Oct. 17th, 2017 09:25 am
rynling: (Teh Bowz)
[personal profile] rynling
In the wake of the widespread acknowledgment that Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein sexually harassed a number of young women (and the publicization of the various attempts to silence these women), this weekend a whole host of female-gendered people on Facebook and Twitter posted status updates and tweeted with the hashtag "ME TOO," which was meant to signify that they have also experienced sexual harassment from a male colleague or supervisor.

As much as it pains me to see that so many of my friends have been harassed, I'm happy that people are speaking up about this. This is a good step in the right direction, but the problem is that it only reinforces the accepted narrative of sexual harassment without critically addressing it.

Namely, no one is particularly surprised if a man in a position of power sexually harasses or assaults a woman. "Men are trash," the narrative goes, which is not particularly fair to (what I would assume is) the majority of men who are neither powerful nor particularly misogynistic, nor to the women who were harassed presumably because they were not constantly defending themselves against the sort of behavior that they should have expected from men. Saying "ME TOO" with no context only reiterates the narrative of men as aggressors and women as victims.

What I would therefore like to accompany "ME TOO" is a loud assertion that women who do report serious incidences of sexual harassment will be listened to and supported instead of alienated and dismissed. This is not a nice or happy thing to say, but I feel that, for every crapsack man who engages in overt harassment, there are a dozen women surrounding him who would rather be shitty to another woman than to risk offending him.

I have a number of "ME TOO" stories, but one of the most upsetting involves me being ostracized by my peer group for publicly calling out a man who had been sexually harassing me and several other women in our cohort for more than half a year. None of the women in the group benefited from protecting him (quite the opposite, in fact), but the misogynistic counternarrative of "If a woman complains about a man then she just wants attention" was so strong that it persisted even in the face of clear and obvious evidence of sexual assault – and even in a group that primarily consisted of women who, to add insult to injury, WERE GETTING GRADUATE DEGREES IN SOCIAL WORK AND GENDER STUDIES. (For the record, it was a straight white cisgender man who eventually ended up shutting this asshole down, which was an A+ exercise of straight white cisgender male privilege.)

This is just a personal anecdote, but I think it illustrates a less accepted but still important aspect of sexual harassment, which is that it's often not a secret. It's not that people don't know that a certain man is being gross and hurting women, but rather that they silence any woman who tries to say or do something about it. "Men are trash" is all too often canceled out by "But women are crazy." Meanwhile, the harassment itself often serves to create power imbalances within female peer group by reinforcing stereotypes of female physical and emotional weakness that many women (understandably) don't want to be associated with.

"ME TOO" is a good start, then, but I'd really like to see it transform into a call that demands a response: "I SUPPORT YOU."

Ficlet: Fatal Error

Oct. 17th, 2017 01:40 pm
lost_spook: (dw - bill)
[personal profile] lost_spook
Title: Fatal Error
Author: [personal profile] lost_spook
Rating: All ages
Word Count: 693
Characters/Pairings: Twelfth Doctor, Clara Oswald
Notes/Warnings: None.
Summary: Letting the strangers go had clearly been a mistake…

For [personal profile] persiflage_1 in the 500 Prompts Meme: 12. Why didn't we detain them? - Twelve & Clara Oswald (DW)

Here @ AO3 | Also @ the Teaspoon
helloladies: Horseshoe icon with the words Lady Business underneath. (Default)
[personal profile] helloladies posting in [community profile] ladybusiness
Authors' Note: This review was written before either of us had watched of the second season. It is chock-full of major spoilers for S1, so proceed with caution!

Spoiler alert: we love, love, love this show. )

2017 Weekly Writing Log, Part 37

Oct. 16th, 2017 05:12 pm
rynling: (Default)
[personal profile] rynling
I haven't been feeling productive lately, but here we go...

- One of my longer book reviews just got published last week. It generated some buzz on Facebook, which people tagged me on and I did my best to keep up with. My review was fairly standard in that it highlighted the strengths of the book while merely hinting at the rough patches, but it turns out that people really dislike the author. To be honest, I once followed her for a year or two on LiveJournal. She was kind of rude to me, and I'm not a huge fan of her work either. That's no reason to be mean to her, but I am not above watching other people rip her to shreds.

