Oh. Cool question.
Um the ones on tumblr? That’s pretty easy since I tend to follow most of them pretty closely….which sounds super creepy tbh.
Discord and Accessibility
Homeless and Homefree Characters
Poem: "A Realm of One's Being"
Poem: "You Who Have Fed the Hungry"
Poem: "Her Wilderness Like Eden"
Poem: "Define Your Own Reality"
Poem: "What You're Living For"
The bonus fishbowl went modestly well, and I have posted a few poems from that.
Poetry in Microfunding:
"A Hope and a Promise" belongs to Polychrome Heroics. Saraphina makes a new friend. "Essential for Human Survival" belongs to Polychrome Heroics: Cassandra. Groundhog and Cassandra talk about whether to set aside dangerous things for a while. "The Inner Transition" belongs to Polychrome Heroics: Berettaflies. Stylet turns himself in to Valor's Widow.
Weather has been variable. Today is warm and sunny. The birdfeeders have attracted doves, grackles, some sparrows, and two blue jays. Currently blooming: forsythia, daffodils, tulips, blue grape hyacinths, violets, anemones, lilacs, dandelions, white spirea, honeysuckle, spiderwort, carnations, marigolds, petunias, lantana, million bells, snapdragons, zinnias. Onion chives and peonies have buds, and so does something in the white garden.
Also ate breakfast and lunch, went outside with Beautifulcat and adjusted the plastic covering the crack in the Folly so the current rain won't come in, coaxed her in, let her out again, coaxed her back in again.
And went through my usual five mailboxes of email. And posted twice to DW with links.
And it's only 2:25 pm.
I expect that when I am off these meds I'll probably sleep for most of a week.
Location: Southeastern USA
Describe yourself in five sentences or less: Hello, I am Nan! I'm a fandom oldbie (having been in fandom since I was 13), an artist (both traditional and digital), a fangirl (I'm a shipper, is what I'm saying here), a writer (both original and fan), and perpetually sleepy.
Top 5 fandoms: I'm a perpetual fandom butterfly and once I've been fannish about something, chances are I'll eventually go back to being fannish about it in the future. Right this moment, I'm particularly fannish about Final Fantasy (specifically XV although VIII and XII are also faves), BBC Sherlock, Yuri on Ice, the MCU, and Fire Emblem (currently playing Fire Emblem Fates: Conquest and Niles is 100% my husbando).
I mostly post about: Fandom stuff (what I'm working on, new comms and challenges here on DW, fic/art recs), art stuff (fan/original, traditional/digital), and Real Life annoyances. If I have a particularly nice day, I'll probably talk about that.
I rarely post about: I don't really post a lot about politics. I don't post a ton about social justice (I believe in it, of course, it's just not a focus on my journal).
My last three posts were about: Noctis/Prompto fanart, communities and art, and that AO3 meme that's been going around.
How often do you post?: Practically daily, lmao. I post a lot.
How about commenting?: I comment as much as I can! I think I do an okay job. Commenting, for me, is an important part of creating a community and that's basically what we're trying to do here on DW, right? :3
A gif to describe your day so far:
Savage Worlds supplements and adventures from Pinnacle Entertainment about modern-day academic horror in Pinebox, Texas. Created by the 12 to Midnight studio, Pinebox is a sleepily haunted Big Thicket town, already presented in several Savage Worlds adventures that strike a tone similar to the Joe Lansdale novel Bubba Ho-tep. In a successful May 2014 Kickstarter campaign, Pinnacle brought forth a whole sub-line set in Pinebox's East Texas University, where the beer is enchanted and your advisor wants to kill you. The ETU line adds a flavor of Buffy the Vampire Slayer and The X-Files (and, some say, Scooby Doo) to this deep-fried terror mix.
We provide each ebook complete in .PDF (Portable Document Format) and each music track as a DRM-free .MP3 audio file. Like all Bundle of Holding titles, these books and tracks have NO DRM (Digital Restrictions Management), and our customers are entitled to move them freely among all their ereaders and music players.
Ten percent of each purchase (after gateway fees) goes to this offer's designated charity, the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children.
The total retail value of the titles in this offer at launch is US$102. Customers who pay just US$9.95 get all five titles in our Student's Collection (retail value $43) as DRM-free .PDF ebooks, including the complete Savage Worlds Deluxe Edition rulebook (retail $10), plus the East Texas University core campaign book (retail price $15) and ETU Player's Guide (retail $5), Archetypes (retail $3), the Trouble in Texas soundtrack (retail $10), and we throw in an ETU Welcome Kit of free downloads from the Pinnacle website.
