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[personal profile] naraht
No one is more surprised than I to find that I've posted an X-Files fic after such a long hiatus. It really is mostly Return to Night, but still. Thanks again to [personal profile] nineveh_uk for the idea.

A thousand thousand slimy things (1744 words) by Naraht
Chapters: 1/1
Fandom: Return to Night - Mary Renault, The X-Files
Rating: Teen And Up Audiences
Warnings: No Archive Warnings Apply
Characters: Hilary Mansell, Dana Scully
Additional Tags: 1990s, Crossover, Medical Experimentation, Aging, Tentacles, medical ethics
Series: Part 2 of A thousand thousand slimy things

"Secret Allied experiments grafting tentacles onto human subjects during World War II? Mulder, no doctor would agree to perform an operation like that."

"Scully, have you ever studied the history of medicine?"

Episode 1313: It Was All Yellow

Feb. 11th, 2016 10:11 am
[syndicated profile] darths_and_droids_feed

Episode 1313: It Was All Yellow

It's important during briefing scenes with superiors of the PCs that you don't give them too much information and end up making the mission too easy. Keep details vague and give them just enough to get them out in the field and into danger. Any actual intel they should have to work for, rather than being presented with it on a plate.

But try not to make the superiors look incompetent, or the players might start to wonder how they got the job...

Oh no you didn't

Feb. 11th, 2016 03:35 am
giandujakiss: (Default)
[personal profile] giandujakiss
Sometimes, you read something, and those are literally the only words you can muster.

more writer noodling

Feb. 11th, 2016 12:48 am
yhlee: a plush raven on a plush fox (hxx Cheris Jedao)
[personal profile] yhlee
Writing-related exercise, part the second

I don't necessarily like my characters, but I thought I'd do the character-summation exercise on them (the ones I remember, anyway) to get a sense for what I actually tend to write.

Read more... )

Hmm. I think I need to write more characters who are fun to be around...
[syndicated profile] snopes_feed
A video showing the creative shaming of a motorist who illegally parked in a handicapped spot was created by the YouTube comedy team Canal Boom.

Here, have a writing-related exercise

Feb. 10th, 2016 11:56 pm
yhlee: (AtS no angel (credit: <user name="helloi)
[personal profile] yhlee
I can't even remember which writing advice book suggested this as an exercise, but: the idea is to write down a bunch of favorite characters and a very brief (like, 1-2 words/phrases) description of what you like about them, to get a feel for what kinds of characters you enjoy writing. Since characters are a struggle for me, I thought this might be fun to try.

Also, it's late but I'm not remotely sleepy, so it kills the time? LOL.

Read more... )

Fascinatingly, while some trends were predictable (I fall head over heels for all but the most monstrous chessmasters so fast), others were news to me (I didn't realize I liked kind characters as much as I do).

Feel free to do the exercise yourself, either in comments or in your own space, whichever makes you happier!

Reflections - January 2016

Feb. 10th, 2016 11:09 pm
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[personal profile] helloladies posting in [community profile] ladybusiness
Welcome to Reflections, where we look back at the previous month and our posting accomplishments. \o/ January was a great start to the year, full of media celebrations and lists and project launches from new editors!

Looking back over January 2016 )

It was a great few weeks and we're excited to continue on into February. We hope you'll join us. ♥
[syndicated profile] snopes_feed
A list purportedly documents the myriad reasons or symptoms behind patients' being admitted to an insane asylum in the 19th century.
[syndicated profile] snopes_feed
A fake news web site reported that the pilot of long-missing Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 had mysteriously resurfaced in a Taiwan hospital.

EPA Seeks to Ban Racecar Conversions?

Feb. 10th, 2016 01:48 pm
[syndicated profile] snopes_feed
An aftermarket trade association's press release misleadingly suggested the EPA was banning road-to-racecar conversions.

well, i should have known

Feb. 10th, 2016 03:11 pm
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[personal profile] jhameia
didn't get the fellowship =/

Microsoft Office for Mac OS X

Feb. 10th, 2016 04:41 pm
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[personal profile] yhlee
ETA: Thank you all! Joe has agreed to authorize the purchase of Mac OS X version of Office (because it's a work expense for me) and I should be getting the keycode thingy on Saturday. The revisions I need to turn in are due at the end of the month so that should be all right if I am diligent.

What are my options here? I'm looking at Microsoft's website and so far as I can tell, the only Mac OS X (I have 10.10) option is a yearly subscription, which is a dealbreaker DO NOT WANT for me. I do not do subscriptions for mission-critical software, and unfortunately, since writing is the closest thing I have to a job, that means my word processor.

Currently on my Windows 7 PC I am using an older copy of Microsoft Word 2010, which I despise but at least does what I tell it to. I am looking at acquiring Office for my Macbook Air because said Windows PC just blue screen of death'd again while I was in the middle of revisions for an editor. :(

I don't trust LibreOffice not to munge things that require Track Changes, which editors frequently want me to use. I've also had it lose the underlines in a .doc generated by Scrivener, which HELL NO WTF.

