Friday says, “Beware. I live!”
- The Orchid Mantis. I swear this gorgeous thing is a superhero insect. A mantis was bitten by a radioactive orchid and now fights crime with her sidekick, Aphid-Boy. (Link from Elizabeth Bear)
- May 4 – The Simpsons will be airing a full LEGO-animated episode.
- Pictures of a Tiny, Adventurous LEGO Photographer. (Link from Jay Lake)
- If it Fits, I Sits. (Cats in boxes and other small containers. Because cats.)
- Cats and Dogs vs. Furniture.
Mirrored from Jim C. Hines.
I was inspired to build this fine-looking bird after looking through LEGO PLAY BOOK: Ideas to Bring Your Bricks to Life's "barnyard animals" section. The book was a gift to us from Kelly McCullough of Wyrdsmiths, who has also, in the past, donated some of his LEGOs to Mason's gigantic collection. So, thanks, Kelly! This chicken is for you.
I'd finished shelving the manga and was starting on the YA novels when I overheard these two teen boys talking. "Oh, you really need to follow him." I glanced over my shoulder to see them admiring a Tumblr blogger who apparently does a lot of Power Ranger cosplay.
Suddenly, it hit me. Tumblr is full of teenagers.
I guess I knew that, but listening to this desperately nerdy kid talk to his friend… uh, I dunno. It made me feel old.
Speaking of feeling old, Mason came home the other day to grumpily inform us that there was a school-wide (Science side) assembly put on by Radio Disney featuring a presentation on….
Yep. He said he missed library in order to watch a woman dressed at Maizey discuss corn. Here, in case you're curious is, Maizey's Facbook Page: https://www.facebook.com/maizey.mn
From there, I lifted this shot, because, really, you have to see Maizey to believe her:
Doesn't she just kind of give you nightmares? I think possibly more disturbing are the temporary tattoos and stickers of her that I keep finding around the house, because in those pictures the person under the costume is clearly WEARING HIGH HEELS.
Because, you know… corn is… fancy? Well heeled? Deeply creepy? I'm really not sure.
When Mason came home and said he learned about "corn" I had a flashback to when he was in first grade and had been moved, for the first time, into an advanced reading group. He was reading a packet about "jeans" but I misheard "genes" and though, "Oh, cool, the science magnet is living up to their name, getting him going on all the cool genetic stuff right away!" But, then he had to shake his head and say, "No, Ima, not 'genes' 'jeans,' as in denim."
I was like, "Oh."
And Shawn heard that they'd had a Radio Disney assembly about 'porn.' We were shouting, "NO! CORN!"
Although… the high heels.
Okay, let's talk about one more thing so we can all banish that horrible thought from our minds…. hmmm, let's see. Susan, the loach, is still alive. I'm going to call the tank reconditioning a success. Now I just have to find time to get some more tap water conditioner (I ran out after the last tank water change) and we're good. I think maybe weekend after this one (since this weekend is MarsCON), I'll get her a companion of some sort.
Also, today I get to make another trip to the laundromat. Whee! Although I'm secretly looking forward to losing a few quarters to the pinball machine.
The bright thing is... it's been raining cats and dogs here all day. I like the rain.
Speaking of cats, I was recently interviewed about my years of cat/kitten fostering. It was a fun interview. Read it here if you'd like. Btw, I'm the mind behind Colehaus Cats, a little cat website I write because, as we all know, *insert evil laugh* the Internet was invented for cats!
The books are flying off my reading shelf. Funny how much one can accomplish if they push nearly everything else away. If only it were that easy. Actually, I'm way ahead on my cleaning/organizing schedule and reading is my reward. Next books up - Greg Bear's "Eon" and William F. Nolan's "Like a Dead Man Walking."
- Current Location:ColeHaus Library & All Night Laundromat.
- Current Mood: anxious
( Read more...Collapse )
In other news, my Solstice present from Shawn finally arrived. Here's me in it:
So what am I wearing? That's a Scouting Legion hoodie from Shingeki no Kyojin aka "Attack on Titan." These are the characters who go out beyond the walled city and fight the "baddies" (jury is out, given how sympathetic many of the shifters seem to be.) If you're not reading this manga or watching this anime already, I'm not sure I can entirely recommend it to you because… at first I was fairly traumatized by the action (though Tumblr fandom had warned me)… it's… uh, there are… well, let's just say the Titans eat people, like graphically.
