The Emerald City and Me

Sep. 25th, 2017 07:34 pm[personal profile] cheriepriest
cheriepriest: (Batgirl)
Well, we made it. We closed on our Seattle house literally the evening before we left the Chattanooga house - and it only happened then because a dedicated notary came out to our house after hours and helped us file all the paperwork. First thing the next morning, we hit the road.

It was a six-day drive back to the West Coast. We took two cars, and we each took two animals - I drove with Greyson in the back seat, and Quinnie in the front seat. (Both secured, yes.) My husband brought the eldercat and Lucy in a similar configuration. Using a AAA travel agent, we booked all our hotel rooms in advance - making sure that we could bring our furry family members along without any difficulty. All but two of those nights were screwed up by the aforementioned travel agent; but when all was said and done, nobody had to sleep in the car and everything was fine.

My husband and I each traveled with a small suitcase. For the animals, we packed the largest suitcase we own - and at first we could barely close it, for it contained pre-measured meals for all four of them, plus bowls, medicine (for all four), fluids kit (for the eldercat), cannibis oil treats for the canine nervous nellies, flea/tick preventatives, and five disposable litter boxes stacked together. And I guess now I know how to manage a good "bug-out bag" for the whole family, so there's that.

Eventually we arrived at a house I've named "Rockford Place" - a late mid-century modern with an angular seventies vibe and a massive fireplace surrounded by natural stone. There's also an enormous backyard that's mostly rocks and trees, terraformed into paths and a nice landing area.

Besides, I like James Garner. So yeah, it's called Rockford Place.

The house is really rather neat - lots of cool angles and funky architectural features (without going overboard, I mean.) But the bathrooms are an embarrassment, and when we got here, the kitchen was stocked with appliances that only halfway worked. We've decided to live with the bathrooms for now, but the kitchen...well. We scraped up the money to replace the appliances, which turned into a massive shit-show courtesy of HomeDepot.com... but that's another story. Frankly, I'm so fed up with the experience that I'm not likely to relate it here. Suffice it to say, don't buy appliances from HomeDepot.com. Home Depot's own employees (at a local store) told me the in-house joke is that online orders are "job security" because one way or another, they're fucked up literally 100% of the time.

Anyway, we do have working appliances now. Thank God.

We also have a new veterinarian, which is good because the eldercat ran out of fluids, Lucy came down with (what seemed like) a UTI, and Quinnie has had a couple bad bouts of diarrhea - one bad enough that I took her to the kitty ER. Still not sure what's wrong with her, but she's wrapping up another round of medication at present, and she seems to be 100% fine and dandy. Cats, man.

All four of the critters really seem to like the new house. The cats love the stairs, and the dogs love the yard - which is fenced all the way around to the front patio, so they can really get a good loop of "chase" going on. Both dog-fatties have even lost a little weight, which is good.

As a side note: If you're mostly following me (on any platform) because of the household animal population - or if you'd like to, going forward - you can catch me on Twitter or (more recently) Instagram. Twitter is sometimes LadyRage, but often pet pictures. Instagram is almost exclusively pet pictures. In case this matters.

Hm. What else?

I guess you might also be reading this because I write books. By way of What's Up Next, I can offer the following:
  • In December, a new installment in the Wild Cards franchise hits the streets - including a story from yours truly. The book is called Mississippi Roll, and my contribution is a somewhat wacky romp called "Death on the Water" that features my (now retired) Fort Freak cop Leo and his new wife, Wanda, on board a haunted riverboat. They share the stage with a trio of ghost hunters who, um, are entirely fictitious and not all mocking re: any given TV show that my husband and I might jokingly call "Brost hunters." Ahem.

  • Speaking of Wild Cards - I've just handed in a draft of my next piece, but I can't tell you about that yet. If all goes according to plan, it will be inserted into one of the old volumes, as part of a future re-release. But that's another year or two down the pike, I assume.

