A couple of recent images

Feb. 19th, 2017 08:38 pm
wcg: (Default)
[personal profile] wcg
Greetings from the Undisclosed Location, somewhere in the desert southwest, where I'm working on my tan by day and continuing my remote observing efforts by night. It would be nice if I could observe directly from here, but it's been cloudy every night since we arrived, and rainy yesterday and today.

Read more... )

original art

Feb. 19th, 2017 10:37 pm
nanslice: ([sherlock] at your shoulder)
[personal profile] nanslice
So I mentioned a few posts ago that I was creating a company for my graphic design class called Vain Glory Zodiac. For this company, I'm creating character designs and posters for each of the Zodiac signs.

I FINALLY FINISHED ONE. Kinda. I'm a little unsure about some of the design elements but that'll be fixed tomorrow once my professor sees it, haha. But anyway, here's Sagittarius! :D

Sagittarius! )


e-cover sneak peek Pen & Des #4

Feb. 19th, 2017 07:18 pm
[syndicated profile] lois_mcmaster_bujold_feed
I am pleased to announce the next Penric & Desdemona novella, the sequel to "Penric's Mission", is finished in first draft and undergoing final edits. I hope to have it up as an e-book at the usual suspects within a few weeks. Title is "Mira's Last Dance"; it will top out at about 28,000 words.

Cover design by the estimable Ron Miller, incorporating but not limited to "Still Life with Fruit" by Jacob van Walscapelle, 1675.

The vendor-page ad copy will read:

"In this sequel to the novella “Penric’s Mission”, the injured Penric, a Temple sorcerer and learned divine, tries to guide the betrayed General Arisaydia and his widowed sister Nikys across the last hundred miles of hostile Cedonia to safety in the Duchy of Orbas. In the town of Sosie the fugitive party encounters unexpected delays, and even more unexpected opportunities and hazards, as the courtesan Mira of Adria, one of the ten dead women whose imprints make up the personality of the chaos demon Desdemona, comes to the fore with her own special expertise.

Fourth novella in the “Penric and Desdemona” series."

Ta, L.

posted by Lois McMaster Bujold on February, 19

stuff done: Friday-Sunday

Feb. 19th, 2017 09:15 pm
edenfalling: stylized black-and-white line art of a sunset over water (Default)
[personal profile] edenfalling
1. Paid my monthly rent, paid my credit card bills, and transferred some money to my savings account. Yay financial responsibility!

2. Filed my own taxes, since the waiting period for the EIC is now over. (Go on, ask me about the PATH Act. You know you want to...)

3. Bought groceries. (I failed, however, to buy more applesauce, since my store was completely out of their own un-flavored brand with no added sugar. I will try again on Monday, and hopefully buy a few other things in the process.)

more items under the cut )

16. Made a little more progress on my Cotton Candy Bingo prompt fic, mostly reconfiguring the opening scene so it will feed better into the climax and conclusion.

I'm going to keep working on the story tonight, and then hopefully go to bed before midnight for the second day in a row. *crosses fingers, makes resolve face at self*
lightreads: a partial image of a etymology tree for the Indo-European word 'leuk done in white neon on black'; in the lower left is (Default)
[personal profile] lightreads

3/5. Is anyone else old enough to remember the documentation challenge from SGA Flashfic way back in the day? That's what this is. A story of two teenagers, who happen to be exes, who survive the destruction of their illegal colony and flee the planet with the evil corporate ships chasing them, but then the zombie plague starts running through their ships like wildfire. Except this is told entirely in documents – interview transcripts, chatlogs, various military files, intelligence summaries, AI data, etc.

This is about 80% extremely effective space horror/fight-for-your-life and about 20% facepalmy teenager terribleness. I do, however, want to pause to say that the commercial audio of this is excellent. It's a multi-voice production, with people playing parts so the chat logs sound like conversations. But the real power of the production is in a few, tiny sections, put in purely for the emotional impact. Like the excerpts from a casualty list near the beginning, or fragments of the messages a couple dozen people we never actually meet send out into the dark when they know they are about to die. The audio bleeds one voice into the next for the reading, so it's just this wall of – yeah. It works.

