Writing

Apr. 19th, 2019 10:22 pm
scripsi: (Default)
[personal profile] scripsi
I decided to evolve the All About Eve-fic I posted recently. It’s not going to draw readers, but it won’t leave me alone, so I need to write it for my own sake. And I enjoy writing, always- only it would be fun to have more people to discuss thing with. It’s a little boring to always get stuck in small fandoms, or small corners of bigger fandoms. I wonder why that is? Perhaps the dynamics I like are unfashionable, so they simply don’t appear in big fandoms.

I finally got around removing all my fics on fanfiction.net. I stopped updating there last year when I got irritated by their lack of response over a person who harassed several writers there, including me. It was my first fanfiction archive, and I kept posting there out of habit, mostly finding it clunky and hard to navigate. I considered removing my account altogether but never got around. But recently I got a message from someone who had taken issues with the lack of warnings on one of my old fics, and who would report me if I didn’t fix that.

Now, I’m not opposed to warnings, and on AO3 it’s very easy to include them in the tags, so I do. But ff.net have never had a natural spot for them, and when I first started to post fics there, around 2004, there simply wasn’t the same culture about warning for triggering content as it is now, so I didn’t see it as important. I could, of course, have gone back through all my fics and start to put in suitable warnings, but it just felt like too much a hassle. Much easier to just remove the fics altogether. They are still all on AO3 and I left my people open on ff.net with this information. Those who have me as favourite author can easily see where my fics have gone.

I’m still in two minds if I should sign up for On Fic Mountain and Not Prime Time. There are too few fandoms I actually would want to write, and at the moment I don't want to fill up with fandoms I only feel so-so about and write a fic I don’t enjoy writing. I think I rather try for a few treats instead.

Flashficlet: all I need to know

Apr. 20th, 2019 08:10 am
china_shop: Close-up of Zhao Yunlan grinning (Default)
[personal profile] china_shop posting in [community profile] sid_guardian
I wrote a little 700 word ficlet last night:

all I need to know
PG-rated, established relationship, no particular spoilers
Summary: Three months of mutually investigating each other, occasionally crossing over into actual B&E and/or stalking, and Shen Wei decides to enforce his boundaries now, when they’re finally together?
[syndicated profile] phys_environment_feed
Nine years ago tomorrow—April 20, 2010—crude oil began leaking from the Deepwater Horizon drilling rig into the Gulf of Mexico in what turned out to be the largest marine oil spill in history. A long-term study suggests the oil is still affecting the salt marshes of the Gulf Coast, and reveals the key role that marsh grasses play in the overall recovery of these important coastal wetlands.

LJ and DW tech problems

Apr. 19th, 2019 03:10 pm
yourlibrarian: SpeechlessDean-potthead (SPN-SpeechlessDean-potthead)
[personal profile] yourlibrarian
Ok, something weird is going on both at DW and LJ.

1) I am logged in at DW. I am looking at my feed and earlier today I answered some comments. I try to do the same a few hours later, haven't logged out, and in two different places DW is refusing to send the replies through because it says I have the wrong password for my account. What?

2) I am seeing the LJ 18+ image in all sorts of places, apparently from accounts hotlinking from the LJ gallery but also accounts I'm seeing on LJ itself. Does anyone have any idea why this is happening?

anniversary meme

Apr. 19th, 2019 01:04 pm
kore: (Dreamwidth - green)
[personal profile] kore
10 years of Dreamwidth?! I always forget my LJ/DW anniversaries (I also nuked my early LJs and DW, whoops. First LJ was 2000, no, 1999 maybe.....). Here's to many more!


The vi'lets from her lap, and lillies fall:
She misses 'em, poor heart!
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....WHOOPS, I apparently missed my own 10-year anniversary on this DW about a week ago. (I forgot my mom's birthday. Twice. I never forgot T's birthday, but for years I thought it was two days later than it really is.)
[syndicated profile] dramabeans_feed

Posted by tccolb

Yoon Kyun-sang, Geum Sae-rok A new drama is in the works on OCN called Mr. Ki Kan-je and Yoon Kyun-sang (Clean With Passion for Now) has confirmed he will be taking the lead role. Also joining him in the cast are actors Geum Sae-rok (The Fiery Priest), Lee Joon-young (Buam-dong Revenge Club), and Choi Yoo-hwa …

The post Yoon Kyun-sang confirmed for new OCN mystery thriller appeared first on Dramabeans.

