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eneit July 24 2014, 02:19

advice from a blog post ...

or advice from an fb meme, both are often as relevant as is reading ones daily horoscope for free in the local newspaper. The advice is worth about what you paid for it. I have a friend who has studied astrology extensively, she gives the general tips on her website, and invites people to do their own work to learn more. I like her approach *vbg* A friend on fb linked to this blog piece with advice on the elegant art of not giving a shit, and I love the flow chart that goes with it, it has good basic advice - for neural-typical adults. I have been told by people who love me well, that I am no longer allowed to play the acquired brain injury card, but for this, I am going to.

I have my own version of not giving a shit. It isn't totally dissimilar from what is described here, except that rather than learn to recognise the beginning emotions and choose to do something else, I need to look at whatever has hit my particular triggers, analyse it and understand it, then move on. I was brought up debating politics and allowed to read pretty much anything. (Though I suspect Mum wasn't pleased when I found Dad's 50s era racy novels, and my brothers' stash of Easy Rider magazines* - possibly understandable as I was about nine at the time - mind you I also read Kafka and the complete works of Enid Blyton that same year ...) And to lose a huge part of my memory, being unable to recall names (I still struggle) and facts. I had to 'give a shit' or I'd have lost too much of myself. So I found ways to compensate for the brain injury. I often react/respond with my gut instinct, and I'm rarely wrong when I do that, but I still need to think, analyse and understand why something is so. How much time I allow that to intrude is directly related to how important the situation/people involved are to me. Only I can work that out, small stuff might just require me to double check some facts, bigger stuff, and emotions get as much time as they need til I understand. I don't put my life on hold while I do this, which is probably a very good thing.

So, if you haven't already, go read the Elegant Art of Not Giving a Shit, but remember, it's advice from a blog post, and only you can work out how much a shit you need to give and why :)

* I probably should have kept the magazines, 1975 - 79 copies of those in good condition would find a market today.

kellyrfineman July 24 2014, 00:53

Woodland Litter Critters ABC by Patience Mason, illus. by Robert Mason

Patience Mason was kind enough to send me a copy of her self-published abecediary, Woodland Litter Critters ABC, which has one of the clearest alphabets, in both capital and lower-case letters, that I've seen in a while.

Each page features different "litter critters", which are small creatures assembled by Patience from items she finds on her woodland walks -- what some people might consider cast-offs, or detritus, repurposed creatively by Patience and photographed by her husband, Robert. The very last page of the book includes some photos with diagrams that explain what some of the "critters" were made of, which would allow readers to make some of their own critters.

Patience's sense of fun is plain to see, and the entire project just goes to show how creative people can be.

Site Meter

ann_leckie July 24 2014, 00:42


So, I’m not going to Wiscon next year.

There are lots of things I could say, but mostly they’ve already been said. I’m glad the concom appears to be rethinking their decision, but the fact that it had to be rethought at all is, well, I’ll settle for disheartening, though a stronger word would probably do better.

I wrote a much longer post, but really, everything in it has been said by others. But to me, it all boils down to Wiscon very clearly not having a functional harassment policy. There appear to be quite a few reasons this is the case, and none of them say anything good about how Wiscon is being run.

And the fact is, I love Wiscon. I go nearly every year. Hell, my whole family loves going. I was hoping, up until I saw the committee’s announcement last week, that they’d handle this. And then, desperately, that they’d handle the reaction–clarify somehow, or (way better, because even with the ambiguity about one or four years removed, it was still a bad call, and why do we care when or whether a serial harasser can apologize or not, exactly?) issue a new decision, because better late than never, right? But the comments and blog posts that I’ve seen over the last few days have removed all doubt on that score. The dysfunction on display has been such that even if the committee issued a new ruling tomorrow, I would have no faith they’d understood what had happened and why, and no faith that any future cases would be handled any better.

(And frankly, the stuff coming out just now about how Frenkel apparently lied about the nature of any NDA he might have had with Tor? Only makes things worse. First of all, like I said above, we care about him making an apology why exactly? This keeps Wiscon attendees safe how? And second of all, the guy’s a known serial harasser, and you take his word for this? And you’re shocked when it turns out he lied? Hello?)

Anyway. The end result of all this is, I’m not going to Wiscon next year. And won’t until I see a functioning harassment policy and very possibly a new set of names on the concom.

