(no subject)

Apr. 24th, 2017 04:50 pm
seekingferret: Photo of me with my 2012 Purim beard, with stripes shaven into it. (Default)
[personal profile] seekingferret
I've been thinking, as I wrote in my last D&D post, about how to do the more natural settings in my new campaign in a way that both explores the economic questions and maintains the sense of whimsy and adventure you want in a fantasy adventure and it struck me that the obvious approach is to use Fey. The very nature of Fey adventures is tied up in questions of contracts and obligations, it's inherently economic in nature. Players want to exploit a mine, but in order to gain access they need to make deals with the local fey, whose goals may be orthogonal to predictable economic aims, but whose practices are definitely economic in nature.

This creates a really interesting potential scenario: Beneficial contracts that players make with fey accrue immediate guild merits (XP) toward levelling, but if a deal with a fey is ever breached, players lose those guild merits and potentially can de-level. I really like this effect, it makes breaking fey contracts have real, meaningful teeth to the players on a metaphysical level.

Larger contracts between Auction Houses and fey kingdoms are also a wonderful source of adventure hooks, as such deals no doubt require periodic acts of maintenance. I'm imagining a scenario like where the Deal is that in order to ensure safe passage across a river in fey territory, all the Carter's Guild needs to present the local fey lord with a small, somewhat obscure but not valuable gem every year- the kind of payment where the players might wonder what the hell the faeries want with it. The players try to cross the river and the fey lord, wearing an outfit beautifully adorned with hundreds of identical gems showing that this Deal has been in force for centuries and revealing the intricate way that this ageless lord executes plans over long time scales, denies them passage until they present him this year's gem. And he doesn't deny them passage by force, but with a simple but immensely powerful teleport spell. Any time they try to cross the river, they end up back where they started. I can do so much with this kind of story element.

So I'm going to need to think up the details of the organization, such as it is, of the fey in the Mannheim Vale. I definitely want multiple kingdoms/courts of fey, but I probably also want individual loner fey creatures.
chantefable: ([bbc] naughty in nottingham)
[personal profile] chantefable
To read:

[personal profile] delphi, of most refined literary tastes, has requested - and obtained! - a true delight in [community profile] smutswap: Spit Shine, an original fiction of Younger Upper Class Man/Older Working Class Man. Here's [personal profile] delphi's rec. If you like your historical erotica with a flavour of Evelyn Waugh and E.M.Forster, with muted echoes of Anthem for Doomed Youth and visual ebullience of F.Scott Fitzgerald and Downton Abbey production values, this is the fic to read.

To listen (and watch):

Billy Budd: an opera by Benjamin Britten, libretto by E.M. Forster & Eric Crozier from the story by Herman Melville. I did not know about this opera, or this 1960s BBC production of it! Billy Budd, that famous Melville's story brimming with energies of overt hierarchy and repressed sexual desire, meets the musical genius of Britten (tensions so remind of his great Death in Venice) and the depth and elegance of Forster (author of the great Maurice novel, friend of Sassoon, pen pal and crush of the famous diplomat & masochist Lawrence of Arabia). This is an amazing convergence of important queer creators and creators of queer works. And the opera is good!

To watch:

The Caretaker (Vicevaerten) is a very short black and white Danish film in the Hitchcock thriller aesthetic, with Mads Mikkelsen as the titular caretaker. It is not surprising or terribly subversive within its genre, really, but it is very neat & nice, with a direct simplicity of style. That's the kind of scary movie I like! With English subtitles so you can be sure to know when you're supposed to be frightened and/or discomfited. Delightful.

One day left! (For two things!)

Apr. 24th, 2017 01:51 pm
swan_tower: (Default)
[personal profile] swan_tower

Tomorrow, y’all. Tomorrow, Within the Sanctuary of Wings will be available from all reputable vendors of books! If you’ve been waiting for the series to be complete before you pick it up, now is your chance to start! If you know someone who has been waiting for the series to be complete before they pick it up, now is your chance to tell them to start!

My upcoming tour schedule is here, with a new item added: a May 11th signing at University Bookstore in Seattle, where I will be joined by the inestimable Todd Lockwood.

Also, don’t forget that the illustrated edition of Lies and Prophecy is currently 30% off at Kobo. Just enter “APR30” as a coupon code at checkout to get the discount. The sale ends today!

Finally, I’ve contributed a number of items to this year’s Con or Bust auction. There are three lots:

Bidding is open now, and will continue until May 7th. It’s a great organization and a great cause, so go forth and bid!

