(no subject)

Aug. 24th, 2017 12:41 am
ysobel: (Default)
[personal profile] ysobel
So that beauty and the beast thing I'm not writing?

Has a working title: walls of broken stone.

I'm trying to figure out which elements of the base story are essential and which can be changed or discarded.

...I don't even know what I'm going to do with this if/when I write it. Probably just post to AO3 or something rather than selling it. It's not like BatB rewrites are that New And Differeht any more, plus I don't think I have the courage to try publishing -- or the energy for all the negotiating stuff and promotion that being a Real Writrr involves. But I think some of that is my brainweasels trying to trip me up in advance, so I am not going to even think about it until I actually have something to do something sigh.

Note: above post written on my iPad (which likes to not word correctly) without my glasses and it's almost 1aj so my vision is blurry. Any mistakes or typos or odd phrasings will be fixed on the morning.

Drawing process

Aug. 24th, 2017 06:31 am
[syndicated profile] zompist_feed

Posted by zompist

I had these drawing studies for my last gods picture and thought they might be an interesting process story.

The nice thing about these gods, Nečeron and Eši, is that they have things they can do. Nečeron is god of craft, so he can be building. Eši is god of art, so she can be doing art. But just that would be a little boring. From somewhere, but undoubtedly influenced by M.C. Escher, came the idea of each creating the structure that’s holding up the other.

Here are some doodles trying to make it work:

Nech-1

Nečeron’s bit is easy: he’s creating whatever Eši is standing on. (It starts as a table.) But what is she painting? Maybe some sort of framework holding up the platform he’s sitting on?  That’s the lower left drawing; it looked cumbersome.  Maybe a ladder (bottom right), but then he only has one hand free to work. Finally I tried a set of stairs, and that worked.

Here’s the second attempt at that:

Nech-2

I decided that the concept worked, but now ran into the next problem: I can’t really draw this scene out of my own brain. The figures here don’t look terrible, but the proportion and placement of the limbs was difficult, and the blobs representing the hands hide the fact that the concept requires four iterations of my personal drawing bugbear: hands holding objects.

(These are sketches, and would certainly have been improved if I kept working on them. But one thing I’ve learned is that poor proportions do not improve by rendering them really well. Better to get the sketch right.)

I tried looking for photos online, but getting these specific poses would be difficult.

Taking reference photos, however, is easy! I have an iPad! Here’s the pictures as they appear in Photoshop, with the sketch done right on top of them.

Nech-3

Who’s the model?  Oh, just some guy who’s available very cheaply.

If you compare this with the previous step, you can find an embarrassing number of errors in the original. E.g. Eši’s legs are way too small, the shoulder facing us is too low, and her neck is not drawn as if we’re looking up at her. Plus I think the final poses are far more dramatic.

I did the final outline over the purple sketch. Then the procedure is: select an area in the outline; fix the selection to make sure it includes everything I want, and fill it in on a separate color layer with a flat color.  Then go over each flat color area and use the airbrush to add shading. The bricks and stairs also get some texturing, added with filters. The jewelry is done on a separate layer with its own drop shadow— a cheap, quick way to add realistic shadows.

The gods aren’t wearing much.  That’s just how gods are, of course. On an operational level, there are two reasons for this (which we can assume are shared to some extent by Almean sculptors and painters).  The lofty level is that I like the human figure and hate to cover it up.  The less lofty reason is… clothes are frigging hard to draw. Figure drawing is hard enough, and clothing requires a whole new set of skills and rules of thumb, and looks terrible when you get it wrong. Plus, these are Caďinorian gods, so they should be wearing Caďinorian robes, which require, like, a black belt in drawing. They’re made of wrinkles. There’s a reason so many superheroes wear leotards: they’re basically drawn on top of the nude figure, with no folds.

The final picture:

god-Necheron-Eshi

Tonight, I like it; in a year, I’m sure it’ll dissatisfy me. Actually, when I look at it, I wonder if the angle of the iPad foreshortened the figures, making their feet proportionately too big. Oh well.

 

 

Just One Thing (24 August 2017)

Aug. 24th, 2017 08:05 am
nanila: YAY (me: abby)
[personal profile] nanila posting in [community profile] awesomeers
It's challenge time!

Comment with Just One Thing you've accomplished in the last 24 hours or so. It doesn't have to be a hard thing, or even a thing that you think is particularly awesome. Just a thing that you did.

