elf: Petalwing, singing (Petalwing Singing)
[personal profile] elf
Oh good. Back to song topics that don't make me want to rip my hair out.

Had to stop and think about this one, because "love the voice" is not high on my priority lists for songs I enjoy most. But for a long time, I listed my favorite type of music as "anything with a baritone voice and acoustic guitar."

What You Need | Dance Magic | I'm on Fire | Love Is Chemical | Holly Holy | Wherefore and Why | Stay Young | The Warrior | Rainy Days & Mondays | Delta Dawn | It's So Easy

And one where the vocals are so pretty, I almost forget that I love the lyrics, too )

Meme list

(no subject)

Jul. 21st, 2017 10:48 pm
lurkingcat: (Default)
[personal profile] lurkingcat
Just when I was in need of a calming distraction... an unexpected Neko Atsume update appears. I've got to admit that I'd mostly stopped playing but given the number of conference call requests that the team mailbox got bombarded with this afternoon now seems like a good time to start checking in on the Neko Atsume yard again.

In real life feline news Kheldar is thoroughly disappointed by the amount of water that has fallen from the skies today. He has apparently spent most of the day asleep under a bed and is only willing to venture outside now that the rain has slowed from torrential to the occasional bit of drizzle. It is very, very wet underpaw and frankly that's just not acceptable for an elderly cat.
elf: John Egbert with a rocketpack, captioned "THIS IS STUPID" in all caps. (This is stupid)
[personal profile] elf
I'm behind again. This time it's not because I forgot or got too busy. Who MAKES these damn lists, anyway? Don't answer that. I know who. Teenagers, or maybe college students. People who think, "reliving heartbreak is a poignant moment, an interlude of quiet sadness in the midst of your hectic day," and not "reliving heartbreak is like walking naked into fire, so of course I'd want to share that with all my friends and casual acquaintances who knows how many strangers on the internet."

So I've spent a couple days trying to nudge the question from the side, trying to consider songs that I think of as heartbreaky without sending myself into a downward spiral that could take weeks to recover from.

Today doesn't get a list, and it doesn't get a video. [personal profile] mdlbear posted that Jordin Kare has died.

I remember one filksong from my first year at BayCon - Leslie Fish's "Banned from Argo," sung in the back corner of a party room by four people sharing a copy of Westerfilk. The next year, I went looking. I remember one song from my second year - Jordin Kare singing "The Bride of Saint-Germain."

I wrote about this before. Bride of Saint-Germain has, as far as I know, never been recorded. It's certainly never been publicly released. And now, no matter how well the OTW does in its struggles to get fanworks accepted as fair use, no matter what kind of precedents vidders win from congress... he's never going to record even one of the fannish concert versions that sometimes make their way to Youtube.

I loved Jordin's music; I have both Fire in the Sky and Parody Violation and I can sing along with all of them, even if I don't quite know all the words. The song that breaks my heart is the one I'll never hear again.

Meme list
neotoma: My Glitch Avatar, with brown skin, purple hair, and cat ears (Glitch)
[personal profile] neotoma
Anyone interested in seeing Dunkirk at the AFI on Sunday, a group of us are going to see it at 12:30. Drop me a comment here, and show up at the theater at noon, and we can eat and discuss the movie afterwards at one of Silver Spring's eateries.
lurkingcat: (Mako Punch)
[personal profile] lurkingcat
Oh look.



Yay! Giant mecha!

Day 50: Silver fish

Jul. 20th, 2017 11:04 pm

DICE TALES is out in the world!

Jul. 19th, 2017 10:29 am
swan_tower: (Default)
[personal profile] swan_tower

I should have posted this yesterday, but appropriately enough, I was too busy prepping for the game I ran last night. 🙂

Dice Tales: Essays on Roleplaying Games and Storytelling is out now! If you play RPGs and have an interest in them from the narrative side of things — the ways we use them to tell stories, and what GMs and players can do to make them work better in that regard — you may find it of interest. Follow the link to buy it from Book View Cafe, Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Google Play, iTunes, Kobo, or (in a first for me) DriveThruRPG. And if any parts of it wind up working their way into the games you play or run, let me know!

Also, the New Worlds Patreon has headed off into the wilds of rudeness, with two posts on “Gestures of Contempt” and “Insults.” The theme will continue through the end of this month before turning in a new direction for August. Remember that patrons at the $5 level and above can request topics, so if there’s something you’d like to see me discuss, you can make that happen!