*sob*

Apr. 19th, 2019 01:56 pm
zulu: Karen Gillam from Dr. Who, wearing a saucy top hat (Default)
[personal profile] zulu
If I grade 15 essays per day between now and the final exam, I will be finished all sixty before I get sixty final exams to grade! So I mean! Right?

these untiring nibblers set to work

Apr. 19th, 2019 07:39 pm
redatt: painting of a skull with sunglasses on (Default)
[personal profile] redatt
Today I noticed quite a few things.

First, I noticed the progress of my seedlings -- I planted some herbs and such in a rather too small tray last week and they've been coming up a treat. The first up, after just a couple of days, was the rocket (rocket by name, rocket by nature!) which I've already planted on. The basil, which came up next is in a tight little clump and I should probably move that into a new pot today. A couple of chive spears shot up next followed by the oregano, which is so incredibly TINY. Especially compared to the coriander seedlings that popped up just yesterday -- big babies!



Next, I noticed what a nice day it was, so this afternoon/evening I went for a two hour river bank walk with Ave. I noticed a black bird collecting nesting materials, wood pigeons cooing in the trees (a sound I associate more with mid/late summer), I noticed the views and this odd little painting on the side of a house -- maybe where a window was?



I noticed how time in the sunshine boosts my energy levels as though I'm the seedling experiencing a growth spurt.

Day Two of the 'Creative Writing for All: 10-Day Journaling Challenge'.
[syndicated profile] tor_dot_com_feed

Posted by Michael Livingston

Have you ever wondered just what a rabbit has to do with the resurrection of Jesus? Or what the word “Easter” really means? And, for that matter, what’s with all the eggs? Could it be, as Jon Stewart once wondered, that it’s because Jesus was allergic to eggs?

Alas, no. But how we got to all this egg and bunny business is nevertheless a cool and rather medieval story.

But before we get to the Middle Ages, there’s some earlier Christian history and theology to unpack to understand Easter’s importance and its resulting traditions. I’ll try to keep this as succinct (and objective) as I can.

Rome and Messiahs

From a cycle of icons depicting the life of Jesus, c.16-17th C. (Arkhangelsk Regional Museum of Fine Arts)

Aside from a fringe of folks who subscribe to the Christ Myth Theory, there’s near universal scholarly consensus that a Palestinian Jew named Jesus preached in the first decades of the Common Era. The year of his birth is unclear (the Christian Gospels seem to contradict themselves on the dating), as is the year of his death. He was a charismatic figure, though. He drew crowds, and he was almost assuredly proclaimed as a Messiah by many of his followers.

Then he died.

And dying is very much not what a Messiah was supposed to do.

A Messiah (Hebrew: מָשִׁיחַ‎), you see, had a fairly specific checklist of duties according to the Bible and the Jewish traditions surrounding it during the lifetime of Jesus. Most vitally, the Messiah needed to defeat the enemies of the Jews, and, following the example of King David, re-establish a properly Jewish kingdom in Israel. I’m simplifying things a bit here, but the Top 10 List of Israel’s Enemies during the life of Jesus would have looked something like this:

  1. Rome
  2. Rome
  3. Rome
  4. Rome
  5. Rome
  6. Rome
  7. Rome
  8. Rome
  9. Rome
  10. People who work with Rome

So kicking Rome in the tail, to say the least, was pretty much a necessary thing to do for those who claimed to be the Messiah at the time.

And, as it happens, lots of folks were claiming to be a Messiah. During the year 4 BCE, for example, there were at least four different Messiahs running through the countryside around Jerusalem. One of them, a man named Simon of Paraea, was a former slave of Herod the Great; he was tracked down by the Roman general Gratus and beheaded—a death that has been theorized to be behind the mysterious “Gabriel’s Revelation” stone. (Shameless Plug Alert: The Realms of God, the third book of my Shards of Heaven trilogy, includes part of Simon’s story.)

Needless to say, being crucified by Romans, as Jesus apparently was (or beheaded by them, as Simon was), didn’t really fit with the idea of defeating them. So, like the followers of the defeated Simon, the followers of Jesus must have decided he wasn’t the Messiah after all and trundled off to follow another leader… except, well, they didn’t.

