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Man, this sketch from Howard Tayler has it all.
Also: that poor troll. I almost feel sorry for it. Almost.
Phoenix Comic Con continues to be awesome. That is all.
as promised, poly 501 panel books and reading recs posted to my LJ:http://lcohen.livejournal.com/1065894.html
Last panel report for tonight, what was I thinking, I was going to SLEEP or read or do necessary work, arrgh.Ahem.( Read more...Collapse ) comment(s) | add comment (how-to) | link
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I don't have much to say about the Mary Sue panel. My co-panelists (Becky Allen, S. N. Arly, Jessica Plummer, Beth Plutchak) were all great, the audience was very enthusiastic, and we had a great time talking about Mary Sues we have loved and that were important to us and decrying the specific bad messages sent by Mary Sue hating to young girls and the general bad messages sent by sexism to everyone. It was a lot of fun and anyone who was there (or not!) and had something they particularly wanted to preserve for posterity should absolutely feel free to comment. (The text of my talk about Mary Sue, which I tried really hard to keep from just repeating verbatim, is over here.) comment(s) | add comment (how-to) | link
Less-quick-than-optimal panel notes. I thought this went pretty well, especially for 9pm at night (yesterday), bringing up some good questions and considerations. ( Read more...Collapse ) comment(s) | add comment (how-to) | link
If we have met at WisCon (or didn't talk but encountered each other via panel or suchlike), please feel free to say hi! Especially if I may not connect up journal handle with face/badge/etc.--comments are screened (and DW lets us talk without unscreening). comment(s) | add comment (how-to) | link
Panel notes! It's easier to tidy up reports of other people than recreate my own, so this one comes first.( Read more...Collapse ) comment(s) | add comment (how-to) | link
"Mother Whale Eyeless" (from the song by Brian Eno), acrylic, paper, and charcoal on canvas, 11" x 14", $100 or best offer
...because I realized my hair and makeup and earrings all matched and I needed an updated pic anyway.
On May 23, the Boy Scouts of America voted to end their policy excluding gay youth from the organization, a decision which officially takes effect on January 1, 2014. They did not vote on their policy excluding gay adults from accepting leadership positions, nor did they change their policies on atheist and transgender individuals.
The Boy Scouts were an important part of my life growing up. I eventually quit the organization in part due to their bigotry and discrimination. When my son was six and wanted to join Cub Scouts, my wife and I were torn. We eventually let him join, and at the end of the year, we had a long talk about scouts and what it was about, the positives and the negatives, and our own conflicts. The three of us decided together not to sign back up.
I’ve already watched one of my Facebook friends quit the organization in protest, complaining about how a “vocal minority” had “bullied” a private organization into this decision. She also explained that she’s sick and tired of people accusing her of bigotry, and that she doesn’t care about sexual orientation; her concern is for the boys. She wrote a long post about the Scout Law, talking about how openly gay youth violated the ideals of that law.
This person is so concerned about the safety of the boys. Which makes me wonder, would she support allowing lesbians to serve as den leaders? Because right now, that’s forbidden by the BSA’s discriminatory policies. My mother, a straight woman, was a den leader for many years. If the “logic” of excluding gay men is because they could be potential predators (as a result of being attracted to men), how is that any different from straight women, who are also attracted to men?
Unless you’re buying into the bullshit belief that gay=pedophile/rapist, in which case you are not only a bigot, but an idiot.
She went on to talk about her fear that the boys might go off alone, and who knows what might happen? What if an older gay scout pressures a younger one into something he doesn’t want? Once again it’s not consensual sexual activity she’s afraid of; it’s the “gays as predators” boogeyman.
The Girl Scouts of America have been open and welcoming of all girls, regardless of sexual orientation. Oddly enough, I’m having a really hard time finding stories about the rampant same-sex assaults that presumably permeate the organization as a result of their decision. Weird…
According to the Scout Law, a scout is:
This continues to be frustrating and painful to me. Boy Scouts did so much for me as a kid, and I believe they do a lot of good. And this week’s decision was a good first step. But it’s only one step. The organization still has work to do if it means to live up to its own stated ideals.
