MultiverseCon!

Feb. 19th, 2019 02:29 pm
catherineldf: (Default)
[personal profile] catherineldf
It's official! As usual, I can't get the photos to embed so you'll have to follow the link if you're curious. :-)
GUEST ANNOUNCEMENT TIME! Say hello to Catherine Lundoff, another one of our FABULOUS Multiverse guests this year!

Lundoff is an award-winning writer, editor and publisher from Minneapolis where she lives with her wife, bookbinder Jana Pullman, and the cats who own them. She is the author of over 100 published short stories and essays. Her books include Silver Moon, Out of This World: Queer Speculative Fiction Stories and, as editor, the fantastical pirate fiction anthology, Scourge of the Seas of Time (and Space). In addition, she is the publisher at Queen of Swords Press, a genre fiction publisher specializing in fiction from out of this world. Websites: http://www.catherinelundoff.net/ and http://www.queenofswordspress.com/


Book Cover meme day one

Feb. 18th, 2019 09:51 pm
cornerofmadness: (Book collector)
[personal profile] cornerofmadness
[personal profile] spikesgirl58 nominated me to post covers of seven books I love - one cover a day for a week. There is to be no explanations or reviews, just covers. Each time I post I will ask someone else to take up the challenge. Obviously it goes without saying that if I tag you and you don't want to it, you don't have to do it. Please do not feel obligated to join in.







And since it's her birthday I nominate [personal profile] seta_suzume to do this if she wants to. Happy birthday! Hope it was a fabulous one.

President's Day

Feb. 18th, 2019 09:22 pm
cornerofmadness: (Default)
[personal profile] cornerofmadness
For some idiot reason we don't have class (frankly I'd rather not get ridiculously behind than have a day off but that's me). I decided to go to Chillicothe after calling a bookstore in Huntington WV to set up a pull list (granted it's twice as far as the other one in Waverly but there is nothing else There and the one in Portsmouth is in well Portsmouth)

Anyhow I wanted to look for EVA foam and some stuff for upcoming cosplay. So Joanne's Fabrics doesn't have it and I'll go buy dollar store pool noodles first before I give money to Hobby lobby. I needed dress flats for the cosplay but T J Maxx's barely had shoes (or anything. It was the emptiest I've ever seen it. I bought some sunglasses and a few food clearance stuff) and Shoe Carnival was not a Carnival. My feet are skinny ridiculous things. Even the mediums swam on my feet. I couldn't keep any of them on. Bah.

I also tried Nagasaki, a sushi/thai/chinese fusion place. The sushi special was good BUT I've never seen anything like this. It took forever and the weird thing about it all was that there was just one other group of customers a mom and two kids and they brought out each item to them one at a time over about 15 minutes. Strange.

So really it was sort of a waste of a day. I DID however get two stories posted up.

I finished that never ending fandom stocking story. And I made a decision. It's unlikely that both FFN and AO3 would go down at the same time (Say what you will about FFN it's been there for more than 20 years now! And AO3 is been around what? 12 years) So the really LONG stories I won't be putting in my journal.

So here's the conclusion of The Key to Destruction

And for the first time since 2003 I've updated Mad, Bad and Dangerous to Know It was written for Angel Book of Days and the mod put it on AO3. I didn't even know it was there (well I knew but I forgot) It's long, one of those Home inspired stories I mentioned yesterday. It's in Angel's pov, has much of his time post season 4 and there's plenty of Faith (with some Giles and Willow in the end).
duskpeterson: The lowercased letters D and P, joined together (Default)
[personal profile] duskpeterson
*


As war thunders forth, a fleeing slave-princess discovers that all is not as she thought.

Endangered by her cousin the Prince, Serva must take refuge with a protector, for despite being the King's bastard daughter, she was long ago condemned to slavery. She has little power of her own.

But when she loses her best hope for protection, she must draw upon her strength to protect herself. Soon she will realize that others need her protection as well.


"'His wings were clipped.'"

Rated T. Boilerplate warning for all my stories + my rating system.

All chapters in this novel. The first chapter is free. By donating as little as one dollar a month, you can receive a weekly serialization of my fiction, as well as all my new e-books.

Permalink.


Preview, relatively spoiler-free )

Fic Rec: Not a Word (Merlin)

Feb. 18th, 2019 10:36 am
asya_ana: (merlin on horse)
[personal profile] asya_ana

I wanted to take a moment and rec the amazing Merlin fic I received for Chocolate Box! Honestly, the writing was so stellar I was almost taken aback. Who penned this amazing thing? I don't think I quite knew what to do with myself. It was very humorous as well in a sort of old school Merlin kind of way; their dynamic very much reminded me of classic Merlin fandom canon. Sweet, as well. And I thought they did an excellent job of capturing the characters' voices. Truly, I was very grateful to receive it. I pulled out a quote so you can see what I mean about the quality of writing! I hope I can tempt you to go give it a read yourself :)

Arthur went hunting, leaving Merlin to arrange the camp. On his way back, with three rabbits, he noticed he was making a great deal of noise, letting twigs snap and leaves crackle beneath his boots. It was a rotten habit for a hunter; the goblins had been right to sneer at him. He didn’t know when he’d gotten into it. Except he did, of course. He knew exactly when he’d gotten into it. He’d gotten into it this last year, since his father had inflicted an incompetent twat of a manservant on him. His father, who burned wizards when he caught them.

Not A Word
Arthur/Merlin
Rating: M
Tags: Goblins, First Time, Magic Revealed
Words: 3440

Summary
“Not a word,” Arthur said flatly.

