Gender in Comics

Jul. 20th, 2017 12:23 am
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
[personal profile] ysabetwordsmith
I found this analysis of gender in comics to be fascinating.  In many categories, I've written against the mainstream pattern, such as having females with super-strength and males with psychic powers.  In a few areas I may have replicated the pattern; with pheromone control and prehensile hair, I could only think of female characters, although I'm sure there are males with pheromones.

Hard Things

Jul. 19th, 2017 11:32 am
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
[personal profile] ysabetwordsmith
Life is full of things which are hard or tedious or otherwise unpleasant that need doing anyhow. They help make the world go 'round, they improve skills, and they boost your sense of self-respect. But doing them still kinda sucks. It's all the more difficult to do those things when nobody appreciates it. Happily, blogging allows us to share our accomplishments and pat each other on the back.

What are some of the hard things you've done recently? What are some hard things you haven't gotten to yet, but need to do?
selenak: (Default)
[personal profile] selenak
For once, I manage to write my book reviews on a Wednesday.

Sam Bourne: To Kill the President

It was to be expected: the first Donald Trump era thriller (that I've read). Which takes full advantage of the fact that when previously any critic worth their salt would have complained about the one dimensional characterisation of the villains and the lack of realism in the US voting someone like that into power and then the Republican Party falling in line, followed by no checks and balances from any institution after even the Supreme Court caves due to the stolen seat being filled by the new President's choice, now all this looks like, well, realism.

Spoilers from an age where reality beggars caricature )


Philip Kerr: March Violets.

This is the first novel of a mystery series which I heard/read about via The New Yorker. The article in question was enthusiastic enought to overcome my instinctive squick at the premise, to wit: hard-boiled/noir detective novel set in the Third Reich. Basically, what if Philip Marlowe was German? Wandering those mean streets as a cynic with an ethical core takes a whole new meaning if the authories aren't just corrupt but a dictatorship preparing for war and genocide. Our hero is Bernie Gunther, former policeman who quit the force in 1933 for the obvious reason given that the novel positions he has ethics, and became a private investigator instead. Kerr serves up all the usual hard boiled/ noir tropes - untrustworthy millionaire clients, corrupt cops, shady dames -, complete with Chandleresque language, and he did his research - the novel's setting is Berlin in 1936, around the Olympic Games, and in addition to the well drawn Berlin geography, there are some great nods to Fritz Lang's movie M via some of the supporting cast, gangsters (given that Bernie Gunther originally gets hired to recover some diamonds, though of course it turns out it's far more complicated and what everyone is after is something else altogether. The brief appearances by historic figures (Göring and Heydrich, to be precise) are drawn credibly, which is to say their vileness comes across without Kerr employing sledge-hammery moustache twirling; in fact, he uses Göring's bonhommie manners to make him chilling.

As opposed to To Kill a President, this actually is a good novel. But. I still struggle somewhat with the basic premise. This is the first novel of what according ot the New Yorker article I'd read are twelve so far, and already I'm having to suspend disbelief about Bernie's continued survival. There's no reason why Heydrich at the end of this first novel shouldn't have gotten him killed, for example. And since we're in 1936, Bernie would still have the possibility to leave the country, and given what happens to him in this novel, it's hard to wonder why he doesn't, given he has no dependants who'd suffer for it. Yes, the decision to emigrate wasn't as easy as hindsight would have it if you weren't rich and didn't have friends abroad, but again, some truly harrowing things happen to Bernie in this novel which would serve as an incentive to get the hell out of Germany if ever there was one beyond the general situation of the country.

With this caveat, I'll keep reading.

ww thingie

Jul. 18th, 2017 08:11 pm
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[personal profile] domarzione
 More stuff I should have posted here but posted to tumblr instead: 

The first girl who arrived was Nirva. She appeared on the horizon in a small rowboat, her too-thin arms fighting the oars as well as the ocean. By the time the sentry ship came for her, she was rowing on will alone, tears streaming down her face and her hands bloody. Her answer, when challenged by Paraskeve, was to hold up a stoppered glass bottle that held a folded a note inside.

“To Queen Hippolyta, from her loyal subject and daughter, Diana,” the outside read.

Nirva and her bottle and her meager pack, tied in a knot any Amazon would recognize from her earliest training, were brought to the Queen. Nirva did not speak - could not speak - and they only learned her name from the letter inside. She was an Armenian from Mardin who had lost her home and her family along with her words and so much else and Diana had sent her to Themyscira to heal. “Please, my Queen, I beg you to let our home be a home to her, let my sisters be sisters to her, let our strength protect her until she regains her own, let our peace fill her heart.”

Nirva’s timorousness and frailty both angered the Amazons and moved them to pity. She was sent to live with Euadne, since there were no such thing as guest quarters in a land with no visitors.

It took months for her to stop flinching at footsteps, longer still for her to find her voice - emerging finally as a scream, primal and raw. Her story, once told, gave rise to much discussion in the Queen’s council over the future of the Amazons and the protection of Themyscira. What was not discussed, at least not in front of Hippolyta, was what had become of Diana.

