a garden in riotous bloom
Beautiful. Damn hard. Increasingly useful.
other gardeners 
8 December 2016 09:00 - Jam On It
ceciliatan: (darons guitar)

Mirrored from the latest entry in Daron's Guitar Chronicles.

“You doing okay?” He leaned in the doorway, his blond dreads hanging rakishly off his forehead, looking like the kind of beautiful tropical bird that will peck your fingers off if you stick them through its cage. “You’ve been a hermit since the incident.”

The Incident of The Tequila, the Lime Knife, And The Curious Infant. Let it be forever spoken of as such. “Yeah.”

“Want to grab some dinner?”

“Sure.” I grabbed my denim jacket (because it hid the splint, not because I was cold) and followed him down to the hotel restaurant.

Read the rest of this entry » )
sovay: (Rotwang)
My brain feels more and more like a blank screen every day—the kind belonging to an old cathode-ray television, where the program snaps off with a diminishing zap. I dreamed last night of reading and discussing a famous novel retelling Ariadne and Theseus in a historical context, rather like Mary Renault's The King Must Die (1958), except that Ariadne was a trans woman. It was nothing especially unusual in the archaeological record of Minoan civilization in my dream.

I am reading this article about the virility of fascism and all I can think is that the first time I saw a photograph of Richard Spencer—the one featured in the profile by Mother Jones, reproduced in the article—"dapper" was one of the very last words to come to my mind. He was not remarkably beautiful. He did not wear his suit and tie with a particular grace. Perhaps he has a magnetism in action that only comes out in voice and movement, but since his most famous public appearance to date involves some Hitler saluting (that he now desires to retcon as "fun and exuberance," as if it is somehow excusable to throw the most unmistakable gesture of Nazi allegiance since 1926 if you do it out of sheer buoyant enthusiasm, like spontaneously embracing a stranger in a crowd rather than telling a racist joke at a party to gauge what else the guests will let you get away with), I suspect I am already immune to it. I am used to disagreeing with both pop culture and people I know about the respective beauty of all kinds of public figures; I can't even remember how old I was the first time one of my peers thought it was weird and alien for me not to have a crush on an actor everyone else had unanimously declared hot. My interest in people's bodies follows as it always has from my interest in their selves, so if you are a neo-Nazi, everything below the waist is kaput. Nonetheless, it remains curious to me that even if I look at Spencer aesthetically, I can't see him as anything special. He does not even trip my "interesting face" meter. What are journalists seeing when they talk about his physical appeal? Is it literally just a combination of whiteness, maleness, and semi-symmetrical features? This is the kind of question that makes me feel alien to ask, but so does watching a lot of human behavior; this just more than most.

I finally got hold of the soundtrack for Pride (2014) and now I can't get several hits of the '80's out of my head. Michael Cisco enthusiastically recommended me Frankie Goes to Hollywood at Readercon this summer and he was right.
8 December 2016 00:50 - The Great Blue Heron
wcg: (Default)
Today I was at Downs Park with Serenity, my dog, and happened to notice that the great blue heron was hanging out on the beach. Ducking back to the car, I grabbed the Canon T3 with its telephoto lens.

I got lucky today. )
7 December 2016 23:37 - Cold-Forged Flame
yhlee: Avatar: The Last Airbender: "fight like a girl" (A:tLA fight like a girl)
Marie Brennan's Cold-Forged Flame is one of those novellas-printed-as-a-book that are happening these days, a trend I generally approve of on the grounds that I am a slow reader and I actively seek out skinny books. In this case, however, I feel that the story would have been better served written as a full-fledged novel, or anyway a longer novella.

In Cold-Forged Flame, a woman warrior is summoned to retrieve the blood of a mysterious being called the Lhian. Complications: she has no memory of who she was. She has no choice but to carry out this quest (I read it as a geas, although it's not called that in the book). Her summoners claim that her amnesia will protect her from coming to further harm from the Lhian, and that explanations will only put her at risk. Left with no choice, she goes to confront the Lhian.

Normally amnesiac protagonists are one of my narrative kinks. What I discovered, though, is that it's not just amnesia that makes them so appealing to me. I either want angst--lots and lots and lots of angst--or I want wisecracking. There are undoubtedly examples of angsty amnesia beyond counting. As for wisecracking, the main example I can think of here is Corwin from Roger Zelazny's Nine Princes in Amber, and the Amber series had the additional advantage of such a colorful, epic setting and characters that even in the space of the first volume I found myself entranced. If your taste in amnesiac protagonists doesn't come hedged about with weird modifiers the way mine does, though, this may work better for you.

Brennan's prose is taut and vivid, and there are some interesting characters sketched here, but that's half the problem--they felt like sketches. I felt strongly that this was a consequence of the story's chosen length. I would have loved to learn more about the protagonist's nature, some of which comes clear through the course of the story, and the man she encounters and the revolution he wants to spark. But we are only given fragments, and not enough meat on the bone (if I may mix my metaphors). I am given to understand that there will be a sequel, but I would much rather have gotten a work more complete in itself.

There are some intriguing hints about the nature of myth, storytelling, and archetype, but I couldn't help but feel that Robert Holdstock's Mythago Wood did it better, if from a different direction; or perhaps, if you're willing to approach the idea from yet another angle still, Simon R. Green's Once in a Blue Moon. (Unfortunately, while I loved the Green, it's the fifth and last book in the Forest Kingdom series, with a side trip through the additional six-book Hawk and Fisher series, so it's not going to make a lick of sense without all of that as background.)

The other thing that made this book a hard sell to me was no fault of the book's, which is that I the vibe I got off the magic was partly Faerie (I think Brennan has said that some of the ideas were inspired by the White Wolf Changeling RPG) and I am a hard sell on Faerie stories with the exception of "Tam Lin." ("Tam Lin" gets grandfathered in because I imprinted as a child on Elizabeth Marie Pope's The Perilous Gard. I am so sad that the one "Tam Lin"-based novel I read this year was botched.) So if this is your sort of thing, it may well please you. But the subject material doesn't inherently interest me.

I wanted to like this more, but I don't think this was my cuppa. Perhaps another time?
8 December 2016 00:20 - Tonight's astronomical images
wcg: (Default)
I've been busy tonight.

First, the Moon. )

That's the extent of my backyard astronomy for the evening. I then switched over to the telescopes in Chile and the Canary Islands.

Now, the stars, galaxies, and nebulae. )
7 December 2016 17:35 - For 2017
james_davis_nicoll: (Default)
Don't often tick the Other/Genderqueer/Non-Binary box in my site's review gender fields. Can change that. What authors should I consider?

[added later]

I am also not exactly inclusive where trans people are concerned, so would not mind suggestions.

This may be useful.

https://twitter.com/trans_lit
ceciliatan: (default)

Christmas Magic cover 2016Remember last December when the Magic University digital box set became available? The new piece in that set–a 15,000 word sequel to the series entitled CHRISTMAS MAGIC–is now available to purchase on its own!

I originally wrote the novella as a holiday gift for MU fans to thank them for helping to spread the word about the box set and supporting the series. Christmas Magic is from Frost’s point of view. There is a lot about Frost we don’t see in the MU books because they’re from Kyle’s point of view, although if you’ve read the short stories in Spellbinding you’ve seen a few in Frost’s voice, now.

