Bibliothèque Municipale d’Epinal

Thursday, 25 May 2017 09:03
jimhines: (Snoopy Writing)
[personal profile] jimhines

On my first day at Les Imaginales, a pair of librarians came up and invited me to visit the Epinal Library. What I didn’t realize — they may have mentioned it and I just missed it — was that they were giving us a private tour of the rare books room.

Epinal Library Rare Books Room

It was amazing. One of the true highlights of my trip to France. My interpreter Lionel, an author himself, was as awestruck as I was. Especially when they brought out the first book. If I’m remembering right, this was from the 8th century.

8th century religious text

The next one wasn’t quite as old…being from the 9th century. This Gospel of Saint Mark was a youthful 1200 years old.

Gospel of St. Mark: 9th Century

The cover is metal and ivory. I’m not sure what kind of jewels those are. The circular areas on the corners were for holding relics. Here’s a glimpse of the interior:

Gospel of St. Mark: Interior

You can see the full set of photos on Flickr. (Or you may have already seen them on Facebook.) It was such a wonderful experience. My thanks to everyone at Bibliothèque Municipale d’Epinal for their time and generosity.

I’ll end with a map of Michigan from one of the books that was “only” a few centuries old. Michigan sure looked different in the old days…

Map of Michigan

Mirrored from Jim C. Hines.


Wednesday, 24 May 2017 23:02
legionseagle: (Default)
[personal profile] legionseagle
The New York Times and other US-based MSM outlets are currently publishing sensitive details likely to impede investigation of the Manchester bomb, details whih they seem to have got from intelligence sharing between US and UK intelligence sources. It shows the hollowness of all the "thoughts and prayers" rhetoric. That's not the behaviour of an ally, it's that of the worst sort of collaborateur, the sort who does it not from conviction but for gain.

ETA I'm not the biggest Andy Burnham fan out there, but I sympathise with him here where the acting US Ambassador seems to be giving him assurances that either can't or won't be kept.

Back from Les Imaginales

Wednesday, 24 May 2017 09:18
jimhines: (Snoopy Writing)
[personal profile] jimhines

I got back to Michigan late on Monday after a wonderful week in France for Les Imaginales.

The festival was amazing. The whole town participates and helps to sponsor Les Imaginales, which felt like a cross between a book fair, convention, and renaissance festival. The town is gorgeous, the food is delicious, and there were dogs everywhere–even in restaurants or sitting under a table in the book tent 🙂

I’ve posted photos from the book fair on Flickr. I’ve got a bunch more to get through and post, but I’m doing them one batch at a time.

The best part, naturally, was getting to hang out with some wonderful author friends from America, and to meet new authors, fans, editors, and fellow geeks from France and elsewhere.

It was fascinating to see the differences between French and American conventions. The panels were very different. Instead of a free-for-all conversation, the moderator asked each author a question, one at a time. There wasn’t much interaction between the authors. It felt a bit more formal, but also made sure everyone got the chance to talk and contribute. You were also expected to talk a fair amount about your book and how it related to the topic. At home, I try to avoid doing that too much, but in France, it’s expected that you’ll talk about your writing and help the audience learn enough to decide whether or not they’re interested.

Which means the best time to be in the book tent is immediately after you’ve done a panel. (I didn’t figure that out for my first panel, and probably missed some sales since I didn’t immediately go to the tent afterward. D’oh!)

I’m still trying to get caught up on everything. In the meantime, have a few pictures. (Or check out the full album on Flickr or Facebook!)

A shot of Epinal at night

Authors en route to Epinal

James Morrow and Christopher Priest

Château d’Épinal

A bit of historical reenactment? I really don’t understand French history…

My thanks to everyone at the festival for inviting me, for their hard work organizing the event, and for making this such a delightful week.