  • Production is finally getting underway on my next young adult project for Scholastic - a book called The Agony House. We don't have a pub date yet; things have been delayed on this one, largely because my original editor left the house for another job (which happens, such is life). But my new editor is on the case, and I should have more information on that for you before terribly long. The Agony House is not related to I Am Princess X, but it *does* feature a comic/illustrated element in a similar fashion. More details to come!


And that's all the writing news that's fit to type, for the moment. To be honest, writing updates are probably going to be few and far between for a bit, as I'm taking a little breathing room this year - breathing room that will give me time to get some work done on the house, and take on a day job, perhaps. I could use a steadier paycheck for a bit, and some room for my brain to cool off a bit.

I've been in fifth gear for the last few years, and I'm looking forward to just...doing production work on the Wild Cards projects, and The Agony House, and another adult horror project from Tor called The Toll (pub date TBD). So it's not like I'm quitting the industry and flouncing into darkness or anything. I'm just giving myself a break. Kind of.

More news as it develops.

Okay folks, that's all I can think of, at the moment - but I *will* try to update more regularly over here, now that we're more or less settled in. (We've been here about two months.) So as always, thanks for reading, and thanks for visiting this page. One way or another, I'll see you around...
james_davis_nicoll: (Default)
And was in a vehicular mishap that got him to work two hours early?

Fandom Giftbox!

Sep. 25th, 2017 11:21 am[personal profile] muccamukk
muccamukk: Boromir and Faramir grinning and hugging. (LotR: Squee!)
I'm super excited about what I got this year, because Wonder Woman icons! Two sets!

And then I got a wonderful ficlet from an AU where Boromir didn't die and how Aragorn's coronation then went. (movie verse, and very sweet).

AND THEN I got Murderbot fic! About Murderbot's favourite show getting cancelled, and Murderbot doing what any fan would do. It's a sweet and funny little follow up to All Systems Red and I'm so pleased with it.

I wrote three fic:

Sunday Tea on Mars
Babylon 5, post series, Catherine/Jeff/Michael/Lise, 1,800 words, Teen.
Lise knows she's been with Michael too long when a presumed-dead Minbari prophet at the breakfast table is the least of her worries.

My Dreams Under Your Feet
Star Wars: The Force Awakens, post movie, Leia/Poe, 2,100 words, Explicit.
Poe isn't sure he has it in him to give Leia everything she needs after the Battle of Starkiller Base, but he knows he's going to try.

In Your Arms Tonight
Star Wars: The Force Awakens, post movie, Finn/Poe, 1,100 words, Teen.
When Finn gets back, he's taking that wilderness survival training Poe keeps telling him about.

Remix fic! and fic report

Sep. 25th, 2017 12:45 pm[personal profile] celli
celli: a woman's hand writing in a journal, captioned "i write, therefore i am" (hopewrite)
Remixes are revealed! My awesome Trek AOS remix was written by [archiveofourown.org profile] LadyMerlin and mine is:

Let's See What Happens (The False Destiny Remix) (1205 words) by celli
Chapters: 1/1
Fandom: Vorkosigan Saga - Lois McMaster Bujold
Rating: Teen And Up Audiences
Warnings: No Archive Warnings Apply
Relationships: Gregor Vorbarra/Laisa Toscane Vorbarra
Characters: Gregor Vorbarra, Cordelia Naismith Vorkosigan, Laisa Toscane Vorbarra, Alys Vorpatril
Summary:
She didn’t know what shoes had to do with anything, but her superiors had been firm: anything was a possible lever with the Emperor, track and report it all.


