tinny: Timeless - Wyatt in revolutionary war uniform, smirking (timeless_wyatt revolution glow)
[personal profile] tinny





[personal profile] timetobegin asked me how to "get unnatural or different colours to look natural [...] and blended in with the icon" and gave these examples:



[livejournal.com profile] cool_spectrum asked how I "manage to get [my] coloring to look like this:"



I use Photoshop CS4, but try to mention alternatives whenever I use PS-specific tools.


The difference between those two sets of examples is that the first set is more pastel, the second is more vibrant. But the coloring I use is pretty similar for all of them (except the Expanse icon, which is created using Gradient Maps at Normal blend mode, for which I wrote a tutorial last year).

Now for the guide, I will be using the Tahani icon as my main example. I will show steps from the other examples where they fit.

Matte Coloring Guide )

This was a lot of fun! I almost couldn't stop adding more example layers... *G*

I hope the guide is useful to you! I'll happily answer all your questions in case anything is unclear.

Wynonna Earp 2x07

Jul. 23rd, 2017 12:15 am
monanotlisa: (dolls & wynonna - wynonna earp)
[personal profile] monanotlisa
As everybody reading this knows, the most curative thing during recovery is binge-watching a television show. Recall my earlier brief notes on iZombie Season Three? One down; four to go: The 100 (still on Netflix, I hope); Orphan Black; Killjoys; and Wynonna Earp.

I looked at the latter two and chose Wynonna Earp. Why? Guess I was feeling Western rather than Westerly, feeling like two sisters as the leads rather than two brothers.

Just three bulletpoints on Wynonna Earp, up to & including 2x07 ''Everybody Knows'' )

Kidlet story

Jul. 20th, 2017 09:23 pm
resonant: Little Red Riding Hood and wolf. Text: "La beta noire." (beta noire)
[personal profile] resonant
New Draco-centric story from the kidlet over at AO3! I betaed. I even offered some comments that were not smiley faces.

I know exactly why I walk and talk like a machine (24327 words) by terminally_underwhelmed
Chapters: 1/1
Fandom: Harry Potter - J. K. Rowling
Rating: Teen And Up Audiences
Warnings: Graphic Depictions Of Violence
Relationships: Minor or Background Relationship(s), Pre-Harry/Draco - Relationship
Characaters: Draco Malfoy, Lucius Malfoy, Narcissa Black Malfoy, Harry Potter, Ron Weasley, Hermione Granger, Blaise Zabini, Luna Lovegood, Arthur Weasley, Astoria Greengrass, more like ace-storia amirite, various OCs, Minor Characters
Additional Tags: Epilogue What Epilogue, War Aftermath, Emotional Growth, Bureaucracy, Pre-Slash, Friendship, headcanon dump
Series: Part 1 of Solitaire/Mercenary
Summary:

They're together when the Dark Lord falls.

Draco is barely aware of his own senses, half-blind and exhausted from months upon months of corrosive fear, and whatever shred of reality is still allotted to him is in his father’s urgent grip on his shoulder and his mother’s hands around his and the way he leans on both of them.

Take that, reproductive system.

Jul. 20th, 2017 12:28 am
monanotlisa: (scrubs! - duh)
[personal profile] monanotlisa
Surgery itself went well...though complications then kept me in the hospital for not the planned 2-3 hours but for about 12 -- and it's all a bit ongoing, shall we say. I'll post more, but despite my three-hour nap after we came home, I'm beat. And my brain still isn't working properly.

Shout-out to the folks working at UCSF Mt. Zion -- they've all been both both friendly and competent medical professionals (the super-enthusiastic residents were THE BEST. One of them bounced little on his feet, holding the clipboard for consent signing out to me).
monanotlisa: Sam Wilson in Falcon gear, in profile, looking fabulous as ever. (falcon - captain america)
[personal profile] monanotlisa
The Black Alliance for Just Immigration (www.blackalliance.org) is having two webinars on the State of Black Immigrants. Part 1 is July 18, tomorrow, at 5pm; part 2 is July 25, both 5 pm EST.

Registration: goo.gl/u8Eckc.

The episodes that never were

Jul. 18th, 2017 08:12 pm
resonant: Brian from The Breakfast Club: Demented and sad, but social (Default)
[personal profile] resonant
[personal profile] lunabee34 says: "Tell me about the episode (or book chapter) that never appeared in one of your fandoms but should have."

