Monthly Archives: June 2015

Open Thread: Representative Emotions

(by Lonespark as dimly remembered by chris the cynic)

It’s a recurring trope in fiction to have emotions personified, but when this is done usually there isn’t an attempt to include all emotions.  The current movie Inside Out uses five.  (As compared to the eighty one considered significant enough to be in the emotions navigation box at Wikipedia.)

The question, to the best of my ability to remember it, is this:

If you had to pick a small number (i.e. not an exhaustive list) of emotions to attempt represent/describe people’s emotions as a whole, which ones would they be?

[As a reminder, open thread prompts are meant to inspire conversation, not stifle it. Have no fear of going off topic for there is no off topic here.]

These two weeks in the Slacktiverse, June 27th, 2015

(posted by chris the cynic, who reminds you all that if I completely forget a week it’s ok to call me on it;  written by members of The Slacktiverse)

The Blogaround

  • chris the cynic wrote:
    • I wrote a response to the terrorist attack that killed nine people.  Well, more a response to how our culture doesn’t take terrorist attacks seriously when white people are committing them and non-white people are the victims.  As you might expect, it’s not exactly uplifting.
    • I had written about a setting idea where divine entities mingle with mundane humans in Generic Small Town America(TM).  Then I realized that I left out an important character in spite of her being a part of the idea for ages, thus I wrote The Divine Feminine to explain how she presents to the world and the sort of things she tends to be up to.  Bit of a fiction fragment in there.
    • I’m on my way is the latest installment of Being more than a Simulacrum.  In it Place gets to know the person giving her a ride to her uncle and cousin’s place in Montana.
    • I wrote how I would do the first Star Wars movie (the one retroactively titled “A New Hope”.)  In theory I’ll cover at least the original trilogy, maybe all six of the currently existing ones.  In practice I have a habit of not finishing such projects
    • I wanted to do how I would do the game Splatoon, but first I had to talk about the game as it exists.  Then I wrote how I would do it.  It’s kind of rough and badly organized, if I have time I might redo the post.
    • Following the game allowed me to see an interesting perspective (that of squid people from the future) on the Supreme Court decision to give people equal marriage rights.  So I wrote about that.  The next day there was a lot more data to sift and the biggest dissent from celebrating (squid are largely in favor of equality) were those who wanted us to please think of the children.
    • In my life in general things have happened.  I wrote more about my finances.  I wrote about the ordeal that was getting to the dentist on a bike I hadn’t used in at least a decade.  I wrote about a group of people, the classics students and teachers from USM, who are basically family to me.  I wrote about the fact that I may need a new washing machine (though I have hopes that most of my troubles are tied up in a single component.)

In Case You Missed This

No submissions this week.

Things You Can Do

No submission this week.

Lonespark forwarded this to us:

Lightspeed Magazine is looking to commission five original artworks by LGBTQ-identified scifi/fantasy artists for our Queers Destroy Fantasy issue.

We are looking to commission someone to do an original piece for the cover (for which we could pay $200). We’re also looking to commission four smaller illustrations (one to go with each of the web-published stories), for which we would pay $100 each. The deadline for the finalized artworks would be September 1.

For more information, please send an email with either a link to a website with your work or sample images to Henry Lien, Art Director, Lightspeed Magazine, art@lightspeedmagazine.com. Please feel free to share this post.

–Co-authored by the Slacktiverse Community

Deconstruction Roundup for June 26, 2015

(by the Slacktiverse and others; collected by Silver Adept, who is doing this from a most awesome conference!)

The point of these posts is threefold:

  1. To let people stay up to date on ongoing deconstructions. (All ones on our list, including finished and stalled ones, here.)
  2. To let people who can’t comment elsewhere have a place to comment.
  3. To let people comment in a place where people who can’t read Disqus can see what they have to say.

Ana Mardoll: Ana Mardoll’s Ramblings

Fred Clark: Slacktivist

Froborr: Jed A. Blue

InsertAuthorHere: Um… InsertAuthorHere


Mouse: Mouse’s Musings

Philip Sandifer: Philip Sandifer: Writer

Ross: A Mind Occasionally Voyaging

RubyTea: Heathen Critique

Vaka Rangi: Vaka Rangi

Silver Adept: Here on The Slacktiverse

The White Dragon: While You Were Out

Last chapter, Ruth and Jaxom passed their flying exam, bringing to a head the situation that had been something for many Turns now.

