Better(-ish)

22 Oct 2017 11:33 pm
davidgillon: Text: You can take a heroic last stand against the forces of darkness. Or you can not die. It's entirely up to you" (Heroic Last Stand)
[personal profile] davidgillon

I seem to be back to sleeping during the day and being awake at night, which is a pain, and tiring, and I need to fix it, something which usually leaves me even more tired.

OTOH, after very little writing since summer, this week has produced:

First draft of a 5,500 word short story - 'Wheeler', which is deliberately structured to spin a novel out of, and is looking at the idea of whether a wheelchair user can be a space fighter pilot (which I've been noodling over for a while). I'm using Ehlers-Danlos as the disability, so it's very much write what you know. The short story is the Pearl Harbour equivalent, the novel would add the training montage and probably Battle of Britain and/or Doolittle Raid equivalents.

Plans for redrafting 'Titanium Witch', an existing 6000 word short story that targets people's behaviour towards disabled people and how wheelchairs can shape perceptions. The protagonist is a vent-dependent quad, with the SFnal element being exoskeletons as a way to move beyond that. The original plot was a fraud by her deputy, which she stumbles on while having exoskeletal problems, but I've realised I can make the story much stronger if the exoskeletal problems are actually a murder attempt (plus allowing me to deploy an EMP weapon as a plot maguffin). It will become longer as a result, I'll need several extra scenes, but I'll want to keep growth controlled. I want this rewrite done before the end of the year, but may work on it much sooner.

And finally, after a year of sitting on them with writer-brain running in panicked don't-wanna circles, I've figured out how to address Yoon''s beta notes on 'Graveyard Shif't (my Pitch Wars novel). The motivational weaknesses on the bad guy necromancer can be addressed by making him Russian, not Haitian, and tying him into the family backstory of Aleks, the Russian-American protagonist. At the same time that solves my ever increasing discomfort that the bad guy is a stereotypical bad voodoo witchdoctor, even if I do counter that with a very empowered Voudoun Mambo consulting for the good guys. And I can address Yoon's suggestion I drop the third PoV character to concentrate on the interplay between the two leads by rewriting his scenes from Aleks' viewpoint, even the one she definitely isn't there for - teleconferences are a thing, and she's sitting in a business jet while things are happening (idiot! how did you not notice that?). And all of this means committing myself to a complete rewrite in between a month and six weeks, because I want to throw the completed re-draft at  the Angry Robot open submission window.

That's a lot of writing to do between now and Christmas, so I figure talking about it here is a way to keep me on track and logging process, which is something I've stopped doing over the last year or so.

Poem: “Unsheathe”

20 Oct 2017 05:45 pm
jjhunter: a person who waves their hand over a castle tower changes size depending on your perspective (perspective matters)
[personal profile] jjhunter
take your hands out of your pockets
touch the world
let your edges tingle
awake
primed to be

_
Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 Unported License.

Halloween Event!

19 Oct 2017 09:49 am
inkstone: The Gotcha screen from Pokemon Go (PokeGo)
[personal profile] inkstone posting in [community profile] pokestop
PokeGo is once again hosting an in-game Halloween event. The rewards are the same as last year's:
  • doubled candy when catching, hatching & transferring pokemon

  • your buddy will earn candy twice as fast

Other highlights: Pikachu will have a special hat. Your avatar can wear Mimikyu's disguise hat. And in addition to the already existing ghost pokemon, we will see some ghost types from Gen 3.

Official announcement

Ooh, new AGAHF short story....

17 Oct 2017 01:21 am
davidgillon: A pair of crutches, hanging from coat hooks, reflected in a mirror (Default)
[personal profile] davidgillon

K B Spangler has just put up a new AGAHF short story, or rather one whose rights have reverted to her, at http://agirlandherfed.tumblr.com/ Shawn and Jenny talk brains

Mildly spoilery context behindthe cut )

davidgillon: Illo of Oracle in her manual chair in long white dress with short red hair and glasses (wheelchair)
[personal profile] davidgillon

"Very successful Artisan/Collectables MARKET on Saturday" says the Rochester City Centre Forum (apparently a joint effort of the council and the High Street traders) on their FB page.


