Make That Change

Aug. 16th, 2017 12:45 pm[personal profile] goss
goss: (Default)
In these dark times, what can we do that will have the most positive impact?

Someone on my flist posted about feeling like they're not doing enough. But they were speaking with family and friends and trying to understand their views.

I actually think this is the MOST IMPORTANT THING that we can do.

It's sometimes the hardest thing to do, but I strongly believe it's the one thing that will have the most impact in the long run.

I have found that being courageous and speaking up when you are around relatives and loved ones who make racist, sexist, fear-driven comments - creating a dialogue about the issue, reasoning with them, challenging them, correcting inaccurate beliefs, etc. - that's the key.

Do not sit silently by and let their way of thinking go unchecked.

Sure, it's the easier thing to excuse it, or to not want to make a scene at a family gathering. It's safer and more comfortable to reblog your opinions in a virtual environment of strangers, but it will never make as much impact as confronting your own near and dear ones, and trying to effect change from the home, you know?

I now call out my father's sexist thinking, my mother's racial prejudices, my friends' sometimes off-colour, gossipy comments. If you don't do it, who will? You will be amazed how your intolerance of this sort of thing can make them think twice about what comes out of their mouths. Maybe even question their own bigotry and open their eyes to another way of thinking.
twistedchick: General Leia in The Force Awakens (Default)
On taking action against white supremacists as metaphorical rock-paper-scissors.

I'm not going to repeat all the links in the superb posts I'm seeing. Instead, I'm asking you to go read this one by [personal profile] rydra_wong and this one by [personal profile] kore because they're brilliant. And they have good historical info on the way the Klan has moved through the last century of US history, what knocked them down and what's different now. For instance, I don't recall any other time when KKK/white supremacist members rallied without their robes, with their faces uncovered and in bright torchlight so they're identifiable in the camera photos that are posted online -- and then must account to the others in their lives (bosses, families, universities) for their actions.

And yes, Trump did not slip when he said the alt-left in Charlottesville was attacking "us". He did mean that he identifies with the white supremacists/Nazis/KKK. It wasn't a slip-up, no matter what you hear from "unnamed White House sources". Watch the Rachel Maddow videos in [personal profile] kore's post; she puts it together well. Ignore the toadies from the staff. But do take note of them as untrustworthy; they have already sold themselves to Trump.

ETA: [personal profile] rachelmanija is planning to be part of a counterprotest, to oppose Nazis at a rally in Los Angeles this Saturday, and invites those of you who wish to join her to let her know. Be safe, please, and counterprotest while keeping a good distance from people with clubs and other weapons, okay?

In the middle of this hatefulness, I implore you to find something that feeds your spirit, your soul, whatever you want to call the deepest inmost part of yourself, that makes you happy, that gives you joy, and keep doing it. The only way to do this kind of work, opposing hate, and get through it sanely is to fill yourself first with joy and love and peace to give you strength. Whatever it is, let it be your refuge. We will not see the last of this for a long time; best to start now to create your own inner sanctuary that nobody can mess with. For me it is meditation, prayer, shamanic practice, and tai chi. Handwork also helps-- knitting, spinning, weaving. Walking on the woods trails, when my foot is up to it again. Music, always. You can't give to others from your own lack; fill yourself first.

what ho? a calendar?

Aug. 15th, 2017 02:15 pm[personal profile] twistedchick
twistedchick: General Leia in The Force Awakens (Default)
Does anyone know when the Shakespeare fiction exchanges assignments are to come out? I can't find it in my calendar, and I'd like to know so I can set the time aside for it.
twistedchick: General Leia in The Force Awakens (Default)
An arc of arms are reaching out from distant
Suns whose gestures stir the life of seeds.
To be here, now, requires our hearts to listen,
Watch, and know that Light fulfills our needs.

When gripped by stagnant vines of fear, relief
Springs from the pulsing centers of our chests.
False boundaries dissolve in prayer; peace weaves
The seeming chaos into something blessed.

