts on the London Underground, sad, harmless spectres whose presence does little more than give a frisson to travelling and boost tourism. But now there’s a rash of sightings on the Metropolitan Line and these ghosts are frightening, aggressive and seem to be looking for something.

Enter PC Peter Grant junior member of the Metropolitan Police’s Special Assessment unit a.k.a. The Folly a.k.a. the only police officers whose official duties include ghost hunting. Together with Jaget Kumar, his counterpart at the British Transport Police, he must brave the terrifying the crush of London’s rush hour to find the source of the ghosts.

Joined by Peter’s wannabe wizard cousin, a preschool river god and Toby the ghost hunting dog their investigation takes a darker tone as they realise that a real person’s life might just be on the line.

And time is running out to save them.

The Furthest Station is a quick novella that retains the spirit of the series but which remains unsatisfying.

Peter’s distinctive voice is present; even though the novella is short, there’s still space for his digressions and pop culture references. There’s even a few footnotes addressed to his American counterpart, though I found these a bit disruptive. They call into question the nature of the story, particularly as there is no framework set up to indicate Peter is addressing someone particular.

The story does a reasonable job of introducing who Peter is and what he does for a living. However, I’m not sure I’d recommend it as an entry point to the series. For example, the oddness of Molly is never explained for a new reader and the references to Beverley and her family are cursory. There’s a lot of background present which is likely to make it confusing.

I enjoyed seeing Peter spend more time with Abigail, though there’s never any real change in their relationship. Preserving the status quo for the novels in such a way leaves it ultimately feeling like filler.

The main plot held up fairly well until the ending. While it was nice to see an acknowledgement that not all police work ends tidily or in a dramatic fashion, the number of loose ends made it unsatisfying to me.

All in all, The Furthest Station was a pleasant read, but not one of Aaronovitch’s better works.

Mirrored from Earl Grey Editing.

On Being Part of Pride

Jun. 25th, 2017 03:19 pm
daemonluna: default icon, me with totoros (Default)
[personal profile] daemonluna

Here is a thing I posted on Tumblr about celebrating Pride (which is why I am non-specific about what city I'm in, etc):

The summer I first came out, my girlfriend was travelling, and I was in a new city for grad school where I didn’t really have any close friends. I celebrated Pride by painting my toenails rainbow striped, and renting half a dozen LGBTQ movies from the local video store. Over the next few years, we did go to Pride, but that mostly involved standing and watching the Pride parade, and feeling an odd mix of included, and lost in the crowd. I wasn’t involved in any local queer communities--most of the other LGBTQ people I knew were through online fanfic communities.
 
When we moved to a smaller city, there wasn’t a parade, but there was a BBQ in the park. We never went. We didn’t know anyone, and even though it was open to everybody, it still felt to me like it would be crashing a family party. 
 
Now, I’m on the organizing committee for Pride in my midsized Canadian prairie city. In the recent past, most of the activities have all been aimed at young, able-bodied, presumably white gay guys. That’s been changing dramatically over the last few years. We’ve got some pretty typical big stuff--a flag raising, an awards gala, a parade and fair in the park, and a dance. But the current approach is, if you have a queer event open to the public in June, we will put it in the calendar and event guide.
 
This year, that included things that happen year-round like local LGBTQ support group meetings and community QSA meetings and performances in a local queer theatre space, explicitly queer-themed versions of other year-round events (LGBTQ movies at the library, non-gendered swing dancing, Pride editions of board gaming and artist meet-ups to take a stance on creating LGBTQ-inclusive spaces). It included events set up by other partner groups, like the screening of a documentary criticizing the commercialization of Pride events, and a curated exhibit opening at the local art gallery, or run by board members like a LGBTQ history walking tour, a panel discussion on the intersectionality of indigenous and queer identity, and a drag queen clothing swap. 
 
There were more than fifty events on the calendar. Some of them worked. Some of them didn’t. Some of them were the starting point for something bigger next year. Some of them were controversial (police involvement, anyone?) and I know there’s more work we need to do. But one of the amazing things was how many different groups of people showed up, and watching the ebb and flow of both familiar and new faces at the different events.
 
A gay organization from a bigger city thought they’d offer us some advice. The kindly told us that we were running too many events, and we should just focus on the important ones. The parade, the dance, the flag raising. Yeahhhh. When a fellow board member told me that, I had the same reaction he did. We both laughed. Important to who, is the question.
 
I’m not sharing all this just to brag that we’re awesome. (Even though I’m feeling pretty damn proud of our efforts right now, no pun intended.) None of this happened overnight, and none of it happened in isolation. We’ve had pushback from within our own community, that we’re too radical, and that we’re not radical enough. We’ve had acts of vandalism and passive-aggressiveness from the general public, and conversely, an amazing show of love and support. But none of it happens if people don’t show up, speak up, and if you have been the one speaking, shut up and listen.
 
Pride in your city may or may not be receptive to changing. But nothing will happen if it’s always the same people organizing, the same voices, and the same echo chamber. If you want to see change, let them know. If you can, put additional time and effort behind your voice and volunteer. If they won’t shift, do your own thing. 
 
