Vacation Time!

Jun. 25th, 2017 10:23 pm
bookchan: endless sky (Default)
[personal profile] bookchan
Having a lovely vacation and looking at top quality artworks is going to help me clear some junk out of my apartment I think when I get back. Yesterday the places I ended up eating at were only okay, but today they were fantastic. I also had some wonderful ice cream for dessert. Peach, Brandy and fresh ginger. crisp and perfect for the walk back to my hotel.

Purple!

Jun. 25th, 2017 07:52 pm
suzy_queue: (Default)
[personal profile] suzy_queue
I am officially purple for the summer. My hair had been quite long, falling below my shoulder blades, and I was excited to get it cut short. The goal was a short, stacked bob that could tuck behind my ears but was by my ear lobes. I showed her this picture. So totally not what I got. I have been seeing her for years, and she knows my tastes well, and she is probably quite used to my "short but not really" and didn't get that I wanted actual short. I like it, I'd actually eyed some similar cuts and I think I can do fun stuff with it, but I'm still disappointed. I wanted drastic. If she'd taken it up another inch or two to make it like Carey Mulligan, I think I'd have been happier. But she was busy and she got started with me half an hour late and I'd already had to push my date back 45 minutes, so I had to leave.

And was still late. But she was super understanding and flexible! The mall was a great first date--we wandered and got lost and explored and sniffed many kinds of tea, and smelled the Lush store at the same time and dashed over, and chatted for awhile when we ran out of mall again. She was very nice, very reserved and introverted and we managed to have even more in common than I'd have thought possible. (Including a mutual love of snow and winter, ha.) Conversation was pretty easy, and I managed to be sparkly, but there wasn't really a spark of any kind. It was fun, and comfortable, but I didn't end up giddy and excited, you know? And I did a lot of the talking and the work. It's hard to picture a lot of time with someone where I'm the more extroverted one. Perhaps she gets sparkly later.

We did discuss a possible second date of going to a theater performance that she'd really loved that sounded super fun, so that's a possibility. And she had an extra ticket to Leslie Odom Jr in August that she offered me and I accepted and maybe I shouldn't have? LOL I don't know. She was like, ignore me if this is weird! But... And I don't have plans that day, but it's an 8:30 outdoor concert over an hour away. And it's in 6 weeks. I feel like I might need to claim a work day.

Oh, hilariously, she was at the Gardens the same day I took I.! I wonder if we saw each other? So funny, I wonder what the odds are. We both got hailed on.

Anxiety wise, I never got as panicked as I previously have. I was stressed over starting my appt late and being late, but I asked my stylist for a time frame and texted A with little trouble. I woke up with huge bags under my eyes, the likes I haven't seen since my last days at Disney World, which I couldn't get rid of even with cold compresses, but just rolled with it, figuring I was doing my best with makeup and a cute outfit. All heads and shoulders above previous reactions. I never even wished I was canceling, that's positive, too.

She texted today while I was at work, so I will respond, but I am a little at a loss of how to proceed. I guess it's worth a second date, but I am settling back into my, "Well, I put myself out there, time to recharge for a few months before trying again" mindset, ha.

But most importantly, I am on vacation and less than 24 hours from having a Krissy here and that is super delightful. I finished half my cleaning this morning, will finish the other half in the morning, and then FUN TIME YAY. <3
duskpeterson: (bookshelves)
[personal profile] duskpeterson


THIS MONTH'S THEME: Middle East & North Africa

A number of my characters come from societies that are partially based on societies in the Middle East and North Africa.

The Koretians and Daxions of the Three Lands series are descended from a desert people who are based loosely upon the Bedouin. (Very loosely. When I started the series at age sixteen, I had a vague sense of the Koretians being connected with desert life; the rest I gradually pieced together as time went on.) Although the people of Koretia and Daxis have lost most of their desert customs over the centuries, their cultures remain strongly based on kinship; in Koretia, this often takes the form of men vowing to be blood brothers. In addition, the traditional Koretian system of justice is based partially on honor codes. By the time that the Three Lands series begins, the Koretian justice system has been tainted by such practices as blood feuds.

An early test cover for an installment of Breached Boundaries:

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Southern Vovimians appear in several parts of the Turn-of-the-Century Toughs cycle: Transformation 3: A Prisoner Has Need (The Eternal Dungeon), Sweet Blood 4: Checkmate (The Eternal Dungeon), Whipster (Michael's House), Mercy's Prisoner (Life Prison), and Hell's Messenger (Life Prison). Southern Vovim is what we would call a pan-African settlement in the New World, but its original founders were from the Toughs world's equivalent of the Kingdom of Kush in what is now Sudan (and also Egypt, during the century in which Kushites were pharoahs). More can be learned about the Kushites in the Wikipedia article on Meroë. (Again, it took me time to figure out this connection.)

Turning back the Toughs cycle: In ancient times, when these people settled in what would become the southern-most province of Vovim in the New World, they brought with them a tradition of creating textiles, jewelry, and works of gold, which would help to make Vovim the most arts-oriented country of the Midcoast nations. Unfortunately, the southern Vovimians' native tradition of iron-working died out, with the result that neighboring Yclau would later pioneer the Industrial Revolution, rather than Vovim. However, southern Vovimians are one of the two "tribes" that helped to form Vovim, the largest country in the Midcoast nations. Among the Midcoast nations, Vovim is rivalled only by Mip (which Vovim helped to found) for its multicultural splendor.

Cover for Whipster, showing a much later resident of southern Vovim, whose ancestors came from further south in the Old World:

*


*

I'VE SET MY MULTIFORMAT E-BOOKS FREE

Enjoy and enjoy. My e-books at other bookstores are available free too, except at Amazon, where they're 99c.
 

*

NOW AVAILABLE FREE IN MULTIFORMAT: Law Links (The Three Lands)

Few events are more thrilling in a young man's life than a blood feud between two villages. Or so Adrian thought.

Torn between affection toward his traditional-minded father and worship of his peace-loving, heretical priest, Adrian finds himself caught between two incompatible visions of his duty to the gods. Then the Jackal God sends Adrian a message that will disrupt his world and send him fleeing to a new and perilous life.