Mirrored from Ann Leckie.

ysabetwordsmith July 24 2014, 00:42

Play Euclid

Euclid is a geometry game that you can play online.  See a tutorial for it. One interesting feature is that you start out with a set of what they call "primitive" tools (line segment, ray, circle, etc.).  As you solve puzzles, you earn more advanced tools to automate certain functions, such as a triangle maker.  The game calculates the minimum number of moves required to solve a puzzle, as well as whether you're doing it right.
doggiedynasty July 24 2014, 00:02

The Dumpster + PSYCHO PASS

Some people are just disgusting, and I'm quoting: "Having autistic kids that don't eat what we give them" Something along those lines. This lady had an ugly tone when she said it because she was mad at a fast food store. Reminds me of the crap I see on Twitter, like "remember when wheelchairs were not for fat people?" or something like that?

And it also just reminded me: courtesy is good after all. I don't think its regrettable to practice good mannerisms, whether you're told to do so or not (such as a part of your job). There are just some things not worth getting upset about. But one of the reasons why I gave up on online RPing was the attitudes of people in charge.

Also, I watched police drama PSYCHO-PASS Season 1 first episode. I've been spoiled on it a little, but it looks cool. It is different when watching thoroughly. Also, it has an unsettling theme that made me think of myself.

Basically, in this show, if you take too much drugs or maybe drink too much, or have any hint of a troublesome mental illness, you have a death wish. Because members of the Crime Investigation will deem you as a "potential criminal" and will wipe you out. I say "think of myself" because sometimes I think we're better off without a select amount of people when there's no learning from the past. Say like compulsive lying? So if you're an obsessive compulsive lying? Or maybe a psychopath? You have to go to therapy or a ward?

Nasty, but it's true. Urobochi Gen obviously thought of it while writing this show. He's a really...dark guy. And there are definitely a couple people I won't miss.

And to make it worse, they get killed so brutally on the show [PSYCHO PASS]. Not sure how the fate of the hostage will turn out, if they tell me that is.

Rid of criminals? Because of latent mental level.

What about the people who I quoted up there? No, I'm not suggesting that they should die.

When you get older, they suggest confining you to a home or some kind of atmosphere that is not like you know of. That's saying you can't care for yourself any more and you're deteriorating.
doggiedynasty July 23 2014, 23:05


ONTD:Nicki Minaj on Iggy Azalea's success: "Racism is alive & well"

Those comments. As far as I'm concerned.

You can rap about the stupidest shit and still get paid. More importantly, get the RECOGNITION from doing this crap. That is especially for Minaj. The idiot creating a song called "Stupid Hoe".

How do you sit down for hours, contemplating lyrics about someone's dick, your hoes, a bad bar night, or partying in and out wasted? Still a wonder why rap is mostly restricted to this junk-like expression? Mostly. Gotta give them credit -- rappers aren't lazy. Would stay up for hours and hours doing albums.

If the Beasties Boys gave "white rap" a stool to stand on, then it's fine for anyone to aspire in rap.

Do you know what's a highly recognized song? And was high-rank in dance chart "#Selfie". It's not rap, I'm making a comparison. It's stupid and little material.

Racism still exist of course.


cathschaffstump July 23 2014, 22:56


Oh Wiscon, how could you? You were the darling of my convention season, with your feminist emphasis, your stout writer's track, your concern for multiple viewpoints, and your thoughtful programming. Have we just been living a lie?

I don't understand what's happening with your decision regarding Jim Frenkel. Because it seems so unlike you to put the needs of one harasser against the constituents of the convention.

Listen, I'm not going to go over my arguments again. Instead, I'm just going to link to the same post I put up for Readercon a couple of years back. Just change the appropriate personage titles and con titles, and we're good to go.

The issue, dearest Wiscon, is that you must protect your constituency. You're opening yourself up for legal action, should Frenkel harass someone on your watch. You are not equipped to evaluate psychological reform. AND, unlike the case of Readercon's harasser Walling, Frenkel was fired from his job for harassment. If anything, your case is less ambiguous than the Readercon case, yet they took the stronger action.

You know I can't come to the con now, right? I can't come because of where I come from, and what I stand for. I can't back your decision to say that's it's okay for a known harasser to come back based on arbitrary decisions you are not equipped to make professionally. You're letting us down, Wiscon.

What's sad is that you're going to take a membership hit. Wiscon, you are supposed to provide the safe spaces. I shouldn't have to be talking to you as a collective body about the issue of harassment. It's a no brainer at a feminist convention. Right? Right?

Dammit. Wrong.

Give me some reason to come back next year, Wiscon. Grow a spine. Be what you pretend you are.