The White Dragon, Chapter 2: Content Notes: None

Chapter Two is in “Present Pass, Thirteenth Turn”, so anywhere from a few months to an entire Turn plus has passed since Chapter One. The action opens with Toric and Robinton approaching a meeting with the Benden Weyrleaders, with Toric amazed at the size of Mnementh and Robinton pleased that Mnementh responded to his polite greeting.

Also of note is that Robinton is complaining of chest pains that don’t go away with rest. Lacking cardiologists, though, there’s no apparent way to Robinton to know that he’s exhibiting a classic sign of incoming cardiac arrest. Surely a Healer has examined him, with Oldive right there at the Hall to tell him what’s about to happen. That assumes, of course, that Robinton has actually been to see a Healer recently.

The meeting begins with some good-natured ribbing of Robinton about a recent trip of his to the South where he got caught in a giant squall and would likely have died, but for Menolly.

Robinton suddenly realized his adventure had had disturbing repercussions in this Weyr. He was both gratified and chagrined. True, at the time of the gale, he’d been far too occupied with his rebellious stomach to think beyond the next wave that crashed over their little boat. Menolly’s skill had kept him from realizing the acute danger they were in. Afterward he had come to appreciate their position and wondered if Menolly had suppressed her own fear lest she lose honor in his eyes. She’d gone about her seamanship, managing to save most of the wind-torn sail, rigging a sea anchor, lashing him to the mast as he’d been made weak by nausea and retching.

Or, perhaps, because Menolly was raised in a Sea Hold and made much of her life by sailing, she actually knew what she was doing and went about it with the practice someone does when they’ve been in that situation before. It has nothing to do with you, Robinton. Even if, as we learn in the future, in Dragondrums, Menolly does have feelings for Robinton.

This is another regrettable example of informed abilities – Menolly had two books to herself to show off lots of things, but they focused on her musical talent over all the other skills she had, unless those skills were directly relevant, like being able to hunt up food for fire lizards. And the future scene in Dragondrums will be about fire lizard mating – apart from making skiffs for Weyr children, there has been almost nothing of Menolly sailing that we see directly – instead, we hear about how good she is from others after the fact. Because girls can’t be sailors, like they can’t be Harpers, like they can’t fly fighting dragons, like they can’t be Holders, like they can’t have people that treat them well? The chain of events here is not a good one.

The meeting is actually to talk about the problems that Toric has with the Southern Weyr – they don’t help Toric explore the continent, they don’t fly to fight Thread, and they demand that the Holders keep them properly supplied in fruit and game.

“What?” Lessa exploded, but F’lar touched her shoulder.

“I’d wondered about that, Toric.”

“How dare they?” Lessa continued, her gray eyes flashing. Ramoth stirred on her couch.

“They dare, all right,” Toric said, looking nervously at the queen.

However, Robinton could see that Lessa’s appalled reaction to the Oldtimers’ delinquency gratified the man.

Cocowhat by depizan

Wait, this is entirely wrong. The roles here should be reversed – the Benden Weyrleader is the one who goes off on people defying the traditions and Lessa is the more levelheaded one. We’re supposed to believe that in the years since, they’ve flipped positions?

Ah-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha-NO. Because that plays way too much against the type that has been established for Mr. Tradition in the previous two books focusing on him and Lessa. And because it also removes Lessa from the “smart and capable women” category that she was heading up before the narrative started chomping away at each of them though contrivances.

But this exchange continues in the same vein and the Benden Weyrleader asks Toric what he wants to try and change the subject – forged metal, flamethrower parts, and to apprentice Sharra, his sister, to Master Oldive. That will get her set into position to find Piemur on the Southern Continent in Dragondrums on her healing ingredient run. Toric could also apparently use some sturdy and strong young men to help him with the Southern Hold, implying that he could help with the problem of the young men who would otherwise fight each other. There’s one last bit of business to conclude – when they were blown off course, Robinton and Menolly found a beautiful cove with a giant cone-shaped mountain in the distance. That took them nine days to sail back from to get to Southern, so there’s a lot of land on the continent for Toric to send the young men out to settle and call their own. And that’s the chapter.