Feel free to share more than one thing if you're feeling particularly accomplished!

Extra credit: find someone in the comments and give them props for what they achieved!

Nothing is too big, too small, too strange or too cryptic. And in case you'd rather do this in private, anonymous comments are screened. I will only unscreen if you ask me to.

Go!
silveradept: Chief Diagonal Pumpkin Non-Hippopotamus Dragony-Thingy-Dingy-Flingy Llewellyn XIX from Ozy and Millie, with a pipe (Llewelyn with Pipe)
[personal profile] silveradept
Beginning with an attempt to fix that which was broken...which went so poorly that the original thing came back to be rejoined.

A victory against forced conversion therapy--in China.

The idea that the young are ruining everything is Older Than Dirt.

Give children more art opportunities.

The Dead Pool claims Steven Frust, star of Animal House and yet another member of the Babylon 5 cast, at 63 years of age. Also, George A. Romero will be kept under observation for a good long time to ensure that he has not become Patient Zero in a zombie apocalypse. Adam West is no longer the Mayor of Quahog, nor the only Batman that ever existed, after many years of making us laugh.

Natalie Morales is queer and proud of it, with a story of how that came to be that resembles many other stories of queer kids coming to their own realizations.

Buckle stores suffered a credit card data breach.

A bookseller with an extremely poor reputation and an entry fee designed to avoid having his time wasted is closing up his shop. To the delight of everyone who had to interact with him. A council in Australia is abolishing their fines because it doesn't actually do the things that fines are supposed to do.

The Asian stars of Hawaii Five-O quit the show when CBS refused to pay them as much as their white costars.

Let's talk a little Diana. The designers for the 2017 Wonder Woman movie clearly took their inspiration from functional armor designs of previous societies. The story in the movie is about a Chosen One that chooses herself. Wonder Woman is one of many comic characters that really should be canonically queer. The character Chief is actually the Blackfoot demi-god Napi. Lots of cute art abounded with her Japanese premiere, and a wrap design with the Wonder Woman logo.

The first Great War is not the war with all the movies - because it provides much less of a heroic narrative for the United States. Which would make the Cold War an excellent decision for a sequel to be set in - even though there's more posibilities for "heroic" narrative, that conflict is definitely one that could be seen as not having any clear good guys.

Being genderfluid sometimes means rethinking your stance on being trans*, and also presents a host of new problems for someone to face. I'm not really thrilled with how The Stranger paints this as an issue of "detransitioning" and reinforces the binary model while doing so. I do find it reprehensible, though, that the idea that people who are being fluid can be picked on by TERFs and the conservative movement together.

A village in the skyscraper district is trying to hold out against the encroachment of the big buildings.

A fully-accessible water park opens in Texas.

The difficulties that an Indigneous family has to go through to get an Indigenous child from an anonymous sperm donor, which often include not having a lot of sperm donors to choose from.

Pyramid Seven offers boxer brief-style underwear that can support the use of menstural products such as pads. (Sweet!)

The long struggle toward a more gender-inclusive curriculum in the United States. A campaign in India to discourage the practice of bridal dowries. The Kenyan women with a stake in controlling their water supply. The Thirteenth Doctor is a woman, Jodie Whitaker. Imagining the Disney Princesses as the Disney Engineers. Which reminds me of a discussion that I undertook some time ago about the various Dungeons and Dragons classes of the Princesses. Much fun was had by all transforming them into engines of heroism. What the little mermaid does if she doesn't take the sea witch's deal. It turns out very well for her.

Requirements and advice for medical professionals on how to treat trans* patients. Using person-centered language means using the language the person wants you to use. A book of 100 stories that accompany 100 photographs of penises. A woman set her boyfriend on fire, and then doused the fire with urine. Iranian women choosing not to wear hijab while driving, arguing that a car is a private space that doesn't require the "modesty" rules in place in the country. The woman whose name appears as the printer of the Declaration of Independence.

Tying the Star Trek franchises to the Marvel Cinematic Universe through the presence of boombox-toting punks.

Pope Francis has created a new pathway to beatification - the miracle is still required, but people who die because of their beliefs (and not in a martyrdom and persecution way) may be eligible for becoming saints.

A monument to the Ten Commandments in Arkansas lasted less than a day before being destroyed by a vehicle. By a person that said Satan commanded him to destroy the last one, no less.

The billionaire who supplies most of the cheese you eat on pizza, regardless of where you get it from.

