October 19th, 2017
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posted by [personal profile] boxofdelights at 04:13pm on 19/10/2017
Tor.com is giving away the ebook of Winter Tide by Ruthanna Emrys until midnight October 20.

It is a response to Lovecraft, but Kirkus describes it as "essentially a story about identity, found families, wrapped in a cozy mystery. With magic. And monsters. Except the monsters are not exactly who you expect them to be."

https://giveaway.tor.com/
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posted by [personal profile] boxofdelights at 02:19am on 19/10/2017 under
[This is actually from last Wednesday but I'm just going to post it now anyway]
• What are you reading?

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

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

*

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


• What did you recently finish reading?

George & Lizzie, by Nancy Pearl.

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


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

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

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


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

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

• What do you think you’ll read next?

The Call of Cthulhu and Other Weird Stories, by H.P. Lovecraft.
October 17th, 2017
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posted by [personal profile] quigonejinn at 09:22am on 17/10/2017
A ranking of bright red liquid lipsticks that I own:

1. Nars PowerMatte, Starwoman
2. Kat Von D, Outlaw
3. Beauty Bakerie, Cranberry Stiletto

Which is to say that these are all infinitely more fit for my purposes than the DHC or tube lipstick I grew up watching my mother use, where it's off and on my teeth in under 15 minutes, or where I don't want to eat or drink anything because it'll take the lip color off. If I'm going to wear a big vibrant fun red lip, I want to be able to, y'know, actually have fun with it on, right? Without worrying it'll come off on every water glass and pastry, right?

In that respect, Beauty Bakerie hits it the fuck out of the park. There is zeeeeeeeero transfer with that bad boy. None. Like, eat a floating island with concomittant custard and press your mouth with a full-on white napkin and see n o t h i n g. Not even a speck of red. The downside is that it's pretty drying, that it's fucking balls to get off the mouth at the end of the day, and worst of all, the formula is super-thin, which means that a klutz-hander like me always has problems, because I can't get it on in a single layer. I have to go back and patch it up and smooth out lines, which leaves me with bits that are darker and bits that are lighter. In nail polish terms, we'd say it was bad at leveling, and on the mouth, it's not a great look. It also dries down to a somewhat darker red than I'd like.

The liquid in the Kat Von D, on the other hand, goes on like a dream. It self-levels beautifully and has aaaaaaaaaaalmost the same level of staying power as the Beauty Bakerie, but comes off a lot more easily. It gets dinged because the application wand is awkwardly long and not quite as nicely shaped as the other two lipsticks on the list (there's a reason why the Kat Von D Glimmerveils have a much shorter application wand), and because if you do eat something like a super-buttery pastry and drink tea, you'll end up with ye olde butthole mouth, which is when the lipstick wears away in the ring where your mouth is wettest, but stays at the edges and, y'know. I'd suggest googling "butthole lips", but you'll end up with a lot of pictures of Donald Trump.

NARS Powermatte is, I think, my favorite right now. Yeah, it does have the most transfer of the three, and it takes BALLS LONG TO DRY. On the other hand, the applicator may be my platonic ideal of a liquid lipstick applicator, it goes on like a dream and doesn't feel drying at all, and since it's both a stain and a liquid lipstick, when it does come off, it comes off evenly, so I didn't get butthole lips, even when I put it through basically the lipstick version of the Inquisition -- a four hour appearance at a gala* during which I ate passed hors d'oevures and a four course dinner that was really actually six courses, as the last two courses of which were really four courses (cheese AND salad, omelette norvegienn AND petits fours) and the first course of which was freaking lobster thermidor, served in lobster bisque that you fucking better believe I mopped up with the entire mini-baguette it came with.

End of the night, I still had enough pigment left over that when I smooched Mr. Rhod on the shoulder, I left a big ol' mark. So the good! And also the bad! Though I'm trying to resist buying more NARS Power Matte because they're no longer cruelty-free.

* My life is not that fancy. Except when it is!
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October 16th, 2017
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posted by [personal profile] krait at 11:15pm on 16/10/2017 under ,
THIS FANGIRL!!

I am so pleased. My relationship with my laptop has been saved. Not to mention my relationship with DW, AO3, DragCave, online banking, and anything else requiring a login!

Rejoice with me by telling me what you've been up to lately. :D
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posted by [personal profile] wrabbit at 10:25pm on 16/10/2017 under
October 11th, 2017
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December 18th, 2017
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October 9th, 2017
krait: chibi Soubi (Loveless) whistling smugly (smug Soubi)
posted by [personal profile] krait at 03:59pm on 09/10/2017 under , ,
Does anybody know what became of priestess_grrrl on LJ?

I'd planned to ask her to 'port the old lovelessdiscuss comm on LJ over to DW, but her LJ profile doesn't give any of her new locations and, although I thought I'd found her here a while ago, looking through my flist I'm not seeing any names that ring a bell.
October 8th, 2017
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posted by [personal profile] sanj at 06:23pm on 08/10/2017
Placeholder!!

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