Get it at:

  • Amazon
  • Barnes & Noble Nook
  • Apple iBooks/iTunes
  • Kobo
  • AllRomance eBooks
  • Riverdale Avenue Books

    OFFICIAL DESCRIPTION:
    In this novella sequel to the Magic University series, Christmas Magic picks up the tale a few months after the end of The Poet and the Prophecy, at Christmas time.

    And who better to tell a Christmas tale than Frost? After the cataclysmic events that shook the magical world, it’s time for Frost to come to grips with the changes in his magic and his body–with the help of the people who love him most.

    Un-official description:
    That’s right. There’s a Christmas tree, and stockings, and hot cocoa by the fire… but this is a Magic University story, so of course there is also deeply emotional sex and a mystery which fills Frost with existential dread.

    And we get to see a bit of what Kyle and Frost are like as a couple. It’s a 15,000 word novella, only 99 cents, and I hope you enjoy a return to the campus as much as I did!

    Christmas Magic cover 600x900

    Mirrored from blog.ceciliatan.com.

  • 7 December 2016 12:11 - A Trip Down Juvenilia Lane, Vol. 2
    swan_tower: (*writing)

    My journey through my high school notebooks continues!

    I wasn’t organized about filling one notebook completely before starting another, so the chronology here is a vague one. You may recall that volume one included notes from my senior year English class; this one starts with a short-lived attempt to keep a journal while I was in England the summer between my junior or senior years. Obviously there is a great deal of overlap going on.

    This notebook contains a great deal more in the way of actual story. It falls primarily into three boxes:

    1) Notes and plans from some online RPGs I had completely forgotten ever playing in — largely because (like so many games) they didn’t last for very long.

    2) Highlander fanfic about a character of my own creation, a two-thousand-year-old Irish immortal named Eithne. There are surprisingly large chunks of this; most of the fiction in Vol. 1 was just short snippets, a paragraph or two, but this has several bits that run on for two pages or more. I will give my high-school self credit for at least trying to be sensible about why my European immortals were traipsing about Japan during the Tokugawa era; the real answer, of course, is “because Highlander taught us all that Japan Is Kewl,” but I had enough awareness of the history to say my characters got thrown overboard by a ship captain who realized there was something weird about them, and then they were trying to sneak overland to Dejima (and relative safety) without being caught and beheaded.

    3) Material from the idea mentioned previously, the one that started off as fanfic but later I tried to file the serial numbers off it. (I’m not mentioning what the original source of the idea was because there’s an outside chance I’ll revive it someday, and I’d prefer not to pre-program people’s expectations of it.)

    A few bits of this are fiction, but most of it is notes, and oh, does it ever look like my work. Faced with the realization that I couldn’t do much with the idea unless I de-fanficced it first, my immediate reaction was to worldbuild the shit out of the setting. 😀 I organized the society into Clans — each with its own name and iconic color and sigil — which were part lineage (you inherit your Clan from your mother) and part quasi-social class; each Clan has a traditional sphere of responsibility, like healing or hunting or whatever. But it’s a semi-flexible system, because if you have a particular gift for some activity or just really suck at what your Clan does, you can be adopted into a different one. Laid across this are the Rings (no, I’d never heard of L5R at this point), which are basically hunting bands/war-groups, inspired by the Fianna, and those usually don’t follow Clan lines.

    Current Me looks at this and sees that it doesn’t hang together all that well: the Clan responsibilities are too narrow, my decision to cap Ring membership at eight means that the social dynamics of how people find a Ring to join would be a disaster, and there are a lot of other questions I didn’t even think to address. But it’s still an interesting foundation, and if any version of this ever becomes an actual thing, you may see those elements still included in some form.

    You may also see my one serious attempt to date at conlanging. The phonology is thoroughly Irish, complete with lenition and eclipsis (though I did change the pronunciation somewhat); the grammar is more Latin than anything else, with a system of inflection — six declensions but only three cases, nominative, genitive, and objective — and so on. It’s apostrophe-tastic, but that’s because, as a matter of orthography, I decided to use apostrophes as the means by which enclitics got attached, and I had a lot of enclitics. (Some of those probably aren’t enclitics in the technical sense, but I’d picked up the term from Latin and ran with it.) Samples:

    Fifth declension
    Nom. sing.- ends in “e”, “i”, “o”, or “u”. e.g. re (the moon)
    Gen. sing.- accents the final vowel. e.g. ré (of the moon)
    Obj. sing.- adds “dh” to the stem. e.g. redh (the moon)
    Nom. pl.- drops the final vowel and adds “ith”. e.g. rith (the moons)
    Gen. pl.- drops the final vowel and adds “ithí”. e.g. rithí (of the moons)
    Obj. pl.- drops the final vowel and adds “idh”. e.g. ridh (the moons) For stems ending in “i”, add “ídh”.

    Verbs in the present tense are simply the infinitive form with the pronoun apostrophized on the end.

    Ex:
    ta’fe [I . . . am? Posterity does not record the meaning of this verb, but that’s probably it]
    ta’sa [You (fam) are]
    ta’te [You (form) are]
    ta’se/si/sei [He/she/it is]
    ta’mair [We are]
    ta’sibh [You (fam pl) are]
    ta’teir [You (form pl are]
    ta’siad [They are]

    Other tenses add a tense marker between the verb and the pronoun.

    Imperfect: abh
    Future: idh
    Perfect: ath
    Pluperfect: eth
    Future perfect: ith

    Ex: ta’fe, ta’abh’fe, ta’idh’fe, ta’ath’fe, ta’eth’fe, ta’ith’fe.

    It is entirely unclear what effect if any an accent has on pronunciation, I created words haphazardly, and even a casual glance tells me I was wildly inconsistent about how far I got away from the Irish originals; this would need a lot of cleanup and rebuilding before I tried to do anything with it. But still: for a seventeen-year-old, that ain’t bad. My unfinished grammar covers the progressive, the conditional, the gerund, and obligation. I had notes to myself that I still needed to figure out the comparative and superlative of adjectives, indirect statements, indirect questions, and possibly the subjunctive.

    And the best part is: back 2000 I realized that these notebooks were not a good way to hold into information, so I typed all the useful bits up. Which means I don’t have to do that typing now, and can send these off to Cushing with a clear conscience — because this info is worth keeping, even if it never sees print.

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

    jimhines: (Snoopy Writing)

    Welcome to another Transgender Michigan Fundraiser auction!

    Transgender Michigan was founded in 1997, and continues to run one of the only transgender helplines in the country, available 24/7 at 855-345-8464. Every tax-deductible donation helps them continue to provide support, advocacy, and education.

    Today’s auction is for a brand new flash-fiction story written for you. That’s right, author Stephanie Burgis will write a story for the winner of the auction about any of the characters from her published novels – the winner gets to choose! You’ll let her know which character should be the protagonist, and Burgis will write it within a month of getting the commission. You can find all of her published works on her website.

    Burgis reserves the right to share it with other readers later, but it will belong to the winner alone for the first month after she sends it to you.

    Cover art for Kat Incorrigible Cover Art for Congress of Secrets Cover Art for The Dragon with a Chocolate Heart

    This auction is open to anyone in the world.