An asshole explains why he's suing a woman for texting during their date. Explanation: He's an asshole. Mansplaining on the comic book direct market. A model that makes the clothes pop told she needed to become lighter-skinned by a jerk. The Puritans and their sumptuary laws that have been telling women they're tempting men into sin for centuries.

The creative methods people get up to so that their potholes can be fixed. The people who are crossing the border into Mexico to get dental work that's affordable. Visualizing how cities devote their space between cars, trains, and bikes, and the adjustments some cities are making to make cars less dominant. Trying to make urban living much more family-friendly, gardening in the cradle graves of strangers,

The ideal situation for your hometown is for people to leave, get experiences abroad, and then return to disribute wealth and experience. This isn't happening much in this generation, because many of them aren't getting enough to leave in the first place. On the opposite end, many of the people in the upper quintiles of income want you to believe they're just like you with their money troubles.

Crime might strongly correlated with the presence of alcohol dispensaries, which would be an accidental conclusion of a study meant to try and figure out whether commercial zones were more likely to be centers of crime.

The story of the original Gotham, a village that did all sorts of crazy things to stop the King from visiting. Advice to recipe-writers on how to make their recipes more friendly to the average kitchen. Black Cowboys photographed, giving a middle finger to the idea that the people settling and expanding were all white. The diet of Amelia Earhart, which often fluctuated between what would go well on a plane and what was given to her by the hosts of where she landed. How SPAM became such a popular thing.

The Philadelphia Zoo is blogging the raising of an elephant, baby goats and other cute things, the conch as inspiration for tougher plastics, the rehab space for birds injured in the Five Boroughs, the shortage of natural vanilla caused by the demand for organic vanilla in everything, a laser method for labeling an avacado, the ravens that will choose tools over treats so they can get better stuff later, even without having been trained by another raven to do it, the experience of what a deep-fried grasshopper tastes like, the structures that ants build out of self-preservation, farming in the dense urban jungle and organizations that will help farmers and their produce, cats as mostly-wild animals in the house, which genetically is still rather true. Cheese is apparently an acceptable topping on apple pie, shape-shifting organisms that adapted to their environment, First Nations tribes looking to revitalize the shellfish in their area, the possible return of the lynx to the United Kingdom, enginnering bananas to be extra-packed with vitamin A, the nearly-lethal encounter with an insect, the possible decline of hedgehogs in the UK, cockatoos that will make drumsticks to make music for mating, the method that jellyfish use to spine venom into their victims, finding that some corals use pigmentation to filter the light that comes into the sea, the foreign origins of the apple pie, learning about predators in the egg, the fact that humans are relatively calorie-poor compared to other sources of nutrition, the days of a cattle and livestock police officer, ninety-nine animal-related tweets, a miniature horse to help de-stress airport travelers, a nervous cheetah that gets a support puppy as companion, animals caught in the act of being naughty, atttempts to re-seed Nigeria's yam stock with healthy yams, DON'T FUCKING DECLAW YOUR CATS, the problem of pollinators extends well past bees, inventions to help frogs and others climb out of house pools, and the new conclusion that human smell compared to animal smell might be as good or better, depending on what's being smelled.

Interesting things to see in the smaller towns of the United States. A new name for a new crayon color.

What you feel about the war fought in 1812 depends very heavily on which side of the conflict is your history. the reporting of a blackout in New York that focused heavily on the misdeeds of the residents and not the rest. How babies went from being depicted as tiny adults to more innocent-looking children. The Tom Thumb wedding, where children play at marriage, including ceremonies, vows, and receptions.

The value, or lack thereof, of null results. The difficulty of adopting counterintuitive but scientifically-validated things.

Writing a bad first draft says nothing about you, the author, other than that you were able to get most of your notes and ideas out onto your medium of choice. Then comes revision. Applying Moral Premises, should you have them, to your stories. Applying comic stories, should you have them, to your classroom.

People are generally willing to redistribute income, so long as it preserves social rank...or gets rid of rank altogether. The way in which Shakespeare made suggestions about how not to be xenophobic. Even in the context of a play that is explicitly xenophobic. How even historical markers can be used as a battleground between opposing factions.

Ablist justifications abound in allocating scarce medical resources. Sexist justifications do as well, which can lead to the unhappy department of having medics essentially fail to do their jobs because their jobs are telling them they can't spend the time or the resources on you.