Mirrored from Jim C. Hines.
I'm at WisCon, having a good time though I miss meckinock. Mr daw agreed to come and he seems to doing fine though he refused to have his tarot read or partipate in the clothing exchange. He's been to two panels run by real scientists, while I went to one on strong female characters, which apparently continues to be a vexed topic.We're skipping out this afternoon to see Star Trek. Someone on a panel started to talk about it this morning until everyone shouted her down about not spoiling.The hotel offered to upgrade us to a fancy floor for not much money and we agreed since that would give us free parking, free breakfast, free cocktails and appetizers, and free dessert and coffee. Mr daw likes free things.
Vid: Keep the Streets Empty For MeMusic: Fever RayVideo: Twilight (all movies)Summary: "Morning, keep the streets empty for me." Hunter and prey in Twilight.Notes: Premiered last night at the 2013 wiscon_vidparty!Link: Streaming and download at my journal.
Having a fabulous time so far. Yesterday’s fun included embarrassing the heck out of author Kevin Hearne, having a limo ride with Grant Imahara, and sharing a dessert with Jewel Staite. You know, as you do. Plus hanging around with some of my favorite writer people and otherwise getting into all sorts of mischief. I plan to do similarly today.
Those of you in Phoenix and the surrounding area not at the Comic Con, please remember I’ll be at the Poisoned Pen in Scottsdale at 5pm today to chat and sign books. Come on down, it’ll be great to see you.
I was in and out at the vid party last night, and am wondering about the source of the footage that looked like it was from an action movie starting a brown-haired woman. Contemporary setting, lots of shooting. It was among the premieres, right before the vid with Martha Jones. I must have missed the info on the screen, and it didn't seem like to good time to be asking folks about it, but I'm intrigued about the movie (?) now.Thanks!
Oldest daughter is my drama queen. She did all four productions at school this year: "Murder in the Knife Room", "It's Not You, It's Me", "Fiddler on the Roof Jr." and "The SuessOdyssey". Now, of course, it's time for the banquet. The theme is Masquerade, and the students are encouraged to dress formal (whatever that means for Jr. High) and to wear a mask. The challenge is that daughter wears glasses. So I came up with this:The dress is a hand-me-down. The headpiece is made entirely with remnants and cast-offs, for a total cost of 2 hours and about $5.00.
Your assignment: Adam is an unlucky everydude still trying to get the hang of this sudden "being alive" thing, Eve is a type A tsundere, Lilith is miss tall, dark, and snarky who isn't helping smooth things over -- GO.---L.
Good afternoon!I am currently expecting my first child, a baby girl! Her nursery is going to be tinkerbell themed.I love doing anything DIY. I am planning on making a lot of her decorations for her room. It wont be too much, but just a few things to make her room look not so bare. ( details under the cutCollapse )cross posted to my journal!
Hey. It's 7:03 AM and the thought I woke up to this morning was, "COME AS YOU ARE PARTY!"*I've never been to one. I have to work today. And besides, all the people I'd invite are scattered over the seven seas.But.If we had a teleporter. And you got the call, "COME AS YOU ARE!" and you showed up, what would you be wearing?I'm in this dress I love that was on my floor last night when I was casting about for something to wear for a nightgown. It was too hot for my bathrobe, which is like the pelt of a Black Metal Muppet (slain in the Zing Zou Zou revolution), and the only other thing on my floor within easy reach is my crinoline, which I wanted to wear IN CELEBRATION the day I finished my novel but which would not have been practical for rehearsal that night, and I just didn't get around to putting it away, possibly because I like the way a big heap of crinoline looks on the floor.And my hair is swept up in this cool crown-braid thing my mother did last night for fun, but since I slept on it, it's lopsided and the bobby pins are coming out. No make-up. No shoes. Very little else.If you came to my COME AS YOU ARE, we'd be able to feed you leftover moussaka for breakfast. There is also one piece of pizza left from the garden party. Some bananas. Some potato salad. We could make smoothies. There is half a bottle of white wine. Aaaaaand a jar of artichoke hearts.WE COULD MAKE THIS WORK!If we had a teleporter.* Possibly because a theatre near here is doing A Chorus Line, and I was singing some of those songs to my friend Erica in the car the other night, and one that I didn't sing her has the line, "Life with my dad wasn't ever a picnic, more like a come as you are."And suddenly I wanted to go to a come as you are party.Are they out of fashion?WELL, SO AM I
When I was in college, I took a memoir writing class, and one of the in-class writing exercises we were to do was to write about “our mother’s cooking.” Or, if not our mother, who did the substantive cooking (which turned out to be a non-mother for a couple of people in the class).
