(no subject)

Sep. 25th, 2017 10:08 pm
skygiants: Kozue from Revolutionary Girl Utena, in black rose gear, holding her sword (salute)
[personal profile] skygiants
I happened to see on Twitter that today was the 30th anniversary of The Princess Bride, which I guess makes it a good day to post about As You Wish: Inconceivable Tales from the Making of the Princess Bride.

This is Cary Elwes' memoir of the making of the film, a book I had vaguely meant to read for years, but did not actually get around to until our new roommate left his copy in the house this summer as a sort of placeholder before actually moving in. It's very charming! I'd sort of always had a vague sense that Cary Elwes must in some way resent being forever branded as The Man In Black, and I'm sure that at some points he has and does, but this write-up is probably the most overwhelmingly positive and enthusiastic Hollywood making-of memoir I've ever read. It's clearly intended for people who love the film and want to go on loving it, without a complicated feeling in sight.

My favorite part was probably the enthusiastic things that Cary Elwes and everyone interviewed had to say about Robin Wright and her acting as Buttercup; they're all like "we sailed through on jokes! playing the straight man is the hardest role in the cast! ALSO SHE CAME FROM SOAP OPERAS, SOAP OPERAS ARE SO HARD, DO YOU KNOW HOW MANY LINES PER DAY --" I went in braced to feel vaguely defensive of Robin Wright and Buttercup, as I so often do, and instead I was charmed and endeared!

I also enjoyed accounts of:
- Mandy Patinkin turning up to the first rehearsal with six months of sword practice under his belt, much to Cary Elwes' dismay
- William Goldman freaking out about Rob Reiner setting the leading lady on fire
- Andre the Giant accidentally conking Cary Elwes out on set
- Cary Elwes carefully arranging himself on the grass in an elegant lounging position to hide that he'd broken an ankle joyriding in a golf card
- so much detailed description of sword training and fight choreography! *__* SO MUCH

Sorry to keep beating this dead horse

Sep. 25th, 2017 08:45 am
giandujakiss: (Default)
[personal profile] giandujakiss
Except the horse isn't dead and I truly believe the nation's entire healthcare system is at risk. Graham-Cassidy 2.0 is out, with increases tailored to win the votes of specific holdout Republican Senators, while punishing Blue states, basically, by withdrawing their funding. Please call your senators. And while you're at it, your governor.

And while you have the senators' office on the phone maybe mention that over 3 million Americans are drowning in Puerto Rico and our president is more worried about football.
netgirl_y2k: (winter is coming)
[personal profile] netgirl_y2k
Earlier this year I tried to game my sign up in an exchange, failed badly, and found myself writing a fic about the Baratheon brothers at The Wall, focused on Renly, who by a very small margin I find the least boring of the three. (Brother, It's Cold Outside.)

[archiveofourown.org profile] prodigy remixed it into the Stannis centric Black Horns, White Snow which I liked a lot; Stannis' bitterness at Ned was darkly hilarious, and it fixed some issues with Stannis' characterisation that I felt my original had.

My remixee was [archiveofourown.org profile] The_Plaid_Slytherin who writes a lot of fic about Stannis, all of it good, and all of it skated right over my eyeballs because even after all my years in ASOIAF fandom my feelings about Stannis are still mostly: Who? What? Huh?

Writing fic about characters you don't like doesn't necessarily have to be hard (there's a difference between having a different take and bashing, obviously, and you should try to stay on the right side of that) but what is hard is fic about characters whose existence you struggle to remember.

I do understand why people get irked when it seems obvious that your remixee has scrolled through your works looking for one of these things which is not like the others (I've had it happen to me) but sometimes with remixes it's unavoidable, because sometimes the answer to the question how would I write this fic? is simply I wouldn't.'

I ended up remixing a short fic about Loras and Margaery bonding (For The Best) into a Margaery character study. For the Best (My Church Offers No Absolutes Remix).

