cybermathwitch: (Default)
from [livejournal.com profile] celli Random question of the day: what's your favorite nonfiction book of all time? You know, the one you'd read over and over, the one that reads like fiction but is excitingly/terrifyingly true.


Of the ones on my list, I think the one that best fits the criteria is this one:
Portrait of a Killer: Jack the Ripper -- Case Closed by Patricia Cornwell -- Patricia Cornwell explores the case of Jack the Ripper, in particular investigating the posibility that artist William Sickert was actually the Ripper. She does a brilliant job of retelling the events of both his life, as well as the Ripper murders, and presents some very compelling evidence, including mitochondrial DNA testing, as well as looking at the artist's works from around that time and how their subject matter is related to the case.

However, there are several other non-fiction books that I love and adore and ought to mention:

The Triumph of the Moon: A History of Modern Pagan Witchcraft by Ronald Hutton -- Hutton is a historian, not a practitioner, and set out to investigate the historic, social, and academic origins of British Witchcraft (and by extension, a big chunk of modern paganism, but he focuses on the movement and religion in Britain). He is neither "for" nor "against" the movement, but he does shed a great deal of light on the actual origins rather than the mythology that is commonly quoted as being "true history." It's an academic text written to be accessible for most everyone with an interest in the subject, but it's a fairly dense read even then. Still, it's useful beyond just it's own area and has really good information for students of mythology, anthropology and folklore too, because of how it discusses those movements around the turn of the century.

A Natural History of the Senses by Diane Ackerman -- This book goes through the sense one by one and is a combination of anecdotes, science facts, and very poetic prose regarding how we experience the world and what is in our world to experience via our senses. It's just really, really beautiful to read with lots of great information.

A Natural History of Love by Diane Ackerman -- It's similar to her other book, but she talks about the human experience of love from just about every angle you can view it from - biological, literary, artistic, poetic, anthropological, and psychological.

The Marriage of Cadmus and Harmony by Roberto Calasso -- This is "shelved" at amazon.com in the Fiction -- Fairy Tales section, but most bookstores have it in either the mythology or literary criticism sections. It's a dream-like exploration of the language, meaning, history, and form of some parts of Greek mythology that goes back and forth between retelling the myths and explaining them and the thought and beliefs behind them. The explanation I just gave doesn't really do the book justice, but it's probably one of my favorite books, period, and certainly my favorite book on the subject.

Your turn!
cybermathwitch: (Default)
This fills me with huge amounts of glee: [livejournal.com profile] twelvecolonies

If you're interested, you should go sign-up. I'm on [livejournal.com profile] teamgalactica. :) If you tell them I sent you, I will get cookies. Or at least extra points for my team, probably.

(FYI: Challenge communities, like [livejournal.com profile] legendland, [livejournal.com profile] whedonland, [livejournal.com profile] twelvecolonies and etc. are groups that give you everything from drabble contests to graphic-making contests, to fandom-specific puzzles and games, all of which earn you points for your team (most comms have 3 or 4 teams). Usually, you can participate in anything from one event a week to all of them (different comms have different numbers of events and things, of course.) You don't have to do things outside of your comfort level (if you don't like to write, you don't have to do the fic challenges, etc) but there's normally enough variety that there's something for everyone.) More info is available on those sites' user info pages, of course.

As long as I stay on top of what's going on, I don't have much trouble managing multiple challenge comms. I'm enjoying them more than doing task-specific comms like icontests or drabble-writing comms, probably because of the variety of events. I'm trying to convince myself I really shouldn't go try and find the Harry Potter one I know is floating around somewhere...

LegendLand!

Oct. 1st, 2009 05:36 am
cybermathwitch: (Kahlan announcement)
Come join us
at



cybermathwitch: (bleed myself dry)
I've had a week. I have a sneaking suspicion the next one won't be a lot better from that standpoint, though it certainly has the potential of being better in some areas. (The part I'm not quite so encouraged about is the part that would be roll-over from this week.)

I washed out of the writing round of [livejournal.com profile] startrekbigbang, and am about to do the same thing with the [livejournal.com profile] polybigbang unless the word-fairy helps me out with a miracle today. I really hate that, because to me it means I wasn't on the ball and was procrastination girl and therefore it's my own damn fault. I do that with way too many things.

There are big weeks going on over at [livejournal.com profile] whedonland and [livejournal.com profile] legendland and in both cases, they snuck up on me and now they're in full swing and I don't feel like I have a good grasp of what's going on, how it works, or what I should be doing. Therefore, when I run across those posts, I feel sort of like you would imagine someone would feel running alongside a train who's steadily increasing it's speed as it leaves the station.

The main reason for that is, quite simply, I've had a bad week. I haven't slept well (by which I mean that I've either fallen asleep before I meant to, and therefore in a weird position and done that thing where you keep waking up just enough to know you need to move, but not enough to *actually* move, or I've fallen asleep ok but woken up incredibly stiff, sore, and tired. It's not unusual, but a week and a half (or more) in a row of it is very draining. And when my energy gets low (it doesn't take a lot, I don't have much to begin with) then I get very muddle-headed. Like VERY muddle-headed. Like, I can't read a paragraph (or sometimes a sentence) without fading out on it and not understanding what's going on or what it's saying. I'm in no way, shape, or form a stupid person, but that level of tired makes me into one, and I really sort of hate it. Caffeine can only do so much, and I have to watch how much of that I have anyway.

