Call for Prompts

Fri, Nov. 21st, 2014 11:22 am
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
[personal profile] ysabetwordsmith
[personal profile] thebonesofferalletters is hosting Stories from the Crossroads with a theme of "LGBTQA themes and/or creators and creations."  Leave prompts, get ficlets!  There are perks for donations.

Free Fiction Friday: Hide and Seek

Fri, Nov. 21st, 2014 08:23 am
me_ya_ri: white lotus flower on green water with reflection in the water (Default)
[personal profile] me_ya_ri
Another blast from the past for Free Fiction Friday: I decided to revisit Muirin's early stories with Hide and Seek. Hope you enjoy it!

Ebook Hide and Seek Cover 03

On the matriarchal world of Muirin, Dana Aravel was looking forward to a quiet afternoon spent knitting socks for his mother while everyone waited for the next ship to arrive in port. However his little sister Anwyn's bad mood destroyed that hope. She was so cranky that Aravel knew there was no chance he'd get the quiet needed for concentration.

Instead, he proposed a game of Hide and Seek for all the kids in the Dana family with the reward of a special treat to the winners. He was sure that he and Cadfael could win the game but then he was distracted first by the possibility of cookies and then by the chance to right a wrong and make his Uncle Athol happy.

All Aravel had to do was convince the adults that a marriage between Athol and his best friend Ruark would solve all their problems. A deal between the Dana and Ruark's family would benefit both sides as well as protect Ruark from the racial stigma he faced on a daily basis. It wouldn't be easy but Aravel was determined to make Uncle Athol and Ruark happy, no matter what stood in their way.

Hide and Seek

By Meyari McFarland

Aravel hummed happily as he carefully picked up the white yarn and began working it into the blue ribbing he'd knit before going down into the offices for his daily lessons. It was lovely yarn, nice and thick for the socks he was knitting for Mother. The first sock had turned out very well, the leg and sole of the foot patterned with blue and white 'X' and 'O' shapes. If he managed to copy it properly, he should have a very nice gift for Mother to wear this winter.

The light coming through the window was wan and gray. His window seat was usually a lovely place to sunbathe at this time of day but it seemed like fall had come early. Instead of warmth, cold seeped through the window to chill Aravel's left arm and leg. He tucked a pillow between his body and the window, smiling as that fixed the problem. If he kept working he might be able to finish the leg of the sock before it was time to help Father make dinner. Maybe they could have honey buns; Aravel loved how they tasted and smelled. Honey buns always made the house smell wonderfully sweet for days.

"I don't want to stay in bed!"

Aravel winced and dropped a stitch on his knitting as Anwyn's wail of outrage carried out of the bedroom and through their entire suite of rooms. He carefully picked the stitch back up but got the yarn tangled as he tried to continue knitting. His efforts to untangle the yarn sent one ball rolling off his lap onto the floor, much to Aravel's dismay. Before it rolled too far, Aravel caught it so that he could rewind the ball before continuing to knit.

He couldn't blame Anwyn for being bored and frustrated, even if her response to the restrictions made him wince. She'd been stuck in bed for eleven days now, only allowed to get up for trips to the toilet and for meals. The meals had been a new thing in the last two days after Doctor Bernice had visited and pronounced Anwyn's stomach healed enough for sitting up and solid food. That was a lovely thing that they'd all celebrated with a special meal that Anwyn got to choose.

She still had the broken ribs and ankle though. Doctor Bernice had told Anwyn that it was going to be another month before the ribs healed fully and probably another month or two after that for her ankle. Anwyn hadn't like that at all. She'd pouted every day since, trying to get out of bed whenever an opportunity presented itself.

"Annie, you'll stay in this bed or I'll call your mother up here to make you stay put," Father said sternly enough that Aravel winced from his spot on the window seat.

"But I'm bored," Anwyn whined at the top of her lungs. "I've read all my books and my back is sore from lying in bed and I want to do something, Father!"

"I know you're bored, dear," Father said almost as loudly as Anwyn. "You still don't get to get up. You could take a nap."

"But I'm not tired," Anwyn complained in a tone that made Aravel feel as though his teeth were on edge.

