I was shocked – SHOCKED – when Reader Jessica left a comment about virgin hero recommendations and my deep dive through the SBTB archives turned up nothing.
Of course, there are some obvious choices and probably a handful of lists on Goodreads, but personal recommendations of books you’ve loved and why go much further, don’t you think?
Amanda: Also…the anthology is currently 99c. Just thought you all wanted to know.
Amanda: I don’t think I know of any virgin heroes, but I’ve read a few sexually inexperience heroes that I really loved. The Game Plan by Kristen Callihan ( A | BN | K | G | iB ) has a man-bunned, NFL hero who has never had penetrative vaginal sex. His first sexual experience was traumatic for him, so trigger warning for that.
I know you have virgin hero recommendations! Let us have ’em!
AO3 hosts text, but not images, and Dreamwidth does not offer enough image hosting space for me to make any real use of it. So all of this is dependent on my images being hosted by my generous cousin's server. If that ever goes down, and someday it will, my art goes with it.
I have backups, of course, on site and elsewhere in the cloud, so I can rebuild my digital galleries, but that's not the problem. What I need to know from AO3 is if they have a physical archive at one of their participating colleges where I can send a Blue-Ray disc, to ensure my fanart is preserved over time by people who know what fanart is and care about it. Not because I think it's so brilliant, but just because it's something I've put so much time and love into.
Unfortunately, when I asked this question of the AO3 staff, they gave me the helpful, but completely misguided answer of instructions on how to embed my images in a web page. But if I didn't know how to do that already, I wouldn't be posting on AO3, right? ;)
So the other day I went to the OTW, of which I am a member, and emailed them about it. No answer so far.
Many of you friendly folk are also posting on AO3, so I thought I would ask you instead. The OTW does have a physical archive for print zines. Do any of you know if they have a physical archive for things like digital art?
Yesterday, it was emails about not leaving dirty towels and smelly running clothes strewn all over the balcony (where it can be seen by the entire institute, who might reasonably draw the conclusion that my Division is populated exclusively by teenage boys).
And today, it was this:
( Read more... )
I mean, really. THIS is what I'm paid for? I'm beginning to feel as though early childhood learning would be useful professional development.
The following poems are available:
"Big Brother and the Cyberbully"
Summary: When a cyberbully does grievous damage, a supervillain makes a calculated counterattack.
106 lines, $53
"The Things That Money Can't Buy"
Summary: A tycoon with an excess of money and an absence of sense or compassion can cut a wide swath through life.
94 lines, $47
"No Power Like the Power of Youth"
Summary: When racist protesters try to invade a largely black neighborhood, they meet with some serious opposition.
142 lines, $71
Which of these should be the free epic?
"Big Brother and the Cyberbully"
"The Things That Money Can't Buy"
"No Power Like the Power of Youth"
Warning: This poem contains some intense and controversial topics. Highlight to read the warnings, some of which are spoilers. It touches on passing, bisexuality, multiracial heritage, activism, homophobia, transphobia, mistaken identity, prejudice against people with superpowers, a cat girl, prostitution, a dog boy, homelessness, and other angst. If these are sensitive issues for you, please consider your tastes and headspace before reading onward.
( Read more... )
I didn't get any amendments this week, and I didn't work on any, so I still have three, all in paused status. I've been working on a Regular New case, but without finishing it. This is not my oldest Regular New, although I expected it to be; however, when I started work Tuesday morning, I found that a new case had been docketed to me which was older than my other cases, and had become my oldest non-RCE Regular New. I sent a Rush request to the Electronic Information Center to have them search it; I will at some point do my own searching and then examine the case. Meanwhile, I'm working on something else.
I have this idea to make something as a unique art project. It is either the craziest, dumbest, most impractical thing ever … or it’s a crazy, dumb, impractical thing that will be awesome.
I will need exactly one million people, from anywhere in the world, to make it happen. I wonder if that’s possible.
Feel free to speculate, if you’re into that sort of thing.