You don’t need to be part of an official Pride celebration for your LGBTQ+ student organization to have a movie night and invite the public, to do a queer gaming event with a local comic shop, or to organize a Pride yarn bombing. These are just my ideas--you know your own interests, abilities, and connections. 
 
I am not advocating for anyone to do anything that will put their own safety or health at risk, but Pride doesn’t have to just be the big party, and it doesn’t have to just happen in big cities. If you think your town needs Pride events but are afraid it’s too small, I can hook you up with the organizers in a nearby agricultural, very religious town of less than 10,000 who had a BBQ and two flag raisings this year, the second time after the first flag was stolen. 
 
Community is important. Connection is important. Activism is made up of many small steps as well as the big gestures.
 
Happy Pride, everyone.

Would you kindly?

Jun. 25th, 2017 02:25 pm
sinisterporpoise: (Default)
[personal profile] sinisterporpoise
 The main character of the origianl Bioshock is linguistically program to do whatever the villain asks him to do so long as he prefaces it with the phrase, "Would you kindly?"  (E.g., Would you kindly go kill Andrew Ryan, the Ayn Randesque creator of Rapture?) It has now become common practice in this house that if one of us has something to do that the other wants them to do to preface the request with ths same phrase.   So far, it seems to work, too.

duskpeterson: (bookshelves)
[personal profile] duskpeterson
In the Silence


"Images came, like flickers of a candle: Dark stones. Dark metal. Faint fire. A spoon in his hand, as someone urged him to eat. A stinking pit that he knew he was duty-bound to fill. A loom nearby that he vaguely remembered he had once known how to work, but which now stood as silent as the rest of his world."

He can't speak. He can barely see. He experiences only fear and the faint whispers of something he had once known.

But an intruder into his secure retreat from danger will pull him into awareness of what stands before him. What stands there is renewed danger . . . and the hope of something more.




Law Links


"Sometimes I feel that he is as mysterious as the gods, and that he is hiding something of vital importance from me. Something that would transform my life."

Few events are more thrilling in a young man's life than a blood feud between two villages. Or so Adrian thought.

Torn between affection toward his traditional-minded father and worship of his peace-loving, heretical priest, Adrian finds himself caught between two incompatible visions of his duty to the gods. Then the Jackal God sends Adrian a message that will disrupt his world and send him fleeing to a new and perilous life.




Checkmate


"It's all about torture. That's what I didn't understand for a long time. The High Seeker has been seeking out and punishing those of us who wish to show greater mercy to the prisoners than the Code allows. Those of us who question whether it's right to torture prisoners."

The Eternal Dungeon is no longer a prison. It's a battlefield.

Split apart from their closest loves and friends, a small group of prison-workers seek to abolish the use of torture against prisoners in the queendom's royal dungeon. Time is running out, for the deadly High Seeker has already flogged and executed prison-workers who oppose his policies.

Do the reformers have enough time and skill to bring about radical change in the dungeon? Will they be able to overcome their mistrust of one another?




Survival School


"This is the right place for you, boy. They'll school you here to be a right-standing man, one who can keep control over his actions, like any good man should. You just got to keep yourself open to learn and to grow."

How far can trust grow, when you're in a place you despise?

Arrested for a crime he doesn't regret, Bat ends up handcuffed to a group of fellow city boys and sent on a long journey into the countryside. He know that he is being transported to a prison for delinquent servant boys, but what form will his imprisonment take?

Tattooed with the rank-mark of servant, Bat must learn how to keep from losing his temper with the men who carry the keys to his freedom. But in the unbelievable world where he has been deposited, in which a genial master orders strict punishments and a servant acts like a master, will Bat be able to locate the door to his release? Which of his fellow prisoners can he trust to help him?

And will he survive long enough to find out?

Inspired by true events at a turn-of-the-century reform school, this novella (short novel) is set in an alternative version of the Chesapeake Bay region during the 1910s.




Spy Hill


"Fairview was the finest friend a man could have, and the finest battle-companion. I dared not risk doing anything that might break our friendship."

On a hot summer's day, on a high hill surrounded by the enemy, the best battle-companion can turn out to be the truth.

Rook and Fairview have worked alongside each other for years, first as officers in the navy, then as officers on a steamship, and finally as colonels in an invading army. Members of a nation where tiny differences in rank are considered all-important, the two men defy convention by treating each other as equals.

But now their life-long bond is about to meet its greatest strain, when they are ordered to seize and defend a hill whose landscape is unknown, in the company of soldiers who may be incompetent or treacherous. Will Rook and Fairview's friendship remain by the end of the battle? Or will their lives take an unexpected detour as they struggle to survive on Spy Hill?

Forthcoming release: Stormy Nights

Jun. 24th, 2017 08:57 pm
julesjones: (Default)
[personal profile] julesjones
I have a short story collection, Stormy Nights, being published by NineStar Press on 24 July 2017. :-) For $3.99 you get 9 stories totalling some 45,000 words from both my pen names. The stories are a mix of reprints and new material, and cover a range of genres. You can find more information and pre-order it now at NineStar's own website. It will also be available later from the usual third party retailers.

