Dreamwidth News: 1 Dec 2015

Dec. 1st, 2015 03:43 am
denise: Image: Me, facing away from camera, on top of the Castel Sant'Angelo in Rome (Default)
[staff profile] denise posting in [site community profile] dw_news
Hello, Dreamwidth!

It's December, and those of you who have been around for a while know what that means: the December Holiday Points Bonus!

All Dreamwidth Shop orders of paid time or points made (by a logged-in account) between now and midnight UTC on December 31 will get a 10% points bonus for you to save or spend in the future. For instance, if you buy a 12-month paid account (350 points), you'll get another 35 points once the order is complete for you to use on a future order.

This bonus only applies to orders of paid time or points -- bonus icons and rename tokens don't receive points bonuses. If you buy paid time or points for a friend, the bonus points will go to you, not to them.

The holiday points bonus is our way of saying "thank you" for continuing to support Dreamwidth. Our income comes entirely from you -- we have no advertising, no outside investors, and no venture capital, so you know that the decisions we make are always 100% in your best interest. Thank you to everyone who's bought paid time, extra services, or points this year. You make it possible for us to keep the site running for everyone, and we love you for it.

As 2015 draws to a close -- it's hard to believe we're finishing up our sixth year of Dreamwidth! -- we'd like to wish a very happy set of holidays to you, no matter what winter holidays you celebrate. Here's to an awesome 2016.

(EDIT: Also, there was a brief problem with the promotion not properly adding the bonus points to your account -- that's been fixed, and I'm manually applying the bonus points for the accounts/orders that were affected.)

While I have you here, I'd also like to highlight some of the changes we've made over the last few code pushes in case you've missed them:

An incomplete list of the improvements we've made )

We've also had a request for another round of the Great Community Rec-O-Matic! For those who weren't around last time we did this: it's a great way to get recommendations for communities to participate in that you might enjoy.

Here's how it works:

* If you're looking for new communities to join, comment here with a list of some of your interests, and the kind of community you enjoy reading and participating in.

* Or, read through the other comments and see what things other people are listing. If you see someone you think would be a perfect match for a community you admin or participate in, comment back to them and point them at the community!

(Comment notifications may be delayed for up to an hour or two, due to the high volume of notifications generated after an update is posted to [site community profile] dw_news. This was posted at 3:45AM EST (see in your time zone). Please don't worry about delayed notifications until at least two hours after that.)

All Singing, All the Time

Nov. 30th, 2015 08:36 am
oracne: turtle (Default)
[personal profile] oracne
Today begins a singing marathon for me - rehearsal tonight, dress rehearsal tomorrow night, concert Wednesday night. The extra rehearsal is because this is the concert with the seven commission pieces, some of which are not short or easy.

We want to feel confident in them before the composers show up at the dress rehearsal to hear their pieces for the first time. Because of later WWFM broadcast, we might also be doing "better safe than sorry" recordings on Tuesday, in case anything goes awry during the actual performance.

So this means I have no free time at all for the next three days, so no workouts. Today and tomorrow, at least, I should be able to have a shower at the gym before I take the trolley to rehearsal. Wednesday, it will be straight from dayjob to warmup, with a brief stop to get snacks for the reception that follows.

Thursday is my annual doctor's appointment. I am pretty sure I have not managed to improve my blood sugar results since last year, given my efforts have been exceedingly half-assed in that regard. That's on me.

Thursday is the earliest I'll be able to go to the gym - I want to go Thursday and Friday both, even if all I do is cardio. It does not surprise me that I did not exercise unduly over the long weekend; I ate instead. I ate a lot of delicious Thanksgiving food. And I'm not sorry.

AKA Jessica Jones 1.1 - 1.6

Nov. 29th, 2015 11:02 am
oracne: turtle (Default)
[personal profile] oracne
Some spoilers ahead.

I mainlined the first six episodes of AKA Jessica Jones with C. yesterday - I am really, really enjoying it, and there are enough differences from the comic that I can't be sure where some things are going.