There was a sameness to the stories: long, white kitchens, large meals of poultry, rather a blandness of cuisine that my family never shared.
Me? I wrote about the trimaran we built when I was a kid and the smell of the butane stove, the fun when people would go diving and bring back abalone. Then I got into an extended description of cutting abalone into pieces and having it still crawl across the cutting board, even while I was whaling on it with a meat tenderizer.
Abalone’s tough, you know. Really have to pound the everloving crap out of it for it to be tender enough.
Oh, and the island we were at (San Clemente) was being shelled by the military in training exercises at the time. From five miles out. Whoosh, boom!
Naturally, we had to read our little pieces aloud. As I read mine, I pounded the conference room table at the appropriate points.
At the end, everyone was a bit stunned, and the teacher said, “Okay then.”
It was not until that moment that I realized there was anything the least bit unusual about my upbringing. Truly.
Originally published at deirdre.net. You can comment here or there.
Up again. Listening to the Lauryn Hill channel on You Tube, which reminded me of a conversation we had in Accra on Sunday night. After the closing plenary we got into two buses and headed over to a reception held at the Pan-African Writers Association; plastic chairs were set up on the lawn and under the gazebo and so we gathered there to eat, drink, discuss the conference and the next day’s trip to Elmina. Then the dj showed up and ALL the elders started to groove…even Ama Ata Aidoo was dancing! I hope my friends and I will be dancing like that when we’re seventy. It’s strange how invested we are in seeing one another succeed. When a group of us was ready to go, we headed over to the bus but couldn’t find our driver and so we stood there in the dark and somehow started talking about Lauryn. She was recently sentenced to three months in federal prison for tax evasion and we speculated on the reason why—was she too defiant in court? Was it somehow Rohan Marley’s fault? How many kids has she got—five or six? It wasn’t catty gossip; it was a genuine discussion about her well-being, a desire to see her “make it.” Of all the black women artists out there, Lauryn feels like she belongs to us. We worry about her in a way we don’t worry about the others…
I skipped a couple of panels on Saturday in order to have time to work on my talk, but in the end I ran out of time and never even got to The Hummingbird’s Tongue. I did talk about mental illness and family legacy, though, and since I was the first presenter I didn’t have to worry about the two blackouts that came toward the end of our panel (kudos to Cheryl Sterling who kept right on talking in the dark!). On Saturday the day ended with three amazing performances by Wura Ogunji (top), Rosamond S. King (right), and Gabrielle Civil (below). As Rosamond led us from the conference venue to the sea, I talked with Gina Athena Ulysse about activism and the future of OWWA. Later that night I tried to write about my ambivalence around activism—how can you change the world when you’re hoarding time to write? I wrote, “I don’t want to be a martyr.” My friends give far more than I do to the various causes concerned with the welfare of black women, and I have witnessed their triumphs along with the toll such projects can take on their own health and well-being. Gina assured me that there are lots of different ways to contribute to “the cause,” and each woman has to find the way that’s right for her. Writing a check doesn’t feel like activism but sometimes that kind of contribution keeps the wheels turning. This weekend I have to grade final exams and finish the revisions for this latest article. I’m not “in the trenches”—I stir the pot in my own way, but mostly I protect myself and my writing time. Is Toni Morrison an activist? The women I most admire died young—June Jordan, Audre Lorde—and I don’t want to share their fate. But can you achieve that level of greatness without taking risks? I’m risk-averse but maybe that’s something I need to work on. I’ve got the example of my daring friends before me so I guess it’s time to step out of the shadows…
We're supposed to be out of the office this weekend, but I've snuck back in while my People aren't looking so I can write up my Saturday post. My paws are a little clumsy, but if I sit up like a Person, I can just about manage the computer by myself. My post today is my first piece of canine poetry:
Ode to the Neighbor's Cats
Thou still unravish'd demons of fur,
Thou taunting creatures of tooth and tail,As brazen beasts as e'er there were Whilst over garden wall do sail:
What evil does thou plot today
To taunt a brave and noble dog
Who's honor bound to chase away
All cats who set foot in this yard? What beasts are these, half Siamese? What mad pursuit? What fleet escape?
