[sticky entry] Sticky: About This Journaler

Dec. 8th, 2018 12:24 pm
dragonlady7: black and white photograph of a woman holding a goose looking at it (mabel)
 It seems trendy to make introduction posts for yourself, so I'm gonna, because I goddamn love talking about myself. I even looked up how to make it sticky. I'm super-fancy y'all. (Seriously the FAQ on here is great.)

Most people call me B and I tend to do that when I talk about myself. 
About Me Online and IRL and where else I am and what I do )

I will make a good-faith effort to use tags intelligently and conscientiously, and beyond that, will attempt to put anything I think is upsetting or distressing or just boring under a cut, well-described. Do, please, feel free to let me know if there's anything you specifically need cut, tagged, warned for, or whatever (a lot of things I'll definitely cut and warn for by default but probably won't discuss often enough to tag for, the way tags work on this site). I can't promise I'll always remember, but I will do my darnedest. I'm also habitually foul-mouthed for effect, though for some reason I find myself censoring that more here, maybe Tumblr just brought out the crudest in me. 

Tags I will absolutely use that you might want to blacklist (and here's a post on how that works on Dreamwidth): 
  • for discussion of farm work involving livestock interactions that may be not for the faint-hearted, I will use the tag animal slaughter
  • for discussions of drinking, with which I think I have a healthy relationship but many don't and I get it, I will tag alcohol 
  • for discussions of my writing, I'll use my writing
  • for personal posts about me, I'll use about the author
Generally speaking, I don't post many locked entries at this juncture? But if I do they'll probably be locked for personal whining rather than anything else. At this point I grant access pretty indiscriminately, and subscribe back pretty liberally, but that might change in the future.

I am not particularly a Dreamwidth veteran but I cut my teeth on Livejournal in the early aughts so I'm more fluent with the culture of this kind of site in general than many other Tumblr refugees, so I have both an insider and outsider perspective on the weird culture of this kind of place and most importantly, on the fun shit you can do with the HTML coding and such, so. Hit me up if you have questions, I like people, but if I don't answer back promptly, I do go through not-very-talky sort of depressive phases, and when I'm at the farm my online time is super limited. 
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chapter 5 of A Complete Education, Misunderstanding, at AO3

This one is long and also contains action. Listen, I had to inject drama, I can’t help it. No Maias are directly harmed in this chapter update. The length was inconvenient; it’s two longish sections, neither of which is long enough to stand alone but together they break my neat pattern of how long these should be. Honestly it wasn’t that neat a pattern so I’m not that sorry. I console myself it’s extra exciting so it’ll go fast. LOL. Hold on through the drama and we get to the earlier snippet I posted with Beshelar the nursemaid, there’s your prize at the end.


Inwardly, Deret prepared himself to be murdered. It would be best, he thought, not to give resistance, and just let it happen. But then he thought of the inevitable scandal. It would probably be inferred, he realized with horror, that he himself was having a doomed affair with Aisava that had somehow gone wrong, and the scandal of it would be far worse for Himself than if he just killed Aisava. No one would believe a nohecharis had gone down in a fair fight with a secretary, because already nobody remembered that Aisava had come up as a courier, and the rough-and-tumble life of couriers was the sort of thing people only remembered in novels and didn’t really appreciate in real life.

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Today’s Goblin Emperor headcanon revelation: Beshelar can’t wink.


But as both of them glanced away from a radiant laugh of Maia’s that set off a blush of Csethiro’s, their gazes crossed, and Beshelar raised his eyebrows and gave Csevet a very uncharacteristic wink. So uncharacteristic, in fact, that Csevet noticed with great amusement that the man couldn’t actually wink properly, so it wound up just being a lopsided blink. For some reason that made it even more endearing.


(I looked it up to see if that’s common and found a hilarious Reddit thread about things some people just can’t do. Turns out a lot of people can’t wink. Listen, I can’t read a clock, so I’m not judging you adult non-winkers.)

(I had written this scene a day or two ago and had Beshelar successfully wink, but today was writing another scene and considering if he should wink and it struck me that he absolutely cannot and it is adorable, so I went back and edited the above scene and was amazed at how well it works like this.)
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The chapter is not capslocked, don’t worry. 

Chapter 5, Brotherly Advice, of A Complete Education, up on AO3, still just teasing the as-yet-unearned explicit rating with discussions of masturbation, as ever. We’re up to 26,000 words, is it a novelette yet?

Maia laughed, at that. “Thou hast a very specific imagination,” he said.

“If one is to adhere to one’s principles in a hypothetical,” Deret said, “one had better be damned sure of all the details of that hypothetical.”