Mirrored from Jim C. Hines.

meganbmoore: (girl k: training)
[personal profile] meganbmoore
12 Monkeys: How to write a season finale with a brilliant and unexpected twist that adds layers to character and reinforces your ongoing themes and leaves your fandom going “Whhhaaaaaa.....?

spoilers )

Into the Badlands: How to write a season finale with a twist guaranteed to piss off the majority of your fanbase, displays bad and lazy writing, and tosses themes that you get praised for and season long character arcs into the garbage for shock value, leaving your fandom going “WTF HATEHATEHATEHATEHATE.”

spoilers )

icons: Ever After High

Sunday, 21 May 2017 19:01
meganbmoore: (eah: cerise)
[personal profile] meganbmoore
86 x Ever After High: Way Too Wonderland

here )

Frasier (re)watch season 1

Sunday, 21 May 2017 13:47
alias_sqbr: the symbol pi on a pretty background (Default)
[personal profile] alias_sqbr
[ profile] hoidn has been posting lots of cute Niles/Daphne gif sets on tumblr and it reminded me how much I enjoyed Frasier but found it frustrating that I was stuck with whatever episodes I happened to catch on tv. So I decided to watch it in order! Not all 220 episodes or whatever just the ones that sound good/shippy. And then Cam was inspired to maybe do the same, so I'm going to write up the episodes as I watch them to help him decide what to watch himself (unless he just watches them all, he is more of a completionist than me)

Read more... )

Lady Business Post

Saturday, 20 May 2017 16:33
forestofglory: E. H. Shepard drawing of Christopher Robin reading a book to Pooh (Default)
[personal profile] forestofglory
Yesterday a post I co-wrote went up on Lady Business! Its about how to sample the Vorkosigan Saga if you are trying to get feel for the Hugos. Hope you enjoy.

(no subject)

Saturday, 20 May 2017 15:48
meganbmoore: (beneath)
[personal profile] meganbmoore
 I really have no idea why SyFy thought it was a good idea to air the entire 3rd season of 12 Monkeys in one weekend. (I also thought it wasn't airing until June for some reason.)  They're calling it an "event" which I guess it qualifies as, though that terminology is usually saved for miniseries an TV movies, not the latest season of a show that used to air one episode a seek. I mean, it's definitely a bingeworthy show.  I just finished last night's episodes, and it was definitely written to be a single storyarc and watched together, so there was that, it just seems to be an odd decision.  Then again, SyFy pretty much cancelled it and renewed it for a 4th season simultaneously a few months back, so who knows what they're thinking.

Mostly the episodes were good, however...

brief spoiler )

(no subject)

Saturday, 20 May 2017 14:48
hagar_972: A woman with her hands on her hips, considering a mechanic's shop. (Default)
[personal profile] hagar_972
One of the results of the completely ridiculous amount of sport I've been doing since January is that there are now pairs of pants I don't quite fit into because my calves are bigger.


WisCon 41 schedule!

Saturday, 20 May 2017 00:06
owlmoose: (ffx2 - rikku)
[personal profile] owlmoose
Since someone asked about this on Twitter, and I figure it's handy for me to have the info all in one place for myself as well, I figured I'd post up my WisCon schedule here. I'll be arriving with [personal profile] renay and [personal profile] justira sometime on Thursday evening (in time for the evening reading, I hope, but since we're driving from Chicago I don't want to make any promises), and heading out early Monday afternoon. Also, I've gone from being on no panels last year to four (4) panels this year, one each on Friday and Sunday and two on Saturday. One on gaming, one on fanfic, and two on not being a jerk in fandom. Titles, times, and descriptions are as follows:

Friday, 2:30pm
Destroying the Mythos Around Female Gamers and Games for Women. Moderated by the one and only [personal profile] tanyad! Description: There is a continuing false perception that video games are thoroughly dominated by male gamers and male developers. However data disproves this fallacy. This panel will discuss the actual demographics of gaming, and how to buck the idea of "appealing" to women with old stereotypes and tropes. I.E women are all casuals, and games like FFXV with an all male cast supposedly appeal to women for a change. We'll also look at how narrative can drive an audience to or away from a game series such as Mass Effect, Dragon Age, etc.

Saturday, 1pm
It's OK to Not Like Things (But Don't Be a Jerk About It). Description: It's a wonderful feeling when geeks meet each other and share enthusiasm for the things we enjoy, but what happens when that enthusiasm becomes an obligation? While there are more and more geek and pop culture shows, stories, characters, art, and creators to be fans of and consume, the expectation that fans must like (or at least be aware of) certain things in order to be considered "real" geeks/nerds is still an issue. This panel will discuss what happens when fans are expected to like certain things, what happens when you don't, and how that creates unwelcoming geek communities. The panel will also stress that criticism isn't mutually exclusive with being a fan, as well as elaborate on the difference between criticism and "being a jerk."