Presidents Day

Feb. 18th, 2019 12:19 pm
la_samtyr: books (books)
[personal profile] la_samtyr
"What kind of peace do I mean and what kind of a peace do we seek? Not a Pax Americana enforced on the world by American weapons of war. Not the peace of the grave or the security of the slave. I am talking about genuine peace, the kind of peace that makes life on earth worth living, and the kind that enables men and nations to grow, and to hope, and build a better life for their children -- not merely peace for Americans but peace for all men and women, not merely peace in our time but peace in all time...I speak of peace, therefore, as the necessary, rational end of rational men. I realize the pursuit of peace is not as dramatic as the pursuit of war, and frequently the words of the pursuers fall on deaf ears. But we have no more urgent task...Our problems are manmade; therefore, they can be solved by man. And man can be as big as he wants. No problem of human destiny is beyond human beings. Man's reason and spirit have often solved the seemingly unsolvable, and we believe they can do it again...And if we cannot end now our differences, at least we can help make the world safe for diversity. For in the final analysis, our most basic common link is that we all inhabit this small planet. We all breathe the same air. We all cherish our children's futures. And we are all mortal."
--JFK, American University speech

I tried to get the YT link to work but it didn't. Sorry.

(no subject)

Feb. 18th, 2019 09:13 am
dynamicsymmetry: (like father like daughter)
[personal profile] dynamicsymmetry
So today I'm switching up my Twitch streaming and starting a playthrough of Bioshock Infinite, which will probably feature me yelling a lot about the story in between murdering people with my skyhook, so that's something to be excited about.

Assuming that goes well, we'll continue with that and The Long Dark on alternate days.

It'll kick off here between 3 and 3:30 pm EST if you're interested.
cornerofmadness: (Default)
[personal profile] cornerofmadness
I have a few more of that character meme fun. If you don't remember the meme you'll find it Here Here are my characters

the characters )

For [personal profile] tjs_whatnot fun )


For [personal profile] trobadora just one )


And here's the scene I started at Christmas and lost with the flash drive. It's the start of something new. I'm wondering if it's a little bit interesting or not. So I'm interested in comments constructive crit or a hey that works is helpful.

something new )

Writerly Ways

Feb. 17th, 2019 08:07 pm
cornerofmadness: (Default)
[personal profile] cornerofmadness
I wanted to talk a little bit about writing to work through things. Of course there is a risk in that, that it comes across as preachy or it makes more sense in your head than it does on the page. I know that it can be very cathartic as well. I've been thinking about this for a while now, ever since I started migrating my old Buffy fiction onto AO3 and I can see how upset I was when I wrote these. (And isn't that why we write some fanfiction, to 'fix' it?)

In 2004-2006, I wrote a crap ton of fanfiction and much of it around two stories, Seeing Red from Buffy and Home from Angel and sometimes you end up wondering were was an editor? Did they test these ideas at all before dropping them.

Red gave us a strong heroine being nearly raped by a character that was unquestioningly one of the most popular on the show. first question was, should it have even happened? Second question should we not have had some consequences of this? For me this ended up a deal breaker. I stopped watching the show full time. I didn't see chunks of S6 and most of S7 of Buffy as a result. Partly because I was attacked like that, had to fight my way out of it.

Now if Buffy had hated SPike afterward I might have been okay but no, once again we see a woman being able to look past the abuse and say 'I still love him.' And nope, I'm out. She at one point BLAMES herself for the attack (at least Giles tries to point out it wasn't her fault which was surprising because at that point Giles was so out of character he was insulting in and of himself) Way to reinforce that women bring the abuse on themselves and are expected to forgive it. (Though in a way I think Noxon was trying to work something out). I do remember the trade magazines having on this and the actors themselves being upset.

So upset was I, that Spike disappeared from my stories. He was my favorite but stories after that either revolved around not forgiving him or trusting him or just plain old fashioned 'he died' at the end of S7. It was my process for dealing with this. By the end of S5 of Angel I was a bit more okay at least enough to let him back on the page.


As for Home, this story was SO dumb that most of my fiction (and there was an ungodly outpouring of it before S5 of Angel ever happened). I assumed that they decided Connor was unpopular so they're were going to write him out...in a way that made SO little sense, they had to undo it the next year with Origins.

I think this episode really shows the important of honest beta reading (because I'm pretty sure this did NOT have it as they were pulling half this season out of their ass to compensate for Cordelia's pregnancy which could have been SO easily done as She went to Pylea to help Groo who she was STILL with up until a few minutes before Connor arrived at the end of S3 and then just let her come back after the baby was born but whatever)

So we have a story line that turns Angel into an asshole who betrays his friends (but at least he was trying to save his son or something by giving his son to the people who were trying to dissect him for the entire season (so Angel is either stupid or brain dead) But that's not the worst thing a simple beta read might have been able to say 'are you sure you want to do this?' Because when you boil it down nothing about the scene in the mall makes a lick of sense. Granted Connor is very strong but there was no signs of violence so how the hell did he capture a dozen people and get them to sit patiently while he wired them up with explosives? Hell, how did he carry an unconscious woman into the mall in the first place without someone alerting authorities?

For that matter, how does Connor, raised by a man from the 1700s in a place with no technology (judging by his buckskins when we first see Connor) know how to make bombs from car batteries and propane tanks? How the fuck does he even know what car batteries and propane tanks are? Does anyone see Fred and Gunn explaining this to him at some point? Angel, at least has the excuse of being distracted by his son's pain that he doesnt' question this but it is NEVER questioned on the show, not once. None of it, not how Cordy got there, how he rounded up all those people and got them to sit there while he wired them up and how did he learn it in the first place.

And at the end of the day, we assume that he's acting on Connor's wish for a rest (but now 15 years out I can't remember if Angel ever heard that because I only remember it in the church with Cordy) which is why he gives Connor away instead of rewriting him and giving him away (and since Angel has knocked Connor out in the past, why murdering him and bringing him back was needed seems to be hey it's stupid but dramatic) and never does he think 'what happens if Connor gets into a fight at a frat party or something and KILLS someone with one punch' (which at least is addressed in Origins)

Ironically as dumb as Home was, I'm not sure David Boreanaz or Vincent Kartheiser had ever acted better than they did on that episode. They did absolutely nailed it. Stupid storyline, fantastic acting, go figure.