StormyNights-f500

Sex and love, lies and truth, shades in between. Happy endings and might-have-beens. Nine tales of these things between men.

These Dreams

Jun. 24th, 2017 11:21 am
cornerofmadness: (Default)
[personal profile] cornerofmadness
I had several involved, realistic dreams last night. The first I was driving my parents home in their CR-V, it was winter and dark and the roads were very icy. (Not sure how I was driving as my dad never lets anyone drive but there you go). I couldn’t get out of the intersection because of all the traffic and I slid down the street some. Dad’s like you have to gun it. Through a stop sign at a T-intersection? I went back to the stop sign and out of the gloom a blue and white 70s panel van came sliding and broad sided me before taking off.

There wasn’t much damage so we decided to go on. I made a left hand turn in a place I knew well but instead of being the right road it took me directly into a garage where some scary looking people were working, as if this was one of those car/motorcycle reality shows where they trick out the vehicle. They sort of laughed at us especially when the damage was very minor. All we wanted was to leave but the car was now penned in. For some reason Mom was sitting down talking to a lady mechanic. Mom’s feet were very swollen and she couldn’t get her shoes on. She had these high heeled sandals (my mom never really wore heels) so I went to help put them on her.

Once they let us out the path was completely blocked by snow and they had people coming at us on horseback driving cattle. Finally I drove through all the other cars they were working on and out the door.

I woke up then and went back to sleep. At first I was dreaming I had found a dog, a search and rescue sort of dog and gave him back. I had a cat, a big fat orange tabby (my least favorite coloring) and he wanted to be search and rescue. They were all laughing at me until I put him in a harness and he found a hidden grave site right along with the dogs.

After that I dreamt I was…probably one of my characters (or future characters) a sad young man who was talking with a young lady of much higher standing (her father owned a huge department store, this had a 1930s 1940s feel). We were friendly much to her family’s chagrin. She said I could borrow something from this high rise department store, they looked like soup tureens. I gave them to some undercover cops and helped them make a bust (I get the impression these innocuous things were being used to pass drugs) There was a shootout and the cop was hurt but I saved his life.

The next day the young woman was shrieking at me for ‘stealing’ the items. I was like you gave them to me. Apparently her father had found them missing and blamed her for letting a low life like me around and threatened to cut her off so she betrayed me. I had one of the bowls in hand and another was in the attic storage area where I’d been crashing. I went up to his office to return it. There were people around shopping when I walked into his office. I tried to find a sticky note to apologize for borrowing it before I planned to run up to the attic to get the mate to it. Instead all I could find was a pre-printed check and a half broken pencil. I could barely write.

Suddenly everything went dark and quiet as if the store had closed and in comes her dad and his brother screaming at him. I tried to apologize and explain but they weren’t listening to me. They didn’t care that I helped save a cop (nor did they believe me)

I woke up feeling sad and betrayed. Thanks brain.

Also I have no idea if I’m getting home today. The flooding was so bad even I-70 at I-77 was closed last night. That’s where I have to go.

(no subject)

Jun. 24th, 2017 12:25 am
sinisterporpoise: (Default)
[personal profile] sinisterporpoise
 I've had a busy few weeks, and this is understandable.  I think I've complained about this enough and everyone knows the reason why. I'll just have to make sure I don't do this again in the future. I do not think I need to go over all of this again.

Cathy had a migraine today. I've put up with her crankiness, in part because I understand what being in a lot of pain is like, even if I don't understand migraines from the perspective of a migrainesufferer.  I doubt I ever will, but the fact that I never will  understand what she's going through when she has one comes down to quirky genetics.  (Ironically, this is the biology chapter I am on at the moment.)  Because she needed a nap and some rest more than anything else, I went out this evening and had some fun at a local table-top gaming store. I should have spent the time doing homework, but I've been stressed out lately and getting some fun in was much needed.  I even managed to study some biology.

While I am still annoyed at the broken Dell laptop screen and their lack of customer support, I managed to get a new IdeaPad from Lenovo.  (It has replaced a ThinkPad made by IBM I owned several years ago.  It has a fair amount of graphics power compared to my other systems, and it might be good for non-strenous gaming. I'm not too sure about this, however. Gamergaters showed the dark underbelly of this hobby, and they have left a bad taste in my mouth. I should not let them prevent me from doing something I enjoy.  The one thing that might stop me from a lot of games is my poor hand-eye coordination.) 

Next week is midterms, and I will be busy. I have to do a lot of practice tests for the CompTIA A+ hardware exam. All of this culminates in the test. When this week is done, the next four weeks of the class are spent on the software portion of the test. I'm not looking forward to either of them.

All in all, it was just nice for a little break. I hope Cathy is feeling better tomorrow.   

I think I had something introspective to post tonight, but I seem to have forgotten what this was.  Maybe I will remember it later.

Also, I need to add "Oxygen not Included" to my Steam wishlist.





 




I need your help!

Jun. 23rd, 2017 10:32 pm
cornerofmadness: (Default)
[personal profile] cornerofmadness
But first My body is broken Three days of gardening and cleaning has done me no favors. No, that's a lie, it's done me one. It might be the kick in the ass I need to get back into shape. This is ridiculous.