This novel on a young man's encounters with soldiers and spies can be read on its own or as part of The Three Lands, a diverse fantasy series on friendship, romantic friendship, romance, and betrayal in times of war and peace. The series is inspired by conflicts between nations during the Roman Empire and the Dark Ages.

Available as a free multiformat e-book or as a 99c Kindle e-book: Law Links (The Three Lands).
 

*

NEW ONLINE FICTION: The Eternal Dungeon, The Three Lands, and Life Prison

Information about my online fiction. Click on the titles for the full blurbs, tags, and stories.
 

Ma'am (The Eternal Dungeon). The guards who serve under her are mocking her. In other words, it's an ordinary workday.

Wildfire (The Three Lands). He was a loyal servant of the god. But even loyal servants have their limits.

Shifts (The Eternal Dungeon). Midwinter's god is as cold as cruelty and as warm as a loving heart.

Adversaries (The Three Lands: Breached Boundaries #1). When an endangered slave visits an imprisoned spy, she discovers that she has more options in life than she had thought.

Open-Soul Surgery (The Eternal Dungeon). He expected death. What arrived was worse.

Emancipation (Life Prison). Civil war is tearing apart the land. Again. . . . "Emancipation" is loosely inspired by events at a border-state manor during and after the American Civil War. This is a special Juneteenth holiday gift story for my readers.


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REISSUED ONLINE FICTION: Leather in Lawnville, The Eternal Dungeon, Young Toughs, The Three Lands, and Life Prison

Information about my online fiction. Click on the titles for the full blurbs, tags, and stories.
 

Leatherdar (Leather in Lawnville). The narrator goes on the hunt at a college ballroom dance.

Prison Food and Fondness (The Eternal Dungeon). "All she needed to gather were the ingredients for the meal. This she tried to explain on one summer morning, standing by the outer dungeon's exit while confronting two guards who had their daggers pointed at her."

Far Enough Away (Young Toughs). He knew he wasn't normal. Now he must save others who have been left behind.

Pinned (Leather in Lawnville). A rude top and an interfering family member prove to be an explosive combination at the Eagle bar.

In Hot Water (The Eternal Dungeon). They are two of the most talented prison-workers in the world. It's a pity their skills don't extend to dishwashing.

On Guard (The Eternal Dungeon). A bloody knife from a crime scene becomes a mystery to be solved and a foreshadow of trouble to come.

The Whipping Post (The Eternal Dungeon). Ten minutes left to contemplate what lies ahead, before the end begins.

Bonds (The Eternal Dungeon: Sweet Blood #1). A prisoner meeting his fate. A torturer meeting his demons. And between them, a man whose bonds are on the point of shattering.

Green Ruin (The Eternal Dungeon). Three guards and a mysterious substance provide a temptation too great to be missed . . . especially when two torturers add their skills to the mix.

New-Fashioned (The Eternal Dungeon). The Eternal Dungeon's youngest torturer has a special talent. He's about to discover what it is, at the worst of moments.

Searching (The Eternal Dungeon: Sweet Blood #2). Walking into a trap may be the only way to create one.

Bard of Pain (The Three Lands). In the battle-weary lands of the Great Peninsula, only one fate is worse than being taken prisoner by the Lieutenant: being taken prisoner if you are the Lieutenant. (Also available in free Braille and DAISY editions).

Split (The Eternal Dungeon: Sweet Blood #3). It was his duty to transform the prisoner's soul. But which one?

In the Silence (Life Prison). He can't speak. He can barely see. He experiences only fear and the faint whispers of something he had once known. But an intruder into his secure retreat from danger will pull him into awareness of what stands before him. What stands there is renewed danger . . . and the hope of something more.


*

CURRENT ONLINE SERIALIZATIONS: Leather in Lawnville, The Eternal Dungeon, Young Toughs, and The Three Lands

Information about my online fiction. Click on the titles for the full blurbs, tags, and stories.
 

Spy Hill (Commando). On a hot summer's day, on a high hill surrounded by the enemy, the best battle-companion can turn out to be the truth.

Survival School (Young Toughs). How far can trust grow, when you're in a place you despise?

Checkmate (The Eternal Dungeon: Sweet Blood #4). The Eternal Dungeon is no longer a prison. It's a battlefield.

Law Links (The Three Lands). Few events are more thrilling in a young man's life than a blood feud between two villages. Or so Adrian thought.



*Certificate: 2016 Rainbow Awards. This certificies that Dusk Peterson has been awarded Best LGBT Alternative Universe/Reality for Risk (Dark Light #2).

RISK IS A WINNER IN THE RAINBOW AWARDS 2016

For the fifth time, the Rainbow Awards has honored one of my e-books. Risk (Dark Light) received the following honors:
 

  • 3rd Place, Best LGBT Book.
  • Winner, Best LGBT Alternative Universe/Reality.
  • Finalist.
  • Honorable Mention.


You can read the judges' comments (with an understandable but fairly serious couple of errors in the first sentence).

In addition, you can browse through a list of my e-books that were previously honored in the Rainbow Awards on my Awards page.
 

NEW STORY TAGS

I've updated the story tags page with additional stories and with the following new or expanded tags:
 

  • adventure, suspense, and thrillers (which is basically what I write, yeah).
  • fantasy.
  • historical fantasy.
  • 1870s.
  • Middle Ages.
  • Renaissance.
  • physically disabled characters.
  • chauffeurs.
  • craftsfolk.
  • diplomats and peacemakers (expanded tag).
  • monolatrism (see definition).
  • pluriform monotheism (see definition).
  • arsonists.
  • assailants.
  • assassins, murderers, and terrorists (expanded tag).
  • traitors.
  • war criminals and aggressive seizure of foreign lands (expanded tag).
  • soldiers and former soldiers (expanded tag).
  • father & daughter.


Just do a Find search on the story tags page to find these tags.
 

OTHER ADDITIONS TO THE WEBSITE

I changed my mind; I've brought back my young adult site.

At duskpeterson.com, I've added a page listing interviews with me.
 

Words per year

2016 WORD COUNTS

I've posted my word counts for 2016. I issued fifteen new stories last year, which is a number I'm pleased by. Unfortunately, my wordage continues to be so-so: 114,186 last year, which is no better than it has been every year from 2010 onwards. Granted that I had a legitimate excuse last year (I was spending a lot of time getting ready to launch my new business), but still, I could be doing a lot better than this. Fortunately, my 2017 wordage is looking good so far.

