(no subject)

Feb. 18th, 2019 07:45 am
copperbadge: (radiofreemondaaay)
[personal profile] copperbadge
Good morning everyone, and welcome to Radio Free Monday!

Ways To Give:

[personal profile] kshandra had major surgery at the end of 2018, and has since struggled with bills, especially after a much smaller than expected tax refund. She's offering comissions starting at $10; you can see fandom-specific examples at her tumblr, or more general examples of her work at DeviantArt. You can also simply donate at her Ko-Fi.

[tumblr.com profile] desiterus is raising funds after he and [tumblr.com profile] cptprocrastination have been warned that if they don't pay their back rent, they will be evicted. She's been searching for a job while struggling with meantal and physical health, and he has been trying to deal with bad fibromyalgia. You can read more and reblog here.

[twitter.com profile] aritrahan has created a Patreon to help finance his transition and an eventual move away from emotionally abusive family members. His Patreon features art, fiction, songs, and photography in return for support; you can check out his Patreon here and his Dreamwidth (for more information) at [personal profile] ari_the_dodecahedron.

[tumblr.com profile] molly-ren linked to a fundraiser for Ian and Liz, who had started a small freelance business, then lost all their clients when Ian came out as trans. Ian also recently had a medical incident that they are struggling to cover bills for, while also covering their health insurance and rent/utilities. You can read more and help out here.

Anon linked to fundraiser for [tumblr.com profile] deadcatwithaflamethrower, who has settled with her family in their new home but are still fundraising for rent, particularly after Drougnor (her husband) lost his job. She's clearing out dolls, doll accessories on eBay, and sells jewelery as well. You can check out her doll stuff here and jewelery for sale here, or give through her Ko-Fi or paypal.

News to Know:

[personal profile] brainwane linked to Deconstruct, a "language-agnostic software development conference" which is looking for first-time conference speakers. The conference is in Seattle this coming July, and speakers receive up to a $2K honorarium, with travel expenses covered and coach and mentor speakers to help them prepare their talks. You can read more about this opportunity here.

And this has been Radio Free Monday! Thank you for your time. You can post items for my attention at the Radio Free Monday submissions form. If you're not sure how to proceed, here is a little more about what I do and how you can help (or ask for help!). If you're new to fundraising, you may want to check out my guide to fundraising here.

DAY #063

Feb. 18th, 2019 08:44 am

(no subject)

Feb. 18th, 2019 02:38 am
staranise: A star anise floating in a cup of mint tea (Default)
[personal profile] staranise
A garden of flowers overgrowing crumbling brick ruins

I just watched Big Dreams, Small Spaces and saw this hugely elaborate garden made in somebody's backyard with brand-new custom-made brick ruins, and holy shit, I'm going to spend about two weeks obsessing over it before I get it out of my system and reconcile myself to a garden I can actually build and afford. (Did I mention we're planning to sell our house and move to a similar house in a cheaper and quieter neighbourhood? So I might have to/get to design a brand new garden)

More pictures here.

I'm not normally ashamed of my desires and longings, but this is so noveau-riche I do feel a little bad about how much I love it. BUT HOLY SHIT I LOVE IT SO MUCH.

(It even made me okay with red brick, which is really hard to do, normally)

Caption That Cover: Dimples Where?

Feb. 18th, 2019 09:00 am
[syndicated profile] smartbitches_feed

Posted by Amanda

We’re back with another Caption That Cover! Yay!

Them Back Dimples by May Sage. A shirtless dude is showing off his back and what I presume are his back dimples. Whatever that means.

This cover was sent in to us by Lucy. Here’s what Lucy had to say:

This book cover seems to have an oddly hypnotic effect – I would scroll past it, then back up again because I couldn’t quite believe what I was seeing. But it really is called “Them Back Dimples”. I can only assume the cover art was chosen in an attempt to live up to the title!

The following discussion at SBTB HQ devolved into whether or not those are really back dimples and not some hardened alien carapace.

Here are the rules for captioning that cover:

Comment below with your caption! Caption that cover however you wish! You can come up with a new title or tagline. A winner will be randomly selected at the end of the contest!

The best captioner will receive a $10 bookstore credit to a book retailer of their choosing.

Standard disclaimers apply: We are not being compensated for this giveaway. Void where prohibited. Open to international residents where permitted by applicable law. Must be over 18. How many dimples do you see? Is this an optical illusion or one of those magic eye pictures? I will say though that those sweatpants look comfortable and I hope he shares the details on where he got them. Comments will close Friday February 22, 2019 around noon ET, and a winner will be announced shortly thereafter.

Good luck!

[syndicated profile] smartbitches_feed

Posted by Amanda

For those of you who love romance reading, swag, and the excitement that only comes from being at a convention, we have great news. No, we have fantastic news!

Avon Books is giving away two “French Kiss” 3-day passes to their KissCon Weekend Affair, held in Chicago on April 5-7, 2019!

Each pass is an $185 value. Note: the giveaway only includes the passes. Winners are responsible for their own travel and accommodations.

Curious about some of the perks and events happening at the Kiss Con Weekend Affair? Get ready:

  • 3-day pass holders will receive six advance review copies of upcoming romance titles!
  • Catch a screening of the Beverly Jenkins film adaption of Deadly Sexy.
  • Do some yoga with author Lori Wilde!
  • Dance and drink the “Vintage and Vino” party.

Some of the authors attending the weekend include Eloisa James, Alisha Rai, Sally Thorne, Alyssa Cole, and so many more!

To enter, drop your info in the form below! We have two (2) passes to giveaway to one (1) lucky winner.

Disclaimer: We are not being compensated for this giveaway. Void where prohibited. Open to US/Canadian residents where permitted by applicable law. Must be over 18 and hopefully ready to toe the line of max luggage weight! As a nice con hack, I once used a tote bag I got from RT BookLover’s Convention as my overhead carry-on because I couldn’t fit any more books in my suitcase. Comments will close at noon ET on Friday 22 February and winner will be announced shortly afterward.

Good luck to everyone and a big thank you to the Avon team!

[WoW] Mouseheart

Feb. 18th, 2019 12:56 pm
leveragehunters: (WoW icon)
[personal profile] leveragehunters
Because you can never have too many hunters, the gorgeous Darkshore armour set finally dropped, and I've always wanted to use this name (plus I wanted to give someone the freaky dark eyes they introduced last patch).

Mouseheart of the Nightfall

Mouseheart and Khamsin

Mouseheart and Zhephyr (yeah, she fights with a unicorn and a neon-kitty!)

Marinate in misery

Feb. 17th, 2019 04:13 pm
gwyn: (steve rogers shield)
[personal profile] gwyn
I wasn't sure I'd be able to go to Escapade this year because my usual travel partner wasn't going, but I did find a roomie and so I bought a plane ticket--unfortunately right before all the financial stuff came down hard on me and boy did I regret that, but it's nonrefundable, so. I'm glad the hotel has a huge breakfast buffet, because I think I can stock up on stuff for the day and they also have refigerators in each room, so I can kind of scam my way through (as well as make the very long walk to In-N-Out Burger, because OMG I love INOB like crazy and it's cheap, too).

It also meant I didn't put in any suggestions for panels, but I ended up doing a write-in alt track panel for Cap fandom once I knew I could go (also, jeez, snowmageddon here made me really nervous that I'd never make it to the airport; here's hoping we don't get any more snow). It was kind of difficult to deal with the signup form, so the only day I could see available was Friday at the lunch hour--which means it may not be well attended, but if you're interested in talking Cap fandom specifically (as opposed to the Saturday panel with a wider focus on phase 4), I'd love to have you join me:

Friday, Feb. 22, Noon-1 p.m., Marina del Rey room

Captain America MCU: The End of the Line
Captain America fandom has taken a lot of hits lately: we didn’t even get a real third Cap movie, the Cap Family barely existed in Infinity War, and the end of Chris Evans’s contract means Steve Rogers as we know him in the MCU has left the building after A4--and a lot of fans are convinced Steve will in fact be killed off. Will Cap fandom wither and die the way most closed canons do, or will things like the Bucky and Sam streaming series and the comics help keep it alive in some form? Can we keep the Cap love alive?

Featuring me, your hostess.

Signal Boost: Oh snap! FAQ Post!

Feb. 17th, 2019 05:49 pm
nestra: (solitary occupation)
[personal profile] nestra
Huh. I might have to sign up for this. Maybe.

[community profile] waybackexchange posted: Oh snap! FAQ Post!

Welcome to the Wayback Exchange! This gift exchange is focused only on canons that ended more than 10 years ago. That means that for the 2019 round, the only canons eligible will be ones with no new material published or released after December 31, 2009.

Relevant to some of you, I'm sure

Feb. 17th, 2019 01:30 pm
sholio: (Defenders-Ward)
[personal profile] sholio
New exchange: [community profile] hurtcomfortex, a multifandom h/c exchange, now taking tag nominations. You nominate character relationships and specify which character you want to be hurt, and then freeform tags for scenarios like "Concussion", "Enduring Pain to Protect Another", "Mistakenly Believes the Other is Dead", "Gunshot Wounds", etc.