Star Trek TNG: "The Price" is such a god-awful episode that when it leaves those two Ferengi in their shuttlecraft stranded in the Delta Quadrant and doesn't bother to tell us what became of them, that's not even the worst of its crimes. (The worst of its crimes is probably what Crusher and Troi wear to do aerobics.) Anyhow, yes, the Ferengi were acting like jerks, but they didn't deserve to die the kind of death that you'd die stranded in a shuttlecraft 30,000 light-years from home. I think either they should reappear as part of the Borg collective, or the Voyager crew should find them.

Due South: More Ray&Ray. Doesn't everyone want more Ray&Ray? Make RayK go to meet a new informant and discover that it's the Bookman.

The Princess Bride 2: the story of how Buttercup wound up being the Dread Pirate Roberts.
resonant: Brian from The Breakfast Club: Demented and sad, but social (Default)
[personal profile] resonant
- There's a group of people who detest it on principle. Asked to define it, they create a definition that basically sorts everything into two categories: Things I Hate, Which Therefore Belong To the Genre I Hate, and Things I Like, Which Obviously Do Not Belong To the Genre I Hate. (Ask a classic rock fan who hates country about Crosby, Stills, & Nash. Or a classic sci-fi fan who hates fantasy about Pern.)

- Traditionally, about a third of it was worthless due to sentimentality.

- More recently, another third of it is worthless because capitalism endlessly churns it out in identical shiny plastic pieces.

- When it's bad, there's nothing worse.

- When it's good, it captures the human spirit so well that it brings tears to your eyes.

drabblemania! And other festathons!

Jul. 17th, 2017 11:50 am
isis: Write what you're told! (micah wright)
[personal profile] isis
The second annual Multifandom Drabble Exchange ([community profile] multifandomdrabble) went live yesterday, and I received a gift and a treat:

Summer turns towards Autumn by [archiveofourown.org profile] weakinteraction - The Man in the High Castle (TV), Tagomi and Juliana post-S2. I do wonder what is going to happen in S3 when they eventually meet again, and this is a lovely teaser!

The Visitor by [archiveofourown.org profile] Alona - The Divine Cities series by Robert Jackson Bennett, Mulaghesh gen. I prompted "accidental kitten acquisition" and this made me smile because it's so in character.

I was assigned to write for [archiveofourown.org profile] st_aurafina:

A New Hobby - Lord John series by Diana Gabaldon, Lord John/Stephan von Namtzen (okay, it's really gen, but) in a stealth fusion with an undisclosed fandom. Lord John Grey visits Waldesruh again, and learns about Stephan von Namtzen's latest obsession.

I also wrote a bunch of treats (all G-rated):

Saucy Wench - Hot Sauces (Anthropomorphic), Cholula/ Tapatío - There's a new girl on the shelf.

My Sin - due South (TV), Frannie Vecchio/Maggie McKenzie - Licking the evidence runs in the family.

Fire - Frontier Wolf by Rosemary Sutcliff, Teleri(/Connla) - Everyone in the village said they should wed, with their matching crowns of fiery hair.

The Bicycle Rule - The Giver by Lois Lowry, The Receiver gen - It was one of the few rules that was not taken very seriously and was almost always broken. (The Giver, chapter 2.)

One More Earthly Pleasure - The Witcher 3 videogame (actually for the DLC Hearts of Stone), Shani and Vlodimir - In which Gaunter O'Dimm doesn't banish Vlodimir at midnight.

Aboard the Psi-Ship Foxway - The Raven Cycle by Maggie Stiefvater, gen - 300 Fox Way IN SPAAACE.

Here are links to the main collection and the treats - a lot of tasty bite-sized fandom bits to sample. My favorite so far unfortunately points up the problem with drabbles - that they are so tiny and can only tell a very limited story - because it's a drabble sequence and therefore encompasses a lot more story than a single 100-word chunk can tell. But it's really amazing:

Forward/Back (500 words) by lalalalalawhy
Fandom: Original Work
Rating: Teen And Up Audiences
Warnings: No Archive Warnings Apply
Relationships: Time Traveler/Time Traveler
Characters: Time traveling OCs, Original Female Character(s)
Additional Tags: Time Travel, Drabble, Drabble Sequence
Summary:
I skip through time like a flat stone on a still lake, spending days here, a few hours there, always moving forward. My love is the same, but reverse. Her lake is a mirror of mine. She only ever goes back.
A love story in five drabbles.

