the struggle is real

(<|>) Jun. 24th, 2017 07:02 am
kareila: a sea turtle with the text "all the way DOWN" (turtle)
[personal profile] kareila
Continuing to have trouble setting aside time to focus on work with the kids home for the summer.

After taking my mom to her doctor appointment and subsequent errands on Tuesday, I spent most of Wednesday through Friday sick in bed with a fever and sore throat, but no other obvious symptoms. Now I'm finally feeling better, and Robby has decided that since Tropical Storm Cindy's gift of some ridiculous number of inches of soaking rain will prevent him from doing his usual maintenance out at our church this weekend, this is the best time to disrupt the downstairs living area and try to finish constructing Connor's loft bed.

If I didn't have to take the kids to swim lessons today, I'd probably flee to the library and try to get some serious work done. Maybe that strategy will work next weekend, if I can find someplace to go that isn't closed for the holiday.

In other news, Steam is having their annual sale and I've discovered that most of their older LEGO games (pre-Marvel) are PC-only. I really wanted to put the Harry Potter games on my laptop so that I could play them without broadcasting them to the rest of the household. There's also a PC game that Connor wants that is too resource intensive for his poor old gaming PC. But I read on Twitter last night that Starship Titanic is on Steam for $1.49, so I'll get that if nothing else. I've been wanting to play it again ever since I saw Passengers.

I'm also realizing how much cheaper and easier to find the PlayStation 4 is compared to the Nintendo Switch, and that's probably also the better platform to choose if I want to play Kingdom Hearts 3, assuming it ever gets released.
[syndicated profile] dduane_feed

Thanks for the congrats. It’s been an enjoyable piece of work to be busy with (when health issues weren’t interfering), and finishing a labor of that size always feels great.

Re the other work: Yeah, I keep forgetting that stuff I might have mentioned on Twitter or on Facebook or at “Out of Ambit” doesn’t necessarily percolate over here all by itself. Sorry about that.

I have a kind of informal schedule that I sort out for myself at the beginning of a year, lacking any formal deadlines. YW 11 (still untitled, don’t ask me…) is not under contract as yet, but with an eye to what I want 2018′s work schedule to look like, I want to get YW11′s “zero draft” sorted out within the next 6-8 weeks, max. This means that July is mostly shot for anything else but 3000 words per day – give or take – and a cleanup-and-tidying run. Once that draft is in the bag, I can hand it to my agent and let him do what he does so well, and get on with other things, like The Door Into Starlight.

Now re: IE3: the working title is Interim Errantry: A Day At The Crossings. I’m only in the very early planning stages at the moment, but I’m envisioning something in the neighborhood of 100K words of story, set in more or less the same time window as Games Wizards Play. The work will give us a chance to look at the Crossings as something more than a place for wizards to run through in a hurry (or shoot up): as travel nexus, political and economic force, and catalyst for the lives of the many beings who pass through it. The storytelling will be multiple-viewpoint: that’s all I can say for sure right now. Don’t even think about asking when this might be ready.

So. That’s the local news for the moment. Now everybody who can, if you’d please run over to Ebooks Direct and grab yourself some ebook or other so I can pay the electric bill, I’d appreciate it.  :) 

one-pan meal

(<|>) Jun. 22nd, 2017 09:03 pm
colorwheel: vermeer's painting "milkmaid" (milkmaid)
[personal profile] colorwheel posting in [community profile] cookability
i'm having a good time lately cooking boneless chicken in a pan with some water and adding pasta right to that pan. i also put in a little bouillion for flavor.

it's not chicken soup because the liquid ratio is low. it's lots of protein with a small amount of soup-tasty liquid. actually i would call the liquid soup, there's just not the amount that we associate with soup.

i use dark meat chicken because it never dries out so the cooking time can be anything.

the first time i made this, it felt so reckless and daring to add dry pasta right in there instead of cooking the pasta separately! but it really works, and the pasta is extra tasty because all the flavors are married (so to speak).

at the very end, spinach can be added. i bet lots of other things could be added. i'm just so into it being only one pan.

And the Job Hunt Continues

(<|>) Jun. 22nd, 2017 05:54 pm
rebelsheart: (Waltz)
[personal profile] rebelsheart
I didn't get the job I interviewed for. Either of them. The first gave completely reasonable feedback: I interviewed well, but lacked key skills that other people who interviewed well had. I'm not going to argue that.

The second, I am happy to have not been offered, based solely on the feedback I was offered. I was told that my answers to two questions seemed vague and not related to the questions. One example was my answer to the question "Give an example of when you provided excellent customer service."

Except I was never asked that question. I was asked "Tell me about your customer service experience."

