[hxx] [story] Squirrel-Fishing

Jun. 22nd, 2017 08:29 pm
yhlee: fox with nine tails with eyes (hxx emblem Shuos)
[personal profile] yhlee
For A.B.
Prompt: "Shuos pranks."

with apologies to the black squirrels of Stanford University campus

Jedao and Ruo had set up shop at the edge of one of the campus gardens, the one with the carp pond and the carefully maintained trees. Rumor had it that some of the carp were, in addition to being over a hundred years old, outfitted with surveillance gear. Like most Shuos cadets, Jedao and Ruo would, if questioned, laugh off the rumors while secretly believing in them wholeheartedly--at least the bit about surveillance gear. Jedao had argued that the best place to hide what they were doing was in plain sight. After all, who would be so daft as to run a prank right next to surveillance?

"Lovely day, isn't it?" Ruo said brightly.

Jedao winced. "Not so loud," he said. His head was still pounding after last night's excesses, and the sunlight wasn't helping. Why did he keep letting Ruo talk him into things? It wasn't just that Ruo was really good in bed. He had this way of making incredibly risky things sound fun. Going out drinking? In itself, not that bad. Playing a drinking game with unlabeled bottles of possibly-alcohol-possibly-something-else stolen from Security's hoard of contraband? Risky. Some of those hallucinations had been to die for, though, especially when he started seeing giant robots in the shape of geese.

Fortunately, this latest idea wasn't that risky. Probably. Besides, of the many things that the other cadets had accused Jedao of, low risk tolerance wasn't one of them.

"Not my fault you can't hold your drink," Ruo said, even more brightly.

"I'm going to get you one of these days," Jedao muttered.

Ruo's grin flashed in his dark brown face. "More like you'll lose the latest bet and--" He started describing what he'd do to Jedao in ear-burning detail.

At last one of the other first-years, puzzled by what Jedao and Ruo were doing by the carp pond with a pair of fishing poles, approached. Jedao recognized them: Meurran, who was good at fixing guns despite their terrible aim, and who had a glorious head of wildly curling hair. "Security's not going to approve of you poaching the carp," Meurran said.

"Oh, this isn't for the carp," Ruo said. He flicked his fishing pole, and the line with its enticing nut snaked out toward one of the trees.

Meurran gave Ruo a funny look. "Ruo," they said, "the fish are in the opposite direction."

"Please," Jedao said, "who cares about the fish? No one has anything to fear from the fish. That's just nonsense."

"All right," Meurran said, sounding distinctly unimpressed, "then what?"

Come on, Jedao thought, the nut is right there...

As if on cue, a black squirrel darted down from the tree, then made for the nut.

Ruo tugged the nut just out of reach.

The black squirrel looked around, then headed for the nut again.

"Oh, isn't that adorable?" Meurran said.

"Don't be fooled!" Ruo said as he guided the squirrel in a figure-eight through the grass. "Why would the commandant be so stupid as to rely on carp, which can't even leave their pond?"

Meurran glanced involuntarily at the pond, where two enormous carp were lazily circling near the surface, as if the carp, in fact, had a habit of oozing out onto the land and spying on lazy cadets. "You're saying the squirrels--?"

Ruo continued to cause the squirrel to chase after the nut. "It makes sense, doesn't it? Everyone thinks the black squirrels are the cutest. They're even featured in the recruitment literature. Damnably clever piece of social engineering if you ask me."

Meurran was starting to look persuaded in spite of themselves.

Meanwhile, as Ruo made his case, Jedao leaned back and studied the squirrel with a frown. The local population of black squirrels was mostly tame to begin with and had proven to be easy to train with the aid of treats. (Ruo had made Jedao do most of this, "because you're the farm boy.") But while Ruo and Meurran argued about squirrel population dynamics, Jedao caught a slight flash from behind the squirrel's eyes--almost like that of a camera?

He opened his mouth to interrupt.

