007

Oct. 18th, 2017 11:28 pm
damalur: (Default)
[personal profile] damalur
@femdeku said: Hawke / Varric - "Unrequited."

Sometimes, when it was late and they were both languid and tipsy, he could get the sort of answers out of her that she would never have surrendered under other circumstances. Hawke was funny like that — you had to come at her sideways, with care, because she'd spook and bolt if you approached her head-on. It was like all the wariness, all the fear that she didn't ever exhibit in the thick of battle was saved up and brought out only when she was faced with a personal conversation. She'd be quite happy to let you think she never felt any emotions other than amusement, curiosity, and self-gratification. The rareness of it made her anger truly terrible to behold, and her grief even more terrible.

Which didn't explain how Varric had stumbled into this conversation.

It was late enough that the Herald's Rest was empty. Even Cabot had retired for the night, although not without a firm admonishment to the remaining pair still drinking by the fire. Most of the lanterns had been doused, making it seem like the only light came from the low red bank of the fire. Varric and Hawke both sat in chairs positioned before the hearth — bottle between them, legs stretched towards the heat — although Hawke's legs stretched considerably further than Varric's.

"Surely you're joking," said Hawke.

Read more... )

(no subject)

Oct. 18th, 2017 07:40 pm
skygiants: (wife of bath)
[personal profile] skygiants
I didn't deliberately read up on seventeenth-century English history history in preparation for A Skinful of Shadows; it was just a fortunate coincidence that I'd just finished Aphra Behn: A Secret Life right beforehand (thanks to [personal profile] saramily, who came into possession of the book and shoved it into my hands.)

The thing about the English Civil War and everything that surrounds it is that it's remarkably difficult to pick a team, from the modern perspective. On the one side, you've got Puritans and repressive morality and NO PLAYS OR GOOD TIMES FOR ANYONE, but also democracy and egalitarianism and a rejection of the divine right of kings and the aristocracy! On the other side, you've got GLORY IN THE DIVINELY ORDAINED KING AND THE PERFECTION OF THE ESTABLISHED SOCIAL ORDER, but also people can have a good time every once in a while and make sex jokes if they feel like it.

Anyway, one fact that seems pretty certain about Aphra Behn is that she grew up during the Interregnum and wrote during the Restoration, and was very much on Team Divine Kings Are Great. Would Puritans let a woman write saucy plays for the stage? NO SIRREE, NOT AT ALL, three cheers for the monarchy and the dissolute aristocracy!

There aren't all that many facts that are certain about Aphra Behn, especially her early years -- the first several chapters of this book involve a lot of posed hypotheticals about who she might have been, how she might have got her start, and who might have recruited her into the spying business. It does seem fairly certain she was a spy: code name Astrea, Agent 160. (Me, to [personal profile] aamcnamara, after seeing Or last month: "I don't know that I buy all that Agent 160 business, there's no way that was something they did in the 1660s!" I apologize for doubting you, Liz Duffy Adams.)

Admittedly she was the kind of spy who spent most of her spy mission stuck in a hotel in Antwerp writing irritated letters back to King Charles' intelligence bureaucracy, explaining that she would happily continue with her spying mission and do all the things they wished her to do if only they would send her enough money to PAY HER DANG HOTEL BILL. (They did not.)

Besides her unpaid expense reports, most of what is known about Aphra Behn comes from her context and her publications, and the things she wrote in them -- only some of which can absolutely definitively be traced to her at all; several of her short stories and novellas are disputed, including one of the ones I found most interesting, "Love-Letters Between A Nobleman And His Sister." This early three-volume novel is extremely thinly-veiled RPF about a wildly trashy historical trial involving King Charles' illegitimate son, his best friend, the best friend's wife, and the best friend's sister-in-law. All of these people then went on to be involved in a major rebellion, which the second and third volume of "Love-Letters" cheerfully fictionalizes basically as it was happening, in the real world.

One of the first English novels ever written by a woman [if it was indeed written by Aphra Behn], and arguably the first novel written EVER, and it's basically one of Chuck Tingle's political satires. This is kind of amazing to me.