Those are not the same question. I expect to try to figure out what a user wants/needs from poor information, not a manager who's been in the job 17 years. If that was the kind of "leadership" I was going to experience had I been offered the job, I wouldn't have lasted 6 months.

Back to the hunt.
[syndicated profile] dduane_feed

The main rollout starts over the weekend, but the complete set of Interim Errantry 2: On Ordeal ebooks are now available at Ebooks Direct. 

Two of the three Ordeal tales, On Ordeal: Roshaun ke Nelaid and On Ordeal: Mamvish fsh Wimsih, have been available for some time. The third of the group, On Ordeal: Ronan Nolan Jnr., is now available both as a standalone ebook and as part of the completed volume, Interim Errantry 2: On Ordeal… making a total of 127,000 words of new, canonical Young Wizards material.

Please note that if you’ve bought anything from Ebooks Direct between last year’s Black Friday weekend and early April 2017, the email that came with your download links contains a discount code that will give you a one-time 30% discount on a purchase of the complete Interim Errantry: On Ordeal ebook. So check your past download-link emails for more information. If you need info on how to use discount codes on our site, please check the “How to purchase” page at Ebooks Direct for details.

Once again, thanks to those of you who’ve been patiently waiting for this set of stories to complete. I hope you enjoy reading them as much as I enjoyed writing them.

(And now to start work on Interim Errantry 3…)

So here’s an announcement

(<|>) Jun. 21st, 2017 10:06 pm
[syndicated profile] dduane_feed

Once upon a time there was a kid who lived in the Dublin suburbs and never once even considered believing in wizards… until he found he could be one.

Ronan had always felt himself both the odd man out, the guy nobody really got, the one who couldn’t figure out where he fit in — and the one who didn’t stand out, who got lost in the crowd, who was never going to be anything unusual… just one more also-ran in a world that just seemed to be getting worse all the time. He was slowly starting to feel as if there wasn’t any particular point in life, because he was never going to make that much of a difference to anyone or anything.

Then Life took an interest.

Without warning Ronan Nolan was about to find himself the crux of an argument between forces older than Earth itself… and the recipient of an unfolding challenge that would change many more worlds than just one…

I’m pleased to let everyone know that On Ordeal: Ronan Nolan Jnr. is just about ready.

…So there are a number of things to say about this, and probably the first of them is: I’m really sorry this took so long. Some of you have been waiting quite a while, and I’ve been stonewalling on any discussion until I knew it was in the can and ready to go.

But now it’s ready. At 52,000+ words it’s the longest of the triptych, because Ronan is… complex. :)  In ways that have surprised me, and which I look forward to exploring in other ways at a later date. 

If you’re one of the people from @Crossingscon or elsewhere who presupported the Interim Errantry: On Ordeal project, links to the completed file(s) will start pushing out to you from the Ebooks Direct store around 7AM (US) EDT on June 22. Please note that the store doesn’t send all the links / notifications at one time, to avoid having them get mistaken for spam, so it’s possible other people you know might get their copies before you do. …In any case, I want to thank you all for your patience. This project more or less tripled in size between conception and completion, which took me by surprise, but has (I think) turned out for the best. I hope you enjoy the long-awaited last bit.

If you’re not a presupporter and will be wanting a copy of this, please note that it will be available two ways: as a standalone ebook (for those of you who might already have acquired On Ordeal: Roshaun ke Nelaid and On Ordeal: Mamvish fsh Wimsih) and in a full Interim Errantry: On Ordeal package. I know that some people have held off on buying any of the three until the whole group was available. My advice to you is to check the store and buy the single-”volume” version, as it’ll give you a slight price break over buying the three separate parts.

When the ebook version(s) are available tomorrow, I’ll put up a post here with links, as well as Tweeting and posting on Facebook and Google+ and doing all the other usual things. You can also have a look at the On Ordeal page at the Interim Errantry site; shortly after the ebooks are up at the store, you’ll find one-click sales buttons in the right-hand column of the page for the separate sections and the three-part full book.. 

Re: other questions that’ll probably be coming up: yes, this will be available at Amazon, but not until October 1st. Yes, there will be a paperback, but not before mid-August at the very soonest – it takes time to get something this long* set up for print rather than e-format – not to mention the time it takes to create a wraparound cover – and during the month of July I am going to be exclusively very busy with YW book 11. So… just a heads up. What you see, for the moment, is what you get.

Again, thanks for your patience, everyone. Enjoy!

