The thorn is sharp
‘Neath gleaming blossom
Bright in the lamp
Of Springtime’s sun
The guard before the
Gate to pleasure
Its prick as fierce
As edge of sword
The words that bite
The eyes that cut
All you see
Is love beneath
But should you want
My heart as yours
Respect the thorn
With which I greet
Deborah Watling has passed away, which is sad.
We're not losing Who actors at quite the rate Babylon Five is, of course. Though, to be fair, I remember Stephen Furst from St. Elsewhere before I remember his B5 stint (St. E. was a childhood memory, ok, it has a deeper hold on my brain).
I had intended to write for the multifandom drabble thingie (for treats), and managed not to. I wrote three bits of different things (and I think I lost some bits when my computer rebooted overnight), but never got round to polishing and posting them. It has been so damned busy at work I didn't remember until past the deadline.
I really need a clone, ok.
(I am also so going to fail this work thing, and that is because I am not made of magic and the entire concept is flawed and makes me rage in frustration)
(also, I constantly quote Kenny Burns from Red Cap. Because ffs, I am so weighed down on both sides by these people at times)
On another subject entirely (because I was just poking through a file), I'm pretty sure Mirah's 'Cold Cold Water' is one of my personal Root/Sameen Shaw songs.
I saddled up my pony right
And rode into the ghostly night
It was wide, wide open, wide, wide open
I left the only home I knew
I stayed alive and I found you
"WEIRD 70S GOTHICS PLEASE," I said, and Jo duly carried out her commission so well that I don't know if anybody's ever going to top it:
Portrait in Jig-Saw is apparently so obscure it doesn't even have a Goodreads page, which, having read it, I can honestly now say is kind of a shame.
Our Heroine's name is Alixander David Somerlaid MacDonald (I KNOW), otherwise known as Alisdair; she is a Strictly Sheltered Heiress who has been raised in a Freezing Castle in Complete Isolation and Solitude with only occasional visits from her father until she comes of age on her 21st birthday.
...for the record, the year is 1973.
( My legit favorite part about these spoilers is that the entire plot relies on an alternate universe where the world's most famous postmodern novelist is a Thai princess, I want to live in THAT universe! )
Write a poem about
“He who wants a rose must respect the thorn.” — Persian Proverb
Poems do not have to match the prompt exactly. Prompts are only meant to inspire and be a jumping off point for your own creativity.
Poems can be posted in the comments directly or linked to your own journal.
Fandom: Original Work
Warnings: No Archive Warnings Apply
Relationships: Original Male Character/Original Male Character
Additional Tags: Romance Novel, Paranormal, PTSD, Hauntings, Kid Fic, Drug Use
A house full of ghosts is no place to fall in love.
Malcolm Carmichael has been coping with his post-war trauma by taking lovers, teaching art to schoolboys, and trying to ignore the ghosts he sees everywhere. At the death of his mother, he realizes he wants more than just to coast on by, and leaves the exclusive school in search of something more.
Caleb Thibodeaux was so traumatized by the death of his parents in a fire that he hasn't spoken a word since. His uncle Noel hires Malcolm to be his tutor, and Malcolm discovers that Caleb is not the only Thibodeaux son with secrets. The plantation house Fidele is beautiful but haunted, and Noel is much the same.
Soon Malcolm is absorbed in protecting Caleb and Noel from threats both living and dead, and in uncovering the story of Fidele.
Read at AO3 or JennaLynnBrown.com
- Nominations: Tuesday, October 10 - Sunday, October 22
- Sign Ups: Tuesday, October 24 - Sunday, November 5
- Assignments Out: Monday, November 13
- Assignments Due: Saturday, December 9
- Work Reveals: Sunday, December 17
- Author Reveals: Sunday, December 24
Potential Schedule #2 - 5 Weeks Writing Period
- Nominations: Sunday, September 24 - Saturday, October 14*
- Sign Ups: Tuesday, October 17 - Sunday, October 29
- Assignments Out: Monday, November 6
- Assignments Due: Saturday, December 9
- Work Reveals: Sunday, December 17
- Author Reveals: Sunday, December 24
*(Yuletide sign ups in the middle, Oct. 1-9)
Very tentative. Feedback welcome. Trying to fit two weekends into some of these activities. And that's a four-week writing period for 1000 words.