Done:
* Coursera Style week 4 story (600/600)
* Coursera Setting week 1 story (308/300)

New:
* Coursera Setting week 2 story (0/500)
* PODSA bedsharing/glasses fic (76/whatever)
* PODSA election night 2008 fic (863/whatever) (DON'T @ ME)

Other:
* PODSA gift story (1069/whatever)
* basic income contest story (124/5000) (I may drop this...the Coursera classes are taking up a lot of my writing time.)
* PODSA mpreg (2062/whatever)
* Star Wars auction fic, two scenes left (704/1000+)
* AIRPF AU with [personal profile] rajkumari905 (3316/whatever)
* AIRPF auction fic (0/1000+)

(no subject)

Sep. 25th, 2017 11:42 am[personal profile] neonhummingbird
neonhummingbird: (Default)
My condo has become a Bermuda Triangle for electronics. A few months ago: dropped Kobo and shattered screen. Two months ago: phone fried in freak accidents. Three weeks ago: computer begins screwing up when booting; kitchen tablet stops charging. Last week: main tablet starts having flickering screen, similar malfunctions (intermittent, non-demonstrable, start-stop for no apparent reason). Also, at one point my Kindle Fire was having charging problem, but that one just needed a new cable.

Really, it is no longer safe to have electronics in my house...

That said, after running 10 separate diagnostics, all of of which proclaimed with great certainty that my hard drive is fine, and waiting an hour for a Genius Bar tech to come over to look at it... of course, it's the hard drive. :( Which I'm annoyed about, since it hasn't been that long since I replaced this one. I've looked online, and it may be an issue of the mini not getting enough ventilation and overheating the HDD; macs are notorious for that, and mine is snugged into a fairly tight space. So I ordered a new monitor stand with lots of space for the mini to breathe, and we'll see. The same company that replaced it last time is doing it this time, but I think they're overcharging me for labor, so I'm going to check out some new places next time I need something the Genius Bar can't fix.

(I've also discovered that independent repair shops all express disdain of the Genius Bar. either I'm missing some major examples of Genius Bar incompetence, or the stores all feel really threatened by the existence of free tech support. One guy was actually arguing with me this morning about how Their store's diagnostics are much better and the Apple Store is no good. As the Genius Bar had literally nothing to gain by not giving me a good diagnostic, I'm choosing to go with with option: threatened.)

Took the sling off more this weekend, and that was nice. I can use it for short periods of time to type, if I keep most of the weight on my wrist rest, but getting dressed is still Fraught.
oracne: turtle (Default)
Wow, that festival took a lot out of me. Taking the day off Friday was a terrific plan; I slept until roughly lunchtime, then spent the rest of the day being entertained by the Small Monkeys, Now Much Less Small Than When They Were Born. This resting helped me not keel over and die on my NYC daytrip until it was almost time to go home; I shall report on that later. First, the final two operas I saw.

"Elizabeth Cree" was a world premiere, based on a novel by Peter Ackroyd which I have not read (and do not plan to read). The small cast wore Victorian costuming to match the setting and moved amidst a mixture of physical furniture, a movable open metal staircase, and projected silhouettes and text.

I enjoyed this quite a lot, more than I'd expected; I did not quite figure out the mystery until it was about to be revealed, and all of the singers were incredible, particularly Daniela Mack as Elizabeth Cree and Joseph Gaines as Dan Leno. Before I went to see it, I called it a "murder opera," and I stand by that - several brutal murders are discoursed upon and shown in filmed silhouette, and the policeman is more concerned about his own future should he fail to solve the murders than he is about the victims.

Thematically, Murder as Spectacle was reiterated in several different ways, and critiqued by Karl Marx and George Gissing. Women's constrained roles, and the results of those constraints, also popped up, both through what the characters did and through what we the audience thought of what they did. In short, I thought this was great, and I would see it again. I'd put it my second favorite of the festival premieres, after "We Shall Not Be Moved."

Opera News review. Schompera review.

I saw "The Wake World" last night; notably, it was staged at the Barnes Foundation, one of Philadelphia's major museums. Most of the action took place on a long catwalk, with the audience seated or standing around it. The audience was free to move around, and sometimes the singers (mostly chorus, sometimes soloists) moved amid the audience as well.

