My METAtropolis: Green Space novella "Rock of Ages" is being critiqued tomorrow. This means I don't have to do any critical reading today, so I'm cooking momos [ jlake.com | LiveJournal ] for tonight's dinner.
Still struggling a bit with the altitude. Had a terrible night's sleep last night. I did okay the night before, thanks to my friend Lorazepam, and will probably have to do that again tonight. And I regret not being able to go out hiking here during the day, as my UV issues from Vectibix linger on.
All that being said, I am very glad to be here.
Washington state woods. Photo © 2008, 2013, Joseph E. Lake, Jr.
This work by Joseph E. Lake, Jr. is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 United States License.
The Phosphorous Atom Quantum Computing Machine — An Australian team unveils the fundamental building block of a scalable quantum computer that could be embedded in today’s silicon chips.
New Efforts to Overhaul Psychiatric Diagnoses Spurred by DSM Turmoil — (Via Marta Murvosh.)
If the Earth had rings — (Via Lisa Costello.)
Red Sprite Lightning with Aurora — A strange photo from APOD. Well worth reading the write-up.
Had the Cookie Crumbled Differently: East and West Dakota
Pat Robertson shrugs off adultery, CBN regrets the misunderstanding — Robertson said the “secret” was to “stop talking about the cheating. He cheated on you. Well, he’s a man. OK.” So glad religious conservatives had this viewpoint during the Clinton years. Imagine the political circus if they'd taken adultery seriously back then.
Asked by Wolf Blitzer if She Thanked God for Surviving the Tornado, Oklahoma Woman Responds: ‘I’m Actually An Atheist’ — Heh. It's a stupid question on the face of things. If we're supposed to thank God for surviving such an event, aren't we equally blaming God for the lives lost? (Via
Anti-Sandy-relief Oklahoma Senator: Aid for Oklahoma is “totally different” than Sandy — The only difference is that the tornado victims vote in Oklahoma. Just like government support for hard working farmers is totally different from food stamps for the lazy urban poor. Ah, that justly famed conservative intellectual consistency.
Oklahoma GOP Sen. Tom Coburn Will Seek To Offset Tornado Aid — At least he's being intellectually consistent in his conservative cruelty, unlike Senator Inhofe cited above. Unusual for a Republican, that.
Fisheries could be in hot water due to climate change — Warming waters are altering the distribution and abundance of fish species. Amazing, the lengths liberals will go to for their global warming hoax. Even to warming entire oceans. Thank god for Rush Limbaugh and the Republican party, otherwise we might have to do something about this.
Will Republicans Screw Up Again? Some Are Already Overreaching — Republicans allowed themselves to look as if they were primarily interested in scoring political points and overturning the results of the 1996 election, even if it meant paralyzing the government. That same danger exists once again for the GOP. "Look as if…" That's remarkably kind to a party whose top legislative priority was ensuring that Obama was a one-term president. Not jobs. Not the economy. Not healthcare. Not our foreign wars. No, overturning the results of the 2008 election. And now, the 2012. They're practically built their entire brand and message around it.
QotD?: What did you read yesterday?
Writing time yesterday: 0.0 hours (workshop)
Hours slept: 5.5 hours (fitful)
Body movement: n/a
Number of FEMA troops on my block scamming disaster aid slush funds: 0
Currently reading: Night Watch by Terry Pratchett
We start a new story about business cases.
The Kickstarter is 256% funded, with 6 days to go! Only $8 shy of $1800!! Wow. O_O I forgot to do an update yesterday, I will have to get on that this morning.
Mirrored from MCAH Online.
If you click on You and then Photostream, your photos appear in the wall-to-wall mosaic. Click on Edit and you are back in the old familiar view. It also loads just one page at a time, which is so much better for speedy access, especially if you want to jump back a few weeks.
I had seen the Edit option, but assumed that it took you to a photoediting page, so I didn't try it, but fortunately one of my Flickr friends did and passed on the good news. :)
- Current Mood: a bit more chirpy
Well. Instead, I eventually got up, got breakfast, and spent a long time cuddling Maya. It's worked for me so far. In 20 minutes, I'll go wake up MrD and get him ready for school, but in the meantime...
Here's a list of things that have made me happy in the past few days, because honestly, I'm still feeling jittery from that nightmare (oh, how I hate the vivid dreams of pregnancy!), plus I've been pretty stressed-out over my freelance deadline and all our practical house-moving issues, and I really need this reminder right now:
1. Watching MrD in his nursery school's spring show yesterday. Possibly the most adorable sight ever (in my clearly unbiased and objective opinion)! And ohhhh, was I proud of him.
2. Eating gorgeous strawberry-cream cake at my favorite cake-café in town afterwards, with friends, while MrD and his own friends quickly devoured their own cakes and then just played and played together.
3. Knitting - possibly the most relaxing and de-stressing occupation I've ever found (and also the one gesture I can make to appease my frustrated nesting instincts right now, while our house situation is still undecided - I may not know where we're going to live with our new baby, but at least he/she will have a handknitted blanket!) - while watching MrD build enormous structures out of lego or play-dough, at various points over the last few days.
4. Re-reading The Lord of the Rings for the first time in 7 years, and sinking into it with total delight and wonder all over again at just how good it really is. Re-reading it is a process of re-discovery - oh! I'd forgotten how much I love the writing! - and also pure comfort - because I absorbed this book into my bones as a kid, and almost every scene resonates with memory, for me.
What about you guys? What have been the brightest spots in your week so far?
Of course, I must be resilient just like the turtle. Even through the most difficult times, we must find that hope to be resilient, to rebuild what has been lost, and to find that beyond each stroke of thought or action, there is no limit to how far we can climb or how long it takes for us to get there. I hope this haiga finds you well, friends. Please enjoy! Thank you so much once again for all of your love and support!
Both haiga versions were created using Picasa, but I was feeling very faux-mixed media today before taking a snapshot of it before the photo-editing process. Also, I forgot to mention that I've made my own slight modifications to this origami turtle model here.