To which I replied: "Very successful, except for those of us who are wheelchair users and find ourselves barred from the footpaths. What you can't see in that top picture is that it is the exit from the disabled car park and the pavement is blocked in both directions, as is the kerb-cut directly in front of that stall - to use the kerb cut safely a wheelchair user needs to start/finish at least as far back as the orange box visible in the picture. In fact it was significantly worse than that when I was in Rochester about 4PM on Saturday as the stall had boxes down the side that meant there wasn't even space to squeeze a narrow wheelchair like mine between the lamppost and stall, taking the unsafe approach down the side of the kerb-cut. For anyone in a wider chair or a powerchair, forget it. Remember, the space in front of the stalls is going to be occupied by customers, so there is even less space available. I ended up having to hop off the kerb, which nearly threw me out of my chair and didn't even try to use the entrance on my return, despite that being my normal route back to the car.

The steep camber of Rochester High Street makes it difficult to wheelie from road to pavement without risking tipping - I can't do it at all if I have the anti-tip protection deployed on my chair - and many people have chairs, powerchairs or scooters which are completely incapable of kerb-climbing. The reality of the choice of stalls which block the full width of the pavement is that they completely block wheelchair users from accessing the shops between them, or even safely exiting the disabled car park.

Rochester High Street is an obstacle course to wheelchair users at the best of times due to paving, camber, and cobbles, but these stalls leave it completely inaccessible. I raised the issue with the Council after their previous appearance, and was assured my concerns, particularly with respect to the kerb cut would be passed on, but this time things were even worse. To use the space in front of the disabled car park, blocking wheelchair users from exiting, really shows a careless contempt for the needs and rights of disabled people."

I had a reply within about an hour from the chair of the Forum. He did promise to do something about the kerb-cuts, but did not impress by first launching into a rant about cyclists on the pedestrianised High Street (why yes, I did know it's pedestrianised on Saturday, that's beside the point, the road doesn't help if I can't get from road to footpath) and then protesting "It's only 12 times a year," and "it's for the community". Do I not count as a member of the community?

Grrrrrrr!!!!

ETA: there's now a nebulous "this problem will be addressed", so I asked them to make sure they got a wheelchair user's input as to whether it did fix the problem or not.

update rolling out

16 Oct 2017 06:41 am
inkstone: The Gotcha screen from Pokemon Go (PokeGo)
[personal profile] inkstone posting in [community profile] pokestop
Hello trainers! An update began rolling out over the weekend. The patch notes are relatively minor -- "Various bug fixes and performance updates" -- so it doesn't look too exciting, but you never know.

Battened down...

16 Oct 2017 03:04 am
davidgillon: Me, at the wheel of a yacht (Sailing)
[personal profile] davidgillon

So with Hurricane/ex-Hurricane/Maybe-Still- a-Hurricane-but-predicted-to-be-a-Tropical-Storm-Real-Soon-Now Ophelia  due to hit the British Isles tomorrow I thought I'd better finish off the re-roofing of the garden shed - I replaced the felt over the summer, but never got around to replacing the battens on the gable ends, which are an extra protection against the wind getting underneath and ballooning the felt off. Surprisingly this only took me 20 minutes, but I had a smile on my face when I realised this literally amounted to 'battening down the hatches', even if I was doing it to a roof, not a hatchway..

I'm not actually expecting trouble tomorrow, there isn't even a severe weather warning for the south east as far as I can see, Ophelia's due to hit entirely the other side of the country, in fact entirely the other side of the next country over, but it needed doing before we get much further into autumn, so it's a good excuse.

Of course the problem with leaving it until the last minute and then deciding to do it is I hadn't gotten around to painting/weatherproofing  the wood, and I do want to do every side, not just the exposed ones, because the wood I'm replacing had rotted from the back. So it's all going to have to come off again for a quick paint job once the winds have died down.

Adding to people's concern is that it's 30 years since the 1987 Great Storm, which did hit the South East. There were multiple trees down at the end of my road, one of them on top of a friend's car (though I didn't know her then), but I managed to sleep completely through it, bar the five minutes at god-awful o'clock in the morning when I stumbled downstairs to slam the front door, which had been blown open. I'll settle for sleeping through Ophelia as well.

Question thread #57

15 Oct 2017 11:24 pm
pauamma: Cartooney crab holding drink (Default)
[personal profile] pauamma posting in [site community profile] dw_dev
It's time for another question thread!