OK, but back to things we think we're fairly sure we do know about Aphra Behn! She wrote a lot about herself talking, and about men judging her for how much she talked; she wrote a lot of things that were extremely homoerotic; she also wrote a lot about impotence; she was often short on money; she cheerfully stole other people's plots, then got mad when people accused her of stealing other people's plots; she rarely wrote anything that was traditionally romantic, and most of her work seems to have an extremely wicked bite to it. She did not read Latin, which did not stop her from contributing to volumes of translations of things from Latin. She was almost certainly not a member of the nobility, but she believed in divine right, and divine order, and divine King Charles, even though it seems likely from her writing that she did not believe personally in religion, or God, and the King probably never did pay her bills. An extremely interesting and contradictory person, living in an interesting and contradictory time.

And now I think I need to go find a good biography of Nell Gwyn - she's barely relevant to this biography (Aphra Behn dedicated a play to her, but there's no other information available about their relationship) and yet Janet Todd cannot resist throwing in a couple of her favorite historical Nell Gwyn one-liners and they're all SO GOOD.

006

Oct. 15th, 2017 11:49 pm
damalur: (Default)
[personal profile] damalur
@musicalheart168 said: Anything Hawke x Varric, letโ€™s be real

I hope you're enjoying this. I much prefer being written to (or about) to having written, but yes, all right, I'll concede that a near-death incident is enough to win you a proper response, if only because I apparently need to remind you that you aren't allowed to die yet. I have a signed contract saying so, and you dwarves are sticklers for contracts. Brief aside: I took great amusement in imagining your reaction at being lumped in with "you dwarves."

My hand already hurts, Varric. Why in the world would you do this for fun?

Hang on a moment -- there we go, back again. Carver was rooting around in my pack for something. Gave him a kick in the rear. Serves him right, the idiot; I knew someone was stealing my jerky.

Anyway, it's a good thing you provided me with this list of questions as a guide to letter-composition (Hawke said sarcastically). You can be a bit of a control freak, Varric, has anyone ever told you that? Other than me -- my memory isn't so bad I don't remember mentioning it half a dozen times.

Oh, fine. On with the letter.

1. Dear Varric,

(That was admittedly a bit belated, but I never really feel as though our conversations have beginning and ends -- it seems that even on paper, we're halfway into the discussion already.)

2. I live!

(Didn't you indicate this is the most crucial piece of information to convey? Vaguely recall something about "life and livelihood," perhaps paired with an admonishment about concealing injuries. In the interest of honesty, I offer a complete catalog:

Read more... )

(no subject)

Oct. 14th, 2017 02:40 pm
skygiants: Mosca Mye, from the cover of Fly Trap (the fly in the butter)
[personal profile] skygiants
I was resigned to waiting until October 17th for A Skinful of Shadows to come out in the US. However, [personal profile] izilen, horrified at both the long wait after the UK publication and the clear inferiority of the US cover, acquired a copy on my behalf and mailed it over the ocean -- after first warning me it was the darkest Frances Hardinge book yet.

Having now read it, I don't know that it's actually that much creepier than the first third of Cuckoo Song, or the bits of Lie Tree where Faith in her deepest self-loathing slithers snakelike through the island purposefully destroying everything she touches. It definitely has a higher body count -- a much higher body count -- but I mean it's a book about a.) ghosts and b.) the English Civil War so maybe that's to be expected ...?

Like many of Hardinge's books, it features:
- a ferocious underestimated girl struggling to hold onto a sense of self in a world that wishes her to have no such thing
- a recognition that the people you love and who believe that they love you will sometimes betray you, sometimes for reasons they believe are good and sometimes not
- a ruthless and terrible female antagonist whom the heroine cannot help but respect and admire
- a struggling journey up out of solitude towards a coalition built of necessity with the least likely individuals
- including an undead bear
- admittedly this is the first Hardinge book to include an undead bear
- it is also the first Hardinge book about literal ghosts, a lot of ghosts, a lot of very unpleasant and sinister ghosts but also some ghosts for whom I have a very deep affection, including the very bearlike bear.