- Current Location:Home
- Current Mood: contemplative
Jaclyn Moriarty’s A Corner of White, but I have a proper review in the works for that, so I shall not detain us here any longer than to note that I quite liked the book.
Also L. M. Boston’s The Children of Green Knowe, which is the first of her Green Knowe series. I don’t know if the rest of the series is like this, but the first book is great as long as you’re cool with the fact that it is not so much a novel as a long, atmospheric, lovingly detailed description of a slightly magical country house full of History and of ghosts. But, like, nice ghosts, so it’s not like they contribute suspense.
I found it deliciously soothing, but I suspect if it’s not your cuppa then it’s deadly dull.
What I’m Reading Now
More Les Mis. Infinite Les Mis. I’m kind of stalling on it because we’re going to meet the Amis soon, and I suspect that once I read about the book canon Enjolras and Grantaire, I will be way too embarrassed to finish/continue my fic, and that would be a mean thing to do to my readers, whom I have already dragged through seven chapters of poor life choices and philosophical rambling.
HOWEVER possibly it will simply inspire me to finish the story, so I should really get on that.
What I Plan to Read Next
I have Grace Lin’s Starry River of the Sky, which I am saving for my visit home over Memorial Day weekend. Chinese folktale remix! With illustrations! I am excited!
Also Maureen Johnson’s 13 Little Blue Envelopes, because I have heard Maureen Johnson’s work mentioned hither and thither AND ALSO the book features European travel, so. Clearly a win-win.
Plus if I like her work, she has a ton of books, so I am clearly set for the rest of the summer. Except there are SO MANY BOOKS I want to read, you guys, how will I ever be able to prioritize???
Mocha and I have been schooling in the Pelham lately. With spring and all, she’s gotten a bit strong and opinionated, plus I did something to my left thumb and can barely bend it. So I needed to ride with two hands (not, not gonna try to teach myself to neck rein with the right hand, it would be far too confusing for a rather particular and precise mare. Ahem) while still using some curb elements–ergo, the Pelham.
But things are getting busy with Miscon coming up and various end-of-the-school year things. It’s a good time to back off a wee bit on conditioning and both of us catch our breath, then build back up with frequent short works, then lengthen them out with ground schooling work for bending and flexion.
Therefore, tonight we rode in the snaffle, and no boots. Boots to Mocha are a cue, we’re either going into the show ring or we’re doing a fairly light ride. She’s more relaxed and less on the muscle…but as I realized tonight, less on the muscle does not mean we’re not doing some high level stuff.
She lined out with lots of energy, and my first cue that–ahem–light work these days might mean something other than it used to was when she offered up lead changes on the rail when we usually do them during warmup. No drama, no fuss, just a lead change in response to an unconscious weight shift. Hmm. So I asked again, keeping the rein long, doing a light rein squeeze and leg. Change.
I didn’t ask for the change every two strides–that does get her hot and bothered–but we did calmly and serenely change every four or five strides. She remained relaxed throughout.
And from there we did a few fancy didoes and such, involving random direction changes and small voltes with lead and direction changes…girl sure seems to like that sort of work.
A good ride. Long rein throughout, I never really took up much of a contact, did most of our work by leg, seat, and leaning the rein on her neck. She remained soft in the hand and mellow, despite all the changes and twists and turns.
I think she really likes that kind of work.
Then afterward, a nice long grooming with lots of cookies for her and just a quiet, relaxing groove for the two of us. The sort of night horse people dream about.
Mirrored from Peak Amygdala.This entry was originally posted at Peak Amygdala. You can post here or there.
By virtue of an eerie coincidence, I happened to be puzzling over the origin of "willies" just as your letter arrived (start the spooky music, please). The previous evening I had attended a performance by the American Ballet Theater of "Giselle." In the first act of the ballet, Giselle, a sturdy peasant girl, responds to a procession of unsuitable suitors by dancing herself to death. (I know, I know -- I didn't entirely understand this part myself).I just love the various connections Dr. Morris makes in this response, in large part because the story of Giselle and the willies has so many fairy tale elements. This entry was originally posted on Dreamwidth at pameladlloyd. Feel free to respond at either location.In Act Two, the now defunct but still remarkably sprightly Giselle meets up with a troupe of spectral Rockettes who haunt the nearby forest and are known as, guess what, the "willies." Together they dance around a good deal until the suitor Giselle really liked all along wanders by, whereupon the "willies" literally dance him into the ground, and the two lovers live, or don't live, happily ever after. I love culture, don't you?
I have checked several reference works, and most agree that "the willies," meaning "the jitters" or "nervous apprehension," is of "unknown origin." One exception, my own parents' Morris Dictionary of Word and Phrase Origins, traces "the willies" to the slang expression "willie-boy," meaning "sissy" -- presumably the sort who would be prone to the "willies."
That theory is far from impossible, but I think I may have found, thanks to my evening with "Giselle," a more likely source. The "willies" in the ballet take their name from the Serbo-Croatian word "vila" (in English, "wili" or "willi") meaning a wood-nymph or fairy, usually the spirit of a betrothed girl who died after being jilted by her lover. It seems entirely possible to me that "willi," the spirit or ghost, became the "willies," the feeling that something creepy is going on. Now, where's that spooky music I ordered?
Yesterday, while I was talking about books and writing with an amazing group of 4th and 5th graders in Western New York, another group of elementary school students took shelter in their school, clinging to walls, huddling in the protective arms of their teachers as a tornado swept through their city. Later on, I saw the rescue crews on the news, and my heart ached for all of those families.
I spent time in the Oklahoma City area when I was researching my weather thriller, Eye of the Storm, and the people were so welcoming and wonderful. Those of us who weren’t in the storm’s path may be in a position to help now. So here’s a chance to do that.
Instead of pulling together an auction like we did to benefit the SuperStorm Sandy KidLitCares relief effort, I thought we’d try something faster, because Oklahoma needs help right now, given the magnitude of damage from this week’s EF5 tornado. Please consider making a donation to the American Red Cross Disaster Relief Effort now. If you donate at least $10, I’ll enter you in a drawing to win a signed book.
