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We owe most of our great inventions and most of the achievements
of genius to idleness - either enforced or voluntary. The human
mind prefers to be spoon-fed with the thoughts of others, but
deprived of such nourishment it will, reluctantly, begin to
think for itself - and such thinking, remember, is original
thinking and may have valuable results.

~ Agatha Christie
cloudscudding: Photo of Abra Staffin-Wiebe (tea ring) - The Architect of Heaven by Jason K. Chapman
This is a lovely meditation on the lengths love will go to. It does not end where you expect, or where you fear. - The Devil in Gaylord's Creek by Sarah Monette
This one's just plain fun, an enjoyable twist on the Buffy/"black leather-clad urban fantasy demon-slayer chick" template.
cloudscudding: Photo of Abra Staffin-Wiebe (beauty)
If you like the Persephone myth and experimental/narrative/meta poems, you may want to give a read to Catherynne M. Valente's A Silver Splendour, A Flame.
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As a genre writer (I write science fiction, fantasy, and horror, so I can't pin it down much closer than that), I follow a number of feeds that are helpful. These fall into three main categories: excellent genre fiction, markets/writing how-to, and science/futurism.


Beneath Ceaseless Skies -
Clarkesworld -
Escape Pod -
Podcastle -

Markets/Writing How-to
Odyssey F/SF -
I Should Be Writing -

Future Tense -
Science Friday -
Radiolab -


Lightspeed -

Markets/Writing How-to
Magical Words -
Nathan Bransford -
Dark Markets -

Subset--writers who talk about the craft sometimes and are generally good reading
Scalzi's Whatever -
Elizabeth Bear -
Marissa Lingen -
Catherynne M. Valente -

Subset--good, free writing/markets newsletters
Writing-World -
WritersWeekly -
WritersDigest (for the blog posts) -
Duotrope -
Ralan -

Warren Ellis (NSFW on so many levels) -
Scientific American (email newsletter) -
cloudscudding: Photo of Abra Staffin-Wiebe (Default)
Psanky (Ukrainian Easter Eggs)

Psanky (Ukrainian Easter Eggs)

Making Ukrainian Easter eggs with friends is awesome, even if things don't always go perfectly. Lessons:
1. Yes, it will take all 6 hours, especially if people start a second one while the first one is dying/drying.
2. White space is not your friend.
3. There will probably be scratchy marks, so choose a design that works with that.
4. Use an embroidery needle to puncture the egg first.
5. Use a paper towel to blot the last drops of dye from the "dried" egg and continue to hold the egg using a paper towel, or you will get dye all over your hands.
6. Leave a wax "cap" at either end of the egg so the dye doesn't get washed away while extracting the egg. Leave the cap in place for a couple of days while the egg finishes draining/drying.
7. Before trying to blow/inject air into the egg, use the syringe to extract a small amount of egg and to puncture the yolk. Trying to inject air first may cause a blowout. Be careful--do this maybe 1/5th of a syringe at a time.
8. Pie helps.

I also made Easter Bread. My mother made this when I was growing up, but she has since lost the recipe and has no idea how to make it. That's my mom, all right! This recipe is okay, way better than the one I tried last year, when frosted with a basic white frosting from the Joy of Cooking. But I need to remember to be careful not to overbake it. Also, three Easter eggs baked in is about right for us, since Phil doesn't eat eggs.
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  • If I finish my work today (unlikely), I will make a snowman. And brownies.
  • Awesome vintage photos for those with a soft spot for polar bears:
  • Best headline of the day: "Hollywood counters reality with decade of escapism"
  • The Daily Show has a brilliant India segment today
  • Adopt a terrorist? Yes, as in "Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you."
cloudscudding: Photo of Abra Staffin-Wiebe (Default)
cloudscudding: Photo of Abra Staffin-Wiebe (Default)

  • 13:42 My current background - an eerily tranquil waterworld (Flickr, not mine):

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  • 14:22 My cats are cute, but not that cute:
  • 14:26
  • 14:34 Beautiful, surreal (and a couple borderline NSFW) paintings on wood (via BoingBoing):
  • 23:08 + Had lovely eve at the Chatterbox, drinking root beer and playing hand & foot.
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  • 11:37
  • 16:48 RT @pegkerr For fun, sub 'zombies' wherever you see 'economy': "It's a really lousy time to be looking for a job, what with the zombies."
  • 23:10 XKCD also has opinions about, um, other's opinions about swineflu:
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Palimpsest is a sexually-transmitted city.

It is a virus, an addiction, a heaven and a hell. It is a city that lives within the body: those who visit it find their flesh marked with black lines like a streetmap, a tattoo that cannot be removed.

That's [ profile] yuki_onna talking about Palimpsest over on Scalzi's blog.

Her stories are jewels inlaid in a lattice of myth and magic and heartbreak, and she's a skilled artisan. (Her blog posts aren't half-bad, either, if you're looking for somebody else to follow.) I've been following her blog for years now. She has another book out, Palimpsest. I'm pimping it (as yet) unread, with all confidence in her skills. The Orphan's Tales was beautiful and filled with thought-provoking chewy bits, and I expect Palimpsest to be better.

All about the music and jewelry and art and perfume and chocolate and other wonderful things inspired by this.
cloudscudding: Photo of Abra Staffin-Wiebe (Default)

Lovecraft's Innsmouth, the musical! Via [ profile] warren_ellis.
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I was going to make it a link, but this deserves its own special post. If you read a fair amount of SF/F, this will make you laugh so hard that you may need emergency attention. Mightygodking has rewritten the covers of key books to make them, well, you'll see.

Like this:

Part 1
Part 2
Part 3
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  • 23:17 Experiment: Carrot Cake a success! Though full test won't be until control group tomorrow.
  • 13:39 I didn't double-check that there's no NgithOwl work on Thanksgiving, and now I'm paranoid about that.
  • 13:40 Brewster Rockit:
  • 14:24 Hmm, too much cream cheese frosting for the carrot cake. Oh noes!
  • 14:28 If any 1 person is on their own for T-day, Chad, Hannah, & us have room for 1 more.
  • 14:44 Sounds like Terminator to me: (NYT)
  • 19:43 At Thanksgiving dinner: "Please pass the decanter of absinthe."
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  • 07:45 Puttering around kitchen, getting breakfast ready, looking out window, *seeing snow everywhere*.
  • 09:32 Coworker 1: "Drive safe!" Coworker 2: "I'm going to drive like a bat out of hell."
  • 11:38 Listening to MPR talking about effects of environment/arts amendment, feeling warm glow of satisfaction.
  • 14:20 Obama has a Flickr photostream? Awesome! And wily! Comments are worth reading.
  • 23:18 Look no further for creepy tentacle photo shoots:
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  • 03:12 Note to self: fully costumed plus quite tipsy - danger,danger.
  • 11:16
  • 12:27 Dear Circuit City, You are idiots for not including model name information with your camera ads.
  • 22:03 Google seminar about mindfulness, long but worth watching. (LH)
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Abra Staffin-Wiebe

March 2019

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