    How to bid:

    1. Minimum bid is $10. Bidding starts the moment this post goes live!
    2. Enter your bid in the comments. Bids must be a minimum of $1 more than the previous bid. (No bouncing from $20.01 to $20.02 to $20.03 and so on.) Make sure to include an email address I can use to contact you.
    3. Each auction will run for 24 hours, starting at noon Eastern time and running until noon the following day.
    4. To discourage last-minute sniping, I’ll wait until 10 minutes after the last bid to close an auction.
    5. If you want to be notified about other bids, check the “Subscribe to Comments” box when you bid.

    Winning the auction:

    I’ll contact the winner, who will then donate the winning bid to Transgender Michigan. You’ll forward me a copy of the receipt, at which point, I’ll contact the donor to arrange delivery of your winnings.

    About Stephanie Burgis:

    Stephanie Burgis grew up in East Lansing, Michigan, but now lives in Wales with her husband and two sons, surrounded by mountains, castles and coffee shops. She has published over thirty short stories for adults and teens, as well as an MG Regency fantasy trilogy, known in the U.S. as the Kat, Incorrigible series and in the U.K. as The Unladylike Adventures of Kat Stephenson. Her first two historical fantasy novels for adults, Masks and Shadows and Congress of Secrets, will be published by Pyr Books in 2016, and her next MG fantasy series will be published by Bloomsbury Books, beginning with The Dragon with a Chocolate Heart in 2017.

    #

    Don’t forget about the DAW Raffle!

    My publisher, DAW Books, has agreed to contribute:

    6 Tad Williams Bundles: each bundle includes one copy of Otherland: City of Golden Shadow (hardcover first edition, first printing)  plus 1 Advance Review Copy of The Heart of What Was Lost.

    6 DAW December Release Bundles: each bundle includes one copy of all DAW December titles: Dreamweaver, Tempest, Alien Nation, and Jerusalem Fire, plus a bonus ARC (dependent on stock).

    At any time between now and the end of the fundraiser, donate $5 to Transgender Michigan and email me a copy of the receipt at jchines -at- gmail.com, with the subject line “DAW Raffle Entry.” Each week, I’ll pick at least one donor to win their choice of either a Tad Williams or a December Release bundle from DAW.

    You can donate more than $5. For example, donating $20 would get you four entries. However, you can only win a maximum of one of each bundle. This is separate from the individual auctions. Winning an auction does not count as a raffle entry.

    Mirrored from Jim C. Hines.

    (Active deals from two days ago: The cheap Kindle Vonnegut and Clarke books, the sub-$5 Blu-rays, and the teddy bear with the purchase of a gift card).

    For younger kids, one of the Daily Deals is on Toddler Riding Toys, with huge discounts on everything from the basic Little People and Disney ones for under $25 to the really high-end trains and tractors that break $100 (but are still dozens and even sometimes over $100 off other deals).

    For older kids, Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare Legacy Edition for the PS4 is $49.99 (38% off).

    Also in video games, Dishonored 2 Limited Edition for the PS4 is $39.94 (33% off).

    And for older kids who have gone the board game route (or for, you know, me), there's a Board Game Daily Deal, with discounts on 50+ games, including Betrayal at the House on the Hill, King of Tokyo, Dominion, Tokaido, Risk Legacy, Lost Cities, and more.

    Not a daily deal as far as I can tell, but the LEGO Star Wars TIE Advanced Prototype Toy is $31.99 (20% off), the LEGO Star Wars Imperial Shuttle Tydirium Building Kit is $63.99 (36% off), the LEGO Star Wars Naboo Starfighter Building Kit is $30.39 (39% off), and the LEGO Star Wars AT-ST Walker is $31.99 (20% off). All are well below other prices.

    in non-toy (sort of) Daily Deals, the Fitbit Alta is $84.96 (35% off) today.

    And in "definitely a toy, but for people with a LOT of spare cash," the Occulus Rift comes with a bonus $100 Amazon Gift Card.

    Finally, Cowboy Bebop on Blu-ray is $31.49 (47% off).
    sovay: (Lord Peter Wimsey: passion)
    So, our anniversary. It was good.

    We did not make it to a museum for the afternoon as originally planned, but we spent a nice hour browsing the Million Year Picnic and then we walked up through the already icing streets to dinner at Waypoint. The restaurant is new since the summer, located on Mass. Ave. right where the last landmarks of Harvard Square begin to transition into the outskirts of Central; we had passed by it before, mostly noting its separate sub-menu of absinthe cocktails with names like "Storm Clouds" and "Riding High" and the green-black aquarium blur of its interior at night, a kind of glassy drowned shimmer beyond the double doors. The menu advertised "coastally inspired fare." We didn't know how much of an understatement that was. We arrived dressed to match the decor in our own formal greens and blacks, [livejournal.com profile] derspatchel wearing the Navy shirt that belonged once to [livejournal.com profile] nineweaving's father. We were shown past an alcove where a salvaged sign for Russell's Bar flashed the neon outline of a hooked perch into the main dining area, all wood-plank and wave-white marble and brushed steel, ice glittering under the oysters on the raw bar, bell-glass lamps clustering like jellyfish from the beams overhead. The pots of ferns and grasses at the edge of the open kitchen gave it a look of dunes or tidepools. Across the far wall tiled in black and slate-grey and blue, a second enormous fish-sign bent like a dolphin in a mosaic, steadily green-shining "Au Nid du Doré." Everything swam. We ate the sea.

    With minnows in my belly and dank in my veins. )

    If you have any aversion to seafood, this is not the restaurant for you. The house-baked breads were all oceanic: salt black with squid ink, tart-flecked with seaweed, pungent with colatura di alici—the closest thing to garum in Italy these days—with a moray-colored smear of smoked seaweed butter around the rim of the plate and a little pot of chunky, garlicky anchovy dip topped with walnuts, which were the only thing left by the time the plate was taken away. The oysters came from Maine and Massachusetts, so sea-sweet that I drank the brine out of their shells. My cocktail was called the Ocean Flor, but got away with it by being (a) delicious (b) made with nori gin and absinthe and generally tasting as well as looking like something I should have been drinking out of my sand-cracked onion bottle salvaged from a seventeenth-century shipwreck. Snails came glistering dark on top of a split marrow bone, earthy and meat-buttered, with more seaweed sourdough for scraping out the bone with. There was trout roe pearling the steak tartare, popping a slippery savor into the clean cool beef; the soft-boiled egg halved beside the toast was superfluous. Rob ordered a cocktail that tasted of wet earth and gardens, like coming suddenly ashore; I cannot regret trying the house sangaree with madeira and nutmeg molasses even if it was much sweeter than my usual taste in drinks because it set off a round of quoting Flanders and Swann. The real umamibomb was the squid ink gemelli, even richer and darker than the crusty bread, garnished with pale strips of swordfish lardo—which I am pretty sure is fancy for swordfish belly lox and now my hands-down favorite preparation of a fish I have always considered essentially boring—and a thick mixed crumble of smoked ham, pine nuts, and pecorino. Dessert was cinnamon-sugar donuts with coffee ganache (I did not touch those) and a pear and fig crostata served warm under sesame ice cream (all mine). We were unable to resist the lure of the double-sided absinthe menu and finished with a louched glass each, in Rob's case Jade 1901, in mine Butterfly. I am delighted if bemused by the idea of pre-Prohibition Boston absinthe. Afterward we walked down Putnam to Magazine Street and then to the river, crossing the Charles at the Weeks Bridge and then back again via the Anderson Memorial Bridge. We saw a lot of cat-ice and Canada geese. The Red Line to Davis and the 88 home were surprisingly on time.

