delphipsmith: (buttons)
Second round of prompt claiming is open over at [profile] sshg_promptfest

SSHG Prompt Fest
delphipsmith: (Elizabethan adder)
Now is the winter of our discontent made glorious summer by this amazing opportunity. Srsly :)

"The American Shakespeare Center, a regional theater company in Staunton, Virginia, is looking to stage new plays as companion pieces to William Shakespeare's classics -- all 38 of them.

'We're looking for remarkable playwrights from all walks of life. Do you have a great play that vibes off of Shakespeare's canon? Can you write a great play to be a companion piece to one of Shakespeare's plays? We want to see it.'"

Be thou as chaste as ice, as pure as snow, thou shalt not escape this offer. Get thee to a keyboard!!
delphipsmith: (KellsS)
Heartfelt thanks to you all for your kind and comforting comments on my last post. Mr Psmith and I are slowly getting used to the house without our beloved Demi; it's tough and it hurts, but she's always in our hearts so we feel like she's still close to us.

On a happier note, [profile] sshg_promptfest is open for claiming! There are some wonderful prompts this year, so go forth and stake your claim :)

SSHG Prompt Fest
delphipsmith: (KellsS)
Now accepting prompts, woo-hoo!

SSHG Prompt Fest
delphipsmith: (this is a vampire)
Seriously. They're looking for Buffy fanfic. Go go go go go!!!
delphipsmith: (Sirius/dementor)

[community profile] hp_darkarts

Prompting: 22 January to 3 February
Claiming: 6 February
Submissions: 3 April
Posting: From 25 April
delphipsmith: (the road)
This is a project on Kickstarter, which I thought was so neat I had to share it. So much of the news we see is at the macro level; I love the idea of exploring the world one person and one conversation at a time. Check it out here.

"It’s been four years since Paul Salopek, a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist, set out on foot from a campsite in Ethiopia on the Out of Eden Walk - a 21,000-mile, decade-long experiment in slow journalism. Through words and pictures, audio and video, Paul is creating an unprecedented record of human life on a global scale at the start of a new millennium, through the eyes of the villagers, nomads, traders, farmers, soldiers, and artists who rarely show up in headlines but whose lives illuminate the contours of the modern world..."

Also no, I will not be watching the inauguration tomorrow.
delphipsmith: (allyourbase)
There's a kickstarter for a role-playing game called "Papers & Paychecks" (launched by [ profile] tcpip) in which participants play -- you guessed it -- employees, managers and interns at a tech company :)

The game was reviewed by Cory Doctorow (author of the brilliant short story "When Sysadmins Ruled the Earth" among other things), and his review gave a link to the original cartoon/joke that spawned the idea of the game, which I'd never seen. It's from the first edition of The Dungeon Master's Guide:

Doctorow's review also mentioned a very funny series of YouTube short in which a knight, an elf, a cleric, and others play a similar RPG. Here's the first one:

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Finally, one of the comments to Doctorow's review included a hilarious cartoon featuring little robot people and an RPG about online bulletin boards ("You are checking up on a forum topic you started yesterday, when suddenly a Ravening N00b posts: 'U R TEH GAY FAGOT!'").

Enjoy :)
delphipsmith: (classic quill)
Tor is opening to fantasy novella submissions set in worlds not modeled on European cultures, starting October 12th. They will be open for 3 months.

" will only be considering novellas of between 20,000 and 40,000 words that fit the epic fantasy, sword and sorcery, high fantasy, or quest fantasy genres, whether set on Earth or on an original fantasy world. However, we will only be considering novellas that inhabit worlds that are not modeled on European cultures. We are seeking worlds that take their influences from African, Asian, indigenous American, or Pacific cultures, or any diasporic culture from one of those sources. To qualify, novellas should center the experiences of characters from non-European-inspired cultures...." [emphasis theirs, not mine]

Read more ===>
delphipsmith: (snoopydance)
It's baaaaaack!

Snape Showcase
[info]snapecase: Celebrating Severus Snape throughout his ages!
delphipsmith: (wand-waving)
I can't help it, I just had to use all three banners :)

2016 banner 3
delphipsmith: (KellsS)
So excited! Go sign up, you know you want to :)

2016 banner 2
delphipsmith: (grinchmas)
Because it's never too soon to start thinking about the holidays :)

Art by [ profile] sanrodri, used with permission. <3
delphipsmith: (Luddite laptop)
How would you like to own your own media outlet? The Hardwick Gazette, a 127-year-old local newspaper in Hardwick, VT, is the prize in an essay contest launched by its owner, who wants to retire.

What an amazing opportunity. I hope it goes to someone who will honor the traditions of a free press. Feel free to spread the link far and wide!!!

Read more ===>
delphipsmith: (dreamwithin)
I have family visiting for a couple of weeks so will be mostly AWOL for the time being, but hope to be back online more regularly later in the month. Meanwhile:

It's National Poetry Month! I invite one and all to visit my friend's blog, The Poetry Playground, where she posts a poem a day for the entire month, and loves comments on them :)
delphipsmith: (GilesLatin)
I might have claimed a prompt over on [ profile] sshg_promptfest. Heh heh heh. And TWO of my prompts have been claimed ::preens::

On another fun note, I discovered something called Starship Sofa: The Audio Science Fiction Magazine. It's narrated by a couple of funny and fabulously-accented (I could listen to them all night) Irish guys, who are also well-read, interesting, and thoughtful in their analysis of various SF people and things. This particular post has a long two-part piece on one of my favorite authors, Stephen R. Donaldson, including a reading of his story "Mythological Beast."
delphipsmith: (GilesLatin)
John Connolly, author of a number of very excellent books including The Book of Lost Things, has launched an art contest to find someone to do a set of art cards that will be given away with copies of his new book. The contest: Design your own cover to your favorite novel of horror or the supernatural. What fun, eh?? So get out there, all my artistic friends!