Much of the book works. It's awful and scary and grim as our heroine begins to suspect she is being lied to, and the plague heats up, and the ship AI starts to go . . . a little weird. But it's sprinkled through with such poor choices. Like blurring out the profanity – it's supposed to be an ironic commentary on the blah blah blah. It's mostly just irritating. And the teenagers are so cringily teenagers. Like, I kept telling myself it was good writing that they're so melodramatic and emo and ridic, but that didn't mean I rolled my eyes any less.

Still. This book got me in the end. The last quarter is so … harrowing is the only word I have. This is what young adult is allowed to be now, after Hunger Games. I do think that massive spoilers for the end )
chagrined: chihaya smiling (chihaya smile)
[personal profile] chagrined
oops it has been a little while! i've been occupied with other things but trying my hardest to not ttly fall off studying too! i feel like esp starting with this chapter i have less solid of a grasp on the material from when i read it in the past so maybe i need to spend ore time reviewing and actually redoing the exercises as well...

ch7 )

Dia & Co, box 4

Feb. 19th, 2017 08:41 pm
cotume27: (Flowers)
[personal profile] cotume27
Fourth box!

No accessories this time, which is a first, but I got another jacket!

Read more... )

So, yes. I'm gonna try exchanging one for a smaller size, but this might be the first box I don't keep anything out of. I'm not disappointed with the box, it just didn't hit any of my needs this time.

A quiet weekend, and a desert turtle

Feb. 20th, 2017 08:55 am
heliopausa: (Default)
[personal profile] heliopausa
Oh, wonderful!  I thought, around about mid-morning Saturday.  The people (who are very pleasant people, I haste to say; it's just that I'm a lazy beast) who were invited for lunch on Sunday can't come!  And thus the weekend suddenly opened to reveal ... what is it?  somethings of vast eternity.  Or a day and a half of free time, anyway.  :) I was cockahoop.

So...  I plucked those cumquats which were ready to fall from the New Year's cumquat tree, and made spiced cumquat chutney - and I made muesli bars, too, to use up some over-ripe bananas.  Went marketing, of course, and accidentally brought home a mountain of lettuce, and much green herbage (because it was past ten, and the market-seller wanted to pack up and go home).  Also triumphantly tracked down cinnamon bark, for the chutney, down a market side-street, and generally had a good time.  :)

And then on Sunday I went to visit an aged friend - that was absolutely great!  She is recovering from a stroke, and it was wonderful to see her so much better, so much stronger.  We just sat together for three-quarters of an hour, and drank water, and talked of nothing much - of planting trees recently, and looking at photos . Not a long visit, because I didn't want to wear her out, but a very, very happy one - it was so good to see her, and to see her so strong.  :)

And I took in various media throughout the weekend:

- watched the 27th episode of Nirvana in Fire, which means I'm exactly half-way through;

- read some of The Bad-Ass Librarians of Timbuktu, which is about very exciting things, but so far is not very well or engagingly written;

- and read some newspapers online, of course, which yielded this lovely story (with picture) of a desert turtle.
  What an amazing creature!  And how beautiful it seems in the picture - to me, at least - gold and emerald.  :) 
  Also, I chortled at a word attributed (wrongly, I'm sure - possibly autotranscription from a recording?) to the herpetologist, which suggested that the turtles are excavating underground - making  a second pleasing picture, of a different, totally imaginary, sort! (But now I've been back and they've fixed it up - good to see journalistic diligence at the ABC.  Unless it was the mortified herpetologist who set them straight.)

The logical conclusion of liberalism

Feb. 19th, 2017 08:34 pm
sabotabby: raccoon anarchy symbol (Default)
[personal profile] sabotabby
You know, there's so much about Cheeto Benito's wholesale looting of the scraps of the American Empire that I have to turn my ragebutton off for much of the day just to be mildly functional. Don't get me wrong; I'm angry all the time, but I have to still get up and go to work and do the laundry and grocery shopping and make sure the cats are fed, so I can't be a full-time ball of flaming fury.

But every day or so something happens that is so completely over-the-top that I just drop everything and go like this.

