The Sundry Times


Animals Waving Hello to You [boredpanda]

Previously: Perfectly Timed Dog Photos

Not gonna lie I high fived every one of these.

My Favorite Things, Back To School Edition
copperbadge: "Erasers like roses and pen tops on bic pens, bright yellow pencils and highlighter click pens"
hailtherandom: zipped pencil cases and binders with rings, these are a few of my faaavorite things!
copperbadge: "Genderqueers in white dresses with doc marten boots on..."
hailtherandom: (me)
copperbadge: Pink haired girls with long hair and sharp suits on
blefever: (me)
hailtherandom: punk rocks academics with theories on strings?
hailtherandom: (knotta)
KnottaHooker: these are a few of my favorite things!
blefever: when exams bite, when the stress stings, when I'm going mad, I simply remember my shiny new things and then I don't feel so bad?
copperbadge: Cream colored paper and cheap ramen noodles
hailtherandom mod: halfhearted notebooks with margins of doodles
copperbadge: Parties with moonshine and cheap chicken wings
blefever: when the beer bites, hangovers sting, and I'm nauseous too, I simply remember these favourite things and then I don't feel so blue?

RDJ showing off his hamster (x)

"See, it’s not exactly a challenge, Chris, being sexy when you’re a million feet tall and built like a Greek statue."

"Uh. Thank you? I think?"

"Try being short and furry and wearing a hamster shirt and if you’re still the sexiest bomb-ass out there, you know you’re doing all right."

"Wait, are you saying you wore the hamster shirt as some kind of personal challenge?"

"The only good challenge is a personal challenge, Chris."

"You confuse me."

"Sexually? It’s the shirt."

[RDJ Advises Chris Evans On His Life Choices]

(Thanks dbvictoria for the link!)


I’m kinda scratching my head at people fussing about too much dialogue and not enough description, because I don’t really get that sense from your work.  Kinda boggled on that one on your behalf. 

I don’t know that I’d call it fussing, exactly. It’s not something people just come out with after they’ve read my books. I don’t think the majority of readers notice, honestly. But when I am putting prose up for public critique in the Extribulum process, “I need more description” is usually one of the most common things I see — also something I hear a lot from betas helping me with fanfic. It’s not negative in the sense of being harmful or mean. It’s something I see and acknowledge I need to work on, like writing conflict, which I am also exceptionally bad at. 

I very much wanted to hear from someone who was a playwright or screen writer to hear if they imagined their characters when they wrote, and I find it fascinating that you don’t do that.  I’m not sure I could.  Of course, I’m still mainly in the realm of fanfic, so casting is already done for the main players, and my job is slip into their skins and make them sound as much like themselves as possible.  

I think part of not imagining them comes from writing a lot of fanfic, where I don’t need to because they’re pre-existing. But also, I am a very nuts-and-bolts, back-of-the-machine writer; everything I put into my stories has a purpose in terms of forwarding the plot. So I’ll describe a woman wearing button-up Victorian style heeled shoes because that tells you what kind of culture to expect her to be living in, but I might not describe the color of her eyes because that doesn’t help the reader piece the story together. (Except when it does, of course.)

I’m much more interested in behaviours than appearances. It’s not to say that I think appearance doesn’t matter — especially in books with certain racially-charged themes like Dead Isle and Trace, they do — but if they don’t advance the plot, I don’t tend to even notice I’ve left them out. This isn’t better, it’s just the particular viewpoint I work with naturally.  

(Now that you remind me, I do remember reading years ago about your plays.  Are they available to read?)

Eh, I’ve never posted them. Some I may not even have copies of anymore, come to think of it. I believe the radio shows I did for a couple of Harry Potter cons are up on AO3 *rummages* Well, The Three Trials Of Severus Snape is, anyhow. 

I, um.  Rarely plot things out. Ever. It just evolves from an image or a scene that is just too persistent to be ignored and must be written down.  And my rough draft process, as I said, is to put my actors in that scene and watch what happens with them.   I sort of hold it in my head, I suppose, and then look back and see if I’ve left in gaping holes. 

