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Posted by Amanda

An Untamed State

An Untamed State by Roxane Gay is $1.99! This is a highly recommended piece of contemporary fiction. It’s harrowing and emotional as it chronicles a woman’s kidnapping, rescue, and recovery. This is Gay’s debut novel and there are definitely some trigger warnings for this book. For those who have read it, what did you think?

Roxane Gay is a powerful new literary voice whose short stories and essays have already earned her an enthusiastic audience. In An Untamed State, she delivers an assured debut about a woman kidnapped for ransom, her captivity as her father refuses to pay and her husband fights for her release over thirteen days, and her struggle to come to terms with the ordeal in its aftermath.

Mireille Duval Jameson is living a fairy tale. The strong-willed youngest daughter of one of Haiti’s richest sons, she has an adoring husband, a precocious infant son, by all appearances a perfect life. The fairy tale ends one day when Mireille is kidnapped in broad daylight by a gang of heavily armed men, in front of her father’s Port au Prince estate. Held captive by a man who calls himself The Commander, Mireille waits for her father to pay her ransom. As it becomes clear her father intends to resist the kidnappers, Mireille must endure the torments of a man who resents everything she represents.

An Untamed State is a novel of privilege in the face of crushing poverty, and of the lawless anger that corrupt governments produce. It is the story of a willful woman attempting to find her way back to the person she once was, and of how redemption is found in the most unexpected of places. An Untamed Stateestablishes Roxane Gay as a writer of prodigious, arresting talent.

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A Rogue to Avoid

A Rogue to Avoid by Bianca Blythe is 99c at Amazon! This is a historical romance where a misunderstanding leads to marriage. Talk about awkward. Readers really seemed to enjoy the interaction between the hero and heroine. However, others found some things to be a bit unbelievable or inconsistent. It has a 3.8-star rating on Goodreads. This is the second book in a series and the first one is also on sale!

A Scottish scoundrel…
Gerard Highgate, Marquess of Rockport and the ton’s most aloof rake, knows better than to wed an Englishwoman, especially one as prickly as Lady Cordelia. But when his mother dies and he finds himself saddled with her debts, he needs a wife and he needs one fast.

An exacting Englishwoman…
Lady Cordelia knows that hastiness in husband hunting leads to mistakes. But when she visits an aristocrat to warn that his life might be in danger, he misinterprets her suggestion to flee to Scotland.

An unexpected elopement…
Most elopements are born of love, not misunderstanding. Cordelia and Gerard have already broken that rule, but perhaps they can still make their marriage one of love.

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Stud

Stud by Jamie K. Schmidt is 99c! This sounds like a pretty fun contemporary and I already have it on my Kindle. Some readers found the writing a bit choppy at times, while others really loved the heroine’s strong personality. This is also a standalone romance.

Large. Hot. With a pump of sexual tension. 

When the barista next door teams up with a slick ad executive in this sweet standalone novel from USA Today bestselling author Jamie K. Schmidt, they both get a taste of unexpected love.

Terri Cooke wishes she could give Mick Wentworth a piece of her mind. The infuriating stud muffin walks into her coffee shop every morning expecting his regular order at 8:57 on the dot, without ever acknowledging Terri’s presence—except for staring at her cleavage. And yet she can’t deny that Mick Wentworth has an animal magnetism that’s stronger and richer than any espresso . . . which explains why Terri says yes when he suddenly, inexplicably asks her out.

After the morning coffee run, Mick’s day is all downhill from there. His family’s marketing firm is dysfunctional in more ways than one, so to save the business, Mick desperately needs to impress their newest client. When he learns that Terri’s a fan of their trendy product, he tries to get inside her head. It doesn’t hurt that she’s the barista he’s been lusting after for the past five months. But as things heat up with Terri, Mick finds that a little steam is just the jolt he needs to turn his whole life around.

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One Bite Per Night

One Bite Per Night by Brooklyn Ann is 99c! This is a historical paranormal romance with a vampire hero who takes the heroine on as his ward. Readers seemed divided on the main characters. Many liked the hero, but found the heroine to be rather exhausting at times.

He wanted her off his hands…
Vincent Tremayne, the reclusive “Devil Earl,” has been manipulated into taking rambunctious Lydia Price as his ward. As Lord Vampire of Cornwall, Vincent has better things to do than bring out an unruly debutante.

Now he’ll do anything to hold on forever
American-born Lydia Price doesn’t care for the stuffy strictures of the ton, and is unimpressed with her foppish suitors. She dreams of studying with the talented but scandalous British portrait painter, Sir Thomas Lawrence. But just when it seems her dreams will come true, Lydia is plunged into Vincent’s dark world and finds herself caught between the life she’s known and a future she never could have imagined.

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Posted by Dan Van Winkle

Many, many things about living in the future have actually turned out to be pretty terrible, but at least we get to live in a world where giant robots are punching each other for our entertainment. We’ve gotta take our wins where we can get them, I guess.

This mech battle, between MegaBots from the U.S. and Suidobashi Heavy Industry’s Karatas robot from Japan, has been a few years in the making, and the results are … mixed, to say the least. The robots themselves are really impressive and undeniably fun to watch in action, but the whole battle isn’t exactly Gundam—it’s not even Robot Jox. The rules are also a little strange, with the final MegaBots machine weighing in at nearly double Kuratas, as well as some fairly nebulous victory parameters.

On the other hand, there’s plenty of time to iron all that out as MegaBots works towards attracting new challengers and setting up a giant robot battle league. Sure, the whole thing might feel more like a cheesy ’80s movie than anything else, but it’s also pretty awesome to see that come alive in the real world, rather than through special effects.

(via The Verge, image: screengrab)

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musesfool: anakin's lightsaber (this is your life)
[personal profile] musesfool
The past few nights, I've been in bed by 10:15, so last night when I stayed up until 11 (which is my usual bedtime), I was like, "it's so late!"

It's getting darker earlier, which always makes it feel later than it is, but last night 11 pm felt like 2 am for some reason.

For some reason my DVR didn't pick up the season premiere of Star Wars Rebels on Monday (at any of the times it aired) but it did have the first half hour set to record last night, so I pressed record for the second episode as well (why does it do that? I do not understand!), even though I watched both live.

spoilers of Mandalore )

***

Book: Southern Fried by Cathy Pickens

Oct. 19th, 2017 09:16 am
alexcat: (Default)
[personal profile] alexcat
Southern FriedSouthern Fried by Cathy Pickens

My rating: 5 of 5 stars


Avery andrews returned home to her western South Carolina home to chaos. There are dead bodies, insane admirers, a few steel magnolias, bikers, and more intrigue than any city could offer. she settles into her grandfather's cabin and drives his vintage Mustang as she ends up in the middle of untangling the insanity. She sets up shop, more or less, and begins to practice law though she isn't sure she knows what she's doing and knows she doesn't seem to be making much money. Her clients are that crazy admirer who fakes a murder to get her attention, a husband who is assumed to have killed his wife 15 years prior, a factory owner who is knee deep in trouble and seems completely oblivious. Throw in a large nasty sheriff and several crazy redneck types and you get a lot of action, humor and intrigue for Avery.



View all my reviews

Enhanced, by Carrie Jones

Oct. 19th, 2017 08:14 am
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[personal profile] mrissa
Review copy provided by Tor Books.

This is the sequel to last year's charming Flying. It's not a bad book, but it highlights the perils of sequels rather clearly. Flying has a clear emotional arc and core: Mana is figuring out what the heck is going on with aliens and enhanced humans and her place in the world, but her relationship with her mother and her friends is rock solid. In Enhanced, the central mystery is far smaller in scale. The basic facts of the world are known and we're down to figuring out the details. Mana's mother is out of commission, and her relationship with her friends is shaky for most of it.