. . . see you all tomorrow!

Originally published at Swan Tower. You can comment here or there.

(no subject)

Apr. 24th, 2017 09:27 pm
spindle_ella: (carmen sandiego)
[personal profile] spindle_ella posting in [community profile] addme
NAME: Dibs, Ella, whatever
AGE: 37
INTERESTS & HOBBIES: I make things; all the things (bookbinding, papercrafts, planners, spinning, knitting, dyeing, printmaking, painting, jewellery, resin, woodwork, baking, some stuff I've forgotten, if I haven't tried it I'll probably get around to it at some point...). Trying to get back into writing original fiction. Gardening, tea, reading, movies, myth & folklore & fairy tales, true-crime stuff (but I'm more interested in detectives than this 'let's talk to the killer!' thing), pokemon go, 80's music, music, free courses, idk blogging?
LOOKING FOR: my marbles. (seriously, though, just friendly peeps).
ANYTHING ELSE?: I have chronic pain issues and the mental health issues that come with; I try not to bitch about them too much, but it may happen, including med discussions and I know those are an issue for some people. Etsy just screwed me over royally, so my adventures in setting up elsewhere will probably be chronicled. Did I mention I make things?

five months

Apr. 24th, 2017 04:40 pm
fox: cartoon drawing of oven with single bun in it (bun in the oven)
[personal profile] fox
Yesterday the prince was five months old.

He likes or does not mind me, his father, snuggling, milk, bath time, standing up on our legs and looking around, gurgling and cooing and practicing his vowel sounds, grabbing his feet, rolling from one side to the other in "happy baby" pose, and eating cream of rice from a spoon. He dislikes wet diapers, dirty diapers, being cold, being tired, being hungry, and being lonely when he wakes up in the middle of the night, and he's not wild about naptime, which is an ongoing project over here.

He naps okay in his rock-n-play but not at all well in his crib. At night he sleeps about three and a half hours before he wakes up and his dad goes in and settles him back to sleep; then another couple of hours later he wakes up hungry and I feed him; and usually he sleeps another three and a half or four hours after that before he's up for the day. In short, although the doctor says we're not to let him sleep longer than six hours without waking him up for a feeding, in practice he doesn't sleep much more than three and a half hours without needing attention even if he's not hungry. This weekend we concluded maybe this is because he's overtired, never quite getting enough rest in his daytime naps? We've been advised to aim for 90-minute naps with two hours of awake time in between, but he often naps for an hour or less. We sometimes let a later nap go as long as two hours, but maybe that's not getting it done. So today I tried a bit of Ferber training on the first nap of the day, in the crib, but after 45 minutes I called time on that and put him in the rocker where he slept for about half an hour; so for the second nap his dad and I agreed to let him sleep as long as he wanted. Which turned out to be (surprise, surprise) about three and a half hours. (I'm out at rehearsal this evening, so if a 3.5-hour nap effs up bedtime Himself is the one who will get burned - which he acknowledged and asked me not to wake the kid up mid-nap anyway.)

So that happened. When he woke up he ate almost two tablespoons of rice cereal mixed with about four tablespoons of milk; we started with a sort of 4:1 combination (one tablespoon plus one teaspoon of milk and one teaspoon of cereal) last Wednesday and have been adjusting the ratio and volume since then. Each evening by the time we're having dinner it's only about an hour since he's nursed, which is too soon for another meal, but he's really interested in watching us eat with spoons and forks so we've been giving him snack-sized portions. (And then he nurses again at bedtime an hour or so later. He's definitely loading up on calories late in the day, which is fine because I want him to gain weight, but continues to make it frustrating that he wakes up so often. But obvs the waking up isn't entirely connected to his appetite.) The canister says a serving is a quarter-cup, which is way too much for my little dude at this time, but anyway after a couple days of smaller servings today I made him the biggest bowl of cereal yet and he ate all but about three bites of it. Operation Fatten Up The Baby proceeds!

He has now rolled over from front to back in both directions, that is, over both arms, but hasn't made it from back to front yet. And he's trying really hard to crawl but can't do much more than inchworm a bit. Definitely growing before our eyes; there are days I pick him up at his grandmother's in the afternoon and I'm pretty sure he's bigger than he was when I said goodbye that morning.

Oh - and this is my last week of half-time work (which this week means three days); starting next week I'm back at work Tuesday through Friday each week, and the kid will go to Grandma's Wednesday and Friday and day care Tuesday and Thursday. It will - because of a time none of our friends could babysit and we fell back on shifting my mom's planned visit so she'd be here when we needed a sitter - be the first time since leaving the NICU that he will have been looked after by someone other than family. I ... suspect I may be a bit of a mess.