I’m donating some of my books, and some other authors are doing the same – not because a book giveaway is the real reason to make this donation but because it’s a way for the children’s literature community to promote the effort and say thanks to those who decide to donate. I’m hoping that we can also donate signed books to the library system that serves families affected by the tornado, either to add to their collections or to distribute to displaced families. More on that when things settle down some…but here’s the KidLitCares Donation Drive information.
To be entered in the KidLitCares for Oklahoma Book Giveaway:
Click here and make a donation of at least $10 for American Red Cross Disaster Relief. Ideally, you’ll do this now. Like, right now. But if you want to be entered for the book drawing, be sure to do it before 12pm EST on June 7th. I’ll enter your name in the drawing once for each $10 you donate. So a $50 donation equals five chances to win.
You’ll receive an email receipt from the Red Cross. Forward that receipt to firstname.lastname@example.org, and you’ll automatically be entered in the drawing for one of our donated signed books! You can see an ever-updating list of donated signed books below!
On June 7th, I’ll draw names for as many books as we have donated. I’ll contact you via email if you win so that you can provide a mailing address for the author to mail your signed book. Because our authors are donating postage, books can be mailed to US addresses only. (Sorry!) Again – the deadline is 12pm EST on June 7th.
***NEWSFLASH 5/22 2pm : We’ve just had a MEGA-DONATION FOR A GRAND-PRIZE GIVEAWAY!!
One of my amazing publishers, Chronicle Books, has just donated TWO great big prize packages for KidLitCares for Oklahoma Red Cross donors. One is a collection of great Chronicle YA titles, and the other is a spectacular picture book package. So here’s what we’re going to do…
Whoever makes the LARGEST Red Cross donation via KidLitCares before noon EST on June 7th will get to choose one of these two packages as a thank you gift. The other package will be given to one of our $10 or more donors, chosen in a random drawing. That way, there’s incentive to give BIG if you can – as well as incentive to give whatever you can, even if your heart is bigger than your wallet. Check out these great titles…
Chronicle Books YA KidLit Cares Thank You PackagePRISONERS IN THE PALACE by Michaela MacCollGIRL MEETS BOY by Kelly Milner HallsTHE SPACE BETWEEN TREES by Katie WilliamsTHE ORPHAN OF AWKWARD FALLS by Keith Graves
Chronicle Books PICTURE BOOKS KidLit Cares Thank You PackageHIS SHOES WERE FAR TOO TIGHT by Daniel Pinkwater and Calef BrownWUMBERS by Amy Krouse Rosenthal and Tom LichtenheldBEARS! BEARS! BEARS! by Bob BarnerIT’S A TIGER by David LaRochelle and Jeremy TankardAN EGG IS QUIET by Dianna Aston and Sylvia LongDUCK! RABBIT! by Amy Krouse Rosenthal and Tom LichtenheldFLORA AND THE FLAMINGO by Molly IdleCHLOE INSTEAD by Micah Player
Please donate – and help us spread the word about KidLitCares for Oklahoma by sharing this link on Twitter, Facebook and wherever else you have friends!
Here’s the list of books that have already been donated and will be given away on June 7th…
(It will grow…and I will try my best to keep up with it…please be patient! New books will be added daily.)
HIDE AND SEEK by Kate Messner
WAKE UP MISSING by Kate Messner
THE REINVENTION OF EDISON THOMAS by Jacqueline Houtman
SIRENS by Janet Fox
BIGGER THAN A BREADBOX by Laurel Snyder
PASSING THE MUSIC DOWN by Sarah Sullivan
SMALL MEDIUM AT LARGE by Joanne Levy
1 ZANY ZOO by Lori Degman
THE GENTLEMAN BUG by Julian Hector
TRADING FACES by Julie DeVillers and Jennifer Roy
BEDEVILED: DADDY’S LITTLE ANGEL by Shani Petroff
HOUNDS: LOYAL HUNTING COMPANIONS by Becky Levine
THE SINISTER SWEETNESS OF SPLENDID ACADEMY by Nikki Loftin
SPLISH SPLASH! by Naomi Davis
COUNTING ON GRACE by Elizabeth Winthrop
THE GOLLYWHOPPER GAMES by Jody Feldman
PRINCESS OF THE WILD SWANS by Diane Zahler
FLUTTER by Gina Linko
WHERE DO DIGGERS SLEEP AT NIGHT by Brianna Caplan Sayres
THE WIG IN THE WINDOW by Kristen Kittscher
I DARE YOU NOT TO YAWN! by Helene Boudreau
THE CENTER OF EVERYTHING by Linda Urban
SEE YOU AT HARRY’S by Jo Knowles
CANARY IN THE COAL MINE by Madelyn Rosenberg
NO SAFETY IN NUMBERS by Dayna Lorentz
HOPE IN PATIENCE by Beth Fehlbaum
COWBOY CAMP by Tammi Sauer
THE 12 DAYS OF CHRISTMAS IN OKLAHOMA by Tammi Sauer
NUGGET AND FANG by Tammi Sauer
THE WATER CASTLE by Megan Frazer Blakemore
ONE FOR THE MURPHYS by Linda Mullaly Hunt
WANT TO GO PRIVATE by Sarah Darer Littman
LIFE, AFTER by Sarah Darer Littman
CHICKEN SOUP FOR THE SOUL: THE POWER OF POSITIVE by Sarah Darer Littman
THE UNQUIET by Jeannine Garsee
SAY THE WORD by Jeannine Garsee
BEYOND LUCKY by Sarah Aronson
I’M BORED by Debbie Ridpath Ohi
THOUSAND WORDS by Jennifer Brown
MADHATTAN MYSTERY by John J. Bonk
THE FLINT HEART by Katherine Paterson (signed by Katherine Paterson & John Rocco, donated by Anne Moore)
TEACH YOUR BUFFALO TO PLAY DRUMS by Audrey Vernick
THE UNIVERSE OF FAIR by Leslie Bulion
BROTHERS AT BAT: THE TRUE STORY OF AN AMAZING ALL-BROTHER BASEBALL TEAM by Audrey Vernick
SCARS by Cheryl Rainfield
STAINED (ARC) by Cheryl Rainfield
