a garden in riotous bloom
Beautiful. Damn hard. Increasingly useful.
other gardeners 
1 October 2014 22:09 - Inktober 1
I heard about #inktober today. It is a drawing thing. On impulse, I decided to do it.

So, day 1, my inspirations were these amazing leaves. One I found first thing in the morning, and it didn't look like any plant nearby, and the second is a ginkgo on Prospect near Broadway doing a thing I have never seen a ginkgo do before. Normally they become a lovely clear yellow, not amazing turkey-tail fungus stripes.

 photo 2014-10-01-leaf_zps862149a9.jpg  photo 2014-10-01-ginkgo_zps95521689.jpg

So they made me think of why the leaves would have so much information, and what that could be used for. Well, clearly fairies play cards with them. I wanted the one to have trans florets, but somehow I started by drawing the Groot-inspired bunny guy first. It's all very adorable.

 photo 2014-10-01-inktober1_zps41baa148.jpg
1 October 2014 19:44 - The Great Queen Seondeok
yhlee: Korean tomb art from Silla Dynasty: the Heavenly Horse (Cheonmachong). (Korea cheonmachong)
Read more... )
sovay: (Lord Peter Wimsey: passion)
Rabbit, rabbit. It is now my birthday month.

This morning was appalling; I would not wish it on the start of any month. Very tired, very stressed, very cold and very rainy, and I woke from one of the worst nightmares I can remember in years. Fortunately, some things got better.

1. Just before dinner, the mail brought my contributor's copy of Not One of Us #52. Look at that number. It's like a Platonic year of alienation. This latest is the alternative issue and it offers a splendid array of divergences, including poems by [livejournal.com profile] ashlyme, [livejournal.com profile] hawkwing_lb, and [livejournal.com profile] ajodasso as well as fiction by [livejournal.com profile] asakiyume and equally terrific work by people who I don't know on LJ, like Finn Clarke and Patricia Russo. My short story "Like Milkweed" was inspired by something Asakiyume said while discussing burdock; it is as much about monarch butterflies as it is science fiction. I have also a poem in the issue, "The Antiquities of Herculaneum"; that one is the direct result of reading a disaster movie review and thinking the dead of Vesuvius deserved better. Written mostly to Talking Heads' "Sax and Violins," I don't know why. Pick up a copy! I find the black-and-white cover shot of mushrooms extraordinarily beautiful.

2. The Park Street cockroach lives! I saw it this morning as I came back from my dentist's appointment and other downtown errands; it was skittering healthily around the stairs, feelers twangling, quite unsquased. I felt an unexpected rush of affection and reassurance. Like the ravens at the Tower of London. Boston shall not fall this week.

3. I am now reading poetry submissions for Strange Horizons for the months of October and November. Send me all the different voices you've got.

I must go make sure the latest adorable thing the cats have done was not also destructive.

P.S. I love everything about nudibranchs.

P.P.S. [livejournal.com profile] sairaali brought me honey from Germany! Definitely better.
1 October 2014 19:21 - Just curious
james_davis_nicoll: (Default)
Is my new site eligible for any Hugo category or does it fall between the keys?
james_davis_nicoll: (Default)
Suppose Zealandia and by extension New Zealand provides an unlikely refuge for a lineage of mammaliamorphs descended from something very much like Sinoconodons. What does the developing science of biology make of them?
1 October 2014 15:09 - A Tale of Two Leicas
swan_tower: (Default)

It turns out that the reason I could only get the Leica V-Lux 4 from Austria was because they’ve discontinued it. And the reason they’ve discontinued it is because . . . there’s a new one out as of about, oh, yesterday.

On the left, my Leica V-Lux 2: not sure how old it is, but given that I’ve had it since 2011 and it was a hand-me-down from my mother who used it for some amount of time before that, let’s go with “elderly (in camera years)” and leave it at that. On the right, the V-Lux Typ 114, which is O_O shall we say a little bit larger.

I’m okay with this. I just didn’t realize how much larger it would be. Still nothing compared to my father’s setup, but his rig — body and lens — weighs about four pounds, which is way more than I ever want to carry around myself. This should be fine. I’m going to sit down with the instruction manual and learn how it works, including both the stuff the V-Lux 2 couldn’t do and the stuff the V-Lux 2 could do but I never actually learned it, and then I’m going to find an excuse to go photograph something dark just so I can cackle at what it’s like to have an up-to-date sensor that isn’t borderline at ISO 400 and useless above that.

Best thing? I called the Leica store in San Francisco yesterday to ask when the Typ 114 was going to be released, and the guy told me they’d arrived that morning. I thought about going to the city to pick it up, but it turned out that shipping would cost less than parking, would require zero effort on my part, and would have the camera to me today — way sooner than I could have gotten up there to claim it in person. Laziness for the win!

