umadoshi: (Yotsuba&! curious (ohsnap_icons))
[personal profile] umadoshi
The new October Daye book (The Winter Long, the eighth in the Toby series) came out today!

This post is not about that, although I did spend the evening devouring the book. Nor is it about how many things are coming out this month that I'm excited about. (Several!!!)

See, I learned quite a while ago now that if a book is sold ahead of its release date, that sale doesn't count towards its first-week sales numbers. Tonight I learned that while pre-orders do theoretically count, that theory breaks down if the pre-ordered book ships early.

As if it weren't ridiculous enough that early sales don't count? :/ Not that stores should be selling them early, but you'd think they could at least, you know, report those numbers to whoever/whatever tracks them. And so often the advice for supporting authors and other creators involves "Pre-order the book (etc.)! Show advance interest!!!" With, apparently, the caveat that your advance interest can act against the author's interests if Amazon or whoever ships the book early. ;_;

Amazon is my go-to example here, because it often does stock/ship books early; I used to cheerfully take advantage of that before realizing that it was a real problem. The Winter Long was showing as in stock on Amazon for days before today. Fortunately [personal profile] wildpear and I pre-ordered our copies through Chapters/Indigo, and the order shipped at a more appropriate time. (And has not yet arrived, so I read a digital copy tonight. I'm looking forward to the hard copy arriving and bringing my set up to date!)

It just seems like such a ludicrous system, especially since those initial(-but-not-early!) sales are so critical :/ I know it stresses [livejournal.com profile] seanan_mcguire out badly (to the point that she makes a point of asking people to just please, please not tell her if they manage to buy a book early), and I can't imagine she's the only one. Is anyone actually benefiting from things being done this way?

(no subject)

Sep. 2nd, 2014 08:39 pm
skygiants: Jane Eyre from Paula Rego's illustrations, facing out into darkness (more than courage)
[personal profile] skygiants
Why did I feel compelled to read Death of a Schoolgirl, aka Jane Eyre Solves Mysteries v. 1? Well, I will tell you why:

1. the mystery involved Jane going to help Adele in boarding school and I have always been vaguely resentful that Adele did not show up at the end of the book
2. the back description seemed to indicate that Mr. Rochester was basically not in it AT ALL because Jane was gallivanting around solving mysteries and had no time for him, which is perfect as a concept for a Jane Eyre sequel. All that should ever happen in Jane Eyre sequels is Jane running around doing a million useful things while Rochester stays home and pines. A+, completely true to the spirit of the book.
3. the idea of Jane Eyre using her accomplished sketching skills for the purpose of CRIMINAL FORENSICS is, like, the best thing ever. Let's not lie. It's amazing.

...unfortunately, despite all these points in its favor, the book was not particularly good at capturing any kind of sense of Jane Eyre-ness. I feel bad saying that because the introduction explains that Jane Eyre is very personally meaningful to the author. Jane Eyre is personally meaningful to me too! I just do not think Joanna Campbell Slan's personal Jane is much like my personal Jane. This Jane, well....

JANE: Oh look, a letter from Adele! Who has been stuck at school without seeing anyone for over a year due to FIRE AND DOOM plus new baby! ... I am pretty seriously offended she hasn't congratulated me yet on the baby, I cannot IMAGINE why she wouldn't be happy about this.
ADELE, IN A LETTER: AU SECOURS AU SECOURS AU SECOURS!!!
JANE: This is mildly concerning, but probably no big deal? Everyone knows Adele is basically a dramallama.

However even though Adele is PROBABLY just being a dramallama, Jane wanders up to London anyway, where she promptly sees the body of a schoolgirl being carried out of Adele's school.

ADELE'S TEACHER: Heyyyyy yeah so Adele was freaked out about the dead girl so we gave her some laudanum and she's been passed out most of a day? It's cool, it's cool, kids get hysterical about this kind of thing!
JANE, whose backstory trauma is literally ALL ABOUT DEAD SCHOOLGIRLS: Well, all this is startling, but, I mean, you know the French and all! Definitely still not ruling out a plain case of dramallama!

