Help us wash away the winter - it's time for April Showers!
In the month of April we hope you'll help us spruce up AO3 and Fanlore by posting forgotten works and dusting off neglected wiki entries.
We are proud to be able to offer an archive for fanworks at Archive of Our Own and we invite you to take the time to post both new works and old works that are languishing in ancient blogs or buried in your harddrive. Add them to AO3 so other fans can enjoy them! You can even backdate them to show their original creation date, and use our pseud system to preserve old fandom aliases.
If you're posting works, use the tag April Showers 2015 so that everyone can find them.
Or, if there's a fanwork already on the archive that you think more people should see, bookmark it and add it to our April Showers Recs collection.
We also recognise that fandom history is far more than just fanworks - Fanlore records decades of fannish activity, from the days before the internet all the way to current events shaping fandom. If you have old zines, or fond memories of a long-ago convention, write about them on Fanlore. If there's new drama in your fandom, or a new trend in fanart, write about those too! Fanlore is open to everyone, and we encourage everyone to edit it and add their own experiences. Fannish history is our history.
If you'd like to edit pages, but you aren't sure how, don't panic! There will be an editing party in the Fanlore chatroom on Saturday, April 4th at 16:00 UTC (when is that in my timezone?). Come and ask questions, familiarise yourself with Fanlore, or just chat with other editors.
There will be a second chat towards the end of the month - keep an eye on the Fanlore community on Dreamwidth for the exact date and time.
I'm tending to sleep quite late the last few days. I think it's because I'm sleeping poorly. I keep moving my foot and ankle wrong so that they hurt a lot. Specifically, I tend to stretch in a way that pulls on all of the things that I'm wanting to keep still. I do it when I'm half asleep, so it's hard to remember not to do it. If I remember to keep my foot flexed when I stretch, it's not so bad, but if my foot is pointed, it hurts lots, and when I'm relaxed, my feet tend to point.
The further I get into the stuff I'm currently writing for the Harry Potter AU, the less sure I am that this section really belongs there at all. I'm not sure that the person instigating it would really think it was necessary or helpful. He might get the same effect more easily just by giving the other character a kitten. That would be less dramatic and/or traumatic, but it may well make more sense. The way I'm currently doing things, a scene that I originally meant as a bridge has grown to about 3000 words. I like some of the backstory I've put in there and some of the character development, but... I'm just not sure.
Scott's sister and her kids are sick with a stomach bug. I don't know what that means for her helping out with my mammogram appointment on Thursday. Scott thinks she'll be well enough by then to come down anyway. I need to ask her what she thinks. I can always take a cab if I have to. I have been wondering if I should call the Cancer Center and let them know that I will need to sit during my mammogram if it's at all possible. They probably have facilities for that, but those may not always be available.
Scott is expecting to have to work late tonight. I'm not sure if that's just general pessimism or if it really is likely. I'm hoping that he doesn't have to. Cordelia should have at least one parent at Expo, and I really, really can't go.
Back to the Moon
Blue Remembered Earth
Freedom at Feronia
Gardens of the Sun
Pirates of Mars
Rocket Girls: the Last Planet
The Dark Colony
The Highest Frontier
The Moon Maze Game
The Next Continent
The Ouroboros Wave
The Quantum Thief
The Quiet War
Up Against It
Usurper of the Sun
What did I miss?
A Bollywood Affair
RECOMMENDED: A Bollywood Affair by Sonali Dev is $2.99 at Amazon, and $2.51 at Google:Play. There are so many things I can say about this book: it was a Sizzling Book Club Pick, it’s a RITA® nominee, and the manuscript was a Golden Heart nominee, too. It was in the DABWAHA tournament, and so many readers I know enjoyed it. Normally it’s more than $9, so this sale is a perfect opportunity to try it if you’ve been curious.