    And this morning I had a doctor's appointment at a painfully early hour, compounded by not having slept more than three hours after overheating and waking at five-thirty and being unable to fall back asleep before it was time to get out of bed, and I have spent most of the day feeling jet-lagged while still needing to make lots of phone calls and catch up on work, but that was still as sea-full an anniversary as I have gotten without time by the ocean itself. Worth it.
    jimhines: (Snoopy Writing)

    Welcome to another Transgender Michigan Fundraiser auction!

    Transgender Michigan was founded in 1997, and continues to run one of the only transgender helplines in the country, available 24/7 at 855-345-8464. Every tax-deductible donation helps them continue to provide support, advocacy, and education.

    Today’s auction comes from award-winning author Tricia Sullivan, for an autographed copy of OCCUPY ME and a Tuckerization (meaning you’ll show up as a minor character) in Sullivan’s forthcoming novel SWEET DREAMS ARE MADE OF THIS.

    Cover for Occupy Me

    About the Book:

    A woman with wings that exist in another dimension. A man trapped in his own body by a killer. A briefcase that is a door to hell. A conspiracy that reaches beyond our world. Breathtaking SF from a Clarke Award-winning author.

    Tricia Sullivan has written an extraordinary, genre defining novel that begins with the mystery of a woman who barely knows herself and ends with a discovery that transcends space and time. On the way we follow our heroine as she attempts to track down a killer in the body of another man, and the man who has been taken over, his will trapped inside the mind of the being that has taken him over.

    And at the centre of it all a briefcase that contains countless possible realities.

    This auction is open worldwide.

    How to bid:

    1. Minimum bid is £10, which converts to roughly $13 U.S. Bidding starts the moment this post goes live!
    2. Enter your bid in the comments. Bids must be a minimum of $1 more than the previous bid. (No bouncing from $20.01 to $20.02 to $20.03 and so on.) Make sure to include an email address I can use to contact you.
    3. Each auction will run for 24 hours, starting at noon Eastern time and running until noon the following day.
    4. To discourage last-minute sniping, I’ll wait until 10 minutes after the last bid to close an auction.
    5. If you want to be notified about other bids, check the “Subscribe to Comments” box when you bid.

    Winning the auction:

    I’ll contact the winner, who will then donate the winning bid to Transgender Michigan. You’ll forward me a copy of the receipt, at which point, I’ll contact the donor to arrange delivery of your winnings.

    About Tricia Sullivan:

    Tricia Sullivan is the Arthur C. Clarke Award winning author of eight science fiction novels. Her work has been shortlisted for the Tiptree Award, the John W. Campbell Memorial Award, the British Fantasy Award and the British Science Fiction Association Award. She lives in the UK, where she is an MSc student in astrophysics.

    #

    Don’t forget about the DAW Raffle!

    My publisher, DAW Books, has agreed to contribute:

    6 Tad Williams Bundles: each bundle includes one copy of Otherland: City of Golden Shadow (hardcover first edition, first printing)  plus 1 Advance Review Copy of The Heart of What Was Lost.

    6 DAW December Release Bundles: each bundle includes one copy of all DAW December titles: Dreamweaver, Tempest, Alien Nation, and Jerusalem Fire, plus a bonus ARC (dependent on stock).

    At any time between now and the end of the fundraiser, donate $5 to Transgender Michigan and email me a copy of the receipt at jchines -at- gmail.com, with the subject line “DAW Raffle Entry.” Each week, I’ll pick at least one donor to win their choice of either a Tad Williams or a December Release bundle from DAW.

    You can donate more than $5. For example, donating $20 would get you four entries. However, you can only win a maximum of one of each bundle. This is separate from the individual auctions. Winning an auction does not count as a raffle entry.

    Mirrored from Jim C. Hines.

    6 December 2016 09:00 - So Lonely
    ceciliatan: (darons guitar)

    Mirrored from the latest entry in Daron's Guitar Chronicles.

    Things I wouldn’t have realized if I hadn’t toured the country: Ohio borders Kentucky. I think of Ohio as the Midwest and Kentucky as the South. So if you’d told me they were the same distance apart as Minnesota and South Carolina I would have believed you. Instead, check it out, they’re adjacent. In fact we stayed at a hotel in Kentucky for the show in Cincinnati.

    And then, thank the lord, we had a day off. That had been a three-fer and now we got a day off, two shows in the same venue, and then another day off (though it was a travel day).

    Read the rest of this entry » )
    6 December 2016 06:35 - Early morning Amazon Deals post
    (Still active from yesterday: The Vonnegut and Clarke Kindle books, the free bear with an Amazon gift card, and the assorted under-$5 Blu-Ray movies.)

    I'll be at a conference all day, so this is shorter and earlier than it might otherwise be:

    The big Deal of the Day is on the Apple Watch 2, which will "only" cost $269 or $359, depending on the model you snag.

    If you like your watches cheaper and less digital, the Timex Men's Weekender Series is on sale for $24.18 (down about $8 off the normal pricing).

    Another daily deal is on assorted T-Fal cookware, including a non-stick cast iron skillet for $14.39, a 5-quart covered nonstick sauté pan for $14.99, a 14-piece full nonstick cookware set for $40.59, and more.

    Elsewhere in cookware, the Victorinox 8 Inch Fibrox Pro Chef's Knife is $27.96 (48% off, and about $12 below other deals on the knife), and the Hamilton Beach 12-Cup Stack and Snap Food Processor is $35.99 ($20 below other sellers).

    The Outlander Collector's Edition Sets (Blu-Ray editions with collectors books and all sorts of other nifty stuff, including a flask in the season 1 set) are 50% off ($48.99 for season 1, $34.99 for season 2).

    The Kindle Daily Deal is on cookbooks, with about twenty of them at $2.99 or less, including The Drunken Botanist, The French Laundry Cookbook, Ruhlman's Twenty, and a lot of other really good ones.

    And finally, the Matrix Triple Feature is $7.99 on Blu-Ray (only 20% off, but it's a nice and cheap way to get all three films).
    5 December 2016 23:43 - 44 years a Marine
    wcg: (Default)
    On December 5th, 1972, I woke up in the Adolphus Hotel in downtown Dallas, had breakfast, went across the street, and spent the day at the Armed Forces Entrance and Examination Station. Somewhere around 3:00 that afternoon I raised my right hand and enlisted in the US Marine Corps. Following the brief swearing-in ceremony (room full of young men, I was the only one crazy enough to be going into the Corps) I was given bus fare and a plane ticket, with directions to Love Field. A few hours later I was airborne and flying east to Charleston, South Carolina.

    As a few of you reading this may remember, I transferred to the "Fleet Marine Corps Reserve" back in April of 1995. That's the official way of saying that I'm retired from the USMCR. But it also means that I'm still, in some odd way, a Marine, as I have been for 40 years now. If things got bad enough, I could still be recalled to active duty. Not that I worry about it, much, other than in stress nightmares.
    5 December 2016 23:34 - More astronomical images
    wcg: (Default)
    Another observing run in the books.

    Pictures back here. )
    5 December 2016 16:20 - Photos over at Dreamstime
    swan_tower: (Default)

    I have a favor to ask of y’all!