I liked the idea of that, but in practice I found the constant audience movement distracting from the music, and sometimes I had difficulty seeing over people because I am not tall. The music itself was dreamlike and stuffed with overblown purple prose, most of which I quickly began to ignore in favor of just enjoying the splendid singing. The protagonists, Lola (soprano Maeve Höglund) and The Fairy Prince (cross-dressing mezzo Rihab Chaieb), were excellent in singing, acting, and embodying sex appeal, which was a good thing, since the plot (?) was just a weird, color-based advancement through a dream palace to achieve the ideal lover. Or something like that. The Fairy Prince managed to be really sexy in his three-piece suit and pipe while also mansplaining the palace and its rooms to Lola, which made me kind of hate him. I know characterization and plot was not the point, though, and the whole thing was successful as a spectacle that pushed against boundaries of opera staging, plus the chorus had a lot to do, yay - I used to sit next to the chorus' conductor, Liz Braden, back when my choir was conducted by Donald Nally.

The Broad Street Review's critique.

Dates are already set for next year's O18, so I am going to assume this year's festival was a success for the Opera Company of Philadelphia. Go them!
james_davis_nicoll: (Default)
I Am A: Chaotic Good Human Paladin/Sorcerer (4th/3rd Level)


Ability Scores:

Strength-13

Dexterity-8

Constitution-16

Intelligence-10

Wisdom-8

Charisma-7


Alignment:
Chaotic Good A chaotic good character acts as his conscience directs him with little regard for what others expect of him. He makes his own way, but he's kind and benevolent. He believes in goodness and right but has little use for laws and regulations. He hates it when people try to intimidate others and tell them what to do. He follows his own moral compass, which, although good, may not agree with that of society. Chaotic good is the best alignment you can be because it combines a good heart with a free spirit. However, chaotic good can be a dangerous alignment when it disrupts the order of society and punishes those who do well for themselves.


Race:
Humans are the most adaptable of the common races. Short generations and a penchant for migration and conquest have made them physically diverse as well. Humans are often unorthodox in their dress, sporting unusual hairstyles, fanciful clothes, tattoos, and the like.


Primary Class:
Paladins take their adventures seriously, and even a mundane mission is, in the heart of the paladin, a personal test an opportunity to demonstrate bravery, to learn tactics, and to find ways to do good. Divine power protects these warriors of virtue, warding off harm, protecting from disease, healing, and guarding against fear. The paladin can also direct this power to help others, healing wounds or curing diseases, and also use it to destroy evil. Experienced paladins can smite evil foes and turn away undead. A paladin's Wisdom score should be high, as this determines the maximum spell level that they can cast. Many of the paladin's special abilities also benefit from a high Charisma score.


Secondary Class:
Sorcerers are arcane spellcasters who manipulate magic energy with imagination and talent rather than studious discipline. They have no books, no mentors, no theories just raw power that they direct at will. Sorcerers know fewer spells than wizards do and acquire them more slowly, but they can cast individual spells more often and have no need to prepare their incantations ahead of time. Also unlike wizards, sorcerers cannot specialize in a school of magic. Since sorcerers gain their powers without undergoing the years of rigorous study that wizards go through, they have more time to learn fighting skills and are proficient with simple weapons. Charisma is very important for sorcerers; the higher their value in this ability, the higher the spell level they can cast.


Find out What Kind of Dungeons and Dragons Character Would You Be?, courtesy of Easydamus (e-mail)

fairestcat: naked woman reading. vintage (Reading)
I've been doing less book bingeing and more reading of fic over the last month, which is probably, ultimately a happy balance for me.