- Some poetry
- A few poetry prompts coming up
- emails to people I haven’t in too long, oops
- not much else
But lots of love, y’all!
Been super busy on the work front and read a book in the last two days on agile IT and did lots of testing while holding off on further documentation that we need. But ugh, we really need customer buy-in to get further on that. I suspect our new approach will help, but I suppose it’s not my job to make it happen. I just hate not making progress on work I actually know what to do next.
There’s other work still on my plate, that I don’t know what to do next.
And tonight I must pack. Have a wonderful evening, y’all!
Once we get back to the story of the murder itself, however, it turns out: IT'S BONKERS. The principals in the case are two pirate radio impresarios in 1966. Oliver Smedley, An Ardent Free-Trade Capitalist, was running a station called Radio Atlanta on a boat off the coast; Reggie Calvert, A Dance Hall Impresario, had taken over an entire abandoned British navy fort called Shivering Sands in the Thames Estuary and staffed it with a rotating encampment of youths running a station called Radio City. At one point Smedley and Calvert were going to have a merger, but then they had an ACRIMONIOUS BREAKUP spurred on in part by:
- the fact that Smedley was supposed to give Calvert a shiny new transmitter and instead provided an old one that never worked
- the fact that Smedley never paid all the bills he had promised Calvert that Radio Atlanta would pay
- the fact that Calvert got sick of all this and decided to merge with another station instead
The reason for all these pirate radio stations on boats and naval forts, by the way, is because in 1966 there was no legal pop radio in the UK (as explained, extensively, via the history of radio and Keynesian economic theory etc. that makes up the first half of the book). Because the pirates were technically outside of UK territory, on the other hand, they could technically get away with doing whatever they wanted, or at least the government like "it will be way too embarrassing to launch a huge naval raid against a bunch of youths on was a fort with a radio transmitter, so let's not."
HOWEVER, the fact that everything was happening outside of territorial waters where British laws and police had no jurisdiction BACKFIRED when:
- Ardent Free-Trade Capitalist Smedley decided he was so mad that Calvert had made a deal without him that he was going to MAKE SURE that the deal could never go through
- he was going to GET BACK HIS PROPERTY [the transmitter that had never worked]
- so he sent an ACTUAL OCCUPYING FORCE composed of out-of-work dockworkers to Shivering Sands, stole a bunch of key broadcasting equipment, took a bunch of it back to the mainland, and left a bunch of toughs to hold everybody who was on the station at that time hostage!!!
- (when they met the invading force, the hostage broadcasters were like 'welp' and made everybody tea)
- ("the vessel had to return briefly to pick up [the contractor who recruited the gang], who had been left behind drinking his tea")
- and then Smedley went to Calvert and his partner, an actual professional broadcaster, and was like 'I will not let you broadcast from there again or finish making your deal unless you pay me FIVE THOUSAND DOLLARS'
Naturally, everyone involved was like 'wtf????' and refused to pay Smedley a dime; Calvert threatened to involve the police but the police were like 'ummmmmm technically we can't do anything for the same reasons we haven't been able to stop you from broadcasting;' Calvert then made a whole bunch of other even wilder threats; and all the hired dockworkers sat around cheerfully charging Smedley for hostaging operations which he was rapidly running out of money for.
Anyway, in the middle of all this, Calvert drove out to Smedley's house in the middle of the night and started screaming at him, and Smedley shot him and then claimed self-defense and that his HOSTILE OCCUPATION OF A POP RADIO STATION was just a little joke gone wrong! No harm no foul if only Calvert hadn't been so UPSET about it! It did help Smedley's self-defense case that Calvert happened to be carrying A FAKE PEN FULL OF NERVE GAS at the time, which apparently, according to his family, he always carried around just for safekeeping.
