(no subject)

Sep. 22nd, 2017 03:53 pm
turps: (Mikey&Cat)
[personal profile] turps
I had an excellent time at Camp Sparkle. I got to stay for four days, which was all kinds of great as I got to hang with some very excellent people who I really don't see often enough. It was the 10th Camp Sparkle, which is amazing. All those years of sparkly meet-ups, and [personal profile] nopseud and [personal profile] pensnest deserve multiple gold stars for making them happen, because man, I can't even begin to imagine how difficult they must be to organise.

While at Camp I went on a steam train to Whitby, where it bucketed it down, but thankfully the rain eased off after dinner, so I got to wander Whitby with James and [personal profile] sperrywink, ending up having a drink in a relatively warm and sun lit courtyard.

Went to check out Castle Howard, which had beautiful gardens and a really interesting castle.

Had a quick trip to Filey, before the moderately tidy BBQ on the night, where the food was plentiful and tasty and everyone looked smart as carrots.

Then sadly had to go home before the others, but stopped off at Scarborough on the way back.

The week before I went nanna was admitted to hospital again as she couldn't move her leg. The news was pretty bleak at one point. We were calling Pauline on the night and at one point I was starting to think we'd have to leave early to see her one last time. Then, between one day and the next she perked right up. Since I've been home she's found out she's actually got two breaks in her back, old ones that probably happened when she fell four years ago. I'm not sure what's going to happen, but am hoping she'll be transferred to the rehab centre which is set up for periods between hospital and home. Especially so as the centre is in the same building as my gym.

It was a year for my weight loss op two days ago. This time last year I was just coming home with no idea how my life was going to change so amazingly. I won't give figures as I have my one year post op appointment next month and will take numbers lost from then, but know, I could walk for a long time and at ease while I was at Camp. I even sat in the middle of a three person row in the mini bus and didn't squash the people on both sides. Silly things like that remain amazing to me. But yeah, I did post a face-to-face pic on Insta if you'd like to see, which is here.

(no subject)

Sep. 21st, 2017 10:09 pm
gorgeousnerd: #GN written in the red font from my layout on a black background. (Default)
[personal profile] gorgeousnerd
1. First, US political stuff. Healthcare. )

Edit: If you're in the US, you can email the Senate Finance Committee about this before their Monday hearing. More on that here.

2. I didn't do Wednesday Reading last week, mostly because there wasn't much to say. I'm a bit belated this week, but I have more to say, so!

Books! )

3. I can't believe it's almost October, but it certainly felt that late in the year today, if not later. It never cracked 50 F outside. I went outside in layers (short of my jacket, but layers) and was uncomfortably cold until I walked around a bit. This is just a cold spot, though; it was in the 80s no more than ten days ago, and it's supposed to be back in the 80s in the next week. Still, as the last day of summer goes, it was kind of sad. I'm not ready to be talking snow levels, okay! Let me enjoy more of Halloween season first!

It's all coming together...?!

Sep. 21st, 2017 09:56 pm
naye: (new beginnings)
[personal profile] naye
Did a round of donations tonight. So much going on, but hopefully little bits can help. Skuld's done her 5 Calls once this week, and I'm trying to cheerlead/threaten her to do another round.

It feels really Peak 2017 that it's difficult to write about anything in my own life without prefacing it with the above... Things are pretty terrible, and I feel vaguely guilty for having good news?

But - I have good news:
Skuld's Swedish residency permit was approved!!!

What this means is: she is allowed to move to Sweden! And live there permanently! (And then after three years she can apply for citizenship!!) And it only took... a year and two months and a couple of weeks?

More good news:
I found an airline that will fly our cats out of Britain in the cabin rather than the hold!! The reason I missed it last time I did research was that they have no direct flights (boo), but it's a reasonably fast 4 hours airport to airport and it means we won't have to entrust the kitties to strangers and have them fly in the hold (I know people who've had pets "lost" from the hold so THANK GOODNESS) and they can come with us and we can get them all moved within a day!

And this means that we actually have a timeline. This is actually happening. We're getting out of Brexit land and moving to Sweden with our cats and starting exciting new jobs - all before the year is out.