Nirva grew stronger and less haunted, the dimness in her eyes replaced with the spark of life. She learned archery and horsemanship, since every Amazon must know how to defend herself and her city. But while she eventually earned her own set of armor, she found her true place by the glassmaker’s brazier as an apprentice to Klytie. 

July 2017 Poetry Fishbowl, Session 2

Jul. 18th, 2017 12:43 pm
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
[personal profile] ysabetwordsmith
The July 2017 Poetry Fishbowl is once again open.  We're reusing the original post with its donation button and ticker. However, please place new prompts below THIS post, because the other one is already so full that comments are collapsing, which makes them harder to read or search.  You may prompt in this session IF 1) you did not prompt in the July 4 session OR 2) you donated to the July 4 session.

I will do the best I can to fill new prompts and pick up some from the previous session.  I have no idea how long it'll take.  My body is being kind of cranky after last week's adventures, and the internet is a bit iffy although nowhere near as bad as it was earlier this month.  Witch me luck, eh?

Spider-man: Homecoming (Film Review)

Jul. 18th, 2017 05:43 pm
selenak: (Henry Hellrung by Imaginary Alice)
[personal profile] selenak
Okay, that's it. As Civil War made me suspect, Tom Holland is my platonic ideal of Peter Parker, at least in his teenage phase. Also, while I had liked the first Raimi/Maguire movie and parts of the rest while increasingly disliking other parts of those films, and liked the first Garfield without thinking it needed to exist while extremly disliking the second one, this latest cinematic go at Spidey was a complete delight to me and I love it.

Ramblings beneath the cut )

Recent Trip

Jul. 17th, 2017 11:41 pm
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
[personal profile] ysabetwordsmith
In case you're wondering what I did last week, my partner Doug went to the IBM/SAM magic convention in Louisville, Kentucky. We met up with friends, and I spent several days exploring the tourist attractions ...

Read more... )
ysabetwordsmith: Damask smiling over their shoulder (polychrome)
[personal profile] ysabetwordsmith
This poem is spillover from the July 4, 2017 Poetry Fishbowl. It was inspired by prompts from [personal profile] kengr, [personal profile] antisocialite_forum, [personal profile] curiosity, [personal profile] redsixwing, [personal profile] alatefeline, [personal profile] sweet_sparrow, [personal profile] technoshaman, [personal profile] mdlbear, [personal profile] chanter_greenie, and [personal profile] callibr8. It has been sponsored by [personal profile] ng_moonmoth, [personal profile] across_space_and_time, [personal profile] technoshaman, and [personal profile] alatefeline. This poem belongs to the series Polychrome Heroics. It directly follows "We Are All Related," so read that first or this will make no sense.

WARNING: This poem contains some intense and controversial topics. Highlight to read the more detailed warnings, some of which are spoilers. You-all wanted to see the gaybashers who attacked Kenzie curbstomped by the Iron Horses, so here it is. Watch out for conspiracy to commit assault, religious issues, conflicting obligations, bloody souvenirs, desire for vengeance, magical/spiritual stalking of culpable parties, Thunderbird is fucking scary and so is his follower, rude language, using superpowers against ordinary opponents, gaybashers stalking around a gay bar, oblique references to pony play, references to poaching and hazardous equipment, graphic violence, vigilante justice, use of barbed wire as a rumble weapon, probable permanent injury, brutal application of inconvenient truth, temporary hearing impairment, explanation of internalized oppression and repression of identity, complicated transgender issues, and other mayhem. This is a major plot development, so skipping it would leave a big gap, but the main thing you need to know is simply that the Iron Horses hunt down the gaybashers and beat the shit out of them. If these are sensitive issues for you, please consider your tastes and headspace before reading onward.

Read more... )
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[personal profile] fgemods posting in [community profile] yuletide

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Nominations are now open for the Fandom Growth Exchange! The Fandom Growth Exchange is a multi-fandom exchange for fandoms, relationships, and characters that have ten or fewer complete fics (or five or fewer contributing authors) on AO3. Check out the tagset!

Nominations close: July 31st at 11:55 PM UTC
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Assignments sent: August 22nd at 11:55 PM UTC
Default deadline: October 8th at 11:55 PM UTC
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Works revealed: November 3rd at 11:55 PM UTC
Authors revealed: November 8th at 11:55 PM UTC

Monday Yardening

Jul. 17th, 2017 12:11 pm
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
[personal profile] ysabetwordsmith
Today I walked around the yard.  It's getting warm and moist.

There are bees everywhere.  In the wildflower garden, I saw a big bumblebee visiting every flower on this plant.  I saw a small black bee and a tiny metallic green one on the echinacea.  These are probably native species, some of which are rarely seen. All had large panniers of yellow pollen collected from the flowers.  :D  Beeeeeees!

EDIT 7/17/17: Round 2, I picked a few blackberries.

EDIT 7/17/17: Round 3, I planted some morning glories and watered plants.