The rules:

- You may ask any dev-related question you have in a comment. (It doesn't even need to be about Dreamwidth, although if it involves a language/library/framework/database Dreamwidth doesn't use, you will probably get answers pointing that out and suggesting a better place to ask.)
- You may also answer any question, using the guidelines given in To Answer, Or Not To Answer and in this comment thread.

help meeeee

14 Oct 2017 01:15 pm
alexseanchai: Blue and purple lightning (Default)
[personal profile] alexseanchai
My brother's birthday is in three days. He is asking for audiobooks. I am going to venture the guess that podcasts would also be welcome (though I suspect podfic would not). He is offering zero guidance on which ones. I have no idea what books he already owns in any format, except that he owns a very great deal of Catholic nonfiction in hardcopy, and also some Tolkien. I asked him in September to name a few genres he wants to read in or subjects he wants to be educated on so I would have a place to start. (I know Catholic theology on the "I went to Sunday school with the parish until I got confirmed" level. He knows Catholic theology on the "I have a Master's in theology from Franciscan" level.) He has not responded.

What should I get him, or recommend to him? The less money I need to spend, the better. (Though I assume pointing him at Amazon Music's $0.00 dramatic reading of the KJV is cheating.)

Gah, some people ...

14 Oct 2017 04:39 pm
davidgillon: A pair of crutches, hanging from coat hooks, reflected in a mirror (Default)
[personal profile] davidgillon
... are so determined to 'help' you have to beat them off with a stick!

I was heading back to the car from Rochester High Street* - and was already irritated because Medway Council have the footpaths blocked with stalls again, including on top of the kerb cut I specifically complained about last time - and as I turned off to go up in front of the cathedral I noticed a guy looking at me (at the time I assessed him as a drunk, though I may have been wrong). So I start pushing up the slope, pass the cafes, but stop at the cathedral noticeboard when I notice there's a poster for Show of Hands. Almost instantly he's there "Are you lost?" No, just reading the damn poster.

10 yards further "Do you want me to push?" And when I half-turn he's bearing down on the chair arms outstretched. "No!"

There's a sort of harumph,and "Well, I'm walking up by the Vines".

Oh, great, that's where I'm parked, so I have to let him get ahead of me, Fortunately he stopped to peer into the cathedral gardens and I snuck past when he wasn't looking.

If it's not the council making Rochester an obstacle course, it's the people!

* I had the burger for lunch. It now comes with 'bacon jam' - it's just as well they told me what it was, because I wouldn't have guessed otherwise. There probably was a very faint taste of bacon, but so faint you needed the hint. Plus what I think were deep-fried, battered pieces of onion. I'n not an onion fan, and positively loathe fried onions, so the fact I ate them at all is probably a point in their favour. But being honest, I'd have preferred a slice of  tomato to both of them.

Bugger....

13 Oct 2017 04:14 pm
davidgillon: A pair of crutches, hanging from coat hooks, reflected in a mirror (Default)
[personal profile] davidgillon

Me earlier.

I need coffee. Where's my coffee mug?
Oh, there it is on the floor by the sofa.
On its side, with its complete contents from last night (mocha, so nice and gooey) spread out all over the carpet next to it

Fortunately it lifted after some vigorous scrubbing with a damp towel, but if I thought I'd needed cofffee before that....

The only positive in this is it pooled next to the two external drive also sitting there, not in them,
 

12 Oct 2017 01:10 pm
alexseanchai: Blue and purple lightning (Default)
[personal profile] alexseanchai
Talk to me? Go on about anything that really interests you, or anything you think will interest me?

on card and board games

12 Oct 2017 11:33 am
brainwane: My smiling face, including a small gold bindi (Default)
[personal profile] brainwane
Variations on a theme (the Great Board Games Desensitisation Process post), by [personal profile] kaberett. If you love card/board game socials, or if you are reluctant to play card/board games with others, this is worth reading.

The Have You Ever meme

12 Oct 2017 12:52 am
davidgillon: A pair of crutches, hanging from coat hooks, reflected in a mirror (Default)
[personal profile] davidgillon

As I've been seeing this from all sides:

Tattoos No. Historically I've been fairly squicked by them, and my response to a lot of them is still "What were you thinking?", but that's a quality/composition reaction nowadaysand I've seen ones that were utterly gorgeous.