However, it is the hot new thing all kids are into. And they're into it for a good reason. The story is strong and the characters are deeply compelling. I find it interesting because it's not like the usual shougen manga because the hero fights with a team and teamwork is critical to winning battles. Also, war sucks in a really UN-glorified way. People die. People whose names you've learned, whose stories you know, who you've come to love and sympathize with, die. And they don't just die HEROICALLY. Sometimes, like in real war, their deaths are stupid and meaningless and awful. In fact, one of my favorite characters, Jean is motivated to join the Scouting Legion because his friend (lover?) dies in a back alley and… they're honestly not sure it's him, he's been so disfigured. No one saw him die. And Jean becomes determined to go out in blaze of glory, because f*ck that. I also love Jean because he's a coward and admits he's scared out of his mind every time they go into battle. There's also a couple of shifter characters who bend my mind they're so awesome.
Also, if you're generally interested in non-binary gender representations in media, it's happening in SnK. Here's a Tumblr post about this character. http://teacupsandcyanide.tumblr.com/post/6
In Real Life™ news, I got put on another panel at MarCON this weekend. So, now in addition to the other Sunday (3pm?) panel, I'm also doing: Timing and Pacing, 11:00 a.m. Sunday, Krushenko's
See you there?
Plus, Anime Detour is coming up and, should it happen that I can go, I've discovered the joys of cosplaying. My hair is currently cut very boyish so, I thought, "Heh, I can finally join the legions of Ichigo Kurosaki cosplayers (I'll probably the ONLY cross player!)"
So, I got the brightest orange dye kit that was still considered "natural" (because work has one of those "natural color" stipulations in its dress code for hair), hoping to come out looking passably like this:
Instead, I turned out looking more like this:
Yeah, I thought so. *sighs* I may have missed the mark a bit. Also, my hair? Not terribly orange. Luckily, for Detour, I have a can of orange hairspray, so I can make it more obvious who I'm trying to be.... Though, you know, I'll pass for Ichigo just about as well as I passed as Renji....
Though the tats were a blast:
Shawn is soooooooo lucky that I'm allergic to metal and piss-ass poor, our I would so have the back and arm tattoos RIGHT NOW. :-)
So, yeah, my next job? Building Zangetsu!
This weekend, Mason spent part of his time at KidCON, which is naomikritzer's gaming gathering of friends. Mason came back really wanting to play Munchkin with us. We have a basic set, and I've now been tasked to pick up a booster packs, if they have them, at MarsCON. It was, admittedly, a lot of fun and totally got me jonesing for my RPGing days. And Mason is the kind of person--not unlike myself--who actually ENJOYS hearing the tales of campaigns past, so I got to tell him about Fred Fumble, the Moon-Moon of the elf world, who routinely stumbled into his campaign mates and did THEM damage during a fight. Fred's other name could have been Friendly Fire Fred.
It makes me wonder.... am I still one phone call away from a game? If I asked around, could I find a D&D/RPG going down RIGHT NOW to hook up with???
I used to joke that RPGs were my drug of choice, because if you go down the "Are you an Alcoholic/Drug Addict?" AA/NA pamphlet check list, "Do you have a hidden stash?" etc., my answers were often YES, if bent to include words like "of dice" or similar. Do you think about gaming when you're not gaming? OMG YES. Do you schedule your life/change plans with others so you can game? OMG YES. Have you ever skipped work to game? OMG YES. The big one was always, "Could you get your drug of choice with one phone call/within the hour?"
Could I? I used to be able to. I had at least two friends on speed dial that were GMs who I probably could have talked into gathering something RIGHT NOW. Actually, I bet I could... I still know gamers and their husbands/partners.
The other thing we did over the weekend was finally watch "The Wolverine." True confession time: I can't remember every single detail of the Japan Saga. I'm not even sure I ever read the Claremont & Miller original 4(?) issue miniseries in 1982 or if I caught up with Logan and Yukio later when Buscema penciled. I have only the vaguest memories of those issues, and they kind of go like this: Yukio = kick ass;
Even with so little, I still feel like the movie betrayed my SACRED MEMORIES.
I will say, the filming on location, that was beautiful. I wanted to live in all the houses they were in, particularly Mariko's bolthole in Nagasaki. I also wanted her to feed me the nabemono she cooked Wolverine when they were there.
But the rest? How did they make a cool arc so uncool?
I mean, Japan is just cool. I don't know how you mess up Japan. They even go to a love hotel and it's not nearly as funny and awkward and 'WTF, Japan?' as it should be. There is talk of honor, but, I think, ultimately, it's hollow....particularly for the one person it should never be: Wolverine.