So yes, work out stuff with your writing be it fanfic or original. Get someone's eyes on it (I need to be better at not being a jerk and forgetting the stuff I'm supposed to beta read)

And have some links to go with my rambling.

From around the web

Use All Five Senses To Enrich Your Writing

On Day-Jobs And Starving Artists

Your Ideas Aren’t That Interesting

Making the Most of Author Bling

The Basics: So You Want To Write A Novel

And from Betty

Forget Strong Female Characters! We Need Complicated Female Characters Who Screw Up (A Lot) Loved this one

15 Questions Authors Should Ask Characters

How to Double Your Story’s Conflict in Seconds

Worldbuilding: Creating Fictional Cultures

Backstory: How Not to Tell Too Much

How to Write from a Guy’s POV

I’ve Interviewed 300 High Achievers About Their Morning Routines. Here’s What I’ve Learned.

How to Advance Your Plot with Careful Scene Design ~ 5 Steps

Compound Sentences and Conjunctive Adverbs

Six Mistakes That Can Kill a Great Plot

Optimizing Your Story Ideas for Stronger Engagement

How Do I Write Exposition in Close Perspective?

Thornbound by Stephanie Burgis

Feb. 18th, 2019 08:00 am
calissa: A low angle photo of a book with a pair of glasses sitting on top. (Mt TBR)
[personal profile] calissa

Published: February 2019 by Five Fathoms Press
Format reviewed: E-book (epub)
Series: The Harwood Spellbook #2
Genres: Fantasy, alternate history, romance
Source: Publisher
Available: Amazon (AU, CA, UK, US) ~ Barnes & Noble~ Kobo ~ Smashwords

Disclaimers: I was provided with a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
This review contains spoilers for previous volumes/books.

Cassandra Harwood scandalized her nation when she became the first woman magician in Angland. Now, she’s ready to teach a whole new generation of bright young women at her radical new school, the Thornfell College of Magic

Until a sinister fey altar is discovered in the school library, the ruling Boudiccate sends a delegation to shut down Thornfell, and Cassandras own husband is torn away from her.

As malevolent vines slither in from the forest and ruthless politicians scheme against her, Cassandra must fight the greatest battle of her life to save her love, her school, and the future of the young women of Angland.

The first novella in the Harwood Spellbook series, Snowspelled was one of my favourite books of last year, so I was delighted to get my hands on a copy of the sequel. Thornbound does a brilliant job of meeting the standard set by the first book, keeping the thoughtfully feminist themes of the series while advancing both Cassandra’s story and the world itself.

Just as Cassandra is on the verge of achieving her big dream of opening a school for women magicians, things begin to unravel. Her childhood bully arrives as head of the delegation sent to decide if she’ll be allowed to keep the school open. She finds herself saddled with Angland’s most annoying weather wizard as an instructor… who then misses his first class. The Boudiccate have sent her husband running all over the country on urgent business since the day of their wedding. And to top it all off, Cassandra hasn’t had a good night’s sleep since she arrived at the school, thanks to a reoccurring nightmare. It’s enough to leave anyone fatigued and frazzled.

Cassandra continues to make a compelling character. As a trailblazer–both as the first woman magician and as the head of the first school for women magicians–she’s headstrong and stubborn, with a clear idea of what she wants and a reasonably solid plan as to how to bring it about. Going against society’s expectations means she knows the value of appearing confident and relying on her own strength. However, these qualities don’t always serve her well, particularly in her personal life. The story does a fantastic job of pushing back at narratives of the lone hero, noble sacrifices, and, to a degree, protecting loved ones. Instead, it draws out themes of respecting the choices of others, making connections, and not trying to do it all oneself.

I was also delighted to see Cassandra continuing to wrestle with the loss of her magic. All too often, fantasy stories turn to the magic fix, especially when it relates to health and able-bodiedness. While the loss of her magic doesn’t affect her in a physical way, it represents the absence of a crucial part of Cassandra–one that she still grieves over, even as she forges ahead. It forces her to be more resourceful and to rely on others, making her a far more interesting character than otherwise.

The story is set in an alternate Regency period. Many stories set around this era tend to be very white, so it was gratifying to see a reasonably diverse cast. Both Cassandra’s husband and sister-in-law are people of colour who occupy positions of significant power in this world. Racial tensions have been transferred to species instead, with an uneasy truce between the humans and the fey who formerly occupied the land. Naturally, there are some prejudices on both sides and we see some of this play out in Cassandra’s half-fey housekeeper, Miss Birch. Even Cassandra, who has nothing but respect for Miss Birch’s skills, catches herself making disparaging comments about the fey in front of her housekeeper.

Elements of mystery are included, as Cassandra tries to figure out who made the altar to bargain with the fey and what the deal is with the thorny vines both in her dreams and in the waking world. Cassandra is juggling so many balls that it keeps the stakes high and the story moving at a reasonable pace as she reels from one disaster to the next.

On the whole, I found Thornbound just as charming a novella as its predecessor. Its exploration of feminist themes was both thoughtful and satisfying. I’m really looking forward to the continuation of the series.

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Mirrored from Earl Grey Editing.

As You Wish

Feb. 16th, 2019 11:13 pm
cornerofmadness: (Default)
[personal profile] cornerofmadness
We have a 1930s Art Deco movie theater, the Markay. Once a month it shows a free movie (with the intention you'll buy popcorn or other snacks and drinks). This spring is apparently 80s adventure movies. Today was Princess Bride. I love the movie of course but I couldn't remember if I saw it at the theater or not original but it was wonderful to see it on the big screen again.

I hung out at the Spot on Main, our coffee shop writing until it started. Ran into a writing buddy there.

It was nice to have a distraction after yesterday.

