Poem: "Shared Vulnerability"

Feb. 27th, 2017 06:12 pm
ysabetwordsmith: Damask smiling over their shoulder (polychrome)
[personal profile] ysabetwordsmith
This poem is spillover from the February 7, 2017 Poetry Fishbowl. It was inspired by prompts from [personal profile] redsixwing and [personal profile] technoshaman. It also fills the "odd couple" square in my 2-1-17 Romantic card for the Valentines Bingo fest. This poem has been sponsored by [personal profile] technoshaman. It belongs to the Shiv thread of the Polychrome Heroics series.

Warning: This poem contains some sensitive issues. Highlight to read the warnings, some of which are spoilers. It includes anxiety, awkward conversations, references to Shiv's crappy past and the emotional fallout from that, frank discussion of kink, Shiv's head is full of landmines that Gray is just beginning to discover, and other challenges. But the hard candy relationship work is wrapped in a bunch of fluff.

Read more... )

(no subject)

Feb. 27th, 2017 08:25 pm
denise: Image: Me, facing away from camera, on top of the Castel Sant'Angelo in Rome (Default)
[staff profile] denise posting in [site community profile] dw_maintenance
InsaneJournal has had a hardware failure that means their service is temporarily offline. To avoid sending traffic to them while they're down, we've temporarily disabled them as a crossposting and importing source. We'll re-enable them when they're back up.

Good luck to [insanejournal.com profile] squeaky with the recovery!

A distinctively American response

Feb. 27th, 2017 07:34 pm
madfilkentist: Photo of Carl (Default)
[personal profile] madfilkentist
The attacks on Jewish cemeteries are horrible, but they've had the unintended consequence of bringing Jews and Muslims closer together. The claim that "hatemongers don't specialize" isn't true, but it's true that the mindsets are similar, whatever the target may be. The people who go after Jews one day may go after Muslims or atheists the next.

This coming together is a distinctively American response. I wouldn't mind being wrong, but I think it's less likely in Europe that a Muslim leader like Tarek El-Messidi would make the effort to stand by Jews when they're being attacked, or vice versa. However much things go wrong, there's a strong cultural sense that making any group into a target is a threat to everyone. Every time I see stories about people working to help refugees — and there have been plenty of stories — I'm encouraged.

Things often appear worse because politics divides people, and the news media focus on politics. When the government has the power to make sweeping decisions about how people should live, how they should run their businesses, and where their money should go, some people will get their way and others will be forced to comply. That turns people against each other. But when they're being themselves, not commanded by anyone, Americans recognize what they have in common and unite against threats.

The "I am a Muslim too" line is well-intended, but it's the wrong way to go about it. It trivializes religious beliefs, suggesting they're something that can be just temporarily put on in a spirit of solidarity. I'm not a Muslim, a Jew, or a Christian. But when I see any of them threatened for the way they think, I know I'm threatened too. Let's say, rather, "I support your rights, whether I agree with your beliefs or not."

If anything will keep the United States alive, that spirit will.

Monday Yardening

Feb. 27th, 2017 04:33 pm
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
[personal profile] ysabetwordsmith
Weather is nice again.  :D  Today I cleaned up the asparagus patch in the forest garden and planted half the new roots.

I refilled the birdfeeders.  Mourning doves have been active around the hopper feeder today.

I heard a woodpecker drumming, and looked around until I saw a downy banging away on a walnut tree.  \o/  

The first of my daffodils are beginning to bloom under the maple tree near the house.  They're not all the way open yet, about halfway. 

Kill the Beast

Feb. 27th, 2017 12:09 pm
erinwrites: (Default)
[personal profile] erinwrites

Back when I taught high school English, I did an introductory lesson for The Crucible that introduced students to the concept of a “witch hunt.” I used “The Mob Song” from Beauty and the Beast, in which the villain, Gaston, whips the townspeople into a frenzy so that they will help him kill the Beast.


The Beast will make off with your children! He’ll come after them in the night! We’re not safe until his head is mounted on my wall. I say we kill the Beast!



Gaston doesn’t really believe any of this. His reasons for wanting to be rid of the Beast are selfish ones, but he uses fear to manipulate the townspeople into doing what he wants.


And it works. Frightened people, it turns out, are easy to manipulate. Soon, they are marching–with literal pitchforks and torches–to help Gaston kill the Beast, who was never really a threat to anyone.


We don’t like what we don’t understand

In fact, it scares us…


The words are simple, but I think they get to something at the heart of human nature.


