Okay. NOW I am ready to have that low-effort characterization discussion.
If anyone (plural!) is interested, just leave a reply and let me know if you have some time soon or not for a couple of weeks.
As a bunch of you know, I have a very large FFVII WIP that includes a sizable character arc for Vincent (told in 1st person POV). The WIP also includes other character/plot arcs.
There are a bunch of things itching my brain regarding how I want to handle and interpret certain aspects of Vincent’s canonical presentation, specifically:
( Read more... )
Like many of us, I’ve been struggling to process what happened in Charlottesville over the weekend, and what’s been happening in this country for a while now. The racism and hatred and violence didn’t magically appear out of nowhere. It’s been building up for a long time…in fact, much of it has always been there. It’s just boiling over into the open right now, making it harder (but obviously not impossible) to look away and pretend it’s not happening.
Part of the argument I’ve seen centers around free speech and the First Amendment. Free speech is a right, an important one, and rights apply to everyone. Even people you dislike and disagree with.
But freedom of speech in this country is not and has never been limitless. From the U.S. Federal Courts, here are a few examples of actions not legally protected by freedom of speech:
- Students making an obscene speech at a school-sponsored event.
- Making/distributing obscene materials.
- Inciting actions that would harm others (e.g., Shouting “fire” in a crowded theater.)
Now, here are some of the “alt-right” protesters who gathered in Charlottesville.
Mirrored from Jim C. Hines.
- Many people have been bothered by the fact that the ACLU went to bat for the white supremacist rally in Charlottesville last weekend, when the town tried to revoke the permit they'd already granted. I give a monthly donation to the ACLU, and I was fully aware that they do things like this when I made that decision, so I'm not upset -- it's exactly what I expect from them, and they do enough good work otherwise that I chose to support them anyway. Still, I think it's time for them to re-evaluate whether or not it's possible for a white supremacist gathering to be considered a "peaceful assembly" -- and the ACLU branches based in California broke with the national organization on this point today. Is it time to switch my monthly donation to the ACLU of Northern CA instead? It's time to think about it, anyway.
- The city of Baltimore took down all of its Confederate monuments yesterday, quietly and in the middle of the night. Alec McGillis wrote a great article on their removal, including lots of history and context about race and racism in the city.
- A fed-up citizen in Arizona -- who is a registered Republican, although not a Trump supporter -- turned Phoenix's Confederate monument into a participation trophy. On the other side of the country, activists in Durham, North Carolina, staged an "I am Spartacus" moment by turning themselves in en masse for tearing down a Confederate statue there. Whatever else happens, it feels like the momentum on the issue of Confederate symbols in public spaces has really sped up. I wouldn't be at all surprised to see most or all of them gone by the end of the year.
- Wondering why there even is a Confederate monument in Arizona, which wasn't a separate US territory until partway through the Civil War, much less part of the Confederacy? Because these monuments were mainly built to support Jim Crow laws and frighten civil rights activists. They have nothing to do with memorializing Confederate soldiers and everything to do with enforcing white supremacy. I didn't know this history myself until relatively recently, and I'm glad it's becoming more common knowledge.
- Tired of endless articles on the state of the white working class? Mother Jones went to talk to working class people of color.
- More on voter suppression, this time Ohio purging its voter rolls, and the Justice Department backing them up. I really wish the Democrats would get louder about this issue.
- A couple on urban planning and housing, which is not something I talk about much but still a topic of great interest to me. (And also broadly relevant to the other issues at hand -- look up redlining sometime.) First, Gary Kamiya on the small city of Brisbane's reluctance to approve a large housing project and why other Bay Area cities ought not to be pointing fingers. Second, Alyssa Walker asks why the conversation around urban neighborhoods and gentrification is driven by white men.
- In other news, Harper's Magazine published excerpts from the jury selection transcripts for the trial of evil pharmaceutical bro and all-around asshole Martin Shkreli, and they are a thing of beauty. I have no idea how the lawyers waded through all that to get a jury of 12 mostly-impartial members, but I salute them. (Shkreli was found guilty on several counts of securities fraud unrelated to the price-gouging issue.)
I was testing the solar filter for the camera, in preparation for Monday’s eclipse. We won’t be seeing the total eclipse, but I’m hoping to get some good shots of the partial.
As I was processing the results, I realized I’d captured sunspots! (Those dark spots in the upper left.)
Click to embiggen.
For those who wonder about such things, this was taken on the 100-400mm lens, fully zoomed to 400mm. ISO 640, f/10, with a 1/3200 shutter speed. I had to set everything manually, because the camera overexposed the shot if left to its own devices.
I think next time I’ll try to reduce the ISO down to about 100 and see if that gets rid of the minor graininess.
Processing involved cropping the shot, noise reduction, and an orange overlay.
Mirrored from Jim C. Hines.
Some of you might remember me talking about a 15,000-word novelette I was working on between wrapping up Terminal Alliance and starting on Terminal Uprising.
That novelette is called “Imprinted,” and it’s the next Magic ex Libris story.
It’s about Jeneta Aboderin, and it’s set roughly eight months after the events of Revisionary.
I haven’t set a publication date yet. There’s a bit of work left to get everything ready, and with Terminal Alliance coming out in November, I’m guessing it will be available in January or February.
I also haven’t set a price. $2.99 would be ideal, because that’s where ebook royalty rates jump from 35% to 70%. What do you think? Does $2.99 seem fair for a 15,000-word story, or should I bump it down to $1.99 and take the royalties hit?
Finally, as long as you’re here, what do you think of the not-quite-finalized cover?
Mirrored from Jim C. Hines.
Characters: Ashe/Balthier, Ashe/Al-Cid, Penelo, Ondore
Spoilers: Yes but nothing really blatant.
Notes: A few months ago, I was complaining about not having any fic ideas, and renay pounced on me with a suggestion of Ashe/Balthier and fake dating. This is the result. Thanks to Nay for the bunny and to justira for a super-helpful beta read. Also thanks to Square Enix for releasing The Zodiac Age, thereby giving me the opportunity to put the characters' voices back in my head.
Summary: Beset by advisors who are pressuring her to marry, Queen Ashe reacts by bringing sky pirate Balthier as her escort to an important state event. Just having a bit of fun at her council's expense... right?
Posted on AO3.
Speaking of WorldCon, have I told you all how very excited I am for next year? WorldCon in my back yard. And so many awesome people are coming. I wish I could invite everyone to my place and have a big party, but it's 1. too small for a large gathering and 2. about 40 miles from the venue, so it's not like we could just pop over. But if you are attending, and plan to spend any time in San Francisco before or after the con, let me know! I am happy to play tour guide. Everyone should come to San Jose, and we will have excellent adventures together.