(no subject)

Mar. 26th, 2017 02:41 pm
dark_phoenix54: (books cats)
[personal profile] dark_phoenix54
The Invention of Angela Carter, by Edmund Gordon. Chatto and Windus, 2016

Angela Carter is pretty high on my list of favorite authors, so I was delighted to see this book. Her stories refuse to fit neatly into any one genre; they have humor, magical realism, pure fantasy, literary fiction, grim fairy tales, and a lot more. She also wrote tons of journalism pieces, and had a huge volume of correspondence (which was one of the many sources Gordon mined). Her early novels are not much known these days, but her later ones- ‘Wise Children’ and ‘Nights at the Circus’- as well as the reimagined fairy tales in ‘The Bloody Chamber’ sold well when published and are still popular now.

Carter’s early life was suffocating. Her mother was controlling to the point of monomania. Angela was not allowed to use the bathroom alone until she was eleven, and her mother wanted to accompany her to college. The only way to escape perpetual childhood was to marry, which put her into a different type of prison. Her marriage to Paul Carter was happy at first; she loved him, and having her own house rather than being under her mother’s thumb made up for any number of faults. But as the years went on, and she wrote and went to college, holes appeared. Paul Carter seems to have suffered from depression, as well as wondering aloud why his wife couldn’t keep the house clean when she had plenty of time to read and write. When Angela won a writing prize that paid her to travel, she went to Japan by herself and the marriage soon ended. She had a couple of intense affairs while she was there, both with much younger men, and found herself perfectly capable of living on her own. Later, back in England again, she met Mark Pearce (again a younger man), a construction worker who fixed a plumbing problem for her. While not an ‘educated’ man, Pearce was far from stupid and their relationship lasted until her death. At 43, Angela gave birth to a son, Alex. Throughout this relationship, Angela continued to write ceaselessly, while Pearce went to college, tended to the house and Alex, started a pottery shop, became a teacher, and generally kept Angela’s life together. During this time, Angela was finally enjoying success and financial stability. Sadly, just when her life had all come together, she was diagnosed with lung cancer and died at 51.

To say that Angela was an interesting person is an understatement. She didn’t put much stock in appearance or housekeeping, although her house was decorated like a bardo. Her many friends never knew what she would say next- just as she wrote what she thought without a filter, so did she speak. Her relationship with feminism was rocky; feminists liked her rewriting of fairy tales to have the female as the strong character, they were less than happy with ‘The Sadeian Woman’. She herself dealt with sexism all her working life; the financial details in Gordon’s book seem boring but they show in black and white how much less she was paid than male novelists of the time, who sold the same number of books as she did.

The book was fascinating to me, but it’s not a fast read. Gordon quotes her friends, many of whom were still alive to interview, and had the resource of many of her letters. It’s dense with detail, a lot of it about her writing process and dealings with publishers and editors. Angela Carter, living in the time she did, had to invent herself as the old patterns for being a woman did not suit her, nor did the old patterns for writers to follow.

Sustain, persist, ascend.

Mar. 26th, 2017 02:17 pm
azurelunatic: "catch me if I fall", shooting star (R.E.M.)
[personal profile] azurelunatic
One brave green shoot pushes through the muck;
more will soon follow.
There will still be storytime at the library next week.
The librarian will still be found wearing a plush ladybug.
Somewhere, a child will move from baby to toddler
in pursuit of that bubble, just out of reach.


(Mostly written in early February.)

(no subject)

Mar. 25th, 2017 05:12 pm
dark_phoenix54: (books cats)
[personal profile] dark_phoenix54
The Heirs, by Susan Rieger. Crown, 2017

When Rupert Falkes, wealthy New York lawyer, dies, it leaves his family a bit at loose ends. His five sons- all middle aged men successful in their own fields- define themselves very strongly by their family relationships. Widow Eleanor reacts with calmness and proceeds to redecorate their home, which further upsets the boys- they take it as seeing every trace of their father vanish. Everyone is dealing with their loss, though, until yet another upsetting thing occurs: a woman contacts the estate, saying she has two sons by Rupert, and that they deserve a cut of the money- of which there is plenty. Suddenly, Rupert becomes a man they never really knew. Worse, Eleanor reacts calmly, which makes the boys think she knew about the other family all along and didn’t tell them. Rupert is beyond their reach, so they aim their anger at their mother.