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

1 October 2014 12:29 - Stories, stories, everywhere
swan_tower: (Default)

A number of these things have been piling up:

  • “Daughter of Necessity” is live at Tor.com today! Some of you heard me read this at FOGcon this past spring; well, now it’s out in the world. With fabulous art by Ashley MacKenzie — seriously, it is gorgeous and amazingly appropriate to the story and not a spoiler. Which is a remarkable balance to strike.
  • I just got my contributor copies for Zombies: More Recent Dead, which includes a reprint of “What Still Abides.” (Shhhh, don’t tell Paula Guran that I used to refer to that as my Anglo-Saxon vampire story. It’s as much a zombie story as it is a vampire story, which is to say it isn’t really either, but you can read it both ways depending on the angle you tilt your head at.)
  • The anthology made from the first four issues of Mythic Delirium‘s online reboot won’t be out until November, but it’s gotten a starred review from Publishers Weekly, with a specific shout-out to my story “The Wives of Paris.”

(Now I feel like there ought to be five things. But at the rate I do (or don’t do) short fiction-related stuff these days, that would mean delaying even longer, which is silly.)

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

ceciliatan: (default)

I’m so excited to announce I’ll be the keynote speaker at the next BDSM Writers Conference!

AUGUST 20-23, 2015 in New York City!

What’s BDSM Writers Con, you say? Organized by Dr. Charley Ferrer in New York City, “BWC” has quickly become the top place for writers, editors, and readers of BDSM fiction, romance, and erotica to meet, connect, and learn. There’s a revolution on folks: with the explosion in popularity of BDSM within fiction, we have both tons of new people entering the BDSM community through literature, and we have essentially a whole new constituency within romance readership with kinky folk who are finally finding books where they’re represented! There is so much we have to learn from each other. As someone who has been writing erotica for over 20 years and who has been a BDSM community activist for over 20 years, I’ve had one foot in each of these worlds all along. Now they’re finally merging, and BDSM Writers Con seems like the ultimate place for that to happen!

Last year’s keynote speaker was the lovely Joey W. Hill (Natural Law, Ice Queen, etc.): having just met Joey at Authors After Dark, and having heard her speak so passionately and eloquently about BDSM in fiction there, I know I’ll have a tough act to follow!

From the BDSM Writers Con Website: “The definitive conference for authors & readers of Dominance & submission. BDSM Writers Con is for writers, readers and everyone who’s interested in exploring the world of Dominance and submission. There’s no other conference where you get to hang out with your favorite BDSM authors, meet new ones, and actually have fun learning and exploring with them.”

Registration is now open: http://bdsmwriterscon.com/2015-registration — and the “early bird” $200 special price is only good until October 15th.

What will I be doing at BWC? I’ll be delivering a keynote speech on Friday night, and I’ll be teaching two workshops that I am developing exclusively for BWC:

“A Dom Is Not Just an Alpha in Leather”
There are complex and valid reasons why female readers may choose to fantasize about a range of non-consensual scenarios in romance novels, from the classic “kidnapped into a sheik’s harem” to the currently popular “fated to be an alpha werewolf’s mate” and “met a billionaire who won’t take no for an answer.” But I feel it’s very important to distinguish between fantasy scenarios and depictions of real life. While the lines that are crossed in fiction may fall in a different place than they do in real life, acknowledgement that lines and boundaries exist is the first step. These fantasy archetypes are “safe” fantasies for women to indulge precisely because they are NOT real life. Where will our kinky heroes of the future fit in the pantheon of romance archetypes? And when it comes to real life BDSM, how do those archetypes present themselves in dungeon role-playing? In the real BDSM community, doms who come across as pushy assholes or stalkers rarely last. When asked what qualities they valued in a dom, subs I surveyed used words like nurturing, competent, and loyal. We’ll discuss the many flavors of dom and the many types of romance heroes whose kinky sides can be explored.

“Doms are from Mars, Subs are from Venus”
Some of you may have participated in my BDSM couples communication workshop “Tops are from Mars, Bottoms are from Venus.” I realized that the same issues that we get at in that workshop are crucial for writers trying to understand the D/s dynamic between their characters. BDSM fiction provides a unique opportunity to look deeply into the dynamic of communication and exchange of power that takes place between a dominant and a submissive. This workshop is aimed at writers and readers who want to understand that complex dynamic and how that understanding can enrich the stories we tell. Doms and subs have different modes of communication and sometimes even vastly different interpretations of what they say or do: in both real life and fiction it’s crucial to tease apart these differences and it’s crucial to convey to readers each character’s intent. Miscommunications take place between doms and subs all the time when they misread each other’s intentions: come learn some of the common pitfalls and breakdown points that BDSM practitioners struggle with in real life and use them to expand your own understanding of the dynamic and/or discover new conflicts to put your characters through.

Plus there will be booksignings, receptions and opportunities to meet and hang out. One highlight of the convention will be an outing to a BDSM/fetish club night. Awesome, no?

Hope to see you all there!