"Doesn't matter, you're still not getting up, Annie," Father said. "You're staying in your bunk. I'll stay with you and tell stories if you'd like."

His tone wasn't as soothing as Aravel expected. He sounded so annoyed that Aravel carefully finished winding his ball of yarn only to set down the sock he'd been knitting on the plush window seat. There didn't seem to be any sense in knitting, no matter how lovely the yarn. He'd just make a thousand mistakes that would have to be unraveled and re-knit.

Aravel stared out the window as he put the pillow back where it belonged. The cold seeping in the window mixed with the sound of the rain pounding on the window and roof. There was no chance of going outside to play today. He'd have to find something else to do.

Aravel went in search of his twin sister Raelin. Their suite of rooms were warm and bright with a common room for eating and spending time plus a kitchen that was full of the smell of rising bread. He smiled at the sour-wheat smell of the bread dough, nodding that the towel draped over the bowl was damp enough before heading to the kids' rooms.

Raelin would never hide in the little kids' room, not with Anwyn and Father still arguing about what she could and could not do. She wouldn't dare to invade Mother and Father's bedroom either. None of them were brave enough to invade their parent's sanctuary. That left the big kids' room which was their older brother Gavin's domain; unless Raelin had gone to talk to their cousins in other parts of the Dana Clan house.

Find the rest of the story over here on my WP site.

(no subject)

Fri, Nov. 21st, 2014 09:50 am
telophase: (L - strawberry WTF?)
[personal profile] telophase
I always find a flexible rubber sole to be a great feature in a candy bar.

(no subject)

Fri, Nov. 21st, 2014 09:30 am
telophase: (Default)
[personal profile] telophase
I'm making a cheapass Advent calendar for Toby...

cut for pic )

On a knitting kick. I'd say it's noticeable.

Fri, Nov. 21st, 2014 09:02 am
havocthecat: bonnie as witch, elena as doppelganger, caroline as vampire from the vampire diaries (tvd bonnie elena caroline)
[personal profile] havocthecat
There's fannish and gamer content that will be around eventually, I do promise that. It's just I have projects I want to be done with now, even though I'm nowhere close, and so I'm kind of obsessing on the knitting front.

I think the problem is that I have this shawl I'm making, based off this LaLa's simple shawl pattern, and it's really warm and cozy - and huge. I'm at the point where it's taking an hour to finish a single row, which is just a little wearing. I supposedly have two skeins of yarn left to go on this shawl, but I'm strongly considering binding off early into those two skeins and then using whatever is left of them to add to a "leftovers" blanket. (Basically a zig-zag blanket made up of whatever skeins of yarn of worsted weight that I can get at least half a dozen rows out of. I make feather and fan scarves out of leftovers that are even shorter than the zig-zag blanket leftovers, and I don't worry about thickness of the yarn for those. I like the eclectic, bohemian look.)

Some day, my whole house will be filled with luxury handknits I've made myself. Except maybe they won't be in my tv room. I love my dad, but he has a tendency to ruin blankets of any kind. It's not his fault, but I do need to take care nevertheless.

I want to make another blanket. Not a leftovers blanket, just a throw that's color-coordinated. I love knitting blankets, I've decided, and a ten stitch blanket should be portable and easily picked up as needed, especially for taking to game. I have some gorgeously soft cotton baby yarn, but no impending babies to knit for. I might make it for the kidlet, though, since he doesn't like wool yarn, but he does like blankets and things made for him. The problem, of course, is deciding which of the ten stitch blanket designs that I would like to use.

The problem is that I have two sets of possibilities that I like a little more than the soft cotton baby yarn. I have eight skeins of yarn in (mostly) coordinating shades of blues and purples (and some blacks, it's multicolor), and I have a different set of yarn in grays and blacks. Either set can be matched easily if it needs to be filled out with Cascade 220 in coordinating colors (or neutrals). So basically I have three potential blankets I could make, and I don't know which I want to.

If only I could get that damn shawl finished. Seriously, it's taking me two hours a night and I'm just getting two rows done. (Last night I got through Elementary and Vampire Diaries while knitting.) This is too much. I'm on 60 inch circs and I know it's bigger than that.