Know what else is ridiculous, how filthy the water in the bucket gets after one swipe of the mop. I had to rewash the damn floor a second time. Also I had SO MUCH food stored under my table. At least it's now all in the container mom gave me to store books (oops). When I get back here for the semester, I need to seriously get into my pantry and use up ALL this damn food before I'm allowed back in Kroger's.

I'm not sure everything got back where it belongs in that damn kitchen but it's as good as it's getting.


Okay here's the part where i need help even though I pretty much know what my answer is. Yesterday E.S. sent me over something from Tor, a pitch fest and if someone likes you, you get to send in your synopsis & three chapters. I got that almost too late to do it and I probably SHOULD have let it pass (but man I wish I had a better way of getting notice when these things were happening). Anyhow I tossed Splinters of Silver and Cold Iron and someone liked it.

Naturally I was over the moon but the reality set in. I'm wondering do I send in the chapters or not (honestly I'm leaning to not)

Stirling Robyns publishing it's a publishing company made only last year and in the last 2 years I've been through how many indie publishers crapping out in Jana's world? (This story would not be one of hers). That makes me nervous.

They said on their submission page to set up something on duotrope which mentions they charge for editing. So that's a huge red flag.

I tried to find anything they've actually published and even their facebook page and I can find nothing. I did find that preditors and editors seems to be out of business.

So do you agree this is one I should say thanks but no thanks.

Need help

Jun. 22nd, 2017 11:15 pm
valarltd: (aisha)
[personal profile] valarltd
 All right folks, this time it isn't me that need help. My household, my pack, my coven, my kids are moving. And there is an urgent need for $200 (by Monday if possible), and a necessity of about $500 more.

As always, I don't ask for charity. I offer goods for sale:

1) Any Angelia Sparrow ebooks can be had for $2. The list is at brooksandsparrow.com. Drop the money in the valarltd Paypal with a list of titles.

2) I will be doing tarot readings until Monday. $1 for a 1 card pull, $5 for a 5 card, and $15 for a 15 card reading.

3) I will take on a limited number of knitting and crochet custom orders. Now's your shot for that Ravenclaw scarf or the Dr. Who one. Or you know, just a pretty shawl for Mom, or custom holiday stockings.

4) Ollie Sparrow is taking art commissions. Prices negotiable.

5) Ollie Sparrow is also doing custom tails and ears. Ears start at $15, tails at $25

6) Gabriel Rodgers is offering custom book covers. Prices negotiable

7) Gabriel Rodgers is offering editing services. 1/2 cent a word, complete content and line edit.

8) Kevin Rodgers says if anyone wants video of a furry fat dude getting raunchy, he's available for reasonable rates

The rain threatened the whole day

Jun. 22nd, 2017 11:52 pm
cornerofmadness: (Default)
[personal profile] cornerofmadness
But it didn't come until now and boy is it coming down.

I think I broke everything starting with my blood sugar at 4 AM. It went boom. So I've been sluggish all damn day.

I managed to cut out all the crap in the garden...well most of it anyhow. I'l share pictures another day. I am SO sore after that.

I didn't clean nearly enough. I did get the bathroom scrubbed down and another shelf of books removed and boxed up for taking out of here. I hope I remember I moved books I want to read onto that shelf.
I managed to break my mop doing the bathroom floor. sigh.

Mom was arguing with me at the start of the day about how clean this place will be when I come back down here in a couple weeks and she thinks she's coming. Her saying I better make it spotless isn't going to make it so.

She also looked up hotels for me. 'One of them cost 1,065$ and doesn't even have a free breakfast.' Well mom if you can afford that you don't need breakfast.


Speaking of hotels I can't afford I want to stay here if I'm ever in Montreal.

And now back to the horror short that I've lost the beginning of three times


As promised, pictures of my trip to the Serpent Mound

 photo 20170621_131200_zpsj4oxse5t.jpg Aerial of the serpent

 photo 20170621_131216_zpssdyxt2ax.jpg More of the serpent

 photo 20170621_131234_zpscawtalg4.jpg Me atop the viewing tower

 photo 20170621_132300_zpsyyqnqkye.jpg The ‘egg’ in the serpent’s mouth where they found some of the burials

 photo 20170621_180523_zpssx5vyaec.jpg took these out of Mom’s house

 photo 20170621_180702_zpsw90f265i.jpg these too and I’m keeping them (by tossing out a box of books I simply do not need any more.)

Feminism and Tabletop RPGs

Jun. 23rd, 2017 08:00 am
calissa: A blue and purple d20 sits on some lined paper. (Gaming)
[personal profile] calissa

Monsterhearts, Night Witches, Tabletop RPGs

At Continuum 13, I had the pleasure of sitting on the Tabletop Gaming panel with Aidan Doyle, Darryl “Owlbear” Brown, Laura Wilkinson and Bryce Campbell. The discussion was a mix of designer and player perspectives, and remained an upbeat conversation throughout. We could have continued for hours.

One of the things I touched on in the panel was feminism and gaming. I wanted to elaborate a little on that here.