Cone-shaped mountain, huh? I’d keep a very close eye on it once I could see it, Toric. Not that you have any seismologists on Pern, but mountains with no top usually got that way explosively. We can probably deduce that the Ancients, whomever they were, probably got on the wrong end of one of those and fled northward to settle up where they were. (If we read the spoiler data, it will confirm our suspicions, but let’s see if the narrative actually does it.)

I’m not going to go into Chapter 3’s narrative at all, but I am going to mention that it is subtitled “Present Pass, 15.5.9”. Which means that again, we’re skipping at least a full Turn forward, if not two or more, between chapters. Which deprives us, yet again, of seeing growth, change, and action for people along the way. The main action of the story is picking up three full rotations of the planet after the first flight of Jaxom and Ruth, which is a huge amount of time and Threadfall for things to happen. If we can construct a full story for Menolly that takes just seven days, why are we spending three Turns setting this one up?

Secondly, this is the first time I’ve seen any sort of calendar-like marking at all in these Pern books. Since it’s not actually in-text, I’m guessing this element is here to help readers figure out where in the Turn we are. But if that’s the case, why have we gone with a Terra-like date system? There’s no evidence to support it – the society here seems more inclined to keep time in increments of seven days (despite having no history of religion, so no Biblical origin stories to set the seven day week with) and in full revolutions of the planet. Maybe there’s an intermediate temporal period related to the seasons, since there must be seasons to grow food and herd animals with, but it seems unlikely they would develop an “arbitrary divisions of time” calendar, unless dragonriders started to demand their tribute on a regular schedule, regardless of the season. That’s contradicted by the panic at the beginning of Dragonflight about skimpy tributes that don’t have enough in them to last the appropriate amount of time.

So, the best I can guess about this notation, based on what the narrative has told us about life on Pern, and the a-historical, counting from the present style, is that the first number refers to the current season (which could be named as simply as Cold, Hot, Rainy, Stormy, Snowy, and so forth, and which might coalesce into a regular calendar cycle) and the second refers to what day it is in that current season.

Alternately, perhaps one of the numbers refers to which Fall this is during the current Turn, and the other number refers to which day it is of the current Fall (of which some arbitrary standard of “if it hasn’t dropped Thread for X days in our region, this particular Fall is over” has been established) – which could loop in the timetables that the Benden Weyrleader was using to predict time and locale of the next drop.

Both of these systems can create calendar variance, but that will likely eventually be smoothed out, now that Benden controls most things, so things are likely to be set in relation to Benden Standard Time. Except, perhaps, in the South, because they would never accept anything Benden.

Timekeeping in Pern has always been important, because time-traveling dragons, but this seems to be handwaving a lot and relying on the audience assuming that things are the same on Pern as they are on Terra, which, y’know, time-traveling dragons.

Writer Workshop June 17th, 2015

(Posted by chris the cynic)

Those of you who also frequent Ana Mardoll’s Ramblings will find this somewhat familiar.  Here, as there, it was requested that there be a regular post to talk about writing projects (and other artwork-creation). Thus this post exists.

Pencil by Elisa Xyz

What are you working on? How are you feeling about it? What thoughts and/or snippets would you like to share? How does your activism work into your art? What tropes are you hoping to employ and/or avoid? Are there any questions you’d like to ask or frustrations you’d like to vent?  Writing workshop below!

Open Thread: Music

(by chris the cynic)

Songs, artists, styles, instruments, whatever.  Anything about music you feel like discussing/sharing.

[As a reminder, open thread prompts are meant to inspire conversation, not stifle it. Have no fear of going off topic for there is no off topic here.]

Deconstruction Roundup for June 19, 2015

(by the Slacktiverse and others; collected by Silver Adept, who enjoyed time spent with family this and last week.)

The point of these posts is threefold:

  1. To let people stay up to date on ongoing deconstructions. (All ones on our list, including finished and stalled ones, here.)
  2. To let people who can’t comment elsewhere have a place to comment.
  3. To let people comment in a place where people who can’t read Disqus can see what they have to say.