I think it'll go like this )

Rats and Books

Sep. 18th, 2017 08:21 pm
marthawells: (Reading)
[personal profile] marthawells
We've been hearing noises in the wall between our house and the garage for a while, and got confirmation today that it was rats. Apparently they chewed their way in through a hole at the end of a rain gutter and got in the garage attic, then got in and have been hanging out under the bathtub. So, not fun. But someone at the university recommended a wildlife removal company that specializes in rodents, and I think that's exactly what we need. (We're also infested with geckos, but that's actually a good thing.) Anyway, it's going to be expensive, but not nearly as bad as I thought.

***

Fireside Fiction has set up an ebook Hurricane Relief Bookstore. 100% of the profits go to hurricane relief funds in Houston, Florida, and the Caribbean. My book Wheel of the Infinite is available there, with lots of other cool SF/F novels, magazines, and anthologies:

http://www.hurricanebookstore.com/
marthawells: (Atlantis)
[personal profile] marthawells



Now that the cover (by Jaime Jones) has been revealed, more preorder links are available. (I really, really appreciate preorders, wherever you shop, not just the links here.)


Note: Artificial Condition is a novella, around 160 pages. It's a direct sequel to All Systems Red and begins not long after that novella ends.


Description: It has a dark past -- one in which a number of humans were killed. A past that caused it to christen itself "Murderbot." But it has only vague memories of the massacre that spawned that title, and it wants to know more. Teaming up with a Research Transport vessel named ART (you don't want to know what the "A" stands for), Murderbot heads to the mining facility where it went rogue. What it discovers will forever change the way it thinks...

Available at:
Barnes & Noble, Amazon US and all other Amazons, Mysterious Galaxy, BooksaMillion, Book Depository, and from a local independent bookseller through Indiebound.

ebook (DRM-free): Barnes & Noble Nook, Kobo, iBooks, Amazon Kindle, Kindle UK, Kindle Canada, Kindle France, Kindle Germany, Kindle Spain, and all other Kindle retailers.




Excerpt:


SECUNITS DON'T CARE ABOUT the news. Even after I hacked my governor module and got access to the feeds, I never paid much attention to it. Partly because downloading the entertainment media was less likely to trigger any alarms that might be set up on satellite and station networks; political and economic news was carried on different levels, closer to the protected data exchanges. But mostly because the news was boring and I didn't care what humans were doing to each other as long as I didn't have to a) stop it or b) clean up after it.

more )

OTW Chat

Sep. 17th, 2017 03:59 pm
marthawells: (Reading)
[personal profile] marthawells
Here's the transcript for the Organization for Transformative Works 10th Anniversary chat: https://www.transformativeworks.org/transcript-for-otw-10th-anniversary-chat-with-seanan-mcguire-martha-wells/
marthawells: (Miko)
[personal profile] marthawells



* Excerpt: http://www.marthawells.com/murderbot2.htm


* Interview on The Verge: https://www.theverge.com/2017/9/16/16315474/science-fiction-author-martha-wells-murderbot-robots-interview


* And we're coming up on the time for the OTW Chat: Today 9/17 noon to 2 EST, me and Seanan Mcguire will do a guest chat for the Organization For Transformative Works 10th Anniversary https://www.transformativeworks.org/today-is-the-otws-10th-anniversary/

(Much Belated) August Kitty Pics Post

Sep. 16th, 2017 01:45 pm
naye: two cats looking happy (our kitties)
[personal profile] naye
Just going to leave this here. Lots of cats! Doing cat stuff! ♥


Read more... )
marthawells: (Miko)
[personal profile] marthawells
The cover reveal for The Murderbot Diaries: Artificial Condition, plus an interview with me, is on The Verge:

https://www.theverge.com/2017/9/16/16315474/science-fiction-author-martha-wells-murderbot-robots-interview

Couple of Things

Sep. 15th, 2017 09:00 am
marthawells: (Stargate)
[personal profile] marthawells
* On Sunday, September 17, Seanan McGuire and I will be doing a guest chat for the Organization for Transformative Works 10th Anniversary. The topic is "fandom and fantasy."

https://www.transformativeworks.org/today-is-the-otws-10th-anniversary/


* I have a story out in a new anthology: Mech: Age of Steel Amazon, Barnes & Noble.

My story is "Birthright" and it's set in the Three Worlds, about the crew of the wind-ship Escarpment.


bbb_mod: (Default)
[personal profile] bbb_mod posting in [community profile] bandombigbang
Remember that the deadline is October 1st. As long as it's October 1st somewhere in the world, you are still a-ok.