Maia laughed again. “Only thou,” he said again.
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Apr. 18th, 2019 11:33 am
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Can you give yourself an asthma attack scooping the catbox??
Our precious princess has three litterboxes, and I realized that she's only using one for pee, and so I just dumped the whole thing out instead of trying to scoop it, and there was, well, she'd been using it a lot more than I realized so the whole bottom of it was just solid ammonia, and it was a lot and I had to step away a moment before coming back to seal up the garbage bag, and I've been short of breath for two hours now after that.

I totally chemical-warfare'd myself with my cat's neglected litterbox.

(The other two, I'd scooped more recently, I promise, she just shifts around which ones she uses most, and she goes in the garden a lot...)

This is miserable, y'all!
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I've been so caught up in updating fic that I haven't been writing about, y'know, the ostensible subject of this blog, which is me. But like. I mean.
There's not a ton to report, but I do exist. I had nearly gotten over the dregs of my last cold and now I've got some kind of... sinuses situation, that I'm not sure what's going on, or if it's in my chest or what. IDK, it's uncomfortable but not enough to actually even identify what the problem is.
Dude is still coughing, which puts him at about two solid months of coughing. His abs must be ripped, but. I mean, he's a skinny guy but for the record, and this is a revelation to me since I've been fat my whole life, even skinny people generally have a layer of fat under their skin that means the muscles mostly don't show unless they work out kind of a lot. So his abs are under there, but you can't see them.

So I bought a banjo last night-- I'd been mulling it over, and I decided that having played a couple of banjos I didn't like, I'd hate to order one online and discover that it was not something I liked. So. Gretsch Broadkaster it is, and she's very pretty, gratuitously pretty-- the one image I copied over here, that's on the back of the resonator, which rests against the player's abdomen when the instrument is in use, so it's completely gratuitous stealth bling, and I'm unreasonably delighted by it.
I didn't buy a guitar tuner; I wanted a banjo one, so I ordered that online, along with a plain strap because the ones at the store were all various flavors of Vintage Tapestry that I wasn't into, and I also ordered a guitar stand online because I forgot to buy one at the store. Ehhhh ecommerce, it's just easier.

I have now practiced more in two days than in the entire time I've been studying this, so. I still suck, too much even to take a simple fifteen-second video of myself playing for my Instagram stories, but I'm sort of resigned to that. I'm not going to be a brilliant banjo player. One thing that's funny is that Dude is much better at getting the notes right, but I'm way better at totally flubbing an entire passage and then mentally counting it out and hopping back in to the next passage on the right timing. And his picking is vastly superior to mine, but I can correctly identify what the backing chords ought to be for a song, even when we haven't been taught them, and point out when the chord changes should come-- the problem is, though, I can't teach them to him, because I'm not very good so I can't play them properly. I can identify them, though, I'll cling to that!

I've been sewing a little too-- no progress on the hexies, but I have been mending an expensive pair of work pants that Farmsister bought, suckered by the "by women for women" hype, which immediately tore because of a massive design flaw. (1: 3% elastane, that is an ENORMOUS percentage of elastane which has 0 abrasion resistance and very little strength; that's 100% there for pure fashion, and 2: a special Secure Pocket with a zipper so your phone won't fall out, which is fine, except that the pocket is fashioned of a non-stretch fabric, sewn directly to the stretchy outer fabric, with a seam ending right in the middle of a butt-cheek.) So my sister, who is a size 8 and has Flat White Girl Lack-Of-Ass, tore straight through the butt cheek of these pants the first week she wore them, just by bending over. She hadn't even been doing any bending work in them, she just tried to catch a chicken and her whole ass was out. Not Impressed, she wrote to the company, which immediately sent her a replacement pair-- which tore in exactly the same place the third time she put them on, while she was doing nothing more strenuous than putting them on!!
So I took the first pair (which they didn't want sent back), and ripped off the non-stretch panel of pocket-- which means the zipper is now just an ass-ventilator, but at least it's at the top of the ass and has a placket behind-- and then cut a hunk out of a pair of stretch jeans someone gave me with the inner thighs worn through-- because even 1% elastane or lycra means your jeans are gonna blow the fuck out in the inner thighs after like three months, that's what spandex is for-- and slapped it over the massive rent and have now spent forever backstitching it down.

