Dear Internet: I need a huge favor.
Wyrding Studios needs a massive signal boost, effective immediately.
Last month, my spouse unilaterally broke up with me after nearly 14 years of marriage. I am not going to discuss why here, or in any other public forum. For now, we are continuing to live together as co-parents and housemates, but that may have to change.
Some of you already know how I feel about my beloved house, art studio, and gardens. I have worked very hard to make my home safe space and sanctuary for myself and other artists. I am not going anywhere unless I have absolutely no other choice.
For nearly ten years, Wyrding Studios has been my sole source of income, in part because I live with multiple chronic illnesses that severely limit my ability to work outside the home. Even if I found a job that could accommodate my physical issues, it would pay considerably less and likely force me to permanently close WS.
I am asking for your help so that does not happen.
Wyrding Studios has always been a business driven primarily by repeat customers and word-of-mouth recommendations. I am so profoundly grateful to everyone who has come back year after year to buy more of my jewelry as my work evolved and changed, to everyone who has told their friends and family about my website, to everyone who has asked me to collaborate on projects or design custom pieces for special occasions.
Miles starts school full-time in the fall. I plan to spend the summer bringing WS back to financial self-sufficiency. I have a number of new projects and product lines planned for the next few months. I am working on improving my turnaround and response times, and just generally making as much of the best art that I possibly can, because, in the words of my mentor and colleague Elise Matthesen, art is a great goodness.
Here’s what you can do to help.
Start by signal boosting this post far and wide. Tell your friends, families, and co-workers about my jewelry. Post links to items in the store to social media - Pinterest, Tumblr, Facebook, Twitter, whatever you use.
Tell them they can use coupon code SIGNALBOOST to take 10% off any order of $30 or more through August 30th. You can use it too if you want, any time you order between now and then. It's good on anything except subscriptions.
Most importantly, just tell people I'm here. Tell people I've been here for a long time, and I'm not going anywhere for a long time, and that I would love to make jewelry for them. Because that's true. I want to keep making art, even out of this darkness.
Seems like a basic, normal thing, right? Just shopping for food. Going through one of our local markets, examining produce, checking the list I'd made on my phone. Three different times during the course of this, in three different parts of the store, one of the store employees was standing too close to me.
First time, I startled, but didn't think too much about it. Guy was sweeping the floor and happened to be a bit too close into my personal space. It happens. Second time, I frowned, and moved fairly quickly to a different section, knowing I was almost done with my shopping. The third time I'd just finished getting something in the bulk section, and the guy was close enough that if I'd backed up in the opposite direction from the one I took, I would've tripped over his broom.
At that point, thankfully done with my shopping, I got the hell out of there.
No, I didn't say anything, though I did glare. No, I haven't decided if I'm going to try and contact the store and report the employee. I didn't look to see what his name-tag said, though I could give a decent description, and his behavior is something he could easily deny. I'm also not going to stop shopping at that store, or going grocery shopping alone. If there's a next time, I'm snapping a picture of him with my phone, and then reporting his behavior to a manager.
I am sad and angry that crap like this does happen. That I've been trained and taught to doubt my own instincts that said something was wrong the first time I saw the guy standing behind me. I hate that I now wonder if he's done this to other women shopping there, and if my choosing to simply leave will mean he will do this to someone else. (Especially when I know the most likely answers are yes and yes.)
I've tried being the voice of warning in the past. There are people in my community that I know not to trust, and that I have passed that information along. What I have mostly received for it has been various forms of backlash, people explaining to me that the things I know about a given someone are wrong.
I know that speaking up is part of the solution. I also know that when I try to do so, even to trusted friends and partners, I feel sick inside. I get what feels like a huge lump of lead in my stomach, and I remember times where I've been disbelieved, or simply dismissed.
Talking with one of my partners tonight, he asked me what he can do, when (wish to hell I could say if) I experience harassment in the future. I asked him to listen to me, and to believe me.
Believe. Because you may not see harassing behavior. This is an excellent example of what harassment is and what it looks like, and I strongly agree with this part in particular: "...I think the way a lot of these things go down is with their own little cloak of invisibility around them. If it isn’t happening to you, you often don’t see it happening."
I also can't agree enough with this post. Harassment is about power. And yes, I can name so many things that are part of the constant barrage that grinds down my energy and my willingness to stand up, speak up, educate, and think of creative and effective ways to fight back.
I may do so in the future in a separate post. This is all I have energy to write about tonight.
So far, it has been a pretty good weekend. My plans for yesterday fell through due to my focusing on website stuff rather than going out and being social. Time with Dustin has been very good this weekend, and he's been helping a lot with the occasional outbreaks of "Eep!" on my part. Sar also helped by looking over what I wrote and catching both an address typo and making some suggestions about other set-up stuff.
