My FemslashEx story

Oct. 21st, 2017 05:18 pm
rachelmanija: (Buffy: I kind of love you)
[personal profile] rachelmanija
I had tons of fun with FemslashEx, and highly recommend browsing the archive.

My recipient was [personal profile] iknowcommawrite aka Scioscribe, who wrote me two lovely Treats last Yuletide! FemslashEx allows prompts for original fiction, and this is the prompt I wrote for:

Female Revolutionary/Princess

Class issues, identity porn, loyalty kink, and compromised principles: hell yeah. I think ideally I would like this one in a fantasy world, but I’m open to other possibilities. I’d love to see about any variation on this I could think of. Is the revolutionary undercover in the palace, getting ready to overthrow the monarchy while falling for the princess? Is the princess on the run from the revolution, disguising herself, and falling in amongst the rebels? Do either of them begin to rethink their principles or their policies? Is the revolutionary agitating in the open, and the princess is intrigued by her radical ideas? Other things I’m totally here for: wearing a crown while being thoroughly debauched by a revolutionary, hurt/comfort, kneeling, undressing from gowns and corsets, and virgin princess/experienced revolutionary.

Isn't that great? I found it very inspiring.

I wrote Burn, an epistolatory exercise in Ultimate Identity Porn. The revolutionary hides her face to conceal her identity. The princess silences her voice to preserve her purity. They know each other. And they don't...

My long-delayed trip

Oct. 19th, 2017 11:12 am
rachelmanija: (Default)
[personal profile] rachelmanija
Two years ago, I meant to go to Japan in November. And then I had the most horrible two years of my entire life, and the trip was shelved.

I'm going to Japan in November! I'll be there for two weeks, divided between Tokyo, Kyoto, and Fukuoka. The last is a city further south than I've been before, with some very pretty day trips.

I'm going to use AirBnb, which I also haven't used before, but it looks pretty great. I have two lovely apartments all to myself for cheaper than a hotel room would be, and one room in a house with a lady who cooks breakfast, has a friendly toy poodle named Piccolo, and says understatedly, "I am a former hotelier who worked in the five star hotel. I think I can assist you well during your stay."

Any of you done anything fun in Japan?

Star Trek: Discovery

Oct. 17th, 2017 11:13 am
marina: (Default)
[personal profile] marina
Before we get into this post, please know: I am not a Trek fan and have never been a Trek fan. I like maybe 2 characters (MAYBE) and a select few episodes from like, ALL OF STAR TREK CANON and furthermore: I've not seen most of the Star Trek canon. I also have a lot of not-necessarily-positive feelings about Star Trek FANDOM that I've been known to vent about so.

Please please ask yourself whether, knowing that, you really want to read the rest of this entry (which will contain mostly snark). Also know: if this entry isn't for you, I still love you and would never judge you (or anyone) for a single second for liking the things you like.

General thoughts on Star Trek )

Star Trek: Discovery 1x05 - Choose Your Pain )

The problem

Oct. 16th, 2017 08:16 pm
liv: cast iron sign showing etiolated couple drinking tea together (argument)
[personal profile] liv
Sexual violence against women and girls is endemic. There's an absolute mountain of evidence that this is the case, from the experiences of my friends to any number of posts on social media to rigorous studies. A big part of the reason I decided to identify as a feminist is because women are routinely denied bodily autonomy and feminism seems to be the only political movement that cares about this.

links and personal observations about sexual violence against women )

I absolutely believe everybody else's experiences, people I know and strangers writing brave, brave columns and blog posts. I am just a total outlier, and I really shouldn't be. So I'm signal boosting others' accounts, because I know that I needed to be made aware of the scale of the problem, and perhaps some other people reading this could also use the information.

another post that is not about media

Oct. 15th, 2017 02:43 pm
marina: (Default)
[personal profile] marina
I've been struggling a lot this week. Yesterday I went back to work after nearly a month away, due to holidays and travel, and that's definitely landed on me like a very heavy truck. But in general, settling back into my life after the madness that the last 6 months have been is... a little difficult and disorienting. I've had a lot of see-saw feelings of "everything is great!" and "everything is awful!" and I'm kind of constantly exhausted and my tolerance for deadline-related stress is close to zero, and well.