In other festathon news, I'm planning on signing up for both [community profile] crossovering and [community profile] remixrevival, which are both open for sign-ups now! Check 'em out!

Book Recs, Signings, and Stuff

Jul. 17th, 2017 07:54 am
marthawells: (Reading)
[personal profile] marthawells
Signings and Stuff


* Here are some photos of me and Rachel Caine at our signing at Murder by the Book: https://marthawells.tumblr.com/post/163060728297/my-friend-tooks-some-photos-of-me-and-rachel-caine We had a good crowd, even though it was pouring rain and there were tornado warnings.

* Here's a post from me on Writers Read: https://whatarewritersreading.blogspot.com/2017/07/martha-wells.html about what I'm reading now (actually what I was reading when I wrote the post)

* And I'm not in this article but I know all these people: https://www.austinchronicle.com/arts/2017-07-14/writing-science-fiction-fantasy-and-horror-in-austin/



***

Books


(If you've been following my book rec and new book listing posts for a while, you may have noticed this already, but while most book lists emphasize books by popular straight white men, this one emphasizes everybody else. I include books by straight white men, but in about the same percentage that other book lists include everybody else. I also try to highlight books that are less well known.)

(I only link to one retail outlet in the book's listing, but most books are available at multiple outlets, like Kobo, iBooks, international Amazons, Barnes & Noble, etc. The short stories are usually on free online magazines.)


* Short Story: Children of Thorns, Children of Water by Aliette de Bodard


* Stranglehold by Rene Sears
Morgan Tenpenny has retreated from her painful, magical past, choosing to live quietly as a guardian of one of the gates between worlds. But her sister Gwen is married to a lord of the High Court of Faerie-and when Gwen asks her to protect her nieces, it's time for Morgan to emerge from her seclusion. The gates to Faerie have inexplicably closed, and no one knows why...


* Revision by Andrea Phillips
Mira is a trust fund baby playing at making it on her own as a Brooklyn barista. When Benji, her tech startup boyfriend, dumps her out of the blue, she decides a little revenge vandalism is in order. Mira updates his entry on Verity, Benji’s Wikipedia-style news aggregator, to say the two have become engaged. Hours later, he shows up at her place with an engagement ring. Chalk it up to coincidence, right? Soon after, Benji’s long-vanished co-founder Chandra shows up asking for Mira’s help. She claims Verity can nudge unlikely events into really happening — even change someone’s mind. And Chandra insists that Verity — and Mira’s newly minted fiance — can’t be trusted.


* Short Story: Waiting on a Bright Moon by JY Yang


* Where the Stars Rise: Asian Science Fiction and Fantasy (Laksa Anthology Series: Speculative Fiction Book 3) edited by Lucas K. Law and Derwin Mak


* All Things Violent by Nikki Dolson
Soon the ambitious Simon introduces her to Frank Joyce, a man who would teach her how to become a stone-cold professional killer. Laura learns her deadly trade and earns her money. Twenty-six years old and she thinks she’s found her happily ever after. Sadly it all falls apart when Simon leaves her for another. Now some other woman, blonde and polished, all shiny and new, is living Laura’s happy life.


* Telling the Map by Christopher Rowe
There are ten stories here including one readers have waited ten long years for: in new novel-la The Border State Rowe revisits the world of his much-lauded story The Voluntary State.
monanotlisa: (studying!)
[personal profile] monanotlisa
I have also managed to...well, let's call it "consume books" during commute hours, dead wait times, or long drives -- audiobooks, often in combination with the written Kindle version (you can buy a combo package that lets you pick up reading or listening at the point you left off; it's one neat function). After the breathtaking Rivers of London series by Ben Aarononovitch, I was looking for urban fantasy of a similar vibe: witty, well-written, and featuring diverse protagonists.

My choice fell onto Seanan McGuire's InCryptid series -- the first two novels feature Verity Price, a cryptozoologist-slash-ballroom dancer in New York City; I like them for the setting, frankly, and the richness of this imagined world of non-classified monsters in our midst.