It's sad, because the lack of serious work clothing intended for woman-sized-people to wear is a genuine problem, but I have to say this company doesn't seem like they've got any idea of what the fuck they're doing. 3% elastane in your "canvas" pants. And a non-stretch panel sewed behind the stretch fabric, like that's not... a violation of all common sense of tailoring?
I'm probably going to replace that with a free-floating bag pocket, if I've got the time. That would have been no problem! Non-stretch is no problem if it's not actually sewn directly to the stretch fabric, in a high-stress spot! I am nobody and I fucking know that, who the fuck is designing these and doesn't know that?
(I did catch in the marketing copy that their founder is their fit model and wears a size 4, so like clearly they've got no idea what a normal-sized human's body is going to do, but I daresay that a flat-assed size 8 is not that far off from their fit model, and Lord only knows how a woman or other curvy-shaped person with an actual booty would fare.) (Lest you think I'm skinny-shaming my sister or something, I also have a Flat White Girl Ass, it is perfectly possible to have those even well up into plus sizes. I have a lot going on back there, it's just flat as hell. And that's fine. i'm not, like, upset. I just get super weirded out when pants expect me to have even less. There's already not a whole lot happening there! What the fuck is your fit model doing?)
Just fucking sell leggings and be done with it.

They've sent her another pair, this time in the Premium Denim With Kevlar In It... which also has 1% elastane, and Sister confirms, also has the non-stretch pocket layer sewn down with a hemline straight across the stress point of the asscheek.
I give them two weeks; these might last long enough to get washed once.
(For comparison, Farmsister has gotten over ten years apiece out of two different pairs of men's Carhartts, and one of them went down to getting actually cut with an implement rather than wearing through. She generally tends to go through the knees and front thigh areas of her pants first, then the areas around the back pockets; her butt's not that high-stress a point.)

Anyhoo. Have not really surfaced yet from Goblin Emperor fic but I have a whole bunch of Solarpunk Mammoths ideas that are roiling around in there and I'm actually pretty psyched at how well this avoidance-by-writing-a-different-novel technique seems to have worked. So we'll see long-term how I feel about it, but. That's me.

chapter 4

Apr. 17th, 2019 01:53 pm
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Chapter 4 of A Complete Education is up at the Hugo-Award Nominated Archive of Our Own, featuring logistics and somewhat less suffering than previous chapters, but extra blushing. (oh the teaser snippet I was gonna post is one I posted already– so there’s context for that one now– so I’ll post this one instead, where the household staff all gently rib Csevet for acting his age in his free time.) 


Nemer patted Beshelar on the shoulder. “Thou lookst like thou wast reverse-fucked, mate,” he said. “Anti-fucked, mayhap.”

Beshelar rolled his eyes. “I slept poorly,” he said. “Who fucked who?”

“Aisava fucked somebody,” Nemer said.

“Oh let him be,” Echelo said, coming back with Beshelar’s tea. She put it into his hand and paused to look at him. “He’s right, though, thou looks’t terrible. Art thou coming down with aught?”

“No,” Beshelar said crossly.

“Thou’rt early,” Csevet noted, eager to deflect discussion from his putative state of satiety. “Is aught amiss?”

“No,” Beshelar said, giving up on crossness. “I came to speak with thee, if anyone would leave off hassling me for an instant.”

“Let’s to the dining room, then,” Csevet said, “I’ll be needing to go over the day’s agenda anyway. What’s thy concern?”

“Mayhap thou canst get him laid too,” Nemer said with false earnestness.

Beshelar bore it with much better humor than Csevet had expected. “Oh, mayhap,” the nohecharis said, deadpan, “gods know that’s just what I need, in my copious free time. Maybe he can save us both time and fuck me himself directly.”

Nemer cackled in wicked delight, and betook himself out of the room, mercifully. Csevet tried studiously to meditate his ears back to their proper color, as he made his way out to the dining room with a precarious plate of toast.
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I bought a banjo! photos at Tumblr, plus one pasted here for Dreamwidth purposes:

On clearance at the music store, scratch + dent plus the manufacturer discontinued it. 

It’s pretty: 

If anyone cares, it’s a resonator banjo, meaning it’s got a closed back with a flange that protrudes around the front so that the sound is reflected back out of the instrument, and a tone ring inside– a heavy cast metal ring that goes around the edges of the round part to dampen vibrations so the strings don’t ring a long time, which is important for fast-picking styles of play like bluegrass.

I bought it largely because the price was right, it was pretty, and it felt nice to play. The strings are a little grotty, it was clearly on the sales floor for a while, but replacements are five bucks, and maybe we can arrange with the teacher to give us a lesson on replacing them. (Or consult YouTube. Anyway I’m not that worried about them yet.) 

Most importantly, Chita approves. 