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

swan_tower: (Default)
[personal profile] swan_tower

I had the pleasure of meeting Michael F. Haspil at Denver Comic-Con recently, and he had me at the word “Egyptology.” The hero of his debut novel is a mummy and former pharaoh — how could I not be interested in that! But I’ll let Michael tell you about how it took a different character to bring his mummy’s story to, er, life for him.

***

cover art for GRAVEYARD SHIFT by Michael F. HaspilI wrote the original version of GRAVEYARD SHIFT during NaNoWriMo some time ago. However, I still remember when the story really jumped into gear and, regrettably, that wasn’t truly in the first draft, though at the time I thought it was.

As I began revisions and sorted through the aftermath of a NaNo first draft, certain aspects stood out as being decent. The main character, Alex Menkaure, an immortal pharaoh now working in a special supernatural police unit in modern-day Miami, and his partner, Marcus, a vampire born in ancient Rome, needed minor work. The climactic battle at the end against the villains needed a lot of polish. While the action was solid, I wrote the section in a blur and it showed. Also, there was something missing. While Alex and Marcus are formidable, the villains I’d set up for them to go against were more so, and they needed help.

The help came in the form of Rhuna Gallier, a young but vicious shapeshifter with her own agenda. I’d had an idea for her character while brainstorming another novel, but realized with some minor tweaks, Rhuna and “The Pack” could fit into GRAVEYARD SHIFT’s story and world.

When I wrote the next draft, as I seeded Rhuna’s presence throughout the book, she threatened to take over the entire thing and make it hers. This may sound weird to non-writers, but she didn’t seem to understand this was Alex’s story and she was a supporting character. So I promised her besides the climax she would get a cool action scene. I knew in the scene Rhuna needed to be mostly on her own with minimal support so I could showcase her lethality.

In GRAVEYARD SHIFT’s world, a practice goes by the underground name of S&B. It stands for Sangers, a derogatory name for vampires, and Bleeders, humans who willingly let vampires feed on them to experience the pleasurable sensations that come with it. Participants meet in bloodclubs, which are akin to prohibition-era speakeasies. Many unsavory activities such as human trafficking, blood and drug dealing, and murder, happen near the clubs and they are part of Miami’s criminal underbelly.

In the early draft, I had a criminal vampire who liked to prey on young girls, take one of his victims to the club. It was an unhappy chapter and ended with the vampire killing another victim. In the new draft, Rhuna showed up. That’s when the story jumped to life. Rhuna took the place of the victim and suddenly where I had a naïve girl falling prey to an old vampire’s wiles, now I had Rhuna going in as a Trojan horse and the vampire and his companions never knew what hit them.

I rewrote the sequence, several chapters long, in one sitting. Now, I can’t wait to write Rhuna’s novel. It’s going to be great fun.

***

From the cover copy:

Alex Menkaure, former pharaoh and mummy, and his vampire partner, Marcus, born in ancient Rome, are vice cops in a special Miami police unit. They fight to keep the streets safe from criminal vampires, shape-shifters, bootleg blood-dealers, and anti-vampire vigilantes.

When poisoned artificial blood drives vampires to murder, the city threatens to tear itself apart. Only an unlikely alliance with former opponents can give Alex and Marcus a fighting chance against an ancient vampire conspiracy.

If they succeed, they’ll be pariahs, hunted by everyone. If they fail, the result will be a race-war bloodier than any the world has ever seen.

Michael F. Haspil is a geeky engineer and nerdy artist. The art of storytelling called to him from a young age and he has plied his craft over many years and through diverse media. He has written original stories for as long as he can remember and has dabbled in many genres. However, Science Fiction, Fantasy, and Horror have whispered directly to his soul. An avid gamer, he serves as a panelist on the popular “The Long War” webcasts and podcasts, which specializes in Warhammer 40,000 strategy, tactics, and stories. Graveyard Shift is his first novel. Find him online at michaelhaspil.com or @michaelhaspil.

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

Some Hugo nominations I didn't like

Jul. 18th, 2017 06:51 pm
genusshrike: Icon of young woman reading, with the text, Rather be reading. (rather be reading)
[personal profile] genusshrike
I am pleased to see the end of the Hugo voting period, because I no longer feel obliged to try anything I don't feel like! Or finish anything I don't like!