Ana Mardoll: Ana Mardoll’s Ramblings

Fred Clark: Slacktivist

Froborr: Jed A. Blue

InsertAuthorHere: Um… InsertAuthorHere

Philip Sandifer: Philip Sandifer: Writer

Ross: A Mind Occasionally Voyaging

Vaka Rangi: Vaka Rangi

Silver Adept: Here on The Slacktiverse

The White Dragon: The Third Time Is Not Charming

Let’s get to the actual text of the book, now that my issues with the idea of keeping time using “Present Pass” are taken care of.

The White Dragon: Chapter One: Content Notes: Bullying, gaslighting

The chapter opens with Jaxom finishing a cleaning of Ruth under N’ton’s direction. Actually, Jaxom had had help with the cleaning part, which he is pleased about, because it means his group of bullies hadn’t been able to torture him:

From the corner of his eye, Jaxom noticed Dorse and his cronies creeping away, just in case N’ton had any further hard work for them. Jaxom had somehow managed to keep the smugness he felt under control during all of Ruth’s bath. Dorse and the others hadn’t dared disobey the dragonrider when N’ton had blithely pressed them into service. To see them sweating over the “runt”, the “oversized fire lizard”, unable to tease and taunt Jaxom as they’d planned to do this morning, raised Jaxom’s spirits considerably. He entertained no hopes that the situation would last long. But, if today the Benden Weyrleaders decided that Ruth was strong enough to bear his weight in flight, then Jaxom would be free to fly away from the taunts he’d had to endure from his milkbrother and his cronies.

This, in publication chronology, is the second such story to indicate that bullying is rampant everywhere on Pern, with adults always conveniently elsewhere (or in Menolly’s case before and Piemur’s afterward, actively participating), and I might ask what kind of world is being built where being bullied by groups is just a fact of life for the main characters. I suppose it could be an attempt to point out how the people who are different here on Terra have to suffer such things on a daily basis, group bullying and adult involvement included. That said, dragons. At this point, it seems to be more like the author had only one story type to work with for their young characters, and all we’re doing at this point is riffing on the theme – specially talented bullied child leaves bullying environment, discovers great and awesome thing, has adventures.

It’s also interesting that the bullied kids are all in positions of relative power and privilege – a Sea-Holder’s daughter, a Lord Holder/dragonrider, and a Harper. Living in the upper crust doesn’t necessarily grant immunity from your peers…but it’s also interesting that we haven’t seen any of the kids perform classist bullying on people they consider lower status. Despite being a caste kind of society, all of the looking down on the commoners has been done by adults to this point.

N’ton points out to Jaxom that Ruth’s coloration is not due to albinism, which would be the most likely cause for whiteness (a lack of pigmentation), but instead is white because of a combination of all pigmentation colors for dragons.

“Y’know,” N’ton began, frowning slightly as he folded his arms across his damp-spattered tunic, “Ruth isn’t really white.”

Jaxom stared incredulously at his dragon. “He’s not?”

“No. See how his hide has shadows of brown and gold, and ripples of blue or green on the near flank.”
[…Jaxom had somehow not noticed this, but attributes it to cleanliness and a bright sun…]
“He’s…more…all dragon shades than the lack of any,” N’ton continued.

Which, to be this way, would be…iridescence, I guess? Since pigments, when combined, become black, not white, if Ruth has shadings of all the other colors, I would expect him to be the black dragon, but that produces color connotations that I’m sure the author wants to avoid in their city-states pastiche. It’s good for Ruth, though, because one of the noticeable bad effects of albinism is the sensitivity to ultraviolet rays that translates into ease of sunburn. In a world like Pern, where getting out of the sun means going into giant caves, it’s not a good thing to have to have your dragon stay inside during the day. That would have likely sunk any plans anyone had for Jaxom to become either a Holder or a dragonrider.

N’ton assures Jaxom that Ruth is a properly-proportioned and healthy dragon, even though Ruth is half the size of any other dragon, and that he should be able to hold Jaxom just fine. On their way back to the hold, Jaxom reflects on everything that’s happened since he impressed Ruth, and the massive guilt trip (although he doesn’t recognize it as such) that’s being inflicted on him by everyone around.