    I recently began posting some of my photography at Dreamstime, one of those stock image sites. I’ve put up a decent-sized batch as my test case — but I suspect their visibility in searches is influenced by how many views each of them already has. Ergo, I’d love it if those of you with a moment to spare could check out my gallery and click through to some (or all!) of the pictures there.

    (And if you happen to go “wow, that’s perfect for X purpose of mine!,” they are of course available for licensing!)

    Also, don’t forget, my winter black-and-white sets are for sale through my site, in any print medium or size you might want.

    Two black and white photos side by side, one of arches, the other of a gondola ferro.

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

    5 December 2016 17:30 - squee!
    yhlee: wax seal (hxx Deuce of Gears)
    illustration by Micah Epstein preview for "Extracurricular Activities" (forthcoming from Tor.com, probably in February 2017? is Jedao story set when he was a hotshot spaceship captain)

    A++ WOULD DOLPHIN KOI AGAIN

    *\o/*
    sovay: (Lord Peter Wimsey: passion)
    Today is my third anniversary with [livejournal.com profile] derspatchel. It's all melted by now, but this morning was the first snow of the season. It has been in many to most respects a terrible year. We are still here and we are going to do something to celebrate it.
    5 December 2016 11:17 - Dice Tales enters the home stretch
    swan_tower: (gaming)

    The Dice Tales series is nearly done, but still has a little way to go. The most recent two installments are “A Story in Song” and “Other Relics,” both discussing the kinds of narrative artifacts left behind by this ephemeral mode of storytelling.

    Comment over there!

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

    jimhines: (Snoopy Writing)

    Welcome to another Transgender Michigan Fundraiser auction!

    Transgender Michigan was founded in 1997, and continues to run one of the only transgender helplines in the country, available 24/7 at 855-345-8464. Every tax-deductible donation helps them continue to provide support, advocacy, and education.

    Today’s auction is for an autographed copy of REPLICA and a handmade pendant to go with it (pictured below). You can see samples of Black’s other gorgeous pendants at her Etsy store.

    Cover of Replica Pendant by Jenna Black

    About the Book:

    Sixteen-year-old Nadia Lake’s marriage has been arranged with the most powerful family in the Corporate States. She lives a life of privilege even if she has to put up with paparazzi tracking her every move, every detail of her private life tabloid fodder. But her future is assured, as long as she can maintain her flawless public image—no easy feat when your betrothed is a notorious playboy.

    Nathaniel Hayes is the heir to the company that pioneered human replication: a technology that every state and every country in the world would kill to have. Except he’s more interested in sneaking around the seedy underbelly of the state formerly known as New York than he is in learning to run his future company or courting his bride-to-be. She’s not exactly his type…not that he can tell anyone that.

    But then Nate turns up dead, and Nadia was the last person to see him alive.

    When the new Nate wakes up in the replication tanks, he knows he must have died, but with a memory that only reaches to his last memory back-up, he doesn’t know what—or rather, who—killed him. Together, Nadia and Nate must discover what really happened without revealing the secrets that those who run their world would kill to protect.

    This auction is open to U.S. residents only.

    How to bid:

    1. Minimum bid is $20. Bidding starts the moment this post goes live!
    2. Enter your bid in the comments. Bids must be a minimum of $1 more than the previous bid. (No bouncing from $20.01 to $20.02 to $20.03 and so on.) Make sure to include an email address I can use to contact you.
    3. Each auction will run for 24 hours, starting at noon Eastern time and running until noon the following day.
    4. To discourage last-minute sniping, I’ll wait until 10 minutes after the last bid to close an auction.
    5. If you want to be notified about other bids, check the “Subscribe to Comments” box when you bid.

    Winning the auction:

    I’ll contact the winner, who will then donate the winning bid to Transgender Michigan. You’ll forward me a copy of the receipt, at which point, I’ll contact the donor to arrange delivery of your winnings.

    About Jenna Black:

    Jenna Black got her BA in physical anthropology and French from Duke University.

    Once upon a time, she dreamed she would be the next Jane Goodall, camping in the bush making fabulous discoveries about primate behavior. Then, during her senior year at Duke, she did some actual research in the field and made this shocking discovery: primates spend something like 80% of their time doing such exciting things as sleeping and eating.

    Concluding that this discovery was her life’s work in the field of primatology, she then moved on to such varied pastimes as grooming dogs and writing technical documentation. She is now a full-time writer and lives in North Carolina with her husband and two dogs.

    Visit her on Facebook and Twitter.

    #

    Don’t forget about the DAW Raffle!

    My publisher, DAW Books, has agreed to contribute:

    6 Tad Williams Bundles: each bundle includes one copy of Otherland: City of Golden Shadow (hardcover first edition, first printing)  plus 1 Advance Review Copy of The Heart of What Was Lost.

    6 DAW December Release Bundles: each bundle includes one copy of all DAW December titles: Dreamweaver, Tempest, Alien Nation, and Jerusalem Fire, plus a bonus ARC (dependent on stock).

    At any time between now and the end of the fundraiser, donate $5 to Transgender Michigan and email me a copy of the receipt at jchines -at- gmail.com, with the subject line “DAW Raffle Entry.” Each week, I’ll pick at least one donor to win their choice of either a Tad Williams or a December Release bundle from DAW.

    You can donate more than $5. For example, donating $20 would get you four entries. However, you can only win a maximum of one of each bundle. This is separate from the individual auctions. Winning an auction does not count as a raffle entry.

    Mirrored from Jim C. Hines.

    The $5 off $15 Book Coupon ends today, so use it while it's still good! Aside from things like the big and discounted Dungeons and Dragons books, it's also a good choice for gift books that land just over the $15 price point, like The Princess Bride: An Illustrated Edition of S. Morgenstern's Classic Tale of True Love and High Adventure for $17.22 (31% off), before the coupon pulls it down to $12.22.

    One of today's Daily Deals offers up to 50% off assorted Marvel items, ranging from shirts to books to toys to bedsheets. Lots of good stuff for fans of all ages here.

    In Kindle books, there's a ton of Kurt Vonnegut on sale for $1.99, including Slapstick, Mother Night, God Bless You Mr. Rosewater, Galápagos, Timequake, and Welcome to the Monkey House.

    Also $1.99 each on Kindle: Clarke's Rendezvous with Rama and Childhood's End.

    In gift cards, if you buy a $150 Amazon Gift Card, you'll get a free holiday teddy bear (the offer also works for $200 and $250 denominations). And if you buy a one-yeara subscription to Dropbox Pro for $99, you'll get a free $50 Amazon Gift Card.

    Another Daily Deal nabs you all seven Fast & Furious movies on Blu-Ray and digital for $27.99 (53% off, and about $4 per movie).

    And if you want more cheap Blu-Ray options (many with DVD and Digital copies thrown in), there's a slew of $5 and $4 Blu-Ray deals, including Pulp Fiction, Glengarry Glen Ross, Braveheart, Shutter Island, Seven, Quantum of Solace, Last Action Hero, Election, and more (we're talking literally hundreds of movies here).
    4 December 2016 18:55 - I spit and chew and bite
    sovay: (Sovay: David Owen)
    This cat picture is not mine; it comes courtesy of of [livejournal.com profile] teenybuffalo, who found it on Tumblr:

    Catty


    I was prepared to love this image despite its likely origin as an outsider's sendup of the suffrage movement, but then it turned out to have been an actual suffragette Christmas card, which is even better. [livejournal.com profile] derspatchel says he can see "Hestia marching, festooned with violets, hoisting a banner aloft with her tail, ready to pounce on any police resistance." Mice and roses, they sing. Mice and roses.