Apr. 24th, 2017 04:27 pm
aroceu: (△ pkmn | fairy | cleffa)
[personal profile] aroceu posting in [site community profile] dw_community_promo

conuly: (Default)
[personal profile] conuly
And here it is.

A note: Insults or terms that can be insulting are pretty common. While I included a lot of them, I've declined to include any explicit slurs of the sort that will get you snubbed from polite society - I find them all interesting from an academic distance, but I don't really want to be on the internet saying these things. I'm the arbiter of what sort of slurs get me snubbed from polite society, so if you're thinking "Why include this slur against over religious Christians who push their religion onto others but not that slur against blacks/gays/Muslims", the answer is "because I think that second slur is just a bit more offensive".

I've defined the ones I see less often, or that I've only read in books and never seen IRL, or that I just generally think people might not know.

Read more... )

I'm also debating with myself whether or not I would count any of the numerous colorful ways to say "vomited". That's like a whole list in and of itself.

New Goals

Apr. 24th, 2017 08:50 pm
badfalcon: (Poet)
[personal profile] badfalcon
I've put 4lb back on in the last two months - side effects of not being able to walk and a combination of medications that makes me want to eat everything in sight.

My knee is doing a lot better than it was, so hopefully I'll be able to get at least 4-5k steps in again a day. I'd got up to 6k but don't want to push my knee.

Tonight I had chicken stir-fry for dinner and I'm now eating apple slices and peanut butter instead of chocolate.

Tomorrow I have porridge for breakfast, yogurt and fruit for morning snack, leftover chicken stir-fry for lunch, a banana for afternoon snack, tuna & rice stir-fry for dinner, an apple & peanut butter for evening snack.

I WILL lose 7lb before Collectormania. That's my goal. 14 stone/196lb for Ben & Michael. I CAN DO THIS

A Warwick Weekend

Apr. 24th, 2017 05:56 pm
sally_maria: (Here and There)
[personal profile] sally_maria
Last weekend it was time for the Tolkien Society AGM again, and this year we were visiting Warwick. It's actually not that far from here - less than an hour away, but therefore I'd never actually visited the town, only the castle, and that longer ago than I care to think about.

It's actually a very interesting town, with quite a few historic buildings and museums, and I wouldn't mind going back again to see more of them.

First of all, I was trying to meet up with [personal profile] wellinghall, [personal profile] adaeze and Little Star at lunchtime on Friday, at the Thomas Oken's house tea rooms. It was well worth a visit, if only for the unexpected member of our party...

Warwick 2017
click through for the rest of my photos.

Other highlights of the weekend included )

Joys of Home Ownership

Apr. 24th, 2017 01:46 pm
zulu: Karen Gillam from Dr. Who, wearing a saucy top hat (Default)
[personal profile] zulu
I’m at home today awaiting the furnace repair guy. Hopefully, he is only a thermostat repair guy. Naturally, the day our heat stopped working, the weather decided that rain, snow, and/or slush should probably start falling from the sky indefinitely. L was pretty impressed by thunder last night and kept asking me to show it to him. I told him, “Thunder is a sound,” but that didn’t seem to make a difference. Lightning was too quick for him to realize it was a thing.

Anyway, being at home, the real task is willpower: to work on thesis and not to a) nap or b) spend all day cleaning (because I certainly could and the place certainly needs it). Therefore I’m writing this to-do list to force myself to sit down at the computer and start typing.

- Put L’s laundry away
- Dishes
- More dishes
- Wash downstairs bathroom
- Vacuum downstairs
- Tidy toys upstairs
- Vacuum upstairs
- Take out recycling
- Take out garbage
- Scoop cat boxes
- Dust the furnace (obviously I would be shamed beyond measure if the furnace guy showed up to a dusty furnace) (people think like this, right?)
- Two loads laundry washed
- Two loads laundry dried
- Make bed
- Wipe surfaces (table, desk)

There. That’s a nice list. Now to ignore it and write instead.
ewein2412: (Default)
[personal profile] ewein2412

This year my novel Rose Under Fire was chosen as Central Pennsylvania’s “One Book, One Community” read across a six-county region including over 90 libraries. The program is described in detail here. It’s essentially a great big geographically-organized book club, based on an idea that originated in Seattle in 1998. In Central PA, the campaign really got off its feet in 2004 when a couple of two-county groups combined their readerships. This is the twelfth year for a collaboration of library systems in Berks, Dauphin, Lancaster, Lebanon, Perry and York Counties, along with several college libraries and the Pennsylvania State Library.

