The weight of a thing

Jul. 27th, 2017 03:33 pm
marina: (Default)
[personal profile] marina
Everything is super hectic and I've slept for 7 hours total in the last 48, and everything is kind of reaching a boiling point that will basically be "resolved" by me going to London (LONDON LONDON LONDON!), but something happened and I feel the need to record.

Almost exactly a year ago, I handed in the first draft of my MA thesis. And my adviser responded, in his usual overall polite way, that the document I sent him, that I took a week off work for, that I wrote for 6 days straight from morning till night, was not even worthy of being called a first draft. It was a first attempt that needed to be scrapped entirely.

Partially this feedback was softened by a phone conversation we later had, where he assured me he believes in me, and these flaws are all fixable, but for a good few days all I had in my head were his written comments, which basically boiled down to "I thought you were a normal person?? but you are apparently a trash fire that should never have been accepted into grad school????"

It was an awful, awful sort of feedback to get, definitely the most demoralizing moment I've ever had in academia. (And like, I triple majored in undergrad, and in grad school finished a course load that was intended for 4 semesters minimum, in 3 semesters. While working FULL TIME in an unrelated field. None of this means I'm good at original research, but getting the "who do you even think you are? clearly you're totally unfit" feedback was really fucking painful.)

Anyway, it's been a year. I spent 5 days straight rewriting the draft. My adviser spent over 6 months not replying to me. (I contacted him after a month, he politely told me to sit down and shut up, I contacted the department 5 months after that, and he responses with "oh no! I totally forgot about you! sorry".

When he finally replied, he told me this rewritten version was about 70% done. Going from a first draft that was ZERO percent done, according to him, to a second draft that was 70%... well. Let's just say I think his initial reaction was WILDLY exaggerated, but you know. Ugh.

I worked evenings and weekends and finally took 2 more days off work, and wrote a new draft, based on his comments. I got it done in the MINIMUM amount of time he allowed. Like, I wanted to submit a revised version 2 weeks after he sent me the comments, but he insisted he was busy and wouldn't read it for 2 months at least. I submitted it on the FIRST DAY he said he'd accept it.

It has been 6 more weeks! He's gotten back to me with comments. I was SO NERVOUS because a lot of his feedback didn't make sense to me, and he wouldn't answer questions, and I was like, I'm going to bring that 70% back down, aren't I? I mean I was a failure on draft #1, maybe this second version was a fluke. I have NO IDEA whether what I'm doing will really improve things.

Anyway. The verdict is in. He has comments and things he wants me to fix and change, obviously, but in the email he sent me? He started it with: "You have written a highly engaging, well-built thesis.

He ended it with: "Your current version is very strong," before listing a few more minor things he'd like to improve.

I'm doing grad school in between work, and trying to unfuck my health, and an attempt at a fiction writing career, and so I never anticipate how much it affects me.

Getting this email was such sweet, sweet vindication. That's right, I fucking did it. I wrote a thing that you admit is GOOD, from 2 drafts back when you were basically calling it garbage.

There are things I'm way more proud of in my life, even in the last year. I don't know why this feels like such an achievement. I'm sure it doesn't seem like that big of a deal to anyone else.

But I feel like I have been clawing at grad school until my fingers are bloody for the past 3 years at least. I've fought to cling to it, to keep up, to get it fucking done, through being homeless multiple times, through essentially becoming paralyzed to the point where I spent 95% of the time I wasn't spending at my full time job lying in bed. Through writing original fiction, which already took every second of my mental energy and the 5% of the time I could actually function.

I've clawed and clawed at this, and it's felt so uncertain, and the journey has been so long, and literally everyone I began my degree with has given up by now, half of them quit the program and the other half declined to write a thesis.

But I wanted this thing, for whatever arbitrary reason (its usefulness to my life will be zero, have no doubt) and I clung, like someone trying to scale a smooth wall with their bare hands, and somehow I managed.

I still have a revised draft to submit, of course. I'll take so long, and be so hard, and take up time I'd rather spend writing fiction. And who knows when/if I'll actually be allowed to submit? (I mean, god willing October? But who knows)

But I wanted to stop and appreciate this moment. The point at which this thesis is actually good enough to submit.