*Total word count: 127,600 words

fun for the whole family

(<|>) Jun. 21st, 2017 02:36 pm
kareila: Sora outlined in silhouette against a heart shaped moon (kh2)
[personal profile] kareila
I've written several times over the years about how much my kids and I enjoy playing LEGO video games, especially the franchise tie-ins, and I appreciate being able to go back and read those older entries and see how that relationship has evolved as the years have gone by. In particular, it struck me that once upon a time I wrote about how Connor would join me in two-player mode on the Wii, but Will never joined in, although he liked to watch and advise us, and would play the mobile versions of the game on the DS or the iPad.

Well, that has officially changed. After assisting me in various areas of the first Harry Potter game over the past couple of weeks, today Will started a solo playthrough of the second Harry Potter game.

The original LEGO Star Wars, the game that started it all, came out the same year he was born, in 2005. So I feel like my love of these games and the lives of my kids are entwined, in a sense. All these years later, I consider the Harry Potter games to be my favorites, so it's a bit surprising to me to realize that I only completed the second Harry Potter game once, although I've played through the first one four times now. I wish they would release a remastered combined game for the Wii U like they did for the PS4.

As near as I can figure, I own all of the LEGO franchise tie-in games except for Indiana Jones 2 and LEGO Star Wars III: The Clone Wars. I even repurchased for the Wii the ones I originally played on the Playstation 2. I haven't completed the more recent ones, though, since I got distracted by the introduction of LEGO Dimensions.

This is the first summer in a while that I can remember not having a new LEGO game to play. LEGO Marvel Superheroes 2, which appears to feature the Guardians of the Galaxy, has been announced for later this year, but it will require me to purchase a newer console, so we're probably getting a Nintendo Switch for Christmas. Connor's already asked for one anyway.

Just for fun, I made a chronological table for the various franchise games - not including the LEGO Movie Videogame, LEGO City Undercover, or LEGO Dimensions and its various expansions.

Read more... )

Anti-procrastination Tuesday

(<|>) Jun. 20th, 2017 09:04 pm
peaceful_sands: butterfly (Default)
[personal profile] peaceful_sands posting in [community profile] bitesizedcleaning
I'm losing track of the days of the week here! Pretty sure it's Tuesday somewhere (possibly even here!) and even if it's not, it is definitely some point around the middle of the week. And with that in mind, it's time to tackle the one thing that's been lurking.

What's your goal for this week?


(<|>) Jun. 20th, 2017 07:35 pm
kaberett: Overlaid Mars & Venus symbols, with Swiss Army knife tools at other positions around the central circle. (Default)
[personal profile] kaberett
(1) I am a bit groggy and out of it post Minor Medical Procedure for Mystery Menstrual Symptoms; A was v good about shunting me around the hospital when I was too sore to particularly want to push myself/bringing me things/etc. Everything looked healthy; I was a Model Patient; biopsy results are unlikely to show anything concerning, so ??????????

(2) House viewing this morning was VERY CONFUSING. It has a garden! That contains a well-tended hydrangea, and rose bushes, and fruiting apple and plum and probably-cherry (there's definitely a cherry, I'm just not sure whether it's ornamental), and maybe a crabapple, and a vegetable patch, and a patio. And a nice kitchen. And the conservatory would be dining room/games room/music room and would be lovely esp. in the rain. So now I'm just trying to convince us (... myself) that we'd actually be able to fit the furniture into it, which is currently proving Difficult; I am intending to ask to have another viewing and actually take a tape measure this time. (Wider wheelchair just about fits in the front door. It's rampable. I should be able to get a powerchair in. There's an airing cupboard for letting dough rise in. Etc etc etc...)

Huh (or, why I do reiki)

(<|>) Jun. 19th, 2017 09:45 pm
ysobel: (Default)
[personal profile] ysobel
So I don't know if I mentioned it here at all, but I've been getting Reiki treatments for the past six months or so. Reiki, at least as far as I understand it, which isn't very far, involves energy manipulation, and s sort of like a massage only with gentle touch and rubbing your energy rather than your muscles.

(No, rubbing energy is not intended as a euphemism, shush.)

There is a part of me that thinks, stubbornly, cynically, that it's Woo. Kind of like the book my maternal grandmother sent me, when I was first diagnosed with FOP, about using visualization to do everything from curing cancer to getting your dream job/home/whatever, as long as you visualize hard enough and so it every day. Or like the "pray to Jesus and He will cure everything" thing that Christians do, based on the "if you have enough faith you can move mountains" scripture. Both of which are extremely victim-blaming: if you don't get magically better, you just didn't try hard enough.

But. Reiki ... well, it's not a magic cure-all, but it also wasn't presented to me as one; there are local people who use it for cancer patients but less in a "this will magically disappear your tumor" and more in a "this will help you get through the effects of chemo/radiation" way; and I fully believe there are things that science doesn't really know about yet, and "science can't explain this" is not a *validation* of alternative techniques but it isn't a contradiction either -- but regardless.

