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Prompt posting begins June 1 :)





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Minerva_Fest!


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I'm back, at least physically

My god am I glad the last two months are over. Major projects behind or plunging into crisis mode at work (again, or still, depending on your point of view), a visit to my mom (which was lovely but included much discussion of legal/estate stuff, which always depresses me), a conference whereat not only was I on the Board of Directors but I had to teach a brand new workshop I'd never taught before, my godson graduating high school (there is NO WAY he is that old, it's impossible), taking on co-mod responsibilities for my online writing group, an overflow of editing work for my freelance clients, Marvin the laptop died and I had to migrate my entire life onto Marvin II...arrgghh. I'm sure there were other things but I must have blocked them out in a vain attempt at mental self-defense. They'll probably surface later and cause me to leap up screaming at some awkward moment. In the middle of dinner, say, or while at the theatre.

Somewhere along the line, though, I did manage to watch the last season of Mad Men -- what a wild ride that was! -- and last night I finally got caught up on Wolf Hall. I want to have Mark Rylance's babies.

Now all I have left to do is finish my sshg_promptfest fic which is due in nine days, get ready for my trip west for nursedarry's dad's 100th birthday (!!), and write a paper for a conference in August. It'll be like shooting fish in a barrel.

And of course I have to catch up on what's new with all of YOU, my flist. So, what's the single most interesting thing that's happened to each of you in the past two months, since I abandoned you all in the middle of March? Tell, tell!

Another drive-by post...

...because a Certain Someone (::waves at teddyradiator::) likes keys and I found these on Etsy and had to share:

Keys of Azhar
Keys to Atlantis

I devoutly hope to be back on LJ more regularly in another week or so. I have been so busy with freelance work, regular work, co-mod duties for my writing group, prepping for teaching a workshop in a couple of weeks, and getting everything settled for my upcoming two weeks of vacation that I have had zero time for anything else. Not only have I not posted here, I have not even had time to read and so have no idea what's going on with y'all (though I did catch shiv5468's post about the hoo-ha fairy which made me laugh immoderately). I hope everyone is well and happy.

In other news, it's actually really truly finally spring here!!!!!!

Drive-by post

because real life has taken over for the moment, but I had to recommend this article which rebuts accusations that the new Cinderella movie (which is AWESOME, how could it not be because KENNETH BRANAGH) is anti-feminist:

...What absolute rubbish. Once again, the idea of “feminist media” has been twisted around, so that anything short of sassy female characters dishing out one-liners and kicking butt is seen as “weak” and “anti-feminist.”...Cinderella’s great strength is not just that she stands up to her stepmother in the end. It’s also that she retains her own kindness, remains true to her personality — she doesn’t have to become someone she’s not to escape...

Read the rest ==>

So many tasty prompts!!!

The prompt review post is up over at sshg_promptfest, and there are some excellent ones. As a tribute to Sir Terry Pratchett, the fest particularly invited Discworld crossover prompts and I think we have outdone ourselves. Go ye and marvel!

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Farewell, Sir Terry

DON'T THINK OF IT AS DYING, said Death.
JUST THINK OF IT AS LEAVING EARLY TO AVOID THE RUSH.

-- Terry Pratchett, Good Omens

Sir Terry Pratchett, renowned fantasy author, dies aged 66
You will be missed...


“All right," said Susan. "I'm not stupid. You're saying humans need... fantasies to make life bearable."

REALLY? AS IF IT WAS SOME KIND OF PINK PILL? NO. HUMANS NEED FANTASY TO BE HUMAN. TO BE THE PLACE WHERE THE FALLING ANGEL MEETS THE RISING APE.

"Tooth fairies? Hogfathers? Little—"

YES. AS PRACTICE. YOU HAVE TO START OUT LEARNING TO BELIEVE THE LITTLE LIES.

"So we can believe the big ones?"

YES. JUSTICE. MERCY. DUTY. THAT SORT OF THING.

"They're not the same at all!"