For the first time in seven years, I've also updated the wordage charts. I use these charts to help me see work patterns I might otherwise miss noticing. One chart reveals what I never would have guessed: My words per hour keep going up.

The last chart on that page, which shows how many stories I've published and reissued each year (with the e-books mainly showing up in red) . . . Do I get some sort of award for workaholism?
 

2017 PLANS

First, a bit of crowing, for I hit a personal milestone last year, without noticing it: I've issued over one hundred stories!

I began the year by posting a lot of long works of online fiction rapidly, but because of the demands of my new day job, I've had to switch over to a chapter-a-week serialization schedule. The good news is that I'm serializing more than one story at a time.

Here's my main serialization schedule for this year. The serializations run parallel with one another, though they don't all start on the same day (as you'll already have noted, if you've been following the updates at my blog).
 


Because I've set my multiformat e-books free, you can read ahead in older stories if you like, but this will give folks who don't know about my e-books a chance to read my stories gradually. And if you like book-club-style read-alongs, you can join fellow readers in reading and discussing each chapter as it's posted.

Breached Boundaries (The Three Lands) and The Awakening (Dungeon Guards) are at the editing stage. However, those two volumes collectively add up to 320,000 words, so it will take a while to finish editing them. (I'd originally hoped to issue Breached Boundaries at a rate of one installment per month, while the later installments were being edited, which was why I posted the first installment in January. But once I finished writing the remaining sections this March, it became clear that all the sections of Breached Boundaries would need to be edited at the same time, for continuity reasons.)

A reminder that, if you want to know at any point where I am in getting a new story issued, you can check the bottom of the series pages at duskpeterson.com, where I place my progress reports. My weekly updates (including announcements not made at the online archives where I post stories) are available through my blog and my e-mail list.
 


REVIEW: Rebirth (The Eternal Dungeon)

"Thank you. Thank you for this story, for these characters, the stealing me away from a cold Winter day and giving me a hot prison to feel like home, a little cell of my own to feel safe and Layle and Elsdon to restore my faith in humanity." —Elaine White / Divine Magazine on Rebirth (The Eternal Dungeon).
 


*

FEATURED BACKLIST TITLE: Blood Vow (The Three Lands)

"I had come to tell him, in the cheerful manner boys have, that our world was about to be destroyed."

He has taken a blood vow to the Jackal God to bring freedom to his land by killing Koretia's greatest enemy. But what will he do when the enemy becomes his friend?

Thrust into exile and pain, young Andrew has no choice but to accept the friendship of the very person he had vowed to kill. When he returns with his friend to his homeland fifteen years later, though, he finds himself in a land of conflicting loyalties . . . where a vengeful god awaits him.

This novel on a young man's quest for true manhood can be read on its own or as part of The Three Lands, a fantasy series on friendship, romantic friendship, romance, and betrayal in times of war and peace. The series is inspired by conflicts between nations during the Roman Empire and the Dark Ages.

Available as a free multiformat e-book or as a 99c Kindle e-book: Blood Vow (The Three Lands).


Excerpt

Peter turned away and carefully undid the sorting I had just made of his clothes. "I fear that I have led both of us into a pitch-black cave, without bothering to bring a light with me," he said. "Let us move on to another subject. How did you spend your day? Aside from listening to insults from Lord Carle, I mean."

"I spent my day doing absolutely nothing."

Peter continued to look down at the items he was aimlessly moving from one pile to another, but a smile crept up the side of his face. "That sounds glorious. Where did you do this nothing?"

I came over beside him and took a belt out of his hands. "In the council library, to begin with; hence my embarrassing appearance at your closed meeting. I must apologize to Lord Dean tonight before he takes vengeance on the porter."

"I wouldn't bother." Peter left the sorting to my hands and sat down on the bed near me, leaning back against the wall. "I was witness to the porter's own apology, which was the most eloquent piece of poetry I've heard since I had a Daxion bard up on charges of stealing a bit of butter from the palace pantry."

"You put a bard on trial for stealing butter?"

"It's hard to believe, but the law classifies that as a major crime. Any use of the Chara's goods or money for forbidden purposes is considered a crime of disobedience – though you'll be relieved to hear that I let the bard go free. As for the porter, he has nothing to worry about; Lord Dean is fully occupied with planning this trip. Where did you go after you left the meeting?"

"Out to do more nothing. I did it under a certain tree in the garden."

Peter smiled and pulled his knees up to his chest, wrapping his interlocked hands around them as he leaned further back. "I'm glad that you found a good use for my birthday present. You've no idea the trouble I had in convincing the gardener that Emor would not crumble if he planted a Koretian tree in the palace grounds."

"Is it a Koretian tree? I didn't know."

"It turned out to be less expensive to bring a sapling over the black border mountains than to buy one of Emor's few remaining trees. I hope you won't stop using it, now that you know its barbaric origin."

I didn't bother to reply, but tossed a tunic at Peter. Laughing, he prevented it from landing in his face. "If you've spent an entire afternoon doing nothing, then you must have had a particularly terrible morning. I hope that our talk in the Map Room wasn't what drove you to seek pleasure ahead of duty."

I shook my head and knelt down to pull Peter's travel pack from beneath his bed. I knew that it was there only because I had cleaned the floor around it during my time as his slave. Over ten years had passed since it was last put to use.

As I stood up, I saw that Peter was still watching me expectantly. I said, "Lord Dean saw me in the council library before the meeting. We had a talk on marriage."

"Ah." Peter let the word drop like a heavy pebble into water. When the ripples were beginning to fade, he added, "Well, you needn't pass on to me what he said. I'm sure it's the same that was said to me at the meeting. That was what the council spent most of its time discussing: my ill-considered decision to visit a dangerous land when I have no heir. Fortunately, the lords did not insist that I beget an heir tonight, before leaving Emor."

I began to fold the tunics in the tidy manner which had never come naturally to me, but which pleased Peter. After a while, Peter said, "It seems a curious topic for Lord Dean to discuss with you. Did he say why he chose you as the messenger of his views?"

I noticed that his voice had taken on a note of quiet authority, but I ignored this and said simply, "He has asked me to mediate for him in the past."