- I sent in the (hopefully) final proofs of a piece that I'm publishing in an essay collection that will (hopefully) hit the market in December. The book's page just went up on Amazon, and it looks great.

- I submitted an essay on a short indie horror comic to a Halloween-themed special series hosted by a feminist pop culture blog. It should go live later this week.

- I put up a new post on my video game blog. Posting once a month isn't bad, right? I also polished some of the blog's auxiliary pages.

- I posted a three-panel comic based on the opening of the recently released 3DS remake of Mario & Luigi Superstar Saga on Tumblr. This is the first thing I've drawn on a full-size sheet of Bristol board paper, and now I can't go back. I should probably go ahead and finish the last few things I started on photocopy paper, but I'm also aiming to get another Superstar Saga comic out this coming weekend. After that, I'm going to need to devote a few days to watching Photoshop tutorials, because the process I'm currently using to color these things is extremely inefficient and time-intensive.

- I set up an art only blog on Tumblr, because why not. It still needs a lot of design work, which I guess I'll get to eventually.

- I paid for and downloaded a copy of InDesign, and this week I want to try to learn to use it.

Fake Show #1: Coffee & Curses

Oct. 15th, 2017 05:35 pm
lost_spook: (s&s - silver)
[personal profile] lost_spook
This has taken me so long to do, I feel almost embarrassed to post it, because unlike some of the more detailed ones I've done, this one was straight-forward, but it was lingering just because I couldn't work out who to cast as one character. (I'm still not sure who it was I must have had in mind, but I found a suitable stand-in. After, er, nearly all year...)

From the [community profile] isurrendered meme, [personal profile] john_amend_all gave me this prompt. If I had remembered that he threatened to do this several years ago, I would have tried to ward it off, but I didn't, so here we are:

One of those obscure centuries-old cults has a ritual: Once every hundred years, on the night of the winter solstice, the chosen one must stand at a particular place (where ley lines converge) and will become an inspired bard and prophet.

... Except that since the last ritual, an office block has been built on the site, and the mystic powers end up being bestowed on the coffee machine. Hilarity, as they say, ensues.

Which is coming to an LJ near you some time soon as:

Coffee and Curses )
julian: Picture of Julian Street. (Default)
[personal profile] julian
My very own own Senator Ed Markey, along with California Congressman Ted Lieu, has created a bill that would require authorization from Congress (either as a declaration of war or the more-common- of-late authorization of force) before a nuclear strike.

This is a wonderful bill, as it both addresses certain Trumpian problems, /and also/ reinforces that Congress is, actually, the branch that was given the power to declare war in the Constitution. This is a thing that has been taken out of their hands for a long time, which is a problem, separation of powers-wise. (The last declared war? 1942, against some Axis allies.)

I mean, also, I really truly don't think that our current president is the best person to have that kind of unalloyed power in the hands of, but that's only one reason for being so glad about this bill. (It is probably many other people's reason.)

Anyway, it's HR 699/S 200. (House/Senate version. House text.)

If you are so inclined, call your Senators and Congressfolk to urge them to pass it. (202) 224-3121, or use Resistbot. (Text the word "resist" to 50409 to begin.)

Rachelmanijia (who is spearheading this) has more info, a script, and other ideas here, and the campaign is hashtagging it up at #PullTheFootball, if you're Twitter-inclined.

If you're not American, feel free to share the info around anyway; the more folks who get this info, the better.

Various Things

Oct. 13th, 2017 09:25 pm
lost_spook: (yuletide)
[personal profile] lost_spook
1. The world out there seems set to get worse and worse in every way at the moment. I feel bad that I have nothing to offer, but frivolous fannish things, but so it is.

2. I have my Yuletide assignment, but obv. can't talk about it. I have mixed feelings about whether I can do it proper justice, but it is a fandom I love and wanted to get, and hopefully I'll manage something decent in the end.