For a while, I wasn't sure I'd get here.

(no subject)

Jul. 27th, 2017 02:44 pm
hagar_972: A woman with her hands on her hips, considering a mechanic's shop. (Default)
[personal profile] hagar_972
Well, I have my new comp, and all my files but my music libraries made it. The music is rebuildable (even if work), so.

The new comp has a bunch of shiny features, which are... cool, if not necessarily Actually Useful. Though I suspect once I get used to its existance, I'll appreciate having a numpad again. The scrollpad is making me a bit hissy for now, but I'm pretty sure I'm going to love the added functionality on it once I get used to it. (It zooms like a touch screen, and also it's huge.) The audio jack is unified i/o, so I'm probably going to need a splitter for that one.

I'm still in the process of tweaking everything Just So. The rule of "if I don't remember it, it wasn't just important" is going to apply. Firefox is mostly sorted out, as is the desktop whatsapp client and antivirus, but other programs still need find-and-install.

Caturday and the latest cats

Jul. 26th, 2017 02:41 pm
madfilkentist: Photo of Carl (Default)
[personal profile] madfilkentist
Sunshine was adopted! I'm only surprised it took so long. Two of the kittens were still there from a week ago. That's unusual, especially since it's so much fun to watch them play. Their names are Placido and Domingo, but copying of someone's bad handwriting changed the names on the card to Racedot and Domino. There's nothing placid about them.

Even more surprising, Ladyslipper was adopted. As I've said before, cats are often better behaved when they get out of the stressful shelter environment.

Al RokerToday's star was Al Roker, who is extremely friendly, to the point that he's hard to photograph. He's already reserved for adoption.

Cece just sat in her litter box and didn't want to move. Some cats like sitting in litter boxes. I think it must have something to do with their desert ancestry. Virginia got authorization to let her out of her cage. It took her a while to decide to come out, and then she found another litter box to sit in.

Cyan and Bongo are still around. Bongo likes the highest places. A new cat was named Bella Donna (not belladonna!). When I gave her her food, I sang, "Bella chow, Bella chow, Bella chow chow chow!" Update: According to the cat list, the name is Belladonna. Waiting for cats named Arsenic and Cyanide to be added.

ot: new Bujold podcast interview

Jul. 26th, 2017 10:01 am
filkferengi: filk fandom--all our life's a circle (Default)
[personal profile] filkferengi posting in [community profile] filk
http://www.goodreads.com/author_blog_posts/15467364-new-bujold-podcast-interview

...is here:

http://www.podcasts.com/live-from-the...

The interview starts at about 1 minute in, and runs about 30 minutes.

This was recorded on Day 4 of ConVergence, earlier this month. (Which seems longer ago than that, already.)

Ta, L.

posted by Lois McMaster Bujold on July, 24
yhlee: Drop Ships from Race for the Galaxy (RTFG)
[personal profile] yhlee
"All the Colors You Thought Were Kings" by Arkady Martine [Shimmer]. Heart-stoppingly gorgeous space opera, stars as sharp as knives. I wish I wrote half so well.

This was exactly what I needed to read tonight.

Tomorrow there’ll be ceremonies and presentations, and then your nanite horde will be calibrated for shipside on live broadcast for the entire Fleet to see – another cohort of kids full up with starshine micromechanics, bound to service and obedience, gone off into the stars. You’ve been dreaming about it since you could read. You want it so much you’ve spent the last three months feeling like your chest is going to burn out from longing.

The night after tomorrow, though. You can’t let yourself dream about that.

Under the drape of your overjacket, snugged up to your spine like you’re its best lovecrush, are the disassembled pieces of a sniper rifle. Nestled right at the small of your back is the lead-shielded explosive heart of an electromagnetic pulse bomb.

The Machineries of Tarot

Jul. 25th, 2017 08:51 am
yhlee: wax seal (hxx Deuce of Gears)
[personal profile] yhlee
For your amusement, hexarchate Tarot readings (coding and spreads by [personal profile] telophase, card meanings by me):
No art right now, just meanings. The 78-card jeng-zai deck corresponds to the traditional Tarot but is specifically a hexarchate Tarot circa Kel Cheris' era. As such, upright sixes are all positive while upright sevens are negative, and the fours are lucky/unlucky.