Fine Print )

Reading Wednesday

Sep. 13th, 2017 09:38 pm
naye: (book)
[personal profile] naye
Oh no it's been so long and I've done so much sitting around in airports that my reading list has grown quite a bit since last post. Will try to keep it short, but this is the current list of What I've been reading:

The Harbors of the Sun (The Books of the Raksura, #5) by Martha Wells
Princess Jellyfish 1, 2 & 3 by Akiko Higashimura
Tremontaine Seasons 1&2 by Ellen Kushner et al
Sasharia En Garde by Sherwood Smith
The Stone Sky (The Broken Earth #3) by NK Jemisin
Penric's Fox by Lois McMaster Bujold
River of Teeth by Sarah Gailey
Six of Crows & Crooked Kingdom by Leigh Bardugo
In Other Lands by Sarah Reese Brennan
Stranger Stranger & Hostage (The Change #1 & #2) by Rachel Manija Brown & Sherwood Smith

And to my great pleasure, I've absolutely loved most of these, and enjoyed all of them. So much imagination and adventure, and so many wonderful and queer characters I feel like this month's reading has been an embarrassment of riches. Really, it feels unfair to compare them against each other, or somehow rate them (even though I do on Goodreads because it took me forever to figure out that I could mark books read without filling in any stars and now I feel like a. I don't want to take away anyone's stars and b. I don't want to NOT give my recent reads stars when all the older ones have them...).

So - today's format will be me talking about the things I loved about all of these books. There might be more critique and stuff in my Goodreads reviews (linked through above) but I'm all out of analytical mind now and just here for the squee. ♥

(ETA: all links should go to the proper books now.)

Yeah, this will probably be long no matter how hard I try, so have a cut )

Murderbot Update

Sep. 13th, 2017 11:24 am
marthawells: (Default)
[personal profile] marthawells
I've finally finished a final draft of the fourth Murderbot Diaries novella. It's due on Friday, and for a while there I didn't think I was going to make it. All Systems Red was written pretty quickly, in about a month, including a few days I had to take off because I had a back injury and fell in the bathtub. Artificial Condition and Rogue Protocol were both difficult and each took about two months, including many false starts and complete plot-ectomies, but with this one I probably wrote more than 60,000 words to finally come up with the final 35,000.

Part of the reason it took so long was stress from that monstrous thing inhabiting the White House and everything he's brought with him, part of it was just wanting to get the story right.

I've seen the covers for Artificial Condition and Rogue Protocol and they're gorgeous. And I've heard the narrator for the audiobooks, and I'm pretty excited about who they picked. I can't say anything more about all that yet, but hopefully there can be official announcements soon.

In other news, we got a new dishwasher because the plastic parts rotted out of the old one, and we think squirrels have somehow tunneled into one of the walls of the house. So, nothing particularly unusual there.

Yuletide nominations end in 3 days!

Sep. 13th, 2017 01:45 pm
roga: coffee mug with chocolate cubes (Default)
[personal profile] roga
Just a short PSA to nominate your yuletide fandoms before the 16th :-)

I have nominated Younger (TV), The West Wing Weekly (for gen fic but uh I want it), and Captain America (Movies) RPF, because I need more Anthony Mackie fic in my life. Reserving the right to change stuff in the next 3 days, but I think that's where I'm going.

*

I went to the beach for the first time this summer on Friday afternoon. It's a little weird that I hadn't been to the beach in over a year, but as much as I enjoy the ocean, I somehow never end up going too much; it's hot, and there are like five whole weeks when it's blocked by jellyfish, and I'm not a huge fan of going to the beach alone. But we spent some time in the ocean, and paid $5 for a chair and parasol, and I got some floating time, which is my favorite thing.

'Going to the beach' is for me, by definition, going into the ocean with 100% of my body. So like, I might see the ocean other times of the year, might even take my shoes off and stroll through the shallow waves, but it's not going to the beach unless I'm all in, which is why I only do it in the summer, when the water's warm enough. I do know from past experience that what I consider too cold is completely reasonable for others (mostly non-Israelis), and I recently looked up sea water temperatures to understand what the real difference is.

Here's what I discovered:

1. If seatemperature.org is to be believed, it's not just that the Mediterranean is warmer than the ocean, it's that Israel is located along the warmest parts of the Mediterranean.