The story twines between characters and through time, taking us through the lives and loves of not just Rupert and Eleanor, but of their sons, too. While Rupert and Eleanor seemed to their sons, to glide through life without a slip, there was a lot they never saw going on. All their lives turn out to be much more complex and, well, screwed up, than appears on the surface. These are people of old Eastern seaboard money (well, Rupert is not, having come to America as an orphan from England) and while money is not worried about, appearances are.

None of these people are totally bad (well, maybe the woman who says her sons are Rupert’s), so it was easy to read about them. Even the ones who did wretched things have good sides. I came to really like Eleanor, the calm center of the novel and of the family. The writing I found lovely; I could not put this novel down as something new was always turning up. In the end, we do not ever get the answer we (and the boys) want- but that’s okay. The journey itself is what’s important.

Poem: "A Tornado of Thought"

Mar. 25th, 2017 01:33 pm
ysabetwordsmith: Damask smiling over their shoulder (polychrome)
[personal profile] ysabetwordsmith
This poem is spillover from the March 7, 2017 Poetry Fishbowl. It was inspired by a prompt from [personal profile] sweet_sparrow. It also fills the "creative solutions to limits" square in my 3-1-17 card for the Disability Bingo fest. This poem has been sponsored by Anthony & Shirley Barrette. It belongs to the Calliope thread of the Polychrome Heroics series.

Warning: This poem includes some touchy topics. Highlight to read the warnings, some of which are spoilers. It has emotional upheavals, Vagary's continued stress over Calliope not wanting to do things with him, Calliope's continued stress over his closeness, tornado formation, interrupted therapy session, which triggers Vagary's abandonment issues, unexpected changes in superpowers, Calliope looming over Vagary, emotional suppression during an emergency, an emergency dispatcher doing a shitty job, negotiating with supervillains, stormchasing, exhaustion, crashing with friends at a weather station, and other challenges. If these are sensitive issues for you, please consider your tastes and headspace before reading onward.

Read more... )

snippets

Mar. 25th, 2017 10:03 pm
kaberett: Photo of a pile of old leather-bound books. (books)
[personal profile] kaberett
  1. The English sofa is a loan from Turkish. The Turkish for the English sofa, however, is kanape, as a loan from the French canapé, which has the original meaning of English sofa and, by figurative extension, the meaning of English canapé, because you've got a little piece of bread or pastry or something that looks like a sofa with the topping perched on top of it. ([personal profile] sebastienne conjectured this etymology when I was grumbling about the Turkish last week; they were surprised and delighted to be correct.)
  2. Fox/vixen is the solitary surviving example in modern English of the Germanic feminine suffix -en, -in: Fuchs/Füchsin.
  3. The English/French foyer is rendered, in Swedish orthography, foajé. It is pronounced the way one might reasonably expect foyer to be pronounced. See also: restaurang.

(no subject)

Mar. 25th, 2017 01:42 pm
dark_phoenix54: (why motherfucker)
[personal profile] dark_phoenix54
So I came home yesterday and turned the desk top on, and discovered that the wireless mouse had gone missing. Not on the floor anywhere around the desk area. Not even on the floor in any place I have found.

thanks, cats. Bring the damn thing back, would you!?!?!?

It was a busy week; between doctors and volunteer stuff (I seem to have managed to volunteer to make a cat themed wall hanging for the shelter auction, but that's something that doesn't take me out of the house), I was out of the house every day. Today I do not have to leave the house. This is bliss. I still feel like crap, and have a bonus migraine. But I feel like I want to be useful, and that is evading me.