Surgeries  Prior to a couple of years ago, none. Since then, had a cholesystectomy (gall bladder removal) and had an infected toe nail removed. Theoreticallly both day surgeries. but the first they kept me in overnight due to pain levels and living alone, and the second I was fine to go home minutes after surgery, but it took me four hours to convince them being a wheelchair user made not being able to stand on one foot less of an issue, not more (and I could stand on it anyway). Trying to give them up.

Broken bones Broke my wrist when I was in my teens, but made such a poor job of it they didn't even cast it. Dislocated a toe without realising it was dislocated, and took so long to notice it's still like that 40 years later. Did bony damage to all my left-side lumbar facet joints in the fall that triggered my hypermobility into high gear, but it took a bone scan with radioactive tracer to find that, which meant not until months later (of course this means there was still active damage months later, so I guess I did a number on them).

Shot a gun Air rifles, at fairs and indoors with friends who owned one (which once led to a two-way ricochet in which the dart I'd fired at the dartboard in front of me skittered along the top of the frame of my glasses - not down the leg, across my forehead). OTOH, every time someone in a Tornado fires the guns or drops a bomb, they're using bits of my code. Possibly, in fact probably, Storm Shadow and Brimstone missiles too, but I'm not 100% certain on those, where I am on the guns and  the bombs.

Quit a job No. In fact only ever had the one job. Spent 4 years trying to avoid being forced out of my job for being disabled, yes.

Flown on a plane My first flight wasn't until 2001 (when I was 38), but that was in a glider, so I got stick time the first time I ever flew., Have now flown to various European destinations, plus the Canaries (technically more African than European)

100+miles in car Every time we went on holiday as kids (Torquay most often, but also Wales and Scotland). Up to my parents from here is 300 miles, but I've only done that as a passenger. The couple of times I've driven more than 100 miles myself I've pretty much fallen out of the car at the other endm so I avoid it. Longest trip in motor transport, a 28 hour bus journey from North East England to Venice.

Gone zip lining Probably in fairly trivial format when I was in the Scouts. Not in the extreme sports style. OTOH I have done white water rafting in glacial water, though I wimped out of the parascending off the top of the Hahnenkamm that was the other half of that trip.

Watched someone give birth No

Watched someone dying No

Ridden in an ambulance Yes, had to dial 999 when I came down with acute pancreatitis. Don't think I warranted the blue light.

Travel
Been to Canada:

... to Europe:

... to Washington D.C:

... to Florida:

... to Colorado:

... to Mexico: .

... to Las Vegas:

.Been to France: Yes, one trip to Paris and a few cross-channel day trips.

... to America: No

... to London: 40 minute train trip. I usually pass through at least three times a year, I used to go in regularly for shopping trips until mobility became an issue.

... to Blackpool: A few times, oddly never got there when at university in Lancaster, which isn't that far away.

... to Scotland: Once as a kid, and to Intersection, Worldcon 9?

... to Spain .Mainland no, Canaries three times (for sailing school).

... to Paris: Work trip to the Paris airshow with an overnight stay. Managed to see most of the tourist highlights very briefly in one compressed 4 hour session while on crutches.

(Other countries visited: Germany several times, Greece ditto, Austria, Italy. Driven across Belgium and bits of Holland  - and possibly Luxembourg? - without penetrating any deeper than motorway service stations)

Sang karaoke A few times. The less said the better.

Had a pet growing up: Only goldfish won at fairs. Actually managed to keep one alive for quite a while..

Been downhill skiing No. Nowadays it would have to be a sit-ski (which I would quite like to try, if my body actually did cold anymore), and my hips were already too far gone for standard downhill by mid 20s. Plus acrophobic.

Gone snowboarding With my balance?

Ability to read music Technically taught how, but it didn't take.Never able to envisage the sound. And never a musician.

Ridden a motorcycle Legally not allowed too. The standard UK car license includes a provisional motorbike license, mine doesn't. The conversation with the examiner post car-test went:
"So, do you think you could hold a motorcycle up if you were stopped at a junction?" 
"No" 
"Okay, no motorbikes for you".

Ridden a horse Seaside donkey on Blackpool beach. I was small enough you can't really see my face in the pics because of how far down the riding helmet had slipped. Would like to try it sometime for writing research purposes (one of my friends with the same disability is a dressage rider, so it's possible)

Stayed in a hospital 8 days with acute pancreatitis, having fluids pumped in at one end and out at the other.