The rise of Kickstarter has brought a new golden age for indie RPGs. As the panel mentioned, you can now find something for everyone. This includes games that have strong feminist influences and encourage diversity. A few of the games that have come across my radar include:

Bluebeard’s Bride by Whitney Strix Beltrn, Marissa Kelly, and Sarah Richardson. This gothic horror RPG is still in production, but you can still preorder and check out their Kickstarter pitch video. Players collectively form Bluebeard’s Bride, playing different aspects of her psyche as she explores her husband’s mansion. Although the game uses the structure of the original fairytale, it encourages players to tell their own versions, allowing space for the empowering as well as the tragic.

Eclipse Phase by Posthuman Studios is a cyberpunk game which has just Kickstarted its second edition. This game is perhaps a little less explicitly feminist than the others. However, being concerned with posthumanism, it allows space for exploration of gender and disability through mechanisms for swapping and augmenting bodies. Perhaps unsurprisingly, it has more of a complicated rule system than the other games (which are all Powered by the Apocalypse).

Monsterhearts by Avery Alder is one of my favourite RPGs. It’s an urban fantasy about teenage monsters. As you might expect, teenage sexuality is an important element of the game. This may be why it is the first (and, so far, only) game I’ve ever seen discuss asexuality and allows space for that within the rules. It is also built around the premise that everyone is fundamentally bisexual and can be turned on by characters of any gender–though players always retain the choice of whether they wish to act on these feelings.

Night Witches by Jason Morningstar. Set in WW2, players are members of the all-female 588th Night Bomber Regiment in the Russian Army. The game touches on the discrepancy between the Soviet philosophy of equality and how the women were actually treated. It also explicitly mentions queer relationships and one of the playbooks allows for a genderqueer character.

The Watch by Anna Kreider and Andrew Medeiros. A low magic fantasy wherein a mystical enemy known as the Shadow invades. Able to enter and subvert the minds of its enemies, the Shadow is particularly effective against men. It’s up to women and non-binary femmes to form the Watch and defend their lands. This is another game still in production, but you can still check out their Kickstarter. I appreciate the explicit inclusion of non-binary femmes in their pitch. The game also looks like it will have some mechanisms which deal with mental health.

These games have diversity and inclusivity baked into their premise and mechanisms. While I will always value these sorts of games the most, they’re not the only way of promoting diversity in RPGs. As I mentioned in the panel, simply including diverse people in the accompanying artwork can go some way towards fostering an inclusive environment. The fifth edition of Dungeons and Dragons has made some improvements in this fashion (even if the setting retains some problematic elements).

The games I’ve mentioned here are surely just the tip of the iceberg. If you’re a keen tabletop RPGer, I’d love to hear from you: Which feminist RPGs have you discovered?

Mirrored from Earl Grey Editing.

The past is not another country

Jun. 22nd, 2017 09:54 pm
charlie_cochrane: (Default)
[personal profile] charlie_cochrane
These last couple of weeks we've been very aware of the past all around us, still making its presence felt. These stones embedded in the cliff represent the beach surface of 120000 years ago.

IMG_2391

And this exhibition on the 1980's shows that things never really change, only the details vary.

IMG_2352

 

Loose Id sale

Jun. 22nd, 2017 07:31 am
julesjones: (Default)
[personal profile] julesjones
A quick note to say that Loose Id have temporarily dropped the prices on many "first of series" books, including mine. This is currently guaranteed to apply only to books purchased directly through Loose Id, although they were working on getting the reductions onto the big third party sites like Amazon. You can also get two of my short stories for free from the Loose Id site. My catalogue page is here: http://www.loose-id.com/authors/erotic-romance-authors-g-k.html?cat=76
cornerofmadness: (Default)
[personal profile] cornerofmadness
 photo Blessed_Litha_To_Everyone_by_oruth_zpseywlppjj.jpg


I knew today was wrong-footed this morning when I reheated my tea and sat there wondering what was taking so long with the microwave. I had put the tea cup in the cupboard....

So to celebrate the change of season's I finally drove out to the Serpent Mound. It's the world's largest earthen work effigy so I SHOULD see if since I live an hour away. I was there once when I was 8. To be honest...I had to say it but I was disappointed. Not in the mound. It's still a very cool thing (pictures later since I'm exhausted) but in 40 years they still know nothing new. I found that disappointing (and that the gift shop was bigger than the museum and it featured plains Indian stuff instead of the Adena/Hopewell/Fort Ancient people of this area). They mentioned doing ground penetrating radar but not what was found. Ah well. Is it bad that I own almost every Native American book they had in that gift shop?

Speaking of books, Mom made me take some crap out of my bedroom at home, 75% of it D&D books then Elfquest and some other stuff which I want to keep so I cleared off a shelf in my living room. I culled at least a dozen books from there to get rid of. I have too many nonfiction books I'm never going to reread and half this stuff is online now or things I don't need to research (ironically my new short story will be featuring the elf I originally got all these books about the dancer Ninjinsky for)


Yesterday went okay. I really like the person we interviewed yesterday, the one I insisted we interview. I liked her better than the one young man who I can tell is going to be offended by every little thing and very political and will probably get on my tits. Here's the problem everyone is gone on vacation and I'm scared all these people will have jobs by the time we bring them up here in 3 weeks. Sigh.