In technology, studying the microbial culture of humans and their food, the possibility that most things we thnk of as genetic issues could be the concert work of thousands of genes, rather than being isolated to certain siingles or small sets of genes, progress on trying to get individual immune systems to recognize and destroy cancerous cells, why it took a rather long time for the current knowledge about conception to evolve, children see art much differently than adults do,

A paen to the blockchain, with thee thought that the cryptography involved in generating and verifying them is good enough that it can power more than just cryptocurrency, like voting or stock issuance, or other applications where outside verifiability built in is a necessary feature.

Japan sent up a robot into the ISS, and it's taken some pictures in microgravvity. Also, information teleported through entanglement, lots of Microsoft product-related books being given away, thousands of vintage sewing patterns now available online, along with a searchable archive of several thousand years' of fashion, the search to make the kilogram a constant of the universe, instead of the mass of an object, software companie allowing Russian government entiries to examine the source code for malice before allowing it to be sold in the country, trying to get some medical training into Syria by telepresence, the first Wonkavator, moisture-responsive nanobots made of graphene, the one company that makes most of the bread clips in existence, the way that Jupiter is incredibly, celestially weird, a park with a high incidence of dinosaur things, espionage through knitting,

Mysteries of the universe that need answers, but there aren't any forthcoming yet, and to say the least, we have very little idea of what space is, much less what it does.

You can get your ink cartridges refilled in the United States, says the Supreme Court. Which is great.

There are a lot of ways that humans can extinct themselves, and many of them are related to climate change. Corals dying is a problem. The heat in your city could become unbearable. The planet itself might absorb more energy than it reflects and start warming itself. The air could still try to kill you. Denver is a locus of people fighting and studying asthma and the ways to manage it.

Thank Robert Recorde for the abilities you have at maths and computer programming, as the equals sign he contributed is one of the major components of both. On the other hand, the possibility that the universe is ultimately chaotic and accurate description of it requires abandoning the idea that it has structure at all. And why various road signs have the shapes they do.

Suggesting that the Ashkenaz that lends its name to the Ashkenazi could be somewhere in Turkey.

The many attempts to replace plastic straws with much more ecologically-friendly alternatives.

Last for tonight, decoding the diary of Beatrix Potter, the British child's propaganda book for the first Great War, the continued construction of language, and a strong reminder that attitudes and actions from the abled are also disabling, sometimes more so than the actual disability. People working together to provide prosthetics and chairs to the low-income people that need them the most.

The presence of superbug STDs should give everyone pause and worry.

We can thank...Nazis? for the giant novelty check idea, and then Publisher's Clearing House for planting that meme thoroughly into our heads.

A human chain that rescued several people caught by a riptide. Photographs of the United States experience.

Body-positive childrens' books. One hundred thousand books (and a lot of tape) creates a Parthenon replica on a site where Nazis burned books. Requests for transcription of magical texts. Pluralizing octopodes. Profanity and blasphemy around children are not specific words, but ideas intended to make them feel that they are somehow wrong for being who they are. Letting a neural network attempt to write Harry Potter fanfic summaries and titles.

Inspirobot, a generator of inspiring quotes. And flag code for the bedroom. (A lot of lder people are having sex outside of their marriages. Younger people, not so much - because they're not getting married, and also the polyamory, and a lot of other things.

And a conference of Sarahs that hides a mystery of Agatha's.

(no subject)

Aug. 23rd, 2017 11:04 pm
yhlee: Alto clef and whole note (middle C). (alto clef)
[personal profile] yhlee
Joe helped me figure out what was going wrong in my "Ninefox March" Cockos Reaper project since the lag was driving me nuts.

Ctrl + Alt + P will give me a performance meter but sadly only tracks CPU usage per track--if it also tracked RAM usage per track (if that's even a thing, hell if I know how computers/DAWs work) my problem would be solved.

It's not that I don't have enough RAM. It's that something in the project is causing a memory leak. I'm guessing one of the virtual instruments. The problem is that there are NO good options. Like, if Orchestral Tools Berlin Strings or Metropolis Ark 1 is the source of the memory leak, I am going to...I don't even know. Write tech support, I guess, and hope they have a solution.

Right now the best bet is to track memory usage in a completely new project in which I introduce a single instrument at a time and see where the leak starts/begins. Time-consuming and annoying, but doable. Not happening tonight--probably after I turn in this novel.
sovay: (Otachi: Pacific Rim)
[personal profile] sovay
My doctor's appointment this afternoon presented me with unambiguously good news. Whatever almost killed me with anaphylaxis at Readercon, it was not the shellfish for which I blood-tested positive about a week later.