Liberty and Other Stories (Prosperity, #2-4, 6) - Alexis Hall - ★ ★ ★ ★

A diverse series of stories expanding on the Prosperity universe, both before and after the events of Prosperity. read more )

The New Born Year - Kris Ripper ★ ★

I love this series, and I really liked getting to know Ally better, but I found this a difficult and unpleasant read. read more )

Full of Briars (October Daye, #9.3) - Seanan McGuire ★ ★ ★

I'm several books behind in this series, and figured this was a good way to dip back in. Because Quentin. Who is awesome. read more )

Gun To My Head - Dira Lewis ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

Reread. First read April 5, 2017. Second read April 6, 2017. Third read now, by which you might infer that I really fucking love this book. read more )

The Mystic Marriage (Alpennia, #2) - Heather Rose Jones ★ ★ ★ ★

I continue to adore this series. This second installment continues to follow Barbara and Margerit's lives, while expanding the focus to two characters who played a supporting role in the first book. read more )

The Element of Fire (Ile-Rien, #1) - Martha Wells ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

Reread. I think I first read this sometime in 2010.

This is a secondary-world fantasy set in the approximate equivalent of 17th Century France only with both sorcery and Fae creatures.read more )

Point of Dreams (Astreiant, #2) - Melissa Scott & Lisa A. Barnett ★ ★ ★ ★

In some ways the murders are the least interesting part of this book. They matter, and they drive the plot, but it's the thematic stuff going on around and in cause of the murders that I found most interesting.

This is a book about relationships, and the ways they are seen and controlled by society and societal pressures. read more )

Seven Summer Nights - Harper Fox ★ ★ ★ ★

This was not the book I expected it to be, but I quite enjoyed the book it turned out to be.

This is, as the cover copy stated, a just-post-WWII historical romance between an archaeologist and a vicar, both of whom came back from the war changed. It's about two men trying to fit back into roles and ways of life they no longer fit. read more )

Bound to Be a Groom (Regency Reimagined, #1) - Megan Mulry

DNF.

It's queer, kinky, poly, historical erotica. I'm pretty much THE target audience for this book. And I gave up at 13% read. read more )

Death by Silver (Julian Lynes and Ned Mathey, #1) - Melissa Scott & Amy Griswold ★ ★ ★ ★

This was a rougher read than I expected from the ad copy. Good, but at times decidedly difficult.

This is a queer, steampunk murder mystery, but that's not really what it's about.

What it actually is is a book about institutionally-sanctioned bullying and abuse and the different ways in which adult survivors of childhood trauma cope with their past. read more )

A leaf

Sep. 24th, 2017 04:57 pm[personal profile] james_davis_nicoll
james_davis_nicoll: (Default)
Taken from a couple of angles over about a minute.

Read more... )
james_davis_nicoll: (Default)
As one does, I keep a log of my visits.

The cats expressed their appreciation for my record-keeping.

Read more... )

Accomplishments!

Sep. 24th, 2017 07:52 am[personal profile] catherineldf
catherineldf: (Default)
 Accomplishments for the weekend: 1. I have an executor for my literary estate! Lambda Literary and I made it official; they'll own the copyright and publishing rights to my ouevre when I shuffle off this mortal coil and all. 2. Second Patreon post for the month is away! This month, the recommendation lists are: sfnal works featuring older women as protagonists and fun music to work to. The nonprofit is the NAACP, out there fighting the good fight against racism and for social justice  for decades. https://www.patreon.com/CLundoff 

On a related note, if you are an author with published books and stories, make a will and designate someone or preferably, an institution likely to outlive you to handle things when you're gone. I have a current archive of my work at the University of Minnesota Tretter Collection, as well as donating to several other libraries, which takes care of what's out right now, but not what happens down the road. Some folks designate friends or the literary agencies they work with, for example. Have faith that someone will want to read your work down the road apiece and do some planning. 
destina: (other: thought cloud)
I have six stories sitting in drafts on AO3 to be posted - two of them brand new - and they've been languishing there for weeks because I can't think of titles or summaries for them. Untitled by Destina - Doc and Wyatt get it on is not a particularly enticing gateway to my Tombstone story. What about Untitled by Destina - hey I wrote this Sinclair/Garibaldi story 12 years ago and never posted it, so you'd think I'd have thought of a great summary for it since then, wouldn't you? Sigh.