If you are interested, or want to recommend me to a friend, my website is http://crowcounseling.net
I just finished it.
This makes two books that have made me cry this week. The other being the new Dresden novel, and of the two, this one had me crying much much harder. As in, I had to set the book down and just let myself cry before I could continue reading the story, and I desperately wanted to continue and finish reading the story.
I love the October Daye series, and will happily devour those as they come out. But they don't touch me in quite the same way as the Masons' story does. Georgia and Shaun and their world became very real to me, as I was reading this book. The characterization and world-building is beyond top-notch. Many books entertain me, many books make me think, but not many reach this same status of 'real' in my head, and I am in utter awe.
Yes, the book has excellent zombie scenes. They scared the hell out of me, but were still quite enjoyable, even despite how much I am scared of the very concept of zombies. But what struck me as more important, was what the characters had to say, and how relevant what they had to say was and is to our current, terrified, fear-mongering, post-9/11 world. It's a ripping good story, and Mira pulls absolutely no punches. I commented this to someone when I was a bit over half-way through the book, I'm both entirely correct, and knew not whereof I spoke, by the time I reached the end.
I want to know what happens next. And I'm content for the moment to just sit in quiet awe. I know I will re-read this book many times. I know that I will *strongly* encourage my friends to read it.
"Alive or dead, the truth won't rest. Rise up while you can."
Everything ranging from tech support and professional editing to yarn and everything knitted you can imagine. Autographed first editions and TV/movie memorabilia. Want custom or handmade jewelry, or a custom quilt or book bag? Think someone might like original art or photos (or letterpressed biz cards, or custom notecards) for Upcoming Holiday Gifting? What about baked goods People are even auctioning off surprises and taking offers for custom duct tape creations!
People who don't even know this guy Dave have brought the best of themselves to help him stay in his home. Most auctions are ending around Halloween...go check out what's on offer before it's over! And if you can, spread the word about the auction. Thanks!
(Personally, I'm bidding on a Tom Smith song, and a fire-spinning blessing by s00j and omnisti. Go check it out!)
The other, far more monetarily modest purchase, is Five Glasses of Absinthe, a comic by Nick Brienza and Egypt Urnash. I'm delighted to have this in dead-tree format. While I've been enjoying the comic online, I think I'll be able to get a lot more out of both the dialogue and the artwork in book format. Plus, I like having a copy I can re-read without having to be online. Warning if you go looking for this, it is very NSFW. Still, I'm looking forward to continuing to follow the story and see where it goes from here.
Your song, "She's Like the Wind", was the first song that I danced to and felt the music move me beyond myself. I was dancing for me, and for the music, and I was all of 11 years old, and that is still one of the best experiences of my life.
I learned to appreciate men who can dance, and especially men who are willing to risk looking silly while having a good time. Thank you for the roles you played, especially in Dirty Dancing and Road House. They're still two of my favorite movies as well as guilty pleasures.
R.I.P. Patrick Swayze. Thank you for making the world a little brighter during your time here.
It's a long blog post, but it says so many things about one part of the rape culture that we're swimming in. Why am I linking to it? Because not only was I impressed and amazed by the writer's candor and honesty, but a lot of what she had to say resonated for me. My own experiences don't include what I would define as rape, but they do include experiences that push the boundaries of what is and isn't rape. I do get uncomfortable when friends make rape jokes, or even references to rape that are supposed to be funny.
One recurring joke comes up during gaming when someone refers to extreme damage done to an enemy. And I flinch, every time. Because it reminds me very strongly of one of those "not rape, but pushed the boundaries nonconsensually" experiences that I have had. And I know the people who use the joke/phrase i'm referring to aren't trying to make me flinch. But even if the link above is TL;DR, I'd like my friends to think. I strongly believe that thinking is a useful and worthy pursuit. For this reason, I've included an exerpt below.
So, here is my challenge for those who want to tell rape jokes:
Ask every woman in your life if she has been sexually assaulted. Ask her to tell you her story. This means your mother, your sister, your girlfriend, your grandma.
Once you have heard all their stories, go watch a movie with a rape scene in it. One you didn’t mind before. One you thought people were overly offended by.
Now tell me a joke.
Absolutely beautiful. I've enjoyed reading many of these on shadesong's journal, but having them all collected in one volume was a delicious treat. Seriously, check out this amazing woman's journal, and go order a copy of Wind Tunnel Dreams. She has one of the most beautiful minds I've ever experienced, and her prose and poetry dance in realms I'd love to visit for a while.