Possibly worse, her combination of cheerleader and superpowered (enhanced, as in the title) individual really doesn't get a chance to shine for a full three-quarters of the book. Mana is scared, uncertain, and on the defensive--which is fine, but it's less fun to read about than Mana discovering, exploring, and kicking butt.

There are some new aliens, some new government agencies, some new developments in the world. But in general this feels like a little more of the same but less so. A de-escalation in some senses, a holding pattern. I still believe that Jones has somewhere to take Mana and her pals Seppie and Lyle, and this book is a fast read to get to the next step, but...we're not at the next step yet, and I don't really feel closer.

Please consider using our link to buy Enhanced from Amazon. Or Flying.
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Posted by Princess Weekes

In a new featurette for David Ayer’s upcoming Netflix venture, Bright, it goes deeper into the plot of the movie about modern-day L.A., with a slightly Lord of the Rings style makeup. There are orcs and elves and other fae folk in the world intermixed with humans. You know what that means: supernatural race metaphors! It reunites Will Smith and Joel Edgerton (from Suicide Squad) as Officers Ward (Smith), a human and Jakoby (Edgerton), an orc, in a buddy cop-like situation as Jakoby is the first orc to become a police officer in the L.A.P.D.

As usually everything is going normal until a magic wand comes into play and just screws everything up. Typical.

Everything in the featurette honestly looks really damn cool and since this film is taking place in L.A., I hope that it will explore real-world racism (as it clearly indicates it will) with both the supernatural creatures and humans. One of the biggest misfires of telling these kinds of minority storylines with non-human creatures is that if there are human brown characters in the narrative, they tend to be the bad guy (True Blood and Defiance). So let’s hope that Ayer and his team manage to pull that off because I tell you what, the thought the police having a magic wand to shape reality to their will…that’s a terrifying thought for humans and orcs.

(via io9, image: Netflix/Youtube)

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rsgamesmods: default 2017 (Default)
[personal profile] rsgamesmods posting in [community profile] rs_games
Team: Sirius
Title: Burning Candles
Rating: PG
Warnings: A little bit of swearing and alcohol drinking
Genres: Fluff, AU
Word Count: 11,000
Summary: Being an adult isn’t anything like Sirius expected it to be, and birthday cakes with a growing number of candles on them is just a reminder that he isn’t on track. He’s not quite certain what to do about it, but sharing his worries with his friends might be a good start.
Notes: Thank you to the wonderful mods for making the RS Games happen once again, and to Team Sirius for being the best team mates. You’re all amazing! Last, but not least, thank you to the fabulous S for beta reading!
Prompt: #73 - picture of a birthday cake with lit candles.

Day 16 - Fic: Team Remus: Hiraeth

Oct. 18th, 2017 08:02 pm
rsgamesmods: default 2017 (Default)
[personal profile] rsgamesmods posting in [community profile] rs_games
Team: Remus
Title: Hiraeth
Rating: R
Warnings: violence, a reference to suicide
Genres: Angst, hurt/comfort, AU
Word Count: 5000
Summary: Hiraeth, noun. Welsh. A feeling of yearning to return to a place that may never have existed. An earnest desire. During the first rise of Voldemort, Remus gets into the spying game. No one told him it would be quite this difficult to lie for a living.
Notes: I stole many ideas from John le Carré.
Prompt: #13 - "A place belongs forever to whoever claims it hardest, remembers it most obsessively, wrenches it from itself, shapes it, renders it, loves it so radically that he remakes it in his own image." - Joan Didion

Books read, early October

Oct. 19th, 2017 07:54 am
mrissa: (Default)
[personal profile] mrissa
Elizabeth Bear, The Stone in the Skull. Discussed elsewhere.

Sean B. Carroll, Endless Forms Most Beautiful: The New Science of Evo Devo. Evo devo is, generally speaking, bullshit, but Carroll is someone I heard at Nobel Conference, and he goes beyond Just So Stories; he is a good egg. And he talked in general in this volume, stuff that one could find anywhere and probably already knew if one had the slightest interest, but then also about insect wing patterns, and the insect wing pattern stuff was interesting, so basically: skim to get to the insect wings.

Nathaniel Hawthorne, The Blithedale Romance. Kindle. I had had such smashing success with 19th century novels lately! (Oh my Middlemarch.) And this one is set in a Fourierist phalanx and I thought, brilliant, lovely, let's do that then, perhaps I love Hawthorne now too! Oh. Oh neighbors. No. No not so much. Poor Mr. Hawthorne. I read all the many many pages of Middlemarch, and North and South and Framley Parsonage and so on, and never once did I think, well, poor lamb, I suppose you can't help it, it's like being born before antibiotics. And yet with The Blithedale Romance I caught myself thinking that on nearly every page. Because it was the only way through, the other alternative was to shake him until his teeth rattled and send him to bed without supper, two punishments that would not occur to me without 19th century novelists, thank you my dear Louisa. So: he goes on at great length about how men have no tenderness really, and there is a bunch of maundering stuff about women's work and the purity of women and how bachelors have to obsess about whether the women around them have known marriage before (hint: nope, obsessing on this topic is completely optional), there is a Dreadful Secret, he abandons all interest in the Fourierist phalanx except as background noise...oh Hawthorne. Oh Hawthorne no.

Ursula K. LeGuin, Searoad. Reread. I first read this when I lived in Oregon. I keep learning things about characterization from it, how she creates a seaside town one person at a time, how the stories link and twine and inform each other. This time, thanks to a conversation I'm having with Marie Brennan, I thought about how differently it would read if the stories were in a different order, how a character is shown novelistically though the structure looks like short stories.

Carter Meland, Stories for a Lost Child. This is a literary science fiction novel in an Anishinaabe tradition; the way that Meland uses the rhythms and patterning of language are not at all the same as the way Gerald Vizenor does in Treaty Shirts, and having more than one is really nice, I want more, yay. Stories for a Lost Child goes forward and backward in time, contemporary teenagers trying to figure things out, a grandfather writing with stories previously barely dreamed of, a space program, past pure water, all sorts of elements that fold together.

Mary Szybist, Incarnadine. This is a poetry collection focused--not in a religious-inspirational way, in a literary way--on the Annunciation. The image, the idea of the Annunciation threads through these poems, beautifully. They are beautiful poems. I was beginning to worry that they were all going to be beautiful poems and none of them were going to be heart-touching for me--that I was going to nod along and say, yes, beautiful, well done, but never, oh, oh, would you look at THIS one--and then, and then there was Here There Are Blueberries, so: oh. Would you look at THIS one.

Carrie Vaughn, Bannerless. I had previously enjoyed some of Vaughn's short stories but not really been the target audience for the Kitty books, so I was really excited at what a complete departure this is. It's a police procedural of sorts, with flashbacks to the (sorta) cop's young adulthood. It's also a post-apocalyptic novel, with a catastrophe that has led people to seriously consider their resource usage. And it's also a relationship story that, because of flashback structure, allows the protagonist to grow past her teenage relationship, to change and be an adult. For a short novel, there's a lot going on, and it all fits together and wraps itself up by the end. Pleased.
alexcat: (Default)
[personal profile] alexcat
Tomorrow, we'll have another mystery!