In completely other news, I'm now the Secretary for the Board of Whedonites United. There's all sorts of stuff surrounding that giving me stress, but I feel a really strong calling to do more in terms of fandom community organization to help fulfill that side of my job as a priestess to Dionysus. I do a lot of the religious stuff already, but fandom community has been neglected for the last several years.

Oh, and the husband just enrolled (today - well, yesterday, now) in Massage Therapy school. I'm really quite proud of him, and overall am very pleased with this turn of events. We have to meet with the Financial Aid office there next week, and classes start the middle of next month. Hopefully he'll be able to get financial aid and hopefully anything that doesn't cover his family will be willing to help out with. But this should - no, this *WILL* open up a lot of opportunities for him both now and for his (well, our) future. So I'm pleased and hopeful.

Tomorrow (Today) is Rosh Hoshanah, so I'll be busy all day helping [livejournal.com profile] kadollan get ready, and cook, and so forth.
cybermathwitch: (kara/lee face-off)
I'm gauging interest in doing a Battlestar Galactica (2003) Big Bang. Recently I've been involved in several Harry Potter Big Bangs but I haven't seen one for Battlestar yet. (This doesn't mean there isn't one out there, just that I haven't run across it.) So if you could take a minute to fill out the poll below, I'd really, really appreciate it.

ETA: Ok, I am a dunce and missed that there was already a BSG Big Bang at [livejournal.com profile] bsg_bigbang. However, since it's winding down, I am still really thinking about doing this, and am more swayed in the Pilots! direction.

ALSO! If you happen to be on any Battlestar themed comms or lists, or if you have a very BSG-centric flist, I would love you forever if you could post a note, link, etc about this so that I can get this to a larger section of the fandom. THANK YOU!!!

(If you aren't familiar with a Big Bang fic fest, the basic premise is that authors sign up to write a long fic - usually there's a 10,000 to 20,000 word minimum - and they all get posted in a big "bang" of fic at the end of the process. You aren't writing for someone else, so you have free range (within the theme of the Big Bang) to decide what you're going to write. Usually, there are several months between initial, non-binding sign-ups when you write a rough draft to turn in, and then a couple months after that draft is turned in to polish it and turn it into a finished piece. There are often art, fan-mixing, and vidding sign-ups associated with the project so that everyone has a chance to do something.)


[Poll #1459601]
cybermathwitch: (Default)
You don't have to sign up for the community in order to vote - it's FREE AND OPEN TO EVERYONE!

Seriously, the more voters the better. RIGHT NOW, ALL THREE ENTRIES ARE TIED!

In case you aren't familiar with the system, pre-registered competitors write drabbles, which are all posted together anonymously. You vote for your most favorite and least favorite, so every week there's a winner and one or two people who get voted out, until there's a "Last Drabble Writer Standing". In this case, all drabbles have to mention Draco, Ginny, or Draco/Ginny, and there's a different prompt every week. We're having a blast, and it would be wonderful if you could take a minute to stop by and read and vote.

cybermathwitch: (Kahlan announcement)
Dear Fandom Writers,

First, let me say that I am inordinately fond of your work. Virtually any mood that I'm in, I can count on you to provide me with a story that will complement it, or correct it, should I so desire. I love your creativity, your possibilites, and your infinite variety.

I whole-heartedly believe that you have the right to write whatever stories you wish, with whatever content you wish, however you wish to write them.

However.

If you are going to write a story with content or themes that may be disturbing or triggering for someone, please, for the love of all the gods, do not warn for it, and then proceed to outline in detail (even if it's not graphic) in the summary exactly how those warnings are going to play out in the story behind the cut.

It's really not cool.

Sincerely,

Me
cybermathwitch: (R/K trauma)
Firstly: Happy birthday [livejournal.com profile] poetheather!

Secondly: Various updates and so forth.

I finished my fic for [livejournal.com profile] hermionebigbang. I still need to work like a mad thing on [livejournal.com profile] startrekbigbang, [livejournal.com profile] polybigbang, and [livejournal.com profile] hp_triangle. I know that my Star Trek fic is about Gaila (and have spent WAAAAAAYYY too much time and energy on creating Orion words for family members, and not nearly enough on the plot for this point in the process). I want to write a Sam/Dean/OFC SPN story for the Poly Big Bang (though by that I mean that Sam/OFC and Dean/OFC are going on simultaneously without any direct Sam/Dean-ness involved). If there's anyone out there on my lovely flist who's fluent in seasons 1 and 2 of SPN who wants to be a reader/cheerleader, then I would be much obliged. My HP Triangle fic should be much shorter, but I have a lot of world-shifting to deal with since it's AU. Oh, and I picked up one of the orphan pieces of art on [livejournal.com profile] hermionebigbang so that's another at least 500 words I need to write.