Over half the snow is gone now, and Lake Koich has formed in the driveway. You cannot even walk on the ground without sinking in and having your shoes fill with water. Tim wants to start spinach this weekend. The raised beds will be fine, it's just *getting* to them that will be treacherous. The male turkeys are all standing around facing each other with their tales spread. The hens appear totally unimpressed so far. It's like they're saying 'to hell with the tail feathers, find us some food!'

Humpback Whales Organizing

Mar. 25th, 2017 01:29 pm
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
[personal profile] ysabetwordsmith
 [personal profile] siliconshaman tipped me to this report about humpback whales forming superpods.  He's already working on a story about it.  :D

I figure, in Terramagne, they're either discussing "Should we all move to the Maldives?" or "That really romantic bay in Japan has stopped murdering everyone who goes there.  Who wants to go on a mating trip?"

Friday Yardening

Mar. 24th, 2017 06:30 pm
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
[personal profile] ysabetwordsmith
Today I planted three Here Lies Butch daylilies beside the patio where the herb gardens are, and mulched around them.

Weather is warm but very blustery.

There are still two white eggs in the mourning dove nest by the kitchen window.

The barrel garden has a purple hyacinth budding beneath it.  The first of the purple grape hyacinths have opened near the patio.  Daffodils are budding in the inner ring around the maple tree, and a purple crocus is blooming there.  I saw the first blue-and-white violet blooming today. 
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
[personal profile] ysabetwordsmith
The newsletter from Trails for Illinois encourages forwarding. So here is some nature and pathfinding news from my area.

Read more... )

Poem: "A Dangerous Thing with Style"

Mar. 24th, 2017 02:49 pm
ysabetwordsmith: Damask smiling over their shoulder (polychrome)
[personal profile] ysabetwordsmith
This poem came out of the March 7, 2017 Poetry Fishbowl. It was inspired by a prompt from [personal profile] curiosity. It also fills the "money" square in my 12-1-16 card for the iPod Shuffle Music Bingo fest. This poem has been sponsored by Anthony & Shirley Barrette. It belongs to the Cuoio & Chiara thread of the Polychrome Heroics series.

Read more... )

The Creation of Water

Mar. 24th, 2017 01:30 pm
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
[personal profile] ysabetwordsmith
New studies indicate that Earth may make its own water deep below the surface.  Just in case Gaia wasn't awesome enough already.

As a Pagan scholar, this makes me think about goddesses who created life by themselves, without assistance from a god. Parthenogenetic life formation relates closely to a shift from celestial water to cthonic water.  Alternatively, one might argue that either underworld gods are more life-oriented than formerly thought, or we should really be looking for cthonic goddesses.  On the third hoof, this raises interesting points regarding those underworld deities who are hermaphroditic. This could make for some fascinating ritual inspiration.

Discuss. 

Milkweed and Monarchs

Mar. 24th, 2017 01:17 pm
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
[personal profile] ysabetwordsmith
Someone finally got around to fielding a study which indicates that milkweed is necessary but not sufficient for monarch butterfly survival.   Other factors contribute to their steep decline.  Sure, you can grow milkweed, that's a great thing to do.  But don't think it will "save the butterflies."  It just slows the loss a little.  Other factors lie outside what humans are willing to change, such as pesticides; or able to change, such as climate change.  Even on a national scale, responses are limited, because monarchs have transnational migration routes.  Serious conservation efforts would require collaboration between America and Mexico, which seems unlikely.
ysabetwordsmith: Damask smiling over their shoulder (polychrome)
[personal profile] ysabetwordsmith
Thanks to a donation from Anthony & Shirley Barrette, "The Whip of His Own Remorse" is now complete.  Read about Stylet's crushing discovery of what his precious berettaflies have been up to.

