ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
Recently we watched Avengers: Age of Ultron, which turned out a lot better than I expected. However, there were certain things that bugged the crap out of me, and one of them was Black Widow's outfit. It distracted me through the entire movie, it was so illogical. Therefore I decided to deal with this by explaining how that could actually make sense. It doesn't belong to any of my ongoing series, just a stand-alone fixit because stupid things irritate me.

Mild spoilers for AoU. Direct references back to Iron Man 2.  Maladaptive coping skills. Tony expresses his emotions by making things for people. Natasha has boundary issues. And Clint is just adorable.

Read more... )
ysabetwordsmith: (gold star)
Check out these 3D-printed dolls with disabilities.

I am loving the one with the strawberry mark on her face.  I've just always had a fondness for that style of birthmark -- there used to be a bank teller around here who had one.  I have no idea why some people find skin variations so off-putting.  I love freckles too.  We like appaloosa ponies, why not people?  Sure, it's nice to have a doll that looks like you, but I would've gone for this just for the diversity factor.
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
Here is a disappointing article about how art imitates art, instead of life.  It's worse in Africa.  Cities look like cities.  A lot of people wear the same kinds of clothes as people anywhere else in the world.  There are no giraffes on Main Street.  And that's not what people expect to see in Africa.  The results of trying to splice expectation over reality can be ghastly.

This?  This is why I use current events as inspiration, look up images from places where my characters live, if I'm writing in this world or a close analog of it.  Sure there are divergence points; I try to highlight those when I spot them.  But mostly I want to give a real sense of what it's like a in particular place.  Jamaica Plain.  Omaha.  Waxahachie.  London.  It matters where people live.
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
This is my favorite Captain America speech ever.  This is what it means to be a hero.  It's not about powers or publicity.  It's about integrity.  It's about observing the world until you understand what's wrong with it, figuring out a solution to some part of that, and applying yourself to it.  It's about deciding your own personal code of honor from which you will not deviate no matter what other people do or don't do.  Heroes take responsibility.  An unsullied hero like Cap is just not budgable on this point. 

Conversely, this is my iconic villain speech.  Villains tend to focus on what they can do more than what they should do, and what people will think about them.  They're in it for their own purposes, their own desires, rather than what is good or what is needed.  When things to wrong, they consistently try to lay the blame on someone else, anyone else.
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
When you are an adult, you get to decide what that means.  Apparently some geek at Disney, gods bless them, decided it means you can make a mashup trailer for two movies you love and load it into the ACTUAL CANONS.  This is not a fanvid.  It is, however, some of the awesomest fanac ever committed.  :D  Link courtesy of my partner Doug.
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
Some movies don't need a plot.  They just need dinosaurs.  This is one of those movies.  I would happily have watched it just for the FX.

And then they added a dinosaur whisperer.  Also a hawt redhead.

Shut up and TAKE MAH MONEY!
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
Here, courtesy of the Open University, is a sample of Shakespeare in the original pronunciation with detailed attention to puns and other features that work in the original but not in the contemporary. 

Education wants to be free.  :D  I have to admit, I'm not a big fan of Shakespeare but I'd be more inclined to listen like this.  I had a couple of teachers who were and they were worth listening just because they had so much fun with it -- including things like this, reading the original language and pointing out subtleties.
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
Oh yeah.  That's a thing that happened.  New headcanon accepted.  :D 
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
Here is an illustrated discussion about racism in comics. First, it's an example of the peskiness that people of color deal with all the time. Second, it's a sharp reminder to build clear character sheets if you are working on a team, and what can go wrong if you're careless about that or change things over time. Whitewashing tends to annoy people a lot.

Read more... )
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
SOLD!

I'm actually not quite the only person who makes gothic fluff.  If you like my Frankenstein's Family, you'll probably get a kick out of Hotel Transylvania.
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
Here's an article about women in comics and art. Cool redesigns.

My experience? Women want AGENCY. (If that's you and you haven't seen the move "Lucy" yet, go do that.) They want female characters to have a goal of their own and some ability to influence what happens as they pursue it.

What do my readers ask for in female characters?

Women on the autistic spectrum.

An asexual, aromantic character with some good friends. "I am imagining a very affectionate biromantic asexual genderqueer character who has a passion for gardening, especially growing edible herbs and plants, and loves getting the children involved in the garden too."

Someone using origami to work magic.