Anyway, now Dude and I have a banjo apiece, I can bring mine with me and practice at the farm, and I guess we should decide what kinds of music we want to learn. I’m not super-invested in bluegrass as a concept, but it’s not a bad genre overall, and that’s the style of picking we could find a teacher for, so. 
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Construct, Social - kiwisson - The Murderbot Diaries - Martha Wells [Archive of Our Own]:


Gurathin POV, Murderbot grapples with pronouns and labels. A charming little work with some lovely character notes, and a fantastic dip into Gurathin, to boot. 
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Chapter 3 update on A Complete Education, featuring Deret Beshelar: Disaster Bi, and his Inevitable Opsec Freakout Over Ciphers. 

(To be fair Deret’s more of a Disaster Demi but the meme usually says Disaster Bi so I’m rolling with it. Nobody does alignment charts for the grey-As, we just have to deal.)


Deret stood, desperately uncomfortable. In a moment, he finally blurted, “Cala, what must I do to earn back his trust?”

Cala blinked up at him, as if he hadn’t been expecting the question. Well, perhaps he hadn’t. “What must– I’m sure I don’t know, Deret,” he said. “He thinks thou wilt judge him because thou judgest everything that passes before thine eyes. I’m sure thy expression will never give away aught that causes him harm because that’s all thy expression normally reveals, that thou dost disapprove of everyone and everything thou ever didst see. Honestly it is a useful quality in a nohecharis and indubitably why thou wast so easily chosen for the job, but it makes thee not the best suited to the attendance of a nervous and abused youth facing so massively potentially embarrassing an ordeal as losing his virginity in more or less public spectacle.”

Deret had earnestly desired honesty from Cala, and now that he had it, it felt rather like he’d been kicked in the gut. He managed a breath, nodded blindly, and left the room, stumbling into his bedroom and sitting down heavily on the trunk that served him as a chair.

He breathed for a little while, shakily, then collected himself enough to get his boots off. He knew he’d been given this assignment to get him out of his commanding officer’s hair. He knew he hadn’t been popular; he’d never been good at making friends, and a large part of climbing the ranks of the Guard was in making connections with other officers in a way he’d just never been good at. But he’d been foolish enough to think none of that mattered here, that his devotion would be enough–

Well, it didn’t matter. His lord didn’t have to like him. Edrehasivar had more options now than he had when he’d needed Cala and Deret to accompany him during his coronation vigil.

Deret stood up and undressed himself efficiently, putting his outer clothes away and the inner ones into the laundry hamper where the staff would collect them. He took his robe out of his trunk and put it on, and went out, intending to go to the household’s bathing room. Cala was still sitting in the anteroom.

“I’m sorry,” Cala said awkwardly, “I said that more harshly than I meant to.”

“But thou toldst the truth,” Deret said, “so I thank thee.”

“It was needlessly unkind,” Cala said.

Deret looked at him. “Apparently, so am I,” he said. “I reap as I sow.” And with that, he left.
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jacquez45 replied to your post “chapter 2”

i shall wait very patiently for the end, since i am not a wip-reader. but i’m so excited and happy to wait. :)

LOL, it won’t be too long, for once! I hope, anyway. I keep finding that I just have one more scene, and one more scene, and oh I meant to wrap that up, and I keep thinking I’m done but then oh! there’s one more little thing– 

well, we’ll see. The vast bulk of it is done, anyway!

And, hypocritical as it may sound, I don’t blame you, because while I’m a serial WIP poster, I am not a WIP reader either. Shhh don’t tell anyone.
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purpleplunderbunny replied to your post “a bad feeling”

God i thought I was the only one who would lose their mind over this

oh no, you gotta. 

because the thing about the dripping sound is that it’s not like. just a noise to bug you.

it  means your roof’s not watertight and your shit’s gonna get destroyed if you don’t fix it.

it means it’s dripping ON SOMETHING.

and you’re screwed if you don’t figure out what QUICK.
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chapter 2

Apr. 15th, 2019 01:08 pm
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The fic I posted yesterday is updated with chapter 2 now. 

A Complete Education, on AO3; rated Explicit but it isn’t yet; chapter 2 of about 10 or so? currently at 9900 words. The Goblin Emperor, Maia/Csethiro preparing for their wedding, but with a lot of pre-slash background ships as everyone learns things about themselves. 

Later, Cala said to him, “I thought thy face might catch fire, what in the gods’ names were they discussing?”

“Nothing of import,” Deret insisted. “How would I catch fire? I was merely watching the room!”

“Thou didst look upset,” Cala said, and lightly shoved his shoulder as he walked away.

“I did not!” Deret said. Nemer, the brave little edocharis, was passing by, and paused. “We did not look upset,” Deret clarified to him, for some reason.