So, why am I talking about this? Well, I originally started writing this quite a while ago, because of something I saw posted to facebook last year…an article about an organized boycott of Target, because of Target’s announced policy in response to so-called “bathroom bills” like the one passed in North Carolina.


Since then, this issue has come to the forefront again, as the current administration has moved to roll back protections for transgender individuals put in place by President Obama.


As transgender people have become more and more visible in mainstream culture, I’ve been seeing increased fear and panic coming from ordinary people. That fear and panic is, I think, genuine…but I believe it’s being stoked by various Gastons at various levels of political and cultural leadership.


Gaston’s goal was to remove the things he saw as obstacles to Belle marrying him. I’m truthfully not sure what the goal is here. (I have some guesses, but I’ll keep them to myself for now….that’s not really my point.)


I am far from being an expert on trans issues, but I do have a number of transgender friends and acquaintances. I do feel entirely comfortable in saying that they want what everyone wants: to be allowed to live their lives peacefully and be treated with dignity and respect. That dignity and respect includes being allowed to use public restrooms without being harassed or arrested. (and trust me, they are far more likely to be harassed or assaulted in a public restroom than you are.)


Chances are good that you, and your children, have been sharing public restrooms with transgender people without incident for some time now. You haven’t noticed. I’m not sure why people think, now, that this will somehow open a door for perverted straight cisgender men to pretend to be trans women for nefarious purposes. (There is no evidence at all that this has happened/is happening. And I submit…if there are actually people doing or wanting to do this, do you somehow think the lack of a specific law preventing it has been stopping them?) Also, there are plenty of people whose appearances don’t conform to “accepted” gender standards, regardless of how they identify…I’ve already seen a number of news stories involving cisgender* women being thrown out of women’s restrooms for this very reason.


I feel like I’m wandering away from my point, so I’ll end with this: “the Beast” is not a danger. In fact, I submit to you that, in this case, the Beast does not even exist. Don’t listen to those who are telling you to be afraid.


If you want to read more about this, here are a handful of articles I’ve come across that I thought were informative and well-written.


Stop Using Your Children As An Excuse To Be A Hateful Human Being (Scary Mommy)


North Carolina transgender student asks to meet governor over ‘bathroom bill’  (Today)


Top 10 Myths About Transgender People (Everyday Feminism)


Transgender People: 10 Common Myths (Vox)


(Please share your suggestions for additional reading on the topic, if you’ve got them)


*cisgender just means identifying with the gender you were assigned at birth.

Still alive

Feb. 27th, 2017 11:59 am
filkerdave: (Default)
[personal profile] filkerdave

I'm not doing science, but I *am* still alive. Just very busy these days so I haven't had a chance to really sit down and write stuff!

Poem: "An Audience Worth Cooking For"

Feb. 27th, 2017 03:01 am
ysabetwordsmith: Damask smiling over their shoulder (polychrome)
[personal profile] ysabetwordsmith
This poem is spillover from the February 7, 2017 Poetry Fishbowl. It was inspired by prompts from [personal profile] dialecticdreamer and Anna Libertas. It also fills the "WILD CARD: Food" square in my 6-1-16 card for the Cottoncandy Bingo fest. This poem has been sponsored by [personal profile] technoshaman. It belongs to the Damask thread of the Polychrome Heroics series.

Read more... )

Requiescat in Pace

Feb. 26th, 2017 05:38 pm
onyxlynx: Some trees and a fountain at a cemetery (A Fine and Private Place)
[personal profile] onyxlynx
[personal profile] ndrosen
Reason online had an item about a court overruling a Florida law against doctors asking their patients about guns in their homes, as a violation of the First Amendment. I agree that the law was unconstitutional, and I support the Second Amendment, as well as the First; it was unconstitutional even if some physicians were being jerks, which is alleged to have been the case.

I had an experience of my own, here in Virginia. Back in, I think, 2015, I was given a questionnaire when .I came in for my annual check-up, including a question about whether I had a gun in my apartment; I answered the medical questions, but left that one blank. When the doctor saw me, she asked about that, and I declined to answer, either way. She told me that having a gun in the home was dangerous, and a gun was far more likely to be used to kill someone in the family, deliberately or by accident, than a dangerous intruder. I doubted that, and told her so.

Last year, I came prepared to argue again; I was prepared to cite an article printed in Reason early last year. The article did not say, by the way, that having a gun in the home was definitely a good thing, but that there were conflicting studies, and it was hard to be certain of the truth. However, the question did not not appear on the patient questionnaire, so I didn't have to hash it out again.