The following doesn't spoil plot points, but it does give an outline of characters and places.

''Discount Armageddon'' & ''Midnight Blue-Light Special'' )

''Half-Off Ragnarok'' & ''Pocket Apocalypse'' )

Ultimately, these are entertaining, so I may stick with the InCryptid series because of the dearth of diverse urban fantasy (true fantasy has gotten much better on that vector these days; read Ancillary Justice or The One Hundred Thousand Kingdoms, or or or). Again, if anybody new is reading this who has recommendations for books or series similar to Rivers of London by Ben Aarononovitch, please let me know!

iZombie Season Three

Jul. 16th, 2017 10:14 am
monanotlisa: (advice)
[personal profile] monanotlisa
Full disclosure, I haven't had the time to watch a single new show I'd waited for and subscribed to on iTunes: The 100; Orphan Black; Killjoys; Wynonna Earp.

The one show I managed to finish is iZombie. And I do recommend it.

Zombie S3 )

The question this show poses about humans and zombies is: Can't we just all get along? The answer potentially being, OH HELLS NO! But...not necessarily.

Doctor Who

Jul. 16th, 2017 09:32 am
monanotlisa: (adventures! - dw)
[personal profile] monanotlisa
The Doctor Who news out of the UK have made me unexpectedly emotional. Doctor Who Casting )

Because I so loved Doctor Who for its undying sense of wonder.

The last show that conveyed the incredible, the vast strange beauty of the universe that well had been Farscape -- a different show, of course, heavy into the psychedelic, with even more whump and the personal perk of never taking itself seriously. But then Russell T. Davies' New Who came along, and finally I understood what all these other nerds and geeks with their t-shirts and telephone boxes had been about all along.

You already know the below if you've been following this blog; I'm just summarizing my experience with Doctor Who in the past and looking to the future )

So yes, I'm back to Doctor Who. Buckle up, companions.

17776

Jul. 13th, 2017 02:19 pm
isis: (lego draco)
[personal profile] isis
I followed a rec from [personal profile] vass in a comment to a post at [personal profile] jamethiel and hply sjot, I have fallen down a rabbit hole! I had seen references to 17776 at ffa but ignored them, because once I realized it wasn't a typo for the musical it turned out to be a multimedia web thingy about football, which is not something I'm interested in.

But it's not about football. Well, I suppose it is, on some level, but it's Calvinball-football, something called football that has one toe still in the contemporary game but "now", in the far far post-quasi-apocalyptic future, is mostly an outrageously inventive pastime for bored immortals, which we are shown through commentary by old spacecraft which have now achieved sentience, including one who has just "awoken" and so has to have everything explained to it by the others.

It is a WIP, apparently updated daily. I am not sure how much is out or how far along I am, but I just finished the Page, Arizona chapter, in which opposing teams become trapped in a canyon with sheer walls and continue battling for thousands of years. (I have been there in real life! I am amused!)

Anyway, if this description intrigues you: https://www.sbnation.com/a/17776-football/

wednesday reads 'n things

Jul. 12th, 2017 04:31 pm
isis: winged Isis image (wings)
[personal profile] isis
What I've recently finished reading:

Assassin's Fate by Robin Hobb - I liked the story, appreciated the way the ending called back to other elements of the series (and felt it a solid, satisfying ending), but I am not sure why this book didn't resonate emotionally with me. Perhaps it's because having read the series over such a long span of time, the characters' lives are less fresh and compelling to me. Perhaps it's because this book's ambitious scope in tying together not just the final trilogy but all the Realms of the Elderlings sub-series required so many sub-plots that it seemed an overwhelming brick with too many diversions. I enjoyed reading it, as I enjoyed most of the series (Rain Wilds, ugh) but toward the end I was feeling as though it was more a chore than a delight, and I'm glad I'm finished.

The Magpie Lord by K. J. Charles - Better than the average m/m novel, but that's a low bar. The magic is interesting (and the best part of the book); the plotting is pretty good, though the ending is a bit abrupt, with a sudden influx of new characters whose villainy could have been set up better through the narrative; the romance is all right, though a bit too heavy on the size-difference kink for my taste. I'm not particularly inclined to seek out the rest of the series, though I have to say I'm intrigued by Stephen's partner Esther, who was mentioned but didn't actually appear in the story.