90.The Diamond Throne by David Eddings
91.The Ruby Knight by David Eddings
92.The Sapphire Rose by David Eddings
93.Domes of Fire by David Eddings
All of the above were re-reads. Stopped after the first book of the second trilogy because I was reminded of exactly how much I dislike when his books get preachy. I won't even discuss what I think of his female characters in general.
94.Naamah's Kiss by Jacqueline Carey
After Kushiel's Avatar, I wasn't sure I wanted to read more of Jacqueline Carey's books. I did read the Imriel trilogy, and while I liked it, I wasn't as captured by it as Kushiel's Dart. Naamah's Kiss is a beautiful reminder of everything I loved about her worldbuilding and her characters, with a lot that's wonderful and new to discover. I highly recommend this book to anyone who liked the Kushiel trilogies, and to those who enjoy fantasy in general. You'll have a richer experience if you've read the other books, but I believe this one can stand easily on its own.
95.Yes Means Yes: Visions of Female Sexual Power and A World Without Rape, Edited by Jaclyn Friedman and Jessica Valenti
There are some amazing essays in this book, and some that didn't resonate much with me. Above all, a lot of it made me think, and that what I look for most in non-fiction works.
96.Let the Right One In by John Ajvide Lindqvist and Ebba Segerberg
Worlds of creepy aligned with the horrors of growing up. There's one scene in particular that has me creeped out so bad I will likely never see the movie. Still, excellent book.
97.The Strain by Guillermo Del Toro and Chuck Hogan
Starts off amazing, ends somewhere a little too close to cliche. I'll still look for the sequels as they get published over the next 2 years. I'm hoping they'll pull back out of cliche territory. Warning, closer to zombie/vampires than Anne Ricean vampires.
98.The Darkangel Trilogy by Meredith Ann Pierce
( Major spoilers for these books here. )
I'm going to be compiling a list of things that I know I want to read, but am missing. At the same time, I'd love to find new things to read, so I turn to you, dear readers.
What books/series in the sci-fi/fantasy/horror/supernatural genre's would you recommend? What books are your delight and joy?
This lay well within my skill-set, and was my first introduction to Rosemary and Rue by Seanan McGuire. I caught one small continuity detail, but beyond that I was fairly limited in feedback beyond: Book good. And it was.
Well, I'm not sure how many revisions there have been between that version and the version I received in ARC form, but let me tell you, this book has gone from "Book good" to "Book AMAZING!"
For those reading this who like comparisons to other series. Quality-wise, I believe that Rosemary and Rue compares favorably with both the first book of the Dresden Files by Jim Butcher, and with the first book of the Anita Blake series by Laurell K. Hamilton.
The main character, October 'Toby' Daye, is a changeling. This leaves her caught between the realms of Faerie and the mortal world, with obstacles and craziness from both being heaped on her head throughout Rosemary and Rue. Toby's journey through this book is precipitated by the murder of an old friend, and a very pressing obligation to solve that murder.
It's difficult writing a review, because I want to talk on and on about all the twists and turns, all the fascinating secondary characters, and the delight I had in seeing so much being set up for the subsequent books. At the same time, I don't want to give any spoilers, simply because Rosemary and Rue brings wonderful discoveries of Toby's world on every page. The degree of detail going on in the background, as she is moved forward by action scene after action scene is just lovely.
Toby and her world feel real to me. I can picture her San Francisco, with Kelpies lurking on corners, and knowes hidden in the most unlikely of places. If someone had asked me before this book about doors into Faerie existing within a city, I would've scoffed. However, Seanan strikes the right balance between the gritty, mundane world of mortals and the otherworldliness of Faerie, and makes it seem natural and right where the two intersect.
Honestly, I can't say enough good things about the world-building. How the rules of Faerie make sense, and how you glimpse threads of the broader tapestry. I believe that Toby is dealing with a world of immortal beings, with complex and intertwining stories, loves and hates, jealousies and loyalties. Toby struggles, and I believe both in the struggles and that she will find a way through, with the help of her friends, and by relying on her own wits. Toby has been hurt by her past, but she is strong, and is capable of change to face her new realities. Seanan has me rooting for Toby throughout this book, gasping and cringing and wincing and cheering by turns. I think that is the biggest change, from the previous version I read to this one, that I can and do believe that Toby will hold her own in this precarious and deadly world.
So, September 1st, get thee to the nearest bookstore and buy a copy of Rosemary and Rue. If you love story, strong heroines, and a very folklore-based take on Faerie, you'll adore this book. (Plus, geez, it's going to kill me to wait that long to discuss all the shiny and twists and turns of Rosemary and Rue!)