Saturday, 9pm
Fanfic, Retcon, and Zombies, Oh My!. Description: Let's talk about what happens in the murky territories where fanfic meets original works. Do writings that use original works in the public domain—modern-day Sherlock Holmes characters, zombies in Jane Austen's worlds—count as fanfic? When a series gets unwieldy or unpopular, it can be rebooted or rewritten with different parameters: maybe a character comes back to life, changes gender, or gets a new backstory. Are there differences between retcon and fix-it fic, other than who owns the copyright?

Sunday, 10pm
How to Ship Without Being a Jerk, and Other Guidelines for Being Good Citizens of Fandom. Description: Everybody hates shipper wars, but nobody trusts the cult of nice, and at some point many of us have been tempted to send a snarky postcard/email/tweet to the Author or Showrunner Who Ruined It All Because They Just Didn't Get It. But just because the Powers that Be are the worst doesn't mean we have to be. How do we have conversations about the fandoms we all love without ruining friendships? Are those even the right goals? If not, what is a better way to look at it?

There will also at some point be an informal [community profile] ladybusiness BarCon gathering. My best guess right now is Friday evening, since I have panels on Saturday and Sunday night, but stay tuned! (I'm actually pushing for a CoffeeCon at Michelangelo's instead, since the hotel bar is small and gets very loud, so we'll see.) Look for an announcement on the [ profile] feministponies account.

It's so soon! I'm so excited! I hope to see some of you there. :)

(no subject)

Friday, 19 May 2017 14:36
synecdochic: torso of a man wearing jeans, hands bound with belt (Default)
[personal profile] synecdochic
Saw the radiation oncologist this morning. (Two hour drive to NoVA, whee.) More info when I get home and have a keyboard instead of phone, but: I adore him, he's given me tons to research, he's willing to schedule me now but also says it's not house on fire urgent since it's not proceeding quickly enough to be an urgent situation (but he didn't downplay it either) and did I mention I adore him?

I feel very much better now that I know I have him, and will feel even better after seeing Mom's guy on the 30th.

(no subject)

Friday, 19 May 2017 09:02
legionseagle: (Default)
[personal profile] legionseagle
Happy birthday [personal profile] clanwilliam
owlmoose: (cats - tori peeking)
[personal profile] owlmoose
I kind of want to share some links, and I'm kind of afraid they'll all be out of date within five minutes of posting them. (At the very least, by 5pm Eastern Time today, which is when we seem to be getting our daily bombshell.) It's been less than two weeks since my last linkspam post, and in the meantime it feels like an entire year's worth of news has happened.

But, this the teaspoon I have, and so I'll keep going at this ocean for as long as I can.

  • It's hard to say what's the biggest story in the long run, but for now I'll put my money on the firing of FBI Director James Comey. Could this be the thing that brings it all toppling down? Vox thinks it might be.

  • Not just the firing itself, but the way that the White House narrative tried to deflect the blame onto Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein might be what triggered the appointment of a special counsel (FINALLY OMG). Unfortunately, the special counsel doesn't quite have the power or independence of a special prosecutor, but it's probably the best of the options we have right now. Vox has a good overview of what a special counsel is and what they have the power to do.

  • This close reading of James Comey's farewell letter to FBI staff is a work of genius. So is the farewell letter itself.

  • Don't forget The Comey Memo. (Does anyone else hear that in the cadence of "The Reynolds Pamphlet"? Just me? Okay.) This New Yorker article is a pretty good summary of the memo's importance and how it raises the stakes for everyone involved. Also, I'm pretty sure the last shoe has not dropped on revelations from James Comey. Not even close.

  • I suppose it might be a staggering coincidence that the White House invited Russian officials into the Oval Office with only Russian media present, and that 45 dropped some key intel to make himself look important (and SERIOUSLY? You are the President. Of. The. United. States. You don't need to puff yourself up to look important anymore, I promise) on the day after the man leading the investigation into Russian ties with the campaign was fired, but. Well. It doesn't look good. Politico's brilliant take on how Trump supporters are trying to spin this story is both illuminating and a work of trolling genius:
    Others accepted the report but contested the suggestion that Trump’s behavior was problematic. “This is only a scandal in the minds of those who haven’t heard that the Cold War is over,” said white nationalist Richard Spencer, who over the weekend rallied a peaceful, torch-bearing mob in support of the Confederacy at a park in Charlottesville, Virginia.