Hello Petals, and greetings from the other side of yesterday’s long, dark teatime of the soul. I don’t know if it’s the rest, ice, baths, massage, chiropractic, physiotherapy, drugs, whiskey, homeopathy or donations that helped, but today I feel hopeful and optimistic, and my arse and I have resumed speaking terms. It still doesn’t feel great, but it feels better, that much is sure, and last night I slept the whole night through. It took a lot of pillows, but when I woke up I felt like maybe things are improving for sure. (I will not be getting on my bike until Sunday to be sure, and I’m going to keep doing all the things I’m doing. One of them is working.) I also had a rather fantastic snuggle with Elliot this morning, and the healing impact of his glorious cheeks cannot possibly be understated. He is the most delicious chunk. Fat and happy, and slept the whole hour his mother was in the dentist, while I walked him up to the drugstore and back, and then, wonder of wonders, resisted the urge to scream in the car. (This is his favourite trick. He resents the carseat and all that it is, and generally acts like he’s experiencing death by a thousand cuts all the way wherever he’s going, then brightens right up the minute he’s free of it – though a minute before you would have sworn he was starving or had mere minutes to live. It’s really not hard to tell he comes from a cycling family.)
Also, a minor fibre miracle. The other day, tidying a basket I keep spinning things in, one tucked way back in the cupboard, I found two bobbins of camel/silk singles.
I pulled them out and for a minute, couldn’t even remember spinning them, but then it came back to me. They’re spindle spun, wound onto the bobbins to empty the spindle each time it filled, and I spun them at least ten years ago. Ten years! (Let us gloss over entirely what it means to my housekeeping skills that I can lose things for ten years in a tiny house.) My wheel was still right there, oiled and clean, and so I popped them onto my Kate (I refuse to call it a lazy kate. I has a sexist ring to it. Why is it always a lazy woman? Lazy Susan, Lazy Kate… how come nothing is called a Lazy Gary?) A little while later I had the most delicious tiny skein of laceweight camel/silk. Just a weensie 210m, but still, it’s delicious, and when I told Joe what I’d found and done, I realized that his conversion to Fiber-support-spouse is complete. “Wow honey” he said, “That’s like finding $50 in your winter coat pocket when you put it on in the Fall.”
That’s it exactly.
Karmic Balancing gifts? Let’s do them until I run out of time. Tonight is our last Steering Committee meeting for the Rally, and I can’t tell you how thrilled I am to say that. It turns out that my dedication does know bounds, and it’s meetings. Only because I can knit at them is this all possible.
First up, Gauge Dye Works has two beautiful skeins for Virgina Y. One skein of classic sock, one shawl. (Man, Catherine who runs that place is so clever. That’s the yarn my most recent pair of socks were knit from.)
Tia has three skeins of Shibui Knits sock weight yarn in 50’s Kitchen (I love that, it’s the colours of my kitchen!) that she’ll be sending to Susan G.
The lovely Suzanne Visch is donating the pattern of their choice to five lucky knitters. (Lucky is right, what gorgeous things!) Congratulations to Nichole B, Heather K, Mary Jo M, Anisa S, Jennifer W, and Susan D.
By the way, yesterday’s yarn went happily to the highest bidder, who asked only two things. That I not mention their name, and that the yarn not go to her, but to someone new to knitting who would adore it, and be inspired by it. I love that idea, and I know just the knitter. Thanks to everyone who bid, it was charming, flattering and made the world a better place for people who need help. You guys are amazing.
More tomorrow – It’s a desk day. Thank you all for everything, you’re my favourite.
Even more surprising, Ladyslipper was adopted. As I've said before, cats are often better behaved when they get out of the stressful shelter environment.
Today's star was Al Roker, who is extremely friendly, to the point that he's hard to photograph. He's already reserved for adoption.
Cece just sat in her litter box and didn't want to move. Some cats like sitting in litter boxes. I think it must have something to do with their desert ancestry. Virginia got authorization to let her out of her cage. It took her a while to decide to come out, and then she found another litter box to sit in.
Cyan and Bongo are still around. Bongo likes the highest places. A new cat was named Bella Donna (not belladonna!). When I gave her her food, I sang, "Bella chow, Bella chow, Bella chow chow chow!"
This RITA® Reader Challenge 2017 review was written by PamG. This story was nominated for the RITA® in the Best First Book, YA Romance category.