Does anyone have a recommended source of older editions of Office for Mac OS X that are available as stand-alones and not as subscription services??? Any leads appreciated.
[syndicated profile] snopes_feed
Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders pays his campaign interns, but most (if not all) of the other major presidential candidates do not.
[syndicated profile] snopes_feed
A false claim from 2014 about a Texas man forced to take down his American flag because it threatened Muslims has been resurrected.
yhlee: icosahedron (d20) (d20 (credit: bag_fu on LJ))
[personal profile] yhlee
- recent reading
Jane McGonigal. Reality Is Broken: Why Games Make Us Better and How They Can Change the World. I like the way Amazon looks at my recent purchases and suggests things--this does throw up a lot of spammy things like erotica (because I downloaded a bunch of freebies, a lot of which featured hilariously awful writing but for erotica purposes I guess I don't care? LOL), but on occasion it tosses me a gem. And this, based on my game design book purchases, is one of the gems.

McGonigal is a game designer and researcher with a Ph.D. in performance studies; it's not entirely clear to me what performance studies are, but that's all right. Her contention is that gameplay is a harnessable positive force and that (video) gamers spend more time in virtual realities because "reality is broken" and virtual realities provide more fulfilling experiences to gamers in some interesting ways. For example, she contends that people like failure when it's fun (this was counterintuitive to me, then I realized it was true--one of the funnest, albeit non-gaming, experiences I ever had was when I made a disastrous mash-up of the Angel theme song "Sanctuary," the main theme to Planescape: Torment, and "Deionarra's Theme," also from the PS:T soundtrack by Mark Morgan; the results were hilariously awful but taught me how to write a second draft that was much better), that people will voluntarily do work under certain conditions (positive feedback, clear goals, sense of agency, etc.). She talks about the characteristics of successful games such as Rock Band and World of Warcraft, then moves into the more experimental area of games that are designed for real-world impact, from Chore Wars (and here I will admit that this book inspired me to start an account on Habitica for productivity hacking) to a simulation thought-experiment, The World Without Oil, meant to engage people on a real-world problem and look for possible solutions.

This book is slightly dated (©2011) and I am skeptical of some of the game design experiments in their ambition, but that's not necessarily a bad thing. I imagine a lot of experimentation will go on as designers and players figure out what's workable. Because McGonigal's goals are ambitious--to harness gameplay as a way to find solutions to real crises in the world--and even if only a few of the experiments are successful, there are a lot of gamers out there; as she points out, that's a lot of potential agency if people can figure out how to tap into it.

Mostly this makes me want to run out and design games, even though I have other obligations. :p In particular, I have a standing interest in games that distribute agency to the players; I think this dates back partly to my experiences with collaborative teaching/learning in graduate school. [1] It's incredibly difficult for me to depart from the "top-down" model of teaching/GMing where one person holds the power, although of course things have changed a lot since I first encountered Dungeons & Dragons and there are in fact game designs that make a point of distributing agency in less "traditional" ways, although I regret that I don't have much experience with them for the simple reason that the only in-person RP I get out for these days is Pathfinder Society. Which is fun! But it's definitely more in the traditional vein of tabletop RPGs. =) Anyway, I would love to design a game where it's released into the wild, with a few basic rules, and participants own what happens, with occasional injections of content maybe; I don't know, this is all very preliminary and I still owe Choice of Games an actual game, to say nothing of writing obligations, plus technology prerequisites...but I'll keep my eyes out.

[1] For those new around here, I got my master's in secondary math education at Stanford University. They are big on collaborative learning and accommodating heterogeneous classrooms. I can expand on this for the curious.

An exception to every rule

Feb. 10th, 2016 09:00 pm
[syndicated profile] toasty_feed

Posted by J. Parish

Now that I well beyond the point of being able to deny that I am, in fact, quite old, I’ve given up on acquiring frivolous collectibles and toys. I have no more space for them, no more budget for them, and ultimately no more desire for them. But every once in a while, an exception to the rule comes along, and when this bright chunk of molded plastic went up for preorder, my nostalgia (and the current dollar-to-yen exchange rate) got the better of me:


The fact that someone decided it would be a good idea to sell a premium-format super-poseable figure based on a 30-year-old manga series was just too unlikely, and too appealing, to pass up. I feel like I need to own some acknowledgement of Rumiko Takahashi’s work after all the entertainment she’s provided for me over the years, and this figure blends into the office background more easily than the Lum figma from a few years back would have. Truth be told, I like Lum as both a character and a series more than Ranma, but it’s generally best to minimize the number of bikini-clad anime figurines in our lives in this day and age. Internet subcultures sure have stripped the innocence from those, boy howdy.

(Speaking of Lum, that reminds me: Who do I need to rough up in order to get the rest of the Urusei Yatsura manga translated into English?)

Between this and the teeny-tiny Golgo 13 hanging off our living room TV, I’m pretty well set for my personal, essential manga memorabilia. I guess I’d pick up an Ukyo figurine if they ever added one to this series, since she starred in the first episode Ranma 1/2 I ever watched, but I think that’s about it.  Oh, I guess I still need something from Battle Angel Alita, even if the Last Order series was a terrible, terrible train wreck.

Upon consideration, this rule seems to have a great many exceptions.

Wednesday Reading Meme

Feb. 10th, 2016 03:34 pm
sineala: Detail of Harry Wilson Watrous, "Just a Couple of Girls" (reading)
[personal profile] sineala
What I Just Finished Reading

One day, perhaps, I will finish reading a book. That day is not today.

What I'm Reading Now

Comics Wednesday!

All-New All-Different Avengers #5, Marvel's Captain America - Civil War Prelude Infinite Comic #1, New Avengers #6, Spider-Man/Deadpool #2, Ultimates #4 )

What I'm Reading Next

Books? Yeah, probably not.


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