This unlocks the next poem in the Berettaflies thread, "The Inner Transition," which can be posted as soon as it gets sponsored.  That will feature Stylet approaching Valor's Widow.

Poem: "The Source of Pain"

Mar. 23rd, 2017 10:46 pm
ysabetwordsmith: Damask smiling over their shoulder (polychrome)
[personal profile] ysabetwordsmith
This poem was written outside the regular prompt calls and fills the "I'm on Fire" square in my 2-1-17 Love Songs card for the Valentines Bingo fest. It has been sponsored by Anthony & Shirley Barrette. It belongs to the Officer Pink thread of the Polychrome Heroics series.

WARNING: This poem contains intense material that many readers may find disturbing. It also contains a hefty serving of poetic justice. Highlight to read the more detailed warnings, some of which are spoilers. There is mad science, Carl Bernhardt is always a warning, graphic description of medical torture and experimentation on sapient people, centaurs produced by mad science, a distorted response that could be learned helplessness or Stockholm syndrome, references to sapient trafficking and sexual exploitation, graphic description of injuries, messy medical details, unethical employees, and other challenges. If these are touchy topics for you, please consider your tastes and headspace before deciding whether this is something you want to read. It does advance the plot a bit, but a lot of the general trajectory is already established, so it's only a minor gap if you choose to skip this one.

Read more... )

Update on the Dreamhack server

Mar. 24th, 2017 03:29 am
sophie: A cartoon-like representation of a girl standing on a hill, with brown hair, blue eyes, a flowery top, and blue skirt. ☀ (Default)
[personal profile] sophie posting in [site community profile] dw_dev
Hi all,

As you may know, about 2-3 weeks ago the Dreamhack server died. Since then, [staff profile] mark and I have been working on getting its replacement going, and updating a few things.

It should be ready to go in a few days, and I wanted to make a few notes for when it comes back up:
  • Firstly and most importantly, you'll need to re-apply for a Dreamhack if you want one, and you'll be set up as if you were a new user. Any changes that you pushed to GitHub will be available, but any other data you may have had will be gone - apologies for that.

  • I do still have email addresses for everybody who had an account when the server went down, and I'll send out a one-time email to everybody when the server is up to point them to this post. After that, the only people who will receive emails about Dreamhacks will be those who have applied for one.

  • The address you need to use to log into the server via SSH will be different from the Web address domain. The email you receive when applying for a Dreamhack will state this clearly.

  • The new server will have an increased quota. The earlier quota of 500MiB was enough at first, but since then the space taken by a base install of Dreamwidth has risen to 270MiB. In light of this, I've raised the quota to 750MiB.

  • You won't need to do a one-off compilation of the stylesheets and JavaScript any more unless you make changes to them - the new-user script will automatically do that for you, and your Dreamhack will have working CSS out of the box.

  • Each user will automatically get a test database called "test_dreamhack_<user>", accessible using the same database user and password as the main database. You'll still need to configure it properly yourself for now, but the installer will at least copy the required files to $LJHOME/ext/local/t for you to configure. Later on I'm hoping that it'll be possible to have it configured automatically.

  • The official email address to contact me has changed - you should now use my Dreamwidth email address (sophie at dreamwidth dot org). Automated emails will come from this address, so if you had the previous email whitelisted you may want to whitelist this new one instead.
Thanks for your patience with this - there's a lot that's been going on, but the new server should be ready to go very soon! Watch this space. :)

If you have any questions, please leave a comment! I'll answer any questions you might have.

making prosthetic eyes

Mar. 23rd, 2017 06:05 pm
jesse_the_k: Photo of baby wearing huge black glasses  (eyeglasses baby)
[personal profile] jesse_the_k
I had the good fortune to meet [personal profile] kestrell at Wiscon, and she introduced me to the old-world artistry of ocular prosthetics.

