soc_puppet: [Homestuck] God tier "Doom" themed Dreamsheep (DOOOOOOOM)
I'm going to preface this by saying that this is not a standard review. Dreadnought by April Daniels is a fantastic book, a necessary book, and in its way, every bit as wish-fullfilment-y as the Tales of Inthya books by Effie Calvin or the Mangoverse books by Shira Glassman.

However, it is also a very intense book, and since the MCU re-popularized non-grimdark superhero films, there was a lot of content I wasn't prepared for when I went in.

The most basic summary of the plot is Danni, a closeted trans girl and lesbian, happens to be in the wrong place at the right time and inherits the powers of the most powerful superhero on the planet. The powers also come with gender-affirming body modification. Danni then must deal with social gender transitioning while also learning what it means and how to be a superhero, and tracking down the killer of the previous Dreadnought.

This book gets recommended a lot (again, deservedly so), but I can't recall ever seeing even a partial list of content warnings for it, and as I said above, there's a lot in the book I wasn't prepared for. It's been at least a year since I listened to the audiobook, IIRC, so this is going to be from memory, but I think I managed to remember most of them.

The first part is going to be plain list of the content warnings; the second part will have the warnings in better context. Again, both lists will be dependent on my memory. If anyone remembers some warnings that I've missed and which should be included, please let me know so I can include them.

I've also include a lot of white space between the basic warnings and the warnings in context, to help people control their spoiler levels to their preference.

Basic Content Warnings )

Warnings With Context )

Did I regret the time/money/resources I spent on this book? No, but I really, really would have appreciated/benefited from getting some of the warnings I just listed, which is why I wanted to provide them for other potential readers.
soc_puppet: Marceline the Vampire Queen [Adventure Time] drinks red from a dreamsheep (Omnomnom)
Found in the walk-in freezer at work today: One (1) loaf of zucchini bread, the plastic wrap ripped open and one corner broken off.

Possible causes, from most likely to least:

1) Someone knocked the zucchini bread off the shelf and put it back without noticing/caring that it was no longer safe to eat
2) The storeroom clerks are not being fed enough and wanted a snack
3) Ice mice

I had to throw it out, since we couldn't serve it anymore, but the mystery lingers.
soc_puppet: Dreamsheep as Lumpy Space Princess from Adventure Time (Default)
Heard from my mechanic just as I was leaving work on Thursday; apparently a "critter" chewed through something in my gear shift cable. (It wasn't entirely my fault, hooray!) Got it all fixed up and replaced by late Friday afternoon; cost me around $400 for my trouble, which was $200 less than I was bracing myself for, so I'm reasonably okay with this outcome.

My car was also fixed right on time for me to get to the hotel where I work ahead of the horrible snowstorm we got last night, where I got to stay for free since I was opening in the morning. Thank you, boss! I can't say I slept terribly well, but I can't say I was expecting to, either, so it balanced out. I'm planning to make up for lost sleep tonight, so: Lights out in 30 min at the latest!

Between the snow and work and general tiredness, I missed most of the special Feebas research for PoGo today; I got two stops worth, and have caught one so far, no shinies. Apparently the rate was pretty crap for them; somewhere between 1 in 60 and 1 in 75? The tasks were not at all designed for quick turnover, either; Hatch 1, Earn 1 Candy, 15 Nice throws, or 10 Great throws. They also fixed the issue from Squirtle Day, where stops that gave one person a shiny, gave everyone a shiny - which I'd honestly expected, so. Anyway, it ultimately sounded like it was largely disappointing all around, so I'm not terribly sad to have missed most of it.

Welp, time's a wastin'! I need to get some more quick 'net surfing in before lights out :P More later!
soc_puppet: [Homestuck] God tier "Doom" themed Dreamsheep (Sheep of Doom)
How delightful! Oh wait, I meant the other thing: Frustrating.