~

Opal by Tuyoki (SFW)

Oct. 19th, 2017 08:40 am
juniperphoenix: Connie Maheswaran standing with a determined expression (SU: Connie determined)
[personal profile] juniperphoenix posting in [community profile] fanart_recs
Fandom: Steven Universe
Characters/Pairing/Other Subject: Opal
Content Notes/Warnings: none
Medium: digital painting
Artist on DW/LJ: n/a
Artist Website/Gallery: Tuyoki on DeviantArt

Why this piece is awesome: I love the use of light and shadow in this, as well as Opal's expression of fierce concentration.

Link: Opal
tehexile: (Default)
[personal profile] tehexile posting in [community profile] smallfandomflsh
Title: Departure
Author: tehexile
Fandom: Ys Origin
Pairing/Characters: Feena & Reah
Rating/Category: G/Gen
Word Count: 100
Spoilers: Sort of? It's not well hidden stuff though.
other tags: drabble, sisters, evacuation, disasters, pre-canon

I'll miss our home... )
kate_nepveu: sleeping cat carved in brown wood (Default)
[personal profile] kate_nepveu
Last night, I bolted out of a dead sleep at a little after 11 because the landline was ringing. I run downstairs, but let it go to the answering machine, which is basically a reflex at this point. No message.

I then look at my phone, because grabbing that when I wake up in the middle of the night is absolutely a reflex (though the Pip sleeps much, much better these days!) . . . and it was me. The cell had someone dialed the landline. [*]

I post this story elsewhere, and literally seconds later, I get the punchline )

[*] On reflection, it wasn't that late, so I think I fell asleep with the phone still on in my hand and touched it enough to keep the screen awake, until eventually I randomly dialed home. I checked, I hadn't made any other outgoing calls, at least.

Episode 1563: Journey to the West

Oct. 19th, 2017 11:05 am
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Episode 1563: Journey to the West

Keybounce writes:

This GM is such a scenery porn person. Look at all that descriptive text. Doesn't even let his players get more than a line or two.

Still, it's a very lovely description. Feels almost like you can actually see it. :-)

— Keybounce

aurilee writes:

That is one nice shot.

I'm torn between Cassian being snarky, or just... well, just continuing to be rather useless.

Here's hoping Cassian finds something to pilot soon.

— aurilee

Transcript

Interesting Links for 19-10-2017

Oct. 19th, 2017 12:00 pm
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[personal profile] andrewducker

Thu, Oct. 19 Electoral Vote Predictor

Oct. 19th, 2017 06:00 am
[syndicated profile] electoral_vote_feed

Trump Shoots Himself in Both Feet

Dead American soldiers are one of the saddest parts of the president's job. When it happens, however, the playbook is pretty straightforward—issue a statement honoring the dead, perhaps, and then maybe contact their families via letter or phone. Invitations to a ceremony at the White House are sometimes proffered. Whatever the Commander in Chief does, the key idea is "solemn respect." It's not terribly complicated. Well, not unless you are Donald Trump, it would seem. He has managed to botch his handling of the recent deaths of four soldiers in Niger so badly that he has created not one, not two, but three different headaches for himself and his administration.

Click here for full story

reading wednesday

Oct. 19th, 2017 02:19 am
boxofdelights: (Default)
[personal profile] boxofdelights
[This is actually from last Wednesday but I'm just going to post it now anyway]
• What are you reading?

Notes from a Feminist Killjoy, by Erin Wunker. It's a bits-and-pieces book, but all the bits are in conversation with other writers, and with reality; even its bittyness recalls how Tillie Olsen would carry a sentence in her mind, polishing it in scraps of time between interruptions, through a day of women's work, a day of no peace, no privacy, no silence, no solitude.
When I started this book, I wanted to write something unimpeachable. Something so clear and objective, it could be a little dictionary or translation phrase book for how to speak a feminist language and live a feminist life. I wanted what many other writers -- the many-gendered mothers of my heart -- had already written. I wanted A Room of One's Own, Sister Outsider, Willful Subjects, Islands of Decolonial Love. I wanted Feminism is for Everybody and The Dream of a Common Language. I wanted No Language is Neutral.

I wanted books that had already been written by people whose experiences of moving through the world are different -- often radically so -- from mine.

*

I got stuck.
*
I read some more.
*
I remembered that I tell my students that reading and writing are attempts at joining conversations, making new ones, and, sometimes, shifting the direction of discourse.
*
I sat down at my typewriter again.


• What did you recently finish reading?

George & Lizzie, by Nancy Pearl.

Lizzie agreed. "I remember reading a novel in which one of the characters, a college professor, was writing a book on the influence of Emily Dickinson on Shakespeare and how his colleagues always misheard it and thought it was the other way around. I wish I could remember the title, because talking about it now makes me want to read it again. It's so interesting to think about. Do you think we read Shakespeare differently because of Dickinson's poems?"


I remember reading that too! It was by David Lodge, I think Changing Places? I read it about the same age Lizzie did. Not at the same time: I'm maybe ten years older than Lizzie. But, like Lizzie, I grew up in Michigan and went to UM and struggled with depression most of my life and, as a young woman, tried to claim my sexuality in ways that were bad for me and for the people I interacted with. Lizzie feels real to me, is what I'm saying, and I'm okay with the fact that the people around her are kind of one-note because the problem this book is about is: if you can't stop being sad about your shitty childhood even though your life is no longer shitty, if you can't stop punishing yourself for bad choices that you made long ago, if you can't stop trying to change something that happened long ago and wasn't in your control even then. . . then how do you stop?
[Lizzie says] "They're your thoughts, right? How can you not think them?"
Marla struggled to answer. "I don't know, but people do it. I think I let go of things, or at least try to. You have to, really, otherwise you're weighted down with all those cumulative bad memories. James and I used to talk about that baby missing from our lives, whether it was a boy or a girl, whether we could find out who adopted it, whether we'd ever forgive our parents, why we didn't just say 'Screw you' to them back then and get married after I got pregnant. I mean, you know, it was so present. It was always there in our lives. But if we kept that up there'd be no place for anything else. And now we just acknowledge all that awful stuff happened, that maybe we made the wrong decision, that we were just kids. We were just kids. You have to forgive yourself eventually, right?"

Lizzie's husband George got famous by explaining that, while pain is inevitable, suffering is optional, but his explanation doesn't work for Lizzie. George doesn't seem to understand that, for some people, that's liberating, but for others, it says that your suffering was your choice and therefore your fault. I'd offer Lizzie Season of Mists, because "you don't have to stay anywhere forever" worked for me, but how a story works depends as much on the reader as on the story.

Which is not to say that we shouldn't do our best to write good stories. This one has a stupid editing oversight that dumped me right out:
[Marla:]"I love you Lizzie, and always will. And I will always, always, keep your secrets. But this, what this means to you and George, is an important secret. It's not the equivalent of a little white lie. It'd be like me not telling James about the abortion."
[Lizzie:]"But James knew about the abortion, he was with you when you had it."
"Don't be deliberately naive, it doesn't become you. You know what I mean: some other James I was involved with."


What abortion, I wondered? Was there an abortion as well as a baby given up for adoption? When?

No, it must have been changed from an abortion to an adoption at some point. Which was a good change: it's believable that Marla would find it harder to move on with her life after carrying the baby for nine months, while knowing that there was a person out there that she felt responsible for but had no ability to protect. But leaving evidence of the change in the story made me notice how flat all the other characters are, how they are the way they are in order to serve Lizzie's story.

• What do you think you’ll read next?

The Call of Cthulhu and Other Weird Stories, by H.P. Lovecraft.

