One other mammal, my first skunk! Way out in the dry grass north of 3 mi, a striped skunk trundled up the slope from the west, crossed the road, and trundled on east through the fence and disappeared. If only I'd had the presence of mind to take video.
It feels really Peak 2017 that it's difficult to write about anything in my own life without prefacing it with the above... Things are pretty terrible, and I feel vaguely guilty for having good news?
But - I have good news:
Skuld's Swedish residency permit was approved!!!
What this means is: she is allowed to move to Sweden! And live there permanently! (And then after three years she can apply for citizenship!!) And it only took... a year and two months and a couple of weeks?
More good news:
I found an airline that will fly our cats out of Britain in the cabin rather than the hold!! The reason I missed it last time I did research was that they have no direct flights (boo), but it's a reasonably fast 4 hours airport to airport and it means we won't have to entrust the kitties to strangers and have them fly in the hold (I know people who've had pets "lost" from the hold so THANK GOODNESS) and they can come with us and we can get them all moved within a day!
And this means that we actually have a timeline. This is actually happening. We're getting out of Brexit land and moving to Sweden with our cats and starting exciting new jobs - all before the year is out.
( I think it'll go like this )
"I can't believe you didn't think it was worth telling me that we're living inside a game," Jedao was saying.
Cheris sighed. "I didn't tell you," she said, "because you wouldn't be able to shut up about it, and it's hard being a good playtest character when someone keeps ranting." ( cut for Ninefox spoilers, I guess? )
While we were waiting for the movie to start, we were talking about fannish things as per usual, and about how I sometimes classify a pairing as "I don't not ship it" and in thinking about it more over the past couple of days, I came up with my own personal taxonomy of shipping:
- OTP OF OTPS (i.e., the all-time greats, ironclad, no matter what)
- I ship it!
- I don't not ship it
- I could/might be convinced to ship it
- I don't care (i.e., if it shows up in a story that otherwise has things going for it, I'll keep reading, but I don't seek it out)
- meh, I don't ship it / it bores me so I don't read it
- I dislike it but whatever, other people can do what they like, I can scroll past
- NOTP (i.e., it's blocked so I don't have to sully my eyes with it)
Generally, when I talk about a pairing as as "I don't not ship it," I mean that they are people who are most definitely weird about each other, which is one of my personal flags for shipping, but in this particular classification, I don't care if they are having sex with each other or not (or with other people, depending), as long as they are somehow together – partners, brothers, whatever. I think (I hope!) it's implicit that I understand why people would ship them*, but I just...don't take that particular read on the relationship under most circumstances.
*as opposed to pairings where I don't.
And if they are having sex, I personally prefer it not to be framed romantically? Or, rather, in most cases, in terms of canon (rather than AU) settings, I don't find the usual shippy romantic tropes particularly interesting with these sorts of pairings. I mean, sure, 'there's only one bed' or fake dating are always on the table, but I don't feel like even those tropes should follow the regular narrative path. The clearest examples we came up with were Sam/Dean and Mal/Zoe, and I mean, I don't see either of those pairings as people who go on dates or have traditionally madcap rom com hijinks (which isn't to say that that couldn't be done with great results, but I don't think it could be played straight, as it were [I mean, Sam/Dean is incest, so it has its own challenges]). And she threw in Middleman/Wendy (which I do ship more traditionally), and I brought up Obi-Wan/Anakin, which is what I'm having complicated feelings about lately, and so it seems like a useful category to have. idk.
Oria is another original character, btw - part of the Wildhammer clan, she was the first foreign ambassador Anduin appointed to his council and paved the way for including one ambassador from each of the Alliance races to balance out the otherwise overwhelmingly human-centric House of Nobles. Oria has it in her contract with Anduin that she is exempt from all council meetings during the two-week duration of Brewfest. For "traditional cultural festivities" (and the attendant hangovers).
The dwarf caught at Anduin's sleeve, his brows drawn down in a dark frown. "Not so fast, lad," he huffed. "It ain't just th' wee ones that need t' prove they can sit a saddle before they go takin' my rams anywhere."
Something flickered across Anduin's face, there and gone again so fast it was easy to miss, before smoothing into the polite facade that was most often presented to the House of Nobles. "Of course," he agreed.
At Ren's elbow, Oria made a pained noise. "Oh no," she groaned, shoving her tankard aside and making to rise to her feet. "He must not recognize..."
"Leave it," Ren advised, pressing a hand to her shoulder to push her back into her seat. "Anduin will handle it."
( Read more... )
Yay, the cover for The Murderbot Diaries III: Rogue Protocol is on Tor.com:
The cover reveal for Murderbot Diaries II, Artificial Condition was here on The Verge:
Art by Jaime Jones
Reminder: This friday is the last day to register for Stephanie Law's Kickstart Art Intensive. I talked about the Make Your Art Work project in my last column, where Marc Scheff & I will not only be presenting our now-famous Art Business Bootcamps, but we'll also be holding focused Intensive classes with experts who have knocked it out of the park in their fields.