Stay rooted. Stand witness. Be upholding.
Guidance from great Mother Oak whose limbs will
Move ours to join in sacred dance, singing
Aloud that work is love made visible.

Roused by poetic muse of rainbow voice,
What stirs us also presses us against
The tide of thick embranglement of choice
In which our spirits rise and fall, unfenced.

One truth: that drawn by gravity and awe,
The world is in relationship with all.

***

This poem accompanied a five-panel watercolor painting about 30 feet long in all, which was displayed at Pendle Hill, the Quaker 'experiment in living', in 2011.
twistedchick: mountains, Jackson Brown quote: You do what you can to keep your love alive -- try not to confuse this with what you do  (love alive)
When I do not go on and on about them here, it isn't because I want to ignore them. It's because I don't want to give them my space here. I want to keep this space for things that we need to know -- yes -- but in particular for stories and issues and art and music and anything else that is about life, culture, love, joy and peace.

I am not ignoring the warmongers -- they are out there. You see them screaming in many places. I do not want to endorse their screams. I am not silent and consenting to anything; I am trying to offer alternatives.

One alternative that I endorse is the Alternatives to Violence Project, which teaches ways to resolve differences without violence, manipulation or deception but honestly, thoughtfully and with consideration.

You will still see news items here about them, but probably not the ones that are everywhere else. You can get those everywhere else.

We are already in a war of the mind and the heart, holding fast to peace and courage against hatred and ignorance. I want to feed your heads (thank you, Grace Slick!) and hearts with words that nourish and inform and enjoy and celebrate life; that is what you need to stand up and stay standing.

Stay rooted. Stand witness. Be upholding.

(and when I find the rest of that poem I will put it here.)

ETA: In Second Life, the equivalent is griefers -- people who come into SL only to create trouble for others. They can't actually destroy anyone else or anyone else's things, but they come in to disrupt events, to cause problems for entire regions by filling them with trash, animations, particle storms (think fiery clouds) so that all the extra space is used up and the region crashes. Some of them are overt Nazis or white supremacists; they are banned from Oxbridge, the newcomer education region where I volunteer, as soon as they are seen. The standard policy, though, is not to give space to them -- not to talk about griefers in public chat rooms or at events -- because they monitor these areas and want to know if what they did affected anyone. We wish to rob them of that satisfaction.

I realize SL is not RL, real life. If you have an organization to promote that confronts and fights White Supremacy in any fashion and you want to spread the word, I will be glad to include it here.
goss: (Messy paint hands)
  1. Through Time and Space

    I just saw my mom off at the airport. Right now she's on her way to London - 11 hour flight. But she's so happy and excited to visit her brother. She loves travelling abroad, and she also loves all that girly stuff (that I'm not too into). I indulged in her trying on every single item from her closet, and spent time helping her choose and put together outfits for her trip. I could see the years dropping from her face as she started packing her suitcase, getting her hair done, nails etc. It feels so good to see her looking ten years younger and youthfully enthusiastic, throwing off the ever-present stress of daily living. Makes it worth every penny. <3

  2. Fanart Rec

    For my Captain America/Wonder Woman fanart rec at [community profile] fanart_recs, I ended up going with the Captain America and Wonder Woman against nazi army by [deviantart.com profile] hamletroman out of all the choices. Thought it was wonderfully (and sadly) apt, especially with the goings on of this week.

  3. Drawing: Quantity vs. Quality

    Weekly Challenges at [community profile] drawesome are coming along nicely. I'm trying to develop a routine of taking an hour or so for drawing over the weekend, the same way I might use an hour for relaxing watching tv. The trick though is to exercise my creativity, but not stress too much over the results. Not as easy as it sounds. Being a perfectionist, I'm having to undo YEARS of firm believe in outputting something at 100% effort or not at all. I've come to realise though, that with art, quantity might actually be the key to eventual quality. And sometimes that quality isn't even the point of art. :b

    Case in point, for last week's challenge, I did a simple torso study (Teen Wolf, Derek Hale, G) and enjoyed it immensely, even while knowing there were a lot of things I would go over and correct or change given the chance. But it was incredibly satisfying, just spending time messing around with charcoal, which I haven't done in ages, and actually getting something out on paper.