I wasn't going to sign up for anything else before SSR Confidential but ... yeah, I'm all over this.
arduinna: a tarot-card version of Linus from Peanuts, carrying a lamp as The Hermit (Default)
[personal profile] arduinna
Oooh, the signal-boost thing works for AO3 collections, too. I edited this a bit to get rid of the "profile" and "join" links that got included because I also wanted the collection icon, but other than that, totally straightforward.

Wayback Exchange 2019 | Archive of Our Own

Wayback Exchange 2019

The Wayback Exchange is a fanfiction exchange for all those old canons you loved back in the day. Nostalgia's trendy now! Get with it!

This gift exchange is focused only on canons that are more than 10 years old. That means that for the 2019 round, the only canons eligible will be ones with no new material published or released after December 31, 2009.


(Closed, Moderated, Unrevealed, Anonymous, Gift Exchange Challenge)

Nursey the sports biographer

Feb. 17th, 2019 03:45 pm
stultiloquentia: Campbells condensed primordial soup (Default)
[personal profile] stultiloquentia
Archiving a year-old bit of fannish riffing between me and Lis: Nursey the sports biographer.

Read more... )

This fortnight in writing, 2/17

Feb. 17th, 2019 09:06 pm
dira: Bucky Barnes/The Winter Soldier (Default)
[personal profile] dira
I … totally failed to do this post last weekend! But I did write stuff! So, combined catch-up post.

Words written this week: 3,948

WIPs that got words this week:

Born in the Blood: 1,243, getting SO CLOSE to finishing this chapter!!

Underage Child Soldier Omega!Bucky/Alpha!Cap!Steve Marriage of Last Resort Fic: 188

Marvel Trumps Hate Bucky/Steve First Time Fic: 2,383

Slavefic #7: 134


…a lot of cross-stitching, yeah.

from Tumblr http://bit.ly/2GuHxtg
arduinna: a tarot-card version of Linus from Peanuts, carrying a lamp as The Hermit (Default)
[personal profile] arduinna
[personal profile] lj_writes posted: Signal Boost bookmarklet with user name tags for more sites

This is an update to the update to [personal profile] astolat's bookmarklet for signal-boosting posts. It always allowed you to signal-boost from any page anywhere, not just DW, but [personal profile] lj_writes has added user name tags for almost every site DW has tags for - so AO3, pinboard, LJ, JF, IJ, DJ, DeviantArt, Etsy, Blogger, Ravelry, Wordpress, and a few more.

Firefighters, Urban Fantasy, & More

Feb. 17th, 2019 04:30 pm
[syndicated profile] smartbitches_feed

Posted by Amanda

The Phantom Tree

The Phantom Tree by Nicola Cornick is $3.99! Thank you to everyone who let us know about this sale! Elyse and Sarah joint reviewed this one and gave it a B grade. Both of them also finished it in about a day.

Elyse: I really enjoyed this book (hence the one day read) mostly because it focuses on a period in time I find really interesting and have read a lot about, but also because it stars a woman who wasn’t well-known to history.

“My name is Mary Seymour and I am the daughter of one queen and the niece of another.” 

Browsing antiques shops in Wiltshire, Alison Bannister stumbles across a delicate old portrait—supposedly of Anne Boleyn. Except Alison knows better. The subject is Mary Seymour, the daughter of Katherine Parr, who was taken to Wolf Hall in 1557 as an unwanted orphan and presumed dead after going missing as a child. And Alison knows this because she, too, was in Wolf Hall…with Mary…in 1557.

The painting of Mary is more than just a beautiful object for Alison—it holds the key to her past life, the unlocking of the mystery surrounding Mary’s disappearance and how Alison can get back to her own time. But Alison’s quest soon takes a dark and foreboding turn, as a meeting place called the Phantom Tree harbors secrets in its shadows…

A spellbinding tale for fans of Kate Morton, Philippa Gregory and Barbara Erskine by the bestselling author of House of Shadows.

Add to Goodreads To-Read List →

This book is on sale at:

Order this book from iBooks Order this book from apple books
Order this book from Barnes & Noble Order this book from Kobo Order this book from Google Play




Collision Course

Collision Course by Zoe Archer is 99c! This is a scifi romance and the subject of one of Carrie’s earlier guest reviews. She gave it a B grade:

If you are new to romance, or if you are new to science fiction, this probably won’t be the book to win you over to either genre. But, if you want to have a great time with some familiar tropes that are vividly and freshly drawn, then you will have a wonderful time reading Collision Course.

In a galaxy torn apart by war…

Mara Skiren is a scavenger, a black-market dealer. Blackmailed into helping Commander Kell Frayne infiltrate a treacherous corner of the galaxy, Mara learns that her biggest danger is from her sexy, by-the-book partner. She’s a loner with more than a few battle scars on her heart, but something about Commander Frayne stirs up her long-buried need for an intimate connection.

An ace pilot for the elite Black Wraith Squadron, Kell’s mission is to rescue a lost pilot and ship. Unable to deny his attraction to the beautiful, rebellious Mara, he decides bedding her would cool his ardor. But one taste is not nearly enough, and he finds himself sharing more of his real self with her than he has with anyone.

With deadly criminals on their heels and an increasingly dangerous assignment to complete, he’s starting to wonder…if they survived, could he let her go? And will Mara want to stay?

Add to Goodreads To-Read List →

This book is on sale at:

Order this book from iBooks Order this book from apple books
Order this book from Barnes & Noble Order this book from Kobo Order this book from Google Play




Hot Response

Hot Response by Shannon Stacey is $2.99! This is part of the Boston Fire series and has a romance between a firefighter and an EMT. Readers loved the romance of two people getting to know one another while dealing with a high stress job. However, other readers were frustrated by the constant misunderstandings.

The men of Boston Fire are back and hotter than ever! Don’t miss this brand-new novel from New York Times bestselling author Shannon Stacey. 

Gavin Boudreau lives for the job, but he also believes in “work hard, play harder.” As the youngest guy in Ladder 37, he figures he’s got plenty of time before settling down becomes a priority. Soft, pretty women who aren’t looking for promises are exactly his type, and he’s comfortable with that. Working with a gorgeous EMT isn’t going to change who he is.

The last thing Cait Tasker needs in her personal life is a firefighter whose challenges on-scene have been a thorn in her side from minute one. Her plate’s too full for a man anyway. Back in her childhood home to help her family cope with an unexpected tragedy, she’s got enough to handle without throwing a hot, testosterone-laden fireman into the mix.

As long days on the job lead to long nights together, Gavin and Cait will discover how far temptation can take them—and what happens when the one you thought was all wrong for you turns out to be the person you can’t live without.

Add to Goodreads To-Read List →

This book is on sale at:

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Angel’s Ink

Angel’s Ink by Jocelynn Drake is $2.99! This is a paranormal urban fantasy, and the first book in the Asylum Tales series. The book has a 3.6 average on GR, and readers particularly liked the hero, who is a former warlock who now runs his own tattoo parlor. I’m curious if this has any romantic elements to it. Have you read this one?

Buyer beware . . .

Looking for a tattoo—and maybe a little something extra: a burst of good luck, a dollop of true love, or even a hex on an ex? Head to the quiet and mysterious Gage, the best skin artist in town. Using unique potions—a blend of extraordinary ingredients and special inks—to etch the right symbol, he can fulfill any heart’s desire. But in a place like Low Town, where elves, faeries, trolls, werewolves, and vampires happily walk among humanity, everything has its price.

No one knows that better than Gage. Turning his back on his own kind, he left the magical Ivory Tower where cruel witches and warlocks rule, a decision that cost him the right to practice magic. And if he disobeys, his punishment—execution—will be swift.

Though he’s tried to fly under the radar, Gage can’t hide from powerful warlocks who want him dead—or the secrets of his own past. But with the help of his friends, Trixie, a gorgeous elf who hides her true identity, and a hulking troll named Bronx, Gage might just make it through this enchanted world alive.

Add to Goodreads To-Read List →

This book is on sale at:

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Fic Update #59

Feb. 17th, 2019 10:24 am
notlucy: (Default)
[personal profile] notlucy
Words Written This Week: 11,750 (Down a bit from last week, which makes total sense considering I’m mostly doing second drafts of things I’ve already written, rather than writing new stuff.)

3,383 on the next thing in the GAL/TAL ‘verse, tentatively called “Big Ideas and a Little Behind.” This was all second draft additions, so now I need to do an edit round, an out loud round, and a final SPAG round before I post. Hopefully either late this week or early next.

962 on Sekrit Project, which I’ve slowed down on because if I’m going to do it for the CBB I don’t actually have to think about it for a while

6,101 on MerBucky rewrites, which puts me through Chapter 13 for the second draft. Have I mentioned I think it’s a much better story this time around? 

1,304 on the fourth story in the GAL/TAL verse, because I got weirdly inspired earlier in the week and wanted to do something from Steve’s POV. No idea when I’ll finish this one, but hey, the brain wants what it wants.

Did I Make My Goals?

  • Edit chapters 7-11 of merBucky
    Yes! All the way through Chapter 13!
  • Chapters 5 and 6 of Sekrit Project
    Still nope. I worked on Chapter 5 but yeah.

