In other news: I went bowling with co-workers last week and broke 100 (rare for me), and I went cabin camping in Eastern Maryland last weekend and got to sing a lot and canoe. Price: bug bites. Not too bad.
And now, part 2 of my review of Write!, the text editor. In part 1, I talked about my initial impressions of its pricing and subscription model, its treatment of saving to a cloud vs. saving locally, and functionality I was able to learn about on the first couple of menus.
In this post, I’ll talk about the functionality on the Edit and Format menus, as well as the overall look of the thing and the experience of writing in it.
Yep, that sure is an Edit menu
I see pretty standard functionality available on the Edit menu: Undo, Redo, Cut, Copy, Copy As (with a few different options as to how you can copy into the window you’re working on), and Find.
(Additionally, since I’m looking at the Mac build, there are also the Start Dictation and Emoji & Symbols options that I see at the bottom of Edit menus on other programs on my Mac. But as those as not specific to this program, I won’t talk about them here.)
The Format menu
Show Context Menu
This brings up a bunch of things that I’d expect to find on toolbars in other programs, and is essentially a glorified toolbar here, even if it’s in multi-tabbed menu format.
I’d be a little annoyed by this, as having to go to the menu seems like a redundant way to get at this functionality, except that I also just discovered I can get to the same stuff by right-clicking anywhere within my edit window. In which case I kinda wonder why there’s a whole menu command to get to this, which, again, feels redundant. But I guess not so much if you’re not used to right-clicking to get to stuff.
Bold, Light, Italic, Underline, Strikethrough, Upper Case, Lower Case
All of these menu options do what I’d expect them to, though I’m a little surprised by “Light”, as this is an option I haven’t seen in word processors or text editors before. It basically appears to be functioning as an opposite of Bold. Except that if you want to un-bold text you can toggle it in every single program I’ve ever dealt with, so I’m not exactly sure why a separate format needed to be here. If I try to bold an entire phrase and then choose “Light” on a word within that phrase, it does the exact same thing as just de-bolding that word.
I do like being able to automatically upper-case or lower-case text, though.
I’m not entirely pleased with all these formatting options being their very own menu items, though, particularly given that they’re all duplicated on the aforementioned Context menu. So there’s another layer of redundancy here, all of which I think would have been entirely fine to eliminate completely with a simple toolbar.
On the other hand, if you have the formatting options on the menu, you can also show the keyboard shortcuts, which is useful, so there’s that. Things like command-B and command-I might be second nature to me (or any other writer who’s been working for a while on a Mac), but I’m not everybody, and it’s important for me to keep that in mind.
Though okay, I just figured out why this menu/context bar bugs me. I’d like to be able to have that context menu floating over on the side so I wouldn’t have to keep bringing it up and dismissing it if I want to reformat text. Or, I’d like these options on a toolbar. This editor is billing itself as a “distraction-free” text editor, but it’s distracting to me to have to keep bringing the context menu up and dismissing it again. I’d be bugged by this less if it were on a mobile device where screen real estate is more important, but I’m on my laptop screen and not lacking for visual space.
Headers and Paragraphs
This is another formatting option that is duplicated on the context menu, and basically covers a small assortment of styles you can apply to text: headings, code, quote, etc. Not too huge a style set, but on the other hand, this is calling itself a text editor, not a word processor. I wouldn’t expect a text editor to get nearly as complicated with its styles as an outright word processor would, so that’s fine.
Left, Right, Center, Justify, and Reset, some basic alignment options for whatever paragraph you’re currently in/selected, and it does appear to work on a paragraph basis. Which is about what I’d expect.
I am, however, a bit surprised that these options are not duplicated on the context menu. This is a bit of inconsistency of behavior, which I almost find a bit more irritating than the aforementioned redundancy.
Bullet, Numeric, and Alphabetic lists styles, including a “Switch” option that apparently just cycles through the three. Not something I feel I’d particularly need when using a text editor for writing.
But, if you’re using this thing as a client to write a post for Medium or some other blogging platform, basic lists could be useful. I use lists in my posts all the time.
Behaves mostly like I’d expect, highlighting a word if I’ve already selected it, or turning on highlighting for whatever I’m about to type next if something isn’t already selected.
However, highlighting apparently does not toggle like Bold or Italic. If I have a word highlighted, and then select the Highlight command off the menu again, or use the keyboard shortcut, it doesn’t remove that highlight.
If I want to remove the highlight, I actually have to go onto the context menu and get at the “Clear Formatting” command on the first tab, or the “Clear Highlight” command on the Highlight tab. Easy enough to find but slightly irritating that I had to go looking for it.
Okay, I get the intention here: add a hyperlink to text. However, I take issue with the implementation, on the following grounds:
One, “Edit Hyperlink” implies there’s already a hyperlink there to edit, which is not the case if what you want to do is actually add a new one.
Two, if you select some text and then select “Edit Hyperlink”, what actually happens is that the context menu pops up, and the “Hyperlink” command on it is replaced by a text box where you’re supposed to enter the hyperlink you want.
And I’m sorry, but the entire notion of splicing a text entry box into a context menu just makes me go NO. Even if it does appear to work and (presumably) saves the effort of coding a separate dialog box to keep track of that setting. I don’t care. It’s still annoying.
So if editing and formatting annoy me, is it at least nice to write in?
Here’s something good I can say about this program: with sidebars and things turned off, whittling it down to just the basic program window itself, I do actually like the aesthetic look of it. It’s clean. It’s simple. It certainly is nicer to look at than TextEdit.
I am not really a fan of its default sans serif font, and there appears to be no way to change it. Nowhere in the program do I see any sign of ability to change what fonts it uses.
But at least visually, that’s the only nitpick I’ve got with it.
Typing-wise, I’m finding it distracting that it doesn’t auto-indent paragraphs for me like Scrivener does. But I can’t hold that against it, because again, text editor, not word processor. TextEdit doesn’t auto-indent so I wouldn’t expect Write! to do so either.
And here’s a thing I do kind of like. Here’s a screenshot of what the window looks like to me:
That little gray square over on the right is a navigation bar, which you can use to get a thumbnail view of where you are in the document, and do a fast scroll up and down. I can confirm, now that I’ve typed enough into the test window to get enough text to scroll, that that does work. I also note that if you don’t happen to like that feature, you can turn it off. (More on this in the next post.)
And OH HEY SURPRISE: down in the left bottom corner, that “1 174” down there? Turns out that’s a word count feature that has no access on the menu whatsoever, so I stumbled across that entirely by accident. More on this in another post, too; I like some of what I see there, but some of it seems buggy as well. The lack of an obvious word count was one of the things I was going to say I didn’t like about the program, but since there is in fact word count functionality here, that’s a distinct advantage over, say, TextEdit.
For now, though, that’s enough for this post. More to come in part 3!
Mirrored from angelahighland.com.
It’s five answers to five questions. Here we go…
1. Will my mental health get in the way of a promotion?
I am a college student working part-time at a retail job that I absolutely love. I have goals and plans to move up in the company that my direct supervisors and my district manager are aware of and are very supportive of. Recently, a manager has been guiding me towards a small promotion as a lead cashier. It may not seem like much, but would bring me more responsibilities and would make me more likely to be moved into a management role later on. I am extremely eager for this job.