As a remix it's less than ideal, but on the plus side I was writing it just as the show pulled Rhaegar and Elia's annulment out of its ass, and I managed to channel my annoyance into the line: Many men came to care little for their wives, that was why the laws of gods and men made it all but impossible for a husband, king or commoner, to set his lawful wife aside.
lizbee: (Star Trek: Georgiou)
[personal profile] lizbee
I believe [personal profile] yiduiqie and I are going to cover this together in more detail on No Award, but I just wanted to say this before I go on to episode 2...

I HAVE A LOT OF FEELINGS. )

Come a Stranger (Voigt)

Sep. 24th, 2017 09:35 pm
cahn: (Default)
[personal profile] cahn
Come a Stranger is the most positive book in the Tillerman Cycle (which, in a series that takes on abandonment, death, failure, racism, and emotional abuse of a couple different kinds, is maybe not saying a whole lot, although the themes of all the books involve growth and compassion and optimism and healing so that I never really noticed until this read-through how relentless they are) — this is the book about a family that works from the very beginning, and with themes that involve an existing strength, and growth mediated by that strength (as opposed to, say, Dicey's Song and Solitary Blue, which are about fractured family that has to figure out how to work, and growth from what started as dysfunctionality).

This one, I think there are two major themes woven throughout the book. One is community: what does it mean to be part of a community? This is almost a background theme — if I were to tell you the major events that happened in the book, none of them would really shout out "Community!" And yet the strong, vibrant community Mina belongs to is so integral to this book that it wouldn't exist in the same way without it. The other books are about individuals; this one is about the individuals as part of a community where they all help one another, all lift one another up. There's no character like Miz Hunter in any of the other Tillerman books.

I mean, I've never read these books thematically before, and on this reading it jumped out to me that the first chapter is basically the thesis statement. In the first chapter we meet Miz Hunter, Kat, Kat's family, and the church where Mina sings in the choir. That's a lot of people that Mina is a part of — not just her family itself, though they're also a community unto themselves, but also friends, friends' families, a whole church community evoked — and a community that takes care of each other. The first chapter almost makes it explicit:

"People you don't know are strangers."
"Are you afraid of strangers?"
"There aren't any strangers I've noticed around here, are there?"
"No ma'am. My poppa, he doesn't let people stay strangers."

And —

Poppa's little church didn't have a fancy altar, just a heavy wooden table with a fresh cloth on iton which the ladies had embroidered words and pictures. A silver cross stood up on top of that. They didn't have proper choir stalls, nor pews, except for half a doen somebody had picked up at a flea market sale in Cambridge… What happened was, whenever they were having a drive, saving up money for something particular, like more pews so the whole room could be filled with them and not be part pews and mostly folding chairs, something always came up. There would always be some family that needed the help, or some one person in some kind of need. The deacons would empty the church pockets to help out. Like Miz Hunter, when the church took a mortgage on the little house she lived in and rented it to her for what she could afford. Nobody minded that, and nobody seemed to miss the fancy touches.


Which brings me to the other major theme of this book: love.

This book is a little bit the counterpoint of Solitary Blue, which was about finding a community one by one (and so is Dicey's Song, for that matter), and about the damage that love does, both knowingly and unknowingly, and how to get beyond that damage. This book is about the next step: the responsibilities to one another in a community; and the positive side of love, how love shows us the way to our truest selves; and how those things interact. Mina loves Tamer Shipp, and that love shows itself in no destructive way, but constructively, in the way she helps Tamer's wife, and in the way that she finds Samuel Tillerman for him as a gift — but the real, true gift is the interaction between Gram and Tamer — it's not about Shipp himself, really. I don't know, I don't think I am making a whole lot of sense here; I just feel really strongly about this, okay? :)