Quick Vampire Diaries spoilers. )

(no subject)

Fri, Nov. 21st, 2014 08:33 am
the_rck: figure perched in a tree with barren branches (Default)
[personal profile] the_rck
Scott went in to work early this morning and will do so again tomorrow. Somebody on third shift got fired or quit (Scott's not sure which), so they 'asked' for three people to come in early this morning. Scott will also work on Sunday. He chose that over Saturday so that he could attend Cordelia's volleyball game and be sure of getting her to the birthday party she's been invited to in the evening.

Tonight, a bunch of kids from Cordelia's class are going bowling. Cordelia wasn't sure she wanted to go because, at first, it was all boys. Now there are thirteen kids, ten boys and three girls, and she wants to go because one of her good friends is going.

I'm not sure what Scott and I will do while Cordelia is bowling. The place where it will happen is on the other side of town, and coming home won't really make sense. Maybe we'll do some early Christmas shopping. Goodness knows when we'll have time for that later. We'll have two hours tonight, and there's both a Target and a Meijer's relatively nearby. We can also go to REI and see if we can find Cordelia a sleeping pad. She really liked the one [ profile] evalerie loaned us last summer. She'd still be sleeping on it if she could. There's also some stuff at Sears that she saw and coveted and won't stop talking about.

We'll also be at loose ends tomorrow night while Cordelia's at the birthday party. That's happening in Howell, about half an hour away (it's our niece's friends party. The family party will be next weekend). We'll probably get dinner somewhere up there and do... something. More shopping would be easy enough, but I don't think we'll really need to do more shopping. Most of what we need to buy for Christmas will be bought online. There are a whole bunch of CDs Cordelia wants that I don't think we could find anywhere locally, and our gifts to family (apart from the kids) is photo calendars that Scott puts together and orders online.

I am thinking to go to Value World for one of our nieces. She's three and loves playing dress up. I remember when Cordelia was that age I found a lot of dressy dresses at Value world for a couple of dollars each and bought those for her to play with. This is probably the wrong season for that (after the holidays would be a lot better), but we might be able to find something. We need to look soon, though, because we'll have to ship whatever we buy.

I'm responsible for finding a gift for our nephew on my side (Scott does most of the gifts for the kids on his side). I have no idea what to get him. He doesn't need toys (he's an only grandchild on the other side of his family). He's not a reader; I think he really struggles with reading. Maybe I could ask the school librarian for suggestions for easy chapter books for a kid who loves Captain Underpants. She might have a better idea that I do. The only thing coming to mind right now is Peirce's Nate books, and I'm not actually sure those are the same sort of thing. I just know they're popular. I wonder if he'd like the Diary of a Wimpy Kid books? I hate those, but they're really popular, and they have a lot of pictures. Or I could just do what I did last year-- He collects, of all things, shot glasses. Last year, I sent him some University of Michigan shot glasses. Maybe I could find some Michigan State shot glasses or something (my sister, his mother, went to State, so she'd be pleased). And his birthday is in January, so I have to come up with something for that, too.


Fri, Nov. 21st, 2014 01:17 am
gorgeousnerd: #GN written in the red font from my layout on a black background. (Default)
[personal profile] gorgeousnerd
No writing update tonight - I got hit by an out-of-nowhere combo of Black Hole of Depression and a random panic attack. Crying for no reason and barely being able to breathe is so much fun, don't you think? (I actually woke up gasping halfway through my period of sleep, which means I started panicking before I even woke up. And then I went back to sleep and was still panicking when I woke up again.) But it's okay - I'm still several days ahead on NaNo precisely for this kind of reason, and I had Netflix and 1D on Jimmy Kimmel to get me through the day.

A couple thoughts on what I watched:

-My Gilmore Girls marathon is officially over! It was nice watching the finale while I was already crying, actually, since I often cry during finales and I obviously needed a good cry for no reason. End-of-show spoilers. ) Anyway, I'm pleased because, even though I went through the show quickly, it brought me closer to January - and Friends on Netflix!!! - than I thought it would. I'm going to bridge the gap with the Star Trek marathon I'll pick up again. (And maybe I'll catch up on How to Get Away With Murder now that they've hit their winter finale.)