Mili Rathod hasn’t seen her husband in twenty years—not since she was promised to him at the age of four. Yet marriage has allowed Mili a freedom rarely given to girls in her village. Her grandmother has even allowed her to leave India and study in America for eight months, all to make her the perfect modern wife. Which is exactly what Mili longs to be—if her husband would just come and claim her.
Bollywood’s favorite director, Samir Rathod, has come to Michigan to secure a divorce for his older brother. Persuading a naïve village girl to sign the papers should be easy for someone with Samir’s tabloid-famous charm. But Mili is neither a fool nor a gold-digger. Open-hearted yet complex, she’s trying to reconcile her independence with cherished traditions. And before he can stop himself, Samir is immersed in Mili’s life—cooking her dal and rotis, escorting her to her roommate’s elaborate Indian wedding, and wondering where his loyalties and happiness lie.
Double Love by Kate Williams, from the Sweet Valley High series created by Francine Pascal, is $2.99 digitally. You can blame/thank Theresa Romain for this one – she tweeted at me about SVH books she had in her collection and told me these were on sale.
For many of us, SVH was our gateway into romance. It was for me, and re-reading the oldest books in the series used to be an annual weekend event for me. This is book one – and oh, I could NOT resist the temptation.
Who will Todd choose—the glamorous Jessica or the gentle Elizabeth?
Elizabeth and Jessica Wakefield are identical twins—beautiful, blonde, perfect—but they couldn’t be more different from each other. Elizabeth is friendly, good-natured, and kind, and the complete opposite of her clever, conniving sister. Jessica believes the world revolves around her…and the problem is that most of the time it does. Jessica always gets what she wants—at school, amongst her friends, and especially with boys.
This time, she’s got her eye on Todd Wilkins, the good-looking star of Sweet Valley High’s basketball team—and the one boy Elizabeth really likes. Now the twins are in a game of double love, with Todd as first prize. Will Elizabeth fight for the Todd? What will Jessica stoop to in order to get what she wants? Can the bonds of sisterhood stand up to the pangs of a broken heart?
Secrets, book 2 in the Sweet Valley High series, written by Kate Williams and created by Francine Pascal, is $2.99. The first 10 books of the series that are $2.99 in digital form as well, should you wish to glom and take yourself back in time for a bit. This review says that the books have been updated a bit – and the twins are a size smaller than they were (WTF?!) – so I’m curious how the changes affect the whole. I think I might need to re-read.
Jessica would stop at nothing…
Gorgeous but ruthless, Jessica Wakefield is determined to be the chosen queen of Sweet Valley High’s fall dance this year. Once she’s crowned queen, surely Bruce Patman, the most popular boy in school, will finally notice her. And the only person standing in her way is Enid Rollins, Elizabeth’s best friend.
But when Jessica uncovers a secret about Enid’s past, she knows the crown is within reach. She doesn’t care that revealing the secret could cost Enid both her reputation and boy she loves.
Can Elizabeth save Enid from Jessica’s vicious gossip? Can she stop her scheming twin in time?
The Food52 Cookbook
The Food52 Cookbook: 140 Winning Recipes from Exceptional Home Cooks by Amanda Hesser and Merrill Stubbs is $1.99 right now. Oddly enough, someone emailed me a recipe from Food52, which hosted weekly recipe contests for home cooks, and then this book popped up in my sale alerts. This cookbook has a 3.9 star rating, and some readers really liked that reviews from the Food52 community were included in the cookbook.
The Best Cooks Are Home Cooks
Accomplished food writers and editors Amanda Hesser and Merrill Stubbs had a mission: to discover and celebrate the best home cooks in the country. Each week for fifty-two weeks, they ran recipe contests on their website, Food52.com, and the 140 winning recipes make up this book. They include:
Double Chocolate Espresso Cookies Secret Ingredient Beef Stew Simple Summer Peach Cake Wishbone Roast Chicken with Herb Butter
These recipes prove the truth that great home cooking doesn’t have to be complicated or precious to be memorable. This book captures the community spirit that has made Food52 a success. It features Amanda’s and Merrill’s thoughts and tips on every recipe, plus behind-the-scenes photos, reader comments, and portraits of the contributors—putting you right in the kitchen with America’s most talented cooks.