“We are sure you did not,” Nemer said reassuringly, and utterly without sincerity, and made to move on.

Deret held out his hand to stop him. “Forsooth,” he said, “have we a poor control over our expressions?”

Nemer’s ears twitched, but he controlled his face. “Lieutenant Beshelar,” he said solemnly, “you are the portrait of stoicism itself.”

“Thank you,” Deret said, knowing Nemer was kidding but not knowing how to respond, and Nemer made a tiny shade of a formal bow and went on his way.
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this is maybe honed to too fine an edge by the amount of time i’ve spent living under canvas but there’s just, i won’t say no worse feeling because we live in a wide and varied wonderland of a world whose depths are unfathomable, but uh, it’s a bad feeling, anyway, when it’s raining out, and you hear

you hear a drip

you know? that intermittent soft thunk

there’s a drip somewhere


and i’m in my actual like, bricks and aluminum siding house, so it’s kind of. kind of extra bad because there’s more places to look and also like, i’m kind of prepared for drips in the canvas house (which is not up yet this season because it is cold and windy as shit out there my friends) but the brick one not so much, so

where is the fucking drip goddamnit
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punctuation in work emails is the flower arranging language of our generation and nothing says FUCK YOU like replacing every exclamation mark with a cold hard period
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Fic Post

Apr. 14th, 2019 06:19 pm
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A Complete Education, on AO3, WIP, The Goblin Emperor– first chapter is up, more to follow soon once I’ve banged them into shape. Rated explicit but it isn’t really, yet. 

Preparing for the Emperor’s wedding, everyone has some things they need to learn about.

“You don’t have to tell us what it is,” Csevet said fondly. “You’re allowed to have private correspondence, Serenity.”

Edrehasivar opened his mouth, and Csevet shook his head. “Serenity,” he said, “do not explain yourself, please. Take your interesting packet and go and we will have everything in order for your review on the morrow.”

The emperor considered that a moment, looking very young and a little guilty, like a schoolboy contemplating skiving class. “You wouldn’t... mind?”

It was absurd, and sweet, and Csevet blinked at him for a moment. “Serenity,” he said, and then paused. Chiding the young man for being who he was wouldn’t be productive. Edrehasivar knew fine well he was the emperor and could command whatever he wanted, and he didn’t want to at the moment, and that was fine, in this private moment. Csevet leaned in and said quietly, warmly, “This once? I wouldn’t.”
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So. Myriad things going on, as ever.
I have resolved that we need a second banjo, since both of us are keeping up on it. I'm quite enjoying it, even if I still can only play three songs and three chords. The teacher advised that since we have one open-back banjo, we should invest in a banjo with a resonator, which is the more usual bluegrass style, and since the picking style we're learning is typical of bluegrass, it makes sense to get a bluegrass-style banjo to go with it. Resonator banjos tend to be more expensive, but like any musical instrument, vary wildly in price and quality.
banjo nerdery )
So I sort of wish I'd just bought the one at the music shop, but by the time I reached that conclusion, they were closed, and won't open again until Monday.

It was sunny and warm-ish today, so I did laundry and hung it on the line, which I much prefer-- I don't like using the clothes dryer, it prematurely wears stuff out and fades it, but hanging stuff on hangers all over the house is not conducive to having a tidy house, and it's a lot of work and you have to shift them if they wind up, like, on the shower curtain rod or something, and so on. So that was nice. Dude even helped by hanging up a load that finished too late for me to get to it before my class; he never hangs clothes out, so I was quite pleased.