According to Christian history, the reason this particular movement didn’t dissipate is that three days after Jesus died, his followers began to claim that he had reappeared. He had been resurrected by God, and not long afterward he ascended into Heaven.

That still wasn’t what a Messiah was supposed to do—Rome was still around, after all—but it was hardly what had happened to Simon and all the other would-be Messiahs, who’d (presumably) died and stayed dead. The Resurrection was something very different, and the followers needed to figure out exactly what that something was.

The “hellmouth” in Catherine of Cleves book of hours (ca. 1440). This is literally the image on my mousepad as I’m typing this. (Made available by the Morgan Library & Museum.)

In the end, through the twists and turns of a variety of fascinating thinkers (yep, I read Origen alongside Origin), Christian doctrine posited that Jesus really was the Messiah: folks just hadn’t really understood before him what a Messiah was actually supposed to do. The war the Messiah was waging wasn’t against Rome, they said, it was against Death. Jesus’ Resurrection, his followers said, had defeated Death and saved folks from everlasting torment in Hell.

So, yeah, for these believers, the Resurrection event was pretty much the biggest thing ever possible.

Even bigger than Christmas.

Dating Easter

The Christian calendar, for all the above reasons, was built around the annual celebration of the Resurrection event. This was the real “New Year,” and dating it should have been easy: the Gospels were clear that Jesus died in Jerusalem during the Jewish celebration of Passover, and Passover begins on the 15th of the Hebrew month of Nisan every year, which falls on the first full moon after the vernal equinox in the northern hemisphere. Piece of cake.

Trouble is, the Jewish calendar is lunisolar (dealing with the moon and sun), whereas most folks in and around the Mediterranean used the only-solar Julian calendar. So confusion about the “correct” date started early. Even by the middle of the second century, we know from the meeting of Polycarp (bishop of Smyrna) and Anicetus (bishop of Rome) that churches in the east and west held different dates for this most important Christian celebration. Polycarp and Anicetus agreed to disagree, but as time went on it was clear that something had to be done. In the year 325 the First Council of Nicaea—where good St. Nicholas did his heretic punching!—it was decreed that the Jewish calendar was officially abandoned and that Christians would henceforth celebrate the resurrection on a Sunday. Problem solved.

Unfortunately, this decree didn’t resolve things. Which Sunday was it? Elaborate tables were constructed to enable the correct execution of the Computus, as this most important calculation came to be known. Different calculation tables led to different solar-calendar dates for Easter.

A Merovingian computus table (made available by the Bibliothèque nationale de France)

In one memorable event, Celtic and Roman Christians running into each other in the north of England in the seventh century found that they had such different dates that the Synod of Whitby had to be called in 664 in order to resolve the issue and resolve the impasse. The decision at Whitby favored Rome, which angered the monks of Iona but at least allowed everyone to get back to work in Whitby. Good for Whitby, but folks still had different calculation tables in other places, and then the Gregorian calendar reform came in 1583 and the Catholics and most Protestants adopted it because it was easier, but not everyone did because a lot folks wanted to keep their older traditions and…

Well, it’s all still a jumble even today. In most Catholic and Protestant churches Easter is defined as the first Sunday after the first full moon on or after the March equinox, which means it can fall for them any time between 22 March and 25 April on the Gregorian calendar. Most Eastern churches, though, didn’t adopt the Gregorian reforms; for them, it can fall between 4 April and 8 May.

Long story short? Don’t feel bad if you’ve no idea when Easter is next year.

(And if you want a high-res look at the Computus tables in a marvelous 12th-century medieval manuscript, check out this site!)

So about the Bunny and the Eggs…

Jews and Christians aren’t the only folks who tied a major holiday to the spring equinox. It’s pretty universal, in fact, for human cultures to take note of the cycle of increasing and decreasing periods of daylight: this is a relatively simple way to track the seasons and thus the best times to plant and to harvest. Put simply, the spring equinox set off a time of “life”, while the flip-side equinox set off a time of “death” (and thus contributed to the formation of Halloween).

It’s pretty fitting, then, that Christianity’s story of Jesus rising from the dead should be associated with the spring. Most resurrection and/or fertility deities are.