I'm looking at The Dream-Quest of Vellit Boe here. If it had been longer I hope I would have given up, but it was only a novella so I forced myself. I found it dull, and resented the time I spent reading it. But to be fair, I dislike travelogue-type stories (the worst part of an Ursula Le Guin novel is always the journey to a mountain plateau) so it was never going to work for me. I haven't read a lot of Lovecraft either, so that aspect didn't mean a lot to me. I did like the other Lovecraft-inspired novella better, The Ballad of Black Tom.

The other book that I read and disliked was All the Birds in the Sky. I didn't connect with the characters, and I read most of it with a vague disinterest. I was a good 3/4 through before I felt any narrative compulsion. Which is a shame, because I feel like it should have been more interesting to me, given the themes. But honestly if I want to read a book that concludes with Read more... )
elf: Rainbow sparkly fairy (Rainbow Fairy)
[personal profile] elf
I'm not sure what I'll come up with for this. I've recently gotten pretty cynical about the whole idea of falling in love, after the emotional labor thread at Metafilter. It covered a whole lot of ground (like, near half a million words of ground) about how relationships often work, and how it's usually assumed to be the woman's job to keep track of everyone's feelings and steer those feelings in directions that make the relationship stronger. Since then, I'm not sure if I've been in a state where I wanted to feel compelled to set my own interests aside for the purpose of strengthening a relationship, even one that makes me happy.

I went looking for songlists, as I've been doing, to spark my memories. There are no song lists for "strong women in love." There are countless love song lists, and there are "female empowerment" lists (there is, apparently, basically no such thing as "male empowerment"), but nobody combines those ideas. There's a lot of love songs I like, but very few that make me "want to fall in love." Even these, I'm not sure are correct, but at least they don't carry any "nope nope nope; I am so done with that game" vibes for me.

It Must Be Love (Rickie Lee Jones) | Circles (Captain and Tennille) | Innocent Man (Billy Joel) | In a Big Country (Big Country) | Like a Prayer (Madonna) | Country Bumpkin (Loretta Lynn)

And the only one that actually brings me happy thoughts about a hypothetical relationship )

Meme list

drabblemania! And other festathons!

Jul. 17th, 2017 11:50 am
isis: Write what you're told! (micah wright)
[personal profile] isis
The second annual Multifandom Drabble Exchange ([community profile] multifandomdrabble) went live yesterday, and I received a gift and a treat:

Summer turns towards Autumn by [archiveofourown.org profile] weakinteraction - The Man in the High Castle (TV), Tagomi and Juliana post-S2. I do wonder what is going to happen in S3 when they eventually meet again, and this is a lovely teaser!

The Visitor by [archiveofourown.org profile] Alona - The Divine Cities series by Robert Jackson Bennett, Mulaghesh gen. I prompted "accidental kitten acquisition" and this made me smile because it's so in character.

I was assigned to write for [archiveofourown.org profile] st_aurafina:

A New Hobby - Lord John series by Diana Gabaldon, Lord John/Stephan von Namtzen (okay, it's really gen, but) in a stealth fusion with an undisclosed fandom. Lord John Grey visits Waldesruh again, and learns about Stephan von Namtzen's latest obsession.

I also wrote a bunch of treats (all G-rated):

Saucy Wench - Hot Sauces (Anthropomorphic), Cholula/ Tapatío - There's a new girl on the shelf.

My Sin - due South (TV), Frannie Vecchio/Maggie McKenzie - Licking the evidence runs in the family.

Fire - Frontier Wolf by Rosemary Sutcliff, Teleri(/Connla) - Everyone in the village said they should wed, with their matching crowns of fiery hair.

The Bicycle Rule - The Giver by Lois Lowry, The Receiver gen - It was one of the few rules that was not taken very seriously and was almost always broken. (The Giver, chapter 2.)

One More Earthly Pleasure - The Witcher 3 videogame (actually for the DLC Hearts of Stone), Shani and Vlodimir - In which Gaunter O'Dimm doesn't banish Vlodimir at midnight.

Aboard the Psi-Ship Foxway - The Raven Cycle by Maggie Stiefvater, gen - 300 Fox Way IN SPAAACE.