"That isn't what I asked." He waited. When I did not reply, he said, "Andrew."

I continued to stare down at the tunics, but my hands were checked in their motions. Peter said, "Andrew, it is my duty as Chara to know what methods my council lords are using to try to influence me. Do not make me have to command you in this matter."

I stared at the items I was packing and took a moment to still my heart before saying, in the neutral voice that the Chara's clerk adopted when reporting the words of a witness, "Lord Dean said I would be able to demonstrate clearly to you the importance of fathering an heir. He also said he was sure that, like any other man, I understood the desire to raise a family."

I did not look up at Peter, but I heard him slowly let out his breath, as though he himself had taken the blow. "May he die a Slave's Death," he said. "He actually told you that?"

I did not reply. His voice dangerously low, Peter added, "High Lord or not, he can be summoned on a charge of insulting a free-man. I would request such a charge if you wished."

"No." I reached over and picked up the dagger without thought, and then placed it hastily in the pack before reaching for the tunics from the chest. Finally I said, "He probably just forgot."

"Lord Dean never forgets."

The bitterness in Peter's voice made me look up. Peter was staring into the distance as though peering at an invisible scene. "When I was four years old," he said, "Lord Dean took me to see some kinsmen of his in his hometown of Busedge. It was the first time I'd ever left the palace, and it was one of the happiest periods of my life. The High Lord let me have my way in everything; he wasn't strict with me the way my father always was. Toward the end of the visit, I confided to Lord Dean that I had once tried on the Pendant of Judgment to see what it felt like. Lord Dean promised to keep my secret – and he did, for many years. Then, one day about a year before my father died, I was talking with my father and Lord Dean – you may remember, for it was on the night when we first spoke. Suddenly, to gain a trivial point in an argument with my father, Lord Dean mentioned what I'd done. I've never forgotten the look my father gave me, and I've never trusted Lord Dean since then."

He pulled his gaze away from the past, reached to his tunic, and unclasped the emblem brooch in order to toss it to me. "You'd better pack this now. . . . It was perhaps unwise of Lord Dean to reveal his true nature so clearly to the Chara To Be. These days, if I were about to be cut down in battle and needed the help of either Lord Carle when he was being his most brutal or Lord Dean when he was being his most amiable, Lord Carle is the one I'd turn to."

"It's not a choice I'd want to make," I said, wrapping the brooch carefully in a face-cloth before packing it. "At any rate, Lord Dean does have a point in what he said to me."

"Lord Dean's points are like dagger points; they can only kill. Listen to me." Peter pulled himself forward so that he was kneeling on the bed close to me. "If I ever need advice on who to marry, it is you I will go to, not a man like Lord Dean. You know me better than anyone, better than even my father knew me, and nothing of what you are to the world changes what you are to me."

I said nothing, did not even look his way, but let my smile be my reply. . . .
 

Available as a free multiformat e-book or as a 99c Kindle e-book: Blood Vow (The Three Lands).


Harry Potter trends on AO3

Jun. 25th, 2017 06:05 pm
beatrice_otter: Luna Lovegood, Hermione Granger, Cho Chang (Girls of Potter)
[personal profile] beatrice_otter
I read Harry Potter fic, even though I'm pretty sure I've never managed to read any of the novels all the way through, or watch any of the movies start to finish.  Whatever, that's fandom.

Anyway, I periodically go through looking for new fic on AO3, and the best way (imo) to do this is to click on the Harry Potter works tag, sort by date, and then put "kudos>100" (or whatever other kudos threshhold you choose, today I picked 1000 because it's such a huge fandom) so you only get stuff a lot of people have liked.  (If you just go "sort by hits" or "sort by kudos" in a fandom as old as Harry Potter, you only get the oldy-goldies, which I've mostly read already or know I won't like.)

I also have AO3 Savior, a greasmonkey script added on to my browser that allows me to blacklist tags and such.  Items tagged with stuff I don't want to see show up in Works lists as blocked, with reason for blocking.

I went looking for Harry Potter fic today.  Apparently, a VERY high percentage of popular fic right now has either character bashing or Voldemort sexytimes.  Also!  I have "*/Tom Riddle" and "Tom Riddle/* both blacklisted (the asterisk tells it to block anything there, so I don't have to go through and list alllll the possible Tom Riddle pairings).  But apparently, if I want to block threesomes with Riddle, I have to ALSO blacklist "*/Tom Riddle/*"

Why do so many people want to write and read about Voldie sexytimes?!?  I do not get it!  I'm not judging, you do you, but gah.

(The bashing is, alas, a Harry Potter trend of longstanding.  Thank you to everyone who a) realizes that that is what you are doing and b) tags it properly.)
dhampyresa: (MY BIRTHDAY HAS SQUID)
[personal profile] dhampyresa
1. You are on the wrong continent to play Critical Role.

2. You are not caught up on Critical Role. They're not going to roll back the story 50 episodes or so just so you can join in.

3. You are not a character in Critical Role, either.

4. Critical Role does not take place in Fallen London.

5. You do not know how to make a lightsaber. No, not even if Percy helps.

6. You cannot break through two different layers of reality (from Fallen London to the world of Critical Role, and from there to the 'real world') so you can steal the DM's notes and METAGAME. No. Stop.


The way you actually knew it was a dream: getting wifi on your phone when, and I quote, "there's no wi-fi in the Neath". Really, self? REALLY? It's getting wi-fi in Fallen London that broke your suspension of disbelief? Really?

(Then I lucid-dreamed my way into stealing the DM's notes but woke up before the actual metagaming could happen.)

lannamichaels: Astronaut Dale Gardner holds up For Sale sign after EVA. (Default)
[personal profile] lannamichaels


Read more... )

argh, I just realized, I'm away next week, I won't be able to watch the final until next Tuesday.

oh god this show, stop making me emotionally invested, *I have been let down too many times* to be emotionally invested in Doctor Who.

duskpeterson: (bookshelves)
[personal profile] duskpeterson
In the Silence


"Images came, like flickers of a candle: Dark stones. Dark metal. Faint fire. A spoon in his hand, as someone urged him to eat. A stinking pit that he knew he was duty-bound to fill. A loom nearby that he vaguely remembered he had once known how to work, but which now stood as silent as the rest of his world."