The Rec League: Mary Stewart

Oct. 19th, 2017 08:00 am
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Posted by Amanda

The Rec League - heart shaped chocolate resting on the edge of a very old bookOur community at the Bitchery is full of warm & fuzzy moments and as the person who puts together the Books on Sale posts, sometimes we get some kickass, budget-endangering comment threads. For example, KateB alerted us to a mega Mary Stewart sale!

You can view Mary Stewart’s ebook editions, sorted from low to high prices, all of which are $3.99 or lower, at this Amazon link.

Here are some Stewart recs from that particular comment thread.

No, the Other Anne:

Airs Above the Ground and The Ivy Tree are particular favorites. I also love Touch Not the Cat. Really you can’t go wrong with anything Mary Stewart, though!

Vicki:

I think my favorite might be The Ivy Tree. Currently re-reading MoonSpinners, the book is better than the movie. Gosh, I read all of these between eight and 13 years old, did not get all the sub-text and still loved them. Love them all now, too.

PamG:

Personally, I favor This Rough Magic and back in the day, when I first read Mary Stewart, I loved Wildfire at Midnight. Her later romantic suspense–post Touch Not the Cat–seemed a little bland to me, but the rest of it was golden.

Do read the rest of the comments for more recommendations, and please let us know which books the Bitchery should be during this awesome Mary Stewart sale!

A Spoonful of Magic by Irene Radford

Oct. 19th, 2017 07:00 am
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Posted by SB Sarah

DNF

A Spoonful of Magic

by Irene Radford
November 7, 2017 · DAW

Trigger warnings for rape, gaslighting, infidelity, and discussions of Joss Whedon.

I  DNF’d this book so hard I’m a little surprised my Kindle isn’t embedded in the drywall.

First, a few points.

  1. I am aware (and was aware when I started this book) that this is Not a Romance. I am not carrying into this review my romance-reader expectations on happy or optimistic endings.
  2. I started this book while the coverage of Kai Cole’s essay on Joss Whedon’s infidelity and gaslighting was everywhere, which was a weird parallel that accentuated my revulsion.
  3. This book does not come out until November 7, which is a good ways off. Usually I don’t post reviews so far in advance, but I’ll probably complain about this book more than once before pub date.

I picked up this book because the NetGalley description sounded really intriguing:

A delightful new urban fantasy about a kitchen witch and her magical family

Daphne “Daffy” Rose Wallace Deschants has an ideal suburban life—three wonderful and talented children; a coffee shop and bakery, owned and run with her best friend; a nearly perfect husband, Gabriel, or “G” to his friends and family. Life could hardly be better.

But G’s perfection hides dangerous secrets. When Daffy uncovers evidence of his infidelity, her perfect life seems to be in ruins. On their wedding anniversary, Daffy prepares to confront him, only to be stopped in her tracks when he foils a mugging attempt using wizard-level magic. 

Suddenly, Daphne is part of a world she never imagined–where her husband is not a traveling troubleshooter for a software company, but the sheriff of the International Guild of Wizards, and her brilliant children are also budding magicians. Even she herself is not just a great baker and barista—she’s actually a kitchen witch. And her discovery of her powers is only just beginnning [sic]. 

But even the midst of her chaotic new life, another problem is brewing. G’s ex-wife, a dangerous witch, has escaped from her magical prison. Revenge-bent and blind, she needs the eyes of her son to restore her sight—the son Daffy has raised as her own since he was a year old. Now Daphne must find a way to harness her new powers and protect her family—or risk losing everything she holds dear.

As I said, I didn’t go into this book expecting a romance at all, but what I got made me SO angry.

The book opens with Daffy at a 13th anniversary dinner with her husband, and she’s pissed. Someone has emailed her pictures of him having wild sex with another woman, just after the people of their small (and of course sort of weird) town saw him around when he said he was overseas. When she confronts him with the pictures and then leaves the restaurant, three dudes attempt to mug her, but he stops them with his wooden fountain pen which is actually his magic wand.

She thought he was a low-level “parlor trick” magician, similar to some of the semi-magical people around their town. Turns out he has serious magical abilities, but he only tells her that much because she saw them. He won’t answer her questions about his having sex with someone else, and keeps insisting that she not kick him out because he has to keep her and their three children safe.

I was thinking maybe at some point she’d realize her kitchen witch powers and set him on fire, but that didn’t happen. Instead, the story follows Daffy ( she’s a magical baker in a magical coffee shop in a magical small town) and her children, who are beginning to manifest their powers.

I liked that not everything is explained up front. There’s no infodumpy reverie from the protagonists – not even when G should have been explaining things because clearly Daffy is devastated and betrayed by his infidelity –  and there isn’t much random “As you know,” from ancillary characters. The world is built in small doses, and while some of it is cliched (magical small town coffeeshop bakery because of course magical small town coffeeshop bakery), it made me curious enough to keep going.

I was confused by the fact that there are dual points of view, with Daffy’s narration in first person, and G’s perspective in third person, but I figured that was a choice that would make sense later.

Unfortunately, I have no interest in getting to later. I stopped and I will not be moved.

Let me back up and explain some of the setup here. G doesn’t acknowledge how those pictures happened, except to say (of course) that it’s not what she thinks. He says that cameras can’t capture illusions, and that someone had to have hacked his email account because he didn’t send the pictures.

So he did have sex with someone but he didn’t mean to send his wife evidence?

Huh.

This is 2% in to the story so I was willing to keep going.

Then G explains that the world is really dangerous and she and their children need him around to protect them.

But he won’t say from what, and he won’t talk about whether he did cheat on her, despite visible evidence.

Then he says they’ve had “thirteen wonderful years together” and that he needs her “now more than ever.”

Daffy calls him on his bullshit:

“You need me to babysit your children. Thirteen years when I’ve raised your son as my own. I adopted him on our wedding day, so he’d never need to ask about the mother who died giving birth to him. I’ve given you two wonderful daughters, kept house, cooked, and picked up after you.”

And here is G’s sensitive, thoughtful reply:

“And I love you for that. I do truly love you despite the temptations I face every day. I built you a wrought iron-and-glass greenhouse that fills a quarter of the backyard where the stables used to be. That should prove something of my devotion to you.”

You. Have Got. To be. Fucking. Kidding. Me.

He built a greenhouse where the stables used to be so obviously she’s not focusing on the right details.

And while I’m looking at this paragraph, “The temptations I face every day?

Are you SERIOUS?!

His argument reminded me with a sick feeling of the coverage of Kai Cole’s account of her marriage wherein Whedon was cheating on her for 15+ years. That whole “temptation” whine sounded nauseatingly familiar. It was kind of eerie that this was the book I picked up immediately after I read her essay.

I mean, gosh, it’s so difficult to not stick your dick in other people.

Such a burden to be basically decent when you’re a successful, powerful dude.

I just strained every one of my ocular muscles.

Anyway, Daffy kicks his ass out of their home, and the story continues as their divorce gets closer to being finalized. The kids, it turns out, know about the cheating because one of them is drawn to locks, puzzles, and things she shouldn’t be looking at. She clicked her way into her mother’s hard drive and saw the images, which she promptly shared with her siblings.

(Yeesh.)

(And as an aside: Daffy blames herself for not doing a better job of protecting her files, since she knew her daughter was drawn to all puzzles, locks, and passwords. Do people with magical abilities have a free pass to be completely crappy humans in this world?? I cannot with that part.)

Daffy is determined that she be able to at least cordially co-parent with G, and tries to work out ways for him to be part of their lives. This becomes more complicated when each child begins manifesting signs of their own magical ability, some far earlier than normal, and all with considerable amounts of power.