But there's a minor theme (though more explicit) too, a theme of race and racism — and it's so interesting and awesome what Voigt did here: Runner was all about what it looked like from Bullet's white, racist point of view, and that was a valuable discussion and viewpoint; well, here we see what it looks like from the other side. And I feel like Voigt just does it well — Mina thinking black everything is kind of lame, to the betrayal when Mina realizes how she's been set up as the token black at ballet camp (and, tangentially, she gets it so right how you can bounce around and then find the place where you belong — in my case also summer camp — and the relief and amazingness of it — and I didn't think about it until this time through, but just thinking about that memory being sullied by betrayal of some sort is just — my whole mind flinches from it), the swinging to considering racism in everything, including her of-course-I'm-not-racist-but-I-don't-like-uppity-blacks teacher and also Dicey's reaction to her which is clearly (from Dicey's perspective in Song) not race-related at all (that being said, when you look at it from Mina's point of view it looks pretty damning for Dicey for a while — I mean, what are you supposed to think when a person keeps ignoring your friendship overtures?). The conversations she has with Shipp and with her parents seem to get it right to me… the way her parents are just worried for her because it's hard to be a black woman. And I love the part where Shipp tells Mina that "colored" is a good word for what they are. ("They," in the end, meaning all humans.) Because, of course, it's the word Bullet used and Tamer rejected. And I side-eyed the part at ballet camp where Mina is cast as Tash, and then was surprised and pleased to find that (of course) Voigt was right there with us side-eyeing it too, with Kat calling it out explicitly.

I don't understand at all how Voigt is able to interweave all these themes among all the books and still find time to have things actually happen. I don't get it at all.

It's so interesting to me that the Tamer Shipp of this book is noticeably an older version of Tamer Shipp in Runner. That is to say, he's not at all identical, he's clearly been through a lot and learned a lot and matured a lot (and changed his mind about some things, like the word "colored"), but still you can see the Tamer-who-was in him.

More quotes. This one is on the community theme:


Charlie and Isadora started telling stories about old relatives of their parents who had gone into nursing homes, or retired to places where there were a lot of old people gathered together. Mina didn't say anything, because her one living set of grandparents lived with her mother's brother in Georgia, and the grandparents who had died when she was still a baby had lived just around the corner. She thought of Miz Hunter, but didn't mention her either.


I really like the treatment of Mina's friend Kat, though I wouldn't have appreciated it when I was a kid (good thing I didn't read these books until I was an adult) -- I like that she's presented as not liking Narnia, and that's OK!

"And trying to make me different too, make me read books and listen to your music. And they're boring and dumb — the Narnia books. It's just pretend, fairy-tale stuff, with magic, and if I don't like them, you look at me as if I'm stupid. I'm not stupid."


I could go on and on about this book, but I think I'm going to post it since it's already taken forever for me to get this far.

Oh, okay, one more thing: I have never liked what we're told about Tamer's sermon on Miss LaValle's suicide attempt -- it has always struck me as rather victim-blamey. But on the other hand we're seeing all this filtered through Mina's eyes, and she doesn't know about the suicide at the time; afterwards Mina's mom says she thinks the sermon was about helping Miss LaValle even though she isn't part of their church, and not gossiping about it, which is not at all what I got from Mina's POV, so it is very possible this is a case of incomplete-POV rather than being as victim-blamey as it seems.

No, two more things. This time around I kinda shipped Mina and Tamer's son Samuel, not right then of course, but sometime far in the future when they've both grown up — it seems like Samuel has inherited his father's propensity for thinking about things, and I could totally see Mina and Samuel, as grownups, understanding each other in the same way that Tamer and Mina do, but without the barriers to a romantic relationship. Speaking of fic ideas :) (Would that be weird? I feel like the way Voigt has structured it, it wouldn't be weird.)
isis: Write what you're told! (micah wright)
[personal profile] isis
Remix Revival authors have been revealed, at least for the main collection, so I can now post a link to my story!

To Paint a Symphony (Arrangement for Solo Piano) (1527 words) by Isis
Fandom: The Watchmaker of Filigree Street - Natasha Pulley
Rating: Teen And Up Audiences
Warnings: No Archive Warnings Apply
Relationships: Keita Mori/Thaniel Steepleton
Characters: Keita Mori, Thaniel Steepleton
Additional Tags: Synesthesia, Music, Established Relationship, Precognition, Remix
Summary: Possible futures, with musical accompaniment.
Remix of: to paint a symphony by [archiveofourown.org profile] Arzani

I actually matched on Black Sails, but none of [archiveofourown.org profile] Arzani's fics in that fandom gave me much of an idea, partly because I'm not a Flint/Silver shipper. But The Watchmaker of Filigree Street is such an interesting canon - I've written a couple of stories for it already - and when I read "to paint a symphony" I immediately wanted to tease out the thread in which Keita plays the different compositions Thaniel might make in the future based on what choices he makes about Grace, and Thaniel sees them in different colors, and write my version of that story. (If you haven't read the book, this won't make much sense. But it's been nominated for Yuletide again this year, if you're thinking about reading it. It has a m/m relationship and a mechanical octopus.)

