I've decided what I'm going to do is just try to help people in whatever way I can, which always feels like a good course of action to me.
So, I have this Russian friend on twitter. She's fannish, her name is Sasha, her twitter account is locked. We met in Black Sails fandom earlier this year. She's very delightful and funny and lives in St. Petersburg.
This year she'd really like to get married. She and her girlfriend have been together for about 5 years. Needless to say, a marriage is not possible in Russia (or Ukraine, where her girlfriend is from). So, they've thought up a plan to travel to Denmark to get married later this year, and they've been raising money mostly through their Russian fandom friends, to make the trip possible. Russian fandom doesn't really do paypal (other money transfer methods are easier), so when I asked how I could help they basically opened an account with PP just for me.
There's no public post about this fundraiser, no kickstarter page. I honestly don't even want to link their account names on twitter to this public post, although I of course asked them what details I could share before writing about this on DW.
Anyway, if you're looking for the usual safeguards to make sure this isn't a scam - they're not really available in this case. I can only tell you that I know this person and trust them and I've helped their marriage fund and have no regrets.
So, if you'd like to throw some money their way, or signal boost this to your friends, their paypal address is: blindpilot at yandex dot ru
(Also, Sasha has pointed out that if you'd like more details about what the money is for, you're welcome to email her at that address.)
Dear FemslashEx Writer or Artist,
Thank you so much for writing for me! This is my first time doing FemslashEx, so I'm really excited.
(I only requested art for one fandom; however, if anyone is moved to do an art treat for me in any of them, I would absolutely love that.)
Loves, DNWs, and notes/prompts for my fandoms (Aliens, Carrie, Original Work, Star Trek: Classic Timeline, and X/1999 below cut). ( Read more... )
First of all, relax! I'm far from being picky, and I can pretty much guarantee that I'll love whatever you decide to draw or write for me. These are nothing but guidelines, for you to take to heart or ignore to your heart's content. Also, hey! You're drawing and/or writing me femslash! What's not to love? ♥
That said, I thought that I'd elaborate a bit on my requests in case, like me, you're the type of person who likes to have something to work with. Feel free to use and/or ignore as much of this as you want. I've tried to include a mix of vague prompts as well as more detailed ones, to hopefully make things as helpful as possible whether you're drawing art or writing fic.
( More details under the cut. )
( Requests under the cut. )
I had had the vague impression that my sister-in-law's place was pretty small and uninteresting, but in fact, they own about 1,000 acres of land plus Sampson Pond itself, and have two small-but-well-sealed cabins right *on* the Pond, about 1 1/2 miles off the main road. It is gorgeous and I fell in love on the instant I got there. The fact the electricity and running water are generator powered means a) it's loud and b) more expensive, but it doesn't have to be /on/ all the time, and the expense isn't my problem, so that part was less annoying than I expected. The family originally bought it because they were timber barons off in Pennsylvania, and then some of the family split off and became more minor timber royalty (baronettes?), with way less land, off in New York instead.
They have a nicely symbiotic relationship with the local hunting association, who do some maintenance in return for ATV-and-fishing access.
There are canoes and rowboats and all manner of Things To Do on-Pond, plus some local touristy nonsense for those who are interested.
The Adirondacks have some high peak areas (over 4,000 feet) and some foothills, and a lot of hilly-but-mostly-lakes-and-rivers areas, which is where the Pond is. Sort of central-northern. I didn't get west of there, but in general, it feels like the White Mountains, only wetter and with more ground scrub than the Whites.
I didn't much care about (lack of) internet, although my SiL's family (on Verizon) got service while my brother and I (on Sprint) didn't, which irritated me only because I would either rather have A Phone Blackout or have everyone have phones and internet, and not this weird mixture.
Her uncle has been in the meaner version of A Course In Miracles for 5 years or so, in that he was at the monastery in Utah, where there are undoubtedly many wonderful things, but one is basically expected to never have negative thoughts ever, and if ones does, one should conquer them immediately, and if one can't, one is looked down upon vocally. (I extrapolate from a few discussions we (me and him and my brother & sister-in-law) had, and since I am not a CIM fan, I put a negative spin on it, but it's a reasonably accurate boiling down of some of what he said.) He's leaving in large part because they're moving to Mexico and he didn't like their place in Mexico last time he went, but he's still in the "they're mostly right about me" phase, and /hopefully/ will progress to "we were no longer good for each other" phase sooner rather than later. Though he's 70, so possibly not, but I hope so. He himself is steeped in psych and religion history and I want to get to know him better.