3. In the department of inevitable irony or something, the GRO have resumed their test pilot of offering PDFs for (some) historical certificates online for £6 instead of £9.20. I had been saving birthday money for this moment since May in case it ever came. Guess who finally gave up on that ever being a thing and spent the last of the money on Sunday? Yes, me. (The wretches! The rotters!) Anyway, for those also into UK family history, it's running for three months or so this time, so don't miss out.

4. I wrote a frivolous thing for no reason at all for the first time in forever. It was, of course, still stupidly obscure. Whoever it was - at least two people, I think, or maybe three - recommended me the Daisy Dalrymple books for light mystery reading, I blame you. All/both of you. Ficlet of pure froth: Foiled (G, 490 words, Alec/Daisy.)

Yuletide 2017

Oct. 13th, 2017 03:28 pm
rynling: (Default)
[personal profile] rynling
I signed up for Yuletide this year because I'd like to write outside my comfort zone of themes and tropes, and it's been my experience that people provide lengthy and well-considered prompts for the exchange. I ended up being assigned to someone who suggested an intriguing idea, but... I'm not sure I'm actually qualified to write it?

She requested a missing scene from an event that occurs late on the third disc of Final Fantasy IX; and, as much as I love that game, and as much as I love reading fic and dōjinshi about that game, I realized that I haven't actually played it all the way to the end since 2010. I mean, the Final Fantasy fan wiki contains extremely detailed information, and I can always watch the sequence on YouTube, but I'm still feeling a bit in over my head.

Given the two months between now and the December 18 deadline, I'm sure I can write at least a thousand words of something, and I think it will probably be okay if my story is faithful to the spirit of the prompt, even if someone else who's more familiar with the game might have been better able to cater to the specifications. I'm also considering drawing fan art to go along with my fic to help make up for the fact that it's probably going to be on the shorter side. I really want to give a meaningful gift that will make the person happy, you know?

Thankfully, a slightly updated version of Final Fantasy IX was just released for PS4 last month, so I went ahead and spent the $20 to download it. Last night I played for about an hour, and it was painful. It's distressing to say this, especially since the game was remarkably beautiful for its time, but it has not aged well. The blurred pixelation of the environments is intense, and it feels even more extreme when contrasted against the updated character models. There are some neat cheats and shortcuts built right into the options menu (such as the option to max out your party's Gil and Skill Points whenever you'd like), but I don't think this makes the game any more enjoyable to play, especially since it wasn't grind-oriented to begin with. Also, I know it's sacrilegious to say this, but I've grown so used to ambient and environmental sound design that Nobuo Uematsu's score of catchy one-minute song loops is kind of annoying me.

I seem to recall that the game becomes more interesting after your party leaves Alexandria. I also remember how much I love Vivi, and I'm starting to get some ideas on how I can write Garnet as less of "a princess who wants to be free" and more of an actual human being.

Fic: Substitute

Oct. 12th, 2017 06:04 pm
lost_spook: (divide & rule)
[personal profile] lost_spook
I've been trying to finish off a few [ profile] runaway_tales things, including another AU. This one was also written for [community profile] genprompt_bingo square "Happy Endings" and [community profile] hc_bingo square "grief" and is a modern coffee shop AU. I am so proud of myself, even if maybe the coffee shop is probably too incidental. But a while ago, [ profile] oonaseckar said to me that it would probably be impossible to do a modern Edward/Julia AU and, of course, if someone says that it's impossible to write something, obviously I have to write it. (I wrote Six/Rose and Steed/Baldrick once for the same reason. Edward and Julia managing excuses to have a fake relationship and then be awkward about it in the 21st C was no problem at all.)

But I crossposted it to AO3, as I think it's a fun/sweet enough standalone piece; also it's for two other comms, and also because LJ's word limit forced me into posting it in two parts over at RaTs, which annoyed me, because clearly it isn't a work that's meant to be in two parts. I hoped I'd done enough amputation, but apparently not. (Dammit, LJ.)

