Tuesday, December 1st, 2015 07:43 pm

Apparently there is a December Posting Meme? I will offer to do the very low-key version of this, which is ask if anybody has any prompts they would like to give me, without committing to a particular day.


OMG! Soon after the rediscovery of Madame C-C-'s memoirs, an independent production company attempts to make a documentary tracking down the descendants of the Memoirs' characters.


During my day of research, in the Dept of O Tempora O Mores: people in the 1930s whingeing on about the dire effects of Technology upon the populace, and claiming that The Populace were becoming Passive Consumers rather than actively engaging in culture and activities.

Am also reading much-cited book on the English Folk Revival, which puts forward strong arguments that this carried with it an embedded a notion that folk song and dance were somehow generated from the spirit of The FOLK back in Merrie England and manifested a general desire to detach them from any individual.

Am now pondering whether in Ye Merrie Englande Tymes, actually, there were a few people who were composing/performing songs (Anonymous, V Woolf hypothesised, was a woman...) and ditto dances, and the general run of The Peasantry were pretty much just consuming these things... (possibly because they were too busy having scurvy, hallucinating from ergotism, etc, to do much else.)

Tuesday, December 1st, 2015 01:22 pm
So I did not make 20,000 words in November: I got to 17,333 words and then went to Chessiecon and wrote nothing for three days, and I had hopes of finishing it yesterday (I've written 3000 words in a day before, easy) but work was frazzling and after work on Mondays I have a total of one hour of free time, so, yeah, that didn't happen. I got up to 18000 and then fell over.

But, you know, could be worse, and I did keep going up to the very last day instead of giving up, which is new for me. Now I need to decide if I want to keep the 666-words-a-day thing going, or give myself a break. I would at least like to push through and get to an ending for the other original story that's almost done.

And then Yuletide.


I had a ton of fun with the December meme last year - or at least my variation of it- but on the other hand it was a ton of writing that didn't involve finishing things already on my lists. So let's try a different variation of it this year: I have made a list of DW posts that I have been wanting to do/have had half-finished, and you all are going to vote on which ones you would most like to see me post, and then I will see how far down the ranked list I get in December.

Open to: Registered Users, detailed results viewable to: All, participants: 1

What should I post in December?

View Answers

Chessiecon and CapClave reports
0 (0.0%)

It Came From The Wips File, revisited
0 (0.0%)

Thoughts on Hamilton the Musical
0 (0.0%)

How To Design Selfpub Book Covers that look like pro book covers
1 (100.0%)

How To Get Comments on Your Posts
0 (0.0%)

How To Save Money By Not Buying Stuff, the Melannen way
0 (0.0%)

I attempt to make a post entirely in Icelandic, fail miserably
0 (0.0%)

Jello Mold Updates!
0 (0.0%)

Melannen's Favorite Drunk, Cynical and/or Depressing Christmas Music Mix
0 (0.0%)

Thoughts on The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up
0 (0.0%)

Notes on birth control, for fantasy writers
1 (100.0%)

On relearning piano, two years in
0 (0.0%)

Some Things I Have Been Reading Lately
0 (0.0%)

So What's Up With The OTW Anyway
0 (0.0%)

Over The Garden Wall postwatching reaction
0 (0.0%)

How To Describe Clothing In Fiction
0 (0.0%)

Thoughts on my first time traveling outside the US
0 (0.0%)

Post your scans and squee about Kingyo Used Books and Raven the Pirate Princess
0 (0.0%)

shoes and ships and sealing wax, cabbages and kings; why the sea is boiling hot, and whether pigs have wings.
0 (0.0%)

some links to interesting scientific papers. And stuff.
1 (100.0%)

Stuff from old notebooks
0 (0.0%)

Things that are currently annoying me about aro/ace protrayals in fanfic
1 (100.0%)

My first year with a smartphone, or: sufficiently advanced technology
0 (0.0%)

Mayor Madeleine's 'Country' skills, this time with actual resarch
0 (0.0%)

Why I Don't Read Many Novels No More
0 (0.0%)

Questions for my Readership
0 (0.0%)

Some random meme that looked interesting
0 (0.0%)

free space
0 (0.0%)

that thing you remembered five minutes after posting this
0 (0.0%)

that other post you promised but have clearly forgotten about so I will remind you in a comment
0 (0.0%)

Tuesday, December 1st, 2015 11:51 am

I mentioned this briefly on Saturday, but I know a lot of people were away (for Thanksgiving or just the weekend), so I’ll recap — especially since we’re actually live now, which means there’s a lot more to say!

As those of you who read my booklog posts have probably guessed, for the fifth and final volume of the Memoirs of Lady Trent, our intrepid heroine is going to a region based on the real-world Himalaya. I’ve been reading a fair bit about that area, and in the course of doing so, I’ve been continually reminded about the devastating earthquakes that struck Nepal earlier this year. The immediate need for earthquake relief has passed, but now it’s time to rebuild — and I thought, well, let’s see if I can’t do something to help out.