(no subject)

Sep. 23rd, 2017 10:50 pm
skygiants: Clopin from Notre-Dame de Paris; text 'sans misere, sans frontiere' (comment faire un monde)
[personal profile] skygiants
Thanks to the kindness of [personal profile] aamcnamara in loaning a copy so I did not have to fight through the library line, I read The Stone Sky - third in N.K. Jemisin's Broken Earth trilogy, following up on The Fifth Season and The Obelisk Gate - last weekend.

I don't think Essun destroyed any cities at all this book! I'm so proud!

The rest is disconnected spoilery thoughts )

Vertical storage! Vertical space!

Sep. 23rd, 2017 08:53 pm
newredshoes: red-winged blackbird (<3 | this moment to arise)
[personal profile] newredshoes
So... okay, so, I saw six apartments today, and one of them seems... like it could be so good. I really, really liked it when I was in it, and then a few hours later, I was waffling like hell and doubting whether I really liked it that much and whether I should hold out for another and whether I should feel more strongly and why am I not feeling strongly... Broker pointed out that I could be gun-shy, given what apartment-hunting got me last time. I'm trying to stay balanced about the whole thing, but I don't!!!!! know!!!!!!

Me waffling about a super nice apartment )

All that said, as I was typing this entry, a friend I had lunch with checked in to see how the showing had gone. Between her reaction to the pictures and how excited I felt telling her about the place (and realizing that actually I do have places to put all my bookcases that make sense, and I could definitely work with those tiny bedrooms by painting an accent wall)... I'm leaning much more heavily yes. I should sleep on it! We'll see!
giandujakiss: (Default)
[personal profile] giandujakiss
GOP is still desperately trying to get the votes, and we can't give up until they do - this bill would gut Medicaid. Every medical organization has come out against it; they're horrified.

If you've called before, that's great - but call again.

If you have a Dem senator, call to thank them for standing firm.

It really is important. If you're afraid of talking to people, call outside of business hours and leave a voicemail. Call local offices if the DC line is busy/mailbox full.

It matters.

Pursuant to the last entry

Sep. 23rd, 2017 01:20 pm
rydra_wong: The display board of a train reads "this train is fucked". (this train is fucked)
[personal profile] rydra_wong
Hope Not Hate have an excellent blog post explaining who they are and why they're going international.

We are coming to the United States because we have to. In our increasingly interconnected world, what happens here impacts on Europe. What happens in Europe has an impact on what happens in the United States.

Last year Britain voted to leave the European Union (commonly known as Brexit). This would not have been possible without the intervention of Breitbart and Cambridge Analytica. Likewise, Brexit gave Donald Trump a huge boast and convinced him and his supporters that anything was possible.

One of the main protagonists behind the Hillary Clinton conspiracy stories was Paul Joseph Watson, a 32-year-old man who lives in a flat in London. More recently, the ship charted by far right activists from across Europe in the Mediterranean was funded primarily by Americans.


From last year -- here's a Guardian piece on a Hope Not Hate workshop:

The Guardian: What does Hope not Hate actually do?

In November, I went to a Hope not Hate event at a mosque in Cardiff – a three-hour workshop on how to challenge and discuss anti-migrant and prejudiced sentiments. It drew a crowd of around 20, one or two of them local muslims and a few with migrant backgrounds, but the majority were white Welsh, many of whom had not previously been in a mosque. The organiser, Jonathan, began the session by asking what had prompted people to attend. Many described feeling worried, frustrated and in need of a toolkit for discussing race and immigration with family, friends and colleagues.

Their undercover reporter [twitter.com profile] patrik_h -- looks like a cinnamon roll, will secretly infiltrate your international white supremacist network:

https://twitter.com/patrik_h/status/910245564780081152

Dagens Nyheter: The Swede who infiltrated American Nazis

”He offered me to speak at the opening about my thesis topic: how the left has infiltrated the right. I spoke in front of 75 armed white supremacists.”