To give you a taste of the kind of material Stephanie is covering, she's given us some quick tips to think about when you're planning your crowdfunding project:
When you're creating a crowdfunding project, think about how you're going to include your audience into the process.Draw them in with your narrative, and be able to articulate what motivates you, because if you can't put it into words, you can't expect your audience to be able to get excited! Being introspective enough to understand your own passions can be hard, but if you can get a handle on that and be able to articulate it, then that passion becomes infectious.
Audiences get behind Ideas, not Products.Yes, there's a nifty product that they will want to get their hands on at the end of the process, but if you are focused only on the goal of putting product on shelves, then you are missing out on the golden opportunity that crowdfunding provides to expand your reach and have your audience forge a dedicated bond to you and your endeavors.
When determining your fulfillment timeline, two key things to remember in communicating to your audience.1. Be realistic, not hopeful.
2. Be transparent.
Know your product specifications. You must have a firm idea of what your product is.Even if you don’t have all of your content complete, you need to know what your specifications are.
You need to know how big it is, approximately how much it will weigh, and any details regarding
materials that will be important during the production to the manufacturer or printer. Some of those details you won’t know until you actually begin talking to your manufacturer/printer. Have a wish-list of what you desire, and then when you begin the conversation with them, let the specialists know what your ideas are, and have them present you with the various options to chose from.
The course is $197, and you get 5 lessons that Stephanie designed to break down and replicate her crowdfunding success. She breaks down all the preparation and promotion she set up for her Kickstarter campaign, which raised over 100k for her art book, as well as cover material about starting a Patreon. You get all the written lessons immediately upon registering, then Stephanie will hold 4 live classes on Crowdcast on Mondays Sept 25, Oct 2, 9, and 16 at 2pm EST. Classes will be recorded and can be rewatched by anyone registered for the class.
If you want to get a sneak preview, check out the ProjectCast we recorded with her a few months ago.
Enrollment for Kick Start Art closes 9/22. Class begins 9/25. More info & register here.
Don't miss any news or upcoming class announcements! Sign up here for the Make Your Art Work newsletter.
--The first few days back are usually pretty reasonable. (I could conceivably even be home for supper tomorrow evening!) Thankfully, today I was able to finish and submit the half-volume that's due tomorrow, so that's not hanging over me...but I'll need to go pick up my and scruloose's con passes, and then on Friday, no matter what time we wrap up at the office, I'll be going straight from there to the convention. I even made it as far as looking over the schedule and making notes this evening, although in practice I rarely make it to more than a small percentage of the panels and talks that catch my eyes. So many people. O_O (The "rarely" applies to cons and similar things in general, as this is only my second Hal-Con.)
--When I was poking around in my tags the other day to see if I could figure out when I stopped bouldering, I came across this 2013 post about Claudia from when she and Jinksy were about five months old. Oh, my kitten. *^^* (*finds baby!Claudia!kitten icon*)
--I have this half-formed theory that Casual Job is the appropriate excuse to actually start figuring out lipstick, since I really haven't, despite buying a bunch in Toronto. The defense I have to offer is that I'm usually at home living in pajamas when Casual Job isn't on (I'm very glad I'm not one of the many people who needs to Get Dressed to successfully work at home--although if it'd help my focus, you bet I'd do it), and when I go out it's usually either quick errands (hard to convince myself to bother) or to have dinner out with someone (and I know people eat and drink with lipstick on all the time, but it turns out I find it intimidating to consider needing to immediately touch it up while out if it smears/wears off).
It seems like I must have read more than I am remembering ... .
Anyway, I finished The Brightest Fell, by Seanan McGuire (October Daye #11), which ends pretty much on a cliffhanger. The Magic McGuffin puts Toby (mostly) back together again, but two characters she cares about very much are seriously traumatized and a slippery opponent has disappeared. Thus it goes when you are the Knight of Lost Words. My sister has suggested that I introduce my 15-year-old niece to these, and I might as well. Certainly they've kept me going for a good long while now.
I'm about three-quarters of the way through Max Gladstone's The Ruin of Angels (his new Craft novel), and I'm enjoying it immensely, despite the fact that the editor seems to have fallen down on the job. Several times, I've had to re-read sentences two or three times to make sense out of them. It's not that Gladstone blew it in any of these cases, according to the rules of grammar, but he wasn't terribly clear, and given that this is a fast-paced thriller, really, the pacing went off. Also, at one point, a character introduced as Marian becomes Miriam for a sentence, and then returns to her original name. Finally, did you know that the past tense of "sweat" (as in, what you do on a hot day, especially if you run) is also "sweat"? I, in fact, did not know that. But Gladstone does, and there's a lot of sweating going on, so I kept tripping over this.
Despite my confusion on these mechanical points, this is an awesome read. There's an extended and thrilling caper involving a Very Cool Train (making me wonder whether Gladstone has been reading Stand Still Stay Silent: see Dalahästen), and about a third of the way in, it occurred to me that all the leads, all the POV characters, and the most significant antagonist are all female, and several of them are also queer.
And Kai and Izza are back, as is Tara Abernathy. \o/
If I remember what I read between Fell and Ruin, I'll let you know.
( Experiments in carrying bins )