jenett: can't sleep, too much awesome (too much awesome)
I got two really really really amazing gifts. Two!

(Dear amazing authors, if you are reading this, I have had a really lousy fall, and this made many things feel like an improvement in complicated ways I do not have words for. So thank you very very much. These are very different stories in some ways, but they're both about what matters and how to keep doing it, even through the hard and complicated things, and I really really needed that.)

The Beauty of Philosophy is about Hypatia of Alexandria (as per the movie Agora and her earlier education, before that movie starts.) It is really really stunningly excellent, and has whole paragraphs where I went "YES THAT THING THERE." and a thorough understanding of the importance of the quadrivium and how they interact with each other, and what it means to live in a complex world.

I really particularly love Hypatia's interactions with her father, and with her teacher here, where they are fond but also expect a great deal. (This one is also entirely readable with a basic "Hypatia was a 4th century philosopher, astronomer, mathematician and a bunch of other things" knowledge.)

The Early Days is a prelude to Katherine Kurtz's Lammas Night and is the story I didn't know I wanted about how Gray and Prince William got to be like they are, got to have the layers and depths of trust they have by the time of the book. (And the author's note points out that the author went there because of some research, which is even better.)

So, those of you who read my letter and went "EEE, Lammas Night", go forth and enjoy!

I am now in the 'waiting to see how people liked the things I wrote' stage, and as usual, I will post writing comments after reveals.
jenett: Big and Little Dipper constellations on a blue watercolor background (Default)
[Edited for some clarity and further ideas October 25th]

So, apparently, the desires of my heart at the moment involve mentoring relationships or extreme competence. Or both. Right, then.

I am currently having a really hard fall. But one of the things I am thinking about a lot is how the people we learn from, learn how to do things with, change us. We hope, for the better. Sometimes that’s about formal education, but a lot of the time, it’s about something more complicated and faceted - and fascinating.

When I went through the Yuletide tag list for ‘things I want to remember are options this year’, it’s these three that jumped out at me. And one of the things that really strikes me is how they’re all about incredibly competent people sharing what they know in interesting ways. Or making choices based on what they know, are committed to, are passionate about.

So. Yeah. Basically, fic that does something with that is the thing I want. People being awesome at knowing their things, people caring about what they do, trusting other people to do it with them. That. :insert waving hands here:

You can feel free to take a look at my previous Yuletide letters and recs for things I’d like, but actually, while most of the details still apply to me, they don’t really apply to my requests this year.

If you got matched with me on any of these fandoms, I'm pretty sure that what you're inclined to write will be awesome.

But in case you’d like some more details, there's more below. Two of these three canons are quite easy to pick up quickly (one is a movie, one is a single volume book. The other one’s more complicated, alas.) I’ve included some general background for people reading because of one request who might also find the others interesting.

Read more... )
jenett: There are not enough capital letters in the English language to let me fully express my feelings on this. (not enough)
... my dear friend [personal profile] elisem reported harassment, and then she wrote up an essay about the process of reporting the harassment. (I have roundup of links from then starting over here)

Unfortunately, there's another essay required. Like the first, it's been posted on multiple blogs, with those people hosting (and moderating) comments. Natalie Luhrs has an excellent roundup of discussion around the 'Net about the events as well.

Elise's essay (same basic content all these places)
* John Scalzi's blog
* Stephanie Zvan's blog
* Natalie Luhr's blog
* Catherine Lundoff's blog at Dreamwidth and LiveJournal
* Mary Robinette Kowal's blog
* Sigrid Ellis's blog

I'm not sure I'm going to manage a thorough links roundup (yay, stuff in my own life) but I'm glad to stick a link to other people's roundups as they appear.
jenett: text-only icon: Virgo Hufflepuff : details managed (details managed)
So. I am in the midst of an epic blanket project. This post has links to specific bits of it, and also links to the two different posts of explanatory commentary (one about double knitting in general, and one about the blanket design process)

Updated Oct 31, 2014 with the squares to date.

The basic explanation
Because one epic project is not enough in my life, I am making a blanket to go along with Alternity. It has 7 squares (well, rectangles) per year, with 7 years, plus a border a square wide around it. (So a 9x9 blanket.)

I am doing it in double knitting so the squares are reversible (except where they aren't, as explained!) with a little additional embroidery/etc. in places.

I do plan to release the patterns for the things I've charted myself, but they'll take a bit of additional work. If there's one you're really interested in, let me know and I can send you the chart.