Not that he had wanted to, but Impressing Ruth had caused all kinds of problems for the Benden Weyrleaders, F’lar and Lessa, for the Lord Holders, and for himself, since he was not allowed to be a real dragonrider and live in a Weyr. He had to remain Lord Holder of Ruatha or every younger Holdless son of every major Lord would fight to the death to fill that vacancy. The worst problem he had caused was to the man he desperately wanted most to please, his guardian, Lord Lytol. Had Jaxom only paused a moment to think before he jumped onto the hot sands of Benden’s Hatching Ground to help break the tough shell for the little white dragon, he’d have realized what anguish he would bring to Lord Lytol by a constant reminder of what the man had lost with the death of his brown Larth. Never mind if Larth had died Turns before Jaxom’s birth at Ruatha Hold, the tragedy was vividly, cruelly fresh in Lytol’s mind, or so everyone told Jaxom repeatedly. If this was so, Jaxom often wondered, why then hadn’t Lytol protested when the Weyrleaders and Lord Holders agreed that Jaxom must try to raise the little dragon at Ruatha?

Jaxom, you haven’t learned about the power of the narrative in relation to F’lar getting what he wants, yet, so that’s forgivable. Consulting my notes from Dragonquest, it seems that the was a lot of drinking and Sith Lessa interference involved in setting up this particular situation, so there may not be a straight answer to give about why Lytol doesn’t object to seeing another dragon being cared for in his Hold. The most obvious answer is that time has, in fact, dulled the grief and pain Lytol feels for the lost Larth to the point where he can function normally, even around other dragons. If that’s the case, though, then other people can’t use it to browbeat Jaxom, taking advantage of his capacity for empathy, to some purpose, I would assume, other than “to make the kid feel bad about himself”. Because if that is the reason why, then I hope Jaxom conveniently forgets to let those people back into his Hold when Thread is falling outside, so they can understand what kind of psychological damage they did to him.

Also, what the hell, narrative? Although Dragondrums comes later, with its torture scene, it had already been established before then that there is such a thing as a Conclave of Holders that could settle matters of succession if Jaxom had gone off to the Weyr. And since Lytol is regent at this point, if Jaxom did want to go to the Weyr, surely Lytol could run the place until the Holders determined who would be best-suited to rule, assuming the Benden Weyrleaders didn’t have a firm opinion on the matter. There should be none of this “chaos and battle among younger sons” crap, unless it’s part of a concerted effort to gaslight Jaxom into staying right where he is, for whatever unknown reason. And if a younger son of a Holder shows up with an army to take Ruatha, Lessa only has to appear on Ramoth, say “MINE,” and the matter gets resolved in her favor, because DRAGONS. Plus, as we find out in a few pages, at least some of the residents of Ruatha consider Lessa the last remaining pure-blooded Ruathan. Which, combined with the dragon, should give her significant weight in determining who rules there. Ramoth might even enjoy the possibility of ripping apart a few of the mounts of the soldiers if she’s getting close to a mating cycle.

Back to the plot. N’ton asks Jaxom if Lytol has any fosterlings, under the idea that Jaxom should be socialized with other children of his own rank, to which Jaxom shrugs and points out Dorse and gang, and mentions he hasn’t seen F’lessan much, either, to N’ton’s inquiry about their ability to make mischief in the past. When N’ton’s fire lizard arrives and chitters excitedly, because Ruth is present and every fire lizard likes Ruth, Jaxom asks N’ton why Ruth is so popular. Tris doesn’t say, and N’ton can only speculate. As Jaxom heads back to change for the trial, we find out why Dorse had been given free reign to torment Jaxom – apparently, during his birth, for a part we didn’t see in Dragonflight, since the narrative was busy with Lessa getting F’lar and Fax into a knife fight to the death. Dorse’s mother, Deelan, had given birth to Dorse two days before Jaxom, and thus was still able to nurse and lactate for Jaxom, who would have otherwise died without the breast milk she provided. Because of that, both Lytol and the Hold Harper told Jaxom he owed his life to her and to Dorse, and he had to share everything he had with Dorse.