    (The actual song "Bread and Roses" causes me to tear up for reasons I do not entirely understand, because I cannot remember ever singing it as a child or communally, but it turned up as a spontaneous and formal expression of workers' solidarity in a scene in Pride (2014) and I disintegrated.)
    4 December 2016 15:58
    yhlee: Hamilton musical (Hamilton musical)
    By way of [personal profile] isis, too good not to share: Hamildolph, a Hamilton/"Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer" parody by Utah a cappella group Eclipse 6.

    HA HA HA HA HA GENIUS
    4 December 2016 12:24 - what was the title
    james_davis_nicoll: (Default)
    of that really depressing 1970s era SF novel?
    Before getting to the one-day-only deals, a reminder that you can nab $5 off any $15 purchase of books at Amazon through Monday.

    Amazon's started their $Winterholiday Countdown (okay, they call it "12 Days of Deals"), and the focus today is on kid stuff. All of these are one-day deals:

    The Despicable Me 3-Movie Collection (with the two DM movies and the Minions film) in a Blu-Ray/DVD/Digital combo pack is $17.99 (40% off).

    There's a huge one-day Kindle book sale including Rick Riordon books (about 20 of them), Ivy and Bean books (most $.99), and assorted others by Melanie Dickerson, Kami Garcia, Kelly Barnhill, and Antoine de Saint-Exupery (yes, The Little Prince will only run you $1.99 today).

    There's also a big sale on, well, big toys. This ranges from a 20" Darth Vader for $19.99 (less than half of what it costs elsewhere) to a 5000-piece K'Nex Roller Coaster for $353 (amazingly less than half what it normally costs from other retailers). Needless to say, Prime Shipping's really your friend on these deals (which also include huge dollhouses and other large toys).

    If your kid likes music, or if you're an aunt or uncle who wants to drive your sibling crazy, there's a sale on assorted musical instruments for kids, including guitars, drum kits, xylophones, and more.

    And finally, a one-day deal that's not kid-specific: The Queen-sized Intex Pillow Rest Classic Airbed with Built-in Pillow and Electric Pump is $19.99 (46% off).
    sovay: (Rotwang)
    Today I got my contributor's copy of Heiresses of Russ 2016: The Year’s Best Lesbian Speculative Fiction, edited by A.M. Dellamonica and Steve Berman. I am really pleased about this anthology and the inclusion of "When Can a Broken Glass Mend?" in it. I am looking forward to reading a lot of lesbian fiction tonight.

    Also today, parts of East Cambridge were on fire. My mother and I ran an errand unknowingly on the periphery of the area around five o'clock in the evening—power out for blocks, fire hydrants open, blue-and-red emergency lights flashing everywhere. We assumed fire, but were not in a position to see flames and must have been upwind of the smoke, because otherwise I think I would have noticed it on the street. We thought perhaps a transformer had blown. I texted [livejournal.com profile] derspatchel when I got back in the car and heard different. So far no one appears to have died, but dozens have been displaced and homes destroyed; firefighters and other first responders were coming from Arlington, Newton, Wakefield, Chelsea, miles. The Mayor of Cambridge has set up a fire relief fund, now accepting checks and online donations. I did not know there were such things as ten-alarm fires.

    A few days ago I wrote to the Forward to express my disappointment in their otherwise fluff piece about the favorite kosher recipes of the Trump-Kushner family, because I don't care if Ivanka and Jared keep a kosher kitchen, the Forward has no business treating them like just another celebrity couple, and now it turns out the broccoli kugel recipe featured on Ivanka's website wasn't even hers and I just want to talk about why people are referring to this wholly unnecessary episode as "Kugelgate" because when I look at a panful of baked eggs, light mayonnaise, and broccoli, I might think "Frittata?" and also ". . . ew," but definitely not kugel. Are there noodles? Is there cheese? Do you want to step outside about the raisins? It's not kugel!

    (I didn't know I had opinions about kugel, but it turns out I really do. I may have to make some in order to cope.)

    These are the three political pieces that have stuck with me the most recently: Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie's "Now Is the Time to Talk About What We Are Actually Talking About," Moira Weigel's "Political correctness: how the right invented a phantom enemy," and Masha Gessen's "Trump: The Choice We Face." I am not entirely sure how to classify the story of Heinrich Steinmeyer, but it is also sticking with me. It does sound like a YA novel. Sometimes that happens to people's lives. Anyway, now-dead one-time actual Nazi still behaving more classily than my country's president-elect.

    I am not sleeping almost at all. I would like to write about things.
    3 December 2016 16:02 - the other thing about Moana
    metaphortunate: (Default)
    And the other thing about Moana is, it paints this, like, eye-wateringly idyllic picture of a pre-industrial society, just SO beautiful with those swelling chords and Lin-Manuel Miranda's catchy-ass lyrics dragging you headlong into it, and then casually, about two-thirds of the way through, oh yeah, infanticide is totally a thing, too.  o.O
    3 December 2016 18:52 - I can tell
    james_davis_nicoll: (Default)
    when the clock radio is due to come on because about ten minutes before that Fig pushes his dish into the bedroom, followed by all of the cat food tins he can reach.
    3 December 2016 17:35 - Thought for the Day
    bcholmes: I was just a brain in a jar (brain thoughts)

    Mirrored from Under the Beret.

    3 December 2016 10:14 - A Trip Down Juvenilia Lane, Vol. 1
    swan_tower: (*writing)

    I’ve been archiving my papers with the Cushing Library at Texas A&M for several years now, but mostly that’s just meant copy-edited manuscripts and page proofs. I’m reluctant to let go of the boxes in which I keep the papers from each of my novels, because I’m never quite sure when I might need to consult them for some reason; mostly I don’t, but then a random occasion will crop up (e.g. “I need to scan that fight map I drew for Doppelganger so I can include it in Writing Fight Scenes“) and I’ll think, maybe I should hang onto these.

    Then it occurred to me that I have about half a shelf of spiral-bound notebooks that I haven’t looked at in . . . more than a decade, certainly. Fifteen years, quite possibly. And those, I decided, are fair game.

    But of course I can’t just ship those off to College Station without looking through them first.

    Follow me, oh friends, down Juvenilia Lane!

    This is like literary archaeology, trying to piece together from clues when the first of these notebooks dates to. Apparently at one point I went through and numbered them, and the early pages contain notes from a class on Native American mythology I took my freshman year of college — or do they? Did I do something else involving Native American mythology? Because that notebook also contains random spates of computer code, and I haven’t taken computer science since my junior year of high school; was I trying to write a program for something writing-related? I seem to recall having done that at one point, though I can’t remember what it was for (and the code itself is not enlightening me). The various snippets of story and notes thereon are no help; I was working on basically the same stuff my freshman year of college as at the end of high school.

    Possible clue: I was apparently on a kick wherein I wrote some of those story notes in Spanish or Latin, which were the languages I studied in high school. It isn’t definitive; I might well have been trying to keep my hand in during my freshman year. But more significant is the fact that I don’t have any notes written in Japanese, which is what I studied when I got to college. (I even, god help me, have some bad English-language poetry written in dactylic hexameter. It’s clearly for a story, but the context has long since flown my head.) There are also random bits of Irish Gaelic, but most of those are clearly recognizable as song lyrics: I didn’t take Irish until my sophomore year of college, but prior to that was trying to translate lyrics using a dictionary and no comprehension of Irish grammar whatsoever.