Needless to say, to have any book be chosen for this initiative is a phenomenal honor – and if I’d been able to wish this for any of my books, it would have been for Rose Under Fire. TELL THE WORLD! That was what the doomed prisoners at the Ravensbrück concentration camp shouted to their surviving companions as they were dragged to the gas chamber. Tell the world: the need to tell the world is what kept Ravensbrück’s victims of Nazi experimentation from despair in their darkest hours of imprisonment. Rose Under Fire is my own small attempt to tell the world what happened at Ravensbrück, and One Book, One Community has amplified my voice – and by extension, the voices of all the women, living and dead, who were imprisoned at this often-forgotten Nazi concentration camp.

During the first week of April 2017, I went along to a number of events connected with OBOC in Lebanon, York, Dauphin, and Berks Counties. Part of what made this mini-tour so wonderful was the fact that I was in my home territory – like my character Rose, I grew up in Central Pennsylvania. Rose’s fictional hometown is a thinly disguised Lebanon, PA. No doubt this hometown connection was part of the attraction for area readers – so in the Q&A I’d get really localized questions like, “Why did you include the paper box factory?” and “Who was your instructor at Reigle Airfield?” And my favorite comment: “This is the first book I’ve ever read that mentioned opera fudge!” In fact opera fudge doesn’t get mentioned in the book – that was either a test to see if I really am a local girl who knows what opera fudge is, or I did my job so well that the reader is lulled into the false impression that I sneaked opera fudge in there along with the Lebanon bologna, shoofly pie, fasnachts, and Cope’s dried corn.

The two big events of the week were an author talk at Congregation Beth lsrael in Lebanon, and a Readers’ Celebration held at the Reading Regional Airport. The Beth Israel talk was organized by Judith and Joe Clark, who’d invited me to appear as their annual speaker. They were superb hosts, taking me and my aunt and uncle to dinner at the Lebanon Country Club and putting me up for the night in the nearby Patriot House bed & breakfast in Annville – which just happens to have been built and owned by my great-great-great-grandfather, the town’s nineteenth-century carriage maker. He raised 13 children there - it is a very big house! My great-great-grandfather and grandfather grew up here, and my grandmother celebrated her birthdays here (a local girl for sure).

Patriot House B&B, Annville, PA

At Beth Israel, there was a beautiful reception ahead of my speech, which included as a lovely touch of bunches of pink and yellow roses - Maddie’s wedding flowers from early in the book.

The really wonderful thing about this talk, and indeed about every talk I gave over the week, was that so many people had actually read Rose Under Fire. They were engaged and prepared and interested. I got asked about Americans in Ravensbrück, about prisoner escapes, and if I’d ever had any former prisoners or relatives of prisoners contact me as a result of reading the book. We talked about why the book is considered young adult fiction. (There were not many young adults in the Beth Israel audience, but there were a few.) We talked about how I use my academic training as a folklorist to enhance my fiction writing!

In between the big events, there were some friendly little ones – lunch with Karen Hostetter of the York Library system, who was instrumental in planning my visit, and Mary Ann Heltshe-Steinhauer, Community Relations Manager for the Lancaster Library System, who coordinated the events and liaised with the OBOC Committee.

Gift basket of local York County-made products!

There was a private reception at the Martin Library in York; an unplanned visit to the Annville Free Library; dinner with three of my favorite teachers from Harrisburg Academy, where I went to high school; a meal out with the staff of the Midland Scholar Bookstore in Harrisburg, and a signing there afterward. There was another big bunch of roses waiting for me at the Midland Scholar that had been sent by my fourth grade teachers from Steele Elementary School in Harrisburg, Miss Golob and Miss O’Brine!

Midtown Scholar Bookstore

The final event of the week, the Readers’ Celebration, was a full afternoon in the departure lounge of the Reading Regional Airport (there were no departures going on but it felt faintly illicit to walk straight past airport security without anybody caring whether you opened your bags or kept your shoes on). Entertainment for forty or so guests included a lunch buffet, a slide show about Ravensbrück and the background to Rose Under Fire, informational displays and period and wartime artifacts, re-enactors in 1940s costume, and a silent auction – wow. When the Q&A and signing were finished, many of the visitors (including me and my aunts and uncles) drifted across the airfield to the Mid-Atlantic Air Museum for a tour.