more details )

Duma Key, by Stephen King

Oct. 14th, 2017 11:39 am
rachelmanija: (Books: old)
[personal profile] rachelmanija
Of all the new-to-me books by Stephen King that I’ve read in the last year, this and the middle Dark Tower books are the ones I’ve re-read the most. I’ve re-read Duma Key three times in the last two years, and I can tell it’s a book I’ll keep coming back to. Here’s the first page:

How to draw a picture


Start with a blank surface. It doesn't have to be paper or canvas, but I feel it should be white. We call it white because we need a word, but its true name is nothing. Black is the absence of light, but white is the absence of memory, the color of can't remember.

How do we remember to remember? That's a question I've asked myself often since my time on Duma Key, often in the small hours of the morning, looking up into the absence of light, remembering absent friends. Sometimes in those little hours I think about the horizon. You have to establish the horizon. You have to mark the white. A simple enough act, you might say, but any act that re-makes the world is heroic. Or so I’ve come to believe.

Imagine a little girl, hardly more than a baby. She fell from a carriage almost ninety years ago, struck her head on a stone, and forgot everything. Not just her name; everything! And then one day she recalled just enough to pick up a pencil and make that first hesitant mark across the white. A horizon-line, sure. But also a slot for blackness to pour through.

Still, imagine that small hand lifting the pencil ... hesitating ... and then marking the white. Imagine the courage of that first effort to re-establish the world by picturing it. I will always love that little girl, in spite of all she has cost me. I must. I have no choice. Pictures are magic, as you know.


On the one hand, this is my favorite prose passage in the book. On the other hand, the entire book has that same atmosphere and themes: the magic of art, the bleakness of loss, the terror of opening a door into darkness, human empathy and connections, and, always, how making a mark on paper is both simple and difficult, the dividing line between nothing and everything.

Unusually for Stephen King, Duma Key is set in on the Florida coast – an incredibly vivid and atmospheric Florida, which becomes enough of a character in its own right to make the book a very satisfying sea-soaked, sunset-lit Gothic.

I am pleased to say that this is one of the least gross King books I’ve read, bar a rotting ghost or two. It’s also one of the scariest, in a very classic “terrify by keeping the scary stuff mostly off-page” manner. The Big Bad is never quite seen directly, and is one of King’s creepiest and most mythically archetypal figures.

It’s also one of King’s most heartbreaking books. Almost all the characters are really likable, and if not likable, than still very human. The Girl Who Loved Tom Gordon opens with, The world had teeth and it could bite you with them any time it wanted. Duma Key is about the beauty and magic and redemption of the world, but also about the teeth.

It begins with a wealthy self-made man, Edgar Freemantle, getting into an absolutely horrific accident while visiting one of his job sites. He loses an arm and gets some brain damage; he’s barely out of the hospital before his marriage has ended, his life as he knew it has ended, and he’s on the brink of suicide.

After some talks with his psychiatrist, he ends up taking up art, which he’d enjoyed as a boy but never pursued, and moving to a cabin in the Florida Keys. There he meets a chatty guy, Wireman, who’s the caretaker for Elizabeth, an elderly woman with Alzheimer’s – both of whom have pasts which slowly, heartbreakingly unfold over the course of the book. Edgar finds that painting is his new passion and genuine talent… but his paintings are odd. Eerie. And they can change things…

The first half of the book follows Edgar as he recovers from his accidents, explores his new talent and gains critical and commercial success, and loses some old friends and gains some new ones. The emotional and physical recovery from the accident and its fallout (which doesn't mean he'll ever be the same as he was before) was incredibly well-done and vivid. I don't know if it was technically correct, but it felt very believable.

In classic Gothic fashion, there’s creepy stuff going on simultaneously, but it’s comparatively subtle. I found this part of the book hugely enjoyable even though tons of scenes are just Edgar painting or eating sandwiches and shooting the breeze with Wireman. On the one hand, it probably could have been shorter. On the other hand, I could have happily gone on reading just that part forever.

And then the creepy stuff gets less subtle. A lot less subtle.