2. I've always hated going in the sea in Eilat because the water there felt freezing. This same website's map of Red Sea temperatures felt validating for a moment - Israel is at the top right fork of the sea where it branches out at the top of that map and I thought, aHA, you can SEE how freezing it is! But it didn't quite make sense, and other websites show that the water temperature is a lot higher than that. Today for example Tel Aviv has 30c/86f degrees water, and Eilat has 25c/77f, which doesn't seen like it should be quite that big a difference. I wonder if the water in Eilat feels colder because the outside temperatures are usually so much hotter? Tel Aviv is 31c/88f degrees, today, while Eilat is 39c/103f.

I have been thinking about Eilat mostly because I was trying to plan a short trip to Jordan, which can only happen via the Eilat border crossing. My family's never been, and while Dad has no interest, my mom and sisters want to go and I was looking into options for day trips to Petra. The main deterrent were the Ministry of Foreign Affairs' travel warnings. They've pretty much had a constant travel warning to Jordan for the past... many years, but it was a medium threat level; something we were worried about but were willing to maybe brave, if not for the super special ISIL warnings that came on top. Then two days ago the government issued a renewed warning, upgrading the threat level to high, and that was the end of that idea. It's fairly futile and a lot to ask for but damn, I wish we can fast forward to whenever this whole thing is over and we can peacefully travel to our neighboring states. At least some of them.

(Researching for this trip, I was interested to learn just how much prices have changed. When I went to Petra 9 years ago, I paid around $170 for an entire day trip. These days, I assume in order to encourage tourists to spend the night, Jordan has special prices for single day visitors to the country: a $60 visa which is waived if you stay overnight, and the price of entry to Petra for single day visitors has risen to $132 - and that doesn't include any of the surrounding travel and transportation costs. It's... a bummer, but I'd be willing to give money if I could, you know. Get there.)

Anyway, here are photos from my last time there, which is what I'll have to settle for for now, I guess.

*

After putting off going to the dentist for, let's not mention a number here but just say years, I've finally started getting various treatments. Don't think there's anything gross here but I assume not everyone wants to read about dental health. )

The best advice I got from a friend who had also procrastinated going to the dentist for years like me, was: don't leave the clinic before you've already scheduled your next appointment. This has proven to be excellent advice, and is 100% the reason I've been following up treatments, so. In case anyone needs prodding: you just need to muster up the courage/energy to make that first appointment, and then don't leave until you've scheduled the next, and you're good.

Trick or Treat Exchange letter

Sep. 10th, 2017 08:16 am
sholio: Jack-o-lanterns (Halloween-jack-o-lanterns)
[personal profile] sholio
Thank you for writing for me! :) I will admit that I'm generally a fluff aficionado and kind of a wuss when it comes to gore and sad/tragic endings, but I've offered a number of "trick" prompts for things I think I'd enjoy. Hopefully my prompts will give you a good feel for the kind of thing I like.

In every one of these fandoms, I love every requested character and would be very happy with any of them that you wish to write. I don't have a unique prompt for every possible character or pairing, but feel free to mix'n'match however you want. Most of my prompts can be used for any individual character or group of characters in that fandom.

Fandoms: Agent Carter, MCU, Stranger Things

Likes/dislikes and general prompts/suggestions )

Fandom-specific requests and prompts )
turlough: Gerard Way in white shirt & black waistcoat, photoshoot by Rob Bennett, 20 October 2007 ((mcr) dress like a sleeper cell)
[personal profile] turlough
The fight left Mikey as suddenly as it had appeared; he cocked an eyebrow, voice going back to its regular expressionless level. "My problem? Honestly, Gerard, your job is my problem." He tossed the helmet onto the living room floor. Gerard winced at the crash, but Mikey just kept pulling his gloves and jacket off, tossing them aside too and walking into the kitchen. Gerard trailed behind him, watching in disbelief as Mikey pulled a glass out of a cupboard and poured himself some water.

"My job … with BLI? Where you work? How exactly is that a problem for anyone?"

Mikey smoothed stringy brown hair back out of his face. "It means... shit, Gerard. Either you're more clueless than I thought, or you're not... not the same person you used to be."

It hurt. It hurt like a laser burst to the chest, quiet and bloodless and deadly. "I -" 'I don't remember who I used to be,' he wanted to yell. 'You're supposed to be the one who remembers.' But Mikey was turning away, bracing a hand on one of the chair backs. Gerard studied the dismissive line of his shoulders for a long time. Mikey didn't turn back around. "I don't understand this, but fine," Gerard said finally, trying to hold his voice steady. It was easier than he'd imagined it would be. "Then I'm not." He took a deep breath; the kitchen walls were tilting in, making him feel like he was smothering. He'd only ever had two solutions to that problem: drink until they crashed down, or run.