On the first day of Pesach we change one line in our daily prayers: instead of asking God for rain, we ask God for dew. It's also traditional to recite a prayer specifically for dew. A few years ago I wrote a d'var tefilah ("word about prayer") on the prayer for dew; in this post you'll find an English-language variation on that prayer, intended for community use as a responsive reading.
Give us dew to favor Your earth;
sweeten the land in which we live with dew.
Strengthen us with plenty, with grain and wine:
sheaves and vines sustained by dew.
Bring wholeness to the Holy City and to all who love her
as flowers are renewed by dew.
You have said "I will be like dew to Israel;"1
may Your mercy well up in us like the dew.
Let the proud and beautiful fruits of our harvest
be sustained and graced with dew.
Open our hearts; make us into open vessels
to receive the spiritual gifts of dew.
May a light shine forth from darkness to draw us to You,
as a root finds water from dew.
We are the people who followed You through the desert
as sheep follow a trusted shepherd; favor us with dew.
You are our God, Who causes the wind to blow and the dew to fall.2
For blessing and not for curse. Amen.
For life and not for death. Amen.
For plenty and not for lack. Amen.
1. Hosea 14:5↩
2. From the daily amidah.↩
Zoo Miami is beaming about the birth of two highly endangered Clouded Leopard cubs. Since their birth on March 9th, the female kittens have been bonding with their mother in a quiet, cozy den. They first saw the light of day just two days ago while vets checked their vital signs and photographer Ron Magill snapped these first photos.
The mother, named “Serai,” was born on May of 2011 at the Smithsonian’s Conservation and Research Center in Virginia and the father, named “Rajasi,” was born in March of 2011 at the Nashville Zoo in Tennessee. This is the second successful litter for both parents. Zoo staff was recently able to separate the mother from her cubs for the first time to do a neonatal exam in order to evaluate the condition of the kittens and accurately determine their sexes. Both offspring are doing well and the mother continues to be attentive and nurse them on a regular basis. The mother and kittens will remain off exhibit for the next several weeks until zoo staff determines they are established and stable enough to face the public.
Learn more about Clouded Leopards below the fold and find many more images of these cubs.
Clouded Leopards are a very secretive cat found in forests within Southern China, Taiwan, and Malaysia. Adults usually weigh between 30 and 50 pounds and they have a very long tail with relatively short legs and large paws to facilitate their frequent arboreal lifestyle. Their diet includes a variety of birds and mammals including monkeys, deer, and porcupines. Clouded Leopards have the longest canine teeth relative to their size of any wild cat. They are highly endangered over most of their range due to hunting for their attractive pelts which have ceremonial value in a variety of cultures.
Fandom: Discworld - Terry Pratchett
Rating: Teen And Up Audiences
Warnings: No Archive Warnings Apply
Characters: Havelock Vetinari, Samuel Vimes, Carrot Ironfoundersson, Roberta Meserole, Rufus Drumknott, Moist von Lipwig, William de Worde
Additional Tags: Havelock is a scary man, Character Study
Summary: A character study of Havelock Vetinari from a young child up as far as Unseen Academicals. Mentions of most of the major Ankh-Morpork players, especially Vimes. Takes off from Havelock's musings on the nature of evil in Unseen Academicals.
Vetinari is one of the most difficult characters to get right that I can imagine, and this character study nails him. Perfect.
Born on this day in 1900 to King George V of the UK and Mary of Teck, Prince Henry (my toy,wikipedia). Henry was mostly an army man, he would have been regent for Queen Elizabeth II had she become Queen before becoming an adult (which she didn't).