2015_BDSM-writers_con-header

ceciliatan_133px_wideSlow Surrender CoverCecilia Tan is “simply one of the most important writers, editors, and innovators in contemporary American erotic literature,” according to Susie Bright. Her BDSM romance novel Slow Surrender (Hachette/Forever, 2013) won the RT Reviewers Choice Award in Erotic Romance. Her books often explores sex, sensuality, and sexuality, among them: Black Feathers (1998, HarperCollins), White Flames (2004, Running Press), and Edge Plays (2008, Circlet Press), The Prince’s Boy (Circlet Press), and The Hot Streak (2014, Riverdale Avenue Books). Her short stories have appeared in Ms. Magazine, Nerve, Best American Erotica, Asimov’s Science Fiction, and tons of other places. Tan was inducted into the Saints & Sinners Hall of Fame for GLBT writers in 2010, was a recipient of the Lifetime Achievement Award from the National Leather Association in 2004.

Mirrored from blog.ceciliatan.com.

1 October 2014 11:16 - Reading Wednesday Takes a Break
pantryslut: (Default)
I finished up both "A Mermaid in Chelsea Creek" and "Coraline" late last week, but I haven't started anything new. In my defense, the kids' 6th birthday, with two parties and other festivities, plus work deadlines, might have something to do with that. I'm sure I'll have more next week.
1 October 2014 14:00 - I keep getting spam
james_davis_nicoll: (Default)
For techniques guaranteed to cure diabetes (which I do not have). I wonder the body count for that particular scam is? I doubt it is zero.
1 October 2014 12:02 - ISO month-long project.
xtina: The list that the Mayor held in BtVS s3e14. (list)
[personal profile] rosefox suggests a month-long project to help distract me from current frustrating-sadness. I don't know what I could do that would sufficiently distract me. Options:

- Study something related to my job.
- Buy and assemble bookshelves for my room. Subsequently log books.
- Start working on that knitted-squares-blanket thing R and I are slated to do.
- Complete that fire-safety page on our intranet and purchase what needs purchasing.
- Bite the bullet and set up a proper file server at home.
- I don't know.

Input is entirely welcome, so long as you have a vague idea of who I am (and so don't suggest daft things like "go for a hike").
swan_tower: (Default)

Moss-Covered Urn
Creative Commons License
This work by http://www.swantower.com is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.

October will be a themed month, sort of — the theme is “October-ish stuff,” which is to say autumn color, cemeteries, and bones. (Only two photos of bones, if you’re put off by that sort of thing.)

To start us off, I have one of my favorite photos from my 2013 trip to England and France. This is a funerary urn in Highgate Cemetery, covered in a velvet layer of moss. I know all the growth on and around the monuments in Highgate is not good for them, and people are working to restore the ones that have been badly damaged . . . but of course the partially ruined state of the place constitutes a large part of its aesthetic appeal.

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

1 October 2014 07:54 - Rabbit, Rabbit, Rabbit!
wcg: (Default)


Happy Kalends of Octoberis.

Are you prepared for the October Horse?
1 October 2014 10:50 - Hello!
foxfinial: (chatuchak market)
I was on holiday for over a month! It was very needed. Highlights of the holiday: time spent with excellent friends, eating endless tasty food, being covered in cats, 1,500km road trip, rocks. Not highlights: so many long flights. Now I'm living in Oxford where I'll soon be starting the Masters in Classical Armenian Studies. I'm in college-owned housing, in a room on the top floor where I can see the sky and leaves (on deciduous trees, sadly, turning to brown like the death of the sun and warmth), and it's going to be a good (and hard, and rewarding) year.

For now, a cute snake-warning sign on the Southern Ocean coast of Western Australia:

snaaaake
1 October 2014 01:45 - The SF3 Board's An Apology
james_davis_nicoll: (Default)

The SF3 Board extends heartfelt apologies to those who have been harassed at WisCon, to those who feel unsafe at WisCon, to the ConCom, and to our wider community, for letting you down. We regret allowing Rose Lemberg’s report to languish.
yhlee: Korean tomb art from Silla Dynasty: the Heavenly Horse (Cheonmachong). (Korea cheonmachong)
- recent reading
[personal profile] yeloson's Extended Character Concept Generator--intended for RPGs, but possibly of use to writers. This specific method doesn't work for my brain (ironically, I think it's too logical and my brain wants characters to step out of weird netherspaces) but I think it's a very nifty tool. Anyway, a teaser:
You could either fill out the whole thing, or, just do the first sentence and fill out one or two of the other sentences- filling in more as play develops.

Extended Character Concept Generator

A (personality trait) (profession/role) trying to (goal) despite her (flaw).

She wants to become (profession/positive trait), achieve (social status), overcome/move beyond (past trouble, mistake, tragedy). She believes in (ideal or personal credo) and can’t stand people who (believe other credo/behave in a certain way). People know her as (reputation) and expect that she will (achieve/fail/become something).

I could fill something like this out for a character once they're clear in my head; I just can't do this when I'm trying to come up with a new character, if you see the difference. But maybe it will work for some of you!

- recent viewing
The Great Queen Seondeok through ep. 51. Read more... )

The Good Wife 6.1-6.2. Read more... )
james_davis_nicoll: (Default)
Since the military is not set up to contain Dreadnaughts, the German prisoners are tied up securely and dragged off to Magister Angle's tower where they can rot in his magical prison. Only though a bizarre sequence of events could anything go horribly wrong.