Those who pay more than the threshold (average) price, which is set at $19.95 to start, also get our entire Dean's Collection with ten more titles worth an additional $59, including the complete Savage Worlds Plot Point campaign Degrees of Horror (retail $15) and the Class Ring adventure (retail $6); Heroes of ETU and Horrors of ETU Figure Flats (retail $7 each); four full-color .PDF poster maps: Classrooms, Library, Off Campus Housing, and Pinebox Businesses (retail $4 each); and the University Press Kit and GM Screen Inserts (retail $4 each).At least one more item will be added after launch: "When a title is added after launch, ALL customers who previously purchased the bundle automatically receive the newly added title, REGARDLESS of whether or not they paid more than average. This is their reward for buying early."
I'm probably not going to be very interested in this because I was more or less "horrored out" in the nineties - I don't particularly want to run horror RPGs any more. As usual it looks to be good value for money, but I don't have to pay for this stuff, if you do your mileage may vary.
There are three open epics. "A Hope and a Promise" belongs to Polychrome Heroics and needs $152 to be complete. "Essential for Human Survival" belongs to Polychrome Heroics: Cassandra and needs $210.25 to be complete. "The Inner Transition" belongs to Polychrome Heroics: Berettaflies and needs $322 to be complete.
Fish realizing that the fundamental flaw with Facebook’s “block” feature is that it creates a nurturing environment for abuse, as everyone who would ordinarily be community social enforcers do not see the postings of problematic individuals. This prevents them from providing corrective action and allows abuses to compound over time until the experience of long-term community members is in direct opposition of new members, actively inhibiting growth and promoting an early death to the group itself.
Originally posted at stories.starmind.org.
Baahubali 1 is available on some streaming services, if you need to get back up to speed with the cast! Annoyingly, some of the musical numbers were blanked out---no sound---on the one we watched the other day.
Dept of Serendipity: discovered that I had already ironed in my last massive ironing session the two tops one or other of which I intend wearing for giving a paper later this week.
Also, in Dept of Things I Should Have Remembered: the existence of an article I did c. 20 years ago bits of which I can reasonably recycle for A Thing I have been asked to do in a couple of weeks. However, the other paper of a similar era that I am similarly cannibalising had, once upon a time, a very fine set of slides to go with it. Not all of those images are now readily available for insertion into my Powerpoint, maybe I should have done the 'convert my slides' thing when I had the relevant hard- and software.
Dept of, Still Got It: 'We have the reader’s reports back... and your essay was summed up as ‘an excellent contribution’'. Though it then occurs to me that the essay in question is but the latest iteration of a paper that goes back a fairly long way.
Dept of, Oddness of People: The former inhabitants of the lower flat moved quite some months ago (didn't leave us a forwarding address). We are still getting post addressed to them, though I think it must be just about within the period for which the Post Office would be undertaking routine redirection, if such had been requested. While a lot of it is junk mail and catalogues that people might not bother updating on new address, I have become a bit perturbed by, firstly, notifications from dentists and opticians concerning coming up of next appointment due dates, and secondly, even more so by a package that I took to be the next X months' supply of disposable contact lenses. WTF?
In fact, the tutorial that made me go 'oooooh' was
which teaches you how to draw a dragon, complete with anatomy. (I like this way of working. Iz impressed.)
The horse one is mostly accurate (it gets one coat pattern wrong and most of the horses move much stiffer than they should) but there's nothing egregiously _wrong_, so I hope that the other species - cats, big cats, foxes, wolves - are equally accurate.
I am starting to see the first improvements in my drawing - the lines I draw are smoother and more confident - so I'm hoping to eventually move out the line exercise phase into one where I actually begin to draw stuff.
Right now, these tutorials are way beyond me - I could copy the lines, but I cannot decide where they should go and vary postures or phases of the stride - but if I squint sideways, I can see there from here.
PS: a sign at the Science March: "What do we want? SCIENCE! When do we want it? AFTER PEER REVIEW!"
Gimli isn’t at all the generic handsome hero, but I think he is one of the most romantic figures in the entire book.
The companions eventually camp, Sam gets his orc-cut wrapped up, and then Aragorn discovers Frodo’s mithril. After he binds up Frodo’s bruised ribs, he warns him to wear the mithril night and day. I remember all those years ago wondering how Frodo’s quest could possibly get worse—but at least he had Aragorn, and Boromir as backup. Well, surprise, surprise.