WIP Updates/Goals for Next Week:

To Write & Edit:

  • Edit chapters 14-20 of MerBucky
  • Line edit Big Ideas
  • Finish Chapter 5 of Sekrit Project. Just chapter 5!

To Publish:

  • Once again, maybe the GAL/TAL story, depending on circumstances

Things that are likely to fuck with my progress:

  • Busier week this week than last
  • IDK things are probably fine!


copperbadge: (Default)
[personal profile] copperbadge
I don’t normally have a ton of trouble titling my work, but this church story is fucking me up. I’ve been just calling it “The Church” in my head, but that kind of gives the wrong impression (which I’m trying to definitively stay away from because the story could so easily be read as a parable about religion, even though it is not). And it needs a new name. 

I could call it something like “Samuel and the Church” (or whatever name I choose for the protagonist – Sam/Samuel was a placeholder). I could call it after the heading of the first chapter, “The Church That Was Always There” (which is kind of the point, in that it wasn’t) but that’s just the point of that chapter, not the point of the story. I may have to go into history and dig up some famous phrase or other from the dust bowl and play on that, because a vital part of the story is that the dust bowl JUST BARELY misses Lea.

Dust storms are a pivotal part of the story, in that they tend to happen at moments of emotional climax later in the book, so I could just call it “Dust”, but dust storms aren’t the point either, and really only three of them total happen in the book.  

One of the supporting characters in the story writes a book called Fearless Sun, and the town it happens in is called Lea, so I could legitimately call it Fearless Lea, but I’m not that dedicated to the joke.

Ah well. I’ve got to work on Don’t Read The Comments as well, but it feels good to have two mostly-completed novels in my files, which just need rewrites and typesetting. Now if only I can write the missing chapter of one and title the other…..

from Tumblr http://bit.ly/2V3PoB8

if not for bad luck...

Feb. 17th, 2019 11:01 am
celli: Hawaii Five-O's Danny making the WTF face and gesture (Danny WTF)
[personal profile] celli
let's review:

ice storm
power out
heat out
water out


problems with the remediation from all the above
my sister lost her mentor unexpectedly
my nieces and sister have had the flu for SIX DAYS WTF
my BIL had surgery and his two day recovery is...not

When I am the healthiest, most upright person in the household, things are concerning. And *I* have had a loss (though not as close to me as the good twin) and really bad job stuff and am sliding into depression. So that's great. But, you know. I'm needed so I'm compartmentalizing.

Day #062

Feb. 17th, 2019 07:25 am

[Reading] Charles, Weber, Brooks

Feb. 17th, 2019 07:28 pm
leveragehunters: (Reading raven)
[personal profile] leveragehunters
Last week I read:
  • Think of England - KJ Charles: Eh, I was in the mood :)
  • Out of the Dark - David Weber: This is such an 'I wrote this for fun, because I could' book. I skim over big chunks of the 'Yo American Independence Guns WOO' gung ho stuff (the book NAME CHECKS Independence Day--although to Weber's credit he doesn't stay wholly in the US; his pockets of resistance are international), but even with all that, it's fun. Aliens invade the earth, the government is gone, humans are fighting back in pockets of resistance but they're almost sure to lose and then cut for MAJOR spoilers )
  • World War Z - Max Brooks: I think after Out of the Dark I needed an end of the world story that treated it seriously, and this one so does. I always forget and read it on the train, and end up sniffling into the book. Max Brooks is such a great writer. I whole-heartedly recommend this one.

Romance Wanderlust: ICEHOTEL

Feb. 17th, 2019 09:00 am
[syndicated profile] smartbitches_feed

Posted by Carrie S

Romance Wanderlust - a yellowed and burnt edge map with a compass in the corner, with Romance Wanderlust written across itI know what you’re thinking. “It’s winter! It’s cold! Carrie is going to take us someplace tropical!” Well NOT SO FAST, Bitches. I’m Googling ice hotels for this month’s Romance Wanderlust, and you’re all Googling with me! Bwah ha ha!

But seriously, these places are beautiful. Weird and cold, but beautiful.

After careful consideration, I’m focusing on one ice hotel in particular. The not very creatively named ‘ICEHOTEL’’ is located in the village of Jukkasjärvi. This means that I have a legitimate reason to use my beloved Monty Python quote:

Wi nøt trei a høliday in Sweden this yër? See the løveli lakes. The wøndërful telephøne system. And mäni interesting furry animals, including the majestik møøse.

And also, why not see the ICEHOTEL? Parts of this location are permanent (a new feature is that they have some ice rooms all year now). However, the big draw of the installation is that every year most of the ‘cold rooms’ are allowed to melt during the summer and then in the winter they are sculpted from scratch with new designs, making it an art installation as well as a hotel. The temporary condition of the rooms adds to the magical ambiance created by the artists.

All photos in this post are by Asaf Kliger.

Livoq, designed by Fabien Champeval and Friederike Schroth
“Livoq,” designed by Fabien Champeval and Friederike Schroth, Photo credit: Asaf Kliger

ICEHOTEL has ‘Cold rooms’ and ‘Warm rooms.’ The warm rooms (which are permanent and made out of standard materials, not ice) are basically nice hotel rooms, in soothing light earth tones, with big windows that look out onto the forest.

The cold rooms are AMAZING. All rooms include a tour and access to the sauna. Some rooms have a door and some have a curtain. Some have ice sculptures and some are carved into these cool geometric block shapes. All have a mattress called the “carpe diem” mattress. Carpe Diem seems like a great name for a coffee or an alarm clock but for a bed? Anyway it’s covered with reindeer hides which I suspect is a deal breaker for many, and you sleep on top of the furs in sleeping bags (and yes, they do have two-person bags). Reviews say that the whole effect is surprisingly warm.

Queen of the North designed by Emilie Steele and Sebastian Dell'Uva
“Queen of the North” designed by Emilie Steele and Sebastian Dell’Uva. Photo credit: Asaf Kliger

A popular feature of ICEHOTEL is that they host weddings. The hotel website has many high concept photos but all I could think is that everyone looks very cold. Also if I may offer a tip based on experience: sled dogs are not romantic. I’m fond of their sweet fluffy selves, but they bark all the time and they smell weird and they shed and they are always dirty. Just because I like them doesn’t mean I would let them anywhere near my wedding dress.

Wedding in the middle of a lot of sled dogs.
Don’t do this! I’m begging you! Do you have ANY IDEA how loud these dogs are? Photocredit: Asaf Kliger

On the one hand, surely all of us from cold climates are asking ourselves, “So…you stay there…voluntarily? And you pay them, not the other way around?” On the other hand, the rooms do look magical. There’s also a lot to do. There’s an icebar where all the glasses are made out of ice. You can go to storytelling night and watch the Northern Lights. You can go on a sled dog ride or a snowmobile ride or, in different seasons, learn about edible Arctic plants. They have Midnight Sun boat trips in summer and ice carving classes all year.

There’s a foodie restaurant where all the food is tiny and photogenic and a more “comfort food” type restaurant nearby. Bring your Elsa cosplay and your thermal underwear for a magical night, but between the preponderance of reindeer on the menu and the hides on the bed, it might be best not to mention it to Sven.

[syndicated profile] smartbitches_feed

Posted by SB Sarah

The Ladies, including the newest lady, who has a blue polka dot dress and glasses and is blackHi there! We’d like to ask a question: where else do you hang out online?

We know you’re here (hiya and thanks for stopping by!) or you’re reading this via our SBTB Daily newsletter (hi!).

Maybe you are part of our Facebook group, or follow us on Twitter? We also have a Goodreads group, and an Instagram account. Or maybe you aren’t involved with us there, but you hang out in those locations?

If you don’t mind our being nebby, we’d like to ask you where else you like to hang out. We aren’t going to do anything with this data except make sure we’re talking to you where you are. I’m mostly curious where you like to be online in addition to this community.

Thank you in advance for participating!

Please click on the icons for all which apply to you! You can select more than one.
cofax7: Aang at the North Pole (ATLA - Aang pretty)
[personal profile] cofax7
So, that was a thing, yeah?

Read more... )

Also, 9 episodes is not enough. ::pouts::

[Fic] My Kingdom for a Horse

Feb. 17th, 2019 08:55 am
leveragehunters: (Steve smile)
[personal profile] leveragehunters


My Kingdom for a Horse
A ficlet in the On a Pale Horse verse

The Founding Day celebrations are rapidly approaching, Sam's horse pulls up lame, and Steve learns a valuable lesson about phrasing--and about how much he loves Bucky.


Fandom: Captain America (Movies)
Rating: Teen And Up Audiences, No Archive Warnings Apply
Relationships: James "Bucky" Barnes/Steve Rogers, Steve Rogers & Sam Wilson
Characters: Steve Rogers, Sam Wilson (Marvel), James "Bucky" Barnes
Additional Tags: Alternate Universe - Fantasy, Alternate Universe - No Powers, Horses, Fluff, Prince Sam Wilson, Animal Transformation, Post-Serum Steve Rogers

ellebeesknees: (TwoCakes)
[personal profile] ellebeesknees posting in [community profile] twocakeschallenge
Credit: none
Source link: none
Suggested fandom: Captain America

Character A is a superhero. Character B is in customer service. Both jobs are equally harrowing in different ways.