A battered, world-weary paladin instead of a shiny, perfect one.

P.I.E. was my own wish: one night after wanting to throw an entire bookstore against a wall, I sat down and wrote a smart, strong urban fantasy hera who is courted by assholes and does NOT fall in love with them, but instead shows interest in a nice guy. Who does not turn out to be a demon, evil spy, villain, or corpse. He's just a little accident-prone.

Someone who could actually unite the squabbling municipalities of southern Louisiana. A gendershifting transwoman. A scientist addressing mental illness. What can happen when women with superpowers have to deal with sexism, glass ceilings, and other bullshit. And most of my female characters on either side of the cape wear practical clothes. Until I got to Dvorak, who uses a boob window for its original purpose: to make men stupid.

A black, British, female steampunk engineer.

This series began with a request for a lesbian couple, one of whom is Deaf and the other walks with a cane, fighting crime together.  Walking the Beat has turned into my only popular series that is ordinary instead of speculative fiction.

Folks, listen to your audience.  Fan ideas can be way better than another McFloozie in a poorly designed swimsuit.
ysabetwordsmith: (moment of silence)
Leonard Nimoy has passed away.  He lived long, and prospered.  He both was and was not Spock.  But while everyone knows that role, I have another favorite too: he also starred in Brave New World, where it was utterly delightful to see him frisking around advising the other characters to be happy and have lots of promiscuous sex.

He taught us a lot about logic and emotion; more crucially still, the need to balance both in order to live well.  Along with the rest of the Star Trek teamfamily, he taught us about tolerance -- not just of others, but of ourselves.  He showed us glimpses, not just of one future, but of many futures.  In doing these things, he left an imprint that will last as long as our culture does.

So I'm sorry he's left us -- though he has left quite a lot to us -- and I'm really going to miss that man.  But on the other side...


Leonard Nimoy looks at the enormous mob burgeoning around The Great Con in the Sky.  Two cloud buses have arrived simultaneously.  One of them disgorges a flock of angels -- is that Metatron? -- while the other lets out a stream of tzadikim.  On the front lawn, a circle of Summerlanders are spit-roasting an entire ox.

Leonard shakes his head and sneaks around back in search of an open window.  Just as he is closing the window behind himself, a soft sound makes him whirl around.  "Gene!" he cries gladly.

"Hello, old friend," says Gene Roddenberry as they hug.  "Sorry about the crush out front.  People are excited to see you."

Leonard raises an eyebrow.  "Coming in the back way was a logical ruse," he says.  "But what are you  doing here?"

"Waiting for you," Gene replies.  "Since you made your peace with old Spock, I figured you'd take the logical route.  Come on, I'll show you where we stashed the secret Green Room.  If we hurry, we can get there before Isaac Asimov eats all the cookies."

Grinning, Leonard drapes a long arm over Gene's shoulders and says, "Lead the way."

ysabetwordsmith: Damask smiling over their shoulder (polychrome)
This poem came out of the February 2015 Crowdfunding Creative Jam. It was inspired by a prompt from [personal profile] chordatesrock. It has been sponsored by Anthony & Shirley Barrette. This poem belongs to the Aquariana thread of the Polychrome Heroics series.

Read more... )
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
So there's a petition to set up the new MCU Spiderman as Miles Morales.  It's a longshot, but I am so rooting for this.  I haven't even bothered to watch the latest Spiderman movies, the trailers looked so awful; I prefer the earlier ones.  But if we could have Miles?  TAKE MAH MONEY!

I will never cease to be impressed by the fact that Miles came out of someone at Marvel saying, "I wonder what the demographics of New York are like today," looking up some actual facts, and then responding to the huge mixed race population by giving Miles an African/Hispanic heritage.  :D  
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
... which is hardly a surprise. What really disappoints me is this:

"Academy president Cheryl Boone Isaacs -- notably the first black person in her position -- denies that the academy has a problem recognizing diversity, but the demographics of the organization's members tell a different story."

Since the demographics indicate a clear bias toward white men, the above statement means that she agrees  with that situation.  She sees it, but doesn't consider it a problem.  She thinks it's okay and should stay that way.

Lady, please go the fuck home.  Some of us are tired of Hollywonderbread.
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
 Over on LJ, I have posted photos of building Leonardo da Vinci's trebuchet.
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
Over on LJ, I have posted photos of building the Imperial Hotel Lego model. 

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