-Netflix also has an assortment of HGTV shows, which I always enjoyed watching with my mom when I was having bad emotional days and living at home, so I watched a few episodes of their House Hunters collection tonight. I could care less about the houses - I went house hunting with my parents in 2013 and Team Sister in 2014, so I've done my fair share - but I love the people looking for houses and their real estate agents. More on House Hunters. )

Anyway. Wish the circumstances had been better, but as far as days off go, it was a nice one. TV time, good niblings time (Nibling was very sweet to me when I said I wasn't up to playing with him, and Dosling stared at me in that newbornish way when I rocked and sang to him), and time to hug cats and my stuffed animals. I just hope I wake up a little better today than I did yesterday.
azurelunatic: A baji-naji symbol.  (baji-naji)
[personal profile] azurelunatic
I am not allowed to blow things with genitals at Purple. Leaves are okay. Leaves don't have genitals. Leafs, as in the hockey players, are right out. At a distance of greater than a quarter-mile, the likelihood of an exact fix is low enough as to render nearly any angle allowable. At a distance of a quarter-mile or nearer, direction again becomes important.

It took us at least five minutes to wind the conversation to a point where I was no longer laughing too hard to drive.

Purple had parked in the other direction, and asked if he could bum a ride back to his car if I'd like him to walk me out. So that's what we did.

I managed to trip on a perfectly flat section of floor in the cafeteria. Purple finds skirts impractical and feels no need to wear them.

"Cousin Purple" is having Thanksgiving with his one friend's family.

The day was transcription, punctuated by someone's network switch going spare and getting its internet taken away. Plus the inevitable fallout from same: the "oh my god I can't reach this tool it's a network problem" and the "holy shit, how do we report an outage" and the "let us contemplate the ways in which our communication between Engineering and IT is fucked" conversation -- it was a bit of a busy day.

I explained in very small words to an IT manager (on behalf of a #VirtualH and #adventuresofstnono compatriot) why the fuck whitelisting email addresses in the tool that blocks email from unfamiliar addresses and furthermore mangles unfamiliar links, will not work for the purposes of having unfamiliar links in logs from strange servers included as text attachments not being fucking mangled by the mangler. Fuck.

Apparently my arguably passive-aggressive means of getting our friend the person incoherently in charge of the helldesk software (3rd tier, I think) to admit that a function went away, is to ask her to explain how such and such a task is accomplished with that set of permissions.

Today was my second time walking an engineer through a really poorly designed form in a way that didn't make the engineer feel stupid, but did hone the rage and hatred of everyone involved. (The first time was Mr. Zune. The 0th time was me vs. the helpdesk.) I am particularly acrimonious about this particular form as this is one of the ones where my usability concerns have been basically brushed off. It's one of the things where using it as it comes naturally is not how it's intended to be used -- if you leave any text in the terrible field before hitting the search icon because your first attempt has failed, the text in the terrible field will invisibly filter the results in the popup. And there is no way to clear the terrible field from the search popup. It makes strong-minded engineers frustrated past their safety-release-valve thresholds, and it makes me incoherent with rage and hatred, and pathetically grateful when the engineers agree just how terrible it is.

It turns out that Dolohov, as he is played in Alternity (the little bits I've seen, as I'm still intermittently catching up with Year 1) makes my inner submissive look thoughtfully around for the kneepads. (Kneeling is good for many purposes, not just the ones that would make Purple look sternly at me and ascertain that I was oriented correctly away. It was only when [personal profile] woggy mentioned a thing that I realized that this would have that implication.)

Purple swears he will remember the Catching Fire disc tomorrow.

Fishie is the perfect child because she loves the jellybeans I hate.

The guy who isn't usually at the burrito station cannot wrap a burrito properly. Jokes about his popularity amongst stoners ensued.

NaNo: not going so great (haven't really had the energy). I'm feeling OK about it.