1. You can really, really tell the series creator, Melissa Rosenberg, is a woman. So many female characters! One of them is even gender-swapped from the comics! Female characters who have problems other than men! (True, the villain is a man, and they have problems with him, but that is not the same as relationship problems; the relationship problems in the series are between a lesbian couple.) I noted to C. that I had never seen a show with so many lesbians - a main character and her two relationships, plus a minor character in a prison. She noted that Jessica's relationship with Luke Cage is a gender-reversal of what one usually sees; Jessica's the emotionally closed-off one who runs away, Luke also hides his feelings to some extent but is more emotionally attuned to what is going on and more likely to expose his feelings.

Jessica's relationship with her best friend, Trish Walker, is a thing of beauty and a joy forever.

Also, there is a scene with Jessica in the shower, and the camera never goes lower than her upper arm, where she had been shot in a previous scene.

And Robin Weigert is in it! As Jeri Hogarth's estranged wife. She is really excellent in a small part. I had seen her before in Life and Deadwood.

2. Krysten Ritter still seems a little too young to me, but not as much as before - she's really good in the part, as is Mike Colter as Luke Cage. I am guessing that Luke's father/brother angst from the comics (his comics, not Alias) might have been removed, and the wife angst substituted. But of course his own series might still include that storyline. His origin story is shortened to "experiment." He is very nice eye candy, aside from being a good actor.

3. You can really tell they filmed in NYC. That adds a lot; I saw places where I'd actually been, and that adds some layer of mental reality to the mystery.

4. The noir mystery plot does not feel episodic, especially in comparison to Daredevil; the story ebbs and flows, and it's clear the Kilgrave story is a thirteen-episode arc. Some of the episode-ending moments were not "BANG!" but "Hmmm," or "Oh." If that makes any sense.

5. I really like Jessica's neighbor, Malcolm Ducasse, and am terrified he will get killed off. He's not a comics character, so far as I know.

Thanksgiving Weekend

Nov. 27th, 2015 08:22 am
oracne: turtle (Default)
[personal profile] oracne
I usually spend Thanksgiving with a college friend in NYC, but this year they're moving house, so we're going to do another weekend once the chaos is over.

Staying home has been great so far. Drinking Cocoa and her family transported me to morning and lunch with a college friend and her houseful, including the Adorable Tots - I got to meet the college friend's brother for the first time! Very exciting! - and then headed a few blocks over with the Cocoas and Ms. 7 to the home of tgoh, who also fed us (I ate less). Then, together with her visiting friend from middle school, tgoh was worn into exhaustion by Ms. 7, who was full of energy all day. Me, I petted the cats belonging to her traveling roommates, which was lovely but resulted in me having to take two Benadryl when I got home, so I could stop coughing from nonstop post-nasal drip.

Today, Ms. 7 and I are going to the Philadelphia Museum of Art. Saturday will be a Jessica Jones extravaganza with C. and maybe some other folks, interspersed with more food. Sunday is Second Thanksgiving with the Cocoas and college friend and her family.

This will all be a nice break before the final choir push of the season - I have rehearsal Monday night, dress rehearsal Tuesday night, and our concert featuring commission pieces on Wednesday.

i need an adult...

Nov. 26th, 2015 11:00 pm
klgaffney: (Default)
[personal profile] klgaffney
Thanksgiving started reasonably well.

Then we went out to the firepit. I ended up with Bucky hair because I forgot to put my hair band in and my hair does whatever it wants, and apparently what it wanted right then and there was to be in my face. Then my SiL gave me a giant marshmallow to roast and a glass of wine. Somehow this ended with me covered with marshmallow; marshmallow all over my face, my hand, and also, all tangled up in my hair. No one was quite sure how this happened, including myself, but Things Looked Bad For Our Hero. My SiL stopped pointing and laughing long enough to yelp "Help, we need an adult!"