PHANTOM STALLION: THE WILD ONE by Terri Farley
THE CAMPING TRIP THAT CHANGED AMERICA by Barb Rosenstock
FEARLESS by Barb Rosenstock
THE SWEETEST THING by Christina Mandelski
BOY + BOT by Ame Dyckman
THE MAPMAKER AND THE GHOST by Sarvenaz Tash
NEVER EIGHTEEN by Megan Bostic
MELONHEAD AND THE BIG STINK by Katy Kelly
FOREST HAS A SONG by Amy Ludwig Vanderwater
COMPLETE set of CHARLIE JOE JACKSON book!! by Tommy Greenwald
THE SMALL ADVENTURES OF POPEYE AND ELVIS by Barbara O’Connor
ETERNAL by Cynthia Leitich Smith
CHRONAL ENGINE by Greg Leitich Smith
THE TEMPLETON TWINS HAVE AN IDEA by Ellis Weiner
IF IT’S NO TROUBLE…A BIG POLAR BEAR by Lisa Dairymple
GLORY BE by Augusta Scattergood
WHY KIMBA SAVED THE WORLD by Meg Dendler
MY COLD PLUM LEMON PIE BLUESY MOOD by Tameka Fryer Brown
HOW MARTHA SAVED HER PARENTS FROM GREEN BEANS by David LaRochelle
ME AND MEOW by Adam Gudeon
NOBODY’S SECRET by Michaela MacColl
DOUBLE VISION by F.T. Bradley
BOOKS 1-3 in the JAGUAR STONES series by J and P Voelkel
THESE SEAS COUNT by Alison Formento
MERELY DEE by Marian Cheatham
AUDITION AND SUBTRACTION by Amy Fellner Dominy
BIG SLICK by Eric Luper
WILD THINGS by Clay Carmichael
BROTHER, BROTHER (ARC) by Clay Carmichael
GONE FISHING: A NOVEL IN VERSE by Tamera Will Wissinger
WHEN A DRAGON MOVES IN by Jodi Moore
GOOD NEWS NELSON by Jodi Moore
ABSENT by Katie Williams
THE REVENANT by Sonia Gensler
OUT OF NOWHERE by Maria Padian
ISABELLA, STAR OF THE STORY by Jennifer Fosberry
WRITE A POEM STEP BY STEP by JoAnn Early Macken
WAITING OUT THE STORM by JoAnn Early Macken
KEEPER by Kathi Appelt
TRUE BLUE SCOUTS OF SUGAR MAN SWAMP by Kathi Appelt
MISS LADY BIRD’S WILDFLOWERS by Kathi Appelt
PICKLE by Kim Baker
THE 13TH SIGN by Kristin O’Donnell Tubb
SELLING HOPE by Kristin O’Donnell Tubb
AUTUMN WINIFRED OLIVER DOES THINGS DIFFERENT by Kristin O’Donnell Tubb
FREEDOM’S FIRE by Elizabeth Falk.
One of the things I love about steampunk is the chance to explore the Steam Age from a variety of angles and cultural viewpoints. The author team of Pip Ballantine & Tee Morris is definitely pushing the envelope with their Ministry of Peculiar Occurrences series (PHOENIX RISING and THE JANUS AFFAIR), with missions from the Ministry taking place all around the world.
Ever since my last visit to Beijing in 2005, I’ve been fascinated by Yuanmingyuan, the Old Summer Palace. It was razed to the ground during the Anglo-French Invasion, and it’s still a very sore spot for Beijing natives. I have always wanted to write something about those ruins because they fascinated and hurt me with their ravished beauty, but I never knew what to write. When Pip & Tee invited me to write for the Ministry Initiative, the old wheels started turning and the destruction of Yuanmingyuan became the setting of my story. I’m very thankful Tee & Pip were on board with this!
Galileo Games and Imagine That! Studios have teamed up to bring you an ambitious steampunk project! The Ministry Initiative is a two-part creative endeavor that will not only premiere new fiction from the steampunk world of the Ministry but also present a brand new role playing game from the makers of Bulldogs! and the ENnie Award winning game Shelter in Place. Thrill to the tales in Ministry Protocol anthology, or join in as an Agent in The Ministry Initiative RPG.
To celebrate this endeavor, I'm offering up a free e-copy of my short story, "Chinoiserie," for your delectation when the anthology becomes available. To enter to win, all you have to do is comment on this post by midnight, May 29th. A winner will be chosen via random number generator. And of course I will happily e-ship internationally. Find out more about this endeavor and support the Kickstarter here: http://bit.ly/ministry-initiative
Even when the pages and the pageantry and the scenes and scenery are duke-bent
And the applause is elsewhere,
And nobody is looking at me,
In the itchy-sweet grass and I lick the air like fire and cream
I lick the air, and then the May day-dusking, it licks me back, and a thousand frogs sing a serenade for Arden.
For a while I walk with my sometimes-lover down on the knoll, and my sometimes-lover is a gallant fellow
An actor from Oklahoma, and we are imaginary and barefoot
And he says lover-like things all in pretend, and I circle him like a shark in Arden
And I whisper words of love right back at him, but really all I want to do is bite
Because that is what a shark would do in Arden.
Elsewhere there are thunderclouds
Elsewhere this moon is hidden
Elsewhere it is autumn, and it is not Arden
But I am not there
I am always in this garden, even when I'm not expected
Even when I'm not invited, even when I should be home and sleeping
Home and cleaning my room, home and making my bed
Somehow, by accident, by happy chance, by mistake
I make it back to Arden.
And though I do not stay, though I take the river way back home
And stop in at the sea to say my lines to the moon
Though I howl at the moon and the cormorants and the fisher cats
And come home and type it all down
On this superawesome machine, because let's face it, today of all todays,
I am the Qwerty Queen
The truth is (which will be true, oh, but
For a very little while)
That everywhere I am
And speaking of shark girls...