So I’ve teamed up with Patrick Rothfuss’ Worldbuilders fundraiser, creating Lady Trent’s Friends of Nepal. This is part of the larger Worldbuilders effort, which raises money for Heifer International, but all donations received as part of the Friends of Nepal project will specifically go to Heifer’s Nepal programs.

If you’d like to help out, there are two ways to do so!

1) Just donate! Every $10 you send in will get you one “lottery ticket,” making you eligible for a wide variety of prizes. These will come out of the general Worldbuilders pool, and as per usual, you can choose which prize categories you’re interested in (books or games).

2) Buy a book! If you want more certainty as to what you’re getting, you can purchase a book from the list on this page. If you already have everything of mine (or just think I smell funny and don’t want anything to do with me), there are also books from Alyc Helms (The Dragons of Heaven), Mindy Klasky (Season of Sacrifice; the Glasswright’s Apprentice series), and Morgan Keyes (Darkbeast Rebellion), and more to come over the next week or two.

I will draw your especial attention to the signed ARCs of In the Labyrinth of Drakes. There’s only five of those puppies up for grabs; if you want to read the book before it comes out, act fast!

(There was also a third way, which was the auction for the Tuckerization, but that has ended. My original plan for this project was to run it independently; when Patrick Rothfuss invited me to join forces with his people, I leapt at the chance, but it does mean we had to scramble to get everything coordinated with them before Worldbuilders ends for the year, and it’s happening a bit piecemeal. Rest assured that if I do this again, we’ll start planning much further in advance.)

You’ve got a couple of weeks left to pitch in! Remember, all proceeds go to Heifer Nepal, so whether you donate or buy a book, you’re really helping out.

Originally published at Swan Tower. You can comment here or there.

Tuesday, December 1st, 2015 01:21 pm

So I didn't make any NaNoWriMo posts this year, but I did attempt it. I wrote right up to 23:30 on the 30th and walked away with 44,010 words.

This is not a success; I am not a better person for having written; but the story itself isn't awful, I suppose, and I do think I tried as hard as I could. But basically I signed up to run a marathon and I stopped 22/25ths of the way through to fall down in a pile of vomit.

(The vomit metaphor is probably due to der Bb being violently ill for 12 hours on Thanksgiving and moderately ill for the 12 subsequent hours, me feeling blah on the day after Thanksgiving and then violently ill for 18 hours on the day after that, and then feeling blah pretty much up until right now because I pulled a muscle in my side during all the excitement.)

Tuesday, December 1st, 2015 07:01 pm
Hello, I appear not to have updated since August which is a bit terrifying. Anyway, in order to convince myself to post - I check my reading list! - I thought I would do a low-key version of the December Posting Meme. I don't have the time to commit to posting every day in December - especially as I'm not in the country for a bit of it, and whilst the place I am staying should have wifi I don't think I can honestly pretend that I am going to manage to post.

So, here are ten slots. No dates allocated. I'll get to them when I get to them! But if there is something you want me to post about drop a comment and I will try!

Tuesday, December 1st, 2015 06:28 pm

Posted by spam-spam

  • How Period Trackers Have Changed Girl Culture | The New York Times (November 12):  “When you see a technology that someone has developed specifically for you as a woman, it really legitimizes talking about your periods and thinking about them,” said Shuangyi “E.E.” Hou, 24, a product designer in San Francisco for apps and websites who has used a period tracker app for over a year. “If we as a society say women should be checking in on their periods, and we give them permission to talk about it, I’m convinced it will be beneficial for women’s health.””
  • The hidden costs of tech diversity efforts | Adrienne Porter Felt on Medium (November 23): “Mentorship takes time that otherwise would be spent on engineering, rest, or family. Sometimes mentorship events are multi-day affairs that require preparation and travel from the speakers. Regardless of the format, it’s also typically work that requires emotional labor. And all of this work is expected to be done for free, as a favor to the community.
    What else can we do?”
  • Can computers be racist? Big data, inequality, and discrimination | Ford Foundation (November 18): “while we’re lead to believe that data doesn’t lie—and therefore, that algorithms that analyze the data can’t be prejudiced—that isn’t always true. The origin of the prejudice is not necessarily embedded in the algorithm itself: Rather, it is in the models used to process massive amounts of available data and the adaptive nature of the algorithm. As an adaptive algorithm is used, it can learn societal biases it observes.”
  • Your Pipeline Argument Is Bullshit | Don’t Lean In. Lean Angry. (August 2): “Your pipeline argument is bullshit. Stop using it. Spend some time on this question: Where did all the senior women go and what are we doing to increase the representation of senior women now?…Your goal is to get at least 25% in senior roles. Not overall representation. Senior roles. Because those women exist.”
  • Hey White Women- Stop Championing Diversity In Tech | Lyn Muldrow on Medium (November 27): “Ask yourself — when you stand up on stage to talk about the “problem” with exclusionary practices, are you only considering yourself as the one being excluded? Are you truly, honestly thinking about the little black and latina girls who aren’t a part of the Women In Tech movement, aside from programs that have been exclusively created to cater to them? Because most times I join a thing about women in tech, I’m one of very few black women there. WHY?”
  • Women, minorities, and the Manhattan Project | The Nuclear Secrecy Project (November 27): “more women worked on the bomb than worked on the program to get Americans on the Moon. Why such a disparity? Because during World War II, the need for scientific labor was desperate and spread among many projects. It’s hard to be a bigot when you need every ounce of brainpower and labor you can get, and indeed World War II is famous overall for its movement of women into spaces they had previously been excluded (i.e. Rosie the Riveter).”
  • Why Hackers Must Welcome Social Justice Advocates | Coraline Ada Ehmke on Medium (November 27):  “social justice advocates are not an external force acting on the open source movement; rather, they represent the voices of people within the community who are rarely heard. They are working to improve the state of open source from the inside.”
  • What is hacker culture? | Matthew Garrett (November 29): “we will win because free software is accessible to more of society than proprietary software. And for that to be true, it must be possible for our communities to be accessible to anybody who can contribute, regardless of their background.”