He can't speak. He can barely see. He experiences only fear and the faint whispers of something he had once known.

But an intruder into his secure retreat from danger will pull him into awareness of what stands before him. What stands there is renewed danger . . . and the hope of something more.




Law Links


"Sometimes I feel that he is as mysterious as the gods, and that he is hiding something of vital importance from me. Something that would transform my life."

Few events are more thrilling in a young man's life than a blood feud between two villages. Or so Adrian thought.

Torn between affection toward his traditional-minded father and worship of his peace-loving, heretical priest, Adrian finds himself caught between two incompatible visions of his duty to the gods. Then the Jackal God sends Adrian a message that will disrupt his world and send him fleeing to a new and perilous life.




Checkmate


"It's all about torture. That's what I didn't understand for a long time. The High Seeker has been seeking out and punishing those of us who wish to show greater mercy to the prisoners than the Code allows. Those of us who question whether it's right to torture prisoners."

The Eternal Dungeon is no longer a prison. It's a battlefield.

Split apart from their closest loves and friends, a small group of prison-workers seek to abolish the use of torture against prisoners in the queendom's royal dungeon. Time is running out, for the deadly High Seeker has already flogged and executed prison-workers who oppose his policies.

Do the reformers have enough time and skill to bring about radical change in the dungeon? Will they be able to overcome their mistrust of one another?




Survival School


"This is the right place for you, boy. They'll school you here to be a right-standing man, one who can keep control over his actions, like any good man should. You just got to keep yourself open to learn and to grow."

How far can trust grow, when you're in a place you despise?

Arrested for a crime he doesn't regret, Bat ends up handcuffed to a group of fellow city boys and sent on a long journey into the countryside. He know that he is being transported to a prison for delinquent servant boys, but what form will his imprisonment take?

Tattooed with the rank-mark of servant, Bat must learn how to keep from losing his temper with the men who carry the keys to his freedom. But in the unbelievable world where he has been deposited, in which a genial master orders strict punishments and a servant acts like a master, will Bat be able to locate the door to his release? Which of his fellow prisoners can he trust to help him?

And will he survive long enough to find out?

Inspired by true events at a turn-of-the-century reform school, this novella (short novel) is set in an alternative version of the Chesapeake Bay region during the 1910s.




Spy Hill


"Fairview was the finest friend a man could have, and the finest battle-companion. I dared not risk doing anything that might break our friendship."

On a hot summer's day, on a high hill surrounded by the enemy, the best battle-companion can turn out to be the truth.

Rook and Fairview have worked alongside each other for years, first as officers in the navy, then as officers on a steamship, and finally as colonels in an invading army. Members of a nation where tiny differences in rank are considered all-important, the two men defy convention by treating each other as equals.

But now their life-long bond is about to meet its greatest strain, when they are ordered to seize and defend a hill whose landscape is unknown, in the company of soldiers who may be incompetent or treacherous. Will Rook and Fairview's friendship remain by the end of the battle? Or will their lives take an unexpected detour as they struggle to survive on Spy Hill?

(no subject)

Jun. 25th, 2017 11:26 am
the_rck: (Default)
[personal profile] the_rck
I used the c-PAP for three and a half hours last night. Right now, I'm sniffling and sneezing. I fear the two are connected. I washed the reservoir and nasal pillows pretty thoroughly on Friday. I didn't want to try to wash out the hose, but I think I'm going to have to because this makes three occasions when I've had severe allergies starting the morning after using the c-PAP.

I finished two fics yesterday. Well, one is certainly done, barring a thorough proofread. It's gen, so that's not nearly as hard to arrange as it might otherwise be. The other needs a second opinion if I can find someone willing given the moderately obscure fandom and the explicit and potentially squicky content. I've got a couple of people I can ask, but I was a little too fried last night to do it.

We went out for frozen lemonade at Sweetwaters last night. Sweetwaters gives coupons to the middle schools to hand out to every child who gets at least three A's on their final report card, and the school put the coupons in the envelopes with the report cards. Cordelia got hers and got a cinnamon roll. I got a frozen lemonade and a chocolate croissant. Scott got a ginger tea.

We finished that up a little after 8:00, and as we were just across the street from Plum Market, we went over there for the half price bakery goods.

It's been very cool, in the low 70s, so Scott opened a lot of our windows early yesterday afternoon. They stayed open all night and are still open. I don't think this relates to my sneezing because that didn't start until the windows had been open for about twenty hours.

Cordelia has been doing movie marathons. She's currently got about a dozen DVDs from the library. Of course, mostly what she's been doing is listening to her Hamilton CDs over and over (those were a gift from Scott's brother and his family). We listened to a little of that in the car last night, on the way to and from Sweetwaters. I still can't say that it does anything for me, but I'm glad Cordelia has something she's really passionate about.

Both of our Time Capsule storage drives are insisting that they're too full to allow backups. The program is supposed to delete old backups as needed in order to keep making current backups, and we have backups going back at least two years. At this point, anything from 2015 can absolutely go. One of the drives has a terabyte of storage, and the other has three. We have no idea what's going on to make them say they only have a few megabytes of space left. Scott thinks that wiping them is probably going to be necessary. We'll start with just one in case we need the backups on the other before we have clean backups on the first. Scott keeps saying that he needs a lot of time to do this and then getting cranky with me when I mention that it needs to be done (and later today he will be more cranky because I didn't make him do it while he had time).

Maybe he can figure out how to get Cordelia's laptop to backup via Time Machine, too. We've never managed that, and at this point, she's actually got stuff she'd be devastated to lose. It wasn't so important when she was seven.

(no subject)

Jun. 25th, 2017 11:00 am
seekingferret: Photo of me with my 2012 Purim beard, with stripes shaven into it. (Default)
[personal profile] seekingferret
Dear [community profile] fic_corner Writer

Thank you for writing me a story! My childhood favorites are not sacred and I'm interested in seeing however you see fit to explore them.

Here were my prompts:


Cyber.kdz - Bruce Balan
Fandom tl;dr: Teenage adventures with dial-up modems!

I love this fandom so much. The idea of the Net as this unregulated frontier where kids could make a difference because only their actions, not their appearances, mattered. And the found family, who bickered with each other endlessly but ultimately stood up for each other when someone needed it.