Here are links to the main collection and the treats - a lot of tasty bite-sized fandom bits to sample. My favorite so far unfortunately points up the problem with drabbles - that they are so tiny and can only tell a very limited story - because it's a drabble sequence and therefore encompasses a lot more story than a single 100-word chunk can tell. But it's really amazing:

Forward/Back (500 words) by lalalalalawhy
Fandom: Original Work
Rating: Teen And Up Audiences
Warnings: No Archive Warnings Apply
Relationships: Time Traveler/Time Traveler
Characters: Time traveling OCs, Original Female Character(s)
Additional Tags: Time Travel, Drabble, Drabble Sequence
Summary:
I skip through time like a flat stone on a still lake, spending days here, a few hours there, always moving forward. My love is the same, but reverse. Her lake is a mirror of mine. She only ever goes back.
A love story in five drabbles.

In other festathon news, I'm planning on signing up for both [community profile] crossovering and [community profile] remixrevival, which are both open for sign-ups now! Check 'em out!

Several Things Make A Post?

Jul. 17th, 2017 03:35 pm
lurkingcat: (Default)
[personal profile] lurkingcat
  1. I'm quietly pleased by the Doctor Who casting announcement. I just hope that the writers can step up to it and give her some really good scripts.

  2. Apparently last Friday marked a year of me playing Pokémon Go? I'm playing it less than I used to but I'm still pottering around with it so either that's a hopeless addiction or it's a game that manages to keep long-term player interested.

  3. Went for cocktails at the Rummer on Saturday to celebrate a friend's 40th birthday. It was good evening but I should not be allowed access to both friends and internet at the same time. It turns out that if I wave Etsy pages at people saying things like, "I really like this coat," the general response is "That's awesome, you should buy it." So I've got a fancy new coat on the way to me...
dorinda: Someone writing at a desk while wearing a large helmet with an oxygen tube attached (a device called "The Isolator"). (isolator)
[personal profile] dorinda
Another of the commentfics from More Joy Day 2017, this one for [personal profile] mollyamory. ♥ Backstory: there's a videogame series called "Dragon Age". And in Dragon Age II, you play a human character named Hawke (you can choose a male or female iteration). Hawke ends up super-besties with the dwarf character Varric Tethras, who is a storyteller by avocation, and in his spare time writes books--hard-boiled detective stories, romance-adventure, etc.

In the next game, Dragon Age: Inquisition, Varric and Hawke are separated. But in some circumstances, male!Hawke shows up again for a particular portion of the game, and it's still obvious that Varric loves him soooOOooo muuuuch.

And yet, neither of the games allows Hawke to romance Varric, the way Hawke was able to choose from so many other characters! Unfair, unjust. And given Varric's devotion and heart-eyes-admiration for Hawke, plus Varric's subtle ongoing sense of loneliness, mollyamory thought that should be remedied.

MOVED AND SECONDED:

The Epic Tale of Jeon the Giant (1603 words) by Dorinda
Chapters: 1/1
Fandom: Dragon Age: Inquisition, Dragon Age II, Dragon Age (Video Games), Dragon Age - All Media Types
Rating: General Audiences
Warnings: No Archive Warnings Apply
Relationships: Hawke/Varric Tethras, Male Hawke/Varric Tethras
Characters: Varric Tethras, Garrett Hawke
Additional Tags: Requited Unrequited Love, Writing, we already know varric writes rpf
Summary:

Why couldn't the stupid character stay where he was put? No, all that work to get him face-to-face with the bad guy and into a final battle, and afterward there he went, waltzing away into the wilds to...~~do good~~ or ~~fight the good fight~~ or ~~be brave~~.

Screw Jeon, anyway. That big dumb brawny nug-licking Fereldan. That hero.

elf: Emily the Strange: Misery loves company (Misery Loves Company)
[personal profile] elf
Oh wow; this is an iiiinteresting category. Lemme share some of the contents of my "DUMPSTER FIRE 2016" playlist, which is a set of songs by artists who died last year. (I have a whole playlist of songs by artists who died the year we got POTUS45. The only reason it's not longer is that some of them aren't on Spotify. In the future, I wouldn't be surprised if we blot 2016 out of calendars.)

The Heat is On | Little Red Corvette | You Want It Darker | September | Rebel Rebel | Lucky Man | Big City | Faith

2016 was a horrible year to be a celebrity. )

Meme list
neotoma: Neotoma albigula, the white-throated woodrat! [default icon] (Default)
[personal profile] neotoma
I went with [livejournal.com profile] ipleasance and [personal profile] greenygal to IKEA today, and finally used the gift card my sister gave me for Christmas 2015. I got two KALLAX units, which I now have to put together, but which will give me a whole lot more shelf space when I'm done.