Best part of the weekend: Two nights spent on the pond (one on the dock, one in boats) with the aforementioned crew, star-watching. Saw a bunch of Perseids. Really quite amazing.
(My S-i-L's parents have a much earlier schedule than we do, so didn't join in. Her dad basically suddenly started waking up at 5 am about 10 years ago and can't seem to stop (I know a lot of older folks who need less sleep, which is different but similar), so her mom sticks with being somewhat closer to his schedule when possible. I enjoy them a lot, in a low key way.)
I was in a total news blackout for most of the weekend, so I figured war would break out or something. Instead, I had a vague awareness of Tiki torchlight parades, but then I re-emerged and we'd had protest clashes, deaths, and the President waffling around and then going full Both Sides Did It White Nationalist, which, while teeth-grindingly infuriating, is certainly better than war, but just proves we're having about 5 news cycles per day.
I will probably write up tourist nonsense from the trip over, maybe.
I will keep updating but if our rally is happening, I'll still be there. I think it's important to show our solidarity and fire. Hey, just talking about showing up chased the Nazis out of LA before they even came - let's give them crowd photos to haunt their dreams and keep them out.
The rest of the day...don't ask. When you schlepp home five pounds of reading at 11pm in order to prepare, and find out after dutifully going through it that none of it was relevant? Suboptimal. Should have known this day, minus the A+ dinner with C, would suck dead rats through a garden hose (Exhibit 1, Exhibit 2).
There is not a single member of the Republican party, nor any other voter who either elected the Orange Menace or by not voting enabled it, who can claim this isn't EXACTLY what they voted for or allowed to happen. Because Agent Orange certainly hadn't kept his views a secret. Nor did his minions.
Probably it will rain all day, but at least I can say I tried.
So instead of books, since I will be doing a lot of driving in the middle of nowhere, my question this week is: What songs are on your eclipse playlist? "Total Eclipse of the Heart" and "The Sun Is A Miasma of Incandescent Plasma", obviously. But what else?
I have been working on the book collection, though! I went through and re-did my to-read lists, of which there are three: one on the library website, which has 300 books on it, of books the library has; the Goodreads one, which includes only books my library doesn't have and has about 250; and ~2500 owned-but-unread, so that's totally doable at my current rate as long as I never add any more to any of the three lists.
(Anybody want to be goodreads friends, by the way? if we aren't already, drop me a line. my gr is connected to my rl so I don't link it here but I will def. add people.)
Me and Mom also cleaned out the cookbooks over the weekend, which was fun! We both agreed on keeping the ones that had some kind of sentimental value to the family, of course. ( food, cooking, and diet as expressed in a collection of second-half-of-twentieth-century cookbooks. )
We got rid of about fifty cookery books. There's only about 200 left. That't TOTALLY reasonable for a family of two that cooks an actual meal at most twice a week, and usually from recipes we know by heart, right?
A friendly reminder to my gentile friends re: Charlottesville
There are a bunch of posts going around about donating to local Charlottesville charities in the face of the hate march, and I think this is a great idea.
Do you wanna know an even better idea?
Donate in multiples of $18.
Here, I’ll explain!
Hebrew is a numeric language. That is, all of its words have a numeric value. ( Importance of the number 18 in Hebrew )
Fight the 1488 with the 18.
Fight hate with life.
(Non-Jews, feel free to reblog and share this to other platforms. In fact I genuinely and unironically hope you do, because I’d love to see this take off among gentile donators who want a great, nonviolent way to offer a one-two punch.)
Anyway, I have a number vid ideas that will never get made if I don't pay someone else to do it, and so I'm always on the lookout for vid auctions featuring vidders offering those sources that I think would do a creditable job with the idea. Which is how I bidded on (and ended up winning) grammarwoman's services to make a Star Wars fanvid to that old American Civil War hit, "That's What's the Matter." And she did a really great job, and the vid is SO FUNNY. You have to go see.
Title: That's What's the Matter
Source: Star Wars movies (Rogue One, Episodes IV-VII)
Music: "That's What's the Matter", Stephen Foster
Vid Download Link: 183 MB m4v file at Sendspace (If you'd like it in a different format, let me know.)
Summary: The Empire would have gotten away with it, too, if it hadn't been for those meddling Rebels and incompetent Imperial officers.