Languages 101

Jun. 21st, 2017 11:39 am
la_samtyr: books (books)
[personal profile] la_samtyr
"Adios y gracias por el pez."

species mis-communication

The Four Boundless Attitudes

Jun. 20th, 2017 01:31 pm
fayance: (Default)
[personal profile] fayance
In memory of my son Daniel, part of one of his favorite sutras, which he recited daily in his meditations:

May all beings have happiness and the causes of happiness.
May all beings be free from suffering and the causes of suffering.
May all beings never be separate from unconditional happiness,
where there is no suffering.
May all beings live in great impartiality, free from
attachment and aversion.

That was forever taking

Jun. 19th, 2017 10:41 pm
cornerofmadness: (Default)
[personal profile] cornerofmadness
SEVEN job interviews in one day. I liked all the ecology ones and only one of the cell ones. I've insisted we try to skype one late applicant for the cell one because she sounds like a good fit and she's local.

They all took me out for my birthday which was nice. New Holland's barrel aged Dragon's Milk stout was delicious.

Unfortunately one of my friends had gotten bad news both macular degeneration and diabetic retinaopahty in his eyes. He stands a good chance of going blind and that makes me very sad.


I don't know what's going on in my garden but there are 3 ash trees and 5 elms in it! Yikes I have a lot to do.

Moving House

Jun. 19th, 2017 07:35 pm
liralen: A pictures of one of my bees (bee)
[personal profile] liralen
When we first set up the hive, it had to be away from the house because we were replacing the roof and the solar panels on the south side of the house had to come down before the roof could be put on. So we put the hive on the North side of the yard, facing South to catch the sun in the entrance on most days.

But the entrance also faced the biggest part of our backyard lawn, and the flight path for the bees was right over the grassy area where all the kids would play if we had a party again in our backyard. So we had to move the hive.
Read more... )

Review for Broke Deep

Jun. 19th, 2017 08:11 pm
charlie_cochrane: (Default)
[personal profile] charlie_cochrane
A unique setting and a lovely couple. More at Alpha Book Club.

Early morning wildlife

Jun. 19th, 2017 11:20 am
codyne: my wyvern tattoo (Default)
[personal profile] codyne
I got up early this morning to go out for a walk/run before it got too hot (forecast is 98 F today), and ran across some critters I don't usually see!

First there was this Jerusalem cricket in the driveway:

Jerusalem cricket (hand for scale)

My hand is there for scale. (Ignore the bright pink fingernail, it's there because my fingernail is badly split, and it kept getting snagged on stuff and making it worse and I couldn't cut it short enough because it was split way down into the nail bed. Tried various ways to seal/protect it, and finally found the best way was to apply stick-on nail wraps with a couple coats of clear polish over it. Of course, the nail wraps were all sparkly and pink but I dun care, I just want my fingernail to stop splitting.) Little bug was probably about two inches long. I know we have Jerusalem crickets around here, but you don't see them very often because they live underground. They're weird and scary-looking, but basically harmless. This little guy just sat there while I ran circles around the driveway, didn't even move when I put my hand down to take the picture.

Here is a close-up of its little face:

Jerusalem cricket

I didn't want it to stay in the driveway and risk getting run over just in case someone drove around, so I got a stem from a bush and prodded it until it scurried away.

My other morning visitor was a bee who came to snack on a flower in my yard.

Untitled

Her little leg pouches were stuffed full of pollen.

TNT's CLAWS

Jun. 19th, 2017 11:38 am
grey853: (alice_facepalm_ozqueen)
[personal profile] grey853
On the flip side of seeing Wonder Woman last week, I managed 20 minutes of TNT's new drama CLAWS. I've been to R-rated movies that were less explicit. Lord knows I'm not a prude, but this was pretty shocking to be on regular cable. I stopped watching not just because of the general raunchiness, but the fact that there was not a single character that I wanted to watch. What is it with TV shows now that feature primarily women and the women are all drug dealers or whores? Is that the only kind of woman who's supposed to be seen? Is this the result of so many reality shows that only film bad behavior? Is that how producers see women? Maybe it's a combination of all those things.

It's a shame, because I really like the lead actress as well as some of the supporting cast, but I couldn't stomach this show enough to even finish the episode.

Wonder Woman

Jun. 19th, 2017 11:33 am
grey853: Wonder Woman (WW_megascopes)
[personal profile] grey853
Wow, it took long enough, but we finally got a decent Wonder Woman. I was very pleased with the movie. We got to see the genesis of Princess Diana and saw the evolution into the super hero Wonder Woman. Gal Gadot did a great job throughout and there was an excellent mix of humor, action, and drama. I have to say I was impressed and relieved.

I suspect there will be a whole parade of little Wonder Woman costumes this Halloween. That's not a bad thing.

Let's Get This Show on the Road!

Jun. 19th, 2017 10:49 am
the_gneech: (Default)
[personal profile] the_gneech
So, last week was a challenge. >.> Messed up sleep, a cat-in-crisis (Lady) dropped in our lap, job hunt frustration, and a general lack of fucks to give led to me basically chucking everything out the window (everything I could chuck, anyhow) and playing video games. (Other than Overwatch, because that particular game is often the opposite of relaxing.)