I was wrong. My sugar didn't crash out at 3AM. It crashed out at 345 so there I am with peanut butter and sugar pills and a hard boiled egg trying to get carbs to bring the sugar up to safe levels and protein to stabilize it. And it was 235 in the morning. Sigh. So physically I've felt like crap all day.

I also realized between Thursday and Friday I wrote nearly 10K. Wow. And I did get the final chapter of THe Key to Destruction up on AO3. I feel accomplished

International FanWorks Day

Feb. 15th, 2019 11:04 pm
cornerofmadness: (damaged)
[personal profile] cornerofmadness
So like I said, I got The Dragon's Heart finished and up. It's story #4 in a Buffy and Angel series I started back in 2004 and that story had been lying around since then. Now I need one more story to finish it off.

And I got a great piece of fan art for my [community profile] chocolateboxcomm exchange. It's still anonymous until the 21st but this was a last minute pinch hit and whoever this is hit it right out of the park. It's Willow/Tara and light bondage. I don't remember putting in that I like shibari but I do. I'm thrilled with it. Go give it some love right Here


And I am FINALLY doing some of that character meme thing. Some will get fic (not tonight. I've already written 5K today. Let me challenge my rage and omg Connor I'm SO sorry for what I did to you in that story)

Let me tackle a few tonight. If you don't remember the meme you'll find it Here Here are my characters

1. Buffy Summers
2 Leia Organa
3 Lucifer
4 Hermione Granger
5 Roy Mustang
6 Riza Hawkeye
7 Connor
8 Dana Scully
9 Spock
10 Spike
11 Willow Rosenberg
13 Edward Elric
14. Han Solo
15 Drusilla

For [personal profile] enemytosleep here you go )


For [personal profile] scribblemoose ha )

So it was a very very VERY bad day

Feb. 15th, 2019 10:06 pm
cornerofmadness: (Do not want)
[personal profile] cornerofmadness
First off my blood sugar went to 310 last night (that could put you in the hospital but since I know how to treat it, I tried). I'm not even sure why. Mostly I had two pieces of chocolate and nothing but protein all night. Then I couldn't sleep.

All day the blood sugar has been between 250-300 all day putting me in a very bitchy mood. And then less than a half hour before the faculty association meeting (technically our union) the college president tells them to deliver news that should have been held until the full faculty meeting in the last week of the month. That wasn't the forum for this and most of us weren't there. I wasn't because they hold the meetings when I have class.

Basically they're making us justify our programs because they're going to cute 25% of all programs and faculty (because the moron board still thinks this runs like a Wal-Mart and closing a store will save them). And the best part is they won't tell us until MAY. That means we can't even look for new jobs (because universities hire on a schedule and if they hire in the summer it's usually an emergency) AND students in cut programs won't be able to apply to new schools. Or are they going let the freshmen in these programs finish out their three years and then the programs are gone? We DONT KNOW!

I'm like just make us a fucking community college and be done with it. Half the faculty were in tears and half were so enraged we're lucky there isn't a smoking crater where this school is. ANd on top of this shit salad we sprinkle the bacon bits of Trump's fake emergency.


Want to know how many jobs there are in my field? Yeah in PA (where i'd like to return) None. IN pointing this out to mom she yells at me for being so pessimistic.

Of course there's also the utter bitchiness that accompanies high blood sugar. Today is NOT the day to light my fuse (looking at you mom. Please, tell me how happy should I be that I could be losing a job in a field where there's like 12 in the entire country?)

The only bright spot was getting something on AO3 (The Dragon's Heart) for International FanWork day. I might work on that meme tonight because I need a distraction. I've taken a HUNDRED units of insulin so far. That is a huge amount, a dangerous amount and my sugar isn't budging. It might. I can feel it because with the pens you can't pull back the plunger and see if you're in a vein. The last 40 units went right into a vein. Also dangerous. So I'll be awake until at least 2 if not 3 AM to be sure I'm safe.

Winter

Feb. 15th, 2019 12:51 pm
codyne: my wyvern tattoo (Default)
[personal profile] codyne
It's been a rough winter here, not only weather-wise (more snow and rain than we've had in years) but mood-wise (hit by a bad bout of depression, although it finally seems to be lifting) and just a general run of things-keep-breaking-nothing-seems-to-go-right. Had to cancel my mom's HMO and put her back on straight Medicare so all the various medical people coming to the nursing home to take care of the patients would be covered (alternative would have been to pay these people out of pocket, or else let them make outside appointments for her which I would have to drive up to Tulare and take her to). DMV wouldn't take my birth certificate card for their stupid Real ID so I had to renew my old license and send for a new copy of my birth certificate.

The propane company, formerly a local family business that sold out to a national company, totally screwed up their delivery schedule and haven't delivered any propane up here since October. I've been promised several times in the past few weeks that they'd send a truck up within a few days, and no one's been here yet. Not sure if they've even tried, but with the weather the way it's been, the dirt road up to my place has been a mess of snow and ice and mud and I doubt their trucks could make it up here if they did try. And there's no telling when we'll finally get a break in the weather long enough for the road to dry out and let them get up here.

Fortunately, I have a 300-gallon propane tank and should have enough propane left to last for another four to six weeks, as long as I'm careful and only use it for the necessary basics: stove, oven, refrigerator, and hot water. But the propane heater uses up propane too fast, so I'm keeping it shut off and using the wood stove for heat. And it's the coldest part of the winter, and I'm also getting low on firewood, and it's too wet to go out and cut more. Our local firewood guy promised to bring me some in the next day or so (and already did leave me a pile the other day), so I should be good to go. And if the propane situation becomes desperate, my neighbor will help me figure out how to hook up one of those small bottles of propane to tide me over till I can get my tank filled.

It will all work out one way or another, but it's been a strain and a slog getting through this past month or so.