Interesting bit of trivia: the Dreadnaught who got away has luck powers.

Read more... )
30 September 2014 23:47 - September's Reviews in ... review
james_davis_nicoll: (Default)
Days put to no good use: 1, 4, 6, 13, 20, 22 and 23. Even granting a day off a week, that's three days wasted. Although actually there was at least one SFBC book in there. And 2 for RT. Let's add those...



          T       F    M     Mu     
JDN      23      11   12
SFBC      1            1
RT        2       2 
Total    26      13    13  


(does a little jig)
30 September 2014 23:45 - good things of the day
jinian: (c'est la vie)
Less pain, better sleep, yaaaaay!

Our front desk person pointed out to me some bird's nest fungi right outside the building, and I got a decent picture with just my phone and a hand lens. Must charge my real camera with the good macro lens and take better ones!

Saw a seminar about the history of the glass flowers and invertebrates.

Helped out J with a very annoying administrative task.

Sent difficult email in a way that I think was both fair and loving.

More fun links:
"babe can i show you my d*ck"
Natural 20s and natural 1s
Anime glasses for all
Aretha Franklin covered "Rolling In The Deep"
james_davis_nicoll: (Default)
In a meeting Tuesday in Toronto, NASA Administrator Charles Bolden and K. Radhakrishnan, chairman of the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO), signed two documents to launch a NASA-ISRO satellite mission to observe Earth and establish a pathway for future joint missions to explore Mars.
30 September 2014 19:19 - Too retro?
james_davis_nicoll: (Default)
Idly considering Thirteen Days of Atomigeddon for October 14-28.
james_davis_nicoll: (Default)
If it wasn't too late for "preemptive":

The U.S sends 3000 people to help Ebola and now its here..this is all a plan..there will Martial law and curfews within a year in major cities..there will be home invasion by authorities and FEMA camps...there will be civil disobedience and unrest..and of course DEATH !!
james_davis_nicoll: (Default)
My review of Jane Dentinger's 1983 theatrical murder mystery Murder on Cue may be found here.
30 September 2014 14:17 - My sweet lady lioness
sovay: (Sovay: David Owen)
So I knew that musical instruments had been found in the tomb of Tutankhamun. I did not know they had ever been played in the modern era, much less broadcast by the BBC. (Thank you, [livejournal.com profile] strange_selkie!) I am fairly certain they were not used by the Eighteenth Dynasty to blow British Army bugle calls, but the sound is still striking and haunting.

The cats were in the dining room, circling the table and their new toys (a pair of plumily feathered mouse-fish, one spotted black-and-white, the other blue and electric lime green. The former looks like a sort of fluffy lionfish; it's been shedding all over the house as they bat it from end to end. The latter is plainly a denizen of tropical reefs, the peacock of the sea). At the first notes of the silver trumpet, they stopped what they were doing and gazed raptly at my computer. They paced. Then the bronze one sounded. Hestia laid back her ears and charged into the kitchen. She ran back and threw herself at [livejournal.com profile] derspatchel's office door, which she opened with the quick twist of her paws that is becoming simultaneously amazing to watch and really annoying.

The armies of Sekhmet are on the march.
30 September 2014 11:08 - Face-palm
james_davis_nicoll: (Default)
Have I really never used the title the Women Gardner Dozois Doesn't See?

BSF32
swan_tower: (Default)

Bright Blue Beetles
Creative Commons License
This work by http://www.swantower.com is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.

Today we are kicking it old-school, not just with another print scan, but with a photo from my oldest album. I thought I wasn’t interested in photography until I went to Costa Rica; then I realized I just needed to be in a place worth taking pictures of.

Or at least presented with beetles worth taking pictures of. :-)

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

30 September 2014 10:47 - Links with occasional stories
I'm in Orlando for a work conference. Have some links while I'm offline, since I need to close tabs to make room for work-related stuff.

1. I share this memory of Pizza Hut so completely. When I was growing up, it wasn't a silly deliver-focused chain. It was what we'd call a "casual dining" restaurant today, like Chili's or Olive Garden. You'd walk in, get a table, order like real adults, etc. The pizza would come to your table in a cast iron pan, still flaming hot. It was so good, and such a better experience than what you have now (both in terms of flavor and experience).

2. There's am infrequently-updated website dedicated to classic calculators of the '80s. I went through a lot of devices like these (including some of the early pocket-organizer types). I even had a Casio Databank (although a slightly later generation). And I might have used some of the faux-organizers in high school to also store formulae for Calculus. Of course, that would have been wrong, so I'm merely throwing out a hypothetical. But yeah, loved these things almost as much as I loved the Game and Watch and other tech of the era.

3. It's an old piece, but I finally got around to reading FilmCritHulk's article on Guardians of the Galaxy and the art of constructing jokes. As with much of what FCH writes, it's a solid look at an element of story structure we often don't think about.