- [archiveofourown.org profile] tuesdaysgone's The Kids from Yesterday

(no subject)

Sep. 11th, 2017 06:48 pm
turps: (Default)
[personal profile] turps
It's been a while. In brief.

Nanna fell over, was in hospital but is now home again but very frail. She's bruised herself terribly and knocked her confidence. She's always said she'd die when she was 97 and is now saying she wishes it would hurry up and come, and yesterday was talking about her will :(

Mam was ill, got better, got ill again, and yesterday was sure she'd end up in hospital if she saw the doctor again. She seems a bit better today though, so fingers crossed.

James had a terrible chest infection. Thought he was better, managed all of an hour at work and was sent home again, and is still off now.

I had a horrible stomach bug, but thankfully am fine now.

James had two hospital appointments last week. The first for his hand, where his consultant suggested operating on his ligaments again to try and address the fact two fingers don't move much. Considering we were both sure all ops were over in terms of his hand, that was a shock. He also saw the back specialist who suggested getting pain killing injections as a day case. Except, mam keeps saying how she knows people who had them done and they ruined their lives, so we're up in the air about that.

Corey moved, and I spent pretty much two days helping him and his house mates clean their old house. The fruit flies. The grease. I still close my eyes and see it. His new house -- or maisonette -- is pretty good, but half the size of the old one. I've just had a long talk to him and he said they've lost money on the damage bond for the state of the garden, the carpets being a bit scruffy, dust, and the oven not being spotless.

He also said he's thinking of moving onto a Masters degree when he finishes this one.

I'm still going to the gym lots, and after buying a new swimming costume -- five sizes smaller than the old one -- I'm going swimming again.

With one thing or another we've barely been to the cinema, only seeing Logan Lucky in the last fortnight. And then today went to see It. I can't say I was looking forward to it, but it was okay.

Our car had to go in for repair, so we have a hire car atm, and it's amazing! The best bit being a boot that opens automatically, so James can actually open it himself.

I've done lots of other stuff, gone to a deer park, a party, the music festival, and many other good things, so while the above looks like a lot of medical stuff, life has still been mostly on the good side. Plus, Camp Sparkle soon, which is so much of the win.

Apologies for the lack of reading/comments. I will catch up, and badly need to delve into my in-box, which I'm going to do asap.

32 hours in Lisbon

Sep. 11th, 2017 09:49 am
naye: blue sea, fluffy summer clouds, a figure leaping into the water (jump in!)
[personal profile] naye
Work has sent me to Lisbon, on my first and last business trip for my current job.

I'm basically there as a backup - I brought a (heavy old) laptop "just in case" and a USB stick and three PowerPoint presentations and made sure they were uploaded at the venue yesterday, with most of the speakers arriving today. And as much as I dislike traveling with Ryanair (yes, the flight down here was delayed - the boards were flashing LAST CALL and the check-in line hadn't even moved because "the plane is still in the hangar" uhhh yeah maybe someone should have taken the plane out of the hangar...? but there you go), it's been a pretty low-pressure trip so far. (The delegation should be boarding their flight in the UK now, but if they're delayed more than two hours that's when we'll panic.)

Anyway! That's just background to explain why I found myself in the Lisbon Oceanarium for a couple of hours last night, taking ALL THE PICTURES of the cool stuff they had there.

Despite the low-pressure assignment, I was kind of wound up from having to get up early and spend hours in an airport and working with people I'd never met and worrying about stupid stuff and then I ended up in front of the vast sea tank and it was dark and cool and so relaxing. It was amazing. Here are some pics:


Hyperlapse - five minutes compressed to five seconds (apologies for the YouTube format; Flickr is being uncooperative or I'd have it looking better despite the vertical orientation).

And the fish were only the beginning... More animals from four oceans under the cut )

Also, here's a separate exhibition of the amazing info signs they had with the MOST UNIMPRESSED SEA CREATURES:

20170910_183223

What other unimpressed sea creatures lurk behind the cut? )

So yeah if you're ever in Lisbon check out the Oceanarium! They also do a lot of preservation work, so it's money well spent. ♥

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