Dungeons & Dreamers: A Story of how Computer Games Created a Global Community by Brad King and John Borland - This readable, engaging book traces the development of multi-user computer games and non-game shared social spaces (such as Second Life) from their roots in tabletop gaming and D&D, through text adventure and then graphic action/adventure games, to current (as of writing, which is not current at all) massively networked games. I found the early chapters particularly interesting because I, too, was a D&D geek and gamer in the late 70s/early 80s (though I drifted away after early graphical games such as Spacewar, and text games Zork and Advent and their progeny); it was like reading the book equivalent of the TV series Halt and Catch Fire, the underlying stories of things which I experienced as a casual user at the time.

There is certainly more focus on certain people and game companies than others, but this doesn't purport to be a complete history of games and gaming. Instead this focus (which wavers at times, admittedly) serves to build the thesis that (most) people like narrative and social interactions, even while killing monsters. I think it's a reasonable view, though perhaps it leaves out the meta aspect of people who like to play single-player games (which I imagine are the majority of games available) but who then congregate on Reddit and other forums to share their experiences and screenshots. Anyway, recommended if you have an interest in this sort of thing.

What I'm reading now:

Right now I'm down to my audiobook, Plus One by Elizabeth Fama, which I am a little more than halfway through. I'm finding it surprisingly interesting and enjoyable for YA dystopian SF. I mentioned last week that I thought I'd read a short story with a similar premise, of people split into night people and day people, and while browsing the Goodreads reviews I saw one person mention that it was sort of based on a book called The Day Boy and the Night Girl, which is an 1882 fairy tale novel by George MacDonald. I checked it out on Wikipedia and while it sounds interesting, it's not the story I was thinking of.

What I'm reading next:

I might have to read the fourth Expanse book, because B keeps blathering about the books while we watch the show. He also has been reading the Wayward Pines books and thinks I should read them. (The author is a friend of a friend.) I have some various random stuff in ebook I ought to read sometime, things I've downloaded through Instafreebie (though so far I have not been impressed), through the Tor free ebook series, and through other promotions.

What I'm watching now:

We are 6/10 through S2 of The Expanse! It is weird to me how the TV seasons don't match up with the books very well. The things I think of as being the important stuff that happened in the second book have not even occurred yet (well, one of them finally did in E6). What a pretty show, though.

What I'm watching next:

I heard a rumor that Winter is Coming. Huh, looks like summer to me.
monanotlisa: LAFAYETTE FROM TB BEING FABULOUS! (lafayette - tb)
[personal profile] monanotlisa
1. My job is rough. I'm a whiny person by nature, of course, but it's rough to be challenged on the substance front (completely new areas), the workload front, and the new-humans-how-to-communicate-effectively-with-them? front.

2. I marched in SF Pride, though! Sally didn't manage to make it over, ankle issues, but my NCLR float was a great one, and the ladies, men, and nonbinary activists were the kind who allowed me to wear my 2015 ACLU Pride shirt instead of their own, so I could walk around with BLACK LIVES MATTER on the front and PROTECT TRANS LIVES on the back (the trans one gets me nods and conversations, all good, so no, symbolism and allyship (sp?) is in fact meaningful.

3. I love being in the City, though; as long as I don't get fired for not working hard enough or well enough -- California is an at-will employment state -- this is in many ways Peak Mona.

Swag!

Jul. 12th, 2017 09:28 am
marthawells: (The Serpent Sea)
[personal profile] marthawells
Raksura stickers and buttons


This is the first time I’ve been able to afford actual swag for a signing. These are stickers with art by Pentapoda, and I also have buttons. I’ll have them at the Murder by the Book (in Houston) signing with Rachel Caine on 7/15/2017 at 4:30 (if you can’t come, you can order our signed and personalized books to ship to you at http://www.murderbooks.com/event/wells-caine ) and at ArmadilloCon http://armadillocon.org/d39/#/ and World Fantasy 2017 http://wfc2017.org/wfc2017/

Not Ready for Prime Time fest recs

Jul. 11th, 2017 05:24 pm
isis: (Default)
[personal profile] isis
I didn't sign up, but I looked through the collection to read stories in fandoms I know, and there are three that are really quite good and you should read them, too, if you know these fandoms:

Good and Bad Alike (We Keep Meeting) (1609 words) by [archiveofourown.org profile] sevendeadlyfun

Fandom: Hamilton - Miranda
Rating: General Audiences
Warnings: Creator Chose Not To Use Archive Warnings
Characters: Thomas Jefferson, Angelica Schuyler
Summary: He does not meet her at Versailles. No one, the Duc D’Orlean proclaims, meets anyone at Versailles. Angelica and Jefferson meet in Paris. They part in America.