However, I only let myself do that with the promise that I would be back to work on Monday and get things done that need to be done. So step one is: organize! Thus, the Too Much To Do List for the next two weeks:

  1. Do some kind of workout.

  2. Take a shower and get dressed.

  3. Issue six page nine

  4. Job applications

  5. Blacktigr commission

  6. Overwatch competitive stream/Mastering Mercy vid

  7. Mooncat Timey-Wimey badge

  8. LKCMSL Timey-Wimey badge

  9. Graveyard Greg IBMBA commish (NOTE: send bill for this)

  10. PTBAF panel agenda

  11. Print for AC: button restocks, Best Bodies Contest flyer, Timey-Wimey badges

  12. BtA YouTube banner

  13. BtA Patreon banner

  14. Read books for Rainbow Awards


Right ho. Time to get started.

-The Gneech
duskpeterson: (bookshelves)
[personal profile] duskpeterson
Emancipation


"They always held their breaths when the soldiers passed by, but so far, no battles had been held anywhere near Doughoregan Manor or any of its quarters. And sometimes a posse set out with the hounds, to hunt down the quarry."

Civil war is tearing apart the land. Again.

For centuries, the Kingdom Vovim to the northwest and the Queendom of Yclau to the southeast have fought each other for the border territory of Mip. Sometimes the Vovimians are lords of the land. Sometimes the people of Yclau are.

The only Mippites whose lives don't change are the slaves. Young Sling knows that his own life's work has already been determined: he is to be a house slave, serving his master's son. But secret meetings in hidden places with his master's son make Sling uncertain of what will happen next.

When news arrives of a proclamation that will allow Sling to leave his hated master, Sling faces a difficult choice: whether to flee to safety or to stay and face the dangers of an unknown future.

"Emancipation" is loosely inspired by events at a border-state manor during and after the American Civil War. This is a Juneteenth holiday gift story for my readers.




Law Links


"Sometimes I feel that he is as mysterious as the gods, and that he is hiding something of vital importance from me. Something that would transform my life."

Few events are more thrilling in a young man's life than a blood feud between two villages. Or so Adrian thought.

Torn between affection toward his traditional-minded father and worship of his peace-loving, heretical priest, Adrian finds himself caught between two incompatible visions of his duty to the gods. Then the Jackal God sends Adrian a message that will disrupt his world and send him fleeing to a new and perilous life.




Checkmate


"It's all about torture. That's what I didn't understand for a long time. The High Seeker has been seeking out and punishing those of us who wish to show greater mercy to the prisoners than the Code allows. Those of us who question whether it's right to torture prisoners."

The Eternal Dungeon is no longer a prison. It's a battlefield.

Split apart from their closest loves and friends, a small group of prison-workers seek to abolish the use of torture against prisoners in the queendom's royal dungeon. Time is running out, for the deadly High Seeker has already flogged and executed prison-workers who oppose his policies.

Do the reformers have enough time and skill to bring about radical change in the dungeon? Will they be able to overcome their mistrust of one another?




Survival School


"This is the right place for you, boy. They'll school you here to be a right-standing man, one who can keep control over his actions, like any good man should. You just got to keep yourself open to learn and to grow."

How far can trust grow, when you're in a place you despise?

Arrested for a crime he doesn't regret, Bat ends up handcuffed to a group of fellow city boys and sent on a long journey into the countryside. He know that he is being transported to a prison for delinquent servant boys, but what form will his imprisonment take?

Tattooed with the rank-mark of servant, Bat must learn how to keep from losing his temper with the men who carry the keys to his freedom. But in the unbelievable world where he has been deposited, in which a genial master orders strict punishments and a servant acts like a master, will Bat be able to locate the door to his release? Which of his fellow prisoners can he trust to help him?

And will he survive long enough to find out?

Inspired by true events at a turn-of-the-century reform school, this novella (short novel) is set in an alternative version of the Chesapeake Bay region during the 1910s.




Spy Hill


"Fairview was the finest friend a man could have, and the finest battle-companion. I dared not risk doing anything that might break our friendship."

On a hot summer's day, on a high hill surrounded by the enemy, the best battle-companion can turn out to be the truth.

Rook and Fairview have worked alongside each other for years, first as officers in the navy, then as officers on a steamship, and finally as colonels in an invading army. Members of a nation where tiny differences in rank are considered all-important, the two men defy convention by treating each other as equals.

But now their life-long bond is about to meet its greatest strain, when they are ordered to seize and defend a hill whose landscape is unknown, in the company of soldiers who may be incompetent or treacherous. Will Rook and Fairview's friendship remain by the end of the battle? Or will their lives take an unexpected detour as they struggle to survive on Spy Hill?

duskpeterson: (summer night shells)
[personal profile] duskpeterson
"The most important thing is habit, not will. If you feel you need will to get to the keyboard, you are in the wrong business. All that energy will leave nothing to work with. You have to make it like brushing your teeth, mundane, regular, boring even. It's not a thing of effort, of want, of steely, heroic determination. (I wonder who pushed the meme that writing is heroic; it must have been a writer, trying to get laid.) You have to do it numbly, as you brush your teeth. No theater, no drama, no sacrifice, no 'It is a far far better thing I do' crap. You do it because it's time. If you are ordering yourself, burning ergs, issuing sweat, breathing raggedly through nasal channels that feel like Navajo pottery, you're doing something wrong. Ever consider law? We definitely need more lawyers."