The thing is, I suffer from depression and anxiety. I go to counseling and take medication, and I am able to function well and exceed expectations most of the time and often more than double sales goals, but recently my mental health has taken a turn. I’m doing my best to still perform well at my job, but today was unbearable and I asked a coworker to take my shift.
My boyfriend is worried that I have jeopardized my chances at this promotion and that they will not give me the lead cashier position because my mental health makes me “unstable and unreliable, and unable to do work.” His thinking is that they will be more likely to promote people who never have people take their shifts, call in, or request off. I don’t agree with him but now I am worried. Do you think it is likely for them to give someone else the position because they do not have mental health issues? Is it even legal for them to not give me a promotion based on my mental health? And how should I address my issues to my employers so I don’t come across flaky and make it clear that my job still is extremely important to me? (I told the person who took my shift that personal things had come up, but when I called my manager to let her know she would be showing up instead of me, I did let her know that I was just having a bad mental health day and couldn’t see myself performing my best. She is open about her own mental health problems, but she is leaving our store soon and I now wonder if whoever replaces her will understand as well, or if the manager who is doing the hiring for the promotion won’t understand.)
Your boyfriend thinks that you’ll look unstable and unreliable based on getting someone else to cover your shift once? It’s really, really normal to switch shifts with people at part-time retail jobs, as is needing to call in sick or ask for specific days off. So do not listen to your boyfriend on that front.
But in general, when you call in sick or let a manager know you’ve switched shifts, I’d keep it vague — you’re “under the weather” or “feeling ill.” Don’t specify that it’s for mental health reasons. Not because there’s anything wrong with that, but it’s more info that you need to provide (just like you don’t need to specify “diarrhea” or “sharp shooting pain in my side”) … and because the reality is that yes, there can still be stigma around mental health issues, even among people who seem to get it, and there’s no reason to introduce worries in their head that it cause issues in the future. That’s of course unfair; if you call in with a headache, you wouldn’t normally worry that your boss will fear you might have headaches in the future — but this is still a thing when it comes to mental health.
As for the legalities … if your condition is protected under the Americans with Disabilities Act, it’s illegal for them to consider it in promotion decisions (as long as you can do the job with reasonable accommodations and without undue hardship to them). But the reality is that there’s a ton of bias — both conscious and unconscious — around this stuff, so you’re better off keeping the info you share minimal.
2. Is it okay to hire people from my full-time job to work at my part-time job?
I work full-time for a public organization, overseeing about 50 staff members in a large department. There is a fair amount of movement between positions and there’s no guarantee that I will supervise the same people from year to year. I also work part-time for another public organization and regularly advertise for new positions on a professional listserv. Recently, people who work for my full-time organization have started to apply for positions in the part-time organization that I hire for and would supervise.
My initial feeling is that it would be a conflict of interest to hire a person who also works for my full-time organization, as I’d potentially be in the position of supervising them for two different companies. I can imagine all sorts of issues with that. Even for those staff members who I do not directly supervise at my full-time job, there is a real possibility that I would have to give them feedback on their full-time work as it often directly affects the work of the staff members that I support. I’ve reached out to my supervisor at the full-time job to confirm that she would also see this as a conflict of interest, also I haven’t heard back yet. So, I’d like to keep it as separate as possible and not hire anyone for the part-time job who also works in my department at my full-time job.
However, is this okay and ethical? It seems unfair to take someone out of consideration for a position simply because I may have a conflict of interest in hiring them. Do I need to convey this to potential candidates somehow? What if they are the best candidate and the only disqualifying factor is that they work for my department at the full-time job?
Ugh, yeah, I’d be wary of conflicts of interest too. For example, if you become aware of problematic behavior from someone at one job, you’ll have the question of whether and how it’ll impact your assessment of them at the other job. Or if they don’t like how you handle something at the part-time job, is it going to impact things at the full-time job? (And how will your full-time job feel about that?) You also risk politics from the one job coming into the other. It could go perfectly smoothly, of course, but you’d be introducing the potential for problems and messiness that you wouldn’t otherwise have.
That said, I don’t think this is such an absolute no that you can’t evaluate the whole situation and decide to proceed with hiring one of them anyway; it’s not like hiring your boyfriend or your daughter or other definite no’s. If you know someone to do good work and they have a track record of professional maturity, it’s not crazy to decide the risk of problems is low enough that you’ll move forward with them.
But I can also see being pretty uncomfortable about doing that with people who you work with closely at your full-time job. So one middle-ground option would be to decide that you don’t want to hire people from your department there, but that you won’t do a blanket ban on the whole organization. If you went that route, you’d simply explain to anyone in your department who’s interested that you don’t feel you can hire from your current department because of the potential for conflicts of interest.
If you decide to do that, that’s not unethical; people aren’t entitled to any particular job, and it’s very normal to remove otherwise good candidates from consideration because of connections that could cause problems (for example, that they’re dating or related to someone in the same department or who would have authority over them). I’d just make sure that the part-time employer is aware that that’s what you’ve decided to do, so that they’re not surprised by it later on (especially since these are public organizations).
3. Is this good resume advice?
I have been reading advice about resumes lately that goes against what has seemed “standard” until now, and instead suggests people start using complete sentences, include explanations for job changes or gaps within the resume, write a friendly “summary” at the top. Is this really a Thing now, or is this from the land of “video resumes are the future!”? My brain is honestly so fried now from all of the different tweaks I see suggested, I’m having trouble even bothering to revise my resume anymore … (which may be why I’m still not working!)
Do not use complete sentences on your resume. Resumes should be easy to skim, space is at a premium (so you want to be concise), and they should use bullet points, not prose. More on that here and here.
Nor should you include reasons for leaving or for gaps, unless there’s a very specific situation that where it makes sense — but not as a general rule. That’s not the convention for resumes, and it looks a little out of touch when people include that info for all their jobs. Not like “I won’t hire you” out of touch, but it doesn’t strengthen your resume.
But summaries are indeed a real thing now. They’re by no means a requirement, but they’re pretty common these days. The majority of them aren’t useful because they tend to be so generic that you could imagine every other candidate with similar qualifications having the same summary … but the good ones talk about what differentiates you and makes you awesome (meaning concrete achievements, not “good communication skills”).
4. My company adjusts salaries for cost of living downward but never upward
I have been an employee with my company for five years, and in my current role for four of those years. We are allowed to work remotely, and I recently relocated from the D.C. area to California. When I originally moved, I let them know that I would temporarily be in San Diego, and they ran numbers and reduced my salary based on OPM’s pay tables. This was annoying, but I knew the move was temporary and assumed that we would recalculate once I landed somewhere more permanent. After three months, I relocated again to Los Angeles, a considerably more expensive metro area (more expensive than even D.C.!). When I inquired about the COLA adjustment to reflect my new location, I was informed they never raise salaries for COLA, just decrease them. So I could move from LA, to a less expensive metro area, take another pay cut, then move to San Francisco and have to suffer at the lower salary.