    Looking back at 2016, I *CANNOT* fathom how I went almost a whole entire year without producing any fanart/art. I remember at the time it seemed like such an insurmountable task to get going. I have no idea why I was waiting for some sort of perfect moment or for Inspiration To Strike. Setting goals and "homework" is in no way romantic, but surprisingly it's been working wonders for my artistic creativity. :)

    This week's challenge is a Word Prompt: HEAT. I'm thinking fire, flames, anger, passion maybe? We'll see how that one goes...
twistedchick: General Leia in The Force Awakens (Default)
I went with the SU to pick up his new glasses this morning. When I got out of the car, not in the usual place, I tripped and face-planted on the sidewalk. Or, to be more precise, chin-planted.

Since this was right in front of Kaiser, within 10 seconds (while I was still getting used to being horizontal not vertical and ow) three people asked how I was, one told me not to get up because they'd called a nurse, another offered to help me up. A nurse came with a wheelchair. After they'd determined that no, I hadn't fainted and no, I wasn't having a heart attack or stroke, they asked for my doctor's name and wheeled me up to one of the examining rooms near her office.

My doctor: "What happened?"

Me, for the 10th+ time: "I tripped."

While I was getting patched up, she told me a funny story from my doctor (pulled in to patch me between scheduled visits) on how she once whacked her head and cut her scalp and was too embarrassed to get it fixed so just drove away, blood dripping, to do it herself.

Total damage: scraped and bruised chin (but not a broken nose or broken teeth), scraped and bruised foot, broken toenail and cut on the front of the toe. Could've been a lot worse.

Still, gonna work on the tai chi more. That was not at all my most graceful moment.

Art (Teen Wolf)

Aug. 13th, 2017 01:40 pm[personal profile] goss
goss: (Messy paint hands)
Title: Triskele
Artist: [personal profile] goss
Rating: G
Fandom: Teen Wolf
Characters/Pairings: Derek Hale
Content Notes: Created for the [community profile] drawesome Weekly Challenge #5: Squiggle No.2 (Spiral). For me, the spiral shape immediately brought to mind one Derek Hale. I thought charcoal pencils would work nicely for a little torso study. I included some pics from the process as well. :)

Preview:


Click here for entire artwork and WiP pics )

This week in writing, 8/13

Aug. 13th, 2017 04:19 pm[personal profile] dira
dira: Bucky Barnes/The Winter Soldier (Default)
So I got tagged… at least three times in the “post the first line of your WIP” meme, so… I’m just gonna post the first lines of all my WIPs in this post, and anybody who thinks posting first lines of your WIP(s) sounds like a fun time, consider yourselves tagged. :D

WIPs currently active: 6, because, oops, I started writing kidfic in a new fandom, WHO COULD HAVE FORESEEN.

Words written this week: 7,066

WIPs that got no words this week: 0

WIPs that did get words this week:

Codename: Aluminum Bastard (aka broken dick epic): 307, and I think I… finished… a chapter??

First line: Steve caught up with him for the last time at the Grand Canyon. 

Because it is 2014 forever over here.

Born in the Blood: 115, and… possibly I also finished a chapter here, too? A short “holy shit guys it’s been three months but I swear it’s not abandoned here please have what I had outlined as the first half of this chapter” kinda chapter, but still! Updating soon, hopefully!

First line (which you may already know since it’s already posted but what the heck): With every lead on Bucky running dry before he could even chase it, one of the biggest effects the day of the helicarrier battle actually had on Steve, four months later, was the fact that Natasha had leaked SHIELD’s entire email directory and now the whole world knew his email address.