I also have a great deal of affection for Makepeace - the illegitimate scion of a very old noble family that is quite confident it will be able to chew her up and spit her out, and finds itself repeatedly mistaken. I don't think I love her yet quite as much as Trista or Faith or Mosca, but that's what I said about Faith right after I read The Lie Tree, too, and LOOK AT ME NOW.

Pull the Football, Save the World

Oct. 13th, 2017 12:34 pm
starlady: Peggy in her hat with her back turned under the SSR logo (agent carter)
[personal profile] starlady
Are you worried about nuclear war? I am too. Keep reading for a way to stop it with one simple action.

Maybe you feel small and powerless. But many snowflakes make an avalanche. If we all move in the same direction, we'll be unstoppable. We will only fail if we choose not to act.

Trump has the power to order a pre-emptive nuclear strike for any reason - or no reason at all. He's always shadowed by a man with a briefcase of codes, called the "nuclear football," to enable him to launch nuclear missiles at any time. It would take less than five minutes from his order to the missiles being launched, and no one could stop him. Republican Senator Bob Corker says Trump is leading us into World War III. I believe him.

But we don't have to stand by and let it happen. Let's pull away that football!

Both House and Senate have bills to prevent the President from launching a pre-emptive nuclear strike without a congressional declaration of war. They're both called the Restricting First Use of Nuclear Weapons Act of 2017. Passing those bills may literally save the world.

๐‡๐จ๐ฐ ๐ญ๐จ ๐ฌ๐š๐ฏ๐ž ๐ญ๐ก๐ž ๐ฐ๐จ๐ซ๐ฅ๐:

1. Contact your representatives in Congress. Ask them to co-sponsor the bill NOW, before it's too late.

2. Contact EVERYONE in Congress who might want to prevent a nuclear war. Usually people only speak to their own representatives. But with the fate of the entire world is at stake, it's worth contacting everyone who might listen.

3. Promote the Pull The Football campaign on social media. Trump isn't the only one who can use Twitter. Get on it and start tweeting #PullTheFootball.

Share this post on Facebook or Dreamwidth. Put up your own post on whatever social media you use. Ask your friends in person. If you know anyone in the media, contact them to get the word out. If you're not American, you can help by publicizing the campaign on social media that Americans follow.

๐‡๐จ๐ฐ ๐๐จ ๐ˆ ๐œ๐จ๐ง๐ญ๐š๐œ๐ญ ๐ซ๐ž๐ฉ๐ซ๐ž๐ฌ๐ž๐ง๐ญ๐š๐ญ๐ข๐ฏ๐ž๐ฌ?

1. Resistbot is a free service that will fax, call, or write your representatives for you. Just text the word "resist" to 50409 to begin.

2. Call the Capitol Switchboard at (202) 224-3121 and ask to be connected to the representative of your choice.

๐ˆ'๐ฏ๐ž ๐œ๐จ๐ง๐ญ๐š๐œ๐ญ๐ž๐ ๐ž๐ฏ๐ž๐ซ๐ฒ๐จ๐ง๐ž. ๐–๐ก๐š๐ญ ๐ง๐จ๐ฐ?

Contact them again. THIS IS THE MOST IMPORTANT PART. One water drop can be brushed away. Many water drops make a flood. Call, fax, or write as often as possible. Set aside 15 minutes every day to make as many calls or faxes as you can in that time. Relentlessness works - it's why the NRA is so successful. If they can do it, we can do it.

๐–๐ก๐š๐ญ ๐ฌ๐ก๐จ๐ฎ๐ฅ๐ ๐ˆ ๐ฌ๐š๐ฒ?

Page down for a sample script. Or speak or write in your own words.

๐ƒ๐ž๐ฆ๐จ๐œ๐ซ๐š๐ญ๐ฌ ๐ญ๐จ ๐œ๐จ๐ง๐ญ๐š๐œ๐ญ:

Every Democrat not currently sponsoring one of the bills. Thank them for their courage and service to the nation, and ask them to act now to save the world.