*sigh* I've got everything done tonight that I can, including averting a meltdown, and the particulars more-or-less lined up for tomorrow: I've talked to my parents, Mom is lending me her car to get to work tomorrow, Dad is going to call in to our mechanic while I'm at work since I have absurd hours, and I've left my key, my AAA card, and a written explanation of what I think I did to cause this in a very visible place on the kitchen counter. Hopefully it will be a relatively easy and inexpensive fix, though I do have a decent amount saved up in my checking account for Just-In-Cases.
soc_puppet: Dreamsheep as Lumpy Space Princess from Adventure Time (Default)
A completely random task lead me to all of Fanfic Flamingo's old images on Meme Generator. You are now invited to lose the next couple of hours laughing and nodding along with every single Gratuitous Pic Of Yourself.
soc_puppet: Dreamsheep as Lumpy Space Princess from Adventure Time (Default)
aaarrrrrgh when is season two of Miraculous Ladybug coming out on DVD, I wanna buy it already!!! I don't want to rely solely on YouTube to watch my series! *pout pout pout*
soc_puppet: Dreamsheep as Lumpy Space Princess from Adventure Time (Default)
I think I finally figured out a metric for if I do more regular media reviews: Do I regret spending my time/money/energy on this product?

Some examples:

The Queen of Ieflaria/Daughter of the Sun by Effie Calvin: Not even for a second. Very delicious wish-fulfillment-y f/f fantasy with comforting worldbuilding. Go read if any of those interest you.

Beauty Queens by Libba Bray: Definitely. The inclusion of disc breaks in the audio book was poorly timed and considered, the coolness of having a disabled bisexual character was very much offset by the fact that she ended even the "ten years later" epilogue confused about her identity, and it vacillated between paying close attention and respectfully treating important issues and massively misunderstanding and/or ignoring them. A single example of the latter: the trans girl character spends a good chunk of the beginning of the book near obsessed with getting her emergency week's supply of HRT, which is then never addressed again after she is outed/forced to out herself, even though it's strongly implied that the characters have been in their situation for well over a week and possibly even into months. There are many more.

The Utterly Uninteresting and Unadventurous Tales of Fred, the Vampire Accountant by Drew Hayes: Yes. I made it through the first story of the audiobook and tried to keep going for more, but due to poor chapter markings, ended up skipping the second story entirely and getting a good chunk into the third before realizing what had gone wrong. Admittedly, the depiction of power-hungry, money-grubbing, lizard-people dragon-blooded villains secretly controlling Las Vegas and literally enslaving people through debt in said third story definitely didn't help. As a gentile who wasn't aware of the origins or impact of that trope until a few years ago, I'm willing to believe that the author was similarly ignorant, but that doesn't mean I want to keep listening to it regardless. (Treatment of female characters is also not great. Or basically anyone, as far as I could tell. The POV character has some growing up to do, I guess is where I'm going with this, and the worst part is that I'm not sure the author is aware of it.)

The Second Mango by Shira Glassman: Nope! Entirely Jewish cast (by a Jewish author), focus on female friendship between a lesbian queen and a demisexual GNC warrior woman, with secondary romance plots; the writing is a little on the amateurish side, but improves with each book in the series. Very wish-fulfillment-y. Gave me high expectations for Jewish representation and portrayal in other books not that I'm throwing more shade at Beauty Queens.

Skullduggery Pleasant: Big no on the (first) book, kinda iffy on the audiobook. Wonderful snark, interesting worldbuilding, loved the characters; like Harry Potter, though, the series got darker as it went along, and I'm not really into that? The narrator for the audibook is also somewhat more somber and less energetic than my own mental reading of the book was, to the point where it felt darker than I remembered. I ended up not finishing the audiobook, which I had hoped would get me back into the mood for a series re-read (since only the first three or so books are available in audio) and an attempt at finishing what I've got available (I have through the eighth). Disappointed by that, but it's still a good, fun book overall.
soc_puppet: Words "Language Barrier" in yellow (Language Barrier)
IDK, "resolution" just has a whole lot of social and linguistic weight attached to it that I don't particularly care for? So: "Goals".

My goal this year will be to finish the Duolingo Esperanto course. Since I'm currently about 75% of the way through, I think that's doable! I do like having goals I know I can meet and exceed.

Also: Continue to write, draw, and otherwise be creative. Definitely another entry or two in the Socchan School of Writing series, probably another couple of outlines. That all seems manageable and fun.
soc_puppet: Dreamsheep as Lumpy Space Princess from Adventure Time (Default)
Humble Bundle is currently offering a deal for professional level photo editing software. At the $15 (USD) level, it includes the latest version of PaintShop Pro, my go-to photo editing program. (I started with it because I didn't have Photoshop and GIMP was too big of an adjustment, and now I'm used to it.)