...so the author's point in writing about all this seems to be that a.) this incident was crucial in getting the pirate radio boats shut down and the formation of the current BBC radio system that includes actual pop radio, b.) that this is all a forerunner of later copyright battles and offshore data centers and so on, c.) pirate-radio-on-boats in the 1960s was a WILD TIME. About the latter, at least, he is most surely not mistaken.
(This has nothing to do with the main brunt of the book but I have to spare a mention for Radio City's chief engineer, who later was hired by the mob! to perform an assassination attempt!! using a spring-loaded hypodermic needle full of cyanide!!! in what it turns out was ACTUALLY a sting operation by the U.S. Treasury department who picked the hapless Radio City engineer to act as the assassin because "he needed the fee while being clearly incapable of killing anybody"!!!! This whole incident gets two pages in the book because it's somewhat irrelevant to the author's argument but seriously, where is this guy's movie?
For the record, the same mobsters then tried to intimidate Reggie Calvert's widow into selling them the remnants of the station and she was like 'lol no' and they were like '....well, when a lady knows her own mind, she knows her own mind! No hard feelings.')
Two and a half episodes later, and I have to pause to say this.
( Read more... )
Which is to say, I'm quite enjoying it, and it is really really gorgeously-shot. I've gotten a ridiculous number of screencaps just because the angles/lighting/etc (it's why I fell in love with Motive, too).
Well, and Indira Varma is pretty.
Anyway, it's slow-moving, but interesting enough to keep me watching. It's a bit like Five Days, if anyone's watched that (well, the second series as that's the one I've seen).
Also, it's a bit disconcerting as Lesley Sharpe is in it as not Janet Scott. Or a copper.
Realized it's been a little bit longer than usual since I posted here last. Things are going okay; I'm posting and reblogging (mostly reblogging) on Tumblr. I'm also getting things together for online handmade jewelry sales- last week I got my business certificate! Turns out Workbar, the co-working space company, has a 'community' option for people who only need a physical place of business on a very limited basis, and the city of Boston seems to be okay with that as an address (it is, after all, commercial real estate). I'll be setting up an account at Aftcra.com to sell stuff. Aftcra is an online craft seller that's based in Wisconsin, and their big distinguishing points are: 1. All sellers based in the United States. 2. No 'vintage' or 'antique' stuff, and no craft supplies, just handmade items. 3. No listing fees, you get charged when you sell. 4. Smaller than Etsy so you don't get completely lost in a sea of other sellers. I get the feeling on Etsy that the size of the jewelry section is on par with the population of Hoboken...
Anyway. I'll let you know when I have things available.
In the meantime, on other fronts, I am getting closer to my first solo flight. We've been practicing autorotations the last several lessons and this weekend my instructor wants me to come in for ground class so I'll be prepping for the written exam- after you solo you need to pass a written exam and an oral exam and get some night hours and solo hours and a cross-country flight before you can take your checkride with the FAA examiner. So there's that. And also I am dealing with a next-door neighbor who represents the first time I've actually called the police on someone, because ( it gets a little gross here. ) We'll see what happens from here on that front.
That's it for now. Hope your day is going well.
It turns out this is still and probably will always be my favorite Ellen Kushner book. The central plotline follows Katherine, a cheerful young lady who gets invited to restore the family fortunes by going to live with her incredibly weird uncle in the big city and becoming a swordsman!
Unlike many plucky heroines, Katherine does not initially have really any interest at all in cross-dresing or becoming a swordsman. However, eventually she comes to enjoy swordfighting for its own sake, helped along by the mentorship of her incredibly weird uncle's nice ex-boyfriend, the necessity of dueling for a friend's honor, and the discovery that bisexuality and gender fluidity are potentially relevant concepts to her teen coming-of-age story.