What is double knitting?
It is a method of knitting two sided fabric, which is generally reversable. Beyond that, it gets a bit more complicated.

I like double knitting because:
- You get a double weight fabric.
- It is in stockinette, but does not roll.
- You can do really nifty reversable designs.
- I actually find it easier to deal with than knitting purl and knit patterns?

My post about double knitting for them as wants geekery about that.

So what are the squares?
You can find the complete list on my Ravelry account (which is [ profile] jenett), but they are also linked below so you can see them in order.

(I have set up the individual projects so you can view them without being a Ravelry member, but I think to see the larger project tag, you need to have an account. If you knit, crochet, or do other fiber arts, I recommend it.)

My post about designing it for people who want that.

I note that the links and squares currently do include spoilers up through Year 3 of Alternity (in the sense of the squares indicating major plot events.) If you think you might want to read and want to avoid spoilers, you probably want to come back to this post after you've caught up at least that far.
Links within the cut )
jenett: text-only icon: Virgo Hufflepuff : details managed (details managed)
In which I discuss the actual design parts for those curious. If you don't want to do an epic blanket, some of the info in here will still be useful for rummaging for designs to use in other places.

Designing the project and other details )
jenett: Big and Little Dipper constellations on a blue watercolor background (Default)
Welcome back to the renewed Salon posts.

Topic of the day (As always, feel free to divert to other interesting questions!)
I just started working a different shift at work. (basically I am our evening library person until 11pm this semester: I have a 5.5 hour day, 3 9 hour days, and an 8 hour day.) It's making me think a lot about how we plan days, and fit things into them.

So. What's your day like? Are you a morning person? A night owl? Something in the middle? Naturally a night owl, but you have to get up for a morning job. (That's me, once upon a time! I am a natural night owl, but used to have to be at work at 7:30am at my previous job. Or sometimes 7.)

And within that day, what's your routine? I have never been a breakfast person (and combined with that, my thyroid meds mean I can't eat for 45 minutes after taking them, and eating and *then* going to work is - well, too complicated for a morning.) So I'm currently liking the new schedule, where I get up, take my meds, and then do something for lunch as my first meal. (And also heat soup and put things together to bring to work for dinner, and then have something when I get home.) It seems to be working out so far.

And what's your evening routine? How do you wind down at the end? What things do you enjoy? (Mine often involves the computer and some knitting.)

Current things
As I mentioned in a locked post, I am currently finishing reading all the Phryne Fisher mysteries so I can watch the TV series (Miss Fisher's Murder Mysteries and in the meantime am watching Warehouse 13. I have not had a lot of brain for complicated reading, which is not so good (because I have a lot on my TBR pile)

To go with the watching, I have been knitting the Celestarium shawl, designed by Audry Nicklin, which maps the stars of the northern hemisphere onto a circular shawl. It's involved a bunch of new skills (and I didn't do anything with it for most of November and December) but I'm trying to get it done for something in mid-March. She has one for the southern hemisphere stars, too, and I'm doing four colours of beads for the star magnitudes, which is a little fiddly but very interesting.

A few notes
* FAQ over this way
* Place to leave possible topics (and screened comments in general) over here.
* If you don't have a DW account or want to post anonymously, please include a name we can call you in this particular post. (You can say AnonymousOne or your favourite colour or whatever. Just something to help keep conversations clear.)
* If you've got a question or concern, feel free to PM me or leave a comment on the screened topic post (second point just above.)
jenett: Big and Little Dipper constellations on a blue watercolor background (Default)
Here is the post where you can suggest topics for future salons.

I don't promise to use them (because they need to be a topic I'm interested in talking about, and also a topic I've got the energy to encourage on a given week, and that last one, in particular, varies a lot week to week) but I do find it helpful to have an idea what people want to talk about maybe.

Comments screened, so feel free to comment whatever you'd like.

This is also a place where you can drop me a note if there's something in a current salon post you've got a question about, or you wish someone who wasn't you would nudge the conversation a certain direction, or whatever else.

Salon posts

Thursday, January 23rd, 2014 04:15 pm
jenett: Big and Little Dipper constellations on a blue watercolor background (Default)
I've had a lot of people make "I really enjoyed those" noises at me, and I want to resume! However, my work schedule has changed for the semester, and I'm still settling into the new one.

So, here! Tell me things you like about how they were going! Tell me if there are days that work better for you!

Things I'm committed to:
1) It's going to be a weekday: my weekends vary too much.