Thank the Democrats currently sponsoring the bills. There are 57 in the House and 9 in the Senate. Especially, thank Congressman Ted Lieu (sponsor of the House bill) and Sen. Edward Markey (sponsor of the Senate bill). Encourage them to step up their efforts to make it pass.

๐‘๐ž๐ฉ๐ฎ๐›๐ฅ๐ข๐œ๐š๐ง๐ฌ ๐ญ๐จ ๐œ๐จ๐ง๐ญ๐š๐œ๐ญ:

The Republicans listed below are the most prominent who have voiced concerns about Trump. This is not an exhaustive list. There are more Republicans who might be receptive. For instance, all the House Republicans who just voted for more aid for Puerto Rico, and all Republicans who are retiring from their seats and so not worried about getting re-elected.

Sen. Bob Corker warned us that Trump is setting the nation on a path to World War III. If you only contact one Republican representative, contact him. Thank him for his courage and urge him to follow through on his convictions.

Sen. Walter Jones is the only Republican to support the bill. Thank him for his courage and urge him to get his colleagues onboard.

Other Republican senators to prioritize contacting: Susan Collins, Jeff Flake, Lindsey Graham, Orrin Hatch, Dean Heller, John McCain, Lisa Murkowski, Marco Rubio, and Bob Sasse.

๐’๐š๐ฆ๐ฉ๐ฅ๐ž ๐’๐œ๐ซ๐ข๐ฉ๐ญ:
Hello, my name is [your name.] I'm calling to ask Representative/Senator [their name] to co-sponsor the Restricting First Use of Nuclear Weapons Act of 2017. I believe Senator Corker when he says we're on the brink of World War Three. No one benefits from a nuclear war. But we can stop it if we choose to. This may be the most important action Representative/Senator [their name] will take in their entire life. It may literally save the world. I urge them to co-sponsor the bill restricting first use of nuclear weapons. Thank you.

Thank you for reading this far! Please share the post before you go.

Thanks to [personal profile] rachelmanija for creating this campaign!

005

Oct. 11th, 2017 12:19 am
damalur: (Default)
[personal profile] damalur
Anonymous: One shot bianca dealing with hawke/varric. <3

"She's not what I expected."

"Who?" Varric said. "Hawke?" He dragged his eyes away from her and finally looked at Bianca, who remembered a time when she'd been able to immediately command his attention with no more than her presence. He had a dozen other things to occupy him now, not the least of which was the tall human woman consulting with her brother on the other side of the hall.

They'd been so young then. Too young, although Varric had always seemed just a little bit younger. It was all those stories, going to his head, buoying him above the waterline when the weight of his world threatened to pull him under. And then there was her own fatal flaw, which was that she had to take everything apart to figure out how it worked. She didn't have patience for fiction.

"Hawke," Bianca said. "She's a brassy one, isn't she? I always thought you needed a sobering influence, even if you are a tangled ball of worry, but you went in the opposite direction instead."

"I haven't talked about her that much," Varric protested.

"And that speaks volumes," Bianca said. "Anyway, I read your book about her. Caught a case of hero-worship, haven't you?"

He snorted. "Please. Trust me when I say that I've seen Hawke at her best and at her worst."

"Have you now?" she said. He was slow to catch her tone, but when he did, bam, there it was: all his focus, right on her. Varric largely came across as a mild sort of man -- friendly, good-humored, a little stubborn, maybe a touch roguish, but overall easy-natured. He was slow to change his mind and sometimes a touch too complacent. But what people didn't realize was what lay behind all that: the slow molten devotion, the sharpness, the protectiveness, the watchful edge and guile. She used to live for the moment when she had all that heed trained on her.

From over and away, Hawke let out a loud cackle of laughter, and just like that, Varric's gaze slid away again. Ah, well -- it had never really been more than borrowed in the first place.

"You know," Bianca said, "I'm glad you have her, Varric. I really am."

His answering smile was a little rueful, a little grateful, and more than a little crooked. "Yeah," he said. "Me, too."