75.Grave Peril: The Dresden Files, Book 3 by Jim Butcher
76.Summer Knight: The Dresden Files, Book 4 by Jim Butcher
77.Death Masks: The Dresden Files, Book 5 by Jim Butcher
78.Blood Rites: The Dresden Files, Book 6 by Jim Butcher
79.Dead Beat: The Dresden Files, Book 7 by Jim Butcher
80.Proven Guilty: The Dresden Files, Book 8 by Jim Butcher
81.White Night: The Dresden Files, Book 9 by Jim Butcher
82.Small Favor: The Dresden Files, Book 10 by Jim Butcher
83.Turn Coat: The Dresden Files, Book 11 by Jim Butcher
I've been enjoying the Dresden series for quite some time. I honestly wasn't sure how it could be improved. Turn Coat takes the best from the previous books, and goes that step further. I'm impressed by the growth of the characters, and that no matter how bleak things get, Dresden will find a way through the chaos and carnage that is his life. I can't recommend this book highly enough.
84.Skin Trade by Laurell K. Hamilton
I didn't like Blood Noir very much. Actually, that's an understatement. So far it's the only Anita Blake book that I've read only once. It was so off-putting for me that I was actually reluctant to start reading Skin Trade, even after I picked it up in hard back. I'm glad that I did finally read it. There are still moments where I'm going, "Erk"; "Rainbow of tigers" comes to mind. But there were so many excellent things about this book that I thoroughly enjoyed reading it. Unfortunately, I don't feel I can detail any of them here without major spoilers.
85.Eyes of Desire 2 by Raymond Luczak
A book of collected stories from various Deaf GLBT people and their allies. The myriad perspectives and voices in this book is just amazing. I haven't returned it to the Redmond library yet, but I highly recommend checking it out if you have an interest in people and the wide variety of lives they lead.
86.The Shadow Queen by Anne Bishop
Bliss, bliss, bliss! A new Black Jewels novel, one where the main characters are nominally not the ones from the original trilogy, and yet those have a lot of say and influence over the main and side plots of this book. If you like this author's universe, pick up this book! I'm going to be passing my copy along to a friend this weekend.
87.White Witch, Black Curse by Kim Harrison
Ugh. Why I keep reading these occasionally escapes me. Oh, I like the conceit of the titles, being based off of various spaghetti western movie titles. I like the secondary characters, some of them quite a lot. The main character drives me absolutely bugshit. I feel like her angst and cluelessness is the price I pay for getting glimpses into the other characters lives. Honestly, this character gets into just as much of a mess as Harry Dresden, BUT she brings most of her troubles onto herself, AND she only muddles through most of her problems via dumb luck and deus ex machina. I prefer characters who are able to grow and figure their own crap out without being told "astonishing" revelations by other characters, which they go on to ignore anyways. Argh!
Currently reading: Rosemary and Rue by Seanan McGuire
Mention that SoulFood Books is in trouble and doing a fundraiser this weekend.
Co-worker says something about noticing not a lot of people buying merchandise there, just coffee and food and such.
Co-worker mentions planning on taking a walk and getting coffee, and would I like something?
Me, thinking co-worker is going to walk over to SoulFood, agrees and asks for a hot chocolate, handing over money for this.
Co-worker returns, half an hour later, from Starbucks.
I'll be stopping by SoulFood during my lunchbreak to pick up a hot chocolate that's y'know, drinkable, and give money to a business that is both local and that I *WANT* to support.
I want to be someone who understands, but doesn't let that understanding get in the way of learning the new as it unfolds.
I want to be someone rich in wisdom.
I want to be someone who cherishes imagination, both her own and others'.
I want to be someone who does things for the joy of them: singing, dancing, laughing, smiling, joking, playing, creating, loving.
I want to be someone who sees the best in people.
I want to be someone who can face her fears.
I want to be someone who can deal with her own anger, and learn how to face that of others.
I want to be someone who is graceful, in all senses of the word.
I want to be someone who accepts her own beauty and strengths.
I want to be someone who lives.
Your result for The Social Persona Test (What kind of man/woman are you?)...
The Rarity (QTAF)
Quirky Traditional Alpha Female
You have an unusual and unbelievably precious combination of traits, especially in a woman. Not only are alpha females extremely rare, but traditional ones with nerdy/geeky interests are even more scarce. Unlike the other types, I can't give you a description because I'm not sure if you actually exists. I know this is not a compatibility test, but you are the girl of my dreams. Please, oh please message me! (Not to sound desperate or anything.)
You are more QUIRKY than NORMAL.
You are more TRADITIONAL than LIBERAL.
You are more DOMINANT than PASSIVE.
When picking a date, consider: Lord of the Misfits (QLAM), The Late Bloomer (QTAM), The Snowball's Chance in Hell (QTBM), or The Manga Geek (QLBM).