- Discovering a community through cryptology: Elonka Dunin | Wikimedia blog (March 27): Profile of Elonka Dunin. “Over the years, her cryptology skills developed so much that some conventions have banned her from competition. When an Atlanta hacker conference released a code challenge a few years ago, the instructions included this note: ‘Note: Past code crackers are ineligible for prizes associated with solving the @LANta.con2 puzzle; give someone else a chance, Elonka’’!”
- Ellen Pao Disrupts How Silicon Valley Does Business | NYTimes (March 27): “It’s my sincere hope that because Kleiner is so well known, they’ll see that this problem is not at the corner. It’s at the heartbeat.”
- Trigger Warnings | Dime Store Riot (March 23): “We want a nation of young people who are considerate of the pain and suffering of others. We want a nation of young people who are active and engaged with the institutions that affect them. We want a nation of young people who can make informed decisions for their own wellbeing. Or at least I do.”
- A Q&A with N.K. Jemisin | The Heroine’s Journey (March 27): “LC Brown sits down with SFF author N.K. Jemisin to pick her brain about writing and world-building”
- Your Brief And Wondrous Guide To Contemporary Queer Comics | Huffington Post (March 25): “Behold, 18 queer comic artists you should know right here, right now.”
- 19 Comic Characters Who Embody Women’s Liberation | Ad Astra Comix (March 23): “Here are 19 female comic book characters that you need to know about, whether you prefer your heroines fist-swinging, biographical, or of whimsical fantasy. All have earned our respect and adoration!”
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Thanks to everyone who suggested links.
Is the novel finished: NO
Today’s question: What’s the longest amount of time you’ve ever slept, from head down on the pillow to head up? “Sleep” in this case meaning actual sleep, not a coma, trauma-induced unconsciousness or any such thing (actual sleep related to things like colds and flus totally count, however).
My answer: In high school, I stayed up for four days (not 96 hours, but through four calendar days) and finally went to sleep when I started hallucinating. I put my head down on Friday night and woke up on Sunday morning. Since when I woke up my bladder wasn’t exploding (and my bed was not damp and smelly) I assume that at some point I got up to use the bathroom, but if I did I have absolutely no memory of it. So: About 30 hours, more or less.
Taken earlier today, before I took a jetlag-laden nap. I was mildly concerned that if I took a nap in the afternoon I would be unable to sleep this evening, but now it’s evening here in Perth and I’m here to tell you, I will have no trouble sleeping. 34 hours of travel is exhausting.
First impression of Perth: Seems nice, and more than a little bit like San Diego in terms of climate and vibe. There are worse places to be like.
Off to do a little writing and then sleeeeeeep.
Part 1 for the details of our trip to Sanders Family Winery
Pahrump Valley Winery is the older of Pahrump's two wineries and features Symphony's Restaurant, which is Zagat rated.
Though founded by Jack Sanders back in the day, PVW is now owned by Bill and Gretchen Loken and they have become a driving force for growing grapes and making fine wines from Nevada grown grapes. Gretchen, the winemaker, ferments in oak or stainless steel, depending on the varietal. (She's a much more traditional wine maker than Jack Sanders.) She's entered her wines in many competitions and they always do exceptionally well, which the Lokens not only use to market PVW, but also to help promote the idea Nevada being a good place to grow wine grapes.
(FWIW, I think that the wines from SFW would do well in competition, but I don't think that Jack Sanders is interested in competitions -- an example of the different philosophies and styles of southern Nevada's winemakers.)
( large pictures below the cut )
- I thought about my fic once or twice
- I wrote
- I did some planning and/or research
- I edited
- I've sent my fic off to my beta
- I posted today!
- I'm taking a break
- I did something else that I'll talk about in a comment
Discussion: Let's continue talking about our original characters. Once you figure out their names, what else is involved in coming come up with a good OC? Do you create a back story for them before they appear on paper? Does their history get researched after they appear and you realize they are going to be important? Or do they develop as they please and you hope they will tell you how it's going to go from one chapter to the next? Do they ever become more important to you than the main characters?