This doesn’t seem fair to me — if you are going to allow employees to go remote, and make adjustments to salary, shouldn’t they be prepared to make those adjustments regardless of how that shakes out for them?
Yes. This isn’t how this is supposed to work. You work for jerks.
5. My ex-roommate left documents in violation of HIPAA
My roommate moved out a month ago. She was in the medical profession and, well, she left a lot of stuff behind. Today, I started looking through a folder that she left, and it’s bad. There are dozens — literally dozens — of patient charts with full names, medical histories, and medication lists. She also left documents with her full Social Security number, date of birth, everything needed to steal her identity. I figured shredding the latter would be sufficient, but I don’t know what to do about the former. It seems like a massive HIPAA violation, and she’s still practicing. I have two major questions. 1) What do I do with these documents? I don’t want them in my home, I don’t want to be responsible for them, but I have no idea what the procedure is for disposing of them. 2) Do I report her to the licensing board? This seems really, really bad, and I feel like the hospital should know, as well as the board. I’ve tried contacting her to no avail.
Do you have a way to contact her old employer? If so, I’d do that, explain what you found, and ask what they want you to do with the materials. I don’t know that you need to report her to the licensing board — you certainly could if you wanted to, but I think that’s really up to you, based on whether you feel strongly enough to put in the time to do that.
I don’t think you’re being negligent if you decide not to; she’s the negligent one, and anything you do to clean up her mess is more than you’re obligated to do. (Although I do think you at least need to shred those materials unless her former employer directs you to do something differently.)
will my mental health get in the way of a promotion, bad resume advice, and more was originally published by Alison Green on Ask a Manager.
--The first few days back are usually pretty reasonable. (I could conceivably even be home for supper tomorrow evening!) Thankfully, today I was able to finish and submit the half-volume that's due tomorrow, so that's not hanging over me...but I'll need to go pick up my and scruloose's con passes, and then on Friday, no matter what time we wrap up at the office, I'll be going straight from there to the convention. I even made it as far as looking over the schedule and making notes this evening, although in practice I rarely make it to more than a small percentage of the panels and talks that catch my eyes. So many people. O_O (The "rarely" applies to cons and similar things in general, as this is only my second Hal-Con.)
--When I was poking around in my tags the other day to see if I could figure out when I stopped bouldering, I came across this 2013 post about Claudia from when she and Jinksy were about five months old. Oh, my kitten. *^^* (*finds baby!Claudia!kitten icon*)
--I have this half-formed theory that Casual Job is the appropriate excuse to actually start figuring out lipstick, since I really haven't, despite buying a bunch in Toronto. The defense I have to offer is that I'm usually at home living in pajamas when Casual Job isn't on (I'm very glad I'm not one of the many people who needs to Get Dressed to successfully work at home--although if it'd help my focus, you bet I'd do it), and when I go out it's usually either quick errands (hard to convince myself to bother) or to have dinner out with someone (and I know people eat and drink with lipstick on all the time, but it turns out I find it intimidating to consider needing to immediately touch it up while out if it smears/wears off).
by Dialecticdreamer/Sarah Williams
part 5 of 6 (working)
word count (story only): 1189
:: Part of the Polychrome Heroics universe, this is a Finn family story which includes Shiv, Boss White and the Ebonies and Ivories. ::
back to part four
to the Finn Family index
on to part six
Watching the older blond, Shiv asked. “Why are you doing it that way? Isn't that babyish?”
“Am I babyish?” Heron deliberately cocked an eyebrow at his host. “One of my housemates in my freshman year was a fantastic cook, but another one could burn salad. Making a recipe this way was easier on her brain, so she could actually concentrate on the cooking part of things instead of just spending all her energy to read the print, which was one reason why she kept confusing steps.” He ticked his thumb against his fingers, then sighed. “Okay, we'll need some baking soda out of the fridge, but you don't have flour, baking powder, or cream of tartar. They're likely to be downstairs in the main kitchen.”
( Read more... )
We took Mikey to the vet. Or rather I called, made an appointment for 8.30 since that was the one morning appointment they had open, the boy was on his way home so I stuffed Mikey into the carrier so he could just grab him and go. Mikey flipped out and started clawing at the carrier so rather than have him break a claw or worse on the thing, I pulled on a bra and boots and took an antihistamine (yes I with the six cats have cat allergies and vet visits are nightmares) and went with him to make sure he didn't hurt himself in the car.
We were there for about an hour while they X-rayed him and did a blood panel all to reveal that nothing is detectably or severely wrong to cause the vomiting, plus confirming to the vet that he's an active kitty still eating and eliminating as usual. So on the plus side he's a relatively healthy kitty except for the vomiting. On the minus side, vomiting. Still. And now I'm late to work.
So we pile him back into the house, I go finish getting ready and throw on some clothes and drink some lemonade because I haven't had breakfast yet, we get on to the short drive to work and promptly get stuck in standstill traffic for thirty minutes while fire trucks scream down the shoulder next to us because I don't even know what the fuck happened there. We shot past work instead and stopped at a grocery store to get me breakfast and sushi for lunch.
The chocolate chip muffins I thought I got were not in fact chocolate chip muffins, they were fucking cranberry muffins. Which might actually taste fine but that was not what I fucking wanted. And work was of course busy busy busy with no opportunity to sit down, rest and process until after all the time sensitive shit was done. I skipped capoeira and went home and napped after calling Mom to whine at her, and I meant to nap for forty five minutes but instead ended up sleeping for over two hours and in short: fuck this day.
AND I have a dental cleaning tomorrow. Pre-emptively fuck tomorrow too.
( Modulation )
Notes talk below the speakers, pun alert:
*Carlos is speaking and thinking in Brazilian Portuguese, as well as speaking Dutch. Caryn is at least trying to speak Dutch. Translations:
We komen uit Canada. Wij kunnen u helpen.: We're from Canada. We can help you.
Um, dois, três: one, two, three
Jij bent--: You are--
E agora: and now
*Coyote is a term for people smugglers of the far less scrupulous kind.
It seems like I must have read more than I am remembering ... .
Anyway, I finished The Brightest Fell, by Seanan McGuire (October Daye #11), which ends pretty much on a cliffhanger. The Magic McGuffin puts Toby (mostly) back together again, but two characters she cares about very much are seriously traumatized and a slippery opponent has disappeared. Thus it goes when you are the Knight of Lost Words. My sister has suggested that I introduce my 15-year-old niece to these, and I might as well. Certainly they've kept me going for a good long while now.
I'm about three-quarters of the way through Max Gladstone's The Ruin of Angels (his new Craft novel), and I'm enjoying it immensely, despite the fact that the editor seems to have fallen down on the job. Several times, I've had to re-read sentences two or three times to make sense out of them. It's not that Gladstone blew it in any of these cases, according to the rules of grammar, but he wasn't terribly clear, and given that this is a fast-paced thriller, really, the pacing went off. Also, at one point, a character introduced as Marian becomes Miriam for a sentence, and then returns to her original name. Finally, did you know that the past tense of "sweat" (as in, what you do on a hot day, especially if you run) is also "sweat"? I, in fact, did not know that. But Gladstone does, and there's a lot of sweating going on, so I kept tripping over this.
