alwaysbringabookwithyou: wlwfiction: 23 September is Bisexual Visibility Day, so WLWFiction is recommending books about bi ladies! * indicates the author is bisexual/pansexual/attracted to multiple genders # indicates author of colour Middle Grade Star-Crossed by Barbara Dee Young Adult Leah on … Continue reading

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It’s a minor pet peeve, but it is everywhere today so errrr…. please keep in mind that “Rest in Peace”/RIP literally comes from a latin phrase and is a very very deeply Christian expression.

When talking about the departed, Jews say “may their memory be a blessing.”

So please, when talking about a dead person who is Jewish, try to keep in mind that RIP is a Christian phrase.

I learned something today, so I’ll pass it on so someone else can learn too

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Book Review: Bone Dance by Emma Bull

I recently read Bone Dance (fantasy 315 pages) by Emma Bull as part of my Asexual Reading list for 2018.

“Sparrow’s my name. Trader. Deal-maker. Hustler, some call me. I work the Night Fair circuit, buying and selling prenuke videos from the World Before. I know how to get a high price, especially on Big Band collectibles. The hottest ticket of all is information on the Horsemen – the mind-control weapons that tilted the balance in the war between the Americas. That’s the prize I’m after. But it seems I’m having trouble controlling my own mind. The Horsemen are coming…”

“Here before me was the familiar exercise of my faith, the Deal. The exchange was only its sacrament, the symbol of larger principles. Nothing Is Free. One way or another, you will pay your debts; better you should arrange the method of payment yourself.” (Page 48).

I’ve been really far behind on my reading goals and also not doing a very good job of posting book reviews when I finish a book. I’ve read a lot more than indicated by the silence here for the last several months. My Asexual Reading list for 2018 had me reading this in September and it’s now November. My concept of time is completely skewed right now so I have no idea when I actually read this, other than it was sometime fairly recently.

This book was unbelievably far ahead of its time. The main protagonist is non-binary before there was common terminology for it. Sparrow is also touch and sex-repulsed, making this individual the first truly asexual character I’ve read without any romantic subplot whatsoever. So while no romantic or sexual subplots existed, Sparrow still found love and acceptance through friendship that turned into family. I found this positive example of interpersonal relationships refreshing.

I also found this book to be incredibly imaginative, as it clearly showed a realistic dystopian future where we would have remnants of our previous world. The rich and powerful sought out nostalgic memories of movies from the past and paid high prices for them on the black market. The rich and powerful also control the use of electricity throughout the city, which is a clear demonstration of how classism crosses all realms, even the dystopian future. The technology use in this book, and the reverence for that technology, interested me and also caused a severe emotional issue during later chapters in the book. But since I don’t want to ruin the book for anyone who hasn’t read it, I’m not going to go into detail about the extra-powerful, heart-wrenching scene that caused me genuine distress.

Page 130 described the world before the future this book with a dialogue between two characters: ‘”Having never lived in a nation,” I said, “I wouldn’t know.” Frances turned her face away, as if I’d slapped her. “Don’t worry, you’re not missing much. A wretched anthill of peaceful, productive, useful life with hardly any invigorating biting and scratching. Where people flossed once a day and mowed the lawn on Sundays.”‘ This description of what’s actually our current world amused me greatly.

Which brings up a very good point about this book. There are two extremely potent and very traumatic events in this book, one of which involves rape. So if that’s a trigger for you, be cautious when reading this book.

The book also understands what it means to be an introvert. There’s a section on page 211 where Sparrow is thinking about what it means to be someone on your own in a crowded world: “I’d never wondered why I could be comfortable here and twitchy in a group of four people. The answer, now that I thought about it, was easy. The streets and stalls of the Night Fair were the opposite of intimacy. To be one of four was to be a focal point; to be one of hundreds was to be anonymous as sand on the shore.” The characters in this book are so absolutely human that the relationships are natural and the interactions real. The later chapters even deal a lot with rebuilding yourself and your life when you’ve lost everything. That whole section hit me really hard as a keen reminder of everything I’ve been through, especially around page 248.

Overall, this book was far more than I was expecting. It hit me in a very powerful and memorable way. I absolutely enjoyed having a non-binary and sex-repulsed person as the main character and having that main character not wind up being a bad person. I would actually rate this book as a low four on my rating scale. I’m glad I purchased it and I will likely read it again in the future.

Bull, Emma. Bone Dance. New York: Tom Doherty Associates, LLC, 1991.