What howls and barks? What wild ecstasies...
But wait, but wait...what's this?
Oh no! I hear my People coming!
Quick! Turn the computer off!
"Me? What am I doing? Uh...nothing."
"Just sitting here chewing my bone...."
May 24, 2013 Progress Notes:On Roadstead FarmWords today: 1000. 1100Words total: 71,000. 71,100Reason for stopping: P. is home from work, and we are going to eat dinner and play board games like old folks do.Darling du Jour: "He was swallowed up," Lieutenant Jackson said, and looked at his callused hands; an old horror on his weathered face. "John Balsam slew the Wicked God, and his last act was to take up his prophet, Asphodel Jones, and devour him whole."Mean Things: Missing home very badly; death, death, and death; being attacked by something you can't see is pretty much ultra-no fun; being eaten up by your own deity like it's Cthulhu Time yum yum nom.Research Roundup: Rigor mortis; mapwork again, giving me the fun of having a character grow up on the wilderness conservation area they used to take us to on school trips when I was a kid. It's where I learned what scat was!Books in progress: matociquala, Range of Ghosts.
Made it to WisCon, about three hours behind schedule, which during the uncertainty and running around gave me lots of existential angst about whether it's really worth it to travel on Memorial Day weekend, especially when I can't leave on Thursday, but dinner helped. Now putting my feet up before my 9:00 panel and the parties. Come buy a Con or Bust T-shirt at the Aqueduct table in the dealer's room tomorrow! comment(s) | add comment (how-to) | link
This will start May 29 at A Dribble of Ink.
Welcome to the Daggerspell Reread and Review Series, with Aidan Moher (your humble editor/blogger) and Kate Elliott (author of lots and lots of cool novels)! We thought it would be fun to bring two different perspectives (someone who’s read the series, someone who hasn’t), and explore Daggerspell together, comparing notes and reflecting on a series and world that are held dearly by many readers. We’re also hoping that, if you’re not familiar with Kerr, you might discover a new favourite author.
If you are so inclined, read along with us. I’m very excited about this.
Again, the introductory post about what we are doing and the schedule find here.
Mirrored from I Make Up Worlds.
There are a couple of tropes that have long bothered me--not necessarily in each instance of their use, but I wish those uses were less frequent. One is the character whose unrequited love persists for decades; the character forgoes all other chances at happiness and clings to the love that can never be. Now, this story line can be done well, and it has been ... but in real life more often than not, people get over it. Even if they carry a small torch somewhere in the backs of their minds for a lost love, they still find new relationships and happiness. As my friend Kelly Fineman has pointed out, Jane Austen knew this--her Rakes who Didn't Get the Girl did not pine away for the heroines forever. Mostly, they married others and had lives of their own. I find the unrequited love especially annoying when it's a minor character who seems to exist solely for the purpose of having a futile crush on the main character (and sometimes, to cheer on the main character's successful union with the main love interest).The other pattern I dislike is the one where only the main couple in a story gets to have a love life, and all the minor characters are window dressing with no romances of their own. One reason I liked the TV show The Office was that the secondary characters, like Phyllis and Erin and Angela and Oscar, got to have their own love lives. (Although it bothered me that Toby ended up falling into the other trope, with an endless unrequited crush on Pam.) The rounded secondary characters in that show delighted me, and I've always wanted to recommend it to writers for that reason (and now the show is ending. But hey, it lives on in syndication.)In reality, we're all the stars of our own dramas, and not likely to sacrifice our love and all our hopes and dreams to the interests of some other "main character." In our own minds, we're the main characters. Every side character in a story is the main character of his own life, and his actions should happen accordingly. If he helps or hinders the story's main character, it should be because his own interests happen to intersect (or conflict) with the main character's interests.