I received the results over e-mail in the third week of July; for various logistical reasons having to do with incomplete bloodwork (the lab's fault, not mine; I gave blood twice and they still managed to lose part of the order) and then with the allergist going on vacation, I couldn't talk to her about them until now. Instead I got an upsetting call from a nurse or receptionist at the practice who simply told me to cut out all foods for which I had gotten positive flags (a list incidentally including tree nuts, some legumes, and a random-looking selection of vegetables) and then tried to commiserate with me about her late-breaking walnut allergy, which did not make me feel better. It was a devastating uncertainty. Eating the sea is part of being close to it. It wouldn't have mattered if I kept kosher, but speaking as someone who as a toddler intercepted two orders of shrimp tempura meant for my mother and was only bought off with a third order all my own, a full month without bivalves or crustaceans was hell, especially in summer, especially in cities by the sea. I carried an epipen and looked longingly at other people's sushi and tried to trust that the allergist had warned me that blood tests were less reliable than scratch tests and this had to be some kind of mistake. I couldn't imagine not ever eating clam chowder again.

I can eat clam chowder. As the allergist explained it, the blood tests that are used for food allergies detect the presence of antibodies, which are caused by exposure to the foods in question. They are not considered diagnostic for allergies in the absence of symptoms. I have no history of rash, swelling, shortness of breath, nausea, any of these things around eating. I do have a history of decades of seafood on a regular basis. That history explained the low positive numbers to the allergist's satisfaction: they were not false positives in the strict sense, but they were false in that they did not point to anything that pertained to my experience at Readercon. Especially since there was a much more obvious culprit in the new medication which I had taken within the classic onset window—and which I have not taken again since that night—she felt comfortable skipping the scratch tests entirely (unnecessary expense of time, money, and itching) and sending me off to eat shellfish. Allergists are cautious by nature and profession, she emphasized. She wouldn't make the recommendation unless she thought it was safe. She was just sorry I'd had to spend a month denied something that was both seasonally tasty and emotionally important to me.

So I walked into Harvard Square and purchased the seasonal lobster bao from Tom's Bao Bao and ate it and it was delicious and I waited half an hour and then an hour and nothing bad happened except that I wanted another one, but by that time I was upstairs in Crema Cafe, drinking an herbal chai latte and writing about weird British TV, so I ate a macaroon instead. Later in the evening I met [personal profile] rushthatspeaks for a return trip to the MIT Science Fiction Society and we opted for dinner afterward at Roxy's Grilled Cheese in Central Square, where we discovered their speakeasy arcade with pinball and skeeball and cabinets of video games. (We're going back when we are not each carrying large bags of books which make it difficult to maneuver between games.) It was a much, much better end to my day than I had feared.

I am still carrying an epipen and may for the rest of my life, because my body has now demonstrated that there exists at least one thing in this world to which it reacts by trying to choke me to death and that is not cool. It was a closer call than I had thought on the night. I did not correctly assess the severity of what was happening to me. God forbid, if there is a next time, I don't try to wait it out with Benadryl: I go to the ER.

But it should not be the sea that sends me there.

Shout outs

Aug. 23rd, 2017 11:32 pm
ceitfianna: (Dean time rambles on)
[personal profile] ceitfianna posting in [community profile] ways_back_room
The end of AU week was great and its wonderful to see Bar returning to normal for Milliways.

Eden's raid happens and works out in unexpected ways.

Loki gets a note from Loki, all the various things going on with Loki are fun to watch.

Yusuke finds himself in the midst of a complex plot. I'm really looking forward to seeing more of Yusuke's story.

Now what have you been reading.

Use your words! Media update

Aug. 24th, 2017 03:34 pm
china_shop: Neal, Peter and Elizabeth smiling (Default)
[personal profile] china_shop
I've been failing at online-iness recently. My email inbox runneth over, and I have sooo many tabs open (again). Sorry if I owe you any kind of communication. My bad. 잘 못했습니다.

Kdramas
*blinks blearily* I've spent the last week and a half mainlining Suspicious Partner, despite the fact it started to go downhill about half-way through. Spoilers ) Overall, I finished because I'd watch Ji Chang Wook to hell and back, apparently, and the supporting cast was fun, but it's not one I'd particularly recommend.

Also watching: Goblin and Moonlight Drawn by Clouds (rewatches), and Chief Kim (on-going).