YOU THINK SO? THEN TAKE THE UNIVERSE AND GRIND IT DOWN TO THE FINEST POWDER AND SIEVE IT THROUGH THE FINEST SIEVE AND THEN SHOW ME ONE ATOM OF JUSTICE, ONE MOLECULE OF MERCY. AND YET— Death waved a hand. AND YET YOU ACT AS IF THERE IS SOME IDEAL ORDER IN THE WORLD, AS IF THERE IS SOME...SOME RIGHTNESS IN THE UNIVERSE BY WHICH IT MAY BE JUDGED.

"Yes, but people have got to believe that, or what's the point—"

MY POINT EXACTLY.

-- Terry Pratchett, Hogfather

Four...four...four...four...

Day 1 - Ten random facts about yourself
Day 2 - Nine things you do everyday
Day 3 - Eight things that annoy you
Day 4 - Seven fears/phobias
Day 5 - Six songs that you’re addicted to
Day 6 - Five things you can’t live without

Day 7 - Four memories you won’t forget
Day 8 - Three words you can’t go a day without
Day 9 - Two things you wish you could do
Day 10 - One person you can trust

First, last, and always: The night I met Mr Psmith. It was at an Irish pub; he knew all the words to the songs, he made me laugh (he was wearing this Renaissance-y shirt with big sleeves and greeted me with, "Ola! Mi llamo Fernando!"), he quoted both Monty Python and Amadeus at me, and that was pretty much all she wrote :) It was in February and our first date a week later for sushi came in the middle of a colossal blizzard, but he drove forty miles through it to meet me... I think everyone has vivid memories of the night they met their Significant Other, the person who changed your life for the better and became your best friend and companion. How could you not?

So I'll do four besides that one. These are the first four that come to mind, in chronological order:

1) When I was in first grade, a little boy in my class -- Todd -- lost his entire family in a house fire: mother, father, four brothers and sisters. Only he and his little brother survived, because the parents put them out the master bedroom window onto the garage roof just before the floor of the room gave way. I remember the headline in the paper the next day was, "I heard my toys falling." But of course it wasn't toys... They lived just down the block from my best friend Erica and the fire happened right around Halloween. A few days later we went to Erica's house -- I don't remember if we were picking her up or dropping me off -- and drove right past Todd's house. The house was a blackened ruin, the roof collapsed, the big bay window in the living room blown out, and sitting on the sill was a half-burned jack-o-lantern. Real horror movie stuff, eh? Todd never came back to school; he and his little brother went to live with relatives, I suppose. To this day I wonder about them, where they went and where they are today.

2) My first day of Catholic school, in third grade. We're not remotely Catholic, but my mom decided to send me to a Catholic school that year, I guess because it was a really good school. My first day, in Sister Marie Helen's homeroom, we started off with the pledge of allegiance which I knew very well. Then we did the Lord's Prayer, which I sort of knew from occasional forays to church on Christmas and Easter. Then they all launched into "Hail, Mary, full of grace" which for all I knew might have been the school fight song. Sister Marie Helen, a chubby little woman (and if she looked little to ME, who was three feet tall for about three years straight, you know she was tiny), came bustling over to me with this very worried look. "What's wrong, dear? Don't you want to say the hail Mary with us?" she said. I looked around at all the staring little faces, then down at my shoes and mumbled, "I don't know it." I looked up to see a look of appalled horror on her face, like "Oh, the poor little heathen thing!" and she told off one of the other students to take me into a corner and teach it to me. I spent two years at St. John's but I'll never forget that feeling of being an utter alien, where everyone else knew something I didn't. (Sister Benedicta's penmanship class was a whole 'nother kind of unforgettable...)

3) The night I suddenly realized that grown-ups weren't some alien species but just varying degrees further along the continuum than me. I was twelve and had been babysitting for a young couple -- they couldn't have been more than 22 or 23, but of course they were GROWN-UPS so they seemed old and serious -- and afterwards the husband drove me home. I was pretty shy and didn't say much, but about halfway home he said, "Oh hey, do you mind if I turn this up? I really like this song." Of course I said no, I didn't mind. I had just discovered popular music and the song was "My Sharona", which I LOVED, and as the radio thumped out the beat and he sang along with it and kept time on the steering wheel, it was like this window opened up and I realized that grown-ups were actual people that might like some of the same things I liked. It was a real paradigm shift.