EDIT 7/17/17: Round 4, I weeded about half of the septic garden.

Monday Update 7-17-17

Jul. 17th, 2017 11:13 am
ysabetwordsmith: Artwork of the wordsmith typing. (typing)
[personal profile] ysabetwordsmith
These are some posts from the later part of last week in case you missed them:
Garden Photos 7-16-17 (pots)
Garden Photos 7-16-17 (prairie garden)
Rainbow!
Sunday Yardening
Badger Engineering


I'm back at the keyboard now after a busy week.

The second session of the July Poetry Fishbowl will open on Tuesday, July 18.


Poetry in Microfunding:
"A Hope and a Promise" belongs to Polychrome Heroics.  Aidan and Mrs. Ozenne talk more about Saraphina as she interacts with another toddler.  "The Inner Transition" belongs to Polychrome Heroics: Berettaflies.  Valor's Widow finds out what Stylet has in his backpack.  

Weather has been steamy here.  It rained a little yesterday.  Currently blooming: dandelions, marigolds, petunias, lantana, million bells, snapdragons, zinnias, firecracker plant, white and red clover, morning glories, spiderwort, echinacea, blackberry lilies, yellow coneflowers, Queen Anne's lace, frost asters, and some yellow thing in the wildflower garden.  Corn is tasseling.  I need to pick more blackberries.  I think there are two jalapeno plants with tiny peppers on them, and more cayenne too.  \o/  Evidently peppers grow better in pots than my efforts with tomatoes.

Doctor Who and Orphan Black 5.06.

Jul. 17th, 2017 02:03 pm
selenak: (Missy by Yamiinsane123)
[personal profile] selenak
Spoilery Doctor Who talk about the big casting spoiler. )

On to Orphan Black. Which was a good spy hijinks hour that moved the plot forward.

Read more... )

Garden Photos

Jul. 16th, 2017 11:49 pm
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
[personal profile] ysabetwordsmith
I posted two batches of garden photos today, pots and prairie garden

Rainbow!

Jul. 16th, 2017 05:03 pm
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
[personal profile] ysabetwordsmith
We got a little rain.  We might get more.  Meanwhile, we have a rainbow to the west of us.  I think it's the flattest one I have seen, arcing low along the horizon.  :D

Sunday Yardening

Jul. 16th, 2017 04:25 pm
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
[personal profile] ysabetwordsmith
Today I took pictures.  I have several batches that I haven't even had time to post.

Just now, I went out and watered plants.  It is starting to spit rain, so hopefully we'll get some more. 

Jalapeno peppers are getting bigger, some about thumb-size now.  Blackberries are ripening.

Back in Action

Jul. 16th, 2017 01:55 pm
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
[personal profile] ysabetwordsmith
 ... more or less.  Family obligations are complete.  Internet is spitty but somewhat functional.

Versailles (Season 2)

Jul. 16th, 2017 04:09 pm
selenak: (Max by Misbegotten)
[personal profile] selenak
Since the other Borgias left me in the mood for over the top historical melodrama, and since it was available, I marathoned the second season of Versailles. (My first season review is here.) Aka, the show with the general accuracy of The Tudors (which is to say more than than the all around anachronistic crack like Reign, but generally not that much, though the occasional clever use of historical fact actually happens), produced by Canal just as Borgia, with the main selling point to internet fandom that there’s canon m/m prominently featured, courtesy of Louis XIV.’s brother Philippe d’Orleans, aka Monsieur, played by the increasingly gorgeous Alexander Vlahos. The second season tackles the affair of the poisons, one of the most notorious events in the reign of Louis XIV., but just as it did in the first season with just about any historic event fictionalizes the hell out of it, including, mystifyingly, changing the name of the main supplier of the poisons in question. Instead of La Voisin (first name Catherine), we have “Madame Agathe”. (Otoh the black mass celebrating renegade priest gets to stay Father Etienne Guibourg, which means the first time he is introduced in a seemingly benign undercover identity, the more historically versed parts of the audience know who he is and what he’s infamous for.) In terms of historical characters, we also get introduced to the delightful Liselotte von der Pfalz, the Princess Palatinate, and may I say that I was hugely relieved the Versailles version is great, because the original is one of my favourite figures of the era, due to all those vivid letters she penned for the folks back home, and as Versailles’ first season unfortunately reduced Monsieur’s first wife Henriette to a very passive, agenda-less character, which the original definitely was not, I was a bit afraid something similar might happen to Liselotte, the second Madame. But no. She’s blunt, no-nonsense, determined to make the best of a bad situation, as all versions of Liselotte should be. (Mind you, this show still obeys the Hollywood rule of plain and beauty, so when Monsieur’s lover, the Chevalier de Lorraine, ridicules Liselotte’s fashion and looks, it’s not clear what he’s on about since the actress is pretty – whereas historical Liselotte cheerfully admitted to her plainness in youth and weathered stoutness in age, comparing her looks as a middleaged woman to a roasted pig – and so is her wardrobe.)

On to more spoilery musings beneath the cut. )

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