I love the historical details, and Angelica comes alive here as the central character in her own story.

Peat Smoke Rising (3065 words) by [archiveofourown.org profile] feroxargentea
Fandom: The Eagle of the Ninth - Rosemary Sutcliff, The Eagle | The Eagle of the Ninth - All Media Types
Rating: Teen And Up Audiences
Warnings: No Archive Warnings Apply
Relationships: Marcus Flavius Aquila/Esca Mac Cunoval
Characters: Esca Mac Cunoval, Marcus Flavius Aquila
Additional Tags: book canon, Missing Scene, Wilderness, Hiking, Hurt/Comfort, Sharing Body Heat, canonically ambiguous relationship
Summary: \Peat smoke rising. Two worlds entwined.

I really like this gentle story; the language evokes the book-language without feeling like pastiche, with lovely Sutcliffian scenery and descriptive details.

strawberries and sunlight (3252 words) by [archiveofourown.org profile] polkadot
Fandom: Pride and Prejudice - Jane Austen
Rating: General Audiences
Warnings: No Archive Warnings Apply
Relationships: Catherine Bennet/Georgiana Darcy
Characters: Catherine Bennet, Georgiana Darcy
Additional Tags: Falling In Love, Flirting, Declarations Of Love
Summary: It was some four months since Kitty had come to stay at Pemberley, when she found to her great astonishment that she had not thought of young officers in a fortnight.

Kitty's slow maturity as she moves away from Lydia's orbit to Georgiana's, and then her examination of that change in herself, is lovely to see. And Georgiana's obviously blossoming here as well, from the shy and withdrawn girl in the novel to someone who has found what she wants and is patiently waiting for Kitty to figure it out. This is probably my favorite of the stories I read from this fest.

ETA: edited in author names post-reveal.

(no subject)

Jul. 11th, 2017 05:02 pm
synecdochic: torso of a man wearing jeans, hands bound with belt (Default)
[personal profile] synecdochic
holy shit

Last night I was like, nah, you're seeing things, wishful thinking, etc, but after treatment #2? The cords really ARE shrinking, dramatically so.

"Stops progressing" would have been a good outcome. Actual reversal happens in a minority of cases, almost always in patients who treat it very early. I'm SO FUCKING GLAD I insisted on going as aggressive as possible. Even if I wind up with more chronic pain out of it, I'll keep use of my hands for a fuck of a lot longer, thank ANYTHING THAT WAS LISTENING

Tuesday Post

Jul. 11th, 2017 07:57 am
marthawells: (Stargate)
[personal profile] marthawells
My post on the Barnes & Noble blog: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/blog/sci-fi-fantasy/8-books-blend-science-magic-minus-fantasy-tropes/ Fantasies that Blend Magic and Science

I also somehow missed that there was a Publishers Weekly review for The Harbors of the Sun: https://www.publishersweekly.com/978-1-59780-891-0

I removed the one mildy spoilery bit:

The beautiful fifth Raksura fantasy begins immediately after the events of The Edge of Worlds, tracing the various journeys of Moon, Jade, and the rest of the now-scattered Raksuran archaeological expedition.... Having done the heavy lifting of characterization in earlier books in the series, Wells is able to focus here on exploring how the Raksura fit into the wider world, dealing with the prejudices that result from their previous isolation, their shape-shifting ability and other magic, and their biological connection to the predatory Fell. The Fell themselves give rise to some of the more intriguing social explorations, as more is revealed about the half-Fell/half-Raksurans who were raised among the predators. Wells’s worldbuilding strengths are on display, and she knows just what to explain and what to imply, making this volume accessible to newcomers as well as longtime readers.


Now I'm going back to my aerobics class and hope I don't have any trouble from my back, my hands, my feet or any of the other bits of me that are falling off.
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