And W came and looked at me for a full 30 seconds, then turned around and walked away, because honestly. My BiL was helpful and tried to give me a cigar, but I didn't want to try to cut it or anything with his implements, because see: covered with marshmallow. So SiL called for another adult, and W came back. Between the two adults, they managed to supply me with fire (Although I'm not sure that anyone except my SiL thought THAT was a good idea....), but I was quite content to sit by the fire, and drink wine, and smoke and eat whatever of the toasted marshmallow that actually made it into my mouth.

Miss Mousie decided that this was a good time to start relating all the other times I've failed to adult properly in her presence, like the Time I Came Over To Her GF's House, in which I ended up sitting out back drinking with her mom and dad and friends, cackling like idiots, until eventually Miss Mousie called home at around 3 am and told W that he should really come get us (preferably before the police did).

It was a good time though, and I'm a great aunt again, this time to yet another pair of twins, a boy and a girl; this was my first time seeing them since they are born. They are about 5 months old and quite adorable. My own D00m!Twins are trying to decide what they want to teach their new padawans first.

Anywho, I am off to get ready to bed, as I have to go in to the office tomorrow and make sure Florida doesn't implode simply because I'm not there to watch over it. Little does anyone know I am actively plotting to make sure it does, in fact, sink to the bottom of the ocean. That might reduce the number of violations coming in each week to a number approaching reasonable.

I can dream, anyway.


Nov. 26th, 2015 11:08 am
jolantru: (Default)
[personal profile] jolantru
I do not celebrate Thanksgiving in the American tradition. Growing up though, I have had the opportunity to celebrate Thanksgiving in school as it was a mission school and gratitude to God/the Divine was part of … well… learning. So, whenever the school year ended, we would have a Thanksgiving service in our school chapel.

I think giving thanks is a rare and oft-ignored value. Gratefulness, gratitude, all these are often not acknowledged because the world is horrible, everyone is rude and things are not going your way. It’s easy to dismiss such sentiments as lazy. Yet we are all caught up in this rush, this perpetual race to something, be it a destination, a goal, a job, school, family obligations, greed, pride, etc. We all forget, I think, to be thankful or see the little blessings in our paths.

Being a writer on top of being a teacher or a mom or a daughter is a tricky thing. There are years when your writing runs dry, acceptances are scarce and your rejection list is a scroll. For many writers, the ability to write, to submit and to garner deals/acceptances/accolades, is tied so tightly and intrinsically to self/identity, so much so that depression and pain sets in when things do not go our way. I don’t want to sound sanctimonious (and many people do, for some strange reason) when other writers experience such things in their journeys. I have heard horrible one-liners like “Don’t give up” and – the odd – “Be thankful!”. I don’t know how these one-liners would help an already-grieving writer. Do you give the writer warmth if he or she needs it? Do you give the writer food if he or she is hungry?

Anyway… what I want to say is that it is hard and I acknowledge it and accept it. It is not a easy path to walk. So, I focus on little blessings, tiny tiny gold nuggets or shiny things or beautiful flowers along my way. And no, this is not going to be a list of “OMG, I have these things done!”.

For me, gratitude is the little passion flower I see along the way.

For me, gratitude is the blue skies after a rainy day.

For me, gratitude is my daughters’ hugs.

For me, gratitude is my chilli plant finally blossoming and growing chilli.

Gratitude is the physical and tangible things I see.

What do you see?


Nov. 25th, 2015 09:38 am
phoenixchilde: Steve Rogers in WWII uniform, facing away from the camera with his shield on his back (mcu: the war was in color)
[personal profile] phoenixchilde
The Civil War trailer dropped this morning.

OH GOD. OH MY GOD. I'm screaming about this on every social media outlet I have and I don't care because I am the Wicked Witch of the West melting under the Niagara Falls of my feelings. KASFJLKSLAKASAK.


...okay, I took off work today because my extended family arrived in town last night, but I'm about to head over to my mom's and HOW CAN I FAMILY UNDER THESE CONDITIONS

(Totally just put on my Captain America cardigan. Hell yeah.)