4. As an upper-middle-class Jewish kid growing up in New York, I had fond memories of family vacations at the Borscht Belt hotels, particularly the Concord. I first saw Jackie Mason there, spent hours playing games in their arcade, and played tennis with Vitas Gerulaitis (seriously). So the Ruins of the Borscht Belt slideshow and article is fascinating to me, as is the more recent follow-up in the Times.

5. I loved getting mail as a kid, and still do, now. So this article on the post office, written by someone who shared my love, is depressing as hell. From the management to the horrible laws restricting the organization, it's not a pretty site, but it's well worth reading all the way through to the conclusion (which is not, spoiler alert, to scrap the whole thing.).
30 September 2014 08:59 - Another Day, Another Mansplainer
jimhines: (Snoopy Writing)

A friend of mine posted something about catcalling and street harassment. To the absolute shock of … well, pretty much nobody, the very first comment on her post was a guy explaining why women shouldn’t be afraid of catcalling, and isn’t it funny how the women complaining aren’t the ones experiencing the “privilege” of being catcalled in the first place? Also, women wouldn’t be afraid if they carried guns, and the real threat are guys “in a dark van with no windows parked next to your car in the Walmart parking lot.”

His suggestion? “Now what would happen if a woman who’s the center of the cat call took the power back, walked up to the offending rake and asked for his number and told him to show a little respect and maybe if he was lucky she’d let him earn the opportunity to do some real cat calling?”

This is the point where I facepalmed so hard I gave myself a concussion.

Guys, is it really that hard to shut the hell up and listen instead of immediately trying to tell women why they’re wrong about their own lives and experiences?

It’s pathetically predictable.

  1. Woman complains about harassment.
  2. Dudebro feels uncomfortable.
  3. Dudebro tells woman why she’s wrong to feel that way.

Because Dudebro’s discomfort at women complaining about harassment is somehow more important and valid than women’s discomfort about actually being harassed.

The CDC put out a report this year about sexual violence, after completing more than 12,000 interviews. They found that one in five women have been raped in their lifetimes, and 99% of those rapes were committed by men. (The report states that about two percent of men were raped as well, which I strongly suspect is an underestimate. They also found that approximately 80% of those rapes were also committed by men.)

“But I’m not like those other men,” says Dudebro, waving the “Not All Men” flag with righteous pride.

Then stop acting like them.

  • When a woman says she’s uncomfortable with something and wants you to knock it off, stop arguing. Stop telling her she’s wrong, and stop making excuses to keep doing it.
  • Stop pretending it’s about complimenting women. (Here’s a tip: Compliments don’t go from, “Hey baby” to “Fuck you, you stuck-up bitch” in the blink of an eye.)
  • Stop treating women as objects you’re entitled to instead of people.

You seriously want women to believe you’re not an asshole and a potential threat? Start by shutting up for a minute and actually listening to what women are saying.

Mirrored from Jim C. Hines.

30 September 2014 08:34 - good things from yesterday
jinian: Hana, Chisa, and Fujiko from 7 Seeds (three is for victory)
Awesomeness by me:
- Took antihistamine nose spray
- Managed to get an herb refill, since my tummy is very sad and has been for a while (was on a half dose, running out when taking more)
- Taped most of the kitchen boxes and stowed them in the attic
- Marked the wall for the motion-detecting light
- Paid rent, including figuring out incidental cost splits
- Cleaned the kitchen very well
- Made us a chore chart with foil stars


All of the United States of Pop songs are amazing and go beyond mashup into cohesive audio collage with original song structure, but the only one that runs through my head regularly and still makes me smile is 2009.
ceciliatan: (default)

This past weekend the National Leather Association held its annual meeting of general membership at the Beyond Vanilla conference in Dallas. The winners of this year’s NLA Writing Awards were announced there!

I am a former winner of the NLA Lifetime Achievement award (2004), and my novel The Prince’s Boy was given Honorable Mention in the NLA Writing Awards. I have been serving as a judge in non-fiction for the awards ever since. We had some truly amazing and creative books in non-fiction this year: one of the most disparate and varied slates we’ve ever had. It was very difficult to judge some works against each other: it wasn’t even apples versus oranges, it was more like apples versus bicycles versus mailboxes. It’s wonderful to see so much publishing and writing on BDSM flourishing these days.

nla_awards_nonfic(Dallas, TX) — Here’s the official press release:

September 27, 2014: For Immediate Release

National Leather Association: International, a leading organization for activists in the pansexual SM/leather community, announced the winners for excellence in literary works in SM/leather/fetish writing published in 2013 at its Annual General Meeting in Dallas, TX September 26-28, 2014 and held during Beyond Vanilla. The judges received a greater number of nominations this year than ever before and judging in most categories was quite difficult with such exemplary pieces of writing.