All Eternals Deck #2: 595. You know that feeling when you try and try to start a fic and you finally figure out the beginning and you’re like WOOOOO HERE WE GO and then you get to the end of the beginning and you’re like… what is this entirely featureless vista before me…? 

Haha, me either.

First line: Bruce always knew, unavoidably, when he was waking up after being the Other Guy.

Slavefic #6: 474. 

First line:  When Steve had been lying still and quiet for a little while, he found his ears attuned to Bucky’s breathing.

…Yeah we’re picking up about five minutes after the end of “The Sacrifice Play.”

Wildly Unmanageable Ace!Bitty Longfic: 2,424

First line:  When it finally clicked, it felt like landing a jump combination after he’d fallen on it the first hundred times. 

Jack/Bitty angsty happy ending kidfic: 3,151, probably would have been more if I hadn’t spent the first 24 hours after I decided to start writing it obsessively searching for the right title to put on the empty word document.

First line: On the third day of Bitty’s summer visit, Jack had to go to the rink.

from Tumblr http://ift.tt/2uSvWd0
via IFTTT
twistedchick: General Leia in The Force Awakens (Default)
Remember the Sad Puppies and the Rabid Puppies who tried to slant the ballot for the last two years to get more "traditional" -- aka white male authors -- works to win?

Look at this slate of winners: nearly all female, and women of color.

True quality wins.

Merch trawling

Aug. 13th, 2017 09:39 am[personal profile] scaramouche
scaramouche: Captain America's shield & Iron Man's arc reactor; Civil War artwork (steve+tony)
I've migrated away from backpacks to totes, but I'm loving the design of this one that's based on the MCU costume, it's... really tempting.

A Captain America backpack. )

But what would I use it for? The only backpack I use these days is my laptop carry-on when I travel, and I'm really happy with the one I have right now.

A satchel, now I would definitely use in the day-to-day, but I don't like the design as much.

A Captain America satchel. )
twistedchick: General Leia in The Force Awakens (Default)
In NYC, city Housing Authority attorneys will help evictees battle the city.

IHOP and Applebees will close 160 restaurants.

Also in NY, the Niagara County Legislature is calling for a criminal investigation into why the water over Niagara Falls ran black during what was supposed to be a 'routine' wastewater discharge into the river -- and during the height of tourist season. I'm not fond of that image of black water facing the Maid of the Mist boat either. And Westchester County (just above NYC) is creating an Office of Immigrant Affairs.

The Democrats need to rethink their 'better deal' and include abortion and health care -- or lose many more women than they want to think about.

Nepal outlaws the custom of exiling women to 'menstrual huts' during their periods -- in part because of a girl who died of snakebite because she could not get help in time because of taboos.

***

What can North Korea reach with its missiles? Besides China and Japan and South Korea? Guam, Russia, and much of southeast Asia. And most of the US, Iran, Somalia, Spain and Portugal.

The decades-long campaign to cut legal immigration.

TED: What six years in captivity taught me about fear and faith. Quote (from the translation from Spanish):

Now, I know they can divide all of us, they can manipulate us all with fear. The "No" vote on the peace referendum in Colombia; Brexit; the idea of a wall between Mexico and the United States; Islamic terrorism -- they're all examples of using fear politically to divide and recruit us. We all feel fear. But we can all avoid being recruited using the resources we have -- our principles, unity, faith. Yes, fear is part of the human condition, as well as being necessary for survival. But above all, it's the guide by which each of us builds our identity, our personality.

It's true, I was 41 years old the first time I felt fear, and feeling fear was not my decision. But it was my decision what to do with that fear. You can survive crawling along, fearful. But you can also rise above the fear, rise up, spread your wings, and soar, fly high, high, high, high, until you reach the stars, where all of us want to go.


And, speaking of fear: the political payoff of making whites feel like a minority.

The hidden racism of young 'white' Americans. And don't confuse white-male resentment with the entire working class. And the policies of white resentment. But the centrality of 'whiteness' will fade away.