Wednesday Reading

Nov. 25th, 2015 09:05 am
oracne: turtle (Default)
[personal profile] oracne
I finished my reread of The Curse of Chalion by Lois McMaster Bujold, and then promptly fell into another reading slump. I've been catching up on issues of The Economist instead of proceeding with my in-progress nonfiction.

In fanfiction, I betaed Reanimation of the Corpse Soldier by nwhepcat, an intriguing variant on the Bucky Recovery story in which he's reading the Imperial Radch books and making connections with his own life. (I've only read the first of that trilogy, but it made sense to me.)

I've also been working my way through a series of Equalizer stories by LindaO, featuring original female characters; it's set when the show aired (late 1980s, early 1990s) and mixes spy adventure with romance and angst. I'm not sure I'd recommend it to everyone; it goes a bit over the top sometimes. But I've mostly been enjoying it.

5 Good Things

Nov. 24th, 2015 08:44 am
oracne: turtle (Default)
[personal profile] oracne
1. Last night, I did 75 pushups! They are still lopsided due to my right elbow not bending enough at that angle, but I did them! Goal is 100, again. Am thinking maybe I should go back to the elbow stretches I did for PT, when the break was healing.

2. The Adorable Tots came to Philcon! They walked into the Game Room and never wanted to leave; I got to visit them and accompanying parent when I wasn't on panels. They met a Cthulu puppet therein and Ms. 7 fell in love, cuddling it and wiggling its mouth tentacles and calling it "Thing." Yes, I am getting her one for Xmas. I take comfort in knowing how very horrified nasty Lovecraft would be at all the jokes about his creation, not to mention that he didn't get any of the profit from all these tie-ins.

3. I have days off for Thanksgiving! I am not traveling this year, for the first time in decades, and am looking forward to relaxing.

4. I am totally looking forward to watching AKA Jessica Jones with C. on Saturday. So excited.

5. I am beta-reading a fanfiction story and it is so good and I love it. I don't seem to have the urge to write fanfic any more, but I do love the genre and participating makes it even better.

The plaintive cry of the fan

Nov. 23rd, 2015 08:36 am
oracne: turtle (Default)
[personal profile] oracne

code push done!

Nov. 22nd, 2015 07:32 pm
karzilla: a green fist above the word SMASH! (Default)
[staff profile] karzilla posting in [site community profile] dw_maintenance
We're updating the site momentarily! Once the dust settles, please let us know if anything isn't working as expected. I'll edit the entry here if we confirm any issues.

Update, 21:45: All done!

Code push!

Nov. 22nd, 2015 01:03 pm
karzilla: a green fist above the word SMASH! (Default)
[staff profile] karzilla posting in [site community profile] dw_maintenance
We are planning to do a code push in about six hours, around 5pm Pacific time.

Most of the changes with this push are cleanup and small backend fixes, but we also have a new journal style called "Pattern" with 24 themes for you to choose from, and most excitingly, QuickReply has now been enabled for journal, day, and network views.

We'll update again to let you know when the code push is in progress!

Philcon 2015 Schedule

Nov. 20th, 2015 08:41 am
oracne: turtle (Default)
[personal profile] oracne
Philcon starts today, but I won't be there until tomorrow.

Sat 11:00 AM, Plaza I
"The Legend of Korra"

Victoria Janssen (moderator), Brandon Wright, Laura Kovalcin, Hakira D'Almah, Savan Gupta

While its prequel show "The Last Airbender" had strong appeal for both younger and older fans, Korra - with its older cast and more mature themes - was clearly not intended just for children. Set seventy years after the events of The Last Airbender in a world heavily influenced by both the jazz era and the steampunk aesthetic, our protagonist struggled not with a mere invading army, but with politics, ideological zealots, and the very nature of her world's reality changing. Managing to explore relationship dynamics without being cliched, the writers of Korra ultimately wound up giving her a happy ending that few would expect to see in an American animated tv show. So what's next for the Avatar?