The issue itself isn't out yet, but many of the personal essays about disability and science fiction are available for free on the Kickstarter page. They're all good, and you should totally check them out. Here are some of my faves:
K.C. Alexander, We Are Not Your Backstories:
Science fiction shapes generations—how we think, the way we act. It influences the careers we choose and our thirst for knowledge. It cautions against the worst of our impulses, and quietly teaches us empathy. Without knowing it, we are slowly acclimated to people and beliefs that live outside our rigid monocultures.A.T. Greenblatt, The Stories We Find Ourselves In:
So, I'll let you in on a secret, the thing I've learned about having a life-long disability, the thing that lots of stories never quite grasp: The real trick, the true solution to a disability, is to find a balance between your abilities and your goals.Michael Merriam, We Are Not Daredevil. Except When We Are Daredevil:
I live in this world. I can't toss my white cane aside when I need to spring into action: the cane goes with me everywhere. I travel around my city on public transportation. My other senses are not supernaturally sharper because I am blind. I simply pay better attention to those other senses. It's a learned skill. I live within my blindness every day, and I want to read about fictional characters who also live with and within their blindness.
Marissa Lingen, Malfunctioning Space Stations:
I have a major balance disorder. When I am awake and able to use all my senses, I can reason out the vertical. If you make me close my eyes, I can still get it to within about five degrees of the correct answer if I'm sitting still on a firm surface. If I’ve got a squishy surface, motion, or other things confusing my senses, doubtful. Asleep? All bets are off. I literally do not know which way is up.H. Ace Ratcliff, Nihil de Nobis, Sine Nobis:
Since I have read and written science fiction for decades, what my sleeping brain knows to do with this much disorientation is to process it into a malfunctioning space station. And so I dream. Occasionally my dreams veer into carnival rides, roller coasters, giant swooping swings. But that is someone else's genre. This is mine.
I narrowly avoided the temptation to throw my Kindle and watch the book shatter into a million plastic pieces. If it had been a printed paperback, I’m positive I would be able to show you the dent in the wall. “For the record,” I tweeted out to the hashtags The Expanse was using, “you can be a fucking Valkyrie in a goddamn wheelchair.” I can assure you that any human with the wherewithal, sheer willpower, and pain tolerance to put her skeleton back into place on an hourly basis absolutely deserves a place in any mythological pantheon.Day Al-Mohamed, The Stories We Tell and the Amazon Experiment:
As an example, I once asked a room full of authors what their response would be if I asked them to make the protagonist in their current Work-in-Progress a woman – most nodded, yesses were heard around the room. Then I asked if they could make their character a person of color – again, nods around the room. Then I asked if they would make the character disabled – silence. The discomfort was palpable. In theory diversity and disability was great to include in fiction but when it came to implementation, they couldn’t easily connect disability with their protagonist. They had trouble adjusting to the practical reality of disability existing outside of the boxes they knew. This is why 134 stories on Amazon could be broken down into five story categories.Ada Hoffman, Everything Is True: A Non-Neurotypical Experience with Fiction:
When I read #ownvoices autistic characters, I often think the authors have had that same feeling. Many of these characters have devoted family, friends, romantic partners, even when the world at large is awful to them. Most of them first have to overcome a broken relationship with themselves. To learn to believe that they're worthy as they are.Haddayr Copley-Woods, Move Like You're From Thra, My People:
With autistic characters written by NT authors, it often feels like everyone is tired of their shit from the start.
You don't have to be tough. People sometimes say things like, "If you can be discouraged from writing, you should be," and use that as a way to justify being unkind to people who are tender. I don't think it's meant as a cudgel against disabled people specifically, but it can function as one. If you doubt your abilities, if you are sometimes crushed, if you feel like an impostor—that's fine. It's normal. If only tough people wrote stories, then we'd only have their perspectives, and we would lose all the things other people—you—have to offer.
I was glad I didn’t have this unfortunate internalized disableism stilling my movements, but I didn’t know why I’d found it so easy to make the switch until I sat down with my little boys to watch The Dark Crystal, which I hadn’t watched in decades.
I didn’t know. It took my breath away. The reason why I am fine with moving like this, the reason I am fine with people staring and why I love myself this way, is because of The Dark Crystal.
The issue is more than fully funded, right now they're adding content left and right as more people pledge, and if they get to $45k (they're at $39,425 with 9 days left to go) they'll do a hardcopy of it for supporters pledging $50 or more.
Obviously, this could be dangerous. But I am not letting LITERAL NAZIS march in my city unopposed. Besides, it could be a great opportunity:
Please let me know if you're going, so we can rideshare or try to meet up or something.
Defend Diversity: Fight to Protect Diversity Policies in the Workplace!!
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Saturday at 12 PM - 3:30 PM
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