Shawn, half way through the film, turned to me and said, "They're making Wolverine nothing more than a brutish thug." Casual fans of Wolverine might say, "And?" Isn't that his character? No, it's really not, nor has it ever been. Shawn is a much, MUCH bigger Wolverine fan than I am, but I can tell you the simple Marvel formula that sums up what Wolverine is about: Wolverine is a beast struggling to be a man.
Wolverine stories, when they're at their best, tap this core issue. I feel like (and I may be misremembering since I, frankly, remember almost nothing,) Claremont's Japan Saga and subsequent Japan arcs deal with this in a unique way--the idea of Wolverine as a ronin, as a masterless samurai. They said those words in "The Wolverine" but they never meant them. The writers of "The Wolverine" seemed to think this meant ronin = wild, lawless thug. When, in fact, ronin should equal a lost soul that desperately craves honor and a code to live by. This is a good analogy for Wolverine's constant struggle to tame his inner demon. Claremont knew that (I think.) Or, if he didn't, subsequent writers who took on the Japan Wolverine really hammered that into my subconscious.
"The Wolverine" screwed this up a number of ways. They did that thing modern superhero movies often get wrong, they focus on the super and not the HERO. At one point Wolverine comes across one of the baddies and LITERALLY thows him over a hotel balcony. We see that he's survived the fall by landing in a pool, but Yukio says, "How did you know that pool was there." Wolverine says, in full-on badass mode, "I didn't."
But, see, right attitude, WRONG MOVE. Of all the Marvel heroes, Wolverine is most-likely-to-thoughtlessly-slaughter, but a good writer makes him suffer those moments because Logan/Wolverine doesn't WANT be only a beast. Similarly, there's a moment when Wolverine sticks his chopsticks upright in the rice bowl and Mariko explains the chopstick taboo to him (which has to do with funerals and being considered bad luck/bad taste), but then he does it again.
I mean, okay, Wolverine is a brute. This is one of the reasons I never entirely cottoned to him as character in the comic books. However, I always felt that Mariko/Japan was one of the things that civilized him in a very sympathetic way. I mean, it's classic, right? The love of a woman tames the wild man. I'm pretty sure that started with Enkidu and is a total trope, but it's a good one... and it works with Wolverine, IMHO, because sometimes the love is slightly more platonic, like his relationship with Kitty Pryde. And with Mariko/Japan there was (at least in my head) this lovely combination of love and HONOR.
The movie didn't seem to even try to go there, which is weird, because it was kind of slow in places. If they were going to skip the character stuff, just SKIP IT, and go right into the ninja pile up, you know?
Ah, well, opportunities lost. Once again, Hollywood neglected to call me. I'm not sure what they're thinking when they don't tap me, honestly.
In other news, if you're curious about the other members of my writers' group, Wyrdsmiths, today on our blog Kelly McCullough is the featured interviewee. Check it out: http://wyrdsmiths.blogspot.com/2014/03/k
I want to once again thank everyone for the guest blog posts last month. They were amazing and powerful and thought-provoking. I know that you got me thinking about things I hadn’t considered before, and judging from the comments, I wasn’t the only one. Here’s the full list of posts:
- Parched – Mark Oshiro
- Boys’ Books – Katharine Kerr
- Clicking – Susan Jane Bigelow
- The Princess Problem – Charlotte Ashley
- Autism, Representation, Success – Ada Hoffmann
- Gender in Genre – Katie
- I Don’t See Color – Michi Trota
- Evil Albino Trope is Evil – Nalini Haynes
- Options – Joie Young
- Representation without Understanding – Derek Handley
- Non-binary and Not Represented – Morgan Dambergs
There were several other posts I wanted to mention in this roundup.
- Aging Children, I am one, by M. Fenn
- Lesbian Genre Fiction: The Importance of Having All 31 Flavors, by Heather Rose Jones
- The Power of Representation: SFF Saved My Life, by Nonny Blackthorne
- Spending Time with Old Sci-Fi, by James Ebert
- Disabilities in the Media and the follow-up post, Confession: I’m Part of the Problem, by Datista
The frustrating thing about blogging is that, for the most part, any given blog post has a very short lifespan. They get their moment in the spotlight, and then wander backstage to the archives. I wanted to find a way to keep these essays alive for anyone who wanted to read and share them. Which is why I spent the weekend sending contracts out to my guest bloggers and a couple of additional individuals for Invisible, an electronic anthology that will collect these essays in a more permanent form. I’m still working out the details, but each contributor will receive a token payment for their essay, with the rest of the profits going to Con or Bust. The essays will remain online for free, but the anthology will be $2.99, which seemed reasonable for a collection of this length. Here’s the cover I’ve been working on. Feedback is very much welcome. The contributor names are pixellated out because I haven’t received all of the contracts back yet. I’m excited about this. If all goes well, I’d love to make it an annual thing, both the guest blog posts and the electronic anthology.