2) The initial post will go up when I wake up and wander to the computer, which on my new work schedule is probably somewhere between 9:30am and 10:30am Eastern US Time.

3) There will be some combo of "here, have some awesome thing" (links, book quotes, whatever) and a general question. I am open to suggestions for future questions, but they need to be things I want to talk about/feel I can encourage conversation about, so feel free to suggest but be aware that I may go "Yeah, not for me" or "Yeah, but not right now."

4) It'll continue to be hosted here (rather than say, making it be a community where other people could help host) because I think part of what's making it work is my feeling stewardship of the space and a bunch of amporphous 'what's the right question for this week'. (Brains are weird.)

5) There may be occasional weeks off, though I will generally know in advance. (In particular, I have travel in mid-February and in mid-March that may complicate things.) There may also be weeks in which I forget, in which case, please do remind me I meant to do a salon post (but I've rearranged some of my to-do list stuff that will make it easier for me to remember it's a specific day.)

Yuletide reveal!

Wednesday, January 1st, 2014 11:41 am
jenett: Big and Little Dipper constellations on a blue watercolor background (Default)
I wrote Anagnorisis for a wonderful prompt that basically asked for more Penelope and Odysseus.

I've been known to say that I've been an Odysseus fangirl since pretty much I knew there was an Odysseus (which in my case was somewhere before the age of 5), and my parents nearly named me Penelope (until my older siblings pointed out the number of times this would get mispronounced, badly). And I grew up on Greek mythology, including my father retelling Homer through long dogwalks. (Since I just linked this more publically than my usual reading lists, I should note: my father was a specialist in ancient Greek theatre. I come by my geekiness naturally.)

First fandoms, anyway.

So, on the whole, this was fascinating to write, and it was wonderful to do it with a prompt that left me a number of directions I could go. I spent a lot of time chewing on it, wanting to figure out how to get the emotional weight right, and thinking a lot about the question "How *do* you pick up again after a lot of change?" and the question that Alternity [1] always leaves me with, which is "How do decent people deal with horrible circumstances?"

The two combined into a conversation, three months after the reunion, in which Penelope raises certain points to be considered.

I was hoping for a while it was going to grow another half where they went and sorted out some sort of problem together. But the more I poked at it, the more I couldn't get that to gel right, and the more I liked the sparseness and depth and complexity of it just being the conversation. I did a lot of poking at the last couple of paragraphs in particular: the end result is thanks to conversation with the ever-wonderful [ profile] elisem, where I went "OH! THAT THING." and came back with the end result.

Thank you, Betony, for an awesome prompt (and also for the recs to other fic: for everyone else who likes the Odyssey, she linked to some other stories she really liked, and I loved reading them.)

[1] See my bio post for a bit more context, or the game website.

Yuletide 2013 recs

Saturday, December 28th, 2013 01:05 pm
jenett: Big and Little Dipper constellations on a blue watercolor background (Default)
Recs for Foyle's War, The Middleman, American Gods, Seanan McGuire's song "Follow Me Down", the blog post “Ten Stupidest Things I’ve Heard Since Richard III’s Remains Were Identified”, The Addams Family, Anne of Green Gables, Ballet Shoes, Anthropomorfic library catalogs, GalaxyQuest (and fannish tendencies in general), Cold Comfort Farm, Little Brother, Tam Lin (the song), Disney Princesses at college, Young Wizards, No Reservations (taking on Narnian food), and the Newsflesh trilogy.

Recs within )
jenett: Big and Little Dipper constellations on a blue watercolor background (Default)
(Look! I remembered it was Wednesday! Which is more than I did last week. You can always feel free to remind me if I haven't posted by about 10am ET.) As always, come in, hang out, talk about stuff, invite friends, and so on and so forth.

Topic of the day: I've been poking at ebook services a bit, and it got me thinking about how I read and what I read a bit more. So, today's question: what and how?

I have somehow shifted into doing a vast amount of my reading digitally - I always have my phone with me, my phone has many many books on it, and I read that at work (when I'm doing things like waiting for a computer to boot or update things when I'm working on it) and also in bed at night, or if I'm waiting somewhere. I love that I don't have to carry a book with me, or carry a spare book in case I finish the one I'm on.

I still read in print, but mostly in the bathtub (when I don't want to use electronics) and occasionally for specific kinds of reading (anything I'm actively studying is possibly in print, or anything that has complicated diagrams, because I still find those frustrating on ereaders.)