Otherwise, I will be writing you for a refund of my membership and my dessert salon ticket. Because you're no longer a con I want to attend.

Mirrored from Writer Tamago.

rowyn July 23 2014, 20:47

Friday's Child, by Georgette Heyer

I finished Cotillion just before I went to visit alltoseek, so naturally I was raving to her about how much I liked it. She has long been a Heyer fan, so she bestowed Friday's Child upon me before I left.

This book is also part comedy, with lots of silly Regency-era scrapes and escapes from same. Friday's has a lot more romance to it than Cotillion, but I actually much preferred Cotillion.

This is largely because I found the male protagonist in Friday's difficult to take, mainly because his treatment of the female protagonist for parts of the book is, by modern standards, abusive. He's not a monster by Regency standards, but he's described on multiple occasions as doing things like boxing her ears and shaking her violently. It's the kind of minor violence that was common during the time period but it's squicky to read about it now. The emotional relationship is also rocky: much of the book's tension comes from the female protagonist making some social gaffe that she was understandably unaware of, and the male protagonist exploding at her until he realizes it's not actually her fault she wasn't taught all this as a young girl.

In fairness to the story, the male protagonist does eventually figure out that he's a jerk and has been treating her badly, and the resolution suggests he'll do better going forward. Still. At one point the female protagonist is being pursued by a very nice man who loves her quirky ways and doesn't want her to change. I found myself sorry that it wasn't feasible in the setting for her to ditch the male protagonist in favor of this guy, who really deserved her more.

The other thing that bugged me is there's a lot of terrible "romantic advice" in it, stuff about playing hard to get and suchlike that reminded me of books like The Game and The Rules. In fairness, the protagonists were usually repulsed by this advice and had to be tricked into it by their friends, but the way it ... kind of ... works and the semi-endorsement of such manipulative tactics was ick.

This aside, the book has many good points. The supporting cast was entertaining, well-meaning, and generally likeable. There's lots of funny bits. The protagonists get along well for a substantial chunk of the book, some times because they are both tripping merrily along the same foolhardy path, but it's still amusing to read. Some of the romantic parts are genuinely touching, especially one point where the male protagonist says he'll give up the female protagonist so she can be happy with her more-deserving suitor.

I'll give it a 7, and will read more Heyer later. For now, I'll take a break from Regency romance: it really is a crapsack world, and modern Regency novels keep reminding me of that. (Austen rarely does. I don't know why that is.)
redheadedfemme July 23 2014, 19:02

My tweets

ellenmillion July 23 2014, 18:22

Sketch Tarot update...

Just a drive-by post to let you you know that for the last day of the 78Tarot Kickstarter, you can choose your (not-)mystery sketch, so you can snag one of those first three originals there! If you do end up adding the $25 add-on to your pledge there, I will send you a deck of the finished Sketch Tarot cards for $25! http://ellenmillion.livejournal.com/1462644.html

Here's the 78 Tarot Kickstarter link: kickstarter.com/projects/1309407051/the-78-tarot-project-a-global-art-collaboration

Also, a reminder that Sketch Fest is on Friday!
reudaly July 23 2014, 17:54

[Writing Post] Life, Swag, and Other Things

Originally published at Rhonda Eudaly. You can comment here or there.

Today is supposed to be a writing post, but honestly – that’s not really going to happen. It’s been an… eventful…week, and it’s actually ramping up. I continued my word count progress – it may be small but it’s growing – around the North Texas Comic Book Show (managed to do a bit of editing there). I met a few people and sold a few books. It was good.

My dad was taken to the hospital on Monday evening. We still don’t know what’s wrong with him. He’s finally having some diagnostic work done (hopefully as I type) that will tell us what may be happening. But that’s a distraction no one could foresee. Forgive me if that takes a certain amount of precedence. And with it all, we had structural work done on the house this week, and my husband is fighting off something. And ArmadilloCon is coming.

So, I know it all comes off as excuses and such. But it is what it is. In all things, family comes first.
I did have a very heart-warming moment at NTCBS. There was an adorable little girl (who’s apparently a staple there) in a green tutu Riddler costume carrying a Batman Doll with a green tutu. I gave her a notebook and pen (also green…because Riddler, hello). And she zipped around getting quotes and stuff. It was the most adorable thing EVAR.
The next day I got emails from her mom and (apparently) aunt thanking me so much for that little act. And how much the child loved it. Almost made me cry. Will they be customers down the road? Maybe. Maybe not – the aunt did buy a coloring book to read to her new grandchild – but that kind of thing is better than a sale.