The squirrel made an odd convulsing motion, and the light flashed again, this time directly into Jedao's eyes.

Jedao closed his mouth, and kept his thoughts to himself.

fountain pens!

Jun. 22nd, 2017 03:38 pm
yhlee: wax seal (hxx Deuce of Gears)
[personal profile] yhlee
I did an essay for Tor.com, The Beauty of Physical Writing, on fountain pens! There's a photo of some of my fountain pens over there.

From left to right, for the curious: Waterman 52V, Webster Four-Star, Scriptorium Pens Master Scrivener in Red Stardust, Conway Stewart Churchill in Red Stardust, Aurora 75th Anniversary, Nakaya Naka-ai in aka-tamenuri, Wahl-Eversharp Doric in Kashmir with #3 adjustable nib, and Pilot Vanishing Point Twilight.

Meanwhile, I swear I am writing flash fic right now. This caffeine is taking an unholy amount of time to kick in...
rydra_wong: Lee Miller photo showing two women wearing metal fire masks in England during WWII. (Default)
[personal profile] rydra_wong
The Guardian: Millions of mysterious 'sea pickles' swamp US west coast

“One of the things we are figuring out is have these guys been off the coast and we haven’t seen them? Are they moving inshore for a different reason?” said Sorensen.

YES AND I THINK WE KNOW WHAT THAT IS. Let me know when they reach Washington.

They're known as the "unicorn of the sea", apparently, so should clearly be claimed as a symbolic animal by you (glowing) asexual people out there.

yes I know it's not the same kind of asexual okay

ETA: Wikipedia just provided me with this beautiful quote:

"I have just watched the moon set in all her glory, and looked at those lesser moons, the beautiful Pyrosoma, shining like white-hot cylinders in the water" (T.H. Huxley, 1849).

(no subject)

Jun. 22nd, 2017 12:41 am
jhameia: ME! (Default)
[personal profile] jhameia
Have stayed at completely different places in the last three days: Corral Creek Cabins was in the mountains right by Kern River, then Sequoia Riverfront Cabins was a weird place which WAS right by a river, not across the road from one, and its front desk was a general store about a mile away, and now in a beachfront resort in San Simeon. My brother has been driving us a lot. We've been radio-surfing a lot.

Tomorrow we'll head to Santa Cruz, and hit up Monterey on the way, and after a couple of nights in Santa Cruz, we'll go to San Francisco.

I'm really liking the beachfront place. The front office gave us two rooms, one with a view of the ocean downstairs, and one upstairs with a fireplace. And I snagged the downstairs immediately because I wanted to work at a desk with a view of the sea. It's not been working, of course, because I spent most of the evening texting with A instead of working. But hope spring eternal?? We don't have to check out until noon anyway.

Beauty Queens, Discussion Post 1

Jun. 21st, 2017 05:54 pm
soc_puppet: [Homestuck] God tier "Doom" themed Dreamsheep (DOOOOOOOM)
[personal profile] soc_puppet
I ended up listening to more on the way to work today (after literal weeks of avoiding it), and I just.

I gotta talk about this book, okay. It is a trainwreck, and if I don't start talking about it, all of my thoughts are going to explode.

So, here are a bunch of spoilers )

Anyway, I'm currently planning to finish the book, if only for the I Can't Look Away factor, but yeah. Definitely a trainwreck. "Lord of the Flies But With Beauty Queens and a Trans Girl" is very much not the description I would use.

It's also something I would consider for a deconstruction, actually, together with Cinder. I may have to give that idea some more thought.

an IMPORTANT question

Jun. 21st, 2017 04:04 pm
yhlee: rose in a hexagon (hxx emblem Andan)
[personal profile] yhlee
Poll #18516 trying to cheer myself up from rain/flood watch/tornado watch/tropical storm
Open to: Registered Users, detailed results viewable to: All, participants: 33


If I were to attempt CHEESECAKE [0] pinup art of a hexarchate character for lulz, it should be

View Answers

Nirai Kujen
16 (48.5%)

Shuos Jedao
16 (48.5%)

Kel Cheris [1]
6 (18.2%)

Andan Tseya
3 (9.1%)

Shuos Khiaz
1 (3.0%)

someone else I will name in comments
1 (3.0%)

ticky the EXTREMELY DISAPPROVING tocky
2 (6.1%)



[0] May or may not feature CHEESY partial nudity.