Seventeen-year old Abby has only one goal for her summer: to make sure she is fluent in French—well, that, and to get as far away from baseball and her Cubs-obsessed family as possible. A summer of culture and language, with no sports in sight.
That turns out to be impossible, though, because her French partner is the exact kind of boy she was hoping to avoid. Eight weeks. 120 hours of class. 80 hours of conversation practice with someone who seems to exclusively wear baseball caps and jerseys.
But Zeke in French is a different person than Zeke in English. And Abby can’t help but fall for him, hard. As Abby begins to suspect that Zeke is hiding something, she has to decide if bridging the gap between the distance between who she is and who he is, is worth the risk.
Here is PamG's review:
I am not a big fan of YA. Oh, the books are fine, but as a genre label, YA is meaningless. Meant as a marketing ploy, I think this faux genre is just an excuse for lit snobs to be dismissive of some of the truly magnificent literature for young people. Unfortunately, The Distance from A to Z would not provide a great argument against the genre label. It’s totally YA.
Abby is the storyteller of Distance. She’s going into senior year in her Chicago high school and is spending her summer at a college in New Hampshire where she’ll be taking an intensive eight week course in intermediate French. Abby adores the French language as passionately as she hates all things baseball. Her family are baseball maniacs (Cubs fans), but she has long since eschewed the masochism for the joys of French. Needless to say, she meets the requisite cute guy on day one and is revolted by his baseball shirt and cap. The rest of him, on the other hand, is pretty damned pretty, from the golden curls peeking out from under the hat to the hot athletic bod beneath. Nice to know sports are good for something.
Zeke (get it, get it?) is also taking the intermediate French course, much to Abby’s surprise. What’s more, he’s better at it than she is. As the only two high school students in the course, the two of them are forced to work as partners and frequently find themselves in proximity almost as close as a mountain cabin in winter. Abby pre-judges Zeke based on his athletic wear and he doesn’t hesitate to call her on it. Their subsequent exchanges are pretty entertaining.
Aside from Abby and Zeke, the most developed character is Alice, Abby’s roommate. Alice is a talented and superbly disciplined poet, who is taking an intensive poetry seminar. She entrances Abby from their first encounter.
She’s using a fountain pen.
I think I’m in love.
“Sec,” she whispers, more to herself than me.
I’ve found my spirit animal.
I know this moment for her like it’s mine. I know the feeling of being so deeply invested in something that the idea of forcing yourself out feels like a tooth extraction. Like the tight grip of a book you don’t want to put down.
Alice suffers from a fairly severe anxiety disorder. Abby adores her on sight, but still needs to be schooled in how to respond to Alice’s anxiety issues. Actually I kind of adored her on sight myself. Within her comfort zone, she totally kicks ass. More on this later.
I had problems with both Abby and Zeke. That’s probably why Alice seemed so refreshing. She was more mature than any of the other characters. Perhaps part of my problem with A & Z is that they do act like total teenagers. Abby narrates so we get her point of view much more than Zeke’s. Done well, I like first person POV and I think it can convey quite a lot about other characters. Unfortunately, the inside of teen’s head may be a little too self-absorbed to convey those telling details about the people surrounding her. Of course Abby’s single minded focus makes her interesting but also annoying. Loving French language and culture is appealing, but her loathing for baseball gets old. Once she loved it, but too many people have let her down over baseball. So–boom!–she hates it, my preshussss. She develops a bit of self awareness later in the book, but maturation should be a process, not a revelation in the last couple of chapters. At one point someone calls her mean, and she’s all “Who? Me?” And she isn’t mean. What she is is thoughtless. See “self-absorbed” above.
Abby is attracted to Zeke, but as they work together she begins to separate his personality into two distinct Zekes. There is French speaking Zeke who is quite delightful and whom she really begins to care for, and English speaking Zeke who’s kind of a major toque de derrière. Much of Abby’s narrative consists of her internal dithering about which is the real Zeke and do they have any sort of chance as a couple. This waffling got extremely tedious. Of course, Zeke has a Big Secret which later explains his dual personality, though in less detail than is warranted by his hot and cold running behavior. Trouble is, his big secret is so blatantly obvious to the reader that the big reveal makes your eyes roll like a ground ball on a T-ball field. So what is Zeke’s peculiar behavior?