...that's the A-plot! B, C, D, E, and F plots include:
- Katherine's mom's reparation of her relationship with Katherine's weird uncle
- Katherine's weird uncle's actress girlfriend's dreamy new cross-dressing fantasy Broadway show
- Katherine's weird uncle's unfortunate friendship breakup with his mathematician bestie
- Katherine's bff's attempts to overcome trauma from rape-by-fiance by engaging in romantic gay roleplay via letter-writing
- Katherine's other bff's attempts to overcome trauma from an abusive childhood by engaging in competitive voyeurism
- Katherine's bff's gigolo cousin's star-crossed romance with a scriptwriter/potter who is on the run from her abusive in-laws who do not appear in this book
- trade routes?? politics?????
I'm pretty sure that's not all the plots. There are so many plots in this book. It's fine because the plots are barely the point at best, the point is coming-of-age and life after trauma and thumbing your nose at Societal Conventions while getting to know and like yourself! I especially enjoy how ( in the end, spoilers )
(Note: emo murderous Alec from Swordspoint drives me up a wall in his own book, but is significantly more tolerable to me when he's just Katherine's incredibly weird uncle. I mean he still drives me up a wall here but it's much funnier when he's driving everyone else up a wall too.)
Writing that first sentence, though, made me stop and ponder: it's a bit past the time for it this year, but would people participate in an AO3-coordinated Dark Is Rising fic exchange next May/June? Perhaps with reveals timed for Midsummer's Day? I may post about it on thedarkisrising, but since a significant body of that community overlaps with my flist, it's worth doing a straw poll for it here.
These books are deeply fluffy YA-ish Regency espionage hijinks starring Mary Finch, an impoverished orphan schoolteacher turned (by the end of the first book) surprise heiress with an unexpectedly encyclopedic knowledge of British law and an enthusiastic penchant for Adventures! !! !!!
Captain Holland, the series love interest, is an artillery officer who is good at mechanics and up on new military technologies. Other salient characteristics include:
- a terrible tendency towards sea- and carriage-sickness
- an ongoing resentful inability to understand all the clever literary and historical references being tossed around by the rest of the characters
- CONSTANT MONEY STRESS
I'll be honest, he won me over during the first book when Mary's like "am I a bad person for worrying about how the outcome of all this espionage will affect my potential inheritance?" and he's like "DEFINITELY NOT, if anybody tells you they don't stress about money THEY ARE LYING."
Rose Melikan is a scholar of the period and very good on British military history. She is not so good on plot. The first book is complete, hilariously convoluted nonsense involving SMUGGLERS and CIPHERS and MYSTERIOUS WATCHES and a SURPRISE CHANCE-MET DYING VILLAIN. It turns out that ( spoilers )
The second book is probably my favorite and definitely the least nonsense plot-wise; it's about the 1797 naval mutinies, and Our Heroine gets recruited to spy on a plotter because she happens to know his wife and will likely be in his house, which does not stretch suspension of disbelief too very wildly. (It's also sort of entertaining to watch the author do a careful dance between what I suspect is a personal sympathy for unionization and strike tactics and the fact that Mass Military Mutiny Is Definitely A Bad Thing, Our Characters Must Stop It At Any Cost.)
...then in Book Three we are expected to believe that an actual professional spy sees no better alternative for an important espionage mission than taking a well-known youthful heiress and society figure whose salient skills are, as aforementioned, a knowledge of British law and an enthusiasm for Adventure, and sneaking her off to Paris in a fake marriage with a clueless American painter while her respectable household desperately tries to pretend she's in London the whole time. At this point suspension of disbelief goes straight out the window again.
I have mixed feelings about Book Three in general; it's the darkest of the three and several sympathetic characters die as a direct result of Our Heroes' espionage endeavors including ( infuriating spoiler ) I'm not here for that! I'M HERE FOR THE HIJINKS.