[1] The incomparable [personal profile] telophase once did me a sketch of blonde, busty Cheris with her space ferret because I kept joking that I would get a cover featuring blonde, busty Cheris with her space ferret. (Hexarchate AU...?!)

(In real life, I'm working on an art assignment...ahahahahaha.)

(Dear Louisiana: PLEASE STOP RAINING. At least it isn't downpouring enough that I feel that I have to pack for emergency evacuation, it's just raining drearily, but...)

CORRECT ACTION

Jun. 21st, 2017 08:18 pm
rydra_wong: Fragment of a Tube map, with stations renamed Piero della Francesca, Harpo, Socrates and Seneca. (walking -- the great bear)
[personal profile] rydra_wong
The Guardian: Grenfell Tower families to be rehoused in flats at luxury complex

This doesn't cover all the displaced families. And the flats are part of the "affordable" quota developers are frequently required to build along with the luxury flats, with the usual segregation (not being allowed access to the swimming pool etc. -- in quite a few instances, developers have created buildings where the people in the "affordable" flats have a separate entrance to the building ...), so it's a lot less "luxury" than the headline implies.

And they're being bought by the Corporation of London (as opposed to paid for out of RBKC's £274 million reserves?).

Still, it's a start.

(no subject)

Jun. 21st, 2017 10:34 am
bridgetmkennitt: (Default)
[personal profile] bridgetmkennitt
I started watching Wynonna Earp during breaks at work and I love it. I didn't realize the show was basically Jessica Jones in a supernatural Western with sister and I am on board. I'm telling myself to not watch episodes when I'm at home, only when I'm out and about on breaks so I have something to watch, but it's hard. I think I'm episode 4 now? Yay for downloading from Netflix.

Not Prime Time has two more pinch hits for claiming.

I think I'm finished with my Wonder Woman femslash fic. I'm setting it aside to see if that's where I want to end or if I want to keep going with another scene. Now I'm looking at treats to write for Not Prime Time because I should be able to have time.

Fads of youth

Jun. 21st, 2017 09:25 am
badgerbag: (Default)
[personal profile] badgerbag
I was thinking last night of fads. In the 70s I had an official "Pet Rock" which I loved. The manual on care and training of Pet Rocks was very amusingly written (at least to my 7 year old mind). Pet Rocks were particularly great at learning to "stay" and "play dead". It came in a little carton full of straw with the manual and I think, a leash.

My dad was a good model for how to gently enjoy human absurdity and I remember him being super entertained by the pet rock and playing along with it super well.

reading wednesday

Jun. 21st, 2017 07:37 am
thistleingrey: (Default)
[personal profile] thistleingrey
I have read, a bit: Lee's Ninefox Gambit (edged past midpoint), the very opening of Cleeves's White Nights, most of a cookbook. There is one book post, but it ought to wait till after the post for Gambit, which was begun first. Less fog than two weeks ago.

Current reading: two of those aren't finished, and I'd like to clear enough fog to finish them. I do not like this thing whereby my mind slides off reading with each retry.

aww

Jun. 20th, 2017 01:50 pm
glass_icarus: (hp: sbp squishy)
[personal profile] glass_icarus
Last night in my browsing for Poirot videos, I ended up finding and watching David Suchet's documentary on Being Poirot instead. :D It's actually quite warm-and-fuzzies inducing, if a bit spoilery on various plot points for various stories. David Suchet talks about figuring out Poirot's character, method acting, sets, his other film references, Agatha Christie herself, international audiences, etc. If you're an Agatha Christie fan and haven't already seen it, I think it's quite worth it!