Plus, G’s narration reveals that Daffy was raised in a fundamentalist household, and that her grandmother had been a magical practitioner. To get his daughter away from the “evil influence,” Daffy’s father had his mother committed and subjected to electric shock treatments. Daffy never saw her again. As a result of her own parents’ indoctrination and the absence of her grandmother, Daffy’s own magic is severely suppressed. But no doubt her own talents combined with G’s mean that their children are like a Semi-Nuclear Pre-Teen Magical Titan Fantastic Squad.

The Kids are All Magical was a really tempting element to this story for me. Each one is compelled to find their personal wand, which can take the shape of a mundane item, usually an antique that “calls” to them. One has two sticks that she wears in her hair with ornaments on them which transform her from awkward teen to beautiful siren, and another, the lock-breaking boundary-obliterating one, is later drawn to an item that’s connected with her talents.

G’s son, Daffy’s adopted son, is a talented ballet dancer, and they figure out pretty early in the story what his “wand” is, and how it accentuates and focuses his power. And his dedication to dance and to practice and training make it pretty clear he’ll be very powerful the more time he spends dancing. He was one of my favorite characters in the parts that I read. I’d read a whole book about him.

For the next few chapters, Daffy and G are separated, and she slowly learns more about who he really is (very little of that information is provided by G himself) while trying to set up new boundaries for his involvement in her life, and trying to understand what her powers are or might be.

Then there are two major revelations, one of which I will hide behind spoiler tags:

Spoiler and Trigger Warning: Rape

It seems that G’s ex is not dead, but is in magic prison for killing a bunch of people, including his parents. Except she’s escaped from magic prison, and has been killing people all over the world.

AND she used her magic to make herself look like Daffy, so that when G was having sex with her, he thought he was with his wife. Evil Ex-Wife took the pictures, hacked his email, and sent them to Daffy, knowing she’d kick her husband out, leaving her and her children – specifically her son – vulnerable.

So effectively, she raped her ex-husband and framed him for cheating on his wife.

I read that part, and said, “WHOA.” Out loud. But quietly because people were sleeping.

And I was waiting for G to sit Daffy down and explain the whole thing, about the danger to the children, about the circumstances for the pictures, all of it.

But he doesn’t.

He doesn’t seem upset about what happened to him except that his ex-wife is dangerous (and also not dead but everyone thinks that she is). He doesn’t explain what’s happening, he doesn’t reveal how he’s lied and concealed information about Daffy, about their kids, about anything. He knows best – for himself.

And I grew increasingly angry at him for it. He’s wrapped up in some willful deceit and manipluation to not tell Daffy the truth about her own life, about the children she’s raising, about her own marriage, and their collective vulnerability.

He’s supposed to be able to protect them? From what, his own dickbaggery?

Then I completely lost my shit.

G. brings pizza and wine to the bakery, where Daffy is setting up the dough on a Sunday night for the Monday morning baking. He mentions that he’ll be heading out of the country on some big case, and she reacts with some asperity (completely justified, to my thinking):

“Have fun,” I said with more than a bit of contempt.

G didn’t need to read my mind to know where my thoughts led me. He reached over and rested his big hand atop mine. I looked small and frail in comparison to his strength.

“It’s not always like that, Daffy.”

“Like what?” I fixed him with a determined glare.

“Look, I have, upon occasion, found release with another woman when I was far away from you and the amount of magic I had to case in order to close a case was too much to contain. Not often. Not habitually. There is always a woman of age I can pick up in a bar who is very willing to share a one-night stand. And I always use a condom.”

He paused long enough to chew a bit of pizza and swallow it. “Normally I hop the first flight home and return to you, my love.”

Aaaand that would be where I stopped reading.

Because are you KIDDING ME? 

Seriously.

At the foundation level of this story, I believe I am supposed to witness G redeeming himself or something. Maybe Daffy needs to show him how not to be a terrible person (which he should have figured out on his own) or maybe he is going to wake his own sorry ass up and realize what a shit he’s been, but I am not here for any of it.

G is the gatekeeper of information Daffy needs and should have, and lies to her every time they talk. And based on the direction of the plot so far, eventually they will probably go fight evil together or something.

I don’t know, and I don’t care.

I can’t invest myself in wanting any part of his involvement in her life, or in this book. I won’t be convinced, ever, that he is a person Daffy should have in her life. I won’t be convinced to read about him, either.

His inability to acknowledge his actions, and the way in which the world of the book seems to condone the fact that he lies to Daffy, misleads her, and banged people behind her back without telling her made me feel ill, similar to how I felt when I read Kai Cole’s essay. “I did something wrong over and over but it wasn’t my fault because magic/patriarchy/both” is not heroic, not in real life, and not in a book.

(And how exactly does using a condom makes it ok, you magical dipshit? Come on.)

The longer he deceives Daffy and hides the truth from her about her life, her marriage, his past, her children, her latent powers, and her future, the more he strips her of any agency in a story that is ostensibly about her. Life is way too short to spend my reading time with a character like that, and, as Amanda pointed out to me as we discussed this book, it’s very easy for me to put down the book and walk away – far easier than it may be for a person in a marriage as damaging as this one.

Daffy can’t get away from G, and he’s orchestrated everything so that she won’t be able to extricate herself from any involvement with him. He hasn’t told her anything resembling the truth, and the ethical systems and morality of the magical world seem to condone his decisions and the harm he does to Daffy and their family.

To hell with him, and people like him. I’m out.

ETA: Out of morbid curiosity, I flipped to the last chapter to read how it ends. So while I did not finish the book, I did read the end.

Show Spoiler

Daffy, G, and the kids defeat the Evil Ex Wife, and G and Daffy have outstanding sex, but then she tells him to leave. She’s going to date other people, and he can as well, but they should start over. She married him too young, and needs a chance to know herself before she commits to him again. So I’m guessing there will be another book at some point.

Good going, Daffy. Way to toss him out.

But the door is still open for him to come back in, and so I’m not interested in reading the rest.

Socks, by Cofax (G)

Oct. 18th, 2017 09:59 pm
monksandbones: SG-1 from behind in silhouette, climbing the ramp toward the active stargate, text reads "GO 'GATE" (go 'gate)
[personal profile] monksandbones posting in [community profile] stargateficrec
Show: SG-1

Rec Category: Episode-Related
Characters: Sam Carter
Pairings: none
Categories: gen
Warnings: none
Author's Journal: [personal profile] cofax7
Author's Website: [archiveofourown.org profile] cofax
Link: Socks

Why This Must Be Read:

In this short fic, Cofax gives us a wonderful look at Sam Carter at the very beginning, freshly back from Chulak after the events of "Children of the Gods," and realizing what becoming a field officer will truly demand. I love early-series SG-1 fics that look at the formation of the team, but this one stands out because it's just Sam, tired, sore, and recalibrating her own standards for herself. Sam's grim struggles with her shoelaces capture the brilliance and determination that make her who she is, at the same time as they invite us to reconsider the episode in terms of her physical experiences. Instant headcanon!

Snippet of fic:

An Air Force captain is fit, strong, always ready for duty. Five times a week, Sam runs five miles. She lifts weights, stretches, takes the occasional aerobics class. She can defend herself hand-to-hand and with a wide array of weapons.
oloriel: A few lines of Tengwar calligraphy. (blatant tolkienism)
[personal profile] oloriel posting in [community profile] silwritersguild
Silmarillion40 Banner

Bright Star - An Exile Into Paradise by Oshun. Elros is preparing to leave behind the land of his birth, everyone and everything he has known, to become one of the founding settlers and the first king of Númenór. Elrond is not ready to let him go. (Short Story)




Just joining us? The Silmarillion40 is a collection of fan-created fiction, art, and poetry in honor of the 40th anniversary of the publication of The Silmarillion. For forty days, we will feature at least one fanwork, following the chronology of The Silmarillion. Find the full Silmarillion40 collection here.