Substitute (13480 words) by lost_spook
Chapters: 1/1
Fandom: Original Work
Rating: General Audiences
Warnings: No Archive Warnings Apply
Relationships: Original Female Character/Original Male Character
Characters: Julia Graves (OC), Edward Iveson (OC)
Additional Tags: Community: hc_bingo, Alternate Universe - Coffee Shops & Cafés, Romance, Grief/Mourning, Fake/Pretend Relationship, Brief mention of car accident, Community: runaway_tales, Fluff, Humor, Angst
Summary: Julia Graves has perfectly reasonable motives for fake-dating a customer – it’s all about interior decorating, honestly…

Fanwork Recs — October 12th, 2017

Oct. 12th, 2017 04:13 pm
helloladies: Gray icon with a horseshoe open side facing down with pink text underneath that says Fanwork Recs (fanwork recs)
[personal profile] helloladies posting in [community profile] ladybusiness
Fanwork is awesome and sharing fanwork is even more awesome. Join us as we keymash and squee over our favorite fanwork, from fic (both written and podfic) to art to vids and meta and back again.

If you find something you love, we encourage you to comment/favorite and let the creator know you enjoyed their work. :D o/

Recommendations included:
  • DRAMAtical Murder — art (1)

  • Hawkeye — vid (1)

  • Hidden Figures — vid (3)

  • Pride & Prejudice — vid (1)

  • Rogue One — fic (1)

  • Sense & Sensibility — vid (1)

  • Star Trek: Discovery — art (1)

Read more... )

What fanwork have you loved recently?
helloladies: Gray icon with a horseshoe open side facing down with pink text underneath that says Adventures Elsewhere (adventures elsewhere)
[personal profile] helloladies posting in [community profile] ladybusiness
Adventures Elsewhere collects our reviews, guest posts, articles, and other content we've spread across the Internet recently! See what we've been up in our other projects. :D

Read more... )


Oct. 11th, 2017 11:27 pm
owlmoose: A photo of a Highway 1 roadsign, with the California Coast in the background (california - sign)
[personal profile] owlmoose
Although I was born in the Midwest, spent much of my childhood in Iowa, and have lived in San Francisco for nearly 18 years now, I consider my hometown to be Santa Rosa, California, where my family moved when I was 13. It's where I went to junior high and high school, the city where my parents still live, and the place both my brothers went back to when it was time to go home.

And I've spent the last three days watching it burn.

This got a little long. )

Q3 Reading Goals Check-In

Oct. 10th, 2017 10:40 pm
owlmoose: (book)
[personal profile] owlmoose
So, I've fallen behind on reading. I can pinpoint two reasons for this: it's taking me a good a month to read The Stone Sky (not that it isn't very good, but I'm finding it slow going), and I find I want to spend my media time watching TV or listening to podcasts instead. There's no particular reason for this, that I can discern; it's just where my head as been at lately.

Anyway, my goals are posted here, and my last check-in, from July, is here. I have currently read 26 books, still quite a bit behind the pace to hit a goal of 50. Of these, 8 books are by authors of color, or about 30%; not great, but by author I'm at 8 out of 18, a slightly more respectable 44%. And since I've read most of the books in series I plan to read this year, I hope for that percentage to go up. Still no non-fiction (although Trevor Noah's memoir is on deck next -- I need to read it in time to give back to my aunt on Thanksgiving) or graphic novels, and I continue to fail at getting older books off my TBR. Why do great new books need to keep coming out? Why? I will never read everything ever written at this pace.

Re: Training Montage, Part Eight

Oct. 10th, 2017 09:49 am
rynling: (Teh Bowz)
[personal profile] rynling
Yesterday afternoon I went to the art supply store where I buy Copic markers to ask if they offer classes... and also to buy more Copic markers, because I love them. When I asked the woman who rung me up, she gave me a smug look and answered, "Sorry, we don't offer adult classes." The way she said "adult classes" was sort of like the way some people say "adult diapers," and it hardcore rubbed me the wrong way. I wanted to be like, Wow my bad for not spending my early twenties learning to draw, but AT LEAST I DON'T WORK IN RETAIL FOR MINIMUM WAGE. Instead I just said "Okay, thanks," bitterly satisfied by the knowledge that I routinely piss through more money than she earns in every paycheck when I go out for lunch with friends at a restaurant not two blocks from the store.