Oh, my heart (again)

Jun. 20th, 2017 05:28 pm
rydra_wong: the illuminated Sarajevo haggadah (sarajevo haggadah)
[personal profile] rydra_wong
Hundreds of Londoners showed up yesterday evening to hand roses to worshippers at the Finsbury Park mosque as they went in to pray:

https://www.facebook.com/jocoxmoreincommon/videos/408448636222639/
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-40343485

quick rec

Jun. 19th, 2017 06:19 pm
yhlee: (SKU: Anthy/Utena (credit: sher))
[personal profile] yhlee
Kat Howard's "The Key to St. Medusa's" [Lightspeed Magazine] is a gorgeous story about witches, and found family, and the hope at the heart of a fairytale:
My parents knew I was a witch before I was born. The signs were there, they told me. They were unmistakable.

Well. Not all of the signs, or they never would have kept me as long as they did. But enough: My mother’s hair, previously sedate and well-mannered, turned curly and wild during her pregnancy, sometimes even grabbing forks from other people’s hands at meals. Clocks ran backward when she went near them, and thirteen grey cats took up residence in our front yard for the last month before I was born.

Also, I was born on a Tuesday.

I loved this from beginning to end. It's a pretty fast read (under 4,000 words), in lucid candle-language. Give it a try.

[Note to the pedantic: my "books" tag is for stories as well because I am lazy and bad at tagging.]

RAVEN STRATAGEM open thread

Jun. 19th, 2017 05:27 pm
yhlee: two voidmoths at war (hxx Raven Stratagem)
[personal profile] yhlee
Since it seems that some people have finished the book.

Ask questions! Discuss! Complain!

Expect there to be spoilers in comments.
yhlee: wax seal (hxx Deuce of Gears)
[personal profile] yhlee
anything so long as I don't have to keep typing "all units banner the Deuce of Gears"

Poll #18510 Hexarchate Stories
Open to: Registered Users, detailed results viewable to: All, participants: 32


I am most interested in the following possible new stories in a hexarchate short collection

View Answers

Jedao backstory when he was growing up with his family
9 (28.1%)

what happened to Jedao's sister Nidana after Hellspin
20 (62.5%)

Jedao backstory when he was serving with the Kel
15 (46.9%)

what happens to Cheris after everything, with bonus math pedagogy
24 (75.0%)

how Kel Ragath got Up to Things
6 (18.8%)

gay romance on the Citadel of Eyes ([redacted]/Niath) with bonus angst
9 (28.1%)

the misadventures of Andan Zhe Navo during her first military assignment
13 (40.6%)

the founding of the heptarchate feat. Liozh and Kel
8 (25.0%)

mini-gamebook about Jedao and his first anchor (actually, you're getting this regardless)
10 (31.2%)

Nirai Mahar's backstory
3 (9.4%)

follow-up on Tseya vs. Mikodez
6 (18.8%)

Moroish Nija's training
3 (9.4%)

Mikodez's rise to power, feat. Zehun
15 (46.9%)

ticky the talky tocky
7 (21.9%)

something else I will suggest in comments
0 (0.0%)



ETA: If it helps, the mini-gamebook will also feature snarky commentary from Mikodez and Zehun.

[hxx] [story] Birthdays

Jun. 19th, 2017 04:10 pm
yhlee: Sandman raven with eyeball (Sandman raven (credit: rilina))
[personal profile] yhlee
For JT.
Prompt: hexarchate, "birth dates."

When she was six, Cheris stopped receiving Mwennin birthday pastries.

For reasons that wouldn't become clear to her until much later, her parents had just moved out of the Mwennin ghetto in the City of Ravens Feasting and to a small house nearer the sea. Cheris missed their old home, even though it had been smaller, and she also missed the other Mwennin children who gathered in the streets to skip rope, or play tag, or chant the counting games that were so risky in the hexarchate. But the new house wasn't all bad. It had a garden, and Cheris liked to chase the dragonflies or pick flowers for her mother and father.