I’m heading down to New York in a few weeks to meet up with my editors, and I’d love to see some of the NYC area bloggers and other bookish folks while I’m there. It’s too short notice to arrange an official event, but I thought maybe we could all get together at a casual eating/drinking spot and just hang out? I will still bring swag, and will be happy to sign books of mine if you bring them along.
I’m free in the evening of Thursday June 13th. NYC book folks, let me know if you want to join me (and if you have any suggestions for good locations)!
Originally published at another world, not quite ours - Megan Crewe's blog. You can comment here or there.
1. Story-related BlockWhen you have story-related block, you feel sick every time you think about the story you're working on. You find yourself avoiding sitting down. You wonder if you were made to be a writer. You being to make lists of everything you hate about your book. You even hate thinking about it.It may be hard to see it, but sometimes you can get rid of this kind of writers block by:A) Going back to the beginning of the story and seeing where it went wrong. You have to be courageous enough in this situation to cut as much of the words that aren't working as you have to. This may well be most of what you have written. But unless you do this, you will never be able to feel any interest in this project again. It may already be too late for that. And so . . .B) Trying to write something new might be the solution, as well. If you can think of anything else you are interested in writing, maybe something completely different from the failed project that is haunting you, try it out for a day or so. Fiddle with it, play with it. See if you can make writing fun again. If it works, keep going. But be watchful. If you start to feel a niggling sense that you've gone wrong again, stop before you get too far in. You don't want to keep throwing books out.2 Life-related BlockIn my mind, life-related block is completely different, but I think that there may be some writers who confuse life-related block with story-related block. Both come with a lack of interest in writing, and a dread whenever the idea of work comes up. In addition, life-related block can also cause you to question if you were made to be a writer.However, life-related block is far more pervasive. When I have life-related block, I don't want to watch movies or television. I don't want to read books. I don't want to talk to friends. I don't want to eat my favorite foods. It is a bit like depression in this way, in that it can feel like it takes over your whole life and makes it impossible for you to feel happy.Unlike depression, however, a life-related block can actually be solved by fixing a specific problem in your life. I don't know what that problem is for everyone, and sometimes depression medication can help by letting us see our lives more clearly. Sometimes a life-related block is over-work or over-stress from a day-job, from family emergencies, or from the long illness of a loved one.Sometimes a life-related block is the unconscious realization that there is something going terribly wrong in our lives, a relationship that has to be ended (and we don't want to do it), or a change has to be made. It can be related to the physical space you're trying to do your writing in. It can be related to money problems.Whatever it is, if you have life-related block, starting a new project isn't likely to help you. You probably need to just take some time off your creative endeavors and really figure out what change is needed. Then, when you've got your stuff taken care of, the desire to create will naturally come back to you, slowly but surely.
So there was a period of time last month when I was capable of doing not much of anything except wheezing on my sickbed and reading library e-copies of historical romance novels on my Kindle.Over those two days or so, I read:1. The entirety of the Brothers Sinister series by Courtney Milan as published so far, which currently consists of ( two novellas and a novelCollapse )2. What Happens in London, by Julia Quinn, which is probably ( the most hilariously plotless romance novel everCollapse )3. His at Night, by Sherry Thomas, which ( did not have as many hijinks as I wantedCollapse )As a sidenote, I am sure this is something that the romance novel-reading community has come to terms with well before I did, but it never fails to be hilarious to me how little the titles of romance novels have to do with their actual content. What Happens in London is my new favorite, though, because, as I have explained, NOTHING HAPPENS IN LONDON. NOTHING.This entry is cross-posted at Livejournal from http://skygiants.dreamwidth.org/332280.html. Please feel free to comment here or there! There are currently comments on Dreamwidth.