Through the wardrobe

Feb. 16th, 2019 10:38 am
rachelmanija: (Default)
[personal profile] rachelmanija
Sherwood and I at my parents' place in Mariposa (near Yosemite) for an impromptu writing retreat prompted by Dad sending me snow photos. Snow has been incredibly rare in my life, so I grabbed Sherwood and rushed up in the hope that we'd get more. And sure enough, it snowed again! Snow is falling outside my window even as I write!

Sherwood is staying at the main house with my folks. I'm at the cabin with my cats, which is a 5-minute walk down a hill and heated by a woodturning stove. So to get to the main house, I must hike uphill and in the snow! (You can't drive up the driveway when it's snowy, as it's icy and treacherous.)

It looks like Narnia outside all windows, and is wonderfully silent when I'm in the cabin or can convince Dad to turn off the TV.

I have been busy making winter treats, such as hot cider and apple turnovers, and non-winter-specific ones, such as frozen Thin Mints dipped in whipped cream and lavender-blueberry cocktails. (Lemonade infused with blueberries, lavender vodka.) We are just eating what we have in the house, as we can't drive anywhere due to ice, but as you can see this is not exactly a hardship.

Before it snowed, the koi pond overflowed and went over the dock and the lawn chairs. Then, snow. Those are floating snow-covered lounge chairs!

The views outside the cabin window:

Alex materializes on my shoulder via dimensional portal:

Alex was very excited by the snow, which he's seeing for the first time. He darted through my legs when I opened the door to fetch wood and began leaping and prancing about in the snow, leaving a trail of little kitty paw prints. I retrieved him with some difficulty. Guess me and my cat are two of a kind.

Also I got four wonderful stories for Chocolate Box! I will do a rec post later today, hopefully. Meanwhile, go enjoy the archive.
petra: Barbara Gordon smiling knowingly (Default)
[personal profile] petra
Hi, I'm Bob. I'm a tlepath. It's like a telepath, except I can only communicate mind-to-mind in Nahuatl.

day #061

Feb. 16th, 2019 10:18 am

Are you conversant?

Feb. 16th, 2019 09:01 am
stultiloquentia: Campbells condensed primordial soup (Default)
[personal profile] stultiloquentia
Lots of posts on my feeds this week about personal libraries and people's relationships with them. Books as treasured physical objects. Books as sources of pressure—to have read enough, and the right ones, and the ones everybody else is reading so you can join the right conversations. Books as comfort, clutter, decor, identity.

I got nuffin profound to say about any of it. But [personal profile] minoanmiss prompted me to ruminate, so I will admit that I like owning books; I wish I had room for more of them, and a bigger budget for beautiful hardcovers. I have an active relationship with my small, apartment-dweller's collection that ebooks can't replicate: they're off my shelves all the time, rummaged through, marked up, declaimed from on random weeknights while my housemate is trying to make mac and cheese. ("I CANNOT PRAISE A FUGITIVE AND CLOISTERED VIRTUE...YOU'RE GOING TO ADD EXTRA CHEDDAR TO THAT, RIGHT?") My couch nest is usually surrounded by little inuksuk-like piles, half the public library's, half mine.

I have Kate Beaton's "Dude Watching" comic printed out and stuffed in the dust jacket of my copy of Jane Eyre. Maya's "Coda to an Epilogue" is tucked next to Harry Potter. Next to that is a drawing by the 12-year-old reluctant reader who actually got excited to write a five-paragraph persuasive essay when I told her it could be about Snape, because whatever those books' literary merit, their pedagogical impact was life-changing. An Economist article on Christopher Fry is folded up inside The Lady's Not for Burning, which also has all the shorthand lighting cues from the production I directed in college. Green Grass, Running Water is bristling with bookmarks. The Lord of the Rings I inherited is full of my mother's etymology notes penciled in the margins. Long Hidden houses torn-out notebook pages from a Readercon panel full of frantically scribbled quotes with hearts around them. When I say it's a personal library, I do mean personal. In use, in the same way the mixing bowls in my kitchen cabinet are in use.

For sure, reading goes in cycles. Right now I'm doing a lot of reading, daydreaming, and editing for friends. By summer I'll most likely have swung around to writing again, and the reading will taper off. But maybe in fall [personal profile] disgruntled_owl will again get wistful about the Pizza Hut-sponsored reading challenge many of us in North America participated in as kids, and lure her friends into logging our page counts and filling in bingo squares and jockeying for pizza and homemade cocoa mixes. (I have the awesomest friends.) Grad school broke me (mostly) of the fear of reading inadequately, and fandom broke me of the impulse to rank my pastimes in order of least to most admirable, but the sheer nostalgic silly fun of reading books for prizes, and books outside one's usual sights, and then pithily reviewing them on the shared spreadsheet, was shockingly motivating. We had such good conversations at our wrap-up party.

I guess this post (which is about to trail off unpithily, so I can go make my breakfast) is a meditation about not reading in a vacuum, or at any rate a Romantic solitude like a girl in a novel who is not like other girls, which also explains why I latched onto fandom so hard twenty-whatever years ago. I haven't read Kondo, so I don't know her questions except for the one about joy, which seems sound. But I think if I were to cull my books, I would start by holding each in my hand and asking, "Am I still having a conversation with you?" And if I weren't, I would drop it off at a shop where it could go and speak to somebody else.

baby's first Disco fic

Feb. 16th, 2019 10:38 am
philomytha: girl in woods with a shaft of sunlight falling on her (Default)
[personal profile] philomytha
I appear to have fallen headfirst into a new fandom, if the sudden, er, mushrooming of 6000 words of fic in a new DISCO.TXT file on my computer is anything to go by. And that's just from the past day or two. There is some fun fic out there for Discovery on AO3, but there is a shocking lack of what I want, which is ALL the Shenzhou-era fic about Captain Georgiou and her two misfit proteges, all the stories of Michael and Saru sparring with each other while both being desperately loyal to her. Away missions gone wrong! Moral dilemmas! All the classic Trek tropes with those three, please! Also I want everything about Saru more generally, because after seeing his little backstory thing I am even more fascinated by him and how he went from primitive village boy to XO on Starfleet's shiniest science vessel. I haven't watched S2 yet, though I am thoroughly spoiled for all the major plot twists so far since I have no self-restraint. And as I said, I've been writing fic, on the basis that if you want to read it, you've got to write it first. And the first thing I've finished is a little triple drabble featuring Michael and Mirror!Saru. Warning for slavery and general mirrorverse angst.

the regard of the proud )

Your Planet or Mine by Susan Grant

Feb. 16th, 2019 09:00 am
[syndicated profile] smartbitches_feed

Posted by Carrie S


Your Planet or Mine?

by Susan Grant
July 25, 2006 · HQN
RomanceScience Fiction/Fantasy

Susan Grant has written some of my favorite science fiction romance novels. Alas, Your Planet or Mine (soon to be reprinted as Guardian Alien) is not one of them. Basically, this is a bodyguard romance with Cavin, an alien, protecting Jana, a human, from an alien assassin while trying to stop an invasion of Earth without torpedoing Jana’s political career.

The story is set in Sacramento during the early 2000s. Jana Jasper, a State Senator, comes from a “political dynasty.” Everyone in her family is or was in public service, and her grandfather has set his heart on her being the first female President of the United States. Jana’s father (a congressman) is falsely accused of misusing campaign funds and the scandal soon extends to Jana herself. Jana promises her family (specifically, her grandfather) to keep a low profile and is promptly kidnapped/rescued by Cavin, a humanoid alien who needs her to warn Earth of a coming invasion.

Jana is in the middle of promoting sturgeon farming with hopes of preventing the extinction of the species while still providing foodies with caviar. This gets her a lot of criticism from people like family friend Victor, owner of a vodka and caviar restaurant, who says things like,

In Russia, the caviar industry is controlled by the Mafia, but in California it is controlled with your iron fist. In certain circles in Russian community, you are known as the czarina. Your Fish and Game thugs have become as feared in the community as the Soviet KGB.

The phrase “Fish and Game thugs” totally made me spit tea EVERYWHERE.

On top of everything else, Jana promised Grandpa that as part of her “keeping a low profile” project she would not get involved with any men. This is a problem because Cavin, the alien who rescues her from the alien assassin and warns her about the invasion, is super hot. They met as children, when Cavin accompanied his father on a scouting trip to Earth. The emotional bond they formed then remains, and most of the book involves Jana trying to keep her hands off Cavin because of her promise to Grandpa which doesn’t exactly apply to her situation (she’s supposed to be avoiding the press attention that follows her dating life, and how this applies to actual sex is beyond me).