This has an unusual story arc. I’m putting that and other huge spoilers behind a cut, but I’ll also mention that even for King, the book has some very tragic aspects— ones which he’s explored before, but there’s one I’ll rot13.com (feed into the site to reveal) because it’s a specific thing that people may want to avoid. Gur cebgntbavfg’f qnhtugre vf xvyyrq. Fur’f na nqhyg ohg n lbhat bar (n pbyyrtr fghqrag) naq irel yvxnoyr, naq vg’f gur ovttrfg bs frireny thg-chapurf va gur fgbel. Nyfb, n qbt vf uvg ol n pne naq qvrf.

If that’s not a dealbreaker, I suggest not reading the rest of the spoilers because even though if I’d sat down and tried to figure out where the story was going, I probably could have, the experience of reading it feels unpredictable; you can guess the outlines but a lot of the details are unexpected.

Read more... )

(no subject)

Oct. 14th, 2017 08:35 pm
lea_hazel: The Little Mermaid (Default)
[personal profile] lea_hazel
Remind me to never again do a game jam during the holidays.

Also, have some brighter things

Oct. 13th, 2017 03:43 pm
rachelmanija: (Firefly: Shiny Kaylee)
[personal profile] rachelmanija
Femslash Exchange 2017 is open! The original fiction stories look especially tempting; also, there's Jane Eyre/Helen Burns. Off to read my gift story (resistance fighter/glamorous '40s singer) now!

Also, have two cats hugging:

(no subject)

Oct. 13th, 2017 09:28 pm
marina: (Default)
[personal profile] marina
I've been more or less offline for about 3 weeks. A lot of things have happened. I spent 2 of those weeks traipsing through Ukraine, visiting two big cities, one small town and one tiny, itty bitty place where I stayed for 3 days and where I got to put a stone on the grave of my great-great-grandfather.

I came back sick as a dog, of course. (Got sick on the day-before-last of the trip, got REALLY sick on the very last day - the flight home was an actual hell dimension.) 3 days after I landed I was scheduled to give a brand new lecture at a con. 11 days after I landed I was scheduled to submit the thesis I've been working on for 2 years. (This last one is still in progress.)

So, it's been super hectic and busy (I look forward to November when I will have NO MORE URGENT COMMITMENTS and only... 5 straight months at work... with no vacation days... x_x)

But! I've been watching a lot of things, between small towns with no nightlife and being sick and bedridden.

So, some very brief thoughts.

* Person of Interest - I finally finished the last season! It was mostly blah with occasional bouts of "oh right, I remember why this show was so unique, in its own way". I'm still here for the special-ops-doctor-who-isn't-capable-of-feelings and tech-genius-who-spent-years-playing-by-her-own-rules femmeslash ship. Here for it LIKE BURNING.

* Straight Outta Compton - finally watched this! It wasn't the best movie, and the fact that they completely glossed over the IRL violence against women is... yeah. But it was cool to see a "documentary" about the period of hip-hop history that directly preceeded my introduction to hip-hop. Like Snoop showed up, and Tupac, and I was like - OH RIGHT! Dr Dre made both of them happen! And it was fun for like... getting a fuller context for the music I remember loving in middle school.

* The Good Place - I enjoyed this a lot (am enjoying this a lot?) but if I hadn't been spoiled for the twist at the end of S1 I... would have probably hated this show/been blah about it for a good long while. IDK how they're going to sustain the level of commentary they had in S1 - I don't really care that much about the characters? - but I will say I'm on the Eleanor/Tahani train for now.

* Keanu - another movie I've had on my to-watch list for a long while. I watched it in fits and starts while traveling - it was very cute and occasionally funny, and I did enjoy the commentary and the cute kitten. I could very easily see how it sort of "led" to Jordan Peel's Get Out, since I felt like in Keanu they were sort of figuring out how far they could take it in a mainstream comedy, and Get Out was like the progression of that.

* Top of the Lake - watched S2 in a single evening in Ukraine. It was less good than S1, while doing essentially the same thing. I can't speak to the racism and whether it was worse than in S1 (like, it seemed to me that it was? But I don't know enough about Australia) but the rape culture stuff was... more of the same, except done less well. Also, all of the parenting choices on that show were like 100% culture shock to me, which is a reaction I apparently often have with Australian shows lol.