The first signs of Gollum on their trail before they hit Lothlorien. The mood is set up with the plaintive song “Nimrodel” with Legolas and Gimli sparking off one another as Legolas mentions the rest of that sad story.
They meet mallorns—and dangerous elves, led by Haldir. Not only dangerous, but they don’t have all that good a rep: Boromir doesn’t want to enter Lothlorien at all, as he’s heard that those who go in don’t come out. And Haldir and his company are pretty straightforward in their wariness, bordering on threat.
Aragorn once again proves himself a good leader when he insists that everybody be blindfolded, after Gimli is nearly kicked out.
The sadness and tension gets some relief in hobbit banter: though Sam sticks to etiquette, calling Pippin Mr. Pippin, he is hardly subservient:
The hobbits do not like sleeping in a tree. Pippin says, "I hope, if I do go to sleep in this bed-loft, then I shan't roll off."
To which Sam replies, "Once I do get to sleep, I shall go on sleeping, whether I roll off or no. And the less said, the sooner I'll drop off, if you take my meaning."
This brings to mind the earlier discussion about social strata in the Shire: the Tooks are the closest to gentry or even nobility of a sort, but they aren’t exactly looked up to by the respectable hobbits of the Shire. Sam’s dad, usually called the Gaffer, hoped that Bilbo’s teaching Sam to read wouldn’t have adverse effects. As I recall—I mean to be watching for this—though Sam loves Elves, and memorizes what he can, the authority Sam quotes most often is the Gaffer.
They enter, and it’s here that we get the highest contrast to what Frodo is going to be facing soon.
When his eyes were in turn uncovered, Frodo looked up and caught his breath. They were standing in an open space. To the left stood a great mound, covered with a sward of grass as green as springtime in the Elder days. Upon it, as a double crown, grew two circles of trees: the outer had bark of snowy white, and were leafless but beautiful in their shapely nakedness; the inner were mallorn trees of great height, still arrayed in pale gold.
The others cast themselves down upon the frequent grass, but Frodo stood a while still lost in wonder. It seemed to him that he had stepped through a high window that looked on a vanished world. A light was upon it for which his language had no name. All that he saw was shapely, but the shape seemed at once clear-cut, as if they had been first conceived and drawn at the uncovering of his eyes, and ancient as if they had endured forever. He saw no color but those he knew, gold and white and blue and green, but they were fresh and poignant, as if he had at that moment first perceived them and made for them names new and wonderful.
I think Tolkien has purposefully chosen Frodo’s POV for this section. He could as easily have picked Sam, or one of the other hobbits, or even Aragorn or Gimli. But it is Frodo he chooses — the one who is bearing the ring longest. The one who is going to have to fight its magic longest. And I will get to magic.
First they are drawn further inside, and again it is Frodo who sees Aragorn wrapped up in memory before he says, “Here is the heart of Elvendom on earth, and hear my heart dwells ever, unless there be a light beyond the dark roads that we still must tread, you and I.”
As a kid reader, I found this subtle glimpse into Aragorn's private heart whizzing right past me. But as an old reader I can see the cost he pays, all the stronger for how he suppresses it and turns wearily to grief for Gandalf, and to duty.
The company then gets to meet Celeborn and Galadriel, and after all the welcomes, Galadrien’s first words are a mild contradiction what Celeborn’s observation about a different number turning up: “Nay, there was no change of counsel.”
She comes down a lot stronger a little later, after the story of Moria has been told. Celeborn exclaims, “And if it were possible, one would say that at the last Gandalf fell from wisdom into folly, going needlessly into the net of Moria."
Once more, Galadriel contradicts him: “He would be rash indeed that said that thing.”
As a kid reader, I found these two pretty much stick figures in their awe-inspiring beauty. But reading this again as an older reader, and having picked up a little bit of the Elvish history, I find myself trying to untangle their relationship. It is clear that her power and her insight go far beyond his, and yet she is by his side. But not for long — at the end, when she goes west, she goes alone. I’m curious about what this means.
Anyway, she goes on to support Gandalf’s choice in entering Moria, and then makes fair speech about the dwarves. When she speaks in his own language to Gimli, that pretty much knocks him out of the park.
She tests the company one by one. Boromir clearly resents this intrusion. He reminds everybody that the men of Minas Tirith are true to their word—another minor-key note about oaths.