So Jane wanders off again. She makes a new society lady friend. She thinks about pretty clothes, because clothes descriptions are obligatory in historical mysteries. She ponders her new social responsibilities as mistress of the manor and decides she needs to do more charity. Eventually she gets convinced to go undercover as a German teacher to solve the mystery of the dead schoolgirl, so she does that, and then does solve the mystery, which mostly consists of discovering that the victim was a horrible monster that everybody hated, because having us feel sorry for a dead teenager would be too easy, I guess.

At no point in time does she do anything that particularly reminds me of Jane Eyre. But, like, I'm trying not to judge, Jane Eyre fanfiction is super hard to write. I don't think I could pull off the quality of Jane Eyre-ness either! The thing about Jane Eyre -- or at least Jane Eyre as she is meaningful to me -- is that she's fierce and difficult and self-reliant and weird, like, HELLA weird. And how do you throw all that fierce weirdness at the Standard Historical Mystery London and make them interact? It's an interesting question but sadly I do not buy this book as an answer.

Another cover photo from 1996

Sep. 2nd, 2014 03:13 pm
[syndicated profile] asknicola_feed

Posted by Nicola Griffith

I'm on the cover of this month's Locus magazine. I've been on it before—eighteen years ago*. It occurred to me that you might like to see how I looked then.
Taken aboard the Queen Mary, Long Beach, at the Nebula Awards weekend, 1996
It's poor quality because it's an old, old scan of a printed photo (taken by Charles N. Brown, who did the interview). But, yep, that's what I looked like when I was 35. I'm just glad it's not a full-length picture: I'm wearing shorts. Another ignominy dodged...

*If you want to see a picture of the actual magazine, it's currently for sale on eBay.

skjam: (gasgun)
[personal profile] skjam posting in [community profile] scans_daily
Hi folks!

When Superman the Animated Series and Batman the Animated Series were on, they had tie-in comics, the Adventures line. We've seen scans from those every so often. But there was a third title, Adventures in the DCUniverse that covered everyone else in the DCU in kid-friendly stories.



This version draws most closely on the Jerry Ordway Power of Shazam continuity. 7 pages of 22.

Say the word! Feel the power! )

Now we wait for the newest Shazam-related series to find a hole in the schedule.

Your thoughts and comments?
SKJAM!

Poem: "Titanium Transformation"

Sep. 2nd, 2014 03:38 pm
ysabetwordsmith: (Fly Free)
[personal profile] ysabetwordsmith
This is the first freebie for today's fishbowl, prompted by [personal profile] pinkrangerv. It also fills "the cost of magic" square in my 9-1-14 card for the [community profile] genprompt_bingo fest. It contains spoilers for Power Rangers Lightspeed Rescue.

Read more... )
[syndicated profile] seriouseats_recipes_feed

Posted by Maggie Mariolis

Hattie B's Hot Chicken From 'Fried & True'
This recipe for Hattie B's Hot Chicken, from Lee Brian Schrager's Fried & True: More than 50 Recipes for America's Best Fried Chicken and Sides, packs the heat and is quite possibly my favorite recipe in the book. Burnished a deep, hell-fire red with a finishing coat of cayenne-amplified oil, the bird is emphatically crunchy with juicy and flavorful meat. Get Recipe!

Well behind the herd....

Sep. 2nd, 2014 08:23 pm
oursin: Brush the wandering hedgehog dancing in his new coat (Brush the wandering hedgehog dancing)
[personal profile] oursin

But I didn't have my iPod with me last week.