--Stephen Hunter (via Advice to Writers).


Thank you to all of you who sent your best wishes concerning Jo/e. He's out of the hospital now, feeling fine. The exploratory surgery revealed absolutely no problems with his heart. He's still having periodic chest pains, so he's going to be exploring with his doctor what are causing those.


What I've been up to )

So much for the weather

Jun. 18th, 2017 11:32 pm
cornerofmadness: (Default)
[personal profile] cornerofmadness
But before that, Happy Father's day to all the fathers out there.

Earlier in the week, it said 100% chance of rain on Sunday which is why I was going to race down on monday for the interviews (that and Father's day). Then the last two days and today it said 20% chance. Dad wanted me to leave so I wouldn't be rushing and possibly missing a) my chance to turn in my expense reports b) the first interviews.

And I'm not more than 15 minutes from home when the storm warnings come over the radio and my smart phone. Nothing like a drive through a deluge. Luckily that was just the first leg of the trip but it added an hour to the trip. I nearly flooded the engine compartment twice and once nearly spun out from the sheer rivers of rain and 60 mph winds. After that it was just a normal rain all the way done.

My nosy neighbor popped out when he saw me 'oh you're back. You missed the drama someone broke into the apartments across the way (really? I can't believe someone would try that here when there is always someone here) and the lesbians are still screaming at each other Glad I'm home...sigh.

And my garden is terrifying. I need to fix it before I go back to PA.

Rift Riders by Becca Lusher

Jun. 19th, 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

Rift Riders, Becca Lusher, Wingborn, Earl Grey Editing, tea and books, books and tea.

Published: Self-published in March 2017
Format reviewed: E-book (mobi)
Series: Wingborn #2
Genres: Fantasy
Source: Author
Available: Amazon ~ Barnes & Noble ~Kobo ~ Smashwords

Disclaimer: I was provided with a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
The author is a friend. I have done my best to give an unbiased review.
This review contains spoilers for previous books.

On a world cursed to be covered in clouds, protected by the elite Rift Riders who fly on the backs of giant eagle miryhls, Lady Mhysra Kilpapan and her friends are making history. Women are now firmly back within the Rider fold and the future looks bright.

But even though Mhysra and her Wingborn Cumulo have survived their first year as students, there’s more to becoming a Rift Rider than lessons and training. Especially when trouble is brewing in the Wrathlen and the kaz-naghkt are looking for revenge.

Return to the Overworld for the next exciting Wingborn adventure, where strength, loyalty, honour and friendship are about to tested to their limits and beyond.

I am a huge fan of the Wingborn series. What’s not to love about a magical Regency-influenced society where the military ride giant eagles? Wingborn did an excellent job of setting up that society: showing the bond between rider and eagle, as well as the expectations the upper class have of their children.

Rift Riders takes that and shakes it up. Now that the world has been established, a serious threat steps forward. Yullik, a man with mysterious powers, manages to unite the pirate captains of Wrathlen for the first time in history. Allied with savage draconoids, the kaz-naghkt, they may prove unstoppable–even for the Rift Riders. This new threat builds great tension and raises the stakes. It also makes Rift Riders quite a different book to its predecessor. The more domestic aspects of the story, such as society life and the Kilpapan family dynamics, are left behind in favour of a more traditional epic fantasy narrative.

While this was slightly disappointing, the transition works well, with Rift Riders becoming more of an ensemble piece. Mhysra remains an important part of the narrative, but her friends get a greater share of the spotlight, with a few stepping forward to become point-of-view characters. This enables us to see more of what’s going on, particularly when battles break out on several fronts.

The relationships between these characters remain a strength of the story. The groundwork for a few romances was laid in the previous book, but this are dialled back or absent entirely. Instead, the focus is on friendship and duty. Mhysra and her friends do their best to support each other as they struggle to survive and defend the realm. The banter between them is never entirely absent, lightening what could otherwise be quite a grim story. Nor is this friendly teasing limited to the students–Lieutenants Lyrai and Stirla are equally as bad.

Managing such a cast of characters can be a handful, but the story does an excellent job of reintroducing everyone in the beginning. It does so through a tight action sequence which handles both aerial and ground-based combat in a way that sets the tone for the rest of the novel.

All in all, Rift Riders was a delight to read. With at least one more novel to come, and with the shift of tone between books, I’m curious to see what is in store for the remainder of the series.

Mirrored from Earl Grey Editing.

charlie_cochrane: (Default)
[personal profile] charlie_cochrane
And I had a dirt great gobbet of it today. Not sure if the best bit was the soldiers,

IMG_2112

or the artefacts

IMG_2108

or the touches of real life

IMG_2124

or maybe the smalls...

IMG_2139

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