(One of these days I'm either going to find the essay on the origin of 'whiteness' or paraphrase it here; the sum of it is this: Whiteness was created to distinguish those who enslave others from their slaves; Confederate-sympathizers and neoNazis are white, no matter their ethnic background. (The irony of neoNazis with last names that are Polish or Dutch does not escape me.) Not all of
us whose skin may be paler or whose ancestors may have haled from Europe are "white" in that sense. I can say more, but I'll leave it till later.)

What helped convince someone to stop being a hardcore Republican: eavesdropping.

***

Whatever happened to mass incarceration reform?

No child deserves a life sentence, but try telling prosecutors that.

A Kentucky circuit court judge has ruled that it is unconstitutional to give the death sentence to anyone under 21.

***

Elizabeth Olsen, cooking. And when the prescription is a recipe.

CVS Health is being sued over 'clawbacks' of prescription drug co-pays.

In Tallahassee, Florida, the newspaper builds an interactive refugee database.

The limits and freedoms of speech on campus.

Ava DuVernay to adapt Octavia Butler's novel "Dawn" for a tv series.

Invisible poems hidden in one of the world's oldest libraries.

Living like the women of Viking literature, where 'princess' is an insult.

Appreciating Stephen Stills. And as the article mentions his songs, the music rolls through my mind...

Claire Messud's 'difficult' women.

Annie Dillard's essay Total Eclipse.

Writers, protect your inner life.

Yes, there are sand dunes in Japan. And the occasional camel.

Outdoors lovers move a $45 million trade show out of Utah because the state tried to remove protections on public lands.

A literary activist's guide to the PEN America Digital Archive.

Patti Smith on Sam Sheppard.

A review of the movie 'Wind River'. With Elizabeth Olsen and Jeremy Renner.

Mimi Choi gave up teaching to create optical illusions with makeup. Some need a strong stomach.

The Theoi Project -- all about Greek deities.
twistedchick: General Leia in The Force Awakens (Default)
Don't mess with warlord Olive Yang.

***

How about greeting refugees with welcome blankets?

In Canada, an ice-cream maker saves the local school. And Canada is straining a bit to welcome refugees who were immigrants to the US -- this is a link to a group of stories. And there are more Mounties at the border to help asylum seekers. (No, not necessarily in dress reds, Benton Fraser.

You cannot imagine how angry I am that this country, which welcomed (in its own way, with prejudice and difficulty, but welcomed, let them come and make lives here) my mother and my grandparents and my uncles and many other relatives who came here for various reasons from other countries is now the place from which people are fleeing. None of them would meet the immigration criteria that are now being proposed; they were, variously, a secretary, a sailor/dockworker/furcutter, a housewife and mother, a fisherman, a refugee and several others whose work I don't even know. None had been to a university or had advanced degrees, which are among the new criteria -- even with my MS I would not qualify to enter this country because I don't have a job that pays $70,000 or more a year. Retirees not wanted, regardless of relationship to those already here who could help to take care of them.

Children's books about refugees.

***

Jack Rabinovitch, founder of the biggest literary award in Canada, has died.

Wonder...Cap?

Aug. 12th, 2017 10:36 am[personal profile] goss
goss: (*fangirls* - Starfire Raven)
This month, I'm reccing Captain America fanart at [community profile] fanart_recs, but with different crossover fandoms. I absolutely *LOVE* all the Wonder Woman/Captain America mash-ups I've been seeing floating around Tumblr since the WW came out especially. Sadly, like 80% of them were lacking in links to the original artists, so I had to do a fair amount of detective work to track all of these back to their original sources. But glad I was successful! \o/

These ones listed are all drawn art (and SFW), but there are some wonderful Peggy & Diana manips out there in fandomland. You know, I don't know if I want Diana to be bigger bros with Bucky or with Steve. *g* Or like, now I kind of want to ship Diana *with* Steve.