Mirrored from Jim C. Hines.
There are also a whole bunch of other stories by fabulous authors like Jenn Reese, Greg van Eekhout, Melissa Marr, and many more.
Here's a quick excerpt from my story:
"Oh, I’ve never seen his real face," my youngest sister says. "He only comes to bed in the dark, and he turns off the electricity at night, so…." She shrugs and takes another sip of coffee, just as if she’s reporting a normal relationship quirk.
I stare at her, my coffee mug cooling in my hands. "And you never even thought to light a candle?"
"I can't," Jane says simply. "He told me the first night — it’s not allowed."
Not allowed? I share a wide-eyed can-you-believe-this look with our other sister. Bree sits back, looking horrified but letting me take the lead, as usual. I am the eldest sister, the one who’s always had to take the bad-guy role to keep us all afloat...
Read the rest of the story here. If you've ever felt a fleeting moment of sympathy for the evil older sisters in fairy tales, you might enjoy it!
(But I also want to add a quick note: this is an adult magazine, not MG or YA, so the stories - including my own story - are generally aimed at adults. I don't want to mislead anybody who came to my writing through the Kat books!)
I hope you enjoy the story if you do read it! I'm looking forward to reading all the other stories - I've already devoured Jenn Reese's story, and I'm planning to reward myself with the rest now that I've got my latest freelance audition sent off. You can read all the stories online or buy the issue as an ebook if you'd prefer to keep them on your e-reader.
In other news, MrD is back in school today after a ten-day Half Term break, and we're moving back into normal life. It was...let's just call it "challenging"...to get my latest freelance audition revised over the past ten days, but oh, it really was nice to spend so much time with my fun five-year-old. He's working on epic narrative pictures now, many of them in preparation for books he plans to write. One direct quote from this past week, as he worked on his latest book-prep picture: "Mummy, in this picture I'm drawing you as a robotic girl who does Judo. With kicking!"
But now that he's back in school, I've sent off the audition package (wish me luck!), and I'm diving back into writing as much as possible. I had so much fun writing more of the Kat novella (tentatively titled "Courting Magic") this weekend! My hopeful plan for the month is to divide my writing time between my big MG novel rewrite (Family Magic) and "Courting Magic"...and on March 25th, the day that Stolen Magic comes out in paperback in the US and Canada, I'm going to include an excerpt from "Courting Magic" in my newsletter! (If you're not already a newsletter subscriber but you'd like to be, you can sign up here - I send out newsletters veeeeery rarely, and only to make big announcements, so I promise you're not going to have your inbox flooded!)
And over on my Facebook page, we're on Day 3 of March Magic, the daily productivity party I'm hosting throughout March. (You can read the full description here.) Even if you didn't join us over the weekend, please feel free to join in any day this month - you are all very much invited! :)
Time Is The Key
March 7-9, 2014
DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Bloomington-Minneapolis South
7800 Normandale Boulevard
Bloomington, MN 55439
Send questions about MarsCon to email@example.com, we’ll do our best to send answers!
Exec Lounge (Krushenko’s)—Saturday, 11:00 am
Uber villain or bit player, what are they like? Are there any useful generalizations? Are they likely to be suicidal and does that depend on the religion or the person? ow can they make for interesting novels and stories without being stereotyped and one dimensional?
With: Naomi Kritzer, mod.; P M F Johnson, Lyda Morehouse, G. David Nordley, David E. Romm, Ozgur K. Sahin
Dull, Realistic Characters
Atrium 2 (Re(a)d Mars) — Sunday 03:00 pm
The people who really explore space and fight modern wars have a lot of self control. They don’t slam fists into spacecraft controls like Hulk Hogan. Do you have to forget about them in fiction, or can you make them interesting? And if your protagonist is like that do you just have to accept that critics will complain and press on in hopes of finding an audience that appreciates a little verisimilitude?
With: Bridget Landry, G. David Nordley, mod.; Patrick W. Marsh, Lyda Morehouse, Kathryn Sullivan
So, that seems to be the extent of it: 2 panels. One on Saturday at 11 am and the other on Sunday at 3 pm.