Her mother had impressed upon her that she had two birthdays. One of them was the ordinary birthday that all hexarchate citizens shared. Everyone (so her mother said) was a year old when they were born, for the time spent either in womb or crèche, and then they added another year each New Year. This way no one's birthday was singled out.

But the Mwennin did it differently. They had their own calendar, which Cheris had memorized. Most nights her mother made her go to bed early so that she wouldn't be too tired in the morning when she had school. But sometimes her mother let her stay up, not to play make-believe with her collection of plush dragon toys or read a book, but to study the Mwennin calendar and its feast-days.

Cheris was very good at numbers, and very good at both the high calendar and the Mwennin calendar. Even after she'd gone to bed, she'd lay awake in the darkness, staring at the comforting candlevines that glowed faintly from the walls. Her mother and father always made sure to turn them down low, but not too low, so she wouldn't have to be afraid of the shadow-monsters that lived in the closet. Her teacher at school had assured her that, yes, meditation, especially during remembrances, would keep away the shadow-monsters, but when she repeated this to her parents, their faces turned sad, so she didn't talk about that anymore.

Because she was very good at calendars, she had a hard time falling asleep the night before her Mwennin birthday. Back in the old neighborhood, on your birthday, people would bring you pastries of fine flaky dough with sweet almond paste and rosewater syrup, or little kumquat candies, goat's milk caramels with little crunchy flecks of pistachios. And after dark, in the safety of your home, people would gather and sing songs in archaic Mwen-dal. Cheris liked the songs best of all, even if she stumbled over some of the words, because she had a clear, sweet voice and the adults always complimented her on how well she stayed in tune.

Her parents woke her early the next morning. She blinked up blearily at the pale morning light filtering through the curtains, then sat up in glee, thinking of the gifts that were to come. Then she noticed the looks on her parents' faces. They'd had the same ones when she said the teacher had encouraged her to meditate.

Cheris's father took her hands between his, then looked at Cheris's mother.

"Cheris," her mother said, "we can't celebrate your Mwennin birthday anymore. Do you understand? It's too risky."

Cheris didn't understand.

"You can have an extra dessert tonight," her mother went on. "But there will be no more Mwennin birthdays. Not for any of us."

Cheris snuffled.

Cheris's mother circled her with her arms. "We'll go for a walk by the shore when I get out of work," she said. "You'd like that, wouldn't you?"

Cheris sensed that her mother was even more upset than she was, and her mother didn't even like sweets. At least, she always gave her sweets to Cheris. "I'm all right," she said, because she wanted to be brave for her mother. "Can we have extra pastries on New Year's instead?"

There was a catch in her mother's voice. "Of course, my dear."

Cheris still wasn't sure why her mother was upset. True, she had hoped for something nice to eat today, but if she had the same number of pastries in total over the course of the year, it was basically the same. It wasn't so important what day she got to eat them.

And her mother was as good as her promise. Every New Year after that, up until Cheris left for Kel Academy, there were extra pastries.
yhlee: I am a cilantro writer (cilantro photo) (cilantro writer)
[personal profile] yhlee
I just typed, instead of "fine flaky dough," "fine flaky doe."

I never used to make stupid errors like this, but I am informed that the meds I'm on can screw with cognition and memory. :/

(no subject)

Jun. 19th, 2017 08:59 am
bridgetmkennitt: (Default)
[personal profile] bridgetmkennitt
It's too hot here. ;_; My heat resistant tomato plant is melting, so I brought it indoors, and the master bedroom (though the vent is working and is blowing cool air) is too hot, so I'm seriously rethinking moving my computer desk in there. Last night I had two fans on me and I could still tell it was hot.

There are still two more pinch hits left for claiming at Not Prime Time: pinch hit #3 and pinch hit #5.

And now back to writing. I want to write as much as I can before I have work later this afternoon.