Read more ==>
delphipsmith: (bookgasm)
I have read and reviewed every entry in [ profile] mini_fest -- woo hoo!!! I always try to do that for every fest I participate in; I love getting comments on the things I write, so I try to return the favor.

Sadly, I have not managed to do so yet for [ profile] minerva_fest or [ profile] sshg_giftfest, but the year is young :) Of course [ profile] severus_snape is coming right up and that will no doubt keep me busy for a bit. Still, it's good to have goals, yes?

I've also been busy reading/posting on a group read of one of my very favorite books: Stephen King's The Stand, over on GoodReads. A lot of the participants have never read it before, and since I've read it probably ten or twelve times it's a lot of fun to see how people see it with fresh eyes. The hardest part for me is remembering where things happen in the book, so I know where to use spoiler tags.

I did manage to get quite a bit of reading done over break:

Trigger Warning: Short Fictions and DisturbancesAnother excellent collection from master storyteller Neil Gaiman. Some are horrifying, some heartwrenching, some made me laugh out loud, almost all gave me something I didn't expect. I particularly liked "The Thing About Cassandra," "Adventure Story" (one of the lol ones), "Calendar Tales," and "The Return of the Thin White Duke." As a bonus, for those who like that sort of thing, there is a nice meaty introduction, where Gaiman talks about how and when and where each of the stories was written. He also gives some background for his choice of title:

What we read as adults should be read, I think, with no warnings or alerts beyond, perhaps: enter at your own risk. We need to find out what fiction is, what it means to us, an experience that is going to be unlike anyone else's experience of the story.

...I wonder, Are fictions safe places? And then I ask myself, Should they be safe places? There are stories I read as a child that I wished, once I had read them, that I had never encountered, because I was not ready for them...They troubled and haunted my nightmares and daydreams, worried and upset me on profound levels, but they also taught me that, if I was going to read fiction, sometimes I would only know what my comfort zone was by leaving it; and now, as an adult, I would not erase the experience of having read them if I could.

There are still things that profoundly upset me when I encounter them, whether it's on the Web or in the word or the world...But they teach me things, and they open my eyes, and if they hurt, they hurt in ways that make me think and grow and change.

I wondered, reading about the college discussions, whether one day people would put a trigger warning on my fiction. I wondered whether or not they would be justified in doing it. And then I decided to do it first.

Lammas NightI'd been trying to track down a copy of Lammas Night for ages; it was out of print and super expensive last time I checked. But I got a copy for Christmas from Mr Psmith and ripped through it in about two days. Loved it, though I have two minor quibbles, one related to style and one related to substance. My stylistic quibble is that the book seems to lean more towards tell than show. The tell is done skillfully, and it's hard to see how one might get around it when so much of it turns on historical episodes, but there are parts where it does feel a little slow. I cried at the end; I saw one part coming, hard as it was, but not Richard and Geoffrey volunteering to crew the Prince's final flight My substantive quibble is that I am somewhat bothered by the fact that the sacrifice of the prince is accomplished via a sabotaged aircraft. After all of the emphasis on the importance of the personal connection between slayer and slain, both ritualistically and historically, it felt impersonal to have it happen at such a distance. It met the letter of the requirements -- it was Gray's hand that did the deed -- but it doesn't feel like it quite met the spirit of them. Perhaps if Gray had been piloting the plane and taken it down with both of them aboard? . Those two things aside, I really enjoyed this book. The historical references, some of which are borne out by documented fact (e.g., the popular contemporary belief that Sir Francis Drake rebuffed the Spanish Armada with the help of Britain's witches) are fascinating and make me want to hunt up more information. Whether they were effective or not, I have no doubt that witches of all persuasions across Britain were actively attempting to thwart the Nazis, and Hitler's failure to execute Operation Sea Lion is still something of a miracle.

The Ghost WriterAugh, poor Gerard!! Seriously creepy and entangled, I totally did not see the end coming. I knew it would be something twisty and weird, but did not suss out the specifics. I got a bit lost here and there in amongst all the names, and at times it was hard to tell what was real (i.e., part of the main narrative) and what wasn't (i.e., part of one of the stories-within-a-story), but overall it was really well done. The stories-within-a-story were intriguing, sort of High Gothic, and made me wish Viola had been a real person and written lots more. A great read for a gloomy snowy New Year's Day.

House of EchoesA very meh version of the town with a dark secret trope. There were no surprises and the story moved at a snail's pace for much of the book.

The fact that I found the bad guys MUCH more interesting than the good guys should tell you something, too.

The Mysterious MansionShort story. Gorgeously lush beginning with the description of the decaying mansion. Screamingly horrifying ending. Brrrrr.

What's funny is that not an hour before reading this, I had read a story with a very similar plot: "Black Dog," in Neil Gaiman's Trigger Warnings (see above).


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July 2017



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