Also, there was a delightful Low Concept piece in Slate on parenting your toddler president. For example, your toddler president does best on a regular schedule. There's Golf Time, and there's Nap Time, and there's Sign Whatever Uncle Steve Puts In Front Of Me Time.

Poem: "Even If You Stumble a Little"

Feb. 26th, 2017 05:34 pm
ysabetwordsmith: Damask smiling over their shoulder (polychrome)
[personal profile] ysabetwordsmith
This poem is spillover from the February 7, 2017 Poetry Fishbowl. It was inspired by a prompt from Anonymous on Dreamwdith. It also fills the "sudden threat" square in my 8-1-17 card for the Survival Bingo fest, and the "chocolates" square in my 2-1-17 Romantic card for the Valentines Bingo fest. This poem has been sponsored by [personal profile] janetmiles. It belongs to the Cassandra thread of the Polychrome Heroics series.

WARNING: This poem contains intense material. Highlight to read the warnings, some of which are spoilers. It features parents stalking a survivor of child abuse, trespassing, emotional shock, confusion, attempted tampering with someone else's property, emotional manipulation, gaslighting, calling for help and getting it, justifiable threats of force including superpowers, intense negative emotions and mixed feelings, reconsideration of legal action, can't adult right now, reference to intrusive fear, and other angst. This may cause stress for survivors of abusive parents and/or stalking. However, Cassandra has awesome friends who are not putting up with any shit from her parents, and who provide excellent backup to solve the problems. If these are sensitive issues for you, please consider your tastes and headspace before reading onward.

Read more... )

Stolen meme

Feb. 26th, 2017 04:21 pm
ng_moonmoth: The Moon-Moth (Default)
[personal profile] ng_moonmoth
Ganked from [personal profile] kyrielle :

Ask me for my top five favorite [blank] — any subject (but bear in mind that if I'm not comfy with it or it doesn't apply, I may get creative), and I will do my best to answer.

Done last week (20170219Su - 25Sa)

Feb. 26th, 2017 01:34 pm
mdlbear: the positively imaginary half of a cubic mandelbrot set (Default)
[personal profile] mdlbear

Long month this week. Colleen started feeling ill Monday, and didn't eat anything to speak of; she spent most of the day dozing in her chair, and decided to sleep there at night. About midnight she called -- she'd fallen out of the chair; no telling whether she'd slipped when getting up, or accidentally hit the lift button. Called 911 for help. In retrospect, we should have had her taken to the ER at that point.

I decided to work from home Tuesday, which was a Good Thing. About 3:30 when I went up to check on her she was incoherent -- "out of it". Called 911; she was too weak to walk to the lift, so they had to carry her down in a stair chair. She had about three different bladder infections and was severely dehydrated; it was the low blood pressure from the latter that accounted for the weakness and incoherence.

Harborview's cafeteria is actually pretty decent.

She was discharged Friday; was good to have her home.

Meanwhile, since being with a sleeping person in a hospital leaves one with lots of time, I'd managed to get in about 2.5 days worth of work, and finally got the CR I'd been working on shipped Friday. I went in to work Thursday afternoon after establishing that C wasn't going to be discharged that day, and had my annual review conversation with $BOSS.

I'd been very skeptical about the new annual review process, which is absolutely freaking weird. Peer reviews have two questions, with a 60-word limit for each:

  1. What is this person's superpower? (required)
  2. Do you have any growth ideas for them? (optional)

The manager's part of it is the same two questions, only I think without the 60-character limit. The self-evaluation part has four questions.

As I said, skeptical. But it actually seemed to go very well: it's designed to highlight your strengths, and completely ignore past performance. The feedback I got from my peers (my manager could see who wrote which one, but one gets them unedited) was basically dead on. The fact that $PROJECT was in "friends and family" testing and stalled due to something that wasn't my fault (fixed by Friday) helped a lot.

My favorite superpower was "CraftWeaver". Others mentioned my willingness to mentor and answer questions from newer devs. Someone specifically mentioned the fact that when someone sends out a question in email to a wide audience, I'm usually the one who jumps on it with an answer. The most common growth idea was that I should speak up more in meetings.