Reading Wednesday

Oct. 18th, 2017 09:35 pm
muccamukk: Jeff standing in the dark, face half shadowed. (B5: All Alone in the Night)
[personal profile] muccamukk
What I Just Finished Reading
The House at Riverton by Kate Morton, narrated by Caroline Lee
Very enjoyable mystery/gothic history novel largely set in the 1920s. (I feel like Julien Fallows probably owes Morton money). I liked how the storylines intertwined and how each person's interest in the history changed how they saw it. The love triangle at the centre was probably the least interesting aspect, and I wish the story had had more focus on Grace, as the sections without her dragged a bit. Will read more by this author, in any case.

Bearista by Zoe Chant
Does what it says on the tin, though I could have used more coffeeshop UST, as those scenes were a highlight. However the main couple had great chemistry, and I liked how the heroine was strong, interesting and useful in a fight without being an action girl. Zoe is really good at heroines that feel real.
(I hope there's a sequel about Keegan and maybe a carpenter lady.)

A Long Day in Lychford (Lychford #3) by Paul Cornell
I really liked the emotion in this book, and how the characters were at odds for good reason. The feelings were very well conveyed, especially Lizzie's inability to connect with the other two. However, it felt a bit short to deal with all the themes it was trying to get in, and a lot of plot threads didn't feel resolved at all. Presumably they will be in the next one, but I wasn't left feeling like I'd read a whole story as I was with the first two. (Unless the fragmentation was itself a meta point.)

The End of Days by Jenny Erpenbeck, translated by Susan Bernofsky
I mean, it's a book in which the main character (and most of the other characters) dies repeatedly and often horribly, but it's just really pretty okay! I don't know what to say past wow, shiny about the writing and the structure and the themes, and it's just really meaningful! I want to learn German so I can read it in German.

What I'm Reading Now
Audio: In the middle of a Station Eleven reread, as I've been thinking about it recently. Still really good!

Paper: Theoretically, Beren and Lúthien, practically, not much.

What I'm Reading Next
Library book, probably Black Apple as it's due next.

what a good dog

Oct. 19th, 2017 12:17 am
rushthatspeaks: (feferi: do something adorable)
[personal profile] rushthatspeaks
A dog who wouldn't leave his flock of goats came safe and sound through the California wildfires, having managed to keep safe all the goats and, because this was not already impressive enough, several baby deer.

Fandom Loves Puerto Rico

Oct. 19th, 2017 04:00 am
esteefee: (col_kitty)
[personal profile] esteefee
Posted in full at: http://ift.tt/2ySQN6r
Hey peeps:

I have signed up to be a creator for the Fandom Loves Puerto Rico auction. It’s a charity auction to benefit victims of the recent hurricane by donating directly to ConPRmetidos. The charity is a Puerto Rican-run organization and all the donations go directly to the victims in Puerto Rico. See the links for more information.

If you want to support the auction by bidding on fanfiction, go here. If you’re interested in a story from me in particular, here is my offering. You have until 6pm EST, Monday October 23rd to bid. ¡Buena suerte!

Tags:fandom loves puerto rico, fandom auction, hurricane relief, ptdw

two posts!

Oct. 18th, 2017 11:15 pm
dogfight: (FUCKING WELP)
[personal profile] dogfight posting in [community profile] fandom_icons
dc comics [60] ➝ wednesday spoilers: batman 33 (bruce, selina, alfred, dick, jason, damian, duke)


here at [community profile] probono


dc comics [55] ➝ rebirth green lanterns (hal jordan)


here at [community profile] probono

71F - 46F : Sunny

Oct. 18th, 2017 11:01 pm
zhelana: (Rent - Dignity)
[personal profile] zhelana
I woke up before noon because Tara was supposed to come at noon. She showed up at 2. I was cranky. She finished off my office today, which is good. And her husband got the furniture out of our house - however, it is now sitting in our yard instead of going to the dump like she originally promised.

She left around 6, and I went to the SCA meeting. I was the first one there, and it was dark and locked up. Sooner or later (like half an hour later) people started to show up, and opened the room, and we had a business meeting about Castle Wars, and then just chatted for a while.

We went to Imperial afterwards, but they were out of my sandwich so I got falafel which might have even been better.

What to Do About Kneeling

Oct. 18th, 2017 09:20 pm
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
[personal profile] ysabetwordsmith
People are freaking out over football players kneeling as a civil rights protest. As I've said repeatedly, this should be encouraged, not condemned. It is a rational, legal method of solving problems. If you block that, people will resort to less rational, less legal methods. I would prefer not to have race riots all over the place. Again. The catch is, kneeling is an effective way to attract attention but it doesn't solve the underlying problems. For that we need more. And then [personal profile] dialecticdreamer came up with this gem:

"Kneeling falls entirely under right of free expression and social protest. Anyone who tries to decry that it 'damages' the corporation a public figure works for, whether a sports team or a bakery, is an authoritarian idjit. Were I the manager of a sports team, the SECOND one of my players knelt in protest, I'd arrange to meet them, and ask what can help. Public outreach. More sports camps and mentorships for youth in poverty, who are disproportionately darker-skinned (but I'd be careful not to make skin color a requirement-- you've heard this rant before)."

Well, the famous guys are difficult or impossible to reach, for practical reasons. But it's not just them anymore; players on local teams sometimes do the same thing. They can be reached, and so can their managers. Letters to the editor of any newspaper would be another way of publicizing this idea. We can also just put this topic in blog posts. Then if anyone is involved in sports where this is happening, they have a solution to try.
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
[personal profile] ysabetwordsmith
Recently a friend mentioned looking forward to an event but worrying that it might be overwhelming. This can happen. It happens more often to people with special needs -- or introverts, who are a huge portion of the populace that is simply ignored in almost all event planning, thus necessitating additional accommodations. Here are some ideas to make your trip safer and happier ...

Read more... )

Thank You!

Oct. 18th, 2017 05:43 pm
otw_staff: 'Comms' and 'Claudia' written beneath the OTW Logo (Claudia)
[personal profile] otw_staff posting in [community profile] otw_news
Organization for Transformative Works Membership Drive, October 12-18, 2017

However you took part in #otwdonate, thank you for getting us started on our next 10 years! We've got some numbers for you about how this membership drive turned out: https://goo.gl/SMZamk

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10/18/2017 Meeker Slough

Oct. 18th, 2017 04:12 pm
mrkinch: Erik holding fieldglasses in "Russia" (binocs)
[personal profile] mrkinch
High tide was at noon, so when I got to So 51st St about 1:30 it was still a bit early in terms of exposed shoreline; two hours later there were more visible shorebirds but the sun angle was crap. That's shorter days for you. Still, not winter yet: )

Walking back to So 51st St I had an experience that reminded me of the butterfly migration a couple weeks ago. Gulls began appearing from the east southeast, evenly spaced over a wide area, uniformly not very high, and soared out over the Bay. I don't think they were landing on the spit opposite, although I admit I was so fascinated I didn't watch to see; they were definitely not landing anywhere short of there and I had the impression they just kept flying. They seemed to materialize out of the haze in front of the hills, and I have no idea where they came from. The reservoirs in Contra Costa? A pond this side of the hills? The Delta? Many of them were small gulls, possibly mews, but as the wave continued I saw the lots of ring-bills as well as Californias and westerns. More than a hundred, I'd guess.