If you do a fair amount of image editing, it might be worth a look-see.
soc_puppet: Deep sea fish wearing a monocle (Monocle Fish)
A quote from my dad during yesterday's festivities, context not included:

"I'll have to remember that it doesn't count if you do it with your butt."
soc_puppet: Words "Creative Process" in purple (Creative Process)
I think I'm gonna try another idea-to-outline walkthrough, but this time go with an original fiction base. I'm not the best at coming up with original fiction ideas, though, and I don't think I want to take a prompt...

... which means it's time to find a They Fight Crime generator! I always had fun clicking through those, and I think they have great story prompt potential.

(Also fun, and which I have done before, is reverse-engineering They Fight Crime prompts from established fandoms. Good for a few minutes distraction at the very least.)
soc_puppet: Miraculous Ladybug; the design from the Cat Miraculous: A green cat pawprint on a black field (Cat Noir)
Ha-HAH! With the majority of my brain powers restored and me mostly on the mend from that horrible throat cold thing that's been going around in these parts, I have finally gotten the willpower to finish this: my example of how to take a story idea and turn it into an outline!

It's Miraculous Ladybug, because that's what I'm into at the time of this writing, but I hope it still makes a modicum of sense to folks unfamiliar with the show. I'll probably go back and edit this again with a mind to that later, but for right now I'm pretty much happy that it's done at all. (Also, majority of brain powers restored is not entirety of brain powers restored, and giving my noggin a bit more of a rest while I'm still somewhat on the mend would not be remiss.)

(Yes, I probably should be using a Ladybug icon instead of a Cat Noir icon for this post, since I'm creating something, but I'm still editing that one and I'm finally happy with this one, so this is the one you get.)

Peer under the cut to find out how I go from Idea to Outline~! (ey said in eir best circus showperson voice) )

And that's a walkthrough of How to Outline as according to the Socchan School of Writing. (I will definitely need to revise my preliminary How to Outline post now.)

Side note/disclaimer: I do not actually plan to write this fic as of this point in time, which is one of the reasons I left Step 5 "incomplete". If this outline has piqued your interest and you might be interested in doing the grunt work of filling in scenes, uh. Maybe? Probably? IDK, if you're cool with the possibility that I may someday come back and write my own version, then go forth with my blessing (and link me when you're done). Edit: EXCEPT [personal profile] alexseanchai, who is not allowed anywhere near this until or unless they get more work done on the Double Trouble 'verse.
soc_puppet: [Homestuck] God tier "Mind" themed Dreamsheep (Sheep of Mind)
Advertisement for The Queen of Ieflaria by Effie Calvin

Ad by the author, who followed up by saying she is "the very best at marketing". Which must be true, because I absolutely went out and bought this book because of this ad.

The excellent news: Not only did I not regret it, upon finishing I went and immediately bought the sequel, and am now sitting on tenterhooks awaiting the third book.

The Queen of Ieflaria features alternating POV between the two main characters (and romantic interests), Esofi and Adale. Princess Esofi has been engaged to be married to Adale's twin brother since a very young age, in no small part to forge an alliance between their countries. Unfortunately, the brother in question dies shortly before the book begins, leaving Adale to take his place in the contract. At first unenthusiastic, Adale warms to the prospect almost immediately after meeting accomplished mage Esofi - only to be faced with competition from her grasping, power-hungry cousins. Esofi, meanwhile, must pick between the three of them, all while trying to figure out why the country she will so be queen of has so few mages, and, with help from the battlemages in her entourage, defending everyone in the capitol from dragon attacks.

Good, accessible high fantasy, with lots and lots of queer characters, including explicitly nonbinary characters (and gods!); no enby MCs yet, but I live in hope! To people who like dragons as things other than thoughtless killing machines, I promise that you will be satisfied by the time you get to the end. My only complaint is that the names didn’t always come naturally to my mental pronunciation, but that’s very minor on the scale of things. Also, like Shira Glassman, Effie Calvin is aiming to make the books possible to start from anywhere in publication order, so you don't have to read them chronologically for them to make sense (even though there's only two out so far).

The author's website is over here, with a map of the countries and a couple of free short stories - though Ioanna is very mildly spoilery for the second book, and The Gift is quite spoilery for the first.