4) The night I met my first boyfriend. I was fourteen and we met at a German Club party in high school (yes, German Club -- as John Bender would say, "Demented and sad, but social" lol). He was a year ahead of me in school, and since I skipped a year when I was young that made him two years older, which seemed so grown up to me at the time. I thought he was so handsome, big blue eyes and shaggy tousled brown hair. When he dared me to guess his last name, I got it on the first try (Alexander). He drove me home in his forest-green Plymouth Satellite, blasting AC/DC's "Hell's Bells" at ear-shattering decibels the entire way, and I think I was in love before we got to my house :) We ended up dating for two years. He was sweet and warm and funny and smart and loving and kind, and although we ended up going our separate ways, I will always be grateful to him that my first love was a good one.

Hooray for us!!!

Today is the first International Fanworks Day!! Created by the Organization for Transformative Works (the folks who brought us AO3), it's a day to celebrate the creativity that abounds in fandom. Both The Mary Sue and AO3 have great suggestions for how to celebrate it, so pour yourself a glass of wine, pat yourself on the back, and enjoy!

Five things for the sixth day

Day 1 - Ten random facts about yourself
Day 2 - Nine things you do everyday
Day 3 - Eight things that annoy you
Day 4 - Seven fears/phobias
Day 5 - Six songs that you’re addicted to

Day 6 - Five things you can’t live without
Day 7 - Four memories you won’t forget
Day 8 - Three words you can’t go a day without
Day 9 - Two things you wish you could do
Day 10 - One person you can trust

"Can't live without" is pretty strong. I'm not sure there's anything I truly couldn't manage to live without, other than Maslow's basics: air, water, food, clothing and shelter. So assuming this actually means "Things without which my life would be unbearably dreary, featureless and grim," I shall go with these:

1) Family
2) Reading and writing (sorry, can't separate these two)
3) Music (if I haven't got any, I'll make some)
4) Cats (for companionship, they cannot be beat)
5) Wine or tea (I'm torn on this one, they're so mood-dependent)

Memeness, Day 5: Music

Day 1 - Ten random facts about yourself
Day 2 - Nine things you do everyday
Day 3 - Eight things that annoy you
Day 4 - Seven fears/phobias

Day 5 - Six songs that you’re addicted to
Day 6 - Five things you can’t live without
Day 7 - Four memories you won’t forget
Day 8 - Three words you can’t go a day without
Day 9 - Two things you wish you could do
Day 10 - One person you can trust

Another tough one! I have so many; music has always been a big part of my life. Here are six that I can listen to over and over and never get tired of them.

1) Queen, In the Year of 39. I love the way this song hints at a much larger, much more complicated story. Why did they have to go off searching for other planets? Where were they from? Who were the volunteers? Why did he leave her behind? So many questions. I keep hoping someone will write the story to go with it. Their Seven Seas of Rhye is the same way: anything that has beings descending from the sky saying, "I command your very souls, you unbelievers" just demands a kickass story to go with it. And oh god, that piano...

2) Loreena Mckennit, The Highwayman. This one tells a complete story, and it breaks my heart every time. I loved the poem from the time I read it in high school and was thrilled to discover the song, even though it's so sad.

3) Meat Loaf, Hot Summer Night. Just a damn good rock anthem. It's hard to beat the Loaf.

4) Runrig, The Summer Walkers. As a manuscripts librarian, this song had me at the phrase "archive gold." A gorgeous meditation on how things used to be, and how they are, and what we've lost.

5) Nightwish, I Wish I Had An Angel. Symphonic metal at its best: lush, heavy, thumping, operatic and gorgeous.

6) Warren Zevon, Accidentally Like a Martyr. This one carries a lot of bittersweet memories for me, which I suppose is exactly why it has stuck with me for so long.

There are a lot more, of course: The Mingulay Boat Song, a perennial favorite at the final pub sing; A Sailor's Prayer for the strength of its lyrics; and just recently I've become obsessed with Leonard Cohen's Come Healing.

But if I don't stop now I'll just go on and on and on, so I'd better hie me off to bed :)

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