Things

Oct. 18th, 2017 07:31 pm
melannen: Commander Valentine of Alpha Squad Seven, a red-haired female Nick Fury in space, smoking contemplatively (Default)
[personal profile] melannen
It seems like it's been ages that I've posted anything substantial and non-FMK here (which I knew was a risk; I have enough social media XP (extroversion points) to keep up with approx. 1 DW post a week, that is well-established). So here is a 5 things to break the monotony:

1. Pokemon Go will not let me install the latest update (It gives an error message that says "we hates your phone, precious" [paraphrase] and then won't install.) So instead I have been playing Magikarp Jump, which the app store always tries to tell me pokego players will enjoy. So far:

This is my fish. There are many like it, but this one is mine. )


2. Also I finally won the last boss level in Alphabear, so until I got my fish game, I was totally at loose ends for mindless phone games, and started looking for ports of the ones I played as a kid. HOW IS AN ANDROID PORT OF GODDAMP CATERPILLAR 11 megabytes? I coded that from scratch on my TI83 when I was a kid! In, like, about 100 lines of code! WHAT IS WRONG WITH US?

(I also coded a text adventure with a gender-ambiguous protagonist on that calculator, actually...)


3. I finished cleaning my bathroom yesterday! It only took me about two weeks! It is so nice to go in there and have it be clean! clean ALL the things )


4. So last November I kind of went into power-save mode for awhile, quit using Habitica and also quit a bunch of the things I had been doing on a regular basis (tag wrangling, practicing piano, working on Spanish and Icelandic, writing on a regular basis, using Tumblr...) But my sister got me back onto using Habitica again, and now that all the cat-related tasks are gone (and I trimmed some other stuff) it's a much more reasonable list of dailies.

I had forgotten how very motivating it is to get to tick the thingy. Now I am debating whether to use my Orb of Rebirth and start over or not (And whether to try to get together an active party with more than just me and my sister and a bunch of inactive accounts.)

And I'm trying to get back to doing some of the other things I stopped, too. I gave Tag Wrangling an un-hiatus notice, so I'm committed to trying to be less fail at that, and I pulled out a piano book for the first time in months (I found a copy of the very first one I learned out of, The Joy Of First-Year Piano, to warm me back up) Og ég er að læra íslensku aftur. Þótt jurtabókin er erfitt. Það er of mikið um illt kaffi í bókinni. Y yo hablé español a una clienta hoy! Un poco español, pero un poco es más que nada.

The only thing I gave up that I haven't missed at all is Tumblr. *shrug emoji* (even that's not true, I have a secret backup tumblr to which are added a couple people who post mostly personal stuff and also a bunch of nature and solarpunk and library special collections photos, and no politics or fandom, and it's still fine.)

5. One of the things on my habitica dailies is to post an AO3 comment once a day. Another one is to do something with politics once a week. I got my wires crossed in there somewhere and realized that if I don't feel up to actually engaging with politics I can just send one of my (excellent) congresspeople an email that literally just says, "Hi staffer who reads these, you are fighting the good fight, keep holding the line, thank you", just like when I want to leave an AO3 comment but don't know what to say, and it STILL COUNTS.

Also, people are trying to get public outcry going toward Congress passing the nonpartisan bill Restricting First Use of Nuclear Weapons Act of 2017. (S. 200 - Senate, HR 669 - House.) which would make it so the US President could not launch a nuclear first strike without a declaration of war. TBH I can't think of ANY reason why that should ever have been possible, but ESPECIALLY now. So write your congresspeople or spread the word to #PULL THE FOOTBALL

/me crosses off "do politics" for this week
bironic: Neil Perry gazing out a window at night (Default)
[personal profile] bironic
Hi, friends. Thanks for voting in the poll! Indecisiveness combined with a general suspicion that everything I say and write these days is stupid banal can lead to extra-long periods of not posting.

I have been all right. Going to the gym 4+ days a week is not my natural inclination, and I still hurt in many places, but it is clear the activity is keeping my mood afloat, helping me sleep better and, yes, building strength and stamina. I took tonight off to browse the local library book sale -- $2 for Neil Clarke's Best Science Fiction of the Year vol. 1 and Whale Rider on DVD, yay -- and write a post.

My sister came to visit over Columbus Day/Indigenous Peoples Day weekend. (Wow, it looks even worse to put those side by side than to use one alone. Wish we could just say Indigenous Peoples Day now, but it hasn't permeated the culture yet.) We went to a book event featuring chef Jacques Pépin, daughter Claudine and granddaughter Shorey. Having grown up watching Pépin, Julia Child and the Frugal Gourmet on PBS, it was a real treat -- especially since he came out twenty minutes early, plastic cup of wine in hand, to do photo ops with anyone who wanted.

The discussion itself was quite funny. Claudine, the moderator, got teased by her dad, but she dished it right back. "Never work with family," she quipped at one point. They told stories about things like how PBS timed its filmings so if Claudine wasn't a fast enough learner at rolling out dough or whatever, Jacques would elbow her out of the way and do it himself. Whereas when he partnered with Julia Child, she just told the film crew, "We're going to make this dish and we'll tell you when we're done," meaning some poor editor had to trim 110 minutes down to 20-something. Nor did they work from recipes, so airings were delayed because the producers had to reverse engineer them.

We also went to the county fair in the rain, figuring the crowds would thin out. Incorrect! Nonetheless, we enjoyed many animals, vegetables and minerals crafts. A pair of goats tried to eat our plastic ponchos, and once again the rabbit and cavy tent drove me to look into how feasible it would be to get a couple of guinea pigs to cuddle at home. (Space, climate control and frequency of cage cleaning & feeding are the main concerns, i.e. I could not be away for more than about a day without arranging for care. And I don't know if I trust my ability to maintain the energy levels to do what's needed. This was easier growing up when we had four family members to share tasks.) LOOK AT ITS LITTLE TRIBBLE TUFTS.

Work has been work-y. We were urged to apply for some awards in our field, which took up most of the last three days. I've won a few in this job, so I'm a bit hopeful. Otherwise just trying to keep my head down and enjoy the aspects of this career that I enjoy while our office's overall stress rises and morale dips. Pretty sure [coworker] is about to quit.

Good news is we still get financial support for professional development. Next week I'm flying to San Francisco for a conference. If any of you have food recommendations in the Union Square/SoMa area, especially for breakfast and lunch, share away. I'm already set on returning to a couple of takeout places in Chinatown for tasty tasty dim sum. Still dreaming of the shrimp and leek dumplings from my first visit there a year and a half ago.

2017 Intro/Sticky

Oct. 18th, 2017 07:37 pm
dexstarr: (Default)
[personal profile] dexstarr
Hello!

I am Dex aka dexstarr, and you can find me many places:
🐍 [archiveofourown.org profile] dexstarr (ao3|fic)
🐍 [personal profile] dexstarr (dreamwidth|random musings)
🐍 [tumblr.com profile] galacticcoyote (tumblr|fandoms)
🐍 [insanejournal.com profile] dexstarr (insanejournal|roleplay)
🐍 [livejournal.com profile] dexstarr (livejournal|old, retired)

more about me )

[ SECRET POST #3941 ]

Oct. 18th, 2017 07:39 pm
case: (Default)
[personal profile] case posting in [community profile] fandomsecrets

⌈ Secret Post #3941 ⌋

Warning: Some secrets are NOT worksafe and may contain SPOILERS.

01.


More! )


Notes:

Secrets Left to Post: 01 pages, 18 secrets from Secret Submission Post #564.
Secrets Not Posted: [ 0 - broken links ], [ 0 - not!secrets ], [ 0 - not!fandom ], [ 0 - too big ], [ 0 - repeat ].
Current Secret Submissions Post: here.
Suggestions, comments, and concerns should go here.