It turns out one of the three ocular prosthetic makers in Wisconsin is a local hero. The process is fascinating:

Q&A: Dori Hosek found an 'amazing fit' making artificial eyes

I can speak directly to the exquisite details: Kes gave me one of her out-of-date ones and I wear it as a pendant (but only in geeky environs).

Poem: "As a Model for Others"

Mar. 23rd, 2017 12:27 pm
ysabetwordsmith: (Schrodinger's Heroes)
[personal profile] ysabetwordsmith
This poem came out of the July 21, 2015 Poetry Fishbowl. It was inspired and sponsored by [personal profile] technoshaman. It also fills the "Rosa Parks Day -- December 1" square in my 7-1-15 card for the Winter Fest in July Bingo. This poem belongs to the Schrodinger's Heroes project.

Read more... )
ysabetwordsmith: (Schrodinger's Heroes)
[personal profile] ysabetwordsmith
This poem is spillover from the January 6, 2015 Poetry Fishbowl. It was inspired by prompts from [personal profile] janetmiles and [personal profile] technoshaman. It also fills the "first library card" square in my 12-30-14 card for the Rites of Passage Bingo fest. This poem has been sponsored by [personal profile] janetmiles. It belongs to the Schrodinger's Heroes project.

Read more... )

Poem: "Los Despiertos"

Mar. 22nd, 2017 09:16 pm
ysabetwordsmith: (Schrodinger's Heroes)
[personal profile] ysabetwordsmith
This poem came out of the July 7, 2015 Poetry Fishbowl. It was inspired by a prompt from [personal profile] rowyn. It also fills the "mystery to investigate" square in my 6-10-15 card for the [community profile] genprompt_bingo fest. This poem has been sponsored by [personal profile] janetmiles. It belongs to the Schrodinger's Heroes project.

Read more... )

Wednesday : Basic Instructions

Mar. 22nd, 2017 08:42 am
disgruntledgirl: Taken from one of my many yahoo accts, which all mirror part of me. (Default)
[personal profile] disgruntledgirl



I've only been to IKEA twice. The big problem I have with it is by the time I want to go home, I'm only halfway thru the journey. I usually spend as much time getting out as getting in. That wears on my patience so I need to plan better. It's good for a hike! Seriously, if you want to walk someplace like mall walking but don't want to deal with mall crowds, IKEA is where it's at. Indoor, clean, snack place at the halfway point and you might pick up a few items you need around the house.

Still need to find a repairman for the fridge. Still need to pick up Oscar's pills (will do today). The companies that were suppose to remove money from my account finally did this morning. So now I can operate a little better.

Well busy...

Good News

Mar. 22nd, 2017 02:19 am
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
[personal profile] ysabetwordsmith
Good news includes all the things which make us happy or otherwise feel good. It can be personal or public. We never know when something wonderful will happen, and when it does, most people want to share it with someone. It's disappointing when nobody is there to appreciate it. Happily, blogging allows us to share our joys and pat each other on the back.

What good news have you had recently? Are you anticipating any more?

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Desert Rose

I dream of rain
I dream of gardens in the desert sand
I wake in vain
I dream of love as time runs through my hand

I dream of fire
Those dreams that tie two hearts that will never die
And near the flames
The shadows play in the shape of the man’s desire

This desert rose
Whose shadow bears the secret promise
This desert flower
No sweet perfume that would torture you more than this

And now she turns
This way she moves in the logic of all my dreams
This fire burns
I realize that nothing’s as it seems

I dream of rain
I dream of gardens in the desert sand
I wake in vain
I dream of love as time runs through my hand

I dream of rain
I lift my gaze to empty skies above
I close my eyes
The rare perfume is the sweet intoxication of love

I dream of rain
I dream of gardens in the desert sand
I wake in vain
I dream of love as time runs through my hand

Sweet desert rose
Whose shadow bears the secret promise
This desert flower
No sweet perfume that would torture you more than this

Sweet desert rose
This memory of hidden hearts and souls
This desert flower
This rare perfume is the sweet intoxication of love

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