A couple of days ago, I was able to do a good deed, so that made me feel better. My housemate came home from town and told me there was a woman in a truck stuck in the mud about a quarter mile down the road, so I got in my truck and drove down to help her. She'd lost traction on a curve and slid off into the ditch. She told me she was up here to bring some food and clothes to her daughter, who lives about a mile up the road and couldn't get out. She'd called Triple A but they told her they wouldn't come, so she was pretty freaked out. I hooked up a tow rope to her truck, put my truck in 4LO, and pulled her out of the ditch. Love my 4LO! Vast majority of the time, I don't need it, but when the road is 4 inches of mud and snow and slush and you need to pull somebody out of a ditch, that 4LO really sticks the traction. She tried to give me money but I wouldn't take it. Just part of living up here, I said. We pull each other out of the mud.

The snow's mostly gone at the moment (but it's supposed to snow again tonight and tomorrow and Sunday and then again next week), but I still have a small creek running through my front yard from all the rain.

Stream running through my yard

Charlie's latest newsletter

Feb. 15th, 2019 07:48 pm
charlie_cochrane: (Default)
[personal profile] charlie_cochrane
This could be an interesting newsletter, given that I have a nightmare cold which has not only affected my nose, ears and throat, but has decided to affect my brain, too. Yesterday I tried to put the newspaper in the fridge…

News

The big news this week is the release of Old Sins, the fourth Lindenshaw book. That means a blog tour and a blog tour means a prize, in this case a bag of goodies which I’m happy to send anywhere. I’ll choose the winner from among the commenters on the posts – the more places people comment the more chances they have of the random winner generator choosing them. All the blog stops are listed here. Some smashing reviews already including this one: If you love cozies like I do, this is one mystery series for you. Start at the beginning and make your way here! I highly recommend them all. Read more here.

I’ve got several gigs coming up in Portsmouth, both as part of the Bookfest and for World Book Night. If you fancy afternoon tea with the Deadly Dames on February 22nd or the big ‘Who’s the greatest detective/’ discussion on March 7th, then get your tickets now.

I always like to have an offer to give you and today it’s for the first Lindenshaw Book, Best Corpse, which is cheap as chips on kindle at present.

Here’s the first ever mention of what I suspect is the readers’ favourite character in this series, Campbell the Newfoundland.

A scratching noise at the back door made them both turn round. “Excuse me. That’s Campbell.” Adam hopped off his chair.
“Campbell?”
“The dog. I inherited him with the house too. Come in, boy.” He opened the door for a large Newfoundland to make a regal entrance. “Does he bother you? I’ll lock him in the bedroom if he does.”
“No. I like dogs.” Robin tapped his leg, encouraging Campbell to come over for a pat. “I don’t have the regular hours to let me keep one.”
Adam slipped back onto his chair. Funny how the arrival of the dog had eased the atmosphere immediately, creating a common point of contact that had nothing to do with dead bodies or schools. “Unlike us teachers with our allegedly short days and long holidays.”
“I didn’t say that.” Robin smiled, caressing Campbell affectionately behind the ear.
“You’ve made a friend. Just don’t give him any biscuits. He’s spoiled enough.”
“Noted.” Robin flashed another one of his devastating, dark-eyed smiles. “You were saying?”
“I was going to say that there are plenty of people who’d leap at the chance to run the school.” Adam watched the interaction of dog and rozzer. George had never really established more than a wary truce with Campbell, even when he’d been living here for weeks on end. Didn’t they say that animals knew? “If someone comes in and turns us around, it’ll be a real feather in his or her cap. Campbell!”
The dog, suitably chastened, took his nose out of Robin’s pocket where it might have hoped to find a stray custard cream.
“Where’s your chewy toy? Go find it. Go on, boy.”
Campbell, reluctantly, went to his bed, rooting around under it.
“He’s a daft beggar. I’m sure it’s not there. Still, it’ll keep him out of mischief.” Adam sighed. “For whoever gets the headteacher job, there’s every chance it’ll turn out to be this year St. Crispin’s, and two years down the line some failing inner-city primary school with a mega salary to boot. People should be falling over themselves to get it.”
“Really?” Robin made a sour face, swiftly hidden. “If the job’s such a plum, then why did nobody decent apply the first time?”
Campbell, proving his owner wrong, waddled over with a teddy bear firmly clenched in his jaws, depositing the vile object in Robin’s lap. “I said you’d made a friend. You’ll have to pretend to be pleased, even if it’s revolting.” Adam found the sight of dog and man together strangely comforting.


And finally – thoughts of what should be just around the corner. I love spring, especially when my flowering cherry bursts into bloom.





Charlie



charlie_cochrane: (Default)
[personal profile] charlie_cochrane
Last day of my blog tour and I'm blethering on about some of my favourite books at Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words. I'm also at Dog Eared Daydreams and Creative Deeds. "Cochrane’s characters are so beautifully crafted that it’s sometimes hard to tell which way the plot will fall, who will be the villain or the victim?" Read more at Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words.

A tale of delivery

Feb. 15th, 2019 03:07 pm
rheasilvia: (Walk without walking)
[personal profile] rheasilvia
I ordered a package a few days ago. (Clothes hangers, probably the most boring objects to ever arrive in a package – but still nice to have.)

Amazon was excited to keep me updated every step of the way, until on Wednesday, it trilled happily into my email account: Yay! Your package has arrived!

Me: Uh. No it hasn‘t?

New hangers: *stubbornly absent*

Me: *forgets about it for a couple of days and then remembers that her clothes are still sadly unsupported by chic new hangers*

Amazon: No seriously, they were delivered on Wednesday! )

(no subject)

Feb. 14th, 2019 07:53 pm
misslucyjane: (i made you a mixtape)
[personal profile] misslucyjane
As a Valentine's treat to myself, and because it was the tour date, last night I saw 2Cellos.

Y'all. Y'all.

It helps that I love cello music enormously and would rather listen to the cello than just about any other instrument. But, oh, my, my, my. 2Cellos is something special.