  • If you haven't seen it yet, [personal profile] renay's story about trying to get involved with the local Democratic party only to run into roadblocks and uncommunicative people at every turn is frustrating and infuriating. As I said on Twitter, red state and rural progressives are fighting enough battles. Getting the attention of the Democratic infrastructure shouldn't have to be another.

  • There are currently six Democrats in Congress who identify as pro-life and regularly (though not always) vote for anti-choice legislation, three Senators and three Representatives. All of them are white men. This is my surprised face.

  • Meanwhile, voter suppression is back in the news, as The Nation reports on new research into the effects of Wisconsin's voter ID law. I still contend that voting rights is THE issue we need to fix if we're going to straighten things out in the long run. Even with all the balls in the air, we need to keep an eye on this one.

life stuff

Thursday, 18 May 2017 10:13
marina: (Default)
[personal profile] marina
I've been anxious this week for some unknown reason. Like, waking up before my alarm, trouble going to sleep, dreams about work and other things that dreams should not be about.

just some life stuff )

very tentative WisCon schedule

Tuesday, 16 May 2017 16:54
meganbmoore: (Default)
[personal profile] meganbmoore
 Thursday:  arrive around 12:30, no actual plans beyond staying the night with [ profile] sophygurl .  Feel dead the whole time because my plane leaves at 6: 30 am and I can barely get up that early, much less at least 1 1/2 hours earlier to get to the airport on time.

FridaY;  Move to my room at some point and wait for [personal profile] lyssie to arrive.

4-5:15: Love Love Peace Peace: What Makes a Fun Story? 

Saturday:  Farmers Market in the morning, must find people to go with.

8:30-9:45 am (assuming I actually get moving and finish at Farmer's Market by then, which isn't likely)  Rebel Scum: Finding Hope In Resistance 

10-11:15 am (even though I didn't watch the show)  Yuri on Ice! Skating on Love! 

1-2:15  Red As Blood: Women and Gothic Horror 


1-2:15 (if I manage to watch some of it by then)  The Women of Luke Cage 

2:30-3:45:  Hidden Figures 
Moral Ambiguity In Fiction 

Monday:  No panels, I don't think, leaving sometime in the afternoon.

I'm not on any panels this year, so they're all pretty tentative and can be dropped in favor of hanging out with people, which is how I intend to spend most of my time, if anyone wants to schedule anything.

Dan Salomon & Hadas Blass

Tuesday, 16 May 2017 10:33
hagar_972: "It's the way I feel that changes/These are the colours of the sun." (Colours of the Sun)
[personal profile] hagar_972
Some of y'all may remember Dan Salomon, the kid with the most Israeli Rock voice from the Machina season of the local The Voice. Well, kid's voice got upgraded to "straight to the spine" and also, he found himself a wonderful complement in Hadas Blass, who seems to be pretty awesome in her own right.

I found them through the following, a Beit Avi Chai-sponsored cover of Meir Banai's sha'aar ha'rachamim (lit. "Gate of Mercy", an actual gate of J-m's Old City and also a loaded concept if one has the familiarity with Jewish lore's more mystical branches):

Embed behind cut. )

I'm not a fan of this orchestral arrangement (it seems they were going for Anadlusi style, but didn't have the guts to go all the way), but it's nice to know J-m has a street orchestra and also, it shows off the two vocalists really well.

Apparently these two are a stable partnership with their own youtube channel, which is where I found the following gem:

Embed under cut. )

This one deserves being presented with the words (Hadas's; joint composition); I suspect it'll be one of those songs where the intent gets through even without understanding a word, but.

"גם אם רגליי לא ישאוני
אשא נפשי אל על
ורעש הלב זה שיכה בי
יהיה בחיקי שירת אדם

גם אם הרוח לא תשיבני
בשמחתי אשמע
וכוח ישן שיתעורר בי
יהיה בעיני
לאש גדולה"

"Even if my feet shall fail
I'll carry my soul up high
And the heart's tremor* that strikes me so
Will in my bosom
Become a song

Even if the wind fails to return* me
In my joy I'll heart it still
And the old power that'll wake in me
Will become
A great fire"

* The Hebrew word תשיבני doesn't just mean "return me [to a place]"; it also means "bring me back to life" (specifically in this context, because "wind" and "spirit" are the same word in Hebrew), and it recalls the השיבני of t'shuva, of the return home with an answer from the path of questioning.