Despite my confusion on these mechanical points, this is an awesome read. There's an extended and thrilling caper involving a Very Cool Train (making me wonder whether Gladstone has been reading Stand Still Stay Silent: see Dalahästen), and about a third of the way in, it occurred to me that all the leads, all the POV characters, and the most significant antagonist are all female, and several of them are also queer.
And Kai and Izza are back, as is Tara Abernathy. \o/
If I remember what I read between Fell and Ruin, I'll let you know.
I hope to be able to get away before Noon on Friday, if work permits. I've put in enough hours that I can do so, but it requires that the urgent stuff gets done. If I don't get away before Noon, it's almost inevitable that I won't get home that night and will be obliged to lay up somewhere along the way, thanks to the never-ending traffic in the Bay Area and Sacramento.
Crossover/Fic: Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, GLOW (2017)
Crossover/Fic: Harlots (TV), Galavant (TV)
Crossover/Fic: Superstore (TV), Selfie (TV)
Crossover/Fic: Riverdale (TV 2017), Game of Thrones (TV)
Crossover/Fic: The Good Place (TV), You're The Worst (TV)
You can view the full request with details at the Google group here. Please reply at the group or e-mail the mods at firstname.lastname@example.org if you are interested. (Please put Pinch Hit #007 in your subject line). Thank you!
A heist movie about Southern, redneck-type folks who plan and carry out a complicated robbery. Very little violence (one bar fight), little in the way of bad language, no explicit material. Pretty light, fun, and clever. Channing Tatum is the mastermind of the heist; his brother is played by Adam Driver. Daniel Craig cleary had a lot of fun playing a bomb expert with a thick Southern accent. This movie didn't have a lot of substance, but it was fun. My main irritation is that Adam Driver plays a guy with a partial arm amputation from a war wound. How much money did they spend on CGI for this, and also he took away a great opportunity for an actual disabled person to play this part. There are a couple of jokes involving the prostetic that didn't feel mean to me, but might feel mean to someone else.
Silver Linings Playbook
I loved the beginning and middle of this movie. Bradley Cooper is tremendous in it-- he takes a character that could be (and sometime is) creepy and unlikeable, and makes that character sympathetic. I liked that they showed some of the realities of mental illness. I liked the friendship between his character and Jennifer Lawrence's character. I did not like the ending, which seemed to wrap everything up in too neat of a bow-- a happily ever after sort of ending, when you know it isn't going to be so easy for anyone.
What Happened to Monday - Netflix
A dystopian film set in the near future, in an unnamed European city. People live under an oppressive government, the main crux being a strict one-child policy. Seven identical sisters live in secret, sharing one legit identity as Karen Settman. They each get to go out one day a week, the day they are named after. At the end of the day, each catches the others up on what they need to know to keep up at their high-powered job. One evening, Monday doesn't come home, and the others must find out what has happened. Noomi Rapace plays all of the sisters. It's fun to watch them being badass and fighting, but there is quite a lot of violence and mayhem. Content notes for child harm and death; violence; gore. I enjoyed this film quite a lot.
He's gotten a lot better at being in the same room as the cats without freaking out, and even a little better at not barking and lunging at the familiar cats we see on our walks. (Not as good as with his own roommate cats, but you can't have everything.)
This is great because, with winter coming, Callie wants to go back to being an indoor-outdoor cat, emphasis on indoor - she doesn't like cold weather!
Because yesterday I got to hang out a bit with Alison Moyet, who if you didn’t know is one of my absolute favorite singers, both in Yaz, and with her solo work. We’d become Twitter buddies in the last couple of years and when I mentioned to her Krissy and I would be at her Chicago show she suggested we have a real-life meet. And we did! And it was lovely! And brief, as she had to prepare to entertain a sold-out show (and she did; the concert was excellent), but long enough to confirm that she’s as fabulous in the flesh as she is in her music. Which was not surprising to me, but nice regardless.
(Alison has also blogged about our meet-up as part of her tour journal, which you can find here. Read the entire tour journal, as she’s funny as hell.)
I noted to some friends that I was likely to meet Alison this week and some of them wondered how it would go, on the principle that meeting one’s idols rarely goes as one expects (more bluntly, the saying is “never meet your idols.”) I certainly understand the concept, but I have to say I’ve had pretty good luck meeting people whom I have admired (or whose work I admired). I chalk a lot of that up to the fact that while I was working as a film critic, I met and interviewed literally hundreds of famous people, some of whose work was very important to me. In the experience I got to have the first-hand realization that famous and/or wonderfully creative people are also just people, and have the same range of personalities and quirks as anyone else.
If you remember that when you meet the people whose work or actions you admire, you give them space just to be themselves. And themselves are often lovely. And when they’re not, well, that’s fine too. Alison Moyet, it turns out, is fabulous, and I’m glad we got to meet.
(Which is not to say I didn’t geek out. Oh, my, I did. But I also kept that mostly inside. Krissy found it all amusing.)
Anyway: Great Tuesday. A+++, would Tuesday again.
1. Let me thread you a story…(1-30)
2. Mayor Begay has been in office for some time now. We like the job he does and the way he cares for all the people of Portalville.
3. Weren’t always that way. We had us a mayor before who caused nothing but hard feelings and chaos. Mayor Covfefe.
4. As I’ve said before, folks in Portalville are generally accepting of everybody, but even good folks get scared sometimes.
5. If you’ve got an unscrupulous sumbich who likes chaos and playing on people’s fears it’s sometimes hard to break through the stramash,
6. and get people thinking sensibly once more. Mayor Covfefe was one of those sorts. Took over the City Council with his pack of yes men,
7. forcing agendas on the town nobody really liked but were too scared to oppose. Nobody trusted anybody else, see, and figured everyone
8. was out to get them, so no one wanted to listen to what others said without starting a yelling match.
9. So much screaming in the extremes when most folks just wanted to negotiate some peace that the City Council ground to a halt.
10. Weren’t no business getting done, or only what business lined the pockets of Mayor Covfefe and his cronies.
11. They tried to shred every principle we held dear here in Portalville, violating city by-laws like confetti.
12. Pretty soon folks was yelling at each other over every tiny thing that came along and forming parties of folk yelling in the same key.
13. We had us the Portalville League of Lawyers threatening to file suit over anyone who didn’t agree with them.
14. Fortunately, they mostly couldn’t agree with each other so their suits went nowhere or were easily dismissed by Judge Mathead.
15. Then we had us the Portalville League of Opposition. They didn’t really have a point of view except that they were in opposition…
16. to everyone else in town. “What are you opposing?” people would ask. “What have you got?” they’d answer.
17. The Portalville League of Witches got so fed up they put reversal spells on half the town. So many folks walked around
18. with heads on backwards they didn’t know if they was coming or going & got a much closer look at bodily functions than they ever wanted.
19. Finally, Sherman Begay, the town shoemaker, had enough. He formed the Portalville League of the Beleaguered to try to reassert sense.