But I did post some other stuff. It's fascinating, what one finds when one goes combing through one's LJ for untitled stories and comment fic and leftover things I used to worry about people liking. I'm rolling my eyes at myself. It's a blue light special, everything must get posted, even that one Bradley/Colin fic I wrote and am...was... embarrassed by. (It doesn't have a title either, poor thing; I have to think of one by October 22 or it will vanish forever from drafts.)

Anyway, here's the stuff I did manage to make up titles for, hah! -

No Longer Bound To Rome - The Eagle, Marcus/Esca, 2,497 words.

Transparent - Merlin, the knights and Merlin, gen, 2,064 words.

Virtue - Merlin, Arthur/Merlin, 560 words.

Unexpected - Penny Dreadful, Dorian/Ethan, 602 words.

In other news, it's the most wonderful time of the year! No, I'm not talking about Yuletide, tho I guess that's okay too; I'm talking about PUMPKIN FLAVORED EVERYTHING OMG at Trader Joe's! I took my first baby steps in the New! Delightful! Pumpkiny Things! pool of treasures there today, and grabbed up some dark chocolate covered pumpkin spice granola topped with toasted pumpkin seeds, and oh yeah, it's as great as it sounds. Yaaaay pumpkin season!
james_davis_nicoll: (Default)
Which is creating the Amazon and Chapters links for the book being review, I know one particular book is $19.19 if you buy it from Kobo and $11.71 from Kindle....

Missy! all the Missy :D

Sep. 23rd, 2017 02:57 pm[personal profile] trobadora
trobadora: (Missy (stylised))
Missy This Fic over at [community profile] missy_fest was the smallest fest I ever modded or participated in - only four sign-ups! But it turned out to be totally worth it, and I'm sorely tempted to do it again next year because everything that came out of it was so fantastic.

This was the idea: remix a story by making it about Missy! Either by shifting the focus to her, or by just plain adding her to a story she didn't previously appear in. And every one of the resulting remixes took a very different approach.

I haven't had a chance to catch up on commenting (I hope to do so this weekend), but I'm utterly in love with the story that remixes one of mine, the amazing Further on up the road. ♥ ♥ ♥

Here's all of the fic, including my own (which, btw, is eminently guessable) - go check it out:

Dazzle and Mysteries (Jack Harkness/Jenny, Missy/Jenny (The Doctor's Daughter)) [Teen And Up]
Original story: Not Just Another Mystery by [personal profile] navaan
Summary: This planet presents more mysteries than Jenny expected, but not more than she can handle. And, of course, there is running.

Further on up the road (Owen Harper, Jack Harkness, Missy) [Teen And Up]
Original story: Centuries From Now by [personal profile] trobadora
Summary: When a Time Lord emerges from the Rift, it's the wrong one for Jack Harkness. But could Owen Harper be the right Doctor?

The Master's Faithful Companion (Forever or Just a Day Remix) (Missy/Lucy Saxon, The Master/Lucy Saxon) [Teen And Up]
Original story: Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds by [personal profile] selenak
Summary: Missy didn't plan to come to this moment in time, but she's reminded that she'd had her own puppy once.

Title: Repair Jobs (Here and Now Remix) (Missy & the Doctor's TARDIS; Ninth Doctor/Jack Harkness) [Teen And Up]
Original story: Repair Jobs by [personal profile] auroracloud
Summary: The TARDIS always goes where she needs to be. - Set during Empress of Mars. (TARDIS POV)

Star Wars: The Clone Wars S1

Sep. 23rd, 2017 12:15 am[personal profile] yhlee
yhlee: Drop Ships from Race for the Galaxy (RTFG)
Actually took me a bit to watch this because in between, first the Dragon inhaled Voltron: Legendary Defender, and then Joe (who had apparently seen the original Voltron?) watched out of curiosity and got sucked in and inhaled Voltron: Legendary Defender, and he WOULD NOT SHUT UP ABOUT IT until I watched it, and then I got sucked in and inhaled it in like four days and NOW I WANT MORE. But that's another post for another night.

cut for spoilers )

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