The Local.se: Meet the Swede who went undercover for a whole year with the alt-right in the US and UK

Of course, then I was scared. I mean, there was this combination of a group of young men with guns and a violent ideology. That's not a great combination.

LBCF, No. 152: ‘In these shoes?’

Sep. 22nd, 2017 11:07 am
[syndicated profile] slacktivist_feed

Posted by Fred Clark

The misogyny is palpable, but we’ve had plenty of opportunity to explore that before now, so let’s set aside for the moment L&J’s warped understanding of gender and consider instead their warped understanding of footwear.
rydra_wong: Angelica Lind stretches for a hold during a bouldering competition (climbing -- reach)
[personal profile] rydra_wong posting in [community profile] disobey_gravity
The Friday post of glee is where you get to tell us about your climbing-related happiness this week.

It can be a new achievement or adventure, or just that you climbed and had fun; it can be that your favourite climbing wall is expanding or that you bought new rock shoes or that you found a cool ice-climbing vid on YouTube. No glee is too small -- or too big. Members are encouraged to cheer each other on and share the squee.

N.B. Please feel free to post your glee on any day of the week; the Friday glee is just to get the ball rolling.

To enhance this week's glee: Fred Moix takes on the legendary roof crack Greenspit.
[syndicated profile] slacktivist_feed

Posted by Fred Clark

We're continuing in Norman Geisler's 1975 discussion of "When Abortion Is Justified." Geisler, a conservative white evangelical, first wrote this in 1971. Two years before Roe and two years after, conservative evangelical views were the same.

We Are Being Governed by Fools

Sep. 20th, 2017 11:02 pm
[syndicated profile] slacktivist_feed

Posted by Fred Clark

Even if your individual self-interest or the interest of your ethnic or religious tribe is the only thing you care about, that self-interest should compel you to ensure equal protection and full accommodation for people with disabilities -- because you could become one of them in the twinkling of an eye.

wednesday reads 'n things

Sep. 20th, 2017 02:34 pm
isis: (head)
[personal profile] isis
What I've recently finished reading:

Avi Cantor Has Six Months to Live by Sacha Lamb, a short story with a lot of trans and/or gay characters and a demon (who turns out to be actually pretty nice). I enjoyed it all right but it didn't really make much impression on me. The worldbuilding's rather vague and there's not much in the way of plot, but I expect it resonates more with trans people. It's been nominated for [community profile] yuletide and is free online at http://thebooksmugglers.com/2017/08/avi-cantor-six-months-live-sacha-lamb.html

Lincoln in the Bardo by George Saunders (abandoned). I like the idea of presenting the story as excerpts of conversation, magazine articles, books, and so on. But it didn't work in the ebook format with minimal formatting, and also, it just didn't work for me in the more conversational sections because I felt as though I never got to know any of the characters enough to care about them. Though I appreciated the cleverness of the idea that the spirits of the dead are unaware that they are dead, glossing over the strangenesses in their new selves and referring to tombs as "sick-homes" and coffins as "sick-boxes", the general absurdity just didn't appeal to me and I found the slow pace boring.

What I'm reading now:

The Dark Prophecy by Rick Riordan, the second book in the Trials of Apollo series, because after I realized I could either wait forever for the ebook, or pick up a physical copy from the library RIGHT NOW, I opted for the latter. I am still loving this series so much, especially since one of my favorite characters from another series, who showed up at the end of the first book, is a major character in this one. (skip) Leo Valdez! ♥ And Calypso! With whom Apollo has a history, so it's hilarious. Also, I'm impressed with how Riordan manages to have gay and bisexual characters in a way appropriate for middle grade, too.

I'm not listening to Airborn since I've been sick, and audiobooks are for exercise, but hope to get back to it soon now that my lungs are coughing out the last of the phlegm.

What I'm reading next:

While I was at the library I also picked up Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo, which has been recommended to me by a number of people. Also the second volume of Saga.

Other than that, still playing Dragon Age: Origins (in Orzammar now). Mostly I'm writing fanfiction :-)

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