The Grounding of Group Six - Julian F. Thompson
Fandom tl;dr: Just an ordinary story about ordinary kids at an alternative school involving lots of camping


My usual request for this fandom is pure trollfic: Write a fluffy school story with none of the darkness of the original canon and act like that's all that's there. To see if you can lure unsuspecting people into the ridiculousness that is this book. Basically write a fic as if the cover story from the end of the book, where Group Six was just overlooked and nobody remembered to recall them, were true.

I realize this is a deeply specific request and I am fine if you disregard it and write something that actually engages with the story as it actually exists.

Westing Game - Ellen Raskin
Fandom tl;dr: Chess and mystery and money and wordplay and family, complicated family

I love everything about the Westing Game and its twisty, emotionally complicated payoff, and would love to see more about any character.

I also have this theory... let me dig it up.

Sam Westing is involved in a car accident leading up to his disappearance which is an extremely mysterious event. It is apparently real- Sykes's limp is real, not faked, per Chris, and the only limp in the book not the result of a Turtle kick. And it results in facial disfiguration for Sam, but of a sort that is dramatic enough to render him unrecognizable to his ex-wife when he is Sandy, but not enough that he cannot mask it (presumably with makeup?) when he is in his Northrup or Eastman guise. I do not understand the import of the accident. If the accident is what changed his outlook on life, why wait 20 years after for his revenge/game/reparations?

...For Turtle to be Sam's rightful heir, she has to ultimately 'win' the game, which most straightforwardly means either a)finding the fourth or b)beating Sam at chess, which JJ and Theo never managed and nobody else in the game ever attempted. But Sam is not the kind of person who happily loses games. Sam's game is set up so that neither Turtle nor JJ nor anyone else has to win, but... what happens to Eastman's money in that scenario, if Turtle loses? Does he have to set up another Westing game with new heirs to manipulate? Is there the possiblity that this is not the first Westing game he has run? Is the quest for heirs the thing which has occupied the twenty years since Westing's disappearance?



So basically I would love to see a take on a different Westing Game, a different grasping and overly manipulative attempt for redemption from Sam Westing.

Sizzle & Splat Series - Ronald Kidder
Fandom tl;dr: Youth orchestra members, clarinetist and tubist, team up to fight crime.

Hans Kleiman is my favorite character in the series but I'll take anything with Sizzle and/or Splat. I love Kleiman's fusion of games and music, as a passionate enthusiast of both myself. I wish there were more of him, I wish he didn't have to die to impel the story's action, because his chemistry with Sizzle is wonderful.

Star Voyager Academy - William Forstchen
Fandom tl;dr: Book 1: Harry Potter at Starfleet Academy. Book 2: Harry Potter on his first mission for Starfleet. Book 3: Harry Potter is an alcoholic former Starfleet officer enlisted to make first contact with aliens

I think I'd like to actually see the war, you know? The part bizarrely skipped between books 2 and 3, where everything went to shit in utterly predictable but no less tragic ways.

i ship Matt/Justin, I ship Tanya/Justin, I ship Thor/Jason, I ship Tanya/Madison... Not so interested in Justin/Brian or Matt/Brian, I think. And I'd also love gen. Falcon fighting gen! Complicated morally ambiguous battle gen! Academy hijinks gen!

(no subject)

Jun. 24th, 2017 01:01 pm
sanguinity: woodcut by M.C. Escher, "Snakes" (Default)
[personal profile] sanguinity
[community profile] holmestice finished posting! Reveals are on the 27th; in the meanwhile go and admire all the lovely things! I particularly recommend my own gift, "The Case of the Deceased Marmalade Thief", which is an utter delight.

--


It's been ages since my last proper update. Highlights!

I got a camera for my birthday back in March...

obligatory kitty pics )

obligatory I-can't-stand-my-face selfies )

Then the current round of Holmestice began, PRECISELY when the Livejournal TOS fuckery hit the fan. I will not say that this round has been a clusterfuck, because I think it mostly hasn't been? But pulling off this round has been more effort and cursing than any of us planned for. Happily, I have great co-mods, and there is wonderful satisfaction in looking at ALL THE THINGS and knowing we facilitated that happening. Even if we're still trying to finish backing up the damn comm.

In early May we went to Colorado and Wyoming for a week to visit [personal profile] grrlpup's family. Not half an hour out of the airport, we got caught in an impressive hailstorm; Grrlpup is still wrangling with the rental car and insurance companies over how many thousands of dollars that storm is or isn't going to cost us. The rest of the trip was pretty good, but socially taxing. As always, it was wonderful to see her friends and family; as always, I was very happy to get back home again.

In June, [personal profile] grrlpup had her birthday. We have become my parents' generation: when I asked her what she wanted for her birthday, she asked that I actually do that one home-improvement task I'd been promising to do for two years. So I spent a few days bolting and screwing bookshelves to the wall, while pretending I wasn't doing any such thing.

Her: What are you doing? Are you painting boards? Why are you painting boards?
Me: [flagrantly painting boards] Boards? What boards?

front room shelves )

Later today, [livejournal.com profile] crazy_marcia, for whom we crewed the Badwater Ultra and with whom I used to climb mountains, is coming to visit.

(For those who didn't know me back then, the Badwater Ultra is a 135/143-mile footrace through Death Valley and up to the top of Mt. Whitney, always held during the height of summer. And by "height of summer," I mean 120-degree heat, woot! The two mountains I've climbed with her are both non-trivial: Mt. Whitney by the Mountaineer's Route, and Mt. Rainier, which involves glacier travel, and thus is a technical climb. Both mountains are near-abouts 14,500 feet high and Exciting Shit Went Wrong on both peaks.)

Anyway, I'm weirdly nervous about seeing Marcia -- it's been an age since we last spoke, and I got lazy and fat and don't have adventures anymore, and what if she doesn't like me now??? -- but scanning back over these old trip reports, I feel very silly. We're going to sit around and gossip, not pull one of our what-were-you-even-thinking-people-die-doing-that-shit adventures. What could possibly go down today to be worth being nervous about? I mean, seriously.

(Actually, given that Marcia will be in attendance, I would not be the least bit surprised if we save someone from a close brush with death later today. FURTHER BULLETINS AS EVENTS WARRANT.)