Looking for a downswing party host

Thu, Nov. 20th, 2014 08:10 pm
staranise: A star anise floating in a cup of mint tea (Default)
[personal profile] staranise
So people have been talking about "I want a [mental health] Downswing Party but don't feel mentally well enough to host one" at [personal profile] recessional's journal, so I thought I'd ask:

Does anyone feel well enough to host a Downswing Party on their journal and make sure all the commenters play nice/people don't get forgotten?

While I'm at it I'll also remind people that ALSO, [personal profile] kaberett's love meme has nearly 700 comments, and is still accepting nominations for another week and a half. :)

Good progress

Thu, Nov. 20th, 2014 08:02 pm
badgerbag: (Default)
[personal profile] badgerbag
More PT this week. I am successfully doing the sets of exercises every day.

I still have the flu, tired and vaguely sick, fever varying between 99 and 100, yet am functional. Way more functional than when I wasn't sick but was having a flare up of joint pain. As I think this over I am undoing some hidden levels of blaming myself and worrying that it's my fault or I am specially wimpy or malingering. It is obviously not my fault and I'm tough as nails.

Also maybe I am just not hit that hard by it since I did have a flu shot.

I went out for an hour to the HRDA office party (figuring not contagious if I've had this for nearly 2 weeks) then home again and to bed.

Tomorrow, beta 11 release (specially extended for a week) And then to pain/insomnia therapy and then I will chill out and have a nap. If i feel up to it will go to stef's party. Then swim on the weekend. If I can work up to 2-3 times a week consistently it will be amazing

The portland work week hotel for 1st week of december has a pool. I am going to resolve NOT to try to go out to dinner with people. if i can last the work week sitting up and paying attention and getting back and forth to the hotel it will be ok. d. is going with me and will just work from the hotel. that is amazingly comforting as I won't be stuck and without help if things go wrong physically. and he is super comforting and good to come home to.

I can't tell right this minute if my ankles are stretchy-good hurt or actually hurt. But i ache al over . the PT today was partly some sort of weird pilates machine . and like 20 miutes of lying there trying to move just my lower abdominal muscles, which I am still not sure actually exist. holy crap that was difficult and exhausting. but awesome.

(no subject)

Thu, Nov. 20th, 2014 06:15 pm
staranise: A star anise floating in a cup of mint tea (Default)
[personal profile] staranise
I feel the need to note that when Mom was here helping me, an ongoing refrain of hers was, "BELIEVE THE PEOPLE ON THE INTERNET. THEY LIKE YOU. BELIEEEVVEE THEEEEEM."

Trans Day of Remembrance: Yoilosh

Thu, Nov. 20th, 2014 08:00 pm
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
[personal profile] ysabetwordsmith
For the Trans Day of Remembrance, I direct your attention to the Torn World character Yoilosh, a gender activist. 

EDIT: It occurs to me that I should also add, I maintain my parts of the internet as safe space, so if someone hassles you about your gender in my territory, let me know and I will deal with it.  If you're local to me and having gender issues, you can also come to me and I'll help as best I can.  Intolerance is bullshit up with which I will not put.

(no subject)

Thu, Nov. 20th, 2014 04:01 pm
ketsu: (Default)
[personal profile] ketsu
idk if it's the drugs or what but I've been really sleepy the last couple of days. I might not get a whole lot done productivity-wise for a while. Thankfully I already have a decent draft of my Yuletide fic, so that shouldn't be too tough to finish. Dunno if I'll be able to get around to doing any treats like I'd planned, though :(

(no subject)

Thu, Nov. 20th, 2014 03:31 pm
telophase: (Default)
[personal profile] telophase
Lion roaring in his sleep!

Don't make the mistake of reading the comments...a bunch of people who don't know any better keep claiming the lion's in pain, probably because they don't realize what lion roars sound like nor what a sleeping lion looks like.* He's in a wildlife sanctuary, rescued from a Bolivian circus.

* I claim to be an expert in sleeping lions, because 99% of the time, the lions we saw in Africa were sleeping!