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“I went to [Tolkien’s] public lectures. They were absolutely appalling. In those days a lecturer could be paid for his entire course even if he lost his audience, provided he turned up for the first lecture. I think that Tolkien made quite a cynical effort to get rid of us so he could go home and finish writing Lord of the Rings.”

“He gave his lectures in a very, very small room and didn’t address us, his audience, at all. In fact he looked the other way, with his face almost squashed up against the blackboard. He spoke in a mutter. His mind was on finishing Lord of the Rings, and he was really musing to himself about the nature of narrative. But I found this so fascinating that I came back week after week, as did one other person. I’ve always wondered what became of him, because he was obviously equally fascinated. And because we stuck there, Tolkien couldn’t go away and write Lord of the Rings! He would say the most marvelous things about the way you take a very basic plot and twitch it here and twitch it there—and it becomes a completely different plot.”

—-Diana Wynne Jones

#I don’t know if I find this more enchanting for a really interesting discussion on worldbuilding and narrative #or the fact that DIANA WYNNE JONES PREVENTED JRR FROM WORKING ON LOTR A WHOLE SEMESTER BECAUSE SHE MADE HIM DO HIS JOB OH MY GOOOOOOOD THAT #IS #HILARIOUS #I LOVE HER SO MUCH

(via basileus)


also can you imagine 1) studying at Oxford and 2) studying at Oxford during an era when both JRR Tolkien and CS Lewis were lecturers? 

”And my father died after my first term there. I had to stay at home to see to his funeral, and spent the rest of my time at Oxford in nagging anxiety for my sisters, who were not finding my mother easy to live with. However, C. S. Lewis and J. R. R. Tolkien were both lecturing then, Lewis booming to crowded halls and Tolkien mumbling to me and three others. Looking back, I see both of them had enormous influence on me, but it is hard to say how, except that they must have been equally influential to others too. I later discovered that almost everyone who went on to write children’s books – Penelope Lively, Jill Paton Walsh, to name only two – was at Oxford at the same time as me, but I barely met them and we never at any time discussed fantasy. Oxford was very scornful of fantasy then. Everyone raised eyebrows at Lewis and Tolkien and said hastily, “But they’re excellent scholars as well.“ (source: her autobiography)

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Crosspost from me_irl

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This gallery contains 2 photos.

referenceforwriters: So You Want To Get Published. Source: referenceforwriters

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Humans are one of the most feared species in the galaxy. Not due to superior strength,speed,skill or strategy. In fact, it’s because in comparison to the other species, humans are just batshit crazy enough to try any half-assed plan they come up with.

Ejoc cracked her knuckles in nervousness. Ever since the human crew members had begun to integrate into the system, things had been… interesting to say the least.

The humans had begun integrating with her people first, because biologically they were the most similar. Similar vocal abilities, similar eating patterns, kind of similar coloration even. They needed slightly less oxygen than the Stam people, so could survive just fine on their ships. Perhaps the biggest difference was the human’s short stature and ability to eat meat. And, of course, what appeared to be a near suicidal “survival” instinct.

Her first mate stumbled into the control room, bleary eyed and almost spilling his coffee more than once. Ejoc rubbed the back of her right hand nervously.

“Um, hello Marcus.” She said

Marcus looked up, his green eyes slightly creeping her out. “Oh. G’mornin ma’m. Sorry I’m late. I just got up.”

She stiffened. “You JUST got up? That is incredibly reckless. You are not nearly awake enough to…”

“Captain. Please. I know what I’m doing. I got through military school on coffee and lost dreams.”

Ejoc didn’t know how to respond to that. She stared at him as he took his place behind her seat. Two weeks and she still wasn’t used to this. He constantly made decisions that were reckless at best. Even with simple things such as amount of sleep. Why, in the goddesses’ name did she have to be assigned a human?

A few hours later they were flying through the Buelfe system when came an uncharted asteroid belt.

“We cannot make it, captain!” Cried one of the interns running a control panel. “We need to go another way!”

Hesitantly, the captain turned as her first mate coughed, in an extremely unsanitary and human way to get attention.

“Yes, Marcus Jackson?”

“Well, captain, I’m not sure I’d classify this particular asteroid belt as an obstacle.”

“Excuse me?”

“Well captain, with all due respect, the asteroid belt in the Sol system is much denser than this. Cadets at the Mars academy fly through it as a training exercise.”

Every eye in the room was now on the small pudgy human. A couple of people even let their mouths hang open.

Ejoc looked at him with some fear. “A training exercise, Jackson?”