Flock Theatre's As You Like It will run...
14 June: Opening Night (Connecticut College Arboretum)
15-16 June: Arbo
20-23 June: Arbo
27-28 June: Arbo
29 June: Hampton, CT
All shows are at 7:00 PM.
All the "Becoming Rosalind" poem-blogging ("plogging?") may be found under the "Worshipping Shakespeare" tag.
Now, to get the report that I need to write done so I can post some more photos!
- Current Mood: busy
You never know what you’ll find on these pages. This time it’s a quick bit of quirky short fiction. “The Case of Jorge Medeiros” is by Francesca Forrest, an editor who is also a writer of young adult novels and short stories which deal in the fantastic. We came across her tale of a man and his book of random numbers at askiyume.livejournal.com. And we found it a welcome relief from some of the grimly serious news coming from all directions these days. No need to be rational all the time. In fact, it’s good to enjoy the irrational now and then.
The Case of Jorge Mederios
A texting driver made a widower of Jorge Medeiros, and perhaps it’s not too far-fetched to say that it was the association of text—words—with death that pushed him in the direction of faith in numbers.
In any case, left with the care of his two elementary-school-aged children, Jorge’s indispensible aid became a book of random numbers, a souvenir from the middle of the last century that his wife had picked up at a yard sale as a curiosity.
He started out using it for household tasks: How long should he run the dryer for? Its serial number was 4214289, so he opened the book at random and ran his finger down the columns until he came to a number that began with 421. The next two digits were seven and six. Seventy-six minutes? Seventy-six seconds? Seven point six minutes? The dryer dial said “Max Dry” next to the 70, so he decided on seventy-six minutes. The clothes were very dry.
He used the number book to determine what temperature to set the oven to keep the pizza warm, how many rolls of wrapping paper to buy for the school’s fundraiser, and how much was an appropriate amount to spend when the kids were invited to birthday parties. The results were varyingly successful and disastrous: 512 (degrees Fahrenheit) resulted in thick black smoke, a visit from the fire department, and no pizza for dinner; 96 (rolls of wrapping paper) delighted the PTO at Linsey Elementary School.
He even used the book of random numbers for the kids’ bedtime stories, at first just reading off the numbers, only to be pressed by the boys to explain the what, who, where, when, and why. Four thousand fifteen whats? Grains of sand. Twenty who? Fishermen. Three hundred fifty where? Miles off the coast of New Bedford. Eighty-eight when? Years ago.
“Thirteen,” their father said, and then, by way of further explanation, “The twenty fishermen carried the 4,015 grains of sand divided between their—” (here he consulted the book) “—five boats to ward off the bad luck of the number thirteen, when they had to go out fishing on the thirteenth day of the month. It’s a bit of the shore with them in the boat, see? So they’ll never drown. They’ll always make it home.”
And so on.
This his sons have accepted as natural. Three months ago, for their father’s thirty-fifth birthday, they pooled their funds and bought him Pi to Five Million Places. He told me the gift brought tears to his eyes.
Since then, he’s abandoned his original book of random numbers and now relies entirely on pi for his number consultations, taking smaller or larger doses of it as needed, mining it from its never-ending, nonrepeating decimal tail.
“It’s a continuous stream, see? Go on, open to any page.” I opened to page 147 (of 588), and sure enough, nothing but row upon row of uninterrupted digits, zero through nine.
“Just like life . . . and irrational, too, just like life.”
the scythian! 4” tall, stands on her own, fimo clay
i realized just a bit too late that i had put her sword/shield in the wrong hands (blame zelda for making me default to left-handed swordsmen), but other than that i’m really happy with how this came out
Boston and Baltimore have created cool places to learn and practice engineering and craft skills.
At Technical.ly (better cites through technology), Andrew Zaleski describes how the Baltimore Foundery [sic], “a campus for makers,” was inspired by Artisan’s Space in the Boston area.
“It was by chance that Andrew Stroup and Corey Fleischer, two [Baltimore] locals-turned-contestants on a new engineering-focused Discovery Channel TV show, met Jason Hardebeck, the executive director of gb.tc.
“But despite having only met earlier this year, the three had more in common than they knew: each thought it was high time Baltimore city had its own makerspace — a large, indoor area replete with machine tools, digital tools like 3D printers and equipment for woodworking and metalworking — on par with similar spaces in other cities in the U.S.
“Through their time on the show, Stroup and Fleischer met Gui Cavalcanti, who started the Artisan’s Asylum makerspace in Boston, a sprawling, 40,000-square-foot complex where members renting space brew their own beer, construct their own bikes and sculpt pieces of art from metal. After spending a weekend there in mid-January, the two were convinced they needed to find a place within Baltimore where any resident could do the same type of work.
“ ‘Baltimore has everything that we saw at Artisan’s Asylum: the level of artists, engineers, hobbyists,’ said Fleischer, 31, who received his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in mechanical engineering from UMBC, and now works at Lockheed Martin in Middle River. ‘Baltimore has those people, and Baltimore does not have a space like that where everyone can go.’ …
“Whereas few people in Baltimore have the resources to become ‘coders and programmers,’ Hardebeck said, people ‘can understand how to become CNC machine operators.’
“In effect, that’s the grandest wish Hardebeck — a former product manager at DeWALT — harbors for the new makerspace: a place that can foster the next generation of blue-collar workers in Baltimore city by offering a community workshop so people can have access to good equipment and classes. In turn, people can become entrepreneurs building products in their own small-scale manufacturing facility, albeit one they share with other makers.”
Photo: Technical.lyFleischer leads a class in Introductory Welding last month.
Head out sunroof, on bored wrists
As Dad speeds along.
(Fortunately, he was also sounding his horn at the time, to let people know he was coming...)
Green citrus mold Penicillium sp. possibly P. digitatum or P. italicum
The other day I came into the house and was hit with a powerful odor of citrus and garbage. I took out the trash and checked the compost but the smell persisted. Finally I found the bag of oranges that had "gone bad."