I went in not really knowing what to expect. I'd only seen a few concert clips of theirs, with full orchestras and audiences in formalwear, so that was what I planned for: I wore my favorite dress (yes, it rained yesterday) and expected it to be sedate, mostly film scores, maybe some classical piece, a couple covers...

Of course, the concert was in the arena where the Jazz play so that should have told me it was not going to be a symphonic evening--symphonic concerts are at Abravenel Hall, where the Utah Symphony plays (and where My Brother My Brother and Me is doing a show in April, so I'm crossing my fingers I'll get a ticket when they go on sale tomorrow)--but it was made very clear by one of the cellists who said, about two songs in, "This is not your typical classical concert. We want you to sing, we want you to scream, we want you to dance."

So there was :).

It was mostly pop and rock covers (they have a large repertoire of AC/DC) with just the two of them and a drummer. They used lights and some film effects--mostly closeups on their hands as they played, but when I say mostly I mean there were also a lot of closeups of the cellists, because they are heartthrobs and they know it--and got us to sing along, clap along, get up and dance...

I did notice a few people left when it became clear this was not going to be an evening of Mostly Mozart, but eh, whatevs, they missed a good show.

The final two songs were "Hurt" and "Hallelujah." They were exquisite.

Ahhhh, music, y'all. Music is so good.

Fic - Goodbye Opportunity

Feb. 14th, 2019 09:50 pm
cornerofmadness: (Default)
[personal profile] cornerofmadness
Title Goodbye Opportunity
Author Cornerofmadness
Disclaimer -- Chuck Lorre owns all
Summary They have to mourn another loss.
rating - teen
Pairings Penny/Leonard, Amy/Sheldon
Warning -- none
Word Count 570
Author’s Note As seems to be my way, every time I have a geeky or scientific loss, I express it in The Big Bang Theory fanfic. What can I say? Mostly we have the same heroes!

X X X

Goodbye Opportunity )

Happy Valentine's Day

Feb. 14th, 2019 08:33 pm
cornerofmadness: (Default)
[personal profile] cornerofmadness


I have to confess, not my favorite holiday but I hope yours was happy. Mine had chocolate, strawberries and coconut shrimp so all in all not bad.

And I DID get a Valentine's of sorts. The chair of the Dept gave me chocolate and the secretary a card but what was the real Valentine's was hearing back from Leanna Renee Hieber and I'm on the author's panel at the Steampunk Symposium (in theory). I'm SO excited. It'll be my first time as an author on a panel.


And here's a valentine for you. My publisher has everything 35% off. Here that's my backlist if you want something on sale. AND just click home to see other authors. TONS Of gay romance to chose from all on sale!


Opportunity was declared dead yesterday and I've been weeping at this picture ever since. No lie, big fat tears over a machine. A machine that made me dream and hope. A machine that had a god damn death bed utterance!




And while Gotham's last season has been sort of ridiculous more so than usual (tonight's episode especially stupid with the Stormtrooper like ability to aim a gun) but I will say both Bruce and Selena have grown into very attractive and talented young people.

ETA - I've written over 3K in two hours, finished the Opportunity story and I finished the never ending stocking story!! OMG even before editing the last chapter it's 27K. Stupid drabble
charlie_cochrane: (Default)
[personal profile] charlie_cochrane
Today I'm at Bayou Book Junkie, where I'm thinking about Happy Ever Afters and how close to them gay characters have been allowed to come in the past. Also at Wicked Faeries Reviews where my hot topic is playing fair with readers. Also at TTC Books. You know the drill - comment to be in with a chance of winning a goodie bag. OldSins_400x600

Valentine's Day

Feb. 14th, 2019 10:02 am
codyne: my wyvern tattoo (Default)
[personal profile] codyne
Every year, I sponsor four pets at Best Friends Animal Sanctuary in honor of my friends and readers. Here are your animals this year!

Aesop

When Aesop arrived at the Sanctuary in 2011, he was very shy. Back then, being within arms reach was out of the question. Now Aesop likes to play with volunteers who dangle bright streamers from a wand toy in front of him. He scampers and swats with a kitten-like abandon.vSomeone special is going to fall for this wonderful boy. He will blossom in a peaceful home where he’s given time to feel secure. Until that time, Aesop will continue to be loved and cared for at the Sanctuary.

Quilla

A former stray, Quilla wound up at a shelter in Wyoming. But she had a hard time finding a home there, because she didn’t get a chance to show people her sweet and gentle nature. A rescue organization stepped in to help Quilla, but her energy and strong desire to be with people were no match for the organization’s crates or fenced yards. Because she kept escaping, Quilla was brought to Best Friends’ Dogtown, where the living areas are secured with extra-high, escape-proof fencing for dogs with a bit of Houdini in them. The people at Dogtown are making sure Quilla gets as much quality time as possible by sending her on outings and sleepovers with Sanctuary volunteers. Outings and sleepovers are great ways for a dog like Quilla to get some meaningful one-on-one time. And because she does best in quiet environments (like the cabins and cottages at the Sanctuary), these opportunities give her a chance to bond with people and show her sweet and loving personality. While Quilla is still waiting at the Sanctuary to find her forever home, this sweet and sensitive girl is getting plenty of second looks. And it’s only a matter of time until one special spark leads to a lifetime of love.

Bubble Yum

Bubble Yum is a koi living at the Best Friends welcome center pond. When she and another of the koi weren't feeling well, the veterinary staff moved them to a temporary koi tank at the clinic to treat them. Turns out they had a bacterial infection and are recovering with antibiotics. While researching koi health, they discovered several ways to improve conditions in the koi pond so that all the resident koi will stay healthier!

Thumper

This year Thumper our thoroughbred hits the big 3-oh. Hard to believe he's reached the age of 30. He's faced some changes this past year. Lady, his longtime companion, passed away and Thumper now lives with a 33-year-old mare named Tasha. She’s quite a little bossy-pants, which seems to be just right for Thumper. He's doing pretty well for his age. He's still sound, but his dental condition equine odontoclastic tooth resorption and hypercementosis (EOTRH) continues to progress and every year it gets a little bit harder to maintain his weight. It’s noticeable that Thumper’s tongue often appears as though it’s hanging out. All things considered, though, he's still doing pretty well.