With so many wonderful works coming in decisions were very difficult for the judges so there was a tie in the Non-Fiction Book category. Winners of the Geoff Mains Non-Fiction Book Award are John Huxley for The Artisan’s Book of Fetishcraft: Patterns and Instructions for Creating Professional Fetishwear, Restraints and Sensory Equipment (Greenery Press) and F.R.R. Mallory for The Kinky Feminist (self-published). Honorable mention in this category goes to Thom Magister for Biker Bar: Bikes, Beer, and Boys: A Playful Look at the Roots of the Leather Bar (Perfectbound Press)

nla_awards_covers_fictionIn the John Preston Short Fiction category, the winner is Peter Masters for “Imperfect Journeys” (self-published). Honorable mention for short story goes to D. L. King for “Mr. Smith, Ms. Jones Will See You Now” from the anthology Ageless Erotica, ed. Joan Price.

Winner of the Samois Anthology Award is Laura Antoniou (ed.), No Safewords (Circlet Press). Honorable mention goes to Sassafras Lowrey (ed.), for Leather Ever After: An Anthology of Kinky Fairy Tales (Ravenous Publications)

Pauline Reage Novel category winner is Laura Antoniou for The Killer Wore Leather (Cleis Press). The judges had were unable to select only one runner up so there was a tie for Honorable Mention in this category. Honorable Mentions go to Chris Bellows for The Blacksmith’s Daughter (Pink Flamingo Publications) and to Elizabeth Schechter for House of Sable Locks (Circlet Press)

The winner of the Cynthia Slater Non-fiction Article Award is I.G. Fredrick for “What Some Women Tops and Bottoms Have in Common” which appeared on October 12 in BDSM Book Reviews (www.bdsmbookreviews.com). Honorable Mention in this category goes to Janet Hardy for “My Tantric “Awakening” Turned Me Off Sex” which appeared March 15 in Salon (www.salon.com)

Nominations for literary works published in 2014 will open later this year. If you have any questions please direct them to the committee chair at nlai.awards @ gmail.com.

Mirrored from blog.ceciliatan.com.

29 September 2014 16:51 - Yes Gay YA strikes back!
rachelmanija: (Engaged!)
Due to the upcoming release of Stranger, I am doing some interviews in which I will be asked how or if things have changed in terms of LGBT characters in YA novels. I am armed, of course, with the most recent statistics. (Summary: representation has increased from 0.6% of all YA novels to 2%. However, most of those books are put out by LGBTQ-specialty small presses, and the percentage of LGBTQ characters in YA novels from American large presses has actually gone down.)

However, I spent the intervening years mostly focused on grad school, and so am not caught up on recent books. Are there any YA novels that have come out since 2010 with LGBTQ characters that I should check out or at least be aware of? What about self-published books? Any prominent LGBTQ teenage characters in non-book media (comics, movies, etc?)

Any changes in your own personal experience? For example, I have noticed that just in my circle of friends/acquaintances, kids seem to be coming out younger (13-15, as opposed to 18-20) and with less or no negative reactions from others. Obviously, these are kids from liberal families in LA. But I always knew liberals in LA, and I did not encounter any kids coming out at age 13 until about five years ago. Ditto straight teenage boys wearing gay rights buttons.
29 September 2014 16:38 - Sort of a Weekend Update
pantryslut: (Default)
1. I got rid of seven boxes of books yesterday. I felt a little guilty, however, that I called for a pickup from the donation destination, and they sent a seventysomething man and his station wagon to fetch it. He didn't even have a hand cart.

2. Another skill I have courtesy of sex parties: lightning-fast setup and breakdown skills when needed. Also the ability to port a fabulous party in a couple cardboard boxes and a mail bin or two.

3. Dear Headache Diary: I will always pay for skipped meals. One cannot will away the resultant migraine; sooner or later it will catch up with you. Also, how stupid is it that one of my migraine trigger is not eating enough, but once the migraine begins I can't fix it properly b/c one of my primary migraine symptoms is nausea? (Though not actual emesis, thankfully. Most of the time.)

4. 90% of all conversations with people visiting my home for the first time will involve my cookbooks collection. 75% of all conversation with people visiting my home for the first time will involve my back yard.

5. The East Oakland Sports Center totally rocks.
29 September 2014 18:41 - The UWaterloo paper reviewed us!
james_davis_nicoll: (Default)
Lovers of sci-fi and fantasy at UW don’t need to go beyond their own backyards to find skilled authors in both genres, as the KW Science Fiction and Fantasy convention held last Saturday in Kitchener proved. In fact, James Nicoll, the MC of the event, stated that KW is home for quite a number of them.
yhlee: kitty with paw outstretched (kitty paw (evil_little_dog))
Yoon is bored
Sorry, I'm taking today off after working through the weekend. Someone throw a meme at me, or writing process questions, or marry/shag/throw-off-a-cliff, or cute animal pictures? Otherwise I will be curled up on the couch reading Ender's Game.

- recent ridiculous
By way of a friend, videos of kittens enacting Assassin's Creed. Bwah. This one's for you, [personal profile] telophase!

- recent reading

K.M. Weiland. Outlining Your Novel: Map Your Way to Success. This is a middling novel-outlining how-to book. I bought it using leftover Amazon gift card points over the weekend because I needed popcorn reading. I have finally wound around to the point where how-to books on writing are amusing again. I'm very good at saying "F*** you" whenever I see something I violently disagree with or find stupidheaded. (What are they going to do? Give me an F for not following instructions?)