I have questions, as well as a few things that I think need further examination:

  1. Why does Cavin keep insisting that Jana should recognize him and completely trust and commit to him just because they hung out briefly at the age of nine?
  2. Is Jana’s grandfather creepy and controlling, or endearing? In fairness, the fact that Jana’s siblings do not want political careers doesn’t seem to be a problem although they are all high achievers who have to reflect well on the family name..
  3. Jana goes to a vodka and caviar restaurant and is surprised and upset when the conversation turns to how her sturgeon farming project will affect the price of caviar. It’s a caviar bar, Jana. The topic is bound to come up. Although even I didn’t see “more feared than the Soviet KGB” coming.
  4. Why do Cavin and Jana keep talking about how they’ve been resisting these urges for so long and also how they will spend the rest of their lives when the entire book takes place in no more than a week, not counting their meetings as children?
  5. When they met as kids, nine-year-old Jana was unable to speak, but she thought Cavin was “magic” and made a wish that he would make her be able to talk and then she was. Why couldn’t she talk? There’s no explanation of developmental delays or social anxiety, or signs of a physical impairment to speech. She can hear and read. Why is she cured by Cavin even though later he says he didn’t do anything? Is this problematic or just confusing?
  6. I did not understand anything that happened with the invading aliens. Not. One. Thing.

On the plus side, Jana and Cavin have great chemistry and a nice way of interacting. They are very comfortable with each other. There’s some good humor. The Sacramento geography and political scene are well drawn and I couldn’t help but both laugh and sympathize with Jana’s sorrow that the ice cream she bought was destroyed during an escape from the assassin. Jana’s devotion to California’s environmental health and to weaving that into the economy is portrayed sympathetically, which is awesome. I wanted Jana and Cavin to succeed as a couple, and I liked how Cavin was protective of Jana in combat situations but completely respectful of her expertise in matters like how to use an ATM and how to navigate politics, family, and other situations. Cavin is comfortable in a supportive role which is awesome.

There’s also a lovely interaction between Cavin and a Vietnam vet. It’s such a real interaction that it seems to come from another book. The vet tells Calvin about Vietnam and then:

For a long time afterward, they watched the sun reach its zenith and then track down the other side. Sunshine spilled over the grass. They sat in silence, enjoying the odd camaraderie veterans had. It transcended culture, race, and apparently planets as well.

I waffled between a C- and a D+ grade for this book and went in circles as different elements confused me. Such as: should a scene in which Cavin helps them find an invisible spaceship in Area 51 by LITERALLY HAVING THEM POKE IT WITH THEIR FINGERS AFTER HE BUMPS INTO IT raise or lower the grade?

Overall, this book is a terrible, terrible mess, but in reading it you can see the potential which led to books like Moonstruck (recently re-written and republished as Warleader). The lack of emotional development between Jana and Calvin, the expectations placed on both, and the nonsensical world building (and world invading) left me confused and disappointed.

[syndicated profile] smartbitches_feed

Posted by Amanda

Welcome to Book Beat! Think of Book Beat as Hide Your Wallet, Part Two!

In Hide Your Wallet, we talk about books coming out in a particular month that we really want to read. But there’s more to good books than just new releases!

Book Beat aims to highlight other books that we may hear about through friends, social media, or other sources. We could see a gorgeous ad! Or find a new-to-us author on a list of underrated romances! Think of Book Beat as Teen Beat or Tiger Beat, but for books. And no staples to open to get the fold-out poster.

We hope you find something new to read through Book Beat, and please let us know what books you’ve discovered recently!

American Dreamer

American Dreamer by Adriana Herrera

Author: Adriana Herrera
Released: March 4, 2019 by Carina Press
Genre: , ,

No one ever said big dreams come easy

For Nesto Vasquez, moving his Afro-Caribbean food truck from New York City to the wilds of Upstate New York is a huge gamble. If it works? He’ll be a big fish in a little pond. If it doesn’t? He’ll have to give up the hustle and return to the day job he hates. He’s got six months to make it happen—the last thing he needs is a distraction.

Jude Fuller is proud of the life he’s built on the banks of Cayuga Lake. He has a job he loves and good friends. It’s safe. It’s quiet. And it’s damn lonely. Until he tries Ithaca’s most-talked-about new lunch spot and works up the courage to flirt with the handsome owner. Soon he can’t get enough—of Nesto’s food orof Nesto. For the first time in his life, Jude can finally taste the kind of happiness that’s always been just out of reach.

An opportunity too good to pass up could mean a way to stay together and an incredible future for them both…if Nesto can remember happiness isn’t always measured by business success. And if Jude can overcome his past and trust his man will never let him down.

Source: @ladrianaherrera on Twitter

A gay romance between a food truck chef and a librarian with “hilarious & nosy AF Latinx family & friends.”

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Her Royal Highness

Her Royal Highness by Rachel Hawkins

Author: Rachel Hawkins
Released: May 7, 2019 by G.P. Putnam's Sons Books for Young Readers
Genre: , ,
Series: Royals #2

Regal romance abounds in this flirty, laugh-out-loud companion novel to Royals, by New York Times bestselling author Rachel Hawkins. 

Millie Quint is devastated when she discovers that her sort-of-best friend/sort-of-girlfriend has been kissing someone else. Heartbroken and ready for a change of pace, Millie decides to apply for scholarships to boarding schools . . . the farther from Houston the better.

Soon, Millie is accepted into one of the world’s most exclusive schools, located in the rolling highlands of Scotland. Here, the country is dreamy and green; the school is covered in ivy, and the students think her American-ness is adorable.

The only problem: Mille’s roommate Flora is a total princess.

She’s also an actual princess. Of Scotland.

At first, the girls can’t stand each other, but before Millie knows it, she has another sort-of-best-friend/sort-of-girlfriend. Princess Flora could be a new chapter in her love life, but Millie knows the chances of happily-ever-afters are slim . . . after all, real life isn’t a fairy tale . . . or is it?

New York Times bestselling author Rachel Hawkins brings the feels and the laughs to her latest romance.

Source: Excerpt in Entertainment Weekly

I hope you listed to yesterday’s podcast episode with Rachel Hawkins because I loved it. If you’re super curious about Hawkins’ upcoming, Her Royal Highness, you can get a sneak peek at EW!

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Love Beyond Body, Space, and Time

Love Beyond Body, Space, and Time by Hope Nicholson

Author: Hope Nicholson
Released: August 24, 2016 by Beside Press
Genre: ,

“Love Beyond, Body, Space, and Time” is a collection of indigenous science fiction and urban fantasy focusing on LGBT and two-spirit characters. These stories range from a transgender woman trying an experimental transition medication to young lovers separated through decades and meeting far in their own future. These are stories of machines and magic, love, and self-love.

This collection features prose stories by:
Cherie Dimaline – “The Girl Who Grew a Galaxy,” “Red Rooms”
Gwen Benaway – “Ceremonies for the Dead”
David Robertson – “Betty: The Helen Betty Osborne Story,” Tales From Big Spirit series
Richard Van Camp – “The Lesser Blessed,” “Three Feathers”
Mari Kurisato – “Celia’s Song,” “Bent Box”
Nathan Adler – “Wrist”
Daniel Heath Justice – “The Way of Thorn and Thunder: The Kynship Chronicles”
Darcie Little Badger – “Nkásht íí, The Sea Under Texas”
Cleo Keahna
And an introduction by Niigaanwewidam James Sinclair – “Manitowapow,” with a foreword by Grace Dillon – “Walking the Clouds”.
Edited by Hope Nicholson – “Moonshot,” “The Secret Loves of Geek Girls”

Source: @NativeApprops on Twitter

There was a Twitter thread going around on recommended anthologies and this one focuses on LGBT indigenous scifi/fantasy. I know many people who would want to read that.

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Love from A to Z

Love from A to Z by S.K. Ali

Author: S.K. Ali
Released: May 7, 2019 by Salaam Reads / Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers
Genre: ,

marvel: something you find amazing. Even ordinary-amazing. Like potatoes—because they make French fries happen. Like the perfect fries Adam and his mom used to make together.

An oddity: whatever gives you pause. Like the fact that there are hateful people in the world. Like Zayneb’s teacher, who won’t stop reminding the class how “bad” Muslims are.

But Zayneb, the only Muslim in class, isn’t bad. She’s angry.

When she gets suspended for confronting her teacher, and he begins investigating her activist friends, Zayneb heads to her aunt’s house in Doha, Qatar, for an early start to spring break.

Fueled by the guilt of getting her friends in trouble, she resolves to try out a newer, “nicer” version of herself in a place where no one knows her.

Then her path crosses with Adam’s.

Since he got diagnosed with multiple sclerosis in November, Adam’s stopped going to classes, intent, instead, on perfecting the making of things. Intent on keeping the memory of his mom alive for his little sister.

Adam’s also intent on keeping his diagnosis a secret from his grieving father.

Alone, Adam and Zayneb are playing roles for others, keeping their real thoughts locked away in their journals.

Until a marvel and an oddity occurs…

Marvel: Adam and Zayneb meeting.

Oddity: Adam and Zayneb meeting.

Source: Excerpt on Bustle

This book is probably going to rip my heart out and I’m so ready for it.

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sholio: Peggy Carter smiling (Avengers-Peggy smile)
[personal profile] sholio
Agent Carter Valentines and Chocolate Box both released this week and I lucked out. MY GIFTS ARE AMAZING.

If This Room Was Burning by [archiveofourown.org profile] glorious_spoon (Agent Carter, 10K, Peggy/Jack/Daniel)
Peggy, Daniel, and Jack are retrieving canisters containing another one of Howard's stolen experiments when they get trapped in a cave in, and one of the canisters is breached. Problem is, Howard was a little less than forthcoming about what exactly was in them...