Not sure what I'm going to watch next on my own; maybe Secret Garden, since I hear it has body swaps, and wikipedia tells me it stars Empress Ki herself. Maybe something else. La la la...

Other TV
Nada. Latest stand-up comedians are Hannah Gadsby and DeAnne Smith. The latter sometimes veers outside my comfort zone, but otoh, she has some great stuff, like this.

Reading
I'm two-thirds of the way through Y. Euny Hong's Kept, but then I was out and only had my Kindle with me, so I started In Other Worlds (Sarah Rees Brennan), and now I have little inclination to go back and finish Kept. Oops. (But I will. Eventually.)

Writing
*hollow laughter*

(no subject)

Aug. 23rd, 2017 10:31 pm
shadowkat: (Default)
[personal profile] shadowkat
1. Last night was spent cleaning out shelves, watching super fix shelves (so they don't fall on my head), cleaning again, and putting things back into shelves.

2. Haven't really read anything of note of late. Oh, I've read some books, I just didn't like them that much.

* Hate to Want You by Alisha Cole - highly rec'd by SmartBitches, plot did not work for me. An issue I have with contemporary or modern romance novels. Also the gender imbalance in modern romance novels irritates me. And, this is odd, I know, but I feel the writers don't know how to write male characters effectively? They either romanticize them or demonize them. I've seen male writers do it with female characters in noir mystery novels and spy novels, and female contemporary and historical writers do it with male characters. I think the writer forgets to treat the person like a person and not as some idealized or demonized take on their gender?

It's less of a problem, oddly enough, in historical romance novels. You'd think it would be the opposite, but, alas no. I don't know why this is.

Nor do I know why the roles are more stereotypical in modern romance than historical.

Hmmm.

I was gifted with a brother, so I've seen the romantic conflict from the male perspective. He is apparently a very attractive guy, and women, to say the least, throw themselves at him. Always have.
It irritates him. They've also used him. I watched them do it when he was in Elementary through High School.

And, I've heard the male side of bad divorces and breakups from various male friends and co-workers over the years. Our society, I think puts an undo amount of pressure on men being well...a certain thing. My brother stated it once, how there's this view that you have to be the macho guy..the guy that pops up in so many contemporary romance novels -- that alpha male character, who frankly does not exist in reality. Aka James Bond.

It's also one of the issues I've had with reading female written male/male fiction...the men are written oddly at times. I don't quite know how to explain it. Seen this with male written female/female slash as well. I think people have a tendency to write their fantasy versions and not the reality? Which is okay of course. But it is interesting.

* Book that I can't remember the name of, but just finished today, which I guess is saying something isn't it? Oh well, at least I can remember the names of the characters - Genieve and Archie, usually it's the exact opposite. And the plot. Then again, it's not that surprising I can't remember the name of it...all these books appear to have variations on the same title. Innovative in relation to titles these writers aren't.

Anyhow...the book is interesting in this one respect, the writer got curious about what would happen if a woman inherited the Duke or rather Duchess title upon her father's death along with his estates, during Victorian times. Apparently the writer had read about this happening...a family, I think Ledbester? Had requested a special dispensation from the Crown to permit the eldest daughter to inherit. The Duke's two sons had died and he was left with seven daughters, so he requested one of the daughters inherit upon his death, and Victoria granted it. So, the book is about Genieve inheriting the title and falling in love with a Steward (third son of a Viscount, who is a retired army Captain), that her godmother sent her to help her learn how to become a Duchess.

Interesting premise. And it worked. But...the book is poorly executed. Instead of exploring the premise or even the family interactions, or giving us more on why the hero is estranged from his family and working as a steward...we get a lot of "does he love me, he shouldn't love me, we can't be together, blah, blah, blah" and vice versa. I started skimming halfway through. Also the sex scenes don't quite work and feel clumsy. (Note: less is more with sex scenes. We do not need to know that he put his tongue in her mouth or licked it. It suffices to say, he kissed her deeply. Or with devotion.
You do not need to provide graphic anatomical details...not only is it rather dull, it's also a bit jarring. This is not a how to manual on how to have sex, after all.)