Marcus looked confused. “Well, yes. It’s really not that difficult. If we don’t reroute, we can still get to Arthenia within the scheduled time frame. However, if we don’t, we’ll be late. And you and I both know how much Arthenians love tardy ambassadors.”

A million thoughts flooded through Ejoc’s brain in a fraction of a second. Humans. Reckless. Horrifying. Yet, they had evolved and built civilization from scratch in the time it took most species to invent tools. Three million years. That’s all it had taken. Three million years. An infant species, already exploring the stars.

A million more thoughts buzzed in the next fraction of a second. She remembered the admiral that had given her the “honor” of being the first Stam captain to see a partially human crew. “Trust them.” He had said. “They look unsettling. They are more reckless than children. But trust them. They know very well what limitations are.”

Ejoc looked forward with determination and gripped her seat as tightly as she dared.

“Do as he says. Find a suitable path.”

Marcus calmly stood as the ship weaved in between asteroids. Most of the other people were either furiously working at their stations or visibly holding back a scream.

He shared a look with the one other human crew member in the control room. An electrical maintenance engineer named Keisha. They both seemed to be thinking the same thing.

“What is up with these aliens and being afraid of everything?”

They made it through the asteroid field “obviously” according to every human anyone asked about it later. Afterwards, the captain was slightly more open to human crew member’s suggestions. Although she drew the line at alcohol. Why humans voluntarily ingested something that made their brain less functional she would never know.

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writing tip #2362:


choose an outlining method that fits your writing style. i have named the method i use ‘chaos’

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things english speakers know, but don’t know we know.


That is profound. I noticed this by accident when asked about adjectives by a Japanese student. She translated something from Japanese like “Brown big cat” and I corrected her. When she asked me why, I bluescreened.

What the fuck, English isn’t even my first language and yet I picked up on that. How the fuck. What the fuck.

Reasoning: It Just Sounds Right

Oooh, don’t like that. Nope, I do not even like that a little bit.  That’s parting the veil and looking at some forbidden fucking knowledge there.

How did I even learn this language wtf

I had to read “brown big cat” like three times before my brain stopped interpreting it as “big brown cat”

I’m kinda reading “brown big cat” as “brown (big cat)”, that is, a “big cat” – like a tiger or lion or other felid of similar size – that happens to be brown. “Big brown cat”, on the other hand, sounds more like a brown cat that’s just a bit bigger than a regular housecat – like a bobcat or a maine coon cat or something like that.

yeah, a brown big cat is almost certainly a puma. a big brown cat is probably a maine coon.

yeah, if you put the adjectives out of order you wind up implying a compound noun, which is presumably why we have this rule; we stripped out so much inflection over the centuries word order now dictates a huge amount of our grammar

Just looked up why we do this and one of the first lines in this article is, “Adjectives are where the elves of language both cheat and illumine reality.” so I know it’s a good article.

Things this article has taught me:

  • This same order of adjectives more or less applies to languages around the world

    “It’s possible that these elements of universal grammar clarify our thought in some way,” says Barbara Partee, a professor emeritus of linguistics and philosophy at the University of Massachusetts-Amherst. Yet when the human race tacitly decided that shape words go before color words go before origin words, it left no record of its rationale.

  • One theory is that the more specific term always falls closer to the noun. But that doesn’t explain everything in adjective order.
  • Another theory is that as you get closer to the noun, you encounter adjectives that denote more innate properties. In general, nouns pick out the type of thing we’re talking about, and adjectives describe it,” Partee told me. She observes that the modifiers most likely to sit right next to nouns are the ones most inclined to serve as nouns in different contexts: Rubber duck. Stone wall.
  • Rules are made to be broken. Switching up the order of adjectives allows you to redistribute emphasis. (If you wish to buy the black small purse, not the gray one, for instance, you can communicate your priorities by placing color before size). 

    Scrambling the order of adjectives also helps authors achieve a sense of spontaneity, of improvising as they go. Wolfe discovers such a rhythm, a feeling-his-way quality, when he discusses his childhood recollection of “brown tired autumn earth” and a “flat moist plug of apple tobacco.”

  • Brain scans have discovered that your brain has to work harder to read adjectives in the “wrong” order.

TL;DR: No one knows why we do this adjective thing but it’s pretty hardwired in.

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The Cost of Books

This is a good, honest look at a small, independent publisher’s P&L (profit and loss) for a recent book. Thank you Belt Publishing & Belt Magazine for the transparency.

The Cost of Books

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