I had a class today-- papermaking, at the Book Arts Center where I crippled myself a couple of years back falling off a flight of stairs (that's how my roller derby career ended, wow that was a while ago now! I should look it up but I'm not gonna, rest assured it was a wild time and if I ponder it more deeply I can say it's got to have been six years ago and i haven't gone down a flight of stairs without thinking twice since that day).
It was a lovely class, with an entertaining teacher and a lot of information and I'm going to have to look into all this in more detail but having seen it now with my eyes, I get it, and my plans for eventual world domination things I could do with dried flowers that aren't potpourri, wreaths, or yet more dried arrangements could come to fruition along with using the flax byproducts that don't turn out good for fabric, so. Cool.
The only downside of the class is that of course there was one man in it, and the man of course had to talk all the time, and while the rest of us were generally cognizant that people had to wait their turn to use the equipment so we should go into each turn we took with some kind of advance plan of what we wanted to do, and our materials ready so that while of course we shouldn't rush, we wouldn't hold up the whole process as we stood around making decisions, but he never seemed to notice at all, and would just stand there with the frame in his hands talking about how he felt about various colors and how his artistic process worked and of course how he was himself an art teacher and had for many years *insert redundant anecdote he'd already told even though we'd only been here an hour* etcetera.
The youngest other student present, a college sophomore, inadvertently threw herself on the grenade of mostly being the one to talk to him by... answering his question about what she was studying. I accidentally started the conversation; she was designing a sheet of paper and admitted it was in her school colors and I said oh what school, and then he was off. So you figure she was like... 20 or 21? He was hugely gray-bearded, I'd estimate 55 at least, and I'm 39, and every other woman was at least 50. So of course he had to find out what her major was and then tell her everything he knew on the topic. Sigh. I kept trying to get back into the conversation with her just to kind of... ease him off a little... but he seemed to honestly not be able to hear me when I spoke, so that was weird.
I guess it's good to know I'm close enough to old to be invisible in that situation.
He also condescended to the instructor about her probably not being old enough to know what her favorite colors were. Her hair was dyed those colors and she was probably close to my age, but she'd mentioned she had two children, one a toddler, and he was like "well you have young kids and that means you're young, your tastes will change as you age because mine did." Like, what the actual.... she is a woman in her thirties or so with a full-time art career and did I mention her hair was dyed those colors? I think she knows her mind.
Whatever, dude!

Anyhow after the class, I dragged Dude out to the ice cream shop with me since I'd missed lunch, and then we went into two different musical instrument shops I mentioned above, and then we went to the cider hall and got a growler to drink this week, which is my blow against disposable containers. Then Dude made dinner, and I realized that I have at least one more Goblin Emperor fic scene to write, and I glanced back at my outline for this story and it's entirely hilariously wrong. HAR. I can't outline for shit, y'all.

(The fic's original premise was Beshelar discovering the hard (HAR) way that he was unbearably attracted to the Emperor by overhearing the royal couple fucking but what actually has happened in this fic is that poor Telimezh is white-knuckling his way through bodyguarding the wedding night and realizing that he's unbearably infatuated with Her Royal Sword Nerd Highness. Meanwhile, Beshelar, totally unfazed by his professional obligation to voyeurism, is instead having a gay crisis over Csevet. This is not in the slightest what I meant, but like, we all have problems as writers, okay.)
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Alright are you DUMMY THICC with POWERFUL THIGHS that keep DESTROYING YOUR JEANS?  Are you super fucking broke and can’t afford new clothes?  Would you rather not contribute to disposable fashion, one of the MOST UNETHICAL industries of the modern age, on which I have many thoughts?  I’m here to show you how to keep your pants on unnatural life support until they literally disintegrate off your legs.

You’ll need some basic sewing skills and supplies.  If you don’t have a sewing machine, jump to the end, I’ll add an epilogue just for you.

Step one: look at this disgrace.  How did this even happen.  What was I doing.

Now you don’t need to do this next bit, especially if it’s a less extensive repair, but I’m going to show you how to make a nice pattern for this, if you like nice patterns.

Turn one leg inside out and put it into the other, so you can see the tear.

Put a piece of paper on the area and trace around the hole - it’ll take some guesswork, but you can figure it out.  You want it big enough to cover the hole, and extending far enough from it that you aren’t just sewing into places where the fabric is worn super thing.  I like to stop at the crotch and inner leg seams, both because the pants are shaped there so it’s hard to get a patch to span it without something puckering, and because it’s a good sturdy anchor to sew to.  Mine looks like this.  Yours will…probably be smaller.

Now cut that shape out of some fabric.  I cut two, because I have similarly shaped holes on both sides.  You do NOT need to add seam allowance.  For the fabric, I recommend cotton twill or canvas (not treated canvas, you don’t want anything plasticky on your crotch).  Twill is what most casual pants are made of (denim is a kind of twill).  Canvas is the same but heavier.  You’ll want something that roughly matches the color of your pants, obviously.  I did not have this.  I decided I do not care.  My pants will look DUMB but I am a GOBLIN.

I serged the edges of mine (because I’m the kind of goblin with a SERGER but not TAN FABRIC?? apparently) but that’s not necessary.  Turn your pants inside out and pin the patch in (one at a time, if you’re doing multiple).  Make sure the patch lies completely flat against the pants fabric, and isn’t bunching or bubbling.

Now shove it under the sewing machine and stitch around the edge.  I recommend sewing right on top of the existing seams where you can, since the pants are sturdy there.  The tricky thing is not accidentally catching other parts of the pants while you’re sewing around the patch, but you can do it, I believe in you.  If you mess up, just seam rip that bit and try again.