This is the ten random songs that came up when I put it on shuffle:
  • The Springfields, Silver Threads and Golden Needles
  • Smokey Robinson, Shop Around
  • Roy Orbison, Sweet Dream Baby
  • The Beatles, For the Benefit of Mr Kite
  • Jerry Lee Lewis, Great Balls of Fire
  • Edwin Starr, 25 Miles
  • Tina Turner, Simply the Best
  • Abba, Chiquitita
  • Marvin Gaye, I Heard It Through the Grapevine
  • The Who, I'm A Boy*

Which, you know, not untypical - nearly all has that 'listening to pirate radio in the 60s' vibe - and nothing actually embarrassing (hey, sometimes I like bubblegum pop!) but rather a narrow range: nothing from the classics menu, no blues, no Noel Coward or Rogers/Astaire, etc.

I'm not entirely sure what this says about me, except something about when my taste was formed and where it has largely remained ever since.

*This was particularly apposite at the time for external reasons.

james_davis_nicoll: (Default)
[personal profile] james_davis_nicoll
Golden Witchbreed

The Earth of the near-future has faster-than-light travel of a particularly powerful sort; the entire Milky Way is just 90 days from Earth. Habitable worlds are common enough [1] and much to the Dominion of Earth 's surprise generally inhabited. How to adapt when there are millions of alien civilizations on the Dominion's doorstep?
Read more... )

(no subject)

Sep. 2nd, 2014 05:55 pm
synecdochic: torso of a man wearing jeans, hands bound with belt (Default)
[personal profile] synecdochic
In reassembling my workspace after the window installation, i've given up on the "no cats on my desk" rule and bowed to the inevitable.
Read more... )

Poetry Fishbowl Open!

Sep. 2nd, 2014 12:41 pm
ysabetwordsmith: Cats playing with goldfish (Default)
[personal profile] ysabetwordsmith
Starting now, the Poetry Fishbowl is open!  Today's theme is "healing & growth."  I will be checking this page periodically throughout the day. When people make suggestions, I'll pick some and weave them together into a poem ... and then another ... and so on. I'm hoping to get a lot of ideas and a lot of poems.

Click to read the linkback poem "The Face of a Hero" (Polychrome Heroics, 17 verses available).


What Is a Poetry Fishbowl?

Writing is usually considered a solitary pursuit. One exception to this is a fascinating exercise called a "fishbowl." This has various forms, but all of them basically involve some kind of writing in public, usually with interaction between author and audience. A famous example is Harlan Ellison's series of "stories under glass" in which he sits in a bookstore window and writes a new story based on an idea that someone gives him. Writing classes sometimes include a version where students watch each other write, often with students calling out suggestions which are chalked up on the blackboard for those writing to use as inspiration.

In this online version of a Poetry Fishbowl, I begin by setting a theme; today's theme is "healing & growth."  I invite people to suggest characters, settings, and other things relating to that theme. Then I use those prompts as inspiration for writing poems.


Cyberfunded Creativity

I'm practicing cyberfunded creativity. If you enjoy what I'm doing and want to see more of it, please feed the Bard. The following options are currently available:

1) Sponsor the Fishbowl -- Here is a PayPal button for donations. There is no specific requirement, but $1 is the minimum recommended size for PayPal transactions since they take a cut from every one. You can also donate via check or money order sent by postal mail. If you make a donation and tell me about it, I promise to use one of your prompts. Anonymous donations are perfectly welcome, just won't get that perk. General donations will be tallied, and at the end of the fishbowl I’ll post a list of eligible poems based on the total funding; then the audience can vote on which they want to see posted.

2) Swim, Fishie, Swim! -- A feature in conjunction with fishbowl sponsorship is this progress meter showing the amount donated.  There are multiple perks, the top one being a half-price poetry sale on one series when donations reach $300.