* Outlander = I'm watching S3 and OMG. This show's perfect blend of "fanfic tropes come to life" and "boring content I'm fast-forwarding through" is baaaaaaack. I'm obsessed with it and simultaneously uninterested in like 50% of what happens on screen.

* Star Trek: Discovery - I've only watched 3 episodes so far (there are 4 out) but... sweet lord. Look, I was never a Star Trek fan, so I didn't expect much from this show, but it definitely has that Stargate feel of "if only someone with half a brain was writing this I'd really love it? As it is, I'll see you on AO3". Like the characters are SO GREAT, Michael Burnham is literally ALL MY DREAMS COME TRUE, but the writing is just so mediocre and blah. Perfect fanfic fandom I guess? I honestly ship everyone on that show with everyone. I shipped Michael with her first captain, I ship her with Jason Isaacs. I ship the science dude with his "warmongering" captain. Give me any pairing.

(Also, I wish this show didn't take Trek into a war direction? As if I didn't have enough to nitpick and be annoyed by, we're in straight up stargate territory now where they're all essentially soldiers? UGH.)

* Atlanta - OH MY GOD. I've watched 8 episodes of S1, and THIS FUCKING SHOW. THIS AMAZING FUCKING SHOW EVERYONE SHOULD WATCH. IT'S SO FUCKING BRILLIANT AND GREAT AND I LOVE IT SO MUCH. I know everyone's been on this train for like a year, but HOLY FUCKING SHIT. I've missed TV that was this sharp, this clever, this stylish, this full of humor and also things to say. God a show with THINGS TO SAY that's light as a feather and heavy like an ocean at the same time. With a show this good, even when it fails it does it in interesting ways. There's no real way of describing this, it's just... you need to watch it.

(In a way, I've realized Atlanta is the universe making it up to me for Master of None. Same concept of a 20 minute comedy show made by an alum of a popular mainstream comedy show, touching on deeply personal topics and personal stories, dealing with success in the entertainment industry. Same experimentation with format, visual style, characters. But Master of None was so deeply Not My Thing, while Atlanta is just... EVERYTHING. EVERYTHING. God that show is STUNNING.)

Pull The Football - Save the World

Oct. 13th, 2017 11:57 am
rachelmanija: (I wrote my own deliverance)
[personal profile] rachelmanija
Are you worried about nuclear war? I am too. Keep reading for a way to stop it with one simple action.

Maybe you feel small and powerless. But many snowflakes make an avalanche. If we all move in the same direction, we'll be unstoppable. We will only fail if we choose not to act.

Trump has the power to order a pre-emptive nuclear strike for any reason - or no reason at all. He's always shadowed by a man with a briefcase of codes, called the "nuclear football," to enable him to launch nuclear missiles at any time. It would take less than five minutes from his order to the missiles being launched, and no one could stop him. Republican Senator Bob Corker says Trump is leading us into World War III. I believe him.

But we don't have to stand by and let it happen. Let's pull away that football!

Both House and Senate have bills to prevent the President from launching a pre-emptive nuclear strike without a congressional declaration of war. They're both called the Restricting First Use of Nuclear Weapons Act of 2017. (S. 200 - Senate, HR 669 - House.) Passing those bills may literally save the world.

How to save the world:

1. Contact your representatives in Congress. Ask them to co-sponsor the bill NOW, before it's too late.

2. Contact EVERYONE in Congress who might want to prevent a nuclear war. Usually people only speak to their own representatives. But with the fate of the entire world is at stake, it's worth contacting everyone who might listen.

3. Promote the Pull The Football campaign on social media. Trump isn't the only one who can use Twitter. Get on it and start tweeting #PullTheFootball.

Share this post on Facebook or Dreamwidth. Put up your own post on whatever social media you use. Ask your friends in person. If you know anyone in the media, contact them to get the word out. If you're not American, you can help by publicizing the campaign on social media that Americans follow.

How do I contact my representatives?

1. Resistbot is a free service that will fax, call, or write your representatives for you. Just text the word "resist" to 50409 to begin.