However, none of this explains why Zeke is so frequently spotted with girls hanging off of him. Abby tends to be mildly shut shamey in her response to college girls Stephie and Chloe, rather than putting the blame where it belongs, squarely on Zekey. One of my favorite scenes, featuring Alice, takes place when both girls are in their dorm room and Stephie is using her feminine wiles on Zeke in the hall right outside their door.
“Oh yes,” she whispers, her voice all breathy. Though unfortunately for me and Alice, the fact that she’s directly in front of our door means that even if she was in our room we couldn’t possibly hear them more clearly.
“Please kill me, ” I mouth to Alice, conscious that if we can hear them from in here, they can hear us from out there.
“Your Zeke?” she mouths.
I think of shaking my head because there’s no my Zeke, but that seems like splitting hairs.
Alice presses her lips together and then opens them wide. “Abby!” she shouts. “I’m not going to hang out in the common room and wait for you guys to finish making out. I want to go to sleep, and I’d rather be able to do it without listening to you guys suck face all night.”
Her speech is so shocking, from the lie to the fact that it’s Alice bellowing it out, that I don’t even think to stop her until she’s looking at me triumphantly.
“And I can’t believe you guys are watching that movie together . I mean, get a room. Not my room. A room where you can be alone.”
“Alice!” I squeak, not knowing whether to high-five her or slap my hand over her mouth.
“Rawr”, I hear Cloy Voice say, which makes me want to go out there and pull her off of Zeke. Because what kind of girl says rawr in real life?”
“C’mon, we should get out of here,” Zeke says, and he doesn’t sound nearly as flirty and happy as he did before.
And suddenly I’m quite sure that as utterly humiliating as Alice’s speech was, high-fiving her wasn’t nearly enough to thank her.
So I tackle-hug her instead.
I got a kick out of this scene and there were others I really enjoyed.
However, one in particular I absolutely hated. In one of her off-again phases with Zeke, Abby decides to go out with some of the other kids in the program, most of whom are college age. Since she’s feeling defiant, she accepts drinks from a seemingly bottomless flask that gets passed around. Unsurprisingly, she gets falling down drunk and Zeke finds her with some clown’s hand on her thigh and rescues her. My problem with the scene is that it’s completely gratuitous, adds nothing to the story except to give Zeke an opportunity to “rescue” Abby. This scene and A’s inability to figure out Z’s Big Secret pushed her into TSTL territory a couple of times. Then when she did discover Zeke’s secret, she reacts explosively–as one does–and accuses him of lying to her. Didn’t happen. True, he didn’t tell her. For reasons. But he didn’t lie. Yes, there’s that whole omission thing, but I felt she accused him of lying to ramp up the drama and justify her extreme reaction. Earlier in the story, she was devastated because Zeke called their first kiss a “mistake” when in point of fact, she interpreted what he said as mistake. As written, he didn’t actually say that. Be pissed, but be pissed about what happens.
Needless to say, our young lovers achieve their HEA which, considering that they are high school students, one based in Chicago and one in San Diego, is more of an HFN, Unfortunately, by the end of the book, I didn’t have the energy to really care any more. Hence, the C grade. Might have been C+ if I were sixteen. (I didn’t like baseball either.)
The Distance from A to Z by Natalie Blitt received a D in a previous RITA Reader Challenge Review.
It’s Wednesday Links time! Which is news to me, because it certainly doesn’t feel like a Wednesday. RWA 2017 is kicking off in Orlando. If you’re attending, make sure you say hello to Sarah who is also there!
A GoFundMe campaign is underway to turn Beverly Jenkins’ Deadly Sexy into a feature film:
The making of Deadly Sexy is a significant step for all authors. It will give hope to those who dream of having their book made into a film. It also open doors of opportunity for actors and crew members who desire a chance to show their skills during the production. It also gives independent film makers a chance to show the advancement of our products to the masses.
Jenkins is also receiving the RWA Nora Roberts Lifetime Achievement Award this year!