What I read is about as varied as it always has been - about half my reading is non-fiction (mostly popular-but-well-done non-fiction), with a mix of genres. Part of this is for professional reasons: while I'm not doing reader's advisory work in my current job, it's quite possible future jobs will involve it, so I still read somewhat outside my own natural preferences to keep up with things.

But beyond that? Some fanfic, often of the very lengthy variety. A number of blogs, via RSS reader (which between them add up to a lot of text). Dreamwidth and LiveJournal (ditto on the adding up to a lot of text). A couple of online forums.

And I'm also working on figuring out reading for a future trip, where I'm having trouble figuring out how to keep track of what I've read and might want to come back to in a useful way. (I'm thinking the answer here is LibraryThing, but I haven't quite sorted out workflow enough.)

So. What do you read? How do you read it? How do you manage your reading?
jenett: Big and Little Dipper constellations on a blue watercolor background (Default)
(Look! I remembered it's Wednesday before noon!)

As always, come in, chat about whatever, invite people along. As y'all do

Today's topic: points of pride. I posted (locked, because it has some identifying details) about being on a committee at work to recognise staff, and some of the things we're doing, but it got me thinking about how I (and other people) recognise other people being awesome, or *me* being awesome.

(This is a both/and sort of question.)

So. Do you talk about your awesome? Do you have a hard time talking about your awesome? What things do you try to tell other people about their awesome?

I'm thinking of [personal profile] synecdochic's pride posts on Mondays, and I'm thinking about discussions about commenting on Yuletide (and other fanfic, but particularly ones that are part of a larger event so there's an element of time in there), and about the notes I get to write to staff telling them why other people think they're awesome (which is a pretty cool thing to get to do at work) and about conversations with student workers about gaming geekery, because it's a shared awesome.

Go forth. Discuss. Go whatever direction.
jenett: Big and Little Dipper constellations on a blue watercolor background (Default)
Yuletide within )

(If you are reading and are not familiar with Yuletide, there is a comment on this post explaining more.)
jenett: Big and Little Dipper constellations on a blue watercolor background (Default)
So, I don't know about all of you, but my day started by spilling one of my medication bottles, was followed up by getting a notification for a payment I hadn't made in PayPal, and once I got to work, discovered I was missing a meeting scheduled while I was on vacation. (Plus the range of weird computer failures I mostly expected.)

(I have enough meds to keep me going, though I'm going to have to get them to call in a refill earlier than usual, I have reported it to PayPal and changed all the passwords ever, and the meeting can be coped with. Just, well.)

My questions for you today:

1) How do you deal with days like that, when a bunch of stuff not under your control piles up? (What makes you feel better, what makes you feel more sorted?)

2) Favourite words, and why. (This one brought to you by the friend who sent me the word 'astriferous' this weekend, which means 'bearing stars'. I am also deeply fond of 'tintinabulum'. And 'fortnight'.)

I like the first one because it's descriptive and gorgeous. The second because of the sound of it (it means 'the sound of bells') and fortnight is just an exceedingly practical word.

As always, come, chat, invite friends, change the topic to other things you're interested in, etc.
jenett: Big and Little Dipper constellations on a blue watercolor background (Default)
Welcome to this week's salon. As per usual, please invite people along, talk about whatever other topics you like, and so on and so forth.

Today's topic: I mentioned that I had just finished watching all of West Wing and how I found it actually aged surprisingly well (and how I think part of that has to do with the fact they all have and use cell phones.)

This got me thinking about narrative shapes, and how some things kick me out of story, and some things don't, and how that works for me.

So. What kinds of stories or narratives are you drawn to? Why? Do you have moments where you get shaken out of them? What shakes you? (And do you still enjoy stuff that does, or not?)

For me, I have huge narrative buttons labelled 'coming of age stories involving schools', 'competent people being competent, and competent and well-intending is even better', and several others. Stuff that kicks me out of a narrative includes people being stupid in ways that haven't been set up well, stupidities about technology, worldbuilding stupidities that lead to massive inconsistencies.

Today's food: I have mushroom soup in progress at home (caramelised onions overnight, put mushrooms and stock in this morning, will have soup tonight, yay.)
jenett: Big and Little Dipper constellations on a blue watercolor background (Default)
Welcome to this week's salon post! As always, invite your friends along, feel free to chat about anything that you feel like, and so on.

Today's starting topic: Sunday is my birthday, and I'm curious what matters to y'all in celebrations of that kind.