Absolutely wonderful pollen P/J/D get-together fic (minus any actual sex, it's more like h/c pollen) with hurt/comforty dubcon cuddling!! This COULD NOT POSSIBLY be more relevant to my interests.

true north by anonymous (Agent Carter, 10K, Peggy/Jack/Daniel)
Jack's a suspicious soul at heart. He doesn't trust anyone, least of all himself.

Yes, I got TWO long P/D/J get-together stories, and both of them are delightful: well written and plotty and wonderfully characterized and idtastic. This one is incredibly hurt/comforty with Jack being tortured literally and emotionally, and ALSO about as relevant to my interests as it is possible to get. ♥

Look After You by anonymous (Punisher, 3500 wds, Leo & Frank gen)
Leo knows only two people who got their wisdom teeth out before her, and Mom said no way did it hurt as much as everyone tells you it will, and Dad said no, it really didn’t, but, uh, he wasn’t chewing anything harder than mashed potatoes for almost three weeks afterward.

This is SO GOOD, perfectly bittersweet and richly characterized and full of subtle, well-chosen details. Leo's narrative voice is fantastic.

Post by anonymous (Banshee, 300 wds, Carrie Hopewell + ensemble)
She has no reason to think he’ll receive any mail she sends to the PO Box scrawled across the back of the otherwise-blank postcard from Truth or Consequences, NM. No reason to expect that, even if he is living in the desert and checking his mail, he has any interest in pictures from the Banshee Elementary Penny Carnival.

I GOT A BANSHEE FIC! This was so delightful and unexpected, and it's a glorious little gem of post-canon perfection, beautifully capturing the fabric of life in Banshee and Carrie's place in it.

I loved every single one of these. I just want to cuddle them and enjoy them. Everyone else should read them too. ♥_____♥

Friday gratitude

Feb. 15th, 2019 09:26 pm
cofax7: Indiana Jones in sepia (IJ - Indy Sepia)
[personal profile] cofax7
1. Free Solo, which is an awesome documentary about someone who should know better, and the people around him, who are simultaneously supportive and terrified. And his girlfriend is ridiculously pretty. So good: I hope it wins the Oscar.

2. Season 2 of The Dragon Prince dropped last night, and I'm already 4 episodes in.

3. Co-workers sent me a Harry & David box of fruit and nuts this week, which was awesome.

4. I'm going to Ireland in June! Pray for good weather.

5. I have a pot of Mark Bittman's vegetable cassoulet on the stove.

Signal Boost: Modern Howlies

Feb. 15th, 2019 09:00 pm
potofsoup: (Default)
[personal profile] potofsoup
[tumblr.com profile] ladytodd posted: Modern Howlies
ninety something year old howlies chasing Bucky across Europe and despite his winter soldier training managing to keep getting the drop on him.

Trying out the fancy reblog Signal Boost bookmarklet from [personal profile] lj_writes! https://lj-writes.dreamwidth.org/2019/02/14/bookmarklet-fork.html

It retains usernames from other sites -- at least, the username from whom you're reblogging from, which is usually not the OP, who I think should get proper attribution.
[syndicated profile] captainawkward_feed

Posted by JenniferP

Dear Captain:

I (she/her) have been with my partner (he/him) for a few years now, we live together, everything is fine and dandy, except for one thing. We’re both in our 30s, and recently the topic of engagement and marriage has come up. I’d really like to eventually, and he really doesn’t. Our relationship is good, and I know nothing would really change in the practical sense if marriage was a thing that would happen, but even so I can’t help feeling sad about marriage being off the table.

When there is marriage-related things on tv or I walk past a jewelry store I get weepy and sad now and feel like I’m not good enough for my partner, even though logically I know that’s not actually true. Sometimes friends or family ask when/if we’re getting married, and I don’t know how to respond since I don’t want to sound like I’m just throwing my partner under the bus by saying “I want to but he doesn’t so ask him about it”. My parents are getting on a bit in years so even if my partner would change his mind some years down the road, them not being there for it is a real possibility.

Obviously some of it is cultural/gender specific (old unmarried spinster=bad, etc), but on the other hand, being “chosen” by somebody, having that promise to stick with each other and having a ring to symbolize that is important to me, as well as doing the ceremony part (even if it is small) in front of other people to make it “official”, and I don’t know how to let go of that. We’ve talked about why it’s important to me and my partner knows that I’m not happy about it, but that’s all. If they ever did propose, I’d want it to be because they truly want to, not because I somehow sadded them into doing it out of guilt or pity, so I’ve been trying to keep my feelings to myself as much as possible. At this point he might think that wedding-related stuff gives me the runs since I always have to go to the bathroom if anything related to it comes up on tv or whatever (but surprise, I’m not actually doing a poop, I’m doing a cry).

I’m a bit stuck on how to deal with my own feelings about the whole thing without feelings-dumping on my partner, I guess? I’m on the autism spectrum, so I try to be as conscious as I can about not saying something out of line, but I really don’t want to mess a good thing up by making a hen out of a feather. Any advice about how to manage my feelings/clueless askers in a mature way would be great, but if not, permission to be sad about something that feels like a silly issue is fine too.

Regards, Hapless and Ringless

Dear Hapless & Ringless

These “I want to be married and my partner doesn’t…is this just me being silly?” questions are accumulating of late.

I have an hour of free time and possibly a few more things to say about this, so, hi.

I have a lot of beefs with cultural narratives around marriage. Like, which is it, the pinnacle of achievement in a person’s life (especially if you are a straight woman), the sole legitimate goal of romantic attachment (especially for straight women), or a ridiculous, time-wasting, trivial obsession (that straight women focus on instead of more important matters)?

Let’s forget proposals, rings, parties, “being chosen”, fairy tales that end with a wedding for a moment. Let’s put aside religious traditions, also. Let’s even put feelings aside for right now.

You are in your thirties, living in a household with a fellow adult. That’s great. You’re viewing that arrangement as long-term and possibly permanent. Also great. You are making joint decisions about your future with this person – where you will live, where your money goes, where your time goes, where your attention goes. I don’t think it’s trivial to want to put some formal protections and expectations in place around making those decisions.

Marriage, as a legal institution, doesn’t guarantee that you’ll always get along, be happy together, or maintain positive feelings about each other. Marriage is a way of formalizing and legalizing family ties. It cements certain obligations and offers certain protections that – depending on where you live, and depending on who you love – cannot be easily acquired any other way.

Marriage, however it is practiced and administered where you are, legally clarifies pretty big questions that have far-reaching consequences, such as:

  • Who counts as family, legally speaking?
  • If you have children, who can make decisions about their custody and their welfare?
  • What happens if one of you dies? To your children, if any? To your property? To your creative work/copyrights (if any)?
  • What happens if one of you becomes ill or incapacitated? Who can make decisions about your care?
  • Would you even be allowed to have medical information or be allowed to visit each other if something happened to one of you?
  • How will retirement benefits, pensions, medical benefits, insurance benefits be distributed?

Do my fellow straight people understand what can happen when these protections are not available? Do you understand how quickly you could be erased from someone’s life by these “mere” formalities, if your partner’s feelings about you change someday, or if they get sick or die and the whims/prejudices/greed of their family of origin or the state decide that you don’t matter, that your relationship isn’t “real” enough?

If your partner says he doesn’t want to get married, okay, nobody can make him do that, let’s assume he has his reasons, people shouldn’t get married unless they really want to. If your partner says he plans to be with you long-term, and you believe him, is he willing to hire lawyers and work out the alternative legal paperwork that would spell out and protect both of you in case something awful happened in the future? Or does he expect you both to trust feelings with your money, your time, your potential kids, your future, your health, your end-of-life decisions, with everything you will ever own or do or make?

I think it’s absolutely normal, reasonable, and okay to want to marry someone as a condition of deciding to build your life with them. I think that if you want marriage badly and your partner does not, this is an area of deep incompatibility between you, and until this question is resolved to not only your not-secretly-crying-in-the-bathroom-anymore or even to your satisfaction but to your happiness, my honest suggestion would be to take your partner at his word. If you believe him when he says he doesn’t want to ever get married (and especially if he is not open to formalizing your relationship in other ways), how would it change what you’re willing to invest in the idea of a shared future with him? Would you want to stay? If you do decide to respect his reluctance and his reasons, and knowingly choose to invest under those conditions, I hope you will be happy and at peace with that someday. Time will tell. Your happiness will tell.

In the present, your UNhappiness will tell. Because, speaking of deep incompatibility, you’re crying in the bathroom because you don’t feel like you can allow yourself to feel your feelings about what you want from your life in front of the person you want to share that life with. That’s a problem.

I don’t have pointers for learning to be okay with less than what you really need and want from life, from your relationships. You want to be married. You want to be married to this specific person. You don’t have to apologize for, minimize, or hide that from me or him or your family or anyone. If your partner knew how very upset this makes you, would it change his mind? If your truthful, vulnerable feelings can “mess a good thing up” then was it that good?

P.S. For the “marriage isn’t a big deal, it’s just a piece of paper” crowd, my usual question is: If it’s not a big deal to you, and it is a big deal to your partner, why not go through with this “trivial,” “silly,” “meaningless” “piece of paper” to make the person you love happy? Why is the person who thinks it’s important the one who has to compromise?