    I can watch myself working through the challenges of trying to file the serial numbers off a beloved fanfic idea, which definitely occupied a lot of my time in later high school; it was some time during my freshman year that I shelved it in the hopes that absence would make the heart grow more able to hack it apart as needed. But apparently at one point I decided to set one of the sub-stories from that idea in a Tarot-based world. I have no recollection of this. But it seems it was a thing!

    . . . waitasecond. I’ve got half a page here of text from Lies and Prophecy. Half a page of text so old, Liesel is still called Lisa.

    (Despite that, some of the sentences are unchanged from this notebook scribble to the finished product.)

    IT’S A HIGH SCHOOL NOTEBOOK. I have found the smoking gun, and it comes in the form of my Beowulf notes. My senior year English teacher permitted us to annotate our copies of Beowulf with any information we thought might be useful to us on the test; I have a whole two page here where I was collating line citations for references to fighting, gift-giving, loyalty, Christian/pagan blending, the heroic ideal of excellence, and more. (I inherited three annotated copies of the text from my brother and other previous students to get me started; I still own my copy, and it is the most thoroughly annotated thing I think that teacher ever saw.)

    Still don’t know why I was writing computer code in it, though. The early pages might be from my junior year (did we do a Native American mythology section in Theory of Knowledge? We must have), but there’s code in the middle of my Chaucer notes, which is definitely senior year.

    And with one and a half lines that might have been me trying to conlang for one of my stories (it’s a cryptic description of the perfect passive participle, and then I didn’t get around to detailing the present participle), we finish out the first of my notebooks. Thank you all for accompanying me down Memory Lane. Stay tuned for further installments, probably, as I wade into notebooks from later in my pre-career!

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

    jimhines: (Snoopy Writing)

    Welcome to another Transgender Michigan Fundraiser auction!

    Transgender Michigan was founded in 1997, and continues to run one of the only transgender helplines in the country, available 24/7 at 855-345-8464. Every tax-deductible donation helps them continue to provide support, advocacy, and education.

    Today’s auction is for an autographed copy of either the paperback or audio CD (your choice) of Kornher-Stace’s Norton-nominated YA novel ARCHIVIST WASP.

    Cover of Archivist Wasp

    About the Book:

    Wasp’s job is simple. Hunt ghosts. And every year she has to fight to remain Archivist. Desperate and alone, she strikes a bargain with the ghost of a supersoldier. She will go with him on his underworld hunt for the long-lost ghost of his partner and in exchange she will find out more about his pre-apocalyptic world than any Archivist before her. And there is much to know. After all, Archivists are marked from birth to do the holy work of a goddess. They’re chosen. They’re special. Or so they’ve been told for four hundred years.

    Archivist Wasp fears she is not the chosen one, that she won’t survive the trip to the underworld, that the brutal life she has escaped might be better than where she is going. There is only one way to find out.

    This auction is open to anyone in the world.

    How to bid:

    1. Minimum bid is $15. Bidding starts the moment this post goes live!
    2. Enter your bid in the comments. Bids must be a minimum of $1 more than the previous bid. (No bouncing from $20.01 to $20.02 to $20.03 and so on.) Make sure to include an email address I can use to contact you.
    3. Each auction will run for 24 hours, starting at noon Eastern time and running until noon the following day.
    4. To discourage last-minute sniping, I’ll wait until 10 minutes after the last bid to close an auction.
    5. If you want to be notified about other bids, check the “Subscribe to Comments” box when you bid.

    Winning the auction:

    I’ll contact the winner, who will then donate the winning bid to Transgender Michigan. You’ll forward me a copy of the receipt, at which point, I’ll contact the donor to arrange delivery of your winnings.

    About Nicole Kornher-Stace:

    Nicole Kornher-Stace lives in New Paltz, NY. She is the author of Desideria, The Winter Triptych, and the Norton Award finalist Archivist Wasp. She can be found online on Facebook and Twitter.

    #

    Don’t forget about the DAW Raffle!

    My publisher, DAW Books, has agreed to contribute:

    6 Tad Williams Bundles: each bundle includes one copy of Otherland: City of Golden Shadow (hardcover first edition, first printing)  plus 1 Advance Review Copy of The Heart of What Was Lost.

    6 DAW December Release Bundles: each bundle includes one copy of all DAW December titles: Dreamweaver, Tempest, Alien Nation, and Jerusalem Fire, plus a bonus ARC (dependent on stock).

    At any time between now and the end of the fundraiser, donate $5 to Transgender Michigan and email me a copy of the receipt at jchines -at- gmail.com, with the subject line “DAW Raffle Entry.” Each week, I’ll pick at least one donor to win their choice of either a Tad Williams or a December Release bundle from DAW.

    You can donate more than $5. For example, donating $20 would get you four entries. However, you can only win a maximum of one of each bundle. This is separate from the individual auctions. Winning an auction does not count as a raffle entry.

    Mirrored from Jim C. Hines.

    Spending most of the day offline, but a few things to highlight:

    Amazon's Deal of the Day nets you the complete Seinfeld on DVD for $39.99 (44% off).

    Speaking of things about nothing (see what I did there?), The combo pack of The Neverending Story and Where the Wild Things Are on Blu-Ray is $7.89, which is actually cheaper than buying either movie separately.

    For PC Gamers who somehow don't have it, The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim Legendary Edition is $10 (75% off) for the digital edition.

    And Amazon's once again got a book coupon, this time for $5 off a $15 purchase, using promo code GIFTBOOK. And yes, all the big core D&D books qualify and most are already on sale (down from $49.95 to $29.95), and there are good deals on some other systems (like Pathfinder), too. And, of course, there's the slew of "regular" books that qualify for this as well. The point is, cheap books.
    kate_nepveu: sleeping cat carved in brown wood (Default)
    Email read this morning indicates that work has blown up even more than it already had been, so, super quick. (Note to self: write down your thoughts about Moana sometime. Possibly also the Hamilton Mixtape.)

    barely spoilers )
    3 December 2016 03:25 - "I heard there was a baby"
    rosefox: Photo of a very happy white baby with big blue eyes and two tiny front teeth. (kit)
    Kit happenings today:

    1) Our crib mattress board has three height options. It's been on the middle one since Kit was born; we got a thick mattress and a crib bumper that meant the top setting was never quite workable. Today they were sitting in the crib and pulled up to standing without any help, and I realized that the crib rail came up to only slightly higher than their waist. I promptly took them out of the crib and lowered the mattress to the lowest setting for safety. As soon as I put them back in, they figured out how to pull up to standing again, which is good—I really didn't want to respond to their accomplishment by making it harder for them to accomplish things. They generally seem quite happy with the change. Such an amiable child.

    2) X pointed out that Kit really likes our laptops and phones because they see us using them so much, and suggested that we do more non-digital things with the baby. So this evening Kit and I cuddled up on the couch and read books together. We probably spent most of an hour like that, me reading an advance copy of Daniel José Older's Battle Hill Bolero (very good), Kit playing with and drooling on That's Not My Owl (they adore that whole series of books). Occasionally I'd take pictures or answer a text, and while my hands were occupied Kit would steal my book. They liked turning it upside down and tugging at the cover and opening it to the middle and attempting to eat it. I encouraged all these things except the last one. It was one of the best hours of my life.