Also, at one point, and I thought this rather interesting, the heroine proposes that the hero become her mistress. Which he's put out about and states, he'd thought she wanted to marry him. And this breaks them up for a bit. (I'm not sure a man would be quite that insulted by such a proposition. But this one might. Particularly since his father had a mistress and he despised it.) At the end, she proposes to him, asking him to marry her. He turns her down. Until they have sex and he thoroughly ruins her, then he proposes marriage to her, and she accepts...and they have sex on the ground, naked, in a place anyone could just happen by...seemed rather uncomfortable, not to mention awkward and a bit odd.

The book ends with her announcing their marriage to their friends. I felt sort of let down by it, since at that point I was only reading to find out what his estranged brother had written him and how they reconciled. But the writer wasn't interested in exploring it further, and it was summed up in a brief sentence. "He read his brother's letter aloud to her, expressed, and they reconciled." Seriously? We get graphic details of an awkward sex scene, but nothing on this? Ugh.
(This is the problem with a lot of romance novels.)

3. Was going to discuss world-building in books but no time. So will leave you with this...
I've realized that books that have a lot of world-building but not a good or clear plot or clear character arcs, seem to lend themselves to television and film adaptations rather well.
GRRM Game of Thrones is great with the world-building and the character vignettes, but bad on plot and cohesive character arcs. Same is true with most of Neil Gaiman's books, great world-building, not great character or plot development.

Also apparently most sci-fantasy readers don't really care about character arcs or plot that much, as long as there is an intricate world and mythology in place. It does help to have interesting or likable characters...but they can be sketchy, the world building can't. They get very upset if the writer screws up on the world-building. I've never understood this.
[syndicated profile] io9_feed

Posted by Evan Narcisse

Thought yesterday’s Joker-centric movie news was a huge surprise? Today’s newest development makes that look ho-hum: Warner Bros. is reportedly developing a Joker and Harley Quinn film, with Jared Leto and Margot Robbie coming back as Mr. J and Dr. Quinzel.

Read more...

Just ten thousand reflections.

Aug. 23rd, 2017 09:07 pm
hannah: (On the pier - fooish_icons)
[personal profile] hannah
I walked into fall this morning. It'd rained last night and the streets were still a little wet and the air was still a little cool. With the smell of wet leaves in the gutter and faint light from the turning season, it all settled just on top of my skin. The sort of autumn morning I'd grown up with. It was gone the moment I looked up at the bright sky with its few puffy clouds, which made for a heavy dose of cognitive dissonance before I even got onto the subway. And then I'd look around me, not above me, and I could remember the sidewalks on the bike rides to school when I was a kid. It didn't last, dissipating by the time I got to work, but I knew this was the beginning of the end of summer.

After work, I went to the greenmarket, and I knew it was really time. Hard squashes have come in. There's no pumpkins as of yet, but they're looming. Just over the horizon. And even though I look forward to the delicately balanced chill to come back and settle for a moment, it's always hard when I know I've arrived at the end of something.

I also found out I'm leaving for a family vacation a day before I thought I was. So that's something cleared up well ahead of time, at least. It's one less day to worry about packing, and more important to me, one less day for writing. I don't think I'll be able to break 60,000 words on the current WIP, which means it's possible 2017 may be the first year of all the years I've been in fandom where I haven't finished something - at least, something beyond little birthday challenge drabbles. When I get back from the vacation, I'm going back to an original project that I can hopefully look at with enough detachment to be harsh but fair, and then it's beginning another one and trying to get momentum going on that first...and in all that, time for playing around with Buffy the Vampire Slayer might well drop in importance. Even though I know it won't take much more than another dedicated fortnight or so to get the first rough draft completed, and then maybe another month to go through for a first-pass edit, and a bounty of other beautiful excuses I can give to myself. Especially with classes beginning soon. I'll want something to play with.

Which I know I'll just have to make the time for.

DW comm question

Aug. 23rd, 2017 08:58 pm
yhlee: a clock face in blue and gold (hxx clock)
[personal profile] yhlee
Does anyone know offhand if random people can donate DW points (to buy paid time for comment-searches) to a community? I know you can do it for an account but can't figure out from the FAQ if this works for comms as well.
[syndicated profile] io9_feed

Posted by Charles Pulliam-Moore

At some point in 2018, we can expect to see a live-action Teen Titans on Warner Bros’ brand-new digital streaming service. Tonight, we learned who’ll be playing the show’s incarnation of Starfire and the news of her casting has an importance that can’t be understated.

Read more...

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laceblade: Kumiko and Reina from Hibike! Euphonium anime, Reina holding Kumiko's face w/one hand, faces close enough to almost touch. (Default)
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