To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before by Jenny Han was a previous SBTB Book Club pick and now it’s being made into a movie!
a little love note from me to you pic.twitter.com/vUxJvKUinn
— Jenny Han (@jennyhan) July 21, 2017
Every few months a bigger, better, and lighter weight battery charger comes out. At this point I have 3 in various sizes—lipstick sized, 6.5oz, and the 12.5oz, which lives in our travel bag. I can recharge my kids' DS, tablets, my phone, etc, before it runs out of charge. - SW
Leah of The Ripped Bodice made an appearance on the TV game show Hollywood Game Night. You can check out her appearance here.
Thanks to Reader Suzanne for letting us know about this Gothic romance comic anthology on Kickstarter. Here’s what she said:
Gothic Tales of Haunted Love, a new comics anthology currently funding on Kickstarter, is updating the gothic romance genre with tales that are diverse and not-rapey, but still dark and spooky. The full-color book will contain 200 pages of new comics, some licensed Lou Marchetti prints (he’s the guy who did all those MM paperback covers), and a Korean gothic comic from the 70’s. You can find more about the anthology, the creators, and lots of sample art over at their Kickstarter page.
All right, who’s interested?
Lastly, I recently watched this trailer for Bright. It’s an urban fantasy movie coming to Netflix on December 22. It starts Will Smith, Joel Edgerton, and Lucy Fry. After watching it, some say it’d work better as a series and I’m inclined to agree, but it still looks pretty damn fun.
Don’t forget to share what super cool things you’ve seen, read, or listened to this week! And if you have anything you think we’d like to post on a future Wednesday Links, send it my way!
Leaving aside everything else that is wrong and immoral about this proposed ban, at the moment there are something like 11,000 trans people currently serving openly in the US services and reserves. They are there legally, and it is currently their right to serve openly. Trump’s ban, at first glance, appears to take away their right to serve their country, and takes away their jobs, their incomes, their benefits for themselves and their families — for no other reason than something which yesterday was not illegal nor an impediment to serving their country with passion and distinction.
Make no mistake: Trump is affirmatively and explicitly taking away a right from American citizens, a right they already had and enjoyed. This is a big right: The right to serve in one’s military openly, without fear of punishment for who you are.
If Trump will take away one right from Americans, he’s not going to have a problem taking away other rights as well. Why would he? Trump is the living embodiment of “If you give a mouse a cookie” — if he gets away with one thing, he’ll go ahead and try to get away with something else. He’s already trying, of course.
I don’t think it will come as a surprise to anyone that I support the right of transgender people to serve openly in the military, a thing they already have done, any more than it will come as a surprise that I support the rights of transgender people generally. But as important as it is for me to explicitly say I support transgender rights, I think it’s also worth asking people who oppose these rights, or other rights enjoyed by people not exactly like them, whether they are comfortable taking away fundamental rights these American citizens already have — and if so, what leads them to believe that their own rights, rights they already enjoy, are not also placed in jeopardy by that precedent.
If the answer boils down to “well, that will never happen to me,” as it inevitably will, it’s worth examining why they think they will forever be immune. The answer will be instructive for everyone.
And also, they’re wrong. If you can take away an existing right of an American simply because of who they are, then you can take away a right of any American simply because of who they are — or what they are, or where their ancestors came from, or what they believe, and so on.
I said on Twitter this morning, “Today, as has almost every day in this administration, offers each us of a chance to understand the dimensions our own moral character.” And so it does. And so it will, every day, I expect, until it is done.
Tensions are high due to the political situation, and people are generally on the defensive.
My curmudgeonliness is growing at a faster rate than I thought.
Or something else.
At any rate, it's probably my fault. I do have an alarming tendency to block strangers engaging in insults or irrational confrontation. It's kind of a passive-aggressive thing.
I grow old. I grow old. And I do have a pair of jeans that's just a bit too long.
I got an interesting item in the mail from Denver Retirement. Apparently there's some sort of make-up benefit to compensate for the change in Social Security age limit. I called them. It could be anywhere from $1-100, depending on how much I made. So, I'm guessing probably closer to $1 than $100. I probably won't know how
much it is until about 8/31.
The loss of Jordin Kare was a shock to me, partly because he was born in 1956, and I in 1955. I played in circles with him, and I've known him and talked to him at cons for many years (perhaps since 1981), but I wouldn't say I ever got to know him very well, which is my loss. I wish I had.