3) Buy It Now! -- Gakked from various e-auction sites, this feature allows you to sponsor a specific poem. If you don't want to wait for some editor to buy and publish my poem so you can read it, well, now you don't have to. Sponsoring a poem means that I will immediately post it on my blog for everyone to see, with the name of the sponsor (or another dedicate) if you wish; plus you get a nonexclusive publication right, so you can post it on your own blog or elsewhere as long as you keep the credits intact. You'll need to tell me the title of the poem you want to sponsor. I'm basing the prices on length, and they're comparable to what I typically make selling poetry to magazines (semi-pro rates according to Duotrope's Digest).

0-10 lines: $5
11-25 lines: $10
26-40 lines: $15
41-60 lines: $20
Poems over 60 lines, or with very intricate structure, fall into custom pricing.

4) Commission a scrapbook page. I can render a chosen poem in hardcopy format, on colorful paper, using archival materials for background and any embellishments. This will be suitable for framing or for adding to a scrapbook. Commission details are here.  See latest photos of sample scrapbooked poems: "Sample Scrapbooked Poems 1-24-11"

5) Spread the word. Echo or link to this post on your LiveJournal, other blog, Twitter, Facebook, MySpace, Digg, StumbleUpon, or any other social network.  Useful Twitter hashtags include #poetryfishbowl and #promptcall.  Encourage people to come here and participate in the fishbowl.  If you have room for it, including your own prompt will give your readers an idea of what the prompts should look like; ideally, update later to include the thumbnail of the poem I write, and a link to the poem if it gets published.  If there is at least one new prompter or donor, I will post an extra freebie poem.

Linkback perk: I have a spare series poem available, and each linkback will reveal a verse of the poem.  One person can do multiple links if they're on different services, like Dreamwidth, Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr, etc. rather than all on LiveJournal.  Comment with a link to where you posted.  "The Face of a Hero" belongs to the series Polychrome Heroics and has 17 verses available. 


Additional Notes

1) I customarily post replies to prompt posts telling people which of their prompts I'm using, with a brief description of the resulting poem(s). If you want to know what's available, watch for those "thumbnails."

2) You don't have to pay me to see a poem based on a prompt that you gave me. I try to send copies of poems to people, mostly using the LJ message function.  (Anonymous prompters will miss this perk unless you give me your eddress.)  These are for-your-eyes-only, though, not for sharing.

3) Sponsors of the Poetry Fishbowl in general, or of specific poems, will gain access to an extra post in appreciation of their generosity.  While you're on the Donors list, you can view all of the custom-locked posts in that category.  Click the "donors" tag to read the archive of those.  I've also posted a list of other donor perks there.  I customarily leave donor names on the list for two months, so you'll get to see the perk-post from this month and next.

4) After the Poetry Fishbowl concludes, I will post a list of unsold poems and their prices, to make it easier for folks to see what they might want to sponsor.

5) If donations total $100 by Friday evening then you get a free $15 poem; $150 gets you a free $20 poem; and $200 gets you a free epic, posted after the Poetry Fishbowl.  These will usually be series poems if I have them; otherwise I may offer non-series poems or series poems in a different size.  If donations reach $250, you get one step toward a bonus fishbowl; three of these activates the perk, and they don't have to be three months in a row.  Everyone will get to vote on which series, and give prompts during the extra fishbowl, although it may be a half-day rather than a whole day.  If donations reach $300, you get a half-price sale for one week in one series.  Everyone will get to vote on which series to feature in the sale, out of those with extra poems available.


Feed the Fish!
Now's your chance to participate in the creative process by posting ideas for me to write about. Today's theme is "healing & growth."  I'll be soliciting ideas for herbalists, healers, counselors, clients, teachers, students, farmers, fields, offices, helping people, actions leading to personal growth, stages of recovery, growth phases, hitting rock bottom, plot twists, safety equipment, self-help materials, herbs, and poetic forms in particular. But anything is welcome, really. If you manage to recommend a form that I don't recognize, I will probably pounce on it and ask you for its rules. I do have Lewis Turco's The New Book of Forms which covers most common and many obscure forms.