The last hour or so there I just hit a wall of 'too many people, too hot, here too long', so I'm going to finish eating a round of the Greek bakery's pita and go sleep. I have to be on point tomorrow, since I'm the only person working in my sub-department, now that the permanent employee has gone on her month-long vacation overseas...
elf: Grateful Dead Steal Your Face with sun & moon (Steal Your Face)
[personal profile] elf
I think it'd be cheating if I included bands that only "broke up" because somebody died, so... no Queen, no Grateful Dead. But I'm not limiting myself to bands whose original members are all still alive, because I am at least bordering on "old," and most of the bands I loved are missing at least one original member. (And because I went looking for lists of "great bands that broke up" because I don't keep track of these things, and I've never heard of most of the bands on the lists.) However, I think it'd be extra-cheating to list anything by the Beatles because I can't honestly say I wish they were together as they are know; I've seen too many zombie AU fanfics already.

Also I went looking for the details about several bands I thought had broken up and discovered that many of them had gotten back together in some way, and several of them are still recording. (Supertramp is still active. Huh.)

White Rabbit | Gimme Gimme Gimme | Vacation | Peaceful Easy Feeling | Come Dancing | Anarchy in the UK

One of the few bands I've seen in concert - well, I've seen the abridged version of the band. )

Meme list
neotoma: Neotoma albigula, the white-throated woodrat! [default icon] (Default)
[personal profile] neotoma
A pint of blackberries, a pint of blueberries, a pint of shiro plums, a quart of mango doughnut peaches (my favorite!), a pint of shishito peppers, garlic cheese curds, dill & garlic quark, herb roasted beets, olives in honey, pita bread, tiropita, seasonal Greek stuffed bread, batard of whole wheat bread.

I've finished up the peach butter I started last night -- I was so tired I had to put it in the fridge and finish this morning -- and I'm planning on making blackberry jam this week. I'll probably make kimchi stew to take for lunch this week, as it's pretty easy and I do have fresh shishito peppers...
elf: Stained glass interlocking pentagons (Law of Fives)
[personal profile] elf
Ooh, that's a bold claim. Hrm. I am tempted to rattle off half the songs on the "Firestorm" album, on the grounds that everyone should know some survivalist teaching songs. I'm also trying to remember songs I dragged out for my kids and said, "you will listen to this; it is important to your education and understanding the culture of your people and I am not raising antisocial numb-witted jerks here, so you are going to hear this song and whether or not you like it, you are going to damn well be ENRICHED by it."

There aren't actually a lot of those. And most of them are at least somewhat in the filk genre.

Old Time Religion (the filk version) | Little Fuzzy Animals | Velveteen | Badger Badger Badger Badger | Black Powder and Alcohol | Cranes over Hiroshima

I really wanted Black Powder to be the video, but then I remembered this one. )

Meme list
elf: Sydney Scoville, looking very determined, saying, "Let's do this." (Let's do this.)
[personal profile] elf
Sigh; I'm behind again. Yesterday at noon, my internet died. Called AT&T. Got told they can't figure anything out; they'll send a technician Saturday. (They offered for today but I wouldn't be home at the only timeslot they had.) At about 7:30 pm, internet started working again - we suspect the router had overheated. If a similar thing happens today, I'll call them to cancel the techie visit.

That threw off my working schedule and I didn't get back to post here. Which is fine, because after a day of fighting with tech I wasn't up to sorting out the intended meaning of "song that moves you forward"... what, like a sea shanty that helps you row? Erm, probably not.

Here, have some songs from my "UFYH" playlist:

Shock Treatment | No New Tale to Tell | Make a Circuit with Me | Kyrie | March of Cambreadh | Psych (Theme from Psych) | Future's So Bright, I Gotta Wear Shades | Invincible | Rapper's Delight | Love Somebody

A terrific clean-the-house song )

Meme list
neotoma: Neotoma albigula, the white-throated woodrat! [default icon] (Default)
[personal profile] neotoma
There's a catered picnic at work tomorrow, with an invite to bring a desert. I'm making clafoutis with the leftover cherries I have because it's an easy dish to make and it would be an alternative to the 'everything is chocolate' that seemed to be characteristic of the desert sign-up sheet.

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