In the sputtering that follows, usually what we discover is that it IS a pretty fucking big deal (and that’s why they don’t want to do it).

P.P.S. I said this on Twitter, it’s probably worth sharing here: On most days, the difference between being married to Mr. Awkward and living with Mr. Awkward is unnoticeable, in a good way. Our conversations are the same. Our domestic arrangements are the same. On a few days, the question “Are you a family member?” and the answer “Yes, I’m his wife” has really, REALLY, reallyreallyreallyreallyreally mattered. It has made doors that are locked against other people open for me. It has allowed me to advocate for him, to know immediately what is happening with him, to take care of him, to deal with paperwork and money and bureaucracy on his behalf. (All is well now, thanks to all who sent encouragement last fall). I’m about to have some pretty minor surgery (BEGONE, GIANT UTERINE FIBROID!!!!!) and it will be his turn to take care of me. I wish marriage were available for all people who want it, I wish there were more accepted/less expensive and complicated ways to codify this stuff, but this is why I feel so strongly about your situation, Letter Writer. ❤








sineala: The Enterprise (Star Trek: TOS) flying into the clouds (enterprise)
[personal profile] sineala

Spoilers )

Day #060

Feb. 15th, 2019 09:29 am

Lit Wicks: Jill Shalvis

Feb. 15th, 2019 09:00 am
[syndicated profile] smartbitches_feed

Posted by Amanda

Welcome to Lit Wicks! This is where we pair an author’s backlist with candles to really immerse yourself in the reading experience. All of the candles featured in these post are from Etsy, which means there is often worldwide shipping and that you’re supporting independent crafters and sellers. The Etsy candle rabbit hole is one I have gone down many times.

This month, I decided to go with Jill Shalvis’ books as inspiration. There are a lot of books to pull from and we’ve featured her titles in Lit Wicks: Outdoorsy Heroes and Lit Wicks: Recommended Holiday Romances. What I like about her series is they do a great job creating a sense of place in a cozy, safe, and welcoming way.

If you’re curious about what other authors have received the Lit Wicks treatment, check out our category page. And if you’d like to suggest an author’s backlist for a future Lit Wicks column, please email me!

All I Want
A | BN | K | AB
Animal Magnetism series: The covers in this series have a common thread: animals. Obviously. Many of them have adorable dogs, though I believe one has a cute kitten.

I’m sure none of you want a candle that smells like a wet dog, but how about puppy breath?

And if you tell me puppy breath isn’t a thing (a good thing!) I’m going to have to ask you to leave, go round up some puppies, boop their snoots, and smell their breath.

Candle: Lake Life Company — Pug Life™: Puppy Breath 12oz. ($18)

A candle in a white glass jar with a cute pug puppy sniffing it.

Now this one doesn’t really smell like puppy breath, but it has a sweet vanilla scent.

Candle: Hello You Candles — Blue Sky 9oz. ($23)

A candle with a minimalist white and black label on a ash wood table

This particular candle is inspired by All I Want in this series because I remember Elyse being excited by the pilot heroine. This is a fresh scent with notes of salty air and musk. The shop also has several customization options, if you’re giving this one as a gift.

My Kind of Wonderful
A | BN | K | AB
Cedar Ridge series: Taking place in Colorado, this series does a great job projecting what you’re getting into based on the cover.

There’s a dude with climbing gear and mountains in the background for Second Chance Summer. Then, some snowy slopes and a guy carrying skis for My Kind of Wonderful.

Seasonal themes with outdoorsy men. I’m here for it.

Candle: Rainy Day Candle Studio — Rocky Mountain High 8oz. ($15)

A candle in a glass jar with a gold metal lid against a slate gray background.

I know it doesn’t matter in the grand scheme of things, but I love the label and the pop of green in the text. I’m a sucker for aesthetics.

The scent of this one seems very “green” as it has hints of pine needs, cedar wood, and moss.

Candle: Vintage Created — Ski Lodge 9oz. ($9.99)

A white candle in a glass jar atop a tree stump. A stocking is hanging in the background and two cinnamon sticks are placed nearby.

I have to admit something, I’ve never stepped food in a ski lodge, but I am obsessed with ski lodge and winter lodge related candles. My dream is to one day go to a ski resort and soak in a jacuzzi, surrounded by the snow and mountains.

Sweet Little Lies
A | BN | K | AB
Heartbreaker Bay series: Most, if not all, of the Heartbreaker Bay books are set in San Francisco, but please correct me if I’m wrong. Hot Winter Nights might be set elsewhere, given the snowy cabin on the cover.

The books also always feature couples looking pretty adorable.

This means that my inspiration comes from an overall cuteness and San Fran.

Candle: NESW Wax Co. — San Francisco 8oz. ($14)

A white candle in a glass jar resting on a stone ledge. The lid is black with a teal label.

The description of this candle talks about how the rain in San Francisco really brings out the scent of flowers. If you like floral smells, this might be for you with its hints of jasmine, lily, and white grapefruit. The shop also has a lot of place-themed candles in case you’d rather get one inspired by your hometown or state.

Candle: The Cheeky Nose — Be My Valentine 9oz. ($16)

A bright pink candle in a glass jar with a raspberry colored label

I wanted a “sweet” candle for this series because of all the embracing, smiling couples on the covers. As the label says, this candle has notes of sweet cream, white chocolate, and berries. Even though I’m not a huge white chocolate fan, this one sounds delicious.

Do you have a favorite Jill Shalvis book? Which scents would you pair with it? Let us know in the comments below!

[syndicated profile] smartbitches_feed

Posted by SB Sarah

Today I’m chatting with New York Times bestselling author Rachel Hawkins about All The Things. You might know her name from the Hex Hall series, the Rebel Belle series, or the Royals series, or maybe you were as excited as Elyse and Carrie when she announced her next project would be rewriting Jane Eyre as a Southern Gothic feminist rage story. Either way, we have a LOT to talk about.

We discuss several different facets of her work, including:

  • Inventing boarding schools and adding random dudes to the background
  • Peacing out after a bad breakup – all the way across an ocean
  • How she handles having So Many ideas for books

And of course, we talk about her Twitter threads of Sexy History, what’s coming next, and how she develops them. Plus what she’s reading and recommending.

Listen to the podcast →
Read the transcript →

Here are the books we discuss in this podcast:

You can find Rachel Hawkins on:

And you can find her threads of #SexyHistory on Twitter as well.

We also discussed:

If you like the podcast, you can subscribe to our feed, or find us at iTunes. You can also find us on Stitcher, and Spotify, too. We also have a cool page for the podcast on iTunes.

Thanks to our sponsors:

More ways to sponsor:

Sponsor us through Patreon! (What is Patreon?)

What did you think of today's episode? Got ideas? Suggestions? You can talk to us on the blog entries for the podcast or talk to us on Facebook if that's where you hang out online. You can email us at sbjpodcast@gmail.com or you can call and leave us a message at our Google voice number: 201-371-3272. Please don't forget to give us a name and where you're calling from so we can work your message into an upcoming podcast.

Thanks for listening!

This Episode's Music

Blackhouse by Peatbog FairiesOur music is provided by Sassy Outwater each week. This is the Peatbog Faeries album Blackhouse.

This is “Strictly Sambuca.”

You can find The Peatbog Faeries and all their albums at Amazon, at iTunes, or wherever you like to buy your fine music.

Podcast Sponsor

Heaving Bosoms Podcast

Happy Galentine’s Week from today’s sponsor, Heaving Bosoms: A Romance Novel Podcast.

Each week, two long distance best friends – Erin and Melody – do deep-dive recaps of a different romance novel. If you love fangirling about your latest read with your best girlfriends, you’ll love listening to Erin and Melody break down their favorite, and occasionally not so favorite, romance novels. Each episode comes with a heaping dose of unconditional friendship, sex and pleasure positivity, open-hearted feminism, and hilarious tangents.

From Tessa Dare to Sally Thorne to Chuck Tingle, Erin and Mel are tackling every kind of smooching book they can find, and they’re always taking suggestions!

We recommend starting with two favorite episodes, Episode 41, The Kiss Quotient by Helen Hoang, or Episode 39, Mastered by Her Mates by Grace Goodwin. Just don’t listen around the kids because, like your favorite books, these two can get a little . . . explicit.

You can find Heaving Bosoms on their website, on Apple Podcasts, on Stitcher, or wherever you get your podcasts!

They’re the perfect Galentine’s Week treat.

Transcript Sponsor

Summoned to Thirteenth Grave

Today’s podcast transcript is sponsored by Summoned to Thirteenth Grave by Darynda Jones. If you like JR Ward or Jeaniene Frost, you’ll love this paranormal romp that tickles not only the funny bone but other parts a little farther down as well.

Charley Davidson, Grim Reaper Extraordinaire, is back after a century of exile. She is hurt. She is angry. And she is out for revenge.

But a century on one plane isn’t quite the same as it is on others, and she comes back to find a furious husband (who can still melt the polar ice caps with a single glance), a world in chaos, and an expanding hell dimension that is taking over our own plane of existence. She has three days to stop an apocalypse (that she may have accidentally started) and to soothe the savage beast that is her blisteringly hot soulmate.