Among a long list of such figures, it’s worth it to point out one: Ēostre. She was a Germanic goddess of the dawn, bringing life back into the world after the cold death of night. The spring equinox would have been her most important festival, representing her overcoming the frigid grasp of Old Man Winter and such. Her importance to the moment led to her name being applied to the month of the equinox (“Eostur-monath,” as the Venerable Bede recorded it in his 8th-century work, The English Months). This popular pagan name survived past the conversion of the populace, so that the celebration of Jesus’ resurrection (in which the “light” of the “son/sun” conquered the “darkness” of “death/night”) came to be called, in many Germanic areas, Easter.

It seems likely, too, that Ēostre gave Easter more than its name. As a goddess bringing new life, she would have had strong connections to fertility, which could be symbolized by both eggs and rabbits (for obvious reasons).

In a parallel development, hares were also associated with the Christian story since, in the Middle Ages, it was believed that they could reproduce without losing their virginity, which associated them with the veneration of the Virgin Mary in church iconography. So the appearance of an Easter Bunny, a kind of springtime Santa that brought eggs to good boys and girls, was probably inevitable. (It’s first attested, just so you know, in 1682 in the writings of the German botanist Georg Franck von Franckenau.) Painting or dyeing these eggs made the event even more celebratory, especially in using the colors red (for sacrifice) and green (for new life).

Pysanky art, photo by Luba Petrusha (CC BY-SA 3.0)

As a side-note that may interest Tor.com readers, this movement of the egg from Ēostre’s fertility connections to Jesus’ resurrection connections is paralleled in the Ukrainian folk-art of Pysanky (seen above), which in origin pre-dates Christianity but has very much subsumed its traditions into this new religious framework. (And a shout-out here to Amy Romanczuk’s Patterns of the Wheel, which embeds pysanky symbolisms into a coloring book for Robert Jordan’s Wheel of Time.)

Why hide the eggs? Sadly, no, it’s not because Jesus was allergic. The hiding and finding of the eggs enabled believers to have a participatory connection to the finding of “new life” on Easter. An Easter Egg hunt also functioned as a reward if eggs weren’t eaten during Lent (the time leading up to Easter); finding an egg meant (finally!) getting to eat the egg.

As someone who doesn’t care for eggs in any way other than scrambled, I’ve got to admit I’m super-glad this “treat” notion has left real eggs behind in favor of chocolates and jelly beans.

Anyway, whether you and yours religiously celebrate Easter or just religiously eat Peeps, here’s hoping you all had a wonderful holiday this year!

 

Originally published April 2017 as part of the Medieval Matters series, and again in March 2018.

Michael Livingston is a Professor of Medieval Culture at The Citadel who has written extensively both on medieval history and on modern medievalism. His historical fantasy trilogy set in Ancient Rome, The Shards of Heaven, The Gates of Hell, and The Realms of God, is available from Tor Books.

versaphile: (Default)
[personal profile] versaphile
https://archiveofourown.org/works/15087038/chapters/43901371

“Cary doesn’t want a special name,” Kerry relays. “But that’s cause he’s mad we’re a system and he doesn’t want to be one because he’s being a jerk.” “Kerry,” Amy chides. “I’m proud that we’re a system just like I’m proud that we’re mutants,” Kerry continues. “There’s nothing wrong with it for the Davids so there’s nothing wrong with it for us.” She listens again. “Well other people are stupid. That’s their problem, not ours.” She turns to David again. “I was already trying to decide what our system name should be before—“ She falters, then rallies. “I think we should be the Karies. Kay ay are eye ee ess.” “Tell them I think that’s a great name,” Divad says. “And me!” Dvd insists. “Our system really likes that name,” David relays, and offers the Karies a smile.

from Tumblr: https://versaphile.tumblr.com/post/184300022467/when-my-fist-clenches-crack-it-open-chapter-122
musesfool: Kaylee as Delight (delight)
[personal profile] musesfool
Only a year and two months after I moved in, my mirrors are finally hung! Pics! I'm so pleased with how they look and the guy was so fast! He was done with both in less than an hour! Next weekend, the bench is assembled and that'll go under the mirror in the bedroom - between the windows but away from the radiator - and everything will be complete!!!