* ra'aas could mean either noise, or an earthquake

...this song also has other allusions, which is unfuckingsurprising - it's sort of a genre marker. Combining shirat ha'ma'aalot with Naomi Shemer ("השיבני ואשובה") and a side of Bialik (חיקי/חיקך) - yeah, this is Israeli rock, all right. (And both are subversions/inversions! Naomi Shemer's song quotes Isaiah straight - "Recall me and I'll return" - where Hadas Blass says "Even if [the wind/spirit] fails to recall me"; and where Bialik's famous poem is about loneliness and written from the position of one who is suffering [specifically addressing a female person], here the female person writing for a partnership speaks of taking the earthquake of the [implied lonely] heart and turning it into shirat adam, the song of humanity - which is another allusion, to Hannah Szenes's On foot to Cesasria: "My Lord, my Lord/May it never end:/sea and sand/water's whisper, sky's brightness/human prayer [te'filat ha'adam]". Actually now that I think about it - the motive of fire recalls Hannah Szenes's other famous poem, of hearts and fire and a darkness that needs to be undone. And what all of those allusions and subversions sum up to is saying that sometimes, courage is accepting joy and heroism is to fight to live, not the swearing away of one's life.)

Basically, "If I got left alone in the dark I'll find someone else who's lonely, rescue us both, and laugh about it like one who returns to Living."

ETA. Yeah okay, those two definitely have a pattern of writing about Living After. And see.

ETA 2. Oh my god, crazy kids, are you seriously performing wearing matching pendants? I squinted at them in the previous vid, and it's really obvious here. ("I am lost/The road unfamiliar to me/To the trails I'm a stranger/How did I come to this loneliness/In these valleys and rivers/Oh, sister/Do you know the road to Bingeol?")

What I'm watching in May

Monday, 15 May 2017 21:51
meganbmoore: (covert affairs: gimme tv)
[personal profile] meganbmoore

Bad Thief, Good Thief
Chicago Typewriter
*Rebel: Thief Who Stole the People
Ruler: Master of the Mask
Suspicious Partner


Granblue Fantasy
Grimoire of Zero
Sakura Quest

Indian drama:

Razia Sultan


*Brooklyn 99
*Into the Badlands
*Madam Secretary

*=Series/season that ends in May

I don’t think any of my summer US shows start until June, aside from Still Starcrossed, and there are a couple kdramas that start this month that I plan to check out, but who knows. Maybe I’ll finally get to put a dent in my Netflix queue.

a cover revealed

Monday, 15 May 2017 17:17
marina: (Default)
[personal profile] marina
Oh hey guys, we've talked about how I'm going to publish that novella I've been carrying around in a drawer for a decade right?

Well, it now has a cover :D

In other news, I should have the epub file done by now but of course HTML is driving me UP THE WALL >_< (don't ask why I'm formatting the epub myself instead of feeding it into a converter, DO NOT ASK).

Basically, the text has a lot of scene breaks with asterisks (like "***") and I need there to be at least one line of empty space before and after those asterisks! I've tried using your standard < p > to create empty lines, but nope! UGH.

If the spacing doesn't work I might need to have each scene begin on a new page (i.e. insert a pagebreak) but I don't know how to consistently do that when coding an epub either >_< (I've been using this guide which doesn't address any of those problems).

social things are weird

Sunday, 14 May 2017 11:37
marina: (Default)
[personal profile] marina
So, this post has been much delayed. Here's hoping I can actually finish it and hit post today.

Previously: I gave a lecture at a con for the first time. It went pretty well. But the lecture was on the first half of the first day of the con, and for some reason in my head that was the "end" of it? Like in my imagination, in my budgeting of mental energy, I really only planned as far as "deliver lecture!" then like, go for lunch with friends who all came down for the lecture. And that's it! There was technically still another 1.5 days to the con, but in my head they would just go by as they usually would? Uneventful and undemanding?

Things worked out differently.

things )

(no subject)

Saturday, 13 May 2017 16:39
meganbmoore: (covert affairs: gimme tv)
[personal profile] meganbmoore
 Shows I lost in the May upfronts:

Emerald City
The Catch
Powerless (technically not in the upfronts, but...)

Shows that got renewed:

Brooklyn 99

Still in limbo: 

Underground (Not one that would be covered in the upfronts, but it's still in renewal limbo)


Timeless  (NBC is making it a summer show with shorter seasons, so its joining most of the other SF shows I watch.)


lea_hazel: The Little Mermaid (Default)

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