The OBOC Readers' Celebration team - Mary Ann and Karen are on the right.

The whole package was undoubtedly the most moving and exciting celebration of my writing I’ve ever experienced – the combination of me and my character both being local girls was a bonus, but the real reward was without a doubt the enthusiasm of everyone who participated in the OBOC read.

I am so, so privileged and grateful to have been able to share this week with so many friends, family, and dedicated readers. Thank you, One Book, One Community!

PS We sent written invitations for the Readers’ Celebration to all our senators and representatives from the six or so inventively-shaped PA congressional districts represented by the OBOC community. None of them turned up.

PPS Here’s an odd little feel-good story from Berks County – at the end of this video clip there is evidence of the small but far-reaching reverberations of how One Book, One Community helps to Tell the World.

(no subject)

Apr. 24th, 2017 02:15 pm
neonhummingbird: (Default)
[personal profile] neonhummingbird
I survived the week from Hell, despite Friday morning taking offense at me starting to relax on Thursday afternoon and smacking the hell out of me. The 16 Great High Mucky-Mucks who descended for three days have returned to the offices from whence they came, none of the meals were screwed up, and most went over well, the Unexpected Vegan was satisfactorily fed (and the person who told me she was vegetarian is going to be nerf-whacked by my hands...), and we did not run out of Diet Coke at any time. On the other hand, Friday's vengeance was my work hard drive finally dying, and me yelling very loudly at IT and Procurement about the fact that they had two months warning to set me up with a new desktop before the hard drive died, and had not done so. (Yes, this did lead to another round of, "We'll just get you a laptop, okay?" and the subsequent swearing, sobbing, and copying of vice-presidents on semi-diplomatically irate emails to other vice-presidents. My boss is Not Happy, he has made procurement Not Happy, and Someone Will Pay.) In the meantime, I am proving why I can't work on a laptop by having to work on a laptop and it SUCKS. Not the least because we can no longer install something as simple as a driver update without playing Mother May I with IT, and that's going to get old really fast.

Things at home, by contrast, are kind of lovely. I hadn't realized how quiet the boys and I had gotten after we lost Hermione, until Chloe started making everything so much better. She chases the boys around, the boys chase her around, she and Jack are tentatively playing, and both Jack and Bud have been spotted grooming her. Bud is eating much better, Jack is losing the little bit of extra padding he'd picked up, and the baby is spending more time coming over to ask for attention and cuddling with me. (I am amused that Bud is apparently a Lap Cat after all; it was just, before, Hermione always had First Claim on the lap. Now, it is His Lap, and he's somehow made sure Chloe knows this. She only tries for lap action when Bud isn't anywhere around.)

I am sad that Jasmin is doing a tambourine dance this session and I can't learn it, and my shoulder still hurts off and on. But Team Ninja Warrior has started a new season, Lucifer is due back in a week, I like the new companion on Doctor Who, there is baseball, I got both of my Echos hooked up to external speakers so I can have music whenever I want, Bud now likes to sit on my chest and purr, and Chloe sometimes hugs me around the neck when I pick her up. So, life's not bad at all.

a sad day

Apr. 24th, 2017 08:15 pm
such_heights: a hand cupping a candle (stock: candle)
[personal profile] such_heights
My dad passed away in his sleep last night, at the hospice where he's been receiving extraordinary palliative care for terminal cancer and resulting paralysis since late last year. He was 59.

I visited him a few times over the weekend. We ate dinner and watched Doctor Who as a family on Saturday night, and yesterday we sat and chatted and I held his hand and told him I loved him. I knew that might be the last time I saw him. These things do provide some comfort in an awful time.

My dad was a generous, hard working, and amazingly positive person and I know he touched a lot of people's lives. I'm so proud to be his daughter. He lived his life with tremendous gusto, creative spirit and an eclectic range of hobbies and interests. I've lost a parent, a mentor, and most of all a friend. I feel very lucky to know just how much he loved me and how he proud he was of me, as exemplified in the speech he gave at my wedding, which I have on video to keep forever.


Apr. 24th, 2017 06:09 pm
kayim: (Expanse: Pretty Amos)
[personal profile] kayim posting in [site community profile] dw_community_promo
I swore I didn't want to mod another community, but I couldn't hold out any longer. I needed a place to squee, so please come and join me!

[community profile] rocinante 
For all of your Expanse squee, whether it's about the books, the TV series,
the amazing Belter language, or about the actors themselves.

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