We think of rot as a passive, entropic process, something that just happens due to neglect. The truth is that living fungus organisms are putting themselves out there (literally) and working hard to cause rot. They put out invisible threads a single cell wide, and grow into their food source. They put out digestive enzymes and absorb the products that result. Eventually they produce spores--visible in this case as a grayish green coating--which drift into the air in the hope of landing on a suitable substrate to continue the cycle.
I put the spoiled oranges into our compost container, where the vigorous activity of many organisms turns our leftovers into fertile soil.
Another species of penicillium--one colonizing some bread--appeared in the 365 urban species project.
- Current Music:Versus - Blade of Grass
( Want to see the pollen?Collapse )
I had to finally (er, after half an hour!) leave the bees and the flowers, and go off...
- Current Mood:patient
- Current Music:none now
Three hours of sleep
& still I sit to write
Fool of a poet
I drop a stone down the well
No splash no clack
just drums drums in my dreams
So, a humorous comment by mount_oregano led me on a little journey around The Internet and I stumbled upon this Analyzer called Gender Guesser. I plugged in some words from Venus In Transit, the same novel I used for yesterday’s meme, and discovered I am a European male. Here are the results:
Total words: 330
Female = 215
Male = 501
Difference = 286; 69.97%
Female = 303
Male = 370
Difference = 67; 54.97%
Verdict: Weak MALE
Weak emphasis could indicate European.
Mirrored from Better Than Dead.
Sarah Johnson interviews me at Through the Tollbooth today about writing a trilogy, including discussion of writing exploratory drafts, crafting a character arc over multiple books, and researching the Bones of Faerie trilogy (including some of the pictures I took of Liza’s forest, pre-faerie-apocalypse).
And speaking of trilogies, look! It’s a complete set!
Faerie After comes out just one week from today!
Mirrored from Janni Lee Simner / Desert Dispatches.
Cór na nÓg is a choir of 65 children aged 10-15 established in 1987 by the Irish National TV and Radio (RTÉ). It provides expert musical training and the choir's connection with RTÉ gives it opportunities for regular broadcasts in programmes on Lyric fm, Radio 1, Mass on Sunday, and in well-known venues such as the National Concert Hall.
Why am I talking about Cór na nÓg? Because my young grand-niece has been a member of the choir for some time now, I'm proud of her and I wish her all the best. Perhaps she'll become a famous diva someday!
Worse, they have unilaterally done away with the Pro accounts, of which I have one and have had one for the past eight years. I paid $25/year for unlimited space, the ability to track statistics on my photos and a few other nice pluses. Now? Everyone with a free account gets a terabyte of storage...and ads. Do you want to pay to turn the ads off? $50/year. Oh, but that's just your view. Everyone else still sees the ads. Does that also include statistics? Hell no. No one gets to see their stats anymore except the grandfathered-in Pro accounts. Once your Pro account runs out you're just another free advertising opportunity for Yahoo.
I am so upset. I really am. I've passed up all kinds of other photo sharing sites because I liked Flickr so much (I've had an account with them since their first year--I am pre-Yahoo!). I use Flickr because of the control over presentation and the statistics. I loathe the new layout which is suspiciously similar to Facebook's Timeline. I think Yahoo is all "social media is where the money is, so let us make our product just like everyone else's and then ads ads ads." Because they don't want the pro or pro-am photographer, really. They want the kids. They want the hipsters. They want to make money the stupid way.
Well, I have a year and a half to go on my account with them, so although I've lost most of what I liked about it, I will still use it. But I will also explore new photo sharing sites immediately, including Smug Mug, and I will be downloading my 3,000 images back onto my computer where I can keep them in order instead of being strung out over ten years worth of original files. I see no reason to pull the images now or stop using Flickr passively to check responses to what's already there--but they've lost my business, that's for sure. No new uploads from me after I find a new site. Hell, maybe I'll get my own photography website up and running finally. That lucyhuntzinger.com site is just gathering pixel dust.
I hate it when sites I love change drastically. It's always the beginning of the end.
Usually we do an out-and-back walk, but there is also the circular option and because I knew I had enough time, I decided that going round was preferable to having to squeeze back past the road works and once again brave the aggressive black Labradors. So we went on round.
This did mean passing a little farm dog, but for some reason Brith isn't too bothered by that dog. It does bark, but the bark sounds more like, "I can see you! I know you're there!" rather than the Labradors', "Aaaargh! We hates you we does! And if we ever catch you we'll tear you to pieces!"
I don't think the circular walk in any longer in terms of miles measured on the map (both work out at about 3 miles), but it is much more strenuous because it involves descending steeply to river level and then climbing even more steeply to regain all the lost height. Anyway, we were both suitably exercised and, because the weather is finally getting warmer, we were both glad of the water I was carrying. (I have a collapsible canvas bowl for Brith to drink out of.)
The wild garlic is out and smelling very garlicky. I wonder if that's why, as I was wandering around the Co-op later in the day, I suddenly fancied garlic bread for dinner! :)
- Current Mood: cheerful
Had a good day. Met up with my sister Laurie and her friends. My niece Olivia who is now in college came for the first time. It was so much fun to see her poking around and getting interested in antiques and junk.
These pretty colored yarn balls were being marketed as decoration. Bet a lot of you could make these!
I actually left all of the things in these photos there. I didn't buy much but left inspired and ready to create more colorful stuff for my new book project.
This was a beautiful end table carved and painted these beautiful colors. It would need a glass top to cover the carving but was really gorgeous.
Sweet pincushions in vintage fabric. I saw this tulip motif all over the place.
I liked this simple silk quilt which was tied.
I saw quite a few things in this pattern which I had never really noticed before.
These little wooden egg cups with tiny knit hats were too cute.
Pretty wooden Easter eggs.
Loved this pair of chickens.