Of course, the other thing going on in the household is moving. I got the tools sorted on Sunday, and with several peoples' help got the art sorted, mostly Sunday and yesterday. N's criterion for keeping art is pretty loose, based on the fact that it stores flat and can be rotated. Chaos and the Dwarves also took quite a lot of it; there are comparatively few pictures left in the discard pile. Most of the furniture is gone from the Great Room; the only things left are the klic-klacs (which we're keeping), the blue sectional (which we're keeping through next week), and the piano. Want a free piano?

Notes & links, as usual )

ysabetwordsmith: Damask smiling over their shoulder (polychrome)
[personal profile] ysabetwordsmith
So far the half-price sale in Polychrome Heroics is doing well. I just got a donation for "Even If You Stumble a Little," which I'll have to post after lunch.

[personal profile] ng_moonmoth is running a pool if you want to get in on that.

[livejournal.com profile] my_partner_doug just came up with a new idea of letting the general fund earn the quarter-price rate if it reaches $100 during the sale. Currently the general fund contains $28.50. Here is a ticker to track the general fund for this sale:




SALTAROS: Shadows and Light

Feb. 26th, 2017 10:44 am
zzambrosius_02: (Default)
[personal profile] zzambrosius_02
 CHAPTER EIGHTEEN: Blood and Boom and Bugs  

Ambros sat in his office at the Salon, ciphering his life.

The Commonwealth-augmented Mac G5 that he worked at pinged him. The office door stood wide, and by leaning back he could see the main entrance on the west side of the building. He leaned back.

He frowned: “That’s...oh, that’s Bradley, the guy who owns the Tae Kwon Do dojo just south of here...” He pondered: ‘I wonder what he wants. Let’s go all formal on him.’

He tapped the G5 to sleep and headed for the door.

“Come on in, sensei. What can I do for you?”

“I was just wondering how you were doing...”

Ambros said: “Let’s go back to my office. I’ll make some tea.”

“Sounds good.”

 

 

jimhines: (Snoopy Writing)
[personal profile] jimhines

Introduction

This is the fifth and final chunk of data and analysis from the 2016 Novelist Income Survey.

This is where I look at all the other random and miscellaneous data points that either didn’t fit elsewhere, or else I couldn’t figure out quite what to do with them. After this, I’ll be pulling everything together into a single downloadable report for folks.

Who Lost Money in 2016?

One thing I found interesting — of the 371 people who provided gross income and expenses data, 63 ended up with a net loss in 2016. In other words, roughly one out of six published novelists lost money last year.

17 of these identified as full-time writers, with the other 46 being part-time. Looking at the overall number of full- and part-time respondents, the part-time authors were disproportionately more likely to end up in the red.

How did those 63 authors break down in terms of indie/small press/large press?

  • Indie: 36
  • Small: 19
  • Large: 8

Comparing those numbers to the overall breakdown of indie/small/large press gives us the following graph:

Breakdown of Net Losses

We can also look at the percentage of novelists who lost money in each category, which is perhaps a little more illuminating.

  • Indie: 17%
  • Small: 37%
  • Large: 7%

As always, be careful about drawing too many conclusions from this.

Genre Breakdown

I messed up on this part. I asked people what genre(s) they published in during 2016, and let people check as many boxes as they liked, with an additional field for “Other.” This meant I got pretty accurate data, but a lot of folks selected multiple genres, which made it harder for me to do much with the data. In the future, I think I need to ask people to choose their primary genre instead.

Looking at which genres were chosen, we can see that the data are slanted toward SF/F and Romance.

Genres

As a SF/F person myself, it makes sense that my outreach on the survey would bring in a lot of my fellow SF/F authors. Basically, what this means is that the results and conclusions may not apply as strongly to, say, religious fiction as they do to fantasy or romance.

When Did You Publish Your First Book?

What happens when you plot net income against the year the author published their first book?

I removed one outlier — an author who made close to five million, and whose first book came out near the middle of the range. The results were not what I expected.

Income vs. Year of First Book

That trendline is pretty much horizontal, suggesting little to no relation between how long you’ve been publishing and how much money you make. Running the correlation function in Excel gave a correlation of 0.01.

I can see several ways of thinking about this. One is that you can spend 30 years writing books, and it doesn’t mean you’re more likely to be financially successful. Which is depressing as hell. But maybe it just means financial success can come at any time. Or maybe writers who broke in a long time ago aren’t as prolific these days, which is why their income was comparable to newer authors who might be more active?

I honestly don’t know, and I suspect you’d need a lot more analysis — and probably a lot more data — to draw any firm conclusions here.