The short version, for those who want to skip the notes below, is that this is solidly mediocre. I wouldn't spend money on it (well, I did, but you know what I mean) but if you have it in the library, it has a lot of useful basics.

Weiland thankfully avoids the most stupidheaded thing I usually see in these books, which is the THOU SHALT. Instead, she says at the beginning that while this is a book of tips and methods, you should experiment and use what works for you.

Weiland's prose is honestly rather bland. It's useful to see her examples of outlining techniques that she used for her own novels, or brainstorming outtakes, etc., but based on this hell no would I ever buy one of her actual novels. (I mean, I could be wrong, maybe her novels are better than they sound, but I have tons of actually-interesting-sounding nonfiction to read, so why chance it?)

There's nothing earthshattering here, but there's a variety of reasonably solid tips and methods, including a few that I hadn't seen before. I'm sure most of you who care about these things are already familiar with the Enneagram, Patricia C. Wrede's Fantasy Worldbuilding Questions [SFWA], character questionnaires, notecards, and the basic beats of story structure.

One feature I did enjoy was that the book includes a number of interviews with authors who use outlining, so that you can see that even here there is some variation of approach. ([personal profile] daedala, one of the interviews was with Larry Brooks, haha.) Also, Weiland takes her examples from a variety of genres (sf/f, mystery, historical, etc.), which I appreciated.

I'm unlikely to switch my basic method for working up a chapter outline for a novel at this point, but some of the other stuff was entertaining. Really, I picked this up to have something fast and amusing to read while I was stuck at Joe's office waiting for him to be done with some work he was doing Saturday. We should hit up the library sometime so I can get amsuing writing how-to books out for free from there.

While I'm at it, why do I seem cursed to pick out how-to-write books that always have stupid, bland, boring made-up examples of plot/idea/theme things (as opposed to examinations of existing stories/movies/etc.)? I mean, the Brian Kitely writing exercise book was psychotic (in a terrifying yet highly entertaining way, I'm pretty sure one exercise was to excise one letter of the alphabet and write a story without said letter, I refuse to do the Oulipo thing so HELL NO) but at least it wasn't boring. I mean, here's one bit from the book on "Structuring Your Story":
Beginning
[...]
- Create an inciting event that forever changes the MC's [MC = main character] status quo. Rock the character's world in a way he didn't see coming. Perhaps his family is murdered. Perhaps he is caught cheating on an important test. Or perhaps he unexpectedly time travels twenty years into the future.

[...]

Ending
[...]
- Let the MC reach his goals....Perhaps he finds peace in the aftermath of his family's deaths. Perhaps, now having repented of cheating, he studies for the test, retakes it, and gets that A hhe needs. Perhaps he comes to grips with his new time-traveling power and uses it to improve his ability to live in the present.


One of the reasons I hate typical character questionnaires is that they're almost always full of junk that doesn't even apply to the setting/culture I'm writing about. Astrological signs, I'm looking at you.
29 September 2014 15:16 - Also, there is a shark
james_davis_nicoll: (Default)
My review of Sewer, Gas & Electric: The Public Works Trilogy by Matt Ruff, which I am sad to say I didn't like as much this time around as I did the first time.
29 September 2014 13:58 - Today's idle question
james_davis_nicoll: (Default)
Most stars are red dwarfs. Currently it seems like red dwarfs may host a fair number of potentially life-bearing worlds.

Imagine a technological civilization like ours on an earthlike world around a star like Groombridge 34A: the planet orbits at about 0.08 AU and it takes about 13 days to orbit once around its star, which means the planet is moving at something like 70 km/s. That's very roughly twice Earth's and that's because of how luminosity and stellar mass are related.

If the orbital velocities are higher, doesn't that mean the transfer orbits will demand higher delta vees? We have a hard enough time giving probes the delta vee to get them from world to world using chemical rockets. Would the problem be intractable for entities whose home-worlds orbited dim stars?
29 September 2014 13:47 - The case for open borders
wcg: (Default)
[personal profile] jae linked to this article, which explains why the whole world would benefit if we stopped trying to lock people into their native economies, and instead allowed them to seek out work wherever they can find it.

I've been saying the things found in the article -- though not as clearly -- for decades. In an era where we've decided to let multinational corporations seek out the most favorable business conditions wherever they can find them, it makes more sense than ever before to let labor do the same thing.
29 September 2014 13:00 - Just to clear something up
james_davis_nicoll: (Default)
I have no intention of leaving Livejournal (or Dreamwidth). My review site is in addition to More Words, Deeper Hole, not in place of.

I thought I made that clear.
james_davis_nicoll: (Default)

Houston, we have a problem! Dr. Mary Kendricks (Krysten Ritter, "Don't Trust the B---- in Apartment 23") is a tough but brilliant aerospace engineer, leading a team of NASA scientists at the cutting edge of space exploration. The only problem is, this is the 1960s and she's a woman. Navigating the ridiculous boys' club of astronauts and engineering nerds is no easy task, but she's up to the challenge... until her boss brings on Tom (Tommy Dewey, "The Mindy Project") - a former hotshot test pilot and overall man's man - to co-manage her team. It doesn't help that he initially mistakes her for a secretary. Between him, her astronaut boyfriend Cash and her offbeat all-guy team, Mary certainly has her hands full... but at the end of the day, they all want the same thing: to get a man on the moon. It might just take a woman to get him there.