Today, it's Bono, the end product of nearly two centuries of liberalism and Glamour's Woman of the Year*, praising a man who believes in electrocuting gay children for his work on AIDS research.

I got nothin'. Well, that's not really true. I have nothing but hatred and contempt for Cheeto Benito and his bargain basement Stormtroopers. But there is only one species of lifeform lower than a fascist, and that's a collaborator. It's a scumsucking tax-evader who claims the moral high ground when it benefits him and instantly asslicks the Alt Reich because the glamour of standing next to ultimate power gets him hot.

So in lieu of projectile vomiting enough to earn a cameo on season 2 of the Santa Clarita Diet, here's the only thing that helps:

* That's not a transphobic joke, by the way. That's an actual thing that happened.

Dept. of Birthdays

Feb. 19th, 2017 06:55 pm
kaffyr: (My Doctor)
[personal profile] kaffyr
Two Lovely People

Happy birthday, one day late, to the talented [livejournal.com profile] wendymr, who was one of the first Dr. Who fic writers I ever read, and whose work ,therefore, convinced me that fic - of which I'd heard very little - could be quality writing. I like to think she helped me become a better writer in Who fandom, because of her gentle, but firm, Britpicking. We may not agree on eggnog or Steven Moffat, but we do agree that the Doctor in general is fanTAStic! We also agree on many things political and labor/labour-related, and I am very glad to have met her on These Here Intarwebz. I hope your birthday was a fine one, and that your 2017 is equally excellent!

Happy birthday, too, to the very delightful 
[personal profile] marence  (again, one day late.) She is not around here these days, but I like to think that she'll get some good vibes from Chicago. It would be delightful to see her again some day, to chat about rock and roll and fandom. I hope her birthday was a good one.  

The Dark Knight Returns #1

Feb. 20th, 2017 01:57 am
[personal profile] history79 posting in [community profile] scans_daily

A.V. CLUB: So you actually consciously set out to change things in the comics industry?

FRANK MILLER: Well, I set out to remark upon them. And seeing how all these heroes had been castrated since the 1950s, and just how pointless they seemed to be... In this perfect world of comic books, which was what it was back then, why would people dress up in tights to fight crime?

A.V. CLUB: Because there wasn't anything bad enough going on back then to justify that extremism?

FRANK MILLER: It was just a bunch of goofy villains. It was 1985 when I started working on this, and I thought, "What kind of world would be scary enough for Batman?" And I looked out my window.

Read more... )
starandrea: (different horizon by syndarys)
[personal profile] starandrea
A New Covenant, by [archiveofourown.org profile] lightgetsin

The eye sockets flared up with a malevolent orange glow. John froze, staring point-blank into hellish light from just three inches away.

“Well hell-lo nurse,” the skull said, rattling its jaw. “You must be the sugar daddy!”

The shower shut off. “Harry,” John called, not moving. “Is there supposed to be a talking skull here?”

The shower door rattled, and he distinctly heard Harry say, “oh crap. Um!” Harry said louder. “Yes? You’re early. Just, uh, don’t let him talk you into anything I wouldn’t like. Or . . . anything at all. I’ll be out in a sec.”


You know why I like this story? Because I have no idea what's going on and I still care what happens. Seriously, it feels like real life to me. Cheers ♥♥♥

(Apparently it's part of a series. I assume reading more of the series might have prepared me for this story, but I don't see what the point of that is, given that I prefer picking things up as I go to having them explained. Saves time.)

"the boy on the porch swing, he left glowing footprints on the sidewalk as he passed by
I know you can't see them, I know you can't see them and back then neither could I
it was nothing new, it happened each day, and I would just turn away"
--peter mulvey, "wings of the ragman"

naming my racist elf

Feb. 19th, 2017 07:13 pm
mindstalk: (Default)
[personal profile] mindstalk
Ari told me a trick he uses as a GM for naming NPCs: pick a language to be thematic, type words into Google Translate, use. So one NPC is Hungarian or something for "Betrayer", and is intended to backstab the PCs at some point, and the players have no clue.