Even if it is pure woo, which I don't think it is? The touch aspect is huge for me. Most of the touch I get is functional, like my aides wiping my butt after I poop, but it's not really the level of touch that I crave; a lot of the remainder is my mom touching me, which is as awkward and fraught with complications as it is helpful. I can't cuddle. I can't hold hands. I can't lean against someone. I am massively touch-deprived, massively isolated because of both the wheelchair and the position I'm fixed in, and *even if Reiki is entirely woo it is a way I get meaningful touch*, and that is hugely significant.

It's also really interesting ... I know that priopreception is a thing and that we are aware of our own bodies, but usually my perception of my body is very dissociated and very blobby, kind of this:

Read more... )

Somehow, especially with the person I've done most of my sessions with, reiki gives me back a sense of my body. It's related to the touch thing, I'm sure, but -- a few months back she was doing stuff with my lower legs and feet, and I was connected with them as leg- and feet-shaped objects; even though my feet are blobs, IRL as well as in my self perception, for that while they felt like normal feet-shaped feet.

And mostly I don't want a sense of my body, because all my body brings me is pain and/or immobility, but it's nice just feeling like I get plugged back in. Like I'm actually a person and not a blob.

And that's a significant thing too.

(no subject)

(<|>) Jun. 19th, 2017 11:36 pm
kaberett: a watercolour painting of an oak leaf floating on calm water (leaf-on-water)
[personal profile] kaberett
hello everybody I know I owe a lot of you replies various and am working on it, my life should get a little less hectic for a while as of tomorrow morning unless we do make a snap decision to move house (~250m, positive reasons) once we've viewed a thing tomorrow morning, thank you for bearing with me, love meme is still open and is still getting a trickle of comments and I am working on responding to y'all, especially the folk I want to say thank you to for making me cry in a good way <3

Instagram: June 18, 2017 at 02:53PM

(<|>) Jun. 18th, 2017 09:53 pm
momijizukamori: Green icon with white text - 'I do believe in phosphorylation! I do!' with a string of DNA basepairs on the bottom (Default)
[personal profile] momijizukamori
Things I did this weekend: got an oil change, built a computer, and gave myself space hair. #dyedhair

(no subject)

(<|>) Jun. 18th, 2017 02:23 am
kaberett: Photo of a pile of old leather-bound books. (books)
[personal profile] kaberett
I am grumpily insomniac; I have given up on sleep for the time being and have curled up in a blanket with some hot chocolate and a book; and probably this would be working better if The Fifth Season (which I am belatedly reading for Hugo purposes) wasn't Wrong about both geology and horses.

Periodic SWEDOW reminder.

(<|>) Jun. 16th, 2017 02:50 pm
jadelennox: Demonic Tutor, Jadelennox: my Magic card (demonic tutor)
[personal profile] jadelennox
Don't give stuff.

When official voices for a charity or a cause ask for stuff, you can give stuff. Give what they request, only what they request, and in good condition. Don't give unwashed or unfolded clothes. Don't give expired or open food. Don't dump and run.

Give money. Give time. Give votes. And if you know they want your stuff, give stuff.

After Hurricane Katrina, waterlogged schools full of developing mold were inundated with donations -- of textbooks from the 1960s, torn paperbacks nobody wanted, and old national geographics. Then it became their problem to throw away someone else's unwanted stuff.

Don't make suffering people the solution to your problems about not wanting to throw unusable clothes in the trash. Don't make them the repository of your helpless survivor's guilt.

From The Guardian's liveblog of Grenfell Tower aftermath:
He added: “I haven’t seen this much aid out of a war zone, but the council just hasn’t stepped in. There is too much in the way of donations. But the problem is how to get it to the right people, and what you do with the surplus. One man, I’m sure with the best of intention, left a massive box full of milk - and now volunteers have to figure out what to do with a box of gone-off milk.”

From twitter user [ profile] pastelchalk:

We feel bad throwing things away. Find a charity that actively wants your things, or suck it up. We feel bad being okay when disasters happen. Go volunteer to help, or become an activist for those trying to prevent similar tragedies, or write a check, or suck it up. The best of intentions and a fiver will buy you a cup of coffee.

Instagram: June 16, 2017 at 07:33AM

(<|>) Jun. 16th, 2017 02:33 pm
momijizukamori: Green icon with white text - 'I do believe in phosphorylation! I do!' with a string of DNA basepairs on the bottom (Default)
[personal profile] momijizukamori
The most belated #internationallolitaday photo, because I'm old and bad at Instagram. I had a lovely time though! JSK, blouse, and hat are handmade, and the socks are from the lovely people at @screams #lolitafashion #ild