(no subject)

Jun. 24th, 2017 01:42 pm
the_rck: (Default)
[personal profile] the_rck
Cordelia is now saying that she doesn't want to go to camp in August because she doesn't think she can handle a week without me. She also says that she's sure all of the other kids will be awful people and that there will be so many people present that there's no hope of her managing to spend any time with the people she actually knows.

She's been wanting lots of hugs and cuddling and reassurance that I'll always be there for her. She's also afraid any time she lets herself stop and think (mostly in the evenings). Her days have been pretty full, but she comes home and tells me that, even though she had fun, she missed me horribly. I think she's got some sort of worry that, if she's not checking up on me regularly, I'll just vanish.

I finally listened to the voicemail Cordelia's psychiatrist left. She says that the Celexa ought to stay at a steady level for twenty four hours on a single dose and that this may mean the dose is too low. Cordelia is afraid of upping the dose because she's connected her tiredness to the medication. I need to call the doctor back on Monday to discuss it.

Cordelia has more or less mastered swallowing small pills. Last night, she asked what I take for cramps, and I gave her a naproxen. It took her two swallows to get it down, but she did, and she was astonished to discover that it did help.

Her report card came today. It's all A's with an A+ in gym and an A- in algebra. Cordelia's of the opinion that they can't have counted the algebra final in that grade because she thinks that would have taken her down to B+ or even B range. I can't tell from PowerSchool whether or not she's right. It doesn't actually matter. B grades are good, too, and that particular class has been nasty for all the students due to the teacher not being very good.

(no subject)

Jun. 24th, 2017 01:24 pm
the_rck: (Default)
[personal profile] the_rck
I wrote a lot yesterday, a bit more than 2300 words. I find that amazing given that I spent most of the day in a groggy haze, trying to figure out whether or not I had a window for napping.

Scott had to work 3 a.m. to 7 a.m. today. We got a call from the shift supervisor about half an hour after Scott went to bed. The guy wanted to make sure Scott knew he had to come in. He kept stumbling over what he was saying and talking in circles. I'm pretty sure that he had a script in mind for the call and that I blew it up by saying that Scott was in bed and couldn't come to the phone. Scott identified the caller simply based on my description of the guy's confusion.

I ended up staying up a bit later than I meant to because the writing was working well. For some reason, just the thought of needing to go to bed makes me able to produce words and plot and all of that. I think I slept a solid eight hours once I did go to bed, so there's that. I kind of want to go back to bed, though.

Scott has Monday scheduled off because it's our anniversary. I have a couple of minor errands that will be much easier if someone gives me a ride, so we'll deal with those. The rest of the day is ours. Cordelia is now saying that Scott and I should celebrate however we want, including without her, because it's our day. (She said something on the order of "I wasn't involved in your wedding.") This is a change from years past. I don't know that we'll leave her at home, but it's nice that, if we did, she'd be okay with it.

Worm Holes/Wondi Pōēnandumak

Jun. 24th, 2017 10:03 am
primeideal: Multicolored sideways eight (infinity sign) (Default)
[personal profile] primeideal

For [community profile] tic_tac_woe (Apocalypse Bingo), I wrote this story for the prompt "Dystopia Without End"!

This is a script set in the fictional country of Zwangzug, which I've RPed on the browser game NationStates. As it is now, Zwangzug is a nice place to be--not perfect, but pretty great. So this is an in-universe script written by a Zwangzugian film-maker, imagining what it would be like in an alternate universe where things went wrong shortly after a national tragedy early in Zwangzug's history. A lot of the allusions will only be funny to me (or someone who's read a lot of my factbooks, I guess), but it should still make sense as an original story. (The main characters are very loosely based on some of my main sports characters, and this would be a parallel that might or might not be recognized in-universe; again, you shouldn't have to get any of this to enjoy it as a story.)

It's about 13,000 words long. I "Choose Not To Warn" in the sense that there can and likely will be lots of violence and character death ahead; there's no sexual content.

Some other content you might find in various amounts includes baseball fans, consensual violence, humor (gallows and otherwise), and conlanging!

Worm Holes )

(no subject)

Jun. 23rd, 2017 12:09 pm
the_rck: (Default)
[personal profile] the_rck
I slept better last night than I did the night before, and the sneezing and such seem to be gone. I will likely keep taking the various allergy medications for a few days in case what I'm seeing is them working rather than the trigger being gone. I'm still pretty tired, so I will likely try to nap later on. Cordelia and I don't have anything planned today, so I think it will be feasible.

I'm debating Camp NaNo. The main thing against it is that it doesn't tend to motivate me to write more or more often. The social aspect only works for me if I know the people I'm interacting with. Then again, signing up costs me nothing (except a lot of emails from the website).

I realized yesterday that the first two pages of a side project I was working on didn't belong in the story at all. They were necessary world building/scene setting for me but would probably bore readers. I can work in a lot of the details that matter later in the story and in small chunks.

Does anyone know anything about the folks running [personal profile] captiveaudience? The maintainers on the AO3 collection are [archiveofourown.org profile] nonx and [archiveofourown.org profile] CaramelShadows. The former looks like a sock, and I don't recognize the latter. The exchange theme, captivity with either Stockholm Syndrome or Lima Syndrome, sounds like something I'd have fun with, but I suspect it's not likely to be a large exchange. At the moment, it looks more appealing than Fic Corner simply because there's nothing in the Fic Corner tagset that I'd be really enthusiastic about writing. There are a number of things I could write and/or request, but I don't know if I'd enjoy writing any of them.

I suspect that part of the problem is that the things I'd be comfortable offering to write are all kind of old and not necessarily the sorts of things that people think of first when signing up for exchanges. There are often specific requests that are things I'd be comfortable writing, but without the specifics, I don't dare offer because there's a lot of those canons that I don't feel I know well enough or have time/access to review properly. The things I can generally offer always have way more offers than requests.

PSA

Jun. 23rd, 2017 02:35 pm
lost_spook: (Default)
[personal profile] lost_spook
I'm still tired from yesterday, but a head's up (via a genealogy news feed I follow) in case it's of any use to other people:

Find My Past (one of the big online genealogy sites for the UK) are allowing free access to their main UK collections till 26th June. (No strings attached for this one, not even fake-orders to get it; only registering if you haven't already.)