The exterminator came also, which is good because last night was like a nightmare in the kitchen. Things had been mostly quiet on the bug front lately, and I guess I got complacent because I was not prepared at all for last night. But I watched him spray the baseboards and put some gel on the lip of the backsplash above the sink where I can't reach, and hopefully that will take care of the problem. There's no food out and the sink is dry after 8 pm, and I wish they would just go away. It's so upsetting.

I also got the laundry done, and I'll fold it tonight while watching the Mets. Yesterday, I caught up on Brooklyn Nine Nine, which was a good choice, because it made me laugh a lot, and then last night's episode made me laugh even more. Everything with Holt was COMEDY GOLD. And Mark Evan Jackson looks amazingly attractive with that beard.

In other news, did you know that jelly shoes are in fashion again? I would like a pair of gold sparkly ones, but I doubt at this point I could wear them comfortably. I lived in them in the early 80s though. And those awful Dr. Scholl's sandals - you know the ones! - before graduating to Candie's.

Anyway, here is today's poem:

All Objects Reveal Something About the Body
by Catie Rosemurgy

Crisp is to the apple what
flexed is to the body.

Poor apple.

Being bitten is to the crisp apple
what walking is to the ripe body, but it's more complicated than that:

the apple of the face has been given
to the running juice of the body

and the body, which is often gracious,
makes it shine.

Lucky apple.

Having a core is to the apple
what having a core is to the body, city, method, circumstance, endeavor.

Having a core is flower-shaped and hurts
in the way that having a shape hurts, which is to say

it hurts ironically, because to have limits
is not just to make a declaration upon a mountainside,

it is also to be the mountainside. Having a flowering core
also hurts in the way that being flower-like always hurts,

which is to say sexually, as if the whole self
has exceeded the skin, which it hasn't, which means

we always seem to be opening but never ever do.
Both these types of suffering color the air

when we pause to have them. The affected atoms
are hard to see amongst the billions

of sofa atoms, newsprint atoms
but, like the illnesses in the crystalline sea, they are there.

Red apple sliced, quartered, salted. Green apple,

alone in the basket.
Anything left on the shelf becomes weak,

suggestible, vulnerable to other shapes, hungry to be refilled
by something other than itself,

a poison apple.
The joining we do with others needs containing.

Apple pie.
Imagine the mess. Imagine a finger touching the sack of the heart.

Imagine being stopped, controlled that powerfully.
Imagine nothing like that being possible. Nothing ever stopping you

at the root of the breath. Huge apple.
The world in reference to you. How you move. Time a backdrop.

Or close the other eye: you in reference to the world.
How it varies and happens simultaneously.

Good morning.
Little apple.

***

snippet -- gaming narrative

Apr. 19th, 2019 03:23 pm
shadaras: A white person with short brown hair smiling at the camera (Default)
[personal profile] shadaras
Sometimes we do gaming things and I wanna write and/or draw things about it; in this case, it's a writing thing, about my Fetchling slayer (fetchling = descendant of humans who populated the shadow plane ; slayer = class revolving around stealthy fighting) proving that they do, in fact, have morals and emotions no matter how much the rest of the party likes trying to pretend they're just a killer and an asshole.

~700 words under cut )

Warming to Extinction Rebellion

Apr. 19th, 2019 08:21 pm
mtbc: maze N (blue-white)
[personal profile] mtbc
I am naturally conservative in some ways: if one's society adopts a decent bill of rights and offers a free press and fair elections then I think highly of the rule of law and tend against illegal protests. In modern Western societies legal mechanisms should suffice for effecting necessary policy. However, general elections are a meager means of eliciting preferences from voters. There are also historical examples of oppressive injustices and other bad situations lingering unaddressed while the protests remained legal and convenient.

Through climate change we are causing significant and widespread harm without yet paying the price. In recent years the Conservative administration has fallen far short of a commensurate response. Against my inclination I find myself increasingly sympathetic to the view that illegal protest is warranted and have been impressed by the Extinction Rebellion actions around London.

Not only have I disliked every Conservative Home Secretary of my adulthood but the disruption caused by these protestors gets them ongoing coverage and pales in comparison to the severity of the issue. Extinction Rebellion are organized and informed enough to be both non-violent and effective and I find myself hoping that they succeed in helping to cause environmental policy to be tightened considerably.

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