We link to a variety of sources, some of which are personal blogs.  If you visit other sites linked herein, we ask that you respect the commenting policy and individual culture of those sites.

You can suggest links for future linkspams in comments here, or by using the “geekfeminism” tag on Pinboard, or Diigo; or the “#geekfeminism” tag on Twitter. Please note that we tend to stick to publishing recent links (from the last month or so).

Thanks to everyone who suggested links.

Tuesday, December 1st, 2015 09:29 am
Banner by caitie of curtains opening to show a stage with the words OTW Events Calendar

This December, start working on a paper on disability & fandom for the Canadian Journal of Disability Studies, acknowledge volunteers on International Volunteer Day, and celebrate Festivus for the rest of us! http://bit.ly/1PYKCja
Tuesday, December 1st, 2015 11:53 pm
What have you been reading today? Everything counts, from a novel-length fic to the labels on your washing!
Tuesday, December 1st, 2015 04:40 pm
Died on this day in 1135 aged 67 King Henry I Beuclerc (my toy,wikipedia). Henry had two legitimate sons, but they both died when the White Ship sank; he wanted to leave the crown to his daughter Matilda, but Stephen had Other Ideas.

Born on this day in 1844 to King Christian IX of Denmark and Louise of Hesse-Kassel, Alexandra of Denmark (my toy,wikipedia). Wife of Edward VII. Alexandra's brother was appointed King of Greece (I'm not really sure how). She was a popular Queen, but had little effect on the running of the country.
Tuesday, December 1st, 2015 08:23 am
I'll be turning 35 on December 18. If you would like to celebrate with me, please make a donation to the National Network of Abortion Funds (NNAF) and let me know. Since I'm turning 35, I suggest a $35 donation if you can afford it, but any amount matters, even $1.

NNAF is a network of local, grassroots organizations that provide direct financial aid to people who need abortions but can't afford to pay for the costs (which often include the costs of traveling to a remote location, since in many parts of the US, the closest facility that performs abortions is hundreds of miles away). Local abortion funds exist in 42 states of the US, and you're welcome to donate directly to your local fund, but NNAF helps get the money to where it's most needed.

Right now, why NNAF's work is necessary should need no explanation. Outright violence against clinics, with the goal of scaring people who provide abortions into stopping, has been happening consistently for the past 40 years. This campaign has been accompanied by a more respectable campaign of legislative violence aimed at making abortion as hard to obtain as possible, including but not limited to the Hyde Amendment, which bans Medicaid from covering abortions and effectively prevents low-income people from getting abortions except with the help of nonprofit groups like abortion funds.

I agree with NNAF's statement: "every woman needs to have the ability to make her own decision about having a child, no matter what her income is." I would go further and say that the same is true about every person who may become pregnant, no matter what their gender.

My goal for this year is for 40 people to donate; in 2013, 36 people donated to the Ada Initiative (which has since shut down) for my birthday, so I think I should be able to get 4 more donations this year! So, if you donate, please let me know. If you don't let me know, I won't be able to know if I reached my goal, and I'll be sad. You can let me know by commenting on this post, tweeting at me or commenting on my Facebook wall, or -- if you prefer to be private -- emailing me (catamorphism at gmail.com) or sending me a private message on any of the services I use. Also, I will assume it's okay to thank you in a public post by the name or pseudonym that I know you by unless you tell me otherwise. You don't have to tell me the amount that you donated.

By donating you'll make me happy, piss off the religious right, but most importantly, help make sure nobody has to go through a pregnancy and give birth because they're short $100. So do it now! NNAF is a nonprofit 501c3 organization, so if your US employer matches funds, please request a matching donation from them so that your money goes even further.

Thanks to the following people for donating:

  1. [personal profile] emceeaich
Tuesday, December 1st, 2015 04:14 pm

i am about to be mean and ranty. please look away if these books are special to you, i have unresolved literary trauma to work through.

Read more... )

Tuesday, December 1st, 2015 04:11 pm

Posted by John Scalzi

In which two science fiction authors turn the greatest science fictional saga of all time into… another dysfunctional holiday family dinner.

(Because it’s long, and there are other things I am promoting today, I’m putting it on the other side of a cut. If you’re coming through from the front page of Whatever, click through, it’s worth it.)