I have a narrative "thing"

Oct. 18th, 2017 06:02 pm
dragovianknight: (WoW - lion)
[personal profile] dragovianknight
For tank/DPS combos*. This grows more obvious the more I try to brainstorm this years NaNoWriMo project.

Also, if I didn't hate the mechanics/stats side of it, I would totally write litRPG. But even in my gaming, I want less fussing with stats, not MORE.



*I blame [personal profile] darthneko and I swapping to monk mains this expac. One brewmaster plus one windwalker will rip through anything, including heroic dungeons. Sadly, we can't yet duo current-content raids, or the bullshit quests that keep sending me to Emerald Nightmare would be done already.
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Posted by Kaila Hale-Stern

File this one under Wednesday weird. The #1 trending topic on Twitter is currently “Melania” after a video and comparison photo shots convinced wide swaths of the Internet that Trump had employed a Melania doppelganger. The conspiracy fast became a meme, and the rest is history.

First, Twitter lit up about this video. You have to admit that as we zoom in on Melania, her nose looks different, as does her fringe of hair—and her vigorous nodding to Trump’s words. It was made weirder by Trump saying “My wife Melania, who happens to be right here.” For those who really got into this thing whole-heartedly, I think it’s demonstrative of how out-there Trump behaves on an everyday basis that nothing he or his family does would surprise us anymore. We’d totally be down for believing he swapped in a spare Melania look-alike for a photo op.

While portions of the Internet took this very seriously and broke down comparisons to the microscopic level, others had more fun memeing and hamming it up.

Let’s all simmer down, folks. Camera angles can play tricks:

But personally, I’m going with this take:

Anyway, given the terrible things Donald Trump has done just today, like deny he was rude to the widow of a fallen soldier (hmm, who should we believe, Donald Trump or the soldier’s mother?), and never follow up on the promise of fundraising $25,000 for the family of another lost soldier, we shouldn’t be distracted by this silliness (or so focused on picking apart a woman’s appearance). Still, #FakeMelania was too much of a moment in cultural history not to record. Everyone really needs a break, don’t we?

  • Twitter says they’re going to institute new rules for handling abuse on their network. Oh, sorry, that banshee-like sound you just heard was my incredulous, hysterical laughter. (via Wired)
  • So who’s been watching Mindhunter??? OMG how I’ve missed Anna Torv. Also, this is cool:

  • The cast of Halloweentown, reunited. (via Buzzfeed)
  • Director Guillermo Del Toro doesn’t mince words about Hollywood’s toxic culture: “The people with money are assholes.” (via THR)
  • French women have their own “me too”-esque hashtag, only it’s #BalanceTonPorc (“expose your pig”) (via Time)
  • Is my wife Hayley Atwell’s presence in Georgia a possible hint that she could be filming there for the Avengers? Please? Peggy please? (via Comicbook.com)

You made it halfway through the week! Hooray! So what’d you see today?

(image: screengrab)

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Posted by Teresa Jusino

Director Marianna Palka has taken a loaded word and a batshit premise and managed to create a feminist satire that seems to be as insightful and incisive as it is funny and weird. Check out the trailer for her new film, Bitch, above!

This dark comedy tells the story of a woman (played by Palka) who is so overwhelmed by her life as a mother and wife that she becomes an actual bitcha female dog. Her cheating husband (Jason Ritter) and their kids then have to navigate life without her, clueless about all the physical and emotional labor they heaped upon her day in and day out, completely taking her for granted.

The film’s title is a divisive word in feminist circles. I happen to be in the camp that believes that the word can be reclaimed and be empowering depending on context and usage. There are others who see the word as demeaning in all contexts and prefer it never be used with regard to women. At Sundance this year, Palka explained her take on the word and why she chose it as a title:

“I think because there’s such a power in the word, and I think that the word actually means so much to so many people. I think that it’s obviously sometimes misused as a word and a term. I always think there’s another way to talk about someone. If you want to call them that, you should call them something else. You could say that they’re being assertive.”

Bitch arrives in theaters November 10th. Will you be checking it out?

(via The Muse, image: Youtube)

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Posted by Teresa Jusino

As Ava DuVernay reminded us when she spoke at the Hammer Museum Gala earlier this week, “good guys” do exist. As rife as Hollywood is with terrible, horrifying examples of manhood, there are also those who genuinely and wholeheartedly embrace their role in doing better and furthering the cause of gender equality. I needed to take a minute to acknowledge them here; to remind myself that the world isn’t a complete shit-show.

We’ve already heard today about Kevin Smith putting his money where his mouth is and donating all future royalties from any films of his produced/distributed by the Weinsteins (which is a lot of films) to Women in Film. Now, according to The Hollywood Reporter, we’re also hearing about Channing Tatum stopping development of his film adaptation of Forgive Me, Leonard Peacock, which was in development with The Weinstein Company.

A post shared by Channing Tatum (@channingtatum) on

My hope is that more people in Hollywood take things like a company’s record re: abuses against women into account before deciding whether or not to work with them in the first place. And if new information comes to light, they do what Tatum and his producing partner, Reid Carolin, have done: take their business elsewhere.

In addition to those men in Hollywood who are fighting on the business front, there are those who are working toward changing the culture of masculinity by really examining it and redefining what it means. I’ve been following Justin Baldoni’s work for a while now, at first because I’m a huge fan of Jane the Virgin (he plays Rafael), but shortly thereafter because I’ve learned that he is extremely passionate about using his craft and his platform to better the world around him.

His production company, Wayfarer Entertainment, exists not only to create content, but to engage in social justice and change, primarily in the realm of homelessness, but for other causes, too. One of those productions is a show called Man Enough.

I’ve been getting glimpses of the making of the show as it’s progressed via Baldoni’s Instagram, and it seems like a really cool idea. It’s a dinner party-style conversation show with a rotating cast of male participants who will be gathering to have honest conversations about what masculinity is, and can be.

Far from being an MRA-style bro-fest, Man Enough will gather men with all different experiences and relationships to gender in order to perpetuate a masculinity that isn’t about destruction and pain, but rather, one that allows the space for vulnerability and growth. Says Baldoni, “There is no shortage of men, I can tell you right now, that want to be at that table and have that conversation even in this town, believe it or not, because men are ready to talk, men are ready to open up, men are tired of the way things have been.”

The Hollywood Reporter announced that the show’s rotating cast includes Matt McGorry (How to Get Away With Murder), Derek Hough (Dancing With the Stars), Javier Munoz (Hamilton), comedian Bassem Youssef, spoken word artist Prince Ea, transgender activist Aydian Dowling, and former UFC middleweight champion Anderson Silva.

The fact that they’re including not only straight, white, and cis perspectives on masculinity, but those of men of color, queer men, and trans men gives me a lot of hope that the conversations they have will actually be valuable, and hopefully inspire similar conversations among men who watch.

Man Enough premieres online on November 28th at wearemanenough.com.

Lastly, I’ve been heartened to see men outside the Hollywood environment begin to have conversations on social media via hashtags like #ItWasMe and #HowIWillChange, taking responsibility for all the ways, big and small, in which they have individually perpetuated rape culture and sexism while vowing to do better.

I hope that this conversation leads to real, concrete action, and that this action continues. Sexism can’t be dismantled without men’s participation, and it gives me hope to see that there are men out there that see the dismantling of sexism as something that will benefit them much more than any “power” they have under this oppressive system.

(image: Wayfarer Entertainment)

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