This site is for entertainment purposes only: neither guarantees nor apologies are given for the accuracy or inaccuracy of any reading you may receive, and no responsibility is taken for any calendrical rot that may ensue. Hopefully you do not live in the hexarchate.

Filk in Poland

Jul. 25th, 2017 01:02 pm
kjn: (Default)
[personal profile] kjn posting in [community profile] filk
Last year I met Polish fan Marcin Klak (Alqua) at Fantastika (Swecon 2017). He was interested in forging bridges between Polish and international fandom, and also appreciative of and interested in filk. Thanks to his blog Fandom Rover I've gotten a look into Polish fandom, Polish con culture, and Polish filking. Especially the con report from Medalikon gives some insight.

From what I can tell, Polish filk (for very wide values of filk) is small, but they have a core of performers that do concerts at their various cons, and they seem inhabit the intersection between LARP, fandom, reenactment, and folk music (though that might be based on the limited stuff I've found).

Some links on Polish filk that I've found so far:

  • Barbara Karlik (in English), harpist, singer, and songwriter. She has songs by [personal profile] thnidu, Gwen Knighton, and Alexander James Adams in her repertoire. I can recommend "The siege of Hedgehogfurt".
  • Polish filk wiki, has a small collection of Polish and some American filk.
  • Liz Katrin (Soundcloud), Interview (in English)
  • Kruffachi (Facebook), who seems to be the most "filkish" within Polish fannish music that I have found so far

(no subject)

Jul. 24th, 2017 06:18 pm
hagar_972: A woman with her hands on her hips, considering a mechanic's shop. (Default)
[personal profile] hagar_972
Guess who had her comp's harddrive throw up a catastrophic failure, and her backups are out of date?

...yeah.

And risk assessment indicates buying a new comp over just getting a diff drive installed.

I'm not happy about any of this.

new Penric impending

Jul. 24th, 2017 07:55 am
filkferengi: filk fandom--all our life's a circle (Default)
[personal profile] filkferengi posting in [community profile] filk
Lois McMaster Bujold says, here:

https://www.goodreads.com/author_blog_posts/15463253-new-penric-impending

I am pleased to report that I have finished the first draft of a new Penric & Desdemona novella. (For that peculiar value of "finished" that means, "still dinking till it's pulled from the writer's twitchy hands.")

Title will be "Penric's Fox"

Length, at this moment, is around 37,400 words. It is more-or-less a sequel to "Penric and the Shaman", taking place about eight or nine months after that story.

Final editing and formatting, arranging for cover art to send it out into the world nicely dressed, etc., will take some unknown amount of time and eyeball-endurance, but e-pub will likely happen in August.

My computer file tells me I started typing the opening on March 3rd, but of course there was lead-up to that. It is, in general, hard to tell or remember when a project segues over from "notion" to "planning", although the notion had been with me for some time. Story notions are like a collection of vaguely related objects rattling around in a box; planning starts when some key object that connects them all drops in, and things suddenly get interesting.

Ta, L.

Notice about filkarchive

Jul. 24th, 2017 06:49 am
kjn: (Default)
[personal profile] kjn posting in [community profile] filk
This was posted by [personal profile] hms42 over on Facebook:

For those who still look at Livejournal (I know most people are not on there any longer), the filk archive LJ account has been hacked a couple of times over the past few days and they are posting in Russian on there.

Its going to get migrated over to Dreamwidth for the history to be preserved before the account is closed.

The site itself is currently down for reprogramming and will eventually be put back online.


The LJ account has since been cleaned up and migrated to [personal profile] filkarchive here on Dreamwidth.
starandrea: (Default)
[personal profile] starandrea
1) legs up a tree
2) wind chimes
3) jumping rope
starandrea: (Default)
[personal profile] starandrea
I was very surprised to level up in Habitica today and see my own image flashed at me... as a sea star. I thought... that doesn't seem right? I remembered one of the frequently asked questions on the Habitica wiki is "Why is my character suddenly a starfish?" but since I wasn't at the time I saw it, I didn't read it.

Before I went back to read it today, I checked party chat, and lo! [personal profile] wispfox claims responsibility for this delight!



So I have prepared what I believe to be an appropriate response:

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