I bring it up – not because “aww, look at me”, but because I saw a post on Facebook a week or so ago about how swag was pointless. The only promotional thing an author needs to do is write the next book. And yes, that’s really, super important…but…swag (or promotional items) some opportunities can be lost. Especially at tables like the comic shows where someone might like YOU but is short of funds. A promotional item given freely is an impression on the potential customer. Something they can look at later – if they still have it, granted – and remember, “Hey, that person was cool, let me go ahead and check out that website now.”

It’s all important.

handful_ofdust July 23 2014, 17:40

"This Old Death," Part Seven

Fandom: The Walking Dead
AU; canon divergence
Pairing: The Governor/Rick Grimes

Doesn't help that Michonne meets the Governor for the first time at the fights that night, but Rick thinks she probably wouldn't've taken to him anyways; he's in full charm mode, but she appears to be impervious. He gives her the time-honored Woodbury sell, and she just stands there waiting, cutting him the most blatant side-eye Rick's seen since before he steered his horse onto the road to Atlanta. And Christ knows Philip's not dumb, so before long, he simply sighs, and says—

“Well, you don't have to trust me, miss, you don't feel the urge to—trust Rick here, instead. Most people do. He's a trustworthy guy.”

“Seems to be,” Michonne allows, which Philip takes as a species of victory, strolling away, back into the laughing, cheering, whooping crowd. But: 'Cept for the fact he's standin' next to you, Rick can almost hear her add, inside her mind.

She's right to be suspicious, he knows, though he can't say that out loud. Instead, they just stand there watching a few long moments more—the pitiful specatcle of it, biters with their teeth pulled stumbling in a circle, paying out their chains 'til they trip over their own feet and fall on Merle's blade (is that Philip's own knife he's wielding, down there?) while that white trash jackass acts like he's winning a damn MMA title, or something.

“This your idea of fun too?” she asks, eventually. And: “Hell, no,” Rick hears himself reply, before he can remind himself not to.

Michonne looks at him full-on, then—a good, long stare, hard but assessing, like he's suddenly come into focus. “What you say your name was again, 'Officer Friendly'?”

“Rick, ma'am. Rick Grimes.”

“Don't call me ma'am, I'm not your mama. Grimes, though...that sounds familiar.”

“Oh yeah?”

“Yeah. Was this woman Andrea used to talk about sometimes, when the fever got bad; part of the group she was with, back at that burnt-out farm I found her near, and I don't think they got along.” She frowns even more than usual, thinking. “She had a boy with her, I know that much.”

Rick feels his heart lurch. “Lori, was that her name?”

“Don't recall, though it might've been—but the kid was Carl. And there was some guy named Shane who ran everything, used to be a Sheriff's Deputy in some podunk town...”

(All hat an' no cattle, Merle sneers, in Rick's memory. After which comes Daryl, almost on the same mental “breath,” chiming in: Barely go out, even after his woman talked him down—)

“Him and Carl's mom,” Rick manages, clearing his throat. “Were they, um...together?”

“Think so, yeah. Why?”

And: he's already on his feet, starting to move, fight-pit completely forgotten; breath burning, throat raw, maybe a beat or so away from full-blown cardiac crisis. Hasn't felt like this since...well, maybe back when he was a kid, the year he got his full growth, though it's not like he ever hit six foot four, unlike some people he could mention. When his center of gravity shifted, and everything he'd known up 'til then was sent reeling.

Elbowing people aside and not even apologizing, like he usually would; sweat in his hair, slicking his back and the palms of both hands, rendering them too slippery to hold a gun. Calling back over his shoulder to Michonne, as he goes—

“I need to talk to that friend of yours, that Andrea, pneumonia or no pneumonia. Right goddamn now.


Hours later, Rick finds Philip down in Milton's lab, just like he thought he would—relaxing in front of the tanks, leant back in an old barcalounger with a whisky in one hand and some sort of report in the other, a stapled-together mess of paper he flips shut, the minute he realizes he's not alone. “Richard,” he says, coolly. “What is it brings you my way, exactly? And who's lookin' after miss Michonne, while you're here?”