Cocowhat by depizan

I can understand “be respectful and generous to Deelan, because she nursed you to life when your mother died in childbirth”, but I don’t see how any of that favor automatically extends to her son, because I refuse to believe that she was the only woman capable of lactating at that point in time, based on the narrative’s own insistence that Fax liked to sleep around and get as many women pregnant as he could. Yes, his birth made it possible for her to do what was necessary, but he should derive no direct benefit from that, because she ultimately made the decision to nurse. Yet another way the sexism of Pern manifests, according benefit to men and boys because of the actions of women.

Jaxom has enough time to scrub himself up a bit and change into his new clothes before the Benden Weyrleaders arrive. He’s nervous about hurting Ruth (empathy!), which Ruth assures him isn’t possible. Lessa doesn’t help Jaxom’s nerves by teasing him about being thin, and Jaxom realizes he’s taller than Lessa, which is also embarrassing. The Benden Weyrleader steps in and redirects the conversation to Ruth, delivering a compliment that Ruth is bigger than he expected, because of Jaxom’s care. After an inspection, everyone is in agreement that Jaxom gets to try and fly with Ruth. Jaxom expresses Ruth’s eagerness:

“Yes, sir, because, he is a dragon, and dragons all fly!”

Which, the narrative subtly reminds us, is a call back to Lessa in Dragonflight, about her wanting to take Ramoth out flying instead of being cooped up in a Weyr.

The flight test is a success, although Ruth and Jaxom both have some things to learn about good takeoff and landing technique so that Jaxom isn’t bounced around during either. The dragonriders seem pleased, the Lord Holders seem sour, and the Harpers (Robinton and Menolly) seem thoughtful. And Lytol is a blank. N’ton and the Benden Weyrleader discuss the next phases of training for Jaxom and Ruth, where N’ton says he’ll handle the training part, even though the Benden Weyrleader clearly wants to, since Ruth hatched at Benden. There’s another call back where the Benden Weyrleader assents to teaching Ruth how to fly between:

“Oh, very well. He’s to be trained to fly between. Otherwise, I suppose you’d try it on your own anyhow, wouldn’t you, young Jaxom, being of Ruathan Blood?”

“Sir?” Jaxom really didn’t quite believe his good fortune.

“No, F’lar, Jaxom wouldn’t try such a thing on his own,” N’ton replied in a curious tone. “That’s the trouble. I think Lytol has done his job too well.”

“Explain,” F’lar replied curly.

F’nor held up his hand. “Here’s Lytol himself,” he said in quick warning.

Intriguing.

Jaxom is quite happy that the test went well, because it means he’ll soon be able to escape Dorse and everyone else giving him trouble. On his way to the feast that will be in his honor, he notices Robinton avoid a frenetic fair of fire lizards flying into and out of the doorway by flattening himself against the door itself and shielding his face. Or rather, Robinton flattens himself, and then observes Jaxom taking care of Ruth, as the viewpoint has shifted without warning. Robinton is unhappy at how things have turned out, mostly because of the geopolitical headaches that Ruth flying will now generate. Jaxom slipped through his fingers, because he was too distracted with other things to pay enough attention, even with all his journeymen and aides running missions for him. A call to his reputation at being able to identify wine by taste distracts him from his current line of thinking, and after demonstrating his talent, and toasting Jaxom in such a way that makes it an inevitable point of discussion, the assembled fall to the discussion of what to do with Jaxom, since he bridges both worlds of dragonrider and Lord Holder.

“There will be no problem, Sangel,” said F’lar diplomatically. “We’ve no shortage of large dragons in the Weyr. So he isn’t needed to fight.”

“We’ve no shortage of trained, Blooded men to take Hold here, either,” Sangel said, shooting his jaw out belligerently. Trust old Sangel to come to the point, thought Robinton gratefully.

“Not with Ruathan Blood,” Lessa said, her grey eyes flashing. “The whole point of my relinquishing my blood right to this Hold when I became Weyrwoman was to cede it to the one remaining male with any Ruathan Blood in his veins – Jaxom! As long as I live, I will not permit Ruatha, of all the Holds of Pern, to be the prize for continent-wide blood duels among younger sons. Jaxom remains as Lord Holder-elect of Ruatha; he will never be a fighting dragonrider.”