    This morning I got to bed late because the baby had woken up and all I wanted to do was spend time with them, and then I barely got any work done because the baby was home from daycare (J's parents were here in the morning and early afternoon) and all I wanted to do was spend more time with them. Right now they're fast asleep and I'm resisting the urge to go into their room and scoop them up; it's great that they're sleeping so well lately but it means we don't get our mid-night cuddle time and I miss it. I just can't get enough of this happy cuddly squeaky squealy serious hard-working baby.

    Aw, they just woke up babbling happily and I could totally justify going in to cuddle them. But I don't want to go in because we're trying to encourage them to go back to sleep on their own when they wake up. Nnnngh. I knew parenting would take willpower but was not aware it would take this particular kind of willpower!

    EDIT: They started to get fussy so I indulged in some cuddling. Such a good snuggly baby.
    sovay: (Sovay: David Owen)
    Unrelated things of a Friday turning into Saturday—

    1. While I just wanted to get out of the basement of the Harvard Book Store as fast as possible to get away from the man who took a book out of my hand in order to replace it on the shelf—without either speaking to me or making eye contact, while I was in the process of putting it back myself—I really appreciated my husband's offer to go back to the comics section and either smack wildly at the shelves with a large heavy paperback while shouting "IF ONLY SOMEONE COULD HELP ME PUT BOOK BACK!" or strike a coy pose and teasingly slide the book in and out, in and out between its fellows.

    (I got out with a very cheap, very good copy of Iain Sinclair's Edge of the Orison (2005), however, so I won.)

    2. So Breitbart is currently urging war on Kellogg's for pulling their advertising from the website and Penzeys is beautifully not backing down on their political talk. I foresee a lot of Ceylon cinnamon Rice Krispie treats in my future.

    ([livejournal.com profile] derspatchel: "Oh, and clove, and cardamom, and lemon extract . . .")

    3. Tonight Autolycus climbed the refrigerator and then threw up off the top of it. I feel he has struck a blow for cat undergraduates everywhere.

    (Still better than the brief, tragic reign of Emperor Poopfoot IV.)
    sovay: (PJ Harvey: crow)
    I woke up from a dream of writing a chapter which began, "The first movie I ever saw by Derek Jarman was The Ascension." Which isn't true, first because that was Caravaggio (1986) and second because The Ascension doesn't exist, but I had an incredibly clear image of a still from the film: a blue sky running into a blue sea with heavy white clouds on the horizon so that the figure standing at the tide-line appeared to be set in the sky, wearing a bird-beaked mask and a broad hat with long, blue-black plumes and a kind of Renaissance-classical drapery around its hips. I couldn't tell if it was male or female or if it mattered. There were little hints of gilding all around its edges, but they were just from the slant of the sun. It was either an angel or a person who had become one. Because of Jarman, I want to say that the object between its hands was a mirror, but I honestly can't remember either way.
    Today's a touch hectic, but it seems that just about every deal from yesterday's post that wasn't a Deal of the Day is active, so yay!

    Only three deals I had time to highlight, but they're all pretty solid:

    The major Deal of the Day will nab you either the Extended Edition Lord of the Rings Trilogy on Blu-Ray for $26.49 (78% off) or the Extended Edition of The Hobbit Trilogy for $38.99 (61% off). As some of you know, I'm decidedly NOT a Tolkien (on paper or screen), but some of y'all are, so enjoy!

    I am a James Bond fan, though, and the Ultimate James Bond Collection on Blu-Ray/Digital for $99.99 (33% off) is a hell of a nice deal (note that Spectre is now included in the set).

    And in the "luxury beauty" section of Amazon, you can spend $50 and get a $25 credit for more from the same section.
    jimhines: (Snoopy Writing)

    Welcome to another Transgender Michigan Fundraiser auction!

    Transgender Michigan was founded in 1997, and continues to run one of the only transgender helplines in the country, available 24/7 at 855-345-8464. Every tax-deductible donation helps them continue to provide support, advocacy, and education.

    Today’s auction is for a signed copy of THE RAVEN AND THE DANCING TIGER, and half a pound of specially roasted coffee beans, both from author and coffee geek Leah Cutter.

    Cover of The Raven and the Dancing Tiger

    About the Book:

    Peter worries about just three things: dancing, finding a girlfriend, and hiding his raven soul.

    Peter is a raven warrior, an ancient race known for their assassination and fighting skills. Through secrecy and strict teaching, they’ve learned to cope with the modern world.

    When Peter meets Tamara, he knows she’s different. Special. He doesn’t learn until too late that she has secrets too. Tamara is a tiger warrior. And her kind are only interested in killing his kind.

    About the Coffee:

    Leah will be in touch with the winner to determine what type of roast you want. (Light? Dark? Espresso? Uncertain blend? Decaf? Etc…)

    This auction is open to U.S. residents only.

    How to bid:

    1. Minimum bid is $15. Bidding starts the moment this post goes live!
    2. Enter your bid in the comments. Bids must be a minimum of $1 more than the previous bid. (No bouncing from $20.01 to $20.02 to $20.03 and so on.) Make sure to include an email address I can use to contact you.
    3. Each auction will run for 24 hours, starting at noon Eastern time and running until noon the following day.
    4. To discourage last-minute sniping, I’ll wait until 10 minutes after the last bid to close an auction.
    5. If you want to be notified about other bids, check the “Subscribe to Comments” box when you bid.

    Winning the auction:

    I’ll contact the winner, who will then donate the winning bid to Transgender Michigan. You’ll forward me a copy of the receipt, at which point, I’ll contact the donor to arrange delivery of your winnings.

    About Leah Cutter:

    Leah Cutter writes page-turning fiction in exotic locations, such as a magical New Orleans, the ancient Orient, Hungary, the Oregon coast, rural Kentucky, Seattle, Minneapolis, and many others. She writes literary, fantasy, mystery, science fiction, and horror fiction. Her short fiction has been published in magazines like Alfred Hitchcock’s Mystery Magazine and Talebones, anthologies like Fiction River, and on the web. Her long fiction has been published both by New York publishers as well as small presses.

    Read more books by Leah Cutter at www.KnottedRoadPress.com, and follow her blog at www.LeahCutter.com.

    #

    Don’t forget about the DAW Raffle!

    My publisher, DAW Books, has agreed to contribute:

    6 Tad Williams Bundles: each bundle includes one copy of Otherland: City of Golden Shadow (hardcover first edition, first printing)  plus 1 Advance Review Copy of The Heart of What Was Lost.

    6 DAW December Release Bundles: each bundle includes one copy of all DAW December titles: Dreamweaver, Tempest, Alien Nation, and Jerusalem Fire, plus a bonus ARC (dependent on stock).

    At any time between now and the end of the fundraiser, donate $5 to Transgender Michigan and email me a copy of the receipt at jchines -at- gmail.com, with the subject line “DAW Raffle Entry.” Each week, I’ll pick at least one donor to win their choice of either a Tad Williams or a December Release bundle from DAW.

    You can donate more than $5. For example, donating $20 would get you four entries. However, you can only win a maximum of one of each bundle. This is separate from the individual auctions. Winning an auction does not count as a raffle entry.

    Mirrored from Jim C. Hines.

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