“She's in the med centre, drinking coffee, last I saw; Doc Stevens said it was okay for her to watch over that friend of hers, so I sent Morgan in to keep her company. But listen, Philip—”

“See you so rarely, these days, I just had to ask,” the Governor says, eyes still on those floating, flesh-wrapped skulls, like he's studying them for clues: ten the last time Rick was down here, but now there's more—Michonne's pets, for example, way over on the end, exposed single mandibles vaguely fluttering, trying to click the jaws they no longer have together. And a new one, too, right on top, angel-star to the grossest Christmas tree imaginable. It's fresh enough there's still blood in the water, rendering the red-tinted face inside impossible to place, even were Rick interested enough to try...

But: “I miss our talks,” Philip continues, bad imitation of “sadly,” taking another swig. While Rick just shakes his head, impatient, blurting out: “Hell with that, I said listen! My wife, my son—”

“What about 'em?”

“They might still be alive. Says she was travelling with them, just a few months back..."

“Who, Michonne? I'd take whatever she says with a slight grain of salt, that one.”

“No, not her, I mean the sick lady—Andrea, that's her name.” Rick pauses just long enough to take a breath, for what feels like the first time in ages, at which point it occurs to him: “'Sides which, just 'cause she didn't take to you, that doesn't make Michonne's info automatically untrustworthy.”

“True enough,” Philip agrees. “Well—that's amazing, Rick, if so. That's...just great. I mean it.”

“Thank you.”

“Yeah, I really do.” Another slug. “Gotta follow up on that, definitely.”

“I will, for sure—asked Morgan to walkie me, the minute she wakes up again. So how'd things go with Welles, anyhow?”

“The Lieutenant? Very helpful. All but drew us a map to where the rest of his squad're camped out, right on the edge of the red zone. Gonna take a team up there, soon as the sun rises.”

“You need me to come along?”

“No, I don't think that's necessary. Stay here, keep an eye on Michonne, make sure she don't just cut and run once she figures out where that pig-sticker of hers got put. Oh, and talk to Merle for me, will you? He's got somethin' he wants to propose, but I just don't have the time.”

Not gonna want to talk to me about it, if he does, Rick thinks. But he can't give it much attention, because his mind's already skipping right on back to that brief, scattered conversation he had with Andrea, Michonne squeezing he hand and glaring at him: yes, she does know a Lori Grimes, her boy Carl and their protector, Shane Walsh. Long brown hair, flat as a board and kind of grim 'round the mouth, 'specially when she doesn't get her way. Shane has a temper on him, but she keeps him even—mostly.

Heard Glenn and the farmer's daughter were running into town for drugs after Carl got shot, and asked 'em, to get her a pregnancy test. Asked Glenn to get her Morning After pills at the same time, but don't tell Shane.

Wait, hold up—Carl was SHOT?

Well yeah, but he's okay, he's good. Farmer's a doc...a vet, actually, but he pulled it off. Tough old bastard. Uhhhh, I gotta sleep...

Just one more thing 'fore you do, Andrea, please. Is Lori...did she do it, or what? She pregnant still?

Last time I saw her, yeah. Like—three months, maybe four. Must be ready to drop, by now.

The very idea of Lori, with her narrow hips and her caesarian scar, getting ready to give birth in some...God knows where, really: some dirty hole, some cave in the forest out where the biters migrate in pods, like goddamn locusts. It makes him want to run wild, more so by far than the idea she'd take up with Shane, hard though that is to stomach; they've all known each other so long, after all, tied tight as him and Shane've been since childhood on, and he knows Shane likes her that way, though he'd never've done anything about it—not 'til he was pretty much sure Rick was dead, that is.

So there's shock, sure, but no blame. Three months in a coma, then the world comes to an end, like some landslide out of hell. How could they possibly think anything else, either of them?

Still: she lost a lot of blood, last time. Barely got through it, even with hospital care. She could...

No, no, no. No goddamn way. Not now Rick knows she really is out there, somewhere. He'll move heaven and earth to make sure she pulls through, if he has to.

“We have to go get them,” he says, out loud, not even aware of it; sees Philip shoot him a look under lowered lashes, reading him head to toe, just like that first day they met. Calculating just how far he has to go, maybe, to make sure Rick doesn't do anything too foolish.

And: “'Course we do,” Philip promises him, without a second's hesitation. “We will. You got my solemn word.”

“Thank you, Philip.”

“Anything for you, Richard,” the Governor repeats, in exactly the same tone, reasonable as God. “You know that.”

And even as he does, his eyes slide right on back to that tank on top.

End Part Seven

This entry was originally posted at http://handful-ofdust.dreamwidth.org/531633.html. Please comment either here or there using OpenID.

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