As the elves and the company grieve for Gandalf, for the first time Frodo is moved to poetry. And afterward, we get an interesting conversation between Sam and Frodo, after the latter asks Sam what he thinks about elves. They get on the subject of magic, and though Sam feels that there is some how magic all around them, he still wants to see a bit of elf-magic.
Well, he gets his chance when Galadriel offers them the opportunity to look into the waters, after which Frodo offers her the ring. So much has been said about that scene — the only thing I am going to comment on that struck me on this reading is the fact that Galadriel knows how many times Frodo has put on the ring. But that, too, needs to be saved for a discussion of JRRT’s magic.
The decision is made to go, and Frodo senses conflict within Boromir. The elves give them lembas and the cloaks, and Pippin asks if they are magic cloaks, and the leader of the elves says, “I do not know what you mean by that.”
I’ll come back to it, but I wanted to note Gimli’s romantic farewell, appreciated by the elves, another melancholy note as nothing can ever come of his unswerving devotion.
“Memory is not what the heart desires. That is only a mirror.”
We got up close and personal with elves through these chapters. JRRT conveys a sense of their longlived natures through that air of melancholy, and in moment like Gimli wondering if memory for them is like waking, and Legolas commenting that they don’t count years, as they flow by in flickers of seasons, as they face their diminishing and losing their land.
Finally the company sails down the river accompanied by the song of the elves, and though the music is beautiful, Frodo finds no comfort. But he will always remember it.
Important stuff there: In Rivendell, Gandalf saw him appearing a little transparent, as if a light glowed in him. With these words sinking into Frodo’s heart, we are inexorably set up for his particular road. In a sense, he almost becomes a wraith—even in victory, a normal life will never be his, it’s almost as if he becomes too light to leave a perceivable footprint in the Shire—but this is a wraith utterly the opposite of the Nine.
Okay, I just scrolled up, and I guess this ramble got long. So magic on the next rock—and after that, the end of the fellowship, and this book.
Characters/Pairing/Other Subject: Colonel Une
Content Notes/Warnings: n/a
Medium: digital art
Artist on DW/LJ: n/a
Artist Website/Gallery: amandaturnage / Amanda Turnage
Why this piece is awesome: This is such a cool portrait of Colonel Une. And the caption is perfect for this side of her personality.
A Delicate Shade of Rust - $0.99
A Lone Red Tree - $0.99
An Unrepentant Bastard - FREE!
Assumptions of Debt - $0.99
August Highs - $0.99
Blood Worms - $2.99
Clash of Lines - $0.99
Consort - $0.99
Crumbling of the Soul - $2.99
Finding a Way - $2.99
Infinite Joys - FREE!
Orange Joys - $0.99
Running From The Immortals - $3.99
Tales of Wonder - $3.99
The Eternal Librarian - $0.99
The Heat of the Thorn - FREE!
Please check these out and leave reviews.
I have so few reviews, guys. Seriously. Like none. Please, I'm desperate here. Get some cheap or free books and give me reviews. I don't care what you say. You can say it sucks, just leave a review.
*sad puppy eyes*
Also, if you see something that you'd like to read that's not on sale let me know so I can put it on sale in the future.
I plan to keep my scroll open just in case. It helps that I'm finally done with collecting Fire Gems. Well, almost. I still need a blue and a green one for freezing. *g*
Btw, what do you think of the Fire Gems? Do you like them?
Last week, Thomas Frank was in town to read at Town Hall Seattle from his new-in-paperback book Listen, Liberal. If you're looking to understand what went wrong with the Democratic Party over the last few years, this is the book for you: Frank explains that Democratic leaders have over time shifted the Democrats from a working-class party to a league of meritocratic professional elites. While Frank was in Seattle, he agreed to meet for a podcast interview for my day job at Civic Ventures. The full interview will be released on Thursday of this week as the first episode of the second season of our new podcast, The Other Washington. (You can subscribe to our podcast on iTunes or, as they say, wherever you get your podcasts.) But for now, here's a sample of our conversation.
I very much enjoyed Listen Liberal. I wish I'd read it sooner. A lot of the book is given over the argument that the Democratic Party is in thrall of elitists who've risen through the secondary education system. You argue that the Democratic Party has become a meritocracy that rewards cautious thinking and conventional wisdom. One thing about the book that I kept waiting for you to do — and one thing that the book always felt like it was on the precipice of doing — was going after secondary education in this country. Because all these elitist people have to come from a system, right? It just repeatedly walks up to the idea of talking about systemic educational reform and then backs off. I was wondering if that’s something you’re working on next?