So anyway, I'm planning on calling the Washington Studio School later today to see what's the haps.

Also, I've decided that a third skill I need to focus on, along with drawing on-model characters and working on actual comic page layouts, is drawing big and beautiful men being big and beautiful, like so:

Read more... )

Training Montage, Part Eight

Oct. 9th, 2017 02:50 pm
rynling: (Gator Strut)
[personal profile] rynling
Around 7:30 on Saturday evening I posted a design sketch for Zelda in a SSB Office AU that I'm working on, and then I reblogged it on Sunday afternoon at 1:00. It didn't get many notes (three to be precise, with me reblogging it making four), which is a trend that's gradually ceasing to surprise me. The reason I used to be surprised was not because my artwork is necessarily interesting or noteworthy, but rather because anything I reblog will generally get a minimum of eight notes, and a typical note count for content I reblog is more like twenty to thirty, especially if it's something relating to Ganondorf (and then, if one of my fandom artist mutuals reblogs it from me, the post's note count can jump up by several hundred). Also, back in 2015 and 2016, even the shittiest of sketches I posted would get at least a dozen notes.

Whatever fandom goodwill I used to enjoy has dissipated, however, and now I'm facing a difficult hurtle, which is that my work needs to be good enough to surpass its association with my username. As long as I can continue to be friends with a few good people on Tumblr, I'm genuinely happy to be there, but this situation unfortunately makes gauging the success of any given piece difficult, since the feedback I'm getting right now is that everything I'm doing is bad.

It's impossible for me to work harder, because I'm already devoting as many hours as I can afford to spare every day to practice and skill development. I think that what I therefore need to do is not to work harder, but rather to figure out a way to work differently. The easiest way to do this is to find a teacher. There's an art store in downtown DC that sells Copic markers at a major discount, and every time I go in to buy more of them (I might have a problem haha) the employees are always friendly, so maybe that might be a good place to ask about classes.

I also think I need to start devoting more attention to developing two specific skill sets. First, I need to get better at drawing established characters on model; and second, I need to start drawing more sequential art, the creation of which is, after all, my end goal.

Yuletide letter (yes really)

Oct. 8th, 2017 10:50 pm
owlmoose: (Default)
[personal profile] owlmoose
Dear Yuletide author,

Thanks for writing me my very first Yuletide story ever! I'm excited to participate for the first time. While I'm sure anything you write will be great, and I included suggested prompts on my sign-up I wanted to share some of my general likes and dislikes.

In general:

My favorite fanworks are almost always grounded in canon somehow -- missing scenes, what happened before or after the story we saw, delving into someone's thoughts motivations. What-if AUs are great, too, but I prefer seeing canon as the clear jumping off point. I'm less interested in crossovers, fusions, or stories that take the characters and put them in an unfamiliar setting. I am never here for character or ship bashing, and I am particularly protective of the female characters that I love.

I love gen fic, friendship fic, family of choice fic, and romance. I tend to be more interested in het or F/F slash than in M/M slash. I tend to prefer vanilla to kinky (with the exception of threesomes), lots of feelings to porn without plot, and reality-grounded stories to crack. I dislike stories with consent issues: rape, incest, large age differences (especially if one character is a minor and the other is not), sexual situations with prepubescent children, and extreme power differentials. My favorite trope of all time is separation and reunion, and this applies to family and friends as well as lovers.

I hope this is enough to get you started! Thanks again for writing, and have fun! I'm sure as long as you love what you're doing, I'll love it, too.
owlmoose: (critical role - vex)
[personal profile] owlmoose
For more about the Something on Sunday project, see [ profile] readingtheend's post explaining her vision.

First of all, the main thing for this week is that T is home after almost two weeks away. I think I've taken a couple of nine-day trips without him since we've been together, but it's not common, and it's rare for him to travel without me at all, much less for this long. So that makes me happy: both having him around again, and not having to hold down the fort by myself.

Secondly, this week's episode of Critical Role, which I was able to watch live, was huge, and amazing, and heart-breaking, and stand-up-and-cheer awesome. Vox Machina took on their final boss, and I almost could not have hoped for more. Cut for major spoilers. )

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