Neat trick, but one not relevant to most of my PCs these days, where I expy some anime heroine and don't try to hide my work. (Latest: Kyouko the Dungeon Slayer, an adaptation of Sakura Kyouko.)

But someone was recruiting for an all-evil PbP game, which isn't my usual thing, but I got tempted to try to think of something anyway, It's D&D3.5, so I figured I'd start with a druid, for maximum mechanical cheese. Evil druid? Sure, he wields the power of nature for evil. Or he wields the power of nature, and is a selfish jerk. If you want philosophy, you can talk about predator/prey, nature red in tooth and claw, social darwinism.

Race? (Meaning species). I like elves as an idea, but have been avoiding them, because a 1st level 100 year old character just hurts my head. But for the character I was forming? The guy who can feel superior because he lives 10x longer than you is a perfect fit.

And even better, there's the gray elf subrace, with +2 Int. Literally smarter than you. (D&D swaps gray and high elves from Tolkien: "high elves" are like the Sindar default, gray elves the longer-lived and smarter and more arrogant 'Noldor'.)

Great, a racist gray elf druid! What to name him? I tried thinking of 'elvish' names on my own, but wasn't getting far. (I hate coming up with names.) Time to try the language trick! What are elvish languages? Tolkien was inspired by Welsh and Finnish, Order of the Stick uses pseudo-Latinate names. I started with Welsh. What's a word? Well, 'racist'. So I type that in... and get 'hiliol'.

Hiliol the elf. I dunno about you, but I figured I was done on the first try. Feels vaguely elvish, doesn't have an obvious gender. (I was figuring I'd go for androgyny, a la Vaarsuvius in Order, though he's since become male -- trying to improve the human stock by fathering lots of half-elves. But anyway.)

That was a stroke of luck, really; I've since tried some other words, and they translate to words that are so flagrantly Welsh as to be intrusive. Like 'twyllwr' for "deceiver" or 'celwyddog' for "liar". (Hiliol's Big Crime was fraud, trying to convince foolish humans that he could give them elven lifespan.)

Finnish could have worked, its 'racist' is "rasistinen", though I just realized it sounds like an import of 'racist', so maybe not.

And Now...Alex Presents Jack Kirby

Feb. 19th, 2017 06:58 pm
sdelmonte: (Default)
[personal profile] sdelmonte
At last, YouTube is complete! Come and hear me talk about Jack Kirby for my synagogue's website.


Civil War II: The Oath

Feb. 20th, 2017 07:31 am
laughing_tree: (Seaworth)
[personal profile] laughing_tree posting in [community profile] scans_daily

'When “Civil War II” was on the table, and we started discussing it at the retreats, I had a very early talk with Tom Brevoort about how I was desperate to write the epilogue. I was a huge fan of what Brian Bendis had done with “The Confession.” [The epilogue one-shot to the first “Civil War.”] It was one of my favorite event comics ever. I really wanted to have my name on something that at least aspired to do the same type of thing.' -- Nick Spencer

Read more... )

Dept. of Dear Friends

Feb. 19th, 2017 11:46 am
kaffyr: (We used to dream)
[personal profile] kaffyr
Happy Birthday, [livejournal.com profile] lyricalviolet!

I should send you a birthday greeting on FB, which is where you hang out most these days. And I should keep in contact more often, which is something i say every year around this time. I'm bad at it - I'm sure you've noticed. I should be a better friend.  It's been a long time since we talked the art, science, and frustration of fic writing, or fangirled about Who or BSG. In fact, your life has moved on from those days - you have a family that includes one of the cutest little red-heads I've seen in a long time. 

But I'll always remember that you were one of the people who impressed me with her wit, and bravery, and creativity, all those years ago on TWoP, in LINDA. And I'll always be grateful to you for urging me on when I began writing fiction again, after decades away from it. I remember our efforts to bring back Jacob's Who recaps on TWoP - and we were kind of successful at that, weren't we? 

You deserve a fantastic life, and I know you're having one. I'll drop by FB to say happy birthday one day late - but I grew to know you and cherish you far from FB, so this is where my birthday wish stands. All the best, my dear. 


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