20. Bar-Bar Shumay was one of the first to join, followed by Madame Mosibelle Nimby and her son Rupert.
21. They held giant clear-seeing resistance rallies where everyone who showed up got the scales lifted from their eyes.
22. Pretty soon, folks saw that Mayor Covfefe was a minor god of chaos, although no god of chaos is ever truly minor.
23. His magic had scared folks into going against their better nature, against what they knew was right.
24. (Then again, some folks ain’t got better natures and think right is only what is right for them. Even the most powerful magic
25. can’t do nothing to heal that kind of perversion. What’s required to fight them folks is a really big stick.)
26. Fear is a great motivator, but I got to believe love is, too. Once Sherman Begay, & Bar-Bar, & the Nimbys broke through the shouting,
27. let people see the truth, most folks came around. They realized that loving your neighbor wasn’t just a passel of pretty-sounding words.
28. It’s a way forward, a commitment to doing what’s right for the whole community.
29. Folks decided that they’d rather live in harmony than have their own way in every tiny thing. Compromise became a holy tenet.
30. Come next election, Mayor Covfefe lost by a landslide. And that’s how the new mayor, Sherman Begay the shoemaker, saved our souls.
This tale can also be found on Twitter @downportalville.
Mirrored from Better Than Dead.
On Worldcat in print, braille, and ebook
On her author blog, her essay "God’s Real Name: On Rescues, Ableism, and Unexpected Empathy" explores her reaction to a homeless man who blesses her.
My own ableism, my own class squeamishness, and bigotry, my interpretation of his religiosity as distasteful insanity, had led me to dismiss the man. I had excluded him from our joint rescue plan--indeed, had understood him as something to be rescued from--and ignored his offer to gift me with help and rescue.
(Not that I have anything against Collin Street Bakery, who do in fact make the world's best fruitcake. But I order my stuff from them online.)
Eye of Cat, Roger Zelazny. Time-dilated alien-hunter Navajo, teleport booths, assassins, psi, Navajo shamanism... a weird book, I don't anticipate re-reading.
The Sharing Knife: [Beguilement and Legacy], Lois Bujold. I'd read this series in 2009, and am enjoying it again. Lakewalker powers and their fight against malices gives me RPG ideas, interacting with inspiration from Martin and Hobb and what I think of as "Wraiths and Rangers". Like much of Bujold, has many laugh-out-loud moments in an otherwise serious story.
Penric's Demon & Penric and the Shaman, Lois Bujold. Novellas set in her Five Gods universe, which I finally got paper copies of from the library. (Released as DRM ebooks, which I refuse to support.) Good, and funny, and I'd happily read more.
The Forgotten Beasts of Eld, Patricia McKillip. My first McKillip after all these years. Enjoyable, with a fairy-tale quality to the story and and writing.
It was nice to hear that the Eagle Creek Fire was close to fifty percent contained, and that the freezing level on the mountain was causing it to snow at Timberline, they have over a foot of snow!
I still would have liked to have that bit of summer between HOT and RAIN though, I hate going from having the AC on to having the furnace on in a day.
Actually read this week:
- Smile by Emilee Martell (DSF)
- Farewell, Amanda by Buzz Dixon (DSF)
- Planet of the five rings by Marissa Lingen (Nature Futures)
- An Averted Tragedy by Brian Gene Olson
- Contractual Obligations by Jessica M. Kormos
- Nothing Between the Stars by R.W.W. Greene
What I've read: long fiction
Banishment by M.C. Beaton, which is the first of six apparently-fluffy Regency romances about six beautiful sisters and a malevolent stately home, recommended as a Yuletide fandom (thanks ceb for the pointer!) This one was indeed the promised fast, lighthearted read, in which the family lose their beautiful stately home and much of their wealth, and (some of them) begin to learn Important Lessons About Not Being Awful To Other People. And the first of the beautiful daughters finds true love, etc. The remaining five in the series are now on their way so I can find out just how malevolent the house gets ...
Avi Cantor Has Six Months to Live by Sacha Lamb, a short story with a lot of trans and/or gay characters and a demon (who turns out to be actually pretty nice). I enjoyed it all right but it didn't really make much impression on me. The worldbuilding's rather vague and there's not much in the way of plot, but I expect it resonates more with trans people. It's been nominated for yuletide and is free online at http://thebooksmugglers.com/2017/08/
Lincoln in the Bardo by George Saunders (abandoned). I like the idea of presenting the story as excerpts of conversation, magazine articles, books, and so on. But it didn't work in the ebook format with minimal formatting, and also, it just didn't work for me in the more conversational sections because I felt as though I never got to know any of the characters enough to care about them. Though I appreciated the cleverness of the idea that the spirits of the dead are unaware that they are dead, glossing over the strangenesses in their new selves and referring to tombs as "sick-homes" and coffins as "sick-boxes", the general absurdity just didn't appeal to me and I found the slow pace boring.
What I'm reading now:
The Dark Prophecy by Rick Riordan, the second book in the Trials of Apollo series, because after I realized I could either wait forever for the ebook, or pick up a physical copy from the library RIGHT NOW, I opted for the latter. I am still loving this series so much, especially since one of my favorite characters from another series, who showed up at the end of the first book, is a major character in this one. (skip) Leo Valdez! ♥ And Calypso! With whom Apollo has a history, so it's hilarious. Also, I'm impressed with how Riordan manages to have gay and bisexual characters in a way appropriate for middle grade, too.
I'm not listening to Airborn since I've been sick, and audiobooks are for exercise, but hope to get back to it soon now that my lungs are coughing out the last of the phlegm.
What I'm reading next:
While I was at the library I also picked up Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo, which has been recommended to me by a number of people. Also the second volume of Saga.
Other than that, still playing Dragon Age: Origins (in Orzammar now). Mostly I'm writing fanfiction :-)
What I read
Finished Boys will be Boys, which was still very familiar although it is many years since I last read it. Wonder if Turner would really have liked to be writing something a bit more serious about matters of popular culture; and would have liked to be nerdish in the archives of the publishing companies, because there are sometimes wistful asides about the mysteries that might be solved thereby. Pretty sure this is where the very youthful oursin first acquired that apprehension that each generation disses upon what the young of next are consuming (whether print or radio or more latterly other media) as A Road to Ruin (I wish I could locate my copy of his Roads to Ruin).
Also finished The Witch of Syracuse: worked well, did not have that sense one so oft has when scattered short stories on a character/s are brought together of 'fix-up', but that it worked as a narrative arc. Also thought it worked well on the historical contingencies, nature of the deities, etc. (Very unfluffy Hellenic/Punic goddesses.)
Being somewhat smitten with travel angst, read various short things, comfort re-reads, etc.
Did read the novella Suradanna and the Sea by Rebecca Fraimow (2016): very good, even though I couldn't remember why or when I'd downloaded it.
On the go
Finally began Victoria Bates, Sexual Forensics in Victorian and Edwardian England: Age, Crime and Consent in the Courts (2015) - very good so far.
Also currently in medias res, Patricia McKillip, Kingfisher (2017) - very good, but my bar for riffing on/mashing up Arthuriana is set very high with Naomi Mitchison's To the Chapel Perilous.
*Among other sights seen today, Rynek Underground.
But as I said, it's really old, and the battery life isn't what it once was, and sometimes it balks at connecting to the internet. So I went to see what might replace it.