A letter I have to send far too often….
Dear people who add folks to email lists without confirmation.
Someone thinks it’s hilarious to use my email address to sign me up for things I am far from interested in. This was not requested by me. You should, as a best practice, require confirmation for ANY subscribe request for this kind of reason. Please ensure my address is removed from all your databases promptly.
If any reservations have been made in my name, cancel those as well.
Spoilery for the entire series - seriously. And you really don't want to get spoiled for this if there's any chance whatsoever that you might read it. I remembered something about book six (The Broken Fortress) and re-read it, and......how the hell did Hale do that? I don't think I've ever come across this particular use of foreshadowing before, or at least not the way she did it.( Read more...Collapse )Crossposted to http://rachelmanija.dreamwidth.org/1109459.html. Comment here or there.
I've been pondering things. Things about blogs and things about critique, and I've come to two change-inducing conclusions at once.
The first is that I'm moving out of blogger, away from my long-beloved LiveJournal, and into WordPress. Not only that, but this WP is available right inside my delicious little website. Now you can find everything I ever wanted to tell you about me in one convenient place. How's that for one-stop shopping?
The second is that Critique Camp went so well that I'm taking this show on the road! Which is to say, I'm now offering Crit Camp as a regular service. After several years of doing insane amounts of critique (anyone remember the Call Me Icarus project?), I've come to terms with the fact that it's something I love and I should just make it official. So here it is, Crit Camp!
To celebrate both of these things and entice you to shift gears with me and check out my new blog, I'll be hosting a number of giveaways over the next few weeks. Or maybe the next month. It depends on how long my stash lasts. I've got more than a few goodies you might be interested in. Frex:
Don't those look delightful? Well. THEY ARE. Trust me on this. Also, with every book/package I giveaway, I'll throw in one free entry to Crit Camp.
So, long time readers (thank you!) and newcomers (welcome!), please join me for continuing adventures on my new blog!
It's to the vet with Olive later today. For the past 48 hours, she's been suddenly, ceaselessly incontinent. We've been voiding her bladder like normal, and still, she's dribbling constantly. The last time this happened, it was a UTI, though I assume it could also be a change in her neurological status.She's not very happy about being confined to her kitty condo until we leave, however, and is letting everyone know it. Loudly. Good lord, cat, please cry yourself to sleep.ETA: Yup, just a UTI. She's on meds and a helluva lot of catnip. Everyone at our vet's office (Pikesville Animal Hospital, best vets EVER) fell in love with her "squishy face," even after she peed everywhere. So that's good!
Here’s my selection of interesting (and sometimes amusing) posts about writing from the last week: Tips for Productivity (Terry Odell) Word of Mouth (Kristine Kathryn Rusch) Jon’s ‘Pick of the Week’ Different voices in your narrative (Juliette Wade) How Convenient--Plot Contrivance (Elizabeth Spann Craig) All the Publishing Information You Ever Wanted (Rachelle Gardner) Jon’s other ‘Pick of the Week’ Imagining a Post-Amazon World (Steve Davidson) Rejection: #1 Cause of Writers' Neurosis (Ash Krafton) Infographic: 5 Key Book Publishing Paths (Jane Friedman) Letting Go of Scarcity Thinking (Rachelle Gardner) Ten Ways To Torture Yourself As A Writer (Marybeth Whalen) Amazon Debuts Licensed Publishing Program for Fan Fiction (Publisher’s Weekly) If you found these useful, you may also like my personal selection of the most interesting blog posts from 2012, and last week’s list. If you have a particular favorite among these, please let the author know (and me too, if you have time). Also, if you've a link to a great post that isn't here, feel free to share.