This is a totally valid way to write. There are very few ways to write that aren’t valid, as long as you get the story told in the way you want to tell it. I don’t often plot things out either. I had an outline for The Dead Isle, because it was so massive, but even then about 80% of the outline was notes on the history of Australia. Most of the time I have a generic sense of where I’m going, but there are twists and turns along the way that sometimes lead to an entirely different book. 

One of the reasons I enjoy the extribulum process so much is that it’s a very crash (fiery crash and burn, sometimes) course in how to write a book for readers, not for professors or according to the rules of literature. I believe that most people want something of quality and authenticity, something that challenges and enlightens them. If you listen to them, you learn how to make that. I’ve certainly never managed to keep all the rules for writing in my head at once, but I’ve got about two thousand peoples’ worth of opinions that are sloshing around because they’re human interactions, much easier to remember.

This is not to say that it’s not possible to become a good writer by studying in a formal setting or by analyzing the Poetics or whatnot. Everyone’s methodology is different, everyone’s art comes from a different place and through different filters. I have found that teaching self-awareness and an acceptance of critical commentary is the most universal way to make better artists, but outside of that, everyone does their own thing. That’s what makes it art. 

When I was twenty, my mentor told me to read The Empty Space by Peter Brook. I was studying theatre at the time and it was a great handbook for bullshit-detecting in theatre, but over the years I’ve come to realize it was also the best possible advice I could have had as a young writer. It’s a bit dated but it holds a lot of great lessons in the craft of creation, and I recommend it to anyone who wants to understand more about their own process, and how to be confident in it. 

songscloset reblogged your post Met a friendly robot today…:

These were all over Ottawa, on the road. Where are they from? What are they doing?

madmaudlingoes replied to your post: Met a friendly robot today…

These are all over Champaign! Any idea on the story behind them?

I’ve no idea. They’re in other places in Chicago too, but usually in the road where it’s hard to shoot them. I honestly am having kind of a Magritte reaction to them and embracing the mystery. 

I mean basically my feeling about them is “Aw, robots.”

That being said: 

deannafanafofana reblogged your post Met a friendly robot today…

Stikman in Chicago!

cenabisbene replied to your post: Met a friendly robot today…

Somehow I feel like these are related to Toynbee Tiles?

Perhaps these are good avenues for people to investigate! 

Oh, the IM gloves are AWESOME! I think it’s really lovely that you get these things from people in fandom. do you go all ‘matchy’ and do Cap hat with gloves? or try to mix it up a bit? ;)

I tend to coordinate colours more than themes, just because it’s a bit more fun. For a long time my go-to outfit was the Dalek hat (grey and black with red knobs), the UofC scarf (grey with a maroon logo) and the red iron man gloves over black leather gloves; a kind of red-and-greys theme that made me feel pleasantly supervillainous. I have also worn, on lighter-wear days, the mustard fingerless gloves with the Fourth Doctor scarf.

I will probably wear the Cap gloves (they are new, I only got them in August) with the checked blue-and-green hat in the upper right, which has a matching scarf, though I may mix it up with the Watson scarf (blue, white, and brown) and save the checked scarf for pairing with the Cap hat. 

Now that I have a laundry machine of my own, I can do a bit more variety than I have in the past — because so many of my accessories are handmade, I refused to trust them to the laundry service I used, so if I wore them I had to handwash them. Now I can wear a different set each day, and most of them will be fine in the washer on the gentle cycle. Some still need handwashing and most will need to line-dry, but that’s also easier now that I have central heating. 

I should come up with a way of displaying them all on the wall, so I can choose new ones every day. Maybe I need one of those expanding pegboard doodahs. 

Cap mittens :) Any Iron Man mittens?