Sat 3:00 PM, Crystal Ballroom Two
"Sherlock Holmes in the 21st Century"

Hildy Silverman (moderator), Melissa James, Anastasia Klimchynskaya, Victoria Janssen, Steve Vertlieb

There's been a lot of activity centered around 221B Baker Street in the last few years. Which adaptations are trying to keep characterizations and plot elements as close to canon as possible, and which are just using the original stories as a jumping-off point? And perhaps most importantly, which ones have you enjoyed the most?

Sun 12:00 PM, Plaza IV
"Romance Novels with SF versus SF Novels with Romance"
Victoria Janssen (moderator), D. Renee Bagby, Michael L. Brachman, D.L. Carter, Maureen O. Betita

When is a romance a plot element, and when is it genre-defining?

Sun 1:00 PM, Plaza V
"Fans, Fiction, and the Formative Years"
Lynati (moderator), Tony Finan, Victoria Janssen, Joseph Berenato

What stories made you first realize something new about yourself? When mainstream media doesn't depict the kind of person you are, where do you turn to find characters you identify with?


Nov. 20th, 2015 02:41 pm
jolantru: (Default)
[personal profile] jolantru
Embarking on new things is frightening because the land is uncharted and there is no one to help you. You are on your own.

LosCon Schedule

Nov. 19th, 2015 07:36 pm
jhameia: ME! (Default)
[personal profile] jhameia
So, I got my LosCon schedule! I'm on 6 items, which means I'm overscheduled. Oh well!

FRI 11:30 am - 1:00 pm, Boston: Sino-SciFi and Techno-Orientalism Science fiction and fantasy has always been part of the cultural landscape of Eastern Asia. With Liu Cixin's THREE BODY PROBLEM finding fame abroad, what are the challenges of the Chinese science fiction writer and/or fan, at home and in the diaspora? What common influences do we share, and where do we diverge as our experience of Chineseness affect our work? Come hear about these issues from the mouths of Chinese writers of varying backgrounds. Jaymee Goh, Laurie Tom, Rafaela Yilun Fan

FRI 1:00 pm - 2:30 pm, Marquis 3 (DEMO ROOM), Atlanta: Where Does The Good Ship Heart Of Gold Go? Conceivably, anywhere. Bring some stuff for inspiration (e.g. Cards Against Humanity, but any prompting prop that can be shared will do), gather around, and based on what we get, write some quick flash fiction describing where the Heart of Gold goes to! Later we'll draw a nice galactic map and fill it in with her itinerary. Jaymee Goh

SAT 11:30 am - 1:00 pm, Atlanta: Fans of Color: Across Experiences Fans come from various cultural backgrounds! Fans of color will discuss what being a fan of colour in the U.S. is like: how we got into SFF, what makes it difficult being a SFF fan, how we deal with problems specific to us. Jaymee Goh, Isabel Schechter, Eric Atkinson, Arturo Garcia, Gregg Castro

SAT 4:00 pm - 5:30 pm, Atlanta: Octavia E. Butler and Emergent Strategy Session Octavia E. Butler's life and writing can be read as case studies with powerful strategies for adaptation, survival, and more. As people come together to discuss the impact of her work we can find meaningful connections between her writing and the speculative realities we wish to live in. Participants are invited to grow together through her work, exchange ideas and hear more about how her life inspired her work. Participants will leave with a new ways of approaching Octavia's work, being in community, and applying emergent strategies to their own lives and goals. Jaymee Goh, Ayana Jamieson

SAT 10:30 pm - 11:59 pm, Atlanta: Sexy vs Sexualized When does the depiction of a heroine stop being sexy and become sexualized? How would you dress you heroine for style and practicality? Jim Hines, Maria Alexander, Jaymee Goh, Martin Young, Rafaela Yilun Fan

SUN 1:00 pm - 2:30 pm, Atlanta: Liu Cixin's Three Body Problem This Chinese novel, translated by Ken Liu, is the first Asian novel to win the Hugo Award for Best Novel! This is THE panel to discuss it: how does it compare to Western novels? What are the differences of reading it in the original Chinese versus the translation? Jaymee Goh, Mingming Liu, Rafaela Yilun Fan

I pitched about four of these panels, and there are at least two other panels I pitched which I didn't end up on, but all my recommended people have got invites and so I'm stoked! My acquaintance Ajani Brown also pitched a BUNCH of panels and Q&A featuring local POC talent which will be so awesome. It's going to be a better LosCon than last year's, which was really really white and old.