Once the patch(es) are in, turn them right side out.  The holes are covered, but there’s a bunch of loose, ragged fabric flapping around that’s just going to keep getting shredded.

So take it back to the sewing machine, and just…sew everywhere.  Start at the edge and make a big spiral to the center.  Or make a bunch of parallel lines.  Or start wherever you want and just go wild.  But fill the patch with stitching everywhere there are two layers of fabric.

This not only keeps the layers together but REINFORCES them, so your sad pants will be STRONGER THAN EVER.  It’ll look like this, and you’ll be like “ew, everybody’s going to see my butt stitching.”

But they won’t.  Trust me.  They won’t.  Because it’s all up in your butt crack, and if they’re looking close enough you’re legally allowed to kick them.  Even with my dumbass fabric choices, you can’t see it at all from the front (enjoy weird blurry shot of my crotch).

And you can barely see it from the back.

AND NOW YOU CAN WEAR YOU FAVORITE PANTS, AND NEVER BUY NEW CLOTHES EVER AGAIN.  I think I’ve done this to EVERY pair of pants I wear on a regular basis.  Some MULTIPLE TIMES.

My note for people without a sewing machine:  you can do this by hand, it’ll just take longer.  Use sturdy thread and sew with a prick stitch (or pick stitch, depending on who you ask).  That means that when the thread is on the outside of the fabric, make the stitches absolutely tiny.  That leaves less surface area to be abraided by the aforementioned slapping of your thighs.  It also looks nicer - so I would do that if you’re fixing some really nice dress pants whether you’ve got a sewing machine or not.  This is what a prick stitch looks like on the outside.

If you’re doing it by hand, and if you want extra reinforcement, I’d also recommend getting some Heat ‘n Bond (or Wonder Under, etc, there are a few different brands, any permanent iron-on adhesive will work) and affixing the patches with that first.  I only didn’t do that because I don’t have any.  I would not recommend putting the patches in ONLY with iron-on adhesive, even though the manufacturers say it will work.  It’s not strong enough for your powerful thighs.

Now go.  Stop buying pants.  End the disposable fashion machine.  The revolution starts with your ass.

This is almost exactly what I do, only this is way nicer. I do mine by hand because then I can do visible mending sashiko-style stitches and it’s very meditative.

My tip is that I try to do some stitching elsewhere on the pants so that if it’s going to be visible, there’s some part of it to look at that isn’t just my crotch. So like, if someone wants to see some of the stitching, I can show them the back pocket or the knee, and not have to just spread my legs and be like LOOK AT MY COOCH. But this method with matchy fabric would probably make it a lot more uhhh subtle. 
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Mental Crop Rotation

When farmers grow the same crop too many years in a row, it can leave their soil depleted of minerals and other nutrients that are vital to the health of their fields.

To avoid this, farmers will often alternate the crops that they grow because some plants will use up different minerals (such as nitrogen) while other plants replenish those minerals. This process is known as “crop rotation.”

So the next time you find that you need to step away from a project to work on something else for a while, don’t beat yourself up for “quitting” that project. Give yourself permission to practice “mental crop rotation” to maintain a healthy brain field.

Because I’ve found that when that unnecessary guilt and pressure are removed from the process, a good mental crop rotation can help you feel more energized and invigorated than ever once you’re ready to rotate back to that project.

: A crucial part of crop rotation is that the field is let fallow sometimes. You plant what’s called a “cover crop”, which is something you don’t expect to harvest– it’s there for its roots to hold the soil in place, and often it’ll be what’s called a nitrogen-fixer, i.e. a plant that can pull nitrogen out of the air and fix it into the soil with its roots (but sometimes it won’t, sometimes it’s really just there to shelter the soil surface), and then you’ll till in that cover crop, or let the frost kill it and the stalks lie as mulch, and then you’ll rotate productive crops back into that field the next season. 

It’s important, though, to understand that during the fallow period, no nutrients are removed from that ground, and nothing is expected of it. Whatever the land grows then, it keeps, and it gets tilled back in or decomposes in place, to return its energy to the earth.

We’re not allowed, in our current society, to just let our minds be fallow for a bit, to produce nothing for export, to make nothing that can be sold. But it’s part of good land stewardship, to give every field time when it doesn’t need to give you anything back. 

So yes, grow and produce different things from time to time, rotate them around your mind and exercise different mental muscles, take different things from your creative processes, yes– but also, give yourself a fallow spell now and again, and let the field of your mind grow things for itself to keep, to break down and save for later. 
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I drove back from my sister’s farm on Wednesday night and planned to do many many things yesterday but instead I just did jack and shit. Although, I also, I *think*, finished the Goblin Emperor fic. I think!