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One year ago today: well i for one am giving up boo-berry muffins
Walter Jon Williams
Not shown: K.J. Zimring, Michaela Roessner
Photos © 2013, Joseph E. Lake, Jr.
This work by Joseph E. Lake, Jr. is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 United States License.
Aiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiii-yeah! Yeah, baby, oh, yeah, oh yeah!
AND THEN I ATE CURRIED CAULIFLOWER FOR LUNCH!
I AM TAKING A WEEK OFF WRITING!
I AM TAKING A SHOWER!
I AM TAKING A WALK!
I AM VERY HAPPY!
And I had no idea how close I am to the climax. (No orgasm jokes please! Ok, you can.)
I have been sleeping very little these past few days. Some internal, some environmental reasons. The library sale on Saturday was a success: I left with first editions of David Niven's Bring on the Empty Horses (1975) and John Houseman's Entertainers and the Entertained: Essays on Theater, Film and Television (1986) as well as a very pleasant afternoon with rushthatspeaks; then spent the evening with derspatchel, watching Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan (1982) for the first time in years. There will be a post when I have slept enough that I feel comfortable throwing even notes at the screen. Last night, we saw Terminator 2: Judgment Day (1991) at the Coolidge Corner Theatre, introduced by a pioneer of wearable computing; I found his lecture a fascinating mix of stories that really interested me and philosophy I didn't agree with. My plans for today mostly involve rushthatspeaks and catching up on work. One of these I like.
Listening to Timber Timbre for the first time in months, I found myself wishing that someone had vidded Millennium to "Bad Ritual." Oh, well. Maybe they'll do it with Hannibal instead.
- Current Music:Timber Timbre, "Lay Down in the Tall Grass"
Random quote of the day:
“I am a lie who always speaks the truth.”
—Jean Cocteau, “Le Paquet Rouge”
Disclaimer: The views expressed in this random quote of the day do not necessarily reflect the views of the poster, her immediate family, Siegfried and Roy, Leonard Maltin, or the Mormon Tabernacle Choir. They do, however, sometimes reflect the views of the Cottingley Fairies.
Mirrored from Better Than Dead.
Here’s my selection of interesting (and sometimes amusing) posts about writing from the last week:
The Year of The Bookstore (Kristine Kathryn Rusch)
Publishers Should Empower Authors to Sell Their Own E-books (Nathan Bransford)
Why Use Simple Words (Juliette Wade)
Do I Need a Literary Agent? (Carolyn Kaufman)
Will My Publisher Let Me Self-Publish Too? (Rachelle Gardner)
On Rejection and Beyond (Jael McHenry)
What Is A Print Run, Grandpa? (Dean Wesley Smith)
Bold Storytelling Statements That Are Almost Always True (Larry Brooks)
If you found these useful, you may also like my personal selection of the most interesting blog posts from 2012, and last week’s list.
If you have a particular favorite among these, please let the author know (and me too, if you have time). Also, if you've a link to a great post that isn't here, feel free to share.
ETA: Live Journal ate the original version of this post, so I wedged a copy back in its place.
“Cammy is the perfect woman,” says Dennis Hof, owner of the Moonlite Bunny Ranch. “Cammy has a value system that comes from the fifties. We were on an airplane, and a pilot – a lady pilot – introduced herself to me. When she went back into the cockpit, Cammy said, ‘I’d rather she be serving Cokes and peanuts, and let a man be the pilot.’
“She designed her life around, ‘How can I please a man?’ She went to massage school, cooking school – she bought a book on blowjobs. I wish more girls would do that. If more girls did what Cammy’s doing… my business would go down.”
And good Lord, I am filled to brimming with revulsion.
The thing is, I’m not revulsed by Cammy’s choice. If Cammy is content living subserviently, and that makes her happy, then I say “Go, Cammy.” (Even if I suspect Cammy is perpetuating an elaborate ruse to extract cash from gullible men’s pockets. They say the best salesman never appears to be a salesman. Cammy’s probably getting exactly what she wants, from men who probably deserve it.)
But I’d never want a woman whose whole job was dedicated to pleasing me. That has nothing to do with feminism; it has everything to do with the fact that ultimately, I think humans turn into monsters when they have all of their needs met without cost.
Maybe that’s because I worked in retail – where if you’re smart, the attitude has to be, “The customer is always right.” Because you don’t want the customer to feel dumb; nothing closes a customer’s wallet quicker than, “Gee, your concerns are stupid.” And they’ll tell people how they were insulted, spreading bad tales about you wherever they go.
So when they cram your mouth full of shit, you swallow it and smile.
Working retail, eventually you come to realize that “reasonable” is determined by past history. You think it’s reasonable that a cup of good coffee is $3.95 because you grew up in a Starbucks culture… but talk to a guy who grew up in the 1950s, when coffee was an inflation-adjusted dollar at best. You think it’s reasonable that drivers will give you the finger and honk at you in traffic, because you grew up in Manhattan. You think it’s reasonable that people smoke in restaurants, because you live in Europe.
The important point: that “reasonable” creeps up, depending on what people do.
As humans, we’re bounded by other people’s reactions. And if everyone acts like you’re completely normal and wonderful, you internalize that.. even if you’re completely awful. On some level, we all think, “Well, if we get out of hand, someone will tell me I’m too much trouble.”
Remove those blocks – and sure enough, you start becoming too much trouble.
Wanna know why celebrities implode? Because they’re swaddled in a culture that caters to their every whim because they’re a non-replaceable entity, and when normal people see them it’s usually in a gawking fawningness of “Oh my God, it’s you! I’m so pleased to meet you!” So their waiters go to extra miles that no normal person would get, and when they casually ask for a Diet Coke at precisely 45 degrees with a titanium straw in it, everyone just brings it to them. Nobody notes this is actually really a pain in the ass to do for them, or if they do, they agree that oh, you absolutely need a perfectly-chilled drink.
Eventually, you come to think that this is reality. That the 45-degree Diet Coke with the titanium straw is not just you, but universal and easy to do, it’s happened a thousand times before. And then a waiter forgets and you get the wrong drink – and for the celebrity, it’s like they got brought a cup of transparent coffee with broken glass at the bottom. It’s such a stupidly-done thing that it feels like an insult. How could they not know?