Driven a stick shift Standard in the UK. But after failing my umpteenth driving test, my instructor said "I think you should try automatic". He was right, the clutch pedal was one thing too many for dyspraxic me to handle, take it away and my control of the car got much better.

Ride in Police Car No. Don't think I've even talked to an on-duty police officer more than once or twice..

Driven a Boat Canoes, a canal boat, a whiter water raft, various yachts. Did actually apply to joint the Universities Royal Naval Unit, but had to withdraw due to scheduling issues with my degree. A friend once rowed at the Olympics (British Women's 8, Moscow).

Eaten Escargot Not that I can recall. Lots of shelled seafood though.

Seen a UFO If it flies, I can usually identify it. I have exchanged forum messages with someone responsible for one of the more noteworthy black aircraft sightings.https://www.secretprojects.co.uk/forum/index.php/topic,2868.0.html He's now an aviation writer/publisher. I did once see one of the 'doughnuts on a rope' contrails supposedly associated with Aurora, but as I was in my back garden and the contrail was clearly headed for Heathrow, probably not Aurora.

Been on a Cruise Flotilla'd* around bits of Greece a time or three. * ie in a yacht, with other yachts.

Run out of Petrol No

Eat Sushi Only had it from a Marks and Spencers taster pack that I can remember, would willingly eat it again.

Seen a Ghost No.

Well, that's settled then...

11 Oct 2017 10:28 pm
davidgillon: Text: I really don't think you should put your hand inside the manticore, you don't know where it's been. (Don't put your hand inside the manticore)
[personal profile] davidgillon

I've had backache on and off since Saturday afternoon, for no apparent meaning. Despite being the proprietor of the proverbial bad back (and to disabling levels), this is actually fairly unusual for me. My pain control is good enough nowadays I normally have to make a deliberate effort to do something unwise (such as, say, stand for more than 5 minutes) in order to get significant pain. But this has been making itself known even when just sitting.

As the pain is mostly over my kidneys, and with no obvious reason, I started wondering whether I might actually have a kidney infection. And a little while later it occurred to me that I could work that out by putting my back brace on and seeing what happens.

So I did. And no infection, the pain has in fact dropped down to mildly annoying niggle.

So it looks like I'm wearing the brace for a day or two, but man, it took me an embarrassingly long time to get from 'Ugg, back hurts" to "Ugg, maybe wear thing that make pain go away". 

Coming Out Day

11 Oct 2017 02:41 pm
emceeaich: The Queen Mother Has a Plan. Be glad you do not figure in it. (hwa yong)
[personal profile] emceeaich

I'm hella lesbian.

kaberett: Clyde the tortoise from Elementary, crawling across a map, with a red tape cross on his back. (elementary-emergency-clyde)
[personal profile] kaberett
Hi, I'm Alex, my pronouns are they, I have hilarious boardgame-related trauma; I'm going to want five minutes to read the rules in silence before we start; and if I ask a question about gameplay that isn't addressed to you by name and you're not [personal profile] me_and, please pretend I didn't say anything.


As I periodically mention, mostly whenever I make notable progress of any kind, for a variety of hilarious reasons I find the vast majority of boardgames intensely stressful, and this gets worse the less I know the people I'm playing with. Like I said in my previous post, over the past two years I've gone from "cannot even start to play a game I've had long-term interest in, in my own home, with my partner, who I trust, with no-one else present, without bursting into tears twice just reading the rules" to "getting a bit of an adrenaline kick when I start my second new game of an afternoon with strangers, in a pub, when I was already primed for social anxiety for reasons that do not need exploring at this juncture".

Read more... )

Apologies!

11 Oct 2017 06:44 am
inkstone: The Gotcha screen from Pokemon Go (PokeGo)
[personal profile] inkstone posting in [community profile] pokestop
Hello trainers!

Your mod would like to apologize for being absent the past month. I kind of got swallowed up by work. Sorry for not reporting in with news and updates. ^^;

So. How have things been with you guys?
emceeaich: (cylon baby jesus!)
[personal profile] emceeaich

There are spoilers below.

Read more... )

This is a stunning movie.

But the experience of the women in the movie, including the ones who live, disappoints me.