While I wasn't paying much attention, Amazon decided the Kindle Fire ought to become the Fire Tablet. At $50, I'm sure it's probably pretty crappy as a tablet, but still fine as an e-reader, I just don't want all the extra crap. I certainly don't want Alexa. And apparently if I want a case with pretty colors, as opposed to black, I have to get their advertising-enabled version.
The e-reader only Kindles have black and white screens, making them useless for comic books. Also, I prefer color for book covers, because when they have good art I want to LOOK at them, damn it.
All of which means I will probably opt to stick with my very old Fire until it finally dies. But I'm going to be bitter about it.
Now, I think I was completely wrong. I think that when you put the battery in, it *always* comes on. I just assumed that it would usually be off and didn't actually check that was true. So I got the impression it was lit *sometimes* on battery-connect, and connected that to the state it had before the battery was removed.
Wow, it's really easy to manufacture evidence for something even when you think you're avoiding that.
Presumably the "power on lit" is so that loose connections don't turn it off. OTOH, that would mean if it has a loose connection when it's being carried about, it might come on and drain the battery. Or maybe no-one thought about it and this just happened to be the case. Or maybe there's a regulation? I don't know.
Archeology and Newspapers
It was the newspapers that caused the dream!
I recalled that the day before, I'd read the Guardian's September 12th's report of a Viking era grave located in Birken, Sweden, which held the remains of a woman, a mare and a stallion, and her weapons.
From the Guardian:
. . . . not just any warrior, but a senior one: she was buried alongside a sword, an axe, a spear, armour-piercing arrows, a battle knife, two shields and two horses. Gaming pieces – perhaps from hnefatafl, a sort of precursor to chess – suggest the female warrior from grave Bj581 was a battle strategist.
Since the Guardian became accessible online, it seems to periodically provide coverage of history's powerful women, many of whom, if not most, have been written out of history. (Not a coincidennce one thinks that the Guardian provides a lot of column space to women historians and writers such as Mary Beard -- who are reliably excoriated by the male commentators.) Thus the Guardian followed up the Birken grave and its contents with this story on Friday, September15th:
How the Female Viking Warrior Was Written Out Of History -- "What Bj 581, the ‘female Viking warrior’ tells us about assumed gender roles in archaeological inquiry"
Then, just two days ago:
The recent discovery of female bones in a Viking warrior grave is yet another indication that we’ve only scratched the surface of female history -- "How Many More Warrior Women Are Missing from the History Books?"
Predictably, all three stories were illustrated with images from the History channel's thoroughly non-historical scripted historical drama, Vikings's resident female warrior, Legartha.*
Equally predictable, were the plethora of comments in response to these Guardian stories, so many of which were jeers at the very idea. This way the readers learns that the only reason there were the bones of a woman in a warrior's burial site is because 1) the archeologists lied, don't know what they doing, are mistaken, she's really male; 2) she was the wife of a warrior who is a man, who died somewhere else and thus couldn't be interred in his own grave, or who was removed later; 3) animals put some woman's bones there.
Television's Role in the Warrior Queen Dream
Surely television via netflix streaming also played a role provoking that dream. I am continuing to watch the Turkish historical 13th epic of Diriliş: Ertuğrul, the founding ancestor of the Ottoman Turkish empire. As these series are, it's very long, nearly 80 episodes -- I'm barely half way through, though I began watching this before summer. But by now we're seeing the Kayi's tribe's women training for a battle - assault they are sure will be coming from the Aleppo region's reigning sultan. Aykiz, is in charge of their training. Trained from birth in the tribe's martial arts, who is the beloved of one of the tribe's most heroic and skilled warriors (alps, they are called), she's the daughter of the blacksmith, who manufactures the tribe's weapons. What Aykriz can do with a bow and sword, whether from the ground or riding a horse at full gallop are some thrilling scenes.
Though the history of Diriliş: Ertuğrul is probably as much fiction as the Icelandic sagas of Ragnar Lodbrok from where Vikings received its inspiration, the details of these nomads' tribal life, clothing and relationships, are more than true to historic life. There are at least as many women characters as male, and there is no question among either the characters themselves or how they are portrayed in the series that they are equally important and significant to the action, whether dramatic or historic.
Additionally, the relationships among the humans and their horses is unlike anything I've ever seen in such productions no matter what country they are depicting. These horses interact with the people who are their 'owners' and 'riders.' Even when they are functioning as scene dressing they pay attention to the action that is centered. There is prolonged, painful scene in which one of the Heroes, Torgut, beaten and tortured by the order of the Templars' Grand Masters, has a horse tethered in the background. This horse does not belong to Torgut, but during the entire scene the horse's head and neck are turned toward the action, its ears are pricked toward the action. And there was hay on the ground at the horse's feet. Whether this is planned or not, nothing else could so honestly tell the viewer that these are above all, people of the horse.
Books - History
The Secret History of the Mongol Queens: How the Daughters of Genghis Khan Rescued His Empire is a 2010 book by Jack Weatherford, which I just finished, ahem, bookends brilliantly with Diriliş: Ertuğrul. Not least among the reasons this is so, is that it too begins in the 13th century, the same as in which Diriliş: Ertuğrul is located. Weatherford reads and writes Mongolian, and has spent a great deal of time living in Mongolia. The story of warrior queen, Mandukhai, the woman who restored Genghis Khan's ideals for the Mongols, is enthralling -- and she's not the only one. It also show how easily and quickly such women, even when their rule is the law of the land, can be overthrown and utterly erased from the historical record -- at least the official record. This includes literally tearing the accounts of their lives out of the official record.
Among the many elements of his book that I appreciated is how much of the cultural practices, from religious to jewelry and clothing of these tribes who populated such a vast region of central Asia for millennia, are found all across eras and regions -- from the Hittites and Scythians, China (the interactions between the kingdoms that became China are ancient, and the Mongols supposedly ruled a large part for a while), to the Tartars of Russia and the tribes that became the Ottomans. One can see it most particularly in the headdresses of the women. Why these are they way they are, Weatherman explains. These connections and continuities I've always felt, but never knew how or why. Nomadic pressures and conquest were the driving forces for all of it -- and smart, fighting and ruling women were always integral.
Weatherford's The Secret History is the source for the counterpart novels in recent days with Mongol settings and characters, which includes The Tiger's Daughter (which is the title for one of the sections in scholar Weatherford's history) and even parts of Guy Gavriel Kay's China duology, Under Heaven and River of Stars and even for the Netflix original two seasons of Marco Polo. This series had more than one warrior woman based on historical figure in Secret History, which, judging by their sneers of disbelief and dislike of these characters on discussion forum I visit, male viewers hated.
The first biography of 16th - 17th century African warrior queen, Njinga of Angola,by our friend Prof. Linda Heywood, has just been published by Harvard University Press, It's hard to describe how thrilling it is to read a book bout such a fierce and successful woman, faced with such terrible odds, written by another fierce and successful woman -- whom I actually know! Moreover, this is set in the same era as the last sections of Weatherford's history of the Mongol Queens, which feature the brilliant fighting woman, general and ruler, Mandukhai. (Let us not forget another great, powerful and successful ruler of the era, Queen Elizabeth!)