Interview of Dialecticdreamer by Corvi

Thu, Nov. 20th, 2014 02:10 pm
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
[personal profile] ysabetwordsmith
There is a lovely mini-interview of [personal profile] dialecticdreamer by [personal profile] corvi about writing and entertainment.   Schrodinger's Heroes fans will get a big kick out of this.


Thu, Nov. 20th, 2014 01:19 pm
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
[personal profile] ysabetwordsmith
Seen at the birdfeeders this morning: a flock of 7 goldfinches all crammed onto the foot-long thistle sock.  There was some fluttering and pecking, but on the whole they share much better than most other birds, who will hog a whole side of the hopper feeder to themselves unless it's pretty cold out.

(no subject)

Thu, Nov. 20th, 2014 11:11 am
telophase: (Default)
[personal profile] telophase
Toby's parents are hosting Thanksgiving this year. I volunteered to make dessert. Suggestions for something semi-spectacular, anyone? The only caveat is that it'll be made up here on Wednesday and driven across the state on Thursday and be consumed on Friday.

I am not afraid of complicated! I've made Momofuku Milk Bar-style layer cakes before! (I'll say, however, that Toby's parents tend to be a bit conservative in tastes, so something like a rhubarb and lime pavlova will probably be eyed with suspicion. Something like a chocolate blackout cake would be more recognizable/welcome to them.)

(no subject)

Thu, Nov. 20th, 2014 12:12 pm
the_rck: figure perched in a tree with barren branches (Default)
[personal profile] the_rck
Scott's Babylon 5 group met last night. We're still not back to playing Babylon 5; I think Scott's still feeling burned out. Also, it's been long enough since we played (April or May) that none of us really remember what was going on in the game. Instead of role playing, we played Sentinels of the Multiverse. We played against a group of villains; I'm not sure what the group was called. We alternated with a villain followed by a hero followed by a villain. Scott played a superhero team. None of them had very many hit points, and he could still only use one power a turn. We came very close to dying-- one player character had two hit points left at the end-- but we managed to pull it off.

Cordelia had volleyball practice last night. Originally, the coach had cancelled it because she was sick, but another mother offered to run the practice (she coached a team last year, so she knew what to do). There were only six girls at the practice. Two girls were sick. One was out of town. The other one just didn't bother to show up (it was her mother running the practice, and she was a little peeved).

The front door to the school was locked when we arrived. Cordelia went around the building and got in through the cafeteria (where aftercare meets. At six, they're still doing pick up), but by the time she did, those of us still out front had gotten the attention of someone inside. I suspect he was a janitor; at any rate, he had a key. I'm a little annoyed with him because he listened to me talk to the mother running the practice, saying that I'd stay to let people in, and he sat there and watched me do it. Turns out, he had unlocked the stupid door when he let us in. If he'd told me that, I wouldn't have been stuck there for so long.

I did my three hours in the school library this morning. I did my usual tasks, checking books in and out and shelving. Once that was done, the librarian had me separate fliers for the Scholastic book fair that's coming up in early December. I had to count out the right number for each class, label the stack with the teacher's name, and paperclip the stack together. After I did that, she had me write names on the backs of those sticks we've been putting together with each kid's barcode and such. She thought it would be easier to find a given person's stick if their name was on both sides. The first sharpie she gave me didn't work, but the second one did. I got through an entire kindergarten class, and I think I spelled everybody's names correctly. I certainly tried very hard to.

I wrote about three sentences toward my Yuletide story yesterday. I don't know if they'll end up in the final draft, but they're a starting point, and they're more than I had before. I still don't have a plot, however. I'm hoping that the characters will suggest one if I write a bit. That often works for me. I probably won't do any further writing today because I'm expecting the cleaning lady in an hour or two (when she arrives varies). There are things I need to do before she comes.

I am wondering if I should throw in the towel on a bunch of library books (almost all graphic novels) I've had for almost eight weeks. I haven't opened any of them (well, that's not quite true-- One has print so small I can't read it. That one has to go back unread. I'll get it again later when I've got reading glasses), and I've already renewed them once. None of them have holds on them, so I could renew them again. I just don't know if I should. I don't know if more time will make me read them, and someone else might find them on the shelf and want to read them. One shouldn't hold onto library books for too long.

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