My own habit is to do something involving good food (I plan to roast a chicken this weekend), good music (I am going to a concert tonight, eee!) and I am currently suffering under the "I want a clean apartment for my birthday!" colliding hard with the physical realities of the world, and the fact that, y'know, work takes a chunk of time out of my day. (I managed very little cleaning over last weekend, and cleaning after work is - yeah. Stupid bodies are stupid.)

And I generally apply the same thing I do on New Year's Day, which is to do a bunch of things I hope will be in my coming year, in at least symbolic amounts. Which means there should be some music in there and some knitting and some writing and some reading, and a decadent bath.

Current listening: Avalon Rising's version of "Hexamshire Lass" (I woke up with the tune stuck in my head, and that version is the closest version to the one I have stuck in my head, which I do not seem to have handy at work. Either that, or my brain's making up arrangements of things again, which is not actually that uncommon.)

Salon post:

Wednesday, September 11th, 2013 11:15 am
jenett: Big and Little Dipper constellations on a blue watercolor background (Default)
It's Wednesday. There should be a salon post. However, I feel utterly lousy, and I am quite sure I am not particularly coherent. (Fall allergies which lead to cranky lungs + a long day at work yesterday + residual ugh. Nothing dire, but that does not make me happy today.)

Today's question: What do you wish someone had told you ten years ago? (Or five, or twenty: feel free to adjust for your particular circumstances.) And why?

(This question brought to you by a post I did on my religious blog last week)

Reminder: as always, talk amongst yourselves, feel free to digress onto other topics, and have excellent conversation.

Salon post:

Wednesday, September 4th, 2013 09:06 am
jenett: Big and Little Dipper constellations on a blue watercolor background (Default)
Wander in, invite a friend to come along, and chat! (Not sure what's going on? Here, have a brief FAQ.) You can find previous ones in my salon tag. Please take a quick look at the reminders at the bottom of this post, too.

Today is the first day of classes at my place of work, and I'm still a little startled, somehow, about the transition from the laziness of August (when there's almost no one on campus except those of us who have 12 month contracts) to the bustle of the school year. (I have also hit my seasonal "my lungs hate September" moment, so I am not at my best, which is not exactly helping. It's been a very damp summer, and my mold allergies, they are complaining.)

Because of how I spent Saturday, I think this week, I'm going to snag an idea [personal profile] jjhunter brought up a month or so ago, of wanting to talk about relationships, and how to go about finding them or making the most of them.

Not just the romantic ones, but mentoring ones, friendships, teacher and student, parent and child, siblings, colleagues, and all the things that make communities and connections and the families we choose and the ones we don't and connections we make and the ones we don't.

(Why this week? Because I spent Saturday out with some awesome women, met via striking up a conversation in a restaurant in February. We all had a blast, but one of the things we've talked about a lot is how rare those kinds of friendships are in their lives. I have a *lot more* of that kind of interaction than the other four, but most of it is online and separated by distance.)

A few final notes
As noted, the basic thing here is 'leave the conversation better than you found it, or at least not worse'. The FAQ has more help with your choices for comment (DW account, OpenID account, or anonymously) if you need a hand. Or ask, and someone (likely me, but maybe not) will be along to help. We'll work everything else out as we go.

Salon Post:

Wednesday, August 28th, 2013 10:21 am
jenett: Big and Little Dipper constellations on a blue watercolor background (Default)
Welcome to our weekly salon post, wherein I managed to remember that it is Wednesday while it is still Wednesday morning.

However, I did not manage to be more organised than that: I have had a week of fighting with computers, was at work for 10.5 hours yesterday, and am now making progress on the thing that's been driving me up a wall for about a month, but that has left little to spare for, y'know. Content.

So, today's question: What stuff do you do when you are out of cope? Or approaching being out of cope? Mine include: music, knitting (I did a bunch this weekend!), and rather more in the way of mindless computer games than I ought to.

I like the knitting because at least I feel like I've done something productive when I'm done, which is not something you can say for endless rounds of Tetris.

The thing I'm trying to better problem solve is dealing with food. (I came home from work last night to realise I'd left the deli turkey for this week's lunches out during the day, so had to toss it, and didn't have anything else immediately convenient for lunches, and I'm going to be *so* glad when we hit soup season again.)

I don't necessarily want suggestions on foods (my body, it is a special snowflake), but I'm curious about the approach other people use, and why it works for them.

(I would have music on, but I'm out in our main computer area, and people might want to talk to me. )
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