Happy Valentines Day!

Feb. 14th, 2019 09:31 am
la_samtyr: yellow rose against arched window (window and rose)
[personal profile] la_samtyr
black cat white cat love tails

Plus, a special one for the Ginger Boys:
ginger cats tails form heart

Random crap

Feb. 13th, 2019 09:25 pm
cornerofmadness: (Default)
[personal profile] cornerofmadness
so my parents and I are still battling back and forth about me buying a house. Dad's right. Houses are WAY cheaper in Gallipolis for better homes but as my friend EB said she never felt safe living there and I feel the same when I'm there. They also don't grasp I don't want to live in town So they keep finding great places in the wrong places. That said this one IS tempting. ELD you'll want it. Here


It's no secret that I love the steampunk band Abney Park. They had one album come out around CHristmas but now they have a new one out that is covers of songs from 1900-1940. Here's one, an old John Mercer one Strip Poker. It's not safe for work. They used vintage burlesque dances in the video. It's pretty fascinating in its way.




Mom sent me Shari's Berries for Valentine's Day and chocolate covered cherries too (though they're maraschino which are kinda gross to me) The strawberries are yummy though.

I did figure out how those stories got backdated on AO3. It wasn't me who put them there. The Mods of Angel Book of Days put them up.



ETA - I've been thinking about my lost stories and not backing them up. And I could have sworn that I backed up the lost stories. Well I've been typing in written kitten online just to motivate myself and I KNOW I saved my stuff last night to flash AND hard drive and 500 words were NOT saved (luckily they were still in the browser and I could get them again) so I'm thinking I DID save those stories but they just didn't get saved like last night. Glares at Word
catherineldf: (Default)
[personal profile] catherineldf
I've got a new interview up at author Vonnie Winslow Crist's "Whimsical Words" blog about editing Scourge of the Seas of Time (and Space) and anthology editing in general. If you like what you read, I'm also offering an online class on anthology editing at Cat Rambo's Wayward Writer's Academy on 4/6.

Upcoming events:
  • Not-So-Silent Planet: Love and Lust - February 19th, Kieran's Irish Pub, Minneapolis, 8-10PM. I'll be reading some Emily L. Byrne prose, along with readings by other fine local authors and performers and you should come!
  • Nerds of a Feather - March 8th. I've got a Six Books Interview going up - I get to recommend some books!
  • Running a Small Press - March 21, DreamHaven Books, Minneapolis, 6:30-7:45PM. This is the sequel to my previous presentation on running a small press, this one on how you keep going, what I've learned so far, etc.
  • Next up: ClexaCon info, UntitledTown updates, WisCon updates, when I have them
Current state: wrangling snow, day jobbery and deadlines and wishing I had more time to write.

Now for the question: I've got a couple of stories up at Curious Fictions, a newish platform where you can post reprint short fiction, serials, etc., one free, one at the subscriber level. So far, I've got no interest whatsoever - no followers, no subscribers, nada. I'm wondering what, if anything, I could do to make this a more appealing platform for both folks who already like my work and those just discovering it. Should I post more short fiction? Serialize a novel draft? Give up? If I go with the novel draft, it would be my alternate Regency about the Fay trying to stop the Industrial Revolution. I would love to hear from people on this, especially if you're already using the platform as a writer or reader. Thus far, whenever I post public questions along these lines, the only response I get is from the platform operators earnestly informing me that if I just did more work, I could make this site work for me, which is entertaining, but not all that useful. Tell me what you want and I'll see what I can deliver on.
charlie_cochrane: (Default)
[personal profile] charlie_cochrane
More blog tour stops today. Am discussing the appeal of having ordinary, everyday protags in our books rather a parade of soldiers and firefighters, say. That's at mmgoodbookreviews. Then at Love Bytes reviews I'm talking about how you read about characters and produce a mental image that isn't always matched by what you see on a screen adaptation. Don't forget to comment at any (or all) stops to be in the hat for a goodie bag. All stops listed here.

(no subject)

Feb. 13th, 2019 08:02 am
cafeshree: woman sitting on chair reading a book (Default)
[personal profile] cafeshree
Brief health scare Monday at last doctor visit.
All turned out well but 4 hours of oh no and what to do.
Of course some of the worst part was waiting.
Anyway, all good.

Then storm yesterday, snow, freezing rain etc.
But we had to go to work, no closing early, but the boss worked from home. 
Bit of an anger problem yesterday.

And a staff meeting this morning where we will try discuss the excessive loud talking and sharing of personal information to all.
And we are having it at a cafe, I assume to make us be all polite to each other.

Lovely snowdrops at King John's house

Feb. 13th, 2019 12:36 pm
charlie_cochrane: (Default)
[personal profile] charlie_cochrane
This is my favourite short cut when I go to Romsey. The gardens are always so well kept. IMG_1123 IMG_1124 IMG_1125

So frustrated

Feb. 12th, 2019 08:35 pm
cornerofmadness: (Default)
[personal profile] cornerofmadness
And I'm not alone. work goes without saying but from around my writing groups on FB I'm not alone with the non-existent book sales. I am a bit better for knowing it but it's not a very happy thing. I am going to write off the few stories I still have outstanding under that pen name and I might be shifting more to the new pen name and hoping urban fantasy is a better match for me. I've been saying that for years now but I need to get a bit more serious about it.

And then I got the bad news. My flash drive is 100% unsalvagable. Sigh. I can live with losing the class stuff but man there were two completely unsaved stories I have nowhere and one was original fiction that poured of me the night before I broke the flash. I only have a tiny bit of it left. I'm going to have to try and redo both of them and it's making me sad.