Africans in Colonial Mexico: Absolutism, Christianity, and Afro Creole Consciousness 1570 - 1640 (2003) by Herman L. Bennett is helping prepare for the October Veracruz American Slave Coast Jazz Festival. As one can see from the dates covered, this is a pair with Njinga of Angola.
These colonial Mexican Africans were brought as slaves from Njinga's region by her enemies, the Portuguese. This is also the period of the Iberian Union, the peak of Spain's power, when Spain and Portugal were under the same crown.
The other two new books we have here are Hillary's What Happened (there are more than one way that a woman can be a warrior queen) and Le Carré's Legacy of Spies (more fictionalized history).
Reading and watching are so rich these days, no wonder I am having action adventure epic dreams of Warrior Queens.
* Alas, after about two and a half seasons Vikings devolved into preposterosity, lacking even a pretense of plot plausibility, characters behaving like idiots for not reason, and a distinct lack of Lagertha, showing that men (meaning in this instance the guy who show runner, writer and director) have no idea what to do with a female character who can take care of herself.
Yesterday, I took it out on the town with me and I managed to go to the gym*, write 1200 words on my not-a-book, colorize a portrait, answer emails, go shopping*, and cook a roast.*
(*These items may or may not have been facilitated by the new
I flamed out badly on digital painting once before, but this is a whole new level of comfort and portability (my biggest prior complaint was that the separate tablet took a lot of setup and a big work surface, plus I was tethered to my computer...).
I am on a mission! I want to make my Apple Pencil viable, and I need some practice with it. I also want to whittle down my Portrait Adoption gallery a bit. SO! I am offering the DEAL OF A LIFETIME. I will color anything in my gallery - at NO EXTRA COST. That means, you could get a portrait colored to be your character for as little as $5. I'll even make minor tweaks at that time. (Very minor!) Use the site to 'request customization.'
$0 / $99.00 0% done!
In other news, we had a windy night, and now it looks like impending winter. Eep.
I will leave you with a list.
~Add a Torn World character
~Post something at Torn World
~Clean off livingroom table
~2 loads of water - 1 down
~Finish Patreon physical rewards (oh man, they are awesome! And there's still barely time to get them!)
~Coloring book bulk order
A reader writes:
I may — and may is the operative word — be about to hit a lucky break in my job search. I have a strong contact with a longtime associate of a hiring manager in a small office, which recently posted a position with requirements I technically meet. I’ve applied to the position and gotten the promise that my contact will recommend me personally in glowing, specific terms. It’s possible that they have someone else in mind already and won’t interview me … but if not, it’s a promising coincidence.
The problem is that I’m well aware the position is well out of the realm of my previous experience. I have education in the field and some transferrable skills from a previous position, but this posting is not entry-level and I’ve never done the specific tasks named in the job description. I believe I can stretch myself into the role, but how do I come across as someone who has that capacity in the interview stage? I am more questioning the emotional side of this than the skills side. When you see a junior candidate and say “this person would take a lot of managing, but it’d be a worthwhile pleasure to bring them up to speed,” what are you looking at?
Well … to be totally blunt, it’s not something experienced managers say a lot of. I did sometimes think that kind of thing when I was a newer manager, but then you learn pretty quickly that “this person would take a lot of managing” means “this person would take a lot of time that I won’t be able to spend on other important things.”
That’s not to say that there isn’t real pleasure in coaching a junior employee and helping them grow. There is! It can be incredibly satisfying, particularly when the person is eager to learn and genuinely interested in the work, takes feedback well, and appreciates the investment you’re making in them. But when other candidates are better matched with the role, “it will be fulfilling to watch this junior candidate grow” doesn’t usually justify the significant additional time it would take to manage them.
That said … it’s more of an option with some types of positions. If the role is relatively junior and doesn’t require specific hard skills, it can sometimes make sense to hire for potential. That’s especially true in fields where soft skills really matter, and where training will be more a matter of weeks than months. And it’s even more true when the other qualified candidates are just okay, rather than excellent. There are a lot of junior-ish roles where hiring a smart, driven, enthusiastic person without a ton of relevant experience but who can learn quickly is better than hiring someone with relevant experience but less of the other stuff. (But there are also a lot roles where you really need both.)
If it’s the kind of role where that’s in play, the types of things that could tilt it toward a less experienced candidate are: smarts, humility (so you know you have a lot to learn and want to do it), an ability to learn from feedback (and a strong interest in getting it), work ethic and drive, natural interest in the work, personal warmth (this doesn’t mean being bubbly; it just means forming warm connections with people), courtesy and consideration for others (this matters more than you’d think in this context, particularly at junior levels), and a track record of getting things done (even in totally different contexts like extracurriculars or another field). Depending on the position, specific talents can really matter too, like writing or relationship-building.
Also! The fact that you’ve never done the specific tasks listed in the job description isn’t necessarily a sign that you’re wildly under-qualified. I’d pay more attention to the qualifications they’re looking for — if they’re not listing “experience doing X” there, they may not care as much about that as you think.
how can I increase my chances when I’m under-qualified for a job? was originally published by Alison Green on Ask a Manager.
Hope Not Hate (Twitter: hopenothate_USA)
By way of making a dramatic entry, this seems to have been timed to co-ordinate with the announcement of their epic undercover project: Patrik Hermansson, an extremely brave young Swedish grad student, infiltrated the alt-right and lived undercover in the movement in London and the US for nearly a year, wired for sound and carrying hidden cameras. This ultimately included being at Charlottesville and witnessing the car attack that killed Heather Heyer.
The documentary is coming soon, and the comprehensive report on the international alt-right (for which the infiltration was part of the research) is here:
The International Alternative Right
New York Times: Undercover With the Alt-Right
Raw Story: ‘It’s gonna end with concentration camps’: Alt-right executive boasts of a future Europe with Hitler on their money
I love HnH; I've supported them for years and have friends who've volunteered for them. They have a long history working against fascist and far right groups in the UK, through research, infiltration, legal action, anti-racist/xenophobic education and campaigning, and their work seems to have naturally become international as the "alt-right" itself has (e.g. with the "Defend Europe" boat).
So I think their expertise (and the willingness of their reporters to put their necks on the line like this, holy fuck) is going to be a hugely valuable resource for people fighting this shit in the US too.
Truth be told, we've had five scripts in various stages of development for months. Which I believe I mentioned...
But now at last all the deals are signed, and it can be told. BRYAN COGMAN has come on board to pen the fifth of the successor shows. James Hibberd broke the news on ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY.
Bryan Cogman should need no introduction for any GAME OF THRONES fan. He's been part of the show since the beginning... since before the beginning, actually, since he was first hired as assistant to David Benioff and D.B Weiss way before the series got on the air, before even the pilot had been filmed. From those humble beginnings, he advanced to staff writer, to story editor, to co-producer and producer and supervising producer. Less formally, he has also been GOT's "Keeper of the Lore," the guy who knew the canon better than anyone (except me, though sometimes I am not even sure of that). He's written more episodes of GAME OF THRONES than anyone but Dan & David... including some of our very best ones. If D&D have been the kings of Westeros for these past seven seasons, Bryan Cogman has surely been the Prince of Dragonstone.