I'll post at least one of the fishbowl poems here so you-all can enjoy it. (Remember, you get an extra freebie poem if someone new posts a prompt or makes a donation, and additional perks at $100-$300 in donations.  Linkbacks reveal verses of "The Face of a Hero.") The rest of the poems will go into my archive for magazine submission.

Magic ex Libris, Book Four

Sep. 2nd, 2014 12:14 pm
jimhines: (Snoopy Writing)
[personal profile] jimhines

Mostly for my own reference, today I wrote the opening paragraphs of the as-yet-untitled fourth book in the Magic ex Libris series.

I would share the first few lines, but they won’t make much sense until you’ve read Unbound [B&N | Indiebound | Amazon].

Anyway, yay! Deadpool approves of new books. And also of random violence, which should be starting in this next scene. Poor Isaac…

DEadpool2

Mirrored from Jim C. Hines.

[syndicated profile] seriouseats_recipes_feed

Posted by Shao Z.

Ground Pork and Corn Congee (Chinese Rice Porridge)
A staple for breakfast and lunch in many Asian countries, congee is rice and water (or broth) cooked down into a thick porridge. Everyone does it slightly different. It can be cooked using different grains of rice, different kinds and amounts of liquid, and different cooking times. Every choice can affect the final flavor and consistency. After much trial and error, I've arrived at the ideal recipe for a congee that's silky and comforting instead of sludgy or overly heavy. Get Recipe!
[syndicated profile] asknicola_feed

Posted by Nicola Griffith

I'm on the cover of this month's Locus magazine. I was interviewed by Francesca Myman at the Nebula Awards weekend at the beginning of May. Francesca also took the photo and designed the cover which is lovely, stuffed with luscious ammonite- and phi-ness. I'm looking forward to seeing it up close and in person.

The only way to read the interview — it's long and juicy, more than 4,000 words — is to buy your own copy.

Frances is a good interviewer — so it mostly makes sense. I was mostly off the opiates at that point, but it's a direct transcription of a verbal interview, so it's interesting: simple sentence structure and lots of short, blunt words. I had the opportunity to edit but chose to do nothing but correct one spelling mistake and clarify a couple of points which I'm guessing I made at the time with facial expression and hand gesture.

Should any of you read it, I'd be curious about what you think.

The Lazy Cook's Black Beans

Sep. 2nd, 2014 08:50 am
[syndicated profile] seriouseats_recipes_feed

Posted by Max Falkowitz

The Lazy Cook's Black Beans
A bowl of black beans with some rice, bread, or greens is a meal in itself, but it's also a side dish to round out about any meal. The trick, if you could call it that, is to stick to dried beans that can slowly release their starch into the cooking liquid, and use a balance of aromatics to enhance their flavor. Get Recipe!
oursin: a hedgehog lying in the middle of cacti (hedgehog and cactus)
[personal profile] oursin

Today I wore for the first time a pair of shoes that I bought in a sale some while ago (on account of snapping up Ecco shoes in my size and a style I like should I see them in a sale) and which have been sitting at the back of the wardrobe ever since.

The heels have started disintegrating and leaving a trail of black blobs.

Fortunately this is a day when I have my trainers with me and have also uncovered an emergency pair of shoes which I think was probably intended for cases of rainy days and getting soaked to the socks, but will serve this contingency.

I suppose it counts as a first-world problem to have That Many Books that if the ones you are looking for - in this instance, my copies of Antonia Forest, End of Term, Peter's Room and The Thuggery Affair - are not on the shelves with the others, trying to find exactly where they are is a daunting prospect. (I have no idea. As far as I can recall, the last time I had them out was when I did a full reread some years ago, and thus, why are some but not others in their rightful place?)

Am less than thrilled with the latest LJ shiny new things, even if it will let me have my Friends page rather than Feed I DO.NOT.WANT. the layout changes and loss of various things like my personalised link titles, etc.

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snippy: Lego me holding book (Default)
snippy

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