Also, when I'm not paneling or napping, I'll be at Fan Table #9! For San Juan in 2017. And helping with the Vote SJ in KC party on Saturday night.

Book Sampling!

Nov. 19th, 2015 08:59 am
oracne: turtle (Default)
[personal profile] oracne
I decided yesterday that instead of trying to pick what to buy from my immense book wishlist, I would take advantage of the free samples, and then ruthlessly delete anything from the list that did not grab me in that short amount of text (assuming there isn't so much front matter that I don't actually get any story).

This could take a while. I'm still doing a Chalion re-read, so I might not start actually reading the samples until after. But I think I will report on them here. If you loved/hated any one of these, feel free to tell me!

This is what I downloaded:

--The Sorcerer of the Wildeeps by Kai Ashante Wilson
--The Watchmaker of Filigree Street by Natasha Pulley
--The Signature of All Things by Elizabeth Gilbert
-- Signal to Noise by Silvia Moreno-Garcia
--The Myriad: Tour of the Merrimack #1 by R. M. Meluch
--Blanche on the Lam: A Blanche White Mystery by Barbara Neely
--The Complete Check Your Luck Agency by KS Augustin
--An Ember in the Ashes by Sabaa Tahir
--The Grass King's Concubine by Kari Sperring
--One Night in Sixes by Arianne 'Tex' Thompson
-- vN by Madeline Ashby
--Highfell Grimoires by Langley Hyde
--The Perilous Life of Jade Yeo by Zen Cho
--Sorcerer to the Crown by Zen Cho (yes I plan to read this for sure but that will serve as a sort of control on sampling, won't it?)
--Black Wolves by Kate Elliott (ditto)
--Court of Fives by Kate Elliott (ditto)
-- Shadowshaper by Daniel José Older (ditto)

Wednesday Reading

Nov. 18th, 2015 08:14 am
oracne: turtle (Default)
[personal profile] oracne
I'm still working on Work/Text: Investigating the Man from U.N.C.L.E. by Cynthia Walker, but I think I will probably finish it this month. I've reached the section about the last season and the show's cancellation; I also read about the various tie-in novels, including the juvenile one (THE MAN FROM U.N.C.L.E.: The Affair of the Gentle Saboteur) that I read multiple times as a kid.

In comics, on my day off I finally read Runaways: The Complete Collection Volume 1 by Brian K. Vaughn, and enjoyed the heck out of it. For those not familiar with the series, it's about a group of kids who find out their parents are supervillains, so they run away and try to defeat them...except one of them might be a traitor to the cause.

In the group of kids, girls outnumber boys! Though I identified the Mole among the kids before it was revealed, I guessed other things wrong, and was pleasantly surprised by several plot twists. I have Volume 2 waiting for me; there are four in all.

And in the hopes of breaking my reading slump, last night I started a reread of The Curse of Chalion by Lois McMaster Bujold. So far as I recall I only read it once, when it first came out, so there's a lot I don't remember about it, but I do remember how much I liked it, much more than her later fantasy series, The Sharing Knife. If this re-read goes well, I might bring the second one along for holiday re-reading; the third one I remember liking, but didn't think it was as good, so I'm unlikely to purchase an electronic copy.

I need to start thinking about holiday reading! I want some mystery/thrillers, I think, with good characterization. And maybe some re-reads. Or should I go ahead and buy some of the books on my wishlist? Any suggestions for not-too-challenging, good-for-airports fiction?

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