I'd love to tell you more about the series Bryan will be working on... but we haven't done that for the other four successor shows, so we shouldn't for this one either. All in good time.
I can say that, like the other pilots, it will be a prequel rather than sequel, a successor rather than a spinoff. Bryan's series will be an adaptation, and one that will thrill most fans of the books, I think, set during a very exciting period of Westerosi history. And I'll be working with him every step of the way; we're going to be co-creating the show.
Meanwhile, Jane Goldman, Brian Helgeland, Max Borenstein, and Carly Wray are all at work on the other four successor shows. I've been working with them as well (some more closely than others), and I'm excited by some of the ideas they're coming up with. HBO should have a wealth of material to choose from. (And that's not even counting the four weird-ass series concepts I've come up on my own, just for the hell of it. There are eight million stories in the naked city, and maybe ten times as many in Westeros and the lands beyond the narrow seas).
You should not expect to see all five shows, though, at least not immediately.. much as I might love the idea, HBO is not about to become the GAME OF THRONES network... but we could possibly see two or even three make it to the pilot stage, with one series emerging on air in 2019 or 2020... and the others maybe later, if they come out as well as we all hope. Then again, maybe... but I should not speculate, you folks get WAY too excited. Truth is, no one knows. Least of all me.
For now, suffice it to say that Bryan Cogman has signed on, and we're thrilled.
Random quote of the day:
“The place God calls you to is the place where your deep gladness and the world’s deep hunger meet.”
—Frederick Buechner, Wishful Thinking: A Theological ABC
Disclaimer: The views expressed in this random quote of the day do not necessarily reflect the views of the poster, her immediate family, Lucy and Ethel, Justin Bieber, or the Kardashian Klan. They do, however, sometimes reflect the views of the Cottingley Fairies.
Mirrored from Better Than Dead.
A reader writes:
Last fall, my firm hired an employee who I had referred for the same position that I have. This employee was just fired last week (after nine months with the firm). Apparently, the people she worked for felt she was somewhat lazy and was not keeping up with her work. Should I apologize for referring an employee (I received a referral fee) who ended up being fired? I realize you don’t *have* to apologize, but I feel bad about the situation. What would you advise? Should I apologize or just let it go?
I answer this question over at Inc. today, where I’m revisiting letters that have been buried in the archives here from years ago (and sometimes updating/expanding my answers to them). You can read it here.
It was a great show this year, I thought. Yes, even without GAME OF THRONES. Stephen Colbert made a terrific host. I especially enjoyed his opening number.
A strong lineup of nominees this year gave us some great winners... though, as always, that also means some equally deserving finalists wound up as losers. WESTWORLD especially was robbed, as was STRANGER THINGS. But it IS an honor just to be nominated, and the time will come for both of those shows, as it finally did for GAME OF THRONES. The big winners this year were Hulu's HANDMAID'S TALE (adapted from the novel by Margaret Atwood) and HBO's BIG LITTLE LIES (adapted from the novel by Liane Moriarity). ((Notice the common denominator there? BOOKS! Do a faithful adapatation of a great book, and you can't go wrong)). I was also pleased to see BLACK MIRROR get some love, especially for its brilliant "San Junipero" episode.
GAME OF THRONES, of course, was not eligible this year, having shifted from April to August. Which meant that, for the first time in seven years, I was not actually at the awards in LA. Instead Parris and I watched from home. It felt kind of strange not to be there, truth be told. Not bad, just strange. It was actually sort of relaxing. The Emmy weekend can be very exciting, but it is also exhausting, even the parties... the heat, the crowds, the noise. The red carpet seems to get longer (and hotter) every year. Maybe that's an ordeal that should be left for the younger and more photogenic members of our television community.
Will I be back next year, or the year after, or the year after that? Time will tell. Emmy is a fickle goddess who bestows her kisses where she will. But either way, I'm good.
((Comments on the Emmys welcome. Off topic comments will be deleted)).
"Seanan McGuire on What She Learned From October, Plus a Sweeps!" The interview is about what writing Toby's series (AKA her first novel and series) taught her, and the contest, which is open until September 30, is for all eleven books to date.
"Transcript for OTW 10th Anniversary Chat with Seanan McGuire & Martha Wells".
"Exclusive Interview and ARC Giveaway: In Other Lands author, Sarah Rees Brennan". This contest has closed, alas, but I really liked the interview (and its entirely appropriate attention to mermaids): "My protagonist Elliot is a huge nerd, so when he arrives in a magical world he immediately asks ‘Show me the mermaids!’ rather than ‘Explain to me this strange word… magic…’ and mermaids are for him a shorthand for him wanting to behold the many wonders on offer in a magic land–in other words, harpies, unicorns and mermaids, oh my. He then keeps asking about the mermaids, having lessons about them, researching them, getting different answers about mermaids from different people, until he finally does meet one–with consequences I will not spoil for those who do not yet know!"
"Sci-fi author Martha Wells on writing a series about a robot that calls itself Murderbot".
"‘SHEroes’: Wonder Woman meets Bionic Woman". "Lindsay Wagner, aka Jamie Sommers or “The Bionic Woman,” posted her photo with Lynda Carter, aka Diana Prince or “Wonder Woman,” on her Facebook page recently and, as expected, fans went wild with nostalgia."
"Superheroes for the Jewish New Year". [Book Riot]
Over at ladybusiness, renay posted a great interview with Kate Elliott.
"Present-Day Devices as Props". "Every Star Trek production requires a large number of props to act as technical devices of Starfleet or of aliens. There are custom prop designs for standard phasers, tricorders or communicators. But in most cases there is a need for additional props that either serve a specific purpose in the story or are used as generic futuristic decoration. Several of the props that could be seen are actually slightly modified devices of the 20th/21st century. In particular, game consoles have been used repeatedly for handheld scanners."
Sarah Gailey (author of the hippo-wrangling AUs River of Teeth and Taste of Marrow) currently has an unrelated serial, The Fisher of Bones, running in Fireside Magazine, who've just announced that the whole story is now available for preorder (and...get the ending before folks who're reading it/choose to keep reading it in serialization, which seems a bit odd to me, but sure).
"Linda Hamilton Set to Return to 'Terminator' Franchise".
"MISS. FISHER’S MURDER MYSTERIES Movie Is a Go, Thanks to Kickstarter".
"“Madam Secretary” Showrunner Barbara Hall Developing CIA Drama for CBS" about "a multigenerational family of spies."
"The real hero of Netflix's "The Defenders" is the way Jessica Jones throws very heavy things".
"REPORT: Marvel Studios Developing a Power Pack Feature Film".
"Dictionary of the Oldest Written Language–It Took 90 Years to Complete, and It’s Now Free Online". [Open Culture]
"A 68 Hour Playlist of Shakespeare’s Plays Being Performed by Great Actors: Gielgud, McKellen & More". [Open Culture, 2015]
"Street Artist Paints Fantastic Fake Shadows Under Objects Perplexing Sidewalk Pedestrians Walking By".