Wonder Woman/Captain America Fanart:
  1. Peggy Carter and Diana by [tumblr.com profile] baneme
  2. Wonder Woman and Captain America by [tumblr.com profile] lyndraws
  3. Yours a self-sacrificing idiots too? by [tumblr.com profile] lightningstrikes-art
  4. If your name is Steve... by [tumblr.com profile] rizurin
  5. Nice Shield! by [tumblr.com profile] mintmintdoodles
  6. Commission of Cap and WW by Gerald Parel
  7. Cap's Wonder Kiss Commission by [deviantart.com profile] despop
  8. Captain America and Wonder Woman against nazi army by [deviantart.com profile] hamletroman
  9. America's Secret Weapon by [deviantart.com profile] theamat
  10. Avengers at Halloween by [tumblr.com profile] dilfosaur

These are all amazing, one way or the other. I am having a hard time choosing one to rec. Which one do you think I should go with?

Book Log

Aug. 12th, 2017 05:32 pm[personal profile] scaramouche
scaramouche: Gene Kelly dancing in the rain, from Singin' in the Rain (singin' in the rain - umbrella)
I picked Vanessa Collingridge's Boudica to read next, because I'd just finished Mary Beard's history of ancient Rome, which mentioned Boudica's rebellion in the later chapters, and was in the mood for more of that.

Collingridge isn't a professional historian, so her book isn't like the other historical biographies I've read so far. Instead of a compilation of mostly-chronological info, it's a collection of interviews with historians and collectors, analysis of historical pop culture to modern pop culture, with Collingridge's passion-driven expansion on the story of Boudica set to known Roman history and context.

It's pretty interesting once I adjusted my expectations, for Collingridge is upfront about being a storyteller, plus the fact that there's extremely little that is known about the historical Briton queen, who may not even have been a redhead. The mostly-known facts of Rome's invasion of Britain are the framework, with Boudica's rebellion roughly sketched on top of that with her guesswork, using various archaeological finds such as pottery and the burn layer of the three towns that Boudica sacked.

The earlier part's a little thin because of the necessity of so much guesswork, but I reckon the more interesting part of the book is Collingridge's later analysis of what Boudica means as an icon in British consciousness and patriotism, despite being a barbarian who'd rebelled against imperialism. I was a little skeptical at first with her opening speculation of historical Boudica being one of the building blocks of Elizabeth I's cult of Gloriana but man, Collingridge commits, following through her thesis to the misogyny of James I's rule (when Boudica was portrayed as shameful and/or love-weakened in various plays) to Queen Victoria (when her imagery came back) and the eventual conflation of the chariot-riding warrior queen Boudica with noble world-conquering Brittania (HA). That is not something I'd expect to get out of a historical biography, but it is fascinating, and a great way to cap off the read. Also, I learned quite a bit about Celt medieval history and its evolution to modern Celt identity, which is cool.
writerlibrarian: Oriental calligraphy in red (Default)
One week done. I did get lots of rest, had a wonderful lunch with friends, talked technology, books, knitting. Did burgers on the grill.
Cross-stitched, read. Definitely read more than I have in a while.

Outbox

La mort pour la mort. Alexandra Marinina. This plot is like a Matryoshka doll. One thing is hidden inside another and so on and so on. It's really well plotted and all the strings of the mystery tie together eventually. The reader is not left in the dark, one step ahead of Anastasia since we get parts of the culprit's side. Marinina does it quite well and keeps the reader guessing as to who is the villain of the tale.

I like Marinina's Moscow police procedural mysteries. Not a ton of violence and mostly never seen. They are a psychological, historical (90s Russia) mysteries well worth checking out. Her books are not translated in English. They are available in French, German, Spanish and of course Russian.


Inbox

Love, Loss and what We ate : A Memoir. Padma Lakshmi. Looking forward to this one. 

Babylon : Mesopotamia and the birth of a Civilization. Paul Kriwaczek. For research purposes.


In the Queue

La mort et un peu d'amour. Alexandra Marinina. I am reading in French in August like I did in July. This is the next one in the series. They are addictive. In a good way.




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