“Just like to set matters straight,” Sangel said, stepping aside to avoid the icy stare Lessa gave him. “But you’ve got to admit, Weyrwoman, that riding dragons, no matter in how limited a fashion, can be dangerous. Heard about that Weyrling at High Reaches…”

Ahem. As I was saying before…

Jaxom having no peers allows Groghe to pawn off one of his sons on Lytol with no expectation of reciprocation, which leads to a broader discussion of the problem of too many sons and not enough land for all of them to have their own fiefdoms. Which was a real problem in the world Pern is playing off, and led to the kind of warfare that the Lords Holder are trying to avoid. And since there is no church to send those sons off to, nor any foreign war campaigns, and dragonriders can only take as many sons as there are eggs…it’s a powder keg. What I don’t know is how widespread and well-known the dragonrider abortion is, which would be a pretty simple solution to the problem of too many children, assuming that the ladies of the hold would be able to sneak out.

Groghe pressures the Benden Weyrleader to open up the Southern Continent to send those younger sons to, for exploration and conversion to their own Holds. Robinton tries to deflect the idea by pointing out that other younger sons have found service in the Crafthalls working with Fandarel, and that some of those idle sons might find similar work as a Craft task force exchanging ideas and technique. Groghe is dismissive of the idea, and the eventual solution of Jaxom is hit upon – fosterling from Groghe, instruction on riding, and then apprenticeship to Robinton’s archivist, Master Arnor (who we know from Dragonsinger is very finicky and fiddly about everything relating to his craft) in addition to all his requirements on learning how to be a Holder. Jaxom’s arrival at his own feast closes the chapter, but Jaxom is really excited at his possible future when told about the plan.

I’m still side-eyeing the presence of another bullying group in this novel, though, because past evidence and future evidence suggest that their presence means that Jaxom is going to get hurt by them, and likely hurt horribly. It would be nice if we avoided making it a trilogy with regard to the bullies. And that people would stop trying to make him the source of their problems, whether “on behalf of” Lytol, his dual status, or because his mother brought him into existence. Maybe we can have a full novel of an adventure story, instead of just pieces?

Board Business, June 17th, 2015

(posted by chris the cynic)

Irregular Business

Um… remember these?

Regular Business

There is no submission deadline for articles, open thread suggestions and writing prompt suggestions.  Send them any time.

The Submission Deadline for the weekend post is 20:00 (8PM) US Eastern Time Saturday.

Anyone who has submissions for the weekend post should send them in.  Some people wonder if they really deserve to be in the post.  The answer to that is always the same: You do.  So try not to be afraid and do try to send in submissions if you have them.

The sections of the weekend post are as follows:

The Blogaround

Any denizen of the Slacktiverse who has posted an article to their own website since they last submitted to a weekend post is invited, enticed, and cajoled to send a short summary of that article along with its permalink to the group email. That summary and link will be included in the next weekend blogaround. This will help to keep members of our community aware of the many excellent websites hosted by other members.

Remember, this is since you last submitted to a weekend post, not since the last weekend post. For example, if the last time you submitted was a month ago, everything you wrote since then is fair game.

In Case You Missed This

Readers of The Slacktiverse can send short summaries of, and permalinks to, articles that they feel might be of interest to other readers.  These should be sent, as you might expect, to the group email.

Things You Can Do

Anyone who knows of a worthy cause or important petition should send a short description of the petition/cause along with its url to the group email.

Deadlines
Again, none for articles, open thread suggestions and writing prompts.
20:00 (8 PM) US Eastern Time Saturday for the Weekend post.  Also, if there’s a deconstruction you feel should be in the roundup, you can suggest that at any time.
In case the links don’t work: the group email is SlacktiverseAuthors (at) gmail (dot) com.
It is perfectly acceptable to use this as a completely open thread, should you so desire.

Writer Workshop June 17th, 2015

(Posted by chris the cynic)

Those of you who also frequent Ana Mardoll’s Ramblings will find this somewhat familiar.  Here, as there, it was requested that there be a regular post to talk about writing projects (and other artwork-creation). Thus this post exists.

Pencil by Elisa Xyz

What are you working on? How are you feeling about it? What thoughts and/or snippets would you like to share? How does your activism work into your art? What tropes are you hoping to employ and/or avoid? Are there any questions you’d like to ask or frustrations you’d like to vent?  Writing workshop below!