Almost Finished

That’s pretty much everything I can do with the data. All that’s left now is for me to pull it all together into a single report. I’ll be incorporating some of the feedback and suggestions from the comments as well, thank you. I’ll also be anonymizing the data and sharing that for folks to play with.

I hope this has been helpful and illuminating for folks!

Mirrored from Jim C. Hines.

(no subject)

Feb. 26th, 2017 12:50 pm
denise: Image: Me, facing away from camera, on top of the Castel Sant'Angelo in Rome (Default)
[staff profile] denise posting in [site community profile] dw_maintenance
LiveJournal has unblocked and whitelisted our webserver IP addresses, so importing, crossposting, and feed accounts should work properly again! Thanks for the quick fix, LJ.
ysabetwordsmith: Damask smiling over their shoulder (polychrome)
[personal profile] ysabetwordsmith
[personal profile] stardreamer is posting the story "Birthday Surprise," of which the first three (of planned four) chapters are up.  Stan takes Lawrence out for a very special  day.  And night.  :D  As far as I know, this is canon, although it's a bit later in the timeline than what I've been writing so far.

Half-Price Sale in Polychrome Heroics

Feb. 25th, 2017 08:53 pm
ysabetwordsmith: Damask smiling over their shoulder (polychrome)
[personal profile] ysabetwordsmith
[personal profile] ng_moonmoth plans to sponsor some poetry in the half-price sale. Here's the setup:

Thanks for the clarification. I was actually interested in "The Ocean From Above", and will send $84+31.25 to cover that. Also thinking about "Insha'Allah" for another $31.25. If anyone wants to jump in and help with those, or any portion of "Everything That You Are Chasing", please comment back or PM me, so I can share the PayPal account that should get your contribution. I'll send the sponsorship money Sunday evening.

So get in touch if that appeals to you. The original post is here if you want to comment under it with a reply.

Two quick things

Feb. 25th, 2017 09:42 pm
denise: Image: Me, facing away from camera, on top of the Castel Sant'Angelo in Rome (Default)
[staff profile] denise posting in [site community profile] dw_maintenance

Cloudflare


We've had people ask us about the Cloudflare leak reported a few days ago. We are Cloudflare customers, and it is possible that login cookies or passwords may have been exposed as part of the incident. We believe the risk to you is relatively low -- it was a small percentage of Cloudflare's requests that were involved over a relatively short period of time, and we haven't found any evidence that anything from us was among them. This is not an absolute guarantee that none of your accounts were affected, but we don't think the likelihood is very high.

Because we believe the risk to be low, we aren't automatically expiring everyone's session cookies and requiring you to log back in and change your password -- whenever we do that, it does lock some people who they can't remember their passwords and no longer have access to their confirmed email addresses out of their accounts, and we believe that will affect more people in this case.

Still, it's always a good idea to change your passwords regularly, and now would be a good time to do it, especially if you want peace of mind. We have a FAQ on how to change your password. If your browser logs you in automatically and you don't remember your password, you can reset it. If you've forgotten your password and no longer have access to your most recent confirmed email address, you can have the password reset email sent to any email address you've confirmed on your account by entering both your username and your old email address at the Lost Info page.

Unfortunately, if you've forgotten your password and no longer have access to any email address you've confirmed on your account, you probably won't be able to reset your password. In some cases, if you've previously paid for your account, we can validate your payment details to confirm your identity and reset your password. If you can't reset your password, but think you may have paid for your account in the past, you can open a support request in the Account Payments category and I'll check into it for you.


LiveJournal imports/crossposts/feeds


LiveJournal has temporarily blocked about 2/3rds of our webservers from contacting their site, presumably because they feel that we're requesting data from them too often. This affects the ability to import your journal, the ability to crosspost entries from your Dreamwidth account to your LiveJournal account, and whether syndicated feeds of accounts on LiveJournal will update on Dreamwidth. Those features will fail when they're unable to contact LJ because of the block.

It isn't every one of our webservers, so things will work intermittently -- if you crosspost two entries one right after the other, one might succeed while the other fails. Unfortunately, there isn't much we can do to resolve this other than contacting them and asking them to unblock us (which I'll be doing right after I hit 'post' on this entry).

EDIT 2249 EST 25 Feb: We appear to be down to zero unblocked webservers, so imports, crossposts, and feeds will all fail until LJ unblocks us.

EDIT 26 Feb noon EST: LJ unblocked and whitelisted us this morning, so all is working again!

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