From Executive Producers Will Ferrell and Adam McKay ("Anchorman," "Step Brothers," "Talladega Nights") comes a workplace comedy, in the tone of "Anchorman," about the golden age of American ingenuity and space travel... if they can just get their ship together.

Half-hour comedy (single-camera)
29 September 2014 11:55 - Sponsored Reviews (7)
james_davis_nicoll: (Default)
Long. The important thing is that I am almost out of sponsored reviews.

Read more... )
29 September 2014 08:00 - A Year in Pictures – Etched Window
swan_tower: (Default)

Etched Window
Creative Commons License
This work by http://www.swantower.com is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.

If I needed evidence that proper cameras still have the edge over cameraphones, this provides it. I tried to take a photo of this window (in the Okinawan Prefectural Budokan) with my phone, and it came out useless, with the etching totally washed out. When I came back the next day with my actual camera, though, I could control the settings enough that it came out beautifully.

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

29 September 2014 09:05 - notes from yesterday
jinian: (c'est la vie)
More unpacking! Negotiated what of mine is going in the kitchen, so the rest can go to the attic. Still working on the clothes, but having more room to play Boxes of Hanoi in will help a lot.

Swept the floors like an awesome person.

As a household, we have hit some kind of critical mass for silly ice cube trays. From C: koi, UFOs/moons. From me: brains, robots/clock-keys. From M (and his person J): delight and plans for drink parties.

Nice dinner with roommates, maybe the last time we'll cook outdoors this season.

It's been too long since I watched a movie with my person J. Donnie Darko turns out to be pretty great! (Warnings: fridging, very scary Patrick Swayze, bad therapy.)
29 September 2014 08:06 - Spider Goddess Giveaway
jimhines: (Snoopy Writing)

Look what came in Friday’s mail:

Spider Goddess ARC

I only have a few print ARCs for Rise of the Spider Goddess, but I’ve managed to set up a Goodreads giveaway for one of them. Click here to enter.

This one is U.S. only, but I plan on doing something else soon for a worldwide giveaway.

In the meantime, I spent some time Friday afternoon chatting with the cover artist about ideas, and he’s planning to have a few sketches for me by the end of this week. I also went through the book to note and correct any problems. There weren’t too many — a handful of typesetting and kerning glitches, and I needed a better dagger graphic. I also had a typo with the release date on the back cover. But so far, I think we’re well on track for that December 2 release date.

I guess I’ll have a novel out this year after all :-)

Mirrored from Jim C. Hines.

29 September 2014 00:53 - "Don't sit under the apple tree"
rosefox: A cheerful chef made out of ginger. (cooking)
For [twitter.com profile] glossaria, who accused me of cruelty after tweeting about eating apple crumble at 12:45 a.m., an untested but theoretically workable mug-size version that's vegan and GF-able:

Apples:
0.5 c apple pieces (half-inch cubes work well)

Coating:
1.25 tsp sugar
0.25 tsp cornstarch
1 pinch ground cinnamon
barest sprinkling of salt

Topping:
4 tsp old-fashioned oats, chopped coarsely (or whole if you're feeling lazy)
2 tsp flour (any gluten-free flour blend will do fine if you're GF)
2 tsp almond meal
2.75 tsp (1 scant Tbsp) packed light or dark brown sugar
1 pinch ground cinnamon
1 pinch ground ginger
2.75 tsp (1 scant Tbsp) melted refined coconut oil or canola oil

Put a bit of oil on a paper towel and use it to grease the inside of a microwave-safe mug or ramekin. Mix the coating ingredients, thoroughly coat the apples, and pour them into the mug. Mix the dry topping ingredients, add the oil, mix the topping until it resembles wet sand, and spoon it over the apples. Drape a piece of paper towel loosely over the mug to catch any spatters and microwave on High in 30-second increments until the oats are soft, the coating is molten and bubbling, and the apples are tender with just a bit of crunch. (This should take 2 to 3 minutes depending on your microwave.) Drop in a scoop of vanilla ice cream and eat immediately.

You can mix all the dry topping ingredients together in advance and add the oil at the last minute. If you do this, I recommend using the amounts from the original recipe. Then take 11 tsp of the topping mix (that's 1/4 cup minus 1 tsp, or just a scant quarter-cup), mix with oil, put on top of the coated apples, and you're good to go.
29 September 2014 00:59 - The Power of Math Compels Me
james_davis_nicoll: (Default)
To ask for suggestions for translated mysteries and speculative fiction by women.

If I aim for six reviews a week, evenly divided between female and male authors, and I still am doing the Heinlein rereads *and* translated books keep trending male, then two of three slots for men are filled before I begin allocating spots each week.
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