(I was also relentlessly slow-mo pursued around my house by the cat, who was attempting to convince me that her skin-dad, who was home the whole time I was gone, never ever pets her. So I spent a lot of time under a cat and unable to get up and move. Flimsy excuse, but excuse nonetheless.)

(At the farm, BIL was like, “so when are you gonna take off on your literary career” and I explained to him that authors don’t make money, so. I spend all my time that’s not at the farm working at my minimum-wage job so that I have money at all. But! My car will be paid off next month, maybe I can justify even fewer hours and carve out some writing time! We’ll see. Sigh.)

So I have a dilemma, in that the story needs to be beta’d for Goblin Emperor-isms, and I straight-up cannot find what the fucking emperor’s crown is called, it’s a twelve-letter E word with “Mura” afterward and literally none of you fuckers has written it down anywhere and I don’t have the fucking book, so. 

I don’t think I have the time or patience to really find a beta, though, so I think it’s just going to get posted at some point the next time I have time. But if someone could tell me how to spell the “Ethuasdfasdfasdf;ed Mura” properly I’d be most pleased. No, it’s not in that fanmade glossary; it’s mentioned, but not by name. Thanks!

I guess I could rewrite the line so it’s not mentioned. Everything else, I’ve been able to reconstruct without the book, but that one thing, I don’t know what the fuck it’s called. 

I love this book, but there are a number of rules I’ve made myself about writing fantasy settings, which this book breaks, and instead of convincing me those rules are wrong, they’ve just strengthened my commitment– it’s good <i>in spite of</i> those rules being broken, not because of. Fight me.

Side question, to the broader Tumblr audience (I’ve already asked this on DW): where you live, does it cost money to request books from your library? It costs me twenty-five cents to put a book on hold, or a dollar if I don’t pick it up, and I guess it’s worth that so I don’t have to drive around between the branch libraries looking for the thing I’m in search of, but it’s a little strange to me, I don’t remember it being like that at the library where I grew up. Just wondering!
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tiny paws

Apr. 11th, 2019 09:43 am
dragonlady7: self-portrait but it's mostly the DSLR in my hands in the mirror (Default)
I made it home yesterday, left after lunch and arrived just in time for dinner. (Z went and got takeout while I was showering. I had vaguely planned to attend the gallery thingy at work but I was so tired. No. Did not.) Drove through dramatic clouds-- which were pretty disorienting with my polarized sunglasses I'm still not used to-- but no rain, which is just as well.
Chita has mostly clung to me since I got home, except during several spans of time where she clearly forgot I existed, so that's entertaining. Sleeping in my own bed was wonderful, especially with many catsnuggles.

I am also delighted to have some time to write again. I poked a tiny bit at the Mammoths Novel but the Goblin Emperor Thing is so enormous and near a conclusion that I've mostly poked at that-- especially since there's no focusing time at the farm-- and somehow I managed to bang out a six thousand word sex scene for it, which I just concluded a moment ago.
Yes, that's-- I'm counting from the time they get into bed to the time I end the scene, and it's six thousand words, so. Yes really.
Listen I'm playing to my strengths.

So I want to do another couple of wind-up scenes and then that's the fic. I should really uhhhh reread the book actually, or get someone to do the most basic beta for the details of the conlang which I have surely gotten wrong. (What the fuck is the stupid emperor's crown called? There's a twelve-letter word beginning with E and then "mura" but I'm fucked if i know what the fucking word is.)

I read a horrible twitter thread about how stupid and exploitative publishers are being about ebooks for libraries, and have resolved to stop requesting ebooks and start just sucking it up and paying twenty-five cents to get regular books. (I am not driving all over the library system to check out books, and between the branches close to me, precisely 0 books I want are actually present, so I have to pay them a quarter to send the books to the library I can actually get to.) eBooks are actively horrible for libraries. :( Which is too bad, because it's so goddamn easy to check them out and then return them-- it's just that they're only allowed finite lendings, and the reason you have to wait forever is that they have to pay ten or more times more for the ebooks than they would for a physical copy and so they can't buy as many copies as they otherwise would. (Seriously-- often it's like $55 for a copy and then they have to re-purchase it after 24 months or 35 lendings. When the physical book is $9 and will last them five years or more!)

It's possibly going to snow today. On my way out of the driveway of the farm, Farmsister handed me a 9-pack of bachelor button flowers to plant, and now I have to actually put in that garden, and I was going to work on it along with all the laundry today, and it's so gross outside. :( I need to suck it up, get out from under this cat, and go and do it, though, or it won't happen.


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