My brain has been eaten by Little Mosque on the Prairie This is one of those shows that just frickin' makes. me. happy.

Right this minute I have a headache like whoa. Well, it's actually my neck and back but it's because of and causing (simultaneously) the headache, so it's a headache. I want ice cream and more eps of Little Mosque and maybe to finish Phoenix and Ashes.

And hey, Uhura is suing Captain Cragen on Law & Order: SVU right now. Hunh.

I need a strategy for the new TV season. I'm OCD like that. I feel kind of... adrift because VCR recording isn't in the cards anymore, but I don't have anything like a TIVO either. I need to figure out what I want to keep up with and watch, and when it's on and where the eps are online in case I miss it. It may be time for a new TV post/round-up. Probably yeah.

[livejournal.com profile] whedonland is kicking my ass, and [livejournal.com profile] legendland is making me happy. I apparently don't have enough of a driving interest in enough of the Whedonverse (which is weird since the only parts I don't like so much are seasons 4-7 of Buffy and seasons 4 and 5 of Angel.) I can't tell if those are just the parts that most everyone else focuses on, or if I'm just on crack or something? But [livejournal.com profile] legendland is AWESOME. Except that I stayed up way too late last night and was too frickin' tired from the weekend to get any headers done and submitted for the header challenge, and don't really have enough interest in Richard or Denna by themselves to do headers for them.

Oh, and I've discovered LiveMocha which is a really, really awesome language learning site. It uses a really mixed up audio/visual/writing/speaking/quizzes/flashcards sort of method as well as user-helping-user elements that are really neat. When you submit a written or spoken exercise, it tags people who speak the language you're trying to learn to check over it, and sometimes pings you to check things for others. I kind of love it so far, but I wish it had Hebrew. :( (I'm doing Japanese, French, and Greek right now, though.)

I have religious ponderings too, but they seem kind of out of place shoved in here at the end. So I'll have to save them for another post.

FINISHED!

Sep. 7th, 2009 12:21 am
cybermathwitch: (HermioneBB)
WHEEEEEEEEEEEEE!!!!!!!!!! I'm done I'm done I'm done I'm done!
cybermathwitch: (Default)
[Error: unknown template qotd]

Missy Higgins' "The Special Two"

This kind of surprises me - it's not what I would've termed my very favorite song (which would be "God is a DJ") but I do really like it.

:)
cybermathwitch: (Default)
You don't have to sign up for the community in order to vote - it's FREE AND OPEN TO EVERYONE!

Seriously, the more voters the better.

In case you aren't familiar with the system, pre-registered competitors write drabbles, which are all posted together anonymously. You vote for your most favorite and least favorite, so every week there's a winner and one or two people who get voted out, until there's a "Last Drabble Writer Standing". In this case, all drabbles have to mention Draco, Ginny, or Draco/Ginny, and there's a different prompt every week. We're having a blast, and it would be wonderful if you could take a minute to stop by and read and vote.

cybermathwitch: (Default)
Decided it was that time again. Anyone else want to play?

Time for the semi-annual Belief.net Belief-o-Matic Meme )
cybermathwitch: (twitter)

17:13 drinking Jasmine Lovers from Numi Organic Tea :) bit.ly/Nkhhc
#steepster #

19:13 is wishing there could be a discussion of Gaila and Orion culture w/o getting into feminism/gender-in-scifi wanking. ::growls in frustr ... #

22:22 Note to self - don't mention fandom w@nk on twitter lest you get re-tweeted by very... questionable accounts. Gah! #

Automatically shipped by LoudTwitter
cybermathwitch: (Default)
Ok, a couple of you should have replies asking for clarification, but here are the answers to the rest of the prompts I've gotten thus far:

Those Five Things... )
cybermathwitch: (Default)
Ask me my fannish Top Five [Whatevers]. Any top fives. Doesn't matter what, really! And I will answer them all in a new post.

C'mon y'all. PLAY WITH ME.


Gakked from most recently [livejournal.com profile] kadollan (who had better come up with some since she made me play in the first place! :) )

Pimp time!

Aug. 15th, 2009 12:09 pm
cybermathwitch: (richard/kahlan art-ish)
There's a new challenge comm for Legend of the Seeker stuff.

[livejournal.com profile] legendland

Basic premise - sign up for a team (Team Richard, Team Kahlan, Team Denna, or Team Cara) and then participate! There are drabble challenges, icon challenges, trivia, etc. Entries and winners get points, which go to the team pool and help everyone along. It's kind of like House points, really.

I'm over on Team Kahlan ([livejournal.com profile] confessors). You should join us!

Sad News

Aug. 5th, 2009 03:15 pm
cybermathwitch: (Default)
Fandom lost a great writer and friend this morning. :( [livejournal.com profile] simons_flower will be greatly, greatly missed. More info here.

My own memories:

I first met Trisha when I started playing in the HP fandom - specifically when I started looking for Trio fic. Over the years she was one of those authors I got to know on a personal level and who I came to consider a friend as well as a favorite author. Frankly, at the moment I'm still in shock and kind of dumb-founded.

::cries::
cybermathwitch: (Default)
Scapers are my favorite people. :)

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