Yep! Both the Cap and Iron Man gloves are by knottahooker, and you can see the Iron Man ones on the right, next to the Green Lantern ones that jeandrawsstuff made me. There’s a better picture here. (She also has the crochet patterns for both the Cap and Iron Man gloves available for purchase here. Patterns! Not the gloves themselves! :D)

Considering that neither I nor anyone in my family knits or crochets, I have a disproportionate number of handmade winter supplies. Like, don’t get me wrong, I love it, but a vast majority of what you see there — half the hats, over half the gloves, about 2/3 of the scarves — was made for me by someone in fandom. I have everything from Doctor Who and Doctor Watson scarves to superhero gloves to various object d’art textiles, as well as Dalek, SHIELD, and Captain America hats. My Night Vale hat isn’t in this picture, I think because it’s stashed with my University of Chicago scarf and leather gloves in a vacuum-sealed bag of all the blankets I won’t need until it starts getting cold.

I always stash one accessory set in with the blankets so that when it DOES get cold and I bust out the blankets, I have immediate access to at least one set of warm clothing. Though this year, I’ve packed all my winter accessories into a single tub, so I shouldn’t have trouble finding them.  

innytoes replied to your photo “Laying in supplies for winter…”

I’m sorry but is that a yellow Llama hat?

It’s a bear, but I see where you’re comin’ from. :D I’m going to claim it as a Llama hat from now on. (It was a Japanese import, a gift from jeandrawsstuff.)  

dude is that a doctor bong balaclava in that photo?
I had to google Doctor Bong, I won’t lie. :D I think you’re looking at either the aforementioned bear, or possibly the Iron Man hat on the left? I do have an Iron Man hat that looks suspect from this angle. But the only balaclava in the picture is the brown one with the stick-up bit on the far right. 
OMG! You can turn *yourself* into a matryoshka! ALL THE LAYERS!!!

My first winter in Chicago I had never lived in a climate quite that persistently cold, but also it was one of the worst winters, temperature-wise, in recent memory.

I would put on thermal underwear, then my work clothes, then a sweater, then a down jacket; I’d put on a silk balaclava shell, then a proper knit balaclava, then raise the hood on the down jacket. The hood would pull the jacket collar up, and I’d wrap a thin jersey scarf around my face and the collar, then cover it with a thick polar fleece scarf. I had leather gloves, and I would wear fingerless knit gloves over the palms and wrists of the leather ones. 

I took a photo of myself one time, standing on the El platform in this getup, and sent it to my mother, and she didn’t recognise me. 


My hands are up, please don’t shoot

I had been on my dash and saw someone do something with Sam Wilson as Captain America doing “don’t shoot” for their support to the Ferguson/Mike Brown protests happening and I myself wanted to do something with my own favorite superhero Miles morales to offer support in one of the few ways I can. Might not be the first to do it but that is probably not a bad thing

You have a wooden crocodile puzzle?

Indeed I do! It was a playtoy when I was a young ‘un. I had a wooden elephant puzzle too, but Mum says she’s keeping that one. :D 

Laying in supplies for winter…

Laying in supplies for winter…

Met a friendly robot today…

Met a friendly robot today…


Crows speak in murder, don’t you know? 

Yet one more reason crows are best. 


Crows speak in murder, don’t you know? 

Yet one more reason crows are best. 


New: Nearly one-in-ten U.S. adults (8%) get news through Twitter. 

What gets my attention is 84% of US adults are not twitter users, because it makes me feel so much better about only using mine as an Instagram feed. 


New: Nearly one-in-ten U.S. adults (8%) get news through Twitter. 

What gets my attention is 84% of US adults are not twitter users, because it makes me feel so much better about only using mine as an Instagram feed. 

I posted to LJ/DW the other day about how I knew my neighbor was paying too much in rent (well, I think she is, she may be fine with it) and a lot of people asked me how I found out such a thing. So I have posted a guide to finding out how much rent you should be paying, how much other people around you are paying, and how much the property you are living in is worth. It includes tips and tricks for using Zillow, Blockshopper, and Google, as well as a basic user’s guide to the County Assessor’s Office. 

If you’re considering moving to a new apartment or purchasing a home, this is info you should arm yourself with before you enter the fray.