2. Call the Capitol Switchboard at (202) 224-3121 and ask to be connected to the representative of your choice.

I've contacted everyone. What now?

Contact them again. THIS IS THE MOST IMPORTANT PART. One water drop can be brushed away. Many water drops make a flood. Call, fax, or write as often as possible. Set aside 15 minutes every day to make as many calls or faxes as you can in that time. Relentlessness works - it's why the NRA is so successful. If they can do it, we can do it.

What do I say?

Page down for a sample script. Or speak or write in your own words.

Democrats to contact:

Every Democrat not currently sponsoring one of the bills. Thank them for their courage and service to the nation, and ask them to act now to save the world.

Thank the Democrats currently sponsoring the bills. There are 57 in the House and 9 in the Senate. Especially, thank Congressman Ted Lieu (sponsor of the House bill) and Sen. Edward Markey (sponsor of the Senate bill). Encourage them to step up their efforts to make it pass.

Republicans to contact:

The Republicans listed below are the most prominent who have voiced concerns about Trump. This is not an exhaustive list. There are more Republicans who might be receptive. For instance, all the House Republicans who just voted for more aid for Puerto Rico, and all Republicans who are retiring from their seats and so not worried about getting re-elected.

Sen. Bob Corker (202) 224-3344) warned us that Trump is setting the nation on a path to World War III. If you only contact one Republican representative, contact him. Thank him for his courage and urge him to follow through on his convictions.

Rep. Walter Jones (202) 225-3415 is the only Republican to support the bill. Thank him for his courage and urge him to get his colleagues onboard.

Other Republican senators to prioritize contacting: Susan Collins, Jeff Flake, Lindsey Graham, Orrin Hatch, Dean Heller, John McCain, Lisa Murkowski, Marco Rubio, and Bob Sasse.

Sample Script

Hello, my name is [your name.] I'm calling to ask Representative/Senator [their name] to co-sponsor the Restricting First Use of Nuclear Weapons Act of 2017. (S. 200 - Senate, HR 669 - House.)

I believe Republican Senator Bob Corker when he says we're on the brink of World War Three. No one benefits from a nuclear war. But we can stop it if we choose to. This may be the most important action Representative/Senator [their name] will take in their entire life. It may literally save the world. I urge them to co-sponsor the bill restricting first use of nuclear weapons. Thank you.

Thank you for reading this far! Please share the post before you go.

Music meme: day 24 of 30

Oct. 12th, 2017 02:40 pm
liv: cartoon of me with long plait, teapot and purple outfit (Default)
[personal profile] liv
Another song category I disagree with: A song by a band you wish were still together. A band breaking up is like any relationship coming to an end: if the people involved don't want to be together any more, who am I to wish they stayed in a situation no longer good for them?

It's also partly another example where I don't have the relationship with music that the meme seems to assume. I don't really have any bands that I follow in the manner of eagerly anticipating a new release, therefore none that make me sad if they split up and there won't be any new material coming. The existing songs that I like are still there for me to listen to. I do occasionally go to live gigs performed by ageing rockers, and that's cool, but it's not something I wish for more of in my life.

So I'm going to pick Joy Division. I wish at least that Curtis had lived for the band to split up due to creative differences, rather than coming to an end with his death. He'd be 60 now, and it's hard to imagine what Joy Division might have done if he'd had even one more decade with them let alone four. A lot of other bands from that sort of era, if they have carried on, have tended to get more bleepy and less raw noise, and New Order certainly went in that direction, but Joy Division were something else, and I imagine that they might have continued to innovate musically, maybe not all the way through to the 2010s but through the 80s and 90s at least.

Here's something a bit more gentle and thinky than their big hits like Love will tear us apart: Passover, by Joy Division.

video embed (audio only) )

Profile

manifesta: (Default)
manifesta

contact info & some sweet links

manifesta at dreamwidth dot org
(or feel free to PM me if you're on DW)

Follow kaylalynn_ on Twitter

Creative Commons License

Subscribe via RSS.
Third Wave Foundation
Finally, A Feminism 101 Blog

Expand Cut Tags

No cut tags