So another morning in London happened

Jun. 19th, 2017 03:55 pm
rydra_wong: Fragment of a Tube map, with stations renamed Piero della Francesca, Harpo, Socrates and Seneca. (walking -- the great bear)
[personal profile] rydra_wong
Finsbury Mosque attack.

The attacker was wrestled to the ground by three members of the public; the imam of the mosque protected him (the terrorist who had just attacked his mosque) from the angry crowd until the police got there. That, I believe, is how you religion.

Grenfell dead/missing-presumed-dead now up to 79.

One of the dead is Khadija Saye, a young photographer on the verge of her big breakthrough with her work about to be exhibited as part of a group show at the Venice Biennale.

Here's the series being exhibited: Dwelling: in this space we breathe. Because it's astonishing, and pointing people to her art seems like a way to try to give at least one person a voice and identity as more than just a unit, one of 79.

I repeat my link to the North Kensington Law Centre's Grenfell fundraiser. They're only going to get a tiny fraction of the donations going to the big funds, but any donations are likely to have a disproportionate impact (especially because I'm guessing the large funds can't/won't be used to pay for legal stuff).

RBKC have been officially relieved of responsibility for responding to the disaster because of being so fucking useless.

The chief Breitbart London editor (also former adviser to Nigel Farage) is spreading flat-out lies about Emma Dent-Coad MP in order to try to smear her and Labour as somehow responsible for the fire, despite the fact that all of his statements are provably false.

fiber monday

Jun. 18th, 2017 11:20 pm
thistleingrey: (Default)
[personal profile] thistleingrey
* Either Mayapple or Rendezvous will be the fancy shawl for my thirty-year high-school reunion a few years hence, not because I care about reunions per se but because . . . planning ahead is how I tend to live, I just don't knit that many fancy shawls, I need a project on wooden needles for travel next month, and I'm likely to be able to fit into the same black-with-machine-embroidery sheath dress I wore to the ten- and twenty-year reunions; thus I know which colors would coordinate. Heh. (The ghost shawl's colors wouldn't suit the sheath, for example, because it's partly brown.) I expect to knit both and use them for casual-office wear as well. Mayapple: dark blue-green in linen; Rendezvous: dark olive in wool/silk. The dress's machine embroidery is mostly bronze-toned, but it's hard to match warm yellowish tones in yarn. For the twentieth reunion I made a laceweight wool/silk shawl in a ruddy color that's hard to photograph. This image by someone else looks about right---a light reddish-purple that isn't pink at all and shows browner than it ought---but with the facial rash that never fades, I don't want it. So, that's that sorted. Or Uncia would work, since I've begun it in a lavenderish purple-grey. *shrugs*

I refuse on principle to work on clothing for me while at the office. People ought not to imagine what I may look like in something, nor invite themselves to comment. Ick. Shawls are easy, however.

* Reason's misconduct has extended the orange cardigan's pause to eight weeks from six, hence this rethinking of production sequence.

* ___Sand has reached the lower "hem," which is actually a 6+" = 16+ cm slip-stitch extravaganza that keeps reinjuring one finger. After that come pockets, the front non-button band, and icord bind-off, so there's plenty left to do. Most of me thinks a cotton-blend cardigan is worthwhile; that one finger hates everything.

* People have been musing upon #summerofbasics this month, things to make that could be worn frequently in multiple permutations. Perhaps I'll find some thoughts for next week.

* The current issue of knit/crochet mag Amirisu, whose articles are translated jp --> en by an anglophone Japanese person, includes this: "we imagined BUAISOU to be a group of snobs and hip creators, but in fact, they are down-to-earth, indigo otaku" (p. 16). I had not expected "otaku" as the end of the sentence (though the contrast is clear) given the hard-working nature of any indigo dyer and, especially, given how "otaku" has shifted in anglophone fandoms, notably video-game contexts. Right. From later in the same article, same page: "it took them six months to dye the first batch of yarn." It's not because they're lazy shut-ins, eh?

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