Anyway, my brain has been on the fuzzy side for weeks now, so I'm going to leave it there, but definitely worth checking out if you like wish-fulfillment-y f/f fantasy stuff!
soc_puppet: Dreamsheep as Lumpy Space Princess from Adventure Time (Dreamwidth)
You know that thing on Tumblr with the viral posts that get 10k likes and reblogs and stuff, because you loved them and are adamant that everyone you know should also see them because they would love them too?

Allow me to introduce you to [community profile] metaquotes!

If it's the kind of thing you would reblog on Tumblr because of how awesome it is, it might belong on Metaquotes. It's not a perfect match, but it is one I forgot to mention until today, and is reasonably close to the whole mess of popular posts you might find on your Dash, IMO. Or rather, it has the potential to be with more traffic. As with a lot of DW communities, it needs more momentum. It'll take work to get it there, but the Tumblr community wasn't built in a day, either.

Anyway, just wanted to pass that info along.

Heads up

Dec. 17th, 2018 09:36 pm
soc_puppet: Dreamsheep as Lumpy Space Princess from Adventure Time (Default)
I'm going through and granting access to/following pretty much everyone who has me added now. I want more on my reading list. I may be tweaking the access granted sometime, but not tonight. Sorry it took so long; the past month-ish has been hell, even without Tumbldown.
soc_puppet: [Homestuck] God tier "Mind" themed Dreamsheep (Sheep of Mind)
With Tumblr's New Community Guidelines on the horizon, I finally sat myself down and got through this walkthrough for the Python backup option.

If you want your Tumblr backed up but aren't up to going through the steps yourself, let me know; literally all I would need to know is your user name to make a copy I can email to you. I do plan to download one or two public, submissions-based blogs this way (*looks meaningfully at [ profile] fuckyeahfanficflamingo-blog-blog, which has vanished before*), but I won't do the same with personal blogs without permission or prompting.

It Is Done

Dec. 14th, 2018 07:57 pm
soc_puppet: Dreamsheep as Lumpy Space Princess from Adventure Time (Default)
I have Healthcare'd as much as I am going to tonight. I may attempt to knock down the virtual doors of the ACA website tomorrow evening in a fit of anxiety, but I suspect not.

I have also Laundry'd. Not as high a priority as Healthcare, since my work pants were clean, they just weren't hung up yet :P

Up next: Getting my stuff together to confess that I cannot be a Healer on Habitica, and being horribly self-indulgent in fanfic stuff.


Dec. 13th, 2018 09:59 pm
soc_puppet: [Homestuck] God tier "Doom" themed Dreamsheep (Sheep of Doom)
I need to make sure I'm re-signed-up for healthcare for 2019. I know I need to. I know I only have two more days before the Obamacare window closes. Why can't I just make myself do it already?!

(This is a hypothetical question. I know exactly why. Damn you, ADHD! You and your dysfunctional executives!)

Tomorrow. Tomorrow I will absolutely, positively get that shit in order. I'd make myself tonight, but I open at work tomorrow and need to sleep before then.

My next update damn well better be "Phew, healthcare stuff is all taken care of!" or I'll know why.
soc_puppet: Miraculous Ladybug; the design from the Fox Miraculous. A red-orange fox tail swishing across a lighter orange background. (Fox Tail Trick)
Shoutout to [personal profile] redsixwing, who has pointed out that the art in my icon looks suspiciously like an Art Deco shrimp, rather than the fox tail it is supposed to resemble. I blame the excessive red tones, and can't unsee it now.

(All that time tracing and coloring that damn design in Paintshop Pro, and it's a shrimp now. ...I need to do something with this. Very, very badly.)
soc_puppet: Miraculous Ladybug; the design from the Fox Miraculous. A red-orange fox tail swishing across a lighter orange background. (Fox Tail Trick)
Important discovery: When someone gifts you an incredible fic (or other fannish present), watching the hits and kudos and comments and bookmarks go up is almost as satisfying as it is for something you made yourself.

Which is to say, if you are Miraculous Ladybug inclined, do go check out Know Your Name by [ profile] AlexSeanchai/[personal profile] alexseanchai, prompted by the Mary Lambert song of the same name (which is the LadyNoir song of my heart, and is also super awesome in its own right); I do not imagine you will be disappointed.

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