I have pretty much stopped correcting other people's spelling and grammar, because the results are not positive, but I have to admit it troubles me when people don't care enough to spell a person's name correctly, and I did notice a lot of people getting Jordin's name wrong. Even one saying "he wasn't on facebook" (he was, though he didn't post much if at all), perhaps because they searched his name with an incorrect spelling.
Last Thursday my chiropractor scared me a little and said a pain I've been having ought to be checked out by my doc. I did that Monday. The tests came back with nothing. The doc thought it might be something, said to come back if (list of horrible things) happen. But not doing cat scan and to go see my pcp if pain keeps going. Making that appt now.
Between now and 8/23 I have 3 other appointments, with various specialists. Nothing alarming - all pretty routine. I'm trying to get as much medical stuff done as I can before September 2nd, because my "free" program could end then.
Speaking of money, it looks like I'll be closing the reverse mortgage on my birthday and due to the 3 day rule and a weekend it should fund on 8/22. I've planned out my priorities. Not all the $$$ will be available until 1 year after the closing, which means I may not be able to pay off that one last large bill until then.
Since the mortgage being gone will free a lot of my income, plus I'll be getting a tiny extra amount in October, my spendable income will go from not enough to more than I need. I divided proposed expenditures into now, a year from now, or monthly. The total is way too much. I'll need to look for ways to save. Maybe instead of buying a new top of line macbook, get the trackpad on the one I have repaired. Also, maybe finally sell my 13 year old spare macbook (lots of problems) on eBay. I have a lot of old computer stuff. I've checked, and sometimes the old cables sell for more than the old computers. I have drawers full of such things that are probably worth a fortune, assuming I can remember what they are.
Anyhow, first priority is paying bills. Second is travel & enjoy life.
I'll need to make decisions about where I get medical care in October. Not knowing whatnthe GOP might do leads me to make that decision based on the ACA either disappearing or the subsidy disappearing. I have money available through my retirement to pay a portion of insurance. It's a good deal. But it will cost me perhaps $300 or more out of pocket, plus med copays and visit copays, none of which I pay now.
That's for 3 years. Then Medicare changes everything.
On the list for September is estate attorney, prior to which I probably ought to let my nephew know he'll be the personal representative (Colorado's euphemism for "executor") of my estate, and that the house will very likely be worth more than what is owed to the mortgage company, and that he should stage it, etc., and will probably make a bit of money.
One thing I'll be doing: arriving at cons a day early, to deal with jet lag, so I may be able to enjoy the cons a bit more. Another: using my Southwest card for almost everything, which over a year ought to get me enough points for a lot of free travel.
Coke announced today that it’s rebranding Coke Zero to “Coke Zero Sugar”:
Coca-Cola Zero Sugar is the new and improved Coke Zero. We’ve made the great taste of Coke Zero even better by optimizing the unique blend of flavors that gave Coke Zero its real Coca-Cola taste. Coca-Cola Zero Sugar is our best-tasting zero-sugar Coca-Cola yet, and it will be available across America in August.
Basically, it’s the same new formula it’s been introducing in foreign markets as “Coke No Sugar” but Coke is keeping the “Zero” branding here because it’s been successful and they don’t want to confuse us poor Americans any more than we already are in these trying times. Or something.
As I noted previously (see the second link, there), I am perfectly fine with Coke attempting this revamp — by all reviews I’ve seen the “Zero Sugar” version tastes more like standard Coke than Coke Zero, and since “actually tasting like regular Coke” is why I drink Coke Zero in the first place (Diet Coke shares its flavor profile with the late, unlamented New Coke), I’ll willing to give this new version a shot. If it turns out I hate it, well. I guess then that August 2017 will be a fine time for me to drastically cut down my soda drinking. I suspect I’ll probably continue calling the new stuff “Coke Zero” rather than “Coke Zero Sugar,” because it’s two fewer syllables and I’m all about efficiency.
So in effect, I think that this is less like Coke Zero dying than it is Coke Zero regenerating, timelord-like, into its next iteration. And I suspect I will remain its constant companion.