I already did. There’s no reason why you would know this, but I wrote a series of essays for The Baffler magazine and Harper's magazine about universities, college admissions, all the various scandals in universities, and also about adjuncts.
Back in the 80s and 90s, I went to graduate school in American history. I got a PhD. I wanted to be a professor. I wanted to be a historian. What I discovered as soon as I got my PhD is that the path to being a tenured professor in the American university system had basically been closed to my generation, and to all the succeeding generations.
Instead, professors and university teachers have been casualized. You get your PhD and go out and you have to work as what's called an adjunct, you make very, very, very — you'd be surprised how little these people get paid to teach college students. The majority of university classes in America are taught by adjuncts. They get paid very, very, very little.
The university system has fascinated me because on the one hand the price tag is now, as we all know, outrageous. It's completely off the handle. University of Chicago, where I get my PhD, is close to $65,000 a year now. They're all like that. All of your top tier universities are like that.
State universities are following along behind as they get defunded by the states. The tuition is incredibly high, and yet the people who teach the courses are basically sub-minimum wage employees. Someone forwarded me an article a while ago; it was talking about various people who work at low-wage occupations and what they might do to help themselves. It was listing the low-wage occupations — like people who work in fast-food, people who are in housekeeping, this kind of thing.
One of the occupations that was listed was university teaching. You have to get a PhD to do that! That takes many, many, many years. You're supposed to be the smartest and the best, and all that crap, right? You've done well on your tests and everything, and you've got straight A’s and you've read every book in the goddamn library. That's your future, and it stinks.
That split — that universities are incredibly expensive and university teachers by and large get paid next to nothing — whoa, that is shocking when you put those two facts together and when you try to understand the American university system. And at the same time, the prestige of [the university system] grows and grows and grows.
I live in Bethesda, Maryland. More than 50 percent of the population has an advanced degree of some kind. Everybody has internalized the hierarchy of educational institutions. This is important to everyday life: where I live, people know that such and such a school is really, really, really good and such and such another school is not quite as good.
A friend of mine, his son, I think his son was ten at the time, said, "Daddy, is Williams above Princeton, or is Princeton above Williams?" Of course, his dad knew what he meant. The kid was trying to figure out the hierarchy of American higher education at age ten. This is common where I live. Where you go to college is this incredibly important thing — it's putting a brand label on you. We all know these stories once you start digging into the American university system — the words “fraud” and “scam” just instantly come to mind. Sorry, that's the way I feel about it.
At the same time, remember, I'm a great believer in this. I got a PhD. What would make me happiest in my life would be to spend all my day sitting in the stupid library and writing another dissertation. I love that way of life.
For all of your Expanse squee, whether it's about the books, the TV series,
the amazing Belter language, or about the actors themselves.
A video of the spring tide at Turnagain Arm, Alaska.
An oral history of some Southern hamburger styles.
Spend a dollar on drug treatment -- save more on crime reduction.
Bernie Sanders has made a big mistake. Here it is, and why it's a mistake: he underestimated the importance of complete health care access for women, including complete reproductive freedom.
Ghost in the Ghost -- an examination and review of 'Ghost in the Shell', including some thoughts on Scarlett Johannson and her role.
The Handmaid's Tale is a warning to conservative women -- the rest of us already know it's possible. And a NYTimes review of it.
An internet language built around love of dogs.
The real Charlotte Gray killed Nazis with her bare hands and had a 5 million franc bounty on her head -- and was sexy as hell along with it. Meet Nancy Wake.
There was one parchment copy of the Declaration of Independence -- at the National Archives. Now another has surfaced -- in England.
Wonkette: Tax-dodging Nazi sovereign citizen furries forced to cancel their Denver furry convention. Yes, really.
( cut for pic )
It's challenge time!
Comment with Just One Thing you've accomplished in the last 24 hours or so. It doesn't have to be a hard thing, or even a thing that you think is particularly awesome. Just a thing that you did.
Feel free to share more than one thing if you're feeling particularly accomplished!
Extra credit: find someone in the comments and give them props for what they achieved!
Nothing is too big, too small, too strange or too cryptic. And in case you'd rather do this in private, anonymous comments are screened. I will only unscreen if you ask me to.