Don’t miss the last book in the series that RT Book Reviews calls “…wickedly funny with true chilling danger…”

Summoned to Thirteenth Grave by Darynda Jones is on sale now wherever books are sold. Find out more at daryndajones.com.

Remember to subscribe to our podcast feed, find us on iTunes or on Stitcher.
[syndicated profile] captainawkward_feed

Posted by JenniferP

It’s time to answer the things people typed into search engines as if they are questions.

Here is a seasonal jam by The Avett Brothers:

Lyrics are here.

1 “I can’t stand going to my friend’s house because she smokes inside.”

Legit! I have a very hard time with smoke (asthma trigger), the same way cat-allergic friends have a hard time hanging out in the kitten palace. Sometimes it’s possible to hang out for a little while at my lovely smoker-friends’ places with the aid of my inhaler (used both pre-emptively and refreshed periodically), sometimes it’s not. Sometimes my friends can hang out at my place for a little while with the help of Zyrtec, sometimes they can’t, and/or we need to cut the visit short. Nobody holds it against anyone (we all get to set our own risk tolerance, especially when it comes to breathing, and we all get to make our homes primarily serve ourselves). It’s okay to invite the friend out and generally try to meet in places other than her home.

2 “My sister has changed so much I don’t even know her anymore.”

What if you could let go of who she used to be, or how you imagined she was?

Pretend you just met her. Look at her like a friendly stranger might, someone without any baggage or history where she’s concerned. Try to spend some enjoyable time with her, find out what she’s interested in now, find out what you might have in common now.

Look for reasons to enjoy her company, be proud of her, look for things to be curious about and praise. If she’s unkind to you, or just an asshole, that’s different, obviously, but what if you started from a place of kindness and curiosity?

Sometimes I wish we could all do this with all of our family members.

3 “Tidying Up hard to understand her accent


As someone who has studied multiple languages and taught ESL to kids and adults, I have recommendations, though I should say up front that these suggestions require the ability to see the screen and read and I’m not sure what to recommend for people with visual impairments.

If you want to watch a TV show and you have trouble parsing the performer’s accent, try this:

  1.  Turn on the captions/subtitles.
  2. Remove other distractions (don’t try to watch it in the background while you keep one eye on your phone or sorting your mail or whatever). You’re going to have to pay closer attention.
  3. Get used to the idea that you might not catch absolutely every nuance the first time. You can rewind if necessary, rewatch if necessary.
  4. Stick with it for a few episodes. It’s very likely that it will get easier the more you listen and watch. You’ll pick up the cadences of speech better, and you’ll have more context clues, you’ll get to know the performers/presenters body language/facial expressions over time.

If you try that and it doesn’t get easier, maybe the show is not for you. Try the book instead, or find something else to watch.

Moderation Note:  Kindly refrain from cluttering the comments section with complaints/criticisms/feelings/arguments/jokes/incl. compliments! about Marie Kondo, her show, her book, her approach, literally anything about her. I find the intense discourse around her exhausting at best and racist at worst, and I will delete all of it (even nice things)(even jokes that are clever variations about whether something sparks joy). I like you an awful lot, let’s keep it that way.

4 “Can’t wear anything too “fancy” or my boyfriend gets mad


I have an idea, let’s look at pretty outfits and imagine what we might wear to a “I dumped that controlling jerkass” party.

Maybe something from the Vivienne Westwood ’94 collection? 

Or the recent Golden Globes?

5 “Flowers on dick.” 

Scroll down to #18 for all your funeral-arrangements-for-enemies needs.

6 “sexual favors”and “free rent” “massachusetts”

Well that’s wicked specific.

7 “My boyfriend expects me to eat from his squalid kitchen


Well, what happens when you say “I’m not comfortable with that?” 

I meant to add this to the “red flags & compatibility when meeting new people to date” discussion at the end of this post last week but I forgot, so I’ll add it here:

Visit each other’s living spaces  – after you feel safe/comfortable being alone with someone before you commit to an ongoing relationship. Are you comfortable there? Do you feel welcome? Can you relax? Is what you see (smell/feel) congruent with the person you’re getting to know and what you want?

“This person’s living space upsets me” vs. “What if they can’t help it?” is a well-covered discussion topic on the site. I am not interested in judging people, blaming people, diagnosing people, excusing people, shaming people, setting these conflicts up as moral contests. I am interested in giving everyone permission to factor how a current or potential partner keeps their living space into decisions about comfort and compatibility.

Back in grad school I made a short film about a laundry pile achieving sentience. It wasn’t a documentary due to biological impossibility…for now…but let’s just say my real-life hamper did all its own stunts. By contrast, my dad, the world’s tidiest man, can sense when you are close to finishing a soda. He hovers while you take your last swallow, pounces before you can put the can down on any surface, rinses it to restore factory settings, and ferries it gently to its rightful place in the garage, where his complex recycling system made up of 12 distinct bins and barrels awaits. He is an extremely good match for my mom, who prefers to maintain all surfaces in a state of surgical sterility.

A date who preferred my parents’ “we keep the correct vacuum cleaner for each room in a closet in that room” lifestyle would have looked at my MFA in chore avoidance and thought: “Nope! We would make each other miserable!” This is fine! We would! I would gross him out, he would remind me of my dad and send my shoulders up around my ears!

Maybe the boyfriend in the search string will clean his kitchen. Maybe he’ll get dumped ’cause he won’t. Maybe he’ll be the one who breaks up because the querent made him feel judged and uncomfortable. Maybe they’ll decide to live happily ever after on takeout and prepackaged things. Fine! This is all fine!

In no universe will I ever recommend anything resembling “Since some people struggle with housekeeping, love probably means swallowing your discomfort along with whatever they cooked, no matter how unsanitary you find it.” Serious incompatibility around housekeeping stuff is a recipe for intense stress and conflict, you’re allowed to have preferences, needs, and choose a lower difficulty setting for yourself and your relationships.

8 “Why does my boyfriend treats his daughter like his wife.”

He creepy?

9 “Niece hates me for no reason.”

She has a reason. It may not be a good reason, it may not be a reason you’ll ever get to the bottom of, but it exists even if it’s only her opinion.

When I sense someone doesn’t like me, and I can’t think of a plausible reason for the conflict,  and “Hey, have I done something to upset you?” doesn’t work (either b/c I asked and didn’t get a good answer or I don’t feel comfortable enough to even ask), I try to give the person a lot of space, be polite and keep it light when I do have to interact, and see if time either mellows the situation or gives me more information.

10 “BF’s ex-girlfriend warns me about him how do I respond


Do you actually need to respond? Do you need to respond to her?

In your shoes, I might say something very non-committal to her, like, “thanks for telling me, I’ll think about it.” It’s such an unusual thing to do that (in my opinion) it’s probably worth thinking about for a few days before you either act on it or disregard it.

What’s the worst thing that could happen if you do nothing about what she said? (Don’t respond, don’t address it with your boyfriend, brush it off).

What’s the substance of the warning? Is she trying to warn you about abuse? Have you noticed any red flags?

What’s in this for her? What reason would she have to lie? Like, is she trying to get you to break up with the boyfriend so she can be with him again, or to create trouble for him? Or is she trying to warn you to GTFO for your own safety?

Your answers to those questions will most likely point you in the right direction.

11 “Housemate comments on everything I do.”

I’m sure I wrote some more emotionally mature and useful responses and you should probably go read those and try those suggestions.

Right now what comes to mind is:”What are you, the narrator?”

12 “What does it mean when someone reacts to a minor little comment that bothers them with a barrage of made up hurtful things to hurt the other person?


Nothing good! Consider how much time you want to spend with someone who does this (if any).

13 “I feel like I am a burden on my therapist


This is probably worth mentioning to your therapist. Consider also that your therapist gets paid for the time they spend with you, most therapists have some choices about who they take on as a client, and you’re just one of many clients they see. It is unlikely they are thinking about you (as a burden or otherwise) as much as you think about them.

14 “How often to go to someones house.”

I love literally any excuse to make a chart.

Screen Shot 2019-02-14 at 5.52.01 PM

A Venn Diagram that shows the intersection of being invited to someone’s house and actually wanting to go to their house. Maybe you’ll need Zyrtec.


Happy Valentine’s Day to those who celebrate, happy “day before half price candy” for those who don’t. Be excellent to yourselves and each other.


Feb. 14th, 2019 08:55 pm
kass: kitten face (Default)
[personal profile] kass
1. Today at lunch I tried cooking up some collard greens with olive oil and preserved lemon and red pepper flakes and a splash of vinho verde, and they were awesome.

2. My kid made me a card containing two whole sheets of stickers. Puppies with hearts. Kittens with hearts. Hearts with hearts. ♥

3. I got to see [personal profile] lomedet today (on my computer) and do some learning, and that was super-lovely and good for me.

4. I'm getting into a rhythm now -- I set out the bread flour and the sugar and my bread bowl on Thursday night, and Friday morning after I feed cat and boy I start my challah dough -- and this makes me happy.

5. Laundry is spinning and I am in cozy PJs sipping rosé, huzzah.

How are y'all?


dira: Bucky Barnes/The Winter Soldier (Default)
Dira Sudis

February 2019



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