004

Oct. 9th, 2017 09:52 pm
damalur: (Default)
[personal profile] damalur
Anonymous: for a prompt, varric/hawke, "all sorrows can be borne if you put them in a story"

"It won't work, you know," said Hawke. She was drinking her very fine, very dark stout nonetheless, but she found she had little patience for these sorts of games anymore. Wonder of wonders โ€“ and she'd always thought her patience with Varric infinite.

"What won't work?" he said.

"This," Hawke said. "All of it. I might be cracked, but I'm not stupid, Varric. The tavern, the beer, the music, the company โ€“ how much did you play that minstrel to switch to Ferelden folk songs? And an inn like this should have thirty crowded around its fireplace, not three." They were at the corner of a busy crossroads, and although the hour was late, there wasn't an empty room to be had, but other than the minstrel playing softly in a corner across the room and a pair of thoroughly-soaked messengers, there wasn't a customer in sight.

"Thought you might now be in the mood for a crowd," said Varric. "Come on, Champion โ€“ "

"No," she said. "Don't call me that."

Read more... )

(no subject)

Oct. 9th, 2017 03:24 pm
skygiants: Jupiter from Jupiter Ascending, floating over the crowd in her space prom gown (space princess)
[personal profile] skygiants
GUESS WHAT it's another ... Jupiter Ascending fic chapter ....?

STILL UPDATING AT A RATE OF SLIGHTLY MORE THAN ONE CHAPTER A YEAR HECK YEAH.

Equinox reveals

Oct. 8th, 2017 10:10 pm
starlady: Kermit the Frog, at Yuletide (yuletide)
[personal profile] starlady
My streak of never being guessed for exchanges continues.  

I made the Narnia vid Heartlines for [personal profile] silly_cleo, and I made the Hogfather vid Get Behind Me, Hogfather! for [personal profile] mithborien. The latter is now available in the complete version, unlike the short vid that I posted for the anon period. 

And [personal profile] aurumcalendula made my excellent Handmaiden vid Never Look Away

See you at the next equinox!

003

Oct. 8th, 2017 10:23 am
damalur: (Default)
[personal profile] damalur
Anonymous: As for a distraction, I'm terrible with prompts, but maybe some good ol' MCU as family? Team bonding? Tony trying to get everyone else into Risk?

โ€œWhat we have here,โ€ Tony said, โ€œis a failure to communicate. No, hang on, let me be clear: what we have here is a failure to communicate the basic concept of the game.โ€

โ€œTony, man,โ€ said Rhodey, โ€œI have played Risk before.โ€

โ€œReally? Because youโ€™re losing badly enough that I wasnโ€™t sure knew youโ€™re supposed to be trying to win.โ€

โ€œHey, donโ€™t look at me,โ€ Rhodey said. โ€œIโ€™m an invalid.โ€

โ€œI was given to understand that Risk is a game that tests strategic reasoning. Given Colonel Rhodesโ€™ occupation, one would assume he would win quite easily.โ€ The Vision paused, blinked, and invaded Siberia. โ€œWhich merely proves that assumptions are dangerous.โ€

โ€œDid I just get trash-talked by a robot?โ€

โ€œHeโ€™s not a robot,โ€ Tony said, at the same time as the Vision said, โ€œI am not a robot.โ€

โ€œI got trash-talked by a robot,โ€ Rhodey said. โ€œA robot. Incredible.โ€

โ€œI am a fully self-aware synthetic being,โ€ the Vision said. โ€œMore correctly, an android.โ€

โ€œMost correctly, a mandroid,โ€ Tony said. โ€œOh, come on, donโ€™t look at me like youโ€™re a dog trying to figure out quantum tunneling. We all know you understand humor.โ€ Somewhere hidden deep inside the Vision was a kernel of JARVIS that remembered both sarcasm and those early days spent playing Risk when Tony was still trying to perfect machine learning.

Perfectly straight-faced, the Vision said, โ€œPerhaps you arenโ€™t as funny as you think you are, sir,โ€ and started to lay siege to Mongolia.

002

Oct. 7th, 2017 09:30 pm
damalur: (Default)
[personal profile] damalur
Anonymous: maybe some carver/merrill?

Read more... )

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