The flooding is getting bad, really bad. I'm still here at least. Maybe it'll stop raining.

ETA - FINALLY published another chapter of Key to Destruction. One more chapter to tie up this holiday drabble that's now 23K long. OMG muse I hate you.

More blog tour stops

Feb. 12th, 2019 04:22 pm
charlie_cochrane: (Default)
[personal profile] charlie_cochrane
At My Fiction Nook I muse over the fun of being a pantser, Which way is this story going anyway? At Fangirl Moments there's an interview with me about Old Sins. (The book, not mine!)
asya_ana: (Default)
[personal profile] asya_ana
YOU: a person of good taste for whom the language barrier is literally the only thing that keeps you from stanning the f* out of this show.

ME: a person who is neither a native speaker of Chinese nor a scholar but who does have extensive experience of speaking Chinese in everyday life.

Notes
  • I only included stuff that appears in episodes 1-8, so you need not worry about spoilers!
    (After ep. 8, I assume you are addicted and will be motivated to find additional info on your own *evil cackle*)
  • Disclaimer: This isn't a Chinese tutorial. This is intended for people who don't know and probably are not going to learn Chinese. Hence, it's a "getting by by the seat of your pants" guide. Hence, you won't see many Chinese characters here, tones aren't marked, etc. If you want to learn proper Chinese, there are no shortcuts, unfortunately *pain emoji*



What's Here
Quick Chart of Important Characters
Pronouncing the Names of the MCs
Pronunciation
What Name Should I Use?
Other Guardian Vocab
Chinese Basics
Common Words and Phrases You Might Hear on the Show
Additional Resources

Read more... )

Fanfic- Feast of the Dead

Feb. 11th, 2019 11:09 pm
cornerofmadness: (Father Issues)
[personal profile] cornerofmadness
Title Feast of the Dead
Author Cornerofmadness
Fandom Buffy the Vampire Slayer/Angel the Series
Disclaimer -- Whedon owns all
Summary Buffy is fairly sure they're facing one of the grossest demons ever.
rating - teen
Timeline -- post series
Pairings Angel/Buffy/Spike and mentions of Faith/Connor/Dawn
Warning -- none
Word Count 2,383
Author’s Note written for [community profile] fandom_stocking’s 2018 edition and written for [personal profile] shadowcat. Happy Holidays.

If you'd prefer to read it on Ao3 Here

XXX

Feast of the Dead )

More Memes

Feb. 11th, 2019 09:19 pm
cornerofmadness: (Default)
[personal profile] cornerofmadness
So maybe I will go to Wales after all. I don't know. B

Busy arguing with Dad who doesn't want me to live in Jackson. Here's the thing, he's not wrong about the housing but gah i hate Gallipolis so much.


[personal profile] trobadora posted a non-shippy trope sorter which you can find Here I did the shorter version. This was a bit more accurate, not perfect but at least reasonable.



1 Found Family
2 Mythological Creatures
3 Historical AU
4 Accidental Pet Acquisition
5 Platonic Cuddling/Hand-Holding/Skinship
6 Childhood Friends Reunited
7 Mentor Fic (how this got so low I don't know it was my answer often)
8 Bonding Through Adversity
9 Antagonist Turned Weird Uncle/Antihero/Reluctant Part of the Hero Group
10Magical Realism (e.g. animal transformation, woke up a different sex, bodyswap, age regression...) Not that I'd consider this magic realism...

But yeah I do love found family. I mean look at the characters I pick to write about.


Hmmm I almost was engaged by The Passage, tonight. I want to love this show. I like it but I'm just not connecting in spite of it being stuff I usually love and the fact it IS well written and well acted. I'm just not sure why I'm not engaging.

Strategic Fail

Feb. 12th, 2019 12:02 am
rheasilvia: (Bad Decisions Make Good Stories)
[personal profile] rheasilvia
Dwarf: But what if the undead come crawling over the rubble behind us, looking for brains?
Spell-casting priest (me): No worries, we don't have any of those.

Last week, my roleplaying group tried to prepare a cave for a fight. It took several hours. Our poor GM occasionally asked, in an increasingly despairing voice, "so what exactly is your plan…?", to which our decisive and eloquent answer was, inevitably, "uhm".

It was so sad, you guys.

Cut for planning fail. )

This planning malaise cannot go on.

Does anyone have recommendations on teaching material about strategy and combat tactics – preferably applicable for small-ish groups?
charlie_cochrane: (Default)
[personal profile] charlie_cochrane
Release day excitement never gets old, nor does the fun of a blog tour. As usual, I'm offering a bag of Brit goodies (which I'll post to anywhere in the known universe, even Littlehampton) for one winner. Comment at any blog stop to be in with a chance of winning. Every comment is an extra chance to win. Today I'm lurking at La Crimson Femme and pontificating about what I think of as the reader/writer contract (ie what we expect of the books we read) at OMG reads. All stops for the week listed here. Nice to see some positive feedback for release day. IMHO reads already looking forward to the next book! OldSins_400x600

Ugh Doctors

Feb. 11th, 2019 07:36 am
cafeshree: slumped polar bear (pooped polarbear)
[personal profile] cafeshree
So many health visits for things/tests now that I'm "of an age"
I hate it.
Last one today.
At least some don' t have to be yearly which, yay!
But all this poking and prodding and needles, ick.

Fanfic- Slow Blossoming

Feb. 10th, 2019 09:45 pm
cornerofmadness: (Default)
[personal profile] cornerofmadness
Title - Slow Blossoming
Fandom - Marvel Cinematic Universe (Avengers)
Summary She is slowly growing into herself
Disclaimer -- Marvel owns all
Warning -- none
Author’s Note written for fandom_stocking’s 2018 edition and written for 1she_wolf30. Happy Holidays. It’s my first time writing Wanda. Hope I didn’t do too badly.

If You want to read it on AO3 head Here

Slow Blossoming )

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