So: embarrassing shitfit in a public place. And to some extent, it’s not the celebrity’s fault – it’s the fault of all these people around them, nodding and agreeing and convincing them that yes, this is the way the world is. Sure, the celebrity went off the fucking rails, but all of their PR agents and fans and entourage quietly removed the rails months ago. In some ways, it’s astounding that they kept on the right path for as long as they did.
And you see that in retail, where people think, “Oh, I’m always right! So I’ll sit in the coffee shop and slop coffee all over this magazine I have no intention of paying for, then leave it sprawled on the counter in a pile of sugar and drool.” They think, “I’m always right, so when I bring back a tattered book with no receipt and want cash for it, the clerk who’s refusing me needs a good, solid yelling.” They think, “I’m always right, so why aren’t these clerks catering to my every whim?”
And yes: you get more money from these nitwits. But you do so by catering to their dysfunction. Which means you get richer off of exploiting people’s psychological weak points. (A point I make, in a somewhat more hammer-handed way, in my story Dead Merchandise.) You actually make them a little insane – and some of them a lot insane – to harvest their cash.
So for me, having someone eager to cater to my every need makes them, in a low-grade way, the enemy of my sanity. I want people who question, who remind me of the work this took, who tell me when I’m inconveniencing them. A woman like Cammy (or at least how Cammy presents herself) would undermine the integrity of the person I’m trying to be, give me an inflated sense of self-esteem I might not deserve, slowly push me towards the land o’crazy expectations.
She’s not the perfect woman, Denis. She’s a perfect servant, perhaps. But perfect servants come with hidden costs, and I for one would be very reticent to pay them.
Cross-posted from Ferrett's Real Blog.This entry has also been posted at http://theferrett.dreamwidth.org/303879.h
Two gems from the evening: Upon accepting the Solstice Award (to non-writers, living or dead, who have contributed to the field) for his late father, Nick Sagan quoted Carl as saying, "Our lives are made significant by the courage of our questions."
And... there is no truth to the rumor that Connie Willis plans to renounce her Grand Master Award in order to become eligible for the Solstice Award. None whatsoever.
But it was worth it! Partly because Vermont in spring looks like this:
Seriously, even the interstate is pretty.
Also worth it because our food photos look nothing like this:
That's just the angled view I had while holding reflectors and black boards and other lighting props.
Calley is amazing at setting up food shots. She had sketches in advance and knew the layouts and angles she wanted. The studio is in a spare bedroom at the farmhouse. Between their kitchen and the bits and bobs Calley and I collected we had plenty of props.
I learned so much about product photography. It's a completely different world from modeled knitwear. Studio shots involve lots of lighting tweaks, reflectors for fill light, black boards for increasing contrast, and diffusers to cut shadows. I learned how to use them all (at least a little). And since the food doesn't move you can take a photo with a 2 second shutter speed and get gorgeously crisp images (try doing THAT with a model) We're certainly not as fast as the professional food photographers. But I think our amateur shots look just as good, even if it takes us twice as long to get there.
I'm happy to report that the food in this book is all real. We did not resort to tricks like adding glue to milk, or shellacking anything. Although Calley did spit-polish the radishes at one point...
And the star of this show? The reason we HAD to do at least two shoots this weekend?
They arrived in full force and on schedule. Thanks mother nature!
This post is originally from BeckyinVT. Feel free to comment and follow here or there.
The Long Weekend went well enough, in some respects. We got an unexpected Cal-less evening on Sunday, and were also able to see Star Trek: Into Darkness on Friday, which I'm less and less enthused with every time i think about it. Having been raised around the industry all my life, I think I maybe understand the exigencies of production more than some nerds, but the fact remains that those were some stupid fucking decisions which got made--stupid in terms of creating a viable narrative and also stupid strategically, in that they seemed designed to play to the elder audience segment but didn't take into account almost anything said segment believes about the franchise's core values, a move which (believe it or not!) is actually guaranteed to alienate the very people the film's production team wants to hold onto. Yes, there's also a younger segment, and there's certainly enough of the original series' jolt and charm to hold onto them, when we're only talking about character dynamics. But when even I, the self-proclaimed queen of doing shit simply because I like the trouble it'll cause my characters and then scrambling to justify it logically after the fact, have to admit that large world-building sections of the movie don't make any sort of sense at all...yeah, well, you may have fucked up, just a tad. A scootch.
On Saturday, meanwhile, we were able to spend a big segment of the day at Jason Taniguchi's annual Reading of Single Pages, a birthday-related activity which involves his friends coming over and reading a randomly-decided page from whatever books they've brought with them, basically in order of who throws their hands up first. Took Cal with us, and segregated him in Jason's condo's "library" most of the time (the party room is walled with mirrors, which makes him insane), where he could watch They Might Be Giants' Here Come the ABCs to his heart's content. He did come out and play three-way catch with Steve and two younger kids for a while, which was great, but I think he disappointed Jason's son Evan, who's previously interacted fairly well with him one-on-one in more intimate settings. Ah well: it was better than the kid on Friday who got into an overcrowded elevator with Cal, saw him frantically trying to regulate himself by singing some Sid the Science Kid song about everybody moving their body like they should at the top of his lungs while dancing and making up to himself in the mirror, and literally mouthed at his father: What the HECK...?
And Monday was mainly about trying to make sure Cal ended up really tired, though I was able to talk Mom down from an impromptu trip to Cherry Beach (fuck, I hate that place) to one to Trinity Bellwoods Park instead. So the migraine might have been about the sun, or stress--being with Mom in public always makes me tense, no matter what--or the incipient thunderstorm of last night, but it seriously wrung me out. I'm still not feeling great.
Okay: real stuff to do now. Mail, and email, and signing contracts, and rocking some actual fucking words. Chapter Five ahoy.
This entry was originally posted at http://handful-ofdust.dreamwidth.org/493