Some more details & instructions on the site's blog: https://blog.findmypast.com/free-british-irish-records-2445715211.html


*skuttles off to collapse somewhere again*

Summer ftw

Jun. 22nd, 2017 09:35 pm
suzy_queue: (Disney: Magic)
[personal profile] suzy_queue
I am having SUCH a fun summer at work. J and I overprogrammed ourselves, but every time we finish one, we beam and say it was the best program ever. It's hard to argue with that!! Our most recent best program ever was baby and toddler nature exploration--we did songs and activities out in the park to give kids a basis of science concepts and vocabulary. We sang about squirrels, watered flowers, used grass and double sided tape to create sensory boards, etc. I took so many pictures! And man, I love partnering with her on programs. She makes everything even more fun. I'm so lucky to work with her.

We also have done nature bingo, which was a super fun time and huge hit, and also made kindness rocks--we brainstormed messages of love and acceptance, then painted rocks with pictures and words that we left around the park outside. Plus we made notes that we hid around the library for people to find. Next up is gardening for the food pantry, then writing postcards to elected officials. I super love building a better world!

My cousin I. came to visit my parents this month, and spent the last two days of his visit with me. I was initially wondering what I'd do with a 15 year old boy, but dude, we had fun. He wanted to see Wonder Woman, so we did (I have now seen it three times, ack), and he loves gardening, so we hit the Botanic Gardens. I have been dying to go for months, so I was thrilled, and it was everything I'd dreamed. I wish I lived closer, I'd go SO OFTEN. I loved the waterfalls most of all, but there were several dreamy gardens to explore. We each took about 100 pics, ha.

We also got stormed and hailed on, which was a new experience. Oops. I had my eye on the sky, and we had been hearing thunder rumbling with with sunshine and birds chirping. Then there was less sunshine and I mistimed it just by a few minutes. So there was running, and laughing and also I took my inhaler after an attack started and it worked wonders, so I need to do that more. I've only ever used it preventatively, but now I know better! It works both ways! And you guys, the petrichoir smell was amazing, surrounded by all the plants and soil and rain. It was so delightful. Worth the hail for sure.

We then spent a great deal of time in the plant shop--he's been dying for a bonsai tree for years, and they sold a lovely little one there. He got permission from his mother and researched how to bring it on a plane, and was ecstatic to bring it home with him. I bought him a Bonsai 101 book and he spent the full 2 hours driving home reading it and telling me facts. I picked up a DIY succulent kit, which I've also been dying to find, as well as a cute little ivy plant.

We also stopped for Dole Whips, real live Dole Whips, at the yogurt place near the gardens, and that was just pure joy.

So I have been so busy but having fun. And that will continue! Definitely the busy-ness, hopefully the fun.

Saturday, I have a hair appointment to get my hair cut off and highlighted purple. I think I may go quite short. I think I will miss long hair, but it'll grow back, and it always does quickly. I've been doing all my favorite long hair styles in farewell--Heidi braids, fake victory rolls, braided pigtails, ponytails, etc.

Here's hoping it looks good, because right after, I have a date! I'm driving up to a mall near her, about an hour, for us to visit a book store and have tea before she goes to her dance program. She seems super cool--she's the WENN fan who loves theater, musicals, and old movies, and who adores the Gardens I just visited as well as museums. Even if there isn't a spark, I'm kind of really hoping we can stay in touch and be Broadway buddies. I miss having a Broadway buddy.

It is also a lot easier to explain plans with a woman to my parents--"I met a local Remember WENN fan online! We're going to hang out at the mall on Saturday. Isn't that cool?" Easy peasy. I used to call dates with guys "a RAP thing," but that didn't work after the RAP disbanded. I'll need a new line if I find guys to date, too. It's been such a long time since I went on a date, I keep trying to remember what we should be talking about and what to expect. I am not at all anxious like I always used to be, though that may change on Saturday, ha. It could be how much I've changed in the last few years, or the medicine, or that it's a woman and not a man. Or a combination! We'll see how it goes and how I feel before and during.

Anyway, then I work Sunday, and then pick up my friend Krissy for our annual visit! We are going back to the birthday spa, and I can't WAIT get back in that pool and under that waterfall and in that steam room. <3 And then massages on top of it all. Glorious!

Yay summer.

(no subject)

Jun. 22nd, 2017 12:11 pm
the_rck: (Default)
[personal profile] the_rck
I think I'm having allergy problems right now. I started sneezing mid-afternoon yesterday, and by evening, my nose was running, and my left eye was watering constantly. No idea at all why my right eye is clear, but I'm glad of that much. I got about three hours of sleep last night because, any time I moved, I'd start sneezing and/or desperately need to blow my nose. (I'm not sure Scott got much sleep either.) Basically, shifting around makes me feel an itching burn in my sinuses that's really unpleasant. I've gone through an entire box of tissues so far.

I may have to take my box of tissues and a bag to throw the used ones into and vacate the house this afternoon because I'm pretty sure that the stuff the cleaning lady uses will make things much, much worse. But I can't imagine what I'd do with myself for five hours, especially if it's raining.

I'm trying to think of anything that changed in the house yesterday, and I'm coming up completely empty. I also didn't eat or drink anything different or use different toiletries.

My anniversary present for Scott has arrived. I got him some bluetooth earbuds. His old ones died, and he needs them for listening to podcasts and audiobooks while doing things like mowing the lawn.

Cordelia has her volunteer training for working at the library this afternoon. I need to prod her a bit to make sure she actually eats something before she goes. She'll also have to leave earlier than she wants to be because of the bus detour (the training is at the Traverwood branch).

Scott will be going to bed early tonight because he'll need to get up around midnight to go to Top of the Park and get Cordelia. She has asked the friends she's going with if any of them can give her a ride home but hasn't gotten any answers yet. I offered to spring for a cab, but Cordelia balked at the expense. I don't know, though, $11 for Scott not to have to get up in the middle of the night? Sounds like a bargain to me.

I managed nearly 700 words on my NPT story yesterday. I still don't know exactly where it's going, though, and I'm a bit over 3000 words. This does not bode well. Then again, endings often come up unexpectedly and smack me in the face, so maybe I'll find the end soon.

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